G. T. (Gideon Tibbetts) Ridlon.

History of the ancient Ryedales, and their descendants in Normandy, Great Britain, Ireland, and America, from 860 to 1884 online

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Online LibraryG. T. (Gideon Tibbetts) RidlonHistory of the ancient Ryedales, and their descendants in Normandy, Great Britain, Ireland, and America, from 860 to 1884 → online text (page 54 of 103)
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tain, and had several battles with them, of which accounts have been pre-
served. The Armstrongs were dreaded all along the border, in conse-
quence of their bold incursions and robberies. They frequently made
raids upon Haltwhistle and other property of the Ridleys on the Tyne,
and carried away goods and cattle, sometimes driving large flocks before
them to their impregnable rendezvous.

On one occasion the Ridleys called their clan together and pursued the
Armstrong outlaws and recovered considerable of the property they
were taking away. When returning to Haltwhistle, one of the Arm-
strongs, a chief of that clan, being more bold than the others, came out
of their stronghold and pursued the clan of Ridley upon a horse, crying
after them in taunting language, challenging some one to engage him in
combat. This could not be long endured, and the chief of the Ridleys


turned upon him, van a spear through his body, and left him dead, with
the shaft still in the wound.

This act so exasperated the Armstrongs that they vowed cruel revenge,
swearing that before winter was ended they would lay the whole border
waste. This destructive work was commenced by an attack on Halt-
whistle, where they put fire to many houses. As a chief of the Arm-
strongs was running up a street with a torch in his hand, one of the Rid-
leys, who was in a strong stone house, made a shot and killed him; thus
two chiefs of the clan of Armstrong were killed by the Ridlevs that
year. This deadly feud was perpetuated from father to son, and from
generation to generation between the two old border families, each seek-
ing every opportunity to work destruction of property and life.

Untiiank Hall, near Haltwhistle, Northumberland, now the residence
of the Rev. Dixon Brown, was long a residence of a scion of the Ridley
family of Willimoteswick, and here the martyr Ridley was born. How long
the family were seated here I have not been able to learn. The mean-
ing of Unthank is plain enough, but no tradition remains to explain why
so ungracious an appellation should have been given a beautiful place.
In the year 1191 this manor belonged to Robert Rose, of Hamlake, who
probably derived it from William the Lion, upon marrying his daughter
Isabella. The estates have passed through many hands, but of all the
family names associated with it, that of Ridley has conferred upon the
place the greatest celebrity. The house is very old, and bears marks of
having been built and remodeled at different periods; it is beautifully
embosomed in groves, and the gardens and ornamental grounds are re-
markably attractive. The broad moor of Plenmeller stretches away to-
ward the south, while between the mansion and the River Tyne lies a
tract of corn-fields and green meadows. One of the ancient chambers in
the house is still known as "the bishop's room," supposed to have been
occupied by that holy man during the time that Christopher Ridley,
his father, resided there. In 1763, when John Tweddell, the owner of
Unthank at that time, was hunting on the rocky moor of Ramshaw, and
while looking for a lost hare in a cavity of rock, found a large quantity of
silver coins; it was thought they were left there in 1327 by some soldiers
when in pursuit of the Scottish army. I have a drawing of the house as
it appeared in 1745, when the form and style were very unlike those of
the present building. This view of the more ancient mansion, with sev-
eral photographs of his present residence, were kindly furnished me by
the proprietor, and the colored plate in this book was made from what
seemed to be the most picturesque of these.

Hardeidistg. This ancient seat of the Ridleys of Northumberland
was pleasantly situated, about two and a half miles from Haltwhistle,
before mentioned, in the forest of Lowes, so called for the Northumbrian
lakes which are included within its circuit, and on the brink of the Roman
earthway, south of the Roman Wall, and not far from Hamsteads. The
residence, which was sold to a Mr. Lowe, is very beautiful. It stands in
an open situation, and the pleasant walks around it, especially along the
banks of the Allan, among the woods and rocics, are very romantic and
abundant in excellent specimens of landscape. It is said that above one
of the old doors there is a date earlier than the Norman Conquest, with
the initials of the builder, " N. R." There may be such a stone in the
house at Hardriding, but I cannot think it was placed there as early as
the Conquest, for there is no proof that the family was then settled in




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the County. Is it not a little singular that the date on this curious stone
was not given as well as the letters, if the numbers can be made out ?

