Parishes (East Ward): St Theobald, Musgrave

The Later Records Relating To North Westmorland Or the Barony of Appleby. Originally published by Titus Wilson and Son, Kendal, 1932.

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John F Curwen, 'Parishes (East Ward): St Theobald, Musgrave', The Later Records Relating To North Westmorland Or the Barony of Appleby, (Kendal, 1932), pp. 175-182. British History Online [accessed 24 June 2024].

John F Curwen. "Parishes (East Ward): St Theobald, Musgrave", in The Later Records Relating To North Westmorland Or the Barony of Appleby, (Kendal, 1932) 175-182. British History Online, accessed June 24, 2024,

Curwen, John F. "Parishes (East Ward): St Theobald, Musgrave", The Later Records Relating To North Westmorland Or the Barony of Appleby, (Kendal, 1932). 175-182. British History Online. Web. 24 June 2024,

In this section


The church was appropriated to the abbey of St. Mary of York, but the abbot found that he could not maintain a vicar out of the small revenues of the parish, nor obtain any benefit to the abbey therefrom, so that the church continued to be a rectory. In the year 1248 the abbot and convent granted the patronage to Sylvester de Everdon, bishop of Carlisle, and his successors, saving to themselves the ancient and accustomed pension out of the same.

In the "Antique Taxatio Ecclesiastica" of Pope Nicholas IV, made in the year 1291, the church is valued at £13. 6. 8 with a pension to the abbot of York of five shillings. By the "Novo Taxatio" of 1318 the value is reduced to one pound. See page 22. The "Valor Ecclesiasticus" made by Parliamentary authority, 26 Henry VIII, 1535, gives the following:—

Musgrave Rectory, John Knollys incumbent.
The aforesaid rectory is worth in—
Mansion and Glebe 1 13 4
Tithes of grain 10 0 0
Tithes of hay 18 10½
" lamb and wool 2 6 8
" flax and hemp 3 0
Principal oblations 15 0
Calves and the lesser fees as in the Easter
Book 18 0
16 14 10½
Reprisals to wit—
Synodals 2s., and Procurations 4s. 6 0
Clear annual value £16 8 10½
A tenth part whereof 1 12 10¾

The Commonwealth Survey of 1649 valued the living at £66. 13. 4., John Vaux being the incumbent. The subsequent Survey of 1657 is as follows:—

That the right of presentation to the church was heretofore in the Bishop of Carlisle and now in his highness the Lord Protector. That Mr. John Vaux is present incumbent there and hath for his maintenance the glebe worth £6. 13. 4 by the year and the tithes of hay corn, wool, lamb and all other tithes within the said parish worth £40 by the year. There is nothing said to show the reason for this great decline in the valuation.

The site of the old church was within a few yards of the bank of the Eden, and the old rectory on even lower ground, so that whenever the river was swollen the church was sometimes, and the rectory frequently, flooded with two or three feet of water. In 1845–6 the new church was erected upon higher ground at a cost of £550, and was restored after the fire of 1921.

In the church is a brass with kneeling effigy, to Thomas Ouds, rector and official of the bishop and archdeacon of Carlisle—so it is said but we cannot meet with the name elsewhere.

A list of the Incumbents whose names have been met with during the present research.

1298–1303 William de Burdon
1303– Robert de Halton
1312– Rich. de Graystoke
1313– John de Burdon
1317–1330 Tho. de Goldington
1359–1361 John de Soulby
1378– Thomas de Malteby
1535– John Knollys
1556– Thomas Anggrome
        –d.1577 John Birkbeck
1577– Jeoffrey Birkbeck
        –r.1599 —Barker
1599–r.1612 Bernard Robinson
1612–d.1634 John Spencer
1634–d.1637 William Dodding
1637–d.1670 John Vaux
1671–d.1684 John Ardrey
1684–d.1720 Chris. Thornton
1720–d.1755 Simon Pinder
1755–d.1756 Robert Hall
1756–d.1775 Edward Knowsley
1775–d.1807 William Paley
1807– Robert Whitehead
1811–1829 Richard Atkinson
1832– John Boustead
1847– Joseph Chapelhow


Great Musgrave School.

