The Farndale Timeline 1

The Middle Ages

1000 CE to 1600












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The colour code key to this page:

Dates in red.

Kings and Queens in Blue.

Key National Events in Orange

Feudal history impacting on Farndale history in purple (the history of the feudal overlords).

Farndale history in green.


A preliminary note about Kirkbymoorside (Chirchebi)

Kirkbymoorside lies only 25 miles from of York.

The name Kirkbymoorside suggests one of the key reasons for the settlement’s establishment was the shelter offered by the southern slopes of the moors into which the town nestles. The Ancient Britons left behind flint and stone axes, and traces of their Celtic language in the street names of Tinley Garth (garden) and Howe End (a ’howe’ being a burial mound). Anglo-Saxon and Viking artefacts include a silver coin dating from around 790, found within the grounds of the parish church of All Saints.

At the time of the Conquest, the estate was referred to as Chirchebi.



About 1030

Orm Gamalson was probably given the land of Kirkbymoorside which included the then unknown forested land which is now Farndale by King Cnut (1016-1035). Orm was prominent in Northumbria in the middle years of the eleventh century. He married into the leading aristocratic clan of the region. His wife Aethelthryth was the daughter of Ealdred, Earl of Northumbria in the mid eleventh century. His brother in law was Siward, Earl of Northumbria until 1055, famous for his exploits against Macbeth, the King of Scots.

1055 to 1065

The sundial over the entrance to St Gregory’s Church, Kirkdale reads “Orm the son of Gamel acquired St Gregory’s Church when it was completely ruined and collapsed, and he had it built anew from the ground to Christ and to St Gregory in the days of King Edward and in the days of Earl Tostig”.

King Edward referred to in the panel is King Edward the Confessor (1042 to 1066). Tostig, the son of Earl Godwin of Wessex and brother of Harold II, the last Anglo Saxon King of England was the Earl of Northumbria between 1055 and 1065. It was therefore in the course of that decade that Orm, son of Gamel rebuilt St Gregory’s Church.

The land of Kirkbymoorside was called Chirchebi.  It appears in the Domesday Book, recording that it past after the conquest from Orm to Hugh Fitz Badric:

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The Domesday Book provides us with the following facts at 1086: 10 villagers. 1 priest. Land and resources Ploughland: 2 ploughlands. 2 lord's plough teams. 3 men's plough teams. Other resources: 1 mill, value 4 shillings. 1 church. Tenant-in-chief in 1086: Hugh son of Baldric. Lord in 1086: Hugh son of Baldric. Lord in 1066: Orm (son of Gamal).

So presumably just before the conquest the land of Chirchebi, which was to become Kirkbymoorside, and which included the land that would become known in time as Farndale, had a settlement around the church of St Gregory at Kirkdale, with a couple of ploughed fields.

The Victoria History of Yorkshire suggests that before the Conquest Orm held 5 carucates of land in Kirkbymoorside. A carucate or carrucate (Latin, carrūcāta or carūcāta) was a medieval unit of land area approximating the land a plough team of eight oxen could till in a single annual season. Presumably this is therefore describing the area of ploughed fields, with the wider area of the estate, stretching through forests and Farndale and Bransdale, was vast.

It is suggested that In 1086 the great multiple estate of Kirkbymoorside, which passed in the possession of Hugh Fitz Baldric after the Conquest, was said to be 12 leagues long.


The Norman Conquest. William defeated Harold at the Battle of Hastings, but the north of England remains unsubdued.

The House of Normandy, 1066-1154

William I (the Conqueror), 1066-1087

William the Conqueror redistributed land, granting tracts of land to his Norman supporters and to the church.


The start of feudalism.


Norman barons often adopted the name of their lands in England as surnames.


1069 to 1070

The Harrying of the North.



The Bayeux Tapestry



Domesday Book published.


The manor and Estate of Kirkbymoorside has passed to High Fitz Baldric.

In England Hugh son of Baldric was an important tenant-in-chief in Yorkshire, and to a smaller extent in Lincolnshire; he also held two manors in Nottinghamshire, single holdings in Wiltshire and Berkshire, and interests in four holdings in Hampshire. In Yorkshire Hugh son of Baldric held about 50 manors with many berewicks and sokeland, assessed at approximately 410 carucates.

But Hugh Fitz Baldric died at his hometown of Cottingham in 1086.

The greater part of these holdings passed, presumably by royal grant, to Robert de Stuteville. 'The estates of Hugh son of Baldric, Domesday lord of Cottingham, were divided after his death and the bulk of his lands in Yorkshire passed to Robert I de Stuteville.' Ivor John Sanders, English Baronies: A Study of Their Origins and Descent 1086-1327

Kirkbymoorside passed to Robert de Stuteville.

William II (Rufus), 1087-1100



The First Crusade


Henry I, 1100-1135

The start of the Guild system to protect trade, set prices and offer apprenticeships.


Population reaches about 2 million.



The de Stutevilles were deprived of the estate in 1106 when it was granted to Nigel d’Aubigny, one of Henry I’s “new men”.

The relevant estate including Kirkbymoorside passed to Nigel d'Aubigny (Neel d'Aubigny or Nigel de Albini, died 1129), who was a Norman Lord and English baron who was the son of Roger d'Aubigny and Amice or Avice de Mowbray. His paternal uncle William was lord of Aubigny, while his father was an avid supporter of Henry I of England. His brother William d'Aubigny Pincerna was the king's Butler and father of the 1st Earl of Arundel. He was the founder of the noble House of Mowbray.

He is described as "one of the most favoured of Henry's 'new men'". While he entered the king's service as a household knight and brother of the king's butler, William d'Aubigny, in the years following the Battle of Tinchebrai in 1106 Nigel was rewarded by Henry with marriage to an heiress who brought him lordship in Normandy and with the lands of several men, primarily that of Robert de Stuteville. The Mowbray honour became one of the wealthiest estates in Norman England. From 1107 to about 1118, Nigel served as a royal official in Yorkshire and Northumberland. In the last decade of his life he was frequently traveling with Henry I, most likely as one of the king's trusted military and administrative advisors.

