The Boynton Castle, for a Time
Some time subsequent to the Brus partition of 1271, the manor came into the possesion of Nicholas, Lord de Meynell of Whorlton Castle, and about 1290 he appears to have restockaded the old Brus motte, and to have erected a large timber house or keep within the fortified enclosure, which house became the capital messuage (1). This late thirteenth century castle was simply a reconstruction, on the original lines, of the old Brus fortress of the time of Stephen, and it was certainly occupied down to 15 Richard II, 1391-2, i.e. for about a century, without developing any defences in masonry, and is but one of many instances known to the writer of a typical Norman earth-and-timber castle existing down to a comparatively late date without evolving into a stone fortress.
Description. -- This remarkably well-preserved motte is situated amid pleasant rural scenery 175 feet above sea level, and 125 feet above the river Leven, which sweeps in a graceful curve ...
(1) It subsequently became the residence of John de Meynell, born 1281, the second son of Nicholas I, who had issue a son William, who predeceased him (Esch. 5 Edward III), and a daughter and heiress, Alice, who after her father's death, 23 Edward III, became the owner of Castle Levington. She married, firstly, William de Percy, of Kildale, by whom she had a son, William, and a daughter, Margaret; secondly, Robert de Boulton; and thirdly, Walter de Boynton, by whom she had issue a son. Walter de Boynton, of Castle Levington, who died s.p. 15 Richard II, 1391-2, when the castle reverted to William de Percy, the son of Alice de Meynell by her first husband. On William's death, without issue, the castle passed to his sister and heiress, Margaret, who c. 1399, married Thomas Blanfront. The castle, however, would not appear to have been inhabited after the death, in 1391-2, of Walter de Boynton.
The Yorkshire Archaeological Journal (1912-1913) pp. 334-335.
15. Testa de Nevill (1), 375b, where it is called 'Castellemiton'. The entry refers to it in the hands of Philip de Ulecotes, who held it about 1215-21 (see V.C.H. (NR), ii, 260). I'Anson has a wonderful narrative, in which it is a probable Stephanic castle, abandoned from the time of Henry II to about 1290, after which it was re-occupied for at least a century, without ever receiving stone defences. No serious evidence for this is adduced, nor do the authors of the V.C.H. appear to have found any.
(1) Testa de Nevill: Testa de Nevill sive Liber Feodorum in Curia Scaccarii, ed. J. Caley and W. Illingworth (Record Commission, London, 1807).
David J. Cathcart King (1983) Castellarium Anglicanum; An Index and Bibliography of the Castles in England, Wales and the Islands, II Norfolk-Yorkshire and the Islands, Kraus International Publications, p. 536.
555. Nicholas de Meynill alias de Meignyll, de Menil.
Writ, 27 May, 27 Edw. I.
[York.] Inq. made at Tresk, 6 Feb. 27 Edw. I.
Castel Leveington. The manor, which was formerly of the fee of Brug, held, jointly enfeoffed with Christiana his wife, who still survives, by charter of John de Lithgraynis and the king's confirmation to hold to them and the heirs of the same Nicholas, of the king in chief by service of finding a serjeant on horseback in the king's army for forty days at his own charges. he held nothing of the inheritance of the said Christiana.
Calendar of Inquisitions Post Mortem, Edward I., vol. III, For his Majesty's Stationery Office, 1912, p. 427.
LXXXII. Nicholas de Meynell. Inq. p.m. [Yorkshire, local, version of above]
[27 Edw. I. No. 156]
Writ dated at Canterbury, 28 May, 27th year (1299), and addressed to Mster Richard de Havering', Escheator beyond Trent.
Similar writ to the same Escheator, dated the day following.
