Ancient Documents Relating To Shapcotts





1st March 1685/6

Lease for 99 years from Philip Shapcote of Knowstone esq. to John Brewer of the same, mason of the messuage, now ruinous, lying adjacent to the west end of a house called Wood End in Knowstone.

Document faded and stained.  English Parchment 23½”  x 13 ¾”.  Ref:  205  

25th March 1697

Counterpart of Lease for 99 years from Philip Shapcote of Knowstone, esq. to Elias Westlake, of the same, husbandman of a messuage and cottage in the village of East Knowstone formerly in the tenure of Joseph Wood, carpenter.

English Parchment  19¼” x 11”.  Ref:  59

26th February 1701/2

Bond from John Shapcote of Knowstone, gent. and Philip Shapcote the elder of the same esq. to John Fisher of Molland, yeoman to save the said John Fisher harmless from all claims on the manor of East Knowstone sold by the said John Shapcote to the said John Fisher towards discharging the debts of the said Philip Shapcote.

Document in Latin and English.  Paper 13” x 16½”.  Ref:  58  

Hilary Term  1700/01

Indenture of fine between John Courtenay esq. and others pls. and Philip Shapcote and other defs of the manor of East Knowstone with messuages lands etc, in Knowstone, Molland, Washfield and Chawleigh.

Document in Latin.  Parchment 18¼” x 12½”.  Ref: 212

Note - Copies held by local historians:  Geoffrey and Verna Rapley, Garden Orchard, East Knowstone, Devon. EX36 4DZ

Devonshire Lay Subsidy of 1332

In the late 12th century, personal wealth which could be distinguished as "movables", that is, to the exclusion of land and buildings, began to be used as a standard of tax assessment.This type of tax, commonly called a Subsidy, and levied on every individual with personal property above a fixed value, unless he was specially exempt.  It emerged during Henry III's reign as an extraordinary levy, kept apart from the remainder of the royal income.  From 1290, taxation on movables was placed directly under the control of the Exchequer.In 1332, the year to which these records apply, the proportion to be levied was fixed as:- Rural Tithings and Vills -1/15thBoroushs - 1/10th

There are no Shapcotts listed as having paid this levy, but having regard to the fact that within a fairly short time later the place-name Knowstone became known as “Shapcott” (and later reverted back to Knowstone) the following names have been extracted :Perhaps it is only coincidental, but in each of the places mentioned there were later wealthy and influential families of Shapcotts.

Borough of Bradeneth  (Bradninch)

Henry de Knoustone - 15d.

Hundred of Molland South Molland

William De Knoustone - 12d.

Matilda De Knoustone - 8d.

Little Torrington

Ralph de Sapcote - 12d.

Hundred of Wonfordmidland (Medlard in Cheriton)

William Knoustone - 4s.

Hundred of Halbertone (Halberton) Harb.

William Knouston - 8d.

Note:  The last two Williams listed had not "de" in their names.

Devonshire Subsidy of 1624

Witheride Hundredcre

Combe Pishe   

(probably Creacombe - just south of Knowstone) Terr

..……… Shapcott

Cruse Morcharde Pish

(Cruwys Morchard) Bonor

Thomas Shapcott

Hundred De Broadninch

Broadninch (Bradninch)


Nil Goodes

Henerie Sheppcotte

Hundred De Broadninch



Alexander Shapcott


Devon Muster Rolls

A list of persons liable to serve in the armed forces.  Devon Muster Roll  (1524 – 1527)


John Shapcotte Snr.  Goods Value G6

John Shapcott Jnr. Goods Value G3

Kentisbeare Parish

John Shapcote Goods Value W1

Devon Muster Roll  1569

Knowstone Parrishe

Philip Shapcott Goods Value - G 7 (£10 - £20)

1 bow1

Shaef of arrows

1 steel cap

1 bill

Robert Shapcoat - Pikeman

Shapcote Pardon

A pardon unto ---------- Shapcote for and concerning

the death and killing of --------- TILDESLEY

with exhibition of lands and goods etc.

WHITEHALL  September 30th 1674.

Public Record Office - State Papers - Domestic - Vol. 334 f4

Shapcote Pardon

A pardon to THOMAS SHAPCOATE, Gent, for and concerning

the death and killing of JOHN TILDESLEY Esq.

and of necessaries inquisitions and indictments etc.

WHITEHALL  October 29th 1674     By etc.  J. WILLIAMSON

The jury at the first enquiry on September 7th 1674 found that TILDESLEY

was unarmed and was not the aggressor

and that THOMAS SHAPCOTE feloniously and maliciously killed the said JOHN.

FRANCIS HAWLEY of St Giles-in-the-Fields and THOMAS SHARLEY of St Pauls,

Covent Garden were indicted for receiving and housing THOMAS SHAPCOATE against the place.





And other Kings Justices of the Peace and 17 jurors all named in these records.

MR SHAPCOATES - 5th October  Pardon Warrant £5

MR SHAPCOATES - 5th November  Pardon Bill £5

Public Record Office - State Papers - Domestic - Vol. 334 f20

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