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was arranged came about through acquaintance
between the families in the ordinary way. John
would be brought up in intimate friendship with the
family of Ernald de Saltmarshe, who administered to
his father's will. The tomb of Sybilla de Metham,
the niece of William de Hamelton, is in the Salt-


marshe Chapel at Howden, where the arms of
Hamelton are conspicuous by the side of those of
Saltmarshe. William de Hamelton probably con-
ducted the negotiation simply with a view to make
John de Sutton free to marry as the family and he
himself desired. However that may be, all went well,
and about Midsummer, 1294, John de Sutton was
married to Constance, the daughter of John Sampson,
of York.* His marriage settlement, in Latin (Brit.
Mus., L.F.C. iii., 5), a piece of parchment measuring
seven inches by three inches and three-quarters,
almost perfect, and still bearing the seal impressed by
his own hand, may be read as follows :

" Know all men as well present as future that Whereas I John
son and heir of Saer de [Sutton in Holder] ness, on Friday
after the feast of Saint Bartholomew the Apostle in the twenty
second year of the reign of King Edward [I] have espoused
Custantia daughter of John Sampson at the door of the Church
of St. Martin in Coningstret as my wife, I have endowed her
with my manors of Sutton and Braunsholm, and have assigned
the same to her in dower, to have and to hold in the name of
dower during the whole term of her life. Wherefore I will and
grant that, whenever human fate overtakes me and she survives,
she the aforesaid Custantia shall have and hold my manors of
Sutton and Braunsholm with all manner of their appurtenances,
things, and easements, as freely, quietly, and wholly as I held
them on the day of the making of these presents without
contradiction or hindrance of my heirs or any other persons
whomsoever. In witness whereof I have set my seal to this
present writing and I have obtained the Seal of the Officially of
York to be appended to the same together with my seal these
being the Witnesses. William, the Rector of the Church of
Sutton, Maurice Sampson, Nicholas de Seleby, Robert Seg-
gevans, John Huthriz, Richard Wiles, Alan Baudewin, and

The seal of John de Sutton, a lion dormant, or
curled up in sleep, is in very fair condition. It seems
that the lion rampant had not yet been adopted as the
cognisance of the family.

* In 1298 John Sampson was one of the members for the county in the
Parliament which met at York.


Early in the time of John, the meadow in the Ings
and the pasturage in the West Carr, which the last
Saver had granted to Martin de Otringham, together
with a considerable extent of meadows and pasturage
in Southcoats and elsewhere, came into the hands of
the monks of Meaux. Serious responsibilities were,
however, attached to the gift, and the story illustrates
the habits of the time.

Richard de Otringham, the grandson of Martin, had
inherited the property. Being a priest, the rector
of Shelford, near Cambridge, it was natural for him
to think of founding a small religious house in
Ottringham, the home of his family ; and the priory of
Bridlington, which held the church of Ottringham,
was selected to carry out his views. This house of


Augustinian canons might indeed be expected to
faithfully execute such a trust. But the law was
jealous of these endowments, and the Statute of
Mortmain forbad them unless with the consent of the
King. Edward the First, being then in negotiation
with the monks for their town of Wyk and grange
of Myton, in the hope of making better terms for
himself, insisted that the endowment should be made
to the Abbey of Meaux. Several charters (Lansd.
424, f. 38) show that this matter was in hand for some
five years, but on the 8th March, 1293, the King gave
licence to the Abbey to hold the property, and in June
following John de Sutton, by charter, authorised
Richard de Otringham to assign it to the Abbey. He
begins with the statement that :


" By the Common Counsel of the realm of England it has been
provided and enacted that it shall not be lawful for men in a
religious community, nor for others, to enter the fee of any man
so that it may come to a 'dead hand,' without the special licence
of the King and of the chief lord of whom that property is
immediately held."

