Britannia, by William Camden

Yorkshire, North-Riding.

North-riding. Big S SCARCE two miles above the Promontory of Flamburow, begins the North-part of this Country or the North-riding; which makes the frontier to the other parts. From the Sea it extends it self in a very long but narrow tract, for threescore miles together, as far as Westmorland, to the west; being bounded on one side, by the river Derwent, and for some space by the Ure; and on the other side, all along, by the course of the river Tees, which separates it from the Bishoprick of Durham to the North. This Riding may not unfitly be divided into the following parts, Blackamore, Cliveland, Northalvertonshire, and Richmondshire.

That which lyeth East and towards the Sea, is call’d Blackamore, that is, a land black and mountainous, being all over rugged and unsightly, by reason of craggs, hills, and woods. The Sea-coast is eminent for Scarborough, a famous Castle, formerly call’d Saxon scear-burg, i.e. a Bourg upon a steep Rock: Take the description of it from the History of William of Newburgh. A rock of wonderful height and bigness, and inaccessible by reason of steep craggs almost on every side, stands into the Sea; which quite surrounds it, except in one place, where a narrow slip of land is the entrance to it on the West. It has on the top a pleasant plain, grassy and spacious, of about * * See below.sixty acres or upwards, and a little† See below.well of water, springing from a rock. In the very entrance, which one is at some pains to reach, stands a ¦ ¦ Turris regia.stately tower; and beneath the entrance the City begins, spreading its two sides South and North, and carrying its front Westward, where it is fortified with a wall; but on the East it is fenc’d by that rock where the Castle stands; and lastly, on both sides by the Sea. William, sirnam’d le Grosse, Earl of Albemarle and Holderness, observing this place to be fitly situated for a Castle, encreased the natural strength of it by a very costly work, having enclosed all that plain upon the rock with a wall, and built a Tower in the entrance. But this being decay’d and fallen through age, King Henry the second commanded a great and noble Castle to be built upon the same spot. For he had now reduc’d the Nobility of England, who during the loose reign of King Stephen, had impair’d the revenues of the Crown; but especially this William of Albemarle, who had lorded it over all these parts, and kept this Place as his own.

⌈The Town, on the North-east, is fortified with a high and inaccessible rock, stretch’d out a good way into the Sea (as Newbrigensis says,) and containing at the top about eighteen or twenty acres of good Meadow; and not near sixty, as the same Writer adds. Whether the difference lie in the several measures of Acres; or the greater part of it be wash’d away by the Sea; or the number be false, and owing to an error of that Historian; I shall not dispute, since the matter of fact is plain. * * Dr. Wittie’s Description of Scarborough­Spaw.The Spaw-well is a quick Spring, about a quarter of a mile South from the Town, at the foot of an exeeding high cliff; arising upright out of the Earth like a boyling pot, near the level of the Spring-tides, with which it is often overflown. It is of that sort of Springs, which Aristotle calls Greek, which in the most droughty years are never dry. In an hour, it affords above twenty four gallons of water: for the stones through which it flows, contain more than twelve gallons, and being emptied every morning, it will be full within half an hour. It’s virtue proceeds from a participation of Vitriol, Iron, Alum, Nitre and Salt: to the sight it is very transparent, inclining somewhat to a sky-colour; it hath a pleasant acid taste from the Vitriol, and an inky smell. This Town drives a good trade with Fish taken in the Sea hereabouts, with which they supply the City of York, though thirty miles distant. Besides Herrings, they have Ling, Codfish, Haddock, Hake, Whiting, Mackrel, and several other sorts, in great plenty. From this place, Richard Viscount Lumley hath his title of Earl of Scarborough; to which he was advanced in the second year of King William and Queen Mary.⌉

North Riding of York Shire map, left North Riding of York Shire map, right

North Riding of York Shire

It is not to my purpose, to relate the desperate boldness of Thomas Stafford, who (that he might fall at least from great attempts) surpriz’d this Castle in Queen Mary’s reign, with a very small number of French, and kept it for two days: nor yet of Sherleis, a noble Frenchman of the same company, who was arraign’d for High Treason, although a foreigner, because he had acted contraryVid. Dier. 144. to the duty of his Allegiance; there being then a Peace between the Kingdoms of England and France. These things are too well known in the world, to need further light from me; ⌈especially, since the Castle it self is now in Ruins; having been demolished in the time of the great Rebellion.⌉ Leucomenidae fossils It is worth remarking, that those of Holland and Zealand carry on a very great and gainful trade of fishing in the Sea here for Herrings (call them in LatinThe gainful trade of Herring-fishing. Haleces, Leucomenidæ, Chalcides, or what you please;) after they have, according to ancient Custom, obtain’d Licence for it from this Castle. For the English always granted leave for Fishing; reserving the Honour to themselves, but out of a lazy humour resigning the gain to others: it being almost incredible, what vast gains the Hollanders make by the Fishery on our Coast. These Herrings (pardon me if I digress a little, to shew the goodness of God toward us) which in the time of our † † So said, ann. 1607.Grandfathers swarm’d only about Norway, do now, in our times, by the bounty of divine Providence, swim in great shoals round our coasts every year. About Midsummer, they draw from the main Sea towards the coast of Scotland, at which time they are immediately sold off, as being then at their best. From thence they arrive on our coasts; and from the middle of August to November, there is excellent and most plentiful fishing for them, all along from Scarborough to the Thames-mouth. Afterwards, by stormy weather they are carried into the British Sea, and are there caught till Christmas; thence having ranged the coast of Ireland on both sides, and gone round Britain, they return into the Northern Ocean, where they remain till June; and after they have cast their spawn, return again in great shoals. This relation puts me in mind of what I have formerly read in St. Ambrose:Hexameron, l.5. c.10. Fish, in prodigious numbers, meeting as it were by common consent out of many places from several creeks of the Sea, do in one united body make towards the blasts of the * * Aquilo.North-east wind, and by a kind of natural instinct swim into the northern seas. One would think, when he sees them as it were climb the main, that some tide were approaching; with such violence do they rush on and cut the waves, as they go through the Propontis to the Euxine Sea. But to return.

