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 Kirk Leavington in 1831 included, besides its present townships of Castle Leavington and Picton, the township of Low Worsall, which since 1891 has been united with High Worsall. (fn. 1) Kirk Leavington itself contains 2,202 acres, Castle Leavington 1,071 acres, Picton 1,004 acres. The soil is clay upon a subsoil of Keuper marls. At the beginning of the last century half the 5,000 acres which then made up its area were in tillage (fn. 2); now the permanent grass exceeds the arable land by 800 acres, and there are 250 acres of woodland. (fn. 3) In the east and south of the parish the ground rises to 175 ft.; elsewhere, except on the banks of the Tees and Leven, the average height is 125 ft. above the ordnance datum.
Low Worsall lies west of Kirk Leavington, the Tees separating it from the county of Durham on the north. The Hall stands on the river bank near the little village, once busy with the export of corn, timber and other merchandise, (fn. 4) and further south is a Wesleyan chapel built in 1885.
In the south-east of the township are Low Worsall Moor, Staindale Bridge—an extensive ridge of land which bore this name in 1285 (fn. 5) and was afterwards known as Staindale Rigg (fn. 6)—and Hillilies, a 'papist estate' early in the 18th century. (fn. 7) In 1605 Low Worsall seems to have been clear of 'papistry,' though there was a considerable number of recusants in other parts of the parish. (fn. 8)
South of Low Worsall is Picton with its Wesleyan chapel, built in 1856, rebuilt in 1875, and a few houses scattered irregularly on a road leading from Appleton Wiske to Picton station, on a branch of the North Eastern railway.
In 1607 some closes in Picton bore the names of Old Picton, Pole flatt and Faceby furres. (fn. 9)
The village of Kirk Leavington is built on a gently rising eminence nearly in the centre of the parish, round the junction of the Thirsk and Yarm road with another leading west towards Worsall Moor. The church of St. Martin stands at an elevation of 150 ft. above the ordnance datum in the south of the village. Next to it is the Old Hall, now a farm-house, but once the residence of Mr. Thomas Bates. (fn. 10) North of the church are the Hall and Grange, surrounded by extensive grounds and woods. In 1617 two large tracts of pasture land 'shrubby and overgrown,' one 'the Ox Pasture' in the west, the other 'the Moor' (perhaps the 'Hallemore' of 1437) (fn. 11) in the south of the parish, were measured out and apportioned among the king's tenants and freeholders who had hitherto occupied them in common. (fn. 12)
Place-names known then and later are Hungrehill, Morreld or Morraley, Morleybecke, Flagge Crofte, the Intacke, Baker his Whynnes alias Corneclose, Kernemyers, the Marres, Grenehaw, Forbye lands and Bullinge, the last also mentioned in the 16th century. (fn. 13)
In 1319 Kirk Leavington had suffered so much from the inroads of the Scots that Eleanor de Percy's goods here were exempted from taxation. (fn. 14)
The township of Castle Leavington stretches eastward from Kirk Leavington to the steep and wooded banks of the Leven, which separates it from Hilton and Middleton. Here are Red Hall, once the manor-house of the Meritons, (fn. 15) a few scattered farms, and in the south-east corner the mount on Castle Hill, 125 ft. above the river. (fn. 16) This castle, from which the township takes its name, was possibly thrown up by a member of the Brus family in the late 11th or 12th century. There was probably never any masonry work on it, the buildings being of wood.
