Teigngrace Village

Church History

by Judith Joliffe

The church of St. Peter and St. Paul at Teigngrace is a surprise when you first walk in. I certainly did not expect such a lovely blue or such a wealth of funerary monuments!

The church as you see it today is, on the whole, the work of the three Templer brothers, James, John and George, who rebuilt the existing church in 1786 as a monument to their parents, James and Mary Templer of Stover.


The church prior to 1787

These pictures are by John Claude Nattes (c. 1765-1839), a prolific French painter and founder member of the Society of Painters in Watercolours, founded 1804.

The pictures are still in the possession of the Templer family, and we are grateful for their permission to use them.


The early church in Teigngrace

The earliest definite record of a church at Teigngrace dates back to 1350 when one John de Copshull was recorded as rector. It is possible that there was a church here before that date, as in 1088, according to the Domesday Survey, a certain Ralph de Brueria held the manor of Taigne. From him and his descendants the place was known for several centuries, as Teign-Bruer, or Brewer, and it is likely to suppose that there would have been a place of worship in the village at that time.

Between the years 1350 and 1750 there are recorded 21 rectors at Teigngrace. The benefice is recorded as being held by the Prescotes, the Copplestones, the Elfords and the Courtneys.

From 1664, the Rev. Joseph Challice was Rector for 43 years. Teigngrace was a strong Royalist area at that time, as was Challice. And after the Civil War, he arranged a rather devious plan to prevent his house from falling into Cromwellian hands. It is said that he “borrowed” the village children, and with his own, filled the house. The Roundheads took pity on him with such a large family and allowed him to stay at the house – now known as Teign Manor.

This story is given a different spin by Beatrix Cresswell in her Notes on Devon Churches (citing Walker 's Sufferings of the Clergy, p.414);

“This minister was not formally sequestered, but met with much trouble and annoyance. He purposely let the rectory house go to ruins to prevent anyone from wishing to get the living. He had several children of his own, but knowing that the sequestrators were coming to inspect the house, he got several of his neighbours' children into the kitchen, so that the inspector, on arriving thinking that they were all his own children, felt an uncommon qualm of compunction and would not render so many innocent creatures homeless.”

Another Rector, the Rev. Gilbert Yarde, who on 24 th May, 1783, aged 70, was robbed and barbarously murdered at Whiteway, near Lindridge wood, with a holly bludgeon, by John Greenslade, his servant, who was hung for it on Haldon and his body given for dissection. Apparently, Rev. Yarde had sacked Greenslade, his gardener, who then asked for a reference. Yarde had written in Latin “Gone from me and fit for no man”. Discovering the trick when unable to get another job, Greenslade took his revenge.

There are several letters relating to the story of the murder in Devon and Cornwall Notes and Queries (1902 and 1904). The first is from WH Thornton, Rector of Dunsford who consulted the Exeter Flying Post of the time (May 1 st 1783) and a descendent of Gilbert Yarde. one Rev. JT Yarde of Chudleigh.

There is also a record of Gilbert Yarde in the Quarter Sessions of 26 th March 1769, where he was indicted for assaulting one John Perryman, who may have been the schoolmaster.

No313/39 - 26th March 1769 - For a forcible entry into the Cellar part of a tenement in Teigngrace in the possession of John Perryman and assaulting him there. 2nd Count - for a common assault. Traversed Midsummer 1769. Bill found Easter 1769. Tryed Michaelmas 1769 - Not Guilty.

 Gilbert Yarde was succeeded by John Templer on 19 th June 1783.

The Trosse Family

The oldest memorial in the church is the Trosse family vault to the south side of the altar. Much of the stone is under the Reader's desk, but the tablet was transcribed earlier:

Here was buried the body of George Trosse. Gent who died February 22 nd 1658 and Charles Trosse his grandchild who died October 1656. Here was buried Thomas Trosse. Gent and Eliiz. His wife. She and hee dyed in January 1649.