⌈This and Hull being the only Ports short of Yarmouth, where Life and Goods can be secured in stress of weather, the Peer here is maintain’d at the publick charge by an imposition upon Coals from Newcastle and Sunderland. And the Mariners have erected a Hospital for the Widows of poor Seamen, which is well maintained by a rate on Vessels, and by certain deductions out of the Seamen’s wages.

At Harwood dale, near Scarborough, Sir Thomas Posthumus Hobby, Lord of the Manour, and Margaret his wife, built a handsome Chapel, and endow’d it with the great and small Tythes, which the Minister now enjoys.⌉

From hence the shore is craggy, and bends inward as far as the river Teise;Teise, riv. and by its winding, there is made a bay about a mile broad, which is call’d Robin-Hoods-Bay,Robin Hood’s Bay. from that famous Out-law Robin Hood. He liv’d in the reign of Richard the first, as Jo. Major a Scotchman informs us, who stiles him the Prince of Robbers, and the most kind and obliging robber. ⌈Upon the adjacent Moor, are two little Hills, a quarter of a mile asunder, which are called his Butts. This noted robber lies buried in the Park near Kirk-lees-Nunnery in the West-riding, under a Monument which remains to this day.⌉

From hence the shore, immediately going back on both sides, shews us the Bay Dunus sinus,Dunum. mention’d in Ptolemy, upon which is seated the little village Dunesly;Dunesly. and hard by it, WhitbyWhitby. ⌈a commodious harbour, which hath sixty Ships of eighty Tuns or more, belonging to it; with a Peer, for the rebuilding and repairing of which, an Act of Parliament was pass’d in the first year of Q. Anne. It is call’d⌉ in the Saxon tongue Saxon Streanes-heale, ⌈and Saxon Streo-nesheal,⌉ which Bede renders, the bay of the Watch-tower. I will not dispute this interpretation of it; tho’ in our language it seems so plainly to intimate a bay of Safety, that I should certainly have said it was the Sinus Salutaris, if its situation (as the Geographer makes it) did not perswade me to the contrary. ⌈But others observe, that it is call’d in Saxon, not Saxon Streanes-heale, but Saxon streones-halh, as it is in the Saxon Paraphrase of Bede, and also in the best Latin Copies. And therefore Mr. Junius in his Gothick Glossary under the word Alh, seems to hit the true original, when he fetches it from the Saxon Saxon hael, Saxon hal, or Saxon healh (call’d by Cædmon alh) which, like our Northern word Hall still in use, signifies any eminent building. Hence the name of the Pagan God Woden’s Valhol (or Valhaul,) so frequently mention’d in the Edda, and other old Cimbrian Writers: and Crantzius fetches the name of the City of Upsal from the same original.⌉Caedmon

Here are found certain Stones, resembling the wreaths and foldings of a Serpent;Stony Serpents. the strange frolicks of nature, which (as one says) she forms for her diversion, after a toilsome application to serious business. For one would believe that they had been Serpents, crusted over with a cover of stone. Fame ascribes them to the power of Hilda’s prayers,Hilda. as if she had transform’d them. ⌈Dr. William Nicholson, the present learned and worthy Bishop of Derry in Ireland and late of Carlisle (who has made large Observations upon the Natural Rarities of these parts) affirms them to be the same with those which the Modern Naturalists call Cornua Ammonis. Whether they be original productions of Nature, or petrify’d Shell-fishes of the Nautilous kind, has been very much controverted by several Learned men on both sides. But he is of opinion, that they are rather spiral petrifications produc’d in the Earth by a sort of fermentation peculiar to Alum-mines. Hence, they are plentifully found in the Alum-pits at Rome, Rochel, and Lunenburgh, as well as in those of this Country: and it may be, that Keinsham, and other parts of England, where these Stones are found, would afford likewise good store of Alum. The particular method of making it in this place, is fully describ’d by Mr. Ray, in his † † Pag.201.Collection of English words.⌉

The foremention’d Hilda, in the infancy of the Saxon Church, withstood, to the utmost of her power, the Tonsure of the Clergy, and the celebration of Easter after the Roman manner, in a Synod which met about these matters, An. 664, and was held in the Abbey which she had founded in this place, of which her self was the first Governess; ⌈if indeed such a Synod was really held here, which the silence of King Alfred’s Paraphrase, and of the Saxon Chronicle, renders suspicious.⌉ It is also ascribed to the sanctity of Hilda,Geese dropping down. that those wild Geese (which in winter flie in great flocks to the unfrozen lakes and rivers in the southern parts,) to the great amazement of every body, fall down suddenly upon the ground, when they are in their flight over certain neighbouring fields hereabouts: a relation that I should not have given, if I had not received it from several very credible persons. But they who are less inclin’d to superstition, attribute it to some occult quality in the ground, and to somewhat of † Dissensum.antipathy between it and the Geese, such as they say is between Wolves and Scylla-roots. For, that such hidden tendencies and aversions as we call SympathiesSympathy and Antipathy. and Antipathies, are implanted in many things by nature for their preservation, is a point so evident, that every body readily allows it. Edelfleda, daughter of King Oswin, afterwards enriched this Abbey with very large revenues; and here also she buried her father. But at length, in the time of the Danish Ravages, it was utterly destroyed; and although Serlo Percius (who presently after the Conquest was made Governour of it) rebuilt it, yet at this day it has hardly the remains of its ancient greatness. ⌈In the Church-yard, are a vast number of ancient funeral Monuments, (some Statues, others with plain Crosses upon them) which were removed from the adjoyning Abbey.⌉

