The History and Antiquities of the County Palatine of Durham: Volume 3, Stockton and Darlington Wards. Originally published by Nichols and Son, London, 1823.
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PARISH OF STOCKTON.
The Parish of Stockton is bounded by Norton on the North and East, by the Tees on the South-east and South, and by the Parishes of Egglescliff, Long Newton, and Elton on the South-west and West.
The Parish includes four Constableries: 1. the Borough of Stockton; 2. the Copyhold Township of Stockton; 3. East Hartburn; 4. Preston-on-Tees.
Stockton was made a Parish, and divided from Norton, by Act of Parliament in 1711.
Stockton, in its present state, is an extremely clean, neat town, stretching with an easy curve along the Southern bank of the Tees. The main street is nearly a mile in length, extending from North to South, broad and fair, with several handsome modern houses; the smaller streets branch off towards the river (fn. 1); a walk of a few hundred yards leads from the South end of the main street, past the site of the Castle, to the Bridge which unites Durham and Cleveland.
Stockton is divided into two Constableries; one of these includes the ancient Borough, which is entirely freehold; the other comprises the newer buildings without the limits of the Borough, and the surrounding townfields and lands, which are chiefly copyhold or leasehold. The two Constableries join in raising the poor-rate. The separate history of the Borough will be detailed in the sequel. As to the Bishop's Manor, the earliest description is in Boldon Book.
“In Stockton there are eleven tenures in villenage and half a tenure; each consists of two oxgangs, and the rents and services are the same as those of Boldon, excepting corn-age. Six farmers hold nine oxgangs; their rents and services are like Norton. Adam Fitz Walter holds a carucate and an oxgang under one mark rent. William de Tumba holds three oxgangs for half a mark, and one oxgang by permission (de accommodatione) of the Bishop, and is quit of all services as long as he remains in the Bishop's service; but when he shall quit the Bishop, he shall work as Walter does for his half carucate. Robert holds also the old Hall toft near his dwelling for sixteen pence rent. Elwin and Robert, cottagers, pay twelve pence for two tofts; Goderic the cottager, sixpence; and Suane the smith, fourpence for a toft. The Punder holds six acres, and has the thraves of Stockton and Harteburn, and renders fourscore hens and five hundred eggs. The Passage of the Tees pays twenty pence. The whole vill provides one milch-cow. One oxgang which the Bishop holds, across the Tees opposite the Hall, pays 4s.”
Hatfield's Survey gives a more detailed account both of the Borough and Manor. Tenants within the Borough. Walter Webster holds a burgage, and does suit at the Borough Court once in three weeks, and is free from toll within the franchise of Durham, except of Sadberge wapontake, and pays at the four terms, vid. William Osbern holds two burgages by the same service, xxiid. Thomas Fouler and thirty-eight others hold nineteen burgages and seventeen half burgages by suit of court and rents.—Tenants without the Borough. Richard Brantingham, souter, dwelling in Auckland, holds half a burgage for life, does suit of court once in three weeks, and pays for each omission, vid. and one penny at the four terms. John Collesson and John Wonksall hold each a burgage by 6d. and 8d. rent respectively. John Alverton, fysher, dwelling in Alverton, and seven others, each hold halves of burgages as above. John at Towneshende, and Thomas Dobynson, neifs of the Lord (Nativi), hold the one half, the other the fourth of a burgage. John Tose in Sedgefield, and twenty-two others, hold fourths of burgages. Free-tenants.—John of Worsall a messuage and four oxgangs, once of Adam Preston, parcel of a carucate of land said to be held by charter and knight's service, vis. William Osbern two oxgangs, parcel of the same carucate, iiis. Robert Toby two oxgangs of the same, ivs. iiiid. John of Elvet a messuage and four oxgangs, once Thomas Potter's, by charter and knight's service, and he cleans the mill-pool and the mill-race of Norton Mill (le fleme molendini), and pays 20s. The same John holds a toft and oxgang, and three acres of meadow, once of Richard de Stokton, on the South of the Tees, opposite the manor-house, and pays xiiis. iiiid. Of the town of Claxton, for fee-farm rent, at the four principal terms, xiiis. iiiid. John Carrow a like fee-farm rent in the vill of [Seaton?] iis. iid. Adam Fulford (Fulthorpe) for the vill of Grendon, nigh Thorp, at St. Cuthbert's Day, in September, 2s. The Borough.—Richard Maunce and his partners pay for the fee-farm of the Borough of Stockton, with the tolls, perquisites, fines for alienation, the bakehouse, the toll called Towerst, and xxiis. xid. ob. Borough-rents as above in two parcels (fn. 2), in all cvis. viiid. There is a park, with an ancient orchard, and seven acres and a rood of inclosed meadow, which are leased for 8l.; and a pasture called Bishopholme and Turspit, xls. The Ferry and Ferry-boat are also leased for liiis. iiiid. Thomas Fowler holds a messuage and oxgang, once of Alan Gernet, and does all service like the farmers in Norton, and pays at the four terms, iiis. iiiid. Emma, that was wife of William Fitz-Thomas, holds in dower a messuage and oxgang, sometime of the same Alan, and since Adam Stephenson's, and does services for her proportions as the farmers of Norton, and pays iiis. iiiid. The same Emma holds a messuage and oxgang, once of Robert Fitz-John, does services as above, iiis. iiiid. There are nine carucates of demesne land, containing eight hundred and ten acres of meadow, under ivd. rent per acre, xiiil. xs. leased to pay at Michaelmas 8l. Cottagers.—Robert Dykon, a cottage called Castleman's, containing a rood of ground; he tills three portions in autumn, or compounds for threepence, and shall carry hens and eggs to the lord's household wheresoever it shall be kept betwixt the Tyne and Tees, and pays in all, at the four terms, vid. Emma, widow of William Fitz-Thomas, a tenement in dower, and renders and pays as above, vid. These two coterights pay xviiid. in lieu of works, at Michaelmas. Bond-lands.—John Dobbe a messuage and two oxgangs (the oxgang of fifteen acres), pays iis. vid. at the Purification for seat-pennies, and six bushels of scat-oats, xvid. for averpenys, and performs days' works and harrowing, and work in autumn, and woodlades, and all other service like the Bonds of Norton, and pays xiiiis. iid. Thomas Tuly and seven others hold nine messuages and seventeen oxgangs, and do service and pay rent as above. The tenants jointly hold Punder-land, six acres, vs. and pay at Martinmas in lieu of one milch-cow, vis. Every Bond renders two hens at Christmas and ten eggs at Easter, in all twenty hens and two hundred eggs. The Punder pays fourscore hens and five hundred eggs. Of the selfodes and servants of the Bonds, as in Norton. There was sometime a smithy in the lord's waste, which used to pay iiiid. now waste and out of lease; the tenants jointly hold the common bakehouse .... for rent for Castelmen at the four terms ..... Exchequer-lands.—William Shepherd and Robert Slowcok a messuage and four oxgangs, once Bond-lands, and sometime belonging to Miles Fitz-Robert, now Exchequer-land, and pays xvis. viiid., for scat-penys iis. vid. and six bushels of oats, for aver-pennys xiid., for five woodlades at the Nativity of St. John Baptist xiid. and he does service at the mill like the Bonds, but he does no other bond-work, save rendering two hens at Christmas, and ten eggs at Easter, xxis. vid. William Fitz-John at Touneshend, and five others, hold two messuages and two oxgangs, one tenure and two parcels, and work and pay as above. Chantry-lands.—Four oxgangs, with a messuage, once of Robert Combe, which used to pay vis. viiid. now nothing, because they are in mortmain for a certain Chantry, occupied by a certain Chaplain, there continually celebrating; an old toft moreover, once of Robert de Combe, the site of his hall-house, used to pay xvid. now nothing, being in the tenure of the same Chaplain. A plot, once of William Fitz-Thomas, Exchequer-land, used to pay two pence, now in the lord's hands since the death of Emma, wife of William.
Valor Manerii.—The Jurors say that there is a manor-house, of which the site is worth nothing beyond reprise. An orchard, of which the fruit and herbage are worth, communibus annis, iis. A park, with an ancient orchard, eight acres and a rood of inclosed meadow, valued and leased this year together for viiil. Seven score acres of demesne-meadow, lying in divers parcels, worth iiis. per acre, in all xxil. viz. in North-mede thirteen acres, in Haygate two acres, in Sundrenes twelve and one rood, in Westhalburn ten, at Lanthorne twenty acres, in Lynehalgh thirty, in Lyttelnes ten, in Elvetmore eleven and a rood, in Campsyke five, at Cotegrene two, at Coldsyke two, the meadow near Coldsyke three acres, in Cotardene five, at Esthalburn five, at Grenesmedow seven; in all sevenscore and two acres and two roods, and the two acres and two roods which exceed, are valued at viis. vid. A parcel of meadow called Pykesyke, five acres at is. vid. per acre, in all viis. vid. The Hawbankes one acre, vis. vid. per ann. At Haybriggate two acres and a rood, with Fermelech, viiis. per ann.; at Hawburnhede two acres, viiis.; at Knapdale an acre and a half, iiis.; at Bernardmyre, Crounerpool, and Sandlandheved, vis.; the Mirehed, xviiid.; half an acre called the Pighill, xxd. The Punder holds, in right of his office, two parcels of meadow called Mireresheved, and Wybbysgat, and the Porkside towards the South, one acre and a half, and Beligate, and Jarnirgate, and the road which leads to Preston.
Demesne-lands on Bond-tenure.—Nine carucates, containing eight hundred and ten acres, fourpence per acre, xiiil. xs. leased for viiil. Pasture-grounds.—There is a pasture called Halstone More, valued at lxxiiis. ivd. per ann. Normanton Pasture, xxs. Item, the pasturage of the meadow after rowen-grass (fn. 3) is cut and carried, xls. There are also other pasture-grounds, viz. the Bishopholme and Turspit, valued and leased this year for xls. Woods.—In the aforesaid park is a certain wood and underwood, the profit of the underwood, comm. annis, iiis. iiiid. “Et in grosso bosci sunt aere ardui (fn. 4) tempore anni quo apprec. comm. annis ad xiiis. iiiid.” The passage of the Tees with the boat is leased for liis. iiiid.
At this day nearly the whole of the lands are held under the See of Durham by lease or copy of court-roll. The Borough, it has been stated, is entirely freehold. A division of common lands within Stockton was made under an award, dated 8 Sept. 13 Car. II. 1661 (fn. 5).
The Castle, or rather Manor-place (fn. 6) of Stockton, was the property and occasional residence of the Bishops, at least from the time of Hugh Pudsey. Boldon Book, it has been seen, mentions the Hall incidentally, “the Hall-toft, and the oxgang which the Bishop holds across the river, opposite to the Hall.” In 1214 King John's Charter to the Burgesses of Newcastle bears date at Stockton. In 1249 Bishop Farnham, on resigning the See, chose this manor for his residence, and expired here in 1257 (fn. 7). Bishop Kellaw rebuilt the Manor-place, “and several of his charters, as well as many of his successors', Beaumont and Bury, bear date here.” (fn. 8) Hatfield's Survey gives a very minute detail of the demesne-lands, which seem then to have been on lease, and names the Park and the Orchard. The Park was a mere inclosure in the contracted Northern sense of the word; a century later Bishop Booth's Survey of Vert and Venison totally omits Stockton, which could never be a Deer-park. The residence of later prelates at Stockton was merely occasional. In the summer of 1597 Bishop Matthew lay here to avoid the plague, which raged at Durham, and in that year part of Stockton Castle was accidentally burned (fn. 9). In 1640 Bishop Morton, the latest, and perhaps the best prelate who ever found shelter in these walls, after the defeat of the royal troops by the Scots at Newburn, fled to “his Castle of Stockton on the edge of Yorkshire,” and soon after retired to York and London (fn. 10). The Castle remained for some time in possession of the Royalists, and seems to have been considered as a post of some strength and consequence, guarding one main passage from the Bishopric into Yorkshire. “His Majesty did deliberate about the increase of his forces at Stockton Castle, a place of great importance, situate on the river of Tees, the border of the Bishopric and Yorkshire, in regard the Scots had brought in more men to Newcastle, and placed more at Durham than were at the beginning of the treaty. However, to avoid all suspicion and jealousy, his Majesty was pleased to waive those intentions (fn. 11).” In the treaty of Rippon, which reconciled Charles for a time to his Scottish subjects, the Bishopric was abandoned to contribution, and to the occupation of the Scottish army; but the Castle of Stockton, and its outwork of Egglescliff (commanding Yarm-bridge), were excepted. “The Tees shall be the bounds of both armies, excepting always the town and castle of Stockton, and the village of Egglescliff.” Stockton is not recorded to have stood any siege (fn. 12), nor is the time mentioned of its surrender to the Parliament; but if not ceded earlier, it probably followed the fate of Newcastle, Hartlepool, and other Royal garrisons, after the defeat of Marston Moor, which ruined the King's cause in the North. In 1645 Stockton, as appears by the Votes of Parliament, was one of the garrisons in possession of the Scots, which they delivered up to the English on receiving their most base recompence for the blood of their Sovereign (fn. 13). In 1647 Parliament ordered the Castle of Stockton to be totally slighted and dismantled (fn. 14). After this order had been executed, the manor of Stockton was sold by the Parliament Commissioners March 24, 1647–8, to William Underwood and James Nelthorpe, Esq. for 6165l. 10s. 2½d. In 1652 the Castle was entirely taken down, and not one stone left upon another (fn. 15).