 Thomas' will shows an inventory of his rings £5, plate £13/6/8, farm stock, “proper household stuff” £13/6/8and books of £2. Thomas died intestate and his father, George, was granted administration during the minority of Thomas' five children; Lucy, Elizabeth, George, Anna and Charles. It is not known where in the village they lived.



The church as rebuilt by the Templer family in 1787.

by John Claude Nattes (c. 1765-1839)

Bishop Stafford's register shows the dedication of the Church to be St Peter and St Paul , but over the years it seems as though the dedication has varied. Various sources such as OS maps, Kelly's Directory etc have the dedication as St Mary's through much of the latter half of the 19 th century, but with St Peter & St Paul in 1883, 1893, 1902 and then again from 1923 onwards.

Beatrix Cresswell also states that the church was called St Mary in 1782, but then in 1789, after the rebuilding a picture refers to it as

“The south west view of the parish church of Teigngrace; “The church, the spire of which is 140 feet high, was designed by and executed under the direction of James Templer esq, the patron, at the point charge of him and his brothers the Rev'd John Templer, the Rector, and George Templer of Shopwich in the county of Somerset esq, and dedicated to the Holy trinity in the year of Our Lord 1787””

Despite much discussion in Devon and Cornwall Notes and Queries and theories put forward by Miss Cresswell, there is not answer as to why the dedication of the church varies.

The church in the early 18 th century

 We are fortunate that several of the records of the church from the early 18 th century survive. Some are stored at the Devon Record Office (DRO) i.e. the church registers, churchwarden's accounts, but some are in the possession of the Teigngrace Lands Charity, formerly known as the Feoffees. These include the original indenture for the setting up of the Feoffees, dated 1713, other indentures relating to the Feofees, records of the Overseers to the Poor, letters from the Templer family relating to the estate etc.

Churchwarden's accounts

The DRO holds the Churchwarden's accounts from 1716 to 1767 and they make fascinating reading into the expenses off the time, particularly as there doesn't seem to have been much change. We are still paying for the repairs to the church, the upkeep of the church yard etc!


The Feoffees are a parish based lands charity that were set up in 1713 by several land owners and the rector, Walter Stephens. Until very recently the original indenture was thought to have been lost. However it has come to light and is in the process of being transcribed. The Feoffees owned several parcels of land and some cottages within the village. The income from these was used to support the poor of the village. The charity still exists today and owns the old Schoolroom, which is used as a village hall.


 The two bells predate the existing church by some years, but were re-hung in 1976, in memory of Canon Reginald Morecombe, who was Priest-in-Charge between 1962 and 1972. They are still rung today to announce divine worship.

A survey of the bells was undertaken in1975 by the Rev JGM Scott on behalf of the Central Council of Bell Ringers. He comments;

  • That the bell frame is of a curious design, consisting of three timber frame-heads spanning the belfry E/W: their ends are built into the wall and their W ends by a joist which spans the window opening and has its ends built into the reveals of the window. Curved braces are fitted beneath the frame-heads; at the E end they are carried on a plate built into the wall, an at the W end by the window-cill.
  • The gear consists of elm headstocks with drive-in gudgeons and stock-hoops, ironwork nailed on, and simple levers attached to the headstocks. The iron work is of mediaeval pattern, but his friend, Mr George Elphick (who was smaller than he and able to get through the trap hatch 20 years earlier) records that date 1687 and the initials PP and Ec or FC carved on the treble headstock.
  • The bells are odd in that the treble is bigger than the tenor, the treble being just under 21” diameter and the tenor 19 ¼inches, but the treble sounds the higher note because it is thicker. The treble is uninscribed , but it may be late 16 th or 17 th century. The tenor is inscribed John Gifford Warden 1701 with the initials MC with pieces of vine patterned frieze between the words. MC is Mordecai Cockey of Totnes, who cast a number of bells in the county.

Rev. Scott also notes that is was a good thing that a ring of six was not hung, as had been planned by the Templers, as the tower would not have been sufficient!

Parsonage and Glebe

 For many years it was thought that the old parsonage was the house that is known as Teign Manor. However, maps came to light showing that the old parsonage was, in fact, where School Cottages are now, i.e. to the south of the church.

