Tuesday, January 26, 2016

The estate of Sir William Ryther of Yorkshire (1440)

The estate of Sir William Ryther of Yorkshire (1440)

Niall C.E.J. O’Brien

Introduction

On 1st October 1440 Sir William Ryther of Ryther in Yorkshire died. Sir William Ryther was the son of Sir William Ryther of Ryther and Sibyl his wife, daughter of William de Aldeburgh, 1st Lord Aldeburgh. Although not a major landowner Sir William Ryther did have standing in his community and in 1426, 1430-1, 1434 and 1438 was sheriff of Yorkshire. Sir William Ryther was also a peer of the realm as Baron of Rither, a title created in 1299 for his ancestor Sir William de Ryther.[1] On 8th October 1440 a writ was issued for an inquisition post mortem into the estate of Sir William Ryther in Yorkshire and Lincolnshire.[2]

Ryther manor

The chief manor of the Ryther family in Yorkshire was that of Ryther. The family took their name from Ryther, about 6 miles N.E. of Selby, and were associated with the place since about 1166 if not before then. Several of the de Ryther knights have effigies in the local parish church of All Saints Church.[3]

In 1280 John son of Robert de Roos of Helmsley granted Ryther to William Ryther of Scarcroft in Yorkshire and Lucy his wife and the heirs of Lucy’s body. Lucy Ryther was the daughter of John de Roos.[4] This grant was made with reversion to John de Roos and then to his brother Alexander de Roos and then to the right heirs of William Ryther.[5] Although William Ryther was very much a Yorkshire landowner he did have connections beyond the Dales. In 1302 he was granted the Irish lands of Reginald de Dene until the lawful age of Reginald’s heir and with the marriage of the latter.[6]

The elder brother of John de Roos was William de Roos of Helmsley, first lord of that barony. William’s son, also called William de Roos, married Margery, daughter of Bartholomew de Badlesmere and in 1338 inherited her fourth share of the family estate which included a fourth part of Youghal and the manor of Inchiquin in County Cork, Ireland.[7]

All Saint's Church, Ryther by Bill Henderson

By 1440 the reversion provision had not yet been activated as Lucy gave birth to Robert Ryther who was the father of Robert Ryther, the father of Robert Ryther who was the father of William Ryther, father of William Ryther who died in 1440.[8]

This clear line of descent was not so straight in reality. The Robert de Ryther who died in 1322 left William de Ryther (aged 12 years in 1327) as his son and heir. In 1327 Robert de Ryther held the manor of Ryther of King Edward II in the honour of Pontefract because the late forfeiture of Thomas, Earl of Lancaster, by the service of half a knight’s fee, and Robert de Ryther held Scarcroft manor of John de Ryther, his brother. The two manors were granted to Robert’s widow Maud until William de Ryther came of age.[9] But William de Ryther did not leave any issue and so the two manors passed to his brother Robert de Ryther.

The manor and advowsons of the churches (the parish church of Ryther and the chapel attached to Lead Hall) of Ryther in 1440 was held of the king in chief as of the Duchy of Lancaster and his honour of Pontefract by the service of one eight of a knight’s fee (a big reduction in the knight fee since 1327). The manor of Ryther was not in good condition according to the inquisition post mortem. The capital messuage and two gardens were worth nothing along with 8 waste messuages worth nothing and 8 waste cottages worth nothing. There was 460 acres of land worth 3d per acre; 40 acres of meadow worth 12d per acre and 200 acres of wood worth 100s. The total value of the manor was thus £12 15s per annum.[10]

Scarcroft manor

The most ancient property of Sir William Ryther was that of Scarcroft manor in Yorkshire. Modern Scarcroft is located about six miles N.E. of Leeds and has some of the most expensive residential property in Yorkshire.[11] In 1280 his ancestor, William Ryther, used Scarcroft as his chief address. In 1440 Scarcroft manor was held of Henry Vavasour by the service of one rose yearly. Like at Ryther, the manor of Scarcroft was not well cared for under Sir William Ryther. There were 4 waste messuages, 3 waste cottages and 20 acres of wood worth nothing per year. The rest of the manor consisted of 202 acres of land worth 3d per acre and 320 acres of moor land worth 10s per year. The total value of the manor was £3 6d per year.[12]

Harewood manor

The manors of Ryther and Scarcroft were part of the Ryther family since 1280 and for some time before. The other property held by Sir William Ryther in 1440 was acquired by marriage and purchase.

