Chapelry of Lamesley

Pages 207-218

The History and Antiquities of the County Palatine of Durham: Volume 2, Chester Ward. Originally published by Nichols and Son, London, 1820.

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The Chapelry of Lamesley is bounded by the Parishes of Whickham and Gateshead on the North, by Gateshead and Washington on the East, by the parish of Chester-le-Street on the South, and by Whickham and the Chapelry of Tanfield on the West.

The Chapelry includes four Constableries: 1. Lamesley; 2. Ravensworth; 3. Kibbles-worth; 4. Hedley.


Lamesley lies in the vale to the South East of Gateshead Fell. The descent of the manor is so connected with that of Ravensworth, that it is unnecessary to anticipate it.

Lamesley formed the second Prebend in the collegiate Church of Chester founded in 1286 (fn. 1). The Chapel is named as already existing in the foundation charter; on the dissolution a slight provision was reserved for a perpetual Curate. There is neither glebe nor parsonage.

The Chapel is entirely modern, and was rebuilt in 1759.

Tithes—The Chapelries of Lamesley and Tanfield pay tithe of lamb and wool only, to the Perpetual Curate of the Mother-Church of Chester-le-Street. The corn tithe of the Prebend of Lamesley belongs to Sir T. H. Liddell, Bart., and the small tithes generally to the Curate of Lamesley.

Lamesley Chapelry, not in charge nor certified—The Collegiate Church of Chester, Patrons till the dissolution; present patron, Sir Thomas Henry Liddell, Bart.

Perpetual Curates.

  • Thomas Lang, 1409.
  • John James, 1464.
  • Sir William Johnson, 20 Feb. 1565.
  • George Eglesfield, 1567.
  • Thomas Martin, 1572.
  • Edward Errington, 1587.
  • John Blaxton, occurs Aug 15, 1590.
  • Thomas Hope, 1606.
  • Ambrose Lowther, 5 June 1611.
  • Jeremiah Williams, lic. Oct. 7, 1619.
  • John Buckley, A.M. 1636–1641.
  • Wilson, an intruder, ejected
  • James Harrop, 1677.
  • John Aird, 1700.
  • John Balguy, A. M. (fn. 2) 1711.
  • Robert Wilson, cl. 1729, p. res. Balguy.
  • John Wibbersley, A. M. 1751, p. m. Wilson.
  • Caleb Dixon, 1782, p. m. Wibbersley.

The Parochial Register begins 1603.

Twenty-eight deaths “of the pestilence,” 1610.

John Yeath, the great archer of Lamesley, buried 16 March 1616–17.

Ann Marley, wrapped in Sheepskins, about 4 March 1678–9.

Church Plate—Two silver flaggons, the gift of Sir Henry George Liddell, Bart. 1785; a Chalice, dated 1696, and a Salver, 1740.


Ravensworth (fn. 3) stands about a mile and a half to the North-West of Lamesley. The village is reduced to a few scattered tenements; the castle occupies a gentle declivity, sloping from the West. At the distance of half a mile Westward, the ground swells to a mountainous ridge covered with large forest trees, and surmounted by lofty pines which skirt the horizon; this magnificent screen closes the prospect on the West. The Southern front overlooks the vale of Lamesley, irregularly spotted with old branching oak.

The old Castle of Ravensworth as it stood in the time of the Boyntons and Gas-coignes, seems to have consisted of four oblong square towers, connected by a regular curtain, and probably including a keep or central tower. Buck's view 1728, exhibits the towers with a perfectly modern building betwixt them. In 1808 nearly the whole of the old house was taken down, and the splendid mansion which is now rising was begun on a plan furnished by Nash; the stile of building is a selection from the Castle architecture of various periods, not, however, too remote to be brought into contact; the various towers and facades produce pleasing combinations in every point of view, and the outline against the sky is extremely good. The castle has three fronts, North (fn. 4), South, and West; the Eastern side is closed in by offices, and by rising plantations, destined to exclude the view of Gateshead Fell; two of the old towers are incorporated in the offices.

The Park includes the ancient baronial appendage of a Heronry.

On the private road near Ravensworth there is a Cross, a plain shaft and pedestal. The common tradition is, that when Newcastle in the reign of Elizabeth was infected with the plague, the country people left their provisions at this place (fn. 5).