The situation of the Castle is well known, betwixt the Borough and the river. A sort of embattled cow-house, just on the North of the road to Tees Bridge, marks the exact site. The South-western angle of this said cow-house has actually formed part of the Castle-barn, or of some other office or out-house; the large squared stones and ancient masonry are very observable. The Castle has been moated, the agger and foss may be still distinctly traced. The road from Stockton to Tees Bridge lies in the Western moat, a little rivulet from St. John's Well runs through the Southern foss, a row of cottage-houses is built in the Eastern, and a garden, the walls of which are evidently built out of the squared stones of the Castle, rises out of the Northern ditch. Within this square there is not a stone of the foundations to be seen, but one seems to trace them in the rectangular swells of the ground. The Castle immediately commanded the old passage of the river near the Water-gate.
The only reputed relique of the old Castle, is a wrought stone about three feet in length, with the figures of two couchant lions. This was formerly built up in the wall of a cow-byer at Hartburn, but is now placed in the grounds of Colonel Sleigh, at Elton. The capital also of a column is, or lately was, used as a horse-block in the village of Hartburn.
The inclosure of the Castle is still called the Park, and seems in Hatfield's time to have contained both timber and underwood. Before the buildings were entirely destroyed, the Borough Bailiff used to be also Keeper of the Castle, and enjoyed the gardens, and orchards, and pasturage in Bishopholme for two horses and ten cows.
- 1259 Dñs Thomas de Middleham.
- 1453 Robert Kelsey, 1 Apr. 16 Nevill.
- 1494 Thomas Edwards, 1 Fox.
- 1508 Robert Simpson, of Henknoll.
- 1523 Richard Bellassis, Gent.
- 1546 Anthony Tunstall (fn. 16), Serviens Episcopi.
- 1559 John Thornell.
- 1561 John Taylfare.
- 1589 Anthony Craggs.
- John Thornell.
- Barnabas Pilkington (fn. 17).
- 1607 Robert Cooper (fn. 18), of Durham, Esq.
- 1622 Abraham Clerke.
- 1631 William Collingwood, of Hetton-on-the-hill, Gent.
- Francis Cressett.
- 1638 Edmund Brawne, of Newington-Butts, Gent. (fn. 19)
- 1660 Henry Barnes, Gent.
- 1680 Benjamin Hilton, Gent.
The following Survey was taken by authority of Parliament, immediately before the Dissolution:
Manerium de Stockton cum Membris.
An exact survey of the manor of Stockton, and of the town'epps thereunto belonging, viz. Carleton, Norton, and Stockton, and Hartburne, made and taken by Edward Colston and George Daile, Gents. 1647; butt the Court of Survey was begunn by Tho. Sanders, Samuel Leigh, Esquire, and George Daile, Gent. by virtue of a Com'ission to them and us directed 18th of January 1646, made from the Honrable Trustees in ye sd Comn named, authorised, wth others, by two several ordinances of the High Court of Parliament, for the disposall of Archbishopps and Bishopps' lands throughout the whole kingdom of England and dominion of Wales. The Jury enquire into ye sev'all articles, and p'sent wth ye sd Commrs as followeth, viz.
That the B'pp's Castle, situate at the South end of the towne of Stockton by the river Tease, is ruinous, and in great decay; that the river is navigable, and within ten miles of the mayne sea. That the towne of Stockton is an ancient burrough and markett towne by antient charters, but the markett unserv'd of late, it standing very dirty in winter, formerly a fair for eight days.
That the country is a champion country, very fruitful, though a stiff clay.
That the castle hath had a great moate abt it, but the same is now for want of cleansing filled up in part, and within that moate hath heretofore been orchards and gardens, but all destroyed; there hath likewise been a parke, but the same hath been disparked.
That there belongeth to the said Castle good demesnes, worth per ann. as it is now lett, 218l. 1s. 1d. viz. a meadow or parke lying under the Castle wall, containing 26 acres, now lett for 19l. 0s. 4d. The Thornes, with the Intack and horse-close, containing about thirty acres, and the other ground abt 20 acres, lett for 30l. 2s. 8d. The park heads 45 acres, Little Meadow Field 40 acres, lett for 41l. 9s. 9d. The great Sumer Field 130 acres, and Winter Field, lett for 82l. 18s. 7d. Kelsoe Hill 40 acres, and Midnight Hole 40 acres, letten for 41l. 9s. 9d. Smithy Hill and Orchard, lying under the Castle wall, is now lett for 10s. All which amounts together to 218l. 1s. 1d. And by the testimony of several upon oath, the same is worth 280l. That there is no wood growing upon any part of it, or in that part of ye country; nor is there any quarryes, mynes, parks, or sheep-racks within the said moate, except the park above mentioned belonging to the B'pp.
That the B'pp has the royalties of the river of Tease, as whales, sturgeon, porpoises, or the like, taken on that side the river next the county of Durham, within his mannor of Stockton, and all wracks of the sea, but not what they are worth:—not 5l. per ann.
That there is one water-corne-milne, called Norton Milne, wch we are informed the tents of the severall town'epps within the said mannr (save only Carleton) are tyed to grind all their corne at; and that there belongeth to the said milne six acres of meadow, the hay of which belongeth to the tent of ye sd milne; but the herbage thereof after the hay taken off belongeth to the inh'itants of the town'epp of Norton; which sd milne is lett by lease unto Alice Armstrong for three lives. And the copyholders within the sd severall townshipps by the custome of the sd mannr are to repaire the sd milne with thatch and wall, and to scour the race and dame, when need requireth; and to fetch such timber from time to time from Clake Wood near Osmotherley or elsewhere, within twelve miles distance from the said milne, as also the mil-stones for the use of the sd milne from Raley Green or Walker Field, for which their service every draught is to have 4d. per mile, and their men's dinners paid by the tenant: other milnes we know of none within the sd mann. belonging to the B'pp.
That the sev'rall tents of the aforesd town'epps (viz.) copyholders, are to do suite and service to the Lord's courts, and to carry his provision or household stuffe to Durham or B'pp Auckland from Stockton Castle, (viz.) at 1d. per bushell for corne, and 4d. per mile for every draught, and meat and drinke for men and cattle. Wee dont know of any relief or heriott ever paid unto any B'pp after the death of any tenant.
That there is 60 oxgangs of land in Norton, the owners whereof, at such times as the B'pp had his demesnes at Stockton in his owne possession, did helpe to winn and mowe the hay, or otherwise to pay the sume of 40s. in lieu thereof, ye service being 60 days worke. The tenants of Hartburne pay yearly for service silver 8s. Stockton town'epp for the like, 8s.
That the ffynes upon death or alienac'on of copyholders are certaine, as we believe, and not arbitrary, for that time out of mind the severall copyholders upon death or alienac'on have paid a certaine sume to the lord of this mannr imposed upon them by the title of a sesse, wch hath been always certaine upon every tenant, although some less than the annual rent reserved, and others the full rent reserved, and upon others more than the rent, but all these certaine, as appeareth by the severall copyes of one and the same thing for many descents.
That the works, customs, and services of the copyholders are little worth, and that we know of no cottagers within this mannr.
That we know not what the p'fitts of the courts, wayes, strayes, felons' goods, wrecks of the sea, fynes, amerciaments, or other the like casualtyes are worth per ann. unto the Lord.
That warrens or forrests the B'pp hath none within this mannr. But his privileges, royaltyes, franchises are great, as he had Jury Regalia within the county Palatine of Durham.
That the Lord hath the right of presentac'on of the Vicarage of Norton, and of the Chapelry of Stockton.
That there is belonging to the said Vicaridge glebe-lands worth 60l. per ann. and the same is a mannr and keepeth its courts two times in the year, and oftener if he please; and one Brough is the Vicar there: his tithes are valued to be worth 40l. per ann. Housing he hath very convenient, and the same in reasonable good repaire.
That the liveing at Stockton is a poore penc'on not worth above per ann. 30l. or 35l. or thereabouts (fn. 20).
The following fragment, taken it may be presumed, about the period of the Survey, seems genuine:
This Castle standeth upon a brave river called Teeze, and hath been a very gallant sum'er seate, very convenient, and all houses of offices, except brew-house and milne-house, wthin the castle-walls, which are built of freestone; the bewtie of ye house was wthn the squadron of the castle-walls, and a dozen stables are within the walls, but (pittie) all in ruine, the leades being taken off the stable roofes, to its great decaye. The demeasnes belonging to this castle, and menc'oned in the two ne . . . leaves, is rich land, and lieth very convenient to the castle, and hath been lett heretofore for 300l. per ann. The barn hath been lately built, and is a very large one, built of stone, and the decay's very little. The materialls of the castle are worth to bee sould, 500l. at least; but wee shall give you a more p'ticular account of it when the soldiers give workmen leave to view it (fn. 21).
This period of plunder and dismantling may be no improper place to introduce the accounts of the Parliamentary Sequestrators: the extracts relate to the whole parish.
Stockton. A warrant to Rowland Burdon, of Stocton, authorizing him to execute the office of Bailiff of Stockton, wh late belonged to Roger Carre, Gent. decd. Apud Sadberge, 23 Aug. 1644.
16 Sept. 1644. Certificate for Rowland Burdon, that he is well affected to the Parliament. Eod. die. Richard Melsonby, appted to looke to preserve the woods of Lieut. Coll. Thos Davison att Winyard and Fulthorp, for the benefitt of the Com'onwealth. Eod. die. Warrt for George Sayer, of Preston, and Jo. Medcalf, to give satisfacc'on to Rowland Burdon and Robert Burdon for a trespas on the tyth of Preston.
Friday, 20 Sept. 1644. Warrant for the D. and C. tenants in Stockton Warde to appeare before us. High Constables for Stockton Warde, Robert Johnson, of Greatham, Thomas Welfoot, of Bishopton.
10 Dec. 1644. Warrt to sequester the goods of Mr. Philip Mallory, at Norton. 16 Feb. 1644. Seqr of Mr. Laurence Sayer and Leonard Stott's land in Preston.
Letten to Rowland and Robert Burdon four and a half oxgangs of land in Stockton, late belonging to Richard Grubham, delinqt, 15l. 10s.
28 Feb. 1644. Letten to Rowland and Robert Burdon all the demesne-lands of Stockton, viz. the Great Sumer-field, the Winter-field, Little Winter-field, Kelsey-hill, and the Parkes, 125l. for a year. 11 Dec. 1645. The same lett to George Lilburne, Esq. 166l. for a year. 28 Feb. 1644. The Thornes, Horseclose, and Intack, parcel of the demesnes, lett to Robert Guy, Bryan Crosby, Wm Usher, and Catharine Fowler, 25l. per ann. Eod. die. Letten to Richard Wilkinson, of Paule Hartburne, one tenement, now in his possession, belonging to Mr. Robert Ellis, delinquent, rent 40 marks.
Stockton is a Borough Corporate (fn. 22) by prescription, for the date or existence of the original charter is unknown, but the Incorporation took place, perhaps not much later than King John's Charter to Hartlepool (1201) (fn. 23). The Record of Boldon Book does not expressly mention the Borough; but in 1283 the Guardians of the Temporalities for the Crown, after the death of Bishop Robert de Insula, account for “the talliage of the Borough of Stoketon, with the talliage of the Bondmen there (fn. 24).” In 1310 Anthony Beke granted to the town of Stockton a weekly market on Wednesday, and an annual fair on the Feast of the Translation of St. Thomas of Canterbury (Becket), and eight following days (fn. 25). In 1322 Stockton was one of the places which was plundered and fired by the Scots during their destructive inroad along the Eastern coast (fn. 26). In 1344 the Mayor and Bailiffs of Newcastle send a letter to the Mayor, Bailiff, and honest men of Stockton, explaining “certain articles and customes of their towne of Newcastle, which in your town you claim to use and have, but which to you are not altogether well known, whereof we will you to be better informed, &c.”
Hatfield's Survey enumerates nineteen burgages and seventeen half-burgages, held by thirty-nine tenants dwelling within the Borough, and forty-six tenants without the Borough, who held about thirteen burgages in halves and quarters: the whole number of burgage-tenures may seem to have been about forty, and only sixty-two burgages are enumerated in a plan of the Borough taken in the reign of Elizabeth. Stockton seems indeed to have retrograded, for in 1602 Nicholas Fleatham, Mayor, and the Burgesses, petitioned Bishop Toby Matthew to renew Anthony Bek's charter of a fair and market, both which they state to have been discontinued for many years. The new charter bears date 4 June 1602. In 1666 (24 April) Bishop Cosin granted the last charter, confirming those of his predecessors.
