Eng. (Lancashire). Parish Bury.

The registers of the parish church of Bury in the County of Lancasrter. Christenings, burials, & weddings (Volume 2) online

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equalin weight to £3 2s. of our present money ; the same weight in gold is now worth £48.
The shilling mentioned in the same book, consisted of twelve pence, and is equal in weight
to 3s. of our money: A caracute, hide, or plow of land, was a certain quantity of land,
about 120 acres. An ox was then valued at 7s. 6d. ; about 1770 it was worth £7 10s., its
present value in England is nearly £30.


mentioned ; Soyland may be assigned to Sowerby ; Norland,
Stainland, Greetland, and Barkisland together with Rastrick and
Rishworth, to EUand ; and Skircoat and Ovenden, with Halifax
the capital, must have been taken out of Warley. No such name
as Horton, which an idle tradition has delivered down as pre-existing
on the site of Halifax, is mentioned in Domesday. Camden there-
fore, who too credulously took up with a vague report, and has
given a credit and currency to it which it did not deserve, was
wholly misinformed.

"When the Domesday survey was taken, all the cultivated lands
of the parish within the Warren fee, which is more than two-thirds
of the whole were contained in seven berewicks or vills, and consisted
of less than thirty carucates, or 3000 acres. These were mere
spots and patches of culture, selected for their native fertility, by
the first settlers, either from the alluvial lands on the banks of the
Calder, or from the higher slopes, such as Langfield, where the
soil is deep, and comparatively productive.

"From some cause or other, for trade had not yet been introduced,
a great increase in population (and consequently in culture) had
happened, otherwise the erection of the two parochial chapels would
not have taken place. But now the old and fertile enclosures (the
oxgang land of their forefathers) became inadequate to the wants
of the inhabitants, the process of ridding or essarting the native
woods on the steep brows, which is the origin of the rood land,
began ; the circles of cultivation in the neighbouring townships
began, at their lower extremities, to touch each other, and the
commons were gradually confined to the stony summits of the hills,
where nature will for ever continue to vindicate her rights against
all the encroachments, and all the opulence of man."


The history of Halifax is so inseparably connected, in an historical
point of view, with that of the Manor of Wakefield as forming an
extensive part of it, that an enquiry into the history of the one
naturall}^ includes the history of the other.

Of the precise date when the Manor of Wakefield Avith its
dependencies, passed from the Crown into the hands of the Earls
Warren, we have no legal evidence. The first William de War-
renne married Gundred, daughter of the Conqueror, with whom,
according to some accounts, he had the Manor of Wakefield, to
which Halifax was an appendage ; but this is improbable, because
in Domesday Book, which was only finished in 1086, about two
years before the Earl's death, (and after the decease of Gundred,)
this manor with the nine berewicks thereto belonging, are said to
be in the king's hands. The second earl enjoyed the honor and
possessions of the family nearly fifty years, dying in 1 138. "Between
the years 1091 and 1097, when he was yet young in age and new in
his possessions, the second earl gave the church of Coningsborough
and all its dependencies, and the church of Wakefield, to his father's
monastery of Lewes, in Sussex. The date of this donation, about
which there has been some misconception, is to be collected from
the names of the witnesses, among whom are three bishops, named
Ralph, Gundulph, and Wakeline. These bishops were contemporary
in their respective sees, only during that interval. The grant is
very extensive, both in new donations and confirmations of the gifts
of his father : — " In Eborasira vero, dedi eis ecclesiam de Conynge-
burg cum aliis ecclesiis decimis et terris et omnibus suis appendiciis ;
et ecclesiam de Wakfeld cum pert, suis." In these few words and
simple terms an interest is conveyed, which in these times would
be estimated too low at ten thousand pounds a year."

The gift of the church of Wakefield plainly shews that Wakefield



had been granted to the Warrens before the time of Henry I,
A. D. 1100; and brings the date of that grant within a narrow
compass. The donor does not specify the alias ecclesias which
went with the churches of Coningsborough and Wakefield but there
is a grant, which Mr. Hunter attributes to the third earl, (not the
second) in which they are specifically mentioned. This grant I
shall have occasion more fully to refer to, in treating of the advowson,
and under that head I beg to refer the reader, inasmuch as it is
more intimately connected with the ecclesiastical aflfairs of the Parish.