At Ravensworth about the year 1080, one Eardulf rose from the dead to predict the death of Bishop Walcher, and the punishment of his murderers (fn. 6). The legend is only mentioned here, to prove that Ravensworth was at that time a place well known. A century later, Bishop Ranulph granted Ravensworth and Hecton (Eighton) to his nephew Richard, the stock of the Barons Fitz Marmaduke, whose descent has been traced under Horden (fn. 7). The last Richard Fitz Marmaduke, who was murdered on the old bridge at Durham by his cousin Robert Nevill, died childless, and his sister Eleanor carried the manor of Ravensworth and its dependencies, in marriage, to a younger branch of the Lumleys, of Lumley Castle. In 1383 Robert de Lumley, son of Eleanor, died seized of the manors of Ravenshelm and Lamesley, held of the Bishop by homage, fealty, and the service of half a knight's fee (fn. 8). Bartram Lumley, of Ravenshelm, fourth in line from Robert, left an only daughter, Isabel, contracted in 1489 to Henry Boynton, of Sedbury, and Henry and Isabel had a sole heir, another Isabel, who became the wife of Sir Henry Gascoigne, (second son of Sir William, of Gawthorp,) and had livery of her father's estates in 1530 (fn. 9). Sir Henry Gascoigne, son of Henry, settled his manors and lands of Ravenshelme, Lamesley, Lamesley dale, Stranton, Whitton, and Eghton, on his son Richard Gascoigne, and Joane, daughter of Richard Norton, of Norton Conyers, 20 April 1548 (fn. 10). In 1607 Sir William Gascoigne, of Sedhury, son and heir of Richard (fn. 11). alienated the Castle of Ravenshelm, the manors of Ravenshelm and Lamesley, and lands and services in Eighton, Hedley, Over Eighton, Nether Eighton, Longacres, North endes, Ravensworth, and Pokerley (fn. 12), to Thomas Liddell (fn. 13), Esq. whose descendants still retain possession. Sir Thomas Liddell (fn. 14), one of the gallant defenders of Newcastle (fn. 15) against the Scots under Lesley, was created a Baronet 2 Novemher 1642; and his fifth descendant, Henry Liddell, was raised to the peerage, as Baron of Ravensworth in 1747. The Peerage expired on Lord Ravensworth's decease without male issue 1784, and the ancient Baronetcy descended to his nephew Henry Liddell, father of the present Baronet.

The manor of Ravensworth includes a very extended and valuable field of coal; a grant of way-leave occurs from Bishop Ruthall 1530, to Thomas Boynton, of York, Esq. for “carriages by wayne, cowpe, or horses, from the cole mynes and pitts now opened, or which shall be opened in Ravensall and Eighton, (the inheritance of Richard Gascoigne, Esquier,) through all the grounds, waistes, and mores of the said Rev. Father,” 21 years, five shillings rent, confirmed by the Dean and Chapter of Durham, 6 Sept. 1530.

Hutchinson (vol. III. p. 497) states that waggon-ways or rail-ways for the conveyance of coal were first introduced by Colonel Liddell, of Ravensworth, about 172.. (fn. 16); but in Bailey's View of Durham, p. 35, it is stated (on the authority of Robson, then agent at Ravensworth) that the earliest mention of coals delivered by waggons occurs in 1671 at Team staith.

Besides the great integral manor of Ravensworth, which descended lineally in the blood of Richard through Fitz-Marmaduke, Lumley, Boynton, and Gascoigne, till the sale in 1607, there existed several freeholds or tenements held by subinfeudation under the chief Lords of the fee.

In 1368 John Scrutevill, of Kibblesworth, held twenty-four acres in Ravensworth, of Alexander de Kibblesworth, (who himself, it seems, held of the Lumleys) and twenty acres in Lamesley of the Lady of Ravenshelm, by half a pound of cumin seed, fealty, and suit of court (fn. 17). Of this same Eleanor, then stiled Countess (fn. 18) of Ravenshelm (fn. 19), Alexander de Kibblesworth held half the vill of Ravensworth by three pence rent and suit of court (fn. 20); and the same moiety, John his brother held of Robert, de Lumley 1370 (fn. 21). Alice Masham, of Gibside, one of the sisters and coheirs of John de Kibblesworth, in 1413 held half a great close called Overladhed (in Kibblesworth), and a messuage and thirty acres in Ravensworth, and twelve other acres of William de Lumley; and some portion of land in Ravensworth rests, I believe, still attached to the Gibside estates. Another subordinate property, which is sometimes impudently enough called the manor of Ravensworth, was held from an early date by a family who bore the local name, but who were rather of Gateshead than Ravensworth. In 1451 Henry de Ravensworth held this small estate of William Lumley, Chivaler, by the eighth part of a knight's service (fn. 22). This little manor was afterwards twice subdivided amongst heirs general; and three fifths were purchased in the time of Elizabeth by Ralph Surtees, Merchant, of Newcastle (fn. 23), whose yeomanly descendants sold to the Liddells about 1730.

Carta Ranulphi Episcopi facta Ricardo Nepoti suo de maneriis de Hecton, Ravenswiche, et Blekestun (fn. 24).

Ranulphus Dei gra. Dunelm. Episcopus omnibus hominibus suis Francis et Anglis salutem gratiam et benedictionem. Sciatis me dedisse, &c. Ricardo Nepoti meo et heredibus suis in feudo et hereditate pro homagio et servicio suo Hectonam et Ravenswiche et Blekestunam, cum omnibus rebus et pertinentibus per has divisas que pertinent ad Hecton et Ravenswith, scilicet de Scedmers lawe apud orientem super exitum fontis subter Scadneslaw, sicut descendit in Tame, et per Mere-burne usq. Aldrechesdene, et per Aldrechesdene usq. in Tame, et per Tame usq. Becleiburne ut cadit in Tame, et per Becleiburne usq. rivum qui descendit de Felfordesfen, et per Felfordesfen usque Avescheburn usq. ad Blakeburne, et per Blakeburn apud orientem sicut cadit in Tame, et per Tame usq. Choldene sicut descendit in Tame, et per Choldene usq. Semer, et de Semer per altum iter usq. Scadneslawe. Habendum et tenendum de me et succ. meis sibi et heredibus suis libere quiete et honorifice per servitium dimid. feodi unius militis pro omni, et faciendo forinsecum servitium quando per Episcopat. evenerit quantum pertinet dimid. feodo militis. Volo autem et concedo ut predictus Ricardus et heredes ejus habeant et teneant predicta, &c. per predictum servitium libere et quiete et honorifice sicut ullus homo in Episcopat. Dunelm. tenet in bosco in plano in pratis in pascuis in moris et in mariscis in aquis et stagnis in molendinis in terris cultis et incultis, et inter has divisas edificare et cultifiare, cum omnibus aliis aisiamentis. Hujus donacõnis testes sunt iste Ranu. Archid., Papemark., Osbert nepos Episc, Rob. frater ej., Will. fil. Ranu.,...., Ricard de Vicdune, Paganus nepos Ranu., et plurimi alii.