Nevertheless, he grants his charter, which was
witnessed by William, the rector of Sutton, amongst
others. And so the chantry was founded, the founder
conveying to the Abbey with the lands his bond-
men with their families and chattels. Thereupon
seven monks were sent from Meaux and furnished with
carefully-considered instructions as to their manner of
life. Their services, the psalms and anthems they
were to use, their special devotions to the Blessed
virgin, "our hope and consolation after God," their
reading, labour, and diversion were strictly enjoined.
They were to study theology, not to wander about in
pairs, nor keep idle company, nor to quarrel, nor
enter a tavern, or visit public shows. All this
indicates that there were then in the country side
these snares for the feet of the unwary, and also that
the strict seclusion of the Cistercian rules must have
been a good deal relaxed to admit of these monks
falling into them. But with all this care scandals
arose, so that, after four-and-twenty years, it became
necessary to remove, with the consent of the founder,
the little establishment to a place outside the gate of
Meaux Abbey, where they could be better supervised.
Thus, although one chaplain was left at Ottringham,
the original intention of Richard de Otringham, who
must have pictured to himself a perpetual continuance
of Church service on the land of his inheritance, came
to naught.

But the monks did not continue to enjoy this
benefaction without dispute. The chronicle records
that John de Sutton unjustly took away from them
thirteen acres and one-third of the meadow, but at


length he restored it, confirming their title to the
whole. The part taken was in the midst of their
thirty-five acres in Cartgatedaile. In the charter by
which he restores the land so taken (Dods. 53, f. i b ) he
says- it was between the meadow of the convent on
either side.

Long before the time of John de Sutton, the free
tenants, looking from the backs of their homesteads
over the green Ings must have noticed the gradual
increase in the groups of houses on the holm where
central Hull now stands. The traffic in wool had
grown from smuggling to legitimate export, vessels
belonging to Beverley would be seen in growing
numbers passing up and down the river, a veritable
port had come into existence at the harbour
mouth. Edward I. sanctioned and promoted this
commerce, and some ten years after John became
lord of Sutton, the port was established as a town
under the new name of Kyngeston-upon-Hull.

But as yet, no one who did not possess some right
of way could reach the place with horses or carts, and
in the year 1302 a commission was issued to enquire
as to the best mode of remedying this defect.
Thereupon the roads to Anlaby and Beverley, and
that leading towards Hedon, were laid out as King's
highways. The last, which is the Holderness Road,
was to begin at midstream of the river Hull, to go
through the middle of the town of Drypool to the
pasture called " Suttecotes Som'gang," thence in a
direct line to the cross standing in Somergangs, thence
to the west end of the town of " Sutcotes," and thence
to the ditch dividing Sutton and Summergangs where
a bridge was to be made near a place called
" Lambhelmsike " on the west, where the Holderness
Road is now joined by the Ings Road. From that
place the road was to be continued of a breadth of
forty feet to the bridge of Bilton, where it would join
the ancient road through Sutton towards Hedon, and


so communicate with such roads as then existed in
South Holderness.

This must have been on the general lines of the
right of way granted by Sayer the Third to the nuns of
Swine for access to their sheepcots in Southcoates. It
appears from an inquisition quoted by Frost (p. 64)
that four acres, three roods and a half of meadow in
Sutton, in the dayles, and four acres of pasture in
Summergangs were taken for the making of this road.
But no compensation could be obtained by John de
Sutton for this land, nor yet for the injury to his ferry
across the river at Drypool.

The making of the Anlaby and Holderness Roads
would divert the traffic between South Holderness and
the wolds from the older road by way of Stoneferry,
and would greatly promote the prosperity of the town
of Kingston-upon-Hull for the improvement of which,
"and for no other purpose," the roads are said to have
been made.

Early in the fourteenth century, the mills belonging
to the monks at the outlet of Forthdyk, had become
defective, and a dispute arose as to the repairs of the
parallel ditches with their floodgates. Then the
monks and their tenants in Waghen agreed with
John de Sutton, Godfrey de Meaux, and their tenants
in Sutton, by which the monastery was to renew and
keep in repair the floodgates and repair the channel of
Forthdyk. They were also to find timber for the
renewal and repairs of the floodgates on Sutton dyk,
the work being done by the lords and tenants of
Sutton, for whose convenience that cut had been
made. All this is recorded in the Chronicle, and set
out in the Stowe Charter, 495, a little dilapidated
piece of parchment executed at Sutton in 1304.

