The History and Topography of the Parish of Kirkburton and of the Graveship of Holme (1861) - A Brief Account of the Lords of the Manor of Wakefield

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The History and Topography of the Parish of Kirkburton and of the Graveship of Holme (1861) by Henry James Morehouse


A BRIEF ACCOUNT OF THE LORDS OF THE MANOR OF WAKEFIELD.

here is some difficulty in determining the precise period when the Manor of Wakefield was granted by the crown to one of the Earls Warren. According to Domesday Book, which was completed in 1086, it was then in the possession of the King.

William de Warren, the first Earl of Surrey had married Grundreda, daughter of William the Conqueror.[1] He died in 1088, and it is generally admitted that, with the exception of Coningsborough and its dependencies, he had no other estate in Yorkshire. He left issue William de Warren,

II. Earl of Surrey, who married Isabel, daughter of Hugh, Earl of Yermandois, widow of Robert, Earl Mellent, by whom he left issue. Our best authorities seem agreed in the opinion that the grant of this manor was made to this earl, although they differ as to the time and the circumstances under which it was given. It is generally regarded as the grant of Henry I., in 1107 or 1116, as a recompence to him for having done the king great service, by taking his brother Robert prisoner, whose crown of England, and dukedom of Normandy, Henry had usurped. A more probable conjecture, however, is that of Mr. Hunter,[2] that this grant was made between the years 1091 and 1097. This earl enjoyed the honours and possessions of the family nearly fifty years, dying in 1138, leaving his son, William de Warren,

III. Earl of Surrey, who married Adela, daughter of William Talvace, Earl of Ponthieu, by whom he had Isabel de Warren, sole daughter and heiress. He was slain in Palestine, in 1147. To this earl is ascribed a grant of all the Warren churches in Yorkshire, to the priory of Lewes, in Sussex. We are indebted to the Rev. J. Hunter for satisfactorily deciding this point, upon which some difference of opinion had previously existed. Isabel de Warren married first William de Blois, son of King Stephen, who became

IV. Earl of Surrey, and Earl of Morton, but died without issue in 1160. She married to her second husband Hameline, the natural son of Geoffrey, Earl of Anjou, and half-brother to Henry II. She died 13th July, 1199, and was interred in the Chapter-house, at Lewes. Hameline became

V. Earl of Surrey. He died 7th May, 1202, leaving issue by the said Isabel, William de Warren,

VI. Earl of Surrey, to whom the Manor of Wakefield, &c., devolved. This earl married first Maud, daughter of William, Earl of Arundel, who died without issue. He married to his second wife Maud, daughter of William, Earl of Pembroke, and widow of Hugh, Earl of Norfolk, by whom he left issue. He died in 1239. This earl bestowed his patronage on the monks of Roche Abbey, to whom he made several grants of lands; and also confirmed a grant, made by Matthew de Shepley to the said monks, of land, in Cumberworth, in the parish of Kirkburton. He was succeeded by John de Warren,

VII. Earl of Surrey, aged five years at the death of his father. He married Alice, daughter of Hugh le Brun, Earl of the Marches of Aquitaine, sister by the mother, to Henry III., by whom he had issue.

This earl rendered himself memorable by his conduct on being summoned by Edward I., to shew by what right he held his lands, &c., of which Hollinshed gives the following brief account. “King Edward standing in need of money devised a new shift to serve his tourne,” he issued a proclamation, “that all suche as helde any landes or tenements of hym shuld come and she we by what right and title they helde the same, that by such meanes their possessions might returne unto him by escheate, as chiefe lord of the same and so to be solde or redeemed agayne at his handes.” This was a cause of much complaint on the part of the people. “Many were called to answer, till at lengthe the lorde John de Warren Earl of Surrey, a man greatly beloved by the people perceyving the King to have caste his net for a praye, and that there was not one whyche spake against him determined to stand against those so bitter and cruell proceedings, and therefore being called afore the justyces aboute this matter he appeared, and being asked by what right he held his lands, he sodenly drawing forthe an olde rusty sworde : by this instrument (sayd he) doe I hold my landes and by the same I intende to defend them.”
Another circumstance is recorded indicative of this earl’s fiery and indomitable temper. “He having committed an outrage on Allen, Lord Zouch, of Ashby, and his son Roger, in Westminster Hall, occasioned by an estate being adjudged to Lord Zouch which was unjustly claimed by the fiery earl, who when the verdict was pronounced, gave way to the natural vehemence of his temper, drew upon that nobleman and his son, and almost killed the father and severely wounded the son. He was fined 10,000 marks, which the king afterwards remitted to 8,400. In 1270 he executed an instrument at Croydon, stating his intention to stand to the judgment of the Court after his outrage, on pain of excommunication and forfeiture of his estates.”
In the 7 Edward I., (1278,) this earl was summoned “Quo Warranto,” to answer by what right he appropriated to himself as a forest inter alia, all the divisions of Halifax and Holmfirth, and by what warrant he refused to permit the king’s bailiffs to enter his lands to perform their offices, except his own bailiff were present; to which the earl answered that he claimed gallows at Conisborough and Wakefield, and the power of doing what belonged to a gallows in all his lands and fees,[3] and that he and his ancestors had used the same from time immemorial. This earl died in 1304, having outlived his son and heir, William de Warren, who was killed in a tournament at Croydon, 15th December, 1286. He had married Joan, daughter of Robert, Earl of Oxford, who was delivered of a posthumous child, John de Warren, who became

