David Bethell of the Family Origin name Survey (FONS) has sent me over the years many useful and obscure references to the surname Gidley. I thought it might be of interest if I listed the ones with the earliest dates. I've left most of the place names as they appear in the original record. Some records have been condensed by me.
1175 -1176. Reginaldus de Giddelega is mentioned on the Pipe Rolls (the Exchequer's financial records):
For the King's mercy for his forest. Reg. de Giddelega renders account for 2 marks for the same. In the Treasury 1 mark. And he owes 1 mark.
1332. William de Giddeleghe is mentioned on the Devonshire Lay Subsidy (records of taxation, the closest thing to a medieval census) in Polslo, in the Hundred of Wonford.
Bishop of Exeter's records
1370 John Gederleghe was tonsured in Tiverton church i.e. inducted into the clergy.
1381 Luke Gydleghe was ordained to the first tonsure.
1400 William Gydelegh was ordained by the Bishop in the chapel of his manor of Chuddelegh as an acolyte [a minor order].
1403 Letters dimissory were granted to William Gyddelegh, subdeacon, to be ordained by any Catholic Bishop within England.
1403 31 March William Gyddelegh, subdeacon, was ordained in the chapel of the manor of Clyst.
1403 22 September. William Gyddelegh was ordained in Crediton church.
1408 Richard Gydelegh was ordained in Crediton church.
1413 Letters dimissory were granted to Richard Gydelegh (i.e.to leave the diocese for another).
1432 Licence was granted to Sir John Giddelegh, rector of Jacobstowe [near Hatherleigh and 5 miles north of Okehampton], for absence from his church for one year.
1434 Commission to the Archdeacon of Exeter to enquire in full chapter into the vacancy &c. of the parish church of Teyngton Drew [Drewsteignton], to which Sir William Gyddelegh chaplain has been presented by Sir John Herle knight, John Jaibien and Walter Burell.
1449 On the petition of Sir William Yurle, rector of Teygnton Drewe: to enquire into dilapidations in the houses, walls, fences &c. pertaining to the church, left by Sir William Gydlegh deceased, the last rector.
1449 8 May: To the Archdeacon of Cornwall: to enquire into the alleged pollution of the parish church of Talland [between Looe and Polperro] by bloodshed between Thomas Gyddelegh and Thomas servant of William Collan.
1449 31 May: Declaration that the church and churchyard found by inquisition not to have been so polluted, and that divine service and burial of the dead may be resumed.
Feet of Fines (the agreement between two parties in an English lawsuit over land)
1464 Thomas Gydelegh granted tenements held of Thomas and Margaret Sele. Rents granted to Henry Courtenay, Earl of Devon. For this Henry has given them £200.
1494 Thomas Gidelegh and his wife Margaret, deforciants [against whom a fictitious action of fine was brought]. 26s of rent on properties in parishes of St Neot's and Warlegan [both in the Bodmin area]. Also to receive one grain of corn for 100 yrs, then 11s of silver.