Walltown, so named in consequence of being situated on the Roman
Wall, was long a castellated residence of a branch of the Ridley family
of Tynedale, Northumberland, England. The place was romantic in its
surroundings, and many interesting traditions are associated with its early
history. I believe the house formerly occupied by the Ridleys has been
dismantled, and at present only a farm-house marks the place. There is a
fine fountain here, in which Paulinus baptized one of the Saxon kings, —
perhaps Edwin, — in whose reign the wells along the wayside were pro-
vided with iron dishes for the convenience of travelers ; this fountain is
sometimes called " King Arthur's well," but Brand says, "At Walltown I
saw the well wherein Paulinus baptized King Ecfrid." Some wrought
stones lie near the well. The water is cool and limpid. Murray says,
" In a farmhouse at Walltown Cmigs lived Bishop Ridley's brother";
this is a mistake : it was his brother-in-law, as will appear in the pedigree
of the " Ridleys of Walltown." Behind the house rise the highest of the
"Walltown Craigs " known as "the nine nicks of Thirwall"; these are
highly picturesque, being partly overgrown with the remains of the ancient
forest which " Belted Will Howard " destroyed, because it afforded a
shelter to the " Mosstroopers." Sir Walter Scott visited Walltown when
young, and gathered some wild flowers near, which he presented to a
young lady with the following lines : —

" Take these flowers, which, purple waving,

On the ruined rampart grew ;
Where, the sons of freedom braving,

Rome's imperial standard flew.
Warriors from the breach of danger,

Pluck no longer laurels there;
They but yield the passing stranger

Wild-flower wreaths for Beauty's hair."

Parkend, another residence of the Ridleys of Northumberland, is sit-
uated in the parish of Simonburn, and has been believed by its possessors
to have been "tithe-free," and to have had other tithes in the parish, from
the influence of the rectors of Simonburn. This was once the largest
and wildest parish in the country, occupying an area of one hundred and
three miles, from Scotland to the Roman Wall, but now divided. Here
the inhabitants of Tynedale lived in the most lawless independence till
1701, when "County-keepers" were appointed, to whom a kind of pro-
tection-tribute was paid. The ancient Church of St. Simon was pulled
down and restored in 1862; it contains a mutilated tomb of the Rev.
Cuthbert Ridley and three of his family (1625). "Old Parkend" was
inhabited for several generations by the descendants of the elder branch
of the Ridleys through a younger brother of the last of the "Lords of
Willimoteswick." The view from Parkend commands a fine prospect,
especially of the woods and beautiful castle called Chipchase in the same

Tecket was an ancient residence of the Ridleys of Northumberland.
It is an "upland hamlet," where the stream called "Simonburn" tumbles
in a most picturesque cascade over a chaos of fern-fringed rocks. This
spot is a charming subject for the artist. The burn falls into the River
Tyne near Ulmwick. There is now a stone at Tecket Farm which bears
the Ridley arms. This property seems to have come into the family by a


marriage of a Ridley of Willimoteswick with an heiress named Wale ;
hence we find the arms of Wale quartered with those of Ridley in some
coats used by the Ridley family. The Ridleys of Tecket were once own-
ers of the property of Parkend (until 1560), but it passed from them to
the Earls of Suffolk; they held it until the beginning of the seventeenth
century, when it again became tlie property of the Ridleys of Tecket.

