Heraldic arms of Thornhill
According to W.P. Baildon [Baildon History, p. 28-9.], the Thornhills cut their fess in half and and made two bars, at a later date these were divided forming two bars gemelle to which some branches added a chief.
Thornhill boasts a runic inscription known as the Thornhill Runes which attests to the pre-Christian culture of the Anglo-Danish settlers.
Ancient rune stones, a miracle and a rich tapestry of wealthy land owning Yorkshire families set against the background of early English history.
There were at least five persons called Gamall in Yorkshire at the time of the Domesday Book (1086). One of these Gamall's often appears in D.B. as a land holder in the Calder Valley before and after the Conquest. The Thornhills may have descended from this Gamall. Later in the 1300's the descendants of this family held the manors of Thornhill and Sitlington with 'Little Midgley'. The Arms of Midgley and Thornhill are very similar in their early form only differing in their tinctures.7 This family were tenants of the De Lacis of Pontefract and are probably linked genetically through Peter de Birkin a.k.a. FitzEssulf or 'Petri de Migelaya' etc.
^ Probably the holder of the manor of Sitlington at the time of the Domesday Book, 1086 where 6 bovates or about 90 acres had been under cultivation but at the time, like much of the North,Sitlington had been wasted in 1069 by William the Conqueror in what came to be known as the great 'Harrowing of the North'.
Another well known Gamall was a Yorkshire magnate of the time of earl Tostig [1055-1065] who was killed by the earl in 1064. The editors of the Yorkshire Domesday Book published by Philimore, basing their notes on work by Skaife, say that this Gamall was the son of Ormr and that it is this Gamall's inscription that still exists on the sundial at St. Gregory’s Church, Kirkdale, North Yorkshire. Ormr is known from the inscription on the Kirkdale sundial where his estate lay. As lord of Welbure both Ormr and Gamelbar appear in the D.B.
The Gamall found in the Calder Valley had two sons, Leising or Leisingus [had two sons, Hugh and Henry de Eland] and Ulf, b. abt. 1075. All these names are particularly Norse or Danish, which indicates their hold over the Anglian lands after the Danes settled to farming. Leisingus managed the Elland estates for Ilbert de Laci of Pontefract and held the manor of Rochdale but resided at Elland Hall, Elland. We do not know of Ulf's wife but Ulf had a son Essulf. The de Thornhills are the descendants of Essulf who appear to have retained their lands from the Norman conquerors. Perhaps this was done by intermarriage with Norman wives.
Essulf [i.e. ?FitzUlf] was born ~1100 and died after 1189. Some genealogists have him married possibly to Maud de Bailey. He was of Norse/Danish descent, living in the reigns of Henry I and King Stephen. Essulf had at least 8 sons13 who took their second name from their place of ownership and principal residence. In 1100 a law was passed, essentially to assist with taxation in England, that every person must have a second name. Here the toponymically derived names from the ownership of estates at Thornhill, Birkin and Tong are given for Essulf. The manor of Shelf, north-east of Halifax was granted to Essulf a predecessor of the Thornhill's of Thornhill. This grant occurred after the 2nd earl Warrene's [William Placetis, d. 1138] tenure of the manor of Wakefield who had previously been granted the manor of Shelf. In 1316 Shelf ('Shef') was held by 'Johannes de Schorell' who was probably John de Thornhill. [Nomina Villarum, 1867, p.361.]
Adam de Everingham was granted free warren in Shelf between 1298 and 1314 [Watson p. 115.] and gained some Thornhill lands by marriage of an ancestor to Isabel de Birkin for in the survey of the manor of Wakefield in 1314 Everingham is also described as lord of the vill of Midgley. [Watson, p. 141; Crabtree, History of Halifax, pp. 193-4]. In 1303 [31 Ed I ] he possessed land in Flockton:
Floketon. De Ada de Everingham. pro di. car. terrae in Floketon (sic). unde, ut supra, xxd.
