A History of the County of York North Riding: Volume 1. Originally published by Victoria County History, London, 1914.
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In this section
Merske (xii–xiv cent.); Mersc (xiii cent.).
Marske parish is composed of the village of Marske and hamlets of Skelton, Feldom, Clints and Applegarth.
The area of this parish is 6,759 acres, of which 4,521 acres are permanent grass; woods and plantations cover 252 acres and the amount of arable is very small. (fn. 1) The subsoil is Yoredale Rocks, the soil clay. A lead-mill at Marske is mentioned in 1590, (fn. 2) and there were tin and lead mines (now disused) at Skelton in 1653. (fn. 3) The village of Marske lies in a hollow to the west of Richmond by the Swale, the southern boundary of the parish, and is on the old road from Richmond to Reeth with woods and hills rising on either side of it. 'The old bridge that takes the road to Reeth across Marske beck,' says Gordon Home, 'was standing in the reign of Elizabeth' and may be older. It is of a single span and has been much renewed from time to time. 'The Huttons,' continues Gordon Home, 'have converted what was formerly a precipitous ravine with bare rocky scars on either side into the heavily wooded and romantic spot one finds to-day.' (fn. 4) Marske Hall, the residence of Mr. Frank Stobart, J.P., is an 18th-century building in the classical style on the site of an older house; adjoining it is the Deer Park. A lane running south crosses the Swale at Downholme Bridge. North of the village Marske Moor gradually rises to a height of 1,250 ft. An inclosure award for Marske Moor or Common was obtained in 1842. (fn. 5)
These were the boundaries of the manor of Marske in 1294: from the stream of the forest (New Forest) to the south to the corner of the close of Skelton and thence to the stone standing at the east end of Hesylhowe, thence to the similar stone on Cockhowe, thence as the water-course divides the lordships of Skelton and Marske to Whytegate, and as Whytegate stretches to the south to Thyrlgate and Bratheow bek and as Bradehowe bekk descends to the River Swale, and by the Swale to the foot of the water of the forest and beyond by the Swale to the foot of the water of Felbek, ascending by Felbeck to the foot of Sowemyre, thence to Wudkeld near the place called Chapel-greene and from Chapelgrene to the foot of Swaynemyre, and thence to the stone on the moor to the corner of the white wall, and by the white wall to the west to the stone standing on the road called Clevedale Rake and descending by the stone called Whyte-stane on Graystane Hill to the stream of Clevedale, and as the stream of Clevedale crosses to the water of the forest and as the water of the forest separates the lordships of Marske and Skelton. (fn. 6)
There is a small Wesleyan chapel at Clints, close to Marske, and a public elementary school at Marske erected in 1841 by Mr. Hutton. This family, which has for so long held Marske, has produced two archbishops. The first was Matthew Hutton translated from Durham to York in 1594, three years before the Huttons purchased the Marske estates. He is described by Fuller as 'a learned prelate,' who 'lived a pious man and left a precious memory.' (fn. 7) The second, also called Matthew, was translated from Bangor to York, and finally in 1757 to Canterbury. (fn. 8)
MARSKE is not mentioned in the Domesday Survey. The earliest reference known is in the charter of Conan Earl of Richmond made before 1171 to one Harsculph, (fn. 9) granting him various liberties in New Forest and in the manor and demesne of Marske. (fn. 10)
The mesne lordship belonged to Roald in 1286–7, (fn. 11) and passed with the fee of Roald to the Scropes of Bolton, who were still mesne lords in 1505. (fn. 12)