Hard by, upon a steep Hill near the Sea (which yet is between two that are much higher) a Castle of WadaDuke Wada, from whom the family of the Wades derive their pedigree. a Saxon-Duke is said to have stood; who (in that confused Anarchy of the Northumbrians, so fatal to the petty Princes) having combined with those that murder’d King Ethered, gave battel to King Ardulph at Whalley in Lancashire, but with such ill success, that his Army was routed, and himself forced to fly. 798. Afterwards, he fell into a Distemper which kill’d him, and was inter’d on a hill here between two solid Rocks about seven foot high; which being at twelve footWadesgrave. distance from one another, occasions a current Opinion, that he was of a gyant-like stature. giant gas A long time after, Peter de Malo lacu built a Castle near this place, which from its grace and beauty he nam’d in French Moultgrace (as we find it in the History of Meaux;) but because it became a heavy grievance to the neighbours thereabouts, the people (who have always the right of coyning words) by changing one single letter, call’d it Moultgrave;Moulgrave Castle. by which name it is every where known, though the reason thereof is little understood. This Peter de Malo-lacu,Barons de Malo-lacu. commonly called Mauley (that I may satisfie the curious in this point) was born in Poictou in France, and married the only daughter of Robert de Turnham in the reign of Richard the first, in whose right he came to a very great inheritance here, enjoyed by seven Peters, Lords de Malo-lacu, successively, who bore for their Arms, a bend sable in an Escocheon Or. But the seventh dying without issue, the inheritance was divided by sisters, between the Knightly families of the Salvains and Bigots. ⌈Mulgrave hath given the title of Earl to Edmund Lord Sheffield of Butterwick, who was Lord President of the North, and created Earl of this place Feb. 7. in the first year of K. Charles the first. He was succeeded by Edmund, his grandchild by Sir John Sheffield his second son; to which Edmund, John his son and heir succeeded; who hath been further honoured with the titles of Marquiss of Normanby and Duke of the County of Buckingham, and Normanby.⌉

Near this place, and elsewhere on this shore, is found Black Amber or Geate.Geate. Some take it to be the Gagates,Gagates. which was valued by the Ancients among the rarest stones and Jewels. Palaemon Marbodaeus It grows upon the rocks, within a chink or cliff of them; and before it is polish’d, looks reddish and rusty, but after, is really (as Solinus describes it) Diamond-like, black and shining.Others are of opinion, that our Pit-coal is a sort of Gagates. Of which, Rhemnius Palæmon, from Dionysius, writes thus:

—Præfulget nigro splendore Gagates,
Hic lapis ardescens austro perfusus aquarum,
Ast oleo perdens flammas, mirabile visu,
Attritus rapit hic teneras, ceu succina, frondes

All black and shining is the Jeat,
In water dip’d it flames with sudden heat.
But a strange coldness, dip’d in Oyl, receives;
And draws, like Amber, little sticks and leaves.

Likewise Marbodæus in his Treatise of Jewels:

Nascitur in Lycia lapis, & prope gemma Gagates,
Sed genus eximium fœcunda Britannia mittit;
Lucidus & niger est, levis & lævissimus idem:
Vicinas paleas trahit attritu calefactus,
Ardet aqua lotus, restinguitur unctus olivo

Jeat-stone, almost a gemm, the Lybians find,
But fruitful Britain sends a wondrous kind;
’Tis black and shining, smooth and ever light.
’Twill draw up Straws, if rubb’d till hot and bright.
Oyl makes it cold, but water gives it heat.

Hear also what Solinus says: In Britain, there is great store of Gagates or Geate, a very fine Stone. If you ask the Colour,Nigro is black and shining; if the quality, it is exceeding light: if the nature, it burns in water, and is quenched with oyl; if the virtue, it has an attractive power when heated with rubbing. ⌈All along these shores, the people are observed to be very busie in making of Kelp; which they do in this manner. They gather the Sea-wrack, and lay it on heaps; and when it is dry, they burn it. While it is burning, they stir it to and fro with an Iron-rake: and so it condenses and cakes together into such a body as we see Kelp to be, which is of use in making of Alum. If they should not stir it, it would burn to ashes as other combustible bodies do.⌉

From Whitby the shore winds back to the Westward; and near it stands Cliveland,Cliveland. so called, as it should seem, from precipices, which we call Cliffs: for it is situated by the side of several steep hills; from the foot of which the Country falls into a plain eaven fertile ground. ⌈The Soil is exceeding clayie, which hath occasioned this Rhyme among them;

Cliveland in the clay,
Bring in two Soles, and carry one away

This tract has given the title of Earl to Thomas Lord Wentworth, created Feb. 7. 1. Car. 1, who dy’d without issue-male, his Son Thomas Lord Wentworth dying the year before him. In the 22th year of K. Charles the second, the title of Dutchess of Cliveland was conferred upon Barbara Villiers, daughter to the Lord Viscount Grandison, and, at her death, descended to Charles, the present Duke.⌉