[Aid Granted to King Edward I in Kirkby's Inquest]
At the same time John de Herly held lands in the manor of Sitlington:
Schittelingtone. De Johanne He[rly], [Cor]onatore, pro di car. terrae, Schittelington, unde, ut supra, xxd. [Ibid]
He held Sitlington in 1316 as 'Chylington' [N.v.] However, Adam de Everingham forfeited his lands and other privileges in 1322 for being a retainer of earl Thomas who had rebelled at Boroughbridge against King Edward II after which, Shelf was then granted to a supporter of Edward II, [Sir] William de Miggeley who probably held lands at Midgley in the manor of Sitlington near Wakefield. William was related to Adam through a common ancestor, Peter de Birkin, a.k.a Midgley &c. [see below]
Some of the children of Essulf [Asolf,
Asulph Asculf, Asculph, Eisulf, Eisulf, Heisulf de
Thornhill, Sitlington, Birkin and
Tong. Almost all of Asulf's sons bore
bars or fesses in their heraldic arms. [History of the
Baildons. p. 17.] The order is produced
from land charters by
Richard Holmes in his Pontefract Chartulary of 1901:
1. Peter de Birkin b. ~1110 He is referred to as ' Petri de Migelaya' in the Chartulary of St. John of Pontefract although this may be an error.16 However, he did hold 'Little Midgley' near Wakefield and also Sitlington, the latter through his mother [who could thus conceivably be 'de Sitlington']. In addition [Ibid.] Peter was the eldest son of Essulf [W.P. Baildon. Baildon History. p. 33.] and was probably a half brother to Essulf's other sons who were of a second or third marriage. In his heraldic arms Peter bore a fess and a label. His son the 'Great Adam' FitzPeter was also called after the lands he held viz: Adam de Birkin, de Falthwaite, de Flockton, de Midgley, de Middleton, de Shitlington de Stainborough, etc. although principally de Birkin, his line led to the Birkins of Birkin, Yorkshire. One of Peter's other sons, Thomas, was the progenitor of the Ledes family of Leeds. Thus at this time second names had not become fully standardised. Multiple toponymics and aliases for land holders were offered in isolation and derived from the particular geographic location of the estates or public offices held by that individual.Peter held a moiety in Flockton with a man called Saxe of Horbury (who also held lands at Midgley and Sitlington [Pont. Chart. vol 2, p. 483.] Saxe is described as 'a parallel personage' to Assulf and son Peter. One of Saxe's grandsons was a Thomas of Midgley son of Matthew of Flockton and Sitlington and his wife Amabel. Thomas had two sons, the eldest being Sir Ralph de Horbury whose son was Sir John de Horbury, both being stewards for the earls of Warrene. However, despite possessing lands in 'Little Midgley' this branch of the Horbury family of Saxe is unlikely to have led to those calling themselves Midgley because the Horbury heraldic arms are completely different [Argent a bend sable three towers of the first] The more likely evolution is as descendants of either Peter de Birkin [a.k.a. Petri de Migelaya, Peter FitzEssulf &c.] or his half-brother Sir Jordan de Thornhill sometime during the 1100's.
The De Birkin / De Midgley connection
Peter de Birkin+===Emma Lascelles
| | | | | |
Adam FitzPeter de Birkin^===Maud de Cauz Thomas Peter John Roger William
heiress of Laxton & Shelford Notts. of Leeds Extinct line of Burton Salmon
| | | | |
Robert de Birkin* a.k. a. de Midgley Peter John William Isabel heiress of Birkin, Laxton etc.
Extinct line married Sir Robert de Everingham
+ Also called : Peter de Leeds, Peter de Midgley, and Peter de Birkin ; the first name from Gipton which is in Leeds, the second from Little Midgley in Sitlington, and and third from Birkin, each of which appears to have belonged to his son Adam, if not to himself. [Pont. Chart p. 396.]
