The founding of the Hore family of Rushford is considered to be associated with the Norman itaine to do homage to Henry II, King of England. In return, Dermot requested Henry to help him regain his throne from his rival, King Rory O'Connor of Connaguht. In the year 1167 Dermot returned to Ireland with a group of Norman knights from southern Wales under the leadership of Richard "Strongbow" de Clare, Earl of Pembroke (d.1176).
Among the followers of "Strongbow" was the knight William Hore, whose family held extensive lands in southern Wales following its conquest by the Normans. Tradition states that William Hore held the important position of Banner Bearer at the victorious Battle of Wexford. For his valor, Dermot awarded him with lands and a coat of arms, the emblem being the spread eagle, appearing on the Norman banner. This Sir William Hore (living 1190), received large grants of land in the baronies of Shelmalier, Shelburne, and in the county of Wexford, which became known as "Horesland." Thereafter the family adopted the name "le Hore" (the White).
During the reign of Henry III (1216-1272), William le Hore was granted
the lands of Baliconmond for military service to the king at Dublin castle.
It is said that the Hores of Pole Hore and Harperstown are descendant from
William le Hore. On several Irish deeds they were recorded under the alternative
name of Horpool. They bore on their shields the same eagle mentioned above.
The Hore family tradition says that a descendant of Sir William Hore, without land to inherit in Wexford, decided to set sail for Devon in the early years of the thirteenth century. The first known record of the Hore name in Devon is from the Pipe Roll dated 1230, identifying Richardus de la Hore. Ten years later this person was recorded as Richard de Hore. We can conjecture that Richard's surname was indicating that he was descendant from the Hores of Wexford. That he retained the Norman-French article "de" in his surname even ten years later suggests that he was proud of being identified by his place of origin.
In 1282 there is another record indicating a connection between the
Pole Hore family and Devon. Thomas de Horpole, a chaplain, traveled from
Wexford to take his position at Paignton, Devon. This record demonstrates
that there was probably much earlier links between the Wexford Hore family
Rushford manor was located at the town of Chagford, in the northeastern part of Dartmoor Forest in Devon county. The manor was held by right of tenure from the overlord of Okehampton. During the thirteenth century the Rushford manor was held by the De Risford family. In 1344 Roland de Risford was the lord of Rushford.
Between 1230 and 1350 there are few surviving records with the surname Hore in Devon. However, in 1344 there is a significant entry in the subsidy rolls relating to the owners of the rights to the royal tinworks in Chagford. In those rolls, a Richard le Hore is taxed three pence in subsidies in the area of Teignbridge. In those same rolls, Roland de Risford was taxed four pence in subsidies in the area of Wonford. Interestingly enought, the areas (or "Hundreds" as they are called - being a county subdivision) of Wonford and Teignbridge adjoin each other. Both Roland de Risford and Richard le Hore were tin workers and probably business associates. They were tinners of the gentry class, who employed laborers to work their streamworks along the river Teign (pronounced "tin").
Richard le Hore was a man of means, for he held the king's license to exploit the lucrative tinworks in Teinbridge. And by 1349 he was wealthy enough to arrange the marriage of his son Robert to Alice, an heiress to property within Rushford Manor. She was the only child of Roland and Grace de Risford.
The marriage settlement of 1350 between Robert Hore and Grace de Risford marks the beginning of the Hore family at Rushford. By this time the Norman designation "le" had disappeared from the name as the family became identified as native to Devon.
The property acquired from the marriage settlement was not the whole
manor of Rushford, but probably a sixth of it. According to the deed, it
is quite possible that this property could have contained the Rushford
Mill situated by the bridge over the river Teign.
Like his father and grandfather before him, Robert Hore was also a tinner. He might even have been the miller for the manor of Rushford. He undoubtedly was a gentleman, for the Hore family was granted a coat-of-arms. Robert used a seal with this coat-of-arms on the original marriage settlement.
By 1352 Roland de Risford had died, and the Monk family succeeded to the lordship of Rushford. However, Robert continued as a tinworker of Chagford, which included Rushford. By 1377 he had acquired all the tinworks previously owned by the De Risford family.
By 1381 Robert Hore had died, and his interest were inherited by his son, William Hore (d. 1396).
The descendants of Robert Hore continued to be tenants of Rushford lands for several centuries, until they became the sole lords of the manor in the early 1600s.
Today Rushford Manor is called Rushford Barton and is owned by the Hayter-Hames
family of London.
This article was originally written by Lyon J. Hoard in 1982 and was revised in 1997 by Jose J. Hoard with research contributed by Ken Smallbone.
Copyright 1997 by Jose J. Hoard. All rights reserved.
Sir Anthony R. Wagner, English Genealogy, Clarendon Press, Oxford, 1972
Burke's Commoners, Genealogical Publishing Co., Baltimore, 1977.
Edward Hore, Some Account of the Early History and Genealogy of the Families of Hore and Hoare, Alfred Russell Smith Publishing Co., London 1883.
Jane Hayter-Hames, A History of Chagford, Pillmore & Co., Chicester, 1981.