Nichel Presther and Stanyholm are 14th, Howden and Blackbus Fields 17th-century names in this township. (fn. 17)
At the close of the 17th century contributions towards the relief of the poor of Low Worsall were levied from the rest of the parish, a measure which seems to have provoked considerable dissatisfaction. (fn. 18)
Six carucates in KIRK LEAVINGTON, formerly of Hawart, were among the king's lands in 1086; they were afterwards included in the fief granted to Robert de Brus. (fn. 19) These followed the descent of Skelton (q.v.) until Adam Brus gave them to Henry de Percy in free marriage with his daughter Isabel (fn. 20) for the service, it is said, of coming on Christmas Day to Skelton Castle and leading its lady from her chamber to the chapel for mass and returning to eat a meal with her. (fn. 21) It was perhaps under this grant that the overlordship, which belonged to the Crown until 1314, (fn. 22) in 1349 was ascribed to Bartholomew Fanacourt and his wife Lucy, (fn. 23) in 1430 to Lord Fauconberg. (fn. 24) In 1455, however, when the last mention occurs, Kirk Leavington was again declared to be held of the king in chief. (fn. 25)
William de Percy, son and heir of Henry de Percy and Isabel Brus, (fn. 26) is said to have left Kirk Leavington in trust for his younger sons, (fn. 27) one of whom, Ingram, died seised in 1262, when his brother William, a canon of York, was his heir. (fn. 28) William granted the manor to his nephew Henry son of Henry de Percy, who was lord until his death in 1314. (fn. 29) Eleanor his widow then held Kirk Leavington, which she had claimed against William de Percy in dower, (fn. 30) till her death in 1328. She was then succeeded by her son Henry, who was in possession in 1328, 1335 and 1349. (fn. 31) After his death in or before 1351 (fn. 32) his widow Idonea or Imania (fn. 33) held Kirk Leavington until she was succeeded in 1365 by her son Henry, (fn. 34) whose son Henry was created Earl of Northumberland in 1377. (fn. 35) His younger son Ralph obtained pardon in 1394 for acquiring this manor in tail from his father (fn. 36) without licence. Ralph is believed to have died soon afterwards, (fn. 37) and Kirk Leavington reverted to the earl and was forfeited on his rebellion. It was granted in 1405 with Acklam to Roger Thornton, Mayor of Newcastle, in reward for the safe keeping of Newcastle against the Earl of Northumberland and other rebels. (fn. 38) A few weeks earlier it had been granted to John Duke of Bedford, (fn. 39) who demised it to Roger for life; Roger was seised until his death in 1429, when the manor reverted to the duke. (fn. 40) When the duke died in 1435 Henry Percy, the earl's grandson and heir, petitioned for the restitution of Kirk Leavington, (fn. 41) of which he was lord when he fell in battle in 1455, (fn. 42) in spite of an assignment in dower to the duke's widow Jacquetta de Luxemburg. (fn. 43) Ten years later, when a grant of Kirk Leavington and other Percy manors to the Duke of Clarence had been followed by another of the reversion, Henry's widow Eleanor Percy was in possession. (fn. 44) Her grandson, the fourth Henry Percy Earl of Northumberland, was succeeded here in 1489 by his son Henry, (fn. 45) whose widow in 1530 received this and other manors in dower from their son Henry. (fn. 46) The latter died without issue in 1537, having, on the attainder of his younger brother Thomas for taking part in the Pilgrimage of Grace, (fn. 47) conveyed his lands to the king, (fn. 48) who granted Kirk Leavington to Matthew Earl of Lennox and his wife Margaret and their issue in 1544. (fn. 49) The rights of the house of Percy, however, had not altogether expired by 1585, when Henry Earl of Northumberland was found to be seised of the reversion of the manor of Kirk Leavington after the death of Matthew Earl of Lennox, Margaret late his wife and their issue. (fn. 50) Before 1602 it had come again to the Crown and had been leased by both Elizabeth and James (fn. 51) before Charles I granted it in 1625 to Robert Lord Carey of Leppington and his son Sir Henry Carey, (fn. 52) who succeeded his father as Earl of Monmouth in 1639, (fn. 53) and received a fresh grant of Kirk Leavington the following year. (fn. 54) On his death in 1661 the manor came to his daughter Mary, afterwards the wife of the Earl of Denbigh, (fn. 55) who with her step-son Basil, fourth earl, sold it in 1706 to Sir William Bowes of Streatlam Castle. (fn. 56) Mary Eleanor, daughter of Sir William's son and heir George, (fn. 57) lord in 1724, (fn. 58) brought Kirk Leavington to her husband John Lyon Earl of Strathmore. (fn. 59) By their eldest son John Bowes Earl of Strathmore, who held Kirk Leavington in 1792, (fn. 60) the manor was sold to John Waldy and Henry Hutchinson, owners in 1805. (fn. 61) Between 1824 and 1830 the southern portion of the manor passed by purchase to Thomas Bates, son of George Bates of Aydon Castle, Northumberland. He bred here his famous herd of shorthorn cattle, and on his death in 1849 was succeeded by his nephew Cadwallader John Bates of Heddon, Northumberland, the well-known antiquary. The northern portion came afterwards into the possession of Lucius Bentinck Viscount Falkland, (fn. 62) who sold it in about 1870 to Thomas Richardson of Hartlepool; his son Mr. W. J. Richardson is the present owner.
