Manor of Gribthorpe

Gribthorpe was not a manor in its own right at the time of the Domesday survey, but was soke of two other manors. Gilbert Tyson held the manor of Wressle, whose soke included 2 carucates in Gribthorpe, and Ralph de Mortimer held the manor of Newsolme (in Wressle) which included in its soke 2 carucates in Gribthorpe.

Gribthorpe was held by the de Vescy family of the Mortimer fee in the 12th and 13th centuries, when according to the Pipe Rolls for 1186 it was held by William I de Vescy, and during Kirkby's Inquest, of 1284-5, it was held by John de Vescy.

William II de Vescy, lord of Alnwick married for a second time Agnes, daughter of William Ferrers, Earl of Derby. The Inquisition Post Mortem (IPM) held after the death of Agnes in 1289 informs us that she held the manors of Newsholme, Brind, Thornton and Gribthorpe; Newsholme being the Honour, or superior manor. William and Agnes had two sons, John de Vescy, who married Isabel Beaumont, and d.s.p in 1289; and William II de Vescy, who married Isabel de Periton. This William II inherited the Newsholme manors from his mother Agnes as his elder brother John had already died, without issue.

William II and Isabel had a son, John de Vescy who married Clemence (Clementia) d' Avaugour. William II died at Bannockburn in 1314, and his son John predeceased him in 1295 without an heir.  In the Berkeley Castle Muniments are some interesting documents that record what followed:

Lady Clemence widow of John [le Veysy] and Sir John de Moubray, lord of the Isle of Axholme, and of Bramber and Gower. Thurs. 8 June 9 Edw. III (1335): Clemence has leased to John the manor of Neusom by Hoveden, with Thornton in Spaldyngmore, Gripthorpe, Brende and all other hamlets, lands, rents, knights' fees, advowsons appurtenant to the manor, for the life of Clemence; rent £92 a year. At: Newsholme. [BCM/D/1/181/1]

The Administrative History of the above document (and the documents below from Berkeley) throw some light on this transaction: [BCM/D]

John was evidently ambitious to increase his estate and two events gave him the opportunity. The first was the childless death of William de Vescy at Bannockburn in 1314. [For the Vescys: GEC xii (2), 279-85.] William was an illegitimate son on whom his father William de Vescy (d. 1297) had settled the family's lands in Yorkshire and Lincolnshire, with reversion to the father's right heirs. In 1314 there was difficulty in tracing the right heirs, but one was eventually found in Gilbert de Aton, a distant cousin. To add to the confusion, much of the inheritance was in the hands of widows, and various claims were made to portions of the estate.

Roger Mortimer of Wigmore claimed the manor of Wintringham, which was held of him, as an escheat for lack of heirs, and Mowbray may have done the same with Malton, held of him, since in 1318 Aton granted it to Mowbray for life. [CIPM v, nos. 534-5. Thomas Wake, whose ancestor had married the Stuteville heiress, claimed the manor of Langton as having been granted by Robert de Stuteville to Eustace de Vescy (d. 1216) in free marriage with Robert's daughter Burge, and a similar claim was made for the manor of Saxlingham (Norf.). Mowbray had been granted custody of the castle and manor of Malton in Sept. 1317: GEC ix. 378.] Not content with that, Mowbray also seems to have struck a deal regarding a valuable group of Vescy manors based on Newsholme, near Howden (Yorks.), including the manors of Thornton, Gribthorpe and Brind with appurtenances in Loftsome, Wressle, Bubwith and Holme upon Spalding Moor. They were held in dower by Clemence, widow of the bastard William's legitimate brother John (d.s.p. 1295). [In Aug. 1290 William de Vescy had confirmed his son John's grant of dower to Clemence at the church door of £200 of land in Newsholme and Sproxton (Roxburghshire): CCR 1288-96, 144.

In 1297 William granted the reversion of Sproxton to the king. Clemence was of foreign birth and one of the many kinswomen of Queen Eleanor for whom Edward I provided; after Edward's death she lived mostly abroad.] They lay in south Yorkshire, just over the Humber from the Isle of Axholme, and were thus strategically located between the two parts of the Mowbrays' barony of Thirsk. In 1335 John de Mowbray's son and heir, John (II), agreed to lease those manors from Clemence at £92 a year for her life, and at her death in 1343 it was said that she had a yearly farm of £92 for her life from the manors and that Mowbray held them in fee. [CIPM vii, no. 528.] They remained in Mowbray hands thereafter, a valuable addition to the inheritance acquired in dubious circumstances.

