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Data from the 'Collectio Rerum Ecclesiasticarum' from the year 1842.

The place: RIPON.     Church dedication: COLLEGIATE CHURCH ST WILFRED.

() -Area of the parish, 48,980 acres. - Population, 14,602 *2. -The Minster of Ripon was founded by Alfred, King of Northumberland, in the year 661, and he placed therein certain Scottish monks from Lindisferne and Melrose.

About this period the controversy respecting the time of the celebration of Easter arose, and the Roman Ritual being confirmed, St. Wilfred, afterwards Archbishop of York, was appointed to preside in the Monastery on the retirement of the Scottish monks, and he built a very splendid Church.

In the general devastation of the northern parts, the Minster was twice consumed by fire, viz. in 866 and 948, and together with the town lay razed during those violent and outrageous incursions of the Danes within the realm, but in 950, the Church was renewed by Odo, Archbishop of Canterbury, who removed the bones of St. Wilfred to his own Cathedral.

The present Church was founded by Archbishop Thurston, in the year 1140. In 1317, it was much damaged by fire, under an invasion from the Scots, but was soon re-edified by the care of Archbishop Melton. On the 26th October 1354, 28th Ed. III., Letters of Request were granted to Thomas Bretton and others, to collect the charitable alms of all faithful disposed people within the Diocese of York, to the use of the fabric of this Church ; and at the charitable charges of their own treasurer, and of the nobility and gentry thereabouts, was this fair structure with three steeples finished.

But towards the latter end of the reign of King Henry VI., the great steeple, which at first was so sumptuously built, was then, as well by neglect of workmen who first made it, as by thunder, frequent storms and tempests, so much shaken and broken, that the greatest part thereof was already fallen, and the rest expected to follow if no speedy remedy applied ; whereupon, on 4th February 1459, 37th Henry VI., William Archbishop of York granted an indulgence of forty days of pardon, to all such as should afford their charitable relief towards its re-edification, construction, and sustentation.

The wood work in the choir appears to have been completed as late as the year 1494.

The government ecclesiastical of this Church, when made Collegiate, was in seven secular Canons, collated by the Archbishop, the proper patron and visitor thereof.

Archbishop Melton, on the 10th Kal. April 1331, made a statute of residence, which is given by Mr. Torre.

On the 16th Kal. October, 26th Hen. III., Archbishop Walter Gray confirmed to the Chapter of Ripon the parish Church of Nidd.

Mr. Torre gives catalogues of the Prebendaries of Stainwix or Givendale, alias Yevedale, Skelton, Studley, Sharrow, Thorpe, and Nunwicks. There was also a Prebend of Monkton.

On 10th Kal. November 1303, a College of Vicars Choral was ordained in this Church by Archbishop Corbridge.

The Vicars were to provide for themselves an house decently inclosed, wherein they might all inhabit, eat, and lodge together, suffering no woman to have access thereunto except when necessity required their work, which could not well be done by the other sex.

The Vicars were enjoined to say every day before dinner the psalm De profundis and the prayers of the faithful.

King Henry VIII., in the 36th year of his reign, granted a commission to the Archbishop of York to visit the Prebends and Canons of this Church and reform what should be found amiss, but temp. Edward VI. the Collegiate Church was totally suppressed. On the 30th Nov. in the 8th year of his reign, King James upon the petition of his royal consort Queen Anne, who had been previously petitioned in July 1604, by the corporation of Ripon, who had pointed out to her Majesty the advantages which a college here would present to the borderers of England and Scotland, refounded this Collegiate Church, and established therein a Dean and seven Prebendaries, allowing them £247 per annum out of the Crown lands. A previous attempt to restore the Collegiate Church had been made in Queen Elizabeth's time by Archbishop Sandys, but without success.

Catalogues of the Deans and Prebendaries are given by Mr. Torre.

Nine Chantries were founded in the Minster, besides one at Hutton Conyers, one at Clotherholme, one at the Hospital of St. Mary Magdalen, and another in the Hospital of St. John the Baptist.

The Chapter is now composed of a Dean, Subdean, and six Prebendaries. The crown has the patronage of the Deanery, but the Archbishop collates to the Prebendal Stalls.

Value. -The net income is £633 per annum *3. The Dean, as such, has an annual stipend of £93. 6s. 8d., and £70 as residentiary. The Subdean has £35 per annum, and the six Prebendaries £23. 6s. 8d. each. The Precentor, or Minor Canon has also £14 per annum, and another Minor Canon £13. 6s. 8d. The surplus is divided among the members of the Chapter, the Dean receiving four parts, the Subdean three, and each Prebendary two. Members absent at the audit take no share. There is a house assigned for residence; the Dean has the option and is usually the residentiary and occupier.

