Revision March 2019



Although the Windhill Batesons are said to have lived in the area for at least 500 years, there is no hard evidence to link the early Tudor families with their Victorian counterparts. The following offering is a history of those early Batesons who may or may not have such a connection.


The earliest documentary record is an entry for Joseph Bateson and Mary Rawnsley in the Calverley marriage register in 1790. Joseph was probably born in the autumn of 1768 – his death entry of March 21 1838 gives his age as 69½. No baptism record has been found, in Calverley or any nearby parish. See table below.


In fact, there are few relevant Bateson church records for the 16th, 17th and 18th centuries:
In the final quarter of the 16th century the Calverley parish registers recorded one, perhaps two, Bateson families in Windhill with another in nearby Wrose.
Between 1602 and 1695 there were only three records - all baptisms.
The next fifty years yielded no Bateson records at all.
From 1746 to the end of the century there were around two dozen Bateson references in the registers but the abodes were mostly in Idle - only six were from Windhill.


There are no obvious reasons for this dearth of information: a few records have been torn out of the baptisms register; in the marriage register the years 1608 to 1628 are missing; and the burials register is missing data from 1607 to 1624.
The registers are otherwise complete.


A search of Idle Manor's administrative records reveals a similar paucity of data - there were no early taxation or church (tithe) references and only a few references in the rental books and court rolls, these being chiefly from the late 16th and early 17th centuries. The Rent Book of 1653 shows that Samuel Bateson was probably the last member of the family to possess a lease on land in Windhill. [1]


Since such lists were exclusively populated by yeomen and others who owned freehold or copyhold land, it is clear that by the mid-17th century the Batesons no longer held land in Idle, either because the family had fallen on hard times or because the male line had died out.
The absence of church records points to the latter conclusion.


There remains the possibility that the female line survived in the area; unfortunately, there are only a few records. Here are three early ones:
Alice Baytson, Giles Baytson's widow, married Robert Nussay in Calverley on 12 October 1596. In 1573 a Robert Nussay of Pudsey was granted a rood of land by Walter Calverley. There are no other records for this couple.
Sybill Baytson, Christopher Baytson's widow, married Robert Craven in Calverley on 8 December 1596. The Cravens held land in Wrose and had pews at Idle Church.
Isabell Baytson, born to Christopher in 1594, married Francis Gledston in 1611. They probably lived in Idle - a Francis Gleadston was a pew holder in the Old Chapel, Idle in 1634. And a man called Gleadston paid rent on part of Samuel Bateson's land in 1631.


The author is inclined to the view that the Bateson family did not die out but moved elsewhere. Some possible alternatives are reviewed below.


16th – 17th centuries

The line of Windhill Batesons began with Peter in the 1540s and ended with Samuel in 1653.


Giles, Andrew, William, Christopher, John, Brydgett, Jane, Leonard and Abraham, the children of Peter Baytson, appeared in the Calverley register, in property documents and in wills written at the time. They lived in Windhill, Wrose and possibly Bingley.

Peter was born in the 1540s, married Jane and died in 1584/85.
Giles married Alice but had no children surviving to adulthood. He died in 1595.
Andrew, along with Christopher, had a share of property, which he sold in 1589.
William, along with Christopher, was involved in an infamous incident in 1592 that led to a court case. He had two children, Grace and John.
Christopher inherited around half his father's lands. He married Sibill Cowper and had three known children: Agnes, Andrew and Isabel. Isabel, the only child to reach adulthood, married Francis Gledstone in 1611, selling part of her inheritance, Bateson's Hagge, in 1616. Christopher died in 1596.
John married Isabel Longe in Bingley in 1592. He died in 1617. Of his four known children only Bridgett and Samuel survived to adulthood. It is possible that this was the Samuel Bateson of Windhill who appeared as a Juror in the Idle Baron Court of 1646.
Of Brydgett and Jane nothing is known.
Leonard and Abraham were baptised in 1575 and 1578 respectively but nothing further is known.



The Bateson name was attached to several property transactions for which written records have survived.
Some were mentioned by William Cudworth in his volume Round About Bradford, published in 1876.

Citing the Cumberland Survey of the Manor or Lordship of Idle of 1584, he notes that Peter Baytson held 53 acres 2 roods of land, part of a messuage called Windell.
According to the Survey, almost the entire Windhill messuage was leased to Peter Bateson and Hugh Yewdall.