It is to be observed that all these charters are without date, and
throw little light on the precise period at which the Warren family
became possessed of these advowsons, or the manors to which they
were regardant. Watson quotes a MS. by a Mr. Nalson, dated
1665, entitled "Miscellanea, sive Observationes, Collectanese"
where the writer aflSrms, that the Manor of Wakefield was parcel
of the possessions of the Cro«vn of England, until the grant of
Henry I to Earl Warren, A. D. 1116. "Whence (adds Watson)
this writer got his intelligence I cannot say, but I have met with
nothing to invalidate it." "Neither indeed have I" continues Dr.
Whitaker, In the Warren family these manors remained, until
the death of John, the eighth and last earl, in 1347.

A circumstance occurred during the reign of Edward I, whereby
the spirit of John the seventh earl was put to the test. "'King
Edward standing in need of money devised a newe shift to serve
his tourne" as Holinshed has expressed it, he issued a proclamation
" that all suche as helde any landes or tenementes of hym shuld come
and shewe by what right and title they helde the same, that by suche
meanes their possessions might returne unto him by escheate, as chiefe
lord of the same, and so to be solde or redeemed agayne at his handes."
This was a cause of much complaint on the part of the people. " Many
were thus called to answere, till at lengthe the lorde John Warren
earle of Surrey, a man greatly beloved of the people, percey^'ing the
king to have caste his net for a praye, and that there was not one
whyche spake against him determined to stand against those so bitter
and cruell proceedings, and therefore being called afore the justices
aboute this matter, he appeared, and being asked by what right he
helde his lands, he sodenly drawing forth an olde rusty sworde ; by
this instrument [sayd he] doe I hold my landes, and by the same I


intende to defend them." The earl's answer is put down in the
following expressive manner ; — " Produxit in medium, gladium anti-
quum, evaginatum et ait, Ecce Domini mei, ecce meum warrantum !
Antecessores mei vero cum Willielmo bastardo venientes, conquesti
sunt terras suas gladio, et easdem gladio defendam a quocunque eas
occupare volente ; non enim rex terram per se devicit, et subjecit,
sed progenitores nostri fuerunt cum eo participes et coadjutores."
It has been well observed, that in this unimaginative age when we
are in danger of being deprived of every thing which tends to mark
and individualize the members of the old baronage of England,
attempts have been made to represent this as a mere technicality
of law, and not an effusion of a bold and indignant spirit. But it
was something more than a cool plea, per gladium.

Shortly after this event it appears, from the pleas of assizes and
jurats, at the borough of Scarborough, that this earl was summoned
to answer by what warrant he appropriated to himself as a forest inter
alia, all the divisions of Halifax, Skircote, Ovenden, Haldesworth,
Saltonstall, Miggeley, Wadesworth, Heptonstall, Rowtonstall,
Stansfield, and Langfield ; and by what warrant he refused to permit
the king's bailiffs to enter his lands to perform their offices, except his
own bailiffs were present ? To which the earl answered, that he
claimed gallows at Coningsborough and Wakefield, and the power of
doing what belonged to a gallows in all his lands and fees, and that he
and all his ancestors had used the same from time immemorial ; with
regard to his appropriation of a forest, he claimed no forest in the
aforesaid lands, but that he and his ancestors, had free chace in the
same, from time immemorial, as well in fees as demesne lands, viz.
inter alia, Wakefield, Halifax, Langfield, Miggeley, Skircote,
Saltonstall, Northland, Rishworth, Rastrick, Heptonstall, Hipper-
holme, Ovenden, Haldesworth, Wadsworth, Rowtonstall, Stansfield,
Northowram, and Shibden. He also claimed to have free warren
as well in his fees as in demesne lands, which he had of ancient
tenure, viz. the same lands, and that King Henry HI. granted to him
free warren in all his demesne lands, which he then had or which
he should acquire. Besides all these manors, it appears from Kirby's
inquest, in this king's reign, that the earl was possessed (as chief
lord) inter alia, of Fixby, Sowerby, and Warley.

King Edward I. gave his grand-daughter Joan de Barr, in marriage


to the eighth earl. The marriage was issueless, and not a happy one,
both parties sued for a divorce, but the law of the church was uncom-
promising ; she was alive in the year of the earl's death, when, under
the title of Countess of Surrey, she presented a clerk to one of the
Warren's churches ; so that it is probable there is no pretence for
naming any second wife ; Isabel de Houland standing, we may
presume, in the same relation to him with Maud de Neirford, who
produced him a numerous offspring. In all that relates to the
marriages real or supposed, and issue of this Earl, observes Mr.
Hunter, Mr. Watson's book, which was written to support an
hyjjothesis must be read with great caution. One intrigue of
this earl produced consequences which threatened for a time a
premature separation of Wakefield from the possessions of the house
of Warren.

