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History of Tudhoe Village

The History of Tudhoe Village:
Dissent and Rebellion in County Durham

by Jeremy Hutson

This article describes the history of Tudhoe Village in County Durham, in the north-east of England. Tudhoe is now a farming and residential village near Spennymoor, about 5 miles south of the City of Durham.

Postcard 1900
Same view in 2000
Tudhoe Village on a postcard from ca. 1900 … and a similar view ca. 2000

My own research has focussed on the period from 1560 to 1760. In this period, for Tudhoe itself, I have worked mostly from original documents (deeds, rentals, wills, court records, tax records, etc.), particularly those in the Salvin and Fleming papers at Durham County Record Office (D/Sa/xxx and D/Fle/xxx). For the years before 1560, I have trawled through translations of documents in the Durham Cathedral Archives (DCA) and various printed volumes. However, to set Tudhoe’s history in a wider context, I have drawn extensively on published work.

This is still a work in progress, and there are places where all I have are notes of topics still to investigate.

Note: at the request of Durham County Record Office, all copies of documents in their collections have been removed from this page. Many of the links to images of documents thus do not work. My apologies for this.

Tudhoe Hall and its outbuildings from the south-east … and the Hall from the north-east

First published 1998. Most recent updates in January to May 2024:
• Described the topography of the area in more detail;
• Added a fuller description of old roads around Tudhoe;
• Added sections about Roman and Anglo-Saxon times;
• Described mediaeval military service for common people;
• Described events that followed the Norman Conquest, including the origins of the Prince Bishops, Durham Priory and Durham Cathedral;
• Added material about the establishment of Tudhoe Village in the 12th century, under the influence of the Bulmers of Brancepeth;
• Expanded the description of Tudhoe in the 13th century, separating the roles of two different knights named Sir Hugh Gubyon and showing that the earlier one fought for Simon de Montfort, not King Henry III, in the Barons’ War of 1263-65;
• Described the Scottish wars of the 13th and 14th centuries that were likely to affect life in Tudhoe;
• Added new material about Tudhoe in the 14th century, showing that the Nevilles had sold Tudhoe in the 13th century and that John Lord Neville bought it back from the heirs of Sir Hugh Gubyon (the Ogles) in 1371. The Nevilles then expanded the village substantially;
• Added a fuller description of the Neville family, Lords of Tudhoe between around 1200 and again from 1371 to 1569;
• Added Durham details for the Pilgrimage of Grace (rebellion against Henry VIII) in 1536;
• Added information for the period between the Pilgrimage of Grace and the Rebellion in the North;
• Described King Charles I’s progress past Tudhoe in 1633;
• Reinstated extended quotations from sources that were omitted in the transition to WordPress.


Earlier Histories
Village Plan
County Durham in Roman times
The Anglo-Saxon period
Military Service in Mediaeval Times
The Norman Conquest and its Aftermath
The 12th Century
   The Establishment of Tudhoe Village
   Bishop Hugh de Puiset and Boldon Book
   English lands in France
The 13th Century
  Tudhoe in the 13th Century
  The two Sir Hugh Gubyons
The 14th Century
  The First War of Scottish Independence, 1296-1328
  The Second War of Scottish Independence, 1332-1357
  The Border Reivers
  English Claims to the throne of France
  The Battle of Neville’s Cross
  Invasions of 1372, 1385, 1388 and 1402
  Tudhoe in the 14th Century: Ogles, Nevilles and village expansion
The Nevilles of Raby and Brancepeth
The 15th Century
The 16th Century
   The Pilgrimage of Grace, 1536
   Between the Rebellions: 1537-1569
   The Rebellion in the North, 1569
The growth of private ownership, 1570-1641
   Tudhoe Hall before the Civil War
     Sir Henry Woodrington, Border Reiver
     Ralph Salvin, Jesuit Priest
Recusancy in Tudor and Stuart Tudhoe
The Visit of King Charles I, 1633
The Civil War and Commonwealth, 1642-1660
The Salvins of Tudhoe, 1665-1756
   Ralph Salvin of Tudhoe, 1665-1705
   Ralph Salvin of Tudhoe, 1705-1729
   The Jacobite rebellion of 1715 and its aftermath
   The death of Ralph Salvin, 1729
   The next generation: Jerrard, Bryan, William and Edward Salvin, 1729-1800
Tenants at Tudhoe Hall, 1756 onwards
Other Tudhoe Farms
Rights of Way
Old buildings in Tudhoe
   Tudhoe Hall
   The Academy
   Tudhoe House
   Tudhoe Villa
   South Farm
   North Farm
   White House Farm
   The Green Tree
   Tudhoe Mill
Coal mines before the 19th century
Spennymoor 1840-1870: railways, coal mines and ironworks

Documents 1330-1569
Lists of Tudhoe residents 1570-1770
Prominent Tudhoe families

Old maps of the area from 1857 onwards are available online; the side-by-side comparison of old and new maps at the National Library of Scotland is particularly useful.


Tudhoe Village lies about five miles south of Durham City, just outside Spennymoor, a mile or so to the west of the Great North Road (now the A167). The village is now a quiet backwater, its green a cul-de-sac that runs down from the main road towards the river Wear. In former times, however, Tudhoe lay at the centre of a network of roads: at the south-east of the village was Five Lane Ends, from which roads ran to Durham and further north by way of Sunderland Bridge and Croxdale, west to Bishop Auckland and Barnard Castle by way of Middlestone Moor, and south to Piercebridge by way of (Kirk) Merrington. These roads were recognised and placed under the management of Turnpike Trusts by Acts or Parliament in 1745-47, but had existed for centuries before that. They are shown, somewhat schematically, on a map of County Durham published for Thomas Jefferys in 1768. A lane also led to the Great North Road at Low Butcher Race. From the north-west of the village, lanes ran via Whitworth to Byers Green, to the Great North Road near Sunderland Bridge, and across a ford to Brancepeth Castle and village on the far side of the river.

Tudhoe Village is now dwarfed by Spennymoor, an industrial town that grew up around the Tudhoe iron works in the 19th century. Historically, Spenny Moor was a vast common of scrub land that lay between and was shared by the villages of Tudhoe, Merrington, Sunderland Bridge and Hett. The topography is shown on the relief map. The modern town of Spennymoor lies only a few fields from Tudhoe, but the contours are such that it cannot be seen from most of the village, and Tudhoe today gives the impression that it is still an isolated country village.

Relief map

For most of its history, Tudhoe has been in the parish of Brancepeth. The parish church of St. Brandon’s, dating from the 12th century, was one of the finest village churches in County Durham until its destruction by fire in 1998. Brancepeth lies across the River Wear from Tudhoe; there has never been a bridge, and the ford was not an easy one. In winter, it was often impassable, and Tudhoe baptisms, weddings and burials then took place at Whitworth. Because of this, Tudhoe was always seen (from Brancepeth) as an isolated outpost. Tudhoe’s own Anglican churches, Holy Innocents and St. David’s, were not built until 1866 and 1880, respectively, though there is a large Catholic church, dedicated to St. Charles Borromeo, which was founded in 1869.

Earlier Histories

Tudhoe receives scant coverage in the standard histories of County Durham. Hutchinson’s History and Antiquities of the County Palatine of Durham (1785-94) includes just a few lines about Tudhoe (in the section on Whitworth). Tudhoe is not described in R. Surtees’ great History and Antiquities of the County Palatine of Durham, published between 1816 and 1840, which is the most comprehensive source available for most of the rest of County Durham: Surtees died before he finished his coverage of Darlington Ward. H. Conyers Surtees tried to fill the gap in R. Surtees’ coverage with his Parish Histories in 1919-29, and his pamphlet History of the Parishes of Tudhoe and Sunnybrow (1925) contains useful original information. J. J. Dodd published an anecdotal and entertaining History of the Urban District of Spennymoor (1897), but he seldom quoted his sources and his information is often unreliable. Dodd took much of his material on the earlier history of the district verbatim from other printed histories, including R. Surtees and a pamphlet by John Tate entitled The Early History of Spennymoor. A later book by J. Reavley on The History of Spennymoor (1935) is based closely on Dodd, again with much copied verbatim. More recently, Tony Coia published an excellent but brief account entitled Tudhoe St Charles Parish 1858-1983 . After most of my own work was done, this was expanded and updated by Tony Coia and Bob Hall as Parish of Tudhoe St Charles 1858-2008.

Almost the only published first-hand account of Tudhoe before 1800 is that by Charles Waterton, the eccentric 19th-century naturalist. Writing in 1862, he described four years he spent at a newly-established Catholic school in Tudhoe, from 1792 to 1796, when he was 9-13 years old. This is printed in Norman Moore’s biography of Waterton in the 1870 Warne edition of Waterton’s Essays on Natural History. Parts were also reprinted in his Wanderings in South America (Cassell, 1887) and Dodd’s History of the Urban District of Spennymoor (1897).

The extensive series of publications of the Surtees Society, which began in 1835 and still continues, provides printed versions of many important documents.

Village Plan

The oldest form of village in the North of England is a simple cluster of farms. This was the usual form of rural settlement before the Norman invasion. Tudhoe is of a rather later type, a “green village”, with rows of houses around a central green. Such villages are believed to be “planned” settlements, possibly set out for defensive purposes, under Norman influence, in the years following the Harrying of the North by William the Conqueror in 1069-70 and the Scottish invasion of 1091. Between them, these events left many earlier villages deserted and much of the land waste. Tudhoe is a two-row green village of a type common in County Durham: other examples that still retain their original form are Hett, Shadforth, West Auckland and Staindrop.

The village green in Tudhoe runs from the north west to the south east. However, documents before ca. 1770 are consistent in describing directions as though it ran from north to south, and this is the convention adopted here. The rows of houses on either side are sometimes described in old documents as the East and West Rawes (Rows). The green is now about 760 yards long and from 40 to 70 yards wide. It may have been extended to the south at some time. The green used to widen into a pasture at its southern end: this may have been a “cattle drift”, intended to funnel stock kept on the ancient waste of Spenny Moor into the village.

The earliest good-quality map of Tudhoe is the Tithe Apportionment Plan of 1839. The village then retained much of the mediaeval field pattern: in early times, each farmstead will have consisted of a long strip of land, leading back from a fairly even building line. In 1839, the strips to the east of the green were mostly about 330 yards long, though some were only 170 yards long and a few others had a boundary at about this distance. This is probably the remnant of the division between toft and croft: the toft was the house-plot itself, and the croft was an additional piece of private land that was usually used for vegetables or grazing. The tofts and crofts to the west ran down to the “far burn”, 230 to 460 yards from the edge of the green. They are broken by another stream, the “hither burn”, about half way along their lengths, but all the 1839 field names applied to land on both sides of the stream. Several of the west frontages are 1, 2 or 3 times a common multiple of 83 feet (perhaps five 16.5-foot rods). The boundaries on the east had been altered more by 1839, but several tofts seem to have been around 234 feet wide, which is somewhat less than 15 rods.

By far the widest plot in 1839 was the Hall Croft, near the centre of the west row; it is not clear whether it was subdivided in earlier times. Aerial photographs might help to establish this. There is a large stone house named Tudhoe Hall, dating from 1600 or earlier, near the southern end of Hall Croft. In 1839, there was a small enclosure named Bull Garth along the edge of the green to the north of the Hall; in earlier times, it was common for villages to keep a communal bull, and perhaps this is where it was kept.

There were some interesting field names in 1839. In particular, one plot lying on the east side of the village was called Ratten Row: one meaning of this is a roundabout way used to carry corpses for burial. There was (and is) a footpath towards Hett along the northern edge of Ratten Row, leading to (and between) Litch Close and Litch Field: litch is an Anglo-Saxon word for corpse (which survives in lych-gate, a covered gate into a churchyard where the bearers would wait before proceeding to the grave-side). The name Ratten Rawe was in use in Tudhoe at least as early as 1570. This suggests either that the villagers used a church other than Brancepeth or Whitworth in mediaeval times, or perhaps that there were burial grounds close to the village.

Mediaeval Tudhoe had three common fields, known as the west field, middle field and east field. The usual system in feudal times was that each tenant (bondman) cultivated individual strips of about half an acre, known as riggs, in each of the town fields. Because the soil was always ploughed inwards towards the centre, the land developed a corrugated profile, known as ridge and furrow (or, locally, rigg and furr). The riggs were grouped into larger units called flatts, with each tenant cultivating the same area of land (a virgate, often 24 acres) made up of one rigg in each flatt. The flatts were in turn grouped into fields. This system ensured a reasonably fair division of the high-quality and low-quality land.

In Tudhoe, the common fields lasted until 1639, when they were largely enclosed and divided among the freeholders. By then the individual holdings were of far from equal size. The enclosure award specifies the area allocated to each freeholder, and the names of the landowners to the north, south, east and west. The resulting jigsaw can be pieced together plausibly using the field boundaries from 1839; it appears from this that the west and middle fields lay to the north of the village, on either side of the Brancepeth road. I have not yet reliably located the east field, but it was probably beyond the crofts on the east side of the village.

The total area of common land divided up in 1639 was 450 acres. The original village probably had about 16 bondmen, each holding a tenement and cultivating 24 acres in the common fields. This would give 376 acres in cultivation. The remaining 74 acres of common land might indicate one or two extra tenements, but could equally plausibly have been uncultivated headlands and baulks between the cultivated strips.

The village will also have had other common lands, used as pasture (mostly for oxen) and meadow (to grow hay for winter fodder). The “town pastures” were mentioned in a survey of 1607, but they appear to have been divided up and allocated to individuals even before the 1639 enclosure: there were several “high pastures” that seem to have been in individual tenure by then.

A second major enclosure award, in 1669, divided up the common lands on Spenny Moor, to the south of the village (D/Sa/E 571).

In the early mediaeval period, the main tenants will have been bondmen, who were obliged to work on the lord’s land for a specified number of days per week as well as paying money rents. In Tudhoe, this system may have persisted quite late: there were several closes (enclosed areas) that were named in 1570 as being in the tenure of the bailiff, Ralph Watson. The bailiff was the local land manager for the lord of the manor, in this case the Earl of Westmorland.

The only areas of “ridge and furrow” now remaining are near the mill stream, west of the village, and in the Cow Plantation nature reserve to the south. The latter was called Middle White Flatt in 1839. This is an interesting survival of the mediaeval naming system: in 1570, the White Flatt was one of the closes occupied by the bailiff. Nevertheless, local farmers say that several other fields had “rigg and furr” until quite recently. [A large area to the west and north of the village was obliterated by open-cast coal mining in the 1960s].

County Durham in Roman times

In Roman times, the road now known as Dere Street started in York and crossed the River Tees at Piercebridge. From there it ran almost due north to the Roman fort at Vinovia (Binchester), about 5 miles south-west of Tudhoe; it crossed the River Wear near Vinovia and ran north via the forts at Longovicium (Lanchester) and Vindomora (Ebchester) to Corbridge on the River Tyne. There was also Cade’s Road, which crossed the River Tees near Middleton St. George. It passed through Sedgefield, where a Roman-era settlement was found by Channel 4’s Time Team in 2002, and on through Coxhoe and Shincliffe. It probably crossed the River Wear at Kepier, just north of Durham, on its way to the fort at Congangis (Chester-le-Street) and then to Newcastle. A branch of this, known as Cade’s Road West, may have run from south of Sedgefield, via Ferryhill and Hett Mill (the site of mediaeval Tursdale) before running along the green lane now known as Strawberry Lane to rejoin the main route of Cade’s Road just south of Shincliffe.

Conyers Surtees says that a Roman road ran behind Tudhoe Mill Farm, at the north-western end of Tudhoe village, on its way from Bishop Auckland to Sunderland via Shincliffe. He adds that it was used as a pack trail in Norman and Tudor times. He does not quote any evidence, and I have not found any. If it existed, it may have run along the line of what is now Chair Lane, which is indeed on a plausible straight-line route between the fort at Vinovia (outside Bishop Auckland) and the River Wear near Sunderland Bridge. The road could then have crossed the river and followed the later Great North Road towards Durham. Another route from Sunderland Bridge might skirt the east bank of the river to reach Old Durham, north of Shincliffe, where the remains of a civilian Roman villa were excavated in the 1940s. However, the straight driveway (now an avenue) that leads east from just downstream of old Sunderland Bridge to Croxdale Hall has several features characteristic of Roman roads, such as a raised agger and shallow ditches either side. It continues on almost a straight line east of the Hall, past High Croxdale and all the way to Strawberry Lane (i.e. Cade’s Road West). It is tempting to speculate that this was a Roman route from a river crossing near Sunderland Bridge to Old Durham and other settlements along Cade’s Road.

It should be noted that there was also a Roman route from Willingon (on Dere Street just north of Vinovia) towards Durham, via Brancepeth on the western side of the River Wear.

The Roman legions withdrew from the north of England in about 383 AD, probably leaving the area in the hands of local warlords. The withdrawal may not have been complete, because coins dating from later than 383 have been found along Hadrian’s Wall. In around 406, waves of Vandals and other tribes crossed the Rhine, and soon afterwards the Visigoths threatened Rome itself. In 410, the Western Emperor Honorius told the remaining Romanised cities in Britain to look to their own defence.

The Anglo-Saxon period

Nothing specific is known about Tudhoe in Anglo-Saxon times. There is no documentary evidence for pre-Norman settlement, but it would be surprising if such a good site was uninhabited. The nearest surviving Saxon structures are the church at Escomb, about 5 miles west of Tudhoe, which was built in the 7th century, and Legs Cross on Dere Street. Traces of an Anglo-Saxon church have been found at Brancepeth, and there was probably an Anglo-Saxon village at Croxdale. There is an early Norman chapel in the grounds of Croxdale Hall; it still has its original oak door, which may date from the late 11th century.

However, there is much history and legend that tells us about raids, and wars, and the movement of people through the north-east. These events will have left their left their mark on the local people and the landscape. The remainder of this section is therefore a general history of the Anglo-Saxon period as it was seen from County Durham. It is drawn from published histories, not from original research on the documents.

From 408 or so, Britain began suffering Saxon raids. Over the next century, Angles, Saxons and Jutes migrated in large numbers to Britain. They displaced most of the native population, initially in the south-east of England and as far north as Lincolnshire. By 600, the Angles had spread into the kingdoms of Deira, which ran from the Humber to the Tees, and Bernicia, which ran from the Tees to the Firth of Forth. It is not clear how many native Britons remained among the people of the north, but the Angles came to dominate, and Old English became the common language. Bernicia and Deira (which gave its name to Dere Street) were united to form the Anglian kingdom of Northumbria under King Aethelfrith around 604.

The original Anglo-Saxon immigrants were pagan, but St Columba brought Christianity to Iona (in the Inner Hebrides) from Ireland in 565. In about 634, the Christian King Oswald of Northumbria asked for the establishment of a monastery in his kingdom, and the Irish monk Aidan came from Iona to do so. Aidan chose Lindisfarne (off the coast of Northumberland) as the site. It was conveniently close to Bamburgh, one of King Oswald’s fortresses. Lindisfarne became the cradle of Christianity in the north-east of England, though in 664 the Synod of Whitby chose Roman styles of worship over Irish ones and brought the Northumbrian church under the influence of Rome. Cuthbert was Prior of Lindisfarne from around 665, but then retired to become a hermit on the island of Inner Farne, before being briefly Bishop of Lindisfarne from 684. The Venerable Bede wrote his Life of Saint Cuthbert soon after 700 and his great Ecclesiastical History of the English People in the 720s at the monastery at Jarrow (on Tyneside).

Viking raids on the English coast began in 789. One on Lindisfarne in 793 caused great alarm throughout the Christian world. The monk Simeon of Durham wrote (300 years later) that

“They came to the church of Lindisfarne, laid everything waste with grievous plundering, trampled the holy places with polluted steps, dug up the altars and seized all the treasures of the holy church. They killed some of the brothers, took some away with them in fetters; many they drove out, naked and loaded with insults, some they drowned in the sea…”

In 865, a Viking horde known as the Great Heathen Army landed in East Anglia and overran much of England, although in 878 King Alfred of Wessex won a victory that restricted them to the north and east. The Vikings captured York in 867, and established control over an area that extended north of the River Tees.

There are few written records from the North of England in the Viking Age. Most accounts are much later, and originate from the monks of Durham Priory. They include the 11th-century History of St. Cuthbert and the 12th-century Libellus de Exordio of Simeon of Durham. The sequence of events that these set out has been generally accepted, at least in outline, simply because of the lack of independent sources. However, it is unclear whether they represent actual history, or simply an “origin myth” designed to bolster the 12th-century Priory’s claim to the lands it held, together with some it had lost.

In the Durham accounts, Bishop Eardwulf of Lindisfarne and Abbot Eadred of Carlisle gathered up the Priory’s valuables from Lindisfarne in 875 and set out to find a safer home, carrying the remains of St. Cuthbert with them. They travelled for 7 years without any permanent home. They attempted to take the relics to Ireland, but were persuaded to turn back by a divinely inspired storm. At that point, St. Cuthbert appeared in a vision to Eadred. He instructed Eadred to go to the army of the Danes and tell them to pay a ransom to redeem Guthred, the son of Hardacnut, whom they had previously sold as a slave to a certain widow, and make him their king. Guthred was crowned King of York in 883. He was sufficiently grateful to award the monks of St. Cuthbert substantial lands in County Durham. They carried St. Cuthbert’s relics to Chester-le-Street and established a church and a shrine there, probably within the grounds of the old Roman fort. In 995 they moved again, eventually settling at Durham, where they established the wooden White Church to hold St. Cuthbert’s remains, followed by the stone Great Church from 998. According to another 12th-century manuscript, On the Siege of Durham, the new city was soon afterwards (perhaps in 1006) besieged by a Scottish army under King Malcolm II, but was relieved by Uhtred the Bold of Bamburgh, who recruited a local army for the purpose.

This entire version of events has been called into question by Neil McGuigan in Cuthbert’s relics and the origin of the diocese of Durham (2022). It seems likely that Cuthbert’s body was moved much more locally, soon after his death, to Ubbanford (Norham) on the River Tweed. In this version, it remained there until after 1013, and was then moved directly to Durham; it was never at Chester-le-Street at all. This version is supported by the 11th-century Resting Places of Saints and by William of Malmesbury, writing in the 12th century but independently of Simeon. William writes that St. Cuthbert’s body was taken to Durham in the time of King Aethelred, corrected to Cnut in the manuscript. The latter would place it after 1016.

In any case, there was relatively little Viking settlement north of the Tees, as reflected today by the absence of Viking placenames ending -by and -thorpe in most of County Durham. Viking control of York lasted until 927, and then intermittently from 939 to 954, when King Eadred finally retook York and King Erik Haraldsson (Erik Bloodaxe) was killed. After that, England remained a single kingdom, though it was brought under Danish rule following the invasion of King Cnut in 1016. By that time, however, the Danes had adopted Christianity, and King Cnut even made a barefoot pilgrimage from Garmondsway to the shrine of St. Cuthbert at Durham around 1030.

In 1018 the Scots under Malcolm II won a devastating victory over the English at the Battle of Carham. Simeon of Durham wrote 100 years later

In 1018, when Cnut ruled the English, a comet appeared to the people of Northumbria for 30 nights, a terrible omen of future devastation of the province. Soon afterwards (after thirty days) the whole people from between the rivers Tees and Tweed fought a battle at Carham against a countless multitude of Scots and almost all died, even the old people.

In the aftermath, the Scots annexed Lothian, restricting Northumbria to the lands south of the River Tweed. The border between England and Scotland was drawn approximately where it stands today.

Military Service in Mediaeval Times

England had no standing army before the Civil War in the 1640s, or for some time afterwards. In the early Norman period, armies were mostly assembled under feudal obligations: the King would summon important noblemen to attend with their retinues, usually made up of men from their household, family, and those who held land from them by military service. Within County Durham, the King’s authority was delegated to the Bishop. However, this “feudal levy” provided relatively small numbers, so as time went on it was supplemented increasingly with men paid by the day for the duration of a campaign. The feudal levy probably did not much involve the men of Tudhoe, except for a few relatively important people such as John Hoton, described below, in 1415 onwards.

In parallel with this was a system of “county militias”. Every man between the ages of 16 and 60 was required to own and maintain arms suitable to his station, and in theory was required to attend for a short period of military service when called upon. Under the Normans, this was regulated by the Assize of Arms from 1181 and then under the Statute of Winchester from 1285. Regular musters were held on the moors of County Durham to select and train the men required for service, and check their equipment. Some of the musters were on Spenny Moor, so were very close to Tudhoe.

The militiamen usually served under the captaincy of a local landowner or his deputy. He paid them by the day for the period they were away from their villages, though in principle he was entitled to reclaim this afterwards from the royal treasury. The rate of pay varied with time; for a man-at-arms who was not an archer or a horseman it was 8d per day in the reign of King Henry VIII, rising to 1s per day after the Civil War. From this the men had to feed and clothe themselves. The system generated a sense of loyalty in the men towards their local gentry, whom they consequently saw as their leaders in any military enterprise. At least some of the men of Tudhoe probably did serve in the Durham militia, and more of them would have been ready to defend their homes when there was an actual Scottish raid.

The North of England was under constant threat from Scotland for most of the mediaeval period. The northern militias were therefore in constant readiness, and were regarded as among the best-trained and most effective in England. However, because of the threat from the North, they were not required to fight in other wars, and this privilege was jealously guarded.

The Norman Conquest and its Aftermath

In Anglo-Saxon times, a new King was elected by the Witan (a council of wise men), rather than decided by heredity, though the old King could recommend a successor. When Edward the Confessor died in early 1066, his nearest relative was Edgar Aetheling of Wessex, but Edgar was only 13 years old. The Witan expected imminent attacks from Norway and Normandy, so they elected Edward’s brother-in-law Harold Godwinson instead. King Harold successfully repelled a Viking invasion from Harald Hardrada in Yorkshire, but had to march south immediately to fight another invasion from Duke William of Normandy. In the resulting Battle of Hastings, Harold was killed, traditionally by an arrow in his eye. Nevertheless, the Witan still held hope that the Normans could be repelled. They elected Edgar Aetheling as King, though the teenaged Edgar was soon forced to submit to William. Nevertheless, in 1068 Edgar escaped William’s controls and fled north to seek refuge with King Malcolm III in Scotland, who agreed to support him in attempting to regain the throne.

William the Conqueror was quick to establish control over most of England. In the North, however, he met opposition. He made 3 attempts to appoint cooperative Anglo-Saxons as Earl of Northumbria, but two were murdered and one rebelled. In 1069 he appointed a Norman, Robert de Comines (Cumin), as Earl of Northumbria, and Robert rode to Durham with 500 men. Bishop Aethelwine, the last Saxon Bishop of Durham, had submitted to William at York in 1068, and he warned Robert that there was a Northumbrian rebel army under Edgar Aetheling gathered against him. However, Robert ignored the warnings, and allowed his men to disperse into Durham City. The Northumbrians entered the city and killed the entire Norman force, including Robert himself. They then marched on York, where William had built the first Castle. William rode north and on this occasion was able to defeat the rebels. Later the same year, however, Edgar Aetheling attacked York again, with help from a fleet sent by King Sweyn of Denmark. This time the Castle was taken and 3000 Normans killed, though the city was burned in the process.

Enraged by this, William carried out the Harrying of the North in the winter of 1069-70. He killed everyone he could reach in the north of England, burned buildings, crops and livestock, and left anyone who survived to starve. His depradations were worst in Yorkshire, where some scholars think 75% of the population died, or fled and never returned, but they extended into Durham and as far west as Shropshire. Simeon of Durham wrote (40 years later) that

No village was inhabited between York and Durham. They became lurking places for wild beasts and robbers, and a great dread to travellers

and that

It was horrible to observe, in houses, streets and roads, human corpses rotting… For no one survived to cover them with earth, all having perished by the sword or starvation, or left the land of their fathers because of hunger.

Orderic Vitalis wrote around 1130 that

The King stopped at nothing to hunt his enemies. He cut down many people and destroyed homes and land. Nowhere else had he shown such cruelty, and to his shame he made no effort to control his fury and he punished the innocent with the guilty. Crops and herds, tools and food were burned to ashes. More than 100,000 people perished of hunger. I have often praised William in this book, but I can say nothing good about this slaughter. God will punish him.

Immediately after the Harrying, in 1071, William appointed Walcher from Liege as the first Prince Bishop of Durham, with temporal as well as ecclesiastical powers. Walcher was accepted at first, but in 1079 he failed to defend the area against a Scottish invasion under King Malcolm III (Mael Coluim). The Scots made off with slaves and plunder. In the recriminations that followed, Walcher was murdered near Gateshead. As a result of this, William send his half-brother Odo of Bayeux north to harry the countryside again. Once again the countryside from the Tees to Durham was laid waste.

Walcher’s successor as Bishop was William of St. Carileph (later known as St. Calais). The Bishopric was in a dreadful state, after being laid waste twice by the King’s men and at least once by the Scots. In 1083, the Bishop ejected the secular canons who had maintained the Great Church since 995, and refounded the institution as the Benedictine Priory of St. Cuthbert, with monks from Wearmouth and Jarrow. The church’s lands were divided between the Bishop and the Prior.

William the Conqueror died in 1087. His will designated his eldest son Robert Curthose as Duke of Normandy, but his younger son William Rufus as King of England. Following this, Odo of Bayeux led a rebellion in support of Robert against William Rufus; William of St. Carileph was involved in the rebellion, or at least did nothing to help the King, and shut himself in Durham Castle. He was tried for treason, and exiled to Normandy. In 1091, however, he regained the King’s favour and returned to Durham.

William of St. Carileph spent his remaining years planning and beginning the construction of Durham Cathedral, which started in 1093. He died at the start of 1096, so did not see the building get far. Nevertheless, it was mostly completed by 1133, under Bishop Flambard until 1128. Later changes were relatively minor: they included the addition of the Galilee Chapel at the west end in the 1170s, the building of the towers around 1200, rebuilding of the unstable east end to form the Chapel of the Nine Altars around 1220, and replacement of the original roof with the vaulting seen today around 1250. The central tower was rebuilt in two stages in the 15th century, after the original was damaged by lightning.

The 12th Century

William Rufus died in a hunting accident in 1100. His younger brother Henry was with him, and claimed the throne as King Henry I. His claim was disputed by his brother Robert Curthose, Duke of Normandy and the eldest son of William the Conqueror. However, Henry prevailed in England and in 1106 he conquered Normandy as well, imprisoning Robert for the rest of his life.

Henry I married Matilda, the daughter of King Malcolm III of Scotland, and there was peace between England and Scotland during Henry’s reign. Matilda’s brother, the future King David I of Scotland, was educated at King Henry’s court, and Henry supported David in becoming King of Scotland when his elder brother Alexander I died in 1124. Henry and Matilda had two children, Matilda and William Adelin. Matilda married the Holy Roman Emperor Henry V, and was controversially crowned as Empress in St. Peter’s Basilica in Rome in 1116. However, William Adelin died in the White Ship disaster of 1120, leaving Henry without a male heir.

When Henry I died in 1135, his nephew Stephen of Blois (a grandson of William the Conqueror) usurped the throne. King David opposed this, and led an invasion of England; he captured Carlisle and Newcastle, and reached Durham, where Stephen met him with a large force. The Kings negotiated and agreed the first Treaty of Durham (1136), which returned the north-eastern castles to Stephen but ceded Cumberland and Lancashire (and Doncaster!) to David.

King Stephen’s main rival for the English throne was King Henry’s daughter Matilda, now known as the Empress Matilda. King David supported Matilda, who was his niece. He invaded England again in 1138, but was defeated at the Battle of the Standard near Northallerton. In 1139, however, Matilda herself invaded England from Normandy. To free himself to combat this existential threat, King Stephen hurriedly agreed the second Treaty of Durham with King David later in 1139. This recognised the independence of Scotland and gave the lands of Northumberland and Cumberland, together with parts of Durham and Lancashire, to David’s son Henry. These lands remained part of England, and Henry did homage to King Stephen for them, but King David of Scotland effectively controlled most of England north of the River Tees.

For a while, the peace between England and Scotland endured. David’s son Henry was welcomed at the court of King Stephen, and showed himself a loyal vassal: he even fought for the king on the Welsh borders. In 1141, however, Matilda captured King Stephen at the Battle of Lincoln. King David supported her, but she failed to win over the London crowds; despite her best efforts, she was never crowned Queen of England. Meanwhile, Matilda’s half-brother Robert was captured after the Rout of Winchester, where Matilda herself narrowly escaped. She initially refused to exchange him for Stephen, but it is said that Robert and Stephen’s wives negotiated independently and agreed an exchange. This left Stephen once again the only anointed King.

During this period, an intriguing episode occurred in (Kirk) Merrington, just 2 miles south of Tudhoe. Bishop Geoffrey Rufus of Durham died in 1140. King David of Scotland had control of Northumberland and Cumberland, and wanted to extend it to the Bishopric of Durham. After King Stephen’s capture, David installed his Chancellor, William Cumyn, to administer the Bishopric. Cumyn took possession of Durham Castle, and David lobbied the Empress Matilda (and the papal legate, Henry de Blois, King Stephen’s brother) for Cumyn to be appointed Bishop, despite the objections of the monks of Durham Priory. For a while this looked as if it might succeed, but it became vain after King Stephen was released, and William of St. Barbe (previously Dean of York) was appointed Bishop of Durham in 1143.

Nevertheless, William Cumyn was still in possession of the Castle and was not yet vanquished. Some time in 1144, his nephew (of the same name) took possession of Merrington Church and proceeded to fortify it as a makeshift castle. An extension to the history of Simeon of Durham, written after his death, describes the event:

On the Eve of the Assumption of the Virgin, William gathered together his men at the Chapel of St. John (of Merrington), distant about five leagues from Durham, and began to turn the same church into a castle. Three Barons of the Bishopric, to wit, Roger de Coismers, Gaufrid Escolland, and Bertram de Bulmer, understanding of this sacrilege, and preferring death to the profanation of God’s altar, collecting what force they hastily might, pricked to the spot to stay this lewd enterprize. William’s men did not sustain the onset. Some fled headlong; other part barred themselves into the church, round which they had nearly completed the fosse; and, manning the tower and the outworks which they had finished, vainly strove to drive off the assailants with darts and arrows; but the besiegers, reckless of wounds or death, forced their way through the windows, and, hurling firebrands on the defenders, were speedily masters of the place.

This should not be read as an unbiased account: the monks of Durham were solidly against “the intruder”, and many gory tales were told of his activities. Nevertheless, in the end, William Cumyn the senior submitted to William of St. Barbe.

There is now no trace of the fortifications that Cumyn’s men dug at Merrington, and the church itself has been rebuilt too much to identify any scars on its fabric.

Scottish power over the North of England did not endure long. In about 1148, the Empress Matilda returned to Normandy, leaving her eldest son Henry FitzEmpress to fight for her interests in England. King Stephen’s heir Eustace died in 1153; to settle the succession, Henry FitzEmpress was declared heir to the English throne. He became King Henry II in 1154. Meanwhile, King David and his son Henry had died, in 1153 and 1152, respectively. In 1157, David’s successor King Malcolm IV (aged 12 at the time) returned all the English territory that David had gained to Henry II. In 1174, Malcolm’s successor (his brother William) was forced to acknowledge Henry as his overlord, once more calling Scotland’s independence into question.

Henry II did much to restore royal authority and administration in England, particularly in the first 15 years of his reign. But in 1169 he arranged for his son Henry to be crowned as a junior King of England, over the objections of Thomas Becket, the Archbishop of Canterbury. Becket secured the Pope’s support, and was then murdered by the elder Henry’s supporters in Canterbury Cathedral. Henry’s elder sons were Henry the Young King (Duke of Normandy), Richard (Duke of Aquitaine) and Geoffrey (Duke of Brittany by marriage). In 1173 they were aged 18, 16 and 15, respectively, but they nevertheless combined forces to rebel against their father. The revolt lasted 18 months, with bitter campaigns in England and France, but Henry II ultimately triumphed and made peace with his sons in 1174. But tensions came to the surface again in 1183, when Young Henry and Geoffrey invaded Richard’s duchy of Aquitaine and Henry II reluctantly supported Richard; the affair ended only with Young Henry’s death from fever. Geoffrey then died in 1186, leaving Richard undisputed heir to the throne of England. Nevertheless, Richard refused to surrender Aquitaine to his father (who wanted to give it to his younger son John). In 1189, Richard enlisted the help of Philip II of France and openly rebelled against his father. This time they prevailed, and Henry II died soon afterwards.