Their holdings added up to over 106 acres, which they agreed to divide equally between them.
Each man paid to the Lord of the Manor an annual rent of 16s 2d, a figure that was maintained for 200 years.
The Survey contained lists of each man's holdings, together with information about their leases.
Peter Bateson's holdings ('closes') are tabulated below, along with the descriptions and areas given in the Survey. Their locations, where known, are appended.
This map is thought to have accompanied the Survey.

Close Description acre/rood/perch Location
Farther Old Roide
4 / 2 / -
below Idle Hill
Near Old Roide
4 / 2 / -
below Idle Hill
Far Hirst
4 / 1 / -
Wood Hirst being woody ground
  2 / - / 20
Near Hirst divided into 2 parts
5 / 1 / -
E of Wrose Brow Rd
High Ing woody ground
  5 / 3 / 20
Fox Cliffe 2 x broom closes
10  / - /  -
Wrose Brow
Broad Ing 1 close of arable & meadow
5 / 3 / -
Mere Flatt Holte
  - / 1 / 20
Peas lands & 2 Mere Flatts
5 / 1 / 0
The Carr 1 close of bushie ground
2 / 2 / 8
above Woodend
4 / 2 / -
Site of Windhill Station
Total area
54 / 3 / 28 (1¾ oxgangs)

NOTES ON THE BATESON LANDS(see plan of locations):
Farther Old Royd and Near Old Royd, totalling 9 acres, may have been contiguous closes, perhaps those known from the 1847 Tithe Survey as Royds, Near Royds and Far Royds, which amounted to 9 acres 8 perches. All were on the slope below Idle Hill, an area known today as Low Ash. [5]  All were on the slope below Idle Hill, an area known today as Low Ash.
Near Hirst was described by the 1584 Survey as "divided into 2 parts". The 1847 Tithe Plan of Idle shows it split into two contiguous closes called Near Hirst and Hirst. The close was east of Wrose Brow Road, where the Wrose Brow Brick Works was built in 1869.
Wood Hirst and Far Hirst have not been identified. In 1847 there were four other closes adjacent to Near Hirst with 'Hirst' in their names so they may have been located here.
High Ing, a close of woody ground, has not been identified: there were no closes of that name in the 1847 Survey.
Fox Cliffe was originally thought to refer to the Wrose Brow cliffs between Carr Lane and Carr Mires Beck.
Its acreage (10) matches that given for the corresponding area in the 1847 Tithe survey.
And there are no other suitable cliffs in the Idle Manor.
However, there are problems with this proposition:
It was described as "2 brome closes", which suggests Cytisus (broom) scrub used for coppicing.
But because the cliffs continue on the far side of Carr Mires Beck, below Idle Hill, where there was a "close of Woody ground called Eshing Cliffe .... vallued at 33s:4d y Acre", we know they could have supported oak woodland of some value to the Manor.
That said, the 1584 Survey did not provide a similar valuation for Fox Cliffe, suggesting it had different vegetation of low value - broom scrub perhaps.
A greater difficulty may centre on whether or not the area was enclosed.
In 1584, Eshing Cliffe was leased to Thomas Stable and must, therefore, have been enclosed. It was part of a zone of 'Ancient Inclosures' marked on the 1813 Inclosure Award map.
Yet Fox Cliffe, despite having a similar topography, might not have been enclosed until 1813.
It was common land, as described in the 1584 Survey: "Wrose Browe is a parcell of comon lying near unto the Town of Wrose the same is likewise but barren ground & containeth by estimacon twenty Acres".
As such, it was unlikely to have been leased to an individual tenant.
There is a note on Enclosure here.
Broad Ing has not been identified.
Mere Flatt and the Pease Lands have not been identified. A flatt was an arable field a furlong in length; it originated in the ridge and furrow field system.
The Holte, usually a wooded area, was likely to have been at the foot of Carr Lane.
The Carr was a close of 2½ acres of "bushie ground". Although the name often refers to swampy woodland scrub consisting of willow or alder, the only occurrences of the name (5 in total) in the 1814 Survey & Valuation [4]  and 1847 Tithe Survey [5]  were on the steep slope below Wrose Brow.
Henbanks was a 4½ acre pasture near Bradford Beck on the road to Shipley. In the late 18th century, it was cut into two parts when the Bradford Canal was dug. In the 1870s the Windhill Passenger and Goods Stations were built on the three closes that made up the site.



