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England & Wales Hardwicke Marriage Index
Marriages 1754 - 1837
Abbots Bickington St James


The Parish

The parish of Abbots Bickington lies in northwestern Devon not too far from its border with neighbouring Cornwall. Abbots Bickington is located about 6 miles north of the small market town of Holsworthy and sits just over a mile north of the A388 road which connects Holsworthy with Bideford. Abbots Bickington is little more than a hamlet with no defined village, simply a collection of farms and cottages spread over an area sitting to the west of the valley of the Torridge. Like many parishes in Devon Abbots Bickington would have largely earned its living from pastoral farming, predominantly of dairy cattle, however the local limestone produces a workable marble so some quarrying for decorative stone and working of the same would have diversified matters. The Torridge drains the parish southeastwards before turning back north close to Hatherleigh and reaching the Irish Sea through the port of Bideford. Abbots Bickington sits high on a ridge above the Torridge at around 170 metres above the sea, the resulting plateau is at that height or rising gently to just under 200 metres within a few miles. Abbots Bickington parish was one of the smaller in this area, covering only slightly more than 1,000 acres it would only have supported a population of between 50 & 100 parishioners. In Domesday times Abbots Bickington was equally small, held by one Gerald the Chaplain it could muster just 3 ploughs as well as some meadows, pastures & woodland.  

The Church

St Peter's church sits at the notional centre of Abbots Bickington, a group of farms a mile east of Five Lanes Cross and high above the nearby Torridge. The church is a small one of nave & chancel augmented by a southern transept and with a western tower. The church has its origins in the early 14th century and Pevsner notes that the windows of nave, chancel & southern transept confer a date of close to 1300 and are in the Decorated style of that era. Like many churches St Peter received a restoration in Victorian times, here the date is given as 1868 but the work was either light or sensitive as for once Pevsner does not berate the perpetrators. The lane which approaches the church performs a series of sharp right-angled bends around the farm complex, St Peter sits to the south of this group approached along the farm access drive, the lane is narrow and parking should be done with care. Once within the churchyard it is open and with no obstacles to photography.

The Records

Register No Covering Dates Deposited With Register Style Quality Standard Comments
1 1754 - 1812 Devon Record Office Loose leaf folios Grade 5 Register - the condition of this register is such that the transcript carries a "health warning" as to the likelihood of being substantially incorrect Registers prior to 1813 have been lost - entries here are retrieved from Bishop's Transcripts
Whilst the quality of surviving BTs is good there are notable gaps in the coverage leading to a likelihood of some omissions
2 18th February 1813 - 25th April 1833 Devon Record Office - Reference - 2965A/PR/1/3 Standard Rose style preprinted and prenumbered Marriage register Grade 2 Register - not a perfect read but with a low likelihood of misreads None

West Putford St Stephen
West Putford St Stephen
Bulkworthy St Michael
Sutcombe St Andrew
Bulkworthy St Michael
Sutcombe St Andrew
Milton Damerel Holy Trinity
Newton St Petrock
Milton Damerel Holy Trinity

Register Reference Date Groom Forename Groom Surname Groom Status Groom Abode Bride Forename Bride Surname Bride Status Bride Abode
10/06/1770 Samuel BALSON

Elizabeth OXENHAM

01/04/1771 Thomas BLIGHT

Margaret COLE

05/11/1771 George LEWIS
East Putford Priscilla SQUIRE

02/06/1772 William SQUIRE


19/09/1772 William HANCOCK


19/10/1772 Robert GLIDDON


23/02/1773 John PERKIN


12/04/1773 Richard JEFFORD
Sutcombe Mary RIDGE

21/07/1773 Thomas REED

Elizabeth ROBBINS
West Putford
01/03/1774 John LEWIS
Milton Damerel Mary SHORT

17/04/1774 Arthur PETHERICK


14/08/1782 Thomas MORISH


15/05/1785 Richard MASON


02/05/1793 Daniel PETHERICK


14/11/1798 James TUCKER


26/12/1804 William NORMAN Single Buckland Brewer Elizabeth REED Single
14/03/1808 John NORMAN
Buckland Brewer Grace REED

16/03/1808 John RIDGE
West Putford Mary MARTIN

25/03/1808 John FOWLER
Bulkworthy Elizabeth SQUIRE

26/06/1808 John BOND
West Putford Elizabeth MARTIN

20/03/1809 John BRADDON


20/03/1810 Samuel GOODMAN
Bulkworthy Elizabeth PILMAN

20/03/1810 Samuel GOODMAN
Bulkworthy Elizabeth SANDERS

1 18/02/1813 William MORRISH

Grace GLOVER Single
2 29/03/1813 William PERRY
West Putford Grace FOWLER Widow
3 31/03/1814 Thomas BROWN Single Hollacombe Catherine REED Single
4 14/12/1818 John MARTYN

Grace DOBB
West Putford
5 27/11/1824 Richard SOLLOW


6 02/04/1828 John HUTCHINS
Cookbury Mary PETHERICK

7 28/03/1831 James BREND


8 04/04/1832 William COURTICE


9 25/04/1833 Philip BEAR


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