Friends of Middleton Park


The Gramaire Family
(aprox. 1166 - 1300)

The Gramaire Family in Middleton ...

(1) Richard Gramaire was in possession of the manor of Middleton in 1166 as shown by an extract from the "Certificate returned by Henry de Lascy of the number of knight's fees of the old feoffment and of the new held of him."

Ricardius Gramaticus, j, militem [1]

In the same year Richard was amerced (fined) for a concealment [withholding information] of a plea of the crown by the Wapentake of Morley, indicating his ownership of Middleton:

Ric Gramatic deb XLs [2]

Richard died prior to 1188 leaving William, his eldest son, his heir.

(2) William Gramaire had, at some time prior to his father's death, come into dispute with his brother John over land in Middleton. In 1188 John withdrew his claim against William, but the extract below shows that he owed 100 shillings to the Kings Court [Curia Regis] for the action:

Johannes Grammaticus debit Cs pro habenda loquela sua in curia regis versus Willelmus fratrem gu um de terre de Middeltone. [3]

In 1200 William Gramaire also came into dispute with his neighbour, Adam de Beeston. Adam complained that William was using his woodland. This dispute, which was to continue until 1209 and not concluded until 1212, was centred on the ownership of the wood which lay between Middleton and Beeston. It included William robbing Adam's Forrester and putting him in the Middleton stocks along with and Adam himself; and a judicial duel ordered to settle the matter, though this did not actually happen - William didn't turn up! In resolving the dispute, a bank and ditch was built to divide the wood between the two protagonists. This bank and ditch boundary is still visible in Middleton Park today, even though it is over 800 years old. [Please see the Medieval Boundary Dispute for more detail on this convoluted and drawn out conflict.]

Adam's complaint was upheld and the dispute was resolved. The wood in Adam's possession, became known in later centuries, as Beeston (or Beeston Park) wood.

Between 1198 and 1208, Geoffrey the bishop of Coventry confirmed to the monks of Breeton the grant of two thirds of the thrives of corn from the demesne of Ailric in Middleton [parish Rothwell], with the small tithes there, as granted to them by the prior and convent of Pontefract:

G[alfridus] Dei gratia Coventrensis ecclesie humilis minister omnibus sancta matris ecclesie filiis salutem in Domino. Noverit universitas vestra nos religionem et honestatem virorum religiosorum de Bretton' considerantes cis duas partes garbarum blade de dominio domini Ailrici de vill de Midelton', cum minutis decimis ejusdem dominie, divine pietatis intuit confirmasse, tenendas at habendas in perpetuum sicuti eis juste et canonice a priore et convent de Pontefracto sunt concesse; solvendo eis annuatim unam libram piperis sicut eorum carta protestatur. Et ut hec confirmatio majori gaudeat Securitate in posterum eam presenti scripto nostro et sigilli nostril appositione dignum duximus confirmandam. Hiis testibus: W[illelmo] archidiacono de Dereb[i], Stephano de Eketon', magistro Willelmo de London' , Matheo capellano, Michaele capellano, Hugone de Dranefeld', Thoma de Dranefeld', Michacle de Dranefeld', ey multis aliis. [8]

William died about 1229 and left his son Richard as his heir.

(3) Andrew Gramaire was the great-grandson of the original Richard (see top of page).

In 1285 a survey was made of several northern counties of England by John de Kirby, treasurer to King Edward I. The survey was to determine who held lands as "tenant-in-chief" and what monies were paid. Andrews's manor at Middleton is listed as one of the townships [vills] held of Henry de Lacy in the Wapentake of Morley. Henry was a successor of the Ilbert de Lacy, mentioned above:

Wapentake of Morley: In that Wapentake are 25 vills which Henry de Lacy, Earl of Lincoln, holds of the King-in-Chief viz: Fypeley [Shipley], Idell, Calverlay, Ferselay, Puduscey, Bramelay, Wirkley [Wortley], Hunslett, Bestone, Midylton, Morlay, Drothlington, Suthoverton [Southowram], Farnelay, Tong, Hundesworth, North Vile [North Brierley], Batley, Hecmundwyk, Gomersalle, Leversege, Myrefeld, Claketon [Cleckheaton], Bolling, Elland and part of Ardeslawe. The said Earl holds of the King-in-Chief 24½ Knights Fees in the Honour of Pontefract; to render service in the place in which the fees are, names not given in the aforesaid inquisition. The same return per annum to the aforesaid Wapentake; 105 shillings and 4 pence,.......... [9]

Andrew granted Richard de Crepping rights in the manor of Middleton [see grant below] and died before 1301.

In 1305, Robert de Burley granted land in Middleton to John le Younger:

Martinmas (Nov 11), 1305. Demise by Robert de Burelay and Agatha Pouer his wife, to John le Yonger of Midelton, his heirs or assigns, of two bovates of land in the field of Midelton with all easments and the meadow adjacent within the vill of Midelton and without, except their house with the garden adjacent in the same vill which they reserved for their use; to hold of the demisors for a term of nineteen years, for a sum of money given beforehand, rendering yearly 11/2d. at Whitsuntide for all secular services and suit of court, saving the forensic service of the king for so much land. Witnesses, Richard Sausemer, Robert de Altaripa, Robert Hunte of Carleton, Thomas de Lofthus, Philip de Castelford of Rothewelle. [10]

(4) Another William Gramaire succeeded to Middleton on the death of his brother, John. On the 24th June 1310, he released all rights in the manor of Middleton to Simon de Crepping:

Wednesday, the Nativity to St. John the Baptist [June 24], 1310, 3-Edward-III. Release by William de Gramayre, brother and heir of John de Gramayre, to Sir Simon de Creppinges, knt., of all right in the manor of Middelton which Richard de Creppinges, Simon's father, whose heir he was, had had of the grant of Andrew de Graymayre, William's father. Witnesses: Sir William de Vavasour, Sir John de Creppinges, Sir Adam de Wannerville, Sir Warin de Scargill, Sir William de Beston, knts., John de Thornhill, Richarde de Tonge, John Scott of Calverley, John Tilly, Adam de Oxenhope. York. [11]

William died about 1352.


[1] Farrar. Early Yorkshire Charters. Volume 3 pages 197-198

[2] Pipe Roll 12-Henry-III. Page 423.

[3] Pipe Roll Society. Vol:38. Page 94.

[7] Rotula de Oblatis ..... Page 308.

[8] Farrar. Early Yorkshire Charters vol III, page 305.

[9] The Survey of the County of York [Kirkby's Inquest]. Surtees Society Publications. Volume 49. Page 30.

[10] Yorkshire Deeds. Yorkshire Archaeological Society Record series. Vol. 69. Pages 110-111.

[11] Yorkshire Deeds. Yorkshire Archaeological Society Record series. Vol. 39. Pages 114-115.

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