Pocklington, Yorkshire

Pocklington, today a small market town in the East Riding, was surprisingly, the second largest settlement in Yorkshire after York itself at the time of Domesday.

As early as at least 1327 we find a reference to a Margaret de Staveley, daughter of Cecilia de Staveley being mentioned in a land case at nearby North Givendale. This land at both North (6 bovates) and East (1 bovate) Givendale is mentioned in the will of Margaret's brother William in 1345 and again in the will of William's son, Thomas Staveley (d.1350, 'in the pestilence' - the great 'Black Death' plague of that year) when it was left to Thomas's heir, his son John (b.circa 1333, now aged 21) who was unmarried at that time. However I am convinced that the Cecily Staveley we have here is the widow of Adam Le Keu de Staveley, a couple who a) we know had a daughter Margaret and b) at the Inquisition on his death in 1309 it is known that during his life he had bovates of land in North and East Givendale. (There is some suggestion that Cecilia remarried, a Richard ?, after Adam's death.)

(note: The additon of Le Keu is curious. It may be a nickname from 'cue' an oxshoe, or perhaps a Norman name from 'Cueue', a tail. There were in fact many families named just Le Keu , mentioned at this time in Yorkshire and other places.)

We then get the usual void of a large part of the 14th century until we find a John Staveley (and what looks like a brother, William) who both sat on inquisitions in Pocklington & Middleton between 1400 and 1406. John died on 24 April 1421, leaving, significantly, property in both North (a capital messuage, 9 oxgangs +40 acres) and East Givendale (1.3 oxgangs), (Chancery Inquisitions and Post Mortems 1423). He had a son also called John. (who may well have pre-deceased him), who had a daughter Agnes Staveley and who was her grandfather's heir. She was born circa 1390 and married a James Bull of Meltinby. (Records from Yorkshire Inquisitions)

There is later firm evidence of settlement in the nearby villages of Seaton Ross, Allerthorpe and Barmby.

The will of an Isabell Staveley of Seaton Ross from 1657 reads as follows:


Isabell Staveley

In the name of God Amen the thirtieth day of August one thousand six hundred fifty seaven.  I Isabell Staveley of Seaton Ros within the County of Yorke widdow doth make constitute and ordeyne this my last will and testament recalling all former wills, in manner and forms following.  Inprimis I bequeath my soule to Allmighty God my maker and to Jesus Christ my redeemer, and the holy Ghost my Sanctifier and my body to be interred in the parrish church yard of Seaton Ros aforesaid.

