Edward Rooe Yeo & the Huish Estates

View full Huish Tree

Edward Rooe Yeo was just eight years old when he inherited the Huish estates, He was born the 3rd July, 1742 and both his grandfather, Richard and father. George died in 1750. George died before his father and his lands were left in trust for Edward until he reached the age of 23.. The trustees were his wife Ann, brothers John Yeo and Richard Yeo, Richard Bennett and John Harvard. Richard Bennet was Richard's second cousin. When Richard died in 1750 he left all his estates in trust to Edward Rooe Yeo, for him to have full control on his 23 rd birthday. Edward was 23 in 1765. The trustees were Richard Bennett, John Yeo and Richard Yeo. There were also several legacies that had to be paid from the estate. To his daughters, Gertrude, Mary, Jane & Susannah, £800 each, total £2,400, to his son John £700 and his youngest son Richard, £1000 which he owed. His uncles, John and Richard had no children of their own and whilst they were his guardians, John lived in Devon and Richard in London, so he would have had very little contact with them

.In 1765 a survey was made on the lands of Edward Rooe esq in Devon & Cornwall, which included the manors of Huish, Harward Fishleigh in Hatherleigh, Halstock and estates in Clawton, Ashwater, Broadwood Widger, Newton Ferrers, Stratton, St Mary Week and Trebursy. They were valued at £17,076.17s. He had also inherited Normanton,which was probably worth another £20,000. In fact he was an extrememely wealthy man. The yearly rentals on the properties would have brought him in over £1,000 a year. Many of these properties had been in the family since 1536, over 200 years and others had been acquired through marriage settlements over the years and how Edward managed to spend this inheritance will remain a mystery, although we know he was a gambler and also a very generous man. He also appears to have had a disastrous choice of friends.


Richard's father, George married Gertrude Coffin 5 October, 1682 at Alwington. Gertrude was the 7 th daughter of Richard Coffin of Porthledge and he had a marriage portion of £1,100 (see Huish papers). George's third son and first surviving heir

, Richard was born on the 12 th September, 1687 and married Elizabeth Dell 25 th June, 1711 at Langtree. Elizabeth was the niece of Mr John Gilbert and his lands were given as a marriage portion. Richard's son and heir, George, was born on the 20 th August, 1712 and married Anne Berisford, daughter of Edward Berisford of Sudbrook, Leicester and Isabella Rooe, of Normanton Turville in the County of Leiceaster, Esq and Anne was devisee and executrix to her uncle Edward Rooe of Normanton, esq, a linen draper in Cornhill, London and a fishmonger and citizen of London. , He died on the 1 st May, 1750, 22 days before his father Richard. The estates of Normanton Turville seem to have come from Gertrude's mother, Dorothy Rooe, who had married Richard Coffin

Edward had always had the best of everything, he was educated at Eton, then went to Oxford University where he graduated in 1761 and next went on to train as a lawyer in the Middle Temple. He became a Member of Parliament for Coventry in 1774 a position he held until he was defeated in 1780, after a riotous and expensive contest, although he was then seated on petition three months later

Portledge, Alwington, Devon

In 1765 the estates were handed over to him by the Revd John Yeo, his uncle and the executor of his grandfather, Richard's will and in 1766 there was a general quitclaim of Richard Yeo's legacies by Gertrude, Mary & Susanna Yeo. The solicitor handling the family papers was a Mr William Hole. A year later in 1766 Edward sold Collaton to Richard Bennett, Richard Yeo, his uncle, Sheere and a Mr Cunningham and in 1768 bought a moiety (half share) of the tenancy of Portledge in Alwington. He then seems to have sold all the rest of the properties. In 1774 Edward and a Mr Brown had reversion of half manors of Alwington, (from Bennett & Coffin), Portledge and advowson of Stockington. Bennett and Coffin were relatives, through his great grandmother, Gertrude Coffin. Brown signed a bond to pay an annuity to Edward and in 1782 there was a mortgage of reversion by lease and release, Edward Rooe, devisee in the will of Richard Coffin, 2. William Hole of Barnstaple, gent, solicitor, re will of Richard Coffin, 1758 and 1762, granting joint tenancy in reversion to Edward Rooe Yeo and Edward Pine, in default of heirs of Richard Bennett and wife Honor, deed to sever the joint tenancy, mortgage of moiety of the reversion to William Hole for £1,125 re half manor of East Haggington. Berrynarbor, Ilfracombe, and Bittadon, manor of Marsh, p. Alphington and St Thomas, lands in Whitestone, with bond.

