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Devonshire Wills
The Chafys of Exeter, Chafecombe, and St. Giles in the Heath
By Charles Worthy - 1896


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Preamble before the Devonshire Wills is written by:
Chaffee, William H., The Chaffee Genealogy (embracing the Chafe, Chafy, Chafie, Chafey, Chafee, Chaphe, Chaffy, Chaffie, Chaffey, Chaffe, Chaffee Descendants of Thomas Chaffe, of Hingham, Hull, Rehoboth and Swansea, Massachusetts also certain Lineages from Families in the United States, Canada and England, not descended from Thomas Chaffe), 1635-1909 (New York: The Grafton Press, 1909). Repository: NEHGS.  The Devonshire Wills were published in 1908 by the British Record Society and are a list of the calendars of wills and administrations proved in the Court of the Archdeaconry of Exeter 1540-1799.

This is a small parish, situated in a pleasant valley near the borders of Chard common. The lands being cold and wet, are unfavourable to agriculture. In a narrow sequestered lane leading from this place to the parish of Crocket-Malherbe, a botanist would find entertainment, there being a great variety of ferns - aspleniums and curious mosses. The purple digitalis flourishes here in high perfection. This parish contains about thirty houses, including a hamlet called Libnash, situated a mile southward from the church. The ancient name of this parish is Caffecome, which is compounded of the Saxon lay, sharp, and lomb, valley. In the Conqueror's time, it belonged to the Bishop of Coutances.

"The same Bishop holds Caffecome, and Ralph of him. Two thanes held it in the time of King Edward, and gelded for three hides and a half. The arable is three carucates. In demesne is one (carucate) and two villanes, and six cottagers, having one plough. There is a wood eight furlongs long, and as many broad. It is worth forty shillings."

"To this manor are added one hide, and three virgates of land. Two thanes held it in the time of King Edward for two manors. The arable is two carucates. These are held by three villanes. It is worth twenty shillings."

But in process of time this manor became apart of the honor of Gloucester, which extended itself throughout this county. Edward II, Hugh de Beauchamp, held one moiety, and Ralph de Stocklinch the other moiety of this village, each by the service of the third part of a knight's fee, of Gilbert de Clare, Earl of Gloucester. This Ralph de Stocklinch was seated at the neighbouring village of Stocklinch-Ottersey, which gave his family their name, and was held by them for many generations. In the account of that place in the first volume of this work, it was conjectured that it obtained its name from the family of Oterschawe, who were resident at a place now depopulated in the neighbourhood of Isle-Abbots, in the adjacent hundred of Abdick. By other evidences it further appears that the said parish of Stocklinch was sometimes discriminated by the appellation of Stocklinch-Ostricer, and that the manor was held by the service of keeping an ostrum or hawk for the lord paramount thereof. 14 Ric II. John Denbaud held at his death the manor of Stokelvnch-Ostricer, with the advowson of the church, of the Earl of Huntington, as of his manor of Haselborough, by the service of keeping a hawk (ostrum) every year till it should be completely fit for service. And when the said hawk should be so fit, he was to convey it to his lord's manor-house, attended by his wife, together with three boys, three horses, and three greyhounds, and to stay there forty days at the lord's expense, and to have the lady's second best gown for his wife's work. 
Villanes. The word villanes means common people.

The nearest approach to our surname in Scotland is that of Mac Haffie or Haffie.
William Chaffy appears among the "49" officers in Ireland in 1649 in the time of Charles I.
Robert Chafe received a grant of land in Ireland in 1668, time of Charles II.
In 1886 the surname did not appear in any of the city directories of Ireland.
The surname has not been found at all in Wales.
The surname has not been found in the directories of the principal cities of France.
The surname of Chouffet, pronounced Shuf, occurs there.

The descendants of Thomas Chaffe of Hingham, Mass., find no coat of arms connected with his surname.
There are coats of arms of the surname used in England, but neither these nor the one used by Reverend W. K. W. Chafy have been proven to be connected in any way with the surname in the United States.

