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Earl of Lancaster's attainder was reversed, his estates, together with those of his partizans, were restored.
It seems, therefore, not improbable that, at this juncture, the Bissets might have interest with the crown sufficient to obtain the severance of the township of Nether Thong, from its ancient connection with Meltham, especially as the severance could easily be defined. So that between the time of the earl's death and the accession of Edward III., this division of the townships probably took place. The family of the Bissets ended in an heiress, who, about the time just mentioned, became the wife of John Wentworth of Wentworth Woodhouse,3 to whom the estates of the Bissets descended, and to whom we shall have occasion to refer shortly.
The oldest original charter evidence which I have seen connected with "Twong," sometimes spelt "Thung," but now designated Nether Thong, is dated at "Deuwesbyre," 16 Edw. II. (1323), on the feast of St. Barnabas the Apostle; wherein Johanna, the daughter of Simon Robuk, granted "Dno. Ricardo Gates de Deuwesbyre, Capellano," &c., all her messuages, lands and tenements "infra divisas de Twongs," after her decease for Adam Robuk, &c. "Hiis testibus Johe de Sayvill, Johe de Castro, Ricardo de Lokkwod, Ada del Beumand, Ricardo de Fossa de Crosland, et aliis."
This charter is interesting because it furnishes us with the name of an early owner of Crosland-" Richard de Fossa de Crosland," whose residence, as here indicated, was surrounded by a foss, or moat. He seems to have been the father of Sir Edward Crosland of that place, whose daughter married into the knightly family of Beaumont of WhitleyBeaumont, viz., to Sir Robert Beaumont, who succeeded to the manor and estates, and took up his residence at Crosland Hall. Here, it would seem, he was residing in the 15 Edw. III., when that lawless feud arose between Sir John Elland, on the one hand, and Quarmby of Quarmby, Lockwood of Lockwood, and Beaumont of Crosland, on the other; all of
3 This marriage is alluded to on p. 111 of the present volume, s. v. South Kirkby.
+ The pedigree of Crosland, as given in Dugdale's Visitation, makes Sir John Crosland, the father of Sir Edward, whose
daughter Grace married Beaumont of Whitley. A Richard Crosland appears as nephew of Sir Edward. The earlier generations of the Crosland pedigree require verifying.
whom Sir John Elland, with his band of retainers, slew at midnight, each in his own house. The history has been well preserved in an ancient metrical version of the story, the following extract from which gives us a lively picture of the savage brutality of the times :
To Quarmby Hall they came by night,
To Lockwood then the self-same night
When they had slain thus suddenly
The hall was water'd well about,
Before the house they could invade
A siege they set, assault they made
The knight's chamber they did invade,
And this is for most certainty
He fought against them manfully,
His servants rose and still withstood
And struck with might and main ;
The Lady cry'd and shriek'd withal
The next evidence we have relating to Nether Thong is from the copy of an ancient charter, the original being now lost. It is to be regretted that portions of the copy are also
destroyed. It bears date 38 Edw. III. (1365), wherein Dñs Thomas de Dinglay, parson of the church of Dinglay, son of Richard Dinglay, grants to William Gudman of II. . ley (Honley) and to his heirs, a messuage, land and tenements-one bovate of land adjoining the lands of John Bisset and the said William Gudman, extending from the village (Thung) down to the rivulet, called "Tum Rode," abutting on lands called "Old Rode Side," and a parcel of land called "Newland Bank" beyond the rivulet or stream: also a field in the village, called the "Wood-lone" (lane) from thence to Crow Rode," extending to "Crow-rode Holynge," till it arrives at a place called "Heyns": another piece of land called lying between "Calfall" and the watercourse: one bovate of land lying between "Milgate-Wood" and the said watercourse also one bovate of land called being pasture and wood, adjoining the township of Meltham, extending from the village of "Thung," to a large stone bounded by "Thunggreve," and adjoining on the south side of "Thungaker," &c. Granted to the said William Gudman, his heirs, &c. Rendering to the Chief Lord of the Fee, a Rose, on the Feast of the Nativity of St. John the Baptist, for all services and demands, except five pence to Sir Robert Swillington, Knight, on his admission. Given at Thung. Witnesses: John de Quernby, William Linlay, Richard - Lokwod and others.
