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This important chantry was founded in May, 1348, "at the request of Thomas de Thweng, Rector of the church of Lythum, and patron thereof,” and it practically converted the Rectory House, which at that time stood to the east of the church, into a small monastic house. The Roman branch of the Catholic Church has always cared for the poor and friendless, nor were they unprovided for in this new establishment. “He ordained that the Rector of the church for the time being, do every year, on the Feast of All Saints, give to 13 poor people of the parish, 6 pence, and a gown of zod. price at least; also do yearly distribute among the poor of the parish nine quarters of bread-corn, and as many quarters of peas.”
The old castle of Kilton was greatly neglected, and although Catherine, the widow of William, Lord Thweng, continued to reside there in strict seclusion until her death in 1349, she probably only occupied a few rooms, the remainder of the structure being practically allowed to go to ruin.
From 1349 to 1358 the castle remained untenanted, but in the latter year Sir Marmaduke de Lumley, Knt., who had been Prior of St. John of Jerusalem in Ireland, and who some two years previously had married Margaret Holland, took up his residence there without, however, making any alterations in the gloomy old structure, which was now hopelessly out of date. He had issue four sons and a daughter, Isabel, who subsequently married Sir W. Fulthorp, Knt.
Thomas, last Baron de Thweng, continued to preside over the establishment he had founded at Kirkleatham until his last illness in 1374, when he retired to the manor house at Thwing, where he died at the great age of 91 years. He was interred within the altar rails of the chancel of Thwing Church, where his effigy remains to this day.
SIR MARMADUKE DE LUMLEY, who had assumed the Thweng arms, Argent, a fesse gules between three popinjays vert, had predeceased his uncle, Thomas, and the custody of his young children had been granted to William, Lord Latimer of Danby, son of Lucia's grandson, William, Lord Latimer, by his wife Elizabeth, daughter of Lord Botetourt.
ROBERT DE LUMLEY, Marmaduke's eldest son and heir, and the great-grandson of Marmaduke, first Parliamentary Baron de Thweng of Kilton, was born at Kilton Castle in 1358, and succeeded his great-uncle, Thomas, last Baron de Thweng of Kilton, in 1374.
His guardian, William, Lord Latimer, married Elizabeth, daughter of Edmund, Earl of Arundel, and had issue an only daughter and heiress, who became the second wife of John, Lord Nevill of Raby and Middleham.
Robert came into possession of the whole of the ancient Thweng estates, viz. the manors of Thweng, Lund, North Cave, Foxholes, etc., in the East Riding : and of Kilton, Kiltonthorpe, Great and Little Moorsholm, Kirkleatham, and Hinderwell, in Cleveland, with certain lands in Egton, Marske, Brotton, Skinningrove, and Liverton, together with the advowsons of Thwing, Kirkleatham, and Hinderwell churches and of the chapel of St. Peter within the castle of Kilton.
He, however, never entered into full possession, dying at Danby Castle on the Sunday before the Nativity (24th December), 1374, as is proved by the inquisition taken at Guisborough after his death, 49 Edward III, before John Savile, the King's Escheator for the county of York.
RALPH, ist Parliamentary Baron de Lumley of Lumley, was born at Kilton Castle in 1361, and at the age of 13 became lord of Kilton.
He was, like his brother, a ward of William, Lord Latimer of Danby, who had summons to Parliament as a baron from 42 Edward III to 3 Richard II, and who died in 1381. At the time of his guardian's death, Ralph was still in his minority, being then 20 years of age, and the custody of his person and lands passed to John, Lord Nevill of Raby and Middleham, a famous noble, who had married, as his second wife, Elizabeth, daughter and heiress of Latimer. Nevill had married, as his first wife, Matilda, daughter of Henry, Lord Percy, and by his conspicuous bravery and great business ability had added very greatly to the aggrandisement of the famous house of Nevill. He converted Raby into a great fortress-palace, and also erected the castle of Sheriff Hutton.
Ralph de Lumley resided at the old manor house of Lumley, erected in the reign of King Edward I by his grandfather, Sir Robert de Lumley, the husband of Lucia, daughter of Marmaduke, Lord Thweng. Ralph and his intimate personal friend, Sir William le Scrope—eldest son and heir of Richard, Lord Scrope, High Chancellor of England, the builder of the great fortress-palace of Bolton--married, on the same day, in the chapel of Raby Castle, two daughters, Eleanor and Matilda,
* Eleanor, the wife of Ralph, Lord Middleham, by his first wife, Matilda, Lumley, was the sixth and youngest daughter of Henry, Lord Percy. child of John, Lord Nevill of Raby and
of John, Lord Nevill of Raby and Middleham, the ceremony being solemnised by Thomas Hatfield, the famous warriorBishop of Durham.
The manor-house at Lumley was too small for the accommodation of so powerful and highly connected a noble as Ralph, Lord Lumley of Lumley, consequently he decided to build a new residence.
Purely fortress - castles of the type of Kilton were now completely out-of-date as was the chain-mail armour of their builders. Never comfortable to live in, with draughty great halls, cramped and inadequate private apartments, and gloomy chambers, they had been tolerated in the days of the early Plantagenets, because of their defensive properties. But with the establishment of an efficient administration of justice, combined with a growing demand for greater comfort and even of luxury, they were now a complete anachronism, and those, such as Castleton, which had not been abandoned altogether, had been converted, like Raby, into residences where comfort, cheerfulness, and luxury were more considered than defensive properties.
