Name: Charles Cutcliffe of Weach,


Birth: 30 Jan 1683

Christen: 30 Jan 1683 Ilfracombe, Devon, England

Death: 30 Aug 17451,2

Burial: 1 Sep 1745 Westleigh, Devon, England2

Occupation: Attorney-at-Law

Father: John Martin Cutcliffe of Damage (1632-1696)

Mother: Grace Newell (1634-)

Marriage: 6 Jul 1707 Great Torrington, Devon, England


Spouse: Avice Nash of Iddesleigh,


Birth: 1685 Iddesleigh

Death: 17422

Burial: 11 May 1742 Westleigh, Devon, England2




1 M: Robert Cutcliffe,

Birth: 1708 Bideford, Devon, England


2 M: John Cutcliffe,

Birth: 1709 Bideford, Devon, England


3 M: Charles Cutcliffe3,

Birth: 1710 Bideford1

Christen: 16 Aug 1710 Great Torrington, Devon, England

Death: 1791

Burial: 15 Jun 1791 Westleigh, Devon, England1

Occupation: Solicitor from Bideford

Spouse: Elizabeth Dene of Horwood, GGGG Grandmother

Marriage: 9 Apr 1745 Horwood, Devon, England


4 M: John Cutcliffe,

Birth: 1712 Great Torrington, Devon, England

Death: 1713


5 F: Grace Cutcliffe,

Birth: 1713 Great Torrington, Devon, England


6 M: Thomas Cutcliffe,

Birth: 1714 Great Torrington, Devon, England

Christen: 25 Aug 1714 Bideford, Devon, England

Death: 1714


7 M: Reverend John Cutcliffe,

Birth: 1716

Christen: 5 Dec 1716 Bideford, Devon, England

Death: 17 Jan 1784

Burial: 1784 Ashreigney, South Molton, Devon?4

Burial Memo: Please see notes: a John Cutcliffe was buried in Barnstaple March 15, 1784

Occupation: Rector of Ashreigney, Devon.

Spouse: Mary Gould

Marriage: 27 Feb 1753 Warkleigh, Devon, England


8 M: William Cutcliffe,

Birth: 1718 Colyton, Devon, England


9 M: Thomas Cutcliffe of Bideford,

Birth: 1720

Christen: 13 Jul 1720 Bideford, Devon, England


10 M: Rev. William Cutcliffe MA, of Colyton1,

Birth: 1722 Bideford, Devon, England

Baptism: 29 May 1722 Bideford, Devon, England

Death: 3 May 1755

Christen: 29 May 1722 Bideford, Devon, England

Burial: Colyton, Parish, Church

Spouse: Federata Brand

Marriage: 14 Feb 1750 King’s Brompton, Sumerset5


11 M: Robert Cutcliffe,

Birth: 1724

Christen: 3 Feb 1724 Bideford, Devon, England

Death: an Infant

Notes for Charles Cutcliffe of Weach

MONUMENT IN WESTLEIGH CHURCH: Westleigh is a few miles from Bideford. Charles is buried in the church at Westleigh. His burial chamber is covered by a large plaque, written information on the plaque is in Latin. If you are faceing the primary alter, the burial chamber is located to the left of the altar. Charles brother, Richard, is buried in the floor of the Westleigh church. If you are in the middle enty isle of the Church, facing the alter, Richard’s grave is located in the isle to your left and a little to the back of the church. Tom Cutcliffe, Sondra Cutcliffe and Caroline James visited the Westleigh Church in July of 2008.

Charles Cutcliffe of Bideford and subsequently of Weach, parish of Westleigh, eldest son, Attorney-at-Law, named in the will of his brother John, adm. to his son Thomas, succeeded to the estates on the death of his nephew Robert Cutcliffe, s.p. 1745, under a settlement made 1729, d. 30 August. Will 20 July, pro. 4 Oct. 1745, P.C.C.. In 1745 Charles devised the manor of Witheridge and his estate there to his second son the Reverend John Cutcliffe.

1″Charles of Brideford, and subsequently of Weach, in the parish of Westleigh (Which latter property was devised to him by his half brother…Challacombe), and who ultimately succeeded to the Ilfracombe estates.”

” Charles Cutcliffe of Weach, in the parish of Westleigh, and Bideford, co. Devon, the eldest son of John Cutcliffe of Damage, by Grace Newell, his second wife, was baptized at Ilfracombe, 30th January 1683. In 1707 (July 6), he was married at Great Torrington to Avice Nash of Iddersleigh or Ingersleigh, by whom he had a large family. Mr. Charles Cutcliffe was a Solicitor, and resided at Bideford. There are a large number of the letters which, during the years 1727-35, he wrote to his son Charles, who was then in London studying for his father’s profession.