^ Was called or called himself: Adam de Birkin, de Falthwaite, de Flockton, de Middleton, de Midgley, de Sitlington, de Stainborough, etc. for he had interests in all those places, most of which he had received with his wife. [Pont. Chat p. 396.] Before 1182 'Adam son of Peter gave to the church of Rievaulx all the mines and territory of Sitlington and of the territory of Flockton and all the dead wood of the same towns.' Witness: Alexander, abbot of Kirkstall. (d. 1182)
* Held 'Little Midgley' nr. Wakefield. Robert de Birkin inherited lands in Midgley [Holmes, Richard. The Chartulary of St. John of Pontefract. Vol. II, Y.A.S. Record Series, vol. xxx, 1901, pp. 602-3.] Robert also witnessed grants to Rievaulx Abbey in Midgley for rights to extract mineral resources [iron/ coal]. Robert later became known as Robert de Midgley. [Ibid. p. 397.] Robert's sister Isabel married into the Everinghams and carried the bulk of the De Birkin and Lexinton estates with her to this family. Isabel also carried a carucate in 'Little Midgley' to her husband. A reference to Isabel and Robert de Everingham having land in 'Miggelay' is mentioned in the Close Rolls of Henry III's reign:
'Mandatum est justiciariis Hybernie quod in loquela que est coram eis inter W. comitem Warrenn', petentem, et Ricardum de [. . .], tenentem, de j. carucata terre in Miggelay [incorrectly stated to be Midgley in Halifax] unde idem Ricardus vocavit ad [warantum] Robertum de Everingeham et Isabellam uxorem ejus, procedant secundum legem et consuetudinem regni Anglie ad judicium inde reddendum ad diem videlicet quem. [. . . .]' 18
2. Sir Jordan de Thornhill [Fitz-Essulf] of Sitlington and Flockton. Jordan was born ~1123 at Sitlington and died after 25th January 1194. He is sometimes known by the following names, Jordan de Sitlington or Jordan de Flockton, presumably gaining Thornhill later as Jordan de Thornhill. He seems to have married twice although the name of the first wife is unknown. He appears to have married again about 1148 to [some say] Ethelreda [?de Midgley+ a possible heiress of lands in Sowerbyshire.15 Perhaps it was from her that the hamlet and sub-manor of Sitlington was named in the 1100's. According to to the V.C.H. for Lancashire it is an error to state [as found in Alfred S. Ellis, Dodsworth's Yorkshire Notes (Agbrigg), Yorkshire Archaeological and Topographical Journal, 1884, vol. VIII, p. 487 and the Pontefract Chartulary vol. I chart 23] that this Jordan de Thornhill married the daughter of a Richard FitzRoger of Lancashire.17 According to the V.C.H. the FitzRoger daughter [Quenilda] was married to one of Jordan Fitz-Essulf's sons Jordan de Thornhill not Jordan Fitz-Essulf. After examining related families, we have to agree with this. It appears after Jordan's death Quenilda* married secondly, Roger Gernet of Halton, chief forester of Lancaster. * Also Quenilda daughter of Richard FitzRoger should not be confused with Quenilda de Kirkdale, daughter of Roger de Kirkdale [d. 1201] who passed the lands in Formby to Jordan and Quenilda before their marriage. [See VCH Kirkdale and Farrers note 2, pp. 564-5, Chartulary of Cockersand Abbey]
Jordan is definitely not the same person as Jordan de Stansfield who married Towneley as suggested by the Stansfield genealogist, both men held lands at Stansfield at [very] different times. In the History of the Stansfields, which contains very few citations, Jordan de Stansfield is claimed to have married a daughter of 'Sir John Townley of Townley, co. Lancaster.' If correct, this is probably the alias of John de la Legh who married Cecilia de Towneley, sole heiress of Towneley about 1295. Thus it appears that the Stansfield genealogist has placed his 'Jordan son of Wyan Maryons' far too early [as he recognises in his History of the Stansfeld Family, p. 105.] Wyan is said to have come to England with the Conqueror as a follower of William de Warrene, later 1st earl Warrene & Surrey and lord of Wakefeield &c. In fact on p. 269 the Stansfield author presents the Latin text for the Worsthorne grant to Oliver de Stansfield by Henry de Lacy [7th April 1292] which mentions both Cecilia, John de la Legh and Cecilia's sister Agnes. Jordan Fitz-Essulf held lands in Ovenden, Skircoat, Rishworth, Norland, Barkisland etc. [Watson's Halifax p. 189; Baildon History,. p. 27.] and evidently Shelf, Rawtenstall, Hunsworth, Wadsworth, Sowerby and Stansfield.