A History of the County of York North Riding: Volume 2. Originally published by Victoria County History, London, 1923.
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Siuerintune, Siverington, Sevenicton (xi cent.); Shiuelinton (xii cent.); Siuelinton, Sivelington (xiixvi cent.); Cyuelynton (xiv cent.); Swinnington (xvi cent.); Sinnington alias Senyngton (xvi-xviii cent.).
This parish is composed of the townships of Little Edston, Marton and Sinnington. The wood of Sinnington, a 'league' long and a 'league' wide, was in 1086 nearly co-extensive with the manor. (fn. 1) There are now in this township 140 acres of woodland, 945 acres of arable land and 1,506 acres of permanent grass, the area of the entire parish being 3,065 acres, of which 26 are covered by water. (fn. 2) An Inclosure Act was passed in 1785–6. (fn. 3) The soil of the parish is strong clay and loam; there is a considerable tract of alluvium, but the subsoil is partly Kimmeridge Clay; the chief crops are wheat, oats and barley. The height varies from 100 to 300 ft.
The village is built round a large green, through which runs the River Seven, here crossed by a stone bridge of one span. In the centre of the green and now standing over a dry ditch is an ancient bridge, of which only one ring of the arch remains. Portions of the stone causeway approaching it on either side are also visible. The council school stands on the green near the new maypole, erected in 1882 in place of an earlier one. The church stands on higher ground at the north end of the village, and close beside it is Sinnington Hall, a modern house the residence of Miss Kendall. Near it on the east is a large rectangular structure standing north and south and now forming part of the stabling. It is apparently a domestic building erected in the latter part of the 12th century and much altered by the insertion of windows in the 15th century. The only original window remaining is in the north wall. It has a semicircular head inclosing two pointed openings. At the sides are capitals with square abaci. In the same wall is inserted a three-light 15th-century window. In the west wall are two more three-light 15th-century windows and at the northern end two doorways, the northernmost being the larger and apparently of 13th-century date. In the south wall is a large blocked 15th-century window, the head of which has a moulded oak lintel internally. In the east wall towards the west end is a blocked doorway and there are traces of an adjoining building at this point. The only trace of the internal arrangement of this building, which appears to have been a 'great hall,' is the oak screen which is still standing and divides the hall into two nearly equal portions. It dates from the late 15th century and has a central doorway and a moulded head. The spaces between the door and the side walls are divided by mullions, but the panelled base has quite gone. The building is of stone and the interior is much cumbered by lofts and partitions. This was, perhaps, the manor-house of the Cleres and later of the Latimers, who made Sinnington their usual residence, (fn. 4) their chief Yorkshire seat, Danby Castle, being on wild and inaccessible moors. Leland spoke of Sinnington as 'wher the Lord Latimer hath a fair manor place, a 4 miles from the town of Pykering.' (fn. 5) The Latimers had a small park stocked with deer. (fn. 6) A ruined water-mill was appurtenant to the manor in 1335. (fn. 7)
Grange Mill on the Seven, High Grange and Low Grange, no doubt formerly belonged to Yedingham Priory. (fn. 8) There is a local tradition, (fn. 9) perhaps arising from the names Nuns' Walk close to the church and Friars' Hill on the other side of the village, that there was once a religious house at Sinnington, but of such no record has been found.
The Sinnington Foxhounds have been well known for over two centuries. (fn. 10) In the parish church was baptized William Marshall, an agricultural writer of even more importance than Arthur Young. (fn. 11)
There are Wesleyan chapels and public elementary schools at Sinnington and Marton and a Primitive Methodist chapel at Marton. Sinnington has a station on the Gilling and Pickering branch of the North Eastern railway.
