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History of Northumberland 


The Parish of Tynemouth 

By H. H. E. CRASTER, M.A., 








The importance of the locality included in the present volume of the 
new History of Northumberland has demanded prolonged investigations 
on the part of the Committee and editor ; hence the length of time 
occupied in its production will be found to be more than compensated 
by the value of the results achieved. Since the publication of the former 
volume, the Committee have lost one of their most valued members by 
the death of Mr. C. B. P. Bosanquet, who was one of the founders and 
an original member of the Committee, and a regular and useful attendant 
at their meetings. 

As originally planned the present volume was to comprise the 
history of the mother parish of Tynemouth, and that of the ancient 
parochial chapelry of Earsdon. Requirements of space have obliged the 
Committee to keep back the latter section ; but it is alreadv written and 
largely in print, and will form a portion of Volume IX. of the series. 

The history of the Benedictine priory of Tynemouth, forming as it 
did the central point of interest in the district, was dealt with, many years 
ago, by the late Mr. Sidney Gibson, in a work in which thoroughness 
and partiality vie with each other. But Mr. Gibson had not direct access 
to the unpublished Tynemouth Cliartular\\ a document chiefly valuable 
as a custumal, of which the Duke of Northumberland has permitted the 
editor to make the fullest use. The real Chartulary of the convent, a 
large folio manuscript, known as the Great Book of Tynemouth, is lost 
and cannot be traced later than the seventeenth century, when it was in 
the possession of Sir Orlando Bridgeman, whose descendant and repre- 
sentative, the Earl of Bradford, at the Committee's request, caused an 

unsuccessful search to be made for it among his muniments. 




The editor has made very full use of the SL Alhaii's Register 
(Cott. MS. Tib. E. vi.), a manuscript commonly reputed to have been 
destroyed by fire ; of a collection of letters, written by monks, temp. 
Henry III., relating to the priory (Digby MSS. 20) ; and of a most 
interesting description of Tynemouth, written circa 1 200, preserved in the 
Cambridge University Library. This document has been carefully revised 
and annotated by Mr. Francis Jenkinson, University Librarian. 

In order to provide a plan of the conventual buildings worthy of the 
architectural and historical description of the priory, permission to excavate 
was sought at the War Office ; it was granted by the Council for Defence 
and sanctioned by H.M. Board of Works. The excavations, made in the 
winter of 1904-1905, under the superintendence of Mr. W. H. Knowles, 
F.S.A., with labour freely supplied by the Corporation of Tynemouth, 
revealed a plan, almost unique, of the Norman conventual church. It has 
been described, with the architectural features of the monastic buildings, 
by Mr. Knowles. In this connection the Committee have pleasure in 
acknowledging the courtesy of Major Bryant, R.A., officer commanding 
the troops at Tynemouth castle. The plans, photographs, and drawings of 
the priory and castle were made, and are reproduced, with the permission 
of the officer commanding the northern district. 

The position and history of the priory have tended to throw into 
obscurity the story of the growth of the important town of North Shields, 
and to distract attention from the character of the customary and copyhold 
tenures of Tynemouthshire. From the rich store of documents belonging 
to the Duke of Northumberland, of which the editor has been allowed to 
make a thorough examination, this deficiency has been supplemented, and the 
nature of customary holdings in the county has been dealt with generally. 
His Grace being the only great landowner in the district, it has not been 
found necessary to apply to the other proprietors for an inspection of 


muniments. The steward of the manor of Tyneniouth, Mr. W. H. Ryott, 
has not only given full access to the court rolls in his custody, but has 
spent much labour in tracing the descent of various copyhold estates within 
the manor. 

The Committee are again indebted to Professor Garwood for an 
account of the geology of the district. Mr. T. E. Forster has written the 
article upon the coal trade, and Professor A. Meek of Armstrong College, 
Newcastle-upon-Tyne, that on the sea fisheries of Northumberland. 

The pre-Conquest stones at Tynemouth have been described by the 
Rev. William Greenwell, and the elaborately ornamented shield found at 
the mouth of the Tyne, by Mr. F. J. Haverfield ; the latter has 
also revised the other references to Roman antiquities found in the 
district. Mr. J. C. Hodgson, F.S.A., has prepared the pedigrees, and Mr. 
Maberly Phillips, F.S.A., has written the account of the non-established 

By the death of Mr. Charles James Spence the Committee have lost 
an active and sympathetic friend to their undertaking. In the planning 
out of the present volume he not only gave wise counsel to the editor, 
but placed his drawings, manuscripts, and rare printed books at his service. 
Some of his own beautiful drawings and etchings have been reproduced, 
and his family, in accordance with what they thought would have been 
his wish, have given a handsome contribution towards the cost of illus- 
trating the volume. 

To Mr. H. A. Adamson the editor is under deep obligation for the 
generous way in which he has placed at his disposal his wide and e.xtensive 
knowledge of the local antiquities of Tynemouth and North Shields, and 
for the ample use allowed to be made of his legal and historical col- 
lections. The Committee have also to thank him, as well as Mr. W. S. 
Daglish and Mr. Wilfred Hall, for donations for e.xtra illustrations. 

viii PREFACE. 

Thanks are also due to Mr. S. S. Carr, Mr. W. W. Tomlinson, and 
others, for help willingly given, and to Mr. W. H. Charlton and Mr. Henry 
Clarke for the loan of drawings. The index has been mainly compiled 
by Miss B. M. Craster. 

The Dean and Chapter of Durham have permitted the unrestricted 
use of charters in the Treasury. The Rev. T. E. Crawhall, vicar of 
Tynemouth, Mr. Stephen Sanderson, Clerk of the Peace for Northumber- 
land, Mr. J. B. Lazenby, Registrar of the Consistory Court at Durham, 
and the Master and Brethren of the Trinity House of Newcastle, have 
given free access to documents in their custody. 

Information regarding historical papers in their libraries has been 
given by Mr. L. Sackville - West, Mr. R. T. Gunton, librarian to the 
Marquis of Salisbury, and Mr. H. A. Wilson, librarian of Magdalen 
College, Oxford. Amongst others who have helped by advice or have re- 
vised the proofs of certain portions of the work are Professor C. M. Firth, 
Regius Professor of Modern History, Oxford ; Professor VinogradofF, 
Corpus Professor of Jurisprudence, Oxford ; Dr. James, Principal of 
King's College, Cambridge ; Professor Wright, Professor of Comparative 
Philology, Oxford ; Professor Lebour, Professor of Geology, Armstrong 
College, Newcastle-upon-Tyne; Mr. H. C. Davis of Balliol College, 
Oxford ; Mr. Horace Round ; the Rev. Canon Savage, vicar of Halifax ; 
and Mr. W. H. Stevenson of St. John's College, Oxford. 


Preface ... 

List of Illustrations 

List of Committee 

Addenda et Corrigenda 

Description OF the District 
Collieries and the Coal Trade 






Tynemouth Priory ... 

The Parish Church 
Description of Tynemouth Priory and Castle 
Tynemouth Castle 

The Lighthouse 
Tynemouth Borough 

Tynemouth Township 

Clifford's Fort and the Lighthouses 

Cullercoats Township 

North Shields Township 

Chirton Township ... 

Preston Township 

Municipal History of the Borough 

Christ Church ... 

The Non-Established Churches 

The Sea Fisheries 
Whitley Township 
Monkseaton Township 
Murton Township 

Shire Moor 


2 So 


Appendix I. 
Appendix II. 




The Moulh of the Tyne 

Map ... 

Plate I. Fig. I — The Ninety-fathom Dyke at Cullercoats 

„ Fig. 2 — Table Rocks, Whitley 

Plate II. — View of Boulder-clay 

Plate III.— Map to illustrate the History of Coal Mining in Tyncniouthshire 
Roman Stones from Tynemouth 

Plate IV. — Charter of Edgar, son of Gospatric {Diir. Trcas. 3''" 2'''" -Spec. No, 
Tynemouth Priory, Effigy in the Choir 

„ „ Choir of the Priory Church 

.Seal and Counterseal of .Simon, Abbot of St. .-Mban's {Diii: Tnns. 2''" 2''"'' Spec 

No. 4) 

Plate V. — Tynemouth Priory Church, Presbytery 

Tynemouth Priory, Effigy in the Nave 

Plate VI. — Brass of Thomas de la Mare, Abbot of St. Alban's 

Tynemouth Priory, Spandril 

„ „ Newel Stair in Gate-house 

„ „ Bosses over the Doorway of the Percy Chapel 

„ ,, Doorways in the (kite-house ... 

Plate VII.— Tynemouth Priory Seals 
Tynemouth Priory, the Church from the South-west 
The Monk's Stone, near Tynemouth 
Pre-Conciuest Crosses from Tynemouth ... 

Tynemouth Priory, Conjectural Plan of the Norman Church ... 
Plate VIII.— Tynemouth Priory, Ground Plan of Church ... 
Plate IX. — „ „ the Choir (from a painting in the possession of 

Mr. H. A. Adamson) 
Plate X. — „ „ Ceiling of the Percy Chapel ... 

Plate XL— „ „ i'lan of Site 

Plate XII.— „ „ Elizabethan Plan (Colt. MSS. Aug. I. ii. 6) 

Plate XIII.— „ „ Plan of Gate-house 

Plate XIV. — „ „ in the Eighteenth Century (from a painting in 

the possession of Mr. Robert Spence) 
Plate XV.— Chart of the Tyne, temp. Henry VIII. {Cott. MSS. Aug. I. ii. 5) 
Tynemouth Castle, the Spanish Battery ... 

11 „ Fireplace in the Gate-house 

North Shields, Clifford's Fort, circa 1680 {King's Library, xx.\iii. 23, g.) 

I) Corner Turret in Clifford's Fort 

n the Old Low Light 



36, 37 


■ 64, 65 





1 10 



'32. 133 

'34, 135 







Plate XVI. — Boss of Roman Shield found in the Tyne 
CuUercoats, Sparrow Hall 

„ Harbour 

North Shields, Old Quays 

„ Wooden Dolly Quay 

„ River Side near the Low Lights 

,, Low and High Lights 

Billy Mill, near Chirton 
Coble Dene 
North Shields Harbour 

„ Wellesley Training Ship 

„ Fish Quay 

Fireplace in the Ship Inn, Monkseaton 
Plate XVII.— Map of Shire Moor 










Issued under the Direction ok the Northumberland Countv History Committee. 


The Duke of Northumberland, K.G. 

The Earl of Tankerville. 

Lord Armstrong. 

Sir John Evans, K.C.B., F.S.A. 

Edward 15.\teson, Esq., B.A. 

Robert Blair, Esq., F.S.A. 

William Brown, Esq., F.S.A. 

F. W. Dendv, Esq. 

The Rev. William Greenwell, D.C.L., F.R.S., F.S.A. 

Richard Oliver Heslop, Esq., M.A., F.S.A. 

Thomas Hodgkin, Esq., D.C.L., F.S.A. 

John Crawford Hodgson, Esq., M.A., F.S.A. 

John George Hodgson, Esq. 

W. H. Knowles, Esq., F.S.A. 

Richard Welford, Esq., M.A. 

E. G., Esq. 

Humphrey John Willyams, Esq. 


Page 35, line l6. Benebalcrag. This identification is probably based on Bede's description of the 
northern wall : Incipit autem duorum ferme milium spatio a monasterio Aebbercurnig ad 
occidentem in loco, qui sermone Pictorum Pcau/nhfl, lingua autem Anglorum Penneltun 
appellatur ; ct tendens contra occidentem terminatur juxta urbem Alcluith. Historiii 
Ecchsiastica, ed. Plummer, vol. i. p. 26. A similar attempt to suit Bede's description to the 
southern wall led Higden to place Alcluith in the neighbourhood of Carlisle. Polychronkon, 
Rolls Series, vol. ii. p. 66. 

Page 49. The donors of Wolsington were William dc Merlay and Rohays his wife. Liber dc 
Benefadoribus, p. 445. 

Page 86, line 4. Prior Tewing was assisted in his task of defending Tynemouth castle by Aymar de 
Valence, warden of the Marches, and by Richard de Kellaw, bishop of Durham. Both the 
bishop and the warden received from Edward II. letters of thanks for what they had done for 
the prior, to whom they were requested to continue their aid in matters touching the northern 
parts. The letter to Valence is dated September ist, 1315 {Ancient Correspondence, P.R.O. 
vol. 49, No. 31) ; that to Kellaw is couched in very similar terms and is probably of the same 
date [Reg. Pal. Dun. Rolls Series, vol. iv. pp. 50S-509). 

Page 87, line 13. It is uncertain how long John de Haustede continued in charge of Tynemouth; but 
the castle appears to have been still under the control of a royal officer on August 6th, 1323. 
See Palgrave, Parliamentary Writs, vol. ii. div. ii. appendix, p. 233. 

Page 99, line S. An independent account of the Scottish invasion in 1389 is given by John Malverne, 
who states that the Scots, thirty thousand strong, crossed the Tweed on June 2gth, and sent a 
message to the prior of Tynemouth, bidding him ransom the monastic cells and property of his 
house. The money apparently was not forthcoming. The earl of Nottingham, warden of the 
Marches, was absent on a foray in Scotland, and, upon hearing of the Scottish inroad, took up a 
safe position at Berwick. The earl of Northumberland prudently sought the king, who made 
him president of the Council. Only Sir Matthew Redman and Sir Thomas Ogle had courage 
to follow up the Scots, of whom they killed or captured two hundred in the course of retreat. 
Polychronicon Radulphi Higden, Rolls Series, vol. ix. p. 213. Malverne also records an invasion 
in the previous year, two months before Otterburn, wherein the enemy laid waste Northumber- 
land as far as Tynemouth, and did greater havoc than had been experienced for a century. 
Ibid. p. 184. 

Page 102, line 24. Bourne, probably with greater accuracy, describes this stone as a round with the 
inscription : orate pro anim.\ KOiiERTl Rhodes ; History of NcK'castle, p. 89. Similar 
bosses are to be seen in the groining of St. John's church, Newcastle, and in the church of 
Corbridge, the latter having been removed from the vaulted stage of the belfry of old All Saints' 
church, Newcastle. For an accout of Robert Rhodes see Longstafte in Life 0/ Ambrose Barnes, 
Surt. Soc. No. 50, pp. 94-97. In his WTit of diem claiisit extremum, he is styled Robert Rhodes 
of Benwell (35//; Deputy Keeper's Report, p. 125), and he may be safely assumed to have 
bestowed that manor upon Tynemouth priory ; but his relation to the religious house was that 
of benefactor only, and his name should therefore be deleted from the list of priors on page 123. 

Page 106, line 31, /o)' ' Prior Stonywell' read ' Prior Bensted.' 


Paye iiS, line 30. For a description of 'King Oswin's psalter' see the 35</i Deputy Keeper's Report, 
pp. 164-165, and National Manuscripts of Ireland (text), p. 39. Two pages are reproduced 
in coloured facsimile in Facsimiles of National MSS. Ireland, pt. ii. plate 48. Another volume 
probably emanating from Tynemouth but unnoticed in the text is in the Bodleian Library 
{Gough Liturgies, No. 18). This is a small psalter, with delicate illuminations in red, blue and 
gold, a few large capitals, and grotesque animals at the foot of some of the pages. Prefixed to 
it are illuminated pages representing Christ and the Holy Lamb, the Crucifixion, the Divine 
Person seated between the four evangelists represented as four beasts, and a Benedictine monk 
adoring the Mother and Child. 

Page 119, line iS. This is probably the copy of the Historia Ecclesiastica mentioned by John Boston of 
Bury as being in the Tynemouth conventual library. It is significant that Boston only 
mentions one other volume in the library, namely, the Historia Aurea of John of Tynemouth, 
a fact which removes the doubt expressed on page 126 as to John of Tynemouth's identity. 
This copy of the Historia Aurea is not now known to exist. 

Page 120, last paragraph and note 3. Glover and Camden derive their authority from Leland, who 
gives extracts from three unidentified chronicles which he found in the conventual librarj' at 
Tynemouth. Collectanea, ed. 1772, vol. i. pp. 324-327. Another important chronicle from 
the same source is cited by Leland on several occasions in his Commentarii de Scriptoribus 
under the title of A nnales Tinenses. None of these chronicles appear to have had any specially 
local character. For 'Walterus' in line i read ' Walcherus.' 

Page 123, line \o,for ' Burton' read ' Bolton.' 

Page 124, line 14, /y 'Prior Dunham' read 'Prior de Parco.' 

Page 143, line 30, omit 'the cathedrals of Canterbury and Lincoln, the chapel of King's College, 

Page 171, Delaval pedigree, line i, for 'she remarried, secondly, George Cramlington of Cramlington, 
and, thirdly,' read 'widow of George Cramlington of Newsham ; she remarried.' 

Page 202, Villiers pedigree, /or 'William Chaffinch' read 'William Chifiinch.' 

Page 215, note 2. .Another list of the jurors of Tynemouth liberty occurs in a fragmentary subsidy-roll 
of about the year 1294 (No. 240/295), and is as follows : 

Summa bonorum Roberti de Prudhow 
„ Johannis de Wytel ... 

„ Willelmi Russel 

„ Nicholai de Anebell 

„ Willelmi Stiward 

„ Roberti de Chirton ... 

„ Nicholai Faukes 

„ Nicholai de Morton 

„ Rogeri de Morton ... 

„ Hugonis de Bacwrth 

Radulphus serviens et Rogerus Gray sunt de duodena, et non debent hie taxari quare alibi in 
Seton monachorum et in Est Chirton. 

Summa totalis duodene sine hiis duobus, ^23 12s. 2d. ; unde regi, £2 7s. 2jd. 
Page 215, note 3. Add to the list of seneschals of Tynemouth liberty, Thomas de Belsay, 1316. 
Page 216, note i. The office of constable of Tynemouth castle had been previously held by John de 
Haustede, 131S (see page 87); Henry Lancastre, 1445 (see page 425); and by John Mitford, 
circa 1510 {Early Chancery Proceedings, case 12S, No. 43). 




















































Page 233, line 49. A record of this suit is to be found in Exchtqucr Procealiitf^s, bundle 145, No. 238. 

Page 260, line 24. About the year 1490 the prioress and convent of St. Bartholomew addressed a petition 
to the chancellor, praying that a writ of sub-pena might be addressed to Nicholas, prior of 
Tynemouth, he having refused to continue the annuity of eight quarters of wheat, whereby the 
prioress and nuns had been brought to great poverty, and their house had been so decayed that 
they could not sustain the charges of their house and divine service as they had done heretofore 
and as they were bound to do by their religion. They stated that they were too poor in lands 
and goods to bring a suit at common law, and that a process for distraint, obtained upon a writ 
of annuity, would not be e.\ecuted by reason of the great power of the prior, Northumberland 
being 'far from the cours and good ordre of the lawe.' Early Chancery Proceedings, case 103, 
No. 24. 

Page 270. Dockwray pedigree. Thomas Dockwray (1690- 1760) was nominated perpetual curate of 
Wallsend in 1718. 

Page 273. Clark pedigree. The following are the dates of birth of the daughters of William Clark of 
Tynemouth: Anne Elizabeth, 4th June, 1796; Mary Elizabeth, loth March, 1799; Elizabeth 
Sarah, 30th August, 1801 ; Jane Margaret, 22nd November, 1806. i\'iillseitd Registers. 

Page 298, line 6, for ' Ramsay ' read ' Ramsey.' 

Page 323. Cardonnel-Lawson pedigree. Ann, daughter of Mansfeldt Cardonnel, died at Cramlington, 
unmarried, in April, 1822. James Hilton de Cardonnel-Lawson was son of Adam Mansfeldt de 
Cardonnel-Lawson, by his second wife, Miss Vihart, and had an only daughter and heiress, 
Ada de Cardonnel-Lawson, living at Rome, unmarried, 1906. 

Page 339, note 3. It is somewhat remarkable that the one authoritative definition of 'fine of court' 
ascribes to that payment some of the characteristics peculiar to head-pennies. In 1278, a case 
between John de Hertweyton and Robert de Insula was heard in the king's court, and, in the 
course of the proceedings, fine of court was defined by the jurors as a payment made for exemp- 
tion from attendance at the sheriff's town: 'Finis curie est talis quod ballivi doniini regis venire 
solebant ad curiam baronum, et ibidem sedere et audire placita ; et quam cito ballivi istius curie 
aliquid fecerint contra legem et consuetudinem regni, statim ballivi domini regis solebant 
amerciare sectatores ; propter quod omnes sectatores comitatus et curie baronis adierunt curiam 
domini regis et finem fecerunt cum domino rege L libris pro cornagio reddendo ei quolibet 
anno, et pro fine curie pro L libris reddendo domino regi bis in septem annis.' Placitorum 
Abbreviatio, Record Com. p. 194. According to the custumal of West Chirton, however, fine of 
court was payable twice a year; and the payment made twice every seven years, which is 
described as 'head-pennies' in the Survey of 1377, is distinguished from fine of court, with 
which it may yet have been closely connected. 

Page 347. Spearman pedigree. Eleanor, first wife of George Spearman of Preston and Eachwick, was 
buried at St. Nicholas', Newcastle, nth March, 1745/6. Her children were (i) Edward, 
baptised at St. Nicholas', 3rd February, 1735/6, died February, 1762; (2) John, baptised at 
St. Nicholas', 4th April, 1737, died 1774 ; (3) Matthew, baptised 29th April, 1739, buried at St. 
John's, Newcastle, 14th January, 1761 ; (4) George, baptised 20th April, 1738, died 1768. 
Sir Cuthbert Sharpe's interleaved Surtees, Durham, vol. i. pt. ii. p. 94. 

Page 391, line 12, for 'Adam de Tewing' read ' Adam de Maperteshall.' 

Page 408, note 2, omit ' Mary, the wife of ... . Ward.' 





Srale 1 lOi.GOO 

- 1 * 

Ancient Parish of Tynemouth I I 

Chapelry of Earadon L_J 

Boundary of Shire Moor — r 



History of Northumberland. 



TN this volume is given the history of the ancient parish of Tynemouth, 
exclusive of the chapelry of Earsdon which was formerly dependent 
upon it. The parish is composed of eight townships, five of which are 
included in the modern borough of Tvnemouth. All the townships in the 
parish, and Earsdon and Backworth in Earsdon chapelrv, fall within a 
single manor, and constitute a district to which the name of Tynemouth- 
shire, as used in a restricted sense, is applied ; but formerly this district 
was termed the I'li-s/iirc, and, in conjunction with other outlving town- 
ships grouped together as the out-shire^ formed a franchise or liberty held 
by the prior of Tynemouth for the time being. 

Sir Walter Scott's description of Durham — ' half church of God, half 
fortress 'gainst the Scots' — is even more applicable to Tvnemouth ; for 
the lord of the libertv of Tynemouthshire was not onlv prior of the 
premier cell of St. Albans monastery, but held and guarded one of 
the strongest castles in the county, a castle which came into the hands 
of the crown in 1538 and continues to be the main defence of the Tyne. 
In Tynemouthshire the coal trade found its earliest development. The 
growth of municipal life within its limits, although of recent origin, is the 
natural outcome of a quarrel over river rights, carried on through many- 
centuries, between Tynemouth and Newcastle. 

Tynemouth parish forms the south-eastern corner of the county, and 
covers an area of eleven and a half square miles, extending three miles 
northwards along the coast to the Brierdean burn, and three miles up the 
Tyne to Howdon. Its population is chiefly distributed among the growing 
towns of North Shields, Tynemouth, and Whitley, and totals over si.xty 
thousand inhabitants. 

Vol. VI 1 1. I 



The parish of Tynemouth and chapelry of Earsdon include some of 
the most interesting geological features to be found in the whole of 
Northumberland. In the first place, the district contains the only outcrops 
of Permian strata north of the Tvne, while the Coal-measures include most 
of the important seams worked in the county. In some cases, the shales 
associated with these beds enclose magnificent specimens of fish and reptiles, 
a splendid suit of which, obtained by local collectors, is exhibited in the 
Hancock Museum at Newcastle-upon-Tyne ; while the sandstones show 
features of some interest. The glacial deposits again are finely exposed in 
a continuous section on the north bank of the Tyne, and afford information 
of importance concerning the origin of these deposits in Northumberland. 

Permian. — These rocks occur in the form of outliers from the main 
mass of the Permian beds which bulk so large along the coastline south 
of the Tyne. They crop out at Tynemouth, Whitley and Cullercoats, and 
also at Hartley, where, however, only the lowest beds are seen capping 
the cliff near the old lime-kiln. They occur again at Clousden Hill, near 
Killingworth, outside this parish. They include representatives of the 
lower yellow sands, marl-slate and lower 'compact' and middle 'cellular' 
limestones of Sedgwick and Howse. The most southerly of these outliers, 
namely, that under Tynemouth castle, forms the northern limit of the main 
mass of the Permian in Durham. The block of the same strata at Whitley, 
Cullercoats and Hartley represents a further extension of these beds to the 
north, let down and preserved by the Ninety-fathom dyke. How much 
farther north in Northumberland the Permian beds were originally deposited 
it is now impossible to say, but the presence of the Middle Limestone at 
Whitley shows that the whole series must have once extended much 
farther north, since that bed was by no means a shore deposit. In this 
connection, it is interesting to note the occurrence of a large boulder of 
fossiliferous Magnesian Limestone, recorded by Kirkby in 1865, which was 
washed out of the till at the south end of Whitley sands, about a mile north 
of the present outcrop of these beds. The Lower and Middle Limestones 
were formerly well exposed at Whitley quarries, where the lower bed was 
noted for its fossils, for Kirkby, writing of these beds in 1865, specially 
alludes to this locality as the ' ultima Thule ' of the Magnesian Limestone 


and its fossils. Tlie quarry was afterwards drowned out by water, and the 
fossiliferous bed, which lay towards the bottom, rendered inaccessible. 

In the clifl' at Tyncmouth the lower bed was broken up and formed 
into a conglomerate, previous to the deposition of the upper 'concre- 
tionary ' (' cellular ') bed upon it. From this bed Kirkby quotes as many 
as twenty species on the authority of Professor King. In Northumber- 
land, as in manv places in Durham and (iermanv, the Lower Limestone 
rests on and passes into a shaly marl-slate, which thins out and disappears 
in the south of Durham. It seldom reaches a yard in thickness and its 
chief fossil contents are hshes, reptiles and plant remains. This bed was 
formerly exposed between tide-marks on the south side of Cullercoats bay, 
where it occurred as a sandy bituminous shale. It has here yielded many 
fine specimens of ganoid fishes, I'hifxsounis s/r/ii//is, /-'vgoptenis iiiaii- 
dibuhUiis and Acciifrophonis i^/ii/)/iv/i/s, together with several species of 
I*(i/(ic(jiiisciis, of which /-". Fiicslchciii (Blainv) is bv far the commonest. 
From Cullercoats also have been recorded specimens of the shark, 
Woodtiika striatuld (Minister), and the ray, jfanassa hitiDitinosa (Schloth). 
At the present day (1905) the bed is practically worked out, though the 
writer succeeded in obtaining a specimen of Palacoiiiscus at low spring 
tide in the summer of 1904. Plant remains are verv poorly preserved in 
this exposure, but specimens of ("Unituiiiiit sc/niiiiKjit/cs occur in the slate 
under Tynemouth castle. 

The yellow sands below form an incoherent unfossiliferous deposit. 
Local in character and of variable thickness, they are often false-bedded 
and the grains of quartz are frequently much rounded. These characters 
point to deposition under shallow water or even shore conditions, and they 
may possibly represent an ieolian deposit of the nature of sand dunes. 
The sands rest unconformably upon the denuded surface of the Coal- 
measures, which under Tynemouth castle consist of red sandstones and 
shales, apparently representing beds a little above the ' Yard ' seam. 

These red beds were originallv referred bv Sir K. I. Murchison and 
the early Northumbrian geologists to the Permian. Thus Howse in 1848 
writes: 'They are the "lower-new-red-sandstones'' of English geology, and 
from their relative position are considered equivalent to the " Rothe-todte- 
liegende " of Germany.' In this statement he is only following Professor 
Sedgwick's classification of 1826. In 1857, however, he remarks: 


At Cullerconts and Tynemouth the Red Sandstone is so evidently conformable, and passes so 
gradually into the shales and sandstones of the true Coal-measures, that it is impossible to separate 
them, or point out a line of separation, 

and lie sfoes on to state that the Red Sandstone contains at Tvnemouth 
genuine Coal-measure fossils. In 1863, in his joint work with Kirkbv, he 
allows the latter to sum up the question thus ; 

Wc include the Lower Red Sandstone as Permian with some hesitation, for it will be seen that 
all fossils are Coal-measure species. This fact would certainly have induced us to place it in 
the Carboniferous system, rather than with the Permian strata, had we not been aware that several 
other Carboniferous species extended up into the Magnesian Limestone. We therefore with some 
reluctance ignore for the present the pahuontological evidence, and classify this deposit as we do, 
on the grounds of its apparent conformability with the Magnesian Limestone. 

In 1889, in his guide to the local fossils, Howse entirely abandons 
this view and, in speaking of these two deposits, remarks : 

It (the yellow sandj may be the English ei|ui\alent of the (German Wchdicgcndi^ which is 
also an anomalous deposit, and, if so, must be admitted to be Permian, as the W'cisiViegcndc^ in some 
parts of Germany, contains characteristic and well-known Magnesian Limestone or Permian species. 
There is no Kothliegende in these counties, tlie beds so classified are merely the disturbed denuded 
edges of the true Coal-measures. 

In the last edition of his Outlines, Professor Lebour, referring to these 
beds, writes : 

Messrs. Daglish, Forster, .Xtkinson and others have always stated their conviction that they were 
merely the ordinary Coal-measure rocks stained red at and near their line of contact with the overlying 
Permian. This conviction increased experience and observation cause me now to share completely. 

The ' smuggler's ' cave in Cullercoats bav has been e.xcavated out of 
these beds where they are let down against the north side of the Ninetv- 
fathom dyke, and here, as pointed out by Professor Lebour, the rock is 
calcareous in spots, giving rise to a curious knobby appearance on the 
weathered surfaces, due to segregation of calcareous cementing matter 
round certain points. 

The unconformitv of these yellow sands upon the Coal-measures, now 
generally accepted, is well illustrated by the fact that at Tynemouth the 
Permian strata rest on the Red Sandstone not far above the ' Metal ' or 
'Grey' seam, while at Killingworth, onlv si.\ miles away, a coal-seam 
known as the ' Clousden Hill' seam is found, 1,000 feet higher in the 
formation, showing the denudation of a great thickness of Carboniferous 
rocks before the deposition of the Permian beds. 


Historical. — The first published account of the Permian rocks in 
Northumberland is apparently that by Winch in 1.S14, in which he maps 
the beds as a continuous outcrop as far as Whitley, though he alludes to 
the Ninety-fathom dyke at Cullercoats as dislocating the Coal-measures 
and passing into the sea, and remarks, 'here is the northern extremity of 
the west boundary of the Magnesian Limestone,' but he does not seem to 
have realised that the preservation of this patch of Permian was due to the 
downthrow on the north side of the fault, for, in describing the quarrv at 
Whitley, he evidently considers the fault to be of pre-Permian age. Thus 
he says : 

A hollow space, formed like a basin or trouyh, is filled u iih llie limestone. The Icnylh of this from 
east to west is about a mile, the breadth from north to south 400 yards, the depth seventv feet. The 
beds pan over the Ninety-fathom dyke, which has occasioned in them no confusion or dislocation ; so 
that there can be little hazard in stating that the beds of the Magnesian Limestone belong to a more 
recent formation than those of the coal-field. 

He gives a detailed description of these beds, and also records the 
presence of strings of galena and of fossils. He also states that the stone 
is obtained for lime by lighting fires against the rock, thus causing it to 
split off. In the same year Dr. Thomson, in the Annals ijf P/ii/osop/ix, 
traces the boundary between the Coal-measures and the Permian deposits. 
He alludes to the Ninety-fathom dyke as the 'Great' dvke, stating that 
it enters the sea a little south of Hartley. Incidentally also he first 
mentions the occurrence of ' fle.Kible ' limestone in the Magnesian rocks : 
his e.xamples, however, are taken from Marsden. 

In 1S26 Professor Adam Sedgwick published his classical paper on 
the Magnesian Limestone. In this work he alludes to the Permian rocks 
of Northumberland, and criticises Winch's statement that the Ninety-fathom 
dyke passes through the Whitley quarries as irreconcilable with his own 
observations regarding the dyke. He records the occurrence of nodules 
of galena and blende, and considers that the mode of occurrence of the 
former indicates a contemporaneous origin. The ne.xt allusion to these 
beds is that in 1831 by Nicholas Wood, who however merely briefly 
describes them. Up to this time and until some years later no allusion 
appears to have been made to the beautifully preserved fish remains in the 
marl-slate of Cullercoats bay. The first printed notice occurs in Howse' 
Cat<jlogitc of I\'i niian Fossi/s, published in 1848, where he remarks : 


This bed is exceedingly inleresling on actouni of the nmneious remains of fishes which are 
preserved in it. They are found pressed quite flat between the lamina- of which this bed is composed, in 
the following localities, Whitley quarries and Cullercoats bay, etc. Last summer, while working some 
marl-slate in Cullercoats bay, to which our attention was directed by Mr. A. Hancock, we obtained 
two specimens of a Paltuoiiisais, 

SO that the discovery of this ricii locality must evidently have been made 
by Albany Hancock about 1847, but an account of it was only published by 
him in the A'ofiiral History y'raiisdcfioiis for 1849. In his Moiioiirdpli of 
Pcrniiaii Fossils, published in 1850, William King figures several species of 
invertebrata from the Whitley quarries, as for instance : S\nocladia vir- 
gulaccn, Cvnt/iocriiiiis iitinosiis, Spiiifcr d/attis, Spirifcriiia cristiitd, 
CiimaropJwrid glohii/iiid, etc. He also figures species of fish which 
occur in the marl-slate of Cullercoats. In 1857 Howse published the 
supplement to his former catalogue, and in 1863 appeared the Synopsis 
of tJic Geology of Diirhdin din/ I'dit of Xort/iiiiiihcr/iUKf, bv Howse 
and Kirkby, a pamphlet published especially in connection with the visit 
of the British Association to Newcastle. In this he records most of the 
important points in connection with the Permian rocks in Northumberland. 
In the same year appeared Binnev and Kirkby's translation of (ieinitz' 
work. The J)xds, as far as it referred to the British Permian beds. Since 
this time but little has been published which is new on these beds in 
Northumberland. .V fine collection of fish from the marl-slate at Culler- 
coats, collected by the late Mr. Dinning, has however been presented to 
the Hancock Museum. 

In 1878 Professor Lebour published his Outlines of the Geology of 
Xoithuinlierhuul which again summarises our knowledge of the Permian 
deposits of Northumberland, while a second edition of this work was issued 
in 1886. Lastly, in 1889, Mr. Howse completed his guide to the local 
fossils in the Hancock Museum, in which will be found the latest list of 
Northumberland fossils from the marl-slate and Magnesian Limestone of 
Cullercoats and Whitlev. 

The Codl-inedsiires. — The beds of this formation constitute the whole 
of the solid geology of the district, with the exception of the small out- 
liers of Permian rocks mentioned above, and must represent an aggregate 
thickness of some 1,200 to 1,400 feet. They consist of sandstones, fire- 
stones and shales, with occasional coal-seams and clay-ironstones. The 
latter are often rich in lamellibranch remains {Aiithiaeosid, Carboiiieoln), 


when they constitute the well known Mussel Bands of the miner, and 
frequently contain over i8 per cent, of iron protoxide. At least three of 
these mussel bands occur in this portion of the coal-field at definite horizons; 
one a few feet above the Low Main seam, another close above the High 
Main, while a third is recorded from the Seaton Delaval colliery from 
above the 'Yard' coal. The first of these is well seen in the Whitley 
cliffs, in connection with the conglomerate mentioned below, while another 
band is visible along the coast near Hartlev. 

The coals in the district include most of the important seams worked 
in Northumberland down to the Low Main seam. The highest coal re- 
corded is the so-called ' Clousden Hill' seam, described by Mr. Hutton 
on the authority of the late Mr. N. Wood as occurring in a quarrv on 
the north side of the Ninety-fathom dyke, just on the western limit of 
this district, 800 yards south of Killingworth House and 450 feet above 
the Monkton seam. The chief seams below this, ;in descending order, 
are the Five-quarter seam and the Three-quarter or Seventy-fathom coal, 
both of the Cowpen district, near Blyth ; the High Main, the Grey and 
Blake seams of Seghill and Cramlington, the Yard Coal, the Bensham 
seam and the Low Main or Hutton seam. At the present day the most 
important seam worked is the Low Main, which occurs at a wonderfully 
uniform depth ; thus at Bebside colliery it lies at 93 fathoms from the 
surface, at Low Newsham colliery at 104 fathoms, at Cramlington colliery 
at 72 fathoms, and at Seaton Delaval at 102 fathoms. The High Main, 
once the most notable seam, is now practically worked out or abandoned ; 
it formerly supplied the famous ' Wallsend ' coal of the south of the 

The general dip of the beds, as seen on the coast between Seaton 
Sluice and Cullercoats, is uniformly to the south-west. North of Seaton, 
however, and inland, the beds are much disturbed by faults. South of 
the Ninety-fathom dyke, the beds, where exposed on the coast, dip due 
south as far as the fault occupied by the Tynemouth dyke. South of this 
again, near the Black Middens, the dip changes to east. 

The chief faults traversing this coal-field, though irregular, run roughly 
east and west in the general direction of the dip of the beds. Their chief 
effect is therefore a lateral shifting of the outcrep, but nevertheless the 
dip of the beds is never great, being usually between two and ten degrees. 


The Ninety-fathom dyke is however an exception to this rule, since the 
beds in the neighbourhood of Cullercoats are dipping south, while the 
fault is a 'strike' fault running due west from the coast. As a result 
we <^et all the seams from the Low Main to the High Main repeated at 
the surface on the south side of the fault. The Low Main thus crops out 
on the coast just south of Cullercoats bay, the Bensham seam runs into the 
sea in the middle of the Long Sands, while the ' Yard ' coal is seen in the 
cliff midway between Sharpness Point and Tynemouth castle, and a small 
seam which is frequently exposed after storms beneath the Boulder-clay, 
west of the Black Middens, is probably the 'Grey' or 'Blake' seam. The 
High Main is not seen on the coast but crops out inland from Chirton 
Hill by the south of Murton to Backworth station, west of which it dis- 
appears against the fault. 

Another important fault is the Brierdean dyke, which has a downthrow 
of eightv feet to the north and shifts the outcrop of the High Main coal 
from Earsdon to a position midwav between Hartley and Brierdean farms. 
At Crag Point, again, farther north, we find a pair of dislocations which 
throw the strata down eighty-five degrees to the north, and turn the dip 
on the north side round to the north-west. At Seaton Sluice, on the 
other hand, a fault lets down the beds seventy-eight feet on the south, so 
that these two faults practically neutralize one another. A peculiar group 
of faults, radiating like a ' starred ' pane of glass, occur round Cowpen 
colliery, all of which have a downthrow on their southern side. Lastly, in 
the extreme south of Tynemouth parish, a fault occurs with a downthrow 
of 1 80 feet to the south, which runs from the Narrows at the mouth of 
the Tyne westward to Millbank. 

The sandstones vary considerably in colour and texture, but form a 
valuable building stone in the district ; they are frequently false-bedded 
and show shallow water characteristics. In 1852 Dr. Sorby attempted to 
work out the direction from which the currents had flowed during the 
depositions of these sandstones between the Tyne and Seaton Sluice. 
From careful obseryation he deduced that the drift ripples in the Red 
Sandstone under Tynemouth castle show a mean direction from north 
nine degrees .east, while the beds at Cullercoats show a direction north 
twenty degrees east. The sandstones between Hartley and Seaton Sluice, 
which he considers to be the same beds, showed a drift from north seven- 


Fig. 1.— The Ninety-fathom Dyke at Cullercoats 


Fig. 2 -Table Rocks. Whitley 



teen degrees east. He thought the current must have been a very uniform 
one and indicated a considerable velocity. He noted great variety in 
individual beds of the true Coal-measures on this coast and sums up his 
results as follows : 

We have in the coal strata of the coast section, between Tynemouth and Seaton Sluice, beds drifted 
from very various quarters, but yet they may all be divided into two leading groups, namely, those 
which have come from some point between north-east, passing through north and west to south-west ; 
and those from between south and east, there being none from any point between south and south-east, 
or east and north-east. 

Among Other important sandstones which crop out in this district, 
special mention may be made of the well-known Burradon firestone between 
Killingworth and Seghill. Many of these sandstones show concentric fer- 
ruginous staining, and sometimes this is concentrated into concretionary 
nodules. A good example occurs in the cliff immediatelv under North- 
umberland Terrace. 

With regard to the shales, manv of these yield plant remains, which 
have been especially collected from the beds associated with the High 
Main, Bensham, and Low Main seams. Specimens of these are displayed 
in the collection at Barras Bridge. They have been procured from the 
Low Main at Newsham, Killingworth and Cramlington, and from the Iron- 
stone shale at Whitley, and no doubt occur in connection with other seams. 

Of still greater interest are the unique collections of fish and amphibians 
which have been obtained in such quantities and in such a fine state of 
preservation from the shale associated with the Low Main seam at Newsham 
colliery. Over thirty papers have been written by Owen, Agassiz, Albany 
Hancock, Atthey, Barkas and Embleton on the remains discovered in 
this bed, a summary of which, by Mr. Howse, will be found in The 
Industrial Resources of the Tyjie, and also in the Guide to the Local 
Fossils, published by the same author in 1889. The unique collection 
made by the late Mr. Atthey is exhibited in the Newcastle museum. This 
collection includes thirty species of fish and six species of amphibians, four 
of them being originallv described from this locality, while of the fish 
the interesting species of the rays, J-anassa lingnaeforinis, together with 
six species of the dipnoid Ctenodus, were first discovered by Atthey in 
this shale. Indeed, so rich was this shale in fish remains that at one time 
Mr. T. P. Barkas, who was the recipient of many of the fossils discovered 
in the pit, was reduced to advertising gifts of typical specimens to any 

Vol. VIII. 3 


readers of the Geological Magazine who would relieve him of his over- 
whelming store. Much interest was excited at one time by the alleged 
discovery by the same gentleman of mammalian remains from this bed. 
Subsequent investigation, however, failed to confirm this identification. 
Quite recently (1904) an interesting discovery has been made by Professor 
Lebour and Dr. Smythe in connection with the order of succession of the 
Coal-measures in this district, and the writer is indebted to these gentlemen 
for very kindly furnishing him with the following notes, in anticipation of 
a fuller description elsewhere. The discovery was made in connection 
with a series of shales and their beds of sandstone underlying the Table 
Rock sandstone in Whitley bay. These beds are only exposed at low tide, 
and the shore is inaccessible at other times, a fact which may account for 
this interesting section having escaped the attention of previous observers. 

The junction between this series and the cliff-making sandstone above it is marked by a number 
of stratigraphical irregularities. These irregularities are rendered specially noticeable by carefully 
mapping the outcrop of a band of clay-ironstone crowded with Carhonkola {Anlhnuosia), which forms 
part of the lower set of deposits referred to. It is then clear that whilst the overlying sandstone is 
continuous and practically unbroken from its emergence above sea-level nearly as far as the Brier 
Dene, with a small dip inland which makes its strike coincide with the coastline, it is far otherwise 
with the mussel-band and its associated strata. These, though often for several yards running in 
apparent concordance of strike with the cliff-sandstone, over and over again become bent into folds — 
some gentle and others of violent pitch — most of which have their axes at right angles, or nearly so, 
to the strike of the sandstone. Moreover, these folds in numerous cases have given rise to small 
reversed faults of high {i.e., flat) hade. Besides these disturbances, all in the same direction, the 
lower series is broken up by a few ordinary faults. Now these folds, reversed faults and nearly all 
the normal fau'ts, affect the lower beds only, including the guiding mussel-band, and leave the sand- 
stone above undisturbed. Here, therefore, are all the characters of an unconformity accompanied with 
occasionally great discordance of dip ; and some of the characters of the floor of a thrust. 

Examining now the cliff sandstone equally minutely, it is found that what change can be observed 
in it is chiefly this : in proceeding northwards the formation becomes less and less massive until near 
the northern end of the cliff-section, where a marked interlacing of shale and sandstone takes place, 
some of the wedging out and in of the constituent beds in one or two places showing by internal 
faulting that some differential movement undoubtedly took place, but only, be it noted, where the 
rock ceases to be essentially one massive deposit. Thus the sandstone, as well as the beds 
beneath, bears witness to something of the nature of thrusting, and the evidence from both points to 
the movement having been from south to north. But there might be thrusting without unconformity. 
The evidence of the denudation of the lower before the deposition of the higher beds is completed 
by the fact that fragments of the former are found in many places in the bottom position of the latter, 
and that these fragments include rolled and waterworn pebbles of the inussel-band already mentioned. 

It is thus concluded (and many minor details uphold the conclusion) that the Table Rock sandstone 
was not deposited until the shales and other beds beneath it, including the mussel-band, had been 
denuded, and that after such deposition had taken place, the upper sandstone (and probably all above 
it) was moved a certain distance, chiefly to the north over the edges of lower beds. 

The mussel-band is supposed to be the shelly layer a few fathoms above the Low Main coal, 
but this is by no means certain. What the e.>cact horizon of the Table Rock sandstone may be, except 
that it must be high up in the Coal-measures, is by no means certain either. 


It is clear that though the unconformity and accompanying thrust may not be, either of them, 
large in amount, yet in the absence of evidence on this point, their occurrence is well worth notice, 
since, should the lapse of time represented by the one and the shift due to the other be greater than 
is supposed, they may lead to an explanation of the difficulty which has frequently been felt in 
attempting to correlate some of the coal-seams in the south-east corner of Northumberland, and 
especially in that portion of the Durham Coal-measures which in the north-east of that county are 
concealed by the overlying Permian bed. 

Dykes. — Five important Whin dykes reach the coast between the Tyne 
and Blyth. They are exactly parallel to one another, and belong to 
Professor Lebour's east and west series ; the most southernly reaches the 
coast at the mouth of the Tyne, while the most northernly appears in the 
river Blyth, just beyond the parish boundary. 

Of the three intermediate dykes, the two most southernly run about a 
quarter of a mile apart and reach the coast a little south of Seaton Sluice 
and at Crag Point respectively, while the one still farther to the north 
appears to run out to sea under the Blyth links, due east of Barras farm. 
The three southernly intrusions are connected with a set of east and west 
faults, but they do not, as a rule, seem to be affected by any of the cross 
faults associated with them, and would therefore appear to be younger than 
those dislocations ; in fact, on account of their parallelism with similar dykes 
north of the Scottish border, they are usually regarded as of Tertiary age. 

They are, however, far from continuous, and have a habit of dying 
out and overlapping along parallel fissures, especially in their westerly 
continuation beyond the boundary of the district. This feature is well 
seen, however, on the coast in the case of the Seaton dyke. 

Winch evidently regarded the Seaton and Hartley dykes as one and 
the same, for he remarks, 'Another (dyke), about three yards wide, appears 
in the cliffs over Seaton Sluice : its direction is W.N.W., and it may 
again be seen in Hartlev burn.' Wood also mentions the Hartlev dyke, 
and alludes to its connection with a fault, and also describes the manner 
in which the coal in contact with it is charred where it is seen in the cliff. 

This intrusion also shows, incidentally, a good example of the vertical 
dying-out of a dyke, as pointed out by Professor Lebour, for, near the 
spring on the beach, it is at least twelve feet wide at the foot of the cliff, 
where it is seen dying away upwards after dividing into two tongues, the 
longer of which thins out beneath a bed of sandstone about eleven feet 
below the surface, though the fault, along which it was intruded, is still 
seen continuing upwards. 


The same feature is reported by Dr. Teall from another section inland 
where the dyke was exposed in a small quarry on the east side of the dene. 
Here the dyke was seen to diminish five feet in width in a height of about 
twenty feet, being about ten feet wide at the bottom and five feet at the 
top of the quarry, where it terminates abruptly upwards, arching up the 
shales above it. The Hartley dyke has been met with in the Shankhouse 
pit to the west where it was seen to be seven or eight feet wide and 
contained a fault breccia in the centre. The northern exposure in this 
colliery showed an example of the duplicating and overlapping mentioned 
above, one intrusion measuring several feet and the other only eleven inches 
in thickness. As usual the coal here was charred and altered into 'white 
whin.' The rock is very uniform in different exposures and resembles very 
closely the Tynemouth and Brunton dykes. 

The Tynemouth dyke shows features of particular interest. It was 
first briefly described by Winch in 1814, in his paper read before the 
Geological Society, as follows : 

A basaltic dyke six feet wide may be seen among the rocks of the coal formation at the south- 
eastern comer of the promontory on which Tynemouth castle stands. 

This is his description on page 24 of the above work ; he does not, how- 
ever, seem to have visited it himself, for before concluding his paper he 
appears to have forgotten this description and he proceeds to redescribe 
it as follows : 

The next basaltic dyke worthy of notice is one which, passing from west to east under Tynemouth 
priory, may be seen to divide the strata at the south-east point of Prior's Haven, where it forms a wall 
twelve feet broad in the cliff, and in the rocks below a vein or fissure twelve inches in breadth and 
filled with tufaceous matter intersects the dyke from top to bottom near its centre, and the basalt 
strongly resembles the Coley-hill stone. 

In 1826 Professor Sedgwick, in discussing the date of intrusion of the 
north of England basaltic dykes, remarks : 

The Trap dyke at the south-west end of Tynemouth castle cliff is unfortunately of no assistance to 
this enquiry, because the capping of yellow limestone does not extend to that extremity of the cliflf where 
the dyke is present. Such is the imperfect evidence, or rather such is the absence of all direct evidence, 
in favour of the conclusion, that the Trap dykes in our northern coal-fields belong to an age which is 
anterior to the deposition of the Magnesian Limestone. 

The next mention we find of this dyke is by Nicholas Wood in 1831. 
In describing the beds at Tynemouth he remarks, ' a whin dyke, shown in 
section, from twelve to fourteen feet in width, and difl'ering in no respect 


from those generally found in this district, here intersects the Yellow Sand- 
stone and Red Sandstone, at right angles to the stratification of the beds ; 
but it cannot, from the incumbent alluvial matter, be ascertained if it also 
pierces the Magnesian Limestone.' 

At the present day this dyke is still exposed in the south-west corner 
of Prior's Haven, just at the angle where the flight of steps descends from 
the north pier to the shore. The exposure shows a width of about ten feet 
and contains a brecciated quartz vein, six inches wide, near the middle. 
This is no doubt the vein, 'twelve inches wide, filled with tufaceous matter,' 
described by Winch. This central vein is very characteristic of many whin 
dykes ; it is noticeably present in the inland exposures of the Hartley 
dyke, and is no doubt a feature resulting from the lateral cooling and 
shrinkage of the basalt, leaving a plane of weakness in the centre, along 
which movement or infiltration has taken place, as suggested by Dr. Teall. 

The dyke was also exposed in 1882 in the excavations for the new 
railway station. Dr. Teall, who examined this exposure, writes : 

The most interesting feature connected with this exposure was the evidence of a breach in the 
continuity of the dyke, accompanied by a lateral shift in the outcrop, amounting to seventeen yards. 
The width of the dyke was about eleven or twelve feet, and it possessed a hade to the north. Farther 
west the same dyke has been met with near Billy Mill by Mr. Flavell, during the construction of works 
by the North Shields Water Company. Still farther to the west, near Newcastle, occurs the well-known 
Coley-hill dyke, which was formerly worked on a very extensive scale for road-metal, and the course 
of which is now indicated by a deep trench. 

This dyke agrees in general direction with the Tynemouth dyke ; 
Winch appears to have regarded the two as connected, and Dr. Teall 
comes to the same conclusion from a microscopic examination of the two 
rocks. In appearance the Tynemouth dyke is a dark compact rock, 
containing crystalline aggregates of anorthite felspar embedded in a dark, 
finely crystalline ground- mass composed of augite, lath-shaped felspars and 
interstitial matter. Olivine is occasionally present, forming a rock to 
which Rosenbusch has given the name of trolleite. The rock often exhibits 
small white spots scattered irregularly through it. These are due partly 
to the presence of amygdules and partly to the porphyritic crystals of 
anorthite felspar. Dr. Teall, who has described the rock in detail, points 
out the interest of these spots. The porphyritic felspars are crystalline 
aggregates in which the outer zone of felspar substance possesses optical 
properties diff'erent from the central portion. The spherical amygdaloids 
vary in size from that of a mustard seed to that of a peppercorn, and as a 

14 Tynemouth parish. 

general rule vary in quantity inversely with the anorthite aggregates. They 
consist of calcite and frequently contain a chalcedony border. One point 
of interest is the manner in which, during the formation of the bubble, the 
lath-shaped felspars have been pushed aside and arranged tangentially to 
the vesicles, while the interstitial matter is in no wise affected, being of 
later consolidation. These vesicles have been compared by Dr. Teall to 
the bubbles which rise in the contents of a soda water bottle as the cork is 
partially removed. In some cases the vesicles are filled partly or entirely 
with interstitial matter, which evidently entered on the escape or conden- 
sation of the gas. On the whole, the rock agrees microscopically as well 
as macroscopically with the Coley-hill dyke. 

The dyke is intruded in the Coal-measures. The Permian strata are 
not seen in contact with it at the present day. Nicholas Wood's statement 
that in 1831 it could be seen intersecting the yellow sand is therefore 
of interest, but if the absence of the Permian beds above the dyke at the 
present day is due to subsequent denudations, it is curious that Sedgwick, 
writing in 1826, five years before Wood, should expressly regret that the 
dyke could not be seen in contact with the Permian strata. It is true that 
Sedgwick uses the expression 'yellow limestone,' but he specially insists on 
the inclusion of the lower sands in the Permian formation, and also states 
that the same sandstone is twenty-five feet thick under Tynemouth priory. 
It is obvious then that no such penetration of the yellow sands by the 
dyke was visible in 1826. The above statement by Winch, in 18 14, that 
the dyke penetrated the coal formation, without any allusion to the Permian 
strata, is also against Wood's statement. An examination therefore of 
such records as we possess leaves the date of intrusion of the dykes, as 
testified by this critical example, still an open question. There is, however, 
evidence of a different character which seems to bear on this question. 
The east and west faults traversing the rocks in this neighbourhood appear 
to affect the Permian rocks as well as the Coal-measures, though this is 
by no means universally the case in Durham. This is notably seen in the 
case of the Ninety-fathom dyke and also several minor faults which are 
visible in the Tynemouth castle cliff ; one of these is even figured by 
Sedgwick. The Tynemouth dyke occurs along one of these faults, which 
has a downthrow of fourteen feet to the north. It is obvious that the 
presence of this fault has directly influenced the intrusion of the basalt 


along this line, and that the dyke is posterior to the formation of the fault. 
There is therefore strong indirect evidence that the date of intrusion of 
the Tynemouth dyke is post-Permian. 

Glacial Deposits. — The deposits of this age are, on the whole, similar 
to those described in previous volumes of this history. The section, how- 
ever, exposed between the Lifeboat station and the Low Lights, exhibits 
some points of special interest. The Boulder-clay here occupies the whole 
of the cliff, constantly giving rise to landslips. The clay is mostly unstrati- 
fied and full of boulders of local rocks, together with Cheviot andesites 
and Scottish granites. No undoubted examples of Norwegian rocks have 
been found, but, at the top of the cliff, fragments of sharp flint and rounded 
pebbles of clear quartz occur in considerable abundance. Writing of 
this deposit, Mr. Howse remarks : ' It is at present uncertain whether this 
bed is a reconstruction of the Boulder-clay or a prolongation on to this 
coast of the Scandinavian drift. The flints seem to bear a very striking 
resemblance to some collected in the latter formation near Hamburg.' 
Though this was written in 1863, no definite solution of the problem has 
yet been arrived at. It is difficult to see how any ' reconstruction ' of the 
Boulder-clay could produce true flints. We know of no Upper Cretaceous 
rocks cropping out in Northumberland from which they could have been 
derived, and they do not occur in the Boulder-clay farther north. Some 
of the layers near the upper part of this deposit also contain lenticular 
patches of sand which have very much the appearance of frozen fragments 
of the sea-bottom brought up to their present position by the shearing 
action of ice. This suggestion seems to be confirmed by the presence of 
marine shells, found in the sands by Mr. Howse. 

An elevated beach, composed of fragments of Magnesian Limestone chiefly, with remains of flints 
and also pebbles from the Boulder-clay interstratified with beds of sand and grit and a very fine glacial 
silt, occurs in a section lately made in the castle-yard at Tynemouth. It contains also the remains of a 
marine shell, Cyprina Islaiidicii, some fragments of which have been also detected in the Boulder-clay. 
This beach deposit rests on a thin bed of clay with pebbles, which appears to be a reconstruction of the 
Boulder-clay, under which is the proper rock surface. It reposes on a slope to the west, and contains 
material derived from some Magnesian Limestone cliff— from a cliff", in fact, which must have been 
situated considerably east of the present line of coast. The invasion of the sea from the west is only 
what we might expect when we remember the presence of undoubted Scandinavian erratics along our 
east coast, from the orthite-bearing 'Savil' boulder of Sanda Island to the blocks of 'rhombic' porphyry 
on the Cromer coast. 

Another very interesting feature was exposed at the base of this 
section a few years ago, but is no longer visible in 1904. It occurred 
a little beyond the last outcrop of sandstone of the Black Middens, which 


disappears under the beach, going westwards. Here the lower part of the 
Boulder-clav was seen to enclose layers of the sandstone broken up and 
folded into arches and troughs, and dragged out over the lowest layers 
of the Boulder -clay to the west, showing that the surface of the sand- 
stone had been torn off by some solid object, travelling from east to west, 
and dragged over a bed of Boulder-clay previously deposited. The 
fragments, though disconnected, nevertheless still maintained their relative 
positions.' This fact, taken together with the manner in which it was 
folded, showed plainlv that it must have been the work of ice. This proof 
of motion from east to west appears to afford additional evidence that the 
Northumberland ice was not free to move eastward, but was blocked and 
directed westward by some obstruction in the North Sea ; it is difficult to 
see what other obstruction this could be but foreign ice from the north-east. 
It is impossible to conclude this brief notice of the geology of a very 
interesting district without a word regarding the present disintegration of 
the coast line. This is naturally taking place most rapidly along the 
portion of the coast formed of Boulder-clay. Thus a massive stone wall, 
built by the then duke of Northumberland in 1811, supported the banks 
below Percy Square. The lime resisted disintegration longer than the 
stone, and stood out in sharp ridges. After the destruction of this wall and 
its outlying timber grovne, the cliff became undermined and landslips began 
to take place in the Boulder-clay. The front row of cottages in Percy 
Square disappeared, and up to 1892 about a hundred feet of frontage west 
of the front cottages had disappeared, while in 1827 the cliff is stated to 
have extended eighty feet farther seaward. Again, between Percy Square 
and the Howling, four acres have disappeared. Mr. Robert Tate estimated 
that 556,600 tons had fallen into the Tyne estuary in si.xty-five years. 
The coast line is therefore here wasting at the rate of 8,560 tons a year. In 
other portions of the coast the sandstones and shales are being denuded 
at a considerable rate. One of the best examples of the method by which 
the sea obtains access into the heart of the sandstone is seen at the Table 
Rocks. Here a joint running nearly parallel to the coast-line has been 
enlarged by the seas coming from the north-east, a long water-worn tunnel 
penetrates the rock, and large rounded blocks can be seen at low tide 
lying in the trench, while farther inland the joint can be traced along which 
the destruction is taking place. 

' See Plate II. 











The Tynemouthshire district has many natural advantages for coal 
mining, both underground and on the surface. The seams comprise the 
whole of the series met with in the North of England coal-field, lying at 
comparatively shallow depths with moderate rates of inclination, and 
presenting no serious mining difficulties. The surface is level and well 
suited for the making of railways giving access to the rivers and sea, 
and so affording a cheap mode of carriage for the produce of the mines. 
Owing to a fold or syncline in the measures, the axis of which runs in 
a northerly direction across the south-east corner of the Northumberland 
coal-field, the beds in the Tynemouth district have, generally speaking, 
an easterly rise, so that the upper seams of coal outcrop in lines more or 
less parallel to the sea coast, the lines of outcrop passing, however, under 
the sea in the northern portion of the ground as the coast line trends to 
the north-west. The southern portion of the ground is intersected by the 
fault known as the Ninety-fathom dyke, which throws up the beds to the 
south and results in a repetition of the outcrops of the upper seams. 

Considering these natural facilities, it is not surprising to find that coal 
mining dates back to very early times, and that the industry has for 
centuries played an important part in the history of the district. Early 
records show that coal was worked in Tynemouth during the latter part 
of the thirteenth century, and that the monks were then already deriving 
an income from collieries there.' Mention is also made of coal mines 
belonging to the priory at Merden, or Marden, in 131 6,- at Earsdon in 
1376,^ and at the time of the dissolution a mine of coal in Tynemouth was 
in the prior's own possession.* The priors appear to have either worked 
the coal themselves, or let it to others to win, in the neighbourhood of 
Tynemouth, Preston, Chirton, Monkseaton and Earsdon.'' 

Their operations were no doubt confined to the eastern portion of 
this area, where the seams crop out to the day, allowing coal to be got 
at shallow depths. There is a reference^ which points to the shipment of 

' Brand, History of Nnccastk, vol. ii. p. 591. ■ Tynemouth Chartulary, fol. 168. 

" Ibid. fols. 53 b and 32. ' Gibson, Monastery of Tynemouth, vol. i. p. 216. 

^ Duke of Northumberland's MSS. " Northumbrian Assize Rolls, Surt. Soc. No. SS, p. 163. 

Vol. VIII, 3 


coal by the monks at Shields as early as 1269, but the trade was probably 
chiefly a ' landsale ' one for the use of the prior and convent and their 
tenants, and for salt making, several salt pans being held by them.' 

After the dissolution of the monastery in 1539, although there arc 
manv records of grants and leases of lands and coal mines formerly 
belonging to the convent, there are but few details which indicate the 
situation of the various workings. It is, however, possible to trace the 
position occupied by some of the mines towards the close of the century. 
In 1584 a pit was working at Preston, while the Monkseaton pits, which 
appear to have been worked at a former date, were drowned out and 
East Chirton was unopened." In 1590 the Preston pits were being worked 
bv Peter Delaval, a merchant of London, who was then the farmer of 
the queen's mines in Preston,^ and in the same year the ninth earl of 
Northumberland was raising coal in Tynemouth under a right acquired 
by his father in 1569,' although the mines appear to have been worked 
by him for some years prior to this date. 

The Tynemouth and Preston pits were apparently worked with vigour 
for some vears, the former partly by the earl of Northumberland and 
partly by his lessees, the latter by the successors of Peter Delaval, who 
had failed about the year 1602.'' The Tynemouth mines were at that time 
situated in the town fields to the north of the village, near the outcrop 
of a seam (probably the Bensham seam) which is described as being 'a 
vard and three fingers thick,' tiie pits being about five fathoms in depth 
and, as was usual at this period, placed close together. It is recorded 
that pits of this description could be sunk in twelve days at a cost of 
about £2 each, and were capable of producing about twenty score of six- 
peck tubs or corves a day, equal to about thirty-eight tons." In 1614 the 
' compasse ' of the earl's mines in the town fields and demesnes was three 
miles, and the farthest was distant about a mile and a quarter from the river, 
where a staith had been erected about a quarter of a mile from the sea.' 
It is not quite clear where the Preston workings were situated, but probably 
they were on the east side of the township. The coals produced by these 
collieries appear to have been chiefly 'pan coals' for salt making, which 

' Gibson, vol. i. p. 216. ■ Exchequer Special Commission, 26 Eliz. No. 1743. 

" Exchequer Bills and Answers, 32 Eliz. No. 54. ' Ihid. 33 Eliz. No. 57. 

> Duke of Northumberland's MSS. ^ Ihid. 'Ibid. 


were sold on the river in competition with Newcastle coals and were also 
sent coastwise to be used in the alum industry, which by this tiine had 
been established in Cleveland. 

In 1624 a grant was made by the Crown of the coal in Murton and 
Billy Moor to Henrv, ninth earl of Northumberland,' by whom this coal, 
together with the Tynemouth pits, was leased to Ralph Keed, with right 
of access to the river for shipment." The subsequent grants of Flatworth 
to William Collins and Edward Fenn (assigned bv them to the earl of 
Northumberland in 1637)," and of pits in Preston and East and Middle 
Chirton in 1633 to William Scriven and William Eden* (by whom East 
and Middle Chirton and Monkseaton coal mines were conveyed to Ralph 
Reed and George Milbourne),' seem to show that the trade of the district 
was extending and the number of collieries increasing. 

With the extension of workings into Chirton, Billy Moor and Flat- 
worth, the district occupied by the High Main seam had been entered 
upon and a better and more cheaply won class of coal rewarded the 
efforts of the adventurers. Tynemouth continued as a ' pan coal ' colliery, 
but Preston, probably owing to the poor qualitv of its produce, seems to 
have been closed after the opening of the High Main pits. It was 
reopened again in 1684,'' but onlv for a short time, the coal being suited 
only for salt and lime making. 

In 1645 Reed was succeeded in the occupation of Flatworth by Ralph 
Gardner of Chirton, author of Eiiii/aiufs Grievance discovered in Relation 
to the Coal Trade. Gardner was unfortunate in his tenancy. The pro- 
hibition of the Newcastle coal trade at the time of the civil wars, and 
the occupation of his premises bv the king's and the parliamentary forces, 
with the attendant ' plundering and heavy quartering by them and the 
insatiable Scots,' involved him in heavy losses,' though it is not clear 
whether he was obliged to give up the colliery in consequence. 

The mines along the outcrop of the High Main on Shire Moor 
continued to be worked during the remainder of the seventeenth and 
commencement of the eighteenth centuries. During this period the lessees 
were extending their operations to the dip, and with the limited appliances 

' Gibson, vol. i. p. 242. ■ Duke of Northumberland's MSS. 

' Gibson, vol. i. pp. 243-246. ' Ibid. ' Duke of Northumberland's MSS. 

° Tomlinson, Historical Soks on CidUnoats, Whitky ami Monkseaton, p. 40. 

• Duke of Northumberland's MSS. 


then in use for freeing the mines from water (the pumps, as well as the 
'gins' for raising the coal, being then generally worked by horses) were 
beginning to find it difficult to go farther. In working the shallow mines 
in this district, support for the surface was generally left in accordance 
with the leases. The restrictions contained in these did not, however, 
prevent damage being done, of so severe a nature that, in the words of 
one agent, the land would ' neither bear meadow nor corn while the world 

In 1717 the lease of Billv Moor ran out, and the lessees failed to 
come to terms for renewal, their intention at that time being to work the 
coal through Whitley and ship it at Cullercoats. Subsequent advances 
on the part of the lessors failed to effect a letting, and the ground 
remained untouched until 1755, when a lease was granted to Matthew 
Bell and partners." 

In the latter portion of the seventeenth century collieries were 
opened out in the neighbourhood of Whitley and Monkseaton to the 
north of the Ninety-fathom dyke. In 1676' a lease of the coal in 
Whitley, which appears to have been previously held from 1673^ t»y 
John Dove, was granted by the trustees of Lady Elizabeth Percy to John 
Rogers, one of the conditions being that half the cost of building a pier 
and quay at Cullercoats should be allowed out of the rents. Rogers 
appears to have been a man of energy ; he carried out the construction 
of the little harbour at Cullercoats in conjunction with his partners, John 
Carr and Henry Hudson, and together they worked the collieries in 
Whitley and Monkseaton for a considerable number of years. The 
Monkseaton pits were probably on the outcrop of the High Main seam, 
while those at Whitley worked the Low Main at a shallow depth near 
the sea. Both were connected by means of wagonways with the harbour 
at Cullercoats, where there had also been established a large number of 
salt pans, the produce of which was exported from the harbour. 

The use of wooden railways or 'Newcastle roads,' as they were else- 
where called, had commenced earlier in the century, but had not become 
general until about 1670.^ The wagons were drawn by horses and 
carried 42 hundredweights or more, instead of 17^ hundredweights, which 

' Duke of Northumberland's MSS. - Ibiii. '■' Ibid. ' Tomlinson, Hid. Notes, \i. 39. 

■" Pnc. Archaological Institute, 1852, vol. i. p. 180. 























u Stf' 







"^ rv-\ 



f^ J V — - 



%r I ^ X 

O" yo 

» Is 

' 1 




had been the load of the old horse wains they superseded. To keep the 
top level on a falling gradient they had wheels of unequal size, made at 
first of wood and afterwards of iron, though for many years one pair of 
wooden wheels was retained on each wagon so that the brake, or ' convoy,' 
might be applied to them. The wagonways at Whitley in 1704 had oak 
rails and sleepers on the main line, while the rails on the branches to 
the various pits were made of ash or birch, the rubbish from the salt pans 
being used, as it was then described, ' for the ballast of the wagonway.' ' 

After the year 1710'^ the prosperitv of the Whitley collieries and 
salt works began to wane. The pits had exhausted the rise coal available 
to them and new winnings were required farther to the dip. The pier 
was very subject to damage by storms, and the repairs to it were a heavv 
charge upon the undertaking. The lessees attempted a fresh winning at 
Whitlev, but the unusuallv heavv feeders met with caused the abandonment 
of the enterprise, with the result that they had to fall back upon Monk- 
seaton for their output. 

Between 1716 and 1726 the salt trade declined greatly, and in the 
latter year the export was closed and six of the pans transferred to Blvth. 
In 1722' the partners were prepared to make a further attempt to win 
the dip coal and proposed to risk additional capital in the erection of a 
'fire engine,' as the pumping engines of the Newcomen type, then 
recently introduced, were stvled. Thev failed, however, to arrange terms 
with the lessor, and the once prosperous concern shortly afterwards came 
to an end, the coal-field attached to it remaining derelict for manv vears. 

Newcomen's invention of the atmospheric engine and its application to 
pumping purposes brought about a marked change in the condition of the 
industry. These appliances had come into general use in the Newcastle 
district by 1721,^ and in the latter half of the century improvements in 
the production of iron led to that material being more generally utilized 
in collieries. Cast iron was used instead of brass for the cylinders, so 
that larger and more powerful pumping engines could be built, and this, 
together with the substitution of iron for the old wooden pumps, resulted 
in a large increase in the number of these machines and the extension of 
mining operations to greater depths.^ 

' Papers in the possession of .Mr. \V. H. Ryott. " Toinlinson, Hist. Notes, p. 43 et Sti/. 

' Duke of Northumberland's .MSS. ' Deane, The Coal Traiie, p. 22. 

' Galloway, Annah of Coal Mining, p. 260. 


During this period the High .Main scam was being developed farther 
to the dip bv the Fhitworth, Murton and Shire Moor collieries, over the 
ground extending from the Ninety-fathom dyke to the Chirton fault. In 
1767 this seam had been won at Shire Moor to a depth of sixty fathoms 
and a large pumping engine erected, in addition to two smaller ones 
which were then draining the rise coal.' To the south of the Chirton dyke, 
the Chirton colliery was working the High Main towards Percy Main to a 
depth of about sixty fathoms." By the close of the century these mines 
were beginning to decay ; Murton had finished its High Main and afterwards 
tried the Yard and Bensham seams, finding them a poor substitute ; while 
Flatworth, Shire Moor and Chirton were fast coming to an end which was 
hastened by the competition of the deeper collieries of the Tyne basin, 
then recently opened out along the river side, and producing High Main 
coal which commanded the readiest sale in the London market. 

The last of these to be sunk, Percy Main, lay in Tynemouthshire, and 
the winning was commenced in 1799,^ the partners being Joseph Lamb, 
George Waldie, John Walker and Jacob Maude, who were already asso- 
ciated in the working of collieries on Shire Moor, their viewer being Mr. 
John Buddie. 

At this point attention mav be directed to the northern portion of 
the district, in which there are records of coal mines about Hartley so 
far back as 1291.' These were doubtless small outcrop pits worked for 
local supply, one being held by the prior and convent of Brinkburn at the 
time of the dissolution, and afterwards leased by the Crown to Sir Ralph 
Delaval in 1596.' Before this time salt pans had been established at 
Hartley and their produce shipped at Blyth, the coal trade continuing to 
be a purely local one. Sir Ralph leased his mines in 161 1 to Sir William 
Slingsby, and in 16 19 to his own sons, but at the time of his death in 
1628 they do not seem to have been of much account and are described 
as yielding no benefit to the owner." 

Apparently there was little change until the latter half of the century, 
when Sir Ralph Uelaval, the first baronet and grandson of the above- 

' Newcastle Coiiraiit, January 2ncl, 1768. 

■ North of England Institute of Mining and Mecliaiiital Eni^ineers, Borings and Sinkings, No. 452. 

' Diary of John Uuddlc. ' Iiuj. p.m. 19 }idw. I. No. 5. 

^ Marquis of Watcrford's M.SS. ° Jbid. 


mentioned Sir Ralph Delaval, took in hand the development of his pro- 
perty. He built a pier at Hartley Pans, or Seaton Sluice, as it was 
afterwards called from his having scoured the harbour by a device con- 
trolled by a sluice, and through the improvement of the harbour secured 
a coasting trade for the produce of his collieries and salt pans. Under 
his guidance and as the result of his energy the trade expanded, in spite of 
the fact that the Hartley coal was not so well suited for the needs of the 
coasting trade as that of the Tyne district. Its uses at that time may be 
best described in Sir Ralph's own words : ' the smallest will serve for lime 
burning and the rounder will please the cook because they make a quick 
fire and a constant heat.'' 

The pits at this period were situated near the coast, to the south of 
Seaton Sluice, where the High Main, Yard, and Low Main seams lie at 
shallow depths as they rise towards the sea, and their development was 
attended with some difficulty, owing to the heavy feeders of water which 
occasionally overcame the rag and chain pumps then in use. 

Sir Ralph Delaval was succeeded by his son, Sir John Delaval, and 
the mines were leased by him to John Rogers, one of the lessees of 
Whitley colliery, who with his son worked them up to 1725, when they 
were taken over and carried on by Sir John until his death in 1729.* 
His successors continued to work them without any change of moment 
until the middle of the eighteenth century, when Sir John Hussev 
Delaval (afterwards Lord Delaval) became the owner of the estate and 
embarked on a career of enterprise of which his younger brother, Thomas 
Delaval, was subsequentlv the guiding spirit. 

Glass and copperas works were established in order to utilize the 
small coal and 'brasses,' or iron pyrites, from the pits, and in 1758 a fresh 
winning to the dip was commenced. This was followed in 1764 by the 
opening of the new entrance to the harbour of Seaton Sluice,' cut through 
the solid rock to the east of the old approach, and looked upon as one 
of the greatest engineering feats of the day. The harbour improvements 
brought more trade for the pits, which in 1770' employed 300 hands, and 
si.x years later sent nearly 48,000 tons of coal away coastwise, principallv 
to the London market, where, we are told, the Hartley coal was much 
esteemed by bakers. 

' Brit. Mus. Additional MSS. 21,948, fol. 64. -' Exchequer Depositions, Hilary, 5 Geo. II. No. i;. 
'' Marquis of Waterford's MSS. ' IbiJ. 


Thomas Delaval, who was humorously described by a friend as being 
' busy as a bee flying from flower to flower, extracting coals from the 
bowels of the earth, and bottles out of damnation fiery furnaces,' was 
equally energetic in his direction of the collieries. A new ' tire engine,' 
designed bv William Brown, at that time the great authority on pumping 
engines in the district, was set to work in 1760, and in 1763' a steam 
winding engine, the invention of Joseph O.xley of Ford, was erected and 
regarded as the greatest improvement since the introduction of the pump- 
ing engine. At this time the problem of raising coals from the deeper 
seams, by some quicker and more economical method than the existing 
horse gins, was attracting attention, and Oxley made a determined attempt 
to solve it. 

A second engine, put down at Hartley in 1765,^ appears to have 
attracted a great deal of attention, drawing coals ' by fire ' at the rate 
of a corf a minute for some years. It is evident, however, that it had 
its defects, and James Watt, who visited Hartley about 1768, described the 
engine as going sluggishly and irregularly, having no flywheel.' 

Another mechanical curiosity was a boiler built of stone and used in 
connection with both the winding and pumping engines. It is represented* 
as being capable of effecting a saving of ^300 a year, but most probably 
it did not stand the test of constant use, and, like Oxley's winding engine, 
was superseded by appliances of a less ' advanced ' description. The 
double water wheel,* with a pumping engine for the circulation of the 
water, came rapidlv into favour in the district for drawing coal, and it 
was not until the end of the century that, through Watt's improvements, 
a reliable steam winding machine was produced and drove the water wheels 
into oblivion. 

By 1780 the workings in the Yard and Low Main seams had advanced 
southwards to the Brierdean dyke, and as far to the dip as the level of 
the Engine pit. In this year the coal beyond the dyke had been opened 
out, and the wagonway, which can still be traced connecting the pits with 
Seaton Sluice, was extended southwards to the Brier Dean. After this 
the field lying to the west of the burn and to the dip of the old pits was 

' Marquis of Waterfoid's MSS. ' 1765, 20 Januarv. Mary, daughter of Mr. John AUou, at the 
New Enguie, near Hartley, baptised.' Earsdon Register. ' 

■ Ibid. " Muirhead, Life of Watt, p. 274. ' Marquis of Waterfords MSS. 

' Galloway, Annals of Coal Mining, p. 297 et sea. 


entered upon, and before 1799 the Chatham and Nightingale shafts had 
been sunk and connected with the harbour by a branch line crossing the 
dean on a wooden viaduct.' 

The days of the direct control of the Delavals were now nearly at 
an end. Lord Delaval died in 1808. His brother and successor, Edward 
Hussey Delaval, continued to reside in London, and seems to have let 
the mines before he died in 18 14. 

/Although, as has already been remarked, the Shire Moor mines were 
in a state of decay at the beginning of the nineteenth century, the 
district did not fail to participate in the expanding coal trade of the 
Tyne. The new winning at Percy Main reached the High Main at a 
depth of eighty-nine fathoms in the Percy pit, followed by the Howdon 
pit in 1804 and the High Flatworth pit in 181 7, the last two at depths 
of 135 and 86 fathoms respectively, the Howdon pit being on the deepest 
part of the Tyne basin." 

Until towards the close of the eighteenth century, the system of 
working practised consisted in the removal of a portion of the coal only, 
the remainder being left for support. The shafts, which had originally 
been only a few yards apart, were gradually extended to wider distances 
and worked larger areas as they reached greater depths. The small pillars 
left were then subject to 'creeps,' caused by the crushing down of the 
overlying strata, more especially when, as time went on, efforts were made 
to minimize the loss of coal by working out portions of the pillars, a 
common practice before the system of leaving larger pillars and afterwards 
removing them entirely had been introduced. 

Under these circumstances and through the presence of gas and the 
inadequacy of the ventilating arrangements the working of the deep 
collieries on the Tyne was attended with many difficulties. Explosions or 
'blasts,' as they were called, were common, and the workmen had fre- 
quently to be withdrawn from the pits owing to the air becoming loaded 
with gas to the firing point. In 1807 the coal at Percy Main took fire, 
and it became necessary to drown a portion of the workings in order 
to extinguish it, the subsequent withdrawal of the water being attended 
by severe outbursts of gas.^ 

' Mr. T. E. Forster's MSS. - Diary of John Buddie. 

' Dunn, Mining and IVoyking of Coal Mines, p. 234. 

Vol. VI 1 1. 4 


Notwithstanding this and several minor explosions, the colliery was 
for a considerable period very successful, owing to the excellence of the 
Hio^h Main seam worked bv it. Its troubles from water were of a more 
serious nature and came at a later date. In 1819 the water in the old 
waste of Chirton colliery burst into the Percy pit, but was successfully 
dammed back in the following year. In 1838 a feeder came off in the 
Percy pit High Main workings near the river which threatened to flood 
the colliery. Attempts were made to dam the water back at great 
expense, but without success, the dams being swept away with the loss of 
three lives. The flood overpowered the pumping engines at the Howdon 
pit, and operations were then carried on at the Percy pit in the High 
Main and Bensham seams (the latter having been won in 1828) until May, 
1839, by which time the Bensham had been drowned and the High Main 
dip workings were full of water. 

By August of that year new pumping engines had been erected and 
the workings were gradually unwatered, but worse disasters were to follow. 
In 1 84 1 the High Main workings holed into Burdon Main. The holing 
was dammed up, but, as Burdon Main ceased to work not long afterwards, 
its dip workings became drowned, and in 1846 the water from them burst 
into Percy Main, overpowering the pumping engines and doing great 
damage. The colliery was again unwatered, but the heavy cost of 
pumping, combined with the exhaustion of the High Main, rendered it so 
unprofitable as to bring it to an end in the year 1851.^ 

Chirton colliery was reopened in the year 181 1" for the purpose of 
reaching portions of the High Main which had previously been abandoned 
and was then generally known as Burdon or CoUingwood Main. The 
Bensham and Low Main seams were subsequently sunk to, and the colliery 
was kept going until nearly the middle of the century, when it was closed. 

About 1 8 10 Whitlev colliery, which had remained unworked for nearly 
a century, was reopened.' A fresh winning of the Low Main was made 
by the lessees, William Clark and Thomas Taylor, to the dip of the old 
workings of the former tenants, and the colliery was carried on with vigour 
for a considerable period both in Whitley and Monkseaton, in conjunction 

' Mr. T. E. Forster's MSS. 

' Transactions of the North of England Institute of Mining and Mechanical Engineers, vol. xv. p. 220. 

' Tomlinson, Hist. Notes, p. 47. 


with the adjacent limestone quarries in the Permian limestone, lying against 
the Ninety-fathom dyke. The pit and the limeworks were connected by 
a wagonway leading to the Low Lights at Shields, where a large part of 
the produce was shipped. In 1825 ironstone from the Mussel-bed above 
the Low Main seam was being worked near the south end of the links 
and sent by river to the ironworks at Lemington. The colliery was 
closed in 1848,' having during its latter years been a losing concern. In 
1872^ the high prices of coal led to a further winning being made near 
Hill Heads, but the undertaking, through the heavy fall in prices, sub- 
sequently became involved in difficulties and operations terminated in 1880. 

The coal to the north of the Ninety-fathom dyke, with the exception 
of the above-described workings in the vicinity of Whitley, Monkseaton 
and Hartley, was practically undeveloped at the commencement of the 
nineteenth century. The first move in this direction took place at Back- 
worth, a lease of this royalty having been secured from the duke of 
Northumberland in 1812 by George Waldie, Humble Lamb, Jacob Maude, 
John Walker, Edward Hetherington, Thomas Taylor and John Buddie,' 
most of whom were already lessees of Percy Main and of a portion of 
the adjacent Shire Moor coal. 

The enterprise must have been one of unusual risk. The projected 
winning was of a considerable depth and in an unknown part of the district, 
where the quality of the High Main had not yet been tested. In addition 
to this, some doubts existed as to the rights of the duke of Northumberland, 
as owner of the mineral, to occupy the surface of the ancient copyhold 
lands of Backworth, then owned by the Grey family. The winning was 
commenced in 18 14, but was suspended in the following year in conse- 
quence of an action which was brought by Mr. Ralph William Grey 
against the duke. The case was tried in the same year and decided in 
favour of Mr. Grey, with whom an agreement was subsequently made 
which enabled the sinking to be continued in January, 1817, his estate 
being subsequently purchased by the duke in 182 1.'' 

The High Main was reached in May, 18 18, at a depth of eighty-seven 
fathoms, and a wagonway was constructed to the Tyne at Whitehill Point, 
more than four and a half miles in length. The distance from the river 
and the length of its wagonway must have placed the colliery at a dis- 

' Mr. T. E. Forster's iMSS. - Tomlinson, His/. A'oto, p. 50. ' Diary of John Buddie. ' lOid. 


advantage in its competition with the riverside pits. At the end of the 
preceding century, however, the introduction of cast-iron rails for wagon- 
ways had, to a hirge extent, cheapened the cost of leading. Although 
some of them continued to use the old wooden rails, which had been 
in vogue since the middle of the seventeenth century, many, and, no 
doubt, amongst them the newly constructed roads, were laid with the 
short cast-iron plates set on stone blocks, afterwards known from their 
shape as ' fish-bellied ' rails. The Backworth wagonway was started as a 
horse road, and, according to Mr. John Buddie, a horse drawing two 
wagons, each containing forty-four hundredweights of coal, could make 
three 'gates' or journeys a day upon it. It was not long, however, before 
rope haulage was substituted; in December, 1821, the first section to the 
Allotment was converted to a rope road; by the end of 1823 the section 
to Percy Main had been altered, and the last link to Whitehill Point 
was completed in August, 1827.^ The line continued to be worked by 
ropes until 1867, when locomotives took the place of the old hauling 

As the workings extended northwards, the High Main was again sunk 
to in 1 82 1 at the B pit, and early in 1826 coal drawing was confined 
entirely to that shaft. 

About the same date as the commencement of the colliery at Back- 
worth the opening out of the High Main at Burradon was begun by the 
' Grand Allies.' This celebrated and powerful copartnery, consisting of 
the Kavensworth, Strathmore and Wortley families, dated back as far as 
the year 1726, and had, some years before, sunk to the High Main at 
Killingworth. They had connected this colliery with the shipping places 
on the Tyne by means of a wagonway which had, before its extension to 
Burradon, formed the scene of many of George Stephenson's experiments 
with his early locomotives. 

In 1822 the High Main in Earsdon had been won by ' outstroke ' from 
Backworth,- and in 1823 the Duke pit was sunk on the Earsdon royalty 
near the Backworth boundary by Messrs. Hugh Taylor and William Clark. 
It reached the seam at a depth of seventy-three fathoms and was followed 
by the Duchess pit in 1826.^ 

' Diary of John Buddie. • Jliui. ' Borings and Sinkings, Nos. 742 and 744. 


The extension of the collieries northwards still continued, and in 1826' 
a sinking on Sir Francis Blake's estate at Seghill was made by Messrs. 
Carr and Company to the Low Main seam at a depth of seventy-eight 
fathoms. Access to the river was obtained by means of the wagonway 
from Cramlington colliery, until the Carrs constructed a railway of their 
own from Seghill to Howdon, which formed the nucleus of the Blvth 
and Tyne railway. 

With the exception of those at Hartley, practically all the collieries in 
Tynemouthshire had, up to this time, been working the High Main seam, 
a coal peculiarly fitted for the household coal trade of London and the 
southern ports. To the north of Backworth this seam, however, began to 
deteriorate as a household coal, and the Low Main, which had been so 
extensively worked by the old Hartley pits, began to take its place, assuming 
the position of the principal seam of that part of the district. Its produce 
was unfitted for household use and, until the opening out of the steam coal 
trade, its market was restricted to special uses. 

In 1828 West Holywell colliery was sunk to the High Main at a depth 
of fifty-six fathoms, a short distance to the north of the Earsdon shafts, 
the owners being Messrs. Taylor, Lamb, Plummer and Clark, who sank 
a second shaft to the same seam near Seghill in i853.- After 1830 a great 
expansion in the trade took place, due both to the increased consumption 
of coal for steam purposes in this country and to the foreign demand 
which was then rapidly springing up. In 1831 the duty on best coal 
exported in British ships was reduced from 5s. gd. to 3s. 4d. a ton, and 
in 1834 an ad valorem duty of one half per cent, was substituted.' The 
export trade of Newcastle rose from 157,000 tons in 1828 to 476,000 tons 
in 1837.* 

The reduction of the heavy export duties threw open to East North- 
umberland a market of the greatest possible value, without which the larger 
portion of the steam coal comprised in its lower seams would probably have 
for a long time remained undeveloped. The tax on coals exported in 
British ships was repealed in 1845,'* followed in 1850 by that on shipments 

' Mr. T. E. Forsier's MSS. ■ Borings and Sinkings, Nos. iiSo and iiSi. 

" Bunning, Coal Duties. United Coal Trade Papers. 

' Hair, Northumberland and Durham Collieries, p. 5. 

* Exports remained untaxed until 1901, when a duty of one shilling a ton was imposed on coal sold 
above six shillings. 


in foreign vessels, and the trade continued to expand so rapidly that the 
exports from Newcastle had during the years 1 854-1 859 risen to an annual 
average quantity of 1,744,000 tons.' 

In 1838" an extensive winning was commenced at the south-west 
corner of the Seaton Delaval estate, which had become the property of 
Sir Jacob Astley, afterwards Lord Hastings. Six shafts were commenced 
at the same time by the partners Messrs. Lamb, Burdon, Barnes and 
Straker, and a connection was made with the railway of the neighbouring 
Cramlington colliery, by means of which the coals were led to the staiths 
erected by the Seaton Delaval partners at Howdon on the Tyne. The 
Low Main was reached, after many difficulties, in 1841, and the lessees 
were bitterly disappointed in finding it of so thin and uncertain a nature 
and so much disturbed by faults and dykes that its working was attended 
by heavy losses for a considerable number of years, until a fresh winning, 
known as the Forster pit, was made farther north in i860. 

In 1839' the High Main, which had previously been won from Back- 
worth colliery, was sunk to at a depth of forty-four fathoms and opened 
out at East Holywell by Messrs. Clark, Taylor and Lamb, the colliery 
being connected by a branch to the Backworth railway. By this time 
Backworth had begun to turn attention to the lower seams, and in 1836* 
the B pit was put down to the Low Main seam at a depth of 107 fathoms. 
It reached the coal, as was proved later on, in the vicinity of the curious 
trough or ' swelly ' which runs in a north-easterly direction through Seaton 
Delaval and Newsham to the coast near Blyth, containing coal of 
unusual thickness bordered by an area of abnormally thin section.* The 
Low Main, in consequence, remained untouched at Backworth until the 
C pit was sunk to it in 1857. 

Burradon had reached the Low Main seam in the year 1848, when 
it was purchased by Messrs. Carr and Company," the owners of Seghill, 
who worked it as a steam coal colliery. 

The Church pit at Earsdon was sunk to the Bensham seam in 1838," 
and farther to the Low Main in 1840, working the latter extensively 

' In 1904 the exports from the Tyne and from Blyth were 11,800,000 tons. 

' Mr. T. E. Forster's MSS. ' Borings and Sinkings, No. 1182. ' Diary of John Uuddle. 

' North 0/ England Institute Transactions, vol. viii. p. 23. ' Mr. T. E. Forster's MSS. 

' Borings and Sinkings, No. 746. 


towards Monkseaton until the undertaking was sold to the Backworth 
Coal Company in 1844. This pit remained closed for many years until 
reopened recently to work the Yard seam. The Low Main was also 
attacked at West Holywell in 1858,' but the workings were closed and 
the colliery abandoned in i860 on account of its unprofitable nature. In 
the latter year the same seam was reached at East Holywell, where, 
however, it remained untouched until the High Main and Yard seams 
had been extensively worked. Mr. Clark's interest in the colliery was 
purchased by Messrs. Taylor and Adamson during the same year. The 
Bates pit, to the north of Holywell village, and the D pit were afterwards 
sunk to the High Main and the Low Main, the latter in 1872. 

The Hartley collieries, which had been leased by Messrs. Jobling 
and partners early in the century, gradually extended northwards as the 
coal in the vicinity of Hartley was exhausted. The Joblings sunk the 
Delaval and June pits" and worked the Yard and Low Main seams very 
extensively in the western portion of the old Hartley field. They con- 
tinued to ship the coal at Seaton Sluice, where the copperas and bottle 
works remained in operation, although these trades, as well as the manu- 
facture of salt, had begun to decline by the year 1825.' In 1830 a move 
was made farther north and the Mill pit at Seaton Sluice was sunk to 
the Low Main, eighty-three fathoms in depth.^ It dealt with a narrow 
strip of coal lying between two whin dvkes and rising somewhat heavily 
seawards. In 1845 the pit was closed and its workings abandoned on 
account of the increase in the heavy feeders of salt water which had 
always troubled the colliery. The Delaval pit was worked out in 1846, 
and in the same year the Low Main was opened out at the ill-fated Hester 
pit, situated to the west of Seaton Delaval hall.^ In 1847 the Joblings 
were bought out by their then partners the Carrs, who about that date 
became the owners of Cowpen and Burradon coUieries in addition to 

The Hester pit, which was destined to have so calamitous an end, 
was unfortunate from the start. The Low Main to the north proved 
unusually thin and the colliery was heavily watered, so much so that in 

' Borings ami Sinkings, No. 1 187. ' -Mr. T. E. Forster's MSS. 

' Mackenzie, View of Northumberland, vol. ii. p. 418. ' Borings and Sinkings, No. 1069. 

' Mr. T. E. Forster's MSS. 


1852 the workings were drowned and the water rose in the shaft to a depth 
of seventy fathoms.' A more powerful engine was erected in 1854 and 
work continued until January i6th, 1862, when there occurred an acci- 
dent probably unparalleled in the history of coal mining. The beam of 
the pumping engine suddenly broke and the outer half plunged down the 
timbered shaft which constituted the sole outlet to the colliery, blocking 
it above the Yard seam and emtombing 204 men and boys. The shaft 
was full of wreckage but the dangerous task of clearing it away was 
pressed on with extraordinary energy in the hope of reaching the men 
alive. After a time, however, the workers were affected by the gas from 
the ventilating furnace as it began to leak up through the debris, and 
it was feared that the men below must have been fatally affected by it. 
This fear proved to be only too well founded. The ventilation was 
restored by means of a cloth brattice, and when at last, after seven days 
and nights of incessant labour, the explorers reached the Yard seam it 
was only to Hnd that their comrades had gathered there and waited and 

Hartley as a separate concern then ceased to exist and the royalty 
was untenanted for some years, until it was taken by the Seaton Delaval 
Companv, who commenced the winning of New Hartley, a little to the 
north of the old Hester pit, in 1872. The working of the Yard seam was 
commenced in 1877, and in 1895 the shafts were sunk to the Low Main. 
At the beginning of 1900 a communication was effected with the old 
drowned workings of the Hester pit, the water was drawn off them and 
work resumed after an interval of nearly forty years. In 1858 the Carrs 
parted with their collieries at Burradon, Seghill and Cowpen. Burradon 
became the property of Mr. Joshua Bower of Leeds and shortly after- 
wards, in i860, was the scene of the most disastrous explosion which has 
occurred in the vicinity, resulting in the loss of seventy-two lives. In 
1 87 1 the colliery was purchased by Messrs. Lambert and Byas and remains 
in the possession of their representatives, forming one of the group worked 
under the style of the Burradon and Coxlodge Coal Company. 

vSeghill passed into the hands of Mr. Joseph Laycock and is still 
worked by his grandson, while Cowpen was taken over by a partnership 
consisting of Messrs. Straker, Henderson, Coppin, Cookson, Liddell and 

' Mr. T. E. Forster's MSS. " Trans. N. E. Inst. vol. xi. p. 147 ; Tlie Eagle, vol. xxii. p. 124. 



Forster, subsequently known as the Cowpen Coal Company. The coal 
under Nevvsham had been let to their predecessors by Sir M. W. Ridley, 
bart., and partly worked to Cowpen by outstroke, until the new tenants, 
in i860, effected a winning of the Low Main to the west of Blyth, 
known as the Hannah pit, whence that seam was worked until 1877 when 
it was laid in. 

Cowpen had hitherto used the port of Blyth as its shipping place, 
but towards the middle of the last century it became evident that this 
harbour, as well as that of Seaton Sluice, was insufficient for the growing 
necessities of the trade, and that the collieries shipping at these ports were 
placed at a disadvantage compared with those having access to the Tyne. 
The Seghill and Percy Main railway, completed by the Carrs in 1840, 
w^as subsequently extended to the Hester pit at Hartley (previously 
connected with the old wagonway leading from the Delaval pit to Seaton 
Sluice), and in 1847 on to Blyth. The undertaking was afterwards known 
as the Blyth and Tyne railway, being incorporated by Act of Parliament 
in 1852, and finally becoming merged in the North Eastern Railway in 
1874. By the opening of railway communication to the Tyne, a great 
portion of the coal from Cowpen and the collieries farther north was 
diverted from Blyth and Seaton Sluice, and found its wav to the Tyne 
at Hay Hole, where the Northumberland dock was afterw^ards constructed 
and opened in 1857. Seaton Sluice then declined rapidly and afterwards 
ceased to exist as a port, while Blyth in time decayed to such an extent 
that, in 1883, its shipments did not reach 150,000 tons. In this year the 
harbour was vested in Commissioners ; it has since been developed and 
become a shipping place for the collieries of the Blyth district. The 
Newsham Mill pit was sunk in 1886, in close proximity to the harbour, 
in order to work the adjacent undersea coal as well as that remaining in 

During the last thirty years mining operations have been chiefly con- 
fined to the collieries Ivin? to the north of the Ninetv-fathom dvke. These 
have been engaged in producing steam coal, principally from the Yard and 
Low Main seams, for the export market, which continues to be the main- 
stay of the district. In order to work the coal to the south of the dyke, 
the Shiremoor Coal Company was formed about 1874, '^"'^ ^ winning 
effected at the Blue Bell pit, near Backworth station, which worked the 

Vol. VIII. S 


Bensham seam for some years, leading its produce by the Blyth and Tyne 
railway to the Tyne for shipment. The Algernon pit, near Prospect 
Hill, was also sunk to the High Main in order to drain off the water 
which had accumulated in the old workings, and was afterwards carried 
down to the Bensham seam. The enterprise was unfortunate, and in the 
year i8g6 the colliery was absorbed by the Backworth owners, who com- 
menced to raise coal at the Algernon shaft from the Bensham, and 
connected both pits with their own railway. 

Preston colliery, near Chirton, which for some years was carried on 
by Messrs. Hutchinson as a landsale, secured a connection with the North 
Eastern Railway, near North Shields, about the year 1897 and has since 
undergone considerable development, working the Yard and Bensham 
seams. A new shaft has been sunk to the Low Main and the colliery has 
recently become the property of Messrs. Utrick Ritson and Sons. 

The history of the coal trade of Tynemouthshire during later years 
is practically that of East Northumberland. The trade has ever been 
peculiarly subject to violent fluctuations, and for this reason it is perhaps 
remarkable that the ownership of the collieries in Tynemouthshire has 
undergone, with trifling exceptions, so few changes in spite of long 
periods of depression. The trade has, however, continued to expand 
with that of the county and the yearly output of the Tynemouthshire 
collieries has now reached the, by no means inconsiderable, figure of 
2,200,000 tons. 


On the north side of the mouth of the river Tyne, a rock of Magnesian 
Limestone, running out into the sea, forms the south-eastern extremity 
of Northumberland. Its cliffs break away precipitously on the east and 
north, but slope down more gradually towards the south ; upon this side 
a small haven and a second promontory, smaller and lower than the first, 
separate the rock from the channel of the river. On the landward side 
sand and soil have accumulated, so that there is now a level approach 
from the west to what was, perhaps, once a partly isolated rock. Upon 
this point stands a Government fort, including within its works the remains 
of a medieval castle, the site of a monastery and considerable remains of 
a church, half of which was conventual and half parochial. 


The priory, the castle, and the parish church form three distinct 
elements in the history of the place, and deserve separate treatment ; but 
the threads of their history intermingle. The castle was the possession of 
the monks, and formed the outer defence of their monastery. The parish 
church was simply the nave of the priory church, set apart for parochial uses. 
A change came with the suppression of the monastery by Henry VIII. 
From that date there was a royal castle with a parish church within it, 
till the latter fell into ruins during the civil wars, when a new church 
Avas built a mile away. Still the old graveyard remained in use, and spread 
itself over a considerable portion of the monastic area, while what was 
once a chantry chapel in the conventual portion of the church was 
surrendered to the parish in the middle of the nineteenth century, and 
services are now occasionally held in it. 

The name of Tynemouth ^ requires no explanation. There was, how- 
ever, a possibly older name for the rock. An old twelfth century chronicle 
relating to Tynemouth, now lost, entitled it ' Benebalcrag."'' 

Upon this supposed place-name, Leland based his conclusion that 
Severus's wall ended at this point,' being of the opinion that it extended 
beyond Wallsend to the sea. There was a still earlier tradition to this 
effect, for in a twelfth or thirteenth century abstract of Nennius's history, 
it is stated that Severus built a wall against the Picts and Scots from 
Tynemouth to Bowness.^ But it is impossible to find warranty for these 
statements, whether they are taken to allude to the stone wall or to the 
earthen dyke. A recent discovery of a portion of the former at 
Wallsend, running south from the camp of Segedununi towards the river, 
leaves no doubt that it terminated at this point. The vallum does not 
appear to have reached so far down the Tyne. There was no necessity 
for the extension of the lines farther eastwards, for the river itself and the 
camp at South Shields furnished sufficient protection against attack from 
the north. The fact that the river, before it was deepened by the Tyne 

' The usual pronunciation of the name is with a short vowel in the first syllable, Tinmouth ; and 
so the name was commonly spelt in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries. 

■ Leland, Collectanea, ed. Heame, 1774, vol. iv. p. 43. 'Locus ubi nunc coenobium Tinemuthense 
est antiquitus a Saxonibus dicebatur Benebalcrag.' 

' Ibid. ' Nam circa hunc locum finis erat valli Severiani.' 

' Monumenta Historia Britannica, p. 50. ' De secundo etiam Severo qui solita structura murum 
alterum, ad arcendos Pictos et Scottos, a Tinemuthe usque Boggenes praecepit.' 



Fig. I. 


Commissioners, was occasionally fordable, at two points at least, below 
Wallsend does not militate against this view, for the lower reaches of the 
Tyne niav have silted up since the days of the Roman occupation. 

Later writers upon northern antiquities are agreed that the wall 
did not reach to the mouth of the river ; but at the same time tliey 

have urged that a subsidiary camp 
existed at Tynemouth, external to 
and dependant upon the main line of 
defence. It is not unnatural to sup- 
pose that, while the military station at 
South Shields guarded the entrance 
to the Tyne from the Durham side, a 
similar fort might be erected on the 
northern shore. The view is sup- 
ported by the natural strength which a 
fortress at Tynemouth would possess. 
Early archaeologists have been ready 
to detect Roman remains on the site 
of the priory, and Warburton, writing 
about 1720, alludes to 'remains of 
Roman mortar in the banks adjoining,' 
but no great reliance can be placed 
on this or similar statements. 

In the year 1782, while military 
works were being carried out at the 
castle, a Roman altar was discovered 
on the north side of the priory church 
six feet below the surface. It ap- 
peared to have been used as a 
foundation stone for later buildings, 
the focus having been cut away from 
the top, so as to give a smooth surface. On one side there were carved 
in relief, a bullock's head, an axe, knife, and jug {piuicfcricii/tiiii), the 
common symbols of sacrifice ; on the other was the less common design 
of a patera between two snakes. The back of the altar was plain ; 
the front bore the inscription of dedication to Jupiter Optimus Maximus, 



made by Aeliiis Rufus, prefect of the fourth cohort of Lingones.' The 
dedication, taken in conjunction with that of an altar found at Wallsend 
in 1892, corrects a reading in the Notitia Dignitatiiin, as to the name of 
the auxiliary regiment which garrisoned Segedunum. 

On June 12th, in 1783, a second inscribed stone was discovered 
in the same piece of ground. This was a slab or niural tablet, one foot 
nine inches long by one foot 
ten inches broad. As in the 
case of the altar, the top surface 
had been pared down, and about 
an inch in breadth had been cut 
away from the right side of the 
stone. This has rendered the 
first line illegible, and the whole 
inscription obscure. The most 
probable reading, and that fa- 
voured by Mommsen, is as fol- 
lows : . . . I TYPVM CVM BAS[l] | 
ET TEMPLVM | FECIT. C. IV . . . | 

... I EX voTO.- It has been 
conjectured that the Ma.ximinus 
who built the temple thus com- 
memorated was the Thracian soldier who, in the year 235, became emperor 
of Rome ; the possibility, though interesting, is remote. 

The actual discovery of Roman stones at Tynemouth would strengthen 
the case for a Roman occupation, were it not for the fact that the stones 
have evidently been used by later builders, and may have been trans- 
ported by them from Wallsend. Medieval church builders went to 
considerable distances for worked stone, as is seen in the cases of 
Hexham and Chollerton. The inscription first quoted evidently points to 

Fig. 2. 

' Corpus Iiiscriptioiiuin Latinarum, vol. vii. No. 493. See Fig. I. 

- Ibid. No. 494. Professor HUbner has suggested the reading [lovi sic.NVM .\N.\g] | LVPVM, 
aiiaglypKiii being a misspelling of uttaglyplium, so that, in his view, the object erected would be not a 
statue but a bas-relief Brand's suggestion o( gyriim, ciiiiibus, i-l Umpltim, M-\d his identificition of this 
'circular harbour' with the Prior's Haven, is devoid alike of linguistic and of topographical justification. 
The Rev. John Hodgson proposed to read cypiiin (i.e. cippumrin the second line, but the first letter is 
certainly either L or T. This stone and the altar are now in the rooms of the Society of .\ntiquaries at 
Burlington House. See Fig. 2. 


Segedunum as its source. Other arguments drawn from the form of 
the name of Tynemouth, which has been detected in the Roman station 
of Tunnocelhim and the hermitage of Tunnacester mentioned by Bede,' 
are of still less weight. In the present state of the evidence it 
may be said that no case has yet been made out for supposing that a 
Roman camp ever existed at Tynemouth, though it may be urged that 
the Romans would not have omitted to fortify so strong a position. If 
further discoveries of Roman remains were made, it might necessitate a 
reconsideration of the question, and a fresh examination of the disposition 
of Roman defences at the eastern extremity of the wall would then be 

The first appearance of Tynemouth in history is in the early days of 
Christianity in the north. A countryman, who saw the scene, told the 
story to a monk of Jarrow, who in turn described it to Bede. It occurred 
in the middle of the seventh century. At South Shields a double monas- 
tery was being built by St. Hild. A party of monks had gone up the Tyne 
to bring timber from the woods which then shaded the river banks. The 
rafts with their cargo were brought safely back, but off South Shields a 
wind set up from the west. A landing was impossible. With wind and 
tide against them, the monks were driven out to sea. Their comrades put 
out in boats from Shields, but the weather prevented them from giving 
any assistance. They gathered on the Lawe and knelt in prayer. But 
meanwhile a large crowd had collected on the northern shore. Their 
thoughts were not prayerful, for they jeered at the five rafts which now 
looked no larger than so many sea-gulls riding the waves. The monks 
were getting their deserts, they said, for trampling upon the laws of nature, 
and setting up new and unheard of standards of life. St. Cuthbert was 
among the crowd. He was only a lad, but he tried to shame them, saying, 
' Why curse those who, as you see, are being drawn to their death ? Is 

Camden, Britannia, 1587, p. 543. 'Hoc Romanorum saeculo Tunnocellum fuisse fere asseverabo 
. . . Saxonica heptarchica Tunnacerten vocabatur.' Cp. Bede, Hist. Eccl. lib. iv. c. 22, ed. Plummer, 
vol. i. p. 250. 

■ The two inscribed stones, and the questions to which their discovery gave rise, have a small 
literature to themselves. See Ijruce, Lapiiiiirium Scptcntriunale, Nos. I and 2, and the authorities there 
quoted. When the present trench in front of the castle was being excavated in 1856, there was found 
(together with a large medieval lock and a quantity of broken pottery) a Roman tile, inscribed lf;g vi v, 
now in the possession of the Rev. Thomas .Stephens, vicar of Horsley, and a coin of Constantius II. 
(337-3*^ ■)> ""''-■ Latimer's Local Records, p. 385. A coin of the Emperor Magnentius (350-353) is also 
said to have been found at Tynemouth. Arch. Acl. 2nd series,' vol. x. p. 308. 


it not better and kinder to pray to the Lord for their safe return than to 
be glad of their danger ? ' But they turned on him angrily and cried, ' Let 
no man pray for them. May God have mercy upon never a one of them. 
They have taken away our old services, and no one knows how these new 
forms ought to be kept.' Then Cuthbert knelt down and laid his face to 
the earth, and, as he prayed, the wind shifted and brought back the rafts 
to land ; so the monks reached the Durham shore unharmed. The crowd 
was abashed. They admired the young man for his boldness, and, when 
he came to be famous, the story of this deed was often told by those who 
then had stood upon the Tynemouth cliffs.' 

A monastery is not likely to have existed at Tynemouth at the period 
w^hen this event occurred. In later times the monks asserted that Edwin 
had built a wooden chapel there, which St. Oswald replaced by a little 
monastery of stone ; " but their tradition may be disregarded in view of 
Bede's express statement that no church was built in Northumbria before 
Oswald raised the cross at Heavenfield.^ Neither can one accept the 
identification of Tynemouth with the monastery of Donemuth, which would 
lead to placing the foundation in the reign of King Egfrid.^ Donemuth 
can only be Jarrow, which stands at the mouth of the little river Don. 
We must be satisfied with knowing that before the eighth century com- 
menced an abbey had been built upon the headland. 

This was probably the monastery at the mouth of the Tyne of which, 
when Bede was writing his historv, his friend Herebald was abbot. Here- 
bald, who died in 745, had been a disciple of St. John of Beverley, and 
Bede has told a story of how, as a young man, he was thrown from his 
horse, and woke from a long unconsciousness to find the bishop, his master, 
watching by his bedside. 


' Bede, Vita S. Cuthba-li, cap. 3, ed. Giles, vol. iv. p. 214. The identification of the monaster)- here 
mentioned with St. Hild's first religious house, described in Bede, Hist. Eccl. lib. iv. c. 23, is made 
by Canon Savage in Arch. Acl. 2nd series, vol. xix. pp. 47-75- 

■ Leland, Chnviicon iiucrti auctovis, above cited. ' Edwinus, re.\ Northumbrorum, sacellum erexit 
Tinemutae e.\ ligno, in quo Rosella, ejus filia, postea velum sacrum accepit. Sanctus Oswaldus 
nionasteriolum de Tinemuthe ex ligneo lapidcum fecit.' 

" Hist. Eccl. lib. iii. c. 2, ed. Plumnier, vol. i. p. 130. 

' Bishop Stubbs quotes a manuscript of Roger of Hoveden (MS. Reg. 13 A. 6), in which, opposite 
to an entry of the sack of ' monasterium Doni amnis ' in 794, a rubric has been added : ' Dani cum eorum 
rege devicti sunt apud Tynemuth,' and is prepared to accept the identification. Roger of Hoveden, Rolls 
Series, vol. i. p. xxxvii. 

' Hist. Eccl. lib. v. c. 6, ed. Plummer, vol. i. pp. 289-291. Symeon of Durham, Historia Regum, 
Rolls Series, vol. ii. p. 38. 


Very little is known of the history of this pre-Conquest abbey. 
A theory has been put forward ' that the Northumbrian annals, which 
form the earlier portion of Symeon of Durham's Histoiia Rc^uiii, may 
have been composed here, but Lindisfarne and Hexham both have prior 

There was necessarily a cemetery attached to the abbey, a fact 
attested by the sepulchral remains found there and otherwise known to 
us from the Anglo-Saxon C/ironic/c. In 792, Osred, son of Alcred, a 
dispossessed king of Northumbria, returned from the exile to which he 
had been driven two years earlier. Deserted by his followers, he was 
captured and put to death by his successor, Ethelred, his body being 
buried at Tynemouth.^ 

The following year, to the general horror of the Christian world, the 
monastery of Lindisfarne was sacked by the Danes. A year later Jarrow 
shared the same fate, but the Danes received a severe check in a naval 
battle in Jarrow Slake, and Tynemouth gained a short respite. It was not 
for long, for in 800 the invaders came again, and this time despoiled 
the abbey church as well as the church of Hertness, and carried off their 
booty with them over sea.' 

The piratical inroads of the Danes gave way to more ambitious projects 
of invasion and settlement. In 851 they first wintered in England. They 
directed their attention at first to the south and south-east, but in 867 they 
captured York. Northumbria was a prey to disunion and the weakness 
of its rulers. In 875 half of the heathen host sailed into the Tyne, com- 
pletely destroyed Tynemouth abbey, and murdered the nuns of St. Hild's 
convent who are said to have established themselves there. According to 
another account the Tynemouth monks sought refuge in a little church on 
their domain which had been dedicated by St. Cuthbert. The invaders 
set fire to it, and the monks perished in the flames. Tynemouth became 
a Danish stronghold. The army, under the leadership of Halfdene, reduced 
the whole of Northumberland, and spread war into Scotland. All the 

' By the late Mr. C. J. Bates, History oj Northumberland, p. 73. 

• Earle, Two of the Saxon Chronicles Parallel, p. 55. 'Osred the was Norlhanhyiiibra Cining, 
aefter wrscsithe ham cumenum, gelreht, wa:s ofslagen ; his he Hgth £ct Tinanmuthe.' 

' Matthew Paris, Chronica Majora, Rolls Series, vol. i. p. 367. ' A.D. DCCC. Exercitus paganorum 
nefandissimus ecclesias de Hertenes el de Tinemutha crudelitcr spoliavit, et cum spoliis ad naves 


monasteries on the coast of Northumberland, Durham and Yorkshire were 
destroyed, and monasticism ceased to exist north of the Tyne for a couple 
of centuries.' 

The downfall of the Anglian abbey marks the close of the first stage 
in Tynemouth's history. From that time till the eve of the Norman 
Conquest there is an entire absence of historical tradition connected with 
the place. Two things only appear certain, that the monastery was not 
rebuilt, and that in the resettlement of the country at the close of the 
Danish invasions, Tynemouth, like other lands of the destroyed monasteries, 
became part of the demesne of the Northumbrian earls. There Earl Tostig 
used to come on his journeys from one village of his demesne to another, 
bringing with him a host of followers, for whom each town or village were 
bound by custom to find lodging and provisions for one, two, or three 
nights in the year." There was scant accommodation for them ; the chaplain 
and his wife (for the tie of celibacy was then little regarded among the 
clergy) found a lodging on at least one occasion in the tower of the little 
parish church dedicated to the Virgin Mary.' 

The church was in charge of a single custodian, a secular priest named 
Edmund. One night in 1065, according to the Tynemouth hagiographer, 
he dreamed a dream. There appeared to him a man of angelic mien and 
addressed him by name. ' I am King Oswin,' he said, ' who was betrayed 
and put to a terrible death by King Oswy, and I lie in this church unknown 
to all.' He bade him rise and tell Egelwin, bishop of Durham, to make 
search under the floor of the church and to give his body a more fitting 
resting-place. This Oswin, who was king of Deira, had suffered loss of 
kingdom and life at the hands of Oswy, ruler of Bernicia, four centuries 
before the time of this vision. Bede wrote in his history of Oswin's saint- 

' AnnaUs Liitdisfanienscs et Diinilmaiscs, Monumenta Germanica, vol. xix. p. 506. ' 875. Halfdene, 
assumpta parte exeicitus, intravit Tinam, totamque Northumbrian! cum monasteriis et ecclesiis est 
depopulatus.' Chronica Mcijora, vol. i. p. 392. ' De multorum desolatione coenobiorum ' (sub anno S70), 
and p. 531. Leland, toe. cit., quoting Chronicon incerti auctoris, ' Dani Tinemuthe utebantur pro 
propugnaculo atque adeo receptaculo, cum transfetarent ex Dania et Norwegia in ;' and vol. iv. 
p. 1 14, quoting a lost manuscript of the Vitti Osu'iiii, ' Hynguar et Hubba hoc monasterium destruxerunt. 
Monachi metu persecutionis fugerunt ad quandam ecclesiolam in fundo suo quam Sanctus Culhbertus 
dedicaverat. Quo comperto, Dani ipsam ecclesiam, et omnes qui in eo erant, igni succenderunt, et 
omne loci nobilis aedificium in campi planitiem redegerunt.' 

- Vita Oswiiii, cap. vii. Surt. Soc. No. S. {Miscclhiiiai Biographica), p. 20. ' Cum de more provinciae 
instructa assent convivia apud Tynemudham, quia villula modica erat, et ad tot hommum genera, quae 
comitem comitabantur, suscipienda hospitio minus sufficiens.' 

' This 'ecclesiola' would seem to have been on a more modest scale than the 'eximium coenobium' 
of the eighth century. Of its position it can only be said that it stood within the castle, and was not 
upon the site of the Norman church which succeeded it. 

Vol. VI II. ^ 


liness and humility, but neither he nor any earlier writer had told of the 
place where the murdered king lay buried.' Then Edmund awoke, and 
early in the morning he told the bishop, who was strongly drawn to believe 
his tale. With many others Egelwin came to Tynemouth. Men were 
set to dig up the floor of the little church. From dawn to noon they dug 
and found nothing. Edmund was stung by a sense of the saint's unfair 
dealing with him. At last he seized a spade himself and began to dig 
deeper than the others had done. A sharp ring from the tool showed 
that he had struck on stone. The earth was quickly cleared away ; a coffin 
was disclosed ; the lid was lifted, and immediately a wonderful fragrance 
filled the building. Bishop Egelwin lifted the body out of the coffin ; it 
was washed, wrapped in linen cloths, covered with rich apparel, and placed 
in a tomb in a raised portion of the church. The finding of the body of 
St. Oswin occurred on March iith, 1065." 