The family of Marske are the first recorded undertenants. Late in the 12th or early in the 13th century — de Marske granted to Marrick Priory tenements in Marske of his fee which belonged to Ulfget the Fuller. (fn. 13) Peter de Marske, (fn. 14) John his son, Lucas (fn. 15) and Alan Marske must all have been of about this date. Alan was followed by a son Robert and he by a son Roger living in 1257. (fn. 16) Robert son of Roger (fn. 17) was lord in 1286–7, (fn. 18) as was his son Robert in 1294. In this year began the series of transactions by which Robert sold the manor through Philip de Saperton, rector of Marske, (fn. 19) to his nephew the Harsculph de Cleasby of that time. (fn. 20) In 1295 Thomas de Richmond, the mesne lord, confirmed to Philip the whole tenement in his fee purchased from Robert de Marske, who granted the mill to the rector in this year and the manor and advowson in 1296. (fn. 21) In 1302 Harsculph de Cleasby settled the manor on Philip for life with remainders to William, possibly a younger son of Harsculph (for Robert de Cleasby was his heir), (fn. 22) and Margery his wife and their heirs and then to others. (fn. 23) William de Cleasby had sons John and Harsculph, (fn. 24) the former perhaps the John infamous in northern parts. At this time Bruce, aided by the Earl of Lancaster, was penetrating as far south as Yorkshire, and during the general anarchy Gilbert de Middleton, a knight of Northumberland, and John de Cleasby, each with his own private band of ruffians, imitated the example set by Lancaster. But, 'by the will of heaven,' we are told, they were both quickly taken. John was vainly tortured, and, refusing to confess, shortly afterwards died in prison. Gilbert was hanged, drawn and quartered and his sections sent into diverse parts of England. (fn. 25) Harsculph was lord in this year, (fn. 26) and was still living in 1332–3. (fn. 27) He was followed by Thomas, (fn. 28) his son, living in 1338, (fn. 29) and he by Harsculph, his son, who is mentioned in 1355–71. In 1357 John de Layton, whose father had married the heiress of the elder branch of the Cleasby family, (fn. 30) seems to have held the manor of Marske during the minority of Harsculph, (fn. 31) but the same year Harsculph recovered it. (fn. 32)
Thomas de Cleasby was lord in 1394, (fn. 33) as was Robert, his son, (fn. 34) in 1440. (fn. 35) He was succeeded by his daughter and heir Elizabeth. (fn. 36) Christopher Conyers of Hornby, her guardian, married her to his fifth son William, (fn. 37) who was living at Marske in 1463 (fn. 38) and in 1475–6. (fn. 39) His son and heir Christopher died seised in March 1504–5, leaving a son and heir William, (fn. 40) who died in 1554. The latter's son William (fn. 41) died in 1557, his daughter and heir Joan, aged fifteen, having three years previously received a settlement on her marriage with Nicholas son of George Conyers. (fn. 42) Joan, however, was abducted immediately after her father's death (fn. 43) by James Phillip of Brignall, who married her to his second son Arthur. (fn. 44) James Phillip, who was the Scropes' land agent, was a notoriously bad character. He was not only a sorcerer, (fn. 45) but it is said to have been owing to him that his son dissipated the Marske estates. (fn. 46) Possibly through the influence of the Scropes Arthur Phillip was pardoned, for he was in possession of Marske in 1597. In this year he, with Francis Phillip, his son and heir, sold the demesne lands to Timothy Hutton, (fn. 47) knighted in 1606 (fn. 48); and in 1598 Francis Phillip and Elizabeth his wife and William Phillip conveyed the manor to Richard Remington, clerk, and William Gee, (fn. 49) evidently trustees for the Huttons. Sir Timothy Hutton died in 1629. (fn. 50) He had entailed Marske in 1615 on the marriage of Matthew Hutton his son and heir to one of the daughters of Sir Conyers Darcy, afterwards Lord Darcy. Matthew Hutton, however, to pay his debts, (fn. 51) sold Marske in 1630 to Sir Conyers Darcy and Conyers Darcy his son; and when John Hutton, son and heir of Matthew, came of age he