Item I give Elizabeth Darbyshire a five and twenty shilling piece of gold, and four shillings out of her fiften.  Ann parte and Five pounds, more which is to be paid within a month after my decease by Thomas Staveley my sonne.  Item  I give unto my said daughter Elizabeth Darbyshire, one new blankett, which is at William Pearsons the weaver, one pillowe and a boulster, one waynscotte thayre, my best redd petticoat, and best wascoate, and one redd wascoate, my hatt and halfe of my wareing linnen and a pillow seate, one great brass candlestick.  Item I give unto Thomas Darbyshire my grandchild twenty shillings; & one gange of  ?,  two ? and a gang of spoakes, and all the rest of Christopher Darbyshires children being fivve more, foure pounds to be equally devided amongst them;  Item I give unto Mary Badkim my niece twenty shillings by legacie, and a redd petticoat with a bindeing and wainescott chest and a linnen shift with a black band, and one sett work cushion, and a greene say apron; Item I give Margarett Badkin my niece twenty shillings and one new redd petticoate, a less than my daughter Elizabeth Darbyshire, and a carpett cushion, one dozen of ? and a flanell sheete, and a ? Apron, and a three cornerd stoole.  Item I give unto Elizabeth Badkin  my niece Twenty Shillings and one flanell sheet and a carpett cushion.  Item I give unto Christopher Darbyshires two daughters either of them a Buffytt Stoole and ^(either of them) a tynn can;  Item I give unto Jane Dalby my niece one browne laneyard?, a browne wastcoate, and a redd wascoate and a petticoate which I weare every day, and a leather upper body  the worst of them, and a greene paisyly Apron, and likewise I give unto her two children tenn shillings a piece; Item I give unto two children of Robert Badkin five shillings a piece; Item I give unto John Staveleys mother being Ann Staveley of Pocklington three shillings and four pense, and to her three children tenn shillings to be equally devided; Item I give unto Margaret Williamson of Belbey (Bielby?) twelve pence and Barbara Hewson of Melbourne, twelve pence;  Item I give unto my niece Margarett Badkin my short cloake and Mary Badkin my hoode.  Item I give unto Richard Staveley tenn Shillings which he owed me, and to his three children twenty shillings to be equally divided and to his daughter two old petticoatts of browne and redd; Item I give my sonne Thomas his wife twenty shillings his daughter twenty shillings, and to his wiefe one greene laneyard? and a coat suiteable to it, and desire her to be good to John Hyndsley; Item I give unto my daughter Elizabeth Darbysheere one linnen Apron more than halfe and her two daughters either of them a corsse? and crosse cloth and either of them a holland handkercheife, and either of them a neck cloth; Item I give unto the poore of Seaton Ros Seaventeen shillings in single pence; and five pound to bring me forth with all.  Item I give unto the poor of Melbourne eight shillings and six pence being part of that money which is in the hand of John Fee; and twelve pence to John West? daughter of Stockwood?: Item I give unto Peter Hamond of Everingham clark tenn shillinges and Thomas Thackray of Seaton Ros five shillings; Item I give the ? of my grandchild John Hyndsley to my sonne Thomas Stavely and disire him to be good to him; Item all the rest of my goods my funerall expenses discharges and legacies paid; I give unto my sonne Thomas Staveley Forty shillings out of the tenn poundes and make him sole executor of this my last will and testament, debts owing to Isabell Stavely by Thomas Hunby fifteene shillinges, by Robert Blanshed ? the p? fifteene shillinges, by John Lee tenn shillinges and six pense, by John Clarke tenn shillings, by John West of Stockewood one pound, by John Whorlton two poundes, by N? Grave two shillings and eight pence, by Thomas Whorlton six pence, by Michaell Crane two shillings eight pence ^ (Isabell Staveley her mark) Witnesses hereof Hamond ? Thomas Thackeray.  Item I give unto John Hyndsley my Grandchild five pounds to put him to a trade; and the bedd I lye on, with all the furniture except a pillowe and a boulster; Debte owing by John Haiton? of Lathom for rent and r? three poundes nyneteene shillinges two pence Oweing by me Isabell Staveley to John Hyndsley my Grandchild ^ (to his person) twenty pounds to Mary Badkin five pounds to John Hyndsley eleaven pounds.  Item I five unto John Hyndsley my grandchild one lin sheete and one long ladder at Melburne if he live to the age of twenty^ (and one) years, if he dye before that age then my will is that if ^(my) sonne Thomas Stavely and my daughter Elizabeth Darbisheere shall divide all the legacies whatsoever I gave equally between them, and likewise I give unto them all his portion to be equally devided between them, and the rather because his mother left his portion to my dissposing in case he dyed before he came to the age of One and twenty years; Item I give to my daughter Darbishiere and my daughter Stavely two yards and a halfe of new F? to make either of them an Apron; Item I give unto Christopher Darbyshere his two daughters and to my sonne Thomas his daughter every one of them a yard of new F? to make them aprons; Item I give unto Mary Badkin and Margarett Badkin my two ? two yards of the same ? to make either of them an Apron; Item I give unto John Hundsley my Grandchild one new blankett of it at William Pearsons besids the bedding I gave him.

This will was proved at London before the judges for probate of wills on the six and twentieth day of February One Thousand Six Hundred Fifty Seaven English Style by the Oath of Thomas Stavely the sonne and sole Executor To whom was committed administraton he being first sworn by comission truely to administer.


From the Dean's Visitation of York Peculiar I spotted a Thomas and Franciscus Staveley, church 'gardiani', at Barmby. In 1595, the wife of one of them was 'admonished ' for allowing people into her house to 'drink at unlawful times'! In 1600 a Richard Staveley was the 'Reader' at nearby Yapham church and in 1658 a widow called Isabel Staveley died in Seaton Ross making her son Thomas the administrator. It is not known though if these are direct descendants of these earlier 15th c. families. There was also a William Staveley, farmer of Pocklington, during the 17th century as he had two children admitted into Pocklington school - a Thomas in October 1650 and a John in April 1658.

