Parishes: Allerston

Pages 421-424

A History of the County of York North Riding: Volume 2. Originally published by Victoria County History, London, 1923.

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Alurestan, Alrestune (xi cent.); Alurestan, Alverstain, Elvestein (xii–xiii cent.).

This parish is composed of the township of Allerston and the hamlet of Crosscliffe (Crostclyf, xiv cent.). On the north it is bounded by moorland heights that rise to beyond 1,000 ft. above the ordnance datum, on the south by the fertile valley of the River Derwent. The boundaries of the parish are the same, or nearly so, now as in a perambulation of 1619–21. The only important change is that either Allerston Beck, then the western boundary, has changed its course or what is now known as Friar Dike was then known as Allerston Beck. (fn. 1) It was said that this boundary was not ancient and that some of the stones were known to have been lately set up by the direction of Sir Ralph Egerton, lord of the manor, much further towards Horcombe than the jury conceived they ought to be. (fn. 2)

The area of the parish is 10,049 acres of land, with 9 acres covered by water. The soil and subsoil are loam, limestone, marsh and moorland; to the south, 70 ft. above the ordnance datum, on the banks of the Derwent which are liable to floods, the soil is alluvial. Marl and clay were once worked, but these pits and many of the quarries are now disused.

In the middle of the 17th century Sir Richard Egerton obtained permission to inclose the 'waste' of his manor and made Crosscliffe inclosure. (fn. 3) An inclosure, the award for which is kept at the Duchy of Lancaster Office, (fn. 4) was made in 1809. (fn. 5)

There are 2,256 acres of arable land, 1,219 of permanent grass, (fn. 6) and the chief crops are wheat, barley and oats.

As in many neighbouring villages, bleaching seems to have been carried on here at one time, for in 1602 Isabel Rea was presented for washing and dressing hemp at the hemp-pit on the Sabbath Day. (fn. 7)

The village, like that of Ebberston, lies along either side of a by-road running south from the main Scarborough and Pickering road, and is situated at the point of change from the bleak moor to the fertile land about the Derwent, a small feeder of which runs beside Allerston Lane; the cottages are well kept and pleasing. A public elementary school was erected in 1874.

Allerston lay in the forest of Pickering, and at the forest eyre in 1334 the lord of the manor claimed among other liberties the hereditary right to take heather, bracken and turves from his moor of Allerston, to build sheep-folds on it at a place called Arnaldestan and take in the woods of Crosscliffe and Stayndale, which belonged to this manor, by assize of the forest, vert for housebote and haybote. (fn. 8) At the same eyre the Dean and Chapter of St. Peter's, York, (fn. 9) claimed that they themselves, their men and tenants of Allerston, were quit of pannage in the mast season in the woods and moors of Allerston, and of the lawing of dogs and puture of all the officers of the forest, and had housebote, haybote and underwood. (fn. 10)


ALLERSTON was soke of the king's manor of Pickering in 1086, (fn. 11) and was still a member of the honour of Pickering in 1661, (fn. 12) being held by fealty, rent and suit of court. (fn. 13) Before the Conquest it had been held by Gospatric, but it was surveyed among the king's lands in 1086. (fn. 14) Gospatric was the son of the thegn Aschil son of Ecgfrid. (fn. 15) He is said to have married a daughter of Dolfin son of Thorphin and had a son Gospatric. (fn. 16)

