I Find little of Blyth in the book of Doomsday, saving that here was soc to Ordesach
one bov. ¼. ad Geldam. (fn. 1) The land one car. There four vill. and four bord.
had one car. and one acre of medow. and that here was likewise soc to the Kings
manor of Maunsfeld, as much as paid the geld for one carucat. And also as much soc
to the Kings manor of Bodmescill. Yet this was the seat of Roger de Busli (so often
mentioned) who after the conquest was far the greatest owner in this county, whereof he had a full fourth part or more, besides what he had in other counties, the castle
of Tikhill in Yorkshire was his chief house, to which the castle and honour of Blyth, and
all lands & manors of his fee depending thereon had special relation.
(fn. 2) Roger de Busli, & his wife Muriel, for the stability of William king of the English, and of his successours, also for the soul of Queen Matildis, and for the health of
their own souls, by the advice of their friends, gave and granted to God and St. Mary
of Blyth, and the monks there serving God, the church of Blyth, and the whole town
entirely, with all appendixes and customs as the men of that town did to himself, viz.
to plow, carry, and reap his corn, to cut and make his hay, to give Marchet, to make
the damm of the mill. Furthermore he gave to the said monks toll and passage from
Radeford unto Thornewad, and from Frodestan unto Hidill. He gave them fair and market
in the said town absolutely and freely without any retention, Further he gave them
all the dignities which he had in that town, viz. soc and sac, tol and them, and infangtheif, iron and ditch, and Gallows, with all liberties as he then held them of the
King. Over and bove, he gave them Elleton, and what ever belonged to it; Becton,
and whatsoever belong to that, and what he had in Barneby. He gave them also the
tythe of twenty three carucats of his own labour, whereof two were in Wateley, and in
Marneham two and an half. In Apleby two parts of the tythe of the Hall in lands, & in
efforts, and in all small tythes. In Lacton the same, and in Clifford, and in Bingham,
and in Salteby Garthorp, and in Berscaldeby, and in Brugeford, and in Ludham and Gunnthorp
the same, and in Clipeston the tythe of one plow (or carncat) and two parts of the tythe
of Crocheston. All these things he granted for ever to the said church of Blyth, for the
building of the place; and for the food and raiment of the monks there serving God,
and his mother; excepting that every year out of all these should be given to the
church of the Holy Trinity at Roan (de Monte Rothomagi) forty shillings of English
money: the witnesses were Gilbert the Presbyter, Richard the Presbyter, William
the Presbyter, Fulco de Lisoriis, Thoraldus his brother, Ernold de Buulli, Godfr. the
Steward, or Sewer (Dapiser,) Thurold de Cheverchort, Claron, Raph Novifori, Pagan, Gladicus, Robert Dispensator, W. de Drincort. This donation was made in
the year of our lords incarnation 1088. He died 4 Id. Jun. 1099. (fn. 3)
(fn. 4) The barony of Blyth (viz. the tenants of that honour) 5 Steph. gave account
of 20l. for the forfeiture of the wall of the castle of Blith Eustace Fitz-John paid it
to do the work of the said castle by the Kings writ, and they were quit.
(fn. 5) King Henry the second confirmed to the monks of Blyth their fair and market of
Blyth, and their toll and passage between Thornewad and Radeford, as Roger de Bulli
gave it, and as king Henry the first, the said kings grandfather confirmed it, and that
they should have all their customs in the wood of Lindric; and the said king Henry the
second prohibited also, that the men of the said monks should not go to the shire and
hundred, nor to the wapentac, nor to any pleading, except at the castle of Blyth.
Roger de Bully left no heir of his body, as in Perlethorpe may be noted.