Upon the shore, Skengrave,Skengrave. a small Village, thrives by the great variety of Fish which it takes; where, it is reported that * * So said, ann. 1607.
A Sea-man.
seventy years ago they caught a † Hominem marinum.Sea-man, who lived upon raw fish for some days; but at last, taking his opportunity, he made his escape into his own element. When the winds are laid, and the sea is in a calm, the waters being spread (as it were) into a plain, a hideous groaning is oft-times heard in these parts on a sudden, and then the fishermen are afraid to go to Sea; who, according to their poor sense of things, believe the Ocean to be a huge Monster, which is then hungry, and eager to glut it self with the bodies of men. Beneath Skengrave stands Kilton,Kilton. a Castle, with a Park round it: this belonged formerly to the famous family of the Thwengs, whose estate descended to the Barons of Lumley, Hilton, and Daubeney. Very near this place is Skelton-castle,Skelton-castle. ⌈heretofore⌉ belonging to the ancient family of the Barons de Brus,Brus of Skelton. who are descended from Robert Brus a Norman. He had two Sons, Adam Lord of Skelton, and Robert Lord of Anan-dale in Scotland, from whom sprang the Royal Line of Scotland. But Peter Brus, the fifth Lord of Skelton, died without issue, and left his sisters heirs; Agnes, married to Walter de Falconberg; Lucie,Barons Falconberg. married to Marmaduke de Thwenge, from whom the Baron Lumley is descended; Margaret, married to Robert de Roos; and Laderina, married to John de Bella aqua; all, men of great honour and esteem in that age. The Posterity of Walter de Falconberg flourish’d a long time; but at last the estate came by a female to William Nevil, famous for his warlike valour, and honour’d with the title of Earl of Kent by King Edward the fourth. His daughters were married to J. Coigniers, N.Bedhowing, and R. Strangwayes. ⌈Robert Bruce, Earl of Elgin in Scotland, was by King Charles the second, in the year 1663, advanced to the title of Earl of Ailsbury and Baron Bruce of Skelton.

Near the mouth of the Tees, is Kirk-Letham,Kirk-Letham. where Sir William Turner (Lord Mayor of London in the year 1669.) built a most stately Hospital, at this place of his Nativity, and endowed it generously for the maintenance of forty poor people (aged, and children,) with liberal Salaries also to a Chaplain, a Master and Mistress. To which, at his death, he added a benefaction of five thousand Pounds for the erecting a Free-School, and the purchasing of plentiful † † To the Master, 100 l. per ann.
To the Usher 50 l.

Near Hunt-cliff,Hunt-cliff. on the shore, when the tide is out, the rocks shoot up pretty high; and to these the Sea-calves (which we by contraction call Seales, as some think for Sea-veals or Sea-calves)Sea-calves. come out in great droves, and there sleep and sun themselves. Upon one of the rocks neerest the shore, some one of them stands centry as it were; and when any body comes near, he either pushes down a stone, or with great noise throws himself into the water, to alarm the rest, that they may provide for themselves, and get into the Sea. Their greatest fear is of Men; and if they are pursued by them, and cannot reach the Sea in time, they often keep them off, by casting-up sand and gravel with their hinder feet. They are not in such awe of Women; so that the Men who would take them, disguise themselves in Womens habit. Here are upon this Coast yellowish and reddish Stones, and some crusted over with a brinish substance; which by their smell and taste resemble Coperas, Nitre, and Brimstone: and also great store of Pyrites, in colour like Brass.seals sentry fossils

Near, at Huntly Nabb,Huntly Nabb. the shore (which for a long way together has lain open) now rises into high rocks; and here and there, at the bottoms of the rocks,Round Stones. lie great stones of several sizes so exactly form’d round by nature, that one would think them bullets cast by some Artist for the great Guns. If you break them, you find, within, stony Serpents wreathed up in Circles, but generally without heads. Hence we see Wilton-castle,Wilton-castle. formerly belonging to the Bulmers. Higher up, at Dobham, the river Tees rolls into the Sea, having ⌈visited Cleasby,Cleasby. where Dr. Robinson, Envoy for many years to the Court of Sweden, and now Bishop of London, hath rebuilt and endowed a Chapel (with a convenient House for the Minister) at this his native place; and also⌉ receiv’d many small rivulets; the last whereof is a nameless one, which enters it near Yarum,Yarum. noted for its Market; and washes Stokesley,Stokesley. a small Market-town likewise, which * * Jam diu spectavit.remain’d long in the hands of the famous family de Eure, ⌈of which, was Sir William Eure, whom King Henry the eighth advanced to the degree of a Baron of this Realm; but this honour expir’d, anno 1707. in Ralph Lord Eure.⌉ Below these, stands Wharlton-castle,Wharlton-castle. which formerly belonged to the Barons Meinill; and Harlsey,Harlsey. to the family of Hotham, but afterwards to the Strangwayes, ⌈and now to the Lawsons:⌉ both of them old and ruinous.

