And now, having cleared the preliminary history of this ancient family, we come at once to the marriage between the Cliftons and Cressys, by which Hodsock came to the former.

I propose in the first instance giving as accurate a Pedigree of their descent from that time as I can, and I shall attach to it numerals by way of reference to the account subsequently to be given of different members of the house.

Pedigree of Clifton of Clifton and Hodsock, Baronet 1611.

Arms : Sable, semee of cinquefoils and a lion rampant argent, armed and langued gules.

Pedigree of Clifton of Clifton and Hodsock

(1). Sir John Clifton received with his wife Hodsock and Claypole. Thoroton adds, "Belton, in Yorkshire." Probably Melton-on-the-Hill is meant. He fell at the battle of Shrewsbury, which was fought between Henry IV. and Percy.

(2). Katharine his wife was buried in Blyth church, in a part which now unhappily is levelled to the ground; for her son Sir Gervase Clifton, in his will, dated Nov. 25, 1453, requests that he may be buried "before the high altar of the monastery of St. Mary of Blyth, against the sepulchre of Dame Katharine Clifton his mother."

(3). Ralph Makarell dates his will at Hodsock, Jan. 20, 1434. He desires to be buried in the abbey of Dale, an establishment of Præmonstratensians, near Derby; the prior of Blyth to have his best animal as a principal: "et in esculentis et poculentis fiat secundum voluntatem executorum meorum." He must have been a person in affluent circumstances, and of great consideration in his day, for in the post mortem inquisition taken 14th Henry VI. very shortly after his death, we find that he died seised not merely of estates which came to him by virtue of his marriage with Katharine the widow of Sir John Clifton, but of others also. Thus he had property at Claypole and Downhall in Claypole, in the county of Lincoln; at Wilsthorp, Braydeston, and Stanton juxta Sandiacre, in the county of Derby; and at Carlton in Lindrick, Stretton, Fenton in the Clay, Blyth (14 acres of land and the Hospital of St. John the Evangelist), Woodhouse (a messuage and 40 acres of land, &c), Misterton, Stockwith, Hayton, Walkeringham, and Hodsock, in the county of Nottingham; the last seven estates being held under the honour of Tickhill.

(4). This Sir Gervase was in the court of Edward IV., in the 11th and 17th years of whose reign he was sheriff of Nottingham and Derby. He was also receiver-general of those counties, steward of the King's manors of Gedling, Shelford, Stoke-Bardolf, and others; as well as surveyor of the King's works and repairs in his castle of Nottingham, and his lodges of Barkwood Park and Clipston. It is stated in the writ to the officers appointed to take his account, that "he had bought for the same buildings and reparations timber, stones, &c. and paid also wages of joiners, glaziers, and others." This was in 1480. He was created Knight of the Bath at the coronation of Richard III. who gave him in the first year of his reign the manors of Ratcliffe-on-Soar, Kegworth, Kington, Overton-Longville, Dalbury, Dalbury Lyes, Etwell, and Wirksworth, which had belonged chiefly to the Dukes of Buckingham and Exeter. He sailed secundo flumine; for we find Henry VII. granting him the guardianship of the estates of George Lord Fitz-Hugh of Havensworth, in the North Riding, then a minor, at Carlton in Lindrick and Kingston in Carlton. On the marriage of his son Gervase he settled, Jan. 10, 22nd Edward IV. on trusts for his use and that of his heirs the manors of Clifton, Wilford, Broughton Sulney, with the advowsons of the churches, and the soc of Hodsock, comprising Hodsock, Holm, Olcotes, Hermeston, Fleecethorp, Styrrup, Letwell, and Gilding-wells.

I give the will of this Sir Gervase, extracted from the register of Archbishop Rotherham at York:—