Richard the Lionheart was crowned King of England in 1189, but he spent little time there. He preferred France, where he was now Duke of Normandy as well as Aquitaine. He spent the years up to 1192 on crusade, leaving England in the hands of justiciars that initially included Hugh de Puiset, Bishop of Durham. However, Bishop Hugh was displaced by William Longchamp in 1190. Richard had many successes on crusade, but was captured while returning north by Leopold of Austria, whom he had offended after the capture of Acre. Leopold handed him over to the Holy Roman Emperor Henry VI, who imprisoned him and demanded a ransom of 150,000 marks (100,000 pounds) for his release. In Richard’s absence, his younger brother John set himself up as regent, with his own court, in opposition to Longchamp. John offered Henry VI an alternative bribe to keep Richard in captivity, but Henry refused. Richard was eventually ransomed and released, and was recrowned in 1194 to dispel the shame of his captivity. But even then he paid little attention to England; he left almost immediately for Normandy, never to return. He died in 1199, and his brother John succeeded him as King of England.

The establishment of Tudhoe Village

For most of its history, Tudhoe has been associated with Brancepeth. Brancepeth is less than 3 miles north-west of Tudhoe, but on the other side of the River Wear. There was a ford that was passable in summer as late as the early 20th century, and stepping stones a few hundred yards upstream, on the direct line from Tudhoe to Brancepeth Castle and church. In mediaeval times, the villagers of Tudhoe probably took the route via the stepping stones when going to church in Brancepeth. But both the ford and the stepping stones will have been impassable for much of the winter and after heavy rain at any time of year.

Brancepeth was certainly inhabited before the Norman conquest. Anglo-Saxon stonework was found at the west end of the nave of St. Brandon’s church during restoration after the devastating fire of 1998. However, its ownership in Anglo-Saxon times is unknown. It seems that the Norman knight Peter (or Piers) de Humez was awarded lands around Brancepeth soon after the Conquest. His daughter, perhaps named Sybilia, married Ansketil de Bulmer around 1100, and Brancepeth came into the hands of the Bulmer family.

The Bulmers were Saxon landowners from Yorkshire who had managed to retain their lands through the Norman conquest. Their main holding was around Bulmer and Sheriff Hutton, about 10 miles north of York, and Ansketil was High Sheriff of Yorkshire around 1114. Ansketil’s son Bertram de Bulmer succeeded him as Lord of Brancepeth around 1129, and also became High Sheriff of Yorkshire. The Bulmers built a motte-and-bailey castle in Brancepeth at about this time.

It seems likely that Tudhoe village was laid out as a planned settlement during this period, under the influence of the Bulmers. Tudhoe may have been uninhabited before then, or previously occupied but laid waste during the upheavals of the 11th century. Uninhabited land brought no income, and Brian Roberts has written about the repopulation of County Durham with planned villages around this time in Landscapes, Documents and Maps: Villages in Northern England and Beyond, AD 900-1250 (2008).

Bertram de Bulmer died in 1166, and the extensive Bulmer lands in Durham and Yorkshire passed to his son William. However, William died without issue in about 1176, so the estates passed on to his sister Emma de Bulmer (sometimes known as Emma de Humez, particularly in Yorkshire documents). Emma was already the widow of Geoffrey de Valognes, who had died before 1170, and had remarried about 1175 to Geoffrey de Neville of Horncastle in Lincolnshire. Both her husbands were grandsons of Norman nobles who came to England with William the Conqueror: Peter de Valognes and Gilbert de Neville, respectively. Geoffrey de Neville was appointed Governor of Berwick upon Tweed by Henry II in 1177, and Constable of Richmond Castle by Richard I after 1189, but died about 1193.

Around 1197, Emma’s daughter Isabel de Neville (ca. 1176-1250) married Robert FitzMaldred, Lord of Raby (ca. 1170-1242). The earliest document to mention Tudhoe comes from this time, when Emma granted the whole of Tudhoe village to Robert FitzMaldred. The deed is transcribed (in Latin) by Conyers Surtees (Tudhoe, p.5):

Sciant etc., quod ego Emma de Bulmer ex assensu et consensu Henrici de Neville filii mei et heredis – dedi Robto fil Meldredi total villam de Tudhou cum oibs pertin et cum servitio de Parva Brome quam Robert de Turs et Radus de Brakenwethe tenunt… in liberum maritagium cum Isabella filia mea de me et heredibus meis per servit’ tertiae partis…

Let it be known, etc., that I, Emma de Bulmer, with the assent and consent of my son and heir Henry de Neville, give to Robert son of Meldred the whole village of Tudhoe, with everything appertaining, and with the service of Little Broom held by Robert de Turs and Ralph de Brakenwethe… in frank-marriage with Isabella my daughter, by me and my heirs, through service of three parts…

“Frank-marriage” was a type of wedding gift, often to a daughter on her marriage. The grant seems to show that Emma had control of the Bulmer estates, at least after Geoffrey de Neville’s death. Their son Henry de Neville was considered her heir, rather than holding the lands in his own right. This is a little surprising, because Norman inheritance laws were much harsher on wives than Saxon ones. It might be because Henry was still under age in 1197, or because Emma had inherited the lands after her marriage to Geoffrey.

Brakenwethe may be Brackenthwaite, which appears as Brakanthait in a later document describing lands around Winston (on the river Tees) that Robert FitzMaldred had given to Durham Priory.

Robert FitzMaldred of Raby came from a line of Anglo-Saxon landowners who used Saxon-style (patronymic) names for more than a century after the Norman conquest. Thus Robert FitzMaldred was the son of Maldred FitzDolfin, who was the son of Dolfin FitzUchtred. It is claimed that Dolfin’s wife Alice (or Adelicia) was the daughter of Bishop Walcher.

Emma de Bulmer died in 1208. The remainder of the Bulmer lands, including Brancepeth, came to Robert FitzMaldred when her son Henry de Neville died without issue in 1227.

Robert and Isabel’s eldest son was born Geoffrey FitzRobert in about 1197, but decided to adopt his mother’s Norman surname, so became Geoffrey de Neville. He died about 1242 (before his father) and was the progenitor of the Neville dynasty.

Bishop Hugh de Puiset and Boldon Book

Hugh de Puiset (or Pudsey) was Bishop of Durham from 1154 to 1195. He built Elvet Bridge in Durham City in the 1160s and the Galilee Chapel at the west end of Durham Cathedral in the 1170s. He was suspected of complicity in the rebellion of Henry II’s sons in 1173, and was deprived of several castles as a result. Nevertheless, he retained his position in Durham. In around 1183, Bishop Hugh established a manor house and hunting lodge at Bishop Auckland, which became Auckland Castle and the Bishop’s Palace of later centuries. The main road from Durham to Bishop Auckland ran over Sunderland Bridge and past the south-west end of Tudhoe Village, so it is likely that Tudhoe saw much traffic from the Bishops and their men in the following centuries. Since 2012, Auckland Castle has become a major tourist attraction as the centrepiece of the Auckland Project.

In 1183, Hugh be Puiset commissioned a major survey of his lands that came to be known as Boldon Book. Tudhoe is not mentioned, but that does not mean that it did not exist: Boldon Book covered only manors that paid rent to the Bishop. Brancepeth, Croxdale and Merrington are omitted too, though Whitworth, Byers Green and Binchester are included. The entry for Binchester illustrates the level of detail and the language used (at least in translation from the original Latin):

Binchester yields 5s for cornage, 1 cow for metreth, 1 man for castle-guard and 4 chalders of malt, and the same of flour and the same of oats, and each plough of its villeins ploughs and harrows 2 acres at Coundon. And each of them does 3 obligatory days in the autumn for each bovate with 1 man and carts 1 cask of wine and a stone for the mill at Auckland. The dreng keeps a dog and a horse, goes on the Great Chase with 2 greyhounds and 5 ropes, and does court duty and goes on missions.

This gives insights into the way that feudal dues and responsibilities worked in practice. The Great Chase was the Bishop’s annual hunt, which at this time ranged over the ancient forest of upper Weardale. From about 1250 it took place in the Bishop’s park, which stretched from Eastgate to Westgate, and around 1300 Bishop Bek built Westgate Castle as a hunting lodge; the castle is no longer visible above ground, but was excavated in 2011.

English lands in France

In 1066, at the time of the Norman conquest, William the Conqueror was Duke of Normandy. He was nominally a vassal of the King of France in respect of the Duchy. Subsequently, Henry FitzEmpress (who became Henry II) added enormously to the English territories. In 1151 he inherited Maine and Anjou from his father Geoffrey Plantagenet, the husband of Empress Matilda. The following year, he married Eleanor of Aquitaine, who held the Duchies of Aquitaine and Poitou in her own right. In 1168, while Henry was still alive, Eleanor gave Aquitaine to their second son Richard the Lionheart, followed in 1172 by Poitou.

In 1166, Henry invaded Brittany and forced Duke Conan IV to abdicate in favour of his 5-year-old daughter Constance. Then in 1181, when Constance was 20, Henry forced her to marry his third son Geoffrey, who became Duke of Brittany. However, Geoffrey died in 1186 and their son, Arthur, was born after his death. Constance was then the effective ruler of Brittany until her own death in 1201.

The 13th Century

When Richard I died in 1199, there were two contenders for the English throne: his nephew Arthur of Brittany, whose claim was favoured by Angevin law but was aged only 12, and his younger brother John. Most of the English nobles favoured John, who had already established himself in England. John was crowned King, though many French nobles supported Arthur. In 1202, King John invaded and conquered Brittany. He imprisoned Arthur, who vanished the following year. Contemporary accounts claim that John had Arthur murdered, or even killed him himself.

At this point, early in his reign, King John controlled vast lands in France. They included Normandy, Brittany, Aquitaine, Anjou, Maine and Poitou. However, he antagonised the nobles of Anjou, who appealed to King Philip II France, who was John’s nominal feudal overlord for the French lands. In 1204, Philip summoned John to appear before him; when John refused, he declared him a “contumacious vassal” and gave the lands to others. King John lost control of everything except Aquitaine. Nevertheless, subsequent Kings of England maintained their claim to them. As a result of this and other disagreements, England was at war with France for almost half the years between 1109 and 1224, and again in 1242-3 and 1294-1303. Most of the battles were fought on what is now French soil.

The remainder of John’s reign was spent trying unsuccessfully to regain his lands in France, while antagonising the English barons. The antagonism led to Magna Carta in 1215, which started out as a peace treaty between King John and his barons but became the foundation of English law. However, as a peace treaty it was a failure: neither side followed it, and the First Barons’ War broke out soon afterwards, with the barons supported by an invasion led by Prince Louis of France. But then King John contracted dysentery while on campaign in East Anglia, and died late in 1216.

King John was succeeded by his 9-year-old son Henry III, who was to reign until 1272. William Marshal was appointed as Henry’s regent, and persuaded many of the barons to support Henry over Louis, who was driven back to France in 1217. Henry took personal control of government from 1227. However, Henry was autocratic, and discontent with his rule grew towards 1258, when seven major barons including Simon de Montfort, Earl of Leicester, forced him to accept government through a council of barons and churchmen. This did not work well, and de Montfort led an open revolt in 1263, which became known as the Second Barons’ War. The King led an army into de Montfort’s territory in the Midlands in 1264 and had early successes, such as the capture of Northampton. But the King himself was taken prisoner at the Battle of Lewes in May 1264, along with his son Edward. For the next year, de Montfort held the king captive and governed in his name. However, Prince Edward escaped from captivity the following year and assembled an army that decisively defeated de Montfort at the Battle of Evesham in August 1265. King Henry, forced to wear de Montfort’s colours, was narrowly recognised and saved. De Montfort himself was killed and his body mutilated.

Henry III died in 1272. Prince Edward was engaged in the Ninth Crusade when Henry died, so was not crowned as Edward I until 1274. He conquered Wales in 1282-83 and reigned until 1307. For the purposes of this history, however, the most important events of his reign were the wars he began against Scotland, which will be described under the 14th century.

Tudhoe in the 13th Century

Conyers Surtees gives an extract in Latin from an Eyre (circuit court) of 1242. I translate it as

Galfrid, the son of William de Brun, was found dead in the field of Tudhoe. William Gaterer was the first finder: he came and was not discredited. Judged as misadventure.

The 35-year reign of Edward I was a time of growth, with more land being brought into cultivation to support the expanding population. In County Durham, the villages were mostly quite widely spaced, with common and waste land between them. Tudhoe was no exception, with the vast Spenny Moor separating it from the neighbouring villages of the Merringtons and Hett. But Durham Priory owned Merrington, and claimed Spenny Moor as part of it. The Priory wanted to develop Spenny Moor for arable farming, while the villagers of Tudhoe and Hett wanted to maintain their rights of pasture there. Many of the documents that survive from the 13th and 14th centuries concern the enclosures that the Priory established on Spenny Moor, the agreements they reached with surrounding landowners, and their attempts to maintain them. Even where the original agreements do not survive, they were quoted repeatedly in cases over the following years.

The two Sir Hugh Gubyons

Robert FitzMaldred was given Tudhoe by Emma de Bulmer around 1200, but either he or his grandson Robert Neville must have sold it again. Sir Hugh Gubyoun was Lord of Tudhoe by 1279, and his heirs held it until 1371. However, there were two different knights named Sir Hugh Gubyon, who have been conflated in earlier histories. I distinguish them here, and also correct an error concerning the side that the earlier Sir Hugh (who died in 1274) fought for during the Barons’ War of 1263-65.

Surtees (Vol. 3, p. 297) records Sir Hugh Gubyoun as Lord of Tudhoe in an agreement dated 1279. His translation reads:

Hugh Gubyoun, lord of Tudhow, granted that the Prior’s tenants of Merrington should hold in severalty certain portions of Spennyng-more which had been brought into tillage, viz. twenty acres in Bradescoate, seven acres betwixt Bradescoate and Barker Meldrit, and sixteen acres at the head of Midel Merington; saving to Hugh and his men of Tudhow their right of enter-common after the crops were carried; and for this concession the Prior grants that Sir Hugh Gubyoun may turn his mill-race belonging to Tudhow-mill, into its ancient channel; and moreover, Sir Hugh and his men shall dig marle wheresoever they will within the Prior’s lands, so that they do no damage in the corn nor in the meadows.

In other contemporary documents, the name Gubyoun is rendered Gubyon, Gubion, Gubium, Gobion, or many other variations.

This Sir Hugh was also Lord of Shilvington, near Morpeth, and was probably not resident in Tudhoe. He was probably born around 1250. He was Sheriff of Northumberland in 1293-95 and Warden of Newcastle upon Tyne in 1292 and 1294. He is recorded again as Lord of Tudhow in 1304, as described under the 14th century.

Sir Hugh’s father was another Sir Hugh Gobion, of Higham Gobion in Bedfordshire, who died in 1274. Earlier histories (and earlier versions of my own history) have suggested that he fought for King Henry III against Simon de Montfort in the Second Barons’ War. However, this is incorrect. He was in fact on the side of the rebel barons, and was taken prisoner on 5 April 1264 when the King’s men overran Northampton early in the war. This was 6 weeks before the Battle of Lewes on 14 May 1264, where King Henry and his son Edward were captured by Simon de Montfort. Sir Hugh therefore did not fight at Lewes, although many histories suggest he did, for reasons explained below. On 4 June 1264, the Constable of Nottingham Castle was ordered to bring Sir Hugh, and others taken at Northampton fighting against the King, for exchange for men captured at Lewes. This was during the period when the King was captive, and Simon de Montfort was governing in his name. It is not clear whether the exchange took place, or whether Sir Hugh fought at the Battle of Evesham on 4 August 1265, where Simon de Montfort was killed.

After the rebellion was over, Sir Hugh was prosecuted for his part in it. On 28 Dec 1265 he was granted safe conduct coming to the King’s Court, provided he stand his trial. The offer was repeated in January and June 1266. This last time he must have attended, because on 20 July 1266 he was “admitted to the King’s Peace”. However, his lands, which had been given to Hugh de Turbervil, were not returned to him. He was eventually allowed to buy them back in about 1270 under the terms of the Dictum of Kenilworth.

All this is confused by a document (in French) that is probably from the early 14th century and begins “The names of knights dwelling in the liberty of Durham between Tyne and Tees who rode at banner … at the Battle of Lewes”. The list is divided into those who “rode at banner” and those who did not. It includes “Sir Hugh de Gubyon of Tudhowe” in the latter category. However, as described by M. L. Holford in Knights of Durham at the Battle of Lewes: A Reconsideration, Northern History, 46, 185 (2009), it includes the names of many knights with lands in the Bishopric who either died before 1264 or did not come of age until after it. It seems likely that, despite its heading, the original list was actually expanded later into a list of all the knights of the Bishopric remembered at the time it was extended. The Hugh Gobion/Gubyon who was involved in the Barons’ War (but did not in fact fight at Lewes) was not “of Tudhowe” at all.

Further confusion has arisen because Hutchinson’s History and Antiquities (Vol. 1, p. 220, 1785) took the list above at face value, and speculated that the knights named probably fought for the King. Conyers Surtees took this further and described Sir Hugh as a royalist knight, taken prisoner by Simon de Montfort’s men at Northampton. I repeated this error in versions of this history before 2024. As seen above, more reliable documents make it clear that Sir Hugh was on de Montfort’s side.

Hugh Gobyun senior died in 1274, and his Inquisition post mortem (IPM) of 3 June 1275 lists him as holding the manors of Stratle (Streatley) and Hecham (Higham Gobion), both in Bedfordshire, and Knaptoft, in Leicestershire. He also held lands in Yorkshire, which are described in an IPM for Roger de Merlay (of Burton, Yorkshire), dated 4 Dec 1265. These included Jetengham (Yeddingham), Bretingham (Brantingham), Clif (Cliff) and Cave, by the service of 1 knight’s fee. Tudhoe is not mentioned. His heir was his son Richard Gobion, aged 30 or more, rather than Sir Hugh Gubyon of Tudhoe, who was evidently a younger son. Sir Hugh subsequently gave his lands in Yeddingham to the monastery there, in return for prayers in perpetuity for the souls of Roger and William de Merlay, his uncles, and of Richard Gubyon, his brother (cited in Yorkshire Inquisitions as Burton’s Mon. Ebor. (p. 286).) Roger and William, and Hugh’s mother Agnes de Merlay, were children of Roger de Merlay, Lord of Morpeth. Yeddingham and Shilvington (which was later held by Sir Hugh Gubyon of Tudhoe) were among the lands that had been given to Hugh and Agnes by Roger de Merlay as a marriage gift (frank-marriage). It was this family who gave their name to Gubeon Wood outside Morpeth and “the Gubeon” nearby, now an equestrian centre.

The 14th Century

The 14th Century was a time of many wars with Scotland, with invasions and raids in both directions. The men of Tudhoe will often have been involved. The fittest among them will have been called up to defend the region when there was a Scottish incursion, and sometimes to join armies intending to invade Scotland. In addition, it was a normal part of warfare in mediaeval times to burn villages and crops whenever possible, to deprive the enemy of men and supplies. This was seldom as drastic or as widespread as the Harrying of the North in 1069-70, but there were nevertheless multiple occasions when Scottish armies attacked Durham and some when they swept far enough south that Tudhoe was in the firing line. This chapter will therefore begin with a general history of the Scottish wars, indicating where possible the occasions when Tudhoe was in reach of Scottish depradations.

The First War of Scottish Independence, 1296-1328

In 1295, Scotland under King John Balliol concluded a treaty with France that came to be known as the Auld Alliance. Its terms were essentially of mutual defence: if either country was invaded by England, the other would invade English territory.

King Edward I of England already had designs on Scotland. In response to the treaty, he sacked Berwick in 1296 and defeated the Scots decisively at Dunbar. He forced King John to abdicate and made many Scottish nobles swear alliegance to him. This started the first War of Scottish Independence. Edward felt himself secure, so began a campaign in France. In 1297, however, several rebellions against the English started around Scotland. One in the west was successfully suppressed, but an English army was routed at the Battle of Stirling Bridge by a much smaller Scottish army under William Wallace. After this, Wallace led a large Scottish force as far south as the Tyne [C. J. McNamee, Northern History 26, 40-58 (1990)]. Most of the country people fled, perhaps because their armed men had already been involved in the defeat at Stirling Bridge. Wallace laid waste to Northumberland and much of Cumberland, though in the end he did not attack Newcastle or Carlisle. He also did not cross far into County Durham, perhaps because he heard that the Bishop was amassing an army in Durham; in reality this was untrue, because the Durham militia had sent much of its strength to the English forces in Scotland.

The following year, Edward I led another invasion of Scotland, and eventually managed to engage with Wallace at the Battle of Falkirk. This time the English were victorious. Wallace escaped, and evaded capture until 1305, but was then handed over to the English and taken to London, where he was tried for treason (despite never swearing alliegance to Edward) and executed.

Robert the Bruce became King of Scots in 1306, but 3 months later he was defeated by Edward I at the Battle of Methven. Over the following months, Edward took control of most of Scotland; he captured several of Robert’s relatives and executed several of them. However, Edward I died in 1307. His son Edward II was never secure on the throne, at least partly because of his relationship with his favourite (and perhaps lover) Piers Gaveston. Gaveston’s power was such that he was described as a “second king”, and many English nobles hated him. In 1312 the Earl of Warwick captured Gaveston and had him executed, much to the King’s humiliation. Even after that, Edward took another favourite, Hugh Despenser the Younger, who angered Edward’s wife Isabella enough that she deserted him and fled to France, where she took the exiled rebel Roger Mortimer as her lover.

Edward II’s troubles at home prevented him giving attention to Scotland. Between 1307 and 1314 Robert the Bruce progressively retook most of Scotland, culminating in a lengthy siege of Stirling Castle in 1314. Edward II finally led an English army to relieve Stirling, but suffered a devastating defeat at the Battle of Bannockburn. Edward himself only just escaped, and retreated to York. Stirling Castle quickly fell.

Edward’s retreat left the North of England open to Scottish raids, and there were many over the next 5 years. The raids developed a familiar pattern: the Scots would ride through lowland Northumberland and Durham, cross the Pennines through Swaledale or further south, and return to Scotland with their plunder through the western uplands. In some years the Durham landowners bought off the Scots with enormous cash payments, and then they mostly rode through the Bishopric to pillage Yorkshire and beyond. But nevertheless many Durham tenants left their lands for fear of the Scots. The raids were compounded by the Great Famine of 1315 to 1317, when torrential rains destroyed crops in the fields and vast numbers of people died of hunger across most of northern Europe. They culminated in a resounding Scottish victory at the Battle of Myton in Yorkshire in 1319, followed by the signing of a truce in December to last 2 years.

1322 was a cataclysmic year in the north of England. In January that year, as soon as the truce expired, the Scots raided Durham and spent 2 weeks carrying out “the burning of the Bishopric”, with devastating effect. It is unlikely that Tudhoe escaped their depradations. In March, Edward defeated his own English rebels at the Battle of Boroughbridge, and began preparations to invade Scotland, but Robert retaliated with preemptive raids that reached as far south as Chorley in Lancashire. Edward’s invasion of Scotland finally took place in August, but failed in sickness and famine near Edinburgh without ever engaging the Scots; by September, Edward was back in England. The Scots invaded England once again, this time down the west, and in October they caught Edward almost by surprise at Rievaulx in Yorkshire. The armies met at the Battle of Byland, south of the North York Moors, and Edward was once again heavily defeated. A truce was agreed in 1323, to last 13 years.

In 1326, Edward’s wife Isabella and Roger Mortimer led an invasion of England. They captured Edward and Hugh Despenser in South Wales in November. Despenser was hanged, drawn, and quartered at Hereford. The king was imprisoned and forced to abdicate in favour of his son, who was crowned Edward III in February 1327. Edward II died in September that year, probably murdered.

Edward III was only 14 when he was crowned, so Isabella and Mortimer effectively ruled in his name. Robert the Bruce had fallen ill, but the Scots neverthless saw an opportunity; they invaded England and began to plunder and burn Weardale, to the west of Durham. An English army under Mortimer arrived at Durham, with Edward in attendance but powerless. From Durham the English could see the smoke of burning farms, which must have been in the direction of Brancepeth, if not Tudhoe. The English army set off towards Weardale, but they were unable to engage with the Scots, so they went north to try to cut off a Scottish retreat through Tynedale. This was unsuccessful, but eventually an English scout freed by the Scots led the English army to the Scottish positions on the river Wear near Stanhope. There followed a standoff; the Scots were in a stronger position, but with limited food, while the English dared not attack across the river. Eventually, after an attack on the English camp when the Scots succeeded in collapsing Edward III’s tent around him, the Scots succeeded in slipping away northwards, and back to Scotland unharmed.

The invasion had left the north of England looted and the English treasury ruined. There would be no money to defend against another invasion, so Isabella and Mortimer had no option but to negotiate. The resulting Treaty of Edinburgh and Northampton essentially agreed Robert the Bruce’s demands: it recognised Scotland as an independent kingdom, with Robert as its king. This brought an end to the First War of Scottish Independence.

The Second War of Scottish Independence, 1332-1357

The peace did not last long. Robert the Bruce died in 1329 and was succeeded by his 5-year-old son David II. In 1330, days before his 18th birthday, Edward III overthrew Mortimer and established his personal rule. Mortimer was hanged at Tyburn. Edward tried to take advantage of David’s minority and covertly supported an invasion by Edward Balliol, the son of the former King John Balliol. Balliol was victorious at the Battle of Dupplin Moor in 1332, and was crowned King of Scots. David II and his retinue were evacuated to France. However, within months Balliol was forced to flee back to England by David’s supporters, where he sought refuge with the Cliffords in Westmorland.

In 1333, Edward III openly declared his support for Balliol and joined him in an invasion of Scotland. They captured Berwick and defeated the Scots at the Battle of Halidon Hill. Balliol then ceded Lothian to Edward and paid homage to him, effectively declaring Scotland subservient to England. Balliol was also betrothed to Edward’s 12-year-old sister Joan, even though she was already married to the 10-year-old David II in exile and already Queen of Scotland. Nevertheless, David’s supporters soon forced Balliol back to England again. Edward III and Balliol invaded Scotland again in 1334, but this time they were unable to bring the Scots to battle, and they retreated back to England in 1335. They tried once more in 1336, and laid waste to much countryside, but were again unsuccessful. I have not found evidence to show that the Durham militia and the men of Tudhoe were called upon for these campaigns, but they were the traditional source of men for armies to fight the Scots.

King David was still under age. He remained in France until 1341, when at age 17 he finally returned to take the reins of government.

The Border Reivers

The wars between England and Scotland dealt very harshly with the people living near the border, on both sides. Their villages and crops were continually burnt by invading armies and raiding parties. Even if the people could escape to the hills, arable farming was unsustainable and livestock farming was marginal. The lands became lawless, and raiding each others’ homes and flocks became a way of life. The border clans on both sides built fortified stone houses to survive: to this day the Borders are scattered with these bastles and peles, some ruined and some still lived in. England and Scotland each divided their border countries into East, Middle and West Marches, with Wardens appointed on each side to keep some sort of order. There were special Laws of the Marches, dictating ways to pursue cross-border legal claims and times that it was legal to chase raiders into the other country. But the laws were flouted as much as they were obeyed, and the border chieftains developed fearsome reputations. This way of life was to persist for centuries, and ended only with the Union of the Crowns of England and Scotland in 1603.

English Claims to the Throne of France

The disputes between England and France came to a head in 1328, when Charles IV of France died without sons or brothers, and his sister Isabella claimed the throne for her 15-year-old son, King Edward III of England. The French nobility rejected Edward’s claim and gave the throne to Philip VI. Edward (as Duke of Aquitaine) accepted this until 1337, but then refused to pay homage; in response, Philip attempted to confiscate Edward’s remaining lands in Aquitaine (namely Gascony), and Edward decided to press his claims as King of France.

The Battle of Neville’s Cross, 1346

In 1346, King Philip VI of France assembled a large army to attack English possessions in Gascony. In response, Edward III landed a smaller army in northern France and burned his way to the outskirts of Paris, then turned north to join with an expected force from Flanders. The campaign culminated in the great Battle of Crécy, where the English longbowmen triumphed over the French crossbowmen. In its aftermath, the English took Calais, and held it for over 200 years.

In the early stages of this, when the English intention to invade became clear, King Philip wrote to King David II, now 22, begging him to attack England to draw Edward off. David had strong sympathies with France, which had helped him so much in his youth, and the terms of the Auld Alliance required it, so he agreed. It took some time, and it was not until 5 weeks after Crécy that David’s force entered England near Carlisle and then moved on to Hexham and Durham. Philip had assured David that the North of England would be undefended, but in reality it was well prepared. A large army of the northern militias was assembled at York, and marched north to meet the invaders. The armies met in the Battle of Neville’s Cross, just outside Durham City, where King David himself was captured.

On the morning of the battle, the Scots were encamped at Beaurepaire (Bearpark), which belonged to the Prior of Durham; they sacked it, and it has been a ruin ever since. The English army spent the night in Auckland Park, and moved on next morning to Merrington. A Scottish foraging party under William Douglas, Earl of Moray, unexpectedly encountered the English army at Ferryhill, a few miles south of Tudhoe: the Scots were pursued northwards up the Great North Road towards Sunderland Bridge, with the loss of 500 men. The route along which this massacre took place came to be called Butcher Race; it passes less than a mile from Tudhoe village, and was probably counted as Spenny Moor in 1346, though it was part of Tudhoe in the 17th century.

Douglas advised King David to avoid battle, but his advice was ignored. The English army crossed the Wear at Sunderland Bridge and advanced to Neville’s Cross. In the ensuing battle, the Scottish army was overwhelmed by English cavalry under Edward Baliol. King David himself was captured.

A ransom of 100,000 marks was agreed for King David in 1347, at a rate of 10,000 marks per year, but only the first 2 installments were paid. David remained in captivity in England until 1357, after the Treaty of Berwick. He died childless in 1371 and was succeeded by his nephew Robert III.

The Black Death came to England in 1348-50, and killed almost half the population. It also brought peace to the border counties for several years. After the plague, the resulting labour shortages led to considerable changes in the relationships between lords and their feudal tenants: tenants were in demand, so they became more mobile, and could no longer be exploited as ruthlessly as before. Many villages shrank in size at this time, and some were abandoned, accounting for many of the “deserted mediaeval villages” found on maps today. The plague was to return at intervals for the next 150 years, and the population of Europe as a whole took 200 years to return to the level of 1340.

By 1355, the Black Death had receded. Edward the Black Prince, son of Edward III, led another invasion from Gascony into France. David II was still in captivity, but King John II of France pressed the Scottish nobles to fulfil once more the terms of the Auld Alliance. In response they gathered forces and besieged Berwick; they took the town, but failed to take the Castle. The following year, Edward III assembled an English army in Newcastle; it seems highly likely that the Tudhoe militiamen were part of this. Edward retook Berwick, and set off for Edinburgh, but the Scots successfully deprived him of supply and he retreated to Carlisle. The affair ended in the Treaty of Berwick of 1357, under which David was released but Berwick remained under English control.

Invasions of 1372, 1385, 1388 and 1402

There was relative peace on the border in the years following 1357, though cross-border raids continued and the Auld Alliance was renewed in 1371, shortly after Robert III became King of Scots. A particularly large raid occurred in 1372, when Lord Henry Percy invaded Scotland with 7000 men and camped near Duns, some way inland from Berwick. However, the local peasantry managed to harass the English camp and scare the horses enough that they retreated back across the border.

King Edward III died in 1377. His son Edward had died the previous year, so he was succeeded by his 10-year-old grandson Richard II. Wat Tyler’s Peasants’ revolt took place in 1381, but it was entirely a southern affair. In 1385, Richard led an invasion into Scotland with around 14000 men. His banners included that of St. Cuthbert, so the Durham militia was probably there, including men of Tudhoe. The English met little direct resistance. They destroyed much of Lothian and burned Edinburgh. However, Richard was short of funds and there were disagreements among his nobles, so they did not achieve much else, and retreated back to England after only 2 weeks.

The campaign of 1385 left southern Scotland sufficiently damaged that truces were established for the next 3 years. In 1388, however, two separate Scottish armies invaded England. One attacked Carlisle in the west, while another under the Sir James Douglas entered through Redesdale and penetrated all the way to Brancepeth. The Duke of Northumberland sent his son Harry Percy (Hotspur) to engage the eastern invasion. However, Hotspur was roundly defeated at the Battle of Otterburn; although Douglas died in the battle, both Hotspur and his brother Ralph were captured, along with 1000 others from the English side. The Percys were ransomed, but at great expense. The story of the battle is recounted in the ancient Ballad of Chevy Chase.

In 1399, Henry Bolingbroke rebelled against King Richard II and usurped the throne of England as Henry IV. The Percys were among his supporters. Henry’s first military campaign was an invasion of Scotland in 1400, though it accomplished little. In retaliation, a large Scottish invasion in 1402 looted the area around Carlisle, and a smaller raid was defeated near Berwick at the second Battle of Nesbit Moor (more of a skirmish, really). But later the same year, the Earl of Douglas led a much larger expedition that laid waste to most of Northumberland. This culminated in the Battle of Homildon Hill, near Wooler, where Harry Percy (Hotspur) won a conclusive victory over the Scots; Douglas himself was wounded and taken prisoner. However, Henry IV refused to allow the Percys to ransom their captives, as was customary. Along with other grievances, this led the Percys to rebel against Henry. In 1403, Hotspur marched south to join forces with Owain Glyndwr’s rebellion in Wales, but met Henry IV at the Battle of Shrewsbury. The battle was close fought, but ultimately Hotspur was killed and Henry was victorious.

Tudhoe in the 14th Century: The Ogles, the Nevilles, and village expansion

The expansion of arable farming continued into the early years of the 14th century, until the Great Famine of 1315-17 and the Scottish raids that followed the English defeat at Bannockburn. The Priory continued to establish new enclosures on Spenny Moor, and the villagers of Tudhoe and Hett continued to object.

In 1304, Sir Hugh Gubyon of Tudhoe reliquished all his rights of common pasture in Fery, Kirk, Midlest and West Merington (Ferryhill, Kirk Merrington, Middleton and Westerton) in return for the Prior relinquishing his rights of common pasture in Tudhoe.

Sir Hugh probably died before 1310, when Johis (John) Gobion was Lord of Tudhoe and relinquished all rights of pasture on farmed land on Spenny Moor. The document also recalls the agreement on the mill race as originating when Richard de Claxton was Prior (1273-85). It adds that the water came from the eastern fish-pond of Merrington, which Dodd (1897) places near Wood Vue Farm (close to the current Cow Plantation nature reserve).

The documents from 1304 and 1310 are transcribed in Latin by Conyers Surtees (Tudhoe, Appendices II and III), though he dates them as 1303 and 1304, respectively. The dates of 1304 and 1310 are given consistently in later documents that quote the agreements.

John Gobion was probably an otherwise undocumented son of Sir Hugh, who died without issue. Sir Hugh’s lands passed next to his daughter Margaret Gobion, who in about 1305 had married Sir Robert Ogle, of Ogle in Northumberland. Ogle actually lies within about 2 miles of Sir Hugh’s principal manor of Shilvington, south-west of Morpeth.

Sir Hugh was certainly dead by 1317, when an IPM for Ralph, Baron of Craystok (Graystock) lists Shilvyntoune as held by “the heirs of Sir Hugh Gubyoun”, without naming them.

The historian monk Richard de Graystanes recorded in the 1330s that Prior Richard de Hoton (elected in 1290)

converted Spenny Moor to cultivated land, but at great expense; although the men of Tudhoe and Hett resisted him, claiming common pasture there, the Prior contented them all by paying compensation for their grievances.

Two of the new enclosures were known as Yorkhouse and Moorhouse. It seems likely that these were on the sites that later became York Hill Farm and Tudhoe Moor Farm. A document from about 1440 (DCA Loc. XXI:26), describing events much earlier, says that

The church had a field in the vills of Fery, East Merrington, Middle Merrington and West Merrington commonly called Spennymoor which extended from Thynforde to Auckland Park and wherein Richard prior of Durham gave Thomas of Dalton a messuage and 30 acres for 2 marks annually, the messuage being called Yorkhouse, and another prior gave another messuage called Morehouse with 15 acres to John Ogle who sold the vill of Tudhoe to Dom John Neville in 1371 and the tenants of Tudhoe pastured the said messuage and land, paying nothing, to the great loss of the prior.

