Parish of Redmarshall

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 Redmarshall', in The History and Antiquities of the County Palatine of Durham: Volume 3, Stockton and Darlington Wards, (London, 1823) pp. 70-74. British History Online [accessed 27 May 2024].

Robert Surtees. "Parish of Redmarshall", in The History and Antiquities of the County Palatine of Durham: Volume 3, Stockton and Darlington Wards, (London, 1823) 70-74. British History Online, accessed May 27, 2024,

Surtees, Robert. "Parish of Redmarshall", The History and Antiquities of the County Palatine of Durham: Volume 3, Stockton and Darlington Wards, (London, 1823). 70-74. British History Online. Web. 27 May 2024,

In this section


The Parish of Redmarshall is bounded by Sedgefield and Grindon on the North, by Norton on the East, by Elton on the South, and by Bishopton and Stainton on the West.

The Parish includes three Constableries: 1. Redmarshall; 2. Carleton; 3. Stillington.


Emma, Lady of Redmershill, occurs at an early date in a charter to Finchale Abbey (fn. 1). She stands totally unconnected with any later proprietors of the manor, which had intermediately reverted to the See of Durham.

“Anthony Beke, Bishop of Durham, gave the manor of Redmarshall to his brother John Beke, Baron of Eresby in Lincolnshire, who sold it to Thomas de Moulton, and he sold it to Sir Henry Lisle, Knt. Lord of Winyard, who gave the manor of Redmarshall (together with Winyard) to his niece Catharine, wife of Alan de Langton, by charter, dated at Winyard, 1306 (fn. 2).” In 1344 Henry Langton had a grant of free-warren in his manors of Winyard and Redmarshall (fn. 3). In 1380 Simon, son of Henry de Langton, died seised of the manor of Redmarshall, held of the Bishop in chief, by homage and fealty only, and 12d. for two messuages (fn. 4). The descent of the ancient Lords of Winyard has been already stated (fn. 2); and the manor of Redmarshall continued in their possession till the death of William Claxton, Esq. in 1596, without male issue.

In 1611 Cassandra, then wife of Francis Morley, of Wemyngton, in Lancashire, Gent. joined with her husband in conveying a third part of the manor of Redmarshall, with lands in Carleton and Stillington, to Anthony Buckle, of Whitton, yeoman (fn. 5), who, in 1616, granted the same portion of the manor to Christopher Place, the elder and younger, of Dinsdale, Esquires (fn. 6). In 1637 a third of the manor of Redmarshall was still vested in Rowland Place, of Dinsdale, Esq. (fn. 7) Before 1675 this third part had been transferred to the family of Bromley, of Nesbit, in the Parish of Hart (fn. 8); and in 1713 Robert Bromley, Gent. settled his third part of the manor of Redmarshall on his grandson Robert Spearman, who in 1719 released all his right, as well in Thornley as in Redmarshall, to his father Gilbert Spearman, Esq. (fn. 9) In 1750 the trustees under the will of Gilbert Spearman conveyed the same third of the manor, and a third of Claxton's Porch to John Tempest, of Winyard, Esq. for 3,540l. (fn. 10) This estate is now vested in Lady Stewart Vane.

Alice, the second daughter and coheiress of William Claxton, Esq. intermarried with Sir William Blakiston, of Blakiston, Knt. Their son, Sir Thomas Blakiston, Bart. sold his third of the manor of Redmarshall to Nicholas Foowood, of Bishopton, who, in 1612, granted the same estate to John Cooke, of Newcastle-on-Tyne, draper (fn. 11). In 1623 Timothy, son and heir of John Cooke, had livery of two parts of the manor (fn. 12).

In 1613 William Jennison, Esq. (who married Anne, the third and youngest coheir of Winyard,) sold his third of the manor of Redmarshall to Anthony Buckle, yeoman (fn. 13).

In 1684 the freeholders in Redmarshall were—Robert Bromley, Gent. of Nesbit; Thomas Davison, Clerk; William Williamson, of St. Helen's Auckland, Gent.; Timothy Wright, of Newcastle, Gent.; John Shippardson, jun. Gent. of Bishop-Wearmouth; and Robert Stelling (fn. 14).