- 1495 Robert Burdon
- 1508 William Brown
- 1546 William Laykey
- 1559 John Baynbrigge
- 1561–2 The same
- 1564 Ralph Bunting
- 1588 Bryan Tunstall (fn. 27)
- 1589 The same
- 1599 Ralph Bunting
- 1601 Nicholas Fleatham (fn. 28)
- 1602 The same
- 1607 The same
- 1609 The same
- 1616 Thomas Lambert (fn. 29)
- 1619 Rowland Wetherell (fn. 30)
- 1620 The same
- 1621 William Burdon
- 1622 William Swainston
- 1623 Thomas Watson
- 1624 William Harte
- 1625 Thomas Lambert
- 1626 The same
- 1627 William Harte (fn. 31)
- 1629 The same.
- 1630 Gyles Wetherell (fn. 32)
- 1632 John Jessopp
- 1633 The same
- 1634 Thomas Watson
- 1635 John Jessopp (fn. 33)
- 1636 The same
- 1637 Giles Wetherell
- 1638 John Jessopp
- 1639 Thomas Watson
- 1640 James Cooke
- 1641 Rowland Burdon
- 1642 The same
- 1643 James Cooke
- 1644 Rowland Burdon
- 1645 The same
- 1646 Thomas Watson
- 1647 The same
- 1648 John Bunting
- 1649 The same
- 1650 Rowland Burdon
- 1651 The same
- 1652 The same
- 1653 Thomas Watson
- 1654 Rowland Burdon (fn. 34)
- 1655 The same
- 1656 Thomas Watson (fn. 35)
- 1657 John Atkinson
- 1658 Thomas Jessopp
- 1659 The same
- 1660 William Peers
- 1661 The same.
- 1662 Ralph Eden (fn. 36)
- 1663 John Atkinson
- 1664 Robert Jackson
- 1665 Robert Jackson
- 1666 Thomas Jessopp
- 1667 John Atkinson
- 1668 Thomas Jessopp
- 1669 James Cooke
- 1670 Thomas Jessopp
- 1671 Robert Jackson
- 1672 Nicholas Fleatham
- 1673 The same
- 1674 James Cooke
- 1675 The same
- 1676 Robert Jackson
- 1677 The same
- 1678 William Lee
- 1679 William Lee
- 1680 William Atkinson
- 1681 The same
- 1682 Ralph Moon
- 1683 James Burdon
- 1684 The same
- 1685 James Cooke
- 1686 The same
- 1687 Ralph Moon
- 1688 The same
- 1689 Thomas Wrangham
- 1690 The same
- 1691 Robert Jackson
- 1692 The same
- 1693 James Cooke
- 1694 James Burdon
- 1695 The same
- 1696 The same
- 1697 William Atkinson
- 1698 James Cooke
- 1699 Thomas Wrangham
- 1700 The same
- 1701 Ralph Bunting
- 1702 The same
- 1703 James Cooke
- 1704 Thomas Readman
- 1705 Thomas Readman
- 1706 William Hart Atkinson (fn. 37)
- 1707 Richard Bowlby
- 1708 Thomas Sutton (fn. 38)
- 1709 The same
- 1710 James Cooke (fn. 39)
- 1711 Ralph Bunting (fn. 40)
- 1712 Thomas Readman
- 1713 John Wells
- 1714 The same
- 1715 John Burdett
- 1716 John Burdett
- 1717 John Cooke
- 1718 Thomas Ogle
- 1719 John Cooke
- 1720 William Raisbeck
- 1721 John Cooke
- 1722 William Gibson
- 1723 The same
- 1724 David Dowthwaithe (fn. 41)
- 1725 The same
- 1726 John Burdett
- 1727 The same
- 1728 John Finch
- 1729 John Finch, dead William Sutton (fn. 42)
- 1730 William Sutton
- 1731 Henry Brown
- 1732 The same
- 1733 John Burdett
- 1734 Ralph Bunting
- 1735 David Douthwaithe
- 1736 James Raisbeck (fn. 43)
- 1737 Thomas Raisbeck (fn. 43)
- 1738 The same
- 1739 Jonathan Troy
- 1740 The same
- 1741 William Sutton
- 1742 James Raisbeck
- 1743 William Sleigh
- 1744 The same
- 1745 Henry Brown
- 1746 James Raisbeck
- 1747 Thomas Raisbeck
- 1748 Ralph Whitley
- 1749 The same
- 1750 Jonathan Troy
- 1751 Richardson Ferrand
- 1752 The same
- 1753 William Sutton
- 1754 William Sleigh
- 1755 Henry Brown
- 1756 James Raisbeck
- 1757 Thomas Raisbeck
- 1758 Ralph Whitley
- 1759 George Sutton
- 1760 The same
- 1761 William Sutton
- 1762 Richardson Ferrand
- 1763 William Sleigh
- 1764 Thomas Fall
- 1765 The same
- 1766 John Wilkinson
- 1767 The same
- 1768 George Sutton
- 1769 John Stapylton Raisbeck
- 1770 The same
- 1771 Robert Preston
- 1772 The same
- 1773 William Sleigh
- 1774 Benjamin Lumley
- 1775 The same
- 1776 George Hutchinson
- 1777 The same
- 1778 Jonathan Davison
- 1779 The same
- 1780 Rowland Webster
- 1781 The same
- 1782 Charles Sleigh
- 1783 John Sutton
- 1784 George Sutton
- 1785 John Wilkinson
- 1786 Christopher Smith
- 1787 The same
- 1788 John Stapylton Raisbeck (fn. 40)
- 1789 Benjamin Lumley
- 1790 William Sleigh
- 1791 John Sutton
- 1792 George Sutton
- 1793 Rowland Burdon (fn. 41)
- 1794 The same
- 1795 Thomas Simpson (fn. 42)
- 1796 The same
- 1797 George Sutton
- 1798 Christopher Smith
- 1799 Robert Wilkinson
- 1800 The same
- 1801 Richard Ferrand
- 1802 The same
- 1803 John Carr (fn. 43)
- 1804 The same
- 1805 George Hutchinson
- 1806 The same
- 1807 Watson Alcock
- 1808 The same
- 1809 James Walker
- 1810 John Hutchinson
- 1811 James Walker
- 1812 Thomas Hutchinson
- 1813 George Sutton
- 1814 Richard Dickson
- 1815 The same
- 1816 Henry Hutchinson (fn. 44)
- 1817 The same
- 1818 William Braithwaite
- 1819 Thomas Jennett
- 1820 William Skinner
- 1821 Richard Jackson
- 1822 John Wilkinson
The Mayor of Stockton for the time being is named in the Commission of Peace for the county, and is also a Juctice of the Bishop's Court of Pleas (fn. 45).
The revenues of the Corporation consist of the custom-house, the market-place, and shambles; the stallage or standage dues of the market, and a piece of ground conveyed to the Corporation under the direction of the Act for building the Bridge, which are all freehold; and of the town-house and shops in the same; and stables and ground in the West Row; and of the port (fn. 46) or haven, and the anchorage and plankage, which are all held by leases for twenty-one years of the Bishop of Durham.
The Bishop of Durham is Lord of the Borough in right of his See. A Court Leet, and also a Court Baron, are held within the same, by a steward appointed by the Bishop, and before the Mayor for the time being. The jurisdiction of these Courts is confined to the Borough.
In 1635, under the Order for Ship-money, the burghs or towns of Hartlepool, Stockton, and Sunderland, were jointly charged with a ship of 200 tons, with eighty mariners, and double equipage, ammunition, wages, and victuals.
In 1680, on the decline of Hartlepool, the chief officers of the customs were removed to Stockton, and three free-quays (fn. 47) were appointed by a Commission from the Exchequer in 1683.
The Port is described in this instrument as a member of the Port of Newcastle-on-Tyne, and its limits are stated to be “from the Blackhalls, about eight miles from the bar of the Tease towards the N. N. W. and so into the sea to fourteen fathom water; and from thence directly, in a supposed line, till it fall opposite to the promontory or point called Huntcliffe-foot, about six miles from Tease-bar, towards the E. S. E.; and so directly from the said barr and limitts up the river Tease, S. S. W. to the horse-ferry, commonly called Stockton Ferry, saving the privileges of Hartlepool.” But by a Commission returned into the Eechcquer Mich. 3 Geo. II. it is stated that “the Port of Stockton extends from the point called Ryhope Nook, adjoining the district or limits of the port of Sunderland, about sixteen miles from the bar of Teese towards the North and by West, and so into the sea to fourteen fathoms at low water, and from thence directly in a supposed line till it fall opposite to Huntcliff-foot, adjoining to the limits of the ports of Whitby, &c. and so directly from the said bar up the river Teese to Yarm Bridge, Oct. 18, 1729.”
The original Custom-house is said to have stood in the yard of the Red Lion Inn; it was removed in 1696 to the place, though not to the exact house, which is now occupied for the purpose, at the foot of Finkle-street. A stone in front is inscribed, “William Sutton, Mayor, 1730.”
Collectors.—1680, William Dowthwaite. 1701, Thomas Lowson. 1716 Peter Consett, res. 1746, Josiah Catheric, removed to Glasgow. 1748, John Wilson. 1764, Jonathan Davison, of Norton, Esq. 1781, Robert Preston. 1792, Joseph Grey. 1799, John Carr, Esq. 1817, Thomas Robinson Grey, Esq.
The rights incident to the navigation of the Tees have belonged of ancient right to the See of Durham, by convention between Bishop Richard Poor and the Prior of Durham. It is stated that “all customes touching the navigation of the river Tees, except for the passage of the Prior's own boats to his manor of Billingham, shall be reserved to the Bishop for ever.” In 1620 (fn. 47) the Corporation contested the right of anchorage and plankage with the Bishop, who had a Decree in the Durham Court of Chancery in his favour.
It was proved that these duties were paid in Henry the Sixth's time, and that there was a staith in the outer-court of the castle, which had only gone to decay within a few years past (fn. 48). Bishop Neile on this decision leased these duties, and the metage of coal and grain to Rowland Wetherell. They are now held by the Corporation by lease for twenty-one years. “All that port, haven, or creek of Stockton, extending from the bar and low water mark of the sea unto the Wathstead, called Worsall Wath, alias Wathstead, betwixt Aslaby and Middleton St. George, and the anchorage and plankage, &c.; also all the benefit arising from the metage of coal, corn, or grain (fn. 49), and the profits from salt, fruit, victuals, or other merchandizes, sold by any manner of metage, imported to the said Port.”
“The Tees (fn. 50) below Worsall Ford loses entirely its wild and romantic character, and no longer rushing over beds of solid marble, or mining its way through banks of shelving rock, runs brimming through soft level lands, betwixt low even shores, and near the sea expands into a wide bay or æstuary of three miles in breadth, a little contracted near the river mouth, by the tongue of land called Seaton Snook. The bar is about two miles and a half from the Snook point, in nearly an East-north-east direction. The channel at that place is formed by the sand called the North Garr, on the North side, and by the South Garr, or Bran sand, on the South side. In spring-tides there are about ten or twelve feet water at the bar at ebb, and from twenty-six to twenty-eight at flood; but at neap-tides only twenty-two feet. Vessels of the largest burthen did not come up to Stockton, but lay at Portrack, a mile down the river; others loaded and unloaded by means of small craft from Stockton, at Cargofleet or Cleveland Port, a mile lower on the Yorkshire side. At Newport, on the same side, is a quay and granaries. The whole course of the Tees is winding; but the curve of the river at Portrack was so extraordinary, that the course of the river during this inflection measured two miles and upwards, whilst the neck of the peninsula was only 220 yards. It had been frequently proposed to cut through this neck of land, and considerable exertions were made for that purpose by William Sleigh, Esq. then Mayor of Stockton, in 1791. The plan (fn. 51) was, however, reluctantly abandoned at that time, but was resumed in 1802, under the management of gentlemen immediately engaged in, or materially connected with, the trade of the place (fn. 52).