In the third edition of Chambers Index to Next of Kin, by Edward Preston, published in London, England, appears the name of Richard Trenchard Chaffey in the list of heirs-at-law for unclaimed money in England. The author, Edward Preston, writes that this name was omitted in the fourth edition as it had only a transitory value.

An interesting article by Reverend W. K. W. Chafy, D. D., of Rous Lench Court, Evesham, England, from Devonshire Wills, by Charles Worthy, Esq., published in London, 1896, by Bemrose & Sons, is, by the kind permission of the Publishers, presented to the readers of this genealogy, that they might get a clearer idea of the earlier surname as found in England.

The Chafys derive their name from their ancient heritage, "Chafecombe," now Chaffcombe, near Chard, which is the "ceaf cumbe" (in English, the light or breezy valley) of the Saxon period, and which was held by their ancestor, Hugo the Thegn, or Thane, in the days of Ethelred "the Unready," and by his son, Raynald Fitz-Hugh, in those of Edward "the Confessor."

But although the Chafys can thus trace back with unerring certainty to a period long anterior to the Conquest, and so justify the assertion inscribed on the ancient tomb of one of them in Devonshire, as to his own identity with the "perantiqua" race of the Chafes of Chafecombe, yet they are not, paternally at least, of Saxon origin, which at once accounts for their continued possession of Chafecombe under Norman rule, for though their representative then nominally became sub-tenant under the Bishop of Coutance, he practically remained the owner of the land of his ancestors under the newly devised feudal system. This was "Ralph Fitz-Reginald," the grandson of Hugo or Hugh, whose own names and those of his immediate posterity and their adoption of the Norman "Fitz" as expressive of their parentage, sufficiently prove that the long prevalent idea as to the "Saxon origin of the Chafecombe family" is as erroneous as the position of its earliest ascertained members in Saxon England is unique and interesting.

"Hugo," who is said by many of his English detractors to have been of "mean origin, and the son of a French churl," was the confidential adviser of Emma of Normandy, second wife of King Ethelred, and came to England in her train in the year 1002. It is a well-known historical fact that the constant incursions of the Danes, which marked that period, were secretly encouraged by the Queen, who detested the English and despised her husband, whom she had married purely for political motives. That her Norman follower was faithful to her, to her second husband, King Knut the Dane, and to her children, is shown by his retention of his property at Chafecombe under Saxons, Danes, and Normans, and although King Edward the Confessor had suffered for some quarter of a century by the interpolation of the Danish dynasty, he evidently recognised the fidelity Hugo had evinced towards his royal mother.

With the title of Ealdorman, or Earl, Hugo was sent into the West very soon after the arrival of Queen Emma. He had secret instructions, which lie seems to have followed implicitly, and which resulted in the siege of Exeter by Sweyn, to whom the garrison, under the command of Earl Hugo, capitulated 19th August, 1003. The fortifications were demolished, the people were put to the sword, and the memory of the "Norman governor," who left with the besiegers, was long held in execration. Exeter was betrayed, says Hovenden, who wrote in the reign of Henry II, through "perjurium, et proditionem, Normanici comitis Quem Emma Domnaniae praeficerat."

The term "Ealdorman" was subsequently supplanted by "Thegn" and we next hear of Hugo as "Thegn of Chaffcombe" during the reign of Ethelred, which continued until April, A.D. 1016. His son, Reginald "Fitz-Hugo" is shown by the Domesday record to have been joint owner of the "vill of Chaffecumbe on the day King Edward was alive and dead," that is to say on 5th January, 1065-66. He had also a separate manor in that parish, and other lands, quite independently of his joint holding. At the Norman conquest King William gave the whole of the Chafecombe property to his Chief Justiciary and powerful favourite, Jeffery, Bishop of Coutance, in Normandy, who, however, permitted "Ralph Fitz-Reginald" to succeed his father in the "whole township" as "sub-tenant." The latter's son, Robert Fitz-Ralph, succeeded to the lands held by his ancestor, Reginald Fitz-Hugh, and is described as "Lord of Chaffecumbe," and as holding lands of the King-in-Chief to the value of one knight's fee, in the reign of Henry I.

