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However, there are references to "Defenascire" in Anglo-Saxon texts from before 1000 AD (this would mean "Shire of the Devonians"), Kents Cavern in Torquay had produced human remains from 30–40,000 years ago.Dartmoor is thought to have been occupied by Mesolithic hunter-gatherer peoples from about 6000 BC.This suggests the Anglo-Saxon migration into Devon was limited rather than a mass movement of people.The border with Cornwall was set by King Æthelstan on the east bank of the River Tamar in 936 AD.Plymouth and Torbay are each geographically part of Devon, but are administered as unitary authorities. (The shift from "M" to "V" is a typical Celtic consonant shift.) The Anglo-Saxon settlement of Britain resulted in the partial assimilation of Dumnonia into the Kingdom of Wessex during the eighth and ninth centuries.The western boundary with Cornwall was set at the River Tamar by King Æthelstan in 936.For example, the Order of Brothelyngham—a fake monastic order of 1348—regularly rode through Exeter, kidnapping both religious and laymen, and extorting money from them as ransom.
Devon was the home of a number of anticlerical movements in the Later Middle Ages.
Devon's tin miners enjoyed a substantial degree of independence through Devon's Stannary Parliament, which dates back to the 12th century. Like neighbouring Cornwall to the west, historically Devon has been disadvantaged economically compared to other parts of Southern England, owing to the decline of a number of core industries, notably fishing, mining and farming.
Agriculture has been an important industry in Devon since the 19th century.
The arrival of William of Orange to launch the Glorious Revolution of 1688 took place at Brixham.
Devon has produced tin, copper and other metals from ancient times.
Devon was later constituted as a shire of the Kingdom of England.