3. Working for John Knight
James Boevey's old house and the associated farm buildings were the only structures in the former Royal Forest when it was sold in 1815 to John Knight. He was a wealthy Midlands ironmaster who planned to create a great country estate here. In total he bought over 20,000 acres of Exmoor moorland and began to build an impressive mansion at its heart.
At the height of all this activity James Harvey began working here as a carpenter. He had been born in Clovelly in north Devon. He was the son of Joseph and Maria Harvey and was baptised on 20 May 1798. It is not yet known when or why he came to Simonsbath, which is about 35 miles from Clovelly. He would have been about 20 when John Knight took over the management of much of the former Royal Forest of Exmoor in 1818.