"Apr. 27, 1491. I, Gervas Clifton, knyght,—to be buried in the parishe church of our Ladie of Clifton beside Notingham. I bequeth for my principall my best horse, according to the custome and lawe of holie church. I will that my feoffees make scverall dedes of annuyties unto my sonnes Hugh, Gamaliel, Silvan, and Ezechie, and to everyche of theyme of c. s. for terme of their lyves, to be takyne of the maner in Wilford. I will yat my executors have the maner of Stanton unto such tyme as my will be performed, and for to kepe ye prior and convent of Warsop harmlesse ayenste Mr. John Porter of an annuytie of xv. 1. graunted unto hyme by them at my desir and instance. I will that William Kyndir have an annuytie of xl. s. To Henry Croke my landis, &c. in Misterton and a house in Harworth for terme of his lyve. To John London and his wiff an annuytie of xx. s., of my lands, &c. in Sterop; for the house which he dwelleth in belongeth unto the spitell of Blith of my fadir gift. As for all such landes and tenementes as is in Blith of my fadir purchase they belongen unto the spitell of Blith of my said fadir gift, and hit is my will yat the said spitell have theyme; and I require my here also yat he make a sufficient graunte unto the preste of ye said spitcll of all such landes and tenementes with th'appurtenance as I have purchased in Blith aforesaid in augmentacion of the said preste of ye said spitell lyvelode there. To Edward Carleton my lyvelode in Madersay. If my wif will take upon her to be myne executrice, as I trust verelie she will, then I will yat she have my manor of Hodessok hole to gadir wt all oyer landes and tenementes in Wodhowse, Oulcotes, Holme, Wiltsaw, Flixthorp, and Harmeston for terme of her lyve, sofering my son Gervas to have the maner of Broghton, which is parcell of her feoffement. To my son Robert Clifton all such stuff of cornes as is growyng upon the demeyne lande at Clifton, and ye bedding and oyer stuff of houshold ther, and a draght of oxen and all my kyne at Clyfton. I pray my wiff to so for my doghter Adelyne if she happyne to stande in necessitie. I will yat liij. li. which is in the handes of my lorde Laurence Both late archebishop of Yorke goods be emploied and spended for the reparacion and wele of his chauntre and chapell at Southwell by my executors. Also I stand detable unto th'executors of Richard Wilughby in x. 1. which I will, and also thies parcelles of plate undirwrittyne, yat is to say, ij. basynnes of silver w'out eweres, iij. cours cuppes standing gild and covered, a white peace, and all a graunte of annuytie undir the convent seale of Bevall touching forde lande be delyvered unto the parson of Torlaton and oyer executors of ye said Richard Wilughby. To my son Gervas the rest due of my lyvelode in Carleton. I will yat Sir Edmonde Chaderdon have the heir of Cresses for x. marc yat I owe unto hyme, and for such money as I have receyved of ye lande of ye said Cressy. I require myne executors to distribute 1. li. in almous for ye saules of Thomas Thurland and dame Johane his wiff for such plate as I had of theires. I owe to Sir Thomas Bryan x. marc. I will yat all ye lyvelode in Wodehouse besides Northwell which I purchased of Christofor Cokshote be yeven to ye chapitor of Suthwell, yif they will take upon theyme the charge of the reparacion of my lorde Laurence chapell for ever more. I require my wiff to fynde a preste for oon yere to pray for my modir soule which I ame bownde to doe. To my wiff a cup of gold, iiij. bollys of silver gilt of a sorte wt on covering. To Thomas Orston oon of my beste standing cuppis over his costis and rewardes, such as shalbe convenyent for his labor. To the parson of Clifton a white covered pece. Item, Henry Newton of Notingham has ij. basynes of silver and ij. ewers of myne which I will be delyverd unto myne executors. I will yat an obligacion of xvij. 1. which ye prior of ye Trinities in York is bownde in to my lorde Laurence be sued, and the money yerof commyng be imploied abowte the reparacions and oyer necessaries of my said lord chauntrees and chapell at Suthwell. I will yat all ye auter-clothes of silk, a bed of cloth of gold bawdkyne, and an oyer bed of russet satan which were my said lord Laurence, be delyverd unto his chauntrees at Suthwell to make vestimentes and oyer ornamentes of by th'advice of Thomas Orston, and parte of theyme to be delyverd to ye chauntres of my lorde William both at Eccles. Item, William Tunstall hase the testament of my lorde Laurence, and yer is an exemplificaeion yerof at Clifton, I will yat he cease and have no longer auctoritie for to sue for any dettis which were due unto my said lorde Laurence in the bishoprik of Duresme. To my son Gervas halff of ye stuff of bedding and hangginges at Hoddesoke and vj. bullokkes and vj. quees and oyer stuff of houshold such as my wiff will reward hyme wyth at her pleasor. I require my feoffes to make a sufficient estate unto my son Roberte for terme of his lyve of ye manor of Clifton, and also of th'advosones of the churches of Wilforde, Broghton, Claypoll, and of the hospitall of Blith, ye remayne of theyme to my heires. To ye Blake Freers of London xx. s. Item, I had of Pynson some tyme parson of Wilford iiij. marc which I will and charge my executors to dispose for his saule. To my son Robert a cup and a noyer to my son Gervas. I will in discharging of my saule yat if ye church of Slatburn may be recovered oute of ye kynges handes by ye means and labor of any kynsman or frende of myne lorde William Both late Archebisshop of Yorke, yat myne executors imploy and spende yerupon c. marc or a c. li. if hit can be made sure unto my said lordes chauntres at Eccles according to his appropriacion. I will that everich of my servauntes which was wont to ride wt me have his twelmoneth wage of reward aftir my decesse. To my sonnes Roberte and Gervas my wod and tymbir at Bevall. To my wiff my wod and tymbir in ye Nonneswod at Wallandwelles. To ye prior and convent of Blith iij. quarters of rye and iij. quarters of malt. To my son Edward Stanop oon of my best stagges in Hodesok Park. If Sir Henry Perpoynte make any title or clame to any lande in Stanton upon the Wald hit is but an oxgang of lande at ye uttirmost. The residue —to Agnes my wiff, Thomas Orston, and Sir Robert Yole parson of Clifton, whome I make myne executors. Witnesses, Roberto Constable, Roberte Clifton clerke, Gervase Clifton esquier, and Richard Blounte." Pr. 22 Aug. 1491.

