|Bassett of Heanton|
Umberleigh House, Atherington, Devon
|The porch stonework from Umberleigh reused as a garden gateway at Watermouth Castle.|
Very little is known about the house they occupied here in the 16th and 17th centuries, but it was evidently remodelled or rebuilt in 1525 for Sir John Bassett (d. 1528), for that is the date on the porch which was removed to the grounds of Watermouth Castle in the 19th century.
In the 18th century the house was largely superseded by Heanton Court as the chief family residence, and in the 19th century the estate passed to the Davie (later Basset) family whose seat was at Watermouth Castle. The house has thus been used as a farmhouse for over 200 years. The blind canted bay referred to above belongs to a remodelling of around 1825, which included the reordering of the interior, new sash windows, new wall-heads and guttering, and the replacement of the Tudor porch with a more sophisticated Tuscan one. The interiors are still largely as reworked in this late Georgian revamping. At the rear of the house there is an east wing which was less altered in the 19th century as it became a separate dwelling, and which preserves four 17th century roof trusses. At the back of the house Victorian outbuildings conceal some lancet windows and the blocked doorway of a 13th century chapel built for Lady Joan Champernowne, which is said to have been taken down in 1800.
Heanton Court, Heanton Punchardon, Devon
|Heanton Court: watercolour of the house in 1796 by Rev. John Swete.|
|Heanton Court: the surviving portion of the house today. Image: Alan Hughes. Some rights reserved.|
Watermouth Castle, Berrynarbor, Devon
|Watermouth Castle: the Palladian house of the Davie family, drawn by the Rev. John Swete in 1796.|
|Watermouth Castle: an aquatint published in Ackerman's Repository of the Arts in 1825.|
|Watermouth Castle: an engraving of 1829 shows the house substantially in its current form.|
|Watermouth Castle: the side and rear elevations from much the same position as the views of 1825 and 1829. |
|Watermouth Castle: the hall and staircase in about 1900.|
Bassett family of Heanton Court and Watermouth Castle
(1) Ann Bassett (c.1572-1664), born about 1572; married, 1 October 1591, John Chichester (1567-1608) of Hall and Westcote (Devon) and had issue two sons and four daughters; died 1664 and was buried at Marwood (Devon);(2) Sir Robert Bassett (1574-1641), kt. (q.v.);(3) Dudley Bassett (b. 1576), baptised at Barnstaple, 29 December 1576; died before 1585;(4) Margaret Bassett (c.1578-1619), born after 1575; married, reputedly on 8 November 1592, Richard Duke (c.1567-1641) of Otterton (Devon) and had issue seven sons and four daughters; died 9 July 1619 and was buried at Otterton;(5) Sir Arthur Bassett (c.1580-1640), born about 1580; accompanied his uncle, Sir Arthur Chichester, Lord Deputy of Ireland, to Ireland in c.1605 and settled in Belfast; an officer in the army in Ireland (Capt.) and Provost Marshal of Munster, 1607 but had acquired lands in Co. Antrim by 1608; MP for Newry, 1613 and Bangor (Co. Down), 1634, in the Irish Parliament; awarded (jointly with Francis Blundell) a three-year grant of wardships in Connaught in 1614; knighted, 18 July 1616; a commissioner to raise money for the army in Tyrone in 1627, and was still active in military affairs in Ulster in 1629, when he imposed martial law in Co. Tyrone; died unmarried and was buried next to his uncle in the Chichester vault in Carrickfergus church, 2 July 1640;(6) William Bassett (b. c.1582; fl. 1585); born about 1582; living in 1585;(7) Francis Bassett (b. 1584), baptised at Atherington, 19 May 1584; living in 1585(8) John Bassett (b. 1585), baptised at Atherington, 30 June 1585.
(1) Arthur Bassett (b. & d. c.1593); eldest son; died in infancy;(2) Anne Bassett (1595-1631); married, 17 December 1614, Jonathan Rashleigh MP (1591-1675) of Menabilly (Cornw.) (who m2, 1633, Mary, daughter of John Harris of Radford near Plymouth), son of John Rashleigh, and had issue five children; died June 1631;(3) Col. Arthur Bassett (1597-1673) (q.v.);(4) Elizabeth Bassett (b. c.1599; fl. 1640), born about 1599; married, 1621, George Yeo (1597-1671) of Huish (Devon), son of Leonard Yeo, and had issue three sons and four daughters; living in 1640;(5) Frances Bassett (1600-01), baptised at Heanton Punchardon, 16 December 1600; died in infancy and was buried at Heanton Punchardon, 4 June 1601;(6) William Bassett (1602-34), born 28 March 1602; died unmarried, 7 May 1634 and was buried at Atherington, where he is commemorated by a monument;(7) Eleanor Bassett (1605-35); died unmarried; will proved 18 February 1634/5;(8) Mary Bassett (b. 1606; fl. 1634); died unmarried after 1634.(9) Thomas Bassett;(10) John Bassett.
