Amble and District
     Local History


As it seldom happens that material exists from which an unbroken succession of tenants of a farm can be constructed, the names of Forster's successors may be added, viz.: 1775, Thomas Graham and J. T. and W. Allan ; 1781, Henry Potts ; 1812, John and William Potts ; 1847, Mr. William Fenwick of Sturton Grange South Side ; 1860, Mr. W. A. Rand ; in hand, 1884-1888 ; 1888, Mr. Thomas S. Brewis, the present occupier. John Potts and his brother William were skilled land surveyors, and estate plans of their making remain with neighbouring land owners. They possessed a fine strain of horses of the Vardy breed. William Potts, the younger of the brothers, at the age of 70, was accidentally drowned in the river Coquet on the 22nd of March, 1844 ; and John Potts died at Alnwick on the 9th of June, 1856, aged 86 years.
Viz., by leases dated 30th August, 1692 (fine £180, rent £20) ; 6th March, 1711/12 (fine £380, rent £20) ; 1st April, 1733 (fine £800, rent £20) ; 1st October, 1753 (fine £470, rent £67). Enrolment of Leases. Duke of Northumberland's MSS.
Duke of Northumberland's MSS.
Marginal note in Survey of 1585. Duke of Northumbertand's MSS
Endorsed' Arthere Strother's peticione to his lordship of 1612.' Ibid.
Duke of Northumberland's MSS.
Survey of 1585 (marginal notes). Ibid.
Stockdale's Survey. Ibid.
Survey of 1585. Duke of Northumberland's MSS.
Duke of Northumberland's MSS.
Receivers' Accounts. Duke of Northumberland's MSS.
Duke of Northumberland's MSS
A name still in use as the designation of the Tylee burn, which separates the township of Wood- house from those of High and Low Buston in Warkworth parish.
Alnwick castle museum, case F, No. 970.
The Census Returns are : 1801, 29 ; 1811, 8; 1821, 25 ; 1831, 31 ; 1841, 23 ; 1851, 36 ; 1861, 33; 1871, 22 ; 1881, 21 : 1891, 31.
Lambert MS.
William Brown's Colliery Plans. Newcastle Society of Antiquaries.
Mark's Survey, Inedited Contributions to the History of Northumberland, Hodgson Hinde.
10th August, 1708, twenty-one years' lease to John Archbold ; 1st October, 1727, eleven years' lease to Edward Archbold of seams of coal, etc., late in the tenure of John Archbold, his father ; l0th October, 1738, eleven years' lease to Edward Archbold. Enrolment of Leases; Duke of Northumberland's MSS.
Bailiffs' Accounts. Ibid.
Survey of 1585. Duke of Northumberland's MSS.
The duke of Northumberland's estate comprises the following farms : Town-foot or Shilbottle Buildings, Colliery-farm, Long-dike, Dean Moor, Tweedy-stead, Hill-head, Hitchcroft, South Moor, and South-farm.
The following persons have from time to time voted at the elections for knights of the shire in respect of freehold lands at Shilbottle : 1710, John Garrett of Shilbottle ; 1722, Benjamin Whittle, Thomas Embleton, John Garrett, Thomas Smales, and Thomas Palliser, all of Shilbottle ; Prideaux Selby of Beal ; 1734, John Garrett and Robert Beal of Shilbottle, and William Selby of Beal ; 1748, John Salkeld, clerk, Joseph Garrett, Thomas James, and Thomas Palliser, all of Shilbottle ; 1774, Joseph Garrett, George Hunter, George Lough (as parish clerk), all of Shilbottle ; William Embleton of Long Framlington, Thomas Palliser of Hazelrigg, and George Selby of Hunting-hall ; 1826, George Selby of Alnwick and Hugh Taylor of Earsdon. A small homestead and land (known later as Shilbottle lodge) was, in 1773, conveyed by George Embleton to William Embleton, who, in 1776, sold it to Thomas Taylor, with whose family it remained until 1877, when it was purchased by the duke of Northumberland from Messrs. C. H., Hugh, and Thomas Taylor.
For pedigree of Selby of Beal see Raine, North Durham, p. 338.
From the abstract of title. The estate as advertised for sale in the Newcastle Courant, 9th June, 1827, comprised 207 acres in two divisions, viz., 110 acres in the infield of Shilbottle, and the remainder near Shilbottle colliery. There were also corn tithes accruing out of 600 acres of land in the township; the whole was then let at the yearly rent of £215.
Duke of Northumberland's MSS. The basis on which the division of Shilbottle common was founded was the number of ancient farms which the proprietors of the various estates, to which commonable rights were attached, were deemed to possess. The earl and countess of Northumberland possessed in the township of Shilbottle twenty-one and a half farms ; in Rugley, in the parish of Alnwick, eleven farms ; in Shilbottle Wood-house, four and a half farms ; and in Rugley Firth, three farms, making forty ancient farms in all. Richard Clutterbuck possessed five farms in Whittle; George Selby of Hunting-hall two farms in Shilbottle; and Thomas Palliser, Joseph Garrett, and George Hunter each held a quarter of a farm.
These four tenants occupied tenements known as the four farms `at the head of the town,' and amongst them held 56 acres 2 roods 32 perches of common or pasture ground within the north, the middle, and south fields, etc.
1621, 20th May. Will of Thomas Lisle of Shilbottle, gent. To be buried in the chancel of Shilbottle. My wife, Isabell, to have the third part of my goods, and my eldest son, Robert Lisle, the right of my farmhold. Residue to be divided at the discretion of my father-in-law, Richard Garrett, now of Amble, amongst my children, Robert, Thomas, and George Lisle. Proved 1622. Durham Probate Registry.
Fraction of a perch omitted.
Cal. Border Papers, Bain, ii. p. 74.
`A collection of certain spoils committed by the Scotts upon the right honourable the earl of Northumberland, presented and prosecuted before the lord-lieutenant of the North ; mensi, September 1593, by John Browne, his lordship's steward in Northumberland.' Duke of Northumberland's MSS.
Ibid. p. 361.
Ibid. p. 263
Cal. Border Papers, Bain, i. p. 20.
1587/8, 2nd February. Will of Thomas Dand of Shilbottle. My body to be buried in the parish church. To my son-in-law, John Jonson, six oxen, with the corn in the ground and of the ground as it is expressed in his own father's last will ; to my brother, John Dand, 2 quyes ; to my brother, Richard Dand, a cow; residue to John and Elizabeth Jonson, my wife's children. Proved 1588. Ibid.
1587/8, 16th February. Will of Hew Pallaser of the parish of Shilbottle. My body to be buried in the porch door of the church of Shilbottle. I give to my son, Hew, the land I have purchased, and also the farmhold I hold of the lord ; remainder to my daughter, Anne Pallaser. My wife Anne. Amount of inventory, £6 3s. Proved 1588. Ibid.
1581, 23rd December. Will of John Wardaill, of the parish of Shilbottle. All things ‘ betwixt Hugh Pallaser and me is clear, and he can claim or challenge nothinge of my wyfe and children here afterwards. My children John, Hugh, Thomas, and Agnes. Proved 1582. Durham Probate Registry.
In 1539 the vicar rented a tenement in Shilbottle and the tithes of the West-field at 20s. a year, and William Kirbaz rented other lands at 12s., parcel of the possession of the dissolved abbey of Alnwick. Ministers' Accounts, 31 and 32 Hen. VIII. No. 122, in. 2, in dorso, rendered by Radcliffe and Killingworth. Cf. Tate, Alnwick, ii. p. 26.
At the dissolution the preceptory of Mount St. John, in Yorkshire, possessed lands in Shilbottle in the occupation of various tenants at the total rent of 2s. 4d. per annum. Ministers' Accounts, 38 Hen. VIII and I Edw. VI. No. 51, m. 58 d. Cf. Arch. Ael. xvii. p. 276.