There are some early charters in the Treasury of portions of land in Redmarshall, which probably passed to Finchale Abbey. Walter Bee gave four oxgangs “de dominio ejusd. villæ,” to Adam the carpenter, of Darlington, with the tofts of Columb, and Alice, daughter of Bartelot (T. Petro, Persona de Derlington et Vincentio de Redmershill). Richard, son of Adam the carpenter, gave four acres to Hugh de Fressenay and Emma his wife, in Ultret Furlang, in Dunlange Outegange, and in Dunlange Freshe; and Hugh granted the same lands to Roger de Seyton. T. Willo Domino de Thorp, et Roberto filio ejus.

The Church.

Its tower and tufted trees are seen from a considerable distance rising over a level district of loam and red clay, where the floods of winter would formerly collect and rest on the tenacious soil in a broad discoloured pool or mere; and hence most literally the name “The Hill of the Red Mere.”

The Church, amidst much of modern repair (fn. 15), has scattered features of high antiquity. A massy west tower, both from its site and strength, may well (as Hutchinson suggests) have been used as a place of retreat or defence; a purpose which was perhaps seldom entirely overlooked in these structures. The chancel opens under a heavy circular arch. There is an arched recess, apparently monumental, in the South wall, near the altar. On the North three stalls, formed by pointed arches, whose pillars spring from corbeils of human heads. The South porch opens from the nave, under a blunt pointed arch. Two recumbent figures, male and female, of very elegant work in alabaster, occupy a broad altar-tomb. (See the Plate.) This is usually called the Claxton Porch, from the later owners of Wynyard; but the monument is that of Thomas Langton, of Wynyard, who died in 1417, and his wife Sibill, of Layton; both of whom, according to Glover, lie “in the porche of the parish churche of Redmershill, under a tombe of alabastre, having both their portraictures engraven very sumptuously (fn. 16).” A large window in the South porch gives light to the whole nave.

Succession of Rectors.

Redmarshall Rectory.—The Bishop of Durham Patron.—King's Books, 17l. 18s.d.; Tenths, 1l. 15s.d.; Episc. Proc. 10s.; Synod. 2s.; Archid. 2s.—Dedication to St. Cuthbert.

  • Petrus, occurs 1258.
  • Thomas Acrizi (or Eversi) 1366.
  • Robert de Redemershill.
  • Nicholas Hulme (fn. 17), 1415.
  • Adam Morland, 1461.
  • William Mawdesley.
  • John Flint (fn. 18), 1502.
  • Walter Preston, S. T. P. 1530.
  • Peter Wilbefosse (fn. 19), B. D. 20 June 1533, p. m. Preston.
  • John Redemayne, A. M. 17 Aug. 1533, p. m. Wilbefosse.
  • William Carter, S. T. P. 18 Aug. 1544, p. res. Redemayne.
  • Simon Binks, 20 Jan. 1546, p. res. Carter.
  • Robert Richardson, Nov. 17, 1558, p. m. Binks.
  • Marmaduke Blakiston (fn. 20), A. M. occ. Sept. 4, 1585.
  • John Calfhill (fn. 21), A. M. 1599, p. res. Blakiston.
  • William Neil (fn. 22), A. M. 14 Jan. 1619, p. m. Calfhill.
  • John Rand, A. M. 5 Oct. 1620, p. res. Neile.
  • John Kidd, an intruder, depr. 1660.
  • John Robson, A. B. 2 Sept. 1661, p. m. Rand.
  • John Jackson, 13 March 1665, p. m. Robson.
  • Edward Morecroft, A. M. 23 Nov. 1668.
  • William Dunn, A. M. 1694, p. m. Morecroft.
  • Walter Johnson, LL. B. 14 May 1737, p. m.
  • Dunn.
  • John Skelly, 24 June 1760, p. m. Johnson.
  • Thomas Holmes Tidy, A. B. 1767, p. res. Skelly.
  • John Brewster (fn. 23), A. M. 1805, p. m. Tidy.
  • George Stanley Faber (fn. 24), B. D. Linc. Coll. Oxon. 1809, p. res. Brewster.
  • Henry-George Liddell (fn. 25), A. M. Braz. Nose Coll. 1811, p. res. Faber.
  • George Stephenson, A. M. Magd. Coll. Oxon. 1814, p. res. Liddell.

