Area, 1,580 acres. Holderness wapentake, S.D. -Population, 204 ; Church-room, sufficient ; Net value, £53. -The Church of Birstall, alias Skefling, was given by Stephen Earl of Albemarle to the Priory of Birstall, which he founded in this parish for a Cell for the Abbey of Albemarle, in Normandy, and which he endowed with all the Churches and tithes he had in England. It was anciently a Chapel to Easington until 1219, when Archbishop Walter Gray freed it from all dependence thereon, and ordained, as Archbishop Sharp supposed, a Vicarage. In the 18th of Richard II. it was granted by the Abbey of Albemarle to the Abbey of Kirkstall.
In 1470, a commission was granted to the Bishop of Dromore to consecrate the Church, then newly built in another place than where the present Church stood. " Hence," says Archbishop Sharp, " I gather the double names of this Church. It stood first, I suppose, in the town or hamlet of Birstall, and afterwards was translated to Skefling, in the same parish."
The first Vicar mentioned by Torre was instituted in 1281.
Patron and impropriator, the Rev. Nicholas Holme.
The Church is valued in Pope Nicholas's taxation, at £6. 13s. 4d.; Vicaria ejusdem, £5; in the King's books, the Vicarage is valued at £5; in the Parliamentary Survey, vol. xvii. page 261, it is stated : " Vicarage, £5 9s ; impropriation, £15;" -and in 1818, at £93 per annum *2.
Augmented in 1740, with £200; in 1757, with £200; and in 1807, with 2001. -all by lot.
" 20th July 1591, the Crown granted a lease of the scite of the manor of Bristalgarth, with the Rectory of Skeffelinge, in Holderness, for forty years to Thomas Scudamore, on paying an annual stipend of one hundred and eight shillings as a salary to the Minister or Curate of the Church of Skeffelinge." -Particulars of Leases in the Augmentation Office, Yorkshire, Roll 34, No. 20.
An Inclosure Act was passed 4th Geo. III.
No glebe house.
The Register Books commence in 1585.
John and Henry Holmes's charities. For an account of John Holmes's benefactions, of which this parish is entitled to one-fourth part, or three, vide Brandsburton. The proportion due to this parish is £3. 7s. 6d. per annum, which is paid regularly, and applied with the following charity.
The Rev. Henry Holmes's gift, by will, dated 7th August 1777. Interest of £100, secured by deed, dated 25th May 1761, on turnpike tolls, and this security was, after the death of the testator, transferred by deed, dated 17th May 1777, unto Thomas Sherwood and three others, the then churchwardens and overseers of the poor, and the sums received under both (£7. 17s. 6d. per annum) is distributed by the minister and churchwardens, at Christmas, to poor persons who receive no alms from, or are under the common relief of, the parish. -The Commissioners reported, that there were few, if any, of the poorer classes in the parish who were able to subsist without occasional relief, and it was found impossible, therefore, to comply strictly with the intentions of the testator ; but that such intention was not overlooked, larger sums being always bestowed on such as endeavour the most to keep off the parish. -Vide 9th Report, page 775.
Post town: Pattrington.
Torre's MS., page 1545. Abp. Sharp's MS., vol. ii. page 147. Mon. Angl., vol. v. page 256. Burton's Monasticon, page 298.
*1 Much confusion occurs between Skefling and Skeckling.
*2 " The impropriator of the parish of Skefling, in Yorkshire, is entitled to the tithes arising within that part of the manor of Birstall which is within the said parish, for the said manor, though parcel of the possessions of the Dissolved Abbey of St. Martin, Albemarle, is not tithe-free. -Holmes v. Drinkrow." 2 Wood, page 422.