* The townships in which many of his western lands lay, partly surrounded the townships of Midgley [nr. Halifax] and Sowerby, around which lay the forest of Sowerby, both Stansfield and Skircoat being described as being within the forest. In 1169 his inheritance in Sowerbyshire [forest of Hardwick] was confirmed by Hamelin Plantagenet earl of Warrene & lord of Wakefield [Ibid.] However, there is no evidence that these were paternal inheritances, and as such it has been suggested by Baildon that these were instead inherited through Jordan's wife [2nd or 3rd]. At the same time of this confirmation Jordan granted a quarter of his lands in Sowerbyshire and lands in Stansfield and Rawtenstall to his younger brother Elias whilst (according to Watson) Warrene retained Sowerby. According to Watson, Skircoat as part of Sowerbyshire was later held by the Warrenes in 27 Hen. III [~1243] and at Kirkby's Inquest . Jordan was constable of Wakefield14 between 1174 and 1178 i.e. at Sandal Castle whilst his younger brother Thomas 'Pincerna' was the steward of the monks at St. John's, Pontefract. Jordan led to the line of Thornhills of Thornhill. As we will see he and his family are associated with a claimed 'miracle' which is commemorated in a stained-glass window in Canterbury Cathedral.
* Note: Stansfield [D.B. Stanesfelt] is not a village or hamlet, it is an area in West Yorkshire called a township which lay within an extinct administrative unit called Sowerbyshire. The present Stansfield Hall is located 400 metres N.E. of Todmorden railway station on Stansfield Hall Road. This is probably the site of the original manor house. The place-name Todmorden does not appear in records until 1246.
+ N.B. This is interpolated from the evidence that in the 1100's Midgley ['Migelaia'µ] was one of the five hamlets & sub-manors of the manor Sitlington held by Essulf along with the hamlets of Middle- Nether- and Over-Sitlington [Now Middlestown, Netherton and Overton respectively]. Ethelreda's father may have been a land holder at Midgley [Miclei in D.B.] near Halifax and/or a tenant of Essulf at 'Migelaia' near Wakefield. Thus the genealogy may help to explain the similarity of arms held by the Thornhill and Midgley families, the Midgley arms following the style of the Thornhill arms. Heraldic arms began to appear during Henry I's reign [1100-1135] and particularly between 1125 and 1150 [Henry Bedingfield. Heraldry. p. 12.] Thus Jordan [a good friend of the archbishop of Canterbury, Thomas a' Beckett^] and Jordan's possible tenant of Midgley near Wakefield probably had their arms devised about this time. Jordan's brother Peter is stated to have carried heraldic arms of a fess and a label which if Peter was the eldest son of Essulf would have been a three pointed label. Geoffrey Plantagenet, Count of Anjou and Maine who married Henry I of England's daughter Matilda, had a coat of arms shown on the shield of his tomb plate after his death in 1151. As in more recent times it was not unusual to follow the fashionable example set by the royal line. Geoffrey of Anjou's illegitimate son, Hamelin Plantagenet of Conisbrough, brother of Henry II, married Isabel de Warrene daughter of William de Warrene, lord of the manor of Wakefield. Interestingly, Jordan was in favour with Hamelin, who assumed the earldom of Warrene upon his marriage to Isabel de Warrene, daughter of William de Warrene 3rd earl and Adela Talvas. [History of the Baildons. p.27.] Ethelreda is an English name of Anglian origin c.f. the East Anglian princess Ethelreda of the 600's. The Ockham's Razor solution is that the sons and grandsons of Essulf took the names of the places which they inherited and resided in, as we see above with Peter's son, Adam FitzPeter.
µ The place-name Migelaia appears in the 1100's for the hamlet of Midgley near Wakefield. [ Pontefract Chartulary, vol. II, 1901, p. 426; Yorks. Charter Rolls 1160- 1175 ; A.D. Mills 1991, p. 229.]
