A History of the County of York North Riding: Volume 1. Originally published by Victoria County History, London, 1914.
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Lece, Leche (xi cent.); Lec (xii cent.); Lek (xiii cent.).
The parish of Leake, which has a total area of 5,337¼ acres, includes the townships of Leake, Landmoth-cum-Catto, Borrowby, Crosby, Nether Silton, and Knayton-cum-Brawith. It lies for the most part between the Cod Beck on the west and the Hambleton Hills on the east, and has a clay soil on a subsoil of Lower and Upper Lias and Inferior Oolite. The population is chiefly employed in agriculture, 2,052 acres being under cultivation. (fn. 1) The chief crops are barley, wheat, oats, beans and turnips.
Except for the township of Crosby, the whole parish lies on the eastern bank of the Cod Beck.
Landmoth-cum-Catto, the most northerly of the townships, consists only of a few farm-houses on a high ridge of land separated from the Cod Beck by Landmoth and Cotcliffe Woods.
The older part of Landmoth Hall, the former manor-house of the Green family, (fn. 2) is a rectangular building dating from the 16th century, which is now disused as a dwelling; it serves as an outbuilding to the modern brick farm-house next it, and is in rather a ruinous condition. It is of stone with mullioned windows, some of which had elliptical-headed lights. Two old chimneys project from the east front. On the west side is a doorway of two hollow-chamfered orders with a four-centred head. To the north-east is Marigold Hall or Oxbank, now a farm-house; only a fragment remains of the main or south front. In this is an elaborate doorway with pilasters on either side set on a facia of rustic-jointed stonework; the capitals are enriched with egg and dart moulding and support a broken entablature with a pulvinated frieze. Above the last are the halves of a broken curved pediment. Between the pediment and entablature is a large oval panel upon which is a double rose of eight petals or the 'marigold,' from which the name of the house is derived. Below the oval on the face of the lintel of the dooropening is a long panel inclosing the date and initials [M W A] 1679. Further west is the east jamb and pilaster of a similar doorway, but the rest has been removed with the remainder of the building. Between these doorways are two stone windows with similar entablatures over them; each is divided into four by a mullion and a transom. There was originally a wing to the west of the house, traces of which have been found, and there was probably another to the east. A square pedestal sundial with a moulded head stands on the cornice of the roof at the angle above the doorway. The other sides of the building and the interior generally have been modernized.
Landmoth is connected with Leake, and Leake with the other townships to the south of it, by the 'Long Lane,' as well as by the great high road from Yarm to Thirsk, which also runs in a southerly direction through the parish.
Leake, like Landmoth, is very sparsely populated and has no village. There is a local tradition that the place was of considerable importance before the Conquest, (fn. 3) when it was completely destroyed; it was certainly waste in 1086. (fn. 4) The discovery in the churchyard in 1852 of a large quantity of human bones, apparently heaped together into a pit, has led to the theory that Leake, like other villages in the neighbourhood, was wasted by the Scots at the beginning of the 14th century. (fn. 5) The old church of St. Mary (fn. 6) stands between the Thirsk road and Leake Stell or Woundales Beck, a tributary of the Cod Beck, which forms the eastern boundary of the township. Just to the south of it is Leake Hall, formerly the manor-house of the Danby family and now a farm. (fn. 7) It is a stone building of the 17th century, now somewhat reduced from its original size, with mullioned windows, and, on the south side, two large projecting chimney stacks. The plan is T-shaped with the head to the south. The doorway of stone in the west wall of the block forming the tail of the T is of later date and has rusticated jointing. There is a heavy staircase of black oak with turned balusters reaching to the second floor. One room downstairs has a dado of black oak panelling on three sides, with similar panelling reaching to the ceiling on the fourth; the rest of it was removed within recent years because it had rotted from damp. An upper room is panelled all round, the upper panels being of good linen pattern. Over the doorway into this room is a shield carved with the arms—three cheverons interlaced on a chief three pierced molets quartering six ermine tails. The Hall is now occupied by Mr. R. W. Morton, whose family has leased it since the middle of the 18th century. (fn. 8)
The manor-house of the rectory manor is mentioned in 1313, when the gate, the hall, the kitchen and the well were in need of repair. (fn. 9)
The township of Borrowby lies south of Leake. The village is built at the junction of four roads, and is in two wapentakes, Allerton and Birdforth. The portion which belongs to Birdforth and is not, like the rest of Borrowby, of the Bishop of Durham's ancient demesne, (fn. 10) is known as The Gueldable. (fn. 11)
The village consists of a considerable number of stone-built cottages and two inns. On the small green are the remains of a cross raised on three steps, with a square base and about half the shaft remaining. Placed on the top is an ancient cross-head, but the whole is much weathered. At the north end of the village is an early 17th-century house with mullioned windows, now mostly either blocked or altered. Another house of similar date stands on the east side of the green. The Wesleyan chapel in Borrowby dates from 1879, that of the Primitive Methodists was built in 1882. George Fox describes how in 1651 he 'came to Burrabey and there was a preist and severall freindely people yt. mett togeather and the people were convinced and have stoode ever since and there is a great meetinge in yt. tounde.' (fn. 12) The Society of Friends has a small burial-ground in the village.