Heaton Hall, a residence of one branch of the Ridleys of Northum-
berland, was built in 1713, as a centre to the extensive collieries owned
by the Ridley family, a people who represented the city of Newcastle for
nearly one hundred years. This residence is delightfully situated in the
parish of All Saints, Newcastle-on-Tyne, and upon the steep woody bank
of Ouseburn. One of the family who resided at Heaton, from designs
furnished by Mr. Newton, architect, gave the house an elegant appearance
by adding the two towers (see plate-engraving in this book), and facing
the front with stone. This place is to be converted into a public park
for the city of Newcastle.

Blagdon Park, the residence of the baronial family of Ridley, present
representatives of the ancient border house of Willimoteswick, was for
three centuries owned by the Fenwicks, whose estates were forfeited by
decree of attainder from Cromwell's parliament. The house was built
before 1749, but additions were made and porticoes added from designs
of Bonomi, in 1830. The name was formerly "Blakedene," from the
dark dene, lined with forest trees and crossed by a handsome bridge, which
runs behind the house on the north. The grounds at Blagdon are ap-
proached by a gate-way, with two white bulls (the family crest) upon the
piers. The arms of the family are upon one of the gables, surrounded by
fine scroll-work, and also upon the front, below those before mentioned".
In the grounds is preserved the ancient " Cale Cross" which once stood
at the foot of the side in Newcastle. In the church at Plessv Station, or
Stonington Church, there is some ancient stained glass, presented by Sir
Matthew W. Ridley, in 1772; this is near Blagdon Park.

Junior branches of the Ridley family located in various Counties in
England and Ireland. There was an offshoot seated at Battersea, in the
County of York, from whom several sub-branches have descended. They
anciently lived at Hexham,* Hawden, Clifton Park, Crewe Hall, At-
kinton, Newcastle, Gateshead, and London. The families have now
become too numerous for me to make particular mention of all ther resi-

* The name Ridley is not as common in Northumberland as once ; from 1773 to
1790 large emigrations of Robsons and Ridleys from the North Tyne took place
to the United States and Canada.



Bryon Ridley, of Ridley Hall, in Chestershire, England, is the first
known ancestor of the Ridley family. He was "of Ridley" in the year
1157. No mention of his wife. The family surname was adopted about
the time of the coming of the Conqueror ; hence, previously, the family
that lived at Ridley had only been known by their Christian names. In
the early generations they are frequently called "de Rideleigh," and " de
Rydley." The Ridleys are one of eleven families out of thirty-seven in the
north of England, that dated back to the time of the Conquest, found by
Grey in 1649. They have been so independent, that some have said, they
"kept a boat of their own in the time of the flood, and so were under
no obligation to Noah." Descended from Brvon were the following: —


John Ridley 2 (1), who married a daughter of Sir Edward Warren, of
Poynton, Knt., and had issue.*


Richard Ridley 3 (1), who married Martha, daughter of Sir Hugh
Cholmondely, by whom he had issue, of whom more hereafter. He was
denominated "of Ridley."

Jane Ridley 3 (1), only daughter of John 2 (1), married to Sir Henry
Delves, of whom is descended the Lord Sheffelde.


Mary Ridley 4 (1), a daughter of Richard 3 (1), married to Sir John
Cotton, of whom are descended the Fitz-Herberts and Bradbournes of

John Ridley 4 (2), eldest son and successor of Richard 3 (1), of Ridley,
married the daughter, of Egerton, of Egerton, and died sine prole in the
year 1258..

Robert Ridley 4 (1), second son of Richard 3 (1), of Ridley, married a
daughter of Sir Henry Venables, and became the head of this familv on
the death of his brother John. He had issue, of whom hereafter.

* Sibbilla Ridley, daughter of John Ridley, of Ridley, was the wife of William
Phillips, "second sonne, citizen and marchantaylor [merchant tailor] of London."
No date found. Cannot tell what John Ridley.


Anne Ridley 4 (1), second daughter of Richard 3 (1), of Ridley, mar-
ried to Done, of TTtkinson, or Utkinton.


