- Shute History

Shute Timeline
  • The Kingdom of the West Saxons, usually referred to as Wessex, was an Anglo-Saxon kingdom in the south of Great Britain from 519 until the emergence of a unified English state during the early 10th century.
    Colyton had a Saxon Parliament (the Witenagamot) in 827.
  • Edgar the Peaceful, or Edgar I (943 to 975) was king England from 959 to 975. From Edgar's death until the Norman Conquest, there was not a single succession to the throne that was not contested.
  • Edgar's son, Ethelred the Unready (968 to 1016), perhaps better translated as Ethelred the Ill-Advised, was one of the most forceful kings of the tenth century, who ended the control of every one of the major families over their ealdormanries in the twenty years after 985.
  • The Danish King Cnut (Canute the Great) (995 to 1035) conquered England in 1016, and established earldoms based on the former kingdoms of Northumbria, Mercia and East Anglia, but initially administered Wessex personally.
    Canute was king of Denmark, England, Norway and parts of Sweden, together often referred to as the Anglo-Scandinavian or North Sea Empire. After his death, the deaths of his heirs within a decade, and the Norman Conquest of England in 1066, his legacy was largely lost to history.
  • After a few years Canute created an earldom of Wessex, encompassing all of England south of the Thames, for his English henchman Godwin (1001to 1053).
    For almost fifty years the vastly wealthy holders of this earldom, first Godwin and then his son Harold Godwinson (1022 to 1066) were the most powerful men in English politics after the king.
  • Edward the Confessor (1004 to 1066), son of Ethelred the Unready, was one of the last Anglo-Saxon kings of England and is usually regarded as the last king of the House of Wessex, In January 1066 he fell into a coma without clarifying his preference for the succession. When the Witenagemot convened the next day, they selected Harold to succeed him.
  • On the death of Edward the Confessor in 1066, Harold Godwinson became King Harold II, finally reuniting the earldom of Wessex with the crown.
  • In 1066 William the Conqueror (1028 to 1087) defeated Harold at the Battle of Hastings and became William I, the first Norman King of England.
    1066 marks the extinction of Wessex as a political unit.
  • At Christmas 1085, William ordered the compilation of a survey of the landholdings held by himself and by his vassals throughout the kingdom, organised by counties. It resulted in a work now known as the Domesday Book (1086). The book describes Colyton as part of the West Saxon Royal Demesne. Colyton Hundred included the area now occupied by Shute but the book does not mention Shute.
    Hundreds and their northern equivalents, Wapentakes and Wards, were the principal units of administration in England from the 11th to the 19th centuries.
    You can view the boundaries of all the Hundreds and Wapentakes here:
  • The first recorded owners of Shute, from whom it received its name, were Sir Lucas and Sir Robert de Schete, who held it early in the reign of Henry III (1207to 1272).
  • From them it passed to Sir Robert de Pyne and Sir Thomas de Pyne (1244 to 1270), of the "antient progeny" of Pyne in East Devon.
  • Sir Thomas at his death left two daughters as co-heiresses. One of these, Matilda or Hawise (an early form of Avis), wedded Nicholas de Bonville of Wiscombe (1270 to 1294), to whom she brought Shute as her portion.
    They had a son and heir named Nicholas, and another son John.
  • Sir Nicholas Bonville of Shute and Wiscombe (1293 to 1354), married Johanna, daughter of Sir Henry Champernon of Clyst-Champernon. There were four children, of whom Sir William was the eldest son and successor.
  • Alexander, the second son, married Hawise, daughter of Henry de la Forde in Musbury, and had a son Nicholas, styled "of Forde," whose daughter Edith, married Richard Okebeare, through whose descendant, Pole, afterward of Shute, was the representative, before he purchased daughter Edith, married Richard Okebeare, through whose descendant, the Bonville's forfeited inheritance
  • Sir William Bonville of Shute (1332 to 1408), the first prominent representative of this family, and who added greatly to its social status, was a wealthy and munificent man.
    He married first Margaret, daughter and coheiress of Sir William d'Aumarle of Woodbury, Devon. By her he had four sons, and two daughters.
    In about 1380 he built Shute House (now Shute Barton).
    Early in the succeeding century Sir William married secondly Alice, widow of Sir John Rodney. Sir William Bonville was her fifth spouse. Lady Alice Bonville survived all her husbands by nearly twenty years and died in 1426.
  • Of Sir William's sons, Richard the eldest died without issue before 1397.
    John the second son became his father's heir and successor.
  • John Bonville (1371 to 1396), son and heir of Sir William and Margaret d'Aumarle, married Elizabeth, only child and heiress of John Fitz-Roger, daughter of the first husband of his father's second wife. She was heiress-general to the Fitz-Rogers and brought the manor of Chewton-Mendip, near Wells, Somerset, and much other property into the family.
    John Bonville had two sons, William eldest and heir, Thomas, and one daughter Isabel.
Most of the descriptions above are extracts from the following book.
You can read it on-line and it contains many fascinating details.
The Strife of the Roses and Days of the Tudors in the West
by William Henry Hamilton Rogers