Nigel's first marriage, after 1107, was to Matilda de L'Aigle, whose prior marriage to the disgraced and imprisoned Robert de Mowbray, Earl of Northumbria, had been annulled based on consanguinity. She brought to the marriage with Nigel her ex-husband's lordship of Montbray (Mowbray).

Following a decade of childless marriage and the death of her powerful brother, Nigel in turn repudiated Matilda based on his consanguinity with her former husband, and in June 1118 Nigel married to Gundred de Gournay (died 1155), daughter of Gerard de Gournay and his wife Edith de Warenne, and hence granddaughter of William de Warenne, 1st Earl of Surrey. Nigel and Gundred had son who would be known as Roger de Mowbray after the former Mowbray lands he would inherit from his father, and he was progenitor of the later noble Mowbray family.



First Cistercian abbey at Waverley.



Nigel died in Normandy, possibly at the abbey of Bec in 1129.

Gundreda administered the estate on behalf of her under aged son Roger de Mowbray.

It was she who granted the whole of Welburn and Skiplam together with the western side of Bransdale to Rievaulx Abbey, who developed the whole area as a series of granges and cotes, including Colt House and Stirk House in Bransdale.



Financial records kept by the Exchequer for the Crown, known as the Pipe Rolls, recording Exchequer payments and names of tenants.


Surnames began to be used more widely to assert rights to hereditary property.


Stephen, 1135-1154


Sir Roger de Mowbray (c. 1120–1188) was an Anglo-Norman magnate. He had substantial English landholdings. A supporter of King Stephen, with whom he was captured at Lincoln in 1141, he rebelled against Henry II. He made multiple religious foundations in Yorkshire. He took part in the Second Crusade and later returned to the Holy Land, where he was captured and died in 1187.

Roger was the son of Nigel d'Aubigny by his second wife, Gundreda de Gournay. On his father's death in 1129 he became a ward of the crown. Based at Thirsk with his mother, on reaching his majority in 1138, he took title to the lands awarded to his father by Henry I both in Normandy including Montbray, from which he would adopt his surname, as well as the substantial holdings in Yorkshire and around Melton.

Soon after, in 1138, he participated in the Battle of the Standard against the Scots and, according to Aelred of Rievaulx, acquitted himself honourably. Thereafter, Roger's military fortunes were mixed. Whilst acknowledged as a competent and prodigious fighter, he generally found himself on the losing side in his subsequent engagements.


During the anarchic reign of King Stephen Roger de Mowbray was captured with Stephen at the battle of Lincoln in 1141. Soon after his release, Roger married Alice de Gant (d. c. 1181), widow of Ilbert de Lacy and daughter of Walter de Gant. Roger and Alice had two sons, Nigel and Robert. Roger also had at least one daughter, donating his lands at Granville to the Abbaye aux Dames in Caen when she became a nun there.



The Second Crusade.



In 1147, he was one of the few English nobles to join Louis VII of France on the Second Crusade. He gained further acclaim, according to John of Hexham, defeating a Muslim leader in single combat.

The Plantagenets, 1154-1399

Henry II, 1154-1189


Roger de Mowbray, son of Niel Daubeney, grantee of the Stuteville lands, was holding Kirkby Moorside.

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Robert de Stuteville, grandson of the first Robert, laid claim to the barony.

Roger gave him Kirkby Moorside for 10 knights’ fees in satisfaction of his claim. This arrangement however was not ratified in the King’s courts.

The first reference to Farndale, the place

It was only to be expected that the monks would seek to extend their properties into the Mowbray territories further east and at some time before 1155, Roger, granted them a wood in Farndale called Midelhoved, ie middle head, and another word called Duvanesthuat, probably near Duffin Stone Farm at the northwestern end of the dale, together with common pasture rights and permission to take building timber and wood for those who stay there. Duvanesthuat embodies an Irish Norse personal name, but there is nothing to suggest that it was a functioning settlement by the mid 12th century. The whole area was regarded as a private forest of the Mowbrays. The grant was made “saving Roger’s wild beasts”, and it seems to have been anticipated that the monks would want to build a new dwelling there, probably to use as a grange or cote.

Two clearings in the valley of Farndale (Midelhovet and Duvansesthuat) were granted by Roger de Mowbray to the Abbey and monks of Rievaulx Abbey. By it Roger bestowed upon the Monastery, ‘….Midelhovet, that clearing in Farndale where the hermit Edmund used to dwell; and another clearing which is called ‘Duvanesthuat’ and common of pasture in the same valley of Farndale….’

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Probably refers to Middle Head and Duffin Stone.

Edmund the Hermit used to dwell in Farndale. Edmund the hermit of Farndale was a legendary figure who lived in a cave in the North York Moors in the 12th century. He was said to be a holy man who performed miracles and healed the sick. He was also reputed to be a descendant of King Alfred the Great and a cousin of King Stephen. However, there is no historical evidence to support his existence or his royal lineage. He may have been a fictional character created by local monks to attract pilgrims and donations to their monastery. Alternatively, he may have been based on a real person who lived in the cave, but whose identity and story were embellished over time. Some scholars have suggested that he may have been a Norman knight who fled to the cave after the Battle of the Standard in 1138, or a Saxon rebel who resisted the Norman conquest. The cave where Edmund supposedly lived is known as Hob Hole and is located near Westerdale in Farndale. It is a natural limestone cave that has been enlarged by human activity. It has two chambers, one of which may have served as a chapel. The cave is now a scheduled monument and is protected by law. You can see some photos of the cave.


The weavers were granted a royal charter, the oldest livery company in London.



The abolition of the Danegeld tax, first raised in 991 to pay off Viking raiders.



