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Title: Sheffield and its Environs 13th to the 17th century - A descriptive catalogue of land charters and other documents - forming the Brooke Taylor collection
Author: Hall, Thomas Walter
Language: English
As this book started as an ASCII text book there are no pictures available.
Copyright Status: Not copyrighted in the United States. If you live elsewhere check the laws of your country before downloading this ebook. See comments about copyright issues at end of book.

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Sheffield and its environs 13th to the 17th century


Land Charters & Other Documents









SHEFFIELD PEDIGREES volume I, by T. WALTER HALL. Containing nine
genealogies with notes.

    Published _1909_, now out of print.

LIBRARY AT SHEFFIELD, by T. WALTER HALL; with Introductory Note by Mr. R.
E. LEADER and photographic reproduction of early 14th century Derbyshire

    Published _June 1912_. Price 2/-.

WALTER HALL; with over 100 local genealogies and 4 photographic
reproductions of early Sheffield seals and an early 15th century
Sheffield charter.

    Published _May 1913_. Price 2/6.

Prefatory Note by Dr. HENRY JACKSON, O.M., Regius Professor of Greek and
Fellow of Trinity College, Cambridge, and five photographic reproductions
of ancient local documents.

    Published _July 1914_. Price 5/-.

SHEFFIELD PEDIGREES volume II, contributed by Messrs. J. B.
DRURY, and T. WALTER HALL. Containing 16 genealogies with notes.

    Published _January 1915_. Price 5/-.

WILLS PROVED AT YORK FROM 1554 to 1560; by T. WALTER HALL, with 315 local
genealogies and six photographs of medieval charters, &c.

    Published _September 1916_. Price 5/-.

1635. Transcribed and edited by CHARLES DRURY and T. WALTER HALL of
Sheffield; indexed by JOHN CHARLESWORTH of Wakefield. Privately printed
for The Hunter Archæological Society of Sheffield and The Yorkshire
Parish Register Society.

    Published _1917_. Price 10/6.

AND MARRIAGES 1635 to 1653. Transcribed and edited by CHARLES DRURY and
T. WALTER HALL of Sheffield, and indexed by T. WALTER HALL. Privately
printed for The Hunter Archæological Society of Sheffield and The
Yorkshire Parish Register Society.

    Published _1918_. Price 10/6.

PROVED AT YORK FROM 1560 to 1566; by T. WALTER HALL; with 285 local
genealogies, and a Prefatory Note by Mr. HUBERT HALL, of H.M. Public
Record Office, F.S.A., and two photographic reproductions of local
charters of the 13th century. Appendix containing a list of boys who went
to Broombank House School, Sheffield, with a biographical note on the

    Published _August 1920_. Price 5/-.

BAPTISMS AND MARRIAGES 1653 to 1686. Transcribed and edited by CHARLES
DRURY and T. WALTER HALL, F.R.Hist.S. Privately printed for The Hunter
Archæological Society of Sheffield and The Yorkshire Parish Register

    Published _1921_. Price 10/6.

F.R.Hist.S.; with plan of 1692 and 31 local genealogies.

    Published _December 1921_. Price 3/-.

Hon. M.A. (Sheffield), F.R.Hist.S.; with genealogies and photographic
reproductions of charters and seals. Appendix containing an article on
Hawksyard near Buxton; with its John of Gaunt hawking tradition and
medieval history; reprinted from _Transactions_ of The Hunter
Archæological Society of Sheffield.

    Published _October 1922_. Price 5/-.


    Price 10/6.

The above publications can be purchased from J. W. NORTHEND LIMITED, WEST


My thanks are due to Colonel H. Brooke Taylor, for permission to search
his chambers in the Town Hall at Bakewell for hidden treasure, in the
shape of pre-reformation land charters court rolls and the like; to Mr
Robert Shirley of Waterhouse Farm near Longnor, for a sight of his title
deeds to Hawksyard; to his son Mr Edwin Leslie Shirley of Hawksyard, for
a very pleasant visit to his ancestral home in The Moorlands of
Staffordshire, with its medieval tradition and interesting associations;
and to Mr James R. Wigfull, for an excellent little map of Hawksyard and
the surrounding country.

It is only through the kindness and good nature of others, that a
systematic search for local history can proceed and although
contributions accumulate in small quantities, there is no more fruitful
or reliable source of information, as to people and places of bygone
days, than the land charters and court rolls covering the period from the
Domesday survey to the reformation.

Many bundles of old title deeds, unopened for centuries, yet lie hidden
in out-of-the-way corners and on inaccessible shelves; it should be part
of the work of every archæological society to extract from all available
deeds, relating to its own district, whatever useful history they may

Every countryside, every village and every town becomes a more
interesting place to its inhabitants, when its history is known. The
names of persons and places become intelligible, dates and letters on
buildings can be accounted for, disused bridle roads and paths can be
traced, the heraldry of the stained glass in the church and of the
tombstones in the churchyard can be read with understanding, local
genealogies can be extended and long cherished family traditions can
often be verified or explained.

It is therefore of importance that whenever these ancient writings make
their appearance, there should be some person or association of persons
ready and willing to examine them, not only with the object of extracting
any local history they may contain, but also of recording it in a form
suitable for future reference.


[Illustration: _Photo Ethel Eadon_

Before 1290. =Charter= of Jordan de Pickeburne. (Brodsworth near

The Brooke Taylor Collection.


13th century. Prior to the statute _Quia Emptores_, 18 Edw I (1290).
=Charter= (Lat) confirming a grant from Jordan son of Thomas de
Pickeburne to Gilbert Cook of Rickehale, for a certain sum of money,
which he gave to the grantor by hand as a fine (_in gersumma_), of one
acre of land and a half, with the appurtenances, in the north field of
Pickeburne at the green hill, lying between the proper land of the
grantor on the one part and land which Jordan Wlm' formerly held on the
other part; of which one end butted upon the field of Hanepol and the
other end on land of Sir Marmeduke Darel; and also a plot of meadow
ground in the meadows of Pickeburne; to wit, it lay in length and in
breadth one rod and three quarters, between the meadow of the fee of
Rockelay and the meadow of Robert Knouẏs, of which one end butted upon
the south cave (_antrum australe_) and the other end upon the north cave
(_antrum boreale_); to hold and to have of the grantor and his heirs to
the said Gilbert and his heirs or whomsoever; and howsoever and
whatsoever time he should wish to give, to bequeath, to assign or to
sell, in fee and inheritance free quietly peacefully and entirely; with
all rights of common, easements, liberties and appurtenances, without
reservation; paying thenceforth annually to the grantor and his heirs one
halfpenny of silver on the day of saint John the baptist, for all secular
services, exactions, taxes, suits of court and demands; warranty of title
etc. =Witnesses=: Helias de Scauceby, Thomas his son, Henry of the same
place, William Joye of Pickeburne, Hugh son of Beatrice, Thomas Fossard
of the same place (_sic_), William de Fonte. =Vellum=: one skin 6½ ×
4, seal missing. =Notes=: this interesting charter, of which a
photographic reproduction is given as a frontispiece, is in perfect
condition, except that the seal is missing. It is a subinfeudation of
lands in the township of Pickburn-with-Brodsworth, in the parish of
Brodsworth and wapentake of Strafforth, four miles north-west of
Doncaster; for which Gilbert Cook paid a gersuma or fine to Jordan de
Pickburn. In the reign of Edward the confessor, Pickburn was part of the
lands of Alsie the Saxon lord; but after the conquest it was held by
Nigel Fossard under the earl of Morton, who accompanied William from
Normandy in his successful invasion of England. The earl subsequently
forfeited his English possessions and Nigel Fossard, his subinfeudatory,
came to be acknowledged tenant of the crown. Gilbert Cook may have been
descended from Alberus de Coci (Cook), who after the conquest held
Hickleton and part of Cadeby. No trace of Rickehale can be found. Jordan
Wlm' is clearly written, probably it is a contraction of Woolmer?

Hanepol is mentioned in Domesday, it was a manor before the conquest,
belonging to Swein. The modern name is Hampole and it lies about two
miles north of Pickburn.

Sir Marmeduke Darel was living 31 Hen III (1247), in which year he had a
charter of free warren at Brodsworth. The Darels got Brodsworth from the
de Buslis; they continued in possession from the beginning of the 13th to
the beginning of the 16th century; the last of the Darels being Sir
Thomas, who died without issue 23rd November 1505; see “South Yorkshire”
vol I, page 315.

The fee of Rockley was in Worsborough and this land near Pickburn must
have adjoined part of that fee. The Rockleys were settled in Worsborough
at the time of the conquest and continued in undisturbed possession until
the civil wars. Knouẏs may in later times have been Knovis. Scauceby
now Scawsby, lies two miles south-east of Pickburn. It appears to have
been a more important place in Saxon times than it is to-day. It is
mentioned in Domesday as Scalchebi. Helias may mean Ellis. The surname
Joye has a small i for the initial letter.

Nigel Fossard above mentioned was, after the death of the earl of Morton,
one of several landowners in the deanery of Doncaster who held direct
from the crown; his fee included lands at Brodsworth and he also had a
house at Doncaster; but his baronial seat was Mulgrave Castle in north

William de Fonte was probably the prior of Ecclesfield, which priory
belonged at the date of this charter to the abbey of Fontenelle or saint
Wandrille in Normandy.

