A fascinating glimpse into the life of a wealthy Mediaeval occupant of Okehampton.10 September 1375  In the calendar of Patent Rolls was written: Yestbrook or Estebroke, Richard

The Presentation of Richard Yestbroke, Chaplain, to the Vicarage of Okehampton, in the King’s gift by reason of the alien Priory of Cowick being in his hands on account of the war with France. The Priory of Cowick was under the auspices of a French Mother House (Abbot  of Beke) so as England was at war with France, King Richard 11 decided who would be appointed Vicar to the Parishes under the Abbot of Cowick.

The entry of his induction in the Bishop’s Register appears to have been lost.

At Chudleighon Sept.1 1381 the Bishop (Brantyngham) granted license to the inhabitants of Okehampton to have celebrations in the Chapel there. Doubtless St. James was meant.  Reg. p. 432. This following the appeal to Pope Urban for permission to hold services in St James, formerly a Chantry Chapel for the saying of Prayers for the dead. See Richard Shebbeare His Book. .

On Sept 7 1381 in the same Register:-Edward, Earl of Devon had, by his Countess Matilda (Camois) a daughter called Elizabeth, who died in childhood and was buried in Okehampton Church. To it’s Vicar, the Bishop directed his license for the body to be buried elsewhere, according to the wishes of the parents.

Richard Yestbrook was appointed Confessor in 1385-6 amd 1390. (To the occupants of the Castle that had it’s own Chapel)

From the Early Chancery Proceedings we learn that Richard Esterbroke, Vicar of Okehampton and Walter Manston, Chaplain, were charged by Robert Chaloner, Knight Sheriff of Devon with assaulting Nicholas Barbour, the servant of Chaloner. The result is not stated.

Yestbrook died in 1413. Stafford’s Reg. p 191. In the same Register is a copy of the will of Richard Estebroke.  Dated 1413  and proved 11 Jan. 1413/4. He commends his soul to God and his body to Ecclesiastical sepulture . (burial)

Here is his will:-

To Walter Manston, to celebrate in Okehampton Church for 3 years for the health of his soul and for the obsequies daily he bequeaths thirteen pounds of silver, and to the principal store of the said church 20 shillings, that his anniversary may be kept forever.

On the day of his burial 40 shillings to be given to the poor. To Walter Manston, Chaplain, he leaves 20 shiilings and his second best doublet.

To Thomas Esterbrok his best girdle with ye silver clasp, a silver cup and cover and his best doublet.

To Joan Hore, his second best girdle, with silver clasp.

To Edith, wife of Richard Wyke, his 2 other girdles, with silverclasps and a quarter of wheat.

To Robert Wyke, the 2 cows already in his keeping.

To every priest taking part in his obsequies and present and celebrating for his soul on the day of his funeral 12 pence  and to each priest only celebrating on the day of his funeral 6d. (sixpence, 2.5p)

To Joan, daughter of William Hore, to Matilda, another daughter, to John, son of Robert Wyke, and to Walter Pethelu he leaves a cow each.

To Adam Toker, a cow and half  a quartern of wheat.

To John Row, his servant, a heifer.

To John Weryng, Chaplain, his third best doublet.

To Thomas Estebroke, Joan Hore and Edith, wife of Robert Wyke, 3 brass pots and a saucepan, viz. to Thomas , his best pot, to Joan, his second best and to Edith, his third best and a saucepan.

If the residue suffices to pay his debts and legacies : if not the articles were to be sold. To each executor who should act, he leaves 10 shillings.

Diocese of Exeter, in the Kings gift because of the temporalities of the alien Abbot  of Beke (Bec) being in the King’s hands on account of the war with France. In exchange of benefices with John Gyffard. Cal.

Executors:- Thomas Estebrok and Walter Manston: and he orders them to distribute 40 measures of wheat among his poor parishioners. The will was proved in the Chapel of St. Gabriel at Clyst before William Hunded, Canon of Exeter and Commissary of the Bishop.

Probably Walter Manston was the Curate and John Weryng the Chaplain of St. James Chapel

Haloed figure (a saint?) with a scythe: Medieval stained glass, the Church of St Mary Magdalene, Chewton Mendip, Somerset, England” by Spencer Means is licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0.