The monks of Durham had a somewhat diff"erent tradition. There was 
a monk at Durham named Elfred Westou. No man was a more zealous 
guardian of the relics of the saints, and no one could match him in the 
recovery and collection of fresh relics. His greatest title to fame is the 
abstraction from Jarrow of the bones of the Venerable Bede, which he 
deposited in the church of Durham. But he also visited the sites of many 
of the ancient monasteries and churches in Northumbria, bringing to light 
the bones of the saints who had been there buried, and placing them above 
ground, where they could be the object of popular veneration. The saints 
whose remains he had the merit of discovering were the hermits Balther 
and Bilfred, Acca and Alchmund, bishops of Hexham, the abbesses Ebba 
and Ethelgitha, and King Oswin. ^ The story illustrates the general revival 
in the north during Edward the Confessor's reign of the cult of North- 
umbrian saints, of which the instance of St. Oswin was no isolated example. 

The question naturally arises whether Oswin was actually buried at 
Tynemouth, and whether it was his body which was discovered. Answer 
may be given in the words of Oswin's biographer. ' As for others than 

' Bede, in his account of King Oswin (Hist. Eccl. lib. iii. c. 14), mentions only the place of his death, 
Ingetlinguin, i.e., Gilling, near Richmond, where a monastery was built in his memory. 

- Vita Oswini, c. iv. pp. 12-15. 

' Symeon of Durham, Hist. Diinehn. Eccl. lib. iii. c. 7 ; Rolls Series, vol. i. pp. 87-90. If a choice 
has to be made between Symeon's statement and the St. Alban's tradition as represented by the Vita 
Oswini, the preference must be given to the former. The St. Alban's connection with Tynemouth dates 
only from 1085. The story of the hair of St. Cuthbert, which did not burn but glowed like asbestos 
in the fire, reappears in a different form in the Vita, where the hair is said to be St. Oswin's. 

Tynemouth priory, 43 

Bede who have told or written of the martyr, we allow a belief in their 
statements, but the weight of their authority is not sufficient to compel 
our belief.' ^ And the question whether the bones were those of the Deiran 
king is one of small moment. They are lost now. The historical influence 
of St. Oswin in succeeding centuries was great ; his Invention, whether 
true or false, is a date to be remembered in the religious historv of the 
North. Strangers had heard of St. Oswin, when the name of St. Aidan 
was unknown to them.' The popularity of his worship is attested by the 
number of miracles performed at his shrine, and continued for at least a 
century, when his fame began to be eclipsed by that of Godric of Finchale.' 

In the October following the discovery of St. Oswin's body, North- 
umbria rose in revolt against Earl Tostig, and he was forced to go into 
banishment. He went to the court of Harold Hardrada, king of Norway, 
whom he persuaded to join him in an invasion of England. They united 
their forces in the river Tyne (September, 1066), but the invasion was 
brought to a close the same month at Stamfordbridge, where Tostig and 
Hardrada lost their lives. Three weeks later the battle of Hastings gave 
England to the Normans. 

At first Northumberland was left unvisited by the Conqueror, but he 
came with his army in 1070, wasting the land as far as the Tweed. Again, 
two years later, he marched into Scotland to force submission upon the 
Scotch king, Malcolm. Upon one of these two occasions, on his return 
march, he encamped at Monk-chester, soon to be known as Newcastle- 
upon-Tyne. He found the river unfordable, neither was there any sign of 
a bridge. During his enforced halt the Normans scoured the country for 
food and fodder. Word being brought that the supplies of the neighbour- 
hood had been hurriedly collected at Tynemouth, a foraging party was 
despatched to seize them. They came in sight of the church tower, which 
stood a conspicuous landmark on the promontory. Then their leader gave 

' Vita Oswini, p. i. 

- Ibid. p. 46. ' De Sancto Rege,' inquit, ' Oswino nonnulla dudum audieram, sed Sancti Aydani 
episcopi antea nee nomen ad me pervenerat.' 

' Several miracles performed on natives of Tynemouth are recorded in the Vittt Godrici, Surt. Soc. 
No. 20. 

' Qualre cenz ans e quinze avoc 
Aveit le cors ju iloc, 
A Tyneniue, u il estait, 
E uncore est, co est drait, 
E Deus i fet maintes vertuz 
Pur le cors scint, co est seuz.' 
Gaimar, L'Estone dis EiigUs, ii. 5109-5114 ; Rolls Series, vol 1. p. 216. 


orders forbidding a further advance, for he had heard of St. Oswin's fame. 
But his scouts were out of hand. They hurried on to Tynemoutii, and 
came back to the king's camp laden with suppHes. They appear to have 
set fire to the church, which remained roofless for fifteen years to come.' 

King Wilham, on the second of these two campaigns, deposed the 
existing earl of Northumberland, Gospatric, and appointed Waltheof to be 
his successor. In 1074, when Waltheof had held the earldom for two 
years, there came to Monkchester a monk of Winchcombe named Alduin, 
with two companions from Evesham monastery. They came on foot, their 
books and vestments carried on a donkey. From this humble beginning 
sprang the revival of monasticism in the north. Walcher, who was then 
bishop of Durham, received them with honour, and gave them the old 
monastery of Jarrow as a place of residence." Their number was increased 
by new recruits from the south, and many Northumbrians, influenced by 
their example, entered the monastic profession. Walcher further used 
his influence with Earl Waltheof for their better endowment. In the 
presence of the bishop and of the whole synod of the bishopric, Waltheof 
granted to Alduin, and to the monks assembled at Jarrow, the church 
of St. Mary at Tynemouth, with the body of St. Oswin, king and martyr, 
then resting in the said church, together with all places and lands and 
other things thereto belonging, to hold freely for ever. By the same 
charter he off^ered them his young cousin Morkar, to be brought up under 
monastic discipline. Moreover, because Tynemouth was as yet too wild 
and desolate a place for monks to inhabit, and Waltheof and the bishop had 
determined to find them a more suitable habitation at Durham, he granted 
to St. Cuthbert the church of St. Mary above mentioned, with all property 
bestowed or thereafter to be bestowed upon the same.^ Bishop Walcher 
likewise issued a charter at this synod, confirming the earl's deed of gift. 

Symeon of Durham, who was himself a monk at Jarrow at this period, 
has left an account of how the congregation acquitted themselves of their 
charge. One of their number, named Edmund, served the church at 

' Vita Oswini, c. viii. p. 20. Professor Freeman {Norman Conquest, vol. iv. p. 519) assigns the episode 

to 1072, which agrees best with the hagiographer's words, 'cum a Scotia reverteretur.' But 

Symeon of Durham's statement that in 1083 the church had been for fifteen years without a roof 
implies a devastation in 1070, so that this tale of a Norman foray may apply to the earlier campaign. 

-■ Symeon of Durham, Hist. Eccl. Duiutm. lib. iii. c. 21 ; Rolls Series, vol. i. pp. 109-112. 

' Diir. Treas. 1"" i"" Pont. No. 5 (an early transcript), and Cart. Prim. fol. 83; printed in Hist. 
Dundm. Script. Tres, Surt. Soc. No. 9, p. xviii. The presence of Earl Aldred as a witness throws some 
doubt upon the genuineness of the charter, but there is no reason for questioning the fact of Waltheof 's gift. 


Tynemouth, and, after him, Eadred. They also appointed a priest, Elwald. 
He was one of the congregation of St. Cuthbert at Durham, and used to 
go over to Durham from Tynemouth whenever his week came round for 
celebrating mass. Others of the brethren were sent in turn to St. Mary's 
to hold divine service. But there was no settlement at Tynemouth, and 
the church continued in a dismantled state. The Jarrow monks at times 
brought over the bones of St. Oswin to their monastery, keeping them 
with them so long as they pleased, and then returning them to their 
original resting place. ^ 

Bishop Walcher did not live to carry out his scheme of establishing 
the Jarrow monks at Durham, being murdered in 1080. During the last 
five years of his life he had been earl of Northumberland as well as 
bishop of Durham. Now the two oi^ices were separated. William de St. 
Carileph was appointed to the episcopal see, and a Norman noble, Alberic, 
was made earl. In the course of his brief tenure of that office (1080-1082), 
Alberic confirmed Waltheof's charter of donation.^ 

The new bishop was stronglv influenced by the ecclesiastical reforms 
of Pope Gregory VII. He obtained papal and royal sanction for expelling 
the congregation of St. Cuthbert from the church which they had hitherto 
served, and replacing them by the combined monastic congregations of 
Jarrow and Wearmouth. In this way Durham priory was founded. Monks 
of the Benedictine Order were established at Durham on May 26th, 
1083. The bishop had made preparations for the new body by endowing 
it with extensive property in Durham and Northumberland, and he also 
confirmed the monks in their possession of the church of Tynemouth. 
Robert de Mowbray, the new earl of Northumberland, joined with others 
in sanctioning this arrangement.^ 

The removal of the monks from Jarrow to Durham necessitated a 
change with regard to Tynemouth. It was no longer possible to send 
monks across the Tyne as in the days when only the river separated 

' Symeon of Durham, Hist. Rcgum, Rolls Series, vol. ii. p. 261. 

■' .Alberic's charter is described by Bishop William as granted 'eisdem monachis, domini Papae 
auctoritate in Dunelnium translatis.' 'Translatis' refers to the time of Bishop William's charter and not 
to that of Alberic. .Alberic had probably ceased to be earl before the monks were transferred to Durham, 
though Symeon of Durham asserts the contrary. Hist. Regum, loc. cit. 

' Diir. Ti-eas. 1"'° i'"" Pont. No. 2, printed in Hist. Dunclin. Script. Trcs, pp. i-v. The charter is a 
forgery (see the Rev. William Greenwell's introduction to the Fcodariiim Pnoratus Duiielmcnsis, Surt. 
Soc. No. 58), but must be accepted as embodying an early tradition, to be followed for want of a better 


Jarrow from its dependent ; a more permanent settlement at Tynemouth 
was required. By a resolution of the whole chapter, the monk Turchil 
was sent to Tynemouth, possibly with one or more companions. He put 
a new roof upon the dismantled church, and continued to reside there for 
the next three years.' 

A quarrel shortly broke out between William de St. Carileph and 
Robert de Mowbray. The earl sent two of his officers, Gumer and 
Robert Taca, and expelled the monk Turchil from St. Mary's church. 
The bishop replied by issuing a charter, in which he recited Waltheof's 
deed of <nft and its various confirmations, and threatened with the usual 
anathemas whoever should dare to rob the monks of their possession (May 
27th, 108 s).' The feud became serious, and called for the interposition of 
the king, who restored peace, though without obliging Mowbray to give 
back the church to the prior and convent of Durham.^ 

Robert de Mowbray was not disposed or was not allowed to keep the 
church in his own hands. Acting, it is said, with the goodwill of the king 
and of Archbishop Lanfranc, he entered into negotiations with Lanfranc's 
nephew, Paul, the Norman abbot of St. Alban's, to ascertain whether he 
was willine to send monks from St. Alban's to settle in the vacant church. 
Paul accepted the proposals upon the condition that a suitable endowment 
was found for them. Mowbray assented ; the monks were sent and installed 
under the protection of the civil power, and in this way Tynemouth became 
a cell of St. Alban's, and, except for brief assertions of independence, re- 
mained subject to that monastery for the remainder of its existence.^ 

' Symeon, Hist. Reguiii, loc. cit. and Hist. Dunelni. Eccl. lib. iv. cap. 4 ; Rolls -Series, vol. i. p. 124. 
' Quae (ecclesia), cum jam per quindecim annos velut deserta sine tecto durasset, eani monachi, culmine 
imposito, renovarunt.' 

■ Dur. Tn-as. i"'« i"'° Pont. No. 5, and Cart. Prim. fol. S3 b, printed in Hist. Dunclm. Script. Trcs, 
p. xix. This charter is to be taken with the same reservation as that of Waltheof. It is dated 'v kal. 
Mail, feria secunda,' but the 27th in this year was a Sunday. 

' Hist. Duiitlm. Script. Trcs, p. ccccxxv, quoting an abstract of the Liber Ruber, a lost manuscript 
which gave a history of the privileges conferred upon the see of Durham down to 1088, ' Willielmus 
Conquestor concordiam fecit inter Willielmum primum episcopum Dunelm., et Robertum comitem 
Northunibriae.' A deed in Dur. Treas. (1'"° i'""" Reg. No. 17) gives the terms of a concord made by 
William Rufus between St. Carileph and Mowbray ; printed in the Feodanuin, ed. Greenwell, p. Ixxxii. 
The list of witnesses w-ould date it, if genuine, in 1091 or 1092. In this it conflicts with the statement 
in the Liber Ruber. 

' An obscurity hangs over the acquisition of Tynemouth by St. Alban's, due to the fact that the date 
must be a matter for conjecture. Matthew Paris is the only writer who assigns a year to the event, and 
he does not claim it to be more than approximate. (Chronica Mtijoni, vol. ii. p. 31.) His date, 1090, conflicts 
with the statement in the Gcsta Abliatuni Mvnastcrti S. Albani (Rolls Series, vol. i. p. 56) that the trans- 
ference was carried out 'regis et archiepiscopi Lanfranci benevolentia,' for Lanfranc died May 24th, 
1089. The event must have been prior to that date, and is admitted to be subsequent to the foundation 
of Durham priory (May 26th, 1083). If one is to keep as near as may be to the chronology of Matthew 


Mowbray's charters are not extant, so that there are no means of 
ascertaining how extensive his gifts were, but they were, without doubt, 
lavish. He endowed the new cell with manors, churches, rents, and 
fisheries, together with mills and the usual appurtenances of a Norman 
manor, to be held freely, and quit of all secular service. He granted the 
church of Tynemouth, so endowed, to Abbot Paul and his successors, 
and to the church of St. Alban's for his own health and that of all his 
predecessors and successors to hold for ever, upon the condition that the 
abbot of St. Alban's for the time being, with the conventual chapter, 
should have the free disposal of the priors and monks of Tynemouth, 
alike in appointing and in removing them, as they should see fit.' 

Paris, the winter of 10S8-10S9 may be fixed upon, and the spohation of Durham may under those 
circumstances be considered to form part of the consequences of WilMam de St. Carileph's participation 
in Odo of Bayeux's rising of 1088. Robert de Mowbray also joined in the rising, but appears on this 
occasion to have escaped punishment. He may have made his submission and ratified it by joining 
with the royal party against the bishop, his former ally. 

On the other hand, the Durham Red Book gives proof of a quarrel between Mowbray and Bishop 
William, which was made up while William the Conqueror was still alive, i.e., before September, 1087. 
The words of Symeon of Durham (Hist. Rcgum, loc. cit.), ' postea per tres annos possederunt,' show that 
the monks of St. Cuthbert did not hold the church of Tynemouth for more than three years after they 
were transferred to Durham. This gives 1085-1086 as the required date, which is corroborated by the 
fact that the story of Mowbray's seizure finds a place in Symeon's narrative before the entry of the death 
of William the Conqueror. It is therefore probable that Bishop William's charter of May 28th, 1085, if 
genuine, was not unconnected with Mowbray's attack on the rights of his church. Tynemouth had been 
already confirmed to the priory along with other possessions in 1082. .\ special confirmation at a 
subsequent date must have been called forth by special circumstances. These considerations point to 
10S5 as the most probable date, though the chronology is undoubtedly difficult. 

' Matthew Paris, Chronica Majora, vol. ii. p. 31. De monachis apud Tynemutham prime introductis. 
' Consilio amicorum suorum (Robertus de Molbraio) Paulum, ecclesiae Sancti .-Mbani abbatem, convenit. 
.... Cujus petitioni abbas praedictus adquiescens, quosdam illuc de SanctoAlbano monachis destinavit ; 
quibus comes praefatus cum in maneriis, ecclesiis, redditibus et piscariis, cum molendinis et rebus 
omnibus sufficienter providisset et cartis suis praedicta oinnia ab omni seculari servitio soluta et penitus 
libera confirmasset, dedit praedicto abbati Paulo, ejusque successoribus et ecclesiae beati Albani 
Anglorum prothomartyris, ecclesiam de Tinemutha. cum omnibus pertinentiis suis, pro salute propria et 
omnium antecessorum suorum sive successorum eternaliter possidendam, ita quidem ut abbates Sancti 
Albani qui pro tempore fuerint, cum consilio ejusdem loci conventus, liberam habeant dispositionem 
priorum et monachorum, tarn in illis ponendis quam removendis, sicut viderint expedire.' The writer 
of these words must have had Mowbray's deed of gift before him. It was lost before 1292, when search 
was made for it, and a Tynemouth monk wrote, ' God only knows what has become of it.' Cottonian 
MSS. Tib. E. vi. fol. 150. , ■ , u 

The manuscript here quoted is an unpublished register of St. Alban's monastery, of which the 
greater part appears to have been compiled in the last decade of the thirteenth century. It has been 
continued by various writers in the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries. The earlier portion relates largely 
to the various cells of St. .A.lban's monastery, for whose history it is of the highest value. It has never 
been printed as a whole, though well deserving of that attention, but extracts are given in the Rolls 
edition of the Rcgistrtan Abhatiac Johannis Whcthamstcde, vol. ii. app. D. Originally a fine code.x, it was 
seriously injured in the fire which consumed many of the manuscripts of Sir Robert Cottons collection. 
Fortunately three independent series of extracts' from it exist which were made before the fire, viz. : 
(l) by Augustine Baker (MSS. Jesus College, Oxford, No. 77), (2) by Roger Dodsworth (volume 78 
of his collections), (3) by Sir Richard St. George (Lansdowne MSS. No. S63). Selden also quotes it m 
his History of Tithes. Dodsworth's extracts were largely used in the production of Dugdale s Momutuon. 
Mr. Sidney Gibson printed the Lansdowne MS. extracts, so far as they related to Tyriemouth, in his 
History of the Monastery of Tvnemotith. The manuscript has been carefully rebound, and, though much 
injured in every page by fire, i't remains otherwise intact. The greater part of it is decipherable. It wi.l 
be hereafter quoted in this work as the St. A Iban's Register. 



Among the possessions so confirmed to Tynemoutli and St. Alban's 
were probably the manors of Tynemouth and Preston, the manor of Amble 
with Hauxley, its member, the churches of Tynemouth and Woodhorn, 
and the tithes of Corbridge, Rothbury, Warkworth, Wooler, and Newburn. 
Thev were held by Tynemouth priory from a very early period, and appear 
to have been formerly part of the estates of the official earldom. Other 
grants were made by Mowbray's ' men ; ' Hubert de la Val, for instance, 
granted the tithes of all the townships in his barony, and possibly the 
township of South Dissington also. 

The following table shows the extent of the possessions of Tynemouth 
priory, as well those now conferred as those acquired at a later date. 
Exactness cannot be ensured owing to the loss of almost all of the grants. 
Minor possessions, that is to say, houses or lands within a township, are 

Northumberland. A 


Date of 








Robert de Mowbray (?) 

1085 ... 

Retained till dissolution 


1) )) 

Before 1 1 16 



Whitley ^ 


Henry I 

Circa 1 1 06- II 




Seghill ) 

East & Middle Chirton 


Before 11 16 










Before 11 58 





Before 1 1 89 




Robert de Wircester 

Circa 11 58 



West Chirton 

Purchased from William 

1256 ... 




Mowbray (?) 

1085 (?) 








Coquet Island 


Before 11 19 



Bewick > 


, Queen Matilda ' 

Circa 1105-11 





Wooperton , 


Winnoc the hunter 

Circa 1106-II16 





Before 11 89 





West Hartford 

de Bolam ^ 





'Liber de Benefactoribus Monasterii Sancti Albani, Rolls Series; Chronica Monasterii S. Albani, 
vol. iii. p. 435. ' Matildis regina dedit nobis Bewyk et Lylleburne.' 

■ ' The manner and towne of Cowpon by th' old feodary roll was holden of the barony of Bollam, 
and afterwardes the tenor given by the lordes of the said barony emongst other thinges to the prior and 
convent of Tynemouthe.' Early seventeenth century survey of Tynemouthshire, Duke of Northumber- 
land's MSS. 

Plate r.' 


V»1Tul™Jan.. banc S c.„c«„„f W,n.a A[<«„<lcr fcS i (.ercfconfAo .1„„c„3,„L I 
-~- 1^.5 ^.rV.|,l ra.,„,fif U.^,. |,„_y ,a.e5arJ. Ren,,.*..^ I™„M. Ra<l„iafiululMc54a. Radu(foa™.Kc^«lJ„);.. Vo,,,^ 


R.C"»»tD P»yui55EH viEs 



Northumberland. A. Temporalities (continued j. 



Date of 


■ de Bolani 

Before 1 1 20 (?) 



I'urchased from James Dela- 

1454 - 

Subsequent History. 

Retained till dissolution. 


Wolsington ... 
South Dissington 

Purchased from Adam de 
Kenrother and others ... 

William (?) de la Val' 


Before 1 1 89 . . 
Before 1 158 .. 
Before 1 120 (?) 
Before 11 89 .. 

Lost before the dissolution. 

The priory also owned, at the dissolution, a fee farm rent from the 
tower of Craster and land.s in Warkworth, Donkin Rigg, Woodhorn, North 
Seton, Ellington, Mersfen, Newbiggin, Seghill, Holywell and Hartley, as 
well as several houses in Newcastle and Gateshead. 

B. Spiritualities, i 

— Impropriations. 

Dale of 




Subsequent History. 

Tynemouth ... 

Robert de Mowbray 


Retained till dissolution. 


Mowbray or Guy de Balliol 

Before 1 1 19 ... 




Before 1 1S9 ... 




Transferred to St. Alban's 
circa 1258- 1260. 


de Bolam (?) 


Lost to the Archbishop of 
York, 1253-1254. 


Queen Matilda 


Retained till dissolution. 

Eglingham ... 

Winnoc the hunter 

Circa 1 106-1 1 16 

Transferred to St. Alban's 
circa 1215-1222. 


Gospatric II. 

Before 1 13S ... 

Surrendered to Durham, 1 1 74. 

Bywell St. Peter's . 

. Guy (?) de Balliol 

Before 1 1 19 ... 



. Richard II 


Retained till dissolution. 

2.— Tithes, other ihan those of ihe Churches above-named.^ 

Date of 
Parish or township. Donor Acquisition. Subsequent History. 

Corbridge Robert de Mowbray (?) ... Before i!i6 ... ) Conceded to Carlisle circa 

Warkworth „ ... „ ... ) 1223. 

Rothbury „ ... „ ... Lost to Carlisle. 

' Liber dc Dciie/actoribus, p. 448. ' Willelmus de Lavale dedit huic ecclesiae villain quae Ducentuna 
appellatur in regione Northanhumbroruin.' 

'' ' Henricus Rex Anglie R. Episcopo Dunelinensi et omnibus baronibus suis Francis et Anglis de 
Northumberland, salutcm. .Sciatis me dedisse Deo et Sancte Marie et Sancto Oswyno et abbati 
de .Sancto .Mbano et monachis de Tyncmulh omncs dccimas suas per Northumberland quas Robcrtus 
comes et homines ejus donaverant cis, scilicet dccimas de Colebrige, ct illas de Ovinlon et de Wylum, 
illas etiam dc Ncuburn, et illas dc Discington et dc Calverdon ct de Klstwyc, et illas [de] Bothall 
et de Werkeurtli ct de .Anebell, similiter et de Roubyr et de Wulloure. Et volo ac praecipio quatcnus 
supradictus abbas et monachi de Tynemutha bene ct integre habeant illas, ac libcie tencant in mca 
pace, et quod nullus eis inde aliquid auferat, super meam forisfacturam. Teste Nigcllo dc Alben' apud 
Brantonam.' St. Alban's Register, fol. 1 16. From Dodsworth's transcripts. 

Vol. \III. 



2.— Tithes, other than those ok the Churches above-named f continued j. 

Parish or township. 




Black Calleiton 

Robert de Mowbray (?) 

Guy (?) dc Balliol 

Hubert de la Val 

Dale of 

Before 1 1 16 

Subsequent History. 
Lost to Carlisle. 
Compounded before 1282. 
Retained till dissolution. 
Compounded in 1236. 
Retained till dissolution. 
Lost before 1 189. 

DuRHA.M (Wapentake of Sadberge). A. Temporalities. 


Carlbury ... | 

Morton Tyncmouth J 

Date of 
Donor. Acquisition. 

Robert dc Mowbray or Guy Before 11 19 
de Balliol 

B. Spiritualities. 

Property. Donor. 
Coniscliffe Church ... Unknown- ... 
Tithes of Middleton- „ 

Tithes of demesne of Robert Bruce I. (?) ... 

the lordship of Hert- 


Date of 

Before 1093 
Before 11 58 

Before 1 141 

Subsequent History. 

Lost to the Bishop of Dur- 
ham nVra 1 265- 1 290. 

Subsequent History. 
Transferred to St. Alban's. 
Lost during the 13th century. 

The tithes of Elwick and 
Owton were retained till 
the dissolution. 

This list will show that the great bulk of the possessions of Tynemouth 
piiory, both temporal and spiritual, were conferred upon that house during 
the first century of its existence. There is ground for supposing that most 
of them formed part of the original endowment, to which many northern 
nobles besides Mowbray contributed, such as Guy de Balliol, the first 
Robert Bruce, and the second Gospatric. 

So soon as Abbot Paul had leisure to attend to his new charge, he 
journeyed north, though it was not till the year 1093 that he was able to 
set out on this pastoral visitation. The church of Durham had in no way 
yielded its claims. Its prior, Turgot, sent some of his monks to meet 
Abbot Paul at York, and afterwards went there himself. In the presence 
of Thomas, the archbishop, and of many ecclesiastics, he prohibited the 
abbot by canonical authority from usurping the rights of the church 

' See the letter of Robert Hclme to George Warde quoted in the account given below of the Great 
Book of Tynemouth. 

- He is described in MSS. Cott. Vitellius A. x.\. fol. 76 b, as ' quidam nobilis de Novo Castello qui 
venit ad Conquestum Angliae.' See Dugdale, Monasticon, new edition, vol. iii. p. 313. An account of 
this manuscript will be given in dealing with the literature of the priory. 



of Durham, and violating the sacred canons. 
But the abbot answered that he cared nought 
for any prohibition ; so when he fell ill and died 
on his homeward journey, the Durham monks 
saw in the event a just punishment of his and 
Mowbray's crime.' 

Upon the same day as that on which Abbot 
Paul died, Malcolm Caenmore, king of Scotland, 
was surprised and killed on the banks of the 
Aln, November 13th, 1093. Two Northum- 
brians brought his body on a cart to Tynemouth, 
where Mowbray had it buried in the new Nor- 
man church then in course of construction. 
Subsequently Malcolm's son, Alexander I., asked 
that his father's body should be given back. A 
corpse was sent and buried in Dunfermline 
abbey.' The Scottish king, in gratitude, granted 
to the church his peace and the peace of God. 
Matthew Paris has a storv that the remains sent 
to Dunfermline were really those of a farmer 
from the neighbouring village of Monkseaton. 
' In this way,' he writes, ' we tricked the dis- 
honest Scots.'' Whether or no Malcolm's body 
continued to lie at Tynemouth, it so happened 
that when, in 1257, certain foundations were 
being laid for a new building, two coffins were 
discovered. One contained the body of a man 
of great stature ; the body in the other coffin 

Symeon, Hist. Dunelm. Eccl. and Hist. Regiim, loc. cit. 
Matthew Paris, Chronica Majora, vol. ii. p. 34. 

' Symeon, Hist. Rfgiim, vol. ii. p. 222. William of Malnies- 
bury, Gesta Regiim Anglorum, Rolls Series, vol. ii. p. 309. Cj. King 
David's charter given in Dugdale, Monasticon, new edition, vol. iii. 
P- 313- 

' Chronica Majora (Additamenta), vol. vi. p. 372. ' De Roberto 

de Mumbrni, fundatore de Thinemue Propter regiam excel- 

lentiam. fccil corpus regis occisi honorifice intuiiiulari in ecclesia b 
de Thyneinuc, qiiani idem conies construxerat. Scotis tamen 
postea corpus sui regis fruntose postulantibus, concessum est et 
datum corpus cujusdam hominis plebeii de Sethtune ; et ita delusa 
est Scotoruni improbitas.' 

irp>x " 

•50A L E 

I ft 
■ . I 

I I I 

Effigy ix Choik of Priory 



was of smaller build. Ralph de Dunham, who was prior of Tynemouth at 
that time, thought them to be Malcolm and his eldest son, Edward, who 
was killed or mortally wounded when the Scottish king lost his life. He 
wrote to a monk of Kelso for further information about Malcolm. The 
monk sent him an extract from Roger of Hoveden's history, and suggested 
that a place of greater honour should be given to the two coffins.' 

Malcolm's death was shortly followed by the revolt and overthrow of 
his rival Mowbray. Carried away by his success, the earl defied William 
Rufus and broke into rebellion in the spring of 1095. The royal forces 
marched against him. He stood isolated, but effected a stout resistance. 
Siege was laid to Newcastle and to Tynemouth, both of which places 
now appear for the first time as fortified positions. Tynemouth seems to 
have been the first to fall,^ after it had held out for two months. The 
earl's brother and the whole of the garrison were taken prisoners. 

The St. Alban's monks made their submission, and found the king, who 
was conducting the siege of Newcastle, sufficiently generous. Three royal 
charters, drawn up during that siege, have been recorded in a register of St. 
Alban's. By one William confirmed to St. Alban's the church of St. Mary 
and St. Oswin, and all things that belonged to it in lands and tithes, waters 
and customs ' to the north and to the south of the Tyne and in England,' ' 

' Matthew Paris, Chronica Majora (Additamenta), vol. vi. pp. 370, 371. It is impossible to say 
whether the prior's conjecture was well founded. Only one may note that he claimed to have found 
the body of Prince Edward also. Vet no writer makes mention of that prince having been buried at 
Tynemouth, and Fordun {Scotticronicon, ed. Skene, vol. ii. p. 208) asserts that the prince escaped to 
Jedburgh, died there of his wounds, and was buried at Dunfermline. The prior would seem to attempt 
to prove too much. 

■ The part played by Tynemouth in Mowbray's revolt has been examined by the late Professor 
Freeman in Thi Rci^ii of Williiim Rii/us, vol. ii. pp. 603-613. He inclines to place the siege of Newcastle 
before that of Tynemouth, but the dating of the two charters printed below, ' apud obsessionem Novi 
Castelli,' militates against his view. Rufus is not likely to have granted the monks their rights when 
the castle, .ind therefore the monastery, was still in the hands of the rebels ; neither are the monks likely 
to have deserted the cause of their founder before it was lost. Freeman conjectures that Mowbray's 
castle was not upon the priory rock but on the smaller promontory where the Spanish battery stands, 
and that it was therefore e.xterior to the monastery. But this position has none of the natural advantages 
of the priory rock which commands it. There is no evidence to show that Mowbray's stronghold was 
not on the site of the fourteenth century castle. 

The most detailed account of the siege of Tynemouth is that given by Florence of Worcester (ed. 
Thorpe, vol. ii. p. 38) : ' Rex, exercitu de tota Anglia congregato, castellum predict! comitis Rotberti 
ad ostium Tinae fluminis situm per duos menses obsedit ; et interim quadam munitiuncula expugnata, 
ferme omnes meliores comitis milites cepit, et in custodia posuit ; dein obsessum castellum expugnavit, 
et fratrem comitis, et equites, quns intus inveniebat, custodiae tradidit.' The castelhini is Tynemouth. 
If Florence meant the iiutitittuiiculii to refer to Newcastle, which is doubtful, his authority still is not so 
good as that of the contemporary charters. Compare the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle, ed. Earle, p. 231. 

' ' In nort de Tyne et in suth de Tyne et in Anglia.' Anglia is confined to its Domesday limits. But 
Tynemouth held no property within those limits, unless the Yorkshire property of St. Alban's at 
Appleton and Thorp Basset was originally conferred on the cell. The phrase may therefore be a 
formula, though it is difficult to find another instance of its use. See this charter printed from the 
St. Alban's Register, fol. 116, in Dugdale, Munasticon, vol. iii. p. 313. 


together with all that Earl Robert and his men had given to St. Oswin 
before his forfeiture. By the two other charters he granted to the monks 
of Tynemouth all their possessions in lands, in waters, in tithes and in 
churches, in wood and in plain, and gave them leave to hold their court 
with soc and sac, tol and theam, infangthef and wreck, and to exercise 
within their franchise the royal rights of jurisdiction.' 

Newcastle, like Tynemouth, fell into the king's hands. Rufus there- 
upon proceeded to besiege Bamburgh, where Mowbray had shut himself 
up. The northern fortress was closely blockaded. Mowbray resolved on 
a bold scheme which came near to success. He had succeeded in gathering 
the royal forces in strength round Bamburgh. He now resolved to 
make a dash for Tynemouth and Newcastle, recover possession of those 
castles, and so cut off the communications of the king's army with the 
south before they knew that he had escaped from Bamburgh. He had 
reached and regained Tynemouth, and was on his way to Newcastle when 
he learned that the royal garrison in that town had been warned of his 
approach. The only thing left for him was to beat a retreat to Tynemouth 
with his thirty followers, and there stand a siege, cut off from the resources 
upon which he had depended. He held out for two days. Then the 
castle was for the second time carried by the king's men, Mowbray's knights 
being all wounded or taken prisoners. The earl was himself severely 
wounded, but managed to gain the church and there sought sanctuary. He 
was dragged from the building and by the king's orders led to Bamburgh 
castle, whose garrison surrendered upon seeing their leader a prisoner.' 

' St. Athan's Register, fol. 93. 'Willclmus, rex .^nglie, justiciariis baronibus vicecomitibus et ministris 
atque omnibus fidelibus suis tocius Anglie, salutem. Sciatis me dedisse et concessisse Deo et Sanctc 
Marie et Sancto Oswino et monachis de Tynemutlia tetiere libera et ([uiete et honorifice omnes res suas 
in terris, in aquis, in deciniis et in ecclesiis, in bosco et in piano el in omnibus rebus. Et precipio ut 
Sancta Maria et Sanctus Oswinus et iiionachi de Tynemutha habeant curiam suam ita libere et plenarie 
in omnibus rebus cum soco et saca, tol et theam, et infangenelheof et wrek, et cum omnibus con- 
suetudinibus et libertatibus sicut ego ipse habeo. Et volo et tirmiter precipio ut vos defendatis ac 
manuteneatis ecclesiam Sancte Marie et Sancti Oswini, que est clemosina mea de Tynemutha et 
monachos et homines et omnes res ejusdcm ecclesie sicut nieam propriam elemosinam, et ne paciamini 
ut aliquis eis injuriam aliquam in aliquo faciat super forisfacturam meam. Teste Eudone dapifero, apud 
obsidionem Novi Castri.' From Baker's transcripts. 

Ibiii. fol. 118. ' VVillelmus, rex .-\nglie, Willelmo Dunelmensi cpiscopo et Roberto Picot et omnibus 
baronibus suis Francis et Anglis de Northumberland, salutem. Sciatis me concessisse et dedisse Sancte 
Marie et Sancto Oswino et monachis de Tynemutha plene et intcgie curiam suam, sicut ego ipse habeo, 
cum aliis meis consuctudinibus. Et volo et precipio ut bene et honoritice teneant, et ut nullus super hoc 
eis injuriam faciat. Teste Eudone dapifero, apud obsessionem Nov! Castelli.' F'rom Uodsworth and 
Lansdowne .MS. transcripts. 

■ The history of the revolt is given in Freeman, Reign 0/ William Rii/iis, vol. ii. pp. 37-55, and in 
vol. i. of this work, pp. 25-27. 


This was the end of the revolt. Carried in a litter on account of his 
wounds, Mowbray was taken south to Windsor, there to suffer a long 
imprisonment. Twenty -six years later a Yorkshire knight, Arnold de 
Percy, who had been present at the expulsion of the monks of St. Cuthbert 
from Tynemouth, testified at Durham to what he had then seen. When 
Mowbray reached Durham he asked leave to enter the church and pray. 
On his guards refusing this, he gave way to tears, and looking toward the 
church he groaned and said, ' Oh, Saint Cuthbert, justly do I suffer these 
misfortunes, for I have sinned against thee and thine. This is thy punish- 
ment on me. I pray thee, Saint of God, have mercy on me.' ^ 

Though he had sinned against St. Cuthbert, it had been to enrich St. 
Alban. On his release from imprisonment he became a monk in St. Alban's 
monastery, where he died at an advanced age and was buried. The 
founder of Tynemouth priory is described as a tall and strong soldier, 
dark and bearded. When he spoke a smile seldom relieved the sternness 
of his expression. He was of a silent and crafty disposition, and his pride 
was such as to lead him to despise his equals and to think that the orders 
of his superiors could be disregarded.^ 

When Henry I. came to the throne, that sovereign confirmed to the 
monks of St. Oswin their possessions, court and customs, to hold as freely 
as Earl Robert held them before his forfeiture. He also definitely specified 
in his charters their right to fisheries in the Tyne, as well as to wreck, 
and accorded them free warren in all their lands in Northumberland. He 
added to their endowment two small lordships, namely, Winnoc the 
hunter's manor of Eglingham, and Graffard's land, which comprised Seghill, 
Monkseaton and Whitley. His queen, Matilda, was likewise a benefactress 
to the monks. She gave them the lordship of Archil Morel, which com- 
prised Bewick and Lilburn, for the sake of her father, King Malcolm, 
who lay buried in their church.^ 

' Symeon, Hist. Regum, vol. i. p. 262. 

' Ordericus Vitalis, Hist. Eccl. ed. le Prevost, 1838-1855, vol. iii. p. 406. 

' No fewer than seventeen royal charters and writs of the time of Henry I., relating to Tynemouth 
priory, have been copied into the St. Alban's Rcgisttr. They are as follows : — 

(i) Fol. 123. Writ of Queen Matilda, addressed to Roger Picot, reciting grant to St. Alban, 
St. Oswin, and Abbot Richard of the land of .Archil Morel ; witness, Bernard the Chancellor, at London ; 
probable year, 1105 or 1106; printed in Gibson, Tymmouth Priory, vol. ii. appendix, No. xix. 

(2) Fol. 116 and fol. 123 b. Writ addressed by the king to Gerard, archbishop of York, and Robert 
de Lacy the sheriff, and Roger Picot ; confirming last grant ; witness, Queen Matilda, at Ludgershall ; 
probable year, 1105 or 1106 ; printed in Gibson, ibid. x.\. 


(3) Fol. 117 b. Grant to St. Oswin of Tynemouth of his court and customs to hold in like manner 
as Earl Robert held them before his forfeiture ; witness, Peter de Valoniis ; dated at Westminster at 
Whitsuntide ; probable year, 1 108-1 109 ^or 1 121) ; printed in Dugdale, Monasticon, vol. iii. p. 313. 

(4) Fol. 118. '[Henricus re.x] Anglie, R. Dunelmensi episcopo et omnibus vicecomitibus suis de 
Everwyk[shire et de] Northumberland, salutem. Sciatis me concessisse et dedis[se Deo] et Sancto 
Oswyno et monachis de Tynemutha curiam suam et [cons]uetudines suas quemadmodum rex Willelmus 
frater meus dederat [eis. T. Petro] de Waloniis apud Westmonasterium in pentecost.' .Same date as ^3). 

(5) Fol. 115 b. ' Henricus, rex Anglie, Rogero Picot, salutem. Sciatis quod [tibi firmi]ter precipio 
ut facias habere Sancto .Albano et Sancto Oswino et [monachis Sancti] Albani omnes consuetudines 
suas in terra et in aqua [et in] wrek, scilicet socam et sacam, et tol et team, et omnes [libertates] in 
omnibus rebus suis, sicut unquam melius habuit Robertus comes tem[pore frat]ris mei, et fac eis plenam 
justiciam de omnibus qui terram suam intraverunt et supra x libras forisfacere. Testibus W. de Werel- 
wast et Nigello de [.Aljben', apud Wyncestriam in pascha.' Probable year, 1 108. 

(6) Fol. 117 b. Grant to St. Mary, St. Alban, St. Oswin, and the monks of Tynemouth of all their 
property, in lands and waters, tithes and churches, wood and plain, with soc, sac, tol, tem, infangenetheof 
and wrek. Order to defend and maintain the church of St. Mary and of St. Oswin, the monks and the 
men and properly of the said church. (C/. William Il.'s charier); witness, Nigel de Albini ; dated at 
Windsor I'al Pentecost) ; probable year, 1 1 10 (or i i2z). 

(7) Fol. 1 18. Order to the justices, sheriffs and barons of Northumberland, to maintain the church 
of St. Oswin of Tynemouth, and to defend the monks so that none do them harm ; order that the monks 
may have their court ; witness and date as in the last charter. 

(8) Fol. 124. Writ addressed to Ligulph and Aluric, sheriffs, reciting grant to St. Alban, Sl Oswin, 
and Abbot Richard of the manor of Eglingham ; witness, Urso de Abetot ; given at Winchester ; 
probable date, 1 106-11 16; Gibson, ibid. xvi. 

(9) Fol. 124. The same for quiet possession of Archil Morel's land ; witness and date as before. 

(10) Fol. 116. Writ addressed to Ranulph, bishop of Durham, and to .\luric and Ligulph, sheriffs, 
confirming to the abbot of St. .-Vlban's the tithes granted by Hubert de la Val to the monks of Tyne- 
mouth ; witness, Nigel d'.-Mbini ; given at Winchester; probable date, 1106-1116; Gibson, ibid, xviii. 

(11) Fol. 116. Writ addressed to Ranulph, bishop of Durham, confirming to St. Mary, to St. Oswin, 
to the abbot of St. Alban's and to the monks of Tynemouth, the tithes given them by Earl Robert and 
his men ; witness, Nigel d'.\lbini ; given at ISranton ; probable date, 1 106-11 16 ; printed above and in 
Dugdale, Monasticon, vol. iii. p. 313, and Gibson, ibid. xvii. 

(12) Fol. 115 b and fol. 117. Writ addressed to Ranulph, bishop of Durham, and to Aluric and 
Ligulph, sheriffs, reciting grant to St. .\lban and to St. Oswin and to .A.bbot Richard of Graffard's land ; 
witnesses, Robert, bishop of Lincoln, and Nigel d'.-Mbini; given at Branton ; probable date 1 106-11 16; 
Gibson, ibid. xiv. 

(13) Fol. 117 b. ' Henricus, rex Anglie, Ranulpho, Dunelmensi episcopo, et omnibus baronibus et 
min[istris suis]. salutem. Sciatis quod dedi Deo et .Sancto Oswino et monachis [Tynemutham] cum 
ecclesia, et Prestonam, et Millington, et omnes piscarias in Tina [in aqua] de Tynemutha, et Erdesdun, 

et duas Chirtonas, et ecclesiam , Sehal et Seton et Wyieicyc. et Hewyk et Lillebourn et 

Egel[ingham, cum] ecclesiis et omnibus pertinenciis suis. Hec autem et omnia quecun.que] 

dederunt eis in North et Suth de Tynemutha possideant de [cetero. et eis et sucjcessoribus teneant in 
puram et perpetuam elemosinam. Quare [volo et prc]cipio ut ecclesiam de Tynemutha manuieneatis 
et defendatis, [quia me.a] propria elemosina est. Teste M. regina, [apud] Cestr".' Probable date, 
1106-1 116. 

(14) Fol. 118. ' Henricus, rex Anglie, Alurico et Ligulfo, salutem. Precipio ut elemosinam meam 
de Tynemutha manuteneatis et custodiatis et de operacione de Novo Castello ita sit quietum sicut erat 
tempore fratris mei. T. Willelmo episcopo Exoniensi, apud Westmonasterium.' Probable date, 1107- 
1120. From Baker's transcripts. 

(15) Fol. 116. '[Henricus, rex .A]nglie, W. Espec et For' et 0[dardo] vicecomiti, salutem. Volo et 

precipio quod mo[nachi de Ti]nemuda in pace et quietudinc habeant et teneant omnes suas terras 

et aquas suas et piscarias et consuetudines et decimas [et om]nes res suas de quibus saysiti et vestiti 

fuerunt die qua Ricardus .Abbas [vivus ct m]ortuus fuit. Et videte quod nuUus eis aliquid auferat 

Teste Episcopo Sarum', apud Odestoc' Prob.ible date 1120. 

(16) Fol. 115 b. 'Henricus, rex .Anglie, Odardo vicecomiti et justiciariis suis de Norihumberl.ind, 
salutem. Concedo quod abbas de Sancto .Albano et monachi de Tinemuthe habeant warrennam in 
omnibus terris suis de .Northumberlandia, et nuUus in ea fuget nisi licencia sua, super decem librarum 
foiisfacturam. Teste Willelmo de Pirou et Henrico de Pomer', apud Dunestaplam.' From St. George's 

(17) Fol. 117 b. ' Henricus. rex .Anglie, vicecomitibus et cunctis ministris suis de Northumberland, 
salutem. Sciatis quod retineo in manu mea domnm de Tynemulh' et monachos, et nolo quod de 
Sancto .Albano neque prior Dunhelmensis de ipsis se amplius intromittant, sed monachi de Tynemiitha 
priorem sibi eligant, et ille prior clericos ad h.nbitum et professionem ibidem recipiat. Et volo et precipio 
quod ecclesiam de Tynemutha ab omni injuria defendatis et manuteneatis, quia mea propria elemosina 
est. Teste Nigello de Albini, apud Dunelmum.' Date, autumn, 1122. Ex placiiis de quo warranto. 



During this reign a cell, dependent upon Tynemouth, was founded by 
a Danish hermit, St. Henry, on Coquet Island.' Another important event 
in the history of the priory was the completion of the new Norman church 
of St. Mary, which must have been begun immediately after the installation 
of the monks of St. Alban's, though the troubles of Mowbray's rising may 
have delayed the advancement of the building. The pre-Conquest church, 
containing the relics of St. Oswin, had been left standing. On the 

Choir of the Priory Church. 

anniversary of the saint's martyrdom, August 20th, 11 10, his relics were 
transferred to the new fabric, and deposited in a shrine prepared for them, 
in the presence of Ralph Flambard, bishop of Durham, the abbot of Selby 
and others.^ A large number of monks, clergy, and laymen came to take 
part in the ceremony. Those who had ridden there hobbled their horses and 
turned them out to graze on the sea-clifFs. One unfortunate horse slipped 
over the edge ; its rescue was ascribed to the saint's timely assistance. 

' Sec vol. v. of this work, pp. 316-318. 

= Vita Oswini, cap. xi. ' Hugo, abbas Salesbericnsis.' Freeman notes the confusion between Selby 
and Salisbury (IViltium Kiifus, vol. ii. p. 606). 



The new church, like its predecessor, was dedicated to the Virgin. 
Her worship, however, never attained such importance at Tynemouth as 
did that of the saint whose body rested in her church, and whose miracles 
became common occurrences. Royal grants were made to St. Oswin as 
well as to the Virgin. Their names began to be coupled as the patron 
saints of the church. So the church came to be called after the names 
of both saints, St. Oswin and St. Mary. 

The building was not yet finished, and work was proceeding with the 
roof on September 22nd in the following year (ini), when a stout work- 
man, named Arkill, fell from the roof to the ground, and narrowly escaped 
with his life.' He soon recovered sufficiently to proceed with the dormitory. 
When laying the floor beams for the farther end of that chamber, he had 
a second fall of nineteen feet. The fact that he only sprained his foot 
gave additional proof of the miraculous powers of St. Oswin.'' 

Though Bishop Flambard luid tacitly acquiesced in the retention of 
Tynemouth by St. Alban's monastery, as was evidenced by his presence 
at the ceremony of 1 1 10, the monks of Durham were only waiting for a 
favourable opportunity to assert their claims. With this object they made 
a formal complaint at York in the middle of Lent, 1121, in the presence 
of their bishop. Archbishop Thurstan, and his brother, the bishop of 
Evreux ; and again on April 13th, when Robert de Brus, Alan de Percy, 
Walter Espec, Odard, the sherilT of Northumberland, and many other 
northern nobles had assembled at York for Easter. A speech then 
delivered by Arnold de Percy, a prominent knight, produced considerable 
eff"ect. It was generally admitted that injustice had been done to Durham ; 
at the same time the feeling of the assemblv was that no action could be 
taken, though it was useful to put the protest upon record.' 

The proceedings of 1121 led to a different result from that contem- 
plated. There appears to have been now at Tvnemouth, as there certainlv 
was in later times, a party in favour of monastic independence, anxious 
to make use of any conflict between the houses of Durham and St. Alban's 
in order to acquire for themselves independence from either of those 
monasteries. The case was brought before King Henry, who came to 
Durham on a northern tour in the autumn of the followinsj vear. The 
monks probablv argued that Mowbrav's grant to St. Alban's was rendered 

' \'ilii Osiiiiii, c.ip. xiv. • IbiJ. c.ip. xv. ' Symcon, Hist. Rtgiiiii, vol. ii. pp. 260- :6i. 

Vol. VI 11. 8 


null by his subsequent forfeiture. They won their cause, for the king issued 
a writ, declaring that he had taken the religious house of Tynemouth into 
his own hand ; he forbade either the abbot of St. Alban's or the prior of 
Durham to meddle any more in the affairs of the priory, and he gave leave 
to the Tynemouth monks to elect for themselves a prior who should have 
full authoritv to receive new members into his congresjation.' 

Durham again received a royal visit in 11 36. On Stephen's accession, 
David, king of Scotland, took up arms in defence of the claims of his 
niece, the Empress Maud. The Scottish army overran Northumberland, 
and reached Newcastle, where its further advance was stayed by the arrival 
of Stephen and his army at Durham (February 5th). A fortnight was 
spent in arranging terms of peace between the two kings, David consenting 
to deliver up the castles and lands which he had occupied in Northumber- 
land. Before quitting Durham, Stephen confirmed to Tvneinouth priory 
the rights it had possessed under King Heni-y. A new privilege mentioned 
in a charter of his reign is freedom from tolls and ferry dues which the 
men of St. Oswin were to have when marketing for St. Oswin's monks.^ 

The peace of Durham proved of short duration. On January loth, 
1 138, King David again invaded Northumberland and marched to Cor- 
bridge, whence he proceeded ruthlesslv to ravage the country. Newminster 

' The date of the charter is fixed by Henry of Huntingdon, Hist. Aiigluridu, Rolls Series, p. 244. 

^ Five charters of King Stephen remain, which are connected with the priory. They arc the 
following : — 

(1) St. Alban's Register, fol. 93. 'Stephanus, rex Anglie, judiciariis, baronibus, viceconiitibus, 
ministris, prepositis et omnibus fidelibus suis, etc. Sciatis me dedisse et concessisse Deo et Sancte 
Marie et Sancto Oswyno et monachis de Tynemutha tenere libere et quiete et honoritice omnia que 
tenuerunt die quo Henricus, rex .^nglorum, fuit vivus et mortuus, in terris et in aquis, in decimis et in 
ecclesiis, in bosco et in piano, et in omnibus rebus sicut melius et honorabilius et quietius tenuerunt, 
rejje Henrico vivcnte. Et precipio quod Sancta Maria et Sanctus Oswinus et monachi de Tynemutha 
haljeant curiam suam ita libere et plenarie in omnibus rebus sicut rex Henricus eis concessit per breve 
suum, cum soca et saca, et tol et theani, infangenetheof et wreck, et cum omnibus consueludinibus et 
libertatibus sicut ego ipse habeo. Et volo quod defendatis et manuteneatis ecclesiam Sancte Marie 
et Sancti Oswini de Tynemuth', que est clemosina mea, et monachos et homines et omnes res ejusdem 
ecclesic, sicut mcam propriani elemosinam, et sicut rex Henricus precepit per breve suum. Et ne 
paciamini quod [aliquis eis injjuriam vel contumeliam faciat, super forisfacturam meam. Teste R. 
CanccUario, R. de Olli, apud iJunolmum.' .St. George's transcripts. 

(2) Charter Rolls, 3 Ric. 11. Writ commanding that the monks of Tynemouth may have such 
fisheries as they will in their waters throughout Northumberland ; witnesses, R. de \'ere and Robert 
de Avenel ; dated at Durham ; printed in Gibson, vol. ii. appendix, xxviii. 

(3) St. .Alban's Register, fol. 124. Charter of confirmation to St. .Alban, St. Oswin and the monks of 
Tynemouth, of the manor of Eglingham ; witnesses, Robert de Vere and Hugh Bigod ; dated at York ; 
Gibson, ibid, xxvii. 

(4) Charter Rolls, 2 Edw. III. No. 75. Writ commanding that the church and monks of Tynemouth, 
their land and the men of the said church, be free from work on Newcastle and on all castles in 
Northumberland ; witnesses, Robert fitz Richard and Hugh Bigod ; dated at York ; Gibson, ibid. xxvi. 

(5) Ibid. Writ commanding that the men of St. Oswin be free from 'theolonium et passagium' 
wherever they go, if they are buying or hiring goods for the use of the monks of St. Oswin, even as they 
were free in King Henry's time ; witness, Baldwin de Sigillo ; dated at St. Alban's ; Gibson, ibid. xxix. 


abbey was destroyed ; Hexham narrowly escaped. Tynemouth, by paying 
twenty-seven marks ransom,' obtained a royal charter of protection. David 
granted its monks his peace, coupling this with strict orders against injuring 
them or tlieir property (June nth). He was then at Norham, which had 
surrendered to him a month previously. Marching south by way of Bam- 
burgh and Mitford, he crossed the Tyne, probably at Newcastle, to meet 
defeat on the 22nd of August at the hands of the Yorkshire barons in the 
battle of the Standard. 

By a second treaty of peace, concluded in April, David's son, Henry, 
was recognised as earl of Northumberland. Under his rule the county 
became settled, and the Tynemouth monks won freedom from military 
service for themselves and their tenants, except in the case of actual 
invasion of the earldom. An important fishery charter gave them leave 
to make weirs in the Tyne, provided that the centre of the river was 
left free for navigation. The earl also gave them (as he did to Brinkburn) 
a salt pan at Warkworth between his own salt pan there and the Coquet." 

' Ricliaicl of Hexham, Ih- Gcslis Regis Stepluini, Rolls Series, Chronicles of the Reigns of Stephen, 
Henry II. iiiul Richard I. vol. iii. p. 153. 'Uncle et illud coenobiuiii quod ad Tinae fluminis hostium 
situm est, quod Anjjlice Tinciiiutlie dicitur, ut sibi et illic existentibus pro praesenti necessitate paceni 
rediiiicrct, regi Scottiae et suis xxvii niarcas argenti persolvit.' 

- The Si. Albany Register contains copies of the following grants made by David, king of Scotland, 
and his son, Earl Henry, to Tynemouth priory : 

(i) Fol. 1 18. Charter of i)avid, king of Scotland, granting to the church of St. Mary and St. Oswin 
of Tynemouth, to the brethren there and to the men on their demesnes and to their possessions his 
peace for ever, his son Henry consenting thereto ; witnesses. Earl ("lospatric, Hugh de Morviil, Manser 
Marmion, Robert Foliot, Hugh de .-Xuco and Hugh Briton ; dated at Norham, June Iith, 113S ; printed 
in Dugdalc, Munastuoii, vol. iii. p. 313. 

(2) Fol. 1 18 b. O., Uei gratia rex Scotoruni, justiciariis suis et vicecomitibus et omnibus baronibus 
[Francis] et Anglis de Northuinb', salutem. Sciatis me dedisse et co[nfirmasse] Deo et Sancte Marie 
et .Sancio Oswino et monachis de Tynemutha tencre [libere et] (juiete et honoritice omnia que tenu- 
crunt die qua Hcnricus [rex Anglorum] fuit vivus et mortuus, in terris et in aquis, in bosco [et in 
piano, et in] omnibus aliis rebus sicut melius et honorabilius et quietius [tenuerunt], supradicto rege 
vivente. F2t volo el iterum prccipio quatinus [.Sancta Maria] et Sanctus Oswinus et monachi de 
Tynemut[h]a habeant [curiam suam ita libere] et plenarie sicut egonict habeo, cum soca et saca et tol 
et team [et infangcne] theof et wrec ct omnes alias consueludincs tarn bene et li[bere quam] ipse habco. 
Et volo et precipio ut defendalis et nianutcncatis [ecclesiam .Sancte Marie et] Sancti Oswini et mon.ichos 

et omnia su.a, [et ne paciamini ut aliquis eis injuriam] faciat sicut me diligilis, quia mca propria 

[elemosina est]. T. E. cancellario, et Roberto Brus, et Roberto de Hunframvill, et Gospatricio [comite. 
Apud] Novum Castellum. 

(3) Fol. iiSb. Writ of King David addressed to his justices, sheriffs, barons, and good men of 
Northumbcil.ind, reciting previous charter, ' Et insuper precipio ut [ea] que ad predictam ecclesiam 
jicrlinent halicant paccm mcam ' ; witnesses, E[ugenius] the chancellor, Robert de Brus, Robert de 
Ihmfravill, Hugh de Morviil. and F2arl (lospatric : d.ited at Newcastle. 

(4) Fol. 1 19. Cliartcr of Henry, son of the king of Scotland, confirming to the monks of Tynemouth 
.ill that they hekl on the day on which King Henry was alive and was dead, as in charter (;) ; witnesses. 
Kin;.; David, R., bishop of .St. Andrews, Geoffrey, abbot of Dunfermline, (Eugenius) the chancellor, and 
Hugh de .Morviil ; dated at H.idington. 

(5) Fol. I ig. Henricus. filius regis Scotorum. justiciariis, constabulariis. vicecomitibus. baronibus, 
et omnibus suis fidelibus totius Northunib', salutem. Precipio quod ecclesia et nion.achi de Tinemutha 
et tota terra et homines predicte ecclesic sint liberi et quieti de opere Novi Castelli et de opere aliorum 


The spread of industries was promoted by freedom from the civil war 
which was devastating the south, though Uttle external trade was possible. 
A Tvnemouth fisherman, Leowric, was captured off Scarborough one day 
late in October by Ranulph, earl of Chester, carried off to Malton, there 
scourged, starved, thrown into prison, and hung by the wrists from a beam, 
according to the practice of those times.' But the conventual life was 
peaceful. An occasional miracle, in the shape of a cure from gout or 
toothache, added a new chapter to the monastic annals. One year might 
bring drought, but another season produced so plentiful a harvest that the 
priory barns were filled to overflowing." 

Once during this period a dangerous fire broke out in the monastery. 
Its buildings were arranged on the usual plan round a cloister garth. 
The church stood on the north side, the dormitory on the east, and the 
refectory on the south. At the south-east angle a thatched house adjoined 

castellorum de tota Northumb', quia mea propria elemosina est. Et super hoc prohibeo ne uUus eis inde 
vim vel contumcliam facial. Et concede eidem ccclesie quod sui dominici rustic! sint quieti ab omni 
exercitu et et|uitatu infra comitatum ad defendendam terrani mcam, [ni]si eis per breve meuni mandavero. 
Testibus, Arcliewold' episcopo Karliol', Hugone de Morvill, Gospatricio coniite, Gervasio Rad', Gilberto 
de Uumframvill, Willelmo de Somervile, Ada vicecomite. Apud Bamburu. From St. George's 

(6) Fol. 119. [Henricus] comes, fllius [regis] Scocie, justiciariis suis, baronibus, et vicecomitibus et 
ministris, omnibusque pro[bis homjinibus suis tocius comitatus Northumb', Francis et Anglis, salutem. 
[Sciatis mc] concessisse et confirmasse Ueo et Sancte Marie et Sancto Oswino et [monachis de] 
Tyncmutha omnes piscarias suas et tractus in aqua de Ty[nemutha, et omnes] piscarias suas in tractibus 
in aqua de Tynemutha quecum[que fuer]unt in ipsa Tynem' in tempore Henrici regis et meo tempore 

usque in hostium Tynem', ita ut aqua rectum suum habeat [videlicet] terciam partem file aque 

liberam, et istas piscarias nominatim [expressjas, scilicet Elstwyk, Brad yer, Hupward yer, Hoch, alia 
[Hoch, Cruck] et alia Cruck, Cavesherse, et apud Tynemut' .... yer, .... yer, et tractus suos super 
sabulum. Volo itaquc [et] omnibus ministris meis precipio ut hec prenominata ha[beant et pos]sideant 
bene et in pace et honorifice, sine disturbacione et occasione .... Testibus Humfrido, Gilberto 
constabulario, et Gervasio Rad' dapifero, Roberto Bertram vicecomite, Eugenio cancellario comitis. 
Apud Novum Castellum. 

(7) Fol. 119 b. Henricus comes, fllius regis Scotorum, justiciariis suis, baronibus, vicecomitibus et 

ministris [et omnibus] hominibus suis tocius comitatus Northumb", Francis et .^nglis salutem. 

Sciatis me dedisse et concessisse Deo et Sancto Oswyno et [monachis] de Tynemutha pro salute anime 
mee et antecessorum et successorum m[eorum] in perpetuam elemosinam illis terram in hall de 
Werkewurt ad [salijnam faciendam, que est inter salinam comitis ibidem et aquam de Kofket '. Volo 
itaque et firmiter precipio quod hanc salinam libere et q[uie]te et honorabiliter habeant et imperpetuum 
teneant sicut aliquam elemosinam in to[ta] terra mea liberi[us et quietius] et honorabilius tenent. 

T. presente Eugenio cancellario, Gilberto constabulario, Gervasio Ridell dapifero, Radulpho 

vicecomite, Willelmo de Somcrvill, G. filio Aylmer, D. de Burnvill. Apud Novum Castellum. 

(8) Fol. 1 18 b. Henricus comes, filius regis Scocie, justiciariis, baronibus, vicecomitibus, ministris, et 
omnibus probis hominibus suis totius Northumbrel', Francis et Anglis, salutem. Sciatis me dedisse 
et concessisse ecclesie Sancti Oswyni de Tinemutha et monachis ibidem Deo et Sancto Oswyno 
servientibus, et toti terre prenominate ecclesie, et omnibus hominibus prenominata ecclesia terram 
suam tenentibus, libertatem et acquietacionem de exercitu et equitatu, nisi ita evenerit quod exercitus 
super me et terram meam infra Northumb' venerit inter Tinam et Twedam. Testibus presentibus, 
Gilberto de Umframvill, Thoma Riddell, G. de Perci, Milone de Arenis, Eugenio cancellario, apud 
Novum Castrum, ad fcstum Sancti Michaelis proximum postquam Leowyc', rex Francie, iter Jerosoli- 
mitanum aggressus est [September 29th, 1147]. From St. George's transcripts. 

' Vita Oswiiii, cap. xix. ' Ibid. cap. .xx. xxi. xxiv. x.xv. 


the west side of the dormitory, separated however by a passage two yards 
broad on the north from the refectory and the principal line of con- 
ventual buildings. It had been built as a guest house, but had ceased 
to be used for that purpose. Very early one morning, when the monks 
had retired to their dormitory to rest after matins, one of their number 
caught sight from the window of flames coming up from the former 
guest house. The strong west wind drove the flames on to the dormitory, 
which was also thatched with straw. Some of the monks climbed up 
on the roof to try and put out the fire. Others rushed into the church 
to remove whatever was of value to a place of safety. The prior, Rue- 
lendus, and the sub-prior, Alcuin, carried out the shrine containing 
St. Oswin's body, and set it down on the grass plot within the cloister. 
There Ruelendus, angry and frightened, broke out in an apostrophe to the 
saint. ' What are you doing. Saint Oswin ? Do vou intend to let your 
house be burnt out and then throw the blame on me, your servant ? It 
will be put down to mv carelessness. If you are a saint, if vou are God's 
friend, help us in our stress and fight for us. Why tarrv ? Why so slow? 
I shall not stir from this spot, neither shall you. The fire shall burn us 
up together. If you do not care for your monasterv, take care of your 
corpse.' St. Oswin heard. The wind sunk, not before the fire had burnt 
out the former guest house and destroyed the passage which united it with 
dormitory and refectory. The dormitory narrowly escaped ; and the writer 
of this story bears witness to its blackened walls, its charred window-frames, 
the stones loosened and detached from its walls, visible traces of the fire, 
which he found on his next visit to Tynemouth. One monk, brother 
Richard, nearly met his death on this occasion. While sitting upon the 
dormitory roof, where he had climbed to get away from the fire, a mis- 
directed jet of water caught him and brought him to the ground.' 

The Scottish earldom came to an end with the surrender of the county 
bv Malcolm IV. of Scotland to Henrv II. in December, 1 1 sj. The usual 
royal charters of confirmation were obtained, this time with important 
financial clauses added. The priory was to hold its land free of all geld, 
scutage, aid, customs, forced works and the like. No distresses were to 
be made upon it for the debts of overlords, contrary to the usual practice 
of the tenant being responsible for his lord's debts. The freedom from 

' Viia Osii'iiti, cap. xxiii. 


custom duties, granted under restrictions by Stephen, was now made 
absolute. Orders were given to the royal officers to restore to the prior 
of Tvnemouth his runaway serfs and their chattels. The monks now 
received an addition to their demesne lands, Flatworth being bestowed 
on them by its owner, Robert de Wircester, at the king's orders.' 

' Henr)' II.'s charters can be easily dated by means of Eyton's Itinerary of Henry II. Most 
of them were drawn up at different stages on Henry's journey south in January- February, 1158. 
They are : — 

(i) Charter Rolls, 55 Henry III. pars I, m. 3 and 4. ' Henricus, rex An^lie, etc., archiepiscopis, 
etc., salutem. Sciatis me concessisse et confirmasse Deo et .Sancto Albano et .Sancto Osewyno de 'I'ine- 
mutha et nionachis ibidem Deo servieniibus, ccclesiam de Tyncmullia, et omncs ecclesias terras et 
decimas et alias tenuras ad eam perlinentes, videlicet, Wyteleyam et Setunam et Sihala et unam toflam 
in Novo CastelJo, et duas Chertunas et Erdisdunam, et Hachwurdam et Beuykham ct Egehvyn<,'ham et 
Guedesho, et Wilum ; et decimas de Corebriga, et de Ncwburna, et de Werchewrth', et de Kodebir', et 
de Bothala, et de Wolovela, et de Wylum, et [de] Dicentona, et de Kalvcrduna, et de Aleswycha, et de 
AmbeUa ; ct decimas de dominiis de Herlh, et de .Seylona, et de Tunestal', et de Daltona, et de Middelton', 
et de Oventhuna. Hec supradicta et insuper quicquid Robertus, comes Northumberland', et homines sui 
predicte ecclesie et Sancto Oswyno dederunt, et quicquid cis a quocunque donatore racionabiliter datum 
est, vel in futurum dabitur eis, concedo et confirmo in perpetuam elemosinam. Quare volo et fimiiter 
precipio quod ecclesia predictaet monachi omnia supradicta habeant et teneant beneet [in] pace, libere et 
quiete, integre et honorifice, cum omnibus perlinenliis suis in bosco et piano, in pralis et pascuis, in viis 
et semitis, in aquis et molendinis et piscariis et stagnis, infra burgum et extra, in omnibus rebus et locis ; 
cum thol et them, et soca et saca, ct infangenthef et wrec ; quieta et soluta de onini geldo ct scoto et 
adjutorio, et ab omnibus consuetudinibus et operibus et auxiliis ct aliis querelis. Et habeant ita plenarie 
et libere curiam suam sicut ego ipse habeo, et sicut caite regis Willelmi et regis Henrici, avi mei, 
testantur. Et volo quod prediclam ccclesiam manuteneatis et defendatis ab omni injuria, sicut meam 
propriam elemosinam. Teste R. archiepiscopo Eboracensi, Roberto episcopo Lincolniensi, H. episcopo 
Dunelmensi, [R] priore Hagustaldensi, Hugone comite Nortffulch', Ivicardo de Luscy, W'illelmo fiiio 
Johannis, Willelmo de V'escy, Huberto de Vallibus, Manasser" Byselh, dapifero, Henrico filio Gerardi, 
camerario ; apud Dimelmum.' January, 11 58. 

(2) to (5) Ihid. Four writs witnessed by William Fitz John at Durham, January, 1 158. 

(2) Grant of free warren to the prior and monks of Tynemoutli in their lands in Northumberland ; 

Gibson, vol. ii. appendix, xxxv. 

(3) Order that all goods of St. Oswin and of the monks of Tynemouth, which their men can 

testify to be tlicirs, shall be free from tolls ; Gibson, ihid. xxxviii. 

(4) Order that St. Oswin's land be not distrained upon for another's debt, but only for debts due 

from the demesne; Gibson, ibid, xxxix. 

(5) Order that the prior and monks of Tynemouth have their wood of Jiurwood ; Gibson, 

tbid. xl. 

(6) Charter Rolls, 9 Edward II. No. 39. Order to restore to the prior of Tynemouth his fugitives 
and iiatiyi with their chattells ; witness, Henry de Essex, constable ; dated at Nottingham, January, 
1 1 58; Gibson, ihid. xliii. 

(7) Charter Rolls, 55 Henry 111. pars i, m. 3 and 4. Confirmation to the church of St. Mary and 
St. Oswin of Tynemouth, and to the monks there, of the gift of p'latford made to them by R. de Wir- 
cester ; witnesses, Warin, son of Earl Gerald, and William fitz John ; dated at Winchester, February, 
1 158; Gibson, ibid, xxxvii. 

(8) St. Albany Register, fol. 117 b. ' Henricus, rex .Anglic, etc., Willelmo, vicecomiti Northumberl', 
salutem. Precipio tibi quod pcrmittas monachos de Tynemutha et homines suos tenere bene et in pace 
et juste omnia teiiementa sua, sicut carta mea testatur, et nominatim de omni opere castelli et de geldo 
et adjutorio, et, si quid ab eis injuste cepisti juste reddi facias, et, nisi feceris, justiciam meam facias. 
Teste Man' Biset, apud Lcons.' .March, 1161. From St. (Georges transcripts. 

(9) Ibid. fol. 123. Charter of restoration to St. Alban. St. Oswin, and the abbot and monks of 
St. Alban, who are at Tynemouth, of the lands which the king had taken into his hand on the flight of 
Edgar into Scotland, namely, Eglingham, Bewick and Lilburn : witnesses, Richard, bishop of Win- 
chester, (ieoffrey, bishop of Ely, Richaid de Lucy, William fitz .A.ude!m, dapifer, Alfred de St. Martin, 
Robert Marmyon, Hugh de Cressy, Ralph de Glanvill, and Robert de Stutevill ; dated at Gaititon, 
February, 1176; jirinted in Dugdale, Momisticoii, vol. iii. p. 314. 

(10) Ibid. fol. 123. Writ to restore seisin of the said lands to the abbot and monks of St. Alban's ; 
witness, W^illiam fitz Audelm ; dated at Woodstock, February, 1176 ; Gibson, ibid. xlii. 


The writ of 1122 had long been disregarded. The abbots of St. 
Alban's retained their hold over Tynemouth priory, which was now once 
more challenged by the monks of Durham. Delegates were appointed 
by the Pope to hear and adjudicate upon the claims of both parties. The 
case dragged on. It was to the advantage of the St. Alban's party that 
this should be so, since the case of their opponents in part rested upon the 
evidence of certain very aged clergy and laity who had witnessed the 
expulsion of St. Cuthbert's monks from Tynemouth in 1085. A fresh 
commission was issued and new delegates appointed. In 11 74 a settlement 
was reached by whicli Hugh Pudsey, bishop of Durham, and the prior and 
convent of Durham renounced for ever all claims to the church of Tvne- 
mouth and its estates, and confirmed the same bv charter to the monastery 
of St. Alban's. In return for this concession the abbot and brethren of 
St. Alban's surrendered to Durham their churches of Bywell St. Peter's 
and Edlingham. Either party handed over such muniments as they 
possessed touching upon the title to the conceded churches. Bishop 
Pudsey granted to the abbot of St. Alban's the right to receive the usual 
payments from the churches belonging to Tynemouth, and also, upon 
the death of their e.xisting incumbents, to increase the pensions derived 
from them from twentv and a half to sixty and a half marcs yearly. Of 
his own free will Bishop Pudsev further conceded an additional yearly 
revenue of seven marks from the church of Eglingham. It was probably 
on this occasion that the same bishop pledged himself to observe friendlv 
relations with St. Alban's and Tynemouth, and renounced a claim which 
he had advanced to certain dues from the chapels attached to the priory. 
St. Alban's had reason to be satisfied with the result of the arbitration, for 
its right to the advowson of the priory was never again disputed by Durham.' 

' Numerous documents connected with this dispute are extant at Durham, and transcripts of others 
are contained in the St.Alhan's RegisUr above quoted. The letter of the delegates to the Tope is printed 
in Hist. Duncbu. Script. Tra, Surt. Soc. No. 9. See also the documents printed in Gibson, vol. ii. 
appendix, xliv-xlvii, and in this work, vol. vi. p. 104, and vol. vii. pp. 144, 145. The following documents, 
taken from Bakers transcripts, have been hitherto unpublished :^ 

St. Alban's Register, fol. 124 b. Hugo, Dei gratia Dunelinensis episcopus, universis sancte matris 
ecclesie tiliis, presentibus et futuris, salutcm. Inter cetera ad que debitum officii pontilicalis extenditur 
circa virorum religiosorum quietem et tr.anquillitatem continuam, precipue debet cura sollicitudinis 
adhiberi, ne corda eorum a sancte conversaiionis studio aliquatenus avocentur, et religionis otium per 
antiqui iiostis astuciam perturbetur. Nos itaque monasterio Sancti Albani lanto vojentes studiosius 
providere quanto ipsuni m.ijori honestale et monastice institutionis observancia preniinere dinoscitur, 
eidem monasterio cellam de Tynemutha cum universis .ad cam peninentibiis que intra fines nostre 
parochie continentur conlirmanuis et presentis scripti patrocinio communimus: in quibus hec propriis 
duximus exprimenda vocabulis. In primis ecclesiam de Tynemutha cum capella de Setun.a, ecclesiam 
de Wdehorn cum capella ile Hortuna et de Wodringtona et dc .Newebiggingc, ecclesiam de Egelinge- 



ham cum ecclesia de liewicl) et capclla dc Lillcburn, ecclesiam de Cunesclive, ecclesiam de Herteburne 
cum capellis de Witeun ct de Camho et de Staftho, et omnes terras et obvenciones ad predictas 
ecclesias pertinentes, salvo jure nostro et successorum nostrorum tarn in ecclesia de Tyncmutha 
quam in prcnominatis ecclesiis, in synodalibus. et in aliis consuetudinibus cpiscopalilius. Conccssimus 
eciam et presenti scripto confirmavimus supradicto monasterio Sancti Albani et ecclesie de Tynemutha 
et monachis ibidem Deo famulantibus omnes decimas et obvenciones, tam in blado quam in aliis 
decimacionibus, tam de dominiis regis quam baronum sive aliorum fidelium et propriarum villaruni ct 
dominiorum, tam in Northumbria quam in llaliwarcsfolch, ita plenarie et libere possidendas sicut eas 
plenius et melius habuerunt vel habere debuerunt, tempore nostro vel anteccssorum nostrorum, et sicut 
donatorum carte testantur. Hiis tcstibus, Germano, priorc Dunelmensi, Burcardo et Willelmo, archi- 
diaconis Dunelmensibus, Simone camerario, magistro Ricardo de Coldingeham, Henrico dapifcro, Roberto 
de Adintona, Willelmo filio archiepiscopi, Alano de Walesende, magistro Aristotele, Roberto clerico 
Norwicensi, Radulpho clerico de Waldena. 

Fol. 124 b. Hugo, Uei gratia Dunelmensis episcopus, et Germanus prior, totusque ejusdem ecclesie 
conventus, universis sancte matris ecclesie filiis, presentibus et futuris, salutem. Celeberrime consuetudinis 
usus optinuit ut rerum series ad honorem Dei et pro ecclesiarum pace gestarum litteris commcndetur, 

que et earum debeant perpetuare memoriam, et preteritorum 
posteris recentem noticiam representent. Ea propter universitati 
vestre litteris presentibus innotescat cjuod, cum inter ecclesiam 
nostram et monasterium Sancti Albani super ecclesiam de Tyne- 
mutha et pertinentia ejus, quam nobis de anticjuo jure competere 
dicebamus, controversia verteretur et causa fuisset, venerabili patri 
nostro Rogero dei gratia Wigornensi episcopo, et magistro Johanni 
de Saresb' Exoniensis ecclesie thesaurario, et Roberto venerabili 
decano Eboracensi, a summo pontifice domino Alcxandro tercio 
delegata, duobus eorum, domino videlicet Wigornensi et magistro 
Icihanne, apud Warewic in jure residentibus, tercio absenciam suam 
'A causis necessariis per litteras excusante, inter nos et prediclum 
monasterium Sancti Albani sub hac pacis forma convenit. Nos 
siquidem liti predicto et repeticioni ecclesie de Tynemutha atque 
ad earn pertinentium, tam ipsis judicibus quam ceteris qui aderant 
religiosis sapientibus viris ad hoc operam dantibus, imperpetuum 
renunciamus. Abbas vero et conventus Sancti Albani pro bono 
pacis et prefata renunciacione dederunt nobis et scripto suo auten- 
tico confirmarunt ecclesias de Biwelle et de Edelingham, cum 
omnibus ad easdem ecclesias pertinentibus, jure perpetuo possi- 
dendas. Volentes igitur prescriptam transaccionem et niutuam 
inter nos caritatis vicissitudinem perpetuis temporibus observari, 
supradicto monasterio Sancti Albani prcnominatam ecclesiam de 
Tynemutha cum universis ad earn pertinentibus presentis scripti 
testimonio concessimus imperpetuum possidendam. [Immo] 
sicjuando litem nobis super prenominatis ecclesiis vel alterutra 
earum contigerit suscitari, abbas et monachi Sancti Albani, cum 
nulla munimenta in quibus ille tantum ecclesie confirmentur, nisi 
cum aliis possessionibus, habeant, instrumenta que super ipsis 
ecclesiis cum aliis possessionibus habeant ad defensionem nostram 
exhibebunt. Hiis testibus, Burcardo et Willelmo archidiaconis, 
Simone camerario, magistro Ricardo de Coldingeham, Henrico dapifero, Roberto de Adingtona, 
Willelmo filio archiepiscopi, Alano de Walesende, magistro Aristotele, Roberto clerico Norwicensi, 
Radulpho clerico de Waldene. 

Kol. 125. Hugo, Dei gracia Dunelmensis episcopus, universis sancte matris ecclesie filiis, presentibus 
et futuris, ad quos presens scriptum pervenerit, salutem. Cum inter ecclesiam nostram et monasterium 
Sancti Albani super ecclesiam de Tynemutha et pertinentia ejus controversia verteretur, tam nos quam 
ecclesia nostra prefate liti et peticioni ecclesie de Tynemutha et ad cam pertinencium imperpetuum 
renunciavimus, nomine [cujus] transaccionis dederunt nobis ecclesias de Bywelle et Edelvingeham. Nos 
etiam pro bono pacis in consideracione honestatis et religionis que in prenominato monasterio Sancti 
Albani vigere dinoscitur, tam nostro quam ecclesie nostre nomine, concessimus ut abbas Sancti Albani et 
monachi de Tynemutha de ecclesiis quas in parochia nostra habent, decedentibus personis presentibus, 
supra quam tempore facte transaccionis solvere consueverant quadraginta marcas annuas percipiant. 
Qiias in hunc modum duximus assignandas. De ecclesia de Wdehorna, que cum duabus capellis de 
Widringtona et de Xewebigginge preter capellam de Hortuna quatuordecim marcas solvere consueverat, 
sex marcas de incremento percipiant, videlicet, post decessum Ricardi clerici, viginti marcas. De 
ecclesia de Hertburna, que duas marcas solvebat, decent de incremento, id est post decessum Roberti 
clerici duodecim marcas percipient, salvo jure \'tredi et Roberti in eadem ecclesia quamdiu vixerint. 

Se.'M. t)i- AniioT SiMo.v. 



De ecclesia de Cunesclive, que prius viginti solidos solvebat, quinque marcas et dimidiam post decessum 
Ade clerici, videlicet qualuor marcas de augmento, salvo jure Heremeri. De ecclesia vero de Egelinge- 
ham, que tres marcas abbati Sancti Albani solvere consueverat, post decessum magistri VValieri de 
Insula percipcret idem abbas preter tres predictas marcas viginti marcas, et completa erit summa 
quadraginta marcarum. N'os vero, ex liberalitate nostra, amore predict! abbatis et monastcrii Sancti 
Albani, prescriptis viginti tribus marcis scptcm marcas adjecimus, ut, videlicet, defuncto magistro 
Waltero, abbas et monachi Sancti Albani triginta marcas annuas de Egulvingeham et pertinenciis ejus 
percipiant, ita quod, ut si residuum administranti honeste sufficere non possit ad synodalia solvenda et ad 
debita episcopalium consuetudinum onera sustinenda, abbas quod defuerit supplere debebit. Ut igitur 
hoc a nobis supradicto ordine constitutum firmiter observetur, prohibemus ne quis hoc aliquo tempore 
presumat infringere. Hiis testibus, Germano, priore Dunclmensi, Burcardo et VVillelmo, archidiaconis 
Dunelmensibus, Symone camerario, magistro Kicardo de Coldingeham, Henrico dapifero, Roberto de 
Adintona, Willelmo filio archicpiscopi, Alano de Walesende, magistro Aristotile, Roberto clerico 
Norwiccnsi, Kadulpho clerico de Waklene. 

Fol. 125 b. Onniibus videntibus vel audientibus has litteras, capitulum Dunelmense, salutem. 
Noverit universilas vcstra nos gratam et ratam habere concessionem quam venerabilis pater noster, 
Hugo Dunclmensis episcopus, fecit dilectis fratribus nostris abbati de Sancto Albano et monachis de 
Tynemutha super augmenlatione pcnsionum in ecclesiis de Wdehorn, Herteburna, Cunesclive et de 
Egelvingham pro bono pacis, sicut in dicli episcopi autentico continetur, teste sigillo nostro. 

Fol. 125 b. Rogerus, Dei gratia Eboracensis archiepiscopus, apostolice sedis legatus, omnibus 
sancte matris filiis, salutem. Noverit universitas vestra quod nos, inspectis cartis venerabilis patris 
nostri Hugonis Dunelmensis episcopi, ju.\ta tenorem cartarum illarum concedimus et present! carta 
nostra confirmamus monasterio Sancti Albani in perpetuum ecclesiam de Tynemutha cum universis 
ad earn peninentibus que intra fines nostre provincic continentur. In quibus hec propriis duximus 
exprimenda vocabulis. In primis ecclesiam de Tynemutha cum capella de Setuna, ecclesiam de 
Wdehorn cum capellis de Hortuna et Wdrintun et de Newebig- 
ginge, ecclesiam de Egelvingeham cum ecclesia de Bewich et capella 
de Lilleburn, ecclesiam de Cunesclive, ecclesiam de Hertebum 
cum capella de Witeun et de Camho et de Staftho, et omnes 
terras et obvenciones tam in blado quam in aliis decimacionibus, 
tarn de dominiis regis quam baronum sive aliorum fidelium et 
propriarum villarum ac dominiorum, tam in N'orthumbria quam in 
Haliwcrcsfolch, adeo plenarie et libere possidcndas, sicut eas pre- 
fatum monasterium melius et liberius habuerit vel habere debuerit 
tempore nostro vel antecessorum nostrorum, et sicut donatorum 
carte testantur. Preterea transaccioni inter dilectos fratres nostros 
monachos Sancti Albani et monachos Dunelmenses pro controversia 
inter eosdeni mota super ecclesiam de Tynemutha concorditer facte 
assensum prebemus secundum tenorem carte memorati Hugonis 
Dunelmensis episcopi, qua carta accepimus eundem episcopum et 
ecclesiam Dunelmensem liti et peticioni ecclesie dc Tynemutha et 
ad eam pertinencium inperpetuum renunciasse, concessis eisdem a 
monachis Sancti .Albani nomine transaccionis ecclesiis de Hywell 
et de Edehvingham. Prcfati autem episcopus et monachi Dunel- 
menses pariter concesserunt ut abbas Sancti .Mbani et prior de 
Tynemutha de ecclesiis quas in parochia Dunelmensis episcopi 
habent, decedentibus personis presentibus, supra quam tempore 
facte transaccionis solvere consueverant quadraginta marcas annuas 
percipiant, adjectis eciam septem marcis quas idem episcopus 
predictis monachis Sancti Albani nomine suo et ecclesie Dunel- 
mensis ex propria liberalitate de incrcmento concessit. Que sane 
quadraginta et septem marce in hunc modum sunt in predictis 
ecclesiis assignate, videlicet in ecclesia de Wdehorn sex marcas de 
augmento, que preter capellam de Hortuna cum duabus capellis 
aliis prius qualuordecim marcas solvebat et post decessum Ricardi 
clerici viginti marcas annuas reddet. In ecclesia vero de Hertebum 
decem marcas de augmento, que prius duas tantum marcas ecclesie de Tynemutha solvebat, et post 
decessum Robert! clerici duodccim solvet, salvo jure [Vtredi] et Robert! in eadem ecclesia. In ecclesia 
de Cunesclive quatuor marcas de incremento, que prius viginti tantum solidos solvebat ; post decessum 
vero .Ade clerici quinque marcas et dimidiam annuatim solvet. In ecclesia de Egelvingham viginti et 
septem marcas de augmento, que utique abbati Sancti .Mbani tres marcas soUebat, et post decessum 
magistri Walteri idem abbas triginta marcas annuatim percipiet. Has autem predictas concessiones 
juxta formani cartarum antcdicti Dunelmensis episcopi, hujus carte nostre testimonio jug! memorie com- 
mendantes, necnon et omnia ecclesiastica bcneficia que monasterium Sancti Albani m provincia nostra 


Vol. \-II1. 


The royal claims, however, remained a source of danger. When their 
prior, Gilbert, died, the monks, with the king's licence, elected one of 
their own number, Akarius, to be prior, who was then admitted and in- 
stituted with King Henry's assent, but without any reference to the abbot 
of St. Alban's.' This Akarius was perhaps the builder of the Transitional 
chancel of the priory church. Certainly during his priorate alterations were 
being made to St. Oswin's shrine, which adjoined the high altar both in 
the Norman and the Transitional chancels. One Baldwin was employed 
on the work, a famous goldsmith who had been brought from St. Alban's, 
where the art-loving Abbot Simon had been his patron. He was especially 
skilled in the setting of precious stones and in fine and intricate floral 
ornament. While at work in Tynemouth upon the new shrine on the 
festival of St. Oswin, he heard outside in the street the shouting of the 
holiday crowd. He went out to see the sight, and incautiously left the 
door of his workshop ajar. A man, looking in and seeing the shop empty, 
entered and laid hands on all the precious metal that he found within, 
wrapping it up in clothes lying there. Going out again with the stolen 

prescriptis modis habere dinoscitur, sigilli nostri impressione confirmamus, auctoritate nostra precipientes 
supradictas concessiones et Iraiisaccionem inviolabiliter observari. Hiis testibus, Johanne archidiacono 
de Notingeham, Johanne London', magislro Angot, magistro Lucane, magistro Milone, Ada de Glocestria, 
et ahis clericis nostris. 

Fol. 126 b. Alexander episcopus, servas servorum Dei, dilectis filiis abbati ct fratribus Sancti Albani, 
saluteni et apostolicam benedictionem. Communi et special! debito nos vobis et monasterio vestro 
recognoscimus debitores, cum idem monasterium nobis sit, nullo mediante, subjectum, et vos sitis 
speciales Romane ecclesie filii in obsequio et devocione nostra, et ecclesie serventissime persistatis. 
Inde est quod cum jam pridem inter vos et venerabilem fratrem nostrum episcopum et nionachos 
Dunehiienses super ccclesiam de '!"> nemutha et pertinencia ejus, de quibus hiiic inde questio fuerat diutius 
agitata coram venerabihbus fratribus nostris R. Wigornensi et magistro J. nunc Carnotensi episcopis, 
qui causam ipsam de mandato nostro susceperant terminandam, transaccio facta sit sicut utriusque 
partis autentica scripta testantur, nos providere volentes ne aherutra partium super questione sopita 
denuo trahatur in causam, prescripte transaccioni apostoHci favoris robur duximus apponcndum ; 
eandemque transaccioneni, sicut de libero assensu partium facta est et suscepta et in scripto utriusque 
partis et predictorum judicum continetur, ratam habemus et tirmam, eamcjue auctoritate apostoUca 
confirmantes presentis scripti patrocinio communimus ; statuentes ut nulh omnino hominum Hceat banc 
paginam nostre confirmacionis infringere vel ei aliquatenus contraire. Si quis autem hoc atlemptare 
presumpserit, indignationem Omnipolentis Dei et beatorum Petri et Pauh Apostolorum ejus se no\erit 
incursurum. Datum X'enetiis in rivo aUo, xv kalendas Junii [1177]. 

Fol. 127. Forma reformate pacis inter dominum Hugonem Dunelmensem episcopum et Symonem 
abbatem Sancti Albani. Hec est, primo omnium, omnis inter eundem episcopum et ecclesias Sancti 
Albani et de Tynemutha preconcepta simultas omnisque indignacio conquievit, fovebitque idem episcopus 
de cetero et provebit jura et negocia carundem ecclesiarum et se abbati et predictis ecclesiis familiarem 
et amicum exhibebit. Abbas vero versa vice et eedem ecclesie in observancia dileccionis et honoris 
episcopi perseverare studebunt. Synodalia que episcopus de tribus capellis, de Hortuna, videlicet, de 
Wdrinlon et de Lilleburn de novo exegerat de cetero non exiget. De cimiteriis de Hortuna et de 
Setuna, que episcopus de novo dedicavit, matricum ecclesiarum indempnitati providit, sicut in cartis suis 
continetur, quas inde abbati dedit de possessionibus ecclesiarum Sancti Albani et de Tynemutha, quas 
quidem occasione indignacionis episcopi turbare presumpserunt, efficacem eis justitiam exhibebit (sic). 
Hiis testibus, Johanne archidiacono Dunelniensi, Synione camerario, magistro Ricardo de Coldingeham 
et multis aliis. 

' Placita de quo warranto, Record Commission, p. 5S5 ; Hodgson, ^Northumberland, pt. iii. vol. i. p. 120. 


goods he wandered about the town, and at length went into the house 
of a woman, who, unluckily for tlie thief, was the goldsmith's laundress. 
She recognised the wrapping of the bundle. The thief was brought to 
justice and hanged upon the gallows.' 

The friction that arose at times between the priory and St. Alban's 
is well illustrated by the story of Abbot Simon's stay at Tynemouth. His 
visit was so prolonged that the stores of the priory became exhausted. 
The monks finally brought him a yoke of o.xen harnessed to a plough. 
'Everything is eaten up,' they cried tearfully; 'still we have these left; 
here they are ; you may eat them too.' The abbot, realising that he had 
outstayed his welcome, called to his followers, ' Up, and away from here,' 
and so, in the words of the chronicler, ' he left the house despoiled of 
all that year's supplies to his eternal shame.' ' 

The accession of Richard I., and that monarch's financial needs in view 
of his coming crusade, gave an opportunity for the acquisition of new 
privileges by those who were willing to pay the price. His royal charter 
given on December 28th, 1189, may, in its original form, have acknow- 
ledged Tynemouth to be a cell of St. Alban's, thus renouncing any claim 
to advowson. It certainly confirmed to the monks of St. Alban's at 
Tynemouth all their possessions, temporal and spiritual. It gave to them 
in a more specific manner than had yet been done the various profits of 
justice, as well as the right to receive for their own use the danegeld and 
cornage to which their estates were subject. The king issued in this grant 
a prohibition against the sending of any officer of the royal household 
within the limit of their property should the monks be unwilling to receive 
him. 'We have granted,' the charter states, 'to God and to the church 
of St. Oswin of Tynemouth, and to the monks of St. Alban's there serving 
God, all liberties and free customs which the royal power can confer upon 
any church, in as ample a manner as may be done.'' 

' i'lta Usuiiii, cap. xlv. Cp. Gista Abhatum Monasterii Sancti Albaiii, Rolls Series, vol. i. p. 190, for 
an account of lialdwin's great cup, 'quo non vidimus in regno .\ngliac nobilioreni.' 
- Gesia Abbatum, vol. i. p. 265. 

' The charter of 1 1S9, as confirmed in 1 198 and on subsequent occasions, ran .is follows : — 
' Ricardus, Dei gratia ie.\ Anglie, archiepiscopis, etc., et omnibus fidelibus Francis et .-Vnglis in 
omnibus comitatibus in quibus Sanctus .-Mbanus martir terrani habet, amicabiliier salulem. .Notuni 
facimus vobis nos concessisse et present! carta nostra contirmasse Uco et ecclesie Sancti Oswyni de 
Tunemulh' et monacliis Sancti Aibani ibidem Deo servienlibus, omnes homines suos et omnes terras 
suas et omnes possessiones suas, videlicet villam de Tunemuth cum <imnibus peninentiis suis, Selonani, 
et Prestonam, et Chenonam, et aliam Chertonam, .Mullitonam, Hwithelegam, Erdesdonam, Hacwnh et 
aliam Bacwrth, Sighale, Mortone, Bibeshet', Dischetonam, Wlsinton, Bewic, Egulingehain, Lillebume, 


The importance which was attached to this charter is to be seen by the 
numerous occasions upon which its confirmation was sought and granted.' 
Not only did it bestow real and extensive privileges upon the church of 
St. Oswin, but it was regarded as a settlement of St. Alban's monastery 
in its possession, and also as creating a liberty or franchise similar in 
character to those of He.xham, Tynedale and Redesdale. When Richard 
I.'s change of seal necessitated the confirmation of the charters granted in 
the earlier years of his reign, this charter was also confirmed (November 
13th, 1 198).' It was one thing, however, to receive grants of privileges, 

AmbcU, Hauckeslowc, Ailsistwic, Wilum, Walthcdcn, et dimidiam villam dc Copun, Carlcsburi et 
Mortonam in Haliwerckenfolc, ISileslio et terrain de Role et Danun. Hec omnia conccssimus jam 
dictis monacliis in redditibus et homagiis, in pratis et pascuis, in nemoribus et tuibariis, et omnibus aliis 
rebus ad jam dictas villas et terras pertinentibus ; cum soka et saca, in stronde on strenie, on wod 
et feldc, thol et tlieam, giidbrege, hamsoka, et pecunia que pertinet ad murdrum, forstal, danegeld, 
infangenethef et utfangcnedtheof, flemenesfrenitiie, blotwitlia, wrec, cornagio ; ut habeant super onines 
terras suas et super omnes homines sues ubicumcjue sint, intra burgum et extra, in tantum et tarn 
plcne sicut proprii ministri nostri exquirere debent ad opus nostrum. Preterea concessimus eis ecclesiam 
de Tinemutba, et de Wdehorne, et de Walton, et dc Boluni, et de Beiwic, et de Egulungeham, et de 
Herteburn, et de Cunesclive, cum capellis et omnibus aliis rebus ad easdem ecclesias pertinentibus. 
Concessimus eciam eis Herford super Blitham, ct decimas de Hertenese, et decimas de Middelton super 
Tcisam, et decimas de Colebrug et de Rodbcri et de Werkewrd et de Wlloure et de Ncuburn, et omnia 
molendina sua cum predictis libcrtatibus possidenda. Et nolumus ut aliquis hominum, nee Francus nee 
Anglicus, de terris eorum ncque de hominibus ullo modo se intromittat, nisi ipsi et ministri sui quibus ipsi 
committere voluerint. Et eciam concessimus Deo et ecclesie Sancti Oswini de Tinemutba et monachis 
Sancti Albani ibidem Deo servientibus, pro redempcione anime nostre et parenlum nostrorum, omnes 
libcrtates et libcras consuetudines quas regia polestas liberiores alicui ecclesie confcrre potest. Prohibe- 
mus super forisfactuiam nostram nc alic|uis eas aliquo modo infringere presumat. Prohibemus eciam ne 
in ipsorum terris vel doniibus minister, dapifer scilicet vcl pincerna, camerarius [vel] dispensator, janitor 
vel propositus, contra ipsorum voluntatem ct assensum, tempore nostro aut successorum nostrorum, per 
manum alicujus principis vcl justiciarii quocumque tempore ponatur. Teste Bakhvino, Cantuariensi 
archiepiscopo, Galfrido, Eboraccnsi electo, llugone, Dunelmensi episcopo, Willelmo Marescallo. Datum 
per manum Willelmi de Longo Campo, cancellarii nostri, xxviii die Decembris, anno regni nostri prinio, 
apud Cant'. 

Is erat tenor prime carte nostre in primo sigillo nostro quod, quia aliquando perditum fuit, et, dum 
capli essemus in Alemannia in alia polestaie constitutum, mutatum est. Innovacionis autem hujus 
hii sunt testes, H. Cantuariensis archiepiscopus ; Johannes, conies Moreton, frater noster ; H. de 
Chastellum, Cantuariensis, magister K. de Sancto Edniundo, [Richemundus, magister .\Ialger', Ebori- 
censis, magister Petrus, liatton', archidiaconus ; Willelmus Marescallus ; Willelmus de -Stagno.] Datum 
per manum magistri Rocelini, vices cancellarii tunc agentis, apud rupeni Andel', xiij die Novembris, 
anno regni nostri decimo.' Cartac Aiitiijinn; Bl!, 18. 

Considerable variations occur in the spelling of place-names in the transcript of this charter in the St. 
Alban's Register, fol. 120 b, and also in those contained in later confirmations enrolled on the Charter Rolls. 

'The charter was confirmed by Richard in 119S, by John in 1204, by Henry III. in 1271, by 
Edward I. in 1301, by Edward II. in 1315, by Edward 111. in 132S, by Richard II. in 1380, by Henry IV. 
in 1 40 1, and by Edward IV. in 1463. 

■■■ Upon Richard I.'s change of seal see Mr. Horace Round's Feudal England. Mr. Round points out 
that when the charters were confirmed in 1198 it was with a diflference in the terms. The case of 
Tynemouth is no exception. The change there was significant, in view of the dormant royal claims to 
the advowson. An extract from the first charter, preserved in the Rotuli Parliamentarii (vol. 1. p. 26), 
shows the change effected. 

Charter 01- 1189. Ch.^ktkr ok 1198. 
Notum facimus vobis nos concessisse ct pre- Notuni facimus vobis nos concessisse et pre- 
sent! carta confirmasse Deo et Sancto Albano et senti carta confirniasse Deo et ecclesie Sancti 
ecclesie Sancti Oswyni de Tynemuth', ccllc Sancti Oswyni de Tynemuth' et monachis Sancti Albani 
Albani, et monachis ibidem Deo servientibus. ibidem Deo servientibus. 





and another to enforce them. The sheriff continued to e.xact cornage. 
He even mulcted the prior's men of Amble for seizing on the wrecks 
which came to their shores.' On King John's accession it was determined 
to seek a new confirmation of the charter from him, and an engagement 
that it should be observed. By way of security two charters were obtained, 
one differing verbally from the other ; one was enrolled at Westminster, 
the payment of the fine for confirmation being enrolled in the Court of the 
Exchequer. The monks of Tynemouth paid, in return for this, si.xty marcs 
and a palfrey, and St. Alban's twenty-five marcs and a palfrey.^ A royal 
writ was addressed to the sheriff, forbidding him to e.xact from the monks 
of Tynemouth the scutage which they should raise from their tenants, and 
charging him to deduct in future from the total cornage rent of the county 
that proportion due from the tenants of the priory, namely, twenty- 
four shillings yearly.^ Assurance was made doubly sure by obtaining a 
confirmation of the charters of Richard and John from Pope Innocent III., 
who likewise confirmed to them in the same bull the churches and pensions 

A more rhythmical form was given to the enumeration of customs and rights in the charter of 1 189, 
which ran as follows : ' Cum sacha socha, over stronde et streme, in wode et felde, tol et tern et 
gridbruch ; hamsock, murdrum et forstallum; danegild, infangenethefe et utfangenethefe ; flemnienes- 
fiemeth, bludwyte, wrec' 

The earlier charter is described (St. Alban^s Register, fol. 116 b) as 'Signata sigilio regis, ut multi 
asscruiit.' Mr. Round states that : ' Such charters and grants as are known to us all proceed from the 
king himself, either before he left Messina or after he had reached Germany on his return ' (of>. cit. 
p. 5441. He proposes to alter the date of the first charter to November 2Sth, on the ground that Richard 
had already left Canterbury before December 2Sth, having sailed from England on the nth of the 
month. The date cannot, however, be questioned, in view of a second charter given in the St. Alban's 
Rtgistey (fol. 123 b), dated at Canterbury on December 20th, and witnessed by the bishop of Lincoln 
and William Marshall, confirming Bewick, Eglingham, and Lilburn to the prior)', and which, like that 
of the 28th, is given under the hand of Longchamp as chancellor. The great seal was despatched to 
Richard in Normandy before the following March, but it would seem to have been left temporarily in 
Longchamp's hands till the business of the Council of Canterbury was completed. 

Mr. Round has shown that the journey of the prior of .St. .Mban's to France to secure confirmation 
of charters 'cum efTusione multae pecuniae et laboris,' described by Matthew Paris as occurring in 1190, 
is to be assigned to 1 198. 

' Pipe Rolls, anno 1203, Hodgson, Sorthumberland, pt. iii. vol. iii. p. 85. 

"Pipe Rolls, anno 1204, ibid. p. 88. 'Prior et monachi de Tinemue computant de 1 marcis pro 
carta sua de libertatibus suis confimiandis ct ut carta ilia irrotuletur apud Westmonasterium, et ut ipsa 
teneatur ct observetur, et ut quieti sint inrotulati ad scaccarium de xxx marcis et j palfredo quas pro eo 
obtulerunt, et pro alia carta de boscis suis claudendis cjuam non habent. . . . Idem reddunt computum 
de ij palefredis pro carta duplicanda de libertatibus suis, et in una cartarum illarum non ponitur sicut, 
etc. In thesauro x marcae pro palefredis, et quieti sunt.' Cp. Madox, History of the Exchequer, vol. ii. 
p. 405. The two charters were given at York on February 25th and March 1st, 1204. See Rot. Cart. 
5 John, m. 12, Record Commission, p. 120; and Cart. Ant. (j 21 and BI5 16 and 18. By another 
charter King John confirmed Eglingham, Bewick and Lilburn to the monks, May, 3 John. St. Alban's 
Register, fol. 123 b. The charier roll for year is missing. 

'Close Rolls, 6 John, m. 5, Record Commission; writ dated .April 1st, 1205. The Pipe Rolls 
show a regular allowance of twenty-four shillings to the prior of Tynemouth every year for com.ige from 
1204 onwards. 


granted by Archbishop Roger de Pont I'Eveque of York and Bishop 
Pudsey of Durham, as well as the liberties and imnumities bestowed by 
his predecessors on St. Alban's and its cells.' 

John de Cella, who was at tliis time abbot of St. Alban's, established 
the custom of banishing to distant cells of the monastery the more unruly 
members of his congregation. Tynemouth was especially useful for this 
purpose. The monks received an unwelcome addition to their number in 
the person of William Pygun, of whom Matthew Paris could write no 
good thing. He was, he tells us, no monk, but a cowled devil, a Lucifer 
among angels, a Judas among apostles. Incited by Robert fitz Walter, he 
had forged a charter, conferring on that earl the patronage of the cell of 
Binham, and had sealed it with the convent seal, surreptitiously procured 
for that purpose. Abbot de Cella's successor, William de Trumpington, 
continued the practice of banishment ; among others he sent to Tynemouth, 
Reymund, prior of St. Alban's, 'forcibly reft of his books and other jewels.' " 

When peace was restored in England, after the death of King John, 
Abbot Trumpington made a splendid progress to the cells of his monastery. 
At Tynemouth he received the homage of his tenants, and entertained the 
neighbouring nobles and people of the district. The old prior of Tyne- 
mouth, Ralph Gubiun, took the opportunity of begging to be allowed to 
resign his post, but leave was refused, though it was accorded to him a few 
years later. A certain Symon de Tynemouth claimed for himself for ever 
two monks' corrodies,'' under the grant of an earlier abbot, and the case 
was referred to the decision of single combat. William Pygun, ' the monks' 
great champion ' was overcome. Prior Gubiun journeyed to St. Alban's 
and insisted on being allowed to resign, whereupon, leave being granted, 
Germanus, a northerner by extraction, was appointed to replace him.' 

' opera Innocentii III. ed. Migne, vol. ii. p. 1526 ; bull dated January 3rd, 1209. 

• Gesta Abbatum, vol. i. pp. 221-223, 257, 258. ' Cella de Thiiiemue, quae exilium nostris solet esse 

' A corrody was 'originally the right of free quaiters due from the vassal to the lord on his circuit ; 
but later applied especially to certain contributions of food, provisions, etc., paid annually by religious 
houses. . . . Sometimes the contribution might be commuted, and then it would be practically un- 
distinguishable from an annuity or pension.' Plummer, ForUscue, pp. 337-338. An example of the later 
form of corrody is contained in a deed of November 20th, 153S, by which Robert Blakeney, jirior of 
Tynemouth, granted to Thoinas Wallis of Tynemouth, for life, in return for his good and faithful service, 
an annuity of 40s. with meat and drink, coat and clothing, to the value of 15s., and agiecd in default of 
meat and drink to pay him I4d. weekly from two tenements in Whitley. Laing Charters, No. 427. 
About 1290 Roger Bercarius was receiving seven loaves and seven hens from the piiory weekly. 
St. Alban's Register, fol. 129 b. 

' Cesta Abbatum, vol. i. pp. 270-273, 275. 


Pyguii's end was suitably repellent. One night he retired to the rear 
part of the dormitory, and there fell asleep. His fellow monks listened to 
the dreary sound of his snores. At length the sound stopped, and there 
came a loud cry, which they distinctly heard, of 'Seize him, Satan, seize 
him.' In the morning they found him lifeless. He had died where he 
had sat. 'Perhaps,' Matthew Paris wrote, 'he had caught a chill. I prefer 
to think that he was struck bv divine vengeance.' ' 

What an exile for the southerner Tynemouth proved to be is shown 
in a letter which has been accidentally preserved in a formularv of St. 
Alban's.^ As the earliest contemporary account of the priory and its 

' Gesta Abbatiim, vol i. p. 224. 

-■ The St. Alban's formul.ary, in which the letter is contained (Cambridge University Library, MS. 
Ee. 4.20), was once the property of Robert de lilakeney, the last prior of Tynemouth, who was also 
the owner of a fifteenth century Latin psalter now in the possession of Sir John Lawson at Brough 
Hall {Historical Manuscripts Commission, third report, p. 255), as well as of the register of the second 
abbacy of John de Whethamstede (Arundel MSS. College of Arms, No. 3), which has been printed in 
the Master of the Rolls Series. The letter has been copied in a fifteenth century hand on to the last page 
of the codex. Though the name of Tynemouth is not mentioned, internal evidence leaves no possible 
doubt that Tynemouth is the place described. The letter cannot be later than the building of the present 
gateway in 1390, and is probably far older. The description of the church as ' de novo confecta ' seems 
to point to the Transitional extension of that building {circa 1 190) as being a recent occurrence. 

Quoniam supplicavit michi fraternitas tua attencius rogando ut situm loci nostri et patrie mores, 
necnon et quid boni vel mali ex maris vicinitate inhabitantibus proveniat vobis significarem, pareo 
libens pro possibilitate mea peticioni tue satisfacere. Artus locus noster, super rupcm eminentem 
positus, fluctibus marinis circumquaque cingitur, excepto uno aditu in quo est porta fere plaustro nimis 
arta, opere huniano de rupe precisa, que intrantibus et exeuntibus unicum preslat iter ad ambulandum. 
Hunc artissimum locum fluctus cotidie nocte dieque sevientes, tumultuantes crebris impulsionibus nimis 
impetuose infestant, corrodendo in tantum quod rupes durissima pendet jam obesa, noviter ut credo 
ruitura, non vi sed assiduitate, sicut dicitur, ' Gutta cavat lapidem non vi sed sepe cadendo.' Proveniunt 
nempe ex predictis fluctibus nebule densissime et vehementer caliginose, tanquam esset fumus opacus 
exiens de antro Wulcani. Hee etiam, nebule etiam tempestive, aciem oculorum reddunt ebetem et debilem, 
vocem dulcisonam acerbant, arterias perstringcndo fere concludunt ne aer subtilis in pectore inclusus 
per suos occultos meatus liberum et vagum introitum et exitum more debito possit obtinere. Quicumque 
advena ibi hyemaverit rauci Theseide Codri afficietur. ■■ \'er cum vernis floribus ibi proscribitur, estas 
estuare illic non permittitur, sed boreas cum suis collateralibus illic perpetue perhendinal, qui, tamquam 
de potestate et carcere Eoli regis sui egressus, patriam nostram jure hereditario sibi vendicat et sedem 
suam ibi collocat metropolitanam, eandem patriam letali frigore et compede nivali perstringendo. Hie 
est nephandissimus boreas cujus ad imperium fretum frequenter fremit, mare amare debacatur, pontus 
ponte carens portum petentibus efficit periculosum ; pelagus penas laboriosissimas infert navigantibus ; 
equor inequale efficitur et ultra quam credi potest in modum montis exceisi tumescendo in ahum extollitur; 
unde provenit quod spuma maris nimis amara, vi ventorum exagitata, domos nostras transcendit el in 
castrum in modum pumicis descendit conglobata. Miseria maxima est respicere naufragancium pericula, 
rates in caute super cautem ruentes, malum male titubantem, carinas inter scopulos et sa.\a, fractis tabulis, 
clavorum compage non obstante, penitus esse collisas ; nautas membris frigore solutis quasi plumbum in 
aquis vehementibus demergentes, quibus perituris non potest vis humana auxilium conferre, quia quidam 
versificator dixit, 'Si ruat in cautem navis est dictura Tu autem.M Talia infortunia in oculis nostris 
flebilibus sepius contingunt. \'ox nusquani turturis in terra nostra auditur. Philomena fines nostras 
dedignatur visitare, quia non est locus amenus nee aura suavis ubi possit in ramali modulationes dulci- 
sonas per suas dilatatas arterias dulciter organizare. Sed stmt ibi volucres in scopulis nidificantes, 
glaucum colorem habentes, mortuorum cadaveribus insidiantes quibus avide vescuntur. Hee aves rauca 
voce et horribili prcsagium future tempestatis infeliciter pronunciant. Homines h.tbitantes circa litus 
maris sunt quasi niauri, mulieres sunt quasi Ethiopisse, virgines eorum squalide, pueri eorum velud nigri 

* Cp. Juvenal I. i. 

t A reference to the phrase used at the end of each lesson in the church service, ' Tu autem, Domine, 
miserere nobis.' 


surroundings, it possesses considerable interest. Stripping the unknown 
writer's account of its graces of style, the letter runs as follows : — 

Our house is confined to tlie top of a high rock, and is surrounded by the sea on every side but 
one. Here is the approach to the monastery through a gate cut out of the rock, so narrow that a cart 
can hardly pass through. Day and night the waves break and roar and undermine the cHff. Thick 
sea-frets roll in, wrapping everything in gloom. Dim eyes, hoarse voices, sore throats are the 
consequence. Spring and summer never come here. The north wind is always blowing, and brings 
with it cold and snow ; or storms in which the wind tosses the salt sea foam in masses over our buildings 
and rains it down within the castle. .Shipwrecks are frequent. It is great pity to see the numbed crew, 

pueri hebreorum. Protli pudor, indigene patrie illius comedunt algam maris que est attramenio nigrior. 
Hec est quedam hcrba super sa.xa in mari crescens, carens dulcore sapore ac bono odore, magis vero 
stomachum ad nauseam provocat quam confortat. Hec herba vocatur a vulgo staul;. Hac utuntur 
patrie illius muliercs tanquam esset herba aromatica, unde color earum assimilatur colori herbe illius. 
Arbores que deberent esse fructifere sunt quasi fructices non audentes ramos in altum extoUere 
propter maris asperitatem cjue eas floribus et foliis spoliat et denudat. Tempore verno cum debeat 
parens natura pratum picturare, flores parere, flosculos de arboribus producere, tunc maris flatus nimis 
amarus et corosivus teneros flores, ante quam possint formose et perfecte puUulare, tanquam abortivos 
eflScit violenter marcescere. Hinc est quod vix aut raro fructus in arboribus ibi inveniuntur. Quicumciue 
mala punica suaviter redolencia dulci sapore reperierit, cum poeta exclaniare poterit, ' Rara avis nigroque 
simillima cigno.' Si vcro contingit contra spem quod ibi poma nascantur, tunc sunt arida et sicca, succo 
ei sapore carencia ; propter nimiam amaritudincm eorum dentes edentium obstupescunt. Cave igitur 
tibi, frater karissime, ne venire desideres ad talem locum omni amenitate privatum, omni solacio et 
jocunditate carentem, excepta ecclcsia eleganter de novo construcia, mire pulcritudinis, que inhabitantes 
invitat ad devocionem, in qua corpus beati et gloriosi ac propiciabilis martiris Oswini in thcca argentca 
auro et gemmis venustissime decorala rcquiescere dinoscitur. Hie est vere qui pro Christi nomine 
sanguincm suum fudit, qui rabiem persequentium non forniidavit ncc mundane glorie pompam quesivit, 
set celeste regnum pro terreno feliciter commutavit, celum pro dojiio lutea, margaritam prefulgidam pro 
carnis testa comparavit. Hie est plus et propitius rex et martir inclitus cujus ope inopes ab omni 
clade liberantur, qui ex tolo corde eius deposcunt largicionem, cuius munimine muniuntur profugi et 
exules a propria patria propter homicidia furta vel sediciones contra regem et regni staluta nequiter 
perpctrata. Hie est gjoriosus martir Oswynus optimus egrorum medicus effectus. Quod non 
valet praetica nee quecumque phisica, pii martiris prestant beneficia. 

' Surdi, elaudi, ceci, muti 
Sunt ad usum restituti 
Martyris clemencia.' 

Egregii martiris protectio et venuste ecclesie pulcritudo, simile conjuncte efficiunt quod fratres ibi 
habitantes simul anibulantes in domo domini cum consensu et ore et corde alacriter decantavant, 
'Ecce quam bonum et quam jocundum habitare fratres in unum.' De corporali dieta non est ibi 
murmur aut querimonia, quia magnorum piscium ac reg.alium fertilitas materiam auflTert niurmurandi. 
Fertilitatis vero ydempnitas quibusdam generat fastidium, quorum unus ego aliquando sic proclamo : 
' Inopem me copia fecit.' Multoeius contingit quod copiosa abundaneia stomachum efficit fastidire. 
Si enim piscis esset ibi rarior, esset preciosior, quia omne rarum earum, et alibi dicitur, '.-Mimenta que 
minus suflficiunt avidius sumuntur.' Ecce, karissime, ad vestram instanciam situm loci, mores patrie, et 
quid boni et mali maris vieinitas conferat hominibus circa litus maris habitantibus, prout potui in tempore 
hyemali et estivali perpendere, vobis significavi. Valete. 

The iilva marina, locally called dauk, still formed part of the food of the poorer classes of Northum- 
berland in 1568, when William Turner, master of Pembroke College, Cambridge, and a native of 
Morpeth, wrote of it: 'The Brion tlialassion of Theophrastus and Pliny is called" in Northumberland 
slaiikc, which in Lent the poore people seth, and that with lykes and oyniones. They put it in a pott 
and smorc M, as they call it, .and then it loketh black, and then they put oyniones to it and eate it. But, 
before it is sodden, it is wonderfully grene.' Herbal, pt. i. p. 94. In an earlier work the same writer 
describes it as having leaves like lettuce, and adds, ' It groweth in the sea about shelles and stones also. 
It coleth and drycth.' Names of Ilerbes, 1548, ed. James Britten for the English Dialect Society. The 
reference to sea gulls nesting in the cliffs of the priory rock finds a parallel in Turner's account of the 
cormorants which he saw nesting there : ' In rupibus marinis juxta hostium Tinae fluvii mergos nidulantes 
vidi.' On Birds, 1544, ed. A. H. Evans, p. no. For the erosion of the sea-cliffs described in this 
letter, see R. M. Tate, Un the Erosion and Destruction of the Coast Line from the Low Lights to Tynemoiith 
and Cnllcrcoats, and the petition of 13S0 quoted on p. 97. 


whom no power on earth can save, whose vessel, mast swaying and timbers parted, rushes upon rock 
or reef. No ring-dove or nightingale is here, only grey birds which nest in the rocks and greedily prey 
upon the drowned, whose screaming cry is a token of coming storm. The people who live by the 
sea-shore feed upon black malodorous sea-weed, called 'slauk,' which they gather on the rocks. The 
constant eating of it turns their comple.\ions black. Men, women and children are as dark as Africans or 
the swarthiest Jews. In the spring the sea-air blights the blossoms of the stunted fruit trees, so that you 
will think yourself lucky to find a wizened apple, though it will set your teeth on edge should you try to 
eat it. See to it, dear brother, that you do not come to so comfortless a place. 

But the church is of wondrous beauty. It has been lately completed. Within it rests the body of 
the blessed martyr Oswin in a silver shrine, magnificently embellished with gold and jewels. He 
protects the murderers, thieves, and seditious persons who fly to him, and commutes their punishment 
to exile. He heals those whom no physician can cure. The martyr's protection and the church's 
beauty furnish us with a bond of unity. We are well off for food, thanks to the abundant supply of fish, 
of which we tire. 

