Appendices to the Bretton Family History
The hard copy of the family history contains a number of appendices, some of which are family trees or charts which we found it difficult to copy with only our basic word processor skills. If we find it possible to add these to the web site we will do so. Otherwise they can be obtained by post from the address given on the web site for the cost of photocopying (and the inclusion of a stamped, self addressed flat foolscap size envelope
This consists of two charts taken from “The History of Monk Bretton Priory” and which is described in full on page 3 of the family history
Shows the pedigree of various Kings of England and the marriage of Margaret Neville, a direct descendant of Adam fitz Swein, to Thomas Beaufort, Duke of Exeter and Earl of Dorset, son of John O’ Gaunt and grandson of King Edward III
Parish of Silkston
This appendix to the Bretton family history contains details of the Manor of Bretton after it came into the possession of the Dronsfield family, one of whom was quoted in the family history as a change of name from “Bretton”. With the rise of the Dronsfield family, who married into the even more famous Wentworth family, and then into the Blacketts, the Beaumonts etc culminating in the present Lord Allandale, the fortunes of the Bretton family as the Lords of the Manor of Bretton (and much more besides) began to wain and they were left with only one or two hundred acres which were then sold in the 1600’s. At least they seemed to wain. The transition from “Bretton” to “Beaumont” is also chronicled in the history but it seems that there was also a transition in the name “Bretton” to “Dronsfield”. One might think that it is important to trace Beaumont family as well as the future of the Dronsfields from the first change charted in the history :-
Page 24 of the Bretton family history quotes the historian - Hunter - as follows in describing a transfer of land:-
John, son of Gilbert de Bretton to John de Dronsfield who is her called Dominus ------- de Bretton (Sir ----- de Bretton) a toft and croft in Littlemore, Edward de Dronfeld de Bretton a witness. Dom Hugh Bowler, in a letter to Rowland Bretton, on 2nd April, 1956 identified Edmund de Bretton as Edmund de Dronfeld de Bretton.
Whether this originated with a “Bretton” going to live at Dronfield, nr Sheffield, and taking the name “Dronfield” just as a “Bretton” took the name “Beaumont” in a different time we do not know. It is possible of course and equally possible that he moved back to Bretton and for a time used both names as above. Without any doubt there was an immediate transfer of land from the Brettons to the Dronsfields who then proceeded to achieve an eminence that even outstripped the rise of the Beaumonts - until the wheel eventually turned full circle and the Dronsfields, the Wentworths, the Blacketts, and the Beaumonts intermarried with their resulting prestige and wealth. Perhaps some future historian or researcher will be able to follow up the links - even if we don’t.
Our family were first mentioned in Flockton in the 1300’s and we have records of continuous occupation in Flockton since the late 1600’s/early 1700’s. My earliest recollections are of family living here in my boyhood and for quite a few years whilst compiling this family history we, Christine and I (and the two girls), lived in an old house in Flockton Green that is said to be the old Dower House to Flockton Manor. Whilst doing research in the archives of the Yorkshire Archeological Society we came across a deed granting the tenancy of this house in 1705 to an ancestor of ours. The indenture confirming this follows. The fields named in the indenture are still used today and surround the house. When we built our present house, in the grounds of “Greenhead”, we called it “Treeroyd” after the name of the adjoining field. We had, at one time a superb map of Flockton showing the name of every field in the village but, regretfully, we loaned it out and it has never been heard of since.
The old part of “Greenhead” dates from the 1600’s but part of it was pulled down and re-built in the 1860’s using stone from the old Flockton Church, which was itself pulled down in the 1860’s when a new church was built across the road. The entire stone surround to the front door was taken from the old church and, over the door is a carved wooden surround which consists of a shield and a bird. We have not been able to recognise that. Much of the stone from the church was used in the garden and we have several examples of excellent dressed stone that was lining pathways and is now incorporated into a feature wall in our “new”home. Most of the garden walls at Greenhead are also from the church.
