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
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.
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.