The plan adopted was to raise a sufficient capital by subscription shares of fifty pounds each, and to obtain an Act to form the Subscribers into a Corporation or Company. A capital of 5000l. (which it was presumed would prove adequate to carry the plan into effect) was readily procured; and, on calculations founded on the entries and clearances of vessels at the Custom-house, it appeared that duties, at the rates afterwards inserted in the Bill, would produce 735l. per ann. which it was expected would cover the annual disbursements, and allow a dividend of ten per cent. (the maximum proposed to the Subscribers (fn. 53).) Some unforeseen circumstances retarded the progress of the measure, particularly the opposition of the late Lord Harewood, who was owner of Mandale-mill and granary, on the Yorkshire side, at the very extremity of the curve formed by the then winding course of the Tees. This property his Lordship conceived would be so much injured by the proposed cut, that he declared his intention of opposing the Bill in Parliament. After five years of unsuccessful negociation for a compromise, the Subscribers resolved, in 1808, to push their Bill in opposition to Lord Harewood's influence. Pending its progress in Parliament, however, an agreement was concluded, by which Lord Harewood consented to withdraw his opposition on condition of receiving 2000l. when the cut should be made navigable. The Bill passed in 1808; the excavation was executed under contracts with different undertakers, and the new channel was opened for vessels Sept. 18, 1810. The expences much exceeded the original estimate, and including the cost of the Act, the purchase of land, and other contingencies, amounted to 9,300l.; and there has been since disbursed in jetties and other works, about 2,400l. Towards meeting this excess, as well as to discharge the obligation to Lord Harewood, eighty additional shares were created under the powers of the Actg, and the deficiency was supplied by the appropriation of the duties as they accrued. The Act incorporates the Subscribers by the style of “The Tees Navigation Company,” and gives them power to levy the following duties on all vessels lading or unlading cargoes in the river Tees (fn. 54) :
The gradual increase in the receipt of these duties is the strongest proof that the execution of the plan has been attended with every anticipated benefit.
Another circumstance which has materially favoured the increasing trade of Stockton is. its being made a Bonding Port, in 1815, for goods enumerated in Table C. of the Warehousing Act; and in 1818 the indulgence was extended to timber.
The trade, therefore, of the Port, since Hutchinson and Brewster wrote, is considerably increased, and, in some respects, altered. The importation of iron has decreased, in consequence of the great improvements in the home manufactory. The export of lead, which had in some measure been tranferred to Hull and other Yorkshire ports, has been restored. The corn trade is now chiefly a flour trade.
Still the chief articles of Import may be stated, fir-timber, wainscot-logs, deals, masts, spars, staves, iron, hemp. flax, tallow, oak-bark, linseed, clover-seed, raw yarn, hides, &c. chiefly from the Baltic, Holland, Hamburgh, and the British American Colonies.
The Exports over sea are much more trifling. The chief article is lead, and that in small quantities, to Holland, France, and Russia.
The principal Coasting Trade is with London, Hull, Leith, Sunderland, &c. Fourteen brigantines are regularly employed in the London trade, besides extra vessels when the corn trade is brisk. The goods carried coastwise are chiefly lead, wheat-flour, butter, cheese, bacon, oak-timber, linen and linen-yarn, worsted-yarn, &c.; and the imports, wines, groceries, fruit, foreign and British spirits, porter, seeds, hops, &c. and, in short, every article for the consumption of the adjoining country, which enjoys great advantages from the rapid and steady intercourse maintained with London by the Stockton trading vessels.
The best general view of the trade of the Port, and its rapid increase during late years, will be found in the following tables, communicated by the liberal kindness of the Officers of the Customs.
Jan. 1793 there were 47 Vessels belonging to the Port of Stockton, carrying 5730 tons.
Sept. 30, 1821, there were 66 Vessels belonging to the Port of Stockton; Registered Tonnage, 6880 54/94; Navigated by 370 men.
|Years.||Flax.||Hemp.||Iron.||Fir-Timber.||Deals and Battens.||Wainscot Boards.||Pantiles|
|(fn. 56) 1766||4010||0||0||1178||3||0||432||13||0||22||1885||10||871||0||19||1832||9850|
|(fn. 57) 1714||3936||11||0¾|
|Grain Exported in different Years to Foreign Parts.||Corn and Flour carried Coastwise.|
|(fn. 57) 1749||35400½||5387||1786||451||1785||2278||6311||20||21334|
|1018 Quarters of British Corn Exported in 1818. In 1820, 897 Quarters of Foreign Corn.|
|Lead Exported Coastwise.||Lead Exported Over Seas.|
|(fn. 57) 1766||1302||0||0||1793||310||3||2||1756||2431||10||1||1793||310||3||2|
|To London||57,311 Pieces.|
Fir Timber and Wainscot Logs Imported at Stockton in 1821:—From Norway and the Baltic 64,473 cubic feet; British Colonies in America, 111,259 c. f.—Total 175,732 cubic feet.
The Average Importation of Timber for the ten years ending in 1820 was 128,182 cubic feet per annum; increase in 1821, 47,550 c. f.—Total 175,732 cubic feet.
|1770 (fn. 58)||4096¼||Chaldrons and||65||Tons.|
There are at present in Stockton two banks: 1. The Tees Bank (Messrs. Hutchinsons and Place), established 1785; 2. The Commercial Bank, 1815, (Messrs. Skinner, Holt, and Co.); two ship-builders' yards; two sail-cloth manufactories; two iron-founderies; two roperies; one manufacture of damask; one worsted manufacture; two shipping companies in the London trade; two ditto foreign; two wind corn-mills, and two driven by steam; two breweries; two block and pump makers; three printers, &c. There was formerly a soap manufactory, which was given up in 1814.
New prospects seem still to be opening to the increasing trade of Stockton. In the last Session of Parliament an Act was introduced to form an iron railway from the Western coal-pits above Auckland, by way of Darlington, to Stockton. The primary object is certainly to supply the South-eastern district of Durham with coals at a cheaper rate, and to supersede the necessity of a tedious and expensive carriage; but lime, lead, and all agricultural produce will share in the benefits of the conveyance (fn. 59).
The increase of population in Stockton has of course depended on the extension of its commerce. In 1661 the whole number of houses was 120. In 1692 Stockton contained 350 families; and 430 in 1725, besides the poor. During the last century the increase has been rapid. In 1780 there were 1040 householders; and in 1794, 3614 inhabitants, exclusive of Portrack, Preston, and Hartburne. The last census states
The general features of the place in its modern state, have been already slightly traced; but it is only within the last century that the broad and beautiful main street has assumed its present handsome appearance (fn. 60). In 1661, when Stockton contained 120 houses, not one was of brick; and as stone is here a rare material, a few of the best houses were probably of post and pile, and the remainder miserably thatched hovels. The oldest house in Stockton was the well-known house on the West side of the main street, “The Blue Posts:” this was the family house of the Burdons, and had the date 1485 on the front (fn. 61). A house West of the Church, which belonged to that branch of the Burdons whose heiress married Webster, is inscribed “Hœc domus œdificata fuit, Anno Domini 1671.” A house in Thistle-green has the date 1692. All the stone buildings are, perhaps without exception, reared out of the ruins of the Castle. The large house at the South end of the main street was built not long after 1700, by the family of Cooke, from whom the narrow street behind took the name of Cook's Wynd. It has been observed, that from the main street various smaller streets branch towards the river. The chief of these are Cook's Wynd, or Ferry-lane (leading to the ancient Ferry); Custom House-street (fn. 62), anciently Finkell-street; Silver-street; and Broad or Bishop's Street (fn. 63). On the West of the main street are Dovecote-street, or Ducket-lane; Ram's Wind, or Post Office-street; and some smaller passes connected by a line of buildings called the West-row. East of the church is a spacious green, now partly planted and enclosed. The Vicarage, and several other good houses range along the North side of the square. A row of houses, with gardens, extends to the East (Paradise-row) on the site of an old ropery. A lane leads from the East side of the square to Smithfield (fn. 64), near the water side. Housewive-lane, on the South of the square, leads to the river; and Cherry-lane, once a garden, leads to another irregular square, parcel of the ancient Thistle-green (fn. 65), and which retains the name. Bishop Hatfield's Survey mentions “Beligate and Jarnigate,” probably from Ballium and Janitor; Bailey-gate, and Porter-gate. These were of course near the Castle. The Town-house (fn. 66), though a handsome building, is thought in some measure to destroy the effect of the main street, of which it occupies the centre. The structure is quadrangular, surmounted by a light clock-tower and spire; a colonnade stretches along the lower story on the North. This building includes the Court-room, the Assembly-room, and other apartments.
It remains to mention one of the greatest modern improvements. In 1762 an Act was procured to build “a Bridge across the Tees above the town of Stockton, at or near unto, and instead of, the Ferry used as a passage over the river.” (fn. 67) The foundation stone was laid 23 August 1764, and the structure was completed in April 1771 (fn. 68). The bridge has five arches; the span of the central arch is 72 feet; of the two arches nearest the centre 60 feet, and of the two extreme arches 44 feet; the centre arch is 23 feet from low-water mark. The carriage-road is eighteen feet, and three more are allowed for a raised causeway for foot-passengers. The undertaking cost 8000l. which was raised by subscription; the shares carrying an interest not exceeding five per cent. In 1792 the tolls were let for 702l.; in 1814 for 1,005l. In 1817 they were reduced to 900l. principally on account of the races being discontinued. It was provided by the Act, that when the incumbrances should be discharged, and a purchase of land made to satisfy the Bishop of Durham's rent, the bridge should become a free bridge, and be repaired at the equal charges of the County of Durham and the North Riding of Yorkshire (fn. 69). The debt was cleared off 2 Aug. 1816; the tolls ceased Jan. 1, 1820; the purchases for the Bishop were completed in July 1821, having been effected by the produce of the tolls after the debt was discharged, as directed by the Act.
An Act for lighting, cleansing, and otherwise improving the Town and Borough of Stockton received the royal assent 8 July 1820.
Stockton is not deficient either in charitable foundations (fn. 70), or in the literary and social institutions which so peculiarly mark the present age. The Literary Society or Book Club was established in 1776. The Members purchase the volumes after they have completed their circulations: the number of Members is restricted to twelve.
A Subscription Library was opened in 1792.
The Tees, from the rapidity of its upper course, and from the numerous streams which it receives from hill and moorland, often rises suddenly in flood (fn. 71), and passes the low level shores, which scarcely confine its downward current. The flood of 1771 is still remembered. After incessant though not heavy rain, the Wear, Tees, and Tyne rose in the night betwixt the 16th and 17th of November. The Tees swelled twenty feet higher than the oldest person could remember. Stockton, placed on elevated ground above the river level, suffered little; but the opposite low Yorkshire grounds were covered with a wide sheet of water; and at Yarm the inhabitants saved their goods and themselves in boats from their roofs and windows (fn. 72).
Aug. 8, 1792, as some workmen were taking down an old house in the High Street, next door to the Black Lion, belonging to Mr. James Crowe, they discovered a bag concealed in the wall near a fire-place, which was found to contain a great quantity of silver coins, including specimens of every reign from Edward VI. to James II. inclusive, with the single exceptions of those of Oliver and the Commonwealth. As none of the coins were later than James II. it seems not improbable that they were hid by some adherent of the Stuarts at the time of the Revolution. They were claimed as treasure trove, and 840 pieces, weighing 9lbs. 4ozs. were delivered to the Bishop of Durham, as lord of the manor (fn. 73).
Only one Stockton tradesman, John Wells, issued tokens in the reign of Charles II. (fn. 74) The obverse has the King's head with long hair, à la Cavalier, crowned, god save the king; reverse, John Wells, 1666, in Stockton: there are two varieties of type. Yarm has two tokens, john parkinson, in yarm, and allan sartan—a. s. in yarm, 1661. Both have the King's head as above (fn. 75).
There was an ancient Chapel at Stockton long before the separation of the Parish from that of Norton. It stood near the centre of the old church-yard, South of the present Church. A flat marble slab, without inscription, which is said to have been in the chancel of the Chapel, marks its situation. The passage which led to the Chapel from the High-street, though now built up, may be traced by two houses with their gables to the street, and whose fronts still form a lane.
The ordination of the Chapel of Stockton by agreement betwixt Bartholomew, Vicar of Norton, and the parishioners of Stockton, Preston, and Hartburne, bears date under Bishop Richard Poor before 1237 (fn. 76). The Vicar agrees to find an officiating Chaplain, and the parishioners shall have in their said Chapel of Stockton baptism, burial, and all ecclesiastical rights; they shall visit their Mother Church on the Feast of the Assumption, and shall pay to the Vicar 50s. at four terms. And for this payment security is given by Adam, son of Adam de Preston, Walter Rufus, Hugh Nasute (fn. 77), Richard Poher de Preston, Walter Fitz-Walter de Hartburne, William son of Robert the Provost, Eudo the Clerk of Norton, Roger Cornfed, William Smith, Thomas Giei, Adam Carpentar, John Sealin, Thomas Sprot, and Walter de Stockton, Clerk. On every Lord's day the parishioners shall offer one penny with the consecrated bread, except when they attend the Mother Church. Nicholas de Farnham, who reserved Stockton as his residence on resigning the See (fn. 78), gave, after his resignation, four oxgangs, and the toft and croft which belonged to Matildis de Cumba, to the Chapel of St. Thomas the Martyr, in Stockton. Bishop Walter Kirkham ratified the donation. These oxgangs, and toft and croft, or messuage, are noticed in Hatfield's Survey (fn. 79). A little before the Dissolution, William Baynbrigg gave the third of an oxgang to provide two wax-lights to burn before the altar of St. Thomas à Becket.
In 1428 an instrument of Cardinal Langley, relative to the Canons of Auckland, bears date at Stockton Chapel.