The ever unlucky Edward may have been spared being nearly made bankrupt, if his friends had been honest in 1776 he had a lucky win on a lottery ticket and should have received £20,000 however Edward left the ticket with a Mr John Molesworth, and he had sold the ticket on. Edward managed to sue him for some of the money, but this was only resolved months before his death.

Know all Men, by these present that we John Molesworth, of St Ann, Westminster, Middlesex and John Sharman of the same parish, office-keeprer are jointly and severely held and firmly bound to Edward Rooe Yeo of Normanton Turvile in the county of Leicester, esquire in the penal sum of £10,000 of good and lawful money of Great Britain, to be paid to the said Edward Rooe Yeo or his certain attorney,executor, administrators or assigns for which payment to be well and faithfully made, we bind ourselves and each of us by himself jointly and severally over and each of our heirs, executors and administrators and each and every of them firmly by those presents, sealed with our seals dated this 12 th May, 1781. Whereas the said Edward Rooe Yeo in the lottery 1776 by his agent purchased at the Lottery Office the said John Molesworth No 67 Holborn the whole chance of the ticket No.44.696 in case the same should come up any other prize than a prize of £20 for the whole drawing of the said Lottery. And whereas the said ticket in the said lottery on the 21 st December in the said year came up a prize of £20,000. And whereas at the time of such purchase the said ticket was in the hands of the said John Molesworth and left with him to be deposited for safe custody in the hands of his banker for the benefit of the said John Molesworth if a prize of £20 and if any other prize for the benefit of the said Edward Rooe Yeo but on said Ticket being so drawn a prize as aforesaid it was discovered that the said Ticket was not so deposited as aforesaid but had in the same Lottery been again sold by Robert Johnson and John Johnson. And whereas the said Edward Rooe Yeo having called on the said John Molesworth for the said prize but the ticket having by some means then unknown been sold aforesaid the said John Molesworth in order to make every satisfaction proposed to give the said £5,000, plus £5,000 paid on a yearly annuity of £1,000 per year for five years., This was the agreement made after Edward took the case to the Chancery courts

In 1769, Edward started an affair and had several illegitimate children. Poor Ann Montgomery was just a young girl of eighteen when they met and of a much lower class status and the first son, Torrismond was taken from her to be educated at Rugby and groomed to be his hier. This is the contract Edward had drawn up:

Whereas Edwarde Rooe Yeo of Normanton Turville in the County of Leicester, Esq hath two natural sons by Ann Montgommery of Leicester in the said County Singlewoman commonly called and known by the respective names of Torrismond Peer and Leontine Tyrell which said Torrismond Peer the said Edward Rooe Yeo hath taken from the said Ann Montgomery and placed him at school at Loughborough in the said County and intends to maintain and provide for him, himself esperate and apart from his said mother. And the said Leontine Tyrell doth now live with the said Ann Montgommery. And whereas the said Ann Montgommery is now pregnant with Child by the said Edward Rooe Yeo And whereas the said Edward Rooe Yeo hath this day given unto the said Ann Montgommery the sum of five pounds, five shillings for the purpose of providing child bed linen for the child with which she is now preganant. And also the further sum of five pounds and five shillings for her lying in expenses. And whereas the said Edward Rooe Yeo hath voluntarily agreed to allow and pay unto the said Ann Montgommery for her life an annuity of thirty pounds per annum,for the better support and maintenance of herself and the said Leontine Tyrell and the child or children with which she is now preganant. But subject to the proviso or conditions hereinafter expressed. Now these presents witness that in pursuance of the said assignment he the said Edward Rooe Yeo doth hereby for himself his heirs executors and administrators covenant promise and agree to and with the said Ann Montgommery that he the said Edward Rooe Yeo his heirs, executors and administrators shall and will well and truly pay or cause to be paid unto the said Ann Montgommery into her proper hands only for and during the term of her natural life one annuity or yearly sum of thirty pounds of lawful money of Great Britain at or upon the four most usual days of payment I every year to wit the twenty fifth day of March, the twentyfourth day of June, the twenty ninth day of September and the twenty first day of December in every yar by even and equal portions the first payment thereof the said Edward Rooe Yeo hath made this day and the next payment to be made on the twenty fifth of March next. Provided always and these present are upon this express condition And it is hereby declared and agreed that in case the said Ann Montgommery shall happen to marry unless with the consent of the said Edward Rooe Yeo or in case the said Ann Montgomery shall take or persuade away the said Torrismond Peer from the said Edward Rooe Yeo or from the person or persons who for the time being shall be appointed to have the care of him or interfere or interrupt said Edward Rooe Yeo in the bringing up and disposal of the said Torrismond Peer. Or in case the said Ann Montgommery shall abandon the said Leontine Tyrell or the child with which she is now ensient or in case the said Ann Montgomery do or shall not well and sufficiently at her own costs and expence at all times hereafter during her life. Provide for and maintain the said Leontine Tyrell and the child or children with which she is now pregnant as aforesaid to the satisfaction of the said Edward Rooe Yeo or of the person or persons who have given or shall give security for indemnifying the parish or parishes wherein such children have been or shall be born of and from their maintenance or in case the said Ann Montgommery do or shall not within the space of six calendar months from the date hereof remove from and reside out of the town of Leicester Or in case the said Ann Montgommery do or shall at any time from and after the expiration of such six months come into or be within the Town of Leicester aforesaid or within four miles thereof or within that space of Normanton aforesaid or in case the said Ann Montgomery shall at anytime or times hereafter assign over the said annuity or yearly sum of thirty pounds or any part thereof to any person or persons whomsoever then and in any or either of the cases aforesaid happening and from thenceforth the said annuity of thirty pounds and every part thereof shall cease determine and be absolutely void anything herein contained to the contrary thereof in any wise. Notwithstanding Provided further and it is hereby agreed that the receipt under the hand of the said Ann Montgommery shall from time to time whether sole or married an effectual discharge for the said Annuity of thirty pounds or any part thereof. And the said Ann Montgommery in consideration of the provision hereby made in manner aforesaid doth hereby aquitrelease and for ever discharge the said Edward Rooe Yeo of and from all further claims and demands whatsoever. In witness whereof the said Edward Rooe Yeo and Ann Montgommery have hereunto set their hands and seals the sixteenth day of December, 1776