The mill which belonged to the manor in 1262 (fn. 63) is probably the windmill of 1315. (fn. 64) At this date there was a capital messuage, (fn. 65) as also in 1625, when it was called Lazenby Grange. (fn. 66) A common bakehouse was then and in 1640 an appurtenance of the manor, (fn. 67) as were also from the 16th to the 18th century court leet and view of frankpledge (fn. 68) A custom or toll called le Gaytelaw or Gayteley in the 16th century was rented at 3s. 4d. in 1605. (fn. 69)
Four geld carucates in CASTLE LEAVINGTON (Alia Lentun, xi cent.; Levintun, Castellemiton, Castelleuigton, xiii cent.; Chastell Levyngton, xiv cent.; Castelleuenton, xv cent.; Castylleventon alias Castill Lynton near Yarm, xvi cent.) came with Kirk Leavington Manor (q.v.) through Hawart and the Conqueror to Robert de Brus and were described in 1299 as having been 'for long of the fee of Brus.' (fn. 70) Before 1166, however, they had reverted to the Crown. They were held by the service of finding a sergeant with an unbarbed horse, a haketon and a bascinet in the king's army for forty days. (fn. 71) In 1303 and 1315 this manor was declared to be held of the Percy lords of Kirk Leavington. (fn. 72)
The family of Feugers, tenants of Castle Leavington in the 13th century, were probably the lineal descendants of William de Filgeriis, who held a Yorkshire fee in chief from 1166 to 1191. (fn. 73) By 1194 he had been succeeded by Andrew de Feugers, (fn. 74) who died in or before 1215, when the custody of William his heir and of his lands in Leavington and elsewhere was granted by King John to Philip de Ulecote. (fn. 75) William, who entered on his inheritance in 1221, (fn. 76) and like his father commuted his foreign service (fn. 77) by money payment, was lord of Castle Leavington until his death in about 1281. (fn. 78) By Andrew his son, then aged fifty, a moiety of the Feugers' lands here had already been transferred to Nicholas de Meynell as the price of his services in releasing him from his debts to Hagin, a Jew of London, (fn. 79) and in 1285 Nicholas, with his wife Christiana, received a formal grant from the Crown of the whole manor and was returned as lord. (fn. 80) Christiana, who succeeded her husband in 1299, (fn. 81) died in 1311 or 1312, shortly after Nicholas their son obtained licence to grant the reversion of Castle Leavington to his younger brother John, (fn. 82) lord in 1316 (fn. 83) and until 1337, when his infant grandson, a third John de Meynell, was his heir, (fn. 84) a third of the manor being held by his widow Katherine until 1345. (fn. 85) Four years after his grandmother the heir died and Castle Leavington passed to his sister Alice and her husband Robert de Bolton, (fn. 86) and was settled on them in 1350. (fn. 87) Robert was dead in 1356, when another Robert de Bolton made violent entry into the manor of Castle Leavington, then held by Walter Boynton, (fn. 88) second husband of Alice. (fn. 89) Alice, who married her third husband John or William de Percy about 1364, (fn. 90) died in 1387, when Castle Leavington descended to her son Walter Boynton. (fn. 91) On his death without issue the following year William de Percy, the son of her third marriage, succeeded and held till his death in 1396. (fn. 92) His infant son William did not long