In 1637 Tithe Lathe Oxgang, Sticklebutts, Nunclose and Sumnerclose were lands parcel of the grange and capital messuage of Little Edston. (fn. 12)
Before the Conquest SINNINGTON was held by Torbrand as a 'manor'; it afterwards passed into the possession of Berenger de Toni. (fn. 13) Roger le Bigod was overlord in 1249, (fn. 14) and in 1396 the manor was held of his successor Thomas afterwards Earl Marshal (fn. 15) as of his manor of Thirsk. (fn. 16) In 1430 the manor was (wrongly) stated to be held of Ralph Earl of Westmorland, (fn. 17) on whom a settlement had been made in 1418, (fn. 18) and in 1446 of the earl's younger son, (fn. 19) Richard Earl of Salisbury. (fn. 20) At the end of the 16th century it was held of Pickering Castle. (fn. 21)
The under-tenant, Roger de Clere, rendered account in 1162–8 of 20s. for Sinnington. (fn. 22) With Helewise de Clere he founded Yedingham Priory before 1163. (fn. 23) He was succeeded by Ralph de Clere, who gave the church of Sinnington to the nuns. (fn. 24) Ralph's son Roger confirmed to Yedingham the grants of Helewise, Ralph and Mabel de Clere, his own grandmother. (fn. 25) Roger was stated in January 1249–50 to have sold and given away all his lands (including 5 carucates in Sinnington, 2 carucates in Edston, and the services from 2 carucates in Marton) except an oxgang in Sinnington. (fn. 26) These lands, however, descended to his heirs. By his wife Maud, elder sister and co-heir of John de Fay, (fn. 27) he had an only child Agatha, who married William le Rus and had a daughter Alice, aged two in 1250. (fn. 28) Alice married Richard de Braose (Breuse, Bruys), (fn. 29) with whom she made a settlement of the manor and advowson in 1271. (fn. 30) Richard held 11 carucates in Sinnington, Marton, Little Edston and Cathwaite (a place that has disappeared) in 1284–5. (fn. 31) Richard and Alice had a son Giles, who succeeded to Sinnington on his mother's death in her widowhood in 1300–1, (fn. 32) and had died by 1304–5. (fn. 33) Before 1302–3 he had, however, enfeoffed William le Latimer, who then held Sinnington and Marton, (fn. 34) and obtained a confirmation of his title from Giles de Braose in 1309. (fn. 35) A settlement was apparently made on William and Lucy his wife, (fn. 36) for Lucy with her third husband Bartholomew de Fanacourt quitclaimed their interest in the manor to Lucy's eldest son William le Latimer in 1327. (fn. 37) All three manors descended with the manor of Thornton Dale (q.v.) until 1666, (fn. 38) when trustees, Henry Marquess of Dorchester, Sir Geoffrey Palmer, bart., Attorney-General, Sir John Mayne, bart., and John Penrice, sold Sinnington and Marton to Simon Bennet, a rich citizen of London. (fn. 39) Simon Bennet of Calverton, Salton (q.v.) and Beachampton (co. Bucks.) died in 1682. Frances, his younger daughter and eventual heiress, married James Earl of Salisbury, (fn. 40) and the Cecils held Sinnington and Marton (fn. 41) until (in 1781 or later) James Marquess of Salisbury sold them to Robert Stockdale, clerk of the peace for the North Riding. (fn. 42) Robert Stockdale alienated them to the Rev. Richard Dawson of Halton Gill in the parish of Arncliffe, by the marriage of whose daughter, Jane Constantine, they passed to Pudsey Dawson, living at Sinnington manor-house in 1824. (fn. 43) and 1849. (fn. 44) The Rev. Godfrey Wright was in possession in 1859, (fn. 45) and his grandson Mr. Charles Booth Elmsall Wright of Bolton Hall, Clitheroe, is now lord of the manors of Sinnington, Marton and Little Edston, which have become merged, the only court being held at Sinnington at the time of perambulation of the boundaries. (fn. 46)
Richard Braose held his three weeks court at Sinnington in 1284–5 and had the amendment of the assize of bread and ale. (fn. 47)
In 1303 William le Latimer, jun., and his heirs received leave to hold a weekly market on Monday at their manor here, and a yearly fair on the vigil, feast and morrow of Saint Martin in winter and free warren in all the demesne lands. (fn. 48)
LITTLE EDSTON (alia Edestun, Parva Edestun, xi cent.; Edenstone, xii cent.) does not seem to be called a manor until the 16th century. Three carucates here belonged to Torbrand before the Conquest and afterwards to Berenger de Toni. (fn. 49) Marton and Little Edston were held by Robert de Benefeld in 1166–7. (fn. 50) Robert left a daughter Alice, (fn. 51) whose son Matthew de Benefeld (fn. 52) was concerned with land in these places in 1208 and 1226 (fn. 53) and made many grants to Malton Priory. (fn. 54) William son of Matthew must have died early, for Emma sister of Matthew was his heir, possibly sharing the lands with another sister Maud. Both Emma and Maud apparently died without issue, for their (? half) brother Henry son of Simon Chambord afterwards held the lordship (fn. 55); he was perhaps the 'heir of Matthew de Beningfeld' who held land in Marton and Cathwaite in 1284–5. (fn. 56)
Six oxgangs of land here were granted by Matthew to William de Redburn. (fn. 57) William was succeeded by William his son, who became deeply involved with the Jews and finally quitclaimed his holding to Malton Priory in or about 1241. (fn. 58) This land came into the hands of the Crown at the Dissolution, and in 1599–1600 was granted to Thomas Ellis. (fn. 59) By February 1610 it was in the possession of Robert Simpson, lord of the manor of Great Edston, who then bequeathed the grange to Elizabeth his wife for life with remainder to his children. (fn. 60) From this time the grange probably followed the descent of the manor of Great Edston.
In 1086 MARTON was soke of the king's 'manor' of Falsgrave. (fn. 61) In 1284–5 it was in the fee of Richard Braose, (fn. 62) and it has since descended with the manor of Sinnington, (fn. 63) with which it was coupled as one manor in 1316 and 1577. (fn. 64)
The walls of the present building are substantially of early 12th-century date and the church has never been enlarged. The south door is late Norman, the porch being a little later, and several 17th-century windows have been inserted in the walls. The church was thoroughly restored in 1904, when the north vestry was added and the chancel arch reconstructed.