The mouth of the ⌈foremention’d⌉ Tees, was hardly trusted by Mariners heretofore; but now is found to be a safe Harbour: and to direct the entrance, there were Light-houses made on both sides of it, within the memory of † † So said, ann. 1607.the present age. Four miles from the mouth of this river, GisburghGisburgh. stands upon a rising ground; at present a small Town, but formerly very famous for a beautiful and rich Monastery, built about the year 1119. by Robert de Brus Lord of the Town. It has been the common burial-place for the Nobility of these parts, and produced Walter de Hemingford, no unlearned Historian; ⌈and the Abbey-Church, by the ruins, seems to have been equal to the best Cathedrals in England.⌉ The place is really fine, and may, in point of pleasantness, and a grateful variety, and other advantages of Nature, compare with Puteoli in Italy; and in point of healthfulness, it far surpasses it. ⌈The Inhabitants are observed by Travellers to be civil and well-bred; cleanly in their diet, and neat in their houses.⌉ The coldness of the air, which the Sea occasions, is qualified by the hills between; the Soil is fruitful, and produces grass and fine flowers a great part of the year; it abounds with veins of Metal and Alum-earth of several colours (but especially with those of ocher and murray) from which they now † † Ann. 1607.begin to extract the best sort of AlumAlum. and CoperasCoperas.. This was first discover’d a † few years since by the admirable sagacity of that learned Naturalist Sir Thomas Chaloner Kt. (to whose tuition, * * His present Majesty hath, C.his Majesty ⌈King James the first⌉ committed the delight and glory of Britain, his Son Prince Henry;) by observing that the leaves of trees were * * Magis subvirere.of a more weak sort of Green here than in other places; that the oaks shoot forth their roots very broad, but not deep; and that these had much strength but little sap in them; that the soil was a white clay, speckled with several colours, namely, white, yellowish, and blue; that it never froze; and that in a pretty-clear night it shin’d and sparkled like glass, on the road-side. ⌈Here are two Alom-works; one belonging to the Chaloners, the other to the Darcies; but both have been laid aside for some years. Possibly, Whitby lying more conveniently, and having plenty of the Mine at hand, may have drawn the Trade from them.⌉

Next, Ounesbery-Topping,Ounesbery or Rosebery Topping. a steep Mountain and all over green, riseth so high, as to appear at a great distance; and it is the land-mark that directs Sailors, and a prognostick of weather to the neighbours hereabouts. For when it’s top begins to be darken’d with clouds, rain generally follows. Near the top of it, there issues from a huge rock, a fountain, very good for sore eyes. And from hence, the valleys round it, the grassy hills, green meadows, rich pastures, fruitful corn-fields, rivers full of fish, the creeky mouth of the Tees, shores low and open, yet free from inundation, and the Sea with the Ships under sail; do render the prospect very agreeable and entertaining. Beneath this, stands Kildale,Kildale. a Castle belonging to the Percies Earls of Northumberland; and more to the east, Danby,Danby. which came from Brus, by the Thwengs, to the Barons Latimer, from whose heir are descended the Willoughbies Barons Broke. But this Danby, among other estates, was sold to the Nevils; of whom, George Nevil was summon’d among the Barons, to Parliament, by Henry the sixth,Barons Latimer. under the title of Lord Latimer; in whose posterity that Honour remain’d to the † † So said, ann. 1607.present age. ⌈Since which, Danby hath afforded the title of Earl to Henry Lord Danvers of Dantsey, created Feb. 7. Car. 1, but he dy’d without issue in the year 1643. In 1674. June 27. the title of Earl of Danby was conferred upon Thomas Osborn, a very able Statesman in his time, who was created before Baron of Kiveton, and Viscount Latimer, and was afterwards advanced to the dignity of Marquiss of Caermarthen, and Duke of Leeds.⌉

I have nothing more to observe here, but that the Baron de Meinill held some lands in this County, of the Archbishops of CanterburyThe History of Canterbury., and that the Coigniers and Strangwaies, with some others descended from them, are obliged to be attendant, and to pay certain military services to the Archbishops, for the same. And whereas the King of England, by his Prerogative (these are the very words of the Statute)Prærogativ. Reg. 17 Edw. 2. shall have the Ward Wardship.of all the lands of such as hold of him in chief by Knights service, whereof the tenants were seised in their demesne as of fee at the day of their death, of whomsoever they hold else by like service, so that they held in ancient time any land of the Crown, till the heir come to his lawful age: Yet these fees are excepted, and others of the Archbishop of Canterbury and the Bishop of Durham, so that they shall have such Wards, tho’ they held of the King in some other Place.

More inward, among the Mountains of Blackamore,Blackamore. there is nothing remarkable (besides some rambling brooks and rapid torrents, which take up all the vallies hereabouts;) unless it be Pickering,Pickering. a pretty large Town belonging to the Dutchy of Lancaster, seated upon a hill, and fortified with an old Castle, to which many neighbouring villages belong; so that the adjacent territory is commonly called Pickering-Lith, the Liberty of Pickering, and the Forest of Pickering; which Henry the third gave to Edmund his younger son, Earl of Lancaster. In this, upon the Derwent, AttonAtton. is situated, which gave name to the famous family of the Attons Knights, descended from the Lords de Vescy, whose estate was divided by daughters between Edward de St. John, the Euers, and the Coigniers. From this Edward de St. John, a great part of it came by a daughter to Henry Bromflet;27 Hen.6. who was summon’d to ParliamentBromflet Lord Vescy. in the following manner (no where else to be met-with among the Summons to Parliament;) We will that both you and the heirs males of your body lawfully begotten, be Barons of Vescy. Afterwards, this title came by a daughter to the Cliffords. On the other side, four miles from Pickering, near Dow (a little rapid river) is Kirkby-Morside,Kirkby-Morside. none of the most inconsiderable Market-towns, formerly belonging to the Estotevills, and situate near hills, from which it takes the name.

