Rental roll for Hackness in North Yorkshire

Item date: 1622-1639
Grant Value: £940
Item cost: £1,300
Item date acquired: 2020
Item institution: North Yorkshire Record Office
Town/City: Northallerton
County: North Yorkshire

Margaret Boustead, Head of Archives & Records Management, writes: In July 2020, we were excited to discover that a 17th century rental for Hackness, near Scarborough, was to be sold at auction.  The splendid rent roll listed the rents received from properties in and around Hackness for the years 1622 to 1639 and was very clearly an escape from the archive of the Derwent family of Hackness.  This archive, which has been held by the Record Office since 1946, includes an early rental for 1605 to 1622, and a long series of rentals from 1650 to 1839.  The rental for sale partly filled a significant gap in the sequence and we are very grateful to FNL whose generosity allowed us to secure it and return it to the archive.

The rental arrived from the auction house rolled round an oak support, but it is not obvious if this is contemporary with the manuscript. The manuscript itself consists of three membranes of parchment, measuring over two metres in length and 25 centimetres in width, with a tag at the top.  The three membranes are sewn together with a distinctive yellow wool.  The rental is almost exactly the same physical make up and layout as the preceding rental of 1605 to 1622 - using the same format and an identical method of crossed stitches to join the separate parchment membranes together.

Dated 29 September 1639 at the top, the rental notes a James More acting as steward for the owner (at that time Sir Thomas Posthumous Hoby).  It is written in a late English secretarial hand with the opening line “The turffgraft is to be payed yearly upon Michell day”.  Separate columns list the tenants and the rents paid for properties in Hackness Town and the surrounding settlements of Hackness Dale, Silpho, Harwood Dale, Suffield, Everley, Barnscliff and Burniston.  Free holders and their rents are listed and ‘other rentes which are not parcell of Hackness’, including a payment of £2 by John Collyson for ‘Derwen’ and a payment by George Dodsworth for a house in Settrington.  Columns for each year’s rent are marked with an ‘o’ to show an account settled. Separate columns list payments of 2d for ‘green hive’, likely to be a vernacular term for the right to cut green wood, and of 2d and 4d for ‘oven farme’, but these dues appear to be payable only by the tenants of Hackness Town.

The rental lists approximately 126 tenants altogether, of whom only three are women: Katheryn Undrell in Hackness Town, Jayne Cockrell in Silpho and Mrs Thomazin Gate in Harwood Dale.  Hackness and district rents vary from £1 6s 8d paid by Thomas Blande to 8d paid by Rychard Langdon, both for holdings in Hackness Town.

At a previous sale in 1991, the rental was sold alongside material from North Somerset, so it is likely that it was taken by the Sydenham family of Brimpton, Somerset when they acquired the manor in 1640.  It is very pleasing to be able now to reunite it with the main archive.

Item Provenance
Bought from Bloomsbury Auctions (8 July 2020, Lot 71)