The History and Topography of the Parish of Kirkburton and of the Graveship of Holme (1861) - Township of Burton Otherwise Kirkburton

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


In Domesday Book “Bertone” is surveyed as a member of the Soke of Wakefield, consisting of three carucates. It was then part of the Terra Regis, and returned as waste. When this great fee was granted to Earl Warren, Burton was soon after given to one of his retainers, who took the surname of Burton, or “de Birton.” The family were of considerable importance here ; Dr. Whitaker states, “they may be traced as Lords of this Manor, to the highest period of local names.” The name frequently occurs in charter evidences, either as principals or as witnesses.

A Nicholas de Birton was a witness to a charter in the 6 Edward I., [1277,] wherein Henry de Lacy, Earl of Lincoln, confirms certain privileges to the burgesses of Pontefract.[1]

We find that the early lords of Burton were also lords of Gunthwaite, which they had acquired, probably in the reign of Henry III., or not later than Edward I. ; but not long after this it appears to have vested again in the de Gunthwaites ; for in 1359 John de Gunthwaite gave to Thomas Bossvile de Erdesley and his heirs, his estate and Manor of Gunthwaite. In these transactions of the Burtons with the Gunthwaites, we have Nicholas de Byrton, Henry de Byrton, his son, who had Roger de Byrton.[2]

This Nicholas de Byrton was a person of some consequence, as he appears to have held the office of seneschal, or steward, of Blackburnshire, under Henry de Lacy, Earl of Lincoln. Henry de Birton appears as a witness to a deed, without date, from Matthew de Oxspring to Roger del Hyde, about the reign of Henry III., or Edward I.[3]

Elias de Byrton appears as a witness to a charter, bearing date 1284, from John de Carlton to Elias de Midhope.[4] This Elias de Byrton was probably nephew to Sir Elias de Midhope.

“Elias de Midhope had two sisters not named in the genealogy. They married, one the Lord of Thurgoland, the other the Lord of Burton, (Kirkburton,) in the Wapentake of Agbrig. On the death of Elias John de Thurgoland, son of the one, and William de Burton, grandson to the other, claimed to be heirs of Elias de Midhope, on the ground that his issue were illegitimate. The question came to a hearing, and of the pleadings we have an abstract by Dodsworth. It appears from them, that in 1252, Sir Elias had entered into a covenant to marry Maud, a daughter of Richard Gramary, (Grammaticus, a family who had considerable possessions along the line of the Aire,) but that marriage was never completed, and she became the wife of Robert de Stapleton, of Thorp Stapleton, while Sir Elias married Mabilia, a daughter of Josceline de Swainsby. The marriage with Mabilia was contracted in the face of the church, and without any contradiction of the said Maud, or of any other person, and she lived fifteen years at Midhope as his wife, and there died in peace, and was buried in the parish church of the said Elias, at Ecclesfield. But eight years after the death of Mabilia, Robert de Stapleton being also dead, Maud perceiving, as the pleadings say, Elias de Midhope to be rich, came and challenged him for the conditional contract he had entered into with her. Elias replied that the contract was only conditional, and the conditions not having been fulfilled, the contract was null, when John D’Eyvile, of Adlingflete, the discontented baron, who was concerned in the burning of Sheffield, uncle to Maud, and other persons of her lineage, seized upon Elias, carried him to York, and there compelled him to marry her in the Chapel of St. James, without the walls, without sentence or judgment.”

“The determination upon this cause I have not seen,” says Mr. Hunter, “but it may be presumed to have been in favour of the son, as he succeeded to the inheritance, as did his posterity after him. There is a quit-claim in 1329, from John de Thurgoland, of all the lands which were Elias de Midhope’s, which may be connected with this transaction.”

Mr. Hunter’s South Yorkshire, vol. ii., p. 364.

There was a William de Burton in 1304, presented to the Rectory of High Hoyland, of the first mediety, by Sir Thomas de Burgh.[5] The name also of William de Burton appears in several charters connected with this parish, from Edward I’s. reign to 1335.

