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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lands were to go to the Barons of Gray slock. This John had two children.
Anne Ridley' 2 (1), a daughter of Thomas 1 (1), and his wife, Julian
Burdett, married to Sir John Witterington.

THIRD GENERATION.

Anthony Ridley 3 (1), a son of John- (1), married Beatrice, a daughter
and heiress of John Thirkell, Esq., and had issue, of whom hereafter. He
was " of Ridley in Northumberland."

FOURTH GENERATION.

Nicholas Ridley 4 (1), son of Anthony 3 (1), married a daughter of Sir
John Cramlington, of Cramlington, and had issue.

Odard* Ridley 4 (1), second son of Anthony 3 (1), was evidently by a
second wife, who was a daughter of Odard de Willimoteswick; and be-
came heir of that property. The pedigree is obscure in some connections.
He was living in 1280.

Thomas Ridley 4 (2), third son of Anthony 3 (1), was living in 1300,
and died previous to 1303. He married Majory, daughter of Whitefield,

of Whitefield.

FIFTH GENERATION.

Thomas Ridley 5 (3), eldest son of Nicholas 4 (1), married to Audry,
sister of Sir William Musgrave, and was styled "of Ridley in Northum-
berland" (1440). He had issue.

John Ridley 5 (2), second son of Nicholas 4 (1), married Margaret,
daughter of Richard Horton, and had issue (1446).

Nicholas Ridley 5 (2), third son of Nicholas 4 (1), married to Annie,
daughter of John Lawson, and had issue. He is styled in one pedigree
" of Willimoteswick " (1450).

SIXTH GENERATION.

Thomas-Baron Ridley 6 (4), son of Nicholas 5 (2), was styled "of
Hamstead Hall " ; he married Alice, daughter and co-heir of Clement
Skelton, Esq., of Brampton (another authority says " Alice, daughter of
Arthur Skelton, of Brampton" ), and died in 1320, leaving issue.

SEVENTH GENERATION.

Hugh Ridley 7 (1), presumably a son of Thomas 6 (4), was living as
early as 1371, and was a man of great wealth and influence. His name
occurs in the "Hits testibus" of deeds about the manor of Haltwhistle
and Colonwade in 1372, and in connection with lands in Reedsdale in the
second year of the reign of Richard II (1378). The several pedigrees in
the British Museum and in local histories do not agree concerning this
man; one tabular pedigree calls him son of Nicholas and Alice Skelton.

* Odard de Ridley witnessed a charter in Northumberland in 1280. Nicholas
de Ridley, son of Thomas, executed a charter in 1250 ; he was grandson of Nicholas
de Willimoteswick. who lived in the time of King John (1166-1216), who was a son
of Odard de Willimoteswick, Avho witnessed a charter at Hexham Abbey in the time
of Henry II (1206-72). The last-named was probably a brother of John Fitz-Odard,
Baron of Emildon (who was living 1161-82), and son of Odard, Viscount of North-
umberland, mentioned as such in 1110 and 1130, when Governor of Bauburgh; he
was son of Odard de Loges, Viscount of Northumberland.



BIDLEYS OF WILLIMOTESWICK, NOBTHUMBEBLAND. 417

EIGHTH GENERATION.

Odard Ridley 8 (2), presumed to be son of Hugh 7 (1), was living in
1424.

NINTH GENERATION.

Nicholas Ridley 9 (3), presumed to be son of Odard 8 (2), married Anne,
daughter of Eglestield, of Eglesfield, in County Cumberland ; deceased be-
fore 1467.

TENTH GENERATION.

Sir Nicholas Ridley 10 (4), son of Nicholas 9 (3), was of Willimotes-
wick, Northumberland, and styled " Esquire of the King's Body." He
married Mary, daughter and co-heir of Corwin, of Workington, de-
scended from Orne, second son of Ketd, son of Ivo de Talbois, daughter
of Ethelbred, King of England. He (Nicholas) had letters of safe con-
duct from the King of Scotland.