In the time of Serlo Prior of Whitby (c. 1090– 1109) Cayton and Allerston were in the hands of his son Ughtred de Allerston. (fn. 17) Ughtred had a son Torphin de Allerston, (fn. 18) who was lord of Allerston in 1167 (fn. 19) and was still living in 1176. (fn. 20) He seems to have married as his second wife Maud de Fribois, (fn. 21) and may have lived till 1189, when the custody of his heir Helen, daughter of his son Alan, with all his land in Allerston, with sac and soc and permission to keep greyhounds and brachets and hunt hares and foxes in the king's forests, was given to Alan de Valence. (fn. 22) Helen married Hugh de Hastings, who was dead in 1203, when the king gave to the Bishop of Norwich the wardship and marriage of his widow and heirs, with the custody of their lands. (fn. 23) Later, in February 1207–8, King John gave the marriage of the widow to Robert Vipont. (fn. 24) Hugh and Helen had a son and heir Thomas, (fn. 25) to whom and to Thomas his son Alice widow of Alan de Allerston in 1231 quitclaimed her dower in Allerston. (fn. 26) Thomas the son succeeded to the Westmorland estates of the Hastings family, and his younger brother Nicholas received Allerston, (fn. 27) settled dower on Amice widow of Thomas de Hastings in 1247, (fn. 28) and seems by 1268 to have succeeded his brother Thomas at Crosby Ravensworth also. (fn. 29) Nicholas was lord of Allerston in 1279, (fn. 30) but had been succeeded by his son (fn. 31) Hugh by 1284–5. (fn. 32) He was lord of the manor in 1293 (fn. 33) and died in 1302, leaving a son and heir Nicholas, (fn. 34) a knight, lord of Allerston in 1305, (fn. 35) and probably recently dead in 1316. (fn. 36) Nicholas was succeeded by his son Ralph, (fn. 37) who in 1322, on the death of Agnes his mother, paid relief for the whole of Allerston and Farmanby, besides land in Ebberston, which she had been holding in dower. (fn. 38) In January 1328–9 Ralph and his heirs obtained a grant of free warren in Allerston. (fn. 39) Ralph was constable of Pickering Castle in 1334 and sheriff for the county in 1337 and 1340. (fn. 40) In 1343 he acquired the manor of Slingsby, (fn. 41) which this manor followed in descent (fn. 42) until the spring of 1548–9, when it was conveyed by Francis Earl of Huntingdon to Stephen Holford and Eleanor his wife. (fn. 43) Stephen Holford had for four years been in possession of the Hospitallers' lands in Allerston (fn. 44) and died seised of the two 'manors' of Allerston in 1580, leaving a daughter and heir Barbara. (fn. 45) The Hastings manor was settled on Barbara and her husband Ralph Egerton and their heirs in 1565 and the Hospitallers' manor (fn. 46) just before Stephen Holford's death. (fn. 47) Ralph Egerton had in 1579 succeeded to the Cheshire estates of his father Sir Richard Egerton of Ridley. (fn. 48) Barbara died in 1587 (fn. 49) and her husband in 1619, leaving a son and heir Sir Richard Egerton (fn. 50) of Ridley, who died in 1627. (fn. 51) Sir Richard leased the manor to Sir Thomas Brereton and others in 1620. (fn. 52) His elder son Richard sold the Ridley estates and died in 1663, his two sons Peter and Richard having died before him. (fn. 53) He and his wife sometimes stayed in the manor-house at Allerston, (fn. 54) and in 1661 he paid a new rent to his overlord for permission to inclose waste land and to build seven 'mansion-houses' here. (fn. 55) He was succeeded at Allerston by his brother Thomas, whose son Ralph was aged four in 1665. (fn. 56) Thomas was living in 1668 (fn. 57) and seems to have not been long dead in 1686 when Ralph, described as 'son and heir of Thomas Egerton late of Allerston deceased,' conveyed the manor, 'the capital messuage called the hall,' with all appurtenances and all his other possessions in Allerston or Ebberston to William Osbaldeston of York and Sir Richard Osbaldeston of Hunmanby, bart., his son and heir. (fn. 58) William died in 1707. (fn. 59) Sir Richard was a justice of the peace for the North Riding in 1701, (fn. 60) and he with William Osbaldeston and John Key appointed a gamekeeper for this manor in 1717. (fn. 61) He died in 1728 and was succeeded by his eldest son William, who died without issue in 1765. Of the other children of Sir Richard Osbaldeston, the second son, Richard, who had been translated from the bishopric of Carlisle to the see of London in 1762, had died in 1764, and John, the third son, was also dead. On the death of William, the fourth brother Fountayne Wentworth Osbaldeston succeeded, but he also died childless in 1770, leaving the Hunmanby estates to one grand-nephew, his Allerston property to another. Mary his sister had by her husband Robert Mitford of Burne a daughter Philadelphia, who married Dr. John Wickens, rector of Petworth (co. Sussex). George Wickens, their son, assumed the name of Osbaldeston on becoming heir to his great-uncle's Hutton Bushel estates. (fn. 62) He seems to have also received Allerston, being party to a deed concerning the manor in 1808. (fn. 63) The manor belonged to Digby Cayley in 1857 and is now in the possession of Sir George Everard Arthur Cayley, bart., of Woodbridge.