In 1745 the parsonage was described:

 First- the parsonage house stands very low, built with stone and mud walls, covered with reed, containing three chambers ceild and floored with deal and elm; five under rooms, but no wainscot with earthen floors, except the kitchen which is paved; together with one barn, three bays of buildings, one gate house, one stable and shippen containing three bays and another new stable one bay, all built with stone and mud walls and covered with reed, together with a back kitchen, built with stone and mud walls, with a chamber over the same, one bay covered with reed.

 The glebe was the land that provided the income for the rector and in 1745 the Glebe consisted of about fifty one acres of village, furze and meadow ground.

The church furniture consisted of – three common prayer books. A large bible, with the book of Homilies, one surplice with a hood for the Minister, a pulpit cloth & cushion, with a carpet for the communion table and a fine white linen cloth with a napkin; with a silver chalice and salver, marked Teigngrace, weighing fourteen ounces, with a tinn flagon and pewter plate, a horse cloth and two bells.

The church and the Templers

 The estate was purchased in 1760, from an heiress of Kelland Courtney, by James Templer, who by then had built himself a fine house Stover Lodge (now Stover School ). He died in 1782, his wife Mary in 1784, and his three sons, George, James & john rebuilt the parish church in 1787 dedicating it in memory of their parents. The Rev. John Templer was the first Rector of the new church. The first service in the new church was held on Sunday 30 th March 1788.

Then, as now, permission had to be sought for changing ecclesiastical buildings and the records of the letters are in the DRO with the diocesan archives.

A plan was attached. As you look at the plan you will see that the structure then differed from what you may see now. There was a semi- circular altar rail and pillars in the centre of the church to the cupola in the ceiling. The pulpit, lectern and clerk's desk were by the vestry so as to be opposite the family pew; the aisles were wider and the font was placed nearer the doors. The stairs in the porch are shown as being on the left hand side, rather than as they are now.

I believe that then as now, there may have been changes made as the building took place, particularly in respect of the stairs. The organ has been in place since the rebuilding and I doubt that the stairs were moved at any point.


The church was thoroughly renovated by the Duke of Somerset in 1872 and the new pulpit, desks and font were added in the early 20 th century.

A representation to the Bishop was made in 1786:

To the Right Reverend Father in God, John by divine permission Lord Bishop of Exeter or to your Vicar General or any other competent judge on their behalf.

 The humble petition of James Templer of Stover lodge in the county of Devon and Diocese of Exeter Esquire, Patron of the Rectory of Teigngrace in the said County and John Templer, Clerk rector of Teigngrace aforesaid Sheweth

 That whereas the parish church and tower of Teigngrace aforesaid are in a very ruinous condition and gone greatly to decay, insomuch that the walls of the said Church are obliged to be supported up by props, in order to prevent their falling down, your petitioners are therefore willing at their expense to take down the said church and tower and to erect and build a new church and tower in the room of the said old church and tower together with a vestry room adjoining and an ayle for the use of the said James Templer and his family , according to a plan thereof hereunto annexed , and also to recast one of the two bells now in the said tower, and to add four new bells to make them a Peal of Six Bells, and to erect and build a new organ in the said intended new church, Your petitioners therefore humbly pray your lordships licence or faculty, for pulling down the said church and tower of Teigngrace and for erecting and building at their own expense a new church and tower in the room thereof, together with a vestry room adjoining, an additional ayle for the use of the said James Templer and his family, according to the said plan hereunto annexed, and also for recasting one of the two bells now in the said tower and for adding four new bells to make them a peal of six bells, and to erect and build an organ in the said intended new church which will be of very great benefit and advantage to your petitioners, and to the parishioners and inhabitants of the said parish, and no ways prejudicial or injurious to any particular persons might, and your petitioners will ever pray and so forth

 Teigngrace 8 th May 1786

(signed) James Templer Patron

John Templer Rector

 Exec'd in the presence of Mr Elland

 Exch'd 19 th may 1786 in the dwelling house of and before the Worshipful James Carrington in the presence of James eland, Notary Public

 Faculty decreed

A licence was granted to John Templer by the Bishop of Exeter to conduct divine service and the original is in the vestry of the church.