There used to be an old school house on the Waste with an endowment of £66. 10s. 0d. given at various times by charitable people. Philip Waller of Parkhouses, Brough, by his will dated 19 May, 1778, bequeathed £400 to various useful purposes among which his Trustees were to pay £4 a year to the schoolmaster of Great Musgrave, he teaching eight poor children there.

The school appears to have been refounded by Dr. Septimus Collinson, provost of Queen's College, Oxford, who in 1827 endowed the same with £1500. He stipulated that it was to be conducted on the Madras College, St. Andrews, system, Shortly after his nephews subscribed £300 towards the erection of the school and master's house at Langrigg.


Hall Garth.

On the north side of Swindale Beck there is a farm house which bears this name, but in the adjoining field, now called Calf Garth, are clear indications of foundations of the original hall or manor house of the Musgraves.


Bland's Wath Bridge, over the Eden on the road between Warcop and K. Stephen.

Quarter Sessions ordered on 5 March, 1814, the High Constable of the East Ward to superintend the erection of Blandswath Bridge about to be erected by public subscription. On 18 February, 1815, the newspapers congratulate the public on the completion "of that long wanted accommodation—a carriage bridge over the Eden at Bland's Wath." The subscription for defraying the cost, raised amidst the pressure of taxes and the burthens of war, amounted to £402. 10. 6. But as the total cost was only £369. 19. 6 there was a balance left over of £32. 11. 0 which the subscribers voted towards the cost of a bridge about to be erected over Eastfield Wath near unto K. Stephen; and they further hoped that Musgrave Wath Bridge will also be rebuilt upon a larger scale for the security of the public as within the brief period of 70 years no less than fourteen unfortunate people had perished at one or the other of those three waths.

Then came the great flood in the Eden on 2 February, 1822, when this newly built bridge was washed away. Before very long it was rebuilt as it appears upon the list of public County bridges made in the year 1825.

Musgrave Bridge over the river Eden.

On 18 July, 1649, at the Assize held at Appleby, sixteen bridges were presented as in decay after the Civil War, Musgrave Bridge being one of them, when it was ordered that 4s. in the pound be assessed and levied upon the whole County towards the repair of the same. On 7 April, 1662, presentment was made to Quarter Sessions that this bridge being in the King's highway was very ruinous and in great decay. An order issued for its repair. It appears upon the list of public bridges made on 28 April, 1679. On 19 April, 1680, a certificate was received by the Sessions that the bridge was again in great decay; when it was ordered that Thomas Birkbeck, John Smith and John Morland, who had undertaken to repair the public bridges, should speedily take care to repair the same. Again on 25 May, 1688, the High Constables were ordered to forthwith support the bridge at Great Musgrave so that passengers may go with security over the same till further order be given for the rebuilding of it. In October, 1690 an assessment of 10d. in the pound was levied for the efficient repair of this wooden bridge, an assessment that raised £54. 8. 0. On 13 August, 1709, the inhabitants of Great Musgrave petitioned Quarter Sessions showing that the public bridge there was very ruinous and in decay and praying that it might be speedily amended; whereupon the surveyors were ordered to repair it with "eight spurs or supports of substantial oak wood to be placed between the pillars and land staples to support the timber lying from the pillars to the land staples, the whole to be skilfully fixed and that the pavement upon the bridge and causeys at each end be also well and sufficiently repaired."

