Parish of Elton

The History and Antiquities of the County Palatine of Durham: Volume 3, Stockton and Darlington Wards. Originally published by Nichols and Son, London, 1823.

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Robert Surtees, 'Parish of Elton', in The History and Antiquities of the County Palatine of Durham: Volume 3, Stockton and Darlington Wards, (London, 1823) pp. 209-211. British History Online [accessed 27 May 2024].

Robert Surtees. "Parish of Elton", in The History and Antiquities of the County Palatine of Durham: Volume 3, Stockton and Darlington Wards, (London, 1823) 209-211. British History Online, accessed May 27, 2024,

Surtees, Robert. "Parish of Elton", The History and Antiquities of the County Palatine of Durham: Volume 3, Stockton and Darlington Wards, (London, 1823). 209-211. British History Online. Web. 27 May 2024,

In this section


The Parish of Elton is bounded by Norton and Redmarshall on the North, by Stockton on the East, by Long-Newton on the South and South-west, and by Bishopton on the North-west. The Parish forms only one Constablery.

In the time of Bishop Philip de Poictou the manor belonged to William de Homez (fn. 1). The estate, some time later, was vested for several descents in the family of Gower (fn. 2). Thomas, son of Sir William Gower, Knt. living in 1378, was the ancestor of Ralph Gower, Gent. who died in 1546, seised of half the manor of Elton (and of half the advowson), leaving Laurence Tregoz, his next heir (fn. 3). Meanwhile another moiety of the manor was vested in the family of Bowes, at least as early as 1435, and this portion descended in 1556 to the coheirs of Sir George Bowes, of Dalden, of whom Dorothy intermarried with Sir Cuthbert Collingwood. In 1573 the same Sir Cuthbert conveyed his lordship of Elton, and his right and part of the advowson of the Rectory (parcel of the estate of Dame Dorothy his wife), to Thomas Serjeantson, of Preston-on-Skerne, and John Thomas and Christopher Jefferson, of Elton, yeomen. In 1584 Thomas Serjeantson is stated to die seised of a fourth of the manor held of Lord Clifford, leaving Christopher his son and heir.

Somewhat later a moiety of the manor was settled in the Erringtons.


The Sequestration Books bear testimony to the loyalty of the Erringtons:—

On pet'c'on of Mrs. Mary Errington, wife of Coll. John Errington th' elder, wee doe thinke fitt to allow a fift part of the profitts of the said Coll. Errington's estate being sequestered at Elton and Egglescliffe, or elsewhere, for the maintenance of Mrs. Errington and her family.

John Boasman holdeth of old Coll. Errington eight oxgangs in Elton, p (fn. 4) 40l. Robert Moory five oxgangs for 30l. John Taylerson one oxgang and a quarter, &c.

This portion of the estate rested in the Shafto family till a few years ago, when John Shafto, of Whitworth, Esq. sold to Thomas Wade, of Fatfield, Esq. for 11,000l.

In 1684 the freeholders were Sir Robert Shafto, Knt. Serjeant-at-law, John Jefferson, Esq. (fn. 5) Barrister, Joshua Jefferson an infant, Thomas Todd, of Dalton, and John Hendry, of Norton.

The heiress of the family of Jefferson intermarried with Thomas Hogg, Esq. whose son, John Hogg, of Norton, Esq. is owner of this portion of the estate, and of a third of the advowson.

The Suttons of Stockton held another portion of the manor, also derived, I presume, by descent from Jefferson. The late George Sutton, Esq. devised this estate to George Hutchinson (son of John Hutchinson, of Stockton, and Elizabeth-Caroline Sleigh), who assumes the name of Sutton (fn. 6).

There is a mansion-house in Elton (now the residence of Colonel Sleigh), with a handsome garden (fn. 7) and grounds, laid out by the late owner.

The Church

Is a small simple structure, consisting of a nave, chancel, and South porch; a circular arch divides the nave and chancel; another round arch, with the nail-head ornament, is closed up in the North wall of the nave. The old narrow lights are chiefly replaced by modern sashes.

A recumbent effigy of a knight in armour lies in the nave under the arch in the North wall. The head, in a close scull-cap, rests on a pillow; the face is open, the hands clasped on the breast, the sword hangs from a belt, the legs are crossed, the spurs on the heels, and the feet rest on a lion (fn. 8).

Monumental Inscriptions.

On a tablet of white marble against the North wall of the chancel:

To the memory
John Sutton, Esq.
Stockton, in this county.
He was born the 26th day
of September 1737,
and died most deservedly
lamented, on the 17th day of
October 1792.