^ Jordan is depicted with Beckett in a stained-glass window at Canterbury Cathedral [see below]
4. William 'The Baker', also known as 'The Almoner', 'The Dispensator', de Whitwood or de Mara.
5. Elias/Eli ['Helie'] de Thornhill b. 1124, d. 1195
7. Thomas FitzAsulf, the steward [seneschal] of the monks [of St. John's Pontefract], dapifer, Thoma filio Edulf, Thomas Pincerna, Thomas de Monte, Thomas de Monkhill. b. aft. 1165 d. 1190 had one child William who married Agnes______ they had two children, Margery & Elizabeth. His various alias's show that he was a steward for the monks of St. John's priory, at Monkhill, Pontefract..
8. Richard de Tong b. ca.1125. He inherited Tong from his father. In 1190 his son Richard participated in the massacre of Jews at York. [Baildon History, p. 26.] Richard's daughter Maude de Tong married Stephen Hibernicus. Richard's line led to the Tong family of Tong.
A MIRACLE AT THORNHILL DEPICTED IN CANTERBURY CATHEDRAL
W.P. Baildon. Baildon History, p. 28-9:
"The most notable episode in Jordan's life is his connection to St. Thomas a' Beckett narrated by two monks of Canterbury, William and Benedict, who were contemporaries of the murdered Archbishop; their collected accounts of the miracles are said to have been made within a few years of the murder, and the incidents are therefore probably not later than 1180. The story is given in the notes to Dean Stanley's Historical Memorials of Canterbury, with some omissions and one important misprint; the following is in the main the Dean's translation, with some corrections and additions from the Latin text.
William the Monk begins his tale thus:
There came to Canterbury a knight, Jordan son of Heisulf, of the town which is called by the name of Broken Bridge (nomine Fracti Pontis, i.e. Pontefract), with his wife, and a son about ten years old, who was, as he asserted, being dead, restored to life by the Blessed Martyr Thomas.
Benedict omits the important reference to Pontefract, and begins:
The hand of the Lord was heavy on a knight of great name, Jordan son of Eisulf, and smote his household with disaster from the time of August unto the Easter days. Many were sorely sick in his house, and there was no one who could help. The nurse of his son William, surnamed Brito [cognomine Britonis], (Baildon's footnote: I cannot explain this name; possibly William had been born in Brittany, and was jestingly nicknamed "the Breton." A William Brito was dapifer or house-steward to Pontefract Priory about 1190-95, which office had previously been held by Thomas FitzEssulf — Pontefract Chartulary, p. 528; Thoresby Soc., vol. 9, p. 35. (FURTHER NOTE: BAILDON HAS MUDDLED THE OWNER OF THIS NAME, 'BRITO' IS THE NAME OF THE NURSE, possibly from nearby West Bretton, the town of the Britons.) died of a violent disease [morbo acuta], and was buried. Then the son himself died. Mass was said — the body laid out — the parents were in hopeless grief. It so happened that there arrived that day a band of twenty pilgrims from Canterbury whom Jordan hospitably lodged for love of the Martyr. When the priest came to bear the corpse to the church for burial, the father cried "By no means shall my son be carried forth, since my heart assures me that the Martyr Thomas is unwilling that I should lose him; for I was his man while he was in the body, and his familiar friend."
From the pilgrims he borrowed some water in which a drop of the Saint's blood had been mixed, and bade the priest pour it into the boy's mouth. This was done without effect. The father still delayed the burial, and the priest, while admiring his faith, thought him mad, as the boy had now been dead two days. Jordan then himself uncovered the body, raised the head, forced open the teeth with a knife, and poured in some of the water. A small sign of red showed itself on the boy's left cheek. A third draught was poured down his throat. The boy then opened one eye, and said, "Why are you weeping, father? Why are you crying, lady.'' Be not sad; behold the Blessed Martyr Thomas has restored me to you." He was then speechless till evening. The father put into his hands four pieces of silver, promising that the boy should offer them to the Martyr at Mid- Lent, and the parents sat and watched him. At evening he sat up, ate, talked, and was restored well to his parents.