In 1397, John (II) Mowbray's grandson, Thomas Mowbray, was created the 1st Duke of Norfolk, and in 1440, the Valor of the lands of Katherine duchess of Norfolk in Yorkshire, included the manors of Kirkby Malzeard, Thirsk, Hovingham, Newsholme, Brind, Thornton and Gribthorpe. [BCM/D/1/1/52]

In 1475, John, Duke of Norfolk, sent instructions to his stewards, under-stewards, receivers, bailiffs and other ministers and tenants of and within the manors of Kirkby Malzeard, Burton-in-Lonsdale, Thornton, Newsholme, Brind and Gribthorpe.

John, Duke of Norfolk, died without issue, and the estates, including Gribthorpe, descended to his cousin, William, Lord Berkeley, son of James, Lord Berkeley, and Isabel, the sister of John, Duke of Norfolk. [BCM/D/1/1/26]

William, Lord Berkeley, became Earl of Nottingham in 1483, but in 1484 he settled a large number of his manors, including the reversion of the Manor of Gribthorpe, on King Richard III, to whom he was bound in £5,000.

Earl William had no surviving male issue,  but had a younger brother, Maurice. The latter however he disinherited as having brought shame on the noble House of Berkeley by marrying beneath his status to Isabel Mead, da. of Philip Mead of Wraxall an Alderman and Mayor of Bristol. In order to achieve this, the castle, lands and lordships composing the Barony of Berkeley he settled on King Henry VII and his heirs male, failing which to descend to his own rightful heirs.

Separately, William settle various other manors, including Newsom, Brynde Grybthorp and Thornton, on his cousin, Thomas Stanley, the 1st Earl of Derby, on the 23 Feb 3 Hen VII (1487/8). The Earl had a suit in Chancery in 1502 to defend his rights:

To the right reuend father in god Willm Byshop of
London Kep of the Kyng greate Seale

Shewitth vnto your gud lordship Thoms Erle of Derby that wher his louyng and nere kynnesma Willm late Erle of Notyng- hm and Marques Barkeley by sufficient euydenc namyng dyus other pson with hym in the same infeffed Edward late Byshop off Cicestr James late Byshop of Norvic' and other sundr pson named also in the same euydenc of the mans of Donyngton and Thwayt Thryske Honynghm Kyrkby Malsart Newsom Brynde Grybthorp Thorneton and Burton in Londisdale in the Countye of York to have to theym and to theyr heyres to thentent to stonde and be seased therof to the vse of the sayd Marques Barkeley and of the heyres of his body comyng and for defaute of such Issue to the vse of the sayd Erle of Derby and the heyres malys of his body comyng accordyng to certen Couenunt grunt and agrement hadde betwene the sayd Marques Barkeley and the sayd Erle of Derby and also the sayd Marques Barkeley by othyr sufficient euydenc Infeffed John Alkok late Byshop of Ely and dyus psones of the maners of Wynge and Segraues i Penne in the Countye of Buk and of the maner of Alspath in Meryden in the Countie of Warwyk among other thyng to haue to theym and to theyr heyres to thentent and vse afore rehersed accordyng also to certen Couenunt grunt and agrmenet hadde betwene the sayd Marques Barkeley and the sayd Erle of Derby by wrytyng indentyd for cten causez and cosidacons towched i the same So hit ys that S Jamys Molyneux clerk Parson of Sefton in the countie of Lanc hath dyus and sundre euydenc charts and munimet concernyng the title of the sayd Erle of Derby in the pmyssys in his possession and custody and the sayd Erle of Derby hath often tymes required the sayd James Molyneux to delyu the sayd euydenc Charts and munimet vnto hym and the sayd Jamys that to do all wayes refused and yet doth and for so much as the sayd Erle no remedy hath by the Cowrse of the Comyn law to atteyn the possession of y the same because the sayd euydenc Charts and munimet be not sealed or inclosed in any Chyste box or other clausur' and the sayd Erle hath no pfyte knowledge ner ctentye of the content i the sayd euydenc Charts and munimet the sayd Erle of Derby besechyth yo gud lordship to grnt a Wrytte of subpena to be directyd to the sayd Jamys Molyneux hym co[m[maundyng by the same to apper afore the kyng in his Chauncery at a certen day and vnd a cten payn by yo gud lordship to be lymetyd to answere vnto the pmiss and the sayd Erle shall dayly py for the pseruacon of yo gud lordship.

pleg de ps
Wills Massy M de London Gentilman
Johes Standysh de eadem Genti

Transcription by Matt L.L. Tomkins
[TNA Ref: C1/271/97]

During the Parliament held in January 1504, William Berkeley's brother, Maurice, presented a petition to try to regain his inheritance (William had disinherited him, and had granted many of his manors to the King and influential courtiers in order to be elevated in status. William was envious of his cousin John Howard, who had been made Duke of Norfolk. William succeeded in being created Earl of Nottingham, then Earl Marshall, then Marquess of Berkeley). Maurice managed to regain some of the manors, but many important manors, including Newsham, Brind and Gribthorpe, were not regained. In the provisos to the resulting Act, the rights of the Earl of Derby were upheld, and also included this important proviso:

Provided always that neither this act nor any clause or article contained in the same act shall extend, or be prejudicial or harmful in any way to Henry, earl of Northumberland, or to his heirs or to anyone seised to their use of and in the said manors of Newsham, Brind, Gribthorpe and Thornton in the county of York, or any lands, tenements, rents, reversions, services or other hereditaments which the said earl of Northumberland or any other person or persons to his use has, holds or occupies, that were or belonged at any time to the said Earl Marshal and of Nottingham, or to any other person or persons to his use.

