Moulton Hall, at Moulton, in the parish of Middleton Tyas, 1½ miles S. by W. from the latter village, was an ancient residence of an important branch of the Smithson family. A small and dilapidated old chapel here, retaining a piscina and fragments of Norman work, is now used as a joiner's shop; it was probably erected in the middle of the 13th century by the monks of Easby or Richmond, but fell into decay after the dissolution of the Monasteries. Moulton Hall is supposed to have been built by Leonard Smithson about 1570. It is a very fine specimen of Tudor architecture, with striking-looking parapets. It contains a beautifully carved oak staircase on which the Smithson arms, as borne then by the family, are carved, showing the chevron between 3 oak leaves, impaled with the Fairfax lion rampant. They are in a panel which would be carved after George Smithson's marriage in 1653.
The Manor House, distant a few hundred yards from the Hall, and said to be connected by an underground passage, is also an interesting building of still earlier date, and it certainly was another residence of the same family in the first half of the 16th century.
The Manor of Moulton (sometimes spelt Mowton or Multon) became after the Conquest the possession of Alan 'Rufus', Earl of Richmond, who had a summer residence here; his descendant, de Dreux, Earl of Richmond in the reign of Henry III., gave it to the monks of Richmond, and it is on record that the Manor House was rented 10th Ed. I.
The present Manor House was built probably by Robert Smithson, the man-at-arms at Agincourt, or by his son Robert.
Gatherley, in the same vicinity, is mentioned in old Smithson wills and deeds as a part of their estate. On the exterior of the porch of Moulton Hall acorns are carved, in accordance with the crest belonging to the above-mentioned arms, viz., a squirrel holding an acorn in its paws. After the death of George Smithson in 1692, his widow, in pursuance of his will, sold the estate worth £400 a year for £8,000 in 1695 for payment of debts, reserving £1,000 for the younger children. It was purchased by Sir Mark Milbanke of Halnaby, who paid down £5,000, reserving £3,000, for which he gave a mortgage on the premises. The Milbankes subsequently sold it in 1815 to Sir J. Chas. Dalbiac, in order to provide a dowry for Lady Byron, who was a Miss Milbanke. Sir J. C. Dalbiac sold it in 1836 to dower his only child, Susanna, who married the 6th Duke of Roxburghe in that year. It was subsequently purchased by the Sanderson family; H. M. Sanderson, Esq., is now the proprietor. There is a bedroom in the Hall which is known as King James' room. Tradition says that he slept there on his way from Scotland to assume the English crown. Another version is that he stayed there when he attended the races on Gatherley Moor, which seems more probable.
The present Hall was built no doubt on the site of the Earl of Richmond's summer mansion, as in it there is a central wall nearly 8 feet thick, which may have been originally an outer defensive wall of the Earl's seat.
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It is considered by experts that the newel posts of the staircase are not quite in unison of design with the panels of the staircase, and that perhaps the panels may be Flemish work, and the newels made from local wood, which would explain the slight divergence in treatment.
Christopher Smithson of Moulton, the father of George and Thomas, purchased the Manor of Gatherley (or Gaterley), with Moulton, and 4 messuages, 4 gardens, 4 orchards, 20 acres of arable land, 160 acres of meadow, and 350 acres of pasture, etc., from Sir Bertram Bulwer and Isabella his wife, and William Bryan, gentleman, and Magdalen his wife, in the 7th James I. (1609), but there was still a Crown Rent payable, part of which was remitted after the Restoration for services rendered by George Smithson. It is possible that he was identical with the Major George Smithson of Lilburn's Horse, who induced that regt. to join General Monk's army on its march from Scotland (cf. Brit. Mus. Add. MS.). It should be mentioned that Old Moultons Ambo stood higher up in the road to Richmond, about a quarter of a mile from the present village. There are numerous traces of foundations still existing. At the dissolution of the Monasteries, was described as Moultons Ambo. A large elm-tree which was said to stand in the middle of the site of the old village, was blown down in 1881.
Moulton is mentioned in the Domesday Book, as also is Kneeton, but not Middleton Tyas. The Church of Middleton was given by Stephen Earl of Bretagne to the Abbey of St. Mary’s, York, and the patronage lay with the Abbey and Convent of St. Mary’s, and at the Dissolution fell to the Crown. There was a Roman Settlement at Gatherley Grange, where many antique objects were found, which are in the possession of Mr. Sanderson’s brother.
