Gerald Arthur Smithson, who died suddenly on 6 September 1970, aged 43, played for Yorkshire in 1946 and 1947, his highest innings for the county being 169 against Leicestershire at Leicester in the second year. Conscripted as a Bevin Boy in the mines after the war, he received special permission, after his case had been debated in the House of Commons, to tour the West Indies with the MCC team of 1947—48, taking part in two Test matches. His picture appeared in Wisden 1948, page 38. In 1951 he joined Leicestershire, with whom he remained for six seasons, of which his best was that of 1952 when, by attractive left-hand batting and the aid of two centuries, he hit 1,264 runs, average 28.08. He afterwards served as coach, first at Caterham School and then at Abingdon School, and between 1957 and 1962 he also assisted Hertfordshire.
WILL OF JOSEPH SMITHSON, 1679. ROLL 10, No. 136 HONOR COURT OF KNARESBOROUGH.
In the Name of God, Amen.
Joseph Smithson, in the psh. of Fewston, co. Yorke, I bequeathe and comend my soule into ye handes of Allmighty God, my maker and Redeemer, hopeing yet by ye merrets of his only Sonne, my onely Saviour Jesus Christ, I shall have free remission and pardon for all my sinnes, and my body to be buried in ye psh. churchyard of Fewston.
Unto Joshua Smithson, my naturall sonne, £60, to be paid by Samuel Smithson, my eldest sonne, when he shall be 22 years of age.
Unto Benjamin Smithson, my youngest son, £60, to be pd by said Samuel when he is 21 years of age – or if his education do require above the value of £6 p Ann. in tableing cloaths and other necessaries, yet then there shall be an abatement of the said overplus of and from ye said £60, with lawful consideracon according to ye time.
Unto Mary Smithson, my only daughter, £50, when she shall attain ye age of 21.
But if default of any of the said filial portions be made, then my estate of ffreehold landes, and also ye Barne upon the Comon thereunto neare adjoyning, shall according to the proportion of their severall porcons be equally divided amongst them, or a proportionable part to any of them to whom default of the said sums or any part thereof shall be made.
But if any of said three children – Joshua, Mary, or Benjamin – shall dy before they shall accomplish the ages aforesaid, their part or porcon shall redound to all the rest of my surviving children.
Unto Anne Smithson, my well-beloved wife, £8 yearely, to be pd out of my Lands, Goods, and Buildings at two halfe yearely payments for her life. She shall have the ordering and disposing of all my goods and buildings and lands towards the education of my children till Samuel, my eldest sonne, shall accomplish the age of 21, if she continue so long unmaryed; and afterwards that Samuel, my said sonne, in consideracon of his owne filial porcon and dischargeing of ye former Sums, as also for the further education of my said younger children, shall have and possess said Lands, Goods, and Buildings to his owne use and behoofe, to him and his heires for ever, excepting one Table and a Feathered bed, both standing in the Low parlour, and all ye bedding thereunto belonging, as also two chaires of the best save one, one safe, two pewter dubleres of ye best save one, which shall be given to Mary, my said daughter.
My beloved wife, Anne Smithson, and my said sonne, Samuel Smithson, to be joynt exors.
Dated 24th August, 1674.
‘ JO’EPH SMITHSON.’
Witnesses: PHILIP CAWDRAY x his marke
Forrest Custer Smithson (September 26, 1884 – November 24, 1962) was an American athlete, winner of 110m hurdles at the 1908 Summer Olympics.
Born in Portland, Oregon, Forrest Smithson, a student of theology from Yale University, was an AAU champion in 1907 and 1909 in 120yd hurdles.
At the 1908 games in London, the main favourites were Smithson’s teammates John Garrels and Arthur Shaw who had earlier equalled to Alvin Kraenzlein’s world record of 15.2. The 110m hurdles weren’t contested on a track as usual, but on a special path on a stadion grass. Only Americans reached the final, which was run on the last day of the London Games. The start was excellent, but Smithson gained slightly over each hurdle in perfect style, and won by five yards ahead of Garrels, running a new world record of 15 seconds precisely.
The results were:
1. Forrest SMITHSON (USA) 15.0 WR
2. John GARRELS (USA) 15.7
3. Arthur SHAW (USA) 15.8
4. William RAND (USA) 16.0
The wide-spread story about Smithson winning his gold by carrying a Bible in his left hand, to protest against the decision to run the 110 m hurdles final on a Sunday is hoax. Firstly, none of the 110m hurdles heats or the final were scheduled or planned to run on a Sunday.
Also this story wasn’t mentioned in the newspapers or the official report. This story is probably based on a picture published in the official report. But this picture is taken after the final and clearly posed. The only true statement of this story is, that Smithson was a highly religious man.
Forrest Smithson died in Contra Costa County, California, aged 78.
The Church of St Andrew, in Aldborough in the Diocese of Ripon has a board on the wall inside the church tower where the full text of George Smithson’s bequest is written.
George Smithson of Boroughbridge gave the Rents of certain Lands to the value of two Pounds per annum for ever to be distributed on Good Friday in ye manner following; Viz, £1 5s 0d to ye poor of Boroughbridge, 5s to the poor of Aldborough, 5s to the poor of Roecliffe and 5s to the poor of Minskip.
The Church of St Andrew, in Aldborough in the Diocese of Ripon has a huge board on the wall inside the church tower where the full text of Mark Smithson’s bequest is written. The shelf for the bread for the poor is still there just inside the door. I think it’s used for hymn books now! His tomb is outside the church below the tower.
Mark Smithson esq of Aldborough hath by his last will dated the 12 May 1787 bequeathed to the Vicar and the two church-wardens so much money as would purchase Three thousand three hundred and thirty three pounds six shillings and eight pence. Three per cent Bank-Annuities to be vested in them so as to receive the Dividends and Interest being fifty pounds half yearly to be applied by them to the use of the township of Aldborough in the manner following. Viz, Ten Pounds a year for ever to the ringers of the said town, to be paid at Christmas provided they always ring a peel on Thursday evenings and likewise on Sundays before Morning Service: Thirty two-penny-loaves to be distributed by the Churchwardens every Sunday to so many of the most necessitous Poor who shall attend Divine Service, and to no others unless prevented by sickness: Ten Pounds in Money at Christmas to be laid out in the purchase of Butchers Meat to be distributed to the said poor at two different times.
Five shillings a piece to be given to Thirty of the most necessitous poor on St. Thomas’ day. Ten stuff-Gowns, Ten woolly-Petticoats and Ten black-stuff-Bonnets to be given to the Ten most ancient poor Women of the said Town. The remainder of this Bequest for the first year only, to be expended in the purchase of an additional Bell and better paving for the aisles of the church, and other ornamental repairs in the inside thereof; and ever after the first year, to be applied by the Vicar and church-wardens for the Relief of the most deserving poor of Aldborough either daily or weekly, as shall seem to them most necessary, by an Allowance of Coals in Winter at times as usual, and in repairing their Houses when wanted.
And in case of any misapplication of the said dividends the Testator ordered, that the said Bank Annuities should devolve unto his wife Mrs Clare Smithson, and her heirs.
NB. Those Annuities could not be transferred to the Vicar and churchwardens as a body corporate without an Act of Parliament, and therefore were transferred to the Rev. Henry Goodricke, J ? Wilkinson, Clerks Mrs Clare Smithson & Peter Earnshaw in trust for the charity.
In 1783 Mr Smithson gave a handsome new minute clock made by Messrs. Clementshaw for this church.
The Thirlways were a prominent family in Ripon and had a printing business in the Market Place. My interest? A Thirlway married a Smithson. Rashaad Thirlway who wrote the foreward of this book is my cousin. The Thirlway Journal is required reading for anyone interested in Ripon or just Victorian life.
How did the life of the small businessman in Ripon 150 years ago compare with today’s equivalent? H.S.T. left a fascinating 10 year record of his life in the city, in a clear but tiny copperplate in a collection of small notebooks. At the start of his tale the railway had yet to arrive in Ripon, although he made good use of it during its early years. An open millrace still ran the length of Water Skellgate, being the only serious source of power in the city – a far cry from satellite communication, the new town bypass and the power sources of today.
A family man, he was deeply involved in the local civil administration, his church, and a wide range of interests, and he comments on all of these and other aspects of the city’s life. In these extracts, edited with great skill by Jean Denton, anyone with any connection with the city of Ripon will find something of interest. Ripon Historical Society are to be congratulated on sponsoring this publication. Should you wish for more – the original journals are now in the County Record Office at Northallerton – but take a magnifying glass – his writing whilst beautifully legible is incredibly minute.
By all accounts, Harriet (aka Henrietta, or Henriette) Smithson was a friendly, attractive, and available young woman, making her a likely candidate for the admiration of Belioz, or any young man. But it was her portrayal of Ophelia in the 1827 performance of Hamlet that won the heart of Berlioz, and, along with her successive performances as other Shakespearean tragic heroines, made her famous among the French- regardless of language barriers that compromised understanding of the plays.
A strange looking “bank note” is amongst the papers and photographs in my possession.It seems the note was a “ticket” for entry to the House in the Rock in Knaresborough. This amazing property still exists and can be clearly seen from the riverside walk.
Follow the link to Knaresborough OnLine and read Nancy Buckle’s story of her ancestors who lived in the House in the Rock
I shall be obliged if some of your readers can tell me the meaning of a note I have in my possession, of which I append a copy: “No.___ Fort Montague Bank. I promise to pay Mr John Flag or bearer, on demand, five halfpence value received. Entd C. Cannon, 18__. For the Governor of Fort Montague & Co. E Hill. Five___.” The note is engraved in part imitation of a bank note, and on paper similar thereto, but without any watermark. At the left hand of the note is an engraving within a border of a castle with a flag flying.
I may say that the note was in the possession of my father for very many years, and I shall be glad to know the history of it, if any, and whether it possesses any value, and if so, what, as a curiosity.
FORT MONTAGUE BANK
In reply to “W.R.P.,” Leeds, in your issue of the 20th, the notes were issued by a man who excavated himself a dwelling at the top of the Cliff near Knaresborough and near St. Roberts cave, of Eugene Aram notoriety. The dwelling consisted of one room hewn out of the limestone rock, and which you entered from the top, not exactly down the chimney, but down an aperture something like one. The front room faced the valley of the Nidd, and considerably above it.
