Familial ties

This week, project volunteers have been continuing apace, working through various tasks connected with the Graham family papers; from cleaning filthy deeds with smoke sponges, sorting more vouchers and correspondence, to transcribing an inventory of the effects of Sir Henry Ingram, 1st Viscount Irvine (1641-1666), a title created by the Peerage of Scotland. His mother was Eleanor Slingsby, a cousin of the Slingsbys who held the Manor of Kippax and were related to the Graham’s through marriage.

The inventory, taken after Sir Henry’s death in August 1666, at Temple Newsam, is a twenty page document and shows, room by room, what was held therein.  As you can see from the first page shown below, the ‘best chamber over the kitching’, used as a bed chamber, is richly furnished with tapestries, carpets, quilts, blankets and fabrics such as dimothy (dimity), sarcenett (sarsenet), damask and velvet, plus serge and worstead for the items requiring heavier use.

ZKZ 8 2 003

Temple Newsam inventory, 1666. Copyright : North Yorkshire County Record Office.

I was keen to know who the trusted appraisers were, to be conducting such an important task. Sir John Lewis ((1615-1671) of Ledstone (8 miles SE of Temple Newsan) had acquired his large fortune from trading in Persia and India and had been invested as a Knight at The Hague, in 1660.  He was created a Baronet later that same year and held several manors in Yorkshire.

Henry Bethell (c.1606-1668) had held several Offices within Yorkshire and was MP for Knaresborough in 1660.  He was the son of Mary Slingsby, sister to Eleanor mentioned above and therefore, a cousin of Sir Henry Ingram.

Finally, William Marwood.  My initial searches returned details of a nineteenth century hangman of the same name, but I finally tracked this William down.  He was brother-in-law to Henry Bethell detailed above, whose sister Frances had married William’s brother George, a Sherriff of York.

It is hardly surprising that those chosen to do the inventory were known to each other, and I thought it highly probable they were executors of Sir Henry’s will.  However, a recently unearthed document states that the Earl of Manchester, Mr Henry Slingsby and George Townend were the executors. A trip to Temple Newsam to see if any of these sumptuous heirlooms remain in the house methinks!

Enjoy your week


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