experienced considerable difficulty in recovering the manor, for his father was reported one of the most violent Cavaliers in the county. He, however, obtained permission to try his title at law, and so recovered Marske. It was again seized for some reason by the Committee for Compounding, but in 1651 his title was allowed and the sequestration discharged. (fn. 52) He satisfied the Darcys with other lands and leases. (fn. 53) John was succeeded in 1664 by his son John, who restored the hall and died in 1730–1. His son and heir John married the daughter and co-heir of James Lord Darcy of Navan; he was a captain of foot in the '45 rebellion and built the stables and otherwise renovated Marske Hall. His son John, who succeeded in 1768, died in 1786 and was followed by a son John, Sheriff of Yorkshire in 1825. On his death in 1841 he was succeeded by his brother Timothy, sheriff in 1844. Timothy died childless in 1864, when his heir was his cousin James Henry D'Arcy Hutton, son of James Hutton of Aldbrough, and heir of Sedbury in Gilling parish (q.v.). James was followed by his son John Timothy D'Arcy, who died in 1874; his son Mr. John Timothy D'Arcy Hutton is the present owner. (fn. 54)
The charter of Earl Conan, previously mentioned, (fn. 55) gave to Harsculph common in all his lands in the New Forest and the manor and demesne of Marske within specified boundaries, liberty of holding a three weeks court in all his lands and of fishing in the earl's waters of the forest, suit of his mills, hunting in all woods, wastes and pastures in the lordship of Marske and liberty of inclosing all his lands of Marske. In return he was to pay, if required, to the earl and his heirs three roots of ginger at Christmas. The lords of the manor still had free fishing in the New Forest in 1590. (fn. 56) A mill belonged to the manor in 1294, (fn. 57) and there were two water-mills in 1599, (fn. 58) one of which existed in 1777. (fn. 59)
The Earl of Richmond had free chase here in 1310. (fn. 60)
APPLEGARTH (Appelgar, Appelgart, xiii cent.; East and West Appulgarth, xv cent.).—West Applegarth belonged to the Fitz Hugh family in 1251, when Henry son of Ranulf received a grant of free warren there, (fn. 61) and it descended with the manor of Ravensworth (fn. 62) till 1814, when it was purchased by James Hutton of Marske. (fn. 63)
East Applegarth was held immediately of the Earl of Richmond in the 14th century by the family of Applegarth by fealty and the serjeanty of carrying as marshal a rod before the overlord, if at Richmond, at Christmas and Easter. (fn. 64) Geoffrey de Applegarth was succeeded by his son Robert, (fn. 65) bailiff of the Earl of Richmond in 1274 and 1281. (fn. 66) Thomas son of Robert (fn. 67) paid 8s. subsidy in 1301–2, (fn. 68) and in 1304–5 brought a plea against Robert de Cleasby and Amabel his wife, who evidently included Applegarth in their claim to Marske and seem to have seized Thomas's 'manor of West Applegarth.' (fn. 69) Thomas died in 1326–7 and his son Robert succeeded him. (fn. 70) The Fitz Hughs, however, were owners by the end of the 15th century, (fn. 71) and this land afterwards coalesced with West Applegarth and passed to the Huttons.
FELDOM (Feldon, Felton, xiii cent.), composed of 1 carucate of land, was held of Roald de Richmond in 1286–7 (fn. 72); the mesne lordship passed from this family to the Scropes of Bolton, of whom it was held in the time of Henry VII. (fn. 73)
From 1227 until the 16th century the Mountfords, later of Hackforth, were enfeoffed of Feldom under the Roalds and the Scropes, (fn. 74) and under them Jervaulx Abbey held this land in demesne. In 1581 Nicholas Metcalfe (fn. 75) is said to have died seised of the manor of Feldom. He left no children, and was succeeded in turn by his brothers, Mark vicar of Northallerton (fn. 76) and Matthew, who died in 1593, leaving a son and heir Francis. (fn. 77) This is the last trace of this family here.