In 1548, 2 Edw. VI. the whole revenues of the Chapel amounted to 5l. 3s. 6d. per ann. Yet this poor pittance was not reserved under the new establishment for the maintenance of a Chaplain, but was seized by the Crown, and granted out to individuals.
The rent of a house in Stockton, in which Thomas Salvin, Chaplain of the said free Chapel, dwells, vis. viiid.—Four burgages and a granary, and four oxgangs, appointed for the maintenance and stipend of the said Chaplain, iiiil. xiiiis. xd.—The rent of the third of one oxgang, given for providing two candles before the altar of the same Chapel, and now in the tenure of William Bainbrigge, vs.—Reprises—Rent to the Bishop from the lands of the same Free Chapel, xviiid.; and from the lands belonging to the lights, vid.—Valet clare per annum, ciiis. (fn. 80)
Then follows an account of the Prebends of Norton, and then an instrument, signifying the Protector Somerset's pleasure that the premises should be leased to William Crofton, of London, for twenty-one years, at 8l. rent.
Memorand. The Chapell of Stoketon standeth a myle from the p'yshe churche, not only for easment of th' inhabitants of the towne of Stoketon, but also for th' easment of divers p'ishioners of sundrie other p'ishes in the winter tyme (fn. 81), when for rayny fludes they can come none wher els to here devyne service (fn. 82).
[It may as well be mentioned here, that this same roll, Harl. D. 36, contains an account of some other religious lands in Stokton.—“John Burdon, viiid. free-rent from lands in Stockton to the Preceptory of St. John of Jerusalem in Anglia; and xxs. used to be paid to the late dissolved Monasteries of Newbroughe and Mount Grace, of Ingleby, out of lands, &c. which amounted to two oxgangs and a third of an oxgang, and an acre demised to William Baynbrigge, and xiiis. iiiid. from a burgage now or late in the tenure of William Lakin.”] (fn. 83)
Notwithstanding the loss of the Chapel's ancient revenues (fn. 84), a minister seems to have been continued here, and it seems that in 1705 “the inhabitants still paid to the Vicar of Norton 3l. per ann, commonly called the Priest's own;” and the Vicar maintained a Curate at his own cost to serve the Chapelry.
In 1705 “the Chapel being ruinous and too little, and the inhabitants growne numerous, the building of a new Church was necessary, and thereof J. Rudd (then Vicar and Curate) made then a sermon, Sept. 2, 1705, on 2 Sam. ch. vii. v. 2. “See now I dwell in a house of cedar, but the ark of God dwelleth within curtaines;” and when the brief was read, May 21, 1710, he preached on Exod. ch. xxv. v. 30, “Let them build me a sanctuary, that I may dwell among them.” The foundation-stone was laid Monday, June 5, 1710 (fn. 85), and the structure was consecrated by Lord Crewe, Aug. 21, 1712 (fn. 86).
The erection of the new Church being then completed, an Act was obtained, 12 Anne, 1713 (fn. 87), for making the Chapelry of Stockton a distinct Parish. The preamble states, that Stockton is an ancient Corporation and Borough, and by reason of its situation on a navigable river, is become a place of commerce and very populous; and that the inhabitants have, instead of a ruinous Chapel, erected a beautiful new Church, on a parcel of the Waste near the spot where the Chapel stood, and have enclosed a church-yard, which has been consecrated by the Bishop. It is enacted therefore, “that the Chapelry of Stockton, consisting of the borough, town, and township of Stockton, and of the several villages or townships of East Hartburne and Preston, according to the usual and known boundaries, shall, from 24 June 1713, be a distinct Parish, and be called by the name of the Parish of Stockton-upon-Tees, and be divided and exempt from the Parish of Norton, and from all dependencies, offices, charges, and contributions in respect thereof, and from the care of the Vicar of Norton.”
The Vicar shall have all the tithes, oblations, &c. within the Parish as the Vicar of Norton had, or ought to have had. The patronage is solely vested in the Bishop of Durham. Customs and usages as to Churchwardens, Overseers, and Surveyors of Highways to remain as before. Twelve vestry-men shall be chosen to raise all assessments for debt already incurred in building the Church, and for future repairs and Churchwardens' disbursements, and for discharging 100l. to be paid to Norton, in full discharge of all future parochial contributions for repair of Norton Church, &c. and also for making an augmentation and better provision for the Vicar, and for making orders and bye-laws, &c. [Then follow directions for chusing the Vestry-men, to serve for three years, and powers to the said Vestry to assess and rate all houses, lands, and personal estates within the Parish for the purposes above described, with the usual power of levying by distress.] And it is further enacted, that it shall be lawful for the Bishop of Durham by himself, or his steward of the Halmot, to grant without fine to the Vicar and his successors, “all that parcel of waste-ground lying between the Alms-houses and the house of William Peacock, as the same is now dowled out, abutting to the Great Pavement leading to the Church on the West, and from thence Eastward about 160 yards, containing in breadth forty yards or thereabouts, being of the yearly value of 20l. to be held by the Vicar according to the custom of the manor, under one penny rent, and no more;” and further the Bishop may in like manner grant any other parcel or parcels of waste within the manor, provided the same be not at the time of grant of greater yearly value than 20l. and the Vicar may hold the waste adjoining the burial place or church-yard on the East side, the same being intended for a house to be built on for the Vicar and his successors, and the Vicar shall be enabled to hold, purchase, and take freehold or copyhold messuages, lands, tythes, or hereditaments, not exceeding the yearly value of 100l. over and above the premises hereinbefore mentioned. The Vicar shall bear one third of all first-fruits, tenths, procurations, and synodals, charged on the whole Parish of Norton.
The Act of 1 Geo. I. recites the clause enabling the Bishop to grant the waste betwixt the Alms-houses and William Peacock's house, and “whereas the said waste might be let for a considerable rent if the lessees could have a term and interest for a sufficient number of years, for their encouragement to build upon and improve the same; but there being no such power, &c. the ground hath lain waste with little profit or advantage; it is enacted, that the Vicar, with the consent of the Vestry-men, or the major part (to be testified under their hands), may demise such waste to any person or persons whomsoever, for such term or number of years, at and under such rent, reservations, or payments, as shall to him and them seem meet, provided such yearly rent be the highest that can be got, and that no fine be taken; and if there be any difference between the Vicar and Vestry, the matter in dispute shall be referred to the Bishop of Durham.
The Church is a spacious convenient structure (fn. 88) of brick, the doors and windows coped with freestone; the tower at the West end is eighty feet high, and has a ring of six bells. A clock and chimes were added in 1736. The Church is regularly stalled with oak. There are two galleries; that on the West has an excellent organ, erected in 1759; the North gallery was added in 1748. The communion-table stands in a recess at the East end. The entrance is under the West tower.
The situation of the Church is a little to the North of the old Chapel, on the East side of the High-street. The burial-yard which belonged to the Chapel being too small, an additional piece of ground was consecrated by Bishop Trevor, 20 July 1770.
In the church-yard, on altar-tombs:
Pij Ornatissimique Viri
Primi Vicarij hujus
Ecclesiæ, qui obijt 17o
die Junij, Anno Domi 1714,
ætatis suæ 43.
Et hic requiescit in spe
Hic sepulti sunt Robertus Hilton, Attornatus, magnâ in rebus forensibus experientiâ nec minori fide, obiit Maij die 17, A. D. 1727, ætat. 75.
Et Esthera Hilton, femina pia et prudens, ejusque in conjugio fidelis per annos supra 40 socia, obiit Augusti die 13, A. D. 1723, ætat. 64.
Juxta etiam conditur quod mortale fuit Lanceloti Hilton, Attornati, qui, probitate animi et suavitate morum insignis omnibus sese præstitit dilectum, natus 16 Augusti 1694, obiit 16 Octobris 1757.
Thomas Sutton, nuper hujus oppidi Senator, fugaci hac mortalitate exutus die Maii 23, 1718, ætatis vero suæ 61, caducam corporis sui partem hoc tumulo conditus, expectat (spe beatæ immortalitatis fultus) ultimum clangorem tubæ citantis totum terrarum orbem ad tremendum æterni judicis Tribunal. Eademque spe suffulta charissima ejus uxor Rachel Sutton 71 annos nata 19o die Aprilis, Anno Dom. 1713, fatis concessit, exuviasque mortalitatis juxta deponendas reliquit.
M. S. Georgii Walker, M. A. hujus ecclesiæ per 26 Annos Vicarij, qui obiit 6o die Maij, Anno Salutis 1742, ætatis sui 65. Juxta deposit. fil. Elizabetha, annicula, Jul. 28, 1721. Georgius, triennis, Oct. 31, 1728. Catherine, quindena, Mart. 19, 1732. Elizabetha, filia Georgii Walker, 1758, ætatis 35. Anna, uxor Georgii Walker, obiit 23 Martii 1760, ætatis 75.
Interr'd Mr. Ra. Bunting, late of Stockton, Alderman, and Anne his wife, who lived together in the marryed state 62 years, and had eleven children, one of which only survived them. He departed this life 31 Oct. 1743, aged 86; she 29th May 1746, aged 84.
Wednesday, May the 19th, 1773, was here interr'd the body of Mrs Sarah Baker, daughter of Will (fn. 89) Canning Esqre of Halford-bridge, in the county of Warwick, and niece to John Hart, Esqre, who died High Sheriff of the county of Worcester. From her infancy she was strictly virtuous, pious, good, just, humble, humane, benevolent, affable, and compassionate, that none excell'd, and very few her equal; aged 59.
Do thou reflect in time; death in itself is nothing: but prepare to be you know not what,
to go you know not where.
On a marble-tablet at the East end of the South-aile:
In memory of Leonard Robinson, late of this place, merchant, who died May the 14th, 1788, aged 41 years; and of Priscilla his wife (second daughter of Peter Consett, Esq. of Brawith, in the county of York) who died October the 2d, 1786, aged 39 years. This stone is erected as a tribute of filial affection.
On a mural monument of marble near the West-end of the North-aile:
Sacred to the memory of Frances, the wife of George Hoar, Esq.
and daughter of William Sleigh, Esq. of this place, who, in the short space
of 31 years, having grac'd a most amiable person with every virtue
which can adorn the longest life and procure esteem on earth, finish'd
her course (alas! too early for our wishes) on the 24th January, 1761.
Tell thou spotless Parian stone,
Emblem of her purer breast,
Tell her name, her name alone,
All who knew her—feel the rest.
Whilst we here her loss lament,
Tears yet streaming from each eye;
Angels sing with one consent
“Welcome to thy native sky.”
On marble tablets in the South-aile:
To the memory of
Nathan Brunton, Esq. Vice-Admiral of the White Squadron of his Majesty's fleet, who departed this life the 19th November 1814, in the 71st year of his age. Raised by professional merit to the exalted rank he held in the British Navy, he possessed in a very eminent degree the esteem of all with whom he served, whilst his conduct in private life procured him universal respect.
Of John Allison, merchant, Lieut.-Colonel of the Loyal Stockton Volunteers, whose integrity of heart, affability of manners, Christian conduct, and love of his king and country, rendered him amiable and respected both in private and public life. He died Oct. 28. 1805, aged 59 years, leaving his widow Jane Allison to lament his loss.
Anne Allison, their only daughter, departed this life Dec. 10th, 1790, aged 18 years.
Sacred to the memory of
wife of George Sutton, of Stockton, Esq.
Who resigned a life passed in the exercise of every Christian virtue, on the 17th of January 1814, in the 57th year of her age. She was fervent in her devotion, unbounded in her benevolence, personally administering to the wants, and consoling the sufferings of the afflicted: thus zealously endeavouring to fulfil her duty to her God and to her neighbour. To perpetuate the memory of this estimable woman, her female friends in this place have united to erect this tablet, as a recording homage of esteem and veneration for private worth from public affection.
On stones in the church-yard:
Mr. Timothy Wright, ob. Aug. 8, 1758, æt. 94. Margaret his wife, ob. Nov. 18, 1737, aged 61. Mr. Robert Wright, their son, ob. 12 Sept. 1767, aged 67.
Susan, wife of Francis Eden, bur..... 1735, æt. 37. Also Francis their son, bur. Sept. 14, 1728.
Esther, wife of Thomas Eden, bur. Sept. 24, 1728, aged 64. Hannah, daur of Thomas and Elizabeth Eden, ob. 3 March 1762, aged 3 months. Thomas Eden, 4 Aug. 1785, aged 58. Elizabeth his wife, 25 Feb. 1786, aged 51. Anne, daur of Thomas Eden, ob. Jan. 1, 1791, aged 31.
Mr. Robert Stainsby, Chirurgion, died 16th April 1724. Anne his widow, daughter of Mr. Thomas Rudd, Minister of this parish, bur. 28 Jan. 1771, æt. 72.
Margaret, daughter of George Welbank, and wife of George Brown, Gent. ob. Nov. 14, 1776, in the 40th year of her age.
Anne, wife of William Wilson, mariner, 2d March 1780, æt. 23.
Mr. Lawrence Jopson, Jan. 11, 1783, in his 68th year.