The manufacture of linen was carried on extensively at Borrowby in the early 19th century. (fn. 13)
West of Borrowby, and sloping down to the banks of the Cod Beck, is Cotcliffe, formerly extra-parochial and now a civil parish. It contains only one farmhouse and a cottage. The land formerly belonged to the Bishop of Durham, (fn. 14) and followed the descent of Northallerton (q.v.) till about 1865, when part of it was purchased from the Ecclesiastical Commissioners by trustees under the will of Mr. Peter Consett. They purchased the rest in 1871. (fn. 15)
Just south of Borrowby Long Lane joins the Thirsk road, which crosses the Broad Beck into Knayton township near Borrowby Mill, formerly the property of the Bishop of Durham. (fn. 16) Knayton, like Borrowby, has a village built along a single street and surrounded by orchards. The houses are of stone and the roofs mostly tiled; with one or two exceptions they are of 18th-century or modern date. A sundial on one cottage bears the date 1699 and the initials G.S. and T.L. At the north end is a large green. The Wesleyan chapel here dates from 1895. A lane leads westward to where Brawith Hall, the seat of the Consett family, stands in a fine park on the banks of the Cod Beck. It is a large Georgian mansion, fronting south, two stories high, and is built of red brick and stone, with keyed window-openings, a main cornice and a hipped slate roof.
The township of Crosby, on the other side of the Cod Beck, contains only a few scattered farm-houses. Of these Crosby Grange may be on the site of the 12th-century grange of Rievaulx Abbey. (fn. 17)
In the north-east of the parish on the slopes of the Hambleton Hills is the township of Nether Silton. Here the ground reaches its highest point, 1,247 ft. above the ordnance datum. The village has a chapel of ease, rebuilt in 1812. (fn. 18) To the east of it is an early 17th-century farm-house, facing east, and rectangular on plan, with a northern annexe. The building is faced with ashlar, and stands upon a chamfered plinth. The two stories are divided by a moulded string, and the windows of four, three and two lights are all stone mullioned. At the south end is a sundial with an iron gnomon. In a field at the back of the house is an upright monolith bearing a meaningless inscription and the date 1765, and said to mark the site of an older house. Nether Silton Hall stands at the west end of the village. The main block is rectangular, and stands north and south; it is of early 16th-century date, and retains the original single-light windows and flat pointed door at the north end. On the gable is a square stone cupola of later date containing one bell. The hall was modernized in 1838, when various additions were made at the southern end.
A large area of moorland was appurtenant to one of the manors of Nether Silton. (fn. 19)
An Inclosure Act for the township of Knayton was passed in 1799. (fn. 20)
At the time of the Domesday Survey part of LEAKE was in the soke of Northallerton. (fn. 21) It was granted by William Rufus with the rest of the soke of Northallerton (q.v.) to the Bishop of Durham. (fn. 22) Already part of the vill was an endowment of the church of Leake. 'In Leche 2 carucatae et ad ecclesiam terra inlande' formed the grant to the bishop. (fn. 23) This land developed later into a manor, which comprised 'all the lands on the western part of the vill,' (fn. 24) and was held of the bishops till the middle of the 14th century by the successive rectors whom they appointed. There were numerous disputes in the 13th century as to whether various lands and rent in Leake belonged to the church in free alms or to lay fees in the vill. (fn. 25) In a report made in 1313 on the defects in the church (fn. 26) it was stated that William de Bliburgh, when rector, had built a new chamber in the manorhouse and a new grange.