Robert Smythson, the third son of that Wm. Smythson, who resided at Newsham in 1403, and who is variously described in the records as Franklin, Forester, yeoman and gentleman, is stated to have been a man-at-arms at the battle of Agincourt in the third year of Henry V. (1415), and his name appears in the Muster that was held at Southampton in the eighth year of Henry V. He was alive in the twenty-ninth year of Henry VI. (1450). He married –, and had issue:
- Robert Smythson of Gatherley, in temp. Henry VI. and Henry VII., and still alive in the twelfth year of Henry VIII. (1520). He married Agnes, who in her will (1556) 'wishes to be buried in the Church of Middleton Tyas, where my husband Robert Smythson lies.' By her Robert Smythson had issue:
- Thomas Smythson of Gatherley, who held the farm of High Gatherley under Mr. Francis Bulmer, and wills it to his younger son Anthony. He died in 1573. He married ?, and left issue:
- Leonard Smythson of Moulton, of whom below; born c. 1536.
- Anthony Smythson of High Gatherley.
- Nicholas Smythson, clerk in Holy Orders, Vicar of Middleton Tyas, supervisor of the will of Thomas Smythson of Cowton Grange, 1543. Witness of the will of Agnes Smythson, his grandmother, in 1556.
- Rowland Smythson, witness of the will of W, Marshall of Moulton, 1543, and supervisor of Thos. Smithson of Cowton Grange, 1543.
- Allyne or Elynes, who married James Thomson.
- Robert Smythson had issue William Smythson, to whom his sister-in-law Agnes Smythson in her will left 3s. 4d.
- He had issue Thomas Smythson, supervisor to his sister-in-law Agnes Smythson's will.
We now return to the eldest son of Thomas Smythson of Gatherley, Leonard Smythson of Moulton, supposed to have been the builder of Moulton Hall. His father Thos. had sublet Moulton to him previous to 1573. He was born about 1536, and married, c. 1570, Agnes Wylde, daughter of Robert Wylde of Long Cowton and his wife Dionysia, dr, of Richard Crosby of Richmond, auditor, w. pr. 1559, a kinsman of Thos. Smythson of Gatherley. The will of Robert Wylde, proved in 1574, mentions his daughters, Elizabeth who m. Sir Cuthbert Pepper, and Agnes who m. Leonard Smythson. Robert Wylde left his grandson Robert Smythson lands in Scorton.
The will of Agnes, widow of Leonard Smithson, was proved 1599/1600. In it she says that:
in the time of sickness yet being of good and sounde memorie, upon the least daie of Bartholomew the Apostle being the 24th of August in the year 1599, she did declare and expresse as hir last will and Testament in mannr and forme as followth, viz., tht to Cuthbert Smythson hir sonne one hundreth pds. Unto John hir sonne one hundreth markes. Unto said Cuthbert Smythson one sylver salt and 10 sylver spoones. The Residue of hir goodes and chattells then not bequeathed, unto Nicholas Smythson hir sonne whom she appointed and maid exor. whereof we whose names are subscribed are wytnesses.
MARMADUKE WYLIE, Gent.
JAMES HAWKESWORTH, Clerke. *
WILLM. MAIVE, or Maire.
Probate granted 10th March, 1599/1600, to the son, Nicholas Smythson.
*It is curious to note the James Hawkesworth, clerke, who witnessed the above will would be the man who reported the Smythsons of Cowton for recusancy in 1609 (vide North Riding Records).
Leonard Smythson, by his wife Agnes, had issue:
- Christopher Smithson, his eldest son and heir, of whom below. Leonard Smythson of Moulton is the one with whom the Pedigree recorded in Glover's ' Visitation of Yorkshire ' commences. In that ' Visitation ' the arms are stated to be ' sable 3 horseshoes or in chief a label of 3 points ermine, Crest, a horse's head couped sable, bit and reins, or.' Leonard Smythson died at York in 1598 intestate. A grant of administration of his goods was made on January 17, 1597/98, to Christopher Smithson, his eldest son and heir.
