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Devon County

Devonshire Rgt.

Directory Listings





Parish Records




War Memorials



Bere (of Beer) Alston is a small borough town in the western part of the county , and within a mile of the navigable river Tamar. It is governed by a portreeve, who is always the returning officer for members to serve in parliament; it sends thither two members.


In Bere Alston is a large tree, under which a court is annually held for choosing the portreeve, town-officers, and parliament members, and from thence adjourn to an inn. This being a burgage-tenure* borough, and the property of the Earl of Beverley, to whom it was bequeathed by the will of his father, the late Duke of Northumberland, its representation depends upon the will of that nobleman.


Although an ancient borough by prescription, the right of sending members was not restored to them until the 27 Eliz.* The right of election is in those who have land in the borough, and pay three-pence acknowledgement to the lord. The number of electors depends entirely upon the will of the lord, who may grant burgage-tenures*, which are usually reigned, in this and all similar boroughs, to their legal owners, immediately after the election is concluded. The number therefore of voters may be said to be sufficiently but one, although the burgage-tenures have sometimes amounted to 100. The Earl of Beverley is patron of the Borough.


The parish church of Bere Alston is about a mile and a half distant from the town (in what is now called Bere Ferris); it is a neat little edifice by the side of the river Tavy. In the parish of Bere Alston are four silver mines belonging to Christopher Gullet, Esq. which produce a large quantity of silver; he has also a commodious smelting house.


Bere Alston is 6 miles distant from Tavistock, 14 from Plymouth and 212 from London. It has a market weekly on Saturday.


*Burgage Tenure created Burgesses, who, by paying rent to the lord, were free to get on with their lives as they wished. Peasants or serfs held their land in return for labour, with the lord always having first call on their time.

**In the 18th century, dates connected with law-making were expressed in this way. 27 Eliza. meant the 27th year of Elizabeth's reign which began in 1558 so the reference is to 1585.


NB: Alphabetical order is attempted but not achieved in this listing!


Gullet, Christopher, Esq.

Snell, Captain William

Wreford, Mr. William


Sort, Rev. Mr.


Adams, William, bargeman

Ayres, William, shoemaker

Barkle, William, miner

Barrett, Alexander, miner

Bray, Thomas, miner

Brooming, William, taylor

Brooming, John, shoemaker

Burley, James, butcher

Cauly, Henry, peruke (wig) maker

Channon, George, carpenter

Channon, Benjamin, carpenter

Choke, Jacob, bargeman

Cock, Richard, mason

Cook, John, miner

Cudlipp, John, husbandman

Gartry, Edwarad, miner

Goodland, Joseph, gardener

Gryte, Walter, shoemaker

Gary, William, miner

Hatch, Charles, mason

Hidges, Elizabeth, victualler

Hooper, Thomas, husbandman

Hicks, Tabitha, victualler

Hicks, John, broom maker

Hutchings, Elizabeth, schoolmistress

Hughes, Matthew, writing master

Hurford, William, farmer

Jones, John, miner

Light, Walter, wood dealer

Lorry, Thomas, miner

Lobb, Richard, shopkeeper

Metters, Richard, bargeman

Moore, Richard, miner

Morgan, John miner

Morgan, William, refiner

Ough, William, taylor

Paty, Susanna, shopkeeper

Paul, James. miner

Pode, Peter, mason

Pouning, William, carpenter

Reynolds, James, miner

Richards, Samuel, blacksmith

Richards, Simon, miner

Richards, John, carpenter

Rundle, Richard, cooper

Sandoe William. miner

Sandoe, Anthony, shopkeeper

Sandoe, Armenal, schoolmistress

Sarahs, Jacob, bargeman

Small, Samuel, bargeman

Sowton, Richard, shopkeeper

Stevens, Jane, draper

Stevens, Thomas, miner

Tellam, John, blacksmith

Tratten, John, miner

Trenemon, Robert, wood dealer

Waters, Richard, blacksmith

Webber, William, butcher


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