Sealed and delivered by the above named Ann Montgommery (being first and duly stampt in the presence of us John Gregory, Mary Bunney.

This is the receipt Ann sent Edward for the Lying-in expenses for her third child.

But by 1782 Edward was not well and realised he was dying. He made his will and was obviously a troubled man. Initally he left everything in trust for his eldest son Piers Montgomery ( Torrismond Peer) but then changed this in a codicile leaving it all to his relative Richard Coffin ( Richard Bennett) who had the other half share in the Portledge, trusting that Richard would look after his son.

The will of Edward Rooe Yeo

This is the last will and testament of me Edward Rooe Yeo of Normanton in the county of Leicester, Esquire viz., I give and bequeath unto Mr William Hole of Barnstaple in the County of Devon the sum of five hundred pounds as a small acknowledgment for the trouble he will necessarily have in the execution of the trusts hereinafter mentioned. Also I give and bequeath unto my late servant John Peter Allamand of London, Innholder the sum of four hundred pounds. Also I give and bequeath unto my present servant James How the sum of fifty pounds and all my cloaths and to every one of my other servants and my cook that shall be living with me at the time of my decease the sum of ten pounds apiece. And I do give and bequeath unto Peter Vaughan of Leicester the sum of fifty guineas as a grateful acknowledgement for his particular attention to me during my illness all with said legacies I will shall be paid by my executor within twelve calendar months next after my decease. And I do give and bequeath unto my natural son commonly called Tyroll Montgomery the sum of three hundred pounds to be paid to him on his attaining the age of twenty one years with interest in the mean time to be applied towards his maintenance. And I give and devise all those my manors of Normanton Turville, Bassett House and Knoll in the said county of Leicester with all and singular the messuages, cottages, lands, tenements, herediments and appurtances thereso belonging and all my estate right, title and interest in Normandy or reversion exportant on the decease of Richard Coffin of Portledge in Devon, esquire of and in the Manor, messuages, cottages, lands and hereditaments in Portledge aforesaid or elsewhere in Devon and all other my manors, messuages, cottages, lands etc in possession, reversion, remainder and expectancy unto the said William Hole, his heirs and assigns upon trust by and out of the rents and profits of my said real estates in the said county of Leicester or by mortgage and sale thereof of any part or parts thereof (if necessary) to raise and pay such of my debts and of my legacies herein before mentioned as my personal estate may prove insufficient to pay and after payment thereof in trust to receive the rents and profits of my said real estates until my natural son commonly called Peers Montgomery now at Rugby School shall attain the age of twenty one years and to pay and apply the same in educating, maintaining and providing for the said Peers Montgomery until he shall come of age and after payments thereof to apply what surplus may remain of such rents in such manner for the benefit and advantage of the said Peers Montgomery as the said William Hole shall think proper. And from and after the said Piers Montgomery shall have attained his age of twenty one years. Then I do direct the said William Hole his heirs or assigns to convey and assure all those my said manors, messuages, cottages, lands, hereditaments and real estate in the counties of Leicester and Devon unto the said Peers Montgomery, his heirs and assigns for every, provided always nevertheless and in case the said Peers Montgomery shall depart this life before he shall attain the age of twenty one years then I give and devise all my said messuages, real estate etc (except my estate, rights etc on the decease of Richard Coffin of and in Portledge, Devon) unto the said William Hole, his heirs and assigns, provided he the said William Hole and his heirs payments thereout unto the said John Peter Allamand, his executor of the first, in the presence of us who in the presence of the said testator and at his request and in the presence of each other have subscribed our names as witnesses.John Bawn, Dudley Baxter, Wm Owen.