From the "Black Book of the Exchequer," we learn that his son and successor, "Ranulph Fitz-Robert," owned the manor lands together with the town of Chafecombe and the perpetual advowson and right of presentation to the parish church in the following reign, and that the Lord of Chafecombe in the time of Henry II was Robert Fifz-Ranulph, who had a younger brother known as "Ranulph Fitz Ranulph."

Robert, Lord of Chafecombe, had an only child, Agnes, who was "Lady of Chaffecumbe" in her own right. By her first husband, who bore the well-known Devonshire name of Avenel, she had two daughters, co-heirs, Emma and Margery. She married secondly one of the Justices in Eyre, John de Aure, and had by him a third daughter, Margaret, and a son, John de Aure, who died in his mother's lifetime and without issue.

The line of Emma of Chafecombe, the eldest co-heir, terminated with Idonea de Insula, her great-granddaughter, in the reign of Edward 1. Margery had issue only by her second husband, Philip de Cantilupe, a family now maternally represented by Lord de la Warr, and well known in this county in connection with Broadhempston. Her son and heir, Balderic de Cantilupe, is mentioned in legal proceedings connected with the advowson of Chafecombe in 1275, being then in his minority. Margaret de Aure, the third co-heir, had two sons, John and Odo. They are also mentioned in law proceedings as late as the years 1294 and 1295.

Between these co-heirs and their representatives the lordship of Chafecombe seems to have become divided, although there was a certain amount of interpleading on the part of "Robert Fitz-Ranulph." The latter is the ancestor of the present race of Chafy and Chaffe; he was the son and heir of "Ranulph Fitz-Ranulph" already mentioned as younger brother of the Lord of Chafecombe and uncle of Agnes, the inheritrix of the property. His father had received, for his younger son's portion, "one carrucate of land in Chaffecumbe," as shown by existing documents. The son of Robert Fitz-Ranulph is especially noteworthy as being the first of the family who assumed a regular surname, which was of course, derived from his property. As "Thomas Chafe" of Chafecombe, he was seized of land "of the inheritance of Robert, his father." He married Matilda, daughter of Andrew de Bosco (Anglice, Boys) of Knolle Co. Somerset, and died in 1281. His widow recovered the custody of his son and heir, Thomas Chafe, against a certain cleric known as William de St. Esprit, in 1284.

This Thomas Chafe of Chafecombe married Christina, daughter and heir of Knolle Co. Somerset, youngest son of Geoffry de Magna Villa (Steward of Normandy in right of his mother, Margaret, daughter of Eudo Dapifer), by his wife Rohesia, daughter of the Chief justice of England Alberic de Vere Geoffry de Magna Villa was the first Earl of Essex so created by King Stephen and confirmed by the Empress Maud. He was afterwards in rebellion against the King and plundered the abbeys of St. Albans and Ramsey; ultimately, during a raid on a Kentish castle, he was shot through the head with an arrow, having discarded his helmet in consequence of the heat of the sun. His granddaughter, Christina Chafe, seems to have been dowered with lands in Somerset since known as Kingston Mandevill, and which were sold by her husband in or about the year 1310. She had two sons, the youngest being called Andrew.

The eldest brother of the last named left three daughters co-heirs, who divided the lands their father had held in Chafecombe about the middle of the fourteenth century. Their uncle Andrew Chafe, who was seized of lands in Chafecumbe, seems to have died at Bridgewater subsequently to 1375, and his son, Thomas Chafe, is the last of the family who is described as of - Chafecombe. He was living at Bridgewater in 1405, and his son, John Chafe, who succeeded him there, had also land in Devonshire, on which he is shown to have paid subsidy. He was alive at Bridgewater in 1413. His son, John "Chafie," who fought at the battle of Agincourt, left the property at Bridgewater to his son, also called John, who seems to have resided at Ilminster, and was the father of Richard "Chafy" of Sherborne, Dorset, who was also seized of the Somersetshire property in 1522, in which year he died.

