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Towton took place on Palm Sunday, 29th March, 1461, the shouts of the combatants and the clash of arms were distinctly heard in this chapel whilst the congregation were at Mass. The places are barely two miles apart.7



(From Torre's MSS. Deanery of the Ainsty, p. 215.)

The town of Haselwood contained 3 carucates of land, where 14 carucates made a knight's fee, held by William le Vavasour of the Barony of Spofford. The chapel of Haselwood was formerly granted with the church of Tadcaster, to the Abbey of Sally (Sauley) by the Lady Maud de Percy, Countess of Warwyk, by the councel of William le Vavasour. There were two chantries founded in this chapel, the one on 10 Kal. Mart. 1332, by Sir Henry le Vavasour, at the altar of S. Mary out of the Church of Fryston, which he gave to be appropriated to the college of the vicars of St. Peter of the Cathedral Church of York, which was of the patronage of the succentor and vicars of the same college, as were other two chantries ordained also in the Cathedral Church.

The other chantry was founded in this chappel at the altar of S. Nicholas by-le Vavasour, which family were always patrons of it.

10 Aug. 1351.

12 March 1353.

15 April 1364. 16 Nov. 1366. 23 June 1378. 10 July 1419. 24 March 1424. 12 Dec. 1442.

9 Feb. 1443.

9 Feb. 1449.

11 Jan. 1478.

15 May 1504.

22 Nov. 1510.

23 Oct. 1515.


S. Mary.

Richarde Wandesford, cap. Presented (as all the rest were) by the Warden and Vicars of the House of Vicars of York Cathedral. Resigned.

William Dowke, cap. Resigned for vicarage of Pontefract.

Richard Douke, cap.

John de Eton, cap.

William Warde, cap.

John de Dalton, cap. Deprived.

Walter Milford, presbyter. Resigned.

Thomas Copley, cap. Resigned.

Richard More, cap.

Thomas Langton, cap.

William Cleveland, presbyter. Resigned.

Thomas Giles, cap. Died.

Richard Huchonson, cap. Resigned.
William Byngley, cap.

William Sandall, cap.

7 Prolia Eboracensia, p. 103.

27 Jan. 1361.

5 Dec. 1372.

1 March 1398.

17 Feb. 1412.

6 Aug. 1414.

19 April 1428.

11 March 1484.

5 Oct. 1484. 4 Jan. 1489. 30 May 1514.

7 Nov. 1515. 22 Sept. 1523. Nov. 1545.


S. Nicholas.

John de Heton, cap.

William Golde, cap.

lapse. Resigned.

Collated to both chantries by

Collated to both chantries by

John Hesilwoode, son of John Hewylson of the same.
Collated by Henry Vavasour, armiger. Resigned.
William Blase, presbyter. Collated by Henry Vava-

sour, miles.
John Kyghley, presbyter.
garet Vavasour. Died.
John Hornby, presbyter.
Vavasour, armiger.
Robert Ben. Resigned.

Collated by Lady Mar

Collated by Sir Henry

Richard Litster, cap. Presented by Sir Henry Vavasour, miles.

William Owstyn, cap. (ibid.). Died.

Henry Vavasour, cap. (ibid.). Died.
George Wade, cap. (ibid.). Died.

Christopher Bolton, cap. Presented by Henry Vava-
sour, armiger.

James Wilson, presbyter (ibid.). Died.

John Haggit.


John Beverley, presbyter. Presented by William
Vavasour, armiger.


For nearly a hundred years during the dark days of persecution there is no record of those who served this church.

Francis Vavasour, O.S.F., was here for many years both before and after 1636. The mission at this period appears to have been served by the Franciscans.

John Smith, alias Thompson, 1646 to 1651.

Ellis, 1678-79.

Paul Stevenson came 1689, and was living here 1693.

George Anslem Carter, O.S.B., came some time after 1716, and died here in 1727.

Edward Dunstan Rogers, O.S.B., succeeded 1727 to 1731.

George Crosland, brother-in-law to Sir Walter Vavasour, was attending in July 1728, and died Oct. 12, 1729.

George Henry Heddon came 1740 and was living 1752.

William Daniel, alias Foster, 1772-74

James Foster, 1774-77.

John Barrow, 1777—80.

James Melling, 1780. Died 26 April, 1806.

William Alexius Chew, O.S.B., 1806. Died 25 Feb 1832.

Robert Tate, 1832 to Sept. 1839. (1st time.)

Joseph C. Fisher, 1839-53.

