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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.



The Minster church of St. Mary the Virgin, Axminster - 1792
The Minster church of St. Mary the Virgin, Axminster - 1792


The first town in this county is situated 152 miles from London, 60 from Bath and Bristol, 25 from Exeter, 13 from Taunton, and 5 from the British Channel. It takes one part of its name from the river Axe on which it stands, the other from a Minster, now standing, erected here by King Athelstan, for seven priests to pray for the departed souls of some persons buried here who were killed in his army, when he defeated the Danes at the bloody battle in a neighbouring field, which to this day is called King's Field, and their monuments are yet remaining in the church, which is a vicarage, with two daughter churches belonging thereto, at Kilmington and Membury, value £500 per annum, in the gift of the Prebend of York; the great tithes belong to Mr. Kerney. There are also two Meeting houses, one for the Independents, the other for the Methodists; also a Roman Catholic Chapel, and a priest kept here by Lord Petre, lord of the manor.


The carpet manufactory is carried on here in great perfection; it is worked of any size in one piece, with needles by women; in point of colour and strength, it is allowed to be the first in the world. Broad and narrow cloth, cotton tapes, druggets, leather breeches and gloves are made here.


There is a bank kept by Messrs Hallett, Stevens and Whitby jun. The principal inn, the George (kept by Mr. Ellard) is the best in the west of England. An exceeding good  boarding school for young ladies, kept by Miss Braddock; likewise a charity school, for instructing 20 boys to read and write; and a large airy, good house for the poor; here is a Sunday School established by the late Mr. Wesley's people where 150 boys and girls are taught to read.


The mail coach passes through every morning at half past eight, and every evening at six; two other coaches go to London every morning at 9 o'clock; there are eight wagons to and from London every week.


This town and parish contain 2500 inhabitants and the following are the principal ones:



Forward, Mrs. 

Kate, Mrs.

Knight, Mr. Steward to Lord Petre

Leat, Mrs.

Liddon William Esq.

Taunton Thomas, Esq

Thomas Mrs.



