Page images

the Convent of Austin Friars at Northallerton, or of any transaction connected therewith, except, of course, the original gift of land in the 14th Edward III;* neither is there any record of its dissolution, or trace of its existence. The curious must therefore be satisfied with the surmise that a house and church of Austin Friars of considerable size and importance did exist in Northallerton from 1340 to 1530. The Fleece Inn which is probably the oldest building in the town, and stands on the site of the Convent, might, if it could speak, give us some valuable information.


Convent of

Austin Friars.

White Friars.

The Carmelites pretended to derive the institution of their Convent of order from the prophet Elijah, who, as they asserted was the Carmelite or first Carmelite. The true history of their origin however is given in the foot-note of page 35. After their expulsion from Mount Carmel in 1238, they settled in various parts of Europe. They were brought into England in 1240, by John Vesci and Richard Grey, where they possessed forty houses. They were called white friars from the colour of their habit, and also brethren or friars of the Blessed Virgin. They wore a white cloak and hood, and under it a coat, with a scapulary; but the Saracens, as a mark of contempt, obliged them to adopt parti-coloured garments of white and red, which they continued to wear near fifty years after their arrival in England. In 1285, the white dress was resumed by order of Pope Honorius III. The prior of the convent was elected unanimously or by the majority. Each monk was to have a separate cell; not to change their places without the prior's leave; and to meditate in their cells day and night. They were permitted to stay in the church, and to walk freely and lawfully (libere et litite) at fit hours in the cloisters. They had all things common. They were to carry with them to eat on journeys, dumplings (pulmenta, a very equivocal term among the monks) dressed with flesh. Sunday was the only festival during the week from Holyrood-day to Easter; from which the sick and infirm were exempt. Charity and labour were enjoined, and silence after compline till prime, but were permitted to talk moderately at other times.§ The origin of the convent is ascertained from a MS. in the College of Arms, marked L8, from which the following is extracted.—

"Anno dni Mo. iijc'o., lxvijo. Joh'es Yeu'll mercator Londonen' dedit Regi unam situacionem prope Northalntone ea condicione ut ipse (sic) fundaretr. una domus ordi's frum beatie marie de monte Carmelly, ut factum fuit. Et postea dns Radulph' Neville, miles construxit eccl'am integram

*Mon Ang. vi., 1603. Tanner's Notitia, 692.

Dugdale's Warwickshire, 186.

+ Tanner.

Fosbrook's Monachism, 121, and Bullarium Romanum, vol. 1, p. 116.

Convent of

proprio sumptu. Et in ch[h]oro ead'. eccl'a sepulta est Helena uxor predicti Carmelite or Joh'is Yeu'll. Item ecciam dna Margareta de Percy filia Neville qui obijt White Friars. anno Mo. iijc'o lxxijo. Et a aud' ordre viij. Religeux."

From the above extract it would appear that John Yole, a London merchant, gave to the king (Edwd. III) a site near Northallerton, on condition that he (the king) built a house thereon for the brethren of the Order of the Blessed Mary of Mount Carmel, which was done. And afterwards Lord Randolph Neville, knight, built a complete church at his own expense. And in the choir of the same church, Helena, the wife of John Yole is buried.

The following benefactions to the Carmelite Convent at Northallerton, may prove interesting to antiquarians, and worthy of preservation as historical records :

"Grant of a croft called Tentour, and a pasture, together containing 3a. Ir. in Northallerton, from John Yole of the said town, which was confirmed by Edward III.” *

William de Neuport, rector of Bishopwearmouth, bequeathed to the brethren of Mount Carmel, at Northallerton, in 1366, one chalice. [unam calicem].

John Percy, of Kildale, by his will in 1382, leaves the following: "Item do et lego conventui Fratrum de Allerton xld.

John, Lord Neville, of Raby, bequeathed in 1836, to the Carmelite brothers of Northallerton, for the repair of their house, "c. marcas.'

[ocr errors]

Sir John Clervaux, of Croft, in 1390, among other bequests gave to the friars [Carmelite] of Allerton 6s. 8d.—to friar John de Yougelby [Austin (?)] to celebrate for Sir John's soul, 6s. 8d.-and to Robert de Rokeby, chaplain, 6s. 8d. [for like purpose].

Sir Bryan Stapelton, in 1394, bequeathed to the "Frers of Richemonde, Yarum, et Allerton, a chescun ordour devaunt nommé xiijs. iiijd.”

Richard, Lord Scrope, of Bolton Castle, gave in 1400, to the "Fratribus de Northalverton xxs.

Johanna, wife of Sir Donald de Hesilrig, in 1400, bequeathed the following: "Item lego Fratribus in conventu [which convent ?] apud Alverton xxs. Isabella, wife of Walter Fauconberg, left to the "Fratribus de Alverton Here also we are left to conjecture which of the two convents (for they must have been coæval) received the benefit of the legacy.


