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  • ID: I31359
  • Name: Thomas Mirewray alias Proctor of Friarhead and Warsill
  • Sex: M
  • Birth: ABT 1535 in Friarhead, Winterburn, Gargrave, Yorkshire, England
  • Death: 1621 in Warsill, West Riding, Yorkshire, England
  • Reference Number: 1 JAN 2016 18:13:19 Creation Date
  • Change Date: 26 NOV 2016 at 07:57:46
  • Occupation: ironmaster and entrepreneur
  • Note:
    Oxford Dictionary of National Biography

    Procter, Sir Stephen (bap. 1562, d. 1619), courtier and revenue official
    Catherine A. Collinson

    Procter, Sir Stephen (bap. 1562, d. 1619), courtier and revenue official, eldest son of Thomas Procter (c.1535-1621), ironmaster and entrepreneur, of Friar Head, Winterburn, in the parish of Gargrave, Yorkshire, and later of Warsill near Ripon, and his first wife, Mary, daughter, according to the heraldic window in Fountains Hall, ...

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    Memorials of the Abbey of St. Mary of Fountaines. Durham 1863

    According to a Genealogy, illustrated by armorial impalements, which was placed in one of the wimdows of Fountains Hall, by Sir Stephen Proctor, in the time of King James I., this family derived its descent from ? Sir Oliver Mirewraye, of Tymbridge, in the countie of Kent ; ? the reason of a change of surname being perhaps suggested by the further statement that *? Thomas Mirewray, als. Proctor, of Frierhed. mar. Mary, daughter of Thomas Proctor, of Winterborn.? Both these places are in the parish of Gargrave, adjacent to that of Kirkby-Malhamdale, and were formerly among the possessions of the abbey of Furness, in Lancashire, - Val. Eccl. vol 5. p270.


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    Report and Accounts
    Yorkshire Archaeological Society - 1995
    - Page 5

    Thomas Procter, father of the builder of Fountains Hall, tried rather unsuccessfully to smelt iron near Warsill and wrote a book on ironworking, road building and canals.

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    Yorkshire Deeds: - Volume 1 - Page 44
    William Brown - 2013

    124. May 15, 8 Elizabeth (1566)
    Bond of indemnity in 3ooli from Thomas Proctor of Frerehead in Craven, gent, Thomas Proctor of Healey, gent, and Richard Whytfeilde of Cowehouse, yeoman, to Henry Tempest of Broughton, esq., to save him harmless from a bond dated May 3 last, in which he and William Lister had been bound to the Earl of Cumberland for Thomas Proctor. (Ibid., No 15)

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    The Yorkshire Archaeological Journal - Volume 68
    - Page 191

    About 1574, Thomas Procter bought Warsill, a former grange of Fountains Abbey situated about 3 miles from the abbey itself, and moved there with his family, selling the lease of Friarhead to the Dowager Countess of Cumberland. He was soon plunged into financial difficulties, and as a result of the mortgages he entered into, and the expedients he adopted to pay them off, he briefly lost possession of the estate in the late 1570s. In 1580, however, he was back in residence, but still in debt. He had been helped by John Procter of Bordley and John Hamerton of Hellifield Peel, who had borrowed money on his behalf, and they now received?

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    The Privateering Earl
    Richard T. Spence - 1995
    - Page 42

    In her most important land transaction, she took advantage of Thomas Proctor's move to Warsill near Ripon, buying from Proctor and Charles Holte their remaining interest in the forty-one years' lease of Friarhead in the manor of Winterburn

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    A history of Harrogate & Knaresborough
    Bernard Jennings, Harrogate W.E.A. Local History Group
    The Advertiser Press Ltd., 1970
    - Page 92

    In 1589 Thomas Proctor, of Warsill near Pateley Bridge, who had a forge at Shipley and an interest in the Greenhow lead mines, secured a patent for smelting iron and lead with a mixture of coal, charcoal and peat.75

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    Baildon and the Baildons; a history of a Yorkshire manor and family
    p240-241

    1593, July 30 ? Bill of Complaint in the Court of Exchequer; Stephen Proctor, Elias Proctor and George or Gregory Pormorte, plaintiffs, Edward Cage, William Watts and Francis Wright, defendants.
    Depositions taken at Bradford, July 30, 1593, on behalf of the defendant Cage.

