Calneston, Caunton cum Besthorp, Erleshagh and Deanehall

Pages 138-144

Thoroton's History of Nottinghamshire: Volume 3, Republished With Large Additions By John Throsby. Originally published by J Throsby, Nottingham, 1796.

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Part of Calneston was soc to Nortwell of the fee of the arch-bishop of York, which is certified to be two bov. ad geldam. The land four bov. There one sochm and five bord. had one car. and an half, and two acres of meadow, pasture wood three qu. long, and two broad. Another part was soc to Laxington, of the fee of Goisfrid Alselin, and answered the publick tax or geld for six boy. (fn. 1) The land being three car. There eight sochm. ten bord. had five car. There was a mill 2s. and eight acres of meadow, pasture wood one leuc. long, four qu. broad, Besthorp likewise another hamlet was part of the kings ancient demesne, viz. two bov. soc to Maunsfeld, and also soc to Grimston, a kind of a berne of Maunsfelt. Of this there were four boy. ad geld. The land one car. There four sochm. two bord. had two car. and twenty acres of pasture wood. Another part of this Besthorp was soc to Laxington, which answered the geld for two bov. The land being half a car. There one sochm. and one bord. had half a car. and half an acre of meadow.

(fn. 2) Hugh Bardolf, 7 R. 1. accounted for 28s. 4d. of the issues of Caunton, which was Nicolas de Aiviles, for the half year.

(fn. 3) Thomas de Muschamp held in North Muschamp and Calneton one knights fee of the honour of Robert de Everingham, the successour of Goisfrid de Alselin, as in Lexington will be noted. This fee came afterwards to Robert de Calneton, and the prior of Newstede, and others; they were to pay their shares of the aid, 22 E. 3. to make the kings eldest son a knight. (fn. 4)

John de Eyvill in the 16 E. 2. granted to Thomas de Longvylers, knight, the homage and foreign service of Richard de Herthill, of Calneton, and his, heirs, and of Robert de Calneton, and his, and of William Barry, and his, which Nicolas de Eyvill, knight, sometimes held of the said John, for the third part of a knights fee, for which Richard de Hertill, and Robert de Caunton, and Elizabeth, sometime wife of William Barry, paid yearly a mark, viz. each of them 4s. 5d. and 1–3d. of a penny.

(fn. 5) The jury, 22 E. 8. found that Robert de Calneton, Richard Herthill, and Thomas Barry, held in Calneton the third part of the whole knights fee of Musckam.

By a fine, 10 H. 4. between John, son of Thomas Barry, of Keresalt, and Elizabeth his wife, quer. and Robert de Whittington, and Agnes his wife, deforcients, the third part of the manor of Caunton, with the appurtenances, was settled on the said John, and Elizabeth, and the heirs of their bodies, remainder to the right heirs of John.

(fn. 6) Robert Blyton, 7 H. 6. was found to be son and heir of Robert Blyton of Ledenham, in the county of Lincolne, who held a mess. and some parcel of land in Newark, and was resident at Caunton, and above thirty years old, at the taking that inquisition after his said fathers death

(fn. 7) In a recovery 9 Eliz. Brian Birkett, and George Anderson, claimed against William Whitmore, gent. the manor of Caunton, with the appurtenances; and two mess. two cotag. three tofts, one wind mill, five gardens, one hundred and fourty acres of land, twenty of meadow, twenty of pasture, sixteen of wood, and 8s. rent, with the appurtenances in Caunton, Middlethorp, Harlesey, and Norwell, who called to warrant Robert Markeham, esquire, (named in Maplebecke.)

The principal manor, or capital messuage was — Whitmores, and by the marriage of the heir of —Whitmore, not long since came to the family of the Bromes, whose grand-child Thomas Brome, (of Carcolston) sold it to Mr. Richard Hacker of Flintham, and his son John Hacker, hath lately sold it to fir Francis Willoughby, lord of Wollaton, or his son Francis, since deceased.

Another ancient capital mess. and a good demesne thereto belonging, was lately Warins inheritance.

That of the arch-bishops fee may be supposed chiefly to belong to the prebend of North-Muskham in the church of Southwell.