Probably William de Fonte engrossed this charter and added his name as
the last witness, which was a common practice of monks and scriveners.

Judith, niece of William I and wife of earl Waltheof lord of Hallam,
placed a colony of monks from Fontenelle at Ecclesfield; probably in the
11th century, as she was married in 1070; see “Archæologia” vol 26, page
352. From charter-evidence it is certain that the priory was in existence
in 1141. From this it may be assumed that this beautifully written
charter had its origin in Ecclesfield priory, and was taken by prior
William to Pickburn, where the other witnesses would meet, to see
possession of the land given and the grant confirmed by deed.

=Genealogy deduced.=

            both living shortly before 1290

     HELIAS DE SCAUCEBY = ......
            both living shortly before 1290


13th century. Prior to the statute _Quia Emptores_, 18 Edw I (1290).
=Charter= (Lat) confirming a grant from William de Mertone to Henry son
of Roger Palmer, of one toft in the town of Mertone and two acres of his
land; that toft and those acres which Roger his son formerly held of him
to the end of all things; to wit, the said Roger the said land either
held or retained, for homage and services; to have and to hold to him and
his heirs or assigns, from him (the grantor) or his heirs, freely quietly
and entirely, with all liberties and easements, so much land in the town
of Mertone, with the appurtenances; paying thenceforth annually himself
or his heirs or assigns to him (the grantor) and his heirs, one pound of
cummin at the feast of saint Michael the archangel, for all services
exactions and demands; and he William and his heirs, the said land, with
the appurtenances, to the said Henry and his heirs or assigns, against
all men and women, did warrant for ever. =Witnesses=: Richard de
Thorintone, Adam de Pultone, James de Poltone (_sic_), Henry de
Karletone, Roger son of John de (?)aynol, Emery (_Aumaricus_) de
Lekamtone and others. =Vellum=: one skin 6½ × 3, portion of a green
seal, obscure. =Notes=: the form of the deed necessitates a date prior to
18 Edw I; and it is only by the names of the persons mentioned in the
charter that the approximate date can be fixed. Mertone is an early form
of Marton or Markeaton, two miles north-west of Derby, Richard le Palmer
was a witness to a lease of a house in Markton (Markeaton) temp Edw I,
see Jeayes “Derbyshire Charters”, number 1651, page 205. The words “about
1275” are written on the back of the charter, in a hand of later date.

=Genealogy deduced.=

    ROGER PALMER = ......
      both living shortly before 1290


=1310= Monday next before the feast of All Saints (1st November).
=Charter= (Lat), dated at Kenwortheẏ, confirming a grant from William
Nolbildon (?) and Margery his wife to William de Baggyleigh and his
heirs, of one messuage and five acres of land, with the appurtenances, in
Norworthen and Kenwortheẏ, without any reservation; to have and to
hold to him and his heirs, of the chief lord of the fee, by services
thenceforth owing and accustomed; freely quietly well and in peace, with
all liberties and easements to the said land, in the town of Norworthen
and Kenwortheẏ howsoever described; they, the said William and Margery
and their heirs, all the lands aforesaid with the messuage aforesaid and
with all their appurtenances, situated as before written, to the said
William (Baggyleigh) and his heirs and assigns, against all men did
warrant and defend. =Witnesses=: Robert de Masey of Sale, Robert de
Tatton, Richard de Kogworth, Richard de Brounehul, Roger de
Kenwortheẏ, Robert del Cley (?) clerk. =Vellum=: one skin 8½ ×
2¼, two seals missing. =Notes=: this is a grant of land in Northenden
in the hundred of Macclesfield, Cheshire. It is on the south bank of the
river Mersey, seven miles south of Manchester. Withenshaw Hall is the
ancient family seat of the Tattons, who were lords of the manor. See
Ormrod’s “History of Cheshire” volume iii, pages 604 to 611.

=Genealogy deduced.=

        both living 1 Nov 1310


=1332= Tuesday in the feast of the translation of saint Dunstan (7th
September). =Quitclaim= (Lat), dated at Kenwortheẏ, from Emma daughter
of Richard de Macworth to Sir William de Baggelegh knight and his heirs,
of all her right and claim in all lands or tenements, with their
appurtenances, which she had of the gift and testament (?) of Roger del
Tatton (?) in Kenwortheẏ in the town of Nortworhtheẏ (_sic_) with
the annual rent for the said lands. =Witnesses=: Roger le Masey of Sale,
John de Carmarthon, William de Tatton, Thomas del Brome, Adam Lobias.
=Vellum=: one skin 8 × 3, seal missing. =Notes=: the writing is much
faded in places.

=Genealogy deduced.=

                living 7 Sep 1332


=1353= Sunday next after the feast of saint Adelmus the confessor (25th
May). =Agreement= (Lat), dated at Northworthẏn between William de
Tatton of the one part and Robert his son of the other part: to wit, that
the said William as witness (_superstes_) gave and granted for all his
life to the said Robert his heirs and assigns, all his messuages lands
and tenements, rents and services, which he had etc in the town of
Northworthẏn Kenwortheẏ and Wythynschagh, with all their
appurtenances, except so much of those lands and tenements which Thomas
Medock the miller (?) held from the said William for a term of years, in
the town of Northworthẏn, with the appurtenances; to have and to hold
to the said Robert his heirs and assigns freely quietly etc, for all the
life of the said William; of the chief lord of that fee, for services
thenceforth due and of right accustomed; provided that the said Robert
should maintain and order for the said William, during the life of
himself William, suitable and sufficient sustenance; and if it happen
that the said Robert, during the life of the said William his father,
should die, the said William agreed (?) that all the said lands and
tenements rents and services, with the appurtenances, for the time of the
life of him, to him should return revert and remain, except those lands
and tenements in Wythynshagh, with the appurtenances; to wit, those
tenements which the said William first held, which lands and tenements
with the appurtenances, the said William granted and gave, which during
the life of himself William would remain in the possession of Sybil wife
of the said Robert and her relations, for their maintenance. =Witnesses=:
William de Hynckley parson of the church of Northworthẏn, Richard de
Baggelegh, Richard de Brom, William son of Richard de Tatton, John son of
Roger (?) de Kenwortheẏ. =Vellum=: one skin 9 × 3½, seal missing.

=Genealogies deduced.=

      WILLIAM DE TATTON = ......
                 ROBERT = SYBIL
             all living 25 May 1353

      RICHARD DE TATTON = ......
              both living 25 May 1353

              both living 25 May 1353


=(1391)= Sunday next before the feast of saint Martin in winter (11th
November), in the 15th year of Richard II. =Charter= (Lat) dated at
Wythinschawe, confirming a grant from Robert de Tatton senior to John son
of Robert de Legh and John de Rossyndale chaplain, of all his messuages
lands and tenements with the appurtenances, in Wythinschawe in the town
of Kenwortheẏ, which Margaret, who was the wife of Robert de Tatton
junior, Robert Dukhard (?) parson of the church of Northdene, Richard del
Brome and William de Kenwortheẏ held from the grant of him (Robert de
Tatton senior), for the term of his life, in the town aforesaid, to have
and to hold all the said messuages lands and tenements, with all lands
houses meadows feedings and pastures and other their appurtenances; and
also with forty three shillings and four pence annually, at the feast of
the nativity of saint John the baptist, and saint Martin the bishop, by
equal portions; for the said Margaret, Robert Dukhard (?) Richard and
William, during his (the said Robert de Tatton senior) life, in advance,
freely quietly well and in peace, with all profits liberties turbaries
common of pasture and other easements to the said lands and tenements
wheresoever, belonging and in the said town existing and to the same, of
whatsoever manner, to be firmly held: of the chief lord of that fee, for
services thenceforth owing and of right accustomed; warranty of title
etc. =Witnesses=: Peter de Legh then steward of Macclesfeld, William de
Legh chevalier, John de Honford (?), Richard de Brome, William de Ken'.
=Vellum=: one skin 9½ × 3¼, seal missing.

=Genealogies deduced.=

    ROBERT DE TATTON = ......
              senior │
              ROBERT = MARGARET
            all living 11 Nov 1391

      ROBERT DE LEGH = ......
         both living 11 Nov 1391


=1399= May 15th. =Deed of covenant= (Lat) given at Lancaster Castle and
made between John Gaunte duke of Lancaster fourth son of King Edward the
third and Edward Mundy of Marton in the county of Derby knight; whereby,
after reciting a visit of John Gaunte to Highe Frith in the parish of
Alstonefield in the county of Stafford, on the 10th May 1399, for the
purpose of hawking; the said John Gaunt (_sic_) gave and delivered to the
said Edward Mundy, a piece of land, to which the said John Gaunt gave the
name of Hawkesyerd otherwise Hawksearth. The boundaries of the land are
given in detail and also the names of some of the fields and the
adjoining farms and grouse moors. =Witnesses=: William Stanley gent, John
Porter gent, James Lewis gent, Wi'm Stanley gent, Thos Mundy gent, John
Thornicroft attorney. =Vellum=: one skin 15 × 8½, round seal of green
wax, 3½ inches diameter and an inch thick. See appendix and
photographic reproductions.


