The 'Luxton' Family



Bernard Luxton
1705 - 1765

St. Mary's Church Brushford, originally built circa 1510, with the bell tower built in mid 1800's, restored in 1980's, Brushford is the original home of the Luxton family and the Church clergy included members of the Luxton family.

The Luxton's became part of the community in about 1566
For more on St Mary's Church and how the Luxton's became part of Brushford life.
Go to the bottom of this page.

Many thanks to Brian Luxton for his research on this Luxton family
If you are researching a Luxton family and want to get in touch with Brian
Click on 'Contact' top of menu


Bernard Luxton  


Abt 1705 Brushford, Devon
Died: 1765 Brushford, Devon
Buried: November 15, 1765 Brushford Churchyard, Devon
Parents Robert Luxton
Mary Hatch


Margery Cockwill  


Parents Nicholas Cockwell
Elizabeth Clo(c)ke
There is a recorded death of a Margery Luxton - 1756 November 24, at Ashreigney, Devon - could this be our Margery?



June 29, 1736 Exeter St Edmunds





Date of birth:
Birth Place:
John Luxton * more below Abt 1736 Brushford, Devon
Joan Luxton * more below Abt 1737 Brushford, Devon
Robert Luxton * see left menu Abt 1739 Brushford, Devon
Frances Luxton * more below Abt 1741 Brushford, Devon
John Luxton * more below Abt 1743 Brushford, Devon
George Luxton * more below Abt 1745 Brushford, Devon
Thomas Luxton * more below Abt 1748 Brushford, Devon
Joan Luxton * more below Abt 1750 Brushford, Devon

Below I have listed Bernard's children and any information I can find relating to them - Our direct line can be seen in the main menue


An idea on how farm labourers would have looked in the 19th century


File Information:


Bernard Luxton was baptised on October 16, 1705 at Brushford.

Bernard variously described as a yeoman and butcher married Margery Cockwell by licence at Exeter St Edmunds on June 29, 1736. The couple had eight children at least four of whom died young.

In The Exeter Record office there are at least four property deeds which relate to Bernard and his family. They are dated

March 25, 1757,
July 5, 1757,
March 27, 1760
April 5, 1760.

One reeds Bernard Luxton yeoman paid £140 on March 25, 1757 for a 99 year lease determinable on three lives on a messuage called West Rew Brushford then in the possession of Humphrey Morice of Werringyon esquire who retained timber rights on the property. It was agreed that Bernard paid a rental of £1.15.0 (a quarter year?) and the heriot of a best beast (or 40 shillings) before his heir could enter into the estate.
The three lives were for Bernards' surviving sons, Robert, then 16, John 14, and George aged 12. One of these sons, John died in 1761 aged about 18 years.

01 - Child of Bernard Luxton (1705) and Margery Cockwill 

John Luxton 1736 - John was baptised at Brushford on Sept 17, 1736
John died aged 2 and was buried at Brushford on May 4, 1738

02 - Child of Bernard Luxton (1705) and Margery Cockwill 

Joan Luxton 1737 - Joan was baptised Feb 7, 1737 at Brushford
Joan died age 5 and was buried at Brushford on Jan 20, 1741

03 - Child of Bernard Luxton (1705) and Margery Cockwill 

Robert Luxton 1739 - See main menu

04 - Child of Bernard Luxton (1705) and Margery Cockwill 

Frances Luxton 1741 Frances was baptised at Brushford on Nov 2, 1741

Frances never married and died at the age of 41 in July 1782 - she was buried at Brushford on July 6, 1782 - This may not be correct - Update to come shortly

05 - Child of Bernard Luxton (1705) and Margery Cockwill 

John Luxton 1743 - John was baptised at Brushford on July 12, 1743
John never married and died at only 18 years of age - John was buried at Brushford on Aug 27, 1761

06 - Child of Bernard Luxton (1705) and Margery Cockwill 

George Luxton 1745 -George was baptised at Brushford on Dec 26, 1745
No more information

I have seen a site with a Bernard Luxton born 1745 showing Bernard and Mary as parents and baptised on the same date as George - is this a twin? - needs checking

07 - Child of Bernard Luxton (1705) and Margery Cockwill 

Thomas Luxton 1748 - Thomas was baptised at Brushford on June 13, 1748
No more information

08 - Child of Bernard Luxton (1705) and Margery Cockwill 

Joan Luxton 1750 - Joan was baptised at Brushford on July 29, 1750
No more information




Brushford Church and Parish - Taken from a church leafet

St Mary the Virgin is the parish church of Brushford, Devon. Set high above the River Taw, isolated at the end of a narrow lane, this is one of the smallest Devon churches. It looks out across and agricultural landscape to Dartmoor, about 15 miles to the south-west.

