John Hammacott and Rebecca Dayment of Chudleigh


Map of Down St Mary

John Hammacott was born in 1727 in Down St Mary, Devon and was christened there on the 18 Apr 1727. John married Rebecca Diment on 20 Oct 1754 in Chudleigh, Devon and Rebecca died there in 1782 and was buried on the 23 Jun 1782 in Chudleigh Church Yard.

John Hammacott was the first of that name to reside in Chudleigh . The surname was initial Honeycott and changed to Hammacott when he moved to Chudleigh.

The Parish removal orders substantiate that he was born in Down St Mary. a village near Crediton. He appears to have moved to Chudleigh around 1756 when his son John was baptised in the parish church.

At that time parishes where a person was born were responsible for their sick, unemployed or elderly population and Chudleigh parish clerks tried unsuccessfully to return John and Rebecca to Exeter St Paul.

John Hamacott , maltmaker . Creation dates: 1771 . Living in Chudleigh, born in Down St Mary and apprenticed there to Thomas Hole, after 3 years he was discharged and lived in various places until he was 26 when he went to Exeter, St Paul and served Alexander Buchanna as a covenant servant for 1 year. Creation dates: 1781. John Hamacott, Rebecca his wife and Rebecca 19 their daughter. Removal to Exeter, St Paul. John Hamacott. 1794 Removal to Exeter, St Paul - John Hamacott

Children of John & Rebecca were :-

    • John Hammacott born in 1756 in Chudleigh and christened there on the 16th Jan 1756. He died in 1774 in Chudleigh, Devon at age 18, and was buried there on the 20th Oct 1774.
    • Elizabeth Hammacott born in 1759 in Chudleigh and christened there on the 14th Feb 1759.
    • Rebecca Hammacott born in 1762 in Chudleigh and christened there on the 4th Oct 1762.
    • William Hammacott born in 1767 in Chudleigh and christened there on the 13th Jan 1767 He married Mary Atkins .

William Hammacott (born 1767) and Mary Atkins

William Hammacott was born in 1767 in Chudleigh and married Mary Atkins .

Chudleigh in 1806, before the fire.

A dreadful fire, known as the Great Fire, in Chudleigh, occurred on Friday, May 22, 1807. It broke out, accidentally, at noon, in a baker's house, in Culver-street.

At first no apprehensions were entertained of its spreading; but as there had been a long continuance of fine weather, everything very dry, and a brisk east wind springing up, the burning flakes were conveyed to different parts of the town.

The flames soon spread to Mill Lane, then across to Exeter-street in which stood the King's Arms Inn - one of the important posting-houses of the town, much in request at that time from the travelling consequent on the war. The stables and back premises of this inn, as throughout the town generally, were thatched, and in many instances on fire before the dwelling houses.

The terrified inhabitants, while endeavouring to save their goods, found themselves hemmed in by the flames, and had only just time to escape with their lives, leaving much valued treasure behind. The flames extended with fearful rapidity, and three streets were on fire at the same time.

The Market House served at first for a depository for furniture &c., but it was quickly abandoned, and destroyed with its contents. At 2 o'clock a barrel of gunpowder, which had been forgotten in a storeroom, blew up, shaking the town to its centre, and scattering books and papers more than a mile distant, at the same time giving a fresh impetus to the flames while it added to the general alarm.

The only fire-engine was soon burnt. To the affrighted inhabitants the place seemed doomed to utter destruction, while they were unable to form any organised plan for its suppression. As the fire in the centre of the town, where the flames had raged in terriffic grandeur, abated, it was thought advisable to pull down a few houses to intercept the fire, and save, if possible, the extremities of the town. Assistance being obtained from the neighbourhood, this was accordingly done, and the fire subdued about 4 p.m.

The town presented for some time a mass of burning ruins, however with the help of generous benifactors such as Lord Clifford, the town was rebuilt by 1811 and part of this would have been the new houses William's children occupied in Mill Lane, Clifford Street & Woodway Street. Their son, William Hammacott was born in 1793 in Chudleigh, Devon and married Ann Causley .

William Hammacott ( born 1793) & Ann Causley

William Hammacott was born in 1793 in Chudleigh and died there in 1864, aged 71. William married Ann Causley in Chudleigh Parish Church.


Chudleigh Parish Church

The Agricultural & Industrial revolutions had a great impact on rural areas such as Chudleigh. Many Devonians moved to the cities but the Hammacotts chose to stay in Chudleigh. There would have been little work other than labouring. The church would have been the focal point, prayers on Sundays and used for christenings, marriages and burials.

In 1841 and 1851 William & Ann were living in Mill Lane with their youngest son Henry who would have helped with the household bills. William was an agricultural labourer and Henry a miller's boy. Also lodging with them was John Old, a Chelsea Pensioner and this provided the family with additional income.

By 1861 they had moved to Clifford Street.