Inquisition of the lands and tenements which were Nicholas de Menil's on the day he died, made at Tresk on 6 July, 27 Edw. (1299), by the oath of John de Blaby, Robert Guer, John de Menil. and Robert de Furneux, knights, John de Redmershil, John de Gouton, John son of John, Adam de Leke, John Morgan, William de Mundeville, William le Venur, Ralph de Lestre, William de Moubray, John . . . , John de Kirkeby, Walter le Graunte, Robert Oliver, John Maunsail, Thomas de Aldewerke, Thomas Blaunfronte, John gener Dauid, and thomas de Yolton. Nicholas held in chief the manor of Castel Levington,c which was for long of the fee of Brus, by the service of finding one serjeant on horseback (servientem equitem) in the King's army for forty days at his own expense. Cristiana, who was Nicholas's wife, still surviving, was jointly enfeoffed with him in the said manor by the charter of John de Lithgrayns and the royal confirmation, to hold to them and the heirs of Nicholas of the King by the same service. The manor yields yearly l ... in all outgoings. Nicholas held nothing of the inheritance of Cristiana his wife.
. . .
Nicholas, son of Nicholas de Meynel, is the next heir of the said Nicholas, and was of the age of twenty-four years at the feast of St. Nicholas last past (6 Dec.).
c In the parish of Kirk Levington. Castle Levington, as "alia Leuetons," was given to Robert de Bruis some time after Domesday, probably in the reign of Henry I. At the time (1284-85) of Kirkby's Inquest (p. 130) it has become part of the Meynell fee, but in 1302-3 the Perices of Topcliffe were the chief lords (Ibid., p. 239). The history of the mesne tenants is far from clear. A family called Feugers seem to have held it for a long time, but they disappeaer about 1280, possibly in consequence of Andrew de Feugers borrowing money from the Jews (Calendar of Patent Rolls, 1281-1292, p. 25.). At a later period it belonged to members of the family of Percy of Kildale (Whitby Chartulary (Surtees Society), ii., 704n).
William Brown, ed. (1902) Yorkshire Inquisitions, vol. III, Yorkshire Archaeological Society, Record Series, p. 114-115.
April 1. 1300. Westminister. Membrane 23
Grant to R. archbishop of Canterbury, that the taking into the king's hands of the following lands, late of Nicholas de Meygnill, deceased, whom the king understood to hold in chief as of the Crown, and the assignment of dower therefrom to Christiana, late his wife, shall not be to the prejudice of him or his successors, or of Christ Church, Canterbury; as it appears by inquisition made by Richard de Haveryng, escheator beyond Trent, that the said Nicholas held the manor of Castelevyngton in chief as of the fee of Brus by the service of finding a mounted serjeant in the king's army for forty days, at his own cost, and that the said Christiana was jointly enfeoffed with him thereof by a charter of John de Lythegreynes, which the king afterwards confirmed; also that the said Nicholas held the manors of Wheruelton, Somer (alias Semer), Eston, and Alderwerk, and two bovates of land in Pothou and the manor of Bonyngton of the archbishopric of Canterbury by the service of doing the office that pertains to the pantry in the archbishop's household on the day of his enthronisation. By C.
Mandate to the said escheator to deliver to the archbishop the issues of the last-mentioned manors and two bovates to Pothou.
Calendar of Patent Rolls, Edward I, vol. III, 1292-1301, Printed for Her Majesty's Stationery Office, 1898, p. 498.
Negotiating Inheritance of the Estate
Castle Levington. 224. Friday before Michaelmas, 2 Richard II (Sept. 24, 1378). Release by John de Percy of Kildall to lady (domina) Alice de Castel Levington (footnote: Alice, daughter of John son of John de Mennell of Castle Levington. She married in succession Robert de Boulton, Walter de Boynton, and the above named John de Percy.) formerly wife of Sir Walter de Boynton, knt., of all right in the manor of Castellevington. Witnesses, Sir Robert Conyers, Sir Thomas de Boynton, knts., Thomas de Hoton, Walter de Pynchunthorp, William Gylot. Castlellevington.
William Brown, ed. (1922) Yorkshire Deeds, Volume III, The Yorkshire Archaeological Society Record Series, p. 73.