In 1331 the church was appropriated to the bishopric of Durham for the support of the bishop's table. (fn. 27) A vicarage was endowed in 1344 with a set of rooms in the rectorial mansion or manor-house, and the tithes of hay in Leake, Knayton, Landmoth, Brawith, Silton and Kepwick, with 2 oxgangs of land in Nether Silton. (fn. 28) The bishop as rector had the rest of the rectorial mansion, a rent of 26s. 8d. paid by John de Leake, and the tithes of hay from the demesne lands of Northallerton, Crosby and Borrowby, which were reserved for the bishop's table. (fn. 29)
The Bishops of Durham continued to hold the rectory manor (fn. 30) until it was transferred to the see of Ripon in 1836. (fn. 31) The Ecclesiastical Commissioners have since 1857 exercised the manorial rights. (fn. 32)
Nicholas, rector of Leake in the time of King John, enfeoffed of certain land in Leake his father Ilger 'at the instance of the Bishop.' (fn. 33) Ilger granted it to one Ralph de Trek for a yearly rent of 2 marks. (fn. 34) From Ralph it passed in succession to his sons Ralph and Adam. (fn. 35) The latter had a daughter Alice, who, having married Richard de Bredeward against the will of her guardian Nicholas, (fn. 36) was deprived of her lands by him, (fn. 37) but they were shortly afterwards recovered, (fn. 38) and Richard and Alice paid the rent in 1242. (fn. 39)
At the time of the appropriation of the rectory manor the 2 marks rent was paid by John de Leake. (fn. 40) No regular succession of tenants can be traced, however, until the early 16th century, when the Danbys, a family of recusants and Royalists, (fn. 41) first appear in connexion with Leake. They held what came to be known as the 'manor of Great Leake' of the Bishop of Durham as of his rectory. (fn. 42) William Danby paid the subsidy in Leake in 1523 (fn. 43) and 1542. (fn. 44) Three years later he was dead, and his widow was holding his lands. (fn. 45) He was probably a brother of the James Danby who held Brawith (q.v.) at this date, for in 1565 James made a settlement of both manors on his son William. (fn. 46) Leake then followed the descent of Brawith in the Danby family for several generations. (fn. 47) It seems to have been compounded for by John Danby in 1653, (fn. 48) and was inherited by Anthony Danby, (fn. 49) his son. (fn. 50)
The next owner was Robert Danby, (fn. 51) who is said to have sold the estate to Edmund Barstow of Northallerton. (fn. 52) It was then conveyed to Mary Smith of Durham in trust for George Smith of Burn Hall. (fn. 53) Anne daughter of George Smith married Anthony Salvin of Sunderland Bridge, (fn. 54) and in 1788 their children conveyed the manor to Samuel Popplewell. (fn. 55) From the latter it was purchased in 1803 by Warcop Consett, (fn. 56) and since that date it has remained in his family, following the descent of Brawith.
A holding in Leake, which in the 16th and 17th centuries was called the manor of LITTLE LEAKE, belonged to the family of Lepton of Kepwick. John Lepton dealt with it by fine in 1597, (fn. 57) and in 1625 died in possession. (fn. 58) The estate passed with Kepwick (q.v.) to Lord Fauconberg, (fn. 59) whose family still held land here in 1698. (fn. 60)
BORROWBY (Berheby, xiii cent.; Borobye, xvi cent.) in 1086 was a berewick of Northallerton (fn. 63) (q.v.); it passed with that manor to the Bishop of Durham, and formed part of the demesne. (fn. 64) The Ecclesiastical Commissioners are the present lords of the manor.
Part of Borrowby, known as the GUELDABLE, (fn. 65) was in Birdforth Wapentake. (fn. 66) This may possibly be the 3 carucates in Leake which in 1086 were 'a manor' in the fee of the Count of Mortain (fn. 67); the Gueldable appears to have been appurtenant to the manor of Boltby, (fn. 68) which was held under the Stutevills and Wakes of the Mowbray fee. (fn. 69)
Ralph son of Uctred de Borrowby, tenant in the early 13th century, granted land here to Rievaulx Abbey, with the consent of William de Stutevill his lord. (fn. 70) He had three sons, Roger, Richard and Nicholas. (fn. 71) In 1285 Michael de Borrowby was in possession, (fn. 72) and Ralph de Borrowby in 1301. (fn. 73) In 1348 Nicholas de Borrowby was the tenant. (fn. 74) He is the last member of his family to be mentioned in connexion with the place, and early in the next century the family of Buscy was holding the land which had been held by the Borrowbys. (fn. 75) Robert Buscy of Borrowby was a trustee for land in Northallerton in 1424–5, (fn. 76) and paid subsidy in 1428. (fn. 77) He seems to have been succeeded by John Buscy, who held land here in or about 1480. (fn. 78) Robert Buscy paid £5 5s. in subsidy for lands in Borrowby in 1523. (fn. 79) In 1570 the manor of Borrowby was quitclaimed by William Buscy to Christopher Askwith of Over Silton. (fn. 80) Christopher died in the same year, and was succeeded by his son Richard. (fn. 81) The latter conveyed the estate to Richard Willance, (fn. 82) who in 1593 quitclaimed his possessions here to Thomas Danby. (fn. 83) Thomas Danby purchased other lands here at about the same time, (fn. 84) and had a quitclaim of 10 acres from John Buscy. (fn. 85) From this date to the end of the 17th century this part of Borrowby followed the descent of Leake (fn. 86) (q.v.) in the Danby family. It came ultimately like that manor into the possession of the Consetts of Brawith, who are the present owners.
