Papers of the St Quintin family of Harpham and Scampston

Scope and Content

This collection is rich in medieval title deed material and, as a general rule, the papers largely relate to the property and estates of this very long-established East Riding family.

U DDSQ solely comprises estate papers under the following sections: Burton Agnes (1699-1796) being an original bundle of papers relating to two barns and tithes of hay and corn; Flixton (1618); Foston (1825-1833); Haisthorpe (1398, 1700); Harpham (1297-1815); Kilnwick (1583); Little Kelk (1703); Lowthorpe (1779-1787); Nafferton (1669) being a court roll; Scampston (1771-1847) including the 1847 Scampston tithe award; Thornholme (1787-1792); various townships (1348-1848) including a 14th century copy of a 1220-1348 parchment roll and an abstract of the title of William St Quintin to estates at Harpham and Burton Agnes 1767-1811; Essex (1655-1819) being papers about property in High Laver including a 1655 survey of the manor and a 1767 survey of the hall; London (1550-1694) being an original bundle about property in New Fish Street in the parish of St Margaret's (an inn that goes through several names). The rest of U DDSQ comprises settlements (1514-1822) including the marriage settlements of Herbert St Quintin and Mary Stapleton (1620), William St Quintin and Elizabeth Strickland (1653) and William St Quintin and Rebecca Thompson (1724); wills (1649-1782) being those of William St Quintin (1649), Elizabeth Buck (1668), William St Quintin (1723) and Edward Brodrick (1782). There is also one 18th century pedigree.

U DDSQ2 and U DDSQ3 are more varied deposits including accounts, legal and estate correspondence, some miscellaneous family material and a few plans. Details of the contents of these two deposits follow. For U DDSQ2: Burton Agnes (1722); Foston (1720-1803) including some papers of the Hanchett family, the enclosure act of 1776, some sale documents and a letter about an early corn mill 1792 and the wills of William Warner (1789), Henry Tinegate (1756) and William Botterill (1767); Harpham (late 18th century) being a survey and rental; Kelk (1661-1848) including an original bundle about enclosure and the claim of William St Quintin and the wills of Ralph Porter (1687) and Ralph Porter (1698); Lowthorpe (1759-1859) including correspondence and plans about the Nafferton enclosure award with plans of the railway, the 1848 St Quintin title to the old house and manor farm and the wills of Wastel Briscoe (1795) and John Briscoe (1806); Ruston and Thornholme (1778-1859) including a mortgage of 1785 and the sale to trustees in 1853 and the will of William St Quintin (1797); Rillington (1344, 1711, 1844-1846) including the endowment of the vicarage by the archbishop of York in 1344 and papers about tithes; Scampston (1623-1903) including abstracts of title, mortgages, surveys and rentals and lettings; Thorpe Bassett (1818-1826); Buckinghamshire (1826) being about Swanbourne cow barn; Essex (1766-1863) including the pedigree of Robert Scawen 1670-1766 and papers about High Laver Hall and the running of Wilmores Farm; Gloucestershire (1831); Hampshire (1822-1827) being papers about Charlotte Steed; London (1830-1863) being papers about property in New Fish Street; Middlesex (1759-1924) including a 1759 volume of coloured plans of the manor of Nottingbarns belonging to Thomas Darby, correspondence about Nottingbarns Farm and the building of the Hippodrome in 1839, an abstract of the title of Herbert St Quintin in 1924 and an original bundle about 27 Bruton Street in Berkeley Square; various townships (1718-1842).

U DDSQ2 has a variety of other types of archives as follows: accounts (1777-1860) including accounts related to legal affairs; bonds (1539-1838); correspondence (1779-1848) including 170 letters to Oddie Forster and Lumley solicitors 1830-1848; legal papers (1794-1857) including papers about the will of William Thomas St Quintin 1805-1819 and a large bundle of papers about the mental illness of William St Quintin 1853-1857; rentals (1819-1849) being a very complete set of rentals for St Quintin property in the East Riding covering 1819-1849 and rentals for High Laver in the 1830s; settlements (1747-1840) including a settlement between William St Quintin and George Darby to settle St Quintin debts in 1785, an original bundle about the marriage of Charlotte Fane and William St Quintin in 1758 including the will of Anne Deane (1747) and the marriage settlement of William Thomas Darby and Arabella Calcraft (1794); various deeds (1787-1844) including a few vouchers for High Laver. Miscellaneous material in U DDSQ2 includes an 1822 draft pedigree, the Hull Docks Bill of 1840 and a certificate of burial for Arabella Bridget St Quintin (1841). Wills are those of: William St Quintin (1723); letters of administration for John Thompson (1753); William St Quintin (1768); grant of probate for Thomas Darby (1769); Dulcibella Darby (1784); William St Quintin (1787); letters of administration for Richard Jackson (1787); William Petch (1789); George Darby (1790); letters of administration for Anne Darby (1790); William St Quintin (1793); Catherine Griffith (1799); William Thomas St Quintin (1805); William St Quintin (1830); letters of administration for George Darby (1835); letters of administration for Anne Darby (1835); letters of administration for William Thomas Darby (1835); Francis St Quintin (1857); William St Quintin (1830) with codicils 1837-1842. There is also an original bundle of papers relating to the Gould family of Ealing including the will of Charles Morgan (1782).

