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Robert Welles of Galphay c.1516-1584/5
Earliest known ancestor of John is his great x 11 grandfather Robert Welles of Galphay (in the parish of Kirkby Malzeard, which was the lower half of the Peculiar of Masham in Yorkshire), who leased a substantial property there for 45 years from Fountains Abbey (1) (2) in 1538 (shortly before its dissolution) paying 5 marks per annum (1 mark = 13 shillings and 4 pence = 66p). Lands in the Kirkby Malzeard area were once the property of the Mowbray* ( Moubray / Moubrai ) family, who had a castle there just over 2km from Galphay ( which was besieged in 20 Henry II [ie 1174] by Henry, the elect Bishop of Lincoln and soon after pulled down along with his other castle at Thirsk ).
In 1553 six messuages in Craven, in the several tenures of Robert Welles, John Maltehowse (aka Mawtus ), Thomas Duffeld, the elder, William Stele, Thomas Duffeld, the younger and Thomas Braithwayte were granted to George Talbott, knight, Lord Talbot, by King Edward VI. They included two woods called Galghye (Galphay) Woode and Cowmyres in the tenure of William Mallerye, esquire, a thicket called Skeugh/Sheugh in Galghye in tenure of Robert Wrekes and the parcel of pasture and wood in Clatherom** ( Clotherholme ) within Rypon parish, Yorkshire, in tenure of John Norton, esquire, All which (had) belonged to Fountains Monastery. Robert's rent was 3 pounds 6 shillings and 8 pence (3l 6s 8d = £3.33p) per annum, which equals 5 marks as before.
Robert Welles died in 1584/5, leaving a will that was proved in the Masham Peculiar Court ( Leeds Archives ). Amongst other things he leaves an annuity from lands in both Kirkby Malzeard and Laverton.
The story of the descendants of Robert Welles is told through numerous documents (see Vyner Deeds page for examples) including many wills, inventories, land transactions, court cases and indentures. A mention must also be made of the Beckwith family which was inextricably linked with John's family and Cow Myers / Galphay over the centuries.
SOME DESCENDANTS OF ROBERT WELLES
Full details HERE
Henry Wells and Isabell Wells ( underlined above ) were married to each another. They are John's gt x 7 grandparents. As indicated by '?' there is no proof that either Tristram or Christopher were the children of Ffrances and Elizabeth (Steele*) Only the names of two of their five children are known for certain. However, the close association of families and land, suggests that they are all descendants of Robert Welles and only Ffrances and Elizabeth have children whose names are not known
The family farm, called COW MYERS ( Cowmyres / Cowmiers: date of construction unknown), including at times Galphay Mill and Wood, were occupied by the Wells family into the 19th century. John's gt x 2 auntie Lydia Wells was buried in 1960 at Holy Trinity Church, Ripon (where she had been verger), in the grave of her gt.uncle Stephen Wells, who was born at Cow Myers in 1806. Lydia's sister Gertrude had been the first woman Alderman of Ripon (2)
This is a picture of the main residential farm buildings. In the foreground is the 'old fire house' and part of the 'new fire house' in the background (as described by John's gt x 7 grandfather, Henry WELLS 1639-1716/17, in his will. Henry's father Christopher also referred to an 'old ffire house' in his will signed in 1657). Below is one of the other buildings, Witch-of-the-Woods (once possibly known as Kess Beck) at Cow Myers, which is in a secluded setting near a stream called Kex (Kess) Beck. The word Beck, a stream, is derived from the Old Norse word bekkr. York was once under Norse control and therefore many Yorkshire words/dialect and place names are related to Danish and other Norse based languages.
Yorkshire locations of the descendants of Robert WELLES include: Plumpton Hall, Studley, Woodhouse nr.Winksley, Azerley (inc. Wesleyan Chapel), Norton le Clay, Norton Conyers, Cundall, Sunley Rains, Grewelthorpe, Misses, Warren Lane, Markington, Nosterfield, North Lees, Thirsk, Little Ouseburn, Wath, Melmerby, West Tanfield, Ripon, Hull and Leeds. Most of the Wells listed in the parish records of Kirkby Malzeard and Ripon Cathedral are descendants of Robert (see Wells baptisms page).
Important sources of information on John's early ancestors and associated families and Land
The Fountains Abbey Lease Book Edited by D.J.H. Michelmore, The Yorkshire Archaeological Society (see below) Record Series Vol CXL, printed 1981.
Vyner Deeds and Masham Peculiar Court Wills West Yorkshire Archive Service (see Leeds Archives link above), Chapeltown Road, Sheepscar, Leeds, LS7 3AP.
A Guide to Historical Sources for Ripon and District Edited by John Hebden, Ripon Historical Society (see link below) and Ripon, Harrogate & District Family History Group, ISBN 1 872618 25 1, printed in 1994 and again in 1995.
Abstracts of the Charters and other documents contained in the Chartulary of the Cistercian Abbey of Fountains Chartulary of Fountains Abbey vols I & II, by William T Lancaster. 1915.
Fountains Abbey and its Benefactors, 1132-1300 by Joan Wardrop, D.Phil. Thesis, University of Oxford, 1980. (Also published by Cistercian Publications, Kalamazoo, Michigan. ISBN 0 87907 891 X. Published 1987. List price in UK (June 2004) £22-95. Available from Marston Book Services Ltd, PO Box 269, Abingdon, Oxon, OX14 YN, UK. Telephone: (01235) 465500.
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