(=1414=) Sunday next after the feast of Thomas the apostle (21st
December), in the 2nd year of the reign of Henry V. =Charter= (Lat)
confirming a grant from John Marreys son of Walter Marreys of Rostlastone
to Thomas Gresley knight, William Babẏngtone, John Abell of Caldewall
and William Ward of Coton their heirs and assigns, of all his lands and
tenements rents reversions possessions and services, with their
appurtenances, which he had or in the future might have in the town and
territories of Rostlastone and Lynton or elsewhere in the county of
Derby, without reservation; to have and to hold all the said lands
tenements etc to the said Thomas, William, John Abell and William their
heirs and assigns freely quietly well and in peace for ever; of the chief
lord of that fee, for services etc; warranty of title. =Witnesses=: Roger
de Hortone lord of Catton, John Dethek of Neuhall, John Abell of
Stapenhull, John Lathebury de Newtone Suluẏ, Robert Thirmot of
Lyntone. =Vellum=: one skin 10½ × 4½, seal missing. =Notes=:
Rostlastone now Rosliston is a parish in the hundred of Repton county
Derby, four miles south-west of Burton-on-Trent; Cauldwell,
Coton-in-the-elms, Catton-on-Trent, Linton, Newton-Solney and Gresley are
close by and lie near the confluence of the Dove and the Trent.

=Genealogy deduced.=

    WALTER MARREYS = ......
    of Rostlastone │
         both living 21 Dec 1414


(=1414-15=) Sunday in the feast of the purification of the blessed Mary
(2nd February), in the 2nd year of Henry V. =Deed of exchange= (Lat)
dated at Kenworthy and made between William de Tatton of the one part and
William le Hunte and Margaret his wife of the other part; whereby the
said William de Tatton ... demised and by that then present indenture
confirmed to William le Hunte and Margaret his wife and their heirs for
ever, a certain parcel of land lying in Kenworthy called Lamputtes, in
exchange for another parcel of land lying near the house of William de
Tatton called Ruyssihey; to have and to hold the said parcel of land
called Lamputtes to the said William le Hunte and Margaret his wife and
their heirs for ever, making to the chief lord services etc; warranty of
title. =Witnesses=: Thomas de Legh of Bagulegh, Roger le Massy of Sale,
Robert de Hull'. =Vellum=: one skin 11½ × 3½, seal missing.
=Notes=: this deed is indented and possibly the other part contained a
grant or demise of Ruyssihey or Rushyhey to William de Tatton completing
the exchange. In this deed the words of grant are illegible except
“demise”; and the deed only effects one part of the exchange.

=Genealogy deduced.=

      both living 2 Feb 1414-15


(=1425-6=) in the feast of saint Vincent martyr (22nd January), in the
4th year of Henry VI. =Release and quitclaim= (Lat), dated at Over
Haddon, from William de Brodehurst, son of William de Brodehurst, of Over
Haddon to John Brodehurst his brother his heirs and assigns; of all right
and claim of right which he had, in one messuage and eighteen acres of
land, with the appurtenances, lying in the said town and fields of Over
Haddon, which same messuage and eighteen acres of land, with the
appurtenances, the said John his brother had from the gift and grant of
Cecilie their mother by a certain charter etc. =Witnesses=: John de
Farefeld (?) of Over Haddon, John ... of the same town, John de Gyte,
Nicholas Pygges (?), Thomas de ... =Vellum=: one skin 10 × 3½, seal
missing. =Notes=: this deed is in bad condition and the writing is much
faded, many words and sentences being illegible; but the general outline
and date are clear and doubtful names are indicated in the above
abstract. One of the witnesses John de Gyte of Over Haddon is mentioned
as purchaser of land in Over Bondsale 3 Hen VI (1424), in a grant
abstracted in Jeayes’ “Derbyshire Charters” No 317.

=Genealogy deduced.=

                  │               │
              WILLIAM of        JOHN
              Over Haddon
      all living except perhaps Cecilia 22 Jan 1425-6


(=1426=) November 6th, in the 5th year of Henry VI. =Letter of attorney=
(Lat), dated at Ouerhaddon, from Richard son of John Walker of Ouerhaddon
to William de Brodhirst senior and John his son, to give seisin to
William de Brodhirst junior and Margorie his wife, in one messuage and
xxvi acres of land and meadow, with the appurtenances, in Ouerhaddon,
following the form and effect of a certain charter of the said John
Walker to the same William de Brodhirst junior and Margorie. =Vellum=:
one skin 12 × 1½ seal missing.

=Genealogies deduced.=

         JOHN WALKER = ......
        of Ouerhaddon │
           both living 6 Nov 1426

    senior            │
                 │         │
                JOHN    WILLIAM = MARGORIE
            all living 6 Nov 1426


(=1565=) July 12th, in the 7th year of Elizabeth. =Award= (Engl) of
Gregorye Reyvell of Stanyngton, Robert Hawksworthe of Thornsett,
Phyllyppe Morton of Ughyll and Thomas Greyve of Westnall in the countye
of Yorke yomen. Reciting that where certayn debate contraversye and
varyance then of late had been dependynge betwene Henry Gelat of
Wygtuysle in the countye of Yorke yoman of the one partye and Henry
Morton and Henry Ibotson of the same Wygtuysle in the same countye yomen
of the other partye, and especyally of for and concernynge the
occupacion of certayne Byredole lands in Wygtuyslee afforsayd, in so
muche as bothe the sayd partyes had submytted them selffs to stand to and
adyde obserue performe fullfyll and kepe the award arbytrament order rule
dome and judgement of them the sayd Gregorye Reyvell etc arbytratourers
indefferently electe and chosen betwene the sayd partyes to arbytrate
award etc, of in for and uppon almanner of matters accyons suyts grudges
trespasse quarrells detts and demaunds what so euer they be had moved
styrred and in any wyse dependynge betwene the sayd partyes, frome ye
begynynge of the worlde unto the day of makynge heroff for the
pacyffyenge wheroff they the sayd arbytratourors had takyn uppon them the
offyce and aucthoryte of arbytrament at Wygtuysle affor sayd and then and
there awarded etc, in manner and form foloynge; Fyrste, we award etc,
that the sayd partyes shall frome hencefurthe be faythefull lovers and
friends and deale as lovynge nebors ought to do; also we award etc, that
the sayd Henry Morton and hys heyrs shall at all times herafter haue hold
occupye and enyoye one parcell of wodd ground wch he haythe heretofore
claymed, set lyenge and beynge in a place called the nether croft and
commonly called the cloyghe without let trouble or ympedyment of the sayd
Henry Gelot and hys heyrs etc; and further we award etc that the sayd
Henry Gelot and his heyrs shall at all tymes herafter haue hold occupye
and enyoye one parcell of land lyenge in the nether end of one close
called the hallowes, as yt ys now devyded and meared by hus, without
vexacion let trouble or ympedyment of the sayd Henry Morton and Henry
Ibotson and ther heyrs etc; and further that all other mears and balks
shall at all tymes herafter be kept and used contenually as they be now
appoynted by hus; and further we award that bothe the sayd partyes at all
tymes herafter in tyme of mast shall gether all the mast that shall fall
frome ther own trees, where so euer the same shall fortune to fall,
without let etc, and that all swyne of bothe partyes in mast tyme shall
have all ther swyne to go at libertye throughe out all the byredole
lands, belongynge to the Town of Wygtuysle without lett or harme.
=Vellum=: one skin 13 × 7, seals missing. =Notes=: the deed is indented,
there are no witnesses. Mast is the fruit of beech and forest trees, food
for swine.


=1568= October 24th, in the 10th year of Elizabeth. =Grant= (Engl) made
between Vincent Munday of Marketon in the county of Derby esquire and
Edward Mundy (_sic_) gentleman, son and heir apparent of the said
Vincent, of the one part and John Weston of Mackworth in the county
aforesaid gentlemen of the other part; whereby the aforesaid Vincent and
Edward, for and in consideration of the sum of three hundred pounds paid
to the said Vincent and Edward by the said John Weston, delivered gave
granted sold bargained released and confirmed to the said John Weston and
his heirs executors and administrators, all that messuage or tenement,
with the appurtenances, situate lying and being in The Highe Frith
within the parish of Alstonefield in the county of Stafford and being
part parcel and member of the manor of Alstonefield aforesaid and
thereafter named; following and more at large expressed; to wit all that
messuage farm or tenement called Hawkesyarde or otherwise Hawkesearthe,
then in the tenure or occupation of Raphe Bradburye and Maud his wife:
then follows a full description of the outbuildings lands etc, with
extracts from the deed of covenant of the 15th May 1399 hereinbefore
abstracted and a full copy of which grant is given in the appendix
hereto. =Witnesses=: John Walker, Thomas Mundye gent, Thomas Brunt, John
Oakes yeoman and Thomas Mundy. =Vellum=: one skin 16 × 12, two round
seals of yellow wax, each 1½ inches in diameter and bearing a cross
flory, probably not armorial. =Notes=: photographic reproductions of this
deed and the two seals are given in the appendix. There is a memorandum
endorsed recording the giving of possession on the 24th November in the
10th year of Elizabeth in the presence of the same witnesses, except John

=Genealogy deduced.=

    VINCENT MUNDAY = ......
    of Marketon    │
    co Derby       │
    esquire        │
                s & h ap gent
         both living 24 Oct 1568


