Sir Arthur Northcote, 2nd Baronet

Sir Arthur Northcote, 2nd Baronet (1628–1688) was a baronet from Devon, England. He resided at Hayne in the parish of Newton St Cyres, Devon, which mansion house has since been demolished, and also at King's Nympton, Devon, which manor he purchased from Sir Hugh Pollard, 2nd Baronet, his father's first cousin, and where he was buried.

Arms of Northcote: Argent, three crosses-crosslet in bend sable[1]
Arms of Sir Arthur Northcote, 2nd Baronet, detail from his ledger stone in King's Nympton Church. Impaled arms: centre, Northcote, quartered 1st & 4th by a fess between three crosses moline, probably Faber of Bovey[2]) impaling dexter: Welsh (six mullets 3:2:1), sinister: Godolphin (an eagle displayed double headed between three fleurs-de-lis) overall in an inescutcheon the Red Hand of Ulster


He was the son and heir of Sir John Northcote, 1st Baronet (1600–1676), MP, of Hayne in the parish of Newton St Cyres, Devon, by his wife Grace Halswell (d. 1675), a daughter and heiress of Hugh Halswell (d. 1626) of Chamberlain Street, Wells, Somerset,[3][4] grandson of Robert Halswell (d. 1570) of Halswell House, Halswell, Somerset. The family of Northcote originated in Devon at the Domesday Book manor of Northcote in the parish of East Down in North Devon. The Heraldic Visitations of Devon lists the founder of the family as Galfridus de Northcote, Miles ("knight"), living in 1103.[5] The family later in the 16th century made its fortune as cloth merchants at Crediton[6]

Marriages and progenyEdit

Sir Arthur married twice:

Arms of Welsh: Azure, six mullets or. These arms are visible on the monument to Lord Edward Seymour (c.1528–1593), son of Edward Seymour, 1st Duke of Somerset, Lord Protector, in St Mary's Church, Berry Pomeroy, Devon, who married Margaret Walsh, a daughter and co-heir of John Welsh (alias Walshe etc.) of Cathanger, Fivehead, Somerset, Justice of the Common Pleas in 1563
  • Firstly to Elizabeth Welsh (1630-1652), daughter and heiress of James Welsh of Alverdiscott, Devon, by whom he had no surviving progeny. James Welsh of Barnstaple and Alverdiscott, Devon, was according to the Devon historian Tristram Risdon (d. 1640), a "counsellor of law".[7] He purchased the manor of Alverdiscott from the Bellew family, heirs to the Fleming family of Bratton Fleming. James Welsh married four times:[8]

  1. Firstly to a daughter of the Ridgeway family;[9]
  2. Secondly at Ashton in 1604 to Anne Pollard, a daughter of Sir Hugh II Pollard of King's Nympton by his wife Dorothy Chichester.[10] A small mutilated monumental brass survives in St Peter's Church, Barnstaple, in memory of Anne Pollard, second wife of James Welsh, showing within a strapwork surround an escutcheon displaying the arms of Welsh (six mullets 3, 2, 1) with a crescent in chief for difference impaling Pollard (four-quarters, much worn); the text is as follows: "Here lyeth the body of Anne late the wife of James Welshe Esqr. and daughter of Sr. Hugh Pollard, knight. She depart(ed)... this world to the Kingdome of Heaven ... seaventeenth day of March A(nn)o MD... Blessed are the dead dye in the...".[11] Anne Pollard's sister was Susanna Pollard, the second wife of John Northcote (1570–1632), of Hayne, Newton St Cyres, Sheriff of Devon, whose splendid standing effigy exists in Newton St Cyres Church. He was the grandfather of Sir Arthur Northcote, 2nd Baronet, the subject of the present article.
  3. James Welsh married thirdly at Barnstaple in 1623 to Lucy Reynell, 4th daughter of Sir Thomas Reynell (d. 1621) of East Ogwell.[12]
  4. Fourthly he married Jane Windham, a daughter of Sir Thomas Windham, by whom he had a son[13] and heir apparent Thomas Welsh (1629–1639), who died aged 10,[14] whose chest tomb with alabaster effigy survives in Alverdiscott Church.

