Taylor circa 1861 to 1867
After George Moule and his family left Hoar Oak Cottage the records show that a Mr Taylor lived and farmed there some time after 1861. It seems that the area of land around the cottage had by that time been reduced to just 14 acres – it could be that the rest of the land owned by the Vellacotts had been let to Frederic Knight.
All that is known is taken from The Heritage of Exmoor (1989) Roger A Burton pp 116 and 117, as follows:
“At some time after 1861 Hoar Oak farm was again let, the tenant on this occasion being a Mr. R.Taylor. He remained there until Michaelmas 1867 when after selling his livestock – consisting of ten bullocks, 50 sheep and two horses – he retired from farming.
I believe that it was following Mr. Taylor’s retirement that Frederic Knight took a lease for the Hoar Oak farm, and shortly afterwards William Davidson moved into the cottage, which now became the home of the shepherd in charge of the Chains herding, and remained so for the rest of Frederic’s lifetime and for many years after.
That Hoar Oak was rented and not owned by the Knights is confirmed by a letter written to Viscount Ebrington on 25th November 1898, some 18 months after Sir Frederic Knight’s death. In this letter, G.C.Smyth Richards – Agent for both – writes: ‘I see Hoar Oak is rented by your Lordship for £54 per annum, and in addition there are three allotments on Exmoor for which you pay £6.10.0 a year, but these are a separate purchase and I am not sure if Mr. Jeune is prepared to sell them.’ Two days later – in a second letter – G.C.Smyth Richards wrote that Mr. Jeune was prepared to sell Hoar Oak and 60 acres for £1,150 and was also ready to sell his two-thirds share in the Exmoor allotments, and that Mrs Lock Roe was also willing to sell her one-third share. What final price was agreed on is not given, but the sale was completed, and in the spring of 1899 Viscount Ebrington was suggesting the addition of a dairy to the cottage.
Just when and how Hoar Oak had come into the possession of Mr. Jeune is not certain, but it was probably in 1866, when the reversion in fee of moiety of the Furzehill and Hoar Oak Estate was put up for sale. (North Devon Journal 24.5.1866)”
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