"The northern border of the lands in Yorkshire, forming the
Warren fee, touched in a great extent of its course on the fee of the
Laci's, Lords of Pontefract. Disputes seem to have from time to time
arisen between these great chiefs ; and in the year 1268, it appears
that, in a dispute about a pasture, the Warrens and Lacis had armed
each their retainers, and prepared for one of those lawless encounters,
of which there are several instances in our baronial history, but were
prevented by the king. Alice de Laci, the heiress of Pontefract, was
of about the same age with the eighth Earl of Warren. She was given
in marriage to Thomas, Earl of Lancaster, grandson to Henry III.,
who lived for the most part at her castle of Pontefract. This lady,
on the Monday before Ascension day, a. d. 1317, was carried off
by A'iolence, to a castle of the Earl of Warren, at Riegate, in Surrey.
There was much mystery in this affair at the time, and much scandal.
Certain it is, she was divorced by her husband, and the Earl of
Lancaster proceeded to avenge himself by laying siege to the castles
in Yorkshire, belonging to the Earl of Warren. But the king com-
manded he should cease from doing so ; and further it is certain, that
when in 1318, the Earl of Lancaster engaged to pardon every one all
trespasses and felonies done against him, he made an exception of
the trespasses and felonies of the Earl of Warren. In the same year,
1318, the Earl of Lancaster, who was then in the plenitude of his
power, took from the Earl of Warren a grant of his Manor of Wake-
field, for the life of the Earl of Warren, if a make peace it must be


allowed a noble one. The Earl of Lancaster also obtained Conings-
borough, thus banishing his rival enth-ely from the North. In 1322,
the discontents of the Earl of Lancaster drove him into open rebellion.
Amongst others to whom the king's warrant issued, to pursue and
take the earl, was the Earl of Warren, who was among the peers
present in the castle of Pontefract, when sentence of death was
passed on the Earl of Lancaster, and he was led forth to execution.
On his death these lands escheated to the Crown, nor did the Earl
of Warren recover possession till some years afterwards. In the 1st
Edward III. 1327, a warrant was issued to the king's escheator,
north of the Trent, not to meddle with the castles of Sandal or
Coningsborough, and the Manors of Wakefield, Sowerby, &c. to
which the Earl of Warren laid claim, they being by consent of
the said Earl, and of Henry Earl of Lancaster, who was brother of
Earl Thomas, and his next heir, to remain in the king's hands, to
be delivered to the said Henry. The grant of his Yorkshire Lands
to the Earl of Lancaster had been made by the Earl of Warren only
for his own life ; indeed he only possessed a life interest at the time
of the grant, for a little before he had settled the remainder after
his OAvn decease on certain parties who must now be mentioned.

" Estranged from his wife, the Earl took to his bed Maud de
Neirford, a lady of a family of rank in the County of Norfolk. By
her he had two sons, John and Thomas de Warren, and on these
sons it was the desire and design of the Earl, that Wakefield, and
his other property North of the Trent, should descend. For this
purpose he conveyed to the king, by charter dated on the Thursday
next after the first of St. Peter and St. Paul, in 9th EdAvard II. 1316,
inter alia "castra et villas meas de Coningsburgh et Sandal ; et
maneria mea de Wakefield, Hatfield, Thorne, Sowerby, Braithwell,
Fishlake, Dewsbury, et Halifax;" and on the fourth of August
following, the king by charter, tested at Lincoln, made a regrant
of the same lands to the Earl for life, remainder to Maud de Neirford
for life, remainder to John de Warren and the heirs male of his
body, remainder to Thomas de Warren and the heirs male of his
body, (both sons by the said Maud,) remainder to the heirs of the
body of the said Earl, lawfully to be begotten, and in default of such
issue, to revert to the king ; this disposition however did not take
effect. Maud, and her two sons, died without issue in the life time


of the Earl, on which account, says Watson, "he married Isabel
de Houland, and previous to this marriage the king seems to have
been prevailed upon to secure to the said Isabel, what before had
been settled upon Maud." This Earl died a. d. 1347.