But the performance of the vow was neglected and delayed. And so St. Thomas appeared to a leper, Gimpe, by name, in his sleep, who lived on the knight's estate, about three miles from his house, and said "Gimpe, art thou asleep?" The leper said "I was, until you awoke me. Who art thou.?" "I am Thomas, Archbishop of Canterbury; knowest thou Jordan, the son of Eisulf.?" And Gimpe replied "Very well, lord, as the best of men, who has done many good things to me." He was then ordered to go and warn Jordan of the evils that would befall him unless he instantly fulfilled his vow. The leper did nothing. The Saint appeared a second time, and ordered the leper to send for his priest, who refused to convey so idle a tale to a great and powerful man. St. Thomas appeared a third time, and ordered the leper to send his daughter for the knight and his wife. They came, heard, wondered, and fixed the last week in Lent for the performance of the vow.
But it so fell that the Earl Warenne, [Hamelin Plantagenet] the knight's lord, in whose name alone the aforesaid knight possessed his property [cujus nomine res soli miles praetaxatus Dossidebat]," came to that place, and prevented them from setting out on their pilgrimage; thus they did not keep their vow.
On the last day of the last week, namely, on Holy Saturday before the day of our Lord's Resurrection, the Lord smote with a violent disease another son of the knight's, a little older, and more beloved than the one resuscitated, because his father's race was shown more perfectly in his features.
On the morrow the parents themselves were taken ill and confined to bed, and were despaired of. And the disease took hold of the boy, and he slept in death on the seventh day, on the sixth day [feria] of Easter Week. Twenty of the knight's household were also sick.
Then the knight and his wife determined at all hazard to accomplish their vow. By a violent effort — aided by the sacred water — they set off; the servants by a like exertion dragging themselves to the gate to see them depart. The lady fell into a swoon seven times from the fatigue of the first day, and was in despair at the long journey [from Thornhill to Canterbury!]; but her husband said "Alive or dead she shall be brought to Canterbury." When she saw the pinnacle of the Temple of Canterbury, she dismounted from her horse, and with her husband and son, barefoot, walked the remaining three miles to the Martyr's sepulchre, [the shrine was not erected until at least 1220] and then the vow was discharged.
Benedict adds that he received this story in a letter from the priest [at Thornhill?], who stated that the boy was undoubtedly dead and brought to life again."
The genealogy and land inheritance also helps to explain why a descendant of the master forester of the forest of Sherwood, Adam de Everingham of Laxton, Notts. [d. 1280] was later a land holder at Sitlington. Peter de Birkin's [a.k.a. 'Peter de Migelaya'] son Adam married Matilda de Cauz, Lady of Laxton, Notts. [her first husband]. Their daughter Isabel de Birkin married Sir Robert de Everingham master forester of Sherwood and their son was Adam de Everingham. Adam's son was Robert de Everingham, also master forester of Sherwood. With Alice de la Hyde this Robert had two sons, Robert and Adam. In 1302-3 this Adam held a carucate in Sitlington and a half carucate in Flockton [Early Yorkshire Charters, Charles Travis, 1949, p.210.] In 1316 he is shown to hold 'Chylington' [Sitlington] and in 1326 is shown to have held Middle Sitlington [Now Middlestown]. In Laxton Church, Notts. there are 6 effigies two effigies being female dating from about 1335. these two efiigies are found beside a knight effigy that represents Adam who held the land in Sitlington. The two female effigies are of his first wife, Clarice Tibetot or la Warre, the other being Margery, widow of John Deiville of Cundall. Margery's effigy is carved from Sherwood oak.
< The effigy of Sir Adam de Everingham [d.1341] with his first wife Clarice de la Warre on his left and the wooden effigy of Margery de Ledes on his right.
Children of Jordan de Thornhill and Ethelrida
[Those children in red are
Children of Richard de Thornhill and Alice :
The children of Sir John de Thornhill and
1. Sir John Thornhill b.1260 Thornhill, d.1322.
John is known from the Nomina Villarum of 1316 to have held East Bierley
and also the manor of Shelf before
Sir William de Miggeley. [N.V. 1867, p.