(1) John Bassett (1631-60) (q.v.);(2) Arthur Bassett (1632-56), baptised at Northam, 27 September 1632; educated at Oriel College, Oxford (matriculated 1652) and Middle Temple (admitted 1653); said to have married and had issue one son who died young; buried at Temple Church, London, 6 December 1656, 'in the Round Walk at the north end of the iron grate where the Knight Templars' monuments are';(3) William Bassett (b. & d. 1634), baptised at Northam, 18 September 1634; died in infancy and was buried at Northam, 9 October 1634;(4) Francis Bassett (c.1635-72), born about 1635; probably the man of this name educated at Oriel College, Oxford (matriculated 1652); buried at Heanton Punchardon, 10 September 1672.
(1) John Bassett (1654-86) (q.v.);(2) Arthur Bassett (1655-81), born 16 July 1655 and baptised at Atherington (Devon); educated at Exeter College, Oxford (matriculated 1673; BCL 1680); died unmarried, October 1681, and was buried at Heanton Punchardon;(3) Francis Bassett (1657-93) (q.v.):(4) Thomas Bassett (1659-60), born 19 June 1659 and baptised at Heanton Punchardon; died in infancy, April 1660.
(1) John Bassett (c.1682-1721) (q.v.);(2) Elizabeth Bassett (d. 1714/27); married, 3 March 1710/1 at Heanton Punchardon, Thomas Davie of Orleigh Court, Buckland Brewer (Devon), but had no issue; buried at Buckland Brewer, 7 April 1714 or 7 November 1727.
(1) John Bassett (1714-57) (q.v.);(2) Elizabeth Bassett (b. 1716-26?), born 6 October and baptised at Heanton Punchardon, 10 October 1716; probably the person of this name who was buried at Heanton Punchardon, 28 January 1725/6;(3) Francis Bassett (1719-24?), baptised at Heanton Punchardon, 29 June 1719; probably the person of this name buried at Heanton Punchardon, 2 April 1724.
(1) Elizabeth Eustatia Bassett (1737-1812), baptised at Powderham, 27 September 1737; married 1st, 31 August 1762 at Atherington (Devon) (div. 1778), John Campbell Hooke* (later John Hooke Campbell) (1733-95) of Bangerstone (Pembs), Lord Lyon King of Arms, son of John Campbell of Cawdor (Nairns), and had issue one son and four daughters; they were divorced by Act of Parliament in 1778 after she committed adultery with William Wade (1733-1809)**, Master of Ceremonies at Brighton, whom she married 2nd, 30 June 1787 at St. Marylebone (Middx), as his second wife; she died in Brighton about November 1812;(2) John Montagu Bassett (1738-48), baptised at Heanton Punchardon, 10 February 1738/9; died young and was buried at Heanton Punchardon, 21 February 1747/8;(3) Francis Bassett (1740-1802) (q.v.);(4) Eleanora Bassett (1741-1800) (q.v.).
(1) Joseph Davie (later Bassett) (1764-1846) (q.v.);(2) Rev. Charles Davie (1765-1836), born 18 August and baptised at Buckland Brewer, 15 October 1765; educated at Trinity College, Oxford (matriculated 1784; BA 1788; MA 1790); ordained deacon, 1788 and priest, 1789; vicar of Buckland Brewer, 1790-1836 and rector of Heanton Punchardon, 1791-1836; prebendary of Exeter Cathedral, 1803-36; married, 2 June 1801 at St George, Hanover Sq., London, Bridget (1761-1828), daughter of John Boyfield of Westminster, and had issue one son and one daughter; died at Pilton, 6 February 1836 and was buried at Heanton Punchardon; will proved October 1836 and 14 June 1860 (effects under £3,000);(3) Eleanora Davie (1767-1840), born 4 December 1767 and baptised at Buckland Brewer, 19 May 1768; married, 22 September 1802 at Heanton Punchardon, Rev. Lewis Lewis (d. 1826), rector of Clovelly (Devon), 1796-1826, but