(=1625=) July 25th, in the 1st year of Charles I. =Deed of covenant=
(Engl) made between John Ibotson of Wigtwisle in the county of York
clerke on the first partye, William Ibotson of Nether Combes in the said
county yeoman on the second partye and Richard Ibotson of Worral in the
said county yeoman on the third partye; witnessed that the said John
Ibotson for divers good causes and considerations him moving did covenant
grant conclude and agree to and with the said William Ibotson and his
heirs by those presents, that he the said John Ibotson should and would
before the feast day of saint Michael the archangell, then next ensuing
the date thereof, by his deed of feoffment, by him to be sealed and
delivered and with “liverye of seizen” lawfully executed give grant
enfeoffe and confirm unto the said William Ibotson and his heirs for
ever; all that messuage or tenement in Wiggtwisle (_sic_) aforesaid,
which was sometime the tenement of one Henry Morton deceased; and all
houses buildings lands tenements meddowes pastures woods under-woods
commons comodityes and hereditaments of him the said John Ibotson in
Wiggtwisle aforesaid, whichever were the lands tenements and
hereditaments of the said Henry Morton in Wiggtwisle aforesaid, with all
their appurtenances whatsoever; to the only use and behoofe of the said
William Ibotson and of his heirs for ever; to the end that the said
William Ibotson might be adjudged and taken to be perfect tenant of the
freehold of all the said messuage and other the said premises, until a
perfect recovery might be had and executed of all the said premises
against him the said William Ibotson; and it was also covenanted and
agreed by and between all the said partyes to those presents that a writt
of entery _sur disseisen in le post_ should be brought for the said
premises, at the cost and charge of the said John Ibotson, in the name of
the said Richard Ibotson, against the said William Ibotson; by the name
or names of one messuage one garden one orchard an hundred acres of land
thirty acres of meddowe twenty acres of pasture four acres of wood and
forty acres of more (moor), with thappurtenances, in Wiggtwisle alias
Wẏghtwysill Bradfeild; or by such the name or names as to the said
John Ibotson should be thought meet and convenient, according to the use
of common recoveries in such case used; and that the said William Ibotson
should vouch to warrant the said John Ibotson who should enter into the
said warranty and vouch over the common vouchee, who should appear and
make default; also that a perfect recovery may be had and judgement
thereupon given, in his Majesty’s court of common plees at Westminster,
against the said William Ibotson who should recover in value, against the
said John Ibotson and the common vouchee, to be in mercye; and it was
likewise further covenanted etc by and between all the said parties, that
after the execution thereof of the said recovery, the same should be and
enure, and the feoffee named in the said feoffment and recoverer named in
the said recovery, should at and ever after the executing of the said
feoffment and at and ever after the said recovery, soe had as aforesaid,
stand and be seized of the said messuage etc; to the only use and behoof
of the said John Ibotson and of his heirs and assigns for ever, and to
noe other use intent or purpose whatsover. =Witnesses=: Richard Ibotson,
Will' Woodson, John Potter. =Vellum=: one skin 21 × 10, three seals
obscure. =Notes=: John Ibotson signed, the other two were marksmen. It is
interesting to note that Wẏghtwysill is given as the _alias_ for
Wiggtwisle. According to Hunter, John was the son of Henry Ibotson of
Wightwisle and Mary Morton daughter of Henry Morton of Wightwisle,
referred to in this deed. John is said to have had a living in Norfolk.
His eldest daughter Mary married Christopher Wilson of Broomhead. William
and Richard Ibotson were probably related to John whose grandson Charles
Wilson was vicar of Sheffield. See F.M.G. vol II, page 650.


=1625= July 30th, in the 1st year of Charles I. =Feoffment= (Lat) from
John Ibotson of Wigtwisle in the county of York clerk to William Ibotson
of Nether Coombes in the said county of York yeoman and his heirs for
ever, of all that his messuage or tenement in Wigtwisle aforesaid, which
then formerly was the tenement of Henry Morton, then deceased; and all
his outhouses and buildings gardens orchards lands tenements meadows
pastures woods underwoods rights of common profits and hereditaments in
Wigtwisle aforesaid, with their appurtenances; to holdun to and to the
use of the said William Ibotson his heirs and assigns for ever, of the
chief lord etc, by services etc; warranty of title. =Witnesses=: Henry
Ibotson, William Wodson (the tenant), John P.... =Vellum=: one skin 12 ×
5½, round seal of red wax bears a dolphin, probably not armorial.
=Notes=: there is a good signature of “John Ibotsone.”


=1633= May 13th, in the 9th year of Charles I. =Grant= (Engl) made
between John Ibotson of Wigtwisle in the county of York clerk of the one
part and Christopher Willson of Wigtwisle in the said county yeoman of
the other part; whereby the said John Ibotson, for and in exchange with
the said Christopher Willson granted etc unto the said Christopher
Willson his heirs and assigns for ever, one way for passage with drift
cart and carriage then or theretofore used and accustomed, unto and from
a messuage or tenement at Wigtwisle aforesaid then in the occupation of
William Odeson, through a close of him, the said Christopher Willson,
called the Walls and thence into and from the nether croft, belonging to
the said messuage or tenement; to hold the abovesaid way etc, and all the
right interest and demand of him the said John Ibotson thereto unto and
to the use the said Christopher Willson his heirs and assigns for ever;
warranty of title etc; and the said Christopher Willson in lieu and
exchange of the above etc, granted etc unto the said John Ibotson his
heirs and assigns for ever, one like way etc henceforth and for ever
thereafter to be used, unto and from the said messuage, then in the
occupation of the said William Odeson, to and from the nether crofts, lee
and nether hollin carr, belonging to the said messuage, by and “thorow”
the fouldstead of the said Christopher Willson on the south side of his
house at Wigtwisle aforesaid and from thence “thorow” the nether yeard
and so to and from the three closes last above mentioned; to hold unto
and to the use of him the said John Ibotson his heirs and assigns for
ever; warranty of title etc. =Witnesses=: William Garlicke, William
Odeson. =Vellum=: one skin 10½ × 9½, seal missing. =Notes=: both
Christopher Willson and William Garlicke, the witness, were sons-in-law
of John Ibotson, see Hunter’s F.M.G. vol II, page 652. The word Wigtwisle
when used to describe the residence of Christopher Willson has been
written on an erasure.

[Illustration: Map of Hawksyard and The Moorlands of Staffordshire.]


Reprint from _Transactions_ of The Hunter Archæological Society.



Place-names, obvious in their meaning but suggesting a remote origin and
a forgotten past, attract the historian, if not the philologist.

Hawksyard is one of these; its import is Hawksland but its history lies
hidden in the records of past centuries; it excites our curiosity and
quickens our imagination.

We instinctively recall scenes of English sport in bygone days; of kings
and nobles, knights and ladies, riding across the unfenced country; over
moorland and waste, through fen and ford, with hooded falcon and stooping
hawk, enjoying what was for nearly a thousand years the national sport of

Such a scene was brought to mind by the perusal of two musty parchments
with imposing seals and faded script, quarried from the lower _strata_ of
time-worn muniments, in the office of Colonel Brooke Taylor of Bakewell.

The earlier of these deeds takes us back to the death of John of Gaunt
and the resignation of Richard II in the closing year of the 14th
century; the later one was sealed and delivered in the less tragic days
of Queen Elizabeth.

They both relate to Hawksyard, situate in that part of The Moorlands of
Staffordshire known in the middle ages as Highe Frith of Malbanc Forest;
south of Buxton and east of the church at Newtown near Longnor.

The deed of John of Gaunt bears date the 15th May 1399, in bold Arabic
numerals; it is written in a jargon intended to be Latin and measures 15
× 8½ inches; its round pendent seal of green wax has a diameter of
three and a half inches and is nearly an inch thick. The parchment is
dark in colour, coarse in texture and much crinkled; the writing is not
uniform in character, parts being in a flowing hand suggesting a date
long subsequent to the Plantagenets. The deed begins with the word
_Conventum_, meaning a covenant or agreement under seal; but, from the
concluding paragraph, it was evidently intended to operate as a deed of
gift or grant in fee simple of the lands called Hawksyard.

