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Will of Henry Neville 5th Earl of Westmorland

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Date: [unknown] [unknown]
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Surnames/tags: Neville Cholmeley Manners
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Testamentum Henrici Comitis de Westmerland
Aug. 18, 1563.
From the Registry at York. Pr. 22 Sep 1561
CITATION: Raine, J. (1860). "Testamentum Henrici Comitis de Westmerland," in Wills and Inventories from the Registry at Durham, II, p. 1 - 6.Google Books.

I Henry Earl of Westmorland,[1] one of the most noble order of the Garter, knight, do according to the liberty of one act of Parliament, made and ordained at Westminster, in the thirty year of the reign of our late sovereign lord, of famous memory, King Henry VIII, ordain and makes this my last will and testament. I bequeath and commend my soul unto Almighty God, and my body to be buried in the parish church of Staindrop, under the tomb that last was made,[2] nighe unto my late wife Lady Jane, if I die in England, and my funerals to be honorably celebrated and done according to the discretion of my executors.

I will and devise two parts of all my manors, &c., unto:

  • Sir Richard Cholmeley, knight,[3]
  • and Robert Bowes, esquire,[4]
Bowes, (Vis. of York, 1563/4)

on trust, i.e., the manor of Bywell in Northumberland, with my lands, &c., at Cockfeilde, Keverston, Ingleton, Bollome, Forres of Langhton, Somerhouse and Haughton, within the Lordship of Raybye, to pay there from to either of my two daughters:

  1. Marye,[5]
  2. and Adelanell,Adeline Neville (will 22 Mar 1612/3)[6]

one thousand marks, and one hundred pounds yearly unto Lady Margaret now my wife, and daughter of Sir Roger Cholmeley, knight, deceased, and late wife of Sir Henry Gascoigne, knight,(d. 288 Oct 1558)[7] also deceased, and since that time married unto me the said Earl, and to my two daughters:[8]

  1. Margaret
  2. and Elisabethe,

begotten by me of her, either of them one thousand marks, provided that my two daughters do not marry themselves to any man, during the life of their mother, without her consent, and my son and heir apparent Charles Nevyll,(d. 1601 Newport exiled)[9] after he hath accomplished the full age of twenty-one (21) years, to enter unto the said manner and lands, if he will bind himself with sufficient sureties to pay the foresaid legacies.

  • Also I will to my said feoffees my lands, &c., at Shotton, Woodlande, Stryckley Park, Wakerfeilde, Langton, Ulnebie, Hylton, Manfield, Medomsley, Woodyfeild, Pathrawe, Nettlebedde, Sunderlan, Gaitesyde, Cletlam and Stillington, in the lordshipp of Raybye, for xxi years, together with lands, &c., in Newcastell-upon-Tyne,[10] to the yearly value of 30 £, on trust to pay out of the same, to my said four daughters, the sum of four score pounds yearly, till they be married, and to pay all my debts, legacies and funerals, and if the said charges be paid before the foresaid term be expired, then I will that my said son Charles shall enter into the same, and I give him my whole interest and lease in the College of Staindrop.
  • To my said wife I give my whole interest in Blandsbye Parke in Yorkshire, and in the parsonage or tithe of Kirkby Misperton, and in the parsonage or tithe of Sehame, and all my goods at Kirkby Moreshead, Keldehome, Rockbarghe and Blandsbye Parke.
  • To the said Lady Margaret, now my wife, all the plate belonging to the foresaid Sir Henry Gascoigne, knight, or my said wife, at or before the day of our marriage, and the rest of all my plate to be equally divided between her and my son Charles.
  • To my said wife all my household stuff at Kirkby Moreshead and Keldhome.
  • To Thomas Gascoigne, youngest son of the said Sir Henry Gascoigne, my farmhold called Carleburye, after the expiration of a lease granted by me to John Killinghall,[11] for his life, paying the accustomed rent.
  • To my bastard daughter Margaret Watson, otherwise called Margaret Nevyll,[12] my two farmholde called Newham and Westholme, after the expiration of the leases granted by me to John Cholmeley and John Dowthaite deceased, for forty-one (41) years.
  • To my servant William Lee[13] the office of the general receivership of all my lands in the counties of Duresme and Northumberland, during the minority of my son Charles, with a yearly fee of 40s. during his life.
  • To my servant Francis Burton the office of the general receivership of all my lands in the county of York, with the yearly fee of 40s. during his life.
  • To my servant Robert Cholmeley, gent., a yearly fee of 20£ during his life,
  • and to my servant Nicholas Fetherstonhaugh the office of the kepership of my west park of Brancepeth, with the yearly fee, to have the same unto the death of Lyonell Fetherstonhaugh, his father,[14] and that he to enter into the one half of Standley, whereof I have made him a lease, and after the death of the said Lyonell, I give the said office, with the said fee, unto my servant George Bisham for his life.
  • To my chaplain Sir Nicholas Forster, parson of Brancepeth, 20£.
  • I will that all my servants having offices of me, and no leases or patents, do enjoy the same as well as if they had thereof leases and patents.
  • All my other goods I give to my said son Charles Nevyll,
  • and I make my executors: my son Charles Nevill, Sir Richard Cholmeley, knight, Robert Bowes and Jerrarde Salven,(will & inv 1570)[15] esquires, and for their pains and travel I do give unto them, over and besides their costs and charges, every one of them xl marks.