The claims of the bishop of Durham over Tynemouth had been settled 
in 1 174, only to arise again in a new form. Successive bishops asserted 
their rights as diocesans to visit the church of Tynemouth, and to e.xact 
obedience from its priors. They also raised claims to certain other churches, 
of which the monastery held the advowson. Upon the case being carried 
to Rome, delegates appointed by the Pope decided that the bishop and 
his officials should confine their visitations to that part of Tynemouth 
church which was set aside for parochial purposes, and should not interfere 
in any way with the conventual portion of the church or with the monastery 
itself. They confirmed the right of the abbot of St. Alban's to appoint 
or remove, with the consent of his chapter, the priors of his cell of Tyne- 
mouth. During a vacancy at St. Alban's the prior of that abbey was to 
exercise the same right. On the other hand the prior of Tynemouth was, 
after his appointment, to be presented to the bishop of Durham, and was to 
promise him canonical obedience so far as the parish churches in his gift 
were concerned, and as the privileges granted to St. Alban's monasterv 
allowed. He was not, however, on that account to be summoned to attend 
the diocesan synod. The vicars of Tynemoutli were to be presented, upon 
their appointment, by the prior and convent of that place to the bishop ; 
they were to be answerable to the bishop for spiritualities and to the monks 
for temporalities (May, 1247).' 

' This award is given by Matthew Paris, Chronica Majora, vol. iv. pp. 615, 616, and Gcsta Ahhatttm, 
vol. i. pp. 390, 391. Numerous claims were made by the bishops of Durham during the reigns of John 
and Henry III. to churches in the gift of the prior of Tynemouth and the abbot of St. .-Mban's, namely, 
to Woodhorn in 1205, Hartburn in 1252, and Coniscliffe in 1258. Patrick, earl of Dunbar, claimed the 
advowson of Eglingham in 1225; Robert fitz Roger claimed that of Whalton in 1269; and in 1254 the 
church of Bolani was lost by Tynemouth to the archbishop of York. In 1225 Richard de Natfcrton, 
probably a monk of Tynemouth, obtained a letter from the king directed to the bishop of Durham, 
forbidding the bishop to meddle with the demesnes or villeins of Tynemouth priory. Patent Rolls, 
1216-1225, p. 571. 

Vol. VII 1. 10 


In spite of this composition, the bishop, Nichohis de Farnluun, con- 
tinued to inflict such injury as he could upon the monks. He compelled 
their church to contribute to the cost of building the chapel of the Nine 
Altars at Durham, forbade certain vicars to pay their annual pension to 
Tynemouth, and distrained on the prior's cattle. Relying upon a verdict 
procured from twelve of his own knights, he disregarded the letters of the 
king and of the abbot of St. Alban's, and endeavoured to wearv the 
monks into submission.' 

Fortunately for them, Bishop Farnham resigned his office in the 
following February. His successor, Walter de Kirkham, surrendered to 
St. Alban's all right to the churches of Hartburn and Eglingham {cijca 
1252), which he conferred upon the monastery for the promotion of 
hospitality and the bettering of their ale. Tvnemouth did not, however, 
profit by the arrangement. So wealthy were these two churches that 
Prior Ralph de Dunham made an offer of two hundred and fortv marcs 
to St. Alban's, if only he were allowed to retain them.- Bishop Kirkham 
proved in the end no better disposed towards the priory than his pre- 
decessor had been. In 1256, William de Grevstoke commenced a suit in 
the bishop's court for the advowson of Conescliffe in Durham. The abbot 
of St. Alban's and the prior of Tynemouth refused to appear, grounding 
their claim on their privilege of not being called in question for any tene- 
ment belonging to them except in the king's court and under a special 
royal mandate. Walter de Kirkham retorted by traversing the right of the 
abbot and prior to hold a free court within the wapentake of Sadberge, 
which, since the date of Richard I.'s charter, had been transferred to 
the bishop of Durham. The lawsuit was of great length, even for those 
times. By making very considerable concessions, the abbot of St. Alban's 
ultimately, in 1275, secured the recognition of the advowson as belonging 
to his monastery.' 

The priory had many enemies besides the bishops of Durham. Patrick, 
earl of Dunbar, laid claim to the manors of Bewick and Eglingham. Dying 
at Marseilles in 1248, his body was brought home to Tynemouth, and 

' Chronica Majoru, vol. v. pp. 8-13. 

- Gcsta Abbatum, vol. i. pp. 320-322. The churches did not form a new donation to St. Alban's, 
though Bishop Kirkham's confirmation earned him a place among the benefactors to the abbey. Liber 
de Bau-fictoribus, Rolls Series, Chnmuks of St. Alban's, vol. iii. p. 441. 

' Gesla Abbatum, vol. i. pp. 350, 427-430, 436, and Chronica Majora, vol. vi. (Liber .Additamenloium) 


burit'd there in the church wliich he had 
harassed.' John de Balliol was impartially 
hostile to Tynemouth and Durham. On both 
churches he is said to have inflicted enormous 
loss before he was persuaded to conclude 
peace with them in 1255. 'He who should re- 
count the wrongs,' savs Matthew Paris, 'which 
William de Valence did to the abbot of St. 
Alban's and the prior of Tynemouth, would 
draw tears from the eves of his hearers ; ' but 
the wrongs have been untold and our eves 
are dry." Add to this the expenses of special 
missions to the papal court, as in 1256, relative 
to the papal provision to Hartburn, a living 
round which would-be incumbents are said to 
have gathered ' like eagles round a carcase ; ' 
and the exactions of such unscrupulous pre- 
lates as the bishop of Hereford, and the 
demands of Henry HI.' 

The cell of Tvnemouth was called upon 
to contribute twentv-five marcs to the (i//.\- 
iliuiii prc/dtoi mil of 1235, and again to make 
a payment of five marcs in 1245. When in 
1253 the clergy granted to the king a tithe 
of all ecclesiastical revenues, Tynemouth con- 
tributed by paying a hundred marks to Ale- 
brando Alebrandini and Bernardo Prosperini, 
the king's Siennese creditors. In spite of 
the convent's rising commercial prosperity, of 
which signs are to be found in the growth 
of North Shields, the development of the 
fishing industrv, the establishment of tan-yards 
at Preston, the holding of markets at Tyne- 
mouth and at Bewick, and, not least important, 

1 <t 


' Chronica Majora, vol. v. p. 41 ; cf. vol. vii. of this work, p. 61. 

'■' Chronica Majora, vol. v. pp. 229, 528. William de Wilence held the neighbouring castle of Horton, 
1257-1270. I Qg^i^ Ahbatum, vol. i. pp. 346-350, 3S3. 



the commencement of the coal trade, the monastery fell considerably into 
debt. Two small debts to the Crown of a hundred shillings and five marcs, 
incurred in 1252 and 1257, were still outstanding at the close of Henry's 
reign. The tithe of their revenue, which brought in £66 13s. 4d. in 1253, 
amounted only to /"41 8s. 3d. in 1292.' 

A collection of letters which has been preserved, covering the years 
1 258-1 269, throws some light on life in the monastery at this time. They 
give a few interestinsf notices of the turmoil into which the countrv was 
thrown by the Barons' War. Prior Ralph de Dunham wrote to his abbot 
in the summer of 1258, 'I dare not in these days send you any money in 
return for the outlay which you are making on behalf of our cell, alike 
in the king's court and before the legate, for I fear the robberies to which 
travellers are daily subjected.' A few years later a canon of He.xham 
wrote to the cellarer of Tynemouth, ' I am sending you Stephen de Len, 
who is an honest workman, and, as I have heard, is skilled in plumbing 
and in laying on water. Do not think the worse of him for his shabby 
clothes. He has two or three times lost his all in this war, which is 
hardly yet over.' But on the whole the monks were concerned more with 
lesser matters, such as the debt incurred by one of their number to the 
flockmaster of Newminster abbey, or the insertion of new windows in 

' Pipe Rolls, Hodgson, pt. iii. vol. iii. pp. 177, 208, 226, 243 ; Patent Rolls, 40 Henry III. m. 13 d. 

The 5/. Albaii's Register (fol. 92) contains a list of extraordinary payments made by Tyne- 
mouth during the abb.icy of John de Hertford (1235-1260). Unfortunately this page of the register is 
in particularly bad condition, some five or six entries are altogether illegible. The remainder are : 

'.•\d opus domini pape pro accione Sancti Albani et [ecclesie Dunelmensis] 

de cella de Tynemuth 

Dominus abbas 

Item eidem 

Pro fine forestc de Bewic domino reg 

Pro obligatione facta in curia Romana per dominum Herefordensem 

Item domino abbati de -Sancto Albano eodem anno de domo 
Item pro villa de West Chirton in puram elemosynam redigenda, W'illelmo 

Herun, 4 niarce, et domino Gilberto Haunsard, 100 sol., et pro finali 

Concordia facta in curia domini Regis apud Novum Castrum coram 

justiciariis suis, 40 sol. 
Pro amerciamentis et disseysine de Cressewell domino Regi 

[Item domino] abbati et conventui de .Sancto Albano ad auxilium, .\.n 

Item domino abbati pro quibusdam aliis .... 

Item eidem, de dono, .x.n. 1260 ... 

Item conventui de Sancto Albano pro Roberto de Bewic 

communis venditionis decimarum suarum de Herteburn et de 

Egelingham ... ... 

Item de arrcragiis ecclesiarum de Herteburn et [de Egelingham] pro 

morte Ilugonis Gaidum ... ... 

25 marce. 
10 marce. 
10'' et duo [•] 

100 marce et 20' pro lucro. 
10 marce. 

7 marce. 

10 niarce. 


.... marce et 10 sol. 

(There is also an item of ^23 17s. 4Ad. and another of 100 marcs and 2od.) 


the refectory. The letters show how tliey were called upon to give pass- 
ports to fishermen travelling with loads of herrings to other monasteries, 
or requested bv Florentine merchants (to whom they were under money 
obligations) to inform them whether the convent was in need of any further 
assistance, how they were thanked for hospitality shown to kinsmen of their 
neighbours, and received applications from tenants to be allowed to purchase 
so much of the tithe of corn as the priory did not require for its own use. 
Proprietors, whose estates marched with those of the monastery, asked leave 
to put some of their sheep on to the prior's common, and to have passage 
allowed for so many wagon-loads of felled timber. Other letters relate 
to the appointment of attorneys and to the adjournment of suits pending 
in the prior's court. The mayor and burgesses of Newcastle wrote to the 
prior asking him to give shelter and protection to Thomas de Carliol, a 
citizen of their town, who ' had thrashed a man and given him satisfaction, 
whereupon they were made friends,' but who was, for all that, liable to 
be called on to satisfy the king's officers. In a curious letter Abbot Roger 
de Norton gave his directions to the monk who had been appointed 
as custodian of the priorv during a vacancy : ' I wish bv all means to 
have that book which I mentioned to you. It is not very valuable, 
but the late prior very courteously gave it me when I left Tynemouth. 
I want that mazar, price four marks, for I have not got a respectable one 
at present. See that a good part of the other silver cups, mazars, and 
spoons remains for the ne.xt prior. I do not wish to be thought covetous. 
Do not let your good will for me, whom vou now represent, lead you into 
raising a scandal.' The prior seems to have had a large stable ; frequent 
applications were made to him for the loan of horses for the York assizes 
or upon other urgent business. Even the sheritf made application for a 
carter and cart horse to go to York. 

Historically the most important letter in this collection is one from 
this same sheriff, John de Halton, written at the close of 1265. The 
battle of Evesham had been fought. John de Vesci was escaping north- 
ward, bearing with him the severed foot of his slain leader, Simon de 
Montfort. The sympathies of Tynemouth are not likely to have been with 
the winning side. Halton wrote a strongly worded letter to the prior, 
in which he informs him that he had learned that de Vesci would that 
night attempt to cross the Tvne from South Shields. He threatened him 



with the displeasure of the king and of Prince Edward should he fail to 
guard the ferry. But John de Vesci and his treasure came safe to Alnwick.' 

' This collection is in the Bodleian Library, Codices Di'^hciaiuic, >o, fol. I lo et sii/. It is entered 
in the catalogue of the collection as belonging to St. Neol's, but internal^ evidence shows that the 
letters relate to .St. Alban's and its cells. Proper names have been for the most part omitted, St. 
Alban's is given as ' .Sanctus N,' Tynemouth as ' N.' A selection of these letters is here printed. 

Kol. 124 b. \'enerande discrecionis viro ac amico confideutissinio domino R. de N., suus J. de 
Hawelton, salutem quam sibi. Dileccionem vestram, omni precum instancia, rogo et requiro quatinus, 
sicul de vobis amoris mei, et precibus, niihi de uno homine qui c|uandam carettam apud Ewerwyk 
scit deducere, et de uno equo ad carettam ad presens succurrere digno, per quod vobis, si aliquo tempore 
penes me habueritis agendum, forcius merito astringar. 

Ibul. Dilecto et speciali sibi amico, domino R. de N., suus J. de Ihnvellon, salulem quam sibi, 
cum dileccionc scinccra. Vos tanquam amicum rogo et requiro, ac ex parte domini Edwardi mando, 
quatinus, visis literis, sicut danipnum vcstrum evitare volueritis, mihi transmittatis Rohcrtum .Schipurit, 
inimicum et rebellem domini regis, ac excommunicatum, c|ucni infra paccm vestram nuliatcnus receptare 
debetis, quern servientes mei ipsum infra libertatem vestram persecuti sunt. \'alete. Velle vcstrum 
mihi significctis. 

Ihni. V'enerande discrecionis viro et amico suo in Christo karissimo, domino R., priori de T., 
Johannes de Ilaulton, salutem et amorem. Quia a viris fide dignis datum est nobis intelligi quod 
dominus J. de Wesci hac instanti nocte \ersus partes borcales ad passagiuni veslrum de Tynem' 
transiturus est, vobis tanquam speciali nostro, ac in fide qua domino regi tenemini, necnon sicuti vos 
ac omnia bona vestra diligilis, et indignacioncm domini regis et domini Edwardi, primogeniti filii sui, 
vitare nolueritis, passagiuni predictum cum omni posse vesiro custodiatis ; ita i|Uod dictus Johannes pro 
defectu custodie minimc transire valeat, per quod ad vos et domum vestram dominus noster rex et 
Eadwardus primogenitus graviter capere debeant pro vestro defectu, quia comodum vestrum ac 
honorem tanquam meum proprium affecco. Ideo hoc mandatuni speciale vobis transmitto. Placitum 
vestrum n\ihi vestro significare velitis per portitorem presencium. Valete. 

Fol. 125. Reverendo patri et in Christo karissimo domino R. c. de N., suus in omnibus frater 
Gilbertus de Hirlawe, ciistos ct magister averiorum Novi Monasterii, salutem et quicquid potest honoris 
et obsequii. Si dicere audeo, mirum est valde quod apud vestram paternitatem invenio. Nee est 
etiam novum quod antca non solebani. Dominus quippe Elyas, monachus vester, mutuo acceptas a 
me duas libras argenti, quod credo vos non latere, quas ad diem Ascensionis dominice proximo preterite 
mihi, sicut fidclis monachus erat, debuit, omni occasione remota, pleniter persolvisse, quod necdum fecit. 
Ego autem mutuo accepi tantam pecuniam ad officium vestiarii domus nostre, ad quod domum 
argentuip pertinebat. Et nunc cotidie cxigimt a me debitum suum creditores, et graviter me niolestant. 
Quare vobis, tanquam jiatri karissimo, devotissime supplico quatinus, si predictum argentum ad opus 
vestrum sumptum fuit, faciatis illud sine dilacione mihi persolvi. Sin autem in alios usus per doniinum 
E[lyani] predictum expensum est, faciatis mihi justiciam de eo, nc forte compellar vos gravarc, 
quod utique invitus facerem sine causa, reniittentes, si placet, mihi dictos denarios ))er latorem 
presencium. Expecto ergo reditum suum domi. \'alete. \'erumptamen de hiis que ad officium meum 
quod nunc habeo pertinet, ct eciam que ad officium vestiarii pertinent, pro vobis facere volo et possum 
libentius quam .alicui prelato in hac provincia. Mandetis ergo miclii in omnibus tanquam vestro 
confidenter, si quid prosum, t|uod vobis placet. Iterum valete. 

Fol. 125 b. Viro religioso et amico in Christo karissimo, domino R. de Acra, celerario de '1'., frater 
W. de Miteford, canonicus de Hextild', cternam in Domino salutem. Mittimus ad vos Stephanum de 
Len, fidelem operarium et, ut a viris fide dignis didicimus, que ad plumbum et que ad conducciones 
aquarum pertinent sufficienter instructum, quod si aliter est, cito experimento scire poteritis ; non 
contempnentes, si placet, vilitatem habitus, presertiin cum omnia bona sua occasione guerre nondum 
penitus sopite bis vel ter perdiderit. Valete. Salutetis, si placet, dominos socios nostros, R. de O. et \V. 
de T., et omnes tarn notos quam ignotos, quos Dominus noster in vera caritate semper conserve!. 
Iterum valete. 

Fol. 126. Domino R. de Acras, c. de T., frater J. de N., salutem, cum sincere caritatis affectu. 
Quuni J. vitrearius jam venit apud T. ad faciendas fenestras in refectorio, et nullum opus potest facere 
antequam habeat v bordas ad operas predictas componendas, quocirca vobis supplico quatinus mihi de 
quinque bordis pro i)recio si jjiacct succursum faciatis. Ego vero de precio earuni ad voluntatem 
vestram satisfaciam. Item velle vestrum de navi de Wodcorn mihi significantes que modo est attachiata 
apud le Pull, tiuum fere naute predicte navis cum ca clam recessissent a nobis, unde velle vestrum super 
hoc mihi rcmandare non difTcratis. Valete. 

Ibitl. Venerabili et religioso viro domino R. de N., c. de T., Reynerus Albanis civis et mercator 
Florentinus, salutem ct paratam ad ejus beneplacita voluntatem. Cum propter quedam negocia 


When Abbot Roger de Norton came on a visitation to Tynemoiith in 
1264, the men of Newcastle received him 'with great and infinite honours.'* 
This friendlv state of things did not last long, for four or five years had 
liardlv gone by before Nicholas Scot, mayor of Newcastle, at the head 
of over a hundred armed citizens, named by the monks 'satellites of Satan,' 
attacked the new town of North Shields, burned the mills, set fire to the 
houses, beat the monks, carried off a shipload of coals to Newcastle, and 
inflicted loss on the priory to the e.xtent of three hundred pounds.- It 
was the beginning of a lasting enmity between monastery and town. In 
April, 1290, the first contest commenced over their conflicting liberties. 
The case was heard before parliament, where the king and the men of 
Newcastle joined in calling in question the rights of Tynemouth to load 
and unload vessels and to buy and sell at Tynemouth and Shields, within 
the king's port of Tvne, without obtaining licence from the Crown ; they 
also brought up against the monks the charge that they baked bread at 
Tvnemouth in public bakehouses, which was then sold to the sailors who 
put in at Shields ; that they took wreck of the sea within the port ; that 
they held a market at Tynemouth, and that the wharfs of Shields encroached 
upon the soil of the river. In all this they were stated to have acted to 
the detriment of the Crown and of Newcastle. The action was heard, 
and a commission was appointed to certify as to the truth of the charges. 
An accidental delay led to the report of the commission not being 
made before August of the next vear. It was altogether favourable to 
the claims of the Crown. Judgment was accordingly delivered against 
the priory upon everv vital point (Julv 15th, 1292).' 

expcdienda Willelmum nuncium nieum, latorem presencium, in Scocia transmittam, vos tanquam 
doininum meuni ct aniicum rogo quatinus statuni vestruni et siquid penes me volueritis cum per vos 
reversus fuerit idem nuncius per eundem mihi significare velitis. V'alete bene et diu. 

Fol. 126 b. \'enerande religionis viro domino R. de .-X. custodi de T., R. de Mideltun clericus, 
s.ilutem et dileccionem sinceiam. Vobis attcncius supplico quatinus unum sarum palefridum meum qui 
aliqiianlulum intirmatur in domo vestra dc T. ad modicum tcmpus perhendinare velitis, saltem quousque 
convaluit, quod erit in brcvi. Deo dante, vel status suus melius mitlctur. \'eniam quidem in brevi apud 
T., Domino concedcnte, vobiscum super pluribus colloquium habiturus. liene valete. 

Fol. 127. Omnibus Cliristi fidelibus piesens scriptum visuris vel audituris frater R. de A., custos 
de Tynem', salutem in domino seinpiternam. Universitatem vestram dignum duximus exorandam 
quatinus, cum J. de B., lator ijrcsencium, per vos transitum fccerit rum x lastis alletum ad opus domini 
N. de C. et ejusdcm loci conventus, salvum eidcm si placet conductum probeatis et licenciam per vos 
transeundi habere una cum allece libere et tiuiete in pace permittatis. In liujus rei testimonium sigillum 
nostrum apposuimus. Datum apud Tynem' die veneris proximo ante Epipbaniam. anno d. M ■CC"I.X"VIII. 

' Magnos atque intinitos honores eidcm impendentes. SI. Alhaii's AV^isdr, fols. 63 and 1 12. 
' Northumberland Assize Rolls, Surt. Soc. No. 88, p. 163. 

' Rotiili Parlittmeiititrii, vol. i. pp. 26, and Brand, Hislnry of Xt-ur<istU; vol. ii. pp. 557-5^^S. .\ fuller 
account of this lawsuit will be gi\'en under Tynemouth and North Shields. 


While this case was still proceeding,' a quarrel arose between the prior 
and his tenant, the lord of Whitley. The latter was thrown into prison at 
Tvneniouth and kept there for several months. Pfe laid his case before 
the king, with the result that two justices of oyer and terminer were 
appointed, who commenced to investigate the circumstances at Newcastle 
on April 27th, 1291. They found that a serious miscarriage of justice had 
occurred, and that the case involved a decision upon the claims of the prior 
of Tynemouth to a franchise. Though the right of Tynemouth to a private 
jurisdiction had been undisputed for half a century or more, the extent of 
its right and the basis of its claim were extremely doubtful. Accordingly, 
the proceedings were reserved for parliament, then about to commence 
its session at Norham. There the pleas were reopened on May 13th. 
Sentence was given upon June 24th. The prior was found to have exceeded 
his rights. His liberty was therefore taken into the king's hands as for- 
feited, and annexed to the Crown.' 

With the loss of its commercial and judicial privileges, ruin seemed 
to threaten the monastery. Pope Nicholas's grant to the Crown of a tithe 
of all ecclesiastical revenues served to increase their financial extremity. 
A detailed assessment drawn up bv the obedientiaries and ministers of 
the priory upon March 26th, 1292, shows that the yearly revenue which 
they derived at this time from their temporal possessions amounted to 
_;^i8o i6s. 6fd. ; the spiritualities brought in ;^2i4 2s. iid.'^ 

The settlement of the Scotch succession was at this time occupying 
King Edward's attention. After declaring in favour of John Balliol at 
Berwick, he came south, reaching Tynemouth from Horton on December 
22nd, 1292, where he remained a couple of days as guest of the prior, 
and rode on to Newcastle on Christmas Eve to receive Balliol's homage.' 

Simon de Walden, prior of Tynemouth, appears to have found oppor- 
tunity in the previous summer for laying proposals before the king. The 

' Gibson, vol. ii. appendix, xci. See also the account of the liberty of Tynemouth in this volume. 
The St. Alhciii's Register, fol. 153 b, and Gesta Abbatum, vol. ii. p. 18, give details of the itinerary of John 
de Berkhamstead, newly elected abbot of .St. Alban's. He was absent from England at Rome in the 
early months of 1291, where he obtained papal confirmation of his election, reached England at the 
beginning of May and arrived at Norham at the end of the same month, having visited his cell of 
Hertford on his way north. At Norham he presented the papal letter of confirmation to the king, which 
done he returned south by way of Tynemouth, holding courts there upon the Sth and nth of June. He 
reached St. Alban's upon the 22nd of the same month. 

• Printed from the Tynemouth Chartnhiry in Brand, vol. ii. pp. 591-594, and Dugdale, Monasticon, 
vol. iii. pp. 315-317. 

' Household Roll of Edward I., given in Documents illustrative 0/ the History of Scotland, ed, 
Stevenson, vol. i. p. 372. 


royal claim to the advowson of the priory had been intermittently asserted 
and never definitely waived. A party existed at Tynemouth which preferred 
that the king, rather than the abbot of St. Alban's, should be their patron. 
Only in this way could they hope to obtain satisfaction for such grievances 
as they might have against their abbot. As matters then stood they could 
not expect to make good their complaints against a superior who could at 
pleasure depose an intractable prior, and remove the monks to other cells. 
Prior Walden had an ally in his cellarer, John de Trokelowe. At least 
five other monks threw themselves in on the side of their prior against 
the abbot. Edward naturally heard them willingly. Upon November 30th 
he issued a writ, calling upon the abbot to surrender the said advowson, 
or else to prove his case at the ne.xt assize. 

The abbot, John de Berkhamstead, had probably already become 
acquainted with the plot made against him. A search through the muni- 
ments of Tynemouth and St. Alban's showed him that he had no good 
case. Mowbrav had definitelv made over the advowson to St. Alban's, 
but that earl's subsequent forfeiture could be regarded as invalidating the 
grant. Accordingly he hastened to Scotland, and there threw himself on 
the king's mercy. The case was nevertheless opened at Newcastle on 
January 14th. The Crown officers cited the election of Prior Akarius in 
Henry II. 's reign, and produced Henry I.'s writ of 1122. Berkhamstead, 
who appeared in person, pleaded long undisturbed possession. Further 
proceedings were reserved for the next meeting of parliament after Easter. 
A select number of charters bearing on the case were sealed up and 
despatched to London. Orders were given to the abbot not to molest the 
monks who appeared to give evidence on the side of the Crown.' But 
the king was content with having proceeded so far. Upon May 2nd, 1293, 
and before a further hearing was reached, he released to the abbot and 
his successors all claims to the advowson." 

The position of St. Alban's with regard to Tynemouth was now for 
the first time firmlv secured. In a letter to Berkhamstead a monk of St. 
Oswin pointed out the consequences of the royal grant. After showing 
that the claims of Tynemouth to rights in the Tyne went back to the days 
of the Northumbrian earldom, while those of Newcastle rested upon a 
charter granted by King John, he continued : — 

' Placita de quo warranto. Record Commission, p. 585. 
' Patent Rolls, 21 Edw. I. 111. 19. UuKdale, vol. iii. p. 317. 

Vol. VIII. II 


' I write to let your reverence know that if the above considerations had been urged by tlie prior's 
party in the course of the lawsuit between the prior and the burgesses of Newcastle, they would certainly 
have been of weight. But then no one of the prior's party dared mention the earl and his grants, 
because the royalists were threatening the abbot of St. Alban's with a claim to the advowson of Tyne- 
mouth priory. Should the action ever be started anew, I think that, with God's help, things will go 
better for Tynemoulh, for now everyone can speak freely of the earl and his grants, since the king has 
wholly resigned to the church of St. Alban's, for himself and his heirs, all claim to the advowson.' ' 

Prior Walden must have thought that he had got well through the 
struggle with his abbot. The latter was at Tynemouth on September 25th, 
1294, holding a court, and everything seemed quiet. Walden was thrown 
off his guard. A few months later, probably in April, Abbot Berkhamstead 
made a secret journey to Newcastle. There he saw the mayor and arranged 
with him to conduct him to Tynemouth with an armed following. Henry 
Scot, a leading Newcastle burgess and a friend of the prior, was bribed to 
take part by a promise of lands in Elsvvick. The whole party came silently 
one night up to the gate of the priory. Scot went forward and knocked. 
The porter opened the gate, whereupon the band rushed in, overpowered 
the porter, and seized the keys. They made their way to the prior's 
lodging and hammered at the door. It was past midnight ; Walden had 
returned from attending matins ; he had doffed his cowl, and, wrapping 
himself in a sheepskin, had lain down to sleep. The sound of knocking 
aroused him. He asked who was at the door. ' Your abbot,' was the 
reply ; to which he made answer, ' Nay, what should the abbot be doing 
here at this hour?' At that moment the door was burst open. The 
soldiers rushed in, and, at the abbot's bidding, seized the prior, who was 
sent a few days later by sea to St. Alban's, and a new prior was appointed 
in his place. John de Trokelowe and his other accomplices had before 
this been carried, fettered and chained, to the same monastery.' 

The greatest of all Edward I.'s exactions from the clergy was the 
demand for one half of the whole of their revenue (September, 1294). 

' St. Alban's Register, fol. 150, printed in Gibson, vol. ii. appendix, .xcii. 

• Gesta Abbatum, vol. ii. pp. 19-23. It will be noticed that the prior's name is there given as Adam 
de Tewing. But Prior Walden, who was elected to his office in 1280, was still prior on September 25th, 
1294 (St. Alban's Reghtei; fol. 154 b). The name of .A.dam de Tewing first appears on .-^pril 30th, 1295 
(ibid.). Tewing was still prior in 1300 {Assi:e Roll, P.R.O., No. 638), long after this supposed removal, 
which is said to have taken place in the fifth year of John de Berkhamstead (Dec. 1294 to Dec. 1295). 
Taking into consideration the fact shown by the Assize Roll of 21 Edw. I. that Walden was prior 
when the action for the advowson was being carried on, there seems no doubt that the author of the 
Gestd Abbatum has recorded the name of the wrong prior. One may observe that John de Trokelowe, 
who was cellarer in January, 1293, no longer filled that office in September, 1294. His removal was 
therefore probably antecedent to tliat of his prior. 


Tynemouth contributed / 204 9s. lod/ A general tallage-roll of 1294, a 
survey of lands held in demesne and in villeinage, taken at Christinas, 
1295, and a custuinal of about the same time, alike attest to the necessity 
for strict economy which this financial pressure must have caused, and 
add to our knowledge of the state of the priory lands at this period.' 

The destruction of Hexham priory by the Scots in April, 1296, must 
have warned the monks of Tynemouth that the time had come to put their 
monastery into a state of defence. In the autumn of that year they obtained 
licence from the king to fortify the priory with a wall of stone and lime, 
and to crenellate it.^ They appear to have commenced work at once upon 
their new fortress,^ and it was well that they did so, for in November, 1 297, 
a Scottish army, led by William Wallace, again invaded Northumberland. 
Marching down the Tyne from Hexham, the Scots laid waste the village 
of Wylam, a possession of the priory,^ and advanced upon Newcastle. The 
inhabitants of Tynemouthshire, alarmed at the approach of the enemy, 
carried their valuables to the monastery. But the Scots, upon this occasion, 
did not dare to attack.* 

Edward I. stayed a second time at Tynemouth from December 
1st to 4th, 1298.' A little later he restored to the monks their 
forfeited franchise (February 20th, 1299).' He was again at Tynemouth 
on December 8th, 1299. Upon a fourth visit (June 21st to 26th, 1301), 
he was met by Anthony Bek, bishop of Durham. That bishop was then 
engaged in a dispute with the prior of Durham, which Edward heard in 
the chapter house upon the day of his arrival." Two years later the young 

' Gesta Abbatum, vol. ii. p. 71. 

^ The rental is given in the St. Alban's Register, fols. 109-111, and the mensuration and custumal in 
the Tynemouth Chartulary, fols. 4-10 and 36-44. Both may be supplemented, as evidences for the 
economic position of Tynemouthshire, by the Subsidy Roll of 1296. 

' Pro priore ct conventu de Tynemuth. Re.\ omnibus, etc., salutem. Sciatis quod concessimus pro 
nobis et heredibus nostris dilectis nobis in Christo priori et convenlui de Tynemuth quod ipsi prioratum 
suum predictum muro de petra et calce firmarc et kernellare, et ilium sic tirmatuni et kcmcUatum icnere 
possint sibi et successoribus suis sine occasione vel impedimento nostri vel heredum noslrorum justiciar- 
orum aut aliorum ballivorum seu ministrorum nostrorum quorunicumque. In cujus, etc. T. R. apud 
Berewyk super Twedam, 5 die Sept. [1296]. Pat. Rolls, 24 Edw. 1. m. 8. Duke of Northumberland's 

' Upon February 2nd, 1296- 1297, John de Greystoke and Robert de Somervill granted to the prior 
and convent of Tynemouth a wayleave over lienton moor, presumably for the carting of building material 
to the castle. Newmiiister Chartulary, Surt. Soc. No. 66, p. 2S3. 

* Tynemouth Chartulary, fol. 28. " Rishanger, Gesta Eiluardi I. Rolls Series, p. 4'4- 

' Rishanger, Chronica, Rolls Series, p. 188. 

" Charter Rolls, 27 Edw. I. No. 31 ; Gibson, vol. ii. appendix, ci. ' Coram Rege Rolls, No. 165. 


queen, Margaret, stayed for some months (June to October, 1303) at the 
monastery.' Her royal husband did not forget, in the press of a Scottish 
campaign, to order a consignment of pike, bream and eels to be sent 
thither to her from the fishponds of the Fosse at York.' The men of 
Tynemouth were less hospitable, for some of them set upon her trumpeter, 
and robbed him of his silver and gilt trumpets.' Upon leaving Tynemouth, 
Queen Margaret joined the king in Scotland, and returned south with him 
ne.\t year. Their hosts, the monks, took advantage of this last .stay 
(September 8th to i8th, 1304) to obtain the queen's mediation with Edward 
for the restoration of Tynemouth market, which was granted to them ; '' so 
their position was now nearly as secure as it liad been before their unfor- 
tunate lawsuits of the last decade. 

Edward II. also once visited Tynemouth. He had come to Newcastle 
with his favourite. Piers Gaveston, recalled for the last time from the 
banishment to which the baronial party had consigned him. Oueen Isabella 
accompanied them, but left Newcastle to go to Tynemouth. On the morn- 
ing of Ascension Day (May 4th, 1312), news came that Thomas, earl of 
Lancaster, Henry de Percy and Robert de Clifford were marching upon 
Newcastle with a large armed following. In hot haste the great seal was 
sent off. The king and Gaveston retreated to Tvnemouth, just in time to 
escape capture, for the barons rode into Newcastle the same afternoon. 
Next day, in spite of the high seas, and in spite of the supplications of 
his wife, who was shortly to give birth to a child, Edward set sail with 
Gaveston for Scarborough. The earl of Lancaster followed, and forced 
Gaveston to capitulate on the 19th of the month. The subsequent e.xecution 
of the unlucky favourite is a well-known tale. It was afterwards made a 
charge against Hugh Despenser the younger, who was at Tynemouth upon 
this occasion, that he had counselled Edward to leave his queen in great 
bodily peril when the county was full of invaders.^ Queen Isabella was 
again at Tynemouth in 1322, at which time a bastard child of the king, 
named Adam, was buried there. ° 

' Ciil. Doc. Rcl. Scot. ed. Bain, vol. ii. pp. 1376, 139S. - Close Rolls, ^i Edw. I. m. 3. 

' Coram Regc Rolls, No. 186. ' Charter Rolls, 32 Edw. I. No. 14 ; Gibson, vol. ii. appendi.x, ciii. 

"John de Trokelowe, Aniiales, Rolls .Series, p. 75. Gesta Edwardi dc Carnarvon, Rolls Series; 
Chronicles, Edsuird I. and Edward II. vol. ii. p. 88. Rymer, Foedera, Record Commission, vol. ii. p. 169. 
Gibson, Tynemouth, vol. ii. appendix, cix and cxi. 

" Wardrobe account of Edward Ii. cited by Brand, Newcastle, vol. ii. p. 92. 


A few vears later the Ion? struggle between St. Alban's and the Grev- 
stokes over the possession of the advowson of Conescliffe came to an end. 
Though the abbey had obtained a formal recognition of its claims in 1275, 
it had never gained peaceable possession. Hugh de Eversdon, abbot of 
St. Alban's, now induced Ralph fitz William, lord of Greystoke, to quit- 
claim all right to the advowson in exchange for the surrender of Thorpe 
Basset in Yorkshire. Eversdon also conceded to Greystoke and his heirs 
the right to have one secular chaplain in Tynemouth who should pray for 
the souls of Ralph de Greystoke, John de Greystoke his kinsman, and 
for the souls of their ancestors and of all faithful departed. The prior 
and convent bound themselves, March 26th, 1315, to appoint and make 
provision for the said chaplain and his successors.' 

With the inroads made into Northumberland by Robert Bruce and 
the increasing turbulence and restiveness of Northumbrian landowners, the 
county was in a very unsettled state. In November, 1313, it was found 
necessary to issue letters of protection to the prior of Tynemouth.' The 
English defeat at Bannockburn, ne.xt June, made matters worse, followed 
as it was by renewed activity on the part of the Scottish invaders. New 
letters of protection were obtained, which forbade the carrying off of the 
prior's corn or hay or farm stock — good evidence that the prohibited oflfence 
had been committed.^ 

The four following years (13 14- 13 18) were probably the most disturbed 
in the whole history of the priory. Upon the office of prior falling vacant, 
the abbot of St. Alban's gave that onerous position to a man who in 
every way proved himself worthy of the trust reposed in him. ' Richard 
de Tewing well and nobly ruled the cell with a strong hand in a time 
of great distress, when for four years on end no serf dared plough and 

' Gisia Ablhituin, vol. ii. pp. 1 15-117. Xeu'iiiiiistcr ChartuUxry, Surt. Soc. No. 66, pp. 290-291. The 
names of the followins,' chaplains of the chantry .are recorded ; de Bulmer ' ante priniam 
pestilenciam,' Gilbert Wilkynson of Tynemouth (living 1363-1391), Robert de .\mble, John de Walsing- 
ham, and John de Whalton. Ibid. 

■ Cal. Put. Rolls, 1313-1317, p. 42. 

' De Protectione. Rex omnibus ballivis et fidelibus suis ad quos, etc., salutem. Indempnitati 
dilectorum nobis in Christo prioris et conventus de Tyncmuth, quorum bona et catalla per hostiles 
aggressus Scotorum inimicorum et rebellium nostrorum in comitatu Northumbric quam plurimum 
devastantur, prospicere volentes, suscepimus in proteccionem ct defensionem nostram ipsos prioiem 
et conventum, homines, terras, res, redditus, et omnes posscssiones suas. Et ideo vobis mandamus 
quod ipsos priorem ct conventum, etc. Volumus eciam quod de bladis, fenis, victualibus, carcagiis, vel 
aliis bonis seu catallis dictorum prioris et conventus .ad opus nostrum seu aliorum quorumcumque contra 
voluntatem ipsorum prioris et conventus quicquam nullatenus capiatur. In cujus, etc. Per unum annum 
dur. T. R. apud Eboracum .\v die Sept. [1314]. Pal- Rolls, 8 Edw. II. p. 1, m. 25. Duke of Northum- 
berland's transcripts. 


no sower dared sow for fear of the enemy. Yet none the less did he 
keep the place, and not only by his industry did he honourably maintain 
the monks, but during that time he kept within the priory eighty armed 
men to guard the place, not without great expense.' ' Prior Tewing has 
earned the gratitude of the historian by having left a chartulary and a 
fragmentary register of his priorate.^ 

The Scots poured over the border in 1315. Carlisle, Newcastle, 
Tynemouth priory and the Northumbrian castles were the only places in 
which safety could be found, and even their defence was difficult and 
costly.' Marauding bands of English too roamed over the country. They 
were known as ' shavaldores ' and their mode of warfare as ' shavaldry.' ^ 
Chief among these robbers were Gilbert de Middelton and Walter de 
Selby, whose eventful histories will be related later. John the Irishman — 
an old soldier of Bamburgh garrison, who kidnapped the Lady Cliflbrd — 
was another noted shavaldore. The Tynemouth Chartulary gives two 
letters relating to him, written to the bailiffs of Tynemouth by Adam de 
Swynburn, the sheriff, who afterwards turned rebel himself ; in one of 
which the arrest of John the Irishman and his band is ordered ; in the 

' Cottonian MSS. Nero D vii. fol. 51 b, cited by Gibson, vol. ii. p. 36. 

•■ They form the nucleus of the so-called Tynemouth Clnirtiilayy, a small octavo volume of 218 leaves 
in the possession of the duke of Northumberland. The chartulary of Richard de Tewinjj is a good 
specimen of medieval penmanship and is illuminated ; a facsimile of one of the charters is given in 
Gibson, vol. i. to face p. 140. It extends from fol. 77 to fol. 104 of the volume, and is headed, 
' Conscripta diversarum eartarum et diversorum scriptorum de tempore fratris Ricardi de Tewing, 
quondam prioris.' Later hands have continued it (unilluminated) to 1352 and thence to 13S1 (fols. 
105-11S). The Register extends from 1328 to 1340 (fols. 159-176), and documents relating to the earlier 
part of Tewing's priorate arc given in other parts of the codex. 

' John de Trokelowe, Annates, Rolls Series, p. 91. 

' There are several authorities for the use of the name ' shavaldores ' as applied to marauders at this 
period. (l) Trokelowe, Annates, p. 99, in an account of the capture of Lewis de Beaumont in 1317 — 
' Quidam fatui de Northumbria, qui dicebantur savalJores (quorum duces fuerunt Gilbertus de .Midiltone 
miles et Walterus de Selby), cum magna multitudine fatuorum, de quadam valle ex inopinato prorum- 
pentes, irruebant in eos.' (2) Sir Thomas Grey, Scataclironica, Maitland Club Publications, p. 147 — 
'Johan le Irroys ravist la dame de Clifilorde. Les niaufesurs estoint appellez st/iid'n/rfoins.' (3) Robert 
de Graystanes, Ties Scriptores, p. 94 — ' Quidam enim qui portabat robas episcopi (Uunelmensis), et erat 
in munitione castri de Norham, occidit quendam sckavatdum vel praedonem, Johannem de Wardal 
nomine, sed regi familiarem, in Insula Sacra.' (4) Guisboivtigh Chartidiuy, vol. ii. p. 357 ; Surt. Soc. 
No. 89— Sciat celsitudo regia . . . ecclesias nostras de Valle Anandiae, de dyocesi Karliolensi, ac etiam 
de episcopatu Dunolmensi, per miserabilem Scotorum et etiam seliavatdonim depredationem . . . multis 
temporibus retroactis funditus dissipatas. (5) Tynemouth Chartutary, fol. II, survey of Tynemouth in 
1336 — ' Primo est una placea terrae vastae propinquior porte prioratus de Tynemuth ex parte australi, 
quae placea, dum edificata fuit, reddere consuevit xviijd. ; set, domibus super eandem edificatis 
per priorem de Tynemuth dirutis, et, ut oportuit, prostratis, ne sliavatdores et alii barones tempore 
guerrae et shavaldr' in destrucionem et capcioncm prioratus de Tynemouth in eisdem domibus fuissent 
recepti et absconsi, Robertus de Slikborne eandem placeam dicto priori sursum reddidit ; set adhuc 
eadem placea jacet vasta in manu prioris nee aliquid reddit.' .\\\ these writers refer to northern events, 
so that the name would seem, in its origin, to have had a verj- local character. It is difficult to find an 
etymology for the word, which, from its suffix, would seem to be of French origin. It occurs latinised 
as ' discursor, vacabundus.' 


Other, written after some members at least of that company had been 
captured, directions are given for the levying of distraint upon their goods 
with a view to enforcing their appearance before the king.' 

Gilbert de Middelton was a more dangerous enemy. He appears to 
have made a strong effort to get Tynemouth castle into his hands. Vigor- 
ous measures were taken by the monks. A number of the houses which 
nestled round the priory gateway were pulled down, lest the shavaldores 
should use them as a cover for attack. The defence, which was entrusted 
to Sir Robert Delaval, proved successful.' 

Middelton's capture and execution in 131 8 lessened the strain of the 
situation, but, as things were still in a very unsettled state, the king, with 
the consent of the abbot of St. Alban's, entrusted the custody of the castle, 
INIay 1 2th, 13 18, to John de Haustede to hold at the royal pleasure. 
This measure was prompted bv the necessity for resisting the attacks 
of the Scots and Northumbrian rebels, and giving some security to the 
people of the district.* A two years' truce was made with the Scots in 

' .Adam de Swyneburn viscount de Northumbr' as bailiffs de la fraunchis de Tynemue salulz. Le 
maundemcnt monsieur William de Mountague gardeyn du chastel Bernard ai resceu en cestes paroles. 
" William de Mountague gardeyn du chastel Bernard de part nostre seigneur le roi a sire Adam de 
Swyneburn viscount de Northumbr' salutz. Nous vous comaundoms de part nostre seigneur le roi que 
vous prenetz Johan de Ircys et tot sa campaignie ou que vous les trovetz deintz vostre baillie, deintz 
fraunchis ou dehors, ct sauvemcnt en prison le gardetz taunque nostre seigneur le roi en face sa volente." 
Par quoi vous maund que execuscion de ceo maundement deintz vostre fraunchis pleynement parfourmetz 
issint que le roi neit meistre de niettre la meyne. 

Adam de -Swyneburn viscount de Northumbr" as baillifs de la fraunchis de Tynemue salutz. Le 
maundement nostre seigneur le roy ai resceu en cest paroles. " Edward par la grace de dieu roy 
d'Engleterr etc. a viscount de Northumbr' salutz. Pur ceo que vous avetz maunde que vous ne avetz 
dount a faire venir les prisouns en vostre gard et que fourent en la compaignie Johan le Ireys, vous 
maundoms que vous facetz enquere en qi meyns les biens sount que feurent pris ovesq cux, et ces biens 
facetz prendre et seisir en nostre meyn, et de ces biens facetz venir les prisouns avaunditz. ou que nous 
seioms en Engleterr', a pluis en haste que vous poaitz. Don' soutz nostre prive seal a Clipston en 
Sherwode le primer jour de Januer I'an de regne novisme." Par quay vous maund que plenere execucion 
de ceste maundement facetz. 

Memorandum quod, die Jovis proxime ante festum sancti Hillarii anno r. E. fil. reg. E. nono, 
Warinus de Swctopp, subvicecomes Northumbriae, recepit apud castrum regis ville Novi Castri super 
Tynam de Thoma de Belsowe, sencscallo libcrtatis de Tynem', per returnum brevis domini regis de 
privato sigillo dicto senescallo et ballivis liberlatis predicle directum, corpora W'illelmi Cosyn et Johannis 
Lyvet, Hibernicorum caplorum et imprisonatorum in prisona liberlatis de Tynem' per returnum et 
mandatum liltere domini Willelmi de Montague, constabularii et custodis castri de Castro liemardi, 
ad corpora predictorum Willelmi et Johannis unacum aliis qui fuerunt de secreta Johaimis de Hibemia 
capienda et in prisonam salvo custodienda, ad ducenda corpora dictorum Willelmi et Johannis coram 
domino rege ubicumque fuerit in .Anglia, prout idem dominus rex per littcram suam de privato sigillo 
prefato vicecomiti mandavit. In cujus rci testimonium sigillum otficiale conventuale est apensum. 
Datum apud castrum regis Novi Castri super Tynam, die et anno supradictis [January ist, 1315-1316]. 
Tymmouth Clnirtiilury, fol 167 b. 

Adam de Swynburn was appointed sheriff October i6th, 131 5. P.R.O. Lists and Indexes, No. ix. p. 97. 

'Ancient PititioHS, No. 3,994, and Tynemouth ChartuLiry, fol. II. 

' De custodia mansi prioratus de Tynemuth commissa. Rex, de assensu abb.itis de Sancto .-Mbano, 
commisit Johanni de Haustede custodiam mansi prioratus de Tynemuth, qui est cella abbatie predicte, quamdiu regi placeret, pro repulsione .Scotorum inimicorum et rcbcllium regis et securiori 
salvacione populi regis partium earundem. In cujus, etc. T. R. apud Wyndes' xij die Maii. Per ipsum 


1319, but was kept with difficulty, owing to acts of aggression on the part 
of the English. A letter in the Tyucmoutli Chartiilary furnishes an 
instance of this continued bickering. 

'To his dear friend. Rich.ird, prior of Tynemouth, Robert de Unifranivyll, earl of Angus, guardian 
of the truce in the north parts, love and greeting. As we have heard that your men have arrested three 
poor .Scottish boys, who landed at Sliields out of a Scottish vessel, partly because their vessel was 
damaged in a gale in the port of Tyne, and partly for want of food, as we are credibly informed, we 
pray you and command you, sir, in the king's name, for the maintenance of the truce and accord 
between the kingdoms, to deliver up the said boys, that the men of Scotland t.ake not example and 
grieve our people of England by reason of the said boys' detention. May God keep you, sir.' ' 

Walter de Selby surrendered at Mitfoid in November, 132 1, and 
William de Middelton, a brother of Gilbert, was taken with him. Middel- 
ton, thrown into prison at Newcastle, was afterwards released on bail. 
When on bail he was captured and carried off by the Scots, but, escaping 
from them, found refuge in the liberty of Tynemouth. The bailiffs of the 
liberty refused to hand him back to the sheriff, and a special mandate had 
to be sent to them bv the king before he was surrendered.^ 

regem. Et mandatum est comitibus, baronibus, militibus et omnibus aliis de comitatu Northumbrie, tam 
infra libertates quam extra, ad quos, etc., quod eidem Johanni m omnibus que ad repulsionem dictorum 
inimicorum regis ac salvacionem populi regis ibidem et partium predictarum ac custodiam illam pertinent 
intendentes sint et auxiliantes, quociens et prout idem Johannes regi scire fecerit ex parte regis. 
Pat. Rolls, II Edw. II. j). 2, m. iS. Ouke of Nortliumberland's transcripts. 

Haustede was appointed custodian of the river Tyne from Newcastle to the sea on August 23rd of 
the same year (Cal. Pat. Roth, 131 7-1 321, p. 201). 

' A son chier amy Richard priour de Tynemuth, Robert d'Umframvyll, counte d'Anegus, gardeyn de 
la trewe en les parties dc North', salutz et bon amour. Pur ceo, sire, que nous avoms entenduz que vos 
gentz ount arestuz trcis povres garceons d'Escoce qui vyndrent sur terre as les Sheles hors d'une nief 
d'Escoce, qui fuyt chatrie desur (.') en le haven de Tyne par tempeste et par defaute des vitailes alee que 
nous avoms de certeyn ; par quoi, sire, vous prioms et chargeoms de par le roi, pur la trewe meyntiegner 
et acord entre les realmes, voiletz les dilz garceouns delyvrerer, issynt que les gentz d'Escoce ne preignent 
ensample de grever nos gentz d'Engleterre par la reson de la detenue des les avant ditz garceouns. A 
dieu, sire, qui vous gard. 

Littera originalis hujus transcripti est in thesauro. Tynemouth Chartulary, fol. 215. 

■ (l) De Willelmo de Middelton vicecomiti Northumbrie liberando. Rex dilecto sibi in Christo . . . 
priori de Tynemuth, salutem. Cum, ut accepimus, Willelmus de Middelton, qui cum aliis malefactoribus 
et pacis nostre perturbatoribus in castro de Mitford, tunc contra nos tento, captus et ea occasione per 
vicecomitem nostrum Northumbrie prisone nostre castri de Novo Castro super Tynam extitit mancipatus, 
et postmodum per ipsum vicecomitem per manucapcionem a prisona praedicta deliberatus, ut dicitur, per 
Scotos inimicos et rebelles nostros, tunc partes marchie hostiliter invadentes, captus fuisset et abductus, 
idemque Willelmus a manibus ipsorum -Scotorum evadens se transtulit ad libertatem nostram in qua per 
vos detinetur, licet dictus vicecomes a vobis petierit ipsum Willelmum sibi liberari, per quod dictus 
vicecomes nobis supplicavit ut ei subvenire curaremus in hac parte; nos supplicacioni illi annuere et 
manucapcionem predictam in suo robore volentes permanere, vobis mandamus quod ipsum Willelmum 
prefato vicecomiti nostro liberetis prisone nostre predicte, sicut prius niancipando. T. R. apud Eboracum 
.\xv die Junii [1322]. Close Rolls, 15 Edw. II, m. 4. Duke of Northumberland's transcripts. 

(2) Writ to the sheriff to the same effect, dated June 30th. 

(3) Hec indentura testatur quod die Martis proximo post festum Translationis Sancti Thome Mar- 
tiris, a. r. r. E. fil. r. E. 16", Johannes de Fenwyk, vicecomes Northumbriae, recepit de ballivo libertatis de 
Tynemuth, yirtute cujusdam brevis domino K. priori de Tynemuth directi, Willelmum de Middelton, etc. 
In cujus rei testimonium, etc. In presentia Roberti de RyhuU, Gilberti Daudre, Alani de Castro, et 
aliorum tunc presentium. Datum apud TynenV, die et anno suprascriptis [July 5th, 1322]. Tynemouth 
Chartulary, fol. 212 b. 

Cp. vol. V. of this work, p. 299, for similar documents from this chartulary relative to Nicholas of Hauxley. 


These dissensions, and the want of harmony prevailing between the 
king's officers and those upon whose help they ought to have relied, 
received a further illustration a few months later when David de Strabolgy, 
warden of Northumberland, ordered the arrest and detention at Newcastle 
of forty-one of the armed men whom the prior was keeping at his own 
expense as a garrison for Tynemouth.' 

King Edward found it necessarv to interfere and to disavow the action 
of his officer. It was an act of folly to deprive Tynemouth at this critical 
time of half its defenders. He wrote, therefore, to the prior, desiring him 
not to allow any of his garrison to quit the castle, and sent a similar com- 
mand to Strabolgy. Orders were issued to the warden not to compel any 
of the garrison to come before him ; but to permit them to go out and 
in freely for stores, and assist the prior. The sheriff was commanded to 
release at once those whom he had arrested and to restore what he had 
distrained.' Prior Tewing secured his position, March 8th, 1322/3,' by 
obtaining fresh letters of protection. 

' Johan de Fenwyk vie' de Northumbr' as les bailifs de la franchise de Tynemuth, salut. Jeo ai 
resceu le maundement Davy de Strabolgy, counte d'AthoU, seigneur de Chillam, gardeyn de Northumbr'; 
' Au viscount de Northumbr', salulz. Nous vous maundoms de par nostre seigneur le roi que vous 
facetz attacher et prendre trestoutz les corps dont nous vous enveioms les nouns deynz nostre lettre, 
c'est assavoir, etc. (a list of 41 names follows), quele part que vous les puyssetz trover deynz vostre 
baillie, issynt que vous mctz lour corps daynz le chastel nostre seigneur le roi de la ville de Noef 
Chastel sur Tyne yceo lundy proscheyn dcvant la feste seynt Thomas I'aposlle, illoesque salvement 
agardyr tanque vous eietz altre maundement de part nostre seigneur le roi. Et facetz seisyr en la 
meyn nostre seigneur le roi lour terres et tenementz biens et chateux ou qu'ilz soient trovez, qux q'ilz 
soient el ou q'ilz soient trovez, et salvement les gardetz al oeps nostre seigneur le roi tanque il vous 
maunde sa volunte, et ceo ne lessetz sur quant que vous porriez forfaire vers le dit nostre seigneur 
le roi. Escrjpt a Tyn' le jour de seynt Luce, Ian, etc, xvj" [October iSth, 1322].' Par quoi vous 
maunde de par nostre seigneur le roi que vous perfacetz ceste maundement en toutz, sur pcyne de quant 
que vous porrietz forfaire au roi et de perdre vostre fraunchise. Tynemouth Cluirtul.iry, fol. 213. 

John de Fenwyk was appointed sheriff of Northumberland October 12th, 1319, and again February 
19th, 1325. P.R.O. Lists and Indexes, No. ix. p. 97. 

■ De prioratu de Tynemuth sufficienti garnistura, etc., muniendo. Rex vicecomiti Northumbrie, 
salutem. Ex parte dilecti nobis in Christo prioris de Tynemuth nobis est ostensum quod, cum ipse 
habeat prioratum ilium de Tynemuth suo periculo custodiendum, etc., dilectus et fidelis nosier David 
de Sirabolgi, comes Athol, etc., tibi jam precepit quod ipsum priorem et quam plures de garnestura 
predicta per corpora sua capi, ac libertatein ejusdem prioris ibidem, et terras et tenementa, bona et 
catalla sua et aliorum quamplurium de eadem garnestura in manum nostrum seisire faceres, causa 
aliqua precepti illius in eodem mmiine exprcssa ; nolentes quod idem prior in hac parte indebite 
prosequetur seu super custodiam dicti prioratus faciendam aliqualiter inipediatur, tibi precipimus 
quod, si prefatus comes preceptum hujus modi tibi fecerit, et tu eo prete.xtu ipsum priorem aut aliquem 
de garnestura predicta ceperis, seu libertatem ipsius prioris aut terras aut tenementa, bona vel cat.allri 
aut aliquorum de garnestura predicta in manum nostram seisire feceris ; tunc, accepta sufficienti 
securitate a prefato priore et aliis de garnestura ilia, quos negotium illud tangit, de respondendo 
nobis si prefatus comes vel alius nomine nostro versus eos loqui voluerit de inobediencia aliqu.-i 
nobis facta in hac parte, ipsum priorem et alios de garnestura predicta sic captos a prisona hujusmodi 
sine dilacione aliqua deliberari eidemque priori libertatetn suam predictam, ac terras et teneinenta, 
bona et catalla sua, et aliis de garnestura similiter terras et tenementa, bona et catalla sua in manum 
nostram sic seisita, restitui facias, per securitatem predictam, ipsum priorem seu aliquem de garnestura 
predicta de cetero non molestans seu gravans pretextu precepti memorati. T. R. apud Eboracum 
XXX die Decembris. Close Rolls, 16 Edw. H. m. 16. Duke of Northumberland's transcripts. 

' Cal. Pitt. Rolls, 1321-1324, p. 2C1. 

Vol. VI H. '- 



The truce now made with the Scots relieved the Northumbrian land- 
owners from the duty of defence, and left them a free hand in the pro- 
secution of their private enmities. Robert Delaval, Walter Delaval, 
Thomas de Woodburn, Walter de Gourley, and John de Oseworth cut 
down the prior's trees in the manor of Bewick, carried off plunder, and 
turned cattle into the standing corn ; seized his goods and chattels at 
Ellington and at Middle Chirton, impounded and starved a number of 
his cattle at Seaton Delaval, and stole ten cows and other property from 
Tynemouth itself. The prior estimated his losses at ^150.' Thomas de 
Middelton and others took away eighty oxen and sixty cows as well as 
household goods from Tynemouth, Preston, East and Middle Chirton, 
Backworth and Monkseaton, the whole valued at ;^300. William de 
Ellerington and his companions cut down trees and carried away valuables 
at Wylam to the amount of £ 200. These are a few instances of the 
brigandage to which the monastic lands, and especially Bewick, were 

It speaks well for the capacity of Prior Tewing that, in spite of these 
heavy losses and of the legal expenses which they entailed, in spite too of 
the expense of keeping up a large garrison, he was able to satisfv the 
financial demands of his abbot, Hugh de Eversdon (itself no easy task), by 
judicious purchases of demesne land and house property in Newcastle and 
Berwick. Nor did his enterprise stop at investments in temporalities. 
Abbot Eversdon was renowned for his special devotion to the Virgin, 
of which he gave proof by completing the Lady-chapel at the east end of 

' Prior de Tynemuth per Tliomam de Wilton attornatum suum optiilit se versus Robertuni de 
la Val, Waltcrum de la \'al, 'riiomam de Wodebiirn, Waltcrum de Gourley et Johannem de Oseworth 
de placito quare vi et armis arbores ipsius prioris apud Beuyk nunc crescentes succiderunt et arbores 
illas ac alia bona et catalla sua ad valenciam quadraginta libraruin ibidem inventa ceperunt et aspor- 
taverunt, nccnon blada et lierba sua ad valenciam sexaginla librarum ibidem similiter nuper crescencia 
cum quibusdam averiis depasti fuerunt conculcaverunt et consumpserunt ; versus Johannem de Ose- 
worth de placito quare vi et armis bona et catalla ipsius prioris ad valenciam viginti librarum apud 
Middel Chirton inventa cepit et asportavit ; versus Robertum de la Val, Walterum de la \'al, et 
Johannem de Oseworth, de placito quare vi et armis decem vaccas ipsius, precii decern librarum, apud 
Tynemuth inventa, maliciose interfecerunt, et bona et catalla sua ad valenciam decem librarum ibidem 
similiter inventa ceperunt et asportavcrunt ; versus Radulphum Hoby, Willelmum Roberdespundere 
de la Val, Robertum de la Val, et Johannem de Oseworth, de placito quare vi et armis averia ipsius 
prioris apud Seton de la Val absque causa rationabili ceperunt et imparcaverunt, et ea tam diu imparcata 
sine alimento contra legem et consuetudinem regni nostri detinuerunt, quod magna pars averiorum 
illorum fame interiit ; versus Thomam de Wodeburn de placito quare vi et armis bona et catalla ipsius 
prioris ad valenciam decem librarum apud Elyngton inventa cepit et asportavit. Coram Ri-ge Rolls, 
No. 260. Duke of Northumberland's transcripts. 

■ Cal. Pat. Rolls, 1324- 1327, p. 2S9, and ibid. 1330-1334, pp. 389, 444. Details of an outrage at 
Elswick committed against the prior will be found ibid. 1334- 1338, p. 512. 


St. Alban's church.' Prior Tewing, emulous of his example, found means 
to erect a Lady-chapel at Tynemouth. It is described as a new building 
in 1336, and was probably begun before Eversdon's death in 1326. A 
special endowment of lands was set apart for its maintenance, and it was 
put under the control of a master or warden, an office held by Geoffrey 
de Binham in 1338.^ Repairs to other conventual buildings seem to have 
been proceeding in 1320, when Henry de Faukes granted to the prior 
and convent a wayleave for their carts for carrying stone slates from the 
quarries in West Backworth for roofing the monks' dwellings.^ 

Building and purchases of land were both calculated to be profitable in- 
vestments. But capital was being sunk at a time when much depended upon 
the retention of a balance in hand. The maintenance of a garrison over 
several years was e.xceedingly costly. Private purses were providing the 
means for public defence. So great had the strain become at the commence- 
ment of Edward III.'s reign that the prior addressed the following petition 
to the king, in which he drew a gloomy picture of the state of affairs : 

To our lord the king and to his council, their chaplain, the prior of Tynemouth, prays that, whereas 
the property of his priory is burnt and destroyed by the Scottish enemy, so that he is unable to sustain 
or retain men-at-arms and others for the safeguard of the said house, if he be not aided, it may please 
you to command that he be aided with victuals for the safety of the house above-mentioned, or certainly 
he must abandon the defence. 

The king accordingly granted supplies to the amount of ;^20, and 
(September 28th, 1327) ordered his receiver of victuals at Newcastle to 
make the necessary payment.'' Letters of protection were issued to the 
prior in the same year, and again in 1332, when, after the ineffectual peace 
of Northampton, war recommenced between England and Scotland.'^ The 

' Tynemouth Chartulary, fol. iS b (survey of Tynemouth in 1336), cited in Gibson, vol. i. p. 148, note. 
For Hugh de Eversdon's cult of the Virgin, see Gcsla Abhatuiii, vol. ii. p. 114. ' Hie abbas, cum, inter 
nnines elcctos Dei, ejus Genitricem speciali devotione venerarelur, loca sua et omamenta eidem 
\'irgini dedicare semper studuit." He also had a reputation for extortion. The prior of Tynemouth is 
reported to have been 'so cleared out' (tantum exinanitus) as to be unable to make any gift at the 
election of the next abbot. Ibiii. p. 187. 

- Tynemouth Chartulary, fol. 172 b. ' Ibid. fol. So b ; Brand, XeucastU; \ol. ii. p. 90. 

' A nostre scignur le roi et a son conseil prie son chapelleyn le priour de Tynemulh que come 
les biens de mesme sa pr[iorie s]oient ars et destrutz par Ics enemys d'Escoce par quoi il n'est niye de 
poair de suslcnir ne de rctenir gentz d'armcs et autres pur la sauve gard de mesme la meson s'il ne 
soit eidetz, ifil vous pleisc comander q'il soit eidetz de vitailles pur la sauvete de la meson avantdite, 
ou certeynement il lui co\ent weyvcr la gard. Endorsed : Memorandum quod habeat de victu.ilibus 
que sunt apiid Novum Castrum super Tinam pro municione ad valenciam xx/i. hac vice de dono, etc., 
et super hoc mandetur custodi victualiuni, etc., quod liberet. Ancient Petitions, P.R.O. 3,800. Cp. 
Cal. Close Rolls, 1327- 1 330, p. 170. 

^ Cal. Pat. Rolls, 1327-1330, p. 98 ; lii./. 1330-1334, p. 344. Letters of protection were also granted 
i'l 1335 ; '■'"■''• i334-'338, P- 178. 


battle of Halidon Hill won the En<^Ush a temporary advantage. Next 
year (July ist, 1335), the king, who was then at Newcastle, paid a visit to 
Tynemouth priory.' Meanwhile his army lay at Elswick, where the soldiers 
did such damage to the prior's pasture by their going and coming that 
but little was offered for it during the next few years." This, however, 
was of comparatively small consequence to the priory, since Richard Scot 
of Newcastle levied the prior's rents at Elswick and Wylam himself, and 
so terrorised the men and servants of the monastery, that they dared not 
even come to Newcastle to buy victuals or to transact business.'' 

Prior Richard Tewing died in 1340. Thomas de la Mare, a St. Alban's 
monk of aristocratic connections, succeeded. Among his near kinsmen 
he numbered the Montacutes, de la Zouches, and Grandissons. His two 
brothers and his sisters had, like himself, adopted the monastic profession. 
The description given of him by his biographer, as well as the fine brass 
of Flemish workmanship which formerlv marked his grave in St. Alban's 
abbey church, shows him to have been singularly handsome. He had well- 
modelled features, long graceful fingers, and as a boy he had had a very 
delicate complexion. He was a good scholar, being especially a student 
of rhetoric. 'The Pope himself,' it was said, 'could find no fault in his 
Latinity.' His pleasant courtesy won him popularity with high and low. 
The Black Prince was in later days his special friend, and is reported to 
have said to the earl of Northampton upon one occasion, ' I love Thomas 
de la Mare as if he were my father's son.' The sick and the leprous were 
tended by him ; he was always ready to supplv his fellows with personal 
comforts, and his natural dignity was such that he did not shrink from the 
performance of menial offices. Afterwards, when abbot of St. Alban's, he 
would sometimes himself ring the chapel bell for the services at which 
he was a regular attendant. He was justly proud of the singing of his 
monks. Always punctual himself, he knew how to promote punctuality 
in others ; those who came late to dinner were not met with angry 
words, but were made to pay for the wine drunk during the meal. The 
encomium passed upon him by Edward HI. was probably true, ' In person, 
breeding, and humanity, there is no abbot in my kingdom who can com- 
pare with him.'' 

' Cal. Close Rolls, 1333-1337, p. 415. - Tynemouth Chnrtulary, fols. 166 b, 172 b. 

" Cal. Pat. Rolls, 1 338-1 341, p. 67. ' Gesta Ahbatum, vol. ii. p. 371 et seq. 


Brass of Thomas de la Mare. Abbot of St Albans. 


Thomas de la Mare had assumed the monastic habit at Wymondham, 
where he had been chaplain to the prior. At St. Alban's he had held the 
offices of kitchener and cellarer, and tlie business capacity which he there 
showed was much needed in the conduct of affairs at Tvnemouth. He 
found that house 'so miserably depressed in its estate that its goods no 
longer sufficed for the maintenance of the prior and convent, and for the 
defence of the priory against the perils then imminent.' This was due to 
the need of entertaining the nobles whom the conduct of the Scottish war 
brought into those parts, quite as much as to the frequent forays of the 
Scots themselves, who burnt the manor houses, villages, barns, and buildings 
of the priory, drove off the cattle from the estates and plundered the houses 
of the tenants. One of Thomas de la Mare's first acts was to journey to 
Langley in Hertfordshire, where the king was holding a great tournament. 
There he disclosed to King Edward the necessities of the priory, and what 
danger there was of its capture and destruction. He succeeded in getting 
letters of protection for the monastery and its possessions during the 
duration of the war. The king also issued injunctions to the wardens of 
the inarches that neither they nor others should upon any prete.\t make 
a stay in the priory unless they were specially invited to that house by 
its prior, and that they should not take anything of the prior and convent 
or of their tenants against their will.' 

' De Proteccione. Rex univerais et sinyulis custodiljiis M;irchie Scocie viceconiitibus baliivis 
ministris et aliis fidelibus suis ad quos, etc., salutcin. Quia piioratus de Tynemutli, qui est cella 
abbathie Sancti .'Vlbani que quidem abbathia de nostra patronatu esse dinoscitur, tam per frcquentes 
aggressus et invasiones Scotorum inimicorum nostrarum qui maneria villas giangeas et alia edificia 
ad prioratum predictum spectancia hostiliter sepius conibusserunt et pecora ac alia bona et catalla 
dilectoruni nobis in Cristo prioris et conventus eiusdem piioratus ceperunt abduxerunt et totaliter 
consunipseiunt, quani accessus magnatum et alioium ad prioratum predictum contluencium et in eodeni 
perhendinancium, adeo miserabiliter deprimitur, ut accepimus, hiis diebus quod bona illius ad sus- 
tentacionem dictorum prioris et conventus prioratus illius ac municiones pro eodcm necessarias et ad 
quedam alia ad custodiam eiusdem prioratus spectancia invenienda gucrrarum pcriculis imminentibus 
sufficere non poterunt, quodque de status eiusdem prioratus subversione et monachorum ibidem pro 
animabus progenitorum nostrorum omniumque fidclium divina celebrancium dispersione, necnon 
elemosinarum que ibidem hactenus fieri consueverunt diminucione et subtraccione, et, quod peius 
est, predictus prioratus, qui castrum reputari poterit, perdicionali capcione quod absit yerisimiliter 
formidatur, nisi remedium super hoc cicius apponatur ; nos tantis malls periculis et dispendiis precavere 
volentes ut tenemur, affectantesque quod exitus redditus seu provcntus terraruni et possessionum 
predictarum, quatenus ultra sustentacioneni dictorum prioris et conventus et ministrorum sucrum 
necessario sufficere poterunt, in relevacione status prioratus predicti saluam et securam custodian! 
eiusdem applicentur, prioratum predictum ac priorem et conventum et homines terras res redditus et 
omnes possessiones ad prioratum predictum spectantes seu pertinentes suscepimus in proteccioneni et 
defensionem nostram specialem. Et ideo, etc. Et si quid, etc. Nohniius enim quod aliquis vestruin 
aut alius quicumque cuiuscumque status seu condicionis tuerit in prioratu predicto, iminentibus periculis 
predictis, quocumque colore hospitetur aut moram faciat quovis modo, nisi per priorem dicti prioratus 
ex certa causa fuerit specialius invitatus, nee de bonis aut rebus ipsoruni prioris et conventus seu 
hominum suorum contra voluntatem suani quicquam capiant quovis modo. In cuius, etc. Quanidiu 
dicta guerra duraverit duratura. Teste rege apud Langele viij die Februarii [a.D. 134']- ^^^r ipsum 
regem et consilium. Patent Roll, P.R.O. 15 Edw. III. pars I, m. 44. 


The first three years of de la Mare's priorate were spent in the 
prosecution of various lawsuits. In the most important of these suits 
Gerard de Widdrington claimed tiie manor of Hauxley. As the case pro- 
ceeded it became more and more evident that the prior would win, upon 
which Widdrington attempted force. The prior's biographer reports that 
for a whole year de la Mare was daily in iear of assassination ; no day 
dawned which might not bring news of the murder of one of his supporters. 
Upon one occasion some Austin friars were caught by Widdrington on their 
way from Tynemouth and put to the torture under the impression that they 
were Benedictines. Sir Henry Percy, though a friend of the prior, was 
unwilling to give him any help, since he would not take any steps against 
a knight who was of his fee, so strong had the tie already become which 
bound lord and retainer. His wife, Lady Mary Percy, was the only friend 
upon whom the prior could rely. She is said to have sent him all her 
jewels, and to have bidden him sell them and employ the proceeds in 
the suit rather than suffer it to drop for lack of means. She also sent him 
a renowned duellist, vSir Thomas Colville, for force could onlv be met by 
force. Colville engaged to maintain the prior's cause in battle, and as no 
one dared to stand up against him, de la Mare won the day. Lady Mary 
Percy subsequently appointed the prior to be her confessor. 

Another three years were spent mainly in the work of religious in- 
struction. De la Mare himself preached effectively, both in English and 
in Latin. So earnest was he in discourse that his sermons were often 
interrupted by his sobs. He gathered round him many secular clergy and 
mendicant friars to assist him in his work. The Scottish invasion of 1346, 
when the upper Tyne vallev fell entirely into the hands of the invaders, 
put an end to peaceful evangelization. Their leader, Sir William Douglas, 
sent a message to the prior, bidding him prepare dinner for him at Tyne- 
mouth ; for in two davs' time, he said, he would sup with him in his priory. 
So it was, though under different circumstances to those which had been 
in Douglas's mind when he sent his arrogant message, for he was captured 
at Neville's Cross, and sent to Tynemouth for safe custody. De la Mare 
met him and bade him welcome to the dinner w'hich was made ready. ' In 
truth,' said Douglas, 'I am sorry for this visit.' De la Mare replied, 'You 
could not have chosen a better time for it.' In the same fight David, king 
of Scotland, was taken prisoner. The prior was suffering at the time from 



an eye complaint, but the joyful news made him well again. He tore off 
his bandages, and never had a return of the disorder. 

Though the victory of Neville's Cross relieved the priory of the long 
strain of the Scottish war, it occasioned a struggle with the English military 
leaders. Ralph de Neville, who had lately been appointed warden of the 
marches, argued that Tynemouth was a royal castle. He sent there all 
the able-bodied Scottish prisoners to be kept under guard. Their custody 
naturally proved an expensive charge upon the monastery, as well as 
detrimental to its privileges. Accordingly the prior journeyed to the royal 
court, and, through the mediation of a nobleman there, named De Ufford, 
obtained a royal writ which forbade any prisoner to be sent into Tyne- 
mouth castle, and ordered that no one e.\cept the prior for the time being 
should exert authority within the castle.' 

De la Mare had already planned several alterations to the priory 
buildings, which had hitherto been deferred owing to the necessities of the 
time. Peace being now regained, he 
was able to execute his projects, and 
the last three years of his priorate 
(1346- 1 349) were spent in repairing 
the walls and buildings of the castle 
and priorv, as well as in making new 
buildins;s. Until that time the shrine 
of St. Oswin had been united with 
the high altar. Monastic services 
had consequently interfered with, or 
been interrupted by, the devotions 
of pilgrims. The prior now moved 
the shrine from its original position 
to another portion of the church (his 

' Walsingham's narrative cannot be accepted as it stands. He says that the prior 'clam venit 
ad Langleve, ubi curia regis fuit, et hastiludia ob puerperium Philippae reginae, quae enixa fuerat tunc 
Edmunduiii.' The tournament was held on February 2nd, 1341 (Baker, Chronicon, Caxton Society, 
p. 73), while Edmund of Langley was not born till June 5th following (Chromcoii Angliaf, 1328-138S, 
Rolls Series, p. 12). .-Kpart from this discrepancy, there is the more serious difficulty that Ralph 
Neville, warden of the marches, is made the principal in the quarrel. Neville was not ni.ide warden 
till September 12th, 1346; and the battle of Neville's Cross, about which tune these events are said 
to have occurred, was fought on October 17th, 1346. Walsingham appears to have confused an 
occurrence of 1346 or 1347 with the granting of the letters of protection quoted in the last note, which 
were granted at Langley on Februarv 8th, 1341. His whole account of the priorate of Thomas de la 
Mare\Gcsta Ahkitiim, vol. ii. pp. 375-380I is a vivid and perhaps highly-coloured sketch, which cannot 
be trusted for accuracy of historical detail. 

SrANDKii. IN Priory Chirch. 


biographer, unfortunately, does not indicate what new place was found 
for it). This work, with the alteration to the high altar necessitated by 
the removal of the shrine, and the decoration of the church in certain 
minor and unspecified particulars, cost £']0. De la Mare further expended 
£()0 in building a new brew-house, and £%1 in making a dormitory. The 
total outlay made by him upon the church amounted to no less than £'i^^. 
On the other hand, by the purchase of various tenements and 590 acres 
of arable and meadow land, he increased the annual revenue of the priory 

by ^35 4s. lo^d. 

A strange storv is told of what was seen at Tvnemouth one winter 
morning when Thomas de la Mare was prior. Service was daily said for 
the souls of the departed in the 'chapel of the dead,' which was perhaps 
a mortuary chapel within the conventual cemetery. Early in the morning, 
before sunrise, a monk was reciting the customary service in this chapel. 
He was alone, except for a boy who made the responses. Office, collect, 
epistle and gospel had been read, and the ceremony of cleansing the sacred 
vessels was being performed, when the boy turned round and saw a cowled 
figure coming in at the chapel door. In the half-light he saw it kneel 
down in a corner of the chapel and bend its face to the earth, as if in 
prayer. The scared lad put himself between the priest and the altar. His 
behaviour surprised the priest, who, however, proceeded with the mass, 
and, when the celebration was over, asked the boy the cause of his alarm. 
Then he too saw the apparition kneeling in the corner of the building. 
Boldly approaching the figure, he lightlv touched it with his sleeve, saying, 
' Rise, brother ; return to thy rest ; ' upon which the kneeling form stood 
up, went out at the door, and was lost to sight.' 

When the Black Death depleted the monastery of St. Alban's and 
carried off its abbot, Thomas de la Mare was chosen to fill the vacancy, 
and a Tynemouth monk, Clement of Whethamstede, was nominated as 
prior in his stead. De la Mare went with a notification of his election to 
the papal court. But the Roman cardinals, on hearing the words of the 
decree which announced the election of the prior of Tynemouth to be 
abbot of St. Alban's, broke in with the commentary, ' Then the priory is 
vacant.' Though the appointment to the cell lay wholly within the sphere 
of the abbey, upon which it depended, the papal legate demanded the 

' Gcita Abbatuin, vol. ii. p. 36S. 


first fruits from the prior designate, using threats to obtain payment. ' On 
this occasion,' it was said, 'trifling as it was, we spent an immense sum of 
money before the cell could have its customary liberty recognised. When 
the abbot saw the cardinals and some of the Curia eagerly waiting to see 
who would have the priory allotted to him, he sought audience with the 
Pope, and obtained from him a bull giving him licence to confer the 
priory upon one of his own monks. So Tynemouth was saved from out 
of the clutches of the Roman harpies.' Besides the bull (dated August 
iitb, 1349), a royal letter to the papal legate was obtained. In this letter 
the king stated that Tynemouth priory was one of the strongest fortresses 
in the marches, that during the Scottish wars it had been garrisoned and 
provisioned against attack, and that its revenues were not in themselves 
sufficient for the cost of defence ; wherefore he commanded the legate not 
to appropriate the revenues, as such action would bring impoverishment 
and ruin upon the monastery.* 

The first thirty years of Whethamstede's long priorate are blank except 
for a dispute with Newcastle with regard to the ownership of Fenham in 
1357. When we next meet with the priorv, it is to find that its walls, 
which Thomas de la Mare had repaired, were crumbling, while the rents of 
the priorv lands were diminished by the constant harrying of Bewick and 
Eglingham. In 1380 the following petition was addressed to the king: 

To our lord the king and his council, their poor chaplains, the prior and convent of Tynemouth, 
show that, whereas their said priory has been long time and still is one of the strong fortresses of the 
north, and now by the inroad of the sea the walls of the said priory are in great part fallen, and the rents 
of the said priory are in no way sufficient to repair them as well as to bear their other charges, because 
great part of their said rents lies near the march of Scotland and is destroyed by the enemy, therefore 
the said prior and convent pray our lord the king and his council to assign them some reasonable aid, 
whereby they pray to be recovered, to the saving of the said priory and fortress and of the country 
round about." 

Richard II. thereupon (February 20th, 1380) granted licence to the 
prior and convent to acquire lands and tenements to the amount of ;^20 

' Gesta Abbatum, vol. ii. pp. 390-394. 

- Ancifiit Petitions, I'.R.O. 7,157. A nostre seignur le roy et son consail mustrount se povers 
chapeleins priour et couent de Tvnmuth que come lour dit priourre ad este par long temps et ore est 
un de les forcible forteles de North', et or par cretyn et surunder de mer les mures de dit priourrie sunt 
chaies en grant partie et les rentz de dit priourrie ne sunt mie sufficiant de les reparailer et porter lour 
autres charges pur ceo que grant partie de lour ditz rentz gist pres de march d'Escoce et est destruit par 
les enmis, sur quoy les ditz priour et couent priount a nostre seigneur le roy et son consail de les assigner 
asqune ayde resonable dunt ils priont estre recouere en eel part en saluacion de dit priourrie et (orcelet 
et tout le pais environ. Cp. Letters Patent printed in Brand, Newcastle, vol. ii. pp. 96, 97 i and Gibson, 
vol. ii. appendix, c.x.wi. 

Vol. VIII. '3 


yearlv rent. Next year ihey increased their resources by purchasing the 
manor of West Denton, a rich coal-field on the Tyne, and at the same 
time added 362 acres to their home demesne. In this year (1381), the 
peasants' revolt broke out. Northumberland remained quiet, and the 
prior of St. Alban's and four of his brethren did not think themselves 
safe from their angry serfs till they had reached Tynemouth.' In 1384 
there was a renewal of the old complaints as to the decay of the sea-walls 
and priory buildings, the ' constant mortal pestilence ' of the Scottish in- 
vasions, and the cost of entertaining nobles. This time the complaints 
of the priory were voiced by the king's two uncles, the dukes of Lancaster 
and Gloucester, who were friends of the monastery and partakers of its 
hospitality. Richard allowed the monks to appropriate for their own use 
the advowson of Haltwhistle in Tynedale." The year 1384 is deserving of 
remembrance in the history of the priory, for in it St. Oswin performed 
his last miracle : 

In this year, on the 20th of August, being the clay of the Passion of St. Oswin, at Newcastle-upon- 
Tyne, two sailors wished to hollow out a piece of timber for their vessel. And when one of them had 
struck the wood with his axe, to his amazement blood poured from it as if it had been a living thing. 
He stood rooted with fear, and then, remembering that it was St. Oswin's Day, he vowed that he would 
never work again on that day as long as he lived. His comrade made little of it and swore that 
he would hollow out the timber ; but, when he had struck it, he saw blood flow more freely than before. 
He aimed at another part of the wood, but blood followed from every stroke ; so then he saw his 
wickedness and promised to cease from the work on that day. This miracle was seen by many and gave 
great proof of the martyr's holiness.^ 

Scottish invasions now came nearer home. The Scots pressed south 
in 1386 ; they had reached Billv-mill moor before a truce was arranged. 
In 1388 they appeared before the walls of Newcastle. Upon August 19th 
in that year, the day upon which the battle of Otterburn was fought, the 
king granted protection for a year to the priory, in similar terms to those 
which Edward III. had used at Langley in 1341.'' Twelve months later 
came a fresh invasion, and this time the Scots harried and burnt nearly 
the whole of Tynemouthshire, meeting with no opposition. When they 
had come to Tynemouth, they desired to hold a parley with the cellarer 
and those who were in the castle. So the cellarer went out to treat 
with them for sparing the town, but, while he conferred with them, some 

Gesta Abbatum, vol. iii., p. 301. - Gibson, vol. ii., appendix, cxxviii and cxxix. 

Thomas of Walsingham, Historia Ang 
tnd, Rolls Series, p. 240. 

' Patent Rolls, 12 Ric. II. pars I, m. 28. 

'Thomas of Walsingham, Historia Aiiglicana, Rolls Series, vol. ii. p. 116; Capgrave, Chronicle 0/ 
England, Rolls Series, p. 240. 



of the enemy were entering the houses, and suddenly flames burst out in 
every street. Seeing this, one of the garrison of the castle levelled his 
crossbow and shot a servant of the earl of Moray, whereat the Scots 
raised a great outcry, declaring the cellarer to have done treacherously ; 
and he had almost lost his life but that some of the Scots, who were his 
friends, saved him and allowed him to go in again to the castle upon this 
condition, that he should cure the wounded man of his wounds and send 
him home at the charges of the house.' 

It was absolutely 
necessary to improve the 
military defences of the 

castle. Its gate - house 
was in ruins ; the greater 
part of its walls seaward 
were thrown down ; and 
neither the revenues of" 
St. Alban's nor those of 
its cell sufficed for the 
work of reparation. A 
petition made bv Thomas 
de la Mare and his con- 
vent was strongly sup- 
ported by the dukes of 
Lancaster and Gloucester, 
the earl of Huntingdon, 
and the earl of Northum- 
berland. King Richard 
agreed (February 23rd, 
1390) to give /. 500 in 
aid of the needful repairs, 
John of Gaunt himself 
subscribed ^"100, and 
Henry Percy, first earl 
of Northumberland, gave 

Newel Stair in Gate-house 

' Walsingham, vol. ii. p. 402. Contemporary surveys corroborate the harrj-ing of Tynemouthshire 
and destruction of the town ; e.g., a house in Tynemouth owned by the heirs of Sir Alan de Heton was 
returned as worth ten shillings in 1388 (im;. p.m. 12 Ric. II. No. 28), but three years later it was worth 
nothing 'causa destructionis Scotoruin' {ibid. 15 Ric. II. pars i, No. 87). 


a hundred marks, as well as a thousand trees to replace those which the 
Scots had burned. The gate-house, which is still standing, was then built by 
the prior, John de Whethamstede.' Another building erected about this 
time was the prior's great stone house, which stood upon the Quayside, in 
Newcastle, till 1S54, when it, and several old streets adjoining, were burnt by 
fire.' The priory acquired considerable house property in Newcastle in 1391. 
In 1405 Whitley was purchased for the priory by William de 
Whethamstede, the cellarer above-mentioned. During his tenure of office, 
Johanna, widow of the Black Prince, gave a donation for the adornment 
of St. Oswin's shrine.^ This William was a member of a family which 
was for long closely connected with Tynemouth. His nephew, John de 
Whethamstede, surnamed Makarey or Macrel, was at this time prior. 
The prior in his turn had a nephew, also named John de Whethamstede, 
who attained celebrity as abbot of St. Alban's.* 



Thomas Makarey of Whethamstede. William Whethamstede, cellarer of Tynemouth in 1384. 
^ I 

John Makarey of Whethamstede, prior of Margaret. = Hugh Bostock, came out of Cheshire to 

Tynemouth, 1 393-1418. I Whethamstede. 

John Bostock of Whethamstede, prior of Gloucester Hall, Oxford ; abbot of St. .Mban's, 1420-1440, and 1451-1464. 

' Pro priore et conventu de Tynemoth. Rex omnibus ad c]uo5, etc., salutem. Supplicarunt nobis 
dilecti nobis in Cristo abbas et conventus abbatie de sancto Albano ut, cum prioratus de Tynemoth in 
comitatu Northumbrie, cella eiusdem abbatie, qui supra portum maris et os aque de Tyne situatur, 
tantam et excessiuam destruccionem de terris et possessionibus suis per .Scotos adversaries nostros 
sustinuent, quod magna turris et porta ac maior pars murorum dicti prioratus versus mare per 
infortunium ad terram prosternuntur ; ita quod omnia bona abbatie et prioratus illorum ad reparacioneni 
eiusdem prioratus, qui castrum et refugium toti patrie tempore guerre existere consuevit, non sufficiunt 
ut accepimus ; velimus, consideratis tam dampnis cl deperditis in premissis que toti patrie predicte, si 
dictum castrum pro defectu celeris reparacionis per inimicos nostros quod absit capiatur, quam quod 
predicli abbas, prior, et conventus, nisi magnum auxilium et succursum nostra in hac parte habuerint, ad 
defendcndum et reparandum eundem prioratum sine castrum minus sufficienles exislunt, poterunt 
evenire, ordinari iubere quod idem prioratus siue castrum, ad quod faciendum iidem abbas, prior, et 
conventus plenariam potestateai suain, ut asserunt, tideliter apponent, cum omni festinacione possibili 
reparetur; Nos ad supplicacionem predictam et alia premissa debitam consideracionem habentes, primo 
ad honorem Dei et subsequenter ad rogatum carissimorum avunculorum nostrorum ducum Lancastrie et 
Gloucestrie ac carissimi fratris nostri comitis Huntyngdonie et dilecti consanguinei nostri comitis 
Northumbrie, de gracia nostra speciali concessimus eisdem abbati, priori et conventui quingentas libras 
habendas per sufficientem assignacionem inde infra duos annos proximo futuros solucndas in auxilium 
reparacionis prioratus antcdicli. In cuius, etc. Teste rege apud Westmonasterium xxiij die Kebruarii 
(A.D. 1390) per breve de privato sigillo. Patent Rolls, P.R.O., 13 Ric. II. pars 2, m. 8. Cp. Lihir dc 
Benefacturibus, Rolls Series, pp. 434, 436 ; and Walsingham, vol. ii. p. 403. 

•Brand, Newcastle, vol. ii. p. 100. Dr. Embleton, 'Ruins of Buildings once existing on the 
Quayside.MrW;. Ael. second series, vol. xviii. ■■< Liber dc Bcncfactortbus, p. 435. 

' Old writers, e.g., Dugdale and Hearne, are mistaken in classing John de Whethamstede, abbot of 
St. Alban's, among the priors of Tynemouth. See Riley, jfohii 0/ Amuiidesham, Rolls Series, vol. ii. 
p. xvi, note 2. Prior Clement de Whethamstede does not appear to have been a member of this family. 


Prior Whethamstede, besides building the gatehouse, inserted several 
windows in the church, amongst which is probably to be reckoned the 
large Perpendicular window in the west front of the nave. He restored 
the monks' house at Wylam which had fallen into ruins during the Scottish 
wars. It is also recorded of him that he increased the half-yearly allow- 
ances paid to members of the monastery, and instituted the practice of 
distributing pittances or doles among the sick monks in the infirmar}\' 

What knowledge we possess of him is derived from some verses writ- 
ten by his nephew, Abbot Whethamstede, in 1426, when he made a 
visitation to Tynemouth. Upon that occasion the abbot, after conducting 
an investigation into the affairs of the priory, issued a set of constitutions 
to the following elTect : ' 

1. The brethren are to attend the daily and nightly services in the choir. The precentor of the 
choir is to see that the services, and especially the psalms, are distinctly rendered ; special care is to be 
taken on festivals. In starting the antiphons, the precentor is not to begin to intone the psalm until 
the antiphonist has finished his phrase. The priests are to celebrate mass daily. 

2. The brethren are to discontinue the practice of acting plays in the church, ever>' fourth of 
September, for the entertainment of their dependents, who have been accustomed to make that day 
a general holiday. 

3. They are to minister to feeble and sick monks ; the pittances assigned by Prior John de 
Whethamstede to brethren in the infirmary are hereby confirmed. 

4. Twice a year they may absent themselves from the monastery. But they are not, on these 
occasions, to wander about aimlessly, or to go to places which may make them the subject of scandal. 

5. The sums of money which they used to receive from the hands of the prior shall be paid 
to them by an officer appointed for this purpose, and shall be a charge on the rents of the townships 
of Hauxley and West Cliirton.' 

6. The prior is to give diligent attention to the discipline of his monks, and to use, if necessary, 
the rod of correction. He is to guard against a diminution of temporalities, which he is to augment 
if possible. He is to have a cellarer who shall look after the estates and afibrd alleviation, when 
necessary, to the tenants of the townships and stewards of the manors ; the cellarer shall be free 
from all duties which do not concern his office. 

7. Every year, on the eve of All Souls' Day, the prior shall call together his obedientiaries and 
receive their accounts ; he shall present his own accounts every third year to the sub-prior. 

' .\bbot Whethamstede has left the following account of his great-uncle and uncle : 
' Primus Whitleia cum pratis cmerat arva 
Et domui jun.xit, claviger unde fuit ; 
Post Haltuesiliae rectoriam propriare 
Prudenter stiiduit ; praeter haec bona plurima fecit. 
Proximior primo, prior ordine, junior illo, 
Uiruptam januam reparat, rursusque relapsam 
Erigit a fundo, variatquc situm situando. 
Drnat honore locum, terret munimine Scotum. 
De Wylomqiie domum, riunt ubi gaudia fratrum, 
Per guerras lapsam, rursus levat, cfficit ipsam. 
Aegris aera dedit, cameram quoque fratribus auxit ; 
Ecclesiam variis in vestui isque fenestris 
Ornat et illaesa sua servat singula jura.' 
John of Amundesham, AimaUs MoiuisUrii Smicti Albaui, vol. i. pp. 220-221. ' Ibiil. pp. 212-220. 

' This is the 'camera fratrum' which Prior Whethamstede is said to have increased. For further 
regulations concerning it see Gcsta Abbutiim, vol. ii. pp. 312. 313. 


It may have been upon this visit that Abbot Whethamstede made his 
present to the monastery of a silver-gilt chalice, valued at £^, and a 
purple cope of cloth of gold sumptuously worked, of the value of ;^20. 
He also presented the cellarer of the monastery with a silver-gilt cup." 
The necessity of attending a general chapter made him hurry home 
without taking the usual homages of his tenants.^ 

This abbot's letter-book preserves a portion of his correspondence 
with members of the cell.^ He wrote to the monks admonishing them to 
guard against the sin of overeating. Upon banishing to Tynemouth a 
refractory monk of Beaulieu, he sent directions to Prior Barton that this 
disobedient brother was to be put, if necessary, into gyves and fetters. 
Barton, upon another occasion, sent his superior a book called the Pilgrim's 
Scrip, with strict injunctions that it should be returned. Whethamstede 
replied that he had read portions of Aristotle's Ethics, and that he would 
not fail to comply with this request. 

A certain Robert de Rhodes is said to have been prior in the middle 
of Henry VI. 's reign. He appears to have acquired the manor of Benwell 
for the priory by purchase from the Delaval family, but it was more 
probably acquired in the capacity of seneschal than in that of prior.^ 
That he was the Robert de Rhodes who built the spire of St. Nicholas' 
church, Newcastle, is far from being probable. ° His coat of arms was 
upon the gate-house of the priory until 1705, when it was taken down by 
Colonel ^'illiers, then governor, and sent to Dr. Ellison, vicar of Newcastle.* 

Another name connected with Tynemouth at this period is that of 
the sub-prior, John de Bamburgh, who was afterwards prior of Wallingford 
and finally of Belvoir. He was a donor to the library of the convent and 

' Jolin of Aimindesliam, Annaks Monasterii Sancti Albnni, vol. ii. p. 257. 

" Meinoranduiii quod 12" die mensis Junii, anno domini millesimo cccc° xxvj", anno vero regni regis 
Henrici sexti quarto, apud Tyneniutham in camera prioris ibidem, Simon de Welden, alias Weltesden, 
armiger, fecit homagium et fidelitatem Johanni Whethamstede abbati pro terris dominicis, et abbas, de 
sua gracia speciali, condonavit eidem feodum camerarii sui, presentibus domino Thonia 15arton, tunc priore, 
domino Willelmo Saxage, Nicholao Wellis, capellanis dicti abbatis, Roberto Welpynton, predicti loci 
senescallo, Willelmo de la Vale, armigero, cum tota familia domini abbatis. Et nota quod alii varii qui 
propter suas tenuras prestassent et fecissent dicto abbati homagium, admoniti fuerint sub pena juris ut 
venirent et facient homagia sua, set, quia abbas dictus, ad instanciam prioris ecclesie cathedralis Dunelmie, 
citius quam proposuit propter celebiationem generalis capituli reversus est ad partes, pro tunc dictus 
abbas a suis tenentibus talia servicia non recepit, sed posuit in suspense quousque hujusmodi negocio 
liberius vacare posset ; Willelmo de la \'ale, propter sue defectum etatis.abeo servicio pro tunc excusato. 
St. Albans Register, fol. 61 b. From Baker's transcripts. 

" Registrum Abbatiae Johannis Whethamstede, Rolls Series, vol. ii. appendix E. 

' Flower, Visitatioit of Yorkshire, Harl. Soc. No. xvi. p. 98. "■ Grey, Chorographiti, pub. 1649, p. 10. 

° Brand, Newcastle, vol. ii. p. 101, citing Dr. Ellison's MSS. 



himself an author. He wrote a life of Prior Whethamstede, and sent it to 
the prior's nephew, the abbot. The latter fell, as he himself puts it, into 
'a stupor of admiration' over the book. After comparing Bamburgh's 
achievement with those of the several Latin authors from Ennius to 
Eusebius, and expressing his wonder that Bamburgh should have come by 
such eloquence, though he had 'never slept by the Hippocrene which 
wells up in the heart of Oxford, nor ever tasted a single draught of the 
Cirrean stream which flows past Cambridge,' he prophesied an immortality 
for this work, that 'while sun gives forth its rays and the stars their light, 

Bosses over the Doorway of the Percy Ch.apel. 

Steel shall not raze it nor fire consume, neither shall time nor eld have 
power to destroy.' But our literature is no longer enriched by its 
presence, for the book is lost.' 

John Langton, who first occurs as prior in 1450, has the best claim 
to be considered the builder of a chapel or chantry at the east end of 
the priory church, popularly known as the Lady-chapel ; for the monogram 

' Re^istrum Whethamstede, vol. i. pp. 311-316. 


I.L.P. (lohannes Langton, prior) twice occurs upon the bosses of its roof. 
The Percy chapel would be a more suitable name, for the arms of Percy 
and I.ucy and the crescent and shacklebolt badge are to be found within 
it, and point to some connection with the earls of Northumberland. Its 
style of architecture dates it a centurv later than the time when the real 
Lady-chapel was constructed. 

Margaret of Anjou, sailing from France in the autumn of 1462 with 
French reinforcements for her husband, landed at Tynemouth, probably 
intending to attack Newcastle ; but a sudden change of plan, or a panic 
among her troops, led her to embark once more and set sail for Berwick, 
whither she made her way in a rising gale.' Otherwise the Wars of the 
Roses passed lightly over the priory, which presumably remained resolutely 
Yorkist. A few months after Oueen Margaret's abortive landing, King 
Edward I\". issued to the priory a confirmation of Richard I.'s charter, 
this time with a commentary upon, and specification of, its terms as being 
general and obscure. He further granted to the prior and convent the 
right to buy all kinds of victuals and goods for their own use in the port 
of Tyne, from their own or from stranger vessels, and to load and unload 
there their cargoes of salt and coal, without any impediment from the 
men ot Newcastle. He also sanctioned the erection of breakwaters at 
Tynemouth and Shields, the baking of bread and brewing of ale, and the 
sale of fresh and salt fish free from all payment of custom.'- 

Some remarkable transactions concerning Tynemouth are disclosed in 
the register of Abbot William Wallingford, a successor of Whethamstede. 
In November, 1462, a commission was granted to Nicholas Boston, almoner 
of St. Alban's monastery, to make a visitation of Binham priory, which was 
then ruled by William Dixwell. Boston's report appears to have been 
unfavourable, and Dixwell was superseded. In January, 1464, Abbot 
Whethamstede, acting probably at Boston's suggestion, wrote to Edward 
IV., asking him to secure the ex-prior's arrest, ' forasmuch as he, like 
another son of perdition, wanders about from place to place, from village 
to village, and from market to market, more like a vagabond and an 
apostate than a regular monk.' However, when Whethamstede died, the 
new abbot reinstated Dixwell in his former position at Binham. 

John Langton, who was then prior of Tynemouth, was growing old, 

' Hall, Chronicle, ed. 1S09, p. 259. = Gibson, vol. ii. appendix, cxxxvii. 



and on that score and on the ground of ill-health he was unable to attend 
Abbot Wallingford's election in 1476. Preparations were made to provide 
for the approaching vacancy in that cell. In accordance with the prevalent 
practice of trafficking in preferment, the right was accorded to Richard, 
duke of Gloucester, and to Lord Say of appointing to Tynemouth, upon 
the next vacancy, Nicholas Boston, now (1477) archdeacon of St. Alban's. 
Very shortly after this grant was made, two officers of St. Alban's monastery 
were despatched to Tynemouth to hold a visitation there, carrying with 
them certain letters to Prior Langton. Whatever these letters may have 
contained, and they may have called upon Langton to resign in favour of 
Boston, they were not to his liking. He tore them into shreds, and the 
two emissaries thought themselves fortunate to have escaped from Tvne- 
mouth alive. Upon March 15th, 1478, sentence of deposition was pro- 
nounced upon Langton. He was inhibited from celebrating mass, and was 
summoned to appear at St. Alban's within fifteen days, there to give account 
of his conduct. Boston succeeded, as a matter of course, to the vacant cell. 
Next day the abbot secured to him his new dignity for life, but he did not 
set out for the North until the following September, and then spent thirtv- 
nine days upon the road, spending also, it is said, large sums of money which 
might have much availed his house. 

His tenure of office was a short one. On April 2Sth, 1480, a com- 
mission was issued for visiting the priory. The commissioners were the 
dispossessed prior, John Langton ; Boston's old enemy, William Dixwell ; 
and another. Ten days later the abbot appointed Dixwell to be prior of 
Tynemouth. The letter of appointment must have come close on the heels 
of the commissioners. Armed with it they presented themselves to 
Boston, who, on his part, produced the grant of the office of prior to him 
for life. Dixwell snatched the deed out of his hands and tore it to pieces. 
Prior Boston submitted to the inevitable, and in ' the chapel hard by the 
prior's chamber,' resigned the post from which he would otherwise have 
been deposed. Retirement was made easy to him by the grant of an 
annuity of ^10, secured upon the manor of Hauxley. By a rather curious 
arrangement, Henry Percy, fourth earl of Northumberland, granted a 
similar annuity at the same time to Prior Dixwell, nominally upon appoint- 
ing him to be one of the earl's council. Consequently the maintenance 
of Nicholas Boston actually fell upon the earl. 

Vol, VIII. 14 


Events followed hard upon one another. It was upon July 24th that 
the abbot of St. Alban's confirmed Boston's annuity. On September 5th 
he issued a commission to prior Dixwell to take and examine Boston, who 
had been accused to him of excesses. Boston was ordered to appear before 
the prior, and a few days later a letter was sent to the bishop of Durham 
requesting him to arrest the ex-prior, ' forasmuch as he, like another son 
of perdition, wanders about from place to place, from village to village, 
and from market to market, more like a vagabond and an apostate than a 
regular monk.' The repetition of his own phrase must have proved bitter 
to him if he saw the writing. He replied by making charges against his 
rival which put a different complexion upon the case, and in December the 
prior of Belvoir was empowered to visit Tynemouth and to make enquiry 
into the case. This resulted in the reinstatement of Boston in his former 
post, while Dixwell again became prior of Binham. Two years afterwards 
the latter, being seized with repentance, entreated Abbot Wallingford to 
re-issue to Boston his old grant of the priorate in perpetuity, which was 
done, but sealed only with the abbot's seal. Upon the intervention of 
Richard III. it was again granted, this time sealed with the conventual seal 
in addition. At the same time the king promised Prior Boston a valuable 
benefice and £100 towards building a water mill (possibly that at Harden 
burn). It will be remembered that Richard, when duke of Gloucester, had 
presented Boston to the priorate. 

A final reconciliation between Boston and Dixwell was effected in 
1485. Dixwell made a promise in writing to discharge all debts incurred 
by him as prior of Tynemouth. Ten years afterwards Prior Boston died, 
and was buried in the church of the Grey Friars in London. His former 
antagonist survived him at least sixteen years, and died prior of Hertford.' 

A large establishment appears to have been maintained by the later 
priors of Tynemouth. When Henry VII. 's daughter, Margaret, the affianced 
bride of James IV. of Scotland, made her progress to the Scottish court in 
1503, Prior Stony well came to meet her three miles from Newcastle, 'well 
appointed, and in his company thirty horses, his men in livery.' ^ His 
successor assembled at Tynemouth great numbers of the inhabitants of 
Tynedale and Redesdale, to whom he gave arms and wages of sixpence 

' Registrum abbatiae IVilUlmi Wallingforde. The events have been carefully investigated by Kiley 
{Registnim Wlicthamstede, vol. ii. pp. xxxv-xliv), whose account is here followed. 

' Leland, Collectanea, ed. Hearne, 1774, vol. iv. p. 277. 


a day, to the intent, it was said, that by his commandment they should have 
murdered the mayor, aldermen, and other inhabitants of Newcastle.' At the 
same time the upkeep of the castle and monastic buildings was neglected. 
In 1527 it was stated that the decays within the castle walls of the priory 
were numerous and that it would cost much to remedy them ; the glass 
windows and leads of the church and the barns and garners for the corn 
were in especial need of repair.- 

A marked feature of the close of the history of this monastery is its 
growing independence of St. Alban's and dependence upon persons of 
influence at court. Wolsey, in 15 19, with the nominal consent of Abbot 
Ramrigge, exempted Prior Stonywell from the jurisdiction of St. Alban's 
during that prior's lifetime.' When he determined to create Stonywell's 
successor abbot of Peterborough, William Franklin, chancellor of Durham, 
and Sir William Buhner, hearing of the cardinal's intention, wrote re- 
questing him to give the priory to Dr. Peter Lee of the monastery of 
Durham, a man of learning and good conversation.'' Lady Mary Cary 
prevailed in getting the appointment given to Thomas Gardiner, one of 
the king's chaplains, a son of William Gardiner, citizen of London, by a 
natural daughter of Jasper Tudor, earl of Pembroke. She was rewarded 
by receiving an annuity of a hundred marks out of the conventual revenues. 
The favour of Thomas Cromwell was secured by the grant of a pension, 
and altogether Gardiner burdened the revenues of his house with annuities 
amounting to two hundred marks.' Cromwell informed the abbot of St. 
Alban's that it was the king's pleasure that Gardiner should have Tyne- 
mouth priorv for life, an order with which the abbot was obliged to comply." 

An ominous hostility towards the priory on the part of the neighbouring 
gentry was beginning to be apparent, as is shown in the following petition 
addressed to the king at some date between 1528 and 1536 : 

To the kynge our soveraigne lord. 

In his most humble wyse shewith and complayneth unto your excellent hiyhnes your daily and 
feithfull oratour, Thomas, pryor of Tynmowth, in your countie of Nonhumbreland, that where Sir 
Thomas Hylton, knyght, son and heire apparent vnto the baron of Hylton, Sir John Delavale, knyght, 

' Star Chamber Proceedings, Hen. \'II1. bundle 20, No. 2. 
'"' Letters itml Papers, Hen. VHI. vol. iv. p. 1469. 

•■' Letters and Papers, Hen. VHI. vol. iii. p. 176. ' Ibid. vol. iv. p. 1574. 

' See Augmention Office, Conventual Leases, Northumberland, bundle i, for an annuity of ten marks 
granted by Gardiner out of Benwell. Gibson, vol. ii. appendix, cli. 

' Letters and Papers, Hen. VIII. vol. vi. p. 337. 


Henry Ewer and Richard Bellyces, esquyers, accompayned with cc persons or iher-aboutes to your 
seid oratour unknowcn, the Fryday next before Candehnes Day last past, ryottously assembled and 
gathered themselfes togider at Tynniouthe forseid, and than and ther ryottously with force and 
armes endyvored tliemsclfes to the best of ther power to Iiave entred in at the gate of the priory of 
Tynniowthe forseid, to th'entent and purpose without any autoritie, right or title, against the order 
of your lawes, sovcraigne lorde, and against the will of your seid oratour, to have kepte a court 
within the precyncte of the seid pryory ; and for the appeasyng of the seid ryottous persons, and to 
th'entent that no hurt or brechc of your peax shuld growe or ensue therby, your seid oratour shewed 
and declared, in the open presence of them all, that my lorde of Rocheford was high stuard of the 
seid pryory, and it apperteyned to no person other than to the seid Lorde Rocheford and his deputies 
to kepe any court within the precyncte of the seid pryory. And for by cause your seid oratour wold 
have had the good will, love and favour of the seid Sir Thomas Hylton and Sir John Delavale, and 
of the other above named, desired them in gentill nianer to come into his place and take such chere 
as he than had, and they shuld be welcome right hartily thereto ; and than the seid Sir Thomas 
Hylton, being in a great fury, swore many great othes that he wold be high stuard of the sayed 
pryory whosoever sayed nay ; and than and ther, most gracious soveraigne lorde, the seid Sir Thomas 
Hylton and Sir John Delavale gafe unto your seid oratour many great manessheyng wordes, and 
put your seid oratour and all his household and servaunttes in great feare and jupardie of ther lyfes. 
And aswell the seid Sir John Delavale as the seid Sir Thomas Hylton than and ther openly reported 
and sayed that, yf your seid oratour or any of his servaunttes came within ther waike, they wold do 
them right high displeasure. And so it is, most gracious soveraigne lorde, the seid ryottous persons 
perseveryng ther said ungracious purpose, shortely after a mounke of your seid oratour, being bowser ' 
of the seid pryory, was rydyng in the countrey ther aboute the besynes of the seid pryory by the 
comaundement of your seid oratour ; — diverse of the servaunttes of the seid Sir John Delavale, by the 
commaundement of the seid Sir John Delavale, lay in watche for the seid bowser, and with force and 
armes forcibly against his will toke hym and caryed hym to the place of the seid Sir John Delavale, 
and ther kepte hym prysoncr by the space of too dayes. And furthermore, the seid Sir John 
Delavale, therwith not contentid, syns that tyme hath made his avowe, and in sundry places within 
your seid contie openly reported and sayed, that he wold serve your seid oratour in lyke maner as 
he served his chaplen, by reason wherof your seid oratour dar not for feare and juperdie of his lyfe 
goo oute of his seid pryory to kepe his courtes and oversee his manourz, landes, tenementes and 
hereditamentes belongyng to the seid pryory, for feare of the seid Sir John Delavale and Sir Thomas 
Hylton ; for they be confidered togider to murder and slaye your seid oratour, as far as your seid 
oratour can understond and perceive ; which haynous actes be not onely against your peax and lawes, 
but also to the worst example that hath been seen in those parties, yf due punesshement be not had 
and provided herein. In consideracion wherof may it please your gracious highnes of your most 
aboundaunt grace to grauntte your gracious letters of pryvey seale to be directed unto the seid Sir 
Thomas Hylton, Sir John Delavale, Henry Ewer and Richard Bellycez, comaundyng them in your 
most dreid nanie personally to appere before your roiall highnes and the lordes of your most honorable 
counsaill, at a certen day and under a certen payn by your seid highnez to be lymytted, in your halles at 
Westminster to make aunswer unto the premyssez, and for the same to be orderd and punesshed 
according to ther demerites ; and your seid oratour shall daily pray for your most noble and ryall 
person long to endure. 

(Endorsed.) Fiant brevia sub privato sigillo ad comparendum quindena Trinitatis Thome Hilton 
militi et tribus aliis infrascriptis. 

Tho. More, Knight, Chauncellour.' 

Like all other northern monasteries, Tynemouth was visited by the 
king's commissioners early in 1536. Charges of a most serious nature 

' I.e. bursar. ■■" Star Chamber Proceedings, Hen. VIII. bundle 29, No. 84. 


were made against Prior Gardiner and seven of the fifteen monks.' Though 
the statements are lacking in substantiation, it must be admitted that 
Tynemouth was not, like other religious houses in the county, beyond the 
reach of calumny. Abbot Whethamstede's correspondence shows that 
the standard of morals there a century earlier was low,- and it is probable 
that it had not been raised since his time. 

Gardiner did not long remain prior. In the following December his 
post was vacant. The Pilgrimage of Grace had taken place in the meantime. 
Rich monasteries like Tynemouth had little to gain by joining in that 
movement ; indeed, that house seems to have suffered from standing aloof ; 
its own tenants carried off cattle, sheep and corn from the demesne, withheld 
the rents by force, and threatened to enter into the priory.' 

Cromwell was the means of securing the appointment of Robert 
Blakeney, late chaplain to Abbot Ramrigge, to the office of prior. Shortly 
after his election, on April 3rd, 1537, Blakeney wrote to his patron : 

'When of your goodness you preferred me to the room of the prior)' of Tynemouth, I showed your 
lordship that my lady Mary Carye, now Stafford, had an annuity of a hundred marks, under convent 
seal of my house, for no cause except it should be for preferring my predecessor to his room. The 
said lady can now demand no such annuity, as she can do no great good for me or my house, which 
is now onerate by first fruits and charges. I once stopped the payment, but could not continue, 
through the command of my lord chancellor. These be to desire your lordship that the convent 
seal may be reversed, as this bearer, Mr. Warmyngton, your servant, shall declare. For your kindness 
herein your annuity of twenty marks shall be made thirty marks, to your lordship and Mr. Gregory 
your son in survivorship.' ^ 

Blakeney sought to have a grant of the priory for life. On July 14th 
in this same year, John Gostwyk, Cromwell's secretary, wrote to his master : 

' Be good lord to my old acquaintance the prior of Tynemouth. The valuation made of his 
monastery in the time of Mr. Bellesses (1527) is much more than it is now worth, and, since then, 
the last prior gave away over two hundred marks in annuities ; yet he is willing to compound for 
your lordship's favour by a grant under convent seal of .St. Alban's, like his predecessors.' ' 

The prior also obtained the good services of the duke of Norfolk in 
laying his case before Cromwell. By a convenient confusion of surname, 
that nobleman's ancestors, the Mowbrays, had come to be regarded as 
founders of the priory." 

' Letters and Papers, vol. .\. p. 142. - Registnim Whdhamstcdc, vol. ii. pp. 45S-463. 

' Letters and Papers, vol. ,\i. p. 524. ' Ibid. vol. xii. pt. i, p. 363. 

" Ibid. pt. 2, p. 109. ' Ibid. pt. I, p. 544. 



Though the extent of its income saved Tynemouth from suppression 
in 1536, it must have been evident that the blow could not be long deferred. 
Every effort was made by the monks to raise money and to attach influential 
landowners to their cause by leasing to them for long terms of years various 

outlving estates of the priory. Thus 
on September ist, 1536, the prior 
and convent leased to Thomas 
Lawson of Cramlington their lands 
at West Hartford for forty years, 
and on October 8th following a 
sixty-one years' lease of the manor 
of Bewick was granted to Robert 
Collingwood. Sir Thomas Clifford 
lent to them 'in their great need' 
the sum of a hundred marks, to be 
employed to the use aud profit of 
their monastery.^ 

At last they submitted. On 
January 12th, 1539, Prior Blake- 
nev and his monks signed a deed 
of surrender, by which they made 
over their monastery and all its 
possessions to the king." They 
had previously parted with what 

^ i they could. Only four days earlier 

1 K^v 

■":- a lease had been drawn up con- 
ferring upon John, son and heir 
r-'-'-"^' ^^ apparent of their former enemy, 
Sir John Delaval, the tithe sheaves 

of corn in the town of Whitley 
Doorways in the Gate-house. , r 1 tt 1 

tor fortv vears. liut thev were 

liberally rewarded for their surrender. Blakeney received a pension of ^80 

and was allowed to farm from the Crown his former manor of Benwell. 

' Acknowledged in bond dated February 20lh, 1538. Madox, Formularc Aiiglicniiuiii, p. 367. 

• Dads of Surreiuicr, Augmentation Office, No. 228 ; Rynier, Foedci-a, vol. xiv. p. 623, and Gibson, 
vol. ii. appentli.x, clii. Facsimiles of the signatures to the deed are reproduced ibid. vol. i. to face p. 20S 
' Watcrjurd Charters, No. 25, at Ford Castle. 


The sub-prior, Thomas Castell, obtained ten marks yearly, together with 
the perpetual curacy of Earsdon. Annuities varying from £2 to £(:> were 
given to the other monks, and smaller allowances to their servants." 

Sir George Lawson was appointed to take the surrender.^ All the 
household stuff, stores and farm stock were sold, and, together with out- 
standing debts, realised ^"261 i6s. The lead was reserved, but the 
commissioners carried off the six bells, 62 ounces of gold, and 1,8275 
ounces of silver/ St. Oswin's shrine was broken up and his bones were 

One might be allowed to fancy that the Deiran king still rested at 
Tynemouth, were it not that a certain Christopher Chaitour, servant to 
the bishop of Durham, had told of how one Sunday, coming from Hunting- 
don, he overtook two men and rode past them. But one of them named 
Cray followed and asked him what news and why he rode so fast, and, 
so falling into conversation, enquired whether there were any abbeys still 
standing. Chaitour answered, ' They shall down shortly, by report.' Then 
he asked, 'How doth vour shrines? Are thev taken awav ? ' and Chaitour 
said there was one at Tynemouth, where he had seen the visitors handling 
the relics very irreverently, spoiling them of their gold and silver and 
casting them away. They gave him some bones garnished with silver, 
'and he that gave me them said the silver thereof would make a chaipe^ 
to my dagger.' He said he had them still and had gathered up some of 
the bones they cast awav. He would have great need ere he should sell 
them, ' for, as I have heard a learned man say, which was Dr. Ridley that 
is dead, St. Jerome and Ambrose had these relics of saints in honour.' 
Cray was ' a man much inquisitive,' and began asking about other things 
as he and his companion travelled along the London road.' 

It may not be amiss to examine a little more closely certain features 
in the history of the priory which was thus dissolved. Subject to the Bene- 
dictine rule generally, and in particular to the regulations of St. Alban's 
monastery, upon which it was dependent and in whose privileges it shared, 
it had certain characteristics which were not common to other monasteries. 

' Lethi-s and Papers, vol. xiv. pt. i, p. 68. Ministers' Accouuts in Gibson, vol. i. p. 225. 

- Ibid. p. 60. ' Gibson, vol. i. p. 209, quoting Harleian MSS. No. 604, fol. 92 b. 

