John Bullied of Romansleigh, who died in 1650, bequeathed to his wife Elizabeth "two bedds with their furniture standing in the chamber over the entry and our bedd with his furniture in the chamber where the maidens used to lye, and our bedd with his furniture in the chamber over the hall and our bedd with his furniture in the little chamber."
He also left her horses, cattle, lambs and pigs; wheat, rye, barley and oats; wood, hay, butter and cheese. What a lovely picture of a substantial farm with a four-bedroom farmhouse. His brother, Nicholas, who died in 1673, bequeathed to his wife, Honor, "the bed we used to lye on, performed. " Perhaps we should draw the four-poster's curtains round that one!
Of course, not all Bulleids lived as well as this. James (1791 - 1879) and his brother Richard (1793-1883) were only eight years old when they were apprenticed to learn husbandry until the age of twenty one. Their younger brother John was apprenticed for the same purpose when he was ten. They were the sons of Richard Bulleid, who died in the Union Workhouse in Great Torrington in 1840. ( Indenture is described in the section on Apprenticeships.)
James was the third of Richard's six children by his first wife, Thomasine Mitchell. Richard re-married after her death and had four more children by his second wife, Elizabeth Davey. The family must have remained poor and it is hardly surprising that James' brother Richard (1793 - 1833) emigrated to Canada. However, James survived to the age of almost eighty nine when he died at the home of his daughter Thomasine and her husband, Christopher Coombes in Torquay, Devon. He had eight children of his own, one of whom (Thomas 1825 - 1898) also emigrated to Canada.
Richard's ancestors would have enjoyed a good roast sirloin as they were butchers in Winkleigh for four generations. Thomas (1639 - 1762) was the first known butcher in the family, succeeded by his son Samuel (1672 - 1726). Samuel's nephew, also Samuel (1698 - 1741) followed in the family trade as did his son Thomas (1722 - 1782), Richard's father.
John Bulleid of Mariansleigh, who died in 1628, left five shillings and eight pence to be distributed amongst the poor of the parish. His son, Nicholas, of Romansleigh, who died in 1673, was sufficiently well off to be able to leave money to keep the poor of the parish in work. Nicholas' nephews, Amos and Robert, had their names inscribed on two of the bells of Romansleigh parish church, where Amos was a Warden and possibly his brother also.
Thomas Bulleid (1706 - 1791) was a Churchwarden and Overseer of the Poor in Winkleigh as was Samuel Bulleid in 1820, probably the Samuel (1774 - 1839) who occupied Stabdon Farm, Winkleigh at that time.
John Bulleid of Mariansleigh appears in the Devon Muster Roll of 1569 as a Harquebusier. A harquebus was an early type of musket and John was liable to be called to arms. He would have had to provide his own weapon and armour, a chest protector and helmet at the very least. These would have been valued property and when he died in 1628 he bequeathed his musket to his son Richard. John was a well-to-do farmer whose wife Thomazine had an interest in his martial arms, which she bequeathed to Richard when she died in 1635. They were already in his possession. Two of John's relatives also appear in the Devon Muster Roll of 1569: Walter Bulhead of Hatherleigh, who is a billman, and Henry Bulhead of "Winckley", an archer. There are also two brewers: William Bulhed of Okehampton Manor and Thomas Bulhedde of East Stonehouse in Plymouth. Oh that I could find a brewer in the family today!
Horses were obviously very important to our ancestors and the it amuses me to read about them in the wills:
- in 1659, John leaves his "red nagg, the old mare and the little mare" to his wife
- James gets the "whait nosed nag" from his father, Thomas, in 1702
- In 1802, John leaves his "sorel mare called Violet" to his wife
White's Devonshire Directory of 1850 lists only two Bulleids in Winkleigh:
Thomas who was a cooper making and repairing barrels, and John, still farming at Stabdon which has now been occupied by the family for about two hundred years. By now the family had largely left the land and Winkleigh, which reached its maximum size in the 1840s, was in decline.