This charter is interesting in several particulars. It corroborates, what has already been stated-that the Bissets were then holding lands in the township; it contains also the mention of several names of places which are still perpetuated; and what is still more important, it proves that the freeholders at that carly period recognised no Mesne Lord: "Rendering only to the Chief Lord of the Fee, a Rose for all services." So that the Freeholders of the township are joint lords of the manor.
We have further proof of the connection of the Gudmans with these estates in the Poll-tax of Richard II. (1379), where under "Villata de Meltham appear the names of "William Gudman "5 and "Thomas Gudman and Agnes, uxor ejus." These were probably the sons of William
5 A deed dated 1390 is given on p. 58 of this volume, which records a grant of
land by Joan, widow of William Good
Gudman recorded in the foregoing charter, and were then in all probability living upon the estate in "Thung." There is apparently no mention of "Thung" or "Thong" in the Poll-tax, and doubtless the Roll had been made according to ancient custom, combining both townships under the head of Meltham, the separation of Nether Thong from Meltham being then of recent date. Until the reign of Elizabeth, we do not find any further charter evidence connected with the township. Early in that reign, we find that Thomas Wentworth of North Elmsall, Esquire, held divers messuages and lands here, which had been acquired by his ancestors through marriage with the heiress of Bisset. In the 13 Eliz. Thomas Wentworth alienated the whole of his estate in Nether Thong, which seems to have been purchased by the tenants in occupation, viz. Anthony Wilson, John Beaumont, Thomas Woodhead and others. Of these tenants Anthony Wilson became the owner of the Thongsbridge estate, forming the eastern boundary of the township. It consisted of an ancient corn mill and fulling mill, a messuage and lands; and of this estate he was seized at his death in 1579. His will bears date 7 Jan., 1579 ; and as it reveals somewhat of the domestic life of those times, it is not altogether devoid of interest. He is described as of Thwonge-brigg. The will has reference to his personal estate only. To his wife Alyce he gives one third of his goods; the remainder to be divided among his children; except one "Quye" (Kine or Cow) "which I give unto Humphry and Anthony, my sonues, to be bestowed between them. To Arthure Wilson, my brother, one brown Jacket, a Setten Dublet, a payre of Moyles, a felt hat, with one payer of redd slopps. To Elizabeth Wilson, daughter of Thomas Wilson, 3s. 4d. towards the byinge of one hatt. To Arthure Wilson sonne of Thomas Wilson, 2s. Sd. To John Berrie, my godsonne, my worse graye Jacket. To Richard Littlewood, my godsonne, 12d. To Elizabeth Wilson, my sister, all my goods whatsoever were or are remaining in her hands, by reason of the last will of George Wilson, my father. I do make Rauffe Wilson, my sonne, sole executor of this my last will. Alyce my wife to be tutor and governoure and keeper of all my chyldren, and their portions, until such tyme as they shall come to be of years of discrecon, desyring these my faythfull friends-John
Balye, Richard Wilson, Miles Wilson, Wm. Ermitage, George Brooke and Robert Cryer, Clerke, to see that this my said will be performed." The descent of the property is shewn in the following statement:
*Extract from Register:-"Buried from Stackwood Hill, John Newton, of Stackwood Hill, being her father-in-law."
In 1664, Humphry Wilson executed a deed of entail, dated 12th October, "to the end that the messuages, tenements, mills and lands at Thongsbridge aforesaid, may continue and remain in the blood and issue of him, the said Humphry Wilson, so long as it shall please God to suffer." The estate was entailed upon "John Wilson the elder, and his son and heir apparent," and to Joshua Wilson, son of the said John and his heirs; in default of issue, to John Wilson the younger and his heirs, and in default to Daniel Wilson