So far as we can discover the house then belonged to Flockton Manor and was used as a Dower House (for a widow when her husband died and the estate, including the main house, then passed to the eldest son.) From deeds in our possession it was later occupied by the Estate Agent to Flockton Manor in the late 1800’s but, to us, the most interesting information was given to us by an old lady who arrived out of the blue with her daughter and son-in-law in about 1974. It was the first time she had been in the area for well over 50 years but she was born and lived in the house during her childhood in the first years of the 1900’s when her mother was caretaker. At that time it was used as a Shooting Lodge by the owner, the Duke of Newcastle. His sister was married to Sir John Lister-Kaye who lived in a large mansion a couple of miles away (now sadly demolished). At that time the house was two stories at one end (the old end) and the family, apart from the mother, were restricted to that part of the house. Only the mother could enter the “new” part which was used by the Duke (there were ten rooms in the “new” part. She gave us a photograph showing the house at that time (available in the hard copy history). Apparently the Duke used it very infrequently as it was so close to his sister’s house and eventually stopped using it and granted the tenancy to this lady and her mother and father. She was able to describe the house exactly, (it was a very unusual layout), before she even came inside and the layout was exactly the same as when they had lived there. She also told us that in those days the Rockwood Hunt used to meet there on Boxing Day to drink their stirrup cups. They still hunt from Flockton on Boxing Day (26th December) but now assemble on the road at the bottom of Manor Drive.
The following indenture was in poor condition and gaps have been left where it was unreadable, rather than guessing at words.
“This indenture, made the thirtieth day of January in the fourth year of the reign of our Sovereign Lady Queen Anne by the Grace of God Queen of England Scotland France and Ireland defender of the Faith and cAnno Domini 1705 between Sir William Hustler of Acklam in the County of York, Knight, William Osbaldeston of Hunmanby in the said county, Esq., and Sir Richard Osbaldeston of Hunmanby in the aforesaid county, Knight, on the one part and John Bretton of Flockton in the said county, Blacksmith, of the other party. Witnesseth that the said Sir William Hustler, William Osbaldeston and Sir Richard Osbaldeston in consideration of the yearly rents and covenants hereafter mentioned and witnessed by those present hath reserved and doth demise and grant to farm unto the said John Bretton his Executors Aministrators and Assignors all that mansion house commonly called Greenhead and all the houses edifices and buildings, orchards, gardens, foldsteads, tofts, crofts, lands, closes, commons, liberties, commodities, easements whatsoever to the same belonging or in any wise appertaining, situate, lying or being in Flockton aforesaid Late in the possession of Thomas Beatson except and also out of this present lease. All manner of trees and woods, now standing growing or being or which hereafter shall grow or shall be in or upon the same demised premises with full liberty if ingress and way and passage to and for the said William Hustler, William Osbaldeston and Sir Richard Osbaldeston their executors asignees, their workmen and servants at any time or times in the years to come in and upon the said demised premises and every or any part thereof to fell, cut down the said trees or woods and every or any of them and the same with cart and carriages to take, load, bear and drive away at his or their wills and pleasures. To have and to hold the said messuage and tenements closes of land and all and singular of the before mentioned premises and appurtenances (except before excepted) unto the said John Bretton his executors administrators and assignors from the second day of February next, coming after the date hereof until the full end and term of one and twenty years from thence next ensuing and fully to be completed and yielding and paying yearly and every year during the said term of one and twenty years unto the said Sir William Hustler, William Osbaldeston and Sir Richard Osbaldeston their heirs or assignors the yearly rent or sum of fifteen pounds ten shillings of good and lawful money of England at the feast of Pentecost, and St. Martin the Bishop in Winter, by equal portions and the said John Bretton doth for himself, his Executors, Administrators and assignors and of the covenant, promise and grant to and with the said Sir William Hustler, William Osbaldeston and Sir Richard Osbaldeston and their heirs or asignors to and with them by these present that he the said John Bretton, his Executors, Administrators and Assignors, or some other shall and will from time to time and at all times during the said term well and truly or cause to be paid unto the said Sir william Hustler, William Osbaldeston and Sir Richard