VIII. and last Earl of Surrey of this family, also Earl of Stratheam, in Scotland, &c. He was one of the most powerful barons in England. He married Joan de Bar, daughter of Henry, Earl de Bar, and grand daughter to Edward I.; the marriage was issueless, and not a happy one: both parties sued for a divorce, but the law of the church was uncompromising. He settled upon her an allowance of seven hundred and forty marks, per annum, for life. She died in 1361.

One intrigue of this earl, observes Mr. Hunter, produced consequences which threatened for a time a premature separation of Wakefield from the possessions of the house of Warren. “The northern border of the lands in Yorkshire, forming the Warren fee, touched in a great extent of its course, on the fee of the Lacis lords of Pontefract. Disputes seem to have, from time to time, arisen between these great chiefs; and in the year 1268, it appears that in a dispute about a pasture, the Warrens and Lacis had armed each their retainers, and prepared for one of those lawless encounters, of which there are several instances in our baronial history, but were prevented by the king. Alice de Laci, the heiress of Pontefract, was of about the same age with the eighth Earl of Warren. She was given in marriage to Thomas, Earl of Lancaster, grandson of Henry iii., who lived for the most part at her castle of Pontefract. This lady, on the Monday before Ascension day, A.D. 1317, was carried off by violence, to a castle of the Earl of Warren, at Reigate, in Surrey. There was much mystery in this affair at the time, and much scandal. Certain it is she was divorced by her husband, and the Earl of Lancaster proceeded to avenge himself by laying siege to the castles in Yorkshire, belonging to the Earl of Warren. But the king commanded he should cease from so doing; and further it is certain, that when in 1318, the Earl of Lancaster, engaged to pardon every one all trespasses and felonies done against him, he made an exception of the trespasses and felonies of the Earl of Warren. In the same year, (1318,) the Earl of Lancaster, who was then in the plenitude of his power, took from the Earl of Warren a grant of his Manor of Wakefield, for the life of the Earl Warren, if a make peace, it must be allowed a noble one. The Earl of Lancaster also obtained Coningsborough, thus banishing his rival entirely from the north.
In 1322 the discontents of the Earl of Lancaster drove him into open rebellion. Amongst others to whom the king’s warrant issued to pursue and take the earl, was the Earl of Warren, who was among the peers present in the Castle of Pontefract when sentence of death was passed on the Earl of Lancaster, and he was led forth to execution. On his death these lands escheated to the crown, nor did the Earl of Warren recover possession until some years afterwards. In the 1st Edward III., (1327,) a warrant was issued to the king’s escheator, north of the Trent, not to meddle with the Castle of Sandal or Coningsborough, and the Manors of Wakefield, Sowerby, &c., to which the Earl of Warren laid claim, they being by consent of the said earl, and of Henry, Earl of Lancaster, who was brother of Earl Thomas, and his next heir, to remain in the king’s hands, to be delivered to the said Henry.
The grant of his Yorkshire lands to the Earl of Lancaster, had been made by the Earl of Warren only for his own life ; indeed he only possessed a life interest at the time of the grant, for a little before he had settled the remainder after his own decease on certain parties who must now be mentioned.
Estranged from his wife, the earl took to his bed Maud de Neirford, a lady of a family of rank in the county of Norfolk. By her he had two sons, John and Thomas de Warren, and on these sons it was the desire and design of the earl that Wakefield and his other property north of the Trent should descend. For this purpose he conveyed to the king by charter, dated on the Thursday next after the feast of St. Peter and St. Paul, in 9 Edward II., (1316,) “Castra et villas meas de Coningsburgh et Sandal; et maneria mea de Wakefeld, Hatfeld, Thorne, Sowerby, Braithwell, Fishlake, Dewsbury, et Halifax,” and on the fourth of August following, the king by charter tested at Lincoln, made a regrant of the same lands to the earl for life ; remainder to Maud de Neirford for life ; remainder to John de Warren and the heirs male of his body; remainder to Thomas de Warren and the heirs male of his body (both sons by the said Maud) ; remainder to the heirs of the body of the said earl, lawfully begotten, and in default of such issue to revert to the king. This remarkable disposition however did not take effect, for the two sons died before the earl without leaving issue, and he also survived Maud.
After the death of Maud de Neirford the earl is stated to have married Isabel de Holand, “and previous to this marriage,” says Watson, “the king seems to have been prevailed upon to secure to the said Isabel what before had been settled upon Maud.”
“As a difference of opinion seems to exist, whether this Isabel de Holand was ever Countess of Warren, I have introduced an interesting extract from the earl’s will;[4] ‘jeo devys a Isabel de Holand ma compaigne mon avel d’or oue le bone ruby.’ “The precise force of the word compaigne,” observes Mr. Hunter, “as applied to Isabel de Holand, is not apparent. Joan de Barr was beyond question then alive, and bearing the title of Countess of Surrey, but it is thought by many that the marriage was dissolved, and that Isabel was in truth his wife, a relation which was expressed by the word compaigne, of which we have a pertinent proof in the will of Richard Fitz Allan, Earl of Arundel and Surrey, nephew to the Earl of Warren, who desired to be buried in the Priory of Lewes, ‘pres de la tombe de ma treschere compaigne Alianore de Lancastre.’”
“This Isabel,” says Watson, “survived the earl, living till the year, 33 Edward III., (1359,) and keeping courts at Wakefield, &c., in the name of the Countess de Warren.”

