Tuesday, 14 September 2010

There was a Vicary family that originated in Crediton in the 1700's as fellmongers and moved to Newton Abbot where they turned their hand to tanning, starting the Vicary Tannery which survived in the town until 1972.

John, one member of this family, went to America in 1760's and became a sucessful merchant mariner. His last voyage was to the West Indies in the Diligent in 1783 and then on to Europe where he died and was apparently buried in Paimboeuf, Northern France.

His son William followed him into the merchant navy and also had a sucessful career rising to the rank of captain and making several voyages to China He was also a land surveyor and purchased a parcel of land in Freedom, Pennsylvania where he built his home between 1826 and 1833. This is called the Vicary Mansion and is now preserved as a living museum by the Beaver County Historical Research and Landmarks Foundation.

Meanwhile back in Newton Abbot his Vicary cousins were making their mark on the town, and also building mansions for themselves, Dyrons, Churchills, Knowles, Broadlands and the Knoll. Some of these survived into the twenteth centuary, their uses changing from private homes to hospitals, civic offices and the like. All are now probably demolished.