HEMINGBROUGH: Geographical and Historical information from the year 1892.


Wapentake of Ouse and Derwent - County Council Electoral Division of Bubwith - Petty Sessional Division of Howdenshire - Poor Law Union and County Court District of Howden - Rural Deanery of Bulmer - Archdeaconry of the East Riding - Diocese of York.

Hemingbrough is a parish of considerable extent, occupying the southern portion of the tract of land lying between the rivers Ouse and Derwent. It comprises the townships of Hemingbrough, Barlby, Brackenholme-cum-Woodhall, Cliff-cum-Lund, South Driffield, Menthorpe-cum-Bowthorpe, and Osgodby, containing a total area, including water, of 10,847 acres. The surface is flat, and but slightly elevated above high water level. The soil is chiefly warp and sand, with clay in a few places, and the subsoil sand. Wheat, oats, barley, turnips, and potates are chiefly grown. In the township of Hemingbrough there are 1,053 acres of land under assessment; the rateable value is £4,004, and the population in 1891 was 507, whilst at the census taken 10 years previously it was 550. The principal landowners are Lady Moore, Mr. William Jackson, Hemingbrough; Mr. W. H. Tock, Airnying; Hugh Harrison, Esq., Hemingbrough; Mr. J. Gilliam, Hemingbrough; and Mrs. Mary Thompson, Selby.

The name of the place was variously written in ancient times Hamiburg, Hemynburg, and Hemingburgh, which according to Allen* signifies in the Saxon language "a fort upon the edge of ground near a river." Dr. Stukely in his "Iter Curiosum," says the Romans had a fort at this place, and a fragment of wall, incorporated in the west face of the church, but of a different grit and masonry to the rest of the edifice, is believed to have been part of the Roman fortification. With the exception of this piece of wall, if Roman it be, and a copper coin of Victorinus, found in the village, the Roman occupation of Hemingbrough passed away without leaving a trace behind. But whether a Roman fort stood here or not, it is evident from the terminal of the name, that there was a burg or fortification of some kind early in the Saxon period, and as Heming was a common personal name among the Norsemen, it is probable that the first

*History of the County of York, vol. iv., p. 130.

Danish or Scandinavian owner was a fleming, and gave his name to the place. The Hemings have also left their mark in Hemingby, County Lincoln; Hemingfield in Yorkshire; Hemingford, Huntingdonshire; Hemingstone in Suffolk; and three Hemingtons in Northamptonshire, Leicestershire, and Somersetshire.

Of Hemingbrough in these Saxon times, nothing is known. It has been regarded as part of Howdenshire, but the early history of the two districts is different. In the reign of Edward the Confessor, the manor was held by Siward, the powerful Earl of Northumbria, who assisted Malcolm, son of the murdered Duncan King of Scots, against the usurper, Macbeth; and afterwards by Tosti, who held the same earldom, but lost it by rebellion against King Harold, his brother. At the time of the Domesday Survey, Hemingbrough was in the hands of the Conqueror, who subsequently gave the manor and church, together with all his lands in Brockenholme, to the Prior and Convent of Durham. The original grant has disappeared, but there is an early transcript preserved at Durham, and a copy of this may be seen in "The History and Antiquities of Hemingbrough" by the late Thomas Burton, Esq., of Turnham Hall. Several succeeding kings confirmed the Conqueror's grant to the priory, and Edward I. enlarged its privileges by a charter for a weekly market on Thursdays, and a yearly fair to be held on the eve and day of the Assumption (August 15th), and on the six days following. The prior's courts for the manor of Hemingbrough were presided over by a seneschal or steward, usually a man of distinction, who sought the office as an honour; after the Reformation the stewardship was only coveted for its emoluments, and was almost invariably held by attorneys or lawyers. The manor with all its appurtenances was ceded to the king by Hugh Whitehead, the last Prior of Durham, in 1540, and it remained in the possession of the Crown till 1614.

In that year James I. granted Hemingbrough to Arthur Ingram, Esq. (afterward Sir Arthur), a wealthy London merchant; the pecuniary consideration is not stated, but the king knew the value of a bawbee too well to give without receiving an equivalent in return. It descended in the male line of this family till 1742, when it passed to a daughter and heiress, who became the wife of General Cary. There were two daughters and heiresses by this marriage - Elizabeth, who married Lord Amherst, and Catherine, who became the wife of Sir John Russell, Bart. In 1801, Lady Amherst, then a childless widow, and her two nephews, Sir John Russell and George Russell, Esq., sold the manor, fishery, tithes, &c., to Messrs. Wilson & Tweedy, of York, bankers, for the sum of £41,500. Hemingbrough was thus reduced from the dignity of a royal manor, but the inhabitants held to the privileges which had been conferred upon them as tenants of the Crown, and were influential enough to obtain a charter of confirmation from Charles I. in 1626. They claimed exemption from the expenses of knights of the shire, from attendance upon juries, and from tolls and pontage in every part of the kingdom.

