Tithes: Aughton (detached)

In 1231, the rectory of Aughton was granted to Ellerton Priory by Roger del Hay, whose family held the patronage. The rectory had included amongst its possessions land in Spaldington and Willitoft, which formed detached parts of Aughton parish, and with this land came the right to the small tithes. With the suppression of the Priory the small tithes of these lands in Spaldington and Willitoft also fell to the Crown.

On the 18 May 13 Eliz (1571), the Vavasour family acquired a lease of a moiety of the Rectory of Bubwith, under the Great Seal, which consisted of "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, and enrolled in Chancery. Morris and Phillips were acting merely as legal agents, and they transferred the moiety almost immediately to their client, Henry Aykroyd, on the 20th May, 1610. The previous day Morris and Phillips had also transferred the small tithes of Spaldington and Willitoft to Henry Aykroyd. The moiety passed from Henry to his son, John.

In 1655, John Vavasour, son of Peter Vavasour, married Kathrine Aykroyd, daughter of John Aykroyd. As part of the marriage settlement John Vavasour acquired the small tithes of Spaldington and Willitoft (Hull University Archives, Ref: DDJ/30/2; Date: 5 March 1655).

John Vavasour had a daughter Mary, who died unmarried, and the small tithes of those parts of Spaldington and Willitoft that lay within the parish of Aughton passed to her uncle, Thomas Vavasour. Thomas had a daughter and sole heir, Mary Vavasour, who married Sir Ralph Ashton of Middleton, bart. Sir Ralph had three daughters, and the tithes of Spaldington and Willitoft passed with their eldest daughter, Anne, on her marriage to Humphrey Trafford Esq, of Trafford.

In 1736 a dispute broke concerning the boundaries of those parts of Spaldington and Willitoft that lay in the parish in Aughton. See the separate section, Lowther v. Trafford.

The tithes then descended to Humphrey Trafford's daughter, Elizabeth Trafford, who married Mayal (or Mail) Yates.

Mail and Elizabeth had three daughters and coheirs, and each received a one third share of the tithes of Spaldington and Willitoft:

1. Ann Asheton Yates, who married Henry Nooth of Dorsetshire, who took surname of Vavasour in 1791, and was created a Baronet in 1801.

2. Mary Yates, who married John Aspinall Esq., of Standen, Lancs.

3. Catherine Elienora who married Robert Cambell, of Lochgiere

This complete descent can be traced in the Family Trees section of this website, under Vavasour of Spaldington.

In early 1803 Lady Ann Vavasour contacted an attorney, John Benson, expressing a desire to sell her 1/3 share of the tithes of Willitoft. She explained that Mrs Campbell (her sister), Mr Henry Aspinall (husband of her other sister) and herself, have the tithes of Willitoft, in Aughton every year, and in Bubwith every alternate year (the Dean and Chapter have the other moiety), and that her 1/3 was let to a tenant who takes the tithes in kind. She asked £1400 for her 1/3 of the Willitoft tithes. Subsequent correspondence revealed that John Benson was the attorney for William Green, proprietor and lord of the manor of Willitoft. The correspondence ends without revealing if the proposed sale to Green was concluded. (TNA, Ref: J 90/460).