The land has been occupied since time immemorial. When the Roman empire reached its zenith, the Taw formed part of its weston-most boundary, with a chain of forts along the bank. The earthworks of one such are still visible by the river at Brushford. Following the Norman conquest, the land was held by Baldwin, Sheriff of Devon, builder of Okehampton Castle. It passed to Espek family who eventually bequeathed it in 1150 to Hartland Abbey in north Devon.

Ownership reverted to the Crown after Henry VIII's dissolution of the monasteries. The land passed through the hands of various favoured courtiers before substantial parts was purchased by Bernard Luxton, a yeoman farmer from the nearby parish of Winkleigh. The transaction is recorded in the patents rolls of Elizabeth I for 1566. The Luxtons prospered: in 1591, they bought the advowson of Brushford church; over the centuries, they acquired more lands; they enlarged the manor house - Brushford Barton - which lies immediately to the south of the church, and remained in residence there until 1922. The name recurs frequently inside the church on plaques and stained glass windows and many of the graves outside.

The local economy has always been agriculture with only a brief interlude from 1498 when a licence was issued to the Earl of Devon and associates to work a mine. This was primarily for lead but also produced precious metals, mainly silver, for the Royal Mint. Remnants of old earth workings are still visible. The decline in agriculture in the 19th century caused many residents of Brushford to leave the land and emigrate to North America, Australia and elsewhere. From a low of about 50 in the early 20th century, the parish population is now around 120.

Brushford church has been altered many times over the years. The origins of the current building are Norman. As so often happens, there may well have been an earlier Saxon foundation but no traces of such are evident. The walls of nave and chancel are Norman; the north chancel window and undecorated south doorway are also late Norman, from about the time when Hartland Abbey acquired the property. There were major redevelopments in the Tudor period, presumably financed in part by the Luxtons. The tower with a typical 16th century window was added or rebuilt. Originally, it was surmounted by a spire but this burnt down in 1693 probably struck by lighting - and it was replaced with the present slate-hung cap. The nave has a barrel vaulted ceiling with decorated Tudor bosses.

The unusual screen, which has been dated 1520, was installed between nave and chancel. Thought to be the work of immigrated Breton craftsman, it comprises ogee curves with delicate tracery like Breton dentelle lace and has linenfold panelling below. A few similar screens exist in France, notably at Morlaix, but this type of workmanship is unknown elsewhere in Britain apart from the two other local churches: Colebrooke and Coldridge. The screen was damaged, probably at the time of the Reformation when many such church artefacts in Britain with Catholic associations were vandalised. No doubt Brushford church with its dedication to the Virgin Mary would have been and obvious target for extremists. Parts of the tracery have been smashed and three statuettes have been removed from plinths on the central archway. We are fortunate that so much has survived.

The pulpit was installed in the 17th century and the further extensive renovations took place in the 19th century, for example, much of the stained glass, the tiled floor and the pews. It was also during this period, probably when John Luxton was the incumbent of Brushford and Bondleigh parishes, that the Norman font was replaced and moved to Bondleigh church, where it can still be seen.

Originally there were three bells in the church tower. They were made in the late 14th Century by William Dawe of Exeter who was also known as William the Founder of London. The two largest bells - the Treble and the Tenor - eventually cracked. They were brought down to the floor of the Church and then moved to their present position in the nave in 1996. The remaining bell remains in the tower and is still rung for services.

The Church has two small but exquisite pieces of sliver: a paten of 1470 and a chalice of 1571 made by John Jones of Exeter. There is a photograph of them in the nave. These are used regularly for services, which are usually held on the first Sunday of each month.






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