(fn. 25) II. Carta Confirmationis Regis Henrici Primi super Cartam Ranulfi Episcopi.

H. Rex Anglie Archiep'o Ebor. et o'i'b's Baronib' et fidelib' suis de Eborascira et de Nordhu'bria et de Ep'atu Dunelm. sal. Sciatis me concessisse Richardo nepoti Ranu. Ep'i Dun' tram de Ectun et de Ravensw'rda et de Blethestona cu' o'i'b's rebus ad easd. t'ras p'tin. sicut p'd's eas ei dedit et concessit. Et volo et firmiter p'cipio ut eas bene et in pace et honorifice teneat h'ditario jure. T. Rogero Ep'o Sarum et Hug. de Albin. et Waltr. Espec. et Gaufr. fil. Pagani: apud Portismuh'dã.

III. Carta Roberti filii Ricardi de Ravenswich.

Omnibus, &c. Robertus filius Ricardi de Ravenswich sal. Sciatis me concessisse et in perpetuum quiet, clamasse Galfrido filio Galfridi Nepotis mei et heredibus suis, &c. tot. clam. et jus, &c. in villa de Lamesleya, cum suis pertin. et in villa de Horden, &c. et in villa de Blakiston, &c. et in villa de Hetton, &c. et in villa de Silkeswich, &c. que fuerunt Galfridi filii Ricardi patris ejusd. Galfridi. Præterea quiet, clamavi eidem Galfrido, &c. tot. jus in villa de Hamildon, et in omnibus aliis villis et terris in quibus Ricardus pater meus vel Galfridus filius Ric. vel ego aliquod jus, &c. habuimus. Propter hanc vero quiet, clamationem michi dedit idem Galfr. nepos meus sexaginta marcas argenti. Et sciend. est quod idem Galfr. concessit michi et heredibus meis pro homagio et servitio meo totam villam de Ravenswich, cum suis pertin. excepto vasto quod in manu sua ad opus suum et ad opus heredum suor. omnino retinet, faciendo inde forinsecum servitium quantum pertinet ad quartam partem feodi unius militis cum forinseco servicio de Hedley. Hiis T. Henrico de Nevill, Roberto fil. Meldredi, Jordano Escolland de Amundevill, Gilberto Hansard, Will'o de Hilton, Simone de Hauthorn, Gilberto la Vall, et multis aliis.

The Boundaries of the manors of Ravensworth, or Lamesley, and Eighton, were established (in a cause betwixt the Bishop of Durham, and Sir Henry Liddell, Bart. 1715) very much in the words of the original grant of Bishop Ranulph.

“Beginning at Chowdene where it falls into Tame, and from thence directly up the Dene to Popplewell, thence directly to Seamorewell, thence to a well in Scadenslawe, and so down by the runner of water from that well as it descends into Tame, thence to Mereburn as the water runs, and from the head of Mereburn to Aldrige Dene, and by Aldrige Dene as the water runs and descends into Tame, and so up Tame to Beckley burn as it falls into Tame, and from Beckley burn to a small runner of water which descends from Felford's fenn, and up that rivulet or runner to Felford's fenn, and from Felford's fenn to Avishburn, and down Avishburn as it runs and falls into Blackburn, and so down Blackburn as it runs and falls into Tame, Eastward, and up Tame till Chowdene falls into Tame, where the boundary began.”

Pedigee of Lumley, Boynton, and Gascoigne, of Ravensworth.

Arms of Lumley: Argent, a fesse Gules, between three Vert, collared of the second; a crescent for difference.

Arms of Gascoigne: Argent, on a pale Sable a demi luce ereet, couped Or.


* Not impossibly William de Silksworth, who certainly died seized of the manors of Ravensworth and Lamesley; the former held by homage fealty and half a knight's fee, the latter by common suit at the County Court. Inq. p. m. die L. in Sept. Pasch. 23 Hatfield.

† Son of Christopher Boynton, second son of Sir Thomas Boynton and Isabel Normanville. See Collins's Baronetage, Boynton.

Pedigree of Liddell, of Ravensworth.

Arms : Argent, fretty Gules, on a chief of the second three leopards' heads Or.

Crest : on a wreath a lion rampant Sable, crowned with an antique crown and billetty Or.

Lord Ravensworth used as Supporters, on either side a leopard Or, spotted purple, gorged with a plain collar of the second, embattled on the upper side.


a The Baronetage states Thomas Liddell (father of Thomas) to have married Margaret Laburne, by whom he had Thomas, and George Liddell, who married Eleanor Burne, and had George, married to Eleanor Barker.

George Liddell, married to Eleanor, daughter of Robert Barker, Alderman of Newcastle, at Ponteland, 29 Sept. 1578.

George Liddell, of Newcastle, Gent. about 1612 married Bray, daughter of George Bowes, and sister of Sir George Bowes, of Biddic.

