Why did eminent lady adopt James?
Madam - I was reminded by your article signs of the times as Fortescue area gets place name that the naming of this part of Sidmouth has an interesting history.
Madam - I was reminded by your article "signs of the times as Fortescue area gets place name" that the naming of this part of Sidmouth has an interesting history. It was only in the 1930s New Popular revision of the Ordnance Survey 1" map that the area changed from being named Griggs, to being named Fortescue. So why the change? Almost certainly the order of occurrence of the change was that first Griggs farmhouse was renamed Fortescue Cottage. Then, like so many in the area, the road was named after the house, and finally the area was named after both. The renaming of the farmhouse is a fine Victorian romance. Griggs farm was occupied by the Hon. Miss Sophia Fortescue in the early part of the 18th century. The Fortescues are a very old Devon family with eminent representatives in most generations. It is recorded in the history of Sidmouth United Reformed Church that Miss Fortescue "adopted" James Pike, presumably of the Salcombe Regis family of that name, and eventually bequeathed the house to him. In gratitude, he built a fine tomb for her in Salcombe Regis churchyard, and also renamed the house to Fortescue Cottage. If anyone knows any more of the story, I should be delighted to hear from them: how did this branch of the Fortescues come to be in the Sid Valley? what happened to the young James Pike to need her assistance?
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