The Lordship of Idle was shared between George Clifford, 3rd Earl of Cumberland, Sir Anthony Thorold and William Reyner. The rents from the Windhill messuage were due to the last two gentlemen and their wives, who granted an Indenture of Lease to Peter Bateson for 1¾ oxgangs of land and buildings. In the 1584 Survey, the date and the term of the lease were left blank, as if the writer was unaware of the details. Since some of the other leases recited in the Survey were dated to the early years of Elizabeth's reign, it seems possible that the Bateson lease was at least as old, and may even have preceded the Queen's accession in 1558. [3]

The 1584 Survey suggests that almost the entire Windhill messuage was leased to Peter Bateson and Hugh Yewdall.
[3; See also Notes on Tenure below]

Their holdings added up to nearly 110 acres, which they agreed to divide equally between them.
The records show that they each paid to the Lord of the Manor an annual rent of 16s 2d, a figure that would be maintained for the next 200 years.
But the pair actually shared Windhill with two other men: the holdings of Thomas Hill, amounting to at least 28 acres, and those of Richard Lillye, comprising two iron works, were also listed as part of Windhill.
In a further complication, Cudworth wrote, "We have before us a bundle of old deeds relating to the Windhill property of the last Earl of Cumberland".

He reported that between 1579 and 1589 the 3rd Earl sold the entire Windhill tenement, including the Henbanks and adjoining land, to Thomas Scott, a Clothier from Oxenhope, and Hugh Yewdall of Windhill for £94 10s.
This may have been part of the sale, in November 1585, of his moiety of the manor of Idle for at least £400. [6] 
Cudworth's deeds have not been located, so cannot be checked.
His remarks seem to contradict the fact, noted above, that Peter Bateson acquired his half of Windhill from Messrs Thorold and Reyner and their wives at some point before 1584.
The Survey also records that both Hugh Yewdall and Richard Lillye acquired their holdings from leases originally granted by Sir Ingram Clifford, the 3rd Earl's uncle.
In the context of accuracy, it is worth noting that the writer of the 1584 Survey expressed gentle frustration at the difficulty in getting hold of some of the documentation, particularly conveyances issued by Messrs Thorold and Reyner.
He also complained that listing all the grants made by Sir Ingram Clifford would have involved much labour "to small purpose".

Andrew & Christopher Baytson inherited their father Peter's holdings in Windhill when he died around 1584.
John Baytson somehow acquired Far Hirst and passed it on to his son Samuel.
It is not known who inherited the Henbanks.
In 1589, Andrew and Christopher, sold 15 acres of land in Windhill to Thomas Scott, "in consideration of the sum of twenty pounds lawful money".

The sales comprised Broad Ing, Mere Flatts, Mere Flatt Holt and Old Royd, which together would have amounted to about a third of Peter Bateson's original holding.

Most of the remaining holdings - Near Hirst, Wood Hirst, High Inge, Carr and Fox Cliffe were eventually passed down to Christopher's daughter Isabel.
In 1616/17 her husband, Francis Gledstone, sold 5 acres of land to a tanner called George Nelson.
Described as a "close of land, pasture and wood commonly called Bateson's Hagge containing by estimation five acres be it more or less", it was noted as formerly belonging to Christopher Bateson of Windhill. [7]  
A hagge was a small wood, or part of a wood, which was marked off or hedged for coppicing.
It was immediately sold on to Richard Lillye, who operated the iron smithies on Bradford Beck. At some point before 1687, Lillye, or his heir, seems to have sold the Hagge to James Hobson whose son John sold it back to the Lord of the Manor, Sir Walter Calverley, in 1710. [8]  
The wood was still known as Baitson's Hagge, however.

It is not known why it was not mentioned by name either in the 1584 Survey or in the Rent Books of the Idle Manor.
Variously described in the records as part of the Idlewoods, the Maynewoods or the Outwoods, the Hagge's most likely location was at the west end of the West Wood of Idle, near the hamlet of Woodend.
By 1814 this tip of the West Wood had become detached from the main wood and was known as Windhill Wood. At that time it was just 6 perches short of 5 acres in extent.
The Hagge appeared in the 1687 and 1696 Rent Books as the Idlewood Hagg of Baitson's anc (= ancient) land at a rental (along with the Henbanks) of 6d. It was occupied by Joshua Denby.


In the 1591 tale of a feud between Robert Swaine and Edward Cage, Christopher Baitson and his brother William were involved in a violent incident that reached the Star Chamber in London. The court papers describe Christopher as the owner 'of 3 parts of 2 parcels of wood ground, parcel of Idle Wood'. The story also states that he was a yeoman from Windhill and that he and William, a husbandman, were brothers. [9]

The latter's name appears in the 1696 Rent Book where the Idlewood Hagg, tenanted by Joshua Denby, was described as William Baitson's ancient land.