Thomas Thompson, Minister of the Gospel, died March 24, 1728–9, aged 68 years. Also Rev. Mr. John Thompson, Feb. 23, 1753.
Mr. Thomas Smelt, March 12, 1742–3, æt. 70. Mary his wife, Feb. 8, 1726, æt. 64. Sarah, daughter of Thomas and Mary, June 22, 1706, æt. 4. Mr. Thomas Smelt, Physician, eldest son of the above Thomas, ob. 5 Aug. 1753, in the 48th year of his age. Mr. Richard Smelt, his son, Sept. 8th following, in the 17th year of his age.
Here lies the body of John Short, late Engineer of the Port of Sunderland. He died June 14, 1781, aged 43 years.
Ralph Wood, who departed this life Oct. 22, 1730, in the 67th year of his age. Here lieth the body of Ralph Wood, aged 67, 1743.
We that have made tombs for others,
Now here we lie;
Once we were two flourishing Woods,
But now we die.
Chaplains of Stockton before the Reformation.
|John Capellanus, fil. Wilti Pistoris, 1333.|
|Thomas . . . ., 1408.|
|William Osbern, 1430—1448.|
|Thomas Salvin,||the last incumbents.|
- Christopher Smith, 1561.
- Sir Robert Sinclare, 1563.
- William Heron, 1565.
- William Hogwell, 1566.
- William Allen, eod. ann.
- Robert Blaxton, 1568 (fn. 90).
- George Morden, 1572.
- William Fowler, p. res. Morden, 1578.
- John Collin, A. B. 1585 (fn. 91).
- Thomas Mann, 1585.
- Thomas Edyer, 1585.
- Christopher Fewster, 1599.
- Thomas Robinson, 1609.
- Thomas Smithson, 1610.
- Thomas Lawson (fn. 92), 1612.
- John Place (fn. 93), 1617, p. res. Lawson.
- John Wright, 1623, p. m. Place.
- Michael Rawling, 1635.
- Robert Macdowell (fn. 94), 1636, p. m. Rawling.
- Rowland Salkeld (fn. 95), 1641.
- James Gregg, May 1, 1662.
- Thomas Rudd (fn. 96), May 1, 1663.
- George Gibson, A. M. (fn. 97) 1713.
- William Eden, A. M. (fn. 98) 1714, p. m. Gibson.
- George Walker, A. M. (fn. 99) 1715, p. res. Eden.
- John Skelly, A. M. 1742, p. m. Walker.
- William Vaughan, A. M. (fn. 100) 1772, p. m. Skelly.
- Alexander Cleeve, A. B. (fn. 101) 1773, p. res. Vaughan.
- James Greville, LL. B. (fn. 102) 1780, p. res. Cleeve.
- Christopher Anstey, A. M. (fn. 103) 1782, p. res. Greville.
- Edward Wilson, A. B. 1786, p. res. Anstey.
- John Brewster, A. M. (fn. 104) Linc. Coll. Oxon. 1799.
- George Stanley Faber, B. D. (fn. 105) Linc. Coll. 1805, p. res. Brewster.
- Thomas Baker, A. M. (fn. 106) Oriel College, Oxon. 1809, p. res. Faber.
- John Gilpin, B. D. 1810, p. res. Baker.
- William Nicholas Darnell, B. D. (fn. 107) C. C. C. Oxon. 1815, p. res. Gilpin.
- James Cundell, 1820, p. res. Darnell (fn. 108).
A plot of ground, adjoining the Church on the East, was originally intended for the building of a Vicarage-house; but a house was afterwards purchased on the North side of the ground so allotted. Bishop Chandler left 200l. for this purpose, Lord Crewe's Trustees gave 50l. and 80l. was raised by the sale of bricks which had been prepared for building on the allotment. The Parsonage was repaired and enlarged by the Rev. C. Anstey, in 1783.
Stockton, being a Parish by Act of Parliament, is not in charge nor certified. The endowment may be seen in the Abstract of the Act 12 Anne. The Waste given by the Bishop, now called Thistle-green, was leased out in 1716, for a thousand years, under certain reserved ground-rents (fn. 109).
The Register Book of Stockton Chapelry begins 1621.
Will. Buck and Roger Stainthrope, two of Mr. Robert Lampton's seamen, sittinge on the side of his vessell, called Lambton's Folly, fell backward over into the river, and weere both drowned, and weere buried 9 July 1637.
Randall Hunt, of Capt. Heron's Company, bur. 21 Dec. 1640. A soldier of Capt. Patten's Company, 20 Dec. 1640. John Hopkins, a soldier of Capt. Lutenor's Compy, 28 Dec. Samuel Paton, Captaine, bur. 1 Jan. 1640–1. Lieut. Arthur Lowe, 18 Feb. Roger Francis, of Capt. Ferre's Compy, 18 March 1640–1.
A poor succourlesse boy was buried 28 March 1641.
John Sinitt slaine by Wm Bunce, bur. 2 Feb. 1649.
Dimock Sadlington, Maior, bur. 19 June 1652.
Mrs. Pilkington, deceased at Mr. Jenkins, bur. 27 July 1663.
Mr. Thomas Lascell, of Mount Grace, and Dorothy Gibson, mar. 12 Nov. 1691.
A small village on the Tees, two miles South of Stockton.
Boldon Book.—In Preston are seven tenants in villenage; each holds two oxgangs, and they pay rent and do service in every respect as the villans of Boldon, except cornage. In the same vill Walter holds one carucate; Waldewin one carucate; Adam, son of Walter of Stokton, one carucate for 10s. in lieu of all services; Orine, son of Toki, and William, son of Utting, held one carucate; and Richard Rand two oxgangs; and they pay rent and do service as Alan of Normanton and Walter de Stoketon. The whole of the vill provides one milch-cow.
Hatfield's Survey.—John de Carrowe pays for the lands of Thomas de Seton, in Preston, at the four great terms, viz. at St. Martin's, xs. vid., and at every other term ixs. iid., does foreign service and suit of court, in all xxxviiis. ob. q'ter. William Baron holds certain lands ...., and grinds at the manor-mill, and does suit at the Halmote Court, and pays xs. at the Feasts of St. Martin and St. John Baptist. Thomas Baron holds a parcel of ground, and does suit as above, and pays ivd., and one other parcel, and pays at St. Martin, vid. and at every other term iiid. ob. q'ter. Matilda Bowes holds one oxgang, and pays at the four terms xiiiis. q't.
Very various families held lands in Preston. In 1362 John Randolph died seised of nine messuages and as many oxgangs, held by homage and suit of court (fn. 110). His estates were divided amongst four daughters, and of these shares some were again subdivided. As late as 1560 Thomas Gower, a remote descendant of Randolfe, held two oxgangs and the fourth of an oxgang in Preston of the Bishop, by knight's service and suit of court, leaving William Gower his heir (fn. 111).
A family had early assumed the local name. Adam, son of Adam de Preston, occurs in the foundation-charter of Stockton Chapel, circ. 1234. In 1361 Ranulph de Preston died seised of a messuage and ten oxgangs, held by the eighth part of a knight's fee (fn. 112). Cecily his widow died 1381 (fn. 113). Alice their daughter and heir was the wife of Robert de Eden, who died seised of the same lands in 1413 (fn. 114). His descendants of Belsis and Auckland held the same estate; but the tenure is generally stated at the twentieth part of a knight's fee (fn. 115). Sir Robert Eden, Bart. very lately sold the family estate in Preston (which may be termed the cradle of the Edens) to David Burton Fowler, Esq. But the chief property, and which latterly at least was described as manorial, belonged to the Setons. In 1360 Thomas de Seton, Chivaler, died seised of ten messuages and eight oxgangs in Preston, held of the Bishop by 10s. rent; and of eight oxgangs, held by 18s.; and of twenty-three acres, held in drengage (fn. 116). Alice, daughter and heir of Thomas Seton, married Sir Thomas Carrowe, Knt. Their son, John de Carrowe, died without issue in 1386 (fn. 117), seised of the same lands; and his heirs, ex parte materna, were William Sayer (fn. 118), and Joan, wife of Laurence of Seton (fn. 119), who represented the daughters of Adam of Seton, brother of Sir Thomas first named. In 1404 John Laurenson, of Seton, held by the curtesy, a messuage, four oxgangs, and ten acres, in Preston (fn. 120), leaving Thomas his son and heir, who seems to have re-assumed the maternal name of Seton, and in 1426, by the style of Thomas Seton, of Worsale, Esq. granted all his lands in Shotton, Foxden, Preston, and Egglesclyffe, to trustees for the uses of his last will, under which disposition these lands seem to have descended to William Hoton, of Herdwyk (fn. 121), who settled (fn. 122) his tenements in Preston and Ecclescliffe on his brother Thomas Hoton, Chaplain, for life; remainder to Robert Rodes, Esq. and his heirs by Joan his wife; remainder to the Prioress of Nesham.
The Sayers (representing, as has been stated, Agnes the elder daughter of Adam de Seton (fn. 123),) held lands here, frequently described as the manor, till a later date. In 1516 William Sayer, Esq. died seised of the manor of Preston, held by the fortieth part of a knight's fee, and 38s. obol. in lieu of all service. The same manor contains two messuages, twenty oxgangs, nine acres called Webster-land, two cottages, and a fishery in the Tees, leaving John Sayer his son and heir (fn. 124). By charter 10 July, 8 Jac. John Sayer, of Worsall, Esq. settled his lands in Preston-on-Tees, [Stockton, Norton, Hartlepoole, Nesham, and Egesclife,] on trustees, William Lyster, Esq. Marmaduke Wylde, Esq. and Francis Sayer, Gent. failing his own issue, to his nephew Laurence Sayer, with divers remainders over.
In 1688, 2 March, Sir Marmaduke Wyvill, Bart. (who is recited to have purchased of Robert Sayer, of Stockton, Gent.) granted several lands, and a free fishery in Preston, to George Witham, Esq.; and to the same George Witham Sir William Wyvill, of Burton-Constable, Bart. (13 Aug. 35 Car. II.) granted “all that manor or lordship of Preston-on-Tees.” In 1702 George Wytham, of Cliffe, Esq. devised his lands in Preston to his grandson William Wytham. In 1722 William Wytham, Esq. granted the manor of Preston to Sir John Eden, Bart. whose great grandson, Sir Robert Eden, conveyed the estate to David Burton Fowler, of the Inner Temple, Esq. the present proprietor (fn. 125).
A small village, about a mile to the South-west of Stockton. Under Boldon Book—In Harteburn there are twelve tenants in villenage [described exactly as Preston]. Alan, son of Osbert, holds one oxgang, and renders the same services as one of the twenty farmers of Norton, as far as belongs to one oxgang. Three cottagers hold only tofts, and work fourteen days for the lord in harvest. The vill provides one milch-cow. The demesne of Stockton and Herteburn, ten carucates, are on lease, and render twenty chalders of wheat.
Hatfield's Survey.—Free-tenants—William Laken holds two messuages and two oxgangs, once Walter Treman's, by charter and knight's service, and he shall aid with the other tenants of the vill to clean the mill-pool and mill-stream of Norton; he pays at the four terms 13s. 4d. Firmarii—William Baron a messuage and oxgang; his services are exactly like those of the bond-tenants, except the weekly works, and woodlades, and carting, for all which he pays 15d. at the Feast of St. Cuthbert, in September, and viis. iiiid. rent. William Baron holds a messuage and oxgang, once of William Bosse, called Osberne's land, and does service as the farmers of Norton, and pays 3s. 4d. besides his services. Demesne—William Baron and his fellows hold, belonging to the Demesne of Stockton, near the Bishop's sheep-cote (Bercariam,) a plot of ground on Northdeynside, containing forty-three acres, and pays 21s. 8d. William Baron holds a cottage and garden, and works as the cottagers of Norton, and pays 6d. Thomas Fowler two cottages and gardens, 12d. Thomas Baun a cot and garden 6d. The tenants hold the common bakehouse, 2s.; the kiln (no rent); the forge, 2d.: the bond-tenants pay in lieu of a milch-cow, 6s. Bond-tenants—William Baron one bond-land of two oxgangs, the oxgang fifteen acres; his services are as the bonds of Norton, and pays 14s. 2d. Robert Agnesson and ten other bond-tenants, as above. There are three oxgangs deficient out of the twelve bond-lands and a half described in Boldon Book, which are accounted for under the head of Free-tenants. Two acres, and one acre, under the head of fermers, in the hands of William Baron, which pay for scatpenys, averpenys, and a milch-cow, as above. Every Selfode pays threepence to the lord; every bond-tenant's servant one penny to the lord instead of work; 12d. in all at Michaelmas. William Fourmen, sen. William Fouremen, jun. John Shepherd of Herdwyk, William Baron, Adam Dobbe of Hertburn, hold in the vill of Herteburn twenty-four acres of exchequer-land, 11s. William Baron one selion called Maldrig, containing a rood of exchequer-land, 4d. Thomas Fewler and two others four tofts, with three crofts, and a garden under certain rents.