I believe the top had some trumpery battlements, very much exaggerated on the note. It is more than fifty years since I visited the place, but I have found one of the notes, No 70,993, August 21st, 1810. They were issued as a fee for the privilege of inspecting the tenement, and are of no value whatever, either antiquarian or otherwise, except you put it as one of the last inhabited cave dwellings.
SAMUEL W. KIRKE, Waltham, Lincolnshire
23 December, 1890
Thanks to the diligence of Mark Mawtus, I have acquired the publishers file copy of “Genealogical Notes & Memoirs of the Smithson Family” by George R Smithson. It was published in 1906 by Seeley and Co. Ltd, 38 Great Russell Street, London. The Latter Day Saints hold a copy on Microfilm. The Smithson Association in the United States also hold an original. This is the full text with illustrations but you will find the layout differs slightly from the book to suit publishing in this format.
GENEALOGICAL NOTES & MEMOIRS
GEORGE R. SMITHSON
REV. W. BALL WRIGHT, M.A. TRIN . COL. DUB.
VICAR OF OSBALDWICK, YORK
PRINTED FOR PRIVATE CIRCULATION
SEELEY AND CO. LIMITED
38 GREAT RUSSELL STREET
The following notes about various branches of the Smithson family have been collected by me during the last four years, and to prevent loss (which is so liable to happen to a quantity of miscellaneous manuscript) it has been suggested that I have them put into print, in simple book form.
Although the writing of these pages may seem to have been easy, as now arranged, yet the gathering of the materials for them has entailed a considerable amount of solid work.
Large areas of ground had to be covered before one arrived at proof of even one well-attested link which would be of importance.
Besides the Parish Registers which I have examined at a large number of churches in Yorkshire, Cumberland, Westmorland and Durham, many wills have been copied at the York Probate Office, also the Principal Probate Office (Somerset House), and the Probate Offices of Carlisle and Durham.
The Diocesan Registry at Carlisle has been very helpful with transcripts of some of the Cumberland Parish Registers.
The Record Office in Chancery Lane, E.C., and the British Museum have been largely consulted for old references to Deeds, Court Rolls, Chancery Bills, etc., and the Marriage License Bonds at York have been searched for a considerable period, also some at Carlisle.
I was much interested in reading ‘The Bewleys of Cumberland’ by Sir Edmund Thomas Bewley, and decided, if possible, to trace back our branch of the family beyond John Smithson of Preston Patrick, near Kendal, who was the first of the Cumberland Smithsons to join the Society of Friends, presumably about 1740.
I should mention that I got a very valuable clue about our family, from a King’s Bench Roll of 1533 referred to in Sir E. T. Bewley’s book.
We had very clear records back to the above John Smithson, the writer’s great-great-grandfather, who died and was buried at Preston Patrick in 1795. Our tradition was that he was born in Yorkshire, and so I commenced my searches in the North Riding of that county.
Although he was not born in Yorkshire, but in Cumberland, as I subsequently found, the tradition as to Yorkshire origin proved to be correct, but much more remote than his generation.
I have been much assisted in my work, especially in the early stages, by Mr. John S. Smithson, and my sincere thanks are tendered to him. The Rev. Wm. Ball Wright, M.A., who is kindly editing these notes (and who for some time has interested himself in our name owing to a believed ancestral connection with one branch of the Yorkshire Smithsons), has been invaluable with advice and help, and with his great experience in similar work has throughout greatly assisted me. I take this opportunity of expressing my great obligations to him.
I have received much kindly help from many of the clergy in Yorkshire and Cumberland and elsewhere, in giving me access to their Parish Registers, and I should like especially to thank the Rev. Ernest A. Stockdale, Vicar of Middleton Tyas, and the Rev. S. Gilbert Beale, Rector of Romaldkirk.
H. M. Sanderson, Esq., the present owner of Moulton Hall, near Richmond (Yorks), has been most kind in supplying interesting facts concerning that property and the Manor House adjoining, and I am most grateful to him.
Mr. Charles H. Smithson has rendered valuable help in photographing for reproduction in this book a number of old houses and places connected with the notes and references.
The collection of the data for this little work, although laborious, has throughout been a matter of the greatest interest to me, and I hope it will prove so to those members of the family who, like the writer, did not know much of the family history, and for whom it has been compiled.
I have traced the grants of several coats of arms, to which references will be found in the course of the work; but those appearing on the frontispiece appear, without doubt, to be the oldest from all the available evidence.
GEO. R. SMITHSON
General Historical Summary
An investigation of ancient documents both public and private shows the various families named Smithson to be of good old yeoman stock, and to have been long scattered over many counties far apart. The name, however, is principally and originally found in Yorkshire, and appears throughout the three Ridings. The name is of Anglo-Saxon or Norse origin, and means simply the son or descendant of the Smith. A Smith or Smythe was, broadly speaking, a smiter of metals, whether gold, silver, or iron, and played an important part when warfare was chronic and all weapons were wrought by hand, and when husbandry was the great means of living both for high and low, and when in Greece and Rome, Hephaistos or Vulcan, the celestial Smith, was thought to be the most useful of the gods.
There is an early notice of an individual named Smythson in the county of Durham. At Nun Stainton or Nun Monkton, in the parish of Aycliffe, in 1265, the Prior and Abbey of Durham had let to John Smythson a house and lands. This is alluded to in a charter of 1382 printed in a volume of the Surtees Society’s publications. Also a Hugh le Smytheson and others are cited in 1260 at Liverpool to appear in an action, and William le Smythsonne of Thornton Watlas, near Bedale, is defendant in a plea for depasturing cattle there in 1265. The Newsham family of Smithsons, in the parish of Kirby Ravensworth, have, according to ancient deeds and charters, been connected with that place since the reign of Richard II. The wills in the York Probate Registry now go back to 1389, but there is no Smithson will extant before that of John Smythson of Huby (cf. Appendix), in the parish of Sutton in Forest, proved in 1504. After that there are many wills showing that in the Tudor period there were yeoman families of the name in the parishes of Malton, Norton, Kirby Misperton, Thornton-in-Pickering, Appleton-le-Street, Normanton, Altofts, Methley, Ossett, and others; while from the Richmondshire wills, of which many perished before they were transferred to Somerset House, it appears that early in the sixteenth century there were families of Smythson or Smithson, connected by blood, at Newsham, Gailes, and Dalton, in the parish of Kirby Ravensworth; also at Romaldkirk, Aldborough, Boroughbridge, Bedale, Jervaux, Burton Leonard, Kirk-Stainley, Cowton, and Richmond; also at Gatherley and Moulton, in the parish of Middleton Tyas. In the West Riding they appear to have branched out into Kettlewell, Gargrave, Slaidburn, and Horton-in-Ribblesdale, as many interesting wills as well as parish registers attest.
Some of these families were constant in their adherence to the Papal Communion long after the Reformation, their names being recorded in the Lists of Recusants, and among the prisoners in York Castle committed to prison for their faith: there were not a few before the Reformation who were clergymen, being Vicars of Middleton Tyas, Eryholme, Terrington, Hunmanby, Sherburne, and other parishes in Yorkshire, and of Clyborne in Cumberland. After the Reformation they are found holding preferment at Fewston, Berwick-on-Tweed, Headingley, in Ireland, and Lincolnshire. A Thomas Smithson was Prior of Hexham Abbey from 1491 to 1524, and held the Prebend of Salton, in York Minster, annexed to the Priory of Hexham. He was the last Prior but one. Salton is six miles south of Kirby Moorside. A William Smythson was Prebendary of Fenton, in the Diocese of York, in 1530, and is described in a patent as ‘ William Burbank als Smythson.’ Charles Smithson was a distinguished Fellow of Christ’s College, Cambridge, and also incorporated at Oxford University. He became a Canon of Lincoln, and was Chaplain in 1672 to the Duke of Monmouth in his expedition against the Dutch. Some of the name were well known in the law. In 1636 a Mr. Smithson was a Sergeant-at-Law, and a Mr. Charles Smithson of Carlisle was a noted lawyer there in the reign of Queen Anne, and a friend of Bishop Nicholson.
In trade and commerce the Smithsons were active and successful. In those days, when nobles and gentlemen paid as much for fine dress as their wives, clothing was a very profitable line of business, and so from the reign of Henry VIII. onwards we have notices of prosperous merchants, younger sons, of the name, who in London, Yarmouth, York, Leeds, Hull, and Richmond made money and had lands. Some of them lived in the parishes of St. Michael-le-Belfry, Holy Trinity, Micklegate, and St. Crux, and intermarried with the Beckwiths, Belts, and other well-known York families. In Richmond, Yorks, Francis Smithson was a successful draper, and engaged in the working of lead-mines in Swaledale. He was brother of Hugh Smithson, who became a haberdasher in London and amassed a fortune, was an adventurer in Irish lands, and, finally, purchased the estate of Stanwick from the Cathericks, and in return for financial help rendered to Charles II. at the Restoration was created a Baronet. Another brother, Bernard Smithson, was an apothecary in London.
The family settled at Newsham, in the parish of Kirby Ravensworth, near Richmond, Yorks, were steadfast Roman Catholics, Sir Hugh and Francis, his brother, being the first to accept different views. Sir Hugh conformed after the Restoration to the Established Church, while Francis became a member of the Society of Friends (a Quaker). His will (see Appendix) is a very interesting one. Two generations previously the Rev. Anthony Smithson settled in Cumberland under his kinsman William Burbank, Archdeacon of Carlisle, and was successively secretary of Cardinals Bainbridge and Wolsey. Anthony and his brother John were the founders of families of Smithsons in Cumberland, which it is proposed to give some account of in this work. The Smithsons of Moulton Hall, near Richmond, conformed to the Reformed faith, and thus became prominent in that district before their kinsmen at Newsham, who were of the senior branch. The Newsham family was descended from an Anthony Smithson of Newsham in the time of Henry V.; and his younger brother, Robert Smithson, who was a man-at-arms at the Battle of Agincourt in 1415, was the ancestor of Leonard Smithson, the builder of Moulton Hall, and ancestor of a line which intermarried with the Calvert, Fairfax, Meryton, Pepper, and Saville families, but which seems to have become crippled through extravagance, and is probably extinct in the male descent. It is, however, an interesting fact that Moulton Hall is now in the possession of a Mr. Sanderson, connected perhaps with the Sandersons of Toft Hill, who intermarried twice with the Smithsons.