It was John Baitson's son Samuel who continued the Bateson line well into the 17th century:  

On 7 Jan 1646, Samuel Bateson of Windhill, described as a Yeoman, was a party to a Bond for the payment of £200.   [10]

He was also a Juror in the Idle Baron Court of 2 Dec 1646. [11]

His name was also mentioned in many of the Rent Books [1] compiled for the Lord of the Manor between 1630 and 1653 as the holder of land that was formerly Peter Bateson’s. There is therefore a possibility that Peter was his great-grandfather.
Samuel probably died in 1653 – the 1654 Rent Book noted that the land was being farmed by the Heirs of Sam Bateson.

The only known heir, Samuel’s son Samuel, was baptised on 27 October 1651. There are no further records, except perhaps for a burial of a Samuel Baitson in Menston in 1654.

The map that is thought to have accompanied the 1584 Survey was not detailed enough to show individual closes, though some large holdings, such as West Royd and features such as Eshing Cliffe, were marked.
Rental and tithe records from the 17th and 18th centuries often identified land holdings by the name of the owner, past owner or occupant and only occasionally gave the names of the closes.
The construction of the first turnpike road in 1754, the Leeds Liverpool Canal in 1774, the new turnpike road in 1827, the Leeds to Bradford railway in 1845 and the Shipley to Idle branch line in 1874 would have disrupted a number of land holdings in north Windhill.
Some names from the 1584 Survey can be found in later surveys. Birk Royd (held by Hugh Yewdall), for example, was known as Low, Middle and Upper Burk Royd in Jonathan Taylor's 1814 Survey
[4] and as Low, Middle and Upper Bank Royd in the 1847 Tithe Survey.
By the time of the 1847 Tithe Survey
[5] , field names had changed so much that only a few correspond to those of 1584.
Some names are preserved on today's maps:
Carr Lane, West Royd, Woodend and Henbanks (the site of the Windhill railway stations) are all within the borders of today's Windhill.
The Holt is a street at the foot of Carr Lane in Windhill where Joseph Gawkrodger was said to have first preached the Baptist faith in 1752.
Other names, such as Laverack and Briarfield, which were parts of Hugh Yewdall's holding, can be found in Thackley or Idle.



A Robert Baitson was baptised to George Baitson of Wrose on 14 November 1596. Nothing more is known of either father or son.


A John Bateson was baptised to William Bateson and Sarah Booth of Windhill on 29 September 1695. There is no record of William's baptism in Calverley, though a William Baitson was baptised in Guiseley to Henry Baitson (b 1618) in 1667; since the two parishes are adjacent, this could have been the man who married Sarah Booth.

A John Baitson and others were parties to an action brought against a Samuel Feather concerning a dividing wall between Mill Lane (aka Swaine Lane, probably the track that led to Buck Mill on the River Aire at Thackley) and a close called Rough Ing. The action was settled on 23 February 1725. [13]

This may have been the son baptised to William Bateson (and perhaps Sarah Booth) in 1695.

These records provide only the faintest indication of a possible link between the 16th century Peter Bateson and the 19th century Joseph Bateson.


The Guiseley, Yeadon, Menston and Baildon Batesons

With so few Calverley records, the possibility that the Batesons came to Windhill by way of neighbouring parishes has been considered. There were Bateson families in both Guiseley and Otley parishes. One such had property interests in Menston, Yeadon, Baildon and perhaps Esholt. Their christian names were William, Andrew, Christopher, and Abraham, the same as four of the Windhill Batesons.

This was probably just a remarkable coincidence. If it were otherwise, Peter Baytson's children would have had to have lived in two parishes at the same time, an unlikely proposition.


Nevertheless, the proposition has been studied and discussed in the footnotes below.



One, or perhaps two, families bearing the Bateson name remained in Calverley parish in the 17th and early 18th centuries.

Unfortunately, none of the descendants of these families (or Bateson families in Guiseley, Yeadon and Otley) appear to have had a son called Joseph, who married Mary Rawnsley in 1790.


As Cudworth wrote, 'We believe the link is missing connecting the present Batesons with the Peter Bateson of 1580, but the coincidence of the still existing name is strong presumptive evidence of a former connection' [2]


18th and early 19th centuries

A few other Bateson families are known to have lived in Farsley, Idle, Otley, Menston, Guiseley, Yeadon, Rawdon and Horsforth:


Thomas Bateson probably lived in Calverley parish from mid-century onwards – he died in Windhill in 1792 aged 69. His likely children Elizabeth (b 1754), John (b 1757), William (b 1759), Mary (b 1761), Sarah (died 1758) and Hannah (died 1767) all lived in Priesthorpe (S of Calverley Parish Church) and Idle.
Little else is known of the children except for William, who married Mary Colthouse in 1787 and died in 1830.