The wording is as follows;

John by Divine Permission Lord Bishop of Exeter to our beloved ~~ in Christ John Templar, Clerk Rector of Teigngrace in the County of Devon and our Diocese of Exeter XXX Greeting Whereas the Parish Church of Teigngrace hath been lately altered and rebuilt We do hereby give and grant to the said John Templar or his Curate Licence and Power by there Presents to perform Divine Service in the said Church and to do expedite and execute all other things in that regard necessary and accustomed according to the manner

and rites of the Church of England and the wholesome Ordinance by public Authority X established until such time as We or our Successor Bishops of Exeter shall consecrate the said church.

Given under our Episcopal Seal this Thirteenth Day of June in the year of our

Lord One Thousand Seven Hundred and Eighty eight and in the Eleventh Year of our Consecration.


At present, there is no record of the church being reconsecrated. If there were, the issue of the dedication may have been resolved.


The external structure that you see now is very much as it would have appeared to the Templer family at the dedication service in March 1788. There was originally a spire, but this was removed in 1902 as it became a danger. Originally the church was surrounded by fields, with a pathway to the Schoolroom that was built in 1873. Over the years the village has grown and the church is now surrounded by houses. However, it still has a feel of seclusion about it, sheltered by the drive from the road and the yew in front. It would seem likely that the yew was planted at about the same time as the church was rebuilt.

Looking at old maps of the village, particularly the glebe map of 1807 and the OS map of 1905, you can see where a path goes behind Hearder's farm to the back of the church.

Internally, a visitor is struck by the colour of the walls and the number of monuments, mostly dedicated to the Templer family over the ages. It is an example of “Strawberry Hill Gothic”, named after Horace Walpole's house at Twickenham built in a gothic revival style.

Beatrix Cresswell notes a dairy entry by her father from October 19, 1862, when he had taken a service there;

“The church is a very odd one. The Duke's pew opposite the reading desk and pulpit. The walls painted blue, the monuments to the Templers all around the building, a wonderful picture over the altar, Virgin Mary, Dead Christ, Angels, pink ribbons, blue robes, white muslin. There is another picture in the Stover pew, old and dirty, not of much value I should think, or it would hardly have been where it is. There were 25 people at church this morning, rather more in the afternoon – the weather might excuse anything. “

Miss Cresswell mentions that the other picture is on the south wall and is a picture of the presentation at the Temple . It would now seem to be hanging in the vestry, although the supports on the south wall are still there.

Erected at the time of the rebuilding, or very shortly after, are the monuments to the Templer parents, James and Mary, set either side of the altar. It is clear from the wording that both their parents were loved and respected greatly by their children.

Templer Monuments and vault

Erected at the time of the rebuilding, or very shortly after, are the monuments to the Templer parents, James and Mary, set either side of the altar. It is clear from the wording that both their parents were loved and respected greatly by their children.

Pevsner (1952) notes that the monuments are both interesting and varied. They have eloquent inscriptions, but are not of excessive size. The earliest are two wall-mounted monuments flanking the chancel arch, to James Templer †1782 and his wife, Mary †1784, the first with a mourning figure at an urn, in a roundel, the second with a similar theme in a lunette at the top.—Charles Templer †1786 has a delicate shipwreck relief; Captain William Templer †1805 and his brother, both also drowned at sea, have only the signed tablet, a fat weeping angel by an urn above a Gothic fan coving, by Coade and Sealy.—The Nelson memorial, of 1805, is also of Coade stone. It has the unusual form of a figure of Fame above a globe, inscribed “slain in battle”.—James Templer †1813 has another Coade monument: a female figure reclining on an urn, a standard type.—other simpler tablets include two naval associates, Cornwallis,Viscount Hawarden † 1803 and Captain Richard Dalling Dunn †1813 , both with chaste urns, and one to the Rev. John Templer † 1832 (the first of the two Templer rectors) with draped urn on sarcophagus.