- Cuthbert Smithson, his second son, who was a noted physician of Richmond, Yorks. He died unmarried in 1650, and was buried at Middleton Tyas; his burial entry, December 10, states that he was ' Medic. Doctor peritis-simus.' His will, dated on Decr. 10, 1650, is to the following effect: ' I Cuthbert Smithson of Richmond, Doctor of Medicine, wish my body to be buried in the church of Middleton Tyas. To the poor of that parish what my Executor, and cousin Thomas Smithson appoints. To my niece Grace Smithson £100, which her father, my brother owes me, to be paid at the discretion of my Exor. To my nephew John Burnett his childn every one 20 nobles. To Mary Slinger's chn everyone 20 nobles. To Matthew Wastell and his wife's chn 20 nobles. To John Allison £10 and a little salt and 8 spoons, at discretion. To Merriall Smithson £50 and her sister Ann Wetwange £20, out of moneys my cousin Leonard S, their brother owes. All my malt stock and all debts for malt to my nephews, Calvert, Christopher, and Leonard equally. To said Christopher my nephew the bed and furniture where he lieth and all druggs and books of phisic. To my brother Nicholas S. £20. To Mary Meringter (? Meryton) £20. To Thos. Smithson my nephew, of Kipling the 2 houses in ffrench gate, etc. To my niece Meriall Smithson (*A Merial Smithson was buried at Richmond, Yorks, May 3, 1654.) the residue. pr. London May 13, 1651.
- Leonard Smithson had 3rdly John Smithson of Melsonby married, had issue, died 1637, buried at Middleton Tyas, November 14, 1637.
- Leonard Smithson had 4thly Nicholas Smithson, who married Anne Calvert (?) and resided at Kipling. His will, proved London, 1657, describes him as a yeoman, says his intentions are known to his children, that he is infirm and aged, leaves to his eldest son, John Smithson, £40, to be paid on his return to England, and if he never return, the money to go to the others. Item, he gives to his dr. Anne, now wife of Matth. Cooper, 5s. 'Jane Smithson my other dr., Christopher Smithson, my son, Leonard Smithson my son, 200 marks. Item, to Calvert Smithson, goods, lands, hered, etc., in my own possession or of my cosen or nephew Thos. Smithson (of Moulton).' The will was proved January 12, 1657, by Christopher S., power being reserved to Calvert.
Nicholas Smithson of Kipling had issue, by his marriage with Ann:
- John Smithson, who, according to his father's will, had gone abroad and not returned. He appears to have become a Roman priest, and is no doubt the John Smithson, ' Papist Priest of Kipling,' interred at Scorton, July 25, 1685.
- Calvert Smithson of Kipling married Elizabeth Walton, of the parish of Bedale, spinster. He was the defendant in 1667 in the Chancery Commission held by request of the Vicar of Catterick touching non-payment of tithes for his estate at Kipling, when the famous Henry Jenkins, the centenarian, gave evidence. There appears to have been a Chancery suit between him and his brother's children, when he was accused of being a Recusant and denied it.
- Christopher, assistant to his uncle, Dr. Cuthbert Smithson, and who probably succeeded him in his practice at Richmond m., and had drs. Mary and Margaret and others.
- Leonard Smithson*, of Brompton-on-Swale; died intest., without issue.