Thomas's antecedents are not known for certain, though his father may have been a labourer from Otley called Abraham. Abraham had been baptised in 1687, the son of Henry Baitson. Henry's father, also called Henry, was baptised in 1618 to Edward Bateson.
Although these baptisms took place in Guiseley, Calverley parish was just across the River Aire and 'traffic' between the two was quite common.
Thomas's putative father, Abraham (b 1687), married Mary Airton in Guiseley in 1717. Their only child, Mary, was baptised in 1719, when her father was described as a labourer in Yeadon. Since first-born girls were often named after the mother, it would be reasonable to expect the first-born boy to be named after the father. Hence an Abraham Bateson or Baitson, born around 1725 in Guiseley, may be the son of Abraham (b 1687). The date comes from his age (73) at his death in Farsley in 1798. He may therefore have been Thomas's brother.
By mid-century Abraham (b 1725) was in Farsley (SE of Calverley Parish Church), where he married Jane Roundall in 1746. Their children John (b 1746), William (b 1760), George (b 1764), Benjamin (died 1769), Hannah (b 1771) and Isaac (b 1777) were probably all born in Farsley.


Several family trees hosted by Ancestry, including one compiled by John Brackpool, give our Joseph Bateson as one of these children though supporting evidence is never provided. [12]

Not all the baptisms of this family's children were recorded, so Joseph may well have been one of them. However, he would also fit into other Bateson family trees, including those of Abraham's brothers Thomas and William.


George (b 1764) seems to have moved back to Guiseley parish - to Rawdon - where in 1786 he married Elizabeth Emmett, who bore him at least 6 children


Thomas had a brother Abraham whose birthplace is not known but by mid-century he was in Farsley (SE of Calverley Parish Church), where he married Jane Roundall in 1746. Their children John (b 1746), William (b 1760), George (b 1764), Benjamin, Hannah (b 1771) and Isaac (b 1777) were probably all born in Farsley.


When Isaac was baptised in 1777, he was "over 10 years old"; his abode was given as Farsley.  After marrying Hannah Grimshaw in 1790, a daughter Alice was born in 1793 in Thorpe, close to Idle village. A son Joseph, born in 1795, married Alice Thornton in 1814.   Hannah died in 1795; two years later Isaac remarried – to Betty Ross.  Their children – Mary (born and died in 1798), Isaac (born 1800), Betty (born 1802, married Joseph Riley of Horsforth in 1830), Hannah (born 1807) and Martha (born 1811, married David Lord in 1855) – were all baptised at Idle Holy Trinity Church.

Isaac (b 1800) married Ann of Guiseley; between 1819 and 1845 this couple had James, George (born 1822), John, Martha, Hannah, Isaac and Samuel.  Little is known of them, apart from George (born 1822), who married Rebecca Brook in 1850.  A Weaver, he was also a Primitive Methodist lay preacher in Idle. He died in 1891.


A Samuel Bateson makes a brief appearance from 1824 to 1830 as the Innkeeper at the Blue Bell in Leeds Road, Windhill and the Fleece Inn, Briggate in Shipley.  He was probably born to a John Bateson in 1771 in Rawdon, where he became a Butcher, an occupation continued by his son Richard and grandson Samuel.  He, or his grandson, was also the tenant of over 8 acres of pasture at Greenbottom near his public house by St Oswald’s Church in Guiseley.  In addition, he farmed a 4 acre arable allotment on the moor near West Chevin. [19]

These occupations were noted on Samuel’s bankruptcy Petition at the Wakefield Court House in 1837.


Another Bateson family that lived in Windhill in the early 1800s may be mentioned here, though little is known of its antecedents.  A James Bateson was buried in Grave G8 at the Wesleyan Cemetery in 1837. He was 73 years old, giving a birth date of around 1764. He may have been the grandfather of Betty Bateson, who was born in Windhill between 1813 and 1815.  Betty married John Coulter, a Clothier, at the end of 1831. The family lived in Shipley and at Horton in Bradford. James, William, George, Elizabeth, John, Hannah, Rachel and Alice are the known offspring.   Elizabeth and John died in infancy in 1849 and 1858 respectively and were buried in Grave G8 alongside James Bateson, who may have been their great-grandfather.