They are, in the main, business letters interspersed, however, with family news and amusing county chit-chat. Judging from their contents, Mr. Cutcliffe was an acute man of business, with very prudent views as to the duties of man to man.” Never” writes he to his son, “be a judge between friends if you can help it, for you are sure to gett an “enemy by your determination, be it never so just.” His paternal advice (very usually accompanied by apposite quotations from or references to the classics, of which especially Horace, he was evidently very fond) indicates sound moral principles, and is dictated by much gentlemanlike feeling.

In one of his letters, written in March 1727 he gives very precise instructions to his son (who had then recently left home) as to the improvement of his leisure hours and the conduct of his studies, adding that “without method nothing considerable if to be done”. he recommends especially a perusal of Chicero’s Offices, and urges that specially heed be taken of “the choice of your company, and as it has been well observed that every painter in some measure paints himself so ‘tis true that every man is like the company he keeps, and as it is impossible for a person to be often in vicious company and not be tainted with their views, as ‘tis to be often in the company of good men and not charmed with their virtues.”

At the same time Mr Cutcliffe was not an advocate of “all work and no play”. He rejoices that his son has been to the play, when the King and Queen were present, and dilates upon the advantages to be derived from a well acted play.

Nor does the worthy writer appear to have been altogether above the pleasures of the table. In January 1728 he writes that he had kept a very merry Christmas; but that, through the irregularities of his neighbour, Mr. Down, he had “gott a pain in his left foot”, and that the gout had seized him, philosophically adding, “I give as little way to the distemper as possible, my outward remedy being ‘flannel’, inwardly, patience and port.” which he hopes will sett him a walking in a few days more, for “they agree well with the distemper…. This touch will, I hope, guard me against irregularity for the future, and the dread of it be very useful. If you have it not till my age, you’ll have no great reason to complain; tho’ the pain is acute, it takes not off the appetite, and is a great promoter of consider ‘con.” Neither does he confine his opinion of the benefit of generous living to himself; for he urges on his son not on any account to allow his spirits to flag, but to support them “with a glass of wine now and then.”

The following relate to bits of country news:..” May 21, 1728. There was a very great storm at Pill last Friday, I mean within doors, for that morning ab one, the parson of Tawton and Mad Chichester ridd away together without a serv in order to be married; but where the job was done I don’t yet hear with certainty. The parson yesterday made a visit in his coach, and no doubt looks very grand.”

“June 9, 1728. I think I wrote you that the Vicar of Tawton had married Mad Chichester. I must now acquaint you, that Coz Moll Chichester was married to Mr. Waldron, her old sweetheart, the Monday following, but not discovered till last week. I had the pleasure yesterday of bringing father and daughter together at Pill, where all things were perfectly reconciled, and am forthwith to prepare an hadsome settlement.”

“Oct. 8, 1728. Last Sunday sen’night the Duke de Ripperda (who lately escaped out of the Castle of Segovia) was putt on Wollacombe sands, out of an Irish barque; he had no one with him but the lady who procured his deliverance, the corporal of the guard and one servant. He was handsomely treated at Mr. Harris’s, and last Tuesday went on to Exon.”

October 29, 1728. Last Saturday sen’night Mrs. Anne Rolle was married to Mr. Thomas Staford with her uncle’s consent, who also gave he a fortune.”

“April 5, 1730. Your old master (Rev. Dr. Z. Mudge) is pitched on by the Archdeacon himselfe to preach before the Clergy tomorrow fortnight and I hope it will be an introduction to his preferment, for ‘tis impossible that man of learning can know him and neglect him.” The sermon on the Reverend Doctor was a success, as is triumphantly narrated in a further letter.

“May 10, 1730. Mr. Rolle, of Stevenstone, died of apoplexy last Wednesday morning. He was a gentleman of great charity and generosity,”&c.

“15th May, 1731. Last Sunday morning died Sir Nicholas Hooper, full of days. How he has disposed of his substance I know no; but I believe it must be great. He is a great example of the effects of industry; ‘Dii laboribus omnia vendunt’ is very true.

“21st May, 1732. Last Thursday Mad Bassett, a lady much admired for her piety, prudence, and good conduct, was married at South Molton to one Mr. Morrison of New College Oxon, her son’s tutor. Tho’ a lady of her complexion could not resist nature, she had however taken care that her marriage shall be agreeable to her son as well as herself; for she has surrendered the barton and seat of Heanton Court and, as I am well informed, has obliged herself to quitt all her jointure if ever her father’s estate fall to her, as it must on the death of her brother without issue.”