Thomasilie Ridley 10 (1), daughter of Nicholas 9 (3), married Thomas
Carnaby, of Halton Castle, Northumberland.

Sir Hugh Ridley 10 (2), a son of Nicholas 9 (3), was styled "of Ham-
stead Hall and Willimoteswick, Northumberland." He was high sheriff
for his County from 1508 to 1511.

ELEVENTH GENERATION.

Sir Nicholas Ridley 11 (5),* eldest son of Nicholas 10 (4), was successor
to Willimoteswick. He married Mary, daughter of Simon Musgrave, of
Eden Hall, and Joanna his wife, daughter of Sir William Stapleton. He
was styled the " broad knight," probably in consequence of his gigantic
physical proportions. He was high sheriff of Northumberland in the
first, second, third, and twenty-third years of the reign of King Henry
VI, and in first, second, and third of King Henry VIII. He was also
commander of a division of the marauding army which invaded Scotland
under Lord Dacre, in 1513, — the same year in which the battle of
Flodden was fought. He was frequently engaged in border raids and
family and district quarrels, which were of common occurrence in those
times. He was chief of the clan when they murdered Sir Albany Feather-
stonhaugh, as appears on a view of the body by the coroner of Northum-
berland that year — 1530. In 1552, Nicholas Ridley was one of the war-
dens appointed by Lord Wharton to have the oversight and search of the
fords through the Tyne, "under the Ridley-hall, Haltwhistle, Thorngraf-
ton, Walltown," and other places in Tynedale. In the same year he was
appointed one of the Commissioners for Enclosures and Hedges from
Hexhamshire to the waters of the Irthing, on both sides of the South Tyne
as far as the middle marches went. His name stands at the head of the
list in these commissions, followed by that of "Albany Featherstonhaugh,"
probably the son of that Albany to whose violent death he had contributed
a few years before. He was one of the "overseers" of the river guards,
in which several members of the clan were represented in subsequent
years. This was the Sir Nicholas addressed by the Martyr Bishop when
imprisoned at Oxford as the "bell-wether" of the Ridley family, and is
faithfully admonished by his pious nephew and namesake respecting his
religious faithfulness. He had issue two sons and four daughters whose
names have reached us, of whom hereafter.

* There was a Richard de Ridley amongst the early descents of the family, but I
cannot connect him with this pedigree.

27



418 BID LEYS OF WILLIMOTESWICK, NORTHUMBERLAND.

John Ridley 11 (3), second son of Nicholas 10 (4), married Margaret,
daughter of Richard Horton, and had issue two sons, of whom hereafter.

Christopher Ridley 11 (1), third son of Nicholas 10 (4), married Anne,
daughter of William and Margaret Blenkinsop,* of Blenkinsop, and had
issue four children (perhaps others), of whom hereafter. He was of Un-
thank Hall, Northumberland. (See engraving in this book.)

Rev. Robert Ridley 11 (1), d. d., fourth son of Nicholas 10 (4), was a
relative of Bishop Tunstal. He studied at Paris a long time, and also at
Cambridge University, where he commenced D. D., 1518. He became rec-
tor of St. Botolph (Bishopsgate, London), July 3, 1523, and on March 21,
1523-4, was admitted prebendary of Mora, in the Church of St. Paul. He
was presented to the rectory of St. Edmunds the King, London, Feb. 20,
1526, collated to the prebend of St. Pancras, in the Church of St. Paul,
Oct. 30, 1529. He was at one time rector of Simonburn, in Northumber-
land. Greatly assisted in the Polydon Virgil. He was collated to the
sinecure rectory of Fulham, Middlesex, and the prebend of Isledon, in
the Church of St. Paul, Oct. 30, 1529. He died about 1536. He was
much noted for his great learning, and was a strenuous opponent of the
Reformation. It was at his charge that his nephew, Nicholas Ridley, ulti-
mately Bishop of London, was maintained at Cambridge, Paris, and Lou-
vaine. His arms .were: "Gules, a chevron between three falcons A."

TWELFTH GENERATION.