A Joseph Bateson, born in Idle in 1782 is listed on the Brackpool Tree as the son of Abraham (b 1687). In fact he was the son of an unidentified Joseph Bateson. He is of interest because of his army career.  He signed up in 1805 as a Private in the Royal Horse Guards (The Blues). He would have fought in the Peninsular War in Iberia.  Long after the final battle of Toulouse, he was one of 74 men awarded the Military General Service Medal with 2 clasps, for the Battles of Vittoria (1813) and Toulouse (1814).  As he was not discharged from the army until 1828, he may also have served at Waterloo in 1815, though there are no records.  Otherwise, he probably spent his time engaged on ceremonial duties at Windsor.

A year after his discharge he married Tabitha Jowett, née Illingworth at Bradford Cathedral in 1829.  He was a Clothier or Cloth Weaver. They had sons Thomas, born around 1831 and Joseph, born about 1835. The family were in Leeds in 1841 and at Skelton’s Yard, New Leeds in Bradford in 1851, where Joseph died in 1854.  Tabitha survived until 1870.




Joseph Bateson was born in 1768/1769, according to his age at death. The following table shows the baptism and marriage records from 1740 to 1775 for Joseph Batesons in Calverley and nearby parishes:

Bateson / Baitson / Beatson / Batson records 1740-1775  
Parish Record Year Details Notes
Calverley 5 baptisms (none named Joseph) all Calverley registers 1740-1775 are available
Leeds   Joseph bapt 1761 to James Bateson all Leeds registers 1740-1775 are available
Leeds   Joseph bapt 1763 to James Bateson
Leeds   17 other baptisms (none named Joseph)
Armley 3 baptisms (none named Joseph) all Armley registers 1740-1775 are available
Guiseley 16 baptisms & 5 marriages (none named Joseph) all Guiseley registers 1740-1775 are available
Otley 1 baptism & 1 marriage (none named Joseph) all Otley & Baildon registers 1740-1775 are available
Harewood  Joseph born 1764 to Edward & Margt Batson all Harewood registers 1740-1775 are available
Harewood  Joseph born 1770 to John & Eliz Batson
Harewood 4 other baptisms (none named Joseph)
Farnley 2 baptisms (none named Joseph) all Bishop's Transcripts 1740-1775 are available for Farnley
Bradford 1 marriage only (John Beatson/Mary Wood) all registers 1740-1775 are available for Bradford
Shipley few records Shipley references in Bradford PC's registers are sparse


Notes on Tenure

Land in medieval England could be Freehold, Copyhold or Leasehold.
Freeholders could acquire and dispose of land in whichever way they chose. According to the 1584 Survey, there were none in Idle.
Whereas Freehold land was owned absolutely, Copyhold land was owned by the Lord and the Copyholders were his tenants, paying a fixed rent. In practice, however, Copyhold land could be bought, sold and mortgaged, just like Freehold land. It could be held by the same family for generations, subject to a fee being paid to the Lord every time there was a change of tenant or Lord.
According to the 1584 Survey, some of the Lord's tenants held their land by "Copie of Court Rolle" - they were Copyholders.
Leasehold tenancies were granted for a period of time. This seems to have been the predominant form of tenancy in Idle at the time of the 1584 Survey. This was also the position in the Clifford lands of nearby North Craven, where the lease of a tenement terminated on the death of either the tenant or the Lord.
However, in East Yorkshire leases were mainly Copyhold, despite attempts by the Cliffords to convert them to Leasehold [21].
It has not been possible to work out how many Idle tenants were leaseholders and how many copyholders, largely because the writer of the 1584 Survey did not have access to all the necessary documentation.
Some tenants, such as Thomas Stable, leased their holdings for a life term.
Others were tenants for fixed terms: Edward Swaine had 60 years; Edward Waterhouse had 41 years; Richard Lillye and many others had 21 years.
John & William Bucke were granted two leases for Idle Mills in Buck Wood for terms of 21 years and 60 years. The Bradford Antiquary's transcription of the 1584 Survey [20] contains a note that the Buckes claimed the mill as Copyhold when the Calverley family bought the manor in the early 18th century.
At least two holdings were for unspecified periods (Hugh Yewdall) or none at all (Peter Bateson) and these look more like Copyhold than Leasehold tenancies.
Other holdings, particularly cottages, were 'At Will' (of the the Lord), so could presumably be terminated at any time.