The old parsonage-house, closely adjoining the church-yard, is of brick. A stone front has been added on the South. Lord Crewe's arms are over the door.

In 1462 Adam Morland, Rector, had a pardon for inclosing and embattling his rectory-house (fn. 26). At the array of the Clergy on Gilesgate Moor, in 1400, the Rector of Redmar-shall furnished one lance and one archer.

The Rector is generally entitled to all tithes. The glebe consists of six acres, two roads, and nineteen perches.


Carleton (Carlentune) was one of the places which had been seized and detained from the See by the men of Northumberland, and of which restitution was ordered by the Charter of Henry I. executed in Council at Nottingham in 1109 (fn. 27).

Under Boldon Buke—In Carleton, twenty-three farmers hold forty-six oxgangs, and pay 2s. 10d. for each oxgang; and for every two oxgangs provide one wain to lead corn or hay for six days; and they till four portions in autumn with all the household except the huswive, and for every two oxgangs two hens and twenty eggs.

Gerbrode holds four oxgangs by xxs. rent, and is exempt from works whilst he remains in the Bishop's service; but if he quit it, he shall work like the other farmers, in Miseri-cordid Domini Episcopi.

Helias holds two oxgangs as tenant at will (locand. alii cum Dominus voluerit), and pays xs. Walter, the miller, two oxgangs under xs. rent, and 2s. in lieu of works. The widow Suminia two oxgangs, free of rent or service, which after her death shall return to the Bishop. William, son of Orme, holds one carucate, by xs. rent, in lieu of all service, except attending the Bishop's great chase with one greyhound. The mill pays twenty skepps of corn, by Jarrum measure.

Under Hatfield's Survey the chief part of the tenure was still servile; but in part commuted into monied payments. William Umfray held two messuages and four oxgangs of fifteen acres each, paying 5s. an oxgang, and for every two oxgangs 19d. in lieu of the six days' leading reserved in Boldon Buke; 2s. in lieu of the four portions of autumnal tillage, and hens and eggs as before. Besides, he was bound to lead, at his own expence, timber (meremium) and mill-stones for Carleton-mill; and should the Bishop rebuild or repair his manor-house of Stockton, the tenant was bound to assist in leading timber, as well as roofing for Stockton-mill when wanted. John, of Neseham, and eighteen others, held 29 messuages and 52 oxgangs by the same tenure. The tenants rented the mill for 6s. per annum.; the common bakehouse for 2s.; the brewery for 2s.; the forge was out of lease, and paid nothing. Thomas Godfrey, the Lord's neif, who resided at Seton Carrowe, paid 5s. per annum. The last entry is one instance of the way in which the emancipation of the serfs or slaves of the great landholders was gradually effected, more frequently, perhaps, than by any express charter of manumission, though of such many remain on record (fn. 28). In this instance the slave, who was by the harsh condition of his birth attached to the soil, and no more entitled to quit it than his master's horse or ass, compounds at an annual price for his liberty, and for the services which were due from him to his lord; his children would still inherit the servile condition of his blood, but, removed from the immediate eye of their owner, would probably soon mingle in the general mass of population, unreclaimed and undistinguished.

Besides the gradual commutation of the servile tenures, three small parcels of freehold are now mentioned. Thomas, son of John Gower, Hugh Laton, of Thorp, and Thomas de Cramblynton, held each a rood of meadow; the two former by 4d. rent, and the latter by 8d.: this last parcel is stated to lie in Whitton.

The Dreng tenures were also converted into monied rents. Simon de Camera, and William, son of Thomas de Redmershill, held each of them freely by charter, four oxgangs (containing sixty acres) by 5s. rent, freed from the whole Dreng service, except that of attending the Bishop's great chase with their greyhounds—a relique of the ancient tenure, preserved rather as a privilege than a burthen.

In 1339 Ralph, of Rungeton, died seised of fifty-three acres in Carleton, and three acres of meadow, held by fealty, and 4s. 5d. leaving William of Blakiston (fn. 29) his son and heir, who left the same estate to his kinsman John Rouland in 1349 (fn. 30). (The same parcels are returned in all the successive escheats on the family of Blakiston to the reign of Elizabeth (fn. 31).) John, of Redmershill, held sixty-three acres, and three of meadow, in 1375, by fealty, three suits at the County Court, and 5s. leaving William his son and heir (fn. 32); and in 1350 John Gunnes held sixty-seven acres by fealty, suit, and 11s. (fn. 33)

The Dreng tenures (named in the Survey as held by William Redmershill and Simon) were long vested in the yeomanly names of Culley (fn. 34) and Hertburne (fn. 35) : both, in the reign of Elizabeth, ended in female heirs, married to Forrest and Baynbrigg.