Sir Hugh Ridley 12 (3), son of Nicholas 11 (5), married Isabella, daugh-
ter of Sir John Heron, of Chipchase Castle. He was styled " of Willi-
moteswick," Northumberland; was a knight; had issue, of whom here-
after. Died before 1565.

William Ridley 12 (1), second son of Nicholas 11 (5), was of Battersea,
County of York. See " Ridleys of Battersea."

Johii Ridley 12 (4), third son of Nicholas 11 (5), was of Ringwood. No
other mention of him*

Thomas Ridley 12 (5), fourth son of Nicholas 11 (5), styled "Gentleman,"
married his cousin, Elizabeth Ridley, of Walltown. Was presented to the
living of Simonburn parish, in Northumberland, and in 1532 transferred
it to his cousin, John Ridley, clerk.

Jane Ridley 12 (1), eldest daughter of Nicholas 11 (5), was married to
Sir John Heron, of Chipchase Castle.

Margaret Ridley 12 (1), second daughter of Nicholas 11 (5), was married
to John Featherstonhaugh, of Featherston Castle.

Mabel Ridley 12 (1), third daughter of Nicholas 11 (5), was married, first
to William Fenwick, of Little Harle, and secondly, to Sir John Sumley,
Knt., of Axwell House.

Anne Ridley 12 (2), fourth daughter of Nicholas 11 (5), was married to
William (others write John) Wallace, of Knaresdale Hall.

John Ridley 12 (5), a son of John 11 (3) (1495). No other mention,
except that he had one son, of whom hereafter.

Rev. Lancellot Ridley 12 (1), d. d., second son of John 11 (3), was born
at Willimoteswick, Northumberland. He was of Clare Hall, where he pro-
ceeded B. A., 1523-4, and commenced M. A., 1527. He was deeply skilled

* John Blenkensop, kinsman of Anne, wife of Christopher Ridley, of Unthank,

married a daughter of Ridley, of Willimoteswick. This John was granduncle

of the before-mentioned Aune.



RIDLEYS OF WILLIMOTESWIGK, NORTHUMBERLAND. 419

in theology, and in the Latin, Greek, and Hebrew languages. He pro-
ceeded B. D., 1537, and on the refoundation of the Church of Canterbury,
under the King's charter, April 8, 1541, was constituted one of six preach-
ers of that cathedral. In the same year he commenced D. D., in his uni-
versity. In the reign of Edward VI, he distinguished himself by the
ability with which he defended the doctrines of protestantism. In 1553,
he was deprived of his preachership of Canterbury for being married, but
it is said he subsequently put away his wife and conformed to the change
of religion which took place in the reign of Queen Mary. In 1560, he
again occurs as one of the preachers of Canterbury. He also had the
rectory of Stretham, in the Isle of Ely. He was collated to the rectory
of Willingham, County of Cambridge, June 10, 1545, and was deprived
thereof on or before May 5, 1554. He was buried at Ely, June 16, 1576.
His wife, by whom he had two sons, was Mary, daughter of Christopher
Paterson.



Hugh Ridley 12 (4), eldest son of Christopher 11 (1), of Unthank Hall,

married Elizabeth , and had issue, of whom hereafter. He was dead

in 1555, when his brother, the Bishop of London, wrote a letter to his
widow and children, then living at Unthank Hall, Northumberland.*

Richard Ridley 12 (1), second son of Christopher 11 (1), settled at New-
castle-on-Tyne, and had several sons and daughters, of whom hereafter.

Elizabeth Ridley 12 (1), a daughter of Christopher 11 (1), was the wife
of John Ridley, of Walltown, County of Northumberland, which John
was descended from a collateral branch of the same family. She had issue.
Husband died in 1562. See "Ridleys of Walltown" in this book. In
his farewell letter (which see), the bishop calls Elizabeth " my gentle and
loving sister," and mentions her loving him "above the rest of my breth-



ren."



