A History of the County of York North Riding: Volume 2. Originally published by Victoria County History, London, 1923.
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Tresc, Tresche (xi cent.); Treske (xii cent.); Thresk (xiii cent.); Thyrsk (xv cent.); Thurske, Throsk, Thrusken (xvi cent.).
The ecclesiastical parish of Thirsk comprised in 1831 the townships of Carlton Islebeck or Carlton Miniott and Sand Hutton (fn. 1) and the chapelry of Sowerby, which are now separate ecclesiastical parishes. The township of Carlton Miniott is partly within the liberty of St. Peter York. The area of the entire parish is 8,772 acres, of which 4, 133 acres are arable, 2,976 acres pasture and 185 acres woods and plantations. (fn. 2) The soil of this district is light gravel or sand on a subsoil chiefly of Keuper Marls; lower lias and alluvium also occur. The elevation is in few places more than 100 ft. above ordnance datum. The inhabitants of Sand Hutton and Carlton Miniott are largely engaged in agriculture; in the latter township there are also brick and tile-works. The chief crops are barley, wheat, oats, grass, clover and turnips.
The main line of the North Eastern railway and the Leeds and Thirsk section unite at Thirsk junction, which is 1 mile west of that town. A small branch line runs into the town, where there is also a goods station. In 1798 an Act was obtained for inclosing the open 'Sowerby Field,' a stinted pasture called 'The Ox Moor' and the 'South Moor,' and other waste grounds within the township of Sowerby. (fn. 3) The open and arable fields in the township of Sand Hutton were inclosed under an award made in 1841.
The town of Thirsk lies between two important mediaeval highways which here run along the opposite banks of the Cod Beck. On the east is 'the Street' from York to the port of Yarm, on the west is the road from Topcliffe to Northallerton and Scotland. Between these roads, and on either side of the river, is built the town, Old Thirsk being on the east bank and New Thirsk on the west. In Old Thirsk the houses stand about Long Street, (fn. 4) as this portion of the York and Yarm road is called, and about St. James's Green, a large space between it and the beck which is here crossed by a bridge in Millgate. St. James's Green is probably 'the Oldemerkat sted' mentioned in 1398–9, (fn. 5) and the cattle market was still held here in 1859. (fn. 6) The green takes its name from a chapel of St. James, which was standing at least as early as 1145. (fn. 7) Richard son of John de Cardoyl, thief, took sanctuary in it in 1267–8, (fn. 8) and it seems to have been standing at the Dissolution, (fn. 9) but its site is not known.
The town is almost entirely built of brick and now presents few features of antiquity. Grouped round the square are a number of 18th-century inns, of which the 'Three Tuns,' belonging to the Bell family, is a large three-storied building with a Georgian front. The rear portions, however, may date from the close of the 17th century, and from the centre of the hall rises a handsome staircase with twisted balusters. The Fleece Hotel, on the south side of the square, is an early 18th-century building, and at the back of the Crown Hotel, near it, is a picturesque yard with a good lead rain-water head, bearing the initials [C WI] and the date 1682. The Wesleyan chapel on the green was built in 1816 and replaced that built in 1764–6 and criticized by John Wesley, (fn. 10) who visited Thirsk several times and preached in the market-place in 1763. (fn. 11) On the green once stood a notable old elm beneath which tradition asserted that the Earl of Northumberland was murdered in 1489. (fn. 12) Beneath it the election of members of Parliament was made at a later date. The tree was in decay when it was burnt down in the Fifth of November celebration of 1818. (fn. 13)
South of St. James's Green is Ingramgate, (fn. 14) which leads from Long Street across a stone bridge (fn. 15) and up Finkle Street to the market-place in New Thirsk. This market-place contains no burgages. It appears to have been once oblong in shape with its western side abutting on the east side of the castle of the Mowbrays; now, however, houses occupy part of the castle site and extend beyond it into the marketplace, (fn. 16) thus destroying its symmetry on this side. In the middle stood the market-cross, which was moved about 1860 to the grounds of Thirsk Hall. Near it was once the Tollbooth, in which the manorial courts were held; it was also used as a public hall and was the first meeting-place of the Independents in Thirsk. (fn. 17) It was burnt down in 1834 while occupied by a travelling showman. (fn. 18) Close by was the bull-ring, the site of which is still marked by a circle in the pavement, though the ring itself had been taken up in about 1839. (fn. 19) Here, as at Northallerton, the centre of the space was occupied by butchers' shambles, but these were removed in 1857. (fn. 20)
South of the market-place is Chapel Street, once called the Back Lane. It takes its name from the meeting-house built here by the Independents in 1804 and replaced by the present chapel in Finkle Street in 1850. The Lambert Memorial Hospital in this street was built and endowed by Mrs. Lambert in 1890. Near it is the Thirsk Institute, built in 1848–9 by Sir W. P. Payne-Gallwey, bart., as the Mechanics' Institute. West of them is the courthouse built in 1885 and near it is the station on the Thirsk branch of the North Eastern railway.
From the station Castlegate leads east to the market-place, near which it is joined by the road from Topcliffe. In Castlegate is the Primitive Methodist chapel built in 1851 to replace an older building. Here, too, is the Roman Catholic church of All Saints, built in 1867; the Roman Catholic elementary schools are also here.
The castle lay on the north side of Castlegate. The moat can still be traced on its western side and the whole inclosure has been computed at 4 acres. Very little is known of the history of the castle, which commanded the road from York to the north. It was certainly built before 1130–1 (fn. 21) and was held against Henry II by Roger de Mowbray in the revolt of 1173. In the following year it was surrendered to Henry, who in 1176 caused it to be destroyed. (fn. 22) At the beginning of the 13th century the Mowbrays appear to have had here a manor-house, (fn. 23) whence John de Mowbray wrote on one occasion to Edward I. (fn. 24) This house and its dovecotes were destroyed by the Scots in 1322 (fn. 25) and apparently never rebuilt. In 1376 the castle garth was a garden, (fn. 26) though laid down to grass by 1398–9. (fn. 27) The name Castle Yard was in 1842 still given (fn. 28) to a field west of the moat, while 'the Park' lay west of the present hall.
Kirkgate, which starts from the north-west corner of the market-place, forms the first part of the high road to Northallerton. It must have been along this road that the royal army passed so often. Henry III was in Thirsk in 1227, (fn. 29) Edward I in 1291, and in 1296, when he stayed here for three days. (fn. 30) He was here again in 1301, when he passed a night here, in 1304 and in 1306. (fn. 31) Edward II passed through in 1310 and was here in 1322 after the rebellion of Thomas of Lancaster. (fn. 32) It must have been along this road, too, that the Scots advanced when they sacked Thirsk (fn. 33) on their way to Northallerton (q.v.) and Topcliffe (q.v.). In Kirkgate lies the Friends' meeting-house built in or about 1790 and the successor of a building in which Fox himself is said to have preached. In this same street was the Chantry House of St. Anne; it seems to have been granted in 1608 to George Johnson and John Grunesdiche in fee. (fn. 34) It came into the possession of the family of Bell, and in 1667 was conveyed by Robert Bell and John Pybus to Viscount Fauconberg, Lord Lieutenant of the North Riding, in trust for the inhabitants of the Riding as a house of correction. (fn. 35) The property was sold by the Riding in May 1789 to Metcalf Graham Steell and was purchased from him in 1790 by Ralph Bell; at the present time the site is occupied by two dwelling-houses. (fn. 36) Beyond the houses of the town lies the present hall, the residence of Mr. Reginald Bell. It is a large Georgian building with a centre block of three stories and side wings of two. It is built of red brick and stone, the rain-water heads being ornamented with martlets and bells and bearing the date 1771 R. B. A. The dining room is an excellent specimen of the Adam style with ceiling, walls and chimney-piece of the same type. The library is richly panelled in an earlier style and the staircase has curious twisted balusters. In the grounds is preserved the old market-cross, a plain base and truncated shaft of stone, formerly capped by a four-faced sundial. Near by is a large fragment of Gothic carving, possibly the base of a pinnacle, brought from Byland Abbey.
