A History of the County of York North Riding: Volume 2. Originally published by Victoria County History, London, 1923.
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The parish of Haxby covers just over 2,000 acres of flat clayey ground in the forest of Galtres, about 4 miles north of York. It is bounded on the east partly by a small tributary of the River Foss called Golland Dike, and partly by that river itself, which flows southward past the parish from Easingwold to York and drains the forest of Galtres. On the west is the parish of Wigginton.
Haxby seems originally to have been partly in the parish of Driffield and partly in that of Strensall. The boundaries between the two moieties given by Lawton on the authority of Archbishop Torre appear, however, to be a garbled version of those defining the land quitclaimed by Robert son of Maldred. (fn. 1) In the 15th century Haxby was wholly in Strensall parish, of which it was a chapelry. (fn. 2)
The village of Haxby stands in the flat Plain of York. It contains a considerable number of modern houses, and is built on either side of the Wigginton road, the two villages being practically continuous. The church is in the centre of the village on the north side of the street. In the churchyard to the south of the church is the base and a portion of the shaft of a stone cross. There are also in Haxby a Wesleyan and a Primitive Methodist chapel, both standing on the road between Haxby and Wigginton. From the west end of Haxby Street the road runs northward for two or three hundred yards, forming part of the boundary between the parishes, and then turns westward to become Wigginton village street. The east end of the village is about half a mile from the bank of the Foss, which is still liable to floods. In the 16th century it 'was oftentimes so urgent and grete that th' inhabitants ther aboute for the space of a moneth and more could passe no whither for th' incumberns of the said water.' (fn. 3) Near the village is a small bridge called Haxby Landing. Perhaps the old road to Strensall was over this bridge and along the road which runs north on the east bank of the river past Towthorpe.
At the east end of the village street, standing in a park of some 22 acres, is Haxby Hall, the residence of Mr. William Abel Wood, J.P. There is a fishpond near the house. The road called Haxby Road, which runs northward through the parish from York, enters the village near Haxby Hall, and is then continued northward as the road to Strensall, which turns to the east and crosses the Foss in the north of the parish by Strensall New Bridge.
The road between Haxby and Wigginton also has a continuation towards the north across the stretch of land north of the village called Haxby Moor. A branch leaves it on the east and under the name of Cross Moor Lane runs past Haxby Grange to join the road to Strensall. In 1236 land and herbage in the forest of Galtres were in dispute between the men of Haxby and Robert son of Maldred. Robert finally quitclaimed a tract with boundaries running 'from the place where the cross stood . . . to between Ellerpittes and so westward as far as Redker as the river runs by the way of Houkeshill and so south as far as Under Houkeshill on the east as the road reaches to the top of Grenthwait eastwards.' (fn. 4)
The common lands of Haxby were inclosed in 1769. (fn. 5) The chief industry of the parish is agriculture. Eleven hundred acres of the total area are under cultivation and nearly 800 are devoted to pasture. (fn. 6)
The manor of HAXBY was from very early times among the possessions of the cathedral of St. Peter of York. It was assessed at 6 carucates and an oxgang in 1086 and had land for four ploughs. (fn. 7)
In 1223, when various inhabitants of Haxby were in custody for trespasses committed within the forest of Galtres, they were described as 'men of the Dean and Chapter.' (fn. 8) It is not certain at what date the manor of Haxby was assigned to the two prebends of Driffield and Strensall in York Cathedral, but it must have been at some time in the 13th century. The first recorded appointments to these prebends were made in 1235 and 1279 respectively. (fn. 9) In 1328 the people of Haxby had been tenants 'from of old' of the prebendaries of Driffield and Strensall. (fn. 10)
Haxby has remained a part of the endowment of the prebends down to the present day. It has been treated as the two manors of EAST END and WEST END, (fn. 11) the former belonging to Driffield prebend and the latter to Strensall.
A survey of the possessions of St. Peter's was made in 1338, and a list is given of the tenants of the prebendary of Driffield. (fn. 12) His half of the vill appears to have been divided into a number of almost equal holdings of about a toft and 2 oxgangs held at uniform rents. The whole of this part of the vill of Haxby rendered fifteen score eggs at Easter.