The most recent monument to a member of the Templer family is that to James Trevor Templer (1900—1979) and his wife Margaret Frances (1900—1961).

Memorials to other members of the Templer family include those to:

  • • Francis James Templer d.1854
  • • George Templer, 3rd of the brothers rebuilding the church
  • • George, fourth son of James Templer d. 1819
  • • Henry Line Templer, fifth son of James Templer d. 1818
  • • Jane Templer, wife of John d. 1813
  • • Elizabeth, wife of John d. 1850
  • • Francis Buller Templer, d. 1903, his wife Emma, d.1887 and their elder son, Philip Arthur, d. 1899
  • • John Templer the younger, d. 1869


The memorial to Charles Templer, 5th and youngest son of James Templer, is of particular interest as it deals with the wreck of the East Indiaman, Halsewell, bound for Bengal in early 1786. On January 6th, she met fierce winter gales and foundered off the Dorset coast. All but 74 of the more than 240 crew and passengers died, including the Captain's two daughters and two other women relatives, and the wives and daughters of friends and fellow officers.

The loss and the sufferings of the survivors stunned the whole nation. King George III and several members of the Royal Family travelled to the coast to see the site of the catastrophe. A memorial poem, written in 1786 by an unknown author, titled “Monody on the Death of Captain Pierce,” lamented the tragic loss of life on The Halsewell and further fuelled the grief and interest of the nation. Years later, the novelist Charles Dickens wrote “The Long Voyage,” a short story that tells the dramatic tale of the ship's sinking. Charles was only 15 years of age.

Cornwallis Maude, Lord Viscount Hawarden

Viscount Hawarden died in Teignmouth on August 21st, 1803 and his remains are buried in the church. ViscountHarwarden is a title in the Irish Peerage, created in 1793 for Cornwallis Maude who had been MP for Roscommon in the Irish House of Commons. Through his second wife, Mary Allen, he had lands in Somerset , which is why he may have been in the west country. There is no record of a friendship with the Templer family, but a supposition is that dying in Teignmouth in August may have prevented the transport of the body for burial in Ireland or London , and a friendship with the Templers may have led to his burial here.

He is not to be confused with Charles Cornwallis, 1st Marquess Cornwallis of the American Revolutionary War. This Cornwallis family can trace their family tree back to Eye, Suffolk in the 14th Century and would seem not to be connected with the Maude family of Ireland .

It would be interesting to find out why he was christened Cornwallis!

The Templer Vault

Under the pulpit, to the north side of the altar is a vault with the bodies of various members of the Templer family interred. The gaps in the inscription are where the pulpit stands and where the skirting covers the script of the tablet. However, we know from the Teigngrace parish registers that Sophia was buried on September 23rd 1769, but there is no record of any of these children being baptised in the parish.

Stuart Drabble, Templer historian, writes:

Seven of James Templer's children were baptised in Rotherhithe. The interesting thing is that a couple of the infants are shown in the Parish Registers to have been buried at Rotherhithe as well as being baptised there; yet there are stated as being buried in the vault at Teigngrace. The answer to this conundrum could be that they were exhumed from Rotherhithe and later re-interred in a new family vault at Teigngrace after the church was rebuilt.

John Line, who died of smallpox on April 10 th 1777, was also laid to rest in the vault .

Searches are ongoing to try to discover when the vault was installed and whether any of the children were re-interred.

War memorial

The War Memorial at Teigngrace is situated inside the Church of St Peter & St Paul , rather than in the village as is common in many places. The erection of the memorial was discussed at the PCC meeting on 19th May 1920. It isn't clear why it is placed inside the Church, but it may be that as it only contains six names, it wasn't feasible to erect a larger memorial outside the Church.

Walter Francis Coles was a Lance Corporal in the Devonshire Regiment. He died on 19th November 1914 at home of wounds and is buried at Slapton. There were two Coles families in Teigngrace in 1901, but I'm not sure as yet how Walter was related to them.