On 17 April, 1732, an assessment of 3d. in the pound was levied in the East and West Wards, as well upon tenant right as demesne lands for the rebuilding of this bridge. On 22 April, 1734, it was reported that this new bridge had fallen down, when it was ordered that the High Constables should view the place where the bridge was and contract for the rebuilding. Surely it was time to think of a stone bridge! After building Bland's Wath Bridge in 1815, the inhabitants hoped that "Musgrave Wath Bridge" would also be rebuilt, seeing that several unfortunate people had perished there. But it was not until 29 January, 1825, that the building of a stone bridge was let to Brown and Broderick for the sum of £1630. On 12 January, 1829, a committee of Magistrates was appointed to view and ascertain how far the Rectory house and land have been made more liable to inundation by the erection of the new bridge. On 25 July following, at the recommendation of this committee it was ordered that a tunnel be built at the bridge to take the overflow waters at a cost of £43.


There was a cause settled at Appleby between Thorphin son of Robert and the monks of Byland of the one part, and Robert son of Peter Musgrave and his tenants of the other part, concerning common of pasture between Musgrave and Bleatarn. The award was that "there shall remain to Robert son of Peter, 82 acres, viz. from the thorn upon Hoberghe, across the syke under Maureberghe, to the way towards Musegrave; and from the said thorn the whole shall remain to the monks towards the Grange, and to the way nigh the chapel; and the cattle of Robert shall never enter within these bounds nor the cattle of the monks within the property of Robert. Also Robert shall have one outgate for the cattle of Musegrave upon Maureberghe, between the culture of the monks and the vale under Hoberghe and from thence to the tarn, and from thence to the way upon Cressekeld [Keldhead] which goes towards Appleby and to the place where four ways meet, and from thence to the head of the Tarn. All this shall be in common pasture for the cattle of Musegrave and the cattle of the monks. But the monks shall plow the culture nigh the mill dam unto the Tarn, and shall have their culture upon Maureberghe, and the meadow in property, as they had before this composition, and shall plow nothing more there, and the cattle of Musegrave shall never enter, And if the cattle of either of them should trespass beyond their limits, they were to pay to the party injured one penny for 20 cattle according to the custom of the country." The land appears to lie north-west of Little Musgrave and between the Eden and the Soulby-Appleby road. The manor of Bleatarn had been granted to the abbot and convent of Byland in the reign of Henry II, and naturally the monks would wish to establish the boundary between them and Musgrave.


Final Concord between Richard de Musgrave, plaintiff, and Thomas de Musgrave, deforciant, of the manors of Musgrave, Sandford and Morton. Richard grants the manors to Thomas and his heirs male; the remainder to Richard and his heirs male. So that Richard shall have and hold the manors of Musgrave and Sandford of the chief lords for ever, and the manor of Morton of the heirs of Thomas for ever.


By a fine levied 20 Edw. I it was found that Thomas de Musgrave, who died before 1287, left two daughters and heirs, Avicia widow to Thomas de Helbeck, and Isabel widow to Patrick de Castle Carrock.

1298 12 February.

William de Burdon, rector of Musgrave, was granted licence to study for seven years, power being reserved to the Bishop to appoint a vicar during that period, and to assign to that vicar part of the income of the benefice, so that he could duly exercise cure of soul and hospitality. The same dispensation was granted on 3 November, 1317, to Thomas de Goldington, rector, to study for three years at Montpellier, and in 1324 he was allowed two years longer. Register of Bp. Halton.


From the Chartulary of St. Leonard's Hospital at York, Adam son of Thomas de Musgrave gives to the Hospital of St. Peter of York his toft and croft in Musgrave which is next the croft which Robert the parson of Musgrave held of the same Hospital.


John de Soulby, rector of Musgrave, made his will on Saturday before the Feast of St. Barnabas the Apostle, 11 June, 1361. It was proved before the Archdeacon of London on 26 November and before the Bishop of Carlisle on 10 January, 1361–2. Testa. Karl., 38.

