Reprint of a second article by The late Dorothy Shapcote of Plymouth (continued)




“Goodes and Chattells” mentioned in the Will of Elizabeth Shapcote,

wife of Philip Shapcote, Esq.


Bequeathed to: Rev. R. Rosier

Two little greene stools embroidered with black velvet


Bequeathed to: Sandford (female)

Legatee’s owne picture, Large sweett bagg wrought with divers coates of Armes, all in silk “Cosen”


Bequeathed to: Urith Shapcote

Twelve choice best bookes


Bequeathed to: Revs. R. Rosier and Martin Wight

Rest of her books between


Bequeathed to: Amye Courtenay

Large cabinet in her closet and looking-glasse and Cornish of Gumworke fflowers, the work of her daughter,

Elizabeth with the case box belonginge to the same




Since writing the above I have received from Miss Cresswell extracts from various Shapcote (-cott) Wills, and among them a copy of the Will of Anne Shapcote, daughter of Philip, who died at Knowstone in 1703.  Anne died in 1735, apparently at Whithycombe Raleigh.


The Will is dated March 19, 1712-1713, and reads thus:-


I Anne Shapcote of Whithycombe Raleigh, spinster.

To the use of the poor of Knowstone, where my father lived and dyed, 5 pounds


To my sister Katherine Shapcote all my Messuages and tenements.  Residue to my said sister Katherine, sole executrix.


Anne Shapcott



Elizabeth Vigurs

Frances Gibbon


Proved June 2, 1735.


Anne’s elder sister Urith had died in February 1712, so probably the surviving sisters made Wills after her death.  Urith was buried at Knowstone, but whether she lived on there or whether all three of Philip’s daughters went away from the old house at the time of their father’s death cannot be said.


Anne had reached the age of 73, a long life for that period, and had survived Urith by 23 years. She was born at Shute in 1662 when Charles II, was only just settled on the throne after his “travels”.  She died when George II had been reigning eight years.  James II, William and Mary, Anne and George I, they had all occupied the throne of England while this spinster lady dwelt quietly in the remoteness of Devon.  In her namesake’s reign she had nearer connection with the court than, presumably, most of her neighbours, for her cousin “Will” Pole (Sir William of Shute) was Master of the household to Queen Anne, and a sorry time he must have had if his term of office coincided with Duchess Sarah’s ascendancy.  Did Anne and Katherine Shapcote know of the feuds in the Royal household, and wonder how “Cousin Will” managed all those termagant females?


Probably not, distances were too great then, and news travelled very slowly to such spots as Withycombe Raleigh.  Anne would at that period have been only between 40 or 50.  Quite able to enjoy gossip!


No record exists in the “Kalender of Wills in Exeter Probate Registry” of any Will in administration deed of Katherine Shapcote – only Anne emerges from the darkness which seems to fall upon the Knowstone family after the deaths of her little nephews Daniel and Shadrath in 1698 and 1710 respectively, and the burial of her own sister Urith at Knowstone in 1712.


There did not appear to be anymore connection between Anne “of Withycombe Raleigh” and Knowstone than between any of the other Shapcotes whose Wills have just lately been perused, but there was, and I was hoping some day to find traces of the Philip or Walter who have up to now vanished completely.


Dorothy Shapcote






















Articles By Dorothy Shapcote (continued)





























































































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