The manor passed to the Carys from Sir Walter de Woodland, who was Usher to the Chamber of the Black Prince, ending 281 years of ownership by the "de Cockingtons". The Devon Carys descend from Sir John Cary (who was banished to Ireland in 1388) so it was not until 1418 that the family, in the person of Sir Robert Cary, settled there 44 years after the manor had been acquired. Robert Cary "was a most valiant champion" whose military renown earned him the favour of King Henry V. A Knight Errant from Aragon arrived in England and challenged any man of his rank to a trial of skill and valour in arms. Sir Robert accepted the challenge and the encounter took place at Smithfields. He defeated the challenger and the "charmed King" restored to him some of the lands confiscated from his father.


An Inquisition Postmortem states that when Jane Cary died, she left land at Henpen, Blyndwylmore, Whetcombe, a meadow called Saltmede, land at Greneway and Scherewylsmore and Levermore. Among other bequests was a mill at Chilston with two acres. This was submitted to the escheator for Devon (he was an officer appointed by the Lord Treasurer to take notice of escheats [a fief reverted to the lord when the tenant died without a successor qualified to inherit under the original grant], hence lapsing the land to the Crown).


Sir William Cary "fell at the Battle of Tewkesbury while fighting on the side of Lancaster". The Manor was again confiscated and granted to Sir William Bourchier. In 1485 Robert Cary, William's son recovered it, with other manors.


At the Dissolution the advowson of the Church passed into lay hands, Tor and Cockington becoming a joint benefice.


Seven alms-houses built by Sir George Cary, "everyone having a ground room with a chamber over" and a herb garden. These were beside the Court [where the cricket scoreboard is located now]

Roger Mallacke [sic], Esq. purchased the Manor from Sir Henry Cary who emigrated to America (but later returned). The indenture reads: "Roger Mallock, plaintiff and Henry Cary, Mary his wife, William Smith, Thomas Leigh [Ley?], Nicholas Shepheard, deforceants of the Manors of Cockington, Shilston otherwise Chilston otherwise Sheleston and Stantor otherwise Stanter and of 60 messuages, 10 tofts [a house or land on which one has stood], 4 mills, 1 dove-house, 56 gardens, 56 orchards, 1560 acres of land, 160 acres of meadow, 340 acres of pasture, 36 acres of wood, 320 acres of furze heath, and 20s. rent in Cockington, Staunter and Marldon, and of the Rectory of Tormohun and Cockington and the advowson of the Church". It ends: "Roger Mallock hath given to the Said Henry and Mary Cary, William, Thomas and Nicholas £1,200". [This conflicts with other accounts which say that £10,000 was paid]. Cockington had then been in Cary ownership for 279 years

© copyright John Pike

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