THE PARISH OF ST. EDMUND, NEWBIGGIN.
Gamel, son of Whelp, granted the manor to Robert Dapifer de
Appleby who assumed the name of de Newbiggin. The descendants
of this Robert continued to hold the manor till about the year 1331,
when Emma de Newbiggin brought it in marriage to the Crackanthorpes, in which family it still remains.
Within this parish we have round enclosures of earthwork at
Loscars and Moorland Head.
The first mention of a church here appears to be in a charter of
Hugh de Temple Sowerby which is witnessed by Walter, rector of
Newbiggin. This Walter appears in the Coram Rege Rolls in 1258–9
on an action brought against him and Walrand de Soureby by Robert
de Veteripont because they entered his park of Whinfell and there
took stags and bucks without his leave.
In the "Antique Taxatio Ecclesiastica" of Pope Nicholas IV, 1291,
the church is taxed at nothing because it did not exceed six marks—nor hath the rector a benefice elsewhere. Neither is it valued in
the "Novo Taxatio" of 1318.
John son of Roger de Lancaster by his will dated January, 1353/4,
left a bequest to the church of St. Edmund de Newbiggin and Robert,
rector of Newbiggin, was one of the witnesses.
The "Valor Ecclesiasticus" made by Parliamentary authority
26 Henry VIII, 1535, gives the following:—
|Newbiggin Rectory. John Wrey incumbent.|
|The said rectory is worth in—|
|Mansion with glebe||10||0|
|Tithe of grain||£2||0||0|
|" lamb and wool||1||6||8|
|Oblations and the lesser fees as in the Easter Book||15||0|
|Reprisals to wit—|
|Pension to the rector of K. Thore||3||0|
|Synodals, 12d; Procurations, 4d.||1||4|
|Clear annual value||£4||10||4|
|A tenth part whereof||9||0½|
The Commonwealth Survey of 1657 is as follows:—
That the right of presentation to the church of Newbiggin is in
Richard Crackanthorpe, esquire. That Mr. Christopher Barrow is
incumbent there and hath for his maintenance the Tithe corn, hay,
wool and lamb of the said parish worth £12 by the year. That the
Glebe land belonging to the said Rectory is worth £6 by the year.
The church was repaired in 1804 and rebuilt in 1853–4.
It was during the incumbency of the Rev. John Robinson, that is
after 13 July, 1818, that a dispute arose between him and Mr.
Crackanthorpe respecting tithes. The latter, who owned the greater
part of 600 acres of inclosed lands in the parish, declared that his
ancestors had from time immemorial received the tithes of corn,
geese and pigs throughout the parish and that no tithes, great or
small, had ever been paid for his demesne lands of Newbiggin, but
that in lieu of the tithe of corn throughout the parish the rector was
paid yearly £9. 6. 8. as a prescriptive payment and Mr. Crackanthorpe
had allowed him grassing for a horse. Mr. Crackanthorpe being
anxious to protect himself by the payment of the aforesaid £9. 6. 8
consulted the Augmentation Office in London when John Caley
replied that there is no comparison between this figure and the
stated value of the tithes in the last official Survey of 1535, so that
the composition though styled prescriptive cannot be an immemorial
payment. If any evidence could be shown that between the taking
of the Survey and the enactment of the Statute 13 Elizabeth this
alteration had taken place by the consent of Rector, Patron and
Ordinary then the payment of this sum would be legally maintainable,
but according to the Rule of the Courts of Equity the requisite
consent of these parties must be shown and will not be presumed.
The following Terrier of 1749 was put forward as evidence,
which after setting forth the eleven acres of glebe land states:—
"Item, 5s. 6d. for prescription for tithe Hay due at Mich' Day.
Item, Richard Crackanthorpe esq., pays £9. 6. 8 and an Horse grass
yearly to the said rector for the tithes of his demesne lands and in
lieu of the Tithe corn, geese and pigs within the parish. Item, tithe
wool and lamb, calves, foals and bees are due to the said rector
throughout the whole parish, the demesne lands of the said Richard
Crackanthorpe and the Town End estate of Adam Jackson excepted.
Item, the white or Martinmas Book, 1½d. for every communicant,
3d. for every new calved cow under five, 1d. for every barren cow,
2d. for every new calved heifer, a 1d. for every barren heifer, 2d. for
every foal, and 2d. for every cast of bees under six, 5s. for every tithe
calf, 2s. 6d. for every half-calf. Item Surplice Fees, 6d. for every
christening, 1s. 6d. for every wedding in publication and 5s. for
every one by licence, 10d. for every funeral and mortuaries according
to custom. The Glebe Tithes and Profits of the Rectory of Newbiggin are worth at the improved value about £38 per annum."
A list of the Incumbent whose names have been met with during
the present research.
When Robert de Crackanthorpe married Emma the heiress of the
de Newbiggins, c. 1332, they removed to a defensive tower here.
For the next two centuries the Crackanthorpes held high positions in
the district. Knights of the Shire in many Parliaments, Sheriffs of
Cumberland on other occasions, fighting for the House of Lancaster
at Towton Field, and, during the whole period, marrying into such
families as the Briscos, the Lancasters of Howgill, the Leyburns,
Sandfords and Musgraves of Eden Hall. That they reared and held
a strong tower of the late XIVth century therefore cannot be doubted
and a few traces of it may still be found in the present pele. Vide,
a newel stair with its entrance door at the foot, a garderobe and shaft
within the thickness of the wall at the north-east angle, and fireplace
flues behind and not beside one another.