* A Chancery Bill, Raynardson-Bundle 146 No. 31. Smithson v. Cradock, 23 Oct., 1695, is in the P.R.O., and recites that Elinor Smithson, widow, relict and executrix of George S. of Moulton, co. Yorke, and John Smithson, her son, of Catherick, co Yorke, admors. of Thomas Smithson, late of Moulton, complain that Leonard Smithson, of Kipling, co. Yorke, being in his lifetime possessed of a little box or trunk, a considerable amount of money in gold therein, and of a Bond of £200 by one Thomas Rokeby, Esqr., unto said Leonard Smithson for the payment of £100 with lawful interest to said Leon S. at a day long since past; said Leonard S. a day or two before his decease gave said box and money in the presence of witnesses to Mary and Margery Smithson, his nieces, two of the daughters of Christopher Smithson, late brother of said Leonard S., and gave said bond to his brother, Calvert S., and said Leonard died intestate, without issue, leaving said Calvert S., his brother, and Ann Cowper his sister, Catherine and Dorothy Smithson his sisters, and several nephews and neices; and said Calvert S. being a Popish Recusant convict, and soe not capable of putting the said bond in suit in his own name agst. Rokeby, said Calvert did prevaile on said Thos Smithson of Moulton to sue out letters of Admon. of said Leonard S. in the Court of Richmond, he much demurring to take the responsibility of giving a Bond for the Admon. until persuaded by the Court officials that it was a mere form; and the confederates Mary and Margaret Smithson and John Cowper promised and agreed that he and any other person bound with him should not be troubled, said Thomas became bound to the Court in £300 penalty. Said Thos. S., with much trouble and expense, got £100 from Rokeby, with interest, and paid same to said Calvert S. with the consent of said Mary and Margaret S., and John Cowper, Calvert S. giving a release to Thomas S. 'Mrs Elenor Smithson and her son then go on to make a charge against the three confederates and others that they are threatening that unless a great sum is given them they will recover the £300 penalty from her as Executrix, and have arrested her. She and John S. therefore petition the Court to restrain the proceedings to set her at liberty.' This Bill is answered by Calvert S., who denies that he is a Papist. EvidentIy there was a family quarrel, but the Bill gives some valuable information as to the Kipling Smithsons.
- Anne, m. Matthew Cooper, and had issue John Cooper.
- Jane Smithson, buried at Scorton, 1669.
- Catherine Smithson and
- Dorothy Smithson. Both mentioned in Chancery Bill of 1695.
Leonard Smithson of Moulton had issue:
- Jane Smithson, who m. John Pattison of Dobsole, co. York.
We now return to Christopher Smithson of Moulton Hall eldest son of Leonard Smithson mentioned above.
Christopher Smithson of Moulton, whose name occurs in the Yorkshire Tudor Fines in re lands in Moulton in 1601, and also perhaps was nephew of Christopher S., who in 1574 had an action v. Tristram, re lands in Middleton Tyas, was born c. 1570; d. 1650; m. Dorothy, dr. of Leonard Calvert of Kipling Hall, near Catterick, co. York. (and his wife, who was dr. Richd. Crossland of Crossland), and sister of Sir George Calvert, born 1580, Secretary of State, to Charles I., and created 1st Lord Baltimore. It was Lord Baltimore who founded the colony of Maryland, having previously become a Roman Catholic.
By Dorothy Calvert, his wife, Christopher Smithson had issue two sons:
- George Smithson, Esq., born at Moulton, July 8; baptized at Middle Tyas, July 11, 1615, of whom below.
- Thomas Smithson of Moulton, gent., born 1620, of whom further on.
Christopher Smithson had also issue five daughters – viz.:
- Frances Smithson, m. 1621 to John Burnet of Hurworth, co. Durham, and had issue.
- Mary Smithson, m. to John Slinger of Danby Wiske, and had issue.
- Elizabeth Smithson, m. to John Meriton of Moulton, 4th son of George Meriton, Dean of York (who died 1617). She had issue Mary Meriton, bapt. April 5, 1635.
- Helen Smithson, m. to Matthew Wastell of Ellerton-on-Swale.
- Grace Smithson, m. to Miles Conyers of Cleasby. The second son, Thomas Smithson, gent., of Moulton, probably lived at the Manor House of that place. He m. Mary –, c. 1666, and died in 1697, leaving issue four sons and four drs. In his will, proved at Richmond, Yorks, he leaves to his ' trusty friends, George Grey of Burmiston, Yorkshire, Clerk, George Burnett of Eryholme, Yorks., gent., Daniell Smith of Hartford in said county, gent., and my dear well - beloved wife Mary Smithson all my lands, tenements and hereds. in Moulton not within her jointure for 31 years from my death, to raise £600 to pay to my daughters Margaret and Dorothy, to either £100, and to my children George, Cuthbert, Edward, and Grace, each of them, £85, and to my daughter Mary £60. I have 7 younger children. My heir apparent and eldest son, Thomas Smithson. Niece Eustace Slinger, 5s.'
The above-named Thomas Smithson, senr., gent., by Mary –, his wife, whose name is not known, had issue:
- Christopher Smithson, bapt. Dec. 26, 1667; bur. at M. T., Jan. 31, 1668/9,.
- Margaret Smithson, born 1669; bapt. Feb. 11., 1668/9.
