“From Rashleigh a Plympton farmer, Anthony Culme, leased 28 acres at Tothill in 1860 and ten years later his son bought it outright. By 1730 the Culme estate included Mannamead and Little Efford and when the last Culme, John, died in 1804 they also owned Freedom Fields, most of Lipson, Compton and Laira. Their house in the Tothill was one of the most pleasant in the area, standing just north-east of the present St Jude’s Church and looking down the Tothill Creek to the Laira and the woods of Saltram” (Crispin Gill – Plymouth A New History 1979).
By 1804 all male members, John and his three sons of the family had died, leaving only Elizabeth and her two daughters – Elizabeth and Frances. Frances, who had married a neighbour, Thomas Bewes, died in 1809, and that same year her mother also passed away – “leaving the young Elizabeth alone, a spinster in the great house … Now Elizabeth had two nieces by her brother Thomas and they became co-heirs to the Tothill Estate. In 1833 one of the girls, Elizabeth, married the Rev. John Hobart Seymour (Clifford Trethewey – Story of St Jude’s Church).”
In 1842, following Elizabeth’s death the previous year Sir John Seymour (as he now was) obtained a Royal Licence to have his name changed to Culme-Seymour.