Opposite the Hall and running down to the water is a field called the Marriage (Marish). The manorial prison once stood in a corner to the west of the church tower; it was thus away from the town, and in the 13th century there were frequent complaints of the escape of prisoners after bribing the bailiff. (fn. 37)
Just north of the Hall is the parish church of St. Mary the Virgin; beyond it is the settlement of Norby built along the Northallerton road. Much of the land here belonged to Newburgh Priory and the old parsonage was in this quarter. (fn. 38) The mill of Norby with 12 oxgangs of land was granted by William de Mowbray to Philip son of John in the beginning of the 13th century. (fn. 39) The mill was probably of considerable antiquity, for the island formed by the millrace and Cod Beck was granted by Roger de Mowbray to Newburgh Priory in 1145, and had previously been held by Richard the Priest. (fn. 40)
There are remains of a moat here, and the name Tenter Croft now given to the inclosure suggests that it was used later as the drying-ground of a dyer.
In 1768 a scheme was propounded for making the Cod Beck navigable from its junction with the Swale to Thirsk, and an Act of Parliament was obtained for this purpose. A wharf was made and various other works were carried out, but the scheme failed, though its memory is recalled by the Lock Bridge, which stands where the first and only lock was made. (fn. 41)
The common arable fields of Thirsk lay to the north, east and west of the town, and were the North and South Douber (Doutheburghe, xiii cent.), (fn. 42) the Near and Far Carlton Butts, Wetlands beyond Norby, the Near and Far West Fields, Underwood, Stoneybrough (Steinhouberg, xiii cent.; Stannybarghe, Stanybarge, xvii cent.), (fn. 43) and Bown Crofts. (fn. 44) Inclosure Acts were obtained in 1800, 1820 (fn. 45) and 1836, but the award was not made until 1845. (fn. 46)
On the road to Northallerton is the Spa House. Lord Harley writing in 1723 described how he 'half a mile from the town passed by the Spa, which is covered by a thatched house, built by the Corporation, who have placed a poor old woman who makes what little profit she can from those who resort thither. It is said to have wrought many cures on lame and ricketty people.' (fn. 47) The Spa was provided with three baths, and was 'much frequented' at the beginning of the 19th century, though drained by 1859. (fn. 48)
Carlton Miniott is a straggling hamlet 2 miles to the west of Thirsk. The first house on that side is a substantial Georgian structure with farm buildings and a brick pigeon-house. The Grange is modern. There is a Wesleyan chapel close to the church of St. Lawrence, which is in the middle of the village.
Sand Hutton village is built round a green, at the east end of which stands St. Mary's Church, and at the west is a Wesleyan chapel, erected in 1815. The post office is an ancient cottage of stone with a thatched roof. The Swale forms the western boundary of the parish. Sand Hutton Cross marks the point where the parishes of Thirsk, Carlton Miniott and Sand Hutton unite.
Sowerby is a large village practically joining the southern end of Thirsk. Broad greens line the main street, and the majority of the houses date from the 18th century. The first house south of the church, called the Manor House, is of that date, and behind it are extensive farm buildings with a square pigeonhouse of brick having a pyramidal tiled roof, and dating from the 17th century. St. Oswald's Church and the vicarage are at the north end. There is also a Wesleyan chapel. The Saxty Way, a disused road, can be traced in the fields to the north of Sowerby. West of the village is Pudding Pie Hill, a tumulus which was excavated in 1855. Paradise Beck rises in a small plantation called Spring Wood, and flows through Sowerby Park in the south-east corner of the parish.
Mention of the park of Sowerby occurs in documents of the 16th and 17th centuries. (fn. 49)
Nothing is known of the origin of the borough of Thirsk, though the fact that Henry II spoke of it as one of his demesne boroughs (fn. 50) may point to its rise during the time that the manor was in the hands of the Crown after the battle of Tenchebrai. (fn. 51) It was, however, throughout its known history a mesne borough held under the lords of the manor (q.v.).
The borough was certainly in existence in 1145, (fn. 52) and seems to have been on the east bank of the Cod Beck, forming what was later known as Old Thirsk. (fn. 53) The settlement on the opposite bank probably here as at Richmond grew up round the bailey of the castle; it formed the vill mentioned in 1145, (fn. 54) and was the manorial quarter as distinguished from the borough.
Few records of the borough are extant, and court rolls of the 17th century (fn. 55) are the chief authority for its constitution. The amount of the farm is not known, (fn. 56) but in 1398–9 the bailiff of the borough paid 29s. 3¼d. as the rent of free tenements. (fn. 57) At the beginning of the 19th century there were 52 burgage tenements, 'of which 49 belonged to the Franklands of Thirkleby.' (fn. 58)
In 1821 and 1859 the borough bailiff was chosen by the burgage holders and was sworn in by the lord's steward in the lord's court, (fn. 59) this probably following ancient procedure.
The bailiff represented in 1630 that his predecessors had from of old received the amerciaments of the estreats in his year, and had 'the perquisites of the court for amerciaments in the town fields and commons except the amerciaments for non-appearance and for neglect of bonds and services.' (fn. 60) He held the courts of the borough, which in 1398–9 sat seventeen times (fn. 61); in 1623 fifteen courts were held. (fn. 62) In the 17th century the court had jurisdiction over small cases of debt, and in 1623 as many as 300 such were decided. This class of suit rapidly declined in the 18th century, the last case being heard in 1791. (fn. 63)
In the 17th century the surviving officials were two constables for the borough and vill, two leathersearchers and sealers, four market searchers, four ale tasters, two field graves, one or sometimes two pinders, and four afferators. (fn. 64) The chief liberties enjoyed by the burgesses in early times were those of buying and selling within and without the market-place, and of freedom from toll and stallage. (fn. 65) These privileges were extended in 1145 by Roger de Mowbray to such men of Newburgh Priory as dealt within the borough area. (fn. 66) To these privileges were added later the parliamentary franchise, which, however, here as elsewhere, had a deterrent effect on the development of the borough owing to the accumulation of burgages in one ownership. By 1859, though the bailiff was still elected, (fn. 67) all corporate government in Thirsk had disappeared. In the latter part of the 19th century the management of affairs was in the hands of a rural sanitary authority, but under the Local Government Act it was transferred to a rural district council.