Thomas Liddell, in 1577, names his kinsman George Liddell, and his sister Elizabeth Shawe.

Mr. George Hume married Mrs. Elizabeth Liddell 9 Nov. 1664. Gateshead.

b One of these daughters married....Errington, and died before her father, leaving issue.


* St. Nicholas' Register.

† St. John's Register.

‡ Lamesley Register.

§ St. Andrew's Register.

¶ All Saints' Register.

Whalton Register.

** Bambrough Register.

*** The numerous accurate dates of the above Pedigree were chiefly added by Sir Cuthbert Sharpe.

Blackburn Fell. In 1801 41 George III. an Act passed for the division of certain commons in the Parochial Chapelries of Lamesley and Tanfield called Blackburn Fell, Kibblesworth Common, and Beamish East Moor, (otherwise part of Blackburn Fell) containing by estimation 2000 acres, and stated to lie within the precincts of Hecton otherwise Ayton, and Ravensworth, Lamesley, Kibblesworth, Beamish, and Hedley; and also of certain open lands within the manor of Ravensworth, otherwise in Lamesley townfield, and a stinted pasture called the South pasture, containing six hundred acres or thereabouts. Sir Thomas Henry Liddell, Bart. was admitted to be lord of the manor of Hecton, otherwise Eighton, and Ravensworth otherwise Lamesley, and to be entitled to the soil and royalties of Blackburn Fell and Burdon Moor (except the coal and seams of coal on Blackburne Fell, which belong to the See of Durham); Sir Thomas Henry Liddell, and Sir John Eden, Barts. (as owners of Beamish) were recited to be entitled to the soil and royalties of Kibblesworth common; Sir Thomas Liddell and Sir John Eden also claimed to be lords of Hedley Fell, and Beamish East Moor; and the Earl of Strathmore claimed to be lord of the manor of Hedley. The Commissioners (fn. 26) allotted one sixteenth of Blackburn Fell and Burdon Moor to Sir Thomas Henry Liddell, Bart. and one sixteenth of Kibblesworth Common to Sir Thomas Henry Liddell, and Sir John Eden, Barts. The residue to be divided proportionally amongst Sir Thomas Henry Liddell, Sir John Eden, the Earl of Strathmore, Sir Thomas Clavering, Bart. &c. and others having common rights. The town fields of Ravensworth to be divided amongst persons having common right, reserving to Sir Thomas Henry Liddell, Bart. the coal mines and quarries. Sir John Eden surrendered his claim on Beamish East Moor (otherwise part of Blackburn Fell) for some consideration, and the right of the soil was awarded to Sir Thomas Liddell. The Earl of Strathmore brought no action within six months (the time limited), and the lordship of the soil of Hedley Fell was also therefore awarded to Sir Thomas Henry Liddell, Bart. (fn. 27)

Some of the depositions in the cause of 1715 (in which the Bishop's right to the mines, and the Plaintiff Sir Henry Liddell's right to the soil and royalties of Blackburne Fell, were established) are curious.

Blackburne Fell, about 3000 acres on the West of Ravensworth, joins the Defendant's (the Bishop's) manors of Chester-le-Street and Whickham; Chowdene Fell, about 2000 acres East of Ravensworth and Eighton, joins the Defendant's manor of Gateshead; Blackburne Fell lies between the waters of Blackburne and Tame, on the West of Tame; Chowden, East of Tame.

Sir T. Liddell rode the Boundaries 63 years ago, (1715) once down to Blackburn, and another time near Urpeth Burn or Tame.—William Lawes proved the Boundary of Blackburne fell “up Mereburne to the head thereof, then down Aldridches to Tame, and up Tame to Beckley Burn.” Old Sir Thomas kept courts.

Francis Buck. 48 years ago Sir Thomas Liddell's servants were riding the boundaries on Blackburn fell, near Blackburne, and thence to an alehouse at Street gate, where they called for drinke, and gave the boyes drinke and white cakes.

Ra. Suerties. The cottagers on Blackburne Fell, Hedley, Chowdene, and Ravensworth, appeared at Lamesley Court, and one was sworn in constable, ale-taster, bread-weigher, &c. and old people said they did so in Sir William Gascoigne's time, a hundred years ago. Sir Thomas kept great flocks of sheep on Chowdene, and distrained Gateshead cattle trespassing. The tenants of Ravensworth had entercommon from 1 Nov. to 2 Feb. and then bailiffs broke down the hedges from Tame to Blackburn.

Edward Liddell. 40 years ago Mr. Jenison was killed on Chowdene by a fall from his horse; the Bishop claimed the horse as a deodand, which Sir Thomas hearing, he sent his servant John Smith to demand him, had him carried to Ravensworth, and kept him till Jenison's widow came and begged him, and Sir Thomas gave him to her. Old Sir Thomas, the Plaintiff's great grandfather, was taken prisoner at Newcastle, and carried to London, for taking part with King Charles I. and paid a great sume for his ransom, (4000l.) and had his estate sequestered, and Arthur French was one of the sequestrators. Sir Thomas was prisoner in Lambert's house; he had three sons, Captains in the King's army, and it is supposed many evidences and rentalls were lost at that time. Hall, of Hollinbush, often amerced for hounding tenants cattle off the entercommon (fn. 28).

Hollenbush. “Hollingbush joins on the East side of Blackburn Fell, and is copyhold, holden by the plaintiff of the Bishop of Durham.”