The John Ogle involved with Moorhouse was probably Sir John Ogle of Ogle, who died in 1323. He was the father of Sir Robert Ogle, who married Margaret Gobion and thus acquired Tudhoe Village.

Tudhoe in the 14th century was a rural community, but it was not cut off from the outside world. People moved around, and various people living elsewhere are described as “of Tudhowe” in the Chancery Rolls. For example, in 1345, justices were appointed to inquire into a complaint made by John of the Castel, cook, and his wife Agnes, against Geoffrey Gray and Thomas de Tuddow of Durham; it was claimed that Geoffrey and Thomas had ridden over Agnes in the Bailey at Durham, causing her to have a miscarriage. Durham also had international connections: in 1352, the Chancery Roll records that William de Beautrove, Adam Smyth of Tudhowe, William Barker of Tudhowe, William Todd of Tudhowe and Peter Igson acknowledged their obligations to Bonagius Pouch of Florence, moneyer. It is likely that Bonagius was in charge of the Bishop’s mint, striking silver pennies at Moneyer’s Garth on Palace Green. Beautrove is the old name for Butterby, now an isolated farm on the banks of the River Wear near Croxdale.

Tudhoe was within the range of Scottish foraging parties during the invasion of King David II in 1346, before the Battle of Neville’s Cross. As described above, the English army first encountered a party of Scots near Ferryhill, the day before the battle, and chased them down towards the River Wear at Sunderland Bridge. The route of the chase has been known as Butcher Race ever since, and lies less than a mile east of Tudhoe Village.

Sir Robert Ogle fought at Neville’s Cross, where he commanded Queen Philippa’s guards. He captured John Douglas (the Earl of Douglas’s brother) and three other important prisoners. After the battle, King David was captured by John de Coupland, supposedly under Aldin Grange bridge (over the River Browney, about a mile from Neville’s Cross). Tradition says that Coupland lost two teeth to King David’s gauntlet.

John de Coupland (or Copeland) is usually described as a “Northumbrian esquire”. However, it seems he was actually a border reiver, with a keen sense of the value of his new captive. He refused to turn King David over to Queen Philippa, who was King Edward’s representative on the spot. Instead he took him to Ogle Castle, 25 miles to the north, where Sir Robert Ogle gave him safe haven. Coupland went personally to King Edward III at the Seige of Calais, and came away with his bargain: not only elevation to the rank of knight banneret and a pension of the vast sum of £500 per year, but also the King’s pardon for “all breaches of the peace, homicides, felonies, robberies, thefts, harbouring felons and other enemies of the King” committed before his elevation. This was probably very necessary for a border reiver who wanted to escape the noose! Coupland went on to be a major landowner in the Borders, and Sheriff of Northumberland on several occasions, but was ambushed and killed by a large party of armed men while crossing Bolton Moor in 1363. Despite many enquiries, his murderers were never caught.

Sir Robert Ogle died in 1350, probably of plague. His son was another Sir Robert, who married Joan Hepple and died in 1362. Their son, also Sir Robert, married Helen Bertram, but was killed fighting the Scots at Berwick in 1355 at the age of 23. The Ogle lands therefore passed directly in 1362 to his son, yet another Sir Robert, who inherited at the age of 9. He married Joan Heaton and lived until 1409. He was presumably the one who sold Tudhoe to John Lord Neville in 1371, as described above.

According to the IPM for William, Baron of Greystok (33 Edward III no. 524), the manor of Shilvington (previously Sir Hugh Gubyon’s) was held in 1360 by Robert de Ogle, Thomas de Fenwyk and Joan his wife and John de Fenwyk, by service of a moiety of a knight’s fee. It is not clear how it came to be split, but division of Sir Hugh’s inheritance might explain the nonspecific reference to “the heirs of Sir Hugh Gubyoun” in 1317 and the IPM for Matilda, widow of Thomas de Tesedale of Tudhowe, who died in 1338. The latter includes “one messuage and seventy acres of arable and pasture land”, held by Matilda “and her three partners”, listed as “held of the three lords who are partners in Tudhowe”. The rent paid was 40s (quadraginta solidos) per annum.

In 1361, Sir Robert de Oggle bought back 1/12 of the manor of Shilvyngton from Thomas de Fenwyk and Joan his wife for 100 marks (Feet of Fines CP 25/1/181/13, number 118). Perhaps he did the same for Tudhoe.

The fact that it was Robert (not John) Ogle who sold Tudhoe is confirmed by a remarkable report from around 1400 (DCA Loc. XXI:5), which gives fascinating details of the village and its (then) recent expansion:

Report to Dom Richard of Chesterfield, canon of Lincoln cathedral, by J Coken and J Dalton, that, following personal inspections performed summarily on the spot over Tudhoe, Yorkhouse and Moorhouse, as he asked, according to what they discovered, with John and William Hoton present, the fact is thus: the vill of Tudhoe in the parish of Brancepeth has common pasture in the territories of the granges of Yorkhouse and Moorhouse in Spennymoor in the parish of East Merrington, which parishes are separated by diked (fossatos) boundaries; and thirty years ago all the arable of Yorkhouse and Moorhouse was in full cultivation, and the inhabitants of the said houses abounded in animals, namely ewes and others, with full pasture; and now, and twenty years since, the houses are waste, because the lands are not under cultivation, but are merely for pasture; thirty years ago the vill of Tudhoe was in the hands of Robert Ogill, few dwelt there and it was not rich in animals; and now the vill, after coming into the hands of the Lord de Nevill, now the Earl of Westmorland, is augmented with thirty houses with hearths (fumalibus), and the inhabitants are so many that the arable is not enough for a third of the men dwelling there, nor the pasture for their animals, unless they lease for cultivation the lands of the prior of Durham within the parish of East Merrington in farm, and the ewes and other beasts of the inhabitants of Tudhoe are grazed in the pasture of Yorkhouse and Moorhouse and lie there for the greater part of the year.

The date of this report is open to some question. A copy of it in a case from 1447 (DCA Reg.IV f.54v-55r) identifies J Coken as John Coken, who was Dean of Lanchester in 1399 (DCA Loc. XX:8(1)). However, the copy describes Richard of Chesterfield as “then Rector of Brancepeth” rather than a canon of Lincoln Cathedral. He was Rector of Brancepeth from 1362, but had been replaced there by 1384. He was also a canon of St. Mary’s, Lincoln by 1373 (DCA Misc.Ch. 5017). Nevertheless, the mention of the Lord de Nevill as Earl of Westmorland in the earlier version places it clearly after his elevation to the earldom in 1397. Richard of Chesterfield died in 1405, so the report can be no later than that. Overall it seems likely to be from around 1400.

The abandonment of the outlying houses at Yorkhouse and Moorhouse around 1380 was part of a wider picture of depopulation in the latter part of the 14th century, resulting from the Great Famine of 1315-17 and repeated plagues following the Black Death of 1349-50. In County Durham, the situation was worsened by repeated Scottish raids, particularly between 1315 and 1347. It is remarkable that, even against this backdrop, the Nevilles managed to expand Tudhoe Village, probably to double its original size, in the years following their repurchase of it in 1371.

S J Harris has documented the decline of farming on Spenny Moor in this period (in Agriculture and Rural Society after the Black Death, University of Hertfordshire Press, 2008, ed. B Dodds and R Britnell). The Priory was receiving large revenues for farms on the moor in 1341, and even in 1361 Giles of Tudhoe was paying tithes for Yorkhouse (DCA Loc. XXI:25). But after 1370 the revenues collapsed, and by the end of the century there were no grain tithes at all from Spenny Moor. Nevertheless, a document of 1436 (DCA Loc XXI:25) says that in a rental of 1382 there were 60 tenants of Tudhoe farming various acres on Spennymoor and rendering a total of £7 12d. This is further testament to the remarkable growth of Tudhoe Village under the Nevilles.

In summer 1388, shortly before the Battle of Otterburn, a Scottish army under Sir James Douglas raided the Bishopric of Durham and reached as far as Brancepeth, burning as they went. From there they would only have had to cross the river Wear over an easy ford to read Tudhoe, less than 3 miles away. Perhaps they did.

At the battle itself, Sir Robert Ogle was one of those captured by the Scots, along with Sir Henry Percy (Hotspur) and many others. He was later ransomed.

These were violent times. We can only wonder at the story behind a case in 1392, when Thomas de Elmeden, Thomas de Langton, William Langtonman, John de Bisshopton, Thomas Plungone and William Cowper of Helmeslay lay in ambush for John de Westwyk, clerk, at “Bronwood on this side of Durham” and pursued him to Tudhoe, where they killed him. Is it possible that this was John Westwyk, the celebrated astronomer monk whose Equatorie of the Planetis gave instructions for making an astronomical instrument (an equatorium) to calculate the positions of the planets? The Equatorie is usually dated to 1393, but nothing is known of Westwyk’s life after he wrote it, though he is mentioned as a monk of St. Albans in a papal document of 1397. The men who killed him were pardoned, which in those days probably implied only that they had powerful friends.

The Nevilles of Raby and Brancepeth

The Nevilles grew in power and reputation throughout the 13th and 14th centuries. Geoffrey de Neville was succeeded in about 1242 by his son Robert (ca. 1223-82), who supported King Henry III against Simon de Montfort. Robert’s grandson Ranulph Neville (ca. 1262-1331) was a founding member of the House of Lords when it was established in 1295, as 1st Baron Neville of Raby. His son Ralph Neville (2nd Baron Neville, ca. 1291-1367) led the English army at the Battle of Neville’s Cross in 1346, where King David II of Scotland was taken prisoner. Ralph’s son John Neville (3rd Baron Neville, ca. 1328-1388) fought at both Crecy and Neville’s Cross in 1346, and in 1380 donated the Neville Screen that still stands behind the High Altar in Durham Cathedral. Both Ralph Neville and John Neville are buried with their wives in Durham Cathedral, though the effigies on their tombs were hacked to pieces by Scottish soldiers imprisoned in the cathedral in 1650 after the Battle of Dunbar.

In 1397, John’s son Ralph Neville (ca. 1364-1425) was created Earl of Westmorland by King Richard II. However, he soon rebelled, and in 1399 he supported Henry Bolingbroke (who became King Henry IV) against Richard II. Ralph Neville built most of Brancepeth Castle as it stood for the next 400 years. However, it should be noted that the Castle was extensively reshaped in the early 19th century by the Russell family. In Neville times, the main parts of the castle were the west and south-east ranges, ahead and across to the left when entering through the current gatehouse (whose round towers are a 19th-century creation).

Ralph the first Earl married twice, first to Margaret Stafford and then, after her death in 1396, to Joan Beaufort. He had children by both marriages, and this led to a permanent rift in the Neville family. His children by Margaret Stafford inherited Raby and Brancepeth and the title Earl of Westmorland. But in later life he increasingly favoured his children by his second marriage: he gave them most of his other lands (technically by enfoeffment) and arranged strategic marriages that brought them even greater titles and lands. By the time of Joan’s death in 1440, her children included an earl, three barons, a countess, three duchesses and the Bishop of Durham. So it was the “junior” branch of the Nevilles who became the most powerful, including magnates such as Richard Neville (1400-1460), Earl of Warwick, known as “Warwick the Kingmaker”.

Nevertheless, it is the Nevilles of Raby and Brancepeth who are most important to the story of Tudhoe. Their principal seat was at Raby Castle, about 13 miles south-west of Tudhoe, which they used as their palace. But Raby was notoriously poorly sited for defense, so in times of warfare and unrest they used Brancepeth as their fortress. This is reflected in places of burial: the senior Nevilles were mostly buried at St. Mary’s church in Staindrop, which lies only about a mile from Raby Castle. The funeral effigies there today include those of Isabel de Neville (12th-century wife of Robert FitzMaldred), Margery (2nd wife of Ralph Lord Neville, d. 1343), Ralph Neville (first Earl of Westmorland, d. 1425) with his two wives, and Henry Neville (fifth Earl of Westmorland, d. 1564) with his first two wives.

However, other members of the family were sometimes styled as “of Brancepeth”, and presumably lived there:

Sir Robert Neville of Brancepeth (d. 1319) was the eldest son and heir of Ranulph Neville, 1st Baron Neville of Raby. His story is told by H. S. Offler in Murder on Framwellgate Bridge, Archaeologia Aeliana Ser. 5, vol 16, 193 (1988). He was the effective head of the Neville family from 1313, when his father Lord Ranulph withdrew from public life following excommunication for incest with his daughter Anastasia. This was the period when the Scots under Robert the Bruce were conducting frequent raids into Northern England and demanding (and receiving) enormous sums to refrain from burning the villages of Durham. Sir Robert was known as “the Peacock of the North” and vied with Sir Richard FitzMarmaduke to be seen as the principal lay gentleman of the Bishopric. Both of them were heavily involved in collecting the dues demanded by the Scots. Their rivalry developed into a feud, and in 1318 Sir Robert ambushed and killed Sir Richard as he was entering Durham across Framwellgate Bridge. The following year, Sir Robert and his three brothers led a raid into Scotland; according to Scottish poet John Barbour, writing 50 years afterwards, he died in hand-to-hand combat with Sir James Douglas in a skirmish against the Scots at Skaithmuir. All three of his brothers were captured, and ransomed at great expense. In 1331, his brother Ralph succeeded their father as 2nd Baron Neville, and went on to lead the English army at the Battle of Neville’s Cross in 1346. Sir Robert is buried in St. Brandon’s church, just outside the walls of Brancepeth Castle, and his stone effigy survived the devastating fire of 1998.

Ralph the second Earl of Westmorland (ca. 1405-84, actually the first Earl’s grandson) did not have access to Raby Castle until 1440, because Joan Beaufort held it as part of her dower. Ralph probably lived at Brancepeth Castle in that period, and perhaps longer; documents in his name were often signed at Brancepeth for the rest of his life. Indeed he was buried at Brancepeth in 1484. Unfortunately his magnificent oak effigy in St. Brandon’s was destroyed in the fire of 1998.

Sir Thomas Neville of Brancepeth (ca. 1410-1458) was this Ralph’s younger brother, and may have acted as his guardian at times.

Sir Humphrey Neville of Brancepeth (ca. 1439-1469) was the son of Sir Thomas. He fought on the Lancastrian side in the Wars of the Roses and was eventually executed after taking part in several rebellions against King Edward IV.

The Nevilles held Raby and Brancepeth continuously from around 1200 through to the 16th century. However, as seen above, they sold Tudhoe in the 13th century. John, 2nd Baron Neville, bought it back in 1371, but it is not listed in the IPM taken when he died in 1388. However, the manor of Tudhowe is listed explicitly in the IPM for Ralph, the 1st Earl, in 1425. After his death, Raby and Brancepeth (along with Tudhoe) passed in succession to his grandson Ralph (2nd Earl, ca. 1405-84), the 2nd Earl’s nephew Ralph (3rd Earl, 1456-99), the 3rd Earl’s grandson Ralph (4th Earl, 1498-1549), his son Henry (5th Earl, ca. 1524-64) and his son Charles (6th Earl, 1543-1601). Charles Neville forfeited his title and lands and lived in exile after the Rebellion in the North in 1569.

The 15th Century

The Anglo-Scottish wars were much less active for most of the 15th century than in the 14th century. The battle of Homildon Hill had left the Scots without many of their leaders. Moreover, Robert III of Scotland died in 1406, leaving the kingdom to his 11-year-old son James I. However, James was already in captivity in England. Two weeks before Robert died, James had been dispatched to France to keep him safe from threats from other Scottish nobles. But the ship carrying him was attacked by English pirates on its way to France, and the pirates delivered him to Henry IV in London. James was captive in England for the next 18 years, though the conditions of his captivity varied. He received a good education under Henry IV, and he seems to have developed some sympathy with his English captors; indeed, he actually fought for King Henry V in France in 1420-21, before Henry’s death in 1422. James was released and returned to Scotland in 1423, where he ruled until his assassination in 1437. There were no major wars between England and Scotland in this period, or for some time afterwards. For the men of Tudhoe, the period from 1403 to 1480 was probably a relatively peaceful time, though the Lancastrian War with France raged from 1415 to 1453 and the internal Wars of the Roses from 1455 to 1487.

The most notable inhabitant of Tudhoe in the early 15th century was John Hoton. He held only “a messuage and five acres of arable land” in Tudhoe from Ralph, Earl of Westmorland “by fidelity and the service of rendering yearly one grain of corn”. However, he also held substantial lands in his own right elsewhere: for example, in 1410 he acquired a share in the manors of West Brandon, Inesley and Roweley from Thomas de Redworth. In 1409 and 1414 he was among those appointed Commissioners of Array for the ward of Darlington. This was during the Hundred Years War with France, and the function of Commissioners of Array was to hold musters of all men of military age (16 to 60) and to select the fittest for military service. The musters for Darlington ward were probably held on Spenny Moor, close to Tudhoe, and must have been quite an event.

The names of John and Henry Hoton are listed among those who fought with King Henry V at the Battle of Agincourt on St. Crispin’s Day, 25 October 1415; this could just be a coincidence of names, but since John Hoton was Commissioner of Array and a Henry Heton [sic] of Tuddowe is mentioned in Bishop Langley’s Chancery Roll in 1412, it seems likely that these were indeed John and Henry Hoton of Tudhoe. Further credence is lent to this by the fact that John Hoton held the manor of Bromyholm from the Bishop of Durham “by foreign service”.

John Hoton died in 1420, and was succeeded by his son William, who soon moved from Tudhoe to Hunwick ( about 5 miles to the west, on the other side of the River Wear). This William Hoton must not be confused with another of the same name, William Hoton of Herdwyk (Hardwick, near Sedgefield): they were related, but were sometimes both mentioned in the same document, so they cannot be the same person. In any case, neither of them lived in Tudhoe after 1426. However, John Hoton’s widow Johanna survived until 1444, and it seems quite likely that she continued to live at Tudhoe.

In 1426, Sir William Eure of Woton, William Spence and William Hoton of Herdwyk were given custody of lands that included the manor of Tudhowe. This was just after the death of the 1st Earl of Westmorland; his son John was already dead, so the Earldom passed to his grandson Ralph, who was only 19 and thus under age. However, there seem to have been problems: the following year, a writ of scire facias (summons to appear at court) was issued against the three custodians, “for debt at the suit of the Lord Bishop”.

In 1454, William Joy of Tudhowe, described as a “walker” (fuller, cloth-worker), was sentenced to death because he and Adam Hedley of Tudhowe, yeoman, had broken into the house of a widow named Margaret Neuland at Midelham and stolen “certain of her goods and chattels”. However, Joy was pardoned by Bishop Neville at the request of Sir Thomas Nevile. It would be nice to know why.

The Nevilles held the manor of Tudhoe, and presumably had tenants who farmed the land. However, the lands held by John Hoton and his heirs were evidently special (though perhaps just because the Hotons were “chief tenants” elsewhere). In any case, there seems to be a plausibly continuous chain through from John Hoton to John Thursby and thus William Iley, who appears as a “free tenant” in 1570 (see below).

John Hoton’s lands probably descended as follows:

 Johanna (or Jane) Whitworth = John Hoton of Tuddowe
                d. 1444      |       d. 1421
                   William Hoton of Hunwick
                        Ralph Hoton
                       (d. ca. 1468)
                      John Hoton esquire          Richard Hansert of Walworth
                       ca. 1454-1485                       d. 1497
                             |                                |   
                             |                                |  
                    -----------------                ------------------
                   |                 |              |                  |
               Johanna           Elizabeth = William Hanshert        Thomas
             (1484-   )         (1484-   ) |     d. 1520
                                   William Haunsard
                  Sir Francis Ascugh = Elizabeth Hanserd of Walworth
                         d. 1565          (1522-   )
                  (sold lands to John Thursby in 1557,
                  who sold them to William Iley in 1561)

This account will skip over the very complicated history of England during the Wars of the Roses, which were fought between the Plantagenet houses of York and Lancaster between 1455 and 1485. They perhaps did not much affect the men of Tudhoe, with the exception of John Hoton, Esq., described below. Nevertheless, it is worth noting that the Nevilles of Raby and Brancepeth were staunchly Lancastrian for most of the period. The more powerful branch of the Nevilles descended from Joan Beaufort were mostly Yorkist, though Richard Neville (Warwick the Kingmaker) ultimately switched to the Lancastrian side before his death in 1471.

A considerable amount is known about John Hoton Esq., and is excellently described by W. E. Hampton in John Hoton of Hunwick and Tudhoe, County Durham, The Ricardian, VII (1985), pp. 2-17. John was associated with Richard, Duke of Gloucester, who was based at Middleham in north Yorkshire; Richard was the brother of the Yorkist King Edward IV and married Warwick’s daughter Anne Neville. In 1480, there was a large Scots raid, and King Edward IV appointed Gloucester as Lieutenant-General of the North to combat the threat. The Duke issued Commissions of Array for the northern counties, and John Hoton was one of the Commissioners for Durham. John Hoton was to serve under Gloucester for the rest of his life.

When Edward IV died in 1483, Gloucester was appointed protector of the 13-year-old Edward V, but chose instead to declare himself King, as Richard III, and imprison Edward and his younger brother in the Tower. These were the “Princes in the Tower”, supposedly murdered by Richard. Gloucester surrounded himself with northerners: when he set out towards London after Edward’s death in 1483, it was with “a competent number of gentlemen of the North, all clad in black”. John Hoton was among them, and was with Gloucester throughout the brief but turbulent period of his Protectorate. John Hoton also played a prominent part in suppressing the rebellions in the south that followed Richard’s coronation. By December 1483, Hoton had been appointed Esquire for the Body to Richard III, and was granted several manors in Hampshire previously held by Sir William Berkeley, who had been one of the rebels. Although Hoton retained his lands in the North, much of his subsequent work was in the south: for example, he was Commissioner of Array for Hampshire in 1484 and 1485 (as was Richard Hansard of Walworth). Hoton was also constable of Christchurch Castle, near Poole.

John Hoton probably died at the Battle of Bosworth Field, near Leicester, in August 1485, where Richard III was defeated by Henry Tudor, who then became King Henry VII. Richard himself died in the battle. John Hoton was buried in the chapel of Trinity College, Oxford (formerly Durham College). Unfortunately, his brass is no longer there.

The 16th Century

It is convenient to consider the 16th century as beginning with the accession of Henry VII as the first Tudor King of England in 1485. Many historians count this as the end of the mediaeval period and the beginning of the early modern period.

A seven-page fragment of a manorial Court Roll for Brancepeth for 1492-3 is preserved in the Public Record Office at Kew (SC/171/2). It deals with a number of villages, including Tudhoe as well as Brancepeth itself, Crook, Willington, Stockley and Thornley. The names mentioned for Tudhoe include Robert and Richard Harryson, John Hunter and a few others.

The format of the Court Roll suggests that Tudhoe was administered as part of the manor of Brancepeth, although it was still listed separately as “the manor and vill of Tudhow” in the IPM for Ralph, the 3rd Earl of Westmorland, in 1498 and as “the manor of Tuddhowe and lands and tenements there” in the IPM for Ralph, the 4th Earl, in 1549. However, it may have been absorbed formally into Brancepeth in about 1560: the Nevilles still owned it, but it is not mentioned in the Inquisition for Henry, the 5th Earl of Westmorland, in 1564, and it was definitely considered to be part of Brancepeth by the time of Homberston’s Survey in 1570 (see below).

Henry VII made peace with France, which had supported him in his original invasion against Richard III. This paved the way for peace with Scotland, and Henry’s daughter Margaret married James IV of Scotland in 1503.

This changed after Henry VIII succeeded his father in 1509 and joined the Holy League against France in 1511. There were also major provocations involving raiding to-and-fro across the Scottish Border. In the aftermath, James IV put together a vast Scottish army, estimated at 60,000 to 100,000 men, and crossed the border to attack Norham and other strongholds. The Earl of Surrey was sent with an army to meet the threat; he collected the Banner of St. Cuthbert from Durham, raised the Northern militia, and marched to meet the Scots. This time the men of Tudhoe must have been involved.

The two armies met at Flodden, in Northumberland between Wooler and Coldstream. Surrey was vastly outnumbered, but the light English guns proved more effective than the heavy Scottish ones, and the Scottish army collapsed. At the end of the day, there were 10000 Scottish dead, including James IV himself, compared to 1500 on the English side. However, the English border reivers then had a field day: they pillaged the dead and plundered the English camp, stealing their horses as well as their baggage. Bishop Ruthall of Durham wrote afterwards

“The borderers be falser than Scots, and have done more harm at this time than the Scots did. They never lighted from their horses, but when the battle joined then fell they to rifling and robbing on our side as well as of the Scots, and have taken much goods besides horses and cattle. And over that they took divers prisoners of ours and delivered them to the Scots, so that our folks as much fear the falsehood of them as they do the Scots.”

Flodden was a devastating defeat for Scotland, which left it unwilling to undertake any serious military action for decades. It is tempting to wonder whether the naming of Coldstream Farm between Tudhoe and Croxdale had anything to do with the Battle of Flodden.

King James IV and his wife Margaret, Henry VIII’s sister, had several children, but the only one alive when James IV died was 17-month-old James, who became James V. There were then 15 years of messy Regency in Scotland until James escaped from his guardians and began his own rule in 1528. Nevertheless, a fragile peace survived with England.

The Pilgrimage of Grace, 1536

[Sources: G. Moorhouse, The Pilgrimage of Grace (2002);
M. Bush, Durham and the Pilgrimage of Grace (2000).]

The Pilgrimage of Grace is the oddly understated name given to one of the most serious rebellions against Royal authority of the Tudor period. At one time the rebels had over 30000 well-armed men poised to attack Doncaster, then held for the King by the Duke of Norfolk.

In 1533-4, King Henry VIII separated the Church of England from Rome so that he could divorce Catherine of Aragon and marry Anne Boleyn. However, Anne herself soon fell from the King’s favour and was beheaded in May 1536. At the same time, Henry began dissolving the smaller monasteries, at least partly to plunder their gold and silver plate. The common people often benefitted from their local monasteries. They were also doubtful about the changes in the beliefs they were supposed to hold, and worried that the plunder might spread to their parish churches next. They blamed the changes on the King’s advisers, notably Thomas Cromwell and the bishops, more than on the King himself.

On 1 October 1536, the vicar of Louth in Lincolnshire preached a sermon against the new order. His flock rallied to defend the church and its valuables. The next day a mob interrupted a town election supervised by one of the Bishop of Lincoln’s staff, John Henneage, and forced him to swear an oath of allegiance to the commons. They next went to the Cistercian nunnery at Legbourne, where the King’s Commisioners were investigating that very day. They took the Commisioners prisoner back to Louth and roughed them up. At that point it had become a full rebellion.

This was an odd rebellion by modern standards. It was initially very much driven by the common people, but the commons were used to being led by the gentry in military affairs. The approach they took, now and throughout the Pilgrimage, was to descend in force on the houses of the gentry and demand that they swear an oath of alliegiance and then join them as leaders of the rebellion. If they refused, their houses were burnt or sacked. Many of the gentry fled before the commons arrived, and their houses were sacked too. But others agreed to swear the oath of alliegiance, and most of those then because enthusiastic and dedicated leaders of the Pilgrimage. Perhaps by that time they knew they were in too deep for the King to forgive.

On 4 October, 10000 men assembled on Hambledon Hill to support the rebellion. Thousands of them marched to Lincoln, where they ransacked the Bishop’s Palace. But the Lincolnshire rebels had no leaders with any determination, and the King managed to intimidate them into disbanding by threatening overwhelming force that he did not actually have.

By 12 October the Lincolnshire rebellion was over, but not before it had spread to Yorkshire. On 13 October, 10000 rebels gathered around Richmond, led by Robert Bowes, and more further east, led by William Stapleton and Robert Aske. On 16 October, the rebels took York and and on 19 October they took Hull. On 21 October they took Pontefract Castle, which was to be their main centre of command.

Aske was a gentleman from Aughton in Yorkshire, educated at the Inns of Court in London. He was to become the overall leader of the rebellion. In York on 17 October, he drew up the Oath of Honorable Men that was to be the rebellion’s guiding principle, coining the name “Pilgrimage of Grace” in the process:

“Ye shall not enter into this our Pilgrimage of Grace for the Commonwealth, but only for the love that ye do bear unto Almighty God, his faith, and to Holy Church militant and the maintence thereof, to the preservation of the King’s person and his issue, to the purifying of the nobility, and expluse all villein blood and evil councillors against the commonwealth from his Grace and his Privy Council of the same…”

Meanwhile, the rebellion spread to County Durham. On 16 October, rebels led by Robert Bowes mustered at Oxen-le-Fields, south of Darlington, where they joined up with men from Cleveland. On 17 October they mustered at Bishop Auckland, where they hoped to recruit the Bishop of Durham to their cause. But they found that the Bishop had already fled to his castle at Norham, far north on the Tweed, so they sacked his palace. Robert Bowes also went to talk to Ralph Neville, 4th Earl of Westmorland, at his home at Brancepeth Castle, on 17 and 18 October. The Earl resisted to begin with, but on 18 October the rebel muster had moved to Spenny Moor, across the River Wear but only 2 miles or so from the castle, and there was a real prospect of 10000 armed men arriving on his doorstep. The Earl came to the muster late on 18 October and took the Oath of Allegiance. He did not serve in the rebel army himself, but instead sent his 12-year-old son and heir, Henry Neville, to be one of its leaders. The men of Durham then set off to join Aske and the rest at Pontefract.

It is interesting to speculate where on Spenny Moor the rebel muster was held. There were fords across the Wear towards Brancepeth below Byers Green and Tudhoe, but the only bridge was the one at Sunderland Bridge. The nearest point to Brancepeth would have been around Tudhoe, but it is perhaps more likely that the muster was on the moors below Hett. That would give easy access to the bridge, and would be easy to find for any men joining the rebels from north of the Wear.

Once the Durham men arrived, the rebels in Yorkshire definitely had the upper hand. They had around 30000 well-armed and enthusiastic men in a single host, while the King’s armies were fragmented and for the most part poorly equipped and ill-motivated. The King had chosen Thomas Howard, the Duke of Norfolk, as their overall leader; he had reached Doncaster on 26 October, and was defending it with a much smaller force. Many of the commons wanted to take Doncaster and march quickly to London, but Aske and some of the other still hoped for a negotiated settlement.

Norfolk agreed to negotiate, and on 26 October he met the rebels outside the walls of Doncaster. However, it is clear from his letters to the King that he had no expectation that his promises would be honoured. Over the next month, the Pilgrims drafted a petition with a list of their demands, the 24 Articles, which Norfolk promised to present to the King. He also promised a general pardon, and a Parliament to be held at York within 12 months, with a reprieve for the abbeys and monasteries until it had been held. Aske and several other leading rebels wanted a peaceful settlement; they believed Norfolk, and dismissed their men.

The rebels went back to their homes, but the mood was febrile. The agreement had been negotiated by the gentlemen leaders of the rebellion, and the common people did not entirely trust them. They also suspected that the King and his ministers would ignore Norfolk’s promises and wreak vengeance on them. Robert Aske met the King personally, and he and others tried hard to keep the commons in check, hoping that the government would live up to their promises. But the Parliament in York showed no sign of happening, and in January Sir Francis Bigod began a renewed uprising in East Yorkshire.

Bigod imagined that other leading rebels would join him, and sent out letters calling on them to raise the commons again. But most of them ignored him. One of the letters was brought to Brancepeth Castle by two of Bigod’s men. Ralph Neville, the Earl of Westmorland, was away at Court, probably fighting to clear himself of suspicion, and his wife was in charge in his absence. One of Bigod’s men was sent back with a letter rejecting the call, while the other messenger was held at Brancepeth. Hearing of this, a party of the local commons descended on Brancepeth and freed the prisoner. However, before matters escalated further, word came that Bigod’s rebellion had failed and Bigod himself had been captured in Cumberland, so the affair ended without bloodshed.

Bigod’s rebellion played into the King’s hands. The idea of a Parliament at York was shelved, and arrests began. To some extent the government respected the November pardon, and most of those who were tried for treason had been involved in the January rebellion. The Earl of Westmorland and his son were spared, and so was Robert Bowes, who had raised the men of Richmondshire and Durham and persuaded the Earl to join the Pilgrimage in October. But Sir Thomas Percy, in waiting to be Earl of Northumberland, was tried for treason and executed, even though he had sent away the emissaries who tried to get him to march south from Prudhoe in January; evidently he did not deal with them firmly enough. Robert Aske was interrogated for months, and eventually condemned to death; he was hanged in chains in York in July 1537.

Between the rebellions: 1537-1568

Ralph Neville’s strategy of refusing to ride in the Pilgrimage and sending his teenage son in his place seems to have worked. Neither the Earl nor his son Henry Neville were among those tried for treason. Henry Neville was knighted in 1544 and succeeded his father in 1550 to become the fifth Earl of Westmorland. In 1552 he became a Knight of the Garter and a member of the Privy Council, and was also appointed Lord Lieutenant of Durham and ambassador to Scotland. From 1558 to 1559 he was Lieutenant-General of the north. He died in 1563 at the age of 39.

Relations between England and Scotland changed completely after Henry VIII’s break from Rome. Henry hoped that Scotland would join him with a reformed Church. But his nephew James V was a committed Catholic, and would have no truck with it. The two sides avoided war, and even started to plan a meeting between the kings in York in 1541, but James ultimately refused. Incensed, Henry started to plan an invasion of Scotland. But James beat him to the punch, sending an army to attack Carlisle in 1542. Unfortunately for James, the Scots were ignominiously driven back by a much smaller force of English Border riders at the Battle of Solway Moss, and then harrassed by Scottish borderers as they retreated. It seems James died of despair (or cholera) 3 weeks later. Once again an infant was left as the monarch of Scotland: this time she was only a week old, but she would grow up to be Mary, Queen of Scots.

Henry VIII had already made plans to invade, but he decided on a different strategy: he proposed a marriage between his own 5-year-old son Edward and the newborn Mary. He coerced the Scottish nobles into accepting it, but it was ultimately rejected by the Scottish Parliament. Henry then embarked on what became known as the Rough Wooing: the English invaded Scotland by ship in 1544, and burned every house in Edinburgh, including Holyrood Palace. The Scottish nobility fled, but the common people suffered grievously. The English army returned home by land, burning villages as they went. More English invasions followed in the succeeding years, all aimed at causing the maximum possible destruction.

Henry VIII died in 1547 and was succeded by Edward VI (his son by Jane Seymour), but Edward was only 9 years old. During his reign the country was run by regency councils that maintained protestantism. The Rough Wooing continued until the Treaty of Boulogne in 1550. By that time Mary had been sent to France and promised in marriage to Francis, Dauphin of France. The marriage took place in 1558.

Edward VI sickened and died in 1553, without ever taking over fully from the regency councils. The Privy Council initially proclaimed the protestant Lady Jane Grey as Queen, and Henry Neville was one of those who signed the Letters Patent. But Mary Tudor (Henry’s daughter by Catherine of Aragon) raised a powerful force at Framlingham Castle in Norfolk, with strong popular support. Within a week, the Privy Council switched sides, and proclaimed Mary as Queen. At Mary’s coronation, Henry Neville carried the Cap of Maintenance to be worn underneath the crown.

Queen Mary was strongly Catholic. She married the Catholic King Philip II of Spain in 1554 and reinstated Catholicism as the state religion in England. Those who remained committed to the Church of England were persecuted throughout her reign, with hundreds executed. Mary was Queen until 1558, when she was succeeded by Queen Elizabeth, and the tables turned again.

Charles Neville, 6th Earl of Westmorland, inherited his father’s earldom and lands, including Tudhoe, in 1564 at the age of 21. The first really detailed picture of Tudhoe comes from Homberston’s Survey, which was taken after the Earl’s downfall in 1570. The Survey makes it clear that by this time Tudhoe was regarded as part of the manor or Brancepeth, and indeed it is not listed specifically in the Inquisition post mortem taken for Henry, the 5th Earl, in 1564.

Homberston’s Survey of the manor and lordship of Brancepeth begins: “In the view and survey of the castell and manors of Braunspeth and of all other manors, lands, tenements, graunges, colemynes, p’kes, chaces, rents, s’vices and of all other comodyties…”. The original document is in the Public Record Office at Kew, reference E 164/37 (folios ff. 278-316).