In the 32 Edward III., [1359,] Elias de Burton, Lord of Burton, and John de Dronfield, Lord of West Bretton, obtain a royal license, that they might give the Advowson of the church of Penistone to the Dean and College of the Free Chapel of St. Stephens, Westminster.[6]

In the 8 Henry IV., [1406,] “Elias de Byrton Armiger” occurs as a witness to a charter. A John de Birton occurs also as a witness to a charter, dated 24 Henry VT., [1445,] and again in a charter dated 27 Henry VI., [1448].

In 1455, Thomas Burton gave his daughter, Isabel, with certain lands, in marriage to Edmund Kaye, of Woodsome, Esq., by whom he had issue Nicholas Kaye, of Woodsome, Esq., who dying S.P., the estate ascended to his uncle George, an ancester of the late Sir John Kaye, bart. But Thomas Burton had a son John, who had Robert, who had an only daughter, Joan. Robert dying in the 19 Henry VII., [1504,] the jurors found, inter alia, that he was seized of the Manor of Kirkburton and the Advowson of Chantry of St. Mary, in preste to that church, all which descended to Joan, his only child.

This daughter, in the 18 Henry VII., married Thomas Triggott, of South Kirkby, and had issue, Robert Triggott, son and heir, whose grandson had issue three daughters, co-heiresses.[7]

The following pedigree more fully explains the descent.


Arms : Argent, a chevron between three cross crosslets fitehee, sable. Crest: a lion’s head or, devouring a child proper.

The History and Topography of the Parish of Kirkburton and of the Graveship of Holme (1861) - figure 10.png

John Moseley, an alderman of York, married Elizabeth, daughter, and one of the co-heiresses of the last Thomas Triggott, to whom, in a partition of the estate, the Manor of Burton was allotted ; they had issue, Margaret and Ann, also co-heiresses. The former married Sir John Kaye, of Woodsome, the first Baronet, by whom he acquired the manor and estates of Burton. He died in 1662, and was succeeded by his eldest son Sir John Kaye, the second Baronet, aged 24 in 1665. He married Anne, daughter of William Lister, of Thornton, in Craven, in the county of York, Esq., and sister and sole heir of Christopher Lister, of the same place, Esq., by whom he had issue — 1st, Sir Arthur Kaye, his successor ; 2nd, George Kaye, of Grange, sometimes called Denby-Grange, in the parish of Kirkheaton, Esq., and other children. Sir John Kaye was many years M.P. for the county of York. He died in 1706.

To his son, George Kaye, of Grange, Esq., among other estates, he gave the Manor of Burton. The said George Kaye married Dorothy, daughter of Robert Savile, of Bryam-Royd, near Elland, Esq., and had issue, John Kaye. He died

1707. His widow afterwards married — Walmersley, of Dalton, Gentleman. She died in 1726. John Kaye, of Grange, Esq., succeeded his father in his estates, and on the death of Sir Arthur Kaye, his uncle, the 3rd Baronet, without male issue the Baronetcy devolved upon him. On the death, also, of his uncle, Thomas Lister, Esq., without issue, who constituted him his heir, he took the name of Lister in addition to that of Kaye, and became Sir John Lister Kaye, of Grange, 4th Baronet. He married Ellen, only daughter of John Wilkinson, of Greenhead, in the parish of Huddersfield, Esq., who died January 29th, 1729, by whom he had issue John Lister Kaye, his successor. To his second wife he married Dorothy, eldest daughter of Richard Richardson, of Bierley, near Bradford, Esq., by whom he had issue ; 1st, Lister, died an infant ; 2nd, Richard, of whom we mention hereafter ; 3rd, Christopher, died an infant ; 4th, Dorothy, wife of Robert Chaloner, of Bishop Auckland, county of Durham, Esq. ; 5th, Catherine, died young ; 6th, Miles, died an infant ; and 7th, Margaret.