It would appear that sometime between 1502 (the date of the Earl of Derby's Chancery suit) and January 1504 (the date of the Act above), the Duke of Northumberland acquired his interest in the Newsholme manors from the Earl of Derby.

When Henry, earl of Northumberland, died in 1527, he left the manor of Gribthorpe to his son Henry Percy. In 1531, Katherine, dowager Countess of Northumberland, quit her rights in dower in the manor of Gribthorpe to her son Henry Percy [Collectanea Topographica et Genealogica, 1840, Vol VI, pages 374-5].

The Petworth House muniments contain material relating to the manor of Gribthorpe, but now part of the superior manor of Wressle, from 1541, as part of the estates of the Percy family, Dukes of Northumberland. From them they descended to the Wyndham family, the Earls of Egremont.

The lordship of Gribthorpe (under the Earls of Egremont) remained a parcel of the manor of Wressell into the 19th century. However, by 1840, the manor of Gribthorpe shows up in a directory of 1840 as being owned by Col. George Wyndham, lord of the manor. The manor consisted of three farms, and the farmers were George & John Eland, and Wm. Penrose. In the 1846 directory, the ownership was the same, and the farmers were now John and Thomas Ealand, and Wm. Penrose. Col. Wyndham was still the lord of the manor in 1857, but in the 1892 directory the manor was then held by Lord Leconfield.

Manorial Documents
Most of the known manorial documents for Gribthorpe are held at Petworth House Archives, and may be seen only through the West Sussex Record Office, in Chichester. However, some of the material relating to Gribthorpe and Wressle may be seen on microfilm at the East Riding Record Office in Beverley, but do check with that Record Office if they have the particular material you wish to see on film.

Accounts of: Suchas Hanon (sic) bailiff at Wressle; Robert Wynter, reeve of Newshome; Henry Smyth, reeve of Thornelow; Ric. Conyworth, reeve of Brind; the reeve of Gribthorpe.

Petworth House Archives

Accounts of: Michael Thykell, bailiff of Wressle, Newsham and Thornton, Brind and Gribthorpe

Survey: including lands at Wressell, Loftsome, Newsham [? Newsholme], Brende, Goole, Assleby, Gribthorpe
Petworth House Archives
A Survey & Plot of the Mannor of Gribthorp
Petworth House Archives
Survey of the Manor of Wressle, including a plan of the Lordship of Gribthorpe, which has a schedule attached
1613-1624 Petworth House Archives
Estate Map: A Plan of the Lordship of Gribthorpe in the Manr. of Wressell belonging to The Earl of Egremont revised in 1755 by J. Crow from an Old Plan drawn in the year 1613. 16 in. to 1 m.
Petworth House Archives
Estate Map: A map of Wressell and properties in Loftsome, Newsham, Brind, Burnby, Gribthorpe, Cliffe, Cowick, Snaith, Pollington, Goole, Asselby and Newbald. Field-names; names of adjacent lands or lordships. Table of tenants' names with distinctive letters and page references to a field-book. This map was once very fine.
Petworth House Archives
Estate Map: A Plan of the Lordship of Gribthorpe; in the Manor of Wressell Belonging to the Rt Honble. George Earl of Egremont. Revised & Corrected from an Old Plan drawn in Year, 1613, by Thos. Browne Esqr. & James Crow. 16 in. to 1 m.
c. 1767
Petworth House Archives
Petworth House Archives
Estate Map
Petworth House Archives
Appointment of Gamekeeper
Leonard Eland of Wressell
Petworth House Archives
Petworth House Archives
Court Records of the Manor of Wressle 1831-1869 (comprehending Loftsome, Newsholme, Gribthorpe and Brind) including blank form of notice of holding court; draft, jury verdict, list of residents, jury lists, court book and court roll.

