Work in Progress

Roman Catholics



In 1534, Henry VIII cut the links between England and the Roman Catholic Church, and established the Church of England. Initially, legal restrictions made it difficult for Catholics to worship, so information about Catholics is to be found chiefly in the records of the Church of England and in Quarter Sessions records. In 1778, the Catholic Relief Act gave Catholics some minor concessions in return for swearing an oath of allegiance to the Crown. In 1791, some further concessions in the Toleration Act of 1689 were extended to Catholics. Catholic worship was legalised on the condition that they registered their churches and the names of their priests with Quarter Sessions. The Roman Catholic Relief Act of 1829 removed all major restrictions and enabled Catholics to sit in Parliament, to vote at elections and to hold property unconditionally.



East Yorkshire Local History Society

Post Reformation Catholicism in East Yorkshire, 1558-1790, Hugh Aveling

Appendix 1, Section 5 gives a list of recusants found in a wide range of sources. Below are the entries for Aughton.


Aske, Robt. esq, 1572

Aske, Anthony, gent, dies in gaol, 1587

Aske, Mary, 1591 (and 1592-4)

Vavasour, Rich. gent, 1605

Vavasour, Eliz., vid, 1619

Saltmarsh, Charles, gent, and wife Eliz., 1623 (and 1627)


A List of The Roman Catholics in the County of York in 1604.

Transcribed from the Original Ms. in the Bodleian Library,

and edited with genealogical Notes. Edward Peacock, F.S.A.



John Thompson and Elizabeth his wife; Recusants


Surtees Society Publications

Depositions from the Castle of York, Volume XL

Pages 119-123 gives a list of those indicted at the York Assizes in March, 1664, from lists drawn up by village constables and forwarded to York.



George Buttell and Mary his wife



Mary Milner, spinster


Archdeacons’ Visitation Court Books

Borthwick Reference: ER.V/CB


1663, Maria Frankland and Maria her daughter

          Not resorting to the parish church (papists)


1665, George Buttle, grassman, and Maria his wife

          Not resorting to devine service


1665, Maria Frankland of East Cottingwith, widow

          Not attending devine service


1677, George Buttle

          For not coming to his parish church


It would appear that George Buttle was the last Roman Catholic to be openly cited in Aughton, given the absence of names in the following lists. There are other lists of parishioners who did not attend church on a particular occasion, such as Easter, but there could be other reasons than Catholicism. These lists can be consulted in the People, Parish Records, Archdeacons’ Visitations section.


Particulars of Papists' Estates



Following the first Jacobite Rebellion in 1715, all Papists were obliged by an Act of Parliament to register their real estate with the county Quarter Sessions, and returns of Papists' estates, 1717-1763, survive amongst the records for the East Riding in the East Riding Archives and Local Studies Service in Beverley, under reference QDR 2


Nil for Aughton, East Cottingwith or Laytham.


The Names of the Roman Catholics, Nonjurors, And others, who refus'd to take the Oaths To his late Majesty King George.

Together with Their Titles, Additions, and Places of Abode; the Parishes and Townships where their Lands lay; the Names of the then Tenants, or Occupiers thereof; and the Annual Valuation of them, as estimated by themselves.

Transmitted to the late Commissioners for the Forfeited Estates of England and Wales, after the Unnatural Rebellion in the North, in the Year 1715.


Nil for Aughton, East Cottingwith or Laytham.



Bishopthorpe Recusancy Returns

Bp.Rec.Ret TS/1767/1


Papists 1735


I doe certify that there neither is nor has been any Papist within the Parishes of Aughton & Ellerton for these Twenty years by past, nor any that I ever heard of Inclining that way.

Witness my hand

Wm: Store, Minister of Aughton & Ellerton

Papists 1767


In Obedience to your Request, I have with Care looked over my Parishioners, and have neither Papist nor reputed Papist within my Parishes of Aughton and Ellerton.

James Cookson, Vicar of Aughton & Curate of Ellerton.

