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sable with two crescents of the second in chief. The nearest approach to this bearing is that of the family of Waxand, which derived its designation from a place now called Wassand, in the parish of Sigglesthorne, near Hornsea. Their arms were, Argent a fess gules and two crescents in chief of the second.1

Although these arms are also carved on a stone (9×6 in.) now lying on the sill below, it seems not unlikely that they are a variation of the Wassand bearings, especially as that family was connected with Sigston, as will appear later on.

Before proving this, however, it will be convenient to describe the Sigston bearing, Argent a double-headed eagle displayed sable, which also occurs on a shield in stone in Ingleby Arncliffe church. At Sigston the eagle occurs several times in the quarries around the Colville and Wassand shields. The other quarries are charged with slips of oak.

The Sigston family was a younger branch of the Northumberland family of Ryhill, which came from Ryal, formerly Ryhill, in the parish of Matfen. General Plantagenet Harrison5 makes

1 Roll of Arms temp. Edward III, p. 26, where the bearer is called Monsire de Wautland. In the Roll of Arms temp. Edward II, p. 41, the same arms are attributed to the Suffolk family of Wachesham. However, in a North Country Roll, compiled in the reign of Edward III (Collectanea Topographica et Genealogica, ii, 328), these arms are assigned to John de Waxand, and also in Mr. Th. Jenyns' Booke of Armes, published in the Antiquary, i, 208. Hervey de Watlous, of Thornton, bore not dissimilar arms, Or on a chief azure three crescents of the first (Col. Top. et Gen., ii, 326). The field of the Wassand coat was originally diapered in the same way as the Colville shield, but the diapering is now only visible on the outside.

2 On the same block is carved a shield with a cross patonce (8 x 6 in.).

The arms of Sigston in the aisle window of Kirby Sigston Church.

Papworth and Burke attribute, but without giving their authority, Sable, a cross sarcelly (cercelée), quarterly gold and silver, to Mornsell. If this is a form of Maunsell, the association with Wassand is explained later on.

3 Roll of Arms temp. Edward III, p. 12, where the eagle has a red beak and feet, as had the Imperial bird. The eagles in the glass at Sigston are entirely black.

These quarries measure 3 x 1 in. The eagles are not on shields.


5 History of Yorkshire, i, 166, where it is stated that the Ryhill arms were argent three red lions rampant. No authority has been found for this attribution. the author have mixed Ryhill up with Fitz Reinald, who bore gules three lions rampant argent? For the Ryhill family see also the New History of Northumber land, ix, 251.

the earliest ancestor of the Sigston family who was associated with that place, to be a certain John, son of Michael de Ryhill, a younger son of Michael de Ryhill, lord of Dalton Ryhill, otherwise Dalton Michell, in the parish of Kirkby Ravensworth, who was living in 24 Henry III (1238-9), and of Alice, sister and coheir of William de Flamville, owner of properties in Northumberland.

The General adds that John, son of Michael de Ryhill, was plaintiff in an action in 49 Henry III (1264–5), against Gocelyn Deyville, and was seised of half a knight's fee in Sigston in 51 Henry III (1266-7).

Amongst the Arncliffe Hall MSS. is a document which shows. how the Ryhill family became possessed of land in the parish of Kirby Sigston. It is an undertaking by which John son of Michael and Joan, his wife, bound themselves to Philip de Colville, for the payment at Thimilby, now Thimbleby, of scutage for their land in Foxton, in the parish of Sigston, which they held of Colville, whenever such scutage should be current in Alvertonchyr. The witnesses were Sir Stephen de Menill, Sir Alan son of Bryan, Sir Philip de la Leyae (sic), Sir Robert Engram, Sir Thomas Mansel, Sir Gocelin de Dayville, Sir Alan de Leke, and William de Salkoc. Only one seal remains, of which half still survives. It bears the figure of a woman with flowers in either hand. The legend, a good deal broken, ... PANNED'COLE ..

was a Colville by birth.

showing she

As a fine1 was levied on the Octave of Trinity, 52 Hen. III (1268), between William de Foxton and Laderana de Foxton, plaintiffs, and Philip de Colevile, called to warranty by John, son of Michael, and Joan, his wife, about three carucates of land and a water-mill in Foxton, it is probable the deed is of much the same date.

Foxton had been granted to Joan de Colville's grandfather, Philip de Colville,2 by Bishop Hugh de Puiset, of Durham, towards the end of the twelfth century, and represented, no doubt, her dowry.

