Southcott family

Last updated
Minor nobility and Landed Gentry family
Southcott Family Coat of Arms (Escutcheon).png
Coat of arms of the Southcott Family.
Argent, a chevron engrailed gules between three coots sable
Founded1202;820 years ago (1202)
FounderMichael de Southcott of Southcott
Titles Baronets, Knights, Esquires, Manorial Lords and Gentlemen
Nerth Dre Lelder

(Cornish: Strength Through Loyalty)

Southcott is a surname of an ancient and prominent family from the English counties of Devon and Cornwall.



The surname Southcott is first recorded by Michael de Suthcot, Lord of Suthcot in the 13th century, and later recorded by Sir Nicholas Southcott Jr of Southcott and Chudleigh (1450–1512) in the 15th century. [1] According to the Survey of Devon by Tristram Risdon (b.1580), "Michael de Southcott Lord of Southcott was from whom issued divers families. For he was the original of a great kindred in this country". Micheal was originally from Bodmin moor and gained the Southcott estate from the Oliver De Chambernon in 1202, whose family had been granted the estate after the Norman conquest. [2] [3] [4]

Sir Nicholas's son, John Southcott Esq of Bovey Tracey (1481–1556), in 1544, following the Dissolution of the Monasteries, was granted Indio. At the time he was steward to Thomas Cromwell which led to him obtaining several monastic holdings in Devonshire on favourable terms. [5] A document in connection with the Dissolution accounts refers to "Rent of a messuage in Yondyeo leased on 15 July 1531 to John Southcote, his wife Joan and Johns’s heirs for ever, 26s 8d". He was also made Clerk of the Peace for Devon. [6] [7] [1] In 1547 he was elected as MP of Lostwithiel, making him a prominent politician in Cornwall. During Edward VI's reforms to religion in Cornwall, part of the English Reformation and the Tudors' deconstruction of Cornish national identity, he was a participant and supporter of the Prayer Book Rebellion in Cornwall and Devon. After the rebellion was crushed by Edward Seymour, 1st Duke of Somerset's army, John Southcote was not hanged and a few years later he was granted a general pardon by Edward VI and continued to sit in Parliament. [8]

Sir Nicholas's second son William Southcott Esq of Chudleigh (b.1485) had a son also called John, of Witham (1510–1585). He became a senior English judge and politician, becoming later Lord of the Manor of Witham, in Essex. [9] He was noted to be a proud Catholic and supporter of his uncle's involvement in the Prayer Book Rebellion and later resigned his office rather than condemn a Catholic priest publicly. [10] [11]

Another descendant of Sir Nicholas Southcott was Capt. Philip Southcote (1698–1758) who married the widowed 1st Duchess of Southampton, Anne Fitzroy.

During the Civil War, Captain Thomas Southcote was the garrison commander of Calstock as a prominent officer of the Royalists in Cornwall; the garrison consisted of roughly 1,200 Cornishmen and was quartered at Cotehele and Harewood House. During the war, the Parliamentarians attacked Gunnislake New Bridge, which was defended by Sir Richard Grenville and Captain Southcote with men from his garrison at Calstock. At the cost of 240 men the bridge was lost to the Parliamentarian forces, but they failed to advance further into Cornwall. [12] [13]

Lords of the Manor of Southcott (1202–1565)

Lords of the Manor of Bovey Tracey (1544–1670)

Indio House the manor house of Bovey Tracey, former seat of the Southcott Family Indio BoveyTracey Devon ByElizabethCroker 1844.PNG
Indio House the manor house of Bovey Tracey, former seat of the Southcott Family

Lord of the Manor of Mohuns Ottery (1598–1670)

Lords of Blyborough and Baronets of Blyborough (1610–1691)

Southcote Baronets family chart

Sir George Southcott MP
of Blyborough, Shillingford,
Stoke Fleming and Withycombe

Robert Southcote
of Shillingford
George Southcote
of Stoke Fleming and Blyborough
Capt. Thomas Southcott
of Withycombe
Thomas Southcote
of Stoke Fleming and Blyborough
Sir George Southcote Bt
1st Baronet of

Created 1662
Lady Catherine Southcote
(Née Eliot)
Sir William Portman
6th Baronet of
Orchard Portman
Lady Elizabeth Portman Sir George Southcote Bt
2nd Baronet of

Lady Mary Southcote
(Née Smythe)
Katherine Palmer
Katherine SmithConstantine Fitzherbert

Notable people

Thomas Southcot

Capt. Thomas Southcot (1608–1657) was an officer of the Cavalier Army during the First English Civil War, the early part of the English Civil War. He was the son of Sir George Southcott MP (1572–1638). In 1644 he was the garrison commander of the Cavalier army based at Calstock and Cotehele, a detachments of Sir Richard Grenville's army based on the Cornish side of the Tamar Valley. He defended Cornwall from Robert Devereux, 3rd Earl of Essex Parliamentarians force. [12] [13]

Following the battle, an island which was defended by the Royalists was named Southcott Island in honour of the commander.

Thomas Southcot died in 1657, never witnessing the restoration of the monarchy in 1661. King Charles II did recognise Thomas's tremendous loyalty by awarding his only son George Southcote (1629–1663) with the title of Baronet of Bliborough.

Members of Parliament

High Sheriff

Family prayer

[17] [18]


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John Southcote of Bovey Tracey was an English landowner and Member of Parliament, of the prominent Southcott family of Devon and Cornwall.


  1. 1 2, quoting Youings, Joyce (Joyce Youings, Devon Monastic Lands: Calendar of Particulars for Grants 1536–1558 (Exeter: DCRS New Series, 1955))
  2. Magna Britannia: Volume 6, Devonshire, Parishes: Winkleigh – Zeal Monachorum (1822)
  3. Heritage Gateway Southcott House
  4. The Book of Fees, 2: pg. 778 and pg. 784
  6. Pole, p.432
  7., quoting Youings, Joyce
  8. Virgoe, Roger. "SOUTHCOTE, John I (by 1504-56), of Bovey Tracey, Devon". History of Parliament Online. Retrieved 8 March 2022.
  9. Witham Place, Essex
  10. History of Parliament John Southcote II
  11. Lee, Sidney, ed. (1898). "Southcote, John"  . Dictionary of National Biography . Vol. 53. London: Smith, Elder & Co.
  12. 1 2 Royal Institution of Cornwall English Civil War and Captain Southcote pg 32
  13. 1 2 Gunnislake New Bridge History
  14. Vivian, p.698; Pevsner, p. 193; Risdon, p. 134
  15. 1 2 Pole, p. 131
  16. "SOUTHCOTE, George representing Tavistock – History of Parliament Online".
  17. Calstock Parish Church History, Rev Gordon Ruming
  18. "Cornish Dictionary |".