The chancel, which is much restored, has a modern three-light east window of 'Perpendicular' character and a small late square-headed window in the south wall. Further west is a blocked priest's door, and in the north wall is a modern door to the vestry. The chancel arch is a modern reconstruction from fragments found at the restoration, and is a semicircular arch of two plain orders and unusually wide span. The northern respond is mainly original work.
The nave is entirely of early 12th-century date. The north wall is devoid of openings, but in the south wall are two round-headed windows now blocked. In this wall are two square-headed 17th-century or later windows, the western of which cuts into one of the Norman windows above mentioned. The south door is of rather later date than the rest of the building. It has a round head with roll moulding and side shafts. Within the door is a small stoup. In the west wall is a blocked Norman door with a round arch, roll-moulded chamfered imposts and side shafts. Immediately above it is a square-headed two-light window, probably of 17th-century date. Still higher up is a small round-headed Norman light. The walls are of rubble, and owing to the thrust of the chancel arch the south wall is considerably out of the perpendicular and has been supported by a late buttress. The south porch is of rough construction and the outer arch is an 18th-century insertion.
The modern timber bellcote at the west end is surmounted by a spirelet and contains three bells, the first being mediaeval and inscribed 'Sancte Petre ora pro nobis,' the second is recast and the third is modern. The church fittings include a communion table with turned legs of circa 1660 and some good Jacobean pewing in the nave. The bench ends have small carved panels in the upper part and on a window-sill is a piece of oak inscribed, 'harken unto the lord's word and let it dwell in your harts.' Preserved in the church or built into the fabric are numerous fragments of pre-Conquest sculpture. Over the porch is a stone carved with a man riding a beast, possibly part of a Norman tympanum, and in the south wall are two cross-heads, one with knotwork and the other with a roughly carved figure of the Crucified and a serpent. Near by is a portion of a shaft with two standing figures. In the west wall inside is the base of a shaft bearing a bound serpent and two other fragments bearing knotwork. Inside the north window is another base of a cross shaft. There are numerous other fragments in various parts of the building, including a hog-back built into the north wall and the base of a shaft on the north side of the quire.
The registers before 1812 are as follows: (i) mixed entries 1597 to 1740 (the record is defective for several periods); (ii) baptisms and burials 1741 to 1796, marriages to 1753; (iii) marriages 1754 to 1812; (iv) baptisms and burials 1797 to 1812.
In February 1246–7 Henry III confirmed the grant of this church made by Ralph de Clere to Yedingham Priory. (fn. 65) The reversion of the rectory and advowson of the vicarage late belonging to the nuns of Yedingham were granted in 1544 to Robert Holgate, Bishop of Llandaff, in fee. (fn. 66) Holgate, who was translated to the see of York in the following January, obtained from the Crown thirty-three impropriations and advowsons in return for sixty-seven manors belonging to the archbishopric; thus, while 'he greatly impoverished his see, he became personally the wealthiest prelate in England.' (fn. 67) He obtained Letters Patent in 1546 for the foundation of three grammar schools, (fn. 68) and to the school at Hemsworth he gave the rectory and advowson of Sinnington. (fn. 69) The master of Hemsworth School presented until 1863. (fn. 70) Since that date the patronage has been exercised by Mr. J. Proud (1863–81), G. Rablah (1882–1900), Mrs. Kendall (1901–12), and the Rev. W. Kendall, who is the present patron. (fn. 71)
There was a chapel of St. Michael at Sinnington in 1239, when the nuns of Yedingham agreed with the Prior of Guisborough to support the chapel and other buildings for entertaining the canons when there with white litter, candles and fuel, and to have mass celebrated there twice a week. (fn. 72) The ancestor of Giles de Braose, it was stated in 1308, gave to Guisborough Priory tenements in Sinnington by the service of finding a chantry of one priest in this chapel, (fn. 73) but for at least two years before 1308 the duty had not been performed. (fn. 74)
Mrs. Ann Bellwood, by will dated 13 April 1858, left £300 to be invested and the income applied for the benefit of the poor. The legacy was invested in £318 13s. 4d. consols. In 1906 five widows received 6s. each and thirty-five poor persons received from 2s. to 4s. 6d. each.
In 1873 Jane Ridsdale bequeathed a legacy for the Sinnington branch of the Foreign Mission Fund of the Wesleyan Society. The legacy, with a gift of Richard Ridsdale, was invested in £107 10s. 11d. consols, the dividends of which are duly applied.
Township of Marton.—The poor's money consists of a rent-charge of 10s. issuing out of an inn known as the 'Spotted Cow.' By an order of the Charity Commissioners of 16 February 1897 the rent-charge was vested in the official trustee of charity lands and directed to be applied in food or coals.