Alice Ridley 12 (1), a daughter of Christopher 11 (1), was the wife of
George Shipside. Her brother, the bishop, in his letter of farewell, says
of her husband, " whom I have ever found faithful, trusty, and living in
all good state and conditions" ; and of Alice he wrote, " I am glad to hear
thou dost take Christ's cross in good part." Mr. Shipside kept near the
bishop during all his imprisonment. When preparing for the stake the
bishop gave this brother-in-law his gown and tippet.

Rt. Rev. Nicholas Ridley 12 (6), a son of Christopher 11 (1), was born at
Unthank Hall, Northumberland, about 1500. He received his early edu-
cation at Newcastle-on-Tyne, from whence he was removed to the univer-
sity at Cambridge, where his great learning and distinguished abilities so
recommended him that he was made master of Pembroke Hall, in that
college. After being some years in this office, he left Cambridge and trav-
eled into various parts of the continent for his advancement in knowl-
edge. On his return to England he was made chaplain to King Henry
VIII, and Bishop of Rochester, from which he was translated to the See
of London, by Edward VI.

In private life he was pious, humane, and affable; in public, learned,
sound, and eloquent; diligent in duty, and very popular as a preacher.

* Baldwin Ridley, of Flushing, said to be a nephew of Nicholas Ridley, Bishop
of Loudon, had a daughter Appolonia, who was married to Daniel Tyssen, who was
born at Flushing, in Zealand, and died there about 1647, aged 46 years. Was Bald-
win a sou of Hugh Ridley, who was mentioned in the farewell letter of Bishop Rid-
ley as "of Unthank"?



420 BIDLETS <>F WILLIMOTESWICK, NORTHUMBERLAND.

Says a learned writer, "In his important offices he so diligently applied
himself by preaching and teaching the true and wholesome doctrine of
Christ, that no good child was more singularly loved by its parents, than
he by his flock and diocese. Every, holiday and Sabbath he preached in
one place or other, except he was hindered by weighty matters; and
to his sermons the people resorted, swarming around him like bees, and so
faithfully did his life portray his doctrines that his enemies could not re-
prove him." His memory was so great that he himself wrote: "In my
orchard* (the walls, butts, and trees, if they could speak would bear me
witness) I learned without books almost all Paul's epistles ; yea, and I
ween all the canonical epistles, save only the Apocalypse." He had at-
tained such reading and learning that his biographer says :

"He deserved to be compared with the best men of his age, as his works,
sermons, and sundry disputations in both universities, will testify. He
was wise in counsel, and very politic in all his doings. He was, in fine,
so good a man in all points, so pious and spiritual, that England never
saw his superior. He was comely in person, and well proportioned; took
all things in good part, bearing no malice nor rancor in his heart toward
any, but straightway forgave all injuries and offences done against him.
He was very kind to his relatives, and yet laying down as a rule that they
should look for nothing at his hand unless they lived a righteous life. He
used various means to mortify himself, and was much given to prayer and
meditation ; for duly every morning, as soon as he was dressed, he went
to his bed-chamber, and there upon his knees prayed for half an hour;
which being done, he went to his study, where he continued till ten o'clock,
and then came to common prayer in his house. This being over, he went
to dinner, where he talked but little, and then was sober and discreet. The
dinner done, he would sit for an hour talking or playing chess; he then
returned to his study, and there continued, except business abroad, or vis-
itors prevented him, until five o'clock at night, when common prayers as
in the forenoon, and thence to supper, where he behaved himself as in the
morning. When his labors for the day were over at eleven o'clock, he
said his prayers upon his knees and retired to his bed.

"When at his manor at Fulham, he read daily lectures to his family, at
the hour of common prayer, from the writings of Paul and the Psalms;
so interested was he in the study of the Scriptures, that he would hire
others, with money, to commit certain portions to memory. He was mar-
velously careful over his household that they might be patterns of virtue
and honesty to others; in short, as he was godly and virtuous himself, so
nothing but virtue and godliness reigned in his house.