The borough of Thirsk sent two representatives to the Parliament of 1295, but no further return was made until the last Parliament of Edward VI. Henceforward it sent two members to Parliament (fn. 68) until the passing of the Reform Act (fn. 69) in 1832, when the representation was reduced to one, and the franchise extended from the owners of burgages, who then numbered fifty of whom six only were resident in the borough, (fn. 70) to include the inhabitants of the townships of Thirsk, Carlton Miniott, Sand Hutton, Bagby and South Kilvington. In 1885 Thirsk ceased to be a parliamentary borough. (fn. 71)
The market at Thirsk is prescriptive and certainly dates from before 1145. (fn. 72) It was held in 1293 as now on Monday. (fn. 73) The lord took the tolls, which have remained a manorial possession. In 1870 Freeman's auction mart was established for the sale of cattle, sheep and pigs. This is held on alternate Mondays with the Thirsk Farmers' Auction Mart established in 1907 at Sowerby. (fn. 74) On 17 November 1909 a perpetual injunction of the Court of Chancery was obtained by the lord of the manor restraining the owners of the latter mart from carrying on their business without payment of tolls. (fn. 75)
In 1293 a prescriptive fair was held on the vigil, feast and morrow of St. Felix (fn. 76) (14 January); the day was, perhaps, changed, for in 1327 fairs were held on the Feasts of St. James (25 July) and St. Luke (18 October). (fn. 77) Elizabeth widow of John Mowbray held dower in the tolls of a fair on the Feast of St. Lawrence (10 August) at her death in 1376. (fn. 78) In 1751 fairs were held on the Feasts of St. James, St. Andrew (30 November) and St. Luke, on Shrove Monday, and on the Tuesday after Lady Day (fn. 79); they seem to be represented, allowing for the alteration of style in 1752, by the fairs held in 1792 on Shrove Monday; 4, 5 and 6 April; 3, 4 and 5 August; 28 and 29 October, and 14 December. (fn. 80) In 1888 the fair days were Shrove Monday, 4 April, the last Monday in May, 4 August, 28 October, and the first Tuesday after 11 December. (fn. 81) These fairs have now declined.
There are now important agricultural engineering works in Thirsk. Tanning and leather-dressing are carried on, as well as malting, brick-making and ironfounding.
In 1086 there were two 'manors' and 20 carucates in THIRSK. Eight of these, which previously had been held by Orm, belonged to the king; the other 12 carucates belonged to Hugh son of Baldric and were held by Tor. (fn. 82) Very little is known of Hugh son of Baldric. He was succeeded by Robert de Stutevill, (fn. 83) who, however, forfeited his lands by joining Robert Duke of Normandy in the rebellion against Henry I. He was taken prisoner at the battle of Tenchebrai in 1106 and his barony was granted to Niel Daubeney, (fn. 84) the founder of the second house of Mowbray, who had fought on the king's side and already possessed considerable estates in the Midlands. (fn. 85) The Yorkshire lands comprised Thirsk and a large part of the surrounding country, still known as the Vale of Mowbray, with the outlying castle of Burton in Lonsdale; this district was also guarded to the southeast by the castle of Kirkby Malzeard. (fn. 86)
Niel Daubeney is said to have become a monk before his death. (fn. 87) He was succeeded by his son Roger known as Mowbray. (fn. 88) During his minority Roger probably lived chiefly at Thirsk with his mother Gundreda. (fn. 89) Though a minor, he was present at the battle of the Standard in 1138, (fn. 90) and three years later is said to have been taken prisoner at the battle of Lincoln. (fn. 91) He supported the coalition against Henry II, and on the failure of the rebellion was deprived of his castles, of which Thirsk was the last to fall in 1174. (fn. 92) Roger seems to have been restored to favour, but Epworth in Axholme subsequently became the chief place of residence of the Mowbrays. Probably about this time Robert de Stutevill, the grandson of Robert who had been dispossessed in 1106, laid claim to the barony of Mowbray, and Roger de Mowbray was obliged to compromise by giving him Kirkby Moorside for the service of ten knights' fees. (fn. 93)
Roger de Mowbray founded the abbey of Byland in 1143 (fn. 94) and the priory of Newburgh in 1145 (fn. 95); he went on a pilgrimage to the Holy Land in about 1186, was taken prisoner by the Pagans, and died soon after his ransom in about 1188. (fn. 96) His son Niel succeeded him, but died about 1192 on his way to the Holy Land. He was the father of William, who had livery of his lands in 1193 or 1194, (fn. 97) and was among the barons who swore fealty to King John in 1199. (fn. 98) In the following year, when William de Stutevill renewed his claim to the lands which had belonged to his great-grandfather, William de Mowbray was successful in defending the suit, but granted to William de Stutevill nine knights' fees and 12 librates of land in return for the renunciation of his claim. (fn. 99) The barony continued in the possession of the Mowbrays until the death of the sixteenth Lord Mowbray in 1476.
In 1215 William de Mowbray was prominent in the baronial party; he was appointed one of the twenty-five executors and was excommunicated by Pope Innocent. (fn. 100) In 1217 he was taken prisoner at the battle of Lincoln, (fn. 101) and his estates were granted to William Marshal the younger, but he redeemed them by the surrender of the lordship of Banstead, Surrey, to Hubert de Burgh shortly before the general restoration in the same year. (fn. 102) William de Mowbray was succeeded by his eldest son Niel, who had livery of his lands in 1224, (fn. 103) but died about four years later without issue. His heir was his brother Roger, (fn. 104) who came of age in 1240 or 1241. He served the king against both the Scotch and the Welsh. At his death about 1266 he was succeeded by his son Roger Mowbray, (fn. 105) who came of age in 1278. (fn. 106) In 1282 he entailed his lordships of Thirsk, Kirkby Malzeard, Burton-in-Lonsdale, Hovingham, Melton Mowbray, Epworth and the Isle of Axholme upon his heirs, with remainder to Henry de Lacy Earl of Lincoln. (fn. 107) He served against the Welsh, (fn. 108) and was summoned to Parliament in 1295 and 1296. He died at Ghent in 1297. (fn. 109)
The wardship and marriage of his son and heir John Lord Mowbray (born 1286) were granted to William de Braose of Gower and Bramber, whose daughter and heir he married. (fn. 110) During his minority John de Mowbray was distinguished in the Scotch wars and was granted livery of his lands and knighted before he came of age. (fn. 111) His downfall began in 1320 with his quarrel with the king's favourite Hugh le Despenser the younger, who tried to seize his wife's inheritance of Gower. (fn. 112) He joined the insurrection of Thomas Earl of Lancaster and was taken prisoner at the battle of Boroughbridge and hanged at York in 1322. His lands were forfeited and his widow Alina and his son John, then under age, were imprisoned in the Tower. The lands were granted in the same year to John Earl of Richmond, (fn. 113) but they again returned to the Crown on the forfeiture of his possessions. (fn. 114) On the deposition of Edward II in 1327, however, John de Mowbray was released and his father's lands restored. (fn. 115) He died of the Plague at York in 1361 (fn. 116) and was succeeded by his son John fourth Lord Mowbray, who married Elizabeth daughter and heir of John Lord Segrave (fn. 117) by his wife Margaret, daughter and sole heir of the Duke of Norfolk. John was killed by the Turks on his way to the Holy Land in 1368, (fn. 118) when his son and heir John was three years old. On his mother's death in 1375 (fn. 119) he became Lord Segrave as well as Lord Mowbray. He was knighted by Edward III in 1377, and in the same year was at the coronation of Richard II created Earl of Nottingham. This earldom, however, became extinct at his death without issue in 1382. (fn. 120) He was succeeded by his brother Thomas Lord Mowbray and Segrave, who was created Earl of Nottingham in 1383. (fn. 121) He supported the king against the Duke of Gloucester, and was rewarded by large grants of land and by being created Duke of Norfolk in 1397. (fn. 122) In the following year he was banished and considered, though wrongly, to have been deprived of his honours. (fn. 123) A few months before his death in 1400, (fn. 124) however, he apparently succeeded his maternal grandmother the Duchess and Countess of Norfolk as Earl of Norfolk. His eldest son Thomas was allowed to assume all his father's dignities except the dukedom of Norfolk, and was usually known as Earl Marshal. (fn. 125) He joined the conspiracy of 1405 and was beheaded at York at the age of eighteen. (fn. 126) His brother John succeeded him as Earl Marshal and Earl of Nottingham, the ducal title being still withheld. He had livery of his lands and was summoned to Parliament in 1413. (fn. 127) He took a prominent part in the French wars, and in 1424 his claim to the dukedom of Norfolk was admitted. At his death in 1432 (fn. 128) his son John was still under age, but had been knighted by the king in 1426. (fn. 129) His dukedom was confirmed in 1445. (fn. 130) He died in 1461 and was succeeded by his son John, who was created Earl of Surrey and Warenne shortly before his father's death. (fn. 131) In 1475 he was one of the captains for the invasion of France. He died in the January of 1475–6, (fn. 132) leaving one daughter Anne, but no sons, and the dukedom of Norfolk, earldom of Nottingham and earldom of Surrey and Warenne consequently became extinct.