Inclosure Acts 56th Geo. III. and 7th Geo. IV.

Tithe Cases, Dean and Chapter v. Hinde. -2 Wood, page 518. Same v. Parker. -4 Wood, page 122 *4.

The Church is parochial as well as collegiate ; no return as to Church-room has been made.

The Register Book commences in 1587 ; there is a chasm from 1633 to 1652.

Liberties. -The liberties first granted by King Athelstane, were the same as the Church of Beverley had; for he made it a sanctuary, appointing the bounds thereof to extend a mile about the town, unto one of the boundaries called Athelstane's Cross, and granted unto the Church of Ripon a court for holding all pleas for themselves and their men within the liberty of St. Wilfred, with this privilege, that their men should be believed by their free yea and nay.

And as the manor of Ripon was first given to the Archbishop by King Athelstane, so from that time they have ever been seized of these following liberties, viz. Gallows, Infangenetheof, return of writs, pleas of Wethermen, to make escheats by the sheriff's band, of levying the King's debts, and within their fee, to have coroners of their own.

All which King Edward the Confessor confirmed.

Likewise the Archbishop claimed to be free from suit of court to the county wapentake and tithing for his men at Ripon, he only appearing by his steward at the same.

Also he claimed liberty of a park at Ripon, and of a free warrant therein.

All which upon a writ Quo Warranto, he recovered in 17th Edward III.

Moreover in 3rd Henry V., at the request of the Archbishop of York, the King by the consent of parliament confirmed to him all the liberties of this Church, and further, granted and confirmed that he and his officers may hold the sheriffs' turn within the town of Ripon, and there hear, determine, and punish all manner of felonies as justices of the peace.

On the 6th February, 36th Henry "VIII., the Archbishop granted the manor of Ripon with the appurtenances to the King and his heirs for ever ; and by 37th Henry VIII. cap. 16, it was annexed to the Duchy of Lancaster.

RIPON Charities. -The Free Grammar School. Founded by King Philip and Queen Mary, by letters patent, dated 27th June 1555, for the education and instruction of children and young men. The governors to make statutes with the advice of the Archbishop of York-statutes were made in 1814. The master to be a graduate. Every resident inhabitant of the parish is entitled to send his sons, if eight years of age, upon paying the accustomed entrance money, Greek, Latin, and English grammar are taught, and also writing and arithmetic; a charge is made for the two latter branches. The master receives a salary of £180 per annum, paying thereout the classical master and the writing master. The usher receives a salary of £63 per annum. At the time of the Report there were only seventeen free scholars. The expense of providing classical books was said to prevent many parents from taking the benefit of the foundation, and the Commissioners thought that some provision should be made for providing books.

Endowment : houses, buildings, &c. 126a. 1r. 21p. of land, let on leases for lives, reserved rents £99. 9s. 8d., and dividends on £650 three per cent. consols, and £500. Navy Fives. Fines in 1811, £1,069. 3s. 3d.; and in 1818, about £1,200. At the time of the Report, there was timber ready to fell worth between £200 and £300. There is also a house for the master, with a garden and field adjoining.

Ripon Poor's Land. Under the management of the corporation previous to the Municipal Act. 35a. 0r. 24p., rent charge of 21s. per annum, and interest of £50. The sum of £5 is paid for educating ten poor boys appointed by the mayor, £5 among ten poor widows, and the residue, being about £112, among poor housekeepers in sums varying from 3s. to 20s. each. The corporation, it appears, sometimes made a voluntary addition to this fund.

Zacharias Jepson's Hospital, founded by will, dated 9th March 1672, and regulated by decree of the Charity Commissioners, 1st May, 26th Car. II. Income ; rent of 15a. 2r. 8p., fee-farm rents, £90 lIs. 1d. per annum, and dividends on £100. Navy Fives. Ten boys are boarded, clothed, educated, and apprenticed. The donor directed that the boys should either be orphans, or very poor freemen's sons. The usher of the Grammar School to have the option of the mastership. An exhibition of £20 per annum to Cambridge for seven years, had not been claimed for upwards of fifty years preceding the Report.

Maison Dieu, or St. Anne's Hospital. An ancient asylum for eight poor women, supposed to have been founded by one of the family of the Nevills, and augmented by William Gibson, Isabella Lakin, Honourable William Aislabie, and Alderman John Terry. Each poor woman has a separate apartment. The Chapel is in ruins. Income; rent of 5a. 0r. 22p. of land, rent charge of £2. 4s. per annum, and dividends on £100. Navy Fives. After deducting repairs, the residue of the income is divided among the inmates.

Governors. -The mayor, the heirs of G. Aislabie, Esq., Dean or Subdean, two senior aldermen, master of the Grammar School, the senior four-and-twentieth man, and the constable of Low. Skelgate.