Here were very many several parcels in Besthorp, Caunton, and Erlemagh given to the monastery of Russord, (fn. 8) by sundry persons in the former part of the reign of H. 3. as Hugh, son of Richard, son of Kyre de Calnathon, three acres of his fathers gift, and two of his own. Thomas de Muschamp, son of Thomas de Muschamp, released 6s. of yearly rent, which the monks were wont to pav for the land, which they had of the gift of William, son of William de Besthorp, in Besthorpe, of his fee. The same Thomas confirmed a wong in the territory of Herleshawe, lying between the land of Nic. Lupus, and Will. Redhyve. Eda, daughter of Will. son of Will. de Besthorp, gave the land which her father gave her of the fee of Roger de Ayncurt, of Knapthorp, which the said Roger also confirmed. Thomas de Bella aqua, for the soul of Alice his wife, confirmed an acre in the fields of Erleshawe, which they had of the gift of Hugh, son of William de Calneton, lying by the land of John de Erleshawe, that which was Roberts, son of Richard de Mydilthorp. In the year 1260, Nicolas Lupus, son of William Lupus, gave all his land in Besthorpe, and all he held of the said monks, which was confirmed by Hugh Fitz-Raph. Nicolas Dayvill gave certain parcels, four selions and an half, and one gore of arable land in Calneton, to the said monastery.

Anno 1250, William, son of William de Besthorpe, and Mary his wife, released the third part of his land in Besthorpe, which was assigned to his said wife for dower, on condition that the monks should give to the said Mary every day one conventual loaf, and one loaf (puerorum) of the boys or children, and one loaf (famulorum) of the servants, or houshold bread; and for drink, three quarters of oats, and one of barley, two quarters of oats at Michaelmas, and one quarter of oats and one quarter of barley at Easter, as long as she should live. Besides they granted her a toft which they had of Stephen de Besthorpe, and the toft of Henry Plesence, &c. This Stephen was son of Richard de Besthorpe, and Placentia his wife, and had elder brothers which were abroad, so that the land which they held of the fee of Hugh Fitz-Raph, was not secure without pledges. His mother Placentia married one Henry, who was (thereby as I take it) called Henry Plesence, and so his posterity had that sirname. There were divers other like benefactors, and small observable passages.

Hugh de Caunton had Hugh, and he Robert de Caunton.

By two fines, 11 H. 6. and 13 H. 6. (fn. 9) the manor of Beesthorp was conveyed to Richard Byngham. The first was between Richard Byngham, John de Leek, of Halum, and John de Leek, chaplain, quer, and Robert Stonham, esquire, and Mary his wife, Peter de la Pole, and Henry Heth, deforc. The other between the same plaintiffs, and John Tyrell, knight, and Katherin his wife, def, who warranted against the abbat of Westminsters, and his successours.

Most of the monastery of Ruffords lands here, passed to the earl of Shrowsbury at the dissolution by the name of the manor or grange of Besthorpe, at which place is now the dwelling of Mr. Thomas Bristow, something improved by the taking down of Maplebeck house, which was near it, though he had built here a little before: he formerly resided at Elston, where he is likewise an owner.

Erleshaw or most of it is Mr. Thomas Mathers sons, who lived and died at Bingham.

All that messuage or farm called Deane Hall, belonging to the preceptory of Neuland in Yorkshire, of the yearly value of lxs. was, 16 Aug. 38 H. 8. (fn. 10) granted with Shire okes, near Worksop, and other things, to Robert Thornehill, and Hugh Thornehill, gent. and their heirs, paying yearly for Deane Hall vis.

Will. Cornewall 9 Eliz. (fn. 11) claimed against Anthony Ellys 13l. 6s. 8d. rent with the appurtenances in Beysthorpe, South Muskham, and South Carleton.

The priory of Newstede at the dissolution had lands in this lordship of Caunton, rented at 2l. 6s. 8d. and 10s. rents of assize.

There was a capital mess. and another mess. and cottage in the several tenures of John Wilhouse, and John Lee belonging to a chantry in Caunton, granted 29 Apr. 6 Eliz. (fn. 12) among many other things, to William Poole, and Ed. Downinge, and their heirs. So there was a barn called Kirkelath, which was sometimes the guild-house, and belonged to the guild called St. John's guild, and Trinity guild in Caunton, 30 Mar. 18 Eliz. (fn. 13) granted with very many other things to John Mershe, esquire, and Francis Greneham, gent.

(fn. 14) The owners of Cawnton cum Membris in 1612, were sir John Thorold, knight, sir John Stanhop, knight, Henry Broome, gent. Anthony Rookesby of Deane-Hall, gent. Thomas Bristow, Henry Mather of Erleshall, Richard Taylor, William Wolhouse, Thomas Shipman, John Greaves, Rowland Sudbury, Richard Cooke, John Johnson, Richard Shipman, Richard Greaves, Raph Waddington, George Procter, John Bristowe of Elston, William Waring, gent. John Bristowe of Malebecke, and the bishop of Chichester.

(fn. 15) The vicarage of Caunton was 6l. 'tis now 4l. 2s. Id. value in the kings books, and the chapter of Southwell hath the patronage, as formerly it had.