James Ridley 6 (1), son and successor of Robert 4 (1), of Ridley, mar-
ried a daughter of Brereton, of Brereton, Knt., and by her had issue, of
whom hereafter.


Margaret Ridley*"' (1), eldest daughter of James 5 (1), of Ridley, mar-
ried to John Kimpperley (Kimperley) .

John Ridley 6 (3), eldest son of James 5 (1,) of Ridley, married a
daughter of John Layton, of Layton, and became head of this family; he
had issue, of whom hereafter.

"William Ridley 6 (1), second son of James 5 (1), of Ridley, married
Annie Bell, the daughter of Baron Stapleton.

Julian Ridley'"' (1), youngest daughter of James 6 (1), of Ridley, mar-
ried to John Fulshust, of Crewe.


Margaret or Barbara Ridley 7 (1), eldest daughter of John 6 (3), of
Ridley, married to Sir John Holcroft or Allcroft.

Susan Ridley 7 (1), second daughter of John 6 (3), of Ridley, married
to Sir William Sneade, of Staffordshire.

Anne Ridley 7 (2), third daughter of John 6 (3), of Ridley, married to
Sir (one says William) Richard Savage, of Rock Savage.

Elizabeth Ridley 7 (1), fourth daughter of John 6 (3), of Ridley, mar-
ried to Sir Thomas Stanley, of Howton, Cheshire.

EdniOlld Ridley 7 (1), only son of John 6 (3), of Ridley, married a
daughter of Sir Thomas Loadstone, Knt. He was head of the Chester-
shire family, and had issue.


Thomasine Ridley 8 (1), eldest daughter of Edmond 7 (1), of Ridley,
married to Sir John Dutton, of Hatton.

Christian Ridley 8 (1), second daughter of Edmond 7 (1), of Ridley,
married to Sir Thomas Grisley, of Staffordshire.

Jarvis or James Ridley 8 (1), a son of Edmond 7 (1), of Ridley, was
head of this family, denominated "Ridley of Chestershire." He married
a daughter of Sir Pearce Warburton, of Asley.


Sir John Ridley* (4), of Ridley, in Chestershire, Knt., married Jane,
daughter of Sir John Gresaker, and was head of this family; he had issue.
One writer says " Sir Richard Ridley."


Sir Bryan Ridley 10 (2), Knt., Lord-Chief-Justice of Ireland, and Mar-
shal of the same; married Jane, daughter of the Viscount Roche. He
was a son of Sir John 9 (4). Whether Sir Bryan had issue I cannot state;
he probably settled in Ireland, and became ancestor of the Irish Ridleys.
At any rate, the representation of the Chestershire family devolved upon
his brother, of whom hereafter.

Sir Thomas Ridley 10 (1), eldest son of Sir John 9 (4), was of Ridley,
in Chestershire, and head of this family. He was a knight, and married
Anne, daughter of Lord John Samford. He had issue several children.


Judith Ridley 10 (1), eldest daughter of Sir John 9 (4), who was of Rid-
ley, in Cheshire, married to John Lee, of Adlington.

Susan Ridley 10 (2), second daughter of Sir John 9 (4), married to Wil-
liam Grovesnor, or Grosvenor, of Eton, Knt.


Sir Henry Ridley 11 (1), eldest son and successor to Sir Thomas 10 (1),
married Catherine, daughter of Sir Robert Worsley, Knt., and had issue,
of whom hereafter. He was a knight.

John Ridley 11 (5), second son of Sir Thomas 10 (1), of Ridley in
Cheshire, married a daughter of Sir William Tatton, of Wilsey, Knt.
Nothing said of issue.

Sir Thomas Ridley 11 (2), a son of Sir Thomas 10 (1), of Ridley, in
Chestershire (he was third son), married Julian, daughter (and heir) of
Sir Thomas or Lambert Burdett, of Ridley in Northumberland. For the
descendants of this Thomas, see "Ridleys of Ridley in Northumberland."