' Chape: 'the metal plate 01 mounting of a scabbard or sheath, particularly that which covers the 
point.' Murray, New English Dictionary, vol. ii. p. 274 ; citing Holland, Pliny, vol. ii. p. 483- ' Their 
scabberds and sheaths bee set out with silver chapes.' 

' Letters and Papers, vol. xiv. pt. 2, pp. 277, 281. 


There were in this house fifteen monks' and a few novices, all under 
the authority of the prior. Appointments to the post of prior were made 
by the abbot of St. Alban's, who, upon vacancies occurring, presented his 
nominee to the bishop of Durham with the request that he might be 
admitted to the priorate. To a very limited extent the prior was subject 
to his diocesan, who visited the parochial portion of his church and 
ordained members of his house, but could not compel him to attend the 
diocesan councils or to join in monetary contributions imposed upon the 
rest of his diocese. When appointed, the new prior took an oath of 
obedience to his abbot. In virtue of his office he obtained a stall in the 
abbey church, a seat in its chapter, and a vote in the election of a new 
abbot. On the other hand he remained subject to the visitatorial juris- 
diction of his superior, who might depose him at will. He was supreme 
in his cell and reckoned among his privileges the right to receive the 
professions of monks who entered his monastery, to confess and absolve 
his monks, over whom he exercised disciplinary powers, to appoint and 
remove the officers of the convent, and to present to benefices in the case 
of churches of which his priory held the advowson. 

Quite half the total number of the monks at Tynemouth held some 
sort of monastic office. Most of them were priests or at least were in 
minor orders. They were by no means all of northern extraction, and 
there were frequent cases of a single family sending more than one of its 
members to the priory in the same or in successive generations. 

Occasionally the abbot of St. Alban's came upon a visitation to his 
cell. Abbot Simon's visit was long remembered for its length, William de 
Trumpington's for its magnificence. Eversdon employed the threat of a 
six months' stay to extort contributions from priors who knew the cost of 
entertaining their abbot." Upon these visitations the abbot came attended 
by some of his tenants on horseback, who held their lands of him upon 
this service.' On his arrival at Tynemouth he feasted his tenants, who in 
return paid him the dues known as the 'Abbot's Welcome.' There he 
conducted a visitation of the priory, issued constitutions for the monks, 
presided at the manorial court and received the homage or the fealty of 

' Fifteen monks paid poll t.ix in 1381 (Gibson, vol. i. p. 160), and the same number signed the deed 
of surrender in 1 539. 

= Gesta Abbattim, vol. ii. p. 130. ' Ibid. vol. i. p. 265, and vol. ii. p. 208. 


those who held their land of him.' The sums then demanded from the 
tenants as a recognition of the abbot's overlordship proved a heavy tax 
upon the poorer of their number. Abbot Heyvvorth in consequence waived 
his right to hold homages at Tynemouth, and his predecessor de la Mare 
only exacted it because ' men of the stamp he had to deal with were ever 
ready to rebel against their lords' and to take advantage of the breach of 

A detailed account has been preserved of Abbot Norton's progress 
in 1264.^ Reaching Tynemouth on December 13th, he held his visitation 
of the priory, and then on the 22nd in the great hall of Tynemouth received 
the homages of the six tenants who held of him by military service. The 
day after Christmas he took the fealty of the men of Tynemouth, and that 
of the tenants of Shields on the 27th. Next day Hugh de Milneton and 
the heir of Anick came before him. On January 8th he was at Bewick, 
receiving the fealty of that place and of Lilburn and Eglingham. On the 
nth in the hall of Amble he took the fealty of the men of Amble 
and Hauxley, and those of Cowpen on the 13th in the hall of Bebside. 
He was again at Tynemouth on the 15th taking the fealty of Earsdon, 
Monkseaton, Preston, and East and Middle Chirton. Next day came the 
turn of West Chirton. Three tenants came before him on the 22nd in the 
prior's chamber and there received confirmation of their lands, before he 
left Tynemouth for Wylam, where two days later the tenants of that place 
and William de Dissington and Walter Scot of Welton paid him fealty 
and homage, as did the men of Elswick and the burgesses of Newcastle 
on the 25th in the hall of Elswick. Gilbert de Wolsington did him homage 
there on the morrow, and on the 29th he was taking homages and fealty 
at Carlburv in Durham. 

During the first two centuries of its existence, the priory appears to 
have found little difficulty in providing the hospitality expected of all 
religious houses to laymen and to religious alike. But under the pressure 
of the Scottish wars its revenues were no longer equal to the burden, being 

' The oath of homage ran as follows : 'Ego devenio vaster homo ab hac hora in antea, et fidem 
vobis facie pro illis tenementis que de vobis et de ecclesia vestra de Sancto Albano in capite t?"^"' ^ 
fide semper salva qua regi dominisqiie meis superioribus obligatus existo.' SI. Alban's Regtstir, fol. ol b, 
Baker's transcripts. 

- Gesta Abbatum, vol. ii. p. 395 ; vol. iii. p. 495. 

'Primed from the St. Alban's Register, fols. 62, iii and 112, in Registrum Whethamstede, vol. ii. 
pp. 3'9-324- 

Vol. VIII. '5 





















mainly derived from landed estates which were exposed to forays and 
attacks. In 1292 the yearlv income from temporalities was estimated at 
_2^i8o i6s. 6|d., and that from spiritualities at ;2f2i4 2s. iid. A detailed 
account, prepared in 1526,' shows what other sources of revenue then 

Rents of farm lands 

Rents of demesne lands let to farm 


Fines for lands and tenements 

Sales, viz.: hides, ;fl2 4s.; wool, £1;^ 6s. 8d.; salt, £61; coal, /"lo ; 
malt, /40 ; fish, ^40 ; sheep, £\2 ... 

Perquisites of courts, goods of felons and fugitives, and sales of woods 
and underwoods (of which the priory owned forty acres) brought in ad- 
ditional revenue, so that the total sum can hardly have fallen short of 
£7^0. And when consideration is taken of payments in kind, labour 
services and the produce of demesnes in the hands of the prior and con- 
vent, it will be seen that at the dissolution the monastery must have been 
in receipt of about ;^i,ooo yearly. The clear value of its possessions over 
and above annual reprises was then returned by the Commissioners as being 
£S2>7 i°s. iid.,^ but eighteen months later the farmer for the Crown 
accounted for £'iS-\ 2s. g^d. as the income from these lands during the 
previous year.' 

A small income may have been derived from the exhibition of relics, 
for here, amongst many other treasures, the beard of St. Euthymius the 
abbot, Moses' bush, the earth of which Adam was made, and ' four very 
small bones and one great bone ' were exhibited to the curious or devout.'' 

The priory was continually adding to its capital and increasing its 
demesne by purchases of land, as is shown in the table given below of land 
acquired from the time of the Statute of Mortmain to the commencement 
of the fifteenth century. 

' Dugdale, Monasticon, vol. iii. p. 319. 

■ Certificate made upon the dissolution, Gibson, vol. i. p. 209. 
' Ministers' Accounts, 30-31 Hen. VIII. Gibson, ibid. pp. 218-232. 
' Gibson, ibid. p. 201, citing MS. C.C.C. O.xford, No. 134, fol. 2. 


I I 





East Backworth and 
West Backworth ... 


Backworth ... 
East Murton 

Newcastle ... 
Woodhom ... 
Seaton Woodhom 





Elwick, CO. Durham 

Tynemouth, Preston, Back- 
worth, jVIurton, Seaton 
and Bewick 

Murton and Cowpen 




and Middle 

East Murton, Milneton and 

Tynemouth, Preston and 

East Chirton 


Extent of property. 

I messuage 

87 acres 3 roods of arable 
2i acres of meadow 
23d. rent ... 

1 messuage 
12 acres ... 

4 tofts 

70 acres ... 

2 tofts 

22J acres ... 

7 tofts 

140 acres ... 

4 acres 

I acre 
I acre 
I acre 

1 messuage and 40 acres ~ 

2 acres 

1 messuage and 3 roods... 

2 messuages and iS acres, 

I messuage in Pamper- 

I messuage 

I acre 

I messuage 

I acre ... ... ... J 

I messuage in Uddynggate 

13s. 4d. rent from a mes- 
suage in St. Marygate 

I acre 

13s. 4d. rent 

^ rood 

1 messuage 

2 acres i rood 

I messuage and 60 acres 
I messuage 

8 messuages, 285 acres of 
arable and 9 acres of 

3 messuages and 28 acres 

1 messuage, 30 acres of 
arable and 3 acres of 

2 messuages and q acres 

6s. of rent in reversion on 
the death of John de 

I messuage and 112 acres 
in reversion on the death 
of John de Bacworth 

I messuage, 2 tofts and 
4o| acres 

I messuage and 6 acres... 

Robert Chevale 

John de Horton 

Walter fitz Roger fitz 

)» )) 

Robert de Bebside ... 

Adam de Pickering ... 

,, ... 

William fitz Alan le 

Adam le Vacher 
William de Kenneslawe 
Geoffrey fitz ."Man 

Thomas de Raynton ... 

John de Felton, chap- 

Yearly value. 
£ s. d. 
O O 12 
o 14 6^ 



3 o 

1 4 


r Thomas de Ravnton . . 

John Gros of Berwick 

Thomas de Aukland, 
vicar of Whalton 

John Deste 

John Deste and Robert 

de Kelleseye 
Richard de Dalton of 

John de Thoresby, 

rector of Elwick 
Henry de Burnetoft, 


John de Libert ofSa.\ton 

Robert de Stevcnton 

and Roger Tumour 

Robert de Tewing 


o 17 
o o 

O I I 
O 2 

5 74 
3 6 


o 4 

o 4 

4 4 

(o 13 & ] 

1 over and I 

< above > 

rents and 


4 marks 




6 1 

13 4 


4 10 

over and 

above \ 


rents and 





2 14 10 \ 

o 15 5 
o 13 4 

076/ 1345' 

Hcnr)' de Burnetoft. 

John Lyberd ... 

9 5 


66 acres and 
12 oxen 

pasture for 

Richard Scot 

of New- 




West Murton, West Back- 
worth, Tynemoulh, Pres- 
ton, East Backworth and 
East Chirton 

Tynemoulh ... 



Middle Chirton 

Denton and Redewood near 

Tynemoulh, Monkseaton, 
East Chirton, Middle 
Chirton, Preston, East 
Murton, East Backworth, 
Cowpen, Wylam and 

Newcastle ... 


Extent of property. 

9 messuages, i toft, i6o 
acres and los. rent 

3 tofts and 14 acres 

2 tofts and 10 acres 

8 tofts, 140 acres, lod. in 

rent, and half a pound 

of pepper in rent 
1 toft and 14 acres i rood 
I toft and 6 acres I rood 
The whole manor (subject 

to two yearly rent 

charges of 10 marks 

and I mark) 

8 messuages, 8 tofts and 
362' acres 

I messuage and 2 shops 

I garden 

I messuage 

Reversion of 3 messuages 
upon the death of Robert 
Galeway of Newcastle 
and of Agnes his wife 


2 messuages 

2 messuages 

3 messuages 

I messuage 
4 messuages 
4 marks rent 

Grantor. Yearly value. 

i s. d. 
John de Wheteley, i g 4 
vicar of Tynemoulh 

John de Wheteley and 
Alan Whitheved, 
Alan Whitheved 
Richard de Stanhope 



7 shillings rent ... 

John Cisseson... 

Simon del Vikers 

.'Xdam de Fenrolher, 
clerk ; William Mer- 
yngton, chaplain ; 
Hugh de Brandon, 
William de Chevyng- 
ton and William de 

Alan Whitheved, vicar 
of Tynemoulh, and 
Robert de Fenrolher 

Alan Whitheved, Adam 
de Fenrother, master 
of the hospital of St. 
Edmund. Gateshead, 
and H ugh de Brandon 

Alan Whitheved, Hugh 
de Brandon, and 
Roger del Bulh, 

Thomas de Walton, 
Thomas de Whilly, 
William Warenner 
and William V'escy 

Hugh de Brandon and 
William de Chevyng- 

Adam de Fenrolher, 
rector of Stokesley, 
.Man Whitheved and 
Thomas de Walton 

Alan Whitheved and 
Thomas de Walton 

Alan Whitheved, John 
de Dalton, chaplain, 
Robert de .■\mble, 
chaplain, Thomas de 
Walton and Thomas 
de Whilly 

Robert de Amble and 
Thomas de Walton 

Thomas de Walton and 
William de Seton 

Alan Whitheved, 
Thomas de Walton, 
Adam de Fenrother 
and Sampson Hard- 

John de Dalton 

i2 II 6i 
over and 
vices and 

1 360 '= 

4 1 4* 
over and 
above ser- 
vices and 


> - 


7 4 

1391 " 


> 15 

139' " 

tynemouth priory. 




Newbiggen ... 



Tynemouili, Preston, Chir- 

ton and Milneton 
Tynemouth ... 

Backworth ... 


Tynemouth, Preston and 


Extent of property. 

5 acres 

I messuage 

I cottage ... 

3 messuages, 3 cottages, 
42 acres and 3 roods 

4 cottages and 48 acres... 

1 messuage, i acre, and a 
yearly rent of 3s. from 
a tenement formerly 
belonging to Philip 

I messuage, i cottage and 
29 acres 

Yearly rent of 20s. 

I messuage and g acres... 

The whole manor 


John de Dalton and 

William Cheseman 
Thomas de Walton and 

Hugh Ainl)le 
Thomas de Whitly and 

William de .Seton 
Thomas de Walton and 

Alan Whitheved 

Yearly value. Date. 



3 4 

-•Man Whitheved 

Thomas Thornburgh, 
William Parker and 
William Asshe 

I 13 2 

1392 '• 

10 o o 
over and 
above ser- 
vices and 


' Acquired without licence, Iiiq. act quod damnum, file 65, 10. Pat. Rotts, 35 Edw. I. m. 29. The 
properties here mentioned were purchased at \arious dates after the Statute of Mortmain (1279) and 
before 1307, e.g., Adam le Vacher's acre was acquired in or before 1291. Assize Rott. 

- luq. ad quod damnum, file 175, 3. Pat. Rolls, ig Edw. II. pars I, in. 35. The acquisitions of 
1325-1345 were made in virtue of letters patent, dated June 26th, 1323, according licence to the prior and 
convent to acquire lands and teneinents of the annual value of ;f 10. 

' Ibid, file 187, 4. Ibid, pars 2, m. 4. ' Ibid, file 194, l. Ibid. 2 Edw. III. pars I. m. 35. 

' Ibid, file 235, 9. Ibid, g Edw. III. pars i, m, 6. 

' Ibid, file 243, 3. Ibid. 11 Edw. III. pars 1, m. 2. 

' Ibid, file 247, 4. Ibid. 13 Edw. III. pars I, m. 11. Assigned to be held as of the value of 15s. yearly. 

" Reg. Pal. Dun. vol. iii. p. 279. Confirmed to the priory by Bishop Burj', subject to a perpetual rent 
charge of 5s. 

° ///(/. ad quod damnum, 19 Edw. III. No. 31. Pat. Rolls, ig Edw. III. pars 3. m. 4. .Assigned to be 
held as of the value of 29s. Sd. yearly. 

'" Inq. p.m. 22 Edw. III. pars 2, No. 12. Ibid. 22 Edw. III. pars 2, m. 30. The acquisitions of 
1348-13S0 were made in virtue of letters patent, dated October 14th, 1335, according licence to the prior 
and convent to acquire lands and tenements of the yearly value of ^10. The properties here mentioned 
were assigned to be held as of the value of 30s. yearly, in part satisfaction of the said .i{^io. 

" luq. ad quod damnum, 27 Edw. III. No. 3. Ibid. 28 Edw. III. pars I, m. 2. Assigned to be held 
as of the value of 40s. yearly. 

'- 7)11/. p.m. 34 Edw. 111. pars 2, No. 52. Ibid. 34 Edw. III. pars i, ni. ig. .Assigned to be held as 
of the value of 30s. yearly. 

" Inq. p.m. 4 Ric. II. No. 122. Ibid. 4 Ric. II. pars 2, ni. 3. Assigned to be held as of the value 
of ;CS yearly. 

" Pat. Rolls, 5 Ric. II. pars 2, m. 2. Inquisition missing. The acquisitions of 1382-1404 were made 
in virtue of letters patent, dated February 20th, 13S0, according licence to the prior and convent to 
acquire lands and tenements of the yearly value of ^^20. 

"■ Ibid. 8 Ric. II. pars I, m. 2. Being a grant from the Crown. 

'" Inq. p.m. 15 Ric. II. pars 2, No. 3g. No entry on Patent Rolls. 

" Ibid. No. 155. Pat. Rolls, 15 Ric. II. pars i, 111. 12. 

'" Inq. p.m. 16 Ric. II. pars I, No. 1 12. Ibid. 16 Ric. II. pars I, m. 6. 

'" Inq. ad quod damnum, 5 Hen. IV. No. 13. Ibid. 6 Hen. 1\'. pars I, ni. 35. Assigned to be held 
as of the value of ^^15, in full satisfaction of the grant of ^20. 


Annual payments had to be made to St. Alban's by its cell. Various 
regulations were made at different periods. Richard, who was abbot 
between 1097 and 11 19, decreed that Tynemouth should pay thirty shillings 
yearly, and took into his own hand the manor of Amble, Coquet Island, 
and the churches of Bywell and Woodhorn.' Fragmentary accounts for 
the years 1270- 1277 in the St. Albans Register show that the priory was 
then paying yearly ;^i5 15s.- At the dissolution the sums paid were ;^20 
pension in token of subjection to the abbey, £1 13s. 4d. contribution 
towards a sum of seventy marks paid yearly to the king and the Pope, and 
£b 8s. paid as pensions for scholars at Oxford.' Extra-ordinary payments 
were numerous ; for instance, a grant had to be made by the priory upon 
the election of each new abbot. 

Restrictions were placed upon the prior's control of the finances of his 
house. He was forbidden by the regulations of Abbot Maryns (1302-1308) 
to make any alienation, to sell or lease customary lands to a free-man or 
to enfranchise them in any way, or to grant corrodies and pensions in 
perpetuity. He might not, without previously obtaining the abbot's consent, 
lease manors, mills, tithes, or rents for a term of more than three years.'' 
These regulations were subsequently relaxed by de la Mare, who, by a 
constitution of 1352, permitted the priors of his cells to lease lands and 
tenements, which their predecessors had retained in their hands, for thirty 
years or for one or two lives, without special licence from the abbot.^ 

In the premier cell of St. Alban's literature was sure to find a place. 
The contents of its library have been scattered and for the most part lost, 
but the few volumes remaining show something of the character of the 
collection. They are : 

1. Brit. Mus. Cottonian MSS. Julius A X. Life of St. Oswin, an illuminated manuscript of about 
1300, published by the Surtees Society, No. 8. 

2. Ih'id. Galb.'i A V. Psalter ; an Irish manuscript of the twelfth century, illuminated in purple, 
scarlet and gold, erroneously called King Oswin's psalter. 

3. Ibid. Vitellius A XX. Various historical collections, including an abridgment of Matthew Paris. 
This portion of the volume was given to the library by Prior Ralph de Dunham (1252-1265), and is said to 
be the work of Matthew Paris himself, but see Catalogue of Materials for British History, Rolls Series, vol. iii. 
p. 318. Also a history of England from ISrutus to 1348 and chronicles from the birth of Christ to 1347. 

' Gesta Abbatum, vol. i. p. 69. 

• St. Alban's Register, fols. 65 and 71, cp. fol. 65 b. ' Memorandum quod quolibet anno percipiendum 
fuit de Tynemuth x['' vj"] et iiij", videlicet pro pensione magistri Bonetti v'', de cornagio iij' et iiij'', de 
Northon xlv", de Torp xxx", ad opus [procuratoris] Romani j marca, pro Conisclive j marca ; de quibus 
debent subtrahi xl denarii [qui] debent solvi pro cornagio Carlebur' et Morton.' Two additional items 
elsewhere mentioned are abbot's cornage (£2 16s. 8d.) and tithes from the house (£3 13s. 4d.). 

' John of .'Vmundesham, vol. ii. p. 309. ' Gesta Abbatum, vol. ii. p. 96. " Ibid. p. 447. 


4. Ibid. Faustina, B IX. Three chronicles, namely, the Chronicle of Melrose, Rishanger's Chronicle 
(printed in the Rolls Series), and a chronicle of English history, 1360-1399 (printed to 1377 in the Rolls 
Series as Chronicon Angliae). This is the volume which Leland says he found in the Tynemouth library 
{Collectanea, ed. Hearne, 1774, vol. iii. p. 403), and which he cites as the Tynemouth Chronicle. It is to 
be distinguished from the work so named by Glover and Camden. 

5. Bodleian library, Laudian MSS. No. 657. Richard de Wallingford, abbot of St. Alban's, on the 
Albion and Rcclcmgulum, revised by Symon Tounstede ; a fifteenth century manuscript presented to 
the priory by John de Westwyke, and afterwards the property of Thomas Horsley. 

6. Library of Corpus Christi College, Oxford ; No. 134. Life of St. Oswin, a sermon on his passion, 
and oflices, hymns, etc., for his festival, with musical settings ; an illumin.ited manuscript of the twelfth 

7. Ibid. No. 144. Astronomical and poetical treatises, including Geoffrey de Vinsauf Dt- noKa /loe/ica, 
and Richard de Wallingford on the Albion and Rectangulum. This volume was presented to the library 
by John Hamburgh, sub-prior, in 1438, 1447, and 1450. It and the life of St. Oswin mentioned above 
were given to Corpus Christi College by Bryan Twyne, the antiquary. The life of St. Oswin contains 
the autographs of Gilbert, Robert, and Mark Errington of Woolsington. 

8. Library of Pembroke College, Cambridge, No. 82. Bede's Ecclesiastical History ; late twelfth 
century manuscript, containing the autograph of John de Westwyk. 

g. Library of the Dean and Chapter of Durham, A. N. 6. The books of Daniel and Esdras, with 
interlinear gloss ; a thirteenth century manuscript given to the priory by brother Henry de Goreham. 

10. The Duke of Northumberland's MSS. Tynemouth Chartulary. This contains, besides the 
chartulary and register already mentioned, transcripts of many documents which were formerly in 
the treasury of the priory, including rentals and custumals of 1295 and later dates, extracts from the 
Testa de Nevil and from plea-rolls, and Walter de Henley's tract on husbandry. It has never been 
published as a whole, but an abstract of its contents is given in the sixth report of the Historical 
Manuscripts Commission, pp. 224-226. In the seventeenth century it belonged to Sir Ralph Portington, 
from whose executors it was bought for ^5. 

Of literature properly so-called, the only existing work known to have 
been produced in the monastery is the life and miracles of St. Oswin, 
which is valuable for the light which it throws upon the history of the 
priory during the twelfth century. The life and the earlier portion of the 
miracles was the work of an anonymous prior of Wymondham who visited 
the priory in i iii and was subsequently invited by its monks to write an 
account of their patron saint. His volume appears to have drawn a healing 
power from the miracles of which it told, for one of the brethren of 
Gervase, abbot of Westminster, on applying it to his eyes, staved off the 
blindness which threatened him.' Fresh chapters were added from time 
to time as noteworthy events occurred, but the work, as it e-xists, stops 
short with the close of the twelfth century. 

John of Throckley (Trokelowe), whose history of Edward II. is one 
of the best accounts of that king's reign, was once cellarer at Tynemouth, 
but he did not commence his work until some years after he had been 

' Vita Oswini, cap. xxxii. The life in the twelfth century Corpus Christi College manuscript 
concludes at this point. 


carried thence in chains to St. Alban's. John Bainburgh, his life of 
Whethamstede being lost, has left nothing but a short commentary upon 
Geoffrey de Vinsauf. John of Tvnemouth has little or no claim to be 
considered a member of the monastery which his name has made famous. 

Much has been lost. The early court-rolls have been long missing. 
Of the numerous deeds which once filled the treasury, a twelfth century 
grant to the priory of a few acres in Jesmond and a lease of a fishery 
in the Tyne were found among the records of the Court of Augmentations 
and again disappeared.' The fine charter of Edgar, son of Gospatric, re- 
produced in this volume, remains because it was handed over to Durham 
priory in 1174. Two late leases of little consequence complete the tale. 

Nothing is known of the long roll of which one of the earl of North- 
umberland's officers wrote to his master about the year 1600 : 

' It is to be remembered that his lordship may move Sir Robert Cycill to have the ancyent grantes 
of Tvnemouth againe containing three large skinnes of parchment, which the late earle your father 
did deliver to the late Lord Treasourer, Sir Robert's late father, which he can come by and gett if he 
please, which would greatly further his lordship's proceedinges for the libertyes, etc., bycause the[y] 
conteyne the grantes and confirmacons of sundry kinges and princes of this land, and made to the 
prior and convent of Tynemouth.' ' 

The Tynemouth Chronicle survived long enough to be quoted by 
Glover and Camden, and then all knowledge of it was lost. Judging from 
the few extracts from it which remain, it must have been of some value for 
northern history during the twelfth century.' 

' Brand, Newcastle, vol. ii. p. 77. 

- Duke of Northumberland's MSS. ; an early seventeenth century survey of Tynemouthshire. 

' Anno 1080, Walterus, Dunelmensis episcopus, in loco qui dicitur (Jatesheveth, id est caput caprc, 
a Northumbrensibus innocenter est occisus in ultione necis Liulfi nobilis generosque ministri. 

Anno gratiae 1093, ecclesia nova Dunelmi est incepta, iii kal. Augusti, feria quinta, episcopo 
Willelmo et Malcolmo rege Scotorum, cum Alexandre fratre suo et Turgoto priore, ipso die ponentes 
primos lapides in fundamento. 

Anno domini 1179, in Natali Domini, apud Oxenhal in territorio de Derlington in episcopatu 
Dunelmensi, elevavit se terra in ahum ad similitudinem procerae turris, et mansit ab ilia die quasi 
imniobilis usque ad vesperam, et tunc cecidit tam horribili strepitu quod vicinos terruit omnes, et absor- 
buit eam tellus, et fecit ibidem puteum profundum, qui est ibi in testmionium usque in hodiernum diem. 

Anno 1 177 Willelmus comes Gloucestriae, filius Robert! comitis fratris imperatricis, dedit Johanni, 
filio domini sui regis Angliae, filiam suam in uxorem cum comitatu (iloucestriae, si praefatus Johannes 
praediclam mulierem licentia domini papae posset sibi in matrimonio copulare. Et pro hac concessione 
dominus rex Angliae pater dedit promogenitis filiabus ejusdem comitis ducentas libratas reddituum in 
Anglia, scilicet uxori Aumari comitis Ebroicarum centum libratas, et uxori Ricardi comitis de Clare 
centum libratas. 

The third of these extracts is from Camden's Britannia, ed. 1587, p. 498; the others from the 
Ashmole MSS. (Bodleian Library), vol. 860, fol. 7 b, 'ex codice MS. collectaneorum Roberti Gloveri, 
scilicet miscellaneorum liber 2,' fols. 18 b to 21. For an allusion made by a writer who was apparently 
a monk at Tynemouth in the fifteenth century to 'a very old book kept in this monastery called Septcm 
Signacula,' which book contained an account of the later history of Robert de Mowbray, see Registrum 
Whethamstede, vol. i. p. 449. 


Lastly nuist be added to the list of lost records the Great Book, also 
called the Black Book, of Tvnemouth. In the early years of the seven- 
teenth century it was kept in the custody of John Carville, solicitor to the 
earl of Northumberland, and it was frequently consulted upon points of 
law and title. Robert Helme, an officer of the earl, wrote about it in 
1606 to George Warde, the king's surveyor for Northumberland : 

I perceyve you have scene Codnelian's purchase of the paisonadge of Ovingham, parcell of the 
late monastery of Hexham. Nowe to prove and shew you that the tyethes of Ovington were and are 
belonginge to the late monastery of Tinemouth ys very easye to be made and done yf you can procure 
the Lord Highe Treasurer's lettre to the nowe earle of Northumbreland to deliver the great book of Tine- 
mouth, which is the king's evidence, nowe in the custody of John Carvile, his lordship's solicitor ; in 
which booke yt appeareth playnely ; and the gift of John Baliole, lord of liywell, who did give the said 
tyeth and the tyeth of Wyllim to the church of Tinemouth, annexed to the said bookc will shewe. 
Besides there is in the same book iiij severall sentences against John Pikeworth, dark, parson of 
Ovingham, at the suyte of the pryor and covent of Tinemouth, with like chardges, which I think ys 
suflficyent prouff of the mater, ^■ou must not make me an author that Carvile hath the book, leste by 
some sinestcr informacion to my lord and master 1 lease his lordship's favour ; but use the mater in that 
sort as to your good discretion shall seame convenyent and good, so hereby 1 may be saved lil.amclesse.' 

This letter was intercepted by George Whitehead, the captain of Tyne- 
mouth castle, who sent it on to a friend at Esse.x House with the commentary : 

Sir. P.y great happe, 1 met with this lettre which somewhat concernes my lorde ; and yf I had not 
by great fortune prevented the delivery therof as it was directed, it might wrought soome discontent 
to his lordship. Onely nowe it rests to prevent the lyke hcareafter, and is good we have found out a 
false disciple to soe good a master, which to make knowen to his lordship I thought it my dewty, and 
therfor intreat you to certefye his lordship heareof.-' 

It subsequently passed out of the earl's hands. A note in the Tync- 
moiith Chartulary informs iis that 'Sir Orlando Bridgman hath a coucher 
book of his lordship's for Tynemouth in fol : ' 

Among conventual seals and seals of the priors of Tynemouth may 
be noticed : 

1. Dur. Treas. 3"" t^'^' Spec. No. 37, and 2"" i'""- Ebor. Nos. 10 and 1 1. Seal of Prior .\karius in 1 19S, 
oval, 2\ inches by li inches; tonsured figure standing to right ; cape of habit thrown back; right hand 
placed on breast ; a clasped book held in the left hand. ^ sigillvm . . . RlORlS DE TINE.MV 

2. Ihid. 4'" 2''"'' Spec. No. 25. Seal of a prior of Tynemouth between 1210 and 1239 ; rounded oval, 
lij inches by ij inches, ancient gem; head of an emperor. >i< CAPVT NOSTRVNt XPS EST. 

3. Ibid. I'"" I'""" .Archidiac. No. 2. Seal of Prior Germanus, circa 1230; oval, ij inches by 
li inches; figure kneeling to right, holding right hand on breast and some object in the left hand. 


4. Charter in the possession of the Duke of Northumberland. Seal of Prior Ralph de Dunham (?) ; 
oval, if inches by \\ inches ; (a) Our Lady seated with the Child on her knee. PLENlT de . . . . th.\. 
(b) On counter seal a male figure seated facing. .-X conventual seal attached to a lost charter of Prior 
Germanus is described as having on it the figure of St. Oswin, on the counter seal the figure of the 
Virgin (Augmentation Oflfice, Cartae Antiquae, B. 81). 

' Duke of Northumberland's MSS. ' Ibid. 

Vol. VIII. >6 


5. Dm: Tims. Misc. Chart. No. 4361. Seal of I'rioi- Simon ilc Walden, 1310; oval, ij; inches by 
I inch ; demi-king facing, holding a sceptre topped with flein" de lys in right hand, his left hand on his 
breast ; a pinnacle on each side on a canopy above him ; beneath, under a sharply pointed trifoliated 
arch, a demi-figure praying to left ; on the canopy work above the praying figure, sf;rvf. deL'.m. 
FRIS S . . . NIS : PRIORIS : DE Tl . EMV . . . This seal was used by Prior Richard de Tewing in 1330 
{Dm: Treas. 4'" i"" Elemos. No. 8), and by Prior Clement de Whcthamstede in 1380 to a charter in the 
possession of Sir Charles Legard, bart., reproduced as frontispiece to vol. vii. of the Genealogist, new series. 

6. Ditr. Treas. i™* 3"" Pont. No. 7 and .Augmentation Ofifice, P.R.O. Deeds of Surrender, No. 228. 
Conventual Seal, 1385 and 1539; oval, 3 inches by :i inches; Our Lady standing facing, holding 
Christ with the left hand ; on her left a king standing holding a spear in his right hand and a sceptre 
in his left; each under a canopy; above, a female bust facing, with a star on each side of neck. 

In a visitation of 1530 the following arms were ascribed to the monas- 
tery : ,ii'i(/cs, t/ircc cravens or. The three crowns were formerly visible on 
a shield on the eastern exterior of Percy chapel.' Thev appear, along 
with the arms of the founders of the other cells of St. Alban's, at the east 
end of the chapel of Abbot Ramrydge in the abbey church (1490-1521). 

Priors ni' rv.\i;\inriii.- 
1129. Remigius. 

1148. Germanus, elected abbot of Sclby in 1153. 
II.... Ruelendus. 



[Robert.] » 


1 189 (before). Akarius, elected by the monks of Tynemouth on the death of (lilbert ; occurs as prior in 

1 195 and 1 197; afterwards prior of St. .Mban's ; elected abbot of Peterborough in 1200; 

died 1 2 10. 
1200, fi'irn. [Hugh Gubiun.] 
1208. Ralph Gubiun [prior of liinhiuii in 1 199] ; as prior of Tynemouth was party to tines in 1208 

and I2I2;' resigned circa 1217 and retired to St. Alban's; died May 4th, 1223. 
1224. [William de Bedford, elected prior of Worcester and admitted to that office November 21st, 

1224; died October 29th, 1242.]^ 
1227. Germanus [^pcr resig. Gubiun].^ 

' Tunge's Visitation, Surt. Soc. No. 41, p. 35. lirand, Newcastle, vol ii. plate to face p. 47. A shield, 
similarly blazoned and encircled with the inscription, Sciitiini Sancli Osjryni Regis, occurs on the ceiling 
of the choir of St. Alban's church. The ceiling has been ascribed to John de Whcthamstede. See 
J. G. Waller, '.Armorial Bearings on the Ceiling of the Monks' Choir in the Abbey Church of St. Alban,' 
Archaologia, vol. li. pp. 427-446. The same arms were attributed to Offa, king of .Mercia, the founder 
of St. Alban's monastery, whose shield appears on the ceiling of the nave of the same church. See Rev. 
C. Boutell, ' The Early Heraldry of the Abbey Church of St. .-Mban,' Journal of A rcha:ological Association, 
vol. x,\xiv. pp. 16-30. 

■ For further details and authorities see Gibson, Tynemouth, vol. ii. Several additional priors are 
given in Gibson's list, whose inclusion is not warranted by evidence. 

" Henry and Robert occur in the Belvoir Obituary as priors of Tynemouth, but without date. Their 
absence of surname makes an early period probable. ' ' Feet of Fines, John, \os. 2 and 17. 

'The Curia Regis Rolls, Nos. 88 and 96, show that Germanus was prior in 1227, and consequently 
there is a conflict of evidence between Gesta Ahhatum, vol. i. p. 275 (where Germanus is said to have 
immediately succeeded Ralph Gubiun), and Annalesde Wigornia, Rolls Series, Annales Monastici. vol. iv. 
p. 417 (where William de Bedford is stated to have been prior of Tynemouth in 1224). 

Plate VI 





1233. Wallei- de noluin,' died January 2nd, 1244. 

1244. Ritliard de Parco, surnanied Kufus, of Winchelconiljc ; prior of liinham 1226-1244 : elected 

prior of Tynemoutli before February 20th, 1244; died April 25111, 1252. 
1252. Ralph de Dunham, elected prior on or l^efore May ist, 1252; living in 1264; died August 

13th, 126... 
1265, f (mi. William de Horlon, prior of W'ymondham in 1264. 
1273. Adam de Maperteshall." 

1279. William Bernard, died 12S0.' 

1280. Simon de Walden,' p.m. Hernard ; deposed in 1294 or 1295 ''"d banished to St. .Alban's. 
1295. Adam de Tewing, party to a suit with the master of the leper hospital at liurton in 1300.' 
1305. Simon de Walden, restored; living in 1310;" died April 17th, [131 1]. 

131!. Simon de Taunton, presented July ist and admitted July 21st, 131 1.' 

1315. Richard de Tewing, presented March 20th and admitted March 31st, 1315 ;' died September 

29th, 1340. 
1340. Thomas de la Mare, born in 1309 ; presented October 6th, 1340 ;° elected abbot of St. .Alban's 

in 1349; died September ist, 1396; buried at St. .^Iban's. 
1349. Clement de Whethamstede, pcy irsig. de la Mare, admitted . . . 1350;'* living in 1389." 
■393- John Macrell '- of Whethamstede, took part in the election of .-Xbbot Heyworth in 1401 ; buried 

at Tynemouth. 
1419. Thomas Barton, [p.m. Macrell,] presented May 12th, admitted June 6th, 1419 ; " living in 1436. 
1440, circa. [Robert de Rhodes.] 

1450. John Langton, deposed March 15th, 1478: living in .May, 1480; died August 21st, 14... 
147S. Nicholas Boston, nominated successor to Langton in 1477 ; presented by Richard, duke of 

Gloucester, and Lord Say ; appointed prior for life in May, 1478 ; resigned May 17th, 1480. 

1480. William Dixwell, prior of liinham, 1462-1480; appointed prior of Tynemouth. May 8lh, 1480; 

presented, June 29th, 14S0 ; removed from Tynemouth .and again made prior of Binhani, 
circii 14S1 ; created prior of Hertford in 1495; living in 151 1. 

1 48 1, ciirii. Nicholas Boston, restored ; appointed prior for life by grant of the abbot of St. .\lban's, 

March 8th, 1483, and by grant of the abbot and convent, November 19th, 1483 ; died 

June 12th, 1495 ' buried in the chapel of St. Francis in the church of the Crey Friars, 

1503. John Bensted," born 1455 ! prior of Hertford in 1483 ; appointed abbot of Whitby and received 

episcopal confirmation in that office .\ugust I2th, 1505; died in 1514. 
1512. John Stonewell, S.T.P., received from Wolsey exemption from the Jurisdiction of St. .Albans 

for life, November 14th, 1518 ; as prior, made a return of the revenue of his house in 1526 ; 

died or resigned before July 3rd, 1527.'' 
1528. Thomas Gardiner, chaplain to Henry \TII. ; ajipointed prior for life in 1533; died or resigned 

shortly Ijefore December 13th, 1536.'" 
1537. Robert Blakeney, appointed prior before .April, 1537 ; signed deed of surrender of his monastery, 

January 12th, 1539 ; received a pension of ^80 and retired to Benwell ; died before 1553. 

' Curiii Regis Kulls, No. 1 16. -' Feci of Fines, I Edw. L No. 4. 

' Put. Rolls, 7 Edw. 1. m. 2 d. .Issi^t; Rolls, No. 1254. m. 7. 

' Ibiil. 18 Edw. I. m. 5 i\. ^ Assi:c Rolls, No. 658. 

' Coiani Rcgc Rolls, No. 202. ' Rcgiiliiim PiiLiliiiiim Diiitclmense, Rolls Series, vol. i. pp. 44, 79-S4. 

" Ibid. vol. ii. pp. 696, 699. ° Ibid. vol. iii. p. 37S. 

" Durham Registers, Hatfield, fol. 1. " Hodgson, Sorthumherlaiui, pt. ii. vol. ii. p. 252. 

'- Cal. Papal Registers, Letters, vol. i\-. p. 487. " Durham Registers, Langley, fols. 267, 26S. 

" Registrum Whetluimstede, vol. ii. p. xlviii. 

''Letters and Papers, Hen. VIII. vol. iii. p. 176; vol. iv. p. 1469. 

'" Ibid. vol. V. |). 329 ; vol, vi. p. ^^y ; vol. xi. p. 524. 


The Parish Chikch. 

Part of the priorv church at Tynemuiilh was set apart lor parochial 
purposes and divided from the rest of the building by a stone screen 
erected at the time of the Transitional extension of the chancel. The 
vicar was appointed by the prior of Tynemouth with the consent of the 
abbot of St. Alban's, and admitted by the bishop of Durham. The church 
shared the immunity from contributions to the diocesan conferred by Pope 
Adrian IV. and his successors on churches in the gift of St. Alban's.' 

Disputes having arisen between Durham and St. Alban's as to the 
bishop's right of visitation, an agreement was effected in IJ47, and by it 
the bishop's right to visit the parochial portion of the church was acknow- 
ledged. It was arranged that the vicars should be responsible to the bishop 
for spiritualities, and to the monks for temporalities. 

An instrument drawn up bv Prior Dunham in 1250, with the consent 
of his abbot, specified the extent of the endowment of the vicarage. The 
vicar for the time being was to receive the fruits of the vicarage, estimated 
at forty marks, to be paid to him in kind in the following way : every day 
he was to have from the priory two monks' loaves, four bottles of ale, 
one small white loaf, one squire's loaf, and two gallons of ale drawn from 
the wood, as well as a quarterlv pavment of forty quarters of oats for his 
horses, and fodder for two horses. The prior and convent further assigned 
to him the tithes of corn and hay in the townships of Burradon and Murton, 
and the tithe of one of their fisheries. They were to pay him weekly one 
pennv for bread for the mass, and allowances for service books. He 
had, as vicar, two houses in the village of Tynemouth and two houses at 
Earsdon, free from all customary service, to be kept in repair at his own 
cost. He was to serve the church of Tynemouth in person along with a 
competent chaplain and clerk, and to find a chaplain and a clerk to cele- 
brate mass daily in the chapel of Earsdon. These had to be lodged by the 
vicar, and were all to take oath of fealty to the prior and convent. The 
vicar was to find the mother church of Tynemouth and the chapel of 
Earsdon in wine, wafers, lights, vestments, vessels, utensils, and all things 

' Chronica Majoni, vol. \. p|>. ij-ii. 

Tynemouth parish church. 125 

needful, for which the sacristan was to pay him forty shillings vearlv. On 
the other hand the sacristan was bound to provide, in the usual manner, 
lights for burial services. All the ordinary dues to which the church of 
Tynemouth and the chapel of Earsdon were liable were to be paid bv 
the vicar/ 

This sum of forty marks paid to the vicar was only a small portion of 
the total yield of the rectory, which was stated in a taxation of 1292 to be, 
apart from the vicar's endowment, £111 12s. lod., of which thirtv pounds 
was yearly bestowed in alms and ten pounds in pittances to the monks. It 
was made up of _£. 87 i is. 8d. from the grain tithes of the parish (excepting 
those of Burradon and Murton held by the vicar), five marks from the 
mills, sixty-nine shillings from the tithes of wool and lambs, five shillings 
and six pence from the tithes of geese and pigs, fortv shillings from the 

' [Omnibus] sancle niatris ecclesie filiis ad quorum noticiain presens sciiptum per[vcnent, Rijcardus 
prior de Tynemuth et ejusdem loci conventus, salutein in domino seni[piternam.] Noverit universitas 
vestra nos, de consensu venerabilis patris nostri [Johannis,] Dei gratia abbalis de sancto Albano, ad 
sustentacionem doniini Petri vicarii et successorum ejus [de Tynemuth.] ac capellanorum ac clericorum 
eorundem lam in ecclesia [de Tynemuth] quani in capella de Krdesdun deser\iturorum, in hunc modum 
providisse. . . . Predictus Petrus vicarius et successores ejusdem, qui pro tempore [fuerint, singujiis 
annis nomine vicarie percipient ad valenciam quadragin[ta m]arcarum, quam juxta estimacionem 
bonorum virorum sic duximus expri[mendam, \ide]licet duos panes tnonathalcs et qualuor justatas 
cervisie mo[nachaHs,] et duos panes, unum panem parvum album et aliuni paneni anniycri, et duas 
lagenjas cervisie de dolco expensabilis singulis diebus percipient. Ad sustentacionem^ suoruni equorum 
quadraginta quarteria avene qualiter de garba [ad qua]tuor terniinos, videlicet ad fcstum sancli .Mich.ielis, 
ad festum [Purif]icationis virginis. ad paschani et nativitatem beati Johannis, [quolibet fest]o decern 
quarteria, et foragium ad duos equos singu[ii5 diebus percijpient. Preterea dicti prior ct conventus 

concesserunt decimani garbaruni et fenorum de ISurudon imperpeluum, [et gran]i et fcni de 

Morton, cum decinia garbaruni per [tines] tote parochie sue ; item decimam piscarie ihree 

lines illegible sacristam dicte ecclesie et dictum vicarium et ejusdem su[cccssores] legataria 

fabrice ecclesie, luminaria sancti Oswini, et cap dictarum fabrice capcUe et cerei memorati 

predictus vicarius et successores [septimanis] singulis unum denarium pro pane 

benedicto ofierendo, denarios missalicios et denarios salicios. Habebunt e[tiam imjperpctuum 

vicarius et successores ejus nomine vicarie duo mcssuagia in villa d[e Tynemuth,] unum videlicet t|Uod 
fuit quondam Kogeri le Harpur et aliud i|Uod fuit Koberti Coki Dunelmensis de empcione Petri ejusdem 
loci tunc vicarii, sibi et success[oribus] suis imperpetuum possidenda, et terciuni mesuagiuni in villa 

de Herdesdun capelle, preter unum ex parte orientali, ex omni servili exactione 

liberum et [quietum], sibi et successoribus suis propriis cum sumptibus constituenda cl, cum o[ccasio] 
fuerit, eadem reparanda. Et sciendum quod supradiclus vicarius et ejus [sucjcessores in prcdicta 
ecclesia de Tynemuth in propriis personis cum capell[ano] et clerico competenti dcscrvient. et 
capellanum ydoneum et clericum compete[ntem in] capella dc Herdesdun singulis diebus niinistraluros 
invenient, et o[mni]bus cum habitaculo competenti exhibebunt. Preterea predictus Petrus vicar[ius ct] 
successores, necnon et eorundem capellani et clerici, juramentum tidelitatis pr[i]ori et conventiii de 
omnimoda indenipnitate dicte ecclesie et de aliis .... tibus successive preslabunt. Predictus vcro 
vicarius et ipsius successores onine [nii]nisteriuni, lam niatricis ecclesie de Tyneni' quam capelle de 
Erdesdon, nec[non ui]pote in vino, oblatis, luminaribus, vesiimcntis, vasis, ulensi[libus, et] aliis con- 
similibus invenient ; ad que invenienda percipient a[nnuatini] de sacrista quadraginta [solidos]. scilicet 
inedielatem in festo sancti [Cuthberti in] autunipno. et aliani medietalem ad paschani, luminaria 

tantum ad et niorluorum cxec|uias perlinencia sacrista more solito inveniet. [Et scienjdum 

quod vicarius de Tynemuth qui |)ro tempore fuerit omnia s[ervicia] malriceni ecclesiam de Tynemuth et 
capellani de Erdcsdon quocum[que nomine con]tingencia sustinebil : extra ordinarium vero juxta 
quantitatem sue ' porcionis. UtJ autem liec ordinacio imperpeluum robur optineal tirmilatis, [prior el 
convenjtus et Petrus vicarius huic scripto in modum cyrograh s[igilla bua] apposuerunt. Uatuni apud 
Tynemutham in vig[ilia] anno gratie in'cc" quinquagesinio. 67. .llhiin's Kigiilcr, fol. I2i>. 


tithes of hav and flax, forty shilliiii,'s from wax, twenty shillings from baptism 
and churching fees, seventy shillings from mortuaries and the sale of the 
clothes of deceased persons, six pounds ten shillings from annual offerings, 
and forty shillings from sundries ('de niinutis rebus propter conscientiam '). 

It appears from an inquisition taken in 1295, upon the death of the 
vicar, that a third jxirt of the goods of all fugitives within the parish was 
paid over to the incumbent, that the chaplain and the clerk received a 
proportion of every mortuary, and that the vicarage was of the annual 
value of forty-five marks.' 

Sometimes the right of presentation Iiac vice was accorded by the prior 
and convent to others. Anthonv Bek, bishop of Durham, presented divers 
of his clerks to the vicarage upon three occasions. In 1308 he drew up 
a statement acknowledging that this was not done of right but by the 
courtesy of the prior and convent, who should henceforward make iree 
exercise of their privilege.' 

John de Barneburgh was presented to the living in or about that 
vear. He was succeeded bv John de Howvk, who was followed in his 
turn bv John de Howorth. One of these three men may have been the 
compiler of the Saiicti/oj^iiuii and the Hisioiia Aiiica, John of Tvnemouth, 
who is connnonlv reputed to have been vicar here, and to have afterwards 
entered St. Alban s monastery as a monk. John of Tynemouth's history 
and identity are, however, obscure. vSir Thomas Grey, the earliest writer 
who mentions him, has recounted a vision in which he was led by a sybil 
up the ladder of historv ; and, when thev had stepped upon the fourth 
rung, thev were in a chamber in a village that stood before a strong 
castle, where they found a chaplain writing upon a lectern. 'Sweet friend,' 
said the svbil, 'this is the vicar of Tillmouth, who is writing the I/i.ston'a 

' St. Alhtiii's Kcj^idir, fol. 108 b. liraiul, Scutmlli, vol. i. p. 593. 

■ St. A Iban's Kcj^istcr, fol. 1 29 h. 

^ [A. pennijssione divina sancte Jeiosolimile etclesie patriaiclia et episcopus Dunulnieiisis. .Atten- 
ilcntfs quod relijjiosi .... prior el convciuus de 'rvnemutli. nostre diocesis Dunulmcnsi^, diversos clericos 
nostros [ad vitariam] de 'lyiicnv predicte jam per Ires vices ad nostri ro^atiis inslanciani presentarunt, 
.... [indjeiiipnitate probpicere in hac parte, ne eciani eoruin curialitas ipsis in prcsenlai ionc dicle 
vicarie [sil] in prejiidiciinn \el jaiUirani. iMii\ersib tenore presencium volumus esse nouini quod ditli 
[religiosi] non ex aliquo de1)ito nominacionis nostre set ex sola liberalilatc sua dictos clericos nostros [ct] 
lion aliter presentarunt, quodque nee nos nee successores nostri occasione noniinacionis nostre [claiii]einus 
in jure ipsoruni ad dictani \ icariani liberc prcscnlandi quicquam juris ali(|uibus [modis], sed dicti prior 
et conventus clericuni queni volucrunt ydoneuni possint ad dictani vicariani libere presentare. In cujus 

rei testimonium has nostras patentes litteias prefa[ 1 siyillo nostro episcopali signatas fieri 

fecinius coniniunitas. Datum I.ondoniis, anno domini m"ccc""'octavo, patriarchalus nostri tercio et 
consccracionis nostre [vicesimo se.\to_. Ibid. fol. 21J. 


Aiirea.' Sybilliiie sayings are dark, and, as the niannscript of Grev's 
history is unique, it is impossible to say whether 'Tilhnouth' is a copyist's 
error, or whether it contains a correct tradition.' 

No visitations of the church antecedent to 1501 have been recorded. 
In that year it was presented that the vicar was non-resident, that matins 
and vespers were not said at fitting times, and that the glass windows in 
the choir were broken." 

After the dissolution, the choir or conventual portion of the church 
was suffered to fall into ruin, but the nave remained standing as a separate 
church. This probablv necessitated some alteration in its structure, and 
on Januarv 19th, 1546, Sir Francis Leeke, then captain of the castle, had a 
warrant from the Privv Council for '/. 20 towards the making of a church 
at Tvnemouth.' Use was made of the building for storing artillery, a 
procedure which Bishop Tunstall of Durham brought in 1558 to the notice 
of the Privy Council, with the result that an order was issued to the lord 
lieutenant and to Sir Thomas Hilton, captain of the castle, for the removal 
of the ordnance, ' to th'ende the inhabvtauntes may have the use of the 
churche for the hearing of Devyne service, as reason is.' ' The conversion 
of the monasterv into a roval castle and a house for the Percys made it 
inconvenient to the residents to have a parish church within it, and on 
October 27th, 1566, Sir Henry Percy wrote to Sir Robert Cecil: 'I 
have alreadv told vou the annoyance to this house by the parish church 
being within it, and much frequented by the strangers who visit the 
haven. At my request Sir Richard Lee has inspected it, and can report 
on the cost of a new one, and the value of this towards it.'^ Percy's 
suggestion was not carried out ; on the other hand, little was done to 
keep the church in repair, though Luke Akome of Tynemouth, by will 
dated December i8th, 1563, left 2od. to the mending of the south window,'' 
and I2S. 4d. was paid in 1592 for the making of new stalls in the church 
for the use of the captain of the castle.' 

' Sciilachnmicii, ed. .Stevenson for the Maitland Club, p. 3. There was a chantr>' but no vicamge at 
Tilhnouth. It stood near to the strong castle of Wark, which was Clrey's home. Upon John of Tyne- 
mouth see Xova Le^cmia Anglic, edited for the Clarendon Press by Carl Horstman, who, with too 
Kreat positiveness, identifies Tynemouth with John of Howyk. Horstman relies upon a statement made 
by John Boston of Bury : 'Johannes dictus .\nglicus, vicarius de Tynemuthe, floruit A.C. mccclx\i_ et 
scripsit Historiam .Aureani, etc' Boston, who wrote about fifty years after Oey's death, was the first 
writer to jfive a full account of John of Tynemouth s works. Pits, in 1619, adds that the vicar afterwards 
became a monk of .St. .Alban's. a statement unsupported by direct evidence. 

= Ecclesiastical Proceedings, Surt. Soc. No. 22, p. xxi. ' Ads 0/ the Privy Council, 1542-1547, p. 316. 

' Ibid. 1556-155S, p. 382. ' Cal. State Papers Domestic, .Addenda, 1566-1579. p. iS. 

" l?rand. Xeurnstte, vol. ii. p. 1 14. ' Duke of Northumberland's MSS. 



Upon a visitation mack' in lAoS the church was stated to be in great 
decav.' Sir William Hrt-rtton, who came to TvntMnoiith in 163:;, in the 
course of a tour throuL;h llic countv, described it as 'the fairest church 
I have seen in anv castle, but nmv it is out of repair and much neglected.'' 
Wlu-n the Civil War broke out the j-jarishionL-rs were no longer able to 
obtain access to their church, since it lay within the castle. It was rapidlv 
becoming dismantled, and the Oliveriau commissioners in 1650 reported 
it to be quite ruined.' Ten vears later the roof fell in. Work had then 
alreadv commenced upon a new parish church (Christ Church), near North 

Thf Priokv Chi'K(~h fkom the South-west. 

Shields. Proposals made to rebuild the ruined nave of the priory church, 
which had been used during four centuries for parochial services, were not 
executed, but the east chapel was fitted up and appropriated to the parish ; 
a movable oak communion-table, covered with a red marble slab, being 
substituted for the former altar.'' This building continued to be used 

' Diirluiiii \'isiliitioii Books. 

■ Brereton, SoUs of a Journey throiii;h Dnvham ami NovthiiinhciUvK}, Rirli.irdsnirs Reprints, p. 17. 

' Arch Ad. ist series, vol. iii. p. 9. 

' 'April [31!), 1675. Richard, son of Richard Hudson of Tinemonth, baptised ; ve first baptised in 
Tinemouth church after it was rebuilded.' Tyncmouth Parish Registers, ed. Couchman', vol. i. p. 97. 


for services until 1810, when it was taken over by the Board of Ordnance 
and converted into a powder magazine, in which state it remained for forty 
years. It was then restored to the parish and repaired under the supervision 
of Mr. John Dobson. vServices are occasionallv held in it. 

From the commencement of the seventeenth century, if not earlier, 
the chancel of the priory church was used as a burial ground for the parish. 
In the course of two centuries and a half interments had covered a 
considerable area, including the nave and site of the Ladv- chapel and 
ground on the east and south sides of the chancel. The incongruity of a 
churchyard with undefined limits existing within the walls of a government 
fort was a circumstance which not unnaturally led to disputes between 
the parish and the militarv authorities. The governor of the castle raised 
a claim in 1826 to a payment of ten shillings upon each occasion that 
ground was broken for the interment of a parishioner. This claim was 
abandoned, but at the same time the parish consented to a limitation of 
the burial ground.' E.xcept in certain vaults, burials no longer take place 
within the precincts of the castle. 

Monumental Inscriptions. 

Here lyeth the body of the Reverend Mr. Ralph Clarke, vicar of Long Benton, who departed this 
life March the 4th, 1733/4, aged 59 years. Also near this place lyeth interred Eliz. Taylor, daughter to 
the Rev. Ra. Clarke, who departed this life Nov. the 9th day, 1741, aged 41 years. Eliz., wife of the 
Reverend Ralph Clarke, died .Sept. the 3rd, 1758, aged 79 years. Also lieth here Ralph Clarke, son 
of the above Rev. Ralph Clarke, who died the 2nd of May, 1785, aged 77 years. .Arms: A saltire 
engrailed between four horses' heads coupcd. 

In memory of Henry, son of Robert Clarke of North Shields, master mariner, who died the 26th of 
December, 1768, aged 5 years. Also four more children who all died young. Dorothy, wife of the said 
Robt. Clarke and mother of the above said children, died the 12th of October, 17S4, aged 51 years. 
Near this place also lyeth interred the body of the above named Robert Clarke, who departed this life 
the 3rd August, 1786, aged 73 years. 

Thomas Dawson, esq., died 9th October, 1784, aged 59. 

Barbara Dawson, died July 27th, 1781, aged 24. Also in memory of Dorothy Sanderson, sister 
of the above, who departed this life on the 9th day of Oct., 1S09, aged 41 years. Also of Mary 
Clementina, eldest daughter of Capt. \Vm. Henry Temple, late of the 52nd reg., and granddaughter 
of the above-named D. Sanderson, who died on the 13th of Jany., 1830, aged 6 years and 6 months. 

The burial place of Armorer Donkin at the Low Lights. Here lieth the body of Elizabeth Donkin, 
who departed this life the 8th of May, 1772, aged 46 years. Also the above-named Armorer Donkin, 
who departed this life the 12th of March, 1798, aged 76 years. Likewise two of his children who died 

William Sidney Gibson, esquire, born Nov. 12th, 1814, died Jan. 13th, 1871, greatly beloved and 
deeply regretted. 

' Gibson, vol. i. pp. cl.\.\.\ii-clx.\xv. 
Vol. VIII. '7 


Sacred to the memor>' of Frances, wife of Rev. William Haigh, vicar of Wooler, who died October 
17th, 1824, aged 60 years. Frances Susannah Haigh, eldest daughter of the above, departed this life 
Sept. 23rd, 1851, aged 63 years. 

Sacred to the memory of William Preston Haigh, esq., captain, Royal Engineers, eldest son of the 
late Rev. William Haigh, A.M., vicar of Wooler, departed this life March nth, 1840, aged 49. 

In memory of Edward Hall of Whitley, esquire, who died the 7th of June, 1792, aged 65 years. 

Erected to the memory of John Johnson of Woodhorn, who departed this life March 22nd, 1825, 
aged 70 years. Isabella, his daughter, died July i8th, 1821, aged 8 years. Also three of his children 
died young. Mary, wife of the above, died Feby. 25, 1825, aged 53 years. 

The burial place of Samuel Lacy of Great Yarmouth, master and mariner, who died October the 6ih, 
1762, aged 71 years. He marryed Ann, the daughter of the Reverend Mr. Ralph Clarke, vicar of Long 
Henton, who had issue eighteen children — si.\teen died young. Ann, the wife of the above-named, who 
died the 6th of December, 1765, aged 60 years. Arms : On a bend three martlets, over all a label of as 
many points, Lacy ; impaling a saltire engrailed between four horses' heads cottped, Clarke. 

The burial place of Richard Lacy, esq., of Newcastle, who married Dorothy, third daughter of 
Joseph Dacre, esq., of Kirklinton in the county of Cumberland. Richard Lacy died March iSth, 1778, 
aged 34. Joseph Dacre Lacy, his second son, died May 25th, 1772, aged 5. Arms: On a bend three 
martlets. Lacy ; impaling quarterly first and fourth three escallops, Dacre ; second and third six martlets, 
three two and one, Appleby. 

Sacred to the memory of John Liddell of Dockwray Square, who departed this life the 14th of Nov., 
1802, aged 67. Jane Liddell, wife of John Liddell, departed this life the i6th of August, 1805, aged 
69 years. John and Anthony, sons of John and Jane Liddell, both died young. Also Jane, their 
daughter, departed this life the 21st of May, 1781, aged 12 years. Elizabeth Cay, granddaughter of 
the above John and Jane Liddell, died the 27th of August, 1803, aged 11 months. Sarah Wright, 
daughter of John and Jane Liddell, died the loth of Dec, 1821, aged 58 years. Albert Liddell, son of 
the above-named John and Jane Liddell departed this life the 17th of Dec, 1826, aged 61 years. 
Elizabeth Cay, died at Edinburgh the 27th of Oct., 1831, aged 61 years. Isabella Robinson, died in 
London, the 13th of June 1833, aged 57 years. George Liddell died at Beech (irove, near Chester-le- 
Street, i6th of Aug., 1835, aged 68 years. Barbara Liddell, died in Edinburgh, Jan. 2nd, 1845, aged 
72 years. 

Here lyeth ye body of Mr. John Lomax, who departed this life May ye 25, 1693. 

In memory of John Lowes, genlilman, died Jany. 13th, 1760, aged 44 years. Eleanor his daughter, 
died June i6th, 1764, aged 16 years. Jane Boucher, his daughter, died July 29th, 1782, aged 28 years. 
Mary Lowes, wife of Ralph Clarke Lowes, departed this life January 23rd, 1784, aged 25 years. Jane, 
relict of the above-named John Lowes, died the 19th of August, 1794, aged 75 years. Mary, wife of 
Willm. Fall, died July 23rd, 1804, aged 82 years. 

In memory of Anthony Pearson of North Shields ropery, who departed this life ye 6th day of 
February, 1769, aged 58 years. 

Here lieth interred the body of Henry Reay, esq., alderman and twice mayor of Newcastle-upon- 
Tyne, and Hannah his wife, daughter of Utrick Whitfield of Whitfield, esq., by whom he had issue two 
sons, Utrick and Joseph, who both survived them. She departed this life July loth, 1733, aged 58, and 
he October 18th, 1734, aged 63. Here lieth interred the body of Utrick Reay, son and heir of Henry 

Reay, esq., alderman of Newcastle-upon-Tyne By his wife Bridget, daughter of Henry 

Blencowe of Blencowe, in the county of Cumberland, esq., he had issue three children, Philadelphia, 
who died .A.pril 4th, 1736, in the first year of her age, Hannah and Utrick who survived him. He died 
April loth, 1742, aged 30. Here also lieth the body of Utrick Reay, his son, who died March 4th, 1744, 
aged 6 ; to whose memory this monument was erected by the above-named Bridget Reay. 

Sacred to the memory of Sarah Shadforth, who died the loth of March, 1806, in the 35th year of 
her age, leaving four young children and a most disconsolate husband ever to lament her loss. 

Here lieth the body of Prudence, late wife of John Topping, some years governour of this castle, 
who departed this life in child-bearing the 19th day of Feby., 1658, as alsoe four of her children, Ellinor, 
Hichard, and a sonne still borne, with a child who was interred with her, the 21st Febr., 1658 , 


Also lieth here, Mary, the wife of Zechariah Tizack, who died May, 1748, aged 44 years. Also Benjamin 
Cowley Tyzack, chain and anchor manufacturer, of North Shields, who died April gth, 1851, aged 78 years. 

Hie sitae sunt mortales reliquiae Henrici Villiers, armigeri, stirpe antiqua prognati, unici honora- 
tissimi comitis de Jersey fratris, necnon hujus presidii circiter 20 annos fidelis et perquam dilecti prefect!. 
Vixit annos 49; obiit 18 Aug., Anno Domini 1707.' 

Here lies the body of James Wilkinson, merchant, of Newcastle, who died the nth of August, 
1761, aged 46. Here also lieth interred the body of Bridget, the wife of the above-named James 
Wilkinson, who died the 12th day of November, 1776, aged 71. Christopher Wilkinson, merchant, 
died the 21st November, 1784, aged 38 years. Also lie interred the remains of James Wilkinson, esq., 
most sincerely and deservedly lamented by all his friends : he departed this life on the 28th of .August, 
1801, aged 52 years. Here lie interred the remains of Jane Wilkinson, widow of the above James 
Wilkinson, who died March loth, 1823, aged 71 years. 

Sacred to the memory of John Wright, esq., of North Shields, founder of several elegant streets 
both there and at Newcastle. He died the 25th November, 1806, aged 75 years. Also of .Ann, his 
widow, who died on the 29th of June, 18 12, in the 60th year of her age. Also of his eldest son, William 
Wright, who died Dec. loth, 1S47, aged 80 years. He was many years deputy-lieutenant and acting 
magistrate for the county of Northumberland and Newcastle-upon-Tyne. Also of Frances, his widow, 
who died the 5th of April, 1864, in the 83rd year of her age. 

.Sacred to the memory of Stephen and Margaret Wright of Dockwray Square. Margaret Wright, 
died March 28th, 1795, aged 72 years. Stephen Wright, died June 28th, 1803, aged 86 years. Also 
near this place lie eleven of their children who all died young. 


Pre-Conquest Remains. 

As might be expected on the site of an Anglian settlement, occupied 
from early davs bv a religious congregation, Tynemouth has supplied some 
remains of the sepulchral memorials of its early christian inhabitants.' 
They are few in number, however, and are all fragmentary, consisting of 
portions of the shafts and heads of the crosses which once stood over the 
graves in the cemetery of the church. One of these stones is of more 
than ordinary interest. It is known as the Monk's Stone, and now stands 
a mile to the north of the priory ruins, at a little distance from the road 
to Whitley. Its present position is not the original one, and it is without 
doubt part of a memorial cross, originally placed in the cemetery. 

The roughly-hewn square base, on which the cross stands, is modern. 
The upper portion, including the cross-head, is wanting, and the shaft, which 
Grose ^ described as being ten feet in height, is now only si.\ feet high 
above the socket. The two faces, which stand east and west, taper from 

' Brand, Newcastle, vol. ii. p. 122. ' For Roman remains found at Tynemouth see pp. 36-3S. 

' Antiquities 0/ England and Wales, new edition, vol. iv. p. 127. 


tYnEmouth parish. 

i8 inches to 14 inches; the sides from ii| inches to 8^ inches. For a 
space of 22 inches from the base, the shaft is plain on all sides, never 
having had any carved work there. The remainder has been sculptured 
over the whole surface with human figures, a tree, animals, lacertine 
creatures, and interlacing knot-work patterns. These elaborate ornamental 
designs exhibit many tasteful qualities, giving evidence 
of the emplovment of a skilled and experienced work- 
man, though there is nothing to show the influence of 
the vine and other foliage motives, characteristic of the 
Hexham school, or of that which produced the Bew- 
castle and Ruthwell crosses. Neither the design nor 
the execution show any sign of decadence, and the cross 
mav be assigned to a time not later than the first part 
of the ninth century. As it has suffered considerably 
from weathering, an adequate description of its sculp- 
tured work cannot easily be given. 

The angles of the stone have all been occupied 
by bead-mouldings, carried across the four sides as single 
beads, immediately beneath the ornamental work. The 
heading is also to be seen on the north side, above the 
upper pair of loops of knot-work, as well as on the south 
side, between the interlaced pattern and the two lacer- 
tine creatures presently to be described. 

On the north side alone can the design 
be made out with any degree of certainty. 
That has had an interlacing pattern in double 
bands of a not uncommon kind, very similar 
to that on a cross once built into the tower 
of St. Oswald's church at Durham.' Ten sets 
of circles, similar to those on the Dnrhani 
stone, can be clearly seen, the bands which form them being continued as 
four sets of knots up to the point where the side is crossed by a line of 
moulding. AboVe this, for a space of six inches, the stone is covered with 
interlaced work. 

The south side has, on the lower part, two pairs of creatures whose 
extremities appear to form groups of knot-work, filling the intervening 

' Victoria County History of Durham, vol. i. |)p. 224-225. Durluim ami Northumberland Architatural 
Society, vol. iv. pp. 2S1-2S3. 

Monk's Stone, North Side and 
West Face. 



spaces. Above them there seems to have been a quatrefoil flower of con- 
ventional design, and, above that again, are apparentlv two birds, whose long 
beaks cross each other at the middle of their length. Beading traverses 
the stone at this point, separating the last mentioned design from two 
lacertine creatures, whose bodies are placed saltire fashion, the tails being 
rolled round towards one another. Limbs and tails are 
continued as bands, which intertwine and compass the 
bodies. This pattern, though similar, is more elaborate 
than that on the St. Oswald's cross mentioned above. 

The design on the west face has almost entirely 
perished. It seems to have been divided into three 
panels. The bottom space, which is 13 inches in length, 
contained two creatures facing one another, from whose 
limbs an interlacing design was perhaps evolved. The 
middle panel is 9 inches long, and the upper 26 inches 
appear to have been filled bv a subject carved in 
bold relief. 

The east face is the most interesting, and contains 
two human figures, much worn away but still standing 
out in some degree of relief. Above the head of each 
figure, the arching branch of a tree forms a sort of 
canopy. Higher branches of the same tree make similar 
arches over a pair of animals somewhat like 
sheep. Other parts of the tree may have 
branched into interlaced work. The lowest 
compartment of this face has had upon it a 
design of interlaced work of a delicate and 
unusually minute pattern. If a conjecture 
may be hazarded, the subject perhaps repre- 
sents our first parents in the Garden of Eden, among the trees and animals 
with which it was filled. 

In addition to the Monk's Stone, portions of four other crosses have 
been discovered at Tynemouth, and are now preserved at the Black Gate 
Museum in Newcastle-upon-Tyne. 

The first (fig. i) consists of one limb and the central portion of the 
head of a cross. It is made of sandstone and is 14 inches high, 9^ inches 

Monk's Stone, South Side anu 
East Face. 



wide, and 4^ inches tliick. In the centre is the not uncommon feature 

of a round boss, surrounded by a raised circular rino;. The limb is occupied 

by a knot made by a ribbon interlacing at 

each end, and other knots probably existed in 

the missing limbs. A similar design occurs 

on the other side. The sides are plain. 

The second (fig. 2) is a single limb of a 

cross-head, 8 inches in height, 7^ inches in 

width, and of a thickness diminishing from 6 

inches to 5 inches. The sides are plain. An 

interlacing knot-pattern of a single band occu- 
pies both faces. 

The third stone ^ is a portion of the shaft 

of a cross, 14 inches high, the faces tapering 

from 1 2 inches to 1 1 inches, and the sides 

from 8 inches to 7^ inches. On one face the 

design has been chiselled off. The remaining 

face has upon it two series of well sculptured 

knots of double bands, placed one above the 

other, an effective and beautiful pattern 
found upon many crosses of Anglian 
work. The sides have an interlacing 
j knot-pattern of one band. 

The last fragment is also part of 
the shaft of a cross. Though of in- 
ferior workmanship to those already 
described, it is, in regard to the sub- 
jects carved upon it, of equal interest 
to the Monk's Stone. It is 18 inches 

>\ y i ^RPIk higli) with faces tapering from 11^ to 

^ ^ ,^ " II inches, and sides from 9^ to 9 

inches. The edges consist of a plain 
roll-moulding. The faces are divided 
into panels by a band of broad cable- 

m / 

Fig. I. 

Fig. 2. 

moulding, bordered on each side by a 

An illustration of this stone is given in Arcli. Ael. 2nd series, vol. xxv. p. 121 



narrow roll-moulding. One face of the fragment is occupied ' by a draped 
human figure standing facing. With each hand he holds a book in front 
of his chest, and he seems to be standing between two trees, which arch 
over his head. The lower part of the other face (fig. 3) contains an 
interlacing pattern of three knots placed horizontally. Above is a creature 
which has been described as a centaur, since, besides having four legs, two 
appendages like arms proceed from the shoulders. If these are arms, then 
the creature is holding, poised in its right hand, a long shaft ending in 
a spear-head at the bottom, and in a round ball at the top. With its left 
hand it grasps its tail, which seems to be pro- 
longed into an interlacing pattern over its back. 
A raised ring is placed between its legs.^ The 
creature, which is apparentlv in motion, has 
a counterpart upon one of the crosses at 
Aycliffe^ ; but while that on the Aycliffe cross 
resembles a horse, this animal has cloven hoofs, 
and is more like a lamb. The carved work 
on one side of the stone has perished ; the 
other side is covered by a double row of 
knotted cords, placed perpendicularly and con- 
nected at the top and bottom. 

These fragments of sepulchral memorials 
represent all that remains of the monastery 
which stood upon the headland in the eighth 
and ninth centuries. The church in which 
Saint Oswin's body was discovered, and its tower seen by the soldiers of 
William I. upon their foray, are gone, and no trace of Anglian masonry is 
found in the later structure. The monks of St. Alban's apparently began 
to build a new church about the year 1085, as soon as they had been 
established at Tynemouth. This building was in course of construction in 
1093, when King Malcolm was buried in it, and was sufficiently far ad- 
vanced in 1 1 10 to receive the body of St. Oswin, translated in that year 
from the Anglian church, which then fell into disuse. 

' For a view of this face and an alternative account of the design upon it, see Arch. Ael. he. 
cit. p. 1 19-120. 

- A similar ring occurs on two of the cross heads from the foundations of the chapter house at 
Durham, there in connection with the Holy Lamb: Durham and Sorthumbcrland ArchtUctural Society, 
vol. iv. p. 129 ; I'ictoria County History of Durham, vol. i. pp. 226, 228. 'bid- P- 220. 




The Church : Technical Details. 

The great monastic churches erected in this country shortly after the 
Conquest were invariably cruciform, having an eastern arm with aisles and 
an apsidal end, transepts with eastern chapels, and a nave with aisles. It 
was not unusual for the eastern terminations to be apsidal internally, and 
square externally, as at Durham and Lindisfarne ; more rarely, as at 
Worcester, Gloucester, Norwich and Winchester, the aisles continued round 
the apse, forming an ambulatory. Recent excavations have shown that the 
priory church of Tynemouth was of the latter and rarer type,' differentiated 
in this case by the addition of three chapels, radiating from the choir, the 
middle one being the longest. A single eastern chapel is a common feature, 
and occurs at Winchester ; at Canterbury and Gloucester there are side 
chapels in the crvpts, but the design carried out at Tynemouth was most 
uncommon in the smaller Norman monastic churches, and this example is 
probably unique in England. 

A. T/ie Noniuui Structure. 

The position of the west end of the Norman nave is indicated on 
Plate VTII., and remains of the bases of the arcade piers and the internal 







■ ... f .... r 

fp MENS CT del! 

SCALt otfttr 

' The above plan is developed on evidence afforded by these excavations. The portions in black 
represent existing walls, the shaded portions foundations or other evidence, and the dotted lines 
conjectural work. 



lo 5 o 

l i i ii h iii l- 


PLATE nil. 

f— yss. 


— C=7 

~y ''V' '"iv*"^" 

^ \ 

^^ AfTtR- 

£ — 1 xiRCA-pga 

I i Qm 

E3_ M^.CEMTVry. 

f-i;.:.-a: is^.CEKTv'-y. 

te^Sai-ATEfi &. MOOESISL 

WJ1 JOI0WI.E5. F.5-A. 


and external pilasters of the aisle walls show the nave to have been of seven 
bays. A central tower surmounted the crossing space. The transepts, 
as at St. Alban's, were aisleless, with eastern apsidal chapels similar to 
those at Lindisfarne, Tewkesbury and Romsey. As nothing of the choir 
remains except foundations, it is not possible to say with certainty how it 
was subdivided, but its length suggests that it had two bays of the same 
width as those of the nave, the apse being divided into five bays, as in 
Norwich cathedral. 

The foundation walls of the ambulatory, or apse, which formed the 
eastern termination of the choir, are in coursed ashlar work ; while those 
of the radiating chapels, at a lower level, arc of rough masonry, somewhat 
coursed, and carried five or six feet down in a sandy soil. There is no 
indication of the floor level, and the depth of the masonry appears to be 
due to the insecuritv of the foundation. Three of the crossing piers, which 
carried the central tower, remain, as also the foundations of the fourth. 
The two western piers have responds composed of triple semi-shafts 
towards the crossing, transepts and nave, and broad flat pilasters towards 
the aisles ; in the case of the eastern piers there are similar responds 
towards the transepts and crossing, and pilasters on the sides towards the 
choir and aisles. The piers have slightly moulded bases on a massive 
square plinth ; their capitals are cushioned with chamfered abaci continued 
as a string course on each side. Only a few square voussoirs of the outer 
order of the crossing arch remain. The greater part of the south and east 
walls of the south transept is standing, the former containing two built-up 
window-openings with chamfered string-course below the sill level, the 
latter, which has been pierced in its lower stage by the later choir aisle, 
retaining portions of two round arches about the level of the clerestory 
and of an archway below giving access to the ambulatory. In the west 
wall of the north transept there is a similar semicircular arch opening 
into the aisle, flat on the soflSt and springing from a chamfered impost. 

The nave arcades appear to have carried a clerestory. They have 
all fallen except a single pier at the east end of the north side. This is 
cylindrical in plan, and the bases of other piers suggest that they were 
all of the same design. It has a many-sided capital of cushion form, with 
carving imitative of arcading, and over it is a portion of two square orders 
of a round arch. The north and south nave walls have chamfered plinth 


courses, and are emphasized externallv and internally bv flat pilasters 
corresponding; with the bays of the arcade. The eastern bay of the north 
wall contains portions of a semicircular-headed window, of a single light, 
opening above the level of a chamfered string course. Possibly a similar 
window occupied each bav between the pilaster buttresses. Opening ofl" 
the cloister, and in the second bay from the east end of the south wall 
of the nave, there is a semicircular arched doorway of three orders, each 
springing from a chamfered impost, with the exception of the middle 
order, which was supported by a detached nook-shaft. 

The construction of the domestic buildings was commenced as soon as 
the church was completed. Documentary evidence shows that a dormitory, 
forming part of the eastern range of the cloistral buildings, and probably 
raised over the monastic parlour, was being erected in iiii. On the op- 
posite side of the cloister a building projected beyond the west end of the 
nave on its south side, as is shown on Plate \'III. Its lower stage was 
decorated by a simple arcade on attached semi-shafts resting on a chamfered 
stone seat. 

H. I'lic Early English Dcvclopinoit. 

The Norman choir lasted for a century and then gave place to the 
noble eastern arm which dominates the coast, and recalls Whitbv in its 
style and situation. Throughout England, and especially in Northumber- 
land, considerable building operations were proceeding at the commence- 
ment of the thirteenth centurv. At Tynemouth the reconstructed choir 
was abnormallv large, for the separation of the nave for parochial purposes 
was probablv already contemplated. The work may be attributed to 
Prior Akarius, and was commenced during the last decade of the twelfth 
century, at the same time that John de Cella, abbot of St. Alban's, was 
beginning the extension westwards of the mother church. Its magnitude 
may be understood when it is remembered that the Norman choir extended 
only about 48 feet eastwards of the crossing, whereas this arm of the 
Transitional church covered a length of 116 feet. It was larger than 
the corresponding limb of the priory church of Hexham, and its length, 
with the addition of the tower, was equal to the total length of Brinkburn. 
Besides being increased in length, it was made 10 feet wider than the 
former choir. Its arcade piers occupy the outer alleys or aisles of the 
Norman church, the new aisle walls being outside those which thev 


replaced. The demolition of the old choir was therefore not necessary 
until the completion of its successor, in which it was enclosed, and the 
work of building did not interrupt the services of the monastic body. 

The Transitional choir consisted of five bays with aisles, and was 
continued eastwards as an aisleless presbytery of four bays. The presbytery 
and a portion of the south aisle of the choir remain. 

The e.xterior of the east end has an impressive simplicity of design. 
It is divided into three compartments by buttresses, of Hat pilaster shape 
in the two lower stages, becoming semi-octagonal on the face of the gable. 
In place of the tiers of triple lancets which occur at Brinkburn and 
Whitby, the Tyncmouth elevation is occupied, on the lower stage, by three 
tall lancets of two chamfered orders, and, on the second stage, by two 
small pointed windows in the outer and a vesica in the middle compartment. 
The gable is more ornate, each division comprising an arcade of three 
pointed arches on shafts with nuuilded caps and bases ; the arches occupy- 
ing the side bays are of varying height, following the rake of the original 
roof line. The middle arch of the centre bay is pierced by a lancet of 
two orders with banded nook -shafts. Stepped string courses divide the 
stages, and octagonal turrets originally capped the angle buttresses above 
the level of the roof. The south wall is pierced by lancets having their 
sills on the same level as those in the lower stage of the eastern gable, to 
which they correspond in design. Smaller pointed windows with nook- 
shafts occur above the lancets, the eaves course above the latter being 
carried on corbels carved as grotesque heads. A flat pilaster divides the 
windows of the first and second bav, whilst a buttress of greater projection 
encloses a staircase formed in the masonry of the fourth bay. 

The interior of the presbytery was vaulted. It is finely proportioned 
and the design is full of resource in its varied form and detail. The space 
below the level of the window-sill is occupied bv a wall arcade of pointed 
arches on detached shafts with moulded bases and slightly carved capitals 
with square moulded abaci. The centre of the wall arcade on the east 
side is pierced by a door giving access to the Percy chapel, and on either 
side of the door are aumbries. At the east end of the north and south 
walls the arcade is broken bv wide segmental arched recesses, intended 
to receive effigies, anti in the third bay on the south side it is similarly 
broken by a double sedile with trefoil-headed openings. There is also an 
aumbry and piscina in the second bav. 


Triple clustered shafts or responds divide the bays and the eastern 
lancets, their bases resting on the string course over the wall arcade. The 
capitals are carved and have octagonal-shaped abaci, which are continued 
as a string over the side lancets, but at the cast end are at the level oi 
the springing of the lancet arches. Wuilting ribs, moulded and enriched 
with dog-tooth ornament, spring from the capitals. The window openings 
arc deeply recessed, and their treatment is varied in detail. At the east end 
the lower lancets have a hood-moulding with dog-tooth, but the openings 
in the side compartments above them have only a single roll moulding 
to both jambs and arch, the capitals to the jambs having square abaci 
continued as strings. The vesica has an enriched hood-moulding with 
sunk trefoiled circles in the spandrils below. On the sides, the lancet 
arches are of two moulded orders carried on detached banded nook-shafts, 
the clerestory lights over them being similar in arrangement but having 
a hood -moulding with dog-tooth ornament, whilst the same enrichment 
adorns the angles of the jamb between the shafts. The two westernmost 
bays contained staircases, and there is a wall gallery at the level of each 
stage. The south wall of the presbytery has, at the level of the choir 
triforium, a double pointed arch within a semicircular containing arch. 
String courses above and below indicate the height and proportion of this 
member of the choir arcade. 

Unfortunately nothing remains of the choir excepting a portion of 
the aisle at the west end of the south side.' That fragment, however, 
together with the pier plinths and the responds on the side of the presbytery 
bay containing the staircases, and the drawings of Ralph Waters, made in the 
middle of the eighteenth century, provide sufficient data for reconstructing 
this beautiful arm of the church. 

The choir comprised a central alley with north and south aisles, and, 
independently of the aisleless presbytery, measured 73 feet in length 
and 63 feet in breadth between the aisle walls. An arcade of five bays, 
with a triforium and clerestory windows above, separated the aisles. Its 
main arches were of three deeply moulded orders, and sprang from piers 
formed of a cluster of eight large shafts filleted towards the cardinal 
points of the compass, the diagonal shafts being pear-shaped. Each pier 
carried a moulded octagonal capital, and its base, which was also moulded, 
rested on octagonal plinths with a roll moulding on the edge, continued 

' .See illubl ration on page 56. 

















on a dwarf wall between the piers. .\.t the east end the arch sprang from 
a triple-shafted respond supported on a corbel. Similar responds rose 
from the pier capitals and terminated at the level of the Hat ceiling which 
covered the central portion of the choir, being divided in their height by 
a string course at the levels of both triforium and clerestory, and bv the 
abacus moulding of the latter. Above the arcade was a triforium of three 
members, the two outer of single pointed arches, and the inner of two 
sub-arches within a semicircular containing arch, all supported on clustered 
and nook shafts. Above that again was a clerestory consisting of three 
arches to each bav, decorated with carving and supported on detached and 
nook shafts, with moulded caps and bases, the angles between the arches 
being ornamented with the dog-tooth flower. 

The aisles were vaulted in simple quadripartite form, with moulded 
transverse and diagonal ribs. These sprang from the aisle walls on triple 
clustered responds, with moulded octagonal capitals, the abacus moulding 
-being continued as a string between the single lancet windows which occu- 
pied each compartment. An arched opening, broken through the east wall 
of the Norman transept (at the west end of the aisle), was of four orders 
towards the transept, and supported bv nook-shafts in the jambs below. 

The division of the church for conventual and parochial uses was 
effected, as at Wymondham and Binham (also cells of St. Alban's), by 
assigning the nave to the parish. At Tynemouth that arm of the church 
was shut off from the rest bv a stone screen, built between the western 
piers of the crossing. This is plain towards the nave, where the high 
altar of the parish church stood, and is pierced on either side by low 
doors, between which, on the eastern face of the screen, is an arcade 
of five pointed arches on detached shafts, standing on a stone seat. A 
door was inserted in the east bay of the south aisle of the nave in order 
to give access from the cloister to the conventual church. 

After the enlargement of the choir, the ne.xt great alteration in the 
structure of the church was its extension westwards by the removal of 
the Norman west wall, and the erection of two bays. This was done about 
the year 1220, a work possibly to be associated with Abbot Trumpingtons 
notable visitation of his cells. It is interesting to observe that this exten- 
sion appears to have been completed before the removal of the old gable, 
which accounts for the unusual width of the bav uniting the old and the 



new bays. The piers and respond carryiii<( the arcade arches were octa- 
gonal in plan, with moulded capitals and bases. The aisles were vaulted, 
and the chamfered ribs of the vaulting sprang from corbels in the aisle 
walls. Details in the walling suggest that the work, which included the 
vaulting of the previously unvaulted aisles, proceeded from west to east. 
The west front arrests attention directly the castle gateway is passed, 
thousih in heis-ht it does not compare with the east end.' The elevation is 
divided into three compartments by Hat pilaster buttresses dying into the 
wall at the eaves level. In the centre is a deeply recessed door of five 
richlv moulded orders with hood, placed on shafted jambs having moulded 
capitals and bases. The space on either side between the door and the 
buttress is occupied by a pointed arched recess, the two recesses being of 
unequal width. Above the doorway was a row of lancets, ornamented 
on jamb and arch with the dog-tooth moulding. This was afterwards 
replaced by a large fifteenth century window, which filled the whole width 
of the nave, and of whicii the sill and jambs remain. The south compart- 
ment is divided into three stages, the lower being filled with an arcade 
of three pointed and moulded arches on detached shafts with moulded 
capitals ; the middle stage contains two trefoil-headed openings with only 
a simple roll to both jambs and arch ; the upper stage comprised an arcade 
of four arches stepped to the rake of the aisle roof, and supported by 
capitals resting on detached shafts. The north compartment, like the centre 
bay, received in the fifteenth century a window which filled the space. 
A bold moulded plinth passes round the thirteenth century extension, and 
on either side is a lancet window. In the west bay on the north side is 
a doorway which was screened by a porch or gave access to a vestry, 
whilst on the south side is a mutilated door-opening which originally gave 
access to a chamber that projected beyond the Norman west end and was 
afterwards used as a means of communication with the interior of the church. 

C. I'lic L(ul\-chapcL 

Before the middle of the thirteenth century the church iiad reached 
a length of 261 feet. In interest, variety and beauty it compares well, 
especially in regard to the choir, with any of its contemporaries. It 
continued unaltered until about 1336. In that year a Lady-chapel was in 
course of construction. It was presumably in this chapel that Prior de 

' See illubti'.uion on page 12S. 


l:i Mare, about 1347-1349, placed the shrine of St. Oswin, 'so that those 
who came to it might more quietly, freely and fittingly continue their 
devotions around the martyr.'' The large chapel, shown in an Elizabethan 
plan of the castle (Plate XII.) as existing on the north side of the presby- 
tery, appears to be the onlv one of sufficient size to answer the requirements 
of such a building. Its foundations can still be seen running eastwards in 
continuation of the north wall of the presbytery, and, as the wall arcade 
of the latter is intact on this side, access to the chapel must have been 
from the north aisle of the choir or from its first bav. Its length on the 
interior was therefore not less than 70 feet. It was larger than the Ladv- 
chapel that Abbot Eversdon had built, some twenty vears earlier, at St. 
Alban's, itself a gem of the decorated period of architecture. Apart from 
the moulded plinth courses and the plan already mentioned, the onlv 
evidence of the work is to be found in a drawing made by Grimm about 
1780," in which is delineated the jambs of a window attached to the 
north-east angle of the presbyterv. Some fragments of traceried work on 
the site may have belonged to the windows, and there are also some 
spandril pieces, richlv carved with emblems and foliage, which may have 
formed part of a screen. 

D. T/ic Cliambcr over t/ic Clioir. 

About the same time, and possibly bv the energy of Prior de la Mare, 
who spent the large sum of £^(:>\ upon the church, the presbytery and 
choir received an additional storey, of which evidence remains in the jambs 
of windows above the Transitional south walls and the massive masonry 
over the original roof line of the east gable. This large and important 
chamber was probablv intended to receive relics, muniments, or other 
church moveables. A similar addition was made at Brinkburn priory 
(vol. vii. p. 485). It is not a common feature, but is to be found in 
some parish cliurches, as at Stewklev and St. Peter's in the East, O.xford, 
the cathedrals of Canterbury and Linc<iln, the chapel of King's College, 
Cambridge, and it existed in the demolished chapel of Pembroke College, 
Oxford. About this period the single-light Norman window in the eastern 
bav of the north aisle of the nave gave place to a double-light ogee 
window a little to the west of it, and a door of communication between 
the church and the prior's lodging was inserted in the same bay. 

' Gis/(i Alibiitiim, vol. ii. p. 379. ■ Rrit. Mus. P.R., Kaye. vol. iii. p. llS. 



/•;. 'Ilic Pcrcx Chapel. 
The only portion of the church reniaininj; to be noticed is the 
interesting chapel at the extreme east end, commonly but erroneously 
known as the Lady-chapel. It was built about the middle of the fifteenth 
centurv, when John Langton was prior. From the occurrence of the 
arms and badge of the Percys upon its walls and vaulted ceiling, it 
appears to have been erected by that family, possibly, as the heraldry 
suggests, by the second earl (14 17- 1455). The interior of this chapel, 
which measures only 19 feet by 12 feet, is divided into three bays, 
each containing a double-light traceried wiiulow with jamb mouldings, 
formed of a series of hollows continued across Hat-pointed heads. At the 
east end is a circular window tilled with modern tracerv, and on either 
side a niche with a cusped head. Below are square aumbries, and in the 
south wall is a piscina under an arched recess. Each compartment ot the 
vaulting has a ridge and transverse and diagonal ribs ; and, on each side of 
the centre, the semi-compartment is again divided by longitudinal, trans- 
verse and diagonal ribs At each intersection of the three longitudinal 
ribs is a large circular boss with representations of the Redeemer and the 
Apostles, sacred monograms, etc. The subjects, commencing with the 
central ridge rib and proceeding from the east, are : 

He.-ul of Christ with nimbus. 

Standinj; figure of the risen Christ holding n b;inner in liis right h.ind ; .it his feet is a small female 

figure I Si. Mary M.agdalene) ; the whole encircled by a label bearing the inscriptions : RAUO . 

E M.\(;isTKR and Noi.i .mk t.\ngkkk. 
.Seated figure >J< . . .\ndre.\ >J« ok.\ p nop. . . 

.Seated Majesty between four angels, blowing trumpets. . N Dili ivdicu \.\\\.\ xo? no ... . 
Seatetl figure, staflf in left hand, book in right. ^ scE l.\COBE ORA p NOi;'. 
.Standing figure holding a lamb, sck iohks B.\prisT.\ ORA p nobis. 
Agnus Uei with cross and flag surrounded by cable mounting. 

On the north side of the central ridge are : 

Eagle of St. John ; scroll missing. 

Sacred monogram, 1 H S, surmounted by crown. 

Seated figure with palm leaf in right hand and book in left, sce iOh ev.\(;elista ORA p 

Monogram of the Virgin, 9^. 

Seated figure, three loaves in right hand, book in left, sce phii.ippe ORA p NOBIS. 

Star with nine waving rays. 

.Seated figure, a sword in left hand, book in right, the feet on a cushion supported by a human 

head. >J« sce pavi.e oka p nobis. 
Sun in splendour ; round the edge the inscription >J< IHES . mercv. 

Seated figure holding book in right hand, flaying knife in left. scE barthoi.omf.e or a |) nob'. 
Percy crescent and shacklcbolt on a shield. 













Seated figure, book in right hand, pillar in left. ^ scE SVMON ora p NOBIS. 

Monogram of Prior John Langton, 4^ 

Lion of St. Mark, holding scroll lettered ScE M.\RCE ORA p NOB . . 

On the south side of the central ridge are : 

Cheiub of St. Matthew holding scroll ; lettering obliterated. 

Square rose of fifteenth century type. 

Seated figure holding fuller's bat in left hand and book in right. .scE lACOBE MINOR ORA p NOBIS. 

Emblems of the crucifixion, namely, cross encircled by crown of thorns, and at its foot three nails 

and a scourge. 
Seated figure, book in right hand and spear in left. scE thoma ORA p NOBIS. 
Circular rose. 
Seated figure with keys in right hand, and book in left, the feet on a cushion supported by a human 

head. ^ scE petre ora p nobis. 
Bearded head. 

Seated figure, book in right hand and saw in left. scE mathias ora p NOBIS. 
Monogram of Prior John Langton repeated. 

Seated figure, book in right hand and halberd in left. ScE thadee ora p NOBIS. 
Emblem of the five wounds, namely, a cross with central boss, the boss and limbs each pierced with 

a nail mark, the whole surrounded by a cable mounting. 
Bull of St. Luke holding scroll lettered ScE LVCA ora p N . . . . 

On the west wall : 

Over the door a crowned figure seated, sceptre in left hand ; at the feet to the right a kneeling 
figure holding scroll lettered fvndator ; on the base .... oswyne .... 

At the terminations of the hood-moulding two shields, that on the south bearing a cross (for St. 
George ?), that on the north bearing arms of Percy and Lucy quarterly. 

On the east wall : 

North of window, kneeling figure of an angel. 

South of window, standing female figure (the Virgin). 

Human heads, angels holding scrolls, 
and square-shaped roses also enter into 

which still occur placed diagonally at the 
eastern angles. On either side of the cir- 
cular window are panels, which formerly 
contained shields, bearing the arms of St. 
Alban's and of Tynemouth. Above the 
window is a third panel containing the 
sacred monogram, IHS. The hood- 
moulding over the two side panels, as 

well as that of the gable, terminates in two portrait-heads, the one that of 
a bishop or mitred abbot, the other bearded and bare-headed. 

Vol. vin. '9 

scheme of decoration. On the exterior, /■-.r' ^ r " . " v ^" ' 

bays were emphasized by buttresses, \\^' J \' 





.\R.Ms OF St. Alban's in Percy Chapel. 


Sepulchral Remains. 

The floor of this chapel was dug up in 1774, 'in the hope of hnding 
the remains of St. Oswin, or some other curiosity," but the onlv discovery 
was of a large matrix of a brass, perhaps that one of which some fragments 
still remain. A brass or stone effigy once existed in the church, com- 
memorating Prior Whethamstede. Round the border ran the verses : 

Quern pax legavit cum se super astra levavit 
Pace gregem pavit pius hie prior et saturavit, 
Huic grex implores implorandoque perores, 
Pacis in Auctore requiescat pacis amore. 

At the feet of the effigy was written : 

En licet oblita jacet hie sub pulvere trita 

.Sculpta suis annis W'ethamstede ymago Johannis.-' 

St. Henry of Coquet Island was buried in 11 27 in the Norman choir, 
and, though no memorial marks his grave, his biographer has indicated 
the exact spot of his interment. He was buried to the south of the 
shrine of St. Oswin, 'where the wall bows outward,' a description which 
tallies with the position of the apsidal chapel opening off the choir to the 
south of the high altar.' 

No inscribed stone is now remaining. An effigy of a lady,^ clothed 
in a long garment reticulated over the head and draped in loose flowing 
robes to the feet, formerly filled the northern arched recess in the presby- 
tery, and is nearly contemporary with that part of the building. The head 
of the figure rests within a trefoil-arched canopy ; the hands appear to 
have held some object now worn away ; and the general effect is dignified 
and graceful. A second effigy,^ of a later date, was found during the 
excavations of 1905 in the south wall of the nave, where it had been used 
as a foundation stone. Top and bottom of the stone are missing. The 
figure is that of a lady, carved in higher relief than that on the earlier 
effigy, but its features are less well cut. The head rests within a cusped 

' A Tour in the Northern Counties, Duke of Northumberland's MSS. 
' Regislrtim Whethamstede, vol. ii. p. 441. 

' ' In latere parietis arcuato.' Acta Sanctorum, vol. ii. p. 61. The site of the southern apsidal 
chapel is covered by a high bank of earth in which several modern interments have been made. 
' See illustration on p. 51. ' See illustration on p. 75. 

Pier Works S*'^'^' 


MEN5 tT DELTAUG 1905. 


arch and is covered by a hood falling over the shoulders. The hands 
are raised in an attitude of prayer. A loose garment covers the figure 
and reaches to the feet ; its sleeves have lappets. Carving imitative of 
arcading occupied the right edge of the slab. 

Four medieval grave -covers have been unearthed. The earliest in 
point of date bears, in relief, a cross of which the head is in the form of 
a cross patee. On two other stones the cross is of a design common 
in the neighbourhood, good instances occurring at St. Helen's Auckland, 
Barnard Castle, and Chester- le -Street. The shaft of the cross is plain, 
the head is voided, and the four arms are of the fleur-de-lys type. One of 
these grave-covers has a chamfered moulding and is carved with a sword 
in addition to the cross. It is of a smaller size than the others. The 
fourth is fragmentary and shows a sword and cross-shaft. 

A limestone slab, broken in several pieces, contains a portion of a 
matri.x of a brass, probably dating about the middle of the fifteenth century. 
The indents are the lower quarter of a figure and, on the de.xter side of 
the foot, what seems to be an outline of part of a dog's breast ; whilst 
between the figure and the shafts, which supported a canopy, are the 
indents of two shields, and an inscription filled the borders.' 

Little evidence is left of the internal arrangement of the church. 
Besides the high altar there was an altar of St. Alban and St. Amphibalus, 
and altars in the various chapels. King Edward I. had a private chapel 
in the church," and a chantry was founded by Ralph fitz William, lord of 
Grey stoke, in 1315. 

The Site : Conventual Buildings. 

The church occupies a central position within the twelve acres of 
ground which form the castle precincts. On its south side were the 
monastic lodgings and offices, and beyond them again a south court com- 
prised the slopes down to the Prior's Haven. Gardens e.xtended eastward 
from the church, farm buildings lay to the north of it, and due west a 
medieval gate-house still stands and affords communication with the town. 
A curtain-wall, strengthened at intervals by towers, followed the lines of 

' For a detailed account of monumental stones at Tynemouth, see Mr. S. .S. Carr's article on the 
subject in Arch. Ael. 2nd series, vol. xxv. p. 1 18. 

" Wardrobe Accounts cited by Gibson, vol. ii. p. civ. 


the cliffs and contained the whole site. But now, besides the church and 
the gate-house, only a single chamber and a few isolated fragments of 
masonry are left of the medieval buildings ; graves, cottages and roadways 
cover the whole site. It is therefore necessary, in order to obtain a picture 
of the monastery, to supplement architectural evidence by documentary 
records, of which the chief is a plan of the castle made in the time 
of Queen Elizabeth,' a plan involved and incorrect in its details, but 
tolerably trustworthy in regard to the disposition of the various buildings. 

Though evidence with regard to the conventual buildings is slight, 
the little that remains points to four periods of construction : (i) the wall 
arcade at the west end of the south wall of the nave, (2) a similar wall 
arcade attached to the south transept, (3) the existing building shown on 
the plan, which stood possibly outside the south-east angle of the cloisters, 
and (4) the fourteenth century fragments of buildings engrafted on the 
south-west corner of the nave. 

The western arcade marks the position of a range of buildings, probably 
consisting of the refectory and dormitory of the lay brethren, which 
enclosed the cloister garth on this side. A chapter-house and a dormitory 
are shown on the Elizabethan plan as forming the opposite side of the 
cloister. The early thirteenth century arcade on the south wall of the south 
transept indicates the position of a building which may be identified with 
the chapter- house. The dormitory of 11 11 was rebuilt by Prior de la 
Mare in 1347- 1349 ; it stood at the south-east angle of the cloister, and 
was raised on a substructure, being probably built over a parlour or 
warming-house, and a ' slype ' or passage leading to the monks' cemetery 
and to the sacristies and vestries adjoining the choir of the conventual 
church. The chamber shown on Plate VIII., south of the dormitory, is 
designated 'the lord's lodging' in the Elizabethan plan. It is of thir- 
teenth century date, but has been altered and adapted to modern uses. 
There are built-up window -openings and recesses in its south and west 
walls. Its ceiling is vaulted, with chamfered ribs springing from moulded 
corbels. A narrow space covered with a similarly ribbed segmental vault, 
and having an opening in the west wall, adjoins it on the north. According 
to the plan, the lord's lodging formed part of the south side of the cloister 
garth. If that were so, the cloister was of an anomalous shape, a double 

' Cotton MSS. Augustus, pt. i. vol. ii. p. 6. 















instead of a single square, measuring 83 feet from east to west and 164 feet 
from north to south. More probably the range of buildings on the south 
of the cloister occupied the usual position, but was pulled down before 
the Elizabethan plan was made. On this supposition, the lord's lodging 
may have been one of a series of guest-chambers to the south of the 
cloistral buildings. A refectory existed on the south of the cloisters, as 
described in the account of the fire which broke out in the time of Prior 
Ruelendus. Kitchens lay to the west of it. 

Already in 1577, 'the ruynes of certeine lodginges abowt the cloyster ' 
were 'all uncovered and defaced.'' It is, therefore, not surprising that 
hardly a vestige of them is now remaining. 

The fragments at the south-west corner of the nave belong to a 
fourteenth century vestibule or open porch added to the earlier chamber 
which formed the western boundary of the cloister. Its addition neces- 
sitated the lowering of an Early English window and the rebuilding of 
the angle of the nave. Some springer-stones inserted in the wall-arcades 
of the west gable show that a later structure was attached to the church 
at this point, perhaps the ' litle towre used for a prison, called the Hye 
prison,' described in the survey of 1577 as being 'on th'est parte of th'entrye 
in th'enner court.' ^ 

Upon entering the castle through the gate-house, the great court was 
reached. The church lay straight in front. On the right a bake-house 
and brew-house, built by de la Mare, were ranged with other domestic 
offices round an inner court, which enclosed the space between the gate- 
house and the cloisters. A malt kiln and a building where the constable 
lodged were on the left. A passage round the north side of the church 
led to the prior's lodging, of which the foundations are shown on Plate 
VIII. To the north of this point there was a large poultry yard and 
barn yard, containing barns, garners, stables, and a farm pond. All these 
buildings are shown in the Elizabethan plan, but there is no trace in it 
of an infirmary. Probably this indispensable adjunct of a monastery was 
to be found east of the lord's lodging. 

' Exchequer Special Commissions, No. 1736. 

= Hutchinson alludes to 'a gateway of circular arches, comprehending several members inclining 
inwards, and arising from pilasters' as existing at this point in 177S and givmg access to the cloisters ; 
History of NortliiimberUind, vol. ii. p. 344- 

150 tynemouth parish. 

The Great Gate-house. 

As at Dunstanburgh, Bywell and Bothal, the strength of the castle 
lay in its gate-house. Originally the monastery was approached by a raised 
causeway which led through a narrow entrance cut out of the rock. This 
was superseded bv the great tower, which formed part of the Edwardian 
defences, and probably dated from 1296, in which year Edward I. gave 
his licence to crenellate. As it had fallen completely into ruin a century 
later, Richard II., the duke of Lancaster, and the first earl of Northumber- 
land contributed funds towards constructing a new gate-house on or near 
the site of the old one, and in 1390 the present group of buildings was 
erected by Prior John Whethamstede. This comprises an oblong tower 
with a projecting barbican, similar to those of Alnwick and Prudhoe. The 
tower has an external measurement of 56 feet by 35 feet, and is four stories 
in height ; the barbican projected 54 feet beyond. The outer portion of 
the barbican was covered over. It measured 38^ feet by 34 feet. In the 
survey of 1577 it and the loftier structure behind it are respectively desig- 
nated the low tower and the gate-house tower.' The intervening space 
of 20 feet originally formed an open courtyard." Enclosing the south-east 
angle of the gate-house tower is a building to which the same survey gives 
the name of the mount chamber. 

In 1783 the Government fitted up the gate-house for barracks and 
mess-rooms, removed the turrets and upper portions of the high tower, 
and added to the barbican, in this way completely altering the old lines 
of the building and still further concealing them by a coat of stucco. On 
Plate XIII. is shown the amount of medieval work which has been 

The entrance was through an arched opening protected by a portcullis 
and gates, and was flanked on either side by towers, of which the basements 
were vaulted and used as guard-rooms, each being twenty-eight feet long 

' They are the low white hall and the high white hall of an inventory of 1585. 'The white hall 
or towre is the gatehouse and entrance into the castle, wheare the powder and shott lyeth, and some 
other nesesaries of that kinde.' Letter of Sir John Fenwick, April ist, 1617. Duke of Northumberland's 

■ 'The tower comprehends an outward and interior gateway, the outer gateway having two gates at 
the distance of about six feet from each other, the inner of vvhicli is defended by a portcullis and an open 
gallery. The interior gateway is in like manner strengthened by a double gate. The space between the 
gateways, being a square of about six paces, is open above, to allow those on the top of the tower and 
battlements to annoy assailants who had gained the first gate." Hutchinson, Northumberland, 1778, 
vol. li. p. 342. 



PID5T noon PLAN, 



lO s o 

l ir i i I 






W.n KN0WLES.F.5A. 

mens et oelt. 
Aug. \9os. 


by eight feet wide. A newel, emphasized bv an opening in the vaulting 
overhead, indicates that a staircase occupied a portion of the south guard- 
room. Possibly there were chambers, including one for the working of 
the portcullis, upon an upper floor. A chamfered offset, forming the lower 
member of the parapet, is visible on the exterior. The roof could be 
reached from the gate-house tower at the level of the second floor. 

On the south side of the small courtyard is a narrow chamber which 
may have been covered with a lean-to roof, or else was carried up to 
increase the side walk leading from the tower to the barbican.' 

The middle section of the ground floor of the tower is gated at each 
end. The massive masonry covering the entrance from the priorv precincts 
appears to have been carried no higher than the ground floor. On either 
side of the passage is a vaulted store-room, of which the doors and one 
loophole are ancient. The other openings in these rooms have been 
enlarged, including one at the west end of each chamber, commanding the 
sides of the barbican. At the south-east corner are two chambers, ac- 
cessible from the exterior only. It appears from the name of the ' mount 
chamber' given to this portion of the gate-house that it adjoined and 
possibly intruded into a slope which was utilized as an ascent to the 
first-floor level. 

This could only be reached by the existing door (marked A on 
Plate XIIT.) through the vestibule, B which gave access either directly or 
through a screen at C to a large room measuring forty-five feet by twenty- 
three feet. This is probably the great chamber of the castle. It was 
lighted on all sides by windows since modernized. Some corbels intended 
to carry the floor joists still remain. In the east wall there is an ancient 
fireplace, with an arched head supported bv corbels carried on chamfered 
jambs, and the beginning of a mural stair which must originally have served 
as an approach to the second floor. A staircase in the west wall gave 
access to the parapets of the barbican, and at the south-east corner a 
newel stair led up from the outer doorway to the third floor, and so to 
the tower roof. In this way the great chamber commanded the movements 
of all the occupants of the gate-house. The ceilings of the passages about 
the newel staircase are of large flat stones on a chamfered stone cornice. 
The openings are arched, and the work is generally of a fair character.* 

' See an ini.iginary sketch in Anh. Ad. 2nd series, vol. xviii. p. 62. 

' See pp. 99 and 1 10 for illustrations of the newel stair and doors leading to it. 



On the second floor the newel stair leads on to a landing which opens 
on the right into a small chamber, and on the left into one or more apart- 
ments which may have been used as kitchens. The stair which starts in 
the thickness of the east wall of the great chamber probably continued 
and opened at E into the jamb of the east window of the room above. 
This room is of the same dimensions as the great chamber, and was once 
lighted upon three sides. 

The third floor was lofty before the modern insertion of an e.xtra floor. 
It was lighted at either end by a large window, with rear-arches of simple 
proportions, and had a fireplace similar to that in the great chamber. At 
the south - west angle there are signs of a mural chamber, possibly 
used as a garde-robe. Almost the entire length of the east wall is 
pierced by a passage which was perhaps divided into garde-robes or small 
chambers, though another purpose is suggested for it in the view of the 
north-east side of the gate-house, given in Grose's Antiquities. There a 
door is shown,.about the level of the third floor, opening on to an external 
landing corbelled out on the north side of the tower, and it is possible 
that the mural passage led through this door to the curtain-wall, which 
may have been high at this point. Similarly, the door leading out from 
the newel staircase landing may have admitted to the curtain on the south 
side of the gate-house. These approaches suggest that the third floor was 
occupied by the garrison. 

A staircase led upwards from the south-east angle of the same chamber. 
The upper portion of its south wall and part of the west wall were also 
occupied by a passage or stair. Either or both of these staircases may 
have led to a newel in a turret at the south-east angle of the tower. In 
Grose's view the tower is shown finished at the four angles by round 
bartizans, oversailed from the walls below like those at Chipchase castle.' 

The Curtain. 

About one hundred and seventy-five feet north of the gate-house, with 
which it was connected by a curtain wall, a fragment of the Whitley tower 
clings to the side of the cliff'. Its masonry is massive, and indicates three 
floor levels below the present surface. The basement contains a door 
leading north into a second chamber lately fallen away, popularly 
known as Jingling Geordie's Hole. On the south side of the gate-house 

' See vol. iv. of this work, plate facing p. 332. 























the curtain wall screened the mount and led to the mount tower, of which 
a fragment, corbelled out on the first-floor level, can be seen from the 
Pier Road. The wall immediately beyond it has been largely rebuilt. 
Probably it was at this point that a gallery, described in the survey of 
1577, extended behind the curtain as far as the drum tower, where the 
inner wall of the south court was reached. At right angles to the latter 
a considerable length of wall descends rapidly towards the Prior's Haven. 
It is curved in plan and has some stepped and splayed plinth-courses, but 
no buttresses. 

In an eighteenth century drawing by Waters,' as well as in a painting 
of somewhat earlier date (Plate XIV.), the western wall of the castle 
is shown terminating in a square tower, having a door towards the Prior's 
Haven. Over the doorway, at the roof level, the tower is finished with 
heavilv corbelled machicolations. This is probablv ' the tower in the 
madder garth' of the 1577 survey. It stood at the south-western angle 
of the south court, but has disappeared, together with the wall which ran 
eastwards from this point to the sea, for the side of the cliff has been 
quarried away to form the present pier. Midwav between the tower in 
the Madder Garth and the eastern e.xtremitv of the wall there once stood 
the dovecote tower, shown in Waters's drawing as having a door or postern 
from which steps descended to the haven. The height and precipitous 
character of the cliffs on the east and north rendered towers unnecessary 
along the curtain, which pursued a devious course along the edge of the 
promontory until it reached the Whitlev tower.'- 

' Repioduced in Arch. AcL 2nd series, vol. xviii. p. 80. 

- Absjract of inquisition taken at Tynemouth castle, July 15th, 1577 : 

At the entry of the house towards the west is the gate in ' the low towre,' 1 2 yards square, 9 yards high. 

.Vdjoining the same, with a void place between, is 'a towre called the yate-house towre,' three stories 
in height, 14 yards square, 15 yards high. 

.Adjoining the south end of the said tower is another little house called 'the mount chambre,' 10 
yards long, 7 yards high. 

'The barne called th'oote barne,' 38 yards long, loi yards broad, 4 yards high. 

'The barne called the wheat barne,' 53 « 14 " 5 yards. 

The wheat garner, 20 x 8 x 5 yards. 

The hay barn, 21 y. 10 x 4 yards. 

' The gate howse betwene the capteyn's stable and the hay barne,' 7 yards long, 5 yards high. 

The captain's stable, 24 x 6 x 2' yards. 

The guest stables, 17x9x4 yards. 

' The store-house wher th'artillery lyeth, vawted over with stone, and the gardner above the same." 
37 X 10 X 8 yards. 

'The howse at the water stone .adjoyninge upon the pound, and the chambres above the same," 
15x8x4 yards. 

Vol. VIII. 20 



The promontory now occupied by Tynemouth castle being easy of 
defence, the supplies of the surrounding country were carried thither, at 
the time of William the Conqueror's inroad of 1070, that they might not 
fall into the hands of the Norman soldiery.' Perhaps defensive works 
already protected the western side of the rock, where approach was alone 
possible, and the castle may date from a period earlier than the Conquest. 
Setting aside the theory of a Roman occupation, there is a tradition that 
it was made a military base by the Danish invaders.^ But there is no 
certain evidence of a castle here before 1095 ; it is straining the words 
of the Life of St. Oswiii to represent Earl Tostig as having had a 

'The water poole or pound lyinge upon th'est syd of the sayd howse.' 

The house called ' the kylne dodd,' 9 yards long, 8 yards broad. 

'The malt-house adjoyning upon th'est ende of the sayd kylne,' 21 x 13 x S yards. 

The plumber's house, 14x6x4 yards. 

The horse-mill, 14 yards long, 10 yards broad. 

The bake-house and bolting-house, 16x6x3 yards. 

The brew-house, 15 x 13 x 4 yards. 

'On th'est parte of th'entrye in th'enner court is a litlc towre used for a prison, called the hye prison,' 
10 X 6 X 5 yards. 

Adjoyning the same are ' the ruynes of certeine lodginges abowt the cloyster, all uncovered and 
defaced. A litle within ys th'entrye into the hall, ascendinge upp certeyne stepps, which entry is of 
stone and vawted over.' 

The hall, buttery and yellow chamber on the right hand of the entry, 19 x 10 x 7 yards. 

Then out of the hall southward is a chapel and a chamber, .\djoining the same westward, ascending 
certain steps, is a little chamber railed ' the utter parlour. Next adjoining thereto is th'inner parlour as 
a too-full, both adjoininge together with the gallery end,' 22 x y x 5 yards. 

Within which parlour is certain chambers and lodgings and a gallery ' placed as in four houses ' near 
to the brew-house, 15x6x5 yards. 

Upon the other side of the entry into the hall is a house called Edmund's chamber, 10 yards square. 

Adjoining thereto is a house called ' th'old kytchinge,' defaced and uncovered. Adjoining thereto 
is 'the kytchinge which befor was called 'ewryall,' 17 x 14 x 9 yards. 

Another little house adjoining, called the steward's chamber. 

A tower on the north-west part called 'Whitley towre,' with stone vaulting and battlement, 
10 X 10 X 13 yards. 

The walls from thence to the gate-house towre south, 62 yards long, 7 yards high. 

The mount between the mount towers is 40 yards long, 2J yards high. ' Th'ester towre," 5x5x7 
yards ; the other, 10x6x7 yards. 

The wall betwi.\t the gallery and the tower ne.xl to the Prior's Haven. 14 yards long, 6 yards high. 

The tower in the madder garth, with a little turret adjoining, each 5 x 5 x 15 yards. 

The walls betwixt the said tower and the 'duckett' tower, with two small towers thereupon, 80 yards 
long, 6 yards high. 

' The dowecoate towre, containing about yt 30 yardes,' 1 5 yards high. 

' The walls from thence and the end next to the I'ryour's Haven, being the uttermost part to the sea,' 
110 yards long, 5 yards high. Exchequer Special Commissions, No. 1736. 

The .above is only a partial survey, containing estimates of the cost of repairing those parts of the 
castle which required restoration ; thus it leaves out of account the ruined monastic buildings and the 
curtain-wall on the east and north. Its measurements, where they can be checked, as in the case of 
the gate-house, are found only approximately accurate. 

' Vita Oswini, cap. viii. See also p. 43. 

• I.eland, Coltectaiien, ed. Hearne. 1774. vol. iv. p. 43. See also p. 40. 


Stronghold here,' or even a permanent residence, nor is there reason for 
connecting his name more closely with Tynemouth than witli any other 
village on his demesnes. 

If the castle be not pre-Conquest in its origin, Robert de Mowbray 
may be regarded as its founder, as he was of the priory within it. In the 
summer of 1095 William Rufus captured, after a two months' siege, ' Earl 
Robert's castle which is at the mouth of the river Tyne.''^ Seized again 
by Mowbray, it again fell and the rebel earl was captured within it. 

A suggestion that has been made^ that the Norman fortifications were 
not on the castle promontory, but on the little spit of land afterwards 
occupied by the Spanish battery, hardly merits consideration, being opposed 
to the evidence of one who saw the place iifteen years later, and has 
described the church of St. Mary as being ' within the circuit of Mowbray's 
castle of Tynemouth.' ' They probablv did not consist of more than earthen 
ramparts, surmounted by a wooden stockade. In this connection it is 
noteworthy that at the present day a sloping bank of earth, some fifteen 
feet in height, lines the interior of the western wall and stretches across 
the neck of the promontory. The same slope or ' mount is mentioned 
in a survev of 1577^38 extending southward from the gateway. As the 
entrance to the gate-house, built in 1390, is on the first-floor level, it is 
clear that it was reached, if not by an outside staircase, then by an inclined 
plane. Similar 'mounts' are known to have existed at Newcastle and other 
fortified positions where defences were erected .shortly after the Conquest, 
though no stone curtain-walls can be assigned to so early a period. These 
earthen mounds at Tynemouth are therefore perhaps the work ot Mowbray 
or of one of his predecessors in the Northumbrian earldom, and were 
incorporated into the later line of defence.* 

' Vita Oswiiii, cap. vii. Cf. C. J. Bates, Boiilcr HuUls, \i. 2. 