Mr. Leatham[5] in his more recent enquiry states that after the death of Maud de Neirford, in the 23 Edward III., “it (Manor of Wakefield,) appears to have been given to Joan de Bar, the earl’s former wife, from whom he had been divorced, and was held by her as Countess of Warren.” “This statement,” he observes in a note, “varies from that of Watson, but is the result of a careful examination of the Court Rolls of this period, the name of Joan de Bar is inserted in the rolls of the 28 Edward III., as ‘Countess of Warren;’” the style before this period is merely “The Court at Wakefield,” and after this period, until the 33 Edward III., (1359,) “The Court of the Countess of Warren,” &c.[6] The difference between Mr. Watson’s statement and that of Mr. Leatham, although the latter is the result of “a careful examination of the Court Rolls,” seems to arise only from a different apprehension of the person to whom the title of Countess de Warren was intended to apply: Mr. Watson applying it to Isabel, while Mr. Leatham assigns it to Joan de Bar.

It is shewn by the researches of Mr. Hunter, that Isabel stood in a somewhat different relation to the earl from Maud de Neirford. But “previous to the earl’s marriage with Isabel,” says Watson, “the King seems to have been prevailed upon to secure to her what before had been settled upon Maud,” the earl having then lost all future disposal of the manor. In the 23 Edward III., (1348,) only about a year after the earl’s death, the “Countess de Warren” appears upon the rolls. The allowance of seven hundred and forty marks per annum, made by the earl to Joan de Bar, for life, was undoubtedly intended to be in full satisfaction of all claims by her against his estate; and, therefore, there seems to have been no necessity, — neither does it seem probable that he would, under “the estrangement,” endeavour to obtain from the king a grant to her of the Manor of Wakefield, although it is certain that Isabel de Holand was living with him as wife, for whom he would be desirous of making some suitable provision for life. But, supposing Joan de Bar to have had such a grant, why did she not retain it until her death, which occurred in 1361 ? Whereas, we find that in the 33 Edward III., (1359,) the “Countess de Warren” ceases to appear on the rolls, which period agrees with the time usually stated as that of the death of Isabel. There is another circumstance not unworthy of being named, that “Joan de Bar,” after her marriage, was styled “Countess de Surrey,” by which title she presented a clerk to one of the Warren Churches, in the year of the earl’s death. We, therefore think, so far, the weight of evidence is in favour of Isabel being in reality the “Countess de Warren,” and lady of the Manor of Wakefield. If Mr. Leatham is correct in saying that the earl was divorced from Joan de Bar, (of which, however, the accounts I have seen are not quite clear,) there stood then no legal impediment to a marriage with Isabel de Holand.

