A History of the County of York East Riding: Volume 6, the Borough and Liberties of Beverley. Originally published by Victoria County History, London, 1989.
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The manor of BEVERLEY, which included the 'water towns' of Sicey, Sneerholmes, Stork, Thearne, Tickton, Weel, and Woodmansey, besides the borough itself, belonged to the archbishop until 1542, when he exchanged it with the Crown. (fn. 1) It was granted to John Dudley, duke of Northumberland, in 1552 but forfeited on his attainder the next year. (fn. 2) In 1561 it was granted to Robert Dudley, Lord Dudley, later earl of Leicester, but in 1566 he returned it to the Crown by exchange. (fn. 3) Some of the appurtenances of the manor were granted to the town, both before and at its incorporation in 1573, (fn. 4) and the corporation was later regarded as owner of the manor of Beverley. (fn. 5)
A lease of the manor was held by Michael Warton from 1573, and at his death in 1590 he left it to his son Michael, later Sir Michael, (fn. 6) who still had it in 1622. (fn. 7) In 1617 the manor was settled on the prince of Wales, (fn. 8) but in 1628 it was sold to Sir Michael Warton. (fn. 9) Its principal components were the park and the water towns; accordingly, at least by 1649, the estate was known as the manor of BEVERLEY WATER TOWNS. (fn. 10)
Sir Michael Warton died in 1655 and the manor passed to his grandson Michael (d. 1688) and then to the latter's son Sir Michael Warton (d. 1725). (fn. 11) The last mentioned Sir Michael's heirs were his sisters Elizabeth, widow of Charles Pelham, Mary, wife of Sir James Pennyman, Bt., and Susanna, wife of Sir John Newton, Bt., who held it in undivided shares. After Elizabeth's death in 1726 her share passed to her son Charles (d. 1763) and then to his greatnephew Charles Anderson, who took the additional name Pelham. Mary died in 1726 or 1727 and her share passed successively to her husband, who died in 1745, her son Sir William Pennyman, Bt. (d. 1768), and her son Ralph's son Sir James Pennyman, Bt. (d. 1808). The share of Susanna (d. 1737) was held in moieties. She entailed one moiety on her son Sir Michael Newton, Bt., and when he died without issue in 1743 it passed, in accordance with Susanna's will, to Sir Michael's nephew Michael Archer, who took the name Newton. Susanna devised the other moiety to her daughter Susanna Archer (d. 1761), from whom it passed to her son Michael, by then known as Michael Newton. The moieties were thus reunited. When the former Warton estate was eventually partitioned in 1775 Beverley Water Towns manor passed to the share of C. A. Pelham. (fn. 12) Pelham (d. 1823) became Baron Yarborough in 1794 and his son Charles was made earl of Yarborough in 1837. (fn. 13) It was they who split up and sold the estate in the early 19th century. (fn. 14)
The manor of Beverley Water Towns was sold in 1827 to Richard Dickson (fn. 15) (d. by 1853), who left it to his nephew John Dickson. (fn. 16) After John's death in 1899 the manor was held by trustees, (fn. 17) of whom A. J. Wise until 1921 and then F. N. Preston were often described as lords. (fn. 18)
Courts were evidently held separately for each of the water towns while they were in the hands of the Crown in the mid 16th century, (fn. 19) but later for the whole of Beverley Water Towns manor. There are surviving estreats of the early 17th century, (fn. 20) and court rolls survive for 1649-1713 and 1720-64, (fn. 21) together with a book of enfranchisements and compensation agreements of 1845-1936 and another of admissions and enrolments of 1904-35. (fn. 22) The Water Towns court, the jurisdiction of which included view of frankpledge, met in a building at Hall Garth from the 17th (fn. 23) to the late 19th century; the rolls were indeed sometimes headed 'the manor of Beverley Hall Garth Water Towns'. The building was referred to as the court house and gaol in 1827; (fn. 24) it also contained a public house in the 19th century. (fn. 25) In the late 19th and early 20th century the courts were held at inns in Beverley. (fn. 26) In the 17th century full courts, including courts leet, were held twice a year, with additional courts baron and customary courts as required; later on courts leet were held less regularly. Officers appointed included a head grave and affeerors for the whole manor and others for individual townships.
After the suppression of St. John's college in 1548 much of its former property in Beverley and elsewhere was retained by the Crown as the manor of BEVERLEY CHAPTER. The manor was sometimes let by the Crown, but in 1813 it was sold to William Beverley, (fn. 27) whose trustees sold it in 1833 to David Burton (fn. 28) (d. 1854). It passed successively to the latter's son David (d. 1890) and grandson David F. Burton (d. 1931). (fn. 29)
Court rolls for Beverley Chapter manor survive for 1644-50, 1654, (fn. 30) 1690-1703, 1785-1827, 1830-58, (fn. 31) and 1862-94, (fn. 32) and there are also estreats for several years between 1610 and 1653 (fn. 33) and from 1661 to c. 1810. (fn. 34) In the early 17th century the court was three-weekly, usually with a view of frankpledge twice a year. It then met in a house near the minster (fn. 35) but from the mid century courts were also held at Cherry Burton, where much of the manorial property lay. (fn. 36) Courts became less frequent from the late 18th century and by the later 19th century all business was done outside the court. Officers appointed included a head grave for the whole manor and others for individual townships.