BRAWITH (Bracwharth, Brathwath, xiv cent.) is not mentioned by name in the Domesday Survey, but was apparently in the hands of the Bishop of Durham as part of the manor of Knayton. (fn. 87)
From the 15th to the 17th century the tenants of the bishop here were the family of Danby. James Danby of Brawith was a juror at the bishop's court in 1435, (fn. 88) and another James Danby of Brawith is mentioned in 1511. (fn. 89) He or his successor James paid subsidy in 1545, (fn. 90) and settled the manors of Brawith and Leake on his son and heir William on the marriage of the latter with Jane Oglethorp in 1565. (fn. 91) The daughter and heir of William was Anne, (fn. 92) who married Cyril Arthington and died childless in 1581. (fn. 93) Her uncle Thomas Danby succeeded. (fn. 94) At his death the manor descended to his son Thomas, (fn. 95) whose son and heir John (fn. 96) was in possession in 1639. (fn. 97) Some right in the estate, however, had been left to his father's widow, for when the Danby estates were sequestered and sold by the treason trustees in 1653 she put in a claim to Brawith. (fn. 98) This she afterwards withdrew, allowing the estate to the purchaser Anthony Byerley, on the ground that she did not intend to spend any more money, being very aged. (fn. 99) It seems probable, however, that it was recovered by the Danby family, for it came with Leake (q.v.) into the possession of Edmund Barstow. (fn. 100) He sold it in 1702 to Margaret Peacock, who with her husband William Warwick settled Brawith in 1718 on the marriage of Thomas Peacock and Priscilla Warcop, daughter of John Warcop of East Tanfield. (fn. 101) It seems probable that the family of Consett, who were resident at Brawith in the middle of the 18th century, acquired the manor by inheritance from Priscilla. (fn. 102) Peter Consett lived here between 1747 (fn. 103) and 1780, (fn. 104) and had a son Warcop. Warcop died unmarried in 1833, and was succeeded by his younger brother Peter, (fn. 105) who died in 1839. (fn. 106) The estate was then held till 1860 by trustees, in accordance with the will of Warcop Consett, to the use of his nephew William Preston. (fn. 107) The latter took the name of Warcop Peter Consett, (fn. 108) and was succeeded in 1910 by his son and heir Captain Montagu William Warcop Peter Consett, (fn. 109) the present owner.
CROSBY (Croxebi, xi cent.) was soke of Northallerton (q.v.) in 1086. (fn. 110) One carucate here was in the hands of the king, and was held of him by Tor. (fn. 111) The vill passed with the rest of the soke into the possession of the Bishops of Durham.
In 1152 William de St. Barbara, Bishop of Durham, granted to the monks of Rievaulx a grange in Crosby. (fn. 112) Bishop Hugh Pudsey added 3 carucates, the mill belonging to the vill, and the marsh round the dwellings of the monks. (fn. 113) This grant was confirmed by Richard I (fn. 114) and Henry II. (fn. 115) Bishop Hugh Pudsey also granted Rievaulx the vill of 'Cotum,' (fn. 116) adjacent to Crosby. (fn. 117) The two were amalgamated into one manor, known as Crosby Cote or Cotam Cote. (fn. 118) It was the property of the abbey till the Dissolution, when it was granted to Thomas Earl of Rutland and his heirs. (fn. 119) Part of the estate seems to have been alienated before 1583, when Henry Wycliffe died seised of a quarter of the grange known as Cowton or Crosby Cote (fn. 120); but it continues to be mentioned among the property of the Earls of Rutland, (fn. 121) who apparently had a residence here (fn. 122) down to 1602, when Roger Earl of Rutland quitclaimed messuages and lands in Crosby to John Hele and his sons. (fn. 123) Sir John Hele died in 1608, and was succeeded by his son Sir Warwick. (fn. 124) Francis, brother of Warwick, (fn. 125) succeeded him, and died seised in 1623, when the manor was inherited by his son and heir John. (fn. 126) In 1635 John Hele quitclaimed to Simon and Nicholas Leach 'half the manor of Crosby Cote.' (fn. 127) Nicholas Leach was in possession in 1667 (fn. 128) and Simon Leach in 1698. (fn. 129) Possibly his heir was a daughter, for in 1700 Castell Drury and Anne his wife quitclaimed the estate to Thomas Langley and William Busfield, with a warranty against the heirs of Anne. (fn. 130) Both Busfields and Langleys appear in possession of parts of the estate during the rest of the century. Elizabeth daughter and heiress of William Busfield (fn. 131) married Johnson Atkinson, who took the name of Busfield and held a moiety of the manor in 1798. (fn. 132) Boynton Langley held a moiety in 1760 (fn. 133) and Richard Langley a fourth part in 1783. (fn. 134)
The portion of the manor which was not acquired by John Hele in 1598–9 is difficult to trace. Roger and Edward Gower dealt by fine with half the manor of Crosby Cote in 1625, (fn. 135) but this moiety is not again mentioned. All the shares, however, seem to have been acquired in the early 19th century by the family of Dent, (fn. 136) from whom the trustees of Mr. Warcop Consett of Brawith purchased them shortly before 1859. (fn. 137) Captain Consett is lord of the manor and sole landowner at the present day.
The Abbot of Rievaulx had free warren in Crosby. (fn. 138)
A 'manor' and 4 carucates in KNAYTON (Cheneveton, xi cent.; Kneveton, Knayveton, xiii cent.) were in 1086 in the possession of the church of St. Cuthbert of Durham. (fn. 139) The Bishops of Durham continued to hold the manor in demesne. (fn. 140) In 1836 Knayton was transferred with the other manors of the bishop in Allertonshire to the see of Ripon. (fn. 141) The Ecclesiastical Commissioners now exercise the manorial rights.
