Area, 13,980 acres. Birdforth and Hallikeld wapen-takes *1. -Population, 2,592 *2 ; Church-room, 800 *3; Net value, £600. -There was a Church and two Priests at Topcliffe at the time of the Domesday Survey.
The manor of Topcliffe was, by William the Conqueror, given to William de Percy.
In the 1st Edward III. Henry Lord Percy obtained a charter for a market and fair at his manor of Topcliffe.
The manor appears to have come to the See of York, and on the 6th February, 38th Henry VIII. it was passed away by the crown, together with the manors of Skipton, Catton, Eldmire, Gristhwaite, Dishforth, and Newby, all in this parish.
Skipton-upon-Swale, a town containing six carucates of land, whereof four carucates and six oxgangs were held of John de Percy,lord of this town, who held the same of the King in capite. And ten other oxgangs were held of Baldwin, son of John de Skipton, who held the same of John de Percy.
The whole town gave the rent of 3s., and answered for half a knight's fee.
Dalton-upon-Swale answered for half a knight's fee, and contained six carucates, whereof ten oxgangs were let to Mauger le Vavasour, who held the same of John de Percy, and the residue, being four carucates and six oxgangs, were held by John de Percy, who held the whole town of the King in capite.
Catton. This town answered for the fourth part of a knight's fee, and consisted of eight carucates, whereof six were held of Baldwin de Skipton, who held the same of Robert Capon, and he of John de Percy, who held them of the King in capite.
And one carucate and eight oxgangs of land were held of John de Percy, who held the same of the King in capite.
Newby. John de Newby held two carucates of the heirs of Percy, by 12d. rent, and they of the King in capite.
3d Henry III., Hubert de Newby gave to the fabric of the Church of York one oxgang of land, with a toft and a croft of land in Newby.
The Church was an ancient Rectory, belonging to the patronage of the Percies, till it was given by William de Percy, 2nd Henry II., to the Archbishop and Dean and Chapter of York, to be perpetually appropriated to the fabric of the Cathedral Church of York, and a Vicarage ordained therein in 1258.
Patrons and impropriators, the Dean and Chapter of York.
The Vicarage is valued in Pope Nicholas's taxation at £13. 6s. 4d.; Nova Tax, £5. 6s. 8d.; and in the King's books, at £19. 19s. 2d. per annum *4; 7s. 6d. for Procurations.
Torre gives an agreement made in the reign of Henry III.between Lord Richard de Percy and Lawrence, Vicar of Topcliffe, touching a contest between them about the right of common.
A Chantry was founded in this Church called Percy's Chantry.
There was also a Chantry and a Chapel at Eldmire, dedicated to St. Giles, and there are now Chapels at Dishforth and Marton le Moor.
" All the profits of the Church of Topcliffe, with the Church, were given by Lord Percy to the Dean and Chapter of York to repair Saint Peter's. Richard Lord Percy, his grandson, confirmed this grant 1226. The Vicar by endowment and usage has all tithes, except corn and hay, wool and lamb. The river Swale running through the parish, the Dean and Chapter granted the tithes of corn and hay to the Abbey of Fountains, which at the Dissolution came to the Crown, and are now in the hands of divers that hold of the Crown. In Edward Sixth's time, £5 a year was granted by the Crown, out of which the receiver now deducts about 30s. for assessments, debentures, postage, &c.
" The Dean and Chapter made an augmentation to the Vicarage of £24 per annum, out of the tithes of corn and hay that lie on the east side of Swale, and of wool and lamb that arises out of the whole parish. But the tithes of corn and hay that fell to the Crown (about 10,000 or 12,000 acres) hath made no augmentation but as was above-mentioned." Signed " Thomas Newsome, Vic." -Notitia Parochialis, No. 784.
The Dean and Chapter of York formerly exercised some jurisdiction within this parish.
Torre gives a catalogue of the Vicars.
An Act was passed 50th Geo. III., for inclosing Hutton Conyers, Melmerby, and Rainton, with Newby.
The glebe house is fit for residence. A mortgage of £276. 10s. 6d. under Gilbert's Act will cease in 1845.
The Register Books commence in 1570. Book No. 2. much decayed.
For the arms, monuments, &c., see Bodleian MS., No. 5101.
By decree of the Commissioners of Charitable uses, dated 16th June 1674, the following Charities are placed under the direction of twelve feoffees, the Vicar to be always one -vacancies to be supplied by the survivors -viz.