[Throsby] Caunton cum Besthorp.

Caunton contains as members, the manor and villages, or hamlets, of Beesthorpe, Knapthorp and Earlshaw, with Dean-hall, an odd farm house, which land together amounts to 2839A. 2R. 16P. mostly a red marley clay, with a common and large fields, in general good plow land. Beesthorpe was sometime after the conquest, the estate of the Beesthorps, where that family had a seat. It is in size next to Caunton.—Earlshaw lordship, adjoining to Beesthorpe, was sold in 1717 by the heirs of Thos. Mather, gent. whose ancestors had it several generations, to Thos. Bristowe, esq; of Beesthorpe, and William his son, and is the entire property of Sam. Bristowe, esq; with Beesthorpe, excepting a few acres. The owners of Caunton are lord Middleton, who is the largest, lord Chesterfield, Samuel Bristowe, esq; and several others.

The last lord of Caunton, in Thoroton, was one of the Willoughby family, who, (or his successour) is said to have sold the manor and farm now 60l. per annum, to —Taylor, a farmer. In the year 1735, William Taylor, alias Elvidge, (born illegitimate) of Caunton, sold the same to Mr. John Poynton, of Ulley, in Yorkshire, who left it to his nephew, Mr. John Poynton, the present lord thereof.

Dean-Hall, noticed above, 36 of Eliz. Richard Mansfield, gent. exchanged with Frances Harwar for West Leke, (by Thoroton seems then to be Anthony Rooksby's, gent.) since sir Brian Broughton's, bart. Lady Broughton, his widow, had it in 1731, and was sold soon after by the family, to sir George Savile, bart. who devised it, with other estates, to the present owner, the Hon. Mr. Savile.

Warren's ancient capital messuage, noticed by Thoroton, in his account above, went by marriage to Thomas Bristow, of Beesthorpe, above named, and continued with his posterity till 1714, when John Bristowe, gent, from a younger son of the Beesthorpe family, sold it to Ald. Herring of Newark, whose son, an attorney, left it, after his widow's decease, to Mr. John Welby of Muskam, and captain Twentyman, who about eight years since sold it to Mr. John Robinson, of Lincolnshire.

Earlshaw Hall was an old noted house; but now only part of it remains, which is converted into a farm house.

In Knapthorp in the liberty of Caunton, are about four or five houses. Since the Thorney's, the owners, mentioned by Thoroton, it has been sold twice, at least.— The Rutland family bought it last, of the late Mr. Becher, of Southwell. The present duke of Rutland is the owner.

The church of Caunton is pretty large, and is dedicated to St. Andrew. It has a nave and side isles, with a tower and four bells. Here has been several old grave stones, but now they are mostly worn away, or have been removed. In the chancel are two stones, for two vicars, viz. George and Thomas Leach, both died within this century.

The chapel, formerly a chantery, and the burial place of the Bristowe's, was, some time since adorned with painted glass; but now is destroyed or gone. Here is an arch, in a wall, which sometime contained a human figure, which is also gone.

Patron, Prebendary of North Muskam. Incumbent, Revd. James Burnell. Syn. and prox null. Val. per ann. in mans. cum ter. gleb. 10s. In decim. lin. canab. proc. enc. lan. agn. &c. The register here is as far back as the year 1564.

Beesthorpe Hall,

The seat of Samuel Bristow, esq; is a spacious mansion, it faces the turnpike road betwixt Newark and Worksop. A rivulet at the bottom of the pleasure grounds, runs by Caunton church, thro' Willoughby, into the Trent. Contigious to the manor house, was an ancient chapel, which having been some time in disuse, and verging to ruin, the late William Bristow, esq; the beginning of this century, destroyed to enlarge a bowling green; near which were discovered human bones, and some silver coins of king Henry and Edw. III. The charity school also that was formerly here, is also no more.

