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A Family History of Religious Migration
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The Devon branch of the Chevers/Chievre/Cheever(s) Family.
Hemyock Castle


Another view of Gatehouse.

A view of the Northwest Tower


Portrait of William and Margaret

St Mary's Church
(Chevers common Church name found in 5 countries)

Walking through Devon England Click Me to Migrate

Hemyock Castle.
A Norman fortified manor dating from the 12th century and strengthened in
1380 with a large gatehouse, moat and a high curtain wall with 7 towers. In
1660 following the Civil War it was slighted and most of the stone used for
building, leaving only ruins.

The Civil War of 1642 In 1642, the long disputes between King Charles I and Parliament erupted into Civil War. By this time, the Popham family owned Hemyock Castle. It was garrisoned and held for Parliament. The defences of Hemyock Castle were probably outdated and may well have fallen into disrepair. When the Castle was garrisoned, it was presumably repaired and strengthened. It may have been modified and equipped with light cannon to supplement the original medieval arrow-loops and crenellations. The garrison would also have re-instituted the network of outer defences, passwords and sentry posts to defend all approach routes. The Castle was used as a prison and a base for the collection of taxes to fund the Parliamentary forces. Important prisoners would have been ransomed back to their own side (raising further funds), or been exchanged for Parliamentary prisoners. Siege of Hemyock Castle In 5/6 March 1644 (1643 by some records) Major Carne attacked Hemyock Castle with a Royalists force. They were beaten off. Major Carne and many others were killed. On 9 March, the Royalists attacked Hemyock again, this time with an overwhelming force drawn from their garrisons at Axminster, Colyton, Chard, Exeter, Taunton and Bridgewater. Commanded by Lord Poulett, Sir John Berkeley, Sir Richard Cholmondeley, Colonel Blewitt and others; they forced the "rebels" into the Castle. Next morning, the Parliamentarians surrendered the Castle together with 200 prisoners, 10 officers and 80 horse. Three of the Parliamentary defenders were hanged on the spot and the rest were taken as prisoners to Exeter. The local people were treated very harshly. Colonel John Were (aka. Ware) of the Parliamentary forces was later charged with cowardice over various incidents in Devon and Cornwall. In his written defence, he gave a detailed account of the Siege of Hemyock. Some time later, Parliamentary forces regained Hemyock Castle. The Castle was slighted (destroyed) during or soon after the Civil War and became a farm. The Culm Valley around Hemyock was noted for theproduction of cloth or serge. Other industries included whetstone mining. Sir John Popham who owned Hemyock Castle supported Parliament at this time.

Devonshire Castle.
From the Domesday book:

Manors Held from the King
William Cheever, or Chievre,Was at the Battle of Hastings.
Became a senior Baron of Devon, holding 47 lordships in barony
in Devonshire. He and his brother Gosfried held in Normandy at
La Chieve (Capra, Chevercourt, Capricuia) in the Seine-Inf. They
were allied to the Busli or Bullys. William later became one of
the chief barons under King William Rufus. His daughter, Sibylla,
married Robert, Sire de Cuilla.

Manors: Ash, Barton, Awliscombe, Badgworthy, Bradford Witheridge, Colebrook,
Cullompton, Hemyock?? Ivedon, Lynton, Mackham, Membury, Mildon, Pirzwell,
Puddington, Radworthy, North Molton, Shillingford, Southleigh, Virworthy,
West Putford, Whipton, Yowlestone, Cadeleigh, Buckland, Braunton, Buckland,
Haccombe, Combe-in-Teignhead, Countisbury, Eastleigh, Huntshawl, lkerton,
Ingsdon, North Buckland, Oakford, Rapshays, Lyn.

Devon and Cornwall Notes
Read more about Devon and the Chevers

Obit of Forbes MacBean Chevers