The last of the series of John Crackanthorpes was living here in
1527 and from the Court Rolls, contained in the Boke of Ric.
Crackanthorpe, dated 1631, we find that his successor, Christopher,
was in residence 23 Henry VIII, 1531. The famous inscription bears
the date 1533.
Cristofer. Crakanthorpe. Thus. Ye. Me. Calle.
Wiche. In. My. Tym. Dyde. Bylde. This. Halle.
The. yer. of. owr. Lorde. who. lyst. to. se.
A.M. fyue. hundreth. thyrty. and. thre.
Upon a beam found during the rebuilding of the West Tower in
1844, was inscribed, "Xtopher Crackanthorpe of N. Hall this worke
began in the 2nd yer of Eliz. our Queen in the yer of our Lord God
1559." Again, another inscribed beam found over the entrance to
the dining hall when it was pulled down in 1759, gives the following:—"Mr. Henry Crackanthorpe of this Newbiggynge this worke in the
XI yer of Elizabeth our Queen and in the yer of our Lord Gode 1569."
Probably owing to the break in the direct male line the Hall was
occupied by a farmer as caretaker for many years and allowed to fall
into a great state of dilapidation, however, with the succession of
Mrs. Dorothy Cookson-Crackanthorpe the decay was arrested. On
the outside there is a small stone inscribed with the initials D.C. and
the date A.D. 1759.
The west tower was taken down and rebuilt in 1844 by William
Crackanthorpe, under the direction of Anthony Salvin. He placed
an inscribed stone on the southern face, as follows:—"William
Crakanthorpe rebuilt this Tower, A.D., M.D.C.C.C.X.L.I.I.I.I."
The Drawing Room wing was the work of Montague Hughes
Crackanthorpe in 1891, under the direction of C. J. Ferguson, who
also took down the partition that divided the Justice's Room from
the entrance passage, so as to form the present hall.
This bridge appears upon the list of public bridges made on 28
April, 1679, one half belonging to the co. of Westmorland and one
half to co. Cumberland. On 14 October, 1738, a complaint was made
to Quarter Sessions that the bridge is one of the public bridges and
that the same is in need of reparation. It was therefore ordered that
the High Constables of the East and West Wards should view the
bridge and report the condition thereof to the next Sessions. On
30 April, 1739, it was further ordered that 2d. in the pound should be
assessed and levied for the repair of Warcop and Newbiggin bridges
and that the High Constables do contract with some able and
experienced workmen for the speedy amendment of this bridge.
This may simply refer to the Westmorland portion of the bridge.
On 2 October, 1809, Quarter Sessions ordered that the Bridge
Master do meet the Bridge Master of the Leith Ward of Cumberland
in order to adopt such measures for widening and repairing or
rebuilding Newbiggin Bridge, as may be deemed most proper upon a
survey to be taken by one or more experienced workmen, and that a
report be made before the Bench at the next Sessions. On 2
February, 1811, it was ordered that that portion which belongs to
Westmorland should be rebuilt; and on 13 July, 1812, there was an
Order to pay Messrs. Gowling £127. 10. 0 out of the County rates for
the rebuilding. In November, 1904, complaint was made that when
stone was being hauled from the Culgarth quarry to the railway
station, both the bridge and the Rectory which abuts on the road, felt
the vibration to a great extent. The bridge has a span of 30 feet and
a rise of 6 feet from the springing line.
Robert de Newbiggin presented Sir Thomas de Newbiggin to the
rectory, saving to the church of Kirkby Thore the yearly pension
of 3s. of old time due and accustomed.
Robert de Newbiggin held the manor under de Clifford when the
cornage was 20d. and the wardship worth £5 yearly. In 1388
William de Crackanthorpe held it when the cornage was 20d. but the
wardship worth only 40 shillings yearly.
Newebygynge paid a fifteenth as a subsidy to the king amounting
to 20s. Excheq. Q.R. Miscell. Books, vol. 7.
1669–1772 Hearth Tax Roll
1669–1772 Hearth Tax Roll, Lay Subsidy 195, n. 73.
Seventeen householders were exempted from paying the Tax by
1742 24 April.
It was presented to Quarter Sessions that Samuel Storey
of Melmerby, co. Cumberland, and Thomas Parker of Westmorland
did, by hushing for lead ore at Silverband, poison and pollute
Newbiggin Beck so that the said water thereby became unwholesome
and corrupt, by reason whereof divers of his majesty's liege subjects
and their cattle were hurt and became greatly distempered to the
common nuisance of all. This method of hushing for lead ore was
done by collecting water behind a dam and then allowing it to rush
forth down a sloping surface in order to uncover ore and separate it
from the earth and stones in which it was embedded.
1810 1 October.
At this Sessions a certificate was filed setting forth
that a certain building belonging to Joseph Breaks in Newbiggin was
intended to be used as a meeting place for religious worship.
1822 15 July.
John Allen of Newbiggin for stealing a cart saddle, a
horse neck-collar, a bridle and one pair of horse-stays was committed
to the gaol for three months and to be publicly whipped, being naked
from his waist upward, at the market Cross in Appleby upon a market
day about the mid-time of his imprisonment.
The Wesleyan Chapel was erected in this year.