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to be sometimes used for that purpose. The Easter Sepulchre is a
very rare feature, and where it exists the tomb is always set at a
considerable elevation from the floor. The accompanying photo-
graph shows a very perfect example at Patrington, in the East Rid-
ing, our Lord being depicted in the act of rising, attended by angels ;

m 1

[R. W. Lister, phot.


Saint John the Baptist, Kirkby Wiske. 67

and Roman soldiers sleeping below. But if these canopies once
contained monumental effigies, as has been generally supposed, it is
remarkable that in so many instances the tombs themselves
should be so well preserved, and all trace of the effigy have
vanished. It may be considered whether they were not intended
for the reception of the dead during the funeral rites. In the
present case the sepulchre is 7 ft. in length, and is recessed
2 ft. 8 in. in the wall at its western end, but 2 ft. 4 in. only at
the eastern extremity. There would, therefore, be room for the
body of a tall person, and the feet would be towards the east the
appropriate position in burial.

Also on the north wall of the chancel and east of the tomb
recess -occurs a corbel, consisting of a carved head with flowing
locks. This has evidently at some time supported an image per-
haps a figure of Saint John the Baptist, to whom the church is
dedicated. A similar corbel, with precisely identical design, is
found at Patrick Brompton. The chancel had probably a window
in the north wall, which was demolished towards the close of the
Fourteenth century, to afford an opening to the Lady Chapel, which
was at that time added to the church. The arch communicating
with this chapel is obviously an insertion, and the same remark
applies to the door leading into the vestry. We shall, however,
pursue the consideration of the building chronologically.

After the chancel, the next work undertaken was that of bring-
ing the nave into harmony with it. This is a very plain example
of the style of the Fourteenth century rather before the middle
of the century. It followed not long after the completion of
the chancel, and may be safely dated as between 1330 and
1350. The nave is furnished with aisles on either side, that
on the north being much wider than the south aisle, which
doubtless represents in its ground plot the dimensions of the thir-
teenth century aisle already alluded to. The arcades, which are
similar, consist in each case of three bays, the arches resting on two
octagonal piers and an equal number of semi-octagonal responds.
The piers are perfectly plain, and their bases and capitals simply
chamfered. The arches are of two chamfered orders, with hood-
moulds towards the nave, but not towards the aisles. Well-defined
banker marks occur in many parts of the masonry, especially in the
south arcade. 1 There is no clerestory. The chancel arch is of the
same date as the rest of the work of the nave, and possesses none of

1 Banker marks = private marks cut by the mason upon a finished stone
when it left his banker or bench.

68 Richmondshire Churches.

the beauty of the chancel. It is of two continuous orders, without
hood-mould, but interrupted at the impost by a moulded string.

With the exception of the west end of the south aisle, the aisle
walls and their windows are all modern. At the eastern end of the
aisle last mentioned, the two-light window is of a design similar
to those in the chancel, and is doubtless a replica of what was
there before. The rest of the aisle windows, previous to 1870,
were all debased, and of comparatively recent construction. They
have been replaced by good pointed windows, having a reticulated
form of tracery of early fourteenth century character.

The next addition to the church was an eastern extension of the
north aisle, forming a north chapel, which was dedicated to the
Blessed Virgin Mary. This was probably the work of the Lascelles
family, many of the members of which are buried within its walls.
Robert Lascelles, of Breckenborough. by his will, dated 20 February,
1507-8, left 2os. to the light of Saint Anthony and Our Lady in
Kyrkby Wyske, and charges his son to provide for masses to be
sung in our Lady Porch there, where he directs that his body shall
lie. And on 25 March, 1559, Dame Margaret Lascelles, of Brecken-
borough, desires to be buried at Kirkby Wiske, "on the north side
of the chancel, where my husband, Sir Roger Lascelles, was buried."
Francis Lascelles, of Breckenborough, similarly directed his body
to be buried within the church of Kirkby Wiske, 10 December,
1571. 7 The chapel was apparently formed during the last quarter
of the Fourteenth century, but the only survival of the original
work is the arch giving access to it from the chancel. This is
of two chamfered orders without hood-moulds, the inner order being
carried on responds with a plain chamfered string-course at the

