East Yorkshire Midgley of the Selby  District in the 1700-1880's Including Burn, Brayton, Thorpe Willoughby, Hambleton, Copmanthorpe, Elvington, Colton, Ottringham, Acaster Malbis, Acaster Selby, Wistow, Colton, Huntington, York &c. with links to Midgley of Normanton, Cawthorne, Castleford and also Midgley of Bolton, Lancashire, Palo Alto and Auburn California and Saskatchewan, Canada.
   


Historical Background
“Midgley” from Anglian Midleah or middle field. There is a locality called Middle Field  south of Knottingley at the centre of an almost equilateral triangle formed by three Anglian pagan burial sites (circa 6th century), this area is known as "The Leys" and is adjacent to "The Balne".  The burial sites are as follows: 

  1. North Elmshall White Hart Farm (up to 3 inhumations) 
  2. Womersley (up to 3 inhumations) 
  3. Knottingley (secondary barrow inhumation) 

The battle of Winwaed (Winn wood) is also sited in the area, possibly on the river Went near Wentbridge 3km to the N.W. of Middle Field. This battle according to The Anglo-Saxon Chronicle  took place on the 15th November 655 A.D. between the Anglian Northumbrians under Oswy (Osuiu) who were the victors and 30 legions of Mercians, East Anglians and Welsh  under the pagans, Penda, Athelehere and Difid (David) respectively who met at the river.
It was normal for the Welsh Britons to fight on horseback but for the Anglians it was not a tradition. It was also common to attack on river crossings where a tactical advantage could be gained. The area may have remained pagan longer than other areas as it lay beween Mercia and Northumbria,  forming part of Loidis Elmete (Elmet).
The area has been historically important as it controlled a narrow strip between the Pennines and the Humber marshes and acted as a route through to York and the North.

Other Derivations:
From Old English (formerly called Anglo-Saxon):
Mycg: a persons name
Micg(e) or Mycg leah a wood or clearing infested with midges (gnats) in West Yorkshire,
Old English “gnoet” or “gnatt” middle high German “gnaz”.
This derived from the Danish “Myg” and the old high German “Mucca” (Collin’s English Dictionary).
In Danish the word Myg means Mosquito
Possibly from Scandinavian "Migge"  (= large)
Another spelling, Miggeley appears to be Norman/French.

In Norse mythology the dwelling place of mankind was called Midgard, Midgarthor, (Mithgarthr, Old Norse). It was formed from the body of the giant Ymir and linked by the bridge Bifrost to Asgard the home of the gods.

There are two places called Midgley in Yorkshire, one near Wakefield and the other near Halifax. Midgley is an English habitation name from several places in West Yorkshire, one of seventeen most distinctive names in 1319 when it was associated with a justice of Common Court Pleas, William Midgley, later Sir William de Midgley.
Selby lies at the intersection of the road north from Doncaster to York, and the road from Ledston and the Great North Road to where it crosses the river Ouse. Selby and the district to the west of the river Ouse were part of the West Riding until boundary changes in the late 20th century, when it became part of West Yorkshire. Selby is traditionally known for its association with the birth of William the Conqueror's+ youngest son, Henry I in 1068, the first English born Norman king. This came about because at the time, King William was quelling a revolt in the North, (one of many such rebellions throughout English history) whilst the king's wife, Queen Matilda was residing here.
The name of Selby derives from the O.E. Sele, "farmstead or village near a copse of sallow*-trees", or OScandinavian Selja + OScand. -by. In 1086 the Domesday scribes recorded it as Salebi. By 1300 it had become Seleby and by 1575 maps show it as Selbye, Willdey's map of 1715 shows it as it is written today, Selby.
* Willow trees. + If today's Prince William is eventually crowned king then he would become William II of England and 'William the Conqueror' could then be renamed William I of England.