361.] According to https://www.bretton.org/documents/The%20Bretton%20-%20Wentworth%20Tree.doc
he died in Austria-Hungary, fighting the Islamic Turks of The Ottoman
Empire. However, his recorded presence in England in 1321 and 1322 suggests
that he may have died soon after the Battle of Boroughbridge [17th March 1322]. He was married in 1310 at Thornhill to Beatrice Taboner/ Talboner
b. ca. 1270, they
had six children, she died after 1327 in Austria-Hungary at the
beginning of Edward III's reign. She was certainly dead by 1329 when her
dower in Wadsworth was enfeoffed by her brother-in-law
Brian de Thornhill rector of Bedale to John de Methley
his brother-in-law. In 1327 there was also a crusade
planned by the Knights Hospitallers against the Cathars in Hungary.
John was a Knight of Rhodes or a Hospitaller. Also at this time during Edward II's reign
[1307-1327] the Thornhills married into the Babthorpes.
In the C.P.R. there is also made mention of a John de
Methley [Metheleye / Metheleye] of Thornhill who held the
manor of Methley. This John de Methley was a
brother-in-law to John de Thornhill after he married
Cecily de Thornhill in abt. 1320, William's sister. John
de Methley was pardoned in 1313 for his part in the death
of Piers Gaveston, and later whilst the king was visiting
the manors of the defeated rebels, John was
described as a 'king's yeoman' pardoned on the 8th June
1323 for being involved in Lancaster's rebellion.9
In 1326 John de Methley was pardoned for acquiring in fee from Adam de
Everyngham of Laxton the manor of Middle Sitlington [Middlestown],
'held in chief as of the honour of Pontefract, and entering therein without licence; with restitution of the same.22
Adam de Everingham is related back to a common ancestor,
Adam FitzPeter, grandson of Essulf, with Sir William de
Miggeley, a contemporary.
There is a also 'Richard de Thornhille'/Thornhill, possibly kindred
to John, who was pardoned at Westminster Hall in 1313 for his
part in the death of Piers Gaveston and at York in 1318 for being an
adherent of earl Thomas of Lancaster. If this man was a relation of John
de Thornhill's, then like a number of northern families at this time,
they were divided over their loyalties between earl Thomas and Edward
2. Cecily Thornhill b. ca 1281 married firstly John
de Methley and secondly in 1301/4, Henry de Methley.
3. Theobolt Thornhill [Theobold] b. 1285, Thornhill. married __________.
They had a child, Thomas Thornhill b. 1312, Thornhill d. 1339 who married Margaret Lacy
of Cromwell Bottom probably distantly related to the de
Lacy's of Pontefract. They had a son Richard.
Children of Sir John Thornhill and Beatrice Taboner [Talboner]:
The children of Sir Brian Thornhill and Joan FitzWilliam
[or Eland] :
Thomas Thornhill son of Theobolt Thornhill :
In a part of Elland Chapel belonging to Saville and Thornhill appear William kneeling at prayer in armour. His upper garment is alternately red and white. Behind him in the same posture is his wife, Elizabeth (Mirfield) her garment the same. In two places there are arms of two bars gemells, argent (see arms below).
Under these effigies:
"Orate pro prosperitate WILLELMI THONHILL ET ELIZABET. uxoria ejus et JOHANNES THORNHILL fili et hereditus eorundem, et JHNAE uxorissuae et prosperitate NICHI..... et AGNETIS consortia suae filiorum et filiarum eorundem, ac omnium, Benefactorum suorum" 12
Another variant of the Thornhill coat of Arms:
The children of John Thornhill and Janet Savile
1. Bryan b. 1528 d. aft. 1567
Much later in the early 1800's Thomas Thornhill is described as the absentee landlord of Fixby5
During the 1881 census a Midgley family was living at Fixby. [Fixby Hall is now a golf club]
Joyce Moore has begun research
through her Thornhill line. Joyce is descended from the Ellands,
the Lacys of Cromwellbottom as well as Isabel de Lacy and Thomas,
her husband, etc. Joyce your email address is out of date please update
as someone wishes to contact you re Thornhill.