    Robert Baildon of Baildon, esq., aged 52 or thereabouts. He stated that a certain furnace for smelting ironstone, built by Thomas [sic] Proctor's masons and carpenters, "was never used nor fitt to be occupied, neyther coulde the same have bine used or occupied unles it had bine newe amended and repared"; the masons and carpenters who built it "were bothe unskillfull and unexpert for the erecting of such manner of worckes"; the stone work "did want both breadth, space, hight and wydnes, for lack of skyllfull worckmanshippe"; the stones were so badly laid that he "did thrust in his and betwixt stone and stones, and a walking rodd thorrough the stone worcke thereof"; if the furnace had been used for smelting, "he verelie thincketh the tymber worck would have bine in daunger of burning, and the stone worck of falling in sounder"; "the gotes and ditches, were aade for the said worckes, were in some parte of them unlawfully digged ippon the waste groundcs of other menne.""
    1594-5. See ante, vol. i, p. 413.
    Signatures of Robert Baildon.

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    The Procters of Bordley & Winterburn?An edited extract from JW Morkill's book - The Parish of Kirkby Malhamdale?
    A neighbour of Thomas, of Friar's Head, was Roger Procter of Coppercott (Cowpercote) in the same township, who made his will on 24 March 1516-17, and like Thomas desired to be buried within his parish church of St. Andrew of Gargrave, 'in the sou the ylle wher I was wont to knele and sytt'. To his son Thomas, he gives his 'Fermolde' of Coppercotte, and to his son Robert, his 'Fermold' of Newfelde. To his daughters Isabele and Mabele, 6135. 4d. each, 'to be att the rewll and guydyng of Stephen Proctor of Frerhede'. Towards the 'makyng of the north ylle in Gargrave Churche' he gives 20/- and 'to a prest to syng fore my soull at Winterburne Chappele XIIs. iiiid'. He appoints his sons, Thomas and Stephen, his executors, and 'Sir Henry Clyfford, Knyght' supervisor of his Will (Test. Ebor, Vol. V. p. 182. Surtees Soc.).
    Another contemporary was Ralph Procter, who, by his will, dated on Easter Day 1512, like the others, desires burial in the Church of St. Andrew, of Gargrave, near the grave of his father, 'ex austral!parte prope sepulcrum patris mei'. As executors he appoints his grandfather Roger Prokter and Sir John Acastre, Vicar of Gargrave ( Test. Ebor, Vol. V. p. 182. Surtees Soc.).

    At the date of the Dissolution, Friar's Head and the manor of Winterburn, with the office of receiver or bailiff of the Abbey's estates in the neighbourhood were held by a certain Gabriel Procter, under a lease granted by the Abbey, seven or eight years previously. Upon the downfall of the Abbey, a powerful and apparently, a not too scrupulous neighbour, the Earl of Cumberland, descended upon Procter and the other tenants of the Abbey and, claiming possession by virtue of a more recent lease forcibly ejected them from their holdings. The tenants with Procter at their head thereupon brought an action against the Earl, alleging his lease to be fraudulent. The interrogatories and depositions of witnesses in the suit are filed with the records of the Court of Augmentation (See Beck's Annales Furnesienscs, pub. 1844) and shed an instructive light on the moral atmosphere of the time. To minds undeterred by the fear of committing sacrilege, the Dissolution of the Monasteries and the somewhat careless distribution of their lands which followed presented rare opportunities of securing bargains. To this end there existed perhaps no surer means than to procure from a doomed house, at an easy rent, a lease of its lands which by a little diplomacy might later on be enlarged to a freehold on terms no less easy. Confronted as they were by a prospect offering little beyond starvation it is small wonder that the monks should have been ready to listen to the overtures of aspiring lessees, from each of whom an immediate payment in cash, by way of 'gressum' or 'footing' for the lease could be extracted.