LANDMOTH (Landemot, xi, xiii cent.) was in 1086 a berewick of Northallerton. (fn. 142) Three carucates here passed with that manor (q.v.) to the Bishops of Durham, (fn. 143) of whom the vill was subsequently held.
The first recorded tenant was William de Vescy, who granted the vill to Gilbert Hansard, a gift confirmed by King John to Gilbert son of Gilbert in 1199. (fn. 144) To the latter Gilbert de Torigni released his claim on 3 carucates in Landmoth in 1208. (fn. 145) The manor continued to be held of the Hansard family, who were lords of the manor of High Worsall, throughout the 13th century. (fn. 146) This mesne lordship is not subsequently mentioned.
In 1286–7 the sub-tenant of Gilbert Hansard in Landmoth was Master Simon de Clervaux. (fn. 147) He was succeeded by his brother Thomas, (fn. 148) after whose death the manor seems to have been divided into two parts, possibly between co-heiresses. Roger Mauduit and Thomas de Belson were lords in 1316. (fn. 149) The share of Thomas Belson appears also to have passed to co-heiresses, for John Cromwellbotham and Alice his wife and Edmund d'Averenges and Elizabeth his wife held land in Landmoth in 1337. (fn. 150) In 1345 Edmund and Elizabeth quitclaimed a fourth part of the manor to John Cromwellbotham and Alice, (fn. 151) and in 1360 John Cromwellbotham had a quitclaim of the remaining half of the manor from John son of Roger Mauduit. (fn. 152)
The manor next appears in the possession of the family of Green. In 1428 Thomas Green was among those who paid subsidy in Landmoth. (fn. 153) He was succeeded by William Green, who was living in 1434–5. (fn. 154) In 1473 Thomas Green of Landmoth, vicar of Leake, received a general pardon. (fn. 155) William Green paid subsidy in Landmoth in 1523, (fn. 156) and was still in possession in 1539. (fn. 157) A William Green again paid subsidy in 1545. (fn. 158) He seems to have been succeeded before 1563 by James Green, who was an executor and legatee of Cuthbert Strangways of Leake in that year. (fn. 159) He died seised of the manor in 1579, (fn. 160) leaving a son and heir James. (fn. 161) The younger James remained in possession (fn. 162) till 1613 at least, (fn. 163) and was succeeded by his son William. (fn. 164) The Greens were Papists and recusants, and in 1653 William Green sought to compound for his estate, which had been sequestered and sold by the treason trustees. (fn. 165) The estate was discharged and William Green remained in possession till 1660, when he and others conveyed the manor to John Smelt. (fn. 166) In 1663 John Smelt paid hearth tax for seven hearths in Landmoth, (fn. 167) but he sold the capital messuage or manor-house in Landmoth to Thomas Staines in 1665. (fn. 168) In 1670 Thomas Staines and Anthony Isaackson dealt with the manor by fine. (fn. 169) Nothing is known of its subsequent history till the middle of the 19th century, when it appears in the possession of the family of Marwood (fn. 170) of Little Busby, who have continued to hold it down to the present day. Mr. William Francis Marwood is the present owner.
The Green family retained some land in Landmoth after the sale of the manor. It included the Great Wood, the Little Wood with an orchard or garth, and Catto Wood. (fn. 171) They also held an estate there from which James Green had granted a fixed rent-charge of £26 13s. 4d. to the grammar school of Prince Henry at Otley in 1611. (fn. 172) It was described as a messuage, a close called Chapple Kell, and another called Riddings with meadow land and wood. This estate was assigned by William Green to his second son Anthony, (fn. 173) who had a daughter and heir Dorothy. (fn. 174) She married Joseph Pattinson, (fn. 175) who made a return of his estates here among the Papists' lands in 1717. (fn. 176) The heir of Joseph and Dorothy was Elizabeth, who married Thomas Middleton, and was described as Elizabeth Middleton of Landmoth in 1751, when she sold the whole of her estate here to Henry Lascelles. (fn. 177) It remained in his family, (fn. 178) the present owner being the Earl of Harewood.
At the time of the Domesday Survey 3 carucates in NETHER SILTON (Silton Paynell, xiii–xv cent.) were held by the Count of Mortain; in the 13th century it was assessed at 4 carucates. (fn. 179) It is generally described as of the Mowbray fee, (fn. 180) its overlordship following the descent of Thirsk (q.v.).