Roger de Mowbray was compelled to hand back Kirkbymoorside along with many other fees. The Stutevilles favoured the Benedictine monks of Saint Mary's Abbey, York, and their own small House of nuns founded at Keldholme, near Kirkbymoorside. Rievaulx Abbey was unable to sustain its claim to the Farndale property and a little before 1166 Robert De Stuteville granted to Keldholme Priory timber and wood in Farndale, together with a vaccary, pasture and cultivated land in East Bransdale. This implies some earlier settlements, but not very much. The Keldholme property in Bransdale, which can still be identified in the survey of 1610, never amounted to more than 40 or 50 acres at Cockayn at the head of the valley. At about the same time Robert gave to Saint Mary's Abbey, who held the nearby Manor of Spaunton, as much timber and wood as they required together with pasture and pannage of pigs in Farndale. All the documents mentioned so far clearly indicate that Farndale was regularly primarily as a resource of timber and pasture in the mid 12th century, with little evidence of settlement.



London’s population was about 30,000.



The murder of Thomas Becket.


Roger supported the Revolt of 1173–74 against Henry II and fought with his sons, Nigel and Robert, but they were defeated at Kinardferry, Kirkby Malzeard and Thirsk.




Henry II’s enquiry into assets and status of widows and wards, Rotuli de Dominabus et Pueris et Puellis de XII Comitatibus.


The Templars’ enquiries into land holdings, Rotuli de Dominabus.


The earliest recorded windmill built at Weedley in Yorkshire.



1186 to 1187

Roger left for the Holy Land again in 1186, but encountered further misfortune being captured at the Battle of Hattin in 1187. His ransom was met by the Templars, but he died soon after and, according to some accounts, was buried at Tyre in Palestine. There is, however, some controversy surrounding his death and burial and final resting-place.



The Feet of Fines, judgements pertaining to land ownership, began.


Richard I (The Lionheart), 1189-1199




Saladin Tithe levied in England to fund the Third Crusade.



Richard I (The Lionheart), 1189-1199


1189 to 1192


The Third Crusade


Carlisle came under English rule in 1192.



The House of Mowbray, the senior line of which would become Barons Mowbray, descended from Roger's son Nigel, who died on crusade at Acre in 1191.



Eyre Rolls recording legal cases across England.




Liber Feodorum, a list of feudal landholdings.


King John, 1199-1216

Charter Rolls began recording royal grants issued by the Chancery.



Manorial records include administrative details of estates.


Population reaches about 3.5 million.


A dispute broke out again between William de Stuteville, son of Robert and William de Mowbray, grandson of Roger.


·         Robert II of Stuteville was born about 1084 in Yorkshire. Son of Robert (Estouteville) d'Estouteville I. Brother of Nicolas I (Estouteville) Stuteville and Emma (Estouteville) de Grentmesnil. Husband of Erneburge (Fitzbaldric) Stuteville. Husband of Jeanne (Talbot) de Stuteville. Father of Burga (Stuteville) Pantulf, Nicholas (Stuteville) de Stuteville, Alice (Stuteville) Fleming, Osmund (Stuteville) de Stuteville, John (Stuteville) de Stuteville, Patrick (Stuteville) de Stuteville and Robert (Stuteville) de Stuteville III. Not believed to have held lands in England. A supporter of Robert Curthose with his father, he was captured at St.Pierre-sur-Dive shortly before the battle of Tinchebrai. Died after 1138 after about age 54 in Cottingham, Yorkshire.

·         Robert III de Stuteville Baron of Cottingham. Robert III de Stuteville was son of Robert II de Stuteville (from Estouteville in Normandy), one of the northern barons who commanded the English at the battle of the Standard in August 1138. His grandfather, Robert Grundebeof, had supported Robert of Normandy at the battle of Tinchebray in 1106, where he was taken captive and kept in prison for the rest of his life. Robert de Stuteville, the third, occurs as witness to a charter of Henry II of England on 8 January 1158 at Newcastle-on-Tyne. He was a justice itinerant in the counties of Cumberland and Northumberland in 1170–1171, and High Sheriff of Yorkshire from Easter 1170 to Easter 1175. The King's Knaresborough Castle and Appleby Castle were in his custody in April 1174, when they were captured by David of Scotland, Earl of Huntingdon. Stuteville, with his brothers and sons, was active in support of the king during the war of 1174, and he took a prominent part in the capture of William the Lion at Alnwick on 13 July (Rog. Hov. ii. 60). He was one of the witnesses to the Spanish award on 16 March 1177, and from 1174 to 1181 was constantly in attendance on the king, both in England and abroad. Stuteville by his wife, Helewise de Murdac, had two sons William and Nicholas and two daughters, Burga, who was married to William de Vesci and Helewise, who was married firstly to William de Lancaster, secondly to Hugh de Morville and thirdly to William de Greystoke. He may have also had sons Robert, Eustace and Osmund. Robert de Stuteville was probably brother of the Roger de Stuteville who was sheriff of Northumberland from 1170 to 1185, and defended Wark on Tweed Castle against William the Lion in 1174. Roger received charge of Edinburgh Castle in 1177, and he built the first Burton Agnes Manor House. However Roger may have been his kinsman, not his brother, as son of Osmund de Stuteville (b. about 1125, of Burton Agnes, Yorkshire, England, d. before Sep 1202) and his wife (m. abt 1146) Isabel de Gressinghall, daughter of William Fitz Roger de Gressinghall. He is the probable founder of the nunneries of Keldholme and Rosedale, Yorkshire, and was a benefactor of Rievaulx Abbey. He seems to have died in the early part of 1186. He claimed the barony, which had been forfeited by his grandfather, from Roger de Mowbray, who by way of compromise gave him Kirby Moorside.

Finally William de Mowbray confirmed the previous agreement and gave 9 knights’ fees in augmentum.

Henceforward Kirkby Moorside was held of the Mowbrays by the heirs of the Stutevilles until the end of the 14th century.

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William de Stuteville was succeeded by his brother Nicholas, who fought against the King at Lincoln and was taken prisoner there. He bound his manors of Kirkby Moorside and Lidell to pay 1,000 marks as his ransom.

1202 to 1204


The Fourth Crusade




The Patent Rolls, provide a record of royal correspondence and helps to trace individuals in the Middle Ages.