17 Oct. 19 Eliz. livery to Percival Bainbrigg, son and heir of Agnes, daughter and heir of Thomas Culley, who died in the time of Henry VIII.; four oxgangs held by 5s. et vadit in magna chacea cum duobus leporariis.

11 Feb. 29 Eliz. John Hertburne died seised of four oxgangs, et vadit, &c. Margaret daughter and heir, wife of Robert Forrest. 20 Apr. 1617, William Forrest, son and heir of Margaret.

In 1684 the freeholders in Carleton (fn. 36) were—William Forrest, Recusant; Ann Stelling, William Newton, of Redmarshall.

The chief portion, however, of the township is copyhold under the See of Durham. The Richardsons and Davisons have held lands from a remote period. The Davisons' estate is still in the possession of their descendant, the Rev. Edward Davison, of Durham.


Lies two miles to the North-west of Redmarshall, from which it is separated by an intervening portion of Bishopton.

Merton College in Oxford held lands here at an early date; for in 1367 William de la Pole (the founder of the princely house of Suffolk) held five acres in Stilyngton, of the Master of Merton-hall, by the service of one rose (fn. 37).

Owing probably to this possession on the part of the College, Stillington (mentioned neither in Boldon Book nor Hatfield's Survey) seldom occurs on the freehold records. At present the Rev. Edward Davison holds a considerable estate here by lease under the College.

The following are extracts from the Sequestrators' Books:

6 Sept. 1644. Apud Magna Stainton: Stillington—Lancelot Lambe farmeth of Mr. Richard Hartburne, papist and delinquent, 7l. William Arrowsmith, of Coxhoe, farmeth 7l. 10s. John Mawer farmeth of Richard Morpeth, delinquent and papist, 48l. per ann. Warrant to sequester both estates.

6 Febr. 1644. Letten to John Husband, Gent. all the lands in Stillington, late belonginge to Captain Richard Hartburne, deceased, allowing to the widow her proportion.

18 Dec. 1641. Christopher Morpeth (fn. 38), of Stillington, died seised of Stillington Brigge Close, within the fields of Bishopton; Ellebrigg and Whinney Close, in Elstobb; and a cottage and oxgang in Stillington, held of the Dean and Chapter of Durham, leaving Richard his son and heir.

1676. Robert Morpeth, of Durham, Gent. son and heir of Richard, and grandson of Christopher Morpeth, granted a garth and two closes in Stillington, called Killinghall Closes, to John Spearman, of Durham, Gent. (fn. 39)

In 1684 the freeholders were—Sir Ralph Jennison, of Elswick, Knight; George Robinson, of Slingley; and George Todd, Gent.

Pedigree of Morpeth, of Stillington.


* In a copy of the Visitation of Northumberland 1615—“Here lyeth the body of Richard Morpeth, merchant, and Mary his wife, and their children—Christopher, who departed this life the 7th of April 1607; Robert.”

Arms: Barry of eight within an orle of martlets; impaling a fesse inter three hedgehogs passant. The colours are not expressed.

† Redmarshall Register.

‡ To this Robert Morpeth, by will, 23 Nov. 1571, Christopher Moiser, of Newcastle, glover, releases “all ye money he owes for two buckskynnes and for furre to his wedding-gloves.”

*** John Morpethe and Jenet Dotshand mar. 3 May 1596. St. Nicholas Newcastle.

Charitable Benefactions to the Parish of Redmarshall.

By will, dated 18 Jan. 1640, Christopher Morpeth, of Stillington, Gent. gave a rent-charge of 3l. yearly for ever, out of lands in Bishopton-field, called the Hills; 1l. 10s. to be given to the poor of Stillington; and the residue to the poor of Redmarshall and Carleton, to be distributed by equal portions at Christmas and Easter: also, 20s. to the poor of the whole parish for ever, on New Year's Day.