In 1278–9 Halnath de Halnaby, lord of the neighbouring vill of Skelton and of Halnaby (q.v.) in Croft parish, was sued by the Abbot of Jervaulx for permission to reconstruct a bridge over the Eske between Feldom and Skelton that Halnath had pulled down in the time of Thomas de Allerton, a former abbot. (fn. 78) Jervaulx Abbey held half a carucate of land in Feldom of Roger Mountford in 1286–7, (fn. 79) and in the time of Henry VII was said to hold 1 carucate. (fn. 80) Property in Feldom was granted to the Earl of Lennox with the site of Jervaulx Abbey in 1540. (fn. 81)
SKELTON.—The lordship of Skelton is first mentioned in the boundaries given by Conan Earl of Richmond in his charter to Harsculph of liberties in Marske. It was afterwards a member of the honour of Richmond. (fn. 82)
The mesne lord in 1286–7 was Roald de Richmond, (fn. 83) from whom the mesne lordship passed to the Scropes of Bolton. (fn. 84) In 1278–9 (fn. 85) and 1286–7 Halnath de Halnaby held it in demesne of Wischard de Charron under Roald, and it continued to follow the descent of Halnaby until 1653, (fn. 86) when Sir Francis Boynton, bart., sold it to William Bower (fn. 87) of Bridlington Quay, merchant, who died 1671–2. (fn. 88) He was succeeded by his son John and he by his son William, both merchants of Bridlington. (fn. 89) William died in 1702, leaving two sons, William, (fn. 90) who settled the manor on his brother Leonard in 1714 (fn. 91) and died without issue, and Leonard, described as 'of Scruton, gent.' Leonard died in 1763, leaving a son John, who released Skelton in 1782 to Miles Stapleton of Clints. (fn. 92) Miles Stapleton in 1800 conveyed it to Thomas Errington, and in 1842 Michael Errington of Clints conveyed the manor to Timothy Hutton, from whom it descended to the present lord of Marske. (fn. 93)
CLINTS is a member of the manor of Marske, with which it descended until 1590, when Arthur Phillips and his son and heir Francis conveyed it to John Bradley of Beetham in Westmorland, who left daughters and heirs. One daughter married Sir Francis Duckett of Grayrigg, Westmorland, who sold his portion to Timothy Hutton in 1605. Another daughter may have conveyed her share to John Sayer of Worsall, who sold part to Timothy Hutton in 1615. The greater part passed to Robert Willance, the hero of 'Willance's Leap' (see Grinton). Robert, an important merchant of Richmond, became alderman of that town and bequeathed an ancient piece of plate in the shape of a bowl to his successors. His nephew and successor Brian, son of Nicholas Willance, left daughters and heirs, of whom Elizabeth carried Clints to her husband, Dr. John Bathurst. Charles Turner of Kirkleatham purchased Clints from the other Bathurst representatives (see Arkengarthdale) in 1761. He made the stables at Clints very well known, but sold the estate in 1767 for £7,000 to John Viscount Downe, who parted with it in 1768 for the same sum to Miles Stapleton of Drax. In 1800 it was purchased from trustees of the Stapletons by Thomas Errington of London, who came to live here. His son Michael in 1842 disposed of the estate for £12,250 to Timothy Hutton, who removed the manor-house. Its site is now occupied by new buildings. (fn. 94)
The church of ST. EDMUND KING AND MARTYR consists of chancel 30 ft. by 15 ft. 6 in. with a north chapel, nave 32 ft. by 14 ft. 9 in. with a north aisle 11 ft. 3 in. wide, and a south porch, and an open bell-turret at the west end. Part of the nave is of the 12th century, but large alterations were made in 1683, and the chancel was entirely rebuilt in the early part of last century.
The chancel arch is of two chamfered orders and roughly semicircular, having been altered in the 17th century, but it evidently replaced one of the 13th century, as a capital of that date still remains on the north jamb with a classical baluster underneath it as a corbel, and on the south jamb a similar capital has been cut down. The north arcade of the chancel has elliptical arches resting on square piers with classical abaci. The east window is modern, of three trefoiled lights, and in the south wall are two similar two-light windows and a four-centred south doorway, all modern. In the nave on the south side are two two-light windows with elliptical heads and a circle over. The south doorway is 12th-century work, round-headed, with scalloped capitals to the outer order and old moulded bases; the jamb shafts are modern and too big. Over it is a square-headed window formerly lighting a west gallery. The north arcade is in three bays, with chamfered roundheaded arches, plastered and probably of 17thcentury date, resting on octagonal shafts with 13th-century foliated capitals and moulded responds resting on small corbel heads.
The north aisle has a lancet window on the west, two plain square-headed two-light windows on the north, and one on the east square-headed with two cinquefoiled lights. There is an arched recess for a tomb in the north wall close to the western window.
