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Wentworth Household Records

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Jurisdiction 1: FamilyDocument category 1: Correspondence
From region: Yorkshire, WestFrom place:
Relevant material from 1612 to 1638
Edited by Sylvia Thomas.

These transcriptions appear with the permission of Sheffield City Council, Libraries, Archives and Information: Sheffield Archives. WWM (Wentworth Woodhouse Muniments): reproduced with permission from The Milton (Peterborough) Estates Company and the Director of Communities, Sheffield City Council (the Wentworth Woodhouse papers have been accepted in lieu of Inheritance Tax by HM Government and allocated to Sheffield City Council).


Wentworth Woodhouse is in the parish of Wath-upon-Dearne, five miles from Rotherham and nine from Barnsley. It was the seat of the Wentworth family from the fourteenth century.

William Wentworth of Wentworth Woodhouse, baronet (1562—1614), ‘a wealthy Yorkshire landowner whose family had long been established in the West Riding, was lord of two manors and master of a yearly income of several thousand pounds. Something less than a nobleman, something greater than a country squire, he belonged to that rising aristocracy of wealth who counted themselves inferior to none. His wife [Anne] was the daughter and heiress of Sir Robert Atkinson of Stowell in Gloucestershire… Sir Robert had a house in London and it was here that his daughter gave birth to her son’ [Thomas, on 13 April 1593]. [Wedgwood, chapter 1]

Thomas Wentworth, first earl of Strafford (1593--1641), lord lieutenant of Ireland, was the second and eldest surviving son of William Wentworth. He was first elected to parliament in 1614, and again in 1620. His guiding belief was that there should be ‘a harmonious union betwixt the kinge, the nobles and Commons’ in order to achieve successful legislation (Cooper, Wentworth Papers, 153--5) but, as an opponent of the policies of the duke of Buckingham, he became allied to men hostile to the royal favourite.

Wentworth’s first wife Margaret died on 14 August 1622, and by 1624 he was looking for an heiress to be his new wife, eventually settling on Lady Arabella Holles (1608/9 – 1631), daughter of John Holles, first earl of Clare. They were married on 24 February 1624/5.

The influence of Buckingham, and of Sir John Savile, who was also hostile to Wentworth, resulted in the king’s decision to appoint him sheriff of Yorkshire in November 1625, so that he could no longer sit in Parliament. Over the next few years he continued to align himself with opponents of royal policy, refused to pay the forced loan raised to finance the war against France in 1626-7, and was imprisoned from June to December 1627.

Elected a knight of the shire again in 1628, he spoke in favour of the bill of right, whilst at the same time believing that only adequate financial resources would enable the king to govern in accordance with the law and tradition, a principle in which Wentworth had a profound belief. His moderation in opposition earned him elevation to the peerage as Baron Wentworth of Wentworth Woodhouse and baron of Newmarch and Oversley on 22 July 1628. This apparent change of sides was seen as controversial in Yorkshire.

After Buckingham’s death in August 1628 Wentworth was in December created Viscount Wentworth and on 25 December lord president of the north. He was successful in this office but ruthless in his methods, which made him a number of enemies.

His second wife died on 5 October 1631, and he was deeply affected, all the more because her family, with whom he was on poor terms, held him responsible. They had four children, three of whom survived. Wentworth married again in October 1632. His third wife was Elizabeth (c.1614 – 1688), daughter of Sir Godfrey Rodes of Great Houghton, Yorkshire. This marriage produced a daughter, Margaret (d. 1681).

On 12 January 1631/2 he was appointed lord deputy of Ireland, arriving in Dublin on 23 July 1633. Over the next six years he successfully and again ruthlessly exercised power on behalf of the king, increasing revenues for the crown, and also enriching himself, although opposing corruption. He again made powerful enemies. In August 1639 Charles I, whose government was under threat from Parliament and from the Scots covenanters, recalled Wentworth to England to become his chief councillor, making him in January 1639/40 lord lieutenant of Ireland and creating him earl of Strafford. On the illness of the earl of Northumberland, the official commander, Strafford was sent to lead the king’s forces in northern England in August 1640, but the situation was hopeless, and his authority declined rapidly. ‘Black Tom Tyrant’ was held responsible for the king’s disastrous policies and mistakes of the past ten years.

In November the Commons accused him of high treason and impeached him in the House of Lords. Strafford was so skilful in his own defence that the proceedings seemed likely to collapse, but the Commons passed a bill of attainder on 21 April 1641. In the face of intense public hysteria against him whipped up by his enemies the bill was passed and given assent by the king on 10 May (despite an earlier royal promise to save his life). He was beheaded on Tower Hill on 12 May 1641.