Sir John Lister Kaye, was sometime M.P. for the city of York. He died April 5th, 1752, aged 55 years, and was succeeded by his eldest son Sir John Lister Kaye, the 5th Baronet, who was bom July 7th, 1725. He served the office of High Sheriff of the county of York in 1761, and died November 27th, 1789, without issue. He was succeeded in the Baronetcy by his half-brother, the Rev. Richard Kaye, LL.D., Dean of Lincoln, prebend of Southwell, &c., the 6th Baronet, who died without issue 25th December, 1809, when the Baronetcy created in 1641, became extinct.

Sir John Kaye, the 5th Baronet, dying without issue, devised the Manor of Burton and the rest of his estates to John Lister Kaye, Esq., of Grange, who married October 18th, 1800, Lady Amelia Grey, 6th daughter of George Henry Grey, Earl of Stamford and Warrington, by whom he had issue. In 1812 he was advanced to the dignity of a Baronetcy.

Sir John Lister Lister Kaye, about the year 1827, sold the Burton estate in small lots. The manor and a small portion of the estate were purchased by the late Mr. Tedbar Tinker, of Shelley, and Mr. Nathaniel Sykes, in whose heirs it now vests.

Burton Hall.

The ancient seat of the lords of Burton — until the family of that name finally merged into that of Triggott, who had their residence at South Kirkby — was situated in the hamlet of Highburton, on the verge of the hill to the west, and on the north-east side of the Burton valley. The ascent is steep, and the situation high and exposed, but commanding a fine view of the valley beneath, in which Storthes Hall, with its richly wooded grounds, forms a striking and prominent object. The designation of Hall, has almost ceased to be applied to the humble edifice which now occupies this site.

There appears to have been attached to the Hall, a small domestic chapel of pointed gothic architecture, the greatest part of which was taken down about twenty-five years ago. It is difficult to conjecture the cause of its erection so near to the parish church. It must have existed before the Reformation, as it is apparent that the owners of the estate did not reside here after that period.

Burton Cross.

In the small hamlet of Highburton stands an ancient cross, the precise object of which has not perhaps been clearly understood by the inhabitants, but the preservation of this ancient relic from the wasting hand of time, appears to have been always an object of their special care.

It is certain that Burton was, in the time of the Plantagenets, a Market Town ; it seems probable that it had been so from a still more remote period, but whether it originated by charter, or by prescription, is unknown. From the fact of the cross being placed in Highburton, there can be little doubt that the markets were held there.

In the Court Rolls of the Manor of Wakefield, in the 26 and 27, Edward III., [1352,] 24th January, under “Holne,” it is stated that the tolls of Burton market were let for 26s. 8d.

Not the least curious circumstance connected with this market, is, that the tolls would seem to have belonged to the Chief Lord of the Fee, and not to the mesne lords — the de Burtons.

Here resided about two centuries ago, a family named Roebuck, who were usually described as of Highburton Cross. They continued to reside here through several generations. The last of the name was Thomas Roebuck, who left an only child — a daughter, who married to ___ Wood, of Monk Bretton, near Barnsley, whose grandson was Sir George Wood, knight, one of the barons of the exchequer, who died in 1823, at an advanced age.

Yew Tree.

This ancient homestead was, for upwards of three hundred years, the property and residence of a family named Mokeson, of the class usually styled “Yeomen.” John Mokeson, the last possessor, sold the estate to B. Haigh Allen, of Greenhead, Esq., in whose heirs it still remains. There is a singular record of this family, viz. — that the said John Mokeson, and Olive, his wife, daughter of Joshua Senior, of Shelley, had thirty children, of whom, however, only four arrived at the adult age.


Riley is now a small hamlet, on the road from Burton to Thunder-Bridge. There is nothing to recommend it to notice except that at a remote period, its owner, who resided here, received his surname from it. The name appears among the witnesses to ancient charters, viz. — a “John de Rylay,” appears in a charter without date; and a “John de Rylay ” appears also as a witness to a charter dated 16, Edward I., [1298,] probably the same person. A “William de Rylay,” occurs in another dated 1319.

Independent Chapel, Dogley-Lane.

This chapel was built in 1816, but has since been considerably enlarged, and galleries erected. It is warmed by an efficient apparatus. An organ was added in 1853.

