I have noted your correspondence regarding the Bardolfe descent of the Davie family of Creedy and have an interest which derives from my research into the manor of Combe Lancey (modern spelling), of which I own what I believe our forebears would have called “a moiety”, being Combe Lancey House and Farm. The manor appears to have been acquired by Robert Davie (c.1495-1570) and/or his second son Gilbert Davie (c.1538-1585) sometime between 1559 and 1578, and remained within the Davie estate until its sale in 1953. Together with Frogmire (most probably originally the area now called Kerswell Pond) it was a possession of Gilbert’s Canonteign branch until the deaths in 1637 of Gilbert’s great grand daughter Anne Davie (the widow Parker, and wife of John Trelawny) and her uncle John Davie, at which time it passed to the Creedy branch in the person of Sir John Davie 1st Bart. (As an aside John Trelawny was a cousin of my direct ancestor- one of many- John Maddock, Mayor and Alderman of Plymouth, whose mother was Marie Trelawny). Fortuitously as the manor was long-leased (99 years/3 lives/renewed) to the Phillips, Haydon and Tuckfield families, a number of documents (1614-c.1763) have survived among the Shelley Archive at the Devon Record Office, thereby neatly avoiding destruction in the Creedy House fire of 1915 and the Shobrooke (Little Fulford) House fire of 1947.
To the matters in hand:
1. I was under an impression (doubtless erroneous) that the Bardolph arms were “Or, three cinquefoils 2 and 1, Azure” ie a colour reversal to the Davie 1594 arms and without the lion in chief. I would be most grateful if you could enlighten me in this respect.
2. It is clear from the seal of Robert Davie (of Canonteign, 1564-c.1617) on the lease of Combe Lancey dated 8 April 1614 (Devon Record Office ref. Z1/10/202 Shelley Archive) that he used the 1594 arms, supposedly authorised to his uncle John of Exeter and Creedy. Additionally Pevsner’s “Devon” notes that the “remains of a fireplace with plaster overmantel with the Davie arms” survives at Canonteign Barton, which Robert built c.1600. (However I have not to date sighted this). With regard to the decision by John Davie to claim the arms of Bardolph due to a concern of a possible claim by his elder half-brothers, it would appear that the “elder” branch (Canonteign) also used the 1594 arms, an actionwhich would certainly not have been “proper” at the time if Robert was not specifically entitled thereto. Perhaps the Davies as a clan were using these “Customary” arms well before 1594, and that a “confirmation” of that date was to avoid a penalty (which befell the Tuckfields later in 1635/7). John was Mayor at the time and would possibly have wished to avoid a potential scandal, arising from the actions of Heralds’ eager for contributions? Could the use of the “adapted” Bardolph arms have been because the Pollard family of Way and Horwood (the direct descendants of the de la Weyes) still had a legal claim to the Weye arms? In this regard I note the two (floor) tombstones at St Michael’s, Horwood, of Anthony Pollard and his wife Johane (Stucley) who died respectively 16 June 1589 and 27 February 1599, which carry the Weye arms. In fact this branch of the Pollards did not become extinct until 1687.
3. I note that the monument to Edmund Davie MD (son of Robert and Rachel who appear to have emigrated to New England at about the same time as Humphrey) at Exeter Cathedral (north transept) carries the Davie 1641 arms (Weye). However the Lysons in 1822 stated that he was the last of the Canonteign branch which became extinct on his death in 1692.
4. The Probate copy of Robert Davie’s (Davy) will, written 30 March 1570, with Codicil 17 April 1570, Proved 8 June 1570, survives at the Public Record Office, London, ref PROB 11/52 (obtainable via internet - documentsonline) states: “ Item I bequeath unto the persons whereof one dwellith at Tyverton the other at Exeter and the thirde at Southtawton which two of them married John Thomas daughters and the thirde married a kynswoman of myne and to every of them xxs. A pece”. (Robert may possibly have been buried in the Plague Pit discovered a few years ago adjacent to the site of St George’s Chapel in the manor of Come Lancey).
5. Two ancient publications may provide a couple of alternatives to parts of Lt Col JL Vivian’s Visitations of Devon, 1895, with regard to the Davie family;
a. The Baronetage of England, 1771, Kimber, Johnson, et al.
b. A Genealogical Dictionary of the First Settlers of New England, 1860, Savage, Farmer, et al.
Both available to read as “Google Books” on the internet.
The 1647 Davie Pedigree may be at The West Country Studies Library, Castle Street, Exeter, EX4 3PQ, however may possibly have been transferred by now to the new Devon Record Office,Great Moor House, BitternRoad, Sowton, EXETER, Devon EX2 7NL
I trust that this has not been too long winded, and, Sir Michael, may I wish you every success in the production of a book on your family, which would be of extreme interest to us amateur historians at Sandford and Crediton.
Yours sincerelyMichael Maddock, Combe Lancey, Sandford.