Memorandum, this present testament was read, published and declared before the within named right honorable Earl to be his true and last will, and all other former wills by him made to be void, frustrate and nichillate, by him confessed in the presence of:

  • Robert Dalton,[prebend. of co. Dur in 1541][16] bachelor in divinity,
  • Jerred Salven the elder, esquire,
  • Christofer Chayter,
  • George Fennye,
  • George Cowper,
  • Thomas Gibson.

Also I will and ordain, that at what place soever it shall please God to call me to His mercy, that my household being there, the same house and my servants shall be kept together, and the house kept in such order as has been in times past, according to my honor, by the space of three months after my decease.


And where I have given to my servant Robert Cholmeley an annuity of 20£ during his life, I charge it upon my lands, &c., in the county of Durham and Northumberland.

  • To Margaret Gascoigne,[17] daughter of Sir Henry Gascoigne, late of Sadburye, deceased, my interest in the deanery and tithe of Darlington.
  • To Lady Margaret, now my wife, one gelding, called Gray Wycliffe.
  • To my brother-in-law Sir Richard Cholemeley knight, one bay gelding, which I bought of my servant Rauffe Newbye.
  • To Roger Dalton,(d. 1587)[18] one black gelding, which Thomas Watson bought at Malton.
  • To my servant William Constable,[19] my great gresselde gelding, which I had of Hebburn.
  • To all my household servants, giving daily attendance, every one of them one half years wages, over and besides their ordinary wages.
  • I will that my executors pay unto Sir Robert Brandling,(d. 1568)[20] of Newcastle upon Tyne, knight, c marks which I do owe him, and also 80£.
Brandling of Newcastle, (Foster, 1891)
  • to my said brother-in-law Sir Richard Cholmeley, which I do owe to him, and also to Thomas Nicholas, merchant tailor of London, 18£. which I am indebted to him.
  • Item where before this time I did give by dead unto my daughter Elenor,[21] my manor of Bolbeck in Northumberland, till she were paid 1000£, now I will that if she be of the said manor lawfully evicted, then my executors shall pay to her 1000£, to be taken out of all my lands and tenements.

And where I have given unto my now wife my interest in Blandesbye Park, now know you that I will the said gift to be void, and give it to my sonne Charles Nevyll.

[From the Registry at York. Pr. Sep. 22, 1561.]