The village, long and straggling, is situated five miles east from Selby, five miles north-west from Howden, and half-a-mile from Hemingbrough station, on the Hull and Selby branch of the North-Eastern railway. The River Ouse formerly flowed in a bend close past the village, but several centuries ago a change took place in the course of the river, which left 404 acres of land belonging to the parish of Drax, in the West Riding, on the eastern side of the river. This tract, called Newhay, was in 1883, under the Divided Parishes Act, annexed to the township of Cliffe-cum-Lund.

The church, dedicated to the Blessed Virgin, is a large cruciform structure comprising in its present plan a nave with aisles on each side, and a south porch, a spacious chancel with an almost equally large aisle on the south side, and a small aisle and vestry on the north side, north and south transepts, and a central tower surmounted by a lofty spire. The first church that occupied the site was built in Saxon times, and is mentioned in Domesday Book. But every trace of that edifice has disappeared, and of the Norman church that succeeded it there now remain only the two easternmost bays on each side of the nave. The church appears to have been remodelled and enlarged in the 13th century, and traces of the Transitional style, which then prevailed, are visible in almost every part of the edifice. The transepts, originally built when the remodelling took place, were very considerably altered in the Perpendicular period, a clerestory being added, and the large five-light windows inserted in the north and south gables. Further enlargements were made in the 15th and 16th centuries by the addition of aisles to the chancel, and the widening of the north aisle of the nave. The beautiful tapering spire, rising to a height of 191 feet, was added in the 15th century. The chancel was restored in 1885-6, at a cost of £2,000, which was defrayed by the Ecclesiastical Commissioners, who are the impropriators of the great tithes. The nave has been re-roofed, the pillars and walls have been cleaned and re-pointed, and the "loose box" pews have been replaced by open benches. The cost of this restoration and improvement was raised by subscription, and it is to be hoped that funds may soon be forthcoming to enable the vicar to carry out the much-needed work of restoration in the remaining parts of the edifice.

The chancel is spacious, and is separated from the south chapel by an arcade of four arches, in each of which remains the ancient oak screen. The original choir stalls have been retained, and also the open screen dividing the chancel from the tower. The south chapel extends the whole length of the chancel, and opens into the south transept by a four-centred arch corresponding with those that separate it from the chancel. This was the last addition to the church made by the monks of Durham, and has been designed in a more ornate style than the rest of the edifice. There was an altar at the east end, and the piscina still remains in the wall. A portion of this chapel belongs to the owners of Turnham Hall, who were formerly buried here, and were exempt from the payment of church rates on condition of keeping their portion in repair. The roof was renewed a few years ago, at the joint expense of Mrs. and Miss Beatrice Burton, of Turnham Hall, and the parishioners. On the north side of the chancel are the Babthorpe chantry and the vestry. The former, erected about the middle of the 15th century, fills up the space between the vestry and the north transept. It has two pointed arches, one opening into the chancel and the other into the transept. The altar is gone, but the raised stone platform on which it stood remains, and near it is a handsomely carved credence table, richly panelled and buttressed, with a foliated cresting on the cornice. Another object of interest in this chantry is a monument, exhibiting a skeleton in a winding-sheet, of early date and rudely carved. Similar stones may be seen in some other churches. They were not memorials, but were intended for the transaction of business, to give solemnity and security in the receipt and payment of money, and in the ratification of engagements, when few persons were acquainted with the art of writing. Adjoining is the vestry, over which is a chamber approached by an external staircase of 15th century work. The purpose of this chamber is not known, but it is generally supposed to have been a chapter or muniment room. There was an altar in each transept, and the piscina and aumbry remain to mark its position.

Many of the windows retain their ancient glass, and are fine examples of Early English architecture. The font is co-eval with the Norman church, and is in good preservation. There are five bells in the tower, which were re-cast out of four ancient ones in 1730.

In 1426, under powers of a royal license obtained by the prior and convent of Durham, the parochial church was constituted a college, consisting of a provost, three canons prebendal, six vicars prebendal, six clerks, and other ministers. The income of the rectory, reserving to the prior of Durham five marks per annum, was appropriated, in certain proportions, to the maintenance of the several members of the college. To the provost, who was head of the college and parish priest, was assigned the mansion of the rectory and a stipend of 40 marks per annum. Each of the three canons prebendal had 10 marks yearly, with an additional 10 marks if he was resident here, and £2 13s. 4d. "for the corpse of his prebend." Each of the six vicars received 10 marks a year; two ministered in the vestments of secular clergy and four in the habits of monks. The six clerks had each a salary of £2 per annum, and two of them, styled "aquæ baiuli clerks" or water-carriers, received an additional mark per annum "to make them more diligent in their divine ministrations."