Kipling Hall was the residence and property of Sir George Calvert, Secretary of State to King Charles I., and, after his secession to the Roman Church, created Lord Baltimore. His sister married Christopher Smithson of Moulton, eldest son of Leonard Smithson. This may account for a Thomas Smithson being found in Talbot County, Maryland, as a naval officer, in 1694; the Calverts, Lords Baltimore, having been Lords Proprietary of the Colony of Maryland.
The Smithson Family of Newsham and of Cumberland
William Le Smythsonne of Thornton Watlas, near Bedale, who was defendant in a plea for depasturing cattle at Thornton Watlas in 1265 (49 Hen. III.), had two sons, of whom:
Robert Smytheson was residing at Thornton Watlas in 1286 (14 Ed. I.).
Wm. le Smytheson lived at Kerperby in 20 Ed. I., was married, and had issue.
The elder son, Robert Smytheson of Thornton Watlas, who married – -, and had issue (together with two other sons, Wm. of Ainstable, Co. Cumberland, who paid subsidy 1 Ed. III., and was a defendant in a plea of debt 18 Ed. III., and Roger Smithson of Lynton, 1 Ed. III., living 18 Ed. III., whose son, Thomas Smithson – married, and had issue – plaintiff in a plea of land, 40 Ed. III.) an elder son, viz.:
Peter le Smytheson of Thornton Watlas, who paid subsidy in 1 Ed. III. (1327) ‘ married –, and had issue two sons:
Robert Smithson of Thornton Watlas, defendant with his father in a plea of assault at Burrell, 9 Ed. III.; summoned, together with Hugh de Thoresby, before the King to answer for their redemption, 22 Ed. III. He married –, and had issue three sons, of whom below.
William Smithson of Thornton Watlas, defendant in a plea of trespass, 19 Ed. III.; married, and had issue.
Of the three sons of Robert Smithson above mentioned, the second, Hugh Smithson of Barton, sold one messuage in Liverpool, which he had in right of his wife Eleanora, in the fourth year of John of Gaunt, Duke of Lancaster, 1365. The third son, Robert Smithson, was residing at Dalton, 44 Ed. III. The eldest son of Robert Smithson, sen., of Thornton Watlas, was named William Smithson, who moved to Newsham, in Broghtonlith, and against whom John de Richmond claimed £20 damages for depasturing cattle on his lands at Newsham, etc., 44 Ed. III. (1370). The above William married –, and had issue four sons – William, John, Robert and Roger. Of these the second, John Smithson of Altofts, near Wakefield, was defendant in a plea touching lands of his wife’s inheritance, 4 Hen. IV. (1403-4). He married Cecilie, daughter and heiress of Adam Bates of Whitwood, Co. York, and had issue. From him was descended Thos. Smythson, jun., of Altofts, whose will was proved at York in 1530 (cf. Appendix), and mentions his son Gilbert, etc. Also from him probably came Thomas Smythson of Normanton. Will proved at York, 1543, and mentions his sons William, Thomas, Robert, and James.
The third son of William, Robert Smithson of Altofts, held lands of his brother John, and was defendant in divers pleas – 4 Hen. IV., 4 and 9 Hen. V., and 17 Hen. VI. He was married and left issue.
The fourth son of William, Roger Smithson of Gilberdike, Co. York, was plaintiff in a plea of trespass, 4 Hen. IV. He married and had issue. The eldest son of Wm. Smithson of Newsham was Wm. Smithson of Newsham-in-Broghtonlith, called upon the records Wm. Smithson of Newton-in-Brogtonlith, sen., 20 Rich. II. was defendant in a plea at the suit of the Abbot of Rivalle touching lands in Rethe-in-Swaledale, 19 Rich. II., 2 Hen. IV., and 6 Hen. IV., etc. He married –, and had two sons, William and John.
Of these, the younger, John Smithson of Newsham, husbandman, was living 6 Hen. V. and 10 Hen. VI.; married, and had issue.
The elder son, Wm. Smithson, jun., of Newsham, seized of lands in Yafford in right of his wife, where he resided 4 Hen. IV., was one of the jurymen at an inquisition taken at Richmond touching the Manor of Fletham, 5 Hen. IV., and is styled upon the records as yeoman, franklyn, and gentleman, as also forester; ob. temp. Hen. V. In the ‘ Annals of the House of Percy ‘ by De Fonblanque, privately printed, an eighteenth-century statement is quoted, which says that ‘ a parchment Deed is now in the possession of Sir Hugh Smithson (subsequently Duke of Northumberland), from which, together with the Ruins of the Mansion Seat and part of the estate, it appears that William Smithson, gent., there lived in the Reign of Rich. II., and by several subsequent deeds, that the family continued in the same place.’
The above-mentioned Wm. Smithson, jun., married Matilda, daughter and coheiress of – of Yafford by Beatrix his wife, daughter and heir of Henry de Bellerby by Alicia his wife, and had issue three sons, Hugh, John, and Robert. Of these John, the second son, of Walbourne, near Leyburn, was defendant in pleas of trespass, 24 and 29 Hen. VI. Robert, the third son, of whose descendants we shall treat in another chapter, was a man-at-arms at the Battle of Agincourt, 3 Hen. V., and was at the muster at Southampton, May 7, 8 Hen. V.; living 29 Hen. VI. (1450-1). He married –, and had issue Robert Smithson of Gatherley, in temp. Hen. VI. and Hen. VII.; living 12 Hen. VIII. (1520-1); ancestor of the Smithsons of Moulton and Kipling.
The eldest son of William Smithson of Newsham was Hugh Smithson of Newsham, plaintiff, with Alicia his wife, in a plea of debt, 12 Hen. IV.; seized of lands in Newsham, 29 Hen. VI.; and tenant of lands in Newsham to John Catterick, Esq., of Stanwick. He married –, and had issue two sons, Anthony and Thomas Smithson.
Of these Thomas Smithson of Cowton Grange, then in the parish of Middleton Tyas, defendant in a plea of trespass at Middleton Tyas, 12 Hen. VIII. (1520), was ancestor of the Smithsons of Cowton. He maried Elizabeth –, and had issue Brian, Christopher, John, and Thomas, sons; and Isabel, Phillis, and Margaret, daughters. His will was proved, 1543, at Richmond.
Anthony Smithson of Newsham, the elder son of Wm. Smithson, held the lands under William Catterick, Esq., of Stanwick, temp. Hen. VII.; and also had lands in right of his wife. He married Alicia, daughter and heir of –, a widow, 19 Hen. VIII., held lands in Newsham of William Catterick, Esq. By her he had issue: Ralph, John, Christopher, Anthony, Henry, and Robert.
Of these Ralph Smithson of Newsham held lands there in farm under Anthony Catterick, Esq. He paid the subsidies 14, 15, 34, 35, 37 Hen. VIII. Will dated January 16, 1550, proved June 13, 1553, makes his two sons, William and Thomas, executors (witnesses: Anthonie Cattericke, Esq., France Cattericke, gentleman, and John Thompson, Giles Appleton, and Oliver Appleton, with other more). He married Margery, daughter of Alexander Makeres of Makeres of Barningham Hall. Will dated December 7, 1553. By her he had issue: William, Ralph, Thomas, John, George, Francis, and Anthony.
Of these the second son, Ralph Smithson of Newsham, Will dated May 5, 1582, married Margaret –, living 1582, He had issue by her: (1) Ralph of Newsham, ob. 1615, m. Eleanor – (goods administered by husband), and had issue: (2) John, (3) Henry, (4) Francis, (5) Anthony), (6) Margaret.
The third son of Ralph Smithson was Thomas, who was executor of his mother’s will, 1563.
The eldest son of Ralph Smithson, William Smithson of Newsham, held lands under Anthony Catterick, Esq., 5 Ed. VI.; sold lands in Barningham, 6 Elizth., conjointly with Eleanor his wife; paid subsidy in Newsham and Melsonby, 8 Elizth.; was tenant of Anthony Catterick, Esq., 28 Elizth. He m. Eleanor –, and had issue: William, Anthony, Robert, Ninian, Christian, and Grace.
Of these, Anthony Smithson of Newsham, tenant to Anthony Catherick, was ancestor of the Smithsons of Stanwick, and of Sir Hugh Smithson, Bart., created Duke of Northumberland after his marriage to the heiress of the Percys.
We now return to Rev. Anthony Smithson, the fourth brother of Ralph Smithson of Newsham, and fourth son of Anthony Smithson of the same.
From a De Banco Roll of the 26 Henry VIII. (1534), we learn that Rev. Anthony Smithson, clerk, of Clyburne or Cliburn near Penrith in Cumberland was, together with Rev. Robert Smithson, late of Tyrington or Terrington, Yorks, and John Smithson, yeoman, of Alenby, Cumb., one of the co-executors of the Will of Rev. Wm. Burbank, senior, Archdeacon of Carlisle. Dr. Wm. Burbank was a very famous Divine, Secretary to Cardinal Bainbridge, then to Cardinal Wolsey, and patron and friend of Erasmus. His history will be told in another chapter. The three executors must have been nephews or near kinsmen of Dr. Burbank. The wills and parish registers in Cumberland do not reach back far enough to enable one to put the matter so clearly as in other parts of this pedigree, but we find in the latter half of the sixteenth century that a family of Smithsons was settled in the parish of Torpenhow, on the lands of Bothel and Blennerhasset, and also that the name Anthony shows that they were descendants of the parson of Cliburn.
Rev. Anthony Smithson, clerk, of Cliburn, Cumberland, younger son of Anthony Smithson (1.) of Newsham, and brother of Ralph Smithson of same place, married about that time (the rule of clerical celibacy never being of obligation in that diocese), and probably had three sons, who were the founders of the Smithsons of Bothel and Blennerhasset in the parish of Torpenhow, and of the Smithsons of Uldale parish, while John Smithson, the brother of Rev. Anthony, founded the Smithson family of Ellanby in the parish of Skelton. The Smithsons settled in the parishes of Bridekirk, Caldbeck, Allhallows, Ireby, and Aspatria, were offshoots of one or other of these branches.