In connexion with the chapel are school-rooms, built in 1832. The chapel, schools, and parsonage, have recently been fitted-up with gas, &c., at the cost of £100, which sum was liquidated by congregational collections.

The church was formed December 25th, 1816, and as no minister had then settled, the Rev. John Cockin, of Holmfirth, at the request of the friends, presided at the meeting.

The first minister, — the Rev. William Lees, commenced his labours January 2nd, 1820, and remained until his death. His remains are interred within the chapel, and a tablet erected to his memory.

The second minister,—the Rev. George Ryan, commenced his labours March 11th, 1832, and resigned the pastorate March 10th, 1837.

The third minister, — the Rev. William Baines, entered on his office May 3rd, 1840, and died November 28th, 1840, only a pastorate of a few months.

The fourth pastor, — the Rev. John Hughes, commenced his labours here January 1st, 1842, and died February 14th, 1849, and was interred inside the chapel.

The fifth pastor, — the Rev. William Inman, commenced first Sabbath in November, 1850, and resigned the charge September 2nd, 1858. He was succeeded by the Key. Joseph Oddy, the present minister, to whom I am indebted for the information here given.

There is no endowment or grant to the chapel, and the minister is wholly supported by the congregation.

The chapel has been duly licensed for marriages.

Registers of baptisms from 1816.

Monumental Inscriptions.

In the chapel are marble tablets which record as follows:

To the Memory of the Rev. William Lees, who discharged the pastoral duties of this church nearly twelve years, with seriousness, fidelity, and zeal ; and who, in the vigour of his age, and of his usefulness, was suddenly called to enter into the joy of his Lord. He died August 13th, 1831, in the 46th year of his age, greatly lamented, as he had been beloved by his own people, and by all who knew him, for his Christian spirit, and consistent deportment.
Sacred to the memory of Paul, the son of Joah and Rachel Sugden, of Woodsome Lees, who departed this life February 18th, 1821, aged 18 years. Also, of the above Joah Sugden, who died August 9th, 1845, aged 63 years. He was a faithful office bearer in the church of Christ for 38 years; one of the chief promoters of the building of this chapel, and continued its firm friend unto death. Also, of the above Rachel Sugden, who died December 24th, 1850, aged 72 years.
Sacred to the Memory of Ann, the wife of Joseph Turner, Woolstapler, of Huddersfield, and daughter of Joah and Rachel Sugden, of Woodsome Lees. She died June 10th, 1832, aged 24 years.
In Memory of the Rev. John Hughes, who died February 14th, 1849, in the 39th year of his age, and the 8th year of his ministry. His remains lie interred beneath this chapel. As a minister and pastor, he was earnest, affectionate, and faithful. This monument is erected by the church and congregation as a testimony of their high regard and mournful remembrance.

In the grave-yard is a very handsome monument, with broken column and wreath — on one slab:

In affectionate remembrance of Wright Rhodes, of Spring-Field, who died March 8th, 1859, aged 65 years.

On a second slab:

In Memory of John, eldest son of Wright and Sarah Rhodes, who died November 5th, 1846, aged 21 years. Also, of Franklin, their fifth son, who died October 4th, 1852, aged 15 years.

Wesleyan Methodist Chapel, Kirkburton.

In 1816, the Wesleyan Methodists of this district erected a chapel at Burton, which at length becoming too small a new site was chosen, and a neat and commodious chapel was erected in 1845, which was opened for religious worship in 1846, when their former chapel was sold. Spacious schoolrooms were erected in 1848, to accommodate 300 scholars. The entire cost of the chapel and school premises amounted to £1650, exclusive of an excellent-toned organ, given by Mrs. Cocker, of Highburton, in 1859.

Primitive Methodist Chapel.

This chapel is situate in Highburton, and was built in 1832, at a cost of about £100, and is calculated to hold about 100 persons.

Kirkburton School.

This school was established in the year 1714, as appears from the following inscription, on an old stone tablet, removed from the front of the original schoolroom and retained in the present schoolroom.