Osbaldeston their heirs or assignors the said yearly rent of fifteen pounds ten shillings upon the several days and feasts whereupon the same is appointed pay as aforesaid. And also that the said John Bretton, his Executors, Administrators and Assignors or some of them shall and will at their own costs and charge shall and will from time to time and at all time when and hereafter and so oft as need shall require during the continuance of this demised and grant well and sufficiently repair, support and maintain, hedge, ditch, fence, and keep the said messuage and tenements, lande and singular, and all the before mentioned to be demised, premises and every or any part or parcel thereof with all manner of needful reparations, hedging, ditching, fencing, quick setting, scouring and amendment whatsoever (great timber only excepted) and the said mansion house and outhouses lands and singular before mentioned to be demised premises being so well and sufficiently repaired, maintained, upholden, and kept at ye end of the said term of one and twenty years or othersoever determination of this present lease shall and will quietly leave and yield up the same to Sir William Hustler, William Osbaldeston and Sir Richard osbaldeston their heirs and assignors. And also that it be lawful to and for the said Sir William H, W.O., and Sir R. O., their workmen or servants at al;l times during the said term and lease to come into and upon the said demised premises and every part and parcel thereof to view, search of the reparations of the said Premise. And further the said John Bretton, his executors, Administrators and Assignors doth covenant, promise, grant and agree to and with the said Sir W.H., W.O., and Sir R. O., their heirs and assignors that he the said John Bretton his Executors, Administrators and Assignors shall and will from time to time and at all times during the said term of one and twenty years disburse, pay, bear and discharge all manner of assignment, taxes and impositions whatsoever which now are or at any time hereafter during the said term shall be assessed, taxed or imposed upon the said demised premises or any part or parcel thereof. And that neither he, the said John Bretton his Executors, Administrators or Assignors, shall or will at any time during the continuance of this demise, fell, cut down. top or lop any of the timber trees now standing, growing or being on which hereafter shall start, grow, be in or upon the said demised premises without the licence of the said Sir W. H., W.O., and Sir R. O., their heirs or assignors first had and obtained. And also that he the said John Bretton, his Executors, Administrators or Assignors shall grind all such corn, grain, malt or turn into oatmeal at Flockton Mill belonging to the said Sir W. H., W.O., and Sir R. O. their heirs or assignors which he or they shall in his new dwelling house and shall and will pay such toll and as hath formerly been taken and paid at the said. And also that the said John Bretton, his Executors, Administrators and assignors shall and will for every acre of ground of the said premises which he or they shall graze or burn or cause to be grazed or burned shall pay for every acre the sum of forty shillings for every year during the said term. And also shall and will for every acre of ground of the said premises which he or they shall dig or plough or cause to be digged or ploughed to be sown with corn or grain in any of the last three years of the said term shall well and satisfy or pay unto the said Sir W. H., W.O., and Sir R. O., their heirs and assignors over and above the rents reserved the yearly rent of three pounds of like lawful money of England upon the same days and feasts whereat the said yearly rent is hereby appointed payable by equal portion. And also shall pay a fat hen at Pentecost and a fat capon at Christmas every year during the said term. And also that he the said John Bretton his administrators or assignors shall not demise, grant, let, assign, give or depart with his or their or any of the said Sir W. H., W. O., and Sir R. O. or any of them their term or interest in the premises, or any part or parcel thereof to any personor persons other than to wife or child without the consent of the said Sir W. H., W. O., and Sir R. O. or their heirs or assignors thereto first had and obtained in writing with his or their hands and seals. Provided always and it is covenanted and agreed by and between the said parties by those present that if it shall happen the said yearly rent of fifteen pounds ten shillings of lawful money of England to be behind and unpaid for 10 days next after either of the said feasts or days of payments on which the said ought to have been payed as aforesaid and no sufficient distress to be found upon the premises that then and from thenceforth at any time after it shall and maybe lawful to and for the said Sir W. H., W. O. and Sir R. O. their heirs and assignors to enter into the said mansion house, lands and all and singular other the premises with the apputenances and every part therof.
