Papers of the Langley Family of North Grimston

Archive Collection

Scope and Content

The small deposit of estate papers for the Langley family arrived in the Brynmor Jones Library in 1974 as part of the larger deposit of legal and estate papers from Crust Todd and Mills, Beverley solicitors. They comprise estate papers for North Grimston, Acklam, Leavening as well as a bundle of papers for Kendall Farm, Driffield. An abstract of the title of Richard Langley covering estates 1722-1803 indicates that the Langley family owned the manors of North Grimston, Sherburn, Fimber, Leavening and West Heslerton as well as a moiety in the manors of Crosby and Swine Brompton, the manor of Hagthorpe and also of Driffield, the latter including all fairs, markets and tolls for Great Driffield and Little Driffield. Their other estates included Wykeham Abbey, Scagglethorpe, Settrington, Acklam, Hutton Cranswick and Riston. They also held the advowson of Wold Newton (Haltemprice).

A number of papers in the collection related to the estates of Richard Langley (d.1817) and they include rentals and accounts for estate improvements. There is some correspondence between Lord Middleton and John and Robert Lockwood, solicitors, as well as the marriage settlements of Ralph Creyke and Jane Langley (1771) and Thomas Thornedike and Christian Waterhouse (1662). Wills are those of Thomas Langley (1722), Richard Langley (1754), Elizabeth Langley (1757) and Boynton Langley (1769).

Administrative / Biographical History

The Langley family had held land in North Grimston since at least the 17th century, though transmission of estates through the family was complicated due to failures of direct succession. Thomas Langley (alive by the 1660s) was expanding his estates in the seventeenth century by buying for example the manor of Full Sutton in 1675. He was the father of another Thomas Langley who died in 1697, and this Thomas Langley also had a son called Thomas who died in 1723. The latter two are buried in North Grimston where the remains of their medieval manor house is still to be seen. The last Thomas Langley had no issue and the family house and estates passed to the Hutchinson family, who brought to the family inheritance land in Wold Newton and the advowson. Richard Hutchinson (younger son of Edward Hutchinson) assumed the name Langley and had another mansion at Acklam (Pevsner & Neave, York and the East Riding, p.633; Allison, History of Yorkshire, i, p.339; ii, 301, 307-8; iii, pp.171-2; Legard, The Legards, p.188).

Richard Langley (Hutchinson) married Elizabeth Boynton, the co-heiress of Boynton Boynton, and this brought Babthorpe and Hagthorpe manors into the family as well as Wykeham Abbey. He died circa 1755 and she died in 1760. They had three sons, Boynton, Matthew and William, and several daughters including Judith whose premature death in 1756 has left documentary evidence in the collection. Boynton Langley inherited the estates which passed on his death in 1772 to his son, Richard Langley, who married, in 1784, Dorothy Cartwright. They had no children and when Richard Langley died in 1817 Dorothy spent three years expanding their estates by buying two lots of land of over 1000 acres at Foxholes. She died in 1824 (Allison, History of Yorkshire, ii, 193-4, 300-1; iii, pp.53-4; DDCV/215/6).

After Dorothy Langley's death the estates passed into another family, the Dawnays, though once again this involved a change of name. Marmaduke Dawnay, cousin of Richard Langley, assumed the name Langley, but when he died in 1851 again there was no direct inheritance and this time they passed to his nephew, William Henry Dawnay, 7th Viscount Downe. He died in 1857 and the estates were held by his widow until her death in 1900 and then by his son, E H Dawnay, who passed the advowson of Wold Newton to the archbishop of York as late as 1927 (Allison, History of Yorkshire, ii, 307-8).

Conditions Governing Access



Originally published by Access to Archives - A2A. The data in this finding aid is in the copyright of the place of deposit.

Other Finding Aids

Listed to item level


Allison, K J, Victoria county history of Yorkshire: East Riding (1969-1979)

Pevsner, N & Neave, D, The buildings of England: York and the East Riding (1995)