Ex parte Liddell. “It is supposed Hollenbush was originally a freehold within the manor of Lamesley, for several amercements were laid for incroachments, and it is supposed it was forfeited to the Bishop for a murder committed by George Hall, former owner thereof, on Ralph Hedworth, on an outlawry for the murther, and the Bishop granted it by copy to Ralph Tailbois, Esq. his Officer, as parcel of the manor of Whick-ham, 22 Aug. 39 Eliz.

Pedigree of Hall, of Hollenbush.

Arms : Or, a cheveron Sable, chequy Or, inter three demi-lions passant Azure, on a chief Gules three chaplets Argent, a martlet difference.


* Copyhold Books, sedc vac. 20 Henry VII. Flass.

† Copyhold Books 1 Tunstall, Lanchester.

‡ John Hall, &c. “I bequeath on marbell stone wh I bought and brought to ye church of Whickham, wh nowe is taken and layd on the grave of Richard Hedworth, I wyll yat ye same shall be taken upp and layd upon my own grave. My lease of Thornley, and my Prebent of Medomsley, to my wyff: if she shall 'marye with another Maye,' to my sone Raphe; my sone Nycholas and his portion to my cosin John Hall, of Birtley; my son George to my cosin William Hall, of Grenecrofte; to my sone-in-lawe Anthony Baylls a velvet dublett; children, Raphe, John, George, Jeffraye, Nycholas, Robert, and Jane Hall. John Hall of Birtley, and William Hall of Grenecrofte, Supervisors.” Proved 25 Oct. 1578.

§ Raphe Hall, “to be buried at Whickham, neare my father; my mother Effame Hall; to brethren Jeffreye, Nicholas, and Robert Hall, for kepinge them at the schole till they can helpe themselves; to my brother George Hall two oxen, if he will keep himself of good conversation; to Barbarie Surtesc xs. to bye her a cote; to sister Jane Hall one velvet dublett; to cosen Mr. Raphe Skirfield my cros bowe; all my holyday rayment to my brother John.” Proved 17 Feb. 1581.

‖ William, supposed the child of John Hall, of the Hollenbush, bapt. 14 April 1594. Whickham.


Now Ayton Banks, to the East of Ravensworth on the edge of Gateshead Fell.

Eighton is generally mentioned as an appendage of Ravensworth. In 1399 (fn. 29) Marmaduke Lumley had alienated the vill of Eighton and Ald Eghton to his chaplains Thomas de Seton, and John Banastyr, evidently on trust. In 1387 Sir Ralph Lumley granted a toft and thirty acres in Eighton to John de Kendall for life (fn. 30); and the estate Eighton, Over Eighton, and Nether Eighton, is included in the general conveyance of the Ravensworth estates from Gascoigne to Liddell in 1608.

Yet the heiress of a family who early bore the local name and held a trifling freehold in Eighton (fn. 31), intermarried with Alan Ravensworth, of Gateshead, before 1380; and their heirs general, the Cuthberts and Sotherons, held as late as the reign of Elizabeth a small estate both in Eighton and Ravensworth, sometimes called the manor of Ravensworth, or rather a manor within Ravensworth; (see Pedigree of Ravensworth under Gateshead.)

The following grant of an acre of land near the brook to the hermit of Eighton, points out the site of the ancient vill:

Heremitarium de Eighton.

Johannes Dei gra. Dunelm. Episcopus omnibus ad quos presentes literæ pervenerint salutem. Sciatis quod de gratia nostra speciali concessimus Roberto Lamb, Hereuntæ, unam acram vasti nostri ad finem borealem villæ de Eighton juxta altam viam ducentem versus Gatesheved vidt ex parte occidentali dictæ viæ prope rivulum descendentem de fonte vocato Scotteswell pro quadam Capella et Heremitagio per ipsum ibidem in honore S. Trinitatis edificandis, habend. et tenend. eidem Roberto ad terminum vitæ suæ de elemosina nostra libere et quiete ab omni servitio seculari ad serviendum Deo ibidem et orando pro nobis et pro predecessoribus ac successoribus nostris. In cujus, &c. Dat. apud Dunelm. 20 die Maii A° Pont. sexto. Rot. Fordham, A° 6, 1387.


A scattered village one mile to the West of Lamesley.

Kibblesworth gave early name to a family of knightly rank and pretensions. In 1180 Roger de Kiblesw'rde (who occurs as a frequent witness in Charters of Bishop Hugh, and evidently ranges amongst the Barons of the Bishopric) delivered up his land of Wolviston (fn. 32) (in exchange for Coken) to the Prior of Durham, per baculum in manu Prioris, in the presence of Bishop Hugh and his Barons. The heir general of this Roger was Petronilla, daughter of Osmund of Gatesheved, who gave eighty acres in Coken (fn. 33) to John de Kibblesworth in lieu of his claim as heir male. Before the date at which the series of Durham Chancery rolls commences, the Kibblesworths had alienated half of their ancient manor. In 1368 Alexander de Kibblesworth died seized of the upper hall of Kibblesworth, with half the vill, held of the see of Durham by the tenth part of a knight's fee, of a messuage and fourscore acres at Ladheved by 13s. 4d. exchequer rent, of half the vill of Ravensworth held of the Countess of Ravenshelm by 6d. rent and suit of court, of a messuage and thirty acres in Ridley held of the said Countess by 8s. and suit, and of half the vill of Coken held of the Prior of Finchale (fn. 34), leaving John his brother and heir of full age, which John survived only two years, and died seized of exactly the same lands, only the half manor of Kibblesworth is said to be held of John de Scrutevill by half a knight's service and a pound of pepper (fn. 35). Four sisters, Alianor, Alice, Maud, and Sibilla, and Thomas de Trewyk, son of Isabel another sister, divided the inheritance.

