The Manor of Spaldington

The manor of Spaldington was held by the Count of Mortain, and was farmed by Nigel, with 6 sokemen and 1 bordar there. The manor had sokeland,  which comprised 6 bovates in Newsholme [in Wressle], 5 bovates in Willitoft, 1½ carucates in Foggathorpe, 2 carucates and 5 bovates in Laytham, 2 carucates and 6 bovates in East Cottingwith. However, 6 carucates of land in Spaldington were sokeland of the manor of Wressle.

In Kirkby's Inquest, 1277-1307, the manor of Spaldington was a part of the Mauley fee, and tenanted by Walterus Bathell and Johannis del Hay, under Germano le Hay del Maulay. The Inquisitions of Knights' Fees, 1303, tells us that 4 carucates and 7 bovates in Spaldington of the Mowbray fee was held by Osbert de Spaldington; 3 carucates and 1 bovate of the Mortemer fee was held by Roger de Spaldington; and  of the 2 carucates and 6 bovates of the Mauley fee, Peter de la Hay held half a carucate, as did Osbert de Spaldington, with Johannes Malurer holding 5 bovates, Joannes filius Thomae 6 bovates, and Walteri le Bacheler 4 bovates.

The Nomina Villarum, 1316, informs us that the lords of the manor were Petrus de Hay and Jacobus de Bosevill.

The manor of Spaldington descended in the de la Hay family until a de la Hay heiress, Isabella de la Hay (died before 1481) married John Vavasour, around 1431. Through this marriage the manor passed to the Vavasour family, a cadet branch of the Vavasours of Hazelwood, and John Vavasour made his seat in Spaldington.

The manor then descended in the Vavasour family until the last male heir, Thomas Vavasour, Esq., died in 1679, leaving an only daughter and heir, Mary Vavasour, who married Sir Ralph Assheton of Middleton,  Lancs,  Baronet. Their eldest daughter and co-heir, Anne, married Humphrey Trafford, Esq., 5th Aug 1701, in Manchester. Humphrey and Anne had a daughter and co-heir, Elizabeth Trafford, who married Mail Yates, of Mail, Lancs, and had an elder daughter and co-heir, Anne Assheton Yates.

Anne Assheton Yates married Henry Nooth, a Colonel in a Cavalry Regiment, who assumed the name of Vavasour, and was created a baronet in 1801.

Sir Henry Mervin Vavasour, grandson of Henry (Nooth) and Anne, sold the manor around 1872.

Manorial Documents
There are no known manorial documents extant. However, there is a collection of Vavasour family papers at the Yorkshire Archaeological Society, under reference MD175, which includes deeds and indentures between the Vavasour family, as Lords of the Manor, to various tenants, and other material. There also exists a collection of family papers, extents, tenant lists and records of tithe payments and land tax, in Masters' Exhibits attached to a cause in Chancery, concerning a dispute over the boundaries of the detached portions of Spaldington and Willitoft that lay within Aughton parish. The details of both these collections are given below:

Yorkshire Archaeological Society, Reference MD175
The Vavasour Papers at the Yorkshire Archaeological Society Archives consists of one archive box containing 1 small A5-sized packet, 2 large A4-size packets, and 1 large A5-sized envelope.

Small Packet
Contains 4 parchment rolls:

Roll 1: An inventory of the goods of Owen Doddins, late of Great Harrowden, dated 10 April 1615
Roll 2: Same as Roll 1
Roll 3: Inventory of the goods of George Vavasour of Spaldington, undated
Roll 4: Inventory of the goods of Ann Vavasour, widow of Spaldington, dated 6 Feb 1570

Large Packet 1
Containing 6 deeds or indentures,

  • Deed: Robert Dolman, armiger, of Gunby; and Peter Vavasour, generosus, of Willitoft, dated 2 Nov 1595 [Latin, small seal]
  • Deed: Adam Harrison to John Hudson, re. Lamonbye Hall, Cumberland, dated 8 April 1594
  • Deed: granted to Peter Vavasour, armiger, and others. Monastery of Byland, Ellerton Priory, Bubwith, Aughton, Spaldington and Willitoft all mentioned, dated 30 Jun 1585.
  • Indenture: between Adam Harrison of Lammonbye, generosus, and John Hudson of Bowtherbeck, Cumberland, dated 1 Dec 1596. [Latin, small seal]
  • Indenture: between Ann Vavasour, widow of Spaldington, and John Abbot of Howden, butcher, dated 29 Oct, 11 Eliz I. [English, small seal]
  • Indenture: between Right Rev. Barnaby, Bishop of Carlisle, and William Briscoe of Lincoln's Inn, gent, fr 21 years, re. farm of tythes in Little and Great Cumbersdale, Browrelston Stanwix, dated 30 Sep 1632.