survive his father, and Castle Leavington, with the exception of the third held by his mother Christiana until her death in 1417, came to Margaret (fn. 93) daughter of Alice Meynell by her third husband and wife of Thomas Blanfront. (fn. 94) John son of Thomas and Margaret (fn. 95) died without issue, (fn. 96) and Thomas was holding by courtesy in 1428 (fn. 97) and in 1434, when the manor was settled by John and Christopher Conyers and Christopher Boynton on Sir William Bowes and other trustees. (fn. 98) Thomas died childless before or in 1444, and Castle Leavington was then settled on Christopher Boynton, his wife Joan and their issue. (fn. 99) Joan held from Christopher's death in 1451 (fn. 100) until January 1488–9, when Henry Boynton her grandson succeeded her. (fn. 101) Elizabeth his daughter and heir with her second husband Sir Thomas Hilton (fn. 102) obtained pardon for having acquired without licence the manor of Castle Leavington. (fn. 103) Three years after her death, 1545, (fn. 104) Castle Leavington was entailed on Richard son of Sir Henry Gascoigne her son by an earlier marriage. (fn. 105) After the death of Sir Thomas Castle Leavington came to Sir Henry, who was seised in 1555 (fn. 106) and at his death in 1559. (fn. 107) Richard, on whom with his wife Jane Norton a fresh settlement was made in 1563, (fn. 108) did not enjoy undisturbed possession until 1564. (fn. 109) He was succeeded in February 1603–4 by his son Sir William Gascoigne, (fn. 110) who in 1611 conveyed Castle Leavington to Francis Atkinson and John Garforth. (fn. 111)
No later mention of the manor as a whole seems to survive in public records. Dr. Meriton, Dean of York, was seised at his death in 1624 of property in Castle Leavington which descended to his eldest son George (fn. 112) and was held by him as one-quarter of the manor in 1642. (fn. 113) From the descendants of the dean's younger son Thomas this came to the Pennymans of Ormesby and was sold by Sir James Pennyman to Mr. Robert Caris in 1802. (fn. 114)
Other lands here, sold in 1633 by John Garforth and his wife Alice to Roger Beckwith, (fn. 115) passed at his death in 1634 to his younger sons Matthew and William, (fn. 116) who held them in 1662, as did Matthew with his elder son John thirteen years later. (fn. 117) William Beckwith, grandson of Matthew's younger son William, (fn. 118) owned a considerable estate in Castle Leavington in 1808. (fn. 119) The manorial rights are now in abeyance, but Mr. Henry John Beckwith still owns an estate here. (fn. 120)
The history of another quarter of the manor settled in 1646 by Jeremiah Elwes on Lionel Robinson (fn. 121) cannot be traced further, and it is said that all manorial rights fell into disuse long before the 19th century. (fn. 122)
One capital messuage belonged to the manor of Castle Leavington in the 13th and 14th centuries, (fn. 123) and in the 17th there were two in the occupation of the Meritons and Beckwiths respectively. (fn. 124) The two water-mills of 1281 (fn. 125) had been succeeded before 1349 by a water-mill and a fulling-mill, (fn. 126) and in the 16th century a water-mill, in the 17th a water-mill and a dovecot, were appurtenances of the manor. (fn. 127) Free warren granted to Nicholas de Meynell in 1285 was renewed to John de Meynell in 1312. (fn. 128)