John de Warren, the last Earl of Surrey of that name, died on the 30th June, 1347, on his sixty-first birthday, and was buried in the Abbey Church of Lewes.

On the 6th of August, 1347, only thirty-seven days after the death of the earl, a royal patent was signed at Reading, ‘per man us Lionelli filii nostri carissimi custodis Angliae,’ (the king being then in France,) by which ‘omnia castra, maneria villas, terras, et tenementa cum pert, quae fuerunt Johannis de Warrenna nuper comitis Surr. in partibus ultra Trentam, et quae occasione mortis ejusdem comitis in manu nostra existunt,’ were settled on Edmund of Langley, a younger son of the king, and the heirs male of his body, with remainder to John of Gaunt, and Lionel of Antwerp, and their heirs male respectively ; remainder to the crown. This grant was confirmed by parliament, but Edmund not being more than six years of age, his mother, Queen Phillipa, was allowed to receive the profits for the education of him and her other children. Edmund had been created by his father Earl of Cambridge, but in the 9th Richard II., he was advanced to the title of Duke of York. He died 1st August, 3rd Henry IV., (1402,) seized inter alia of the Manor or Lordship of Wakefield, leaving Edward, Earl of Rutland, his eldest son and heir aged 26 years, who thus on his father’s death became Duke of York. This Edward, then Earl of Rutland, engaged in a conspiracy with the Earls of Kent, Huntingdon, and Lord Spencer, who had been degraded from their respective titles of Albemarle, Surrey, Exeter, and Gloucester, conferred on them by Richard II., together with the Earl of Salisbury, and Lord Lumley, for raising an insurrection, and for seizing the king’s person at Windsor, but the treachery of Rutland gave the king warning of the danger. The conspirators were afterwards taken and executed, ‘but,’ says Hume,[7] ‘the spectacle, the most shocking to any one who retained any sentiment either of honour or humanity, still remained. The Earl of Rutland appeared, carrying on a pole the head of Lord Spencer, his brother-in-law, which he presented in triumph to Henry as a testimony of his loyalty! This infamous man, who was soon after Duke of York, by the death of his father, and first prince of the blood, had been instrumental in the murder of his uncle, the Duke of Gloucester; had then deserted Richard II., by whom he was trusted; had conspired against the life of Henry, to whom he had sworn allegiance; had betrayed his associates, whom he had seduced into the enterprise ; and now displayed in the face of the world these badges of his multiplied dishonour.’”
It remains only to be said of him, that he accompanied Henry V. in his expediton to France, and lost his life at the battle of Agincourt, in 1415, (being a fat man, he is reported to have been crushed to death,) leaving a widow Phillipa Mohun.
The duke dying without issue, his honours and estates descended to his nephew, Richard of Conings-borough, as he was usually called, after the fashion of the Plantagenets, naming themselves from the places of their birth. The father of this Richard, who is usually called Earl of Cambridge, married Anne Mortimer, the daughter of Roger, Earl of March, son of Edmund, Earl of March, and Phillipa the daughter and heir to Lionel, Duke of Clarence. This marriage brought the claim to the crown to the house of York, for her brother, Edmund Mortimer, the last of the Mortimers, Earls of March, died without leaving issue, but not until after the death of Anne, so that she is not in strict propriety called the heiress of Lionel, Duke of Clarence. In her issue, however, the rights of Lionel inhered entire.
This Richard, Earl of Cambridge, appears not to have been insensible to the wrong which was done to the house of Mortimer, by the accession of Henry IV. to the throne. A little before Henry Y. left England to prosecute his war in France, this Richard was engaged in a real or supposed conspiracy, and was attainted. His act of attainder gives rather a different view of his object from that which is to be found in our common histories. The treason alleged therein was, conspiring to lead his brother-in-law Edmund, Earl of March, to the borders of Wales, and there proclaim him king, and countenancing the impostor, Thomas de Trumpington, de Scotice ideotam, who personated Richard II. The whole act is curious, and the reader may peruse after it, with pleasure, the scene at Southampton, so powerfully drawn by Shakspeare, in the first part of King Henry Y. The Earl of Cambridge was beheaded in 3 Henry V. (1415.) This earl could have no view upon the crown himself, for his wife Anne Mortimer was dead, and Edmund, Earl of March was living, and did actually live through the whole reign of Henry Y., and till the 3rd year of his successor. He was also married, but at his death left no issue, so that his nephew Richard, son of Richard of Coningsborough and Anne Mortimer, was his undoubted heir, and the equally undoubted heir to the rights of Lionel’s posterity. A long period elapsed before he ventured to assert them.