  • In Sir William Bonville (1393 to 1461), the eldest son of John Bonville and Elizabeth Fitz-Roger, we reach the most celebrated individual of his race, and practically the last male in the direct line, as his son William Bonville (1415 to 1460) and grandson William Bonville (1442 to 1460) died before he did (both killed at the Battle of Wakefield on 31 December 1460).
    Born at Shute, Bonville rose to local and national prominence through talent, ambition, and two shrewd marriages.
    He was knighted in 1417 while serving in France under Henry V.
    In 1423, Bonville was sheriff of Devonshire and in 1424 he again fought in France. By the mid-1430s, Bonville was active in West Country government, serving as justice of the peace and sitting on numerous royal commissions.
    Henry V died unexpectedly in 1422 and his son Henry VI ascended the throne as an infant only nine months old. From his childhood, he was surrounded by quarrelsome councillors and advisors. Henry VI was seen as a weak, ineffectual king. By 1450 many considered him incapable of carrying out the duties and responsibilities of a king.
    The Wars of the Roses began on 22 May 1455. Richard, Duke of York, led a small force toward London and was met by Henry's forces at the First Battle of St Albans.
    Sir William Bonville was loyal to Henry VI during the Wars of the Roses until he joined the Yorkist side at the Battle of Northampton (July 1460) during which Henry VI was captured.
    Less than two months later the Yorkists were defeated at the Second Battle of St Albans (17 february 1461), where Lord Bonville and another Yorkist, Sir Thomas Kyriel, were taken prisoner by the victorious Lancastrians.
    The two men had kept guard over Henry VI during the battle to see that he came to no harm. The King had been held in captivity by Richard Neville, 16th Earl of Warwick, and brought in the train of the latter's army, but was abandoned on the battlefield. In return for their gallantry the King promised the two men immunity.
    However Queen Margaret (Margaret of Anjou), who was present at the battle, remembered that Lord Bonville had been one of the men who had held the King in custody after the Battle of Northampton, and wanted revenge. Disregarding the King's promise of immunity, she gave orders for the beheading of Lord Bonville and Sir Thomas Kyriel the next day, 18 February 1461.
  • After Sir William Bonville's death the title passed to his great-granddaughter, Cecily Bonville (1460 to 1529), the seven-and-a-half-month old daughter of his grandson, William Bonville.
    She had already succeeded to the barony of Harington following the death of her father at Wakefield in December 1460.
    In the space of little more than six weeks Cecily Bonville thus became the wealthiest heiress in England, having inherited the vast Bonville and Harington estates. She would go on to marry, in 1474, Thomas Grey, 1st Marquess of Dorset, the eldest son of Elizabeth Woodville, Queen Consort of the Yorkist King Edward IV, by her first marriage to Sir John Grey of Groby.
    In the peaceful reign of the first Tudor king Cecily set about extending Shute House from a mediaeval hall house into a grand Tudor residence.
    She lived much of her later life at Astley, Warwickshire, the ancestral seat of the Grey family, where she was buried.
    Her great-grand-daughter and ultimate heiress was Lady Jane Grey, executed in 1554, upon which all the Bonville inheritance was transferred to the crown.
  • Following the execution of Sir Henry Grey, 3rd Marquess of Dorset, and his daughter Lady Jane Grey, Queen Mary granted the Bonville estates to Sir William Petre (1506 to 1572), her principal Secretary of State.