Previously the river Ouse was navigable by ships to York. For example, in 1066 Tostig ( King Harold's brother)  anchored 300 sailing ships at Riccall, upstream from Selby and defeated Edwin Earl of Morcar, the Earl of Northumbria and the Earl of Mercia at Fulford (south of York) on 20th September 1066. This caused Harold Godwinson (King Harold) to march North with his huscarls, exposing the S.E. of England to the invasion by the Norman forces. A major and tragic turning point in English history, for the English were dispossessed of their lands and suffered the tyranny of the French-Normans, which even today finds its influence in the landed or wealthy aristocracy and the quasi-French snobbery of the English class system.
The earliest foundation of Selby Abbey is said to have originated with Germain/Germanus [b~AD 378, d. 448], a French nobleman and soldier. He learned Roman law and became governor of Amorica, later becoming a Christian and by AD 418, Bishop of Auxerre. Bishop Germain visited Britain twice. Over 600 years later, Benedict [Benoit] experienced a dream at Auxerre Abbey in which St. Germain instructed him to build an abbey at what was then the Anglo-Danish settlement of Seleby, the year was 1069, [4Will.I]. Benedict had brought St.Germaus' dried middle right finger with him as a holy relic and using this and his powers of persuasion, convinced the local lord and sheriff of Yorkshire, Hugh son of Baldric to establish a church on this isolated gravel knoll beside the river Ouse. The church being set on the King's land, Hugh felt it prudent to present Benedict to King William. William was so impressed  by Benedict that he agreed to the immediate establishment of the monastery [no doubt with control of the recently subjugated North on his mind] and endowed the church with  lands. Selby Abbey played in the North, the equivalent of Battle Abbey in the South, both can be visualised as thanksgivings for Norman victories.  It was during the unrest of 1068 in the North  that his queen, Matilda is believed to have stayed in Selby where she gave birth to Henry [Beauclerc], the Conqueror's son. The Benedictines played a large part in the development of the local area until about 1539 when Thomas Cromwell helped to engineer the demise of the Pope's influence in England under thge aegis of Henry VIII. 

Robert Midgley the last Prior of Selby Abbey
.
On the 6th of December 1539 the last abbot and prior with their twenty three monks surrendered the abbey into the hands of King Henry VIII.10  Unlike the abbots of Fountains and Rievaulx, who were beheaded for their part in the uprising which came to be known as 'The Pilgrimage of Grace', the Selby incumbent was treated more kindly. The records indicate that the abbot, Robert Rogers received an annual pension of £100, the prior, Robert Midgley, £8 and the remaining twenty-two members between £5 and £6 per annum.11 Two days after the surrender of the abbey, five of Henry VIII's commisioners staying in Selby recorded 'we have dissolved the houses of Hampole, Sancte Oswaldes, Pountefract, Fountaunce, Sancte Maries in Yowrke, Nonappleton and Selby'. The church however survived by becoming the parish church when in1618 it was officially declared as such. The church structure is mainly Norman, purposely built on a cruciform ground plan. After a fire in 1906, the church was completely restored. It contains a perpendicular font cover of the 1300's and stained glass Jesse windows. To the N.W. of the town of Selby lies Selby Common a large tract of common grazing land  to the S.E. of "The Owt Wood".
The barony of Selby was created under the Beaumonts in 1307 with Edward II's ascendancy. Beaumont was  an original Knight of The Garter under Edward III. By the 1700's the 9th Baron Beaumont [Henry Stapleton] was resident at Carlton Hall, Selby9.
The History of Selby Abbey

Map of Selby and District

Other villages in the Selby district:

Brayton
About 1030  Breithe-tun, meaning ""broad farm" or "farmstead of a man called Breithi" OScand. breithr or personal name. O.E. -tun. Bretone in 1086. In December 1318 it was recorded that in the time of King Edward I, William de Langley was presented to the church of Brayton 'by reason of the voidance of of the abbey of Selby'. [C.P.R]  In 1575 Brayton was recorded as Braton. Brayton has two moated sites on either side of the village. An easy one mile walk to Selby from here. The parish church with spire is set outside the village towards Selby.

Burn
About 1030, Byrne probably "area cleared by burning", O.E. Byrne. Today it is a hamlet.

Hemingbrough   
Hemingburgh in 1080-6, Hamiburg 1086 Probably "stronghold of a man called Hemingr", OScand. personal name and O.E. burh.  In 1579 recorded as Hemyngburgh. Here is the church of St. Mary, a cruciform planned structure of  the 1200's-1400's. It boasts a squat central tower and a lofty spire. There is good medieval woodwork in the screen, benches, roofs and misericords, the pulpit dates from 1717. The village lay in the East Riding but now in Humberside. Nearby at Babthorpe is the moated Hemingbrough Grange. Hemingbrough Hall lies near the periphery of the village. The River Ouse used to pass much closer to the village, its path now marked by a much reduced meander cut-off.

Lund
Meaning small wood or sacred grove, OScand. Lundr. 1066-9 Lund, 1086 Lont. A hamlet between Selby and Hemingbrough which lay in the East Riding, now Humberside.

Hambleton Emblem Hambleton [Hamelden]
"Farmstead at the crooked hill", O.E. hamel+tun. 1086 Hameltun. There is indeed an asymmetric hill to the south called Hambleton
Hough.