At the death of Anne, which appears to have taken place soon after her marriage in 1478 (fn. 133) with Richard Duke of York, one of the princes murdered in the Tower, the representatives of her great-grand aunts Isabel and Margaret, daughters of Thomas Mowbray first Duke of Norfolk, then became the co-heirs. (fn. 134) The manor of Thirsk formed part of the share of Isabel, who married James Lord Berkeley, and it was inherited by their son William, afterwards Marquess of Berkeley, who was seised of it at his death in 1492. (fn. 135) He left no children, and should have been succeeded by his brother Maurice, but he had totally disinherited him (fn. 136) (it is said because of his marriage with the daughter of an alderman of Bristol), (fn. 137) and by an indenture of 1488 had left the manor of Thirsk, among others, to Thomas Stanley Earl of Derby, (fn. 138) whose successors held it after the death of William Lord de Berkeley until 1723, (fn. 139) when it was sold by James Earl of Derby to Ralph Bell.
Ralph Bell (fn. 140) represented Thirsk in Parliament in 1710, 1713 and 1715. He died without issue in 1735 and was succeeded by his nephew Ralph Consett of Brawith, who under the terms of his uncle's will assumed the name of Bell. He died in 1770, his heir being his son Ralph Bell. His eldest son John was followed by his son of the same name, who was member of Parliament for Thirsk from 1841 to 1850 and died unmarried in 1851, having by his will devised his estate to his nephew Frederic Macbean (the eldest son of his sister Frances Macbean), who assumed the name of Bell on his succession to the estate. He died unmarried in 1875, when the estate descended to Mrs. Frances Macbean and Jane Sanders as heirs at law of John Bell. Mrs. Macbean died in 1876 and was succeeded by Mr. Reginald Smith; Mrs. Sanders died in 1879, and on the death of her husband Charles Darley Sanders in 1883 the second moiety also came into Mr. Smith's possession. (fn. 141) He assumed the surname and arms of Bell by royal licence in 1877, and is the present lord of the manor.
The lords of Thirsk enjoyed very full liberties, including gallows, infangentheof, (fn. 142) pillory, (fn. 143) amendment of the assize of bread and ale and of the assize of measures. (fn. 144) At the close of the 13th century they also claimed the return of writs. (fn. 145) They claimed free chase (fn. 146) before 1296, when Roger de Mowbray obtained a grant of free warren in Thirsk and Hovingham. (fn. 147)
In the 13th and 14th centuries the manor of WOODHILL in Thirsk was held in demesne by the lords of the vill and followed Thirsk in descent. (fn. 148) One, however, of its 3 carucates was granted before 1284–5 to Adam de Picton, this being probably identical with the land called Calfhowe in the territory of Thirsk under Duvelund, the holding carrying with it rights of common of pasture in the park of Duvelund, while Adam also had rent and the reversion of 5 oxgangs held by Tezanta del Bail for life. (fn. 149) Adam de Picton died before the summer of 1319, when his heir was his sister Idonia, a woman of over sixty. (fn. 150) She in 1327 obtained licence to alienate land in Thirsk to John de Kilvington. (fn. 151) The conveyance appears to have taken place, for in 1354 William son of John de Kilvington obtained pardon for the acquisition of the land from John son of Peter de Kilvington without licence, the fine being paid by Peter Tempest, who apparently then purchased Calfhowe. (fn. 152) Peter died in 1387, (fn. 153) and the land should have passed under settlement to John son of Sir Richard Tempest, (fn. 154) but it was taken into the king's hands on the plea that Peter had no heirs. (fn. 155) It was afterwards granted to William de Kilvington, yeoman of the king's larder and probably a kinsman of the former owner. William, however, made over his right to John de Ivelyth, also a member of the royal household, to whom the king granted Calfhowe in 1396. (fn. 156) It must have again returned to the Crown, for when last mentioned in 1469 it was the subject of a grant for life to Henry Lokwode, yeoman of the king's chamber. (fn. 157) The remainder of the land of John de Kilvington descended at his death in 1367 to John his son. (fn. 158) He died in 1390, (fn. 159) leaving a son and heir Thomas, who in or about 1429 made a settlement of this land on himself and Margaret his wife and their issue. (fn. 160) Margaret died in 1458 and was succeeded by her son Kilvington. (fn. 161) No further mention of this holding has been found.
The abbey of Newburgh held land in Thirsk from its foundation by Roger de Mowbray in 1145 until its dissolution. (fn. 162) The prior obtained a charter from Henry III confirming his right to infangentheof, toll, theam, soc and sac in Thirsk and other places, and in 1293 he claimed assize of ale. (fn. 163) It seems to have been this land which was granted as a 'manor' to the see of York and was surrendered to the Crown in 1545. (fn. 164) No further history of this land has, however, been found. (fn. 165)
In 1086 CARLTON MINIOTT (Carleton, xi cent.; Carlton Iselbeck) was a berewick of Bagby. It was assessed at 3 carucates and belonged to Hugh son of Baldric. (fn. 168) The king had also 4 carucates here and at Islebeck. (fn. 169) The overlordship followed the descent of the manor of Thirsk (fn. 170) (q.v.).