- ' Castellum comilis Rolbeili ad ostium Tinae lUiminis situin.' Florence of Worcester, fw^'/. Hist. 
Soc. vol. ii. p. 38. See also p. 52. 

' Dy the late I'rofcssor Freeman, Reign of Willinm Ru/iis, \ol. ii. pp. 606-607. 

'•Hie I'Koberlus dc Mulbray' coepil sanctum regem ct niartyreni Oswiniim cxiniiae devotionis 
diligentia excolerc, ct ecclcsiani in (.[ua sani tissimum ejus corpus rei|uicsccbat, quia infra ambitun\ caslri 
ejus in Tyncinudtha conlinebatur, fundorum et praediorum copia ditavit. I'l/ii Osuini, cap. iv. p. 15. 

' Excheiiuer Special Commissions, No. 1736. 

' 'The motive for erecting; moimds amid lowers is not obvious ; anil it is extremely probable that in 
such uorks vvc may often have the sites of the wooden edifices on earthen mounts which preceded the 
more elaborate fortresses of the later Norman period, and are conspicuous in the Hayeux tapestr)'.' 
W. II. n. Lonystaffe in Aiili. Ail. 2ni.\ series, vol. iv. p. 74. 


On September 5th, 1296, Edward 1. granted his licence to the prior 
and convent of Tvneniouth to surround their monastery with a w'all of stone 
and lime, and to hold it without let or hindrance on the part of the king 
or his officers.' The medieval walls and towers still remaining belong, 
with the exception of the gate-house, to that period. According to the 
terms of Edward I.'s patent, the Crown had no special rights over the 
castle. When Edward II., in a time of general confusion, put John de 
Haustede in charge of it, he first obtained the consent of the abbot of 
St. Albans to the appointment.' In the following reign (1346) Ralph de 
Neville attempted to treat Tynemouth as a royal fortress, but was frustrated 
by Prior de la Mare, who won from the king a recognition of the right 
of the prior, for the time being, to exercise sole authority within its walls.'* 

Prior Richard de Tewing (13 15- 1340) maintained a garrison of eighty 
armed men within the monastery,' but a permanent force was probably 
only necessary during the Scottish wars. In 1380, 1384 and 1390, petitions 
addressed to the king called attention to the decay of the walls consequent 
upon the encroachment of the sea.° The gate-house, built in the latter 
year upon the site of an earlier work, marks the completion of the medieval 
castle ; ;^666 13s. 4d. was subscribed by the king, the duke of Lancaster 
and the earl of Northumberland towards its erection." 

On January 12th, 1538/9, Prior Blakeney and tlie convent surrendered 
their house to the Crown, and, on March 29th following, Henry VIII. 
granted to Sir Thomas Hilton of Hilton the site of the monastery and 
of the dissolved hospital of Tynemouth, Tynemouth demesnes, Flatworth, 
various coal mines, salt pans and mills, and the tithes of the parishes 
of Tynemouth and Woodhorn, for the term of twenty-one years, to 
hold at the rent of ;£ 163 is. 5d. yearly.' Hilton had already established 
a connexion with the place, for he was the leader in the attack on the 
priory in Thomas Gardiner's time ; he had taken steps to keep order there 
during the Pilgrimage of Grace, and was in receipt of an annuity of two 
pounds from the house when it was dissolved.'^ He now took up his 

' Cal. Pat. Rolls, 1292-1301, p. 197. See also p. S3. 

- Ibid. 1317-1321, p. 140. .See also p. 87. ' Gcslu Abhatum, vol. ii. p. 379. See also p. 95. 

' See p. 86. * See pp. 97-99. " See p. 99. 

• Letters and Papers, Hen. Mil. vol. xiv. pt. i. p. 610. (Jibson, vol. i. pp. 216, 217. 

' Ibid. vol. xi. p. 524. Uutj'dale, Mumtsticon, vol. iii. p. 308, note ' e.' 

Tynemol'th castle. 157 

residence in the quarters Injin which the monks had been expelled. 
Richard Bellasis of Henkiiowl in the countv of Diiriiani, who had previ- 
oiislv joined Hilton in attacking; tiie monastery, acted as agent for the 
Crown in selling the goods and chattels.' 

In April, 1544, the earl of Hertford made Tynemontii a base for the 
Knglish fleet in his invasion of Scotland. He seems to have realised the 
importance of converting the dissolved priory into a royal fortress, for 
in the following Januarv tiie Privy Council directed Sir Richard Lee to 
view the state of Tynemouth and to set in liand such works as should 
be thought necessary for strengthening the same, taking with him Antonio 
de Bergoma and John Thomas Scala, Italians expert in fortification.-' Lee 
reported that he thought it ' a place so nedeful to be fortihed as none within 
this realme more,' and sent up plans showing what work it was proposed 
to carry out.' One of these plans is still in existence, annotated in Italian.' 
The new fortifications were to include an outwork in front of the gate-house, 
a battery on the low promontory to the south of the caStle but separated 
from it by the Prior's Haven, and walls connecting the new battery with 
the priory ; while cannon were to be mounted along the old landward 
wall. Spades, shovels, mattocks, and baskets were to hand, having been 
stored at Tvnemouth for the late expedition into Scotland. 

Work was connnenced on February 21st, 1545, and continued until 
July 19th following. A thousand workmen were impressed / 2,1 18 6s. 
was spent on labourers' wages, and £2^^^, 8s. 6d. on the wages of masons 
and other artizans. As the total expenditure amounted to no more than 
£2,62^^) 4s. 3d., it is evident that materials were ready to hand. Boards, 
nails and ironwork were purchased, but stone was to be had for nothing,'^ 
the priorv church no doubt proving a readv quarrv. 

The earl of Shrewsbury, lord lieutenant for the northern counties, 
made arrangements for garrisoning the castle. On April 30th he wrote 
the foUowinc; letter to the kinu : 


' Gibson, vol. i. p. 211. " Lotlyc, Illustrations a/ British History, vol. i. p. So. 

^ Hamilton Papers, vol. ii. p. 555. 

' Cotlon MS.S. .Augustus I. ii. 7, beiny a plan of Tyneniouth castle, /t;H/>. Henry \lll. llie plan 
i;ives measurements for the foitilicntions above described, is annotated in Italian, and therefore can be 
attributed, uitli a fair measure of certainty, to Sir Richard's cn};inccrs in r54;. It has been repro- 
duced in Anil. Acl. 2nd series, vol. \ix. to face p. 68. 

' I'ipe (.)rtice, iJeclared .Accounts, No. 3534. 


I'lease it your roy.ill maje^-li; tAiiulresland. that presentlie arrived here letters from the loriles and 
others of your hiyhiies most honorable privie coiuibaile, addressed to nie, th'erle of Shrewesbury, by 
the whiclie I doo perceive that your majeste's pleasure is that I shulde appoynt suiniiie mete personage 
with 2 or 300 men to lye in garrison at Tynmouthc for the defence and safegardc of your highnes' newe 
fortifications there : for th'accomplishment wherof, considering that there be at Tynemowthe at this 
piesent aboutes a thousand woorkemen or nio, wherof, as we be infoiirnied, inayc be pyked oute aboutes 
400 able and tall men, we have thought mete to take order for the sending thither of harnes and weapon 
to furnishe a good nomber of them, whiche shall bothe supplie the woorket;, and reniayne there as 
souldiours for defence of the saide foitressc, as the case shall rei|uyer, withoute puttyng your majeste 
to any further charge then for the wages whiche they have alreadie as woorkemen. And for the better 
order of them in case of defence, if th'ennemyes shall approche, we have not onelie taken order with 
oone John Norton of Clydderowe, who is a hardie gentilman and of good experience of the warres, 
to repayre fourthwith unto Tynniowthe, to reside there and to joyne with John lirende, your majeste's 
servaunt, who hathe the oversight and ordre of the saide woorkes to be as capitaynes to the saide 
wc)orkemcn ; but also wc have appoynled Hughe Boyfelde, master of your majeste's ordinaunce in theis 
panes, to sende unto Tynniowthe aforsaide from Xewcastell a cannon, a saker, 2 fawlcons and 2 slynges, 
for to be placed for the lyme in suche places of the saide fortresse as shalbe most mete for defence ; and 
also the countrcy thereaboutes shalbe in a readines to repayre thither for defence at all tymes as the 
case shall requyer. This order wc have thought best to be taken in this behaulfe, bothe for the avoyding 
of your majeste's further charge, and also for that victualles be so scarce that there is uuichc adoo to 
gett sufficient for the saide woorkemen which be alre.idie at Tynniowthe as is aforsaide.' 

Two days later Slitevvsbiiry informed the king that thirteen hiuidred 
Spanish troops had arrived at Newcastle, and that the wardens of the east 
and middle marches intended to divide them up into small bodies and place 
them at dilFerent points along the coast. He suggested that some of them 
should be placed in garrison at Tynemouth ' for the better defence of his 
majesty's new fortifications there.' " The suggestion was adopted. A body 
of mercenaries appears to have been placed in the new outwork, which 
received from them its name of the Spanish battery. 

Sir Francis Leeke, who was also governor of Berwick, was appointed 
captain of the castle. Some maintenance had to be found for him. It was 
therefore decided to attach to the office of captain the second and more 
lucrative post of steward of all the estates of the suppressed monastery. 
This was in the hands of Sir Thomas Hilton, who was approached with 
the view of inducing him to sell his interest for 200 marks. He proved 
so amenable that ' he offered not only his farm and stewardship aforesaid, 
but all that iie hath in the world besides, to be at the king's majesty's 
pleasure.'"* Accordingly, on January 20th, 1545/6, Leeke was given the 

' state Papers, Hen. \'I11. \o\. \. p. 441. Cp. vol. i. p. 7S6. Ldtirs mul Piipcn, Hen. \'11I. vol. x\. 
pt. i. p. 294. 

'■ Stall Papers, vol. v. p. 443. Litters and Papers, vol. \\. pt. i. p. 289. !■ or the employment of 
mercenary troops upon the Borders, see vol. ii. of this work, pp. 125-126. 

' Slate Papers, pp. 490, 495. A els 11/ I lie Privy Council, 1547-1550, p. 100. 


office of Steward, together with the demesnes, tithes, fisheries and coal 
pits attached to it. -As captain he also received a hnndred marks yearly, a 
snm increased on December 6th, 1547, to £^i 14s. lod., in consideration 
of his continuing captain for life.' He kept fifty men under him, for a 
larger permanent garrison was found unnecessary. Rv way of obtaining 
a reserve 'it was ordered that the footmen within the lordship of Tynemouth 
should be attendant upon the castle there, and not to assemble with the 
warden unless it were for resistance of an urgent or dangerous invasion.'-' 
Three culverins and a saker were sent from Newcastle to add to the 
artillery.' Leeke did not long continue to hold office, bt-ing succeeded 
on April 5th, 1549, bv Sir Thomas Hilton.' 

Tvnemouth had so far remained Crown property, but on December 8th. 
1551, the site of the monasterv and all its possessions in the parishes of 
Tynemouth and Woodhorn were granted to John Dudley, earl of Warwick, 
and afterwards duke of Northumberland, in exchange for lands in the 
counties of O.xford and Worcester, with the reservation of a fee farm rent 
of /"is 15s. 6d. payable to the Crown. The mistake of letting a national 
fortress become the private property of an ambitious statesman was rectified 
by the subsequent exchange (November Sth, 1552) of the castle, site of the 
monasterv and demesnes of Tvnemouth, for lands in Wiltshire, Yorkshire 
and Norfolk.' 

Hilton appears to have remained in uninterrupted possession of the 
site of the monasterv, and its demesnes were restored to him when Leeke's 
occupancy ended. His lease was due to expire in 1560. Though he applied 
for its renewal, that was denied to him, the site of the priory being leased 
to Thomas, seventh earl of Northumberland, on August 17th. 1557, for 
twenty-one vears, at an annual rent of /."53 3s. 4d.'' In May, 155Q, before 
the expiration of the lirst term, Hilton diet! of a fever, having devised the 

' .Vugnientation Office, Miscellaneous Books, \a\. 236, fol. 121, and vol. 21S. fol. 172. Ctil. Slate Papers, 
Foreign, 15 59- 1560, p. 279. 

■ Sir Robert IJowes' -Survey. Hodgson, Sorthumherland. pt. iii. vol. ii. p. 245. 

' Acts of the Privy Council, 1542-1547, p. 316. 

' Augmentation Office, Miscell. Jiooks, vol. 220, fol. iSi. 

' .Vugnientation Office, Deeds of Kxcliangc, box ("., No. 30, and 1)0\ H, No. 8. C.ibson. vol. i. 
pp. 237-238. 

" Acts 0/ the Privy Council, iJS^-iSjS, p. 21)5. I\il. Kolh, 4 and 5 I'liilip and Mary. pt. 2. C.ibson, 
vol. i. p. 239. 


remainder of his lease to his wife, who survived him.' She shortly after- 
wards married William Bulleiii, her husband's phvsician. He was author 
of several popular treatises upon medicine, including a work upon the 
'Governance of Health' whicii he had dedicated to Sir Thomas Hilton 
about the time of tliat knight's fatal illness. A brother of the latter, 
William Hilton of Biddick, accused Bullein of murdering his patron and 
brought him to trial before the duke of Norfolk, but failed to prove his 

The post of captain now being vacant, Sir Henry Percy, governor of 
Norham castle and younger brother of the seventh earl, was appointed 
to the ofHce through the iuHuence of Sir William Cecil, the future Lord 
Burleigh.' Letters patent, dated February 8th, 1561, formallv placed him 
in command,' but he did not find it easv to effect an entrance. Writing 
to Cecil, he explained : 

I li.ivc been at Tyncmoutli, and fnidinj,' no man save one priest in the house, have left Raiilph 
Lowrauncc and twelve of ni\- men to keep it. I demanded of my lady Hilton the delivery of the house 
•ind all things of tlie queen's by right, whereon she sent a servant with me and look a note of the 
munition .ind artillery, l)ut would not deliver, as by indenture she received it — saying the indenture 
was not there — so I took the house only. On Thursday next she has promised her indenture shall 
be ready. If I took the house as the lady would deliver it, there would be neither door, lock, key, 
forms or boards, mill, brew-house, or anything except munition and ordnance, for, as she says, .Sir 
Thomas Hilton bought it all. 

Hilton's death gave an opportunitv for reducing the cost of the garrison, 
which had been £47^ los. vearlv in the time of Henrv VHL Some pro- 
vision had to be made for Sir Henry Percv, who became a rival with his 
brother, the earl, for the tithes of Tynemouthshire. Oueen Elizabeth 
decided that these should be ' let to the keeper only of the house from 

' Will dated November cSth, 155S : Surtees, Durham, vol. ii. pp. 32, },■>,. Inventory of goods taken 
on .April 24th, 1559; W'llh ami Iiiviiiloriis, Sun. Soc. Xo. 2, pp. 181-1S4. The inventory details goods 
an{| chattels remaining in the kitchen at Tynemouth, the brew-house, the bake-house, the kiln, the salt- 
garner, the gallery, the closet within the gallery, the cellar, the outer parlour, the buttery, the chapel 
chamber, the hall, (lilbert Erringlon chamber, and the mill house. C.ilbert Errington's connexion with 
the monastery throws light upon the circumstances in which the manuscript life of .St. Oswin, containing 
his autograph, may have come into his hands. He was brother-in-law of Richard Bellasis, who had the 
disposal of the goods and chattels of the dissolved monastery. 

"Diet. Nat. Biog. sub voce William Bullein. Ijullein, Booke oj Simples, 1576, fol. 79. Flower, 
I'isitation 0/ Yorkshiye. 

' Cal. State Papers, Foreign, 1558-1559, pp. 338, 359. 

* Pat. Roll, 3 Eliz. pt. i. 

' Cal. Scottish Papers, ed. Bain, vol. i. p. 238 ; letter dated August 4th, 1 559. In an inventory t.aken 
November 30th, 155S, the following pieces of brass ordnance were found at Tynemouth: one cannon, 
one demi-cannon, two demi-culverins, two sakers, and four falcons ; also iron demi-culverin, and 
one iron saker. State Papers, Borders, vol. i. No, 16. 


Chart of the Tvne temp. Henry VIII. 


time to time, and not to be dissevered from the house as it now is ; the 
like also shall be with the demesnes.' ' This did not content Percy, who 
wrote on April 30th, 1560, to Cecil : 

For my own atitaiis— I mean Tynemouth— I pray you let me not be burdened with sa weighty a 
piece and so small a commission to rule it ; for you know I have kept it this twelve-month almost 
at my own charges, too sore a burden for a younjjer brother of my ability." 

Accordingly, the duke of Norfolk was directed to report on the cost 
of the establishment. He recommended, on August 8th, that the garrison 
should have one captain with a salary of a hundred pounds a year, a 
constable and a porter who should receive ten pounds each, four gunners 
engaged at a shilling a day, and thirty-two soldiers at eightpence a dav, 
an advance of nearly a hundred pounds upon the sum paid in Henry Vni.'s 
reign, when fiftv soldiers were maintained.' This did not accord with the 
queen's views. She wrote on October 5th to Sir Richard Lee : 

Trusty and welbeloved, we grete vow well. Where as our chardg hath bene lately in the tyine 
of these late troubles, that waye amongst other thynges, augmented at our howse of Tynemouth, which 
by advise of our counsell we meane to abridg ; our pleasure is that ye, at your retoune from Barwyk, 
shall view the seate thereof, and consider whyther the same be nedefull to be kept in fortification as 
it is for the defence and gard of the city of the haven there, or that some other lower place nerer 
the same haven might be more mete for the same purpoose to be kept and with less chardg, as it 
hath bene hertofore at other tymes thought, and with small chardg to us might be kept by our towne of 
Newcastell ; wherin we praye yow have as good consideration as to such a case belongethe.' 

The letter is interesting, as it shows a change coming over the system 
of national defence. It had been the practice in the middle ages to have 
strong castles built on sites where nature assisted the engineer in rendering 
the work of defence easy, castles which provided shelter for the inhabitants 
of the neighbouring districts until the tide of invasion sank back e.xhausted 
from an attack upon impregnable positions. In the si.xteenth century the 
growth of foreign navies, the danger of continental invasion, and the 
extension of mercantile towns beyond the limit of their neglected walls, 
made it increasingly necessary to guard coast and estuary. Batteries 
furnished with good artillery were of more value than the double or triple 
defences of fourteenth century strongholds. Tynemouth was no longer 
regarded as an isolated place of refuge, but as the chief of the defences 
of the Tyne. 

' Cal. state Papers, Domestic, 1547- 1580, p. 147. Haynes, State Papers, p. 220. 

" Cal. Scottisli Papers, vol. i. p. 391. 

" Cal. State Papers, Foreign, 1560- 1 561, p. 217. ' State Papers, Borders, vol. iii. No. 346. 

Vol. VIII. 2' 

l62 TVNF.MOrril takish. 

Lee could hardly be expected to advocate the demolition of works 
which he himself had planned. A compromise was effected, by which Sir 
Henry Percy received ^'66 13s. 4d. a year for his fee, and an annnity of 
£2)2> 6s. 8d., an allowance of a shillinj^ a day for a master gunner, and 
provision for eight gunners at sixpence a day, and for eleven household 
servants at £b 8s. 4d. yearly, the total sum being £2b^ us. 8d. a year, 
a saving of ^^215.' Certain repairs were carried out upon the castle, which 
was otherwise left unaltered. Percy experienced difficulty in recouping 
himself for his outlay, as well as in getting his salarv regularly paid." Stores 
and munitions were despatched to Tynemouth, as well as to Berwick and 
Holy Island, in December, 1560, conveyed thither by Sir William Winter 
on his mission to help the Scottish reformers, then in arms against their 

In the succeeding autumn Mary Stuart returned to Scotland out of 
France. Her voyage was unopposed by the English government, though 
plain hints were given of the action which Elizabeth would have liked 
her subjects to take if occasion offered. Ten days before Mary set sail 
for her father's kingdom, on August 5th, 1561, the earl of Rutland wrote 
significantly to Sir Henry Percy : 

1 require you, upon the entry of any strange ship, especially French or Scottish, into Tynemouth 
haven or road, to cause some trusty man of yours to search the same. If there be any matter that 
carrieth with it any manner of suspicion, give orders that the ships be courteously stayed and 1 speedily 
advertised. I do understand by special intelligence that there is like to happen such things of 
importance as, being well forseen and stayed, may highly advance her hignhess' service. Use diligence 
and good circumspection in this service, as the same may lend to a good end.^ 

Queen Mary arrived at Leith in safety, without touching at any port 
on the way. Eighteen months later, in January, 1563, her future husband, 
the earl of Bothwell, was captured on Holy Island when escaping from 
confinement in Edinburgh, and was committed to the custody of Sir Henry 
Percy at Tynemouth. There Bothwell was kept for a year, during which 
time he captivated his keeper by his ' courteous and honourable behaviour.' 
Percy told Cecil, ' he is very wise and not the man he was reported to 
be,' and wrote again after Bothwell's release, ' I doubt not but that this 
realm will find him a friend for his usage here.' ' 

1 Haynes, State Papers, p. 400. - Cat. State Papers, Foreign, 1 561-1562, p. 388 ; ibid. 1562, p. 159. 

' Ibid. 1559-1560, pp. 199, 311. ' Diihe of Rutland's MSS. vol. i. p. 73. Hist. MSS. Com. 

" Cat. Stale Papers, Foreign, 1 563, pp. 66, 1 29 ; ibid. 1 564- 1 565, p. 83. 


Other important Scottish prisoners, such as Lord Keith, son of the 
earl marshal of Scotland, and Sir Andrew Ker of Cessford, were detained 
for a time within the castle walls.' 

Sir Henry Percy refused to join his brother, the earl of Northum- 
berland, in the Rising of the North. He was strongly opposed to that 
movement, and was considered by so capable an observer as the Spanish 
ambassador to have contributed largely to its failure. Early in December 
the news came that the rebels were in retreat, making for the northern 
fortresses. It was important to bar their way at the Tyne, still more 
necessary to prevent a royal stronghold like Tynemouth falling into their 
power. Percy mustered all the men of the shire, and put a garrison of 
two hundred in the castle ; at the same time he sent out twelve hundred 
horsemen to keep watch along the river between Tynemouth and Newcastle. 
Sir Valentine Brown, who commanded at Newcastle, ' for the more surety ' 
sent a hundred shot of his old band to join Percy's garrison. Had not 
Scrope, at Carlisle, been half-hearted in his support, few of those who came 
out with the earls would have escaped.^ 

After the rising was over Percy came to court, where he was very 
well received. His brother, the seventh earl, was attainted ; consequently 
the lease of the site of Tynemouth monastery fell to the Crown, and was 
on May 3rd, 1570, granted to Sir Henry Percy for life, with remainder 
to his sons, Henry and Thomas, successively for their lives, at the annual 
rent of ^16^ us. 5d. The offices of captain of the castle and of seneschal 
of the estates of the dissolved religious house were regranted to Percy 
with the like reversion.^ 

Barely a year passed before he was involved in one of the ramifications 
of the Ridolphi conspiracy. He consented to be party to the escape of 
the Queen of Scots from her prison at Tutbury, and to convey her into 
Scotland.* Apparently tiie scheme was abandoned before its discoverv, 
but none the less a warrant was issued for Percy's arrest. Sir John 
Forster, warden of the inarches, came to Tvnemouth to search for him. 

' Cal. Slate Papers, Foreign, 1564-1565, p. 366 ; 1566-1568, p. 269. See also vol. v. of this work, p. 66. 

-' Ibid. 1569-1571, p. 162 ; Domestic, Addenda, 1566-1579, p. 154. 

' Gibson, vol. ii. pp. 115-119. Pat. Rolls, 12 Eliz. pt. 10. 

' ' He said he had a sine at this parlament to be enheritoiir to his brother, and if that did not take 
effect, he wold do the best he could for the deliveiy of the Scots quene ; but if it did, he wold not medle, 
because of his nere children, but he wold loke through his fyngars, if she eskapcd away.' .Murdin, State 
Pa f CIS, pp. 21-22. 

1 64 tynemouth parish. 

He found the porter, John Metcalf, standing at the gates with the keys 
in his hand. Misliking the man he removed him and added trusted men 
of his own to the garrison.' Percy had already hastened to London to 
clear himself, and there he was committed to the custody of Sir Ralph 
Sadler. At the same time Forster was directed by the Privy Council to 
take with him two justices of the peace ' not holden suspected of aiiy un- 
kindness towards the said Sir Henry,' and with them to view and examine 
the state of Tynemouth castle. He accordingly went with Sir John 
Delaval and viewed the ordnance there, which he found 'almost useless 
for want of stocks, ladles, sponges and wheels.' ' Munition,' he continued, 
' is needed, and a master gunner of skill should be assigned, as the castle 
is destitute of one.' " 

Upon the receipt of Forster's report. Sir Henry Percy was thrown into 
the Tower of London upon a charge of criminal negligence in the queen's 
service. ' I think,' Queen Elizabeth said to the earl of Leicester, ' his fault 
is as great as any man's, though it be no high treason.' ^ A confession of 
carelessness was extorted from him ; he was brought to trial and condemned 
to pay a fine of 5,000 marks, and eventually was set at liberty but not 
allowed to return to the north. He was allowed to retain the captaincy 
of Tynemouth upon appointing and paying the fees of a deputy, the first 
man who filled that position being the earl's brother-in-law, Francis Slmgsby 
of Scriven, the keeper of Tynedale.^ Sir John Forster was disappointed 
in his hopes of securing the castle for his son-in-law. Lord Francis Russell, 
eldest son of the earl of Bedford ; otherwise, as Lord Hunsdon told 
Burleigh, the Rising of the North had been ' a happy rebellion for him.' ' 

The town of Newcastle was also an unsuccessful suitor for Tynemouth, 
having, in 1574, addressed the following petition to the Crown : 

That it woulde please heyr heighnes, in consideracion of tlieir dutyfull services donne by them and 
their predyssessors to hir majestie and to hir most noble proginitors, as also for the pacyfienge of the 
greate controvercies which hathe byne of a longe tyme betwixte the ofificers of the castell of Tynmouthe 
and the officers of the aforsaid towne of Newcastell, to unitte the said castell with the membars of 

' Cal. State Papers, Domestic, Addenda, 1 566-1 579, p. 369. 

■ Ibid. p. 374. Acts of the Privy Council, 1571-1575, p. 51. There was only one hundredweight of 
serpentine powder and one hundred shot at this time w-ithin the castle. State Papers, Domestic, vol. .\.\. 
No. 100, pt. ii. 

' .Murdin, State Papers, p. 229. ' Duke of Northumberland's MSS. 

' Cal. State Papers, Domestic, .\ddenda, 1566-1579, p. 393. 


tl)c same as the carle of Noilhoinbarland clothe nowe injoyc the same by force of his majesties 
graunte, unto the corporation of Newcastell aforsaid ; and they sliall not onlye see the aforsaid castell 
safelye kepte unto hir majesties use, and paye yearlye unto the earlc of Northomberland and hi^ 
Sonne duringe ther patten the some of fower hundreth poundes, but also shall discharge hir majestie 
and hir successors of the some of fower hundreth markes in monyc, which hir majestie dothe nowe 
yearlye paye for the kepinge of the said forte : and what debiiie shalbe appointed by the said towne 
for the kepinge of the said forte to be allowed at all tymes l)y hyr majestie and to injoye the same 
but duringe pleasure.' 

Thomas, seventh earl of Northumberland, had been e.\ecuted for 
treason on August 22nd, 1572 ; but it was not until 1576 that Sir Henry 
Percy was formally recognised as having succeeded to his brother's dignities. 
Though partially restored to favour, the eighth earl plunged more deeply 
into conspiracy. Throgmorton's confessions in November, 1583, revealed 
the preparations made for the invasion of England by the Catholic powers 
of France and Spain, and disclosed the names of the English leaders, of 
whom the earl of Northumberland was chief. He was again imprisoned 
in the Tower. This time he was not allowed to retain the charge of 
Tynemouth ; Lord Francis Russell was given the post which he had sought 
to obtain twelve years before. Northumberland refused at lirst to deliver 
up the keys of the castle. He represented that his estate was but small 
to maintain the dignity of an earl, and that the benefit of the office of 
Tynemouth was a good portion of his living, without which he would not 
be able to sustain the charge of housekeeping and the education of his 
children. By holding this office he had been able to maintain twenty of 
his old servants who had served him ten to thirtv vears, which he had no 
other means of doing, and, if they should be displaced, they would be 
left to beg their bread. Disgrace, he said, would grow to him in his own 
country bv his removal from the office which he tendered as his life.' 

His appeal was disregarded. Allan King, the deputy at Tynemouth, 
was instructed to report on the supplies in his charge, which he did on 
March 24th, 15S3/4. There were then ten pieces of ordnance in the fortress ; 
each gun had live to nine shot ; ammunition was represented by a single 
barrel of powder, small-arms by si.\teen unserviceable harquebuses. There 
were no calivers, pikes or bills, no spades, nails, pickaxes or lanterns ; 
nothing in fact but decayed cannon, insufficient annnunition, and no match 

' state Papers, Domestic, Elizabeth, vol. xcvii. No. 24. 

"' Cal. State Papers, Dou/ts/ii , .\ddtnda, 1580-1625, p. 134. 


with which to light it. Even the walls were tailing into ruin ; their repair 
was estimated to cost five hundred pounds 'only for workmanship, besides 
lime and stone whereof thev have sufficient store.' ' 

Lord Francis Kussell came to Tyneniouth in April, 1585, to find 
nothing done. ' Kemember that the castle, which is without ordnance and 
powder, may be furnished,' was the burden of his repeated letters to 
Walsinfjhani. It was stated that one hundred calivers were necessary and 
as many pikes and bows, two hundred sheaves of arrows, four barrels of 
corn powder, eight barrels of serpentine powders, and two hundred shot 
for each class ot ordnance, namely, culverins, dcnii-culverins, sakers, demi- 
sakers, falcons and falconets.^ 'The time is dangerous,' he wrote on June 
22nd, 'and her majestv's house here had need be provided." Danger of 
foreign invasion was certainly great. Throgmorton's revelations had dis- 
closed but not disarmed conspiracy. Northumberland, released from the 
Tower, had again begun the work of plotting, and was lodged for the third 
time in his old prison. The morning before Russell wrote his letter, the 
earl was found dead in his bed, a bullet in his heart. It was given out 
that he had died by his own hand, and so Walsingham told Russell, who 
replied frankly, ' the lord of Northumberland's death will hardly be believed 
in this country to be as you have written, yet I am fully persuaded, and 
have persuaded others, that it was not otherwise.'' 

' state Papers, Domestic, Elizabetli, vol. clxix. No. ;i2. A more specific iinentorj-, taken a few months 
later, is here given : 

The first daye of July, 1584. This inventory was taken of all the quenes majesties store att 
Tynmowth castle, viz. : 

First there is uppon the niounte headc a saker and two falcons mounted uppon cariagies not service- 
able ; in the store howse a falcon without cariage ; a demi-coheryn of brasse mounted uppon unshod 
cariage ; a demi-colveryn of iron mounted uppon unshod cariage ; a flancker of iron and fower chambers 
not serviceable ; uppon the back side of the barnes a demi-coheryn of brasse mounted uppon cariage 
not serviceable ; in the churche ycirde a saker of brasse mounted uppon decayed cariage ; in the mather 
yeirde a saker of iron mounted uppon decayed cariage; seventene falcon shott of iron ; eleven saker 
shott of iron ; sixe and twenlie dcmi-colveryn shott of iron : thre score stone shott ; a falcon ladle ; a 
saker ladle ; a demi-colveryn ladle ; one sponge : one old decayed harquebus of crock ; more in the 
store howse twentie harquebutes, broken and not serviceable ; two and twentie olde plates of iron; 
fewer collers and trayces for carte horsscs not serviceable ; xlviii'' sheves of old decayed arrowes not 
serviceable ; two cressett headcs ; two bill heades ; eighte cloven shott for small peces ; thre small 
peces of webbes of leade which were parccll of a sestern : a pece of a strake of iron for a whele ; a bowe 
chest wantinge a coveringe ; a bodye of a cart not ser\ iceable ; more thre percelles of webbes of leade 
taken of the steple ; more a broade plate of iron ; thre cranes to mounte ordynaunce not furnyshed nor 
serviceable ; in the churche one old salt panne of iron decayed ; more twelve sondry peces and a rownde 
bottom, parcelles of decayed salt panns of iron ; in the hall tenne olde decayed corslates with burgonettes 
and collers ; more in the store howse certeyne peces of tyniber which were the whole frame of an old 
decayed howse taken downe, and some other od peces of tyniber. Ibid. vol. clxxii. No. 2. 

■ Stale Papers, Domestic, vol. clxxxi. No. 79. 

' Cat. Stale Papers, Domestic, .Addenda, 1580-1625, pp. t42, 143, 145. ' Ibid. p. 145. 


A month later there was a day of truce on the inarches, and the 
wardens met at Cocklaw to hear and satisfy complaints. Sir John Forster 
was there, accompanied by Lord Francis Russell. The Scots were restive ; 
a slight incident, a few beats on a drum, and they were charging, three 
thousand strong, upon the surprised English. Volleys of shot set Forster 
and his followers flying, leaving Russell dead on the field.' 

Robert Carey, Lord Hunsdon's son, was appointed to replace Russell 
at Tynemouth.^ He made Robert Delaval of Seaton Delaval his deputy. 
The inventorv of household stuff" handed over with the castle is worth 
quoting : 

Ane inventorie of such parcells of howshold stuffe as ar remaninge in Tynemouth castell and 
belonging to the earle of Northumbreland, being delyvered by Thomas Dickhani into the charge of 
Mr. Roberte Delavale, esqr.. constable of the said castell, 14th Octobre, 1585. 

Hull. The hall hanged with hangings of woUen, read and blake. Item, one table with a paire 
of tressells, two formes, twoo benches. 

The utter parlor. Imprimis, a framed table of waynscott, a table with a paire of tressells, three 
formes and benches, a plate candlesticke, a irone chymney, greyne hangings, a portall with a dore. 

Great chambre. Imprimis, a framed table of waynscott with drawing leves, a square framed 
table of wainscot in the wyndowe, sixe buffett stowles, a wainded skrej-ne, a paire of plaing tables 
without men, a spring locke on the dore. Item, a shelfe and a tressell. 

Item, a bedstedd of waynescott, cupbord and lockers of waynescotl .-ibout the chamber. 

a table with two tressells, three locks with three keys. 

The gallorie hanged with hanging of grene sales. 

Read chamber. Imprimis, hangings of redd about ye chamber, a read chaire imbrodered over 
the back, a cupbord with a foldcn frame, a iron chymney, a standing bedstedd of walnott tree, a ponall 
with a dore, a locke and key. 

The studie howse hanged with hangings of blewe sayes. Item, one cupbord with locke and no key. 

The blewe chamber hanged with blew wollen. Item, a blewe chaire imbrodred on ye backe. a 
standing bedstedd, a irone chymney, a lock without key, a matted chaire of ease. 

The inner chapell chambre hanged with greyde. Item, one irone chymney. 

[Three other chambers are mentioned and their contents given. In one 'a ledd spowie for 
avoyding water,' in another 'one gret banded chist with two locks and one key.' Inventories follow 
of Edmund's chamber, the cooks chamber, the chamber over Dune's lodge, the high white-hall, the 
low white-hall, the porters lodge, the laundry-house, the inner brewing-house, the outer brewing-house, 
the baking-house, the buttery, the larder-house, the kitchen, and the paistry." ' 

Meanwhile an armada was preparing in Spain, It was essential for 
safety to look to the coast defences. On March i8th, 15S8, Lord Hunsdon 
informed Walsingham that, if a letter were directed to him from the Privy 
Council, he would take the surveyor of works with him from Berwick 
and an officer of the ordnance, and so take ' a perfect view ' of Tynemouth : 

' Cat. Border Papers, vol. i. p. 138 .■/ Sd/. " IM. vol. ii. p. 1X3. 

' .Marquis of Waterford's MSS. 

l68 TYNEMOrill I'ARISH. 

but no letter came.' News reached England that the duke of Medina 
Sidonia had sailed from Lisbon on May 19th. The Privy Council, meeting 
on June 17th, sent a letter to the earl of Huntingdon, lord president of 
the north, directing him ' for the better defence of the castle of Tynemouth 
and that coast,' to repair to Newcastle that he might be the readier to make 
resistance should the Spaniards send their forces thither.- 
Huntingdon sent back word ; 

I trust your wisdoms will consider how unable I should be to do her majesty fit service, unfurnished 
.IS I am of men and munitions. Tynmouth I doubt is defenceless, and there is little in the storehouse at 
Xewcastle. Your lordships give me no direction how many men to take with me. Order must be taken 
for money, armour, munition, and victual there, iic forti' .Scotland should prove to be a worse neighbour 
than I hope it will.' 

It was of this castle of Tynemouth that Camden had written in the 
previous year, ' Tvnemouth glories in a splendidly fortified castle.'^ 

The danger was great. Writing from Newcastle, Huntingdon told 
the queen on August 3rd : ' Sure I am, the enemy cannot be ignorant of 
the weakness of these parts, neither doth he doubt to find some friends 
here, and yet the same shall little hinder him in anything that he purposeth 
to do in the south.'"' The decisive action had then already been fought, 
the Armada was in flight, and fear of foreign invasion at an end. 

Henry, ninth earl of Northumberland, had given proof of his loyalty 
bv volunteering against the Spanish fleet. He was admitted to the royal 
favour which his father had lost, and in 1591 was restored to the captaincy 
of Tynemouth, presumably in consequence of an arrangement with Carey. 
News of his restoration to his dignities was hailed with joy by the gentry 
of Northumberland, who came in inconvenient numbers to offer their 
congratulations. Captain Power, the earl's deputy, explained to his master, 
' I cannot let them go without their dinners or suppers, which will grow 
to some charges in the year ; and yet I cannot devise to be a better husband 
respecting your lordship's honour and my credit.' Power was fully resolved 
not to let the castle go again out of the hands of the Percys. In the same 
letter, dated June 17th, 1592, he wrote : 

■ Salisbury MSS. vol. iii. p. 313, Hist. MS.S. Com. - Ads 0/ the Pi-ivy Council, 1588, p. 129. 

' Cal. Border Papers, vol. i. p. 325. 

' ' Castro magnifico et munito superbit.' Camden, Biitcinnni, 1587, p. 543. 

^ Cal. Border Papers, vol. i. p. 327. 


Right honorable and my most especiall good lord. It dide please your lordship to writt unto 
me from the B.iythe that all suche thinges as was necessarye I should have with all convenient speed. 
Her is great want of those weapones which I acquainted your lordship withall, especially if any device 
should be put in practise for the takinge in againe of the castell, which I will prevent so farr forthe as 
my bones shall witnesse howc I parte from it befor it gooe. I feare no waye (if they be so minded) 
but to be surprized, for, Ictt me have but one bower's warninge, I will make the old walles stronge 
enoughe to keepe ther forces out by strengthe of mene. I will have five hundred men in that space, 
but men cane do lyttle without weapones. Many other occasiones here will be to use those small 
store of weapones which I dide writt to your lordship for, besides the cominge in of the contre which 
shall see the men without furniture.' 

Again and again the attention of the government was called to the 
dismantled state of the castle. All the artillery upon which the castle 
had to rely in 1597 was the ordnance pronounced useless twenty-si.x years 
earlier.^ Joshua Delaval, a cadet of the Seaton Delaval family, drew up the 
following report about 1596 : 

Josua Delavale, one of the jurie for enquiric of decayes in Tinemouthshire, enformcth as foloweth, viz.: 
Tineniouth castle, since the decease of the late earle of Northumberland, is fallen into great decay, 
and, by reason that ye lead is taken of severall lodgings, the timber flores and tymber above the sellers 
and larder and many other necessarie houses of office are like utterlie to be decayed and waisted if 
ye rofe be not fourthwith covered againe with sclait or otherwyse. The bakehouse and other houses 
of office are either pulled downe or suftcred to fall downe, and the timber and sclaits theirof conveied. 
Also ther is municon ther planted in severall places about the castle, viz. : on the mount one saker 
of brasse and iii falcons of brasse all lying on ye grass unmounted with their cariadge crushed under 
theim ; in the madder garth one saker of iron lying in like case ; in the church yearde one saker 
of brasse in like sort unrnounted with her cariadge rotten crushed under her ; in the bulewarke in 
Tineniouth park one saker of brasse lying in like sort ; in the store house three sakers of brasse 
with whole cariadge and one fowler without a cariadge ; and not so much as one shot or dischardge 
of powder for any of the foresaid peeces within the castle at this instant if they were mounted. Ther 
is furniture for soldiers in the armorie but 14 muscetts, bandelers, and rests, tcnne pelronelles, xx pykes, 
19 halberds, but neither powder nor shot at all for the same pieces nor trayning of men for presente 
service if need required. The decay and naked estate of this house is so corned to passe by reason that 
the custodie therof haith bene committed unto severall deputies since the late earle of Northuml)er|and 
deceased, who have rather sufTred decay then any way procured reformation, as upon view and 
inquisition therof had and maid may and will appere. .Also I'eter Delavale, gentleman, since 
Candlemas last gardeth the said castle as deputie unto the now earle of Northumberland, and haith 
severall times since his entry enformed the earle of the decay of municon and want of provision 
and furniture for defence of the house wherby his honour might move for refonnation, which as yet 
is not had. Ther is in Tinemouth castle of able men attending Peter Delavale. deputy captaine ther, 

and his brother Raiphe Delavale, xx'"' able men, all which ser\e the said Peter and haith 

interteynment ther.^ 

Even more serious than the decay of the castle was the dearth of 
yeomen upon whom it had hitherto been dependent for its reserves. 
Delaval went on in his report to describe how the policv of the neighbouring 

' Duke of Northumberland's .MS.S. - Cal. Border Papers, vol. ii. p. 361. 

' Delaval MSS. in the possession of the Newcastle Society of Antiquaries. 

Vol. VIII. iZ 


landowners in evicting their tenants and in turning their land into pasture, 
as well as the heavy burden of the 'hall-corn ' on the tenants of Tyneniouth- 
shire, was driving them perilously near to extinction. Further, so long 
as the Tyne defences were neglected, Newcastle lay open to hostile 
attack. 'It is most needful,' says a writer of the time, 'that the ordnance 
at Tynemouth castle should be mounted and placed for defence of the 
castle and haven, if there was a sufficient gunner there resident to attend 
them ; there has been no such man in the place of late. I must not 
omit to advertise how nakedly and dangerously the town of Newcastle is 
at present, if the queen's enemies intend harm on these coasts.' ' 

Toby Matthew, the bishop of Durham, did not mince matters in a 
letter of February 17th, 1599, in which he described the state of Newcastle. 
He told Cecil that he had found 

The place of more iinportanre than strength ; the people of more courage than experience; their 
provisions rather competent as aforehand than sufficient for a fierce assault ; their number not many ; 
their leaders none ; Tynemouth castle, a promontory in the mouth of the haven seven miles off, utterly 
disfurnished ; no blockhouse or other piece or platform for defence on the river between that and 
Newcastle ; no shipping among the merchants worth the naming ; therefore of themselves, their men 
being untrained, unable to resist a mean force." 

With a non-resident governor and landlord, and oflTicers whose aim 
was to serve the interests of their master rather than those of the state, 
it was not surprising that the castle was neglected, and that the earl of 
Northumberland was more bent on getting in his rents and tithes than on 
effecting repairs for which he received no encouragement from Elizabeth's 
government. Peter Delaval, a younger brother of Joshua Delaval, was 
invited from London to farm the earl's estates in Tynemouthshire. A cadet 
of a good Northumbrian family, ' well qualified, sober, discreet, very careful, 
honest and well experienced,' after ten vears of trading in the east countries,' 
he had become a London citizen and had settled down to work cloth in 
Bishopsgate Street. He had a keen eye in matters of business, stood on his 
rights, carried litigiousness to a fault, did not scruple to make enemies in the 
performance of his duty, and rose superior to reversals of fortune. Already 
he and his brother, Ralph Delaval, held the rectory of Tynemouth, and 
he now took leases from the Crown of coal mines in Bebside, Cowpen 
and Preston, as well as of salt pans in Bebside, Cowpen and North Shields. 

' Cal. Border Papers, vol. ii. p. 232. s Ibid. p. 589. '' Ibid. p. 6. 



He also purchased freeholds in Tynemouth and copyholds in Tynemouth, 
North Shields and East Chirton. Very soon after cominj,' north he had 
a violent quarrel with Thomas Power, the captain of the castle. His 
account of it was as follows : 

Thomas Power .ind I beinj;e bothe alone in the K^eat chamber in Tyncmoulhc, he fynding hymselfe 
discontented, began to charge me that I had wrought hym great injurie over his hcade in abridging his 
libertie within the castle, and sundrye other displeasures to long nowe to treble your lordship uithall, 
wherby he perceived I dyd not love hym. And therfore he challenged me to pytch the feild to feight 
with hym. My answere unto hym was that I had a wife and vj children, and great matters I had to 
discharge as well unto your lordship as unto others, and that all herde of my appoynting such a 
mattch, knowing mync estate and his, woulde condempne me for having the lawe so muche advauntage 
of mc, whichc I woulde prevent.' 

' Duke of Northumberland's MSS. 


Edw.akd Dei.avai. ((/), second son of Sir John of ^ PhiUis («), daughter of John Ogle of Ogle (6) ; she re 

Seaton Delaval, knight, by Mary Carey, his wife, dead 
before 31st December, 1571, when his brother, Sir John 
Delaval, made his will, leaving five children then living (c). 

married, secondly, George Cramlirgton of Cramlington, 
and, thirdly, John Ogle of Ncwshani (and Bebside), and 
made her will at Leraington, 22nd June, 1606 (d}. 

Joshua Delaval (/*), had River : 
Green by grant of his brother 
Ralph (/) ; had a rent charge 
out of llailley under the will of 
his uncle. Sir John Delaval (f) ; 
described in the seltlcnicnl made, 
iSlh June, 1599, by Sir Robert 
Delaval, as his cousin geiman 
(e); will proved 2Sth Septem- 
ber, 16 14 (1/).' 

.Anne, daugh- 
ter of Robert 
Raynics (rt) 
of Shorlllal, 
named in her 
will (</). 

Ralph Delaval (/<), had a grant of River Green, 27th = Grace ad- 

J une, 1 583, out of the Court of Exchequer (/) ; was 
residing at Tynemouih castle in 1599, being then 
4S years of age (^Exch. J)ipos.\l Eliz. 19 North.) ; 
named in settlement, I.Sdi June, 1599 (<■) : -'d- 
minislration of his personal estate, 7th December, 
1609 ((/) ; buried 22nd July, i6og (»). 

Phillis, under age 7th December, 1609 (</). 

mmistratnx to 
her husband's 
personal estate 
(1/) ; [remar- 
ried 4th Sep- 
tember, 1627, 
John Heslop, 
vicir of Tyne- 
mouth (^)(0]. 

Robert De- = .Vnne, daughter William Delaval (it), murdered 

laval (<0, of Mid- at Hexham, 35lh May, 1618 

apparently dieton («). (»•).'■ 

died in his Edward Delaval («) of River 

falher'slife- Green, buried 26ih February, 

lime. 1654:5 {g). 

I I I I 
Ralph, under .age at the date of his fathers will (d) ; 

[query married .\rin Smith, l6lh .\ugust, l6l8(,f)]. 

John, under age at the date of his father's will (</). 

James, baptised 27th August, 1599 («). 

Francis, baptised Ilth June, itJOI («). 

.\nn, baptised 26th October, 159S (.»). 

Robert Delaval (.«), to whom his grandfather gave his lands at River Green (d). = , 

Robert Delaval, born before 28lh August, 1666 (a). 

Peter Delaval (_i) of London (O, = -Mary, daugh 
afterwards of Tynemouth, ler of Thomas 

named rn the settlement of .Allen of Lon- 

iSth June, 1599 (,c) ; rruiicu- don (^). 

pative will, Sth .\ugust, 161 1 
(c/) ; buried lOlh .\ugust, 

Clement Delaval (/5), joint lessee with = Lucy (/), 

his brother Ralph of Crown lands daughter of 

at Cowpen in 1599 {Exih. Dtpos. Gawcn .Mil- 

41 F^iz. 19 North.) ; named in the burn of Bed- 

seldement of iSth June, I599(<'); lington («). 
administi"ationof his personal estate, 
l6th June, 1607 (./). 

Barbani, ["mar- 
ried John 
Watson of 
Newcastle and 



John ncl;iv;il of : 
Tynemouth,' lo 
whom (wilh his 
mother) his f;Uher 
gave his hinds in 
Tynemouth ; died 
at Tynemouth ; 
buried 27lh July, 
1632 (/) ; ad- 
ministration of his 
personal estate, 
I7lh.\usjust, 1632 

I I I I I I I I 
James, baptised 30th July, 1592 (A). 
Son, baptised 6th Oitober, 1593 (//). 
Thomas, baptised I4lh December, 1597 (/;) ; 

apprenticed midsummer, 1614 (<«)■ 
Mary, married at Tynemoutli, 3rd l'"el)ruary, 

161 1/2, lidward Lee of Monkwearmouth (/); 

died in childbed, 25th May, 1617 ; .Monumental 

Inscription, Monkwearmouth. 
Martlia, baptised 1st Inly, i;<jo (//). 
Elizabeth, baptised i;th .Xus^nst, 1591 (/;). 
Catherine, luplised lyth Feliruary, I594'5 (//), 

[married Ijth, i6lo'l, John Hanswell 

of Preston (0- 
Jane, baptisedat Tynemouth, Gth .\ugust, 1609 (/). 

I I I I I I I I 
Gawen, under age l6lh Juiu*, 1607 ('/). 
Thomas, under age i6ih June, iCioj (//). 
Ral|)h, under age i6th June, 1607 (</). 
Robert, uniler age 161I1 lime, 1607 ('^) ; 

living 7th December, 1609 (</). 
Clement, baptised at Karsdon, 7th April, 

1605, as son of Clement Delaval and 

Lucy his wife (/) ; living iCnh June, 

1607 (r/). 
Margaret, under age l6tlijunc, lOo? 

Dorothy, under age 1 6th June, 1607 (</). 
[Lucy, married lOlh June, 16^5, John 
Hall (:).] 

I I 
November, 1623 (()• 
Peter Delaval, baptised l8th Novem- 
ber, 1625 (;■) ; dead before 17th 
August, 1632 ((/). 

I I I I 

Frances, baptised loth June, 161S (/) ; dead before 17th .August, 163: (./"). 
Mary, baptised Slh July, 1621 (; ) ; living 17th .\ugust, 1632 (</). 
Phillis, ba])tised l8th November, 1625 (0 ! called 'daughter and sole heir'; 
married before 2oth .\ugust, 1652, George Grey of Newcastle, master and mariner. 
Sarah (r/), living 17th August, 1632 (r/). 

(rt) Dugdale's VisitatuiiiofNorlhumlieiliinil, 1666. 

(/<) h'lower's Viaitalion of Yorkshire, 1 563-1 564. 

(<:) Durlinm Wills ami /nvenlories, Surt. Soc. 

((/) Raine, 7V.</. Dunelm. 

(e) .Martiuis of Waterford's MSS. 

(y) Earsdon Register. 

(^) >S'/. John's Register, Newcastle. 

(//) Register of St. Helen s, Bishopsgale. 

(/) Tynemouth Register. 

(/) Cooke's Visitation of London, 156S. 

(/) Hodgson, Northuinherland, ])t. ir. vol. ii. p. 23. 

(w/) .Skinners Com]>aiiy .Apprenticeships, Misc. Gen. 

et Her. 3 ser. vol. i. p. 1 02. 
(«) Berwick Register. 

* Seal of Peter Delaval of London, citizen and clothvvorker : oval, J in. by J in., a shield of arms. Quarterly, i 
and 4, liarry of six ermine {and vert]. 2. Three eagles displayed, two and one. 3. A lion rampant. Crest: On a 
helmet, ornamental mantling and wreath, a ram's head attired. Brit. .ilus. Catalogue of Seals, vol. ii. p. 726. 

' Note of slaughters committed by inhabitants of the East Wardenry, 1596 : John Daglish of Wideopen slain in 
his own house of \Videopen by Joshua Delaval and others of the Berwick garrison. Cal. Border Papers, vol. ii. p. 181. 
Delaval was subsequently found 'foul' of the said murder. Iliid. p. 248. On June loth, 1598, he occurs as constable 
of the horse .it Berwick. Ibid. p. 540. For a further account of Joshua Delaval and his descendants, see Hodgson, 
Northumherland, pt. ii. vol. ii. p. 23. 

- May 26th, 1618. Deposition of .Anne Ridley of Westwood, widow. The said Anne Riddley sayeth uppon her 
oath that j'esterdaye, beinge the xxv"' of -Maye, 161S, she was rydinge toward Westwood one horseback behynd Mr. 
William Delavale, and in there compenye .Mr. Edward Delavale, Joseph Ward, and Thomas Hebourne, servant to the 
said William Delavale. And as they came to Hexham grean about nyne of the clock in the eveninge, there Edward 
Delavale gott a fall, wheruppon the said Joseph Ward and Thomas Hebourne went backe to heipe him, and the said 
William Delavale rydd one with this examynat behynd him. .And as soone as they came to the allors at the weste end 
of Hexham greane, there came south to the allor bushes there a man of middle stature, thick shouldred, brownishe 
bearded, bigg faced, apperelled with a sadd-cullered cloak under which he carried a drawen sword ; which man 
presently steepl before the said William Delavale in the high waye, who asked who he was. The man aunswered : 
'Thou art noe justice of peace to examyne me; and alllhough thou knowe not me, 1 knowe the.' and presently 
strook at the said William Delavale with his sword, who instantly fell of horsback therewith, and then gave the said 
William Delavale ane other stroke one the hynder parte of his head, and said to him : ' Thou art Delavale, and I 
have vowed thy death,' and then went his wayes into the allorr busbies : whom this examynat purseweinge, he said 
unto her : ' Goe thy waye or els I will thrust my sworde in the.' And theruppon she lost sight of him, and the 
said William Delavale presently dyed of the said strokes. (From 'A book of the examynations touchinge William 
Delavale's death.' Marcjuis of Waterford's MSS.) 

' Petition of John Delav.ale to the earl of Northumberland : Humbly shewing unto your lordship that, whereas 
your suppliant's father, Peter Delavale, dyed greatly indebted unto your lordship, as alsoe to dyverse other persones, in 
great somes of money, not leavrng wherewith fully to discharge the same, being left most indebted unto your lordship, 
which your said suppliant with much care and endevour hath payd the most parte tif unto your lordship's officers ; the 
p.aing whereof and other great deptes, with his great charge of his mother and eight children, your said suppliant ys 
almost undone and not able to pay the same unless yt might please your good lordship to take commiseration of your 
said suppliant and to geve your said suppliant tyme for the paing of his dept due to your lordship, being xlvj" xiij^ iiij'', 
and the last pament dew to your lordship of his said father's depte, without which he shalbe utterly over throwen and 
undone. And he, his mother, and the rest of his falherles brothers and sisters, wyll pray for the most prosperous 
estate of your lordship ever to continewe. Duke of Northumberland's MSS. 


To prevent further dissension, Northumberland deposed Power and 
appointed Delaval in his place.' The latter assured his position by 
persuading his master to let him farm the demesnes and mills of Tyne- 
mouth and the hall corn of the shire, for the round sum of a thousand 
pounds yearly.' Military considerations were subordinated to estate 
management and speculation in coal, salt and agricultural produce. An 
account of a scuffle in the castle, sent bv Delaval to the earl's solicitor 
in London, lights up the history of these uneventful years : 

This clayc one uiddowc Dymon and one Roljeil Atcheson hir brother, of Middle Chirton, within 
the liberties of Tynenioiith, coniplayning unto me that Willni. Kenwick of the Sliccle Milnes dyd not 
onely viheniently threatten to beat them, but in forceable manner tooke away ther corn and were 
threshing it fourthe to convert to his owne use, and therfore they craved to have justice that the 
threshing of ther come might be stayed till ther cause was herde, and that they might have Willm. 
Kenwick and his man Robert Fenwicke bounde to keepe the peace against them, wherby they, being 
verie oulde and poore, might lyve in peace. Uppon which complaynt I sent for the threshers of the 
come commaunding them to remayne in the castle till ther master came to aunswere the poore 
widdowe's complaynt and hir brother's. Sone .after dynner, I being in the great chamber together 
with my brother Raph Delavale and thre gentlemen of the Fenwicks dyning with me ther and departing, 
my servaunts being all abrode tything in severall townes in Tynemouthshier and busy about the bames 
in the castle, in the meanetyme Willm. Fenwick, against whome the widdowe and hir brother com- 
playned, came into the same great chamber in verie sawsye manner, accompayned with towe of his 
servaunts with swords, daggers and daggs charged and bent together, with one Roger Murton who 
weares my lord's cloth and servaunt unto Mr. Fenwick of Wallington and Thomas Pore at Flatworth. 
And at F"enwick's first speche he affirmed unto me that he was wonderfully abused by a peasantly 
fellowe which he said I maynteigned against him, and swore by God he had much adoo to houlde his 
hands for beating of hyni. I tould Fenwick I was to deale upreightly betwLxt hym and those that 
complayned of hym, as with all others under my charge, and he dyd to farr abuse me in that place 
in charging me to be a niaynteigner of any peasant to abuse hym or any other : but I said unto him, 
' Heare is towe honest aged folks, a widdowe and hir brother, that earnestly craves the peace against 
you and your servaunts, and therfore they being sworne you have both bett them dayly, thretneth them 
and oppresseth them, so that they stand in doubt of bodely hort to be done by you and your servaunts ; 
and for that cause you must fynde suertie to keepe the peace ere you depart.' Said Fenwick, standing 
with liis halt on his heade in verie sawsye and scornefull manner, ' Your authoritie will not extend to 
bynde me to the peace.' I tould him, although I were no justice of peace, yet he should knowe that 
by my office and prescription of the libertycs of this place, I was a conservator of the peace here, and 
by vertue of that I shoulde be of such-lyk misdemeanor as he was of by enformacion geven against 
hym. Said Fenwick unto me, ' If you undertake to quell me, you shall fynde me the unruelyest coult 
to tayme that ever you undertook to quell in all your lyfe ;' and therwith syngiing hymself in the great 
chamber, unfoulding his cloke, and laying his hand uppon his dagger, wylled none come nere hym or 
touch hym, for, if any dyd, he swore by God he woulde stik. My brother Raph, standing next hym 
and asking hym if he eather knewe where he was or what hec dyd, and preassing nere F'enwick as 
he dyd threaten, so in deed he drewe his dagger and assaulted my brother Raph, who allso drewe 
his dagger, having nothing ells about hym, and so closed with F'enwick. The thre Fenwicks ther with 
me before Wm. Fenwick's coming, and I having nothing but my dagger onely about me, bestiring 
ourselves to part Fenwick and my brother, who ere we got unclosed, Fenwick's men drawes ther 
swords and ran uppon my brother and smot hym over the bare headc a grevous wondc, being dosed 

' Uukc of N'orthumbcrland's MSS. '•' /'"'•'• 


with Fcnwick. The thre Fenwicks, returning towards William Fenwick's scrvaunts having ther swords 
and daggers drawen and ther daggs bent readye to shoot, partlye stayed them ; but I, seing my 
brother spoyled, ran uppon Wm. Fenwick and, being closed with hym, one of the thre Fenwicks and 
Roger Murton aforesaid allso closing with us, my brother Raph drawing nere ine to releve me, Roger 
Murton caught hym by the dagger and hand and helld hym l\ II one of Fenwick's men smot my brotlier 
twise over the head agayne deadly woonds suposed. Therwith 1 having my dagger in Fenwick's 
chast, and he crying he was slaync, praying to save his lyfe, with that I unclosed with hym, and, 
felling hymself loose, rann fourth of the great chamber with his men, which when Roger Murton 
perceived and seing me follow, he stept betwene me at the great cliamber dore and helde me untill 
the ryoters ran away, till I was forced to stik hym ere he would let me pursue, as my sister helld 
my brother, Murton never oflring to liould Fenwick or his men, but still my brother or me. Yett my 
brother and I, getting wcapens in our hands and pursuing the ryoters, overtook them at the gate, 
which contrary ther expectacions they found shutt by others then the porter ; and wee offring ther 
to assalt them, they yeelded themselves, saying they were allready slayne, and being bluddy shewed 
ther woonds, whereat I stayed myselfe and brother, and apprehended Fenwick and his men and 
comittcd them to prysone.' 

For seven years Delaval was captain of the castle. His fall was due 
to pressure brought upon the earl bv the authorities of Newcastle. Delaval 
told the earl that the real reason of his loss of favour was ' soni harde 
information luito your lordship againste me, which, my good lord, hathe 
beane in plottinge this fyve yeares bv thym of Newcastell, who spake 
thies words in my presents to my fayce, that it should coste fyve thowsant 
pounds, but that theye woulde crose me.' ^ 

Delaval's successor, William Wycliffe, the earl's receiver-general, was 
probably no better suited to his new charge, but he was wise enough not 
to encroach upon the liberties of Newcastle. He soon obtained leave from 

' Duke of Northumberland's MSS. Letter of Peter Delaval to John Carvile of the Inner Temple, 
September 17th, 1597. 

■ Ihiil. Delaval has elsewhere given a more explicit account of his dismissal. 

'That W'illyam Wyklyfe hath beine the cause of my troubles I will prove as followethe : 

Thai first he soughte for my place of Tynemouthe, and to efect the same he unjustly 

suggested unto my lord of Northumberland that I should be indepted unto his lordship dew ^550, 

whearby he gott a warrant from my lord for my place Upon the which I repaired prcseiitly 

to London unto his lordship, he then ready within 3 dayes to take his jurnay of travaile beyonde the 
se.iees, and, at my coming to London, moved my lord of my discharge by Willyam Wykelyfe ; 
whearupon my lord replycd that he had reason so to doo, for that he was informed I owghte him /550 
long dew ; to the which I answered hym I owghte him no monye at all that was dew, but I had paied 
him £330 thre monethes before my daye. So presentlye his lordship sent for Mr. Francis, his lordship's 
steward, and Mr. Powlton, his cotierrer, who cold not disprove me. Wherupon my lord apoinled me 
to come the next daye for a warrant to Willm. Wykelyfe for my continewance in Tynemouthe castle as 
afore. I'>ut that very daye Willm. Wyktlyfe, contrary his promise and oathes, had written his letters 
which came to London to my contrary to this cficct, that Thomas Wykelyfe, his brothei-, should presently 
repaire unto hislordship and geve him to know from hym that, whcaras his lordship had appointed him 
to be his deputie captaine at Tynemouthe, and so the wholl country dyd liould and reputt him, « hich if 
his lordship should discharg hym againe of the suddon, yt would no lyltle redound discredytt. Therfore 
he hoped his lordship would consyder the prei\iisses and Icve him with as much creadytt as his lordship 

found he brought with hym The next day after, according to his lordship's appointement, I 

rcpared to his lordship as he had appointed me, to come for his warrant to Willm. Wykelyfe for the 
contynewing of my place as before. His lordship tooke me asyde and went into his garding and tould 
me that so it was, he had refar all things unto Wykelyfe, and, his tyme being short, he could not alter 

what he had done before. " But," quothe he, " Wykelyfe will deale well with you." ' Marquis of 

Waterford's MSS. 


his master to resign the command in favour of his brother-in-law, George 
Whitchratl of Boulmer, described by Delaval as 'such a spochting fellow 
as is not manye such in ail thi- countre, as I refar me to the generall report 
of all such as knoweth hym in the countre, what George Whythead is.' ' 

Whitehead wrote in 1604 'to remember his lordship for some powder 
and shot, as also allowance for mounting the ordnance that lie in decay,"- 
but failed to obtain either. A year later the Gunpowder Plot changed 
the position of affairs. The earl, who was not always fortunate in his 
choice of officers, had appointed his kinsman, Thomas Percy, receiver of 
his rents in the north, and had used his influence to obtain for him a 
post at court. In the autumn of 1605, Thomas Percy, having collected 
the earl's rents in Northumberland, came up to London with three thousand 
pounds which he had gathered in, and on November 4th dined with the 
earl at Svon House. Next day the news was abroad that a plot for 
blowing up the king and ixith houses of parliament had been discovered, 
and that Thomas Percy was one of the conspirators. Whitehead, on 
hearing ol what had happened, wrote to his master : 

I have taken upon mc for the belter further.ince of your lordship's service to make seasure for 
your lordship's use of such goodes as could be founde of Mr. Percey's, which was very small, the 
inventory wherof I send your lordship. 1 wishe to Clod he had never bene borne to prove himself 
a traytor to soe gracious a prince, and false to so honourable a master by whom he did onely live. 
For 1 doe muche doute he is much behynd with your lordship in his accompts; for I knowe he got 
upe towards 300'' of me and others at Lammas, saying he must of necessity send it to your lordship; 
and I hard he neyther came nor sent it to your lordship. Besides, befor I know him to be arreared for 
Tynemouth last yeare. 1 pray God send him soone t.aken, that he may have his desarts. For my 
chanlye heare I take the best course bothe by sea and land for the apprehensione of thesse traytors; 
for I kepe wach in the porte every night, and cause every shipe going out or cominge in to be 
throiighely searched both for passengers and lettres. This is all I can doe till 1 heare your lordship's 
further directiones.' 

Meanwhile suspicion fastened upon the carl. His relations with the 
Catholic party and his patronage of one of the conspirators gave a colour 
of probabilitv to the supposition that he had a hand in the plot. There 
was no direct evidence to prove it, but Cecil boldly ordered his detention 
and directed Sir Henrv Widdringfton to seize on the Percv castles of 

' Duke of Northumberland's MS.S. William Wycliffe was probably brother of John Wyclifie of 
Offerton, who married Elizabeth, daughter of Thomas Whitehead of Monkwcarmouth and sister of the 
above-mentioned George Whitehead. Surtecs, Durham, vol. ii. p. 194. George settled at 
Bouhner in 160S ; his family coniinued to reside there until the close of the eighteenth centur>-. .As 
George Whitehead of Newcastle he made his will on January 22nd, 1625. Me was great-nephew of 
Hugh Whitehead, the last prior of Durham. .\ pedigree of the family of Whitehead of Monkwearmouth 
is given in Surtees, Durham, vol. ii. p. 8, and of Whitehead of Boulmer in vol. ii. of this work, p. 403. 

' Duke of Northumberland's MSS. 'Ibid. Letter dated November 12th, 1605. 


Tvnemouth, Alnwick, Prudhoe and Cockermouth.' Ten days later King 
James commanded Widdrington to hand over Tynemouth castle to Sir 
William Selbv, the younger, of Twisell, sheriff of Northumberland in that 
year, and lately appointed one of the commissioners of the north.-' ' Not 
from any dislike of vou,' the royal letter ran, ' but other respects, we think 
fit to commit the castle of Tynemouth to some other person. We therefore 
require you to deliver up the said castle with the housing, armour, artillery, 
munition, etc., to Sir William Selby, whom we have appointed, being sheriff 
of the county, to take charge thereof until we otherwise dispose." 

Enquirv was forthwith made into the decayed state of the castle. 
Various buildings had been destroyed and their materials carried off by 
unauthorised persons. The kiln had been pulled down and its timber 
and slate used for the ' repayring and lofting ' of the house of the vicar, 
William Hamilton. The covering and leads were gone from Edmund's 
chamber ; ' the little chamber wherin John Harbotle and John Smvth 
laye, called by theire names,' had been demolished ; the bake-house and 
bolting-house had been pulled down and its timber and slates conveved 
into the town of Shields.^ 

After a preliminarv examination Northumberland was committed to 
the Tower. His imprisonment came as a shock to the servants who had 
never doubted his loyaltv. Wycliffe, in a letter of December 28th, wrote 
sadly to a friend at Essex house : 

God send you as much coniforth as by your lettres I have had, being contynuewalhe filled with 
nialitious and slanderous reports of his lordship's doeinges, some such as I did know to be most 
faulse and untrewe, as the stour of gould and mony found in his howse, haps and fothers above 
2000, with many moor such like. I am and ever was confident of his lordship's loyaltie, and I 
beseche God deliver him of his trowbles with the king's majesty's favor and to his honor ; for he 
shall endure greyves so many to heare the robbing of himself and his tennants by that unfortunat 
wretch more than almost is credeble.^ 

In the following June, Northumberland was tried in the Star Chamber, 
found guilty, and ordered to pay a fine of thirty thousand pounds. He 
was further sentenced to deprivation of all offices held by him from 
the Crown, and to remain a prisoner in the Tower during his majestv's 

' Ctil. Stiitt- Papers, Domestic, 1603-1610, p. 254. 

' Sir William Selby was also gentleman-porter at Berwick and thrice represented that place in 
parliament. He is to be distinguished from his uncle and namesake, also member of parliament for 
Berwick, to whose property at Igtham in Kent he succeeded in 161 1. Raine, Sorth Dtiihiim, p. 315. A 
full account of the Selbys of Igtham .Mote is given in Archacohgia Ccmtiana, vol. xxvii. 

' Cal. State Papers, Domestic, .Addenda, 1 580-1625, p. 490. ' Duke of Northumberland's MSS. ' Ibid. 


pleasure. Under the terms of the sentence the governorship of Tynemonth 
castle was taken away from liiin and granted to George Hume, earl of 
Dunbar, Sir William Selby being allowed to retain his post as captain. 
The governorship was, however, distinct from Northumberland's other 
offices as being of the nature of an entailed estate. He explained this to 
Dunbar, who at once withdrew his claims, thus leaving the castle in the 
nominal possession of Northumberland, though Selby continued to draw 
full pay for his charge. 

Selby petitioned in 1607 for money for the repair of the castle. His 
request, forwarded to Northumberland, met with criticism from the earl : 

For the importance of the castle, I shall not neede to saie more then thankes be God Scotland 
is our frende and Dunkerke not our enemie. For the reparacions 5,000'' will not make it 
for 18 men against a verie meane force. What Sir William Selbie may require to make an old 
monastry fitt for his dwelling, I know not.' 

None the less Selby set to work to repair some of the houses in the 
castle and to relav the conduit which broutrht water thither. . He sought 
out some rusty suits of armour, muskets, pikes, partizans, and halberds from 
the storehouse at Newcastle, cleaned them and brought them to Tynemouth. 
Finally, the old cannon which he had found 'in case neither to defend nor 
oiTend ' were at last mounted on carriages. It cost only ^^i 8s. to make 
them serviceable, but the government had delayed for forty years to take 
this otvious precaution." 

If a prejudiced statement can be trusted, Selby found it convenient 
to draw his pay without wasting money on maintaining an e.xtensive garrison. 
Information reached Northumberland that 

Sir William Selby hayth had from your lordship thesse seven yeares by past these allowances 
due to your lordship : 

Imprimis, the captaine's fee ... ... 66'' 13* 4'' 

Item for eleaven souldiers and seaven gunners with a master gunner ... 164" 11" 8' 

I'or which number of 19 he hayth kept thesse 3 or 4 yeares by past but one N.athaniell Orde, his 
deputie, one Thomas Milles, an olde souldier of Barwicke, and one John Selby, .another old soldier who 
is nowe deade, a pore fellowe to kepc the lightes and to be porter lykwise, and nowe this last yeare 
he hayth hyered foure pooer fellowes that woork at the cole pitts and allowes them every one xl' by 
yeare to attend his deputy to the church one the Sund.ay, but els never comes within the castle, 
himself continewinge allways in Kent. 

All thesse men have but small allow.ance, wheras he himself h.ayth from his majesty, all which 
belonges your lordship but an encrcasc fee of 66" 13" 4'', the soome of 356" 13" 4''.^ 

' Duke of Northumberland's MSS. Letter to the lords of the council, May 26th, 1607. 
° Gibson, vol. ii. pp. 120-122. Devon, Issues of the Exchequer, James I. p. 301. Slate Pilfers, 
Domestic, James I. vol. xli.K. No. 57. E.xchequcr Special Commissions, No. 4352. 

' Duke of Northumberland's MSS. 
Vol. VIII. 23 


An unsatisfactory state of affairs was remedied by the recognition, on 
the part of the Crown, of Northumberland's right to the governorship, and 
by appointing Sir John Fenwick of Wallington to be captain during the 
governor's restraint in the Tower (March, 1616).' Fenwick came into a 
ruinous possession. He and Whitehead and Sir Henry Widdrington re- 
ported to the earl that ' the most parte of the houses ar so ruinated that 
without some present coste they ar not fitt to lodge any person ; and all 
the platformes ar so gonn to decay that they must be new made.' '' The 
terms of Fenwick's appointment were rather ambiguous. Whitehead told 
the earl : ' I doc publikelv give it out that thcr he is by vour lordship's 
choyse and as vour deputie, as all other have bene for vour lordship, and 
no otherwise, and, for anythinge I can perceave, he is a right Northumber- 
land man, once in possessione houldes himself better half ovvener.'' 

Fenwick was allowed to retain possession after the earl of Northum- 
berland's release in 1621, and was sent bv the latter in November, 1622, 
to the earl of Middlesex, then lord treasurer, to report to him personally 
on the decayed state of the castle. '' The larger part of the ordnance 
had been latelv removed elsewhere.' So great was the neglect to which 
the castle was subjected that Fenwick at last, in November, 1625, informed 
the lord-lieutenants of the north parts that the castle was so ' ruinated ' 
that he could no longer remain there." Richard Neile, bishop of Durham, 
joined in advising that Tynemouth haven should be secured. ' Newcastle,' 
he wrote, ' lies open to the enemy, who, besides the spoil of a great, 
populous, and very rich town, may burn 200 or 300 ships, for there are 
oftentimes so many lying in the river.' ' The lord-lieutenants laid the matter 
before the Privy Council, with the result that on December 14th an order 
w^as sent out for repair and fortification. An engineer named Cramfield 
was to be employed in the work.' The government did not, however, 
undertake the whole expense, but agreed to provide twelve hundred pounds 
towards it ; the town of Newcastle, in whose interests the fortification had 
been commenced, undertaking to bring it to completion at their own 

' Duke of Nortliumberland's MSS. For Sir John Fenwick see Diet. Nat. Diog., and Welford, 
Men of Mark 'Iwixt Tyne and Tweed. 

- Duke of Northumberland's MSS. • 'Ibid. 

• Earl De la Warr's MSS. Hist. MSS. Com. 4th report, appendix, pp. 278, 315. 

» Cat. State Papers, Domestic, 1625-1626, p. 129. ' Ibid. p. 152. ' Ihid. p. 134. 

'Duke of Devonshire's MSS. Hist. MSS. Com. 3rd report, appendix, p. 40. 


charges.' The twelve, hundred pounds was to be raised by privy seal within 
Newcastle and the county of Durham, and to be administered by the bishop 
of Durham, the mayor of Newcastle, and five other persons appointed by 
order of council dated April 21st, 1626. 

Apparently the original plan of repairing the castle was abandoned 
in favour of a scheme for building a fort elsewhere. There was delay in 
commencing work. Bishop Neile wrote to the lord president of the council 
in August : 

Your lordsliipp knoweth the getting and carryeing of the niaterialls to soe great a worke will 
require the authoritye of a commission for all sortes of cariagcs at reasonable prices, especially at this 
tyme of the yeare when all mens cartes waynes and cattell are necessarily imployed in their harvest, 
and perhapps there may be need of a commission for workemen, which I must leave to your lordship's 
consideracion. The setting of many handes upon the worke must recompence the tyme hetherto lost.' 

In its turn the modified scheme was dropped on the score of expense. 
Twelve months afterwards Lord Clifford, lord-lieutenant of the northern 
counties, visited the ground where they had intended to hav-e erected a 
fort. He found that advantage could be taken of the Tudor outworks, 
known as the Spanish battery, that this provided a better situation, and 
reduced the cost to a quarter of the sum originally proposed. He added : 

Surely, my lord, the townc of Newcaslell is for the lime well provided with amies and powder, 
but the castell of Tineniouthe hathe not one peece mounted nor any amies within it fitt for use ; 
and therfore I am much importuned by the mayor and the aldermen to nioove his majesty for sum 
ordinance for ther towne (for which they will give money for the one halfe), and that likew•i^e his 
majesty would be pleased to bestowe sum cost upon Tineniouthe castell, it beeinge his majesty's ownc 
house and the key of that towne and cuntr%e.' 

Subsequent events show that Clifiord's advice was disregarded. The 
proposed fortifications were only carried out fifteen years later, and under 
a different set of circumstances. 

In 1632, on November 5th, the ninth earl of Northumberland died. 
His death determined the Percv tenure of the post of governor of the 
castle, which had been created by the patent of 1570, for Thomas Percy, 
a younger brother to whom the office would have reverted, was already 
dead. Letters patent, issued at the commencement of King James's reign, 
had renewed the grant of 1570 in favour of the earl's eldest son, Algernon 
Percy, but they had subsequentlv been revoked and the governorship given 
to Robert Carey, who had already held command before Northumberland's 

' Cat. Slate Papers, Domestic, 1625-1626, p. 567. 

' Slate Papers, Domestic, Charles I. vol. xxxiii. No. 39. ' Ibid. vol. Ixxv. No. 55. 


restoration to favour in 1592. A clause in the new patent gave the rever- 
sion, upon Robert Carey's death, to Thomas Carey his second son.' The 
father, now earl of Monmouth, consequently succeeded in 1632 to the 
nominal duties of a governor. 

King Charles I. visited Tynemouth on June 5th, 1633, when on his 
way to Scotland to be crowned, being conveyed thither from Newcastle 
by the master and brethren of the Trinity House, who took the opportunity 
of presenting a petition to the king, in which they set forth the damage 
done to the river by allowing ballast to fall into it.' 

The lack of ordnance, to which Cliiford had called attention in 1627, 
met with the serious attention of the Privy Council nine years later. A 
report was presented to the following effect : 

May it please your honors, being informed by the clarke of the councell tliat il was your honors 
pleasure I should article what ordinaunce and other munition were fitt for the present supplie of the 
castle of Tynmouth for the strengthning of the haven there, doth humbly offer theis proposicons follow- 
ing to your honorable consideracon. 

That his majesties castle of Tynmouth standeth at the mouth of the said haven, but of such height, 
that if it were furnished with ordinance and munition would bee to little or noe purpose for the hindering 
of shipps to come and goe forth of that harbor, and his majesties daylie charge there ymploied to little 
or noe purpose. 

That the safest and readiest course wee can conceave to offend and hinder the enemies to enter that 
harbor in future tymes is to build twoe block howses, one of either side of that haven neere unto a highe 
water marke, where stone and lyme is to be had at reasonable rates, in either of which block howses 
thre or fower peeces of good ordinance being placed, with all furniture thereunto belonging, will 
command any shipp or vessel which shall come or goe foorth of the said haven, ffor the said haven at 
the entrance of the sea is soe narrowe that with a faire wind there cann come but twoe vessells sydeling 
together, and if the wyndes doe never soe little crosse the east or southeast, then they are to make 
2, 3, or 4 borders or turnynges before they cann recover the harbor.^ 

This proposal was taken up by the Lords of the Admiralty, who ob- 
tained the royal consent to demolish Tynemouth castle, and in lieu thereof 
to build a block -house on the river.* There the matter rested for two 
more years. 

In the spring of 1638 the Scottish Covenant was drawn up and signed, 
and war threatened to break out between the two kingdoms, making it 
more necessary than ever to strengthen the border fortresses. Once more 
the abandoned schemes of 1625 and 1636 were revived. At a meeting 
of the council of war, held on September loth, it was decided that the 

' Letters Patent, 9 Jas. I. pt. 17. 

- Tynemouth Register, ed. Couchman, vol. i. p. 235. Arch. Ad. 2nd series, vol. xxi. pp. 85-89. 

' State Papers, Domestic, Charles I. vol. ccc.\li. No. 65. * Cal. State Papers, Domestic, 1635-1636, p. 555. 


fort of Tynemouth should be 'slighted,' and a fort made half a mile from 
the same.' Only the lirst half of this design was executed. Sir Jacob 
Astley, who was sent to secure the north, had his time too well occupied 
in putting Newcastle into a state of defence, and the erection of a ' sconce ' 
at North Shields," as being of minor importance, was again postponed. On 
the other hand the ordnance, carriages and furniture belonging to Tyne- 
mouth castle were handed over to the earl of Newport, master of the 
ordnance.' It was at first intended that this artillery should be sent up to 
the Tower of London, but, upon representations made of the defenceless 
state of Newcastle, Astley was allowed to transfer the guns and military 
stores to that town.' He informed Secretary Windebank : 

As concerning this place (Newcastle), which will be the centre of the war, here must be a train of 
artillery. I have sent for the brass pieces in the cellar at Tynemouth to be broujjhl here, according; to 
the Lords' order, being six, shooting a bullet of six in the pound and three of three in the pound, and 
have already bespoken timber and workmen to mount them on carriages. Here are already six iron 
pieces, shooting a bullet of nine in the pound. ^ 

The cannon arrived a few days later, and were mounted on carriages 
for use in the field." Astley had previously visited Tynemouth in the 
company of some of the aldermen of Newcastle, but found that there was 
no means of fortifying it against a siege,' so the place was vacated and 
the haven left unguarded. 

Astley's prediction that Newcastle would be the centre of the war 
seemed at first to be unwarranted. The first Rishops' War came to an end 
without the Scots having crossed the Tweed, but the campaign of 1640 
had a different conclusion. On Friday, August 28th, 1640, the rout of 
Newburn opened the passage of the Tyne to Leslie's Scottish force. Ne.xt 
day Conway, the royalist general, hurriedly evacuated Newcastle, which 
was entered by Leslie on Sunday. A detachment of the invading armv 
was at once despatched to Tynemouth to occupy that deserted position, 
and establish communication with Scotland bv sea.'' So long as they held 
the port of Tvne the Scots had the northern coal-trade at their mercy, 
and by that means could e.xert pressure upon the English government. 
Tynemouth was re-fortified and supplied with good ordnance.' By an order 

' Cell. State Papers, Domestic, 163S-1639, pp. 9, 404. ■' IbiJ. p. 176. ' Ibiii. pp. 15, 20. 

' Ibid. pp. 28, 3S6. ' Ibid. p. 436. ' Ibid. pp. 45S, 512. ' Ibid. p. 349. 

' Clarendon, State Papers, vol. ii. p. 98. Cal. State Papers, Domestic, 1640-1641, p. 28. 
' Ibid. p. 14S. Diary of John Rous, Camden Soc. p. 98. 


of the committee of estates, dated September I5lh, Hugh, Lord Mont- 
gomery, was appointed to ' lodge in the castell of Tinmouthe, and to keep 
watche therein and doe all devvty requisite. Item, to caus assist the 
searchear there, and to appoint twentie four or nioe musquetiers to wait 
upon him for arresting the ships who will not doe dewty. It is appointed 
that his lordship sail have two keills and a whery to w^ait upon his regiment 
at all occasiones, and to be at all places where he sail appoint.' ' 

Negotiations followed. A treaty was drawn up at Ripon, ratified on 
August 7th, 1 64 1, and on the 21st the Scottish armv evacuated their 
positions and returned home. Ten months later, on June 20lh, 1642, 
William Cavendish, marquis of Newcastle, received the royal command to 
take upon himself the government of Newcastle-upon-Tyne and the four 
northern counties. He at once went to Newcastle and started to fortify 
that town and to secure the haven. Sir John Marley, in a memorandum 
of military proceedings in the north between 1641 and 1645, 'i^^ given the 
following account of the visit made bv the marquis to Tynemouth : 

My lord [of Newcastle] ridd downe to Tynemouth castle, and took soonie horse and foot with him ; 
but the puritans had possessed his soldiers with a fear that my lord carryed them that way to shipp 
them for Ireland or soome other place, which made they ready to mutynie and refuse to j,'oe, but with 
good words and persuasions they weare appeased. When my lord came to the castle he found it 
exceding ruianous, and none in it but one Captain Fenwick" and his famylie, who was willing that 
the castle should be at my lord's commaund ; but, it being then of no valewe until! it weare repared and 
fortified, which could not sodainely be doone, my lord for the present caused make soom little forts 
ujipon the river on both sides, to kepe the seamen in subjection, least he might receive soome prejudice 
by them.-' 

The little forts upon the river were situated, the one near the Low 
Light house at North Shields, the other upon the opposite shore. Together 
they commanded the narrow entrance of the river. They were built of 
baskets filled with sand and mortar, with guns placed between the baskets.' 
Troops were raised by the marquis, and three companies were sent to Tyne- 
mouth. Marley tells that he had been promised the command of that 
fortress as well as of Newcastle, but now 

' Earl of Eglinton's MSS. Hist. M.SS. Com. loih report, appendix, pt. i. p. 36. 

- Henry Fenwick was captain of the castle under .Sir John Fenwick in 1634, and the baptisms of 
several of his children are recorded in the Tyncmuuth Rc-i^istir, 1634-1636. He was now given a command 
in the army by the marquis of Newcastle, and was slain in Yorkshire, leaving a widow who was living in 
1656. Cal. Stiih- Papers, Domestic, 1656-1657, p. 196. 

' Bodleian Library, Clarendon Papers, No. 2064. ' Brand, Newcastle, vol. ii. p. 331, note. 


My lord, being much intreated and perswaded by frends, told me he must nowe make Sir Thomas 
Kiddell, junior,' governor of Tynemoulh castle. 1 must confess I was not well pleased, but, after soome 
debate, rather then disturbe the service, I yealded the power, which afterwards, I think, proved not much 
lo Jiiy lord's content nor to the advance of his majesty's service, but 1 am sure much to my prejudice." 

The puritan party in Newcastle was llioroii^lily alarmed. One of its 
members informed the House of Connnons : 

We fear a storm and we see it already begun. The earl of Newcastle came here on Friday last, to 
be governor of Newcastle. . . . Three hundred soldiers is sent down to Tynmouth castle to guard it, 
and they have all arms given lluin out of the magazine here in this town. There is great guns going 
down to tliem, six pieces. They are casting up trenches as fast as may be. There is a fort making 
at the haven mouth, that no ships can go in or out without their leave. We never lived in the like fear 
which we now live in. ... I was down at .Sheelcs and saw the trenches myself . . . They have got 
engineers out of Germany and gunners for the great guns. . . . The earl is making forts at Sheeles, 
one on each side. There is divers of the great ordnance removed to the keyside to be sent down. 
There is here an expectation of some ilircclions from Parliament to countermand them ; and, if speedy 
course were yet taken, it might reduce all that is done.' 

Upon receipt of these letters two ships were sent by order of Parlia- 
ment to guard the mouth of the Tyne, 'to receive and execute from time 
to time the directions of the Parliament . . . for the preservation of that 
place, and prevent the inconveniences that might happen bv the fort there 
in building.''' It was represented that by the fortification of the mouth 
of the Tyne, 'the whole trade of Newcastle, for coal or otherwise, will 
be subject to be interrupted whensoever his majesty shall please.''' Lords 
and Commons therefore petitioned the king to forbear all preparations 
of war, and particularly to remove the forces from Newcastle, Tynemouth, 
and other places, to which the king replied that ' when he shall be assured 
that the same necessity and public good which took Hull from him may 
not put a garrison into Newcastle to keep the same against him, he will 
remove his from thence and from Tinmouth ; till when, the example of 
Hull will not out of his memory.'" 

King and Parliament were already on the verge of civil war. On 
August 22nd the royal standard was set up at Nottingham. Men, money, 
horse and ammunition poured into Newcastle from Holland. An ordinance 
of Lords and Commons was passed on January 14th, 1643, that 'no ship, 
ships or barks shall from henceforward make any voyage for the fetching of 

' Of Fenham ; so styled to distinguish him from his father, Sir Thomas Riddell of Gateshead ; was 
member of parliament for Newcastle in 1640. For biographies of him see Diet. Sat. Biog., and Wejford, 
Mill of Murk : and for a pedigree of the Riddell family see vol. iv. of this work, p. 2S4. 

• Clarendon Papers, No. 2064. ' Journals of House of Lords, vol. v. pp. 170, 171. 

' Journals of House of Commons, vol. ii. p. 59S. ' Lords Journals, p. 202. ' Ibid. pp. 207, 236. 

1 84 


coals or salt from Newcastle, Siinderland, or Blythe, or carrying of corn 
or other provision of victual, until that town of Newcastle shall be freed of 
and from the forces there now raised or maintained against the Parliament.' ' 
Meanwhile, the fortifications of Tynemouth were repaired, four pieces of 
heavy artillery were sent down from Newcastle, and Sir Richard Lee's low 
stone walls, which formed the Spanish battery, were raised by the addition 
of a brick superstructure furnished with casemates for guns. Three hundred 
men were ' in worke making a sconce to command all ships that come in 

The Spanish Battery. 

and go out,' with the result that ' ship masters refuse to go in, least their 
ships be stayed, seeing such strange combustion beginning to arise.' ^ The 
forts at the Shields were annexed to the governorship of Tynemouth castle. 
Neighbouring landowners purchased protection for their property by sub- 
scribing funds for the maintenance of the garrisons.^ 

' Lords Journals, p. 555. 

• Terry, Life and Campaigns of Alexander Leslie, p. 172, qunUng Lamentable and Sad NeJt'es from the North. 

"April 15th, 1643. Mrs. Harb.-ira Delaval of .Seaton Delaval, widow, paid Sir Thomas Riddell, 
junior, governor of Tynemouth castle, /^loo for his ni.ijesty's present service for the maintenance of the 
garrisons of Tynemouth antl -Shields, for which she is to be protected in her person, goods and estate.' 
Arch. Act. 2nd series, vol. xv. p. 219. 


On January 19th, 1644, the Scottish army crossed the Tweed into 
Northumberland, and on February 3rd appeared before Newcastle. Parlia- 
mentarians looked for an immediate success. A certain Colonel Curset 
wrote on the 12th, 'as for the Shields, they are not yet taken, but, being 
only but houses, they doe expect that it will bee no great matter to take 
them ; they can doe it when they list. The greatest matter ne.xt unto 
the taking of Newcastle town is Tinmouth castle.' The same writer adds 
in a postscript that he ' is very confident that Newcastle is before this time 
in the hands of the Scots, and that they are in the town, after which they 
intend to take the Shields, and so to fall upon Tinmouth castle, without 
which there is no passage for ships to bring us coals.' ' 

Similar optimistic accounts appear in the London papers : 

If the Scots are now besieging Tinmouth castle, while some other forces are diverting the enemy 
from releiving it, it will be an excellent service, for by taking of the said castle, we shall be master of 
the sea, and be inabled not only to bring in provision by our ships for the army of .Scots, but to send out 
coale and accommodate the city of London with them, which would be a far better way of merchandize 
then to transport them as the enemy now doth into Holland, whereby to get mony, arms, and other 
accommodations for the supporting of this unnaturall warre. 

And the said castle of Tinmouth being once taken, the towne of Newcastle would never long be 
able to hold out. There is a report that Coloncll Riddel, governour of Tinmouth castle, hath been 
summoned by the Scots to surrender it to the Parliament of England, and that the said Colonell hath 
had a parley, and received propositions from them, but I conceive this report to be very uncertaine, and 
no great credit to be given to it.- 

Leslie, now earl of Leven, the commander of the Scottish anny, had 
an initial success in the capture of Shieldfield fort just outside the walls of 
Newcastle. Though Sir Marmaduke Langdale inflicted a reverse on Leslie's 
outposts at Corbridge on February 19th, the loss was made good about 
the same time at Tynemouth. A number of the garrison of that place, 
variously estimated at fifty and a hundred musketeers, was sent out to burn 
and destroy corn in the enemy's quarters.' The party met with twenty-five 
Scottish horsemen, commanded by one Montgomery, major to the earl of 
Esflinton, lost several of their number and had fortv-five or fiftv taken 
prisoners. Leven kept two of the prisoners and sent the remainder to 

' Richardson, Reprints, vol. ii. ; .4 Tikc Relation of the Scots taking of Cocket Island, pp. 1 1 - 1 3. 

' The Weekly Account, February 29th to March 6th, 1644. 

' In a schedule of his losses, drawn up in 165 1, Ralph Gardner of Chirton stated that the king's 
party burnt fifteen ricks of corn and eighty loads of hay belonging to him. Uuke of Northumberland's MSS. 

Vol,. VIII. 24 


Newcastle. The marquis of Newcastle, who had thrown himself into the 
town the day before the arrival of the Scots, thanked Leven for his civility 
and said that he hoped verv shortly to pay the debt with interest.' 

Heavy artillery had been despatched from Scotland and landed on 
the 6th at Blvth, but the Scots were not prepared to commence a lengthy 
siege, so on the 22nd they retired, marched up the Tyne, crossed into 
Durham, and on March i6th appeared before South Shields. Two assaults 
were delivered, but the fort and Tynemonth castle ' plaved hotly ' on the 
attackers. Thev fell back, renewed the attempt on the 20th, and this time 
met with success, the garrison escaping across the Tyne to Tynemouth." 
This event and some operations round Hilton closed the first act of the 
northern campaign of 1644. The Scots followed the marquis of Newcastle 
into Yorkshiie, leaving garrisons at Morpeth and South Shields, and the 
centre of interest shifted. 

In May the royalists at Newcastle were joined by the marquis of 
Montrose. Morpeth and South Shields were captured with his help, but 
the latter place was regained shortly afterwards by the Scots stationed at 
Sunderland. Even so, the north remained in the hands of the king's 
party. Upon June loth, therefore, instructions were issued by the Scottish 
parliament to the earl of Callander to lead a second army into England. 
'You shall,' the order ran, 'be all meanes endevor to reduce and secure 
the towne of Newcastell, castell of Tynemouth, and all other places 
possessed by the enemy.' ' After reducing Morpeth, Hartlepool and 
Stockton, Callander advanced on July 27th to Gateshead. The victory of 
Marston Moor and the capitulation of York enabled Leven to join him on 
August 15th, and the siege of Newcastle commenced. 

Tynemouth also was closely blockaded. ' There is no hope of supply 
from Tynemouth,' a London news-letter announced, 'for all passages and 
intercourses between the town (of Newcastle) and it are cut off.' * Though 
in the latter part of September two successful sorties of the royalists in 
Newcastle caused a temporary withdrawal on the part of its besiegers,'^ 
Tynemouth did not long remain free. Early in October the Scots attacked 

' Cal. State Papers, Domestic, 1644, p. 42. Richardson, Reprints, vol. ii. ; A Faithful! Relation of the 
late Occurrences and Proceedings of the Scottish Army, p. 11. Teiry, Life of Alexamler Leslie, p. 192. 

-Arch Ael. 2nd series, vol. i. p. 2 13. ' Acts of the Parliament of Scotland, pt. i. vol. vi. p. 112. 

* Diary or Exact Journal, September 5ih to 13th. 
^ Merctirius Anlicus, September 28th to October 5th. 


the Low Lights fort at North Shields, carried it by assault, lost it, and 
recovered it on the same day.' Nine Scottish soldiers were killed on this 
occasion. Five pieces of ordnance, arms, powder, and some prisoners were 
taken in the fort.^ Newcastle itself fell on October 19th, its governor 
surrendering at discretion two days later. Leven was now able to turn 
his whole attention to Tynemouth. 

A letter from Sir Thomas Riddell to Sir Thomas Glenham, governor 
of Carlisle, had lately been intercepted, and from it the Scots learned that 
plague was working havoc with the Tynemouth garrison. Eight of the 
soldiers had died in one week ; sixty more were infected ; the chief surgeon 
was dangerously ill.'* It was said that the chief commanders had already 
fled.' Leven now sent his troops to Tynemouth,' whither he came in 
person on the 27th. But plague was more effectually reducing the garrison 
than the Scottish artillery could liave done. 'Though we cannot reach 
them in that high hill,' a letter-writer of the time reflected, 'yet God can, 
vou see ; and indeed it is very wonderful to observe how wonderfully God 
hath wrought for us in these troubles, without and beyond the help of man."' 

There was a short parley. Leven offered easy conditions which were 
readily accepted. These were as follows : 

I. — That every officer, soldier, gentleman and clergyman shall march out with bag and baggage 
and the officers with their arms ; and that such goods as properly belong to them, but which they 
cannot take with them, shall be kept for them till fit opportunity. 

2. — That the National Covenant shall not be enforced either upon officer, soldier, gentleman or 

3.— That all who stay in their own country shall have protection for their persons and estates, 
and such as will go to his majesty shall have free pass with a safe convoy. 

4. — Oblivion for all things past in this service to be extended to officers, soldiers and gentlemen 
who will stay at home in their own houses. 

5. — That Sir Thomas Riddell shall deliver up the castle this day with a perfect list of all arms, 
ammunition, cannon and furniture. 

6. — It is always provided that those who stay at home and have protection for their persons and 
estates shall be liable to all ordinances of parliament." 

Late that evening the castle was delivered up to Leven, who put his 
own soldiers in it,** constituting himself governor. 'The royalists were glad 

' Arch. Ai-l. 2nd series, vol. x.xi. p. 200, quoting Country Misscitgir, October 4th to i ith. 

' Wallis, History of Nortliumberland, vol. ii. p. 255. 

' Richardson, Reprints, vol. iv. ; A True Relation of the Taking of Newcastle, p. 34. ' Ibid. 

' Weekly Account, October 23rd to 31st. 

' Arch. Ael. 2nd series, vol. xv. p. 219, quoting Perfect Occurrences, No. 11. 

'Cat. State P.ipers, Domestic, 1645-1647, p. 206. ' IhiJ. 1644-1645, p. 74- 


to yield,' said the historian of the siege of Newcastle, 'the pestilence having 
been live weeks amongst them with a great mortality.' ' A schedule taken 
of the arms found in the castle showed a supply of twenty-nine pieces of 
ordnance, fifty barrels of powder, five hundred muskets, ball and match.'' 
News of the victory reached London on November 4th. ^ The next day 
had been appointed a day of thanksgiving for the victories of Newbury 
and Donnington castle. Tynemouth was now added to the number of 
successes, and the preacher at St. Margaret's, Westminster, received orders 
from the House of Commons to take notice of it in his sermon.'' 

Riddell might have been less ready to yield had he known that two 
days before his surrender a resolution had passed the House of Commons 
that he was to expect no pardon.'* On November 19th an order was issued 
that he and his brother, Sir William Riddell, who had taken part with 
him in defending Tynemouth castle, should be sent up to London." Sir 
Thomas managed to escape in a fishing boat from Berwick, and reached 
Antwerp, where he died in 1652.' Sir William Kiddell, less fortunate, 
was committed to the Tower.'^ Representations were made by Prince 
Rupert that the imprisonment was a violation of the articles of surrender," 
but the House of Commons insisted on their right to detain their prisoner.'" 
The remainder of the garrison were allowed to scatter themselves over the 
country, carrying with them the plague, which made its way into Scotland." 

'Now,' was the comment made on the news of the capture of Tyne- 
mouth, 'we shall have firing at a reasonable rate.' '" Trade revived with the 
rescinding of the order which had prohibited intercourse with Newcastle," 
and the price of coals sank in the London market. The Civil War was 
at an end in the north ; the Scots were free to join the English Parlia- 
mentary troops. 

' Lithgow, Siege of Newcastle, Newcastle Typographical Society, p. 41. 

■ Weekly Accoiiiil, October 31st to November 6tli. The Perfect Diurnal, No. 67, puts the number of 
pieces of ordnance at thirty-eight. 

^ Cal. State Papers, Domestic, 1644-1645, p. 94. 

' Journals of the House of Commons, vol. iii. p. 687. ' Ibid. p. 676. ' Ibid. p. 700. 

' Surtees, Durham, vol. ii. p. 127. " Journals of the House of Commons, vol. iii. p. 723. 

» Duke of Portland's MSS. Hist. MSS. Com. vol. i. p. 206. 

" Commons Journals, vol. iv. p. 131. The reason given was 'that since the recklition of Newcastle 
there have been meetings of dangerous persons and malignants, wearing their arms, whereof Sir William 
Kiddell was one, and that he is a known recusant, and so ought to be liable to the laws of this kingdom.' 

" Lithgow, Siege of Newcastle, p. 41. '- Weekly Account, October 31st to November 6th. 

" Commons Journals, vol. iii. p. 694. 



With the capture of Newcastle the Scots had obtained a foothold in 
the north from which they did not intend to be dislodged, for its occupation 
allowed them to treat advantageously with both political parties, and to 
assist those who most favoured the Presbyterian order of government. 
They refused to accede to the thrice- 
repeated request of the English com- , . ,: ' 
missioners that their garrisons in 
Warkworth, Tynemouth, Newcastle, 
Hartlepool, Stockton, and Thirlwall 
should be removed.' Instead they 
began negotiating with the king, 
who, on May 13th, 1646, entered 

Attended by the earls of Lothian 
and Dumfermline and others, with 
twenty-four captains to wait on him, 
the king went on the 21st in a barge 
to Shields and dined with the gover- 
nor of Tynemouth castle.' He had 
a cold reception. 'The most solem- 
nity of his entertainment were three 
pieces of ordnance fired at the castle, 
and some fired by the collier ships 
that rode in the harbour both as his 

majesty went and returned.' ' Later news was more disquieting to the 
parliamentarians. The governor of Tynemouth had delivered up the keys 
of his castle to the king.'' A cornet, John Carruth, testified on June 5th : 


At Monkseaton I met with a party coming from Scotland to recruit the garrison of Tynemouth 
castle. I asked the officers what news in Scotland, who answered that in Scotland they were levying 
the sixth man. I replied, ' I hope we shall have peace, and then what will be done with those men?' 
They answered they were to be for his majesty's service, and at his command whenever he would 
command them.' 

x'Vgain, on September 2nd, the king visited Tynemouth, dined at the 
castle, and was ' entertained there very gallantly ' in ' the great room, richly 

' Ciil. State Papers, Domestic, 1645-1647, pp. 16, 200, 226. 

■ Arch. Ael. vol. x.\i. p. 1 16, citing Moderate Intelligencer, No. 64. 

" Ibid, quoting Kingdom's Weekly Intelligencer, June l6th to 23rd. 

' Perfect Occurrences, July 3rd to loth. 

• Duke oj Portland's MSS. vol. i. p. 360. 

I go 


liunc;.' ' During the remainder of the month he was occupied in conference 
with commissioners who had arrived from Scothuid. The final failure of 
these negotiations impressed the Scots with the hopelessness of coming to 
terms with the king, and they consented to evacuate Newcastle. It was 
af^reed that Newcastle, Gateshead, and Tynemouth should be delivered to 
the Parliament, with all arms and ammunition there.' On December iith, 
Major-General Skippon was approved of by the House of Commons to 
be governor of those places,'' an appointment to which a condition was 
added in the House of Lords : ' Provided that this ordinance, nor anything 
therein contained, shall no way prejudice the earl of Northumberland's 
right, title, or interest unto the castle of Tvnmouth.' ' 

King Charles had no wish to be left in England after the departure 
of the Scots, and made his own arrangements for escape. A Dutch 
man-of-war, sent by his son-in-law, the Prince of Orange, appeared olf the 
Tyne in November. Its captain was met at Tynemouth bv persons in 
the king's suite, wlio all were feasted bv the governor of the castle, when 
' thev drank hcallhs to the king and all his friends.'" There seemed likeli- 
hood of the castle turning royalist. A Newcastle letter of December 14th 
reported : 

There are many cavaliers of espcciall iiiialily, both captaines, heutcnants .iiul ensigiies, hitlcy taken 
into Tynniouth, and all in capacity of common souldicrs; such is the people's feares, that they think 
this to purport some new designe. They give out harsh speeches, as that those northern parts, in 
particular Tynniouth and Newcastle, must once more be in their hands; and, saith the letter, is like to 
be if not timely prevented." 

Escape was planned for Christmas night. The captain of the Dutch 
ship was prepared to leave the river in face of any opposition which might 
come from the guns of Tynemouth castle. The ship waited in vain. 
Charles had failed to make his way out of Newcastle. 

Skippon was already on his way north. He reached Newcastle on 
January 30th, 1647, the Scottish rearguard quitting the town the same 
afternoon. On the following day he informed the Speaker of the House 
of Lords : 

' Arch. Ael. vol. xxi. p. 123, quoting Perfect Occurrences, September 4th to i nh. 
■ Commons Journuls, vol. v. p. 2. ' Ibid. p. 10. ' Ibiil. p. 22. 

' Arch. Act. vol. xxi. p. 133, quoting Diulinus DriUinicus, November 25tli to December 2nd. 
• Ibid. p. 134, quoting Moderate Intelligencer, December loth to 17th. 


I have received an express fioni liim whom I commanded to receive ihe castle of Tynmoiith that 
the same was fairly and quietly delivered into our possession about six of the clock last night; and I 
doubt not, through the blessing of (}od, but that, as things have happily succeeded hitherto between our 
brethren an<l us, so there will be such an issue of the same as will be to the good of both kingdoms.' 

Parliament resolved, on March ist, that a garrison of three hundred 
foot should be kept in Tynemouth castle and its outworks.- At the end 
of the month Skippon was called up to London and ordered to depute one 
in his place to take charge of Tynemouth and Newcastle.' 

Parliament was face to face witli a discontented and ill-paid armv. 
The soldiers of Skippon's regiment shared in the general feeling' when free 
from the moderating influence of their general. John Cosyn, a Puritan 
alderman of Newcastle, writing on June 7th, said of them: 'As yet they 
come not to doe anything vissible, but certainly as soone as they receive 
the word, they will secure this towne and the castle of Tinmouth in a 
moment. For mv part I looke for it everv day.'^ 

One of the first acts of the House of Commons, when |nirged of its 
leading Presbyterian members, was to order one month's pay upon account 
to the forces at Newcastle and Tynemouth.* 

Later in the year, Sir Arthur Hesilrige, a staunch Independent, was 
nominated by Lord Fairfax to be governor of the two northern garrisons, 
his appointment being ratified by the Commons on December 30th, when 
thanks were voted to Skippon for his services in that quarter." Hesilrige 
had two regiments of foot at Newcastle, from which he drew four companies 
to garrison Tynemouth. On March 21st, 164S, certain sums of money were 
allotted by Parliament to be paid over to the mayor of Newcastle for 
repair of the fortifications about the town of Newcastle and the castle of 
Tynemouth, in such inanner as Sir Arthur Hesilrige should direct.' A 
month later, as the case was urgent, it was resolved that five thousand 
pounds should be raised and advanced forthwith for this object.* 

In the same autumn the second Civil War broke out. Sir Marmaduke 
Langdale received a commission from the Prince of Wales for recovering 
the five northern counties for the Royalists. ' I had,' he afterwards narrated, 
'intelligence with the governor of Tynemouth castle, who, by means of 
his majesty's friends in those parts, was persuaded to declare for the king 

' Lords Journals, vol. viii. p. 700. - Commons Jouriuits, vol. v. p. 102. ' Ibid. p. 129. 

Clarke Papers, Camden Soc. vol. i. p. 126. Welford, Men of Mark, vol. i. p. 630. 
'' Commons Journals, \o\.\. -p. 21!^. , /tirf. pp. 410, 41 1. ' /fc/rf. p. 506. ' /*i./. p. 544. 


and to accept of a coiiimission from me.'' The officer in question was 
Lieut. -Col. Henry Lilburn, deputy to Hesilrige. His defection was 
altogether une.xpected. ' He was governor of that castle,' Hesilrige said 
of him, ' before 1 had command of it. He hath been in the Parliament's 
service since the beginning of the wars, and under mv command near seven 
years since. He was ever verv active and faithful for the Parliament, and 
known to be a valiant man. He did not give the least suspition of being 
a traitor to the Parliament till the day of his revolt.' The story of the loss 
and recapture is best told in Hesilrige's own words. 

Yesterday between 2 and 3 of the clock in the afternoon, Lieut. -Col. Lilburn, being deputy-governor 
of that castle, commanded most of the ofTicers upon several services out of the castle, and then armed 
and set at liberty the prisoners, and plucked up the drawbridge, and told the soldiers, that he would 
pistol every soldier that would not be for himself and King Charles. Whereupon many ran over the 
works,' and a very honest and faithful corporal, refusing to deliver up his arms to him upon those terms, 
he thrust him through the body and killed him. And immediately he shot otT several pieces of ordnance, 
declaring that he kept the castle for King Charles, and sent to the Sheels and other adjacent towns, and 
made proclamation for all that loved him and King Charles to come to the castle for his assistance ; antl 
many seamen and others came to him immediately. 

So soon as I heard the sad news of his trayterous revolt, I commanded a very considerable body of 
foot to be drawn out of the regiments in this garrison, under the command of Lieut.-Col. Ashfield, and 
sent also one hundred dragoons with them. I sent also many ladders down by water and gave orders to 
storm the castle that night whatsoever hapncd. 

Between one and two of the clock this morning they drew near to the castle. Lieut.-Col. Lilburn 
fired four pieces of ordnance upon them as they came up. Major Cobbet led on the forlorn hope. They 
took no notice at all of the canon, but, when they came within twenty yards of the works, bringing their 
ladders with them,' they gave a great shout and fell on. The works are exceeding high, and, though 
their ladders were long they could not easily get up ; the enemy still, as they mounted, with pikes and 
gunners' ladles pushed them down. Some storming at the gunholes, the enemy were forced to come so 
high upon the works that our soldiers underneath shot them into the bellies and killed divers of thcni ; 
but at last ours mounted the works, recovered the castle, and killed many sea-men and others ; and, 
amongst the number that were slain, they found Lieut.-Col. Lilburn.' 

The castle had been recaptured with the loss of only three wounded 
and one slain on the side of the attacking party.'^ Lilburn's head was cut 
off and set up on the castle, and his property was confiscated. ° Hesilrige 
received a letter of thanks from Parliament for his energy and promptitude." 

' Ciil. State Papers, Domestic, 1651-1652, p. 388. 

■ Amongst them was Captain Henry Goodyeare (of Auckland in Durham), who carried off eighty 
soldiers with him to Newcastle and returned to take part in the attack. Cat. Committee for Aiivanee 
of Money, p. 1234. 

'August 2 1 St, 1648. Paid to Captain Rogers, which Lieut.-Col. Ashfield promised the soldiers for 
carrying ladders to the storming Tynemouth castle, to 33 soldiers, 3s. per man ; ^4 19s. State Papers, 
Domestic, Commonwealth, Exchequer, Bundle 133. 

' Hesilrige's letter, which was printed by order of the House of Commons {Commoiisjonrnals, vol. v. 
p. 670), has been republished in Arch. Ael. 2nd series, vol. xv. pp. 221-223. 

' Rushworth, Collections, pt. iv. vol. ii. p. 1226. ' Cal. State Papers, Domestic, 1660-1661, p. 250. 

■ Ibid. 1 648- 1 649, p. 244. 


' Let this gallantry of Sir Arthur Heslerig and the stormers,' said a 
pamphleteer of the time, ' never be forgotten. Let London especialy 
remember this, for unlesse so happily regained, no more coles could be 
expected this year. Treachery was never yet unpunished.' ' 

Colonel George Fenwick of Brinkburn was put in command, and four 
companies of foot were raised to replace Lilburn's soldiers.' The new 
garrison joined with those of Newcastle, Hartlepool and Holy Island, 
in a petition presented to Fairfax on November 14th.' In this they 
demanded that the king should be speedily called to justice as 'the 
principal author, contriver, abettor, manager, of all the bloodshed, 
massacries, devastations, and whatsoever ruines have befaln not only this 
kingdom but also that of Ireland.' ' All endeavours,' they affirmed, ' for 
the bringing of other instruments and incendiaries to condign punishment, 
while the grand delinquent is untouched, are to little purpose, as being not 
an acceptable sacrifice to the justice of God, to offer him ought else while 
the Agag is spared.' 

Few local records are to be found of the adventurous six years which 
have just been described in their relation to Tynemouth. During the 
Scottish occupation Leven held the earl of Northumberland's demesnes and 
the rent known as ' hall corn ' to his own use. The tenants were subjected 
to quartering of troops. Ralph Gardner of Chirton estimated his losses in 
this respect at eleven hundred pounds, namely, the royalists five hundred, 
the Scots four hundred, and the parliamentarians two hundred pounds. 
Those who were coalowners were compelled to provide the garrison with 
coal free of charge.'* As parishioners they were deprived of the use of 
their church, which fell completely into ruin, and were forced to bury their 
dead elsewhere.^ 

On February i6th, 1649, Parliament directed the committee of the 
army to take into consideration the supply of stores for the garrisons of 
Newcastle, Tynemouth, Berwick and Carlisle, to settle an establishment 
for those garrisons, and to consider what lands and revenues had formerly 

' A Bloody Fight at Tiiimouth Castle, reprinted in Proc. Sac. Ant. Nr.icasth; 3rd series, vol. ii. pp. 23-25. 
■ State Papers, Domestic, Commonwealth, Exchequer, Bundle 240. 
' Given in Richardson, Reprints, vol. ii., as a separate tract. 
* Duke of Northumberland's MSS. 

=■ Tynemouth Churchwardens' Books. There is a break in the parish register of marriages and burials 
extending from January, 1644, to May, 1646. 

Vol. \-in. -S 



belonged to them.' Among other sums allowed to them was a temporary 
tax of four shillings per chaldron of coal, payable at Newcastle, and other 
charges both on imported and exported coal, which were imposed for the 
supply and fortification of the four castles.'^ A magazine, under the charge 
of a storekeeper, was established at Tyncmouth,^ which also served as a 
state prison, several Scottish prisoners being sent thither after Worcester 
light. ^ Upon the appointment of Colonel Fenwick in 1649 to the governor- 
ship of Berwick, Captain Robert Blunt succeeded to the Tynemouth 
command. He received two shillings a dav out of the five shillings allowed 
to Hesilrige as governor of Tynemouth and Newcastle. The usual weekly 
pay of each of the four companies amounted to /31 14s. 8d.^ 

Various efforts were made by royalist refugees to win over the troops 
at Tynemouth. A certain William Slade was committed to prison in 1650 
for endeavouring to draw the officers into disobedience against their 
commander." Nicholas Armorer of Belford suggested to Sir Marmaduke 
Langdale in 1652 a scheme for seizing Newcastle and Tynemouth with the 
help of the Dutch.' During the war with Holland then in progress, a fleet 
was stationed off the Tyne for the protection of the coal-trafiic, though 
that did not prevent De Witt making an attempt to raid a fleet of colliers 
in April, 1653. Owing to a mistake in a signal given, twenty of his best 
sail ran in under Tynemouth castle and got oflT again with difliculty, 
receiving many shot from the English guns.** 

During the year 1654 a scheme was hatching for a general royalist 
rising throughout England. Armorer was again active. He wrote to Sir 
lulward Hyde that he must have ;^I50 for Tynemouth, 'which will put 
that place in a good and thriving condition.' ' A few days later he reported 
that ' if anything of man be certain, we shall go near to make Tynemouth 
do what the king desires.''" 

Major Topping, the commander, appears to have been in ignorance 
of what was passing. But in February, 1655, information with regard to 

' Commons Journals, vol. vi. p. 144. - Ibid. vol. vi. p. 210. 

'' Cal. State Papers, Domestic, 1651-1652, p. 559 ; 1659-1660, p. 48. 

* Ibitt. 1651-1652, p. 64. They were released by order of the Council of State, October 31st, 1653. 
Ibid. 1653-1654, p. 224. 

^ State Papers, Domestic, CommoiiHealth, Exchequer, Bundles 133 and 240. In 1659 the pay of the 
governor of Tynemouth amounted to 4s. per diem. Harleian MSS. No. 6844. 

' Cal. State Papers, Domestic, 1650, p. 90. = Cal. Clarendon Papers, vol. ii. p. 149. 

» Marquis oj Ormondes MSS. Kilkenny Castle, new series, Hist. MSS. Com. vol. i. p. 288. 

" Cal. Clarendon Papers, vol. ii. p. 336. " Ibid. 


the conspiracy came into the hands of Cromwell and his ministers. Writing 
on March 8th, the very day on which the insurrection was to break out, 
Topping told Secretary Thurloe, ' Newcastle men will not believe there is 
any plot.' Several of the Erringtons and other northern gentry were 
suspected, but 'nothing can be found by them, they are so secret.' The 
previous evening, the ' Elizabeth ' of Newcastle had come from Antwerp 
into Shields harbour with a lad of nineteen on board, Robert Marley by 
name, son of Sir John Marley who had been governor of Newcastle during 
the siege. Topping had him searched, but found no letters on him, ' only 
an ould peice of paper with some verses writ, and in four places begune the 
verse with "God damne me ".'* 

A wedding party had been fi.xed for the 8th at Duddo, in the parish 
of Stannington, and guests were bidden there 'to wash the bridegroom's 
head.' They came horsed and armed. With Thomas Carnaby as their 
leader they were to march on Newcastle that night and enter by the 
Sandgate. Willoughby and Cholmley had undertaken to seize Gateshead ; 
one of the Delavals was to lead three troops in at the Westgate. News that 
a fleet of three hundred sail had entered the Tvne came to baffle their 
design, and the party marched away westward.' 