Externally the south wall of the nave is built of rubble, which is plastered at the west end; it is probably of the 12th century and has a chamfered plinth with a later embattled parapet and a clasping buttress at the south-west angle. The porch is modern with a shield of the arms of Hutton over the door, but within it is a 12th-century doorway of two chamfered orders and a label, the outer order resting on circular shafts with chamfered abaci, scalloped capitals and crude bases; the square-headed window above it is of the 17th century, but that to the west is modern. The two two-light windows have hoods resting on imposts and the mullions have a square grooyed face. The heads of the lights of that to the west are ornamented with dog-tooth and the date 1683 above, while those of the other are plain with the inscription 'iohn hvtton sqvir'; over the latter window is a sundial dated 1700.
The west end of the church is plastered; there is a buttress at the junction of the aisle and one of three stages in the centre of the nave. The bellturret has openings for two bells, but only contains one, which was recast by Taylor of Loughborough about 1880.
The north wall is quite plain, having no parapet or plinth, and is all plastered. Near the west end is a blocked round-headed 12th-century door.
The east window of the aisle has a label with returned ends. The east and south walls of the chancel are modern, built of rubble with no plinth and having labels to the doors and windows.
The font has a tapering octagonal bowl on a fluted circular shaft resting on a large square base. On four of the faces are rough carvings, a cross and a lily, a cross with a paten (?), the date 1663, and the initials [T H M]; the other sides are blank.
In the churchyard opposite the porch is a square stone with the corners chamfered off and a square hole in the top, apparently once the base of a churchyard cross.
The plate includes a cup inscribed 'For Marske Church 1665' and a paten inscribed 'Iese Mason Born in the Parish of Marske July ye 20 Anno Dom. 1642' with the arms of Mason. There are also a pewter flagon and almsdish.
The registers begin in 1578.
According to the charter cited above Conan Earl of Richmond granted the advowson to Harsculph. The Marskes were in possession of it at the end of the 13th century and alienated it with the manor, (fn. 95) with which it has ever since descended. (fn. 96)
There was a mediaeval chapel of St. Cuthbert at Marske, marking one of the spots where St. Cuthbert's body rested. (fn. 97)
In 1655 Thomas Hutchinson charged his capital messuage with the appurtenances in this parish called Clints and 16 acres belonging thereto called Crofts with a rent-charge of £5, which is divisible among the poor.
The Rev. John Jackson, rector of Marske, by deeds of 1645 and 1648 gave to certain trustees a rent-charge of £100 and another rent-charge of £40, both redeemable upon the terms therein mentioned, upon trust for such charitable and pious uses as the lord of the manor and parson of Marske should direct. The rent-charges were subsequently redeemed. In 1698 certain closes within the township of Marske and in the borough of Richmond, and in 1730 about 80 acres of land in the parish of East Harlsey, known as Syddall Grange Farm, were purchased. In 1881 the last-mentioned property was sold, and the proceeds invested in Metropolitan Consolidated 3½ per cent. stock with the official trustees. The stock with certain accumulations in 1907 amounted to £1,695 0s. 1d. stock, producing an annual income of £59 6s. 4d., which with the rent of the remaining land is administered under a scheme of the Charity Commissioners of 9 August 1881, by the provisions of which £30 a year is applicable for educational purposes and the residue for the benefit of deserving poor.
There is an ancient payment of 10s. a year for the poor of this parish, issuing out of a farm called Riddings in the parish of Grinton.
This parish is entitled to benefits under the charity of Matton Hutton at the Newcastle-upon-Tyne Infirmary, and at the Richmond Dispensary, and in the discretion of the trustees to a grant for the school, and to share in the residuary income of that charity applicable in apprenticing. In 1906 a grant of £20 was made to the school.
Robert Baldwin, by will proved 1884, bequeathed fifteen shares in the Railway Passengers' Assurance Company to be applied towards an annual school treat, subject to the repair of a grave in the churchyard. The shares were realized and the proceeds invested in £91 13s. 3d. India £3 per cent. stock, the annual dividends of which, owing to the trust for repair of the grave being invalid, are applied towards the expenses of a school treat.