THE LANGSTAFFS OF TEESDALE AND WEARDALE
                                                                                             
 BY
                                                                           GEORGE BLUNDELL LONGSTAFF
                                                                                         Transcribed
                                                                                                by

                                                                                                              CAROLE A.M. JOHNSON
                                                                                                                    COPYRIGHT 2001
                                                                                                                    All Rights Reserved
 

 

                                                                                             PART 1 
Contents 

- 1 - Early Notices *** 1 
- 11 - The Name *** 19
- 111- The Family Christian Names *** 40 
- 1V - Wills *** 41 
- V - Parish Registers ***42 
- V1 - The Quaker Contractor of Auckland***52
- V11 - The Langstaffs of Butterknowle***96
- V111 - The Langstaffs of Butterknowle (continued)***117

Appendix
- 1 - Langstaff Marriages
- 11 - Dexham Wills
- 111 - Raby Monthly Meetings
- 1V - Richmond Wills - Eastern Deaneries
- V - Richmond Wills - Western Deaneries
- V1 - P.C.C. Wills 
- V11 - Miscellaneous Wills - V111 - York Wills 
- 1X - Carlisle Wills 
- X - Lincoln Wills 
- X1 - Early Court Rolls 
- X1 - Chancery Proceedings 
- X1V - Dixon and Raylton Wills 
- XV - Miscellanea 
- XV1 - Later Court Rolls 
- XV11 - Further Parish Registers 
- XV111 - Blundell of Liverpool and Lincoln 
- X1X - Further Marriages 


PEDIGREES 

NO.
1. Langstaffe of Middlestone, St. Andrew, Auckland, co. Durham.
2. Langstaffe of West Auckland, co. Durham. 
3. Langstaff of Butterknowle, co. Durham. Issue of the first marriage. 
4. Langstaffe of Butterknowle, co. Durham. Issue of the second marriage. 
5. Langstaff of Greenhead and Stanghow, co. Durham. 
6. Sawyer of co. Kent and Read of co. Sussex. 
7. Newby of West Auckland, co. Durham and Barningham, co. York. 
8. Raylton of Bowes, co. York. 
9. Dixon of Raby and Cockfield, co. Durham. 
10. Dixon of Cockfield. (continued) 
11. Dixon of Cockfield and Richardson of Sunderland. 
12. Dixon of Cockfield and Iansco of Laybourn, co. York. 
13. Dixon of Cockfield and Backhouse and Pease of Darlington, co. Durham. 
14. Thomas Dixon of Bishop Auckland, co. Durham. 
15. Dixon of Raby, co. Durham. The elder branch. 
16. Dixon of Rokeby, co. York and Staindrop, co. Durham. 
Notes to Pedigrees: 9 - 16 
17. Coates of Lynesack, co. Durham. 
18. Marley of Houghton - le - Side, co. Durham. 
19. Langstaffe of Mickleton, co. York. 
19a. Hugginson of Romaldkirk, co. York. 
20. Langstaffe of Hunderthwaite and Hury, co. York. 
21. Langstaffe of Romaldkirk and Mickleton, co. York. 
22. Langstaffe of Hunderthwaite and Romaldkirk, co. York. 
23. Langstaff of Lunedale, co. York and Stanhope, co. Durham.
24. Langstaff of Richmond, co. York. 
25. Langstaff of Hunslet and Holbeck, co. York. 
25a Langstaff of Cromwell, co. Nottingham. 
26. Langstaff of Whitby, co. York. 
27. Langstaff of Boulby in Easington, co. York. 
28. Langstaff of Langthorne in Bedale, co. York. 
29. Langstaff of Arkengarthdale, co. York. 
30. Langstaff of Morley, Baldershaw and Lutterington, co. Durham. 
31. Langstaff of Barnard Castle, co. Durham. 
32. Langstaff of Stainmore, co. Westmorland. 
33. Langstaff of Caldwell, co. York. 
34. Langstaff of Carlisle, co. Cumberland. 
35. Langstaff of Maldridge, co. Durham. 
36. Langstaffe of Bishop Auckland, co. Durham. 
37. Langstaff of Bishop Auckland, Another branch. 
38. Langstaffe of Bishop Auckland, Yet another branch. 
39. Langstaffe of Raby. 
40. Langstaff of Marske and Normanby, co. York and Andover, co. Hants. 
41. Langstaff of Low Bishoply, co. Durham. 
42. Langstaff of Mickleton, co. York and Middleton in Teesdale, co. Durham. 
43. Langstaff of Kelton in Lunedale and of East Briscoe in Baldersdale, co. York. 
44. Langstaff of Wolsingham, co. Durham. 
45. Longstaff of Arkengarthdale, co. York. 
46. Longstaffe of Bowes, co. York. 
47. Longstaff of Cold Rowley, co. Durham. 
48. Longstaff of Kirby Stephen, co. Westmorland and London. 
49. Longstaff of Kirby Stephen, co. Westmorland and co. Durham. 
50. Longstaff of Monkwearmouth, co. Durham. 
51. Longstaffe of Darlington, co. Durham. 
52. Longstaffe of Darlington, co. Durham. Another branch. 
53. Longstaff of Horsington, co. Lincoln. 
54. Longstaff of Roughton, co. Lincoln. 
55. Longstaff of Donnington and Dumsby, co. Lincoln. 
56. Longstaff of Hagzaby and West Keal, co. Lincoln. 
57. Longstaff of Halton Holegate, co. Lincoln. 
58. Longstaff of Spilaby, co. Lincoln. 