Homberston’s Survey is a beautifully written document, in Latin, listing all the Neville tenants in the manors of Raby and Brancepeth and giving a description of the lands held by each tenant. The Tudhoe section occupies four pages. With the exception of two small free tenants, John Cooke and William Iley, the villagers were all leaseholders who will have performed services for the lord of the manor as well as paid money rents. Their holdings and rents are listed in some detail. Those who held leases were:

William Hodgeson, gentleman 107s 2d
Henry Sidgwick 30s 6d
John Highe 29s 2d
William Whight 9s 2d
William Duckett 9s 2d
John Colman 4s 6d
Emmery Whetley 5s 6d
Richard Herryson 27s 2d
Emmery Richardson 15s 10d
Johanna Awlde 16s 6d
Ralph Watson 73s 2d ob
Ralph Byerley 19s 9d
John Sparke 19s 9d
William Bullock 10s
William Harryson 19s 9d
Henry Richardson 57s 8d
Humphrey Jackson 26s 6d
Emmery Whetley 7s 6d

In addition, Margareta Byers paid a rent of 8s 6d, but did not have a lease. Even the free tenants paid some rent: William Iley paid 6d, and John Cooke paid 6d and a pound of pepper; the pound of pepper keeps cropping up in later rentals, and it would be interesting to know how it originated!

A free tenant had several rights not possessed by the bondmen (who by 1570 had come to be known as husbandmen). A free tenant’s rent was fixed in perpetuity, and he could sell his land. Because of the fixed rents, it is difficult to know how much land the free tenants held. However, both William Iley and John Wheatley (who had taken over John Cooke’s holding and was now responsible for the pound of pepper) were identified in 1607 as living in cottages. They are therefore unlikely to have had substantial holdings.

A bondman’s land in theory reverted to the lord of the manor when he died. In practice, it usually passed to his son, who had to pay an “entry fine” for a new lease. When the feudal system was at its height, bondmen owed the lord much more than money rents: they worked the lord’s land and performed many other services. Problems could thus arise if a man’s widow was unable to meet the obligations. Under these circumstances, the tenement often passed to a relative who could meet the obligations, and who agreed to support the widow. However, towards the end of the feudal period, many of the feudal obligations were commuted to money rents, so this became less of a problem.

Most villages had cottagers as well as husbandmen; the cottagers did not have enough land to support them, so acted as labourers paid by the day. In Tudhoe, it seems likely that John Colman and Emery Whetley were cottagers, paying rents around 5s, whereas the standard rent for a farmstead was 19s 9d. The differences from this figure might arise from earlier land transfers or from the commuting of services into money rents. The tenants with rents around 9 or 10s are listed elsewhere as husbandmen, so probably held tenements that had been divided in two at some time. Ralph Watson, the bailiff, was a special case, but Henry Richardson was evidently particularly prosperous, with a holding three times the usual size.

One of the rights of the Lord of the Manor was to run the mill as a monopoly. His tenants were required to take their corn there to be ground, and to pay a “multure”, perhaps of one thirteenth. They were not even allowed to grind the corn by hand themselves. In Tudhoe, the mill was located where the mill stream crossed the Whitworth road, and at the time of Homberston’s Survey was run by John Highe. There will also probably have been a communal forge, a bread oven and a brewhouse in the village. Some of the cottagers may have made part of their living from such trades.

[In old currency, there were 12 pence (d) to a shilling, and 20 shillings (s) to a pound (£ or li).]

Nearly all the leases listed in 1570 started in June or July 1565, perhaps a sign of the new Earl getting his paperwork in order. Exceptions to this are the leases for William Hodgson, dated 1561, Henry Richardson, dated 1558, and Ralph Watson, dated April 1565. It is noteworthy that these are the three largest tenants. Ralph Watson was the bailiff (estate manager) for Tudhoe, so it seems likely that he was appointed first and was responsible for organising leases for all the minor tenants. William Hodgeson, with the rank of “gentleman”, is a special case: it seems likely that this was William Hodgson of Madenstedhall (Manor House, Lanchester), and that he did not live in Tudhoe at all, though the entry lists a messuage, or dwelling house. The total rent for the village came to £24 18s 3d and a pound of pepper, of which Ralph Watson received 60s 8d for his services as bailiff and woodward.

Most of the entries for Tudhoe are very similar, describing “a tenement with all lands, meadows, pastures, rights of pasture…” Exceptions are those for William Hodgeson (which specifically lists a messuage (dwelling house) instead of a tenement), John Highe (which mentions a water corn mill as well as the tenement) and Ralph Watson (which lists several pieces of land by name: Roger Close, White Flat, Calves Close, Thisterclose, Rattenrawes, Hunterclose). All these can be identified from field names in the 1839 Tithe Apportionment. The second entry for Emery Whetley specifically mentions 15 acres of arable land; this may have been an assart, or extra holding (perhaps on the outskirts of the village) that was not part of the common fields.

From matching with later documents and holdings, it seems likely that the list of leasehold tenants in Homberston’s Survey is ordered geographically, running southwards up the East Row of the village and then back northwards down the West Row. William Hodgeson’s house was probably near the site of the current Coldstream Farm, close to the river north of the village. However, all the rest of the tenants probably lived in the village itself; a tentative mapping of tenants to plots of land is shown in Figure 2. In addition to his or her own croft, each tenant will also have farmed a strip of land in each of the three “common fields”, which lay to the north of the village, each side of the Brancepeth road.

The Rebellion in the North, 1569

Queen Elizabeth, who succeeded Queen Mary in 1558, was no religious zealot, and had no desire to enquire too closely into individuals’ beliefs. Nevertheless, her claim to the throne was based on the validity of Henry VIII’s marriage to Anne Boleyn. Since Henry’s divorce of Catherine of Aragon was not recognised by Rome, strict Catholics held Elizabeth to be illegitimate. It was therefore politically essential for her to support the Church of England; nevertheless, she initially worked hard to avoid antagonising the Church in Rome, and insisted only that Catholics should attend occasional Anglican services and thus acknowledge her right to the throne. Those who refused even this concession might be charged with recusancy, for which the penalty was a small fine.

This tolerant state of affairs was disrupted in 1568, when Mary Stuart was deposed as Queen of Scots and fled to England. Her flight followed the murder of her husband, Lord Darnley, and her subsequent marriage to the earl of Bothwell, widely believed to be Darnley’s murderer. Whatever her personal involvement in these events, Mary Stuart was a descendant of Henry VII through a line untainted by illegitemacy, and was thus the Catholic candidate for the English throne. She apparently hoped that Elizabeth would help her to regain her Scottish throne, but it was politically impossible for any such help to be offered. Elizabeth imprisoned her, though in some comfort.

In England, Mary Stuart quickly became the focus for those who wanted to restore Catholicism. Elizabeth refused to designate her heir, and attention focussed on the succession. One suggestion was that Mary should marry the powerful Duke of Norfolk: however, Elizabeth heard about the proposal, and forbade it. Meanwhile, the Catholic Earls of Westmorland, Charles Neville, and Northumberland, Thomas Percy, were planning a revolt in the North, possibly with the connivance and certainly with the knowledge of Norfolk (who was also the brother of Neville’s wife Jane, Countess of Westmorland).

The security of the North of England was in the hands of the Council of the North, based at York. Its President was the Earl of Sussex. Further north, Newcastle, Berwick and Carlisle were strongly fortified cities. The City of Durham was less strongly fortified, but was of great importance as the seat of the Bishop of Durham and the centre of the Bishopric. Durham and Northumberland were sprinkled with castles, held either by local nobles (like Raby and Brancepeth) or by officers of the Queen (like Barnard Castle and Holy Island). The Scottish Borders were a wild and lawless area, with well-established families on both sides who supplemented their livelihood by raiding and sheep-stealing, taking advantage of the fact that neither the Scottish nor the English authorities could easily enforce the law on the other side of the border. These were the Border Reivers, of whom many tales are told. In administrative terms, the Borders were split into East, Middle and West Marches on either side, each under the care of a Warden. They operated under the Laws of the Marches, which provided for loose cooperation between the Wardens on the English and Scottish sides to enforce cross-border law at periodic Truce Days. In 1569, the Wardens of the East, Middle and West Marches were Lord Scrope of Castle Bolton, Sir John Forster and Henry Carey, Lord Hunsdon, who was also Governor of Berwick.

The Rebellion was conducted primarily from Brancepeth Castle, the Neville stronghold just two miles from Tudhoe, though separated from it by the River Wear. There was a ford, however, and communications must have been good, because Tudhoe was now administratively part of the manor of Brancepeth. Unfortunately for the Earls, rumours of their preparations leaked out; they were ordered to appear before the Council of the North (of which they were members), to explain themselves. When they did not appear, they were ordered to “repair to the Queen’s Majesty”. By then Norfolk was in the Tower of London, and the Earls decided to launch their rebellion rather than follow him there.

Brancepeth Castle 1730
Brancepeth Castle in the 1720s, from a print by Samuel and Nathaniel Buck. It was not so different in 1569.

Sir George Bowes of Streatlam, warden of Barnard Castle, was a staunch Protestant and loyalist. The story of the Rebellion is graphically told in a series of letters he exchanged with the Earl of Sussex and others. (Memorials of the Rebellion of the Earls of Northumberland and Westmoreland, ed. C. Sharp, 1840). On 7 November 1569 he wrote

“… all retainers and household servants appertaining to the Earl of Westmorland, with the most part of all others his tenants, being furnished with armour and weapon, of his lordship of Raby, in their warlike apparel, repaired to Brancepeth yesterday, and this night past, and all the rest of his tenants are by his lordship’s officers commanded to set forth upon one hour’s warning … and I hear that the rest of his tenants everywhere in the Bishopric do prepare and make like provision. The Earl of Northumberland is also there, and the Sheriff of Yorkshire, but what is intended God knoweth, but I shall seek to learn the best I possibly may.

and on 10 November

“All of their faction stand ready, which exceed not (for I consider by the musters lately made) three hundred men, that hath any armour or weapon, yet they presently sweep up all manner of weapons and armour, that can be gotten for money; for this day they bought all the bows and arrows in Barnard Castle and, as I hear, at Durham.

I am marvellously disappointed by my armour and weapon, a great part whereof is still at Newcastle, which I fear I cannot now readily come by.

It is advertised me that their enterprise shall be set forth before Sunday, and that should be to make open call of all men for alteration of religion, and to spoil such as will not follow their directions, and prove if this will move the multitude to follow them, and if it will not, they have a ship ready to pass away.”

On 13 November, the Council of the North wrote to the Queen that they

“have ordered two thousand five hundred footmen to be at Darnton (Darlington) on the 21st; and that they have given commission to Sir George Bowes and others, in the Bishopric and Richmond, to levy all her subjects.”

But it was too late. On the night of 13 November 1569, church bells were rung backwards throughout the Neville and Percy domains, and retainers of the Earls toured the villages, intimidating their opponents and raising the populace. Most of the men of Tudhoe joined the rebellion: they had little choice, given the alliegance that they owed to the Earl of Westmorland and the threats to burn their properties that his men were making.

The rebel Earls entered Durham on 14 November, with three hundred horse, “where they rent and trampled underfoot the English bibles and Books of Common Prayer”. They celebrated Mass in the Cathedral and elsewhere, and issued a proclamation claiming that their intention was to restore the Catholic religion, but not to unseat Queen Elizabeth:

“Forasmuch as divers and ill disposed persons about the Queen’s majesty have, by their subtle and crafty dealing to advance themselves, overcome in this our realm the true and Catholic religion towards God; and by the same abused the Queen…”.

They stayed in the city for an hour, gathering support from its citizens, then rode away.

On 15 November, Sir George sent information from his kinsman Robert Bowes of Chilton that the scarcity of food at Brancepeth was driving the Earls’ horsemen to ride up and down the countryside in small groups, looking for provisions and putting fear into the people. Because of this, he thought, it would be easy to divide them up and take them prisoner. Sir George indicated that he was ready to undertake this, but the Council of the North restrained him. Sharp comments that it would in all probability have crushed the rebellion in its bud.

The rebels next headed South, intending either to take York or to release Mary Stuart, who was by now confined at Tutbury, near Derby. Within a week they were camped outside York, at Tadcaster; Mary was hurriedly moved south to Coventry, arriving there on 25 November.

The Earl of Sussex, in York, was loyal to the Queen but was powerless to act without reinforcements from the South. He was short of horsemen, and in any case was concerned that his own men would defect to the rebels if they had a chance. As he wrote to Sir William Cecil, Elizabeth’s Secretary of State, on 20 November, “He is a rare bird that, by one means or another, hath not some of his with the two Earls, or in his heart wisheth not well to the cause they pretend.” Unfortunately, Sussex himself was a case in point: his half-brother Egremont Ratcliffe was involved in the rebellion, and the Queen was suspicious of Sussex’s own loyalty.

Preparations began to assemble an army in the south to combat the rebels, under Lord Warwick and the Lord Admiral. But it would take some time. Meanwhile, the Queen dispatched her trusted advisor, Sir Ralph Sadler, to York; he arrived there on 24 November, accompanied by Lord Hunsdon, Warden of the East March. Sadler quickly wrote to the Queen to reassure her of Sussex’s loyalty, and to support his view that confronting the rebels would be unwise. Sadler estimated the rebels’ force at 1000 horse and 6000 foot; Sussex had less than half that number available. Sadler also commented revealingly to Cecil on 6 December (Sadler’s State Papers, Vol. II, p. 55): “There be not in all this country ten gentlemen that do favour and allow of her Majesty’s proceedings in the cause of religion…”.

The Rebellion is a tale of incompetence and mismanagement on both sides. The rebel Earls allowed information about their intentions to leak out, and had to move before they were ready. As a result, York was warned and Mary Stuart was moved out of their grasp. Even so, they failed to take advantage of their initial success. Instead of attacking York while they had superiority, they seem to have roamed ineffectively around Yorkshire, gathering forces but not using them. The government in the South failed to provide the resources that Sussex needed to mount an effective opposition early on: the letters from Sir George to Sussex and from Sussex to the Privy Council are full of requests for money, emphasising their own resources were exhausted and they could not raise forces without paying and feeding the men.

After failing to attack York, the rebels retreated northwards to the Bishopric, where they besieged Sir George in Barnard Castle. When the siege was first set, on 1 December, Sir George had 700 or 800 men. Sussex dared not march north to relieve Sir George until he was assured that the southern army under Lord Warwick and the Lord Admiral was at his back. He did not receive this assurance until 7 December, when he immediately set out northwards, writing to Sir George that “by the Queen’s Majesty’s special direction, I have tarried for my Lord of Warwick and my Lord Admiral, who will be at Boroughbridge on Saturday next, with 1200 horsemen, 500 harquebusiers, 500 pikes, 1000 archers and 4000 billmen.”

At Barnard Castle, Sir George was in trouble. In addition to the usual problems of a siege, he suffered constant desertions and attempts by his own men to surrender the castle. In one day, 80 men leapt from the castle walls in an attempt to desert, and 35 of them broke their necks, legs or arms. The next night, 150 men detailed to guard the gates suddenly opened them and went over to the rebels (Sharp, p. 97-100). Eventually, on 12 December, the treachery of his men and shortage of food and water forced Sir George to abandon the castle. Remarkably, the Earls allowed him to march out, with his remaining 400 men and all their weapons, to meet up with Sussex, Hunsdon and Sadler at Topcliffe.

Eventually, as the southern army approached, the Rebellion simply petered out. On 15 December, the Earls were still at Durham. However, on 16 December “they gave warning to the common people to make shift for themselves; and thereupon have themselves departed with a great number of horsemen westwards”. The principal rebels fled to Hexham and then to the Borders. In the end, the Earl of Northumberland was tricked into crossing the border and was taken into custody by the Regent of Scoland. By the end of December, many of the others, including Jerrard Salvin of Croxdale (Sharp, p. 123), had been taken by Lord Scrope and were imprisoned at Carlisle.

In the aftermath of the Rebellion, Sir George Bowes was instructed to tour the countryside to conduct trials and executions. The Queen was most insistent in her demands for vengeance; she wanted no further Rebellions in the North, and she wished to ensure that the people were cowed. Sir George was instructed that at least one man should be executed, for an example, in every town from which anyone joined the Rebellion. However, the Queen also wanted reimbursement for her expenses: Sir George’s instructions were that only those “of the meaner sort” should be executed; richer rebels could be fined instead. In three weeks of bitter January weather, Sir George made a circuit of Durham and Yorkshire, hearing cases and “appointing” men to be executed in every town and village that had provided men for the Rebellion; in the climate of the times, this must have been almost every village in the North-East. The lists (Sharp, p. 251) record that 10 men “of Tuddey” took part in the Rebellion, and 2 were appointed to be executed. All the executions were to take place in public, in the men’s home towns, to act as an example to the survivors. This conjures up an image of a gallows set up on the Tudhoe village green, with the townsfolk gathered around to see their neighbours put to death.

Sharp’s book gives only examples of the names of those appointed for execution, on p. 155. More details exist in the Bowes MSS themselves.

In reality, it seems likely that far fewer men were actually executed than the 700 that the lists suggest. Sir George was in a hurry, and it seems he had no stomach for ensuring that the executions he “appointed” actually took place. The Queen was clearly suspicious that this was so, and sent written questions for Sir George to answer. His answers look downright evasive; at every turn he is careful to refer to the numbers “appointed to be executed”, and to point out that he did not supervise the executions and thus cannot guarantee the actual number carried out.

Those who were not executed were mostly pardoned, though a few escaped from the country or were banished. An Act of Attainder passed in 1571 outlawed 56 of the principal rebels. People who could not afford individual pardons were included in large numbers of “Group pardons” issued on 25 April 1570 and listed in the Calendar of Patent Rolls. Their general form is “Pardon for [names and ranks], for all treasons, rebellions and other offences committed between 1 Nov, 11 Elizabeth, and 31 Jan following. On report of their penitence for their part in the rebellion in the North, testified before commissioners of the Queen.” Tudhoe names among the pardons include Henry Siggiswick (no. 872), Ralph Byerley (no. 873), Ralph Watson (no. 875), Henry Richardson, William Duckett, Humphrey Jackson, John Heigh, William Harrison, William Bullock and Robert Wheatley (no. 880). All these are listed as husbandmen except Ralph Watson (yeoman) and Robert Wheatley (labourer). This makes up 10 men of Tudhoe who were pardoned for rebellion, matching the number reported as taking part in Sharp’s lists and throwing further doubt on the suggestion that anyone from Tudhoe was actually executed. However, it may be that some who were not significantly involved nevertheless thought it prudent to obtain pardons, so there remains a possibility that executions took place.

William Hodgson, who was the only “gentleman” listed in Tudhoe in Homberston’s Survey, played quite a major part in the Rebellion. He was the fourth son of James Hodgson of Newcastle, and acquired the Manor of Madenstedhall (Manor House, Lanchester) in 1553. Towards the end of the Rebellion, when the army from the South had finally arrived, he was first in a list of those that Lord Hunsdon writes exasperatedly on 9 January 1569/70 had been “received into the protection of the Earl of Warwick and the Lord Admiral”. Several of the names listed are the same as those in group pardon no. 796: “William Hogeson of Madenstedhall, yoman, William Claxton of Waterhouse, gentleman, Nicholas Fetherstonhaigh of Awkenshawe, Ralph Willie of Houghton, yoman, Martin Jackson of Hellmendenrawe, Christopher Shawe of Branspeth, yoman, Ralph Pickering of Mawde Medows, Rowland Wall of Willington, yoman, Ninian Watson of Sommerhouse, yoman, and Edward Marley of Engleston, all in the county of Durham.” It is remarkable to note that, of the surnames in this list, we have already encountered Hodgson, Jackson and Watson, while Fetherstonhalgh, Willie and Pickering will all appear as Tudhoe landowners or residents during the next 100 years.

William Hodgson died in 1598, and his will has been published by the Surtees Society. It is clear that he felt responsible for the sufferings of some of his associates in the Rebellion: he left money to John Longstaff “in consideration of his losses he sustained by me in the late rebellion in the north”. Money was also left “in like manner” to Henry Newby and Nicholas Botcherby. The will also mentions nephews Robert, Lancelot and William (of Hebburn). A footnote in the Surtees Society volume mentions that Lancelot was in prison for recusancy in 1598, and had married “Marie Lee, daughter of another of th’erle’s chief old servants and officers”. This was William Lee of East Brandon, who had held several pieces of land jointly with William Hodgson at the time of Homberston’s Survey in 1570.

After the Rebellion, the Earls escaped to Scotland. However, Northumberland was taken prisoner by the Scots, and (for a consideration) returned to face trial in England, where he was tried for treason and executed. The Earl of Westmorland escaped to the Netherlands, and spent the rest of his life in exile; he died in 1601. Parliament passed an Act of Attainder, under which the vast Neville and Percy estates were forfeit. By law, the lands should have become the property of the Bishop of Durham, who held most of the powers of the monarch within the Palatinate. However, Elizabeth knew the dangers of over-mighty subjects; on the pretext that she had “spent and consumed a great mass of treasure in repressing the said rebels”, she took possession of the lands herself. Thus Raby and Brancepeth, and all the other Neville lands, became part of the Royal Crown Estate.

Much of the Brancepeth estate, including the Castle, was granted to Carr of Ferniherst, later Earl of Somerset, by James I, but returned to the Crown after Somerset’s disgrace. It was then granted to Sir Francis Bacon, and by him on to Sir Henry Vane in 1616. I need to check whether it returned to the Crown again: my earlier notes say that it did, and that there was another inquisition before it was sold again in 1629. This may be the 1629 “brief survey” of Brancepeth lordship in the Corporation of London Record Office (see below). The Lordship still included fee farm rents in Tudhoe, even though the freeholds had by then been sold.

A peculiar sidelight on the Rebellion in the North, and how it was viewed by the Church in Rome, emerged only well after the rebellion was over. In November 1569, the Earls had requested support from Rome; in February, under the impression that Norfolk was already married to Mary Stuart and that the Earls were marching on London, Pope Pius V signed the papal Bull “Regnans in Excelsis”, which declared Elizabeth a heretic, excommunicated her, and commanded the English Catholics to refuse to obey her. The Bull reached London in May 1570, where a Catholic named John Felton nailed a copy to the Bishop of London’s door. Unfortunately, by this time, there was no Rebellion left to encourage, and the only effect was to promote a surge of anti-Catholic feeling in the protestant South.

The growth of private ownership, 1570-1641

As described above, the Neville estates were confiscated by the Crown after the Rebellion. In 1573, one Francis Walker obtained a 21-year lease from the Crown for the whole of Tudhoe. This may have been Francis Walker of Hett, who was himself pardoned for his part in the Rebellion (group pardon no. 868).

From 1573 to 1597, the only records of Tudhoe come from wills and inventories in the Durham Probate Registry. Nevertheless, they paint an interesting picture of a 16th-century farming community and the people who lived in it.

Ralph Byerley died in 1573, and his will is an interesting document. It reads in part:

“The words following Rauffe Byerley of Tuddo deceased being of perfect reason and memory spoke and said to Raufe Watson and Henrye Richardson his neighbours the night before he died viz. 7th day October 1573 at which time lying sick in his forehouse at Tuddo [afore]said I give to my four daughters … and forasmuch as his wife was then with child if it were a woman child it to be made as good as the rest and if it were a man child then to have as much as any of the rest and twenty five shilling more … after he had spoken these words the sickness troubled him so sore that the aforesaid Raufe Watson and Henry Richardson hard him speak no more in this world.”

The (Latin) grant of probate includes the list Rado Bierley, Isabelle Bierley, Janet Bierley, Elizabeth Bierley and Agnes Bierley, so it seems that the unborn child was indeed a boy.

After Francis Walker’s lease, Tudhoe came into the possession of George, Earl of Cumberland; he sold it in 1597 to Paul Bayning, John Watt and Thomas Alabaster of the City of London. Then, in 1600, Bayning, Watt and Alabaster set about selling it off in parcels to the tenants. Many of the original deeds still exist, in the Salvin papers at Durham County Record Office. They are all quite similar in form, describing the lands in terms of the people who had held them in 1570: “lands… now or late in the tenure or occupation of [name of tenant in 1570]”. There are no geographical descriptions that allow the plots to be identified. The 1570 rent values also survive, but are now a “Crown Rent” to be paid to the Queen; the rent values allow parcels of land to be traced in a few ambiguous cases.

Most of the lands were sold to the 1570 tenants if they were still alive, or to their sons if not. However, William Hodgson’s lands were sold to Henry Trewthet, who quickly sold half of them to Henry Fetherstonhalgh. Ralph Watson’s lands were sold to Michael Pemberton, who had married Margaret, daughter of Ralph and Ann Watson. Henry Richardson’s and William Harrison’s lands were sold to Henry’s son Robert, though the Harrison lands were quickly resold to William’s son Roger. Ralph Byerley’s lands were sold to his son Ralph, and the sale deed is unique in mentioning “all that old seat house in Tudhoe”. This might imply that Ralph Byerley’s house was the manor house from pre-Rebellion days, though the inventory accompanying Ralph Byerley’s will of 1573 does not suggest anything so grand: one section is headed “in the hall and chamber”, but there is no indication of other rooms. Although the dictionary definition of “seat house” includes “manor house”, there were several houses in Tudhoe described as seat houses over the next fifty years.

Another survey conducted in 1607 reflects some of the changes of ownership from 1600-1601, though for the smaller landholders it seems that the surveyors were not too careful about recording changes among members of a family. It is also not really clear whether the people listed are owners or occupiers.

It is not really clear what became of Ralph Watson, the bailiff. There were two Ralph Watsons pardoned for rebellion in 1570: Ralph Watson of Tudhoe, yeoman (in no. 875) and Ralph Watson of Thorpe Thewles (in no. 917). The last mention of Ralph Watson in Tudhoe is in Henry Richardson’s will of 1579, which specifies “Robert Richardson my brother and Raphe Watson the bailiff to see the same fullfilled”. There is no will for Ralph Watson of Tudhoe in the Durham Probate Registry, but there is one for Ralph Watson of Thorpe Thewles, dated 1612. This will mentions Ralph’s wife Anne and son William, and says “I give to my daughter Margaret three score pounds and God’s blessing and mine.” Since Ralph Watson of Tudhoe also had a wife named Anne and a daughter named Margaret (who married Michael Pemberton), it is tempting to suppose that they were one and the same. One possibility is that the original Ralph Watson of Thorpe Thewles was the father of Ralph Watson of Tudhoe, and that the younger Ralph left Tudhoe for Thorpe Thewles when his father died.

Michael Pemberton bought Ralph Watson’s lands from Bayning, Watts and Alabaster in 1602, but was probably a tenant before that. He may or may not have lived in Tudhoe, but was certainly known to the people: in his will of 1587, John Highe styled himself yeoman and wrote at the end

Itm I commit the tuition of my daughter Isabelle Highe to Mychell Pemberton Itm I commit the tuition of my daughter Janet to Henrye Trewhitt And I commit the tuition of my son Thomas and his portion to Robert Richardson Itm I give to the said Michell Pemberton Robert Richardson and Henrye Trewhitt each one of them x s.

In mediaeval times, most of the houses in Tudhoe were probably built of timber, and wattle and daub, rather than stone (though they probably had stone bases). They will have been longhouses, with one end for cattle and the other for people, divided by a cross-passage. However, by 1600, stone was being used more extensively. When Michael Pemberton’s eldest son John married Isabelle Gray in 1612, the marriage settlement referred to “one mansion house or capital messuage in Tuddowe”. A “capital messuage” was a house occupied by the landlord of an estate, or group of farms. This must have been Ralph Watson’s house in 1570, though the Pembertons may have extended it: it was probably on the site of the current South Farm.

The Trewthets also had a substantial house: Ralph Trewthet died in 1629, and his will specified that “my wife Ann Trewthet shall have belonging to her for her house one chamber next adjoining my hall house for so long as she shall live…”. This was probably William Hodgson’s house from before 1570, perhaps on the site of Coldstream Farm.

Even Roger Harrison’s house was described as a “seat house”: he leased it to John Currey of North Auckland, blacksmith, in 1624, and Currey sublet (some of?) it to Henry Jackson of Sherburnhouse and John Willie of Tudhoe. The sublease (D/Sa/D 1195) refers to “all that his messuage or tenement … now in the occupation of the said Roger Harrison or his assigns, except one chamber, being on the backside of the heade seate house of the said tenement, one room in the barn next to the byer, two stalls in the byer next the barn, one broad garth on the backside of the said seat house and the croft thereunto adjoining, and one parcel of pasture ground called the Lane Close, and an acre of arable land in each of the three fields of the said Tuddo”. The reference to “Lane Close” places this on the west side of the village, just south of the lane that leads towards Spennymoor.

Tudhoe Hall before the Civil War

The largest surviving 17th-century house in the village is Tudhoe Hall, also on the west of the village, immediate north of the same lane. H. Conyers Surtees, writing in 1923, referred to a local tradition that the Hall had been the residence of the Gubyons and the Hotons. Unfortunately there seems to be little solid evidence for this: the oldest datable feature is the oak roof of the north end of the main range, which was probably built around 1600. It seems that the Hall was occupied by Henry Richardson and his family at the time of Homberston’s survey: Richardson was a prosperous husbandman, not yet of yeoman status, so he is unlikely to have built himself an impressive house. Nevertheless, he paid the largest rent of all the husbandmen, and it is possible that he lived in the old manor house. His will of 1579 provided that his wife Isabell “shall be in the house with her son Robert accordingly as she and I have been…” This at least suggests that their house had several rooms.

Tudhoe Hall has several hidden spaces that could be priest holes. Most authenticated priest holes were built between 1586 and the peace with Spain made in 1604. Throughout this period, Tudhoe Hall was occupied by the Richardsons: they were certainly Catholic, and Margaret Richardson was convicted of recusancy in 1607, but they were well below gentry status, and not really the sort of family to act as hosts for visiting priests. On the whole, it seems likely that the “priest holes” date from a later period.

Robert Richardson died in 1609, and was succeeded by his sons Henry and Thomas. Henry seems to have inherited Tudhoe Hall. In 1622, Henry and his wife Mary moved to Old Park, a few miles away (south of Whitworth), and sold their remaining lands in Tudhoe (including the Hall) to Sir Henry Woodrington of Newcastle upon Tyne, Ralph Young of Sunderland Bridge and Richard Jackson of Kepier Grange.

Sir Henry Woodrington, Border Reiver

Sir Henry Woodrington [or sometimes Widdrington] was a colourful character, from a family deeply involved in the centuries-old feuds and reiving of the Scottish Borders. He figures prominently in the Calendar of Border Papers for 1595-1603. He must have been born in about 1570, and was knighted in 1597. His father, also Sir Henry, had been Marshall of Berwick, but died in 1593; his mother remarried, to Sir Robert Carey, the same year. Carey’s own father was Lord Hunsdon, who had been Warden of the East March from 1568 until his death in 1596. Henry Woodrington fell out with Lord Ralph Eure, Warden of the Middle March from 1595, and made accusations of malpractice and inefficiency against him that led to Eure’s resignation in 1598.

Lord Eure was succeeded as Warden of the Middle March by Sir Robert Carey, who appointed Henry Woodrington and William Fenwick as his deputies. Carey had married Woodrington’s mother, and evidently considered him trustworthy. His trust seems to have been justified. However, the Borders were a violent region, and operated under their own laws. Henry’s career as Deputy Warden was quite eventful. For example, in August 1598, Carey sent Woodrington and Fenwick to ride against a Scottish raiding party that was hunting in Redesdale. They pursued them back into Scotland, and in the chase some of the English took the opportunity to pursue private quarrels. Several of the Scots were killed – not an unusual event, but against the law: the pursuit was supposed to stop at the border. The Scots protested vehemently to the English, claiming that Woodrington and Fenwick had ordered the killings. In November, the Privy Council ordered Carey to send Woodrington and Fenwick to Durham, to await trial as prisoners of the Bishop of Durham. Carey complied, but complained bitterly in letters to Sir Robert Cecil that he could not maintain order in the Middle March without his Deputies. The Bishop of Durham, too, seems to have been impressed by Woodrington and Fenwick, and wrote several times to Cecil requesting their release. In December he wrote that their offences had been exaggerated and that “they are men of greater worth than any neighbours they have”. In February he wrote of “my guests, or rather (as the world esteems them) my prisoners”. Woodrington and Fenwick were eventually released in April, with Fenwick by then very ill from his captivity.

The Warden of the Middle March on the Scottish side was Sir Robert Kerr, a wily character and a considerable thorn in Carey’s side. At one point, Kerr challenged Woodrington to a duel. Woodrington had written to Kerr, complaining that Kerr had lied about him. In reply, Kerr wrote that

I shall on Friday morning next, being the 7th September [1599], God willing, be at the Hayr Crags on the March between England and Scotland by eight hours in the morning, with a short sword and a whyniard, with a plate bonnet and plate sleeves, without any more weapons offensive or defensive; where I wish some spark of courage may make thee appear in the same form.

As Lord Willoughby, the governor of Berwick, described the affair on 8 September, “Sir Robert was at the place appointed; the other came not.” Sir Henry can hardly be blamed; he was only trying to clear his name of slander, and it was none of his business to enter into blood feud with Kerr.

The Woodringtons and Youngs were both prominent Catholic families, and friends of the Salvins of Croxdale. Both Widdrington and Young were mentioned in the will of Jerrard Salvin [8], who died in 1602. Young was married to Jerrard Salvin’s sister Anne. Ralph Young’s wife Anne was prosecuted for recusancy in 1607. Sir Henry Woodrington must have been a “church papist”, attending Anglican services often enough to avoid disqualifying himself from holding office under the Crown.

Sir Henry Widdrington died in 1623, leaving his estates to his son William. William was aged only about 12 when his father died, but went on to become a prominent Royalist commander in the Civil War and was created 1st Baron Widdrington by King Charles I in 1643. His grandson, the 3rd Baron, will feature in this story again in the Jacobite Rising of 1715. The surviving owners of Tudhoe Hall, Young and Jackson, sold it to Jerrard Salvin [9] of Croxdale in 1629.

Ralph Salvin, Jesuit Priest

The Salvins had lived in Croxdale since 1402, when the first Jerrard Salvin [1] inherited the lands from his wife’s mother Joanna, Lady of Croxdale. [There were Jerrards in earlier generations, but the numbers here refer specifically to the Croxdale Salvins.] In every generation since, the eldest son and heir had been named Jerrard. R. Surtees gives an invaluable Salvin family tree in Vol IV, Part II; the parts of it relevant here seem to come mostly from a pedigree in Dugdale’s Visitation of Durham (1666), published by Foster (1887).

The Salvins were well-known Catholics, but had usually taken care not to challenge the authorities too directly. Two Jerrard Salvins, father and son, were implicated in the Northern Rebellion, and were imprisoned for some months afterwards (Sharp, p. 128), but the elder of these (Jerrard [6]) died shortly afterwards, in 1570, and his son (Jerrard [7]) died in 1587. It was this younger Jerrard’s grandson, Jerrard [9], who bought Tudhoe Hall in 1629. It was to be the first of many Salvin acquisitions in Tudhoe over the next century, as the family built up an independent Tudhoe estate.

Why did Woodrington, Young and Jackson buy Tudhoe Hall in the first place? It is unlikely that any of them wanted to live there, but nevertheless they appear to have carried out extensive building works. To explain this, it is necessary to consider the circumstances of the Salvin family at the time. It seems likely that Young and the others were acting as their agents, and Jerrard Salvin [9] was a witness to the 1622 sale document.

As we will see below, the Tudhoe estate belonged in the next generation to Ralph Salvin [2], a younger son of Jerrard [9]. In 1621, Jerrard’s younger brother Ralph [1] came of age. As was usual in Catholic families at the time, Ralph finished his education abroad – because it would have been illegal to operate a Catholic school in England. Ralph, however, was more religious than most, and discovered a vocation. The account he gave of himself on entering the English Catholic College in Rome in 1620 is of great interest: [Records of the English Province of the Society of Jesus, 1st ser., vol. 1 (1877), ed. H. Foley]

“My name is Ralph Salvin, and I do not think I have yet attained twenty
one. I was not born at my father’s house called Croxdale, two miles or
thereabouts from Durham, but in a less noted place called Chillox, because
(as I have been informed) the plague was raging near my father’s house;
after the pestilence had subsided, I was carried home, and there brought up
in the Catholic faith and in such learning as is usual to boys of my class.