U DDSQ3 has much the same composition as U DDSQ2 only is richer in estate correspondence and miscellanous papers. In detail, the estate papers are as follows: Burton Agnes (1759-1858) being about tithes on corn and hay; Foston (1808-1857) including papers on the mill and the 1850s letting to a brewery company; Gransmoor (1701) being a letter about the pre-enclosure survey; Great Kelk (1841-1857) being papers about enclosure; Haisthorpe (1831-1857) including papers about rates paid for tithes; Harpham (1714-1760) including a 1714 survey, estimates for repairing the house in 1831, some notices to quit and tenancy agreements and a memorandum about the interment of a St Quintin family member in their vault; Langton (1850) being the rules of the cricket club; Lowthorpe (1780-1898) including papers about and plans of Lowthorpe mills and lodge, work done on the church in 1859 and leases and tenancy agreements; Nafferton (1779-1871) including leases and the 1841 plan and sale of the corn mill; North Frodingham (1828-1869); Norton (1840s) being one proposal for insuring a saw mill; Rillington (1845-1852) being papers about the title of the York and North Midland Railway; Ruston Parva (1820-1887) including tenancy agreements and papers and specifications for a new church and chancel in 1832; Scampston (1782-1944) including valuations of timber and inventories of furniture and house contents and leases of the house; Thornholme (1714-1858) including a 1714 survey and tenancy agreements; Thorpe Bassett (1783-1903) including an inventory of the goods of Robert Gypson 1834; various townships (1777-1878) including timber surveys and cropping books of the 1840s, charity distribution in the 1850s, an original bundle about land for the Hull to Bridlington railway and another for the York to Scarborough railway, an original bundle of papers of John Clumber of Malton 1814-1843 and the 1828 building accounts for the school at Harpham; London and Middlesex (1569-1827) including a 1569 lease for the messuage called 'the sign of the ship', the letters patent of Charles I in 1641 to John, Earl Rivers, and his mother, Elizabeth, Viscountess Savage, to pull down the decayed mansion and other tenements to build five good houses and 42 smaller houses on a street leading up to Tower Hill, 17th century leases and an 1827 insurance policy for a house at Sunbury; Binham, Norfolk (1354-1582) including a memorandum of the customs 1354-1506 and a 514 folio, bound volume 'View and Survey' of the manor of Bynton dated 1576 including an agreement dated 1432 of William Byrt, prior of the convent of Bynham for holding divine service and for installing a bell weighing 800 pounds; Yorkshire, North Riding ( 1856-1888) including the 1888 programme of amateur theatricals at the Theatre Royal in Malton.

The remainder of U DDSQ3 falls into the following sections: accounts (1785-1787) including trust accounts and cash books; Beverley and Barmston Drainage (1798-1876); legal papers (1871-1881) including papers in a poaching case; rentals (1785-1860) being very full records of rentals on all estates; settlements (1767-1789) including the marriage settlement of George Darby and Mary St Quintin (1767); shrievalty (1841-1842) being minutes, lists of judges and lists of juries relating to the duties of sheriff in that year; various deeds (1785-1834); plans (1747-1938). There is also a pedigree of the Claxton family (17th century) and correspondence (1831-1889) including several hundred letters to John Clumber and Alfred Simpson, estate agents, covering all estate affairs including the building of schools and churches and 65 letters to William St Quintin in the 1880s. U DDSQ3 has some interesting miscellaneous material (1812-1902) including papers about the funeral of Arabella Bridget St Quintin in 1841 and the diary of Amy St Quintin in 1857 chronicling her brother-in-law William St Quintin's mental illness, as well as the diaries of the younger William Herbert St Quintin in Europe in the early 1870s, an 1884 wine list of Hedges and Butler and brass rubbings of St Quintin monuments at Harpham church.