Hastings. Argent a sleeve sable.

Egerton. Argent a lion gules between three pheons sable.

The three weeks court of Hugh de Hastings here is mentioned in 1284–5. (fn. 64)

The holding of the Knights Templars here seems to have originated in the grant made by Maud daughter of Cassandra of 6 oxgangs in 1227 (fn. 65) and of the mill in 1231. (fn. 66) About this time Thomas de Scoterny (Scoteyney, Scoteigney) granted them half a carucate of land in Allerston in frankalmoign and was sued by the master of the order in 1231 to acquit him of suit at the fortnightly court held at Pickering or 1 mark rent demanded annually by the king's bailiffs of Pickering in lieu thereof, and of tallage when other places in the soke of Pickering were tallaged. Thomas denied that he ought to discharge him of these services, as they were not mentioned in his charter. (fn. 67) Henry III, however, in January 1234–5 granted the order that the 12 oxgangs of land they held here under Thomas de Hastings should be for ever quit of tallage, suits of county and hundreds, sheriffs' aids, making inclosure at the barbican of Pickering (q.v.), and all other customs; 4s. rent was to be paid to the Crown with 16s. rent from Thomas de Hastings for that land. (fn. 68) William de Rudston granted tenements here to the Templars in 1256 (fn. 69) and in 1272 they held a 'manor' here of Nicholas de Hastings. (fn. 70) When the order was suppressed in 1312 Allerston and some other of their possessions were entrusted by the king to Alexander de Abernythy to hold during pleasure. (fn. 71) Subsequently in 1322 the Earl of Lancaster granted to William de Yeland the 6 oxgangs of land that had come into his hands by reason of his overlordship. (fn. 72) The remaining lands must have soon passed from Alexander de Abernythy to the Hastings. In 1348 the Hospitallers, as successors of the Templars, sued Sir Ralph de Hastings for the restoration of the manor of Allerston which the sheriff had seized in favour of Ralph. Ralph was then beyond the seas on the king's service, but on his return he agreed to restore seisin. This readiness to despoil himself suggested collusion to evade the Statute of Mortmain; early in 1351 the matter was reopened and the prior's right established. (fn. 73) The Hospitallers held Allerston until the dissolution of their order, administering it as a member of the preceptory of Holy Trinity, Beverley. (fn. 74)

The Templars. Argent a cross gules and a chief sable.

The Hospitallers. Gules a cross argent.

These lands were in the king's hands in February 1542–3 when John Turney, esquire of the body, was appointed bailiff, collector and steward of Beverley and Allerston. (fn. 75) In 1544 the Hospitallers' manor was granted to Dennis Toppes and Stephen Holford in fee, (fn. 76) but subsequently in 1548 Stephen Holford and Eleanor his wife conveyed it to Roger Burton, (fn. 77) who with Alice his wife conveyed it to William Strickland and Walter his son and heir in 1549. (fn. 78) They conveyed it to Stephen in 1567, (fn. 79) and Stephen Holford was said to have purchased it from William Strickland. (fn. 80) This manor was now absorbed in the 'Hastings' manor' of Allerston. Ralph Egerton, the owner of the latter, was in January 1602–3 paying to the Crown 29s. 5d. free rent for 'the Templars' lands' in Allerston. (fn. 81)

The Templars were said in 1284–5 to have courts in all their lands in Pickering Lythe. (fn. 82)

Rievaulx Abbey held from the middle of the 12th century 'the waste below Pickering,' one of the boundaries of which was Allerston Beck. (fn. 83) Torphin de Allerston, Maud his wife and Alan his son granted the abbey a carucate of land here in the same century, (fn. 84) and at about the beginning of the 13th century John son of Baldwin de Allerston gave the house right of way over his land called Grenehil. (fn. 85) After the Dissolution, in February 1542–3, the grange was granted to the Archbishop of York. (fn. 86) Fountains Abbey and Yedingham Priory also had lands and tenements, (fn. 87) and some land was in the tenure of the Dean of York and formed part of his peculiar. (fn. 88)

William Lord Hastings devised £18 5s. yearly to St. George's Chapel, Windsor, and, as the manors of Farmanby and East Hallgarth were insufficient to make up this amount, his son and heir Edward in 1504 appropriated 35s. annually from his manor of Allerston. (fn. 89)