The vill was held under the Mowbrays by the Wakes, (fn. 181) and under them a lordship was held in the early 13th century by the family of Paynell (fn. 182) of Barton-le-Street (q.v.), with which it came into the family of Luttrell, being held in 1286–7 by Robert Luttrell, under whom Oliver Buscy was a mesne lord. (fn. 183) Oliver had three tenants; Gilbert de Hanant and Ralph de Leake each had 1 carucate, while Thomas de Levesham held the remaining 2 carucates. (fn. 184)
Ralph de Leake was succeeded by his son John, who in 1294 granted that part of Nether Silton known as Leake Paynell to John de Brawith, (fn. 185) clerk, probably as trustee. At the beginning of the next century Thomas son of Thomas de Leake granted land called 'Couper Crok' in Nether Silton to Robert Spinay rector of Leake. (fn. 186)
Meanwhile Oliver de Buscy and his wife Elizabeth had granted Thomas de Allerton one messuage and 10 oxgangs here. (fn. 187) In 1301 the latter and John de Hilton, who seems to have been the son-in-law of Oliver de Buscy, were the chief tenants. (fn. 188) A certain Joscelin and William de Silton also paid subsidy. (fn. 189) John de Hilton was convicted in 1322 of a disseisin committed in Silton upon Roger Goce or son of Goce. (fn. 190) In 1328 Robert de Coventry made a settlement of the 'manor of Silton Paynell' on John de Hilton and his wife Margery, with reversion to Robert and his heirs, (fn. 191) and twenty years later John de Hilton, Ralph de Silton and Thomas de Leake were returned as the tenants of the 4 carucates which had been held by John de Hilton, Robert son of Gosse, and Thomas de Allerton. (fn. 192) Of these families only the Siltons were still holding land here in 1428, when the tenants were Robert Buscy, Thomas Maltby, Roger Silton, John Greenwood and Thomas Pinkney. (fn. 193) At a later date Ralph Silton was in possession of land which he granted to feoffees to the use of his daughter and heir Anne, afterwards wife of John Smith. By some unexplained process the land came into the hands of Robert Pinkney, whom she and her husband sued in Chancery in 1515–18 for the detention of deeds relating thereto. (fn. 194)
From this date there are two principal holdings in the vill. The family of Pinkney continued in possession of an estate here till the early 18th century. In 1523 Robert Pinkney paid £4 3s. in subsidy here. (fn. 195) He or another Robert was in possession in 1539, (fn. 196) and his grandson Lancelot (fn. 197) died in possession of what was called a moiety of the manor of Silton Paynell in 1605. (fn. 198) Lancelot's son Francis was his heir, (fn. 199) and between 1625 and 1629 paid £3 12s. in subsidy for his lands (fn. 200) which were sequestered and compounded for in 1654. (fn. 201) William son of Francis (fn. 202) succeeded him, and was himself succeeded by his son Francis, (fn. 203) who had six hearths in Nether Silton in 1663. (fn. 204) In 1698 he and others quitclaimed threefifths of the manor to John Pinkney and Marcus Bolt. (fn. 205) Before 1717 it had come into the hands of Cuthbert Tunstall, a recusant, who registered it among his estates in that year. (fn. 206) He took the name of Constable, and the manor passed to his son William Constable, (fn. 207) who in 1767 conveyed it to Sir William Pennyman. (fn. 208) The latter was probably a trustee for the sale of the manor to the Hickes family, who next held it. (fn. 209) Fowler Hickes, lord of the manor at the end of the 18th century, (fn. 210) had a son Fowler, who was still in possession in 1833. (fn. 211) His illegitimate daughter, who inherited the estate, married Robert Jaques, (fn. 212) and her son George Jaques held the manorial rights in 1872.
The present lords of the manor are Sir Arthur T. Lawson, bart., of Bedale, and Mr. Edward H. Warner of Quorn Hall, Leicestershire.
The holding of Robert Buscy followed the descent of his lands in Kepwick, with which this 'manor of Nether Silton' was sold in 1570 by William Buscy to Christopher Askwith (fn. 213) of Over Silton (q.v.). The Askwiths already had some property here. Richard Askwith of Osgodby left 4 marks' worth of land here to his son Ralph in 1521. (fn. 214) It remained in his family, (fn. 215) following the descent of Over Silton (q.v.) till 1583, when it was sold by Richard Askwith to Richard Willance. (fn. 216) In 1595 Richard Willance and his wife Elizabeth conveyed it to George Jackson, (fn. 217) who was still in possession in 1598. (fn. 218) Before 1603, however, the 'manor' had been sold to Sir John Hart of Scampton (fn. 219) (co. Lincoln), who left it to his grandson John Bolles, burdened with a rent-charge to found a grammar school at Coxwold. (fn. 220) Nether Silton followed the descent of Low Borrowby (fn. 221) in the Bolles family, and on the division of their estates under an order of 1751 was allotted to Sir Cyril Wich, bart. (fn. 222) His share was sold in 1752 to John Matthew of Stokesley. (fn. 223) In 1821 this manor was, and had been for a considerable time, in the hands of David Burton Fowler of Yarm. (fn. 224) It was sold by his heir to Mr. W. B. Wainman, whose daughter and heir Mrs. Hinde held it in 1890. (fn. 225)
The church of ST. MARY THE VIRGIN consists of a chancel 40 ft. 5 in. by 16 ft. 3 in., nave 34 ft. by 18 ft. 6 in., north aisle 47 ft. 7 in. by 8 ft. 7 in., south aisle 46 ft. 10 in. by 9 ft. 1 in., an inclosed west tower 9 ft. 7 in. by 9 ft. 5 in. and a south porch. The west ends of the aisles are screened off by modern walls in a line with the east face of the tower, and are used as vestries. These measurements are all internal.