` Barones-house. There is also belonging to the said manner as parcell of the same a tenemente scituate at the east end of Nether sheld dykes geven by the said (Bartram) lord of Mitforth to the lord of Shilbottell, called the Barones-house, to which he brought all his cattell that pastured on Rymside in somer tyme and laye there tended by his hird or fee man during all the tyme of winter ; and nowe the same is demysed by copye according to the custome and occupied in tyllage as a husbandrye.' Survey of 1585. Duke of Northumberland's MSS.
Pat. Roll, 848, 6 Edw. VI. pt. 7, m. 16.
Nicolson, Border Laws, p. 197.
Query, Dande.
Arch. Ael. 4to series, iv. p. 162.
Duke of Northumberland's MSS.
The following list of fifteenth and sixteenth-century grieves or bailiffs of Shilbottle is compiled from the Bailiffs' Accounts, etc., in the muniment room at Syon house : 1471-1472, Thomas Trollope ; 1479- 1480, Henry Trollop ; 1482-1483, John Maxwell ; 1485-1486, Edward Johnson; 1486-1487, Ralph Sharpe ; 1488-1489, William Palyser ; 1502-1503, John Swan ; 1505-1506, John Stampe ; 1508-1509, John Palyser ; 1518-1519, Humphrey Dobson ; 1523-1524, George Henrison (?) ; 1525-1526, William Paliser ; 1531-1532, Thomas Emyldon ; 1532-1533, Margery, widow of Edward Robertson, grieve ; 1533-1534, Richard Swanne; 1536-1537, John Dand ; 1537-1538, John Dandde; 1540-1541, Thomas Clarke; 1561-1562, Robert Anderson; 1584-1585, John Harbottle; 1588-1589, George Browne; 1601-1602, John Johnson.
Cartington's Rental, 14 and 15 Hen. VII. Duke of Northumberland's MSS.
Bailiffs' Accounts, 12 Edw. IV. Duke of Northumberland's MSS.
The earliest Court Roll for the manor of Shilbottle remaining in the possession of the duke of Northumberland dates from November, 1474.
Patent Roll, 495, I Edw. IV. pt. 4, In. 16.
Ibid. p. 204.
Border Holds, i. p. 19.
`Rex dedit Johanni filio suo in speciali tallio, viz. heredibus masculis, castra maneria et villas de Alnewyke, Prodowe, Fawedon, Chatton, Ruyngton, Gisyns, Rothbury, Brotherwyke, et Shilbottle.....nuper Henrici de Percy comitis Northumb. attincti.' Patent Roll, 375, 6 Hen. IV. pt. 2, in. 10. Cf. Hodgson, Northumberland, pt. iii. vol. ii. p. 382, and Border Holds, i. p. 204.
In 1367 Henry Percy le Piere was found to have died seised of Wharram Percy, Bolton Percy, Carnaby, etc. (Inq. p.m. 41 Edw. III. No. 48). In 1393-1394 Sir Ralph de Percy, knight, paid a fine for acquiring Carnaby and Wharram Percy from Henry, earl of Northumberland, without the king's licence (Fine Roll, 17 Ric. II. m. 3). In 1436-1437 Sir William Hilton, knight, was found to have died seised of the manor of Wharram Percy (Inq. p.m. 15 Hen. VI. No. 22). In 1448-1449 Sir Robert Hilton, knight, was found to have died seised of the manor of Carnaby (Inq. p.m. 27 Hen. VI. No. 9), and in 1457-1458 William Hilton, esq., was found to have died seised of the manors of Wharram Percy and Carnaby (Inq. p.m. 36 Hen. VI. No. 26).
Inq. p.m. Hen. de Percy, 42 Edw. III. No. 48. Hodgson, Northumberland, pt. iii. vol. i. p. 84. Tate, Alnwick, i. p. 139
` Dicunt eciam dicti juratores quod praedictus Henricus (Percy) tenuit in servicio die quo obiit de domino rege in capite in comitatu praedicto villas et particulas terrarum subscriptarum pertinentes ad praedicta castrum et manerium de Alnewyke provenientes de tenentibus forinsecis, videlicet villas de Schyplyngbotle, Haysand, Guysens, et Renygtone et quartam decimam partem hameletti de Brokeffeld, quas Alexander de Hylton tenet in dominico de praedicto Henrico de Percy et haeredibus suis per homagium et fidelitatem et per servicium duorum feodorum et xiiij partis unius feodi militis, reddendo annuatim xv die Julii xxvijs vijd ob. pro warda castri de Alnewik supradicti et valent per annum xlli.' Inq. p.m. Hen. de Percy, 21 Mar. 26 Edw. III. first numbers, No. 52 a. Cf. Hartshorne, p. cxxviii. Hodgson, Northumberland, pt. iii. vol. i. p. 77.
`Et dom. Henr. Percy est medius inter dom. regem et praedictum Alexandrum, et dictus Alex. tenet ultra donationem et assignationem praedictam villas de Shipplingbotyll, Haysand, Gysens, Renington, et Newton super More de Henrico Percy in capite pro servic. ij feod mil.' Inq. p.m. 8 Edw. III. second numbers, No. 5. Writ, dated 15th May, 1334. Cf. vol. ii. of this work, p. 153 ; also Hodgson, Northumberland, pt. iii. vol. i. p. 70.
Inq. p.m. Henry de Percy, 8 Edw. II. No. 65 a. ` Robertus de Hilton tenet ij feoda et xiiij partes j feodi in Schippellingbotell, Heysaund, Gysins, Neuton, Renington, et Brokkesfeld, et reddit per annum pro warda castre, xxvijs viid ob. et valent praedicta tenementa per annum c marcas.'
Rot. Pat. 132, 3 Edw. II. m. 31, in dorso. Duke of Northumberland's Transcript, p. 51.
Placita de Quo Waranto, 21 Edw. I. p. 598. Cf. Hodgson, Northumberland, pt. iii. vol. i. p. 169.
This charter, dated 2nd December, 1256, is enrolled on Charter Roll 52, 41 Hen. III. m. 13.
Inq. p.m. John de Vescy, 17 Edw. I. No.25. Hartshorne, p. cxx. Tate, Alnwick, i. p. 89.
Brinkburn Chartutary, Page, p. 32. Surtees Soc. No. 90.
Ibid. p. 338.
Northumberland Assize Rolls, 7 Edw. I. Page, p. 327.
Patent Roll 95, 5 Edw. I. m. 19. Duke of Northumberland's Transcript, p. 46.
Northumberland Assize Rolls, 53 Hen. III. Page, p. 207. Surtees Soc. No. 88.
Inq. p.m. Robert de Hilton, 51 Hen. III. No. 43. Hodgson, Northumberland, pt. iii. vol. i. p. 44. Neither the date of Robert de Hilton's death nor the name of his heir is given. See also Surtees, Durham, ii. p. 30.
Testa de Nevill. Hodgson, Northumberland, pt. iii. vol. i. p. 209.
Archbishop Gray's Reg.; Raine, p. 253. Surtees Soc. No. 56.
Liber Vitae; Stephenson, p. 509, Surtees Soc. No. 13.
Matt. Paris, Chronica Majora (Rolls series), vol. iv. p. 89.
Newminster Chartulary. Fowler, p. 201, Surtees Soc. No. 66.
Pipe Rolls, 20-28 Hen. III. Hodgson, Northumberland, pt. iii. vol. iii. pp. 179, 183, 187, 189, 192, 195, 198, 201, 204.
Final concord made in the king's court at Newcastle in the octave of St. Paul, 19 Hen. III. Feet of Fines, Northumberland, case 180, file 3, No. 37.
Rotuli Chartaruni, p. 177. Cf. Longstaffe, `The Church of Guyzance,' Arch. Ael. iii. p. 135.
'Iste Gosbright (Tisonne) dedit Richardo filio suo villam de Shilbottell una cum ecclesia de Gisyng, etc. Iste Ricardus genuit Willelmum Tisonne et Willelmus genuit Germanum Tisonne et Germanus genuit dominam Bone de Hilton que fuit uxor Willehni de Hilton, hic mutatur cognomen Tisonne in Hilton et Willelmus de Hilton genuit Alexandrum et Alexander genuit dominum Robertum de Hilton.' Chronicles of Alnwick Abbey, Harl. MS. No. 692, art. 12, fol. 195. Arch. Ael. 4to series, iii. p. 34.
Survey of 1585. Duke of Northumberland's MSS
Scyld, an ancestor of Hrodtgar of the lay of Beowulf; effected a settlement on the coast of what is now Durham and Northumberland in the latter half of the fourth century.' Shilbottle (Scyldes botl, Scyld's house) is said to bear his name. Cf. Yorkshire Arch. Journal, v. p. 206.
`Botl,' an abode, a dwelling, mansion, house, hall. ` Pharao eode into his botle.' Exodus vii. 23. Bosworth, Anglo-Saxon Dictionary. In Matt. xxvi. 3, `the palace of the high priest' is called his botle' in the Anglo-Saxon version.
Now in the Alnwick castle museum, case E, No. 91.
From Sir David Smith's Collection, Castles and Camps.
The site of the camp was planted by the first duke of Northumberland, and it is called the Beacon plantation ; it is 589 feet above sea-level.
The Census Returns are : 1801, 472 ; 1811, 465 ; 1821, 548 ; 1831, 557 ; 1841, 549 ; 1851, 601 ; 1861, 570 ; 1871, 528 ; 1881, 428 ; 1891, 454.
The school-house was built by and belongs to the duke of Northumberland. For a notice of its endowment, see p. 438 post.
On the door-head of a house, formerly the `Percy Arms,' are the letters and date F./T. B./1707; and on the door-head of another house F./W. G./1707



