Photocopies of the Hildyard Ledger Books of the Seventeenth Century

Archive Collection

Scope and Content

The archival material at DDX/58/30-33 comprises 4 folders of photocopied sheets purchased on 13 April 1971 and 23 August 1979 from R W S Norfolk. DDX/58/30 is a very full photocopy of the `Hildyard Leager Book' of the seventeenth century, the original of which was used by Norman James Miller to write Winestead and its lords (1932) and which is not in a public repository. The book contains pedigrees of the Tyson, Preston, Scures, Hilton and Meaux families as well as armorial and biographical notes on the Hildyard family of Winestead. It includes transcripts of title deeds for places in the East Riding, including Hedon, Garton, Ottringham, Howden, Beverley, Winestead, Patrington, as well as Normanby and half a dozen other villages in Lincolnshire (13th to the 17th centuries). Photocopies of a similar seventeenth-century volume make up the contents of DDX/58/31, including extensive biographical notes on members of the Hildyard family and observations of a solar eclipse in Rome in 1654. DDX/58/32 comprises photocopies of summaries of deeds relating to the Hildyard family and DDX/58/33 contains photocopies of transcripts of letters to Sir Robert Hildyard from Robert and Christopher Hildyard dated 4-9 February 1727.

Administrative / Biographical History

The origins of the Hildyard family are not certain. Some pedigrees trace the family back to the eleventh century on dubious evidence. It has been suggested that the name Hildyard came from the Saxon Hildegardus and a Robert, son of Hildegard, did hold land at Hedon in the early thirteenth century. However, other writers suggest a link with the name Hilliard at the time of the Norman invasion and still others suggest that the Hildyard family came from Essex in 1370 (Miller, Winestead, pp.74-5; Ross, `The Hildyards', p.232; Legard, The Legards, p.202).

Norman James Miller, using the originals of the copied material held at DDX/58, constructed a pedigree in 1932; this offers as a first secure start for a family tree, one Robert Hildyard, who married Joanna de Scures and was granted Riston manor by her father in 1275. His son, Robert, was succeeded by Thomas, whose only son, also Robert, died without issue. However, his daughter, Catherine, married her cousin, John Hildyard of Arnald and Normanby and their son, Peter or Piers, carried on the family name. Their son, Robert Hildyard, married (secondly) Isabel Hilton who was one of two heiresses to the Winestead estates of the Hilton family. The Hiltons had owned land at Winestead for 10 generations and the main estates thus came into the hands of the Hildyard family through Isabel with the failure of the male Hilton line (Miller, Winestead, p.82 and pedigree; `Hildyard, `Winestead Hall'; Rollit, `Winestead church', p.176; Ross, `The Hildyards', p.202).

Isabel Hildyard was left a widow in 1428 and inherited only on her father's death four years later. For the next two decades she lived at the moated medieval manor house at the southern end of Winestead village. Her son, Robert, married first Catherine de la Haye and then Agnes Creyke. He was at the battle of Towton in the early stages of the wars of the roses and some pedigrees assert that he died there in 1461. However, there is evidence to suggest he was involved in several more risings and did not die until 1489. His son, also Robert, was involved in the Lincolnshire risings of 1469-70 and seems to have changed sides. In 1483 he was knighted at the coronation of Richard III. He and his wife, Elizabeth Hastings, had close to 20 children and at least one of their sons was also involved in wars at home and abroad. One of their sons, Peter (Piers) married an heiress, Joan de la See, which brought the manor of Little Coates in Lincolnshire into the Hildyard family. Peter died 1500-1, around the same time as his father. Joan became a professed widow, taking a religious vow not to remarry and therefore protecting her right to control her property (Miller, Winestead, chpt. ix).

Peter and Joan's son, Christopher (b.1490), inherited the estates in the East Riding and Lincolnshire and became sheriff of Lincolnshire. He was in royal service and was knighted in 1532. He was implicated in the risings against catholicism in the north (pilgrimage of grace), but submitted to the king's will and was one of the justices responsible for executing Robert Constable to whom he was related by his second marriage. He left a large family, and his son, Martin, succeeded to the estates when he was slain at the battle of Terrouen circa 1538 (Miller, Winestead, pp.97-107).

Martin Hildyard married Emma Rudston and left several children when he died in 1545. His youngest son, William, became recorder at York; another son, John, set himself up in Ottringham and his second oldest son, Richard, married Jane, sole heiress of her father, Marmaduke Thweng and their eldest son eventually inherited Winestead. Christopher, the oldest son of Martin and Emma Hildyard lost his son in a tragic drowning accident, after which he was moved to demolish the medieval manor house and fill in the offending moat. He rebuilt the family home a mile away (Ross, `The Hildyards', pp.232, 234; Crouch, `The Hildyards', p.83; Miller, Winestead, pedigree).

