The 20th meeting on 26th May 2011 at the Nog Inn

Yet another lively meeting!

We discussed our plans for the Cadaver Talk. There will be a room raffle, prizes please, proceeds to the Church. Tea, Coffee, and biscuits to be severed after the talk. I will put up the Malherbe display again as it relates to the era of cadaver tombs.

I asked for ideas for where we go next and metal detecting was discussed, and even asking Time Team to come was suggested!! I will ask the local detectors’ to see what they can come up with. The conversation moved on to the  Civil War and various sites though to have links with this time, Skinners Ash Farm was one. Clyst William Farm another.

Then Brenda told us all about her research into the school located in Thorne Cottage in the old village. The mistresses were the Murry sisters, and their pupils went on to be well known in various fields. Homeopathy being one. Look out for the full story in the Parish Magazine.  This was followed by a bit of social history and how it was though unnecessary to educate the working classes and women!

The old school in Feniton was also mentioned, This link tells you more:

Reading the second page of this mentions the Murrys and the school ask for more information!! Brenda you may want to help with this?

To access the “Times Newspaper” on line:
You need your Devon Library card and use this link:

Alan came back from a meeting in Honiton where the Saxon period after the Romans left was discussed, this may be something we could look at as regards Feniton.

Next meetings, Honiton Museum Tues. 7th Jun 2011.

Nog Inn 8pm Thur. 23rd June 2011 

"Arise Noble Weed"

Malherbe Talk 6th May 2011

The Feniton History Group and Feniton Church hosted a talk on the Malherbe family. This family held the Manor of Feniton from 1146 until 1555. At one time the village was known as Finneton Malherbe.

Our speaker was Professor Gordon Reeves, who after retirement from a career in medicine, took up researching the Malherbes as a hobby.

The illustrated talk entitled  “Arise Noble Weed”   explained the families origins in France, the place names found in France and Britain which had taken the family name, the researching of very old Latin documents to find the details of the early family in Devon, not helped by three generations of William Malherbes each marrying a wife by the name of Joan!

The description of the family was followed by a compilation of the various coats of arms used by the bearers of the name. Feniton and Payhembury Churches both have  pillars on which have the coat of arms of nettles are carved.

Professor Reeves went on to tell us about the other uses of the name, Malherbes being “bad weeds” like the nettle and leadwort and club moss. Some malherbes were used as dyes like Mallow, Woad and Weld. Also he mentioned the word “malady”.  Today the name is used by a vine yard, there are poets, artists and a haulage company!

Professor Reeves, accompanied by his wife was thanked by David Lanning who presented a Honiton Lace paperweight to the couple.

It was a very interesting evening and to have a talk on a medieval family in a medieval church was perfect. The re-ordering of Feniton Church has provided the community with a versatile venue.   Thank you to all who helped make the evening such a success, the sum of £146 was raised for Feniton Church.