Sir Thomas de Boynton, of Acklam, in Cleveland, bequeathed in 1402, to "Fratribus de Allerton xjs. viijd." It is to be regretted that Sir Thomas was not more explicit.

Walter Skirlaw, bishop of Durham, bequeathed in 1404, as follows: "Item lego cuilibet domino de ordine Mendicancium infra eandem diocesim xls., inter quos volo illos de Alverton comprehendi, ut ipsi omnes orent pro anima mea, et quod quilibet sacerdos, in dictis locis existens, celebrat pro anima mea xxx missas, infra annum a tempore mortis meæ."

Robert Conyers, of Sockburn, in 1431, gave to "Fratribus de Alverton
xjs. viijd.
"Item lego

Johanna Palman, alias Coke, in 1436, left the following:
Fratribus de Alverton j. towell de werk."

Ralph de Neville, earl of Westmoreland, in 1440, left to the Convent at
Allerton "pro coquina et aliis domibus ibidem reparandis et ædificandis, xll.

Sir Thomas Fulthorp, of Tunstall, bequeathed in 1456 to “Priori et Conventui Fratrum Mend. de Allerton xiijs. iiijd.”

*Dodsworth's MSS., vol. cxxi, f 30, Bod. Lib.

Sir Alexander Neville, of Thornton Bridge, in 1457, bequeathed to the Convent of "Convent of the Freris of Allerton for the same to have xiijs. iiijd.' Carmelite or Ralph Fitz-Randolph, lord of Middleham, in 1457, leaves the following: White Friars. "Item tribus ordinibus Fratrum, viz., Yarum, Allerton, et Ebor., xv. sol. inter se dividendos per equales porciones,"

Robert Dale, alias Flesher, of Great Fencote, in 1470, left "Item lego
Fratribus de Allerton viii. sol. Item lego fabrice ecclesie paro. de North
Allerton ii. sol."
1530, gave to "Ye Frears of Yarme and

John Sayer, of Worsall, in Aluerton vs.

The Carmelite Friarage at Northallerton was one of the Dissolution of last monasteries dissolved by Henry VIII., as appears from Carmelite the following copy of the original surrender :— Friarage.

"Forasmuch as we, the Prior and Friars of the house of brethren, called Carmelites or White Friars at Northallerton, do profoundly consider that the perfection of christian living does not consist in some ceremonies, wearing of a black cloak or coat, disguising of ourselves after strange fashions, docking and becking, wearing of scapulars and hoods, and other like papistical ceremonies, wherein we have been most principally practiced and nose-led in times past; but the very true way to please God, and to live a true christian man, without hypocrisy, and feigned dissimulation, is sincerely declared to us by our Master Christ, his evangelists and apostles; being minded hereafter to follow the same, conforming ourselves to the will and pleasure of our supreme head, under God, on earth, the King's Majesty; and are not to follow henceforth the superstitious traditions of any forensical potentate or power,—with mutual assent and consent, do submit ourselves unto our said sovereign Lord; and with the like assent and consent, do surrender, &c., &c., this 20th day of November, 1539.

(In the absence of the Prior)

and nine Friars, his brethren."*


The parochial registers, which are generally the sole The Parish repository of local history, and from which so much that is Registers. interesting respecting prevailing customs and passing events, is usually gleaned, do not in this instance supply either the historian or antiquarian with much that is valuable. The entries therein are much dispersed in consequence of their having been written down consecutively in years as they occurred. The earliest entry in the first volume is that of a burial dated 5th October, 1591. There are, however, a number of old worm-eaten discoloured leaves, the remains of an earlier register, carefully tied up in a bundle, but it would occupy even an expert a very long time to decipher them. The Julian or old style, which made the year to commence on the 25th of March, is used down to the 1st of January, 1752, on which day the new style commenced. The books are in very good condition, and, which is not

* Vide super pp. 46-50. This Monastery of Carmelites was dedicated to St. Mary. (Speed). The Augustine Monastery at Northallerton was dissolved January 17th, 1540. Todd's MSS.

The Parish


common, the orthography is particularly correct throughout the earlier volumes. The names Rymer, Danby (Danbi), Metcalf, Peacock (Paycock), Willoughby (Willobie), and Meynell (Mennel) seem to occur most frequently between the years 1590 and 1624, while illegitimacy was certainly more prevalent then than now, if we take the number of illegitimate children baptised as a criterion. Northallerton suffered considerably from that dreadful scourge, the plague, which ravaged England between the years 1602 and 1606. appears that between 18th January, 1603, and 25th May, 1604, there were buried at Northallerton, that died of the plague, 54 persons. The names of all are recorded, and after each the word "plague" is written within brackets. The following year was still more fatal, for upwards of 90 persons who had died of the plague were buried in Northallerton churchyard between July 16th and Nov. 21st, 1605, which was lamentable, putting down the average annual mortality at 30. The following entries, written in a different hand from those which precede or follow, may supply fuel for those inclined to be jocular :

Carbonarius, fulminis ictu.