Rev. Anthony Smithson m., and had issue:
Richard Smithson of Bothel m., and had issue:
Anthony Smithson of Bothel, m. Jane, and had issue (w. pr. 1579 at Carlisle):
Richard Smithson of Bothel md. Ellenor, and had issue (supervisor to father’s will, 1579; w. pr. 1607):
Anthony Smithson, paid hearth-money, 1662.
John Smithson, executor of his father Anthony’s will, 1579.
Janet, m. Wilson.
Thomas Smithson, believed to have gone to Ireby, of whom below.
Matthew Smithson (?) of Uldale m,, and had issue:
Anthony Smithson of Anertree, Uldale, m. Janet Slack, and had issue (iv. pr. 1578):
John Smithson of Awkatree (w. pr, 1608).
James Smithson of Crosby Ravensworth, m. Margaret Fairer (?), and had issue (w. pr, 1583):
John Smithson m., and had a dr.
Matthew Smithson (supervisor of will of Anthony, his uncle).
Robert Smithson of Kirkland, Torpenhow, m., and had issue:
Anthony Smithson of Kirkland, m. Agnes Plascayt (?), and had issue (w. pr. 1576):
William Smithson of Tallentier in psh. of Bridekirk, gr. admon. 1574, m., and had issue a dr., Helene.
We now return to Thomas Smithson, the third son of Anthony Smithson of Bothel.
Thomas Smithson, traditionally settled in the psh. of Ireby, m., and had Thomas Smithson, who settled in the parish of Caldbeck, died 1670, and was buried at Caldbeck. He married Frances, who d. 1673, and is buried at Caldbeck, and by her he had issue, with two drs., viz.:
Jennet Smithson, who d. 1701.
Elizabeth Smithson, born c. 1650, m. Thomas Jackson, 1672.
Thomas Smithson, junr., of Caldbeck, born 1645, mentioned in his son Joshua’s will, 1720, buried 1735, m. Jane Ritson in 1680, and had issue three children, viz.:
John Smithson of Caldbeck, bap. 1685, bur. 1759; m. –, and with a daughter had issue also a son:
Joshua Smithson, born 1721, d. 1787; m. Ann –, born 1717, and had issue:
Joshua Smithson, 1759, of Croydon, died 1803.
Joshua Smithson of Woodhall, bap. 1688, died 1720; w. pr. same year; m. Jane –, afterwards, widow of Felside, bur. 1735, and by her had issue an only child:
John Smithson, born c. 1718 at Caldbeck, of whom below.
Sarah Smithson, bap. Caldbeck Church, 1686.
John Smithson, the only child of Joshua Smithson, was the ancestor of a family, which owing to his failure to leave definite information, and also to the circumstance of his having joined the Society of Friends, was unable to trace clearly out the parentage and birthplace of John, their founder. It was only through the persistent researches carried out by one of the members of the family, aided by suggestions from some expert genealogists, and especially by the theory that the son of John Smithson, whose name was Joshua, was so called from his grand-father, that at last, in August, 1905, in Carlisle Probate Registry, the missing clue was found, and the will of a Joshua Srnithson of Caldbeck, proved 1720, turned out to be that of John Smithson’s father. His connection ancestrally with the Smithsons of Newsham in Yorks is clearly established by old Carlisle wills, and by a record of an action in the King’s Bench at Kendall Assizes in 1534.
John Smithson probably joined the Society of Friends at Kendal. The following entries are taken from the Friends’ Records at Kendal:
‘ In the Kendal monthly meeting Records, 1, 3, 1747, appears the following: “A certificate on behalf of John Smithson [then about 28 years old], late of this meeting, is desired to Caldbeck monthly meeting in Cumberland, wherefore George Crossfield is desired to enquire into his clearness and prepare a few lines to be signed at our next meeting.” ‘
The following is also of interest, as written at the close of his life:
‘ From Kendal monthly meeting, to friends in Cumberland and some parts adjacent ‘:
‘ DEAR FRIENDS,
‘ Our Friend John Smithson having laid before this meeting a concern which has for some time been on his mind to pay you a religious visit, requesting our certificate, We may inform you that we have unity with him as a Minister and in his present engagement and recommending him to your Christian regard, with desires that his Iabours of love amongst you may be to edification and to his own peace. We are with salutation and love your Friends.
‘ Signed in and on behalf of our monthly meeting of Kendal held 4th of 12 mo. 1789. George Benson and 45 other friends (one name of which is a John Smithson, that is John Smithson’s son).’
This visit was never undertaken.
That he did, however, go to his birthplace in 1747 is manifest by an extract from the minutes of Caldbeck monthly meeting:
‘ Meeting held at Gillfoot, 1747, 6 mo. 15. At this meeting John Smithson produced a full clear certificate of his conduct from the friends of Kendal to this meeting which was read.’
John Smithson lived for a few years at Bendrigg, near Sedbergh. He there married Isabel, dr. of Christopher Walker of Middleton Hall, Sedbergh. The marriage took place at Brigflats meeting, near Sedbergh, 3, 3, 1751. Isabel Walker was born 17, 5, 1726; died 21, 2, 1809; and was buried at Park End, Preston Patrick. After the marriage they removed back again to Preston Patrick, where John Smithson bought a small estate, which is still in the family, Mr. Joseph Smithson of Halifax being the owner.
John Smithson died on 12, 7, 1794, aged about seventy-six years, and is buried likewise at Park End, Preston Patrick. He had issue by his wife Isabel the following children:
Joshua Smithson, born 20, 3, 1752, at Bendrigg; died 29, 3, 1829, at Kaker Mill, in the parish of Burton, Westmoreland; and was buried at Preston Patrick.
He married on 29, 5, 1780, at Height Meeting House, Elizabeth, dr. of Joseph and Mary Goad of Baycliff, near Ulverstone, a member of a good old Westmorland family, who was born 10, 1, 1747, at Firth Hall. She died 24, 9, 1791, and was buried at Brigflats, near Sedbergh.
They had issue four sons, of whom below.
John Smithson, born 21, 3, 1758; died 11, 2, 1821; and was buried at Park End, Preston Patrick, without issue.
Miles Smithson, born 10, 1, 1761; died 28, 9, 1819; and was buried at Kendal. He married Mary Willans, and had issue:
John Smithson, born 1, 4, 1794.
Miles Smithson, born 1, 7, 1795; died 23, 11, 1795.
Margaret Smithson, born 9, 6, 1797.
Isabella Smithson, born 6, 10, 1798; died 22, 12, 1811.
Edward Smithson, born 18, 12, 1799.
Eleanor Smithson, born 2, 11, 1803.
Mary, born 6, 6, 1801.
Miles Smithson, born 17, 8, 1806.
We now return to Joshua and Elizabeth Smithson. They had issue the following children:
John Smithson, born 11, 7, 1781; died 19, 7, 1805, s.p.
Joseph Smithson, born 17, 12, 1782; died 11, 2, 1847, without issue.
Joshua Smithson, born 24, 11, 1783; died 3, 8, 1860, without issue.
James Smithson, born 23, 6, 1786, at Hallbeck, Kirby Lonsdale; married at Preston Patrick on the 14, 5, 1817, Agnes, dr. of George and Elizabeth Robinson. She was born 17, 11, 1793; died 15, 9, 1891; and was buried at Halifax. James, her husband, died 15, 6, 1848, and is buried at Lancaster.
James and Agnes Smithson had issue seven children – viz.:
Joshua Smithson, born at Warth Sudden in Preston Patrick, near Kendal, on 9, 2, 1818, and married Elizth., dr. of Ishmael and Elizabeth Nash, on 16, 8, 1855. She died 10, 12, 1888, and is buried at Halifax.
Elizabeth Smithson, born at Warth Sudden 22, 12, 1819; died 22, 5, 1893, and buried at Halifax.
George Smithson, born 22, 4, 1822, at Warth Sudden; died 5, 8, 1888; buried at Birmingham. He married 10, 10, 1860, Mary Ann, dr. of John and Ann Snowden of Bradford, and had two children:
John Snowden, born 3, 12, 1862; married to Edith Lucy Swift at Evesham, 22, 7, 1903.
Agnes Ann, born at B’ham, 17, 11, 1865; married Walter Barrow at B’ham 17, 9, 1895.
John Smithson, born 10, 7,1824, at Warth Sudden; died 11, 10, 1903; buried at Bristol. Married 24, 4, 1857, Sarah Ann, dr. of Alexander and Hannah Morris of Manchester, still living at Clifton, Bristol.John and Sarah Ann Smithson have issue the following children:
Elizabeth Mary, b. 5, 2, 1860, married Francis J. Clark, J.P., of Street, near Glastonbury, Somerset.
Lilias, b. 22, 2, 1862, married Fredk. Jas. Hill, now deceased.
George Robinson Smithson, born 29, 4, 1865, at Halifax.
Thomas Smithson, fourth child of James Smithson, born 4, 1, 1827; died 22, 5, 1901; married 24, 1, 1855, at Gainsborough Meeting House, Emma Spencer, born 8, 12, 1828 (died 20, 9, 1905), dr. of Thomas and Mary Spencer of Bransby, Lincolnshire, and by her had issue:
Mary Agnes, born 23, 11, 1855; married 20, 4, 1887, at Rochdale Meeting House, John Henry Jefferys of Kendal (who died 31, 7, 1903), son of Samuel A. and Sarah Jefferys of Melksham.
James, born 21, 12, 1856.
Sarah Alice, born 28, 1, 1859; married 25, 9, 1889, at Cartmel Meeting House, Theodore Burgess Ellis, son of James and Louisa Ellis of Leicester.
Thomas Spencer, born 28, 10, 1861.
Franklin, born 17, 9, 1864.
Emma Elizabeth, born 17, 9, 1864; died 13, 4, 1865.
Alfred, born 11, 8, 1867; married at Stoke Newington Meeting House, Caroline Tylor, dr. of John Burnett and Rachel Tylor of Stamford Hill.
