Bickleigh village, on the east bank of the river Exe, 4 miles south of Tiverton and 10 miles north of Exeter, has in its parish 362 souls and 1835 acres of land, including Chederleigh hamlet. Sir W. P. Carew is lord of the manors and owner of a great part of the soil; and the rest belongs to Sir T. D. Acland, Dr. Troyte and a few smaller proprietors. Bickleigh anciently belonged to a family of its own name, and passed from the Courtenays to a younger branch of the Carews.
The celebrated Bampfylde Moore Carew, commonly called the King of the Beggars, was the son of the Rev. Theodore Carew, rector of Bickleigh. He was born here in 1690, and , after his extraordinary and various peregrinations and adventures, spent the last two years of his life in his native village, and was buried in the church in 1758. Here also was buried Major John Gabriel Stedman, who published the History of Surinam and died in 1797.
The church (St. Mary) was mostly rebuilt in 1843 at the cost of about £1400. It has a tower and five bells, and contains several neat monuments of the Carew family, one of which has recumbent effigies of a knight and a lady. The rectory, valued in the King's Book at £18. 4s. 9½p, and in 1831 at £434, is in the patronage of Sir W. P. Carew and incumbency of the Rev. Robert Baker Carew MA, who has a good residence and 60 acres of glebe. The tithes were commuted in 1842 for £359 per annum.
In 1708, £95 poor's money was laid out in the purchase of 4 acres of land, called Ware Park, now let for £10 10s. per annum. There is also £100 three per cent stock, purchased with money which arose from the sale of timber felled on the said land. The annual income (£13. 10s) is distributed about Christmas among the most deserving poor; as is also £15, arising from three-fourths of the rent of two cottages and 1½ acres of land at Tiverton, left by John Lovell.
Baker, John, tailor
Carew, Rev. Robert Baker, M.A. Rector
Gould, Benjamin, wheelwright
Hellier, Mary, schoolmistress
Kemp & Carthew, corn millers
Tapscott, Frederick, shoemaker & Parish Clerk
Upton, James, blacksmith
Berry, William, Higher Britties
Cook, Thomas, Bickleigh Court barton
Gill, John, Chederleigh
Jarman, Susan, Mill Hays
Page, Charles, Lower Britties
Pitt, John, Well Place
Pitt, Robert, Shot Ash
Pratt, Henry, Burn Estate
Tremlet, Francis, Burn Hayes
Wippell, William, Bickleigh Court