Notes to Pedigree 58. 


59. Greenwell of Greenwell and Witton - le - Wear, co. Durham. 
59a. Lax of Barton, co. Durham. 
60. Blundell of Warrington, co. Lancaster and the City of Lincoln. 
61. Straw of the City of Lincoln and Blundell of Lincoln and Liverpool.
62. Samuelson of Banbury, co. Oxford. 
62a Robson of Bishop Auckland, co. Durham. 
63. Longstaff of Great Ayton, co. York. 
54. Longstaff of Barnard Castle, co. Durham. Another branch. 
65. Longstaffe of Brusselton, St. Helen, Auckland, co. Durham. 
66. Longstaff of St. John, Stanwick, co. York. 


 

CHAPTER 1 


EARLY NOTICES 


More than half a century ago, Mr. William Hilton Longstaff, M.R.C.S., an antiquary himself the grandson of an antiquary and the father of the Historian of Darlington ___ had some correspondence with the Authors father, in the course of which he propounded an ingenious theory as to the origin of their common surname:-


His grandfather, the Rev. William Longstaffe, Vicar of Kelloe, co. Durham, was the son of a certain George Longstaffe of Soulby in the parish of Kirkby Stephen in Westmorland, where his ancestors had long been settled. Now in Carmarthenshire and Radnorshire, South Wales, there are two villages, called Llanstephens and Llanstephen, by a process of corruption to rude and untutored Sassanach became Langstaffe of Kirkby Stephen. Truly a pretty theory! Its author sealed his letters with a coat of "a chevron between two quarter staves," which he looked upon as a clever piece of "canting heraldry." I venture to believe that the worthy antiquary's ancestors were as Saxon as my own and that his coat - armour and his patronymic admit explanation. 


2 Early Notices 


The name until quite recent years was rarely heard in the south of England, but yet there are parts of the country in which it is commoner than Smith. It is not, however, a name of distinction, but belongs to a family of yeoman, who, in their capacity of tillers of the soil or workers in stone or iron, doubtless did their share of the worlds work in the good old times. They are not a "knightly" family; indeed there is much doubt whether any Langstaff or Longstaff before the eighteenth century could rightly claim the rank of "Gentleman."But after the Revolution there is ample proof that several individuals, certain "statesmen" of the Westmorland branch, advanced in education, wealth and social position. 