Edith Annie, born 24, 4, 1869; married 25, 9, 1895, at Cartmel Meeting House, William Edmundson Shackleton, son of Joseph Fisher and Jane Wigham Shackleton of Lucan, co. Dublin.
Agnes, born Cams Gill, n. Kendal, 3, 9, 1829.
Joseph, born 7, 5, 1833, at Plumpton Cottage, n. Ulverstone; married Mary Ann, dr. of Charles and Mary Holmes, at Calder Bridge Meeting House, 29, 8, 1860. Had issue:
Joshua, jun., born Halifax, 31, 5, 1861.
Mary, born Halifax, 5, 4, 1863; married at Swarthmoor Meeting House, 19, 7, 1898, to James Arthur Jackson, eldest son of James and Martha Jackson of Garstang.
Charles Holmes, born 21, 3, 1866, at Halifax; married 26, 4, 1894, Edith, dr. of Wm. and Lucy Hutchinson of Gunby, near Selby, at Bubwith Meeting House.
Joseph, jun., born Halifax 6, 5, 1867; married at Bubwith Meeting House, 19, 10, 1896, Mary, dr. of Wm. and Lucy Hutchinson.
Topographical Notes on Caldbeck
Caldbeck is an interesting old village about seven miles from the nearest railway, buried in the country. It has a fine church and rectory. At an early date after the founding of the Society of Friends (Quakers) George Fox visited Caldbeck in 1654, and stayed with Thomas Bewley at Woodhall. The writer is much indebted to Mr. Richard Greenup of Beckstones, Caldbeck, who has supplied him with many interesting particulars about the parish and neighbourhood. There were many adherents to the Society of Friends in this district, and much trouble ensued on the non-payment by them of the tithes for conscience sake, and many Friends suffered imprisonment in Carlisle jail. The Bewley family, one of importance in the district, the principal branch living at Haltcliffe Hall, were amongst the early sufferers, and in 1674 Thomas Bewley, aged nearly eighty, was carried off to prison. According to Bessie’s sufferings others in this Parish who suffered imprisonment for the same cause were John Strickett of Branthwaite, Wm. Scott of Greenrigg, Isabell Peacocks of Whalpey, Alice Nicolson of Woodhouse, etc. A book, embodying a history of ‘ The Bewleys of Cumberland,’ by Sir Edmund Thomas Bewley of Dublin, was published in 1902, and the author of it paid several visits to Caldbeck in order to examine the Registers, etc.
At Haltcliffe Hall – as stated above, once the residence of a, branch of Cumberland Bewleys – over the principal entrance appear the letters, surrounded by heraldic emblems, ‘T.D.B. Built the Hall 1653. G.B.E.B. 1690.’ Another carved stone appears above a three-light latticed window and shows ‘ G.B.E.B. 1687.’ The premises are now let as a farm; for many years a branch of the ‘Monkhouse family were its tenants.
At Tuns End resided Joseph Scott, a violin maker of considerable merit and a reputed inventor of a spinning jenny who lived here during the 18th and early part of the 19th century. Another name, now famous the world over, was John Peel, of hunting notoriety. Mr. Greenup says of him: ‘ The famous Cumberland hunter’s birthplace has always been regarded as being Low Greenrigg in this parish, but the entry in the Caldbeck parish Register reads: “1777, Sept. 24. John Peel, son of William Peel and Lettice his wife of Parkend, was baptized.” ‘ This points to the farm house close to Park End Bridge, known to have been the home of the Scott family, of which Peel’s mother was a daughter. His parents were married at Caldbeck 1776.
In 1800 we find John Peel living at Park End, where his daughter Nancy was born, and then from 1803 onwards he lived on his own property in Upton. Here he lived, kept his hounds, and hunted. About 1822 Peel removed to Ruthwaite, Ireby, where he died 1854, and was buried at Caldbeck. He sold his Upton estate about 1843. The celebrated song, ‘ D’ye ken John Peel?’ was composed by John Woodcock Graves whilst residing in Midtown, Caldbeck, previous to his departure in 1833 for foreign parts. The house stands on the right-hand side leading to the church from the west. The top stone of the front door is inscribed ‘T.B.B. 1718.’ The letters point to Thomas and Barbara Backhouse as owners, a family of some distinction here in earlier days. One of its members, Captain Backhouse, built the commodious Midtown House close by, which subsequently passed by purchase to the Jennings family on the departure of the Backhouse family for the Channel Islands about the forties or fifties of last century.
The writer, when in the neighbourhood, saw at Ireby, in the possession of the next-of-kin to the late John Peel, the hunting horn he carried, also his hunting crop and bridle. The hunting horn is not the shape of those in use now, but in circular form, like pictures one sees of French hunting horns, but somewhat smaller. It was by no means easy to blow. The Jennings family is one of considerable antiquity. Fellside Mansion was built during the early part of the last century by William Jennings, the present owner’s grandfather, and with little intermission it has been tenanted by some branch of the family ever since. The mansion is of good workmanship within and without, and a glorious view is obtainable from the bedroom windows.
An interesting point to note is that in the Will of Joshua Smithson of Woodhall, Caldbeck, 1719 (see Appendix), two of the witnesses were Thomas Bewley and Joseph Jennings – the principal landowners in the neighbourhood.
The son of the above Joshua (and only child), John, the writer’s great-great-grandfather, was very young at the time of his father’s death, and was doubtless baptized in Caldbeck church, as Joshua Smithson was buried there September 8, 1720; but the Registers from 1711 to 1720 are missing and the transcripts at the Diocesan Registry, Carlisle, are nearly as faulty, but record Joshua Smithson’s burial. The records of the Society of Friends, however, give very convincing proof of identity. This John Smithson appears to have joined the Society of Friends some time before 1747, but no note of his admission to the Society has been discovered. Previous to 1738 there was no recognised record of admission to membership kept by the Society.
The Smithson connection with Cumberland does not appear to have been much before 1530; two clergymen who held livings in the county, Rev. Anthony of Cliburn and the Rev. Robert Smithson, and John Smithson of Alenby (now Ellonby), yeoman, who migrated from Yorkshire, were our forebears. For the complete list of Smithson Cumberland Wills in the Probate Office, Carlisle, for the 16th century see Appendix.
To revert to Mr. Richard Greenup’s account of some of the ancient landmarks in the district; he mentions the Vaux family of High Brownrigg as one of great antiquity. They died out about 1760. In the churchyard, in 1794, records were visible of a thirteenth or fourteenth Robert Vaux of Bromrigg, who claimed descent from the lordly De Vaux of Gilsland, one of whom, according to historians, founded Lanercost Priory about 1116. Some of their old armour was in Carlisle Museum. The family coat-of-arms cut in hewn stone and inscribed ‘ Robert Vaux ‘ 1722, is still to be seen over their old homestead. In the names of Street Head, High Street, and Street Brow we trace the path of the old Roman road through this parish.
The influence of George Fox was very great in this district, and three meeting houses of the Society of Friends were built, one at Whelpo, built 1698; Mosedale, 1702; and Howbeck, the largest, 1729. Burial grounds were also provided at the first two, but interments only take place at long intervals now.
The Whelpo Meeting House has been converted into a cottage with reserved right of meeting in one of the rooms if required.
The lands at Woodhall are now all thrown into one large farm. The estate is well wooded; it is owned by Mr. Edward Jennings of Caldbeck. Hesket Hall, the mansion house of the manor of Hesket, was the residence of the principal branch of the Bewleys of Caldbeck down to October, 1630. It is curiously built to form twelve angles, so contrived that the shadows show the hour of the day; it was built by a former Sir Wilfrid Lawson – the property being purchased in 1630 by William Lawson of Isell, who married Miss Judith Bewley.
After this date the Bewleys of Woodhall became the principal branch of this family in Cumberland.
Jeffry Wybergh was Rector of Caldbeck 1700 to 1727. He may be called the Building Rector, for he held office while the church tower, the adjoining church mill, or priests’ mill, and the fine old doorway in the garden wall of the Rectory were being built. The coat of arms in the latter is still extant, but the inscription, which read ‘ Jeffrey Wybergh, Bachelor of Canon and Civil Law, A.D. 1718,’ has decayed. The Record setting forth the date of the tower was in black letters painted on the wall of the western bay. It recorded: ‘ This steeple was builded in the year 1727. Jeff Wybergh Rector; Thomas Backhouse, sen., Richard Addinison, Richard Bewley, William Scott, churchwardens, 1727. During 1901 the old mill property, which had belonged to the Rectory from time immemorial, was sold, and passed into lay hands along with the glebe estate of Pasture House.
In the adjoining parish of Torpenhow there is an interesting old farmhouse called Harbibrow Castle, occupied by the Smithsons, one of whom, Richard Smithson, lived there in 1655. There is a photograph of the old keep shown at the end of the book. It is thought to have been built about 1350, and the keep was for protection against the Scottish raiders.
The Smithsons of Gatherley and Moulton
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.
Webmaster Comment: It is possible to visit Moulton Hall. Click HERE for details
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.
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.
An Account of the Decendants of William Smithson of Newsham, Tem. Elizth.