Edward II. coming to the throne in 1307, incurred
the dislike of his people, by his attachment to
Piers^Gaveston, to whom he granted the Seigniory of
Holderness. John de Sutton and many of his


neighbours were amongst those who, although he
was their overlord, took part against the favourite.
In 1312 Gaveston was captured and beheaded,
and John de Sutton, and Nicholas his brother,
soon after that event found themselves in the
King's prison at York. In the Pipe Roll of
the sixth year of Edward there is an entry of
a fine of a hundred marks for the redemption
of their bodies. On the i6th October, 1313
(/th Edward II.), John's name appears in a long
list of those who, with their leader, Thomas,
Earl of Lancaster, received pardon for the part
they had taken in bringing about the death of

From a charter of John (Dods. 94, fol. 92), it
appears that Sir Robert de Hyldeyard had given him
a bond for the payment of one hundred marks, but
John released him on condition that one hundred and
twenty acres of meadow in Sutton and the Sheepcots
held by Hyldeyard, should be transferred to John for
six years. This appears to be the property granted
by Sayer the Third to Isabella de Fortibus. The
family of Hyldeyard was closely connected with the
property held by Isabella, who had died soon after
John came into his manor.

From an entry in the register of Archbishop
Greenfield (2nd part, 130), quoted by Dodsworth
(28f. 59), we learn that John's sister Joan was a nun
at Swine, or at least an inmate of the priory. In the
year 1314 " Domina Johanna de Sutton,' who had
been indisposed, had leave to go to the house of her
brother John, and stay with him for two or three days.
The Prioresses of Swine were the daughters of
persons of position in the neighbourhood, and the
nuns would be of like origin. The ancestors of Joan,
for at least four generations, had been on friendly
terms with the community, her old home could be
seen from the Priory, and one must feel glad to know



that she could be permitted to visit it at such a


John was from time to time called upon with other
lords of manors to furnish troops for the royal armies
engaged in the wars with Scotland and France.
During these wars levies were more than once
ordered of all the men between twenty and sixty, and
all such as had lands or goods of value, had to
come armed either as-light horsemen, or in heavy
armour and mounted on strong horses, as was
necessary for those who had to bear the main shock
of the battle. Holderness would furnish a due
proportion, and the lord of the manor of Sutton would
appear in the field with his neighbours clad in armour,
closely resembling that which covers the recumbent
efHgy in the chancel of Sutton Church. When in
1314, Edward II. returned from his ill-fated expedi-
tion against Robert the Bruce, he ordered Robert le
Constable, John de Sutton, and Robert de Roos to
raise within the Seigniory horsemen and foot soldiers
to reinforce him. John was summoned to Parliament
on several occasions, first as John de Sutton, and later
as John de Sutton, senior. In a writ dated the i2th
Edward the Third, the year before John's death, for
levying supplies for the war in France, he is named as
" Johes de Sutton, Senior, Miles." In 1310, and
again in 1336, he acted as a commissioner for the
drainage and embankment of the H umber in Holder-

Once at least, but probably more often, Sutton was

* So little is known of the wives and daughters of this family that every
document relating to them has a special interest. Dodsworth (106, f. 21) copies
a Fine by which Thomas Oudely de Reyle (Audley de Rayleigh), in the county
of Essex, and Joan, his wife, daughter of John de Sutton-in-Holderness, conveyed
to Robert Dumfravyle and William Ryther, Knights, and John Holme, Robert
Haytfeld, Thomas Wilton and Richard Haytfeld, Esquires, five messages, three
tofts, one oxgang, and nine acres of tillage and seventeen acres of meadow, with
the appurtenances in Sutton, Stanfery, and Drypole. This distant connexion
may have arisen through the tenure of the lordship of Holderness by Margaret de
Clare, who had inherited manors in Essex, and was the wife, first of Piers
Gaveston, and afterwards of Hugh, Lord Audley.


honoured by the presence of royalty, Burstwick being
visited on several occasions by Edward I. and Edward
II. In October, 1322, Edward II., returning from an
expedition to the north, turned aside for a very brief
visit to Holderness. On the fifteenth of the month
he was at Bridlington, and on the seventeenth his
Privy seal was affixed to a document (relating to the
wardship of one of his castles) at Sutton. He was
at York on the day following.

In the year 1339, after he had held the Manor for
the long period of fifty years, " human fate" overtook
Sir John de Sutton ; his widow, Constance, being left
in the enjoyment of her dower.

