Dissolution of Monasteries

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Extracts of the Suppression Papers regarding the Dissolution of the Monasteries in Yorkshire, including Drax Priory and the eventual acquisition of Ellerton Abbey by Gabriel Drax.


[In the Wapentake of Barkston Ash, five miles from Snaith. It is now only identified by a farm house. (Lawton.)]
Dedicated to St. Nicholas.

Founded by William Paganel in the time of Henry I.

POSSESSIONS.–Wressle, Bingley, and Drax Churches.

SUPPRESSION.–In the list as under 200l. per annum.

VALUATION.–104l. 14s. 9d.


PENSION.–William Emson, Prior, 18l. (Augmentation Books, vol. 232, p. 33.)

ACCOUNT of the Receiver, Leonard Beckwith, from the Feast of St. Michael the Archangel, 27 Henry VIII. (1535), to the same Feast 28 Henry VIII. (1536).

He charges himself with 49l. 12s. 4¼d. of the issues of the Priory due at St. Martin (as above), as appears by the account of Richard Brelby, collector of the rents there. Also with 59l. 17s. 8¼d. due at Whitsuntide, received and expended by Sir William Empson, late Prior there. Also with 8l. 8s. 4d. received by Sir John Scolaye as Rector of the Rectory of Byngelcy, appropriate to this late Priory. Also with 9l. 9s. 9d. due from Sir Marmaduke Constable, the elder, knight, farmer of the scite of the late Priory, with the demesne lands, and not paid. Also with 13l. 17s. 10½d. received from the said Richard Brelby of the issues of his office this year. Total, 141l. 6s.
And he charges himself with 12l. 18s. 4d., the price of “le plate” and other jewels there, as appears by the inventory subscribed by the said William Emson, late Prior there. Also with 93l. 6s. 8d., the lead on the roof of the Church and of the other houses. Also with 20l., the price of 6 bells hanging in the belfry there. Also with 4l. 2s. for the grain in the granary there at the time of the survey, expended by the said Prior. And with 26s., the price of sundry beasts, expended by the Prior between the survey and the suppression, viz., 15 sheep 15s., 1 pig 12d., 2 young cattle 10s. Also with 35s. 0½d. for sundry things sold by the Prior and expended in his inn, not charged in the inventory, viz., 1 horse 20s., and the hides and pelts of the cattle and sheep expended there 15s. 0½d. Also with 76l. 15s. 1d., the value of the rest of the goods according to the said inventory, sold by the Commissioners to Sir Marmaduke Constable the elder, knight, farmer, of the site of the Priory, with the demesne lands, with 100s. increase. Total, 210l. 3s. 1½d., with 6l. 15s. 0½d. increase.

20 July, 28 Henry VIII. (1536).
LEASE of the site of Drax Priory surrendered to Sir Marmaduke Constable, knight, for 21 years at the rent of 8l. 19s. 6d. (Augmentation Books, vol. 209, p. 96.)

20 May, 29 Henry VIII. (1537).
LEASE to Wm. Babthorpe of Osgodby of the Rectory of Drax for 21 years at the rent of 22l. 12s. (Augmentation Books, vol. 209, p. 85.)

. . . ., 29 Henry VIII. (1537).
LEASE to John and Simon Scoley of the Rectory of Bingley. (Augmentation Books, vol. 210, p. 4.)

22 July, 30 Henry VIII. (1538).
GRANT in fee to Sir Marmaduke Constable, sen., of Everingham, for 200l. of the house and site of the dissolved Priory of Draxe, the Church, steeple, churchyard, lands in Draxe, the fishery of New Hey now in the tenure of Robt. Okes and Margaret his wife, and the passage of the water of the Ouse in New Hey now in the tenure of Wm. Ryecroft, in as full manner as Wm. Emson, the late Prior, held them. Clear annual value 21l., rent of 42s. as tenth. (Calendar, xiii., 569.)      (Pat., p. 3, m. 12.)

8 Dec., 32 Henry VIII. (1540).
GRANT to Ric. Wylkynson of Bradford, Lands in Bingley, Presthorp, and Mykylthwayte, which belonged to Drax. (Calendar, xvi., 174.)

19 April, 34 Henry VIII. (1543).
LEASE to Anthony Dunwyche of London, merchant, of the Rectory of Wresyll, late belonging to the Prior of Drax, for 21 years at the rent of 10l. 3s. 4d. (Augmentation Books, vol. 215, p. 63b.)

31 Aug., 35 Henry VIII. (1543)-
GRANT to Wm. Babthorpe, the lordship and manor of Newhey, which belonged to Drax Priory, and all possessions there. (Calendar, xvi., p. 60.)