William Smithson of Newsham, who was a tenant under William Catherick, Esq., in the reign of Ed. VI., and of Anthony Catherick, Esq., in 28 Eliz., by his wife Eleanor had issue five sons and three drs.:
William Smithson of Newsham, who paid the subsidy 39 Eliz., and purchased lands in Newsham 13 Jas. I., and half the tithes of Bolton. He married – –, and had issue:
William Smithson of Newsham, purchased lands in Newsham 1631; appointed exor. by his uncle, Robert Smithson of Newsham, in 1622; lands in Hunslet claimed against him and his wife Sara by Robert Smithson* in 1649. He m. Sara –, and had issue:
*Of this family, too, probably was Wm. Smithson, of Leeds, draper, who made his will 13 Chas. II., 1661, and leaves ‘ to my eldest son John Smithson and his heirs the Broadgates, remr. to Wm. Smithson, my 2nd son, for default to Robert Smithson my 3rd son, and to 4th son, if any, and if not, to the right heirs of Wm. Smithson. Also Carleton closes to John Smithson. Also house on Hooke, co. York. To Patience Smithson my eldest dr. closes, etc., in the lordship of Middleton. To Mercy my 2nd dr. land in Hunslet – to Sarah my 3rd dr.– to Lidia my 4th dr. Robert Smithson my brother – Sarah my wife. W. proved 1680 in York. Of these children the 3rd son of Robert Smithson became a grocer in London, and made his will in 1717. He married Grace, dr. of Mr. Samuel Foxcroft, of Leeds. In his will, proved in London, he orders the residue of his personal estate to be divided into two, one-half to go between his four children, Robert, Anne, William and Martha, his daughter Sarah being excluded as married to Mr.. John Moore. His dr. Anne’s share was to be £2,000. His son William’s share to be £3,000. His dr. Martha’s share to be £2,000. If any died, the survivors including Sarah, to inherit. Legacies of £5 apiece were left to various relatives, and the residue to his eldest son Robert – also to him his messuages called Broadgates in the Market-place near the Crosse, one messuage in the old church-yard, one wool shop and chamber, and one butcher’s stall in the shambles – three closes at Carleton Cross, and one close in Marsh Lane, all in the town of Leeds.
William Smithson of Newsham, gentleman, who purchased lands at Bishop Mountain from Sir Solomon Swale, Bart., 27 Chas. II., living 1683; sold lands in Newsham to John Johnson 13 Chas. II.
John Smithson of Newsham, gentleman, gave lands in Newsham to his brother William 13 Chas. II., had 4 hearths 25 Chas.
William and Eleanor Smithson of Newsham had issue:
Anthony Smithson of Newsham, living in 1622, tenant to Anthony Catherick, Esq., from whom in 1612 he bought certain lands in Newsham which he was in possession of, and for which he was to pay £150 and one peppercorn. He was twice married; he and his wife are in the list of Roman Catholics in 1604. There are grounds for thinking that one of his wives was a Catherick, as the Catherick arms are quartered on Sir Hugh Smithson’s tomb in Stanwick Church; also cf. Wilsons MSS., Leeds Library. He had issue:
Francis Smithson, born 1595, draper and merchant in the town of Richmond, York.; died 1671, aged 75. His long and interesting will, proved at Richmond, is full of family details, and shows what a prosperous man of business he was. He became a member of the Society of Friends, and left ground for a cemetery. His wife Mary survived him, but both his son (whose picture he left to his wife) and his daughter Frances died before him. The latter was buried March 6, 1671.
William Smithson of Newsham, m. –, and had issue drs., whom we have not been able to trace.
Richard Smithson, stated in his uncle Robert’s will to have been Anthony’s third son, and on whom his father settled the lands he had bought from Anthony Catherick. He married Meriall –, who survived him, and to whom by his will, proved July 16, 1655 (Aylett 168), he leaves his lands, and after her death to his brother Bernard’s son John. He mentions his brother Francis of Richmond, states that his wife is to have the residue and be executrix and to give some token to his brother William and brother Robert’s children.
Robert Smithson of Newsham and Hutton Long Villars, m. – –, and issue two sons – viz.:
Augustin Smithson of Newsham, and subsequently of Hutton Long Villars, who died unmarried in 1716. His will was proved at York, but not until 1744, and runs as follows:
‘ The will of Augustin Smithson of Hutton Long Villars and late of Newsham, gent.; sound in mind and memory but aged and infirm in body. As to temporal estate for necessary maintenance without any superfluity, considering the many poor relations I have constantly taken care to supply to my power ever since I was master of anything, blessed be God who gave me the good will to do it, etc.
I bequeath to my nephew Robert Smithson of Newsham, in the county of York, 2nd son of my brother Anthony, decd., all that messuage, house or tenement with the Garth thereunto belonging and all rights, members and appurtenances, etc., in Newsham, etc., formerly belonging to my late father Robert Smithson, deceased, and the close called Lareberry, on the north side of the street which leads from Newsham to Barningham, and also all my closes, lands, grounds, tenements and Hereditaments – estate of inheritance – and after his decease, to his son Robert now an infant.
Whereas I am entitled to a messuage house, etc., and 4 closes, 12 acres, and 9 acres of arable in the townfields of Walton near Weatherby, now in tenure of Henry Hicks, I bequeath them to my nephew Robert Smithson and his son. It being my desire that all the lands, etc., should continue in my family. By lease 3 and 4th July, 4th Jas. 2nd, between me and Stephen Hackforth on the first part and William Smithson on the 2nd part, I have settled the said lands for uses stated in the Deed; I alter this for my nephew Robert Smithson of Newsham and his male heirs of body and to my cousin John Smithson and male heirs of body. Item, I give to my niece Hellen, wife of Wm. Hutchinson, my niece Elizabeth, wife of James Hutchinson, my niece Barbary Shaw, the children of my niece Mary Rowntree, to Catherine Grainger and Marmaduke Pierson, each 5s. All the rest to my nephew Robert Smithson, whose care and fidelity I depend upon, and make him Exor. Made signed and sealed 1716, 22 Feb., in pieces of parchment in presence of us, George Salkeld, Robt. Daile, Thos. Wycliffe. This will passed seal 1 Nov., 1744.’
Anthony Smithson married, and had issue:
Robert Smithson of Newsham, yeoman, heir of his uncle Augustin; married Margaret –, and died 1749. His will, proved at Richmond March 18, 1748/9, by his widow, leaves to her a house and garth at Newsham that Matthew Gill now lives in, and to his son Robert one shilling. The residue to his good wife, whom he makes sole executrix, dated February 10, 1748/9.
In the Kirby Ravensworth Registers it is recorded ‘ that ‘ Robert Smithson, Papist, of Newsham was laid in the churchyard 18th Feby., 1748/9.’
He left issue Robert Smithson, yeoman, who married Mary Judson, and resided at Peckhill, in the psh. of Romaldkirk, where he died in 1767.His will was proved Richmond by his widow and son. She afterwards lived at Headlam, co. Durham.
He left issue a third Robert Smithson, yeoman, of Newsham. A series of indentures registered in the Registry of Deeds at Northallerton shows that he gradually mortgaged portions of his lands, to borrow money. Thus, in 1776 he made an assignment to Thos. Benson of Brignol Moor Houses, for a loan of £300, of Collingwood Pastures and a close called the Bottom, 30 acres, in the presence of W. Hutchinson of Barnard Castle. In 1777 he borrowed from Anthony Hutton of Gainford, co. Durham, gent., £200 on the security of 3 closes called Lowberry, containing 16 acres. In 1780 he sold the same lands absolutely to Anthony Hutton. In the same year he and his wife Barbara and his mother Mary sold a house and an acre to Wm. Stapleton of Dalton Fields, in the psh. of Kirby Ravensworth.
In 1782 Robert Smithson, and Barbara his wife, and Mary his mother, Exors. of Robert Smithson late of Pecknill, decd., and ten other parties, including the Judsons and Huttons, made a further indenture about the 16 acres. In 1786, Jan. 3 and 4, Robert Smithson, who had moved his residence and is described as farmer of Graystone, psh. of Stanwick, co. York, made an indenture with Thos. Johnson about land at Newsham. Further we have not been able to trace him.
Anthony Smithson had issue also drs., viz.:
Helen Smithson, m. Wm. Hutchinson, solicitor, of Barnard Castle.
Elizabeth Smithson, wife of James Hutchinson.
Mary Smithson m. – Rowntree and had children.
Anthony Smithson the elder, had issue also:
Hugh Smithson, haberdasher, of London, and adventurer in Irish lands, who bought the lands of Stanwick from Anthony Catherick, and was created a Baronet on the Restoration of Chas. II. He was born at Newsham in 1598 and died Oct. 21, 1670, and is buried in Stanwick Church. He married Dorothea, dr. of Jerome Rawston of Plaistow in the Co. Essex, by whom he had four sons and two daughters. Dorothea Lady Smithson died Jan. 18, 1691, and is buried beside her husband at Stanwick. They had issue:
Sir Jerome Smithson.
For further information concerning the descendants of Sir Hugh Smithson and the elevation of his great-great-grandson Sir Hugh Smithson to be Earl and Duke of Northumberland, consequent on his espousal of Lady Elizabeth Seymour, or Percy, heiress of the renowned and ancient House of Percy, see Fonblanque’s ‘ Annals of the House of Percy ‘ and Brennan’s ‘ House of Percy.’
John Smithson mentioned in his uncle Robert’s will, 1622. Was he the John Smithson who died a prisoner in York for recusancy in 1627 and is buried at Holy Trinity, Micklegate?
Symon Smithson, mentioned in his uncle Robert’s will, believed to have joined the Society of Friends and gone to Ireland. A family of Smithsons, of that persuasion, were settled in the 17th century at Ballintogher or Ballintore, co. Wexford, in the psh. of Kilbride. The Records are not complete, but from them it appears that Thomas Smithson, who was probably the son of Symon, was born 1655 and married, c, 1677, Hannah, and was the progenitor of the family. His sons were: 1. Simon, born c. 1685; 2. John, born 1687; 3. Thomas, born 1692; 4. Joseph, born 1700; 5. Jacob, born 1703; 6. Samuel, born 1709. His drs. were Catherine, Mary, Rebecca, Elizabeth, Sarah, Rachel, Anne.
There are 31 births, 25 marriages, and 29 deaths of this family recorded in the Dublin Records of the Society. The family claim to be of the Newsham stock, and say that their ancestor, brother to Sir Hugh Smithson, came to Ireland with Oliver Cromwell, and that in the 18th century the Duke of Northumberland, when Lord Lieut. of Ireland, met and acknowledged one of those Smithsons as a relative.
Bernard Smithson, Apothecary in Holborn, London. He is named in the will of his uncle Robert Smithson in 1622 as one of the children of his brother Anthony, who were to receive ‘ every one of them £7 10s., to be paid to them as my pmise out of their father’s estate after his death, but not before.’
Bernard Smithson is also named in the will of his brother Francis, as the father of several sons, and in the will of Dorothea, Lady Smithson, 1691, he receives a legacy of £10. He probably died previous to 1705, in which year Augustin Smithson took out letters of Administration to his son John. He married Alice – and had issue:
John Smithson of St. Andrew’s parish, Holborn, heir. in remainder to his uncle Richard; d. unmarried and intestate.