Shilbottle Parish Map

Map of the entire Parish, containing the townships of Shilbottle, Shilbottle Wood House,
Whittle, Hazon and Hartlaw, and Newton on the Moor

    The parish of Shilbottle is separated from Alnwick on the north by the Cawledge burn, it has Lesbury on the north-east, Warkworth parish on the east, Brainshaugh and Felton on the south, and Felton and Alnwick on the west. The ground slopes upward from the banks of the Cawledge burn, which are 212 feet above the sea-level, southward to the ridge which divides the valley of the Aln from that of the Coquet, and has its culminating point at the Beacon hill, 589 feet above the sea-level. A large part of the parish has, therefore, a cold, northern exposure, and even to the southward of the ridge the ground has generally a high elevation. The parish has an area of 6,501 acres, comprised in the five poor law townships of Shilbottle, Shilbottle Woodhouse, Hazon and Hartlaw, Whittle, and Newton-on-the-Moor.



Shilbottle Township Map

     The village of Shilbottle is situated on high ground from 410 to 489 feet above sea-level. It commands an extensive view of the coast-line, the light at the Souter point lighthouse near Whitburn being seen at night, and on a very clear day, it is said, Gateshead Fell may be distinguished. It is a long, straggling village consisting of about seventy cottages, now chiefly occupied by pitmen, a couple of ale houses, N a homestead, a school-house, N the parish house, and a vicarage house, in which are embedded the remains of an ancient tower. The township comprises about 3,000 acres, and in 1891 had a population of 454. N
    Of the prehistoric inhabitants of the township few traces have been discovered, though about half a mile to the south-west of the village, on ground allotted on the division of the common in 1759, to the earl and countess of Northumberland, is a camp. N  It appears to have been nearly circular, or perhaps oval, in form, with a greatest diameter of about 70 paces. The agger has been made of rough stone, but most of it has long ago been carried away to repair buildings and dykes. So late as 1758 a causeway, 13 yards wide, and called ` the old camp road,' could be traced near the camp, but this is merged in the modern highway. The situation is well suited for a look-
out, and a beacon formerly kept there was only discontinued in 1809. N

Stone Axe Hammer found at Shilbottle

    On the farm of Shilbottle Dene Moor, in a field known as Long-ridge, a skillfully-made axe-hammer, formed of fine-grained greenstone, was found some years ago, about 3½ feet below the surface. It is 6 inches in length, and 2½ inches in breadth, the perforation for the shaft being circular. N
    The Saxon owners of the place have impressed the memory of their occupation on its name, for ` bottle,' as in Harbottle, Lorbottle, Bothal, and other similar place-names in the counties of Northumberland and Durham, means an 'abode', N but Schiplinge-botel seems to be the only instance of the prefix of a patronymic to ` bottle.' N In a survey of the earl of Northumberland's estates made in the reign of Queen Elizabeth, it is stated :

      The manner of Shilbottell is parcel of the said barronye [of Alnwick] . . . and was sometyme parcell of the possessions of William, Barone Hilton, in the right of Bona, daughter and heyre of Jermavne Tyson, the lord of the same, together with the churche of Guysance, alias Braineshaughe, Haysand, Neuton, Renyngton, Fallowdon, and Broxfeld, as by guyft of Gisbrightus Tyson, sometime lorde of Alnewicke made to Richard, his sonne . . . . And afterward reduced to the barony againe by his lordship's ancestors for the mannors of Bolton Percye, Wharran Percye, Carnabye, and others, and so have contynued tyll this present. N


Descended from the lords of Le Cinglais in Calvados, Gisbright or Gilbert Tison occupied the distinguished office of standard-bearer in the host which followed the Conqueror and he shared in the lands wrested from their Saxonowners. Besides extensive estates in Yorkshire and elsewhere, he is said to have obtained the barony of Alnwick, out of which he made a provision for his younger son, Richard Tison, L by giving him the lordship of Shilbottle, comprising the vills of Guyzance, Newton, and Hazon, with Rennington and Broxfield in the parish of Embleton. Richard Tison was succeeded by his son William, and he by his son German, who had an only daughter and heiress, Benéta or Bona, who carried Shilbottle by marriage to William Hilton of Hilton, a baron of the bishopric of Durham.


ARMS : Vert, three lions rampant, crowned or.    Flower's Visitation of Yorkshire.

Tison of Shilbottle

(a) Charters of Alnwick abbey, ' Eustace filius Johannis, etc.' Tate, Alnwick, ii. app. p. viii. (g) Pipe Roll, 13 and 15 John.
(b) Liber Niger Scaccarii de Northumberland. Hodgson, Northumberland, pt. iii. vol. iii. p. 306. (h) Cf. Longstaffe, 'The Church of Guyzance.' Arch.
iii. new series, p. 133.
(c) See p. 346 supra. (i) Liber Vitae, Stephenson, p. 52. Surtees. Soc. No. 13.
(d) Brinkburn Chartulary, p. 141. (j) Pipe Rolls, 15 John.
(e) Newminster Chartulary, p. 243. (k) Pipe Rolls, II, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 22, 23 Hen. II.
(f) Patent Roll, 1209.  


    Sir Alexander de Hilton, son of William de Hilton and Benéta Tison, was a minor at his father's death in 1208. N  At the assizes held in Newcastle in 1235 there was an agreement made by which German de Eworthe granted to Thomas de Schippelingbotle 30 acres of land in Schippelingbotle, viz., 24 acres which Alexander, son of Milisand, formerly held, 1 acre lying near the lands of Alexander de Hilton, 1 acre near the Westemestemede, 2 acres in the field called Schovelbred, abutting on the highway leading from Alnwick, 1 acre in Beneflat, abutting on the land of William de Vescy, 1 acre in Shonflat, abutting on the lands of Alexander de Hilton, for the yearly rent of 3s. 1½d. N   He is entered in the Pipe Rolls for Northumberland for 1236 as owing £79 1s. to the Crown for the debt of Hugh de Verly of Swine in Yorkshire, a sum gradually reduced by yearly payments until it was finally wiped off eight years later. N Sir Alexander de Hilton in 1240 made an agreement with the abbot and convent of Newminster respecting the boundaries between his lands at Shilbottle and Guyzance and their manor of Sturton Grange. N He proceeded to the Holy Land in 1241, N and his name with that of Agnes, his wife, is written in the Liber Vitae which once lay on the high altar at Durham. N He was dead before 1243, N leaving a son, Robert de Hilton, whose name occurs in the Testa de Nevill as holding Shilbottle, Newton-on-the-Moor, Hazon, Guyzance, and Rennington of the barony of Vesci by two knight's fees of ancient feoffinent. N
    In an extent of the lands, formerly Robert de Hilton's, made at Shilbottle on the Saturday after the l0th of August, 1267, it is stated that there were in demesne in Syplingbotill, 286 acres of cultivated land, worth at 6d. an acre,  £7  3s. ; 27 acres of meadow, worth at 20d. an acre, £2 5s.; and certain pieces of pasture ground called Blakelesche, Caldenelburne, etc., worth 19s.10d. There were twenty-one bond tenants, each of whom held 24 acres and paid 10s. a year in money and 3s. 3d. in works ; four cottage tenants held 6 acres apiece and paid 4s. each a year. Sir Ralph, the vicar, farmed 12 acres of land and paid 17s. ; Adam Batun, 15 acres and paid 6s. 3d. ; Alexander Gardener, 12 acres and paid 3s. ; Peter Forester, 6 acres and paid 11d. ; and Robert Carter, 6 acres and paid 2s.  £3 6s. 8d. was received from the mill, and 13s. 4d. from the brewing rent ; 12d. was received for the ` curtilagium dominicum,' and a wood of 80 acres was worth 20s. a year. There were also six freeholders, namely, a certain Stelle, who held 6 acres, John Trenchand 12 acres, Hyppegainyn's wife 5½ acres, Henry de Ewrth 80 acres, Roger at the well (ad fontem) 12 acres, and the abbot of Alnwick 1½ acres, and they paid free rents amounting in the aggregate to 17s. 10d. N
     At the Northumberland assizes, in 1269, Henry de Hewrthe (Ewart) brought an action against Robert de Hilton concerning common of pasture in Shilbottle, N and seven years later there was a suit about lands in Shipenboten, between Robert Hilton and the abbot of Alnwick and brother Thomas de Kyrkely. N Before the year 1279 Robert de Hilton obtained from John de Vesci of Alnwick certain lands in the forest of Swinleys (Shield-dykes) worth 5 marks a year, N and the wood of Remelde (Rimside), held of the manor of Mitford. N In 1288 he granted certain privileges in Hazon to the prior and convent of Brinkburn, N and was alive on the 7th of May, 1289, when he is recorded as holding Schipilbodille and its members by the service of two knight's fees and the yearly payment of 26s. 8d. N
    In 1293 Robert de Hilton, on being summoned to appear before the king's justices to prove his right to free warren, produced a charter given by Henry III. in 1256, N which granted to him and his heirs free warren in all his demesne lands at Shepelingbothe, Renington, and Hilton, so long as these lands were not within the bounds of the royal forest ; N his name heads the Subsidy Roll of 1296.