Buckland Rev.Charles, Curate

Steer, Rev. Charles, Vicar

Small, Rev. James, Dissenting Minister


Bragge, Nicholas & Son, surgeons and apothecaries

Garniss, Robert, surgeon and apothecary

Robertson, Robert, druggist

Symes, Samuel, surgeon and apothecary

White, ----, surgeon


Forward Samuel, attorney

Smith George, attorney



Beer, George, thatcher

Bilk, Jonathan, post master and farmer

Bishop, Elizabeth, blacksmith

Bishop, Samuel, farmer

Bond ,William, land & timber surveyor

Bowdidge, John, baker

Bracknay, Thomas, butcher

Bragge, Joseph, linen draper & mercer

Brice, Samuel, peruke maker and grazier

Bryant, Robert, shopkeeper

Buckland, T, shopkeeper & gardener

Buckmole, Elizabeth, blacksmith

Bull, F. William, baker

Bull, John, cooper and auctioneer

Bull, Richard, ironmonger and printer

Burch, William, fish carrier

Butcher, Samuel, printer and perfumer

Cawley, Joan, ironmonger and hunter

Champ, George, shoe maker

Charles, Robert, shopkeeper

Cheek, Charles, plumber and glazier

Clark, Bridget, linen draper

Coles, Thomas, shoe maker

Collier, Giles, miller and farmer

Coombs, G, sen.,saddler and grazier

Daniel, John, currier

Dight, Francis, breeches maker and leather dresser

Duer, Samuel, joiner and glazier

Dunster, Henry, blacksmith

Dunster, Thomas, victualler

Edward, James, cooper and butter factor

Ellard, George, innkeeper

Enticott, Isaac, fruiterer

Garnis, Andrew, joiner

Garnis, Linard, joiner

Gillett, James, farmer

Gillett, William, farmer

Gosling, Jacob, victualler

Gosling, Nathaniel, baker

Hallett, Robert and Thomas, merchants and bankers

Hamlen. Benjamin, shoe maker

Hardey, John, butcher

Harner, John, breeches maker and leather dresser

Harvey, Israel, manufacturer of broad cloth

Hawkins, H.,victualler and wheelwright

Hawkins, Joseph, watch and clock maker

Hayman, Hugh, baker and victualler

Henley, William, glazier

Hill, Elias, gardener

Hill, Richard, saddler

Hoar, George, blacksmith

Hoar, James, cooper

Hoar, John, farmer

Hoar, Robert, taylor

Hodge, John, innkeeper

Holstone, Mary, victualler

Irish, John, thatcher

King, Sarah, milliner

Kingsbeer, William, breeches maker and shopkeeper

Lewis, John, carpenter

Liddon, John, tanner

Liddon, Matthew, farmer

Liddon, Sarah, mantua maker

Lowring, William, carpenter

Lucks, Susanna, shopkeeper

Major, William, glazier & shopkeeper

Mallock, Richard, schoolmaster and shopkeeper

Mills, Samuel, cooper

Morgan, J. sen. taylor and stay maker

Mullins, William, shoe maker

Newman, John, farmer

Oliver, William, taylor

Peironnet, Stephen, dancing master

Pering, Richard, farmer

Pitcher, Amos, shopkeeper

Restarick, John, tiler

Restarick, William, peruke maker and cordwainer

Rocket, Joseph, shoe maker

Shiles Henry, narrow cloth worker

Silk, James, cordwainer

Skinner, Richard, victualler

Smith Henry, carpenter

Spence, John, cabinet maker

Stevens, Francis, banker

Thatcher, John, bailiff to Lord Petre

Thatcher, Samuel, cordwainer

Towt, John, taylor

Towt, William, taylor

Tozer, Margaret, drugget-maker

Tucker, Benjamin, brewer

Tucker, George, timber merchant

Tucker, Isaac, mercer and draper

Tucker W. George, cotton tape maker

Turner, Mary, school mistress

Welch, John, baker

Wellman, George, victualler

White, Peter, innkeeper

Whitty, Thomas, sen, carpet manufacturer

Whitty, Thomas, jun.,carpet manufacturer

Willmott, Elizabeth, shopkeeper

Wooley, Benjamin, cotton tape maker

Wooley, John, shoe thread maker

Wooley, Samuel, shoe maker

Wooley, William, shoe maker


The following seats are in the vicinity of Axminster:


Cloakham House, ¾ of a mile north of the town, situated on a hill, commanding a fine view of the British Channel.


Wood House, 1 mile, a neat little house, the residence of Mr. Liddon.


Coryton House, a mile and a half, the seat of William Tucker, Esq. one of His Majesty's Justices of the Peace for the county of Devon.


One mile and a half distant, about 100 yards to the right of the road to Exeter is Shute House, the seat of Sir John William De la Pole, MP. 3 miles from hence, to the left of the same road, stood the old mansion belonging to the family of De la Pole, which the present Sir John has had taken down and rebuilt.


At a small distance, on a delightful spot, commanding a view of the river Axe and the sea, is Ash House, the seat of William Drake Esq. It is gone to decay for want of an occupier; one part of the mansion is now taken down and the other is converted into a farm house. The chapel is still kept in repair.


Six miles from hence is Stedcombe House, the seat of the Rev. Mr. Hallett, and four miles distant is Road House, the seat of Major Williams. It is situated on an eminence called Road Hill in the parish of Up Lyme, commanding a view of the sea and the town of Lyme.


Ford Abbey, 5 miles distant, lies to the right, on the road to Chard. It is the only entire Abbey in the kingdom, and is now undergoing a thorough repair by order of Francis Gwin, Esq, the present owner. It is a stately fabric, loft and very magnificent, adorned with curious carvings and embellishments of the Gothic kind.


Ford Abbey in 1832
Ford Abbey in 1832*


*At the time at which Axminster's entry in this Directory was written, Ford Abbey and Lyme (not yet renamed as Lyme Regis) were both in the county of Devon. Today, both are in the county of Dorset. Ford Abbey is in the parish of Thorncombe, which, at the beginning of the 19th century, was in the Axminster Hundred. Thorncombe was annexed to Dorset in 1842 when the parishes of Dalwood and Stockland, formerly in Dorset, were annexed to Devon.



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