[Illustration: _Photo Ethel Eadon_

1399 May 15th. =Deed of Covenant=, John of Gaunt to Sir Edward Mundy.]

The following is a transcript with the contractions indicated but not

     Conventum inter Johan' Gaunte Duc' Lancast' quart' fillius
     Regy' Edvardi tert' et Edvardum Mundy de Marton in Comitatu
     Derb' equit' Joh'es Ga'nt Dux Lancast' p'mittebat Domin'
     Edvard' Mundy visere ap'd Marton in Comitat' Derb' p'd q'
     pariter prestabat Et etiam Dominus Edvardus Mundy iterfaciebat
     Duc' Lancast' Comitibusq' ejus in Highe Frith parochia
     Allstonefield Comitatu Staffordiæ Cum in eum locum pase (?)
     publice p'venirent qui nuncupatur Lady Edge cujus defugabant
     (?) excitabant Gallos palust' ad quos illico accipitres
     evertebant apud quos accipitres fuga petebant int' illos
     Limites ut posthac mention's siant hoc Termino qui expositus
     erat Avibus volantibus ultro citroq' ad viam publica' qua
     abduit ab Longnor ad Leeke al' parte circunt quo accipitres
     pred'am apprehendebant parte juxta mediam circuituo juxta
     convallem Orient' Decim' Die May' Ann' Dom' 1399 Quamobre'
     Joh'es Gaunt ei dabat Titulu' nomenq' Hawkesyerd alias
     Hawksearth propter pred'a apprehensa' inter Limit' qui posthac
     mentionem fit qui non antehac nuncupabatur ... Aliquae pauce
     Fundi Partes que posthac mentione' fiunt Viz' alia pars Fundi
     nuncupatur Harrisons Intake al' pars Fundi nuncupat'
     House-Fielde quo parva vel Domus stabat al' pars Fundi nuncup'
     Little Meadow quae ex part' meridional' inter jacet Locu'
     nuncup' Boothesley Grange al' pars Fundi nuncup' Spart (?
     Spout) Meadow fluvio adjacans erga Occidentam al' pars Fund'
     nuncupat' Killn Croffte fluvio adjac' erga Occidente' al' pars
     Fund' nuncup' Spart (?) al' pars Fundi nuncupat' Rye Pingle
     erga Occidentem sequia secale illo p'senti anno Cresscebat
     Limes Hawksyerd alias Hawksearth jacens positusq' in Highe
     Frith Parochia Allstonefield Comitatuq' Staffordie exposit
     Johan' Gaunt Duc' Lancast' p'd' inter tales Metas qual' posthac
     mentione' fiunt attin' illi soli Domo predi'oq' nuncup'
     Hawksyerd alias Hawksearth p'd ubi est convallis oriental' ejus
     part' Fluviusq' Curans erga merediem juxta Fluvium int' ilium
     et Locum nuncup' Banke aut al' Over boothesley Etiam parte
     meridional' convallus ... et Fluvius currens erga Orient' juxta
     Fluviu' int' illu' Locumq' nuncup' Bauthsley (_sic_) Grange
     illaq' ascendit part' meridional' Funi qui nuncup' Rye Pingle
     quia jacet erga Occident' et setendit directe ad fugum q'd
     nuncup' Lady Edge jacens positusq' in Highe Frith Parochia
     Allstonefield Comitatuq' Stafford' et tunc transjugu' q'd est
     erga septentrionem directe ad viam publica' quae abducit ab
     Longnor ad Leeke Etiamq' publica' juxta via' erga Orient' usq'
     du' directe p'venit ad Convalla' Termino Orientali Tractus
     praedi'i expositus primo Ann' Regni Regis Henrici Quart'
     assignabat Limat vel Expellere includere vel admittere ad Sol'
     proprium usu' Comodumq' illius Domus predi'iq' nuncu'q'
     Hawksyerd al' Hawksearth p'd etiam Libertinuanu' publi' pascu'
     jusque effodiendi Cespites p' Desertu' Domin' Allstonefield
     Dom' Edvardus Mundy de Marton in comitat' Derby (_sic_) p'd'
     favore unum suplicabat Joh'es Gaunt Du' Lancastriae quem
     dicebat consideret Si illi esset postestas Dom' Edvardus ilium
     orabat et ei daret predi'u' nuncup' Hawksyerd alias Hawksearth
     p'd' Et Joh'es Gaunt libere Largiebatur et concedebat illi et
     posteris in Aeturnu' Dom' Edvardus Mundy profesiebatur Joh'e
     Gaunt Comitibusq' eum visere apud Castrum Lancast' quo Joh'es
     Gaunt sigillabat Subscribebat et in potestatem Domin' Edvardi
     Mundy Premis' tot' tradebat decimo quint' Die May Anno D'm'
     1399 coram William Stanley Gent John Porter Gent' James Lewis
     Gent' Wi'm Stanley Gent' Tho's Mundy Gent' John Thornicroft

It is not easy to give a true interpretation of this unconventional deed;
the operative part, which should be clear and precise, being vague and
inconclusive. The following is what may be accepted as a free translation
conveying a general idea of the purport and effect of the deed:--

     An Agreement between John Gaunte duke of Lancaster, fourth son
     of King Edward the third and Edward Mundy of Marton [Markeaton]
     in the county of Derby knight. John Gaunt (_sic_) went himself
     to visit Sir Edward Mundy at Marton in the county of Derby
     aforesaid ... and Sir Edward Mundy made a journey with the duke
     of Lancaster and his attendants into Highe Frith in the parish
     of Alstonefield in the county of Stafford; when they arrived at
     that piece of public ground [? the common or moorland waste of
     the manor] which was called Lady Edge, from which moorcock
     [both red and black grouse] were frequently driven away and
     from whence hawks were let loose and flown within such
     boundaries as were thereinafter mentioned, to this boundary
     which was free and open for birds flying backwards and forwards
     near the public road, which led from Longnor to Leek. In the
     part of the circle in which the hawks took [the grouse] near
     the middle circuit next the east clough, on the 10th day of May
     1399: for this reason John Gaunt gave it the title and name of
     Hawksyerd otherwise Hawksearth, because of the game being taken
     within its limits, thereinafter mentioned, which place was not
     theretofore named, some other pieces of land, which after that
     were made mention, to wit, part of a piece of land called
     Harrisons Intake, part of a piece of land called House Fielde,
     on which a small shed or house was standing, part of a piece of
     land called Little Meadow, which on the south lay between a
     place called Boothesley Grange and part of a piece of land
     called Rye Meadow following the stream pointing west, part of a
     piece of land called Killn Croffte adjoining the stream, thence
     west, part of a piece of land called Spart (?) Meadow, part of
     a piece of land called Rye Pingle, thence west following the
     rye of that year then growing. The boundary of Hawksyard
     otherwise Hawksearth, lying and being in Highe Frith in the
     parish of Alstonefield in the county of Stafford set out by
     John Gaunte duke of Lancaster aforesaid, between such bounds as
     were thereinafter mentioned, were set out for that house only;
     and the land called Hawksyerd otherwise Hawksearth aforesaid,
     where there is a clough at the east end of it and a purling
     stream, thence south following the stream between that and a
     place called Banke or otherwise Over Boothesley; also on the
     south side, a clough and stream ran, thence east next the
     stream, between that place called Bauthsley (_sic_) Grange and
     ascending on the south of the piece of land which is called Rye
     Pingle, thence west leading direct to the high ridge which is
     called Lady Edge, lying and being in Highe Frithe in the parish
     of Alstonefield in the county of Stafford; and then across the
     ridge which is north direct to the public road, which led from
     Longnor to Leeke; and also along the public road thence east it
     passed straight to the east end of the clough. The full extent
     of the said land, in the 1st year of the reign of King Henry
     IV, was marked out and set to limits either to expel, keep in
     or admit, to the only proper use and advantage of that house
     called Hawksyerd otherwise Hawksearth aforesaid; and also the
     liberty to dig turf in the public meadow and wastes of the
     lordship of Alstonefield. Sir Edward Mundy of Marton in the
     county of Derby aforesaid prayed for one favour of John Gaunt
     duke of Lancaster, which he [John] said he would consider if to
     him it were possible. Sir Edward asked him and he [John] to him
     gave the said place called Hawksyerd otherwise Hawksearth
     aforesaid and John Gaunt did freely give and grant it to him
     and his descendants forever. Sir Edward Mundy then went with
     his attendants to John Gaunt to see him at Lancaster Castle
     which [agreement] John Gaunt sealed and subscribed; and into
     the control of Sir Edward Mundy, all the before mentioned was
     handed over on the 15th day of May 1399 In the presence of
     William Stanley Gent, John Porter Gent, James Lewis Gent, Wi'm
     Stanley Gent, Thomas Mundy Gent, John Thornicroft Attorney.

If this deed correctly records the facts, we must infer that John of
Gaunt owned lands in north Staffordshire between Longnor and Leek; and
that they probably formed part of the lands belonging to the duchy of
Lancaster. We learn that his friend Sir Edward Mundy of Markeaton,
twenty miles away to the south-east, invited the duke to visit him there;
a hawking party being arranged on the 10th May 1399 by Sir Edward for the
entertainment of his royal guest; one of the highest points of The
Moorlands, known as Lady Edge, nearly 1500 feet above the sea, where
grouse were always to be found, was selected as the trysting place. The
party would ride from Markeaton across the open country to Lady Edge, and
they appear to have had good sport. Probably John of Gaunt and his
friends from Markeaton watched the hawking from the top of Lady Edge and
the undulating land which lies between Lady Edge and Hawksyard, the
quarry being taken within a distance of half a mile to the north-east. So
pleased was the duke, that he honoured the place where the hawks took
their quarry by giving it the name of Hawksyard otherwise Hawksearth; a
place which before then was unnamed. The deed also states that before the
duke left Markeaton, Sir Edward asked him as a personal favour to give
Hawksyard to Sir Edward and that the duke promised to consider the
request. Apparently Sir Edward returned with the duke to Lancaster, as a
few days later the duke is stated to have sealed and subscribed this deed
at Lancaster Castle and delivered it into the hands of Sir Edward on the
15th May 1399. The metes and bounds are fully set forth in the deed,
which also records that the boundaries were marked out on the land in the
1st year of Henry IV.