Richard, Duke of York, married Cecily Nevil, a daughter of Ralph, Earl of Westmorland, and she produced him offspring. The stimulations of the ambitious family of Nevil, the weakness of the rule of Henry VI., and his own love of power, did not suffer this duke to forget the right which had descended to him from his mother, and he gave indications of his aspiring disposition before his conduct ceased to be equivocal. The issue of the struggle is well-known. The lords of the party of Lancaster were laying waste his lands in Yorkshire,[8] when he hastened to Sandal, which appears to have been a favourite residence.[9] With about 5000 men he left London on the 21st December, 1460, giving orders to his son, the Earl of March, to come and join him with the rest of the army. In his progress thither, he received the mortifying news of the queen’s success in the levying of troops. At length having arrived at Wakefield, he heard that the queen was advancing towards him with greatly superior numbers. On this he resolved to retire to his castle at Sandal, until the Earl of March should arrive with the rest of his forces. The queen soon appeared before the walls of Sandal Castle with the main body of her army led by the Dukes of Somerset and Exeter, provoking her enemy to battle, sometimes by menaces, and at other times by insults and defiances, observing that it was disgraceful to a man who aspired to a crown to suffer himself to be shut up by a woman. This was more than he could endure. The Duke of York had; until this fatal moment, invariably displayed great prudence in his conduct; but on this occasion he unfortunately suffered his courage to determine his conduct, contrary to the opinion of his officers, particularly Sir David Hall and the Earl of Salisbury, who advised him to despise these vain reproaches. He marched out of Sandal Castle, and drew up his forces on Wakefield Green, trusting that his own courage and experience would counter-balance his deficiency in numbers. He had no sooner arranged his small army in order of battle, than he was attacked by the Queen’s troops, who being far more numerous than his, had greatly the advantage. While he was pressed in front by the main body of the enemy, the troops in ambush under Lord Clifford and the Earl of Wiltshire, fell upon the rear of his army. This unexpected assault threw his forces into such confusion that in half-an-hour they were routed, and almost annihilated; the duke himself was slain valiantly fighting hand to hand with his enemies. His body was soon recognised among the slain and his head was cut-off, and crowning it with a paper crown was by Lord Clifford fixed on the top of his lance, and presented to the Queen, who ordered it to be placed on the walls of York.
The duke’s second son, the Earl of Rutland, who was only twelve years of age, was flying from the sanguinary scene, when he was overtaken by Lord Clifford, who plunged his dagger into his breast, notwithstanding the earnest entreaties of his tutor to spare the young prince’s life.
Thus fell Richard, Duke of York, about the fiftieth year of his age; his abilities, together with the weakness of the reigning monarch, had placed him within one step of the throne, and one act of rashness hurried him to the grave. This battle was fought on the last day of the year.
This apparent success seemed to have confirmed the power of the Lancastrians, but it proved only a prelude to their destruction ; for the spirit and object of the father descended to the son, Edward, Earl of March, then Duke of York, who by the battle of Towton, fought on Palm Sunday, the 29th of March, in the following year, avenged the death of his father, and thereby placed the crown on his own head, and thus became King Edward IV.
The Lords of the Manor of Wakefield thus became kings of England.
On the marriage of Henry VII. with Elizabeth of York, the ancient rivalry of the white and red rose was extinguished, and there being no probability that the right of succession of the issue would be questioned, the whole of what had been settled upon Edmund Langley was declared to be resumed, and for ever annexed to the crown.[10] This was done in parliament 2 Henry VII., and the manor continued parcel of the royal possessions until 1554, the time of the marriage of King Philip and Queen Mary, when it was united to the Duchy of Lancaster.