The following children were born to a Richard Staveley in Pocklington:

Jayne Staveley b. December 19, 1596 Pocklington, Yorkshire
John Staveley b. May 24, 1602 Pocklington, Yorkshire
Elizabeth Staveley b. July 21, 1605 Pocklington, Yorkshire
William Stavely b. October 13, 1606 Pocklington, Yorkshire
Dorothie Staveley b. November 22, 1608 Pocklington, Yorkshire
Adam Staveley b. March 2, 1609 Pocklington, Yorkshire


Shortly thereafter, a Robert Staveley, perhaps a son of Richard above, had the following children:

Catheren Staveley b. January 8, 1622 Pocklington, Yorkshire
Margerye Staveley b. May 17, 1624 Pocklington, Yorkshire
Robert Staveley b. May 17, 1624 Pocklington, Yorkshire
John Stavely b. September 14, 1625 Pocklington, Yorkshire
Robert Staveley b. April 10, 1628 Pocklington, Yorkshire


Born to William Staveley:

William Staveley b. May 30, 1641 Pocklington, Yorkshire
Mary Staveley b. July 9, 1642 Pocklington, Yorkshire
John Staveley b. December 13, 1647 Pocklington, Yorkshire


John Staveley, possibly son of Robert above, had the following children:

George Staveley b. April 26, 1651 Pocklington, Yorkshire
John Staveley b. October 23, 1652 Pocklington, Yorkshire
Anne Staveley b. November 26, 1655 Pocklington, Yorkshire


There are considerable details regarding a Henry Staveley of Allerthorpe, near Pocklington, who died in 1687. He makes reference to a William Staveley in his 'will' but does not describe him as his son and may just be the William mentioned above and hence his brother. The Staveleys were a prominent family in Allerthorpe, along with the Appletons. Henry seems to have had two houses, one with one hearth and another with shared ownership (a John Wright) with 7 hearths, which would have been a sizeable property. Both his will and inventory have survived which together provide a fascinating glimpse into 17th century life in one of the more affluent families in a Yorkshire village.

In the nearby villages there was certainly a William Staveley of Barmby who married a Susanna WATSON of Allerthorpe (a mile away) on 18th July 1699, and of a George Staveley who married Jane RICHARDSON (both of Allerthorpe) on 6th January 1725.

A William Staveley and Jane had the following children in Pocklington:

Jane Staveley b. October 1, 1695 Pocklington, Yorkshire
William Staveley b. November 21, 1697 Pocklington, Yorkshire
Thomas Staveley b. March 14, 1700 Pocklington, Yorkshire
Margret Staveley b. March 9, 1703 Pocklington, Yorkshire
Michael Staveley b. October 14, 1706 Pocklington, Yorkshire
John Staveley b. July 12, 1709 Pocklington, Yorkshire
Susanna Staveley b. October 19, 1710 Pocklington, Yorkshire
John Staveley b. October 19, 1714 Pocklington, Yorkshire


William's son Thomas appears to have married Jane GIBBISON in Thornton by Pocklington, and had the following children:

Robert Staveley b. October 19, 1729 Allerthorpe by Pocklington, Yorkshire
William Staveley b. October 18, 1730 Allerthorpe by Pocklington, Yorkshire
Robert Staveley b. May 13, 1733 Seaton Ross, Yorkshire
Thomas Staveley b. December 28, 1735 Seaton Ross, Yorkshire
Hannah Staveley b. February 24, 1739 Allerthorpe by Pocklington, Yorkshire
Robert Staveley b. March 22, 1742 Allerthorpe by Pocklington, Yorkshire


We also find that a John Staveley had a daughter Dinah, (in the village of Thorganby some 6 miles away, which may be where the mother was from), christened on 13th October 1710. Some little while later in 1761 a Walter Staveley is one of the trustees of Everingham Church, a village just three miles to the south but I suspect this is Walter Staveley (1701-80) of the Bridlington line who lived near here in later life and has a memorial in Pocklington church. (hence a third Staveley family impinges on Pocklington - this does make it difficult to unravel!).