10. Collectanea, p. 73.
11. C.P.R., 1321-1324, p. 58.
12. A Concise History of the Parish of Halifax. p. 435.
14. Ibid. p. 22.
15. Ibid. pp 28, 32. i.e. A "claim in 1526-7 was put in evidence, when a verdict was given for Henry Saville, the then defendant. He had produced old Court Rolls to prove his title, and also "shewed an ancient deed under seal, without date [of 1169] , declaring that Hamelyn, Earl Warren, owner of the lordship of Wakefield, had granted to Jordan son of Askolf, ancestor to the defendant, his inheritance in Sowerbyshire." [Ovenden, Skircoat, Rishworth, Norland, Barkisland etc.]
"The only difficulty here is that earl Hamelyn speaks of "confirming his [Jordan's] inheritance.......... A possible explanation would be that the Sowerbyshire estates came to Jordan's wife, somewhat late and unexpectedly, on the death of her brother or other male heir of her father; the confirmation by the Earl might then have been a re-grant on a surrender, with a life estate to Jordan himself and the remainder to the heirs of his body." [Additionally we know later inb1274 that a John de Miggeley who resided at Havershelf near Sowerby was recorded as the forester of the forest of Sowerby [Wakefield Court Rolls.1274-1297] and a Henry de Miggeley son of Addam is mentioned in 1276 as having leased land in Ovenden from Sir John de Soothill.
CCCXXIII. Carta Ade filii Petri de Migelaya. [Charter of Adam son of Peter de Midgley a.k.a. Adam FitzPeter, i.e. the son of Peter de Birkin a. k. a. Peter FitzEssulf]
[ .... I, Adam fitz Peter, have confirmed .... a bovate of land in Midgley, that is to say the eighth part of all Midgley, ... for the healing of my soul, ....and for the souls of all who have sinned through my occasion, Robert, my son, witnessing and granting. Witnesses.]
Omnibus fidelibus sancte ecclesie filiis Adam filius Petri salutem. Sciatis me dedisse et concessisse et hac presenti mea carta confirmasse deo et sancto Johanni et monachis deo servientibus in Pontefracto imam bovatam terre in Migelaia, [This manor is "Little Midgley" in Shitlington, not Midgley near Halifax.] scilicet octavam partem totius Migelie, [sic] in bosco et piano, in paschuis et pratis, in viis et semitis, in molendinis, et cum omnibus pertinentiis suis, in puram et perpetuam elemosinam, liberam et quietam ab omni servitio et seculari exactione de me et de heredibus meis, pro remedio anime mee et patris mei et matris mee et uxoris mee Matildis et omnium antecessorum et heredum meorum et pro animabus omnium qui [See No. 320. There is a similar clause in a charter R 345 of this same Adam to Rievaux, "qui propter me vel per me peccaverunt.] causa mei peccaverint. Testante et concedente, Roberto filio meo, et testibus hiis, Thoma filio Petri [of Leeds, Adam's brother] Willelmo Campiun, Rainero Flamingo [Reyner le Fleming], Petro filio Ade [Peter son of Adam], Huctredo de Birkewait, Roberto de Stivetuna, Johanne de Rorestona, Ricardo filio Laising [Richard son of Leising], Rogero fratre suo, et aliis.
It is interesting here to see that Jordan's brother Peter is referred to as Petri de Migelaya [Peter de Midgley] indicating a probable genetic link between the early 'Thornhills', sons and grandsons of Essulf, and the early Midgleys.
18. Calendar of Close Rolls, Henry III: volume 4: 1237-1242 (1911), October 1238, p. 113.
19. Cal. Chart. Rolls. 1300-1326, p. 334.
20. Chartulary of Cockersand Abbey. vol II, Chetham Soc. 1900. pp. 564-565.
21. Hunter, J. The History and Topography of the Deanery of Doncaster. Vol II, 1828/1831, p. 241.
22. C.P.R., 22nd March 1326, p. 251.
23. Pedigree Chart from The Chartulary of St. John Pontefract, vol 1, 1907, p. 254.
The manor of Sitlington had four hamlets / sub-manors:
© Copyright Tim Midgley, March 2002, revised 10th August 2023.