After 1585 when the 3rd Earl was trying to raise cash most land transfers were by feoffment, bargain and sale or lease and release, meaning they were of Freehold property. These conveyances included sales involving the Buck family, the Swaines, Hugh Yewdall and the Bateson family.


Notes on the Rent Books

Books detailing the rents paid to the Manor of Idle are available from 1614 to 1782. [1]

In 1614, Peter Bateson’s Windhill property comprised:

1¾ oxgangs of land of the other moiety of a messuage called Windell. It was shared with Hugh Yewdall and amounted to 54 acres, 3 roods and 28 perches for which they each paid an annual rent of 16s 2d.

He was probably a copyholder, paying rent to the Lord. Copyholders could, upon the payment of a 'fine', extend their leases and pass them down the generations.

The factors who collected the rents adhered to the naming conventions established by the 1584 Survey until well into the 18th century.
In 1614, for example, two of the holders of land in Windhill were named as Hugh Yewdall and Peter Baitson, each of whom owed 16s 2d in rent. Peter probably died in the 1580s and Hugh certainly died in 1604, yet the old names, measurements and valuations were still being used.

In the 1630 Rent Book, Samuel Bateson owed 8s 1d in rent, indicating that he occupied half the original holding. Messrs Smith, Elliston, Dickinson and Craven paid a total of 8s 0d for land that elsewhere was described as Bateson’s Land, hinting that this was the other half of the holding.

In 1631 and 1635, the Rent Books make it clear that the land was formerly Peter Bateson’s.

After Samuel’s death around 1654 , the land was referred to as Peter Baitson’s Ancient Land, a reversion to its title in the early 1600s.

In 1687, in a reprise of the 1584 Survey, Peter Baitson’s extensive lands in Windhill were listed. The occupiers were William & Joshua Denby and Robert Arthington. The Henbanks and Idlewood Hagg of Peter Baitson’s anc (= ancient) land were also mentioned.

In 1696, the Rent Book of that year described William and Joshua Denby’s holding as William Baitson’s ancient land, William being one of Peter Baitson’s five known sons – proof, it seems, that the holding was passed from father to son. 

In Rent Books compiled in 1715 William, Robert & John Denby and Robert Arthington were described as the occupiers of Baitson’s Ancient Land. The Arthington family rented one fourth of the land until at least 1782.


Notes on the Batesons of Yeadon and Guiseley

In the Easter Term of 1593, William, Andrew and Abraham Baytson were recorded in the Yorkshire Feet of Fines as having bought a messuage (a dwelling house with land and out-buildings) and 2 cottages with lands in Yeadon from William Burneley. [14]

These names all appear in the Guiseley parish registers, although only as parents. They were probably born between 1550 and 1575 and are presumed to be brothers.
A deed from 1613 listed the surviving children of a William Baitson of Yeadon. It conveyed "A moiety to use of W.B. for life, then to his son and heir John. Other moiety to use of J.B., who shall pay £10 each to Grace, Christopher and Isabel, other children of W.B." [18]

A William Batson of Guiseley had Cristofer and Essibel baptised in 1596 and 1599. A William Batson of Guiseley had Margret (1587), Elizabeth (1589) and Antoni (1590). Although Elizabeth died in 1587 and there is no further record of Antoni, Margret survived until 1616/17. As she does not appear in the 1613 deed, William Baitson of Yeadon and William Batson of Guiseley were probably different people.
An Abraham Batson had four children baptised in Guiseley: Jeremie, John, Grace and Rebecca. John was born in or before 1606 and may have married Elizabeth Smithe in 1622. If correct (he would have been an unusually young groom), this is the man whose son Abraham (b 1630) was mentioned in a 1652 Settlement, recorded in the Papers held at Hull University. [18]


William Baitson's father or grandfather may have been Xpofer (Christopher) Baytson (there are no records). In 1525 Christopher Baytson was assessed at a tax of 8d in Henry VIII's Subsidy Roll for Villa de Yedon. [15]

On 26 March 1539, Christopher Baytson was listed in the muster roll of the township of Yedon (Yeadon) in Skyrack Wapentake as a billman with hafe harness (partly armoured). [15]

In the 1539-40 Esholt Court Rolls, Christopher Bateson was the tenant of several closes and farms in Guiseley & Menston, including Sym Croft in Nether Yeadon (10 acres+), owned by Richard Duke, and High Royd in Menston (9 acres). [16]

Christopher probably still occupied the land on 6 March 1545 when a messuage, barns and lands in Yedden, described as lately belonging to Esholt Priory in the tenure of Christopher Bateson, were transferred to Edward Hoppey of Halifax from Richard Duke of London. [16]

Among the 22 names in Charles I’s tax (known as the Sessment of Yeadon) recorded in Guiseley Parish register in 1627 were an Andrew and Abraham Baitson, who were assessed at 4d each.