    On the death of Abbot Banks, shortly before the Dissolution, a certain monk, by name, Hugh Browne, having possessed himself of the Convent's Seal, affixed its impression to a number of blank sheets of parchment which in return for a suitable consideration he handed to various individuals. That the Earl's lease was written on one of these sheets without the knowledge or consent of the convent, Procter and his friends succeeded in convincing the Commissioners, since a decree restraining the Earl was issued. New leases were granted to Procter and his associates and he was reappointed to his old office of bailiff and receiver of the Abbey's lands now vested in the Crown. In the days of Edward it was not an easy task to enforce an order upon a powerful noble whose stronghold lay in the wilds of Craven; the decree was ignored by the Earl, and Procter, unable to get possession of his lands, in the year 1556-7 again petitioned the Crown for redress. At this period the operation of the law was not only costly but slow. The suit had lasted twenty-one years and had entailed heavy expense, which coupled with his inability to derive any benefit from the occupancy of his manor and land, had seriously crippled Procter's resources. He pleads that:
    ?'by ye reason of this longe sewte and that he cannott quietlye occupye and enjoye accordynge untoe hys leasse made by ye late Kyng Edward ye Sexte under ye Duche Seale and accordyng to a Decree mayde agaynst ye sayde Erie and his tennants' &c. he and his wife and children are 'clerely beggered'. (Calendar to Pleadings Duc. Lanc., 3 &4 Philip and Mary, and Annales Furnesienses) There follows the statement that:
    ?'ye sayd Gabrielle and hys ancessowres called Proctours successyfely one after another as farmers haythe hade ye sayd manore (Winterburn) by leasse more than tow hunderethe yere and al ye tenandes was put in bye them for when oulde John Proctour dyd first take ye sayde manore by leasse of ye Abbey of Furnes ther was no tenande inabytyng wythin ye sayde manore for the Abbaye had it yn ther owne handes at that tyme'.

    An account of the Procters would be incomplete which omitted some notice of Sir Stephen Procter, the builder of Fountains Hall, who was baptised at Gargrave on 4 May 1562, the son of Thomas Procter of Frearhead.

    In 1589 Thomas Procter of Warssell and William Peterson had obtained by Letters Patent the grant of a monopoly for the 'making of iron with sea-coal', but whether or not this enterprise was a financial success is not known.
    In this same year a letter from Thos. Windebank to Walsingham refers to Thomas Procter's negotiations with the Emperor of Russia, while in the following year Edward Anlabye complains of the loss occasioned to him 'by reason of the same privilege'. (Cal. State Papers) A further echo is found in the record of a Chancery suit by Sir Edward Fytton v Stephen Procter et al. 'For account respecting partnership ?an undertaking for the working of iron with sea-coal and turf, in pursuance of the queen's letters-patent granted to Thomas Procter, esquire, and another, in which plaintiff was to have a concern'. It certainly seems a plausible hypothesis that Stephen derived some of his wealth from this early smelting undertaking, which, on the death of his father had evidently passed into his hands. By 1596, at any rate, he was enabled to purchase the extensive estate of Fountains and the following year he was made a Justice of the Peace for the West Riding.

    The last of these is taken from the Poll Tax Return of 2 Richard II, under Bentham, and the others are all associated with this district, and with families of distinction such as the Tunstalls, Hornbys, Claphams etc. Now, how can this family, which disappears from history before the end of the fourteenth century, have any connection with the Procters? There are two possible explanations. Either a Procter married an heiress of the de Mirewras, or a de Mirewra younger son, holding an appointment as procter for the monks of Furness, in course of time adopted his title as his surname. It is significant that the name 'Procter 'did not exist as a surname in this neighbourhood until the Abbeys obtained license to lease their properties to tenants and so had to appoint procters to represent them in the Courts: this, in most cases, occurred about 1350. In the earliest lists of tenants, the surname Procter occurs frequently, and it has been widespread in the Bentham, Newby and Clapham districts ever since. Whatever the truth may be, it is evident that this is the family from which Sir Stephen believed, or wished it to be believed, that he was descended. But had this family the right to bear arms? The coat in question is given in Papworth and Morant's British Armorials as the arms of Malemayne, Malmaynes, Mereworth or Merworth, William M'Wire but Merwre Harl. MS 6137. The last of these bears such a strong resemblance to Mirewra that it is hardly an unfair assumption to regard it as merely another variant, and since Harl. 6137 refers to the Acre Roll of 1192, perhaps the earliest.