C.V.Wedgwood, Thomas Wentworth, First Earl of Strafford, 1593-1641: a Revaluation, London, 1961.

Oxford Dictionary of National Biography (ODNB): Thomas Wentworth.

J.P.Cooper, ed., Wentworth Papers, 1597-1628, Royal Historical Society, Camden Fourth Series, vol. 12, 1973.]

*The records are presented here in draft form and have not had final checking and editing for official publication by REED staff. Permission to cite this material must be sought from Sylvia Thomas.

Accounts of Ingram of Temple Newsam

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Jurisdiction 1: FamilyDocument category 1: Household accounts
From region: Yorkshire, WestFrom place:
Relevant material from 1612 to 1642
Accounts of Ingram of Temple Newsam*

Sir Arthur Ingram (before 1571-1642), financier and politician, was born in London, son of Hugh Ingram, a tallow chandler of Yorkshire origin and his wife Anne, daughter of Richard Goldthorpe, a haberdasher of York.

Sir Arthur took over his father’s business and became a successful money-lender, gaining influence with powerful men at court. As a result of such support he was returned as a member of parliament for the first time in 1609. An active parliamentarian all his life, Ingram sat for York during the 1620s. He collaborated with Sir Thomas, later Lord,Wentworth at various times during his career, particularly in the late 1620s, but they fell out in the early 1630s, and Ingram resigned his secretaryship. He subsequently attached himself to Henry Rich, 1st earl of Holland, an opponent of Wentworth. Sir Arthur married three times: first (by 1599) to Susan Brown (d. 1613); secondly (in 1613) to Alice Ferrers (d. 1615); and thirdly (in 1615) to Mary Greville. He spent his considerable wealth on building and furnishing his houses. His principal residence in Yorkshire was his house in York, built between 1616 and 1630 on the site of the old archbishop’s palace, next to the Minster. He died on 24 August 1642. He died in York and is buried in the Minster.

Sir Arthur Ingram’s Stewards’ Accounts:

John Matteson was steward for Sir Arthur Ingram. By the 1620s he had general oversight of all Ingram’s northern affairs, apart from the alum industry. He was in charge of estate management, collecting rents, holding manorial courts, leasing property, supervising farming and dealing with tenants and neighbours. He was also in charge of building operations at Sir Arthur’s three houses, at York, Sheriff Hutton and Temple Newsam, and had oversight of the household, sorting out supplies of provisions, and transport of goods and money between Ingram’s London residence and Yorkshire. In addition to all this Matteson acted as Ingram’s treasurer in Yorkshire. Matteson was assisted in his work by his nephew, another John Matteson. Christopher Ellison was also a steward, but he was probably subordinate to Matteson. John Matteson the elder may have died in December 1642, just four months after Sir Arthur.

Edmund Pawson’s notes:

Copies and abstracts from stewards’ accounts (1604—42) from the Temple Newsam archives were made by Edmund D Pawson. Pawson, with Sidney D Kitson, prepared the first guide book to Temple Newsam house after it was bought by Leeds Corporation in 1922. The archive was not acquired by Leeds City Library until 1938. He attempted to create a chronological sequence of entries from the various accounts, not all of which can now be traced among the WYL100/EA MSS at West Yorkshire Archive Service, Leeds. His transcriptions are selective, and do not necessarily help to decipher the handwriting of Sir Arthur Ingram’s steward John Matteson. The three separate hands involved in writing the original accounts quoted here have been identified. John Matteson’s is often very difficult; his servant Richard Stones sometimes wrote accounts on his behalf; Christopher Ellison (‘Kitt’) was also a steward for Sir Arthur Ingram, and wrote some of the accounts.

The Ingram records include evidence of the prominent role of musical performance in the life of a prosperous businessman’s household. Sir Arthur Ingram was willing to spend lavishly on his several organs, which were moved from house to house, even when finances were otherwise tight. He employed an organist, and a number of ‘singing boys’, who travelled to and from his various residences, and he regularly paid musicians to sing and play for himself and his guests. In addition his family owned and played their own instruments, including at least two harps. He also frequently brought in other kinds of entertainers, such as ‘the man that playes the birdes’, ‘the dog’, ‘the tonges’, ’the Jewes trumpes’ and ‘the Jugler’.

In contrast to the family, Sir Arthur’s steward, John Matteson, records many more modest visits to hostelries, where he paid for ‘the musicke’ at convivial evenings with friends.

