Excursion, 1905

FOR the summer excursion in 1905, the Society visited the Bawtry district. The Council originally decided to spend the day (Tuesday, 4th July), in the north of the county, and had no intention of visiting places beyond the border in Yorkshire; but a preliminary journey of inspection showed that the objects of interest at Mattersey Abbey were now so comparatively few, that a deviation from the route originally contemplated and entirely within the county, was deemed desirable.

Lovely weather was associated with the outing, and the scenery of both counties was looking its best. About fifty-five members took part in the Excursion, and Scrooby was reached shortly after ten o'clock. The field in which the Archbishop's Palace stood, adjoins the main line of the Great Northern Railway, and traces may still be seen of the fish-ponds and of the moat that surrounded the palace. These traces indicate the original size and importance of this episcopal residence.

Scrooby is described in a guide to the county, edited by the late A. E. Lawson Lowe, as being a pleasant village situated on the banks of the river Ryton, nearly three miles to the north-east of Blyth. It is a manor which since Norman times, has acknowledged as its lords, a long line of prelates, among whom have been Roger, the rival of Becket, the noble-hearted Scrope, and the great Cardinal Wolsey.

The suffix in the name of Scrooby bespeaks a Danish origin, and Ranskill, with which it was connected, bears a Danish name signifying " the knoll of the ravens."

On the party reaching the site, Mr. Robert Mellors, Alderman Notts. C.C., read the following paper.


Brewster’s House, Scrooby.

Scrooby is described in the Domesday Book as “Scrobi,” and as a berewic attached to the Archbishop’s manor of “Sudtone,” now Sutton-cum-Lound; and it may be here mentioned, that the Archbishop of York is now the Lord of the Manor.

The liberties of Scrooby, as well as those of Southwell and Laneham, were of great extent, and the Archbishops had the franchise of free warren, or the exclusive right of hunting or killing beasts, and fowls of warren within their sokes or territorial jurisdiction.

Thoroton informs us that an inquisition was held at Nottingham, before Robert, Earl of Leicester, at the commencement of the reign of Henry II. (A.D. 1155), touching the customs and liberties of the Archbishops of York in the county at the time of Henry I. (1100-1135), and from this it appears that, from the Dover-beck to beyond Scrooby, and from Wellow eastwards to the river Trent, (say 200 square miles), the Archbishops had this hunting ground.

There is a grant dated at “Scroby,” by Walter Gray, Archbishop of York, in the twelfth year of his pontificate, 1227, concerning the church of Osberton, and another grant given at “Scroby” in the thirteenth year of his pontificate, concerning the same church or chapel.1

The letter by which Archbishop Gray granted to the Brotherhood of the Hospital of St. John, Nottingham, the power to elect their own Wardens, was thus endorsed, “Given at Scrooby, by the hands of Master Simon of Evesham, the 4th of December, in the seventeenth year” (of our pontificate).

1256. The chapel at Scrooby had been, in the reign of Henry II., given by Roger, the thirty-first Archbishop, to a chapel near the great church at York. When the Archbishop died “possessed,” says Mr. Rastall Dickenson in his History of Southwell, “of riches such as had never before fallen to the share of any of his predecessors,” the King, by way of retaliation, seized them all for the public service. (See Bailey, p. 150.)

1258. Archbishop Sewell made grants having reference to Sutton, “together with the hay at Scroby enjoining the sacrist of the said chapel to pay the poor of the place 4 marks pensun yearly.”

In 1270 Scrooby is mentioned in connection with the payment to two valets of the Earl of Warwick for bringing deer.

In 1287, there was an agreement between the prior and convent of Blyth, and William, the perpetual vicar of the Church of Blyth, dated at “Scroby,” concerning tithes, lands, etc.

In 1301, Sir William de Ros, of Igmanthorp, did homage to Archbishop Thomas de Corbridge, in the chapel of Scrooby, for the manor of Muskham. (W. Stevenson.)

“Apud Scroby 7th kal May 1315 an Inhibition issued out from the Archbishop of York that there should be no sepultures in the chapels of Bautre and Austerfield and other depending on the mother church of Blyth or in their cemitaries.” (Brown.)

In 1315, Archbishop William de Greenfield allowed his bailiff seventy-four shillings and eightpence, which he paid “for stone and flint bought for making a certain chamber in our manor of Scrooby.”

1388 to 1412, there were many contests between the King and Thos. Arundel, the Archbishop, and on one occasion it is suggested that the Manor of Scrooby passed, with other lands and tenements, to John, Duke of Lancaster. (Bailey, p. 277.)

We are told that Archbishop Thomas Savage (1501-1507) made Scrooby his favourite hunting seat. His predecessors held the right of free-warren nearly 200 years before.

It was probably a prescriptive right such as existed at Blidworth before the royal forest of Sherwood was formed.

In the Domesday of Inclosures, in the ninth year of Henry VIII., report is made that “Bishop Savage, late Archbishop of York, was seized in his demesne as of fee of eighty acres of pasture in Skrocby, and being so seized on the 4th day of May, in the 20th year of the reign of King Henry the 7th (1492) imparked the aforesaid eighty acres or enclosed them with a certain paling, and the same so imparked be kept for rearing wild animals.”

Another complaint was that the Archbishop had, on the first day of July, in the twelfth year of King Henry VII., imparked a hundred acres of common land in Scrockby.

A third complaint related to “eighty acres of land arable and used for tallage belonging to a certain chapel of the street, in the county aforesaid, by reason of which inclosure that chapel is without a priest for the celebration of divine offices in the same.” “Le Strete,” Mr. Leadam says, was “evidently the Roman road from Lincoln to Doncaster.”

In 1530, Cardinal Wolsey stayed here several months, on his last journey from Southwell via Welbeck, on his way to Cawood, where he was arrested. At Scrooby “he continued until after Michaelmas ministering many good deeds of charity.” Tradition says that a large mulberry tree which, sixty years ago, stood in the garden of the farmhouse, was planted by Wolsey. It is said to have gone bit by bit to America . In the inventory of goods belonging to the Cardinal (1530) is, “bay salt 4 tuns, one pipe at Cawood, and 10 hhds at Southwell and Scrooby.”

It was during these Scrooby days, that Wolsey learnt that all his most cherished plans had come to nothing; that the King had dissolved his college at Ipswich, seizing all its lands and possessions, and that at Oxford, the name of Christ Church had obliterated that of Cardinal College. “I am put away from my sleep and meat,” he wrote, “for such advertise­ments as I have had of the dissolution of my colleges.”

(1) Surtees Society 56, p. 17. White's Dukery Records, p. 420.