[In the parish of Catterick, on the south bank of the Swale. It is often confused with the Priory of Ellerton on Spalding Moor.]

Said to have been founded by Warnerius, the dapifer to the Earl of Richmond in the reign of Henry II.

VALUATION.–15l. 10s. 6d. (Valor Ecclesiasticus, vol. v., p. 244.)

SUPPRESSION.–In the list as under 200l. per annum.

SURRENDER.–By Johanna, last Prioress.

ACCOUNT of William Blytheman, the King’s Receiver in the Archdeaconry of Richmond, from 4 Feb., 27 Henry VIII. (1535-6), to Michaelmas, 29 Henry VIII. (1537).

[Arrears: none, because this is the first account.]

He answers for 150l. 9s. 10d., the value of goods and chattels, viz., 6l. 4s. 2d. for 34¾ oz. of silver plate, remaining in the King’s hands; 81l. 13s. 4d., the estimated value of 24½ fothers of lead derived from the pulling down of the said Priory, and 1 fother in the ashes at the burning and milling of the same lead; 40s., the price of 4 small [? piii] [sic] bells, and 106s. 8d., the price of stock, etc., consumed by the nuns. Also for 14s. 2d. for glass, timber, etc. (besides the timber used for melting the lead), obtained in pulling down the buildings.

In issues of lands, etc., for the 28th year 11l. 2s., for the 29th year 21l. 9s. 3d., including rent for the demesne lands from Anne Cleisby, the farm of Woodehouse from Ralph Cleisby, and rents from divers other tenants. Sum total, 183l. 15s. 3d. (Minister’s Account, 7467.)

31 July, 30 Henry VIII. (1538).
LEASE to Ralph Cleseby [Closeby] of the household of the King, gen., of the house and site of the late Priory of Ellerton in the Archdeaconry of Richmond for 21 years at the rent of 12l. 10s. 8d. (Augmentation Books, vol. 210, p. 39.)

31 July, 10 Elizabeth (1568).
GRANT to Percivall Bowes and John Moysier and their heirs, the house and site of the late Priory of Ellerton, with lands, etc., to be held in capile. (Palmer’s “Index,” p. 201.)

24 Elizabeth (1581-2).
TRANSFER to Gabriel Drax, in whose family it has continued to recent times.


A History of the County of York North Riding: Volume 1, doesn't mention Gabriel Drax at all, but is refering to 'The Manor of Ellerton', rather than 'the house and site of the late Priory of Ellerton' above; it shows:

At the Dissolution [c1538/9] Anthony Brackenbury of Selaby, Durham, held lands in Ellerton of the priory, paying 13d. rent and 3 lb. of wax annually, the priory seemingly having alienated their manorial rights to him. The Brackenburys were connected with the heirs of the Hartforths, joint tenants with the priory in 1316, but it seems probable that the Hartforths had the manorial rights of Stainton only. If the Brackenburys derived their title from the Hartforths it was probably owing to the fact that when on Sir William Tempest’s death Stainton passed with his daughter Isabel to the Nortons his heir male was his brother Robert. Robert married the heiress of Holmside, Durham, and left a son Roland, who was succeeded by his son Robert and grandson Roland. Cuthbert son of Anthony Brackenbury, the tenant under the priory, married Anne daughter and co-heir of Roland, and died in his father’s lifetime, leaving five daughters, Margaret wife of John Brackenbury, Agnes wife of Gilbert Marshall, Anne, who married as her second husband Robert Tunstall of Stockton, Dorothy wife of Christopher Ayscough, and Grace, who married Thomas Tunstall of Middridge (Mydry) Grange. The subsequent quitclaim from these daughters does not, however, prove that the manor had descended to them, but may have been due to the fact that their father was not included in the entail. The manor was in 1540 settled on Anthony Brackenbury (their grandfather, probably grantee of the priory) for life, with successive remainders to his sons William, Henry, Richard and others in tailmale. His son William died seised in 1564, when his brother Henry was his heir, and in 1568–9 Thomas Tunstall and Grace, Christopher Ayscough and Dorothy, and Robert Tunstall and Anne; in 1569–70 John Brackenbury and Margaret; and in 1574–5 Gilbert Marshall and Agnes quitclaimed the manor to Henry Brackenbury. Richard Franklin or Frankland died seised in 1587, having entailed the manor, and left a son and heir Henry knighted in 1607. Henry died in 1622, leaving a son and heir Anthony, who joined with his step-brother Henry in 1654 in conveying the manor to William and James Drax, sons of the Rev. William Drax, vicar of Stoneleigh, Warwick. James Drax was knighted by Oliver Cromwell in 1658, his son and heir James (of Hackney) by Charles II in 1660.