Based on  the collection of papers given to us by Peter Morgan, former landlord

These papers relate to the purchase of  the inn by Thomas Pollard in 1861 and its sale in 1881 to Frederick Townsend, an Exeter wine merchant, then the sale by his widow to an Exeter firm of brewers.  However, the abstracts of title and notes included with the rough drafts of deeds take us further back, though the spelling of names is unreliable.   They give a good description of the property with plans, and you can see the George dung pit and other property the other side of the road.

  • 1793 – We know that Jane Alway, widow, was the innkeeper before this date; there is mention after this of trustees (Jacob Heard, John Stevens) for her son James Always,
  • 1812 – James Always sold to William Pellew, then
  • 1814 – William Bellew sold to John Cole
  • 1821 – John Cole sold to Samuel Cann
  • 1830 – Probate of Samuel Cann’s Will; he left his property to his widow Mary for her life, trustees being William Cann, and Thomas Heyward of North Bovey.
  • 1832 – Samuel Cann junior married Susan Heyward
  • 1841 – Mary Cann made a will leaving everything to John Germon of Meacombe and Robert Hutchings, carpenter, as trustees (Robert Hutchings died 1850).
  • 1853 – Mary Cann died and the estate passed to her son Samuel.
  • 1861 – Samuel Cann II died, leaving an annuity for his wife Susanna, and the inn was sold by his executors (Thomas Heyward and George Augustus Bragg, solicitor) to Thomas Pollard, innkeeper,  of Slapton.
  • 1881 – Thomas Pollard sold to Frederick Townsend, wine merchant of Exeter
  • 1894 – Frederick Townsend died leaving everything to his wife Lissie Varwell Townsend
  • 1895 – Lissie Townsend let the property to John Westlake
  • 1896 – Lissie Townsend sold the property to Pring & Norman, brewers of Exeter.

What do our records tell us about the families?

  • Samuel Cann (I) 1784-1829, married Mary Dayment in 1799 and died 20-12-1829 age 55; his wife died 18-02-1853 age 75 and was buried in grave B044. 
  • Samuel Cann (II), son of Samuel, was baptised 30-05-1802, and buried 4-05-1861 age 58 (grave D060); his wife (Susan Heyward) died in 1896 in North Bovey aged 86 and is buried with her husband.  
  • The census shows the Cann family at the White Hart, and the Pollards later, but it also shows that there were several other Canns in business as innkeepers or as wheelwrights, and that Thomas Pollard’s son Henry was still the innkeeper of the White Hart in 1891 although no longer the owner.
  • The Heywards were a very large family centred mainly on North Bovey, Manaton and Lustleigh.