The lords of Carlton Miniott had a court baron, but the tenants owed suit at the court leet of Thirsk. (fn. 171)
Roger de Carlton held a mesne lordship here, (fn. 172) which descended to his son William, lord in 1250. (fn. 173) In 1209 the tenant was William son of an Ivo de Carlton (fn. 174) who had died before 1207. (fn. 175) In 1209 Roger de Carlton granted to William son of Ivo 5 carucates and 2 oxgangs of land in Carlton. (fn. 176) William de Carlton held a third part of a fee there in the reign of Henry. III, (fn. 177) and was succeeded by a son Henry, tenant in 1250. (fn. 178) In 1284–5 Carlton Miniott was associated with Islebeck, the principal tenants there being John and Henry de Carlton. At that date 1 carucate of John de Carlton's land was subinfeudated to Gilbert de Islebeck and half a carucate to Thomas de Clervaux, under whom it was held by John de Birkby. (fn. 179) Walter de Carlton, probably son of John de Carlton, (fn. 180) held one-third of a knight's fee in Carlton Miniott and Islebeck in 1301. (fn. 181) He was returned as lord of Carlton Miniott in 1316, (fn. 182) and seems to have been still in possession in 1322, (fn. 183) but by 1327 he had been succeeded by John Miniott, (fn. 184) who was possibly the son of a Roger Miniott. (fn. 185) He was granted free warren in Carlton Miniott in 1333. (fn. 186) Very little is known of the family of Miniott, who seem to have given to this Carlton its distinguishing name. (fn. 187) It appears from the subsequent history that early in the 15th century Carlton Miniott was divided and passed, probably through two daughters of a Sir John Miniott, kt., (fn. 188) into the families of Markenfield and Pigot. Sir Ninian Markenfield, kt., was seised of the moiety of the manor of Carlton Miniott at his death in 1528, and was succeeded by his son Thomas, (fn. 189) who died seised of it in 1550 and left a son Thomas, (fn. 190) attainted for his part in the Rebellion of the North.
The other moiety, called the manor, was held by Sir Ranulph Pigot, kt., who died in 1503. His heirs were Margaret, Joan and Elizabeth, the daughters of his brother Thomas. (fn. 191) Margaret, who married Sir James Metcalfe, kt., died in 1531 seised of one-third of the manor which was inherited by her son Christopher. (fn. 192) Elizabeth was wife first of Sir James Strangways, kt., and afterwards of Sir Charles Brandon, kt. Her third part was settled on herself and Sir Charles and her issue, with contingent remainder to the right heirs of Sir Charles, who died childless in 1551. (fn. 193) Joan Pigot married firstly Sir Giles Hussey, (fn. 194) and secondly Thomas Folkingham. (fn. 195) Joan and Thomas Folkingham and Thomas Hussey, the son and heir of Joan, were parties to a fine as to the manor of Carlton Miniott in 1563, (fn. 196) the full moiety of which may have come into their hands by this date. Shortly after this Thomas Hussey and Thomas Markenfield were jointly seised of the manor of Carlton Miniott, but both were attainted, (fn. 197) and Thomas Hussey's property in Carlton Miniott was granted in 1574 to George Lamplugh, (fn. 198) who died seised of it in 1588 and was succeeded by his son Edward. (fn. 199) Thomas Markenfield's moiety evidently passed to John Clough. (fn. 200) George Lamplugh was party to a conveyance of the manor of Carlton Miniott in 1605, (fn. 201) perhaps to Edward Howes. Howes may have been a trustee, for John Clough apparently acquired the whole manor, (fn. 202) which he conveyed to his son John; John was seised of it at his death in 1623. (fn. 203) Both father and son had purchased land from many tenants in Carlton Miniott and Sand Hutton, including 71 acres in Sand Hutton which had belonged to Sir George Lamplugh, kt., and Thomas Lamplugh and land from the Metcalfes. The heir of the younger John Clough was his son George, who was a minor at his father's death and obtained livery of the manor of Carlton Miniott in 1631. (fn. 204) The manor afterwards came into the possession of the family of Bell, and has since followed the descent of Thirsk Manor.
Of the many entries under the name of 'Hotune' in Domesday Book those (fn. 205) which possibly refer to SAND HUTTON (Hotune, xi cent.; Hoton, xiii cent.; Sandhoton, xiv cent.) show that there were here 6 carucates soke of the royal manor of Easingwold. The overlordship, like that of Carlton Miniott (q.v.), soon after this came into the hands of the Mowbrays. It does not seem to have been a manor, although it was occasionally so called in the 16th and 17th centuries. At an earlier period land here seems to have been appurtenant to the manor of Carlton Miniott.
In the 13th century Roger de Argentein and William de Carlton were tenants in Sand Hutton. The latter married Elizabeth daughter of Roger de Argentein, when the two holdings may have been united. (fn. 206) In 1301, as probably in 1284–5, 6 carucates in Sand Hutton were held of Roger de Mowbray by William le Gra for half a knight's fee, (fn. 207) and in 1316 Walter de Carlton was returned as lord of Sand Hutton, (fn. 208) which followed the descent of Carlton Miniott until the early part of the 17th century. In 1619 Thomas, Lamplugh made a conveyance of half the 'manor' of Sand Hutton, (fn. 209) which seems to have remained in his family a few years longer than the Lamplugh half of Carlton Miniott Manor. Thomas Lamplugh and others quitclaimed Sand Hutton to George Clough and his heirs in 1626. (fn. 210) In 1657 it was conveyed by George Clough, senior, and other members of the family to Richard Ward. (fn. 211) Mr. Reginald Bell of Thirsk is the present owner.
In 1333 John Miniott was granted free warren in Sand Hutton. (fn. 212) The abbey of Fountains obtained grants of land in Sand Hutton from Roger de Argentein and William de Carlton, (fn. 213) and the priory of Newburgh held 4 oxgangs of land here in 1284–5. (fn. 214) Both houses held property in Sand Hutton at the Dissolution. (fn. 215)
In 1086 SOWERBY (Sorebi, xi cent.; Soureby, xiii cent.) was soke of the king's 'manor' of Easingwold and was assessed at 5 carucates. Two of these, previously held by Orm, must be identical with those described as belonging to the hall, with a mill rendering 20s. (fn. 216) The overlordship afterwards formed part of the fee of Mowbray. (fn. 217) In the early 14th century a mesne lordship in Sowerby was held by William de Vescy of Kildare. (fn. 218)
In the 12th century Thomas Lascelles granted the third part of the vill to Newburgh Priory. (fn. 219) William Lascelles held land here in 1228 (fn. 220) and was probably succeeded by a son Ralph, the father of William. (fn. 221) In 1283 William Lascelles, senior, settled the manor of Sowerby on himself with remainder to William de Lascelles, junior. (fn. 222) The latter was succeeded by a son William, who died a minor in 1304, leaving his brother John, then aged seven, as his heir. (fn. 223) John Lascelles was returned as lord of Sowerby in 1316. (fn. 224) In 1361 William, the son of John Lascelles, paid a fine for lands in Sowerby which had been forfeited for his father's part in garrisoning the peel of Northallerton against the king in 1322. (fn. 225) This William was succeeded by a son William, (fn. 226) who held the manor. His widow Joan died in 1418 and their son William was then in possession. (fn. 227) He was the father of John Lascelles, (fn. 228) who was seised of the manor of Sowerby at his death in February 1459–60 and left a son and heir Robert. (fn. 229) Sir Roger Lascelles, kt., the grandson of Robert, (fn. 230) died seised of the manor in 1551, and it was then held by his son Christopher. (fn. 231) Christopher Lascelles represented Thirsk (fn. 232) in 1555 and the two successive Parliaments. He was the father of Francis Lascelles, who died seised of Sowerby Manor in 1572, leaving a son and heir Thomas, (fn. 233) knighted in January 1599–1600. (fn. 234) Sir Thomas Lascelles with his son William in 1600 assigned the leasehold premises in the township of Sowerby to the family of Meynell for 2,000 years subject to a small annual rent paid in money and hens. (fn. 235) The manor they sold in 1602 to James Thwaites, (fn. 236) and shortly after his death in 1603 (fn. 237) it seems to have been acquired by the Meynells, (fn. 238) and has since followed the descent of North Kilvington (q.v.). The present lord of the manor is Mr. Edgar Meynell of Old Elvet, Durham.