Early in the 12th century a church stood on this site consisting of the present west tower, a nave and a small chancel. The north-east angle of the nave remains, with the projecting piece of wall on which the east corbel of the north arcade is fixed; a fragment of the original north wall may also be seen above the west respond of the same arcade. Early in the 13th century the north aisle was added, the original walls of which remain, though all the windows in it are later insertions. The south aisle was added at the end of the same century, and shortly afterwards the chancel, which threatened to fall, was rebuilt by William de Bliburgh, though the work was not completed till 1313. (fn. 226) The clearstory dates from c. 1370, and in the 15th century a few windows were inserted and the flat roofs of both chancel and nave were added in place of the former steeper ones. Both have been restored. The line of the old roof to the nave shows above the tower arch. The south porch is modern.
The east window of the chancel is a 15th-century insertion and has four cinquefoiled lights with tracery over and a moulded external label. The north and south windows of the chancel, three in each wall, are all alike and consist of two plain lights with pierced spandrel, the jambs and two-centred arches being double chamfered. Between the second and third of these windows in the south wall is a small priest's doorway set in a buttress, which is wider than the rest. The chancel arch is two-centred, and of two chamfered orders resting on moulded semioctagonal corbels which have been recut.
The north arcade of the nave is of three bays with two circular columns; no bases to these columns show above the wooden floor. Their capitals are carved with early forms of foliage. The arches are roughly semicircular and of two orders, the inner being chamfered and the outer having an edge roll on the nave side and a chamfer on the aisle side. A flat chamfered label runs round the arches on the nave side only. At the east end of the arcade the arch rests on a semicircular corbel, plainly moulded, and at the western end is a semicircular respond with a moulded base and recut plain capital. The south arcade is also of three bays with octagonal columns having chamfered bases. The capital of the eastern is moulded only, but that of the western column is enriched with carved oak leaves and acorns. The arches are two-centred and of two chamfered orders, and rest at each end of the arcade on moulded corbels with carved heads beneath them. The clearstory above the arcades has two windows in each wall, each being of two trefoiled lights with a pierced spandrel under a square head. Near the east end of the south clearstory is a third window, now blocked. The tower arch is low and of semicircular form. There are no projecting responds, but the angles of the walls have large edge rolls with scalloped capitals, surmounted by chamfered abaci. Above the arch is a narrow semicircular-headed doorway opening from the first floor of the tower.
The east window of the north aisle is a late insertion and has two large trefoiled lights with a square head. The first window in the north wall has two lights with square cinquefoiled heads. The second window is similar to that in the east wall. To the west of this is the north doorway, which is modern, with a two-light window over it. The west window is modern.
The east window of the south aisle is of 15thcentury date and has three cinquefoiled lights under a drop-arch. There is only one south window, which together with the west window is similar to the north and south chancel windows. At the south-east of the aisle is a small piscina with chamfered jambs and ogee head. The base has been cut off flush with the wall and contains a semicircular basin. Towards the west end of the aisle is the south doorway, which is modern, but the oak door is old and contains a wicket, while the wood case of the lock has 17th-century ornament on it. On the apex of the gable of the porch is a small sundial surmounted by a pinnacle.
The tower is of three low stages, the topmost having an arcade of three bays on each face, with circular shafts, some of which are missing, having moulded bases and scalloped capitals carrying semicircular arches. The centre bay of each arcade is pierced and subdivided by another similar but smaller shaft, forming a window of two semicircular-headed lights. Above this arcade are some 12th-century corbels, but the original parapet has gone and the tower finished with a plain course set back from the wall face. The second stage has a small round-headed opening on the south face, and on the west side is set the ornamental head of a Saxon cross and the lines of a sundial can still be traced. The west window of the ground stage is a 15th-century insertion and has three cinquefoiled lights under a drop-arch with moulded label. On one of the south quoins of the ground stage is an inscription in 15thcentury letters, 'ihs . est . nomē.' On the outside wall of the south aisle, to the east of the porch, are two early carved stones, one a sundial and the other representing a lion with knotted tail. In the cornice are several 12th-century abacus stones, one with chequer ornament. The chancel has a plain parapet resting on a cornice moulded with a roll and hollow which has once had gargoyles.
The flat roofs of the chancel and nave have been restored in oak, using the old beams where possible, and they are covered with lead outside. The roof of the north aisle is slated, that of the south aisle being leaded.
The altar is of Jacobean workmanship, the top rail being enriched with rosettes joined by flat bands, while the legs have large inverted acorns. The altar rails are made up of parts of the old screen, the rest of which is said to have been sold in Thirsk market. Beneath the moulded rail the several bays have richly foiled and pierced tracery heads. The reading desk has some fine early 14th-century tracery resting on modern turned balusters.