I made my humanity studies at Durham, in the greatest peace and liberty
of conscience for three years, until being frequently insulted by the son
of a certain Justice of the Peace called Wren, with a son of the Lord of
Durham, or, if I may be allowed so to speak, the Bishop of Durham, who
presides in that office, with the opprobious name of Papist, a violent
quarrel arose between us, in which I knocked one of them down, and on that
account I was expelled.

It is my desire to remain in the College to embrace the ecclesiastical
state of life, and to observe all the rules. I went to St. Omer’s College
by the advice of Father Tolley, where I have spent the greater part of five
years (the first two years excepted), not only with great delight and
tranquillity of soul, but also in the enjoyment of excellent health and spirits,
and it is my firm determination and wish, after embracing the ecclesiastical
state, to return to the help of my country.

Of my father and mother I have already spoken. I have two brothers, of
whom one, who is my senior and enjoys the paternal inheritance, nearly five
years ago married the daughter of Mr. Robert Hodgson, a gentleman of family;
he professes, defends and cherishes the Catholic faith. The other, who is
my junior, has ever been a Catholic from his infancy.”

Ralph Salvin, then, had decided to become a priest and return to England. That this was a dangerous course of action is amply illustrated by the case of Thomas Holland, an almost exact contemporary of Ralph Salvin. Holland was born in Lancashire in the same year as Salvin, was educated at St. Omer, and entered the novitiate of the Society of Jesus at Watten in 1624: he and Salvin have known one another well. Holland returned to England in 1635; he was a master of disguise, and spoke fluent French, Spanish and Flemish, so often passed himself off as a foreigner. However, he eventually fell prey to the priest-hunters under the Commonwealth, and was arrested on suspicion in a London street in 1642. He was arraigned for being a priest and, although there was no evidence other than his refusal to swear that he was not, he was sentenced to death and hanged at Tyburn. (Catholic Encyclopedia).

Ralph Salvin was a younger son, with no inheritance. However, his family and the Catholic community might well have wished to provide him with an estate that could support him when he returned — and the Salvins might well have preferred to distance themselves from ownership.

As a location for Ralph Salvin’s house, Tudhoe was ideal. It was only about 2 miles from Croxdale, close enough for easy communication. It was a Catholic stronghold, where the people were likely to be sympathetic to the need to conceal a priest in their midst. It was in Brancepeth parish, where the Salvins themselves were not so well known, but it lay on the other side of the River Wear from Brancepeth church, so that it was not much in the eye of the Brancepeth churchwardens.

But Ralph Salvin’s dream of returning to England as a Jesuit priest was not to be. He was indeed ordained, in 1624, and became a member of the Society of Jesus (Jesuits) in 1625. He took the alias of Smith, a necessary precaution for one who intended to live under cover in England. However, he became ill shortly afterwards, and was sent to complete his noviceship at Watten, in Flanders, because of his ill health. He made his will in Paris, on the way there, and died at Watten in 1627.

The circumstances under which Ralph Salvin joined the Society of Jesus are intriguing. His biography in the Records of the English Province relates how “he had been living a little before [he joined the Society] in the English College at Rome, where he had taken the part of those among its pupils who were vigorously attacking the Society. But after he had discovered how false (to use his own words) and unfair were the charges made upon the innocent Jesuits… [that] he begged and obtained leave of the Pope [to enter the Society]. These were interesting days in Rome. Maffeo Barberini succeeded Gregory XV as Pope Urban VIII in 1623. Barberini was a friend of Galileo Galilei, the philosopher and astronomer whose vigorous support for the Copernican heliocentric view of the Universe had led to its suppression by the Church in 1616. Galileo, a good Catholic, had complied at that time, but Barberini had always been his supporter, and his election as Pope offered hope that the debate could be reopened. A series of audiences with Pope Urban in 1624 convinced Galileo that this was feasible, provided he labelled the Copernican view as a hypothesis rather than a truth. However, the Jesuits were in the forefront of the anti-Galileo lobby in the church, which eventually succeeded in turning the Pope against Galileo and having his book banned as heretical. It is interesting to speculate whether the youthful Ralph Salvin’s opposition to the Jesuits involved such issues.

Whatever went on in Rome, Ralph Salvin’s death in 1627 ended the need for secrecy about Salvin ownership of Tudhoe Hall. Sir Henry Widdrington had died in 1623, and Jerrard Salvin bought the Hall in his own name from Young and Jackson in 1629. There was no shortage of potential occupiers: a new generation of Salvins was growing up and needing estates. Mary Hodgson, the first wife of Jerrard Salvin [9], had two sons and four daughters before her death in 1623; Jerrard soon married again, to Mary Belasyse, and by her he had a further nine sons and one daughter.

Once the Salvin sons started reaching maturity, their father began expanding the Tudhoe estate. The eldest, Jerrard [10], must have been born around 1617. He was old enough for Ralph Young to leave him “my best horse at my death” in 1633. He was admitted to Gray’s Inn in January 1635, and probably came of age in about 1638. In 1637-8, his father Jerrard [9] bought the Tudhoe lands of Thomas and John Highe, including those they had acquired from Robert Shortrede, and in 1641 bought Broomecrook Close (in the Middle Field) from George Jackson. [It is worth checking that the signatures are those of Jerrard [9] rather than Jerrard [10].]

Recusancy in Elizabethan and Stuart Tudhoe

Although Queen Elizabeth was vigorous, not to say bloodthirsty, in prosecuting the rebels in 1570, she was also careful to insist that they were being prosecuted for rebellion, not for Catholicism. She was not willing to believe that every Catholic subject was a potential rebel: in June 1570 she issued a proclamation to reaffirm that “as long as they shall openly continue in the observation of her laws and shall not wilfully and manifestly break them by their open actions, her Majesty’s meaning is not to have any of them molested by an inquisition or examination of their consciences in causes of religion”. Even the Duke of Norfolk was released from the Tower [check this]. However, Catholic plots and conspiracies against Elizabeth continued, and the Queen had more and more difficulty persuading her Council and Parliament not to take drastic action. In 1571, the Duke of Norfolk was found still to be corresponding with Mary Stuart and planning another rebellion; he was rearrested and eventually executed.

From 1574 onwards, Catholic missionaries trained at the new English Catholic College in Douai started to arrive in England. They were followed in 1580 by the first Jesuits, Edmund Campion and Robert Persons. The Catholic missionaries were viewed as enemy agents, and Sir Francis Walsingham, Queen Elizabeth’s Secretary of State from 1577, created a secret service to combat them. There were also “priest-hunters”, or pursuivants, employed to hunt them down. Houses suspected of harbouring priests were raided and searched, and any priests captured were likely to be tried for treason and executed. In 1586 the Jesuits held a conference at Hurleyford, in Berkshire, where they made plans for a network of secret Mass Centres, equipped with hiding places or “priest holes”. In the Durham area, many such hides were built by Father Richard Holtby, a Jesuit priest who was based at Thornley Hall, about 8 miles from Tudhoe. Another prominent local priest was Father John Boste, who ministered in the Durham area from about 1587 to 1593, when he was finally captured in a raid on the Waterhouse, near modern-day Esh Winning. His work was largely centred on Brancepeth Castle, so he must have been known to the Catholics in Tudhoe. After his capture, Boste was taken to London and interrogated under torture in the Tower of London, but was returned to Durham for execution a year later.

Despite the persecution of priests, private Catholicism was not an offence. Recusants, who refused to attend Church of England services, might be fined or imprisoned. The penalties for recusancy increased as anti-Catholic feeling hardened: until 1581, the fine was 12d for each non-attendance, payable to the poor box. This was collected only fitfully, usually without any legal proceedings, by churchwardens. In 1581, when the seminary priests started to be seen as a real threat, the fine was increased to 20 pounds per month, payable to the Crown on conviction. This was a vast sum, which no-one in County Durham ever attempted to pay. More often, recusants were imprisoned — but in most cases the authorities decided not to proceed against people who could not afford to pay the fine. The system was modified again in 1586, allowing the Crown to claim two-thirds of the annual income from a recusant’s estates and all his or her goods if the fine was unpaid. However, the fines were still ineffectively enforced, though recusants were certainly harrassed and put to great trouble in evading them. In any case, only the merest semblance of conformity was required: gentlemen imprisoned for recusancy might be offered release if they would attend the Church of England once a year, and might even be allowed to declare that their attendance was not for religious purposes but merely to indicate obedience to the Queen. One lady was offered release if she would pass through the Church during a service, with no further indication of conformity.

The life of a Catholic priest in England in the 1590s, and the risks that Catholic families were prepared to take, are graphically and entertainingly described in the autobiography of the Jesuit priest John Gerard, published as The Hunted Priest. Gerard tells of sudden searches, of hiding in priest-holes, and of his capture and imprisonment in various prisons, including the Clink and the Tower of London. In some of them, the confinement was remarkably lax: all the Catholic prisoners had secretly obtained keys to their own cells; they used to come to Gerard for confession, and he even celebrated Mass. Even in the Tower of London, where he was tortured, Gerard managed to persuade his warder to let him stay overnight in the cell of another Catholic prisoner, and together they succeeded in escaping, by climbing down a rope thrown over the moat.

Tudhoe must have been a Catholic stronghold throughout Queen Elizabeth’s reign, but unfortunately the Elizabethan Recusant Rolls that have survived contain very little about County Durham. However, more information survives from the reign of King James I, who succeeded Queen Elizabeth in 1603 and united the Scottish and English thrones. King James was an astute politician, and no religious zealot; unlike Queen Elizabeth, he had a claim to the throne that was valid in both Protestant and Catholic eyes. His wife was Catholic, and while still in Scotland as King James VI he had made promises of religious toleration if he succeeded to the English throne. At the start of the reign, fines for recusancy were remitted and the English Catholics had great hopes that the Penal Laws would be relaxed. Many people who had conformed under Queen Elizabeth became openly Catholic again. Ralph Fetherstonhalgh of Brancepeth wrote to Henry Sanderson in 1603 to complain of the freedoms the King allowed to Catholics “It is hardly credible in what jollity they now live… I cannot see how their so dangerous course can be stopped unless some higher authority speedily interpose itself” [HMC Salisbury XV, p. 282]. He owned land in Tudhoe, and may well have had it in mind.

The climate of toleration did not last. In 1604, perhaps alarmed by two plots (the Treason of the Bye and the Treason of the Main) and by the growing numbers of declared Catholics, King James made a strong speech against Catholicism; Catholics must not think it lawful “daily to increase their number and strength in this Kingdom”. The fines for recusancy were once again enforced.

All hope of reconciliation was lost with the Gunpowder Plot of 1605, when Guy Fawkes was discovered with barrels of gunpowder in the cellars beneath the House of Lords, intending to assassinate the King at the state opening of Parliament. The plotters, led by Robin Catesby, were indeed Catholics, and the government claimed (probably with little justification) that Jesuit priests were involved. Even then, King James urged against extending the blame to the Catholic population as a whole. However, Parliament could not be persuaded, and the penal laws were stiffened further: the Crown might now choose to take two-thirds of the income in place of the fixed fine for large estates. The list of recusants prosecuted at the Durham Quarter Sessions in 1607 includes several Tudhoe residents: William Herrison, Agnes Trewhitt (wife of Henry Trewhitt), and Margaret Richardson (wife of Robert Richardson). [Isabella Jackson (wife of William Jackson) is also listed later as having been convicted in 1606/7: check this.] Anne Yonge, wife of Ralph Yonge [Young], is also listed. This follows a pattern that was common nationally in Catholic households: the husband conformed to avoid the risk of having lands and revenues confiscated, but allowed or encouraged his wife to uphold the faith: her recusancy could be paid for at half the rate of his. [J. C. H. Aveling, Catholic Record Society, vol. 53, pp. 291-307 (1961)]

Another list of convictions in 1615 is more explicit about the procedure involved. The Tudhoe residents in this list are Margaret Richardson, widow, Jane Underwoodd, widow, — Morland, widow, and Barbara Colman wife of Thomas Colman. It is recorded that they “being aged 16 years and more on 1 Sept 1614 failed to attend their parish church for the space of 3 months, contrary to the statutes of 1 and 23 Elizabeth”. It was publicly proclaimed at the general sessions that they should each surrender to the sheriff of Durham to appear on 19 April 1615, which they failed to do. However, it is not clear what penalties were actually imposed.

During the reign of Charles I, from 1625 onwards, the government clearly came to see the penalties for recusants as a source of income rather than a means of discouraging Catholicism. In 1626 a Northern Commission was set up to allow recusants to “compound” for their recusancy: in effect, the Commission could lease out two thirds of a recusant’s lands on the most favourable terms they could achieve. In many cases, the recusants themselves negotiated a rent that they would pay to the Commission for the two-thirds of their lands that had been seized. The first Northern Commission, under Sir John Savile, was not seen as a success by Parliament, which felt that many recusants were being allowed to compound at unrealistically low rates. However, a second Commission was set up in 1629 under Thomas Wentworth (later Earl of Strafford, and a close adviser of King Charles, tried for treason with Bishop Laud and executed, with Charles’s forced assent but against his wishes, in 1641). This was much more effective. Wentworth set out to extract the largest possible compositions from recusants, and enormously increased the Crown’s revenues from this source. In return, he effectively promised Catholics immunity from any further prosecution; although the terms of the compositions did not actually allow Catholics to hold services or use Catholic forms of baptism or burial, Wentworth was prepared to defend those who did against the Church authorities. His interest was very clearly in maximising revenue rather than in suppressing Catholicism.

The Northern Commission remained in action until the outbreak of the Civil War in 1642. Its early proceedings were recorded in the Northern Book of Compositions 1629-32 [Catholic Record Society, vol. 53, pp. 307-371]. In 1630, Thomas Heigh of Tuddo (who was not a recusant) compounded for the arrearages of Robert Shortread in the sum of 2 pounds. This may be compared with Jerrard Salvin of Croxdale, who compounded for the recusancy of his wife Mary for 5 pounds per annum. Slightly later details have been published in Surtees Society vol 175: in 1636, the tenants of Anne Trewitt owed two thirds of her annuity of 100s, and 6 pounds for her goods. The tenants of Barbara Coleman owed two thirds of her rental income of 30s per annum, and 40s worth for her goods. John Potter senior and John Potter junior, and their wives Margaret and Anne, were also convicted. Isabella Jackson, who had first been convicted in 1606/7, was still recusant and her tenants owed two thirds of her rental income of 4 pounds from a cottage and 4 acres of land. She owed 4 pounds on goods in 1635, of which 40s was collected by the Sheriff in 1638. However, she was assessed as owing a further 100s on goods in 16xx.

The Visit of King Charles I, 1633

On 1 June 1633, King Charles I passed by Tudhoe Village with a large entourage of his nobility. Tate (1887) lists the Duke of Lennox, the Earls of Newcastle, Suffolk, Cumberland, Pembroke, Northumberland, Salisbury, Cleveland, Southampton, Northampton and Holland, Lords Weston, Wharton and Grey of Chillingham, Bishop Laud of London and Ely, Bishop Morton of Durham, the Marquis of Hamilton and Lord Bothwell. King Charles had stayed the previous night at Raby Castle, and was heading for Durham, on his way to be crowned in Edinburgh on 18 June. It has been suggested that he travelled from Bishop Auckland to Byers Green, along Hagg Lane to Whitworth and thence to the north-west end of Tudhoe village, but it seems more likely that he followed the later Turnpike road; this followed almost the modern A688 to Middlestone Moor and then crossed to Five Lane Ends at the south-east corner of the village on its way to Sunderland Bridge and Durham.

Enclosure Awards

For a farming community like Tudhoe, this was a period of change. The old system of common fields, with each villager farming small strips in each field in the same crop rotation, was out of date. Animals were becoming more economic than crops, but livestock could not be kept in the common fields: smaller enclosures were required. In 1639, the common fields of Tudhoe were divided among 20 of the freeholders, and many of the modern field boundaries were probably created then. The largest award was to John Pemberton of Aislabie (85 acres in the East Field), while Jerrard Salvin received 64 acres and William Fetherstonhalgh of Brancepeth 40 acres. Henry Sidgwick received 45 acres, including 2 acres “lying about and beside the water milne”. Social distinctions were still very evident: Pemberton, Salvin and Fetherstonhalgh were all accorded the honorific “Mr”, indicating their gentry status, but Henry Sidgwick was not.

John Pemberton of Aislaby died in 1642, leaving the manor of Aislaby to his oldest son Michael. However, his Tudhoe lands were left to his younger son John [2], and it seems likely that John [2] lived in Tudhoe: his father’s will reads “Whereas I have already … to farm let unto my son John Pemberton all my lands … in Tuddo … for the term of one thousand years, I do hereby ratify …”.

The Civil War and Commonwealth, 1640-1660

King Charles ruled without a Parliament 1629 to 1640 – the period referred to as Personal Rule. Throughout the country, his actions were increasingly seen as high-handed and unacceptably autocratic. Between 1634 and 1639 he tried to raise money through the pretext of “Ship Money”. This was one of the few ways that a monarch might levy taxes without the approval of Parliament, but it had never before been demanded in peacetime. It caused great resentment and was less and less successful as time went on.

King Charles also tried to impose his authority on the Church of Scotland, but he met fierce opposition. In 1638, many Scottish Presbyterians signed the National Covenant, agreeing to resist Charles’s proposed reforms. Later that year the General Assembly of the Church voted to expel its Bishops, who were an important link in the chain of royal control. In 1638 and again in 1640, King Charles raised armies to try to enforce his control in Scotland. In August 1640, a large army of Scots Covenanters under Alexander Leslie crossed the Tweed and roundly defeated the King’s army under Lord Conway at Newburn upon Tyne. Conway decided that Newcastle was indefensible, and his poorly disciplined army looted Durham on its retreat south. The north of England was left undefended, and the Scots occupied Northumberland and County Durham as far as the River Tees. The Bishop and all the rest of the Durham clergy fled.

King Charles had no choice but to sue for peace. Under the Treaty of Ripon, he agreed to pay the Scots 850 pounds per day and allow them to remain in occupation of Northumberland and County Durham. The King had to recall Parliament to raise the necessary funds, but it was unsympathetic. Durham remained under occupation until summer 1641, when the Scots finally withdrew.

The King’s relationship with Parliament went from bad to worse; on 4 January 1642, Charles appeared at the House of Commons and attempted to arrest the “five members”, some of his harshest critics, but they had received a tip-off and had retreated to the City of London; the gates of the City were closed against the King, and the citizens turned out in force to resist any Royalist attempt to take over.

In early 1642, Parliament demanded that every inhabitant take the Protestation, an oath promising to uphold the Protestant religion. Perhaps surprisingly, the vast majority of people took the oath, including many who were otherwise recusant: even the Salvins of Croxdale took the Protestation. In Tudhoe, only two people refused: John Potter and John Sidgwick, both of whom had earlier convictions for recusancy. Their refusal would doubtless have brought them more trouble, but the outbreak of war overtook such matters.

During 1642, the country as a whole became polarised between Parliamentarians and Royalists. The dilemma of many is summed up in the writing of Sir Edmund Verney, a Puritan, who wrote of the King: “I have eaten his bread and served him near thiry years, and will not do so base a thing as to forsake him; and choose rather to lose my life (which I am certain to do) to preserve and defend these things which are against my conscience to preserve and defend”. Most Catholics, including the Salvins of Croxdale, suffered fewer pangs of conscience; they sided with the Royalists. Nevertheless, the country was essentially demilitarised; the only forces that existed were the county militias, or Trained Bands (trainbands), which were mostly of poor quality, and were not engaged to serve outside their counties of origin. On 12 June 1642, King Charles issued Commissions of Array to summon the county militias on his behalf, and Jerrard Salvin of Croxdale was among the Commissioners [it is not clear whether this was the elder or younger Jerrard Salvin, but the point is moot: it was Jerrard Salvin the younger who later served as a Royalist officer, and we can assume that he was the active agent.]

On 22 August 1642, King Charles set up his standard at Nottingham. and on 23 October the first real battle of the Civil War took place at Edgehill. The commander of the Royalist forces in the North was William Cavendish, 1st Earl of Newcastle. During the last quarter of 1642, Newcastle build up an army of dozens of regiments of cavalry, dragoons and infantry. Each regiment of foot was notionally of about 1000 men, with officers recruited from the local gentry. Each regiment was commanded by a colonel, supported by a lieutenant-colonel, a major and (usually) five captains. P. R. Newman has made a detailed study of these regiments (The Royalist Army in Northern England, 1642-45, Ph. D. thesis, University of York, 1978). Jerrard Salvin [10] was lieutenant-colonel in a regiment of foot commanded by John Tempest of Old Durham. John Pemberton [2], who had inherited his father’s Tudhoe lands in 1642, served as a captain in Sir William Lambton’s regiment of foot. These men had no military experience, but the same was true of most of the officers and men who served in the early stages of the Civil War.

No records survive of who served as common soldiers in these regiments.

Newcastle’s regiments first saw action at Tadcaster, outside York, on 6 December 1642; the engagement was inconclusive, but the Parliamentarian forces under Lord Fairfax fell back to Leeds. For the next 10 months, the war in the North went the Royalists’ way, and by October 1643 Newcastle had advanced south as far as Lincolnshire. Nevertheless, there were reverses. John Pemberton was captured when Wakefield was overrun in May 1643; he was exchanged, only to die on the field at the Battle of Adwalton Moor, outside Bradford, on 30 June – one of few Royalist casualties in a battle that was reckoned a Royalist victory.

The tide turned against the Royalists on 11 October 1643, with the battle of Winceby, where the Roundhead cavalry under Sir Thomas Fairfax massacred the Royalist horse under Widdrington. On 23 October, the Scots agreed to provide a new army of 20,000 men, to be paid for by Parliament. This army began to cross the Tweed on 19 January 1644, and Newcastle found himself under threat from the north as well as the south. He hurried north and established himself at Durham; for the next two months, Newcastle’s forces contested control of County Durham with the Scots: it must have been a tense time for the local people. In general terms, Newcastle succeeded in containing the Scottish threat. However, on 11 April the Parliamentarian forces of te Fairfaxes took Selby. Newcastle decided to retreat to defend York. He was harried all the way there, and the Royalist casualties in the retreat included Jerrard Salvin [10], by now lieutenant-colonel of John Tempest’s regiment, who died in a rearguard action at Northallerton.

Most of Newcastle’s men reached York on 18 April. The Scots, who had followed them south, joined up with the Fairfaxes at Tadcaster on 20 April, and the combined Parliamentarian force laid siege to York. The King, meanwhile, was under pressure in Oxford. However, by mid-June York was under serious attack, and the King instructed Prince Rupert to march to relieve it. Rupert reached York on 1 July, and the Parliamentarians lifted the siege for long enough to face him. Thus it was that, on 2 July, the two armies met at the Battle of Marston Moor, just outside the City.

The Royalists were heavily outnumbered and heavily defeated, with the loss of at least 3,000 men killed and another 1,500 captured. Those killed included Francis Salvin of Tursdale, young Jerrard Salvin’s uncle. York was surrendered, and Newcastle left the country, not to return until after the Restoration. Prince Rupert took what remained of his army to Chester and then to Bristol, leaving the North of England undisputed in Parliament’s hands. It was to remain so until the end of the First Civil War in 1646, when the King handed himself over to the Scots at Newark.

Even while the Civil War continued elsewhere, Royalist estates in County Durham were sequestered. A Committee for Compounding with Delinquent Royalists was set up. Royalists had to buy back their own possessions. Jerrard Salvin [9] compounded for 800 pounds in 1645, but found that he was still pursued for his Royalist activities; in 1651, he petitioned Parliament for a further pardon, and obtained it.

County Durham saw no serious action in either the Second Civil War, in 1648, which led up to Charles’s execution, or the Third Civil War, in 1650-51, when Charles II led an invasion of England from Scotland. Cromwell’s army marched through Durham on its way to Scotland at least twice, the second time on its way to meet Charles’s army. Cromwell inflicted a crushing defeat on the Royalists at the Battle of Dunbar in September 1650, where about 5000 Scots were captured. The prisoners were marched South in terrible conditions, and many died on the way; they were then imprisoned over the following winter in Durham Cathedral, with little food or fuel; many died there, and the Scots understandably burned most of the mediaeval woodwork and ravaged the tombs of Ralph and John Neville, their ancestors’ adversaries at the Battle of Neville’s Cross.

There are scant records of Tudhoe for the period from 1648 to the Restoration of King Charles II in 1660, except that in 1655 the freeholders of Tudhoe agreed to seek legal advice over the Tudhoe colliery, which they believed to be town property.

When Captain John Pemberton died in 1643, the Pemberton estate in Tudhoe reverted to his eldest brother, Michael Pemberton [2] [himself a major in Col. Conyers’ regiment]. However, Michael Pemberton had inherited his father’s manor of Aislaby, so he had little use for the Tudhoe lands; he sold them in 1647 to Mr. William Sedgwick of xxx (who was not related to Henry Sidgwick of Tudhoe) for 699 pounds.

Jerrard Salvin [10] died unmarried, but he might have had his own establishment from his coming of age in ca. 1638. It certainly seems that his father created the Tudhoe estate for him, so it is quite possible that he lived in Tudhoe for a time before the Civil War.

Jerrard’s full brother William also died unmarried. However, his half-brother, Bryan Salvin of Butterby (who was the eldest son of Jerrard [9] by his second wife, Mary Belasyse) had two sons (Jerrard [11] in 1654 and Thomas in 1658), before he too died (in 1658). Interestingly, he too took the precaution of compounding for his Royalism, in 1651, just before he married. His property at the time was valued at only 20 pounds, made up of a horse valued at 10 pounds and “some books and wearing apparel” worth 10 pounds. He was fined a sixth of this. Presumably he compounded to avoid the risk of larger penalties later.

Jerrard Salvin [9] died in 1663. There is an armorial monument to him in St. Oswald’s church in Durham: the arms are argent, on a chief sable two mullets or. The epitaph from this monument (in Latin) is quoted in full by Surtees. His heir was Bryan’s son Jerrard Salvin [11] (1654-1722), not his own eldest surviving son, Ralph Salvin [2]. As we will see below, Ralph inherited the Tudhoe estate.

The Salvins of Tudhoe, 1665-1756

According to H. Conyers Surtees (History of the Parish of Tudhoe and Sunnybrow, 1925), there is a local tradition that Tudhoe Hall (or more likely an earlier building on the site) was the home of the Gubyons, and after them the Hortons and the Salvins. There is of course plenty of evidence connecting the Gubyons and Hortons with Tudhoe, but I have found no concrete evidence that they lived in Tudhoe Hall: the connection may be mere speculation. The Salvin connection, however, is well founded. Ralph Salvin [2] (d. 1705) and later his nephew (and godson) Ralph Salvin [3] (d. 1729) certainly lived in Tudhoe Hall.

Ralph Salvin of Tudhoe, 1665-1705

Ralph Salvin [2] was the fourth son of Jerrard Salvin [9] of Croxdale, the second by his second wife Mary Belasyse. He was probably born in about 1628. Like his Jesuit uncle Ralph [1] before him, he attended the Jesuit College at St. Omer. Ralph Young, part-owner of Tudhoe Hall from 1622 to 1629, left 50 pounds to “Ralph Salvin, my godson” in 1633.

As described above, Ralph Salvin [2] had two elder half-brothers, children of his father’s first wife, Mary Hodgson. However, both of them died unmarried in their father’s lifetime. His elder full brother, Bryan Salvin of Butterby, also died before his father, but first had two sons (Jerrard in 1654 and Thomas in 1658). The Croxdale estate therefore passed Ralph’s nephew Jerrard Salvin [11] when Jerrard [9] died in 1663, even though Ralph was Jerrard’s eldest surviving son.

To provide Ralph with an inheritance, Jerrard Salvin built up the Tudhoe estate. In 1659, Jerrard and Ralph jointly bought part of the High Pasture from William Byerley, who had himself bought it from John Sparke in 1648. In 1662, Ralph Salvin (still “of Croxdale”) bought a field named the New Fall (just beyond the north-east corner of the village) and another portion of the High Pasture from Henry Trewhitt. Jerrard Salvin’s will of 1663 (at Palace Green) says: “I give and devise to my Sonne Ralph Salvin All my Houses Lands Tenements and Heredements whatsoever cittuate lyinge and beeinge in Tuddow alias Tudhow or within the precincts or territories thereof within the County of Durham which I purchased either in my owne name or in the name of others with all the Singuler Appurtenences…”

Charles II had been restored as King of England in 1660, and immediately set about seeking ways of generating tax revenue. One of the earliest innovations was the Hearth Tax, charged on every hearth (fireplace) in every house in the land. The Hearth Tax records are very valuable to local historians, because the lists of householders were returned to London and were “enrolled” into a central record. They provide one of the first nationwide surveys that say anything much about the quality of housing for ordinary people. The Tudhoe records are even more remarkable, because Ralph Salvin kept the original “constables’ returns” from 1667 onwards, which include many annotations not transcribed on the centrally enrolled copies: they note owners as well as occupiers, and include comments on things that had changed since the previous year. Indeed, the Tudhoe constables’ returns cast a great deal of light on the processes involved in collecting the Hearth Tax.

The enrolled Hearth Tax records from 1664 onwards record Ralph Salvin’s arrival in Tudhoe. He is not mentioned in 1664-1665, but appears in 1666, with 2 hearths in use. The constables’ return for 1667 (D/Sa/E 882) lists him with 4 hearths in use, and is helpfully annotated “3 laid since April 1666” and “4 more never was laid and yet unfinished.” In 1668, 1670 and 1673 he has 5 hearths in use, though the 1670 constables’ return (D/Sa/E 884) also mentions “and 3 never used”. Ralph Salvin was clearly building or extending his house in 1666/7. 8 hearths with 3 unused (in the garrets?) seems consistent with 3 chimneys at the ends of a T-shaped house.

Tudhoe Hall was not the only substantial house in Tudhoe. However, none of the other 17th-century houses are still standing. The 1667 return also lists William Byerley with 5 hearths, Henry Trewhitt with 3, and Richard Willson, Henry Sidgewick, John Richardson, Ralph Dunn, John Attkinson and Ellinor Jackson with 2. There are a further 21 one-hearth houses, and 28 “non-solvents”, who were exempted from the tax because their income was too low or their houses were valued at less than 15 shillings per year.

The Hearth Tax collectors were instructed to lay out their returns in a logical geographical order. In Tudhoe, they seem to have started at the north end of the East Row, run southwards to the end of the village, and then returned northwards back down the West Row. The 1673 constables’ return explicitly indicates the extent of “East Rawe” and “West Rawe” in the margin, with houses at Watergate and Butcher Race added at the end. The ordering of the list is thus the same as that in Homberston’s Survey of 1570, and with the help of deeds many of the houses can be tracked back to their 1570 owners. The succession of constables’ returns from 1667 to 1673 also provides information about how much people moved around the village in the 17th century.

By the time he inherited the Tudhoe lands, Ralph Salvin owned more land in the village than he could conveniently farm himself. Only one lease survives from this period, of a house and farm to William Wilson, in 1668: see below). The house was probably the one originally bought from the Highes, and the land included the New Fall and High Pasture recently bought from Byerley and Trewhitt. The lease itself and the notes that accompany it illustrate Ralph’s concern with improving both the land and the houses he rented out. It includes clauses about building works to be undertaken, using stone taken from the pastures. Ralph Salvin continued to build up his estate in Tudhoe throughout his life, buying parcels of land as they became available, often with the help of his brother, Anthony Salvin of New Elvet.

The Salvin estate was by no means the only one in Tudhoe at this period, though it is the best documented. The largest estate was in fact that belonging to Mr. John Sidgewick of Elvet in the City of Durham. He had inherited it from his father William Sidgewick (Sedgewick), who had bought it from Michael Pemberton in 1647, and added to it by buying land from John and Ann Dunn in 1667. In the 1673 Hearth Tax returns, four houses are listed as belonging to Mr. Sidgewick. There is a comprehensive Land Tax return from 1662 (D/Sa/E 860), which shows receipts from four different types of tax: the Rack Rent, Book of Rates, King’s Rent (written above “Fee Farm Rent” crossed out) and the Welling Farm Rent. In 1662, Mr. John Sidgwick paid a rack rent of 75 pounds, compared to Ralph Salvin’s 70 pounds. Even Mr. Henry Fetherstonhalgh of Stanley, who had inherited half of the Hodgson lands from his father William in 1659, paid 25 pounds. Ralph Salvin was thus by far the most important resident of Tudhoe, but not its largest landowner. Many of the smaller holdings from the land sales of 1600-1601 also survived: Henry Sidgewick paid 24 pounds, Henry Trewhitt 19 pounds, John Richardson 13/10/-, William Byrely 16/3/4, John Wheatley 5/10/-, etc. There are also some new names (since 1639): among the larger are Ralph Dunn (8/13/4), Martin Nicholson (6/10/-), John Shortrigg (11/-/-), John Brack (4/10/-) and Willm Wilkinson (5/-/-).

D/Sa/E 869 refers to the land tax being “for building 30 ships of warr”.

Tudhoe was still strongly Catholic, and there are quite extensive lists of recusants. Ralph Salvin is listed as a papist in the list for Brancepeth parish in 1668 (D/Sa/E 112?), along with many others including William Bierley Sr. and William Bierley Jr. This was a period when the once-strict penalties for Catholicism were being relaxed, but unfortunately the relaxation did not last: in 1678, Titus Oates and Israel Tonge claimed to have discovered a “Popish Plot” to assassinate King Charles II and replace him with his Catholic brother James, the Duke of York. In the anti-Catholic hysteria that followed, over thirty Catholics were executed for treason, the laws against Catholics were strengthened, and vast numbers of Catholics were prosecuted for recusancy. Ralph Salvin was among them. The “Popish Plot” was eventually found to be a complete fabrication: Titus Oates was convicted of perjury, and whipped through the streets behind a cart from Aldgate to Newgate and back again: only his iron constitution prevented this being the death sentence intended by Judge Jeffreys, who sentenced him.

Ralph Salvin of Tudhoe was prosecuted for recusancy at Durham Quarter Sessions in 1678 (D/Sa/F 178). [This document appears to be in Latin, and I couldn’t decipher it in detail.]

Ralph Salvin’s younger brother Charles also lived in Tudhoe. His will (Durham probate 1685 T17) leaves substantial sums (hundreds of pounds in all) to various relatives, not including any of the senior Salvins but with 5 pounds to “cosin Frances Salvin”. The residue of his estate is left to his brother Nicholas. He was educated at the English Catholic College at Douai. I have seen no other mention of him, and he does not appear to have owned land in Tudhoe. It seems likely that he was part of Ralph’s household.

James II, 1685-88, and the Glorious Revolution of 1688. William & Mary, 1688-1702.

Another new tax was introduced in 1695, payable on births, burials, marriages and on being a batchelor. In order to collect this tax, the constables had to construct complete household-by-household lists of all residents. They were not enrolled centrally, so very few have survived. However, once again Ralph Salvin kept the original lists: they list everyone in the village, including both family members and servants; they specify everyone’s occupation, and describe most of the family members involved. In all there are 233 people, in 49 households, with each householder (and a few older sons) classified: 1 gentleman, 4 yeomen, 12 farmers, 8 labourers, 2 milners, 1 meal-maker, 1 blacksmith, 1 whitesmith, 1 weaver, 2 tailors, 2 masons, 1 butcher. 11 households are listed as receiving the Church Alms.

The 1696 Marriage Duty Tax return lists Ralph Salvin (gentleman, batchelor), his housekeeper Francis Salvin, his menservants Will Dunn and Will Davison, and his womenservants Elizabeth Mason, Elizabeth Taylor and Eleanor and Mary Shadforth. (William and Isabel Pearson, who appear as Ralph Salvin’s servants in his will of 1698, are listed elsewhere in the village).