(Note . Some of the wording makes little sense in the modern idiom but it is as near a translation as we could get)
Explanation of photocopies
The top and second photocopies show “Greenhead” as it was in early 1900 when it was a shooting lodge for the Duke of Newcastle (who is also mentioned in some of the other old deeds to Flockton Manor which came to us when we bought “Greenhead”) When we owned it between 1974 and 1984 the upper story was no longer there. The windows had been filled in and the “rooms” were merely boarded over and without a ceiling (open to the rafters). The walls had been limewashed and some of the limewash was peeling off in large chunks. When we looked more closely it had been papered with copies of “The Church Times” of the 1880’s and the newspapers had then been limewashed over. The back of the newspapers was very clear and readable. This was, of course, the area described to us as the living quarters of the caretaker and her family.
The houses in the bottom photograph have long since been pulled down.
Rowland Bretton, Donald and Richard Hallowes
I have mentioned briefly the work done by Dom Hugh Bowler and Rowland Bretton of Lightcliffe, Halifax. This should really be explained more fully because much of the early research work Christine and I did, rapidly started to revolve round the discussions between Dom Hugh Bowler and Rowland Bretton in the 1950’s. Dom Hugh was a Roman Catholic Historian who, as we say elsewhere, wrote a brilliant life history on Blessed John Bretton and who around the 1950’s contacted my family as we originated from Flockton. Sadly we did not have a family bible that he was hoping for, and at that time, shortly before I went to America, family history to me was a closed book.
When I returned, married, and became interested in family history I made contact with Dom Hugh who was working as a Catholic Chaplain in the RAF. We corresponded for some time until he died, and he told us about the correspondence he had had with Rowland Bretton of Lightcliffe, Halifax . Sadly, after Dom Hugh’s death his notes and correspondence with Rowland were missing so we tried to get in touch with Rowland at his home address in Lightcliffe.
Again, Rowland had died as well, but then came our first stroke of luck. Rowland had left all his notes etc in the possession of his sister and he had appointed as his executor, Donald M. Hallowes, a great friend, with the same interests as Rowland, e.g. Heraldry and family history. Donald Hallowes was the deputy Headmaster of Halifax Grammar School and our letter duly came to Mr Hallowes’ attention. He told us at the time, (1977), that everything of Rowlands had been left in the keeping of his sister, who did not have the same interest in genealogy as Rowland had. The result was that a “good” copy of a medieval family tree of the Brettons, from the period 1500 to the mid sixteen hundreds, had been thrown away by his sister “as she did not want it”. However, Donald Hallowes had retained, on her death, copies of correspondence between Rowland and Dom Hugh and loaned them to us to copy.
Without that kindness and thoughtfulness I honestly don’t know how much of the Bretton family history from the 1500’s/1600’s would have been discovered by us. Compared with these two people we were rank amateurs at the time but amongst the papers sent to us to copy were two rough copies of the family tree in question. Donald Hallowes also sent us a Methodist Hymn Book which had belonged to Rowland and contained various family names and dates and which we still treasure.
For many years that was it, until in January, 2011, right out of the blue, I received an e.mail from Donald Hallowes grandson, Richard Hallowes. He told me that his grandfather had been left, in Rowland Bretton’s will, his charter for his Coat of Arms. On his grandfather’s death it had passed to his son, Richard’s father, and on HIS death, quite recently, to Richard himself. Richard also enclosed, with his e.mail, three photographs of the charter, in an ornate box, and a mounted proclamation describing the award. As we say elsewhere on this website the Coat of Arms was specific to Rowland and, as he died wihout children, it ceased with his death and cannot be used by anyone else.
Richard said that he thought it should belong with the Bretton family and asked if we would like it. When I had recovered, I immediately e.mailed him back and said we would be absolutely delighted to have it. I also said that I was completely lost for words at his kindness.
We went over to Northowram and he gave us the Grant and the mounted proclamation and said that he thought it belonged back in the Bretton family. I replied that we had collected, in our fifty years of research a few things that our children are under strict instructions to retain in the family at all costs. Rowland’s Grant of Arms will be the pride and joy of those items.