A second party of royalists mustered at Morpeth. Colonel Howard, 
marching from Berwick with three hundred foot, surprised them there. 
Thev confessed to having intended to seize Tvnemouth castle, whither ten 
or eleven of their leaders were promptlv sent under escort.' In a letter 
of the 17th, directed to Thurloe, Topping described the worn-out state of 
his soldiers : 

Wee have 1 1 contray gentlemen prisoners, who are suspected persons ; and I expect more to be sent 
in this day. Wee have two companyes into this garrison, consisting of 70 men in a company. Yesterday 
I sent thirty men, comanded by captain Simpson, to secure the castle, untill 130 men, who are on their 
march from Barwicke, come to secure the towne alsoe. Wee were on the third night's duty before I sent 
this party away; and indeed this place is as cold, standing into the sea, as any place 1 ever came to, 
which causes our soldiers to falle sicke, and will weaken us muche if thecentinells go on ever)- third hour, 
as nowe they doe. Lord's day last a party of the ca\eleares, about 60, were in armes neere .Morpeth, 
and yesterday captain Lilburne was upon his march to fall upon a party of caveleares, got together at 
Barnye-castle. .All these things considered, I thought it my duty, to request you inform his highness 
therewith, that, if it seeme good, a greater number of men may be allowed to secure this place, for here 
was never soe small a number, untill the yearc 52, in all the late warrs. ... I am unwilling, yet if I doe 
not make it knowne, it may redound to my shame : we cannot subsist without a constant supply of 

' Tliiirlo^s Stale Papers, ed. Birch, vol. iii. p. 207. " Ibid. p. 216. 

' Clarke Papers, vol. iii. pp. zy, 29. Cal. State Papers, Domestic, 1655, p. 409. 


money ; our soldiers are i6 weeks pay beliinde ; and it made us poore, because we live upon one 
another. I have lent the other company out of my own purse 50/., and we are in as much want as ever. 
Barwickc and Carlisle can borrow, or provide otherwise ; it is not soe w ith us. I blcssc God, we are 
all contented ; and I heare noc inquictnesse ; but want of pay hatli bcgott mutinycs, and 1 feare the 

Though considerablv reduced in 1652, the of iiKiiiUainino; a garri- 
son at Tvnemoiith was hcavv, amounting in Jiilv, iC'55, tt) / 199 5s. 4cl. 
per month." By an order dated xVugust lotli of that year, the establisiinient 
was further limited to fifty sentinels.^ 

The failure of the general rising did not put an end to royalist intrigue. 
Lady Appolonia Hall, who was employed as an agent by the e.xiles of the 
Hague, betrayed her trust in 1656, and disclosed further designs on Tyne- 
mouth. According to her statement, the castle was to be betrayed to the 
use of Charles Stuart ; Major Towlehurst had had conference with one 
Marley for that purpose ; Mr. Clavering and Adam Shipperdson were to 
contriv^e a way from the coal-pits, about two miles distant, underground 
into the castle, and so to supply the garrison with provisions in the event 
of its declaring for the king and having to stand a siege. ^ 

At the close of 1659 the military and constitutional parties in the 
Commonwealth came into conflict. Major-General Lambert, after expelling 
Parliament from Westminster, marched north in November to Newcastle, 
that town and the two companies then stationed at Tynemouth immedi- 
ately declaring for him.^ The soldiers of the castle assembled in the old 
church to sign an engagement to stand by Lambert, when part of the 
building fell in and killed five or si.x of them.*' The accident seemed 
ominous. November and December passed in fruitless negotiation between 
Lambert and General Monk, who placed his veteran army upon the Scottish 
border, ready, when the time came, to enforce parliamentary supremacy by 
the sword. On New Year's Day, 1660, Monk crossed the Tweed at Cold- 
stream, and Lambert's men at once fell away from their leader, who escaped 

As soon as the news of Monk's action reached Durham, pistols, swords, 
bandeleers, pikes and muskets were despatched from that castle to Tyne- 

' Thurloc's State Papers, vol. iii. p. 262. ' Cal. State Papers, Dumestic, 1655, p. 239. ' Ibid. p. 279. 

' Thurloc's State Papers, vol. v. p. 572. The information was certainly inaccurate ; Major Towlehurst 
was governor of Carlisle and not of Tynemouth. 

' Clarke Papers, vol. iv. p. i iS. 

" lirand, Newcastle, vol. ii. p. iiS, quoting Mercuritis Briltanicus, December 23rd, 1659, to January 
3rd, 1660. 



mouth/ but they were not needed, for on the same day (Monday, January 
2nd), Major Topping and the officers under him declared for Monk and 
the Parliament, their example being followed the next day by the rank and 
file.- Monk meanwhile advanced to Wooler on Monday, and sent forward 
Colonel Knight, with three troops of horse to Newcastle, which they 
entered at six o'clock on Tuesday morning. Knight was able to announce 
that Tynemouth had declared for the Parliament, his letter reaching Monk 
at Morpeth on Wednesday. The general requested his subordinate to get 
the soldiers to march out of the castle at once, and he would appoint 
quarters for them in the country.'' On Thursday, the 5th, Monk was in 
Newcastle, quitting it on Friday for Durham. Apparently there were 
rumours that Topping's surrender was insincere, for, on the 6th, Monk 
received two letters, one from the inhabitants of Newcastle, praying that 
Tynemouth castle, ' the key of the trade of that place,' might be committed 
to an approved commander ; the other from the soldiers at Tynemouth 
castle, denying the report that their governor was about to revolt from his 
obedience to the Parliament.^ 

Monk's march south to London led directly to the restoration of 
monarchy and the return of Charles II. The position of parties was re- 
versed. Hesilrige was brought to trial with the other regicides and found 
guilty. Only Monk's interposition, and the fact that he had stood aloof from 
Lambert at a time when ' his conjunction with him might have hazarded 
the hope of all,' saved him from the penalty of death.' Algernon, tenth 
earl of Northumberland, and his son Joscelin, Lord Percy, received a grant 
of the office of captain of Tynemouth castle ; " the post of governor, to 
which alone real duties were attached, being allotted to Colonel Edward 
Villiers, nephew of the first duke of Buckingham. Two companies of foot 
were raised to form a garrison, and the monthly sum of ^261 6s. 8d. was 
appointed to be paid to them.' 

' Bishop Cosin's Correspondence, Surt. Soc. No. 55, p. 89. Cal. State Papers, Domestic, 1661-1662, p. 271. 

" Duke of Portland's MSS. Hist. IVIS.S. Com. vol. i. p. 692. Letter of John Topping and others to 
VVilHam Lenthall, January 5th, 1660. This corrects Gumble's statement (Life of General Monk, 1671, 
p. 205) that the soldiers of Tynemouth castle secured the governor and other officers and brought them 
to the general. 

' Sir Wnt. FitzherberVs MSS. Hist. MSS. Com. 13th report, appendix, pt. vi. p. 3. Letter of General 
Monk to Colonel Knight, January 4th, 1660. Cp. Clarke Papers, vol. iv. p. 238. 

' Mr. Leyhorne-Pophamh MSS. Hist. MSS. Com. p. 139. ' Clarke Papers, vol. iv. p. 302. 

' Pat. Rolls, January 19th, 1661. Cal. State Papers, Domestic, 1660-1661, p. 497. 
' Privy Seal, January 15th, 12 Chas. II. Arch. Ael. 2nd series, vol. xviii. p. 74. 


The disbanded forces which hiy about Newcastle, the sectarians and 
the Tvneside merchants who had risen to power during the Connnonvvealth, 
furnished elements for future conflagration on which, as William Delaval 
told a London friend, 'the pulpit blew sparks.'' There were rumours in 
July, 1662, of an intended general rising in the north, and Lord Fauconberg 
ordered Sir John Marlev to have an eye to Tynemouth, for Captain Thomas 
Love, the deputy-governor there, was keeping the old chaplain and many 
of the soldiers of the Commonwealth army." Sporadic risings took ])lace 
in October, 1663, but were easilv suppressed. Captain Leving, one of the 
rebels, confessed that Love had been tampered with and would betray the 
place for gain.^ 

A traveller to Tynemouth, Marmaduke Rawdon of York, has described 
the castle as he saw it on September 13th, 1664 : 

A lar^e and slroiif^e place itt is, situated iippoii a rock over the sea, att the very nioiitli of the river 
Tine. Itt is well forlefied, haith very good guns, and a good guard of soldiers that doe constantly keepe 
itt, of which was then captain a worthy gentleman, captain Guillims, who was of thosse that killed 
.■\schani, Oliver's ambassador in Madrid. Ther is within itt a prettie faire church gon much to decay, 
but since, I heare, repaired. Itt haith a bowlinge grecne and convenient howses for thosse that live 
theirin. Itt haith a faire watch-tower lately built, where every night all the yeare longe their is a greate 
coale fire made to be a guide to ships that saile into that port. One Collonel Moyer, a greate slider in 
Oliver's time, was here prisner.' 

\'arious sums were paid to Colonel Villiers in 1663 for repairs effected 
on the castle.* In May, 1665, the king requested the citizens of Newcastle 
to contribute towards the cost of repairing and fortifying the castle, for 
the security of their town and trade during the war with Holland, and thus 
to relieve him of an expense not convenient in the great and pressing 
occasions of the war.'' Two hundred pounds was accordingly voted by the 
Common Council.'' 

Tlure was danger of the Dutcli joining hands with the malcontents 
at home. Sir John Marley informed Clarendon in September that the ill- 
affected party at Newcastle were high and vigilant. ' If things fall out 

' Oil. State Papers, Domestic, i66o-i66r, p. 470. - Ibht. 1661-1662, p. 441. 

' //)/(/. 1663-1664, p. 615. The plot was known under many names, and in Durham was celebrated 
as the Muggleswick I'lot, for ;in account of which see Surtees, Durham, vol. ii. pp. 3S9-392, and Depositions 
from York Castle, Surt. Soc. No. 40. 

' Life of Mannaciuke Rawdon, Camden Soc. p. 1 43. 

^ Cal. Treasury Books, 1660-1667, P- 532. Cal. Slate Papers, Domestic, 1663-1664, pp. 100, 146. 

" Ibid. 1664-1665, p. 384. 

' Brand, Newcastle, vol. ii. p. uy, citing Common Council Books, June 2Slh, 1665. 


Otherwise,' he said, ' nothing but a governor and a strong garrison can 
prevent Newcastle being delivered into the enemy's hands.' A fortnight 
later it was rumoured that a plot was forming among the garrisons of 
Berwick and Tynemouth/ ' The fanatics at Shields, where there is a nest 
of them,' said another letter-writer, 'pray and hope for deliverance by the 
Dutch and French.' ^ As the war proceeded, men's nerves were on the 
tension. An Ipswich mariner, sailing to the north of Shields, saw 'appear- 
ances in the heavens of ships, first one or two, then three or four, which 
vanished ; then the hull of a great ship without masts, and at last a fleet of 
ships, one of which was a very great ship, with hull, masts, vards, vanes, etc., 
all discernible;' the apparition was 'much credited, but most among the 
fanatics.'* Orders were sent to the governors of the seaside forts, including 
Tynemonth, to have their works repaired and victualled for two months, 
and to fill up the allotted number of soldiers, in face of a coming invasion.* 
Meanwhile round about Newcastle ' quakers and other sectaries met often, 
and in greater numbers than formerly, and little care was taken to 
hinder them."' 

Upon June I2th, 1667, the Dutch sailed up the Medway and burned 
three men-of-war lying anchored in the river. For a few days England was 
in a state of panic. ' People are distracted and at their wits' end with the 
sad news,' Richard Forster wrote from Newcastle: 'the people generally 
give up the place for lost, and daily apprehend the enemy's landing ; they 
cry that all is lost for want of care.' ' Fortunately a battery, recentlv 
completed at Tynemouth, gave some protection to the shipping at Shields, 
and Colonel Villiers and Sir Ralph Delaval got the shipmasters to man si.x 
Newcastle shallops and some long boats. Three hundred volunteer horse- 
men were raised in the county, of whom Villiers remarked that ' they may 
do good service in frightening an enemy at a distance.' * 

At the end of the month the earl of Carlisle reached Tynemouth, 
having been appointed lieutenant-general of all militia forces and of all 
towns and garrisons in the four northern counties." Thither came also the 

' Cal. State Papers, Domestic, 1664-1665, p. 547. 

'-' Hist. MSS. Com. 12th report, appendix, pt. vii. p. 38. 

= Cal. State Papers, Domestic, 1665- 1666, p. 270. ' Ibid. p. 5S3. » Ibid. p. 461. 

" Ibid. 1666-1667, p. 116. ■ Ibid. 1667, p. 205. 

" Ibid. p. 220. The battery is perhaps the half-moon battery, which was to the east of the lord's 
lodging and is traditionally supposed to have been erected in the civil wars. ' Ibid. p. 20S. 


earl of Ogle, governor of Newcastle, and Lord Widdrington, governor of 
Berwick, with a volunteer troop of a hundred or a hundred and twenty 
horse, ' most of them the best gentry in the county.' ' Four companies of 
guards marched from Berwick to Tynemouth castle.' Lord Ogle was busy 
raising a regiment and fi)uncl no difficulty in getting volunteers. Villiers 
reported, 'the number could easily have been doubled, that being the 
best part of England for raising foot.' ' ' Men are so willing,' Forster 
wrote, ' to serve against a proud insulting enemy like the Dutch.' '' On 
July 1st, the regiment was mustered upon Killingworth moor.* The earl 
of Carlisle actively proceeded with the defence of the Tyne. Ships were 
ready to be sunk if needful, and two fireships and other guardships were 
anchored at the harbour mouth. On Julv 4th he was able to announce 
that no attempt by water need be feared." 

All at Newcastle were 'mad for peace.'' The news that reached 
England on July 26th that peace had actually been concluded was 
received everywhere with enthusiasm. 

Joscelin, eleventh earl of Northumberland, dying on May 21st, 1670, 
the captaincy of Tynemouth castle was granted, by warrant dated June 
16th, to Colonel Villiers.'' A second warrant, issued on June 2Sth, 
abolished the office but continued to Villiers his present fees." 

The third Dutch war (167 2- 1674) provided no such exciting incidents 
as the second war had done. When it broke out Villiers was appointed 
lieutenant-governor of Newcastle, with powers to command all ships and 
seamen in the river, and, if necessary, to sink ships for security.'" A new 
fort just completed at Shields, and named after Lord Clifford of Cabal fame, 
added to the security of the Tyne. The garrison at Tynemouth was 
temporarily increased to three companies by the addition of a company 
from Carlisle." 

' Cal. Stnti Papers, Domestic, 1667, p. 242. The officeis in Lord Witldiington's Uoop were : captain, 
Lord Widdrington ; lieutenant, Sir \Vm. lUakeston ; cornet, Jo. Thornton ; quartermaster, Ralph Read. 
Hiid. p. 182. 

- Ibid. p. 241. " Ibid. p. 255. ' Ihid. p. 2S9. 

' Its officers were: colonel, earl of Ogle; lieut.-colonel., Edw. Villiers; major, Wm. Strolher ; 
captains, earl of Ogle, Edw. Villiers, Wm. Strother, Robt. IJclaval, Jo. Strother, Thos. Haggerston, .Sir 
Jo. Swinburne, Roger Widdrington, Jo. Digby, Fr. Sandvs ; lieutenants, Rob. Anderson, Jo. Price, 
Lance. Ord, Mich. Whitehead, Rolj. Marley, Jo. Grey, R'al])h Kutherforth, Jo. Forster, Rob. Sutton, 
Edw. Tourney ; ensigns, VV. Erington, Rog. Mollineux, Wm. Armorer, Fr. Read, Edw. Widdrington, 
Lance Errmgton, Allan Swinborne, Ralph Widdrington, Jo. Walker, Geo. Sandys. Ibid. p. 180. 

" Ibid. p. 266. ' Ibid. p. 286. » Ibid. 1660-1670, pp. 280, 406. ° Il>id. p. 302. 

'" Ibid. 1671-1672, p. 252. " Ibid. 1672, pp. 408, 669. 


20 1 

On May 2nd, 1674, a warrant was issued for a grant to Colonel Villiers, 
for ninety-nine years at the yearly rent of five shillings, of the ground 
adjoining to the lighthouse erected by him within the castle, whereon he 
had built a house at the cost of eleven hundred pounds, the better to 
enable him and his heirs to maintain the lighthouse in order, and also of 
the waste ground within the castle, whereon he had begun the rebuilding 
of an old ruinated church, which he had promised to finish at his own 
charge ; with a proviso that he should not by his building prejudice the 

j/ie llMfKc/ f^differPj'/^rf J^mtii /ifc fltc//:~' 

Cliffori/'s Fort, from a Sketch takfn about i6So. 

fortifications of the soldiers' quarters.' The governor's house, then built, 
stood on the north-east side of the priory church and was demolished in 
1902. Above the gateway were the Villiers arms, argent on a cross gules 
five escallops of the field, and crest, a Hon rampant, and the date 1676 
appeared on the waterspouts." 

' Cal. State Papers, Domestic, 1673-1675, p. 23S. 

- Brand, Newcastle, vol. ii. p. iig, note. The governoi-'s house and lighthouse, as they stood in 17S4, 
are shown in an engraving by Byrne in Hearne's Pictorial Antiquities, vol. i. See also Proc. Soe. Aiit. 
Newcastle, 2nd series, vol. x. p. 274. 

Vol. VIII. 





SiK EnUAKIi N'lI.l.lERS, knight, of IJrookesby-hiill (son of Sir KLUvanI \'illiers, h;ilf-brother of = 
George, first duke of Buckingham), born i;th April, 1620; governor of Tynemouth casile, 
l66o-~i6Sg; obtained a grant of Tynemonth lighthouse, 13th June, 166;; knighted 7th .'\pril, 
1680; buried in Westmiiister Abbey, 2nd July, 1689 ; will dated 8th May, 168; ; proved at the 
Prerogative Court of Canterbury, 8ih July, 1689. 

!•' ranees, daughter 
of Theophilus, 
eail of Suffolk. 

Sir Edward Villiers, 
knight, son and heir, 
created Baron \'il- 
liers, 20th March, 
1690/1, and earl of 
Jersey, I Jlh October, ^ 

Barbara, daughter and heir 
of William Chafifinch, 
Keeper of the Closet of 
Charles II.; articles be- 
fore marriage, 19th and 
20lh December, 168 1. 

Henry Villiers, governor of Tynemouth = Ann, to whom 

of her hus- 
band's person- 
al estate was 
granted, 25th 
April, 1 709 («). 

castle 1689-1707, and colonel of foot, 
acquired his brother Edward's right in 
Tynemouth lighthouse by purchase, 
14th June, 1695; died nth, buried at 
Tynemouth priory, 22nd August, 1707, 
aged 49 (a) (^). 

Elizabeth, married George Hamilton, first earl of 

Catherine, married first, Marquis de Puissars, and 

second, William Villiers. 
Barbara, married John, Viscount Fitz Harding. 

I I I 
Ann, married William, first earl of Portland. 
Henrietta, married John, second earl of 

Mary, married William, thiid earl of liicliiquiu. 
wife of Colonel Macdonell (,/y 

.Xrabella, daughter = Henry Villiers, lieut.-governor of = Mary Lockey, sister 

of John Rossiter 
of Sowerby, Lin- 
colnshire; married 
13th February, 
1726/7 (?) ; died 
13th October, 1 733 

Tynemouth, died 29th May, 
1753, aged 60, seised of Tyne- 
mouth lighthouse ; ' happy 
himself, his family, friends and 
acquaintances were happy in 
him ' (rf). 

Thomas Fawk, Lieut. - 
General ; married 5^^ 
February, 1736/7 (^) ; 
died 7th January, 1767 
(r/) ; will dated 22nd 
October, 1766. 

I I I 
William, baptised 14th June, 

1 69 1 (a). 
FMward, baptised 20th July, 

1693 (a). 
James, baptised 20th July, 

1703 (a); buried 26th 

February, 1703/4 (a). 

Mary, baptised 20th May, 1685 (a) ; buried 13th November, 1688 («). 
Barbara, baptised 12th May, 1686 (rt). 

Charlotte, baptised 24lh June, 1692 ; buried igth January, 1703/4 (a). 

Catherine, married I7ih January, 1726/7, John Craster of Craster (^)i and died 1st October, 1772; will 
dated 30th September, 1772. 4, 

(fl) Tyiienwiil/i Register. 

(Ji") Monumental Inscription, Tynemouth Priory. 

(c) Geni:s .iUg. 1733, p. 550. 

(d) Monumental Inscription, Taplow, Bucks. 

(e') Raine, 7'est. Dimehn. 

(/) Hist. MSS. Com. 15th Report, appendix, pt. i. p. 124. 
(^) Registers of Christ Church., Newgate Street ; Harl. 
Soc. Registers, vol. xxi. 

Though there are other references to the rebuilding of the church 
at this period,' nothing in the e.xisting ruins points to any reconstruction. 
Tradition has represented Colonel Villiers in a worse light than that of a 
restorer, for he is said to have pulled down much of the monastic building 
to erect barracks, the lighthouse, the governor's house and other edifices, 
and to have stripped off the lead which till then had covered the church.^ 

' Brand, ibid. p. 120, note, states that Bishop Cosin was petitioned to grant his licence to pull down 
the east end of the old church, that a less chapel at the west end might be fitted up for the service of 
the garrison. 

• Grose, Antiquities of England and Walei, new edition, vol iv. p. 151. 


Ralph Thoresby, visiting the castle in 1681, found it 'almost ruined 
and maintained by a slender garrison." Repairs appear to have been 
undertaken in the following year.^ 

On November 5th, 1688, William of Orange landed at Torbay. The 
close connection between his family and the Stuarts rendered Villiers 
naturally loyal to the reigning house, and two companies, one of foot, the 
other of grenadiers, marched south from Tynemouth to oppose the Dutch, 
but were captured by the earl of Danby at York.' A few days later, on 
December 14th, Captain Love wrote to Danby from Tynemouth, informing 
him of the condition of the castle and garrison, and offering to procure a 
surrender. Philip Bickerstaffe of Chirton wrote to the same effect, and on 
the 1 8th, Henry Villiers, son of Colonel (now Sir Edward) Villiers, informed 
Danby that there was not a Roman Catholic in the garrison, that they were 
for protecting the Protestant religion and for a free parliament. Next 
dav Tvnemouth castle was summoned and surrendered. Carlisle had 
surrendered on the 15th and Berwick on the 16th, leaving the king no 
stronghold in the north.^ Tynemouth was temporarily entrusted to the 
mayor of Newcastle, but the Villiers family were restored to favour upon 
their submission to William III. Sir Edward Villiers died in i68q and 
was buried in Westminster abbey, being succeeded as governor by his 
second son, Henry. The connection of the Villiers family with the castle 
lasted for three generations, ending with the death in 1753 of a second 
Henry Villiers, lieutenant-governor.* 

The revolution of 1688 set at rest the religious and constitutional 
questions whieh had for so long agitated the country. Administration has 
become centralized, rendering local politics of less national importance ; 
and the later history of Tynemouth castle is of less interest than the 
century and a half of plot, insurrection and invasion which began with the 
Pilgrimage of Grace and closed with the ' Glorious Revolution.' Many of 
the old features have disappeared. In 1784 the gate-house was modernised 
and nearly all the remaining monastic buildings were destroyed. During 

' Richardson, Reprints, vol. vi., Wayfarings of Ralph Thoresby, p. i;. 
= Earl of Dartmouth's MSS. Hist. MSS. Com. I Ith report, appendix, pi. v. p. 75- 
' Earl of Lindsey's MSS. ibid. 14th report, appendi.x, pt. ix. p. 450. 
' Duke of Leeds' MSS. ibid, iitli report, appendix, pt. vii. pp. 28-29. 

' Mr H. A. Adamson has given an account of the Villiers family as governors of Tynemouth castle 
in Arch. Acl. second series, vol. xx. pp. 15-26. 


the earlier part of the nineteenth century the floor of the chapter-house 
was dug up, and the interments within it scattered, to make ceUars for 
a regimental canteen. In 1863 the foundations of the claustral buildings 
were removed without record taken of their position. Since then the old 
Spanish battery, the half-moon battery, the governor's house and the 
lighthouse have given way to the exigencies of military defence, and a 
trench excavated on the landward side of the castle in 1856 has altered 
the character of the approach. On the other hand the work of demolition 
has resulted in the discovery of various Roman and Anglian stones. The 
ruins were handed over by the War Department in 1904 to the care of 
His Majesty's Office of Works, as the authority, under the Ancient Monu- 
ments Acts, for the care and protection of ancient monuments and historic 
buildings in Great Britain ; and, with the sanction of that office and the 
permission of the military authorities, careful plans have been made of 
the medieval gate-house and excavations have laid bare the foundations of 
the Norman church. Much more may be done towards the elucidation 
of the history of the castle rock, especially for the pre-Conquest period, if 
only exact records are kept of fresh discoveries. 

Captains of Tynemouth Castle. 

1545/6, January 20th. Sir Francis Leeke, lent. 

1549, April 5th. Sir Thomas Hilton of Hilton Castle, knt., died May, 1559. 

1560/1, February 8th. Sir Henry Percy, knt., afterwards eighth earl of Northumberland, died June 21st, 

1585. Henry, ninth earl of Northumberland, on the death of his father, under terms of grant, dated 

May 3rd, 1570; died November 5th, 1632. 
1632. Robert Carey, first earl of Monmouth, by grant dated March 2nd, 161 1/2 ; died April 12th, 1639. 
1661/2, January 19th. Algernon, tenth earl of Northumberland, died October 13th, 1668. 
1668. Joscelin, eleventh earl of Northumberland, under the terms of his father's patent; died May 21st, 1670. 
1670, June i6th. Edward Villiers. Office abolished on the 28th of the same month. 

Governors of Tynemouth Castle and Clifford's Fort. 

1670. Edward (afterwards Sir Edward) Villiers. 
1702, July 2nd. Henry Villiers, his son. 
1707/8, February 20th. Thomas Meredith. 

1714/5, January i ith. Algernon, earl of Hertford, afterwards seventh duke of Somerset. 
i749/5o> February 13th. Sir Andrew Agnew of Lochnow, co. Wigtoun, bart. 

1771, August 28th. Hon. Alexander Mackay, afterwards commander-in-chief of the forces in Scotland. 
1778, April 4th. Lord Adam Gordon. 
1796, November 2nd. Charles Raineford. 

1807, May 27th. General David VVemyss, upon whose death, in September, 1839, the office was allowed 
to lapse. 


The Lighthouse. 

In a letter from the Privy Council to the mayor of Newcastle, dated 
January 17th, 1581/2, reference is made to 'a certaine order established 
for the kepinge of a continuall light in the night season at the easte ende 
of the churche of Tinmouthe castle, as in former times had ben, for the 
more safegarde of such shippes as should passe by that coast.' ' The light 
was maintained by Henry, eighth earl of Northumberland (captain of the 
castle, 1 561- 1 585), with whom the master and mariners of the Trinity 
House at Newcastle compounded to pay yearly, during the life of the 
said earl, four pence upon every English ship and twelve pence upon 
every stranger ship coming within the river. These tolls were collected 
for the earl at the custom house of Newcastle and went to defrav the 
charges of maintaining the light." It was a fire made of coals, burnt 
probably in an open brazier upon the top of one of the two turrets flank- 
ing the east end of the presbytery of the priory church.^ It does not 
seem to have burned continually through the night but to have been 
lighted every half-tide, when the water in the river had become deep 
enough for vessels to venture over the flats and shoals which studded the 
Tyne between its mouth and Newcastle. In 1608 the fire was said to 
have been established thirty years before, and the tolls were estimated 
as amounting to forty pounds yearly/ 

This arrangement continued until 1659, the profits of the light usually 
going to those who had the charge of the castle ; but about Martinmas 
of that year the stairs leading up to the top of the turret fell down. 
In the following May representations were made by the master and 
brethren of the Trinity House at Newcastle of the ' great necessity of 
having a new light high-placed, either in the east end of the castle wall, 
or else a new one built upon the ground a little way east from the said 
castle ' ; and this was followed up by a petition from many masters of 
ships using the port of Newcastle.^ Consequently, upon September 14th, 
a warrant was issued to the mayor of Newcastle, the governor of Tyne- 

' Acts of the Privy Council, 1 581-1582, p. 306. ■ Duke of Northumberland's MSS. 

" ' Upon an old steeple.' Trinity House Letter-book. 

' Land Revenue Misc. Books, 223, fol. 294. The estimate was low ; for example, between Michaelmas, 
1604, and Michaelmas, 1605, 1,983 English ships and 346 strangers paid duty, and the profits were 
therefore £jO 7s. Duke of Northumberland's ^iSS. 

'' Trinity House Letter-book. 


month castle, the master of the Trinity House and others, to have the 
charge of erecting the light. It was only proposed to repair the stair in 
the turret, and the collector of customs at Newcastle was ordered to pay 
a hundred pounds towards this.' 

There was delav in executing the work, of which Colonel Villiers, 
then governor of the castle, took advantage and negotiated with the ship- 
masters of Newcastle and Sunderland for the raising of the former toll 
from fourpence to twelvepence per ship on every English ship and from 
one to three shillings on every foreign vessel. This he obtained, as well as 
a grant from the Crown of the said toll to him and his heirs to hold at a 
yearly rent of twentv marks,'^ and then proceeded to build a new lighthouse 
at the north-east corner of the castle promontory. It was completed 
before September, 1664. An early painting (Plate XIV.) shows it to have 
been a stepped tower carrying a conical roof. Like the former light it 
burned coals. Though complaints were made that the old one was much 
better, Villiers was probably justified in claiming superioritv for his new 
tower, as it threw out light on both sides and not forward only.' 

The new light proved costly. 'Some lights,' to quote Villiers' words, 
' are low candle lights. These cost little building and less maintaining ; 
but your high fire lights, where coals burn in cradles, waste coals e.xcessively, 
and put the owners to great charge in repairing the iron works, insomuch 
that one of these cost more building and keeping than four others.' Finding 
that the toll did not pay the interest on the monev which he had expended 
on building the tower, he petitioned the king in 1681 for an alteration of 
the charge from twelvepence per ship to a farthing per ton, arguing that 
it was fair that ships of great burden should pay proportionably more than 
smaller craft. His demand met with strong opposition from the Trinity 
House of Deptford, which offered to repay him his principal expended in 
the erection of the light and to reimburse him for his past expense in 
keeping it, and so to maintain the same without any further increase of 
charge upon navigators. Sir Edward Villiers abandoned his claim but 
retained the lighthouse.'' 

' Cal. Treasury Books, 1660-1667, P- 278- 

-• Cal. State Papers, Domestic, 1661-1662, p. 383 ; 1664-1665, p. 283. Letters Patent, June 30th, 1665. 

' Exchequer Depositions, Easter, 23 Chas. II. No. 32. Trinity House Letter-book. 

'Bodleian Library, Riuclinsoii MSS. A, vols. 178, I S3 and 190. Other correspondence relating to 
the dispute is to be found among the manuscripts of the Trinity House at Tower Hill, London. Hist. 
MS.S. Com. Sth report, appendix i. pp. 257-259. 


His grandson, Henry Villiers, attempted in 1728 to obtain a toll of a 
penny per chaldron of exported coals towards the erection of a new light 
at Tynemouth, but the construction was held to be unnecessary.' Mary 
Villiers, his widow, devised her freehold estate in the lighthouse to her 
nephew William Fowke. About 1775 the old tower was taken down and 
rebuilt. Further alterations were made in 1802, when William Fowke 
added a copper lantern and substituted for the old coal light an oil lamp 
with silver-plated reflectors and a revolving machine, obtaining for so doing 
a further toll of a farthing upon every chaldron of coal exported by river.''' 
By Act of Parliament, August 13th, 1836, the lighthouse was transferred 
to the London Trinity House, by whom it was purchased from Mr. Fowke's 
representatives in 1840 for /"i 25,678/ It was demolished in 1898 (when 
nearly two hundred carved stones from the priory ruins were found to 
have been built up into its structure), its further continuance having been 
rendered unnecessary by the erection of new lighthouses upon St. Marv's 
Island and Souter Point. There are also lights at the end of the north 
and south piers in the hands of the Tyne Commissioners.* 


The Liberty. 

The term ' shire ' is capable of several interpretations. Primarily it 
means an office. In a secondary sense it is used to signify a district 
' ashired ' or severed for certain purposes from other districts, and, in its 
usual acceptance, is identical with the county, the unit of royal administra- 
tion. In Northumberland, however, as in Yorkshire, shires exist within 
the county. Sometimes the name is applied to a division of the county, 
namely, a hundred or wapentake, and this is perhaps the origin of Bam- 
burghshire.* It is equally applicable to an outlying portion of a regality, 
such as Islandshire, Norhamshire and Bedlingtonshire, all formerly portions 

' Trinity House Letter-book. 

- ' An .-Vet for improving the Tinmoiith Castle Lighthouse and Light, and for authorizing additional 
Light Duties in respect of such improvement,' 42 Geo. III. cap. 43. 

' 'An Act for vesting Lighthouses, Lights and Sea Marks in the care of Trinity House of Deptford 
Strand,' 6 and 7 \Vm. lY. cap 79. Statutes at Large, vol. Ixxvi. pp. 445-474. 

" For further particulars see Mr. H. A. Adamson's article on 'The Villiers Family' in Arch. Ael, 
2nd series, vol. xx. pp. 15-26. 

^ See vol. i. p. i. 


of the conntv palatine of Durham. Finally, a shire may itself be a regality, 
withdrawn from the sheriff's jurisdiction, having its own court in which 
justicf is administered without reference to the courts of county and 
hundred. E.xamples in Northumberland are to be found in the cases of 
Hexhamshire' and Tynemouthshire. 

A regality was not necessarily limited to a contiguous area, and the 
liberty of Tynemouth comprised all the scattered manors and townships 
held in free alms by the prior and convent. A charter accorded to the 
monastery by Richard I. in 1189,^ while it prefaced a grant of liberties by 
an enumeration of the temporal possessions of the convent, was worded 
with sufficient vagueness to allow of the inclusion of later territorial 
acquisitions within the liberty. It was probablv from fear of prejudicing 
his successors by a limitation of their franchise that, in the course of judicial 
proceedings taken in 1291, Prior Walden refused to state what townships 
were included within it.' In 1381 the following townships had their con- 
tributions towards the expenses of the knights of the shire for North- 
umberland remitted as being in the liberty of the prior of Tynemouth : 
Tynemouth, Milneton with Shields, Preston, East Chirton, Middle Chirton, 
West Chirton, Flatworth, Murton, Whitley, Monkseaton, Earsdon, Back- 
worth, Seghill, Wolsington, Dissington, Elswick, Wylam, Welton, Hartford, 
Cowpen, Bebside, Hauxlev, Amble, Eglingham, Bewick, and Lilburn.^ 
West Denton and Benwell, acquired by the monastery at a later date, 
came to be included within the libertv. 

A theory has been put forward'^ to account for the origin of the 
Northumbrian palatinates, which, as far as Tynemouth is concerned, may 
be taken as representing the probable course of events. 'The regality 
of the Northumbrian kings,' according to Mr. Page, ' was continued in 
the person of the earl, who exercised jura regalia over all his lands 

' For an account of the regality of Hexham, see vol. iii. pp. 20-65. ' See p. 67. 

' 'Ut attrahere possit libertati suae terras extra libertatem suam, libertatem predictam elargantlo et 
super coronam occupando.' Gibson, Tyiu-mouth, vol. ii. p. Ixxvii. 

' Wallis, History of Northumberland, vol. i. appendix i. A similar list is given in an inquisition held 
.-It Tynemouth on May 31st, 1428, before commissioners appointed to levy and collect a subsidy of 6s. 8d. 
on every knight's fee. Shields and Milneton are, however, omitted in this later list, as is Wolsington ; 
Dissington, Hartford and Lilburn are defined as South Dissington, West Hartford and East Lilburn ; 
and the prior is stated to hold only half the townships of Cow pen and Bebside. Lay Subsidy Roll, \^f. 

'By Mr. \Vm. Page in Archaeologin, 2nd series, vol. i. pp. 143-155, 'Some Remarks on the 
Northumbrian Palatinates and Regalities.' Mr. Hodgson Hinde had already pointed out that all 
jura regalia in Northumberland were in the hands of the earl and not of the king. Hodgson Hinde, 
History of Northumberland, p. 245. 


north of the Humber,' and the rights subsequently enjoyed within the 
liberty of Tynemouth had their orisrin in this regality. After the resumption 
of the earldom in 1095, upon Robert de Mowbray's forfeiture, William II. 
granted to the monks of Tynemouth a court with soc and sac, toll and 
theam and infangenetheof, to hold as freely and fully as the king himself 
then held it.' In three charters issued in or about 1 108, Henry I., with 
slight verbal differences, confirmed to St. Oswin and to the monks of Tyne- 
mouth their court and their customs, 'to hold in as full a manner as ever 
Earl Robert held the same in mv brother's time before he forfeited to him.'^ 
The fact that later royal charters contain grants of special privileges 
is not inconsistent with the supposition that in theory all jtira rc^aliiX 
passed under the charters of William II. and of Henry I., and that the 
court and customs of Robert de Mowbray contained the potentiality of 
a fully-developed palatinate. Royal recognition was accorded to established 
custom ; royal charters gave form to the practices which developed inde- 
pendently of them. A charter of Henry I. gave the monks free warren,' 
and their men enjoyed exemption from royal tolls in the reign of the 
same sovereign.^ By a charter of King Stephen (1136) they were 
freed from work on the royal castles in Northumberland.' Two charters 
of Earl Henry (1147) released their free tenants and villeins from the 
obligation of the fyrd." Henry II., by a charter given in 1158, conferred 
upon the monks immunity from all existing forms of royal ta.xation.' But 
the keystone of their liberties lay in a charter which Richard I. accorded 
to them in 11 89.' In this their right was recognised to deal with 
pleas of the crown, including in that category cases of larceny (infan- 

' See above, pp. 52-53. 

- ' .Sicut unquam Robertus comes melius habuit tempore fratris mei antequam ei forisfactus esset,' 
P- 55 (3)- ' ^icut unquam melius habuit Robertus comes tempore fratris mei,' '\hid. (5). ' Quemadmodum 
rex Willelmus frater meus dedcrat eis,' ihid. (4). A tradition current at Tynemouth in 1293 derived the 
customs and liberties of that monaster)', not from the charters of William II. and of Henr)- I., but from 
an earlier ^rant made to the monks there by Mowbray before his forfeiture. ' Monachi sancti .Xlb.ani 
habuerunt in aqua de Tyne et alibi libertates'et consuetudines quas dictus comes habuerunt, ex quo m^ 
dono quod dictis monachis donaverat, nihil sibi retinuit, et super hoc, ut dicitur, cartam eis fecerat. 
St. A Weill's RcgisUr, fol. 77 b. Whichever view is correct, whether the creation of the liberty occurred 
before or after Mowbray forfeited his earldom, the rights afterwards exercised by the prior and convent 
were those which had previously belonged to the earl. The Tynemouth tradition implies that Mowbray 
had the right of creating regalities within his earldom. 

'Ibid. {16). ' See above, p. 58, note 2 (5). ' /6uf. (4). ' See above, p. 59, note 2 (5) and (8). 

' See above, p. 62, note (i). ' Quieta et soluta de omni geldo et scoto et adjutorio, et ab omnibus 
consuetidinibus et operibus et auxiliis et aliis querelis.' 

' See above, p. 67. 

Vol. VIII. -7 


genetheof and utfangenctheof), breach of tlie peace (grith-breclie), burglary 
(ham-soon), murder (murdrum), premeditated assault (forstal),' and out- 
lawry (flvmena-frith). Yet more important was the complete exclusion 
from the liberty of the sheriff and of the royal justices. ' We will that no 
man,' the charter runs, 'either French or English, in any way have to 
do with their lands or with their men, but only they themselves and 
their officers to whom they will give commission. . . . We forbid the 
placing of any officer in their lands or houses contrary to their will and 
assent, either in our time or in the time of our successors, by direction of 
any prince or justice, upon any occasion whatsoever.' 

Before the close of the thirteenth century the prior of Tynemouth 
had come into the possession of an extensive franchise, based in part upon 
royal charters and in part upon prescriptive right. He had the ' return of 
writs.' All pleas of the crown, as well as common pleas touching his 
men or lands and tenements within the libertv, were heard in the prior's 
court" and before his own justices, to whom he granted commissions of 
assize, oyer and terminer, and gaol delivery. On the other hand the 
supremacy of the Crown was marked by the customs of craving court and 
petitioning for pleas of the crown. When a civil action came before the 
royal courts and cognizance of the plea lay with the prior, the baililf of 
the liberty appeared before the king's justices and asked leave to transfer 
the plea to the prior's court. When the royal justices itinerant came to 
hold assize in Northumberlantl, the prior or iiis bailitV met them ' at the 
well called ("liille at the head of Gateshead ' if they came from Durham, or 
at Fourstones if they came from Cumberland, and requested to have his 
liberties. On this being granted, he asked for a copy of the articles of 
the eyre for execution within the franchise, and the prior then issued a 
similar commission to two of his justices, to whom the justices itinerant 
assigned a third.'' An assize was then held by the three within the libertv, 
the usual place for it being the held of Elswick, outside the walls of the 

' In 1291 Prior Walden based on this grant of forstal the right of forstalling the market of Newcastle 
by tlie purchase of goods bound for that market at his own port of Shields. The kin;.4's advocate gave 
the true interpretation of the term. ' Hoc verbinii Jor>.taUnm interpretari del^et et intelligi ad inipediendum 
aHqiiem vel insultandum in regia strata, el non .alio modo, siciit praedictus prior ilhid inlelligit.' Rutuli 
Piirliiiiiuittaiii, Record Com. vol. i. p. 28. 

■Time Northiimhrian A$si~.e Rolls, Surt. Soc. No. 88, p. 54. Cp. Tynemouth Charliiliuy, fols. 51 b 
and 5S b ; 'Consuetudo antiqua fuit quod nullus viscinus portaret aliiiuod breve regis ad implacitan(him 
viscinum suum, nisi prius breve directum priori ad placitandum in curia sua propria.' The practice was 
already obsolete at the date of this entry (late fourteenth century). 

' Kegislniiii PaUiliiuim Duiielmense, vol. iii. p|). 49-50. 


preaching friars of Newcastle.' Appeal lay from the priors court to the 
king, and, it it was found that a miscarriage of justice had occurred, the 
case was brought up to the royal courts by a writ of ccitididii? A con- 
sideration ot the special forest jurisdiction exercised by the lords of the 
libertv is reserved for the account of Bewick township. 

Besides a regular start of justices, the prior had his own coroner. He 
had at Tynemouth a prison,^ gallows, tumbrel, and pillory, and a gallows and 
tumbrel at Bewick.' Hi- held an assize of bread and ale, and punished by 
line or pillory for breach of the assize.^ The royal casualties of waif, estray, 
treasure trove and wreck of the sea were his, as well as all mines of coal 
within the liberty, e.xcept perhaps the mines under freehold land. He had 
free warren. The profits of jurisdiction went to him, namely the fines and 
amercements of his men," deodands, and the goods of murderers and felons. 

The right of sanctuary was another important privilege possessed by 
the priory from an early date. Tynemouth had its grith or special peace, 
of which the boundaries, marked by crosses where roads intersected them, 
probably extended a mile around the priory,' and it is not impossible 
that the Monk's Stone near the junction of the roads leading from Tyne- 
mouth to Whitlev and to Monkseaton, is a memorial cross removed 
from the Anglian cemetery to serve in post -Conquest times as a grith - 

' The following two rubrics from the Assize Rolls illustrate the procedure: 'Assisa capta extra 
niuros fratrum predicatorum apud Novum Castrum super Tynam infra libertatem prioris de Tynemuthe, 
die martis proxima post festum apostoloruni Petri et Pauli, anno regni regis Edwardi sexto, coram 
Johanne de Reygar et Willelmo de Xorthbury, justiciariis assignatis, et Willelmode Middclton qiiem sibi 
associaverunt.' KoU 1239, m. 14 d. ' Placita de juratis et assisis apud Elstewyk in crastino Epiphanie, 
anno regni regis Edwardi undecinio, coram Johanne de Farneakers et Kadulfo de Essenden, justiciariis 
domini prioris de Tynemuth, et Roberto Bertram assignato per dominum regem.' Roll 1254, m. 7. 

- For an instance of this in 1284 see Abbreviatio Placitorum, Record Com. p. 276. 

' (Prior) dicit quod sicut prisona domini regis Novi Castri super Tynam hucusque deliberata exlilit 
per breve domini regis et ejus justiciarios, ita prisonam suam de Tynemuc hucusque deliberari fecit sine 
breve regis per justiciarios et coronatores suos quos idem prior ad hoc constituit. Gibson, Tynaiwulh, 
vol. ii. p. Ixxiv. 

' Placita de quo zcurniiito. Record Com. p. 593 ; Hodgson, Northumberland, part iii. vol. i. p. I49- 

'Memorandum quod in crastino apostolorum Petri et Pauli, A.D. 1307, frater S[imon], prior de 
Tynemuth, per consilium amicorum levari fecit in villa de Tynemuth collistrigium, hoc est pillori, eo 
quod t.ile judicium pertinet ad assisam panis et cervisiequam dictus prior et predecessores sui habuerunt 
sicut communiter dicitur a tempore quo non extat memoria, per liberlates concessas in cartis regum 
Angliae; sed tali judicio, hoc est pillori, per suam negligenciam usi non fuerunt usque ad lerminum 
apostolorum Petri et Pauli supiadictum. Tyiiemoiith Ciuirtulary, fol. 191 b. .At an assize held in 
Newcastle in 1279 the jurors presented that the prior of Tynemouth had had a gallows and had kept 
the assize of bread and ale since the time of Henry I. Three Xorthttmbriait Assize Rolls, p. 54. 

' Memorandum quod preceptum fuit xvij die Aprilis, anno regis Henrici undecimo, per comnnunc 
consilium regni, quod abbas de Sancto .Albano habeat amerciamenta hominum suorum de Tynemuth. et 
quod ea de cetero capiat ad scaccarium. St. Alhaii's Register, fol. 97 b. Tynemouth Chartulary, fol. 207. 

' As in the case of Hexham, for which see vol. iii. p. 242. 


cross.' Suspected or convicted felons who crossed the bounds of the grith 
escaped the penalties of life and limb. To these the prior gave his pro- 
tection, as in the case of Thomas de Carliol, for whom the mayor and good 
men of Newcastle asked permission to live in his hired house at Tyncmouth, 
as he had been guilty of an assault." A lawless population of grith-men 
grew up within the limits of sanctuary, whose services were occasionally 
useful in Scottish wars. In 1342 Edward Baliol was empowered to array 
the grith-men of Tynemouth and other northern sanctuaries, if they were 
willing to serve at their own expense upon a pardon being granted to them.' 
Occasionally prisoners in Newcastle succeeded in breaking prison and 
found a safe asylum at Tynemouth, their escape, on at least one occasion, 
being attributed to the miraculous agency of St. Osvvin.'' 

In grave cases, as where a murder had been committed within the 
liberty, the guilty person might insure himself against loss of life or limb 
by taking refuge in the priory church, where he confessed to his deed 
before the coroner and abjured the realm.^ A late instance of the use of 
sanctuary occurred in 1523, when one Robert Lambert, having taken part 
in the murder of Christopher Ratclift'e at Sherston in Durham, fled to Tyne- 
mouth priory for refuge. Cardinal Wolsey, upon that occasion, requested 
Lord Dacre, warden of the marches, ' by all means and politic ways which 
ye can devise,' to secure Lambert's apprehension." 

The liberty of Tynemouth had its financial as well as its judicial side. 
The prior and his men enjoyed freedom from tolls and customs,' and by a 

' In 1294 the abbot of St. Albaii's and the prior of Tynemouth were summoned to shew 'quo 
warranto clamant receptarc omnes homines felones vcnientes 'mfvAgyitlicyos de Tynemuth.' PLuilii dc quo 
Karrtinto,p. 593; Hodgson, Nortltiinibirhiiul, part iii. vol. i. p. 149. 

■' Viro rehgioso et discreto ac aniico^suo, si placet, specialissimo, domino p[riori] de T[yncmuthe], sui 
devoti major et prolji homines de Novo Castro, salutem in domino sempiternam, cum omni reverencia et 
honorc. Noverit eminens discrecio vestra tiuod Thomas de Karl', lator presencium, noster fidelis 
comburgensis est et lauilabiliter inter nos conversatus, cujus famam testamur bonam et probabilcm, nisi 
tantum quod verberavit quendam hominem et inde satisfecit dicto homini, unde amici facti sunt. Quare, 
propter discrecionem vestram.omni qua possumus affeccione altentc et devote exoiamus quatinus dictum 
Thomam et suos, si placet, manuteneatis, proteyatis et defendatis, non inferentes eideni nee inferri 
permittcntes injuriam, molcstiam, dampnum ant gravamen, sed potius ipsum in donio sua conducla in 
villa vestra de T[ynemutheJ pacifice remancre permittatis ; ila quod preces nostras senciat valiluras et 
vobis et vestris ad codignas teneamus gratiaruni acciones. Valete in domino, liodleian Library, Digby 
Cviliccs, 20, fol. 125 b. 

' Rotiili Scotiae, Record Com. \ol. i. p. 629. ' Vita Os-u'ini, Surt. Soc. No. 6, cap. xlii. 

^ This practice explains the anonymous monk's panegyric upon St. Oswin (quoted on p. 72), 'cujus 
munimine muniuntur profugi et exules a propria patria propter homicidia furta vel sediciones contr.i 
regem et regni statuta nequiler perpetrata.' 

° Cal. Letters and Papers, Henry VIII. vol. iii. ]). 1299 ; Heaine, Ottcrtntrn, vol. ii. p. 579. 

'Writ of Henry II. given in 1158: ' Precipio quod omnes res sancti Oswyni et monachorum de 
Tynemutha, quas homines sui poterunt affidare suas esse proprias, [sint] quiete de iheoloneo et passagio 
et de omni consuetudine.' See p. 62, note (3). 


charter of Henry III. they were immune from the murage paid on merchan- 
dise brought into walled towns.' It has even been asserted that the prior 
had a mint at Tynemouth.^ Sheriffs took nothing from within his liberty. 
He and his men were exempt from most forms of royal taxation, including 
danegeld, tallage, and cornage.' The monks were liable, as clergy, to 
contribute to all clerical aids and subsidies. Compulsory loans were exacted 
from them,^ and the king's purveyors enforced them to levy supplies and 
to provide horses and carts for military campaigns.^ Otherwise the onlv 
taxes paid into the royal exchequer bv the men of the shire were lay 
subsidies. Upon the receipt of the sheriff's writ, officers were elected in the 
prior's court to carry out the unpopular task of assessment and collection.' 
Though the prior and convent were released in 1204 from the obli- 
gation of paying cornage to the Crown, they continued to collect it from 
holdings within the liberty. Cornage had ceased to be forensic, it continued 
to be an intrinsic service. A portion, amounting to £2 5s. lofd., was paid 
to the abbot of St. Alban's on the feast of St. Peter and St. Paul, and went 
by the name of abbot-scoth ; 7s. ffd. was paid at Michaelmas to the prior 
of Tynemouth. Assuming that these figures, which are given in a document 
of the fourteenth century," correspond with the sums paid before 1204, 

' 'Concedimus quod ipsi et homines eorum per totum rcgnuni et potestalcm nostrani in perpetuum 
de nuiragio sint quieti.' Charter of April 22nd, 1271 ; Gibson, Tyiumoullt, vol. ii. appendix, No. Ixxxvi. 

-' Horsley wrote in 1729/30 that he had seen a piece of money coined at Tynemouth, Inedikd 
Contributions to the History of Northumberland, p. 23. It is much more probable that what he saw was a 
token, similar to those engraved in Gibson, Tynemouth, vol. i. p. 164. 

' See p. 69. ' Rymer, Foedera, Record Com. vol. iii. pars i. pp. 116, 132. 

* Tynemouth Chartulary, fol. 214 b. Rotuit Seotiae, vol. i. p. 122. 

" Edwardus, Dei gratia rex .-\ngliae, etc., vicecomiti Northumbriae, salutem. Cum . . . dilecti el 
tideles nostri, Johannes de Haullon et -Simon de Creppynge, taxatores quintedecimc in comitatu predicto, 
per breve suum ballivis libertatis prcdictae mandassent quod de comitatu dictae libertatis cerlos homines 
ad taxandum bona omnium hominum ejusdem libertatis eligi et eos coram prefatis Johanne et Simone 
super hoc praestandum venire facerent ; ac insuper iidem ballivi averia Walteri Scot de Wcltedeii et .Adae 
de Selby, duorum hominum de libertate predicta ad hoc electorum, pro eo quod coram eis veniie et 
hujusmodi sacramcntum facere contcmpserunt, cepissent prout ad ipsos |)ertinuit r.-itionc libertatis 
predictae ; dictus Walterus et .\dam averia sua, ea ratione capta, sibi per te repligiari maliciose 
procurarunt, et ipsum priorcm et balHvos suos inde iniplacitant coram tc in coniitatu tuo, per quod 
taxatio quintedecime nostre infra libertatcm predictam nimiam ccpit dilationem, in nostrum dampnum 
et predicti prioris et libertatis sue prejudicium manifcstum ; et te nolumus prcdictum priorem vel ballivos 
suos occasione distructionis prcdicte, si pro contemptu predicto et non alia de lam facta sil. per 
hujusmodi placitum vexari ; tibi precipinuis quod, si ita est, tunc placito isli nominato supersedeas, 
et predicto priori averia pretliclorum Walteri et .Adae pro contemptu predictorum capta retornari facias, 
quousque sacramentum predictum praestiterint, et officium per taxatores predictos eis milii motum 
fecerint in hac parte. Teste mcipso, etc., 22'" iMaii, anno quarto [May 22, 1276]. Tynemuuth Churlnlary, 
fol. 215 b. 

' Tynemouth Chcirtul.irv, fol. 67, printed bv Brand, Xeuaistle. vol. ii. p. 79- Hodgson Hindc 
{Northumberland, p. 261) adduces a similar instance in the barony of .Appleby. The origin of this rent 
has been discussed by I'rofessor Wailland in the English Historical Review, vol. v. pp. 625-632. See also 
Dr. Lapsley's treatment of the subject in Victoria County History of Durham, vol. 1. p. 272 et seq., and 
authorities there cited. 


when twenty-four sliilliiigs was vearly cleniaiuled by the ("rown, it follows 
that less than half of the sum exacted from the tenants found its way 
into the national exchequer. Cornage was imposed alike on hee and on 
customary tenements, but not all the lands helil of the prior in any one 
township were liable to it, and some townships, including; those of Eglingham, 
Bewick and Lilburn, paid no cornage. It is not easy to discover the 
principle of the assessment. Possibly each township was assessed at a 
certain figure, averaging 3s. 4d., and certain holdings were then made re- 
sponsible for its payment. 

Castle ward was another source of profit. The whole township of West 
Chirton was paying a quarter of a maik vearly to the monastery for castle 
ward in 1295,' though the monks of Tvnemouth made no corresponding 
contribution to the defence of Newcastle. 

Certain military obligations were incumbent upon the prior and his 
men, but here too the liberty had its privileges. As the lands of the monas- 
tery were held in frankalmoin, they were free from the feudal obligations of 
military service. On the other hand the prior maintained tlie castle of 
Tynemouth at his own cost, and so contributed to the work of national 
defence. His men were not required to go out with the fyrd, except in 
cases of actual invasion of the earldom.- They were released from work 
upon Newcastle and other castles in Northumberland (the hiirh-bot of the 
tniKnhi iicccssit(ts) by a charter given to them in 1136 by King Stephen.' 
With the use of commissions of array, the liberty lost much of its ex- 
ceptional character, but its men formed a separate levy under their own 
commander,' and as such they were present at the battle of Flodden when 
they 'fled at the first shot of the Scottish guns.'* 

' Tynemouth CiuirtiiUiiy, fol. 40. Castie ward occurs only as an incident of military tenure, and its 
payment by West Chirton is accounted for by tlie fact that the township had been held by military 
service until 1256, when it was acquired in frankalmoin. Yet the payment continued to be collected. 
Upon the subject of castle ward see Hodgeon Hinde, Northumberland, pp. 261-263, ^"d ^''<:'<- ^'^l- >st 
series, vol. iv. p. 285. 

•-• See above, p. 59, note 2 (5) and (8). » See above, p. 58, note (4). 

' John de -Segrave, tenaunt le lieu nostre seigneur le roi en le parties de North', au baillif de la 
fraunchi=e Tabbe de seynt Alban de Tynemuth, salulz. Pur ceo que nous serroms a Rokesburgh le 
denieynge proscheyn devant le quaresme, prenant ove tot le poer que nous porroms purchaccr auxi bien 
des parties avant dites com de ailliours pur reboter les eneniys le roi en Escoce, sicom est acorde entre nous 
et la dite communalte, vous maundonis de par le roi sur quant que vous poetz forfaire, que, veues cestes 
lettres, facetz eslyre deynz la dite fraunchise ceniz honimes a pee et un centener vigrous et defensable, 
issynt que vous le eietz as ditz jour et a lieu sauntz nul defaule. . . . Et sachetz que, si vous n'eietz 
mesmes le gentz as ditz jour et lieu, vous encurretz qeu est ordeyne com celuy q'est desobeileaunt au roi. 
Don a Bamburgh, le disme jour de Fev', Pan du regne le roi Edward xxxj [Februarv 10th, 1303/4]. 
Tynemouth C/iartultiry, fol. 214. 

' Cal. Letters ami Papers, Henry Mil. vol. i. p. 687. 


Like other seaports, Tvnemouth was called upon in time of war to 
provide its quota of ships to the royal navy. Orders for the impressment 
of vessels were directed to the bailiff. 

The officers of the liberty included a staff of justices, a bailiff and a 
coroner. The bailiff held a position within the liberty corresponding^ in 
almost every respect with that of the sheriff outside it ; he was the chief 
executive officer. By an arrangement uncommon in palatinates the coroner 
was elected in the free court.' A grand jury or standing committee of 
twelve {jiiratorcs coroiiac) existed for the purpose of making presentments 
in the court of the liberty.* There was a receiver general of rents, and 
a seneschal who held the manorial courts. The post of seneschal after- 
wards lost its ministerial character and came, in the later days of the priory, 
to be an honorarv office conferred upon noblemen.^ The castle was under 

' Willelmus Stiwaid . . . dicit quod est coronator intromittens se de his quae pertinent ad coronam 
domini regis. . . . Reqiiisitus per qiiem factus est coronator, dicit quod electus est ct factus per ballivum 
et liberam curiam praedicti prioris et non per breve domini regis. . . . Et dicit quod multotiens excrcuit 
officia coronalia, faciendo visum de liominibus occisis, oppressis, et submersis. Gibson, Tyiumuiilh, 
vol. ii. p. Ixxv. 

= In the subsidy roll of 1295 (Lay Subsidies P.R.O. No. 158/1) the jurors of the libeily are given 
imder a separate heading, and their names consequently do not appear under the townships to which 
they respectively belong. The entry was as follows ; 

Sunima bonorum Willelmi de Welteden ... 270 undc regi 

„ Radulphi servientis de Seyton 

,, Willelmi de .Seyton 

,, Roberli filii ("lilbcrti 

,, Alani de Hcrtlaw 

„ Willelmi clerici de Welteden 

„ l\(il)erti de Prudhow ... 

„ Willelmi de Chirton ... 

,, Johannis de Copun 

„ Willelmi (jray ... 

„ Johannis de Wytteley ... 

„ Roberli de Chirton 

Summa hujus iluodcnae £27 los. 2d., uncle regi £2 loo,[d. 

' As deeds drawn up in the prior's court were often dated simply by the stewardship of tlie presiding 
officer, it is as well to give a list of such seneschals as have their names recorded in the Jyiumoiith 
Cluirtiiliiry, the SI. Athan's Rff^ish-r, and early charters : 

1256. Hugh le Moyner. 1302. John de Dudden. 1351- William de Heppescoles. 

1264. John de Middleton. i^[2 (ctrca). Thomas de Fishburn. 1392. John le Ornford. 

1276. Thomas de Clyvedcn. 1319-i 320. ' Henry de Harden. 1421. William de Mitford. 

1291. William de Heslerig. 1325. de Raynlon. 1426-1434. Robert W hclpmgton. 

1294/5. Nicholas le Vigrus. 1333-1344. Robert de Sorcys. 1 530 (riio(). Lord Rochlord. 

After the dissolution the office of chief steward of the lands of the dissolved monastery and of the courts 
there was held by Sir Cuthbert Ratcliff; Sir Francis LeeUc, January 20th, 1545/6 (••Xugmentation Office, 
Misc. Books, vol. 236, fol. 121) ; Sir Thomas Hilton, April 6th, 1549 {ihiil. vol. 220, fol. iSi) ; Su- Henry 
Percy, afterwards eighth earl of Northumberland, I'ebiuary 8lh, 1561 : Henry, nnilh earl of Northumber- 
land, on the death of his father in 15S5, under terms of patent dated May 3rd, 1570. , , , „ 

The court rolls of the manor give the names of ihe following persons who have held office snicc 
1685: Thomas lioath, 1685; William Coles, 1707: Thomas Elder and Henry Sunon, 1725; rhomas 
Elder, 1735 ; James Scott, 1756 ; Richard C.rieve, 1760 ; Collingwood Forster, 1761 ; Henry tollmgwood 
Selby, 1775; Jonathan Raine, 1796; Christopher Cookson, 1831; Cresswell Cresswell, 1832; SirW.^ller 
Buchanan Kiddell, bart., 1S42 ; Cuthbert Umfreville Laws, 1S70; Edward Leadbitter, 1SS2 : W ilham 
Hall Ryott, 1S94. Since 1735 the title of steward has superseded that of seneschal. 










1 1 





















1 1 



the rule of a constable.' Chief among the lay officers of the prior's 
household was the dapifcr or server, whose duties became a grand serjeantry 
hv whicii the manor of Seghill was held. 

There is some slight evidence for the e.xistence of a council or advisory 
body, composed partly of the chief tenants, partly of officers of state, in 
receipt of salaries and liveries from the prior. It was upon the advice of 
his council that Prior Walden erected a pillory at Tynemouth in 1307.* 

In I2iji the liberty of Tvnemouth was forfeited to the Crown under 
the following circumstances.^ At noon on October 29th, 1290, according 
to the plaintiffs statement, John de Whitley, lord of the manor of Whitley, 
Gilbert Andre, and William de Cowpen, came to the house of Walter litz 
Nicholas in Whitley, broke through the east door of the house with an 
axe, and concealed themselves in a chamber within till midnight, when 
thev forced open a chest and a strong-box, and took thence two women's 
cloaks, one green and the other blue, valued at two marcs ; two pieces 
of Rheims tapestrv, worth one marc ; forty ells of linen cloth worth ten 
shillings, and two kerchiefs and four sleeves valued at twenty shillings. 
Next morning, finding his house rifled and the burglars fled, Walter fitz 
Nicholas, as soon as he was able, raised hue and cry after them, and 
followed them, until they were caught and attached at his suit. William 
Stiward, coroner for the liberty, took pledges from fitz Nicholas for his 
appeal, and, on November iith, threw the defendants into prison to await 
their trial. 

Late on the 28th of the same month, a letter from the sheriff of North- 
umberland was given into the hands of the bailiff of the liberty, informing 
him that next morning William Heron and two other of the king's justices 
were coming to Tvnemouth to hold a gaol deliverv, and ordering him to 
have the prisoners and a jury ready to appear. According to a statement 
subsequently made by Prior Walden, there was no time to summon the 

' .'Vmhony Mitford, who held the office of constable at the dissolution, had a fee of ^5 yearly. 
Uugdale, Monaslicon, vol. iii. p. 308. 

• ' Per consilium amicorum ' ; Tynemouth Chartulary, fol. igi b. The St. Albein's Register (fol. 129 b.) 
gives a list of officers receiving salaries about 1306. ' Isti accipiunt pensiones de Tynemuth per priorem. 
Thomas de Kisburn, 40s.; Ricardus de Ciikesho, 40s.; (ialfridus de Herterpol, 40s.; Johannes de Insula, 
IOCS. ; Johannes Gray, robam el ... ; dominus Walterus de Cambou, 20s. ; Johannes de Horton, 20s. ; 
Adam de Benton, robam et . . .' 

' The record of these proceedings is given in the Coram Rege Rolls, No. 130, printed by Gibson, 
Tynemouth, vol. ii. appendix, No. xci. and, with some additional details, in the St. Alban's Register, fols. 
I 50 b to 132 b, and the Tynemouth Chnrtuhiry, fols. iSo-183. 


jury, but, more probably, the prior and his officers regarded the holding of a 
gaol delivery by the king's officers as a violation of their privilege. On the 
following morning the justices came and sat down in the prior's great hall 
and there read the warrant to the bailiffs, whom they ordered in the king's 
name to bring their prisoners before them ; but the bailiffs replied that 
the place in which they sat was within the precincts of the church, and 
that they must not bring any prisoners before them there. Then the justices 
went to the door of the prison, where the same demand met with the same 
response. Finally they proceeded to the market cross which stood in the 
village outside the monastery,' and, sitting upon its steps, the justices read 
their warrant for the third time ; whereupon the bailiffs made answer 
that they had never seen any of the king's justices come there to make 
delivery of the prior's prison, and that they would not bring any prisoners 
before them. So Heron and his companions returned without eflfecting 
their purpose. 

Afterwards, upon January 6th, 1291, William de Heslerig, the prior's 
seneschal, issued a summons for a court at Preston on the 20th, and made 
public proclamation that a gaol delivery would be held on that day. The 
court met, the three prisoners were brought before it, and Walter fitz 
Nicholas made appeal against them. They pleaded a variation from the 
original indictment, and asked that this should be read. Stiward produced 
his coroner's roll, which, upon examination, was found to contain the indict- 
ment in the form of an inquest, and not of an appeal, and that too was 
without the twelve attestations necessary to render it valid. The appeal 
was therefore rejected by the court. The prisoners were then asked how 
they wished to purge themselves of the charge of robbery and breach of 
the peace. They replied that they would put themselves on their country 
and craved a jury ; but the bailiffs refused to hold the inquisition at the 
same court, though there were sufficient suitors there to impanel a jury, 
and sent the three defendants back to prison, to remain there till the ne.xt 
meeting of the court on the 30th of the month. At that court the 
bailiffs stated that the appeal had been illegal ; no precedent could be 
adduced for the hearing of appeals in the prior's court without a writ 
and special order from the king ; and John de Whitley was sent back to 

' A cross is shown at the head of the village street, near the gate-house of the prioiy, in the plan of 
Tynemouth castle made in 1545. Arch. Aft. 2nd series, vol. .\ix. plan facing p. 6S. 

Vol. VIII. 2S 


the prior's prison with his two companions pending the arrival of the 
justices itinerant at Newcastle upon their next assize, when the case was 
to be recommenced. 

The three were detained in prison for three months, and then were 
released upon the king's writ. They had suffered such hardships during 
their confinement that William de Cowpen died on the day after his release. 
Letters of over and terminer were issued by the king at Newcastle on 
April 25th, directing certain of his justices to hear the appeal. Two days 
afterwards the justices came to Tynemouth to carry out their commission. 
Prior Walden met them by claiming his old liberty of jurisdiction. As 
they were not prepared to decide so large a subject as the legality of the 
franchise, the whole case was referred to the king and his council at 
Norham, where proceedings recommenced on May 13th. Walden took his 
stand on the charter of Richard I.,' but could not bring any evidence to 
show that pleas of the crown or common pleas were heard in his court 
before 1235. He produced a king's writ given in that year, and several 
from 1255 onwards, which had been delivered to him by justices of the 
king's bench, justices of oyer and terminer, and justices in eyre, showing 
that his court had latterly practised a civil and a criminal jurisdiction. But, 
as proof of continuity of seisin since 1189 was not forthcoming, the king 
in council pronounced the liberty claimed by the prior to be not consonant 
with the law of the realm, and on this ground, and because various ille- 
galities had been committed in the course of the proceedings against John 
de Whitley, the franchise was, on June 24th, declared to be forfeited and 
annexed to the Crown. 

Though forfeited by the prior, the liberty continued to have an inde- 
pendent existence. Its criminal jurisdiction is illustrated by a record of 
the pleas of the crown taken by the king's itinerant justices in 1293.'^ 

Pleas of the crown of the liberty of the prior of Tynemouth at Newcastle-upon-Tyne, before H. de 
Cressingham and his companions, justices itinerant, on the Tuesday next after Ascension Day, in the 
twenty-first year of the reign of King Edward [May 12th, 1293]. 

Jurors. Gilbert Andrew, bailiff; Nicholas de Morton, Nicholas Faukes of Backworth, Alan de 
Hertlawe, electors ; John le Clerk of Coupoun, Robert de bracina, Roger de Morton, Richard de 
Hereford, Peter de Backworth, William Russel, Roger de Tynemuth, Robert Acorne, Hugh de Back- 

' Requisitus si predictam libertatem clamet alio modo vel per aliud quam per predictam cartam, 
dicit quod non. 

- lK.ssize Rolls, No. 651, m. 23. 


From the whole liberty because it does not share in the geldable land,' by way of fine for false 
judgment and other trespass, 20 marks. 

These were coroners since the last iUr : Adam de Pykering, who is dead, William Styward and 
Roger Maudut, who are alive and make answer. And Adam has no heir or executor to answer for 
the rolls, for before his death he enfeoffed the prior of Tynemouth of his lands and tenements. Order 
to the sheriff to make the prior appear. The prior came in the person of Nicholas Vigerus, his attorney, 
and made fine of 40s. 

Thomas Bridock and Nicholas Leker were crushed to death in the field of Elswick in a pit which 
fell in on them ; verdict, misfortune. Adam de Pykering, who is dead, has no heir or executor to 
answer for him on that plaint, for he died destitute. Recourse had to the prior of Tynemouth, the 
then lord of the liberty. 

Agnes, who was wife of Nicholas Belle of Newcastle, was found dead from exhaustion in the field 
of Elswick. Nicholas Belle, who first found her, did not appear ; neither he nor anyone else is 
suspected ; verdict, misfortune. Nicholas was attached by Robert, son of the said .Agnes, and Walter 
de Halywell of Newcastle, who now have him not, therefore fined. The townships of .-Vmble and 
Hauxley did not come to the inquest, therefore fined. 

Richard de Ryton dug for coals in the field of Elswick and the earth fell in on him and crushed him. 
An unknown man was found dead in the field of Monkseaton, in a place called Wellepeth. The 
townships of Hertford, Wclton, Eglingham and Cowpen did not present that plaint at the next county 
court, therefore fined. 

Christiana, wife of Laurence the tailor of Tynemouth, was found dead from cold in the field of 
West Chirton. 

William Gut, son of Robert de Roucestre, fell into a pit in Elswick moor and was dashed to pieces. 
Roger de Mykeley, wishing to cross the Tyne, was drowned. 

An unknown man was found in Wylam wood, killed by malefactors unknown. It was not known 
who they were or what became of them. 

Roger Horlyne and Robert Fundelyng made away for com stolen from the prior of Tynemouth. 
Sentenced to exile and outlawry. They have no chattels. 

Of wine sold contrary to the assize. They state that Peter Mareys of Bewick sold three jars of 
wine, Roger de Tynemouth, clerk, six jars, and Richard Prat of Tynemouth three jars, contrarj- to 
the assize ; therefore fined. 

Thomas, servant of William de Hamcldon, killed Adam Langthong in the town of Tynemouth 
in the daytime, and at once after the deed was done he fled to Tynemouth church ; and there before 
Roger Maudut the coroner he confessed the deed and abjured the realm ; value of his chattels, five 

John le Flemyng fell out of a boat in the Tyne and was drowned. Misfortune. Price of the boat, 
two shillings. 

Of unjust distraints. They state that the prior of Tynemouth and his bailiffs do not allow the 
free men of Tynemouth to herd their cattle in the king's highway between Tynemouth and East 
Chirton, nor between Tynemouth and Tynemouth wind-mill, as they were wont ; but whenever they 
wish to cross there with their cattle, the prior sends his bailiffs to impark the said cattle and detam 
them till they have made fine for them. And the prior, in the person of his attorney, questioned 
as to this, says that he never sent his bailiffs to impark the cattle of the free men in the king's 
highway nor prevented them from herding them there : but he says that there is in that place a 
certain pasture near the road which is his severalty, of which he found his church seised , and if it 
happens that their cattle cross the road into the pasture and do damage, then he imparks them as 
he lawfully may, and not otherwise. And as to this he puts himself on his countr>-. .And the jurors 
state on their oath that the said pasture is the prior's severalty, namely, from Tynemouth to the bridge 
of the hospital of St. Leonard, and that the prior has not prevented the free men from herding or 
driving their cattle on the king's highway. Therefore the prior is quit, and the twelve jurors arc 
fined for false presentment. 

' ' Quare non participat cum geldabili.' 


Of lands alienated contrary to the Statute of Mortmain. They state that the prior of Tynemouth 
acquired an acre of land from Adam le Vacher and one acre of land from William de Wytton since 
the statute. The sheriff ordered to make the prior appear. 

Walter, son of Nicholas de Tynemouth, appealed in the court of the prior of Tynemouth, John 
de Whitley, Gilbert Andreu, and William de Coupoun who is dead, for robbery, burglary and breaking 
the king's peace. And the appeal was carried before the king, and there terminated as the jurors 
testify. And upon this came the aforesaid John and Gilbert and state likewise that the appeal was 
there terminated and that they were acquitted of it, etc. 

The jurors present that William de Chirton of Tynemouth was distrained by the township of 
Tynemouth of a cow, for eightpence, which he owed towards the charges of the four and of the reeve 
of Tynemouth coming before the justices at Newcastle. And after the cow was imparked, William 
took the cow out of the park without licence. Therefore the sheriff is ordered to make him appear. 
And he comes and denies the whole and says that he did not take the cow out of the park, but that 
a boy of si.x years old, to whom the cow had belonged, took it out of the park. Judgment given by 
jurors against William, who is fined half a mark. 

Of those who fish with ' kidell and starkell.' They state that Simon Post of Suthloges, John 
Scot of the same, John, son of Arnold, Roger Nelle, Liolf, son of John, and Patrick Gobyclif fish 
with fine-meshed nets in the Tyne in common through the whole year, as well in the close season 
as in the open. And they catch salmon, contrary to the statute. Order to the sheriff to arrest them. 
They also state that Patrick de Sheles catches salmon in the Tyne in the close season. Order to 
the sheriff to arrest him, and to summon Thomas de Milleburn and Robert de Throckelawe, conser- 
vators of the said river. And Patrick now says that he has not fished for salmon with fine-meshed nets. 
The jury find him not guilty, therefore he is quit. Afterwards the sheriff announces that Symon and the 
others have not been found in his bailiwick, nor have they anything by which they may be attached. 
The jury bear witness that they have twice contravened the statute. Order to the sheriff to arrest them 
if they are found in his bailiwick, and to imprison them for three months according to the statute.' 

The jurors present that one Michael de Flaundres killed Geoffrey le Messor of Tynemouth in the 
daytime with an axe in the field of Tynemouth, and he was at once caught and imprisoned in the prior 
of Tynemouth's prison, and was guarded there by the township of Tynemouth. And afterwards he 
escaped from prison and put himself in the priory church, and there, before Adam de Pykering, the 
coroner, who is dead, he confessed the deed and abjured the realm. He had no chattels. The said 
township put on its trial for allowing the escape, for they had guard of the prison. And the twelve jurors 
concealed that felony in their verdict, therefore they are put on their trial. 

Of Hugh Gobyon, sherifl", for the forfeited chattels of an unknown woman who sought sanctuary at 
Tynemouth, because she did not confess before the coroner that she had any chattels ; fourteen shillings. 

The jurors present that William de Coupon was arrested for robbery committed upon Walter, son of 
Nicholas de Whiteley, of which the latter brought an appeal against him in the court of the prior of 
Tynemouth, and he was placed in the stocks at the order of William Styward, coroner, and guarded 
there for three months and more by one William Glede and John, son of Christiana de Tynemouth, who 
so wickedly kept the said William in duresse of prison in the said stocks during that time, that he died 
in consequence of the imprisonment on the day after his release. This was done at the order of William 
Styward, coroner, and of Henry de Harden, clerk to the prior of Tynemouth. Therefore let them be 
arrested. Afterwards William Styward and John, son of Christiana, came and made fine for postpone- 
ment at one mark. Bail found for them. Afterwards it was announced by the sheriff that the said 
Williain Glede had not been found, but had made away, and is suspect. Therefore he is exiled and 
outlawed. He has no chattels. Then William Styward, Henry de Hardenn and John, son of Christiana, 
came and were asked how they would acquit themselves of the death of the said William. They plead 
not guilty, and put themselves wholly upon the country. And the jurors state on their oath that none of 
them is guilty of the said William's death ; therefore they are all quit. 

Entry of payment of two marks by the twelve jurors for concealment and other trespasses. 

' For regulations respecting salmon fisheries on the Tyne, see Cal. Due. Rel. Scot. vol. i. p. 512. 


Six years later, upon the petition of the prior and convent of Tyne- 
mouth/ on February 20th, 1299, Edward I. restored to them all their former 
privileges/ which were afterwards specifically confirmed to them by a 
charter of Edward IV., dated March 19th, 1463.' The civil jurisdiction 
of the priory does not seem to have outlasted the fourteenth century. The 
difficulty of enforcing royal prerogatives, which had outlasted their useful- 
ness, led to a practical extinction of the franchise long before the dissolution ; 
but, for that very reason, the liberty was never, and has never been formally 

The Manor. 

As stated above, there was one court {libera curia) for the whole 
liberty, held every three weeks and attended by all the free tenants of 
the monastery. It was usually convened in the prior's great hall at Tyne- 
mouth, but might be held in any part of the liberty. It was at once 
seignorial and feudal, and combined the functions of a court leet with 
those of a court baron. 

The franchise was not, however, devoid of a manorial organization, 
though the manor was rather an economic than a jurisdictional unit. An 
assessment-roll of 1292 enumerates the ten manors of Tynemouth, Preston, 
Monkseaton, Backworth, Flatworth, Bebside, Elswick, Wylam, Amble, 
and Bewick.^ On a tour through the liberty made by Abbot Norton in 
1264, courts were held at Tynemouth and at the five places last named.'' 
Though Preston, Monkseaton, Backworth, and Flatworth do not appear in 
the record of 1264, corroborative evidence of their manorial character is 
found in their possessing halls, while Flatworth, Backworth, and Monk- 
seaton had separate demesnes, though Preston and Tynemouth had their 
demesnes in common. It may be inferred that the liberty was parcelled 
into manors, and that courts were retained in the outlying districts, though 

'Ancient Petitions, P.R.O. No. 3761. ... Petunt etiam quod si dominus rex ob amorem Uei et 

reverenciam sancti Oswyni velit reddere dictam libertatem prefate ecclesie de Tynemutli, ut possinl 
habere illam ex special! done suo, sicut illam habuerunt ex speciali dono regis Ricardi antecessoris sui. 
Kt ubi dicitur in carta dicta regis Ricardi omnca homines et omnes terras, etc., quod ipse velit specilicare 
villas et loca, si placet, et qualiter debeant amodo justiciaries et coronatores suos creare. ..... Ista 

petunt prior et conventus ut dominus rex concedat eis, si placet, ex sua clemencia et pro sancti Oswyni 
reverencia, et quod capiat de eis pro tali gracia juxta facultateni domus eorum ita quod habeant racion- 
abiles terniinos de solucione sine depressionc domus sue. Et sciat dominus rex quod dicti prior et 
conventus non petunt aliqua de quibus dominus rex danipnum vel jacturam habere poterit. Et hoc 
scire poterit pro certo, si placeat jubere ut rei Veritas per lidedignos inquiratur. 

■ Dugdale, Monasticon, vol. iii. p. 318. " Gibson, Tynemouth, vol. ii. appendix, .No. c.x.xxvii. 

' Dugdale, Monasticon, vol. iii. p. 315. ' Registriini WhcthamsteJe, Rolls Series, vol. ii. pp. 319-324. 


round the monastery itself, and under the shadow of its great hall, there 
was no scope for their development. The free court of the whole liberty 
was also the court of the adjacent manors. 

In this inner group a distinction arises at the outset between Tyne- 
mouth (with its later offshoots of North Shields and Cullercoats) and the 
remaining townships. Not only had Tynemouth its own mills, while its 
neighbours did suit to the mill at Flatworth, but it had a separate pasture, 
the other vills intercommoning upon the Shire Moor. In this connexion 
it is significant that Tynemouth did not contribute to the cornage rent 
imposed on the rest of the district.' It is undoubtedly an older settlement, 
less distinctly pastoral in its origin, while the presence of a fishing and 
seafaring population prevented it from becoming a purely agricultural 
community. It contained numerous small freeholds. The bondage system, 
which formed the basis of the agricultural system of other vills, was absent 
here. Racial difference may account in part for its individuality, for there 
are traces of a marked Danish element in the population' of the sea-bord. 
The greater part of each township was arable, and, besides the de- 
mesne, comprised free land and land held by base and customary services. 
The customary land was divided up into a number of bondage-holdings 
{bondagia) of equal size, having equal rights of common and meadow 
appurtenant to each. A mensuration taken by Prior Adam de Tewing at 
Christmas, 1295,^ shows the method of division. An estimate was made of 
the whole of the land within the township held by bondage tenure, and 
the total was then divided into holdings comprising two bovates or thirty- 
six acres. Each holding consisted of a number of acre or half-acre strips 
scattered over the common fields, and was farmed by a single person of 
unfree status, termed a bond or huse-bond (husband).' The remaining 
acres — the odd fraction in the division sum — were portioned out among 

' There is a total absence of the burr, or uvular pronunciation of the letter 'r', in the speech of the 
old inhabitants of North Shields, of the seafaring communities of Tynemouth and Cullercoats, and of 
the fishing population along the coast. For the bearing of this on the racial origin of the population, 
see Mr. R. O. Heslop's article on 'The Permian People of North Durham,' Arch. Ad. 2nd series, 
vol. X. 

■■' Tynemouth Chartulary, fols. 7 b to 8. 

' The terms ' villain ' and ' villainage ' never found currency in Northumberland, their meaning being 
expressed by 'bond' and 'bondage.' The old Norse word 'bonde' first finds place in the English 
language in the laws of court, and became anglicised as 'bonda' or 'bunda.' Cp. Vita Oswini, cap. 
xxiv. p. 38. ' Ut moris est provinciae, servi ecclesiae, quos bundos vocant lingua materna, de jure operis 
sibi impositi, annonam in plaustris suis ad coeptam metam advehunt, et earn in brevi ex messis allatae 
abundantia insurgere compellunt.' This passage, written in the first half of the twelfth century, contains 
an early description of the carriage-work in harvest-time, known a century and a half later as mUuie, and 
shows that bond had already degenerated from its original signification of a free ceorl. The term 
huubandi occurs once in the custumal of 1295 ; Tyncmoutli Chartulary, fol. 40. 


the bonds and formed a surplusage to their holdings for which they paid 
rent.' For their two bovates they performed, each of them, similar services, 
all carefully set out in a custumal drawn up in or about the year 1295. 
John Miller of Preston serves as a model for the rest. 

John Miller holds a toft and 36 acres of land as bond, and pays in pence, 8d. ; for Merdeflfen-penies, 
2S. ; for heth-penies, 6d. ; for Hertenes-penies, 3d. ; for abbote-scoth at the Nativity of St. John the 
Baptist, 3|d. Sum total in pence, 3s. 8|d., excepting conevais-silver. He pays at the feast of St. Oswin 
in the autumn one cock and one hen, and at Easter 60 eggs. 

He shall cart two cartloads for his inlad, doing service anywhere, if so ordered, and for this carting 
he shall not have lade-bund. When he carts as part of his work from the field of Tynemouth north of 
Keneualdes-den, on the west of the dene leading to the hospital, he shall cart four loads;' and between 
Kenewaldes-den and the town and the dene leading to the hospital and to the town, he shall cart six 
loads ; and from all the closes round about the town, he shall cart eight loads. When he carts tithes 
from Whiteley, Preston, from the three Chirtounes, and from Milneton, he shall cart three loads ; and 
from Erdesdon, Seton, Moerton, and Flatford, he shall cart two loads in the course of the day ; and he 
shall do this for all the corn that has to be carted. When he carts from Hertelawe, Haliwell, North 
Seton, Neusoni, Seighale and Bacworthe, he shall cart once in the course of the day. For all the above- 
mentioned cartings, except for his inlad, he shall have lade-bund. When he carts turves, and when he 
mows Segrestan-leche, then he shall cart two loads ; when he does not mow, then three loads in the 
course of the day. Item, when he mows Wymber-leche, he shall cart two loads in the course of the day. 
Moreover, when it is necessary, he shall mow and he shall do anything else at the will of the prior, 
wheresoever the prior or his servant wills, or else he shall do it as part of his work. When he carts 
from Hertlawe and from Haliwell to Seton Monachorum he shall cart twice and shall have lade-bund. 
When he carts from Seton to Tynemouth, he shall cart three loads and shall have lade-bund. 

From the feast of St. Martin to the feast of the Purification of the Blessed Mary, he shall thresh 
daily one thrave of wheat or winter-wheat ; moreover at other times one thrave and eight sheaves of 
wheat or mesline, and of barley or of oats always two thraves, and of beans or peas as well after the 
feast of St. Martin as before. The said John shall reap in the autumn two days with two men in each 
week, and those two men shall each day have three 'bilmynges" and six herrings with pottage. And 
he shall do the great auth-rep with the whole family of his house except the house-wife ; and he shall 
bring out with him fifteen 'kakes' as food for the reapers, which he shall hand over to the servant or to 
the reeve to distribute on the prior's behalf; and he shall have on the same day, together with another 
given him as a messmate, three 'bilmynges' or six 'kakes,' and pottage and meat and cheese and beer. 
And it is to be understood that when the bonds mow the prior's pasture, they shall have three sheep by 
way of custom. 

The said John shall give every year 5^ quarters of malt on the feast of St. Martin, and one quarter 
of conevais-ates at Christmas. And it is to be understood that the bonds of Preston shall give every 
year for conevei-silver 7s. 7id., and the said bonds shall retain in their hand one quarter of malt and one 
quarter of conevais-ates. 

The said John shall do every week in the year two days' work without food, excepting the feasts of 
Easter and Christmas and Whitsuntide. He shall plough and harrow one acre of the prior's land when 
he is given notice, and he shall sow the same with the prior's seed, without food. He shall do one boen- 
ere and shall have food, to wit two 'bilmynges' and one 'swayn-laf,' six herrings, and one dish of peas, 
and beer in plenty. He shall cart three loads from MerdefTen.' 

' West Chirton ; sunt ibidem xv bondi, et debent habere cccxv acras, scilicet quilibet x.\v acras ; et 
inveniuntur ibi cccxxvij acras, scilicet xij acras plus, quarum vj acras debent habere quinque bondi, et 
alias vj decern homines. Tynemouth Cltartulary, fols. 7 b to S. 

^ The name of Kenewaldes-den survives in the corrupted form of Kennersdean. The hospital was 
that dedicated to St. Leonard ; its ruins are visible in the Northumberland Park at Tynemouth. 

' Probably some kind of scone or bannock. ' Tytumouth Chartulary, fols. 36 b to 37. 


Week-work is the characteristic trait of the bond's tenure. At Martin- 
mas he has to plough and harrow an acre of the prior's demesne, and then 
to sow it with the prior's seed. When called upon he has to put in an 
extra dav, with his plough (bon-ere), and a day with his horse and harrow 
(bon-harrowe), receiving three or four loaves, six herrings, a dish of peas 
and beer in plenty for the ploughing, but providing himself with food at 
the harrowing. During the time of harvest he has to join in the reaping 
two days each week, and to bring two other labourers to work with him. 
The whole population of the manor turns out into the harvest-field for the 
prior's great boon-work (magnum auth-repe), and then John Miller and 
the other bonds bring each of them fifteen cakes for the reapers. They 
fare well upon loaves and pottage, meat, cheese, and beer, provided at the 
prior's cost. Then the harvest has to be carted to the manorial grange, 
and for each cartload the bond receives his sheaf (lade-bund). At the close 
of the harvest, all the prior's tenants, bond and free, join in the harvest- 
home. Each has a specified number of ' thraves ' to cart, and on this day 
they have no lade-bund. Other cartings, such as the bringing of tithes 
from Newsham (Neusum-lade) and turves from Mason, are carefully regu- 
lated. From Martinmas until the feast of the Purification the bond has to 
thresh wheat daily in the prior's barn, and there is threshing to be done 
at other times. 

At the feast of St. Oswin he has to render a cock and hen, and sixty 
eggs at Easter, the latter payment being perhaps the ' egge-brod ' for which 
all the bonds of the whole parish received each of them a ' swayn-Iaf.' 
There are also various forms of customary rent paid by him, namely 8d. on 
Palm Sunday for ' yevel-penies ' (that is, gafol or rent in the strict sense, 
as distinct from payments in commutation of services) ; at Whitsuntide 
a shilling in lieu of carting turves from Mason (MerdefFen-penies), and 
the like at Michaelmas ; si.xpence on Ascension Day as chevage or poll- 
tax (hed-penies) ; upon St. John the Baptist's Day a sum varying from 3d. 
to 4jd. for abbot's cornage (abbote-scoth) ; three pence at Michaelmas 
as commutation for bringing in tithes from Hertness (Hertnes-penies) ; and 
upon St. Andrew's Day ii^d. in place of provender-rents (conevais-penies 
or conevais-silver). 

The ' conevais ' is in practice, if not in name, identical with the ' cum- 
feorm,' or duty of feeding strangers, mentioned in Anglo-Saxon charters of 


the ninth century.' In its fully-developed form it appears as the chief 
incident of the drengage tenures of Whitley and Backworth in the four- 
teenth century. There at Christmastide the tenants of each of these two 
townships had to entertain the prior and his household, his servants, horses 
and dogs, for two days and two nights, and to find them food and shelter. 
The bonds of other townships had to give five or five and a half quarters 
of barley-malt at Martinmas, and a quarter of oats (conevais-ates) at Christ- 
inas. ' Scat ' malt and ' scat ' oats occur as distinct payments. In Earsdon 
the bonds who gave scat-malt were to be remitted twopence of their 
' conevais-penies.' 

Recognition had to be made for the right of pannage in the prior's 
woods ^ and of herbage upon his waste. Suit to the manorial mill was 
obligatory. Finally, above and beyond all customary services, the bond 
could be tallaged 'high and low.' In 1294 the prior and convent collected 
as much as ^78 9s. 8d. by tallage from their bondage tenants.' The fact 
that some paid a mark, while others were excused all payment on the score 
of poverty, shows that equality of holdings by no means implied equality 
of wealth. Their tenure was precarious ; they held by the will of the 
lord, and had no fi.xity of holding. 

Customary services were also owed by various classes of free men. 
The name of drengage is not met with in the custumals of this period, but 
the tenure exists, and three townships, namely, Seghill, Whitley, and Back- 
worth, are so held of the prior. Graffard's charter of enfeoffment for Seghill 
stipulates that he shall go with the host and perform riding services, do 
suit of court, answer for his men, and do all other things incumbent on 
men of his status. In thf case of Whitley the customs are more specifically 
set out. They comprise the service called 'conveys' already mentioned, 
the payment of a money rent, as well as cornage and the composition rent 
known as ' Hcrtnes-pcnyes,' and suit to the prior's court from three weeks 
Id three weeks. There are various services connected with the manorial 
mill, namely suit to the mill, the payment of multure, the reparation of the 
mill and mill-pond, and the carting of grind-stones. Agricultural services 
include the boon-ere, boon harrow and autumn works (auth-reps), which 

' Thorpe, Diplomatarium, p. 102. 

'" At the dissolution two pence was paid by each tenant in hiisbandr)- for pann.age or ' swine-tack.' 

'St. Allan's Ri\!;islcr, fols. 109-11 1. The tallage was presumably levied as a means of paying 
Edward I.'s taxation of the same year. 

Vol. VIIl. ;q 


were also incumbent upon bondage-tenants, and carting from Newsham 
and from Seaton Delaval. Finally, by a curious jumble of incidents of 
free and unfree tenure, the lord of Whitley pays aids to the prior, gives 
fine upon the marriage of his daughter (merchet), and yet the prior claims 
the feudal rights of marriage and wardship. 

A second group, found in East and in Middle Chirton, is marked by 
the payment of five shillings from each holding as 'rad-mal' or composition 
for riding-services. The holdings vary in size from eighteen to forty-five 
acres. The agricultural services owed bv them are similar to those in 
Whitley, namely, boon works and the cartings termed Neusum-lade and 
in-lade. They also render provender-rents of oat and malt, pay i|d. upon 
the feast of St. Peter and St. Paul as ' miln-silver ' in lieu of carting mill- 
stones, and pay rent. 

In the third class of free holdings no rad-mal is paid. On the other 
hand cornage is due to the abbot or the prior, and in some cases, a toll 
called 'abbot's welcome,' payable when a new abbot of St. Alban's came 
on his first visit to Tynemouth. Special duties are annexed to some of 
these tenements, such as the guarding of the prior's prison or the herding 
of the cattle taken by him by way of distraint. The tenants give merchet 
and ' layre-wite ' (fine for incontinency). In other respects, both as to 
services and as to the extent of the holding, there is little to distinguish 
this class from that of which the payment of rad-mal is the characteristic 

All these classes of customary free holdings are hereditary. Son 
succeeds father upon payment of a fine or relief amounting to two years' 
rent. Widows have their free-bench. The holding or any part of it may 
be alienated upon fine made in the prior's court, to which the tenants owe 
suit from three weeks to three weeks. 

In other cases labour-services are for the most part wanting, and a 
money-rent is the chief or the sole burden. These form a miscellaneous 

' Thus at Cowpen in 1323 'Johannes Flane tenet j toftum et cioftum, j cotagium, xx acras et j rodani 
terre heretlitarie, et reddit per annum domino priori iij* viij'' et welcum abbatis et merchetuni pro filiabus. 
Filius suus post obitimi patris releviabit lerram patris sui, et talliabitur per priorcm, el dabitur pro 
anccHis et filiabus suis layreuyt cum advenit, et dabit cornagiuni abbatis, et mulier dotabitur post 
obitum viri.' Tyinmoiitk Chiniiildiy, fol. 33. His services stand as a type for all free land wiiliin the 
township. At Preston it is laid down in 1295 that all the free tenants shall do suit to the prior's mill at 
the thirteenth dish ; also they shall do suit to the prior's court (hal) ; and they shall give merchet and 
leirwyt for their daughters; also they shall cart millstones from Slawlee (that is, Slaley) to all the 
prior's mills along with their peers within the liberty of Tynemouth. Ibitl. fol. 37 b. 


group of laiul held in common socage, burgage tenements, intakes, lease- 
holds, and cottage holdings. Parcels of the demesne and vacant bondage 
lands arc often leased out for a term of years or for life, the terms of the 
lease, which admit of considerable variety, being enrolled on the court 
roll.' The cotman or cottager has a cottage and one bovate of land or 
less, and pavs rent. He appears to be distinct horn the selfode, whose 
holding includes a cottage, for which he pays rent, and a small plot of 
land, varying in size from half an acre to four acres, for which three days' 
work are due in the autumn." 

It is not possible to obtain more than a few glimpses of the change 
of system in progress during the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries. The 
year 1295 found agriculture in Northumberland on the crest of a wave. 
It witnessed the first of a long series of Scottish raids. A survey of 
Cowpen taken in 1323, in a brief interval of truce, shows that war had 
already driven the bonds there out of existence. All bondage holdings 
within the township were, at the taking of the survey, in the prior's hands 
for want of tenants. In 1377 things had gone from bad to worse. In 
Monkseaton, where in 1295 fifteen bonds had cultivated as many arable 
holdings, only ten tenements remain ; and, of these ten, four render no 
labour services and are in the prior's hand, while the remaining si.\ have 
lain waste since the Black Death for want of tenants. Within the township 
of Middle Chirton there were twelve bondage holdings in 1295, eleven 
cultivated by bonds and one by Roger de Wylam, a free man. In 1377 
John de Wvlam was farming seven out of the twelve tenements ; the 
other five, having no tenants, were leased out for a rent of malt. The 
townships of Preston, East and Middle Chirton, Monkseaton, and Earsdon, 
contained sixty bonds in 1295 and twentv-three in 1377. 

In 1539 the greater part of the arable land in each township was still 
divided into customary holdings of equal size, though, in consequence of 
a diminution of population during the long period of border warfare, 
accompanied by a rise in the standard of living, their number had 
diminished and their size increased. 

' ' VValterus filius Uctredi tenuit viij acras de bondagio prioris per rotulum curie et reddidit xli/., que 
servicia in manu prioris propter i,'ucrrani.' Survey of Cowpen, 1323 ; ibiii. fol. ^^. 

• In a survey of Woodhorn taken in 1271, selfodes are glossed as 'reddilarii.' dil. Doc. Rcl. Scot. 
vol. i. p. 532. 


Number of Holdings. 

Number of Acres of Arable 

to each Holding 


In I2g.|. 

In 1539. 

In 1294. 

In 1539- 






East Chirton 





Middle Chirton 

1 1 





























There has been strikingly little change in appellation ; bondage hold- 
ings have become husbandry holdings, and husebondi have turned into 
husbands, whose tenure is still nominally at the will of the lord. On the 
other hand the tenants have attained freedom and become suitors at the 
manorial court. Their services equate with those rendered in 1295, by 
the 'liber homo' and not with those of the bond. Merchet and layrewite, 
chevage and tallage are no longer paid. The servile badge of week- 
work has gone, leaving monev rents, provender-rents, boon-works, autumn- 
work, carriage work, and suit to the lord's mills' still due from the tenant. 
Owing to the loss of the court rolls, it is impossible to speak positively of 
the certainty of the tenure, but the fact is to be noticed that many of the 
same family-names recur in successive rentals, and there is a case of testa- 
mentary disposition of a husbandry holding as early as 1570.° It is highly 
probable, and evidence quoted later supports the assumption, that a 
nominally precarious tenure had acquired fixity, and that the right of the 
son to succeed the father was recognised by the manorial officers, though 
the amount of the fine payable upon succession had not yet become fixed 
by custom. A curious story was told in 151 1 before the Council of the 
North, of how one of the later priors of Tynemouth would not grant a 
tenant a copy of his father's tenement in Amble ' untill he was content 
to give so many nobles as there were dores about his house, and there 
were found xiiij dores ' (an improbable number) ; and then, upon the said 
tenant giving satisfaction to the prior, he had his copy according to custom.' 

In a trial held in the Court of Exchequer in 1609 it was stated that the copyholders were bound to 
present their corn to be ground at the lord's mills, unless wind or water did not serve to grind their 
grain in reasonable time. Freeholders were not bound to do suit, neither were tenants dwelling in 
newly erected houses and having no corn growing within the manor. Exchequer Depositions, Mich. 
7 Jas. I. No. g. 

- By will dated February 2nd, 1569/70, Robert Cutter of Earsdon devises his farmhold to Alice, his 
wife; 'and she to pay ^10 to Thomas Cutter my father.' Bequests of this nature were, however, 
without legal validity, and depended for their execution upon the good will of the steward of the manor. 
See vol. v. of this work, p. 279. 



Arable demesne lands no longer existed at the dissolution except in 
Tynemouth and Preston townships. The original demesnes, enlarged by 
freehold land of which large quantities were acquired by the monastery 
during the fourteenth century, as well as by bondage holdings which had 
fallen into the lord's hand and had never been granted out again for lack 
of tenants, had been turned iiUo pasture, and appropriated by the customary 
tenants, so that each husbandry holding had now extensive rights of 
common appurtenant to it. Several townships, from being almost entirely 
arable, had become mainly pastoral, and every tenant in husbandry had 
now common of pasture for six oxen, six to twelve cattle, twenty to forty 
sheep, and two to four horses. 

Money-rents, now distinguished as ' shire-rents,' ' show a very large 
increase, the average rent for a holding of thirty-six acres of arable being 
twenty shillings. Six quarters of corn, consisting of oats and barley in 
varying proportions, is paid yearly out of each tenement. The payment is 
known as 'hall-corn' and is estimated to be of equal value to the money-rent, 
whence the name of ' half-corn ' sometimes applied to it. At first sight the 
identification of the six quarters of barley and oats rendered in 1539 with 
the six or six and a half quarters of barley-malt and oats rendered in 1295 
may seem obvious, but this point will require further examination. For the 
present it may be noticed that the term of payment of the hall-corn, namely, 
St. Andrew's Day, coincides with that for the payment of 'coneveis-penies' in 
the thirteenth century, ' coneveis-penies ' being a commutation of provender- 






In 1^94- 

In I 


In 1294. 

In 1539. 

s. d. 




4 Si 



5i qrs. barley-malt 
and I qr. oats. 

4 qrs. barley and 
2 qrs. oals. 

East Chilton 

4 8] 



5i qrs. barley-malt 
and I qr. oats. 

3 qrs. barley and 
3 qrs. oats. 

Middle Chirton 

4 4i 



5i qrs. barley-malt 
and I qr. oals. 







4 qrs. barley and 
2 qrs. oats. 


4 iJ 


ji qrs. barley-malt 
and I qr. oats. 

4 qrs. barley and 
2 qrs. oats. 




4 qrs. oats. 


5 2\ 


5 qrs. barley-malt 
and I qr. oats. 

4 qrs. barley and 
2 qrs. oats. 





2i qrs. wheat and 
[l qr. oats]. 

' The shire-rent is clearly an assize-rent and not, as has been suggested, an acknowledgment for the 
privilege of depasturing on the common and open lands within the manor. 



Meadow-closes aiul the <,'art!i of tlie manor-hall are tanned in coiniimn 
bv the tenants of each respective township for a separate money-rent ; and 
as the few remainiiii; freeholds are usnally annexed to some customary 
tenement, it follows that almost the whole of the land within the township 
is already in the hands of husbandry tenants. 

By deed of surrender, dated January 12th, 1538/9, all the possessions 
of the monastery of Tynemouth were made over to the Crown. During 
the succeeding century the lordship of Tynemouth, in which expression 
were included the townships of Preston, East Chirton, Whitley, Monkseaton, 
Murton, Earsdon and Backworth, was let out on successive leases of twenty- 
one years each, at a yearly rent of ;^105 7s., renewable upon the payment 
of a fine of double that amount. The lessees were John Banester, February 
1 2th, 1545/6;' Thomas Kay, November 6th, 1558;" Henry, eighth earl of 
Northumberland, December 12th, 1580;' Henry, ninth earl of Northumber- 
land, November 23rd, 1596.^ The office of seneschal, the demesnes of 
Tynemouth and Flatworth, and certain mills and coal mines within the 
liberty went with the governorship of Tynemouth castle. 

A change of custom was introduced bv Sir Thomas Hilton, the first 
lessee of the demesnes after the dissolution, who substituted a money-rent 
for the various labour-services. This was termed boon days or day-work 
rent, and is still payable. A survey taken at the close of the century states : 

Ther is besides the dayworkes of the icnnantes of every of these townes following, that is to say, 
Ersden, Moreton, Munckseaton, Whitley, Preston, Est Chirton and .Middle Chirton. Every tennant of 
these townes did lead to the castle in the priors tynie one load of hay, mow three severall dayes work of 
hay, rake one day worke, and sheare three severall dayes worke in the corne in harvest every yeare, 
which dayes worke Sir Thomas Hilton, knight, in his tyme immediately after the suppression, turned 
into money ; that is, every tennant of these towns abovesaid paid for the said day workes at Michaelmas 
onely 2s. 4d., and 2d. for hempe and line, which made upp 2s. 6d. a man ; besides every of them two 
fudder of whynnes at Mayday yearely ; yett the captaine of the castle saith that they ow every of them 
a fudder at Michaelmas allso yearely, wheruppon some of the tennantes stand and most part pay. 

Thcr is allso two shearing day workes dew by every cottinger of every of these townes aforesaid and 
of the husbandes and cottingers in Tynemouth besides. All which were also in Sir Thomas Hilton's 
tyme turned into money ; that is, every husbandman in Tynemouth for day workes, hempe and line paid 
lod. a peice, and every cottinger ther and in the townes above named Sd. a peice, wedow and others." 

' Augmentation Office, Miscell. Books, vol. 217, fols. 25-28 and 89. 

' Patau Roll, 5 and 6 Philip and Mary, part 3. ' Ibid. 23 Eliz. part 3. 

' Ibid. 39 Eliz. part 8. The lease was renewed to him on October iSth, 1617. 

' Early seventeenth century survey of Tynemoulhshire ; Duke of Northumberland's MSS. Carriage- 
work remained uncomniuted. 'The tennants of Tynemouthshier have ahvayes ben accustomed since I 
served ther to bring in two further of whynes every of them, one in somer and th' other in wynter, 
comonly after St. Eline Day and Michelmas ; to lead every of them, if nead required, one wayne load of 


The various payments, and particularly the hall-corn, proved a heavy 
burden upon the inhabitants of the shire. At a muster of the middle 
marches held in 1580, the tenants of Backworth, Murton, Earsdon, Preston, 
Monkseaton, Whitlev, East and Middle Chirton, Hauxley, Amble, Denton, 
Benwell and Elswick were not able to furnish more than six horsemen. 
The inhabitants of Benwell and Elswick said that they could not serve as 
they did before the monastery was suppressed. Those of Hauxley and 
Amble were so exacted by the queen's officers that they were ready to give 
up their holdings. Those of Tynemouthshire were not able, by reason that 
their corn, which they called the hall-corn and paid yearly, did so undo 
them, paying as they did 24 bowls (6 quarters) of corn for 20 shillings of 
rent, and some 10 bowls of wheat for 20 shillings of rent. The tenants 
of Amble and Hauxley, it was stated, were accustomed to pay partly 
money and partly corn. At the audit the custom was that the price of 
the rent-corn should be delaved until the audit twelve months after, ' and 
then of curtesie of th'officers it ys set at a grote in a bowll under the price 
of the markett at Newcastell.' ' 

Considerable light is thrown on the payment of hall-corn by the 
records of a suit in the Court of Exchequer in 1597 between Edmund 
Milbanke and other tenants of the seven towns of Tynemouthshire and 
Peter Delaval, farmer of the hall-corn under the ninth earl of Northum- 
berland. The plaintiffs by their bill complained that, whereas they and 
their ancestors had been customary tenants of the prior of Tynemouth 
and afterwards of her majesty, paying rent and doing services on the 
borders and in defence of Tynemouth castle at their own charges, and by 
reason of the scarcity of money the prior was wont to allow them to pay 
half their rent in corn according to the Winchester measure, eight gallons 
to the bushel ; the defendants would have their corn in Newcastle market 
measure, which was bigger than the other by two and a half pecks in 
every bushel of oats and barley, and one peck in every bushel of wheat, 

hay from Flatworth or the closscs of Preston Brok close or Tynemouth park, and the coales to ser\e the 
howse. besides ijs. vj./. for ther daye work. Some easement of this sersice ther was in the tmie that my 
lord of Nortlunnbreland kept his drawj^lit, that the tennants were not altogether charged so wholy, but 
after Richard Dawson occupved the fourih pait of the demayne that his lordship in occupation, then 
his lordship chari,'ed the tc'nnaiUs as befor with the service aforsaid.' 1575. MSS. in the 
possession of the' .Newcastle Society of Antiquaries. ' Kept his drawghf = 'had his team of plough- 
oxen ; had the demesnes in his own hand.' 
' Ctil. Border Pupcrs, vol. i. p. 22. 



'and by reason of this exaccion, the spoyles they susteyned by night-rodes, 
and the great dearth in the countrey ' they were so impoverished that 
they could not do her majesty their due service.' 

In a letter written to the earl of Northumberland on October 31st, 
1595, Delaval informed his master 

That the tennants of half-come yesterday served proces uppon me, and this day they brought to the 
castle everye man towe bushells of come, offring to delyver it by a bushell brought by them conteyning 
as they said Wynchestcr measure. My brother Raphe, being ther ready to receive ther come by the 
accustomed measure due to your lordshipp, they would delyver none but with that measure they brought 
with them ; which bushell my brother Raphe required miglit remayne ther in the castle untill it were 
knowen to be the true half-come bushell ther, the which they utterly denied to levc behynde them. But 
my brother Raphe, thinking it fytt to kepe the bushell wherwith they offred to delyver ther corne, being 
not half so much in quantatie as your lordship's antient bushel, they snatching the bushell from my 
brother Raphe in forceable manner to go awaie withall, he in truth gave one of them being most busy a 
bob of the lypps till he bled, for that they most bytterly exclamed you beggcred them and that they were 
the quen's tennants and ought you no senice. The rest, being about xvj or xx persones, all bent them- 
selves to carry away the busshell, but my brother Raphe kept the bushell contrarie ther niynds, and 
remaynes in the castle till further order be taken in that matter.'^ 

The tenants followed tip their action by petitioning the earl of Hunting- 
don, lord liLUtciiant for the north. Bennet Watson and Thomas Otway, on 
behalf of seven townships to the number of eight hundred persons in Tvne- 
mouthshire, set out their case, adding : 

I'.y reason of sundrie cominge in sithence the dissolucion under her majestie, the measure is so 
niuche encroched upon as it is nowe come to duble the measurs, so as by enforcinge that measure 
your suppliants ar become so poore as where a great parte of the countrie's strengthe consisted in 
the said towneships, nowe they ar not able with horse, furniture and geare to serve as there 
ancestors have done, as it appeared upon the late muster, but ar extreeme poore, not able to releve 
themselves and there families, whereupon there humble sute is nowe in tryall before the lord treasurer 
and barons of the exchequer.^ 

A commission to hear the case was directed, on June 25th, 1596, to 
Robert Delaval of Seatou Delaval, Thomas Hilton of Hilton, Thomas 
Bradford of Bradford, and John Featherstonhaugh of Stanhope, and 
lengthy depositions were taken before them. 

Depositions taken in the church of .St. Nicholas at Newcastle, on behalf of plaintiffs, before the said 
commissioners, on 'I'uesday, August 24th, 38 Eliz. (1596). 

Robert Baylif of East Chirton, yeoman, aged 80, deposes : 

I. That he knows the parties, and the seven towns within the manor of Tynemouth, namely, Chirton, 
Preston, Whitley, Monkseaton, Earsdon, Murton and Backworth. 2. The said towns 'stande on the 
seacoste and are subjecte to forren invasion and rodcs, and are bounde to serve bothe by lande and sea 
when they shalbe charged by hir m.ajestie or hir officers.' 3. In the times before the dissolution of the 

' Exchequer Decrees and Orders, vol. 23, fol. 179. - IJuke of Northumberland's M.SS. 

' Marquis of Walerford's MSS. 


monastery there was great plenty of corn and scarcity of money : hence rents were partially paid in 
corn. 5. There was a measure kept in the priors' time for rent-corn, which was less than the Newcastle 
measure by a ^reat deal. 13. The value of the corn now paid for every tenement amounts to nearly half 
the value of the tenement ; the tenants are hardly able to make husbandry and do her majesty's service 
with the other moiety and to maintain their families. 

Robert Helme of Tynemouth, yeoman, aged 64, deposes : 

3. That in the priors' time the tenants did sue to deliver corn for half their rent, to wit, after the rate 
of I2d. for a bowl of bigg and 6d. for a bowl of oats : therefore for a 40s. farmhold they paid 16 bowls 
of bigg, 8 bowls of oats, and 20s. in money. 4. He has seen an account of the time of a survey taken 
after the dissolution, showing that the tenants paid half their rent in corn. In those days it was easier 
to them so, bigg being then 3s. a quarter and oats 2s. a quarter. 7. King Henry VlII.'s receiver 
accepted the rent- corn in money, sometimes at one rate, sometimes another, as the market ruled. 
9. Wheat is now i6s. a bowl, bigg los., oats los., and so to pay the same amount of rent-corn as in 
the priors' time doth now amount to much more than then ; thus in Backworth, which delivereth lo bowls 
of wheat (/5 at least), besides the 20s. paid in money, for a 40s. farmhold; Earsdon, Monkseaton, 
Whitley and Preston deliver 16 bowls of bigg and 8 bowls of oats (^8 at least), over the 20s. paid in 
money ; and every farmhold in East Chirlon delivereth 12 bowls of bigg and 12 bowls of oats (^8 los.), 
besides i8s. in money ; every farmhold in Murton payeth 16 bowls of oats for 8s. rent, which is £6 12s. 
at least above what they paid in the priors' time, besides 22s. in money. 11. This examinate hath 
received the said rent-corn for thirteen years, and since Thomas Dacham and others of the earl of 
Northumberland's officers received it for eighteen years, by the same measure which the defendant 
now claimeth. 12. He hath seen an order from the Exchequer, dated June 27th, 1556, on behalf of 
Bannester. 15. Some part of the said hall-corn has always remained unpaid, except the very first year 
that he was receiving. 16. The said rent-corn now amounts yearly to /^loo above the rent reserved to 
her majesty. 19. At Newcastle all kind of grain is straiked ; at Tynemouth they heap bigg and oats 
and straik wheat for the hall-corn. 

Richard Cutter of Earsdon, yeoman, aged 80, deposes : 

I. That there are about ei.uhty householders in the seven towns. 2. The most inland of the seven is 
within four miles of the sea : the inhabitants are charged with much service upon the borders, and have 
to supply men and furniture. 4. In Prior Blakeney's time he sold oats by the market ineasure, which 
was much greater than the hall-corn measure, at lod. a bowl, wheat at 2s. a bowl ; the com at that time 
was of no more value than half the rent. 6. In the priors' time there dwelt in Backworth, where ever)' 
tenant pays 10 bowls of wheat, one Raphe Wheldon and one Thomas Bowmaker, who came and told 
the prior they had no corn to bring : who allowed each to bring 10 capons instead. The change from 
rent in money to rent in kind was originally made for the benefit of the tenants, not for the profit of the 
priors. ' Hath harde his ancestors saie that money was so scante then that coyned leather wente 
bargaininge betwene man and man.' 7. For two years after the dissolution King Henry accepted the 
rent in money only. 8. Bannester, farmer of the manor and of the seven towns in Queen Marj-'s time, 
insisted on having half the rent in corn, for his own benefit, because the price had gone up. Mr. 
Rookbye, Mr. Bellasis of Henknowle, and their assigns, to wit, Mr. Farewell and John Payne, his 
servant, received the said rent in money. 10. Of late the defendants demanded the rent-corn by the 
Newcastle measure, which is greater than the Winchester measure by half in half, and two gallons 
more in the bushel. The Newcastle measure hath been very often increased within his remembrance. 
II. It is forty years since Bannester enhanced the rent by the measure by which the defendant now 
claimeth. David Wynyarde, the cooper who made the measure, dwelt at the corner of the Sandhill 
in Newcastle. Before that, there was an old measure at Tynemouth called the hall-corn measure, less 
than the Newcastle measure by half in half: whereupon the neighbours finding fault were sued to 
answer in the E.xchequer at London, and divers of them went to London, of whom this deponent was 
one. 12. There was a suit in the Exchequer in the time of Philip and Mary, between Bannester and 
the tenants of the seven towns for the rent-corn according to a new exacted measure. Of the two 
neighbours who should have gone to prosecute, one fell sick, and the other not appearing, Banister 

Vol, VIIL 30 


procured an order that the said hall-corn should [not ?] be paid by the old measure. 13. In some years, 
when the seed-corn is sown and the hall-corn is paid, the rest of the corn growing upon the tenement 
will not find the house. 14. The tenants are so impoverished that they cannot do service upon the 
borders with horse and man as they were wont, by reason of payment of liall-corn, stealing, and these 
unseasonable times. 15. 'The payinge of the hall-corne rente and the exaction of the oulde measure to 
the newe greater measure is the speciall cause of their impoverishinge.' 17. My lord of Northumber- 
land's officers were wont to let the tenants have their corn for £^ for the rent-corn of every tenant which 
paid hall-corn for 20s. rent, rather than sell it to strangers. Defendants have declined to let the tenants 
have any part of their corn except on payment of market price. 18. Defendant demanded, for the rent 
of a 40s. tenement, half of which was to be paid in corn, ^12, but was content to take ^10, to wit, of 
Edmunde Meelbankc, John Smith, Thomas Owlwaie, Robert Hall, Robert Dowe and George Errington, 
and drove their distresses for the same. The tenants offered him £^ for each 40s. tenement for the last 
year's corn, or the corn after the old measure. 

Benedict Watson of Earsdon, yeoman, aged 70, deposes : 

g. That wheat is now worth l6s. a bowl, bigg los., and oats 7s. or 8s. 11. Some of the tenants 
have paid for thirty years by the measure by which defendants now claim : some have never paid corn 
at all, but always money. The old measure kept at Tynemouth and called the hall-corn measure was 
committed to one William Hodshon of Whitley to keep. 

