Uglow Family HistoryUglows in Bideford and North Deveon
First and foremost, my birthplace............
from Upcott Hill: copyright Burton Art Gallery
The town of Bideford was probably formed around the old bridge which is at the site of the original ford over the river Torridge. The existing bridge was first built to replace an earlier wooden bridge thought to have been built in the twelfth century. Bideford was created a borough in 1217 showing that it had some importance at that time. Around the fifteenth century, Bideford was a thriving town with much of the wealth coming from the importing of tobacco from the newly developing North American colonies and later timber and fish from Canada taking their turn as the main cargoes. Being of some substance, Bideford made a contribution of ships to the Armada fleet. Sir Richard Grenville leaving from here to play his part in history aboard his ship Revenge. One has to bear in mind that the lack of a proper road system was, until quite recently, a barrier to better links with the rest of the country, so the natural outlet to the sea was developed. As with Barnstaple the opening of bigger ports and better communications hit the town hard and it went into a decline towards the end of the eighteenth century and never regained its former wealth, although there was some respite through the link to Canada and the importing of timber, needed to make ships, and salted cod. A variety of small shipyards, making various vessels, and the quay were the main money earners for the town together with weaving of both the local wool and, when that was in short supply, imported wool. A low grade type of coal was also mined at East-the-Water. Known as Bideford Black it was used as pigment in the paint made there.
You can read about the Bideford Witches Trial in 1682
Family 1: Richard and Mary Richards
Richard 1707 from Alwington marries Mary Richards in Bideford in 1730 (but also see Richard 1706 from Poundstock). There are lots of Mary Richards to choose from but in 1707 see Mary, daughter of William and Mary, born in Bideford. Perhaps William Richards was the local tidesman - there is a 1704 record which talks of 'William Richards as tidesman in fee at Bideford loco William Broad deceased'. [From: 'Warrant Book: July 1704, 21-31', Calendar of Treasury Books, Volume 19: 1704-1705 (1938), pp. 311-325]. A tidesman (tidewaiter) was a custom-house official who attended ships to prevent breaches of revenue laws. The tidesman was responsible for watching the landing of goods and securing the payment of customs.
Richard and Mary bring up their family in Bideford during a very prosperous period. W G Hoskins writes that the town had a large share in the Newfoundland cod trade, but it was the tobacco trade with Maryland and Virginia which made Bideford fortunes, a trade which was at its height around 1680-1730, and ceased about 1760. It was during this period that Bideford became the leading port in North Devon, far surpassing its ancient rival of Barnstaple. The handsome houses in Bridgeland Street (c. 1690- 1700) and the Royal Hotel, at East-the-Water, formerly a merchant's house, testify to the wealth of these days. One after another, however, Bideford's over-seas trades dwindled or collapsed, mostly as a result of the incessant wars of the 18th century, and partly because of the collapse of the woollen industry in the county. By the early 19th century only a coasting trade remained.
Obviously there would have been plenty of unskilled labouring jobs but finding out more about Richard's employment has proved impossible. Equally scanty are records on Richard and Mary and their children.
Family 2: Lewin and Emily Raddenbury
Lewin 1878 was the
son of Richard Henry and Elizabeth Trenerry
and the grandson of Richard and Susan Underhay,
all in Denbury. Lewin was a police officer with the Devon County Constabulary
for many years but, on retirement, first lived in Appledore where he ran
the Champion of Wales pub (still existing) and then in Northam.
In early April 1901, he was living in the Police station in Lifton with his sergeant, Thomas Hill, his wife, Ellen and their son, Thomas who, at 16 years old, was a school teacher. Only a few days later, on April 8th in Kenn, Lewin married Emily Raddenbury.
In the 1911 census, Lewin and Emily are living in Chudleigh Knighton in Devon with their daughter, Gertrude.
He retired to Champion of Wales pub in Appledore. From 1939, he was at 7 Kimberley Terrace, Northam but was active enough to chair the parish council. He died in Bideford Hospital in 1962. Emily had died in 1960. They are buried in the local cemetery, adjacent to Northam church. Their son, Philip 1912, is buried in the same plot. Daughter Gertie and her husband, Harry Elston, are buried beside the church.
Family 3: Philip and Olivia Vigers
Philip Lawrence Raddenbury 1912 is the son of Lewin and Emily Raddenbury and the grandson of Richard Henry and Elizabeth Trenerry. In 1939 he married Olivia Vigers (1915-2007 ) in Crediton. Phil went to the University College of the South West (now Exeter University) and left with a general degree. He went into teaching in Plymouth where he played cricket and met Olivia's brother, Stanley - Olivia was working in the post office in Plymouth. Introductions were effected and the rest is history. He moved to Barnstaple Secondary Modern School but immediately went into the RAF where he taught radar technology, a love affair with valves, condensers and resistors that carried on for his working life. After the war, they settled in Barnstaple, living in Newport for twenty years before moving to 59 Yelland Rd, Fremington on retirement and to Herons Lea residential home near Westward Ho! Phil died in 1997. After his death, Olivia lived in residential homes in Bideford, Instow and Torrington and died in July 2007.