    £.   s.   d.   s.   d.
Summa bonorum Roberti de Hilton 7 17 10

unde regi

14 4¼
" Willelmi filii Alani 0 19 2 " 1  9
" Willelini Kellocke 1  1  9 " 1  11
" Roberti carpentarii 1  4  10 " 2  3¼
" Alani praepositi 1  0  0 " 1  10
" Stephani praepositi 1  19  4 " 3  7
" Walteri Dey 1  0  0 " 1  10
" Roberti de Gisinis 1  16  0 " 3  3¼
" Thomae de Haukil 0  14  0 " 1  3¼
" Thomae vicarii 2  8 0 " 4  4½
Summa hujus villae, £21 6s. 10d.     Unde domino regi, 38s. 9d.
   About the year 1309 there was an action concerning tenements at Shilbottle, brought by Robert de Cady and Alice his wife, against Robert de Hilton, N who, in 1314-1315, was still in possession of the estates. L
When Alexander de Hilton in 1334 had licence to give an estate in Broxfield to the abbot and convent of Alnwick, it was stated that he retained Shilbottle and other lands in his own possession. L
Alexander de Hilton, 6s. 8d. ; Johannes de Eworth, 2s. 8d. ; Johannes de Wetslad, 4s. ; Johannes Yrenman, 1s.; Johannes bercarius', 1s. 3d.; Robertus Hirnynge, 9d.    Summa, 16s. 4d.
     Alexander de Hilton was living on the 21st of March, 1351/2, L and was dead before 1368, when Robert de Hilton was in possession of Shilbottle and its sub-manors. N
Soon after this time Shilbottle was acquired by Henry Percy, the first earl of Northumberland, from Robert de Hilton, to whom he gave in exchange the manors of Bolton Percy, Carnaby, and Wharam Percy in Yorkshire. N In the year 1403 the earl surrendered to the king his castles and estates in Northumberland under circumstances already related.
    On the 27th of June, 1405, L King Henry IV. granted Shilbottle, with the castle and barony of Alnwick, and many other estates forfeited by the earl of Northumberland, to the king's son John, whom he shortly afterwards created duke of Bedford. His name appears in the list of fortalices drawn up in 1415 as owner of the tower of Shilbottle. N In consequence of its not being entailed Shilbottle did not revert with the main body of the estates to the second earl of Northumberland on his restoration in 1416. At the death of the duke of Bedford in 1435, N it was inherited by his nephew, Henry VI., and it remained Crown property until the 28th of January, 1461/2, when it was granted by Edward IV., together with the towns of Rennington, Guyzance, and Middleton, and a rent of £8 out of the town of Beanly, to Robert, Lord Ogle. N By some private arrangement, the details of which are unknown, Shilbottle was reacquired by the Percies N before the year 1472, when the grieve of Shilbottle accounts with the earl of Northumberland's receiver for the issues of his office for the year ending at Michaelmas.
    The particulars of the account rendered by the grieve in 1472 are as follows : `Arrears of last year, 13s. 1d.; rents and ferms, £21; the ferm of a tenement by Swynlees called Baronhowse, 10s.; pleas and perquisites of 3 courts, 41s. ; profit of the court held at Rymessid, 4s.; total, £24 8s. I d. ; out of which sum there was paid to the king, by the hands of the sheriff, for the ferm of the manor, 3s. 4d.,' etc. The lord also held certain demesne meadows called Dowkerhalgh, Waterlees, Tenacres, and Tiallez, which were let for 27s. a year. N
    In a survey made about 1498, it is stated that the free tenants in Shilbottle at that time were : Robert Hewgh, who held 8 acres of land by fealty and suit of court every third week, and the yearly rent of 1s. ; Gilbert Browne, who held three acres of land and paid nothing ; the churchwardens held a messuage and 2 acres of land and paid a free rent of 2d. ; the abbot of Alnwick held 2 husbandlands, and the prior of the order of St. John of Jerusalem a messuage and 4 acres of land in perpetual alms and rendered neither rent nor services. Of the customary tenants who are described as tenants at will, sixteen held husbandlands of equal value, six others had holdings varying in size from 11 acres to 22 acres, under rents varying from 6s. 11d. to 13s. 10d. ; and there were four cottage tenants, who paid a rent of 4s. 2d.

Matthew Clark and Robert Atkynson, Thomas Watson and Thomas Dodisworth, William Chambre, John Palyser, William Beksewe, Elizabeth and Agnes Dand, John Swan, William Palyser, John Crawcester, senior, John Stamp, Thomas Stamp, Henry Wellysine, John Hugh, Charles Cressop, Thomas Trollop, Richard Chamber, who held 16 husbandlands and paid 14s. 8d. a year each. Edward Johnson and Robert Emyldon each held 22 acres in the Westfield and paid 13s. 10d. a year ; John Harryson and Ralph Dand each held 15 acres in the Westfield and paid 10s. 4½d. a year ; William Stamp held 11 acres in the Westfield and paid 6s.11d. a year; John Brown held a tenement called `Baron hows apud Sheldyk,' and paid 10s. a year. Beside their tenements, four of the above-named tenants held cottages and paid 4s. 2d. a year, and another held a cottage for which he paid 1s. a year. The sum total was £16 2s. 8d.

As a specimen of the sixteenth-century method of keeping estate accounts, the following translation of the `Account of William Paliser, the grieve of Shilbottle, N from Michaelmas, 1525, to Michaelmas, 1526,' is given :
  £.   s.   d. £.   s.   d.
Arrears of last year's accounts    5  4  4
Rents and farms as in previous years, payable at Martinmas and Whitsuntide ...   21 19 4
New rents: from Charles Watson for a tower (12d.); Walter Mylne, chaplain (12d.) ; Thomas Awlde, smith (12d.); and Richard Watson (12d.) for three cottages built by them as in the rental and assessed, 9 Hen. VIII. by the lord's commissioners   0  4  0
Pleas and perquisites of one court held this year   0 18 8
Sum of receipts with arrears   28 6 4

Of which :

In rent paid to the king by the sheriff of Northumberland issuing  from the lordship as in previous years 0  3  4  
In decay of farm of one cottage by the cemetery style, in the lord's hands by default of tenant, to no profit, as in previous years 0  1  0  
In decay of farm of one tower lately held by Charles Watson above charged at 12d., in the lord's hands by default of tenant 0  1  0  
Paid by the grieve for repair and maintenance of the hedge and
ditch round the lord's wood, as in previous years
0 10  0  
Paid for expenses of clerk of the court, bailiff, and other ministers of the said court 0  3   0  
Sum of allowances       0 18  4
Owing      27  8  0

Of which

Delivered to John Horsley, the receiver, at various times at the account before the auditors   22  3  8
Owing    5  4   4