Eden, son of Mr. Timothy Wright, of Redmarshall, bapt. 2 June 1692. Mary, &c. 14 Aug. 1694. Thomas, son of Mr. Tim. and Margaret, 2 March 1697–8. John, Sept. 19, 1706. Timothy Wright and Margaret Eden mar. 1 Jan. 1690. Bishopton.


  • 1.
  • 2. See Wynyard.
  • 3. Rot. Bury, Ao xi. Sched. 16.
  • 4. Inq. p. m. 35 Hatf.
  • 5. Pardon of Alien. Rot. Ao W. James, No 69.
  • 6. Rot. 4 James, No 36. Christopher Place, the elder, Esq. died seised of a third of the manor with lands in Carleton, held of the Bishop by fealty, and 5s. and of half a close, called Cullies Moore, and three acres of pasture, by knight's service. Christopher Place, the younger, died within a month after his father, leaving Rowland Place heir to the grandfather. Inq. 3 Apr. 22 Jac.
  • 7. Chancellor's order relating to Claxton's Porch, 1637.
  • 8. Sheriffs' List.
  • 9. See Pedigree of Bromley, vol. I. p. 48, and Pedigree of Spearman, ibid. p 95.
  • 10. Johnson's MSS.
  • 11. Rot. W. James, Ao No 16.
  • 12. Rot. Neile, 19 Sept. 21 Jac. Mr. Timothy Cooke, bur. July 16, 1667.
  • 13. Rot. W. James.
  • 14. Sheriffs' List.
  • 15. The lead roof was removed in 1806, and the lights altered.
  • 16. Glover's Pedigree of the Lords of Wynyard, College of Arms. See Wynyard. The Claxtons of Wynyard lie at Brancepath.
  • 17. Master of Greatham, 1427, Preb. of Darlington.
  • 18. Prior of Pontefract. Rot. Sinews, Ao 15.
  • 19. Vicar of Northall, co. Middlesex.
  • 20. Archdeacon of Cleveland, Preb. of the 7th stall.
  • 21. Preb. of the 5th stall.
  • 22. Preb. of Sutton in-the-Marsh, and Treas. of Lincoln.
  • 23. Res. for Boldon.
  • 24. Res. for Long Newton.
  • 25. Res. for Boldon.
  • 26. “Cum muro de petra et calce includere, batillare, et kerncllare.” Rot. Booth, Ao. No 49. For the frequency of this practice see vol. I. p. 157, note.
  • 27. See this charter, Appendix to vol. I. part I. No VI.
  • 28. See instances under Dalton-le-dale, vol. I. p. 277, and Hetton, ibid, p. 213.
  • 29. Inq. 6 Bury. One of the many instances of the familiar way in which surnames were altered from change of residence, or any other personal accident.
  • 30. Inq. 5 Hatfield.
  • 31. See Blakiston.
  • 32. Inq. 30 Hatfield.
  • 33. Inq. 5 Hatfield.
  • 34. 4 Jan. 17 Langley. Robert Culley holds sixty acres, &c. John Culley (son and heir of Robert) holds four oxgangs by knight's service, and 5s. et vadit ia magna chacea cum 2 leporariis. William son and heir. William, son and heir of William, .. Dudley.
  • 35. Ao 3 Dudley. John Hertburne four oxgangs, by knight's service, and 5s. et vadit in chacea, &c. William son and heir.
  • 36. Sir Cuthbert Sharpe is in possession of a pewter flaggon, containing about a gallon, and inscribed within a wreath, “The free gifte of the Inhabitants of Carleton, in the county of Durham.—Winne it and weare it. Anno Domini 1672.” Its history is unknown; but it was probably the prize of some rural game.
  • 37. Inq. 22 Hatfield. The same service recurs in the escheat on Michael, Earl of Suffolk, 10 Langley.
  • 38. 23 Aug. 21 Jac. Robert Morpeth, of Stillington, Gent. died seised of seven acres, called Ellerbrigge Close, an. sixteen acres called Whinney Close, in Elstobb, by knight's service, value 13s. 4d. Christopher, son and heir, æt. 40 1 April 1615, licence to Michael Forwood to grant to Christopher Morpeth, Gent. two closes at Stillington Brigge, in campis de Bishopton.
  • 39. Ind. enrolled in chance. Durham