    The central window of the great chamber of Fountains Hall contains a fine display of heraldic glass which dates from Sir Stephen's time. Over fifty shields of impaled arms purport to record alliances of the Procters, and of a number of other families with which it is generally believed the Procters had no connection. Beneath each shield appear the surnames of husband and wife and occasionally the Christian names of their children. It will be noticed that prominence is given to the family of Mirewray, and that in four instances members of that family are described as Mirewray alias Procter, while in the record of Stephen's own marriage, he is described as 'Stephen Procter alias Mirewraye. 'Moreover the same shield of arms, viz. argent, a chevron gules between ten crosses crosslet sable, six in chief and four in base, is given as the arms of both these families, though there is certainly no record of any grant of arms to Sir Stephen, or to any of his immediate ancestors. Who were these Mirewrays? The name is clearly a northern name, a compound of 'rnire '= marshy or boggy land, and 'wra '=corner, angular piece of land. It is much the same as Mirfield, and characteristic of the Cumberland ?E. Lancashire ? W. Riding area. Thus it is not surprising that we should come across this family in the neighbourhood of Bentham and Clapham. The earliest record we have discovered relates to the year 1231 when Adam de Mirewrae was a witness to an undertaking by Gregory de Burton to pay the monks of Furness four shillings a year (Furness Abbey Coucher Book. Vol. II, part 2, p. 481), while the following is a complete list of all the occurrences of this name we have so far been able to trace:?

    1231 Adam de Mirewrae
    1247 Hugh de Miriwra
    1250-1 Hugo de Mirewra
    1251 John de Mirewra
    1290 Ralph de Mirwra and Master Adam de Mirwra
    1301 William de Mirwro
    1305 Gilbert de Mirewra and Adam, son of John de Mirewra
    1317 Adam son of Gilbert de Mirewra and Isabella his wife
    1347 Alan de Mirewra
    1379 Gilbert de Myrewra

    The last of these is taken from the Poll Tax Return of 2 Richard II, under Bentham, and the others are all associated with this district, and with families of distinction such as the Tunstalls, Hornbys, Claphams etc. Now, how can this family, which disappears from history before the end of the fourteenth century, have any connection with the Procters? There are two possible explanations. Either a Procter married an heiress of the de Mirewras, or a de Mirewra younger son, holding an appointment as procter for the monks of Furness, in course of time adopted his title as his surname. It is significant that the name 'Procter 'did not exist as a surname in this neighbourhood until the Abbeys obtained license to lease their properties to tenants and so had to appoint procters to represent them in the Courts: this, in most cases, occurred about 1350. In the earliest lists of tenants, the surname Procter occurs frequently, and it has been widespread in the Bentham, Newby and Clapham districts ever since. Whatever the truth may be, it is evident that this is the family from which Sir Stephen believed, or wished it to be believed, that he was descended. But had this family the right to bear arms? The coat in question is given in Papworth and Morant's British Armorials as the arms of Malemayne, Malmaynes, Mereworth or Merworth, William M'Wire but Merwre Harl. MS 6137. The last of these bears such a strong resemblance to Mirewra that it is hardly an unfair assumption to regard it as merely another variant, and since Harl. 6137 refers to the Acre Roll of 1192, perhaps the earliest.

    - http://www.kirkbymalham.info/KMI/bordley/morkillprocter.html#

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  • Type: Creation Date
  • Date: 2 JAN 2016
  • 1 2
  • Name: Thomas Mirewray of Friarhead 3



    Father: Thomas Mirewray alias Proctor of Friarhead b: ABT 1510
    Mother: Mary Proctor b: ABT 1515 in Winterburn, Gargrave, Yorkshire, England

    Marriage 1 Grace Nowell b: ABT 1545
    • Married: in 1st wife
    • Change Date: 3 JAN 2016
    Children
    1. Has No Children Sir Stephen Proctor of Friarhead and Warsill b: BEF 4 MAY 1562 c: 4 MAY 1562 in Gargrave, Yorkshire, England, United Kingdom
    2. Has Children Elias Proctor of Warsill b: BEF 12 MAR 1564 in Warsill, West Riding, Yorkshire, England
    3. Has No Children Josias Proctor of Warsill b: ABT 1568

    Sources:
    1. Title: The Yorkshire Archaeological Journal
      Publication: Yorkshire Archaeological Society
      Type: Creation Date
      Date: 26 NOV 2016
      Author: Yorkshire Archaeological Society
      Page: Vol 61-62, Page 185
    2. Title: Baildon and the Baildons; a history of a Yorkshire manor and family
      Type: Creation Date
      Date: 14 MAY 2016
      Author: Baildon, William Paley; Baildon, Francis Joseph, ed
      Publication: [London] Priv. print. for the author by the St. Catherine press
      Page: Vol. 2, p. 240-241
    3. Title: The parish register of Gargrave, in the County of York : 1558-1812: Volume 28
      Abbrev: The parish register of Gargrave: 1558-1812: Vol. 28
      Author: Gargrave, England (Parish); Stavert, W. J. (William James)
      Type: Creation Date
      Date: 1 JAN 2016
      Page: 35
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