had no issue; died 2 December 1840;(4) Juliana Davie (1768-1858), born 31 December 1768 and baptised at Buckland Brewer, 3 March 1769; married, 10 October 1798 at Berrynarbor, Rev. John Watson Beadon (1762-1835), rector of Christian Malford (Wilts) and precentor of Wells Cathedral, but had no issue; died 22 May and was buried at Bath Abbey, 28 May 1858; will proved 14 June 1858 (effects under £600);(5) Capt. John Davie (1770-1825), born 13 May and baptised at Buckland Brewer, 23 August 1770; an officer in the Royal Navy, 1782-1818 (Lt., 1793; Cdr. 1800; Captain, 1809; retired 1818); married, 7 February 1815 at St Clement Danes, London, Jemima (1783-1856), daughter of John Tappen of London, and had issue one son and one daughter; he also had an illegitimate son by Elizabeth Savory of Cheltenham, for whom he made provision in his will; he died at Heavitree, Exeter (Devon), 13 February 1825; his will was proved in the PCC, 21 April 1825;(6) Thomas Davie (b. 1771), born 21 May and baptised at Buckland Brewer, 18 December 1771; died young;(7) Eustacia Davie (1772-1843), born 21 May and baptised at Buckland Brewer, 10 September 1772; married, 21 August 1797 at Heanton Punchardon, Maj. William Shairp (1775-1840) JP DL of Kirkton (West Lothian) and the city of Rochester, an officer in the 29th Foot, and had issue nine sons and three daughters; died 11 November and was buried at St Helier (Jersey), 17 November 1843;(8) Frances Davie (1773-1839), born 6 July and baptised at Buckland Brewer, 24 September 1773; lived at Ilfracombe (Devon); died unmarried 5 March, and was buried at Heanton Punchardon, 9 March 1839; will proved 8 June 1860 (effects under £1,000);(9) Harriet Davie (1774-1843), born 24 August and baptised at Buckland Brewer, 13 October 1774; died unmarried and was buried at Heavitree, Exeter (Devon), 26 December 1843; administration of goods with will annexed granted 23 January 1844;(10) Francis Davie (b. 1777), baptised at Bideford (Devon), 7 February 1777; an officer in the Royal Marines (Lt.); died unmarried;(11) Peregrine Davie (1778-1824), born 15 April and baptised at Buckland Brewer, 27 May 1778; educated at Trinity College, Oxford (matriculated 1796); an officer in the East India Company's Madras army (Lt., 1800; Capt., 1812); married, 3 March 1808 at Bellary, Madras (India), Jane Durand, and had issue two sons and one daughter; buried at Madras (India), 1 May 1824; will proved at Madras, 7 June 1824;(12) Mary Davie (1780-1859?), born 27 April and baptised at Buckland Brewer, 31 July 1780; married 1st, 14 February 1811 at Cannanore (India), Capt. John Alexander Lumsden (d. c.1812), by whom she had issue one son, and 2nd, 6 October 1813 at Cannanore, Michael Jones (d. 1865), paymaster of 30th Foot, and had issue one son; living in 1843 and possibly the woman of this name who died at Craig House (Co. Sligo), 15 June 1859;(13) Henry Davie (1782-1809?), born 14 September 1782 and baptised at Buckland Brewer, 9 January 1783; probably the man of this name who was buried at Northam (Devon), 11 June 1809;(14) Charlotte Davie (c.1785-1857), born about 1785; married, 1 March 1803 at St Mary, Walcot, Bath (Som.), as his second wife, Jasper Debrisay (c.1727-1818) of Kilmacud (Co. Dublin) and later of Bath and Worcester, an officer in the 4th Dragoons who carried the colours of his regiment at the Battle of Culloden in 1746; they had issue one son; died at St. Helier (Jersey), 25 June 1857; will proved in the PCC, 19 November 1857.