(5). "Gentle Gervase," as he is styled in a distich attributed to Queen Elizabeth—

Gervase the gentle,
and Stanhope the stout,
Markham the lion,
and Sutton the lout.

He was a man of considerable eminence in the reigns of Henry VIII. Edward VI. Mary, and Elizabeth.

(6). One of King James's first Baronets, being created May 22, 1611. He represented Nottinghamshire in the reigns of James I. Charles I. and Charles II. and was Commissioner at Oxford and Newark for Charles I. In consequence of his first marriage he received the manor of Wakefield from his father-in-law the Earl of Warwick, and sold it to Sir Christopher Clapham about the year 1663. His courteous, kind, and hospitable demeanour appears to have won for him the respect and affection of his friends and neighbours.

In his will, dated Oct. 2, 1662, he requests to be "layd in the vault ncare the chancell at Clifton." To his wife the Honourable the Lady Alice he leaves his coach and horses, his gold watch, his house in St. Giles's, near London, in Little Queen Street. "To my deare Sonne Sir Clifford Clifton my gold booke, haveing an aggott on one side and mother of pearle wrought and engraven." Legacies to daughters-in-law, Lady Frances Clifton; Sarah, the wife of his son Robert; and daughters, the Lady South, relict of W. Whitchcote, Esq. and her daughter Frances Whitchcote; Frances, wife of A. Eyre, Esq.; Elizabeth Tempest; Ann Rhodes, relict of Sir Francis Rhodes, knight and baronet; and to his grandchildren, Sir Francis and Jane Rhodes; and (which will throw light upon the Hospital of Blyth, presently to be treated of,) "to my daughter Jane Clifton 2,000l. and 500l. more when she fully releases to Robert Clifton my sonne all her right unto the house or hospitall of St. John the Evangelist without Blith, by vertue of a lease made thereof by Robert Thirlby, maister or rector of the sayd house and brethren, and myselfe being maister and patron of the sayd house of the one part, and John Thornhill, of Blith Spitle aforesayd, gentleman, of the other part, dated 8 Sep., 24th Car. I. for the lives of Robert my sonne, my daughter Jane, and Millicent daughter of the said John Thornhill, or by vertue of a lease of the premisses made by the sayd John Thornhill unto John Newton, of Hader, co. Lincoln, and Park Cressy, of Hodesock, Gent, dated 8 Sep.

"To my dau. Jane the black ebony cabbonet which was her good mother's, now or lately placed in the posture roome or withdrawinge chamber att Clifton, and the great lookeing glass in the same roome. To my sonne Sir Clifford Clifton my gold ring with a turcas stone in it which was given me by my grandfather. To the right honble. the Marquesse of Dorchester my pretious stone bequeathed to me by my deare and honored kinsman his father the Earle of Kingston. To the poore of Blith and Barnby 10l."