There were six altars in the church, three of which were chantries, with separate endowments.

The college flourished till the Reformation, when it fell in the wreck of religious houses, and its large landed property (said now to be worth £3,000 a year) was transferred to the Crown. The several members of the college received pensions according to their rank, William Whitehead, the tenth and last provost, had £13 14s. 6d. per annum awarded him as a solatium for the loss of his dignity. The lands and tithes from which its revenues were derived, were granted or sold into lay hands; thus was the church robbed of its income, and the vicarage left with the very inadequate endowment of £20 per annum, which was only in late years augmented by Parliamentary grants.

The living, now worth £180 per annum, including 36 acres of glebe, is in the gift of the Lord Chancellor, and held since 1880 by the Rev. James Paton, of Hertford College, Oxford. The Vicarage House is a commodious residence, erected in 1863 at a cost of £2,000.

The Wesleyans erected their first chapel in 1832, and previous to that time they used to meet for worship in private houses. Their present chapel was opened in 1860. The Primitive Methodist chapel was built in 1857.

A School Board was formed in 1875, and, in 1878, the present school, with master's house, was erected at a cost of £2,000. There is accommodation for 110 children. The old school, built by Mrs. Mary Carr in 1847, is now used as a Sunday school.

The tithe rent-charge of the township amounts to £295 and is impropriated. The poor have the rent of 5 acres, 1 rood, 2 perches (about £6 per annum), and also a moiety of the rent of 8 acres, 3 roods, 38 perches, left to the poor of Hemingbrough and South Duffield

BARLBY CHAPELRY. Wapentake of Ouse and Derwent - County Council Electoral Division of Riccall - Petty Sessional Division of Howdenshire - Poor Law Union and County Court District of Selby - Rural Deanery of Bulmer - Archdeaconry of Cleveland - Diocese of York.

Barlby is a chapelry and township in the parish of Hemingbrough, lying on the east bank of the river Ouse. Its estimated extent in the Overseer's returns is 1,332 acres, but formerly it included 116 acres of land, called the Holmes, on the opposite side of the river. In 1883, after an enquiry by the Local Government Board, the Holmes were transferred to Selby for all ecclesiastical purposes, and to the West Riding for all civil purposes. The present rateable value of the chapelry is £9,812, and the population 442, a decrease of 71 since 1881. Riley Briggs, Esq., J.P., of Osgodby Hall, is lord of the manor, and Messrs. Murdoch and Parker, Thomas Reaston, Esq., Barlby House; John Dodsworth, Mrs. Hubie, the trustees of Miss Ashworth, and J. J. Dunnington-Jefferson, Esq., Thicket Priory, are the principal landowners. Three lines of railway from York, Market Weighton, and Hull respectively converge within the township, and pass thence over the Ouse to Selby and onwards. They belong to the North-Eastern system, and occupy 45 acres 26 perches, for which the company is assessed at £6,966. The soil near the river is warp land, and in the more distant parts of the township it is sandy. Excellent crops of potatoes are obtained, and wheat, oats, and barley are also grown.

The earliest mention of this place occurs in Domesday Book, wherein the Norman Commissioners record that "In Bardulbi Mærlsuen had one carucate of land to be taxed." Merlsuen was a Dane-Saxon who possessed considerable lands in Yorkshire and Lincolnshire, but he was robbed of them by the Normans, and died in exile. In the early part of the 12th century, the manor was in the possession of the Atons, and subsequently passed by heiresses to the Cliffords and the Eures; who later on sold their respective shares to the Babthorpes of Osgodby. The Babthorpes were ardently attached to the old religion, and for that crime they suffered heavy fines and penalties, to pay which they sold or mortgaged their lands till there was not an acre of their ancestral estates left. Barlby was sold by Sir William Babthorpe in 1621, to Richard Bowes, Esq., and it subsequently passed to the Strangeways, from whom its was purchased in 1707 by John Burdett, Esq., of Sleights. Mr. Burdett died in 1737, unmarried, bequeathing the estate to his brother and his sons in succession, and failing male issue, to Elizabeth, his eldest daughter. The latter eventually inherited the property, and married a spendthrift barrister named Pritchard, who assumed the name of Burdett. His expensive and extravagant habits involved him in debt, and the Court of Chancery empowered the creditors to sell the estate, which was purchased by Geo. Dawson, Esq., in 1785. It remained in this family till 1860, when it was purchased by Riley Briggs, Esq., J.P., the present owner. The lordship comprises about 350 acres.

The open fields of the township were inclosed in 1846, and Barlby Common. containing 80 acres, was inclosed in 1857.