The vestry, which is a still later addition, is placed in the usual
position on the north side of the sanctuary. It is of somewhat
contracted dimensions, and is entered from the chancel by a doorway,
with acutely-pointed head ornamented with a hollow chamfer,
which is carried down the jambs. The vestry has two flat-headed
windows, that looking east being of two lights, divided by a mullion ;
that looking north being of a single light only. This addition to the
church was probably made during the second half of the Fifteenth

The tower belongs also to the same century, though it is difficult
to assign an exact date to it. Perhaps about 1450 would not be
very wide of the mark, but in what is spoken of as the " Perpen-
dicular" period of architecture, the changes in style, especially in

1 Test. Ebor., iv, 269.


To face page 69.

[J. J. Rutherford, phot.


Saint John the Baptist, Kirkby Wiske. 69

parish churches, were not so defined, neither were new developments
so rapidly adopted in different parts of the country as was the case
in the earlier periods. The tower communicates with the nave by
a pointed arch of two chamfered orders, which die into the walls.
It is strengthened at the angles by buttresses of five stages, set
diagonally ; those at the north-east and south-east corners being
carried on squinches which are visible inside the church, in the
western angles of the nave. There is one set-off in the tower
walls, at the level of the belfry floor, and the walls are capped by a
moulded cornice, which, in turn, carries an embattled parapet with
three crenellations on each face ; but no pinnacles. The west
window is of three ogee-headed lights, with ranges of lesser lights
above. The tracery over the centre light is divided by a short
transom, and the window is surmounted by a hood-mould. Above
the set-off, and immediately beneath the belfry openings, single
light windows occur on all sides except that facing east. These are
semi-circular-headed and cusped ; their jambs are splayed inter-
nally, but the rear arches are square on the soffit, a curved
shoulder being placed at the springing. The belfry openings on
all four sides consist, in each case, of two semi-circular and
trefoil-headed lights, enclosed within a segmental outer arch
without hood-mould. There is no doorway to the tower, and
the newel staircase by which its upper stages are reached is
placed in the north-west angle, but without revealing any
projection on the outside.

There are three bells, bearing the mottoes :




The font, which is placed near the tower arch, is of octagonal
form, with good mouldings, and it has formerly been lined with
lead. It appears to be a work of the Fourteenth century, and may
perhaps be coeval with the rebuilding of the church.

Forming the sill of the vestry window is a fragment of a mediaeval
grave-cover, which was found in the north wall in 1870. On its
chamfered edge is carved an unusually fine representation of shears.

A brass in the south aisle bears the quaint inscription :

This stone Must lie till I his Wife doe Dye.

70 Richmondshire Churches.

The church plate includes a chalice with paten-cover, having
the York marks, with the maker's initials, T.H., and the date
letter for 1636-7. The same maker's mark occurs upon a chalice
at St. Olave's, York, 1634. There is also a fine alms-dish and flagon
of pewter.

The parish registers date from the year 1615, but are blank
from 1644 to 1663.

Chapelries existed at Maunby, at Breckenborough, and at Newby
Wiske. The first was probably dedicated to Saint Magnus. Hugh
son of Nigel de Magneby gave to the abbot of Fountains all the
meadow and other land lying between the church of Magneby
and the boundary of Kirkby, and between the Wiske and the great
road leading from Kirkby Wiske to Magneby. 1 This was probably
early in the Thirteenth century. 2 But in 1586, Queen Elizabeth
disposed of 2,\ bovates of arable land and 8 acres in Maunby and
Newby-on- Wiske, given of old for the maintenance of a priest to
celebrate mass in the chapel of Maunby, and for finding lights,
and for other superstitious ceremonies. 3 Robert Lascelles, in his will
2. March, 15078, desires the "chales, messe-booke, vestment, and
alter clothes at Brakenbarghe, and ye prynted Fortes 4 to remane
still ther, and be kepyd ther by myne here [heir]." And in his codicil,
" my son Richard and his here to fynd a prest for ever to synge ij
daiez in the wek at Brakenbargh, and the remeand at Kirkby-
oppon-Wisk in our Lady Porche, before our Lady, wher I
intend my body shah 1 lye, to syng and pray for the saulez of me,
Elinor and Margaret my wiffes, my father saule, moder saule, our
ancestor saulez, and all Cristen saulez." 5