Of which charged:

On Umphrey Lysle, knight, 23s., and Nicholas Redlee, sheriff, 23s., for moneys received by them from Thomas Doddisworthe, bailiff; 22 Hen. VII. of the issues of the lordship and above among arrears 2  6  0  
On the executors of Thomas Doddysworthe, late bailiff, owed by him for gersuma on taking his tenement, 24 Hen. VII. above among the arrears 2 18 4  
    5  4  4 N
    In 1532 the tower at Shilbottle, for which Charles Watson had formerly paid a rent of 12d. a year was still in the lord's hands unlet ; the tenants of the vill who had in November and December sold and carried to Warkworth nineteen waggon loads of hay for the lord's horses were allowed £2 10s. 8d. in payment for the same. In the following year the tenants carried twenty-eight waggon loads of underwood (11s. 8d.), fourteen waggon loads of turves (9s. 4d.), and thirty-six horse loads of coals from Bilton pits to Alnwick and Warkworth, at 2d. per load. N
Thomas Clark, Thomas Swinborne, Robt. Rede, Thomas Gybson, John Pallser, Wyllme Steyvenson, Charles Dand, Thomas Stampe, John Person, Robt. Anderson, Thomas Emellton, Vmfray Dobson, Vmfray Stampe, Crystr. Stampe, Thomas Johnson, Ryd. Sway, Willme Pallfare, Willme Pallfere (sic), Charles Herryson, Willme Craster, John Davide, N John Brouster, John Howse, Robt. Pallfare, able men wantyng bothe horse and harnes.
    Under the order of the watches made in 1552 the night watch was to be kept from Hitchcroft in Shilbottle parish to Rugley in the parish of Alnwick, by ten men of the inhabitants of the townships of Shilbottle, Whittle, Sturton Grange, Birling, High Buston, Low Ruston, Wooden, and Bilton. N
    The manor of Shilbottle, ` formerly parcel of the possessions of Henry, late earl of Northumberland,' was granted by Edward VI. to John Dudley, duke of Northumberland, by Letters patent on the 21st of November, 1552. N It was, with other estates of the house, restored to the seventh earl of Northumberland in 1557.
    In the survey of the Percy estates made about 1567, which has been so often quoted in the account of townships dealt with in this volume, Shilbottle is described in the following words :
     In the towne of Shilbottell ys neither any demayne lands nor demayne meadowes, but all together in cottage and husbandland as herafter shall appeare any (sic) tennant having his land lyeing on the feild rigge by rigge to his nighbour accordyng to the old devysion of lands in this countrye, the fower tenements in the west end onely excepted, for they have ther arable land medowe lyeng together with a certaine parcell of pasture ground enclosed with hedges within themselves wich is more comodyous to them then yf yt lay as th'other doith. And yt ys to be noted that where there ys one tenement in the east end of the Neither Sheild-dyke parcell of this towne of Shilbottell as herafter enseweth the same was given by the lord of Mytfourd to the lord of Shilbottell, and thereby yt was called the Barrons-house, N as yt is at this daye, for the lord of Shilbottell . . * . . all hys cattell that pastured in Rymside brought to the said tenement for yt was then his hind's house during the tyme of cattell pasturing in the said Rymsyde, and now the same ys letten to no tennant and ys occupyed in tyllage.
    There ys one paryshe churche there which was of laite apperteignyng to the late dissolved monastery of Alnewyk with the parsonage apperteignyng to the same, and is now in the prync's hande with all things apperteigning to the said parsonage and vycaridge, and nothinge therof purchased but letten by lease.
    We fynde the bounder of Shilbottell to be thus, viz., from the yate at the south end of the Rugley lonyng to the paile of Cawledge parke and alonge the same paile to Bylton borne, and up the same burne to Carter deane medowe, and as the same burne there goeth to Graindge borne, and from thence to a cross of stone standyng nye the sayd burne, and then up the burne to a reade fourde, and from the saide fourde by certayne marche stones to ye come to the marche stone nye the Possetts leche, and then downe the letche to Espett fourde, and from thence along Whyttell ground and dyke on the east syde of Whyttell towne to the south-east nooke of Hydge-croft and downe the same dyke to the bourne, and so upp the borne to Hampeth fourde, from thence south-west alonge the waye that goeth to ye Sheildyke there is one tenement, with certayne arrable grounde and medowe lyeng there together, parcell of Shilbotell, and from thence to the dyke of the Swynlee and alonge the same dyke to a cawsee of stone, and from thence alonge the Black-close dyke and Rugley east dyke to ye streite yate where we did begyn.
    Noat that there was in the said town one towre.
    The towne of Shilbottell is a very poore towne, although they have much arable land, medowe ground indifferent, ther rent considered, and also a very great comon pasture ; the cause ys the arable land ys a waisted leane lande for that they are not able to donge yt as the same wold be. Yt ys a baire clay grounde and will take moche soile or donge before yt be brought to any good perfeccon or fertylytye. Ther comon pasture is marvelouse sture (sic) grounde, and over laid and eaten with the cattell of townes adjoynynge upon ye same. -
    The said tennants have comon and pasture upon Rymsyde Moore within these bounders.
    If this towne were devided and sett in two severall places, the land equally parted, and also ther comon ground and suche porcon as shall falle to ether of ye sayde partyes of the towne so devided as the scyte of them wolde requyer, and yt upon every man to enclose such arrable lande and medowe as should fall to ther porcon, the comon grounde to be enclosed by the said tenants as the devycon of itselfe wolde then requyer, without doubt yt wold not only he good for my lord, cause the tennants to be welthye, but also a marvalous strength to the said tenants and townes lyeng in the east of that place toward the sea.
    If this towne were devyded and enclosed as above, the tenants comaunded to go to Rymsyde Moore with they cattell, there contynew from the first day of May unto the last of June, onles there oxen for servying of there fallow as servyce of my lord be brought home for that tyme, and that done, to be had to the said Rimsaye Moore agayne, in which tyme of ther absence they grounds so enclosed at home and ther comon pasture wold be comed to the full grewthe and become as a fence, which wold be a great comodytye to the tenants.
    The same tenants digge not only ther comon grounde for turves and pull hather for ther owne use, but also sell to others that are not of the same towne, and suffer strangers to do the same, to then great hindraunce, so that the hether which shold serve for their necessaryes, and in wynter whan the storms are, be buyld and foode for ther cattell, ys yn a manner all waisted ; the ground also, by reason of castyng so great numbre of turves, so tyrred and maide baire, that of a greate parte therof groweth no grasse to feade or pasture any cattell, so that the tenants, by ther owne folly and dysorder, empoverishe themselves, contrary ther, old auncyent orders in court, under greate penalty, but now nothinge regarded.
    If yt wer orderyd, and so mayntayned, that the same tenants had ther turves and hether from Rymesay Moore as well as they have comon of pasture they and ther cattell, then shuld ye comon pasture grounde aforesayd be neather so evill tyrred and, for want of bather, be in dysorder, as before ys menconed, but rather yf yt be orderly used according to the meanyng aforesayd yt shall become a goode pasture grounde, and where now yt ys a barron heath and a sture pasture weh my lord may well graunt to the sayd tennants as well as the said Tyson, lorde of Shilbottell, had the foresayd comon and pasture of Rymsyde Moore by the grant of Bartram, then lorde of Mytforde and lorde of the said moore, even so hys lordship, now lorde of Mytforde, may graunte to his sayd tenants of Shilbottell licence to have more leave and cast turves or to pull hather suffycyent for ther yerely and necessarye provysyon.
    The sayd tenants of Shilbottell with their balyfs have yerely been accustomed, and of right oughte, to ryde the same bounders of Rymsyde Moore upon St. . .* . . day, and yf they fynde any cattell goynge and pasturing in the said grounde of any th' inhabitants ther abouts or others than the cattell of th' inhabitors of Shilbottell, to dryve them forth of the same grounde or pinde them in one stone folde there called at this daye the 'Barron's folde', now in decaye, which ys yerely to be repared and maynteyned by the said tenants of Shilbottell under a good penaltye in courte. And in lykewyse if the sayd balyf and tenants or any of them in ridinge the bounders of the said Rymsyde Moore do finde any defalte as slopes or such lyke decaye in Framlington dyke or yett in the dyke of New-more-house or at any other tyme that they ought to be kept up, then the tenants of Framlington in New-more-house aforesayd which ought to make the same dyke or upon the presentment of the sayd balyff or tennants in ye court of Shilbottell to be grevously amerced, their cattell founde goyng within the same bounder to be estreaned for the same.
    In the divysyon of any towne yt is to foresee that those tenements that are to be taken and removed be sett in ye most dryest place of the lande alloted unto them so it be nighe the water and that the cattell may every morning and evenyng go through and by the sayd water to and from the pasturage. And yf they may leade ther donge or soyle to ther arrable lande with a movyng downwarde yt shall be mooche profitable, and after the scyte of the tenements be sett forthe with ther gardynge and stakegarthes then wer yt for dyvers consideracons good that every tenement accordynge to the quantyte of ther rent to have sett forthe one crofte to be enclosed and adjoyninge to the backe fronte or garthes of everye one of the tenements ; there arrable to lye on thre parts aboute them, and the pasture grounde upon ye fourthe parte yf yt be possible, and yt every tennant also might have all his severall and pasture grounde lyenge by itself or ells by rygge and rygge as the goodnes and fartelytye of the land requyreth, for yt ys moche nedeful that every thinge that shal be to there comoditye be throughlie consydered before the tenements be planted and sett.
    There ys within these feilds of Shilbottell one coole myne which ys moch profitable for the tenants there and to th' inhabitants of the townes therabouts ; yt ys wrought by William Gray of Anwick by vertew of one lease, etc.
    It were nedefull the tenants of Shilbottell wer suffred to kepe gots by reason ther pasture, as before ys menconed, ys a large hethe and moryshe grounde and a very sture ground, wherfore seyng yey are profitable for ye tenants so that they wer kept upon ye said large pasture and dyd not come nyghe my lord's woods, nor distroye the quick wood dyke of the same towne, yf any were builded (as ys requisite they were) yt wer not hurt to my lord, and a great comoditye to the tennants to have gots, if they orderlye be kept and loked to as above is rehersed.
    Ther ys one parcell of grounde called Hedge-croft, lyeng upon the south parte of ye said common pasture nyghe and adjoyninge to Whyttell dyke and Hampeth burne which ys envyroned with one old dyke and ys no parte of the same comon pasture of Shilbottell, for yt was in auncyent tyme full of wood and was in the hands of the bailyfe of Shilbottell and kept enclosed from the tenants to such tyme the woode was waisted, then was it laid open and ever since laye as in comon pasture. It is farre from Shilbottell and very nighe the hamlett or towne of Whittell, so that the tenants there by reason they joine upon it have the profitt therof more than any my lord's tenants of Shilbottell. It were therefore good the premises considered, that the same were letter to rent, a house theron builded, the dyke repared, yt shuld be rather a strengthe to the tenants of Shilbottell than hurtfull. It conteyneth . . xx. . acres of grounde and wolde be rentyd at fyve shillings per annum, the tennant to have comon and pasture in Rymside as other the tennants of Shilbottell have.