Oxford Dictionary of National Biography (ODNB): Sir Arthur Ingram.
Anthony F. Upton, Sir Arthur Ingram, c.1565-1642: a study in the origins of an English landed family, Oxford, 1961.
Sidney D Kitson and Edmund D Pawson, Temple Newsam, 7th edn, Leeds City Council, 1936.
Edmund D Pawson, manuscript notes (WYL178).
Catalogues to WYL100 and WYL178 at WYAS Leeds.

* These transcriptions appear with the permission of West Yorkshire Archive Service, Leeds (www.wyjs.org.uk/archives). The transcription and accompanying detail are provided by the REED West Riding co-editor Sylvia Thomas.

Percy Family Accounts

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Jurisdiction 1: FamilyDocument category 1: Household accounts
From region: Percy Family RecordsFrom place: Alnwick, Northumberland
Relevant material from 1575 to 1642
Accounting documents containing dramatic records extend from 1575-1642 at the Archives of the Duke of Northumberland, Alnwick Castle, Northumberland. Moved to the Castle from Syon House, Middlesex, they indicate that the Percies during this time supported performing arts generously. The family paid musicians, travelling players, jesters, and purchased musical instruments. Their entourage included ‘Iacomo the Italyan’ who performed a ‘comody’.

Most of the MSS are paper rolls, the shortest two sheets, and the longest 22 sheets. All sheets are attached serially. Although some sheets are torn, most are clear and legible. Accounting time periods, usually from January or February of one year to January of February of the next, are defined at the heads of the rolls. The rolls are divided into different paragraphs, labelled ‘Stables’, ‘Liveries’, ‘Rewards’, ‘Foreign payments’, etc. The sections ‘Rewards’ and ‘Foreign payments’ are the most likely to include dramatic records, but these references can occur almost anywhere. English predominates, but occasional Latin phrases occur as well.

The draft account booklets are less straightforward than the rolls and present many complications. Writing in the drafts is less legible, and there are many cancellations and corrections. For the booklets, beginning and ending dates within the year are difficult to ascertain. Fortunately, all the accounting documents included in this posting are available in microfilms listed in British Manuscripts Project: A Checklist of the Microfilms Prepared in England and Wales for the American Council of Learned Societies 1941-1945, compiled by Lester K. Born (Washington: The Library of Congress, 1955).

However, after the passage of over 70 years, most Checklist shelf designations for Percy accounting documents are incorrect. Updated shelf designations and descriptions for the selected records are furnished here, thanks to Dr James Gibson. He was assisted by the Duke of Northumberland’s Archivist, Mr Christopher Hunwick, and his staff. Support for their work was contributed by REED-NE and Point Park University.

The years covered by these dramatic records, 1575-1642, coincide with the times of the 12th, 13th, and 14th earls of Northumberland, all of whom lived in the South. Their turbulent lives were frequently associated with lethal violence. For instance, the 12th Earl, Henry Percy (circa 1532-21 June 1585), became implicated in plots to free Mary and was sent to the Tower on 12 December 1584. There he died by murder or suicide.

Most of the dramatic records are associated with the 13th earl, Henry A. Percy (May 1564-5 November 1632), whose principal residence was always Petworth in West Sussex. [...] The 14th earl, Algernon Percy (29 September 1602 - 13 October 1668) sought compromise between Charles I and Parliament. But for REED purposes he is known for attending plays and buying playbooks in 1638 or early 1639 (see U.I.5/50 sheet [3] and Explanatory Note).

Since the Percy family travelled widely and owned property throughout England, the locality of any given performance or payment is not always easily definable. However, historical context can give some indications of place. For instance, the family was required to stay in the South from 1574 or 1575, and so most of the dramatic records after this date are probably associated with this region. Other records include clear local references, such as the payment to Sir Francis Vere’s players in Holland (U.I.3/2, sheet [4]). Further study may help identify additional specific localities.

-- Robert Alexander, 2018

Beaumont of Whitley Beaumont Records

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Jurisdiction 1: FamilyDocument category 1: Correspondence
From region: Yorkshire, WestFrom place: Beaumont of Whitley Beaumont
Relevant material from 1604 to 1608
Sir Richard Beaumont, of Whitley Beaumont, received letters from Sir Thomas Beaumont and Sir Henry Savile with news of entertainments at court. The first letter (dated 21 February 1603/4) alludes to the pageants prepared by London for King James I\'s coronation entry into the city. The second letter (dated 18 February 1607/8) notes the masque, Ben Jonson\'s \"Hue and Cry after Cupid\", produced for the marriage of James Lord Ramsay, Viscount Haddington, and Elizabeth Radcliffe. The Beaumont collection also contains an undated, highly abbreviated list of dances with choreographies.