To the chapel of the Blessed Mary at Newby-super-Wysk, 6
35. 4^. was left by the will of Christopher Conyers, parson of Rudby,
22 June, 1483. Laurence Wellys was the last stipendiary, to whom
Christopher, Lord Conyers, gave some lands by deed 14 June,
1530, to pray for the founder and others.

It is much to be regretted that no authentic pedigree has been
published of the family of Lascelles, which has been connected
with Kirkby Wiske for at least eight centuries. The Picot of Domes-
day has been regarded (and with much probability) as the progenitor
of the House of Lascelles ; and amongst the early benefactors of
Fountains Abbey, shortly after its foundation in 1134, Eudo son

1 Burton's Monasticon, p. 176. 4 Fortes or portiforium = a portable

2 Hugh de Magneby gave one oxgang breviary, a small prayer-book,
of land at Neuby-super-Wisk to the same * ~ . ,

abbey in 1228. Test - Ebor -> 1V > 2 7o, 272.

:J Yorks. Archaol. Journal, xx, 358. 6 Ibid., iii, 289.

Saint John the Baptist, Kirkby Wiske.


of William, and William son of Eudo, who both gave lands in this
parish, 1 are most likely of the same race. The Breckenborough
branch descended from the LasceUes who had been seated at
Sowerby, near Thirsk, since the Thirteenth century, when several
of its scions made gifts to Malton Abbey. John Lassels had Sowerby
in I3i6 2 ; and William Lassels, of Sowerby, made his will on
the day before St. James' Day, 1446. ;! Robert Lascelles, of
Sowerby, who died in 1469, leaves his body ecclesiastice sepul-
ture ubi, Deo disponente, obire me continget. Lego optimum
animal meum nomine mortuarii. Residuum do et lego Katerine
uxorimee, et filiis meis, ad eorum subsidium, et ad disponendum
pro salute anime mee. Proved at York 25 August, 1469. The
following genealogy, compiled from wills and other original sources,
may be useful in the absence of a more complete account of the
family :

ROBERT LASCELLES, of Sowerby. Katherine, dau. of Henry Eure,
Will dated 5 July, proved
25 Aug., 1469

of Old Malton

ROBERT LASCELLES, of Breckenborough = Eleanor, dau. of = Margaret, dau. of
and Allerthorpe. Will dated I Sir Ric. Conyers, James Danby

20 Feb., 1507-8 of Cowton

Sir ROGER LASCELLES, of Breckenl>orough = Margaret, eldest dau. of Sir John

and Allerthorpe. Will dated 24 May, 1551

Norton, of Norton Conyers.
Will 25 Mar., 1559


of Breckenborough. See
Feet of Fines, 4 Eliz. ( 1 562)

-Anne, dau. of
Rich. Siggis-
wick, of Wall-

Susan, dau. of=
Sir Chris.
of Kirklington

of Allerthorpe ; men-
tioned in father's will ;
d. 1567

FRANCIS LASCELLES, = Anne, dau. of
of Breckenborough. Thwaites, of
Will dated 10 Dec., Marston ; m.
1571 Easter Term,
7 Eliz. (1565)

Rector of Kirk- of Kirklington
lington 1590-1630; and Dublin
d. 1630

Sir THOMAS LASCELLES, of BreckenboroughJoan, dau. of Sir William

and Allerthorpe. Sold Allerthorpe to
William Robinson 1590; d. 1619

Mallory, of Studley

WILLIAM LASCELLES, b. circa 1575, = Elizabeth, dau. of Francis Tunstall,
d. vita patris a recusant in 1616


b. 1596;

recusant 1616










Burton's Afonasticon, ed. 1768, pp. 175, 176.

Test. Ebor., iii, I79.