  1. Henry Neville, fifth Earl of Westmerland, the head of one of the noblest houses in the north of England. He was one of the eighteen children of: He took little part in public affairs. We find him making complaints against the conduct of Bishop Tunstall in his diocese, and for some years he was Lord Warden of the Western Marches, and some of his letters in that capacity are printed in Lodge. He had, however, but little of the spirit of his ancestors of the preceding century. The glories of the house of Neville were already on the wane. The Earl married three (3) times and had eight (8) children. He married to:
    1. Anne Manners, dau. of Thomas, Earl of Rutland.
    2. Jane (bur. Staindrop), dau. of Sir Roger Cholmeley, knight & Catharine, dau. Sir Robert Constable. Jane Cholmeley was interred at Staindrop, under the tomb which covers the remains of her husband.
    3. Margaret Cholmeley (bur. 02 Apr 1570 St. Dunstan's in the West), sis. of 2nd wife, was wid. of Sir Henry Gascoigne of Sedbury, co. York, knight. By her he had two daughters.
    It is a difficult name the mother of the other six children. The pedigree of Neville, drawn up by Mr. Surtees, must be looked upon with a good deal of reserve and caution.
  2. This tomb is still at Staindrop, and is a wood carving. It has been, most improperly, removed from its old position in the chancel. An inscription on the monument informs us that it was made in 1560 by the present testator for himself and his three wives. Two only of those ladies have their effigies on the tomb. Mr. Surtees describes the monument, with the inscription and the arms that it once bore.
  3. Brother-in-law to the Earl, and a person of very great consequence and distinction, indeed, there was no one without a title that occupied a higher position in the north of England. His first wife was a daughter of William Lord Conyers of Hornby, his second, a daughter of the Earl of Cumberland. He left behind him a numerous family.
  4. A younger brother of the celebrated Sir George Bowes, and himself a person of no small repute. He was for many years treasurer of Berwick, and ambassador to Scotland. A portion of his official correspondence, relating to Scottish affairs, has been printed by this Society.
  5. Mary Neville, according to Surtees, died unmarried before 1579.
  6. Adeline Neville survived for a long time the ruin of her family. She mad her will 22 March 1612/3, as a resident in the parish of St. Martin-in-the-Fields, London:
    " to be interred in the parish church or chancel of Stanthorpe, co. Durham.
    • To Raphe Doughfoote, Wm. Doughfoote, Raphe Wilsonn, Chr. Batmison, and Wm. Conyers 40s. each.
    • To Lawr. Kirke 51.
    • To Elizabeth Tasbrough, my waiting gentlewoman, 41.
    • All my manors, &c., to my honorable kinsman Sir George Manners of Fulbeck, co. Lincoln, knight, and he to pay my debts, &c., and to be sole executor.
    • Sir Henrie Bellies of Newbrough, co. York, knight, supervisor, and I give him a ring of gold of 20s., in remembrance of my love to him.”
    (Pr. at London, Oct. 7, 1613. In the registry at York.]
  7. Sir Henry Gascoigne of Sedbury, near Richmond, knight, æt. 28, 1545. He died Oct. 28, 1558, leaving several children.
  8. Of these two daughters there is nothing further known.
  9. Sixth and last Earl of Westmerland. He ruined his ancient house by the part which he took in the Rising in the North. His end was a pitiable one, and a long account of his sufferings and wanderings will be found in Sir Cuthbert Sharp's work on the Rebellion of 1569. He is said to have died in exile at Newport in 1601.
    Wadsworth, in his English Spanish Pilgrim, printed in 1630, speaking of the English refugees in Flanders, says,
    “ There is one Nevill, who stiles himself Earl of Westmerland, but his earledome many times will scarce furnish him with a dinner, and were it not for his second wife, (this Nevil's first wife is yet living in London,) who playeth the shee physitian in the Archdutches court, he might be put oft times to narrower shifts, notwithstanding his 100 crownes pension a month."
    Who can this be? Perhaps one of the Latimer Nevilles, as they are called. Could the sixth Earl have married a second wife, and left a family behind him in Flanders ?