1378 Michaelmas.

Thomas de Malteby, parson of the church of Musgrave, appeared against Thomas de Musgrave, knt., John de Cabergn, chaplain, Thomas de Blenkinsop of Helbeck and Robert de Louthre chaplain, in a plea wherefore with force and arms the goods and chattels belonging to the said Thomas de Malteby worth 40 marks were taken and carried away from Musgrave. The sheriff was ordered to distrain. De Banco Roll, 472, m. 408.

1379 Michaelmas.

Thomas de Malteby, parson of the church of Musgrave, by Adam Crosseby his attorney, against John de Briggenall, chaplain, in a plea that he render unto him a reasonable account of the time when he was receiver of money for the same Thomas. De Banco Rolls, 476, m. 611d.; 477, m. 460; 478, m. 249.

1380 Trinity.

Mariota del Lathes, by her attorney, appeared against Thomas Yovet and Robert del Bank of Musgrave, in a plea that they took a cow and pig of her's valued at 20s. at Musgrave, and six geese, six capons and six hens, price 6s. 8d. and her goods and chattels to the value of 100s., against the peace of King Edward, late king, and grandfather of his present majesty. De Banco Roll, 479, m. 378.


Mussegrave magna paid a fifteenth as a subsidy to the king amounting to 33s. 4d., and Mussegrave parva, 13s. 8d. A total of £2. 7s. 0d. Excheq. Q.R. Miscell. Books, vol. 7.

1669–1672 Hearth Tax Roll

1669–1672 Hearth Tax Roll, Lay Subsidy 195, n. 73.


Sr. Phillip Musgrave 1
John Hall 1
John Mayson 1
John Skaife 1
John Breckes 1
Tho. Walker 1
James Buffeild 1
John Snowden 1
Edward Blencarne 1
William Smith 1
Edward Buffeild 1
Henry Spencer 1
John Vaux, vicar 2
Marke Richinson 1
Thomas Cottley 1
Edward Pattricke 1
Thomas Breckes 1
John Snowdon 1
Thomas Fawcett 1
John Willson 1
Thomas Walker 1
Richard Breckes 1
Richard Hindemer 1
Thomas Hindemer 1

Seven householders were exempted from payment of the Tax by Certificate.


Sr. Phillip Musgrave 1
John Wilson 1
Lanc. Langcaster 1
James Smith 1
Thomas Rudd 1
Thomas Hindemer 1
Thomas Raper 1
Phillip Midleton 2
William Robinson 1
Edward Robinson 1

1682 2 October.

Quarter Sessions ordered that the heir of Miles Hodgson and his other sons that have any ground adjoining do repair the highway from Little Musgrave Gate to Bland's Gate upon pain of £5.

1707–8 12 January.

Thomas Lancaster of Little Musgrave, yeo. and Lancelot Lancaster of the same, yeo. were indicted for obstructing an ancient road leading from the Close of George Thompson called Ellerside End to the town of Little Musgrave, by erecting a wall across a gateway in a close called Home Close. Each were fined 2s. 6d.

1744–5 14 January.

Presentment that a great part of the King's highway beginning at a place called Bland's Wath on the river Eden and ending at a place called Musgrave Ford, lying between the market towns of K. Stephen and Appleby, is dirty, founderous, full of water and covered with pebble stones for want of reparation, so that his majesty's subjects cannot pass that way without danger, etc.

1811 15 July.

The Rev. Richard Atkinson, rector of Musgrave, took the usual oaths and subscribed the same according to law. On 6 July, 1832, the Rev. John Bowstead did the same as rector; and on 4 January, 1847, the Rev. Joseph Chapelhow likewise on his institution and again on 25 February, 1860, on qualifying as a Justice of the Peace.


The Rev. Septimus Collinson, Provost of Queen's College, Oxford, who was a native of this parish and founder and endower of the Grammar School, died 24 January, 1827.


Little Musgrave, a manorial township, originally belonging to the parish of Crosby Garrett, was joined in 1894 to the parish of Great Musgrave, for civil purposes, under the provisions of the Local Government Act.


The Wesleyan Chapel was erected in this year.