William and the Churches

[This page is still in development: see Page History below.]

By 1788 when William’s father died, the Courtenays as lay patrons were presenting candidates for rector at eight Church of England parishes in Devon and at least three parishes of the established (Protestant) Church of Ireland in County Limerick:

  • Honiton, Kenn, Milton Damerel, Moretonhampstead, North Bovey, Powderham, Whitestone, Wolborough;
  • Mahoonagh, Monegay, Newcastle (the last two parishes were united).

William’s father had presented:

  • his Westminster teacher, friend and brother-in-law Thomas Lock to Newcastle with Mahoonagh (rector 1764-1787).
  • his wife’s younger brother Thomas Clack to Moretonhampstead (1774) and Kenn (1784); he remained rector of both parishes until his death in 1805.
  • his cousin William Courtenay, elder son of his father’s brother Henry Reginald, to Kenn (1774); he remained rector until his death in 1783. He had married Ann Downes from Hampshire who died in 1813, a few years after her brother John Downes.
  • his cousin John Andrew, a son of his father’s sister Isabella, to Milton Damerel (1778) and Powderham (1784); he remained rector of both parishes until his death in 1799.
  • his nephew Edward Honywood to Honiton (rector 1788-1812).

The second viscount also presented:

  • Charles Lock (a cousin of Thomas Lock) at North Bovey 1775-1801;
  • Thomas Hugo at Wolborough 1778-1793;
  • Richard Harington (who had connections with the Bertie family) at Whitestone 1784-1813.

William himself made 14 presentations, involving 11 men, and probably promised a further two presentations which were honoured by his successors. He did not make a presentation at either Kenn where the rights of presentation had been sold to Henry Ley by 1805 or at Whitestone, sold to Thomas Brown in 1804. There were a couple more presentations not included here: these were just short-term arrangements at Newcastle in 1787 and at Moretonhampstead in 1805 until the intended rector had been ordained.

WILLIAM’S COUSINS (including a cousin once removed)

  • Thomas Clack: eldest son of William’s uncle Thomas Clack. Milton Damerel 1799.
  • William Charles Clack: a younger son of William’s uncle Thomas Clack: Moretonhampstead 1807 then Wolborough in addition 1813.
  • Edward Honywood: a son of his mother’s sister Elizabeth and already rector of Honiton where the second viscount had presented him. Wolborough 1793.
  • Thomas Locke: second son of his mother’s sister Ann [Clack] who was married to his father’s friend Thomas Lock. Newcastle with Mahoonagh c1790.

Edward Honywood was succeeded at Honiton by his son-in-law, Henry Allewright Hughes, until Villiers Henry Plantagenet Somerset (see Nephews) was of an age to be ordained and presented.

After William’s death, but probably honouring a promise made by him:

  • William Courtenay Clack: a son of his cousin William Charles Clack. Moretonhampstead 1865.


  • William Annesley: a son of his sister Ann and her partner John Bellenden Ker (Annesley was her husband’s family name). North Bovey 1825.
  • Francis John Courtenay: a younger son of his sister Ann and her partner John Bellenden Ker. North Bovey 1831.
  • Villiers Henry Plantagenet Somerset: a son of his sister Elizabeth and lord Charles Henry Somerset. Honiton 1827.

After William’s death, but honouring a promise made by him:

  • Charles Courtenay Locke: a son of his sister Matilda and their cousin John Locke who was the fourth son of Ann and Thomas Lock at Newcastle. Newcastle c1846.


  • Timothy Napleton. A domestic chaplain to lord Loughborough who (but this is just a guess) may have become William’s tutor after the scandal of 1784. Powderham 1799 then North Bovey in addition 1802.
  • Edward Smedley. Usher at Westminster 1774-1820. Both North Bovey and Powderham 1816.

William also presented Daniel Nantes to Powderham in 1825 but as yet I have no idea of the reason for that.


When Edward Honywood died in December 1812, his son-in-law Henry Allewright Hughes was presented for the living by “Henry Wrottesly, of Lincoln’s Inn, Middlesex, Esq. Thomas Smith of Do. Esq. and John Pidsley, of Exeter Esq. which said persons were authorised by an Indenture of Appointment and Grant, bearing date 21 January, 1811, made by the Right Honourable William Lord Viscount Courtenay, the undoubted Patron of this Rectory, to present on this occasion.” At that time William’s nephew, Villiers Henry Plantagenet Somerset, was still a young boy but by 1827 he had been ordained and was presented for the living by “Thomas Smith, of Russell Square, in Middlesex, Esq., and John Pidsley, of Exeter, Esq., surviving Trustees of the Right Honourable William Lord Viscount Courtenay” (Henry Wrottesley had died in 1825).

This information was recorded by George Oliver in the 1840 edition of his Ecclesiastical Antiquities in Devon (vol. 2, p. 79). Villiers Somerset was then still the rector of Honiton: “To this Rev. and courteous Gent., I am happy to acknowledge my obligations for his obliging attentions.”

Samuel Lewis’s 1837 Topographical Dictionary of Ireland notes on page 426:

[RC] ‘chapel, a handsome building of hewn stone, was erected in 1828, by subscription’. [William] ‘who also gave the ground for its site, contributed £400: it is situated in the parish of Monegay.’

