Brian Moseley, Plymouth
Webpage created: February 08, 2016.
Webpage updated: February 08, 2016

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Stoke Damerel was the Ancient Manor and Ancient Ecclesiastical Parish within which the township of Plymouth-Dock, later Devonport, was situated.

At the time of the Domesday Book in 1086 it was known simply as "Stoches" and is thought to have been given by King William to one of his Norman supporters, Robert de Albamarla, and in the Devon "Feet of Fines" for 1238 it is recorded against Ralph de Aubemarle.  By 1281 the place was known as "Stok Aubemarl".  During the 14thh century it was recorded as "Stokedaumarle" and "Stoke Daumarle".  Although it has been claimed that the name meant a cattle or dairy farm, it is interesting that there were more sheep than cattle in 1086.  It is more reasonable to assume that the name indicated a homestead protected by a wooden stockade.

Over the following three centuries the Manor and Parish was held by the families of Courtenay, Kemiell, Branscombe, Britt, and Wise.  In 1667 Sir Edward Wise sold the Manor to Sir William Morice, Knight, for 11,500.  Sir William had been the Secretary of State to King Charles II and had been instrumental in restoring him to the throne after the Civil War.  Upon Sir William's death his son, also William, succeeded him.  There  were also two daughters, Catherine and Barbara, the first marrying Sir John Saint Aubyn of Clowance in west Cornwall in 1725 the the second marrying Sir John Molesworth in 1728.  When the younger Sir William Morice, Baronet, died in 1749 he had no issue and the title became extinct.  His estates were therefore divided and Stoke Damerel passed through his sister, Catherine, to her husband Sir John Saint Aubyn.  The Saint Aubyn family has owned it ever since.

Stoke Damerel appears in the General Registrar's records as a Registration District.  It had five sub-districts, Clowance, Morice, Saint Aubyn, Stoke and Tamar.  It was allocated volume number IX between 1837 and 1851 and volume 5b from then until the District was renamed Devonport from November 9th 1898.

The Tithe Apportionment Survey for Stoke Damerel and a detailed map and survey of the Manor compiled by Mr Rutger in 1841 is held by the Plymouth and West Devon Record Office.