[Illustration: _Photo Ethel Eadon_

1568 October 24th. =Grant= from Vincent and Edward Munday to John

The second deed bears date the 24th October 1568 written in the same bold
Arabic numerals as in the earlier deed; but the later deed is in English
and measures 16 × 12 inches, it has two round seals of yellow wax, each
of a diameter of one and a half inches; the impression on these seals
does not appear to be armorial but they both bear the same form of cross;
the parchment and make-up are in all respects similar to the deed of 1399
and the signatures of Vincent Mundy and his son are written in the same
hand as the deed, which was not unusual in the 16th century.

       *       *       *       *       *

The following is an abstract of the grant from Vincent Mundy and his son
Edward to John Weston.

     An Indenture made the 24th day of October, in the 10th year of
     Elizabeth and in the year of the Lord 1568 Between Vincent
     Munday of Marketon in the countye of Derbye esquire and Edward
     Mundy (_sic_) gentleman, son and heir apparent of the said
     Vincent, of the one part and John Weston of Mackworth in the
     county aforesaid gentleman of the other part; whereby the
     aforesaid Vincent and Edward, for and in consideration of the
     sum of three hundred pounds of lawful money of England, to the
     aforesaid Vincent and Edward in hand paid by the said John
     Weston, whereof they confessed themselves to be fully
     satisfied and paid and the said John Weston and his heirs
     executors and administrators to be thereof acquitted and
     discharged for ever by those presents; had delivered given
     granted sold bargained released and by those present writings
     confirmed to the aforesaid John Weston and his heirs executors
     and administrators, all that their messuage or tenement, with
     the appurtenances, situate lying and being in the Highe Frith
     within the parish of Alstonefield in the county of Stafford;
     and being part parcel and member of the mannor of Alstonefield
     aforesaid and hereafter named, following and more at large
     expressed; to wit, all that messuage farm or tenement called
     Hawkesyarde or otherwise Hawkesearthe, then in the tenure or
     occupation of Raphe Bradburye and Maud his wife; and also all
     and singular houses outhouses cottages barns edifices buildings
     orchards gardens meadows pastures lands and arable lands
     commons woods underwoods, free liberties or commoninge and
     turbarye throughout the waste of the aforesaid manor,
     priviledges profits and commodities whatsoever, with all and
     singular the appurtenances to the said messuage or tenement in
     anywise lyeing appertaininge or belonginge; or any thing
     standing or at any time theretofore accepted used occupied or
     perceived, together with the said messuage or tenement or any
     of them, by any tenant before named their prior tenants or as
     part parcel and member of or as belonging to the said messuage
     or tenement or by whatsoever name or names it was commonly
     called or known, and all the estate etc; and moreover all rent
     and yearly profits whatsoever, reserved on any demise grant or
     copye of the premises, by any person or persons theretofore
     made or committed; to have hold and enjoy the same to the said
     John Weston his heirs executors administrators and assigns for
     ever; and likewise priviledges profits and commodities
     whatsoever, which John Gaunt the duke of Lancaster the fourth
     son of King Edward the third did give and grant unto Sir Edward
     Mundaye (_sic_) of Marketon in the county of Derby knight, the
     compass set by him the said John Gaunt betwixt those marks as
     were thereafter mentioned (that was to say) a clough at the
     east end of the said premises and a pearle of water which runns
     southewarde betwixt and a place called the Banke or otherwise
     Over Boothesleye; also a clough and a water, which runns
     eastward betwixt and a place which is called Boothesleye Grange
     and so it goes up close bye the water side pointinge westwards
     and so it goes up after the southe side of a piece of grounde
     which is called the Rye Pingle, from thence streight up to the
     top of the Hill which is called the Lady Edge, situate lyeinge
     and beinge in the Highe Frithe within the parish of
     Alstonefield aforesaid and countye of Stafforde aforesaid and
     from thence streight to the Highe Road, that goes betwixt
     Longenor and Leek, pointeinge northeward and so it goes down
     bye the roade side untill it comes directlye against that
     cloughe at the east end; withe free libertye to drive off
     enclose or take inn, so farr as the compass aforementioned
     extends; to the onlye proper use and behoofe of that one
     messuage or farme called Hawkesyarde or otherwise Hawkesearthe
     aforesaid, likewise free libertye of commoninge and turbarie
     throughout the waste of the mannor of Alstonefield aforesaid;
     and they did therefore deliver to the said John Weston his
     heirs and assigns full and peaceable possession etc. The
     witnesses were John Walker, Thomas Mundye gent, Thomas Brunt,
     John Oakes yeoman and Thomas Mundy (_sic_);

In this deed there is an evident desire on the part of the draftsman to
strengthen and even to extend the rights and privileges appurtenant to
the Hawksyard estate, which then included a house of considerable
importance, occupied by Ralph Bradbury and Maud his wife. Towards the end
of the deed a belated attempt at a recital of the earlier John of Gaunt
deed is added, with extracts giving the full description of the
boundaries; and this earlier deed is treated as the root of title to

The question and the only question we have to consider is whether these
two deeds give us a true account of the origin and early history of the
place-name Hawksyard? At first sight it would appear that they do; but
unfortunately there is much in the earlier deed to arouse suspicion. It
is not that the story of John of Gaunt’s visit to Highe Frith is
improbable, on the contrary he rebuilt and occupied Tutbury Castle twenty
miles away; nor is there any reason to think that in those days Sir
Edward Mundy would hesitate to ask the duke for a few acres of rough
moorland waste, as a memento of a red-letter day in the history of the
Mundy family. Perhaps such a request, under the circumstances,
constituted true politeness in the middle ages; or he may have wished to
commemorate the day by building a house on the land to bear the name
Hawksyard; but, however probable these surmises may be, there are many
things in this alleged deed of gift which suggest a date much later than
the reign of Richard II and cast a doubt as to its _bona fides_.

In the first place it is obvious that the date 15th May 1399 cannot be
correct, as John of Gaunt died in January or February 1398; further the
deed states that the duke visited Highe Frith on the 10th May 1399, which
was impossible; and it is perhaps equally surprising to find that a deed,
dated in the reign of Richard II, should refer to the first year of
Henry IV, whose reign had not then begun and might never have occurred.

These impossible dates require explanation, but our difficulties do not
end with dates; the writing in the John of Gaunt deed is not
characteristic of the period, it is not uniform throughout, the body of
the deed being written in characters of the rugged native script, the
names of the witnesses being added in a flowing Italian hand of the
Elizabethan period. Attention should also be called to the fact, that of
the five witnesses in whose presence the duke is said to have affixed his
seal, not one of them was above the rank of gentleman. The seal is
impressed with a hunting horn, suggestive of forest heraldry, but the
royal arms of the son of Edward III do not appear on this seal; and, if
the hunting horn is in its proper heraldic position, the point of the
shield is at the top.

As above stated, the form of the deed is unusual and follows no
precedent; many words are more suggestive of the classics than the
customary usage of diplomatics in the 14th century. _Equitem_ takes the
place of the more conventional _militem_; _nuncupatur_ is used instead of
_vocat_ and _coram_ instead of _testibus_. Each of the first four
witnesses is described as gent and the last as attorney, while Derby is
written once in English; further, the exact legal effect of the deed
seems to be intentionally vague; it is headed _conventum_, meaning a
covenant, but in the subsequent deed of 1568 it is referred to as a
grant. The full description of the land in the later deed, with all its
boundaries and appurtenant rights, suggests that the Elizabethan
draftsman had some doubt as to the true facts; these details being
apparently exploited with some ulterior intent.

In comparing the size make-up and general appearance of the two deeds, it
is impossible not to see in them a strong resemblance; they are both
typical of the time of Elizabeth, the deed of 1399 is too large and too
coarse for a charter of that date. The fact that one is in Latin and the
other in English makes the comparison less easy; but in both we find
similar parchment ink and seals; the script is much the same in both
deeds, each having the dates written in the same bold Arabic numerals;
and the later recites the earlier deed.

It would not be difficult to find other points of resemblance between
these deeds; and it is impossible to compare them without coming to the
conclusion that they were prepared at the same time by the same person,
with the definite object of making a good title to the Hawksyard
property, on the sale to John Weston.

This forces us to the conclusion that the John of Gaunt deed is not
altogether trustworthy; and we have to consider whether or not the
information it contains, with regard to the origin of the place-name
Hawksyard, can be relied on; or if we must treat its whole contents as
pure fiction and entirely discredit all it tells us of the hawking party
in Highe Frith.

[Illustration: =Seal= of 15th May 1399.]

There must be some explanation of this extraordinary deed; and it may yet
be possible to find a solution of the problem. Here is the deed! How can
we account for it? How much of what it tells us may we accept as truth?
To what extent is its story supported by extraneous evidence?

The points as to which we require information are; whether John of Gaunt
was in a position to give and grant lands in the Highe Frith to Sir
Edward Mundy or had he only the rights of an overlord? Why did he
hesitate before complying with Sir Edward’s request? Was he in doubt as
to whether the land were his to give or whether he held as tenant _in
capite_? Did he execute a deed of gift or did the gift rest on a verbal
promise, Sir Edward taking possession of the lands and converting them to
his own use? Did the lawyer of 1568, who carried through the sale to
Weston, act _ex fide bona_ and endeavour, according to his lights and the
practice of his time, to put the title to Hawksyard in order, for the
mutual benefit of both vendor and purchaser?