The village stands on the bank of the Ouse, one-and-a-half miles north-east from Selby. There was a chapel here as early as the 15th century. The present plain brick edifice was built in 1779-8O, on the site of an old one. It consists of an apsidal chancel, nave, and octagonal bell turret, with hemispherical top, containing one bell. The graveyard was enlarged in 1870, and inclosed by a brick wall at a cost of £100. The register dates from 1780. The living is a perpetual curacy or new vicarage, net yearly value £140, including 75 acres of glebe, in the gift of the vicar of Hemingbrough, and held by the Rev. Edward Dean, B.A., formerly scholar of St. John's College, Cambridge.

The Wesleyans have a cbapel here - a plain building of brick, erected about 32 years ago. The present school was built in 1876 to meet the requirements of the Compulsory Education Act of 1871, at a cost of about £500, exclusive of the land which was given by the late Mrs. Mary Carr and J. J. D. Jefferson, Esq. There is accommodation for 92 children, and there are about 90 names on the books. Ralph Lodge, by will dated 1654, left an acre of land, the rent thereof to be applied to the education of poor children in the township of Barlby; and the interest of £100, left by Miss Mary Robinson in 1837, is also applied to the same purpose. For these endowments nine children are taught free.

Charities - The following charities, in addition to the above, have been left for the benefit of the poor of Barlby :- Parrott's Dole, consisting of an acre of land, left by a person of that name. This land was sold to the North-Eastern Railway Co., in 1871, for £275, and with this sum was purchased about five acres in Cliff-cum-Lund, now let for £7 per annum. Caulem's Dole consists of a garth and croft, containing 1 rood, 32 perches, with right of common in the township of South Duffield. Walker's Dole is a rent-charge of 10s. a year, payable out of land in Angram, called Nearlands. Mr. Weddall, of Goole, whose will is dated 1840, left the yearly sum of £10 to be divided among 10 poor and deserving persons of Barlby. Mr. Weddall's affairs were thrown into Chancery, and the testator's personality being insufficient to meet all claims, the sum of £258 2s. 2d., was decreed to this charity. Mrs. Mary Carr, by will dated 1866, bequeathed the sum of £300, the interest thereof to be distributed in coal or fuel, yearly, on St. Thomas's Day, amongst the poor of Barlby and South Duffield.

Near the entrance of the village is Barlby Hall, the property and residence of Mr. Blanshard Stringer. It is a plain building of brick, erected in 1820. The property formerly belonged to the family of Lodge, who resided here as early as the reign of Henry VIII. In the early part of the 18th century, it descended to two sisters, Eleanor and Elizabeth Lodge, by whom it was sold to Mr. Denton; and it again passed by sale, in 1785, to John and Joseph Blanshard, from whom it has descended to the present owner.

Barlby Bank is a hamlet consisting of 205 acres of land, close to the river, opposite Selby. It was part of the Selby estate, and descended by marriage from the Walmsleys to the Petres. It was sold in 1851 to Mr. Thomas Ashworth, a Lancashire cotton spinner, and now belongs to the trustees of the Misses Ashworth. The river is here crossed by a swivel bridge of wood, erected in 1791, to supersede the ferry. A toll is levied on every passenger except inhabitants of Selby, who are toll free. A little below this is the N.E.R bridge, built in 1839, over which 270 trains pass daily. It is a draw or lift bridge, to admit the passage of vessels, but a new one, on the swivel principle, is now in course of erection.

Near the railway is a Government Powder Magazine, built in 1889 by the War Department, and enlarged the following year. It is connected with the railway by a siding, and there is a landing stage on the river for loading and discharging the inflammable cargoes.

BRACKENHOLME-WITH-WOODHALL is a township consisting of the two hamlets, from which it takes its name, situated on the west bank of the Derwent. Its estimated extent is 1,290 acres, rateable value £3,673, and population 92. The soil is clayey in some places, and sandy in others, the subsoil is clay; wheat, oats, and potatoes, are the chief crops. The principal landowners are Henry Brearley Esq., Brackenholme; William Banks, Esq., Hemingbrough Hall; Stuart A. Menzies, Esq., Woodhall; Carr's trustees; and the trustees of the late William Jewitt. The township is intersected by the Hull and Selby railway, for which the North-Eastern Railway Co. is assessed at £2,312. The nearest station is at Hemingbrough, two-and-a-half miles west.

BRACKENHOLME, is a township with Woodhall and comprises about 1,000 acres, and includes the lordships of Babthorpe and Hagthorpe. The Brackenholme estate, containing about 366 acres, formerly belonged to the family of Babthorpe, from whom it was purchased by George Wentworth, Esq., in 1621. The purchaser, who was afterwards knighted by Charles I., died in 1660, and this estate was conveyed by marriage to berland. The late Admiral Mitford sold Brackenholme in 1855, to the late Mr. John Banks, for £11,000, and in 1881, it was purchased by Mr. Henry Brearley, the present owner, for £10,700.

