Thomas Northmore (died 1713)

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Arms of Northmore: Gules, a lion rampant or armed and langued azure crowned with an eastern crown argent NorthmoreArms.svg
Arms of Northmore: Gules, a lion rampant or armed and langued azure crowned with an eastern crown argent

Thomas Northmore (c.1643-1713) of Cleve [2] in the parish of St Thomas, Exeter, in Devon was a Barrister-at-Law, a Master in Chancery [3] and a Member of Parliament for Okehampton in Devon 1695-1708. [4]

St Thomas, Exeter human settlement in United Kingdom

St Thomas is a large 3,700-acre (15 km2) civil parish in Devon, England, on the western side of the river Exe, connected to Exeter by Exe Bridge. It has a number of pubs, places of worship, several schools and a large shopping precinct. The population, according to the 2001 census, is 6,246, increasing to 6,455 at the 2011 Census.

Exeter City in the south west of England

Exeter is a cathedral city in Devon, England, with a population of 129,800. The city is located on the River Exe approximately 36 miles (58 km) northeast of Plymouth and 65 miles (105 km) southwest of Bristol. It is the county town of Devon, and the base of Devon County Council. Also situated in Exeter, are two campuses of the University of Exeter, Streatham Campus and St Luke's Campus.

Okehampton was a parliamentary borough in Devon, which elected two Members of Parliament (MPs) to the House of Commons in 1301 and 1313, then continuously from 1640 to 1832, when the borough was abolished by the Great Reform Act.



He was the 4th son of John Northmore (d.1671) of Well in the parish of South Tawton and of Okehampton and East Ash, [5] all in Devon, an Attorney of the Court of King's Bench and Forester of Dartmoor, by his wife Joan Stronge (d.1686) a daughter of John Stronge of Torr Hill [6] (alias Thornhill [7] ). Thomas's eldest brother was John Northmore (1635/6-1713) who in 1684 was appointed as the first town clerk of Okehampton. [8] Thomas's younger brother was Jeffery Northmore (1643-1724) of Well, whose descendants by his second wife Grace Risdon continued at Cleve and Well. Jeffery's great grandson was Thomas Northmore (1766–1851), [9] writer, inventor, geologist and antiquary.

South Tawton village in United Kingdom

South Tawton is a village, parish and former manor on the north edge of Dartmoor, Devon, England. An electoral ward bearing the same name exists. At the 2011 census the population was 1,683.

Thomas Northmore British writer

Thomas Northmore (1766–1851) was an English writer, inventor and geologist.


In 1705 he purchased the manor of Cleve in the parish of St Thomas, Exeter. [10] In 1695 Northmore was elected as one of the two Members of Parliament for Okehampton. As a lawyer of the Inner Temple he acted as a business agent to various members of the Devonshire gentry, including Richard Coffin (1623-1700) of Portledge [11] in the parish of Alwington, Devon, Sheriff of Devon in 1685, [12] to whom he acted as Sheriff-Deputy. [13] Following the defeat of the Monmouth Rebellion, he supervised the Bloody Assizes of Judge Jeffreys, commencing on 25 August 1685. He was ordered by Jeffreys to arrange for the whipping of prisoners "only in the greater and more general markets", to economise on expenditure. He informed Coffin that about 400 rebels had been condemned at Taunton and 700 at Wells, of whom 100 were to be executed and the rest transported. He added: "another such year's trouble I will not undertake for £500". [14]

Manor an estate in land to which is incident the right to hold a manorial court

A manor in English law is an estate in land to which is incident the right to hold a court termed court baron, that is to say a manorial court. The proper unit of tenure under the feudal system is the fee, on which the manor became established through the process of time, akin to the modern establishment of a "business" upon a freehold site. The manor is nevertheless often described as the basic feudal unit of tenure and is historically connected with the territorial divisions of the march, county, hundred, parish and township.

Inner Temple one of the four Inns of Court in London, England

The Honourable Society of the Inner Temple, commonly known as Inner Temple, is one of the four Inns of Court in London. To be called to the Bar and practise as a barrister in England and Wales, an individual must belong to one of these Inns. It is located in the wider Temple area of the capital, near the Royal Courts of Justice, and within the City of London.

Devon heraldry

The landed gentry and nobility of Devonshire, like the rest of the English and European gentry, bore heraldic arms from the start of the age of heraldry circa 1200-1215. The fashion for the display of heraldry ceased about the end of the Victorian era (1901) by which time most of the ancient armigerous families of Devonshire had died out, moved away or parted with their landed estates.