There are also several original bundles of family papers catalogued as U DRA/1075-1209. The latter comprise title deeds for Thurnholme and North Frodingham, for the manor of Harpham, for Ruston and for Thorpe Bassett; estate papers for Scampston; papers for Scagglethorpe and Rillington, including papers about the enclosure of Rillington; papers about the tithes of William St Quintin and Sir Griffith Boynton; papers about the East Yorkshire militia; the wills of William St Quintin (1723), William St Quintin (1768), Mary Dring (1730) and John Hanchett (1815) and the marriage settlements of John Greame and Mary Taylor (1699), John and Mary Hustler (1708) and Edward Dry and Abigail Thorley (1711).

Administrative / Biographical History

Joseph Foster traced the pedigree of the St Quintin family back to Herbert St Quintin who is reputed to have arrived with William the Conqueror and been granted lands in the East Riding. Most histories follow this version of events, but George Poulson says that the earliest land transactions involving the St Quintin family come later. However, the family name is from the capital of Picardy and the family was clearly Norman in origin. In the early twelfth century Herbert St Quintin's descendant, Oliver St Quintin, was married to Adeliza who founded the Cistercian priory for nuns near Appleton that came to be called Nun Appleton, later the house of Thomas, 3rd Baron Fairfax (1612-1671). Their eldest son was a knight warrior who conquered part of Wales and their second son, Herbert St Quintin, was responsible for carrying on the family line that became feudal barons of Brandesburton and Skipsea in the East Riding in the early thirteenth century. Herbert St Quintin married Agnes, sister and co-heiress of Roger de Stutville who was lord of the manors of Burton Agnes and Harpham. On his death Harpham passed into the St Quintin family which was then the main seat of the St Quintin family until the second half of the seventeenth century. Harpham church contains the largest number of St Quintin monuments including a number of medieval brasses (Foster, Pedigrees, iii; Poulson, History and antiquities of Holderness, p.264, 267; Allison, History of the county of York East Riding, ii, p.224; Pevsner & Neave, York and the East Riding, p.450; Legard, The Legards, p.209; English, The great landowners of East Yorkshire, p.27).

Herbert and Agnes St Quintin had five sons, the first three of whom had no issue. The fourth inherited his father's title of baron of St Quintin, though the barony expired with his great great grandson, Herbert St Quintin, who was summoned to parliament in 1294 and died in 1347. He left two daughters, the eldest of whom had no children. The youngest, Lora St Quintin, married four times, lastly into the co-lateral branch of the family descended from Herbert and Agnes St Quintin's fifth son, Alexander St Quintin. Alexander St Quintin was given Harpham by his mother and the family also held the manors of Gransmoor and Thornholme from at least the twelfth century. Alexander St Quintin had nine sons and three daughters, all of whom, miraculously, lived to adulthood. His eldest son, William St Quintin, married a daughter of Sir John Routh and their son, also William St Quintin, married a daughter of Sir John Heslerton. The eldest male line of the Harpham branch of the family remained unbroken in this way for two more generations, until William St Quintin, who died in 1379 and whose striking alabaster tomb is one of the earliest in Harpham church. He appears to have been quite an active lord of the manor, establishing the chantry of St Mary in 1340. His wife, Joan, was the daughter of Sir Marmaduke Thweng and in 1374 she was licenced to crenallate a bell tower she built (Foster, Pedigrees, iii; Allison, History of the county of York East Riding, ii, pp.109-10; Pevsner & Neave, York and the East Riding, pp.226, 449-50).

William and Joan St Quintin had at least eight children. Their eldest son went into the church becoming prebend of St Martin, Beverley, in 1381, as well as the rector of Hornsea and Haisthorpe. Their second son, John St Quintin (d.1397), married Lora, daughter of Herbert St Quintin (as already mentioned). Their only son died without issue and the line continued through John St Quintin's second son by his second wife, Thomas St Quintin, who married Agnes Anlaby and had at least four sons. The eldest was John St Quintin (d.1471) who married an heiress, Alice Holme, and had at least three sons, the eldest of whom was also called John St Quintin (d.1509). This John St Quintin married another heiress, Eleanor Thwaites, and they had five sons, the eldest of whom was another John St Quintin who married Margaret Constable of Flamburgh. He died young leaving an infant son, William St Quintin (b.1515). The latter married Dorothy Griffith and died in 1577 after having seven children, most of whom died young or went on to have no children of their own. The line continued through George St Quintin who married Agnes Creyke and had six children, three of whom died young (Foster, Pedigrees, iii).