BABTHORPE, a farm of 270 acres, was long the property of a family that took their name from, and were lords of, the place. They had a hall or manor house here, surrounded by moats, and at a little distance stood the private chapel. The latter was converted into a dwelling-house after the property passed into other hands; not a stone now remains to mark the spot where it stood, and a modern farmhouse occupies the site of the ancient hall. There was a chantry in Hemingbrough church that belonged to the family, dedicated to St. Nicholas, and to which an incumbency was attached.

The Babthorpes were a family of some distinction, and were verderers of the forest between Ouse and Derwent, where they had the charge of the king's deer. The first of the name on record is Radulphus de Babbetorp, who gave lands to Finchale Abbey, near Durham, about the year 1190, and another is mentioned amongst the benefactors of the Priory of Drax. Subsequently three members of the family received the honour of knighthood on the battlefield, and two, father and son, fell fighting for Henry VI., at the battle of St. Albans, A.D. 1455. Another member, William Babtborpe, a lawyer, rose to eminence in his profession, and was successively Attorney-General and Baron of the Exchequer under Henry VI. The Babthorpes retained possession of the estate till 1621, when the family were so impoverished by fines and forfeitures, in consequence of their "popish recusancy," that they were obliged to part with some of their lands. This estate was purchased by Richard Bowes, of Hagthorpe, and 50 years later it was sold by this family to James Strangeways, gentleman, of York. It afterwards passed by marriage to the Boyntons, and in the same way to the Heathcoates, from whom it was purchased, in 1840, by Mr. John Banks, of Howden, and it still remains in the possession of this family.

HAGTHORPE, is another small manor and estate in Brackenholme, containing 166 acres. It is called Achetorp in Domesday Book, and in later documents Hakethorp. From the 12th to the 16th century it was owned by a family that took its name from the place. It afterwards passed to the Newarks, from whom it was purchased by Dr. Hutton, Dean of York, afterwards Bishop of Durham and Archbishop of York. The Boweses were the next owners, from whom it was purchased by Mr. James Strangeways, gentleman, of York, and it afterwards descended successively to the Boyntons and the Langleys, of Wykeham Abbey, who sold it to John Watson, the tenant. It passed by sale, in 1805, to Mr. Jonathan Briggs, and was again sold in 1835 to Miss Robinson, of Barlby, from whom it has descended to the present owners, the trustees of the late Mrs. Carr.

The old Manor House was taken down, and the present Hagthorpe Hall built on a part of the site, about the middle of the 18th century. A considerable portion of the moat that once surrounded the house still remains. It was originally 12 yards wide, but is now reduced to five yards, and filled with water. The Hall is occupied by Alfred Watson, farmer.

WOODHALL, originally Grimesthorpe, is a hamlet containing about 275 acres. The estate was purchased in 1834 for the sum of £9,000, by Robert Menzies, Esq., who subsequently enlarged both the house and the estate. Stuart Alexander Menzies, the present owner, is his grandson.

CLIFFE CUM LUND is a township in the parish of Hemingbrough, the County Council electoral division of Riccall, and Selby poor law union. Newhay, containing 404 acres, formerly in the parish of Drax, was amalgamated with Cliffe-cum-Lund in 1883.

The total extent of the township is 2,995 acres, the rateable value £8,432, and the number of inhabitants 640. The principal landowners are Arthur F. Burton, Esq., Turnham Hall, lord of the manor; James K. Burton, Esq., Selby; George H. Heaven, Clifton, Bristol; George Briggs, Cliffe; William Leetham, Selby; Messrs. Murdoch & Parker; Miss Sandys, Elm House, Grantham; Messrs. Liversidge & Co., Selby; Messrs. John & Charles Tomlinson, Cliffe; Rev. T. S. Tyreman, Kirksandal, Doncaster; and Mr. Fraser. The North-Eastern Railway Co.'s branch lines from Hull to Selby, and from Selby to Market Weighton, pass through the township, and are jointly assessed at £3,288. The soil is warp, sand, and clay; and the chief crops are potatoes, wheat, and barley. The tithe, amounting to £584, is impropriated.

From the Domesday Book we learn that Cliffe, or Clive as therein written, belonged to the soke of the Bishop of Durham's manor of Howden, and this and other lands were held by Nigel Fossard. The greater part of the township forms the manor of Malvis. This name has been attached to it for a very long period, and seems to indicate some connection with the very ancient family of Malbys, but nothing is known of their ownership. Cliffe gave name to a family resident here in the 14th and 15th centuries. One of them, Henry de Cliffe, rose to considerable eminence. He took Orders in the church, and obtained several rich livings. He became the Attorney-General of Anthony Bek, Bishop of Durham; he was also a clerk in the King's Chancery, and was on several occasions Deputy Keeper of the Great Seal, and from 1325 to 1332, Master of the Rolls. He died in the latter year, leaving the residue of his estate to found a chantry in the abbey church of Drax. For some reason or other his executors established the chantry in the parish church of Hemingbrough.