Pullaines Lees. Three acres given by Ralph Kay, Vicar of Topcliffe, in 1613.
Land at Firby. Six acres, purchased with money belonging to the poor.
Money secured on Tolls. Interest of £300. The principal arose partly from 12 different benefactions, and partly from sale of timber on the charity land.
Navy fives. Three-fourths of the dividends on £250 stock, purchased with different legacies and benefactions. The other fourth is appropriated to Marton school.
The annual proceeds of the above four Charities are divided among the several townships by a fixed proportion, and distributed in money and coals.
Cloth Charities, viz. : - William Dunmore's rent charge, in 1676. £5 per annum, for cloth for the poor of the parish.
John Bell's rent charge, in 1679. £2. 10s. per annum, for cloth for the poor of the parish on the east side of the Swale.
John Easterby's gift, by deed, dated 29th April 1747. Rent of seven acres of land, to be expended in the purchase of blue woolsey cloth, for the poor -to the towns of Topcliffe, Balderby, Dishforth, and Rainton, ten yards each, and the rest to the other towns in the parish.
William Coopland's gift, in 1760. Interest of £10 for buying woollen cloth for the poor.
Topcliffe Poor's Land, given in 1708, by deed, by John Kettlewell. Rent of a messuage and nearly three acres of land, for the use of the poor of Topcliffe, and laid out in coals.
John Geldart's rent charge of £1 per annum, given in.1723, for the poor of the townships of Topcliffe, Rainton, and Dalton.
John Steel's gift, (date not given). Interest of £10 for the poor of Rainton, given in bread.
George Rockliffe's charity, in 1735. Rent of three acres of land, for the poor of Asselby.
Asselby Poor's Money. Interest of £44, being the amount of a legacy of £20 left by Jane Watson, in 1759, and of money arising from sale of timber on the land given by George Rockliffe.
William Kay's charity. £5 per annum, given in bread corn, by William Kay, Esq. of Hull, in lieu of a legacy of £100 left for that purpose by the will of William Kay, dated 23rd March 1798, which was void in law.
Dalton Poor's Land. Rent of rather more than two acres of land. No deeds relative thereto have been found.
Topcliffe School. Origin not known. Endowment: 63a. 3r. 36p. of land ; £16 per annum, left by William Robinson ; and £5 per annum from the Exchequer (some doubt exists whether the latter does not belong to the Curate). Thirty free scholars. The master to be able to teach Greek and Latin.
Rev. Francis Day's charity, by will, dated 26th March 1764. Interest of £100 for teaching ten poor children.
Richard Mackell's charity, by will, in 1789. Interest of £50, for teaching poor children of Marton le Moor.
Rainton School. Income about £6 per annum, arising from donations and savings. Eight free scholars. -Vide 4th Report, page 395.
Post town: Boroughbridge.
Torre's MS. (Peculiars), page 968. Abp. Sharp's MS., vol. iii. page 36. Nonae Rolls, page 242. Bawdwen's Domesday Book (Ca-tune), pages 174; (Crecala), 174; (Deltune), 174 ; (Shipetune), 174 ; (Topclive), 174 ; (Rainincton), 174. Burton's Monasticon, pages 195. 251. Jefferson's Thirsk, page 81. Gent's Ripon, page 43. Hargrove's Knaresbro', page 345.
*1 The parish of Topcliffe is partly in Hallikeld wapentake, and the township of Topcliffe is partly in the liberty of St. Peter of York. The decrease of Population in this township (69 persons) is attributed to depression in agriculture.
*2 Viz. Catton, 102 ; Dalton; 252 ; Elmer with Crakehall, 77; Skipton, 114 ; Topcliffe, 590; Asselby, 238; Baldersby, 267 ; Dishforth, 332 ; Marton le Moor, 209; Rainton with Newby, 411.
*3 In 1818, the return was 2,230.
*4 " The Vicar is entitled to two shillings in the pound from foreigners on every pound of rent they pay for lands depastured with unprofitable cattle. -Platts v. Cawthorne." -1 Wood, page 303. "The proprietors of the great tithes of the township of Dishforth ate entitled to the tithes of corn and hay arising therein in kind, and to have tithes of the hay thereof aet out in hay cocks. -Robinson v. Appleton." -4 Wood, page 10. " They are also entitled to have the tithes of oats set out in stooks of ten or twelve sheaves, of barley in stooks of five or six sheaves, and the tithes of peas and beans in stooks of three or four sheaves, at the option of the occupier. -Robinson v. Barrowby." -4 Wood, page 100.