Great Thirkleby Parish information from Bulmers' 1890.


Geographical and Historical information from the year 1890.

Wapentake and Petty Sessional Division of Birdforth - Electoral Division of South Otterington - Poor Law Union, County Court District, and Rural Deanery of Thirsk - Archdeaconry of Cleveland - Diocese of York.

The parish of Thirkleby is situated from four to five miles S.E. of Thirsk, and contains 2,592 acres of land; gross estimated rental, £3,518; rateable value, £3,153; and population (in 1881) 261. The village, which gives it its name, is located on both banks of a small stream, and the two parts are distinguished from their positions as High and Low, or sometimes, from their relative magnitude, Great and Little Thirkleby. This name is another of the many evidences of Danish occupation in Yorkshire. It has been variously written at different periods Turgislebi, Turchilsbi, Turkelby, Thirksby, &c., but these are evidently only variations of the same word, the Danish personal appellative Thirkel or Thorkel, and by, a village. Copsi, probably the Saxon chieftain of that name, whom the Conqueror, from motives of policy, appointed Earl of Northumberland, had eight carucates of land here, which belonged to the soke of Coxwold. After the Conquest Turgislebi, with the manor of Coxwold, came into the possession of Hugh, the son of Baldric, and subsequently it formed part of the wide domain given to Robert de Mowbray. Roger de Mowbray, in 1145, gave three oxgangs of land, in Thirkleby, to the prior and convent of Newburgh, and the rest was held as a sub-fee by the family of Bussey. In the beginning of the 17th century one moiety of the parish came into the possession of the Franklands, in which family it still remains. The other moiety is the property and manor of the Viscount Downe.

Thirkleby Hall is an elegant modern mansion, erected by Sir Thomas Frankland, Bart., in the Italian style, from the designs of Mr. James Wyatt, architect. It is situated on a gentle eminence on the north-west side of the village, in the midst of a spacious and well-wooded park. The old hall, which was a quaint Jacobean mansion, was demolished on the erection of the present one, but the beautiful avenue of Scotch firs which formed its approach, is still a picturesque feature. In the immediate vicinity of the hall are some fine specimens of the carnivorous tree, the cedar of Lebanon, Wellingtonia Gigantia, and purple beeches. A short distance from the east front is a small artificial lake, covering about three acres, and in a wood about 1½ miles distant is a wild duck decoy, both formed about five years ago. The house commands some lovely views of the beautiful scenery around. Towards the east lie the Hambleton Hills and the gigantic form of the White Horse, shaped out of the hill side, can be distinctly seen. On the south the view takes in the churches of Topcliffe and Baldersby, and from the roof of the house York's grey tower can be seen rising above the horizon. The hall is now the property and residence of Lady Payne-Frankland, who, after the death of her husband, Sir William Payne-Gallwey, assumed the name of Frankland in lieu of Gallwey.

The Frankland family were possessed of lands in Ickeringill in the parish of Skipton, soon after the Conquest. The name first appears in connection with Thirkleby in the early part of the 17th century, when William Frankland, Esq., who twice represented Thirsk in parliament, was seated here. Sir Henry Frankland, Knight, was the next owner of Thirkleby. He was succeeded by his son, Sir William Frankland, who represented Thirsk in three parliaments, and was created a baronet by Charles II. in 1660. His son, Sir Thomas, the second baronet, married Elizabeth, the youngest daughter of Sir John Russell, Bart., of Chippenham, in the county of Cambridge, by Frances, Oliver Cromwell's youngest daughter. He was succeeded by his son, Sir Thomas Frankland, Bart., who represented Thirsk in five successive parliaments. He died in 1747, leaving two daughters; Betty, married to John Morley Trevor, Esq., and Dinah, who married George Henry Lee, earl of Lichfield, a remarkable alliance, as the countess was descended in the fourth degree from Oliver Cromwell, and the earl in the same degree from King Charles I. In the absence of male issue the title descended to his nephew, Charles Henry Frankland, who was for many years Collector of His Majesty's Customs at the port of Boston (America), and was afterwards Consul General to Portugal. He was in Lisbon at the time of the great earthquake, in 1755, and was, for one hour, buried beneath the ruins, but providentially escaped. Sir Charles Henry, dying without issue, he was succeeded by his brother, Sir Thomas Frankland, Bart., who distinguished himself in the naval service, and became an Admiral of the White. He sat in five successive parliaments for the Borough of Thirsk, and died in 1784. He was succeeded by his eldest surviving son, Sir Thomas Frankland, Bart., who was also elected M.P. for Thirsk. He died in 1831, and was succeeded by his only surviving son, Sir Robert Frankland, Bart., who assumed the name of Russell in addition to his own on succeeding to the estates of Sir Robert Grenhill Russell, in 1836. He sat in parliament as member for Thirsk from 1815 to 1834, and was high sheriff of Yorkshire in 1838. He married Louisa Anne, daughter of the Right Hon. and Right Rev. Lord George Murray, bishop of St. David's, and died in 1849. Leaving no male issue he was succeeded in the title by his cousin, Sir Frederick William Frankland, the eighth and present baronet, but the estates descended to his daughters. Emily Anne, the third daughter, married the late Sir William Payne-Gallwey, Bart., the son and successor of the first baronet (created in 1812), who assumed the name of Gallwey in addition to Payne, in 1814. Sir William died December 19th, 1881, and was succeeded in the title by his eldest son, Sir Ralph Payne-Gallwey, Bart., Thirkleby Park, who married Lady Payne-Frankland, widow of the late Sir William Payne-Gallwey, after the death of her husband substituted, by royal license, the name of Frankland for Gallwey.

