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Written by JAMES ERNEST HOBBS who researched this family in the 1960ís




†† The surname Hyne is common in south Devon and particularly so in the area south of Dartmouth called the South Hams, where Blackawton lies. This coupled with the fact that the probate records of the Archdeaconry of Totnes were lost some years ago and those of Exeter were destroyed in the second World War makes difficult the tracing of relationships. However, the ancestors of Jane Beer Hyne who married Frederick Charles Francklin in 1890 had been living in Blackawton for at least three hundred years and it has been possible, from the parish registers and with little other information, to trace her ancestry back to Richard Hyne (1663-1743) fuller, and parish clerk, who was baptised at Blackawton 1 September 1663, son of Richard and Wilmot Hyne. Her descent from Richard Hyne is shown in the family tree entitled "The Hyne family of Blackawton, Devon".


†† In the seventeenth century Exeter was the centre of a flourishing woollen industry producing serges of perpetuanos (so called from their long wearing qualities). Most of the woolcombing and spinning took place in surrounding villages, but although much of the manufacturing (weaving, fulling and dying) was located in and near Exeter, some finishing took place in the outlaying villages particularly if there was a source of water power for the fulling mills as there was at Blackawton. With the Restoration the Devonshire cloth industry expanded vigorously turning increasingly to the manufacture of serges for the Dutch, German and Spanish markets, and down to 1715 the Devonshire serge manufacture was the most important branch of the great English woollen industry, certainly in the field of exports.


†† The long war that was ended by the Treaty of Utrecht in 1713, greatly damaged the woollen industry in Devon. Both the Dutch and the Spanish trades were much reduced. By the 1720's the competition of Norwich "stuffs" was pushing the Devonshire serges out of the Spanish market; by the 1740's and 1750's the Dutch and German trade were going the same way. The Norwich manufacturers had learnt to produce a finer fabric and to sell it more cheaply than serges. No real alarm was felt in Devon until the Dutch trade began to fall off in the 1740's when unemployment appeared on a scale not experienced before. Even in remote country districts the spinners and weavers who worked for the merchant manufacturers of Exeter became an increasing burden on the parochial poor rates. The industry never recovered.


†† Richard Hyne (1663-1743) was a fuller and would have seen some of the decline in serge manufacture before he died. Neither of his two sons Evans Hyne (1704-1788) or Thomas Hyne (1716-1789) followed their father's trade of fuller but the association with cloth continued. Both became tailors-and Thomas took over from his father the duties of Parish Clerk. John Hyne (1746-1825) son of Thomas Hyne (1716-1789) was also a tailor but had a smallholding to augment his income. In 1779 he was the occupier of Dallicombe Farm with 17 acres and another 9 acres nearby.


†† The cloth industry however was not entirely dead in Blackawton. John Roope, father of Sarah, the wife of John Hyne (1746-1825) was a woolcomber and John and Sarah's elder son Thomas Hyne entered that trade, but the younger son John Roope Hyne (1779-1866) became a butcher and cattle dealer. He had the farm Barnsdale in the hamlet of Woodford which later his son Frederick occupied. The movement away from cloth was complete and thereafter the family were artisans and farmers.


†† Elizabeth, the wife of John Roope Hyne (1779-1866) died in 1821 leaving him with eight young children, the youngest, Samuel Evans, only a year old. By 1841 all the children had left home except the youngest daughter, Elizabeth, aged 25, who lived with her father in a cottage leased in Blackawton village near the churchyard. He was then described as farmer and in the Tithe Commutation record of the previous year was leasing a few fields near the village totalling 11 acres of which 8 acres were arable and the rest pasture. His son, Frederick, had taken over the lease of Barnsdale and in 1841 lived there with his first wife Mary Ann and their one year old baby. The Barnsdale fields in the tithe records consisted of six acres of arable and two acres of pasture adjoining the farmhouse with another field of just over an acre of pasture further away.


†† Of John Roope Hyne's six sons four, including Frederick, married and settled in Blackawton. The eldest, John Roope Hyne, was a mason but died before the 1841 census leaving a widow Caroline, aged around 25, with four young children. Richard Hyne, like his brother Frederick, became a butcher and owned two and a half acres of pasture and rented a further five acres, mostly arable, in the seaside hamlet of Street in Blackawton parish where he lived with his wife Alice and a large family. In the churchyard at Street there are tombstones in memory of


†††††††††††† Richard Hyne†††††††††† died 16 May 1888 aged 82


his wife†††††††† Alice††††††††††††† died 29 July 1893 aged 88


their son††† Richard Henry Hyne†††† died 28 January 1920 aged 75


his wife†††††††† Jessie†††††††††††† died 9 May 1896 aged 40


and for other members of that branch of the family.