Under Hatfield's Survey, the same Thomas Trewyk, Alice de Masham (fn. 36), Richard de Cramlington, and William Symson, (heirs of Alexander de Kibblesworth) held forty acres near Ladheved by foreign service and 13s. 4d. rent. The partition probably gave rise to the variety of independent freeholds which occur in Kibblesworth at a later date. Meanwhile the other moiety of the manor was vested in the Scrutevills, whose descendants long retained possession; Thomas Scrutevill held half the vill in 1356, leaving John his son and heir of full age (fn. 37). Another John in 1409 (fn. 38) died seized of half the manor and water-mill of Kibblesworth, leaving a son of his own name, aged nine, who was also living and full age 1421, and then heir to his mother Margaret, wife of John de Birtley (fn. 39). A link is again broken betwixt John last named and Thomas Scrutevill, who stands at the head of the line in the Pedigree entered 1575 (fn. 40), whose son, Anthony, married a base daughter of Charles last Earl of Westmoreland. William, grandson of Anthony, sold the estate stiled the manor of Kibblesworth to Thomas and George Lawson, of Usworth, Esquires, in 1614 (fn. 41). I am unable to trace the subsequent descent of either portion of the manor, which is now divided in very various proportions.

Amongst other ancient freeholders occur the families of Harbotle (fn. 42), Lawes (fn. 43), Greenwell (fn. 44), Cole (fn. 45), Baynbrigg (fn. 46), Browell, and Wild (fn. 47). The Johnstons held considerable property at a later period, now vested by purchase in Sir Thomas Henry Liddell, Bart.

The seat house belonging to the estate probably occupies the scite of the Upper Hall mentioned in 1368. The family mansion of the Greenwells may perhaps be identified with the Nether Hall (fn. 48).

In 1684 the freeholders in Kibblesworth were : Sir Nathaniel Johnson, Knt. Thomas Bewicke (fn. 49), Esq. William Greenwell, Gent. Mary Greenwell, widow, Robert Tayler, Robert Laws, and Robert Punshon.

The old enclosed lands in Kibblesworth were trifling, immediately around the village. The Broad Moor was divided in 1672: before that date the open fields abutted on the great waste of Blackburn Fell on the West (fn. 50).


Or Hedley Hall, lies to the West across Blackburn Fell.

Hedley was the ancient estate of the Merleys, of Gibside, (held in 1370 (fn. 51) by Gilbert de Merley, of the heirs of Amundevill). It has regularly descended (fn. 52) in the line of Merley and Blakiston, and is now the property of John Earl of Strathmore.

Charitable Donations.

Lamesley has a poor stock of 60l. of which the origin is unknown, and 20l. under the will of John Smith 1734, of which the interest is directed to be distributed to persons not receiving Parish relief. Return under Act 26 George III.

Pedigree of Scurfield, of Kibblesworth.

Arms: Gules, a bend dancette inter six martlets Argent.

Crest: a dexter arm embowed, habited Erminois, cuffed Argent, in the hand a pistol, stock Sable, barrel of the second, firing proper.


* See several earlier descents noticed in the text.

† “John Robson deposes, that he was tenant to Mr. Raphe Scrutevile, and that William Scrutevile was born in the fourth week of Lent 1574; and this deponent rode to Hilton Castle, to bid Sir William Hilton, Knt. to be godfather.”

*** Emanuel Scurfield, buried at Whickham 30 May 1684, was father of Thomas Scurfield, whose sons Emanuel and Andrew died without male issue.

Emanuel Scurfield buried at St. Nicholas, Newcastle, 1 Feb. 1769.

Andrew Scurfield, Yeoman, buried 11 May 1762.

Ralph Scurfield, Gent. purchased Eachwick, co. Northumberland, 1670; and died 1675, leaving an only son Ralph Scurfield, Esq. Sheriff of Northumberland 1700, who died s. p. 1728, and devised Eachwick to the Bells.

I am unable to connect. the above with the Pedigree, but they were certainly descendants of Scurfield of Kibblesworth.

Pedigree of Johnson, of Kibblesworth.

Arms : Party per pale Sable and Azure a saltire Argent, charged with five cocks of the first, between three towers, one in chief and two in fesse, Argent, with flames issuing therefrom proper, and in base two tilting spears broken in saltire Or.

CREST : a dexter arm embowed, firing a pistol, all proper.


* This loaded coat is said in Guillim (edit. 1724), fo. 171, to be borne by “Nathaniel Johnson, of Kiblesworth, in the Bishopric of Durham, Gent. chief farmer of the chimney-money of his Majesty for the four Northern Counties.” Do the flaming towers allude to his sooty profits, the Denarii fumales?

† See Universal History, vol. xl. p. 431–3. Robert Johnson, Esq. was appointed Governor of Carolina in 1728; ibid. p. 437.

*** William Bonner, Gent. and Abigail Johnson, married 25 Nov. 1662.

Samuel Bonner, merchant, of Newcastle, and Isabel Johnson, marriage licence 1671.

Joseph Bonner, of Newcastle, merchant, and Priscilla Johnson, marriage licence 11 Aug. 1676.