“Mr. Cutcliffe was the intimate friend of Dr. Reynolds (with whom he was connected through the Rowe family) and his adviser as to the future destiny of his celebated son Sir Joshua. I have in my possission some letters written between 1740 and 1743, from the Doctor to Mr. Cutcliffe, the main interest in which is the reference to his son Joshua. But as they have to that extent been printed in full in Leslie’s “Life and Times of Sir Joshua Reynolds”, I do not think it worth while to reprint them here. Writing from Plympton in March 1740, to Mr. Cutcliffe, the Doctor desires his advice and judgement whether his whould be bound to an apothecary or to a painter. Joshua, sent by his father in October 1740 to Bideford, is the bearer of a letter to Mr. Cutcliffe, “to wait on you and to obey orders”. In 1740 (Oct. 26) Dr. Reynolds writes that, “Joshua arrived in London with your son on Saturday, Oct. 13, “when he went to be bound apprentice to Thomas Hudson, a native of Devonshire, and at that time the principal portrait painter in England.

In 1743 (19th August) Dr. Reynolds wrote to Mr. Cutcliffe, “As to Joshua’s affair”, (that was, his dismissal by Hudson form his employment), “he will give you a full account of it when he waits upon you, as he designs to do, (he shall lay open the whole matter to you as a father, as I know he may), and will be glad to present you with your picture, who have been so good a benefactore to him.” “I do not know” (continues the doctor), “any painter who is capable of doing you justice (I don’t speak out of compliment) for a painter must have sharp eyes to see one half of that which is in you; but I believe Mr. Mudge, who has seen Joshua’s performances will agree with me that he is likely to do you justice, if any painter can.” Of the proposed portrait my aunt had no knowledge, so that probably it was never painted. There is, however, a small oval crayon drawing existing, reputed to be the likeness of Mr. Cutcliffe, but its merits as a work of art are small: it may however be a sketch by Sir Joshua.

On family matters Mr. Cutcliffe writes to his son under date 17 November 1728, “Your aunt Cutcliffe of Damage” (Margaret Burgoyne)”died last week, and fell like ripe fruit in its season. The old hero (John Cutcliffe, her husband) is pretty well, but his spirits seem to flag, and I doubt he will not long survive.” Again on 11th. May, 1729 – “I was at Damage last Thirsday, where I found your Uncle Cutcliffe in a declining state; steel and marble must submitt. But Coz Rob and Frank are fond of having the estate transmitted to persons of the family worthy of reviving it.” And his letter of 8th July, 1729, conveys the intellignece of the death of old John Cutcliffe of Damage: – “Last friday, your uncle Cutcliffe sent me word that he was so well, that he intended to meet me at Barum next Friday to new make his will which he had neglected to doe ever since Cousin Anne’s marriage; but so uncertain are business affairs that Saturday about noon a messenger brought me word he was found in his bed speechless that morning, he was blooded and blister’d, but in vain for ab’ twelve at night he died.”

“His daughter Anne is a considerable gainer by his sudden death. I hope there will be no difference between the brothers and sisters but what I can reconcile, tho’ God knows they are of very jarring tempers. You’ll have the pleasure when you come down to find the death of your uncle has made room for a relacon who has, if I mistake not, a greater concern for the real good of my family than his father.” On the 3rd February, 1729, he writes of this relation as follows: “ Last Friday morning Cousin Robert put his generous resolutions towards me into practice, for were before prepared by his direcons and has thereby in case of failure of issue male in him and his brother, absolutely conveyed to me and my heires the revercon in fee of all his lands: so that ‘tis not altogether improbably but some of my posterity may possess the seat of their ancestors, and I hope to be an honour to the family, and perpetuate to posterity that virtue and love of truth which was so conspicuous in the old Joh’es de Rupescissa that it gave him a place among the martyrs.”

In 1745 Mr. Charles Cutcliffe intered into possission of the family estates. A letter, written by him to his son William who was then at Exeter College, Oxford, dated 4th June in that year, gives an account of it:- “Bideford, June 4th, 1745. Cousin Robert was buried this day sen’night. Your brothers attended the furerall, and the day following being the restoracon day, I went there and took possession, and had all the title deeds and counterparts of leases delivered up in a friendly manner. The widow has agreed to stay till Micha, but then I doubt I must gett a tenant for the Barton, your brother Charles being determined not to go there at present. Last Wednesday and Thursday wee killed three brace of hares, and Wednesday were entertained witha most agreeable sight; no less than five large French prizes were that day conducted close under the Hoe up Bristol Channell by two stout privateers, one belonging to Bristoll, th’ other to Dartmouth, they engaged no less than six at once, sunk the Comadore, and took the other five; this was a glorious exploit.”

Mr. Cutcliffe did not long enjoy the estates to which he had succeeded; he died 30th August 1745, aged 62, having made his will, dated the 20th July preceding, whereby he settled the Barton of Damage and Manors of Lyncombe and Warcombe, and all his other lands, &c, in the parish of Ilfracombe, on his son Charles Cutcliffe for life, with remainder to his son’s issue male, with remainder to his (testator’s) other sons and their issue in tail male.