James Welshe's heir thus became his daughter (by Jane Windham, his fourth wife), Elizabeth Welsh; the first wife of Sir Arthur Northcote, 2nd Baronet, subject of the present article.

The marriage produced two sons and one daughter, described on Sir Arthur's (d. 1707) ledger stone in King's Nympton Church as "deceased". He had by her the following progeny:

    • John Northcote (1649-1680), eldest son, who died without progeny and whose inscribed ledger stone exists in Newton St Cyres Church.
    • Arthur Northcote (1651–1680), 2nd son, married in 1678 Margaret Gay, daughter of Anthony Gay of Bristol, without progeny. He predeceased his father and his inscribed ledger stone exists in Newton St Cyres Church next to that of his elder brother John.
    • Elizabeth Northcote (1652-1654), died young (baptised 12 Sept 1652, buried 3rd June 1654; both in Alverdiscott, Devon).

From the date of Elizabeth Northcote's baptism (12th September 1652), and the date of her mother, Elizabeth Welsh's burial (9th September 1652); both in Alverdiscott, Devon - it appears that the latter may have died due to complications related to childbirth.

  • Secondly to Elizabeth Godolphin (1635-1707), eldest daughter of Sir Francis Godolphin (1605–1667), KB, of Godolphin, near Helston in Cornwall (Marriage Banns date: 3 December 1954). According to his ledger stone at Newton St Cyres, this marriage produced 4 sons and 4 daughters. He had by her the following progeny:[15]

    • Sir Francis Northcote, 3rd Baronet (1659–1709), eldest surviving son, married Anne Wrey, daughter of Sir Chichester Wrey, 3rd Baronet (1628–1668), and died without progeny.
    • Penelope Northcote (1663-1738), married in 1709 to John Heskett, Lancaster Herald of Arms in Ordinary 1713–1727.
    • Dorothy Northcote (1663-1728), married in 1686 to Andrew Quicke of Newton House, Newton St Cyres.
    • Honner Northcote (1665-1730), died unmarried.
    • Sir Henry Northcote, 4th Baronet (1667/8–1730), 2nd surviving son, who married and had issue from whom are descended the subsequent baronets and Earls of Iddesleigh.
    • Susana Northcote (1667-1669), died in infancy.
    • Charles Northcote (1669–1721), 3rd surviving son, who married Sarah Northcote, his first cousin, the daughter of his uncle John Northcote (b. 1629).
    • William Mark Northcote (1672– ), 4th surviving son.

Death and burialEdit

Sir Arthur died in 1688 and was buried at King's Nympton, the manor he had recently purchased from Sir Hugh Pollard, 2nd Baronet, his father's first cousin.

Ledger stoneEdit

Ledger stone of Sir Arthur Northcote, 2nd Baronet, King's Nympton Church

His large black slate ledger stone survives in King's Nympton Church, on the floor at the east end of the south aisle, within the Pollard Chapel. It is inscribed as follows: "Here lieth the body of Sr. Arthur Northcote of Hayn in the county of Devon, His first wife was Elizabeth the daughter of James Welsh Esq.r. of Alverdiscot in the sd. county by whom he had 2 sons and one daughter deceased; his second wife was Elizabeth ye daughter of Sr. Francis Godolphin in the county of Cornwal, Kt. of ye Bath, by whom he had issue 4 sons & 4 daughters, 6 of them living, two lie also here interr'd with Dame Elizabeth their mother. He died 15 April 1688, she 30 August 1707 in full assurence of a joyfull resurrection to eternal life." Below is an heraldic escutcheon with the arms of Northcote in centre, (quartered 1st & 4th by a fess between three crosses moline, of unknown family) impaling dexter: Welsh (six mullets 3:2:1), sinister: Godolphin (an eagle displayed double headed between three fleurs-de-lis) overall in an inescutcheon the Red Hand of Ulster. Underneath: "Piae parentum memoriae hoc marmor posuerunt liberi immo tibi qui hoc legis quisquis es vigila dum vigilas et in rem tuam mature propera horam scit nemo" ("His children placed this marble to the pious memory of their parents, yea, to thee who read this whomsoever ye be, keep watch whilst ye are awake, and hasten quickly in thy business, no man knoweth the hour")