Isabella Ridley 11 (1), eldest daughter of Sir Thomas 10 (1), of Ridley
in Cheshire, married, firstly, to Sir William Gosworthe; secondly, to Sir
John Scott, Lord-Chief-Justice of Common Pleas.

Jayne Ridley 11 (1), second daughter of Sir Thomas 10 (1), of Ridley
in Cheshire, married to Sir Woodgreate Harbottell, Knt.


Sir Robert Ridley 12 (2), eldest son and successor of Sir Henry 11 (1),
was of Ridley in Cheshire; married Anchitellis, daughter of Sir William
Bramnowe, of Bramnowe (another pedigree reads " Bramond "), and had
issue, of whom hereafter.


Sir Thomas Ridley 13 (3), a son and successor of Sir Robert 12 (2), was
of Ridley in Cheshire, as head of this family. He was a knight ; mar-
ried a daughter of Sir William Davenport, and had issue a daughter, who
was his heir.

Jane Ridley 13 (2), only daughter of Sir Robert 12 (2), married to John


Margaret Ridley 14 (2), a daughter of Sir Thomas 13 (3), was the last
of this branch of the Ridley family. She married Richard Egerton, and
had a son Thomas Egerton, of Ridley in Cheshire. It will be seen that
there was another descent in the same County, called "Lords of Ridley,"
which ended in an heir female married to Sir Robert Danyell, and I can-
not tell how these two branches are related.


According to Ormerod's "History of Chester," this branch of the Ridley
family, — or " de Rideleigh," as he calls them, — owned the manor of
Ridley, in Cheshire, as per the years stated below. Mr. Lowe, a Cheshire
author, says the family who lived at Ridley Hall, when it was a depen-
dency of the Knight Hospitallers, assumed the local surname " de Ride-


legh " ; and according to a monument in St. John's church-yard, in Ches-
ter, the name was not spelt in the contracted orthography till it had been
in use by the family for several generations. I have no means of know-
ing how this branch-family is connected with that whose pedigree is re-
corded on the preceding pages ; they are both denominated " of Ridley in
Cheshire," and as both pedigrees are quite deficient in dates and details,
I cannot learn which may be considered the main line of descent. Both
end in heirs female.

William Ridley 1 (1), was owner of Ridley Hall previous to the reign
of Edward I (1274). His wife's name does not appear.


Robert Ridley 2 (1), was "Lord of Ridley, County of Chester," in the
eighteenth year of the reign of Edward I (1292), and is presumably iden-
tical with "Robert, son of William de Ridley, vouchee to the warranty of
John, son of William de Eggerton, in the first and second years of the
reign of Edward II." (Plea Rolls.) He had issue, but his wife's name

is not found.


Hugh Ridley 3 (1), a son of Robert 2 (1), was "Lord of Ridelegh " ;
he married Cicely, a widow, in the fourteenth year of the reign of Edward
III (1341), and had issue (probably) three children, of whom hereafter.

Robert Ridley 3 (2), a son of Robert 2 (1), lived during the nineteenth
year of the reign of Edward II, and the fifth of Edward III (1316-32).
He married (name of wife not known), and had issue.

Clement Ridley 3 (1), a son of Robert 2 (1), had issue, of whom here-
after. Wife's name unknown.

Richard Ridley 3 (1), a son of Robert 2 (1), was styled "of Foulse-
hurst." He was father of William Ridley, "of Foulsehurst," who was
living in the tenth year of the reign of Edward III (1337), and was prob-
ably ancestor -of Richard Ridley, who was married before 1404 to Matilda,
daughter of John Rathbon, of Great Edge, sister and heir of John Rath-
bon, living in the ninth year of the reign of Henry V (1423). This is
probably the same Richard (subject under treatment) whose wife, Agnes,
was buried in St. John's church-yard, in the city of Chester; the inscrip-
tion on her monument will be found on the preceding pages.