Bernard Smithson, Junr., of the Inner Temple, afterwards of Hornchurch, Essex, born Sept. 8, 1680, Anne Thorogood, of Hornchurch, Essex, widow, aged 30, who survived him s.p. and took out grant of admin. to his goods, May 5, 1699.
Francis Smithson, named in his uncle Francis Smithson’s will, 1672.
A dr. who m. Mr. Brignall, as named in Francis Smithson’s will.
Ellen Smithson, named in her uncle Robert’s will, 1622; m. Mr. Wetwang of Richmond, Yorks, and had issue Wm. Wetwang, father of John and Francis.
Jane Smithson, named in uncle’s will, 1622, m. Mr. Binks and had issue Elizabeth, m. Nicholas Cox of Knightsbridge.
Anne Smithson, named in uncle’s will, 1622, m. Mr. Swaile, and had issue Philip Swaile.
We now return to William and Eleanor Smithson of Newsham, who had issue.
Robert Smithson of Newsham, bachelor, who died in 1622. His will proved at Richmond, Nov. 19, 1622, is very valuable, as it gives the names of brothers and sisters and also those of Anthony’s children. It runs as follows: ‘ Dated 4 March 1621/2. Robert Smithson, of Newsam, co. York, Batchelor. I commit my soule into ye mercifull handes of Almighty God my maker and Redeemer, hopinge and faithfully trustinge to be saved by his merittes death and passion, and my bodie to be buried in the pshe church of Kirby on the Hill where my friends will appoint it.
‘ Unto Elizabeth, daughter of Christian Compsen my sister, now wife of Edward Orrey, £20 p’cell of a debt of £70 due to me by my cosen Christopher Smithson of Mowton, also to her all my beddinge and other implements now in the house of my cosen Wm. Smithson, which do appeare by a note in writing in his custodie.
‘ Unto Mary Scott, late wife of Christopher Scott, being my sister Compsen’s youngest daughter £20, to be paid out of said debt of £70.
Unto Williaim Compsen, my said sister Compsen’s her youngest sonne, other £20 thereof, and the other £10 unto Margarett Rudd and Elizabeth Dacie, daughters of Richard Dacie of Burgh upon Staynemore to be equallie divided betwixt them.
‘ Unto Dorothie and Margarett, daughters of my sister Grace Metcalfe, £16 13s. 4d. to each of them.
‘ Unto my nephew Richard Smythson, third sonne of my brother Anthony Smythson, £6 13s. 4d.’
[Here the will is torn in half, a line nearly illegible.]
‘£60 owed me by said Anthony Smythson shall be devided amongst eight of his children, viz., to Richard, Hugh, John, Symon, Bernard, Ellen, Jane, and Anne Smythson, to everie one of them £7 10s. to be paid unto them as my p’mise out of their father’s estate after his death and not before.
‘Whereas my brother Ninian Smythson, my nephewe ffrancis Smythson, and my nephewe John Compsen, have had and received of me divers somes of money wch. in there need and necessitie did helpe and relieve them, I do hereby clearly and absolutely acquite and discharge them from payinge any part thereof backe again. My nephew William Smythson of Newsam to be sole exor.
‘ £5 left to Elizabeth Dacie shall not be paid unto her untill the daye of her marriage. Signed and sealed.
‘ Witnesses: RICHARD SMITHSON (X his marke). CHRISTOPHER ARSINE.’
Ninian Smithson, in 1604, residing at Kirkdale Banks psh. of Egton (?), accg. to Peacocke, m. Anne –, and mentioned in his brother Robert’s will, 1622. He was probably the founder of the Smithson family long resident in Kent. Nothing more is known of him.
John Smithson, in 1604 ‘ of Newsom, late from beyond the seas; at Barningham. Either he or his nephew was the prisoner in York, who was buried in July, 1627 at Holy Trinity, Micklegate.
George Smithson, a Recusant in 1604. In Surtees’ ‘ Durham ‘ it is stated in reference to School Ayliffe in the psh. of Heighington, that in 1563 Arthur Neville, gent., god nephew of the Earl of Westmoreland, granted to Wm. Smythson of Newsom in the psh. of Kirby on the Hill, yeoman, all his close in Scole Acle and 2 other closes. In 1554 Edward Wydmarpole of Alne granted to the same Wm. Smythson ½ of 5 messuages and 140 acres in Schole Acle. In 1562 an arbitration as to the remaining undivided lands in Schole Acle. In 1587 Wm. Smythson gave all his lands in Schole Acle to his son George (Charter 23 June, 29 Eliz.), who in 1606 conveyed them to Francis Foster of Darlington for £360.
Grace m. Mr. Metcalfe and had issue, Dorothie and Margaret.
Christian m. Mr. Compsen and had issue, John and William Compsen; Elizabeth m. Edward Orrey; Mary m. Christopher Scott.
A PEDIGREE OF SMITHSON OF ARTHINGTON NUNNERY, PSH. OF ADDLE.
In the temp. Eliz. John Smithson of Arthington and Addle and Alice his wife are mentioned in regard to Feet of Fines. Also in 1607 Marmaduke and Francisca, and Marmaduke, jun., and Katherine. In the Harewood and Addle Registers are many Smithson items besides the ones in this Pedigree.
Mr. Henry Smithson of Leeds and Arthington, born c. 1650, d. 1686; m. 1674 Maria Hargreaves of Weardley, born 1656, d. 1704, and had issue:
Ellenor Smithson, born c. 1675, m. Joseph Denison of Leeds, 1696.
Samuel Smithson, born c. 1677; bur. 1686.
Roundell Smithson, bapt. 1680, of Chapel Allerton, tanner; m. Mary, dr. of Saml. Midgley of Harewood,* 1705, and had issue:
Mary, d. 1714, bur. Harewood.
Mary, m. Stephen Harrison, and had Mary, wife of Jonathan Midgley of Beverley.
Ann, m. Sir Thomas Denison, Justice of King’s Bench; her sister was ancestor of Lord Grimthorpe.
* Her brother, Saml. Midgley of Alwoodley and Harewood, had issue Thos. of Harewood, whose son Samuel m. Mary. dr. of Henry Smithson of Leeds, and had issue Margt., m. John Barstowe, and Mary, m. Rev. Wm, Kettlewell.
Robert Smithson of Milnfield, psh. of Harewood, b. 1684, d. 1743.
John Smithson, salter, of Leeds, bapt. 1682; m 1st Anne Woofenden, Jan. 25, 1714, of Cawthorne (she d. Aug. 28, 1717, w. pr. York), and had issue:
John Smithson, d. infans.
Henry Smithson of Newton, Leeds, born 1716, w. pr. York, May, 1698; m. Margaret dr. of Wm. Lewty of Hampsthwaite, co. York, gent. She was bapt. Hampsthwaite Nov. 23, 1724, d. Feb. 19, 1793, mar. settlem. Jan. 6, 1749. They had issue:
Rev. John Smithson, Rector of Kirk Heaton, co. York, 1785-1836. Inc. of Headingley 1782-1836, bapt. 1752, d. Jan. 1. 1836, bur. Headingley, m. Ruth –, born 1767, d. Aug. 16, 1832, bur. at Headingley, s.p.
Henry Smithson, born 1760, Mar. 14, 1793, aged 33; Elizabeth –; she afterwards m. – Harding of Ireland, w. pr. York.
Margareta, ob. inf. æt. 6 months.
Mary, born 1754; d. Dec. 24, 1836; bur. Adel; m. Samuel Midgley and had issue ) Margaret and Mary, mentioned in their uncle Henry’s will.
An Account of William Burbank, Archdeacon of Carlisle
In the course of tracing up that branch of the Smithson family which was settled in Cumberland in the early part of the sixteenth century, the name and career of William Burbank, Archdeacon of Carlisle, who was a kinsman of Rev. Anthony Smithson of Cliburn, comes prominently forward. A most interesting monograph on the seal of William Burbank has been written by Rev. James Wilson, M.A., an accomplished antiquary in Cumberland: and may be read in vol. xv. of the Transactions of the Cumberland and Westmoreland Antiquarian Society; in it he traces the career of William Burbank very fully, and makes reference to various authorities. There are, however, a few sources of information which have not been mentioned by Mr. Wilson, which still further elucidate his career.
He was probably a native of Cumberland, and must not be confounded with his namesake, Wm. Burbank, jun., who was also a priest. Another of the same name, Thomas Burbank, or Bourbank, had been Archdeacon of Carlisle between 1509 and 1520. Bishop Nicholson records that there was a window in Greystoke Church to the memory of Archdeacon Thos. Bourbank, who may have been uncle to Wm. Burbank, his successor. Rev. James Wilson, M.A., in his monograph gives an impression of the seal, which is oval, 2½ inches by 1½, inches, and shows, under a triple canopy, supported by pillars in the Renaissance style, the Blessed Virgin, with the Holy Child on her right arm, the head being encircled with rays. Below there is a shield of arms, charged quarterly, but the charges are indistinct, and supported from behind by a cherub or angel with expanded wings. The legend is: SIG * WILLYM * BYRBANKE * DECRET * ORV * DOCTOR * ARCHI * KARLIOLEN. From Mr. Wilson’s notes we learn that Dr. Burbank as early as 1488 was in the service of Richard Bell, Bishop of Carlisle. As his chaplain he was often engaged on diocesan affairs, or sent to direct the bailiffs in the managements of the Bishop’s estates. He was a native, perhaps, of Penrith or its neighbourhood, and was educated at Cambridge, where he took the degree of Bachelor of Canon Law. In 1508 he was nominated by the Austin Priory of Conysheved, in Lancashire, as one of their proctors to the diocesan synod of Carlisle, by virtue of their being appropriators of the Church of Overton, in Westmoreland, a parish of which he seems to have been the incumbent. In the same year Cardinal Baynbridge, Archbishop of York, and a, member of an old family near Appleby, was sent as ambassador to Pope Leo and at Rome, and Burbank went with him as one of his secretaries. In Rome he made the acquaintance of Erasmus, as Erasmus himself tells us, and this led to a lifelong friendship. Cardinal Baynbridge was unfortunately poisoned by one Rinaldo, of Modena; and the two letters written by Burbank, one of his executors, to Henry VIII. on the death of his patron, are in the British Museum (Vitell, B. ii., ff. 94-97), and were printed by Sir Henry Ellis in ‘Original Letters,’ first series, vol. i., pp. 99-108. In them he seriously compromises Silvester de Giglis, Bishop of Worcester, who, he says, paid Rinaldo for carrying out the dastardly act. The Bishop in return defamed his accuser as ‘that scoundrel Burbanke,’ and says that he ‘does not know under heaven a greater dissembler.’ The wretched Rinaldo, after being tortured, committed suicide. The Pope tried to patch up the quarrel, absolved the Bishop under seal, of all complicity, and made Burbank a prothonotary Apostolic, and strongly recommended him to King Henry’s favour. Shortly after his return to London he received a post in the household of Wolsey, the new Archbishop of York, whom he accompanied to Cambridge in 1520, and there received the honour of being made Doctor of Decrees, as we find him entitled on his seal. In the same year (1520) he succeeded Thos. Burbank as Archdeacon of Carlisle. In that year he made a notarial certificate of the oaths of the Commissioners of Henry VIII. and Charles V. to certain treaties which had been made in the chapel of the Royal Palace of Greenwich. After this he was employed continually by Wolsey in various ways, and especially in carrying out the dissolution of some of the smaller monastic communities, and applying their funds to the foundation of his new Cardinal’s College at Oxford.