This Richard "Chafy" had three sons, viz., John "Chafy" of Sherborne and of Holwell, Co. Somerset; Richard "Chaffie" of Holwell, whose male line is extinct; and William "Chaffe" of Wellington, who also inherited property at Sherborne, and was the ancestor of the Devonshire branch of this ancient family. He had two sons, Robert and Nicholas. The latter's two younger sons, Peter and William Chaffe, acquired lands at Buckfastleigh, in this county, and were seized of them in the year 1660, and their name and race still flourish in that and neighbouring parishes.

The uncle of the said Peter and William, Robert Chaffe, resided in the parish of St. Petrock, Exeter, of which city he was mayor in 1568, 1575, and 1576, and he was also governor of the "Guild of Merchant Adventurers " -an important federation - which was incorporated by Queen Elizabeth. His will, in which he mentions his birthplace at Wellington, was proved 13th August, 1580. He had been buried in the nave of Exeter Cathedral on 26th July. By his wife, Elizabeth Biggleston, he had five sons and two daughters. Of these Robert and George were both of Exeter, and were living there in 1605 and 1611; Richard, another son, was seized of land also in Exeter at his death, May, 1596; and Thomas, the second son, resided in the Parish of St. Olave, in the same city. He married Dorothy, second daughter of John Shorte, of the parish of St. Petrock. His will was dated 24th May 1604, and at his death he owned the parsonage of Constantine and the tithes of St. Winnow, both in Cornwall. His eldest son William, died without issue in 1604. John the second son, married Anne Mayho (and was father of Thomas "Chafe" of Sherborne; admitted of the Middle Temple, June 25th, 1631). Thomas, the third son, was of Doddescot, in the parish of St. Giles on the Heath. Besides these sons there were four Daughters - Pascha, of whom presently; Elizabeth, who married John Mules; Dorothy, wife of Robert. Biggleston; and Richarda (marriage license dated February 1st, 1611, "to be married at Penhoe,") whose husband, Humphrey Curzon, then of London, merchant, afterwards resided in South Street, Exeter, in a house recently removed, and which was situated on the right hand side of the entrance to College Hall, and in which was a shield of the arms of Curzon: Arg. on a bend between 3 wyverns heads sa. 3 martlets? Imp. Chafe, az. 5 fusils in fesse arg.

Between Thomas Chafe and his third sister, Pascha, there appears to have been a very strong affection; and it was, perhaps, on this account that he took up his residence at Doddescote, a property with which he had no apparent family connection. Pascha Chafe was the wife of Tristram Risdon of Winscot, the celebrated local antiquary, who, at the time of his marriage, 1608, had left Oxford, and had been at work upon his "Devonshire History" for three years. He does not appear at this time to have been particularly steady, or at all events during the few subsequent years, and did not succeed in acquiring the esteem of his mother-in-law, old Mrs. Chafe.

That lady made her will 23rd March, 1611, and was buried with her husband in St. Olave Church, 3rd October, 1612.

She describes herself as Dorothie "Chafe," widdowe, and leaves 5 to the poor of Exeter, and 5s. to the prisoners in the gaol of the Castle. She states that her late husband, Thomas Chafe, by his will gave all his silver plate amongst his children, to be allotted and divided between them at her discretion; and this plate, which must have been particularly handsome and valuable, she proceeds to apportion as, follows:

She gives to her daughter, Elizabeth Mules, a tankard of silver double gilt, with cover belonging to the same, and a double gilt silver goblet. To her daughter, Dorothy Bigleston, a tankard of silver with its cover "pcell guilted," a goblet of silver double gilt, and six silver spoons.

The next bequest to her daughter, Pascoe Risdon, must have afterwards formed a portion of the family plate at Winscot, and is therefore specially interesting. She gives her a white silver tankard with its cover, a "goblet of silver pcell guilted, a little trencher salt of silver double guilted, and half a dozen of silver spoons, with apostles heads."