(1) Arthur Davie (later Davie Bassett) (1801-70) (q.v.);(2) Augusta Mary Bassett (c.1802-68), born about 1802 and baptised at Berrynarbor, 9 February 1804; married, 17 April 1827 at Berrynarbor, Rev. William Bickford Coham (1792-1843) of Coham in Hatherleigh (Devon) and Dunsland (Devon), and had issue two sons and two daughters; died 8 October 1868;(3) Rev. Francis William Davie Bassett (1804-82), baptised at Berrynarbor, 9 February 1804; educated at Trinity College, Oxford (matriculated 1820; BA 1825); rector of Heanton Punchardon, 1836-82; married 1st, 27 April 1832 at Teignmouth (Devon), Mary (d. 1876), second daughter of William Cartwright of Teignmouth, but had no issue; married 2nd, 12 January 1877 at Heanton Punchardon, his housemaid, Mary (b. c.1852), daughter of John Newcombe; died 28 September 1882; will proved 3 November 1882 (effects £2,091);(4) John Davie Bassett (1804-92), born 7 October and baptised at Berrynarbor, 12 October 1804 (privately) and 11 June 1806 (publicly); educated at Edinburgh University (admitted 1823; MD 1827) and as a mature student at Magdalen Hall, Oxford (matriculated 1835); physician to the North Devon Infirmary, 1836, and later in private practice in Barnstaple; he was a great sportsman, a keen rider to staghounds, and an enthusiastic pedestrian, which latter sport he continued to pursue until an advanced age; married 1st, 5 June 1841 at Sandhurst (Glos), Sarah Elizabeth (1809-44), daughter of Robert Smith of Sandhurst, and had issue one daughter; married 2nd, 29 November 1848 at Walcot, Bath (Som.), Harriet (1808-83), daughter of Benjamin Aislabie of Lee Place (Kent), wine merchant, and widow of Capt. William Hilton (d. 1839) of the Indian Army; he died 19 March 1892 and was buried at Ide (Devon);(5) Mary Davie Bassett (1806-67), born 15 December 1806 and baptised at Berrynarbor, 16 August 1810; married, 2 January 1826 at Berrynarbor, Gen. Sir Hopton Stratford Scott KCB of Woodville, Lucan (Co. Dublin), son of Sir Hopton Scott KCB, and had issue four sons and four daughters; died at Woodville, 13 March 1867; will proved in Dublin, 11 April 1867 (effects under £12,000);(6) Joseph Davie Bassett (1809-12), born 1 October 1809 and baptised at Berrynarbor, 16 August 1810; died young, 1 May 1812 and was buried at Berrynarbor, 8 May 1812, where he is commemorated on his father's monument;(7) Eleanora Davie Bassett (1811-13), baptised at Berrynarbor, 14 May 1811; died in infancy, 17 March 1813 and was buried at Berrynarbor, where she is commemorated on her father's monument.
(1) Harriet Mary Bassett (1829-1920) (q.v.);(2) Rev. Arthur Crawfurth Davie Bassett (1830-80) (q.v.);(3) Francis Courtnay Bassett (b. & d. 1839), born about January 1839; died at Umberleigh House, Atherington, 1 May and was buried at Heanton Punchardon, 7 May 1839;(4) Eleanora Susan Bassett (1842-81), baptised at Chittlehampton (Devon), 17 October 1842; died unmarried, 21 November 1881; will proved 17 December 1881 (effects £90,599).
(1) Edith Williams (later Bassett) (1861-1943) (q.v.);(2) Walter Bassett Williams (later Bassett) (1863-1907), born 20 September 1863; an officer in the Royal Navy (Lt., 1884; ret. due to ill health, 1886) and later an engineer with Maudslay, Sons & Field (director, 1890; managing director, 1891), who manufactured ferris wheels, including the Wiener Reisenrad (1897), which remains one of Vienna's most popular tourist attractions; when this business was wound up in 1899 he founded the Bassett Screw and Nut Company at Houdeng (Belgium) which he managed until his death; Member of the Institute of Civil Engineers, 1904 (Associate, 1896); married, 18 November 1890 at Bideford (Devon), Ellen Caroline Charlotte (1863-1945), younger daughter of Admiral Sir William Dowell GCB, but had no issue; died 27 May 1907; administration of his goods granted to his widow, 18 November 1907 (estate in England, £17).
(1) Nina Eleanora Curzon (1883-86), born 18 July 1883; died young, 17 May 1886;(2) Charles Ernest Bassett Lothian Curzon (1885-1952), born 10 May 1885; educated at Wellington College; an officer in the merchant navy (Master, 1911) and trawler owner; served in First World War with Royal Navy Reserve (Lt., 1914); inherited Watermouth Castle from his mother but sold it in 1946 and lived latterly at Old Deer (Aberdeens); married, 13 January 1917 at Holy Trinity, Brompton (Middx), Geraldine Fosbury (c.1892-1962), daughter of Sir James Mills KCMG, shipowner, and had issue one son and two daughters; died 23 June 1952; will confirmed in Scotland and sealed in London, 19 February 1953;(3) Lorna Katherine Curzon (1887-1961), born Oct-Dec 1887; married 1st, 27 October 1908 at St George, Hanover Sq., London, Capt. Quentin Dick (1847-1923) of Walcot Park (Shrops) and Carantrila (Co. Galway) and 2nd, 4 August 1927 at St Mark, North Audley St., London, her first cousin once removed, Richard George Penn Curzon (1861-1929), 4th Earl Howe, but had no issue; she died 24 February 1961; will proved 12 April 1961 (estate £351,973).
Location of archives
Coat of arms
Can you help?
- Can anyone provide more information about the owners of Watermouth Castle after it was sold by the Curzon family in 1946?
- I should be most grateful if anyone can provide photographs or portraits of people whose names appear in bold above, and who are not already illustrated.
- Any additions or corrections to the account given above will be gratefully received and incorporated.