Richard Dorothy,
Ralph recusant

1614 and 1618

' 2 Nomina Villarum.

72 Richmondshire Churches.

A very remarkable suit is recorded in the registry of the ecclesi-
astical court at York between William Layton and Robert Lascelles,
who died in 1507, concerning the tithes of Kirkby Wiske. They
came to blows, and each party had their bodies of retainers. 1

Raine says that the Breckenborough branch fell into poverty
and obscurity through the extravagance of Sir Thomas Lascelles,
of Breckenborough, and died out in the Seventeenth century; 2
but the family appears also to have been much harassed by fines
and exactions on account of their adherence to the 'old religion.'
William, Thomas, John, and Dorothy Lascelles, grandchildren of
Sir Thomas, of Breckenborough, were all recusants in 1614 and
i6i6. 3

Apart from this ancient family, the parish is distinguished as the
birthplace of Roger Ascham.sonof John Ascham, of Kirkby Wiske,
born about 1515. who became tutor to Queen Elizabeth, and one
of the ornaments of ancient literature at its first revival in the
University of Cambridge. Dr. John Palliser, Archbishop of Tuam,
was also a native of Kirkby Wiske, his baptism being recorded in
the parish register, 20 May, 1632.

In his will, dated in the morrow of the Epiphany, 1405, Sir
Stephen Scrope, of Masham, leaves to a female recluse of Kyrkby
Wysk twenty shillings. 4

The church had been bestowed by William of Kirkeby upon
the prior and convent of Guisborough, to whom it was confirmed
by Henry II in n82. 5 But on 2 February, 1211-2, Roger de
Lascellis made a bargain with Prior Laurence, giving him 29 oxgangs
of land in Lincolnshire in exchange for the advowson of the church
of Kirkeby-super-Wisc, 6 which remained in his family for several
generations. In 1281, Roger de Lasseles had the advowson of
Kirkby Wiske, worth 100 marks, and of Scruton, worth 2O. 7 In
the Fourteenth century the Constables of Halsham presented to the
living, and continued to do so until 1549. Sir Hugh Smithson
acquired the right of presentation in the Seventeenth century, from
whom it has descended to the Dukes of Northumberland.

On 5 March, 1280-1, there was a mandate from Archbishop
Wickwane to the official of the Archdeacon of Richmond, directing
him to appoint a coadjutor to the rector of Kirkeby Wyx, if that
should be necessary, by reason of his blindness. Yet, if the rector

1 Test. Ebor., iv, 270*. * Test. Ebo>., iii, 32.

a Ibid. s Guisborough Chartulary, i, 16.

3 North Riding Records, vol. ii, pp. 60, 6 Feet of Fines, John, p. 167.

139, and 181. 7 Yorkshire Inquisitions, i, 232.

Saint John the Baptist, Kirkby Wiske. 73

be capable of managing his affairs he is not to be deprived on account
of this defect alone, any more than the bishops of Salisbury and
Coventry. The implication seems to be that these bishops were
also blind. 1


1291 WILLIAM DE SAHAM held this and other livings, although
he was more distinguished as a jurist than a churchman.
Raised to the judicial bench on the accession of Edward I,
he continued for many years to act as one of the Justices
of the King's Bench, and was employed in various itinera
until 18 Edward I. In that year, although he shared the
disgrace of many of his brethren, and was not only removed
from his seat but fined in the sum of 3,000 marks, he is
described as entirely innocent, " In quo dolus seu fraus
non est inventus," and. as paying the fine to conciliate
the king. There is a mandate of Pope Nicholas IV,
13 Kal. January, 1291, on the petition of William de Saham,
sub-deacon, rector of Kirby Wiske, in the diocese of York,
who before the Council of Lyons (Anno 1274) had held
certain benefices in the diocese of Norwich, and after it
the livings of Kirby Wiske and King's Clere in those of
York and Winchester respectively, without papal dis-
pensation, which has given scruple of conscience directing
him to be dispensed, in consideration that he is now
aged, and has spent all his life in the king's service. He is,
however, to be ordained priest, and is to give a portion
of the fruits to both churches. He was still living in
28 Edw. I (1299-1300). (Foss's Judges, CaL Pap. Lett., i,


1316 ROGER MARMION, parson of the church of Kirkeby Wysk,
had the king's protection for one year, 14 May, 1316.
According to a manuscript, without date, in the College
of Arms, the kneeling figure of Sir Roger Marmion, priest,
was formerly depicted in stained glass in the east window
of the chancel of Kirkby Wiske. 2 (CaL Pat. Rolls, 9 Edw.
II ; Whitaker's Richmondshire, i, 264.)