Those who are ignorant of the nature and profusion of our records might well fancy that so obscure a family would have left no mark in written history. Let us see.

In the year 1219 [Michaelmas, S Henry 111.], the Sheriff of Norfolk was commanded by the oath of twelve knights and free tenants of the neighbourhood of Panneworth and Neerford to make diligent enquiry whether Isaac de Norwich and certain other persons for him___some twenty in number, and including Roger de Pavilly de Cressingham, Plato, Lamb sergeant [serviens], John de Neerford, Langstaff, Roger de Chively.....William Scollet .....and Moses the Jew __ did destroy and waste the lands of Peter de Neerford and his men, and did break his houses and those of his men and did beat and ill treat those men, and did thereupon cause the same Peter and his men many other damages and grievances to the great detriment of their bodies and chattels as the same Peter alleges .....and to access the damages, etc. 
Jews' Plea Roll, No.1 m. 4 dorso 

It is not clear whether Langstaff was a servant of Isaac the Jew of Norwich, neither is the issue of the enquiry, his guilt or otherwise recorded but there stands the name. Not John Langstaff, William Langstaff, or Thomas Langstaff, but simply Langstaff, as if forsooth, he were a Peer of the Realm! Before the thirteenth century, surnames were not common among the poorer people, so that it is not impossible that this man was the first to hear the name. It is too much to assume that he bore this name because of his great strength in that he wielded a longer quarter staff (the weapon of the churl) than his comperes?_ He might indeed have even been a rival of Little John of Sherwood fame; can William Scollet be Will Scarlett? And who may Plato be?" 

A.D. 1226 Sept 30, Lincoln. On the morrow of St. Michael, 10 Henry 11.

Between Robert Huthehaued and Gumnilda his wife, plaintiffs, and Robert Langstaff deforcient of two and a half acres of land in Frskene [now Freskney], and between the same plaintiffs and ......... and an assize of dead ancestors was summoned between them and Robert and Gumnilda quitclaimed all rights to the tenants and their heirs, and for this the tenants paid a fine of six marks in silver. 
Feet of Fines, Lincolnshire, 10 Henry 111, No. 135. 


3 Early Notices 


July 1270, At an inquisition in co. Lincoln touching a partition of the lands of the Earl of Winchester, Thomas Langstaff of Karington was one of the jurors. 
Inquisitio Post Mortem, 54 Henry 111. No. 13. 

In 1274, Gul Logstaf [William Longstaff] was bailiff of the hundred of Grimeshowe, Nortffolche. 
Rotuli hundredorum, vol. I, p.439. 

A.D. 1279, 7 Edward 1 John Langstaff of Cateryk, co. York, tumbled of a cart horse into the waters of the Swale and was drowned Coroner's Roll.

This is the first family misfortune recorded, but since the coroner's court declared that no person was to blame, we may hope that John was sober at the time, but the Swale was in spate and the ford dangerous. 

In 1292, Robert Langstaff of Dent [near Sedburgh], co. York, was one of the sureties for John the son of Richard Fraunceys, who was find 40s. at York for contempt. 
De Banco Roll, 2 Edward 1 . 

In A.D. 1308, Robert Langestaf, imprisoned at York has letters to the Sheriff of York to bail him until the first assize.
Close Roll, 2 Edward 11, m. 22 

So much for Sir Henry Cole's print of the roll in "Documents Illustrative of English History in the 13th and 14th Centuries."p.300. An examination of the original documents shows that there is no stop before Langstaff, the names reading thus:- Roger de Pavely de Cressingham, Plato, Lamb, serjeant [serviens]of John de Neerford Langstaff, Roger de Chively....William Scollet....Here there is an ambiguity (1) Sir Henry Coles reading may be correct, the stop being omitted; (2) John might be from a place called Nereford Longstaff. (3) The names may be transposed and should read, John Langstaff de Nereford. Or (4) Langstaff might indicate the Trade or office of John de Nereford. The name is written and printed with one "L" sign but there is a mark of contraction indicating that the name was Langstaffe or Langstaff. 