PHA 3073, Survey, Plan, and Schedule, 1613-1624

John Tennte, late John Harrison’s, a house, garth and a little close

John Hotham, late Freeman’s, a house and three garths adjoining

Henry Harrison, late Blanshard, a house, garth and a little close

Henry Harrison, late White’s, a house and its garth

Thomas Kighley, a house, garth and a little close

Thomas Poulton, late John Rabies, a house, garth and a little close

widow Ramsey, a house and garth

PHA 3075, Survey of 1797

Barnard Clarkson. Place: Gribthorpe. Description: A good farm house in good repair, an old barn, two stables, granary, pigsties and hovel. Acreage: 193. Page no.51. New tenant: George Eland. Remarks: Tenant did not reside on farm, lived on his own estate a few miles distance, but kept it at cheap rent. New tenant very industrious, made great improvement to another farm.

William Coates. Place: Gribthorpe. Description: A good farmhouse, old barn, stable and pigeonhouse, cowhouse, cart house, pigsties and hovels all in good repair. Acreage: 145. Page no.52.

George Eland. Place: Gribthorpe. Description: A very old farmhouse, 2 barns, 2 stables, cowhouse pigsties etc all old in construction. Page no.53. Remarks: Farm previously shared with John Eland.

John Eland. Place: Gribthorpe. Description: A good farm house, barn, two stables,cowhouse, cart house, pigsties. The house in good repair, the outbuildings indifferent. Acreage: 289. Page no.53. Remarks: The farmhouse built by tenant's father 18 years since.

Edward Gray. Place: Gribthorpe. Description: Very ordinary house now divided into 2 tenements. Acreage: 12. Page no.55. Remarks: House late of George Eland, shared tenancy with John Strafford.

William Penrose. Place: Gribthorpe. Description: A good farmhouse, barn, stable, granary, cowhouse, cart house, pigsties and hovels in good repair. Acreage: 158. Page no.54. Remarks: Tenant complains of Mr Vavasour, a neighboring gentleman, making a road across his farm, which is told to be with Lord Egremont's permission. If this not be the fact, he should be prevented, as in the wet season he not only does injury by passing himself over the land but makes a tract for others to follow.

John Strafford. Place: Gribthorpe. Description: Very ordinary house now divided into 2 tenements. Acreage: 12. Page no.55. Remarks: House late of George Eland, shared tenancy with Edward Gray.

Free rents:

Cecilia Stricklands. Manor of Wressell. Place: Willitoft. Page no.1.

William Clarke. Manor of Wressell. Place: Bubwith. Page no.1.

John Clarke. Manor of Wressell. Place: Bubwith. Page no.1.

William Chaplin. Manor of Wressell. Place: Bubwith. Page no.1.

Mrs Barr. Manor of Wressell. Place: Bubwith. Page no.1.

Mrs Hepton. Manor of Wressell. Place: Bubwith. Page no.1.

DDEL 23/3, Manor of Wressel, Gribthorpe Rescients (Residents)


George Eland, exors of

John Eland

William Penrose


Richard Abel,

Ann Eland,

Edward Jenkinson

Robert Whittam

Wressle Manorial Documents which may contain Gribthorpe material
Court roll
Petworth House Archives
PHA 7184
Court roll
Petworth House Archives
PHA 7185
Court rolls, with other manors
Alnwick Castle
X.11.6 Box 5
court roll
Petworth House Archives
PHA 7186
court rolls, with other manors
Alnwick Castle
X.11.6 Box 5
Court rolls
Petworth House Archives
PHA 7187-7191
Survey, with other manors
Petworth House Archives
PHA 1417
Court rolls
Petworth House Archives
PHA 7192-7202
Court roll, with other manors
Petworth House Archives
PHA 6944
Court rolls, with other manors
Alnwick Castle
X.11.6 Box 5
Court rolls, with other manors
Alnwick Castle
X.11.6 Box 5
Shows field names and acreages, with other manors
Petworth House Archives
PHA 3427
In 1613 survey book, with other manors.
Petworth House Archives
PHA 3072
Court roll
Petworth House Archives
PHA 7203
Court roll, with other manors
Petworth House Archives
PHA 6952
Court roll, with other manors
Petworth House Archives
PHA 6913
Court roll, with other manors
Petworth House Archives
PHA 6956
Court roll, with other manors
Petworth House Archives
PHA 6969
Court rolls
Petworth House Archives
PHA 7204-7207
Court roll, with other manors
Petworth House Archives
PHA 6960
Court rolls, with other manors
Petworth House Archives
PHA 6961-6967
Perambulation, with other manors
Petworth House Archives
PHA 1016
Bound in a file with other records but not in chronological order, with other manors
Petworth House Archives
PHA 1017
Call book
Enquiries to Cumbria Record Office, Carlisle
Verdicts and court papers
Enquiries to Cumbria Record Office, Carlisle
Revision of 1610 and 1767 maps, shows field names and names of adjacent properties including table of tenants names
Petworth House Archives
PHA 3482
Court book (appointments of manorial officials only) and Call rolls
Enquiries to Cumbria Record Office, Carlisle
Court book with Call roll
East Riding of Yorkshire Archives