James Templer and Adoption
Templer was born to a poor family in Exeter. He was orphaned at the age of six and placed in St. John's Hospital, a school for destitute young children. He was apprenticed at 14 to a joiner or architect but after three years of the seven to which he was bonded he ran away to sea as a shipwright. He jumped ship in Madras, India, where he put his skills to use in the construction of docks and other buildings, soon making a very large fortune. Returning to England, still in his 20s, he became even wealthier through building docks at Rotherhithe and Plymouth. In 1765 he bought a large derelict estate near Newton Abbot, Devon, called Stofford Manor and Teign Buer and built Stover House, which is now a private girls' school.
Ewans, Michael Christopher. The Haytor Granite Tramway and Stover Canal. (Dawlish: David & Charles, 1964) "The Story of Stover," compiled by Stover School