The church, dedicated to All Saints, was originally only a chapel to Coxwold and was given, with three oxgangs of land, to the priory of Newburgh, by Roger de Mowbray, in 1145. Having stood the storms and tempests of nearly six centuries, the effect of time's devouring hand became painfully visible in the early part of last century, and, in 1722, the church was rebuilt by Sir Thomas Frankland, Bart., in the Italian style of that period. It was again rebuilt in 1851 by Lady Frankland-Russell, as a memorial to her husband, Sir Robert Frankland-Russell, who died in 1849. The designs were supplied by E. B. Lamb, Esq., architect, who has adopted the Gothic style of the decorated period. The edifice consists of nave, with north and south aisles, chancel, with chapel on the south side covering the family vault of the Franklands, and tower, surmounted by a lofty octagonal spire. The walls are of undressed grey limestone, with an internal lining of brick; the quoins and ornamental work are of Rainton stone, and all the window tracery is of white magnesian limestone. The nave is divided from the aisles on each side by three large and two small arches, resting on octagonal columns, with moulded caps. The oaken roof is of open framework, arched and trussed, with curved ribs under the hammer beam, supported on corbel columns. The chancel floor is laid with Minton's decorated tiles, in Mosaic work. Several of the windows are of stained glass. At the east end of the south or Frankland aisle is the Frankland chapel, in which repose the ashes of several members of that family. This chapel, square at the base, is surmounted by a beautiful groined octagonal roof. Against the east wall is a canopied monument, divided into six panels for the reception of brass funeral mementoes of future members of that family. One tablet only as yet has been inserted. It is to the memory of the late Sir Robert Frankland-Russell, Bart., who died in 1849, and of his widow, by whom the church was rebuilt. There are also marble tablets on the walls of the chapel to several members of the family. On a flat stone at the west end of the church is the following monumental inscription

Depositum JUDITHQK FILIQK IOHANNIS BURGOYNE de Sutton in comitatu Bedford Bar, st uxoris GULIELMI AYSCOUGN, de Osgodby in comitatu Ebor. militis, ab anno 1640 mensis Mar. 9, ad 1688 et Julii diem 21 quo obiit. Arms. - A fesse between three asses passant for Ayscough; impaling a chevron between three talbots passant, on a chief embattled, as many martlets for Burgoyne.

On another stone are placed the arms of Ayscough, as above, impaling a chevron between three trees, with the inscription

Viadua mæstissima in memoriam
mariti charissimi, viri ingenio pollentis animo invictissimi, moribus amænissimi,
filii natu maximi Gulielmi Ayscough militis, adhuc superstitis, hoc monumentum
posuit. Obiit 18 die Novembris Anno. Dni. 1676.

In the Frankland aisle is a monumental slab in memory of

who died August 2, 1697, aged 69."

On another tablet is inscribed an epitaph to the memory of

and daughter of the Hon. Henry Belasyse, eldest son of Thomas, Lord Viscount
Fauconberg; who died 26 Feby. 1687, aged 50"

The church contains several other monuments to the Franklands, and there was formerly on the altar table, and is probably there yet, a large brazen alms-dish, representing, in bold relief, Abraham offering his son Isaac in sacrifice; the youth is kneeling before a blazing altar; the knife is uplifted to give the fatal blow; an angel appears above, and the ram is seen caught in a thicket on the right. From frequent cleaning the figures are somewhat defaced, but the general design yet remains quite distinct.

After the Dissolution of Newburgh Priory, to which this church was appropriated, the rectory and advowson of the vicarage were given, by Henry VIII., to the Archbishop of York in exchange, and the archbishop is still the patron. The benefice is a discharged vicarage valued, in the King's Books, at £6, and now worth £210 net. There are between 30 and 40 acres of glebe land in the parish. The present vicar is the Rev. Thomas Hill Smith, M.A., Oxon., who was presented in 1864.

The Vicarage House is a neat and commodious building, erected by the Ecclesiastical Commissioners in 1865.

The present school was built in 1674, and is the property of Lady Payne-Frankland, by whom it is chiefly supported.

Osgoodby is a hamlet, consisting of three farms, situated one mile from Thirkleby. It was formerly a grange to Byland Abbey, and is now the property of the Ecclesiastical Commissioners, to whom also the great tithes belong. On the wall of the grange farm house is the date 1681, and it is only within very recent years that the small old fashioned diamond panes of the windows gave place to large modern square ones, and the heavy flagged roof to a lighter covering of slate.

CHARITIES. - The aggregate amount of the charities belonging to the parish is about £10 a year, arising from the rent of six acres of land, called Hanney and Whinney Carr, in Bagby, purchased in 1692, with £62 10s., partly given by the Kitchingman family; five acres, called Crankley Close, at Easingwold, purchased in 1743, with benefaction money; and the interest of £85 4s. 2d., obtained by the sale of timber on the above-named land in 1820. The following also are recorded on a tablet in the church:- George Manfield, of Thirkleby-Barff, who died in 1771, left to the poor of Thirkleby the sum of £20, the interest of which he directed should be distributed at Easter and Christmas, by the minister, churchwardens, and overseers of the poor. And Jane Watson, of Woodcock, bequeathed, in 1777, the sum of £20 for the benefit of poor widows of the parish.

[Description(s) from Bulmer's History and Directory of North Yorkshire (1890)]


  • Transcript of the entry for the Post Office, professions and trades in Bulmer's Directory of 1890.

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