The long straggling village of Cliffe adjoins Hemingbrough, and is distant about three miles east from Selby. The are two stations in the township - one called Hemingbrough, on the Hull and Selby railway, and the other, called Cliff Common, on the Selby and Market Weighton branch. There are chapels in the village belonging to the Wesleyans and Primitive Methodists. The former was built about 65 years ago, and the latter in 1842, and rebuilt in 1864. The National school was built and endowed out of a bequest of £220, left by Mary Wand, in 1708. The sum of £180 was invested in the purchase of 14 acres 3 roods of land at Knedlington, which lets for £25 per annum. A legacy of £100 was left to the school by Mr. Benjamin Whittall in 1791, and the like sum by John Robinson, Esq., of Barlby, in 1832. Miss Elizabeth Burton, of Stamford Hill, near London, bequeathed by will, in 1878, the sum of £200, which is invested in the Midland railway debenture stock. The school premises and master's house were rebuilt in 1872, at a cost of £800, of which the late Mr. Thomas Burton, of Turnham Hall, was the chief contributor.

Turnham Hall is a lordship which appears to have been alienated from Cliffe at a very early period, and named from its first owner, Robert de Turnham, who fought in the Crusades with Richard Coeur de Lion. This Robert married the daughter and heiress of William Fossard, lord of Cliffe and many other manors, and Isabel, his only daughter, became the wife of Peter de Malo Lacu or Manley. This family played an important part in the history of the time, and had their chief seat at Mulgrave Castle, near Whitby. The widow of the fourth Peter de Mauley mortgaged this manor to Hugh Despenser, junior, the arrogant favourite of the weak-minded Edward II. He was afterwards put to death, and his estates confiscated, and given to Sir John de Ros in 1327. From this family the manor passed by marriage to the Manners of Etal, afterwards Earls of Rutland, in the latter part of the 15th century. Turnham Hall subsequently changed owners two or three times by sale; and in 1769, it was purchased for the sum of £12,000 by Mr. James Keighley, of Cliffe. This gentleman left an only daughter, who married Mr. William Burton, by whom the house was re-built. The late Mr. Thomas Burton, the eldest son of this marriage, was an indefatigable antiquary, and produced a very elaborate history of Hemingbrough parish, which was published after his death, under the editorship of the Rev. James Raine, M.A., D.C.L.; and to this work we have been much indebted in compiling this sketch.

The present hall is a plain brick building of no great size, built in the latter years of last century. The house that previously occupied the site, was re-built in the latter part of the 16th or the beginning of the 17th century. This building was probably inferior to its predecessor. Of the importance of the mediæva1 mansion, we may have some idea from its appropriation as a residence by more of the noblest personages in the land; indeed, as a writer observes, it had "more connection with national history than many of the baronial castles." It was the home of the crusading Turnhams, and the occasional residence of the knightly family of Ros. Stephen, Lord Scrope of Masham, had a lease of the hall and died here in 1406; Archbishop Scrope was an occasional visitor, and in the private chapel of the hall, he once held an ordination. The Countess of Cambridge lived here in the winter of 1439-40, and then the hall became the residence of the widow of a king's grandson.

Lund is a hamlet half-a-mile west from Cliffe. It formerly belonged to Selby Abbey, and passed into lay hands after the dissolution of religious houses.

MENTHORPE AND BOWTHORPE form a joint township, containing 1,070 acres, of which 19 are unenclosed. The rateable value is £1,034, and the population 63, an increase of 14 since 1881. Mr. Robert Chaplin owns 260 acres, the trustees of the late Martin Willans own 142 acres, and Major Sandys, of Fulford, York, owns Menthorpe Hall or Manor House, and farm containing 180 acres. The Selby and Market Weighton branch of the North-Eastern railway passes through the township, and there is a station for the convenience of the inhabitants at Menthorpe Gate.