Land in Sowerby was held by the priory of Newburgh. (fn. 239) It was probably acquired before 1247, when the prior obtained a grant of free warren here. (fn. 240) At the Dissolution it passed to the Crown; it was bought by the Lascelles, (fn. 241) and henceforth followed the descent of the manor.
The church of ST. MARY THE VIRGIN consists of a chancel 40 ft. 9 in. by 21 ft. 6 in., nave of equal width and 84 ft. 10 in. long, north and south aisles 15 ft. 6 in. wide, south porch and a west tower 16 ft. square. These measurements are all internal.
The building is almost wholly of the 15th century, but part of the west wall of the tower and doubtless the core of its other walls are of much earlier date, probably of the 12th century. On either side of the present arch from the nave are a few springing stones of the outer order and label of an earlier arch with a round head. Over these, and seen inside the church, are the lower weather stones of a former steep-gabled roof to the nave. In the rebuilding of the fabric the nave and present tower were evidently the first to be displaced, beginning with the tower about 1420 and followed immediately by the rest. That the tower was finished before the aisles is suggested by the straight joints formed in the aisle walls by the side buttresses of the tower, though constructionally it would be right to make these straight joints even if all the work were contemporary. The chancel was added about 1470. The delay in continuing the rebuilding may probably be accounted for by the great expense incurred in the construction of a basement below the chancel, necessitated by the shelving nature of the ground at the east end, a work which must have swallowed up a large proportion of the money in hand. What form the chancel arch took we have now no evidence beyond the note taken by Sir Stephen Glynne about 1833, (fn. 242) in which he describes it as low and having been altered. The present arch is modern. Restorations have been carried out three times in the last century, in 1844, 1877 and 1899, but much of the original stone work of the windows and other parts remains.
The partly restored east window of the chancel is of five cinquefoiled lights under a traceried fourcentred head. On either side of the window inside are shallow trefoiled image niches. The two side windows have each three cinquefoiled lights under traceried four-centred heads; these are all partly restored. Between the two north windows is a doorway, with the original 15th-century door, leading down to the basement chamber. This chamber has an elliptical vault and is 24 ft. 3 in. in length. It has an original square-headed window of two lights in the south wall and a later and larger insertion in the east wall of three lights under a pointed segmental head. The room was formerly used as a schoolroom, and now serves as a vestry and parish room. Below the first south window of the chancel is a piscina with a cinquefoiled four-centred head. West of it are three sedilia with cinquefoiled round heads. The jambs are moulded and the spandrels between the arches and the cornice are carved with foliage. Buttresses with moulded offsets topped by somewhat perished crocketed pinnacles separate and flank the sedilia. The cornice is embattled and enriched by carved square flowers. The priest's doorway in the south wall has a four-centred head and moulded jambs and label. It has been partly restored. The fourcentred chancel arch is moulded, the inner order springing from corbel shafts.
The nave arcades are each of six bays. The piers have four engaged shafts with moulded capitals and bases separated by hollow chamfers. The arches are two-centred, each well moulded and with moulded labels. The two small rolls and hollow on the soffits of the arches are a peculiar feature. The clearstory windows are all original, but have been much restored. There are six on either side, each of three cinquefoiled lights under a traceried four-centred head.
All the aisle windows resemble one another, but differ from and are earlier in character than those of the chancel. There is one in each end wall and five on the north and south, all with three cinquefoiled lights under traceried two-centred heads, and all more or less restored. In the east wall of the south aisle is a moulded image bracket on a corbel carved as an angel with a shield, and in the south a plain pointed piscina which served the former side chapel said to have been dedicated to St. Anne. Both the north and south doorways, which occupy the fifth of the six bays, have moulded jambs and two-centred arches of similar detail. The woodwork of the south doorway is of original 15th-century date. The large door is divided into six feathered trefoiled panels with rose cusp points and tracery over filling the two-centred head of the door, and is pierced by a small wicket door with a four-centred head and panelled face. The back of the door was strengthened in the 18th century, and on the iron hinges of the wicket is inscribed 'i bell 1747.' On the back of the wicket is a large wood lock 20 in. by 10 in., said to have been formerly on the door in the chancel. On the large door is also a curious old square padlock.
Inclosing the south doorway is a porch of slightly later date, which has a room over it originally entered by a square-headed doorway from the aisle, now blocked. The present access is by a modern stair-turret in the north-west corner of the porch. The room is lighted by windows to the east, south and west, each of two cinquefoiled lights under a square head. All are more or less restored. The pointed outer doorway of the porch is modern. The porch was originally intended to be vaulted. In the two south corners are the moulded corbels and springing stones of the moulded ribs, but there are no answering springers on the aisle wall.
The tower is of three stages with square angle buttresses of many stages, divided by moulded stringcourses and reaching almost to the parapet string. The tower arch is similar to the nave arcades, but has three orders instead of two. There is no west doorway. The west window is old and has three cinquefoiled lights under a traceried two-centred head. Over the window is a niche with a four-centred head containing old carved stone figures of the Blessed Virgin and Child. Above this is a small light with a plain four-centred head cutting the moulded string dividing the first and second stages.
The second stage is blank except for a clock dial towards the south. The third or bell-chamber is lighted in each wall by a window of three plain ogeeheaded lights under a traceried four-centred head with moulded label. The parapet of the tower (like those of the chancel, nave, aisles and porch) is embattled and pierced by trefoiled openings. Above the tower parapet were formerly eight pinnacles, those in the middle being set diagonally. Above the buttresses which divide the side walls of the chancel, nave and aisles are pinnacles, those of the chancel buttresses being set diagonally. In the buttresses against the east wall of the nave, which rise from and are flush with the chancel walls, are feathered panels level with the chancel parapet. At the south-east of the tower, level with the nave parapet, is a shield charged with a cross paty.
The low gabled roof of the chancel is of modern date, in imitation of the more steeply pitched 15thcentury roof of the nave. The latter has open twocentred cradled rafters; the panels formed by the trusses and purlins are traceried and carved in the angles, and have carved foliated bosses at their intersections. The trusses rest on modern stone corbels. The aisle roofs are of similar character and date.
The altar table has legs carved with beasts of dragon-like appearance holding consoles, also carved with beasts' heads. The top rail is carved with shallow ornament with human heads at intervals and bosses at the corners. All this work is of foreign appearance, but a lower top rail, inserted later, is of 17th-century workmanship. It has two oval piercings at the end and strapwork panelling between.