After these, westward, stands Rhidale,Rhidale. a very fine vale, pleasant and fruitful, and adorned with twenty three Parish-Churches, and the river Rhy running through the midst of it. A place (says Newbrigensis) of vast solitude and horror, till Walter Espec gave it to the Cluniack Monks, and founded a Cloister for them. In this Vale is Elmesly,Elmesly, call’d also Hamlak. which (if I mistake not) Bede calls Ulmetum, where Robert sirnamed de Ross, built the Castle of Fursan; near which, the river Recall hides it self under ground. Lower-down upon this river, stands Riton, the ancient * * Now, of an ancient family the Percihaies, commonly called Percyes.

⌈At a little Village named East-nessEast-ness. in Rhydale, was found the following Sepulchral Inscription upon a Stone-Monument, which was full of bones,


From hence the Rhy, with many waters received from other currents, rolls into the Derwent; which washes MaltonMalton. in this Vale, a Market-town, famous for its vent of Corn, Fish, and † Instrumentis Rusticis.Country-utensils. For the making of the said river navigable to this place, and from hence to it’s joining with the river Ouse, an Act of Parliament pass’d in the first year of Queen Anne.⌉ Here ⌈at Malton,⌉ the foundation of an old Castle is still visible; which formerly, as I have heard, belonged to the Vesceys,Baron Vescey. Barons of great note and eminence in these parts. Their pedigree (as appears from the Records) is deriv’d from William Tyson, Lord of Malton and Alnewick in Northumberland, who was cut off in the battel of Hastings, against the Normans. His only daughter was married to Ivo de Vescy a Norman, who likewise left one only daughter Beatrice, married to Eustachius, son of John Monoculus, who in the reign of King Stephen founded two religious houses at Malton and Watton: for his second wife (daughter to William, Constable of Chester) was Lady of Watton. caesarian alum William, son of Eustachius by his wife Beatrice, who was ripped out of his mother’s womb, took the name Vescey, and for Arms,Arms of the Vescies.
Matth. Paris MS.
A Cross, Argent, in a field, Gules. This William, by B. daughter to Robert Estotevill of Knaresburgh, had two sons; Eustace de Vescey, who married Margaret, daughter of William King of Scots; and Guarin de Vescey Lord of Knapton. Eustace was father to William, who had a son, John, that died without issue, and William, famous for his exploits in Ireland, and who changed the old Arms of the family into a Shield, Or, with a Cross, Sable. William (whose lawful son, John, dy’d in the wars of Wales) gave some of his lands in Ireland to King Edward, on condition, that his natural son calledLib. Dunelm. William de Kildare, might inherit his estate; and made Anthony Bec Bishop of Durham, his Feoffee in trust to the use of his son; who did not acquit himself over-fairly in that part of his charge relating to Alnwick, Eltham in Kent, and some other estates, which he is said to have converted to his own use. This natural son, aforesaid, was slain at the Battle of Sterling in Scotland; and the title came at last to the family of the Attons, by Margaret the only daughter of Guarin Vescey, who was married to Gilbert de Atton. But enough of this, if not too much;Vid. pag. præced. and besides, it has been spoken of before.

Near this Vale, stands Newborrow,Newborrow. to which we owe William of Newborrow, the English Historian, a learned and diligent Writer: now it is the Seat of the famous family de Ballasise, who came originally from the Bishoprick of Durham, ⌈and are honoured with the title of Viscounts Falconberge; the Earldom being extinct, by the death of Thomas Earl of Falconberge without issue.⌉ Near the same Vale, stands Belleland, commonly called Biland:Biland. this, and Newborrow, were two famous Monasteries, both founded and endowed, by Roger Mowbray. Family of the Mowbrays. The family of the Mowbrays was very considerable for Power, Honour, and Wealth: possessing very great Estates; with the Castles of Slingesby, Thresk, and others, in these parts. The rise of the family was in short thus: Roger de Mowbray Earl of Northumberland, and R. de ** In another place call’d De Fronte Bovis.Grandebeofe, being depriv’d of their estates for Disloyalty, King Henry the first gave the greatest part of them to Nigell de Albenie (descended from the same family with the Albenies Earls of Arundell) a person of very noble extraction among the Normans. The Register of Fountain-Abby. He was Bow-bearer to William Rufus, and was enrich’d to that degree by Henry the first, that he had in England 140 Knights-fees, and in Normandy 120. His son Roger was also commanded by him to take the name of Mowbray, from whom the Mowbrays Earls of Nottingham, and Dukes of Norfolk, were descended. To these Mowbrays also Gilling-castle,Gilling-castle. a little way from hence, did formerly belong; but now it is in the hands of that ancient and famous family, which from their fair hair, have the name of Fairfax:Fairfax. for faxFax. in Saxon signifies hair, or the hairs of the head; upon which account they call’d a Comet or Blazing-star a Faxed-star,Faxed-star. as also the place before spoken of, Haly-fax, from holy hair.⌉

Below this, to the South, lies the Calaterium nemus, commonly call’d The Forest of Galtres.The Forest of Galtres, which in some places is thick and shady, and in others flat, wet, and boggy. ⌈This Forest extended to the very walls of the City of York; as appears by a Perambulation made in the 28th year of Edward the first.⌉ A Horse-race. At † † Ann. 1607. but this is now discontinu’d.present it is famous for a yearly Horse-race, wherein the prize for the horse that wins, is a little golden bell. It is hardly credible, how great a resort of people there is to these races from all parts, and what great wagers are laid. In this Forest stands Creac,Creac. which Egfrid King of Northumberland in the year * * 684. C. contrary to the original Charter.685. gave, with the ground three miles round, to S. Cuthbert; by whom it came to the Church of Durham.