To her daughter, Richarda "Cursane" who as previously mentioned, seems to have resided in South Street, Exeter, she gives her second-best silver salt, double guilted, with its cover, an ale cup of silver, double guilt, a "little - silver bowle," and half a dozen apostles spoons. To her son Thomas "Chafe," "a beere bowle of silver, a little ale cup of silver, and a little goblet of silver."

To her son John Chafe, she says, "I give during his natural life the use and occupation of my best salte of silver, double guilted, with the cover, a sack cup of silver, double guilt, and one white bowle of silver," with remainder to the son and heir of the said John, and in default to his eldest daughter.

Her son Thomas appears to have been the intimate friend of Tristram Risdon, and to have occasioned her no small amount of anxiety. He must have been much younger than Risdon, as the inscription on his tomb shows that he was born in 1585. He appears to have been educated, for the law, and is described in the pedigree as a barrister; he took his degree at Exeter College, Oxford, but seems to have been both careless and extravagant, judging from the next paragraph in his mother's will.

After leaving him, in addition to the plate mentioned above, his father's gold signet ring and all his father's books, she adds:.."Alsoe whereas the said Thomas my Sonne heretofore to my great greife and dislikinge, in Ryston's manner, hath most vainely wasted and consumed a farr greater porcion of my goods than my abilitie was or now is able to afforde him for his mayntenance, but now hath faithfully promised unto me reformacon and amendment of the same, therefore my will mynde and intent is, that if my said sonne doe nowe give over those his ill courses and practises wch he hath need with all other such lyke misdemeanors, and doth henceforth apply himself to learninge as he ought to doe, so as by reason thereof at the tyme of my death, by the opinion and judgment of my overseers hereafter named he shall be by them adjudged and thought worthie, uppon his amendment, and not otherwise, then I bequeath him 100 to be paid three months after my death.". To this will her elder son, John, is executor, and administration was granted P.C.C., 3rd October, 1612.

The overseers were Philip Biglestone, her uncle, and Robert Chafe, her brother-in-law. 

Whether Thomas Chafe reformed sufficiently to entitle him to the 100 I cannot say. He lived for many years subsequently at peace with his relatives, as shown by his own curious will, which bears date September 24th, 1648, and was proved P.C.C., 18th February, 1648/9".

He desires to be buried in decent and silent manner "some few hours before the candle doth inheritt the Suns office." He gives to the poor of St Giles 20s., and to his wife a mourning gown, and "his bedsted with the greene curtains while she lives."

To his niece, Mrs. Catherine Brookin, 20, and to her husband, Thomas Brookin, 5. He adds, "I would heartily acknowledge another niece, but her impious deserts deserve nothing for present but teares and prayers, that she may prove second Mary."

He mentions his "dearly beloved" sisters, Mrs. Dorothy Biglestone and Mrs. Richard Curson. His nephews, Philip, John, and Thomas Biglestone, his cousin Peter, and his "gratious" cousin James Biglestone.

He also refers to his niece, Mrs. Dorothy Biglestone, and to his nephews, Thomas, John, and George Curzon. He gives his niece, Mrs. Mary Serrell, 6 for a "momento," to his "virtuous" niece Mrs. Margaret Yeo 20s., and to her good husband 10s, and desires "their noble goodness to accept of my myte." There are bequests to his loving niece, Mrs. Joane Serrell, to his nephew, William Ryledon, and to his friends, Arthur Rolle and Thomas Baylis, "a little piece of plate with my arms thereon," for the purchase of which money is devised to his executor. He leaves his nephew's wife, Catherine, 1 2s. for a ring with a death's head thereon, and he gives 40 to, and settles his plate upon, "my hopefull Godson and young nephew Thomas Chafe." He further requires his Exor. to inter his body "as neere as he can by my Sister Risedon, and I doe ordain appointe and require 30 rather more than lesse to be bestowed in a monument of my Effigies by my Executor, of whose love herein I am not diffident, who have reaped so many gratuities formerly from mee, and now in present burthening his conscience for effecting it as he shall answer Coram Deo. I desire him to inscript in my monument some memory of his good Aunt Rysedon, and of the family deceased there interred, also of my wife and her two children, no great onus to an ingenious, generous, and gratefull minde." 