Large Packet 2
Containing 26 miscellaneous documents,

  • Deed of gift: between George Vavasour of Willitoft, gent, and Sir John Vavasour of Spaldington, knt. Witnesses include Thomas Vavasour, William Blaunchard, and others, dated 14 Feb 1621.
  • Indenture (two copies): between Sir John Vavasour and Thomas Emmerson, dated 14 Feb 1621. Witnessed by William Blaunchard and others. [English, bargain and sale]
  • Bond: Raphael Neall generosus of Wellingborough, Northants, and Robert Newport generosus of Exton, Northants
  • Bonds: of Sir John Vavasour of Spaldington for performance of covenant to George Vavasour of Willitoft, 1633.
  • Receipt: of William Orpin, yeoman of Great Harrowden, Northants, for 2 ewes and 2 lambs from George Vavasour, gent
  • Doc type unclear: Edmund, Archbishop of Canterbury and Roger Wetherell, armiger, of Lincoln's Inn
  • Bond: John Vavasour of Spaldington and others, 1 Jan 1566. [Latin and English]
  • Marriage Settlement: of Philip Saltmarsh, son of Edward Saltmarsh, of Newby on Wiske, and Troth Salvine, daughter of Bryan Salvine of Grockstall, Durham, deceased, dated 6 May 1676.
  • Licence of Alienation: from the Right Hon. George, Earl of Cumberland, to Adam Harrison, dated 2 Mar 1584.
  • Bargain and Sale: Arthur Hudson of Broughton, Lancs, generosus, and Peter Hudson of Thornthwaite, Cumb., for Lamanbie Hall in Skelton in Cumberland, dated 14 Aug 1611. [Latin and English].
  • Modern handwritten note: Lease under the Great Seal, dated 18 May 13 Eliz, to Peter Vavasour, esq. The Mansion of the Rectory of Bubwith + 2 oxgangs of land there, formerly of Byland Abbey, also tithes in Spaldington and Willitoft, parcels of the Rectory of Aughton.
  • Deed of sale: between Sir John Vavasour, knt, of Spaldington, Peter Vavasour esq, and George Vavasour of Willitoft, gent, dated 13 Feb 1633.
  • Bond: William Gilney alias Daye, merchant and citizen of London, and George Vavasour of Great Harrowden, Northants, dated 9 Oct 1616. [Latin and English]
  • Indenture: between Peter Vavasour, gent of Willitoft, and Robert Skipwith, husbandman, and Agnes his wife of Willitoft. Dated 10 Apr 1576.
  • Document type unclear: Thomas Byrkesthaw of Stockton, Yorks, and William Skipwith of Willitoft.
  • Arbitration Deed: Sitr William Willmer, knt, of Sywell, Northants, Arbitrator, and George Vavasour of Great Harrowden, Northants, gent, and William Ball of Wellingborough, Northants, yeoman, dated 27 Sep 1617.
  • Indenture: between William Baylie of Howke, husbandman, and George Vavasour of Willitoft, dated 2 Mar 1625.
  • Bond: for £150, Roger Wetherall and Sir Thomas Lodge, knt, dated 2 Jul 1563. [Latin and English]
  • Indenture: between Thomas Emmerson of South Cave, yeoman, and George Vavasour of Willitoft, dated 14 Feb 1621.
  • Document type unclear: Henry Flynt, yeoman of South Cave, and Thomas Skipwith, yeoman of Willitoft, dated 11 Jul 1626. [Latin, small seal]
  • Indenture of Bargain and Sale: between George Vavasour of Willitoft and John Leng of Willitoft, yeoman.
  • Document type unclear: Michael Satehill, gent, and Henry Savyle, armiger, and Edward Savyle, armiger, of Spen Manor, Eastrington, dated 29 Sep 1566. [Chancery hand]
  • Deed: dated at Willitoft, 1388. [Latin, and old English script]
  • Indenture: George Vavasour of Willitoft, and Thomas Emmerson of South Cave, yeoman. Witness William Blaunchard and others, dated 8 Feb 1621.
  • Deed: dated at Willitoft 1 Jun 1418 (I can read one name, Peter del Hay). [Latin and old English script]
  • Recusants Roll: dated 6 Oct 1677. John Vavasour of Willitoft named.

