Rev. John Swete ne Tripe

1752 - 1821


Rev. John Swete ne Tripe of Ashburton, Devon, England, heir of Esther Swete (q.v.) for slave-property in Antigua and instructed as one of her trustees to sell her property in Jamaica that had been willed to her by Mary Hynes, for his benefit as residuary legatee. He has an entry in the ODNB as 'antiquary and topographer' that explains his change of name 'in order to inherit a considerable fortune' but does not indicate the source of the wealth.

  1. "Between 1789 and 1800 he undertook a number of lengthy excursions around Devon, later recording his travels in a series of illustrated journals. These originally consisted of twenty volumes which contained over 670 watercolour illustrations. Three of the volumes were lost during the Second World War but the remaining seventeen, which cover most of the county, are an important source of topographical description for Devon. His comments are those of a man who defined the landscape in terms of its picturesque and Romantic qualities, noting particularly the seats of the gentry and their gardens. His observations on local industries and agricultural methods are especially valuable as these were made just before the changes brought about by the industrial revolution." [ODNB]

Sources, Oxford University Alumni, 1500-1886 [database online]; [accessed 12/08/2014]; J. A. Marchand, ‘Swete , John (1752–1821)’, Oxford Dictionary of National Biography, Oxford University Press, 2004 [, accessed 6 June 2017].

  1. J. A. Marchand, ‘Swete , John (1752–1821)’, Oxford Dictionary of National Biography; Todd Gray, The Garden History of Devon: An Illustrated Guide to Sources (1995); Todd Gray and Margerie Rowe (eds), Travels in Georgian Devon: The Illustrated Journals of the Reverend John Swete, 1789–1800 (1997).

We are grateful to Philippe Planel for his assistance with compiling this entry.

Further Information

Charlotte Beaumont
John Beaumont and others
Clergyman and travel writer
Church of England

Associated Estates (4)

The dates listed below have different categories as denoted by the letters in the brackets following each date. Here is a key to explain those letter codes:

  • SD - Association Start Date
  • SY - Association Start Year
  • EA - Earliest Known Association
  • ED - Association End Date
  • EY - Association End Year
  • LA - Latest Known Association
1799 [EA] - 1807 [LA] → Trustee and Executor

Rev. John Swete was also residuary heir under the will of Esther Swete of which he was trustee and executor

1799 [EA] - 1807 [LA] → Trustee and Executor
1800 [EA] - 1815 [LA] → Trustee and Executor
1803 [EA] - 1803 [LA] → Trustee and Executor

Rev. John Swete was also the residuary beneficiary under the will of Esther Swete of which he was trustee and executor.

Legacies Summary

Historical (1)

Travels in Georgian Devon: The Illustrated Journals of the Reverend John Swete,...  
notes →
Twenty volumes of travel diaries and 670 watercolour illustrations edited in a four-volume...

Physical (2)

Oxton House Gardens [Built] 
description →
Grade II late 18th picturesque landscape at Oxton House, Kenton near Exeter. The Rev. John Swete 'redesigned and landscaped the extensive grounds and added a gatehouse and thatched Gothic hermitage...
Country house
Oxton House [Built] 
description →
Grade II small Georgian country house, rebuilt c. 1781 by Rev. John Swete who demolished the existing C16th house on the estate. The house was remodelled c. 1830 by Swete's son John Beaumont...
notes →

Relationships (1)

Nephew → Aunt
Notes →
The Rev. John Tripe changed his name in order to inherit under the will of Esther Swete, a relative of his...

Addresses (2)

Oxton House, Exeter, Devon, Devon & Cornwall, England
Traine House, Modbury, Devon, Devon & Cornwall, England
Notes →

Inherited Traine House from Esther Swete. It's not clear whether he actually lived in the property, although it was inhabited by his descendants as late as the 1920s. See Rev. J. L. E. Hooppell, 'Old Traine, in Modbury; the House and its Early Owners' Devon Association Transactions (1927) pp. 265-270 reproduced at [accessed 17/01/2022].