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BY JOHN BILSON, F.S.A.
AMONG the many spots in the wapentake of Ryedale which combine beauty of situation with archæological interest, Gilling Castle' is by no means the least attractive or interesting. In spite of extensive alteration and reconstruction, the main building still retains the basement of a medieval house of remarkable plan. It is not, indeed, a castle in the more restricted sense of the term, like Richmond, Middleham, or Scarborough, in which the arrangement of the buildings is strictly governed by military requirements. It belongs more properly to the class of fortified manor-houses, buildings in which domestic convenience was the first consideration, but which, though not designed to resist a regular siege, were strong enough to afford protection against marauders. The upper stories of the main building were remodelled in the latter part of the sixteenth century, and the "great chamber" is certainly one of the most beautiful Elizabethan rooms in the country-probably quite unrivalled in its display of heraldry and magnificent painted glass.
The primary object of this paper is to describe the building itself, or rather those parts of it which are of earlier date than the commencement of the seventeenth century. But the history of a house is so inseparably connected with that of its builders that a sketch of their history is an almost necessary preliminary to a study of the building itself. I have dealt at some length with the earlier part of this history-that of the Ettons of Gilling-because, so far as I am aware, no account of this family has hitherto been printed. I do not pretend, however, to have exhausted this part of the subject; indeed, some genealogical points are so obscure that I must necessarily leave their elucidation to more expert enquirers."
1 Not to be confused with the other North Riding Gilling, near Richmond.
2 In the sketch of the Etton family which follows, I have generally omitted all reference to names which do not readily connect themselves with the main line of descent. The Dodsworth MSS. alone contain very numerous references to members of this family, as witnesses to charters, etc.,
which it would be tedious to enumerate here. In many cases the repetition of the same names makes it very difficult to avoid confusion between different persons of the same family, to say nothing of the chances of confusion with other families bearing a similar name; but I have avoided speaking positively in any case where there appeared to be any uncertainty.
The Domesday Survey speaks of two manors in Gilling. One, of four carucates, which had been held by Orm in the time of the Confessor, was in the hands of Ralph de Mortemer when the survey was made. I have not been able to trace the descent of this manor. The other manor, also of four carucates, held by Barch in the Confessor's time, was, together with several other manors in the neighbourhood of Coxwold, held by Hugh fitz-Baldric. Most of his lands, including Gilling, were afterwards possessed by the Mowbrays, and it is probable that he lost them by siding with Duke Robert in the rebellion of 1106.2 But the tenure by which this manor was held under its overlords, the Mowbrays of Thirsk, was so slight that it has left no visible traces behind it, and it is the sub-tenants, the Ettons of Gilling, who now more immediately interest us.
The Ettons took their name from Etton, a village in the East Riding, about four miles north-west from Beverley. They appear at Gilling in the latter half of the twelfth century, and early in the thirteenth century they divide into two distinct lines, of Etton and Gilling respectively. The arms of Etton of Etton, quartered by the Langdales, are the same as those borne by the Ettons of Gilling— Barry argent and gules, on a canton sable a cross patonce or. The barry foundation of these arms was doubtless derived from the arms of the Stutevilles, who were tenants-in-chief at Etton, and held the advowson of the church there. The canton may possibly be derived from Vesci, a conjecture which obtains some support from the recurrence of the name Ivo in the Gilling family. Ivo de Vesci granted two carucates in Gilling in Ryedale to St. Mary's Abbey, York, and his son-in-law, Eustace fitz-John (d. 1157), granted four carucates and the church of Gilling." "C.," abbot of St. Mary's, York, granted to Geoffrey de Stuteville three and a half carucates of land
1 Domesday Book, original edition, 3256, 3276, 3806. Facsimile edition, 56, 60b, 846. Translation in Yorkshire Archeological Journal, xiv. 256, 270, 368. Hugh fitz-Baldric's manor is not mentioned in the recapitulation (see Yorks. Archæol. Journal, xiv. 267, note 25).
2 Biographical Notes on the Yorkshire Tenants in Domesday, by A. S. Ellis. Yorks. Archæol. Journal, iv. 239.
3 Yorks. Archaol. Journal, xi. 372. 4 For notes on the arms of Vesci and Aton see Yorks. Archæol. Journal, xii. 263-6 (A. S. Ellis).