Hambleton Hough

                                                              Hambleton Hough from Hambleton a typically glaciated crag and tail

To the N.E. of Hambleton lay The Owt Wood shown on Saxton's map of 1579, a large woodland region stretching to Cawood remnants of which are found today in Bishop Wood. Both Selby and Hambleton were part of the Honour of Pontefract, very much separated from the estates further west:
 

"Robert de Lacy* confirms to the abbey of Selby the manor of Hamelden, given by his father for the soul of Hugh his brother. Lands quit claimed here by John son of Hugh de Lacy, of Gateford8".
* Robert de Lacy   1089-1121 

Thorpe Willoughby
OScand. Thorp, "an outlying farmstead or hamlet", "a dependent secondary settlement". 1086 Torp, 1276 Thorp Wyleby. The manorial affix originates from the Willeby family who were resident here in the 1200's. In the Brayton parish register of the 1700's  it is referred to as Thorp.
Like Hambleton, Thorpe Willoughby has a hill to the south of the village, Brayton Barff.  These two prominences appear to be the only high ground in the Vale of York, which is at its widest here until the land rises towards Monk Fryston in the West. Both prominences may represent the remains of "crag and tail" structures from the Wurm glacial episode 10,000 years ago, the Escrick moraine lying further north at York. The Vale of York is underlain by New Red Sandstone, but this is covered almost everywhere by alluvium or glacial deposits. The ground upon which Selby is built is glacial boulder clay over which lies two feet of outwash sand and one foot of topsoil. The water table lies three feet down here on the upper surface of the boulder clay. This has caused the Selby Abbey tower to sink early in its history  thus producing noticeable distortion in some of the nave's arches. Much of the land around the head of the Humber was once "fen country", but it has been drained and is now rich agricultural land. It has the most northerly extension of wheat farming in England.  Today, barley, oats and rootcrops are cultivated and in addition much market gardening to supply the industrial centres of West Yorkshire.

                                                       
                                                                                            .Selby and district 1579
                                                                                                                                  Selby and district 1579

William Midgley of Brayton [Braton]
Described as a 'farmer of Braton', possibly born about 1710. He married Elizabeth Fielder, daughter of William Fielder, labourer of Hemingbrough. William's forbears are still being researched and so far he is the earliest of this Midgley line found in this area. See VCH for Hemingborough
Steven Midgley has found in the records for Brayton at the Borthwick Institute in York an entry in the Brayton Parish Church register for William Midgley and Elizabeth both of Thorp [Thorpe Willoughby, near Selby] married 24th June 1731 and William Midgley of Brayton buried 1st February 1759.

William Midgley of Burn [Burne]
Probably born about 1732 in Burn. The son of William Midgley of Brayton.  Later when married in 1763 he is described as being "of Thorp of this parish" (Thorpe Willoughby of the parish of Brayton). Occupation in 1763 is described as a labourer. Banns were called on the Sundays of 16th, 23rd, and 30th of January 1763.. He married Mary Wilson on 15th February 1763 at Brayton parish church. William signed the register and Mary used a cross. Witnesses, Thomas Smith and Thomas Wright, service by M. Teasdale.
Mary of Thorp was baptised on 10th July 1737 at Brayton parish church, she was described as a spinster, daughter of Samuel Wilson of 'Thorp' [Thorpe Willoughby] and Eliza Mary ['Leazay'] Clarkson, who in turn was the daughter of George Clarkson of Lund, Farmer.
Steven Midgley also found William son of William Midgley of Thorp baptized 27th August 1732,  David son of William Midgley of Brayton baptized 25th May 1746 and William Midgley of Burn son of William Midgley of Brayton and Elizabeth Fielder of Hemingborough died 7th May 1792 of smallpox aged sixty-one

BRAYTON HALL COTTAGE                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          A son of William Midgley of Burn and Mary Wilson of Thorpe Willoughby, Samuel, died at Burton Hall Cottage on the 20th February 1838, the first mention of this residence in the Midgleys of Brayton-Burn area. Burton Hall Cottage was probably an attachment to Burton Hall.[corruption of Brayton Hall?] 

Joseph Midgley of Hambleton
The son of William Midgley of Burn. Baptised 15th October 1771 at the parish Church at Brayton. On the 1851 census, Joseph recorded his birth as being at Hambleton. According to his headstone in Normanton parish churchyard, Joseph died shortly after the 1851 census on April 30th 1851 aged 80 years. Joseph may have had older siblings as nine years elapsed between his father's marriage and Joseph's birth, but these siblings have not yet been identified.
Later Joseph became a farmer of 106 acres at Normanton near Wakefield, where he was married to Susannah Cheesbrough of Kirk Smeaton on the 17th December 1799 at the age of 28. According to the same headstone in Normanton churchyard, Susannah died about six years before Joseph on the 26th June 1845 aged 68 years.