Close Rolls recorded grants made by the monarch to individuals or groups.



The forest of Farndale, 1209-1211 (FAR00003). Rights to Nicholas de Stuteville in the Royal Forest of Farndale. Entries in the Pipe Roll 1209, 1210 and 1211 refer to granting rights in the forest of Farndale to Nicholas de Stuteville by the Abbot of York in the reign of King John and disputes that arose therefrom.

1213 to 1221


The Fifth Crusade.




Magna Carta.




Joan de Stuteville, heiress of Cottingham, born 1216. She was the daughter of Nicholas II de Stuteville and Devorguilla of Galloway, wife of Hugh Wake, feudal lord of Bourne and Hugh Bigod, Chief Justice of England, mother of Nicholas Wake, Sir; Sir Hugh Wake; Sir Baldwin Wake, III, Lord of Bourne; Joan Burnet; Roger Bigod, 5th Earl of Norfolk and 2 others, the sister of Margaret de Stuteville, the half sister of Nicholas III de Stuteville. This Joan, better known as the "Fair Maid of Kent," [not sure this is right - see below] survived her husband, and, resuming her maiden name, left the barony to her son, Baldwin de Wake. The impression of her seal bore the device of a lady riding on horseback sideways, a style which she is said to have been the first to adopt. The Wake line ended in three co-heiresses, one of whom married the Earl of Westmoreland, who succeeded to the barony of Kirbymoorside, and it remained in the possession of this family until 1570.

She died on or about 6 April 1276.

Henry III, 1216-1272



Dominicans (black friars) began to arrive in England.




Franciscans (grey friars) began to arrive in England.




Unfortunately the records relating to Farndale are then silent for a century or more after the Rievaulx entries of 1154.

But in 1225, Pastures at Farendal, 1225 and 1227 (FAR00005). Entries in the Curia Regis for 1225 and 1227 refer to Nicholas de Stuteville and pastures at Hoton (Hutton), Spaunton and Farendal.

1228 to 1229


The Sixth Crusade.




The forest of Farndale, 1229-1255 (FAR00004). More reference to the Royal Forest of Farndale. Entries in the Close Roll for 1229, 1253 and 1255 refer to the forest of Farndale as an antique forest and the rights of Hugh de Bigod are defined in it. In 1229 Henry III decreed, ‘the whole of the forest of Galtres and the forest between the Ouse and the Derwent, and the forest of Farndale, are ancient forests.’ But the forest was not much used. There is a possibility that Edward II once visited but no other monarch seems to have ventured there.


From about 1230


Assarting was clearly proceeding apace in the middle decades of the 13th century, since Lady Joan de Stuteville successfully prosecuted the Abbot of Saint Mary's, York, for exceeding her rights of taking wood in Farndale by actually assarting 100 acres of land.

Assarting is the act of clearing forested lands for use in agriculture or other purposes. In English land law, it was illegal to assart any part of a royal forest without permission. This was the greatest trespass that could be committed in a forest, being more than a waste: while waste of the forest involves felling trees and shrubs, which can regrow, assarting involves completely uprooting all trees—the total extirpation of the forested area. The term assart was also used for a parcel of land assarted. Assart rents were those paid to the British Crown for the forest lands assarted. The etymology is from the French word essarter meaning to remove or grub out woodland. In northern England this is referred to as ridding. In the Middle Ages, the land cleared was usually common land but after assarting, the space became privately used. The process took several forms. Usually it was done by one farmer who hacked out a clearing from the woodland, leaving a hedged field. However, sometimes groups of individuals or even entire villages did the work and the results were divided into strips and shared among tenant farmers. Monastic communities, particularly the Cistercians, sometimes assarted, as well as local lords. The cleared land often leaves behind an assart hedge, which often contains a high number of woodland trees such as small leafed lime or wild service and contains trees that rarely colonise planted hedges, such as hazel. Assarting has existed since Mesolithic times and often it relieved population pressures. During the 13th century, assarting was very active, but decreased with environmental and economic challenges in the 14th century. The Black Death in the late 1340s depopulated the countryside and many formerly assarted areas returned to woodland. Assarting was described by landscape historian Richard Muir as typically being "like bites from an apple" as it was usually done on a small scale but large areas were sometimes cleared. Occasionally, people specialized in assarting and acquired the surname or family name of 'Sart'. Field names in Britain sometimes retain their origin in assarting or colonisation by their names such as: 'Stocks'; 'Stubbings'; 'Stubs'; 'Assart'; 'Sart'; 'Ridding'; 'Royd'; 'Brake'; 'Breach'; or 'Hay'.

Nicholas de Farndale, born in about 1230 (FAR00006). The Farndale 1 Line. The first personal name linked to Farndale. Nicholas de Farndale paid taxes to the Eyre Court in 1280.



Nicolas de Stuteville’s son Nicholas in 1232 quitclaimed common of pasture of Farndale to the Abbot of St Mary’s, York.



Nicholas de Stuteville the Younger died, leaving two daughters and co-heirs, Joan wife of Hugh Wake and Margaret, whose marriage had been granted to William de Mastac.

Passage of cattle rights, 1233 (FAR00007). ‘The Abbot grants that if the cattle of Nicholas or of his heirs or of his men at Kikby, Fademor, Gillingmor or Farndale, hereafter enter upon the common of the said wood and pasture of Houton, Spaunton and Farendale, they shall have free way in and out without ward set; provided they do not tarry in the said pasture.’ 17th year of the Reign of Henry III.



The Commons Act allowed manorial lords to enclose common land for their own use.



The earliest Inquisitions Post Mortem (“IPM”) (escheats) recorded information regarding property, family descents and allienaces, especially between 1270 and 1350.




Hugh died in or about 1241, and Joan obtained the custody of his heirs until their full age. She married, as her second husband, Hugh le Bigod, but as a widow was known as Joan de Stutville.



Gunpowder introduced into Europe.




First map of the British Isles by Matthew Paris.