Children from this marriage were:

      • William Hammacott was born in 1819 in Chudleigh, Devon. William married Elizabeth.
      • James Hammacott was born in 1822 in Chudleigh, Devon and married Mary Ann Cornish
      • Robert Hammacott was born in 1823 in Chudleigh, Devon, Robert married Maria Couch
      • Mary Hammacott was born in 1825 in Chudleigh, Devon.
      • Sarah Hammacott was born in 1828 and was christened on 22 Mar 1828 in Chudleigh, Devon
      • George Hammacott was born in 1830 in Chudleigh, Devon, and died in 1878 in Chudleigh, Devon at age 48.
      • Hannah Hammacott was born in 1832 in Chudleigh, Devon, christened on 24 Feb 1832 in Chudleigh,
      • Henry Hammacott was born in 1835 in Chudeligh, Devon.


James Hammacott (born 1822) and Mary Ann Cornish
Mary Ann Yeo nee Cornish  

James Hammacott was born in 1822 in Chudleigh and died in 1900 in Chudleigh, Devon at age 78. James married Mary Ann Cornish , daughter of John Cornish and Mary . Mary was born in 1832 in Chudleigh and died in 1899 in Chudleigh, Devon at age 67.

In 1851 James was living with his sister, Ann and her husband Abraham Bowden in Honywill Row, Mill Lane, Chudleigh .

By 1861 James had married Mary Ann Cornish and they were living in Harcombe Village with children Maria , Mary Ann and Ellen C .

In 1871 they were living in Clifford Street , next door to the Wesleyan Chapel, with children John aged 7, Ellen aged 11, George aged 5, Elizabeth aged 2 and baby William aged 1 month.

In 1881 James & Ann were living in Woodway Street, Chudleigh with children John aged 19, George aged 15, Elizabeth aged 13, Eliza aged 6 and Alixia ? aged 2. James was a labourer. In 1891 they were still living in Woodway Street

Children of James Hammacott and Mary Ann Cornish were :-

      • Maria Hammacott born in 1852 in Chudleigh.
      • Mary Ann Hammacott born in 1853 in Chudleigh.
      • Ellen Cornish Hammacott born in 1860 in Chudleigh.
      • John Hammacott born in 1863 in Chudleigh.
      • George Hammacott born in 1866 in Chudleigh, He married Lucy Ellen Friend
      • Elizabeth Hammacott born in 1868 in Chudleigh.
      • William Hammacott born in 1870 in Chudleigh.
      • Elizabeth Hammacott born in 1875 in Chudleigh.
      • Allis Hammacott was born in 1878 in Chudeligh.

George Hammacott (born 1866) and Lucy Ellen Friend

George Hammacott was born in 1866 in Chudleigh, Devon. George married Lucy Ellen Friend, daughter of Richard Friend and Rebecca Causley , in 1891 in Chudleigh, Devon. Lucy was born in 1868 in Ideford, Devon.



In 1891 George was still living at home with his parents in Woodway Street, Chudleigh although he was then 24 years old and an agricultural labourer. His wages would have helped support the rest of the family. Also living at home were his sisters Eliza and Ellis .

By 1901 George & Ellen were living in Woodway Street , next door to the Congregational Church and probably in his parent's old house.

George & Ellen possibly on their wedding day in 1891
Later photograph of George, Ellen & Lucy taken in the mid 1920' s

    Children of George and Ellen were:

      • William James Hammacott born in 1891 in Chudleigh and died there in 1920
      • Edith Hammacott born on 25 Mar 1893 in Chudleigh, Devon 86. Edith married William Yeo
      • Mabel Hammacott born in 1896 in Chudleigh, Devon. Mabel married Henry Rowlands .
      • Lucy Hammacott was born in 1898 in Chudleigh, Devon.


William James Hammacott (1881 - 1920)

William James Hammacott known as Billie born in 1891 in Chudleigh, Devon, died in 1920 in Chudleigh, Devon at age 29, and was buried in 1920 in Chudleigh, Devon, sadly as a result of war wounds. He was the only son and the family were devasted by his premature death.

240123 Private William James Hammacott of the 5th (Prince of Wale's Own) Battalion, The Devonshire Regiment, son of George Cornish Hammacott and Lucy Ellen Hammacott (nee Friend) of Stokelake Cottage, Oldway, Chudleigh died in London on the 1st April, 1920 aged 28.

Buried in Chudleigh parish cemetery on the 7th April, the service was conducted by the Rev. G. H Mallett (Vicar of Chudleigh from 1916 to 1928). The headstone was erected by the Commonwealth War Graves Commission. Given the date of his death, it is possible that he died of wounds received earlier, during the war. It may be noted, however, that the local newspaper (2nd August 1918) reported him at that time in good health and home on leave after three years of continuous service in India. Another possibility is that he succumbed to the influenza pandemic of that period. It can be seen that his name appears on the church memorial in Chudleigh as a late entry.

Family Photographs

Back Row. William Hammacott and Henry Rowlands. Front Row Sisters, Edith, Lucy and Mabel
Edith born 1891
  Lucy born 1898 taken around 1920




  © 2003-6 Sheila Yeo | For more information on the Yeo family and the research contained in this site email sheila@yeosociety.com or call me on +44 (0)1626 360978