1 Reg. Wickwane, p. 1 16. crowned or, Sr. William Marmion.

2 In the Visitation of 1585, it is men- (3) Argent, three chaplets gules, Sr.
tioned that the church of Kirkby Wyske Roger Lascelles. (4) Gules, three lozenges
by Brakenbergh, the east window con- argent. (5) Or, two bars azure, Sir Roger
tained "these five in portraicture, very le Constable. (6) Sable a cross patoncee
ould, with there coat armour on their or. (7) Barry of eight argent and gules, a
backes." (i) Voyd Sr. Rog r Marmion, bend [engrailed sable (Foster's Visitations,
priest. (2) Gules, a lion rampant vaire, p. 461).

74 Richmondshire Churches.

I349 HENRY DE TATTON was presented by Edward III to the
church of Kirkeby Wiske in the jurisdiction of the Arch-
deacon of Richmond, in the king's gift, by reason of the
custody of the lands and heir of John le Conestable, of
Halsham, tenant-in-chief. At Westminster, 3 October,
1349. The presentation is directed to H[enry de Walton],
Archdeacon of Richmond. (Cal. Pat. Rolls, 23 Edw. III.)

1401 JOHN COLDON, died 1433. (Torre's MS.)

1433 WILLIAM COCKON, presented by the feoffees of John Con-
stable, of Halsham, and instituted 12 February, 1433.
(Torre's MS.)

1468 JOHN RAYNDULFFO, rector ecclesie de Kirkeby Wiske,
was admitted in this year to the Guild of Corpus Christi,
in York. (Reg. Corp. Chris., p. 69.)

1497 ROBERT WENSLEY, son of John Wencelagh, of Brandes-
burton, gent., was admitted to the Guild of Corpus Christi,
in 1497, when he is styled rector of Kirkby Wiske. Robert
Lascelles, by his will 1508, leaves to "my gossepe Mr.
Robert Wenslay, parson of Kyrkby Wiske, one riall of
gold to make hym a ryng apon, to remembre me in his
prayers, and in recompens for forgottyn tethis." Also
"my gossepe Master Robert Wenslawe to .have the gudynge
of my son Richard to he come at ye age of xx." Amongst
the muniments of Sir John Lawson, of Brough, Bart.,
there is an indenture of 17 January, 1524, setting forth
that Maister Robert Wenslaw, clarke and parson of Kyrk-
bye Wyske, has delivered 36^. in angel nobles to Robert
[Thornton], Abbot of Jervaulx, who is to have the keeping
of the same during the "naturaU lyffe" of the said parson,
and after his "naturall dethe whan it shall please Almighty
God to call hym unto hys mercy," then it is to be disposed
as follows. To the Prioress of Neusham on the Tees, near
Hurworth, and the convent of the same 255. at the feast
of the Purification next after his decease to buy them
Lenten store ; and 255. at Palm Sunday, or else
a fatt oxe worth 2os.; and so yearly during the
space of ten years until 20 shall have been paid
to them. A priest to sing mass daily at the altar
in the church of Neusham, where the said parson shall
be buried, for his soul and those of his parents and kindred.
Signed by Brother Robert Gyllyng, superior, and by
Roger Yorke, John Ellyngton, John Swynton, and John

Saint John the Baptist, Kirkby Wiske. 75

Swaldale, monks of Jorevall. Magister Robertus Wensley
was still rector when a return for the archdeaconry was
made to Wolsey, 24 January, 1524-5. (Corpus Christi,
p. 145 ; Test. Ebor., iv, 270 ; Brough MSS.; T. R. Miscell.
Books, Henry VIII.)