William Douglas Elworthy was a private in the Canterbury Regiment, NZEF. He died on 3rd December 1917 and is buried in Buttes New British Cemetery in New Zealand .

William was born 1892 in London . In 1901 he was living with his brother, Harold, as nephews, in Teigngrace with the March family at Teignbridge Crossing. In 1911 he appears to be living as a boarder in Queen St , Newton Abbot, working as a Chauffer. He was the son of Mrs. Mary Elworthy, of Auroa, Taranaki , New Zealand .

James Parker was a private in the Devonshire Regiment. He died on 24th April 1918 and is commemorated on the Pozieres Memorial.

William Parker was a private in the Somerset Light Infantry. He died on 4th September 1916 and is commemorated on the Thiepval Memorial.

James and William were sons of Humphrey Parker at Yonder Farm. James was born in 1891. William was born in 1895. In 1911 William was a clay carter in Kingsteignton and William was living with his widowed father and two sisters in Highweek.

Evelyn Llewellyn Hustler Jones of the 12th Battalion was attached to the 1st/5th battalion of the Royal Welsh Fusiliers. He was born on 29 July 1874 in Camarthen and died on 26th March 1917. He is commemorated on the Jerusalem Memorial. He was the son of the Rev. Owen Jones and Mrs. Jones of Fishwick. He was a Barrister at Law, having been educated at Newton Abbot College and Trinity College , Oxford . He was Churchwarden and Clerk at Teigngrace and is also commemorated on Kingsteignton War Memorial. In Teigngrace Church is an Altar Book for the administration of Holy Communion presented in the memory of EL Hustler Jones.

John Drewer Towillis (spelt Towallis on the War Memorial) was born in 1882 in Newton Abbot to James Elliot Towillis, his wife, Anne. In the 1901 census James Elliot Towallis was the station master and lived in one of the new cottages by school room with his wife and three children, James (23), Thomas (21) and Mary Emma (15). He and his wife were still there in 1911.

John Drewer (Towallis) married Elizabeth Jane Gerry on August 4 1906, aged 24, in Teigngrace Church .It would appear that they had two children; Victor (born 14/1/1907) and Vera Janet, born 18/10/1911. Vera married Philip George Martin by licence on 7th August 1933 in Teigngrace. Both lived at Ventiford Cottages.

A George Towillis of Ventiford Cottages was buried age 2 days on Feb 3rd 1913 .It is possible that he was the child of John Drewer and Elizabeth.

In the 1901 census John was serving on board HMS Magnificent at Gibraltar and in 1911 he was Petty Officer on HMS Adventure. John was serving as Petty Officer on board HMS Amphion in 1914. On 6th August 1914 HMS Amphion hit a mine off the Thames Estuary, and was sunk, 151 RN lives were lost plus 19 German sailors who had been rescued from the Konigin Luise. The war was 32 hours old.


The picture of interest in the church is the large Pieta used as an Altar piece. This seems to have been in position since the church was rebuilt. Previously it has been attributed to James Barry, the Irish artist, and has said to have been a copy of Van Dyck's Pieta found in the Antwerp museum. This attribution dates to the publication of Lyson's Magnus Brittanica in 1822, only 35 years after the rebuilding. However, it is not a copy of Van Dyck's Pieta and a mystery has arisen.

We received a letter from Professor Pressley of the University of Maryland , who is a world expert on Barry, asking for details of the painting, as it may be a lost picture. After correspondence and digital photographs were sent to the USA , the Professor felt that the picture may not be by Barry.

This has left us with a quandary and more questions than answers. We do not have any documents relating to the rebuilding of the church, but the search continues!


The organ was installed with the rebuilding of the church and is one of only two in the country in it's very nearly original condition. It is attributed by the West Country Organ database to James Davis, with additions by George Hawkins in 1885.

Its unique feature is its original “nag's head shutter”. This method of causing the pipes to speak by swelling the notes was invented by Abraham Jordan, senior and junior in 1712. It is also remarkable in that it still possesses its original black natural keys and white sharps and flats.In 1957 the then priest-in-charge, Canon OM Jones, raised £200 for a full refurbishment of the organ and it continues to be played regularly by our organist, Wyn Turner, and visiting organists.