This school, built A. D. 1714, at the charge of the inhabitants; it was first endowed with £100, being the free gift of Mr. Henry Robinson, of Leeds, clerk; with £20 given by Mr. John Horsfall, of Storz Hall, gentleman; and was afterwards endowed by the said Mr. Horsfall’s noble legacy in his last will, with £400; all which sums are to purchase lands and tenements, for the better maintenance of the schoolmaster, and for poor children learning in Thurstonland and Kirkburton.
Da dum tempus habes, Tibi propria sit manus
Hoeres auferet hoc nemo, quod dabis ipse Deo.

The above benefactions and legacy were laid out in the purchase of real estates, with the exception of the sum of £42 2s. 6d., which was placed on mortgage of the tolls of the Huddersfield and Penistone turnpike road, but was recalled about 15 years ago, to help to liquidate the expenses incurred in building a large and commodious schoolroom, the original schoolroom being very small and inconvenient, and very much dilapidated, and thus unfit for the purposes of education.

The trustees for the time being are the Vicar of Kirkburton, and the heirs of Richard Horsfall, Esq., and the heirs of Robert Rockley, Esq. The Vicar of Kirkburton, the Rector of Kirkheaton, and the Rector of Elmley, are the electors of the schoolmaster.

The real estates which were purchased consist of — a farm house, outbuildings, and about 20 acres of land, at Holme, in the parish of Almonbury, and let to John Hadfield, for £26 a year — a house and about six acres of land, in the township of Cartworth, let to Benjamin Green for £10 10s. a year—a house in Wakefield, usually called the Old Corn Exchange, let in offices, and which produces about £30 a year net — and a small portion of land, situate in Kirkburton, and let as a garden to George Jenkinson for £1 a year.

These, together with the schoolmaster’s house and premises, comprise the property of the school.

The master of the school occupies the school premises, and receives the emoluments derived from the property after deducting the necessary expenses for keeping the several buildings and estates in proper repair. He teaches twenty poor children of Kirkburton, and ten of Thurstonland, gratis, by agreement with the trustees. Twenty of these free scholars are provided with 2¾ yards of linen for clothing, on St. Thomas’ Day, in every year.


Mrs. Elizabeth Catharine Farmer, of Leasingham, near Sleaford, in Lincolnshire, who died the 2nd of September, 1847, bequeathed “to the vicar of the parish of Kirkburton, in Yorkshire, which benefice my late dear father held, the sum of one hundred pounds, to be by him applied to some charitable purpose, in his discretion, for the permanent benefit of the poor of that parish.”

Mrs. Farmer’s legacy has been laid out by the vicar in the purchase of government consolidated three per cent, annuities.

Mr. James Booth, of Lockwood, formerly of Lane-head, in Burton, by his will dated the 8th day of October, 1852, bequeathed “the sum of two hundred and fifty pounds, the remainder of the said trust money, to apply and appropriate the same to and for the poor of the township of Kirkburton, in the said county of York. And I direct that the said sum of two hundred and fifty pounds, shall be and remain invested in the names of the vicar, churchwardens, and overseers, for the time being, of the parish of Kirkburton aforesaid, in government, or other good security ; and that the dividends, interest, or annual proceeds thereof, shall be for ever hereafter paid and applied by the vicar, churchwardens, and overseers, for the time being, of the said parish, at their discretion, for the maintenance, relief, or comfort, of the poor people of the said township of Kirkburton.”

The above sum is invested in the Huddersfield Water Works, and pays interest at three-and-a-half per cent.

The enclosure of the Common Lands of this township took place in 1816, comprising 187 acres.

The ancient enclosure — 1073 acres.

Total — 1260 acres


  1. Boothroyd’s History of Pontefract.
  2. Mr. Hunter’s South Yorkshire, vol. ii., p. 344.
  3. Id. vol. ii., p. 354.
  4. Id. vol. ii., p. 358.
  5. Mr. Hunter’s South Yorkshire, vol. ii., p. 364.
  6. Id. vol. ii. p. 336.
  7. Whitaker’s Loidis et Elmete.
  8. From Mr. Hunter’s South Yorkshire, vol. ii., p, 447.

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