[This shows how the estate was split. The Boyntons got "first shot" at Castle Leavington, and the Percys got the same for lands at Tanton.]
Tanton: Before 1300 Tanton was granted to John de Meyell, younger son of this Nicholas, and lord also, after the death of his mother Christina, of the manor of Castle Leavington (q.v.), with which this manor descended for several generations, coming into the Percy family by the marriage of Alice Meynell with John Percy. The manor was settled on his son William Percy of Castle Leavington by Sir Robert Conyers, Sir Thomas Boynton and John Conyers. William was succeeded in 1397 by his son William, whose heir at his death was his aunt Margaret, wife of Thomas Blanfront. She was dead without issue in 1434, when Thomas was holding the manor for life by courtesy of England. The reversion seems to have belonged to the heirs of the original trustees, for John Conyers of Ormesby, Christopher Conyers and Christopher Boynton were parties to an agreement concerning the manor in that year. After this date two holdings in Tanton can be traced. One belonged to the Conyers of Ormesby, and came with Ormesby (q.v.) to the Strangways family, the other was in the hands of the Lords Conyers, and was inherited by the Darcys.
William Page, ed. (1923) The Victoria History of the County of York: North Riding, Volume Two, The St. Catherine Press, p. 307.
523. Alice late the wife of Walter de Boynton, knight,Writ, 25 June, 11 Richard II
York. Inq. taken at Stokesle, 20 July, 11 Richard II
Castellevyngton. The manor, held of the king in chief by homage and fealty, and by the service of providing a man with an unbarded horse, armed with 'aketon', 'palet', lance and gauntlets of 'plate', for 40 days when there is war in Scotland. The said Alice died seised of the manor in fee tail by virtue of a grant thereof made by Nicholas son of Nicholas de Menyll to John de Menyll, his brother, grandfather of the said Alice, to wit, father of John her father, whose heir she was. The said Nicholas son of Nicholas de Menill, who held it for life with reversion to himself and his heirs, to the said John Menill, his brother, and the heirs of his body, with remainder to himself and his heirs. The grant was made by licence of Edward II in the fourth year of his reign, and Christiana attroned to the said John Menill. She died many years ago. The right to the reversion of the manor descended from Nicholas son of Nicholas to the said Alice as his kinswoman and heir, to wit, daughter of John son of the aforesaid John Menill his brother; and from Alice to Walter son of Walter de Boynton, knight, as her son and heir.
She died on Tuesday after Midsummer last. The said Walter son of Walter, aged 24 years and more, is her next heir, and also kinsman and heir of the aforesaid John Menill.
C. Ric. II File 49 (11) E. Inq. P.M. File 54 (3)
Calendar of Inquisitions Post Mortem, Richard II, vol. XVI, For Her Majesty's Stationery Office, 1974, p. 200.
June 25. 1387. Westminster. Membrane 5.
Order to William de Holm, escheator in the county of York, to take into the king's hand and keep safely until further order all the lands in his bailiwick whereof Alice late the wife of Walter Boynton, 'chivaler,' who held of the king in chief, was seised in her demesne as of fee on the day of her death, and to make inquisition touching her lands and heir.
Calendar of Fine Rolls, Richard II, 1393-1391, vol. X, For His Majesty's Stationery Office, 1929, p. 237.
Aug. 16. 1387. Westminster. Membrane 22.
Order to William de Holm, escheator in the county of York, to cause Walter de Boynton, son and heir of Alice late the wife of Walter de Boynton, 'chivaler,' to have full seisin of all the lands which his mother held of the king in chief or was seised of in her demesne as of fee or in fee tail on the day of her death; as the king has taken his homage and fealty. By p.s.
Calendar of Fine Rolls, Richard II, 1393-1391, vol. X, For His Majesty's Stationery Office, 1929, p. 200.
Aug. 22. 1388. Westminster. Membrane 5.
