Parish of Stainton

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 Stainton', in The History and Antiquities of the County Palatine of Durham: Volume 3, Stockton and Darlington Wards, (London, 1823) pp. 61-66. British History Online [accessed 27 May 2024].

Robert Surtees. "Parish of Stainton", in The History and Antiquities of the County Palatine of Durham: Volume 3, Stockton and Darlington Wards, (London, 1823) 61-66. British History Online, accessed May 27, 2024,

Surtees, Robert. "Parish of Stainton", The History and Antiquities of the County Palatine of Durham: Volume 3, Stockton and Darlington Wards, (London, 1823). 61-66. British History Online. Web. 27 May 2024,

In this section


The Parish of Stainton is bounded by Sedgefield on the North, by Redmarshall and Bishopton on the East, by Bishopton and Haughton-le-Skerne on the South, and by Aycliffe on the West.

The Parish includes the Constableries of Stainton and Elstobb.

Great Stainton is now reduced to a village of a few houses. It is full as often distinguished as Stainton in the Street; and it is not improbable that this appellation may be derived from its standing on the line of an ancient Roman cross-road, or via vicinalis, running in almost a direct line from Old Durham and Mainsforth, through Bradbury, Mordon, Stainton, and Sadberge, to the ford over the Tees at Sockburn.

“A. D. 1283, ad Festum Inventionis Sanctæ Crucis, ita convenit inter Johannem de Balliolo ex parte una, et Thomam, filium et heredem Ricardi de la Haye, ex altera,” &c. That whereas the said Thomas had brought a writ of mort d'ancestor against John Balliol (in the court of Robert de l'Isle, Bishop of Durham), for a messuage, five tofts, and thirty and five oxgangs of land, and eighteen acres of meadow, in Stainton in le Street; the same John came into Court on Thursday before the Feast of Holy Cross, and acknowledged all the said tenements to be the right of Thomas de la Haye, viz. which Richard, father of Thomas, held of Agnes, daughter of Thomas Fitz William, by charter of the same Agnes; which charter John now confirms and ratifies as superior lord of the fee, reserving from Thomas de la Haye and his heirs one penny rent at Easter, and fealty and suit of court once in three weeks, at his Court at Gainford (fn. 1).

In 1461 Richard Lambton, Esq. who fell on the side of Lancaster, at Towton-field, on Palm Sunday 1461, died seised of half the manor of Stainton in the Street, held of the manor of Gainford, by the service of one halfpenny, and of attending the Manor-court of Gainford three times within the year (fn. 2). William Lambton, Esq. died seised of the same estate in 1612 (fn. 3), leaving two daughters under age; Margaret, who became the wife of John Killinghall, Esq.; and Anne, who intermarried with Nicholas Chaytor, Esq.

I can only conjecture that this was the same moiety of the manor which was devised, in 1725 (fn. 4), by Thomas Ogle, of Durham, Gent. to his uncle John Ogle, for life, with remainder as to one half to his cousin Margaret Robinson for life; and as to the reversion of that moiety, and the fee of the other half, to his cousin Anne, wife of Sir William Middleton, Bart. In 1757 Sir William Middleton devised to his nephew William Middleton, who in 1759 conveyed to John Tempest, of Sherburne, Esq. (fn. 5) This moiety of the manor is now vested in Lady Vane Stewart.

I am still less able to trace the descent of the remaining moiety of the manor. In 1594 Anthony Rickabye died seised of a capital messuage, three cottages, sixty acres of arable land, as many of pasture, twenty of meadow, and twenty of furze and whins, in Stainton in the Street, held of the Queen's manor of Gainford in socage, by one halfpenny rent (fn. 6); a tenure which seems plainly to establish this estate as the corresponding portion of the manor; and in 1632 Robert Rickaby settled expressly his reputed moiety of the manor, on the marriage of his son John Rickaby with Elizabeth Shepherd (fn. 7).

In 1684 the freeholders in Great Stainton were, Henry Rawling, of Newcastle, Gent. Elizabeth Rickaby, William Tunstall, Gent. and Thomas Pearson, Gent. (fn. 8)

Pedigree of Lambton, of Great Stainton, Belsis, and Haughton-field.