In the intolerant days of Queen Elizabeth, when every man was obliged, under heavy penalties, to model his creed according to Act of Parliament, a family named Watkinson lived here. They appear to have been of the well-to-do yeoman class, cultivating their own farm, some 150 acres in extent, but they were Catholics, and consequently led a somewhat retired life. The father, Thomas Watkinson, is described as a "yeoman and widower, well able to live of his own living, a Catholic, yet timorous"; he, however, got into trouble at last, in spite of his timidity. On the eve of Palm Sunday, some of the members of the household were seen gathering palms, by an evil neighbour, who rightly suspected that they were for use in the next day's ceremonial, and that a priest was in the house. Expecting the reward which was given to those who betrayed their Catholic neighbours, he went off with speed to Mr. John Gates, of Howden, a justice of the peace, who, with a company of men, in the dead of night, broke into the house, and caught Robert Thorp, a priest. Mr. Thorp and Mr. Watkinson were carried off to York, and there tried and executed in 1591, the one for being a priest and the other for receiving him into his house. Watkinson, who was advanced in years, was offered his life if he would conform, and ask the Queen's Majesty forgiveness for receiving that traitor Thorp into his house. He replied "I have not offended Her Majesty therein. I knew him not, nor received him for no such man, but as a priest sent to do good to his country. If I were to live longer, I would receive more and oftener than I have. I forgive all those that have here in any way procured my death." Eleven years later, Robert Watkinson, a priest, a native of the parish of Hemingbrough, and probably a son of the above Thomas Watkinson, was executed at Tyburn by the unjust and cruel laws which butchered a man for daring to take orders in the church of his forefathers.

Bowthorpe, anciently written Bolthorpe and Bolethorpe, comprises 440 acres, belonging to Sir James Walker, Bart., Sand Hutton, and farmed by Mr. James Barker.

OSGODBY is a township containing 1537 acres of land, rateable value £3,006, and population 198, a decrease of 27 since 1881. The Hull and Selby and the Selby and Market Weighton branches of the North-Eastern railway pass through the township and are assessed at £2,017. Riley Briggs, Esq., Osgodby Hall, is lord of the manor and principal landowner; the other proprietors are Mrs. Colley, of Sheffield; Messrs. William Liversidge & Sons, Selby; William Greenfield, of Cliffe; and J. J. Dunnington-Jefferson, Esq., Thicket Priory.

The manor of Osgodby was anciently held by a family that took its name from the place. It subsequently passed to the Hagthorpes, and about the middle of the fifteenth century became the property of the Babthorpes. In the days of religious persecution they were zealous and unyielding Catholics, and suffered many heavy fines for their non-attendance at the parish church. Many interesting particulars about the family and their sufferings may be seen in Father Morris' "Memorials of our Catholic Forefathers," and also in Father Foley's "Records of the English Province of the Society of Jesus." Lady Babthorpe has left a MS. account of their troubles. Speaking of Sir Ralph, her husband, she says

"After he was known to be a Catholic, although he paid the statute, yet he would not be permitted to live at home but every fortnight, or month at the farthest, he was sent for to appear before the Bishop and Commissioners, at York, which if he did, he was sure to be committed to prison, and if he did not, he was sure to he fined by the Court £50 every time; for the avoiding of which he was obliged to fly from home upon the hearing of the warrants coming forth against him. For, being well-beloved, as he was, with his neighbours, he always got intelligence, and then, to avoid the penalty, he must need he forth of the country. So he would not live a week at home, and of necessity he must have one to go and appear for him, and take their oath that he was not in the country when the warrant came for him. Then they took a course to send to the minister of the parish a warrant, to be read openly in church against him, and, after it was read, it was put upon the church door, there to be seen for his more disgrace, and withal command and warrant to all men to attach him, with promise of a good sum for their part."

Sir Ralph could only visit his house at Osgodby by stealth from the neighbouring county of Lincoln, where he was living in secrecy; but a stricter watch was now kept, and the visits became so hazardous that Sir Ralph removed to London, whither he was followed by Lady Babthorpe. He was not, however, long there before he was again in trouble for `conscience sake,' and he crossed the sea to St. Omers in 1613, and died there in 1618. "Forty servants waited upon him in his prosperity," says Mr. Burton; "at last he had only a single attendant." Lady Babthorpe did not herself escape persecution; she and five other Catholic ladies of rank were brought before the council, at York, for recusancy, and imprisoned in Sheriff Hutton Castle, whence they were released after two years' confinement. Speaking of the persecution of the time, Lady Babthorpe says:-

"For the poor Catholics in our parish of Hemingbrough the persecution has been greater than I can relate, for no Catholic could keep any goods, no, not the poor folks keep a cow to give their children milk, but it was taken from them; and of late years they forced them to pay 12d. every Sunday. And of such as had not great goods, they took such things as they found in their houses, as their vessels; of some, their porridge pots; and of others, clothes off their beds; and if they had more clothes than that on their backs, they took them; and of one that had with her work that summer got a piece of cloth to clothe her children with, they took it from her; and those they could get nothing of they sent to prison."

After her husband's death Lady Babthorpe determined to embrace a religious life, and, settling her affairs in England, she and her granddaughter, Grace Constable, retired to a convent in Louvain, and there took the veil together in 1625. Lady Babthope had borne her husband four sons and three daughters; of the former, one was a Benedictine monk and two were priests of the Society of Jesus, and one daughter was a nun.