(fn. 6) Alice the countess of Augi, who by agreement with Idonea de Veteriponte daughter of John de Bulli, (noted in Stanford on Sore) had the castle of Tikhill, had nothing
in these counties (of Nott. and Derb.) in demesne. but she had in knights services thirty nine fees, a third and a fourth part of a fee, whereof twenty three fees and a third
part yielded yearly 17l. 17s. 10d. for guard of the castle of Tikhull, viz. every fee
10s. 8d. for the meat of the watchmen of the castle, and other five fees and an half,
and a fourth part did no service, except scutage and relief when it happened. She the
said Alice countess of Eu released to God, St. Mary, and the monks of Blyth, the prise
of oxen and cows at Blith fairs, so that neither she, her heirs, nor any of them should
be able to make any prise at the feast of St. Dionis in the said fairs. (fn. 7)
The prior of Blith held the whole town of Blith in demesne in pure alms of the honour of Tikhull, except 40s. which the abbat of Roche held in that town in exchange of
the mill of Serleby. The same prior held the whole town of Bucketon of the same honour in pure alms of the fee of John Burdon of the new feoffment. The same prior
had also the whole town of Elton in like manner of the fee of Roger Bully. The same
prior held five small bovats in Bevercotes of the fee of William de Bevercotes in pure
(fn. 8) The prior of Blyth, 10 E. 3, was impleaded by Adam de Fyncham the kings
attorney, that he took toll, viz. thorough toll of passengers at West Retford, Ordesale,
and Twiford brigg, whereas he ought only to take between the four waters of Radford, Thornewath, Fradestan, and Idell. The prior said the liberty was allowed him
in the plea of quo warranto before William Herle, 3 E 3, &c.
(fn. 9) There was an agreement between the prior and covent of Blyth, and William
the perpetual vicar of the church of Blyth, dated at Scroby 12 cal. Aug. 1287, concerning certain parcels of tythes in a place called Wetcroft in Blith, & 2 cultures or
wongs of the manor of Hoddesak, and a close called Stubbing, also tythe wool and lamb
in a place called Northenape, which is on the north part of the bridge and water of
Blyth, all which were then valued at 24s. and the said vicar for peace and quietness
sake released to the said prior and covent, who granted to the said vicar and his successours, that he and his chaplain for the time being should be yearly twenty four
daies solemnly arrayed in the quire with the covent at mass, as the solemnity should
require, and on those daies with the prior and covent be conveniently provided for
and have honest refection. They also granted him a quarter of rye yearly at Michaelmas, and pasture for four cows, with those of the priory, if they were his own, and
assigned him many small matters in which the vicarage was to consist, as (amongst the
rest) in the bread which is called Maynport through the whole parish in oblations of
wax, and in oblations coming with children to be baptized, and with their crismals.
Likewise in their tythes of pigs, &c. and the corn and hay of the closes (except before excepted) and in tythes of the merchants, (or chapmen) and servants, and in
tythes of flax and hemp; in cerage (or wax-shot) in eggs in Lent, in white and other
small tythes; and he was likewise to have an house to dwell in, as his predecessours
the vicars were wont to have. The vicar for the time being was to serve the church
of Blyth by himself, and by another fit presbyter, and the two chapels of Beautre and
Hoystrefeld by two other fit presbyters, which was to be his whole burden, and the
said vicar was to have of the prior of Blyth every year, eight daies before Easter a
robe of the price of 20s. or 20s. whether the said vicar would chuse.
The parish of Blyth is exceeding large, having besides the Hodsocks, and Blyth,
Serleby, Barneby on the Moore, Rauskill, and Torworth.
(fn. 10) The site of the priory and the demesnes, 3 July, 35 H. 8, were granted to Richard Andrews, and William Ramsden, who Jul. 25, had licence to alienate it to
Richard Stansfeild and his heirs, it was the inheritance of Mr. William Saunderson.
(fn. 11) Isabell, who had been wife of John Gresham, and before him of John Cooke,
died 14 Aug. 5 Eliz. seized of the manor of Blyth, and of divers others in Yorkshire,
Essex, Middlesex, and Northamptonshire. Richard Cooke her son and heir was then
twenty two years old.