* Illegible.  xx. Blank

      The free tenants were : Thomas Swinborne, who held a tenement and lands for which he paid to the lord a free rent of 12d. a year ; the churchwardens of Shilbottle held a messuage for which they paid 2d. ; John Brown held a toft and 3 acres of arable land for which he rendered a rose, he also held a tenement and lands from the king, late parcel of the possessions of the commendator of St. John of Jerusalem, N and the tenements and 2 husband-lands late belonging to Alnwick abbey, N then apparently in the king's hands ; for none of which did he pay anything to the lord. There were twenty customary tenants, each of whom held a messuage ; sixteen are stated to hold 23 acres of land at the yearly rent of 14s. 8d. ; and four, each of whom paid 14s. 10d. for 18 acres. There were also four cottage tenants, each of whom held with his cottage 6 acres of land and paid a rent of 4s. 2d. to the lord ; a fifth tenant held no land and paid 1s. for his cottage.


Tenants at Will. Previous Tenants Area of
 Messuage and Croft
Land Rent Fine
  A. R. P. Acres £ s. d. £ s. d.
Thomas Clarke Matthew Clarke 1 0 0 23 0 14 8 -
Edward Horne Thomas Horne 1 0 0 23 0 14 8 2 18 8
Thomas Gibson Edward Richardson 1 0 0 23 0 14 8 2  4 0
John Emylton John Emylton 1 0 0 23 0 14 8 2 18 8
John Lyssheman John Watson 0 3 0 23 0 14 8 2 18 8
Thomas Stampe, jun John Swane 1 0 0 23 0 14 8 2  4 0
Charles Dande Richard Dande 1 0 0 23 0 14 8 2  4 0
Humphrey Dobson Humphrey Dobson 0 2 0 23 0 14 8 2 18 8
Robert Anderson Edward Johnson - 18 0 14 10 -
Widow Brown Widow Dande - 18 0 14 10 -
Thomas Twede Thomas Swinborne - 18 0 14 10 -
Robert Johnson John Brewster - 18 0 14 10 -
George Stampe Thomas Stampe 0 2 0 23 0 14 8 2  4 0
Christopher Stamp David Stampe 0 2 0 23(?) 0 14 8 2  4 0
Edward Johnson Thomas Johnson 0 2 0 23 0 14 8 2 18 8
Thomas Hewghe John Swane 0 2 0 23 0 14 8 2 18 8
John Palaser William Palaser 1 0 0 23 0 14 8 2  4 0
The widow of John Stampe William Palaser 1 2 0 23 0 14 8 2  4 0
Charles Ersden Robert Ersden 1 2 0 23 0 14 8 2  4 0
Oswald Chamber Walter Mylne 1 0 0 23 0 14 8 2 18 8


Tenants at Will, each holding a Messuage and one Husbandland Previous Tenants  Crofts etc. Husband-lands Rent Fine Paid 1584/5
  Acres Acres £ s. d. £ s. d.
John Wardale N Thomas Clark 1 23 0 14 8 3 10 0
Edward Home Thos. Horne, his father 1 23 0 14 8 3 10 0
George Gibson Thos, Gibson, his father 1 23 0 14 8 3 10 0
John Embleton John Embleton, his.father 1 23 0 14 8 3 10 0
Christopher Lishman John Lyshman ¾ 23 0 14 8 3 10 0
Thos. Stampe, jun Thomas Stampe, his father 1 23 0 14 8 3 10 0
Hugh Palliser Chas. Dande N 1 23 0 14 8 3 10 0
John Dobsonne Humphrey Dobsonne, his father ½ 23 0 14 8 3 10 0
John Lishman Robt. Anderson - 18 0 13 10 3 15 0
John Browne His mother - 18 0 13 10 3 10 0
William Twedye Thomas Twedye, his father - 18 0 13 10 3 10 0
John Brewster John Brewster, his father - 23 0 13 10 3 10 0
Charles Stampe Geo. Stamp, his father ½ 23 0 14 8 3 10 0
Nicholas Stamp Chris. Stamp, his father ½ 23 0 14 8 3 10 0
John Johnson Edw. Johnson, his father ½ 23 0 14 8 3 10 0
Humphrey Browne Thomas Hewghe ½ 23 0 14 8 3 10 0
John Harbottle John Pallyser 1 23 0 14 8 3 10 0
Thomas Stampe John Stampe, his father 23 0 14 8 3 10 0
John Ersden Chas. Ersden, his father 23 0 14 8 3 10 0
Oswald Chamber Walter Milne 1 23 0 14 8 3 10 0
Janet Embleton held a cottage without land - - 0 1 0 ` Nil, quia
Hugh Palliser, N John Lishman, William Hall, and George Brown each held a cottage and croft and about 6 acres of land, and paid 4s. 2d. a year - - 0 16 8  
Summa of the tenaunts at will     £15 7 8  
    The lists of tenants, both free and customary, presented in the survey made about 1585, correspond very closely with those made nearly twenty years before.
    The freeholders were Thomas Swinborne, who held a tenement with a garden or croft of 1 rood and 7 acres of land, formerly belonging to Robert Hewghe, for which he paid a free rent of 1s. and did suit of court ; the churchwardens held a messuage, for which they paid a free rent of 2d. ; the queen held a tenement and 4 acres, formerly belonging to the commendator of the order of St. John of Jerusalem ; John Browne held a toft and 3 acres of land, formerly belonging to Gilbert Browne, for which he rendered a rose on St. John Baptist's day ; Hugh Gallon held a tenement with a garden or croft of 2 acres and 2 husbandlands, formerly belonging to the monastery of St. Mary of Alnwick ; and Thomas Personne held a tenement with a garden or croft of 2 acres and 1 husbandland which also had belonged to Alnwick monastery.
    At the muster taken on the Moot-law on the 26th of March, 1580, Shilbottle presented twenty men, of whom nineteen were not properly furnished, and excused themselves by saying that they could `not keep horse and geire, their ground is so bare and small.' N In 1587 six men from East Teviotdale, tenants of Cessford, in a raid upon Shilbottle in daylight on the 11th of June, stole eight horses. N On the 12th of March, 1589/90, at the Warden court held at Staweford, William Gray of Alnwick filed a bill of complaint upon Jock Heslop of  'Mowe ' and Jock Douglas of 'Capupp' for four stots and queys stolen from Shilbottle wood on the 13th of February, 1587. N Three years later, the earl of Northumberland, on behalf of his tenants, prosecuted a claim for £86, the value of 32 oxen and kine, 19 horses and mares, 16 sheep, besides ` insight goods ' stolen by the Scots from John Leashman, George Gibson, Thomas Davye, John Brown, Christopher Leashman, John Earsdon, Charles Stampe, Thomas Stampe, and Nicholas Stampe. N At the muster taken on Aberwick-edge on the 24th of November, 1595, Shilbottle provided eleven footmen:
Jo. Wardell, Edm. Horne, Christofer Leachman, Jo. Cirspe, Charles Stampe, Tho. Stampe, all with spears and furnished ; Jo. Gibson, Tho. Lysle, Jo. Johnson, with petronells and furnished ; Jo. Embleton and William Moydy, unfurnished.
   About the year 1616 a survey of the Percy estates was made, which contains more details than any of those which preceded it. The freehold lands were then held by Ellen Gallant, who possessed 104 acres ; John Harte, 14 acres ; Christopher Browne, 4 acres ; Thomas Huntley, the lands formerly belonging to the order of St. John of Jerusalem, 7 acres ; and William Humble held 5 acres ` belonging to the church for repairing of it.'


