Records of Thorncombe’s tradition of religious dissent date back to the first half of the seventeenth century. The 1889 OS map shows the location of a Quaker burial ground at Higher Laymore Farm, (see above). Thorncombe’s meeting house and burial ground date back to the eighteenth century and were used for at least 36 years if not more.
1889 OS map showing site of Friends’ Burial Ground. © Ordnance Survey
Reproduced by kind permission
Evidence of Thorncombe’s long forgotten Society of Friends is hidden away in the
parish Burials in Woollen Affadavits book. The law required all corpses to be wrapped
in wool and formally witnessed. Quakers excepted, there was no religious objection
among other non-
Minutes Book of Thorcombe and Membury Meetings 1677-
‘payd Richard Hillary the land Rent for the meeting house & [burial ]ground at Ven’
©Devon Records Office DRO ref: 3408D Reproduced by kind permission
Thorncombe’s earliest recorded Quaker found to date, is Hannah Limbry who
married [cloth] maker Peter Loman from Honiton in 1672. The first mention of a
Thorncombe Meeting in the minutes of the first Devon Quarterly Meeting of June 1676,
puts Thorncombe’s Society of Friends among George Fox’s west country pioneer converts.
The joint minute books of Thorncombe and Membury Meeting covering the period 1678-
For a more detailed account, references and a bibliography go to: