A History of the County of York North Riding: Volume 2. Originally published by Victoria County History, London, 1923.
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Stokesley is the central parish of Cleveland and covers about 6,700 acres of fertile country in the valley of the Leven. It is well watered, not only by the Leven itself, but by its two tributaries, the Tame and the Eller Beck, which join it, one from the north and the other from the south, just below the town of Stokesley.
The parish in 1831 contained the townships of Stokesley, Great and Little Busby, Easby and Newby. (fn. 1) It has three almost separate divisions. Stokesley itself is in the centre, and has to the north of it the hamlets of Tanton and Newby. To the south are the hamlets of Great and Little Busby, on the lower slopes of the Cleveland Hills, and to the east, almost detached from the rest of the parish, is the township of Easby.
Stokesley is a market town consisting of one wide street, running east and west, on the north bank of the Leven. The general aspect of the town has probably remained unchanged for centuries, though most of the buildings are now modern. The old toll-booth, where at the beginning of the 18th century the lord of the manor held his courts and kept the market measure, (fn. 2) and which in 1808 Graves described as 'ancient and unsightly,' (fn. 3) has given place to a town hall, erected in 1853 by Mr. Robert Hildyard. The shambles which stood in the centre of the street (fn. 4) have disappeared. Here there were twenty-four butchers' shops, of which the lord of the manor let some on lease, allowing the butchers of the district to hire the rest on market day at a cost of 6d. (fn. 5) The right of holding a market in Stokesley is very ancient. Hugh de Eure claimed in about 1280 that it had existed since the Conquest. (fn. 6) A yearly fair on the eve and day of St. Thomas the Martyr was granted to his father John son of Robert in 1224. (fn. 7) In 1717 a weekly market was held on Saturday, while the date of the fair had been altered to the Saturday after the feast of St. George the Martyr; there was also a fortnightly fair every Saturday afterwards till the eve of the feast of Holy Trinity and a fair on that day. (fn. 8) At the present day there are fairs for cattle on the Saturdays before Palm and Trinity Sundays and hirings for servants on the two Saturdays before Martinmas and May Day. There is also a weekly cattle auction on Mondays.
In the early 19th century an unsuccessful attempt was made to introduce the linen industry into Stokesley (fn. 9); a large mill erected in 1823 (fn. 10) was demolished before 1849. (fn. 11) Stokesley is now only the typical centre of an agricultural district.
At each end of the wide town street is a green. Near High Green, at the east end, is the manorhouse of Stokesley, which once deserved the name of a 'castle.' (fn. 12) It had fallen into some decay when the estate was sold by the Peirson family, but was restored by the next owner. (fn. 13) Adjoining it is the church of St. Peter. Opposite the church, on the other side of the Leven, which is crossed near the manor-house by a bridge, (fn. 14) is the rectory. The Congregational chapel dates from 1819. The Wesleyans have had a chapel here since 1846 at least, (fn. 15) though the present building dates from 1887; there is also a Primitive Methodist chapel. The Roman Catholics of the neighbourhood were provided for in the 18th century at the 'mass house' of the lords of the manor, a family of recusants. This probably adjoined the manor-house, and was attacked in 1746 by the boys of Stokesley in force, who plundered the chapel and burnt the booty around the market cross. (fn. 16) The present Roman Catholic chapel, dedicated to St. Joseph, dates from 1873 and is a short distance to the north of the town on the road to Stockton.
On a backwater of the Leven east of the town bridge is a corn-mill, probably the mill-house which in 1717 contained 'three water corn milnes and one horse milne all within one house.' (fn. 17)
The roads of Cleveland all meet at Stokesley. That running east from the town to Whitby comes after about 4 miles to the little village of Easby. Here a small stream which flows north from Battersby joins the Leven, and between the two streams is the park surrounding Easby Hall, a large stone mansion built in the 19th century, and the seat of Mr. John James Emerson. The old manor-house of the Eures was on the other side of the stream, where it is commemorated by Castle Hill, on the summit of which is a memorial to Captain Cook, who was born and educated in this neighbourhood.
On the road that runs north from Stokesley to Stockton stands the little village of Tanton, on the River Tame. The mill which William de Mowbray had here in the 13th century (fn. 18) has long ceased to exist. North of Tanton is the small village of Newby, where there is a mission church, erected in 1886, and a Wesleyan chapel.
The hamlets of Great and Little Busby are reached by the high road to Thirsk. Great Busby is a group of farm-houses and there is no village of Little Busby. Its manor-house, Busby Hall, is the successor of an earlier building burnt down in 1764. (fn. 19) It is built where the ground is rising up to the Cleveland Hills, and has a fine and spacious view over the whole valley. It is surrounded by a small park, and behind it Busby Wood rises to a considerable height.
About 2,252 acres of this parish are under cultivation; the rest, with the exception of 270 acres of woodland, is pasture. (fn. 20) The soil is loam on a subsoil which is mostly Lower Lias, except for the alluvial ground near the streams. The chief crops are wheat, barley and oats.
In the 11th century STOKESLEY was a 'manor' of considerable importance, (fn. 21) with soke in Skutterskelfe, Thoralby, Ingleby Greenhow, Little Broughton, Tanton, Kirkby, Dromonby and Great and Little Busby. (fn. 22) Hawart had held the manor and 6 carucates before the Conquest; in 1086 the tenant was Uctred, the king's thegn.
It was probably in the reign of William Rufus that Guy de Balliol, the ancestor of the great Balliol family, had a grant of the barony of Stokesley. (fn. 23) He was certainly in possession in the reign of Henry I, when he granted the church of Stokesley to St. Mary's Abbey at York. (fn. 24) Guy had a wife Denise and a nephew Bernard, (fn. 25) who subsequently succeeded him, though it appears that he had a daughter Hawise, who married William Bertram. (fn. 26)
Bernard de Balliol was in possession of his uncle's lands in 1130–1. (fn. 27) He had four sons, Bernard, Ingram, Guy and Eustace, (fn. 28) of whom Bernard was his heir. (fn. 29) The younger Bernard paid a fine of £20 in 1168 for not producing the charters by which he held his lands. (fn. 30) He was succeeded by his son Eustace, (fn. 31) who in 1197–8 paid 50 marks to recover seisin of his land in Wiltshire. (fn. 32) The heir of Eustace was his son Hugh, (fn. 33) who succeeded him before 1210, when he held the four knights' fees of Stokesley. (fn. 34)
Hugh de Balliol had a son and heir John (fn. 35) and a daughter Ada, (fn. 36) to whom her father gave the whole barony of Stokesley (fn. 37) on her marriage with John son of Robert of Warkworth and Clavering. (fn. 38) The overlordship remained with the house of Balliol (fn. 39) till the younger John Balliol, sometime king of Scotland, forfeited it (fn. 40) in 1296.
A mesne lordship was held by Roger eldest son of Ada after the enfeoffment of his younger brothers. (fn. 41) Stokesley was held of Robert son of Roger in 1285 and subsequently of his fee of Clavering, which John de Clavering son of Robert settled on his brother Edmund for life with reversion to Ralph de Nevill of Raby. (fn. 42) Ralph entered into possession in 1345, (fn. 43) and Stokesley was held of the lords of Sheriff Hutton in the 14th century. (fn. 44)
Robert and Hugh, younger sons of Ada, who took the name of Eure, were enfeoffed by their mother in Stokesley in the summer of 1250. (fn. 45) They entered into full seisin: 'each of them appointed a new steward and reeves for keeping his share, and deposing the said lady's steward and reeves, held courts . . . and received amercements from many persons.' (fn. 46) Some months later, however, they granted the manor to their mother for life, (fn. 47) and she was in possession at her death in 1251 (fn. 48) as farmer of Robert and Hugh. Robert de Eure predeceased his brother by many years, and his share of Stokesley was inherited by Hugh. (fn. 49)
In 1296 Hugh was dead and dower was assigned to his widow Ellen. (fn. 50) His lands were in the custody of John de Lisle, (fn. 51) who in 1301 settled the manor on John de Eure, Hugh's son and heir, and his wife Agnes. (fn. 52) John was killed at Auckland before 1322 'by certain malefactors' (fn. 53) and Agnes remained in possession. (fn. 54) Their son and heir was another John, (fn. 55) who in 1364 granted all his lands in Yorkshire to his son Robert. (fn. 56) Robert was dead in 1369, his heir being his brother Ralph. (fn. 57) Ralph had a son William, who was Sheriff of Yorkshire in 1445, (fn. 58) and from this date the family is represented by a regular succession of Ralphs and Williams. Ralph son of William (fn. 59) was killed at Towton, (fn. 60) and was succeeded by his son and heir William. (fn. 61) Ralph son of this William settled the manor of Stokesley on his wife Agnes for her life in 1515. (fn. 62) Their son Sir William was created Lord Eure in 1544 (fn. 63) and died in 1548, (fn. 64) leaving a grandson and heir William, (fn. 65) son of his son Ralph who was killed at Ancram Moor. (fn. 66) The second Lord Eure died in February 1593–4 (fn. 67) and was succeeded by his son and heir Ralph. (fn. 68) Ralph died in 1617, (fn. 69) and the manor descended with the barony to his son and heir William, (fn. 70) who in or about 1622–3 sold Stokesley to Richard Forster. (fn. 71)
Richard Forster was a recusant, and two-thirds of the manor were seized by the Crown for the arrears of his fine. (fn. 72) It was then leased in February 1636–7 to Richard and his son and heir Henry for forty-one years from 1629 at an annual rent of £5. (fn. 73) During the exile of Charles II Richard Forster acted as his treasurer, (fn. 74) and he was created a baronet in 1649. (fn. 75) Doubtless his lands were later restored to him. His son Richard succeeded him, (fn. 76) but male issue failed in the next generation, (fn. 77) and the manor passed to Mary daughter of the second Richard and wife of William Collingwood. (fn. 78) The latter was in possession in 1679. (fn. 79) George Collingwood, the next heir, sold the manor to William Peirson of London, (fn. 80) who in 1717 held the barony, manor and lordship, with courts leet, courts baron and other privileges. (fn. 81) He was succeeded by Bradshaw Peirson, (fn. 82) his son and heir by Ann daughter of Constable Bradshaw. (fn. 83) Bradshaw Peirson inherited Stokesley in 1729 (fn. 84) or 1730, (fn. 85) and died unmarried in 1746. (fn. 86) He left his estates to the male issue of his second cousin Winifred wife of Victor Repinder, (fn. 87) whose son James Bradshaw took the name of Peirson and settled an annuity from the manor in 1769 on Teresca G. Rescala, his intended wife. (fn. 88) His son James Bradshaw Peirson the younger (fn. 89) never inherited his estates, which were sold to various purchasers in 1799. (fn. 90) The manorial rights, the manor-house and part of the estate were bought by Thomas Wilkinson, (fn. 91) who sold them before 1808 to the Rev. Henry Hildyard. (fn. 92) In 1846 Lieutenant-Colonel Robert Hildyard, son and heir of Henry, was lord of the manor. (fn. 93) His sister and co-heir Sarah had married Charles Wynne Griffith Wynne, and Robert Hildyard left the manor to his nephew Major Heneage Wynne. The latter was killed at Inkerman a few days after his uncle's death, and his father inherited the manor. (fn. 94) His son and heir Charles succeeded him, (fn. 95) and assumed in 1863 the additional surname of Finch. (fn. 96) Edward Heneage Wynne-Finch, second son of Charles, (fn. 97) is the present lord of the manor.
A considerable amount of land in Stokesley has been held since the 18th century by the Emerson family of Easby and Tollesby. (fn. 98)
Two instances of burgage tenure in Stokesley have been found. In 1347 William son of Simon the Smith quitclaimed to Sir John Eure his burgage in Stokesley, (fn. 99) and in 1382 John de Percy of Kildale left his burgages here, the number of which is not stated, to his son. (fn. 100) No other evidence is forthcoming to suggest that Stokesley was an incipient borough. Hugh de Eure obtained a grant of free warren in his demesne lands of Stokesley in 1291. (fn. 101)
The abbey of Fountains had by gift of Richard English 'all Cringilholme near Smawath,' (fn. 102) and 1 oxgang of land in Stokesley with other parcels of land.
Guy de Bovincourt granted 6 oxgangs of land in Stokesley to Basedale Priory. (fn. 103)
In GREAT BUSBY (Magna Buskeby, xiii cent.) 5 carucates in 1086 were soke of the 'manor' of Stokesley. (fn. 104) Some land in Great Busby must have been granted to Robert de Brus; the overlordship followed that of Faceby (fn. 105) (q.v.).
The manor of Great Busby is first mentioned in 1425 as forming part with Faceby and Carlton in Cleveland of the Nevills' lordship of Sheriff Hutton. (fn. 106) It followed the descent of the manor of Faceby (fn. 107) (q.v.) and with it was conveyed by Thomas Crompton and Mary his wife to Henry Jenkins in 1596. (fn. 108) Henry Jenkins was a citizen of York, who married Dorothy daughter of William Tancred (fn. 109) and took up his residence at Great Busby. In 1608 he settled the manor on his son William in tail-male. (fn. 110) William died without issue, (fn. 111) and a younger son Tobias succeeded. (fn. 112) He appears to have sold Great Busby in 1698 to Charles Turner of Kirkleatham. (fn. 113) In 1706 Cholmley Turner, son of Charles, cut off the entail on the manor. (fn. 114) The Turner family was still in possession in 1764, (fn. 115) after which date there is no record of its history till it appears in 1879 in the possession of Mr. Christopher Marston. The present lord of the manor is Mr. Christopher Masterman Masterman.
The manor and 1½ geld carucates once held by Lesing in LITTLE BUSBY (Buschebi, xi cent.; Parva Buskeby, xiii cent.) were Crown land at the time of the Domesday Survey, while 3 carucates were soke of Stokesley. (fn. 116) Subsequently 2 carucates here were included in the Brus fee, (fn. 117) and descended to Margaret de Roos, (fn. 118) and the rest was held of the barony of Stokesley. (fn. 119)
A mesne lordship under the heirs of the Brus family was held by the Skutterskelfes of Skutterskelfe, (fn. 120) and under them the tenants were the Mowbrays of Easby. (fn. 121) The manor followed the descent of Easby (q.v.) through the Mowbray family (fn. 122) into the hands of Sir William Bulmer, who died in 1531. (fn. 123) His son John was said to hold only a moiety of the manor. (fn. 124) It was divided at the death of Ralph son of John among his eight daughters. (fn. 125) Seven out of the eight shares were sold before 1572 to George Bowes and Edmund Smythson, (fn. 126) who alienated them in that year to Sir Robert Stapleton. (fn. 127) He sold the estate ten years later to Henry Norton, (fn. 128) and Henry Norton conveyed it in 1587 to William Marwood, (fn. 129) whose descendants have retained Little Busby to the present day. In the same year Richard Griffin alienated to William Marwood a 'moiety of the manor' of Little Busby, (fn. 130) consisting of the land here which had belonged to Rievaulx. (fn. 131)
William Marwood died without issue in 1620 and was succeeded by Henry his brother. (fn. 132) Henry was succeeded by his son and heir George, (fn. 133) who was Sheriff of Yorkshire, and was created a baronet in 1660. (fn. 134) His son Henry, also sheriff of his county, (fn. 135) died in 1725, his son and heir George having predeceased him. (fn. 136) The heir of George was his daughter Jane, the wife of Cholmley Turner, (fn. 137) who disinherited her daughter for her marriage with Phillip William Van Straubenzee (fn. 138) and left the estate at her death to William Metcalfe, great-grandson of Anne, the sister of Sir Henry Marwood, second baronet. (fn. 139) He took the name of Marwood in accordance with the will of Jane Turner, (fn. 140) and was succeeded by his brother the Rev. George Metcalfe, (fn. 141) who also assumed the name and arms of Marwood. George was succeeded by his son George Marwood, (fn. 142) and he by a son and heir George. (fn. 143) The latter had a son George Frederick Marwood, who succeeded him (fn. 144) and died in 1898. (fn. 145) His brother William Francis (fn. 146) inherited the manor and is its present owner.
A large amount of land in Little Busby was held till the 16th century by Rievaulx Abbey. Half a carucate and three tofts here called a 'manor' were granted by Agnes wife of William de Grey and widow of William de Tanton to the abbot in 1245 (fn. 147) for her life, with reversion to Walter de Mowbray and his heirs. Walter de Mowbray, however, granted the reversion to the abbey, (fn. 148) and his son and heir William confirmed the grant. (fn. 149)
In 1285 William de la Haye and his wife Ellen conveyed to the abbey, in exchange for other lands, their right in a messuage and 14 oxgangs here, (fn. 150) of which 10 oxgangs were held of the abbot and convent and the remainder of William de Mowbray. (fn. 151) A certain William de Thoren, whose family were probably tenants of the Mowbrays, granted 10 oxgangs in Little Busby to Rievaulx. (fn. 152) The abbot demised them later to John de Thoren, (fn. 153) who was living in 1245. (fn. 154) The abbey also received grants from the tenants of the Eures in Little Busby. Geoffrey Bret of Carlton, who held of William de Hesting, (fn. 155) granted a place called Stedeflat, (fn. 156) and the grant was confirmed by Hugh de Eure. (fn. 157) The abbot had besides one toft and an oxgang by grant of Eustace de Busby. (fn. 158)
After the Dissolution the land of Rievaulx was granted in 1544 to William Sheldon and Daniel Woodward, (fn. 159) who sold it in the same year to Robert Layton of Skutterskelfe. (fn. 160) It is described as a messuage or tenement called Little Busby, (fn. 161) and was sold by Robert Layton son of Robert to Reginald Conyers, who left it to his wife Elizabeth, later the wife of Edward Griffin of Dingley, Northamptonshire. (fn. 162) It was conveyed to William Marwood in 1587 as half the manor, with a warrant against the heirs of Elizabeth Lady St. John, Reginald Conyers, Edward Griffin son of Edward and his wife Lucy a daughter of Reginald. (fn. 163)
Another 'manor' of Little Busby, which appears in 1615 in the possession of Sir William Willoughby, (fn. 164) has not been identified, though it may perhaps be that moiety of the Bulmer manor which was diverted from the strict descent after 1531. (fn. 165) It was inherited by his grandson William, (fn. 166) but in 1633 it was quitclaimed by Jane Levington, widow, and Sir John Jackson, kt., to Francis Brandling. (fn. 167) The latter conveyed it seven years later to John Bellasis, (fn. 168) who in 1650 quitclaimed it to Tobias Jenkins, (fn. 169) lord of the manor of Great Busby (q.v.); perhaps this portion of Little Busby followed the descent of Great Busby from that date.
A grange in Little Busby was granted to Fountains Abbey by Richard Malebiche. (fn. 170) William de Hesting gave half an acre of land on the west of the grange and a 'culture' called Lingehau, (fn. 171) and William de Tanton granted to the monks of Fountains a way through his lands to their grange, for their use and that of the monks of Rievaulx. (fn. 172)
The 'manor' of EASBY (Esebi, xi cent.) was in 1086 in the hands of the king. Hawart had held there 2 carucates. (fn. 173) Subsequently it was divided into two separate holdings, each of which was called a manor.
Part of Easby must have been granted with Stokesley (q.v.) to Guy de Balliol, for in the 13th century it was among the lands of which Ada de Balliol enfeoffed her son Robert de Eure. (fn. 174) A manor here followed the descent of Stokesley (fn. 175) till 1606, when it appears in the possession of Sir Francis Eure, a younger son of the house. (fn. 176) In 1611 he obtained a release of the manor from his brother Ralph Lord Eure and the heirs of the latter. (fn. 177) Horace Eure, son and heir of Francis, (fn. 178) succeeded in 1621 to the estate, which is described as a 'manor or capital messuage.' (fn. 179) He died in 1637, leaving a son and heir Francis, (fn. 180) who had livery of the manor in 1642. (fn. 181) He died without issue, and his heirs were first his brothers George and Ralph, (fn. 182) and ultimately, on the death of Ralph in 1707, the representatives of his sisters Elizabeth and Deborah. (fn. 183)
Elizabeth married William Kay, and her granddaughter Elizabeth, wife of William Walker, was lady of the manor of Easby in 1748. (fn. 184) She had received it as her portion by agreement in 1708 with the other branch of the family, which was then represented by Bethua wife of Joseph Sykes, Mercy wife of Thomas Elston, and Bathshua Lister, widow, all daughters of Deborah Eure. (fn. 185) Elizabeth Walker had two daughters and co-heirs, Ann, who married Richard Hornby, and Susanna wife of John Matthews. (fn. 186) The manor was further divided among the children of Susanna, (fn. 187) but the greater part of it had come before 1808 into the possession of William Lee, who married Frances daughter of Susanna and held the manorial rights. (fn. 188) Before 1827 the manor had been purchased by Robert Campion of Whitby. (fn. 189) He sold it not long afterwards, and in 1846 the principal proprietors were Thomas Hutchinson and the Rev.— Hymers. (fn. 190) The manor was purchased in or about 1853 by Mr. James Emerson, whose son Mr. John James Emerson is the present lord. (fn. 191)
The second manor of Easby was regarded as an appurtenance of the manor of Tanton, and was held for several centuries by that branch of the Mowbray family which inherited the lands of William de Tanton, (fn. 192) but while William de Mowbray alienated Tanton to the Meynell family, Easby passed to his son William, who was living in 1290. (fn. 193) In 1293 Nicholas de Meynell was accused of murdering this William de Mowbray, with his wife and his children Richard and Hilda, by setting fire to their house. He escaped justice by claiming trial in the court of the Archbishop of York. (fn. 194) William de Mowbray paid subsidy in Easby in 1301–2 (fn. 195); he was probably a son of William who had escaped. He was succeeded by Thomas, lord of Easby in 1320, (fn. 196) who described himself as a great-grandson of William son of Walter de Mowbray, (fn. 197) and was therefore probably the son of the last William. John son of Thomas seems to have been his heir. (fn. 198) In 1435 George Mowbray, whose wife was Margaret, was lord of Easby. (fn. 199) John Mowbray, who was executor in 1438 under the will of John Conyers of Ormesby, (fn. 200) may have been his son. He had a son Christopher, (fn. 201) who died in 1481–2. (fn. 202) Christopher's heir must have been the William Mowbray who with Katherine his wife was party to a fine concerning the manor in 1492. (fn. 203) Katherine died in 1507 (fn. 204); the date of her husband's death is unknown.
Before 1531 Sir William Bulmer of Wilton had purchased the estates of William Mowbray in Easby and elsewhere. (fn. 205) He settled the manor on Ralph his grandson, who at his death in 1558 left eight daughters, (fn. 206) among whom the lands were divided. Most of the eight shares were bought within the next twelve years by George Bowes and Edmund Smythson. (fn. 207) Two of them came later into the possession of a family called Bate, (fn. 208) who were resident at Easby for several generations. (fn. 209)
TANTON (Tameton, xi cent.) formed part of two fees in the 11th century. A 'manor' and 2½ carucates were in the hands of the king, (fn. 210) and had been held by Lesing. This land became part of the fee of Robert de Brus, (fn. 211) and the overlordship followed that of Kildale (fn. 212) (q.v.). The other 2 carucates were held by the Count of Mortain, and appear to have been part of the 'manor' of Seamer (fn. 213) (q.v.). In 1086 they were held of the count by Richard, (fn. 214) and they subsequently passed into the possession of the Wake family. (fn. 215) One-third of the manor of Tanton was afterwards held of the Earls of Kent. (fn. 216)
The earliest known tenant of the manor was William de Tanton, steward of Peter de Brus. (fn. 217) He was living between 1209 (fn. 218) and 1225. (fn. 219) He must have died without issue, for he was succeeded by his brothers Richard, (fn. 220) Henry, (fn. 221) Jordan (fn. 222) and Ralph. (fn. 223) In 1234 they were all dead, and Osanna, their sister, (fn. 224) had succeeded as heir of Ralph. (fn. 225) She was then married to John de Langbaurgh, (fn. 226) called in one place 'John the Physician.' (fn. 227) Her first husband had been William de Mowbray, who made a gift to the priory of Healaugh Park for the soul of William de Tanton his brother. (fn. 228) His son and heir by Osanna was Walter de Mowbray, (fn. 229) who succeeded 'John the Physician' as lord of Tanton. (fn. 230) His son and heir was William, (fn. 231) who in 1260 gave to his son William certain lands in Foxton and Busby and the reversion of his lands in Easby and Tanton, (fn. 232) promising to alienate nothing during his lifetime. (fn. 233) In spite of this settlement, however, the elder William alienated the manor of Tanton to Nicholas de Meynell, (fn. 234) who was in possession in 1285. (fn. 235) He held that part of the manor which belonged to the Brus fee for a fourth part of a knight's fee. (fn. 236)
Before 1300 Tanton was granted to John de Meynell, (fn. 237) younger son of this Nicholas, (fn. 238) and lord also, after the death of his mother Christiana, (fn. 239) of the manor of Castle Leavington (q.v.), with which this manor descended for several generations, (fn. 240) coming into the Percy family by the marriage of Alice Meynell with John Percy. (fn. 241) The manor was settled on his son William Percy of Castle Leavington by Sir Robert Conyers, Sir Thomas Boynton and John Conyers. (fn. 242) William was succeeded in 1397 by his son William, (fn. 243) whose heir at his death was his aunt Margaret, wife of Thomas Blanfront. (fn. 244) She was dead without issue in 1434, when Thomas was holding the manor for life by courtesy of England. (fn. 245) The reversion seems to have belonged to the heirs of the original trustees, for John Conyers of Ormesby, Christopher Conyers and Christopher Boynton were parties to an agreement concerning the manor in that year. (fn. 246) After this date two holdings in Tanton can be traced. One belonged to the Conyers of Ormesby, and came with Ormesby (q.v.) to the Strangways family, the other was in the hands of the Lords Conyers, and was inherited by the Darcys.
The first holding was sold by James Strangways in 1589 to James Pennyman. (fn. 247) In 1596 James Pennyman conveyed it to Antony Metcalfe and James Metcalfe, younger sons of Gilbert Metcalfe of Hood Grange; it was then described as amounting to five out of nine parts of the manor. (fn. 248) They sold their shares to their brother John Metcalfe in 1611 and 1622, (fn. 249) and part of Tanton was sequestered for the recusancy of this John in 1651. (fn. 250) He died in January 1653–4, leaving Tanton to his son Gilbert, who still held it in 1683. (fn. 251) There is no evidence as to the later history of the estate.
The 'manor of Tanton' is said to have belonged to Christopher Lord Conyers in 1532. (fn. 252) In 1587–8 Thomas Darcy, who married one of the daughters and co-heirs of his son John, (fn. 253) quitclaimed to Arthur Darcy two-thirds of a third of the manor, (fn. 254) with warrant against the heirs of John Lord Conyers. In 1610 twothirds of the lands of Arthur and Henry Darcy, who had been convicted of recusancy, were granted to George Chambers. (fn. 255) A member of the Darcy family was still holding their estate here in 1628. (fn. 256) These various portions of the manor were never re-united, and the manorial rights in Tanton had lapsed before 1808.
Two carucates of land in NEWBY were an appurtenance of the manor of Seamer (q.v.), and followed its descent. (fn. 257) A manor here is said to have been bought from Henry Earl of Deloraine by the Earl of Egremont in 1760, (fn. 258) and is now in the possession of Lord Leconfield. A family bearing the name of the place held land here in the 13th century of Nicholas de Meynell. (fn. 259) Certain lands and tenements followed the descent of Tanton. (fn. 260) The rest of the vill was part of the barony of Stokesley. (fn. 261) Guy de Bovincourt granted all his land here to Basedale Priory, (fn. 262) and the grant was confirmed by Henry III in 1236. (fn. 263) At the Dissolution the prioress had land in Newby worth £3 16s. 8d. (fn. 264)
The church of ST. PETER (fn. 265) stands at the east end of the town, and consists of chancel 22 ft. 6 in. by 15 ft. with south vestry, aisleless nave 62 ft. by 45 ft. and west tower 11 ft. square, all these measurements being internal. There is also a porch on the north side of the tower in the angle formed by the nave.
The only ancient work remaining is in the chancel and tower, which are apparently of 15th-century date, the nave having been rebuilt in 1771 (fn. 266) in the plain classic style of the time with tall roundheaded windows on each side and walls of ashlar, with quoins at the angles, terminating in a cornice and straight parapet. The building was restored in 1875.
The chancel is very low and altogether overshadowed by the wide and lofty nave, and has diagonal buttresses of two stages at the east end with straight parapets to the walls and a two-light pointed east window of poor design. There is a similar window and a doorway on the north side together with a buttress, but the windows are apparently not original, the only ancient detail remaining being a piscina with broken bowl in the usual position in the south wall and the eastern half of the sedilia, the remainder having been cut away for a doorway to the vestry. The piscina recess has a plain pointed chamfered head and the sedilia have trefoil-headed openings. The chancel was apparently reduced in length at the west end when the nave was rebuilt, and has been almost entirely modernized internally. The floor is level with that of the nave, the walls are plastered and there is a modern curved boarded roof. The semicircular chancel arch is of plaster and of the same date as the nave.
The tower is of three stages with an embattled parapet and angle pinnacles and a vice in the southeast corner. It has diagonal buttresses of four stages on the west side and the belfry windows are pointed, but are now filled in with wooden frames, and have a clock dial in the upper part of the opening. The upper part of the tower appears to have been rebuilt. The west doorway is an 18th-century insertion, and the porch on the north side is an addition of the same period. It formerly contained the staircase to a west gallery, now removed. On the south side the tower is engaged for about 5 ft. by the nave, from which the vice is entered, and the tower arch consists of two chamfered orders dying into the wall at the springing.
The old seating of the nave was replaced in 1875 by modern benches, and the ceiling is a flat boarded one coved along the sides. The organ is in the south-east corner. The font dates from 1875, and all the other fittings are modern. At the south-west corner of the nave facing west is a mural sundial dated 1822, with the motto 'Hora pars vitae.'
The plate consists of two covered cups and a paten, all made in 1678, and bearing the maker's mark, F.G., probably for Francis Garthorne (London). The cups are alike in design, though they slightly differ in size. One is inscribed 'Ex dono Jacobi Pennyman Militis & Baronetti 1678' and the other 'Ex dono Thomae Pennyman S.T.P Rectoris hujus Ecclesiae 1678.' The paten is inscribed 'William Potter & Thomas Hunt Church Wardens 1678.' In addition, each piece (including the two covers) bears the words 'Deo & Ecclesiae de Stokesley.' (fn. 267)
The registers begin in 1571. The first four and part of the fifth volume (1571 to 1750) have been printed. (fn. 268)
There was a church with a priest at Stokesley at the time of the Domesday Survey. (fn. 269) The church came with the manor (q.v.) into the possession of Guy de Balliol, who granted it in the reign of Henry I to the abbey of St. Mary, York, with I carucate of land in the vill. (fn. 270) In 1448 the then Abbot of St. Mary had licence to grant this advowson to the Dean and Chapter of St. Peter's, York. (fn. 271) The dean and chapter had licence at the same time to appropriate the church, but a vicarage was never ordained. After the Dissolution the advowson was granted to the Archbishop of York, (fn. 272) and it has remained in the hands of his successors. (fn. 273)
A chantry dedicated to the Blessed Virgin and known as Middleton's chantry was founded in Stokesley Church by William Stokesley in 1360. (fn. 274) The endowment was very small, and in 1375 the chantry had already stood vacant no small time on account of its poverty. (fn. 275) It was proposed, therefore, to transfer the endowments to the Prior of Guisborough, (fn. 276) who was to use them to find a canon regular to celebrate divine service in the chapel of the Blessed Mary, within that priory. The king gave licence for the change, (fn. 277) but it does not seem to have taken place; the chantry was still in existence in the 16th century. (fn. 278) There was another chantry in a chapel in the parish of Stokesley at a distance of a mile from the church. (fn. 279) The endowments of the chantry of St. Mary were granted by Edward VI to William Winlow and others. (fn. 280)
There was a chapel at Busby, dedicated to St. Lawrence, with a chantry founded by the Earl of Kent. (fn. 281) It was leased in 1568 to George Bedlington, (fn. 282) and was subsequently granted with its endowments to the Earl of Lincoln. (fn. 283)
A chapel existed in Easby in the 14th century, when a commission was issued for its dedication. (fn. 284) It must have fallen into disuse before the reign of Edward VI, unless it is to be identified with the unnamed chantry above mentioned. A tenement and garden called Chapel Garth and Hurstfield Close, belonging to the late chantry of Easby, were granted to Sir Francis Walsingham and Francis Mylles in 1587. (fn. 285) In 1881 Mr. James Emerson, lord of the manor of Easby, built a new chapel in which service is conducted by the vicar of Kirkby in Cleveland as his private chaplain.
In 1787 George Jackson, by deed dated 1 September (enrolled), charged his close called 'The Acres' with an annuity of £2 to be paid to a schoolmaster for teaching four poor children. By a scheme of the Charity Commissioners the rent-charge is vested in the official trustee of charity lands and is made applicable in providing prizes or rewards to children attending a public elementary school, not exceeding 5s. in each case.
A school was founded by John Preston in 1805. (fn. 286)
In 1854 Lady Hullock by deed gave two closes, containing 4½ acres or thereabouts, for the benefit of the poor. The land is let at £12 a year, applied in the distribution of coal, groceries and clothing.
In 1890 Mrs. Margaret Stephenson, by will proved on 26 February, left £95 13s. 10d. consols, held by the official trustees, the dividends of which, amounting to £2 7s. 4d., are distributable in blankets among the poor.