J 535 JOHN BRANDISBY, D.D., of the family of Brandsby, of Crayke,
collated 28 April, 1534, to the prebend of Dunham, in the
Collegiate Church of Southwell. Was rector of Kyrkeby-
super-Wyske when the Valor Ecclesiasticus was compiled,
1535. The mansion with glebe was worth i8s.; tithes,
27 175. 2d. On 28 May, 1544, he had the king's licence
to receive together with his parish churches of Beeford
and Kyrby-super- Wiske, in the diocese of Chester, a third
benefice, with or without cure. He appeared at a Visita-
tion in 1548, and died at the close of the following year.
Will dated 7 December, 3 Edw. VI (1549). To be buried
where it shall please God. Mentions his brother, Richard
Braundisbe, and his sister, Millicent, wife of Thomas
Leedes, of Milford, who administered. Five pounds to his
nephew, Mr. Edmund Geste, or Gheast, afterwards one of
the defenders of the Reformed Church in the famous dis-
putation at Westminster Abbey, 1559 ; one of the revisers
of the Liturgy ; Bishop of Rochester 1560, and of Salis-
bury 1571. The bishop's father was Robert Gest, of
Brompton in Pickering, and his mother apparently a
sister of the rector of Kirkby Wiske. (Valor Eccl.; Chester
Dioc. Rec.; Cal. Lett, and Pap., Henry VIII, xix, 491 ;
Yorks. Arch. Journal, xiv, 397-8 ; York Wills, xii, 25.)

1549 JOHN HOBSON, presented by John Constable, of Burton
Constable in Holdernesse, and instituted 31 December,
1549. (Chester Dioc. Rec.)

1554 ANTHONY WICLIF was rector and George Paicok curate at
a Visitation of the parish in 1554. (Yorks. Arch. Journal,
xiv, 397-)

ROBERT COLLEIGAN, instituted on the presentation of William
Whitmore, of Auckland, gent. 1 (Chester Dioc. Rec.)

1582 FRANCIS WHITMORE, second son of Thomas Whitmore, of
Madeley. Scholar of Balliol College, Oxford, 1573; B.A.,
1575; Fellow, 1576-1581. Rector of Kirkby Wiske, 1582 ;

1 The Institution Books at Chester are given for Mr. Colleigan's institution is
very imperfect at this period. The date 1 8 April, 1598, and is evidently a mistake.

76 Richmondshire Churches.

vicar of Chisledon, 1584 ; canon of Southwell, 1589-98.
Will dated 10 March, 1597 ; proved n May, 1598. (Ibid.:
Foster's Index Eccl.)

!5g8 VALENTINE WOOD, instituted 10 July, 1598, on the presenta-
tion of William Wood, of Barwicke, by grant from William
Midleton, Esq. (Ibid.)

J643 WILLIAM WOOD, instituted 25 March, 1643, on the presenta-
tion of Thomas Hutton, clerk. (Ibid.)

There appears to be no record of how the church was served
during the Commonwealth.

On 20 June, 1660, Michael Witherwicke was presented by
George Woode, guardian of John Woode, a minor, the rectory being
void by the death of William Wood, clerk 1 ; and Seth Elcock, M.A.,
was presented by the king on 21 February, i66i. 2 But neither
presentation seems to have taken effect.

1661 GEORGE SCOTT, instituted 15 February 1660-1, on the pre-
sentation of John Wood.

1692 THOMAS PURCHASE. Of Christ's College, Cambs.; B.A'., 1677 ;
M.A., 1681. Presented by Rev. Thomas Comber, and
instituted 18 January, 1692. Previously rector of
Langton-on-Swale. He married, in 1682, Catherine,
elder daughter of William Thornton, of East Newton,
and died in 1696. Will 6 December, 1696. His library
of books to Thomas, his eldest son. John and William,
his sons. His estate of Lestropp and Middleham are
charged with 1,000 for his younger children, Katherine,
Alice, and Benjamin, who are minors. 4 to the poor

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