Scarce four miles from hence, Sherry-hutton,Sherry-hutton. ⌈heretofore⌉ a very neat and beautiful Castle, built by Bertrand de Bulmer, and repair’d by Ralph Nevill first Earl of Westmorland, is pleasantly seated among the woods; ⌈but now has little more remaining, than the Shell:⌉ Near which is Hinderskell,Hinderskel. a Castle built by the Barons of Greystock, which others call ¦ ¦ Centum fontes.Hundred-skell, from the many fountains that spring there. ⌈Here, the Right Honourable Charles Howard, Earl of Carlisle, hath built a most noble and beautiful seat, call’d Castle-Howard.Castle-Howard, instead of the old Castle, which was burnt down. In this neighbourhood, is Stitenham,Stitenham. the ancient Seat of a Knightly Family; of which was the famous Poet Sir John Gower: and of the same family is the present John Lord Gower, Baron of Stitenham.⌉

Behind the hills to the Westward, where the Country spreads it self into a level, and into fruitful fields, lies Alvertonshire, commonly North-Allerton,North-Allerton. a small territory, water’d by the little river Wiske. It takes its name from the Town of Northalverton, called formerly Saxon Ealfertun, which is nothing but a long street; yet, the throngest Beast-fair on St. Bartholomew’s-day, that I ever saw. William Rufus gave this place, with the fields about it, to the Church of Durham; to the Bishops whereof it is much obliged. For William Comin, who forcibly possess’d himself of the See of Durham, built the Castle here, and gave it to his nephew; which is now * * Quodammodo disparuit.almost quite gone. The Bishops likewise, his Successors, endow’d it with certain privileges. Cap.126. For in the Book of Durham, we find, that Hugh de Puteaco, Bishop of Durham, fortified the Town; having obtain’d this favour of the King, that of all thoseAdulterina.unlawful Castles, that were order’d to be destroy’d throughout England, this alone should still be permitted to remain; which, notwithstanding, the King afterwards1137. commanded to be rased and laid even with the ground. Near this was fought the Battel, commonly call’d The Battel of Standard.The Standard ⌈(from which, one part of the History written by Richard Prior of Hexham, bears the title De Bello Standardi;)⌉ whereinHoveden. David King of Scots, who, by his unheard-of Cruelties had made this Country a Desolation, was put to flight, and that with such slaughter, that the English themselves thought their revenge completed. For what Ralph the Bishop said in his Exhortation to the English before the fight was fully effected: A multitude without discipline is an encumbrance to it self; whether to hurt when they conquer, or to escape when they are conquer’d. This was call’d the Battle of Standard, because the English, being rang’d into a body round their Standard, did there receive and bear the first onset of the Scots, and at last routed them. This Standard (as I have seen it painted in old books) was a huge Chariot upon wheels, with a * * Malus.mast of great heighth fix’d in it; on the top whereof was a cross, and under that, a banner. This was a signal, us’d only in the greatest Expeditions, and was look’d upon as a kind of sacred Altar; being indeed the very same with the CarrociumCarrocium. among the Italians, which was never to be used but when the very Government lay at stake.

There is further remarkable in this division, a place called Thresk,Thresk. commonly Thrusk; which had formerly a very strong Castle, where Roger

de Mowbray began his rebellion, and call’d-in the King of Scots to the destruction of his Country; King Henry the second having very unadvisedly dug his own grave, by taking his Son into an equal share of the Government.Provinciae praefuit But this Sedition was at last, as it were quench’d and extinguish’d with blood, and the Castle utterly demolish’d; so that I could see nothing of it there, besides the rampire. Another flame of Rebellion likewise broke out here, in King Henry the seventh’s reign; when the lawless Rabble, repining grievously at a small subsidy laid on them by Parliament, drove away the Collectors, and forthwith (as such madness upon the least success, drives-on, without end or aim) fell here upon Earl of Northu­mberland slain by the Rebels.Henry Percie Earl of Northumberland; who was † Provinciæ præfuit.Lieutenant of this County, and kill’d him; and then, under the conduct of John Egremond their Leader, took up Arms against their King and Country. Yet it was not long before they were brought to condign punishment. Hard by, stands SourebySoureby. and Brakenbak,Brakenbak. belonging to the ancient and famous family of Lascelles:Lascelles. and more to the south, Sezay,Sezay. formerly the estate of the Darells; and after that of the Dawnies, who † † Have flourish’d, C.flourish’d long under the title of Knights; ⌈till Sir John Dawnie was by King Charles the second advanced to the dignity of Viscount Downe, in the kingdom of Ireland.⌉