Sir William Babthorpe, the eldest son, succeeded to the estate, but two-thirds of the rental had been lost by fines and punishments. He, too, like his father, was a zealous Catholic, and was soon involved in trouble on account of his religion. Two priests were discovered in his house by the pursuivants, and Sir William tried to obtain their escape by offering a bribe to the captors. Failing in this, he determined to rescue them out of their hands. "Being a tall, strong man," says Father Morris, "he made no more ado, but drew out his sword, and made the priests depart away, keeping the pursuivants the while in such fear with his naked sword that none of them durst resist him. But, afterwards, they complained to the justices, and it was esteemed a great contempt so to resist those vile officers." The result was, Sir William was thrown into prison for nearly a year, and such a ruinous fine inflicted upon him that he was reduced to absolute poverty. In 1620 he sold what remained of his estate to his kinsman and co-religionist, Sir Guy Palmes, of Lindley, and about 50 years later it was purchased from the family by Sir Jeremiah Smith. The next owners were the Burdetts, from whom it was purchased by the Dawsons, and in 1860 the estates of Osgodby and Barlby, comprising 1,150 acres, were sold for £95,000 to Emanuel Briggs, on behalf of his son, Riley Briggs, Esq., the present owner.

The Hall was rebuilt by Jeremiah Smith, Esq., in the latter part of the 17th or the beginning of the 18th century, and was improved and enlarged by the late Mr. G. P. Dawson. There was formerly a private chapel or oratory belonging to it, which seems to have had a permanent endowment, and may possibly have possessed some parochial rights. The foundations were dug up about 70 years ago.

The village stands about two-and-a-half miles north-east of Selby, and is about one mile from Hemingbrough station, and the same distance from that of Cliff Common. The poor of this township share with those of South Duffield the rent of seven acres of land in Hemingbrough, left by an unknown donor.

SOUTH DUFFIELD is a township in this parish containing 1,666 acres of land, and 208 inhabitants. The rateable value is £1,985. The land belongs to several owners, of whom the principal are Captain Barstow, Hazel Bush, York; William Wheldrick, South Duffield; Stuart Alex. Menzies, Esq., Woodhall; T. A. Weddall, Selby; John Smith, Brayton; Jonathan Dunn, Esq., Stillingfleet; John Haller, South Duffield; and Edward Morrell, South Duffield.

The manor was formerly held in moieties of the Bishop of Durham, by the Amcotes and the Stapletons. The lands of the former remained in the possession of the family till the 16th century, when they were sold in portions to various persons. Holme House farm, one of the portions so disposed of, became in the next century the property of Michael Barstow, a merchant in York, and it is still in the possession of his descendants. The greater portion of the other moiety was subinfeuded to the family of Knight, one of whom, William, son of Leonard Knight, of South Duffield, described as a wealthy yeoman, was executed at York on account of his religion, in the latter part of the reign of Elizabeth. The Hildyards had also an estate here, which has passed through several hands, and is now owned by Mr. Jon. Dunn, who purchased it in 1872. The Haddesleys, according to Mr. Burton, have been residents of South Duffield for nearly 600 years. Their lands were sold in 1872. The house appears to be of considerable antiquity, and is said to have been formerly panelled in oak. Near the front entrance is a rudely sculptured stone, which may possibly have once represented the family crest.

The commons were enclosed in 1834, under powers of an Act obtained in 1820. To the Bishop of Durham, as lord of the manor, was awarded an allotment of 14 acres 2 roods 25 perches in lieu of his rights, and subsequently transferred to the Bishop of Ripon, and the tithe owners received 294 acres in lieu of tithes. The township is in the Selby poor law union, and in the Riccall division for the election of a county councillor.

The village is small, and stands about five miles east of Selby, and two miles north of Hemingbrough. There is a small Wesleyan chapel here, built in 1824. The school was built in 1881, at the joint expense of Mrs. Parker, of Horbury, near Wakefield, and the landowners; and in 1885 it was taken over by the School Board for the united district of South Duffield and Menthorpe-with-Bowthorpe. The poor of the townships of South Duffield and Osgodby have the rent of seven acres of land in Hemingbrough, left by an unknown donor, and now let for £14. Mrs. Mary Robinson bequeathed £100 to the poor of South Duffield. This sum is invested in the three per cent, console, and the interest, £3 2s. 4d., is distributed yearly; and a similar amount was left by Mrs. Carr for the poor of South Duffield and Barlby, the interest of which (£3 2s. 4d.) is distributed in coals.

[Description(s) from Bulmer's History and Directory of East Yorkshire (1892)]


  • Transcript of the entry for the Post Office, professions and trades in Bulmer's Directory of 1892.

Scan, OCR and html by Colin Hinson. Checking and correction by Peter Nelson.