For the late Mr.W. H. D. Langstaffs view see Chapter 11 

Panworth and Narford are near Swafham. 


A.D. 1316, 10 Edward 2, At Colchester, John Longstaff of Bomstede [Helion Bumpstead or Steeple Bumpstead] was taken and indicted at the town of Fros-well [Freshwell] for robbing the house of Galfrid le Walsche in Little Samford [Little Sampford] and stealing two sheep belonging to said Gilfrid-price 3s. When he pleaded not guilty and put himself upon the county, for good or evil, the jury said he was guilty and he was hanged. No chattels. M.29 At the same time and place aforesaid Simon Langstaff was tried for stealing three sheep [bidentes] from John le Cloyer, price 6s in Waldene, [Saffron Walden] he pleaded not guilty and 

4 Early Notices 


was tried by the jury of the Hundred of Hudde [now Uttlesford], who said that the said Simon was guilty of the Robbery. He was hanged. Chattels value 40s for which the town of Assenden [?Assington, co. Suffolk] answered. 
Quo Warrento roll - Essex, M /// 

With the execution of these sentences, the lowest depth of family misfortunes was reached. It is a comfort to note that these victims of a cruel penal code, belonged to the other branch of the family. The next death is a more glorious one. 

Robert Langstaff, an archer with Lord de Neville in the Scottish wars, was slain there before the years 1726. Military Roll of English Musters 

Robert Bruce invaded England in 1322 and again in 1326. 
We shall in later times find Langstaffs associated with the Nevilles, Lords of Raby, co. Durham and Middleham co. York. 

Robert or Robin was a common name for this period, for Robin Hood loomed large as a popular hero. In the forest Robin may then well have been what Jack is now, at sea---- At any rate, both in their several ways were addicted to to drawing the Longbow. 

A.D. 1326. At an inquition, held in Kirnington, co. Lincoln on July 3, 20. Edward 2, the jury said that the King would not suffer any loss, by granting to Agnes Langstaff Idenea, who was the wife of Robert Langstaff. And Agnes and Emma, daughters of the said Idonea. License to retain for their lifetime, 1 toft and 6 bovats of land [i.e.: a messuage and about 120 acres of land] in Kirk Wrayington, for which they paid yearly 33s - 4d to Robert de Saltzfletby who held of the King in Capite by military service 
Calendarium Inquisition, post mortem seive esquitarum Edward 2 Page 324


5 Early Notices 

In the same year, some ladies paid a fine of one mark for leave to acquire the same premises 
Rotulorum Originalium in Curia Scaccarn Abbreviatic 

M.32 1 Edward 111, vol. Ii; p.264 

In 1343, William Langstaff jointly with William the son of Stephen Yeson held of John de Snetterton, a citizen of Norwich, the eighth part of a knights fee at Linford.
Blomesfields, "A History of Norwich"vol.i p.550 

A.D. 1397, Hillary Term, 20 Richard 11, Thomas Rokeby senior, claimed in a plea at York, damages against Thomas Langstaff of Mickleton, co. York and divers other persons for cutting down trees and underwood belonging to the plaintive at Lonton in Tesedale. 
De Banco Roll, m.77, dorso 

A.D. 1417, 29, September. Record of proceedings before Rac. Norton and other justices at Westminster, Michaelmas, term 3 Hen.V. Thos. Clarrel claims from Edward Fitzwilliam a messuage, 100 acres of land and 12 acres of meadow in Wadworth by Tilchyll [in Doncaster] 

Which Adam de Roderham, chaplain, gave to Wm. Clarrel and Agnes his wife for life, with remainder to Thos, son of Wm. Clarrel in fee tail, which ought to descend to the plaintiff, being the son of William, son of Thomas Clarrel and cousin and heir of the said Thos.son of William. Edw. Fitzwilliam having called to warranty, Katherine Lewer, and she Wm. Langstaf. 