5 Carta Eustachii filii Johannis de quatuor carucatis terre in Gilling' in Rydala.
Sciant omnes has litteras visuri vel audituri quod ego, Eustachius filius Johannis, concessi et hac presenti carta
mea confirmavi Deo et monachis ecclesie B. Marie Ebor. quatuor carucatas terre in Gilling' in Ridala cum omnibus pertinenciis suis, et ecclesiam eiusdem ville cum dimidia carucata terre. Tenend. in liberam et puram et perpetuam elemosinam, libere et quiete ab omni demanda et servicio seculari. Testibus hiis, Roberto de hospitali, Waltero capellano,.
capellano, Roberto diacono, Willelmo filio Gueri, Johanne Burdun. Register of St. Mary's Abbey, York (Dean and Chapter Library, xvi. A.1.) fo. 215. In Kirkby's Inquest (see post) St. Mary's Abbey holds 3 carucates in Gilling, and the church is endowed with half a carucate.
6According to the Monasticon (1821 ed.), iii. 538, Clement was abbot of St. Mary's, York, from 1161 to 1184.
in "Ghillinghe in Ridale," the date of the transaction being fixed by the fact that the deed is witnessed by Robert de Stuteville, sheriff of Yorkshire (1170-1175). The church of Gilling was confirmed to the abbot and convent of St. Mary, York, by "G.," archbishop of York.2
Our earliest information as to the history of the Etton family is derived from the Chronicle of the Cistercian Abbey of Meaux, in Holderness, which describes the numerous transactions by which the abbey obtained possession of various lands, &c., held by this family, chiefly in Skyren (Skerne, near Driffield), which the Ettons held under the Stutevilles. The first of the two accompanying pedigrees* of the Ettons is principally based on this chronicle.
The chronicle relates that Hugelin de Etton, who married Albreia, daughter of Robert de Okton, was lord of Skerne, and held lands and tenements in Hutton Cranswick, all of the fee of Robert de Stuteville. To this Hugelin King Henry I. granted the custody of the castle of Hode, near Byland, "in the time of the war" (i.e. the war of the early years of Henry's reign). Hugelin however was disgraced, and forfeited the custody of the castle and the seisin of the whole of his free tenement, which the King granted to (1) ODARD DE MAUNSEL, "miles Gallicus." From this Odard de (? le) Maunsel descended the family of Etton. Odard had two sons, (2) GEOFFREY and Odard. Geoffrey's son was (3) THOMAS DE ETTON senior, who gave to the abbey of Meaux, for the maintenance of a light in the church, a toft in Etton, which was afterwards exchanged for lands, &c., in Skerne, for the soul of Thomas's mother, "who lies buried with us" (ie. at Meaux). The chronicle gives an account of a lawsuit between the convent and Robert de Etton, parson of the church of Hoton, clerk and familiar of Archbishop Geoffrey, "who extorted from us by violence the tithes of our lands in Skerne." "The parson being, as the chronicler observes, expert in tricks of the law, protracted the cause for two years, even after he had been placed under the Pope's excommunication. Arbitrators were at length agreed to, who unhappily showed gross partiality, according to our author, for they decided against the abbey.' Parson Robert may possibly have been a younger
1 This document is in the fine collection of Etton and Fairfax deeds, in the possession of Mr. Hugh C. FairfaxCholmeley, of Brandsby.
2 Doubtless Geoffrey Plantagenet, archbishop 1191 to 1207. The confirmation is in Mr. Fairfax-Cholmeley's collection (fragment of the archbishop's seal attached).
3 Chronica Monasterii de Melsa, Rolls Series, ed. E. A. Bond. The chronicle was chiefly compiled by Thomas de Burton, who was abbot of Meaux from 1396 to 1399.
4 The numbers prefixed to names in the text refer to the corresponding numbers in the pedigrees.
Chron. Mon. de Melsa, i. 316-17.
(3) Thomas de Etton, senior=2. Alice, dau. of William, parson of 'Eggesholm
Robert de Etton, parson of Hoton, clerk and familiar of Archbishop Geoffrey
(4) Thomas de Etton, Matilda (5) Geoffrey de Ettonjunior; dead
Odard de Skerne=
William Cecilia Matilda William Robert Henry de Etton=Agnes Robert
fitz Nicholas de Collom