There is clear evidence from a number of petty legal cases that at least one Staveley family of Pocklington passed on the profession of 'butcher' over a century or so. The first one is from Quarter Sessions Files for Christmas 1744 when William Staveley, butcher, Christopher Abbot yeoman and Matthias Linton innholder all of Pocklington were in court due to William's assault on his wife Mary. Much later in 1792 and the following two other references can be found for a John Staveley who I suspect is the same man in each case.

FILE - William Clark and John Staveley both of Pocklington :- to answer indictment by William Leak of Nunburnholme for assault & battery. - ref. QSF/335/C/11 - date: c1792

FILE - Thomas Nook of Burnby farmer and John Staveley of Pocklington butcher :- T.N. in bastardy (Ann Stephenson of Youlthorpe singlewoman). - ref. QSF/353/D/2- date: c1796

There is a fair amount of later evidence of Staveleys in Pocklington which so far I have been unable to interrelate. For example a William Staveley married a Mary Note from Gate Helmsley in 1728 and a John Staveley born around 1750, married a Mary Blanchard and had children Mary, Elisabeth, Jane, John and Thomas born around 1770. Mary Blanchard's father, John, was a butcher and died in 1772 leaving property in Barmby to Mary and John Staveley. His total inventory was valued at £456. A John Blanchard Staveley died in January 1817 aged just 21. There is even more later evidence of what are clearly collateral lines of the Staveley presence in Pockington still later around 1800. The butcher, John Staveley mentioned above, married Susannah, then we have a brewer/farmer called Thomas Staveley who married Ann ASTINGTON. Thomas' will reads as follows:


In the name of God Amen I Thomas Staveley of  Pocklington in the county of York, common brewer do make and publish this my last will and testament in manner and form following - First. I give and devise unto my loving wife Ann Staveley all and every my messuages, dwelling houses, closes, lands and tenements and hereditaments and real estate whatsoever with their and every of their appurtenances situate lying and living in Pocklington aforesaid and Melburn in the said county or elsewhere within the said county of York whether the same and in my own occupation or in the tenure or occupation of any other person or persons whomsoever. To have and to hold all and every the said messuages, dwelling houses, closes, lands, tenements and hereditaments with their and every of their appurtenances unto my said wife Ann Staveley, her heirs and assigns for ever; also I give and bequeath unto my said wife Ann Staveley all and singular my goods, chattels and personal estate of what nature, quality or kinds over or whatsoever, subject to the payment of all my just debts and funeral expenses, and I hereby nominate, constitute and appoint my said wife sole Executrix of this my last will and testament and I hereby revoke and make void all former wills and testaments by me at any time herefore made and published. In witness whereof I have hereunto set my hand and seal this fourth day of March in the year of our Lord One thousand seven hundred and thirty one.

Thomas Staveley

Signed sealed and published and delivered
by the said Testator as
and for his last will and testament,
in the presence of us who (at his
request and in his presence and in
the presence of each other) here subscribed
our names as witnesses, thereto the word
(heretofore) being first …..

John Posland
John Powell Jnr
… Sympson

I do hereby certify that on the twenty eighth day of September in the year of our Lord 1808 Ann Staveley of Pocklington widow in being and sole Executrix named in this the last will and testament of Thomas Staveley late of Pocklington aforesaid in the Peculiar and Spiritual Jurisdiction of the Deanery of York, common brewer, deceased, was sworn well and truly to execute and perform the same. And the same time declared before me that the whole of the goods, chattels and credits of the said deceased, within the jurisdiction aforesaid, do not amount in value to the sum of one hundred pounds.