The executor and residuary legatee is his nephew, Thomas Chafe, Esq., councillor-at-law; and the will concludes with the following quaint words:

"This my last will and Testament written with mine own hande and soe well known that I do not greatly repute the subscription of Witnesses to strengthen it. And this my last will and Testament to corroborate and to make it legall I doe impresse my seale and subscribe my name the day and yeare above written.

                                   "Vale  T. Chafe, Scripsi,"
"Item vale T. C. Laws deo pax Hominibus. T. Chafe de Doddescott."

In accordance with his uncle's injunctions, Thomas Chafe erected in the chancel of St. Giles, and within the altar-rails, a high tomb to the memory of deceased, with his effigy thereon. The figure, with moustache and peaked beard, is lying upon the right side, the face supported by the hand, the elbow resting upon a cushion. The costume consists of a coif or skull-cap which entirely conceals the hair, a short cloak with tight sleeves, and which being open in front shows that the body is protected by a cuirass, frequently worn in those troublous times, fastened down the front with studs; breeches and long stockings gartered below the knee with roses or knots, and on the feet are low shoes similarly decorated. There were also two female figures, who probably represented the two children referred to in the will. Over the figure are three coats of arms. In the centre the ancient, but questionable, arms of Chafe, already blazoned, with mantling and crest: A demi lion ramp. or, holding between its paws a fusil, az.

On the dexter side; Chafe impaling Burgoyne Az. a talbot pass. arg. in chief a mullet.

And on the sinister side Risdon : Arg, 3 bird bolts sa., impaling Chafe.

During the "restoration" of St. Giles Church, to which I have already alluded, this monument was taken down and removed from its original position to another part of the building. The two female figures then disappeared; and I understand that "they fell to pieces, and could not be put together again."

The inscription upon the front of the monument is as follows


A CHRO. NATO 16_______  AETATIS VERO SUAE_______ 


The spaces left blank for Margery Chafe's death have never been filled in. She was buried with her husband 30th March, 1655.

Thomas Chafe must have passed his sixty-second birthday, since he died in the year of his "grand climacteric" (which was 7 x 9), and therefore in his sixty-third year. The inscription actually gives the age as 47, which is obviously owing to a mistake of the stone-cutter, who failed to enlarge the letters "u" in "medicus" and "x" in "uxorem," had this been done, the age would have appeared correctly - 62. I have made the necessary alterations above, in view of the fact that the inscription has become very faint, and unless the words are recut, they will speedily become almost entirely obliterated. Chafe's sister, Pascha, had pre-deceased him, although she survived her husband, Tristram Risdon, for about six years. Her will was proved in the Prerogative Court of Canterbury, 10th September, 1647. It is dated April 21st, 1646, and in it she is described as "Pascoe" Risdon, of "Winscott," in the parish of St. Giles, and county of Devon, widow. She gives her son, William Risdon, "her heir and sole Executor," "the Manor of Winscott and the Barton farm & demesne thereof and all her other lands in Devon for ever." This bequest upsets the assertion of the authors of the additions to Risdon, who state that Giles Risdon (her eldest son, who had then been dead about two years) "inherited the estate after his father, and was succeeded by his brother William."

She gives her daughter-in-law, Mrs. Margery Risdon, two stocks of bees and her still. To "my daughter, Mrs. Joane Hearle, all my best woollen and . lynnen apparel and my wedding-ring." To my grandchild, Margaret Rattenbury, 5 at sixteen years of age. Her daughter, Margaret, had died 26th of August, 1636, and her memorial inscription. is given by Prince in the Worthies of Devon. She likewise leaves to her grandchild, Joane Hearle, "a bearing blanket and all my child bed linnen. "There are also bequests to several of her god-children, and to John Maddcote, "godson of my husband, Mr. Tristram Risdon, deceased." The overseers are her nephew, Thomas Chafe, already mentioned, and her son-in-law, Mr. James Hearle.