Robert Tate, 1853-63. (2nd time.)

Michael C. Fryer, 1863-64.

Philip Vavasour, 1864-73.
Xavier De Vacht, 1873-76.
Augustin Collingwood, 1876-83.

Gustavus I. Thonon, 1883-93.

John Bradley, 1893.


19 March 1412. Henry Vavasour, knight, made his will (proved 29 March in the same year) giving his soul to God Almighty, St. Mary and All Saints, and his body to be buried in his church of Hesilwod, and no one to be invited to his funeral.

(Test. Ebor. I. 361.)

27 June 1394. Margaret Vavasour, Lady of Hesilwood, made her will (proved 6 Aug. 1415), giving her soul (ut supra) and her body to be buried in the chapel of Hesilwood against the corps of her husband, and bequeathed 20 marks for trentalls for her soul and the soul of her husband Henry and all the faithful dead.

(Test. Ebor. I. 362-4.)

20 Nov. 1447. Henry Vavasour, Esq. (proved 15 Jan. 1452) "to be interred in the chappel of S. Leonard of Hesilwood."

(Test. Ebor. II. 162-3.)

8 Sept. 1499. Henry Vavasour, Knyght (proved 15 April, 1500) " to be beried within the chapell of Saint Leonard in Hasilwod wher my wiff lieth."

(Test. Ebor. IV. 164-7.) "Also I will that in every Esture weike during the lives of William Vavasour, John, and Leonard, my sones, my chawntre prestes, and other prestes and clercs that happeth to be ther in the said Estur woykke, to comme unto my grave, standing abowte my said grave, singing ther the psalme called In exitu Israel de Egypto; and every chawntre preste to have iiijd; and every other preste that happeth to come with his surplesse iiijd; and every cleric ijd totiens quotiens, to the said strangers; and they to stand as I limitted them in my live days."

14 Nov. 1509. Henry Vavasour off Hessellwode, esquyer.

"To be

buriede in the chappell of Hessell wode nye the tombe
off my wiffe, whos soull God assolle : I will that ther
shalbe a thrugh stone off marbell, of the price of iiij
markes, laide uppon the tombe of my wiffe." Proved
28 Feb. 1516.
(Test. Ebor. V. 8, 9.)

10 Dec. 1565. William Vavasour of Hesilwood, Knight, made his will (proved 2 May, 1572) giving his soul to God Almighty through Jesus Xt and his body to be interred among his ancestors at Hesilwood.

8 For the above list of Mission Priests

I am entirely indebted to the kindness of

Mr. Joseph Gillow, Woodlands, Bowdon


The Chapell or Parysshe Churche of Seynt Leonarde within the parysshe of Toddecaster.

John Beverley, incumbent there. Of the foundacion of th'ancestors of William Vavasor, knyght, beryng no date. To th' entente the sayd incumbent shulde mynistre all sacramentes and sacramentalles to all th' ynhabitantes wythin the mansion place of Hasylwoode, and to burye, wedde, and christen wythin the sayd chapell, according to the forsayd graunte. The sayd incumbent hathe yerely out of the ferme of the milles of Sturton, lxvjs viijd for all grosse tythes of the said parisshe of Haselwood, as the sayd incumbent allegieth. And further the sayd incumbent hathe, over and besides the sayd viiijs (sic), all offerynges and pety tythes, whych revenue is wythin the sayd mansion place, wherby it shulde seme the same, rather to be a parsonage than a fre chapell or chauntery, and paeth tenthes after the rate of iiijli xvijs iiid for the sayd annuities and tenthes.

The same chauntery is distaunt from the parysshe church of Toddecastre, whyche they calle the Motherchurch, ij myles and above. The necessitie therof is to mayntene prayer, and alledged to be a parysshe church, as afore is mensioned. There is no landes, tenements, solde ne alienatyd sythe the iiijth day of February, anno regni regis Henrici VIIJvi, xxvijmo. Goodes, ornamentes and plate perteynyng to the sayd chauntery, as apperyth by inventory, that is to say, goodes valued at xiijs viijd, plate none.

Firste a certen yerely rent comyng out of the myllnes of Sturton to th' use of the sayd incumbent, as affore is mensioned lxvjs. viijd.

Item, one mansion house with a garthe and a garden, in comyn amongst thre incumbentes ther, xjs. vjd.

Some of the sayd chauntery, lxxviijs. ijd. the Kynges Majestie for a tenthe, ixs. xd. ob. And so remaneth, lxviijs. iij. ob.

