Sir William & Sir John Pole
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Sir William Pole (1561-1635)
Sir William Pole`s History of Devon
Sir John Pole (1588-1658)
Shute Barton, near Axminster
The Gateway to Shute Barton, near Axminster


1575-1648 Pole Family

The Pole Family seem to have left no lasting memorials in Charmouth , though they were to own it for a long time. It was one of a number of estates they had purchased in proximity to their seat at Shute, Axminster. Their elaborately carved tombs can be seen in their private chapel in Colyton.
(i) William Pole (1515-1587)

William Pole purchased the " house, materials and furniture of Shute House for £300 in 1560 from Sir William Petre. Shortly after this, he acquired the lease of an additional eight score acres of land at Shute. Later in 1575 he was to have further dealings with Sir William Petre when he purchased the Manor of Charmouth.

William Pole had possessions throughout many parts of the neighbourhood—Kilmington, Musbury, Dalwood, Colyford and Colyton and Seaton, for he left bequests of twenty shillings each to old people in these parishes. He died at Shute in 1587 in his seventy-third year, and was buried in Colyton Church. His eldest son, only twenty-six years of age at the time, erected a remarkable monument to him there.

Shute Barton, near Axminster is now owned by the National Trust and is open at certain times during the year and well worth a visit. The Poles main house is at Anthony in Cornwall, which is also open to the public and contains their family portraits and Archives.

(ii) Sir William Pole (1561-1635)

One of the more famous Lords of the Manor of Charmouth was Sir William Pole who meticulously recorded the history of Devon and its illustrious families. But it was not to be published until 200 years later by an ancestor, Prince to illumine his own work, The Worthies of Devon”. Educated at Exeter College, Oxford, coincidentally the same as the Petres he was a member of the Inner Temple in London, where he resided at times. He went on to be a Justice of the Peace in Exeter and later on Sheriff. He married Mary Peryham who was to have 11 children, depicted on her elaborate tomb in Colyton. He later remarried Jane, a wealthy widow of Robert How, Baronet, whose young daughter married her stepfather's son John. As well as Shute he owned Colcombe Castle which had been one of the seats of the ancient Courtenay family. Sir William made extensive additions and alterations, but practically the whole of it was destroyed in the Civil Wars. Its ruins today are off Colcombe Lane, north of Colyton.

(ii) Sir John Pole (1588-1658)

For many years Sir John was Member of Parliament for Devonshire, and lived in London for long periods.He was created a Baronet by Charles I in 1628 .Sir John lived through anxious times, during the later days of Charles I, and the Civil Wars. The Poles being always staunch Royalists About the time that the Parliamentarian forces destroyed Colcombe Castle a fire broke out in Shute House.

Sir John Pole and his lady lie buried in Colyton Church, where a magnificent and highly decorative Corinthian canopy is erected over the life-size effigies. The figures lie on their sides, back to back, the knight in full armour, and the lady in cap and farthingale.