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Devon County

Devonshire Rgt.

Directory Listings





Parish Records




War Memorials



The Universal British Directory of Trade, Commerce & Manufacture was issued in separate volumes over a period of 7 to 8 years between 1791 and 1798. As the different volumes were published, updates and alterations were made so that no listing can  be specific to a single year but rather, to the final years of the 18th century.


No street locations were given for the traders. The original spelling has been retained.


Crediton is a large inland town, on a very rich soil, between two hills, rising with a gradual elevation toward the North, while that on the South side is very steep, and overlooks the tops of the houses; it consists of two parts, distinguished by the name of East and West Town, the latter of which was almost destroyed by a dreadful conflagration that happened in the year 1743. It began at an inn on a Sunday, in time of divine service and, being a very dry season, soon became irresistible: the damage sustained by this fire was computed at £50,000 and upwards, besides the loss of fourteen lives.


A second fire, in 1769, nearly similar to the above, destroyed a great part of the new building, together with the market house, and shambles; but the whole has been since rebuilt in a beautiful manner. Two smaller fires, about ten years past, consumed several dwellings in the East Town and on the top of Bowdon Hill, between which and the West Town is a handsome Meeting place for Dissenters.


The parochial church stand  near the high end of the East Town, and is a noble structure, 150 feet in length by 44 in breadth, built in the form of a cathedral, in the Gothic style of architecture, consisting of three aisles, a front and two side galleries at the West end; but these are all to be taken down, and rising seats substituted in their stead, with pews in the body of the church, of the best wainscot, valued at £1000 when completed.  The altar-piece extends the whole height and breadth of the chancel, and is adorned with an excellent performance in painting, of Moses and Aaron in their full stature, supporting the Decalogue; the fluted columns with their architraves, and a floor in imitation of mosaic work, are an admirable deception, and show the artist to have been a complete master of perspective. The tower is 100 feet high, and stands nearly in the centre of the church, on a semi-circular arch, supported by four pillars of uncommon magnitude; it contains a clock and eight musical bells, on which are played two different chimes, set to the 104th and 113th psalm tunes. Two ministers constantly attend divine service in this extensive church, whose annual salaries are paid by the twelve governors (incorporated by Queen Elizabeth), under whose jurisdiction all affairs relating to the church, and free grammar school annexed, are regulated and managed.


The town is governed by a portrieve, and is certainly a  place of great antiquity, and was for many years a bishopric, till the See was removed to Exeter in the reign of Edward the Confessor. A venerable house  near the church-yard still retains the name of palace; Dean Street, at the foot of Bowdon Hill, also derives its appellation from the ancient buildings of the deanery that are now standing. In this town also was born Boniface, archbishop of Mentz, commonly called the German apostle, because he converted the Hessians &c. in Germany, to Christianity. In the reign of Edward I, it sent members to parliament at Carlisle.


Besides the free grammar school, here is likewise a free English school, kept by the parish clerk, and a charity school for 40 poor boys and girls. Two Sunday schools are also instituted in this place, one at the church and the other at the Meeting House. This town extends from the head of St. Lawrence's Green on the West, through a wide and spacious street, to the extremity of the East Town, about one mile in length, and carries on a considerable manufactory in serges, no less than five or six carts going with pieces every day from hence to Exeter.


The several public roads from Crediton are as follows: to Exeter, S.E 8 miles; Tiverton, E.N.E 12 miles; South Molton, N. N. W 19 miles; Chulmleigh N. W 14miles; Torrington, N. W by W, 31 miles; Bow, due W, 7 miles; Chagford, S. W, 18 miles, and Morton Hampstead, due S, 15 miles.


The London post comes in each morning except Tuesday, and goes out every evening except Friday. The Okehampton, Torrington and South Molton stage-wagons pass through this place to Exeter; the latter twice, and the two former once, in the week. Likewise, two diligences from Barnstaple, and one from Bideford, which stop at the White Hart Inn, going up Mondays,  Tuesdays and Thursdays, and return Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Fridays. There is no regular stage from this place. The principal inns are the Ship, Angel and White Hart.


Here is a large and plentiful market on Saturdays for all kinds of provisions, with vast quantities of wool and yarn. Also three annual fairs, held May 11, August 21 and September 21, for cattle and peddlery ware.


The following are the principal inhabitants:


Purchase, William, Gent.

Sturgeon, Mr. Gent.

Yarde, John, Esq.


Bond, Rev, John, Master of the Grammar School

Hart, Rev. Samuel, Vicar

Ruddall, Rev. John, Assistant Minister


Bryett, William, Surgeon & Apothecary

Downey, Thomas, Surgeon & Apothecary

Hugo, Thomas, Surgeon & Apothecary

Lathy, Mr., Druggist

Snelling, George, Surgeon & Apothecary


Berry, Thomas, Attorney

Cleave, John, Attorney

Ruddall, Samuel, Attorney


Abrahamsn Robert, Serge maker

Adams, ......, Currier

Berry, William, Serge maker

Bond, Robert, Maltster

Bucknell, William, Watch & clock maker

Bickland, ......, Taylor

Brice, Richard, victualler

Brown, William, butcher

Chawn, Mr., shopkeeper

Cann, John, Maltster

Colman, John, Victualler

Curtis, John, Victualler

Curtis, Mr., Serge maker

Coles, . ....., Cordwainer

Collyhole, ....., Blacksmith

Davy, William, Merchant

Dolbeer, Barnard, Serge maker

Downey, John, Victualler

Dodderidge, William, Victualler

Densham, Widow, Victualler

Densham, ....., Baker

Fowler, Joseph, Carpenter

Good, ......, Taylor

Harvey, William, Victualler

Haydon, Nathaniel, Serge maker

Hurley, John, Victualler

Luxmoore, William, Tawer* & Auctioneer

Lavender, John, Clock & watchmaker

Lane, Roger, Victualler

Lane, Simon, Chandler

Langworthy, Widow, Woollen draper

Mills, ....., Tinman

Manley, Hugh, Maltster

Milton, John, Victualler

Northleigh, Henry, Victualler

Northleigh, Elizabeth, Vender of patent medicines

Nicholls, Thomas, Butcher

Newman, George, Glazier

Paddon, Samuel, Victualler & peruke maker**

Passmore, John, Victualler & peruke maker **

Prickman, William, Taylor

Pinson, Richard, Grocer & Mercer

Philips, Arundel, Merchant

Risden, ....., Blacksmith

Rowden, John, Victualler

Roberts, Thomas, Maltster

Rogers, Joseph, Victualler

Searls, William, Victualler

Squire, Isaac, Victualler

Southwood, John, Victualler

Southcott, John, Victualler

Strong, Andrew, Cordwainer

Shasland, ....., Taylor

Shute, ....., Serge maker

Shepard, John, Serge maker

Trayes, William, Cordwainer

Vicary, William, Wine dealer

Wreyford, John, Chandler & soap boiler

Wellsford, Thomas, Chandler & soap boiler

Wellsford, John, Merchant


The following seats are in the vicinity of Crediton, viz. Downs, one mile and a quarter fo the S.E, an elegant mansion belonging to the Hon. James Buller, MP for Exeter. The house stands near the turnpike road leading to that city, and commands a beautiful and extensive prospect.


Little Fulford, 1 mile to the East, and near the river Creedy, is a handsome seat of Henry Tuckfield, Esq., embellished with a canal, shrubbery, and serpentine walks in the front, with a large park, well stocked with deer, behind the house, through which a path leads to Shobrook village, 2 miles distant to the eastward.


One mile to the north is Creedy, a rural seat belonging to Sir John Davie, Bart. The house, gardens, fish pond, wilderness, and a park containing several hundred acres of ground, are surrounded by a wall 7 feet in  height, and nearly 3 miles in circumference. The porter's lodge stands near the turnpike gate on the road leading to the village of Sandford.

One quarter of a mile distant from this village, is West Sandford, an ancient seat of the Chichesters; the present proprietor, Sir John Chichester, generally residing at Youlston, near Barnstaple, a sea port in the north west of Devonshire.


Half a mile south of Crediton, near Fordton Mills, is the pleasant villa of Fordton (so called from the river of that name, which lies contiguous to it) the property of Mr. William Davy, who carries on a large business in dying silks and stuffs of all kinds.


*A tawer used alum and salt to create white leather from brown - as used in glove making.

** A peruke maker made wigs


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