†† William the other son of John Roope Hyne who settled in Blackawton, became a blacksmith but in 1844 he and three of his young children all died leaving a sad tombstone in Blackawton churchyard:


†††††††††††††††††††††††††††† Sacred

††††††††††††††††††††††† to the memory of

†††††††††††††††††††††† WILLIAM PITTS HYNE

††††††††††††††††† Son of William and Grace Hyne

††† †††††††††††††††who died Jan. the 12th 1844

††††††††††††††††††††††††† Aged 4 years

†††††††††††††††††† Also CHARLES FREDERICK HYNE

†††††††††††††††††† who died Jan. the 16th 1844

†††††††††††††††††††††††† Aged 10 months

†††††††††††††††††† Also JOHN ALBERT PITTS HYNE

††††††††††† who died Feby the 5th 1844Aged 2 years

††††††††††††††††††††††† Also WILLIAM HYNE

††††††††††††††††† Father of the above children

†††††††††††††††††† who died May the 23rd 1844

††††††††††††††††††††††††† Aged 30 years


†† In 1841 Mary Ann the wife of Frederick Hyne had died of typhoid at Barnsdale. At that time in the Devonshire villages wells were the principal source of water supply and the lack of sanitation caused frequent outbreaks of water-borne disease often causing death.


†† John Roope Hyne made his will in 1857 leaving the fields he was leasing and two cottages near the church in Blackawton to his son Frederick, on condition that Frederick paid six pound a year to his sister Sarah Hannaford, and four pound a year to each of his brothers Thomas Hyne and Samuel Evans Hyne. Another cottage, in which she lived at the time, was left to his daughter Elizabeth Taylor, whose husband William James Taylor, had died the previous year.


†† A memorial in Blackawton churchyard records the death of two of Elizabeth Taylor's children before their father died in 1856 and by 1861 Elizabeth with her remaining child had moved in to live with her aged father John Roope Hyne, then 84. Frederick Hyne described as a cattle dealer in 1861 was living in another cottage in the village with his second wife Jane and their three children, William Frederick aged 14 and learning to be a carpenter, Charles Henry aged 12 and John Roope aged 6, both at school.


†† During the second half of the nineteenth century the population of Blackawton, as in the case of most Devonshire villages, began to decline, and work for local skilled trades began to disappear as the distribution of manufactured goods increased. Population figures for Blackawton have changed over the last 150 years as follows:


1801††††††††† 1851††††††††† 1901††††††††† 1931††††††††† 1949

1,019†††††††† 1,360†††††††††† 946†††††††††† 869††††††††††† 471


†† When the population was at its peak in 1850, White's Devon Directory lists the following tradesmen in Blackawton:


†††††††††††††††††††††††† Farmers†††††† 33

†††††††††††††††††††††††† Shoemakers†† 7

†††††††††††††††††††††††† Carpenters†††† 7

†††††††††††††††††††††††† Blacksmiths†† 5

†††††††††††††††††††††††† Butchers††††††† 5

†††††††††††††††††††††† ††Tailors†††††††††† 4

†††††††††††††††††††††††† Masons††††††††† 3

†††††††††††††††††††††††† Shopkeepers9

†††††††††††††††††††††††† Publicans†††††† 6


†† By 1867, however, when Frederick's son Charles Henry Hyne (1848-1872) married Catherine Hosking the drift to the towns had begun and following the example of his elder brother William Frederick, who was a carpenter, Charles Henry left the village after his second child was born to set up as a butcher in London. Within three years he died at 3, Beaumont Square, Mile End, and his wife Catherine returned with the children to Devon where she married again and lived in Plymouth. Their daughter Jane Beer Hyne married Frederick Charles Francklin at Boulogne-Sur-Mer in 1890.



Devon: W.G. Hoskins. 1954.

Blackawton deeds and Moger Abstracts,Devon Record Office,Exeter

Census Records. P.R.O. London.

Probate Records. Somerset House, London.

Directory and Gazeteer of Devon. Wm. White 1850. 1879.

Kelly's Directory, Cornwall and Devon. 1856.

Billing's Directory and Gazeteer, Devon. 1857.

Tithe Commutation Records. Tithe Redemption Commision, London.

Parish Registers.

Fursden Inventories. Devon and Cornwall Record Society.

Burnett Morris Index. Exeter City Library.






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