Revisiting Some Medieval Documents of Widecombe Church Book Cover
Revisiting Some Medieval Documents of Widecombe Church Book Cover

Revisiting Some Medieval Documents of Widecombe Church

A booklet of 32 pages plus cover with 11 illustrations in full colour

Written by Roger Claxton

Shedding light on Widecombe Church’s early history

All sales profits are donated to Widecombe Church

£5.00 (plus postage)

Local collection is available to avoid postage

❃ A rector being chased for an unpaid tailor’s debt

❃ The lord of the manor trying to pay for his daughter’s wedding, and,

❃ An unexpected connection with a Cornwall parish.

These are just three of the things discovered from this study of documents

relating to Widecombe Church dating from the 13th century.

First published in the 2023 Devonshire Association Transactions

and now available as a separate booklet.



Produced by the Widecombe Study & Research Group.

Additional supporting material for the booklet is available from:

This additional material includes a comprehensive glossary of terms and an addendum that discusses the possible whereabouts of 'Wodehaye', a location that is mentioned in one of the documents discussed in the booklet, as well as a full transcription and translation of the Exeter Cathedral documents.

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This booklet investigates the earliest known surviving ecclesiastical documents that concern Widecombe Church. It aims to clarify what these documents reveal about the events and personalities recorded in them and considers how Widecombe Church integrated into the wider context of the Church in Devon and beyond. As a result, new information has emerged about the people and places involved that revises and enhances current understanding of the events of the time. The original documents are to be found in the Exeter Cathedral Archive and the archives of the South West Heritage Trust and a number are reproduced here to give the reader an immediate connection to these intriguing past events.


I would like to thank the staff of the Archive of the Dean and Chapter of Exeter Cathedral, especially Ellie Jones, for their help in providing the original images of the documents in their possession and giving me permission to use them, and for putting up with my queries and requests, and also the South-West Heritage Trust for their similar help with the documents in their care. Also, to the staff at Exeter Library for helping me to locate Emden’s Oxford and Cambridge Biographies. I would also like to thank all those, past and present, who have researched and written about Widecombe’s history, including Robert Dymond, whose work in the late nineteenth century is still so important today, and who covered some of the ground of this paper back in 1876.

This work would not have been possible without the invaluable assistance of Dr John Booker as I grappled with the Latin texts and sought clarifications from him. My thanks are also due to Tim Whitten, David Ashman and to my wife, Ann, who all provided valuable feedback on versions of the text. Of course, the words are mine and I take full responsibility for the content. Finally, I am very grateful to the anonymous correspondents and reviewers for their constructive criticism and suggestions, as well as to the editor for guiding me through the typographical requirements and other matters.

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