The eastern bay of each aisle is inclosed by restored screens of 15th-century date. In their upper portions are open lights with moulded mullions and trefoiled ogee heads with tracery above. The cornices, which are carved with foliage, are mostly modern. In the lower part of the screen facing west in the south aisle is a moulded and embattled middle rail, with a few traceried panels below differing from the upper ones, and more like the old panelled bench-ends, of which there are several in the south aisle, all with rosetted cusp points. Standing against the organ, which fills the end bay of the north aisle, are four tall bench-ends of early 17th-century date, now made up into two pieces. The first is carved with a fleur de lis design, and has at the top a lion passant chained and collared; the second has a thistle design and at the top a unicorn. Between the animals is a shield of late form with the arms, a fesse with a lion over all quartering a bend with three billets thereon between two roundels. The first standard of the second piece has a unicorn with its head defaced, the second nothing; in the middle a shield bears the arms of Askew with a pierced molet for difference, impaling three calves' heads for Metcalfe.
The font is a modern octagonal one of stone with panelled sides. The tall canopied cover over it has some 15th-century tabernacle work in its upper part.
In the east window of the south aisle are many fragments of old glass, much of it collected from other windows and set here with an admixture of modern ruby and blue glass regardless of design. In the first or north light starting from the bottom are an angel with a shield of France and England and a scroll bearing the words 'dieu et moun drot,' a crowned female head, a bearded head, a fragment of an inscribed scroll with 'Osgodby' in small letters above, two asses in the borders, a sun, the feathered body of a headless angel, and an angel with a scutcheon charged with the arms of Darcy. In the head is canopy work. At the foot of the middle light is the fragment of an inscription 'Orate pro bono statu . . . uxoris . . .' (between the last two words is 'Elizabet,' which apparently does not belong here); above this a figure of St. Leonard, heads of ladies and tonsured priests, fragments of small figures of an Annunciation, the figures (named) of St. Anna and St. Cleophas, and canopy work with fragments of pinnacles and buttresses on each side, among which are several eagles. The south light has an angel with the arms of Mowbray, fragments of bearded heads, a head of our Lord, a winged and feathered angel, an angel with the arms of Strangways and canopy work. In the tracery is an angel bearing a shield of Bishop William Askew (Aiscough) of Salisbury with a mitre or on the fesse; a shield of Askew, with a crescent for difference; an angel with a shield of Meynell; another with a shield Argent three roundels between two bends gules with a chief sable for Orrell; Askew with the difference of a molet and pattern of a sun on an oak tree. There is also a figure of St. Giles and the kneeling figure of a bishop, probably Askew, with the words 'S[anct]e Egidi ora pro nobis.' Both are under canopies.
The west window of the north aisle also has some old heraldic glass in its tracery, among which are France and England, Askew with a molet, and the same with a mitre or, both borne by angels; a sexfoil, a rose, and the figures of St. Catherine and St. Margaret.
On the clearstory walls are 17th-century paintings of the Apostles, some of which have had their names restored. Those on the north side, reading from the east, are: 1, St. James the Less; 2, St. Jude; 3, St. Philip; 4, St. Thomas; 5, St. Matthew; on the south side: 1, St. Andrew with cross; 2, a figure holding a spear or cross; 3, St. James the Great; the others are gone. Over the north doorway is a painting on canvas of the Incredulity of St. Thomas, by Annibale Caracci, given by Mr. George Anderson in 1899. In the porch are the fragments of a 13thcentury cross head, probably from a gable.
The only old monument is a defaced brass in the south aisle to Robert Thresk, rector of Market Bosworth, Leicestershire, who, as the inscription states, founded a chantry in the church of Thirsk. The inscription is in two portions, with the half-length figure of Robert Thresk, supported by angels, between. Much of it is now illegible, but the portions in brackets are given on the authority of Dugdale and Dodsworth. (fn. 243) The upper plate reads: 'hic jacet Rob'tus Thresk cl'icus nup' Rector Eccl[es]ie de Boseworth [fundator istius cantarie et rememorator regis in scc'io] qui obiit xvii kl Dece[m]br Ao d[omi]ni moccccoxix cui' a[n]i[ma]e p[ro]picietur d[eu]s amen.' On the lower plate are the following hexameters:—
'Es testis xpe q[uo]d [non] jacet hic lapis iste Corpus ut [ornetur sed spiritus ut] memoretur hic tu qui trans'is [vir vel] mulier puer an sis pro me funde p'ces qi a sic michi sit venie spes.'
There are eight bells: the treble and second by Mears & Co., 1871; the third and fourth, the same founders, 1864; fifth, George Dalton, York, 1775; sixth, Thomas Mears, 1803; seventh, by Samuel Smith the younger of York, inscribed 'Voco veni precare' and dated 1729; the tenor is the wellknown dated pre-Reformation bell and is inscribed in Gothic capitals, + anno: milleno: quater: cento: quoque: dec: est hec: camp: ana: jesus.
The plate consists of two cups, two patens, a flagon and baptismal bowl, all of silver, a pewter flagon and an electro-plated almsdish. The larger cup is of 1631, with the maker's mark, C.M., for Christopher Mangey of York; the smaller is inscribed 'Laus Deo,' and probably belongs to the late 17th century. It bears the maker's mark R.W. for Robert Williamson of York. The larger paten is dated 1725, the other is of Russian workmanship, very ancient, and was presented by Mrs. Watts of Sowerby. The baptismal bowl, of German make, is probably of the early 17th century. The pewter flagon bears no date. The almsdish and silver flagon are both modern and there is also a small modern paten.
The registers begin in 1555.
The church of ST. OSWALD at Sowerby consists of a chancel 18 ft. 3 in. by 17 ft. 9 in., a crossing with skew passages at the angles and a wooden lantern over, 18 ft. by 17 ft. 8 in., north and south transepts 26 ft. 11 in. and 27 ft. 3 in. deep respectively, nave 46 ft. 6 in. by 17 ft. 9 in., north aisle 20 ft. 3 in. wide, and a west tower 9 ft. 3 in. square. These measurements are all internal.
The church is almost entirely modern, most of it having been rebuilt between 1840 and 1883, while the north aisle and vestry were added in 1902. That there was a building here in the 12th century is shown by the south doorway, which is a good example of the work of that period. The semicircular arch is of three orders, the inner one being moulded with rounds and hollows, the middle one enriched with beak heads, and the outer order with the cheveron. The label is chamfered above and below, and has a carved geometric pattern on its vertical face. The thickness of the south wall of the nave and the splayed jambs of the two windows by which it is pierced suggest that it is of the 12th century. The only other old work is the lower part of the tower, which is probably of 15th-century date. Over the tower arch at the west end of the nave is a small 12th-century corbel.
There are four bells in the tower, the treble, by Samuel Smith the younger of York, bearing the inscription 'Soli Deo Gloria 1729.' The second and third are by Warner & Sons and were cast in 1883 and 1898 respectively. The fourth is inscribed 'R. Lockwood, Gent., R. Bell, E. Hodgson, Minister, 1678' with foliated ornament.
The plate, which is silver, consists of two cups, a paten and flagon, and a modern set of vessels. One cup, bearing the York mark for 1684, is inscribed, 'This plate exchanged in ye yeare 1686 Jo Dynmore and Ralph Nelson Chappelwardens of Sowerby.' It bears the maker's mark M.G., for Mark Gill of York. The paten was presented by the principal inhabitants of Sowerby in 1830. The second cup and flagon are also modern.