As a difference of opinion seems to exist, whether this Isabel de
Houland was ever Countess of Warren, I have introduced an
interesting extract from the Earl's will; "jeo devys a Isabel de
Houland ma compaigne mon avel d'or oue le bonne ruby." The
precise form of the word compaigne, observes Mr. Hunter, as applied
to Isabel de Houland, is not apparent. Joan de Barr, was beyond
question then alive, and bearing the title of Countess of Surrey, but it
is thought by many that the marriage was dissolved, and that Isabel
was in truth his wife, a relation which was expressed by the word
compaigne, of which we have a proof in the will of Richard Fitz Allen,
Earl of Arundel and Surrey, nephew to the Earl of Warren, who
desired to be buried in the priory of Lewes, "pres de la tombe de ma
treschere compaigne Alianore de Lancestre." Watson also says she
is found in the court rolls of Wakefield, after the Earl's decease, as
Isabel, Countess of Warren. At her death which happened a. d. 1359,
(33 Edward III,) the Manor with its dependencies again reverted to
the Crown in the person of Edward III. I am at a loss how to reconcile
this statement of Watson "that the king seems to have been pre-
vailed upon to secure to Isabei what had before been settled upon
Maud" with the fact, that on the 6th of August 1347, only thirty
seven days after the death of the Earl, a royal patent was signed at
Reading, "per manus Lionelli filii nostri carissimi custodis Anglise"
(the king being then in France) by which, "omnia castra, maneria
villas, terras, et tenementa cum pert, quae fuerunt Johannis de
Warrenna nuper comitis Surr. in partibus ultra Trentam, et quae
occasione mortis ejusdem comitis in manu nostra existunt" were
settled on Edmund of Langley, a younger son of the king, and heirs
male of his body, with remainder to John of Gaunt, and Lionel of
Antwerp, and their heirs male respectively, remainder to the crown.
This grant was confirmed by Parliament, but Edmund not being
more than six years of age, his mother queen Phillipa, was allowed
to receive the profits for the education of this and her other younger
children. Edmund had been created by his father. Earl of Cam-
bridge, but in the 9th Richard II, he was advanced to the title of


Duke of York. He died 1st August, 3rd Henry IV., 1402, seised
inter alia of the Manor of Sowerby, and the Lordship or Manor of
Wakefield, of which Halifax was a parcel, leaving Edward, Earl of
Rutland, his eldest son and heir, aged twenty-six years, who, on
his father's death, became Duke of York.

This Edward, Duke of York, accompanied Henry V. in his great
expedition to France, and lost his life at the battle of Agincourt,
leaving a widow, Phillipa Mohun, daughter of the Lord Mohun, of
Dunster, sans issue ; from whose will, dated 1430, it aj^pears she
held the Manor of Sowerby, inter alia, in doAver. The duke dying
Avithout issue, his honors and estates descended to his nephew
Richard, of Coningsborough, as he was usually called, after the
fashion of the Plantagenets naming themselves from the places of
their birth, the younger of the two sons of his brother Edmund, of
Langley, who is usually called Earl of Cambridge. He married
Anne Mortimer, the daughter of Roger, Earl of March, and Phil-
lipa, the daughter and heiress of Lionel, Dulce of Clarence. This
marriage brought the claim to the crown to the House of York ; for
her brother Edmund Mortimer, the last of the Mortimers, Earls of
March, died without leaving issue, but not till after the death of Anne,
so that she is not, in strict propriety, called the heii'ess of Lionel,
Duke of Clarence. In her issue, lioAvever, the rights of Lionel inhered
entire. Richard appears not to have been insensible to the wrong
which was done to the house of Mortimer, by the accession of Henry
IV. to the throne. A little before King Henry the V. left England,
to prosecute his war in France, this Richard was engaged in a real or
supposed conspiracy, and was attainted. The treason alledged in the
act of attainder was, conspiring to lead his brother in law Edmund,
Earl of March, to the borders of Wales, and there proclaim him king ;
and countenancing the imposture of Thomas de Trumpington, de
Scotid ideotam, who personated King Richard II. The Earl was be-
headed 3rdHenrj'^V. 141.5, leaving issue a son Richard, Dukeof York,
by Anne Mortimer, who died some time before her husband. There
being no issue of Edmund, Earl of March, at his death, his nephew
Richard was his undoubted heir, and the equally undoubted heir to
the rights of Lionel's posterity. A long period elajised before he
ventured to assert them. Richard of Coningsborough after the death
of Anne Mortimer, married a second wife, who survived him ; and


died A. D. 144G, and on her death Richard Duke of York entered
into possession of the Manor. He married Cecily Nevil a daughter
of the Earl of Westmoreland by whom he had issue. The Duke did
not forget the right which had descended to him from his mother,
and he gave indications of his aspiring disposition before his conduct
ceased to be equivocal. The issue of the struggle is well known ;
he lost his life in the encounter between the houses of York and
Lancaster, at Wakefield. The spirit and object of the father de-
scended to his son, the Earl of March. In the year after his father's
death, was fought the great battle of Towton, in which the fortunes
of the house of York prevailed, and the Earl became seated on the
throne as king Edward IV.