In the quire of Sutton Church, which was built in
the time of his son, there lies on an altar tomb the
effigy of a knight, carefully wrought so as to show the
minutest details of the armour worn in the fourteenth
century. The late Sir Samuel Rush Meyrick, the
great authority on ancient armour, gave an opinion as
to the date of this effigy, which is printed in Frost's
" Notices." He says :

" The costume of the effigy proves it to be that of Sir John de
Sutton, who died in the i2th of Edward III., rather than that
of his son, who died in the 3oth of Edward III., as in the
latter case it would have been in the short hauberk, covered by
the jupon, instead of the long one and the cyclas. The last
mentioned garment, indeed, rather marks the period of the
preceding Monarch, as it succeeded the surcoat of his reign,
and went out of fashion early in that of Edward III. On the
head of the figure is the basinet, to which is attached the
camail for the protection of the throat ; the arms and legs are
in plate armour, and the feet in sollerets, that have a scale-like

Admitting the force of this inference from the style
of the armour, it must still seem somewhat strange that
such a monument to Sir John de Sutton, senior, should
here be found. The chapel of Sutton was in his time
dilapidated, and there was nothing to render it eligible
as a place of sepulture. At this period men of con-


siderable position were anxious to be buried in the
church of some religious community, where masses for
their souls would be daily said, and where all the
services of the church would be heard in due season.
The priory of Swine, in which his sister lived, was
such a place. There is now in the parish church of
Swine a monument with a pair of effigies that have
doubtless been removed from the destroyed priory
church to their present position in a recess in the south
wall. Burnsall, who would have heard the tradition,
says this is the monument of Sir John de Sutton, and
although this may be doubtful, the probability is that
he would be buried there, and would have a monument.
As to the tomb at Sutton, I shall show by independent
evidence that it very probably belongs to the younger
John de Sutton.


A I lildyard heiress. Thomas Sampson, Rector. Renewed disputes over the West
Carr. Dispute over an old tunic. Knighthood of the Black Prince. The
College of St. James founded, and Sutton Church built. Its dedication.
The Black Death. Thomas Sampson's will. Death of Sir John de Sutton.
His son no more heard of. The tomb in the church. His wife's dower.

JOHN, the son of John de Sutton, succeeded his
father in 1339, the twelfth year of Edward III.
Frost states that he was then twenty years old,
but there is a document (Dods. 60, f. 8o b -) which
makes him thirty, a more likely age. His position
was one of some prominence. He was summoned to
parliament, as his father had been, and was
commissioned to raise troops for the king. His family
connections would draw him towards York, but he
acted with his neighbours as a commissioner for
keeping up the embankments and drainage of
Holderness, and he seems to have attended closely to
the affairs of his manor. He had brothers, Edmund
and Thomas, and perhaps William also.

As to the last named, there is a charter in French
(Dods. 94, f. 96 b -) which shews that William de
Sutton, " Chivaler," married Emme, the widow of
Thomas Hildyard of Riston, and thus became step-
father of the heiress, Katherine Hildyard, whose
marriage, with that of her sister, was the subject of a
dispute recorded in the chronicle of Meaux Abbey.*
Katherine's husband, Piers Nuttell, at Candlemastide,
1340, being at Sutton, entered into an arrangement
with William and Emme for the repayment by him of
a hundred pounds, which was probably some portion
of Katherine's fortune, in case there should be no

* No brother of John de Sutlon, Junior, could have been more than twenty-nine
years old, but this William could not have been John's uncle William, who was
a priest.


children of the marriage. The Nuttells had children,
and Katherine, who had inherited lands in Sutton,
Stoneferry, and other places, parted by a charter (Dods.
139, f. 45 bi ) with her life interest to William de Melton,
, the parson of Brandesburton, and others. Part of this
property (which seems the same as the grant of Sayer
the Third to Isabella de Fortibus) can probably be
identified. There are two fields to the north of the
Warld's Ends house still- called High and Low Nuttles,
on which the marks of enclosures or foundations may
indicate an ancient farmstead by the river. It seems
probable also that the field called "Countess Croft,"
adjoining Summergangs, now. like Nuttles, belonging
to Watson's Charity, was a sheepfold of the Countess

In the year 1340, the Rectory of Sutton became
vacant by the death of John's uncle, William de
Sutton, who had held it for fifty years. John's
mother, Constance, who was then enjoying the
manor of Sutton as her dower, presented her brother,
Thomas Sampson, some time the Rector of Acaster
Malbis, near York, and afterwards Archdeacon of
Cleveland. He was also a Canon of York, having
been appointed to the prebend of Huish Episcopi in
1332. The living was too valuable to be bestowed on
a simple parish priest, and Thomas Sampson held it as
such benefices were usually held by persons of his
dignity the duties being left to chaplains while he
lived at York.