A3 Envelope
Contains 5 documents, delicate state

  • Document: dated at Langrake, 10 Aug 1388. [Latin and old English script]
  • Letter: To Master George Vavasour, deliver this or in his absence to either of his two brethren, Andrew and Harry Vavasour, resident at the Middle Temple, dated at Calais 8 Jun 1556, Hugh Gills. [Latin and Secretary hand]
  • Receipt: for £50 by Robert Doweman to Sir Peter Vavasour, knt, dated 30 May 1558-9.
  • Letter: to Mr George Vavasour, Spaldington, from Robert Doweman, circa 1600.
  • Indenture: John Vavasour of Willitoft, and Peter Blanchard of Newsome, Yorks, bachelor, dated 9 Jun 1682.  (Within it mentions John Vavasour, and George Vavasour, son and heir of the said John Vavasour.

The National Archives, Reference C 112/27~29 (1734-1736)

Three boxes of papers mainly concerning the tithes of Bubwith and Spaldington, Yorkshire, with correspondence, account books, bills, etc. Copies of cause papers and various Lowther family leases. Will of Richard Lowther of Kirkby Stephen, Westmorland, 1697.

The following is a description of the bundles in the box. The bundles are not numbered, and the numbering I have used here is for my convenience only.

Bundle 1
16 stitched pages containing the defendents' answers to the bill of complaint, viz:-

  1. Walter Vavasour says he owns all the said land in Willitofte and names all the closes, garths etc.
  2. Samuel Guy says in 1723-1724 he lived in Spaldington and occupied a farm under Humphrey Trafford and in 1724 he took a farm in Gribthorpe under the Duke of Somerset and has lived there ever since. In 1733 he took another farm in Gribthorpe under the Duke, all land, closes, garths etc are named.
  3. Peter Wilson of Harlthorpe, lists all land
  4. James Caid at Willitofte, lists all land, under Peter Vavasour.

All defendents say they have heard and believe that parts of Spaldington and Willitoft lie partly in the parish of Aughton and partly in the parish of Bubwith. They speak of tithes of corn, rape, line, hay, wool and lamb. They say the tithes of Harlthorpe are in two moieties. One moiety belongs to the vicar of Bubwith, and the other moiety to Nicholas Blanshard.

Concludes with a complete schedule of all land held, cattle etc.

Bundle 2
Defendents' answers to the bill of complaint (copy)

Bundle 3
Copy of the Bill of Complaint

Bundle 4
A brief of the entire case, with complaint, answers, and depositions all briefly summarised. A moiety of the tithes of the Rectory of Bubwith are owned by the D&C of York, the other by H. Trafford, bought of the Crown, ex-Ellerton priory.

Bundle 5
120 stitched papers containing the answers of the defendents (not to interrogatories, so presumably to the bill of complaint).

Bundle 6
266 stitched pages of depositions (paginated), taken 19 April 1736
for example, on page 177:

Nicholas Blanshard of Newsam, parish of Wressle, yeoman, aged 72, was born at Gribthorpe and lived there until he was 24 years old; says the townships of Harlthorpe and Gribthorpe lie wholly in the parish of Bubwith, and Spaldington and Willitofte lie partly in Bubwith and partly in Aughton parishes. Speaks of his late father, George Blanshard. In 1723 and 1724 he did farm 5 closes called Racehill and one close called The Ings in Spaldington within the parish of Aughton; also 2 closes called West Corn lands, 1 close called Bowland Howlands, and 2 closes called Wood Dales, all 5 in Spaldington in the parish of Bubwith; also 4 closes called Common Closes in Spaldington, one moiety of which were in the parish of Aughton while the other moiety was in the parsh of Bubwith, all of which consisted of meadow, pasteure and arable land. His son rents a house in Spaldington, which lies in Aughton, and 56 acres in Aughton and 53 acres in Bubwith. Also says about 7 years ago he was called to Mr. Trafford at his manor of Spaldington Hall.

Bundle 7
77 stitched pages of answers of the defendents

Bundle 8
Another copy of the answers.

  1. A copy of the Survey of Spaldington, listing all field names and annotated A = Aughton, B = Bubwith, C = Commons, D = Demense, M = Mediety, P = Parish.
  2. Will of Richard Lowther, 25 Sep 1697
  3. Various legal correspondence
  4. Various bills, receipts, and bonds
  5. Book of Accounts, very few names listed
  6. Land tax bills, and payments
  7. Deeds
  8. Book of Household Accounts (Lowther's housekeeper)
  9. Listing of fields, closes + farmers in Breighton in 1690, 1700 and 1732, 1734.
  10. Tithe payments

This box contains (only) the deeds, leases and conveyances of the Lowthers (primarily of tithes).