At the west ends of the choir stalls are two very fine bench ends said to have come from Rievaulx. The one on the north side has a carved finial and a panel with a traceried top in which hangs a shield bearing two cross keys (wards inwards) below which is the word 'harde.' Below this panel is more tracery. At the edge of the bench end is a detached square shaft set anglewise, pierced and supported at intervals. Partly resting on the top of this is a grotesque animal.
The south bench end is similar to the other except that the panel is in the form of a niche with an elaborate canopied head, below which stands the figure of St. John Baptist standing on a tun across which is a scroll inscribed with the word 'hamp,' making the rebus John Hampton. Below the tun are the words 'ano dñi mod19o hoc op' fcm est.'
The pulpit is of the late 17th century and has moulded panels. The pews of the nave and aisle are all of oak with carved backs and ends of 17thcentury date. In the chancel are two Jacobean chairs with flatly carved backs and ornamental legs.
In the floor of the nave is a brass inscribed in black letter as follows: 'of yo' charite pay for ye soules of John Watson sũtyme auditor to ye lord Scrope of Upsall and Alice his wife w. ther child whose soules Jesu pdon.' Above are the figures of a woman and a man. He wears a long robe with a money bag hanging at his waist, his hair is long and he holds his hands in prayer. The woman has a long, loose headdress, turn-back cuffs, and also holds her hands in prayer.
In the tower are three bells, of which the first bears the inscription in Roman characters 'Fili Dei miserere mei 1618'; the second is a recasting by Warner & Sons, 1876, of a bell which was inscribed 'Jesus be our speed 1618'; the third is inscribed in Lombardic capitals 'O: pater: Aelrede: Grendale: miseri: miserere.'
The plate includes a cup of 1749 with the maker's mark of Richard Bayley of London and two pewter plates. There is also a pewter font basin.
The registers begin in 1570.
The chapel of ease at NETHER SILTON, as appears from an inscription on the west wall, was entirely rebuilt in 1812, Shute Barrington, Bishop of Durham, and Fowler Hickes being mentioned as benefactors. It consists of a nave with a west gallery, quire and north porch. The quire has a meagre chancel arch and a two-light east window of 'Perpendicular' type. The nave is lit by three two-light windows with trefoiled heads, and in a stone bellcote on the west gable is one bell. Old materials appear to have been largely used in the rebuilding. The fittings include an ancient oak communion table, an old chair with a carved and panelled back and a stone font. The latter dates from the 12th century and has a massive circular bowl tapering towards the base and ornamented with a bold cable moulding below the rim.
The church of St. Mary of Leake came with the vill into the possession of the Bishop of Durham. (fn. 227) Rectors were appointed by the bishops till 1331, (fn. 228) when a long-continued quarrel with the Archbishop of York about the jurisdiction over the churches of Allertonshire issued (fn. 229) in a licence to Louis Bishop of Durham to appropriate the church of Leake. (fn. 230) A vicarage was ordained in 1344. (fn. 231)
The advowson followed from this date the descent of the rectory manor (fn. 232) (q.v.). The Bishop of Ripon is the present patron.
A chapel of ease in Nether Silton has existed since the 18th century. (fn. 233) It is under the same patronage as Leake.
Township of Borrowby-cum-Gueldable.—The Parliamentary Returns of Charities (1786) known as the Gilbert Returns mention that Christopher Peart by will, 1760, gave land here for the poor. The parish council receive the rent of a small close of about half an acre known as the Poor's Land, now let at £2 10s. a year, which is distributed among poor widows.
Joseph Snowden, by will proved at Durham 1 September 1736, charged his land known as Beck Close with 10s. to the poor of Borrowby to be paid on 5 November yearly for ever, and with 10s. more out of the said close unto the schoolmaster for teaching a poor boy and helping to repair the schoolhouse for ever; 10s. a year is distributed among poor folks by the parish council and 10s. a year is applied for educational purposes.
The Gilbert Returns of 1786 mention that one John Bird, by will of uncertain date, gave land producing £5 a year for teaching four poor boys and buying them pens and ink, &c. In 1821 the rentcharge was paid out of 5 acres in Borrowby, the property of James Coates; the payment, however, ceased about thirty years ago.
Township of Knayton.—In 1754 William Arming, by will, left £20, the interest to be given in bread to the poor of this township. The trust fund, amounting to £22, is on deposit in the Thirsk Savings Bank, producing 11s. a year.
In 1768 John Brown, by will, left a sum of money, the income to be given in bread and corn to the poor. In respect of this charity £1 4s. is received annually from Captain M. W. W. P. Consett as the owner of lands called Seglands. These charities are administered together by the parish council.
In 1807 George Harland, by will, devised to his nephew Joseph Appleton and his heirs 12 acres of land known as Gravel Moor, subject to the payment of £5 yearly at Christmas to the churchwardens of Knayton, to be applied in educating and putting to school six of the poorest children belonging to the township. The devise being void in mortmain under the statute (fn. 234) of 1736, the payment of £5 a year was voluntarily made by successive owners, but has now ceased to be paid.