Seton and Sayer of Worsall and of Preston-on-Tees.
Arms: Seton, a fesse inter three birds, a bordure engrailed; Sayer, Gules, a chevron inter three seamews Argent.
* Writ de ætate probanda, 17 Feb. 15 Langley.
† Will of William Conyers, of Thormonbye, Esq. 15 May 1495, proved 11 Sept. 1495, at York. “To be buried in the church of Hornby. To Margaret Conyers 20 marks; brother Richard Conyers; to Christopher, Philip, Henry, and Robert Conyers, 6s. 8d. each; and to William Conyers, of Danby, 6s. 8d.; and to St. Mary of Thormonby, 5s. Wife Elizabeth, daughter Marjory Sayer, and Nicholas Conyers, Gent. execrs.”
‡ Will of Leonard Sayre, of Broughton, Gent. 12 Feb. 1559. “To be buried in St. Augustine's Church, at Kirkby. Sister Elizabeth Crathorne; nephew Thomas Crathorne; to nephew John Sayer, a young horse; to all other my brother's children and to every of them, xxl. My fermhold in Stokesley to my brother Francis Sayer; my other fermhold to my brother George Sayer to William Sayer, of Rudby a cowe; to niece Agnes Conyers; to Richard Sayer. Anne Sayer shall be ordered by my nephew John Sayer. Brothers Thomas and George execrs; John Sayer, of Worsall, Esq. and brother Francis, execrs.”
*** The following Registers from Yarm probably relate to this family: Burials—Thomas Sayer, Gent. 8 March 1667. Mr. Richard Sayer, 5 Dec. 1676. Mrs. Dorothy Sayer, 3 Feb. 1691.—James, son of Mr. James Sayer, bapt. Sept. 20, 1705.
Charitable Institutions in the Parish of Stockton.
The Alms-houses “for the convenient lodging of poor impotent persons belonging to the township of Stockton,” were erected about 1682 (fn. 126). “The principal benefactors were Mrs. Margaret Bailey (fn. 127), Mr. John Stope, Mr. Mathew Wiggoner, but especially Mr. James Cooke, Alderman, son of Mr. James Cooke, Alderman; he finished the same, and at his death gave 100l. to be lent at interest, toward maintaining the poor, yearly, which shall be placed therein.” (fn. 128) The interest was regularly paid till 1725, when Mr. John Cooke, son and one of the executors of Mr. James Cooke, died insolvent. Mrs. Lucy Dalston, of Acornbank, in Westmoreland, daughter and co-executrix of Mr. James Cooke, “that the charity intended by her father might not altogether be defeated, gave 50l. to be applied in the same manner, so as the same be accepted in lieu of all claims.”
In 1816 the Alms-houses were entirely rebuilt on a handsome plan, by a munificent bequest of three thousand pounds, left by the will of George Brown, Esq.
The Alm-houses contain eighteen apartments. The inmates, who are above thirty, are appointed by the Overseers and a Committee for the Management of the Poor.
The Charity School was founded in 1721 by voluntary contributions (fn. 129), and its revenues have increased by the same means, and by considerable legacies and benefactions (fn. 130). In 1729 the Trustees were enabled to purchase (from Elizabeth, widow of Anthony Smith, of Hartlepool, for 670l.) two meadow-closes, called Lustrum, or Lustram, and Elwick-mire, or Elvet-mire, within the townfields of Stockton, held by lease for three lives under the Bishop of Durham. In 1767 a further purchase was made for 1,635l. of six copyhold closes adjoining the site of the School. In 1786 a building was erected on some waste ground at the North end of the town, on the Norton road, including a dwelling house for the master and mistress, and separate schools for boys and girls. The late George Brown, Esq. amongst other munificent bequests, left one thousand pounds to this Charity, with which the building was completed in its present handsome state. On the pediment is inscribed,
This National School was Rebuilt on its Present Enlarged Scale by the Application of a sum of Money Bequeathed by George Brown, Esq.
At the first institution twenty boys only were taught and clothed; sixteen girls were added in 1759. At present twenty boys and twenty girls are clothed; but the School as to instruction is open to an unlimited number: above 200 boys and 55 girls are now taught. A Sunday-school is connected with this establishment, and unlimited as to number. There is also a small separate Sunday-school for girls, supported by voluntary contributions.
There is a School of Industry for girls, supported by the ladies of Stockton.
In 1785 a room was built by subscription for a Grammar-school, on a plot of ground leased under the Bishop by the Corporation. There is no foundation; but the Corporation give 40s. per ann. to encourage a classical scholar to take the School.
Charitable Benefactions to the Parish of Stockton.
Major John Jenkins (fn. 131), by will, dated 20 Dec. 1661, bequeathed to the poor of Stockton for ever, 52s. per ann. out of the lands bequeathed to his nephew Humphrey Jenkins, to be paid every Sabbath-day; 12d. in white bread, at the discretion of Mr. William Peers and Mr. Ralph Eden, or their assigns, with the assistance of the Churchwardens.
By will, dated 1781, William Snowden, of Norton, left the interest of 100l. three per Cents. to poor persons belonging to Stockton, shoemakers to be preferred; and an equal sum for the same purpose to the Parish of Norton (fn. 132), distributed on St. Stephen's Day.
Mrs. Elizabeth Bunting, by will, dated 14 July 1765, left 300l. the interest to be distributed amongst such poor housekeepers living in the town of Stockton as shall not receive parochial relief. The interest is distributed at Midsummer and Christmas.
Mr. Thomas Gibson, of East Hartburn, gave 20l. to the poor of that place, the interest to be distributed in white bread at the communion-table in Stockton Church every Lord's Day; and failing the poor of East Hartburn, to the poor then present.
It may be noted here, that John Claymond, D. D. (sometime Vicar of Norton), President of Corpus Christi Coll. Oxford, gave 480l. to purchase lands for the foundation of Six Scholarships. One of these Scholars was to be elected “de Noreton et Stewkton prope Tysam ubi fui olim Vicarius;” and in default, to be from the Diocese of Durham. The instrument bears date 6 June, 23 Hen. VIII. The six original Scholarships are now (on account of their very exile revenues) reduced to three; the allowance to each 2l. per quarter (fn. 133) (1794).
To the Institutions named in p. 191, it should be added, that a Dispensary was established in 1792, and revived in 1815. The Auxiliary Bible Society was formed in 1812, and the Savings' Bank was instituted in 1816.
A distinguished English critic, was born at Stockton, Oct. 2, 1752. His father, Joseph Ritson (fn. 134), was descended from an ancient family of yeomanry who had long held lands at Hackthorpe, in Westmoreland. Ritson's destination was the law, and he was placed with Ralph Bradley, Esq. an eminent conveyancer in Stockton. After some years he entered of Gray's Inn, where he was called to the Bar, and continued a member of that Society till his death. Ritson practised exclusively as a conveyancer, and carried into his business the same accuracy which distinguished his literary pursuits. His talents, joined to the most inflexible integrity, secured him a high professional character, and might have led to wealth; but the law was never Ritson's first object (fn. 135), and he contented himself with such a share of business (fn. 136), always readily supplied by a few steady and respectable clients, as enabled him to eke out a very moderate private income, and to devote his leisure to studies more congenial to his taste. Ancient English poetry, rhyme, and ballad, and the drama, in short, the whole of that black-letter literature which has been since so popular, were the objects of his close and devoted attention. In the British Museum he revelled in stores then but little explored; and by occasional visits, or by his correspondents, he extracted many a gem from the Bodleian, or from the fairy treasures of Bene't and Magdalen (fn. 137). He also paid considerable attention to ancient English history, and frequently exercised his very acute mind in elucidating obscure or doubtful passages by an accurate collation of original authorities. A list of Ritson's publications is annexed. He was scarcely a professed author, or at least authorship was not his object, either on account of fame or profit; but he threw out from time to time, well benoted and illustrated, such portions of ancient lore as had engaged his attention. The introductory “Dissertation” to his Ancient Songs and Metrical Romances, and the “Life and Notes” to Robin Hood, may be particularly mentioned as displaying an extensive range through the regions of early English literature. Ritson thrice mingled in controversy with the Editors of Shakspeare; and it is to be lamented, that in these and other publications he treated some respectable contemporaries with very undeserved asperity. Malone felt the weight of his fists without the gloves, and the general style of his remarks on Warton and Percy (fn. 138) is indefensible. But Ritson's errors have been severely visited, and for his controversial offences he has been represented as carrying into private life the morose habits of a Cynic and Misanthrope. Ritson's temper was in some measure irritable; he suffered much from a highly nervous temperament, and from very acute sensibility, and his whole character was perhaps deeply influenced by an early disappointment, which was never totally forgotten. He had adopted peculiar ideas, both as to religious and civil government, and had on various subjects of less importance indulged in modes of thinking which chiefly concerned himself; but in whatever singular habits or speculative opinions (fn. 139) he might indulge, his deep and serious feelings were neither morose nor unsocial; his attachments were steady and disinterested; the associates of his youth (fn. 140) were the friends of his age, and he lost the regard of no honest man whose good opinion he had once acquired. He neglected no natural tie of blood or connexion, and to an only nephew his attention was parental (fn. 141). In society with those in whose characters he had confidence, Ritson was a lively cheerful companion, frank and unreserved; and if tenacious of his own peculiar opinions, he was at least most tolerant of those of others (fn. 142), and would permit every one “to dust it away and jingle his bells to his own tune.” At war only (as a man of secluded habits might wage war) with injustice, fraud, or cruelty, he walked quietly along the sequestered path of literary life. In London his daily walk from his chambers to the Museum almost bounded his rambles; and his summer vacation was usually spent in the North, with his only sister at Stockton, when he occasionally visited his friend Crathorne in Cleveland, and his more distant relatives in Westmoreland. In 1791 he visited Paris, accompanied by his old and early friend Sir William Shield; and once at least passed some pleasant days at Laswade with Walter Scott (fn. 143), whose Border Minstrelsy, then in all its freshness, came over Ritson “like the sweet South that breathes upon a bank of violets (fn. 144).” These dulcet notes were almost the latest which soothed poor Ritson's mortal ear. His constitution, naturally delicate, and perhaps weakened by the extreme abstinence which he imposed on himself, had been for several years giving way, and he had experienced more than one alarming attack of apoplexy (fn. 145). From Bath he received no benefit; and a final stroke, which affected his faculties, terminated his existence, after a fortnight's illness, on the 23d of September 1803 (fn. 146).
At one period Ritson had possessed a competent property; but it was amongst his anomalies, that, though he detested gambling, he had ventured to speculate with nearly his whole fortune in the funds, and the revulsion consequent on the Peace of Amiens, swept away most of his capital. Under these circumstances he sold a portion of his valuable library (fn. 147) by auction, and the remainder was reluctantly disposed of by his nephew at Leigh and Sotheby's in December 1803 (fn. 148). Both portions were rich in ancient English literature, and the latter included some of Ritson's unpublished MSS.
There is no good portrait of Ritson, only a caricature, a print, and a slight etching (in the Literary Anecdotes (fn. 149) ), both which seem taken from the caricature.
The following exact Catalogue of Ritson's Publications was communicated by Joseph Frank, Esq.
“Verses addressed to the Ladies of Stockton. First printed in the Newcastle Miscellany, 1772,” 8vo.
“The Descent of the Crown of England, [in three Tables printed on one Sheet,] 1778, 1783.”
“The St*ckt*n Jubilee; or, Shakspeare in all his glory. A choice Pageant for Christmas Holidays, 1781, Newcastle,” [London,] 12mo.
“Observations on the Three First Volumes of the History of English Poetry. In a familiar Letter to the Author, 1782,” 4to.
“Remarks, Critical and Illustrative, on the Text and Notes of the last [Johnson and Steevens's] Edition of Shakspeare, 1783,” 8vo.
“A Select Collection of English Songs [and Tunes,] 1783,” 3 vols. 8vo.
“Gammer Gurton's Garland; or, the Nursery Parnassus. A choice Collection of pretty Songs and Verses for the amusement of all little good Children who can neither read nor run, 1783,” 18mo.
“The Bishopric Garland; or, Durham-Minstrel: being a choice Collection of excellent Songs relating to the above County, full of agreeable variety and pleasant mirth. Stockton, 1792,” 12mo.
“The Spartan Manuel; or, Tablet of Morality: being a genuine Collection of the Apophthegms, Maxims, and Precepts of the Philosophers, Heroes, and other great and celebrated Characters of Antiquity, under proper heads, for the improvement of Youth, and the promotion of Wisdom and Virtue, 1785,” sm. 8vo.
“The Quip Modest; a few Words by way of Supplement to Remarks, critical and illustrative, on the Text and Notes of the last edition of Shakspeare; occasioned by a republication of that edition, revised and augmented by the Editor of Dodsley's Old Plays, 1788,” 8vo.
“The Yorkshire Garland; being a curious Collection of old and new Songs concerning that famous County. Part I. York, 1788,” 12mo.
