Ashford, Aveton Gifford

The following information about the farm of Ashford near Aveton Gifford, Devon, owned by the Hingston family in the nineteenth century, was passed to Andrew Hingston by W David Yabsley who was brought up there. A box of his family papers provide the following information:

Indenture of 4 parts 7-8-1818 Between Rev William Elford of Tavistock 1st part James Steere of Ashford 2nd part William Hingston of Holbeton 3rd part Andrew Hingston of Adston Holbeton 4th part, concerning lease and release of 26-3-1800. This is described as a very involved indenture concerning past leases of Ashford, containing numerous names from 1749 on, showing the right of Francis and James Steere to sell.

Conveyance in Fee of lands in Aveton Gifford 7-8-1818 The Rev W Elford by direction of Mr Francis Steere and James Steere to William Hingston.

Attorneys of Modbury, Servington Savory, John Andrews

Received from William Hingston the sum of 1678 being in full payment and discharge of all interest and principal money due to me on the within recited mortgage. Wm. Elford.

Received from William Hingston the sum of 1320-10s-0d which with the sum of 1678 paid to the said William by my direction. for principal and interest due on the within written mortgage making together the sum of 2998-10s-0d in full consideration of money paid to me. James Steere.

2-1-1891 Henry Hingston sold Ashford to Josias Yabsley for £1000 cash with £2000 on mortgage @ 3%. This mortgage was reconveyed on 9-7-1902 when Josias handed Ashford to his son Joseph Josiah. Mr David Yabsley believes this mortgage continued into the 1930's.

Ashford is still owned by the Yabsley family, as is Lewhill.

Hingston Borough was owned by J.J. Yabsley in the early 1900's.

This usefully supplements what is known from other family papers. The fact that both William Hingston and his brother Andrew had interests in the property in 1800 may be significant but there are few clues in the papers as to who actually farmed the property before 1828. The 1818 papers refer to William alone (his brother had died in 1802 but his property had passed to Andrew his eldest son). There is a draft lease in the name of Andrew Hingston for what appears to be farming land at Aveton Gifford dated 1824, though in the 1826 mortgage for Ashford Andrew is described as living at Brownston, Newton Ferrers. William had died in 1825 and Andrew was the residuary legatee, though it seems that once the legacies had been distributed the residue had no monetary value. The efforts to raise 3,000 by the sale of land at Holbeton, which are the subject of much of the business to which the legal bills relate, might have arisen because of Andrew's need to raise the capital value of the Ashford farm if he wanted it for himself, in order to satisfy the claims of the other legatees. It would seem that by January 1828 at the latest Andrew was living at Ashford because of a reference in his lawyer's bill to a meeting with him there. The information that the property was sold in 1891 ties in with the other accounts that Andrew's daughters Ann and Sarah lived on the rental income until their deaths. They probably leased it to Mr Yabsley soon after their father died. Henry inherited as their nearest living relative and would have been anxious to realise its capital value, probably with the intention of buying property abroad. If Mr Yabsley was only able to produce 1000 in cash that must have been a disappointment.

Jim Hingston made a brief visit to Ashford in 1946. He did not write up his visit, but his notes survive:

'Mr Yabsley's grandfather came to Ashford - ? about 1855. Open chimney - large open hearth, big kitchen now divided. Pump in yard "Andw. Hingston 1838" made by Thorpe, Modbury. Now covered over to make scullery. Walls 3' slate, filled with cob. Shippon - once single houses. Pound House. Horse went round. Wooded cogs, stone wheels 18" long, 12" drawn. Press. Big threshing barn. Mill leat. Other side land of Mr Torring. Behind cow sheds "Lewhill" Rent used to be paid to "two old ladies".'

Andrew Hingston 2001