At PICTON (Pyketon, xiv cent.) in 1279 a quarter of a knight's fee and 1½ carucates were held of the heirs of Peter de Brus. (fn. 129) In the partition of his lands Picton was included in the share of his sister Lucy wife of Marmaduke de Thweng, and was held of her granddaughter and heir Lucy from 1316 (fn. 130) until 1346, when with her husband Bartholomew de Fanacourt she settled this and other fees on John Darcy, her granddaughter's husband. (fn. 131) The rights of his grandson John Darcy, overlord in 1411, (fn. 132) descended through his son Philip to Philip's daughter and co-heir Margery wife of Sir John Conyers, (fn. 133) and belonged in 1540 and 1549 to their great-great-grandson of the same name. (fn. 134)
William and Geoffrey de Picton, sub-tenants in 1279 (fn. 135) and 1285 (fn. 136) respectively, were represented by an unnamed heir in 1303, (fn. 137) possibly the Margaret whose husband John Judy was lord of Picton in 1334. (fn. 138) Their successors seem to have been known by the territorial name. John de Picton was holding the fee in 1342 and Laurence de Picton in 1362, when he granted his lands here to John Gower of Sexhow and Thomas Ellerbeck. (fn. 139) John Gower, who entered into possession of the manor of Picton in 1364, (fn. 140) was succeeded by his son of the same name, whose widow Joan surrendered her rights here to their son and heir Nicholas in 1391. (fn. 141) In 1417 Nicholas was succeeded by his son John, (fn. 142) whose son and heir, another John Gower, received a grant of the manor from his grandmother Joan Gower of Hett in 1454. (fn. 143) He was probably the ancestor of Thomas Gower, who was seised of Picton Manor at his death in or about 1549, when his heir was his grandson Thomas, (fn. 144) who seventeen years later sold Picton to Robert Pursglove. (fn. 145) In the autumn of 1593 Robert sold the reversion of a moiety of the demesne lands in Picton to Roger Chapman (fn. 146); Robert died in the following January and Roger in September 1596, when he was declared to have been seised of the manor or capital messuage of Picton with all demesne lands there. (fn. 147) Some rights, possibly over the moiety unaccounted for in the inquiry held after Robert Pursglove's death, remained with his son and heir Robert until 1600, (fn. 148) but the manor itself descended through Roger Chapman's son John (fn. 149) to another Roger Chapman, who sold it to Edward Pepys of the Middle Temple, William Turner and Nicholas Johnson, citizens and woollen drapers of London, in 1652, (fn. 150) the bargain being completed in 1657. (fn. 151) Public records preserve no later notice of Picton as a manor, and in 1808 the lands were said to be in the hands of various freeholders. (fn. 152)
Three carucates in LOW WORSALL (Alia Wercesel, xi cent.; Parva Wyrkesale, xiii cent.; Wirksallcum-Stayndale, Worsell, xv cent.; Lyttyl Worsall, Nether Worsall, xvi cent.; East Worsall, xix cent.), owned by Hawart before the Conquest, were in the king's hands in 1086, but were afterwards added to the fee of Robert de Brus. (fn. 155) In 1285 they were in the hands of Margaret de Roos, (fn. 156) but before 1303 they were transferred to Marmaduke de Thweng. (fn. 157) No later direct reference to the overlordship seems to survive.