- Thomas Smithson, junr., bapt. March 26, 1671; d. 1741.
- George Smithson, bapt. Aug. 26, 1672.
- Mary Smithson, bapt. Aug. 16, 1674; m., 1702, Rev. Luke Cotes, Vicar of Birstall, and afterwards Dean of Middleham, 1702. A tablet to her is in Middleham Church.
- Dorothy Smithson, whose name is in her father's will, 1697. She married Thomas Garth of Bolton Garth, co. Durham, at M. T. Church, Oct. 29, 1698.
- Grace Smithson, name in father's will, 1697.
- Cuthbert Smithson, name in father's will, 1697.
- Edward Smithson, named in father's will, 1697.
A Mary Smithson, widow of Smithson, of Stockton, was buried at M. T., Nov. 15, 1707.
Of these, Thomas Smithson, junr., gent., of Moulton, son of Thomas Smithson, senr., gent., married on Nov. 18, 1698, at Ainderby Steeple Church, Ellenor Pepper of that parish (who died 1736, and was buried at M. T.), and had issue by her:
- Thomas Smithson* (iii.) (*In 1723 Thos. Smithson of Moulton, gent., Ellinor his wife, and Thos. S., gent., son and h. appt. and others made a deed for the uses of a fine on the lands of Moulton.), bapt. June 30, 1700; died 1747. There are two deeds of his, dated May 29, 1746, and June 9, 1747, in the latter of which he grants the Lowfield farm in Moulton, with £50 per annum, to his wife for life. He m. Elizabeth –. of Bedale, and was buried at Bedale, Sept. 16, 1747, leaving one posthumous son, Thomas Smithson, who was baptized at Bedale. ' June 15, 1748. Thomas Smithson, son of Elizth, widow of Thos. Smithson, gent., late of Bedale, deceased.' Thomas Smithson was buried at Bedale, July 1, 1748. His mother took out a gr. of Admon.
- Dorothy Smithson, baptized at M. T., June 30, 1702; m., May 23, 1727, Edward Fisher of Richmond.
- John Smithson, bapt. at M. T. Feb. 8, 1703/4; bur. May 24, 1704.
- Mary Smithson, bapt. Nov. 19, 1706; m., March 21, 1736/7, Wm. Sanderson of Moulton, and had issue:
- Ann Sanderson, bapt., M. T., Aug. 2, 1738.
- Thos. Sanderson, bapt. Dec. 26, 1739; m. Barbara Curry, and had issue.
- Eleanor, m. Jno. Jackson.
- Cuthbert Smithson, bapt. May 29, 1708, at M. T. An interesting indenture, preserved in Box 4,34 of the Hailstone Collection at York Minster Library, gives light on his history. It runs thus:
' This Indenture, made the 29th day of March, 1723, between Thos. Smithson of Moulton, co. York, gent., and Cuthbert Smithson of same, one of the sons of sd Thos. Smithson, of the 1st part, and Mathewsalem Snowden of Richmond, in sd Co., Alderman and Apothecary, of the other pt, witnesses "that the said Cuthbert Smithson hath of his owne free will and with Consent of his father put and bound himselfe apprentice to and with sd M. Snowden, and with him, after the manner of an apprentice, to dwell remaine and serve from the day of the date of these Presents for dureing and untill the Terme of Seven years," etc. " During all which sd Terme sd Apprentice his sd Master well and faithfully shall serve, his Secrets shall keep, his Lawfull Comands shall doo, Fornication or Adultery he shall not Comitt, Hurt or damage to his sd Master shall not doe nor cause to be done but he to his power shall lett it, and forthwith thereof his Mr warn. Taverns or Alehouses he shall not haunt or frequent unless it be about his Master's business there to be done. At Dice Cards Tables Bowles or any other unlawful Games he shall not play, the Goods of his sd Mr he shall not waste, Matrimony wth any Woman within the sd Terme he shall not contract, nor from his Mr's Service at any time absent himselfe," etc., . . . and sd Mr shall and will teach learn and informe him (in conson of £46) the sd Apprentice, or cause him to be taught, learnt or informd in the art Mistery or Occupacon of an Apothecary," ' etc.