On 21st October 1440 at Ozendyke a jury met to conduct the inquisition post mortem on the estate of Sir William Ryther and they found that he held half the manor of Harewood in Yorkshire by a grant made in 1403 to his father and mother by Thomas Thwaytes and William Barker. The manor as held by Sir William Ryther excluded the site of Harewood castle and other land and was held of the king in chief by a quarter of a knight’s fee. Within the half manor held by Sir William Ryther there was 45 acres in demesne land worth 4d per acre; 200 acres of land in a close called Stoktonfeld worth 4d per acre; 4 acres of land at Le Sandbed worth 4d per acre; 1,000 acres of moor and waste land held in common pasture at Harwodmore worth nothing per year; two burgages in the vill of Harewood worth 12d per year each; two cottages also worth 12d per year each; a smithy worth 12d yearly and half an oven in Harewood worth 12d per year.

Sir William Ryther also had property in the vill of Dunkeswick within the manor of Harewood. This consisted of 8 messuages worth nothing per year and 17 bovates each worth 4s per year. In the vill of Healthwaite there were 3 messuages each worth 6d per year and 4 bovates with meadow each worth 4s per year. In addition to all this Sir William Ryther collected 32s in service rent from the manor (total value £5 17s 6d). The total value of the half manor was £10 6s 6d.[13] in October 1439 William Ryther the younger was given seisin of Harewood manor following the death of his mother Sibyl Ryther.[14]

The other half of Harewood manor was held in 1426 by Sir Richard Redman and was succeeded by his grandson Richard Redman (son of Matthew Redman).[15] Sibyl Ryther was sister and co-heir of her brother William Aldeburgh, 2nd Lord Aldeburgh. Her sister married into the Redman family and thus the manor of Harewood was divided between the two sisters.[16]

Kirkby Overblow manor

Sir William Ryther held half of this manor from Henry, Earl of Northumberland as of his manor of Spofforth. Modern Kirkby Overblow is a village and civil parish in North Yorkshire between Harrogate and Wetherby. The manor of Kirkby Overblow came to William Ryther from the Aldeburgh inheritance.[17] In 1440 the manor was not in the best of condition with many parts of it described as ruinous including 7 ruinous messuages, 2 waste cottages and 30 acres of wood worth nothing. There was beside these ruinous property 14 bovates each worth 3s; 20 acres of land worth 3d per acre and 12s 8d in rent from the free tenants along with the rent of a pair of gloves.[18] This amounted to a total value of £2 19s 8d per annum.

All Saint's Church at Kirkby Overblow by Colin Hinson 

Celecotes manor

Sir William Ryther held one manor outside of Yorkshire, that of Celecotes in Lincolnshire. Celecotes is today known as Keal Cotes and is situated six miles south of Spilsby. The inquisition post mortem for Celecotes was held on 29th October 1440 at Lincoln castle (25 miles to the west) before fourteen jurors. They found that Sir William Ryther held Celecotes in chief of the king by his Duchy of Lancaster and in the honour of Bolingbroke by the service of one sixth of a knight’s fee. On the manor the capital messuage was worth nothing, 100 acres of demesne land was worth 2d per acre; 12 messuages were worth 12d each; 10 bovates of land worth 3s each per year; 50 acres of meadow worth 8d per acre at moving time and 300 acres of pasture and marsh worth nothing along with 40s of assize rent.[19] The total value of the manor was £6 12s per year.

Successor and descendants of Sir William Ryther

Sir William Ryther of Ryther was married to Maud (deceased before 1437), daughter of Sir Thomas de Umframvill. Maud de Umframvill had three other sisters, all married.[20] She was the sister and co-heir of her brother, Sir Gilbert de Umframvill.[21] Sir William Ryther was succeeded in 1440 by his son and heir William Ryther, and then aged 35 years. Young William Ryther was described in 1437 as 30 years old.[22] William Ryther the younger was given seisin of his father’s lands in November 1440.[23]

The Barony of Rither fell into abeyance in 1543 with the death of Sir Henry Ryther but the family line continued through his second cousin William Ryther.[24] In the time of Queen Elizabeth a descendant of Sir William Ryther would enter the Church and move to Ireland. This was John Ryder, later Dean of St. Patrick’s in Dublin and Bishop of Killaloe. The descendants of John Ryder would also enter the Church in Ireland and hold positions in the Dioceses of Ossory, Killaloe and Cloyne. Their story is for another day.