* Testam. Roberti Lambton, de parochia de Ayton in Clyveland, die L. prox. ante F. Exalt. S. Crucis 14 Hen. VI. legat corpus sepeliend. in Eccles. Omn. SS. de Ayton; legat fratribus de Yarm, &c.; Alesiæ ux. suæ terras et ten. Joh'is Hedelam in manu sua, usq. ad plen. ætat. heredis; executores Alesiam uxorem, Will'um Bekwyth avunculum, et Thomam Lambton consanguineum suum. T. Johanne Bekwyth, Will'o Balliofe. Prob. 27 Oct. 1435. No. 3. Cur. Consist. Ebor. fo. 435.

† Constance, daughter of John Dalton, of West Auckland, Esq.

The Church

Stands on rising ground a little to the West of the village; a small neat structure, consisting of a nave and chancel.

Monumental Inscriptions.

Within the altar-rails, on a blue slab:

Here Lieth The Body Of Mr. William Scurfield, Late Of Elstob, Gentleman, Who Departed This Life The 13th Of Aprill, Anno Dom. 1627.

Here Lieth The Body Of Mr. William Scurfield, Late Of Elstob, In The County Of Durham, Gentleman, ye Eldest Son To Ye Above-Named Mr. William Scurfield, Who Departed This Life ye 23d Of November, Anno Domini 1694, Aged 81 Years And A Half.

Abi Lector Et Eternitatem Cogita.

Arms: a fesse dancette inter six martlets.

On a slab, on the South of the altar:

Heare lieth interred the body of George Scurfield, sacond sonne to William Scurfield, late of Elstobb, who departed this life the 18th day of July, Anno Do' 1640.

On another slab:

Underneath lyeth the body of Elizabeth Scurfield, relict of William Scurfield, late of Elstob, deceased, who departed this life the ixth day of February, Año Do' 1644.

Within the altar-rails, on a flat stone:

Here Lies The Body Of James Platts, Master Of Arts, Rector Of Great Stainton, Who Died Feb. 13, Anno Dom. 1706.

In the chancel:

Here Lyeth Interred The Bodye of Tho. Carre, That Faithful And Laborious Servant of Jesus Christ, And Late Minister Of The Gospel At This Place, Who Lived At Neutoune, And Departed This Life The 16th Day Of May, In The 36th Yeare Of His Age, Anno Dom. 1655.

On a flat blue marble stone:

Here lieth the body of the Rev. Thomas Nicholson, Rector of Great Stainton, otherwise Stainton in the Street, who departed this life May the 13th, Anno Dom. 1749, aged 87.

Near the above:

Elizabeth, daughter of Thomas Nicholson, rector, and Grace his wife, buried Xber ye 13, 1723, aged 17.

Also Grace Goodchild, their other daughter, who died Aug. 24, 1726, aged 22 (fn. 9).

On an altar-tomb, in the church-yard:

Underneath this stone lie the remains of Robert Rickerby, who died May 23, 1745, aged 70. Jane his wife, died April 9, 1728, aged 49, and their numerous issue—

Robert, bur. 29 Aug. 1703, aged 1 year.
Jane, 31 Jan. 1706, 2 years.
Robert, 26 Nov. 1707, 1 year.
Margaret, 30 May 1715, 2 months.
Robert, 7 July 1717, 1 year.
Elizabeth, 5 April 1718, 18 years.
Jane, bur. 3 May 1718, aged 9 years.
Thomas, 12 May 1722, 26 years.
Sarah, 21 Mar. 1726, 15 years.
John, 26 April 1754, 46 years.
Watson, 14 Octo. 1759, 61 years.

On a head-stone:

Benjamin Ord, departed this life the 31st day of May 1762, aged 50.

Succession Of Rectors.

Stainton in Strata, Rectory.—Patron, the Prior of St. Mary's, York, olim; the Crown since the Dissolution.—King's Books, 12l. 13s. 4d.; Tenths, 1l. 5s. 4d.; Episc. Proc. 8s.; Archid. 2s.—Dedication to All Saints.