On the death of his father in 1741, and his elder brother, Thos., in 1747, Cuthbert Smithson seems to have become heir in remainder, for there is a mem. of a mortgage of May 21, 1752 'between Cuthbert Smithson, gent., 1 pt, and Xtopher Daggett of Bedale, gt., concerning all that Capitall Messuage and dwelling house in Moulton, etc., now in possession of C. S., and all that Messuage Tent or farm now or late in Tenure of Ralph Shaw the elder at £50 per ann., and £40 p.a. and all the other lands, etc., in term of Ralph Shaw the younger and all other hered. of him C. S. Witnessed by Edwd Carter, Wm Milbank, and Richd Stewardson, all of Theakston.' This was registered at Northallerton, May 22, 1752. Cuthbert Smithson died in 1761, and was buried at Middleton Tyas, May 30, 1761.
- George Smithson, baptized Aug. 31, 1709, at M. T., who succeeded to the Moulton property on the death of his brother Cuthbert, and seems to have disposed of part of it, as a memorial of a quadrupartite indenture, Jan. 20, 1763, between George and Leonard Hartley, Esquires, of Middleton Tyas, and Thomas Garth of Bolton Garth, co. Durham, gent., Trustees of Thos. Smithson, late of Moulton, decd, and George Smithson of Blackness Castle,* in North Britain, gent., one of the sons and at length heir of sd Thos. Smithson, and John Deighton of Grunton, yeoman, concerns the Capital Messuage and certain fields in Moulton, and was executed by George Hartley.
* Blackness was a military barrack and storehouse near Linlithgow, and George Smithson may have been an officer or military official stationed there.
He seems to have returned to England and married a Miss Jane Blackett of Sockburn Hall, co. Durham, for in a subsequent deed, dated Jan. 9, 1772, two years before his death, it is stated that George Smithson of Moulton, gent., eldest surviving son of Thos. Smithson, late of Moulton, decd., gent., and Jane, the wife of George Smithson, made a lease of Gatherley Closes, then in the actual possession of George Smithson.
By Miss Blackett, his wife, George Smithson had issue five children, it is believed – viz.:
- Thos. Smithson, who resided at Moulton, and died unmarried. He was buried in Middleton Tyas Church, May 1, 1810.
- a son and
- another son, names not known.
- Eleanor Smithson, bapt. Middleton Tyas, Nov. 29, She died in her prime, and was buried at Middleton Tyas, Nov. 25, 1795. ' An amiable young woman.'
- Frances Smithson, m. Francis Sanderson of Toft Hill, in the parish of St. Helen's, Auckland, co. Durham, on June 1, 1797.
George Smithson of Moulton died 1774, and was buried in the church of Middleton Tyas on Dec. 22. His widow, Mrs. Jane Smithson, died in 1810 at Toft Hill, and was buried also at Middleton Tyas on March 19, 1810.
- John Smithson, bapt. at M. T., Sept. 28, 1711; mentioned in father's will, 1741.
- William Smithson, bapt. at M.T., June 8, 1719; d. y.
- Eleanor Smithson, bapt. at M. T., March 12, 1722/3; mentioned in father's will, 1741.
Thomas Smithson (ii.) of Moulton died in 1741, and was buried in Middleton Tyas Church, February 12, His wife, Ellenor Smithson als. Pepper, was buried at M. T., April 19, 1736.
The will of Thos. Smithson the elder, of Moulton, gentlemen, was proved at Richmond, 1741. In it he says: ' Whereas by Indenture, 10 Jan., 1723, betw. me and Ellinor, my late wife, and Thomas Smithson, my son, of the 1st. part, Thos. Garth of Bolton Garth, gentle man, and George Steaney of Middleton Tyas, gentleman, 2nd part, and Wandesford Gyll, gentleman, and Jonathan Hargreaves, gentleman, 3rd pt., all lands and tenements therein are limited for use of younger sons. After death of self and wife to use of children, except the eldest son, until £600 be raised and paid. I do therefore, etc.
' Whereas I have issue Thomas, my eldest son, Cuthbert, George, and John, youngest sons, and 3 daughters, Dorothy, Margaret, and Ellinor, to Dorothy, wife of Edward Fisher, I leave £10 and £3 10s. for mourning, which with what I gave at her marriage and £5 p.a., etc. To grdchn., one guinea apiece.