Thomas Dacham of Gateshead, county Durham, gentleman, aged 60, deposes : 

I. That in the seven towns there are forty-seven farmers or tenants, besides cottagers. 2. If the 
captain of Tynemouth castle go to serve on the borders, then the tenants have to serve for fourteen days 
at their own charges. 13. He holds a tenement in Rackworth for which he pays 10 bowls of wheat 
(£3 ^^- S"^) '"■■ hall-corn, and 21s. in money ; proffering to let it at 'a racked rente was offered onelye 
fortie shillinges for the same and discharge the saide hall-corne rente and money due to the lorde oute 
of the said tenemente.' 16. He computes yearly value of hall-corn now as ^120 over reserved rent. 
17. My lord's officers let them pay in money or kind as they chose. 

Oswald Ogle of Shilvington, gentleman, aged 82, examined September i6th, deposes : 

3. That in Prior Gardner's time, the second prior before the dissolution, the tenants of the seven 
towns paid hall-corn for half their rent by the London bushel, eight gallons to the bushel. 4. .At that 
time wheat was i2d. the bushel, bigg 6d., oats 3d. 5. 'Att that tyme their was a brassen bushell 
containing London measure kepte in the said prior's storehowse at Tynemouth for the said hall-corne.' 
He was servant to the said Prior Gardner for eight years before his death. 9. A bushel of wheat is now 
worth 8s., bigg 6s., oats 4s. 

Edward Dinnande of Newcastle, yeoman, aged 100, deposes : 

3. That he was servant to Prior Gardner when the tenants asked him to be allowed to pay their rent 
in corn: the prior did not wish it and would rather have had the same in money, saying, 'you will 
repente it another dale ;' but yielded as to half the rent. This deponent was servant to Mr. Anthony 
Mitforde, constable of Tynemouth, and received weekly of the ' bowsser ' ' of the said house a bowl of 
oats by the hall-corn (or London) measure for the said Anthony Mitforde's horses. 9. Wheat is now 
20s. a bowl, then I2d. ; bigg now 13s. 4d., then 8d. or gd. ; o.ats now los., then 4d. 

William Cutter of Newcastle, cooper, aged 67, deposes : 

10. That the Newcastle bushel for hard corn (wheat, rye and peas) contains 12 gallons, the London 
or Winchester bushel 8 gallons ; Newcastle water measure contains 1 1 gallons. Newcastle market 
measure for bigg and oats contains 18 gallons the bushel ; and the oatmeal measure at Newcastle 16 
gallons the bushel. Within his remembrance the market measure of Newcastle hath been twice changed. 

Depositions on behalf of defendant taken at St. Nicholas's, Newcastle, Tuesday, August 24th, 38 
Eliz. (1596). 

Robert Helme deposes : 

2. That the queen is seised in her demesne as of fee of the manor of Tynemouth, and of five tene- 
ments in Preston, five in East Chirton, five in Whitley, ten in Monkseaton, four in Murton, eight in 

' ' Powsser ' = burser. 


Earsdon, and ten in Backworth, and of the parcel of ground adjoining to Preston called Welflatt ; all 
customary lands of Tynmouth ; except Welflatt as to which he is uncertain. 4. Two bushels of com 
make a 'howle,' four bowls a quarter, four quarters a chalder. 5. The queen, in the 23rd year of her 
reign, leased the tenements in the seven towns to Sir Henry Percy, then earl of Northumberland, and 
the now earl rightfully holds them. 6. Thomas Deckam, Edward Scott, and Richard Rawe have for 
twenty years received the rent-corn for Sir Henry Percy. After the dissolution of the monastery, 'one 
Medcalfe that had but one hand ' received it for the use of Banister and Bowser, farmers there. The 
said corn was paid to the prior before. 8. There are two measures in Tynemouth castle sealed 
with the seal of the town of Newcastle. Thirty-two years ago, by command of Sir Henry Percy, 
this examinate fetched the same from Newcastle from David Winyarde, cooper, who kept them in 
Banister's and Bowser's times : one is the boll for hard corn to be straiked, the other for bigg and oats 
upheaped. 10. Being both straiked, the two measures hold the same, within less than a pint. 1 1. They 
are'muche lesse then the land measures or cawsey measures of Newcastle,' agreeing with the water 
measure at Newcastle. 13. These measures are greater than two bushels of the statute measure called 
Winchester or London measure by seven gallons and one quart in each bowl. 14. Newcastle is the 
nearest market town, and the tenants buy and sell among themselves by the Newcastle land measure. 
15. At St. Martin's last past a boll or two bushels of wheat was sold in Newcastle market for 14s., bigg 
los., oats 7s. 

William Darneton of North Shields, yeoman, aged 57, deposes : 

8. That in Bowser's time Uavid Winyard kept the said two measures, but had to bring them yearly 
at Martinmas to Tynemouth castle for measuring the hall-corn. 

Robert Dowe, examined September i6ih, 1596, deposes : 

7. That when they paid money instead of corn, the tenants of Preston, Whitley, Monkseaton, and 
Earsdon paid £^ yearly, those of East Chirton ^4 los., those of Murton 40s. 

Michaell Hutton of Newcastle, cooper, aged 42, deposes : 

This day he saw an old measure, which Ralph Delavale, gent., Edmund Mylbanck, John Smythe 
and John Hall, customary tenants in Tynemouthshire, called the hall or half-corn bowl or measure of 
Tynemouth, sealed with the seal of Newcastle, and marked with David Winyarde's mark, this deponent's 
master's master. This deponent measured it with the brasen gallon of Newcastle, and it contained 
twenty-two of the said gallons, straiked, which is equal with Newcastle market measure upon the water. 
He has also seen the other hall-corn bowl, which is of like measure.' 

The plaintiffs were considered to have established the truth of their 
bill. It was therefore ordered, on April 14th, 1597, that the tenants of the 
seven towns should deliver their hall-corn by the Winchester or London 
measure, containing eight gallons to the bushel.^ 

The depositions leave no doubt that hall-corn was a commutation for 
half of the money-rent of the holding, made by agreement between Prior 
Gardiner (1528- 1536) and his tenants, and that the change was made in 
consequence of the scarcity of coin of the realm. On the other hand, the 
practice of paying part of the rent in corn was one for which precedent 
existed in much earlier times, as is shown by the custumal ot 1295. The 
new corn-rent took on the character of the old. Just as the bishop of 
Durham's tenants of Heighington paid their corn ' by the hall-measure ' 

' Exchequer Depositions, Mich. 38-39 Eliz. No. 28, Northumberland. 
' Decrees and Orders, vol. 23, fol. 179. 


in 1 183,' so in the sixteenth century the men of Tynemouthshire meted 
out their produce bv a ' hall-corn measure,' kept in the lord's store-house ; 
and at Amble, another of the manors of the prior of Tynemouth, the 
copyholders came yearly with their corn, almost within living memory, to 
the ruined hall, and there poured it out in the presence of the officers 
of the lord of the manor.' 

Since Prior Gardiner's time money had become cheaper. The debase- 
ment of the coinage caused a general rise in prices which was not checked 
by Queen Elizabeth's efforts to improve the standard. This alone would 
not have seriously affected the tenants of Tynemouthshire. The rise in the 
price of corn had not, however, been equalled by the rise in wages and 
the cost of living. Moreover, a fixed payment in corn proved especially 
burdensome after a poor harvest, and left the farmer with proportionately 
less grain to sell in the market, so that he was deprived of the advantages 
which high prices would otherwise have afforded. The steady rise had 
been suddenly accelerated by a succession of bad harvests, and the year 
1596 was one of serious famine. In little more than half a century wheat 
had risen from eight to seventy-six shillings a quarter, barley from three 
or four shillings to forty or forty-eight shillings, and oats from two shiUings 
to two pounds. 

The payment of hall-corn long continued to be a source of discontent 
among the tenantry. Ralph Gardner of Chirton characteristically met a 
demand for rent in 1651 by answering plainly that 'he would not pay one 
corn nor anything else.' ^ It is now no longer paid in kind, and the rents 
are calculated on the average price of the corn or grain obtained in 
Newcastle market on the Saturday previous to and the Saturday next after 
November 30th, that being St. Andrew's Day, when such payment accrued. 

Not long after the hall -corn measure had been settled, the tenants 
were engaged in a new struggle over the form of their tenure. As stated 
above, the farming class in Tynemouthshire at the dissolution consisted of 
tenants in husbandry, holding at the will of the lord. Though possessed 
of customs, their condition was in most respects similar to that of other 
customary tenants in Northumberland, border-service forming the character- 
istic feature of their tenure. ' The customary tenants upon the borders of 

' 'Ad mensuram aulae.' Boldon Book, Surt. Soc. No. 25, p. 20. 

- Vol. V. of this work, p. 278. ' Duke of Northumberland's MSS. 


Scotland,' Coke wrote, ' who have the name of tenants, were meer tenants 
at will ; and though they keep the customes inviolated, yet the lord might, 
sans co)i/ro//, eject them.' ' 

Custom, however, was a more potent factor on the estates of an 
ecclesiastical corporation than within the manor of a lay lord. The earliest 
extant copies (1575 and later years) admit the tenant 'according to the 
custom of husbandry of the manor,' the liabendmn being to him and to 
his heirs (or assigns) or, in rare cases, for life only. Lord Ellenborough, 
commenting upon the phrase in the case of Brown v. Rawlins, expressed 
his opinion : ' The words accordino^ to the custom of hushandi\ of the 
manor may have different interpretations. They may, though not properly 
for the present purpose, refer to a known course of husbandry in the manor, 
regulating the culture of the tenants' estates, or they may mean that the 
tenants hold as husbandmen of the lord, in like manner as the villeins of 
the lord formerly were employed in the culture of the lord's lands, and 
as distinguished from an holding bv military service properlv so called, 
etc., etc.'' 

That the custom of husbandry was no novelty is shown by a letter 
written in 1605 to the earl of Northumberland by Robert Helme, one of 
his officers. 'Therwas,' Helme wrote, 'in the late pryor's tyme emongest 
the tennants of the pryor an old and auntyent custom called in the copy 
secundum consuctudinem Jiusbandriac, which custom was to the man onlv 
and not to the woman, but only at will.' ^ George Whitehead, another of 
the earl's officers, also upheld the view that females were altogether 
excluded from the inheritance, and traced back the custom to the four- 
teenth century, asserting that it ' haythe for thre hundred yeares continewed 
only to heires male.' *' 

Though there is no authoritative presentment of the customs of the 
manor in the sixteenth century, the law of descent is set out in a bill in 
Chancery dated April 28th, 1596. The suit related to lands in Elswick, 
parcel of the manor of Tynemouth ; and the plaintiff's assertions were not 
traversed so far as they related to manorial custom. These were : 

' Compute Copyholder, sect. 32. 

• Brown v. Rawlins : 7 East, at p. 433. ' Duke of Northumberland's MSS. 

' Ibid. The obvious reason for the exclusion of females is given in the case of \'cwton v. Shafto 
(l Siderfin, at pp. 267-268). ' Si tiel general custonie ne serra allow, uncore serra bone ley ratione loci 
car tiel mannor est bordering sur Scotland, et les escotes en temps pass ont usualment invade le terre ; 
et par cela serra s.ife pur seigneurs de provide eux-mesme de tiels tenants qui poent eux aid et defend, 
scilicet homes et nemy femes ; et cela tend al safety dc tout ceo roialme.' 


It hath been accustomed that such person so admitted tenant shall have only estate therein for life ; 
and at his death the tenant-right therein falleth to his son if he leave a son, or to his next heir, provided 
such heir or one in his name come in at the first or second manor court holden after the death of the 
said tenant to demand the same, and be admitted tenant thereof for life ; and if such person do not 
so come, then he loseth his tenant-right, and the queen's officer may of his free will grant the premises 
to any other person for life, and such grant hath always been reputed lawful according to the custom of 
the manor.' 

So far as evidence is forthcoming, it appears that copyholds in Tyne- 
mouthshire were for life, with a tenant-right of renewal to the heirs male. 
' But to support such a custom,' to quote the leading authority upon copy- 
holds, ' the tenant must prove a constant usage of renewal upon payment of 
a fi.xed fine.' * The tenants asserted the certainty of their fines ; the earl 
denied it, and endeavoured to induce the tenants, not only in Tynemouth- 
shire but on all other his copyhold estates, to exchange their copies for 
leases of twenty-one years.' The policy is apparent from the letters of 
the earl's officers during the first ten years of King James's reign ; for 
instance Robert Delaval informed the earl on June 13th, 1609 : 

It hath put the fermours of tlie sayd tennements in such feare, I acquanteinge them withall with the 
laett order in Chansarye sensured against the ladye of Cumberland's tennents, that noe coppye houlder 
lyable to a fine at the death of lord and tennent can have any state of inheritance at all. And therfor 
all there humble sutts are your lordship wylbe pleased to grante them leases for xxj yeares, and they wyll 
paye in lew of there fyne duble rent for everye farme. Some moe coppye houlders I have gotton to be 
wyllinge to take leases, which by a note hearen inclosed your lordship maye understand, humbly intreat- 
ing your lordship wylbe pleased to send them all leases, which I doubt not but wylbe a good begineinge 
to make all your land in this countrye that's in coppye and tennent-right leassers.^ 

In the same year Robert Anderson, Peter Riddell, Robert Shaftoe, 
Henry Bowes, Anthony Errington, Thomas Dectham, and other of the 
king's customary and copyhold tenants within the manor of Tynemouth 
exhibited a petition to the king, in which they affirmed that they were 
copyholders of inheritance within the said manor, and that they had been 
severally seised of several estates of inheritance according to the custom 
of the manor ; that there were certain ancient customs for the payment 

' Chancery Proceedings, Eliz. Ff. i, No. 46, m. 1. 

'"' Elton, Law of Copyholds, p. 43. 

' The fate of the Northumbrian customary tenants stands in curious contrast with the history of the 
peasant class in the rest of England. Their tenure was not consolidated as copyhold of inheritance, 
although at the start it was more advantageous than the ordinary villain tenure which developed into 
copyhold. Compare .Savine in Political Science Quarterly, 1905, and the instances given in this work, 
vol. i. pp. 314-316, and vol. ii. pp. 334-336, 427-428, 432-434. Welsh tenant-right followed a similar 
course. The reason of the deviation seems to have been that the interests of the lords were exceptionally 
favoured in the marches. E.x in/. Professor V'inogradofT. 

' Duke of Northumberland's MSS. 


of fines for admittance to customary lands held by copy of court roll 
secundum consuctudinciii /nishdiu/n'ac of his majesty's manor of Tynemouth, 
namely, that every tenant, holding by copy of court roll lands in the town- 
ships of Monkseaton, Preston, Backworth, East Chirton, Whitley, Murton 
and Earsdon, paid on every admittance, if upon descent, £2, and, upon 
alienation, ^4 for a fine ; and that every tenant holding by copy of court 
roll lands in the townships of Elswick, Benwell, South Dissington, Wylam, 
Hauxley, and Middle Chirton, paid on admittance, if upon descent, one 
year's rent, and, if otherwise, two years' rent ; and so in the case of the 
township of Amble. 

The petitioners were summoned before the Court of Exchequer, and 
there confessed that there had lately been differences in the forms of 
surrenders and the assessing of fines. The ancient court rolls, and other 
evidences for proof of the estates of inheritance and of the certainty of 
the fines, had been lost and were nowhere to be found. They therefore 
craved to receive confirmation of their estate and of their customs. Upon 
the examination of copies of court rolls and other evidences it appeared 
to the court that the copyholders were copyholders of inheritance. It was 
therefore decreed, on April 26th, 16 10, 'that the said copyholders are and 
always have been copyholders of inheritance, and so from henceforth shall 
be,' that the continuance of their ancient rights and customs was just, and 
that the forms of surrenders and admittances should be such as were 
commonly used before the twentieth year of Queen Elizabeth. The 
petitioners, on their part, agreed to pay the sum of £7?)^ 13s. 4d. into 
the king's receipt.' 

In a letter written about the year 16 15, Whitehead reported to the 
earl 'that heare ar letters coomed downe by the kinge's auditor to sell 
all the coppyehould estates in Tynemouthshire to the tennantes in fee 
farme, and to dissolve the kepinge of courtes ther.' This, however, was 
not done, the freehold remaining vested in the Crown until 1633. On 
May 1 6th in that year the seven copyhold townships, together with the 
township of Middle Chirton, the fee farm rent of Seghill, and land in 
Seghill and Hartley, were granted to William Scriven and Philip Eden, 
to hold in free socage, subject to the yearly rent of ^126 13s. 4d. Scriven 

' L.r.R. Maiwranda Rolls, N'o. 142. The decree secured validity from .A.ct of Parliament, 7 Jac. I. 
cap. 21 (an Act for confirmation of decrees hereafter to be made in the Exchequer Chamber and Duchy 
Court, concerning customary or copyhold lands and tenements\ for which see Statutes of the Realm, 
vol. iv. pp. iiSo-iiSi, and received special confirmation by letters patent dated May ist, 1610, 


and Eden, on August 2nd following, conveyed their estate to Henry Taylor 
and Thomas Cartwright, who made a similar conveyance on March i6th, 
1640, to Algernon, tenth earl of Northumberland. The same earl had 
alreadv acquired the town of North Shields in 1635, and the lordship of 
Tynemouth in 1637. These several estates have descended to the present 
duke of Northumberland.' 

The property which then passed from the Crown to the Percy family 
comprised that portion of the manor of Tynemouth known as the ' inshire,' 
The various townships forming the ' outshire ' were also sold off during 
the reign of James I. and the early years of his successor. From that 
time their dependence upon the manor court of Tynemouth became merely 
nominal. Within the inshire there was a distinction between the freehold 
and the copyhold townships, or, as they were usually termed, the town and 
the country. The town included Tynemouth, with its offshoot of Culler- 
coats, and North Shields ; the country was made up of the seven copyhold 

From the following extracts from the earlier court rolls, some idea 

may be had of the working of the manorial court. The earliest complete 

roll is undated but may be assigned to the year 1620. A consecutive series 

does not commence until 1650, and admission books and surrender books 

begin in 1681. 

Extracts from Tynemouth Manorial Court Rolls. 
October, 1562. Nomina juratorum. 
Robert Bartram, gent. Arthur Lee. Christopher Barker. 

Henr>' Anderson, gent. Thos. Thomson. Mark Cometh. 

George Wilkinson. \Vm. Browne. Robert Denand. 

Robert Pattison. John Mould. Thos. Spearman. 

John Read. Cuthbert Blithman. Thos. Winsoppe. 

Anthony Errington. Thos. Otway. George Denand. 

Nicholas Ritson. Jo. Hills. Wm. Raye. 

Thos. Bitleston. Thos. Doves (sic). John Matlyne. 

Thos. Errington. Nicholas Pearson. Thos. Mills. 

October, 1609. Fines imposed on the tenants dwelling outside Westgate for non-appearance, on all 
the tenants in Benwell for overloading the common, and on the tenants of Fenham for destroying hedges 
and ditches of the tenants of Benwell.' 

April, 1610. Richard Fenwick, bailiff, ordered to levy 39s. of Thomas Humble for diverting the 
course of Stanley bum to the hurt of the tenants of Wylam." 

Circa 1620. Names of the two constables and two ale-tasters of Tynemouth, and of the four 
constables and two ale-tasters of Shields. Names of the Jury of the inshire, of the jury of Tynemouth 
and Shields, and of the jury of the outshire. Surrenders made of lands in Benwell and Amble. Officers 
appointed for Benwell, Elswick, Westgate and Cowpen. 

' Puke of Northumberland's MSB. ' Court Rolls, P.R.O. J«|. ' Ibid, 


April, 1623. Mr, Anthony Swinburne presenled for building bouses in the king's street, and 
working of slate or (lay-stone in the king's highway, and sinking of pits to the hurt of the same way 
and hindrance of the way of the king's subjects. 

April, 1649. Sir Nicholas Tempest, Lady Melton, Mr. Ralph Gardner, and Mr. George Milbume 
presented for noi making a free passage for the water that comes from ihe coal pits, to the annoyance of 
the highway to Newcastle. 

October, 1651. Names of the jury for the country, and of the jury for the town and manor of 
Tynemouth. The town of North .Shields presented for the want of a pair of stocks, to the neglect 
of the execution of justice. John Nicholson and others presented for building and erecting houses on 
the common of Tynemouth, without the approbation of the lord of the manor or of the inhabitants or 
tenants of the same. Elizabeth Kenwick and others presented for not keeping gates in their hedges 
where they have been accustomed, to the great damage of the tenants, who have no liberty of grassing 
their geese in the common lanes. 

April, 1652. James Rainsey presented for keeping, and hunting with, a greyhound contrary to 
the statute. 

October, 1652. William Peterson of the North Shields presented for being drunk upon the Lord's 
Day, and for swearing and cursing fearfully upon the same day. Gawen Forster presented for building 
up the common passage to the ferry boat in the North Shields. Thomas Hall presented for ploughing 
his high close without lease or satisfaction. 

Apiil, 1653. Richard Saborne presents the inhabitants of Monkseaton for not repairing the roadway 
to Newcastle, and for drawing it so narrow and strait that carls and wains cannot pass along it, to the 
damage of the neighbouring tosvns. 

October, 1653. Backworth ; the condition amongst our neighbours is that every beast that is put 
in our stint is 4d. a beast. The township of Murton presents Ralph Wilson for the bad grinding 
of their corn. 

October, 1654. The tenants of Cowpen and Elswick presented for making default. 

October, 1655. Robert Clark presented for keeping his geese in liackworth pasture and living m 

April, 1656. The town of Tynemouth, for want of a common pinfold, is amerced. 

April, 1659. It is found that there are no butts either in Shields or Tynemouth ; that the highway 
belwi.M Tynemouth and Shields is not repaired, and likewise the common lonings are fallen in by means 
of the coal pits. 

October, 1659. A presentment against Stephen Bowes for suing out of my lord's court to the 
county court. 

October, 1662. Thomas Barker, for refusing to be sworn as constable, is therefore amerced 
three pounds. 

October, 1663. The jury present that the farmers and inhabitants of East Chirton ought to keep up 
a gate in the place called the lUaw Pit between East Chirton, for the preservation of the pasture of 
Preston and the corn of Chirton, but they have not done so. 

April, 1668. On an inquiry whether the town of Whitley ought to pay a horse's grass yearly to 
Mardon Mill, it is found that there is no horse's grass in the town-fields of Whitley belonging 10 
Mardon Mill. 

March loth, 16S5/6. Nomina juratorum. 
Thos. Ottway, gen. Christopher Barker. John Mills. 

Henry .Archliokl. Anthony Hyndmarsh. Thos. Hall. 

Henry Barker. John Rolherford. Mark Corneath. 

Win. Reay. George Rutter. Luke Winshopp. 

Edw. Spearman. Robert Dining. Jeremiah Lowe. 

The said jury being charged to nquire what the particular customes belonging to the manner of 
Tynemouth arc, and what dutyes, rents and services are or ought to be paid to the lord of the manner 
of Tynemouth for their coppyhold farmes in the severall touns within the mannor of Tynemouth. 

Vol. VHI. 3« 


Imprimis. Wee finde that all the coppyhold estates within the niannor of Tyneinouth are coppyhold 
estates of inheritance according to the custome of the niannor ; and if any coppyholder dye seized of any 
coppyhold estate, having a wife, that she shall enjoy such coppyhold estate diueing her widdowhood 
only, by vertue of her husband's coppy, without paying any fine to the lord on taking any admittance. 

And thai after the death or marriage of the widow, the said coppyhold estate shall descend and 
come to the eldest sonn of the said coppyholder, and to take a coppy thereof att the next court held for 
the said mannor ; upon such admittance by descent to pay to the lord 40s. for a whole farnie, twenty 
shillings for a halfe farme, and tenn shillings for a quarter of a farme. If he dye without issue, the second 
sonn to take a coppy, and pay such line as before mentioned, and so from sonn to sonn. And for lack 
of sonns, to the eldest daughter of such coppyholder for life only, paying four jiounds for a fine of a 
whole farme, and so proportionably ; and soe to descend and come to the next heire male in succession. 

Wee finde that upon any voluntary surrender or alienation of any coppyhold farme and admission 
thereupon, there is due to the lord for a fine four pounds upon such surrender, and soe in proportion for a 
quarter or halfe a farme. 

Wee finde that if any coppyholder surrender a close or any parcell of ground belonging to his coppy- 
hold estate, though it do not amount to a quarter of a farme, yet by the custome of the mannor, he shall 
pay to the lord for a full quarter for a fine and one shilling increased rent. And if the surrender com- 
priseth more than a quarter, then he shall pay for his fine for halfe a farme. And if the surrender 
amounts to above halfe a farme, he shall pay for a fine for a whole farme. 

And if any coppyholder surrender any cottage or other house, part and parcell of his customary 
tenement, lie shall pay to the lord yearely one shilling increased rent over and above his rent for the 
tenement, and a fine to the lord as much as though it were a full quarter of a farme. But if the surrender 
be only a niorlgage, and the same be surrendered back againe to the mortgagor or his heircs, then the 
said increased rent to cease, because the full rent of the farme is preserved to the lord, and the lord 
can have no prejudice thereby. 

Wee finde that by the custome of the mannor, if any cop|)yholder surrender upon mortgage part or 
parcell of his farme, that the same ought to be specified, and endorsed by a memorandum under or upon 
the back of the surrender expressing the condition upon which the same is surrendered. 

Wee finde that all surrenders passed of coppyhold estates ought out of court to be passed before 
and in the presence of two of the homagers or customary tenants of the said mannor. 

Wee finde that the coppyholders by the custome of the mannor may lett to farme their coppyhold 
lands to any tenant by indenture of lease for three yeares without lycense ; and if for tl-.e terme of twenty 
or one and twenty yeares, then such coppyholder ought to have lycence from the lord's steward paying 
his fee, without paying any fine to the lord for the same. 

Wee finde that all surrenders of coppyhold farmes ought to be presented att the next court after the 
making thereof, otherwise such surrender is void according to the custome of the mannor.' 

The most striking of the manorial customs, here recited, is the provision 
that, in default of male issue, a copyholder's eldest daughter shall have 
a life interest in her father's tenement. This was extended, by a decision 
in the case of Neivton v. S/iafto, to include the eldest surviving daughter.' 
The custom was apparently of recent origin, forming no part of the ancient 
custom of husbandry, which ' was to the man only and never to the woman.' 

Fines are reckoned at so much a ' farm.' ' Farms ' also formerly served 
as units for the assessment of poor rate and church rate. The meaning 
of the term and its relation to the ancient husbandland has been a matter 

' Duke of Northumberland's MSS. • 1 Siderfin, at p. 267. 


of controversy. A Chancery suit {^Attonicx-Gcneral v. Trevelyaii), insti- 
tuted in 1710, was revived in 1832 by Mr. William Woodman, as solicitor 
for the master of the Morpeth Grammar School, and copious evidence 
was collected as to the meaning of the term ' farm ' in Netherwitton and 
other townships in Northumberland. The theory advanced by the plaintiffs 
was that a farm was ' an aliquot portion of the value of an entire township.' 
It may be safely admitted that, while the suit has led to a more thorough 
examination of the history of agricultural holdings, the proposition then 
advanced was untenable and failed to account for the facts adduced to 
support it. 

The evidence in the Netherwitton case formed the foundation of papers 
bv the late Bishop Creighton in the Archceolo^ical [ounial (1S84)' and 
by Mr. F. W. Dendy in Arc/iaco/of^ia Acliana (1892).'^ A paper read in 
1894 by the present duke of Northumberland before the Newcastle Society 
of Antiquaries' brought the evidence of si.xteenth and seventeenth century 
surveys to bear upon the question, whether the farms which formed the 
basis of rating in the eighteenth century were identical with the uncieiit 
husbandlands. The conclusions there set forth were based on a study of 
townships in the parishes of Warkworth and Lesbury, but are equally 
api^licable to Tynemouthshire and may be accepted with little modification. 

When we reflect how often the nuniljer of husbandlands is the same as tlial of the more modern 
farms ; how in many cases there are indications pointing to a relation between them, though at tliis 
stage of the enquiry not a very explicable one, it appears highly probable that they were identical. But 
if the ancient farms be the same as the husbandlands, nothing can be more certain than that they were 
not aliquot parts of the whole township, of which they covered but a portion. They did not even include 
in many cases the whole of the land under cultivation, for in addition to them there were frequently 
freeholds, leaseholds, cottage lands, etc. Nor were they equal inter si-, at anyrate in the sixteenth 
century, for they diftered in .icreaye, in rental, in the number of cottages held with ihcm, in the amount 
of multure paid to the mill ; in short, in every particular incident to an agricultural holding. 

At the date, probably very remote, when the plan of rating by farms was inaugurated, whatever the 
nature, variety or complexity of the tenures under which the land was held might be, a sharp line was 
drawn between that portion of the township which was composed of demesne land, and that portion 
which was not. The latter alone was rateable. 

Originally that portion of a township which was not demesne, that is to say, which did not form a 
part of what has been sometimes described as the home farm of the lord, was divided into husbandlands 
of equal area, paying an equal ' ferme.' Within this rateable area there might or might not be a certain 
number of ' cotingers and cotterels,' holding directly of the lord. Whether they were rated or not we 
cannot tell. The main part of the burden indubitably fell on the husbandlands. 

In course of years parts of the demesnes were granted to freeholders or leaseholders, but these 
having once been demesne, remained exempt from local taxation. Similarly, as time went on, some of 

' Arcliteological Juiinuil, vol. xlii. ' Arih. Act. 2nd series, vol. xvi. ' Ihid. vol. xvii. 


the land wliicli was not demesne fell into the hands of the lord by escheat, forfeiture, etc., and might be 
-■ranted by him to freeholders or leaseholders, but, havini,' Ijeen part of the rateable area, it continued 
to be subject to that liability. 

Probably, from the very commencement of this plan of ratinjj, the husbandlands had constantly 
tended to become more and more unequal, and thus to deviate from the theory of their existence. From 
time to time some of the more enterprising of the inhabitants would break up small portions of the moor, 
with or without the consent of the authorities. They annexed, more or less intentionally, portions of the 
demesne to their holdings,' and again exchanged these strips with those of other tenants, so that there 
was a constant accretion on the part of some, and an increasing discrepancy between the size of the 
various farms. 

By the commencement of the sixteenth century the meaning of the word 'farm' had undeigone an 
important modification. It had ceased to be applied to the payment incident to the holding, and had 
become applicable to the holding itself. 

At length the day arrived when there was a very general conversion of copyholds into leaseholds." 
The process was not popular, but the practical change which it introduced into the economy of the 
manor may be easily overrated. Numbers of the old tenants and their descendants c<nitinncd for very 
many years to occupy the same holdings after they had accepted leases. The tenants who already had 
land in the township were very ready to take up any farms that might fall vacant. This tendency had 
shown itself freely long before the extinction of the copyholds and it gradually led to a larger number of 
farms being held together than before. 

But now a much more important and radical change took place, namely, the abolition of the 
common fields, and the inauguration of the modern system of several husbandry.^ Let us suppose a 
township consisting partly of leasehold farms, partly of demesne lands, partly of cottage holdings, 
and partly of common or waste. The leasehold farms were practically the old husbandlands. The 
demesnes had become almost entirely merged in them. When the copyholds had finally disappeared 
there was no object in keeping up the distinction between the demesnes and the husbandlands, and, 
as the same individuals held both, all trace of the former tended rapidly to disappear. But the land of 
which the husbandlands originally consisted, as well as large portions of that which had been demesne, 
lay scattered over the whole township. A held 200 acres in 5^ farms, B 120 acres in 3! farms, C 120 
acres in 34 farms, and so on. 

The first difficulty that would arise would be found in the varying character of the land of the 
district. The 120 acres which B would receive in severalty might be the worst land in the township, 
while the same amount allotted to C might be the best. The arbitrator would therefore be obliged 
in fairness to add a few acres to B or to deduct a few from C. Thus there would be a further inroad 
into the small amount of equality which may still have existed between the farms. 

Either now or at a later date the common would be divided.' How was the arbitrator to allot the 

' The extinction of the lord's rights over particular portions of the township is probably due quite as 
much to actual agreement as it is to gradual encroachment on the part of the tenants. Communal 
action on the part of the township in leasing the demesne, the lord's pasture and the garth of the 
manorial hall, should not be overlooked. Partition of the demesne among the customary tenants of the 
township probably took place in many townships during the late fourteenth or fifteenth centuries, though 
direct evidence of the fact is rare. 'It is to be noted,' says a survey of Long Houghton taken in 1567, 
'that before the partition of this towne, every tennant had besyd his husband-lande certayne parte of the 
demayne lands. Every husband-lande was at the yearly rent of xxij" ; the rent that any tenant paid 
more was for the parcell of demayne lande laid to his tenement which was vij' by yeare.' See vol. ii. of 
this work, p. 370. 

■ This took effect in the townships of Tynemouih and North .Shields. Copyhold survived in the 
seven towns of Tynemouthshire, but not without a struggle. 

' The north and south fields of Tynemouth, two-thirds of Preston, and the whole of the common 
fields of Earsdon were enclosed in 1649. Six-tenths of Backworth township was enclosed in 1654. 

' Shire Moor was divided among the freeholders and copyholders of Tyneitiouthshire in 178S. Most 
of the commons lying within the various townships had been enclosed much earlier, though Whitley 
links still remain unenclosed. (leorge Whitehead, in or about the year 1613, advised the ninth earl of 


common ? A with his five and a half farms of 200 acres would have as much land as he could con- 
veniently mana<;e, while 1! and C on the contrary might be glad to take a little more. And thus the 
actual extent of a holding would, after the division, bear no relation whatever to the number of 'farms' 
at which it was assessed. This method of allotment would go to increase the size of the holdings 
in proportion to the ability of the tenant to cultivate it, not with relation to the number of 'farms' 
lie liekl, and thus gradually the 'farms' would extend, in some cases, over the whole township. In 
such instances there would be no difficulty in rating the township by farms, but it was a different 
matter where there were cottage holdings and leaseholds not liable under the ancient system to a 
rate. .Sometimes also there were small parts of the demesnes which had not been merged in the 
(arms. One of these was the lord's mill. If these hitherto unrated portions of the township were few, 
it seems that they were ignored, upon the principle ' de minimis non curat lex.' Hut where they 
collccli\cly embraced a considerable area, it would be felt to be unfair that they shouUl contribute 
nothing to the rate. The course pursued in these cases was probably different in different places, and 
at different times in the same place. At Longhoughton it is said that four, and at Kennington three 
cottages were accounted equal to one farm. 

So far as the data at present in our possession go, they seem to point to the following conclusions : 
First, that the farms which formed the basis of assessment at the end of the last and the commencement 
of the present century are the descendants and representatives of the ancient husbandlands ; secondly, 
that it is highly probable, if not certain, that originally these husbandlands were, generally speaking, 
of equal value within the limits of the same township ; thirdly, that they constantly tended to lose this 
equality, and that in the sixteenth century, if not long before, their inequality had become very marked ; 
fourthly, that, notwithstanding, they continued to be regarded as equal bases of assessment ; fifthly, that 
they were never conterminous with the township, save in cases in which the lord of the manor was the 
sole proprietor, and the husbandlands contained the only cultivated land within it. In this event they 
would indeed cover the whole area after the common had been divided, but even then the proportion of 
common added to each holding depended on other considerations than those of mere equality of value. ' 

A ' farm ' is not and never has been an aliquot part of the value of 
the whole township. At most it is an aliquot part of the rateable value.'- 
The farm, which was taken as a convenient unit for assessment of church- 
rates in nearly a hundred townships in the county,' originated in the 

Northumberland : ' That your lordship take soonie course that all your commons that ar already 
surveiglied be, with wliat convenient speade to your lordship's best lykinge, lett by lease in parcells as 
may be best improved, the tenants havinge sufficient left. My reasone is, the nature of the people is 
that, yf any busiues be deferd, they thinke it is prolonged onely bycause your lordship cannot doe ii, and 
soe growe headestronge. In all ihesse affaires 1 shall upon u)y credit provide your lordship's best 
profitt and take leasses at reasonable rates, and inclosse and sufficiently fence and hedge them, which 
after the first lease will much advance your lordship's revenewcs, havinge made choyse of good 
tennantes that ar good husbandes and men able to bestowe chardge of the enclosure oi" the same ; 
which course must be especially observed in all your demises,— the choyse of sufficient men to be your 
lordship's tennantes.' Duke of Northumberland's .\1SS. 

' ."Vbridged from Karl I'ercy's paper on the 'Ancient Farms of Northumberland,' Anii. Ail. 2nd 
series, vol. xvii. pp. 22-35. 

■ Professor V'inogradoff has pointed out that the Early English township may best be regarded as a 
community of shareholders, its members holding equal shares known as husbandlands, virgates, 
bovates, etc. The shareholders were 'in scot and lot,' and the taxes or tribute imposed upon the 
township were equally partitioned among them. On llie other hand manorial development brought 
w ith it the formation of ' inland ' or demesne, which was omitted from the system of taxation. Demesne- 
land was outside the gflilnhU area, anti stood superior to the dependent holdings. See The Growth 0/ the 
Miiiior, book ii. chapters 3, 4, 6. This finds its counterpart in the medieval rating-system. 

' See appendix .A to Mr. F. W. Dendy's paper on the '.Ancient Farms of Northumberland,' in Arch. 
Ael. 2nd series, vol. xvi. pp. 152-154. 


luisbaiullaiul or two-bovatc holdiiii; ol arable in the common liclcls heUl 
bv customary services. Later accretions gathered round it ; tiiere was a 
tendency for farnis to increase in unequal proportions ; l)ut the intention 
of equality remained. 

Had it not been for the church-rate, the farm system would have long 
ago disappeared and left little trace behind it. Farms survived as fiscal 
units after they had ceased to exist as separate agricultural holdings, for 
the church-rate stereotyped the economic system of the period when it was 
lirst imposed. No definite date can be fi.\ed for the introduction of the 
rating system. The earliest known reference in English history to what 
was afterwards known as the church-rate occurs in the year-book of the 
forty-fourth year of Edward III., when it is mentioned as a custom in a 
single parish.' Probably it became general before the close of the fifteenth 
century. The ' farms ' of the churchwardens' books in Tynemouth parish 
correspond with the husbandry holdings of 1538 but not with those of 1377. 

With the abolition of church-rates there was no longer any need, in 
the majority of cases, to preserve the fiction of equal holdings. Copyhold, 
however, engenders conservatism, and in the manor court of Tynemouth 
the land included in any surrender or admittance is always stated to consist 
of so many farms or fractional parts of a farm. Fines, shire-rents, hall-corn 
rents, and boon-day rents are calculated upon the same principle. 

' Gneist, History of the Eiij^lish Constitution, vol. ii. p. 200. 



The townships of Tyiiemouth, North Shields, Chirton, Preston, and 
Cullercoats were, by the Reform Act of 1832, constituted a parliamentary 
borough under the name of the Borough of Tynemouth ; and by an order 
in council issued on August 6th, 1849, and coniirmed by the statute 13 and 
14 Victoria, chapter 43, they were incorporated under the same name as 
a borough for municipal purposes. Before dealing with the history of the 
modern municipalitv, some account may be given of the five distinct town- 
ships included within it. 


The township of Tynemouth is bounded by the sea upon the east 
and by the river Tyne upon the south. Its northern limit is the dry 
water-course of the Marden burn ; while on the west it runs up to Preston, 
Chirton, and North Shields. It has an acreage of 1,347 acres.' The popu- 
lation is rapidly increasing, and in igoi numbered 24,881.'' This is mainly 
due to the fact that the greater part of the modern town of North Shields 
lies within the limits of Tynemouth township. 

Until 1690 Cullercoats formed part of Tynemouth, and in earlier 
times the township even included North Shields, that town being built 
upon the prior's demesne. On the other hand it has swallowed up the tiny 
township of Milneton, of which the insignificance may be gauged by the 
entry against it of 4d. for cornage, the average assessment of the neighbour- 
ing townships being ten times that amount.^ Milneton lay near North 
Shields, and perhaps took its name from Tynemouth windnnll on the 

' The titlic-comimitation map of 1S43 specifies the acreage of the township as follows : 

a. r. p. 

.\ral)ie 7S5 2 9 

Meadow and pasture ... ... 161 I II 

Woodland ' - ° 

Huildinys, lanes, chiin hyaid, etc. ... ... ... 120 3 38 

Kocks and sand to low-water mark ... S3 3 26 

Roads, wagyon-ways and waste ... ... ■•■ 66 I 14 

Total i,;i9 2 "8 

-The Census Returns are: iSoi, 3,856; iSii, 5,834; 1821, 9,454; 'Sj", 10,182; 1S41. 11,854; 
1851, 14,650; 1861, 16,560; 1S71, 19,326; 1881.22.548; 1891,23,678; 1901,24,881. 

" Tynemouth ChurtuUiry, fol. 67. 


eastern bank of the Spital dene.' A steep, wooded slope led down from 
the mill to the Pow burn, and eastward the mill field e.xtended as far as 
the village of Tynemouth. Hugh de Milneton did fealty to the abbot of 
St. Alban's for this holding in 1264, as did his son, William de Milneton, 
in 1 29 1. In 1306 the owner of Milneton was excused payment of relief 
on the score of poverty.' The prior and convent of Tynemouth acquired 
two messuages and eighteen acres here in 1325,' and more land in 1348. 
In 1377 they were in receipt of 4s. yearly as rent of assize out of Milneton, 
and of 14s. yearly rent from lands in the prior's hand.^ 

There can be little doubt that Tynemouth formed part of the original 
endowment of Mowbray's monastery. It was mainly an agricultural settle- 
ment, though, even in the twelfth century, fishing played an important 
part in the life of the villagers. The population, English in the main, 
had a large leavening of Danes. Peculiarly Danish names, such as Orm, 
testified to the origin of those who bore them.* Orm was a poor villager 
whose onlv daughter was a paralytic, and lav all night in prayer before 
St. Oswin's tomb, until, in the early morning hours, while the bretliren 
were chanting matins, she felt life come back to her crippled limbs, and, 
rising, she walked, and laid her crutch as a thank-offering upon the altar.'' 

There is an early rental of the township, assignable to the close of 
the twelfth or the commencement of the thirteenth centurv.' Amongst 
purely Teutonic names, such as Milo, Edulph, Algar, Wlryk, Archil, 
and Edrike," are found names that are evidently of Scandinavian origin ; 

' The mill was burned down in 1S05, and in 1S37 a mariners' asylum was erected on its site by the 
Master Mariners' Association, a society founded in North Shields in 1829 for the purpose of supporting 
aged, infirm, or decayed master mariners of the port of Newcastle. The organization has since l^een 
reconstituted as the Tyne Mariners' Institute. The name of Mil! field is still applied to the land between 
the Spital dene and Tynemouth village. 

•• SI. Albans Register, fols. 62 b, in b, 153 b, 164. 

'Tynemouth Chiirtiiliiiy, fols. 86 b to 87. The deeds there set out are : 

(i.) Grant from Robert de Middelton, chaplain, to Robert Carter of Earsdon, of all his land and his 
two tofts in Milneton, 'juxta les Sheles.' Hiis testibus, Johanne de Hacworlh, Johanne de Plescies, 
Henrico Faucus, Roberto de Rihille, Johanne de Morion, Alano de Castro, Henrico de Harden, tunc 
senescallo de Tynem', et aliis. Dated at Tynemouth, December 23rd, 1319. 

(ii.) Grant of the premises from Robert Carter to Thomas de Raynton. Hiis testibus, Johanne de 
Hacworth, Johanne de Plescies, Henrico Faukes, Roberto de Ryhill, Johanne de Morton, .Alano de 
Castro, Thoma de Hidewyn, Roberto Sauvage de Tynemouth, et aliis. Dated at Tynemouth. August 
1 2th, 1324.^ 

(iii.) Grant of these and other lands from Thomas de Raynton to the prior and convent of Tyne- 
mouth. Dated August 5th, 1325. See Gibson, Tynemouth, vol. i. p. 138. 

* Ibid. fols. 51 b and 58 b. * Old Danish, Orm ; old Norse, Ormr. ' Vita Osjcini, cap. x.xxiii 

' Tynemouth Chartiilary, fols. I b to 2. 

' The names Edulph, .Algar, and Wlryk represent the commoner forms, Eadwulf, yElfgar, and 


such are Svan, Hcdne, Mother, and perhaps Heftin." Thirteen persons 
are entered as paying rent for holdings of a toft and two bovates apiece, 
the annual sum paid varying from two to three shillings, probably according 
to the size of the toft. There is one holding of a single bovate, one 
of twelve acres, one of eight acres, three of four acres each, and one of 
three acres. The majority of the inhabitants hold single tofts with no 
land in the common fields. A few rents are partly paid in corn. Sixty- 
six names in all are recorded, the total of the rent being £^ 6s. 4d. and 
ten ' cendra ' of barlev-malt. Milo, whose name heads the list, had, besides 
his two bovates, half an acre of land on the road to Whitley and the land 
formerly held by the porter of Tynemouth. He may be identified with 
the Milo, son of Hubert, who attests several charters of the period, and 
with the father of Simon, son of Milo, whose claim to two monk's corrodies 
from the priory led to Prior Gubiun's resignation. - 

In an account of homages and fealties rendered to Abbot Norton in 
1264, it is recorded that there were fifteen chief tenants, whose names are 
given.^ A similar entrv for 1291 again gives fifteen names, some of which 
are identical with those in the earlier list.^ Light is thrown on the char- 
acter of this group bv a memorandum drawn up by Thomas de Rainton, 
who was seneschal about the year 1325 : 

In the town of Tynemouth there were some fifteen tenants, of whom some held twenty-four acres, 
some twenty-six, some thirty. Wilham, son of Alan, held one land by doing at the prior's maintenance 
one bon-er, and one bon-harowe without food, and one in-lad (namely, three thraves of wheat, four 
thraves of barley, and four thraves of barley) without food ; and by doing one Neusum-lad, and then 
he shall have food ; and by doing three boon-works in autumn, namely two, and a third which is called 
the great boon-work, at the prior's maintenance. And four sworn men of Tynemouth shall be reapers 
at the great boon-work. And each of the aforesaid fifteen tenants does and shall do the same services 
as the aforesaid William, son of Alan, used and ought to do.* 

' Svaii: old Danish, Svai : old Norwegian, Svaiiit. Hcdnc : old Danish, Hithin : o\A Norwegian, 
Hedhiiui. Hother, used as a proper name, is exclusively Danish, and in old Danish is written Hoihtr and 
Hvthir. Hijtin is perhaps Hcjnc, a name exclusively old Danish. 

-■ See p. 70. In 12 13, Ralph, son of Ralph, paid a mark for having an assize in the king's court 
between himself and Simon, son of Milo of Tynemouth, defendant, for two carucates m ' Elfinton' and 
forty acres in Tynemouth. Fine Rolls, 1 5 John, m. 7. 

Willelmus Hendele, ct Robertus Poyen. 

' Ibid fol. 153 b. This list gives the following names : Willelmus filius Alani. Petnis hiius Radulfi, 
lohannes filius Richardi Bercar', Robertus del breuhos, Robertus filius Haldewini, Oallridus films 
Hcnrici, Radulfus filius C.ilberti, Petrus de Bakworth, Willelmus filius Alexandri, Johannes de Kedinges, 
Galfridus de molendino, Adam de coquina, Willelmus filius Rogeri de Wittone, Ihomas films l.ermani, 
at Alanus de Hertlawe. » Tynemouth Chartulary, fol. 71 b. 

Vol. VIII. 


These services are borne out by a fuller custunial of the township, 
known only from fourteenth-century transcripts, but probably drawn up 
about the vear 1200.' A distinction is there drawn between (i) the 
holders of lands who do boon-ere and boon-harrow, (2) the holders of 
lands and tofts who also do three boon-works and the great auth-rep, (3) 
the fifteen tenants who perform the additional services of in-lade and 
Neusum-lade." 'Selfodes' do three boon-works in the autumn. The men 
of Tynemouth are keepers of the prior's prisons and pay £8 for every 
escape. The fifteen tenants pay 40s. as abbot's-welcome on the first visit 
made to Tynemouth by a new abbot of St. Alban's. 

Rights of common are set out in detail. After the harvest is over, the 
fifteen tenants have common of pasture in the town fields for all their live 
stock except swine. On the other hand the Midhope and the Howes form 
a pasture held in severalty by the prior as lord of the manor, and here the 
prior has e.xclusive grazing rights, as well as on all the balks in the open 
fields. He may also, at will, enclose a portion of the land lying tempor- 
arily fallow, and depasture his cattle there, though the communal rights 
of the townsmen are recognised by permission afforded to them of turning 
into this enclosure the plough-oxen with which they do the boon-ere or 
tillage of the lord's demesne. Cottagers have no pastoral rights within 
the township ; they must go with their beasts to the shire moor. 

There is no trace of any base service except the payment of merchet 
and layrewite, and in the north that custom was never a mark of unfree 
status. The fifteen possess all the characteristics of customary freeholders. 
When a tenant dies, the next heir of the blood succeeds upon paving 
double the first year's rent. They may alienate their holdings in whole 
or in part, subject to the pavment of a fine in court. Thev do fealty and 
suit of court from three weeks to three weeks. Other customs include 

' Tynemouth Chartulary, fols. i, 51b, .ind 58b; printed by liiand, Newcastle, vol. ii. p. 594. The 
custunial is repeated on fol. 71 b, with verbal differences. Neusum-lade, or the carting of two loads 
from Seaton Delaval, is there described as a service to which all the fifteen tenants were liable, 
' preter terrain Ulryg et Roberti filii Wolrik, qui duo carriabunt unam carectatam.' Robert, son 
of Wlryk, reappears in the early rental already quoted as tenant of a single bovate, a fact that 
accounts for his performing only half the carriage-service incumbent on the two-bovate holdings. 
Ulryg's land is not mentioned there probably because it was then in the prior's hand ; but the 
specification of only fourteen in place of fifteen tenements leads to the surmise that Ulryg's land 
was the fifteenth. Thus the institution of fifteen chief tenants is carried back into the twelfth 
century, and the custunial is found to synchronise with the rental, though allowance must be made 
for insertion into the custumal of later additions, such as the note of Philip of Marsden's e.\emption 
from merchet. 

- See above, p. 224, for an explanation of these terms. 



the payment of multure at the thirteenth dish, the prohibition against 
carting the harvest until the prior has begun to cart, and the payment of 
eight shillings as amend for bloodshed. 

Regulations are given for the holding of assize of bread and ale. 
Toll is mentioned as being paid on strong ale and small beer before the 
liquor was exposed for sale. In the fourteeenth century the toll on ale 
{tolnetiim cervisic) for the township was usually farmed out at a yearly 
rent of 15s. to 20s.,' and after the suppression of the monastery the Crown 
continued to receive annually the sum of 26s. 8d. from the tenants as the 
farm of this assize.'' 

A survey made in 1292 shows that the yearly money-rent due from 
Tynemouth amounted to £s os. lod., and that nine quarters of barley- 
malt were paid in, and valued at 2s. 6d. each. The demesne consisted 
of four carucates of arable, the annual net return from a carucate being 
£\ 7s. The pasture-land was stocked with 14 cows and 124 sheep, and 
a yearly . profit of lod. was made from each cow, and of 4d. from each 
sheep. Coal mines brought by estimation £2> ^s. 4d. ; the perquisites of 
the court amounted to £1 8s. There w^ere six mills, valued, by general 
estimation, at four marcs each per annum. The total yield was £1^ 13s. jd.' 

Two years later the demesnes were measured. Those of Tynemouth 
and of Preston appear to have lain in common. Their extent is given as 
533 acres 10 perches, which corresponds roughly with the estimate of four 
carucates in Tynemouth and two carucates in Preston. The demesnes 
are specified as follows^ 







The close on the south side of the 

The Flores 



town of Tynemouth 











The buttes on the nonh side of 

Belhow flat 





North-wel flat 




The mill field 





The close called the lirokes 








The same 



Tunstal dyke 







Buttes near the park 




On the north side of the town of 

Crumbe flat 






Ploumen landes 



Merden flat 



Wei flat 




The Brokes near Merden 



Burdestan flat 


< Tynemouth Chartuhny, fols. i6l, 165, 169b, 172, 176 b. ' Gibson, Tynemouth, vol i. p. 220. 

' Brand, Newcastle, vol. ii. p. 591, citing Tynemouth Chartutary, fol. 54. ' Tynemouth Chartulary, fol. 4. 


The subsidy-roll of 1296 gives the follo\vin<; names of residents who 
then paid subsidy : 

Tynemouth Subsidy Roll. 






Sumnia bonorun 

Kicardi de pistrina ... 




imde regi 




Galfridi dc bracina ... 







Roberli Scot 







Willelmi de Wylom ... 







Johannis de Reding ... 







Robert! Turnur 







I'liilippi de Meiston ... 







Juliana Tieuelove 






Rogcri Biun 







Tunnok I5oyt 






Ade Burward 






Willelmi Dabbei- 






Nicholi del Hay 






Willelmi Rakedul ... 






Petri de llakeworth ... 






Probatur. Siinima liujus ville, ^19 2s. gd. ; unde regi, £1 14s. ghd.' 

By an inquisition taken in 1275, it was found that the prior had lately 
begun to hold markets at Tynemouth on Sundays.'^ This encroachment 
on the royal rights formed one of the charges brought against Prior Walden 
in 1290; and it was then urged in addition that he held assize of bread 
and ale without warrant, and that in the year 1279 he had built four 
common bake-houses at Tynemouth. These bake-houses were farmed by 
William Savage, William Barbitonsor, Robert de Bruerne, and Alan le 
Taliour, common bakers, at a yearly rent of eight marks. The tenants 
came there to bake their bread, paying furnage for the use of the ovens ; 
and there the prior brought his own flour to be baked into loaves which 
were then taken down to the shore at Shields and sold to the sailors and 
merchants who put in at that port. Newcastle merchants, hitherto secure 
m their monopoly of victualling and provisioning foreign vessels, found in 
the priory a dangerous rival. 

Walden denied holding a regular market. He had a tumbrel by grant 
from Richard I., and this implied the assize of bread and ale. He admitted 
having bakers, brewers, and fishermen in his employ. The presence of 
stalls, booths, and shambles testified to the sale of meat and drink, and men 
met and chaffered on Sundays in St. Oswin's church. But he argued that 

' Lay Subsidy Roll, Northumberland, JJA " Rotuli Hundrcdonim, Record Com. vol. ii. p. i8. 


there was no fixed market-day ; he took no market-tolls ; and he pointed, 
as justification for his own practice, to the informal retail trade carried on 
in every country village. His plea was not held good. For taking furnage 
and amends for bread and ale he was fined five marks, and all signs of a 
market were ordered to be removed.' 

In 1304 the monks took advantage of a visit paid to them by Edward I. 
and his queen to petition for a grant of an annual fair. Queen Margaret 
used her influence with her husband, who on September 17th accorded 
licence to hold a fair at Tynemouth every year upon the eve of St. Oswin's 
Day, and the fortnight following. A protest from the burgesses of New- 
castle followed upon this act, with the result that the charter was recalled 
in deference to their wishes.' 

William Savage, who was one of Prior Walden's four bakers in 1298, 
was the founder of a mercantile family of some note. Robert Savage, 
whose name occurs on several occasions in the Tynemouth Chartulary, was 
a householder in Tynemouth in 1336.^ A second William Savage, settled 
in York as a merchant, was admitted as a freeman of that city in 1336/7, 
and filled the post of bailiff in 1356.^ In 1366 he successfully claimed a 
toft and twenty acres of land in Tynemouth as nephew and heir of William 
Gaclut, whose property had been seized for supposed adherence to the king 
of France.* He became mayor of York in 1369, and died during his year 
of office, having by will devised all his lands and tenements in York, upon 
the death of his wife Constance, to his nephew Robert Savage and his 
heirs, and, for default of heirs, to the prior and convent of Tynemouth." 
Robert Savage the younger was a merchant like his uncle. He was 
admitted as a freeman of York in 1364, became chamberlain in 1370, and 
was thrice mayor (1384, 1391, 1392).' His son, William Savage, succeeded 
on his father's death to lands in Tynemouth, Preston, and East Chirton, 
of which he enfeoffed William de Mitford and William de Haliwell by 

' Gibson, Tynemouth, vol. ii. appendix, No. Ixxxviii-xc. 

- Ibid. No. ciii-cv ; Memoranda de Parliamento, 1303, Rolls Series, pp. 96-97 ; Inq. ad quod damnum, 
33 Edw. I. File 55, No. i. 

' Tynemouth Chnrtulary,{o\s. 14, 13, 18. 

* Freemen of York, Surt. See. No. 96, p. 31 ; Drake, Eboracum, ed. 17SS, vol. ii. pp. 118-119. 

^ Coram Rege Rolls, No. 424, m. 24. ' Tynemouth Chartulary, fol. 218. 

' Freemen of York, pp. 59, 67, 80, 89, 90. The will of Robert Savage of York, merchant, dated 
August 1st, 1391, and proved March 21st, 1398/9, is printed in Testamenta Ebor.ucnsia, Surt. Soc. 
vol. i. p. 157- 


deed dated January 8th, 1 399/1 400.' Another Robert Savage was a tenant 
and baker in North Shields in 1447." The Savages continued to reside 
at York into the sixteenth century, and on several occasions held civic 
offices. Archbishop Savage came of a different stock. 

In spite of its struggles with Newcastle, Tynemouth must have benefited 
by the increased commercial prosperity of its rival. The Newcastle trade 
brought many merchants and skilled artizans to the sea-board town, A 
family of Goldsmiths living in Tynemouth probably practised the art that 
named them. In 1333 a commission of oyer and terminer was issued upon 
the complaint of Robert Jouyn, Robert de Chastelon, and their fellows, 
merchants of Montivilliers in Normandy, that certain merchants of Hull, 
Raven-ness, Lynn, and Yarmouth, had entered their ship, the Saint Martin, 
when stranded near Tynemouth, assaulted the mariners and carried away 
the cargo. ^ Wrecks were frequent on the shoals of the un-buoyed and un- 
charted Tyne. Where there were survivors, the prior bought up the 
wreck,* and, where there were none, he seized it as lord of the manor. 

The destruction of Hexham priory by the Scots in 1296 came as the 
first intimation of the storm that threatened every quarter of the county, 
and drove the inhabitants of Tynemouth to take shelter within the newly 
fortified castle.^ In 131 5 a Scottish army advanced to the very walls of the 
priory, destroying the prior's coal-workings at Harden and maliciously 
setting fire to Sir Walter de Selby's house in Tynemouth." A year or two 
later, Gilbert de Middleton occupied the town, and kept the monks closely 
besieged.' Evidence of these attacks is to be found in a survey of Tyne- 
mouth taken in 1336.* 

' Assize Rolls, P.R.O. No. 1517, 111, 40 d. In 1407-1408 William de ll.-iliwell and Aynes liis wife sold 
their land in Tynemouth, Preston, East and Middle Chirton, and Milneton, to Robert Hornsee of North 
Shields for 100 marks. Fed 0/ Fines, 9 Henry IV. No. 5. It comprised seven messuages and forty 
acres, an estimate which helps to identify it with the lands held at the dissolution by the Uacres of 
Gilsland, and subsequently by the Howards of Carlisle. 

■-• Brand, Netvcastk, vol. ii. p. 572. ' Cal. Pat. Rolls, 1330-1334, p. 445. 

' The Tynemouth Chartulary (fol. 163) contains three such agreements drawn up on March 27th, 1332, 
between the prior of Tynemouth and the masters of wrecked vessels. A single example suffices to show 
their nature : Pateat univcrsis i)er presentes quod ego, Petrus Grif de Whitsand, nauta et dominus cujus- 
dam navis de Whitsand vocate navis sancti Johannis, fracte tempestate maris in niari apud Tynemuth, 
die veneris proximo post festum annunciacionis beate Marie, anno regni Edwardi tercii sexto, pro 
quadam sunima pecuniae mihi pre manibus soluta, vendidi priori et conventui de Tynemuth omnimodum 
maeremium proveniens de predicta navi, cum anchoris, velo, et omnibus cordibus et omnibus aliis uten- 
sihbus, appendiciis, et omnibus aliis rebus quocumque nomine nominantur [?], mihi et predicte navi 
pertinentibus seu inde aliquo modo provenientibus, ad quorumcumque manus devenerint et ubicumque 
invenianlur, etc. Quibus sigillum meum est appositum, cum sigillo Willelmi Hering, Johannis de Grete- 
vill, et Johannis de .■\inewyk, burgensis ville Novi Castri super Tynam. Datum apud Tynemuth, die et 
anno supradictis. s gee above, p. 83. « Tynemouth Chartulary, fols. 168, 12 ; see also above, p. 86. 

' See above, p. 87. " Tynemouth Chartulary, fols. 1 1-24. 


The town then consisted of four long streets running east and west, 
carried at one end up to the priory gate. There were 117 houses in the 
town, having most of them plots of land attached. On the north side was 
the vicarage, in which John of Tynemouth may, a few years previously, 
have projected or composed his Golden History and his collection of the 
lives of English saints. The total rental of the town was /'6 9s. lod. 
The majority of the houses were hereditable and capable of alienation, but 
some were the freehold of the prior and convent, by whom they were 
leased for life or for a term of years. As the survey is too long for 
quotation, a few extracts from it must suffice to show its character : 

Farms, rents, customs and services of the house of Tynemouth, written in the month of .March, 
A.D. 1336. 

In the first place there is a plot (placea) of waste ground next to the gate of Tynemouth priory, on 
the south side. When it was built upon, it used to pay is. Sd. per annum ; but, when the houses built 
upon this plot had been pulled down by the prior of Tynemouth, and, as need was, demolished, that 
the shavaldores and other barons in time of war and shavaldry might not be received and hidden 
in the said houses, to the destruction and capture of Tynemouth priory, then Robert de Slikbome 
surrendered this plot to the said prior ; but up to now it lies waste in the prior's hand and pays 
nothing. Memorandum that the aforesaid houses were built on different plots, namely, on a plot 
which Nicholas del Hay once held, and on another plot which Alice de Thorkelawe once held. 

* * * * 

Item, William Alcok had a plot, and Geoffrey Alcok had another plot, which they sold to Richard 
Strangale, who built a house upon them, paying is. 6d. rent. But when the house had been pulled 
down by the prior, like Robert de Slikborn's houses, Richard surrendered the said plot to the prior 
for a sum of money in which he was bound to the prior. William .-Mcok had nine acres of land 
in Tynemouth field, of which the almoner bought four, and he now holds them and pays Sd. rent ; 
and the remainder are in the hands of divers tenants, who pay lod. rent for them. This is one of 

the lands of the fifteen. 

* * * * 

Item, there is another plot, on which was a house burned by the Scots. Sir Waller de Selby 
now holds it. It used to pay is. rent. 

Item, there is standing a messuage which belonged to Robert de Whiteley, and he gave it to 
Nicholas le Granger and to Alice his wife, in perpetuity. .Afterwards John Defte acquired it from 
them and paid is. rent. .Afterwards the said John gave it to the prior of Tynemouth in perpetuity. 

* « « • 

Item, John de Tewyng holds for a term of years a messuage which belonged to John Shephird, 
and now it belongs to Emma Shephird, sister of the said John Shephird, whom John Fesefoul of 
Wylam, the prior's serf, married. [ ] acres of land in Tynemouth field belong to it and are in 

the hands of diverse tenants. It is one of the lands of the fifteen. 

* • • • 

John de Stiford, who married Agnes, daughter of Laurence le Lader, holds and has a third part 
of a tenement formerly belonging to Gilbert Baldwyne. He pays id. rent and 2d. for a third part of 
a croft-land let to Robert de Hertlawe for life while he was still alive. 

Item, Simon Mazon holds two parts of the last-mentioned messuage, and pays 3s. 4d. rent for 
these two parts and for land in Tynemouth field in the hands of diverse tenants ; and, as the land 
is in the hands of diverse tenants, Roger le ToUere, who is one of these tenants, is assigned by the 
other tenants to collect and levy the said sum and to pay it to the prior's bailiff. 


Item, the said Simon holds a piece of the prior's croft on the south side of the town of Tynemoiith, 
which Richard, prior of Tynemoiith, leased to Robert de Hertlawe without writing and without enroUe- 
ment, for the term of the said Robert's hfe, at 4d. per annum. Though Robert is now dead, the prior 
allows the said Simon to hold the plot at the aforesaid rent. 

* • « * 

Item, John, son of John dc Horsloy, who married a daughter of William Russel of Dissington, 
and Richard le Myrie, who married his otlier daughter, hold a toft upon which they intended to 
build, paying id. rent ; but it now lies waste. 

* * * « 

Item, Ranulph le Taillour holds a messuage with land in the field which belonged to Geofl'rey 
Dabbere, and pays 3s. rent. Ranulph gives yearly, on St. Michael's Day, fd. for ' Hertnes-penies' ; 
and he is one of the fifteen, and pays 2d. for having ingress and egress to and from his grange at 
the head of the town of Tynemouth on the south. 

* • * * 

Item, William, son of Robert, son of William, holds by inheritance a messuage with land in the field, 

and pays 4d. rent. 

* • * • 

Item, from the house which, with land in the field, belonged to William le Sclatere, 2s. 2d. The 
said William conferred this house on the prior and convent to the use of the chapel of St. Mary. 

* * * * 

Here ends the South-Rawe and the Cauce begins. 

* * « * 

Here ends the Cauce, and the South Middle Rawe begins at the west end of the town of Tynemouth. 

There is a plot in the prior's hand which Roger Gray once held ; it was once built upon and used to 
pay IS. rent. Item, there is another plot in the prior's hand, which Nicholas the goldsmith once held, 
and it used to pay is. rent. Item, there is another plot in the prior's hand which Gilbert Rape once held ; 
it used to pay 2s. 3d. and now is let out at the prior's will for 6d. rent. 

Item, William, son of Roger Mazon, holds a plot, which William de Bebeset once held. Walter 
Mazon bought the plot from the daughter and heir of William de Bebeset. It pays 2d. rent. 

John de Slikborn, who inarried the daughter of Ralph le Barkere, the prior's serf, holds a messuage 
and an acre of land in Tynemouth field on the south side of the town of Preston, both once held by the 
said Ralph ; he pays 3s. rent. 

Item, Alice de Whitelcy holds of the prior for a term of years a messuage which belonged to Walter 
Crok. Upon Walter Crok's death, his son and heir surrendered this tenement to the prior. It used to 
pay 3s. rent and two days' work in the autumn. 

* * # * 

Item, John, son of John de Horton, holds a messuage and land in Tynemouth field which formerly 
belonged to John de Redyng, and pays 2s. 8d. rent. He is one of the fifteen. William Bacon, who 
married Maud, daughter and heir of John de Redyng, holds a third part of the said messuage and 
land ; and they two pay Jd. at Michaelmas for ' Hertnes-penyes.' 

« • * • 

Item, there is a plot in the prior's hand which belonged to Robert de Slikborn. This Robert 
surrendered it to the prior. It used to pay yd. rent. The prior assigned it to the new chapel of 
St. Mary, reserving to himself the rent of yd. 

* * * * 

Item, Christiana, widow of William de Neuborn holds a messuage which her husband once held, 
and pays a third of the rent to the refectorar, and 6d. as new rent to the prior. It is not known whether 
it was leased for a life-term, therefore let inquiry be made. 

* * • * 

Matilda, widow of John Litel, holds a messuage leased to her for the term of her life, and pays 6d. 
rent ; but Prior Richard de Tewyng has remitted her the rent so long as he shall have the care of the 



Heie ends the South Midel Rawe, and the North Midel Rawe begins. 

Simon Sutor held a messuage next to the gate of Tynemouth priory, on the north side, which used 
to pay twelve horse-shoes and nails for the same. It has now been wholly pulled down and can never 
be rebuilt, because of the new part of the priory. 

* * * • 

Gilbert de Whiteley holds a messuage which he bought from John Stobbard. It once belonged to 
William de Chirtone. He pays nothing to the prior except [ ] days' work in autumn, because William, 
son of Robert son of William, pays 8s. 4d. rent for that tenement and for otliers which he holds in 

* * * » 

Roger Walys holds a messuage of the prior for a term of years, and pays 2s. 6d. rent. The lane on 
the west side of this messuage is the prior's severalty, and none but the prior and his successors have 
right of way. 

* * » « 

The warden of the chapel of the blessed Mary holds a messuage which Roger Tumour once held, 

and pays 6d. rent. 

* * * * 

Here ends the North Midel Rawe, and the North Rawe begins. 

* * • * 

William de Copon, the prior's chief carter, holds a cottage which William de Stiklawe once held, 

and pays 6d. rent. 

* * • * 

John Clerk of Slides holds a plot upon which part of the vicarage has been built, and pays 4d. rent. 

* # * * 

In this survey the fifteen tenants are again prominent. Before the 
close of the century one of their lands had been acquired by the chamber- 
lain. Four had fallen out of the economic system, being two of tluin 
farmed out for three quarters of barley-malt yearly, and two for si.\ bowls 
of barley-malt.' Ten holdings were left, and it was at ten 'farms' that 
the township came to be assessed for church rates. 

From time to time the prior and convent added new lands to their 
demesne. Besides land of unspecified amount acquired in 1345, 1348, 1354, 
1380, and 1392, they had royal licence to receive the following parcels 
of property in the course of the fourteenth century : 

Kxtent of Property. Grantor. Date. 

4 acres William, son of .Man le Machun 1307 

I acre ... ... ... ... ... ... ... Adam le Vacher ... ... „ 

I acre ... ... ... ... ... ... ... William de Kenneslawe ... „ 

1 messuage ... ... ... ... ... ... John Deste ... ... ... 1337 

3 tofts and 14 acres ... ... ... ... John de Whetclcy and .-Man Whitheved ... 1360- 

2 tofts and 10 acres ."Man Whitheved „ ' 

I messuage, i acre, and a yearly rent of 3s. from Thomas de Walton and .Man Whitheved 1392 

a tenement 

' Tyneinouih Chartulnry, fol. 71 b. 

- Ibid. fol. 1 10 b. Deed dated at Tynemouth, June loth, 1360. Hiis testibus, Willehno de la \'ale, 
Gilberto de Whitley, Roberto de Tewing, Johannc de Murton, .\dam Fauconer, Willehno del Kylne, 
Roberto tuib, Johaiine Clerk, Johanne de Thorntcin, Wdlelmo de Heppescotes, et aliis. 

' Ibid. fol. 1 1 1 b. Deed dated at Tynemouth, June 3id, 1360, in the presence of the same set of 
witnesses (except Fauconer). 

Vol. VIII. 33 


There were several small freeholds in the township, owing fee farm 
rents to the prior but subject to no customary service. One of these was 
the property of the Savages, to whom allusion has been made above. Two 
series of charters illustrate the descent of other estates.' Gilbert Wilkinson, 
son of William Robinson of Tynemouth, who held one of these freeholds 
in the second part of the fourteenth century, was chaplain of the Greystoke 
chantry in the priory church." His sister Agnes married William de Hepes- 
cotes of Hepscot near Morpeth.' He entailed his property upon a nephew, 
Gilbert Webster,'' who in 1413 parted with it to Robert de Harbottle of 
Preston.' A younger branch of the Harbottle family appears to have 
settled at Tynemouth and to have held land here until the year 1579." 
The second series relate to land in Tynemouth, Preston, and East and 

' See Appendix II. ' See p. 85, note i. 

^ Hec indentura testatur quod Gilbertus de Tineimith capellanus concessit at ad feodi firniain 
dimisit Agneti relicte Willelmi de Episcotys sorori sue unam partem tenementi sui in villa de Tinemulh 
ex parte australi dicte ville, in latitudine inter tenementum Willelmi de Seton ex parte occidentali et 
tenementum Koberti Savage ex parte orientali, scilicet aulam cum selario et solario ex parte occidentali 
dicte aule, duo selaria ex parte orientali dicte aule, et ununi gardinum modicum intra aulam et grangium, 
cum una domo pistri[n]e et brascine, cum libero introitu et exitu dicto Gilberto capellano ad alias domus 
suas congruis temporibus pro suo com[m]odo faciendo in aliis partibus dicti tenementi sui, habendam et 
tenendam, etc., usque ad terminum vite dicte Agnetis, reddendo inde annuatim pro primis tresdecim 
annis unam rosam in festo nativitatis sancti Johannis Baptiste si petatur, et post tresdecim annos, etc., 
reddet decem solidos argenti ad duos anni terminos, etc. Hiis testibus, Alano Whitcheved perpetuo 

vicario de Tencmuth, Roberto de Fenrother, Willelmo de Chevington, Willelmo , Roberto de 

Bynham, Willelmo del Kylne, et aliis. Data apud villam de Tinemuth in festo pentecoste A.D. 1 381. 
Duke of Northumberland's MSS. 

' Hec carta indentata testatur quod Willelmus de Heppiscotes dedit, etc., Gilberto de Tynemouth 
omnia terras et tenementa sua, etc., que idem Willelmus nuper habuit ex dono et feofamento predicti 
Gilberti in villis et territoriis de Tynemuth et Preston, habenda et tenenda, etc., predicto Gilberto ad 
totam vitam ipsius Gilberti, etc., ita quod post monem predicti Gilberti omnia predicta terre et tenementa, 
etc., integre remaneant Agncti sorori ejusdem Gilberti tenenda sibi et heredibus de corpore suo, etc., et 
si contingat quod predicta .Agnes obierit sine heiede, etc., quod tunc omnia terre et tenementa, etc., 
remaneant Gilberto filio Petri Webster et heredibus, etc., et si contingat quod predictus Gilbertus obierit 
sine herede, etc., tunc omnia terre et tenementa, etc., remaneant heredibus Gilberti de Tynemuth, etc. 
Hiis testibus Johanne de Murton, Willelmo de Kylne, Roberto Gubbe, Willelmo liacon, Johanne Clerk, 
Johanne de Preston, Roberto Maymond, Johanne de Thornton, et aliis. Datum apud Tynemoutli die 
dominice proximo ante festum Sancti Georgii, A.D. 1363. Seal : an old man in dress of the period : in 
front of him a shield charj^cd with a chevron engrailed, two crescents in chief. S. will. DE HEPPISCOTIS. Ibid. 

* November 20th, 1413. Gilbert de Tynemouth, alius Gilbert, son of Peter Webster, gives power of 
attorney to John Wilkynson and William Davy of Tynemouth to give seisin to Robert de Harbotell of all 
his lands and tenements in Tynemouth and Preston. Dodsworth MSS. vol. xxxii. fol. 123. 

' In '477 John Harbottle of Tynemouth sold a house in Framvvellgate, in the city of Durham {Arch. 
Ael. 2nd series, vol. ii. p. 31). He is perhaps to be identified with John Harbottle of Swarland, who 
appears in 1466 as a trustee for his kinsman, Bertram Harbottle of Preston. Compare the charters 
dated respectively January 20th, 1465/6, and June 1st, 1478, given in Hist. MSS. Cum. nth report, 
appendix, pt. vii. p. 73. He died August 27th, 1485, seised of the manor of Bekley Hall and other lands 
in the county of Durham. John Harbottle, aged eighteen years, was found his son and heir. Deputy 
Keeper's Reports, vol. xliv. p. 413. On November 2nd, 1492, John Harbottle, junior, released to 
Sir Ralph Harbottle of Preston all interest, under a settlement made in 1466, to lands in Yorkshire, 
Nottmghamshire, and Suffolk, late the inheritance of Bertram Harbottle. Dodsworth MSS. vol. xxxix. 
fol. 108. He died circa 1524 (inquisition taken October 17th, 1524), leaving a son and heir, John 
Harbottle, aged thirty. Deputy Keeper's Reports, vol. xliv. p. 420. For further information as to cadets 
of the Harbottle family, see vol. li. of this work, pp. 324-326, and Surtees, Durham, vol. ii. p. 223. 


Middle Chirton held by John de Tewing (i 333-1 350. and afterwards by 
John Horsley of Shields. John Horsley of Kichinond, goldsmith, son of 
the latter, and his kinsman Thomas Horsley of Benwell,' conveved their 
land in 1426 to John Cartington. A deed dated December i6th, 1445, 
records a grant made by Cartington of a yearly rent of 6d. for the main- 
tenance of a light before the high altar of the priorv church." His estates 
descended to the Radcliffes of Dilston. 

The Spital demesne was attached to the little-known hospital of St. 
Leonard. Allusion is made in an assize-roll of 1293 to the bridge by 
St. Leonard's hospital, a precursor of the modern Spital dene bridge. 
There was at that time no other passage across the Pow burn, for the 
present Tynemouth road to Newcastle stopped short at Tynemouth mill, 
turning south from that point down the eastern side of the dene.'' On the 
farther side of the bridge, between two branches of the burn, the foundations 
of a medieval building were discovered in 1885, though the excavations 
were not carried far enough to disclose its plan. The building appears to 
have been of a considerable size. Its chambers were paved with stone, 
and the few mouldings that remained were of an Early English character. 
Some fragments of flowing window-tracery, the base of a cross, and the 
matrix of a brass, were also found on the spot. 

The matrix is a plain limestone slab, measuring 5 feet 9 inches in 
length by 2 feet 7 inches in breadth.* It has contained the brass of a 

' In 1432/3 Thomas Horsley of Benwell had pardon of outlawry from the bishop of Durham. 
Deputy Keeper's Reports, vol. .\xxiv. p. 137. 

■ Omnibus Christi fidelibus ad quos presens scriptum indentatum per\enerit, Johannes Cartyngton 
de Cartyngton salutem in domino. Noveritis me, prcfatum Johannem, dedisse, etc., Ueo et ecclesie 
sancti (Jswini de Tynemouth ac sacriste ejusdem ecclesie pro tempore existenti, in purani et perpetuam 
elemosinam, pro salute aninie mee et animarum antecessorum et successorum meorum, ad susten- 
tacionem luminaris coram summo altari ejusdem ecclesie circa corpus Christi ibidem ardentis, quendam 
annualem redditum sex denariorum argenti, percipienduni et habendum annuatim de tenemento meo 
cum suis pertinenciis, modo in tenura Emmotc liadby, situato in le Middelrawe ville de Tynemouth, 
ad finem orientalem ejusdem Middelrawe, videlicet propinquiorem caslro de Tynemouth, prefato sacriste 
pro tempore existenti impcrpetuum, ad terminos I'entecoste et sancti .Martini in yeme equis porcionibus, 
etc. Hiis testibus, Henrico (iray, ballivo libertalis de Tynemouth, Henrico Lancastre, constabul.irio 
castri de Tynemouth, Johanne Robynson, Willehiio Peresson, Willelnio White, et aliis. Datum apud 
Tynemouth predictum, sextodecimo die Decembris, anno regni regis Henrici sexti vicesinio sexto. 
Greenwich Hospital Deeds, Bundle 100, Tynemouth, No. 2. 

^ John Archer, the elder, of North Shields, by will dated December 2nd, 1562, left 40s. for the 
reparation of the church and the Pow bridge ; Canon Raines collections from Durham I'robate Registry. 
.At quarter sessions held at Michaelmas, 17 18, it was ordered that the bridge called the -Spittle bridge, 
leading from Tynemouth to Klatworth in the parish of Tynemouth, should be repaired by the said 
parish. Sessions Order Books, vol. v. p. 444. Evidence of the track down from the mill to the river at 
Low Lights is to be found in a charter dated July isl, 1331, by which John de Horion granted 10 the 
prior and convent of Tynemouth a right-of-way over his land 'que jacet in longitudine in le Pol-side, 
ex parte orientali del Spitel-den.' Tynemouth Chartulory, fol. 91 ; Gibson, Tynemouth, vol. i. p. 143. 

' This matrix is figured in Arch. A el. 2nd series, vol. xxv. p. 131. 


lavnian and liis wife, connected by an inscription-fillet. Below the two 
principal figures are live smaller indents for the brasses of their daughter 
and four sons. The male figures stood on mounds, and seem to have worn 
long tunics with loose sleeves. The lady and her daughter had similar 
costumes ; their hair is curled at the side, and each of them had a head- 
dress covered by a kerchief. A date between 1400 and 1420 may be 
assigned for the execution of the work. Though the slab is not in sitii^ 
there can be no dcnibt that interments were made upon the spot. Two 
stone coffins were unearthed in the course of the excavations. In the 
si.xteenth century the priory church and the Spital appear to have been 
alternative burial-grounds, for, in 1603, William Milbank of North Shields 
left his body to be buried at either of these two places at the discretion 
of his executors.' Many persons were buried here during the Civil War, 
when access to the parish church was restricted. The latest date of an 
interment at the Spital is January 6th, 1707/8.^ 

The endowment of the hospital was small. It contributed 6s. 8d. to 
the subsidy of a fifteenth imposed in 13 14.' In a terrier of 1649 the extent 
of the hospital demesne is given as 13 acres, 3 roods, 5 perches, lying in 
forty-six rigs and various corners of land in Tynemouth and Preston, as 
well as certain lands in Chirton.^ There is no record of the character of 
this foundation. Probably it was dependent upon the priory, though certain 
facts suggest a connection with the Benedictine nunnery of St. Bartholomew 
in Newcastle. Prior Germanus {circa 1141) granted to the nuns of St. 
Bartholomew an annual dole of eight quarters of wheat out of his granarv;^ 
the prioress of St. Bartholomew held or claimed to hold propertv in 
Tynemouth in 1293 and again in 1326/7 ;'^ and a contemporary list of 
monasteries suppressed in 1536, as having incomes under ^200 per annum, 
contains the name of the nuns of Tynemouth.' 

During the fourteenth century the town increased in size and import- 
ance, and on several occasions furnished its contingent of vessels to the 

' R.Tine, Test. Ebor. 

- See also Mr. H. .\. Adamson's account of the hospital in Proc. Soc. Ant. NcK'custU, 2nd series, 
vol. iii. p. 35-36. 

' Reg. Pill. Dun. Rolls .Series, vol. i. p. 499. ' Arch. Ad. 2nd series, vol. xii. pp. 173-174. 

' Augmentation Office, Cartac Antiquae, B. Si ; Br.and, Newcastle, vol. ii. p. 82. 

' Assize Roll, 21 Edw. I. ; Pat. Rolls, 20 Edw. II. m. 29 d. 

■ Letters and Papers, Henry VIII. vol. x. p. 516. 



royal navy during the Scottish wars. Though never formally constituted 
a borough it acquired something of a corporate character. A royal writ, 
requiring the favourable treatment of Flemings, was addressed on April 
15th, 1325, to the bailiffs and communitas of the town;' and on December 
13th, 1326, the bailiffs were commanded to send three or four men to an 
informal parliament at Norwich, to treat of aff"airs concerning the naval 
defence of the realm.^ The prior's rental nearly doubled, amounting in 
1377 to £<^ I2S. 4|d. ;•'' but twelve years later the town was destroyed by 
fire in a Scottish invasion,^ a disaster from which it failed to recover. 

On January 12th, 1539, the prior and convent of Tynemouth sur- 
rendered their monastery and all their possessions to the Crown. The 
site of the monastery and various lands and revenues formerly belonging 
to it were leased on March 9th following for twenty-one years to Sir 
Thomas Hilton. The demesne or home farm passed under this grant, and 

is described as containing 








New Close or Broke Close 

... pasture ... 

••• 30 



Preston Park 

... meadow ... 

•- 15 




New Park 

... pasture ... 

•■• 30 




Heugh Close 

... pasture ... 

•■• 4 




Land in the common fields 

... arable 

... 2S6 




Land in West Spytell Uean 

... arable 

... 20 selions and 6 , 

butts ... 




Land in the Lord's NLirsh 

... pasture ... 

... 6 acres ... ' 

The Spytel House 


■•• 4 

The Spytel Close 

... arable 




Land in the fields there ... 

... arable 

... 4 ' 

Pinfold Garth 

pasture ... 





Hilton also received the ' day's work in harvest ' due from the tenants 
and inhabitants of the town, a coal mine in Tynemouth worth /. 2 6s. 8d. 
a year, and the windmill called Tynemouth mill and the water-mill called 
Harden mill, both in the tenure of Robert Dove and John Dove and 
paying ^^9 os. 8d. rent yearlv.' 

In the first account of the township presented after the suppression, 
covering the year Michaelmas 1538 to Michaelmas 1539, Hilton accounted 
for rent paid for the lands demised to him, and also for rents of free tenants 
and tenants in husbandry and rents for herbage. 

' Cal. Close Rolls, 1323-1327, p. 367. 

■ Rutiili Scotiae, vol. i. p. 475. Writs were also sent, on this occasion, to Newbiggin and to .\lnniouth. 

' Tynemouth Chtirtutiiry, (oh. 51 band 58 b. ' See above, p. 98. * Gibson, r^'iK-Mnmr/i, vol. i. pp. 216-217. 



Rental ok Tvnkmouth, 1539. 

Free rents. The heirs of Volensbyc and Henry Madeson, /i us. ijd. .Sir Cuthbert RattlifT, knight, 
7s. 3Jd. The heirs of Christopher Hell, los. 104'd. Sir Thomas Dacres, kniyht, lord Dacres of C.illis- 
land, 9s. lod. The heirs of Christopher Welden, 2s. Christopher Mitforlh, 3s. Thomas Sheldon, is. 
The heirs of Midelton, is. 3d.' The wardens of the parish church, is. Thomas Watson, 3d. Thomas 
Wydall, 8d. Sir Wigiott Harbottell, 8s. lod. Thomas Smith, 8d. Total, .£3 17s. lod. 

Rents of farms of husliandry and cottages. Edmund Richardson, £z 13s. 4d. John Sainebraine, 
£2 l6s. 8d. William llucheson, £2 6s. Sd. Robert Johnson and Thomas .Michellson, £2 13s. 4d. 
Robert Doewaye, £2 13s. 4d. Thomas Pate, £\ los. Thomas Hall, £\ 2s. Thomas Dunne, 13s. 

Fulk Acone, 13s. 4d. John Otway, Ss Wydewe, 13s. 4d. Anthony Mitfurth, 13s. 4d. John 

Tailour, 5s. Robert Shelton for a cottage, 6s. 8d. Margaret Pate, los. Robert Dove for a garden, 6d. 
Fifteen cottages, ^^4. Rent for Stonylawes and the Towne Merche, paid by all the tenants, £2 2%. 
Total, £2b OS. 6d. 

Rents of herbages." Over Spittell Deane, 13s. 4d. The West Lonynge, is. 4d. South 
Lonyngc, 8d. Stobbe Close, 2s. Parke Dike, 6d. Dunstane Garth, is. Well Bancke, is. Nether 
Spittell Deane, l6s. 4d. Spittell Closse Corner, 6s. Sd. Akehope Hewgh, 3s. 4d. Charte Dick, is. 
Skater Deane,' is. 4d. Spittell Brugge, is. 5d. A parcel of land on the left side of the Spittell, is. 
A parcell of land in North Well, is. A parcel of land called Nether Marden, in the tenure of Robert 
Shelton, 2s. A parcel of land called Upper Marden, 2s. Total, £2 15s. iid. 

Fines on assize of bread and ale, due from the tenants of the town by ancient custom on Christmas 
I^3y, ^i 6s. 8d. Pannage or take of swine received yearly from the tenants of husbandry in the town, 
namely 4d. from every tenant, payable at Martinmas, 3s. 4d. 

Sum total, ^34 4s. 3d.'' 

Further particulars regarding the various freeholds are given in a survey 
taken in 1608.' 

TvNEMOUTH Freeholds, 1608. 

Tenant. Former tenant. Holding. 

Peter Dclavale ... Sheldon Lands 

„ ... Thomas Smith ... „ 

„ ... — I cottage and 3 riggs ... 

„ ... — 2 tenements 

Rent. Pannage. Hall-corn. 

£ s. d. s. d. s. d. 

...010 — — 

...008 — — 

...008 — — 

nil — — 

William, Lord How- (Lord Dacre of i messuage, 6 cottages, and 40 099 04 
ard Gilsland) acres in the fields, and i 

cottage and 12 acres in 

Robert Dowe' ... Christopher Met- i cottage and 2 acres 030 - 


' This land was formerly the property of Sir Allan de Heton of Lowick, who died in 1388, and passed 
to the Middleton family through the marriage of Margaret, daughter and coheir of Sir Henry de Heton, 
to Thomas Middleton of Silksworth in the county of Durham. See Arch. Ael. 2nd series, vol. .\xv. 
pp. 69, 77. 

- The herbages are also described as ' land-ends ' or ' quillets ' of demesne, of which the herbage or 
eatage was farmed by all the tenants of the township acting in common. 

' Skatter or Sl.atcr Dean is identified in some surveys with the Dagger Letch, properly Dacre's 
Letch, a runner which followed the course of Bedford Street, and fell into the Tyne near the present 
Low Dock in North Shields. 

■•Gibson, Tynemoiith, vol. i. pp. 218-220; Rcntiils and Surveys, Augmentation Office, bundle 121, 
Northumberland, 30-31 Henry VII L 

' Land Revenue, Mtscell. Books, vol. 223, fols. 281-282. 

» Acquired by feet of fine, Mich. 36 Eliz. (1594} from Henry Mitford and Barbara his wife. 



TYNEMOUTH FREEHOLDS, 1608 (continued). 

Robert Dowe ' 

The churchwardens 
Robert Hehne and 

Robert Dowe " 
Peter Delavale, John 

Bowe, and James 

Roger Morton 
Robert Spereman and 

Thomas Otway 

Thomas Otway 

Robert Dowe of 

Peter Delavale and 

Robert Helme 

Former tenant. 





s. d. 

■ . d. 


t messuage, 2 cottages, 34 



1 4 


I cottage and garth 



Ralph Harbottle, 

I messuage and 18 acres 






(Heirs of Volens- 

I messuage and 9 cottages in 






bye and Henry 

Tynemouth, Monkscaton 


and Murton 

(Thomas Watson) 

I waste burgage and 2 acres... 





I messuage and 6 cottages in 





Tynemouth, 1 cottage in 
Preston, and 32 acres in 
the fields of Tynemouth 
and Preston 

Edward Robin- I cottage and 3 acres 

Symon Welden . 

(Thomas Wydall) 
Matthew Welden 

2 cottages and i acre 
2 cottages 

2 tenements and 4 acres ... o ; o — — 

The heirs of \'olensbye hold certain lands and pay yearly 1 quarter of malt, rated at 8s. The heirs 
of Cuthbert Ratclifife hold certain lands, and pay yearly I ounce of malt, rated at is. Sum total, 

£5 IS. 2id. 

On August 2nd, 1610, Tynemouth and Marden mills were granted to 
Edward Ferrers and Francis Phillips of London, to hold of the Crown 
in free socage ■* All the copyhold lands in Tynemouth, excepting two 
tenements formerly in the tenure of Fulk Aeon and ot James Uoune, were 
similarly granted on March 13th, 1623/4, to Henry, ninth earl of North- 
umberland.* Finally, on December 8th, 1631, the manor and town of 
Tynemouth, the two tenements previously excepted, and all the lands and 

' On February 14th, 1559/60, George Radclitile of Dilston, knight, in return for a payment of /|o, 
conveyed to Christopher Mitford, merchant and alderman of Newcastle, his tenement and cottage in 
Tynemouth, subject to a perpetual rent-charge of 26s. Sd. Gnaiwicli Hospital Dciiis, Bundle 100, M, 
No. I. The same tenement was confirmed by Francis RadclifTe and Edward, his son, on November 20th, 
1614, to Ralph Dowe of Tjnemouth. Ibid. Nos. 2 and 3. 

-■ Acquired by feet of fine, Mich. 21 Eliz. (1579) from John Harbottle. 

' By indenture dated June 12th, 1570, Richard Ruthall, heir and representative of Thomas Middlcton, 
granted to Edward Robinson, to hold at the will of the lord for 21 years at the yearly rent of 5s., one 
cottage, a garth containing half an acre, and 5 acres of arable held in 3 distinct strips in the north 
field of Tynemouth. Robinson was also to have common of pasture in the common fields for all his 
beasts without stint after harvest was over. Marquis of Waterford's MSS. 

* Piit. Rolls, 4 Jas. I. The two mills were purchased on July iSlh, 1659, by .Algernon, tenth earl of 
Northumberland, from Catherine, Lady X'anlore, alias Pelhani. Duke of Northumberland's .M.S.S. .-\ 
fee farm rent of £g os. 8d. reserved upon them is payable to the Colston almshouses in Bristol. 

'Pat. Rolls, 21 Jas. I. pt. 5. 


rights in Tynemouth leased to Sir Thomas Hilton in 1539 (reserving the 
site of the monastery) were, in consideration 01^13,545 15s. lod. paid into 
the Exchequer bv Sir William Russel, granted to William Collins and 
Edward Fenn of London, to hold in free socage at a yearly rent of 
^45 14s. 7|d.' Collins and Fenn, on the 21st of the same month, conveyed 
their estate to Henrv Taylor and John Melton, who, on April 30th, 1637, 
transferred it to Algernon, tenth earl of Northumberland." In this way all 
the demesne and copyhold land within the township became vested in the 
Percy family. 

Various attempts, not at first successful, were made to induce the 
tenants to come to an agreement for the division of the common fields. 
Whitehead informed the earl on December loth, 1602 : 

I doe presume to send iinto your lordship hereinclosed an agrement of the tennants and frehoulders 
of Tynemouth under ther hands for the division of Tynemouth,' wherby your lordship may se in what 
forwardnes it was brought and siidaynely quasht, by what meanes I knowe not. But nowe agayne I 
have revived it and have all ther consents save one or two trooblesome fellowes that ar unwilling, 
because they make a pray of the grasse of your lordship's demaynes, which is and wilbe a cause of 
your lordship's disprofit and decay of the rent that noHe is payed for the demaynes. The reason is 
that all ther winter grasse which should releive ther goods in winter befor the fyne of .September 
is by the tennants eaten upe.' 

On April i8th, 1631, the freeholders and the earl came to terms for 
the appointment of two surveyors to measure out and divide the lands of 
both parties. The copyholders were persuaded to surrender their copies 
in e.xchange for leases of seven years at an advanced rent, to be renewed 
so as to make up the term to twenty-one years, if they should, within the 
term then granted, come to an agreement and enclose. A terrier was 
prepared in 1649, and lands were allotted to the several tenants in 
proportion to their original holdings, in spite of the protest of certain 
freeholders, who feared that any change meant increased poverty, stating 
that ' about 7 years since, their houses have bene pulled downe to their 
severall damages of ^500 a yeare, the burthen of cess and billet soe greate 
as noe man hath for that tyme made anything of all his estate.'' The terrier 
is valuable in setting out the various holdings with some detail, as may be 
seen from the following abstract^ : 


' Pat. Rolls, 7 Chas. I. pt. 15. - Land Revenue Enrolments, vol. 202, fol. I29d. 

^ Agreement dated .-Xpril 5th, 159S. ' Duke of Northumberland's MSS. » Ibid. 

' The terrier has been printed in full, with explanatory notes, by Mr. H. A. Adamson, in Arch. Ael. 
2nd series, vol. xii. pp. 172-190. 



Lord Howard ... 

Robert Otway 

Robert Spearman 
John Carruth ' ... 

William CoUinson " 

Robert Dove 

John Morton of Tynemouth ... 
John Morton of Willington 
George Robinson and John Bowes 

Freeholds, 1649. 

Number of strips. 

157 rigs, I headland, 7 butts, and 1 

dale of meadow 

19 rigs and I butt 

2ii rigs 

59 rigs, 2 butts, li headlands, and a 

meadow spot 
21 rigs, 2 butts, and 2 headlands ... 
88 rigs, 2 butts, 3 headlands, and i 

butt of meadow 

8 rigs 

3 rigs 

108 rigs, 2 butts, and 4 headlands ... 


Area allotted. 

a. r. 



r. p. 

48 2 



6 1 



2 9 

6 2 



2 10 

20 2 



2 36 

8 2 



2 27 

28 2 



2 II 

4 3 



3 30 





33 1 



' '3 

Leaseholds, 1649. 


John Bowe 
Katherine Ogle 
Robert Spearman 
John Morton ... 
Gilbert Otway... 
Lieut. (John) Dove 
Robert Otway ... 
William Collinson 
John Carruth ... 
John Morton ... 
Richard Pryor... 
John Sutton 
Robert Rotherford 


I j farms 
I farm 

I farm 
I farm 
I farm 
I tenement 
Farm lands 
I markland 
I markland 
I markland 
Farm lands 
Farm lands 
Farm lands 

Area allotted, 
a. r. p. 

70 1 28 

40 I I 














Tenant in 1538.' 

Edmund Richardson and Thomas Pate. 

John Sainebrain. 

William Hutcheson. 

Robert Johnson and Thomas Michellson. 

Robert Doeway. 

Thomas Hall. 

John Otway. 

Fulk .-Vcon. 

Prior to the division, the arable lands of the township had lain in three 
large fields. It seems that the middle field had already been allotted to 
the earl of Northumberland, farmer of the demesne, in lieu of the 286 
acres of unenclosed demesne land. The north field, totalling 258 acres, 
and the south field having an area of 188 acres, were now divided 
among the freeholders and leaseholders. With certain exceptions, the 
whole of the south field, south of the Spital dene road, went to the 

' John Carruth purchased these hinds, August 20th, 1652, from George Gray of Newcastle, master 
and mariner, husband of Phillis, who was daughter and sole heiress of John Delaval and granddaughter 
of Peter Delaval. See the pedigree of Delaval of Tynemouth, p. 171. 

■ These lands represent the moiety of Haibottle's lands held in 160S by Robert Helme. They were 
sold, circa 1652, to Captain William Collinson, an officer stationed at Tynemouth castle. Tynemouth 
Court Rolls. Collinson also bought .A.ydon castle. See pedigree of Collinson of .\ydon castle in vol. vi. 
of this work, p. 136. 

' Taken from counterparts of leases in the possession of the duke of Northumberland. 

Vol. VIIL 



freeholders, and the whole of the north field, north of Kennersdean, was 
assigned to the other tenants.' The practice of granting twenty-one-year 
leases was continued until 1755, and was then abandoned in favour of 
shorter terms." 

A comparison of the terrier of 1649 with the ministers' accounts of 1539 
shows that the ten farms, at which the township was assessed for pannage and 
for church rate, had diminished in number to five and three-quarters, that 
their average size was 40 acres i rood i perch, and that the usual rent was 
four marks {£2 13s. 4d.). Besides the complete farms, there were other 
farm-lands of varying extent and three 'mark-lands' or quarters of a farm, 
paying a mark rent yearly. 

The later historv of the township is largely connected with the develop- 
ment of the freeholds in the south field. 

The fifty acres allotted to Lord Howard in 1649 remained in possession 
of his family luitii 1796, when Frederick, iifth earl of Carlisle, by indenture 
dated August 30th, 1796, sold his lands in Tynemouth to John Wright of 
North Shields. The latter made his will on June 30th, 1806, leaving his 
freehold property to be divided equally between his two sons, William 
Wright of North Shields, and John Bowes Wright of Lincoln's Inn. John 
Wright and his two sons laid out Northumberland Square and Howard 
Street upon this estate, which extended from Norfolk Street on the east 
to Newcastle Street and Little Bedford Street, the township boundaries, 
upon the west.' Coal was worked upon the Howard property as late as 
the eighteenth century, and there was a shaft at the top of the Shields 
bank, at the south-west corner of Howard Street.' A building on this site 
was afterwards used for the detention of prisoners taken during the French 
wars, and was replaced by the North Shields theatre, opened in 1789 and 
destroyed by fire in December, 185 1.' 

' Spearman had a freehold assigned to him in the Brocks which his son, Robert Spearman of 
Durham, sold, together with copyhold land in Chirton, to Henry Walker of Whitby. The lands assigned 
to Robert Otway were in the north field, and were termed Otway's Holes. His grandson, John Dove of 
the Low Lights, left the estate, by will dated June 28th, 1704, to his sister, Susanna Walker, for whom 
see the account of Dove's freehold. Durham Probate Registry. 

» Duke of Northumberland's MSS. ^ Mr. H. A. Adamson's collections. 

' In 1757 Sir Ralph Milbanke, bart., and others petitioned Hugh, earl of Northumberland, for 
licence for a waggon-way to the Tyne, from North Shields colliery on the earl of Carlisle's lands. Ibid. 

„, 'The theatre was rebuilt in 1852, and in 1876 it was converted into an assetnbly-room and shops. 
Ihe hrst theatre m North Shields stood on the Ropery Banks. 




William MitCALKE of North Shields, buried in Tynemouth church, I2lh February, 1628,9 (")• 
William Mitcalfe, senior, of North Shields, buried nth March, 1694/5 (a). = 

William Mitcalfe of North Shields, baptised 7th August, 1650 (a) ; buried ist October, 1734 («). 


John Mitcalfe of Tyne- = Dorothy Reed, 
mouth, baptised Ist married 15th 

September, 1684 («) ; 
died 24th January, 
1765, aged 81 (fl) 


July, 1707 (rt); 
died gth Janu- 
ary, 1 762, aged 
77 (0- 

William = Dorothy 
Mitcalfe. I P'orster. 

Henry Mitcalfe of North Shields,' = Barbara 

baptised 29th April. 1702 (fl); died died 24th Ue- 

9th October, 176S (£); will diited cember, 1761, 

20th March, 1767; proved at aged 63 (c). 

Durham {6). ^ 

Mitcalfe of Murton-house. 

I I 

John, bapt. William Mitcalfe = 

4th .Aug., of Tynemouih, 

1 7 1 8 (n) ; baptised 6th 

buried 7lh March, 1720/I 

February, («) ; died 3rd 

I723;4(«). Nov., iSo6,aged 
86 (^) (0 W. 

Susanna, daughter John, bap- Henrj- Mitcalfe of Preston, = Dorothy .Anderson, 

of Brodrick, tised 1724 baptised I3ih December, married 30lh 

married i6thjanu- (n), buried 1726(a); died 5th Dec, July, 1765 (a); 

ar>', 1746 (/5); 1727 («). 1802, aged 77 (fl) (f). died 25th Apnl, 

died 5th January, Other issue. s.p.; will dated 16th 1795. aged 79 

1764, aged 38 (rt) December, 1801 ; proved (.") (c). 

(c). 29th December, 1802 (J). 

Lockwood, bap- 
tised 7th 
October, 1746 
(a) ; buried 
25th Novem- 
ber, 1747 (a). 

John Mitcalfe, : 
baptised 15th 
March, 1747/8 
(«) ; died 5th 
October, 1779 

.Mary .Atkin- 
son, married 
17th l-'eb., 
1772 (rt) ; 
died 15th 
June. 1789, 
aged 54 (c). 

William Mitcalfe of Dockwray = .Margaret, widow of John 
Square, North Shields, baptised Kelso, and daughter of 

ijlh Januaiy, 1751 (n) ; purchased 
Tynemouth-house ; died 1 3th 
June, 1S27, aged 77 («) (<r) (/) ; 
will dated 19th December, 1821 ; 
proved 2Cth July, 1827 (</). 

Stephen Wright of Dock' 
wray Square, married I2ih 
.\ugust. 1776 («) (,i) ; died 
30th Noveml>er, 182S, aged 
77 («) (0 (/)• 

Lockwood, born l8th May, 1753 (/<) ; buried 28th M.ay, 1753 (a). 
Henry, born Ist May, 1760 ; died young (i). 
Elisha, born l6th March, 1763 ; died young (i'). 

.Anne, baptised 31st July, 1749 (a) ; died young (<). 

Dorothy, baptised 21st June, 1756; married, 

January, 1779, Shallett Dale of Newcastle. 

William, baptised 5th 
Feb., 1 78 1 (a) ; 
died young (/')• 

Mary Anne, dau. of 
J. B. Plowman 
of Wimbledon, 
married loth 
June, 1816 (rf). 

: William Mitcalfe of Tynemouth-house, bom 3rd = Marj-, daughter of 
.March, 1787 (/) ; baptised 23id September, 1788 '^ '-^ 

(a) ; of the Coal Exchange, London ; died 8lh 
.April, 1S63 (a') ; will dated loth September, 1861 ; 
proved 20th Alay, 1863 (rf). 

Dowson (</), 
2nd wife. 

Henry Mitcalfe of Whil- 
ley-house, born 28th 
November, 1788 (a) ; 
baptised 30lh Novem- 
ber, 1788 (a); .M.P. 
for Tynemouth, 1841- 
1847 ; died 4th June, 
1853, aged 64 (/). 

Thcodosia, daughter 
of Edward Drury, 
nvirricd 4th Feb- 
ruary, 181 3 ; died 
at Little .Anglesea, 
Hants, 31st July, 
1848, aged 59 

John, baptised I2th 
.\ug., 1790 (a) ; 
died 22nd Feb., 
1 80S, aged 1 8(c). 

Thomas, baptised 
23rd October, 
1792 (a); died 
young (*). 


Henry Theodosius Margaret, married her cousin, Henry Percy Mitcalfe. 

.Mitcalfe, died Anne Emma, married 27lh February, 1840, John 

.May, 1856, aged Fenwick of Preston. 

-,5 (<•) (/). Isabella Catherine, married Major-General John 

Edward. Henry Francklyn. C.B. 

Theodosia, died unmarried (/) Ijth December, 18S2. 

Susanna, baptised 25th March, 1778 (a) ; 

married 2isl .April, 1S03, Cuthbert Smith 

Fenwick (a). 
Margaret, baptised 5th July. 1781 (a); mamed 

I4"lh November, iSoi, William Redhc;id (,a) of 

Anne, baptised :8th July. 17S2 (a) ;^ married 30th 

March, 1S24, Edward Jackson of Gateshead (a). 
Dorothy, baptised 28th April. 17S4 (a) ; m-arried 

1st September, 1807, James Methold Goble (a) 

of Brighton. 
Isabella.' baptised :3rd September, 178S (a); 

married 7lh .March. 1S09, John D.ale (a). 
J.ane, b;\ptised 25lh January, 1795 (a); mamed 

7th April, 18:5, Daniel Edward Stephens of 

North Shields (a). 



Mary Anne, dau. 
of JohnRell:imy 
Plowman of 
born loth No- 
vember, 1793; 
mar. at Wim- 
bledon, loth 
June, 1816. 

=William Mitcalfe of Tynemouth-house, born 3rd March, 17S7 (li) ; baptised 23rd = Mary Dowson 

September, 1788 (a) ; of the Coal Exchange, London ; died Slh April, 1863 (rf) ; 
will dated loth September, 1861 ; proved 20th May, 1863 (d). 

(^d), second 


I I I I 
r)alr)rmple Mitcalfe, born 1834, died 1863. 
Chirles Lockwood Mitcalfe, born 1838, died 1867. 
Mowbray Mitcalfe, born 1842. 
Ralph Dowson Mitcalfe, bom 1843. 

Sophia Amelia, married, first, 
George Manley, and secondly, 
Edward Klein. 

Constance, married J. R. Upton. 

William Brod.= Emily, dau. 
rick .Mitcalfe of John 

of London, Jobling. 

born 1817; 
died s.p. 

John Bellamy 
born 1820 ; 
died s.p. 

I I 

Henry Percy = Margaret, dau. of Stephen ; 

Mitcalfe, born Henry Mitcalfe Wright 

1823 ; died of Whitley- Mitcalfe, 

9th Novem- house, died 19th b. 1826. 
ber, 1891. July 1900. 

: Jane 

Mary Anne, 
married Spur- 
geon Green. 

Henry Percy Mitcalfe. 

Frederick .Mitcalfe. 

Leonard Mitcalfe. 

Blanche, died 

in infancy 



Tytti-tnouth Rfghtgr. 

Genealogical table of the Mitcalfe family, compiled by 
Mr. John B. Dale in 1875, from information communi- 
cated by Mr. H. \. Adamson. 

Monumental Inscriptions, Tynemouth Priory. 

{d) Documents with .Mr. H. \. .^damson. 
{/) Matthew Forster's Obituary, 
(y) Monumental Inscriptions, Christ 
Church, Tynemouth. 

* Henry .Mitcalfe (l) of North Shields, by Barbara, his wife, had issue, with other children, Henry Mitcalfe (2) 
of Murton-house, baptised 19th May, 1729 ; married 22nd March, 1755, Elizabeth, daughter of Isaac Bell of ,\orth Shields, 
by whom he had issue Henry Mitcalfe (3) of Murton-house, attorney-at-law. Henry .Mitcalfe (3), baptised 20th June, 1758, 
married, first, at Bishopwearmouth, Sth March, 1790, .Anne Bird, and secondly, at Bath, 4th June, 1S02, Eliza, widow of 
Colonel de la Beche of Halse-hall, in Jamaica. He resided, in the latter part of his life, at Clifton and at Bath. Henry 
.Mitcalfe (3), by his first marriage, had a son, Henry Bird Mitcalfe (who died unmarried in his father's lifetime), and 
a daughter, .Anne Bird Mitcalfe, who became her father's sole heiress, and was married at Clifton, 13th June, 1808, to 
Levi Ames of Rodney-place, Clifton. 

Robert .Mitcalfe, a cadet of this family, died in 1812 at the age of 56, leaving issue, by Catherine Stanley, his wife 
(whom he married in 1780), a son, Robert Stanley Mitcalfe, born in 1786, the father of the present Mr. John Stanley 
Mitcalfe of Tynemouth. 

CoUinson's land lay to the east of the Howard estate. Henry Collinson 
of Aydon castle, son and heir of Captain William Collinson, sold his estate 
to Ambrose Hambleton of Tynemouth. Hambleton left two daughters 
and coheirs : Hannah, wife of William Williams of North Shields, and 
Sarah, who married John Atkinson.' About the year 1714, Atkinson's share 
was purchased by Edward Stewart of North Shields, and the land was then 
divided, Stewart taking the eastern moiety and Williams the western. 
There were roperies or ' rope-walks ' on both properties, extending from 
the Tynemouth road to the bank head. Williams' land afterwards came to 
the Stephenson family,- and at a later date became the property of the 

' Duke of Northumberland's MSS. 

^ John Stephenson of Earsdon and North Shields, rope-maker, son of Robert Stephenson of North 
Shields, rope-maker, married Elizabeth Hall, by whom he left issue John Stephenson the younger, and 
Elizabeth, who married James Perrin of Newcastle. He died September l6th, 1752, having by his will, 
dated November 22nd, 1751, devised his freehold property in North Shields to his daughter. His son, 
John Stephenson of Uockwray Square, married Maiy, daughter of Francis Gowland of Scarborough, but 
left no surviving male issue. He died July 12th, 1801. Mr. H. A. Adamson's collections, and monu- 
mental inscription at Christ Church. 



Mitcalfes of Tynemouth house. The Stewart estate came, in 1768, into the 
hands of William Linskill, afterwards of Tynemouth lodge. Stephenson 
Street and Linskill Street perpetuate the names of these former owners.' 
Proceeding eastward, John Carruth's freehold is reached. Carruth sold 
his land on October ist, 1667, to Edward Toll of North Shields, formerly 
captain-lieutenant in Sir Arthur Hesilrige's regiment. 

I. Edward Toll, purchased lands in Cowpen, October ist, 1679, from Cuthbert Turner of the 
Middle Temple. He was buried in the chancel of Christ Church, January ist, 1680/1, having by will 
devised his lands in Tynemouth, known as the High Lighthouse Closes, to Edward Toll, his son and 
heir. By his wife, Elizabeth Knowles, he left issue: (i) Edward Toll, above mentioned, who died 
without issue ; (2) Thomas Toll (II.). 

II. Thomas Toll, of North Shields, draper and mercer, by his will, dated May 2nd, 1704, devised 
the High Lighthouse Closes and his lands at Cowpen to Edward Toll, his son and heir. He married 
Ursula Airey, by whom, amongst many other children, he had two sons: (l) Edward Toll, who died 
without issue in May, 1713 ; (2) Thomas Toll (III.). 

III. Thomas Toll of London, master and mariner, and subsequently of Wolviston in the county 
of Durham, by his will, April i6th, 1744, left his Tynemouth property to his sister, Elizabeth, wife 
of Josias Dockwray of Wolviston and North -Shields." 

' Mr. H. A. Adamson's collections. 

- Based on the duke of Northumberland's M.S.S., Mr. H. A. Adamson's collections, and wills in the 

Durham Probate Registry. 


Stephen Dock\vr.a.V, minister of St. .Andrew's, Newcastle, 1647-1660 ; buried there Illh .August, 1660 (_e). 

Thomas Dockwray, D.D., vicar of New- 
burn, 1663-1663 ; vicar of Whitburn, 
1667 - 1672 ; vicar of Tynemouth, 
1668-1672; chaplain to the earl of 
Sandwich, with whom he was slain in 
a naval engagement against the 
Dutch, 28th May, 1672 (/(). 

Katharine, Josias Dockwray (yf), of Christ's ; 

dau.ofThos. Coll., Camb. ; M.A. 1665; 

Naylor vicar LL.D. 1673 («) ; curate of 

of Newcastle Lanchester, co. Durham, 

(/), married 165. .-1668; vicar of Newburn, 

31st May, 166S-1683 ; will dated nth 

1669 (/). October, 1681 (/) ; buried 
July, 1683 (0). 


Mary, dau. of Samuel 
Sanderson of Hedley- 
hope, CO. Durham, 
mar. at Lanchester, 
23rd Novemljer, 1658 
(i), named in her hus- 
band's will (/). 

Josias Dockwray, baptised 19th July, 1670 (i), of Corpus Christi College, 
Oxon. ; matriculated 26th March, 1686, aged i; ; B..A., 1690; 
M..A., 1693 ; rector of St. F.bbe's, Oxford, 1695, and of Duntsbournc 
Knights, CO. Gloucester, 1696 (c). 

Arabella, baptised 7th March, 
1671/2 (a), buried in the chancel 
of Christ Church, Tynemouth, 
28th .April, 1672 C<i). 


Thomas Clarveato Dockwray of (Queen's College, Oxon., matriculated 23rd November, 1733, aged 24 ; B.A., 1737 (<•)• 

Stephen Dockwray, of Sidney-Sussex ^ Jane Lawson, 
College, Cambridge: B.A. 166S ; married nth 
M..A. 1672 («) ; vicar of Tyne- '• August, 1674 
mouth. 1673-16S1, died 20th buried : («), buried in 
22nd September, 1681, in the '. the chancel of 
chancel of Christ Church, Tyne- ChristChurch 
mouth (a) (/;) ; administration of Tynemouth, 
his personal estate, 20th Septeni- loth Decem- 
ber, 1681 (sic), granted to his her, 1694 (a), 
widow (^). 

Thomas Dockwray of St. = Elizabeth Love, 

John's College, Cambridge, 
matriculated 14th April. 
1673, aged 16 (_d) ; B.A., 
1676 ; .M.A. COxon.). 
1680 (c) ; vicar of Tyne- 
mouth, 16S1-1725 ; also 
perpetual curate of Walls- 
end ; buried 24th February, 
1724/5 (.")■ 

married 4th 
June. 1689 
(a), buried 6th 
May. 1728 

Abigail, married 
Richard Wake 
of Whitburn ; 
named in the 
will of her uncle 
Josias; buried 
1 5th .April, 1 684 

Barbiira, bur. 24th 
.March, 1662(0). 



TlKim;is Dockwray, baptised 14th .\pril, 1676 («), 
buried in ihe chancel of Christ Church, Tyne- 
mouth, l6th April, 1676 («). 

Barbara, baptised 1st December, 1681 (a), daughter and 
heir ; married Thomas Davison and was living in pos- 
session of a tenement at North Shields in 1707 (m). 

[Mary Grey, = Thomas Dockwray, baptised 1st April, 1690 («) ; = Mary Maynard, 

bond of mar- 
riage, 5th 
May, 1729.] 

of St. John's College, Cambridge ; matriculated 
23rd May, 1706, aged 16 (</) : B.A., 1709 ; M.A., 
'713 (") ; lecturer of St. Nicholas', Newcastle, 
1724-1752 ; perpetual curate of VVallsend, 17...- 
1760; died 15th May, 1760, aged 70; Monu- 
mental Inscription, St. Nicholas' (<) ; will dated 
nth .May, 1759; proved 1760 (/). 

bond of mat 
23rd October, 
1732 ; married 
26th October, 
1732 (■/)• 

Mary, baptised ist May, 1734 (/) i 'J'^'' "'' h^i" father's lifetime. 

I I I 
Stephen, baptised 9th .\ugust, 

1692 (n) ; buried 24th January, 

1692/3 la). 
John, baptised nth January, 

1693/4 (a) ; buried iSth April, 

1696 (a). 
Francis [a son], baptised 21st 

January, 1695/6 (a) ; buried 

I4tli December, i6g6 (a). 

Josias Dockwray of 
Wolviston, CO. Dur- 
ham, baptised 26th 
.August, 1697 (a) ; 
afterwards of North 
Shields salt offices ; 
buried, 3rd Novem- 
ber, 1745 (a). 

Elizabeth, daughter of Thomas Toll of 
North Shields, and sister and devisee 
of Thomas Toll of the same place ; 
bond of marriage, 22nd September, 
1724; was living a widow at New- 
castle, 27th October, 1756 (^) ; named 
in her son's will (/) ; buried 29th 
I'ebruary, 1792, aged 98 (a). 

I I I I 
Elizabeth, baptised 14th April, 1691 (a) ; married l8th 

September, 1723, lieutenant John Pedie (a) ; died s.f. 

before nth May, 1759 (/). 
.Martha, bapi. 13th Dec, ifigS (a) ; bur. 14th Feb., l688/9(a). 
Barbara, baptised 2nd February, 1699/1700 (a) ; buried 

9th of the same month (,«). 
Frances, baptised 8th .May, 1701 (a); buried i6th July, 

1701 (a). 