Roger Bayne's rent charge of 40s. per annum, by will, dated 16th Dec. 1719. Viz. 20s. for a sermon on the first Sunday in the year, in the afternoon ; 12s. for bread to be given monthly to twelve old men or women, and 8s. for candles for the Church when the sermon was preached.

Dr. William Richardson's charity, by codicil to his will, dated 29th July 1782. Dividends on £300. Ripon Navigation shares, the yearly profits to be applied by the corporation towards making good the following premiums, one of five guineas for the best piece of linen or woollen goods manufactured in the town of Ripon or within three statute miles thereof, and one of three guineas for the second best piece, to be determined at the mayor's summer feast by the mayor and aldermen then present, and any surplus dividends to be distributed among such poor housekeepers as should have no relief from the town, and the testator recommended the wells on Burrage Green and Skell Bank to the care and protection of the corporation £8. 8s. are given in premiums ; 5s. for distributing bills offering the premium, £2 to a person for taking care of the wells, and the residue in coals at Christmas, under the direction of the mayor and aldermen. At the time of the Report (1820), there was a balance in hand of £38. 15s. 11d.; no coals having been given for three years by reason of the mildness of the winters.

Alderman John Terry's charity, by will, dated 28th June 1790. Dividends on £200. Navy Fives, divided among eight poor men and eight poor women, nominated by the mayor, two senior aldermen, and senior common council man. -3rd Report, page 481.

The Hospital of St. Mary Magdalen. Founded by Archbishop Thurston, but there are no records coeval with the foundation.

By an inquisition taken in or about the time of King Edward III., it appears that the Hospital was founded for the relief both of the poor and of persons affected with the leprosy, but that at the time of the inquisition no lepers came to the Hospital.

The Archbishops of York have always had the right of appointment of the masters, and by a recital in the charter of the 30th November, 8th Jac. I., for re-establishing the Collegiate Church of Ripon, it appears that the Archbishops had been, and were about to be, great assistants in that work, and principally by the gift and collation for the use of the Church, of the mastership of this and St. John's Hospital; and since 1686, the Deans for the time being have successively held the office, and it now seems to be considered that the masterships of these Hospitals are conferred as an augmentation of the revenues of the Deanery, which are of small amount, with reference to the dignity and duties of the office.

The endowment consists of six houses and 257 acres of land, let on leases for lives, at annual reserved rents of £29. 3s. 6d.

The annual value of the property in 1820, was estimated at £464.

The Hospital was rebuilt by Dr. Hooke in 1674, it contains six separate apartments on one floor for the same number of poor women called sisters, with a garden in front; a small field adjoining, and a Chapel at a little distance on the opposite side of the street.

The Chaplain and six sisters are appointed by the master. The Chaplain's salary is £1 per annum out of Spink's rent charge, named below, and his duties are the reading prayers, and preaching a sermon on the Sunday after the 22nd of July and on St. John's and St. Thomas's days.

The sisters receive among them the sum of £20. 15s. per annum, of which £6 is paid out of a rent charge of £7 per annum left by William Spink, by will, dated 17th February 1685 ; and £2. 10s. is the interest of money given by Dr. Deering, Mrs. Caley, and Mr. Wilson.

The Hospital of St. John the Baptist. It is not known at what time, or for what particular purpose, this Hospital was founded. It is in the patronage of the Archbishop, and is always conferred upon the Dean in augmentation of the revenues of the Deanery.

The endowment consists of 111a. 3r. 36p. of land, let on leases for lives with fines, at annual reserved rents of £15. 7s. 4d. The annual value of the property in 1820, was estimated at £349; the master had contracted for the sale of wood ready to cut down for £920.

The Hospital consists of a small house of one floor, in Bondgate, containing apartments for two almswomen called sisters, and there is a Chapel at a small distance, which has not been used as a place of worship for many years, and about the year 1815 it was, with the consent of the Archbishop, converted into a National School.

Each of the sisters receives £1. 7s. 6d. per annum and 10s. 6d. at Christmas, and the Chaplain has a salary of £1 per annum. -7th Report, page 765.


Dacre Banks School, founded in 1695 by William Hardcastle, who built the house and bequeathed £100 to provide a salary for the master, and the money was paid in 1783, into the hands of Sir William Ingleby, Bart.; and William Mountain, by will, dated 28th December 1778, left £100 to the school, which was received by the trustees of Dacre School. At the time of the Report, the sum of eight guineas a year was paid to the master, but there was only one free scholar, who was a descendant of William Hardcastle.

or poor widows. Rent of three cattle-gates. -Vide 3rd Report, page 493.