' To Mary, wife of Wm. Sanderson, £3 10s. for mourning. To my son George, £50. To John, £100. To dr. Ellinor, £3 10s. for mourning, and £500.
' Friends Prescott Pepper of South Cowton, Esq., Leonard Hartley of Middleton Tyas, Esq., Robert Steaney of Middleton Tyas, gentleman, and Thos. Garth, all lands, etc., in Offerton and elsewhere in co. Durham on trust to sell; ditto lands in co. York.'
We now return to George Smithson, Esq., the elder son of Christopher Smithson of Moulton and his wife, Dorothea Calvert of Kipling.
George Smithson, Esq., born July 8, bapt. July 15, 1615, at M. T., succeeded to the Moulton Hall Estate on the death of his father in 1650. He married at St. Helen's Church, Bishopsgate, London, on Jan. 20, 1653/4, Miss Eleanor Fairfax, dr. of Col. Chas. Fairfax* of Menston, near Otley, and niece to Ferdinando, Lord Fairfax, the famous general. She was baptized at Otley Church, Feb. 15, 1631. George Smithson died 1692, and was buried on Oct. 18 in that year in Middleton Tyas Church. She died at Catterick, where her son-in-law was vicar. Her will was proved in 1713. They had eleven children.
*' Chas. Fairfax of Menston, who was 7th son of Thomas, first Lord Fairfax and Ellen Aske his wife, was born at Denton on the 5th of March, 1597; educated at Trin. Coll. Cambridge, was of Lincoln's Inn, called to the Bar 9th of March, 1618, became a Colonel in General Monk's army in Scotland, Governer of Hull in 1660. He died in Menston and was buried in Otley, 22nd Decr., 1673. He married Mary, dr. and heiress of John Breary, Esq., of Scrow Hall and Menston. She was buried at Otley 21 Oct., 1657, having had nine sons and five daughters. The eldest dr., Eleanor (Nell), born at Menston, 31 Jany., 1631, m. 20th Jany., 1653, to George Smithson, of Mowton, and had eleven children.' - FOSTER.
The Richmond will of George Smithson, Esq., of Moulton, was proved Nov. 7, 1692, and says: ' I give and devise to my dearly and entirely beloved wife Eleanor Smithson all that my capital messuage with all other, etc., at Moulton and Gaterley to have, etc., with liberty to sell and with advice of four friends named below, for debts, etc., and for raising sorne competent support for my 2 sons John and Christopher, and my daughters, Eleanor and Dorothy. I desire my four friends Thos. Smithson of Moulton my Brother, George Burnett of EryhoIme, Joseph Halson of Aldborough, and Matthew Smales of Gilling, gents., to advise, etc. If my wife die, my eldest son Thomas to have my real estate. Dated 13 Oct. 1692.'
George Smithson, in his long life of seventy-seven years, saw many eventful changes in this country. Born in the reign of James I., he was a witness of the Civil War, and the execution of the pious, virtuous, and unfortunate Charles I., and then appears to have acquiesced in the religious and political condition of affairs which succeeded. His marriage to the niece of the Parliamentary General, Lord Fairfax, in 1653, would no doubt secure him in his estates. He became a Justice of the Peace for the North Riding, and in that capacity performed several marriages at Northallerton; and he was also a member of the Puritan parliament, being M.P. for the North Riding of Yorks 1654-5 and M.P. for the borough of Northallerton 1658. The North Riding Records of Quarter Sessions frequently mention his name as one of the magistrates on the Bench. He seems, however, like many others, to have become tired of the narrow regime of the Cromwells, and was among those who aided General Monk in carrying out the plan of Royal Restoration. For this he had his recompence, a fee farm rent of Moulton being cancelled by order of Charles II. A blow fell upon him in his old age in the death of his eldest son, George Smithson, who was born in 1653 and married in York Minster, 1683, August 28, Elizabeth Danby of York, who survived him. There was no issue to this marriage, but the widow seems to have caused George Smithson some trouble by taking action in Chancery as to an alleged breach of contract concerning the marriage settlements. A satisfactory response was, however, put in by her father-in-law.
George Smithson is buried in the Church of Middleton Tyas, where a tablet to his memory is on the wall.