Robert Ridley 4 (3), eldest son of Hugh 3 (1), was "Lord of Ridley'
from the fourteenth year of the reign of Edward II (1311) to the fifth
of Edward III (1332). His wife's name is not found; but he was mar-
ried and had issue, of whom hereafter.

William Ridley 4 (1), second son of Hugh 3 (1), married Sibyl, a
widow, in the fourteenth year of the reign of Edward II (she was living
twenty-three years afterwards), and died before the fourteenth year of
Edward III, without issue.

Hugh Ridley 4 (2), third son of Hugh 8 (1), married Margaret ,

and was styled "joint Lord of Soude." I find no mention of descendants.

William Ridley 4 (2), a son of Robert 3 (2), married twice; firstly, to
Anice, thirteenth year of Edward III (1340) ; secondly (?), Katherine,
daughter of Richard de Cholmundelegh, in the thirty-second year of
Edward III (1361). He had issue, of whom hereafter.



Robert Ridley 6 (4), son of Robert 4 (3), "Lord of Eidley," was twenty
years old at the death of his father, in the twenty-third year of Edward
III (1350).* He married Margaret, who died at the age of 36, in the
thirty-ninth year of Edward III (1368), leaving issue.

Robert Ridley 6 (5), a son of William 4 (2), lived in the thirteenth year
of the reign of Edward III (1340) ; married, firstly, Agnes, the daughter
of Kenrick de Cholmondelegh, thirteenth year of Edward III (1340),
and, secondly, Isabella, a widow, fourth year of Richard II (1381). There
was issue by the first wife.


Kenrick Ridley 6 (1), son of Robert 6 (5), thirty-second year of Edward

III (1361); married Christian , and is supposed to be ancestor of

Richard de Ridelegh, of Tarporley, who married at Weverham in 1408
to Ellen, daughter of John Masey, of Kelsall ; living in the eighth year
of Henry VI (1430).

William Ridley 6 (3), a son of Robert 5 (4), was his father's heir, and
became "Lord of Ridelegh." He married Alice, daughter of Richard de
Prestloud, between the thirty-sixth and thirty-ninth (1365-8) years of the
reign of Edward III, and had issue a daughter.


Alice Ridley 7 (1), daughter of William 6 (3), was born in 1376; was
married to Robert Danyell, and had a son, Sir Robert Danyell, who was
"Lord of Ridlegh" (and heir to his mother, Alice), in the second year of
the reign of Henry VI (1424). This ends the descent of this branch of
the Ridley family of Cheshire.


Thomas Ridley 1 (1), was the third son of Sir Thomas 10 (1), "of Rid-
ley," in Cheshire. He married Julian, daughter of Sir Lambert Burdett,
and in consequence of this alliance became possessed of landed estates in
Northumberland, which were subsequently denominated "Ridley," pre-
sumably in memory of the ancient manor owned by the family in Chester.
I am well satisfied that " Ridley " in Tynedale was in possession of the
family of that name some time before Willimoteswick came to them.
Thomas had a son.


John Ridley' 2 (1), a son of Thomas 1 (1), married a daughter of Sir
John Grey, a Knight of Chilwick, and inherited from his mother, Julian

♦In the year 1350, Kobert de Rydgeleph (Ridley) held four acres of land in what
is now called the township of Ridley, Edisbury Hundred, of Cheshire, — the site
of the Manor house of Ridley, — from St. John of Jerusalem; and the residue of
the whole manor, from John de St. Pierre, Knt., by the service of one Knight's Fee.
In 1329 the Manor was called " Ridleigh," and in 1424, " Ridley."


Burdett, an estate in Northumberland which was called "Ridley"; said
property held in consideration that the heirs should bear the Burdett
coat-armour, quartered before those of Ridley forever; otherwise the

Online LibraryG. T. (Gideon Tibbetts) RidlonHistory of the ancient Ryedales, and their descendants in Normandy, Great Britain, Ireland, and America, from 860 to 1884 → online text (page 54 of 103)