Michael's eldest son, Brian, who held in 1284-5 three carucates in Sigston, equivalent to half a knight's fee, died without issue,3 and was succeeded by his brother John, who was the first of the family to assume the territorial designation of Sigston. On WhitSunday, 1283, John, son of John, son of Michael de Sixton (sic), and his wife Ilria, relict of Geoffrey de Maunby, demised to the

1 Pedes Finium Ebor., 51-56 Henry III, No. 51.

2 Y.A.J., xvi, 210.

3 Kirkby's Inquest, p. 102.

master and brethren of the St. Leonard's Hospital, York, at a yearly rent of 10s. 10d., all the land at Houe (Howe, in the parish of Pickhill), which she held in dower. Witnesses, Sir Henry de Holteby, knight, Ralph de Rugemond, and Thomas de Gatenby.1

In Trinity Term, 7 Edward II (1314), John, son of John, son of Michael de Sixton (sic), and Joan his wife, brought their action of 'nuper obiit " against John de la More and B., his wife, for a division of the estates in C.3 of Henry Mancell, father of Joan and B., who died without issue male. Mancell had granted the manor of Berreford in frank marriage with his daughter Joan.4

In 1323, John de Wauxand and Joan, his wife, granted to Sir John de Siggeston, knight, three messuages and four bovates of land in Winton, part of Joan's inheritance. This proves that Joan Mansel, on the death of John of Sigston, married as her second husband John of Wassand, and also accounts for the presence of the Wassand arms in Sigston church, and possibly those of Maunsel.


Of John de Sigeston's son, who bore the same Christian name, more information has been preserved. He occurs in 1322 as keeper of the royal castles and towns of Huntingdon and La Haye." In 1 Edward III (1327) he contributed 4s. to a subsidy levied at Sigston in that year. Why no notice was taken of his knighthood it is impossible to say. In the summer of the same year he petitioned the king that, when his accounts were taken, he should be allowed the wages due to him for his services in the marches of Scotland. It is most probable he owed his knighthood to his achievements in the Border warfare during the troublous times after Bannockburn. In 1328 he had a grant of freewarren in his demesne lands in Siggeston, Winton, Foxton, Fritheby (Firby near Bedale), and Brodforth (Birdforth), near Thirsk. In 1332, as

1 Dodsworth MSS., cviii, 83.

2 Nuper obiit is a writ that lies for a coheir, being deforced by her coparcener of lands or tenements, of which the grandfather, father, uncle, or brother to them both died seised of an estate in fee simple (Cowel's Interpreter).

3 Henry Mansel held lands in Birdforth, Winton, and Halikeld in 1284-5 (Kirkby's Inquest, pp. 94, 103).

Dodsworth MSS., cxlvi, 34, citing Coram Rege, Mich., 29 Edw. I, rot. 239; Hilary, 32 Edw. I, rot. 144; and Easter, 16 Ric. II, rot. 37.


Ibid., xci, 176. The exact date is Sunday before All Saints' (Oct. 30) 17 Edw. II. The witnesses recorded are Sir John de Colevill, Sir John de Coyners

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Sir John de Siggeston he paid 5s. 8d. to another subsidy, levied at Winton, in the parish of Sigston.1

In 1335, Nicholas de la Lound, living in the neighbouring village of Thornton in 'le Vivers' (Thornton-le-Beans), acknowledged he was indebted to Sir John in the sum of roli.2

The year following (1336) he had licence to crenelate his manor of Beresende3 in the county of York. Though this name has long been obsolete, there can be little doubt it refers to the earthwork to the north of the road between Northallerton and Osmotherley, near Sigston Bridge, now known as Sigston Castle, though in the township of Winton. I am indebted to a member of our Society. Mr. W. M. I'Anson, for a description of the site of this castle, which he recently visited:

"Of the earthworks which are all that now mark the site of this castle, I cannot tell you anything beyond what would be apparent to you when you visited the place. The site selected, a typically "late" one, and the general contour of the earthworks, do not suggest a fortress of a date anterior to about 1340. The site, and the methods of defence adopted, somewhat resemble Ravensworth, a late Richmondshire castle.

"The enclosure is roughly rectangular in shape, defended by a deep and broad moat carried round it, and by adjacent marshy ground. The entrance appears to have been on the north, defended by substantial outworks beyond the counterscarp of the ditch, traces of which are very apparent.

"It is somewhat singular that no stonework whatever remains in situ, and it is quite impossible even to hazard a guess as to what were the arrangements, although the uneven ground which is conspicuous about the centre of the enclosure would suggest the one-time presence of buildings, and the same may be said of the earthworks opposite the entrance.

"In all probability, the structure was not of massive proportions, depending almost entirely for its defence upon the somewhat formidable ditch. At the time of its erection, about the middle of the fourteenth century, attack might only be expected from bands of Scottish invaders, and as these seldom or never travelled with siege engines, the moat would afford adequate protection."


1 Ex. Lay Subsidies, m. 13d. Sum total 20s., of which Walter del Hille and John Artays paid 4s. each, William de Bergesheued 2s., Jordan de Wynton 12d., John de Dale 18d., and William Fraunceys 2s. 6d.

2 Calendar of Close Rolls (1333-7, F.187.

3 Calendar of Patent Rolls (1334-8), p. 221. Query Berefeude, that is, barley-field. It occurs as Berreford in 1313 (supra p.141), Beresende in 1336, and Berford in 15 Edward III (1341) above, and as the castle and manor of Bereshend alias Sygston in 1555 (Feet of Fines, Tudor, i, 186).

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