For answers to these questions we must return to the days of John of

In 1398 Richard II, seeing that his uncle John of Gaunt was in failing
health and that John’s son, Henry Bolingbroke earl of Hereford, might
press his claim to the throne of England in case of Richard’s death
without issue, took advantage of a quarrel between Bolingbroke and the
duke of Norfolk, in which each accused the other of treason, to banish
them both from the realm.

The loss of his son fell heavily on John of Gaunt, who died at the end of
January or the beginning of February 1398; and it is important to bear in
mind that the year 1399 began on the 25th March and not the 1st January.

Richard, being free for a time from the menace of the House of Lancaster,
seized the whole of the Lancastrian estates in the absence of the
banished heir and crossed to Ireland to complete his conquests and
strengthen his hold on that country.

During Richard’s absence in Ireland the banished Henry, hearing the news
of his father’s death and the confiscation of the Lancastrian estates,
landed on the Yorkshire coast with a few trusted friends and three
thousand men-at-arms.

He was at once joined by the great barons of the north and with an army,
which increased as it advanced, he ultimately reached London; where he
was well received by the people, who were tired of Richard and looked to
Henry as their future king.

On hearing the news of Henry’s return Richard, after much delay through
rough weather, recrossed the Irish Channel to Milford Haven, only to find
that both his friends and his armies in England had melted away and that
his kingdom was lost.

He was forced by Henry and his supporters to resign his crown and, in
Westminster Hall on the 29th September 1399, his resignation was received
with shouts of applause; on the following day his cousin Henry
Bolingbroke, son and heir of John of Gaunt, was proclaimed King of
England as Henry IV.

On Henry’s accession he regained the estates of the duchy of Lancaster,
which however remained in his hands as crown property.

The above events and the dates on which they occurred are of importance
in considering the two Hawksyard deeds; and if we are to understand how
and why they came into existence, we must also trace the early history of
Highe Frith and learn something of the conditions then prevailing as to
the holding and devolution of landed estates in England; more especially
with regard to earldoms honours and manors, which formed the basis of the
feudal system.

When we clearly understand the way in which land in England was held in
pre-reformation days, it will perhaps be possible to see whether the
facts set forth in the deed of gift of the 15th May 1399 were consistent
with the early history of the manor of Alstonefield; and whether John of
Gaunt was shortly before his death in a legal position to comply with the
request of Sir Edward Mundy.

As already stated Hawksyard was in Highe Frith, part of the manor of
Alstonefield, and a manor was an estate in fee simple in a tract of land
granted by the sovereign to a subject, usually a man of some consequence,
in consideration of certain services.

He was the lord of the manor and he reserved for his own use such parts
of the land as he required, which were called the demesne lands; other
parts he granted out to his tenants, under varying conditions which
included estates of inheritance, estates for life, for years and at will;
the barren lands which remained in his hands were what was known as the
commons and wastes of the manor or the foreign lands. The whole formed a
manor or lordship which had its own courts and customs and enjoyed feudal
privileges, which extended not only to the lands held by tenants but also
to the commons and waste lands.

When many manors, perhaps extending into several counties, were held by
one great baron or overlord they formed an honour which was held of the
king _in capite_; this was quite different in character to the manor. It
was a jurisdiction, vested in private hands, and not a territorial
possession; the lords of the manors retaining their separate manorial
organisation and rendering suit and service to their overlord.

Manors also formed part of the earldom or shire; for some time after the
conquest an earl also had the title of count and from the counts the
shires took the name of counties. The title however soon disappeared in
England but we still retain countess, county and viscount.

When a great earldom honour or manor fell by forfeiture or escheat into
the hands of the sovereign which constantly happened, it retained its
distinct corporate existence and the whole apparatus of jurisdiction or
tenure. Under its own title it either continued in the possession of the
sovereign or was granted out again as a hereditary fief.

The manor of Alstonefield appears to have been included in different
earldoms and different honours at different dates, prior to the time when
it came into the hands of John of Gaunt and his first wife’s ancestors.

At the taking of the Domesday survey in 1086, Alstonefield manor was held
as a knight’s fee by Robert count of Shrewsbury with William de Malbanc
under him as lord of the manor. The Shrewsbury overlordship did not last
long and Alstonefield, which seems to have been much in request, possibly
owing to its grouse moor, was transferred to the honour of Chester under
Hugh Lupus; to whom William had, three years after the conquest, given
the earldom of Chester and William de Malbanc, of Wich Malbanc now
Nantwich, held the position of lord marcher under Lupus, so that the
lordship of Alstonefield formed part of the marchlands or boundaries of
the honour of Chester on the east, over which William de Malbanc would
have supreme control as lord of the marches.

That part of the manor which lay between Leek and the river Dove,
including the site of Hawksyard, was chiefly forest and moorland; shortly
after the conquest and for many centuries after, it was known as Malbanc
Forest; but in 1220 the Malbanc barony devolved on three co-heiresses,
who held Alstonefield in co-parcenary.

On the forfeiture of a third share by the eldest daughter, then countess
of Warwick, it came into the possession of Hugh le Despencer, though how
he got it is not clear, and this share included the tract of barren
moorland known as Highe Frith of Malbanc Forest.

In 1297, on the death of Edmund earl of Lancaster, the King’s Escheator
held an inquisition at Tutbury for the county of Lancaster, to ascertain
what knight’s fees were due to the earl; the jury found _inter alia_ that
Hugh le Despencer held one knight’s fee in the manor of Altonesfelt
(Alstonefield) worth yearly in homages etc. £10. “Nomina Villarum” 1316
gives Hugh le Despencer and Nicholas de Audeleye as owners of
Alstonefield, a vill in the liberty of the earl of Lancaster, who had the
return of all writs.

In 1322 the estates of le Despencer were forfeited to the crown and
subsequently bestowed by Edward III on Henry earl of Lancaster,
grandfather of Blanche the wife of John of Gaunt.

It may be helpful here to recall how John of Gaunt was created duke of
Lancaster and became possessed of the Lancastrian estates, extending into
Cheshire, Staffordshire and other counties.

The first earl of Lancaster was Edmund called Crouchback second son of
Henry III; in addition to his Lancastrian estates, his father bestowed on
him the earldoms of Derby, Leicester, Lincoln, Salisbury and Chester.

These passed on his death in 1296 to his eldest son Thomas earl of
Lancaster, who was beheaded at Pontefract in 1322 when his estates were
forfeited to the crown.[A] His widow was allowed to retain the Salisbury
estate; and the other four earldoms were bestowed on his brother Henry
earl of Lancaster, to whom one third share of Alstonefield manor was also
given, so that he possessed not only the Lancastrian estates but also the
earldoms of Derby (including the honour of Tutbury), Leicester, Lincoln,
Chester and the territorial interest of a third of the manor of
Alstonefield, including Malbanc Forest; of which Highe Frith was waste of
the manor.

Henry earl of Lancaster was succeeded by his son Henry, afterwards first
duke of Lancaster, who had no son; of his two daughters, Maud married
William of Bavaria and Blanche married John of Gaunt. Maud died without
issue, whereupon the whole of the Lancastrian estates devolved on
Blanche; and, in right of his wife, on her husband John of Gaunt, who was
in 1362 created duke of Lancaster.

It will be remembered that the seal attached to the deed of gift of the
15th May 1399 bears a hunting horn; and in order to find some explanation
of this seal it may be necessary to glance for a moment at the history of
the honour of Tutbury, which as we have seen was included in the earldom
of Derby and passed to John of Gaunt with that earldom.

[Illustration: =The Tutbury Horn=, from a photograph in the reference
library at Sheffield.]

About the end of the 13th century, the important office of escheator and
coroner throughout the whole honour of Tutbury within the county of
Stafford, was claimed by Walter Agard who demanded to hold office by
right of inheritance; but he was unable to produce any written evidence
in support of his claim; and in lieu of charters or writings, he produced
a white hunting horn garnished with silver-gilt in the middle and at
both ends, to which was affixed a girdle of black silk adorned with
buckles of silver, on which was placed the _insignia_ of Edmund earl of
Lancaster; this horn was offered and accepted as the charter and evidence
of title to the office of escheator and coroner, to which he made claim.

It is not necessary to follow the devolution of the Tutbury Horn from
Walter Agard; but in the 17th century, on the marriage of an heiress of
Agard, it passed to the Stanhopes, who sold it with its offices in 1753
to Samuel Foxlow of Staveley Hall, from him it ultimately passed to Henry
Marwood Greaves of Banner Cross, Sheffield, and Ford Hall, Derbyshire,
who once only exercised the right of appointment; and on his death in
1859 his eldest son William Henry Greaves, who had assumed the surname of
Greaves-Bagshawe in 1853, succeeded to the horn by inheritance, and
appointed the next succeeding coroner. We shall have to consider whether
the pendent seal of the alleged deed of gift can in any way be accounted
for by the fact, that the honour of Tutbury was part of the duchy of
Lancaster prior to John of Gaunt’s death.

[Illustration: =Seals= of 24th October 1568.]

Let us now turn to the other party to the deed of gift, Sir Edward Mundy.

In Burke’s “Commoners of England” 1836, it is suggested that the Mundy
family derived its name from Mondaye Abbey in the dukedom of Normandy;
and it may be, that Sir Edward Mundy or his father fought with John of
Gaunt in the wars with France and Spain.