  • In 1560 at Colyford, Sir William Petre sold the "house, materials and furniture of Shute House" to William Pole (1515 to 1587), for 300. Pole was Treasurer of the Inner Temple, a JP and the MP for Lyme Regis in 1545, Bridport in 1553 and West Looe in 1559.
    In 1562 Pole acquired the lease for 1,200 years of a further eight score acres at Shute, for an annual rent of 16.
  • For details of other descendants of the Pole family, see:
  • Sir John William de la Pole, 6th Baronet (1757 to 1799) was MP for the rotten borough (a borough with a very small electorate could be used to gain undue and unrepresentative influence within the House of Commons) of West Looe.
    He married Anne Templer (1758 to 1832), daughter of James Templer, a self-made magnate of Stover House, Teigngrace, near Newton Abbot.
    In 1785 he demolished the most easterly Tudor additions to Old Shute House and between 1787 and 1789 built a new Adam-style Palladian mansion known as New Shute House about half a mile to the east of the old house, which thenceforth became the family seat.
    Old Shute House then became a Barton, the West-Country term for a home farm to the estate. It was thus either let to a farmer or allowed as free accommodation to the Pole's farm manager.
  • The house remained the principal seat of the family until the death of the unmarried and childless Sir Frederick Arundel de la Pole, 11th Baronet (1850 to 1926), great-grandson of the builder.
  • He bequeathed the entire Shute Estate to his distant young cousin Sir John Carew-Pole (1902 to 1993) of Antony House in Cornwall, descended from Carolus Pole, the younger brother of the 4th Baronet.
    He was given the name of John Pole-Carew at birth but in 1926 his name was changed by Deed Poll to John Carew-Pole.
  • In 1926 to meet the heavy death duties the house was let and its contents were sold at auction.
  • It became Shute School for Girls between 1933 and 1974.
  • The house was sold by auction at the George Hotel in Axminster on Thursday 7th August 1975.
  • The house and its stables and wings were later converted into apartments. The main block, converted into two vertically divided residences, became a single residence again in 2012.
  • Old Shute House was retained by Sir John Carew-Pole until 1955 when he gave it to the National Trust on the proviso that members of his wider family would remain tenants, which they did until 2008.
  • In 1860 Seaton Junction railway station was opened, originally named "Colyton for Seaton". With the opening of the Seaton and Beer Railway in 1868 the name was changed to "Colyton Junction", before finally becoming "Seaton Junction" in 1869.
    The location of the station created a major problem for westbound trains stopping at Seaton Junction since it was situated at the start of a six miles climb at 1 in 80 to the summit of the line at Honiton Tunnel.
    The station closed in 1966 as part of the Beeching Cuts which aimed to reduce the large losses being incurred by the railways during a period of increasing competition from road transport.
  • In 1875 a School Board of 5 members was formed, with Seth Enticott as clerk to the board.
    In 1876 a Board School was erected at Shute at a cost of about 1,600. It was to educate 127 children (mixed and infants.
Some of the descriptions above are extracts from this web site:
Sir John de la Pole, 6th Baronet,_6th_Baronet
See also: New Shute House

East Devon Tithe Maps and Apportionment
The East Devon Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB) web site has made the tithe maps for the East Devon AONB parishes available for public use.
Tithe Maps act as a historical record of land use in about 1840, in that they can be read along with Tithe Apportionment tables, which describe land use, type and tenure.
Select a Tithe Map and Tithe Apportionment data here.

Shute Tithe Map

Shute Tithe Apportionment