Funeral helmEdit

Funeral helm of Sir Arthur Northcote, 2nd Baronet (1628–1688), King's Nympton Church. On a knight's helm is the heraldic crest of the Northcote family: On a chapeau gules turned up ermine a stag trippant argent

A plaster knight's helm with the Northcote crest above of On a chapeau gules turned up ermine a stag trippant argent[16] hangs from an iron rod high above the arch in the north wall of the Pollard/Northcote chapel in King's Nympton parish church, and was probably used during the funeral of Sir Arthur Northcote, 2nd Baronet. A similar rare contemporaneous funeral helm survives in the Poyntz Chapel in Iron Acton Church, Gloucestershire, which with spur and piece of leather surcoat were borne on the funeral bier of Sir John Poyntz (d.1680) of Iron Acton Court.


  • Vivian, Lt.Col. J.L., (Ed.) The Visitations of the County of Devon: Comprising the Heralds' Visitations of 1531, 1564 & 1620, Exeter, 1895, pp. 581–583, pedigree of Northcote


  1. ^ Debrett's Peerage, 1968, p.604
  2. ^ Charles Worthy wrote concerning the unusual custom of the Northcotes of placing their own arms in the 2nd & 3rd quarters ( Charles Worthy, Devonshire wills: a collection of annotated testamentary abstracts, together with the family history and genealogy of many of the most ancient gentle houses of the west of England [1])"One and four are very similar to the arms of Faber of Bovey Tracey. The daughters and co-heirs of Peter Faber of that parish, 1289, married Northcote, Beare, and Bampfylde; and I consider that the second and third quarterings of Northcote may have been also founded upon Faber, and adopted subsequently to the marriage of Andrew Northcote with Matilda Faber in the reign of Edward I. Faber, as quartered by Bampfylde, bore arg. on a fess sa. 3 crosslets or, a bordure azure"
  3. ^ Vivian, p.582
  4. ^ Will of THOMAS COWARD, of Wells, Somerset, gent., dated 7 January 1619, proved 27 April 1621, by Mary Coward the relict, & Thomas Coward the son. [30 Dale"]. To be buried at St Cuthberts. To my younger son William Coward, the mansion in Chamberlain Street, where Hugh Halswell, Esq'., now dwelleth. ( Abstracts of Somersetshire wills, etc., 1887])
  5. ^ Vivian, p.581
  6. ^ Hoskins, W.G., A New Survey of England: Devon, London, 1959, p.389
  7. ^ Risdon, Tristram, Survey of Devon, 1810 edition, p.280
  8. ^ Risdon, p.280
  9. ^ see Manor of Tor Mohun
  10. ^ Vivian, p.598, pedigree of Pollard
  11. ^ Monument on east side of east wall of bell tower, St Peter's Church, Barnstaple
  12. ^ Vivian, p.644, pedigree of Reynell
  13. ^ Per inscription on chest tomb of Thomas Welsh (1629–1639), Alverdiscott Church (see image:File:WesternTablet WelsheMonument AlverdiscottChurch Devon.PNG)
  14. ^ "in the eleaventh yeare of his age", per inscription on chest tomb of Thomas Welsh (1629–1639), Alverdiscott Church
  15. ^ Vivian, p.582, and ledger stones at Newton St Cyres
  16. ^ Vivian, p.581
Baronetage of England
Preceded by Baronet
(of Haynes)
Succeeded by
Francis Northcote