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[1] J.W.B Chapman & Mrs. Leighton (eds.), Calendar of inquisitions miscellaneous, Volume VIII, 1422-1485 (Boydell Press & National Archives, 2003), no. 50; George E. Cokayne (ed.), The Complete Peerage (Alan Sutton, Gloucester, 1987), vol. XI, p. 10
[2] Claire Noble (ed.), Calendar of inquisitions post mortem, Volume XXV, 16 to 20 Henry VI, 1437-1442 (Boydell Press & National Archives, 2009), no. 479
[4] George E. Cokayne (ed.), The Complete Peerage, vol. XI, pp. 6, 8
[5] Claire Noble (ed.), Calendar of inquisitions post mortem, Volume XXV, 16 to 20 Henry VI, 1437-1442, no. 480
[6] H.S. Sweetman (ed.), Calendar of Documents relating to Ireland (5 vols. Kraus reprint, 1974), Vol. V, 1302-1307, Nos. 79, 163
[7] George E. Cokayne (ed.), The Complete Peerage, vol. XI, pp. 95-9
[8] Claire Noble (ed.), Calendar of inquisitions post mortem, Volume XXV, 16 to 20 Henry VI, 1437-1442, no. 480
[9] J.E.E.S. Sharp (ed.), Calendar of inquisitions post mortem, Volume VII, Edward III (Kraus reprint, 1973), no. 7; George E. Cokayne (ed.), The Complete Peerage, vol. XI, p. 9
[10] Claire Noble (ed.), Calendar of inquisitions post mortem, Volume XXV, 16 to 20 Henry VI, 1437-1442, no. 480
[11] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Scarcroft accessed on 26 January 2016
[12] Claire Noble (ed.), Calendar of inquisitions post mortem, Volume XXV, 16 to 20 Henry VI, 1437-1442, no. 480
[13] Claire Noble (ed.), Calendar of inquisitions post mortem, Volume XXV, 16 to 20 Henry VI, 1437-1442, no. 480
[14] Calendar Fine Rolls, Vol. XVII, Henry VI (1437-1445), p. 124
[15] Kate Parkin (ed.), Calendar of inquisitions post mortem, Volume XXII, 1 to 5 Henry VI, 1422-1427 (Boydell Press & National Archives, 2003), no. 736
[16] G.E. Cokayne (ed.), The Complete Peerage, vol. XI, p. 10; https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Harewood_Castle
[17] Calendar Fine Rolls, Vol. XVII, Henry VI (1437-1445), p. 167
[18] Claire Noble (ed.), Calendar of inquisitions post mortem, Volume XXV, 16 to 20 Henry VI, 1437-1442, no. 480
[19] Claire Noble (ed.), Calendar of inquisitions post mortem, Volume XXV, 16 to 20 Henry VI, 1437-1442, no. 479
[20] M.L. Holford, S.A. Mileson, Claire Noble & Kate Parkin (eds.), Calendar of inquisitions post mortem, Volume XXIV, 11 to 15 Henry VI, 1432-1437 (Boydell Press & National Archives, 2010), no. 696
[21] J.L. Kirby & Janet H. Stevenson (eds.), Calendar of inquisitions post mortem, Volume XXI, 6 to 10 Henry V, 1418-1422 (Boydell Press & National Archives, 2002), no. 831; George E. Cokayne (ed.), The Complete Peerage, vol. XI, p. 10
[22] Claire Noble (ed.), Calendar of inquisitions post mortem, Volume XXV, 16 to 20 Henry VI, 1437-1442, no. 479
[23] Calendar Fine Rolls, Vol. XVII, Henry VI (1437-1445), pp. 167-9
[24] George E. Cokayne (ed.), The Complete Peerage, vol. XI, p. 11

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