The Lords of the Manor of Wakefield thus became kings of
England. On the marriage of Henry VII, with Elizabeth of York,
the ancient rivalry of the white and red rose became extinguished,
and there being no probability of the right of succession of the issue
being questioned, the whole of what had been settled upon Edmund
of Langley was declared to be resumed and for ever annexed to the
crown * This was done in Parliament, 2nd Henry VII, and the
Manor continued parcel of the royal possessions until the year 1554
the time of the marriage of king Philip and queen Mary, when as
it is said, it was united to the Duchy of Lancaster.

In the reign of Charles I. the Manor was granted to Henry, Earl
of Holland, Avho was beheaded 1 649 by a sentence of the high court of
justice, for attempting the restoration of Charles II. It subsequently
passed into the family of Rich, Earl of Warwick. Robert, the first
Earl gave it as part of the marriage portion of Penelope his daughter,
to Sir Gervase Clifton, Bart., who sold the Manor to Sir C. Clap-
ham, about the year 1663. The heirs of Sir C. Clapham sold it to
Peregrine, the third Duke of Leeds from whom it has descended to
George William Frederick, Duke of Leeds, its present most noble

The most accurate Villare of this district which has ever been
exhibited is an inquisition of survey for the honor or lordship of
Wakefield which was taken in the I9th Elizabeth, a. d. 1577. It
derives an additional value from having preserved the names of
several hamlets of which the names have since become obsolete ;

' Iliintcv's Soutli Yorkshire, vol. 1. p. 113.



and being compared with the Domesday Survey of the game district,
will shew in how large a proportion the villare of that tract had
been extended between the eleventh century and sixteenth. The
following extract relates to the district within this Parish. In this
Survey it is remarkable, that the rectories of Wakefield, Dewsbury,
Kirkburton, and Lewes, (Halifax) Avere considered as Manors ; and
as they were vested in the crown on the dissolution of the religious
houses to which they had been appropriated, they are very distinctly
stated as holden of the crown in capite, not as of the Duchy ot
Lancaster, and parcel of the possessions of Earls Warren, though
originally granted by them.

Langfield, like the other members of this great fee, was origi-
nally parcel of the possessions of the Earls Warren, but having
been granted out and forfeited by the mesne lord. Sir Stephen
Hamerton, it was not considered as a portion of those estates, though
all of them were vested in the crown and members of the duchy of
Lancaster — but as immediately in the Queen's hands.

The places marked v. are townships and those marked with the
letter h. or not marked, are hamlets, the word pars, with a con-
necting mark, denotes two places constituting an hamlet together.
Under whatever tenure they were held, whether of the crown in
capite, or as of the Duchy of Lancaster, all owed suit and service at
the gi-eat leet of Wakefield.

Inter alia.



Shipden |

Horley Green)







Infr. Dnum & Man. de Wakefield & Dna
Reg. est cap. Dn~ajureDniide Wake-
field quondam parcel, possession. Co-
mitum Warren. Except maner. de
Halifax cu' Heptonstall modo in te-
nura Rob^t Waterhouse & tent, de
Dn"a Regina in Cap. & nuper erant
parcel, terr. & poss. nuper Priorat. de
Lewis in Com. Sussex.



V Midgeley

V Heptonstall

Waclsworth cum
II Shackleton et

V Erringden alias


V Sourby
H Soyland

V Stansfield

V Blackshaw

V Rowtenstall

V Rishworth and

V Norland

V Langfield

V Rastricke cum
H Toothill

V Fixby

V Barklsland

Ut supra. Quondam parcel terr. &
possess. Comitum Warren. Except
maner. de Halifax & Heptonstall —
necnon terr. & ten. vocat. Erenden
tent, dedict. Reginain Cap. & certas
terras. & ten. vocat. vill. de Langfield
in Man. Dne Regine per attincturam.
Steph' Hamerton mil. Quae quidem
terr. & tenementa quovis alio mode
de Regina teneantur adhuc sunt infra
visum Dnii prtedict.

Inter alia.
Golkar cum
Old Lindley

Ut supra. Parcel poss™, Comit. Warren.

In this inquisition is no mention of the Graveships, but in the
7th James, there is specified the Graveship, {inter alia) of Soyland

The last authentic Villare of this district comprises above one
hundred and fifty places vv^ithin this Parish, all owing suit and service

Online LibraryEng. (Lancashire). Parish BuryThe registers of the parish church of Bury in the County of Lancasrter. Christenings, burials, & weddings (Volume 2) → online text (page 6 of 52)