Tenants at Will. Number of Farms Area of
 Messuage Garth, etc
Meadow and Pasture Arable Total  N
    A. R. P. A. R. P. A. R. P. A. R. P.
Arthur Strother 2 1  2 19½ 24 1 12 87 0 10 113 0 2
John Johnson 1 0  2  28 12 3 1 42 3 11 56  1 1
Richard Garrett N 1 0  3  20 11 2 38 47 1 16 60 0 15
John Garrett 1 0  2  27 12 2 37 44 3 39 58 1 24
Thomas Stampe 1 2  0  8 13 0 22 44 3 22 60 0 13
Thomas Stampe, jun. 1 0  1  28 13 0 2 44 3 15 58 1 6
Oswald Chambers 1 0  2  8 12 2 34 44 1 0 57 2 2
John Emeeton 1 0  3  30 12 0 27 43 0 28 56 1 5
Nicholas Horne 1 0  2  28 12 1 27 41 0 12 54 2 27
Robert Huntlye 1 0  2  31 12 3 30 44 3 6 58 1 28
Thomas Emleton 1 1  0  26 12 3 9 42 2 36 56 2 34
Christopher Lishman 1 0  1  2 12 0 27 44 2 19 57 0 9
John Stamp 1 0  3  35 12 2 38 44 3 15 58 2 7
William Turner 1 0  2  32 11 2 25 46 3 17 59 0 34
Nicholas Stampe 1 0  2  32 12 2 1 44 0 23 57 1 16
John Lishman N 1 0  1  11 8 2 15 35 1 28 44 1 16
Thomas Garrett 1 0  1  0 7 3 38 36 0 19 44 1 17
Thomas Lisley 1 0  1  17 7 2 37 37 1 37 45 2 12
William Twedye 1 0  1  6 7 3 19 37 0 11 45 0 36

There were four cottage farms held by Hugh Palliser, John Lishman, Richard Dand, and John Tomlyn, which together comprised a total acreage of 54 acres.


    In 1635 the rents obtained by the earl of Northumberland comprised free rent, 5s. ; rent of demesnes, £I9 3s. 4d. ; rent of tenements and cottages, £43 14s. 4d. ; total, £63 2s. 8d., but beside these annual rents large sums were paid for fines. In 1663 the Wood-house, the colliery, and part of the land, belonged to the earl of Northumberland, part of the town to Selby and Falder, and the great tithes partly to Mr. Selby and partly to Colonel Brandling.
    The greater part of pasture lands of the township remained open and unenclosed until the middle of last century, when by articles of agreement dated the 12th of August, 1758, Gabriel Readhead of the Lee, Samuel Marriot of Morpeth, and William Smart of Budle were appointed to be commissioners for the purpose of making the division. The moor was found to contain an area of 1,509 acres, and by their award dated the 31st of March,
1759, the commissioners gave to the earl and countess of Northumberland as compensation for their manorial rights, and also in respect of their lands which had commonable rights, 956 acres ; to Richard Clutterbuck for his lands at Whittle, 236 acres ; to George Selby for his lands at Shilbottle, 89¼ acres ; to the vicar of Shilbottle, 18 acres ; and to Joseph Garrett, George Hunter, and Thomas Palliser in respect of their freehold cottages and lands, there were given allotments of 18 acres, 17 acres, and 7½ acres respectively. N
   The lands and certain of the tithes which had belonged to Alnwick abbey were sold by Morrice and Phillipps, the Crown grantees, and on the 10th of June, 1610, were conveyed to John Crispe, John White, and Richard Crispe, who resold them in the year 1627 to William Selby of Beal and Eleanor, his wife. In 1684 Daniel Selby, son and successor of the above-named William Selby, was a party to the division of Shilbottle Middle-field ; he was residing at Shilbottle on the 28th of April, 1694, when with Eleanor, his wife, he released his lands in Holy Island and at Shilbottle to William Selby of Beal. At the death of the latter, in 1709, he was succeeded by his son, Prideaux Selby, then residing at Brinkburn, who by his will, dated the 4th of May, 1744, seems to have settled his lands at Shilbottle upon his younger son, George Selby of Hunting-hall, near Lowick, who in 1759 was a party to the division of Shilbottle common. George Selby was succeeded by his third son, also named George Selby, of Alnwick, a captain in the Royal Navy, who died on the 23rd of June, 1867 ; this estate, which comprises 198 acres, still belongs to N Captain Selby's nephew, Dr. Church. N
    At the present time, besides the land belonging to Dr. Church, the churchwardens possess 11 acres, certain small freeholders N 22 acres, and there are 17 acres of glebe. The duke of Northumberland is the proprietor of the remainder of the township. N
    In the survey made about 1585 it is stated that within the manor of Shilbottle there is `a good and riche myne of coles verye profitable to the countrey thereabouts, the same was occupied by William Gray of Alnewicke for the rent of £4 14s. and after laid downe, and lately demysed during the lord's pleasure to William Bednell and other the burgesses of Alnewicke for the rent of £4 by yere.' N Seventeen years later, the coal mine was held under lease by Griffin Butler and William Harte, clerk, at the rent of £15. N During the eighteenth century the coal mines were held under successive leases by the family of Archbold of Cawledge park and Alnwick. N In 1734 it was stated there are `several coal pits that are at present in use, and produce abundance of very good coals that serve most of the neighbouring villages.' N In a colliery plan bearing the date 14th April, 1764, in the possession of the Newcastle Society of Antiquaries, there is shown a wind mill, which was evidently used to work the pump N to draw water from the mines.