The registers begin in 1569.
The church of ST. LAWRENCE at Carlton Miniott, which was rebuilt in 1896, replaces an older building. It consists of a chancel, nave and north vestry, and is of brick and stone in the style of the 15th century. The roof is gabled and tiled. Over the east gable of the nave is a timber bell-turret with a slated spire, containing one bell.
The plate consists of a silver chalice, paten and flagon, all of which have the London hall-marks for the year 1876.
The registers begin in 1706.
The church of ST. LEONARD at Sand Hutton is a modern building consecrated in 1875 after the destruction of the older chapel. (fn. 244) It is in the Early English style, and consists of a chancel, nave, vestry and south porch. In the south chancel wall is a 15th-century window of two trefoiled lights under a square head, brought from the old church. Behind the altar is a modern painted reredos, and the western bellcote contains one bell. Two water-colour drawings of the interior and exterior of the old church are preserved in the vestry. They show a small rectangular structure with a western bellcote having a two-light east window, probably that still preserved, and several 18th-century openings in the south wall. The interior had a low-pitched barrel ceiling.
The plate consists of a silver cup and paten-cover of 1818, the paten forming a cover for the cup.
The registers begin in 1706.
The church of Thirsk with the chapel of St. James formed part of the foundation grant made to Newburgh Priory by Roger de Mowbray in 1145. (fn. 245) The church was appropriated in or before 1291, (fn. 246) and was held by the priory until the Dissolution. Before that time a vicarage had been ordained, and in 1545 the rectory and advowson were granted by the king to Robert Archbishop of York, to whose successors they have since belonged. (fn. 247) The chapel of St. James mentioned in 1145 (fn. 248) was destroyed before 1564, when its lands were granted in fee to John Strowbridge and John Nettylton. (fn. 249)
In the reign of King John William de Mowbray built a chapel of St. Nicholas in Thirsk. (fn. 250) It was evidently a building separate from the church, for in 1267–8 Hugh de Burton fled there when accused of horse-stealing and committed suicide within its walls. (fn. 251) The conditions imposed at its foundation point to its being a domestic chapel of the lords of Thirsk. (fn. 252)
In the parish church were various chantries. That of St. John was 'of the foundation of the Lord Mowbray' and in the patronage of the lords of the manor at the Suppression. (fn. 253) The chantry or service at the altar of our Lady was endowed by 'divers well-disposed persons' for a priest to assist in divine service and 'to teach a grammar school within the said town.' (fn. 254) The chantry of St. Anne was served by two priests—a 'master' and a 'secondary.' In 1415 Robert Thirsk, the king's clerk, obtained royal licence to found this chantry for three priests, (fn. 255) and the work was completed by his executors in 1440. (fn. 256) Various grants of the lands of this chantry were made in 1572, 1607 and 1608 (fn. 257); the chantry-house in Kirkgate appears to have had a separate descent. (fn. 258)
The old churches of St. Lawrence of Carlton Miniott, St. Mary of Sand Hutton, and St. Oswald of Sowerby possibly date from an early period, (fn. 259) but there is no material for their history before the 16th century. They appear to have belonged to the priory of Newburgh until the Dissolution, and since that time the patronage has been uniformly exercised by the see of York. Although no direct grant of these churches to the archbishops can be found, they seem to have been not chapels of ease to Thirsk, (fn. 260) but independent chapelries (within the ancient parish of Thirsk) which existed as such from time immemorial, and the curates of which were endowed with some of the tithes by prescription. The status of the parish of Sowerby was decided in an action brought by the incumbent, the Rev. William Dent, in 1834. (fn. 261) The livings were called curacies or perpetual curacies in the early part of the 19th century, (fn. 262) but in 1867 Sowerby was declared a vicarage (fn. 263) under the District Church Tithes Act of 1865, (fn. 264) and the other two livings are now styled vicarages under the Act of 1868. (fn. 265) The benefices of Carlton Miniott and Sand Hutton were held together in the 18th century, were separated in 1834, and again united in 1888. (fn. 266)
The following rent-charges were recorded in the table of benefactions and are still paid: Henry Davidson, by will, 1629, 20s. a year, payable out of a farm called Oldby, Carlton Miniott; Henry Croe, by will, 1657, 16s. a year out of certain lands called North Ings, near Thirsk; the Rev. — Midgley, will, 1692, 15s. a year, out of a close called Bransby Croft; Richard Wrightson, will, 1725, 2s. a year, to be given in white bread on Christmas Day, out of a close called Kell Hill; and an unknown donor's gift of 10s. yearly due to the poor from the Methodist meeting-house in Old Thirsk, 1764.
William Wrightson, by will, 1 September 1684, gave to poor of Thirsk 2 roods of land in Wet Lands, 'to be disposed yearly for ever every Easter even by the churchwardens to twelve of the poorest of them out of the rents thereof.' The rent-charge now amounts to £1 13s. a year. The several sums and rent are distributed in money of various amounts to about twenty poor persons.
Timothy Place, by will, 1810, bequeathed £1,000 consols to the poor, a proportionate part of the dividends to be laid out in the purchase of bread amongst the poor not receiving alms from the parish, with this express condition that such persons should be regular attendants at divine worship in the church at Thirsk. The distribution in bread is duly made together with the income from £201 13s. 7d. consols left by will of Richard Macpherson, proved in the Prerogative Court of Canterbury in 1855.
Thomas Durham, by will, 1865, left £100 in aid of the infants' school, invested in £114 18s. 10d. consols with the official trustees, who also hold a sum of £100 North Eastern 4 per cent. stock under deed, 24 October 1906, as a maternity charity, arising from subscriptions, and £310 East Indian Railway 3½ per cent. stock under a deed, 23 October 1907, known as the Charlotte Camidge Christmas Gift.
In 1853 Mrs. Ellen West, by will, left £200, which, owing to deductions for legal expenses, is now represented by £153 5s. 7d. consols, dividends to be applied for the benefit of Salem Chapel.
In 1875 R. Pickering settled a sum of £666 13s. 4d. North Eastern Railway 3 per cent. debenture stock for Wesleyan ministers in Thirsk circuit. This charity is administered by the Board of Trustees for Wesleyan purposes, London.
Township of Sowerby: John Dinmore, by will, 1693, devised 1 a. 1 r. now called the Poor Folks' Close, the rents to be bestowed at or about Michaelmas in coals among four of the poorest families or householders of Sowerby. The land is let at £3 a year, which in 1905 was distributed in coals to twelve recipients.
In 1721 George Wright, by will, charged land at Fockwith, in the Ainsty of the city of York, with £1 a year for the poor. The rent-charge does not appear to be regularly paid, but was formerly administered with the preceding charity.
The William and Jonah Waites' endowment for the minister of the Wesleyan chapel and other purposes connected therewith was founded by Jonah Waites by deed dated 2 June 1888, and is administered by the Board of Trustees for Wesleyan Methodist chapel purposes. The endowment consists of £1,600 consolidated 2½ per cent. perpetual preference stock of the Midland Railway Co.; one moiety of the income is applicable towards the support of the minister and the other moiety for the support of the chapel and Sabbath school connected therewith.