6Part of the Will of Charles Cutcliffe of Weach. Born 1683 and died in 1745. 892M/T26 -1745 at the North Devon Record Office, Tuly Street, Barnstaple

Copy of the will of Charles Cutcliffe, Johnson Cutcliffe (testators BROTHER ) WILLIAM CHARLES AND JOHN (SONS) GEORGE NEWELL (COUSIN) SUSANNAH (WIFE)

PREMISES-Barton of Damage, Tenement of Ford, manor of Lyncombe, Warcombe and all messuages mills lands and tenements in the parish of Illfracombe; manor of Witheridge, and all lands in the parish of Witheridge and Delbridge, manor of Stodden and lands in the parish of Holsworthy, ;and Thornbury; reversionary right to the manor of Withypool County of Summerset: Messuages lands and tenements in the parishes of Combe Martin, Westleigh, Bishops Tanwton and Alverdiscott; Barton of Weach, parish of Westleigh.

Richard Cutcliffe of Northcote s John Cutlciff son and executor of Richard Cutcliffe of Yendenoll Early proceedings Richard the II

Charles Cutcliffe of Weach Memorial Inscription on plague in the Westleigh Church. If you are facing the main alter in the church the plaque is on the wall to the left left of the altar. The following is a translation of the Latin that is inscribed on the plaque:

“Near this place Charles Cutcliffe, late of Bideford, himself already made immortal, deposited (or caused to be deposited) his outer body (his remains). Born of a gentle and ancient stock, hailing even from ‘a Cliffe’, he was endowed with such private virtues as to make his lineage seem insignificant. He was brought up in and nourished in the study and practice of the laws of England, etc.

‘He died peacefully, 30th August 1745, at the age of 62, leaving three sons, all beloved and loving him.’

Notes for Charles (Child 3)

Named in the wills of his father and brother. Adm. “de bonis non” of his brother Thomas 1747. Succeeded to the Ilfracombe Estates on his father’s death in 1745. His will dated Feb. 20, 1789. He was educated at Bideford Grammar School. He was a Solicitor from Bideford.


1″Charles Cutcliffe, the eldest son of Charles Cutcliffe and Avice Nash, born at Bideford in 1710. He was educated at the Bideford Grammer School, then under the direction of the Rev. Zachariah Mudge, of whom he appears to have been a favorite pupil. Some letter to him from his quondam master are in my possession. They are dated 1729, and refer to the journey, or rather voyage to London, of Mr. Mudge’s second son Thomas, who went there to be apprenticed to Graham, the watchmaker, in Fleet Street, “as his genius has ever led him to something in the “mechanical way”, and commends Thomas to the good offices on young Cutcliffe, who seems to have responded very cordially to his old preceptor’s appeal in favour of his son; for in a subsequent letter Mr, Mudge writes to Charles Cutcliffe thanking him for his reply, “which was very kind and obliging, but not beyond what I expected from you, “because I ever saw that in you which would equal any expectation.” Mr. Cutcliffe was, as we have seen, educated for the legal profession, which, however, he does not appear to have followed subsequently to his father’s death. He succeeded to the estates in Ilfracombe, and to the Barton of Weach, in West Leigh, where he resided, following the pursuits of a country gentleman. He was in the Commission of the Peace for the county of Devon, and in 1745 married Elizabeth, daughter of Humphrey Dene, of Horwood. He died at the advanced age of 82, and was buried at Westleigh, 15th June 1791, where also his wife who survived him until 1804, was buried. By his will dated 20th February, 1789, after giving pecuniary legacies to his sons John, William, Robert, Thomas, George and James, and to his daughters Elizabeth, Ann, Rebecca and Avice, (then the wife of the Rev. William Spurway), and to his niece Roberta, daughter of his late brother William Cutcliffe, and to his (testator’s) wife Elizabeth. He devised to his son Charles Newell Cutcliffe his estates in the parishes of Westleigh and Allscott, otherwise Alverdiscott, (including the Barton of Webbery, in the last-mentioned parish, which had been then lately devised to him by Harry Lupincott, 30 Esquire).”

10 “Webbery Barton, about 5 miles east from Bideford on the right hand side of the road to Alverdiscott. Now a working farm, (‘mixed’ cattle, sheep and arable), of about 400 acres, owned and farmed by brothers Keneth, (wife Barbara), and Richard, (wife Angela), Ford. Present house built, (according to ‘White’s Devonshire 1878’), about 1820 by a Cutcliffe to replace previous burnt -down one. It then become the residence of a W. A. Deane.

11”In 1745, under the will of Charles Cutcliffe, the main body of land was left to his eldest son Charles.”