Rev Charles Rookes

Rev Charles Rookes was born in Exeter in 1798. His parents Robert and Mary lived on a farm on the Topsham Road near Countess Weir. He was baptised at Heavitree. (Heavitree Parish at that time stretched from Countess Weir to Whipton.) After his father died in 1821, his mother moved to Hill’s Court, off Longbrooke Street in Exeter, where Charles was to spend most of the rest of his life.

Charles was educated at Jesus College, Cambridge, graduating LL.B. in 1824.

In 1823 he was appointed Curate in Stawley, Somerset.

In Jun 1829 he was appointed Rector of Teffont Evias, in Wiltshire. That November, aged 31, in Bath, he married Mary Rudsdell (1792-1878), daughter of the late Capt Richard Rudsdell RN and his wife Easter. He resigned from his position in Teffont Evias a year later.

The couple separated in April 1831; he seems to have returned to Exeter while his wife thereafter lived in Bath with her mother. In July that year their son, Charles Arthur Rookes was born. He died aged 21 while he was in Demerara, Guyana.

In Easter Rudsell’s will dated 1838, she claimed that her son-in-law Rev Rookes had broken his “sacred promise” to repay her money owed from the time he and her daughter were married.


Rev Charles Rookes was inducted Rector of Nymet Rowland in November 1837 by the Bishop of Exeter, in succession to Rev John Arundel Radford (who had resigned) on the presentation of the patron, his brother Lewis Arundell Radford, a druggist then of Beeston, Nottingham.