In the transcription of the records: an asterisk (*) marks an item that appears in the left margin of the manuscript; diamond brackets (< >) indicate places where damage to the manuscript makes the text illegible; a vertical line ( | ) marks the end of a page in a manuscript; and square brackets set off material that has been cancelled or crossed through.

Beckwith of Selby, Travel Expenses, Steward's Accounts

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Jurisdiction 1: FamilyDocument category 1: Household accounts
From region: Yorkshire, WestFrom place: Beckwith of Selby
Relevant material from 1551 to 1555
Sir Leonard Beckwith of Selbywas, according to W. Wilberforce Morrell "one of those enterprising individuals who elevated their social position and built up their houses on the ruins of the monasteries" (The History and Antiquities of Selby (Selby, 1867), 134.In 1541 Selby Abbey had been granted to Sir Ralph Sadler, who received licence from the king in the same year to transfer the manor to Leonard Beckwith. Selby was located on the River Ouse about 14 miles south of York. Taking advantage of his offices at St. Mary's Abbey in York, Fountains, and Selby and of his position as one of the commissioners "for ordering of bells, chalices, and other church goods" (Ibid.) for Yorkshire, Beckwith steadily amassed considerable property in Selby and elsewhere in the county. He served as High Sheriff of Yorkshire in 1550, the same year in which he was knighted by King Edward VI, and he died in 1557.The terms of his will suggest that he remained faithful to Roman Catholicism throughout his years of service to three Protestant regimes.

Methley Records

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Jurisdiction 1: FamilyDocument category 1: Household accounts
Jurisdiction 2: FamilyDocument category 2: Journals/Diaries
From region: Yorkshire, WestFrom place: Methley
Relevant material from 1443 to 1614
Methley: Records of Performance

The ancient village of Methley and, just to the west, Methley Manor were located about eight miles southeast of Leeds near the confluence of the River Aire and the River Calder. The records of performance in the manor house, home of Sir Robert Waterton, include a celebration of Hogmanay during the Christmas season of 1443-1444 and rewards to travelling musicians. For the village of Methley, we have evidence of several performances of a parish play and a rush-bearing at Whitsuntide in 1614. In both cases, we are fortunate that these records survive, for they are found in sources largely devoted to other matters: Richard Whitwood's manorial account and Richard Shann's personal miscellany or commonplace book.

Document Descriptions and Notes appear after the transcriptions of the records. The transcriptions have been marked up in accordance with the following editorial procedures:

Italics mark extensions of manuscript abbreviations.
A horizontal line | marks the end of a folio or page.
Square brackets [ ] set off text crossed through or otherwise cancelled. Caret brackets < > set off damaged text.
Asterisks set off material in the left margin.
Superscript circles set off material in the right margin.

DISCLAIMER: The material below is offered in pre-publication form. It has not received editorial attention from REED’s staff paleographers and Latinists, nor have the notes and other editorial apparatus been checked for completeness and accuracy.

Slingsby Household Accounts

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Jurisdiction 1: FamilyDocument category 1: Household accounts
From region: Yorkshire, WestFrom place: Slingsby of Red House
Relevant material from 1610 to 1628
The Slingsby family was established in the Knaresborough area from the fourteenth century, having the manor and extensive estates at Scriven, and property elsewhere in the West Riding. In the sixteenth century they also acquired the manor house at Scagglethorpe, commonly called "The Red House" and the nearby manors of Moor Monkton and Wilstrop. The original Red House was replaced in the early seventeenth century by the one whose remains partially survive, having been partly demolished and refaced in the nineteenth century, converted into a school in 1902, and in the present century adapted again as private dwellings.

The builder of the new house was Sir Henry Slingsby, knight (1560-1634), who lived there with his wife, Frances Vavasour (d. 1611), by whom he had 14 children. [...]

The accounts also document expenses at private houses: Walton in August 1614, Bishopthorpe at Christmas that year, and Hickleton in January 1620-21. Walton was probably the house of Sir Henry’s daughter Alice and son-in-law Thomas Waterton 3 miles south east of Wakefield; the house of Sir John Jackson, where Sir Henry also stayed in 1614, and in January 1620-21, is probably at Hickleton, 6 miles north west of Doncaster. The grand Elizabethan house there, built by the lawyer Sir Francis Rodes for his son Peter, was in the ownership of the Jackson family by 1606. It was replaced by a new hall in the 1740s; Bishopthorpe was probably the Archbishop of York’s seat, 2½ miles south of York.

These transcriptions have been prepared by Sylvia Thomas and Ted McGee and appear with the permission of the Yorkshire Archaeological and Historical Society and Special Collections, Leeds University Library.