Of this ancient family of Bristow it may be observed, that in Thoroton, pages 123, 190, and in several subsequent pages, the name should have been de Burstowe instead of de Burstall, as 'tis certain from authentic records, that the family of Briftowe, in this county and elsewhere, deduce their origin from Fitzhamon, tempore king Stephen, of Norman descent, whose son Stephen Fitzhammon, living in the reigns of Henry IId. and Richard the First, according to the customs of those times, assumed the name of his seat and manor, Burstowe near Reygate, in Surry, where the elder branch of his posterity resided, had a park and were also lords of Bysh and Lee near thereto, and lands in the counties of York & Nottingham. (fn. 16) Sir John de Burstowe, knight, gave lands in the beginning of Edward the First's reign, in Burstowe, to John his son; also sir John de Burstowe, the 28th. of Edward the First, gave lands and tenements in Lee, &c, aforesaid, to John de Burstowe his son.— John Bristowe, esq; formerly written Burstowe, (fn. 17) was cup-bearer to king Henry the Fourth, and lineal descendant from the said sir John, as were Nicholas and John Bristowe, proprietors there, Tempore Henry VIII. with others more lately, as Thomas, Robert. John, members of the house of commons. John Bristowe possessed the manor of Beesthorpe, was also an owner in Maplebeck and other places in the county of Nottingham, and one of the regarders of Sherwood Forest, in that county, the 35th. year of king Henry the 8th. He left by Joan his wife, three sons, John, Ellis, William, and three daughters. In the year 1540, Anne Bristowe gave to the faithful serving God, &c. at the altar at Maplebeck by Beesthorpe, sundry ornaments and utensils for their use at the said altar. Thomas Bristowe of Beesthorpe, son of the last said John, in the 38 of queen Elizabeth, had lands in Caunton, from Edward Fitzrandolphe of Hucknall in this county, and Raph Waddington of Palterton in Derbyshire, gent. In 1595, William Bristowe, gent. brother to Thomas, had possession of Waddington's lands, for Edward Cooke, which became Bristow's. This Thomas lived to a great age, died in 1624, and had by his wife Katherin, daughter and heir of William Warren, of Caunton, gent. six sons and seven daughters; several of the sons had property in this county, and elsewhere. John Bristowe of Beesthorpe, the eldest son, married Ann, daughter and sole heir of John Elston, of Elston, by whom he had that manor; died in 1640, and left by her four sons and one daughter. William, the eldest, married Elizabeth, daughter of Richard Hurst, of Barrowby, com. Lincoln, gent. and died in 1644; he had five sons and six daughters. Thomas, the youngest, was rector of Screnby in that county, whose son, Thomas, passed his interest at Caunton, to Thomas Bristowe, esq; of Beesthorpe, son of the said William, who married Jane, daughter to Norris Cave, esq; of Grantham, com. Lincoln, ambassador in Turkey, by whom he had one son and six daughters, viz. Thomas Bristowe, of Beesthorpe, esq; who married Bridget daughter of Matthias Brown. gent. of Billingbrough, in Lincolnshire, died in 1719, leaving four sons and two daughters; Richard, the eldest, a barrister at law, died unmarried, in 1722, was succeeded by his next brother, William Bristowe of Beesthorpe, esquire, a justice of peace for the county. John Bristowe, esq; of Edwinstowe, in this county, third son, was master of the Lyons, had by his wife two sons and a daughter, Thomas, a major in the army, Edward, rector of Edwinstowe, who left issue, but deceased, except the daughter. Thomas, fourth son, attorney at law, married one of the daughters and coheirs of Mr. Bookey, of Woodford in Essex, by whom he had two sons and two daughters, deceased, the psreent Mr. Thomas Bristowe of Worksop, only excepted, who has an only daughter. This William Bristowe had by his wife, daughter of Mr. Bookey aforesaid, two sons and two daughters, Richard, mentioned in Winkburn, deceased; William, an attorney in London, also deceased. The eldest daughter was married to Mr. Matthew Fret well, in London; Farrington, the youngest, to sir John Baptist Hicks, bart. which William having incumbered it, afterwards in 1764, sold this manor and that of Earlshaw, adjoining, to Samuel Bristowe, esq; of Twysord in Derbyshire, (and of Beesthorpe aforesaid) where his ancestor, William Bristowe of this house, purchased of sir Ingram Clyfford, knight. named in Kinalton and Newbald, an estate late the earl of Cumberland's, and others.


  • 1. Lib: Dooms.
  • 2. Pip: 7 R: 1.
  • 3. Test: de Nev:
  • 4. Reg: de Novo loco p: 141:
  • 5. Fin: lev: Hill: 10 H: 4:
  • 6. Esc: 7 H: 6: n: 30:
  • 7. Hill: 9 Eliz: rot: 146:
  • 8. Regist. de Ruff. p. 80.
  • 9. Fin. lev. Trin. 11 H. 6. & Trin. 13 H. 6.
  • 10. Par. 3. pat. 38 H. 8.
  • 11. Hill. 9 Eliz. rot. 159.
  • 12. Pat. 6 Eliz. par. 6.
  • 13. Pat. 18 Eliz. par. 2.
  • 14. Lib. libers ten.
  • 15. Mss. J.M.
  • 16. Ex. Autog. Pen. fam. Bristowe, com. Nott. & Derb.
  • 17. Early written, indifferently both.