It seems probable, from what we find in the earlier deed, that the duke
and Sir Edward were close personal friends; and it may possibly have been
through the influence of John of Gaunt, that Sir Edward Mundy or his
father settled near Derby. However that may be, we are told that Sir
Edward entertained the duke at Markeaton and returned with him to
Lancaster Castle.

Vincent Mundy of Markeaton was a justice of the peace for the county of
Derby in 1558 and his son Edward died in 1607.

Burke also tells us that “from old deeds in existence it appears that the
family held lands in the year 1399”; it may be and seems highly probable
that he was referring to the deed of gift and the grant above described,
to which he presumably had access and gave credence.

On the other hand the two Lysons, in their work on Derbyshire, say that
the Mundys did not buy the Markeaton property until the beginning of the
sixteenth century. Perhaps at that date they added to their original

We now have some idea of how matters stood in 1399 and 1568; we are
therefore in a better position to consider whether the deeds of Richard
II and Elizabeth can be relied on as giving the origin and early history
of the place-name Hawksyard.

Assuming for the moment that the two deeds were prepared at the same time
and by the same hand, it is necessary to consider the position as it
presented itself to the attorney, who in 1568 was instructed to carry out
the sale of Hawksyard to John Weston. He possibly may have acted for both
vendor and purchaser and been anxious to do his best for both his
clients. He would, on receiving his instructions, ask the vendor for his
title deeds; the answer would presumably be that there were no such
deeds; but it was probably well known in the vendor’s family and possibly
also to John Weston, that Hawksyard had been given to Sir Edward Mundy by
John of Gaunt shortly before his death, after enjoying a day’s hawking in
Highe Frith, the tradition of which would hang round The Moorlands for
centuries; perhaps letters or diaries would be produced with sufficient
detail to satisfy the purchaser of the truth of the tradition.

The attorney would perhaps be in doubt, whether this traditional gift was
a grant of the fee simple or a mere sporting right over certain waste
lands belonging to the manor of Alstonefield, part of the duchy; which
right would be what is known as a right of common in gross. The vendors
were doubtless in actual possession and their ancestors had held it for
nearly two hundred years; under circumstances such as these the Courts of
Common Law, in the absence of the tradition, would have assumed a lost
grant, made prior to the reign of Richard I, which is supposed to be
equivalent to immemorial user; but the family tradition as to John of
Gaunt fixes the lost grant in the reign of Richard II, which would not
support a claim by immemorial user. Under these circumstances and in the
absence of any title deeds, the attorney seems to have taken upon himself
the responsibility of creating a root of title, based on the tradition
and possibly what he considered satisfactory recorded evidence; in doing
this he exercised neither artfulness nor skill. He hesitated whether to
make it an agreement or a grant, he neglected to use the 14th century
common form of such a document, he blundered sadly in the dates, and he
referred in the deed, which he dated in the reign of Richard II, to a
reign which had not then begun. There would be a difficulty as to the
witnesses, and it may be that those named were taken from some deed of
1399 to which he had access, notwithstanding the fact that these five
witnesses were not suitable or likely witnesses for the sealing by John
of Gaunt; there was also the difficulty of the seal, and as probably no
seal of John of Gaunt was available, a forest seal, perhaps of the honour
of Tutbury, was used; Alstonefield manor being within that honour, and
the deed of the 15th May 1399 was the result; which did well enough to
hand to the purchaser, as the root of title to Hawksyard, along with his
conveyance from Vincent Mundy and his son. Even if the parties to the
transaction knew of what was being done they would doubtless be well
pleased to have the John of Gaunt tradition put on record; and the
enterprising attorney would probably be thanked and well paid for his
trouble and resource. There does not appear to have been any fraudulent
intention to improperly acquire any land or other benefit, though such a
counterfeit in these days would be fraught with risk to all parties
concerned; but in the time of Elizabeth, the law of real property rested
less on statute and more on the unwritten law; which was interpreted and
applied loosely and without supervision.[B] The effect of this _ex post
facto_ apograph was twofold and benefited both sides. The vendors put on
permanent record their treasured family tradition and the purchaser got a
root of title, which might be of value to him in case of re-sale. It
would be interesting to know why the Mundys barred the entail and sold
Hawksyard, with its sporting tradition; it may have been that the
chancellor of the duchy had, at a then recent date, raised the question
as to whether the Mundy family originally had an estate in fee simple or
a right of common in gross; and that they as owners thought they would
act wisely in selling to a purchaser for value.

Whatever the reason may have been for the sale of Hawksyard in 1568, it
passed by the deed of Elizabeth from the Mundy family to John Weston of
Mackworth, and is now held and enjoyed under prescriptive right, which
makes its past history of little consequence, so far as the present
owner, Mr Robert Shirley of Waterhouse Farm, near Longnor, is concerned.

His numerous deeds and papers relating to Hawksyard include an abstract
of title beginning in the 14th year of Elizabeth (10th July 1572), when
John Weston and Katherine his wife sold Hawksyard to Ralph Bradbury who,
as appears from the grant to John Weston, was in 1568 the tenant of
Hawksyard; so that John Weston owned the property for less than four
years and then sold it to his tenant Ralph Bradbury, who in May 1573
settled it on his younger son Otwell.

Forty-two years later, on the 11th May 1615, Otwell Bradbury and Ralph
his son and heir sold Hawksyard to Henry Cock for £400. For many years
the estate remained in the possession of the Cock family, who sold it to
Ralph Wood of Leek Abbey, the Cistercian monastery Dieu-la-Cresse, and on
the 5th April 1800 Hawksyard passed into the possession of John Shirley
of Rewlach, the great grandfather of the present owner.

In 1850 some closes, part of Hawksyard, lying on the west side of the
road leading from Newtown to Warslow, were exchanged for adjacent closes,
part of the late Sir John Harpur Crewe’s estates. With this exception,
the Hawksyard estate seems to follow the boundaries set forth in the deed
of 1399, and Harrison’s Intake, Low Meadow, Rye Meadow, Kiln Croft and
Spout Field of that date still exist and appear in the description of the
lands in the 19th century title deeds. On the front of the house are two
dates, one above the other, the lower one is “H C 1620” and the upper one
is “H C 1784”; both these dates occur during the ownership of the Cock
family, and the initials “H C” probably indicate Henry Cock.

Hawksyard of to-day is a substantial farmstead of eighty acres, with a
good house and farm buildings occupied by Mr Shirley’s son Edwin Leslie
Shirley; it is bounded on every side by lands of Sir Vauncey Harpur Crewe
of Calke Abbey and Warslow Hall, but it has never formed part of the
encircling Harpur estate, which we may assume was crown property; and the
grant to the Harpurs of these surrounding lands may have given rise to a
discussion as to the Hawksyard title, and possibly suggested to the
Mundys the desirability of the sale to Weston. If the surrounding lands
were granted by the crown, leaving Hawksyard an isolated and independent
holding, there seems to have been a recognition of the Mundy title and a
strong vindication of the Hawksyard tradition.

Of the places referred to in the deeds, Boothesley (now spelt Boosley)
Grange still stands; Bank or Over Boothesley is now Bank House and the
“pearle of water” is Boosley Brook. Highe Frith and Malbanc Forest are
not on the ordnance map and are almost forgotten in the district; but
Lady Edge is still in daily use, and the existence to-day of these
medieval place-names seems to strengthen the probability of the story of
John of Gaunt’s visit to the Highe Frith.

If ramblers on foot and on wheels, when passing the east end of the
church and the adjoining school of Newtown, will stop for a moment to
glance down on Hawksyard, two fields to the east and up to Lady Edge half
a mile to the south-west; it will not be difficult to reconstruct the
scene of the hawking, when

    “Old John of Gaunt, time-honour’d Lancaster”

visited Highe Frith of Malbanc Forest more than five centuries ago and
first gave the name Hawksyard.

[Illustration: SHEFFIELD]


[A] It may be of interest to mention, that in 1867 while ridging potatoes
in a field at Boosley Grange, known as Boosley Folly Meadow, a number of
silver medieval coins were found, which had presumably been lost or
hidden in the difficult times through which The Moorlands passed, during
the fierce struggle between Edward II and his cousin Thomas the great
earl of Lancaster; who in his headlong flight from Tutbury Castle up the
valley of the Dove lost a military chest containing over 100,000 similar
coins, English, Scotch and Flemish, in the river, which was found in
1831, embedded deep in the mud at the ford below the castle.

[B] The reverend Joseph Hunter, in a Memoir on the ancient family of
Wilson of Broomhead Hall, Bradfield, published in _The Yorkshire
Archæological and Topographical Journal_ volume v. calls attention to
what he describes as a surreptitious Bradfield deed, dated in the feast
of saint Martin in winter (11th November) 22 Richard II and anno domini
1399; whereas the feast of saint Martin 1399 was not in the reign of
Richard II but in the first year of Henry IV; he further points out that
even if the news of the accession of Henry had not reached the wilds of
Bradfield by the 11th November, the feast of saint Martin 1399 would have
fallen in the 23rd year of Richard II and not the 22nd, as stated in the


General: No attempt has been made to standardise spelling within the
charters; they are rendered as in the original text.

Page 28: Hawsksyard corrected to Hawksyard after “In 1850 some closes,
part of”

*** End of this Doctrine Publishing Corporation Digital Book "Sheffield and its Environs 13th to the 17th century - A descriptive catalogue of land charters and other documents - forming the Brooke Taylor collection" ***

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