" Ridley had been educated in the Roman Catholic religion, but was
brought over to the reformed faith by reading Bertram's book on the
sacrament; and he was confirmed in this belief by frequent conferences
with Cranmer and Peter Martyr, so that he became a zealous promoter
of the reformed doctrines and discipline during the reign of King Edward.
Upon the death of Edward, he was earnest in his endeavors to seat Lady
Jane Grey upon the throne; but when that design had miscarried he went
to Queen Mary to do her homage, and, as he might have expected, was at
once committed to the Tower of London, and afterwards to the Bocardo
prison in Oxford ; from whence he was removed and placed in the custody

* In an orchard at Cambridge he walked back and forth in his study of the Scrip-
tures until the place was, and now is, called "Ridley's Walk."



BIDLEYS OF WILLIMOTESWICK, NORTHUMBERLAND. 421

of Mr. Irish, mayor of the city, in whose house he remained till the day
of his martyrdom.

" He was several times brought before the Bishops' council, where every
argument was used to make him recant, but his firm answers assured his
examiners of his inflexibility. In reply to Dr. Brooks, he said, 'My lord,
you know my mind fully herein; as for my doctrine, my conscience as-
sureth me that it is sound, and according to God's word; and which doc-
trine, the Lord being my helper, I will maintain so long as my tongue
shall move, and breath is within my body : and in confirmation thereof I
am willing to seal the same with my blood.' When asked if he would
not confess the pope to be head of the church, he replied, ' I marvel that ye
will trouble me with any such foolish questions, — you know my mind
concerning the usurped authority of that Anti-Christ.'

" When every means used to make him recant had proved unavailing,
and his formal degradation, — that of putting on a priest's dress and then
taking the same off with ceremony, — had commenced, he refused to assist
his attendants in any way; and when told that these should be put on by
force, he replied, — ' Do therein as it shall please you, I am well content
with that, and more than that; the servant is not above his Master. If
they dealt so cruelly with our Saviour Christ, as the Scripture maketh
mention, and he suffered the same patiently, how much doth it become us,
his servants ! '

"On the night before he suffered, his beard* was washed, and as he sat
at supper, at the house of Mr. Irish, his keeper, he invited his hostess, and
the rest at the table, to his marriage ; ' for,' said he, ' to-morrow I must be
married,' thus showing himself as cheerful as ever. And wishing his sister
at his marriage, he asked his brother, sitting at the table, whether he
thought she could find in her heart to be there; he answered, 'Yes, I dare
say, with all heart' ; at this Ridley said he was glad to hear of her
sincerity. When he saw some weeping he said, 'Quiet yourselves; though
my breakfast shall be somewhat sharp and painful, yet I am sm*e my sup-
per will be more pleasant and sweet.' When they arose from the table
his brother-in-law offered to stay all night with him ; but Ridley said,
' No, no, that you shall not ; for I intend, God willing, to go to bed and
sleep as quietly to-night as ever I did.' On this his bi'other-in-law de-
parted, exhorting him to be of good cheer, and to take his cross quietly, for
the reward was great.

" On the north side of the town, in the ditch over against Balliol Col-
lege, the place of execution was appointed, and for fear that any tumult
might arise to hinder the burning of God's servant, the Lord Williams was
commanded by the queen's letters and the householders of the city, to be
ready with an armed force to assist the execution ; and when everything
was in readiness, on the 15th of October, 1555, Ridley was led forth by the
mayor and bailiffs. He had on a black gown furred, and faced with foins,
such as he wore when bishojj; a tippet of velvet, furred likewise, about his
neck; a velvet cap upon his head, and slippers on his feet. When he saw
the stake he held up his hands and said to Latimer, who was to be burned
with him, ' God will either assuage the fury of the flames, or else strengthen
us to abide it.' He then went to the stake and kneeling down prayed
most fervently. Then a sermon was preached from the words, 'Though

* I have a picture of Ridley at the stake, purchased in London, in which he is
represented with a very long, waving beard, reaching nearly to the waist.