Marriages & progeny

He married thrice: [15]

William Northmore

William Northmore (1690–1735), of Northmore House, Okehampton and Cleve, near Exeter, Devon, was a British landowner and Tory politician who sat in the House of Commons between 1713 and 1735.

Lyme Regis Coastal town in West Dorset, England

Lyme Regis is a town in West Dorset, England, 25 miles (40 km) west of Dorchester and 25 miles (40 km) east of Exeter. Styled "The Pearl of Dorset", it lies at Lyme Bay on the English Channel coast at the Dorset–Devon border. It is noted for fossils found in cliffs and beaches on the Heritage Coast or Jurassic Coast – a World Heritage Site. The harbour wall known as "The Cobb" appears in Jane Austen's novel Persuasion, in the John Fowles novel The French Lieutenant's Woman, and in the 1981 film of that name, which was partly shot in the town. A former mayor and MP was Admiral Sir George Somers, who founded the English colonial settlement of Somers Isles, now known as Bermuda. Lyme Regis is twinned with St George's, Bermuda. In July 2015 Lyme Regis also joined Jamestown, Virginia in the Historic Atlantic Triangle of Lyme, St George's and Jamestown. The 2011 Census gave the parish and electoral ward a population of 3,671.

Death, burial & succession

He died on 25 July 1713, without male progeny, and was buried in St. Thomas's Church, Exeter, where survives his monument, [18] [19] displaying the arms of Northmore, of his first wife, of Andrew of Dorset (Sable, a saltire argent between four crosses crosslet or [20] ) and of St Aubyn of Clowance (Ermine, on a cross gules five bezants). [21] He named as his heir his nephew and son-in-law William Northmore to whom he bequeathed the manor of Cleve and several other properties in Devon and elsewhere, mortgages on the estates of Christopher Monck, 2nd Duke of Albemarle, a fellow Devonian, and two-thirds of Topsham Quay in Exeter. [22]

Christopher Monck, 2nd Duke of Albemarle statesman

Christopher Monck, 2nd Duke of Albemarle was an English soldier and politician who sat in the House of Commons from 1667 to 1670 when he inherited the Dukedom and sat in the House of Lords.

Topsham, Devon town in Exeter, Devon, England

Topsham is a town in Exeter in the county of Devon, England, on the east side of the River Exe, immediately north of its confluence with the River Clyst and the former's estuary, between Exeter and Exmouth. Although village-sized, with a current population of around 5,023, increasing to 5,519 at the 2011 census for the electoral ward population which includes Countess Wear, which is its own individual settlement, Topsham was designated a town by a 1300 royal charter, until the Exeter urban district was formed. It is served by Topsham railway station on the branch line to Exmouth. In 2011 was the 150th anniversary of the railway coming to Topsham, on what is now called the Exeter–Exmouth Avocet Line.

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  1. Vivian, p.851
  2. Vivian, Lt.Col. J.L., (Ed.) The Visitations of the County of Devon: Comprising the Heralds' Visitations of 1531, 1564 & 1620, Exeter, 1895, p.852, pedigree of Northmore of Cleve
  3. Vivian, 1895, p.852
  4. Eveline Cruickshanks / Andrew A. Hanham, biography of Northmore, Thomas (c.1643-1713), of St. Thomas Nigh, Exeter, Devon and the Inner Temple, published in History of Parliament: House of Commons 1690-1715, ed. D. Hayton, E. Cruickshanks, S. Handley, 2002
  5. Cruickshanks
  6. Vivian, 1895, p.852
  7. Cruickshanks
  8. Vivian, 1895, p.852; Cruickshanks
  9. Vivian, 1895, p.853
  10. Cruickshanks
  11. Vivian, 1895, p.210
  12. Cruickshanks; Sheriff in 1683 per Vivian, p.210
  13. Cruickshanks
  14. Cruickshanks
  15. Vivian, 1895, p.852
  16. Pevsner, Nikolaus & Cherry, Bridget, The Buildings of England: Devon, London, 2004, p.396
  17. Vivian, 1895, p.852
  18. See image
  19. Pevsner, Nikolaus & Cherry, Bridget, The Buildings of England: Devon, London, 2004, p.396
  21. Arms of St Aubyn of Combe Raleigh, Devon, per Pole, Sir William (d.1635), Collections Towards a Description of the County of Devon, Sir John-William de la Pole (ed.), London, 1791, p.500
  22. Cruickshanks