Clarrel recovers the land claimed. [A258] Yorkshire Deeds, "Yorkshire Archaeological Journal" p.67. 

A. D. 1420, Michaelmas, 8, Henry V. John Langstaff makes a claim against one John Blakeford for forcibly taking his horse at Kingston-juxta-Yevele, co. Somerset. [Kingston juxta Yeovil]
De Banco Roll, m. 490. 

A.D. 1429. William Langstaff of Bemynster [Beaminster] in the county of Dorset, webbe [weaver], defendant in a plea of trespass 
De Banco Roll, 7 Henry V1, m.39. 

A.D. 1434. John Langstaff of Mikelton in the parish of Rumbaldkirk, co. York, who held lands in Cotherston, of Lord Fitzhugh, was defendant in a plea of trespass for depasturing cattle.
De Banco Roll , 32 Henry V1. 

A.D. 1426, 22, November, 5, Henry V1. John Langstaff, Thomas Langstaff and Richard Langstaff, fined for trespass with cattle and cutting green wood.
ijd and id. 

* For an account of the exclusive lawsuit, called a "recovery" see F. Pollocks, "Land Laws" 
pp. 78-80 


6 Early Notices 


A. D. 1452, 30, November, 31 Henry V1. Emme, late wife of John Langestaf, James Langstaf, Thomas Langstaf, Richard Langstaf, Thomas Langstaf, jnr; fined for cutting wood, id. Each. 
A.D. 1456, 35 Henry V1. Rae Langstaff was a free tenant at Mickleton 
A.D. 1468, 9 Edward 1V. Gul Langstaff was a forester at Bowbank [close to Mickleton]
A.D. 1384, 26 Henry V111. Edmund Langstaff was a free tenant. 
A.D. 1549, 5, August, 3 Edward V1. John Langstaffe and the widow of William Langstaffe, free tenants at Cotherstone. [close by] 
A.D. 1564, William Langstaffe and Anthony Langstaffe were free tenants 
A.D. 1595, Michael Langstaff, free tenant. Mickleton court Rolls. 

The first entry of a Langstaff in the Durham Episcopal Court Rolls or records or proceedings of the Manorial Courts, termed Halmotes is in 1486 

1486, Wolsingham, 4 November, 4 Bishop John:- 
Stanhop, John Forster, For an assault made upon William Langstaff against the peace. xxd. 

William Langstaff, because he drew blood against the said William Langstaff, against the peace 
iijs.izijd. 

1486, Wolsingham, 14 October, 3 Bishop Richard:- 
Stanhop, Richard Collynwod, for an assault made upon Edward Langstaff, and his head broken and blood drawn.
Iijs.ixijd. 

Halmote Books: P.R.O.Durham Cursitors records.


The Langstaffs appear to have been somewhat lax in their ideas of property and what is worse they seem to have taken advantage of the unprotected, for again in 1499 we learn that Amicia Pykering, widow, claimed 100s. damages against James Langstaff of Sedburgh, Yeoman, for depasturing cattle in her close at Hebblethwaite, Co. York. 


De Banco Roll, 14 Henry V11 m. 20 


* These fragmentary references to the doings and misdoings of the Langstaffs of Mickleton from 1426 - 1452 will be found fully met out in Appendix V1;
pp clri-clviii
----------- 
Free tenants were doubtless free holders of the manor 
Observe that the Prince Bishops of the County Palatine date the year by their tenure of office; Durham was the Bishoperie per exellence as we may see from the following entry in the Registers, St. James, Dukes Place, London:- 

1689, October 1. Henry Burdon, w and Eliz. Rountree, s of Stokton in Bishoprick, mar. 

William was fined again in 1494 but Edward was repeatedly in trouble with the manorial authorities.
For details, see Appendix V1 pp. Clxii clxiii 

 
 

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