Tithes: Lowther v. Trafford

This case concerned the tythes of Bubwith and Aughton and the boundaries of certain detached parts of Aughton parish within Bubwith parish.

The TNA references are as follows:

E 134/9Geo2/East2 (9 Geo 2, 1736)
Mary Lowther, Barbara Lowther, Frances Lowther, Eleanor Lowther, spinsters, John Brown, yeoman. v. Humphrey Trafford, Esq., Walter Vavasour, James Cade, Nathaniel Guy, John Burton, clerk, Peter Wilson.: Parishes of Bubwith and Aughton, and the townships of Spaldington, Willitoft, Harlethorpe, and Gripthorpe (York). Metes and bounds. Survey. Tithes. York.

This box contains all the original depositions, and also contains depositions from the 'opposite' side.

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.

C112 are Chancery, Master Roses's Exhibits, and in these 3 boxes is a treasure trove.

Included are manorial and estate surveys; account books showing the levying and payment of tythes, land tax, rents and other dues; depositions to support the compainants and the defendents; etc. Details as follows:

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)

Henry Trafford said: Some of Spaldington and Willitoft lie within the parish of Aughton, and the rest in Bubwith. All the tithes in Aughton belonged to Ellerton Priory and half the tithes in Bubwith belonged to Byland Abbey. At the dissolution they were vested in Henry VIII and his heirs, until 19 May Jas I, when they were leased to Francis Morrice of the City of Westminster and Francis Phillips of London, gent, then or late in the tenure of Peter Vavasour, John Aikroyd and John Harrison.

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

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. Leaving the Rectory of Bubwith, Breeton and other lands to 3rd son Richard Lowther, paying out of which £400 to sisters Mary, Barbara, Frances, and Ellinor. If Richard die without issue then to 2nd son Christopher Lowther, and if dying without issue to eldest son Robert Lowther.
  3. Various legal correspondence
    In 1719, Richard Lowther, about to go overseas with the Regiment of Foot, and his mother Barbara Lowther of Wressle ill, he appointed his sister Frances Lowther his attorney in all matters concerning the mediety of the rectory of Bubwith that he leases from the Dean and Chapter of York. In 1724, Mary, Barbara and Ellinor appointed their sister Frances their attorney. 25 July 1722 Richard Lowther is now deceased and Robert Lowther appoints his sisters as his attornies.
  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).

Copy of award
Borthwick Institute
Ref: CC D/C 9 Bub 1

12 Mar 1736/7
Copy of an award of Mr Richard Worsop and Cor: Cayley, touching the Rectory of Bubwith.

Whereas Mary Lowther, Barbara Lowther, Frances Lowther, and Eleanor Lowther, all of Wressle, spinsters, did in or about Michaelmas Term 6 Geo II exhibit their bill of complaint, Exchequer, Westminster, against Humphrey Trafford of Trafford, Esq., Lancs; Walter Vavasour of Willitoft, gent; James Cade of Willitoft, yeoman; Sam. Guy of Gribthorpe, yeoman; Peter Wilson of Harlthorpe, yeoman; and John Burton, vicar of Bubwith, and other defendents, which bill was afterwards amended by order of the Court, 1st May 1734, and John Brown of Foggathorpe, yeoman, made a party Complainant therein, and the said Sam. Guy dying between the times of the original and ameded bills, the original bill was revived against Nathaniel Guy, his administrator.

The bill set forth:-

  1. A title in the said complainants under a lease from the Dean and Chapter of York for 3 lives, and in the said John Brown as lessee for years to the Rectory and Parsonage of Bubwith and to a moiety of all tithes of corn, hay, wool and lamb, and all other dues due to the said Rectory in part of the township of Spaldington and in the townships of Willitoft, Harlthorpe and Gribthorpe and in the residue of the said parish; and the complainants pray (among other things) an Account and Discovery of and for several sorts of tithe by them claimed from the defendents from 1723 to the time of the original bill.
  2. A discovery of an agreement alleged between Lowthers and Humphrey Trafford concerning the boundaries of the said parish of Bubwith and the parish of Aughton in the said township of Spaldington as the same was settled by certain referees chosen by them and marked in a survey, including Willitoft.
  3. Discovery of what tithes and dues the said defendant Burton claimed to be due to him as vicar by endowment or otherwise, to which original bill Humphrey Trafford appeared and put in his several answer and the said Walter Vavasour, Sam. Guy, Peter Wilson and James Cade also appeared and put in their joint and several answers; and they all appeared to the said amended bill and made their answers; and also defendant Burton appeared and answered and in Hilary Term 9 Geo II the complainants made their answer and insisted on all their demands except as to the demand of tithes in kind of hay in Spaldington which they did waive and the court issued a commission for examination of witnesses which depositions were transmitted to the court and to complainant replied and divers other proceedings, and divers doubts and controversies have arisen concerning boundaries in Spaldington and Willitoft, and with Burton concerning his rights and dues, and with Trafford, Vavasour, Cade and Guy and Peter Wilson concerning several moduses and customary payments in lieu of tithes and whether the same ought to be accepted or such tithes yielded in kind (except as to a modus of a penny an oxgang in Spaldington in lieu of tithe hay whiched they waived) and what arrears. The parties agreed to be bound by arbitration of Richard Worsop of Howden, Esq., and Cornelius Caybe of Kingston upon Hull, Esq., Arbitrators, for all such disputes arising before the 13 December last past and such arbitration to be delivered on or before the 12 March inst.