William Risdon, of Winscot, the second son of the antiquary, proved his mother's will, and. succeeded to the property at her death. He died in 1701, and was buried in St. Giles Church with his family. He had one daughter, Mary, who by her first husband, John Prust, had one child, a daughter, who died in infancy. She was subsequently married three times - yiz., to Amos Rolle,. to John Holland, and to John Stafford - but had no issue by either of them, therefore Winscot ultimately descended to Joane, daughter of James Hearle and Joane his wife, the daughter of Tristram Risdon. This Joane, who by her grandmother's will is to receive "two bearing blankets," and other equally useful articles, became the wife of Edward Lovatt, of Corfe, in the parish of Tawstock, who was the sixth son of Sir Robert Lovatt, of Liscombe, in Buckinghamshire. Her husband gave a large silver flagon to the church of Tawstock. They had three children - Robert, who died without issue; Joan, who married Hatch; and Penelope, who was the wife of Sir Henry Northcote, M.D., the fourth baronet, and the present Lord Iddesleigh is now the representative of Tristram Risdon. Winscote,, which descended in the Northcote family, has of late years become the property of the Hon. Mark Rolle.

Thomas Chafe, the Executor of his uncle's will, was, as I have stated already, the son of John Chafe, and of his wife, Anne Mayho. He survived until 1662, married Katherine, daughter of Sir Thomas Malet, and left a son and six daughters. The son, also called Thomas, acquired property near Sherborne, with his wife, Susanna Molyns, and went to reside at Folke. He was patron of the Rectory of Constantine, in Cornwall. The death of his only son, Molyns Chafe, S.P., in 1685, terminated the male line of this branch of the family.

Their ancestor, as I have already said, was William "Chaffe," of Wellington, who was the younger brother of John Chafy, of Sherbourne, who was buried at Stoke under Hamdon, 26th Sept., 1558. He was the father of Thomas "Chafye," of Sherbourne, whose grandson, "Robert Chaffie", of the same place, married Elizabeth, daughter and heir of William Hambridge, of East Coker, County Somerset, and niece and heir to Joseph Compton, of Yeovil. This William Hambridge was the second son of John Hambridge, of East Coker (who was twelfth in direct descent from Stephen de Hambriggge, Lord of Hambrigge, in Somerset, in the reign of Henry II), by his first wife, Joan; daughter and co-heir of William Hemenford. (He married, secondly, Katherine, daughter of Sir John Sydenham.) Mrs. "Chaffie's" mother, Elizabeth Compton, ultimate heir to her brother Joseph, was sixteenth in descent from Walter of Compton, Co. Somerset, who held that property under the Bishop of Salisbury at the time of the Domesday Survey, and whose younger great grandson, Martin de Compton, gave name to an estate in Marldon, Co. Devon, and there founded Compton Castle, which the heiress of Compton, passed to the Poles, and thence to Doddescombe, and ultimately became divided between Worthe and Gilbert. Through this marriage, the Chafys, who already quartered the arms of Boys and Mandeville, obtained the right to add those of Hambrigge, Micheldever, Compton, de Alva, Newton, and Helpeston. Walter Chafe, of Sherborne, baptized there 28th December, 1653, was the grandson of the Compton heiress. He acquired the additional armorials of Scott, of Child-Okford, by his marriage with Ann Scott, heir to her brothers George and John Scott, of Sherborne. His son, John "Chafy," Rector of Lillingham, and of Purse Caundle, Dorsetshire, married Elizabeth, daughter. and co-heir of Capt. John Corbyn, of Hazlebury Brian, and the direct descendant of Sir Phililp Corbyn, Kt., of Corbyn, Co. Stafford, in the reign of Henry I., and thus acquired the quarterings of Corbyn, Brian (of Hazlebury Brian, Co. Dorset, temp. Hy. III.), De Cancy, and Warren. The Heraldry of the House of Chafy became repeated by the marriage of the younger son of the last named, the Rev. William Chafy, Vicar of Faviersham and Sturry, and Minor Canon of Canterbury, with his first cousin's daughter Mary, daughter of John "Chafie," of Sherbourne; their eldest son, Dr. William Chafy (C.C. Coll., Cambridge, Master of "Sidney Sussex," and Vice-Chancellor of the University, Chaplain-in-Ordinary to her Majesty the Queen, and to her three royal predecessors), married, 4th Dec., 1813, Mary, daughter and co-heir of John Westwood, of Chatteris, in the Isle of Ely, and the descendant and representative of William de Westwode, who was seized of lands in Lek, County Stafford, jure uxoris, 37th Hy. III. His wife was the daughter and heir of Clement de Dysteley, by Matilda, daughter and heir of Robert Fitz-John, the owner of the said manor of Lek.