But it was especially as the friend of Erasmus that Wm. Burbank was notable. He was one of those, like Erasmus himself, who wished for the removal of abuses, without breaking up the visible unity of the Church. Mr. Wilson says that he can find only one occasion when Dr. Burbank seems to have gone down to Cumberland after he had become Archdeacon of Carlisle. That was when he paid a visit at Rose Castle to Bishop John Kite (1521-1537). Bishop Kite wrote to Wolsey in 1522 that he had kept Burbank to entertain him for the favour he bore to the Court he came from. From Wood’s ‘ Athenæ Oxon ‘ we learn that a William Bourbanke, A.M., was appointed to the Vicarage of Staines, in Middlesex, June 5, 1521, which he resigned before August 2, 1522 (cf. Bishop FitzJames’ Register, quoted by Bishop Kennet). There is some difficulty in distinguishing between him and a namesake and kinsman of his who was an ecclesiastic, and who was presented under the name of William Burbank, alias Smythson, to the Church of Arthuret, in the dio. of CarlisIe, in 1517 (cf. Pat. Roll, 9 Hen. VIII., p. 2, m. 3). The Patent Roll of 1531 (22 Hen. VIII., p. 1, m. 6) records the presentation of Wm. Bourbanke, alias Smithson, S.T.P., to the Prebend of Fenton, in York Minster, on the resignation of William Burbanke, D,D., who was appointed in 1512. This roll is dated Feb. 14, 1531. On April 1, same year, the Prebend of Tockerington, in York Minster, was filled up on the resignation of William Burbanke, S.T.P., appointed in 1524, and resigned. Jortin says that the friend of Erasmus was made Prebendary of South Grantham, in Lincs., in Sarum Cathedral. This he resigned in 1527. He was also Rector of Terrington, Yorks, by appointment of Archbishop Bainbridge, from 1508. Le Neve gives Wm. Burbanke, LL.D., as appointed to the Prebend of Welton, in the Cathedral of Lincoln, on March 13, 1518; and another person of the same name, alias Smythson, was collated June 13, 1527, by the title of Exorcista, and resigned in 1531.
Some light is thrown on these rather confusing records of two who were evidently relatives by the De Banco Roll of 1533 (25 Hen. VIII.), Westmoreland, in which a record is found of an action against Anthony Smythson, clerk, of Clybourne, co. Cumberland, Robert Smythson, late of Tyrington, (originally Tyverington) co. Cumberland, clerk (evidently a mistake for Terrington, co. York), and John Smythson of Alenby, co. Cumberland, yeoman, executors of the will of Wm. Burbanke, clerk, lately called W. B., senr., Archdeacon of Carlisle, and against Michael Burbanke, late of Morton, co. Cumberland, yeoman, exor. of the will of W. B., junr., Rector of the parish church of Calbek. The latter of these two is evidently identical with the Prebendary who had the alias of Smythson, and succeeded his kinsman as Prebendary of Fenton and of Tockerington, and they must have died within a short time of each other. It is probable that the Smythsons were nephews of the Archdeacon, and brothers of the Rector of Calbeck.
The loss of these wills, however, which no longer exist, has been a serious difficulty in the tracing out of the relationship between the Burbanks and Smythsons. There are no wills now in Carlisle Probate Registry prior to 1564. We learn from the Lives of Erasmus that he had a large share of favour from most of the household officials of Wolsey, and particularly from Burbank. When we consider the all-important part played by Erasmus in the revival of the study of the New Testament, and also in the exposure of monastic abuses and in the internal reform of the Church, and that no name stands so high in the ranks of learning at that period, it adds great distinction to the sagacity and fame of Archdeacon Burbank to have persuaded him to come to England. The family to which Burbank belonged was well known afterwards, and members of it are on record as having founded schools and left lands for the benefit of the Church.
Neither No. 41 nor its neighbours were burgage properties so the Burgage Survey of 1675 does not supply us with information about its seventeenth century owners. The earliest owner whom we know for certain was Stephen Palliser, tanner, who died in 1740. Both Stephen and his father of the same name and occupation were members of Ripon Corporation and held office as Mayor, the elder in 1690-1 and 1704-5, and the younger in 1725-6 and 1735-6. Records at the Borthwick Institute in York show that the elder Stephen bequeathed all his real estate to his son by a will dated 1722, so it is possible -but not certain- that the father as well as the son owned No. 41. The 1740 will provided that Elizabeth, Stephen Palliser’s widow, should hold his Market Place house for life, after which it should be shared by his four daughters: Elizabeth, wife of Edmund Braithwaite, and Jane, Anne and Mary. The Average Award of 1747 confirms the ownership of the property by the heirs of Stephen Palliser.
For the next hundred years the evidence of ownership is limited. An abstract of title written in 1850, when the property was to be sold, lists owners after Elizabeth Palliser as Thomas Trees, Mrs Alice Haddon, Matthew Thomas Trigg and Jane his wife, and Edward Taylor of Kirkham Abbey, Esquire, the would-be vendor at that time. No dates are given and no information as to how the property came to be passed between these people. Records show that there were a number of Thomas Trees living in Ripley in the eighteenth century but nothing has been found to link these with the Palliser heiresses or Mrs Haddon either by inheritance or purchase. Mrs Haddon, whose ownership is confirmed by Humphrey’s Survey of 1800, had been born Alice Askwith and a will registered at Wakefield in 1819 shows her bequeathing a dwelling house in Ripon (site unspecified) to her niece Jane Trigg (nee Askwith). The Askwith family had played a prominent part in public life in Ripon in the eighteenth century: it was one of them, Alice Haddon’s brother, who provided Ripon with its waterworks; they were brewers, so their marriage link with the Haddons, who owned the Unicorn Inn at this time, has a special significance. In 1812 in fact John Haddon Askwith inherited the inn but after a short period sold it to the Studley Estate.
Matthew Thomas Trigg who had married Jane Askwith in 1805 is described on his marriage bond as a merchant of Sculcoates, near Hull, and in Baines’ Direcrory of 1822 M.T. Trigg is listed as a mustard manufacturer at Cockpit Yard, Castle Street, Hull, with his home there at 27, Albion Street. It seems therefore that the Triggs were likely to have had little interest in this Ripon property except as a source of income. Jane Trigg was still alive and living in Hull in 1851 after Edward Taylor sold it, so it would seem certain that the Triggs sold the property, though no record of such a sale has been found and Edward Taylor of Kirkham Abbey seems an unlikely buyer.
Early nineteenth century directories and the 1841 census return suggest that the property was let to private tenants before its 1850 sale, among them Elizabeth Harrison, Mrs H.A.M. Clough and, in 1841, two sisters – Misses Sarah and Harriet Clough – aged 90 and 85 respectively. Both these ladies are stated to have possessed independent means and at that time they had four domestic servants. Architectural evidence suggests that it was during this period that the exterior of the present building was constructed, except for the shop front which was added later.
In 1850 the property was bought from Edward Taylor by James Fairburn of Ripon, stationer and bookseller, who occupied it for the next thirty years. eventually selling it to his neighbour at No. 40, the Knaresborough and Claro Bank, in 1880. In the 1881 census the property was not recorded, even as uninhabited, but in 1891 it was bracketed with the bank at No. 40, the occupants of the combined properties being the bank manager, his family, visitors and servants. Whether No. 41 was used as domestic premises or as an extension for banking business is not known but about 1904 the Company leased the premises to Mr T. K. Smithson who carried on a glass and china business there until 1920.
Mr. Smithson’s daughter has described her home then as “roomy” but also remembers a family friend’s description of its numerous stairs as a death trap. In the basement were the kitchen and store cellars, with a W.C. in a railed-off area outside. On the ground floor there was the shop at the front and a showroom at the rear. A staircase between these led up to the first floor which contained the drawing room at the front and the nursery or study at the rear. Above these were two double bedrooms, a dressing room and a bathroom, and above these again were attics with the large semicircular windows which are still a feature of the property. The garden at the back was reached by steps leading down from a corridor which ran from the front to the back of the building. This garden went down to Water Skellgate and at the bottom was a midden and a china store. The steps into Water Skellgate were rarely used except by men coming to empty the midden.
When the Smithsons left, the National Provincial Bank (which had taken over the Knaresborough and Claro Bank) sold the property to Lloyd’s Bank. This carried on business there until 1936 when they sold the premises to Sydney George Moss, a grocer and provision merchant elsewhere in the City, who had been Mayor in 1929. In 1937 Ripon’s first Milk Bar opened there. Later owners were Mrs N.M. Struthers (1951-5) and Mr E. Kendrew (1955-85). Then it was acquired by the Trustees of Cocked Hat Farm Foods Ltd. (Pension Fund). It is now occupied by the “The Dragon Inn” Chinese Restaurant.