The School, founded by Mrs. Mary Reynard, by deed, dated 5th October 1795. Endowment ; school-house and annuity of 50s. The schoolmaster is directed by the deed to read every Sunday afternoon in the year unto the inhabitants of Markington, one sermon prepared by some minister of the Church of England or the established Church of Scotland, and also to read the Common Prayer according to the Liturgy of the Church of England. The master also receives 40s. per annum, being the interest of sundry benefactions ; six free scholars in reading, writing, arithmetic, and the Church Catechism.

Sir Solomon Swales's charity. 10s. per annum given among poor widows.


Theakestone's rent charge. 16s. per annum.

Poor's Money, 8s. per annum, paid out of the poor's rate, being the interest of a legacy of £10 employed towards building a poor house.


Ann Day's charity, by will, dated 3rd April 1707. Rent of 1a. 2r. 32p. of land, distributed among the poor. -Vide 3rd Report, page 497.


John Lupton's charity, by deed, dated 30th January 1720. Rent of copyhold house and twelve acres of land, divided between four poor widows who do not receive parish relief.

Margaret Lupton's rent charge of 40s., by will, dated 12th August 1766. For two sermons, one on the 20th May and the other on the 7th November, also 5s. on the said days to the poor present at such sermons.

Watson's rent charge of £12 per annum to the poor-donor unknown. Payment disputed at the time of the Report.

London dole. Rent of two cottages.

Torre's MS. (Peculiars), page 1. Parliamentary Survey, vol. xviii. page 13& Bodleian MSS., No. 5101. Ashmolean MS., No. 8518, (Inscriptions, Epitaphs, &c.) Leland, vol i. page 91. Bawdwen's Domesday Book (Ripum), page 54. Mon. Angl., vol. ii. page 131; vol. vi. pages 620. 752. 781. 1367. (Plate). Drake's Eboracum, Appendix, page 94. Burton's Monasticon, pages 18. 20. 54. 56, 57. 197. Dr. Waddilove's account of Ripon Minster in Archaelogia, vol xvii. *5; page 128. Bray's Tour, page 272. Gent's Ripon. Hargrove's Knaresbrough, page 213.

*1 In the early documents the Church is described as dedicated to St. Peter and St. Wilfred.

*2 Viz. Aismunderby with Bondgate, 655 ; Aldfield, 146; Bewerley, 1,310; Bishop Monkton, 576 ; Bishopside High and Low, 1,849 ; Bishopthornton, 614; Bishopton, 118; Clotherholme, 14; Dacre, 698; Eavestone, 82; Givendale, 35 ; Grantley with Skelding, 243; Hewick Bridge, 95; Hewick Copt, 160; Ingarthorpe, 48 ; Markington with Wallerthwaite, 487; Newby with Mulwith, 39; Nunwick with Howgrave, 38; Ripon, 5,080; Sawley, 499; Sharrow, 103 ; Shelding, 49 ; Skelton, 383; North Stain-leywith Slemingford, 407; Studley Roger, 157; Studley Royal, 60; Sutton Grange, 83; Warsil, 93; Westwick, 30; Whitcliffe with Thorp, 198; and Winksley, 259.

*3 " A Collegiate Church : one Mr. Edward Robinson preaching Minister there, a very able and painful man, who was settled there by order from the committee of plundered Ministers, yet hath neither tithes nor other parochial duties belonging to him : yet he had £200 allotted him by order of parliament, but whether it be duly paid to him we are not informed. There are seven Chapels in the parish." -Parliamentary Survey, vol. xvii. pages 135. 117. 200. " We find that the whole tithes of the whole parish were anciently appropriated to the Dean and Chapter and College of Ripon, and together with the lands of the Prebendaries, sold away in lots, except the tithe of Ripon town-fields of the yearly value of £80, let on lease of which six years are unexpired. We think that the said seven Chapels should be all of them made parishes and parish Churches, and that an eighth be also erected at North Stainley and Slemingford. All which we recommend to the State for some fit maintenance to be allowed for Ministers there, the said great parish being very populous and of large extent." Ib.

*4 The Dean and Chapter are entitled to an annuity from the owners of the tithes of Monckton, Eastwick, Westwick, and Everton. >The Dean and Chapter are entitled to all the profits of the late Collegiate Church of St. Wilfred commonly called the communicant money, the dividend monies, all small tithes except wool and lamb, and all other dues thereto belonging, arising in the Chapelry of Pateley Bridge and the township of Dacre cum Bewerley.

*5 Dr. Waddilove gives a critical description of this noble building, and remarks that it presents the most perfect specimen of the narrow pointed arch in the kingdom.

From the original book published by
George Lawton in 1842..
OCR and changes for Web page presentation
by Colin Hinson. © 2013.