Hatherleigh's Court Leet met on March 24th 2007
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Page updated: July 23, 2008

Court Leet 2007

Deb Laing Tengrove, pictured below, told us: "Since my family acquired the title of Lord of the Manor and Borough of Hatherleigh in 1791, the Manor Courts have been held with only small breaks in continuity for the last 216 years. Records of Courts held in Hatherleigh, when it was in the hands of Tavistock Abbey, go back to the 15th Century and so it is a very ancient tradition here in the town. My late father and I ,as historians (myself an archaeologist), have been keen to maintain the historic tradition. Although over the last few hundred years the functions of the Court have changed, as has the structure of the Court to a degree, we have both viewed the Court, in its modern context, very much as an alternative forum for the people of Hatherleigh. A forum that retains elements of something very ancient and connected to the rural agricultural environment, but one which can be relevant to now. As such, as well as performing its function of the playing out of an ancient tradition and keeping it alive, it is also a social event which has entertaining elements as well as a serious side. It is somewhere where people can come and air their views, decisions will be made and actions taken. The structure of the Court has myself at the head, with my Steward and Bailiff conducting procedure; they are appointed by myself. The rest of the Court Officers are appointed by the Court and Jury and can be co-opted. Other Courts still held in Devon will follow slightly different lines according to their structure, and have different officers and procedures. There are quite a number still functioning in the country. Many are now vested in Councils who took over the running of the Manor and/or Borough from individuals."

Deb was also kind enough to send this document, which lists the Order of Proceedings for the 2007 meeting.

Geoffrey Cleverdon

Deb Laing Trengrove

Jerome Twomey


A perplexing decision

Also attending were three personalities from the Newton Abbot Manorial Borough - Deputy Foreman Michael Davies (left), Crier Eveline Davies (centre) and Steward Michael Martyn. They have a busy annual programme of their own. More details here, including some history.


Below, Hatherleigh Town Crier Ros Chard and dog Millie check who can howl the loudest!
'Twas a draw methinks!



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