It is impossible to trace the descent of the families who lived at Haxby. One called Goodbarne seems to have held land here for some time. (fn. 13)
The church of ST. MARY was entirely rebuilt in 1878 and is now an aisleless building consisting of nave and chancel in the style of the 13th century. The nave was enlarged by the addition of three bays in 1911. A sketch of the old church before its demolition is in the possession of Mrs. Grayson of Haxby. The church contains several monuments of the Hodgson family.
It is not certain at what date the chapel of Haxby came into existence. It was described in 1547 as 'havyng no foundacion,' and it is stated that the incumbent was 'hyered by the inhabitants of the same towne to praye for the prosperitye of the parochians lyvynge and the souls of them departyd, further to say masse and other devyne service and minister sacraments in tyme of necessitie.' (fn. 14) The chapel of Haxby was originally in moieties, of which one belonged to the parish of Strensall and the other to the parish of Driffield. (fn. 15) It owed its origin, doubtless, to the distance of the village from these parish churches. The Driffield end of Haxby was 18 miles away from its church, and the inhabitants of the Strensall half, though only 2 miles from the church, were liable to be cut off by the floods of the River Foss. (fn. 16) In 1328 the inhabitants declared that 'of old it was ordained, and hitherto observed, that the chaplain for the time being which celebrated divine service at Haxby received all the oblations and Quadragesimal tithes as well of the tenants of the prebend of Strensall as of the tenants of the prebend of Driffield.' (fn. 17) In the same year they petitioned to have their own chapel yard licensed for burial, on the ground that 'it was cause of scandal and a fact detestable to have the corpses of the dead to be casually lost, as they were carried on the way to be buried, by reason of the very great distance and badness of the ways; as the case once happened by the body of Thomas Westeby, which as they were carrying to Strensall Church to be buried, fell into the River Foss.' (fn. 18)
Their petition was granted, and in this year they received a licence for burial in their chapel yard, which was dedicated as a chapel of Driffield. (fn. 19) This explains why the living was described in the reign of Edward III as 'a parcel of the prebend of Driffield.' (fn. 20)
In 1472 the inhabitants petitioned the dean and chapter to authorize them to have a priest to celebrate at their chapel. (fn. 21) A former licence given by the prebendaries of Strensall and Driffield is mentioned. (fn. 22) It may have been at this renewal that the chapelry was definitely assigned to the parish of Strensall. In the next century it was referred to as 'the Chapel of our Lady in Strensall parish.' (fn. 23) The chapel was a peculiar (fn. 24) never charged with first-fruits and tenths.
In 1786 Haxby was still treated as a chapelry of Strensall. (fn. 25) In the middle of the 19th century it was described as a perpetual curacy, annexed to the vicarage of Strensall. (fn. 26) The prebendary of Strensall was the patron and the vicar of Strensall was generally ex officio minister. Since then the advowson has passed by some readjustment to the Archbishop of York. (fn. 27)
Various lands in Haxby, originally given for the maintenance of the chapel, were held by copy of court roll of the manors of Haxby and Strensall. (fn. 28) The rent seems to have been paid largely in hens and eggs. (fn. 29) Later the land came to be held as the property of different individuals.
In 1547 there was a 'stoke' of 22s. which had been granted for the finding of a light in the chapel. (fn. 30)
The Church or Chapel Lands.— From time immemorial fixed annual payments amounting in the aggregate to £24 0s. 7d. have been paid out of land and houses copyhold of the manors of Strensall and Haxby for the use of the vicar of Strensall. He also received the rents of 5 a. 2 r. 37 p., about £5 a year, allotted on the inclosure in 1759 in lieu of small tithes. (fn. 31)
The Poor Folks Close consists of about 1 acre of copyhold land purchased in 1733 with £20 for the poor given by the Rev. — Bayley, vicar of Strensall. The land is let as garden plots, producing about £6 a year, which is distributed amongst poor widows and poor people in sums of 3s. 6d. to 5s. each.
Certain ancient payments amounting to £3 1s. were formerly paid and distributed among the poor. (fn. 32)
In 1863 Thomas Thompson, by will, left charitable legacies, now represented by £133 North Eastern Railway £3 per cent. debenture stock; the dividends, amounting to £3 19s. 10d., are duly distributed among poor widows.