Until the seventeenth century the St Quintins remained a middling ancient gentry family of the East Riding, but George and Agnes St Quintin's eldest son, William St Quintin (b.1579), broke this mould, going into public office and increasing family fortunes. He was created baronet 1642 and was sheriff in 1648, dying in 1649. His wife was Mary Lacy, who inherited from her brother, and who also died in 1649. They had nine children, only two of whom died young. Their eldest daughter, Dorothy, married William Cayley, 1st baronet of Brompton. Their eldest son, Henry St Quintin (b.circa 1605), succeeded his father as second baronet. He moved the family from Harpham to Scampston on the north west border of the East Riding and all that now remains of the original manor house is earthworks at Harpham, though the family continued to be transported to Harpham for burial. Henry St Quintin married Mary Stapleton and had seven sons and two daughters, though four sons died young (Foster, Pedigrees, iii; Allison, History of the county of York East Riding, ii, p.224; Legard, The Legards, p.209; English, The great landowners of East Yorkshire, p.46).

Henry St Quintin lived to the age of 90 years (d.1695) and his eldest surviving son, William St Quintin (c.1632-1695) predeceased him by a matter of weeks or months. The 3rd baronet was thus his grandson, third son of William St Quintin and his wife Elizabeth Strickland, their eldest two sons having died without issue. The 3rd baronet, William St Quintin (b.circa 1662) had a career in public office that made a considerable difference to the family's wealth. He was whig MP for Hull for eleven successive parliaments between 1695 and 1723. For a time he served in the Treasury and he also held several lucrative customs posts. After his grandfather's death, between 1697 and about 1720, he spent over £20,000 on about 20 property transactions in the East Riding. The biggest purchases were in Nafferton, Lowthorpe and Scampston. The purchase of the two manors of Scampston cost over £10,000 and William St Quintin was responsible for building most of Scampston village. However, despite all this success and expansion, William St Quintin seems not to have been bothered about passing on his estates to a direct heir, as he never married and died childless in 1723 (Foster, Pedigrees, iii; Pevsner & Neave, York and the East Riding, p.669; English, The great landowners of East Yorkshire, pp.27, 61; Sedgewick, The House of Commons, ii, p.405).

The estates and title passed to another William St Quintin (b.circa 1699), the son of William St Quintin senior's younger brother, Hugh St Quintin, and his wife Catherine Chitty. William St Quintin junior had been born in Amsterdam where his father was a merchant. He was educated at Sydney Sussex in Cambridge and entered the Middle Temple in 1718. He became MP for Thirsk in 1722 and in 1724, a year after the death of his uncle, William St Quintin married Rebecca Thompson, daughter and heiress of Sir John Thompson (later lord mayor of London). He carried on the expansion of the estates in the East Riding, spending over £10,000 on 13 properties, using his wife's money, between 1724 and 1748 and employing Capability Brown to landscape the grounds at Scampston. He also leased tithes from the Boyntons of Burton Agnes and held the advowson of Burton Agnes church from the same family. Rebecca St Quintin died in 1757 and her husband died in 1770. Of their eight children, only two survived their father, William St Quintin (b.1729) and Mary St Quintin (b.1735). William St Quintin junior had married Charlotte Fane, who was vastly wealthy, but she had died young in 1762 and he did not remarry. As they had had no children and William St Quintin had no surviving brothers, the baronetcy expired when he died in 1795. He was succeeded to the family estates by his nephew, William Thomas Darby (b. circa 1770), the son of Mary St Quintin and her husband, Admiral George Darby, and there are a few Darby estate papers in the collections (Foster, Pedigrees, iii; Pevsner & Neave, York and the East Riding, pp.670-1; Sedgewick, The House of Commons, ii, p.405; English, The great landowners of East Yorkshire, pp.61, 94, 106).

William Thomas Darby assumed the surname and arms of the St Quintin family in 1795 and held the estates until his death in 1805. However, the assets he inherited from his grandfather had been depleted by mounting debts; £126,550 in 1785 when Sir William St Quintin had had to flee abroad and then sell quite a lot of property. William Thomas (Darby) St Quintin followed his uncle's example, selling off estates in the 1790s, particularly to the Sykes family whose Sledmere estate was just to the south of Scampston. Rentals from the Boyntons at Burton Agnes near Harpham were relinquished. However, instead of consolidating his position he went on to build the new St Quintin house at Scampston 1800-3. On his death his wife, Arabella Bridget Calcraft, was left with eight children, four boys and four girls; she outlived him by many years and papers about her funeral in 1841 are in the collection (Foster, Pedigrees, iii; Pevsner & Neave, York and the East Riding, p.669; English, The great landowners of East Yorkshire, p.120; Allison, History of the county of York East Riding, ii, pp.114, 224).

