In 1723 North Tawton was a small market town situated on the River Taw. Favourable to farming, the parish occupied a fertile tongue of land and was about 20 miles west of Exeter.
The population was largely engaged in agriculture and cloth production, plus the usual tradesmen and labourers. Some may have been engaged in agriculture at busy times of the year and turned their hand to weaving at other times.
In 1723, 93 of the adult inhabitants of North Tawton aged 18 years or over, took the oath of allegiance to the Hanoverian King George I and signed the roll, including two probable Quakers. Four additional names have not been included, as three of these appear to be duplicated and are without a signature, while the fourth name has been crossed through. Of the 93 names 18 were women.