  10. The site of the old hostel of the Nevilles, at Newcastle, is now occupied by the Medical College, which has been called Neville. Hall.
  11. Of Middleton St. George, esq. Carlbury, the lease of which the Earl left to his stepson Thomas Gascoigne, lies on the Durham side of the Tees, close to the village of Piersbridge.
  12. Was it the tradition of the love adventures of the testator that suggested to the late Mr. Surtees one of his most striking ballads ?
    As I down Raby Park did pass,
    I heard a fair maid weep and wail ;
    The chiefest of her song it was--
    “Farewell the sweets of Langley-dale."
  13. Retainers of the Earl. Cholmeley was one of his wife's kinsmen. Douthwaite lived at Westholme in the parish of Winston, where the old manor house still remains. There is a pedigree of his family in Surtees. Lee lived at East Brandon in the parish of Brancepeth, and the inventory of his effects will be given in the present volume.
  14. The Featherstonhalghs of Brancepeth, a branch of the house of Stanhope, were for a long time connected with the Nevilles and their estates. It was through their means, aided by the Perkinsons, that Earl Charles made his escape into the Low Countries.
  15. The head of the very ancient house of Salvin of Croxdale. His will and inventory, dated in 1570, have been printed in the first volume of the Durham Wills, p. 345.
  16. Son of John Dalton of West Auckland, and prebendary of the seventh stall at Durham in 1541. Deprived in 1560. Died 10 July, 12 Eliz.
  17. This lady died at the Whitefriars, in London, in 1567. The scanty inventory of her effects has been printed in Durham Wills, p. 273.
  18. Member of a family in the East Riding of Yorkshire. He lived at Kirkby Misperton, and died in 1587.
  19. The Constables of Flambro' were connected with the Earl through the Cholmeleys. Of the base way in which Sir Robert Constable made use of his relationship, to deceive and entrap the wife of the last unfortunate Earl, an account will be found in Sharp's Memorials of the Rebellion.
  20. Sir Robert Brandling, Mayor and Sheriff of Newcastle, was knighted on the field of Musselbrough by the Duke of Somerset. He died in 1568, and the present family of Brandling descends from his brother. Sir Robert is mentioned in several of the publications of this Society.
  21. This lady became the wife of Sir William Pelham of Newstead and Brockleby, co. Lincoln, knight.
    [Of the Earl's daughter][citation needed] Catherine, who married Sir John Constable of Halsham and Kirkby Knowle, the testator, strange to say, makes no mention.
    Her will Aug. 4, 1590.
    Ladie Katherine Constable, widow, late wife of Sir John Constable of Kirkebie Knowell, knight.
    If I die on this side Trente to be buried in the church of Shortdiche, near the city of London, near my ancestors, thit is to witte, Ladie Katherine, late Countess of Westmorland, my grandmother and godmother. My executors to cause 40£ to be bestowed upon a tomb, wherein I will that there shall be a memory made of myself and my two grandmothers, viz.,
    • of the said Countess, who died, as I remember, in Maye anno iij Mariæ,
    • and of Elenor Countess of Rutland, who died, as I likewise remember, in anno iij Edward VI.,
    and of Margaret Countess of Rutland, my aunt, all which three ladies lie buried in that church.
    If I die in the north parts beyond Trent, to be buried in the church of Halsham, near my late husband.
    My sister Ladie Adaline, and nieces Margaret and Anne Nevill.
    • To my son-in-law Sir Henry Constable, knight, one pair of livery pots with my arms on them.
    • To William Hilliard of York, esq., my cup of mother of pearl.
    • To my niece the Lady Katherine Graie my plate of ostrich eggshells.
    • To my niece Margaret Nevill a spice box of silver, a perfuming pann, &c.
    • To the Lady Margaret, wife unto Sir Henry Constable, one cross of gold set with diamond.
    • To the Lady Ogle my purslane cup set with stones, which will hold no poison.
    • To my Lord Ogle my cowtche of cloth of gold.
    • To my cousin Jane Tallbott one new white testor sett with roses.
    • To Elline Bromley a cheine of pearl, gold and stones.
    • To Elizabeth Bromley, her sister, a border of gold with pearl.
    [Pr. July 28, 1591.]

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