The early tenancy of Low Worsall is not easily traced. Robert Gower, lord in 1285 and 1303, (fn. 158) was succeeded by John Gower in or before 1316, (fn. 159) possibly the John Gower 'of Worsall' mentioned in 1333. (fn. 160) The manor followed Faceby (q.v.) to Christiana de Wauton and her sister Elizabeth. In 1377, however, Sir Roger Fulthorpe held in right of his wife a part of the Gower fee which was probably Low Worsall. (fn. 161) It was inherited by his family, the Fulthorpes of Tunstall, and was settled in 1483 on the daughters and co-heirs of Thomas Fulthorpe, Isabel wife of Henry Radcliffe, Philippa wife of Richard Booth, and Joan wife of Philip Strangways. (fn. 162) Francis Constable, grandson of Joan Fulthorpe by her second husband, Sir William Constable of Caythorpe, (fn. 163) was lord in 1574, when with his wife Margaret and son and heir William he sold Low Worsall to Robert Middleton of Belsay Castle. (fn. 164) Thomas son of Robert, lord in 1623, (fn. 165) was succeeded by his grandson Robert, (fn. 166) who sold the manor, probably about 1654, to Sir John Lowther, (fn. 167) whose grandson of the same name, afterwards Viscount Lonsdale, owned it in 1676. (fn. 168)
Henry Viscount Lonsdale, his second son, held it in 1727, (fn. 169) but before 1742 Low Worsall had been sold to George Allan of Blackwell Grange. (fn. 170) He was succeeded by his son of the same name before 1808, (fn. 171) and Robert son of his younger son Robert was in possession in 1811. (fn. 172) The manor was sold in or about 1832 to E. G. Waldy of Barmpton, Darlington, and in 1859 passed under his will to his youngest son John Waldy. (fn. 173) In 1866 it was bought by Mr. Thomas Hustler. From this time it followed the descent of Acklam until sold in 1911 to Mr. Ernest Bainbridge, the present owner.
The Prior of Healaugh Park owned land in Picton and Low Worsall in the 15th and 16th centuries, (fn. 174) and certain closes in Picton once of this house were held of the Crown as one-sixtieth of a knight's fee in 1607. (fn. 175) In or before the 13th century Guisborough Priory received various gifts of land, one donor, William de Wicton, granting half a carucate in Kirk Leavington, which it seems to have retained till its surrender. (fn. 176) Another house which had a small holding here in the 16th century was the convent of Nun Monkton. (fn. 177)
The church of ST. MARTIN stands on high ground and consists of chancel 22 ft. 6 in. by 16 ft. 6 in., nave 42 ft. by 21 ft. 6 in., north transeptal chapel 9 ft. 9 in. by 8 ft. wide, and south porch 8 ft. by 7 ft., all these measurements being internal. There is also a bellturret with short spire over the west gable containing three bells. (fn. 178) The chancel arch and the south doorway are of 12th-century date, and the chancel belongs to the 13th century, but with these exceptions the whole of the structure is modern, having been rebuilt on the old foundations in 1882–3. (fn. 179) The building, however, is of considerable interest and stands on an ancient site, the 12th-century church, the nave of which was probably the same size as at present, having apparently been the successor of one of still older date. In the course of demolition in 1882 a large number of pre-Conquest fragments, mostly portions of cross shafts or arms, with interlacing and other ornament, were discovered, most of which are preserved at the west end of the nave. A number of mediaeval grave slabs were also found. (fn. 180)
The 12th-century building was apparently a good example of the aisleless church of the district with rectangular chancel, which was afterwards rebuilt in its present form. Some time later, perhaps in the 14th century, (fn. 181) the transeptal chapel was added, but no portion of the original masonry remaining, the date of its erection cannot positively be stated. In Ord's time, c. 1846, the south porch was 'walled up and converted into a vestry,' and 'an ancient north porch' could also be traced 'notwithstanding the modern doorway erected over it.' (fn. 182)
The upper part of the east wall of the chancel has been rebuilt and the east window consists of three modern lancets. On the north side are three original lancets, with external hood moulds, and on the south two similar lancets with a later segmental-headed window of two trefoiled lights without hood mould near the east end. The pointed priest's doorway is original, with plain chamfered head and double-chamfered hood mould, but it is now boarded up inside. There is some red sandstone mingled with the old masonry and two fragments of mediaeval grave slabs are built into the east wall. There are no buttresses and the walls are plastered internally. No ancient ritual arrangements remain, and the roof is modern and covered, like that of the nave, with blue slates. (fn. 183)
The chancel arch is of the usual semicircular type, of two orders towards the nave, but with a single square order facing east. The opening is 6 ft. 7 in. in width, and both orders have the cheveron ornament and spring from angle shafts with carved capitals and moulded bases. The two inner capitals are of the scalloped cushion type, but the outer are more elaborately treated. That on the north side has a human head at the angle, with a spiral volute above, and on either side a line of star ornament and other enrichment of plainer character. The neck of the capital has the cable moulding, and the west face of the stone is carved with the figure of an animal, apparently a bull. The capital on the south side has a bird at the angle with long incurved wings, and the face of the stone, as on the opposite side, has been carved with the figure of a beast, only a fragment of which remains. These figures possibly represent the symbols of the Evangelists. The imposts are quirked and chamfered, but are not continued along the walls, and the two outer shafts have been renewed. The wall on either side of and above the arch has been rebuilt.