1619. Junij 4.
1620. April 6. Stephanus Lawcock, Curio ibidem per annos 28.
Maye 10. Alicia Wilkinson, Rogeri filia virgo nubilis.

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

13. Will. Gamble, Samsoni filius, multæ spei juvenis.

15. Elisab. Wagget, vidua religiosa, decrepita.

Nov. 3. Francisca Tru'ble Georgii filia, nata, baptizata, viva, mortua, sepulta.

Jan. 2. Dorothea Parker, alias Daye; excom'unicata extra cæmiteriu' sepulta.

[ocr errors]

16. Ric. Metcalf, eodm. quo mortuus est die, a se'te❜tio exco'unic. plene' absolutus, sepult.

1621. Maij 1. Will. Ashley, generosus, ægrotus ad oppidu' delatus,


Junij 18. Jacobus Mead, religiosus, lo'goevus antiquæ, vir p'bitatis.
Mart. 19. Jo. Bidsdaill, horrendo sui ipsius suspe'dio vita' finiens,


The last entry in the first register is dated 11th Sep., 1624. The second register contains a transcript of the first book in the handwriting of Francis Kaye, vicar, but the last entry in the transcript is dated 28th March, 1624. There is an hiatus from the end of the transcript to 29th May, 1625, when the registration re-commences in a different hand, Mr. Kaye having died 15th Sep., 1624. There is no entry of his burial, but in the chancel there was formerly a brass plate, surmounted by a figure in the same material.* A greater part of the year 1627 is lost, and there is also an hiatus between Dec. 13th, 1629, and April 17th, 1631, and another from Dec. 2nd, 1633, to March 1st, 1634-5. On Dec. 26th, 1638, "Elizabeth Best, Cuthb. filia," is denoted first as buried, but

* Vide footnote page 79.

afterwards as baptised. She may have been received at this The Parish
time into the church. The second register ends with the Registers.
date 1st June, 1640, leaving many blank folios. On one of
these next after the general registration is finished, are set
down the births of fourteen children in the year 1695. The
third register commences in October, 1653, on the 31st of
which month Henry Flower was sworn in "Register" before
Fr. Lascelles, esq. The last baptism in this third register is
dated 30th Dec., 1663, the last marrage 19th June, 1662, and
the last burial 8th Sep., 1662. During the interregnum after
the year 1653, the marriages at Northallerton were contracted
before the following magistrates:-Francis Lascelles, Thomas
Lascelles, Leonard Smelt, Ralph Rymere, and George
Smithson, esquires, The fourth register does not commence
until 25th March, 1670. The following memoranda are on
the second page :—

John Robinson, parish clerk, of Northallerton, entered upon the clerkship
August ye 11th, 1678.


Matthew Bowes was elected clerk of Northallerton, July ye 20th, 1716.
Brompton is wthin ye parish of Northallerton, and so is
Deighton, but either of them have registers of their own.
Tomas Mann.

Dr. John Neile was inducted vicar of Northallerton in the year 1669.
Mr. William Neile was inducted vicar of Northallerton in 1675.
Mr. John Harper was inducted vicar in July, 1686.

Mr. Tho. Mann was inducted vicar Sept. 22nd, 1660.

[The dates are not consecutive.]

Mr. Charles Neile was inducted vicar of Northallerton July the 28th, 1694.
Mr. Christoper Hunter was inducted vicar of Northallerton November ye
first, A.D. 1718.

Mr. Thomas Rudd was inducted vicar of Northallerton January ye 22nd,

[It will be seen that there were three vicars of Northallerton of the name
of Neile.]

From 1624 to 1713 the names of Meek, Dunn, Whitton, Dowson, Gale, and Todd most frequently occur, From 1700 to 1706 the date of birth of each child, as well as the date of its baptism, is recorded. The name Flower now becomes very frequent, indeed there is quite a garden of them, between 1670 and 1700. On April 24th, 1701, Ann Campleman was interred at Northallerton; she cut her throat at Osmotherley. The dates of the births of fifteen children are recorded on a separate membrane. The latter entries in this register are written on paper leaves, slightly inserted among the membranes of the book. It is probable that the marriages solemnised between January, 1706-7, and the end of 1713, were also entered upon paper, and that the leaves are lost, but the copies are preserved in the transcript in the following registers. The fifth register commences on the 25th March, 1700. The following entry appears under the head of burials

« PreviousContinue »