Order to . . ., escheator in the county of . . ., to take into the king's hand and keep safely until further order all the lands whereof . . ., who held of the king in chief, was seised in his demesne as of fee on the day of his death; and to make inquisition touching his lands and heir.
The like orders touching the lands etc. of the following persons, directed to the escheaters in the counties named:--
Walter Boynton; York.
Calendar of Fine Rolls, Richard II, 1393-1391, vol. X, For His Majesty's Stationery Office, 1929, p. 291.
To the Percys
655. Walter Boynton Writ, 22 August, 12 Richard II
York. Inq. (indented) taken at Stokeslay, Saturday after Michaelmas, 12 Richard II.
The said Walter was seised of the under-mentioned manor in fee tail by virtue of a grant made by Nicholas son of Nicholas de Menyll, who granted that the said manor, then held for life by Christiana late the wife of Nicholas de Menyll with reversion to himself and his heirs, should remain to John de Menyll, his brother, great-grandfather of the said Walter (to wit, father of John father of Alice mother of the said Walter) whose heir the said Walter was, and the heirs of the body of the said John de Menyll, with remainder in default of such heirs to himself, the said Nicholas son of Nicholas, and his heirs. The said grant was made by licence of Edward II in the fourth year of his reign; and by virture of the said grant and licence Chrisitana attorned to the said John Menyll.
Castellevyngton. The manor, held of the king in chief by homage and fealty and the service of providing a man with an unbarded horse, armed with 'aketon, 'palet', lance and gauntlets of plate, for 40 days when there is war in Scotland.
He died on Wednesday the feast of St. Oswald last. William de Percy, his brother, aged 22 years and more, son of the aforesaid Alice, is his next heir in accordance with the aforesaid grant because he died without heir of his body.
C. Ric. II File 54 (3)
Calendar of Inquisitions Post Mortem, Richard II, vol. XVI, For Her Majesty's Stationery Office, 1974, pp. 250-251.
Nov. 3. 1388. Westminster. Membrane 22.
Order to John Godard, escheator in the county of York,--pursuant to an inquisition made by him shewing that Walter de Boynton held the manor of Castellevyngton, co. York, of the king in chief in fee tail, by homage and fealty and the service of finding a man with an unbarded horse, armed with 'aketon,' 'palet,' lance, and gauntlets of 'plate,' for 40 days when there is war in Scotland, of the gift and grant of Nicholas son of Nicholas de Menyll to John de Menyll, his brother, great-grandfather of the said Walter, and the heirs of his body, with reversion to Nicholas and his heirs, and that William de Percy, son of Alice the daughter of John the son of the aforesaid John, is brother and next heir of the said Walter, who died without heir of his body, and of full age,--to take the fealty of the said William de Percy, and cause him to have full seisin of the manor; as the king has taken his homage. By p.s.
Calendar of Fine Rolls, Richard II, 1393-1391, vol. X, For His Majesty's Stationery Office, 1929, p. 258-259.
1079 William Percy of Castelleventon, Writ, 17 February, 21 Richard II
York. Inq. taken at Gysburgh, Thursday after the Annunciation, 21 Richard II.
He died seised in his demesne as of fee, to him and the heirs of his body, of the under-mentioned manor of Castelleventon by the gift of Robert Conyers and Thomas de Boynton, knights, and John Conyers, brother of the said Robert.
He and Christina his wife, who is still living, held jointly to them and the heirs of their bodies the under-mentioned manor of Tampton and messuages etc. in Kyldale and Neuby by gift of the said Robert, Thomas and John.
Castelleventon. The manor held of the king in chief by homage and fealty and the service of finding a man with a horse, armed with 'acton, palet', lance, and gloves of 'plates', in time of war in Scotland for 40 days.
Tampton. the manor, whereof a third part is held of Thomas de Holand, duke of Surrey, and the other two-thirds of Philip lord Darcy, service unknown.