Christopher Hildyard was knighted 1578 and died 1602 when his estates passed to his nephew, also Christopher, who was knighted in 1603. He was returned for parliament over a dozen times between 1588 and 1629 and married Elizabeth Welby, heiress of Henry Welby of Goxhill. He appears to have been an opponent of the forced loan, but died in 1634 before being forced to choose sides during the civil wars. His heirs were not so lucky and three of his sons ended up on the delinquency list. The eldest surviving son, Henry (b.1609), shut Winestead Hall and lived in Hull during the 1640s. Robert (b.1612) was on the privy council of Charles I and commanded Sir Marmaduke Langdale's brigade of horse; he was rewarded for this military service by being created baronet in 1660 by Charles II. Another son, Christopher John, was a major of horse in a royalist army. Only Christopher (b.1615) avoided involvement, managing to pursue his antiquarian interests in York until his death in 1694 (Miller, Winestead, pp. 139-142 & pedigree; Ross, `The Hildyards', pp.235, 237; Crouch, `The Hildyards', p.83; Legard, The Legards, p.202).

Henry Hildyard's younger son, Philip (who became chamberlain of the exchequer), inherited the Goxhill estates and these passed down through his heirs. His older son, also Henry (b.circa 1636), inherited Winestead on his father's death in 1674, but after embracing catholicism under James II he was forced to flee to France, eventually having to sell his inheritance from abroad. He died abroad in 1705, leaving behind six sons by his first wife, one son and five daughters by his second wife and a further eight children by a `pretended wife'. The beneficiary of Henry Hildyard's misfortune and over-extended lifestyle was his uncle, Sir Robert Hildyard, who bought Winestead so that it then passed down through his heirs (Crouch, `The Hildyards', p.84; Ross, `The Hildyards', p.235; Miller, Winestead, p.152).

Robert Hildyard was fairly wealthy, having first married Jane Constable, sole heiress of Christopher Constable of Hatfield. By his second wife, Ann Thackray, he had two sons, Christopher and Robert. Ann Thackray predeceased her husband in 1679 and in 1685 Sir Robert and both of his sons died. Both sons left children; Christopher's oldest son, Robert (b.1671), became second baronet and inherited Winestead. He was MP for Hedon; he was also responsible for demolishing the late Elizabethan house and building Winestead Hall in the 1720s. He died unmarried in 1729 and was succeeded by his nephew, also Robert (b.1716) (Hildyard, `Winestead Hall'; Miller, Winestead, p.158; Crouch, `The Hildyards', p.84; Ross, `The Hildyards', p.233).

Robert Hildyard, 3rd baronet, came into the estates when only 13 and later married Mary Catherine D'Arcy. He completed his uncle's work on the hall and got John Carr of York to build the stable block in 1762, with the help of his wife's legacy, and lived there for over half a century. He died in 1781 and was succeeded both to the baronetcy and the lands by his son, Robert D'Arcy Hildyard, who proposed William Wilberforce as parliamentary candidate in 1807 and then accidentally counted him out at the hustings. He was high sheriff of Yorkshire for a while and died without issue in 1814 when the title became extinct (Miller, Winestead, pp.158-9; Legard, The Legards, p.203; Crouch, `The Hildyards', p.84).

The Winestead estates now passed to his niece, Anne Catherine Whyte, daughter of his sister Catherine Hildyard and her husband James Whyte. Anne Catherine Whyte married Colonel Thomas Blackborne Thoroton and he assumed the name Hildyard to satisfy the terms of her uncle's will. He brought to the marriage considerable estates at Flintham in Nottinghamshire and in 1829 they were able to buy the hall built by Henry Maister in Winestead. This second house, known as the White Hall to distinguish it from the red brick of the Hildyard family home, had been built in 1815 and stood on the site of the original houses of the Hildyard family prior to 1597 (the land had been sold to the Maisters in 1677). The purchase cost 120,000. The heirs of Anne Catherine Whyte and Thomas Thoroton continued to live in Winestead and Evelyn Hildyard was the last of her family to reside at the Red Hall.

In the early twentieth century the hall was owned by the Reckitt family and then in 1920 it became the property of the Horsley family who owned a timber company and felled all the trees. The hall was then sold to the council who pulled it down in 1936. One person who witnessed the destruction was Rupert Alec-Smith, whose father and grandfather had a share in Horsley Smith and Co; he was so disturbed by the loss of such a fine Georgian house that he salvaged one of the fireplaces and founded the Georgian Society for East Yorkshire, devoting himself from that time to the protection of the East Riding's Georgian heritage. The secretary of the society was a member of the Hildyard family and the Maister White Hall remains in the Hildyard family (Miller, Winestead, pp. 159-60; Ross, `The Hildyards', p.233; Legard, The Legards, p.205; Miller, Winestead, & pedigree).

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

Summary list

Related Material

DX/95/19; DAS/29/8; DRA/1; DDCV/95; DDSY/4/5-6, 8-10, 39, 57, 78, 145-149, 158, 161-162, 164-168, 211


Crouch, Charles Hall, `The Hildyards of Winestead', Yorkshire notes and queries 5 (1908)

Hildyard, A J C, `Winestead Hall', Georgian Society for East Yorkshire 3 (1976)

Legard, James Digby, The Legards of Anlaby and Ganton: their neighbours and neighbourhood (1926)

Miller, Norman Jones, `The Leager: Winestead', Transactions of the East Riding Antiquarian Society, vi (1898)

Miller, Norman Jones, Winestead and its lords: the history of a Holderness village (1932)

Poulson, George, The history and antiquities of Holderness (1840)

Rollit, A K, `Winestead church', Yorkshire notes and queries and folklore journal 2 (1890)

Ross, F, `The Hildyards of Winestead in Holderness', Old Yorkshire ed. William Smith, 4 (1883)