  • William Presbyter de Stainton, 1129.
  • Richard de Appleby.
  • Thomas de Lincoln, 1369.
  • Thomas de Lindesay, 1370.
  • John Cotemore, 1416.
  • Robert Marshal, 1433.
  • Robert Wedows, 1448.
  • John Manfield, 1466.
  • Robert Chaymber, 1497, p. m. Manfield.
  • William Wytham, 1524.
  • John Metcalfe, 1530, p. m. Wytham.
  • Richard Marshall, 20 Nov. 1538, p. m. Metcalfe.
  • Simon Robson, A. M. (fn. 10) 1582.
  • Thomas Ingemethorp (fn. 11), 1594, p. res. Robson.
  • Henry Doughty, inducted 6 Dec. 1638, p. m. Ingemethorp.
  • Thomas Carr (fn. 12), Minister, ob. 1655.
  • James Hilliard, inducted Oct. 1658.
  • William Pell, A. M. (fn. 13) Magd. Coll. Cambr. 1655, pres. 20 July 1660.
  • Thomas Pearson, A. M. (fn. 14) p. depr. Pell, 1662.
  • James Platts, A. M. 1681, p. m. Pearson.
  • Thomas Nicholson, A. M. (fn. 15) 1706, p. m. Platts.
  • John Emerson, A. M. 1749, p. m. Nicholson.
  • Henry Vane, L.L.D. (fn. 16) Trin. Coll. Cambr. p. m. Emerson.
  • James Douglas, S. T. P. (fn. 17) 1760, p. res. Vane.
  • George Maclellan, A. M.
  • Henry Phillpotts, A. M. (fn. 18) Magd. Coll. Oxon. p. m. Maclellan.
  • Thomas Baker, A. M. (fn. 19) Oriel Coll. Oxon. p. res. Phillpotts.
  • Daniel Mitford Peacock, A. M. (fn. 20) Trin. Coll. Cambr. p. res. Baker.

The Parsonage, a tall gavel-ended house, fronting to the South, is spacious and convenient. The glebe consists of 47a. 3r. 6p. viz. the site of the house, barns, garden, and garth, 1a. 3r. 4p.; 42a. 2r. 14p. within a ring-fence, well inclosed, and subdivided, bounded by the king's high-road North and West, and by the lands of Lady Vane Stewart on the South and East; and Blackhouse-field, 3a. 1r. 28p. bounded by the king's high-road East, and by the parish of Aycliffe, North, South, and West. The Rector is generally entitled to tithes of every description.


A small hamlet, one mile to the North of Great Stainton. In 1370 Sir Thomas Gray, Knt. died seised of the manor of Ellestob, held of the See of Durham by homage and fealty, 4s. 6d. rent, and suit at the Bishop's Court of Cotham Mundevill (fn. 21). “Sir Thomas Gray, Knight, of Northumberland,” who was executed at Southampton, the 5th of August, 1417 (fn. 22), held the same manor (by the same tenure), which then escheated to the Bishop; and when Bishop Nevil restored to his nephew, Ralph Gray (grandson of Sir Thomas), the Northumbrian estates of his family, Elstob is not mentioned in the Charter of restitution.

In 1594 William Spenceley, Gent. died seised of a messuage, garden, and orchard, eighty acres of arable land, forty of meadow, sixty of pasture, and ten of wood, in Elstob and Sedgefield, held of the Bishop, by 13d. rent (fn. 23). Elizabeth his daughter and heir married Francis Wren, of Henknoll, Esq. who sold the same lands to William Scurfield, Gent. 27 July 1607 (fn. 24). 8 Jan. 1588 Richard Middleton alienated to the same William Scurfield a garden and orchard, two hundred acres of arable, a hundred of meadow, as many of pasture, and twenty of woodland, held of the Queen, in chief, sede vac. (fn. 25) 20 Nov. 1616, John Watson, of Sheraton, Gent. granted the West meadow-fence, the West field, and the moor, to William Scurfield, Gent. and George his son (fn. 26). William Scurfield, who died in 1627, settled these and other lands (in the parish of Bishopton) on his three sons, William, Edward, and Matthew, in tail-general (fn. 27). In 1692 William Scurfield, the elder and younger (son and grandson of the first named William), joined in mortgaging to John Morton, Rector of Sedgefield. Gilbert Spearman, Gent. purchased the mortgage from Dr. Morton (1,277l.), and the equity of redemption from William Scurfield (for 120l.), who signed a general release in 1723.