Looking back we are very much in the debt of the Hallowes family, who have helped enormously in providing links to our early family history. I gather that we also should thank the Halifax Antiquarian Society and the Yorkshire Heraldry Society who were with the rest of the design, which includes a crest wreath and mantling also of red and gold, make a suitable crest for a shield containing a lion and fleur-de-lys. The number of fleur-de-lys serves as a reminder of the tradition in the family of the grantee’s mother that three brothers of her name (Goyne) arrived in Cornwall from France towards the close of the 17th century. They were doubtless Protestant refugees. It has not been found possible to substantiate the tradition, but it is remarkable that the name Goyne (at first spelt Gowen or Gowin in the St. Agnes, Cornwall, Parish Registers - see Phillimore’s Cornwall Parish Registers, Vol XVIII - appears almost immediately after the year of the Revocation of the Edict of Nantes (1685) but does not appear earlier in the Register, at any rate not in the Register of Marriages. It has been found that it does occur earlier in the Christenings Register.
The motto “with thy might” is intended to convey the first phrase of Ecclesiastes 9:10 - “Whatsoever thy hand findeth to do, do it with all thy might”.
The Armorial Bearings in question.....were granted to Rowland Bretton of HillCrest, Lightcliffe, in the County of York, Gentleman, on 30th day of August, 1937. They are his personal bearings and as he died childless cannot be used by anyone else.both involved in the work of Rowland Bretton and Donald Hallowes
Explanation of the Armorial Bearings of Bretton of Lightcliffe (by Rowland Bretton)
Quarterly or and gules, in the first quarter a lion rampant and in the fourth a fleur-de-lys sable ; and for the crest, On a wreath of the colours, Between two fleur-de-lys or, a demi-lion erased guardant gules, holding in the paws a fleur-de-lys gold.
A shield divided per cross, or quarterly, seems to be quite usual for the similar names of Breton and Britton.
According to Burke’s “General Armory”, a family named Breton bore : Quarterly, argent and sable, in the first quarter a lion rampant of the second.
In this new coat, the black lion on gold is for the purpose of further helping to indicate the name “Bretton” . “Or, a lion rampant sable” is the coat ascribed to Adam fitz Swein, an early lord of Bretton (West Bretton or Bretton West), near Wakefield who founded Monk Bretton Priory and died about the year 1158. He was the founder of the West Riding family of Bretton for his grandsons were known as Alan and Adam “de Bretton” and yeomen of the name Bretton who married armigerous families resided at Bretton from the beginning of the 13th century down to the middle of the 17th century.
The fleur-de-lys is included for the purpose of making the shield sufficiently different from previous grants and to indicate that the grantee’s family originated in the Wakefield District. This single fleur-de-lys on the shield will also serve to indicate the supposed Huguenot ancestry of the grantee’s mother. The crest indicates a combination of English and French ancestry. The British lion and the French fleur-de-lys, tinctured respectively red and gold to harmonize with the rest of the design, which includes a crest wreath and mantling also of red and gold, make a suitable crest for a shield containing a lion and fleur-de-lys. The number of fleur-de-lys serves as a reminder of the tradition in the family of the grantee’s mother that three brothers of her name (Goyne) arrived in Cornwall from France towards the close of the 17th century. They were doubtless Protestant refugees. It has not been found possible to substantiate the tradition, but it is remarkable that the name Goyne (at first spelt Gowen or Gowin in the St. Agnes, Cornwall, Parish Registers - see Phillimore’s Cornwall Parish Registers, Vol XVIII - appears almost immediately after the year of the Revocation of the Edict of Nantes (1685) but does not appear earlier in the Register, at any rate not in the Register of Marriages. It has been found that it does occur earlier in the Christenings Register.
The motto “with thy might” is intended to convey the first phrase of Ecclesiastes 9:10 - “Whatsoever thy hand findeth to do, do it with all thy might”.
The Armorial Bearings in question.....were granted to Rowland Bretton of HillCrest, Lightcliffe, in the County of York, Gentleman, on 30th day of August, 1937. They are his personal bearings and as he died childless cannot be used by anyone else.
The Coat of Arms Scroll and Seals
The Mounted Proclamation
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