Shilbottle Wood- House Township Map

    The existence of Shilbottle Wood-house as an independent township is of modern origin, for when Shilbottle Moor or common was divided in 1759 `an allotment was set off for Wood-house as being then part of the township of Shilbottle, and indeed it appears clear that Wood-house is not distinct from Shilbottle, but part of it, and it was always included in the constabulary of Shilbottle, and never had a constable of its own until lately, when a constable was got appointed there on account (as is believed) for the farmer of it—who was made constable—to be exempt from the militia.' N It comprises 567 acres, and in 1891 had a population of 31 N
    The handle end of an iron sword found in Shilbottle wood is preserved in the museum at Alnwick castle ; the handle, made of bone, is encircled by longitudinal rods of iron 5 inches in length ; the imperfect blade is now 7½ inches long, and very much decayed. N
    The place represents the lord's demesne lands, and in the sixteenth century was called Shilbottle park. The earliest notice that has been found occurs in the earl of Northumberland's Bailiffs' Accounts for 1472, when the grieve of Shilbottle accounted for the rents of certain demesne meadows called Dowkerhalgh, Waterlees, Tenacres, and Tiallez, N which were let for 27s. a year. N In 1486 an allowance of 10s. was made for charges incurred in the enclosing and maintaining of hedges and ditches round Shilbottle wood, and Thomas Doddesworth, the bailiff and forester of the lordship, was charged 10s. for rent of a thicket (virgulti) within the great wood eaten by his horses and cattle. In the same year 12d. was received for the bark and 2s. for the branches of trees cut down for the works at Warkworth castle ; in the following year 12d. was received for branches. Thomas Doddesworth, who held the office of bailiff and forester by the earl's Letters patent for the term of his life, in 1488 was paid £3 0s. 8d. for his fee. In 1562 there was a rebate of rent on account of a parcel of meadow in Shilbottell called Langhaugh, held by John Stamp at 16s. a year, because it had been occupied by the lord's officers, together with the hay growing there to the lord's use. The sum of 25s. 10d. was paid in wages to men hired to cut down trees in Shilbottle wood, for carrying them to Alnwick castle, and building a hedge there with the said trees. John Stamp, the keeper of the wood, was paid £3 0s. 8d. for his wages, at the rate of 2d. a day. N  The following description is taken from a survey of the manor of Shilbottle made about the year 1585 :
    There is within the said manner two large parcelles of ground inclosed, very well replenyshed with great tymber and other wodes, the one called the south wode, the other the north woode, and are now much wasted and consumed by reason of the contynually taking and delyverynge of tymber to his lordship's tenauntes for reparaciones and other wages. The said woodes have beene used since the said manner came to his lordship's auncestors' handes as purlewes to the parkes of Callerche, Warkeworth, and Acklington ; the herbage whereof are now demysed to one Thomas Stampe, together with other parcelles of the demaynes by indenture for terme of yeres yet induringe.
    The balye or keper of the same wodes, for his better Bayne and profitt, hath bene heretofore accustomed to receyve of the tenauntes of Bylton, Woulden, Buston, and Shilbottell, of everie of them, one threave of wheat or rye in the tyme of harvest for lycence to take wodde for raunges, watling, and other necessaries, calling the same forster corne, and now clayming the same as parcell of the profittes of his office, to the great distruction of the said woodes if the same be suffered. N
    The premises so leased to Thomas Stamp comprised a well-built capital messuage, with a garden and croft, certain closes called the Holte, Forsterlaunde, Langhaughe, the Southe-wood, the Langhaughe-pece, the Over-seavenacre, the Under-wod-pece, Tyle-leae, the Style-hill, the Salter-meadow, Cannon-meadowe, Wanda-leaz, Carterdeane-meadow, containing 141 acres in all, the herbage of the North-wood of 130 acres and of the South-wood of 200 acres ; the rent of the whole was £5 i6s. 8d. a year. N In 1587 not less than 84 oaks were cut out of Shilbottle wood ; one tree was given to the township of Rennington to make ` a payr of stockes,' some were used in the repair of Warkworth and Longhoughton mills, and others Were sold. N
   In 1607 Shilbottle park, with `the harbage of twoe great woodes their called the Northe woode and the Southe woode,' were held by Thomas Stamp under a twenty-one years' lease granted on the 17th of February, 1585/6. N In the following year Robert Stamp paid a fine of £15 on being admitted to a new twenty-one years' lease at the same rent of £5 16s. 8d. N
In an old account of the boundaries and contents of Shilbottle, drawn up in 1608, it is stated that:
    Shilbotle wood, in the occupation of Thomas Stampe, is environed with Shilbotle, Bilton, Upper Buston, Nether Buston, and Sturton Grainge, havinge Shilbotle fieldes on the west and the north, Bilton and the 2 Bustons onne th' easte, and Sturtonne Grainge onne the southe, contaninge 348 acres, viz., 60 acres in earhable, 40 acres in medoe, and 84 acres in pasture, with 164 acres of wood, underwodes shrubes and bushes, all barren, unfruictfull, sowre and watrye, so that it is unpossihie to keep any sheepe upon the same. N
Four years later Stamp was superseded in his office by Arthur Strother of Shilbottle, who met with so hostile a reception from his neighbours that he addressed the following petition to the earl of Northumberland :
   The humble peticion of Arthure Strother of Shilbotle, within the county of Northumberland, your honour's servant, shewinge : That your lordship, in May last past, by your lordship's warrant, did depute and appoint your supliant and said servant woodward and keeper of all your lordshipp's woods of Shilbotle aforesaid during your good lordshipp's pleasure ; and that by vertue therof your supliant enterred therto. And your supliant forther sheweth that one Thomas Stampe of Shilbotle, Danyell Galland, layt of the same, deceased, have, sythenc your lordshipp's said warrant graunted, not onely denyed, as all other the inhabitants of the same place doe deny, to pay unto your supliant his fees accustomed to he paid for the said office, but also have greatlie spoyled and waisted your supliant's said woods, and encouraged dyvers others to doe the like. And your supliant also forther sheweth that he, accordinge to the trust in him reposed by your good lordship, did, about eight weeks since, make a stopp of certaine grene woods which Thomas Embleton and Robert Huntley were leadinge away forth of your lordship's said woods, for revenge wherof they have procured John Huntley, servant to the said Robert, Robert Browne, servant unto the said Galland, and John Johnson to ly in awayt for your said supliant, and to murder him, and they accordingly have sore hurte and wounded your supliant. Wherfore your supliant humblie preyeth your good lordship that your good lordship will take such present order for your supliant hearin as his fees may be paid unto him and such other course taken for your supliant's quiet enjoying the said office, and his wronges done as your lordship shall thinke meet, and your supliant shall, according to his bounden duty, daylie prey for your good lordship in health long to contynewe. N
    What was decided about the keepership does not appear, but in 1628, in consideration of the payment of a fine of £18, a lease of Shilbottle park, etc., was granted to Martin Stamp to hold for twenty-one years at the same rent as before. N At its expiration there was a change of tenancy, for on the 27th of March, 1649, in consideration of a fine of £100, a lease was granted to Joseph Forster, who seems to have been a member of the Low Buston family, and himself became ancestor of the family of Forster of High Buston and Newton-by-the-sea. Forster, on the 28th of April, 1648, wrote from Gloster-hill to Hugh Potter :
   My service presented unto you, wishing you health and happines. I was forsed to neglect the performance of my promis that I made unto you by reasone of the extreamitie of a plurisie which I tooke one Tuesdaye last with so much violence that if God, by his providence, had not given me ease by the ordinarye means he bath appointed, it had beene imposable for me to have subsisted till this time. But now I blesse his name for it, I have recovered so much strength as to take the paines to give your worship satisfaction, the which I expected my brother should have done, but I am informed by him that your demands were so hie as not posable to be dealt with all, but he lets me understand that it is your desire that if I cane not come I should write my minde unto you in it, which I have here done according to your desire, though with a great deele of paine. He acquaints me that your demand is £180 fine, which I am sure is more than ever any mane cane make of it ; yet thus much I will ingage my selfe, to paye £100 fine and what was promised yourselfe beside shall also be made good at the receiveing of the lease. Only I hope you will be pleased to abate some what of the rente for the child, and to let me have a little timber for to buld a house with. And this I will ingage my selfe to doe, that if this will serve if the widdow will take one man I will take an other, and I will stand to theire order, if she cane satisfie me for my disbursments in any convenient time, she shall have the lease, or else if she will disburse halfe she shall have halfe ; if not, I will do the like to the child as soone as he is capable to manage it. God forbid that I should betraye the trust imposed upon me. This is more, I vow, then any frinde doth advise me unto, and more than ever I would have done for it, but I would be loath to se the child left to the mercye of the world, of whom I make no doubt but your worship will take pittie and commiseration. This is all I cane saye at presente, etc. N
Forster's descendants, under successive leases, N continued to hold the place until about the year 1775, but for many years they had been permitted to sublet to other tenants. It continues to be the property of the duke of Northumberland, and is comprised in one farm. N