Dr. Chafy was buried in Sidney Sussex College Chapel in May, 1843.. He died, universally respected and lamented, on the 16th of that month.

Dr. Chafy, of Rous-Lench Court, Worcestershire, is the eldest son by his first marriage with Annette, daughter of the Rt. Rev. C, Samuel Kyle, D.D., Lord Bishop of Cork, Cloyne; and Ross, of the only son of the Master of Sidney Sussex College, who died in 1873.

Dr. Chafy was baptized by the names of William Kyle Westwood, 17th July, 1841, and assumed the additional name of Chafy in pursuance of a too loosely worded claim in the will of his grandfather, from whom he inherited a small property at Haslebury Brian, some scattered fragments of Chafy property in Dorset and Somerset, and an estate at Sheriff's Lench, in Worcestershire.

He graduated at Ch. Ch., Oxford ; was ordained deacon in 1869, and priest in 1870. He was subsequently for two years curate in sole charge of Lydford, in this County; for an account of the church of that parish, see my "Devonshire Parishes," vol. i., pp. 220-248. Dr. Chafy, who took his D.D. degree in 1891, married, 2nd May, 1872, Mary Clara, the second daughter of the late Evelyn Philip Shirley, of Ettington, Co. Warwick, and Lough Trea, Co. Monaghan, the well-known author of the "Noble and Gentle Families of England," of the "History of the County of Monaghan," etc., and who was the great grandson of the Hon. George Shirley, of Ettington, fifth son of the first Earl Ferrers, who terminated , the abeyance of the ancient baronies of Ferrers of Chartley, Bourchier, and Louvaine, his grandmother, Lady Dorothy Devereux, having been daughter and co-heir of Robert, last Earl of Essex, of the house of Devereux, from whom Mr. Shirley inherited his Irish property in Co. Monaghan. These baronies are now again in abeyance, between the representatives of the daughters of the eighth Lord Ferrers.

Dr. Chafy's son and heir, Hugh Edmund Chafy-Chafy, was born at Lidford Rectory, May 17th, 1876. He has also a second son and four daughters.

The arms used for many centuries by this family, "azure, five fusils in fesse, argent, a canton of the last," and which surmount the tomb already referred to in the parish church of St Giles in the Heath, have been superseded, since 1822, by Dr. Chafy's predecessors. In pursuance of an Earl Marshal's warrant in that year directed to the Kings of Arms, consequent upon the application of the Rev. W. Chafy, great-grandfather of the present owner of Rous-Lench, a coat, which satisfactorily marks the descent of the Chafy's from Hugo, Thegn of Chafecombe, and his connection with the Saxon Earldom of Devon, the badge of which was a gryphon then, and down to the commencement of the third century after the Conquest, was granted to him and his heirs, and may be thus blazoned: - Per pale gules and azure, a gryphon segreant, argent; on a chief, engrailed erm., three lozenges in fess of the second. Crest, on a mount vert, a peacock in its pride, between two palm-branches, all ppr.

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April 20, 2020