Society of Friends


Friends, commonly know as Quakers,  became established in this area of the East Riding around 1665. They were originally part of the Selby Meeting and in 1669 became a constituent of the York Monthly Meeting. A separate Meeting seems to have emerged in Skipwith by 1670, when large numbers of Friends suffered distraint of goods for holding meetings for worship in the village. Several Friends from East and West Cottingwith paid fines for non-payment of tithes during the 1680s. The Meeting had acquired a burial ground in Skipwith by 1717. Friends began to meet in Cottingwith in the late 18th century and the name of the Meeting was changed to reflect this in April 1773. A Meeting House was built in Cottingwith in 1789 and a burial ground opened the following year. The Meeting moved again in 1876 to Bubwith and a small Meeting House of corrugated iron was erected two years later, opposite Gleneagles House. This was in use until the closure of the Meeting in 1912, and the building sold.


The records of the Bubwith Preparatory Meeting are held at Leeds University Library, under reference MS 1981/2 (Clifford Street archive), B 19, 30.2, 30.7; L 20.2. The 8 items in the collection cover the period 1662-1912, and there is a printed catalogue (Handlist 75). The collection consists of:


  • Minutes of PM: 1818-1902
  • Record of sufferings in Skipwith and Cottingwith: 1662-1815
  • Birth notes: 1838-1872
  • Burial notes: 1837-1897
  • Papers concerning Bubwith Meeting House: 1878-1912


Unfortunately none of these records are currently available online, so a visit to Leeds or York (the Borthwick has microfilm copies) is essential, if you suspect that your Aughton ancestors may have been Friends.





Brief overview of Methodist History


John Wesley, born 1703, and Charles Wesley, born 1707, were the sons of the rector of Epworth, Lincolnshire. They both studied at Christ College, Oxford, and became a member of a religious group that included George Whitefield. The group became became known as the Holy Club, but were derisively nicknamed the 'Methodists' by other students due to their methodical approach to scheduling their prayers and scripture study.


John Wesley, began preaching tours around the country in 1739, and he visited and preached in Yorkshire on a number of occasions. In 1744 he organised the first Conference, and together with the biannual synods, the circuit quarterly meetings, and the governance of local chapels or meetings houses, formed the overall Methodist administration.


The Wesleys insisted that Methodists regularly attend their local parish church as well as Methodist meetings. They did not want Methodism to become a 'break away' movement, however, the force and momentum of the movement made a separate Methodist body inevitable. In 1784, John Wesley obtained legal status for the Conference, which provided the de facto legal separation of Methodism from the Anglican Church. The separation could be said to have been completed in 1795, by the Plan of Pacification, which resolved disputes about the status of the travelling preachers and the administration of the sacraments.


Differences of opinion within the Methodist church led to several break away groups forming over the years, including: The Methodist New Connexion in 1797; the Independent Methodists in 1805; the Primitive Methodists in 1810; the Bible Christians in 1815; the Wesleyan Methodist Association in 1835; and the Wesleyan Reformers in 1849. These last two groups became the United Methodist Free Church in 1857 and joined with the Methodist New Connexion and the Bible Christians in 1907 to form the United Methodist Church. The UMC, together with the Wesleyan Methodists and the Primitive Methodists, united in 1932 to form the Methodist Church of Great Britain.


Methodism in the East Riding


Methodism had arrived in York by 1743 and in Hull by 1746. However, in Archbishop Herring's Visitation returns of 1743, the incumbent of Aughton reported that he had 'about 60 families in our Parish, & no Dissenters' in Aughton, and 'about 20 families in our Chapelry, & 1 family of Quakers' in East Cottingwith. He further reported that he had no dissenting meeting houses in Aughton, but that there was one licensed meeting house for Quakers in East Cottingwith.

Following the Toleration Act of 1689 dissenting congregations were required to register their meeting places. These are found first in the Quarter Sessions records, but later applications were made directly to the Archbishop of York. Applications for, and notes of grants of meeting house certificates were recorded in the Diocesan Faculty Books.


Meeting House Certificates in the Faculty Books

The meeting house certificates granted for places within the parish of Aughton were as follows:


Fac.Bk 1 (1737-1768)



Fol 55 (3 Oct 1740). I request that the house of Anne Houlburn in Aughton may be registered in the Ab of York's Registry for a place of Religious Worship for the people called Quakers. Benjamin Holme.