422 BIDLEYS OF WILLIMOTESWICK, NORTHUMBERLAND.

I give my body to be burned, and have not charity, it profiteth me noth-
ing.' Ridley asked for the liberty to reply to the discourse, but was told
that he could not unless he would revoke his opinions. ' Well,' said Rid-
ley, 'so long as breath is in my body I will never deny my Lord Christ and
his known truth; God's will be done in me.' He then arose and said with
aloud voice, 'I commit our cause to Almighty God, who will indifferently
judge all.'

" He now disrobed himself, giving presents of his clothing to his brother-
in-law, Mr. Shipside, and others who were standing near, weeping, and
when he was ready for the stake he stood upon a stone, held up his hands
and said, 'O Heavenly Father, I give unto Thee most hearty thanks, that
Thou hast called me to be a professor of Thee, even unto death; I beseech
Thee, Lord God, have mercy on this realm of England, and deliver it from
all her enemies.' Then the smith took a chain of iron and brought it
around his body at the waist, and as he was driving in the staple to confine
him to the stake, Ridley took the chain in his hand, and looking toward the
smith, said, ' Good fellow, knock it in hard, for the flesh will have its course.'
They then lighted the faggots, and when Ridley saw the fire flaming up
toward him, he cried with an amazing loud voice, ' Unto Thy hands, O
Lord, I commend my spirit ; Lord, receive my spirit.'

" From ill-making of the fire, the wood being green, and piled too high
about his body, it burned fiercely underneath and was kept down by the
green wood. Being in exquisite pain from the burning of his limbs, he
cried out, 'For God's sake, let the fire come unto me,' and 'I cannot
burn.' In all this dreadful suffering he continued to call upon God, ask-
ing for grace to sustain him. A man that stood near, with a bill-hook
pulled away the green faggots, and when the flames rose around his body
Ridley wrenched himself toward the side where the fire was hottest, when
his head fell forward, and he was seen to move no more. His limbs were
burned from his body, and so heartrending was the scene that many were
in tears.

" Thus did this pious divine and steadfast believer testify with his blood,
the truth of the everlasting gospel;* proving in his sufferings the sincerity
of his profession and his unfaltering faith in God's promises."

The following letter of farewell, written just before his suffering, shows
the gentle and affectionate spirit of the man, as well as his firm trust in
God: —

" ' Farewell, my dear brother, George Shipside, whom I have ever found
faithful, trusty, and living in all good state and conditions. Farewell, my
[sister] Alice his wife ; I am glad to hear thou dost take Christ's cross in
good part. Farewell, my beloved brother, John Ridley, of Walltown ;
and you, my gentle and loving sister Elizabeth, whom, besides the natural
league of amity your tender love, which you are said ever to bear toward
me above the rest of your brethren, doth bind me to love you ; your
daughter Elizabeth, I bid farewell, whom I love for the gentle spirit that
God hath given her, which is a precious thing in the sight of God. Fare-
well, my beloved sister of Unthank, with all your children, my nephews
and nieces. Since the departure of my brother Hugh, my mind was to
have [been a father] unto them, instead of their father. Farewell, my
well beloved and worshipful cousin, Master Nicholas Ridley, of Willimotes-
wick, and your wife, and thank you for your kindness, shewed both to me

* See sermon by Bishop Ridley, in "Notes and Gleanings,'' in this book.




KUNTfP l!'H PHli:



u



MARTYRS MEMORIAL. 1

Oxford, England.
RIDLEY'S MONUMENT.



BID LEYS OF WILLIMOTE SWICK, NORTHUMBERLAND. 423

and your kinsfolks and mine; so I pray you, good cousin, as my hope and
trust is in you, continue and increase in the maintenance of truth, honesty,
righteousness, and all true godliness, and to the utmost of your power to
withstand falsehood, untruth, unrighteousness, and all ungodliness, which
are condemned by the word and laws of God. Farewell, my young cousin,
Ralph Whitefieki. Oh ! your time was very short with me. My mind
was to have done you good ; but yet you caught in that little time a loss ;
but I trust it shall be recompensed as it shall please Almighty God.
Farewell, all my whole kindred and countrymen: — farewell in Christ al-



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 55 of 103)