In 1279 Nicholas de Hastings, Peter de Gaola (fn. 90) and the Templars had had the amendment of the assize of bread and ale in Allerston for fifteen years by right unknown to the jurors. (fn. 91)


The church of ST. MARY is a small building consisting of an aisleless nave and quire without structural division, a south porch and a western tower. The church, with the exception of the tower, dates from the 14th century. The quire was 23 ft. 7 in. by 19 ft. 2 in., its western limit being marked by a stone corbel in the south wall which once supported the rood beam. There was probably also a screen, as a piscina on the nave side in the same wall indicates the former existence of an altar here. The quire is lighted by a 14th-century three-light east window with flowing tracery and similar windows of two lights pierce the side walls. On the south side is a small piscina and further west a priest's door with an ogee head.

The nave (43 ft. 9 in. by 19 ft. 2 in.) is of similar date and character to the quire. The south wall has two two-light windows and there is a blocked door on the north. The font has a circular base and stem with an octagonal bowl, all of the 15th century. In the much restored south porch is a small stoup just to the east of the nave door and two fragments of slabs bearing floreated crosses. The south wall of the church has been also considerably restored and the north side is largely rebuilt. Into this wall are built two slabs bearing floreated crosses and some fragments of tracery. The roof of the building is quite modern.

The tower opens from the nave by an arch springing from moulded corbels. It is a handsome structure three stages high and built in the early part of the 15th century. The western buttresses are placed diagonally and the embattled parapet has a band of flowing blind tracery carried round immediately below it. The west window of three lights has two shields to the hood bearing a plain cross and a maunch. Under the parapet, on the west face, are four more shields bearing a maunch (twice repeated), a saltire and a cross. The belfry stage is lighted by two-light transomed windows and contains three bells. The earliest is mediaeval and apparently formed one of a peal, as its black-letter inscription runs: 'Cantabunt et Anna,' with a shield charged with three bells. The other two bells, dating from 1674, were recast in 1910. The total internal length of the church is 83 ft. 4 in.

The plate includes a 17th-century silver cup with illegible initials, but without other mark, and a large plated flagon and dish.


The registers are bound up in three volumes: (i) mixed entries 1680 to 1760; (ii) baptisms and burials 1761 to 1812; (iii) marriages 1754 to 1813. Allerston is a chapelry to Ebberston (q.v.), of which the Deans and afterwards the Archbishops of York were patrons; it formed part of the peculiar of Pickering. When the vicarage of Pickering was ordained in 1252 the Archbishop of York enacted that in the chapels of Ebberston and Allerston there should be one vicar, who should find the necessary ministers for each chapel and pay annually 12d. to the mother church of Pickering in token of subjection. (fn. 92)


The National school was founded by deeds of 1840 and 1873, and is regulated by a scheme of the Charity Commissioners, 1874.


