North Devon by its People and Communities
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Below is a list of 4 collections compiled by Merton for Explore North Devon. They contain mainly scanned images of photographs, documents, pictures, objects, and sound or video clips, some or all of which have been used in our stories. Select a collection name or logo to browse or search its items.


Chapman Family of Merton

The Chapman family lived in the Merton/Black Torrington area of North Devon in the nineteenth century. The records shown here concern Alfred Chapman ( 1836-1900), a tenant farmer, who emigrated to the USA in the autumn of 1870 after an unsuccessful legal spat with his landlord, John C. Moore Stevens. There was a gap in the diary at the time of the legal dispute , but it was resumed again recording his journey to Boston (Mass.) and eventually New York, where he met his family off a boat from England.

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George Monck, Merton's Kingmaker

George Monck was born at Great Potheridge in Merton in December 1608. He was an important figure in the English Civil War, engineering the Restoration of the Monarchy in 1660. As a result, he was created Duke of Albemarle and his regiment of foot was made part of the British Army, becoming the Coldstream Guards, who maintain their links with Merton to this day. On his death, he was granted a burial place of honour in Westminster Abbey at the expense of Charles II. 2008 marks the 400th anniversary of Monck's birth.

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Merton History Day

On 27 June 2009, Explore North Devon joined forces with the North Devon Record Office, Devon Family History Society, local museums and the Monck 400 Group to host a History Day in the Clinton Hall, Merton. A great time was had by all and here are some images from the event.

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Merton local history photos

Merton is a small parish on the River Torridge, a few miles from Torrington. Its ancient church is All Saints, built in the Perpendicular style and restored in 1875. It forms part of the Clinton Devon Estates, with its chief residence being Great Potheridge, birthplace of George Monck, Duke of Albemarle, now a Centre for Outdoor Learning. Please browse our collection of photographs for information on this historic parish.

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