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Wapentake of Bulmer - Electoral Division of Sheriff Hutton - Petty Sessional Division of Bulmer East - Poor Law Union and County Court District of Malton - Rural Deanery of Bulmer - Archdeaconry of Cleveland - Diocese of York.
This parish consists of the townships of Foston and Thornton-le-Clay, and formerly also included a portion of Flaxton, which is still subject to Foston in the payment of tithes. The inhabitants number 373, and are chiefly employed in agriculture. The surface is generally level; the soil varies, being in some parts clayey, in others sandy.
The township of Foston comprises 858 acres of land, which belongs to Sir Edmund Lechmere, Bart., Whitwell Hall, Yorkshire, who is also lord of the manor; the Hon. William Hugh Spencer Wentworth-Fitzwilliam, Foston Hall; the trustees of York Blue Coat School; and the Rev. Francis Simpson. Rateable value, £1,813; and population, 99.
The village is situated about seven miles S.W. of Malton. The Church, which is dedicated to All Saints, is an ancient stone structure, consisting of nave, chancel, and a south porch, covering a well-preserved Norman doorway. The nave, which is approached by a descent of two steps, presents a very plain and primitive appearance, with its flat plastered ceiling, massive beams, and old box pews. A gallery, which runs along the end and side, does not improve the internal aspect. The chancel was restored by the rector in 1885, at a cost of £400. The east window, of two lights, is filled with stained glass, representing the Angel telling the Holy Women who had come with spices to embalm the body of Christ on Easter morning, "He is risen, He is not here." It is a memorial of Fanny Selina Simpson, wife of the rector, who died in 1877. The chancel arch is Norman. A tablet, found during the restoration, bears the arms of Thomas Bawtry, Esq., of Foston, who, the Latin inscription tells us, exchanged this fragile life for immortality, the 4th day of February, 1730. A leper window and an aumbry, which had been walled up, were discovered during the restoration. The living is a rectory, in the gift of the Lord Chancellor, worth about £500, with residence. The tithes were commuted at the inclosure of the common for 300 acres of land; and about £90 is received in lieu of the tithes of the portion of Flaxton, before mentioned.
The Rev. Sydney Smith, the eminent divine, essayist, and wit, held this living from 1806 to 1830, and built the present rectory house.
THORNTON-LE-CLAY comprises about 1,200 acres of land, 274 inhabitants. and is assessed at £1,843. The soil varies from light sand to strong clay, and from the latter feature has received its distinguishing addendum. The principal landowners are the rector of the parish; Mr. Joseph Hildyard, Low Ousegate, York; William A. Wood, Sutton Forest; and the exors. of R. and J. Thackeray. There are several small resident freeholders. The village, which is situated about a mile W. of Foston, contains Wesleyan and Primitive Methodist Chapels (the former built in 1822, the latter in 1858), a Friends' Meeting House, with burial ground attached, and a public brewery. Near the village is Foston School, built in 1844, and enlarged in 1886.
CHARITIES. - The poor of the parish receive the rent of 3 acres, 2 roods, 28 poles of land at Flaxton, purchased in 1712, with £42 5s. benefaction money. They have also 15s. a year out of Willie's oxgang, and the dividends of £87 19s. 1d. four per cent. stock, purchased in 1821, with £18 that had arisen from several small benefactions.
[Description(s) from Bulmer's History and Directory of North Yorkshire (1890)]
Scan, OCR and html by Colin Hinson. Checking and correction by Peter Nelson.