In 1698 William Johnson, Gent. and in 1706 Henry Rawling, a mortgagee, granted another farm in Elstob, sometime Scurfield's, to Robert Bromley, Gent. In 1712 Robert Bromley devised to his daughter Isabel, who, in 1716, devised to her nephews Robert and William Coulson. In 1723 Gilbert Spearman, who then held the equity of redemption in this parcel also, and William Coulson, Esq. conveyed as well Johnson's as Scurfield's lands in fee, to William Chaloner, Clerk, who settled the estate on his marriage with Anne Hodgson, in 1724. In 1763 Robert Chaloner, who became entitled under the settlement, conveyed his estates to trustees, on his marriage with Dorothy, daughter of Sir John Lister Kaye, Bart.; and in 1771 the same Robert Chaloner and Nathaniel Green (a mortgagee) joined in conveying their lands in Elstob to John Tempest, of Winyard, Esq. for 4,500l. (fn. 28) This estate is now the property of Lady Vane Stewart.

Another considerable estate in Elstob was held by the family of Jackson. William Jackson, in 1571 (fn. 29), devised lands, sometime Lord Lumley's, purchased of John Hedworth, Gent. to his son Richard Jackson, who, in 1595, acquired other lands of William, and Elizabeth, and Thomas Wilkinson (fn. 30). George, son and heir of Richard Jackson, had livery in 1614 (fn. 31).

In 1684 the only freeholders in Elstob were William Scurfield and Thomas Pearson, Gents. (fn. 32)


* Brancepath.

† Houghton-le-Spring.

‡ Great Stainton.

§ Mickleton, vol. 97, has the following note on Joseph Naylor, Rector of Sedgefield:—“Et predicabat funebrem sermonem Georgii Scurfield, de Midleham-Ep'i, qui cæsus fuit pr... Rickaby, 18 Julii 1640.” V. le Case, Sly. 369.

‖ He leaves his lands in Bradbury to his youngest son Matthew; lands at Wheatley-hill and Shiraton Grange to son George; son Edward executor. “My gossips Mr. George Martin and Mr. George Craggs, of Durham, supervisors.”

Great Stainton.—Inventories of the goods of Mr. Raiph Coatsworth, papist and delinquent, 34l. 7s. 4d. Henry Wilkinson, delinquent and papist, 11l. 6s. 6d. William Rickaby, papist, 25l. 5s. 4d. Ralph Coatsworth and William Rickaby are seized of two parts of the lands of Great Stainton. Henry Wilkinson, a papist, is one of Coatsworth's tenants.

John Rickaby farmeth Broadleys, Newclose, and the East end of the Broad Meadows, 22l. on lease, &c. and a messuage, called Ricknowle, Hawkesley Shepeclose, Moorepotts, Swinston-close, and the two moores for 16l. for ten years; rent payable once a year only, 21 March.

John Ricarby, Gent. is authorized to demise Coatsworth's and Wilkinson's lands, and two parts of William Ricarby's lands. Sequestrators' Books, 1644. D. & C. Library.

A Society of twelve honest men, chosen in the Parish of Great Stenton, for the right ordering of all parochiall affairs, wth consent of ye minister John Hillyard: Wm. Scurfield, Io. Jackson, Io. Rickaby, Richd Jackson, Edw. Wilson, Wm Rickaby, Anthony Dobbin, Wm Baxter, Peter Hutcheson, Chrõser Teal, Io. Garnett, Wm Dobbin, 1694. The Register begins in 1561.

Charitable Benefactions To The Parish Of Stainton.

Stainton School was founded and endowed in 1749 with lands and monies, devised by the will of the Rev. Thomas Nicholson, Rector of Stainton; the interest has been paid by the acting trustees under Mr. Nicholson's will. In 1771 Dr. Douglas, Rector of Stainton, obtained 60l. from Lord Crew's trustees, with 40l. of which he purchased a rent-charge of 1l. 12s. payable out of lands in the parish of Stanhope, and for the remaining 20l. he paid interest. In 1780 Dr. Douglas obtained 100l. more from Lord Crew's Charity; and Mr. Hubbock, of Stainton Grange, gave 60l. for the purpose of having three or four children from Little Stainton taught on the same foundation. After Dr. Douglas's decease, Mr. George Wood collected the said several sums of 20l., 60l., and 100l.,—180l. in all, and invested it in the funds. The interest is received by the master.