“A Digest of the Proceedings of the Court Leet of the Manor and Liberty of Savoy, parcel of the Duchy of Lancaster in the County of Middlesex, from the year 1682 to the present time, 1789 (fn. 150),” 8vo.
“Pieces of Ancient Popular Poetry; from authentic MSS. and old printed Copies, 1791,” 8vo.
“The Office of Constable, ..... 1791,” 8vo.
“The Jurisdiction of the Court-Leet, 1791,” 8vo.
“Cursory Criticisms on the edition of Shakspeare published by Edmond Malone, 1792,” 8vo.
“Ancient Songs, from the time of King Henry the Third to the Revolution, 1792,” 8vo.
“The Northumberland Garland; or, Newcastle Nightingale: a matchless Collection of famous Songs. Newcastle, 1793,” sm. 8vo.
“Scottish Songs [and Tunes,] 1794.” 2 vols. 8vo.
“Poems on interesting Events in the reign of King Edward III. Written in the year 1352, by Laurence Minot. With a Preface, Dissertations, Notes, and a Glossary, 1795,” 8vo.
“Robin Hood; a Collection of all the ancient Poems, Songs, and Ballads now extant, relative to that celebrated English Outlaw. To which are prefixed Historical Anecdotes of his Life, 1795,” 2 vols. 8vo.
“Bibliographia Poetica; a Catalogue of English Poets of the Twelfth, Thirteenth, Fourteenth, Fifteenth, and Sixteenth Centuries, with a short Account of their Works, 1802,” 8vo.
“Ancient English Metrical Romances, 1802,” 3 vols. 8vo.
“The North-Country Chorister; an unparalleled variety of excellent Songs. Collected and published together for general amusement, by a Bishopric Ballad-Singer. Durham, 1802 (fn. 151),” 12mo.
“An Essay on Abstinence from Animal-food, as a moral duty, 1802,” 8vo.
“The Office of Bailiff of a Liberty,” 8vo, 1811. [Edited by J. Frank.]
Many of Ritson's Works are extremely rare; before his death he destroyed several papers, but a valuable mass of notes and correspondence are in the hands of his nephew, who may probably one day lay them before the public with a more detailed memoir of his uncle's life.
Only two natives of this maritime and commercial county have attained the highest civic honours of the metropolis. The earliest of these, Brass Crosby, the subject of the present brief memoir (fn. 152), was born at Stockton, May 8th, 1725, the son of Hercules Crosby, a respectable burgess of that place, and of Mary, daughter of John Brass, of Black-halls, in the parish of Hesilden (fn. 153). Crosby was placed with an attorney in Sunderland, and removing to London, pursued his business first in the Minories, and afterwards in Seething-lane. Brass was born to be rich: “he wived, and strived, and thrived.” The foundation perhaps of his ample fortune was his marriage with the widow of ...... Walraven, a rich salesman and dealer in seamen's tickets. After her death he again entered into wedlock with the relict of .... Coombe, collar-maker to the Ordnance. In 1758 Mr. Crosby was elected of the Common Council for Tower Ward; in 1760 he purchased the office of City Remembrancer, which in the following year he was permitted to dispose of; in 1764 he served the office of Sheriff; in 1765 was elected Alderman of Bread-street Ward; and in 1770 he attained the highest honours of the city.
This rapid progress to wealth and honour through all the successive grades of civic distinction, was the fair effect of a sound head and stout heart, of diligence and steady industry in the common concerns of a work-day world, aided by some lucky chances in the lottery of matrimony; but it is neither on account of his wealth, nor his wives, nor his city honours (abstractedly speaking) that Brass Crosby finds a place here, but for the manly stand which he made against the whole power of Government in defence of the rights and franchises of which he was the protector. In 1768 Alderman Crosby was elected Burgess for Honiton, and in Parliament followed the politics and adopted the liberal and independent tone of his predecessors in the civic chair, Beckford and Trecothick. The leading Members of the Corporation were at that time fairly aux mains with the Ministry; and their proceedings originating, I verily believe, in a sincere regard for the liberties of the country, were perhaps marked by somewhat of a teazing and unremitting species of resistance to every measure of the Executive. It is unnecessary here to recall the politics of that day, or to recount the “Humble Addresses, Remonstrances, and Petitions,” which were from time to time carried from the Guildhall to the foot of the Throne. It is enough to say, that Crosby adopted the political faith of his predecessor Beckford, and the City certainly felt no want of the vigorous and ruling spirit of that distinguished individual, in the spirited manner in which his successor maintained the honours of the Chair. In his address on his election he assured his fellow-citizens, “that at the risk of his life he would protect them in their just privileges and liberties.” One of his first overt-acts was to refuse backing the press-warrants which had been issued, and to silence the drum of the press-gang within the City Liberties. He was soon engaged in a more immediate personal struggle with the House of Commons. The Speaker had issued his warrant against the printers of two periodical papers (the Gazetteer and the Middlesex Journal), on a charge of misrepresenting the speeches of certain Members of the House. The printers, refusing to attend at the Bar, were secured under a Royal Proclamation (offering a reward for their apprehension); but on being brought before the sitting Aldermen, Wilkes and Oliver, were discharged, and even bound over to prosecute the person who made the capture. Meanwhile Miller, the printer of the London Evening Post, similarly circumstanced, was taken into custody by a Messenger from the House; and the Serjeant-at-Arms came to the Mansion-house to demand the bodies of both printer and publisher, who had appealed to the Lord Mayor. His Lordship asked the messenger whether he had applied to a magistrate to back the warrant, or to any peace-officer of the City to assist him; and on receiving a negative, informed him “that as long as he held that high office, he was the guardian of his fellow-citizens' liberties, and that no power on earth should seize a citizen of London without authority from him or some other Magistrate of the Franchise;” and, declaring Miller at liberty, he made out his warrant to commit the messenger for an assault and false imprisonment. The commitment was signed by Crosby, Mayor; and, at the request of Miller's Counsel, by Wilkes and Oliver also. The Serjeant-at-Arms bailed the messenger. The House of Commons ordered the Lord Mayor and Alderman Oliver to attend in their places (together with Alderman Wilkes), to answer for withstanding the execution of the warrant. Oliver was voted to the custody of the Lieutenant of the Tower on the 25th March. Two days after the Lord Mayor was committed to the same place on a division of 202 to 39. In consideration of the state of his health (he had been confined to his room by a severe fit of gout), it was only proposed to place him under the custody of the Serjeant-at-Arms. This favour he disclaimed, and “he desired no favour, and was prepared to join his friend Mr. Oliver.” About half-past twelve the Lord Mayor left the House, and retired to the Mansion-House (fn. 154); and at four o'clock next morning (the 28th) sent for a hackney-coach and went to the Tower, intending by this privacy to avoid the possible consequences of his popularity. The City, who on the 21st had voted thanks to the Lord Mayor and the two Aldermen, for supporting their privileges, voted on the 28th that a table should be maintained in the Tower for his Lordship at the expence of the city; but this proposal he positively declined. The Lord Mayor remained in the Tower (fn. 155) till the 8th of May, when the Session of Parliament terminated, and his release followed of course. His return to the Mansion-House was a triumphal procession. He left the Tower, accompanied by Alderman Oliver, under the discharge of 21 pieces of cannon belonging to the Artillery Company, and swept along Tower-street, and straight through the city, with fifty-three carriages in his train. At night the city was illuminated.
On the conclusion of his year the Lord Mayor received the thanks of the Corporation, and a silver cup of 200l. value, now in the possession of his nephew Wm. Brooks, of Kings-land-crescent, Esq. The cup is inscribed, “At a Meeting of the Livery of London, in Common Hall assembled, 24th June 1771, Resolved, that it be recommended by this Common Hall to the Court of Lord Mayor, Aldermen, and Common Council, that a silver cup, ornamented with the City Arms, of the value of two hundred pounds, be presented in the name of the grateful Citizens of London to the Right Honble the Lord Mayor, as a testimony of their regard and esteem for his having nobly supported the privileges and franchises of this city, and the rights of the subjects.”
His private fortunes meanwhile prospered, and in 1772 he led a third bride to the altar, Mary, the daughter of Mr. James Mead, a wealthy merchant of London, and widow of the Rev.—Tattersall, of Gatton, in Surrey. With this lady he had the manor of Chellsfield Court, in Kent (fn. 156). Alderman Crosby died Feb. 14, 1793, in Chatham-place, and was buried with considerable funeral pomp in Chellsfield Church. His large property, for he had no issue by any of his wives living at the time of his decease, was, with the exception of several small legacies and annuities, which were to devolve, on the decease of the parties, to the hospitals of Bethlem and Bridewell, divided amongst his sisters or their children (fn. 157).
There is a good portrait of Alderman Crosby in the Irish Committee-room in Guildhall (fn. 158).
Ralph Bradley, Esq. was born at Greatham, Sept. 2, 1717. He was called to the Bar by the Society of Gray's Inn, but soon after settled at Stockton, and confined himself almost exclusively to conveyancing; the reputation which he acquired in this important branch of business has been seldom exceeded, and his opinion was always treated with deference by the ablest of his contemporaries (fn. 159). Mr. Bradley's habits of life were extremely retired, he always continued a bachelor, and the successful exercise of his profession for forty years had increased a very small paternal estate to forty thousand pounds. The extended distribution of this sum is the occasion of introducing the present short sketch. By his will, after enumerating certain legacies, Mr. Bradley devised all the residue of his property to George Brown and Rowland Webster, of Stockton, Esquires, and to the Rev. John Brewster, of the same place, “in trust to raise and apply the yearly sum of five hundred pounds for the term of twenty years, to commence and be computed from the end of three years next after his decease, and from that period of twenty years the yearly sum of one thousand pounds until the sixth day of January, which will be in the year of our Lord 1860, to and for the purposes hereinafter expressed; and in trust to invest from time to time the residue of the said dividends or yearly income of all the said stocks, annuities, and monies in the public funds, to arise before the said 6th day of January, 1860, which shall remain after payment of the said yearly and other sums of money, debts, and legacies hereinbefore directed to be paid thereout, in the purchase of 3 per Cent. Consol. Bank Ann. and also from time to time to invest the accumulating dividends, &c. in the purchase of stocks or annuities, &c. of the same nature.” And he directs, that as well the said two yearly sums of five hundred pounds and one thousand pounds during the continuance thereof respectively, as the interest or yearly dividends to arise from and after the said sixth day of January 1860, as well from all the said stocks or annuities to be purchased and accumulated under the directions, or in pursuance of his will, as from such stocks, annuities, and monies in the public funds as he should be possessed of in his own right at the time of his decease, shall, subject and without prejudice to the trusts aforesaid, be from time to time for ever applied in the purchasing of such books as by a proper disposition of them under the following direction, may have a tendency to promote the interests of virtue and religion, and the happiness of mankind; the same to be disposed of either in Great Britain or in any other part of the British dominions: this charitable design to be executed by or under the direction or superintendency of such persons, and under such rules and regulations, as by any decrees or orders of the High Court of Chancery shall from time to time be directed in that behalf.—“And it is my express mind and intention, that the trusts of this my will shall be carried into execution under the directions of the High Court of Chancery, and that a proper suit shall be instituted for that purpose, as soon as conveniently may be after my decease.”
Mr. Bradley died December 28, 1788; and was buried in the parish church at Greatham, where a handsome monument was erected by his executors to his memory. (See p. 140.)
An amicable suit in Chancery was instituted, according to the directions of his will; in consequence of which, by a decree of Lord Chancellor Thurlow, the charitable intention was set aside in favour of the next of kin: and accordingly the remainder of his fortune devolved on Joseph Yeal of Greatham, his two sisters, viz. Margaret Parkin of the same place, widow, and Sarah Yeal of London; and Mary, wife of John Sutton, of Stockton, Esq. and daughter of Edmund Bunting, of the same place, Esq. his first cousins.
When we consider the vast extension of the Bible Society and other similar institutions, it may perhaps be thought that there was no invincible obstacle to carrying Mr. Bradley's testamentary disposition into execution, and that at the present day a different decree might possibly have been pronounced.
Joseph Reed, well known as a dramatic writer, was a native of Stockton, and by profession a rope-maker in Sun Tavern fields, London. His first production was “Madrigal and Trulletta,” a mock tragedy, acted at Covent-garden in 1758. In 1761 Mr. Reed brought out his “Register Office, a Farce,” a piece marked by a strong conception of character, and by a most accurate exhibition of provincial manners and dialect (fn. 160). This piece still keeps possession of the stage, and may be regarded as Reed's chef d'œuvre. In 1766 the tragedy of “Dido” was acted during three nights; but, though not without merit, was never again performed. Mr. Reed's last piece was “Tom Jones,” a Comic Opera, which was acted in Covent-garden in 1769, and well received. Mr. Reed, whose turn for the drama did not prevent his attention to business, preserved through life the character of a sensible, worthy, friendly man. He died at his house in Sun Tavern-fields, August 15, 1787, in the 65th year of his age, leaving a handsome fortune (fn. 161).