He had issue by his wife Eleanor Smithson, nine children, of whom –
- George Smithson, Jun., was born 1653, died in the lifetime of his father, and was buried in Middleton Tyas Church, Oct. 6, 1685. He married Miss Elizabeth Danby of York and Kirby Knowle, on August 28, 1683, but left no issue. His widow afterwards resided in York.
- William Smithson, d. y.
- Charles Smithson, d. y.
- Thomas Smithson, died at York, s.p., 1699, intestate; gr. admon. to br. Christopher.
- Eleanor Smithson, m. Rev. Wm. Iveson, Vicar of Catterick, May 4, 1693.
- Dorothy Smithson, bapt. M. T., April 25, 1665; m. Leonard Robinson of Scorton in 1695. In the M. L. B. she is described as of Thormanby.
- Elizabeth Smithson, bapt. M. T. July 8, 1666; m. Mr. Robt. Bromley and had issue.
- John Smithson, Esq., bapt. M. T., Sept. 10, 1667; apprenticed, 1683, to Thos. Harrison of Newcastle, mcht.; m. Ann Savill of Pontefract, spr. M. L. B., May 5, 1695. She was 27. She died before her husband. He died at Catterick, w. pr. York, Oct. 9, 1701. It is a long document, full of family details, mentions his deceased brother Thos. Smithson, to whom he was heir, his mother Ellinor, his br. Christopher Smithson, his eldest sister Elionor Iveson, his sisters Elizabeth Bromley and Dorothy Robinson, his late wife, one of the daughters of Wm. Saville, gent., decd.; mentions also his messuages, lands, and tents at Ayslaby and Eggscliffe in the counties of York and Durham, which descended to him as heir of his brother Thomas, and his lands, etc., at Kilham or elsewhere in co. York, which were in right of his wife. The bond is signed by Christopher Smithson, Exor., and Rev. Wm. Iveson, and the seal has the Smithson arms, a chevron engrailed between three oak leaves, impaling the Fairfax lion rampant. The £1,000 which Mrs. Ellinor Smithson had secured in April, 1696, out of the estate she sold to Sir Mark Milbancke, Bart., being part of a greater sum of £8,000, of which £2,700 remained in his hands, she gave to her son John, who leaves the right use of the interest to Christopher for life and then to the use of his three sisters' children.
- Christopher Smithson, baptized April 8, 1670, at M. T.; apprenticed, 1686, to Joshua Roddam of Newcastle-upon-Tyne, mcht., adentr.; afterwards resident at Scorton, heir to his brother John Smithson; died in 1702 and was buried June 19 at Scorton. His will proved at York.
He was the last surviving of the sons of George Smithson, Esq., M.P. There would appear to have been some difficulty between him and the Ivesons over the will of John Smithson, his late brother. By his will he gives to his mother Ellinor Smithson, widow, and to his cousin Thomas Smithson of Moulton, gent., and to his friend Joseph Watson of Aldborough, gent., all his lands, etc., at Kilham, Aislaby and Eggscliffe, in order to sell with all speed to the best Purchasers and pay £200 to Joseph Watson the elder as a legacy; to his nephew John Bromley £30, to his nephew George Bromley £5, to cousin Dorothy Burnett, 'who now lives with my dear mother' £50. To his cousin Thomas Smithson £10, to his sister Dorothy, wife of Leonard Robinson of Scorton, gent., £10 a year. To Joseph Watson the elder his watch and sword. His mother to be sole Exor. Two signatures are appended to the bond, those of Ellenor and Thos. Smithson, and two seals with the chevron between 3 oak leaves. There is a slight difference between the shape of the leaves in each seal, and a crescent denotes that Thos. Smithson was of a junior branch.
Thus ended the elder branch of the Smithsons of Moulton by the death without issue of the four sons of George Smithson, M.P. The Smithsons of Kipling would also seem to have died out. The younger or junior branch continued the name to the beginning of the nineteenth century, when Thos. Smithson of Moulton died unmarried.
It is interesting to note that George Cuitt, the painter, was born at Moulton in 1743. Showing in early life a talent for drawing, he was helped by Sir Laurence Dundas of Aske, who sent him to Rome, where he studied for six years. On his return he settled at Richmond, where he painted both landscapes and portraits. He died in 1818, and left a son George, who was a well-known etcher, especially of Yorkshire abbeys and old buildings at Chester. He died at Masham in 1854, aged seventy-five years.