Thomas Dockwray, son and heir (g). ■■ 
of St. John's College, Cambridge; 
matriculated 30th .April, 1 744, aged 
18 ((/); B.A., 1747; .M.A., 1751 ; 
D.D., 1766 (n) ; lecturer of St. 
Nicholas', Newcastle, 1753-1783 ; 
vicar of Stanifordham, 1 761 until 
his death, 14th Dec, 1783 (() ; 
will dated i8th June, 1782 (/). 

Hannah, daughter of 
Robert Ellison of 
Otterburn, married, 
12th February, 1757 
(/") ; she married, 
secondly, 13th Dec, 
1787, John Barker, 
D.D. (/), of Christ 
College, Cambridge. 

(a) Tynemouth Registers. 

(b) Whitburn Registers. 

(c) Foster, Alumni Oxonienses. 

{d") Scott, .Aiitnissions to St. Johns College ^ Camhritige. 
(.) VVelford, Men of Mark. 
(y) Registers of St. John's^ Ne^vcastle. 
(,?) Schedule of deeds in the possession of Mr. H. ,-\. 

M I I I I 

Josias, baptised 23rd .April, 1734 (a). 

Margaret, baptised gth May, 1727 (a). 

Elizabeth, bapt. 1st July, 1729 (a) ; mar. circa 1754, William 

Harbottle of Newcastle ; named in her brother's will. 
.Mary, baptised 23rd February, 1730;'! (a) ; married William 

Charlton of Newcastle ; named in her brother's will. 
Ursula, baptised 21st November, 1732 (a). 
Martha, living unmarried at the dale of her brother's will ; 

will dated 22nd May, 1799 (,?). 

(//) Monumental Inscription, Christ Church, Tynemoulh. 

(/) Brand, Newcastle, vol. i. pp. 286, 31;. 

(/■) Surtees, Durham, vol. ii. pp. 316, 343. 

(/) Durham Probate Registry . 

(wi) The Duke of Northumberland's MSS. 

(«) Luard, Graduatt Cantahrigienses. 

io) Newburn Registers. 

(fi) Cal. State Papers Domestic, 1672, p. 223. 

Evidences to Dockwk.w Pedigree. 

December 17th, 1666. The king to the University of Cambridge. Requires them to admit Thomas Dockwray, 
vicar of Newburne, Northumberland, to the degree of Doctor in Divinity, without the customary exercises, in reward of 
faithful service as chaplain in the fleet, for which some ecclesiastical preferment is to be bestowed on him. Cal. State 
Papers Domestic, 1666-1667, p. 351. 

June 15th, 1668. The king to the bishop of Durham. Dr. Thomas Triplett, who has for many years been 
legally possessed of the rectory of Whitburn, in his diocese, has lately been dispossessed by Dr. Dockwray, on pretence 
of Triplett not subscribing to the declaration enjoined by the late Act of Uniformity, and of Dockwray having 
obtained a letter of recommendation from us. We never wished our letter to prejudice a person so deserving as 
Dr. Triplett, and wish him to be restored to the rectory, and not henceforth disquieted. We hope to have no further 
cause to resent the usage of a person most particularly recommended. Ibid. 1667-1668, p. 439. 

June 3rd, 1672. Col. Edward Villiers to Williamson. I have written to Lord Arlington on behalf of the bearer. 
Dr. Dockwray 's son, whom I found here supplying his father's place. It would be a great charily to procure him to 
succeed his father in the parsonage of Whitburn, having a brother and two sisters to provide for, and it would much 
conduce to the service to have it known that such care was taken for orphans whose fathers died so honourably in the 
king's service. I have a particular obligation to promote it all I can, for I was the means of his father being with 
the earl of Sandwich. The duke had taken him into his ship, had he not before been engaged, so well this good doctor 
was known in former engagements at sea. Ii,id. 1672, p. 143. See also pp. 215, 223, 408 and 612. 


Thomas Dockwray, vicar of Stamfordham, the eventual owner of this 
property, may be rej^arded as in some respects the founder of the modern 
town of North Shields. The old town had hardly extended beyond the 
narrow and crowded Low Street at the river side, when Dr. Dockwray 
commenced buildinsr squares and streets upon his land at the top of the 
bank. Dockwray Square was begun in 1763, Toll Square soon followed, 
and, after his death, his representatives, upon September 2nd, 1784, conveyed 
the whole of the Toll inheritance to trustees upon trust to sell the same 
for building purposes.' Their example was quickly followed by the other 
freeholders, with the result that nearly the whole of what was once the 
south field of Tvnemouth township has been swallowed up in North Shields. 

The land east of Carruth's freehold, as far as the Pow burn, was 
allotted in 1649 to Robert Dove of Tynemouth. His son, also named 
Robert, married Anne, daughter of Robert Otway of Preston, by whom he 
had a son, Robert Dove of the Low Lights. This last-named Robert Dove, 
by will dated December 21st, 1704, devised his two messuages called the 
Pow bank, and the parcel of land called the Dean, to his sister, Susanna 
Walker.- For more than a centurv the estate remained in the Walker 
family, who built Walker Place and other streets upon it. A portion of it 
was eventually sold to the Tynemouth Corporation by John Kerrich of 
Geldestone Hall in Suffolk (son of John Kerrich of Harleston by Elizabeth, 
daughter and heir of John Walker of Wallsend'), and now forms part of the 
Northumberland Park.' The southern end of the dean, known as the Low 
Lights, was once a level flat of swampy ground called 'salt-grass,' covered 
at high spring-tides, though now reclaimed and busy with factories and 
warehouses. Thither came in 1766 a quaker, John Richardson, a member 
of a Whitbv family, and set up a tan-yard, draining the soil and raising it." 
Another family of quakers, the Tyzacks," descendants of huguenots in- Lor- 
raine, who had established glass-works at Gateshead and Newcastle, also 
came to the Low Lights, and there started an iron foundry on land acquired 

' Mr. H. A. Adamson's collections. ^'"'Z- 

'John Walker of Dockwray Square and Wallsend, who died in January, 1S22, by his will, dated 
May l6th, 1S18, devised his estate at the Low Lights to his son, John Walker, for life, with reversion 10 
testator's grandson, John Kerrich. John Walker the younger died unmarried, .August 25th, 1S33. Ihid. 

' The park was formed in 1885, land being made over to the corporation for the purpose by the 
duke of Northumberland. 

* Boyce, Annals of a Quaker Family : The Richardsons of CUveland, p. 66. 

• An account of this family is given by Grazebrook, Families of Henzey, Tytlery and Tyzack. 



in 1632 by George Milbourne of Chirton.' Prosperous shipowners built 
their residences there, and several of these large brick houses, with their 
wide fore-courts, still remain. 


Chirton, 20th April 
proved 1783 {d). 

Whitby, N.R.Y., and of North Shields, died at 
1783, aged 57 {6); will dated 24th April, 1779; 

Jane, daughter and heiress of Anthony 
Pearson of North Shields, married 
13th October, 1754 (")• 

Robert l.inskill of Whitby, 
son and heir, born gth 
June, 1757 (/) ; named 
in the will of his maternal 
grandfather ; administra- 
tion of his personal estate, 
29th September, 1790 (</). 

I I I 
Anthony, born 15th 

November, 1758 (/). 
John, born 2 1st Aug., 

1760 (/). 
Anthony, born 29th 

July, 1 761 (/). 

William Linskill of North Shields, = Elizabeth IVlary, dau. of 

born i8th October, 1766 (/) ; 
built Tynemouth Lodge circa 
1790; high sheriff of Northumber- 
land, 1806 ; died at Humberstone, 
Leicestershire, I3lh May, 1845 ; 
buried at Ruddington, Notts. 

Ralph William Grey of 
Backworth, married at 
Earsdon, 1st August, 
1805 ; died 21st Sept., 
1 84 1 (e) ; buried at 
Ruddington (c). 

Abigail, born 14th September, 1755 (/) ; died in infancy. 

Margaret, born 15th August, 1756 (/) ; married 7th September, 1784, 

John Blackburn (/),'and died 1818. ■ 
Jane, born 25th October, 1759 (/) ; married 26th November, 1784, 

Henry Coward of Preston (/). 
Hannah, born 30th July, 1762 (/). 

I I I 

Abigail, born 21st June, 1764 (/). 

Esther, born 13th October, 1767 (/). 

Maria Antonia, born 7th January, 1 77 1 (X) i 
married 26th November, 1795, John Man- 
sell, captain 3rd Dragoon Guards, and 
died 25th January, 1843 {/). 

William Linskill of Tynemouth 
Lodge, born 28th .'\ugust, 1807 
(/) ; entered 2Sth Foot ; captain 
5lh Dragoon Guards (ir) ; three 
times Mayor of Tynemouth ; pur- 
chased and sold .\Iorwick ; died 
I7lh March, igoi ; buried at 
Cambridge (c). 

Frances A. C. .^nnesley, 
daughter of Arthur, 
Viscount Valentia, mar- 
ried at Bletchington, 
Oxon., 17th October, 
1853 ; died at Cam- 
bridge, 13th May, 1904. 

I I I I I 

John Anthony Elizabeth, born 27th March, 1808 

Pearson Luis- (/) ; buried at West Linton (c). 

kill, born 28th Mary Jane, born 25th April, 1810 (/). 

July, 18 I 2 Frances Sarah, born 17th May, 1811 

(/); buried (/). 

at Beaudeserl, Charlotte Antonia, born 19th October, 

Warwickshire 1813 (/) ; died 1885; buried at 

(c). Weymouth (c). 

William Thomas Linskill of St. Andrews, N.B., born at Tynemouth = Jessie Monro, daughter of James Stewart, married at 
Lodge, 25th June, 1855. I Edinburgh, 7th March, 1881 (c). 

Violet Frances, born 30th 
December, 1881 (/). 

Mary Seton, bom loth March, 1883 ; died 5th 
September of same year {/). 

Nora Douglas, born 6th 
November, 1886 (<:). 

(rt) Tynemouth Registers, 

(f)) Monumental Inscription, Tynemouth 

(0 Ex mf. Mr. W. T. Linskill. 

{d) Raine, 7Vt/. Ebor. 
(J) Matthew Forster's obituary. 
{/') Ex family bibles and communicated by Mr. 
H. A. Adamson. 

To the north of Dove's freehold, on the other side of the Tynemouth 
road, thirty-three acres were allotted to Gerrard Robinson and John Bowes. 
This land was purchased from their representatives by James Stewart, son 
of Edward Stewart mentioned above. James Stewart died childless. Bv 
his will. May 31st, 1743, he left his lands in North Shields, Tynemouth, 
the parish of Ponteland, Tweedmouth and Spittle, and Callerton, to his 

' Mr. H. A. Adamson's collections. 




John Clark of Long Houghton. = 

William Clark of Long Houghton, baptised 20ih June, 1711 (a) ; died '797. 

aged 86 {b). 

: Ann died May, 1742, 

aged 30 {b). 

- Other 

John Clark of Blyth, afterwards of Bebside, 
born at Long Houghton (/}) ; voted at 
the election of knights of the shire in 1774 
for a freehold at Hlylh (^) ; owner of a 
moiety of Long Houghton tithes ; pur- 
chased Choppington in 1803 ; died 29th 
May. 1809. aged 73 (i) (c) ; will dated 1st 
September, 1804 (rf). 

Elizabeth Fair- 
lam, daughter 
of George Mar- 
shall of Blyth, 
mar. iSth -May, 
1773(f); died at 
Newcastle, Feb- 
ruary, 1825. 

William Clark of Dockwray : 
Square, North Shields (/), a 
native of Long Houghton ; 
voted at the election of knights 
of the shire in 1774 for a free- 
hold at North Shields (jp) ; died 
l6th August, 18 10, aged 69 

Elizabeth Thomp- 
son, mar. 20th 
Dec. 1758 (A); 
died 9th Oct.,'cd40r<'"). I 


I I I I I I 
John Clark, baptised 30th June, 1774 (c) ; of Little Tower 

Street, London. 
William Clark, bapti.^ed I3ih October, 1777 (c) ; buried i6th 

November, 1798 (c). 
Robert Clark, baptised gth January. 1781 (c) ; of St. Mary- 

at-Hill, London, and of Choppington. 
George Clark, baptised 29th April, 1783 (c) ; of London 

and of Sheepwash. 
Charles Taylor Clark, baptised 22nd July, 1785 (c) ; of 

Cowpen Ouay, shipbuilder. 
Selby Clark, baptised 20th October, 1786 (<) ; named in his 

father's will. 

. I I I I I I I 

Jane, baptised 20lh October, 1775 (') I married, 4th .April, 
'799. John North of London (rf) (»"). 

Elizabeth, baptised 1st November, 1778 (<r) ; died unmar- 
ried ; buried I7ih May, 1S04 (c). 

Ann, baptised 8th November, 1779 (c) ; died at Bebside ; 
buried 3rd October, 1806 (c). 

Harriet, baptised 15th .April, 1784 (c) ; named in her 
father's will (rf). 

Maria, baptised i8th September, 1788 (/). 

Sophia Isabella, baptised iSth September, 1788 (»). 

.Maria Isabella, baptised Illh August, 1799 (') I married 
Joseph Ferguson of Carlisle. 


.•\nne, dau. of James Hut- ^ William Clark of Tynemouth, == Mary, daughter of = 
- - - ... William Brown 

of Long Benton, 
married 14th Feb- 
ruary, 1S05 (J~) ; 
died 19th January, 
1 8 14, aged 40 (if), 
second wife. 

chinson of Tynemouth (y), 
married 23rd Se])t., 1793 
(A); died 23rd Sept., 1802, 
aged 32 {e), first wife. 

afterwards of Long Benton, 
purchased Belford in iSlI ; 
high sheriff of Northumber- 
land, 1820; died loth June, 
1837, aged 72 (r). 

I I I 
Anne Elizabeth, died 26th December, 1847 (<•). 
Mary Elizabeth, mar. Wm. Clark King, clerk in orders (^f). 
Elizabeth Sarah (/). 

: Margaret, widow 
of Thomas Bell 
of .Alnwick and 
Shortridge. and 
daughter of 
George Selby 
of Twizel. third 

Samuel Clark, died 
unmarried in 
l.ondcn, Aug.. 
1792, aged 21 

Lydia, married 
loth June, 1795, 
John Wright of 
Wallscnd \K). 

William Brown Clark of ■■ 
Belford, born 12th Nov., 
1807 ; of University Col- 
lege, Oxon. ; matriculated 
15th June, '825, at;ed 17 ; 
B.A., 1S29; M.A.", 1S32 ; 
admitted to Gr.ay's Inn, 
1st May, 'S26 ; died gth 
November, 1840. 

Eleanor, dau. of 
Addison F'enwick 
of Bishopwear- 
mouth, mar. I Itli 
June. 1833 ; she 
mar., 2nd, at St. 
James's, London, 
March, 1S47, Sir 
Edw. Bracken- 
bury, bart. 

John Dixon Clark, bom 
loth January, :8l2 ; of 
University College, Oxon. ; 
matric. 30th June, 1829, 
1S36 ; clerk in orders ; 
succeeded to Belford on 
the death of his brother ; 
died s.p.m. 'st Sept., 1S70. 

Anne, dau. of 
Addison Fen- 
wick, married 
8th June. 
1843 ; died at 
mouth, Sept., 
1847, aged 

Jane Margaret, mar. 2nd 
July, 1833, William 
.Atkinson (/), clerk in 
orders, incimtbent of 
Gateshe-ad I"cll ; suc- 
ceeded her brother and 
assumed the additional 
name of Clark ; died 
1S7S. I 

Emily Anne, married Francis Swan, clerk in orders, rector of Aswardby, co. Lincoln. 
Julia Mary, married 20th August, 1863, George .\L Murray, clerk in orders, vicar of 
Shrivenham, Berks. 

Ann Elizabeth, married 2lst June, 
1864, John V. D. Butler, afterwards 
earl of Lanesborough. 

(a) Long Houghton Registers. 

(/;) Monumental Inscription, Long Houghton. 

(c) Earsdon Registers. 

(</) .Abstract of Title to Choppington. 

('■) Monumental Inscription, Tj'nemouth Priorj-. 

(/) Bell Collection. Tortfolio 369. 

(,e) Poll Books. 

(It) TyiiemoHth Registers. 

(/) Norton Registers. 

Vol. VIII. 



nephews, Edward Clarke and James Stewart Clarke, subject to their taking 
the name of Stewart. They sold their Tynemouth property in 1763 and 
1767 to Anthony Pearson, a rope-maker in North Shields, who, on Feb- 
ruary 26th, 1768, devised all his real estate, including freehold property in 
Whitbv, to his son-in-law, William Linskill. Mr. Linskill built Tvnemouth 
lodge upon this land about the year 1790.' The house has since been 
demolished, and its grounds are covered with new streets. Linskill Terrace 
(formerly Squire's Walk), Washington Terrace, and the Tynemouth road, 
mark the boundaries of this property. 

Beyond the Pow burn, and between it and the deep cut called the 
Howlings, where the priors of Tynemouth had once their fish-ponds, lands 
were assigned to John Morton of Tynemouth" and to John Morton of 
Willington, partly as freehold, partly as copyhold. The whole is now the 
property of the duke of Northumberland and of various owners. On the 
clilT here, above the Mussel scarp, barracks for four hundred men were 
erected in 1758 by the board of ordnance. These buildings, known as 
Percy Square, ceased to be used as barracks upon the conclusion of the 
Napoleonic wars.' Many of the picturesque cottages forming the square 
have been carried away by landslips in the boulder clay of the cliffs. 

Clifford's Fort and the Lighthouses. 

In the year 1536, on September 21st, King Henry VIIL gave licence 
to Richard Grey and other masters and mariners of Newcastle-upon-Tyne to 
found a fraternity or guild of sailors and other persons in honour of the 
Holy Trinity. The guild was to have a master and four wardens, who, with 
their brethren and sisters, might make laws for the navigation of the port 
of Tynemouth, for the preservation of order among masters, pilots, governors 
of ships, and mariners, and for the maintenance and continuance of the 
port. They were empowered to build and embattle two stone towers, the 
one on the north side of Shields, at the entry of the port, and the other 
upon a hill there. The towers were to be adapted for ' signals, metes, and 

' Mr. H. A. Adamson's collections. 

- John Morton of Tynemouth was son of Roger Morton of Tvnemouth by Bridget, daughter of 
Ralpli Holme of Monkwearmouth. Leighton, Family of Goodchild of Pallion Hall, p. 31. 

An Act of Parliament to enable his majesty to grant the inheritance of certain lands, tenements, 
etc., m North Scotland Yard, in exchange for the inheritance of certain buildings, barracks, etc., con- 
tiguous to Tynemouth castle, belonging to the duke of Northumberland, and also to empower the said 
duke to make out exchange ; 25 Geo. III. The exchange was never carried into effect. 


bounds,' for the safe and sure keeping of the town and fort, and for burning 
lights perpetually through the night; and all vessels coining into port were 
to pay fourpence if foreign, and twopence if English, for the maintenance of 
the towers, port and light. A few days later, on October 5th, the Trinity 
House of Newcastle received the charter of its foundation.' 

Three years elapsed before the building of the towers was taken in 
hand. The low light was the first to be set up, a site being found for it 
at the mouth of the Pow burn, on the left bank of that stream. Here, at 
the point called ' the Narrows,' the Tyne is not more than a hundred and 
twenty yards broad, but immediately to the east its two shores diverge, and, 
as the towers were intended for defence as much as for illumination, there 
was wisdom in choosing a point where a fort could, even more effectively 
than Tynemouth castle, command the entrance to the river. The erection 
of the low light and the purchase of a house at Shields cost £8 5s. gd. 
The second tower, known as the high light, was built at the top of the bank 
on the other side of the burn, and both were completed in 1540.* 

A single tallow candle was kept burning in each tower from quarter 
and half-quarter flood to half ebb, the lights being in the charge of an 
attendant who received a yearly wage of twenty shillings.' In 1606 the 
Trinity House had a new charter given to it containing a clause for the 
raising of lightage to fourpence for English, and to a shilling for foreign 
vessels.* This was again increased, by order of council, October 9th, 16 13, 
to the sums of sixpence and is. 4d. respectively, upon the erection of two 
new turrets on the summits of the lighthouses, each turret to contain two 
candles." There was a constant e.xpense involved in keeping the lights in 
repair, and in 1658/g the old stone towers appear to have been taken down 
and rebuilt in timber." Combined forts and lighthouses were coming to be 
out of date. It was advantageous to have moveable structures which might 
also serve as sea-marks, and as the shoals in the river were frequently 
shifting, the lights were as often moved from place to place. An advert- 
isement was issued on October 26th, 1667, to masters and seamen trading to 

' Letters and Papers, Henry \'lll. vol. xi. p. 376. Welford, Neuxastk and Gateshead, vol ii. pp. 151- 154. 

- Ibid. pp. 197, 201. Trinity House MSS. Books of Payment. 

' Welford, Nezi'castle and Gateshead, pp. 211, 251. 

' Ibid. vol. iii. p. 174. Brand, Xenxastle, vol. ii. pp. 696-702. 

' Brand, Newcastle, vol. ii. p. 326. Welford, Xewcastle and Gateshead, vol. iii. p. 199. The toll levied 
on English vessels was increased by a subsequent charter (July 26th, 16S7) to eiyhtpence. Brand, vol. ii. 
pp. 709-717- « Trinity House MSS. Books of Payments. 



Newcastle, informing them that the upper lighthouse had been removed 
more northward, and now directed to the best channel into the port ; also 
that there was a point of sand striking over from the Herd within the bar, 
directly northward, almost to the place called the Black Middings, whereof 
they were desired to take care.' Sands shifted so quickly that in the 
following April it was again found necessary to move the house." 

It was on a spit of sand close to 
the low lighthouse that the marquis 
of Newcastle erected, in 1642, one 
of the two blockhouses that were to 
guard ' the Narrows.' ' The capture 
of this fort two years later by the 
Scots has been described above, as 
well as the building of Clifford's 
fort near the same spot in 1672. The 
low light was included within the 
circuit of the new fort, of which 
some walls remain, though its keep 
has been demolished.'' Drawings 
made of the fort soon after its 
construction show the keep as a 
three-storey building with a central 
turret. It was fortified with thirty 
culverins and ten demi-culverins, ° 
on the east and south sides, trained 
so as to command the river, and was 
placed under the command of the 
governor of Tynemouth castle. At 
the present time it is garrisoned by a company of volunteer submarine 

' Cat. State Papers, Domestic, 1667, p. 547. -' Trinity House MSS. Order Books. 

' Its foundations were laid bare and washed away by a heavy sea in October, i8ii. There was also 
'a fort raised between the Uplight and the town,' which was destroyed by Sir Thomas Riddell in 
January-, 1643/4. Duke of Portlamfs MSS. Hist. MSS. Com. vol. i. p. 167. Compare Various Collections, 
Hist. MSS. Com. vol. ii. p. 258. 

' See above, pp. 187, 200, and Cat. State Papers Domestic, 1671-1672, pp. 399, 439. 

'Brit. Mus. King's Library, xxxiii. 23 g, reproduced on p. 201 of this volume. These drawings are 
by Sir Martin Beckmann, chief engineer of Charles II., who appears to have designed the work 
See also plate in Brand, Newcastle, vol. ii. p. 36. 

' Richardson, Reprints, vol. ii. Biog. Div.; Wayfarings of Ralph Thoreshy, 16S1, p. 16. 

Corner Turret in Clifford's Kort. 



In 1686 the Trinity House of Newcastle petitioned for an increase of 
the duties imposed on vessels entering the Tyne. Both lighthouses were 
inefficiently lighted and required to be rebuilt. It was stated that the high 
light was too low and had become ruinous, and that the low light had been 
rendered inefficient by its want of elevation and in consequence of the 
obstruction caused by the 
garrison buildings lately 
erected. ' The light at 
Tinmouth,' according to 
this petition, ' receives for 
its mainteynance for every 
English ship I2d., and for 
every forraigner 3s., where- 
as their are two lights at 
Sheilds, which, although 
butt candle-lights, yett each 
light consists of two candles 
in the pound ; each of which 
lights is as chargeable to 
mainteyne as that of Tin- 
mouth, although it bee a 
fire light ; and two men are 
alwaies imployed to looke \ 
after those lights at Sheilds, 
who, besides their candles, 
fireing and house free, re- 
ceive thirty pound per 
annum sallery from the 
Trinity House.'' New 

lighthouses were erected ^-^^ y^^^ Low Light. 

in 1727, and these are still 

standing. Tallow candles were still in use, but three were now burnt 
in each tower in place of two." Copper reflectors were introduced in 
1736, and oil lamps were ordered to be substituted for candles at the 
end of 1773.-' Lightage dues were remodelled in iSoi, and graduated 

' Trinity House MSS. ■ Ibid. ' Mackenzie, Hist. ScucaslU; p. 684. 


according to the register tonnage of the vessel.' In their turn the light- 
houses of 1727 were superseded by other lights built in 1806- 1808 under 
powers granted to the Trinity House of Newcastle, by Act of Parliament.- 
The old lighthouses were subsequently converted into almshouses, the 
lantern-turret being removed from the old low light to make way for an 
additional storey. Additional almshouses were built in 1887 adjoining to 
the old high light in Beacon Street.' 


By F. Haverfield. 

Two interesting pieces of Roman armour have been found in the Tyne : the boss and ornament 
from a shield, and the cheek-piece from a hehnet. They are said to have been dredged up at or near 
the bar across the mouth of the river, more than thirty years ago, and they appear to have been 
discovered together, or at least in proximity. But the actual circumstances of the discovery have 
not been recorded, nor did even the name of the finder transpire at the time. The shield-boss was 
bought by Canon Greenwell and, after long forming part of his collection, was recently acquired by the 
British Museum. The cheek-piece came into the hands of Dr. Stephens of North Shields, and is now in 
the possession of his son, the Rev. Thomas Stephens of Horsley in Redesdale. 

(1) The shield-boss is a metal plate, rectangular in shape, loj inches in width and ii| inches 
in height, and slightly curved, so as to fit on to one of those oblong shields, curved to cover the 
body, which may be seen figured, for example, on the column of Trajan. It occupied the centre of such 
a shield, and was attached by eight nails, the holes for which are visible on its edges. The material 
is bronze, and that part of the surface which forms the background of the ornamentation appears to have 
been silvered (not tinned as is stated in the Lapidarium, p. 58). The silver is now blackened, and has 
sometimes been taken erroneously for nidlo.' Probably the ornamentation was made by first silvering 
the whole, then punching the outline in small holes in the silver, and finally scratching oft" the silver 
within the outline. 

The ornament consists of a raised central boss and eight small flat compartments round it. The 
boss is adorned with the figure of an eagle with outspread wings, holding in its beak a twig with leaves. 
The ^iiius of the tree is undislinguishable on the actual bronze, but analogies, such as the eagle on 
the tombstone of Cn. Musius at Mainz, suggest that it is meant for oak, rather than for olive as Dr. Bruce 
suggested. A similar shield-boss, found near Mainz, shows an eagle holding in its beak a wreath or 
garland. On either side of the raised boss a flat compartment contains a legionary standard of the 
ordinary type, having a point to fix it in the earth, five of the usual disks or phalerac, a cross-piece with 
ribands dependent from it, and on the top an upright hand. Over one of the standards are dotted the 

' The rates were fixed at 2s. for every loaden foreign ship, ild. for every British ship of less than 
100 tons burden, is. id. for British ships above 100 and not exceeding 200 tons, is. 3d. for British ships 
above 200 and not exceeding 300 tons, and is. 5d. for every British ship above 300 tons burden. 
'An Act for extending and enlarging the powers, and increasing the rates and duties of the corporation 
of the Trinity House of Newcastle-upon-Tyne.' 41 Geo. III. cap. Ixxxvi. 

'' 'An Act to enable the master, pilots and seamen of the Trinity House of Newcastle-upon-Tyne 10 
erect two new lighthouses at Nortli Shields, at or near the port of Newcastle, and to raise a fund for 
defraying the charge thereof.' 45 George 111. cap. Ixv. 

'■' For further information respecting the lighthouses at North Shields and Tynemouth see Hesleton, 
Charitable Establishments for Merchant Seamen (manuscript in the library of the Literary and Philosophical 
Society, Newcastle-upon-Tyne). Mr. Hesleton computes the number of ships that paid lightage to the 
North Shields lights to be as follows : in 1539, 847 ; in 1650, 3,125 ; in 1700, 3,182 ; in 1750, 2,897 ; in 
1780, 4,249 ; in 1800, 7,865 ; in 1818, 11,165. Lightage and other dues payable to the Trinity House of 
Newcastle were abolislied in 1862 by the Harbour and Passing Tolls Act, 24 & 25 Vict. cap. 47. 

' Information from the Anglo-Roman department, British Museum. 


letters LEG viu and over the other avg — tegio viii Augusta. It seems prob.ible— though it has not, 
I think, been noticed — that the eagle and two signa form a group, exactly like the groups consisting 
in each case of an eagle flanked by two signa, which occur regularly on Roman monuments and 
coins.' Below the central boss is a flat compartment containing the figure of a bull, with a half-moon 
and four stars above him. The bull is the emblem of the Legio V'lII Augusta, as Dr. Bruce first 
suggested and as the coins of (iallienus and Carausius amply prove. Prof. A. von Domaszewski has 
pointed out that it received this emblem from Julius Caesar, and for a definite reason. The deity of the 
Julian house was Venus genetrix, and the part of the year over which she presided was that which fell 
under the zodiacal sign of the bull. What the moon and stars denote I am not sure. 

The five other compartments of this ornament contain male human figures. Along the top are 
three. On the left is a nude dancer, or the like, with a scarf hanging behind him from his arms, and a 
festoon or scarf held over his head somewhat as if it were being used for a skipping-rope. His attitude 
is that of a man springing backwards in some game or dance. In the centre is a nude figure, also 
springing backwards, with a similar scarf over the arms, but equipped with a helmet, a shield and 
a spear. In the right-hand corner is a winged nude figure in a similar attitude of springing backwards, 
again with a scarf over the arms and holding in his right hand what looks like a scythe or sickle. 
At the bottom of the shield are two erect standing figures. That on the left is winged and undraped ; a 
scarf hangs over the arms ; in the right hand is a bunch of fruits (?) and in the left a fruit basket 
or bucket (?). That on the right is clad in a tunic and has a scarf over the arms and a scarf or festoon 
over the head, somewhat like its diagonal vis-ii-vis. 

It is not quite clear whether these five figures possess any special significance, or are merely 
conventional decoration. The centre-piece at the top may be intended for Mars, though the scarf is 
somewhat strange in this connection. The other four were explained by Dr. Bruce and Prof. Hiibner 
as the four Seasons. According to this view Spring, in the top left-hand corner, is a youth vainly 
pulling his clothes around him in windy March weather." Summer is an unclad husbandman with a 
scythe. Autumn holds fruits and a basket, and Winter is wrapped in fur, while his scarf is blown about 
by the wind. This explanation is in part, at least, correct. The figures identified as Summer, Autumn 
and Winter agree with figures of those Seasons in other works of ancient art, and Spnng is not 
unsuitable to the same idea. But figures resembling the four Seasons are so frequently used as a mere 
decoration of corners, that we may wonder whether real meaning attaches to them in this case. No 
connexion is apparent between a soldier's shield and the four Seasons. It would be fanciful to argue 
that a soldier's business goes on in all months equally. Indeed, under the conditions of ancient warfare, 
it tended not to do so. Probably, therefore, the decorator of the shield merely chose four corner-pieces 
suitable to his design without thinking of their special significance. What he meant by the pieces of 
drapery (?) which hang from the top of each compartment, like curtains in a room or stage, is not clear. 
But it is never safe to press the details of conventional ornament. 

The shield also bears two inscriptions, the letters of which are made with dots punched through the 
silver covering of the surface. One of these, LEG vill avg, has been already noted. The other fills 
the edge near the lower left-hand corner and reads O IVL .M\.^GN'I IVNI DVBIT.vii, that is, ccnturia lul{i) 
Magiii, Iiini Diibitati. In other words, the shield belonged to lunius Dubitatus. a soldier in the centur)- 
of lulius Magnus and the Eighth Legion Augusta. The insertion of an extra element in the M of 
Magiii is, of course, a mere slip of the man who punched it on. Similar inscriptions, recording the 
ownership of armour, are not uncommon among Roman remains. 

The Eighth Legion was never quartered in Britain. But it contributed a detachment or vexillalio 
for temporary service in the island on one occasion, and probably did so on another. It is possible, 
though not certain, that some of its men were included in the army of the Claudian invasion in .VD. 43. 
It is certain, as an inscription of Ferenlinum tells us, that vfxillatioiies, a thousand strong, of the 

■ .A.. V. Domaszewski, Fahiun im rumischen Heen (Wien, 1885), p. 4", Figs. 20, 34 foil. ; Arch. Epigr. 
Mitt. vol. XV. p. 192, Fig. 3. 

-Dr. Bruce puts in a snake at his feet, 'to indicate the renewal of vital energy in the lower 
creatures.' This is improbable as symbolism, and I cannot see the snake on the original. 
Lindenschmidt seems not to believe in the four Seasons at all. 


Legions VII Gemina, VIII Augusta and XXII. Primigenia, joined in an cxpcdilh Brittinitica about the 
time of Hadrian.' The date of the expedition is not given. Hut it would appear to have taken place 
a few years after the death of Trajan, in .\.U. 117, and it may be reasonably identified with the visit of 
Hadrian to Britain in or alrout .\.v. 122, and the erection of the Wall of Hadrian from Tync to Sohvay. 
The vexillation was doubtless here only for a brief period, and it has therefore left very scanty traces of 
itself. One such trace is our shield. It is not possible to connect this with the Claudian invasion. No 
Roman soldier could have penetrated so far north as the Tyne in a.d. 43. On the other hand the Tyne 
was the centre of Hadrian's activity. It may be added, as a straw indicating the wind of probabilities, 
that the description of the owner of the shield Ijy his noinen and cof^iioiiicii, without h'lfi pnunonuii, suits 
far better with the time of Hadrian than with that of Claudius. 

It is not unlikely— though it cannot of course be proved — that the owner of the armour was wrecked 
on the Tyne bar. We possess some little evidence that Roman troops sometimes sailed from the Rhine 
to the Tyne instead of landing in south Britain and marching inland." Such a voyage had its special 
perils, and the entrance to the Tyne may well count as one of them. It may be, as Canon Greenwell 
has suggested, that the rest of the equipment of lunius Dubitatus is still lying in the mud of the river 
bed near -Shields. 

(2) The other piece of armour found in the river demands less comment. It is the left cheek-piece 
of a helmet, 7j inches high by 4| inches wide, decorated, as such pieces often were, with a design made 
by lines of small punched dots. This design shows one of the Dioscuri (Castor or Pollux 1, holding a 
spear in his left hand and the bridle of his horse in his right. Below and above is some conventional 
geometrical ornament. The other of the pair was doubtless figured on the right cheek-piece.' 


The north-east corner of what was formerly Tynemouth township now 
constitutes a separate poor-law township and forms the village of Culler- 
coats. It lies by the seashore on the south side of the Marden burn,' is 
bounded by John Street on the west, comprises an area of fifteen acres, 
and in 1901 had a population of 1,743.^ Coal was worked here in 13 15, 
when the workings were destroyed in a Scottish invasion.^ Though the 
water-mill of Marden is not mentioned by name before the suppression of 
the monastery, it was probably one of the six mills belonging to Tynemouth 
in 1292," and may be identified with the water-mill existing in 1483, when 
Richard III. gave ;£, 100 to Prior Boston as provision for its maintenance." 
In 1538 Marden mill was in the occupation of Robert Dove and John 
Dove, and formed part of the prior's demesne.'* Receivers' accounts show 

' Corpus Inscr. Lat. x. 5,829, Dessau 2,727. " Arch. Ael. second series, vol. xxv. p. 143. 

' The shield-boss has been published and figured in the Lapidarium Septentrionalc, p. 58, No. 106, 
and in Lindenschmidl, /l//tv<yn(wif>- unscrer hcidnnchen Vorzeit (Mainz, 18S1), vol. iii. pt. iv. Plate III. 
The cheek-piece was exhibited to the Newcastle Society of Antiquaries in li?,^ {Proceedings, second series, 
vol. i. pp. 340-341), and has been kindly lent by its present owner for the purpose of this description. 

' The course of the Marden burn can still be traced in the depression running up by Eskdale Terrace. 

'Population statistics for the township are: 1801, 452; 1811, 454; 1821, 536; 1831, 542; 1841, 
738; 1851,695; 1861,866; 1871, 1,398; 1881, 1,365; 1891, 1,620; 1901, 1,743. 

' Tynemouth Chariulary, fol. 168. ' See above, page 251. 

' See above, page 106. ' Gibson, Tynemouth, vol. i. jjp. 217-218. 


Boss OF Roman Shield found in the Tyne. 


that it was being rebuilt in 1598- 1599. Trees were felled and squared in 
Hedley wood, and carted thence to Blaydon staith, after long delay 'for 
that the frehoulders of Proddoo refused to lede the same which fell for 
ther partes to lede by the baylif s order and th'other tennants.' The timber 
was wrecked in the river and had to be weighed up again. The cost of 
building was £1"] 17s., besides £(i for a pair of millstones.* 

Amongst the parcels of demesne of which the tenants of Tynemouth 
had the herbage in 1539 were two closes called Nether Marden and Upper 
Harden." A close containing two acres of pasture, called Culvercoats 
close, is mentioned in a survey taken about 1600 as being part of the 
demesne.' The dovecote from which the name was derived may have 
stood near, and been built in connection with, the mill. Arnold's close 
alias Marden close, also known as Culler Corners, was held in 1606 by 
Ralph Delaval of Tynemouth. Ralph Delaval conveyed it in that year to 
his brother Peter Delaval, whose son, John Delaval, sold it as freehold in 
1 61 8 to Thomas Wrangham." The latter disposed of his estate in 1621 
to Thomas Dove of Whitley.' John Dove of Whitley, son and heir of 
Thomas Dove, joined the Society of Friends, and, with his brother William, 
was imprisoned at Tynemouth castle for attending a quakers' meeting in 
1 66 1. In the following year he enclosed a piece of land at the north end 
of John Street (formerly called Back Lane) as a private burying-ground, 
and interments took place here until 1818.' He became partner in 1676 
with John Carr of Newcastle, John Rogers of Denton, Henry Hudson of 
Newbiggin, and others, in Whitley colliery. By way of providing for the 
exportation of coals won at Whitley a pier was erected at CuUercoats in 
1677, and was constructed at the joint expense of Lady Elizabeth Percy 

' Duke of Northumberland's MSS. That the mill was at the mouth of the burn, and not near 
Marden farm, appears from Thomas Dove's lease in 1644 of land in Arnold's close (novv (.ullercoats) 
boundered by Marden mill on the north and by the sea on the north-east, romhnson, Hisloncal .\oUs 
on CuUercoats, etc., p. 5. 

- See above, page 262. 

' Duke of Northumberland's MSS. Early seventeenth century surN-ey of Tynemouthshire. 

' Dr. Simpson's deeds, from Mr. H. A. .\damson's collection. Arnold's close is defined in the deed 
of 1621 as 'late the inheritance of one Maddison and Follensby, situate and being within the tield 
and liberty of Tynemouth, boundering on the town moor on the west, and upon a beck or river called 
Marden on the north, and the sea banks towards the east, and upon a gutter or running swirl towards 
the south-east.' 

> Accounts of the Dove familv have been given by Mr. W. W. Tomlinson, CulUrcoats, pp. 4:13- and 
39-40, and by Mr. Maberly Phill'ips, Arch. Ael. 2nd series, vol. xvi. pp. 2S1-294. For a pedigree ot 
the family see Arch. Ael. 2nd series, vol. .xix. p. 125. 

"With regard to the bur>ing-ground see Maberly:.Phillips, 'Forgotten Hur>ing Grounds of the 
Society of Friends,' Arch. Act. 2nd series, vol. .\vi. pp. 275-2S1. 

Vol. VIII. ■^^ 



and of the lessees of Whitley colliery, the total cost being ^3,013. Upon 
a petition presented in the same year by Lady Elizabeth Percy to the lord 
treasurer, Cullercoats was made a member of the port of Newcastle, and, 
like Seaton Sluice, was put under the charge of a custom-house officer 
resident at Blyth. Salt pans were started at Cullercoats in connection with 
Whitley colliery. Coal was also worked upon the estate.^ 

In 1682 Thomas Dove of Whitley, son and heir of John Dove above 
mentioned, built himself a dwelling-house in Cullercoats, which is still 




' "L, 







'■'■'ly- . 

I'l '''i 





Sparrow Hall. 

Standing and is known as Sparrow hall. His son, John Dove of Wapping, 
sold it in 1706 to his kinsman, Zephaniah Haddock." Eleanor Dove, only 
daughter of John Dove the younger, by his wife, Mary, daughter of Enoch 
Hudson of Brunton, inherited her father's property at Cullercoats, and, on 
August 5th, 1742, married Curwen Huddleston, incumbent of St. Nicholas', 
Whitehaven, and of Clifton in Westmorland.' Their representatives still 
own property in Cullercoats. 

' Tomlinson, Cullercoats, pp. 6-9. - Ibiit pp. g, 13. 

' The Rev. Curwen Huddleston was second son of Wilfrid Huddleston of Hutton John, for whose 
ancestry see Miscellanea Genealogica et Heraldica, new series, vol. ii. p. 40S. 



In consequence of its growing population, Cullercoats was separated 
from Tynemouth by an order made in quarter sessions on July 6th, 1690, 
and created a distinct township.' The coal and salt trade flourished. 
Besides two salt pans erected near the pier by Thomas Fearon of South 
Shields in 1677, there were seventeen pans in the hands of John Rogers 
and partners,- namely, seven on the north side of the bay and ten on the 
south side, on the point then called 'Coning Garth,' above Smuggler's Cove. 
In the year 1708 these pans produced 2,180 tons and yielded a clear profit 
of £53^-^ Warburton estimated that the harbour, piers and salt works 


■ -' 'V( 

Cullercoats Harbour. 

would bring in ;^i,700 per annum. ^ This commercial prosperity did not, 
however, last for long. About the year 17 10 the outworks of the pier were 
carried away by a heavy sea. Whitley colliery ceased working in 1724, 
and Cullercoats colliery was laid in on June 4th of the preceding year. 
The salt trade did not survive the loss of the local supply of ' pan ' coal 
on which it was dependent. In 1724 only 756 tons of salt were cleared 

' ' Ordered that whereas the towne of CuUercoates is growne numerous and populous, and but 
about a mile distance from Tynemouth, and many houses new built there, it is ordered that it be made a 
distinct constabulary of itselfe ; that William Richardson be svvorne petty constable there. -And it is 
further ordered that Mr. John Mills, high constable, doe order and settle their proportions of assessments 
and rates of Cullercoats and Tynemouth, and what in particular shall be paid by Tynmouth and what 
by CuUercoates. St:ssioiis Order Books, vol. ii. 

■ John Rogers, son of John Rogers the elder, by will dated September 20th, 1711, devised to his 
mother, Elizabeth Rogers, for life, with other properties, his collieries and salt pans at Cullercoats, 
Monkseaton, Whitley, and Hartley, with remainder to Colonel Nathaniel Blakiston. .An account of the 
Rogers family has been given by Mr. W. W. Tomlinson, Denton Hall and its Associations. 

' Purvis papers in the custody of Messrs. Griffith. 

' Warburton, Magna Britannia ; Duke of Northumberland's MSS. 


coastwise, and 668 tons in the following year. In 1726 the export trade 
ceased altogether, six of the pans being sold to Richard Ridley and Com- 
pany for ;^456 and transferred to Blyth.' 

After salt had ceased to be manufactured at Cullercoats, the village 
developed into a fishing station, and was described in 1749 as 'the best 
fish-market in the north of England.'^ The pier, after long lying in ruins, 
was rebuilt in 1848. Herring fishing has now left the village, but white 
fishing is carried on during the winter, and many cobles are employed for 
catching salmon during the summer months. 


North Shields township is a narrow strip of land along the northern 
bank of the Tyne. Its boundary commences about half a mile up the 
river from Tynemouth, to the south of the bridge crossing the Pow burn 
at the Low Lights, and proceeds along the north side of the Low Light 
Stairs and along what was called in the eighteenth centurv ' Shields Bank 
Head ' to a point opposite the foot of Stephenson Street. It then 
intersects some of the houses on the south side of Tyne Street and crosses 
the Library Flags at the foot of Howard Street, whence it proceeds in a 
north-westerly direction to the Magnesia Bank ; thence northward to 
Union Street and westward to the Church Stairs and Causey Bank. There 
it traverses Wooden Bridge Bank and so goes along the Ropery Banks 
(crossing the bridge over the Borough Road) as far as Collingwood Street. 
Running up and across that street it reaches Mount Pleasant, and, crossing 
Burdon Main Row, continues along the north side of North Street, Milburn 
Place, to the west end of the street. At that point it turns south-west 
by Dock (or West) Street, and intersects the Ballast Hill on the south 
side, to the west of Smith's Dock, whence it goes in a southerly direction 
to the river Tyne. Its area is 103 acres, but this includes seventy acres of 
water, the southern boundary being taken to be a line equidistant from 
the Northumberland and Durham shores of the Tyne. 

'All over the wastes (as they call them),' says Camden, writing of the 
condition of the south-west of the countv in Elizabeth's time, 'as well as 

' Tomlinson, Cullci-coats, pp. 13-16. ■ Ibid. p. 17, citing Newcastle Journal, October 7th, 1749. 


in Gillesland, you would think you see the ancient Noinades ; a martial sort 
of people that from April to August lie in little hutts (which they call 
shcals and shea lings) here and there among their several flocks." As far 
back as the seventh century of the Christian era there were to be found in 
Northumberland these thatched and turf-built huts, tenanted by shepherds 
during the summer months and left deserted in the winter time.^ 

Into the Tyne on the north side, at the point where the banks begin 
to trend away north and south and the river finds a broader channel, there 
flows a little stream called the Pow burn, which now finds a vent through 
a conduit into the river, but was once an important tributary, called ' Pwl,' 
the stream or water. Here there were three fishers' huts or shiels.^ At 
the end of the thirteenth century no one knew how long they had stood 
there. The fishermen of Tynemouth had always made use of them and put 
out and in at this point. There was a wharf here. In September, 18 19, 
in digging to make gas tanks at the Low Lights in the Pow dean, the 
workmen came, at a distance of twelve feet six inches from the surface, 
on a framing of large oaken beams, as black as ebony, pinned together 
with wooden trenails, the whole forming a pier to which vessels drawing 
nine or ten feet of water had come. Large oak trees were also found 
embedded in the mud, hollowed out as if to convey water. ^ 

In or about the year 1225 Prior Germanus began to build at the Sheels, 
or, as the name is now written. Shields. The land was the prior's demesne 
and was then within the township of Tynemouth. A permanent population 
of fishermen was settled here, who, in return for the privilege of having 
boats of their own, were bound to provide fish for the monastery. Seven 
houses were built between the Pow burn and a 'sikket' to the west, in 
which one may recognize the now dry Dogger letch. Beyond the sikket 
there were twenty more houses. All were built close down to the shore, 
and a few must have been raised on piles, for they extended six to sixteen 
feet within high-water mark. Every house had a quay attached. Some 
had two quavs. Mills were built there, and the place developed into a 

' Gough, Camden, ed. 1772, p. 1079- ' Bede, Vita Cuthbcrti, cap. 5. See also vol. iv. of this 

work, p. 30. 

" 'To many of the fisheries on the Tweed is attached a building called a shid or shuUt, in which the 
fishermen at certain seasons keep their nets, etc., and use as a dwellnig, Arch. Ad. Ist series, vol. w. 

P- 303- 

'Newcastle Coiirant, October 2nd, 1819. Gentleman's Magazine, vol. I.\x.xix. pt. n. pp. 341-342. 
The pavement of an ancient roadway was discovered near the same place in September, ii>4«>, at tne 
depth of si.\ feet below the surface. Latimer, Local Recoids, p. 220. 


small port. Vessels put in and were laden with coal at the pier at the 
Pow burn mouth. Dressed hides were sent out from a tannery at Preston. 
An import trade of fish, wine and wool came into existence. The number 
of merchantmen who used the port caused a retail trade to be started for 
supplying their needs. 

The new settlement aroused the jealousy of the merchants of New- 
castle. About the year 1267, a large number of Newcastle burgesses, led 
by their mayor, Nicholas Scot, armed themselves and descended on the 
village. Thev beat and maltreated the monks and servants of the priory on 
whom they could lay their hands ; they set fire to the mills and houses, 
and carried off a vessel loaded with coal which they found lying there. The 
affair was notorious. To preserve the dignity of the order, the abbot of 
Waltham, as conservator of the privileges of Saint Alban's, wrote insisting 
that satisfaction should be made, or, failing satisfaction, that these 'Satan's 
satellites of Newcastle-upon-Tyne' should appear before him.' At the 
assizes of 1269 the prior brought a writ against 149 persons for the recovery 
of damages estimated at ^300, but, as he did not appear and so suffered 
the case to drop, parties must already have come to an arrangement." New 
houses were built on the east of the Pow burn where the Low Light and 
Clifford's fort now stand; thirty-two had been erected before 1280 and 
si.xteen more in the course of the next ten years. In 1292 a hundred houses 
existed, at Shields. 

The growth of the mercantile port and the loss of royal tolls consequent 
upon the decrease of Newcastle trade was brought to the notice of the 
king in 1275.' Fifteen years, however, were suffered to elapse before any 

' Abbas sancte crucis de Waltham, conservator privilegiorum monasterii sancti Albani et ejusdem 
cellarum, etc., discrete viro magistro Roberto de Dryfteld, rectori ecclesie de Poiiteland et vicario de Neu- 
burn, salutem in domino, etc. Quoniam Sathane satellites de Novo Castro super Tynani, prout in quadam 
ccdula huic litterc appensa quorundam nomina duximus nominanda, in quosdam monachos de Tynem' 
et scrvientes eorundem, Uei timore postposito, manus violentas injecerunt, eosdem verberando aliasque 
male tractando, et domos eorundem infra libertatem sancti Oswyni combusserunt, necnon et plura bona 
eorundem maliciose asportaverunt, in ma.vimum dicti monasterii prejudicium et libertatis ecclesiastice 
conceptuni ac scandalum plurimorum, quod ita manifestum est in partibus Northumbriae quod nulla 
tergiversacione potest celari ; vobis in virtute obediencie firmiter injungendo mandamus sub pena 
canonice districlionis quatinus dictos malefactores moneatis et efficaciter inducatis quod sine mora de 
prefata yiolencia injiiriis et spoliacionibus uno et dampnis actenus illatis tam publiciter et notorie dictis 
monachis plenarie satisfaciant. Alioquin si monuitis vestris, quod absit, parere neglexerint, eosdem 
omnes et singulos, prout nomina eorundem in cedula du.xerimus redigenda, peremptorie citatis quod 
coinpareant coram nobis vel commissariis nostris in conventuali ecclesia nostra de Waltham pro.ximo die 
juridico post festum s. Jacobi Apostoli, abbati de sancto Albano et priori suo de Tynem' et ejusdem loci 
conventui super sibi obiciendis responsuros, etc. Datum apud Waltham. Tyncmouth Chartulary, fol. 1 16 b. 

' Northumberland Assize Rolls, Surt. See. No. 88, p. 162. 

' Roiuli Hundredoruiii, Record Commission, vol. ii. p. 18. 


Steps were taken. In 1290 the prior of Tynemouth was summoned to 
appear in parliament to answer the king and the burgesses of Newcastle. 
The charges against the prior were that he had made a new town at Shields 
and had fishers, bakers, and brewers living there, from whom he received 
an annual rent of thirty-six marks and upwards, and took ' furnage ' and 
' forstall ' which were rightfully the king's, with a consequent loss to the 
royal treasury of thirty pounds yearly ; that he took tolls and prises in 
kind of the wine, herring, and haddock brought into port, which prises 
ought to be taken at Newcastle by the king's oflScers ; that he had bakers 
at Tynemouth, who sold bread at Shields to the sailors and others who 
put in there, whereas these ought to have gone to Newcastle to buv their 
victuals ; and that sailors were allowed to put in to the new port for the 
purpose of selling their merchandise and cargoes, with the result that the 
market dues went to the prior instead of to the king. The prior, while 
denying that he had any market or bakery at Shields, admitted the sub- 
stantial truth of the other statements, but proceeded to justify them bv the 
practice of his predecessors and the charter granted to the monasters' bv 
Richard I. ; this charter being antecedent to the granting of similar and 
conflicting privileges to the burgesses of Newcastle by King John. In 
dealing with the landing and selling of fish without payment of toll, he 
drew a distinction between strangers, who did, or at least ought to, pav 
toll and custom to the king for fish sold or taken on board,' and the fishers 
of his own demesne. These latter were employed for provisioning the 
monastery ; thev, therefore, were privileged by Stephen's charter, which 
allowed the monks to buy freely, that is, free from the payment of any 
custom, whatever was necessary for the maintenance of their house. He 
took exception to the form of the proceedings, which was a series of 
criminal charges ; the subject-matter in dispute was, according to him, his 
free tenement, for which he was not bound to make answer except under 
the king's writ. 

This ground of defence was unfortunate. The king's attorney replied 
that the prior's demesne did not extend to the middle of the stream as he 
claimed, but only to high-water mark, and that, consequently, some of the 
houses in Shields were on the king's land. It was also pointed out that 

' On October nth, 1485, the king granted for life to Edward Vavasour the office of 'prayser; offish 
at Newbiggin and Tynemouth. ^taterials illustrative of the Reign of Henry Vll. Rolls Series, vol. i. p. S2. 


the prior had himself admitted the port of Tyne to be the king's, and that, 
therefore, he could have no liberties therein. The prior's defence with 
regard to his own fishermen was inconclusive, since sixteen large fishing 
boats could not be supposed to be required for the provision of as many 
monks with fish. His real object was trade, and not simply to provide for 
home consumption. An account was given by the prosecution of how 
vessels, large and small, a hundred or even two hundred at a time would 
come in to Shields ; how the prior and his men came down to the port with 
horses and mules and made their purchases, and then the ships and boats 
went on their way to Newcastle, half empty, or else with a cargo made up 
from the remainders of several vessels which had disposed of the greater 
part of their freight. The victualling trade at Shields was said to be so 
thriving that many bakers and brewers had left Newcastle and settled there 
and at Tynemouth, to the damage both of the king and of Newcastle. 

A judgment was delivered in the king's favour. Owners of vessels 
were forbidden in future to unload or to take in cargoes at Shields, or to 
sell their merchandise in that town. No provisions were to be sold there 
to merchantmen. All wharves which extended below high-water mark 
were ordered to be removed. So ended the first attempt made by Tyne- 
mouth priory to establish a trading community on the Tyne.' 

Shields continued to exist as a small township. The subsidy roll of 
1296 gives the names of its principal inhabitants:' 

Shields Subsidy Roll, 1296. 

£ s. d. s. d. 

Siimma bonnium Roljerti Suynuynd 


unde rcgi 



Willelmi filii Ricaidi 







Robert! Gray 








Rogeri Gray 






Johannis filii Patricii 






Petri cie Hautliorn 







Roljerti Gait 











Willelmi Suynewynd ... 






Roberti filii Matildis ... 








Radulphi filii Matildis 






Thome filii Rogeri 








Henrici filii Elie 






.Summa hujus ville, ^iS is. 8d. ; unde domino rcgi, £1 12s. loid. 

' The proceedings are printed in Kotiili I'aiiiamentdrii, vol. i. p. 26, and lirand, NcK'castlc, vol. ii. 
pp. 557 d scq. 

■ Lay Subsidy Roll, 1 j"^, 24 Edw. I. 


Shields began to revive in the hitter part of the fourteenth century. 
The town had its own bailiffs in 1364.' In 1376, the priory was receiving 
from the township an annual rent of £() 7s. 6d.- It began to be called 
North Shields to distinguish it from the prior of Durham's town on the 
other side of the river. Its second development dates from about 1390. 
Some four acres of land below high-water mark were reclaimed and 
covered with two hundred houses — inns and stables, wine taverns, butchers' 
stalls, shambles, shops, ' herynghowses ' and ' fishe-howses.' A new market 
was started. An assize of bread and wine and ale was kept. The prior 
made himself thirteen bake-houses, where a thousand quarters of corn 
were yearly baked into bread ; and brew-houses, at which he found a 
vent, every year, for two thousand quarters of his barley-malt. He claimed 
and took wreck of the sea, flotsam and jetsam, and deodands found upon 
the water. Twenty years later, as trade increased, he commenced build- 
ing staiths along the shore, where ships could lie to and load at all 
stages of the tide.^ 

The merchants of Newcastle were ever ready to defend their extensive 
privileges. In 1401, a commission was appointed to enquire into the 
report that divers men of Northumberland and Durham had loaded and 
unloaded vessels with merchandise on either side of the river Tyne ; 
had taken prises, toll, custom, and wreck of the sea ; and had bought 
and sold in places unaccustomed in times past, built on either side ot the 
river within ' flood-mark,' all within the liberty and port of Newcastle.^ 
In 141 7, complaints were exhibited against the prior of Tynemouth for 
making new weirs in the river.^ 

Nevertheless the monks, undeterred, went on with their commercial 
undertakings. About the year 1433 they bought a vessel of their own, and 
then another, and briskly carried on an export trade in fish and salt and 
coal. They were fishmongers on a large scale, salting and smoking herring, 
dealing in cod and ling caught in the seas about the Shetlands, and in 
salmon taken close at hand in the three long weirs or 'salmon-yares ' that 
stretched across the Tyne towards Jarrow, and almost barred the way to 
Newcastle." By letters patent, dated July loth, 1446, Henry VI. granted 

' Rymer, Foedera, Record Commission, vol. iii. pars 2, p. 728. 

- Tynemouth Chartidary, fol. 51b. ' Brand, Newcastle, vol. ii. pp. 569-574. 

* Crt/. Put. Rolls, 1399-1401, p. 461. 

' Brand, Nemastle, vol. ii. p. 15, note, citing Murray MS. ' Ibiti. pp. 569-574- 

Vol. \'II1. 37 



to Prior Langton tlie custom and toll received for grain, salt, salt-iish, 
leather, merchandise, and coal loaded ami unloaded by him and his tenants 
within the port of Tyne, as well as all Hnes and amercements of tenants 
and farmers within the lordship of Tynemouth and at Shields for bread 
baked, ale brewed, and victuals sold to mariners within the liberty and 
jurisdiction of the town of Newcastle.' This measure called forth an angry 
protest from Newcastle. An inquisition was held on January 4th following 
to enquire into encroachments made on the privileges of the municipality, 
and provides an interesting record of the state of trade at Shields. The 
jurors computed that fourteen staiths had been erected between 1386 and 
1429, varying in size from twenty by fifteen to si.xty by forty feet, having 
most of them 'mussel-scalps'- annexed to them, and in some cases, curing- 
houses and stables. There were twenty cobles in the towm and seven 
larger craft owned by four shipowners.' A staith, coble and baking-house 
appear to have been owned by each of the principal tenants, amongst whom 
is one with the Teutonic name of Herman Duchman.^ 

Prior Langton was allowed to retain the privileges granted to him for 
some years longer. They were recalled under an Act of resumption passed 
in 1450.' Twelve years later, Edward IV. conferred upon the priory the 
right of baking and brewing at Shields, and of selling victuals to mariners 
who put in at that port. By the same charter the prior and convent were 
permitted to import victuals for their own use and the preservation of their 
castle, free of all toll and unmolested by the Newcastle merchants, as 
well as to export, within the port of Tyne, coal, salt, and other merchandise, 
reserving to the king his customs upon wool, leather and hides." 

The strife with Newcastle increased in bitterness. About the year 
1 5 10, the mayor, aldermen and commonalty of Newcastle addressed a 
petition to the king, stating that Prior Stonewell ' hath subtilly and 
forcibly accroched to hym great quantyte of grounde within the porta 
and haven, and theruppon hathe rered and made diverse and many wharffes, 

' Foreign Accounts, 33 Henry VI. m. II. 

■'Unani statham longitudinis 60 pedum et latitudinis 40 pedum, et desuper statham illam unam 
domum vocatam herynghowse, unum stabulum equinum, et unam scalpam pro musculis, jam in tenura 
Ricardi Gaddon.' Brand, ibid. p. 572. 

"The inquisition distinguishes between the cymba (coble) and the larger navis, which may be 
identified with the 'crare' or 'crayer' employed in deep-sea fishing. 
* Brand, he. cit. 
» Foreign Accounts, quoted above. Rotuli Pnrlinmcntarii, vol. v. pp. 183-199. " See page 104. 


stathes and keyes, and uppon them made many howsses, salt-pannes, 
milnes, and other buyldynges ; and them so made ryottoiisly with great 
compeny forcibly kepeth and useth to his propre use. The said ungraciouse 
priour,' they continue, ' dayly chargeth and dischargeth shippes and 
other vesselse at Sbelez and Tynemovvthe with diverse merchandyses, and 
ther maketh oon new porte and haven. Also the seyd priour dayly inaketh 
fysch-garthes and weeres for takyng of salmons in the seid haven between 
the seid town of Newcastell and the see, and yerly remeved them from 
place to place att his pleasure.' Acts of violence took place on both sides. 

Fyve hundreth persons and above, riottously and forcibly armed in hernays as thowgh it hadd ben 
in tyme of werre, with speres, gleyves, bowes and arrowes, by the exhortacion, comaundement, and labour 
of the seid priour, assembled togyther att Tynemowthe aforeseid ; and with them in compeny great 
nombre of th'enhabitauntes of Tyndale and Reddesdale, to whom, as is supposed and openly spokyn 
in the contrees there, the seid ryott and unlawfull assemble was comytted. The seid priour gave wages 
vj' by the day to th'entent that the seid mysdemeaned persons by his comaundement shuld have 
murdred the meyer, aldermen, and other th'enhabitauntes of your seid town, and to have takyn, drowned, 
and distroyed ther shippes, beyng in the porte of the same. And so they hadd drowned the best 
shipp belongyng to the seid town, if they hadd nott well defended and it rescowed ; and so in hemays, 
riottously ageyn your lawes and peas assembled, dayly roode abowt your seid town of Newcastell 
by the space of vj dayes, and tooke many of th'enhabitauntes of the same town, and them imprisoned 
att Tynemouth ; and, as is opynly seid by suche as wer of the seid rioltouse compenye, the seid 
priour said, thowgh they kylled oon hundreth of the caytyffes dwellyng in Newcastell, he shuld be 

ther warraunt Also th'enhabitauntes of your seid town, durynge the tyme of the seid 

unlawfull and riottous assemble, durst nott for drede of ther lyves goo to ther shippes att Sheeles or 
otherwise abowt ther besynesses, butt kept them close within the walles of your seid town, as thowgh 
they hadd ben asseged with enemyes. And of suretie, most graciouse sovereign lorde, suche a great 
gadderyng and unlawfull assemble of people so long conlynewed together in tyme of peas hath nott ben 
seen in thoose parties of many yeres past, nor to so perillouse example of other offendours in tyme 

Finally the questions in dispute were referred to arbitrators, who, 
upon March 23rd, 151 1/2, gave their decision: 

23rd March, 3 Hen. Slh. A copy of an awaid of the bishops of Norwich and Coventry and Sergeant 
Elliott between the prior and convent of Tynmouth and major of Newcastle-upon-Tyne, concerning 
diverse libertys and franchises, etc., in the river of Tyne and in the town of Tinemouth and North Shields. 

Firste, we awarde ordeyne and deame, that the saide maior, sheref and commonalty, sufTre the saide 
prioure and convente to have thaire werres or yares standinge in the porte of the watere of Tyne as 
longe as oder werres standinge in the same porte belwene the saide townes of Newcastle and 
Tynemouthe, in the same side of the saide porte be suffrede to stande. 

Item, we awarde that the saide maior, etc., suffre the saide prioure and convente ihaire ser\aunts in 
eveoe parte of the saide porte [to buy] even-thing for his owne use or howseholde withoute license of 
the saide maior, etc., and withoute anye duetie or custume therfore to be paied to the saide maiour, 
etc., by the saide priour or convente or by anye of thaym or by the sellers therof to thayme for the same. 

' Slur Chamber Proceedings, Henry Nil I. Bundle 20, No. 2. 


Ilem, we awaidc that the saide maior, etc., suffie the saide priomc, etc., to charge and discharge 
within the saide porte all suche thing as they bye too thaire own or sell of thaire owne marchaundiss 
in any place within this realnic of F,ngland, without anything paying to the saide maior, etc. 

Item, we awarde the saide maior, etc., sutifre the saide jirioiire, etc., to passe with thaire shippcs 
and boots to any parte of this realnic of England, Wales and Ireland, oiitc of ihc saide haven with thaire 
owne sake, fishe, heringe and oder marchandisses of thaire owne, withoute bringinge it to the saide towne 
of Newcastle, and withoute payinge anye tolls or custumes for it to the saide niaiourc, etc., and that the 
prioure nor his successors colloure' any marchands or other thinge of any oder personne to passe 
withoute payinge of thaire toll and custume due to the saide maior, etc. 

Item, we awarde that the saide maior, etc., sufTre the commcn bakehowscs and brewehowses now 
being in ']"ynemoiithe and Noithe .Shelcs to be occupiede in like forme as tbeye have bene xx ycre nexte 
before the date nowe, and that non other furnage be takyn of the said bakehowses than have bene takyn 
bye the said tyme, and that the prioure and convente have the correxion of the assise of brede and alle 
of the same. 

Item, we awarde that at such tymc after this, whan any vessaile cumylhe into the saide porte with 
whete or other vitaille in tyme of starving, as when a busshell of whete is at the price of xx'' or more, 
that than the saide prioure shal bye thcrof but a reasonable quantitie for the relefe of his saide 
monasteiye, levinge to the saide maire and communaltie and to the inhabilaunts of the conlreye there 
aboute a reasonable parte thereof to the relefe of thayine, and than the saide prioure to certifie the saide 
maior what quantitie the saide prioure have boughte therof. 

(Clause to the effect that the two parties shall enter into mutual obligations.) " 

Too much was conceded to Tyneniouth monastery to content the 
burgesses of Newcastle. They aimed at having a legal recognition of 
their exclusive right to trade in the port of the Tyne. This, with an 
important exception, they obtained by the insertion of the following 
clause into 'An Acte concerning Newcastell-upon-Tine, and the porte 
and haven therunto belonging,'' passed by the parliament of 1530: 

In consideracion whereof it may please your highnesse of your moste abundaunt grace, with the 
assent of your lordes spirituall and teitiporall, and the commons in this present parliament assembled, 
and by the auctoritie of the same, to enacte, ordeine, and establisshe, that from hensefoorth any marchant 
or marchantes, or any other person or persons, shall not ship, lode, or unlode, charge or discharge any 
maner of goodes, wares, or marchandises to be solde here within this your realme or elswhere, in, to, or 
from any ship or shippes, or other vessels, in or at any place or places within the said port, river and 
haven, betwene the said place called the Sparhauke,' and the said place called Hedwinstremes, but 
onely at the said towne of Newcastell, and no where els, upon peine of forfaiture of all suche 
goodes, wares, and marchaundises to the king, our said soveraigne lorde, and to his heires, kinges 
of England Provided alway that this act be not prejudicial or hurteful to any person or 

' To colour strangers' goods = to enter a foreign merchant's goods at the custom-house under a 
a freeman's name, for the purpose of evading additional duties. Murray, New English Dictionary, 
vol. ii. p. 638. 

-' Duke of Northumberland's MSS. 

■' 21 Henry \'I1I. cap i8. Stiitiites of the Realm, vol. iii. pp. 302-303. 

' The Sparhawk or Sparrowhawk has, like Tynemouth bar, disappeared before the improveinents 
of the Tyne Commissioners. lirand describes it as a sand, at a depth of four feet below the surface 
of the sea at low tide, lying about a quarter of a mile from the Spanish battery. It was nearly of the 
shape of a crescent, of which one point was directed towards Prior's Haven, and the other towards the 
bar. Newcastle, vol. ii. p. 16, note (;«)• 


peisons, beinge the kinges subjectes, for bicng, shipping, lodinge or unloding of any salte or fishe 
within the said river and porta, or to any of them, or any other person or persons, repayring to the 
saide porte with shippes and marchandises, for seUing or bieng of any wares or marchandises, 
nedefull for the vitellyng and amending of their sayde shippes, at the time of their there being 
within the saide porte : this acte or any thing comprised in the same noihwithstandynge. 

By this Act the fishing and victualling trades and manufacture of salt 
received special protection. On the other hand the burgesses of Newcastle 
won their object in checking the further commercial development of the 
twin towns of North and South Shields ; for the blow was aimed at the 
prior of Durham as much as against the prior of Tynemoiith, and the feuds 
of the one monastery with Newcastle had their counterpart in the history 
of the other. For more than two centuries industry in the two towns of 
Shields was confined within the narrow limits imposed by the Act of 1530. 

At the dissolution the total rental of North Shields was £\^ 3s. 8d.' 
It contained only ' small fisher cotages, and befor the suppressione never 
in copye, but in the prior's hande in demeisne.' In a letter written to 
Henry, ninth earl of Northumberland, Robert Helme has described the 
tenure by which they were held. 

Consider the Sheilds to the prior and convent of Tinemoulh was deniayne, and no howses iher but 
such as they buylded and upheld before the dissolucion of the priory of ther onely proper coasts 
and charges ; and so from tyme to tyme did keape the same in good and sufficient reparacions, and 
never no copy used ther of any house, but leased by convent seale ; and then the rent was, or ought 
to have bene, xvij" x' by year. . . . Wherupon your lordship's late father had forth of the exchequer a 
comission to him and others to lett by lease or copy at their pleasors ; and by vertue therof your 
lordship's sayd late father lett copyes by court rool, which were the first copyes that ever were in the 

From that time the rents rapidly diminished. Houses fell into utter 
ruin and decay, and new tenants could hardly be found. A commission, 
appointed to inquire into the causes of this decline, gave a sketch in 
its report, January 7th, 1564/5, of the condition of the town and the 
best course that might be taken in dealing with the tenants : 

The said towne of Northe Sheales bene lille howses builded under the watter banke, and have nether 
groundes belonginge unto them nor yet anye row-me on the backsids to make onyegardines Or orchardes, 
but onlye howses for fishermen, and on the fore partes litle kyes and shores maid before everye howse 
for ther cobles and ther geare to ly at and to drye ther fishe and geare upon, so that, yf it be not for 
suche poore fishermen, the nomber wherof is nowe muche decayed and like rather to minishe then 
increase, by reason the fishe is nothinge so plentifull in that costc as it hathe bene, ther will not howse 
ther be nihe biled oneless it shalbe one or two that may be maintened for vittillinge howses, and so the 
hole rentes shalbe without some regardes therto had for th'amendment therof in perrill to decaye in 
shorte processe of tyme. 

' Gibson, Tyiu-mouth, vol. i. p. 223. ' Uuke of Northumberland's iMSS. 


Morover the howses beinge builde, they wer ahvaies both Ijuilded and repaired by tlie monastery 
and at ther chearges ; therfor the rentes beinge the greater, the removinge of the tenants from the same 
(which happenethe muche amongste fishermen ther not to inhabite longe in one place), was no decaye of 
the rente ; and nowe, because the chearge of the reparacions are not allowede unto them, yt is the cause 
of the decaye ; and yf the yearelye reparacions shalbe allowed, it wilbe for the most parte of yeares 
amouente to more, or at enye tyme as muche as the rentes. 

For thes causes it was thought beste that the said howses or as manye could so be lett to suche 
fishermen as are given to inhabite ther, and for a reasonable rente much lesse then before, so that the 
tennants should be chargeable with the buildinges and reparacions and that they shoulde have by copye 
or otherwise assurance therof for the said rents to them and to ther heires for ever, which wilbe nieanes 
that these rentes shall to contenewe, and the howses better repaired and builded, and the meane to trayne 
fishermen to inhabite ther, which of necessitye must be done in that sorte or ells the rente shall not 
without allowance of yearlye reparacions stand and contyenewe.' 

The recoiiimendations of the commission were adopted. Tenements 
were henceforward let by copy of court roll, and these grants, it is said, 'were 
the first copyes that ever were in the Sheilds.'" They continued to be 
granted for forty years, until the year 1604, when vShields was visited by 
plague. Several houses then fell vacant. They were seized by the lord's 
officers for want of heirs male, but the copyholders advanced a rival claim, 
and a letter written by George Whitehead to the ninth earl of Northumber- 
land, upon March 28th, 1604, gives the first tidings of the coming struggle: 

Here is diverse deade in .Sheales in the plague, and by that meanes soome houses ar fallen into 
your lordship's handes for want of heyres male, according to the auncient custome of the mannor, which 
houses I have seized for your lordship's use ; notwithestanding Peter Delavall and his brother Raphe 
Uelavall ar buyinge women's tytles already to defraude your lordship of your right." 

'Of layte,' wrote William Wycliffe in a later letter, 'the tenants, 
refusing the auntient custome of all other the tenements within the shire, will 
have a custome of ther own making, and women to be heires, which in 
common honor is absurd, beside custom, unles they will mayntayne 
navigacion by soome, which was the cheife ground of establishing the 
Sheels for a fishe towne.''' The custom to which the tenants of Shields 
laid claim, namely, the right of the daughter to succeed to her father's copy, 
was one subsequently recognised for the whole manor, but does not appear 
to have accorded with the ancient custom of husbandry. There was pre- 
cedent, however, for either contention. 'Many examples,' Robert Helme 
informed the earl, 'that women have therby enjoyed the custom as well as 
men, I could sett downe ; and even now of late dayes, in your lordship's 
tyme, women have bene found to have the custom and have so enjoyed yt.''* 

' Duke of Northumberland's MSS. " IbiJ. ' Ibid. ' Ibid. ' Ibid. 


On the other hand it was argued that copies granted to women as heirs 
were obtained by bribery, and could not invalidate the other custom. 
George Whitehead put forward this view in a letter to the earl : 

It may be in ther petitione to your lordship they will alledge that your lordship hayth sigened with 
your hand sundrye copyes and receaved fynes for women's titles, and therfor not fit your lordship 
should nowe make questione for answere. The fault was the cornipt dealinge of your officers, and never 
till nowe made knowen to your lordsliip, soe as yowre lordship coulde not befor this tynie see thosse 
abuses reformed, for it is most strandge that ther should be in one manner two severall customes, and all 
thos copyes granted by vertue of the commissione rune in thes very wordes, secundum consuetudinem 
manerii, which custome haythe for thre hundred yeares continewed onely to heires male.' 

The case was brought before the Council of the North sitting at York. 
' Ralph Delavall of Sheels thought lately,' Whitehead wrote on Januan,' 
5th, 1606/7, 'to have had a judiciall hearing at York for certayne houses in 
Sheels, wherof I did prevent him, and sent Robert Helme and Roger 
Morton to Yorke as witnesses, wher our cause was proved so just as we had 
possessions and charges awarded against the plaintiffe.'' Whitehead felt 
naturally piqued at the support given by Ralph Delaval and his brother 
Peter Delaval to 'these broken titles.' 'The suyte at Yorke,' he told the 
earl, ' coste vour lordship x'' at the least, and for myself I had two horses 
that cost me xviij'' eyther poysoned or bewiched to deathe in followinge that 
suyte for thesse tytles they have set afoote, for which they give the poore 
people, as I am enformed, nothinge but small potts of ale and goose pyes, 
Ralph Delavall beinge an alehouse keper without anv other trade to live.'^ 

His success at York encouraged Whitehead to attack the whole system 
of copyhold tenure in North Shields, as is seen from another of his letters, 
written on March 23rd, 1606/7, in which he states: 'I have had opinione 
of the best councell this place will afforde, who doe assure me the 
commissione by which they hould ther copyes can erect no custome.'^ 
He pressed his advantage and carried war into the enemy's camp, with 
the result that the principal tenants in Shields laid their case before the 
earl of Northumberland in the following petition : 

Humbly complayninge shewethe unto your good lordshipp your daylye orators, all his majestie's 
tenants, the inhabitaunts of the North Sheeles, that wheras in the vij"' yeare of quene Elizabethe's 
raigne, etc., etc. Tyll nowe of late sundrye verie pore wemen, after the decease of ther kynffolkc and 
parents in the last great plage at Sheeles, being founde by the homage to be next heires to sundrye 
cottages ther wherof ther parents and auncestours dyed seized by coppye of court role as aforesaid, and 
craving ther admitlaunce therunto, are not onelye denyed therof by Mr. William Wicliff, your lordship's 
under-stewarde here, but ther cottages and rentes seized uppon and disposed by your said under-stewerde 

' Duke of Xorthumlierland's MSS. -' Ihul. ' Ibid. ' Ibid. 


to Mr. t'.eorge Whilheicie, his biolher-in-lawe, by coppye of court role as vacantes, objecting that wee 
are but tennants at will and no copyhouldcrs. .And thernppon haith not onelye disinherited ihre verie 
pore wyddovves, Ann Liidgate, Elizabeth liowes, antl Margaret Robeson, and graunted ther estates of 
ther cottages to the said George Whitheide, but allso they tow joyne together pretendinge and pressinge 
the overthrowe of the customarye estate of all the pore fishermen, beinge by ther coppies tyed to repaire 
ther bare cott.ages, to yeelde ther rents, fynes and services, and to kepe a fisherman in everie cottage, by 
whose fyshinge trade your lordshipp reapeth a great deale more yearely benefitt then his niajestie by his 
yearly rentes ther. The overthiowe of the tennants' said customarye estates woulde, assure youre good 
lordshipp, not onelye greatlye decaye the fishinge trade here, to your lordshipp's great losse, but allso 
greatlye impoverish and bannish fishermen from this place, whose customarye es'ates uppon the con- 
sideracions aforesaid were founded by your good lordship's late father and contynued by yourselfe above 
xl yeares. The which customarye estate we most humblye beseche your good lordship we maye 
contynue with your favorable permission and honorable countenance to us and our heires generall in 
suche sorte as wee and our predecessors have done, and by the custome of the said mannor wee ought 
to doo by our coppies from your good lordship's father and yourselfe, unto whome we have contynuallye 
payed our fynes, which haith bene and wilbe more beneficiall unto your good lordshipp then if wee were 
leassers unto his majestie, as sum ther be here leassers, vvherby no profitt at all cometh to your lordshipp 
as doth by our fynes after chaunge of everie tenante, which contynually befalleth either by death or 
saile. And allso that suche coppies as your lordshipp farthe graunted to Mr. George Whitheide of the 
foresaid pore wyddowes cottages may be recalled and the wyddowes therunto admitted. 

Signed : Raphe Delaval. Henrye Hclme. John Patteson. An Lydgath. 

Peter Delaval. Thomas Harker. A. Dobson. Elizabeth 15owes. 

James Rawlinge. Steven Patteson. Robt. Dowe.' 

Apparently the earl refused to disown his officer, and there was a 
renewal of proceedings before the Council of the North. In their instruc- 
tions to counsel the tenants of Shields described their ' litle dovett" or 
thatched cottages under the sea banckes nere the river of Tyne, havinge 
neither lande, meadowe, pasture, nor stedinge for anye kynde of cattle 
apperteyning to anye of them, saveinge onelye litle stone keyes or whartfes 
before ther fronts nere the sayd ryver to drye ther ffishinge lynes uppon.' 
They narrated the establishment of copyhold tenure in 1565, and then 
laid their charges against Whitehead and Wycliffe. ' The said George 
Whitheade and his brother-in-lawe, William Wicliff, deputie stewarde 
unto the said earle, denye all his majestie's pore tennants of a lease of 
all ther cottages, to th'ende to overthrowe ther said custome, to the utter 
undowing of his majestie's pore cottegers and ther wifes and children, 
and to the overthrowe of the trade of ffyshing in that place of Tynemouth 
haven, wherby his lordship gaynethe one hundred markes yearlye for 
the tythe fyshe he receiveth of his majestie's pore tennants ther, beside 
ther ffynes from age to age wher his majestie's rents ther is.'^ 

' Duke of Northumberland's MSS. 

' Divot, a sod, piece of turf, especially a thin, flat, oblong turf used for covering cottages. Divot- 
house or hut, a house or hut covered with turf. Wright, English Dialect Dictionary, vol. ii. p. 94. 
' Duke of iXorthumberland's MSS, 



The vice-president and council at York referred the matter to be 
tried in the Court of Exchequer, in regard that it concerned tlie king's 
inheritance, whereupon the inhabitants of Shields petitioned the earl of 
Dorset, as lord high treasurer, 'in respecte of their povertie, being not 
able to endure the charge of lavve to trie their custome ' that he would 
be pleased to continue their copyhold estates in such sort as thev had 
had them heretofore.' Dorset referred them to the Court of Exchequer, 
but, as a new trial meant heavy legal charges, Ralph Delaval took the 
first step of petitioning the king, who 'red his petitione himselfe, and 
presently called my lord of Dunbare, and asked him vf he knewe Northe 
Shells, and gave him the petitione, sayinge, " Looke how my poore tennantes 
ar abosed by my lord of Northumberland and his officers. He sure you 
take this matter to hearinge, and call my lord of Northumberland his 
officers befor you."'^ 

In the following summer, on July iith, 1608, a commission was 
issued out of the Court of Exchequer to take a survey of Tynemouth- 
shire, and to enquire by what tenure the tenants held of the king. 
Haggatt and Ward, the commissioners, sat at Tynemouth during September. 
After taking evidence with regard to North Shields, they reported : 
' Seeing their copies have no better foundation, nor are above thirty 
years' standing or thereabouts, and that it is manifest upon record they were 
tenants at the will of the lord before the granting of tlie said copies, we 
are of opinion and do perceive that they may easily be reduced to 
lessors, so as they be favorablv regarded in their fine.'' 

Thus the copyhold tenure, which the tenants of North Shields had 
for a brief period enjoyed, was transferred into leasehold. The change 
was bound to affect the character of the population, as Whitehead pointed 
out to the earl of Northumberland a year later : 

The tennants of Slieeles ar lykewise made upe to leasse the whole towne. Yf ther be not soonie 
course taken in that leasse. your fishinge will be utterly decayed, for the best parte of the towne ar 
victuallers and tiplers wher they had wonte of very late tyme to be all fishermen ; and what course ther 
is to be taken I cannot thinke, unles my lorde treasorer were moved of the decay bothe of men for the 
navy in time of service, as allsoe the decaye of his majesty's tythe ther ; and that his lordship woulde 
tye every house in the towne to maynteyne a fisherman as formerly they were bounde by ther copyes." 

The svstem of leaseholds established in 160S, did not long continue. 
Until that time, and for a few years longer, the whole of the township 

' Duke of Northumberland's MSS. ' /'"<'• 

' Land Revenue Surveys, miscell. books, vol. 223, fol. 326. ' Duke of Northumberland's M.SS. 

Vol. VIII. 38 



remained crown property' ; but, on March 13th, 1623/4, a grant was made 
to Henry, ninth earl of Northumberland, of two salt pans at the Pow 
pans, the salt pans called Stodwede's pans, and other pieces of land.'' 
On August 26th, 1624, twenty-four cottages, and the ferry over the 
Tyne were granted, at the requisition of John, earl of Holderness, 
to Edward Ramsav of Hethersett in Norfolk and to Robert Ramsey 
of London,^ to whom, on May 21st following, five more cottages were 
conveyed, together with the salmon fishery from Howden head to the 
point where the Tyne falls into the sea.' Four salt pans, various parcels 
of land at the Pow pans at the east end of the town, and between 
Dortwick and Coble dean at the west end, and the profits arising from the 
anchorage of all vessels coming into the river of Tyne at North Shields,** 

' Exceptin;;- a cottage and some waste ground at the west end of Shields, granted on June nth, 
1600, to Benjamin Harris and Robert Morgan, and conveyed by them to Wilham Milbanke of North 

■ Patent Kails, 21 James I. pt. 5. 

" Land Revenue Enrolments, vol. 200, fol. 192, and vol. 201, fol. 321. For the Ramseys, see Mr. J. C. 
Hodgson on 'The Sixteenth and Seventeenth Century Owners of Bewick' in Arch. Ael. 3rd series, 
vol. ii. The house property acquired by Ramsey and Ramsey was sold by them on November 4th, 
1624, to Anthony Uphill of London, who on May 13th, 1631, resold to Sir Alexander Davison of 
Newcastle. Lund Revenue Enrolments, vol. 202, fol. 166. For Davison see Welford, Men of Mark. 

' Robert Ramsey conveyed his salmon fishery, on February 15th, 1637, to George Milbourne, then 
described as of South Shields, and to William Milbourne of Newcastle. Their representatives, Mary 
Roddam and Winifred Roddam, conveyetl the fishery, inter alia, on August 1st, 1729, to Robert Loads- 
man, who, on January i6th, 1730, sold the same to James Stewart of North Shields for £-,. On .May 
2nd, 1759, the heirs of James Stewart sold to Hugh, duke of Northumberland. The fishery was known 
as the Low Lights fishery. The usual mode of catching salmon was by sweep nets and stake nets. 
.Sweep nets were nets to the two ends of which ropes were attached. One of these ends was taken out 
in a boat, which was then rowed round in a half circle and brought again to land. Both ends of 
the net were then gradually drawn towards and on to the shore, and thus any fish were landed that 
might be caught within the sweep. Nets could be drawn ashore at the Black Middens, the .Mussel 
scalp, Coble dean. White Hill point, and Howden. Stake nets were nets attached and fastened to 
stakes driven into the bed and soil of the river. They were used at the Low Lights down to about the 
year 1833, when their use was discontinued. Duke of Northumberland's MSS. The salmon fishery 
was profitable before the deepening of the river by the Tyne Commissioners. Warburton, writing 
about 1720, speaks of the incomparable salmon which North Shields supplies to most parts of 
Europe. Ibid. As late as 1775 no less than 265 salmon were caught at one draught at the Low 
Lights. Brand, Newcastle, vol. ii. p. 33. 

* Anchorage is a toll paid upon every ship coming to anchor between the Trior's stone (near the 
mouth of the Tyne) and Howden pans, and is associated with groundage, a toll paid upon every ship laid 
on shore within the said limits. The payments date from the sixteentli century or earlier. Sir Henry 
Percy stated in a letter written to Cecil on January 27th, 1566/7, touching the grievances alleged by the 
mayor of Newcastle and others, that he and his servants took of every stranger's ship a shilling as a new 
exaction. 'There is no general custom taken, but such as touch or lie upon the shore a time pay 
money to the officers there as groundage.' Cal. State Papers, Domestic, Addenda, 1566-1579, p. 26. 
Anchorage and groundage used to be collected by the bailiff of North Shields, whose ofiice, as described 
in 1633, was 'to areast all actions of dept under 30s. and not above, to sease upon all wrackes coming 
in within the towne, all fellons' goodes, all wafes, straies and deodantes and whatsoever else, and be 
accomptable for the same to his lordship's prime receavor.' Duke of Northumberland's MSS. A 
manuscript among the Delaval papers, in the possession of the Newcastle Society of Antiquaries, 
states, under the date 1575 : 'The Ijailey of the North Shields, by vertue of his office apperteyning to 
the castle, was to bourd every ship comyng in at the haven there, and did take up for the furnytur of 


were, by letters patent dated December Sth, 1631, granted to William 
Collins and to Edward Fenn.' The salt pans, anchorage dues, and other 
of the premises conveyed to Collins and Fenn were acquired in 1632 
and in 1635 by Algernon, tenth earl of Northumberland." 

The development of the salt trade and extension of coal mining in the 
neighbouring townships brought new families to reside in Shields, and trade 
grew, especially the victualling industry. Alehouses became numerous. 
Brewing, though apparently sanctioned by the Act of 1530, was regarded 
by the Newcastle Company of Brewers as an infringement of the monopoly 
claimed by them within the part. In 1627 the niavur and burgesses pro- 
secuted one Humphrey Johnson for keeping a brew-house in North Shields, 
and obtained an order that the brew-house should be suppressed.' In a 
petition presented to the king in 1634 they set forth their suits for mainten- 
ance of their corporate privileges against the inhabitants of North and South 
Shields, and prayed him to cause a general restraint and inhibition to be 
made, that no baker, brewer, victualler or smith, or other person using any 
trade, should exercise the same in any part of the port or its precincts, but 

her majestie's castle, whatsoever she had in loding, a parcell of everything for the service of the castle 
at the quen's majestie's price ; and to the bailey only of every such ship, being a stranger, his fee is 
for groundage xij' and aunkeradge xij'', notwithstanding the order taken between his lordship and the 
town of Newcastle, which is but upon pleasor only, or so long as yt shall pleas the captain there for 
the time being.' In 1679 the fees were stated to be a penny tor anchorage or groundage of every ship 
belonging to any of the Cinque ports, six pence for anchorage and a shilling for groundage of every 
English ship not belonging to the Cinque ports, and a shilling for anchorage and two shillings for 
groundage of every foreign ship. Brit. Mus. Additwiud MSS. 24,815, fol. 240. The number of foreign 
vessels that paid anchorage or groundage in the year Michaelmas, 164S, to Michaelmas, 1649, was 123. 
Uuke of Northumberland's MSS. . . 

The right of boarding and searching vessels, alluded to above as belonging to the bailiff of North 
Shields, was claimed and exercised within that portion of the river which lies between Howden burn 
and the sea. A letter directed by the lords of the privy council on June 4th, 1597, to the bishop of 
Durham and to Lord Eure alludes to inconveniences which have arisen by 'the discontynuance of 
an auncient order which hath bin observed in former times, that all shippes of her majesty's domymons 
cominge on the sea by the said castle [of Tynemouth] should vailc their topsaile as a token of their 
dutie and alleageance to her majestic, and that all shippes of forraine countries should, at their 
passage that waye, comme to anchor and send a-shoare to the bailiffes of the Sheeles the merchaunt, 
master, lactour, or other officer of the shipp, to the end notice might be taken of the purpose of 
their voyadge and of other circumstances.' Ads 0/ the Privy Council, 1597, p. 170. 1 he custom was 
controverted by the officers of the custom house of Newcastle in a petition addressed two years later 
to the chancellor and barons of the Exchequer, in which they stated : 'The earls officers dayly lake 
upon them to bord and search all the ships of strangers and others passing m and out of those ports, 
and take bribes of them to suffer them to pass quietly. They have thereby much discouraged all 
merchants from trafficking with her majesty's ports there.' Brit. Mus. Ailiiiliomil M^i>. ^4,i>lS< 
fol. 226. Conflicting evidence wiih regard to the time during which the right «> search had been 
exercised by the earl of Northumberland's officers was taken in a suit brought before the Court ot 
Exchequer in 1602 by Henry Sanderson and others against William Wyclifle and Oeoige Whitehead. 
Exiluquer Dcpuutions, Mich. 44-45 Eliz. No. 13, and Hilary, 45 Eliz. No. 19. 

' PiitciU Rolls, 7 Charles I. pt. 15. • Laiul Revenue Enrolments, vol. 202, fols. 114, 12/ d. 

^ Exchequer Decrees anil Orders, series iv. vol. iii. fol. 300. 

-^oo TyKemouth borough. 

only at tlie town of Newcastle.' They were not strong enough to attack the 
salt trade, though they could handicap it by compelling vessels bringing 
material for the salt pans at Shields to come up the river to Newcastle to 
unload. The salt-makers were secure in a monoply of their own. On 
December 2^rd, 1634, a combination of Shields salt-makers was incorporated 
under the name of the Society of Salt-makers at the North and South 
Shields. The new society was empowered to erect salt works on the sea- 
coast, and in the Tvne and the Wear. No new salt works might be erected 
on the coast between Berwick and Southampton. The company agreed to 
sell their salt at rates not exceeding £t^ per wey for home use, and sos. per 
wey for fishing vovages. A payment was made to the king, in return for 
this monopoly, of los. per wey of fine salt, and of 3s. 4d. per wey of fishing 
salt." The greater number of pans were on the south side of the river, 
but in 16^8 there were thirty salt pans in Tynemouth parish.'^ Brine was 
collected in cisterns and pumped thence into shallow iron pans, where it was 
boiled until salt crystals had begun to form. So much of the water as had 
not evaporated was then drained ofi, and the salt was ready for use.^ 

As new collieries were opened up in the neighbourhood of Shields, the 
prerogatives of the Hostmen's Company of Newcastle grew more irksome. 
That company had the exclusive vending of coals, and no coal might be 
shipped for exportation except at Newcastle.* Not only were trading 
vessels of larger tonnage than formerly, but, since the corporation of 
Newcastle had become conservators of the Tyne in 1613, the bed of that 
river had been allowed to silt up, and both these circumstances rendered 
navigation increasingly dangerous. Masters of vessels were obliged to seek 
Newcastle in order to load or unload, to cast ballast, or to undergo repairs, 
for no persons were allowed to build or repair ships within the port unless 

' Cal. State Papers, Domestic, 1634-1635, p. 100. 

• For the history of the salt trade in North and .South Shields, see G. B. Hodgson, Boyough 0/ South 
Shields. An account of the salt works of Durham and Northumberland, composed in the reign of 
Charles II., has been printed from Lansdowne MSS. 258, by Richardson, Reprints, vol. iii. as a 
separate tract. 

' Tynemouth Vestry Books. 

' Detailed descriptions of the salt pans at Shields and the method of manufacture have been given 
by Sir William Brereton in 1635 (Richardson, Reprints, vol. vii. 'Notes of a journey thioujjh Durham and 
Northumberland'), and by Lord Harley in 1725 {Duke of Portland's MSS. vol. vi. p. 105 ; Hist. MSS. 
Com.). See also an article on 'The Art of Making Salt' in the Northumberland and Newcastle Magazine, 
181S, pp. 280-281, 311-312, 342-343. 

" Newcastle Hostmen's Company, Surt. Soc. No. 105, passim. For orders prohibiting the shipping of 
coals at Shields upon pain of seizure, see pp. 74-76 and 90. 


they were free of the Newcastle company of shipwrights or paid a yearlv 
contribution for licence to work within the liberties.' If carpenters were 
not freemen of Newcastle, then they plied their trade at their peril, as did 
Thomas Cliffe of North Shields, who, in the month of April, 1646, got a 
ship off the rocks under Tynemouth castle ; whereupon two sergeants and 
several free carpenters came down from Newcastle, hailed the unfortunate 
shipwright to prison, and beat his wife to death. The mayor and burgesses 
of Newcastle further sued ClifFe in the Court of Exchequer, but, failing to 
make good their case, were ordered to pay costs. ^ 

In 1650 the masters of vessels trading to the Tyne for coals gave vent 
to their grievances in a petition to the council of state. Their complaints 
were referred to the council of trade, by whom, after long debates, the 
action of the Newcastle citizens was pronounced prejudicial to trade and 
navigation, but the report was allowed to lie dormant.' Hostilities broke 
out again before long. Ralph Gardner of Chirton was cast into prison at 
Newcastle in 1652 for refusing to close his brewery at North Shields. He 
escaped from his confinement, but a warrant again went out for his arrest 
for default of payment of ;^'900 for fines. While sitting in his cottage in 
Chirton he found himself surrounded by men with swords drawn and pistols 
cocked. He offered resistance; 'much blood was spilt'; and the Tyne 
seamen, hurrying to his rescue, drove back to Newcastle the wounded and 
discomfited officers of the law.^ Gardner, however, did not long remain at 
liberty, and he was again in gaol when, on September 29th, 1653, he 
petitioned parliament, desiring that the report of the council of trade should 
be called for and reviewed. 

Gardner's petition, like that of 1650, demanded the abolition of re- 
strictions upon trade in the port of Tyne. It also included a request that 
North Shields might be made a market town, and proposed the transference 
of the conservancy from the corporation of Newcastle to a representative 

' Some of the free shipwrights were, however, resident at Shields. On January 24ih, 1649/50, 
Edward Smith of Gateshead, master and mariner, deposed that for fifty years past there had been 
certain vessels called 'Shetland barques,' which, being little ships and bringing in fish which was usually 
dried at Shields, did seldom or never come up to Newcastle; that complaint was made that for their 
repair ship carpenters were wanted at Shields, whereupon some liad been sent from Newcastle to reside 
there. Exclicqucr Depositions, Hilary, 1649/50, No. i. m. 3 d. 

- For further particulars of Cliffe's case, see Gardner, Eiiglmid's Gr'uvanc£, chapters 26, 31, 11, 34, 
36; Richardson's Reprints, vol. vi. 'The humble petition and appeal of Thomas Cliffe'; Exchequer 
Depositions, Hilary, 1649/50, No. I, and Exchequer Decrees ami Orders, series iii. vol. xx.\iii. fol. 173. 

^ Hostmen's Company, p. 92. Gardner, England's Grievance, chapter 25. 
Gardner, England's Gricvame, chapter yj. 


body elected (ui liuc} The matter was referred to the council of trade, to 
whom Gardner exhibited his charges against the corporation." In vigorous 
ungrammatical style he propounded the need of giving Shields a market : 

The maior and burgesses do all iiigross all commodities and provisions into their own hands which 
comes in by sea, and setts their own rates thereon, compelling all people to their markets, the poor 
salt-makers and colliers often not having above i8d. to receive of their wages at the week's end, to 
releive themselves, wife and six or seven children, pays 4d. out of it by going and coming by water, 
besides a day's labour lost, often the river frozen, no boat can pass, snow so deep, coale pitts open, 
having died att Shields for want of food, besides many drowned in stormy weather in the river in coming 
from their markets, and that by their hording upp corn in their corn lofts for to make it dear, and kept it 
till it was so dear that the poor could not buy it, but were forced to eat dead horses, doggs and calls,' 
and the other sort in the county of Northumberland exposed to let their beasts blood to make cakes to 
eat, which beasts, being over blooded, dyed in the spring, and yett corn kept so long in Newcastle that 
it moulded and rotted,' and many hundred bowlcs thrown then into the river, not tollerating a markett 
at Shields for the releif of Tinmouth garrison, the fleets of shipps, the concourse of people and in- 
habitants, which are thousands, nor baking nor brewing, but have ruinated men at law for the same 
by their great purse, which is too great for any to contest with, and which is a great crying oppression 
and hinderance to trade. 

The conclusion is best given in Gardner's own words. ' All which 
said charge was proved upon oath, before the council, at Whitehall, 
1650, and the committee for trade and corporations, at Whitehall, in 
November, 1653. And order was given, that Mr. Thomas Skinner, be 
desired to draw up an Act, for a free trade in that port and river of 
Tyne, to present to the parliament.' The proposed 'Act for a free trade 
in the river of Tyne, for coals, salt, etc.,' was accordingly drafted. It 
provided for the creation of a new conservancy board, the erection of 
ballast shores and holding of a market at Shields, and the abolition of 
the monopoly enjoyed by the free shipwrights, pilots of the Trinity 
House, bakers and brewers, and hostmen of Newcastle.* By skilful delays 
the corporation postponed the conclusion of the investigation which 
threatened to go against it. December 13th was fixed for the final hearing 
of both parties. On December 12th, Parliament was dissolved and 
Gardner's legislative projects were baffled. 

' Und. chapter 27 ; Richardson, Rtpriiits, vol. iii. 'The Conservatorship of the River Tyne,' pp. 24-2S. 
The tract here quoted, printed from a manuscript account of the proceedings before the council of 
trade, includes the answer of the mayor and burgesses of Newcastle to Gardner's petition and to the 
charges exhibited by him ; and the other documents connected with the case are given in a more 
accurate form than in Clardners own version. England's Grievance gives many depositions taken before 
the council of trade, but mingles with them the evidence given in Clift'e's trial. 

= Printed in England's Grievance, chapter 28, and Conservatorship of the River Tyne, pp. 28-32. 

Many country people were necessitated to eat dogs and cats, and to kill their poor little coal- 
horses for food,' says Gardner. 

' Gardner adds, 'The very swine could not eat it.' * England's Grievance, chapter 54. 



'The honourable committee,' says Gardner, 'met in Whitehall, and 
drew up another report, and signed the same, against the corporation of 
Newcastle, and would have presented the same to his highnesse, the Lord 
Protector. But I conceived to give a narrative was better." . . . 'The thing I 
aim at is a right understanding between the free and unfree men of England ; 
a perfect love, every one injoying their own, and to be governed under our 
known and wholesome laws, as also an obedience thereunto ; and not by a 
hidden prerogative, a//'as charters."' He continued, with disjointed eloquence : 

The mayor, aldermen, and recorder, with the burgesses, and others, against the freeborn of England, 
which prohibited all trade, from the 9th day of January, 1642, to the 14th of November, 1644, in that 
port ; which caused coals to be four pound the chaldron, and salt four pound the weigh ; the poor 
inhabitants forced to flie the country, others to quarter all armies upon free quarter ; heavy taxes to them 
all, both English, Scots, and garisons ; plundered of all they had ; land lying waste ; coal-pits drowned ; 
salt works broken down ; hay and corn burnt ; town pulled down ; men's wives carried away by the 
unsatiable Scots, and abused ; all being occasioned by that corporation's disaflfeclion ; and yet to 
tyrannize as is hereafter mentioned ; I appeal to God and the world.' 

Gardner did not abandon hope of procuring a market for North 
Shields. In a letter written on February 21st, 1654/5, to one of the earl 
of Northumberland's officers, he stated : ' I am bringing an ai/ quod danuium 
in the earle's name for a markett at Sheilds, and to have the toules and 
other profitts thereby accruing, that towne beinge part member to the 
mannor of Tynemouth, which I doubt not but effect notwithstanding the 
greatest of Newcastle opposition.'* A petition addressed to the Protector 
in 1654 shows his handiwork. 

To his highnes the Lord Protector of the Commonwealth of England, Scotland and Ireland. The 
humble peticion of the inhabitants of North Sheilds and parts adjacent in the county of Northumberland 
and the gentry. 

Sheweth that for want of a markett in the towne of North Shields in the county of Northiimberl.and, 
being a place of great trade for coles, salt, and grindestones, wherein and the parts adjacent are thousands 
of familyes besides thousands of seamen and passengers daily resorting thither, as also your garrison of 
Tynemouth castle, all which are much necessitated and prejudiced and a great hindrance of trade and 
navigation, there not being any market in that county nearer then twelve myles. 

That in tyme of deepe snowes, the cole-pitts always lying open, the people dare not atlventure by 
land in the winter season to Newcastle markett, which is six myles distant from Sheildes (it being a 
towne and county of itselfe), in extremity of weather many boates are cast away and many people are 
drowned in goeing to and from that markett at Newcastle, the river also in the winter season being .also 
frozen, so that the poorer sort are exposed to great want and misery. 

Your peticioners therefore humbly prayes your Highnes will be plased to graunt a markett to be 
kept on Mondays and Thursdayes in the said towne in every weeke in the earle of Northumberland's 
name, by reason hee is lord of tlie mannor of the said Tynemouth.' 

' Enghuui's Grievance, chapter 28. 

■ The bibliography oi Enghuui's Grievance is the subject of a paper in Arch. Ael. 2nd series, vol. .\iii. 
by the late Mr. C. J. Spence. 

" Englivhi's Grieviince, preface. ' Duke of Northumberland's MSS. ' IbiJ. 



The struggle between the Newcastle hostmen and the coalowners 
not of their company went on ft)r several years. Ships were laden at 
Shields in spite of the bylaws of Newcastle companies, and an attempt 
made by the hostmen to check the practice by charging for lighter-hire 
was quashed by the Protector and his council. Kalph Gardner again 
directed his complaints against the hostmen, and, but for the Restoration, 
it seems likely that they would have come to terms.' After the Restoration, 
Newcastle returned to the attack. On May 20th, 1661, William 

Old Ohavs fn 1876. 

Collingwood of North Shields was called before the conservancy court 
and presented for setting forth his quav at North Shields about seven 
yards into the river. Threatened with the destruction of their wharves 
and of the houses built on them, the townsmen of Shields petitioned the 
earl of Northumberland to take up their cause : 

To ye right honorable ye carle of Northumberland, the humble petition of the inhabitants of North 
Sheilds, part of your honor's mannor of Tynemouth. 

' Ilostmeii's Company, pp. 110-112, 114, 117. 



Humbly sheweth that ye toune of Newcastle upon Tyne hath, under ye pretence of preservation of 
the river of Tyne, taken upon them to impose great mulcts and fines upon your peticioners because they 
will not pull downe and demolish their keyes and houses thereupon erected, which is noe way prejudicial! 
but of much advantage to the navigablenese of the said river. 

And that, except some speedy remedy be found out for your peticioners' reliefe in this particular, 
your poore peticioners will be constrained to suffer themselves to be ruin'd, or otherwise to disowne your 
lordshippe and owne the interest of the said towne, who is willing upon a very small acknowledgement 
too free and remitt ye said fines and impositions.' 

In spite of the con- 
tinued efforts of the mayor 
and burgesses of New- 
castle, who succeeded in 
1672 in suppressing John 
Overing's brewery at North 
Shields, * the town grew 
rapidly. ' They are build- 
ing daily,' said a letter- 
writer in 1658.' The 
hearth-ta.x returns of 1664 
show a hundred and eighty 
householders. Ten years 
later the number had risen 
to three hundred and five.* 
Many of the older build- 
ings in the town date from 
this period ; on the lintel 
of one of the dwellings still 
remaining on the Wooden 
Dolly quay is the inscrip- 
tion 16 I'^A 74, :^"d in houses 
which have vanished be- 
fore modern improve- 
ments, coats of arms with- 
out, and tile and carving 

' Duke of Northumberland' MSS. 

' Excluqucr Depositions, Mich. 24 Chas. II. No. 3; ; Decrees a>id Orders, series iv. vol. xi. fol. 2SS. 

' Duke of Northumberland's MSS. 

' The principal residents in 1664 were : Katharine Gardner (wife of R.alph (Gardner of Chirton), John 
Blakeston, Edward Carr, James Denton, William Colling«ood, hdward loll, Jeremiah Lo«, and .Mr. 

The Woohe.n Dollv Vv.w, issg 

Vol. \'111. 



within, testified to former opulence. Like many other riverside towns 
North Shields consisted of one long narrow thoroughfare, extending from 
the Low Lights to the Bull Ring, and known in later times as the Low 
Town Street. The greater part of the street was from nine to eleven feet 
wide, but, at a few points, and for short distances, there were expansions 
that increased the width from sixteen to twenty-five feet. The ' little 
dovett and thatched cottages ' made way for lofty houses, solidly built of 
brick or stone, with rounded gables and red-tiled roofs. On the river side, 
short lanes and quays led direct to the water edge ; on the other side 
steep flights of stairs gave access to what was known as the Bank Head 
at about seventy feet higher level. There were no houses on the higher 
plateau. What are now the busiest parts of Shields were overgrown with 
whin and provided a scanty pasture for cattle. Houses were packed tightly 
together. They crowded round little courts leading off the street, extended 
out on quays resting on piles driven into the bed of the river, and jostled 
one another up the hill. 

At the east end of the town there were several salt pans held by 
the earl of Northumberland and the Milbourne family. A bridge crossed 
the Pow burn at this point and gave access to the main thoroughfare.' 
The street was intersected, about midway, by a piece of swampy ground, 
known as the Dogger letch. Across it, connecting the present Liddell and 
Clive Streets, ran a wooden bridge, and near to it stood the toll-gate house, 
demolished by the Tynemouth corporation in 1857 for street improvement. 
A causeway, commonly called the Half Moon, led up from the wooden 
bridge to the Bank Head, and continued, as Church Way, to the parish 
church. Farther along, a way led down to the ferry-boat landing.'' 
Beyond that again was the Bull Ring, where bulls were baited.' A 
lane, starting from this point, connected the town with the Newcastle 
road. At the west end of the town came more salt pans at a place 
called Dortwick, whence sands stretched out across the Tyne. 

' In 1648 the Trinity House of Newcastle gave ten shillings towards building a bridge over the 
runner at the Low Lights. Mackenzie, Neuraslle, p. 6S3, citing Trinity House M.SS. .'\t Christmas, 
1701, several of the inhabitants of Tynemouth parish having refused to pay their shares for the mainten- 
ance and repair of the bridge at Pow panns, and the highway between Hillymill and Shields, it is 
ordered that the fines be levied and paid to the surveyor of the highways. Sessions Order Books, 
vol. iv. p. 20. 

'At quarter sessions held at Christmas, 1724, the following order was made : 'The way in North 
Shields leading to the church (a conduit or current being stopt, the water overruns the streats, by which 
the streats are very much abused) to be repaired by the town of North Shields. The way to the ferry- 
boat landing at North Shields, in the parish of Tinmouth, so bad that a horse going to the boat is in 
danger of having his legs broke.' Ibid. vol. vi. p. 357. 

' A large flat stone, containing an iron bolt and ring, was turned up here in June, 1S20, 


North Shields was not a healthy town. Plague was a constant 
visitant.^ Refuse accumulated in the streets, and ways were foul. Most 
of the scavenging was done by pigs. Dense clouds of steam, ascending 
from the salt pans, wrapped the place in a white mantle.' 

The town was under the joint control of manorial officers chosen in 
the court leet and of a select vestry known as the four-and-twenly. The 
following bylaws exemplify their jurisdiction : 

April 15th, 1639. It is agreed by the minister and four-and-lwenty that the first Sunday of every 
month shall be a collection in the church for the relief of the poor of the parish of Tynetnoulh, and 
likewise the money collected at every communion throughout the year shall be put in the church box 
and recorded in writing ; the said moneys collected and distributed to the poor at Christmas and Easter 
time, and account to be made every Easter to the four-and-twenty. Tynemouth Vestry Books. 

April 19th, 1647. Agreed that profaners of the Lord's Day, or being absent from the church 
drinking in time of preaching, being drunken and swearing, to be severely punished according to the 
penalty laid on by the minister and churchwardens, acquainting the four-and-twenty with it. Diligent 
search to be made every Lord's Day, before and after noon, by the churchwardens, their assistants, and 
the assistance of all the petty constables, for the observing and keeping of the Sabbath. Ibid. 

October 15th, 1694. Whereas complaint hath been made from court to court of the great newsances 
and trespasses committed or done by the keeping of swine unbowed and unringed in North Sheilds, and 
notwithstanding the several amerciaments made of those that were presented at the several past courts, 
there is no amendment, but dayly greater numbers are kept therein, and by reason of the narrowness of 
the streets, and the town of late grown so populous that the keeping of swine in the said town is very 
infectious and nautious (especially in the summer time), insomuch that we do order that from and after 
the 17th day of October untill the next court no person or persons whatsoever shall permit or suffer any 
swine to go abroad in the streets or keep them in any place which shall or may annoy any of the 
inhabitants or be a publick newsance to the said town upon pain of xxxix' xj'' upon every one that shall 
be found to keep the same. Tynemouth Court Rolls. 

As early as 1620, Shields appears to have been divided into four wards, 
each represented by a petty constable, who was also surveyor of highways. 
A hi^^h constable acted for the whole town. The town was represented by 
a special jury in the manor court and had two bread-weighers and ale- 
tasters. The supervision of the salt measures also came within the manorial 


Churchwardens and overseers of the poor were elected at the vestry 
meetincrs. These officers joined with the constables in policing and super- 
visino- the sanitary condition of the town, but their chief task was the 
administration of the poor law. 

■ Plaaue was at Tynemouth and Shields in 1346/7 {Miiiislfrs' Accounls); in 1583 (Cal Border Papers, 
vol i p 114}; in 1604 (Duke of Northumberland's MSS.); \n ib^^^ (Court of High Commisswnat Durham, 
Surt. Soc. No. 34, p. 171) ; and again in 1666 (Tynanouth Register, ed. Couchman, vol. 1. p. 255). 

■ Life of Mannaduke R.mdon of York, Camden Soc. 1S63, p. 143 ; l^^'n'c' l^ef^e, Tour through the 
whole Island of Great Britain, 1727, vol. iii. p. 193. 

" Duke of Northumberland's MSS. 


North Shields was the poorest part of the parish, and this fact caused 
the other townships within the parish to feel that they were unduly 
burdened. With a view of remedying this inconvenience, it was ordered by 
the justices of the peace at Christmas, 17 13, 'that the severall villages in 
Tineniouth parish doe from henceforth maintain and take care of the poor 
in each village, but that all the poor that are now charged upon the parish 
be taken care of as they formerly have been, and for the future noe village 
to be chargeable, but, as before-mentioned, each village for their own poor.'' 
The consequence of this order was to overburden the town of North 
Shields, the overseers of the poor for that township stating, in a petition 
presented to quarter sessions in January, 17 16/7, that there were more 
orders granted by the magistrates against them by _£ 6 5s. a quarter, than if 
the whole cess was well paid, and that 'till of late they had the help of 
Chirton, Preston, Tynemouth, and Cullercoats, and now the town of North 
Shields decays and the poor increases.' '■' 

By turning back a few years in the history of Shields it may be possible 
to detect the causes that led to the impoverishment of the town at the 
commencement of the eighteenth century. The hostmen of Newcastle had 
renewed their ancient quarrel. In 1684 complaints were made of the great 
damage sustained by that company by the loading of ships at the Low 
Lights.' Orders were made by the same society in 1691 for the seizure 
of all coal shipped at Shields by other than freemen.^ They were lighting 
against the natural tendency of trade to drift down to the harbour towns. 
As Roger North observed about this time, ' Ever since ships have been 
built larger, partly for better roads, and partly for better pilotage, the port 
towns have crept nearer the main ; as they say would happen upon the 
Tyne, and Shields would become the port town, if Newcastle had not a 
privilege that no common baker or brewer should set up between them 
and the sea.' * The common council of Newcastle, in alarm, referred to 
a committee, in the year 1690, the consideration of what means were 
necessary to be used ' for preventing the great growth of trade at Shields.' '^ 

' Sessions Order Books, vol. v. p. 173. 

' Sessions Papers, Christmas, 1716/7. The method of poor law administration inaugurated in 17/3 
continued until the formation of Tynemouth union in 1836. A select vestry for the concerns of the poor 
in North Shields township was appointed on November 4lh, 1S24, under the powers of the Poor Law Act 
of 1 81 9. 

' Hostmen's Books, Surt. Soc. No. 105, p. 142. ' Ibiil. p. 148. 

' North, Life 0/ Lord Keeper Guildford, p. 121. 

' Brand, Newcastle, vol. ii. p. 28, note, citing Common Council Books, September 30th, 1690. 



Large fleets of colliers rode daily all along the northern shore by the 
Low Lights. Proposals made in 1699 for building a quay at that point 
met with strenuous resistance from the Newcastle Trinity House,' but 
appear to have been eventually carried, for staiths existed in 1714 not only 
at the Low Lights but near the ferry-boat landing and at the west end 
of the town (the Long Staith).^ A little later, Warburton described North 
Shields as ' a large, well built and populous seaport town, situated at the 
very confluence of the river Tine with the sea, where there is a haven 
sufficient to contain a thousand sail of ships of the largest burden. It is 

The River Side near the Low Lights, iS-:. 

the harbour for Newcastle, drives a great trade in salt made of sea water, 
and in fish, which are here cured to admiration, particularly the incom- 
parable salmon, which they supply to most parts of Europe.'^ 

The salt trade had, however, already begun to decline, as may be seen 
from the following petition presented to quarter sessions : 

To the honourable the knights, citizens and burgesses in parliament assembled, the humble petition 
of the justices of the peace for the county of Northumberland at the quarter sessions for the said county 
held by adjournment at the castle of Newcastle-upon-Tyne, the 2ist day of March, 1701, humbly 
sheweth that great numbers of poor people who have been employed in the salt works at North Shields, 

' Richardson, Reprints, ' Conservatorship of the river Tyne,' p. 92 (from Trinity House papers). 
-■ Duke of Northumberland's MSS. ' Ibid. 


Cullcrcoats, and other places in the county, by the decay of the salt trade arc sett on begginy and 
become burthensome to the inhabitants of this county. Your petitioners therefore humbly pray that 
this honourable house will be pleased to take the same into consideration and do therein as in their 
great judgments shall be thought meet ; and your petitioners as in duty bound shall ever pray, etc. 
Given under the seal of the sessions at the sessions aforesaid.' 

Gradually this industry became obsolete. A survey taken in 1707 
shows ten salt pans in the hands of the Milbourne family, while seven were 
owned by John Airey, two by Michael Coatsworth, three by Luke Killing- 
worth's heirs, two by Mark Ogle, one by Sarah Chayter, and two by the 
heirs of William CoUinson, making twenty-seven in all. At the same time 
the Pow pans, formerly granted to Sir John Melton and Ralph Reed for 
twenty-one years from 1631, lay waste, being long since decayed.^ Si.xty 
years later all the salt pans upon the duke of Northumberland's property in 
North Shields had been taken down and houses built upon them.' A single 
salt manufactory existed till recently at the Low Lights. 

The decay of the salt industry undoubtedly inflicted temporary hardship 
upon the poorer classes, upon whose unskilled labour it largely depended.* 
Its place was soon taken, however, by the shipping industry, to which great 
impetus was given by the wars of the eighteenth century. Numerous 
masters and mariners came from Whitby and Ipswich to settle in North 
Shields. Shipbuilding commenced with the formation of a graving dock 
in 1752 by Mr. Edward Collingwood near the Bull King.' It is said 
thai during the American war as many as thirty ships were turned out 
amiually from the various shipbuilding yards in the town, several frigates 
and gun-brigs being built for the government. ° In 1778 a society, named 
the Union Society, was founded in North Shields for the insurance of 
vessels belonging to the port of Tyne,' and several other ship insurance 
associations and benefit societies were formed subsequently."* Various trades 
subservient to the shipping industry found a footing in the town,