Wherof paiable yerely to

The Chauntery of our Lady within the sayd churche or chapell.
William Byngley, incumbent ther.

Of the foundacion of Henry Vavasor, knyght, beryng date in the kalende of Marche in the yere of our lord God MCCCXXXII. To th' entente to pray for the soule of the sayd Henry and Constaunce, hys wyef, and all cristen soules, and to ministre dyvyne service wythin the sayd chaunterye at Haselwood. Whych incumbent hathe yerely payd by the vicars choralles of the mynystre of York, by reason of the impropriacion of the churche of Water Freston, belongyng to the sayd vicars, v marcs. The same chauntery is wythin the sayd chapell or church. The necessitie is to doe dyvyne service and mayntene praer, as afore is mensioned there is no landes ne tenementes sold ne alienatyd sithe the iiijth day of February, Anno Regni Henrici VIIJvi xxvijmo

Goodes, ornamentes, and plate perteynyng to the sayd chauntery, as apperyth by inventorye, that is to say, goodes valued at xs. viijd., plate


Firste, a certen yerely rent payd to th' use of the sayd incumbent by the vicars choralls of the minister of Yorke, by reason of the impro

9 For these my best thanks are due to Mr. Wm. Page, F.S.A.

priacion of the churche of Water Freston, belongyng to the sayd vicars, v marcs; and for hys mansion house, nil, quia antea. In all, lxvjs. viijd. Paiable to the Kynges majestie for a tenthe, vijs. xjd. ob.

And so remaneth, lviijs. viij ob.

The Chauntery of Saynt Nicholas wythin the sayd Parysshe Church or Chappell.

John Haggit, incumbent there. Of the foundacion of th' executors of the seyd Henry Vavasor, by the Kynges licence, berying date v day of June the yere of Kynge Henry VJth xxxi, to th' entente to pray for the soules of the sayd late Kyng, the sayd founder, Margaret, hys wyeffe, and all Cristen soules, as apperyth by foundacion, and used accordyng, as affore is mensioned.

The same chauntery is wythyn the sayd parysshe churche. The necessitie therof is to mayntane praer, as affore is mensioned. There is no landes, tenementes, solde ne alienatyd sithe the iiijth day of February, anno regni regis Henrici VIIJvi xxvijmo

Goodes, ornamentes, and plate perteynyng to the sayd chauntery, as apperyth by inventory, that is to say, goodes valued at xijs. viijd., plate,


Firste, certen landes and tenementes sett, lyeng, and beyng in diveres places, viz.:-one tenement and iiij cotages wyth liiij acres of land, and

in Ferybrigge in th' oldyng of John Mileston'.

. ..


and a cotage with xxiij acres of land and medow in Fenton', in th' oldyng of the wyffe of Mathew Rawlyn xxvjs. viijd.; one tenemente wyth xl acres lande and medow, in th' oldyng of John Bartlet lying in Aberford, xls. one cotage and a garden in Aberford, in th' oldyng of Richard Carter, vijs. ; one cotage in Aberford, in th' oldyng of Chollis Whylytoo, ijs. iiijd.; one tenement with xij acres of land and meadow in Adwalton, in th' oldyng of Richard Ravisden, xs. In all, viili. Os. iiijd.

Paiable yerely to the Kynges Majestie for a tenthe, xvs. ob.
And so remaneth, vjli. vs. iiijd. ob.

There was another chantry in the chapel of St. Nicholas founded by William Barker of Tadcaster, and Agnes his wife, in 1395. (Pat. 19 Rich. II., p. 2, mem. 38.) Willelmus Barker, Hostiler et uxor. xviijd. (Poll-Tax, 1379.)

Bequests to the Fabric.

John Johnson, vicar of Mattersey, by will, proved 16 May, 1528, leaves "to Hesilwood Chapell iijs. iiijd." (Test. Ebor. V., p. 239.)

Elizabeth Sywardby, widow of William Sywardby, in her inventory mentions a vestment for the Altar of St. Nicholas of Hesilwood. (Test. Ebor. III., p. 167.) She was the daughter of Sir Henry Vavasour by his wife, Margaret Skipwith.

Lady Margaret Vavasour left by will, proved 6 Aug. 1415, 5 pounds for the repair of Tadcaster Church, which, if not spent within the year, was to revert to Hazlewood chapel, to which she left 20 pounds. (Test. Ebor. I. 362.)

Sir Henry Vavasour left by will, proved 15 April, 1500,"my best beyst wt the appurtenance, as the use of the chawntre is. To the said

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