Kyldale. 8 messuages, 5 tofts, 7 bovates of land and 8a. land, half of John Percy of Kyldale, service unknown.
Neuby. 2 bovates of land, held of William Moubray of Neuby, and a messuage and 3 bovates of land, held of Philip lord Darcy, service unknown.
He died on the feast of St. Katharine last, William son and the said William and Christina, aged a quarter of a year and more is his heir.
Calendar of Inquisitions Post Mortem, Richard II, vol. XVII, For Her Majesty's Stationery Office, 1985, pp. 392-393.
11. William Percy, Writ 24 Oct. 1399.
York. Inquisition. Stokesley in Cleveland. 10 Nov.
Owing to the death of William Percy of Castlelevington and the minority of his son William the manor of Castlelevington has taken into the hands of Richard II. Christiana, the widow of the elder William, holds a third part in dower and she still lives. The other two parts remain in the king's hands. William held it in his demesne in fee tail by the grant years ago of Robert Conyers, knight, Thomas de Boynton, knight, and John Conyers, brother of Robert, with remainder if he had no heirs to Margaret his sister and the heirs of her body, and failing them to the said Robert, Thomas and John. It is held of the king in chief by fealty and the serivce of finding a man with an unbarded horse, armed with acton, pallet, lance and gauntlets of plate, for forty days when there is a war in Scotland. The two parts in the king's hands are worth 10 marks annually.
Also after the death of the elder William the manor of Tanton with its appurtenances, and 8 messuages, 5 tofts, 7 bovates and 7 a. of land in Kildale, and 1 messuage and 5 bovates in Newby were taken into the king's hands. They are held of various lords, Thomas earl of Kent, John Lord Darcy, John Percy of Kildale, and William Mowbray of Newby, as appears by an inquisition taken after his death. The annual values are, Tanton 10 marks, Kildale 20s., and newby 5 marks.
Afterwards because it was found in the inqisition that his manor and the other premises were held jointly by William and Christina his wife, to them and their heirs, they were released from the king's hands. The two parts of Castlelevington manor should descend to Margaret wife of Thomas Blanfront and her heirs. She is next heir as sister of William the father and she is aged 30 years and more. William the son died on 8 Oct. last.
C 137/1, no. 7
Calendar of Inquisitions Post Mortem, Henry IV, vol. XVIII, For Her Majesty's Stationery Office, 1987, pp. 4-5.
May 22. 1435. Westminster Membrane 8d.
Thomas Blaumfrount of 'Catelleneuton' of the one part and William Bowes knight, John Rudstane and John Pacok clerks of the other part. Indenture of attornment of the said Thomas to the said William., William and John and to their heirs, and power after his death to enter the manor of Castelleneuton, whereof by fine levied in the king's court he is tenant for life by the courtesy of England after the death of Margaret his wife with reversion to them, by grant of Christopher Conyers, John Conyers and Christopher Boynton, saving always power to the said Thomas during his life to cut underwood for fuel and repair of the hays, and timber for repair of the manor etc.; and he has put them in possession of the said reversion by payment of 1d. Witnesses: John Boynton, Richard Wandesforth, James Burgh chaplain, William Eseby, Thomas Ayscogh, Thomas Blaumfrount the younger, Henry Forster, John Russell. Dated 25 April 13 Henry VI.
Calendar of Close Rolls, Henry VI, 1429-1435, vol. II, For His Majesty's Stationery Office, 1933, pp. 357.
July 13. 1444. Westminster. Membrane 4.
Pardon, for 10l. paid in the hanaper, to William Bowes, knight, and John Rudstane, clerk, for acquiring with John Pacoke, clerk, deceased, of John Conyers, Christopher Conyers and Christopher Boynton the reversion of the manor of Castelleventon, co. York, held in chief, after the death of Thomas Blowefront, by fine levied between them before the justices of the Bench, without licence; and licence for them to grant the same to Christopher Boynton and Joan his wife and the heirs of their bodies, with successive remainders to the heirs of Christopher's body, to Robert Danby and Elizabeth his wife and the heirs of their bodies, to the heirs of Elizabeth's body, to the heirs of the body of Thomas Boynton, knight, and to the heirs of the body of John Conyers of Horneby, with the remainder over to the right heirs of Christopher Boynton.
