My ancestor John Southmeade of Wray Barton,, gentleman, held the avowson at St. Andrews Church in Moretonhampstead, Devon County, in the early to mid 17th century. He held it during what was a break in the otherwise continuous de Courtenay family's holding. I wondered if you might know of anyone who might be familiar with Sir William Courtenay the 3rd Earl of Devon and hope to find out how it was my ancestor managed to get hold of the avowson in lieu of the de Courtenay's during this period.
To which you can only respond:
Sadly all the people who might be familiar with Sir William Courtenay, 3rd Earl of Devon, are now long dead and this makes it quite difficult to put you in touch with anyone who is, or indeed were, familiar with him. However it is possible that a more scientific interwebz search may render some results - have a look at British History Online or the Oxford Dictionary of National Biography or attend a séance - I recommend a one to one for such a specific question rather than a public forum.......a public forum is bound to return too many hits on John Southmeade much like Google.