Priscilla, daughter of Mr. William Bonner, Kibblesworth, baptized 22 March 1708–9, see p. 72.


  • 1. See Chester, p. 143.
  • 2. An eminent divine, father of the learned and exemplary Dr. Thomas Balguy, Archdeacon of Winchester, the literary friend of Warburton and Hurd. “For the first four years after he had obtained the small preferment of Lamesley and Tanfield, he did not intermit one week without composing a new Sermon; and desirous that so excellent an example should be followed by his son, he destroyed almost his whole stock, and committed, at one time, two hundred and fifty to the flames.” Chalmers, Biog. Diet. He was collated 25 Jan. 1727-8, by Bishop Hoadly, to a prebend in the church of Salisbury; and resigned Lamesley for Northallerton, 23 July 1729. He died at Harrogate, 22 Sept. 1748, ret. 63. M. I. Knaresbrough.
  • 3.
  • 4. There are excellent gardens on the North, remarkable for the extent of their glass.
  • 5.
  • 6. im. 1. iii. c. 23. See vol, I. xvii.
  • 7. See Horden, vol. I. p. 24.
  • 8. Inq. p. m. 3 Fordham, and see the other Inquisitions quoted in the Pedigree.
  • 9. Rot. Tunstall.
  • 10. Inq. p. m. Henr. Gascoigne Mil. 5 Sept. 3 Eliz.
  • 11. Sprinklings of the family of Gascoigne occur in the Lamesley Register long after the sale of the estate. Margerie daughter of Thomas Gascoigne, of the Hillhead, bapt. 25 May 1607; Jane, &c. 1 Sept. 1608; Thomas, &c. 25 June 1610; Richard, son of Thomas, &c. bur. 23 July 1603; Richard Gascoigne, of Kibblesworth, Gentleman, bur. 20 May 1604; John Gascoigne, Gent. bur. 9 April 1628; Jane Gascoigne, bur. 22 Nov. 1630; Katharin Gascoigne 10 May 1631; Francis son of Francis Gascoigne, bapt. ult. Dec. 1640; William son of William Gascoigne, 29 Nov. 1635; Roger son of Thomas Gascoigne, 24 April 1670. Lamesley.—A line of Surgeons and Apothecaries of the same name may be traced in Gateshead and Newcastle, see Pedigree of Thomlinson, p. 117.
  • 12. Pardon of Alien. 6 Aug. 6 Jac. Rot. W. James, A. 41.
  • 13.
  • 14. Sir Thomas Liddell was carried prisoner to London, committed to the charge of General Lambert, and at last compounded for his estates as a delinquent for 4000l. Sir Thomas did not probably owe his imprisonment solely altogether to his loyalty, for it seems that “the Committees of both kingdoms did conclude and agree amongst themselves, that some of the most notorious delinquents and malignants, late coal owners in the town of Newcastle, be wholly excluded from intermeddling with any shares or parts of collieries,” of which they had already made such ill use; but as the Parliament might find a difficulty in driving on the trade, they did not conceive it for their service “to put. out all the said malignants at once, but were rather constrained, for the present, to make use of those delinquents in working their own collieries, as tenants and servants;” so they selected, for example's sake, a few only of the most stubborn and wealthy, viz. Sir John Marley, Sir Thomas Riddell, Sir Thomas Liddell, Sir Alexander Davison, (who died under arms on the walls, at the age of eighty, a few days before the surrender) Sir John Minns, and Sir Francis Anderson (of Bradley).
  • 15. Newcastle (the last bulwark of the royal cause in the North) was stormed by the Scots, Sunday, 19th October, 1644, after a most determined resistance, after a leaguer of eighteen months and a siege with open trenches of eight weeks. See the whole narrative in Brand and in Bourne, (see, in particular, Hume's original dispatch after the storm, Bourne, 233–4) and in Rushworth, vol. III. part II. The defence was conducted by the Mayor and Aldermen; for the Marquis of Newcastle had drawn off most of his troops, and marched into Yorkshire, in consequence of the disasters of the Royalists in April 1644.
  • 16. The old way runs from Ravensworth to Dunstan on the Tyne. Colonel Liddell, and the Hon. Charles Montague, were the founders of the partnership now vulgarly called the Grand Allies.
  • 17. Inq. p. m. John Scrutevill, 12 Hatfield.
  • 18. In 1545 a close in Ravensworth occurs, named Countess seyte. Inq. p. m. Elizabeth Hilton, 37 Henry VIII.
  • 19.
  • 20. Inq. p. m. 23 Hatfield.
  • 21. lnq. p. m. 25 Hatfield.
  • 22. See the Pedigree of Ravensworth, and the extent of the estate, under Gateshead, p. 113. This sub-manor enjoyed the services of some free tenants, and amongst them appears the great name of Umfrevill. In 1380 Robert de Umfrevill held of Alan Ravensworth, grandfather of Henry, a messuage by 2d. rent, and the twentieth part multure to the Lord's Mill. Inq. 35 Hatfield.
