Bubwith Rectory

The origin of the rectory of Bubwith is obscure and the evidence for the split of the rectory of Bubwith into two moieties is also lacking. We do know that it was in two moieties by 1138-1143, as at this time Warin de Bubwith, a tenant of William Tison, gave one of the moieties to St. Peter's York (the Dean and Chapter of York Minster) together with a carucate there, to safeguard the tenure of William of Winchester, canon of York. This gift was confirmed by Roger de Mowbray, stating that the church was founded on land held of him by Warin, and also confirmed by William Tison stating that it was founded in his fee.

Regarding the other moiety we also know that in the period 1148-1153 archbishop Henry confirmed the gift made by Eustace FitzJohn to William of Winchester of a moiety of Bubwith church founded in Eustace's fee, Eustace being a tenant under the Mortemer fee.

Often the reason for a property being in two moities (or more than two parts) is that the property was equally divided between heirs in a will. However, that is an unlikely explanation in this case, given the evidence that the church appears to be in two different fees. So it would seem that the most likely explanation for the two moieties is that the church of Bubwith was founded pre-1138, partly on land in the Tison fee, and partly on land in the Eustace fee.

The church continued in moieties for several centuries, with the Warin moiety being in the hands of the Dean and Chapter of York throughout, and the Eustace Moiety passing from Bylands Abbey to the crown then into private hands.

The Warin Moiety (Tison Fee)
This moiety came to the Dean and Chapter of York in the 12th century, and stayed in their possession throughout, apart from a short period during the Commonwealth. In April of 1649 Parliament passed an Act to abolish all the offices of Cathedrals, and to sequester their lands and property.  This Act was to finally make good on the promises made by Parliament to the Scots in a Treaty known as The Solemn League and Covenant,  for their assistance in the Civil War, i.e. to abolish Episcopacy and replace it with Presbyterianism. Surveys were conducted to determine the land holdings of the ecclesiastics, and the survey of the Rectory of Bubwith is preserved in Lambeth Palace Library.

Parliamentary survey, Sep 1649
Vol 18 - ref.  COMM/12A/18, fol 110-110, and 122
Mr George Merriton Doct of Divinitie Dean of ye Cathedrall and Metropollitan Church of St Petre of York and the Chapter of the same Church by Indenture dated 11 August Annon Regnum Jacobi of England France and Ireland 15 50 Scotia demised unto Marmaduke Dolman of Millington in the County of York Gent all that their rectory or parsonage of Bubwith in the said County of York and their tythe barn there and garth belonging to the said tythe barne and alsoe all and singular their tythe corne and hay woll and lambe coming growing and renewing within the town fields and parish of Bubwith aforesaid And all other the profitts advantages and Comodities whatsoever to ye said rectorie or parsonage belonging or in anie wise appertaining (the advowson patronage presentation and Gift of and to the vicarage of Bubwith aforesaid and the morturaies of the vicars there and the spiritual jurisdiction belonging to ye said Dean and Chapter and their successors alwaies exempt and preserved) to hold from the daie of the date for and during the nattural live of William Dolman Marmaduke Dolman and Thomas Dolman natural and lawfull sonnes of the said Marmaduke Dolman partis to these presents and the life of the longest liver of them paying yearlie unto the said Dean and Chapter and their successors or to the Chamberlain of the aid Church for the time being the som of twenty marke and for the encrease of rent twelve pence uppon Haxby Tomb in the said Cathedral Church at the feast of St Michael the Archangel and St Marke the Evangelist by even porcions but thye are worth uppon improvement as before appeareth and above the said rente per annum

Following the Restoration of the Monarchy, in 1660, church lands were restored, and the moiety of the Rectory of Bubwith was returned to the Dean and Chapter. Both before the Civil War and after the Restoration, the lessees of the Dean and Chapter's moiety were the Dolman family.

The detailed Dean and Chapter's Lease Registers at York Minster Archives shows the lessees following the Restoration until the transfer of the Dean and Chapter properties to the Ecclesiastical Commissioners in 1852. The lessees were, from the Restoration, were the Dolman, Prickett, Lowther and Dickens families, respectively.

The Eustace Moiety (Eustace Fee)

The Eustace moiety passed through the de Vescy family (William de Vescy, the first of this line, was the son of Eustace FitzJohn). Eventually this moiety was given by John de Mowbray to the Abbey of Byland in 1349. The Abbey of Byland was dissolved on the 30th November, 1538, and their moiety of the Rectory of Bubwith passed to the Crown.

In 1231, the Rectory of Aughton had been granted by the del Hay family to Ellerton Priory, and the rectory had included amongst its possessions the small tithes of  Spaldington and Willitoft, and with the suppression of the Priory these tithes also fell to the Crown.

By 1571 the moiety had been leased from the crown by the Vavasour family: 18 May 13 Eliz (1571), Lease under the Great Seal, the Mansion of the Rectory of Bubwith and 2 oxgangs of land there, lately belonging to the Monastery of Byland and the tithes in Spaldington and Willitoft, parcels of the Rectory of Aughton, lately belonging to the Monastery of Ellerton, for 21 years, at £14 0s. 16d. (Yorkshire Archaelogical Society, Ref: MD 175: Deeds and documents of the Vavasour family of Spaldington and Willitoft)

On the 30 June 1585, the Crown leased, via Letters Patent, the moiety of Bubwith, formerly parcel of the Abbey of Byland, and the small tithes of Spaldington and Willitoft, formerly parcel of Ellerton Priory, to Stephen Bull, Master Gunner of England, which were currently leased to Peter Vavasour, John Aykroyde and John Harrison, for 21 years, at £14 16d and 40s. respectively (TNA, LR 15/302). It is highly likely that it was leased to these families in the period 1539 to 1571, but more research needs to be done to confirm this.

The Crown held the moiety until 1610 when it was sold to Francis Morris and Francis Phillips, the crown contractors, and enrolled in Chancery. Morris and Phillips conveyed the moiety almost immediately to the actual purchaser, Henry Aykroyd, on the 20th May, 1610.  The moiety of Bubwith Rectory then passed from Henry to his son, John.

The moiety of Bubwith Rectory was conveyed by John Akyroyd in 1658 to Josiah Prickett of Allerthorpe, and Richard, son and heir of Richard Robinson of Thickett, as part of the marriage settlement of John's daughter, Jane Aykroyd, to Richard Robinson jun. The sale included the Mansion House of the Rectory, and 2 bovates of land in Bubwith.