Frances Salvin died in 1697, and executorship accounts for her exist. (D/Sa/F 32,33). The former of these refers to “bonds in [Mrs/Miss] Frances Salvin’s boxes in Tudhow after her death” and mention a sister named Margaret. I am not sure what her relationship to Ralph Salvin was. In 1696, Ralph Salvin Sr. bought “the old seat house” from William Bierley. He wrote a letter (D/Sa/D 722) to his brother Anthony Salvin, of Elvet and Sunderland Bridge, asking for his help in organising the purchase of the property. The notes on the back of the letter in which he described the property he was to buy from “my neighbour Byerley” in some detail: “the best house he now lives in with stables at the south end of it; the forecourt, garden and orchard…”. He also mentions “two crofts to the burn next the house and two lesser crofts to the far burn”: the far burn is probably the mill stream, which places the “seat house” on the same side of the village as the Hall, probably no further south than South Farm. Ralph Salvin comments “My man can tell you how ruinous and out of repair is all about the houses…”.

The documents D/Sa/D 697-733 trace the history of “the old seat house” and other lands bought by Ralph Salvin at the same time. The lands bought by Ralph Byerley from Bayning et al. in 1600 seem to have passed to William Byerley, presumably Ralph Byerley’s heir. Another parcel, the “Over Croft” (not including the seat house) was bought by William Byerley from William and Isabel Jackson in 1648. This William Byerley died and left the property to his son, also William. In 1674, William Byerley “the elder” granted to his son Thomas Byerley, butcher “all that seat house then in the tenure of the said William Byerley the elder…” [D/Sa/D 706: this was probably a 999-year lease]. The property was divided between the three younger sons, Ralph, Thomas and Robert, but Ralph Bierley “of London, glover” assigned his share to Thomas in 1677 (D/Sa/D 708). In 1680, Thomas and Robert agreed on how to divide the property between them: according to a summary prepared for Ralph Salvin (D/Sa/D xxx): “Thomas should enjoy Ralph Trotter’s house; the loft over the tweene doors of the old house… Robert was to enjoy the old site house (the loft over the tweene doors excepted)…” A synopsis prepared for Ralph Salvin indicates that Thomas Byerley died in 1687 and his executors assigned his interest in the property to William Byerley the younger for the remainder of the term of 999 years. William Byerley seems to have run into debt: he mortgaged the property to Robert Spearman in 1689 (D/Sa/D 704), but it is clear from Ralph Salvin’s letter to his brother (D/Sa/D 722) that this was not sufficient to meet his needs. Salvin wrote “He hath now run himself to such a strait that he must part with it off hand or have little or nothing left to support himself and his family.”

Bryan Salvin Sr.’s trusteeship accounts for Jerrard Salvin’s estate (D/Sa/F41) also mention the house bought from Catherine Allen: “This house and garth is surrounded with my son’s ground and houses and the street, and takes away a right of a footroad, which belonged to it, through part of my son’s ground”. He would not have described it this way if it was part of the Hall.

There is a very interesting plan of the “fould” involved in the seat house sale. The seat house itself is not shown. The plan refers to T Byerley, so is probably from the period 1680-87. Yhe relationships between “the seat house”, “Ralph Trotter’s house”, “the house newly built by the oxfold”, “the best house he now lives in”, etc., are unclear. Ralph Trotter (farmer) and his wife Dorothea are listed in the 1696 Marriage Duty Tax return.

The “old seat house” was almost certainly on the land now occupied by Woodlands (previously Tudhoe Villa). The fee farm rents fit with this, and in 1750, John Dunn mentioned “Burns Croft that was Byerleys”, and Burns Croft is definitely behind Woodlands. This interpretation also fits well with the description of “two crofts to the burn next the house and two lesser crofts to the far burn”.

Yet another new tax was introduced in 1697: the Window Tax. The tax was banded: a householder paid 2 shillings for a house with 2 to 9 windows, 6 shillings for one with 10 to 19 windows, and 10 shillings for one with more than 20 windows. The definition of a “window” is important: in 1820, at least, multi-light windows counted singly provided the gap between the lights was less than 12 inches; the rule was probably similar in 1697.

Ralph Salvin kept the Window Tax records in 1697, 1702 and 1703. His house is listed in 1697 as having 20 glazed windows. This corresponds quite well with a T-shaped Hall without the present southern segment (which was probably a single-storey stable before it was raised to form the panelled bedroom). Ralph Salvin’s tax is unchanged (10/-) in 1702 and 1703 (though I think the tax would not have increased again until he had 30 windows). Once again, the list looks as though it runs geographically around the village, though now it starts at Ralph Salvin’s house rather than at the north end. Wm Byerlaw is listed with 10 windows in 1697, but is exempted from payment of 6/-. The next return, for 1702, lists Ralph Dunn at William Byerlaw’s place in the list, also paying 6/-. Others with 10 or more windows in 1697 are Geo Geobling (Jobling) (5->10), John Willson (10->14), Hen Wilson (10->10) and Hen Sidgwick (5->18).

Ralph Salvin of Tudhoe, 1705-1729

When Ralph Salvin Sr. died in 1705, his will (written in 1698, probate 1705 T108) left the Tudhoe estates to “my loving Godson Ralph Salvin that now lives with me”, who was also his sole executor. Ralph Jr. was the only son of Ralph Sr.’s younger brother William Salvin of Brandonhall (d. 1713; Jerrard’s eleventh son). Ralph Sr. also left “to my good and trusty old servant William Pearson six pounds the ann. and the house over the way he now lives in with the little room on the right hand of the entry now lately laid to it and the garden steede on the back side of it…” Charles Waterton also mentions a cottage opposite the Hall, occupied in the 1790s by the village tailor, “Low” (Lawrence) Thompson. Perhaps these were on the site now occupied by Tudhoe House, which was built in its present form in 1825.

Ralph Salvin Sr. was a batchelor. It was common at the time for younger sons and daughters, even of yeoman households, to work as servants for some years before they could afford to marry and set up on their own. Ralph Salvin’s will of 1698 specifies that “Miss Mary Shadforth my cousin whom I have kept above six years last past be brought up and maintained out of my estate after my decease (if she be then living, and with me) as my executor hereafter named shall think fit: and if she live, and continue with him until the age of eighteen or twenty years that she be fit to make service…”. In 1708, Ralph Salvin Jr. made a declaration that “before the payment of the said legacy she the said Mary Shadforth married to the above bounden John Hutchinson who was then and is now an infant under the age of one and twenty years…”. John Hutchinson came of age later the same year, and the legacy was paid.

The return for papists in 1705 includes Ralph Salvin, and lists 2 men servants and 4 women servants in his house. Since only one Ralph Salvin is mentioned, the list was presumably prepared after Ralph Salvin Sr. died.

Ralph Salvin Jr. married Barbara Browne in 1708, and they had a daughter, Dorothy, in 1709. However, Barbara died the same year, perhaps in childbirth. The one-year lease on marriage (D/Sa/D 70) is worth another look, and there may be other useful documents relating to her.

Ralph Salvin Jr. continued to build up the Tudhoe estate. His biggest purchase was in 1712: Ralph Salvin Jr. bought John Sidgwick’s estate, which was almost as large as his own, from William Ettricke (John Sidgwick’s executor). Surtees gives a pedigree of Ettricke in vol. 1, p. 238: this was probably William Ettricke of Silksworth, Esq., Collector of the Port of Sunderland (d. 1735). The estate appears to have been bought by Mark Shafto in trust for Ralph Salvin, rather than by Ralph Salvin himself; it is interesting to speculate whether Ralph Salvin was even then contemplating his involvement in the Jacobite cause, and taking steps to protect his estates from confiscation. There is a very useful synopsis of the deeds for this estate (D/Sa/? 66.3), prepared during the 18th century. This is referred to as the “Ettricke synopsis” below (there is also a second page).

A Ralph Salvin was married at Kelloe in 1715. I have seen a statement somewhere that this was the same Ralph Salvin, but it seems unlikely. The parish register needs checking.

The Jacobite Rising of 1715 and its aftermath

A major event of this period was the Jacobite Rising of 1715. After the Oates plot was exposed, anti-Catholic feeling subsided, and the Catholic Duke of York was able to succeed Charles as King James II in 1685. He attempted to restore the Catholic faith in England and appointed Catholics to many important offices. This brought him into immediate conflict with Parliament, which in 1688 invited James’s Protestant daughter Mary and her Dutch husband, William of Orange, to take the throne. William landed in force, and James fled to France without any significant resistance. He kept a “court” at St. Germain until his death in 1701, when he was succeeded by his Catholic son James, the Old Pretender, who styled himself James III. When William of Orange died in 1702, the English throne went to Anne, younger sister of Queen Mary (and daughter of James II). Rebellion against Queen Anne was contemplated at least once, but she was a Stuart and most Jacobite hopes focussed on the succession. They bided their time, hoping that James would succeed Queen Anne.

Queen Anne died in 1714, but the Jacobite restoration did not take place. The Jacobite plan to proclaim James III as King was bungled. George, the Elector of Hanover, was invited to take the English throne as King George I. This caused great unrest among the English Catholics and the Tory gentry: there were riots in cities throughout the country, and a rising was planned. The original intention was for a Jacobite landing in Northumberland, and King Louis XIV of France promised support. With this in mind, the Jacobites in Northumberland, led by James Radcliffe, third Earl of Derwentwater, and Lord William Widdrington (great-great-grandson of Sir Henry Widdrington, sometime part-owner of Tudhoe Hall) planned a rising in support of the invasion. Derwentwater had been brought up at the Old Pretender’s court at St. Germain, but was allowed to return to England in 1709, ostensibly to manage his estates in Northumberland.

Ralph Salvin of Tudhoe was undoubtedly a Jacobite sympathiser. His wife’s father, Lord Henry Montagu, had been Secretary of State to James II in exile at St. Germain. His wife’s sister was married to George Collingwood of Eslington Hall, and was said to have persuaded him to join the Rebellion. Ralph Salvin was in close social contact with the Northumbrian Jacobites, and was clearly courted by them. In 1713, George Collingwood wrote to him after a “fortnight at Widdrington where some of us always toasted your health and all diversions and everything went forwards with so much ease and freedom that certainly my Lord is one of the best noblemen in the world.” At Callaly Castle, in January 1715, Collingwood drank to Salvin’s health and to “all other friends in your parts. My Lord Widdrington told me he drank the best wine with you and stayed at Tudhoe till three o’clock in the morning and was very merry”. (L. Gooch, The Desperate Faction? The Jacobites of North-East England, 1688-1745) This was shortly after the accession of George I, and there can be little doubt that Widdrington sought Salvin’s support in the rebellion that was then being contemplated.

william-widdrington-4thbaron widdrington-castle-1769

Lord William Widdrington, and Widdrington Castle in Northumberland in the 18th century

Jerrard Salvin of Croxdale was aged 61, and too old to be an active rebel. However, he too was certainly sympathetic: in 1710 he wrote to Ralph to ask him to look out for and send him pamphlets about “the good old cause”. In February 1715, Jerrard was summoned to appear before the Quarter Sessions, “to answer such matters and things as shall be objected against him”: however, in the event no action was taken against him.

The Rising was abortive. The Jacobite “General” was Thomas Forster, Member of Parliament for the county of Northumberland. He was chosen largely because he was non-Catholic, rather than for any military qualifications. The rebellion began on 6 October, a few days earlier than planned, because news of the enterprise escaped and the Jacobites felt threatened with arrest. Forster’s first objective was support the anticipated Jacobite invasion from France, and the site chosen for the landing was Holy Island (Lindisfarne). On 10 October, Lancelot and Mark Errington succeeded (by themselves) in taking control of the castle on Holy Island. The laxness of the castle’s security is remarkable: Lancelot Errington first visited the master gunner, who also practised as a barber, to ask for a shave. He found that most of the garrison was absent in the town. Later the same day, he returned with his nephew Mark, claiming that he had lost the key to his watch. The Erringtons were allowed in, and managed to overpower the three people in the castle!

Despite the importance of the castle, Forster inexplicably failed to reinforce the Erringtons; a detachment of 100 men was sent from Berwick to retake it, and the Erringtons held it for only one day. When the loyalist soldiers aproached, the Erringtons fled, but were captured and imprisoned in the Tolbooth at Berwick. Once again, security was so lax that they were able to tunnel out and escape.

Two days later, Forster gave up waiting for French assistance, broke camp, and proclaimed James III on 13 October in Alnwick and on 15 October in Hexham.

If Forster had reinforced Errington on Holy Island, the eventual outcome might have been very different. Two French ships signalled Holy Island castle on 13 October, but received no reply and withdrew.

The Jacobites spent almost a week moving around the Borders, trying to decide whether to try to take Newcastle. Their numbers were very small, around 350, but there was some hope that the keelmen of the Tyne, who carried coal out to seagoing ships, would rise and join them. It was not to be: by 18 October, a force of about 900 dragoons under Lieutenant General Carpenter had arrived to defend the city. The lightly-armed and untrained Northumbrian Jacobites could not hope to defeat such a force of trained soldiers. On 22 October, at Kelso, Forster eventually succeeded in joining forces with a detachment of Scottish Highlanders under William Mackintosh, Laird of Borlum. Unlike Forster, Mackintosh was an experienced military man. However, the agreement was that Forster would command on English soil and Mackintosh in Scotland. Their combined force was about 2000 men, and once again an assault on Newcastle was considered. However, the Scots and English leaders could not agree; the Scots had no wish to fight under Forster’s command. Then, on 31 October, Widdrington brought news that the Jacobites of Manchester were ready and waiting, and would rise in force if the Highlanders appeared. It was too tempting; though some of the Scots refused to come, the main Jacobite force headed for Lancashire, by way of Cumbria.

The Jacobites were much heartened by an episode on 3 November. The Bishop of Carlisle and Viscount Lonsdale had assembled 14000 men of the county militia on Penrith Fell. However, when they heard the Jacobites approaching, the militia broke ranks and fled, leaving their arms behind them. Since the Jacobites numbered only 1700, they were enormously encouraged by this demonstration of their reputation.

The Jacobites moved on, through Penrith, Appleby and Kendal, arriving at Lancaster on 7 November. They then moved on to Preston, where for the first time they were joined by substantial numbers of new recruits. They seem to have responded by spending their time feasting, instead of making for Manchester and its promised much greater support. But while this was going on, seven regiments under General Wills converged on Preston. Forster and Mackintosh had no choice but to stand and fight.

On the morning of the 12 November, Forster and Mackintosh (who had never liked one another) had a falling out. Forster retired to his quarters. Meanwhile, Widdrington suffered an attack of gout and kept to his bed. Wills arrived at midday, and spent the rest of the day trying to gain control of the city, without much success. However, the next morning Carpenter arrived to reinforce him; with the city surrounded, Forster decided (without consulting Mackintosh) to negotiate terms. On 14 November, 1500 hundred Jacobites surrendered.

There were only about 700 English Jacobites among those captured at Preston, with few if any from County Durham. There were about 300 Northumbrians, of whom many were from the estates of Derwentwater (56), Widdrington (16), Collingwood (26), and other Jacobite leaders; they were probably out under duress. In the event, there is no evidence that any Salvin took part. However, if matters had turned out differently, and the Rebellion had had success at the beginning, it is highly likely that the Catholic gentry of County Durham would have turned out, and Ralph Salvin would have been among them.

The 1715 Rebellion led to a crackdown on Catholics, mostly financial. In 1717, papists were required to declare their land ownership for tax purposes. Gooch records that Ralph Salvin considered refusing, but was persuaded to register by his lawyer. His entry lists “all that capitall messuage, mansion or tenement… in the town of Tuddoe… wherein I now dwell with all orchards gardens lands and closes therewith held and enjoyed with their appurtenances of the yearly value (as near as I can compute) of sixty two pounds tenn shillings”. The valuation of papist estates in 1723 lists Ralph Salvin as owning “a capitall messuage or mansion house in Tuddoe with orchards, gardens, lands and grounds thereunto belonging worth as is compoted 60-10-0” as well as 7 other farms, 9 cottages and other lands.

The failure of the Fifteen seems to have turned Ralph Salvin into a recluse. In 1719, his lawyer, David Dixon, wrote to him “I would desire you not to immure yourself within the walls of Tudhoe. Melancholy comes fast enough without courting, and a man may be a good Christian without living in a cloister or cell.” Salvin had reason to be depressed: Derwentwater had been beheaded in the Tower of London, and George Collingwood had been hung, drawn and quartered at Liverpool. Widdrington had been reprieved, but deprived of his title. They and many others had forfeited their estates.

Relatively little is known about Ralph Salvin’s later years. A few leases of Tudhoe farms survive, to Thomas Harrison in 1714, Thomas Wilson and John Richardson in 1719, and Edward Crosby in 1721. Ralph Salvin left a rent book in which he recorded rents paid and a few other details for the period 1724-1729. For example, in 1727, John Richardson clearly moved to a larger house; Thomas Johnson left “the tiled house in the street” for John Richardson’s old house, and then in 1729 Johnson “goes to his own little house”. Ralph Salvin also carried out building works at Tudhoe Hall in this period: it is likely that the panelling in the first-floor rooms at the south end dates from the 1720s, and it is possible that this end of the Hall was raised from one and a half to two and a half storeys at the same time.

The death of Ralph Salvin, 1729

Ralph Salvin Jr. died on 14 August 1729; his will (probate 1729 T142), made 2 days before he died, left his property in Tudhoe to Jerrard, eldest son of his cousin, Bryan Salvin “the elder” of Croxdale. He specified that “if Jerrard has two sons my wish and desire is that his second son shall be called Ralph and then and in such case I give and devise [all my property] from and immediately after the death of the said Jerrard Salvin unto such second son”.

Ralph Jr.’s daughter Dorothy survived him, but did not live in Tudhoe for long after his death: D/Sa/F 41? records that she was in a monastery in Bruges (Flanders) until her death “from a long and painful illness” in 1741. She received regular payments of interest of 27/10/0 per year from her father’s estate. Her will (written in 1731) was proved at Durham (probate 1741 T80); it confirms that she was due one thousand pounds at Ralph Salvin’s death under the terms of her mother’s marriage settlement, but did not inherit her father’s lands.

Jerrard Salvin of Croxdale was under age when Ralph Jr. died, and the Tudhoe estates were actually run by his father, Bryan Salvin Sr. (of Croxdale, d. 1751), who was Ralph’s executor. Bryan Sr. wrote meticulous accounts of everything he did. His accounts for the Tudhoe estate run to 4 volumes (D/Sa/F 40,41,42, D/Sa/E 173). He kept even more detailed accounts for Croxdale (D/Sa/E 171 (or 191?), 1723-33). The information from D/Sa/F 40 below is taken largely from Adrian Green’s transcriptions.

The first volume of Bryan Sr.’s accounts are the executorship accounts for Ralph Salvin, who is usually referred to as “my cosin”. Ralph Salvin Sr. is referred to as “My uncle Ralph Salvin”.

The accounts contain an extraordinarily detailed inventory of everything in the house and farm when Ralph Salvin died, with a value for each item. For example, the list for the kitchen (66 entries in all) begins:
Pewter dishes, twenty six, the better half sold to different people at the canting, some sold afterwards and the rest after that to Durham as old pewter, in all for about 02-10-00
and later
A coffee pot, sold for 00-04-00
A chocolate pot, sold for 00-06-00
Iron pots three,, two old ones sold for 0-1-8; the third supposed to be that which is fixed as a furniss, and is left at Tudhoe, in the back kitchen
Pistols, two pair, had to Croxdale see P:
The dining room contained nine cane chairs, two arm chairs, and three oval tables, and several pictures, including “Mr. George Smith’s picture”, “Mr. Salvin’s own picture”, four maps and the “Earl of Darwentwater’s picture in black and white”. The first two pictures were kept in the family, but the Earl’s picture were sold for sixpence; it was perhaps not a good thing to have around the house! Several other rooms (the drawing room hung with blue camlet and the hall) had an unspecified “picture over the chimney”. The hall also contained two guns, and “the closet adjoining to the dressing room” contained a hanger (a type of sword), a sword belt, a cane, and “an old stick”. The bedrooms were described by the colours of their furnishings: the yellow room or “best lodging room” (guest room), the blue room, the green room, the brown room, and the stript (striped) room. The best lodging room had a separate dressing room, and there were also a tempsing room, a nursery, and a servants’ room, as well as the staircase, brewhouse, cellar and wash house.

Ralph Salvin’s funeral was a big event. He was buried at Elvet Church, and Bryan Salvin records all the expenses. For example:

August 15th: A large wainscot coffin three quarter bord with a double lid, finding boards, nails and making: 01/10/00

15th: The watchers six, Isabell Pearson, Ann Langstaff, Mary Rowell, Mary Shafto, Francis Swinburn, Margaret Rea, had each three shillings: 00/18/00

17th: Given to Mr Shafto’s coachman, who was borrowed and his horses to drive the hearse: 01/01/00

17th: Given to Lady Eden’s coachman, which coach was borrowed to carry two mourners, sent by Mr Pudsey: 01/01/00

19th: Paid since date to Thos Smith Mason of Durham, by Will Fareham, for taking up the flaggs in the church, raising two marble stones, which sled towards the grave, finding lime, and flags where they were broke, I have receipt in full Sept 18th: 01/00/00

Quite a lot of provisions were bought in for the funeral. For example:

22nd: Canary [a type of wine] six gallons, at eight shillings per gallon: 02/08/00
22nd: White wine four gallons, at 6 s 8d per gallon: 01/06/08
22nd: Ridd port five gallons, at 6 s 8d per gallon: 01/13/04
22nd: Bottles five dozen, at 18 per doz: 00/07/06

23rd: French wine two dozen, which I had from Croxdale for the funeral, and for which I paid Will Chatto the Scotchman since at the rate of 27 per hogshead so: 02/14/00

A lot of money was spent on clothing for the mourners, especially Ralph Salvin’s servants. They were:

  • Mrs. Bainbridge, “a relation, and a sort of upper housekeeper, and had been in the house a considerable time”. Her son John Bainbridge is also mentioned as “coming once a week to shave my cosin”.
  • Jane Swaith, “my cosin’s housekeeper”
  • June Elliott, “my cosin’s dairy maid” or undermaid
  • Thomas Hunt, “my cosin’s servant” (8 years in Ralph Salvin’s service)
  • John Robinson, the husbandman
  • Jack Johnson, the plowboy (or sometimes footboy)
  • “A young Scotchman, my cosin’s gardiner”

This group are generally referred to as “the famaly”. There is also Nurse Cory, “his daughter’s nurse, often about the house, and a great favourite with both my cosin and the young lady”. However, it is not clear whether Nurse Cory actually lived in the house. “An old woman living in Coundon” is also referred to as “my cosin’s own nurse”.

Mourning clothes were provides for guests as well as servants. For example:

Sixty nine yards of rich four thread lustang, as 4s 6d per yard, had for 23 gentleman’s scarbs, besides the bearers, mourners, and thirty one more in mercer’s note of Durham, Mr Dunn; as supposing, Mr Pudsey’s self, Mr Dun the mercer himself, Mr Delavall Curate of Croxdale, Mr Millet, Doctor Huddlestone, Mr Thorp, Mr John Wytham of Cliff, Mr Thos Tempest, Mr Porter, Mr Sertes, Mr Estrick, Collonell Delaval, Mr Henry, Mr De Bord, Mr Burton, Mr Jerison, Mr Dowtwhait, Mr Keeling, Mr Becworth, Mr Separdson, Mr Sidgwick, Mr Ashington the surgeon.

Ninety two yards of silk at 4s per yard, had for about twenty one gentlemen’s scarfs beside those mentioned in Mr Pudsey’s bill as supposing Mr Forcer, Mr Carr of West Auckland, Mr Boucher, Mr Maire of Hartbushes, Mr Fletcher Vane, Mr Hodgson of Auckland, Mr Trotter of Parson Blaikston, Mr Lampton of Lampton, Parson Davison of Chester, Mr Stoniers, Mr Crew, Mr Ward the Draper, Mr Hopper, Mr Shirley, Mr Smith of Burnhall, Mr Wilkinson the lawyer, Mr Hutchinson of Framwellgate, Mr Bainbridge, Mr Shadforth’s son, etc. viz: 23/00/00

These are just samples of the entries in a long list: the total expenses for the funeral came to 192/01/04.

It is not clear how Ralph Salvin died. Bryan Salvin records spending 5 guineas on “a cere cloth to wrap the corpse in, one being thought necessary in my cosin’s circumstance”. He also records on Sept 21st “Gave to Willm Willson, one of my cosin’s tenants, and friends, who they sent post, to fetch me from York upon my cosin’s illness, for his trouble, 10/6d”. There is an entry for Oct 28th: “Mr Thos Reed the Apothecary, his bill from Dec’r 11th 1728 to the time of my cosin’s death, consisting of 40 articles… 07/07/09”. For Dec 6th: “Paid to Mrs Susan Foster, An Apothecary, widow, in Durham for druggs etc; some got the end of May 1727; and some in April 1729… 01/14/00.” Bryan Salvin records giving 5 guineas to Doctor Huddlestone: “He had attended a night, or two, been some journeys and gave my cosin due warning of his danger etc.” He also gave 5 guineas to Doctor Howard: “He was sent for as an assistant physician, when they found my cosin, in so great danger, was a night or two in the house, and till after he died, was my cosin’s particular friend and very near relation”.

Bryan Salvin arrived in Tudhoe before Ralph died, and records:

And the night before he died, after that I had got to Tudhoe, he said to my sister Catherine and self that he thought he should and would make a coddicil, the which it is probable would have been more large and particular but for want of time, and that he grew weak so fast, however my sister Catherine writ down from his mouth.

The first entry is a list of lightly disguised gifts to P–ts (priests), all given elided:
“Mr Br–on, Mr Ya–ey, Mr Ri–rs (etc), a guinea each.”
There are also gifts for named lists of cl–gy (clergy), m–ks (monks), fr–rs (friars), and Je–ts (Jesuits). It continues:

“And he desired that Isabelle Pearson might be given forty or fifty shillings; she was an old servant of my uncle Ralph Salvin, to whom he left by his Will a house for her life, and to whom my cosin Ralph had often been charitable, she is now very old, and poor, and lives in a house, over against the Hall House; I sent her fifty shillings…”.

Isabelle Pearson lived in the cottage “over the way” originally left by Ralph Salvin Sr. to William Pearson. The description of it as “over against the Hall House” provides an interesting example of how language has changed since the 18th century: at that time, “against” usually meant “opposite” rather than “next to”: for example, when Jonathan Swift wrote Gulliver’s Travels in 1725, and described the approach of the island of Laputa, he wrote that “Those who stood nearest over against me seemed to be Persons of Distinction”.

Ralph Salvin evidently spent time in Bath and London shortly before his death. On Feb 27th there is an entry:

“Tho Hunt’s board wages for 32 weeks at 7s/week, for so much of the time they were at Bath and London comes to L11 04s 00d: but of which my cosin had some time ago paid L8-14s-00d; so remains…”

This suggests that Ralph was once again moving in society, and following the “season” from London in winter to Bath in summer. Several of the servants(the housekeeper, the husbandman, the gardiner) had been in Ralph’s employ only “since Mayday last”, perhaps suggesting that the house was largely unstaffed while he was away.

There is a peculiar entry of April 29th, 1730: “Paid back Whittingham, a sum oweing to him by my cosin; my cosin keeping his purse when he left my cosin’s service as his footboy, it was somewhat under 20s, and I found a purse or two, with about such a sum. I have his receipt of date: 01-00-00”

After the funeral is over, there are many entries for settling up Ralph Salvin’s affairs. Some of them suggest building works not long completed:


17th: George Dun seven days at 1s 2d per day: 00/08/02
17th: John Robinson two days at 1s 2d per day: 00/02/04
17th: An apprentice three days at 8d per day: 00/02/00
The three articles above are for getting flaggs and steps in Croxdale Skipbeck for the new outhousing, about Feb 1728.

17th: George Dun sixteen days at 1s 4d per day: 01/01/04
17th: John Robinson seven days at 1s 4d per day: 00/09/04
17th: An apprentice eight days at 10d per day: 00/06/08
The three articles above are for dressing the stones, making the stair, flaging out the brewhouse, for the new outhousing, and repairing Widow Todd’s house, as the chimneys etc. In March and April 1728/9.

17th: George Dun ten days + 1/2 at 1s 4d per day: 00/14/00
etc. etc.
The last four articles above were for making the wall cross the runner in the lane below Alice Foster’s house, in May 1729, of the Park Wall stones.

17th: George Dun 17 days at 1s 4d per day: 00/19/10
etc. etc.

The six last articles were for work done about the designed Horse Park wall, which was to have joined to the Holywell House; this work was done in about 1725 or 1726: I have George Dun’s notes and receipts… [Note that Holywell House is shown on the Thomas Jefferys map of 1768 on the Durham-Merrington road, near the present Black Horse public house; it is not the same as the present Holywell Hall, on the other side of the River Wear.]

18th: Paid Richard Hills a Smith, and one of my cosin’s cottagers, a note of smith’s work from August the 9th 1728, to Aug 29th 1729, for uses about the house, plough, and garden, but the particulars too many, and minute, to be each particularly mentioned, forty barrs for the new windows, 10s, is one article of it, and about 6s of it, had since my cosin’s decease [etc.]: 02/14/01

26th: A half year’s Window Cess, allowed for my cosin’s house, allowed in for Richardson’s notes, for 1727: 00/15/00 [This is a fascinating entry: there are very few extant records of Window Tax payments from this period.]

26th: John Richardson. Allowed him for damages the brick kiln might do him, which my cosin had in the ground, whilst he farmed it, and for which my cosin had promised him satisfaction. I allowed 01/01/00.

26th: Glazing the windows of Thos Johnson’s house: 00/04/03

26th A fir jist of 7 1/2 feet at 12d: put into Tom Johnson’s house 00/07/06

26th: Bricks ten thousand at 5s per thousand had some time ago: 02/10/00


19th: Mrs Bainbridg I gave her at my breaking up house in Tudhoe, who had lived there from my cosin’s death, to the date, and officiated as housekeeper, and kept and had the charge of most of the keys, etc., as wages: 01/01/00


6th: Painting the chaise and wheels: 00/06/00
6th: Painting six sash windows, at 1s per window: 00/06/00
6th: Painting two doors: 00/02/00
6th: Putty two pounds
The 4 articles above a note of one Cuthbert Winter a painter in Durham, they were done in July last, I have his acquittance in full of date.

1730, July 25th: To Umphrey Darnton Smith in recompense of damages which my cosin had done him by ???ing and loading stones, in the ground, which Darnton farms of my cosin James Salvin and for which my cosin Ralph promised him satisfaction but unpaid. 01-01-01
The two articles of 25th above paid on date to Umphrey Darnton of Sunderlandbridge and I have his receipt.

October 30th: Old barley malt three bushells, had by my cosin July 16th 1729 and paid to Mr Henry Sidgwick with his other notes for my self. I have his acquaintance in full of May the 18th 1730. [This is interesting because it illustrates the extension of the honorific “Mr.” beyond the confines of the traditional gentry. Henry Sidgwick was undeniably of yeoman stock.]

It is clear from Bryan Sr.’s account that Ralph Salvin’s house was almost entirely cleared at his death: many of the items are recorded as sold “at the canting” (auction). Quite a few were “brought to Croxdale”. One particularly tantalising item, from the blue room (p. 46 of the account), is “A map, or survey of my cosin’s estate at Tudhoe, set in a frame, and is brought to Croxdale”.

The auction was advertised in the Newcastle Courant (No. 232) on October 4 1729:

“A Sale on Tuesday the 14th Instant [October], 1729, will begin at Tuddawe, in the Parish of Branspeth, in the County of Durham, of Goods by Auction, viz. of Beds, Bedding, Glasses, Chairs, Tables, Linen, Pewter, and a great deal of good Kitchen Furniture, a very good Sedan Chair, a Second Hand Coach, Chaise, etc. several Horses, a very good Milk-Ass [i.e. a mare], and some other quick Goods [dry animal feed?], Plough Gear, and other Things useful in Husbandry, lately belonging to Ralph Salvin, Esq; deceased: To begin at 10 O’clock in the Mornings, and to continue from the 14th Instant, ’till all are Sold.”

Bryan Salvin’s accounts record paying for this advertisement:
December 15th: Paid to Thomas Wiseman, in his notes of date, as disbursed on October the 17th, for advertising the canting of the goods at Tudhoe, twice, in the Newcastle Courant: 00/04/00
It also seems from an entry of March 20th 1730 that Ralph Salvin subscribed to the Courant: “John Richardson, paid him by R Dun December 9th that he said my late cosin was oweing to him for Newcastle Courant.. 00-02-00”

The next generation: Jerrard, Bryan, William and Edward Salvin, 1729-1800

Bryan Salvin Sr.’s son Jerrard was aged about 12 when Ralph Jr. died. Bryan Salvin Sr. acted as his trustee, and kept detailed accounts (D/Sa/F 41) which contain much fascinating information. Noteable entries include:

3 Aug 1733: Isabell Pierson, a coffin for her

30 April 1734: “N.B. My son’s expenses, placed to this half year, as well as to the following half years, may seem, to many, a great deal of money to be expended upon a youth at his age. But when it is considered, a youth taken out of a college, to attend after a young lady, to be equipped accordingly, to follow her to Paris, a Holland journey to be made, and afterwards a young gentleman to be maintained in the world, a large expense must soon appear unavoidable, nor can I think the particular sums be thought very extravagant by those who know what it is to live abroad in any tolerable genteel manner.

“Now, as to removing a youth so soon from school, and with intent to marry him, the offer of so considerable a fortune was made to me (for the proposal sought me, not I it) that I could not avoid acquainting my best friends and relations with it; and more especially my wife’s relations, who all seemed to agree, in the main, that so favourable an offer was not to be slighted. And the general opinion seemed to be that the sooner the proposal was secured, or at least brought to a certainty, what was to be expected from it, the better; tho few indeed then made any great doubt of its success. How it was managed at Ghent, = = = =
all they who were there, know best, but I neither sent them there, or took any other steps in this affair, without the advice, and approbation, of most of my friends. As to the taking of a youth so soon from his book: it is pretty well known that my son, especially after his having been to drink the waters at St. Amand, grew very uneasy at the confinement and regulations of a school, nor would have stayed much longer at one with any tolerable ease or contentment.”

I think the waters of St. Amand are/were at Peruelz, which has been in both Belgium and France at different times.

Jerrard Salvin died in 1737, aged 20 (probate 1737 A120). He never lived in Tudhoe. When he died, the Tudhoe estates passed to his younger brother Bryan Jr. Bryan Salvin Sr. continued to act as trustee, and again kept detailed accounts (D/Sa/F 42). Bryan Jr. and his younger brother William were at the English Catholic College at Douai at this time: they arrived there together in the summer of 1736, and are recorded as still being there in 1738. The fourth brother, Edward, arrived in Douai in 1740.

Bryan Jr. also died before his father, in 1744, aged 22 (probate 1744 T101). He probably never lived in Tudhoe either, though it is possible that he did briefly: on 10 November 1744 (just after his death) Bryan Sr. refers to him as “Bryan Salvin Jr. of Tudhoe, Esquire”. He seems to have been unwell for some time, and probably did not take possession of Tudhoe for that reason.

At this point the ownership of the Tudhoe estates becomes complicated: Bryan Jr.’s will placed the Tudhoe lands in trust, and the trustees (John Tempest and William Bacon) were instructed to sell enough land to raise 4000 pounds for the benefit of Bryan Sr. and his daughters. The main provisions of the trust aimed to preserve Tudhoe as the estate of the senior Salvin other than the master of Croxdale: The Tudhoe lands went first to Bryan Jr.’s younger brother William (d. 1800) for as long as William and Bryan Sr. both lived, but were stipulated to pass on to the next brother, Edward (d. 1756) when William inherited Croxdale. If Edward died without issue (as indeed happened) the lands were to revert to William, but be entailed to his second son. William and Edward too were enjoined to name their younger sons Ralph in order to fulfil Ralph Jr.’s wishes, though this does not appear to have come to pass.

Bryan Sr.’s trusteeship accounts on William’s behalf exist too, in D/Sa/E 173. Throughout the period of Bryan Sr.’s accounts (until 1745, when William came of age), Ralph Dun appears regularly as “my son’s steward”, and is paid 1/10/0 per half year for “looking to the house and garden”. There are minor maintenance items for the Hall scattered through all Bryan Sr.’s trusteeship accounts: for example, on 31 Aug 1744, 1/1/2 was paid for “pointing the Hall”. It seems likely that the house was kept unlet in the expectation that one of the younger Salvins would eventually live there. The farm land was probably let, though.

D/Sa/E 177 includes some of William Salvin’s personal expenses for 1743-4. There are plenty of entries for “received from my father”. He does not seem to have been a good gambler: there are three entries, total 3s 9d, under “winning at cards” and 7 entries, totalling 25s 3d, under “lost at cards”.