I Edward Rooe Yeo of Normanton Turvill in the County of Leicester esquire do make and declare this writing to be a codicil to my last will and testament, bearing date the fifth day of October, 1782. I do revoke and make and vow the devise in my said will relating to my estate, right title and interest in remainder or reversion exportant on the decease of Richard Coffin of Portledge in Devon, esquire of and in the Manor, messuages, cottages, lands hereditaments in Porteledge aforesaid or elsewhere in Devon and I do hereby give and devise unto my said dear relation Richard Coffin of Portledge aforesaid all my said estate rights, titles etc in Porteledge, to hold unto and to the use of the said Richard Coffin, his heirs and assigns for ever, earnestly recoucandindity my said son Peers Montgomery to the mother and care of the said Richard Coffin and I do hereby confirm my said will and every devise, bequest and clause therein contained except the devise relating to my estate at Portledge which I have hereby revoked and I do desire that this codicil may be taken and considered as part of my last will and testimony whereof I have hereunto. Set my name and seal the 17 th November, 1782, Signed Ed. Rooe Yeo, witnessed by George Heining, John Perrott, Dudley Baxter

It was proved on the 21 st January, 1783 and probate granted to William Hole, sole executor, and accompanied by the letter below, which explains just how little money was left.

Transcript of the above letter

Dr Hole,After reading over my will, I have thought it necessary to state to you the real facts of my circumstances and I flatter myself from the idea of them, you will find them better than at first would conceive.

It will be necessary as soon as possible to see Mr Brown on Lady Butes's mortgage of £1,000. Likewise Mr Brown will give you an account of £5,000 being borrowed on a mortgage at the time I unfortunately bought in addition to my estate. There is likewise £1500 at that time supplyedby Mr Hubbard at Leicester.As you see the estate must be parted; I estimate poor Dear Normanton in the complete situation as you find it will fetch 24 years purchase, viz £24,000 together with the furniture. There is an annuity of £250 of Ld Surrys? Of three quarers of interest which will make about £1700: you will find a promising note of Ld Lincoln for £200 and likewise a memorandum upon the back of the note, Mr Fleming did owe me 320 gs, but received last Nov. 1781 £200. There is poor standing a long complicated business in regard to Molesworth, the whole papers relative to it, is likewise in Mr Brown's stands. Humstons having great, great honesty, and by application immediately to him may be yr means of gaining a hanssome compromise. As I have omitted his name in my will, I must leave what further presents to your discretion. I have now employed the Johnsons Att. to tax Parker's bill, I believe tho in my present situation I shd forgive him, yet it will show you how unfortunate I have been and what hardships I have submitted too. Upon the whole calculation, I shall place debt & Credit.

  • Lady Bute £10,000
  • Lady Bill £ 5,000
  • Hubbard £ 1,500
  • Your debt £ 1,125
  • Legacies by my will £ 1,400
  • -----------
  • £20,025
  • -----------
  • Normanton £24,000
  • Ld Sums £ 1,700
  • Small Debts £ 300
  • ------------
  • £26,000
  • ------------

It is my wish and likewise my poor boy desire that as soon has received a proper education at Rugby, that you purchase him a commission in the blues or any other regt if the over plus should amount to my calculation as he then may be able to support the character of a Gentleman. I am at this time so ill that I can't write any more, but have left this memorandum for your suggestions.

After Edward died in 1783 Ann wrote a letter to Dr Hole pleading with him to be allowed to see her son.

Nott'm 21 st July, 1783, (view original)

Sir,According to your order I take the liberty of sending these few lines. I have not rec'v my annuity it came due the 24 th of June last past. I have wrote severall times to Mr Retehand and Jassian and rec'vd no answer, that as should have been pade me the 25 th March I did not get till sometime after the postman as thay sent it by kept a week or ten days in his hands. I hope sir,you will be so oblidgeing as to fix it for me. I was always pade to the day when my dear life was living, pray be so kind as give a few lines when moste conveant to yourself how I am to rec'v it.