The manor of Blyth is now the inheritance of William, grandchild and heir of sir
Gervas Clifton, knight and baronet.
Some of the Cressyes built an hospital in Blyth, which is now called Blyth Spittle,
and is in the gift and disposition of the lord of Hodsak.
The rectory was granted by king Henry the eighth, to Trinity colledge in Cambridge, to which it still belongs.
(fn. 12) William Mason, and William Oglethorpe, 12 Eliz. claimed against George
Bingley nine mess. &c. in Blyth, Sturrop, Olcotes, Porney, Torworth, Farworth and
Serleby, who called to warrant Rob. Lawe, senior, gent. Tho. Lawe, son and heir
apparent of the said Robert, and Robert Lawe, junior, son of the said Robert,
Dr. Robert Saunderson, the late right Reverend lord bishop of Lincolne, of this
family was the most diligent collector of genealogies I ever knew in these parts, especially of Lincolneshire, where he continued rector of Boothby Paganell a long time,
and being also prebendary of Southwell served as one of the clarks in the convocation for the county (or arch-deaconry) of Nott. in the former part of the long parliament.
(fn. 13) The owners of Blyth town 1612 are thus expressed, William Sanderson, gent.
William Wood, Christopher Crosdale, Thomas Chaulner, Richard Smith, James
Dawson, Robert Metcalf, William Andrews, George Rogers, Edward Mortone,
Robert Tibbott, Robert Eyre, gent. George Eyre, gent. William Gregory of Barneby, gent. Robert Worthin, John Marshall, John Chadwick, cler. Richard Bingly,
junior, William Browne, Nicolas Heppensall, Thomas Judson, John Stirk, Peter
Tibbott, Richard Barneby, Jervas Ingleby.
A market town without a market, it contains 536 dwellings. "Blithe is but metely buildid. At the east end of the town is the church, wherein be no tombs of noble
men I asked of a castle that I heard say was sometime at Blythe, but other answer I
learned not, but that a little ere I came into the town there appeared tokens of an ancient building." (fn. 14)
Roger de Builly founded here a Benedictine priory 1088, valued at 113l. Here
was also an hospital for lepers valued at 81. 14s. 0d. (fn. 15)
The church, which is dedicated to St. Martin, appears very ancient: it has a noble
nave, with groined side aisle arches, supported by losty circular pillars, and some circular arches. The tower, which is handsome, has 4 bells. The east end, without,
appears to have once joined an other building now gone to decay.
Here is a splendid monument for Edward Mellish, esq: who was twenty years a
merchant in Portugal, and after retired to this place. He died in 1703, aged 71.—
Others of this family lie buried in a vault below the monument. This gentleman is
represented leaning his elbow on a cushion, prostrate, his head supported by his right
A neat monument remembers Catherine wife of Joseph Hornby, of Gainsborough,
merchant, "Who in her life was greatly beloved, and in her death greatly lamented."
She died in 1772. Her husband, Thomas, died in 1755, aged 69. John Cawdron
of Bawtry, surgeon, died in 1785, aged 46.
Patron, Trinity Colledge, Cambridge, the Prior of Blythe, Olim propr. Incumbent, Revd. Mr. Robert Pritchard; V. King's books, 14l 9s. 4d. ½. Val. per
ann. in mans. cum tost. & gardin. 6s. 8d. Pens. rec. de patron, 1l. in dec. fœn. lin.
canab. &c. & dimid. dec. lan. & agn.
The seat of William Mellish, esq; (fn. 16) was built by Edward Mellish, esq; a merchant, upon the site of an old hall occupied by his father. It is a building of
considerable magnitude, of brick, ornamented with stone, Far and near, upon this
domain, are clumps of sir, and plantations rising all around you in this part of the forest, which seem congenial with the soil. Here are appendages of water and pleasure
grounds as in other family residences, but nothing extraordinarily striking. The views
hence have extension, and, in some places, variety to gratify the mind accustomed to
contemplate the beauties of nature blended with village and church scenery.