Frost says that John de Sutton, Junior, had a grant
of the manor of Barton-on-H umber in 1327. At that
date he was under age, and the statement may refer to
his father, but I see no foundation for it. The manor
of Barrow, or some share in it, did belong to his
brother who succeeded him, and may have belonged
to himself. There was in his family a similar owner-
ship of the manor of Atwick.

The enthusiasm for the endowment of monasteries


was now on the wane, we are therefore without those
interesting particulars as to gifts of meadows and
pasturage which the records of Meaux and Swine
have before supplied. On the other hand, disputes
were now arising as to the right of the monasteries to
the lands they had acquired, and John de Sutton,
Junior, did not lose much time in raising such a
dispute with the monks of Meaux. Through this
difference we learn something more about the
pasturage in the West Carr.

It will be remembered that the monks had not been
able to enclose their portion of the West Carr, because
of rights of pasturage appertaining to seven oxgangs
of tillage, and fifteen tofts which belonged to other
persons. For that reason they had set up boundary
posts along the line where the road now runs between
SofTham and Frog Hall. In the course of eighty years,
however, these posts had decayed away, so that all
evidence of the boundary line was lost, and John, "in
spite of the charters of his ancestors," claimed common
of pasture in this part of the West Carr. But after
long negotiations, during which the decayed feet of the
posts were dug up, the parties were brought to one
mind, and made a new agreement. By it, John de
Sutton, his heirs and their bondmen, were henceforth
to have common for their wethers and sheep over
the land which the monks called their own, that is over
the low grounds of Soffham and Frog Hall. The
monks were to have common for five hundred wethers
or sheep in the residue of the West Carr, which extended
to Stoneferry, besides the pasturage for a hundred
sheep to which they were entitled by the terms of
Richard de Otringham's endowment. Steps were
then taken to renew the old boundary marks by putting
down very large stones instead of posts, " from the
corner of Southowscroft in a line almost direct towards
Swine Church." Although this arrangement seems to
have been satisfactory at the time, they complain that,


not only John de Sutton, his heirs and their bondmen,
but also the rest of the commoners pastured their stock
in the portion belonging to the abbey, which the
monks say was contrary to right, particularly as the
monks had to keep up the river bank, northward of
Frog Hall. This is the last that we hear of these
disputes about the legacy which old Amandus de
Sutton left to them more than two hundred years

One of the petty troubles of the monks, recorded
in their chronicle, and in the Lansdowne MS., 424,
f. ii3 b " is of some interest. In 1344, John de
Falconberge, of Rise, raised questions as to the value
of the clothing for a poor man, which, about a century
before, had been agreed to be given annually in
acknowledgment of a gift from his ancestor of so
much of the pasturage in the Salts as belonged to an
oxgang and a half of tillage. He questioned also the
place and time where and when the clothing ought to
be delivered. In the end he laid it down that the
monks should, provide one old tunic, worth eighteen-
pence, or should pay over that sum yearly at the
gate of the abbey between St. Andrew's Day (3Oth
November) and Christmas, to the poor man appointed
by him to receive it. He promised that neither he
nor his heirs would seize the sheep or cattle of the
abbey, except when the tunic or its value should be in
arrear. But in some way the heirs converted this
eighteenpence into rent which looks as if they
ignored the charitable nature of the gift, and made the
monks their tenants with a view to an increased claim
on the pasturage at some future time.

Frost says that John de Sutton, Junior, was knighted
by Edward the Third at the siege of Calais which took
place in 1346, but he was a knight some years before
that time. On Wednesday next before the feast of
St. Lawrence, 1342, William de Hornse and Robert de
Waghen, chaplain, granted to John de Sutton, " Miles,"

Online LibraryThomas BlashillSutton-in-Holderness: the manor, the berewic, and the village community → online text (page 7 of 26)