containing the following borough and wapentakes: Borough Of Richmond; Gilling West; Gilling East; Hang West; Hang East; Hallikeld
The name of Richmondshire has not yet been
discovered earlier than 1173, (fn. 1) and there is no evidence
that there was ever a sheriff of the shire. The descent
of the lordship of Richmondshire followed that of
the honour of Richmond (q.v.). This district is not
entered under wapentakes in the Domesday Survey,
but, as there is there a reference to Hallikeld
Wapentake, it may be inferred that these divisions
existed in 1086, and, indeed, probably at an earlier
date. The earliest reference yet discovered to the
wapentakes of Gilling and Hang occurs in 1165–6.
The three wapentakes continued undivided till
1275–6, (fn. 2) between which date and 1286–7 Gilling
and Hang were each divided into two, thus forming Gilling West and Gilling East and Hang
West and Hang East respectively. (fn. 3) These appear to
have been claimed as part of the honour of Richmond in the 12th century, (fn. 4) and were held as such
by the Earl of Chester in the reign of John. In
1229, however, it was decided that they had always
belonged to the kings of England, and the sheriff
was ordered to take them into the hands of the
Crown. (fn. 5) In the following year the custody was
given to Ranulf son of Henry (fn. 6) during pleasure. (fn. 7) In
1231 it was granted to Roger de Stapleton, (fn. 8) and in
1232 to the Earl of Britanny for one year. (fn. 9) The
wapentakes evidently remained with him and his
successors, for in 1275–6 they were said to be still
held by the Earl of Britanny during pleasure, though
his title was not known, (fn. 10) and in 1316 they were
again returned as in the Liberty of Richmond. (fn. 11)
John of Britanny, Earl of Richmond, who died
unmarried in 1334, (fn. 12) held them for life by
grant of the king, and in 1337 Edward III regranted them to his successor. (fn. 13) In the following
year the king gave the reversion to Thomas de
Rokeby in reward for his services in Scotland, (fn. 14) but
the grant was found to be void owing to the fact that
after the death of the Earl of Richmond an order
had been issued for all wapentakes and hundreds to
be rejoined to their respective counties. (fn. 15) In 1356
they were granted to John of Gaunt Earl of Richmond, (fn. 16) and he as Duke of Lancaster (fn. 17) leased them
to John Marmion for ten years in 1383. (fn. 18) The
Duke of Lancaster died in 1399, (fn. 19) and Richard II
granted them to Ralph Nevill Earl of Westmorland
and his wife Joan, the legitimate daughter of the
Duke of Lancaster, for their lives, (fn. 20) with reversion
to John Duke of Bedford, (fn. 21) who died childless in
1435. (fn. 22) In 1449 the grant was renewed to their
son Richard Nevill Earl of Salisbury and his
heirs male, (fn. 23) and from this time the descent of
the five wapentakes followed that of Middleham
Manor. (fn. 24)
From the 15th to the 18th century the wapentake courts are called 'Friendless' (Frendles, Friendley). These wapentakes were in 1183–4 all divided
into temanetale, i.e., computations of ten men, and at
that time there were 25½ temanetale in 'Gillingshire'
and 2½ carucates of land over, the two wapentakes
being composed of 398½ carucates of land 'besides
Malton which contains 9 carucates.' (fn. 25)
|| There were itinerant justices in Richmondshire in 1173 or 1174 (Chron. of
the Reigns of Hen. II and Ric. I [Rolls
Ser.], i, 108). Gervase of Canterbury in
the 12th century divided England into
thirty-four counties, of which Richmondshire was the last (Hist. Works [Rolls
Ser.], ii, 417). In 1252 the bailiffs of
Peter of Savoy claimed privileges for Richmondshire which would have made it in
effect an independent county (Yorks. Inq.
[Yorks. Arch. Soc.], i, 34).
|| Hund. R. (Rec. Com.), i, 118, 122.
Kirkby's Quest (Surt. Soc.), 148–86.
|| Gale, op. cit. 21.
|| Cal. Close, 1227–31, p. 158.
|| Ancestor of the Fitz Hughs. See
|| Cal. Pat. 1225–32, p. 348.
|| Ibid. p. 451.
|| Ibid. p. 501.
|| Hund. R. (Rec. Com.), i, 118, 122,
|| Kirkby's Quest (Surt. Soc. xlix),
|| See above.
|| Rot. Orig. Mich. 11 Edw. III, m. 4;
Cal. Close, 1337–9, p. 553.
|| Cal. Pat. 1338–40, p. 61. See
|| Ibid. 1340–3, p. 576.
|| Pat. 30 Edw. III, pt. ii, m. 13.
|| G.E.C. Peerage, vi, 354.
|| Duchy of Lanc. Misc. Bks. xiv, 107.
|| G.E.C. Peerage, v, 8.
|| Ibid. viii, 111; Chan. Inq. p.m. 19
Hen. VI, no. 42.
|| Gale, op. cit. App. 207.
|| G.E.C. Peerage, i, 295.
|| Pat. 27 Hen. VI, pt. iii, m. 5.
|| Feet of F. Yorks. East. 17 Edw. IV,
no. 32; Close, 20 Edw. IV, m. 4; Pat.
4 Chas. I, pt. xxxiii, B, m. 36; Feet of
F. Div. Co. Hil. 3 Geo. I; Yorks. Hil.
13 Geo. I.
|| Gale, op. cit. 24.