On a flag in the floor of the chancel:

Here lieth Mary, the wife of Henry Doughty,
Rector, buried July 25th, 1683.
Come Lord Jesus.—Rev. c. xxii. v. 20.
Amen. Even so.

In the church-yard, on an altar-tomb to the South of the church:

Solomon Jefferson, died Nov. 7th, 1744, aged 49. Ann, his wife, died Feb. the 6th, 1776, aged 77. Also Jane (fn. 9), her sister, who died April 5th, 1764, aged 59. Elizabeth Metcalf, who died the 16th of March 1763, aged 59 years. Elizabeth Rymer, daughter of Solomon and Ann Jefferson, died May 2d, 1816, aged 87 years. Joseph Jefferson, departed this life the 1st day of May 1746, aged 16 years.

On an altar-tomb East of the church (fn. 10) :

Here lyeth George Jefferson, who was interred Dec. 15th, 1690, aged 51. And Israel, his son, who died May 5th, 1708, aged 39. Elizabeth, the wife of George Jefferson, died Oct. 12th, 1712, aged 82. George Sutton, died June 16th, 1738, aged . . .

According to an instrument in Madox, the advowson about 1200 belonged to Philip de Homez (fn. 11) : it was afterwards held, as should seem, by Gower and Bowes; and since by Errington and Jefferson; but Errington had two turns, and Jefferson one. Errington's right of patronage passed with the estate to Shafto; and Jefferson's is vested by descent in John Hogg, Esq.

Succession Of Rectors.

  • William de Ellewike, 1311.
  • Thomas Trowell.
  • John de Brafferton (fn. 12), 1378, p. res. Trowell.
  • William de Percebrigg, 1403.
  • Robert Toppyng (fn. 13), p. m. Percebrigg.
  • John Bowes, Chaplain, 1495.
  • Peter Balyf, 1519.
  • John Sayer (fn. 14), Chaplain, 1536.
  • Thomas Wright (fn. 15), 1567.
  • Robert Blaxton (fn. 16), 1571, p. depr. Wright.
  • Thomas Bell, 1595.
  • Richard Colmore (fn. 17), 1608.
  • Richard Thursby, A. M. (fn. 18) 1619, p. res. Colmore.
  • William Murrey, A. B. (fn. 19) 1621, p. res. Thursby.
  • Tobias Markendale (fn. 20), 1649.
  • Henry Doughtie, A. M. (fn. 21) 1668, p. m. Markendale.
  • Timothy Mawman (fn. 22), 1709, p. m. Doughty.
  • William Russell (fn. 23), 1716, p. depr. Mawman.
  • John Rowntree (fn. 24), 1758, p. m. Russell.
  • Thomas Ewbanke, A.M. (fn. 25) 1804, p. m. Rowntree.

The glebe consists of the site of the rectory adjoining the church-yard, with a stable, barn, fold-yard, and nearly an acre of ground called the Ashes on the East, a small orchard or garden on the North, and a plot of ground planted with fruit-trees on the South. Two fields on the South of the road leading from Darlington to Stockton, the one estimated at eleven, the other at ten acres, abutting on lands of George Sutton, Esq. West, on Coatham-grounds South, and on the high road to Yarm East; and four fields, respectively of eighteen, eleven, and ten acres on the North side of the same road from Darlington to Stockton, abutting on grounds of George Sutton, Esq. on the West, North, and East (fn. 26).

A composition or tithe-rent of 22l. 10s. (fn. 27) had existed in the Parish of Elton for a considerable time. In Michaelmas Term, 1804, the present Rector filed a Bill in the Court of Exchequer against the land owners, to compel payment of tithes in kind. In Easter Term, 1813, the Court directed an issue, which was tried at Durham the ensuing Assizes before Baron Wood and a Special Jury, when a verdict was found for the Rector, the alleged modus or prescript having been fairly proved to have been only a composition entered into by the Rector about 1641, and acquiesced in by his successors. In Michaelmas Term following the defendants moved for a new trial. The cause came on before the Barons in Hilary Term, 1814, when the Court, after hearing counsel on both sides, dismissed the application for a new trial, and decreed payment of tithes in kind, with costs both at law and in equity.