Torrisond Pierre was born February 23 rd , 1771, the Rev Mr Hadwin of Loughbro has his register. Leontine Tyrrell was born April the 21 st , 1774 in Edward Street, Cavingdish Square and will be found in Marabone Church. Mr Walker & my son whent to see dear child yesterday, his hand is very bad and another place in his dear arm a becoming very big, if he should ever get wellagain, pray good sir give him leave to stay with me some time as I may be kind to himself. I am very unhappy about him as he is not with me. Tyrrel is a good boy at is booke and riteing to, tho is very poorely in health, sometimes with a pain in his side. A line or tow if you please, I am your much oblidge, humble servant, Ann Walker.

Ann married Samuel Walker on the 16 th October, 1779 at St Mary, Nottingham and in 1795 she agrees to an annuity

Nottingham, Friday 26 th June, 1795 (view original)

Sir, the enclosed I have sent you my release from my quarters annuity wich I hope will com safe to hand. Leontine as seen Holled Smith about three weeks ago but there was nothing don with regard to Normanton Turvelle. I unfortunately know it tow well, I was but just turned eighteen years of aged when Mr Yeo took me from a good home. He called on me on his way to Bath at the very house I live in now and wanted me to go with him and I shall ever think of his words which were thease, My Dear, only I have been to blame, pray forgive what is past. Torrismond shall be my are (heir) and Tyrell and my son Edward shall be well provided for and yours anty (annuity) shall be £60 a year but this has proved worthless for James Allemand had £1,000 to his own sons £300. My dortor (daughter) Ann died when she was tow years old and a good thing it was for there would have been nothing for her, but thank God I do well, as to my annuity if you like to by it you may. I should not be willing to take less than £500 for I am likely to live till I am as old as my grandmother, who is alive to this day in the 89 years of age. ...Your humble servant, Anne Walker, dated 16 September, 1795

Notes 26th June, 1795 Mrs Anne Walker's Letter & Rec' for her annuity due at midsummer, 1795

By the whole account of Mrs Anne Montgomery's age - she was aged 18 when Mr Yeo first took her as his hand maid...age 18 Her first child Torrisimond Peers Montgomery was born 23rd Feb. 1771 ,,suppose him to be born, whithin or at the end of 2 years after the connection
  • Mrs Montgomery may in such case to be fairly considered to be........20 yrs old in Feb 1771
  • And of course must be about 46 years old in Feb 1795 ....she may be no more than abt 45
Anne died just two years later on the 30 th August, 1797

Nottingham 18 th October, 1797. (view original)

Sir, I recv'd your note on the 4 instant and was very thankfull for it and I hope you will excuse me not writing by return of post for I was very ill and is at this time for the misfortune of losing my wife in the greatest of Ale which Ithink is my duty to inform you she died on the 30 th day of August last which renders my full of trouble and a deal of expenses which is not in my power to withstand onless I can make a friend of you is which I hope you will consider my situation at this time, I shall be glad to have an answer from you as soon as convenient. From yours Sam Walker.

Received from Sam Walker, butcher of Nottingham, saying his wife Mrs Ann Walker of Parliament Stree, Nottingham who was an annuitant of the late Edward Rooe Yeo, esq died on the 30 th August, 1797 Mr Hole on the 30 th September, 1797 sent her his draft on Messrs Gottings and Sharpe, Bankers in London for £7. 10s of quarterly annuity which had she lived to that day would have been fairly due, but she died on the 30 th August, no part of it was due or payable. However, Mr Hole out of compassion for her husband will not recall the draft or stop the payment, although tis in his power.

Leontine Tyrell married Ann Booth, 17 th July 1800 Saint Mary, Nottingham and their son Torrismond Montgomery was Christened on the 1st December, 1804 Saint Mary, Nottingham

So within seventeen years of inheriting all the Devon & Leicester estates, Edward was dead, his children were penniless and all of the estates had been sold. The elderly Aunts must have been devastated. Uncle John, the Reverend John Yeo, died in 1765 and mentions Edward's mother Ann who was still alive then. John left everything to be shared equally between his brother, Richard and sisters. Mary died in 1790 and Gertrude in in 1796 and both were spinsters living in Exeter, the family home having been sold off in 1768. There are many questions unanswered here, the strong influence of the Coffin family seems to point to the his mother's family having the larger part in his upbringing. He trusted friends and left large amount of money but they did little to help him when he needed it.

Back to top

  © 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