The first and onlyEarls and Dukes of York. Earl of Yorkshire (after William Mallet and one or two Estotevills, both of Norman extraction, whom some reckon hereditary Viscounts;)An.1 R.1. Hoveden. was Otho, son of Henry Leon Duke of Bavaria and Saxony, by Maud the daughter of Henry the second King of England. He was afterwards saluted Emperor by the name of Otho the fourth. From his brother WilliamDukes of Brunswick. (another son by Maud) the Dukes of Brunswick and Lunenburgh in Germany, are descended; who, in testimony of this their relation to the Kings of England, bear the same Arms with our first Kings of Norman descent, namely, two Leopards or Lions, Or, in a Shield, Gules. Long after this, King Richard the second made Edmund of Langley, fifth son of King Edward the third, Duke of York; who by one of the daughters of Peter, King of Castile and Leon, had two sons. Edward, the eldest, in the life-time of his father, was first Earl of Cambridge, after that, Duke of Albemarle, and last of all, Duke of York, who dy’d valiantly in the battel of Agincourt in France, without issue. Richard, the second son, was Earl of Cambridge; he marry’d Ann, sister of Edmund Mortimer Earl of March, whose grandmother likewise was the only daughter and heir of Leonel Duke of Clarence; and, attempting to set the Crown upon the head of his wife’s brother Edmund, he was presently discover’d, and beheaded, as if hir’d by the French to take away the life of King Henry the fifth. Richard his son, in the sixteenth year after, was by the great, but unwary, generosity of Henry the sixth, fully restor’d,Parl. 10. H.6. as son of Richard, the brother of Edward Duke of York, and Cousin German to Edward Earl of March. And now being Duke of York, Earl of March and Ulster, and Lord of Wigmore, Clare, Trim, and Conaght, he grew to that pitch of boldness, that whereas formerly he had sought the Crown privately by indirect practices, as, complaining of male-administration, dispersing seditious rumors and libels, entring into secret combinations, and raising broils and factions against the Government; at last he claim’d it publicklyParl. Rolls, 39 H.6. in Parliament, against Henry the sixth, as being son of Ann Mortimer, sister and heir to Edmund Earl of March, descended in a right line from Philippa the daughter and sole heir of Leonel Duke of Clarence, third son of King Edward the third; and therefore in all justice to be prefer’d in the succession to the Crown, before the children of John of Gaunt, the fourth son of the said Edward the third. And when it was answer’d, That the Nobles of the Kingdom, and the Duke himself, had sworn Allegiance to the King; that the Kingdom by Act of Parliament was confer’d and entail’d upon Henry the fourth and his heirs; that the Duke, who derived his title from the Duke of Clarence, never took the Arms of the said Duke; and that Henry the fourth was possess’d of the Crown by the right he had from Henry the third: All this he easily evaded; by replying, that the said Oath sworn to the King, being barely a human Constitution, was not binding, because it was inconsistent with truth and justice, which are of Divine appointment; That there had been no need of an Act of Parliament to settle the Kingdom in the line of Lancaster, neither would they have desir’d it, if they could have rely’d on a just title: That as for the Arms of the Duke of Clarence, which of right belong’d to him, he had in prudence declin’d the using them, as he had done the entring his claim to the Crown, till that moment: and, That the title deriv’d from Henry the third, was only a ridiculous pretence to cloak the Injustice, and was exploded by every body. Tho’ these things, pleaded in favour of the Duke of York, shew’d his title to be clear and evident; yet upon a wise foresight of the dangers that might ensue, the matter was so adjusted, That Henry the sixth should possess and enjoy the Kingdom for life, and that Richard Duke of York should be appointed his heir and successor in the Kingdom; with this proviso, that neither of them should attempt or contrive any thing to the prejudice of the other. However, the Duke was so far transported with ambition, as to endeavour to anticipate his hopes, and raise that dreadful WarWars between the House of York and Lancaster; or between the Red-rose and the white. between the Houses of York and Lancaster, distinguish’d by the white and the red Roses; which in a short time prov’d fatal to himself at Wakefield. King Henry the sixth was four times taken prisoner, and at last depriv’d of his Kingdom and his Life. Then, Edward Earl of March, son of Richard, obtain’d the Crown; and though he was depos’d, yet he recover’d it: thus did Fortune, inconstant and freakish as she is, sport her self with the rise and fall of Princes. In the mean time, many of the Blood-royal and of the greatest of the Nobility were cut off, those hereditary and rich Provinces of the Kings of England in France were lost, Ireland was neglected, and relaps’d to its old wildness, the wealth of the Nation was wasted, and the harass’d people were oppress’d with all sorts of misery. Edward being now settled in his Throne, as the fourth King of that name, bestow’d the title of Duke of York upon Richard his second son; who, with the King his brother, was destroy’d, very young, by that Tyrant Richard their Uncle. Next, Henry the seventh confer’d it upon his younger son, who was afterwards crown’d King of England by the name of Henry the 8th. And † † Now very lately, C.K. James ⌈the 1st⌉ invested his second son Charles (whom he had before, in Scotland, made Duke of Albany, Marquiss of Ormond, Earl of Ross,1604. and Baron Ardmanoch) Duke of York, by girding him with a Sword (to use the words of the form) and putting a Cap and Coronet of Gold upon his head, and delivering to him a Verge of Gold; after he had the day before, according to the usual manner, created both him and eleven others of noble and honourable families, Knights of the Bath. ⌈And as James the first created Charles his second son Duke of York, so Charles succeeding his father in the Throne, declar’d his second son James (afterwards King James the second) Duke of the same place: whereupon, at his birth he receiv’d that title, but was not created till the 27th of Jan. 1643, being the 19th year of his father’s reign. Since the accession of King George to the Throne, his Majesty hath been pleas’d to confer the same High Title upon Ernest Augustus, his brother, who is Knight of the most Noble Order of the Garter, and also Duke of York and Albany, and Earl of Ulster.⌉

There are in this County 459 Parishes; with very many Chapels under them, which for number of Inhabitants are equal to great Parishes.

Last updated Sunday, March 27, 2016 at 11:52