The Templer family were closely associated with the church throughout George's tenure at Stover, and after its sale to the Duke of Somerset in 1829, with its priest-in-charge, John Templer the younger, who died in 1832.


Originally over the west door, but now situated inside the porch by the bell ropes, is a plaque given by James, George and John Templer:

On this Holy Ground

Consecrated for Ages

To the Worship of GOD, and the illumination of his Laws

Now endeared to them as the Last Repository

Of their Parents and Family

The Present Edifice

Dedicated to the Same Sacred Service

Is with Humility and veneration erected

In the Year of Our Lord 1787

By James Templer Esq.

George Templer Esq

And the Rev. John Templer

Rector of Teigngrace

The Templer family were closely associated with the church throughout George's tenure at Stover, and after its sale to the Duke of Somerset in 1829, with its priest-in-charge, John Templer the younger, who died in 1869.

Duke of Somerset

In 1829 Edward Augustus Seymour the 12 th Duke of Somerset bought the estate form George Templer who had overextended his resources. Seymour was a whig aristocrat and politician serving in various posts of the government, including First Lord of the Admiralty (1859-1866) and succeeded to the Dukedom in 1855.

He was responsible for a thorough renovation in 1872 and was very active in the village. There is little left to show in the church of his time, apart from the reordering of the pews, pulpit etc.

The only monument to mention him is the large font in front of the Stover pew. This was made by Caffin of Regent St, London and installed by his grandson, Harold St. Maur. The inscription reads;

Erected in the loving memory of Edward Augustus 12 th Duke of Somerset and Jane Georgina his wife daughter of Thomas Sheridan esq, by their grandson Harold St Maur of Stover.”
Various comments have been made about this erection of which this is entirely in keeping!
“There is a large marble and granite font notable on the whole for its inappropriateness of scale and design” (Quinquennial 1961).

St Maur

Richard Harold St Maur was born in Brighton in 1869, the illegitimate son of Edward Seymour, Earl St Maur, and grandson of Edward Seymour, 12th Duke of Somerset. His mother was a 19-year old half-gipsy maid named Rosina Elizabeth Swan of Higham, near Bury St. Edmunds; St Maur's father died within months of his birth.

He was educated at Wellington College and Sandhurst , and served with the 14th Hussars and later with the 1st Division Royal Devon Yeomanry. He fought in the Boer War at Natal with the 7th Remounts and the Royal 1st Devon Imperial Yeomanry.

He married in 1891, Elizabeth, daughter of Captain W.H. Palmer, of the 14th Hussars. There were three sons from the marriage.

In 1925, after the death of the 15th Duke of Somerset, St. Maur petitioned the House of Lords Committee for Privileges to safeguard his claim to the Dukedom, in the hope that he might find proof that his parents were legally married before his birth. On the death of his grandfather the 12th Duke in 1885, St Maur had been presumed illegitimate, and the Dukedom eventually passed to a distant branch of the family. He also placed advertisements in newspapers, offering a £50 reward for any witness to his parents' marriage.

However he had inherited the estate from his grandfather, the 12 th Duke.

Rest of 20 th century

Once the Stover estate was sold in 1921 the church became part of the

  • Irene Stark
  • Silver, brass etc
  • registers
  • The future




Bishop Stafford's Register http://www.archive.org/stream/registerofedmund00cathuoft/registerofedmund00cathuoft_djvu.txt

Notes on Devon Churches, The Deanery of Moretonhampstead. Teigngrace by Beatrix F. Cresswell. Available at Newton Abbot Library, local history section.

Devon & Cornwall Notes & Queries; vol.2 1902-1903, pp 229-232, vol 3, 1904-1905, pp.17-21. Available at West Country Studies Library.

Listing http://www.britishlistedbuildings.co.uk/en-84674-church-of-st-peter-and-st-paul-teigngrace


For further information please contact either Janice or Judy