  • 1. See the Rectory.
  • 2. Ibid.
  • 3.
  • 4. “Mr. John Errington, maximus natu, Papist, bur. 31 Dec. 1666, Elton.” Mickleton's MSS.
  • 5. Serjeant-at-law, Recorder of Durham 1686, an Irish Judge 1691.
  • 6. Thomas Sutton married Rachael Jefferson 5 Jan. 1692. (See M. I. Stockton.) They had issue, 1. Thomas, whose issue is extinct; 2. William Sutton, Esq. buried at Elton, April 13, 1774, father of George Sutton, who died 1817, and John Sutton, Esq. who died 1792, both without issue. Mary Sutton, sister of William, mar. 13 Octo. 1757, Charles Sleigh, Esq. (son of William Sleigh, Esq. and Mary Bathurst, sister and coheir of Charles Bathurst, Esq. of Clintz and Skutter-skelfe,) and had issue William Sleigh, Esq. now living; Mary, married to Rev. John Allison, Vicar of Heddon-on-the Wall; and Elizabeth-Caroline, married to John Hutchinson, of Stockton, Esq. to whose son, George Hutchinson, George Sutton, Esq. devised the bulk of his property.
  • 7. The course of the little Elton beck crankling through a small valley, gives some variety to these grounds in the midst of a level country. Here is preserved the leonine stone, the last relique of Stockton Castle.
  • 8. This effigy is generally attributed to one of the Gowers. In an account of repairs, 1714, “Mem. ye panell'd work above Gower, and ye balls were given by Io. Cock, joyner, wh we reckon at ten shillings.”
  • 9. In the Register named Jane Fawell, of Long-Newton. T. E.
  • 10. Removed from its original situation near the South porch when Mr. Sutton's vault was made.
  • 11. This instrument is a quit-claim from Bishop Philip of Poictou to Philip de Homez of all right in the advowson of the Chapel of Elton, which he allows to be the right of Philip: “jure hereditario et secundum veredictum legalium hominum viciniæ. T. Bertram Priore Dunelm. Armerico Archid. et aliis.” Madox, Form. p. 370, No 663.
  • 12. Regist. Hatfield, p. 142. By Inq. de jure Patronatus, Thomas Chaunceler, guardian of Thomas, son and heir of Sir William Gower, is the true patron, and Joan, late wife of Sir William Gower, presented Trowell, the last Clerk. 2 June 33 Hatf. 1378.
  • 13. Reg. Langley, p. 303. By Inq. 10 Sept. 1435, Gower has one turn, and Sir William Bowes two turns, and Sir William hath this turn.
  • 14. By Lawrence Gower, Patron hac vice.
  • 15. James Parkynson, of Easington, and Simon Welbury, of Castle Eden, Gents. executors of the will of Sir George Bowes, Knt. Patrons pro hac vice.
  • 16. Cuthbert Collingwood, of Eslington, Knt. and Dorothy his wife, daughter and coheir of Sir George Bowes, Patrons.
  • 17. Second son of Clement Colmore, LL. D. Chancellor of the Diocese of Durham. He was presented by Bishop Neile, by lapse.
  • 18. Pres. by Bishop Neile, by lapse.
  • 19. George Marley, Patron, in right of Errington.
  • 20. Margaret Jefferson, widow, guardian for her son, &c.
  • 21. Sometime Curate to Dr. Basire, at Egglescliffe. “Henrie Doughtie, Curate, and Miss Mary Wiseman, mar. at Roxby Chapell, July 19, 1672.” Egglescliffe. He was presented by John Jefferson, Esq. and subscribed 14 Jan. 1667–8, but not inducted till 11 Dec. 1668. Stephen Windale, literat. subscribed 31 Jan. 1667, and was probably presented by Errington. In the Remembrancer's Office is a memorandum, “Elton—Joh. Jefferson, Arm. et Joh. Errington, generosus, alternis vicibus pleno jure patroni.”
  • 22. Mark Shafto, Esq. Patron. Mawman was a Nonjuror; he married a daughter of the Rev. Thomas Davison, Vicar of Norton, and survived at Stockton till 1763.
  • 23. Pres. by M. Shafto, Esq.
  • 24. By a Quare impedit, tried at Durham Assizes, between Miss Anne Jefferson, of Norton, and Robert Shafto, Esq. it was agreed and settled by rule of Court, that Miss Jefferson should have one turn, and Mr. Shafto two. Miss Jefferson's Clerk, being party to the cause, was to have this turn, and Shafto the two following.
  • 25. To whom the Author is indebted for much friendly attention.
  • 26. Terrier 23 July 1788.
  • 27. Stated to be at ten shillings per oxgang.
  • 28. William Sleigh and Mary Bathurst, mar. 26 Nov. 1726; they had issue, 1. Charles; 2. William; 3. Frances, wife of George Hoar, Esq. (see M. I. Stockton); 4. Elizabeth, mar. 1. Rev. Benjamin Pye, of Chesterton, co. Oxon.; 2. Ralph Whitley, Esq. of Aston, Flintshire.