See also The Freeman’s Journal, 10 September 1828


  • William’s grandfather:
    • Robert Chute
  • William’s father:
    • John Andrew
    • Thomas Clack
    • Henry Courtenay
    • William Courtenay
    • Thomas Hutton
    • William Moore
    • Charles Tucker
  • William:
    • Robert Bertie Broughton Robinson
    • Charles Davie
    • Francis Herbert Hume
    • Timothy Napleton

entitlements of baronet, viscount, earl

Clergy of the Church of England Database | http://theclergydatabase.org.uk
Location ID


  • Honiton 22358
  • Kenn 22378
  • Milton Damerel 22423
  • Moretonhampstead 22435
  • North Bovey 16021
  • Powderham 22483
  • Whitestone 22602
  • Wolborough 22608


  • William’s grandfather
  • William’s father CCEd Location ID: 238193
  • William CCEd Location ID: 238252

Person ID

Clergy (for patrons, see above)

  • Andrew, John 5394/171345
  • Annesley, William 69203
  • Chute, Robert 163485
  • Clack, Thomas [William’s uncle] 103882/171458
  • Clack, Thomas [William’s cousin] 140571
  • Clack, William Charles 140572
  • Clack, William Courtenay ??
  • Courtenay, Henry 1772
  • Courtenay, William 72518
  • Courtenay, Francis John 42066
  • Crowther, George [interim rector at Moretonhampstead between Thomas Clack and William Charles Clack] 140803/140804
  • Davie, Charles 26638
  • Harington, Richard 92797
  • Honywood, Edward 145138
  • Hughes, Henry Allwright 12491
  • Hugo, Thomas ??
  • Hume, Francis Herbert 12539
  • Hutton, Thomas 8745/97588
  • Lock, Charles 157613
  • Lock, Thomas [William’s uncle] 35271
  • Locke, Charles Courtenay
  • Locke, Thomas [William’s cousin] ?? Church of Ireland
  • Moore, William 158244
  • Nantes, Daniel 146000
  • Napleton, Timothy 158706
  • Robinson, Robert Bertie Broughton 21392
  • Smedley, Edward 2250
  • Somerset, Villiers Henry Plantagenet 53848
  • Tucker, Charles 147325


William White’s 1850 History, Gazetteer and Directory of Devonshire notes:

  • Honiton: K.B. £40.4s.2d – 1831 £272 – 87 acres glebe – ‘an ancient residence in a picturesque and secluded situation’ – 1842 tithes commuted for £632.9s.8d pa
  • Kenn: K.B. £46.13s.4d – 1831 £778 – 197+ acres glebe – ‘a good residence’ – 1842 tithes commuted for £763.10s pa
  • Milton Damerel: K.B. £26.13s.6½d – 1831 £441 – 75 acres glebe at MD, 24 acres at Cookbury – ‘a good old residence’ at MD – no mention of MD tithes; 1842 tithes at Cookbury commuted for £118.2s.6d
  • Moretonhampstead: K.B. £49.19s.7d – 1831 £603 – ‘a good residence’ – 62 acres of glebe – 1839 tithes commuted for £792 pa
  • North Bovey: K.B. £22.10s.5d – 1831 £303 – ‘a good residence’ – 25+ acres of glebe – 1839 tithes commuted for £328 pa
  • Powderham: K.B. £27.3s.6½d – 1831 £493 – 91+ acres glebe – ‘a handsome residence with beautiful grounds, overlooking the estuary’ – 1839 tithes commuted for £298 pa
  • Whitestone: K.B. £19.13s.4d – 1831 £707 – ‘a good residence’ – 73+ acres of glebe – 1839 tithes commuted for £616.16s
  • Wolborough: no mention of K.B. – (?1831) £235 – 3 roods glebe – ‘no Parsonage’ – 1845 tithes commuted for £260 pa

Wolborough was a donative. According to White, Cookbury was a perpetual curacy annexed to the rectory of Milton Damerel.

Samuel Lewis’s 1837 Topographical Dictionary of Ireland notes:

  • Mahonagh, or Castlemahon: The living is a rectory and vicarage, in the diocese of Limerick, and in the patronage of the Earl of Devon: the tithes amount to £500; and there is a glebe of 13 acres at Castlemahon, and another of 8 acres adjoining the old churchyard of Aglish.
  • Monegay, Molchonriah, or Temple-na-mona: The living is a rectory and vicarage, in the diocese of Limerick, forming part of the union of Newcastle; the tithes amount to £500; the glebe comprises 53 acres of very rich land.
  • Newcastle: The living is a rectory and vicarage, in the diocese of Limerick, episcopally united from time immemorial to the rectory and vicarage of Monegay, and in the patronage of the Earl of Devon: the tithes amount to £225, and of the whole union to £725. The glebe of this parish comprises 33 acres, in three detached portions; that of Monegay is 53 acres, all excellent land.



Sundial on south porch of Holy Trinity church at Milton Damerel. The inscription reads: 1808 Thomas Clack Rector John Rattenbury & Francis Fishleigh Ch. Wardens.


Page history

  • 2019 March 18: first published online.
  • 2020 June 4: presentation of William Courtenay to Kenn in 1764 added.
  • 2020 June 1: links to Friends of Devon Archives transcripts of 1779 bishop’s visitation returns added.