  • 23. 26 Dec. 38 Eliz. Pardon to Ralph Surtees, of Newcastle, Yeoman, for acquiring from John Hodge, senior and junior, one fifth of 7 messuages, 80 acres, in Ravensworth, Lamesley, Eighton, and Kibblesworth; and eod. die, Pardon for two other fifths purchased of Agnes Sotheron and George and Alice Hutchinson, Rot. Tobie Mathew. Ralph Surtees, of Ravensworth, entered his arms and Pedigree at St. George's Visitation, 1615 (see hereafter under Durham.)
  • 24. Blakiston was restored to the Convent of Durham by the death-bed penitence of Bishop Ranulph. See vol. I. p. xx.
  • 25.
  • 26. Messrs. John Fryer, Newcastle, John Taylor, Ash, John Martindall, Flatts; Arbitrators, Robert Hopper Williamson, Esq. Joseph Willis, Gateshead, Esq.
  • 27. Act 41 George III. and various papers relative to the division—Richard Kirton, Esq.
  • 28.
  • 29. Inq. die L. in F. Inv. S. Crucis, 12 Skirlaw.
  • 30. Rad. Lomley, miles. Noveritis me concessisse Johanni dc Kendal clerico un. toft, et 32 acras in villa et territorio de Eghton habend. &c. reddendo &c. un. marc. T. Will'o de Hilton, Bartramo Monboucher, Will'o de Wessyngton, militibus. 20 Sept. 11 R. II. Rot. Fordham.
  • 31. Inq. p.m. John de Eighton, 35 Hatfield.
  • 32. See the Charter under Wolviston. Roger appears on his seal as a knight in full armour.
  • 33. See Cocken, vol. I. p. 205.
  • 34. Inq. die L. prox. p. F. Ascens. 23 Hatfield.
  • 35. Inq. die L. prox. p. F. S. Luc. Evang. 25 Hatfield.
  • 36. In 1415, Alice de Masham, of Gybset, died seized of half a great close called the Overladhed field, in Kibblesworth, and of 6s. 8d. rent out of the Moor Mylne, held by knight's service and 8s. 2d. rent. Inq. 10 Langley.
  • 37. Inq. p. m. die L. prox. ante F. S. Aug. Ep. 12 Hatfield.
  • 38. Inq. p. m. die Merc. ante F. S. Luc. 4 Langley.
  • 39. Inq. 15 Langley.
  • 40. From henceforth see the Pedigree. I have forborne to place the broken links at its head, as they are fully cited in the text.
  • 41. Rot. W. James, a° . . . Fine 8 Aug. 12 Jac.
  • 42. 1598 Henry Jackman, Esq. to Percival Harbotle, of Ravensworth, Gent. one messuage, &c. to be held of the Queen's manor of East Greenwich. 1606, May 26, Percival Harbotle grants all that capital messuage, &c. the Hall Garths to John and Richard Starforth. [1635, September 11, release from R. Hindmers, admin. of Harbotle, to Thomas Cole.] 1606, Starfurth grants to William Wray, of Ravensworth, Esq. 1612, 5 January, William Wrey, of Beamish, Esq. grants to Ralph Surties, of Ravensworth, Gent. 1618, 29 June, Ralph Surties grants to Ralph Marley, of Urpeth, Yeoman. 1673, April 30, Ralph Marley, son of Ralph Marley, of Picktree, deceased, conveys to William Greenwell, of Kibblesworth, Gent. for 338l. Title deeds, W. Greenwell, Esq.
  • 43.
  • 44. 41 Eliz. 1599, Robert Greenwell took by fine of Henry Jackman, Esq. 2 messuages, 3 cottages, 60 acres of arable, 30 meadow, 3 of pasture, 10 of wood, and 20 of moor, held by knight's service. Robert Greenwell, of London, merchant, left a son John Greenwell 1632, whose widow, Mary, was living 1695, and held lands in Kibblesworth, together with her two daughters, Anne, widow of Robert Collyer, merchant, of Newcastle, and Mary, widow of .... Hutchinson.—Abstract, Johnson's MSS.
  • 45. 1585, Sir Henry Gate, of Seamor, Knt. leases lands in Kibblesworth to Barbara Cole, and Thomas her son. 3 July 1598, Henry Jackman, of London, to Thomas Coale, a messuage in Kibblesworth for 73l. 6s. 8d. to be paid on Haxby's tombe in York Cathedral. 1664, 24 June, Thomas and Lancelot Atkinson, of Hamsteels, grant to Barbara, wife of William Greenwell, Gent. all that messuage, &c. in Kibblesworth, late of Robert Cole, father of Barbara. 5 Jan. 1679, agreement between William Greenwell and Mrs. Mary Greenwell, as to Boundaries. 1683, William and Barbara Greenwell, and Nicholas their eldest son, settle lands in Kibblesworth on Robert, another son of William and Barbara. (See Pedigree of Greenwell under Ford.) Title deeds, W. Greenwell, Esq.
  • 46. 17 Oct. 1577, Agnes Baynbrigg, daughter and heir of Thomas Culley, held 2 oxgangs and 12 acres of meadow in Kibblesworth of the Bishop; Percival Baynbrigg, cousin and heir; Robert Baynbrigg son and heir of Percival, 1604; William son and heir of Robert, under age, 25 Oct. 1606.
  • 47. Robert Wild, son and heir of Robert, 9 Jac. 1912; William Wild, son and heir of Robert, 1618; Thomas, son and heir of Ralph Wild, 1631.
  • 48. One of the closes is called the Low Hall Garth.
  • 49. I am ignorant of the origin of this considerable estate, which is still in the family.
  • 50. William Greenwell, of Newcastle, Esq. my old and valued friend, to whom I am indebted for much local information.
  • 51. Inq. 25 Hatfield.
  • 52. See Gibside.