Five shillings are distributed annually to the poor of Great Stainton, being the interest of 5l. given, in 1719, by Mrs. Mary Barker.


  • 1. Charter produced to the Jurors on the Inquest after the death of William Lambton, Esq. 30 April, 12 Jac. For the connexion of the family of De la Haye with that of Baliol, see Barnard Castle.
  • 2. Inq. p. m. 4 Booth.
  • 3. Inq. p. m. 10 Jac.
  • 4. Will dated 25 May 1725.
  • 5. Johnson's MSS.
  • 6. Inq. p. m. 37 Eliz.
  • 7. Ind. enrolled, Rot. Morton.
  • 8. Sheriff's List. In 1586 William Burton (who married the widow of William Lambton) and Anthony Rickardbye signed an agreement for division of the lands of the manor of Great Stainton. Allan's MSS.
  • 9. See Pallion, vol. I. p. 240.
  • 10. Dean of Bristol 1598, ob. 1617. See Pedigree of his family, under West Morton, p. 57. He succeeded his countryman Anthony Watson (Bishop of Chichester) in the Deanery.
  • 11. “Born in Worcestershire, quitted Braz. Nose Coll. Oxon without a degree; reputed a good Hebrew scholar, and appointed Master of Durham School 1610; deprived for 'a reflecting sermon' against Ralph Tunstall, Prebendary of the 10th stall. On his submission he was allowed to return to Stainton, where he taught ten or twelve boys till his decease.” Athen. vol. I. p. 510. Thos. Ingmethorpe, rector, bur. Nov. 1638. William Mylburn, Clearke, and Eliz. Inglethorpe, mar. Sept. 29, 1631. Cuthbert Welles and Alice Ingmethorpe, 29 Aug. 1609.
  • 12. See Monumental Inscriptions.
  • 13. One of the ejected ministers under the Bartholomew Act. He married Elizabeth, daughter of George Lilburne, of Sunderland, and half sister of Major Thomas Lilburne, of Offerton. He was living in 1681.
  • 14. Thomas Pearson, rector, bur. 31 March 1681. “Franciscus Gamul de Aula Elwick, in Parochia de Elwick, Cler. et Jana Pearson, filia Thomæ, Rectoris de Stainton in Strata, solemnizati fuerunt, 9 die Jan. 1672.” William, son of Mr. Thomas Pearson, bapt. July 3, 1686. Jane, June 6, 1693. Robert Pearson and Isabel Rickaby mar. 3 May 1696. Stainton.
  • 15. He rebuilt the parsonage-house.
  • 16. Chaplain to Bishop Trevor, Preb. of the 10th stall, exchanged with Dr. Douglas for Long Newton, created a Bart. 1782.
  • 17. Vicar of Kelloe, Rector of Long Newton 1742, Preb. of the 5th, and then of the 4th stall, ob. 1780.
  • 18. Vicar of Bishop Middleham, Preb. of the 9th, and after of the 2d, stall, Rector of Stanhope 1821.
  • 19. Resigned for Whitburn.
  • 20. Vicar of Sadberge, co. York, Fellow of Trinity, Senior Wrangler 1791.
  • 21. Inq. p. m. 25 Hatfield.
  • 22. Inq. p. m. 10 Langley.
  • 23. Inq. p. m. 31 Oct. 36 Eliz.
  • 24. Licence of Alienation 27 July, 5 Jac.
  • 25. Licence of Alien. 8 July, 31 Eliz. Rot. Hutton, Sede vac. N° 6.
  • 26. Rot. W. James.
  • 27. Inq. p. m. 17 Sept. 1627 Rot. Neile.
  • 28. Abstract, 1692 to 1771. Johnson's MSS.
  • 29. Will proved 1573.
  • 30. Rot. Tobie Mathew, A° 1.
  • 31. Rot. W. James, N° 163.
  • 32. Sheriffs' List.