  • 1. Hon. and Forest of Pickering (N. R. Rec. Soc. [New Ser.]), i, 25–6. Among the place-names mentioned are Marshy Dike, Hell Hole, Weisdale, Morrellslack, the double dike between Allerston and Thornton, Stannygate, three heaps of stones called Threstone Rocks, Arderstone, Hallgatestie, Almeslack, Arlotstye, Whinny Neb, Lilla (Lilhow), High Woof How (Northwulfehow), Low Woof How (Southwulfehow), East Yarna (Yorney) Beck, Crosscliffe Beck, Dotterell How, Jingleby (Jenglebee) Cross, a tumulus called a how east of Gyndale, Oxmoor Dikes, Langhow, Scawridge (Skewrigg), a cross in the king's highway from Allerston to Ebberston.
  • 2. Ibid. 26.
  • 3. Ibid. 77, 103.
  • 4. Dep. Keeper's Rep. xxvii, App. 27.
  • 5. Slater, Engl. Peasantry and Encl. of Common Fields, 313.
  • 6. Statistics from Bd. of Agric. (1905).
  • 7. Yorks. Arch. Journ. xviii, 340.
  • 8. Hon. . . . of Pickering, iii, 112.
  • 9. See below, p. 424.
  • 10. Hon. . . . of Pickering, iii, 155.
  • 11. V.C.H. Yorks. N. R. ii, 196.
  • 12. Hon. . . . of Pickering, i, 103.
  • 13. Chan. Inq. p.m. (Ser. 2), clxxxix, 70. A constable and four men attended at the court leet at Pickering (q.v.).
  • 14. V.C.H. Yorks. ii, 201, 310.
  • 15. See ibid. 183–5.
  • 16. Ibid.
  • 17. Whitby Chartul. (Surt. Soc.), 93.
  • 18. Ibid. 6.
  • 19. Pipe R. 13 Hen. II (Pipe R. Soc.), 99.
  • 20. Ibid. 22 Hen. II, 112.
  • 21. Torphin, with the consent of his son and heir Alan, settled on Maud and her heirs by himself a carucate of land in Allerston, which Maud then joined in granting to Rievaulx Abbey (Rievaulx Chartul. [Surt. Soc.], 51–2). From this the editor of the Hon. and Forest of Pickering (iv, p. xxx) concludes that Allerston came to Torphin by right of Maud. The deed, however, distinctly states that Maud derived her right from Torphin, the 1 carucate being the dower third of the whole manor. Elsewhere (ibid. p. xxix) the writer states on the same evidence that it is practically certain that Torphin 'came to the Pickering district on his marriage with an heiress'; but another record of this grant in the Rievaulx Chartul. (186) only mentions Torphin and Alan as the donors, and Torphin held through Ughtred in Cayton, which is in the Pickering district.
  • 22. Cart. Antiq. X, 27. The editor of the Rievaulx Chartul. (52 n.) says that from evidence in the Whitby Chartul. Torphin was dead by or before 1170. This conclusion, however, which is contradicted by the above-cited Pipe R., is only based on the fact that there is a charter about that date by Alan confirming a grant of his father.
  • 23. Cal. Rot. Chart. 1199–1216 (Rec. Com.), 114–15.
  • 24. Rot. Lit. Claus. (Rec. Com.), i, 103.
  • 25. Cal. Pat. 1307–13, p. 574; Whitby Chartul. (Surt. Soc.), 37 n.
  • 26. Feet of F. Yorks. 15 Hen. III, no. 104.
  • 27. Whitby Chartul. (Surt. Soc.), 269.
  • 28. Harl. MS. 3881, fol. 2.
  • 29. Whitby Chartul. (Surt. Soc.), 270.
  • 30. Plac. de Quo Warr. (Rec. Com.), 188.
  • 31. Harl. MS. 3881, fol. 2.
  • 32. Kirkby's Inq. (Surt. Soc.), 147.
  • 33. Plac. de Quo Warr. (Rec. Com.), 206.
  • 34. Bell, Huntingdon Peerage, 9; Harl. MS. 3881, fol. 3.
  • 35. Hon. . . . of Pickering, ii, 84.
  • 36. Ibid. iv, p. xxx. According to Kirkby's Inq. (Surt. Soc.), 326 'the heirs of Nicholas' held in Farmanby (q.v.).
  • 37. Test. Ebor. (Surt. Soc.), i, 19 n.
  • 38. Hon. . . of Pickering, iv, 197.
  • 39. Cal. Chart. R. 1327–41, p. 117.
  • 40. Hon. . . . of Pickering, iv, 63; Cal. Pat. 1334–8, p. 576; List of Sheriffs, 161.
  • 41. V.C.H. Yorks. N. R. i, 559.
