Revd Bartholomew Davey (1728-1775): Curate at Bow 1753-1772

The son of a mayor of Tiverton, Bartholomew Davey was educated at Blundell’s School from where he was awarded a scholarship to Balliol, Oxford, when he was 16.


He was appointed curate in Bow 1753, while Samuel Newte was Rector.

In Tiverton in 1758, he married Honour Hutchings, youngest daughter of John Hutchings of Moretonhampstead and Mary Ballyman of Uffculme.

They had five children whilst living in the Parsonage in Bow. In February 1772, Davey married John Heard and Mary Wellington but "being seized with a palsy" was unable to sign the register. He had presumably had a stroke.The Daveys then moved back to Tiverton, where they had one more daughter, before Bartholomew died there in 1775.

Honour Hutchings had two sisters – Mary who married William Beckwith, and Sarah. Sarah claimed to have married Robert Stedman in a Catholic ceremony in the Chapel of the Sardinian Ambassador to London in 1752. Robert was a peruke (wig) maker in London. At that time there were several Stedmans involved in wig making in London.

In about 1757 Robert became insolvent. They moved to Bow in Devon where they lived in the Parsonage with Sarah's sister, the Revd Davey and their children. Soon Robert emigrated to find work in Charleston in South Carolina.

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In 1757 Thomas Ballyman, an attorney in Tiverton, died intestate. The three sisters Sarah, Mary and Honour (nee Hutchings) as his nieces and as next of kin should have shared his considerable inheritance; however Mary (Beckwith) obtained letters of administration and Sarah had to fight for her share.

Robert Stedman, “peruke maker of Bow”.


When Robert Stedman arrived in Charleston, he continued his trade as a peruke maker and barber, and probably also as a planter of indigo. He worked in partnership with a John Boomer.

Stedman died in 1766, and was buried in the cemetery of Saint Michael Protestant Episcopal Church in Charleston, South Carolina. The epitaph reads:



IN MEMORY of

ROBERT STEDMAN

who died on ye 9th of

Septr AD 1766 in ye

43d year of his Age

He was much respected

and therefore is

regretted by all who

knew him.”


The gravestone in Charleston is very well preserved.


Click on image for detail - note the peruke


Photo Courtesy The Raven Spoke

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Three years after his death, his inheritance (claimed by his wife Sarah), was contested in London by his brother Charles, who claimed that Robert had died intestate, a bachelor, with no living parents. The case concerned "all and singular the goods and chattels and credits of Robert Stedman late of Bow otherwise Nymetracy in the County of Devon formerly of the City of London but at Charles Town in South Carolina deceased". Sarah and Charles both believed that Boomer had retained all her late husband’s estate. Sarah won the legal challenge.


When the Daveys moved to Tiverton she went with them, and she died there in 1779. In her will everything was left to her widowed sister Honour Davey, including land and property in Uffculme, Moretonhampstead, and North and South Bovey.

 

 

The National Archives has several items of correspondence from Robert and Charles Stedman addressed to Sarah Stedman whilst she lived in the Parsonage in Bow between 1763 and 1766.


Sarah was related to two Ballyman brothers born in Uffculme who converted to Roman Catholicism. They both trained at Lambspring Abbey in Hannover, Germany. John (1734-1783) died there as Prior of the Abbey. Thomas (1737-1795) settled in Salford but died in Bath.