Scampston and the family estates passed on William Thomas St Quintin's death to his eldest son, William Herbert (1797-1859). William Herbert St Quintin married Sarah Foale Bennett, and the couple had no children. William was suffering from mental illness, and papers within U DDSQ2/20/4 suggest that this had been the case since he was a young man. He suffered at times from mania and delusions, and at other times was passive and childlike causing one doctor to name his condition as "imbecility". Following Sarah's unexpected death in 1852, William's brothers discovered financial mismanagement of the estate, which had built up large debts. It was arranged that the finances would be managed by Colonel Matthew Chitty Downes St Quintin and George St Quintin, two of William's younger brothers. William moved to London in the mid-1850s where his affairs were managed mainly by Matthew St Quintin and his wife, Amy. With the help of the rest of the family they tried to have him certified, Amy keeping a full diary of his condition and the prognoses of doctors in 1857 (U DDSQ3/25/7).

On William's death in 1859 his younger brother Matthew St Quintin (1800-1876) inherited the estate. Matthew was a JP and colonel of the 17th Lancers; he had married Amy Elizabeth Cherry in 1850 and their son, William Herbert, was born a year later. They had no more children until a girl and then a boy were born in 1859 and 1861 respectively. (Foster, Pedigrees, iii; DDSQ3/25/7; English, The great landowners of East Yorkshire, p.220).

William Herbert St Quintin (b. 1851) was educated at Eton and Christ Church, Oxford. In 1885 he married Violet Helen Duncombe and they had one daughter, Margery Violet St Quintin. William Herbert St Quintin had a long career in local politics, being a JP from 1875 through to his death and an alderman from the time of the formation of the Council in 1889. He was High Sheriff of Yorkshire in 1899 and Deputy Lieutenant of the East Riding. He was a naturalist with abiding interests in hunting, fishing, falconry, ornithology and entomology. He was a founding member of the Avicultural Society of 1895. He was president of the Yorkshire Naturalists' Union in 1909. He was a member of the British Ornithologists' Union from 1883 to 1922 and served on the council of the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds from 1908-1919. He was involved in the protection of birds of the East Riding, but drew criticism for the treatment of his own birds who 'wore their wings to stumps on the wires of what he himself described as their "prisons", injured themselves and bled to death, failed to mate, ate their own eggs and young, succumbed to the wet and cold, and died unaccountably from the effects of confinement'. His collection included rare birds from around the world, some of the 'prizes' being snowy owls from Norway and secretary birds from the Transvaal. He had one Tui from New Zealand. The centre of the collection was great bustards from Spain, which he successfully bred. This bird, ironically, had been hunted to extinction in the East Riding only a few decades before. William Herbert St Quintin died in 1933 and the St Quintin line itself became extinct.

Violet St Quintin outlived her husband by ten years, and the estates at Harpham passed into the L'Estrange family through her daughter's marriage to Lieutenant-Colonel E G S L'Estrange. In 1959 the estates became vested in their daughter, Lady Legard, wife of Sir Thomas Legard and depositor of the St Quintin family papers (Allison, History of the County of York East Riding, ii, p.224; Who Was Who, iii, p.1188; Allison, 'W H St Quintin', passim).

Access Information

Access will be granted to any accredited reader

Other Finding Aids

Entry in Landed family and estate archives subject guide

Custodial History

Deposited in the East Riding Record Office and transferred to Hull University Archives by Lady Legard, 1974; second and third deposits received between 1974 and 1980, and fourth deposit received in 1995.

Related Material

Other papers of the St Quintin family are at U DRA/1075-1209

Papers of the Wickham Boynton family of Burton Agnes [U DDWB]

From the Miscellaneous Documents for Hull and East Riding received from the British Records Association [U DRA/848]

From the Papers of the Bosville-Macdonald Family [U DDBM/32/10]

From the Papers of Crust Todd and Mills Solicitors [U DDCV/31]

From the Papers of the Langdale Family [U DDLA/12/5]

From the Papers of the Sykes Family [U DDSY/62/333, 344; U DDSY/68/49, 51-3, 57-71; UDDSY/75/1; U DDSY(3)/6/1, 46; U DDSY(3)/8/1]

From the Papers of the Duesbery Family [U DDDU/9]

Other repositories:

St Quintin papers (previously held at Hull University Archives), Yorkshire Archaeological Society, Leeds


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