William was Bryan Salvin Sr.’s eldest surviving son and heir, and will have lived at Croxdale Hall until he came of age in 1745 and after Bryan Sr.’s death in 1751. However, he may have lived in Tudhoe in the intervening period. The last page of Bryan Salvin’s trusteeship accounts records (p. 19) “I delivered up the possession of and management of the Tudhoe Estate into my son William’s hands in November 1745 when I had paid and discharged every interest money which was to come or could come against the Tudhoe Estate before Martinmas 1745.” (Note: I’m a little confused about which volume this is in. My notes say it’s in D/Sa/F 42, but I thought those were the trusteeship accounts for Bryan, not William. I couldn’t find it when I looked back at D/Sa/E 173, which is an approximately A4-sized volume. The text exists, but the reference needs checking). On the other hand, the estate he declared on 26 September 1745 (Surtees Society vol. 175) includes “one capital messuage or tenement in Tudhoe … with the stables gardens and appurtenances … now in the possession of Ralph Dunn as tenant at will for which he is to pay me no rent but is to live in the said messuage … for taking care of the gardens and keeping them in order”. It is not clear whether this arrangement continued throughout William Salvin’s tenure.

This was of course the period of another Jacobite Rebellion, the Forty-five. However, this seems to have received even less support on County Durham than its predecessor, the Fifteen, despite extravagant promises made to Prince Charles Edward before he sailed from France. “Bonnie Prince Charlie” raised his standard at Glenfinnan on 19 August 1745; the Scottish Jacobites rallied to his cause, and he took Edinburgh within a month, before the opposition could organise. However, with a few exceptions, the Catholics of Northumberland were unenthusiastic: Bryan Salvin promised “without any evasion to give no disturbance whatsoever to His Majesty King George and his government, nor any assistance to his enemies”. The Forty-five made no inroads south of the Border.

Bryan Salvin Sr. died in 1751, and William inherited Croxdale. At this point, Edward inherited a life interest in the Tudhoe estates. I am not sure of his date of birth: it must have been after William’s (1723) but before his mother’s death (1729). Since he arrived in Douai in 1740, it was probably about 1726. Bryan Jr.’s will of 1744 recommended that the Owton estates be settled “to the end my brother Edward be better enabled to marry in order to keep up two families”. This implies that Edward was then a young man. There is a 1745 request for interest on 2000 pounds under Bryan Salvin’s will, D/Sa/E 50, to “Wm Salvin and Mr Edward Salvin”, from Joshua Cox.

Edward did not come to live in Tudhoe immediately after his father’s death: on 7 October 1751 he declared his estates (Surtees Society vol. 165) to include “One capital messuage or tenement in Tudhoe … with the stables garden and appurtenances thereunto belonging late in the possession of Ralph Dunn and now in the possession of John Dunn the younger as tenant at will for which he is to pay no rent but is to live in the said messuage or tenement for taking care of the gardens and keeping them in order”.

Edward too died young, in 1756: he is buried at St. Pancras, Middlesex, and presumably died near there. There is a letter (D/Sa/E 47) from J. Hooper, who evidently ran a hospital of some kind, to “Mr Salvin’s brother”: the letter requests reimbursement for expenses before Mr. Salvin died and describing the circumstances of his death. It almost certainly refers to Edward.

Edward had a life interest in the Tudhoe estates rather than actually owning them. He appears to have died intestate, and there is a document relating to administration of his affairs (probate 1758 A12). This names Thomas Pearson as principal creditor of “Edward Salvin of Tudhoe, Gentleman, decd.”, and appoints George Reay executor of the estate of Thomas Pearson, and Guardian and Trustee during the minority of his son Thomas Pearson.

When Edward died, his life interest in the Tudhoe estates reverted to William. D/Sa/F 56 is a description written by William Salvin of the “estate at Tudhoe belonging Edward Salvin Esq.” (and containing details of his funeral expenses etc.). It includes a statement that “In all of which said messuages lands tenements and hereditaments I the Sd Wm Salvin have or claim to be entitled to an estate for my own life without impeachment of waste with remainder to my second son in tail male under the last will and testament of my brother Bryan Salvin deceased…”. The document lists

“the capital messuage or tenement with stables gardings appurtenances thereunto belonging late in the possession of Edward Salvin Esq. deceased with the lands late in John Dunn possession and the lands and grounds part of Crosby’s farm lying the north side of Auckland Rode and late in the possession of Edward Salvin decd. with the lands and tenements late in the possession of Henry Huchinson and now held by Matthew Corner for two years at the yearly from Mayday last at the yearly rent of 80/15(?).”

The house seems likely to be the same as Ralph Salvin’s “capital messuage or mansion”, and was therefore probably the Hall: the document seems to indicate that it was let to Matthew Corner shortly after Edward Salvin died.

Tenants at Tudhoe Hall, 1756 onwards

D/Sa/E 461, the Tudhoe rental book for 1724-29, includes one entry for 1758, which is about a year after Edward’s death. However, not much has changed since D/Sa/F 56: the largest farms leased out in 1758 were to Matthew Corner, for 2 years at 80/0/0 per annum, “to come out Mayday 60”, and to Robt Wilson, for 6 years at 90/0/0, to come out Mayday 62. This document does not make it clear whether the Hall itself is included in any of the leases. However, it seems likely from D/Sa/F 56 that it was, and there was no longer a reason to keep it unlet, as there were no surviving Salvin sons who might be expected to live in it.

There is another, badly water-damaged and largely illegible, inventory dated 1764, D/Sa/E 787, for a large house in Tu[dhoe] that must be the Hall: the rooms names that are legible are kitchen, back kitchen, back pantry, hall, pantry over the cellar, little parlour, parlour chamber, hall chamber, yallow room, dressing room, study, 2 garrets, garrit over the parlour, garrit over the hall, cellar, dairy, back dairy, wash house, brew house, gardiner’s room. This is clearly the same house, though the dining room and one chamber (the blue room?) are missing, perhaps because of the water damage to the inventory. This is confirmed because the back pantry contains a table and 7 shelves, exactly the same as the milk house in 1729. The heading is:

Inventory of Tu…
left by Matthew C..
1764 and now in …
of Mar Egel…

The inventory is very sparse, so it seems more likely to refer to items left behind by a tenant than to someone’s possessions at their death. “Matthew C…” is probably Matthew Corner.

D/Sa/E 173 is a volume containing two sets of accounts, one starting from each end. One set is Bryan Salvin’s trusteeship accounts for William Salvin, 1744-45; appended to this are Tudhoe rentals for 1762, 1764 and 1767. After the 1764 list are some entries for 1765, including:

  • Mayday 1765 Mr Eggleston for 9 years for Mattw Corner & Mr Dunn farms 150/10/0
  • May 65 Joseph Yeall for his father’s & the Hall Farm pays all taxes 173/00/0

Taken together with the inventory, these must indicate that Mr. Egglestone did indeed succeed Matthew Corner as tenant of the Hall. The entry for Yeall is peculiar, but perhaps the “Hall Farm” referred to here was not in Tudhoe. Yeall does not appear in any rentals that specifically name Tudhoe.

The agent’s accounts indicate that Matthew Corner remained a Salvin tenant at least until 1769, paying a smaller rent: this needs checking, but if it’s a different farm from 1765 onwards it might tie in with the 1777 Rights of Way declaration (see below), which clearly places Matthew Corner on the Croxdale estate.

The accounts at the other end of D/Sa/E 173 are William Salvin’s agent’s accounts for 1762-69, including some entries for Tudhoe. However, the Tudhoe entries are not labelled as such, and are difficult to identify.

In any case, Tudhoe Hall Farm was leased out by William Salvin from the 1760s until his death in 1800. The tenant farmers may be traced through leases and plans of husbandry in the Fleming and Salvin papers at the Durham County Record Office:

  • Matthew Corner: 1757-1764, D/Sa/F 42
  • Mr. Eggleston: 1765-, D/Sa/E 173
  • William Stewart: ?-1777-?, D/Sa/E 371
  • John Johnson: 1778-1785-?
  • Robert Pattinson: 1789-1811,
  • James Wright: 1811-1851-?, D/Fle 2/18/3 (I have a copy of one page of a directory, labelled 1856, which lists James and George Harrison. However, there is also a February 1858 advert for letting Tudhoe Hall Farm, for a tenant “to come in Mayday next”.

John Johnson’s lease of 1778 (D/Sa/E 371) is particularly interesting: it explicitly mentions the “old Hall” but excludes “the dog kennel, dovecoat, four stalled stable and four rooms above which is to be used and employed as the said William Salvin shall think proper”. This is the range containing the chapel, as described below. Another clause reserves “to William Salvin … or his family and servants … full and free liberty and license of hunting, coursing, fowling, shooting and setting…”

Dodd’s History of the Urban District of Spennymoor (1898) quotes the naturalist Charles Waterton, writing in 1862, at the age of about 80, of his school-days in Tudhoe from 1792 onwards: “Tudhoe Old Hall, tenanted by a family named Patterson [sic] … Formerly a Squire Salvin, of the Croxdale family, used to live at this old hall, and here he kept his harrier hounds”. It seems likely that this refers to either Edward or William. William is perhaps more likely: there are references in the trusteeship accounts to his dogs, and it seems that he kept them at Tudhoe even after he had inherited Croxdale. It also ties in with the reference to a dog kennel in John Johnson’s lease.

William Salvin’s eldest son Gerard Haggerston Salvin (1764-1779) died young. The Tudhoe estate probably passed to his second son William Thomas Salvin (1767-1842) when he came of age in 1788. However, when William died in 1800, William Thomas inherited Croxdale and the Tudhoe estate was settled on William’s third (but second surviving) son, Bryan John Salvin (1779-1839), under the terms of the trust set up under Bryan Salvin’s 1744 will. The settlement is described in D/Sa/E 96-100 (not yet inspected). Bryan John Salvin was presumably the Bryan Salvin described by Waterton as a schoolboy as “a dull, sluggish and unwieldy lad, quite incapable of climbing exertion”. However, it seems unlikely that he ever lived in Tudhoe. In 1806, William Thomas Salvin bought the Burn Hall estate from Mrs. Alice Hall, and between 1821 and 1834 Bryan John Salvin built the present Burn Hall in classical style on the site.

The Tudhoe leases don’t usually name the farm involved, and identification can be difficult because there were several Salvin farms in Tudhoe. There are sketch plans of all those owned by Bryan John Salvin in 1813 (D/Fle 2/18/5), with fields numbered and keys giving their names, which are often mentioned in the leases. The farms (and tenants) listed in 1813 are Hall Farm (James Wright), South Farm (John Ord), Academy Farm (George Simpson), Black Horse Farm (Thomas English), York Hill Farm (Thomas Gibbon), Tudhoe Moor House Farm (William Pearson/Perkin), North Farm (no tenant named), Cold Stream Farm, and others further away. The map of South Farm shows the footpath to Hett (past Ratten Row) and a track along Easter Close. North Farm included both the current farm house and another farmstead behind it (demolished during the 20th century) and land on both corners of Chair Lane. There is also a plan showing the smaller farms in the village.

D/Fle 2/18/? is a field list for “Coldstreams and Tudhoe Farm” from 1807. D/Fle 2/18/2 is a document describing the condition of several farms in 1811: It talks about drainage problems at Black Horse farm (then in the possession of Wm Craggs) and says that “The great meadow Welling Green should be drained and subdivided”. It also mentions moving “4 detached fields”, including Springwood Pasture, to Laburn’s Farm. There are also reports on the conditions of Laburn’s Farm and Peter Richardson’s farm.

The page of D/Fle 2/18/5 with the key giving the names of the 36 fields that comprised Hall Farm in 1813 is missing. However, the numbers appear to correspond with those of a valuation of Hall Farm in 1828, D/Fle 2/18/9. There is also a list (not quite the same) in James Wright’s lease of 1811. The best map that I have found is one attached to D/Sa/E 164 (1857), which shows and names all the Salvin fields, colour-coded by the farm they belonged to. The 1839 tithe map is also useful, especially for buildings and non-Salvin fields.

The fields associated with “Hall Farm” changed substantially over the years: two quite similar valuations (one of “Wm Stewart’s Farm”, dated 1777, D/Sa/E 541, and one of “Hall Farm”, undated but virtually the same fields in the same order, D/Sa/E 542) list the names of the fields then: there are just 17 of them, and only about half of them are among those listed in 1811/1828. Since the names are useful in identification, and the 1777 list is the earliest I have conclusively identified as “Hall Farm”, I give it here: asterisks indicate fields that also appear among those in the farm in 1828.

Farr Beckwith Close, Near Beckwith Close, Auckland Field, Auckland Pasture, High White Flatt (*) & Gill, Middle White Flatt (*) & Gill, Farr Do. (*), Farr Burn Field, Low Carr Field (*), Middle Do., Burns Croft, Lane Croft (*), Gardens, Hall Field, Wash House Field (*), Claxburn Field (*), Mill Field. These are all beyond the Hall and across the Far Burn.

John Johnson’s lease of 1778 refers to “all those two farms” formerly in the possession of William Stewart and himself, and lists High Broomekirk, Lee’s Close, pt. of High Middle Piece, remainer of do., Little Cross Close, Great Cross Close, Great Stoney Lands, Low Pasture, West Pasture, High Gill Field, Farr White Flatt, Auckland Pasture, part of Middle White Flatt, Near White Flatt, Auckland Field, rem. of Middle White Flatt, Farr Burn Field. The extras are scattered.

Felix Farley’s Bristol Journal (Bristol) for 10 January 1784 recorded
Died: At Durham, Thomas Bowyer, Esq. of Tudhoe-hall, only son of the late worthy and learned printer; by whose death, unmarried, 3000l; reduced annuities, bequeathed by his father contingently to the Company of Stationers for the benefit of six aged printers, is secured to them in perpetuity.

Robert Pattinson’s lease of 1789 refers to “all three farms”; in addition to those in William Stewart’s list it includes New Fall (*), Wilsons Croft, Low Croft, Low Middle Piece (*), Far High Middle Piece (*), North Farr Carr (*), Dussons ???, White Flatt, Lane Croft (*), Middle White Flatt (*), Middle Carr Field (*). [A “Croft” is a narrow strip of land leading back from the village.]

An advertisement in the Newcastle Courant for 12 February 1831 offered Tudhoe Hall Farm (and Tudhoe West Farm) to let.

Bryan John Salvin died in 1839. He had no children, and the Burn Hall and Tudhoe estates passed to Marmaduke Charles Salvin (1812-1885), younger son of William Thomas Salvin. William Thomas himself died in 1842, and the Croxdale estate passed to his eldest son Gerard John Salvin (1804-1870).

The Newcastle Journal for 26 June 1847 advertised a 3-day “important sale of furniture, carriages, wines etc.” at Tudhoe Hall, listing rosewood, zebra wood and mahogany furniture, magnificent tapestry and Brussels carpets, cabinet piano-forte, oak cabinets, choice oil paintings, prime feather beds, portable warm and shower bath, mangle, kitchen requisites, wines, carriages, etc. etc.

Various directories list the occupants of Tudhoe Hall Farm in more recent times:

  • 1856: James and George Harrison (My notes say that John Wright is mentioned as the tenant of “Hall Farm” in the 1857 mortgage. However, I think I have seen John Wright associated with Black Horse Farm elsewhere. James Wright’s son was named James, not John. Also, Hall Farm was advertised for rent in February 1858. This all needs checking)
  • 1865: James Harrison
  • 1873: Andrew Fleming
  • 1879: Timothy and George Pickering (listed as “The Hall”)
  • 1890: George Edmondson (listed as “Tudhoe Grange and at Tudhoe Hall”); he is listed elsewhere as “farmer and spirit merchant”, but that entry only mentions Tudhoe Grange.
  • 1894: Thomas Simpson (probably the Mr. Simpson mentioned by Dodd)
  • 1902, 1910, 1914, 1921: Kelly’s directory doesn’t mention anyone at the Hall (but Partnerships is listed until 1914, occupied by the Salvin gamekeeper. Tony Coia says he knew it in his childhood as the Gamekeeper’s Cottage)
  • 1925, 1938: Thomas John Anderson

Malcolm Anderson says that his grandparents actually moved into the Hall in 1912.

The directories also sometimes contain comments about the Hall. For example, Whellan’s directory of 1894 says “The old Hall, now occupied as a farm, has evidently been the manor house, and the residence of the Salvin family”.

The Hall was split into three tenements at some stage: Dodd describes it this way in 1897, and it apparently remained so until the Andersons removed the partition between 1 and 2 Old Hall Cottages in the late 1960s. It is not certain when the split was made, but it must have been between Edward Salvin’s death in 1757 and the publication of Dodd’s book in 1897. As described below, the most likely date for the split seems to be 1891.

The earliest conveyance recorded in the current deeds for Tudhoe Hall is from H. C. M. Salvin and M. L. Roberts to the Weardale Steel Coal and Coke Company in 1926. Hall Farm then passed in 1947 under nationalisation to the National Coal Board. Malcolm Anderson, who had been the Coal Board’s tenant, bought Tudhoe Hall Farm from the Coal Board in 1996, and sold the farm house and garden (but not the farm land) to me the same year.

Thomas John Anderson (presumably Malcolm Anderson’s father) and others actually bought the “Old Hall” (then known as 1 & 2 Old Hall Cottages) from the Coal Board in 1966. Kay Anderson tells me that the Coal Board initially wanted to demolish it, but were not permitted to do so. The Andersons’ original plan was that Thomas Anderson would live in the Old Hall, and they removed the partition between the two cottages. However, he never moved in and the Old Hall stood empty until Malcolm Anderson sold it (with a small boundary change) to the present owners in 1983.

Other Tudhoe Farms

Other leases and related documents among the Salvin documents can be traced to identifiable areas:

York Hill

D/Sa/E 361,363 Edward Crosby 1721
D/Sa/E 365 George Rowal 1729
D/Sa/E 369 Ralph Craggs, 1776
D/Sa/E 373 Ed Morley, 1786 (plan of husbandry)
D/Sa/E 376 William Whittle, 1789


D/Sa/E 355 William Willson 1668
D/Sa/E 358 Thomas Harrison 1714
D/Sa/E 359 Tho Wilson 1719
D/Sa/E 360 Jo. Richardson 1719
D/Sa/E 364 Tho Wilson 1729, a rent of 22 pounds per annum for a farm formerly in the occupation of Ralph Salvin
D/Sa/E 365 Tho Wilson 1729
D/Sa/E 365 John Pickering 1729
D/Sa/E 366 John Hixon 1764
D/Sa/E 370 John Charlton, Holywell, 1778
[This is presumably Holywell House, shown on the Thomas Jefferys map of 1768 on the Durham-Merrington road, near the present Black Horse public house, not the present Holywell Hall, on the other side of the River Wear.]
D/Sa/E 372 William Duck, Tudhoe Moor House, 1784
D/Sa/E 367 Tho Mogson 1765
D/Sa/E 375 John Charlton, a small farm incl. the watergate (near the colliery) 1789
D/Sa/E 376 William Collen (formerly Robt Craggs), Butcher Race 1790

Rights of Way

The following statements have to do with a disputed right of way near the River Wear: the fields named Sweety Baulks were part of the West Field, to the left of the road to Brancepeth. I think they were awarded to Henry Fetherstonhalgh in the 1639 enclosure: Henry Wilson was Fetherstonhalgh’s tenant in ca. 1700. The Wood Plain is directly below the Sweety Baulks. The tithe map of 1839 shows a dead-end lane heading west from the Brancepeth Road to the edge of High Sweety Baulk. In 1839 the Spring Wood was further west along the river, but I think it may have been more extensive around 1700.

Wm Wilson says that Henry Wilson (at or about the year of our Lord 1713)
used to go down the Sweety Baulks & let Mr Ralph Salvin’s servants go down
Sweety Baulks with horses, cattle, etc. to Spring Wood: but one particular time
Mr Ralph Salvin’s servant going the said way with some horses designed and
ordered by the said Mr Ralph Salvin to go to Spring Wood with the horses he Mr
R Salvins servant (Wm Weatlly) turned of Mr Ralph Salvins horses into the said
field called Sweety Baulks then in the possession of the said Henry Wilson: for
which reason Henry Wilson discharged Mr Ralph Salvins servts for going any more
or making a road through the said Sweety Baulks in going to Spring Wood, but
further said that they the said servts should go the right road to Spring Wood,
which said right road Wm Wilson says that the said Henry Wilson told them was
to go down Long Foot Bank & to the Little Burn way.

Geo. Sidgwick says that there was a hedge formerly that run from the bottom
hedge of Sweety Baulks down to the water and he further says there was a
wikett in the bottom of the wood in the said hedge for a passage
for horses, cattle, etc. and consequently the road to Spring Wood in the
but further says that as long as he can remember the horses, cattle,
etc. was drove or rid by Long Foot Bank: & at the new gate turned of to the
left and went up to the top of the wood & so through a gate that was hung in
the said hedge from Sweaty Baulks to the water in the road to Spring Wood and
horses and cattle was drove and rid that way till the field was inclosed and
then the way was changed.

Tho Joplin says when John Redhead farmed Spring Wood which is above 40
years ago he was plow driver to the said Jn Readhead at that time and that he
the said T Joplin carried and fetched horses and cattle through the said gate
above the wood, that hung in the hedge which run from Sweety Baulks to the
water and believes it to be the ancient way or road to Spring Wood.

Anth Crookes says that about the year of our Lord 1696 : 1697 : 1698 : 1699
: 1700 or thereabouts that he was with Mr R Salvin at several times during the
said years and further says that when Spring Wood was stubbed the rubbish,
waste wood etc. was fetched from Spring Wood up through the field called the
Wood Plain, and from thence came up through the field called the Sweety Baulks
and so up through the Cow Pasture without any objection or discharge and he
believes there might be 200 fother fetched up the same road and that cattle,
horses etc. was carried or fetched the same road without hindrance or

Lar Thomson says that about 39 or 40 years ago that he cut and stubbd the
Left Hand Road from the new gate and that there was no road up there before
that time, and some time after he helped to clear and stubb the road or way
that lies beyond the Grove and that there was a remarkable alder tree in part
of the said way that they were making and they were forced to cut half of the
said tree away to make a passable road.

George Armstrong says that he lived 6 years with Mr Ralph Salvin at or
about the year of our Lord 1713 when he went free and during all the six year
they were never hindered or discharged from going down the Cow Pasture and then
turning to the left (before they reached the bottom of the Cow Pasture) and
going to a place called the Wood Field Plain, above the Low Wood and not to go
down to the bottom of Long Foot Bank and to the new gate and he further says he
never knew any body in all that 6 year go down to the new gate with cart or
carriage in the road to Spring Wood: but that he used to go with 4 oxen and
horses in a draught commonly for firewood or upon other occasions.

Thos Joplin says that he make Clarks Hedge for Jn Dn

Wm Wilson made it for Hen Wilson

Anth Crookes says Mr Salvin never made it

Lar Thomson made it for Jn Dn 23 years Hen Wilson came to him and said it
belonged to the sd Hen Wilson and his father before him made it: and further
made John Wilsons hedge

Geo Armstrong says Mr Salvin never made either of them for the 6 year he
lived with Mr Salvin but that they had the Mill Field ground in their own hands
at that time.

Old Buildings in Tudhoe

If anyone reading this section feels I have not done justice to their house, I would certainly welcome an opportunity to inspect it. Please contact me!

Tudhoe Hall

Tudhoe Hall is the oldest house in Tudhoe Village. It stands about mid-way along the West Row.

Tudhoe Hall from the village green to the north Tudhoe Hall from the village green to the north-east
Tudhoe Hall from the north-east, ca. 1998.

Tudhoe Hall from the south-east Aerial view 1998
Tudhoe Hall from the south-east, ca. 1998 … and a corresponding aerial view.

Tudhoe Hall: architectural evidence

Tudhoe Hall is a 2.5-storey T-shaped random rubble stone building with an extension to the south. Each section (north part of main range, east wing towards green, and south extension) has three bays (i.e., two sets of internal roof trusses). The external walls of the two parts of the main range are built on a thicker plinth, though not of particularly large stones. The wing towards the green has no plinth, and it seems likely that the plinth of the main range is a remnant of an earlier building of longhouse type on the site. There is a very thick (9 ft) double chimney breast between the two parts of the main range, with a passage between them along the west wall and a door westwards to the garden in the baffle entry. The Hall is currently divided into two, but was divided into three from an unknown date (probably 1891, but possibly as early as 1756) until the late 1960s.

The gable ends and the division between the two parts of the main range have water tables with stone copings and cyma-moulded kneelers. Two of the kneelers (east centre and north-west corner) have steep profiles of a 17th-century type. The others are shallower, perhaps early 18th century.

The roof structure of all three sections is a simple type of upper cruck, with the crucks seated 2 or 3 feet into the masonry of the wall. There are two levels of purlins (and no ridge purlins). In the northern loft, the roof is solidly constructed with substantial purlins morticed into the trusses, but successive purlins not aligned. Each joint is separately numbered with chiselled carpenters’ marks. The collars here are cambered or cranked and morticed into the trusses. Matthew Johnson (visited 19 August 97) thinks that this section of the roof may contain fragments of several earlier roof types; he commented particularly on a truncated principal truss of an early type. [Though Martin Roberts (visited 27 August 97) felt that the truss concerned was probably not technically a truncated principal]. The timbers in the southern loft are more roughly cut and crudely assembled, with through purlins trenched into the trusses and signs of collars having been moved or replaced. The timbers here are of lesser section. They are mostly unchamfered except for some purlins and collars (and joists!). The trusses, collars and some joists near the gable bear large carpenters’ marks (with the trusses out of sequence: I, unnumbered, IV, II). Some of the crucks are jointed. This part of the roof may well have been lifted up and partly reconstructed when the extra storey was added. The roof of the east wing is different again, with much slighter raised crucks and no tie-beams.

Martin Roberts drew parallels with the upper cruck roof at Slashpool Farm in Hett (owned by John Willetts), which he said has even slimmer timbers. Adrian Green says that the Slashpool Farm roof is definitely late 17th century, even though there is a doorway dated 1708 that is part of a second phase.

The common rafters and slate roof covering are 20th-century replacements, but Dodd’s “History of Spennymoor” records a roof covering of stone tiles in the 1890s.

There is a ground-floor ceiling beam with plastered decoration at the north end of the main range; this may have been the high end of the Hall in the early 17th century.

The east wing contains a wide staircase of ca. 1670, of pitch pine but with oak balusters. The first-floor room is very lofty, with a fireplace of early 17th-century design. Most of the stone-mullioned windows are 1980s replacements, but there are a few original ones (square-topped). Several internal walls have been moved, but there is one small section of wattle and daub in the well of the main staircase at first-floor level.

It is clear that at second-floor level the northern half of the main range is the oldest: it must be older than the east wing because one of its roof crucks hangs down unsupported in the stairwell of the wing, and older than the south extension because there is a blocked window opening through the gable wall.

There are no internal features that obviously predate the 17th century. The remaining stone-mullioned windows could date from any part of the 17th century, and the staircase in the “Old Hall” section is probably ca. 1670.

All but one of the windows on the west elevation are now sashes, with slim glazing bars of various ages. However, there is one remaining (blocked) stone-mullioned window on the ground floor (with a staircase immediately behind it). The windows in the third bay (from the left) are much wider than the others, and the plinth does not continue beneath the ground-floor one; it may have been adapted from a door opening. There are also traces of stone-mullioned windows on the ground floor (but not the first floor) of the south extension.

The northern gable originally had an external stack, but this has been filled in. There are (now 3, but originally 4) blocked window openings visible externally on the infilling masonry at the sides of the stack, and a blocked door at the base of it.

The east wing has an external stack at the edge of the village green. This wing appears have been extended and raised at some time: there is a line of quoins extending to 1.5 stories about 10 feet in from the green. John Chapman says that the small window high up by the stack is a feature characteristic of the late 17th century. The brick arched cellar, approached down a flight of stone steps beneath the staircase, runs approximately to this line of quoins. There is a tradition that there was a tunnel from this cellar to that of Tudhoe House, on the other side of the green; nothing is visible now, but Fred Simpson says that he saw the entrance to the tunnel (in the 1950s) before it was bricked up.

The south extension was also only 1.5 storeys at some time: the old eaves line is visible on the gable, and heavier quoins were used for the upper part. There is also a blocked opening high in the old gable that may be a pitching hole, suggesting that it was once a stable or similar with hay-loft above. There is an internal brick-built stack at each end. The main first-floor rooms have high ceilings, and are panelled in a style that is probably from around 1720. The panelling is quite similar to some in “Country Life” photographs of Streatlam Castle, rebuilt by Sir William Bowes around 1720. The panels are raised and fielded, with plain quarter-round borders. Above the dado, the framing is edged with half-round mouldings, and held paintings rather than panels. The panelling is mentioned by both Dodd (1897) and H. C. Surtees “History of the Parishes of Tudhoe and Sunnybrow” (1925); Dodd says that the panels were filled in with “oil paintings on canvas, of trees and flowers, and birds of unknown species”. He mentions one of “a priest in shovel hat and bands going full speed on horseback after a hare, with two dogs close on its track, the hall itself being in the background of the scene”. This might tie in with Waterton’s comment that “Squire Salvin” kept his harrier hounds at the Hall. The 1764 inventory also mentions “hangings” in the bedroom and “painted canvas hanging” in the dressing room. Malcolm Anderson says that his grandparents removed “tapestries” from the bedroom. H. C. Surtees also mentions panelling in ground-floor rooms, but Dodd does not.

There is no trace of old window openings on the first floor of this section, so perhaps it was raised late enough for the larger window openings (now with 15-pane sashes) to be original.

The door surrounds in the panelled room have double architraves with an ovolo edging. The doors themselves have 8 panels and HL hinges. The door from the hall to the living room has a similar but slighter doubled architrave, with an ogee edging and a 6-panel door that resembles the 8-panelled doors upstairs (but with different strap hinges). The panelling in the dressing room off the panelled bedroom might be a later copy; it is less tidily arranged and constructed, and has a simpler cornice and no dado. However, the sash window in the dressing room and the panelling around it seem to match that in the bedroom.

The panelled room is approached by a narrow dogleg staircase. Although the listing document places this as early 19th century, I think that it is in fact contemporary with the panelled room. The lower flight has winders, and is overlooked by a blocked stone-mullioned window that is set higher than would be expected for a ground-floor room window. Glass and lead fragments from this window are plausibly early 18th century. Martin Roberts thought the staircase was probably from the first half of the 18th century. The handrail is close to Francis Johnson’s “simple 18th-century section” (Historic Staircases in Durham City, 1970), and the balusters are slimmed-down versions of those at St. Chad’s (22 North Bailey) which Johnson dates as late 17th century (though the slimness suggests a later date for the Tudhoe dogleg). Ayres “Shell Book of the Home in Britain” illustrates a farmhouse staircase in Bottisham with similar winders, handrail and balusters, dated 1725. In any case, the symmetry of panelling makes it unlikely that the doors to the panelled bedroom have moved, and the staircase could not be larger without destroying the bathroom to the south of it, which appears as a “closet” in a 1729 inventory. The staircase is partitioned off to the south and west with brick walls. The bricks are fairly irregular in size, but generally only 2″ to 2.25″ thick. John Chapman (visited 19 Sept 97) thinks they are plausibly early 18th century. The southern brick wall is built up between the loft floor joists; it used to continue from above a beam about 18″ away. This is the one indication that the 2.5-storey shell of the building may predate the panelled room.

There are two two-panelled doors that are probably from ca. 1700: a cupboard door in the “library”, and the door to the “internal” bedroom (which has been made to look like a 6-panelled door internally by applying extra mouldings). John Chapman thought that the door between the lobby and the library and the library shutters are probably 19th-century attempts to copy earlier styles. [The two-panelled door now in the south loft probably dates from ca. 1700, but is not originally from Tudhoe Hall; it was inserted in 1997.]

The east elevation has blocked stone-mullioned windows on the ground floor of the older part, and a larger bricked-up opening on the first floor. There is a blocked stone-mullioned window by the dog-leg stair on the ground floor of the south extension, now mostly obscured by the modern porch. There may also be a blocked door opening to the right of the porch.

The lofts were clearly built for occupation: they were partitioned up into rooms, with good headroom; the lower timbers were plastered, and they once had lath and plaster ceilings. The west elevation of the Hall can just be seen in the background of a photograph of “picknickers at Tudhoe Hall, Whit Monday 1922”, and it then had at least one dormer window, above the window at the north end of the south extension. There were crude fireplace openings (without surrounds) in the lofts. One of the boarded internal doors from the south loft had a wood-encased stock lock with the maker’s name IOHN HOPE punched on the end. John Whistance, General Manager of the Lock Museum in Willenhall, writes that there was a locksmith named John Hope, of 21 Pipers Row, Wolverhampton, listed in the 1792 Wolverhampton Trade Directory. 1792 was during the Pattinsons’ tenure, contemporary with Waterton. However, the attic was the servants’ room in 1729.

A few pieces of diamond-shaped leaded lights were found in the cellar and in the southern attic. Hugh Wilmot dates these to 1600-1650, and more likely 1620-1640. This is earlier than other indications of the age of the southern attic. However, this might be the glass from the window facing into the southern attic from the north attic (though it was found at the opposite end of the southern attic).

The house was reputed to have a “priest’s hole”. There is a cupboard in the panelling above one of the doors in the “Queen Anne” bedroom which has been claimed to be a priest hole, but it seems a little obvious (and of too late a date). However, there is also a space beneath the floor behind the central chimney breast in the north-east corner of the southern loft that is more plausibly a hiding place; it is about 4 ft x 3 ft, and 5 ft deep, floored with pieces of old beams. The workmen who found it said that it was covered with a simple planked trap door, which they threw away along with the woodworm-infested floorboards before I could stop them. There is another smaller cavity, also with a trap door, in the opposite corner of the southern loft.

There is a diagonal line, possibly a timber, visible in the larger “hiding place”: does this correspond to the original roof line?

There is a disused well just outside the modern porch; it was covered over at some stage, but rediscovered by Malcolm Anderson in the 1960s and filled in by the Coal Board. It is shown as “pump” on the 1897 Ordnance Survey map and “P & T” (pump and trough?) on the 1857 Ordnance Survey map. It is in a reasonable position to have served as the household water supply in the 18th and 19th centuries.

The 1857 and 1897 maps appear to show a narrow range of outbuildings where the stone wall dividing Hall Farm House from the Old Hall now stands. Nothing is apparent on the Tithe map, but it is of relatively poor quality.

The adjoining farm buildings are also of interest, though they were gutted and much modified when converted to housing in 1998. There are two stone-mullioned windows and some chamfered stone door cases at the eastern end of the north elevation. The listing document places the northern range (nearest the farm house) as late 17th century (probably because of the stone-mullioned windows, says Grace McCombie, who did the Tudhoe listing). The roof trusses were modern even before the conversion, but there were open-boarded ground-floor ceilings with chamfered adzed pine joists. There was once a Catholic chapel in the loft at the western end of the range; the dais and altar-rail are mentioned by Dodd, but were destroyed some years ago. The chapel may have dated from the 1790s, when it was reputedly used by students from the English Catholic college at Douai (who were sent to live at Tudhoe Academy after Douai was overrun during the Reign of Terror in France). However, the chapel could well have been there before that, and could even have been a recusant Mass Centre. Bryan Salvin’s inventory of 1729 mentions “a wood box, which used to hold the things belonging to the chapel”. Until 1998, there were stone steps leading up to the east end of the chapel from the farm yard, with a pair of first-floor doors opening high onto the stairwell above the bottom of the stairs. According to Mr. Dawson, the stairs formerly led up from the opposite (north) side of the building.

B. W. Kelly, Historical Notes of English Catholic Missions notes the remains of no fewer than four chapels in Tudhoe at which Mass was said during the penal times. In addition to the one in the farm building, there was one in what is now xx Tudhoe Village. Kelly also mentions that, in 1858, Mr. Salvin of Burn [Hall] provided a clergy-house and a temporary chapel for the resident priest at the Tudhoe Mission: it is just possible that the chapel in the farm building dates only from then, though it seems unlikely in view of Dodd’s description of it as old only 40 years later.