There was also a John Baitson, who was assessed at 2d. [15]

Andrew and Abraham Bateson, together with William, are assumed to be brothers, with Cristofer (baptised in Guiseley in 1596) being the latter’s son.


A Christopher Bateson was noted in a Conveyance of various Rent Charges to Baildon Chapel dated October 24 1638. He was the occupant of five closes of land in Baildon, namely Overcrofte, Narr Lather Banckes, Far Lather Banckes [Near and Far Ladderbanks], Lower Broachfeild, and Feild Close. These fields amounted to 'Six acres a half and one Roode' and were worth an annual rental of 13s 11d. Christopher was probably the tenant. [17]

He may have farmed the land rather than lived on it; since Otley parish in the 17th century included both Baildon and Menston, it is likely that this was Cristofer Bateson of Menston, who died in 1663.
Whether or not he was the Christofer Baitson (b 1596, son of William) of Guiseley is an open question.
Cristofer may have married an Isabel then a Jane Keighley and had at least 5 children, four of them girls.  
A son, William, born in 1639, married Mary Shaw in 1668 and had 2 children, both girls.  With his death in 1674, Cristofer Bateson’s line of male descendants appears to have ended.


There were two other Bateson males associated with Menston in the mid-17th century:
John Baitson may have married a woman called Elizabeth Smithe in Guiseley in 1622 and buried her in 1657.
Samuel Baitson was buried on 11 April 1654.



1    See Rent Books ref: WYL500/809 – 820, MMC/58-65, 21D88 in W Yorks Archives.

2    'Round About Bradford' by William Cudworth, Thomas Brear, 1876 pp 400-404

3    'Survey of the Manor and Lordship of Idle, 1584',  from a copy in W Yorks Archive 23D98/8/1
      See transcription here and images of the pages listing Peter Baitson's holdings
     * "clea", a term used in the Bateson / Yewdall sections, was one fourth of an oxgang
     * The number of acres that constituted an "oxgang" was not defined - it could be anything from the usual 15 acres
       to the 50 acres thought to have been common in the Bradford area
     * The writer of the Survey "could not of certenty sett Downe what Leases Grants or other assurances have been made by the
       sd Wm Thorold & Wm Reyner to the tenants there And to have given notice of all the Grants made by Sir Ingram Clifford
       would both have asked much labor and the expressing thereof in this Booke had been to small purpose"

4    'Survey & Valuation of the Township of Idle' by Jonathan Taylor, 1814

5    'Plan of Idle (Tithes)' by W Wordsworth, Blackgates, 1847

6    in 'The Cliffords, Earls of Cumberland, 1579-1646s, a study of their fortunes based on their household and estate accounts', p19, by RT Spence, 1959

7    Document No WYL500/138 in Stansfield Muniments in W Yorks Archives

8    Document Nos WYL500/141a & WYL500/213 in Stansfield Muniments in W Yorks Archives

9    in ‘Historical Notices’ by J Horsfall Turner, Idle, 1901 p 69

10    from Jowett Family Estate records No JOW/2/59 in W Yorks Archives

11    'Idlethorp' by Wright Watson, Bank House Media, 2009 p 66

12    the family tree published by a relative, John Brackpool, is too fanciful to be shown here

13    In Stott-Stanhope Manuscripts in W Yorks Archives ref: StSt/2/254

14    from 'Yorkshire Fines: 1593', Feet of Fines of the Tudor period [Yorks]: part 3: 1583-94 (1889), pp 186-201

15    listed in 'Yeadon, Yorkshire', by T Illingworth, 1980

16    from Esholt Priory Estate Accounts, 1539-40 in Bradford Antiquary New Series Vol 4

17    in 'Baildon and the Baildons' Vol 3 p178 by W Paley, Lund Humphries & Co, 1924

18    Yeadon deeds - 1613, 1651, 1652 (U DDCV2/77/43-45), Hull University Archives

19    See Guiseley Tithe Map published by Leeds Tithe Map Project

20    The Bradford Antiquary, Vol 1, 1888

21    'Copyhold Tenure and its Survival in Holderness in the East Riding of Yorkshire from c.1750 to 1925', by MT Craven, University of Hull, 2002













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