An entirely new style of castle had now come into vogue, the great fortress-palaces of which Bolton - in - Wensleydale is such a stately and imposing example. This magnificent structure, commenced in 1379 by Richard, Lord Scrope, was completed in 1396 at a cost, according to Leland, of £12,000, equivalent to over £130,000 of modern money. These new palaces were rectangular buildings, erected round a quadrangle or courtyard, with large towers at the angles.
Ralph, Lord Lumley, had passed his youth in, perhaps, the earliest example in England of this style of castle, viz. Danby in Cleveland, which, as we have already seen, was built by William, Lord Latimer, the husband of the notorious Lucia de Thweng, between 1300 and 1303. His father-in-law, Lord Nevill, was the rebuilder of Raby and Sheriff Hutton, the father of his brother-in-law was the builder of great Bolton. As a residence, Kilton was of little use to Lord Lumley, for it was erected on a site which, owing to its extreme narrowness, whilst admirably adapted for a purely defensive castle of the Enceintric type, could not be modified to suit the new fashion. Consequently, Lord Lumley decided to abandon it altogether.
In 1389, he obtained a licence from Bishop Robert Skirlaw, and in 1392 another from King Richard II, to convert his manor
house at Lumley into a castle, and in the former year he commenced the erection of the present fortress-palace of Lumley, the residence of his descendant, Lord Scarbrough, and one of the most stately of our country houses. About the same time, Ralph's brother-in-law, Ralph, Lord Nevill of Raby, commenced the erection of a fortress-palace round the grim old Norman keep of Middleham.
Ralph did away with the expensive chantry chapel at Kirkleatham, and about 1398 dissolved the chantry chapel of St. Peter within the castle of Kilton, a sure sign that no further extended residence was contemplated there. But he seems to have lived at Kilton between 1389 and 1398, when Lumley Castle was in course of construction, but, naturally, made no alterations to it.
The history of Kilton Castle subsequent to 1389 need not detain us long. John, 7th Lord Lumley, married Joan, daughter of Henry, Lord Scrope of Bolton, and his son, George Lumley, was one of the principal leaders in the Pilgrimage of Grace, being executed for his share in that adventure.
When, in 1537, the Crown took possession of Kilton Castle, the old fortalice was mere shell. The long neglect of 140 years had told its tale. Roofless, ivy clad, its timber floorings long since rotted away, trees and shrubs growing in the courtyard and right up to the walls, it stood gaunt and grim, a mouldering memorial of a long dead past.
But, although here and there the walls had probably given way, it would still be structurally almost complete, and was still, in theory, a castle held by knight service in the barony of de Percy, although the system of tenure was forgotten.
" It also appereth in the sayed office that the sayd castle and mannours of Kilton, Lethom, Lound, and Bothome are holden (by Richard, Lord Lumley) of Henry, the Erle of Northumberland, but the Jurors certifyed an ignoramus by what seruyce.
And that the manours of Thweng and Thorpe are holden of the heyres of Sir Jo. Percy, Kt., by what service the Jurors know not. And that the mannours of Great Moarsome and Little Moarsome and the lands in Glaphowe are holden of the King in capite” (Extract from the Percy Feodary, 1511).
Had the castle been situate in a town, it would, doubtless, after 1537, have been converted or adapted to more modern purposes, or pulled down altogether; but being situate in a
lonely and very sparsely inhabited district, it was simply allowed to go to ruin.
No doubt soon after 1537 the spoilation we now deplore would commence, and the castle would be used as a convenient quarry of ready-dressed stone. But it is doubtful whether any very serious damage was done for at least a century after that date.
There is an interesting local tradition relating to the castle which is worth putting on record. As related to the writer when a boy, unfortunately nearly twenty years ago, it ran as follows:
“Kilton Castle was destroyed by Oliver Cromwell. He came into Cleveland with a large army and a train of artillery, but had great difficulty in finding the castle, which was then held by a party of Royalists. After much marching and countermarching, Cromwell and his men, as evening approached, rested on the side of a hill. As they rested, across the stillness of the evening air came the gentle tinkle of a bell ringing for vespers. Cromwell at once sent forward scouts to localise the sound. They returned, and announced that they had discovered it came from the castle chapel. Having thus found the castle, he advanced to the attack, and after a long siege, in which he lost many men, succeeded in taking it, and then blew it up with gunpowder.'
This tradition was told to the writer by the late Mr. Petch, of Liverton, whose forebears had for many generations resided within a couple of miles of the castle. It seems, however, somewhat improbable that Kilton would, in the time of the Civil War, be in sufficiently perfect condition to be patched up and held by a party of Royalists against the ubiquitous Cromwell. It had not been occupied for some 240 years previous to that date, and must then have been in an utterly ruinous condition. And yet it is an undoubted fact that many castles, of which Scarborough is an example, then in a ruinous condition and unfit for habitation, were, in these troublous times, hastily patched up and offered very serious opposition to the rebels. That fighting took place at Guisborough, only some six miles distant, we know, for Col. Slingsby, with 700 of the royal troops, was defeated there by a body of Roundheads, some 2,500 in number, commanded by Sir Hugh Cholmley and Sir Matthew Boynton. We have, however, no record whatever of any siege of Kilton Castle at this time,