Calendar of Patent Rolls, Henry VI, 1441-1446, vol. IV, For His Majesty's Stationery Office, 1908, p. 280-281.
Cold Ingleby: In February 1440-1 William Holgill surrendered to Christopher Boynton and his heirs all right in the manor of Ingleby, which descended with Castle Leavington (q.v.) until 1608, and in 1634 was held by Roger Beckwith of Aldbrough, purchaser of part of the manor of Castle Leavington.
William Page, ed. (1923) The Victoria History of the County of York: North Riding, Volume Two, The St. Catherine Press, p. 296.
387. Joan Boynton, widow.
Writ 23 Jan., inq. 23 July, 4 Henry VII.
By deed dated 16 Jan., 37 Hen. VI, one John Rudston, clk., being seised of the under-mentioned manor in fee, gave it, by the king's licence, to her and the heirs of her body by Christopher Boynton, with remainder to the said Christopher in tail, with remainder to Robert Danby and Elizabeth his wife and the heirs of their bodies, with remainder ot the said Elizabeth in tail, with remainder to the heirs of the body of Thomas Boynton, knt., with remainder to the heirs of the body of John Conyers of Hornby, with remainder in default to the right heirs of the said Christopher Boynton.
She died 10 Jan. last. John Barton, aged 21 and more, is her next heir; and Henry Boynton aged 21 and more, is the next heir of the bodies of the said Christopher Boynton and the said Joan his wife.
York. Manor of Castle Levinton, worth 10l., held of the King in chief, by service of 1/8 of a knight's fee.
C. Series II. Vol. 4(12)
Calendar of Inquisitions Post Mortem, Henry VII, vol. 1, For Her Majesty's Stationery Office, 1898, p. 165.
The Victoria History Account
Castle Leavington: Christina, who succeeded her husband in 1299, died in 1311 or 1312, shortly after Nicholas their son obtained licence to grant the reversion of Castle Leavington to his younger brother John, lord in 1316 and until 1337, when his infant grandson, a third John de Meynell, was his heir, a third of the manor being held by his widow Katherine until 1345. Four years after his grandmother the heir died and Castle Leavington passed to his sister Alice and her husband Robert de Bolton, and was settled on them in 1350. Robert was dead in 1356, when another Robert de Bolton made violent entry into the manor of Castle Leavington, then held by Walter Boynton, second husband of Alice. Alice, who married her third husband John or William de Percy about 1364, died in 1387, when Castle Leavington descended to her son Walter Boynton. On his death without issue the following year William de Percy, the son of her third marriage, succeeded and held til his death in 1396. His infant son William did not long survive his father, and Castle Leavington, with the exception of the third held by his mother Christiana until her death in 1417, came to Margaret daughter of Alice Meynell by her third husband and wife of Thomas Blanfront. John son of Thomas and Margaret died without issue, and Thomas was holding by courtesy in 1428 and in 1434, when the manor was settled by John and Christopher Conyers and Christopher Boynton on Sir William Bowes and other trustees. Thomas died childless before or in 1444, and Castle Leavington was then settled on Christopher Boynton, his wife Joan and their issue. Joan held from Christopher's death in 1451 until January 1488-9, when Henry Boynton her grandson succeeded her. Elizabeth his daughter and heir with her second husband Sir Thomas Hilton obtained pardon for having acquired without licence the manor of Castle Leavington. Three years after her death, 1545, Castle Leavington was entailed on Richard son of Sir Henry Gascoigne her son by an earlier marriage.
William Page, ed. (1923) The Victoria History of the County of York: North Riding, Volume Two, The St. Catherine Press, p. 260.