The Rotuli Hundredorum (“the Hundred Rolls”) recorded the rights of the Crown over land and property.


Margaret was dead, and Joan now had her lands.

Alan son of Nicholas Farndale, born in about 1255 (FAR00011). The Farndale 1 Line. The son of Nicholas Farndale, who we know about because he paid taxes.



Normandy surrendered to France.




The Battle of Lewes and the rise of Simon de Montfort as the uncrowned King of England.


Civil War


Simon de Montfort was killed in 1265 at the Battle of Evesham.





De Willelmo de Farndale, 1265 (FAR00013). A Farndale name living in Danby.

1267 to 1272


The Eighth Crusade.




Marco Polo arrived in China.


1271 to 1272


The Ninth Crusade.




Before Margaret’s death she had enfeoffed in the manor of Kirkby Moorside her son Baldwin Wake. Baldwin took homage of the King as her heir in 1276.

Edward I (Longshanks), 1272-1307

The Fine Rolls recorded payments to the Crown for grants and privileges.




Only a few years later, the Inquisition Post Mortem taken after Joan’s death in 1276, reveals settlement on a grand scale. In Farndale, bond tenants holding by acres and paying a standard rent of 1-0d for each acre produced £27-5-0d, presumably for 545 acres. In East Bransdale, bondmen held another 141 acres paying a standard rent of 6d per acre, but they are said to hold ‘by cultures’. The significance of these terms is explained in the IPM of Joan’s Son, Baldwin Wake, taken only six years later, where the bondmen are said to hold their land ‘not by the bovate of land, but by more or less’. Thus standard bovate holdings, usually in the lowlands and in some of the older settled moorland villas, have been dispensed with in favour of holdings of varied size rented by the acre.

Rent in Farndale, 1276 (FAR00017). References to payment of rent in Farndale. ‘Tenants in bondage, holding by acres, who pay £27 5s, that is 12d per acre. Seven cottars in Farndale, pay 15s 8d. tenants in Duthenwayt in a certain plot in the moor, holding by plots 32s per year.




The Statute of Mortmain prevented land being given to the Church without royal licence.




Farndale poachers, 1280 (FAR00019). From sureties of persons indicted for poaching and for not producing persons so indicted on the first day of the Eyre Court in accordance with the suretieship due to Richard Drye. There follows a long list of names including,…..1s 8d from Roger son of Gilbert of Farndale, bail from Nicholas de Farndale, 2s from William the smith of Farndale 3s 4d from John the shepherd of Farndale, and 3s 4d from Alan the son of Nicholas de Farndale.


Nicholas de Farndale, (FAR00006). The Farndale 1 Line paid taxes to the Eyre Court in 1280.


William the smith of Farndale, born in about 1240 (FAR00009) paid taxes to the Eyre Court in 1280.

John the Shepherd of Farndale, born in about 1250 (FAR00010)  paid taxes to the Eyre Court in 1280.



Baldwin Wake died in 1282 and was succeeded by his son and heir John, who was summoned to Parliament as Lord Wake by Edward I.

The 1282 extent of cultivated land in Farndale shows a considerable increase over that of 1276, but this probably means nothing more than that a new and up-to-date survey was used as the basis for the later document. The Farndale rents now amounted £ 38-8-8d together with a nut-rent and a few boon works and if the rate of 1s 0d per acre still applied, this would give a total acreage held in bondage of no less than 768 acres. In Bransdale rents were up to £4-14-3d which would give us about 188 acres at the old rent of 6d per acre. For the first time the number of bondmen are given - 25 in East Bransdale and 90 in Farndale.

The sheer scale is impressive enough, but there are features which point to a planned campaign of settlement. It is difficult to imagine how men of villain status, compelled to pay rents of 1s 0d per acre for minute holdings of marginal land, could also have managed to undertake their own assarting. It seems more likely that the land had been reclaimed in advance of letting, as at Goathland, by the Lord’s agents, while the standard rents suggest a single campaign on a large scale rather than piece meal assaulting. A number of key questions cannot be answered from the sources we have used so far. Was settlement of the two Dales completed by 1282? Where were the new farms located and how were they laid out?

Serfs of Farndale, 24 March 1282 (FAR00020). In a certain dale called Farndale there are fourscore and ten natives, not tenants by bovate of land.




The Statute of Westminster formalised the system of entail (primogeniture). An entail was a legal device to ensure that property would be handed down in a way that suited the ancestor, normally to a male heir, thus keeping the family estate intact.


The Statute of Winchester led to Parish Constables organised to question strangers and patrol towns to maintain the peace.





Piepowder Courts set up to try offenders at fairs and markets.


The Taxatio Ecclesiastica listed 8,500 churches and chapels across the country.





Lay Subsidy Rolls began to record taxes imposed on the laity (commoners).




Peter de Farndale, born in about 1238 (FAR00008). The Farndale 2 Line. Peter de Farndale, whose son Robert (FAR00012) was fined at Pickering Castle in 1293.

Robert son of Peter de Farndale, born in about 1263 (FAR00012). The Farndale 2 Line was outlawed for hunting.

Roger milne (miller) of Farndale (FAR000013A), son of Peter (FAR00008) below together with Walter Blackhous and Ralph Helved, all of Spaunton on Monday in January 1293, killed a soar and slew a hart with bows and arrows at some unknown place in the forest. All outlawed on 5th April 1293. (Say Roger 28 at the time then he was born about 1265).



The first legally elected legislature, the Model Parliament.



John enfeoffed the king of his lands in 1298, and they were regranted to him and his wife Joan in fee simple in the same year.

Joan outlived her husband, and was ‘lady of Liddell’ during the minority of her son Thomas.

The custody of this boy was granted to Henry de Percy, who transferred it to the Society of the Ballardi of Lucca. This was not ratified by the King, but later ‘not recollecting the confirmation of the grant’, he “caused the manor, then in the hands of the merchants, to be taken into his hands, and he delivered it with fees &c, who since he has held the said manor has received £340 out of the issues thereof, for which Henry de Percy has made supplication to the King to caused satisfaction to be made to the merchants for his exoneration.”