The building in the south-east corner of the old farm yard, by the lane, is probably the “old blacksmith’s shop” mentioned by Waterton. I think it was this building that Mr. Dawson said was a butcher’s shop in the early 20th century. The house on the opposite side of the lane operated as a sawmill.

The old blacksmith’s shop

Tudhoe Hall: Ralph Salvin’s inventory, 1729

Bryan Salvin Sr.’s executorship account for Ralph Salvin includes a detailed inventory of all the property in the house in 1729, listed room by room: kitchen, back kitchen, milk house, dining room, drawing room hung with blue camlet (closet in drawing room mentioned), hall, pantry, closet adjoining to dressing room, dressing room, best lodging room (grate with iron back), blew room [sic], closet adjoining upon blue room, green room, closet, brown room, tempsing room, stript room, nursery, staircase, servant’s room, brewhouse, cellar, wash house. There is also a reference to the “yallow or best room”. Another much sparser inventory (one page laid loose in the book, not in Bryan Salvin’s hand) lists green room, nursery, garrat chamber, staircase, blue room, best chamber, dressing room, dressing room closet, garrat, milk house, back kitchen, kitchen, hall, dining room, brewhouse, wash house, granary. Yet another undated paper (D/Sa/E 775) is an account of bedding etc. taken to Durham and Croxdale, and lists the Green Room, Yellow Room, Blew Room, Mens Room, Nursery.

The room lists are useful in attempting to reconstruct the floor-plan. Adrian Green has reconstructed the likely 1729 floor plan. The mapping to present-day rooms and to those in the 1764 inventory is as follows:

Room now Main 1729 Inventory 1729 Inventory 2 1764 Inventory
Ground floor:
utility milk house milk house back pantry
FH kitchen back kitchen back kitchen back kitchen
dining kitchen kitchen kitchen
drawing dining dining
OH kitchen drawing (camlet) little parlour
east wing hall hall hall
pantry pantry over the cellar
outbuildings brew house brew house brew house
wash house wash house wash house, dairy, back dairy, gardener’s room
stair staircase staircase
First floor:
bathroom closet closet study
dressing dressing dressing dressing
panelled best lodging (yallow) best yallow
sewing blue blue
interior/stair closet
north end green parlour chamber
east wing brown hall chamber
Garret above dogleg
guest servant’s garrat 2 garrets
Garret above oak stair:
central stript
north end tempsing garrat chamber garret over parlour
east wing nursery nursery garret over hall

This is speculative in places, especially with regard to the placing of the “stript room” in the loft.

[Note for American readers: in British usage, the first floor is the first one above the ground floor, not the ground floor itself.]

Tudhoe Hall: Building dates

Adrian Green thinks that the 2.5-storey section at the north end of the main range was built in its entirety in about 1600, with a parlour at the north end and a kitchen at the south end. The east wall of this section is thicker at ground floor level than on the first floor, suggesting that there may have been an even earlier stone building on the site.

Before 1600, Henry and then Robert Richardson probably lived in a substantial longhouse on the site of the Hall. If the plinth indicates the size of the house as it was then, the total floor area was about 1100 square feet, which is triple the typical size; this is commensurate with the fact that Henry Richardson paid three times the typical rent for a farmstead. This house may have incorporated part of an earlier stone house, possibly even the manor house if there was one.

In 1601, Robert Richardson bought the land from Bayning et al.; shortly afterwards, he raised the residential end of the house to 2.5 storeys, built in stone. This now forms the north end of the main range.

Between 1605 and 1620, the Richardsons rebuilt the agricultural end in stone, 1.5 storeys high, with a hay-loft. It would be interesting to know whether they re-used the original crucks (dendrochronology might reveal this).

Between 1622 and 1660, either Ralph Young or the Salvins built a 1.5-storey wing towards the green, with a cellar, as a service wing. This may have been done in the expectation that Ralph Salvin [1] would return from Rome and live there as a Catholic priest. However, there is no indication who actually lived in the Hall after Ralph Salvin’s death in 1627. Could it have been occupied by Jerrard Salvin Jun. from ca. 1639-1644, and then perhaps his younger brother William Salvin? When did William die?

The east wing originally had a cross-passage and a narrower stair. The kitchen might have been in either of the extensions at this stage. The wing towards the green was raised to 2.5 storeys and extended in the mid-17th century. The oak staircase was probably inserted after the wing was raised.

It seems likely that Ralph Salvin Sr. carried out major building works shortly after his arrival in Tudhoe. This was probably when the wing facing the Green was extended and raised. The Hearth Tax records suggest a fairly precise date for this (1666-7) and the Window Tax records are consistent with a house that was a simple T-shape, perhaps with a single-storey south extension (stable?) from then until at least 1703.

The listing document places the farm buildings as late 17th century (probably because of the stone-mullioned window, says Grace McCombie, who did the Tudhoe listing), and they are too close to the Hall not to be associated with it. There is also the fact that the south end of the Hall was once single-storey, and may have been a stable or similar. There are traces of stone-mullioned windows on the ground floor of this end of the house, but not on the first floor. If the farm buildings were built when this end of the house was raised and converted to living accommodation (early 18th century: certainly before 1729) then it must have been done by one of the Ralph Salvins. The brick flue and brick-arched kitchen fireplace in the main ground-floor room at the south end are plausibly 1675-1725. The style of the panelling and the Window Tax records suggest that the “Queen Anne” panelled rooms were built after 1703: since Ralph Salvin Sr. died in 1705, Ralph Salvin Jr. was probably responsible. (It is just possible that the panelling could just have been added by one of Bryan Salvin Sr.’s sons: Bryan Jr., who may have occupied the Hall briefly in 1745, William Salvin, who probably lived there 1745-1751, or Edward Salvin, 1751-1757. However, the references to “new windows” and “sash windows” just after Ralph Jr.’s death suggest that the sashes and panelling were put in shortly before that). Adrian Green suggested that the rooms might have been built for important Catholic visitors: this would explain the unusually long blank wall towards the Green for privacy. Adrian Green also suggested another possibility: they might have been built for Ralph Salvin’s wife on his marriage in 1708, and this is perhaps supported by the 1729 inventory mentioning some of “my cosin’s lady’s cloathes” in the dressing room.

The raising of the roof might predate the panelled room itself. It could even have been raised in or before 1623, when Woodrington and Young bought the Hall on behalf of Father Ralph Salvin. In that case, the brick flue and the “priest hole” would have been built at the same time as the brick cellar Alternatively, if Ralph Salvin Sr. built the garret, the “hiding place” might have a different interpretation: although most real priest holes date from 1588-1606 or thereabouts, there was an upsurge of anti-Catholic feeling after the Popish Plot of 1678, and that was when Ralph Salvin Sr. was prosecuted for recusancy. Hodgett (series of papers on “Elizabethan Priest Holes” in “Recusant History”) mentions that priest holes are still recorded as being used as such as late as 1714, and secret hiding places had other uses too: Ralph Salvin Jr. was a Jacobite sympathiser, and might well have taken the opportunity provided by building works to construct a hiding place or two, even in the 1720s. The building of the second storey at this end might be earlier, though probably not before 1666. The Salvins were notorious recusants, and Croxdale Hall is mentioned by Haward as a major Mass centre. Tudhoe Hall was not in Salvin ownership as early as 1610 (though the Richardsons were recusants too, albeit yeomen rather than gentry). Of course, the space may not be a hiding place at all – Adrian Green thought it more likely to be the original means of loft access, though that could only be true if the panelled room was constructed after the roof was raised.

The blocked stone-mullioned window on the west elevation suggests that the staircase behind it was built before the stone-mullioned windows were replaced with sashes in that part of the building. The Salvins must have occupied the whole house, and would not have needed a staircase there in addition to the oak staircase now in the Old Hall; it is thus fair to assume that the later staircase was added when the house was split into three (after 1764, because the 1764 inventory seems to describe the whole house). The lowest few treads (before the quarter-landing) may be cantilevered, and the main flight was probably originally open-string, though it is now oddly boxed in. The straight square sticks (two per tread) and plain handrail of circular section (with machine-cut groove for the sticks) could be quite recent, though John Chapman thought they could also be as early as 1770. Francis Johnson’s “Historic Staircases in Durham City” shows such features at 8 South Bailey, dated as ca. 1800. However, the terminal newel looks later, and as described above it seems most likely that this staircase dates from 1891. Perhaps some of the mullioned windows survived that late, even on the south-west elevation.

The open hearth in the kitchen was bricked up at some time and a hob grate inserted. The brick arch was cut out to form a cupboard at the right-hand side. The hob grate itself was removed before 1990, but the fragments left behind showed that it was identical to those in the bedroom above and in the dressing-room, which plausibly date from between 1760 and 1825 (probably 1775-1800).

Division between the farm house and cottages

The Hall was split up into 3 dwellings at some time. This could have been as early as 1757, after Edward Salvin died. John Johnson’s lease of 1778 refers to William Salvin being responsible for maintaining the “main walls timber roofs tiles and slates of the said buildings… except the north wing of the Old Hall which is to be at the sole expense of the said John Johnson…”. This suggests that the Hall was let as one unit in 1778, though perhaps part of it was in agricultural use. There are various indications that the split into three dwellings was made in 1891:

  • The blocked mullioned window by the dog-leg staircase had “1891” scratched in the plaster of the left-hand reveal. The brickwork blocking this window is very similar to that blocking the window behind the back staircase, which was probably inserted at the time of the division. The terminal post of the back staircase seems consistent with a late Victorian date but not much earlier.
  • The 1851 census records James Wright, his son and servants, but no other families in the same house. They should be indicated if they existed. Waterton, writing of the 1790s, also mentions the Pattersons (sic) as though they occupied the whole Hall.
  • Dodd, writing in 1897 or just before, mentions that the Hall is “now split into 3 tenements” and refers to “the tenant of a portion of the house”. However, he also mentions “a former tenant of the Hall… who wished to live in the old house rent-free”. The combination suggests (inconclusively) that the split may have been recent.

British Coal might have records of lettings and building works carried out by the National Coal Board and its predecessors. However, William Fleming thinks they probably couldn’t find them.

No directory that I’ve seen so far indicates who lived in the “Old Hall” portion(s) of the buildings. However, Fred Simpson says that his grandfather lived in the cottage in the north end until his death in about 1955, and the wing towards the Green was occupied at that time by the Dawsons.

Mr. Laurie Dawson lived in the end part of the wing nearest the green from 1916 to 1966. The Land Registry holds a poor-quality plan that shows the divisions as they existed in 1966. The following description is drawn from this plan and from conversations with Mr. Dawson, the Andersons and Fred Simpson. There was an additional staircase rising straight up from the door in the courtyard, with the partition between the two cottages immediately on its left (but containing a blocked door). The second cottage, containing the cellar and the main staircase, was accessed through the door on the north side of the wing towards the Green. It included the attic rooms above the Dawsons’ house.

There is evidently a blocked door opening through the current party wall from the downstairs shower room of the Farm House to the head of the staircase down to the cellar.

In the early 20th century, the Hall gardens lay along the green to the north of the Hall, leading towards the ground on which the two bungalows (28 and 30 Tudhoe Village) are now built. The current Hall garden was in use as a meadow before it was fenced off by the Andersons. However, the tithe apportionment of 1839 shows this area as the “green”, and it seems likely that this was the “bowling green now used as a tennis court” referred to by Dodd. Where was Ralph Salvin’s orchard?

The Academy

The Tudhoe Academy was one of the first schools in England for Roman Catholic boys. It was founded in about 1778 by Rev. Arthur Storey, who was chaplain for the Salvins of Croxdale, and missioner for Sunderland Bridge and Tudhoe as well as Croxdale. Storey’s Academy was a boarding school for boys aged from 8 to 14 and was located adjacent to the present St. Charles’s Catholic Church (which was not built until 1869-70). It has a fascinating history and played an important role in the months after the English Catholic College at Douai (in Flanders) was overrun by the French Revolution. Five Douai students who had escaped from prison in Doullens were sent to lodge at the Academy, and detailed plans were made in 1794 to develop the Academy as a new English site for training Roman Catholic priests.

The plans for a College in Tudhoe were soon superseded by others, and eventually (in 1804) a start was made on building what became Ushaw College. Storey’s Academy closed in 1808 and most of the students moved to Ushaw College, after a brief period at Crook Hall.

From about 1811, Brian John Salvin let the Academy to George Simpson, who operated a boys’ boarding school that he called the Tudhoe House Academy (but was not on the site of the present Tudhoe House). George Simpson is named as the tenant of Academy Farm on a plan of the Salvin farms dated 1813 (D/Fle 2/18/5). D/Fle 2/18/7 is a lease of 1818, from Bryan John Salvin to George Simpson, of “that capital messuage or mansion house and farmhold known as Tudhoe House”. The fields named in the body of the lease appear to be a block at Butcher Race, diagonally opposite the Coach and Horses pub, but the fields named in the “plan of husbandry” are those of Academy Farm, including the Academy building itelf. The lease describes in detail extensive repairs that the tenant is to make. The room names (play room, housekeeper’s bedroom, high bedroom, old school dining room, teacher’s room, new school room late the chapel, etc.) make it clear that it had already served as a school.

As described below, George Simpson built the current Tudhoe House and used it for a girls’ boarding school that he called Tudhoe Place. Nevertheless, I have concluded that the name Tudhoe House applied at this period to the Academy building and not to the present Tudhoe House.

George Simpson’s schools appear to have been genuine “Yorkshire schools” in the Dickensian sense: they were advertised in cities across the North of England, and operated a “no vacations” policy that meant that parents would not be troubled by their absent children. They operated until the late 1820s, at which point Simpson appears to have run into financial problems and returned to operate his father’s old school at Woden Croft Lodge, near Barnard Castle. The Academy was advertised for let in 1830.

From 1831 to the late 1830s, another boys’ boarding school was run by John Chapman, probably also in the Academy buildings.

In the 1851 census, Tudhoe Academy House is recorded as occupied by William Fleming, land agent to Marmaduke Salvin of Burn Hall. Then from about 1857 it was used as the priest’s residence, and also a chapel for the Catholic villagers, until St. Charles’s Church opened in 1870. In 1867, Marmaduke Salvin sold it to the Catholic Diocese to become a home for destitute Catholic girls, the Tudhoe Certified Poor Law School, which opened at about the same time as the Church. The Academy buildings were demolished in 1889 or later to make way for St. Mary’s Home, a large Catholic orphanage, for girls until 1939 and for boys after that. St. Mary’s Home was demolished in the 1960s and the houses of St. Mary’s Grove now stand on the site.

This tale is told in much more detail in my separate history of the Tudhoe Schools.

Tudhoe House

Tudhoe House is a very large house almost exactly opposite Tudhoe Hall. It has two main floors, plus cellar and attic with dormer windows and parapet. The main floors have five double windows and one single window, all with arched heads and drip moulds, fronting the village green from the east. It is now rendered and painted white, but photographs from the 1920s or thereabouts appear to show it stone-faced.

tudhoe_house1 east_row

Tudhoe House from the village green … and the East Row to the north of Tudhoe House

Tudhoe House was built in 1822 by George Simpson as a girls’ school. Since about 1811, Simpson had operated the “Tudhoe House Academy” for boys, located in the Academy building close to where St. Charles’s Church now stands. The girls’ school was knows as “Tudhoe Place Seminary”, and it appears that at this period the name “Tudhoe House” referred to the Academy and not the new building.

I have written a more detailed history of the Tudhoe Schools, which is available as a separate document.

Simpson appears to have run into financial trouble in the late 1820s, and by 1830 he was attempting to sell the new house. An advertisement the Newcastle Courant of 20 August 1831 reads

A Desirable FREEHOLD MANSION, in every respect suited to a family of the
first respectability, situate at Tudhoe, facing TUDHOE HALL, formerly the
seat of the ancestors of Bryan John Salvin, Esq., about five miles from the
city of Durham, fourteen from Darlington, five from Bishop Auckland, and
within a mile of the Great North Road.

The house contains ample and very superior accommodation, with
numerous domestic offices; and from a cupola erected in the centre of the
roof the most delightful and extensive panorama is presented, including
Durham Cathedral, Whitworth Hall, Brancepeth Castle and Church, Merrington,
Westerton Folly, &c. There is an extensive walled garden attached to the
residence; also, at about half a mile, a cottage, stable, and twenty-three
acres of meadow, pasture, and arable land, with a small thriving plantation,
adjoining the river Wear and Clarence Railway. The land is surrounded
by the COAL MINES of the Marquis of Londonderry, Lord Durham, Bishop
Auckland, &c.; and there is not the slightest doubt but that the seams
of coal now at work on their estates pass through this land. Mr. Robins
has, therefore, great pleasure in calling the attention of the
speculator to this property.

The mansion may be viewed until the sale, and particulars had;
also at the Queen’s Head, Durham; Golden Lion, Sunderland; George,
Newcastle; Eldridge’s Hotel, York; the Auction Mart; and at
Mr. G. Robins’s Offices, Covent-Garden, where a drawing and elevation
of the house and grounds may be seen.

Simpson appears to have funded the building in part with a mortgage for 500 pounds from the Rev. George Bowness, of Rokeby, York. However, he defaulted on the mortgage, and in 1840 Bowness wrote to the executors of Bryan John Salvin’s estate. The letter is on a single sheet of paper, folded and addressed without an envelope in the style of the time, and bears a Penny Black postage stamp:

Rokeby Rectory,

Greta Bridge May 8th 1840


I shall have no objection to dispose of the house and premises at Tudhoe,
now tenanted by Mr. Arkness. In the present improving state of property
in that neighbourhood I should not be willing to take a less price than
six hundred pounds. I should have more satisfaction in transferring it to
Mr. Salvin than any other purchaser, as it naturally forms an integral part
of his estates. The premises I have always understood cost Simpson 1850, which
I can believe from the fanciful and expensive way in which they are
finished. Waiting your early reply, I am, Sir,

Your obt servt.,

Geo. Bowness

There is a sketch plan that shows the outline of the house, confirming that it had its present size by 1840, despite the fact that it is shown as narrower on the Tithe Plan of 1839. Bowness eventually settled for 550 pounds.

The 1840 sale documents describe the house as that “messuage or dwellinghouse with the outoffices formerly erected and built by George Simpson… which were for some years occupied by the said George Simpson as and for a school.” George Simpson is described as a schoolmaster.

D/Sa/D 1086-1119 record the earlier ownership of the site, from 1759 onwards. D/Sa/D 1086, a conveyance from Robert Clark to Thomas and Edward Clark, mentions it as formerly the estate of Anthony Harper: Ralph Salvin bought a cottage from Anthony Harper in 1685, and the two may well correspond. The cottage passed through the hands of William Richardson (1773-1814) and Michael Wheatley (1814-1820). George Simpson bought it from Michael Wheatley in 1820, and subsequently bought a small triangle (which I think he had already built on) from his neighbour Thomas Lister.

Part of the site (probably a different house) was left by John Pickering “late of Rundle House in the township of Tudhoe” in 1807 to Jennet, wife of his brother Edward Pickering.

There was also the “little house next the Yate Steed”, which Richard Wilson sold to Thomas Harper for 7 pounds in 1670 (D/Sa/D 920). It was described as “now in the possession of Thomas Browne, boundering … on the south on a house belonging to Ralph Salvin, and on the north on an old house belonging to Anthony Salvin and Richard Haward’s children”. Richard Wilson had bought it from Thomas Harreson of London, and Elizabeth Wilkinson sold it to Ralph Salvin in 1681 (D/Sa/D 925). Note that an empty house belonging to Richard Haward was mentioned in the 1670 Hearth Tax return.

An advertisement in The Newcastle Courant on 3 March 3 1848 describes a property that does seem likely to be the current Tudhoe House, rather than the Academy:



With immediate Possession, if required, for a Term of One or Three Years

The House is beautifully situated near the Turnpike Road between Durham
and Bishop Auckland, about Five Miles from either Place, and within a short
distance of the River Wear, and contains a Drawing Room, Dining Room,
Breakfast Room, Pantry, Kitchen, Back Kitchen, Bed Room, with Dressing Room,
5 Bed Rooms, Store Room, Bath Room, Servants’ Bed Rooms, Water Closet,
and Cellaring complete, with Garden and Summer House, &c., Coach House,
Stables, Harness Room, Byre, &c.

A COTTAGE with 3 Rooms may either be Let with the Premises or not.

Also, about 5 ½ ACRES OF GRASS LAND, if required.

The Premises may be viewed, and other Information obtained, on
Application to W. Fleming, Tudhoe, near Durham.

This is the earliest reference I have seen that uses the name Tudhoe House to refer to the present building of that name.

The current house is a rebuild of the older one(s): it is built on earlier foundations, and has a substantial cellar (brick-arched in the “Laburnum Cottage” half). Tony Coia’s booklet “Tudhoe St. Charles Parish 1858-1983” argues in favour of a reputed escape tunnel connecting the cellars of Tudhoe Hall and Tudhoe House, but this seems implausible.

The relationship between Tudhoe House, Tudhoe Place and Academy Farm is complicated, and is described in my separate history of the Tudhoe Schools.

Tudhoe Villa

Tudhoe Villa is the old name for the house now known as Woodlands, on the west side of the village approximately opposite the Green Tree public house. For much of its history it was occupied by the Flemings, who were the Salvin’s land agents from the mid-19th century onwards. As described above, it probably stands on the site of “the old seat house”, which was owned by the Byerleys for most of the 17th century.

Woodlands (Tudhoe Villa) from the village green

Discuss the 1690s plan and the possible relationship to old farm buildings.

South Farm

South Farm stands on the west side of the village near its southern end. It is an old stone building, and its masonry has a very ancient look: it is build largely of rounded field-stone rather than quarried stone. There are some oak roof timbers, but few other internal features that allow it to be dated. It probably stands on the site of Ralph Watson’s house from the late 16th century, later occupied by the Pembertons. It may well incorporate some stonework from those days.

South Farm from the village green

North Farm

North Farm looks up the village from the northern end. The present building is probably largely 18th century, though there is an extension to the east that looks older. There used to be a second farmstead about 100 yards behind North Farm and parallel to it.

North Farm from the village green

Aerial view of North Farm in the 1970s (?), showing the now-demolished farm behind it

White House Farm

White House Farm (no longer white since the removal of its render in 1997) is on the east side of the village near its northern end. Few internal features remain, and it is difficult to date, but it has a 17th-century look to it. It was quite probably the house occupied by the yeoman Sidgewicks in the 17th and 18th centuries.


White House Farm from the village green

The Green Tree

The Green Tree public house stands near the centre of the East Row. It bears a date stone reading J P M (or possibly T P M) 1725. This probably represents JP and his wife MP. JP could be John Pickering (or J M could be John Mitchel). Some credence is given to the former by a notice of sale by auction in he York Herald of 25 March 1854, which offers the George and Dragon public house for sale by auction. The owner is named as Mr. John Pickering, and the premises are held for the remainder of a term of 1,000 years created by an Indenture of Demise dated the 5th day of June 1802.

blacksmiths_shop2 green_tree_datestone

The Green Tree public house from the village green … and its datestone

Tudhoe Mill

The mill is mentioned as early as 1279, when Hugh Gubyon was granted the right of diverting the Tudhoe mill race into its ancient channel by Richard de Claxton, prior of Durham. This suggests that it was old even then. It stood about half a mile north-west of the village (in conventional terms: more like west by the compass), by the Whitworth road.

D. A. Kirby (Ph. D. thesis, University of Durham, 1968) described the site: “Tudhoe Mill was constructed in a little dell formed by the Valley Burn as it descends from the 250 ft – 300 ft surface to the Wear below. The Valley Burn fed a storage dam constructed across the dell above the mill, which supplied water to feed an undershot wheel 18 ft diameter on the outside of the mill. Nothing remains of the mill itself, its stones having been used to build new farm buildings nearby. The farm house, once the miller’s house, is built of stone, of two floors with a pantile roof, and is of considerable antiquity and could date from the 17th century.”

Homberston’s Survey of 1570 mentions a water corn mill in the occupation of John Highe. It was apparently among the lands sold by Bayning et al. to Thomas Highe in 1600.

John Highe’s will of 1587 says “Itm I give to my sonne Thomas Highe fyve nobles (?) and all my geare Itm I give to my said sonne Thomas Highe the lease of the mylne at Tuddoe Itm I will that my daughters shall have the comodityes of the ferme at Tuddoe during my terme, and after thend of my terme I will that my sonne Thomas have both the milne and the fermehold. Itm I bequeathe the half of the lease of the Billirawe milne and a cotage with that that belongeth to it to my said three children during my terme, and after thende of my term I will that all shall come to my said sonne if he can get the same at the Lordes handes.”

[The enrolled will actually says Billingham rather than Billirawe (Billy Row), but this is an error made in transcribing the original into the register.]

I am not sure whether anyone actually lived at the mill in the 16th and 17th centuries, but its ownership/tenure can be traced. Unfortunately it is hard to separate “Tudhoe Mill” from “Mill Farm”, which lay close to the mill on the other side of the Whitworth road.

The 1639 enclosure award to Henry Sidgwick includes 2 a in the west field “lying about and beside the water milne”.

The documents associated with Bryan John Salvin’s purchase of the Mill start in 1670. They can be correlated with mentions of the Mill in the rates lists for 1662-1699:

  • D/Sa/E 860, 1662 rates: “Henry Sidgwick’s land and the mill”
  • D/Sa/E 861, 1667 rates: “George Sidgwick for the mill”
  • D/Sa/D 927, 1670: The Cross Close and other lands, sale by George Sidgwick of Helm Park to Henry Sidgwick of Tudhoe (this doesn’t fit: needs checking).
  • D/Sa/E 355, 1678: Ralph Salvin refers to “William Willson the miller”.
  • D/Sa/D ???, 1684: Henry Sidgwick leaves the Mill to his second son, William (to go to the 3rd son if William died before age 22).
  • D/Sa/E 874, 1699 rates: “James Sidgwick’s land and mill”
  • D/Sa/D 928, 1700: Henry Sidgwick to James Sidgwick.
  • D/Sa/D 929, 1707: James Sidgwick to Ralph Dunn (but maybe somewhere else?)
  • D/Sa/D 928 and 749, 1744: Sale from Sidgwick to Hilton
  • D/Sa/D 930 mentions “water-corn-mill” and “lands to the north side of the lane leading to Tudhoe”
  • D/Sa/D 934, 1777: Lease of mill, Hilton to John Farrow.
  • 1805: Will of Jonathan Ord of Tudhoe, papermaker, son of John Ord, in the possession of Joyce Urwin.
  • A messuage and the paper/corn mill were bought by B J Salvin in 1817 from John Ord and others. The catalogue mentions Sidgewick-Hilton-Clarke.
  • D Fle 2/18/46, 1846, describes repairs needed to Coldstream Farm, North Farm, and the paper mill (including the water wheel).

The 1696 Marriage Duty Tax return lists two “milners”: Nicholas Fishburne, with his wife Margarett and their servants George Rhodes and Mary Wheatly; and William Longstaff, with his wife Ann and daughter Margarett.
John Wilson is listed as “meal-maker”.

Kirby refers to the purchase of the mill in 1793 by Jonathan Ord, paper maker (D/Sa/D 490), who turned it into a paper mill, as which it continued until at least 1827. However, I need to check that this is actually the same mill. Gooch records that Christopher and Jonathan Ord had a lease on the Croxdale paper mill from William Salvin from 1771 to 1792, but that the lease was not renewed, which makes a Tudhoe purchase plausible. [In passing: Gooch also mentions the Southeron Close paper mill at Butterby, bought by Salvin from Robert Ward and George Head as part of an estate in 1820. This sounds like the estate that had been Ralph Young’s in 1630.]

Dodd says that the mill wheel last turned in 1850, and had been broken up by 1897. Kirby says that it was being used as a saw mill by 1857, but fell into disuse by 1879. H. C. Surtees says that it was converted to paper-making about 1865, but subsequently reverted to use as a flour mill, until the wheel was thrown out of gear by colliery subsidence. However, he also refers to a paper-maker named Anderson, who was succeeded by “Mr. Cook, who was the last of the paper millers, and retired from business about 1844”.

Coal Mines before the 19th Century

Coal has been mined in Tudhoe since at least the 17th century. However, it was probably mostly for local consumption until the rise of the railways in the 1830s and 1840s.

It is not entirely clear where the early mines were located. The Tudhoe Colliery pit beyond the houses of Tudhoe Colliery (near the present industrial estate) did not open until 1864. There is an old (coal) shaft marked on the 1857 and later ordnance Survey maps about 200 yards north of Partnerships, not far from the present Coldstream Farm.

J. Nef, Rise of the British Coal Industry, Vol. II, 1966, gives a transcription of an assessment for Ship Money in 1636, which lists “Cole Mynes of Tuddoe in the occupation of Mr. H. Wright, so payes 13s 4d.”

Thomas Trollop died in 1646. His will of 1644 leaves the largest share of his lands to his eldest son William, but “I give unto Anthony Trollopp my second son my tenement in Tuddoe together with the re?co? of the Collerie there to have and to hould to him and his heirs for ever.” (This is my transcription, but the will has also been published by the Surtees Society: is re?co? revcon, i.e. reversion?)

In 1655, the freeholders of Tudhoe made an agreement to pursue their legal claim to the Tudhoe Colliery.

William Trollop of Crosgate died in 1666. He must have inherited or otherwise acquire Anthony Trollop’s lands, because his will is largely concerned with the Tudhoe mine: “First as touching my Freehold Colyerie at Tuddow in the parish of Branspeth in the County of Durham aforesaid now lett to Thomas Haward of Tursedale in the said County Esq my desire and will is that the same may be sold for & towards the payment of my funeral expenses debts and legacies here by me given … and if the said Colyerie cannot be sold in convenient time then my will & pleasure is that my dear & loving wife do take & … of the said Colyerie for three years after my decease for & towards the payment of my debts to whom I give & bequeath the same.” He makes various legacies out of the profits of the colliery to be paid each year thereafter, from 1670 to 1675, but provides that “if it happen that no rent or profitt can be made of the said Colyerie that my heirs and Executrix shall not be charged with the payment…”.

I am grateful to Adrian Green for the following Chancery information and newspaper adverts:

Durham Chancery 1672, case of Thomas Trollope et al. v. William Byerley
et al. concerning title to Tudhoe colliery.

(PRO DURH 4/3: 167 209v., 285 in Knight 1990: 411-12)

Trollope claimed that the defendants were interfering with his working
of the colliery “by turneing away the horses and Carriages that resort
thither to buy or fetch away the Coles wrought out of the said Mynes.”
The complainant pleaded for relief in Chancery “for as much as it
appeared that the workeing and imploying of the said collyery in
question is for the public good”. He was ordered to enter security for
the colliery profits, in case the defendants won their common-law
case in progress to establish the true title.

A few months later, it was ordered that the colliery should go to the
defendants and that Trollop should pay them for the profits and costs.
One year later, however, the court heard that the complainants had
disturbed the defendants’ possession of the land, by barring and
locking the Colepitt there, and hindring the vending of the Coles
wrought there by the defendants. The Chancellor granted the
defendants an injunction for quiet possession of the colliery.

D/Sa/L 139.2 is a Royal exemplification of an indenture of 1634, to do
with the sale of fee-farm rents (I think). William Byerley, gentleman,
received this in 1685 (?), I think in trying to establish whether the
Tudhoe freeholders were entitled to the mine. D/Sa/L 139.1 is a legal
opinion of the exemplification: it is not very legible, but could be made out
if necessary.

There is an advertisement in the Newcastle Courant no. 216, for
August 8 1724:

To Let or Sale

Tudhoe Township Colliery: Enquire of Mrs. Elizabeth Trollop in the City
of Durham, and closes adjoining the City of Durham, many hundred acres
and several seams.

Also to let, Town Moor Colliery, Newcastle; Guildhall, Monday 10th Instant.

Newcastle Courant 110 June 3 1727:

At John’s Coffe-House upon the Palace Green in Durham, is taught, the
Art of Book keeping …

Likewise Tudhoe Colliery,
containing many Hundreds of Acres of Ground, lying between Durham and
Ferry-hill and durham and Auckland, is to be Let by the Score, or
certain Rent, by Mr. John Proud at John’s Coffee-House in Durham

Spennymoor 1840-1870: railways, coal mines and ironworks

Tudhoe remained essentially a farming village until about 1840. According to the Annual Report of the Poor Law Commissioners for 1837, its population in 1831 was still only 237. However, in 1829 an Act of Parliament permitted the development of the Clarence Railway in the area. This opened its first lines in 1833, and its Byers Green branch, which opened in 1837, passed about half a mile south of Tudhoe Village. The Byers Green branch connected an earlier section of the Clarence Railway at Ferryhill to the east with the West Durham railway in the west, offering connections to Stockton and soon to Durham.

The ready transport offered by the railway spurred the development of new and larger coal mines. The Byers Green Colliery opened at the western end of the Clarence Railway in 1841. Merrington Colliery, at the western end of what became Spennymoor High Street, was begun in 1839 and also produced coal in 1841, but was abandoned in 1842. The census of 1841 listed New Spennymoor as a settlement separate from Tudhoe, but with a population of only 150. However, Whitworth Colliery (later Whitworth Park Colliery) was opened soon afterwards, adjacent to Merrington Colliery, and was more successful. [These are Dodd’s dates, and differ slightly from those based on NCB records.] Large numbers of miners came from Wales and Lancashire, and the Spennymoor National School opened in 1849 to serve the increasing population. [The date of 1849 is from Dodd and seems plausible, but Whellan’s Directory of 1856 says it was built in 1841.] By 1857, when the survey was completed for the First Edition of the Ordnance Survey 1:10560 map, there was a significant settlement at Spennymoor, made up of a High Street about 500 metres long and a few short rows of houses northwards to George Street (now demolished).

Spennymoor at this time lay entirely west of the narrow bridge over the Valley Burn (known colloquially as the Jordan) that separated it from Tudhoe Grange. Tudhoe Grange was still just a pair of farms, High Tudhoe Grange (later Wood Vue Farm) and Low Tudhoe Grange, though in 1852 some colliery houses were also built further east at Weardale Street [Dodd]. Spennymoor was built on land owned by the Shaftos of Whitworth, and its early development was largely controlled by their land agent George Stratton. Tudhoe Grange, by contrast, was mostly Salvin land, under the control of their agent William Fleming.

The next major development in the area was the foundation of the Tudhoe Ironworks in 1853, on a site to the south of Tudhoe Village and east of the Jordan. This brought many families from Staffordshire and Worcestershire to the district. The 1857 Ordnance Survey shows new settlements growing up around the east of the ironworks, at Mount Pleasant, Low Spennymoor and Merrington Lane. Over the next few years these expanded and new houses were built for Tudhoe Colliery, which opened in 1864. The bridge was widened and the Jordan partly culverted in about 1861, as part of the development of the Wesleyan School. There was also an innovative new development at Tudhoe Grange in 1865-70, where William Fleming abandoned the usual terraces and devised a scheme of semi-detached houses, arranged in a chequerboard pattern so that none of them directly overlooked one another. This was described by architectural historian Nikolaus Pevsner as “a remarkably far-seeing contribution to the problem of working class housing”.

Other collieries opened during these years. In 1855 Westerton Colliery opened between Westerton and Middlestone Moor, served by a branch line from Low Spennymoor. In 1856 a branch line opened from Spennymoor to Page Bank to serve the newly established Page Bank Colliery (later known as South Brancepeth Colliery). Bishop’s Close Colliery opened in 1860, on the Clarence Railway less than a mile west of Spennymoor; Tudhoe Grange Colliery opened next to the ironworks in 1869. Churches were built: St. Paul’s opened in 1857, Holy Innocents in Low Spennymoor in 1866, St. Charles’s Roman Catholic Church in Tudhoe in 1870, the Iron Church (later St. David’s) in Tudhoe in 1880 and St. Andrew’s in Tudhoe Grange in 1884. A Catholic school opened on Durham Road in 1873, and Tudhoe Colliery School in 1876.

Spennymoor High Street before the arrival of the motor car

Spennymoor High Street before the arrival of the motor car

Modern Spennymoor has grown up around these separate developments and largely fused them. The names of many of the farms that were built over survive as street or district names: Ox Close, Wood Vue, Tudhoe Moor, York Hill, even Tudhoe Grange itself. The collieries and the ironworks have gone, but many 19th-century houses survive, adapted and changed and with many of the gaps between them filled in. The railways have gone too, though many of the routes remain as footpaths, at least away from the centre of town.