  • 42. Chan. Inq. p.m. 15 Hen. VI, no. 58; 34 Hen. VI, no. 22; 1 Ric. III, no. 32; De Banco R. Mich. 21 Hen. VII, m. 527.
  • 43. Yorks. Fines, Tudors (Yorks. Arch. Soc.), i, 139.
  • 44. See below.
  • 45. Chan. Inq. p.m. (Ser. 2), clxxxix, 70; Fine R. 23 Eliz. pt. i, no. 67.
  • 46. See below.
  • 47. Chan. Inq. p.m. (Ser. 2), clxxxix, 70.
  • 48. Ormerod, Cheshire (ed. Helsby), ii, 301.
  • 49. Ibid.
  • 50. Chan. Inq. p.m. (Ser. 2), dxxiii, 2.
  • 51. Ormerod, loc. cit.
  • 52. Feet of F. Yorks. East. 18 Jas. I; Exch. Dep. Yorks. Hil. 1649–50, no. 5.
  • 53. Ormerod, loc. cit.
  • 54. Exch. Dep. Yorks. Hil. 1649–50, no. 5.
  • 55. Hon. . . . of Pickering, i, 103.
  • 56. Dugdale, Visit. of Yorks. (Surt. Soc.), 71.
  • 57. Feet of F. Yorks. Trin. 20 Chas. II. In 1664 Sir William Blakeston stated that he had a mortgage of £5,000 at Allerston, which belonged to his father-in-law, but his brother-in-law Thomas Egerton now begged it (Cal. S. P. Dom. 1663–4, p. 653).
  • 58. Close R. 4665, no. 17.
  • 59. Burke, Landed Gentry (7th ed.), pt. iii, p. 1837.
  • 60. Quart. Sess. Rec. (N. R. Rec. Soc.), vii, 182.
  • 61. Ibid. viii, 159.
  • 62. Burke, Landed Gentry (7th ed.), pt. iii, p. 1837.
  • 63. Recov. R. Yorks. Hil. 48 Geo. III, m. 28.
  • 64. Kirkby's Inq. (Surt. Soc.), 147.
  • 65. Feet of F. Yorks. 11 Hen. III, no. 76.
  • 66. Ibid. 15 Hen. III, no. 77. The mill had been held by Odo son of Torphin. Ralph brother of Odo was born after his brother's death, and in 1227 was mad and imprisoned for life for homicide. Cassandra was their sister. Maud in 1227 was seemingly suing Walter le Savage as heir of Odo respecting the mill and 4 oxgangs which were divided between Walter and Thomas de Hastings (Maitland, Bracton's Note Bk. iii, 660). The nature of the connexion of Odo with the Savages is unknown. Maud married Adam son of Simon. The mill was included among the late possessions of the Templars in 1322 (Hon. . . . of Pickering, iv, 202). Ralph de Hastings held the Templars' lands in Allerston before 1348 (see below), and may have obtained a release from the Hospitallers, the Templars' successors, for the water-mill and fulling-mill followed the descent of the Hastings' manor from 1436 (Chan. Inq. p.m. 15 Hen. VI, no. 58).
  • 67. Hon. . . . of Pickering, iv, 163.
  • 68. Cal. Chart. R. 1226–57, p. 192.
  • 69. Feet of F. Yorks. 30 Hen. III, no. 41.
  • 70. Add. MSS. 6165, fol. 160.
  • 71. Cal. Pat. 1307–13, p. 414.
  • 72. Hon. . . . of Pickering, iv, 202.
  • 73. Coram Rege R. 359, m. 3 d.
  • 74. L. and P. Hen. VIII, xix (1), g. 812 (5).
  • 75. Ibid. xviii (1), 982.
  • 76. Ibid. xix (1), g. 812 (5).
  • 77. Yorks. Fines, Tudors (Yorks. Arch. Soc.), i, 135.
  • 78. Ibid. 145.
  • 79. Ibid. 342.
  • 80. Chan. Inq. p.m. (Ser. 2), clxxxix, 70.
  • 81. Exch. Spec. Com. 44 Eliz. no. 2816.
  • 82. Kirkby's Inq. (Surt. Soc.), 147.
  • 83. See below, p. 470.
  • 84. Burton, Mon. Ebor. 358.
  • 85. Rievaulx Chartul. (Surt. Soc.), 209–10 and n.
  • 86. Pat. 34 Hen. VIII, pt. viii, m. 18.
  • 87. Burton, Mon. Ebor. 150; Dugdale, Mon. iv, 273.
  • 88. Hon. . . . of Pickering, iii, 155; Hund. R. (Rec. Com.), i, 107.
  • 89. Harl. MS. 3881, fol. 27; Bodl. Chart. 331.
  • 90. John de la Gaole had lands in Allerston in 1319 (List of Inq. a.q.d. [P.R.O.], i, 193).
  • 91. Hund. R. (Rec. Com.), i, 107; Plac. de Quo Warr. (Rec. Com.), 188, 206; cf. Kirkby's Inq. (Surt. Soc.), 147.
  • 92. Reg. of Archbp. Gray (Surt. Soc.), 213. There is record of a marriage being solemnized in the chapel in 1297 (Yorks. Inq. [Yorks. Arch. Soc.], iii, 52).