Oaths of Allegiance: Bow, 1723

By Rita Balado, Carole Herbert and Trish Rodbourne

Some of the known occupations and family details of the Bow Oath takers 1723: Part 2

Anne wife of John Heard marked 'A' at Crockerton Well, John signed on 24 September 1723. In total four family members went to Crockerton, the three males all signing. We know that John was buried on 23 January 1739 and that he was a glazier along with his relative Soloman, buried February 1788 (possibly his son). Soloman Heard also signed and examined the church accounts and was paid on separate occasion for mending and re-glazing windows in the church and church house. A Soloman Heard is recorded as churchwarden in 1710 and 1711. The name of Heard is still current in the village of Bow.

William Lake signed at Exeter Castle on 11 December 1723, 25 December being the deadline for signing. William was a butcher by trade and also a churchwarden in 1721

Isaac Langbridge marked 'L' at Crockerton Well on 24 September 1723. Isaac was a thatcher by trade being paid 8 shillings in 1722 for thatching over the chapel. That same year he also examined and signed the church accounts.

Daniel Marden marked 'M' at Exeter Castle in December 1723. We may infer from church account payments to him that he was a courier of sorts. He was paid for carrying the church bible and bringing home 'Common Prayer Book' also for carriage of a bag of lime for washing the church, 2 shillings and 6 pence.

Robert Parish marked 'P' at Crockerton Well on 24 September 1723. Robert was a builder, as records show he was paid for work on the chapel, and chapel chimney. He also paid his rent to the churchwardens for 1721/23/23/29.

Samuel Pitts signed his name at Crockerton Well on the 24 September and was the churchwarden for 1723 and 1724. The churchwarden's accounts give a sum of 12 shillings paid to Samuel Pitts for 400 shindles. This suggests that Samuel was also in the construction business. A number of the Pitts are mentioned as churchwardens from 1662 to 1723.

For the Rowden family we have four members listed. George, who marked 'R' at Crocketon Well on the 24 September 1723. From records it shows that a George Rowden son of Mark Rowden was baptised in February 1692. He would have been 31 years old at the time of signing. The churchwardens' accounts show he was paid 5 shillings for the carriage of sandstone for Bow church. A John Rowden who did not sign, was paid 2 shillings and 6 pence for sewing the lace around the communion cloth. Perhaps he was a tailor? A Richard Rowden, who also did not sign, was paid one shilling for mending the church gate.

Joseph Rowden was an innkeeper and signed at the Blue Anchor in Crediton on 21 October 1723. Of the remaining two entries it is tempting to think that Mark and Mary who both 'marked' at Exeter Castle on the same day, 5 December, were in fact married. Calculating from baptism and burial records they could have been in their mid fifties at the time of signing. Again, there are numerous mentions of the family name in old records indicating that it was a well established Bow name.

The Tozer family is well represented with six names on the list. Four signed at Exeter Castle, William marked 'T' on 4 December, a second William on 20 November 'marked'; a John Tozer who marked 'J' could have been the father of Samuel who signed and had been a churchwarden in 1706/08. There is a possibility that the second Samuel to have signed at Crockerton Well, (24 September) the group with most of the churchwardens, could have been the same man who later (20 November) travelled with members of his family to Exeter Castle. Many entries are found for the Tozer family but there are no references to two Samuels living at about the same time. The Tozers are an old Bow family and really need a whole section to themselves!

In a similar vein, William Western appears to come from a comfortably established family with various members being described as, Gent, yeoman, churchwarden and a bell in Nymet Tracy (Bow) church bears the name of a William Western as one of the donors. William was able to sign his name at the Crockerton Well gathering.

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