Population reaches about 5 million.


Social mobility increased in England with a growth of a mercantile, middle class.




The lay subsidy assessments of 1301 afforded a brief glimpse of the settlement pattern, listing numerous contributors bearing the names of the farms which is still to be found at Farndale such as ‘Wakelevedy’ (Wake Lady Green), ‘Westgille’ (West Gill), Monkegate (Monket House) and ‘Elleshaye (Eller House) and which are scattered all around the dale. Further confirmation of this pattern is provided by surveys of 1570 and 1610, both of which give the names of many more extent farms and allow us to identify others from field names.

The total acreage in the two dales amounted to just over 1300 acres compared to 950 acres in 1282 and the rents amounted £62 compared with £45 in 1282.

Farndale subsidies to the King, 1301 (FAR00029). Thirty five people in Farndale paid a subsidy mainly for the upkeep of the Great Forest of Chartres.


De Johanne de Farndale, born in about 1275 (FAR00014). De Johanne de Farndale who had now moved yet further afield to Egton.


Edward II, 1307-1327 (deposed)


Simon de Farndale, born in about 1282 (FAR00021). The Farndale 4 Line. Simon the miller of Farndale. Simon the miller paid more rent than anyone in Farndale in 1309. Simon de Farndale’s son Robert was fined at Pickering Castle in 1332.


William Stibbing of Farndale's oxen, 1310 (FAR00033). ‘In 1310, 20 oxen the property of Nicholas the parker, worth 8s, 6 oxen and 3 stirks of William in the horn worth £1 9s, a cow and a stirk of Hugh Laverock 4s 8d and 6 oxen of William Stibbing de Farndale…….’




The Great Famine following bad weather and poor harvests. Widespread unrest and crime and infanticide.



Nomina Villarum recorded names and lordship in every town under royal jurisdiction.


Richard de Farndale, born in about 1275 (FAR00016). Richard de Farndale had a gift of land at Marton (now part of Middlesborough) but was excommunicated for stealing in 1316.

Thomas and Richard of Farndale, born in about 1291 (FAR00023). Thomas and Richard were excommunicated at Pickering Castle for stealing on 12 August 1316.



Adam de Farndale, born in about 1295 (FAR00025). The Farndale 4 Line. An appeal by Agnes, late wife of John de Maunby against Adam de Farndale for the death of her husband on 21 Sep 1320.



Robert of Farndale, born in about 1292 (FAR00024). The Farndale 2 Line. Robert was fined at Pickering Castle for poaching in 1322.



John de Farndale, born in about 1298 (FAR00026). John de Farndale, released from excommunication at Pickering Castle on 9 Apr 1324.


Edward III, 1327-1377


Walter de Farndale, born in about 1275 (FAR00015) Walter de Farndale was a vicar and we have several records about him. This might have been the same Walter de Farndale, whose death by Hugh de Faulkes of Lebreston was pardoned but on condition that Hugh de Faulkes joined an expedition against the Scots.


Simon de Farndale, born in about 1282 (FAR00021). The Farndale 4 Line. Simon the miller of Farndale. Simon the miller paid more rent than anyone in Farndale in 1309. Simon de Farndale’s son Robert was fined at Pickering Castle in 1332.

Robert of Farndale, born in about 1307 (FAR00031). The Farndale 4 Line. Outlawed with others for hunting a hart in the forest in 1332.



Nicholas de Farndale, born in about 1284 (FAR00022). The Farndale 3 Line. Nicholas of Farndale, gave bail for Roger son of Gilbert of Farndale who had been caught poaching in 1334 and 1335.


Roger de Farndale, born in about 1300 (FAR00028). The Farndale 3 Line. Bailed for poaching in 1334 and 1335.


Sir William Farndale, vicar of Doncaster, born in about 1335 (FAR00038)(the Doncaster-Kirkleatham-Skelton Line).



William, smith of Farndale, born in abut 1310 (FAR00037). William, smith of Farndale, on Monday 2 Dec 1336, came hunting in Lefebow with bow and arrows and gazehounds………’


1337 to 1453


The Hundred Years War against France




Nonarum Inquisitiones recorded a valuation for taxation purposes.




Gilbert de Farndale, born in about 1279 (FAR00018). The Farndale 3 Line. Bailed by Nicholas Farndale (FAR00022) for poaching in 1344 and 1345.



The long wars with the Scots, involving the people of Yorkshire, ended with an invasion by David II of Scotland in 1346, encouraged by the French. He reached York, but failed to take the city.


Archbishop de la Zouche rallied Yorkshiremen to resist the invasion and a crushing defeat was inflicted at Neville's Cross. David was imprisoned.


Founding of a House of Friars, Farndale, 30 July 1345 (FAR00039). ‘At Reading. Licence for the alienation in frank almoin by Thomas Wake of Lyde to the friers of the Holy Order of the Holy Cross of a toft and 10 acres of land in the moor of Blakenhowe in Farndale, for them to found a house of the Order there and to build an Oratory and dwelling houses.’




The Battle of Crecy.


1347 to 1350


The Black Death hit Yorkshire in March 1349. All classes, from nobility and clergy to peasants were decimated.


In rural areas, the heavier rate of mortality was in the more densely populated East Riding.


As the plague subsided, there was widespread movement of labourers and their families as workers sought more for their labour.




William Smyth of Farndale, 17 January 1348 (FAR00040) commission of oyer and terminer to a long list of names including William Smyth of Farndale the younger and Richard Ruttok of Farendale for breaking in to the park at Egton, hunting and carrying away the property of the owner with deer, and for assaulting the owner’s men and servants causing their inability to work for a long time, for which they were fined 1 mark.



Thomas Wake remanded in possession of the relevant lands including Kirkbymoorside until he died in 1349.

His heir was his sister Margaret, wife of Edmund Earl of Kent, whose son John succeeded her.

Walter de Farndale, warden of the free chapel of Chelmsford, London (FAR00041A).