Fol 67 (1 May 1742). A license to George Young of Aughton, a literate person, as parish clerk upon the nomination of Wm Store, clerk, Minister of Aughton.


East Cottingwith

Fol 155 (30 Jun 1750). We whose names are subscribed being protestant dissenters called Quakers Request that the house of John Webster of East Cottingwith in the East Riding of Yorkshire, be registered for holding meetings of worship in, as witness our hands: John Webster, James Conyers. The 30th of June 1750 a certificate was delivered that the above Meeting House was registered.


Fol 205 (30 Jun 1754). We whose names are under written being protestant dissenters do hereby certifye that we intend to make use of the house or tenement of Francis Maynard situate at East Cottingwith in the parish of Aughton in the county and diocese of York, for a place of publick worship of Almighty God, as witness our hands: Francis Maynard, Jeremiah Stork, Elizabeth Maynard, Ann Holmes, William Barker, Mary Beilby, William Clark, John Holmes. The thirtieth day of July 1754 a certificate was delivered that the above Meeting House was registered.


Fol 386 (11 Jun 1764). We whose names are hereunto subscribed being protestant dissenters intend to use the house of John Holmes in the town of East Cottingwith and parish of Aughton in the county and diocese of York, for a place of publick worship of Almighty God, As witness our hands: John Johnson, John Holmes, William Cowper, John Corner, Edward Bell.


Fac.Bk 2 (1768-1793)



Fol 78 (26 Dec 1771). House of John Barker of Spaldington in the parish of Aughton for protestant dissenters. John Barker, Henry Bell, Mary Bell, Richard Buttle, Mary Buttle, Ann Barker.



Fac.Bk 3 (1793-1816)



Fol 134 (4 Jul 1796). Meeting house, in the house of John Brabbs in Laytham. Barnard Clarkson, Thomas Gray, Thomas Kemp, John Chaplin, John Harper, John Robinson.


Fol 575 (5 Mar 1811). To the Deputy Register of his Grace the Archbishop of York we the undersigned desire to have registered for public worship of Almighty God as protestant dissenters the dwelling house in the occupation of William Young situate in the township of Aughton and the parish of Aughton in the county and diocese of York, as witness our hands: Richard Wintle, Luke Barlow, John Hawkin, Robert Simpson.



Fac.Bk 4 (1816-1858)

Nil. For this period see the separate Registers of Meeting House Certificates, below.

Registers of Meeting House Certificates
Two volumes of these certificates are preserved at the Borthwick, under reference DMH.Reg, covering the period, 1. 1816-1834 and 2. 1834-1852 

Name Abode Status Location of Meeting House Denomination Date
Edward Tomlinson East Cottingwith Farmer My barn in East Cottingwith Protestants 08/11/1819
Thomas Precious Aughton Status His dwelling house in Aughton Protestants 18/02/1822
Edward Ward Aughton Labourer His dwelling house in Aughton Protestants 05/04/1822
James Wetherell Howden Draper Certain building in Aughton in the possession of myself and others as trustees Protestants 16/01/1845

Aughton Methodist Chapels 


In the Ecclesiastical Census of 1851 it states a Wesleyan chapel had been erected in 1844. It was a separate building used exclusively for worship,  with Free seating for 50, and Other 50. On the 30 March the Afternoon General Congregation was 54. It was signed by Geo. Drewry, Steward. The chapel was noted in the Post Office Directory of 1872, and in Bulmer's 1892 Directory. It was later demolished, date unknown


East Cottingwith

The Wesleyans built a chapel in 1796, and enlarged it in 1870. It was demolished in 1975. In the Ecclesiastical Census of 1851, John Stubbins of Bubwith was the Steward. Original Registers of marriages, 1946-1962 are held at the East Riding Archives in Beverley. The Primitive Methodists had a chapel here also. The foundation date is unknown, but it was noted in the Trades Directories of 1840 and 1857. It was replaced in 1862, and was again noted in the Trades Directories of 1872 and 1892.



A Wesleyan chapel was built in 1803, which was also used as a day school. It was noted in the Trades Directories of 1840, 1857, 1872 and 1892. It closed in 1922 and was demolished. In the Ecclesiastical Census of 1851, John Lowther was the Society Steward. 

A Methodist chapel was erected in 1921.