Samuel Midgley
Son of William Midgley of Burn. Baptised 20th June 1777 at Brayton parish church. He married Mary about 1797-8 They had eight children, all christened at Brayton parish church*.

   i Elizabeth Ch. 30th September 1798, Brayton.
  ii William Ch. 26th August 1800, Brayton.
 iii Samuel born about 1804, Brayton.[1881 census place: Askham Bryan]
 iv David  Ch. 10th September 1805, Brayton. Died young?
  v Joseph Ch. 4t August 1807, Brayton.
 vi Mary Ch. 1st December 1809, Brayton.
vii David Ch. 13th July 1813, Brayton.
viii Elija Ch. 10th October 1815, Brayton.

* All records from I.G.I.1994 version except Samuel from 1881 census.
 

Dave Sunman has added more information to the Midgley line of Burn, Hambleton. Dave's predecessors descend from William Midgley b. 1731/2 and Mary Wilson, William Midgley of Burn b. 1774 and Elizabeth Jackson d. 1802 to John Midgley b. 1792 at Brayton and  his wife Hannah Haggitt of Ottringhan, Holderness, East Yorkshire, they had ten children.

Download a zipped gedcom file of the Midgleys of the Selby area  that includes Midgley of Burn, Brayton, Thorpe Willoughby, Hambleton, Copmanthorpe, Elvington, Colton, Ottringham, Acaster Malbis, Acaster Selby, Wistow, Colton, Huntington, York &c. with links to Midgley of Normanton, Cawthorne, Castleford and also Midgley of Bolton, Lancashire, Palo Alto and Auburn California and Saskatchewan, Canada. This file links these various Midgley branches. [File updated 13th December 2010.] Many thanks go to Steven Midgley who has gathered many of these branches together from the records at the Borthwick Institute of the University of York

                                                     A broad outline of the families stemming from William Midgley and Elizabeth Fielder are as follows:

                                                                                        William Midgley ==========Elizabeth Fielder
                                                                                        Farmer of Brayton d. 1759
                                                                                                                            |  

                                                                    _______________________________________________________

                                                                    |                                                            |                                                |

                                                               Joseph==Susannah Cheesbrough          William===Elizabeth Jackson   Samuel ===Mary Stow

                                                                           |                                                              |                                               |

                   __________________________________________                    Midgley of Ottringham       _________________________________________________

                   |                                                                                   |                                                         |                                   |                                     |                       |

       William Walter==Sarah Peace                                           David==Elizabeth Crowther                    William==Elizabeth    Samuel==Hannah             David                Elijah

                               |                                                                          |                                                                    Hanbey                     Atkins

  _______________________________________               Midgley of Normanton

  |                          |                       |                          |               Ledston, and Auburn, California.                                                                 |

Benjamin       Joseph              William==Martha   Thomas====Elizabeth Hill                                   _____________________________________________________________

Waller                                    Waller                    Farmer of     Kinswoman of                                |                                     |                                          |                                         |

Midgley                                  Midgley                 Cawthorne    Sir Rowland Hill                        William==Mary Wood    Joseph== Ann Haddington  Thomas==Mary Haw        Samuel

Publican of                     1st curator of Bolton                      |                                                                  |

Castleford                      Museum, Lancashire          Midgley of Cawthorne                                                Midgley of Elvington                             |

                                                                                                                                                                                   __________________________

                                                                                                                                                                                   |                                                   |

                                                                                                                                                                              Thomas Midgley                           George Midgley

                                                                                                                                                                              Farmer of Colton, Yks.            Emigrated to Canada


A more recent marriage: James Croft to Anne Midgley at Selby September 1967

Hull Archives contain the following court rolls.

