The survey of the Manor of Moretonhampstead made in 1790 shows a plot of land tenanted by the Rev. Thomas Ley (who also held farmland called Kellator’s, near Bearland, not far from Court). This is described as ‘a Barn, Linhay and Garden in Court Street within the Borough’, and is shown on the Manor map in approximately the position now occupied by Coppelia House.
The deed of 1854, in which Lord Courtenay’s trustees transferred a 500-yr lease of Borohay to Edward Bowring, suggests that the Manor still had an interest in the land up to that point. However, the Land-Tax returns for 1818 and 1831 show John Cole as paying the tax on Borohay as proprietor and occupier. John Cole was a tallow-chandler in Moreton 1798, and by 1818 owned several other properties in the town.
The Land Tax for Borohaye
Neither Borohay nor Langhayes are identified by name in the Land Tax report for 1780. There is a property marked on the plan of the 1790 Manorial Survey, described as a barn, linhay and garden on the south side of Court Street, within the borough, belonging to the manor and leased to the Rev. Thomas Ley (who also leased Kellator’s, which was a collection of fields near Bearland). Measurement of the map suggests that this corresponds to Borohay.
Borohay and the Census
Borohaye House is unusual in being specifically named in the census in most years. The census confirms the presence of a Samuel Dawson in 1841, William White in 1851 and Edward Bowring in 1861. In 1871 the Bowring family had evidently let the house to a military family who brought all their servants with them. In 1881 Borohaye is misplaced (appearing at the end of Ford Street !), but the matron and a few patients were in residence, and in 1891 the only people recorded in the census were the matron and one servant of the Convalescent Home. This makes sense, however, if the census was carried out in April and the home was used mainly in the summer.
From the Deeds of Borohaye House
- 1835: Miss E. Cole conveyed to John Cole Cole Esq. Borohay and Langhayes
- 1840: John Cole Cole Esq. conveyed to J.T. Dawson Esq – Borohay and two fields called Second and Third meadows.
- 1842: J.T. Dawson Esq conveyed to William White Borohay House and the two fields.
- 1844: William White, solicitor, of Borohaye House paid land-tax on a dwellinghouse with offices, stable, coach house and garden, all about half an acre, now occupied and owned by him.
- 1854: Lord Courtenay (the Lord of the Manor) had contracted to sell the freehold of the property to William White, who had died meanwhile. William White’s Will divided all his property equally between his brothers and sisters:
- Susan Dunsford Hill (wife of John Hill)
- Thomas White
- Jane Wrayford White
- Edward White
- Emma Bowring, nee White, wife of Edward Bowring
It was now agreed between all the parties that Borohaye House should be conveyed to Edward Bowring (White’s brother-in-law).
- 1877: Emma Bowring (widow of Edward Bowring, now living in Surrey) conveyed Borohaye to Mary Ann Hawkes Phillips and Julia Sarah Phillips of Torquay. The deed was witnessed by Thomas Benjamin Bowring, merchant, Emma?s nephew.
- 1892: The house had been used for some time as a Convalescent Home for the use of poor people recovering from illness. [It is referred to in other deeds as a convalescent home in 1879.] The Misses Phillips now formed a group of trustees to manage the ‘Moreton Convalescent Home’ as a charity.
- 1901: Harriet Charlotte Haffner conveyed to the Misses Phillips the ‘Garden Ground’ of Moor View (a house in Pound Street). This ground lay between the garden of the Convalescent Home and Mount Pleasant. Harriet was the daughter of Thomas Pitman Haffner (1818-1901) and Charlotte Rachal Whittle (d. 1893) who lived in Moor View, in Pound Street.
- 1925: The Executors of Julia Sarah Phillips transferred Moor View garden to the Convalescent Home Trustees (both Phillips sisters now being dead). It was agreed that this garden was an essential part of the Convalescent Home.
The Convalescent Home and its garden
The deeds show that two ladies from Torquay, the Misses Phillips, bought Borohaye in 1877 after Edward Bowring had died.? They set up the Moreton Convalescent Home for the benefit of poor people recovering from illness in Torquay Hospital, and it was eventually administered by Trustees.? It seems surprising that it was mainly used for this purpose during the summer months, the convalescents spending the winter in the milder air of Torquay.? See the picture of the memorial tablet, and a view of the home in a postcard marked 1906, addressed to Mrs Rayment (?) at Newton Abbott, which carried the following message:
‘My dear Sister & Brother, hope you are quite well and poor Nellie. This is the house, I am getting on famous, I shall be quite well by the time I come home, Matron thinks that I ought to stay another 3 weeks. I have wrote to ask mother what she thinks about it. Hope the children is alright. I go for some nice walks and we do enjoy ourselves. With love to you both and Nellie. I miss the milk. Your loving sister’
At the start of the National Health Service it was taken over as the Moretonhampstead Recovery Hospital. Subsequently it was sold by the Health Authority and became Coppelia House.
In 1901 the Misses Phillips bought a further piece of land at the back of Borohaye, which had been the garden of ‘Moor View’, a large house in Pound Street. The plans of ‘Moor View Garden Ground’ are interesting for what they show of the lay out of Pound Street in 1901. The site of Grandison Villa was occupied by a large house called ‘the Cabin’, and the site of 24-30 Pound Street was occupied by another large house, Moor View. When the Misses Phillips bequeathed this garden to the Convalescent Home it was agreed by the Charity Commissioners that it was an essential part of the home; it was in fact used as a large vegetable garden to supply the patients needs. See also Grandison Villa.