The Black Death

By 1349, merchant ships transported rats carrying the black death to Britain. The black death soon swept through the villages in the south and then the north of Britain.  Soon it swept through most villages in Britain.



The Fair at Farndale, 1350 (FAR00041).        




The Statute of Labourers (The Ordnance of Labourers) prevented workers from moving in search of work. Tows were ordered to erect stocks for unruly citizens.


The earliest surviving churchwarden accounts including for Ripon and Hedon in Yorkshire.



John died three years later, however without issue, and his sister Joan, ‘the fair maid of Kent’, was his heir. Her first husband was Thomas Holand, created Earl of Kent in 1360, by whom he had a son and heir Thomas Holand.


Farndale folk, 1353 (FAR00042). The manor with its members in Farndale.



John Colynman of Farndale, 1354 (FAR00043). ‘At Westminster. Commission of Oyer and Terminer to 20 May, John Colynman of Farnedale……….’



Sir William Farndale, vicar of Doncaster, born in about 1335 (FAR00038)(the Doncaster-Kirkleatham-Skelton Line) was chaplain at Doncaster.



Richard Farendale, born perhaps in about 1357 (but to reconcile with date of his will) (FAR00044). The Sheriff Hutton 1 Line.



William Farndale, born in about 1310 (FAR00034). The first recorded use of Farndale as a surname without the ‘of’ or ‘de’. On 15 Oct 1358, a pardon was given by the Sergeant at Arms to William Attwode for having enfeoffed John de Banaby and William Farndale, chaplains of the Manor of Derleye, held in chief, and then re-entered into the Manor, which they quit-claimed to him without the King’s licence and grant that he shall retain the same fee.’



Helen Farndale, born in about 1359 in Sheriff Hutton (FAR00045). The Sheriff Hutton 1 Line.




The Gough Map, the oldest surviving road map of Great Britain.




Agnes Farndale, born in about 1361 in Sheriff Hutton (FAR00046). The Sheriff Hutton 1 Line.


Transfer of the lands of Kirkbymoorside (including lands in Farndale, Gillyngmore, Brauncedale and Fademore) from Thomas de Holand earl of Kent to his widow Joan. (FAR00046A)



Johannis de Farndale, born in about 1303 (FAR00030). The York 1 Line. A saddler, made Freeman of York in 1363.



Later Joan married Edward the Black Prince, with whom in 1365 she settled this manor on Thomas and Alice his wife and their heirs, with reversion to the prince and herself.


Farndale folk, 10 February 1366 (FAR00047). Reference to folk of Farndale. ‘At Westminster. Commission of Oyer and Terminer…William Blakhose of Farndale….John Cokrell the younger of Farndale….’



Sir William Farndale, vicar of Doncaster, born in about 1335 (FAR00038)(the Doncaster-Kirkleatham-Skelton Line) had land transferred to him at Lovershall, Doncaster. 



Johannis de Farendale, born in about 1330 (FAR00035). The York 1 Line. Johannis was made a Freeman of York in 1367.




Famine in England.



The emergence of peasant farmers (yeoman class) with up to 100 acres.


William Farndale of Caleys, 7 May 1370 (FAR00047A). Pardon to William Farndale of Caleys of the King's suit for the death of John de Spaldyngton, whereof he is indicted or appealed, and of any consequent outlawry.



Farndale folk, 20 November 1372 (FAR00048). Reference to folk of Farndale caught hunting. ‘At Westminster. Commission of Oyer and Terminer. John porter of Farndale ….Hugh Bailey of Farndale. Adam Bailley of Farndale…..caught hunting.’




William Langdale’s poem, Piers Plowman provides significant description of medieval farming practices.


Earliest records from the Court of Common Pleas.


Richard II (1377-1399) (deposed)

1377, 1379, 1381


A Poll Tax levied on almost every individual except paupers.




The Peasants Revolt prompted by the Poll Tax in towns and country.



Margorie Farndale, born in about 1383 (FAR00049). The Sheriff Hutton 1 Line.


1384 to 1390 (with an entry for 1445)

John Farndale, born in about 1354 (FAR00042A). John was a party to a major livestock haul. ‘John Farndale and others broke their close, houses and hedges at Wittonstalle and Fayrhils, Co Northumberland and seized 30 horses, 20 mares, 100 oxen and 100 cowes valued at £200 and carried them off with goods and chattels, assaulted his men, servants and tenants and so threatened them that they left his service.’ and other events.



Agnes Farndale, born in about 1385 (FAR00050). The Sheriff Hutton 1 Line.


John Farndale, born in about 1385 (FAR00051A).



Geoffrey Chaucer’s     Canterbury Tales.


Alice Farndale, born in about 1387 (FAR00051). The Sheriff Hutton 1 Line.




Licence on 19 November 1388 for the inhabitants of Farndale to have masses celebrated in the chapel of Farndale (FAR00041).




Pardon to Robert de Wodde of Farndale, 19 April 1396 (FAR00053). Pardon for the death of John Hawlare of Kirby Moorseved.



In 1397 Thomas Earl of Kent died and Alice was left in possession for life. Of her sons, Thomas the Elder was beheaded  as a traitor in 1399 and his brother Edmund died before his mother in 1408, when the earldom of Kent fell into abeyance.

William Farnedale of Shyrefhoton, born in about 1332 (FAR00036). The Sheriff Hutton 1 Line. William Farnedale of Shyrefhoton’s Will was proved on 13 Mar 1397/8.


1397 – 1403

Sir William Farndale, vicar of Doncaster, born in about 1335 (FAR00038)(the Doncaster-Kirkleatham-Skelton Line) was Vicar at Doncaster Cathedral.



Pardon to Robert de Wodde of Farndale, 19 April 1396 (FAR00053). Pardon for the death of John Hawlare of Kirby Moorseved.


House of Lancaster

Henry IV, 1399-1413



Population about 3 million.



Johannes (John) Fernedill, born in about 1378 (FAR00048A). The York 1 Line. Butcher and freeman of York. Johannes Fernedill, boucher, made Freeman of York.