SELBY CUM MEMBRIS (The earlier court rolls cover the parishes of Brayton, Hambleton, Hillam, Monk Frystone, Selby and Thorpe Willoughby. Later the practice appears to have been to hold separate courts in the outlying parishes and to treat them as separate manors. Court rolls and other records for these 'manors' appear under the following headings:- Brayton, Brayton and Thorpe Willoughby, Hambleton, Hillam, Monk Frystone, Monk Frystone and Hillam, and Thorpe Willoughby) (West Riding)

Reference: DDLO/21 and DDLO(2)/10/1-14
Court rolls (181): 1322-1366, 1328-1329, 1342, 1346, 1349, 1358, 1359,1364-1368, 1380, 1383, 1388-1391, 1395-1400, 1415-1416, 1418-1419, 1422-1424, 1434, 1447-1448, 1464-1465, 1467-1468, 1471-1518, 1521-1524, 1527-1537, 1540-1562, 1564, 1567-1569, 1582, 1584, 1586-1588, 1593, 1595-1596, 1598-1599, 1605-1609, 1611, 1614-1615, 1620, 1625-1628, 1630, 1673-1950
Pains (3): (circa 1540), 1669, 1682
Rent account: 1515
Court book recording surrenders and admissions: 1598-1671
List of presentments, jurors and tenants: 1590
'Alterations founde by the Jury (Alienations in Selby): April 1668
Account of fines due: (circa 1812)
List of admissions: 1816-1843

BRAYTON See also SELBY cum MEMBRIS, which originally comprehended Brayton, and also see BRAYTON AND THORPE WILLOUGHBY (West Riding)

Reference: DDLO/1 and DDLO(2)/1
Court rolls (15): 1485-1486, 1512, 1515, 1516, 1517, 1520, 1521, circa 1525, 1541, 1542, 1547, 1548, 1550, 1901-35
Lists of pains (3): 1638
Files of verdicts (2): 1815-1852
Verdicts (57): 1853-1913
Files of extracts from Court rolls (2): 1865-1890
Precept for holding court: May 1864
Notice of holding court: December 1892


BRAYTON AND THORPE WILLOUGHBY See also SELBY cum MEMBRIS, which originally comprehended Brayton and Thorpe Willoughby, and also see BRAYTON, and THORPE WILLOUGHBY (West Riding)

Reference: DDLO/2
Court rolls (27): 1440-1445, 1446-1463, 1447-1449, 1454-1456, 1458, 1461-1466, 1465, 1466-1470, 1471-1472, 1473-1476, 1477, 1477-1479, 1479-1485, 1493, 1494-1497, 1497, 1497-1499, 1503, 1506, 1508, 1511, 1512, 1513, 1519, 1544, 1604, 1615

Jury lists (2): (circa 1816), 1823


THORPE WILLOUGHBY See also SELBY cum MEMBRIS, which originally comprehended Thorpe Willoughby, and also see BRAYTON and THORPE WILLOUGHBY

Reference: DDLO/25 and DDLO(2)/11/13
Court rolls (39): 1449/50, 1473, 1511, 1515, 1518, 1520-1521, 1524, 1528-1537, 1545-1551, 1609, 1933-1950
File of jury verdicts: 1815-1846
Jury verdicts (61): 1721, 1847-1913
Estreat of fines: April 1658
Files of extracts from court rolls (2): 1864-1890
Notice of holding court: December 1892


REGISTRATION DISTRICTS IN YORKSHIRE WEST RIDING

Selby
Created 1st July 1837. Mainly in West Riding, but also included parts of East Riding.
Sub-districts : Carlton; Riccall; Selby; Snaith
GRO volumes : XXIII (1837-51); 9c (1852-1930).
Barlow, Biggin (from 1869), Brayton, Burn, Camblesforth, Carlton, Cawood, Drax, Gateforth, Haddlesey Chapel, Hambleton, Hirst Courtney, Little Fenton (from 1869), Long Drax (Langrick), Newland, Ryther cum Ossendyke (1837-69), Selby, Temple Hirst, Thorpe Willoughby, West Haddlesey, Wistow.
Registers now in North Yorkshire and York districts.

Return to Main Page                               Next  page


Sources/References/Links:
  1. Mills A.D., Dictionary of English Place-names, O.U.P.
  2. International Genealogical Index-on-line search.
  3. I.G.I. 1994 CD-ROM version
  4. Parish records held at the Borthwick Institute, University of York.
  5. Christopher Saxton's map of Yorkshire, 1579.
  6.Willdey's map of Great Britain, 1715.
  7. L.D.S. 1881 census on CD-ROM.
  8. Burton John, Monasticon Eboracense, London, 1758 p.395.
  9. Baines, Thomas, Yorkshire Past and Present.
10. Dobson, R.B. prof. Selby Abbey and Town. Selby Abbey Trust. Rev. Ed. 1993. p.23.
11. Farrer, Henry. Selby Abbey. 1989. p.9.
12. V.C.H. for Hemingborough


©  Tim Midgley, 2000 revised 26th March 2014.