Sir Gervase died June 28, 1666, and was buried "pompa decora," as his monument in Clifton church expresseth, Aug, 2 following. The closing scene is thus graphically described by Thoroton, the author of our County History, and himself a physician, who appears to have attended Sir Gervase professionally in his last moments. "His port and hospitality exceeded very many of the nobility, and his continuance in it most men, being almost fourscore years lord of this place, of a sound body and a cheerful facetious spirit, yet in his latter time timorous, so that his last part was miracle enough to convert an Atheist, to see his Christianity so far prevail over his nature, that, without the least shadow of fear, unwearied with pain, grief, or sickness, he left the choicest things of this world with as great pleasure as others enjoy them. He received from me the certain notice of his near approaching death, as he was wont to do an invitation of good friends to his own bowling-green (one of the most pleasant imaginable), and thereupon immediately called for his old chaplain, Mr. Robert Thirleby (Master of the Hospital at Blyth), to do the office of his confessor, as if it had been to attend him to that recreation he often used and loved; and, when he had done with him, for his children, whom patriarch-like he particularly blessed and admonished, with the smartness and ingenuity of an excellent and well-studied orator. The day following he received visits from divers friends, in the old dining-room near his bed-chamber, who were not so sensible of his danger, because he entertained them after his usual manner— yet that night (as I easily foretold him) his sleepiness began, which could never be taken away, by reason that both his ureters were so petrified (as things are by the dropping well near Knavesburgh in Yorkshire) that no urine could descend into his bladder, as at the opening of his body did manifestly appear, as also that one of his kidneys had of long time before been totally stopt with a wonderful great stone, as is reported of the pious and learned Dr. Hammond, whose hair was also red, like that of this worthy Sir Gervase; who died June 28, 1666, and was buried the 2d of August following, with great solemnity, Mr. Dugdale, Norroy, Mr. Ashmole, Windsor, and Mr. Ryley, Lancaster, heralds, the quire of Southwell, and many mourners attending his funeral."

(7). Robert, described as of Blyth Spital, was a Roman Catholic. The baptisms of his children in 1701 and the next year or two are recorded in the Blyth Register apart from others.

Clifton was evidently the burial-place of the family, although they resided both at Clifton and Hodsock, and there remain in the church at Clifton some good monumental brasses of the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries. There were also in Thoroton's time many quarterings of arms in the windows, such as those of the families of Cressy, Freschevill, Grey, Pierrepont, Braytoft, Francis, and others.

The course of events and the unceasing vicissitude of all human things and possessions bring us now to

The Mellishes, the Fourth Possessors of Hodsock.

Edward Mellish, the second of that name, who died, as the reader will perceive by referring to the pedigree of the family already given, in 1757, left, in addition to other property, certain estates at Skegby, North Marnham, South Marnham, Sutton-upon-Trent, Weston, Normanton, and Haughton, in the county of Nottingham, together with land and tithes at Moss, in the parish of Campsall, in the county of York, to his brother William, to Charles the son of William, and then in tail male.

About 1762 William and Charles Mellish obtained an Act to enable them to sell these distant estates and to purchase other property nearer to Blyth, "where the capital seat of the family and the chief part of the settled estate of the said William Mellish" were situate.

Accordingly by virtue of this power they purchased of Sir Gervase Clifton, in 1765, the present Hodsock estate, consisting of the farms severally occupied by William Leigh Mellish, Esq., Mr. Ashton, and Mr. Gibbs, the estates of Goldthorp, Hodsock Woodhouse or Costrup, Hodsock Park, Hodsock Forest, Fleecethorp, and the farm known as Cowlishaws Farm. Of these estates I shall speak in due time in succession.

In the same year they also purchased of Sir Gervase Clifton the lease of the rectory of Blyth under Trinity College, Cambridge, and the manors and considerable property in Carlton in Lindric, portions of which they re-sold immediately to John White of Wallingwells, Esq., Ralph Knight of Langold, Esq., and others; and nearly all the remainder, about 1774, to Mrs. Ramsden, the grandmother of the present Mr. Ramsden of Carlton Hall.

It was Charles Mellish, I believe, who entailed the present Hodsock estate for three lives. It was enjoyed in succession by his widow, his son Henry Francis Mellish, and his daughter Ann, the widow of William Cecil Chambers, Esq., who died in August, 1855, bequeathing it to her cousin William Leigh Mellish, the present worthy and kind-hearted possessor, who, as lord of the manor of Hodsock, has had through the long course of eight centuries but three names, and those very eminent ones, Lizours, Cressy, and Clifton preceding him; and who, although he is confined within a narrower territory than that of which his ancestors once could boast, has still the power, as happily he has the disposition, to prove himself a considerate landlord, a kind neighbour, and a charitable friend to the poor.