The south doorway has a semicircular arch of two orders springing from chamfered imposts and attached angle shafts with carved capitals and moulded bases. Both orders have the cheveron ornament on the face, but the soffits are plain, and the cheveron of the inner order is carried down the jambs. The opening is 3 ft. 6 in. wide and the outer shafts are octagonal in section. There is no hood mould. The two inner capitals have volutes and grotesque animals and the outer appear to have been of the scalloped cushion type. One has been replaced by a block of stone and the other is very much worn. On the inside the doorway is entirely modern.
The nave is in the style of the 14th century with an open roof of four bays, the easternmost of which is open to the transept by a pointed arch. Built into the north wall outside are four portions of mediaeval grave slabs, and some 12th-century fragments at the angles. In the transept are portions of eleven other grave slabs with various emblems—sword, chalice, shears, &c.— and in the chancel an unmutilated stone with floreated cross, chalice and book. (fn. 184) Two other grave slabs are in the porch. In the churchyard on the south side are a stone coffin and two portions of mediaeval coped gravestones with floreated cross heads.
The fittings are all modern and include an oak chancel screen, oak pulpit in memory of Mary Luke (d. 1900), and circular stone font. The bowl of a six-sided font in the churchyard is probably not older than the 17th century, but the shaft is ancient and has dog-tooth ornament at the angles. (fn. 185)
The plate consists of a cup, paten and flagon of 1876, Sheffield make, each inscribed 'Kirkleavington Church 1876.' There are also two pewter flagons by Edmund Harvey, and a plated almsdish inscribed 'Kirk Leavington Church Revd William Putsey Minister, Thomas Bell Church Warden 1846.' (fn. 186)
The church of Kirk Leavington, granted by Robert de Brus, founder of Guisborough Priory, to that house, (fn. 187) was afterwards given by his grandson Adam to the abbey of Thornton in Lincolnshire. (fn. 188) It was, however, confirmed to Guisborough before 1167 by Archbishop Roger, (fn. 189) who somewhat later engaged in a long controversy with Prior Ralph touching this church. (fn. 190) After two canons had been excommunicated and the prior deposed by the archbishop, the dispute was ended by papal commissioners, by whose award the advowson was restored to the priory after the archbishop's death. Before 1199 an agreement was also effected between the Abbot of Thornton and the Prior of Guisborough, (fn. 191) the right of the latter being acknowledged. Kirk Leavington Church was appropriated before 1291, (fn. 192) and was retained by the priory until its dissolution in 1540. (fn. 193) In 1545 the rectory and advowson were included in a grant to the Archbishop of York, (fn. 194) and have belonged to his successors ever since. (fn. 195)
In the 13th century William de Feugers and his wife were granted a chantry in their chapel of Leavington on condition of an annual payment of 2s. to the mother church at Leavington, to be made at the feasts of Pentecost and St. Martin in the winter. (fn. 196)
In 1692 William Hall by will devised a messuage and parcel of ground adjoining, containing about 1½ acres, the rents and profits to be distributed amongst the poor upon Trinity Sunday and Christmas Day. The property was sold in 1898, and the proceeds invested in £179 19s. 6d. consols with the official trustees; the dividends, amounting to £4 10s. a year, are distributed in doles of money.