Henry V, 1413-1422



The Battle of Agincourt.


Henry VI, 1422-1461 (deposed)


Reference to Tydkinhowe, 28 May 1422 (FAR00055). The Tidkinhow Line were a line of Farndales who farmed at Tidkinhow farm from the mid nineteenth century.



William Farndayll, born in about 1388 (FAR00052). Possibly the Sheriff Hutton 1 Line. In 1428 William Farndayll of Huton held at Gowthorpe in the East Riding, three bovates of land, part of the Archbishopric of York.




The right to vote to men over 21 or owning freehold land.




Johannes Gutenberg’s printing press.



William Farndale (FAR00056A). William’s wife was wrongfully deprived of her inherited lands. “To The Archbishop of Canterbury and Chancellor of England. Rose Farndale, plaintiff, late wife of William Farndale that John Reignold of Dodynghurst, Co Essex, husbandman, sold to said William for a sum agreed and paid, a tenement set in Dodynghurst aforesaid, called Whitefeldes ‘tenement’ with a garden and two fields, one called Hornefeld and the other Barnefeld and the said john Reignold promised to make ‘sufficient estate thereof’ to said William or to whom he would advise; before any estate made thereof the same William made his will by which he willed that the plaintiff should have the said tenement and land to her and her heirs for ever. Since his death the plaintiff has required said John Reignold to make estate of the premises to her and to her heirs and he has refused and has entered into the said lands and occupies them contrary to all reason and conscience.” Doddinghurst is a Parish in SW Essex near Brentford.




A map of Goole Moor (Inclesmoor) and Thorne Moor in south Yorkshire relating to a land dispute.





The Fall of Constantinople.


The loss of all French lands except Calais.



1455 to 1485


The War of the Roses.





Many thousands died during the Battle of Towton in Yorkshire.


House of York, 1461-1485

Edward IV, 1461-1483


Edward V, 1483-1483


Richard III, 1483-1485

The End of the Wars of the Roses



The founding of the College of Arms.




The Battle of Bosworth.


The Tudors, 1485-1603

Henry VII, 1485-1509



Christopher Columbus reached America.


The Fall of Granada and the Moors were expelled from Spain.




The Vagabonds and Beggars Act allowed the punishment of the poor.


The licensing of alehouses began.





Vasco da Gama rounded the Cape and sailed to India.




Robert Farndale, born in about 1460 (FAR00056). The Sussex Line. Rector of South Stoke, Sussex. Robert Farndale, presented to the college of Holy Trinity in 1508, resigning in 1509.


Henry VIII, 1509-1547


An estimated date for the birth of Nicholas Farndale, possibly in or near Campsall, north of Doncaster.



The Battle of Flodden Field





Conversion of land from arable to pasture became an offence.


Cardinal Wolsey, Archbishop of York and Lord Chancellor, 1515-1530



An estimated date for the birth of Agnes (later Farndale), possibly in or near Campsall, north of Doncaster.





Ferdinand Magellan began his circumnavigation of the world.





The Great Subsidy on all individuals over 16 years old. A long list of taxpayers were included in the returns.



Thomas fyndaille, born in about 1484 (FAR00057). Thomas fyndaille of Lythe, mentioned in a Lay Subsidy of Henry VIII.




A detailed survey of church wealth





The Dissolution of the monasteries 1536 to 1539


The Pilgrimage of Grace in Lincolnshire and East Riding of Yorkshire in opposition to the dissolution of the monasteries (rebels were executed).


A poor law act allowed vagrants to be whipped.



The foundation of the Honourable Artillery Company, the oldest regiment in the British Army.


A possible date for the marriage of Nicholas and Agnes Farndale, perhaps in or near Campsall.



William Farndale (FAR00063), may have been born in around 1539 in or around Doncaster.


John Leland’s journey through England and Wales published in the 5 volume The Itinerary.



Jean Farndale (FAR00064), may have been born in around 1540 in or around Doncaster.


The Statute of Wills permitted freehold land to be bequeathed.




The Mary Rose sank.



Edward VI, 1547-1553

The Vagabonds Act allowed the branding and enslavement of beggars deemed capable of work.




The Book of Common Prayer introduced a new liturgy.




Kett’s rebellion in Norfolk against enclosure of land.




The Alehouse Act to combat drunkenness.




The Poor Act banned begging and authorised a Collector of Alms in each parish to keep a register of licensed poor.




Lady Jane Grey 1553 (9 days)


Mary I (Bloody Mary), 1553-1558

280 Protestants burned at the stake.


Wyatt’s Rebellion against the marriage of Queen Mary to Philip of Spain.


Elizabeth I, 1558-1603

The practical start date for parish records.



The Act of Uniformity laid the basis for the Protestant Church in England.



William Farndale married Margaret Atkinson at St Mary Magdalene Church in Campsall on 29 October 1564.

1564 to 1567

The possible emigration of Nicholas and Agnes Farndale, with their family William and Margaret Farndale, and Jean Farndale, to Kirkleatham and Skelton in Cleveland, moving the heart of the Farndale family from south of the North York Moors to Cleveland and norther of the North York Moors for the following generations.


Jean Farndaile married Richard Fairley at Kirkleatham on 16 October 1567.


The growth of Presbyterianism.

The estimated year of birth of George Farndale, probably the son of William and Margaret Farndale.


6 August 1572 is the known date of the burial of Nicholas Farndale in Kirkleatham.


Christopher Saxton’s country maps of England and Wales.




Recusancy (not attending Anglican services, especially by Catholics) became a criminal offence.




Newfoundland claimed as a colony of England.




23 January 1586 is the known date of the burial of Agnes Farndale in Kirkleatham.

William Camden’s Britannia was the first topographical survey of England.



The Spanish Armada, 1588.



George Farndale had moved to Moorsholm.



George Farndale married Margery Nelson.


The Nine Years War began in Ireland against England.



The East India Company began to trade in the Far East.


Population reached 4.8 million.