In the reign of Charles I. the Manor of Wakefield was again granted from the crown. The king, by his letters patents bearing date 28th July, in the sixth year of his reign, (1629,) for the consideration of one thousand six hundred and forty-eight pounds, one shilling, granted the same to John Hawkyns and Thomas Leeke, gentlemen, in trust for Henry, Lord Holland. On the 30th November, in the following year, Thomas Leeke, only surviving trustee, by the direction of Henry, Earl of Holland, conveyed the same to Robert Leeke* and William Swanscoe, gentlemen, in trust for Sir Gervas Clifton, of Clifton, in the county of Nottingham, knight and baronet, and Penelope, his first wife, daughter of Robert Rich, Earl of Warwick, and their issue. The marriage portion, £6000, had been given by the will of Charles Blount, Earl of Devonshire.[11]

* Mr. Leeke resided at Horbury, near Wakefield, and was apparently somewhat of an Antiquarian Collector, and his connexion with this manor for more than twenty-five years, afforded him an opportunity of examining the records and other evidences of that office, and making extracts from them.
I find mention of manuscript collections in three volumes made by him; two volumes of which are each entitled, “A Book of Manuscripts;” and the third entitled, “Manuscript Collections, concerning several of the Ancient Customs, &c., within the Manor of Wakefield.”
These volumes were borrowed in 1704 by a gentleman within the Graveship of Holme, of Mr. Thomas Leeke, the grandson of the collector, then also of Horbury, by whom it is stated they had not been returned, and for the recovery of which, some time after, a legal process was issued. The party accused admitted having borrowed the property in question, but declared that the same had been duly returned to the owner. Beyond this point the papers from which I quote afford no further information. Not having seen reference made to these MSS. by any topographical writer, I have been led to state these particulars respecting them, in the hope that this notice may lead to further enquiry.

The name of Sir Gervas Clifton is rendered memorable by the number of his wives, on which account Ralph Thoresby styles him “the noted baronet who out-did Henry VIII. in the number of his wives,” having had seven. But, unlike Henry, he seems to have been a kind and indulgent husband; his last wife survived him but a short time, dying in the same year with himself. He served in eight parliaments. It is recorded of him that “with generosity, hospitality, and charity he entertained all, from the king to the poorest beggar,” “being generally the most noted person of his time for courtesy. He was an extraordinary kind landlord and good master.” He died 28th June, 1666. He left issue by three of his wives. By his first wife he had only one child, “the wretched and unfortunate Sir Gervas, his father’s greatest foil.”[12]

By deed, dated 12th February, 1657, Sir Gervas Clifton conveyed the said manor for the sum of £3500, to Anthony Oldfield and Richard Clapham, in trust for Christopher Clapham, Esq., afterwards Sir Christopher, who by their deed, dated 19th February, 1660, conveyed the same to the said Sir Christopher Clapham, of Uffington, in the county of Lincoln, knight. By indenture, dated 10th July, 1677, Sir Christopher Clapham conveys the same to — Craven and — Wiatt, in trust, for what purpose does not appear. By indenture, dated the 4th June, 1700, Sir Christopher Clapham, knight, — Craven and — Wiatt, conveyed all the said manor to his Grace the Bight Honourable Thomas, first Duke of Leeds,[13] which descended with the title, until George William Frederic, sixth Duke of Leeds, settled the same, with other estates in trust, on his son-in-law, Sackville Lane Fox, Esq., and to his heirs by Lady Charlotte Mary Anne Georgiana, only daughter of the said duke, in whom it now vests.


Footnotes:

  1. In 1845, the workmen employed in making the Brighton, Lewes, and Hastings Railway, through the Priory grounds at Lewes, had their progress arrested by a stone, on the removal of which, they discovered two cists or coffers, side by side. On the lid of one was the word “Gundreda,” perfectly legible; and on the lid of the other “Will’us.” On removing the lids the remains appeared to be quite perfect, and the lower jaw of William Earl de Warren in extraordinary preservation. The cists in which the bodies were deposited were not more than three feet in length, and about two feet wide, and there is no doubt that they had been removed from some other place and reinterred; and according to tradition the bodies of William de Warren, and Gundreda, his wife, were reinterred 200 years after their decease. These interesting and ancient relics were removed to Southoven Church, in which there is a very ancient tablet to the memory of “Gundreda.”
  2. South Yorkshire. Vol. i., p.p. 106.
  3. The following is an extract of Inspeximus in regard to the jus furcoe, at Wakefield. “Furcas apnd Wakefield et facere item Judicium quae ad Furcas pertinet, de omnibus terris et Feodis suisNeither Halifax nor Holmfirth are mentioned, yet they must be comprehended in “omnibus terris et feodis suis.” In a Roll 26 Edward I., (1297,) it stands recorded “Nicholas de Wystonrecipavit quemdam exuentem cytheristam per plures vices, qui decollatus est ut creditur et quum ultimo recessit de domo suo permisit in custodia dicti Nicholai unam cytheram, et preceptnm est quod earn producat et quod attachiatur quosque producat,” of which the following is a translation:— “Nicholas de Wyston hath harboured a certain . . . harper many times, who was beheaded, as it is believed, and when he last departed from his house he left in charge of the said Nicholas, a harp, and it is commanded that he produce it, and that he is attached until he do produce it.”
    That the place of trial and execution of felons was originally at Wakefield, the head of the manor and the seat of its principal officers, we can scarcely doubt, but what led to its removal to Halifax, and what were the peculiar circumstances which caused it to be perpetuated there long after it had fallen into disuse over the rest of the kingdom, it is now perhaps impossible to discover. The jus fureas was a power vested in the lords of the great fee of Pontefract; and that right seems to have been exercised at Almonbury within that fee, as the name of Gallow-field is still preserved there.
    The ancient gaol at Halifax, which was coetaneous with the jus furcas, belongs to the Lord of the Manor of Wakefield, for the imprisoment of debtors within the manor, under mesne process and executions out of the superior Courts.
  4. Mr. Hunter’s South Yorkshire.
  5. The History of Wakefield and its Antiquities; being one of a series of lectures delivered at the Literary and Mechanics* Institutions, 1845.
  6. Watson must, therefore, have been mistaken, when he stated that “Isabel, Countess of Warren,” is found in the court rolls at Wakefield.
  7. History of England.
  8. Mr. Hunter’s South Yorkshire. Vol. I., p. 113.
  9. In the 38 Henry VI., (1460,) December 19th, the King granted to John, Earl of Shrewsbury, out of the Manor of Wakefield, for life, 100 marks per annum; the manor being then in the crown by the forfeiture of Richard, Duke of York. See Rolls fine. 38 Henry VI., p. 1, m. 16. (Patent Roll I suppose.)
  10. Mr. Hunter’s South Yorkshire. Vol, i., p. 113.
  11. “Charles Blount, Earl of Devonshire, married Penelope, eldest daughter of Walter Devereux, Earl of Essex: this lady had been forced into a marriage with the wealthy Robert Rich, Earl of Warwick, to whom she proved faithless; from him at length she was divorced, having abandoned her husband, taking with her five children, whom she declared to be the issue of the Earl of Devonshire; who, on his part, midst the fearful conflicts of various and contrary feelings, submitted to the impulse of those, which till now, had been the chief ornaments of his character. He received her, with what mournful cordiality may easily be supposed; and on her divorce from the Earl of Warwick, which of course immediately followed, was married to her at Wanstead, in Essex, on the 26th December, 1605. Laud, (afterwards Archbishop of Canterbury,) who then was a young man, and the earl’s domestic chaplain, performed the nuptial ceremony. The earl survived the wretched union but a few months. He died the 3rd April, 1606, and was buried in Westminster Abbey.” He is stated by a contemporary writer to have “left his lady (for so she is generally held to be,) fifteen hundred pounds a year, and most of his moveables; and of five children that she fathered upon him at the parting from her former husband, I do not hear that he provided for more than three, leaving the eldest son, I hear, between £3000 and £4000 per year; and to a daughter, six thousand pounds in money.” This daughter was Penelope, who married Sir Gervas Clifton, as already stated. She died in 1613.
  12. Throseby’s History of Nottinghamshire.
  13. Crabtree (History Halifax,) by a very unaccountable mistake states that it was bought by Peregrine, the third Duke of Leeds.



The History and Topography of the Parish of Kirkburton and of the Graveship of Holme (1861) - A Brief Account of the Lords of the Manor of Wakefield

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