Arbitration Results

  1. Book of survey of Spaldington. To be held good, except for 2 closes, 1 being in John Palmer's farm in the book marked No. 147 and B and called Leath holmes, 6a. 2r. 26p., and the other in Robt. Ramsey farm, No. 146 and marked B and called Racill, 5a. 3r. 18p., we do award to be in the parish of Aughton and this book shall always (as amended) be followed in future.
  2. Willitoft survey book. 2/3 of the close called the Further Holmes in Willitoft are in Aughton the other 1/3 in Bubwith, and also 2 closes called the Hills and 2 other closes formerly in 1 called New Closes are one other little close called the Croft now or late in the occupation of William Scott and the house wherein William Scott now dwells and 2 other closes called Selby Closes and 2 other closes now called Kemp Closes but formerly Mill Hill Closes, one other close called Moor Close now or late in the occupation of the said defendant James Cade, two other closes the Moselands now divided into 4 with the house and croft now or late farmed by John Stainton, one other close called Great Birks now or late in the occupation of Henry Scholey, and 1 other close called Inholme now or late in the occupation of Michael Atkinson all in Willitoft are within the parish of Aughton and all else in Willitoft are in the parish of Bubwith.
  3. Willitoft and Gribthorpe Hay in Kind. All tithes of hay in Willitoft and Gribthorpe that are in the parish of Bubwith lately farmed by the said Sam. Guy deceased ought to be paid in kind, and the moiety to the complainants should be paid.
  4. Harlthorpe Tithe Hay Modus 1p/Oxgang. No tithes of hay in kind are or have been due to the complainants from any of the lands in Harlthorpe occupied by the said Peter Wilson and the modus of 1p/oxgang in lieu and full satisfaction should stand and be accepted by the complainants.
  5. Spaldington, Willitoft and Harlthorpe Modus for Wool. Find that from time out of mind, at the feast of St. John the Baptist 1d/sheep from Candlemas in any year to Midsummer day next following, 1/2d / sheep from Michaelmas to Lady day as a modus in full satisfaction. Where a householder has some land in Bubwith but the larger part is in Aughton the tithes of wool and lamb go to the proprietors in Bubwith. Where a household has some land in Aughton but the larger part is in Bubwith the tithes of wool and lamb go to the proprietors in Aughton.
  6. Gribthorpe Modus for Wool and Lamb. Find that from time out of mind, at the feast of St. John the Baptist 1d/sheep from Candlemas in any year to Midsummer day next following, 1/2d / sheep from Michaelmas to Lady day as a modus in full satisfaction. Where a householder has some land in Bubwith but the larger part is in Aughton the tithes of wool and lamb go to the proprietors in Bubwith. Where a household has some land in Aughton but the larger part is in Bubwith the tithes of wool and lamb go to the proprietors in Aughton.
  7. Tithes of Herbage and Agistment of unprofitable cattle in Spaldington and Willitoft as are in the parish of Bubwith and in Gribthorpe and Harlthorpe in the possession or occupation of the said Sam. Guy deceased the said defendant Peter Wilson and the said defendant John Burton, vicar, ought to be yielded to the complainants and the arrears fixed at £2 10s.
  8. The vicar of Bubwith should receive all such tithes of line, rape, coldseed, potatoes, turnips in ancient gardens orchards and garths as have been casually paid to the vicar and all other of these tithes should be divided in two moieties, 1 for the vicar 1 for the complainants, and the augmentation of £10 to the vicar by the Dean and Chapter of York of Queen Ann should be withdrawn. Moieties should be received in full every other year: Lowthers: 1723, 1725, 1727, 1729, 1731 and so on..; Trafford: 1724, 1726, 1728, 1730 and so on..
  9. Arrears:
  • Humphrey Trafford modus of wool and lamb in Spaldington        5s.
  • Humphrey Trafford modus tithe hay in Spaldington        1s. 6d.
  • Walter Vavasour tithe hay in kind in Willitoft        £1 10s.
  • James Cade tithe hay in kind in Willitoft        9s. 9d.
  • Sam. Guy dec. tithe hay in kind in Gribthorpe        15s.
  • Sam. Guy dec. tithe hay in kind to John Brown        £2 12s. 6d.
  • To be paid within 1 month of this award.

12 March 10 Geo II
Copied from the original deed in the possession of Mr. Barnard Clarkson of Gribthorpe by Marmaduke Gibson of Spaldington and William Chaplin of Bubwith
February 17th 1785

R. Worsop, Cor: Cayley

Signed and sealed in the presence of us

E. Wilkinson
Thomas Brown
Geo. Athorpe