Witness my hand

Thomas Brown Surrogate

1st October 1808


The following is the will of Thomas' wife Ann (nee ASTINGTON):


This is the Last will and Testament of me Ann Staveley of Pocklington in the county of York, widow, made and published by me this thirty first day of December in the year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and twenty nine in manner and form following (that is to say), First I order and direst all my just debts to be paid by my two sons Thomas Staveley and William Staveley in equal half parts and out of the real and personal estates herin after given and devised to them as tenants in common. I give and devise unto my said son Thomas Staveley and his heirs free from all mortgages and other incumbrances whatsoever, save and accept an annuity of six pounds per annum to my eldest son Stephen Staveley as hereinafter is mentioned. All that my freehold close piece or parcel of arable meadow or pasture ground lying and being in a certain part of the South Moor of Pocklington aforesaid containing by common estimation three acres more or less adjoining on lands belonging to Robert Judson towards the East and on a private road towards the north west and now in the occupation of myself. Subject nevertheless to one annuity to clear yearly rent or sum of six pounds as herein after is mentioned (that is to say). I give and devise and bequeath unto my said son Stephen Staveley and his assigns for and during the term of his natural life one annuity or clear yearly sum of six pounds of lawful British money free and clear of and from all taxes and deductions whatsoever parliamentary or others to be paid and payable by him the said Thomas Staveley by two equal half year by payments in every year the first payment thereof to begin and to be made at the expiration of six calendar months next and after my decease. And I do hereby give unto my said son Stephen Staveley all such powers and remedies for the recovery thereof or of any part thereof being at any time or times in arrears by distress and sale for enforcing the due and regular payment thereof as in the like cases are given and afforded by the laws of this realm to Landlords for the recovery of rents in arrear on common demises. And I do also hereby charge and make liable the te said Close and premises hereinbefore by me given and devised to my said son Thomas Staveley with the payment of the said annuity accordingly. Provided always and my will and mind is and I do hereby direct that in case my said son Thomas Staveley shall happen to die a bachelor in the life time of my said son Stephen Staveley but not otherwise then and in that case I give and devise the same Close and premises to my said son William Staveley, his heirs and his assigns for ever, subject to the said annuity of six pounds a year to my said son Stephen Staveley and also in that case I subject and make liable the said Close and premises ro and with the payment of the Legacy or sum of fifty pounds to my daughter Mary, the wife of James Rispin which said sum of fifty pounds I do hereby give and bequeath to my said daughter Mary Rispin to be paid to her by my said son William Staveley, his hers or assigns at the expiration of six calendar months after he or she shall become entitled and possessed of the said Close and promises in case he or they shall at any time hereafter become entitled to the same under and by virtue of the above contingent devise in this my Will. …Being my full intention tht my said son Thomas Staveley shall have a full and perfect fee simple of and in the said Close and premises in case he shall either marry or survive my said son Stephen Staveley, free from all charges and incumbrances (except the said annuity) I give to my two daughters Elizabeth the wife of James Askham and the said Mary Rispin the sum of one pound each. And subject to the payment of all and singular my mortgages, bonds and other simple contract debts, I give devise and bequeath  unto my said son Thomas Staveley and my said son William Staveley all that the remainder or reversion expectant upon and to take effect in succession immediately upon and from and after the decease of the Estate for life of Christopher Scaife of Pocklington aforesaid Gentleman of and in. All that Close or parsel of old enclosed land, meadow, pasture or arable (heretofore divided into two closes) and now in one and commonly called or known by the name of Westland Close or closes containing by estimation five acres more or less and now in my own occupation situate and being within the township of Pocklington aforesaid near to the Clay Field. And also all and singular other my messuages  cottages, brewhouses Matthilus stables, garths, gardens and real estate whatsoever hereinfore by me given and disposed of) situate and being within the township of Pocklington aforesaid in whose occupation  soever the same are or is together with all and singular my personal estate and effects whatsoever and wheresoever the same may be subject nevertheless to the payment of all my just debts namely mortgages, mortgage bonds, notes and funeral expenses in equal parts and preparations. To hold the same to my said two sons, the said Thomas Staveley and William Staveley their respective named Executors, Administrators and assign for ever as tenants in common and not as joint tenants. And I do hereby appoint them my said two sons Thomas Staveley and William Staveley joint executors of this my will, hereby revoking and making void all former and other wills and testaments by me heretofore made.

In Witness whereof I have to do my last will and testament wrote on three sheets of paper to the first two sheets thereof set my hand and to this third and last thereof my hand and seal, the day and year first before written.

Ann Staveley (signature)     Seal

Signed sealed published and declared by the said
Ann Staveley the testatrix as and for her last will and
testament in the presence of us who at her request in
her presence and in the presence of each other
have subscribed our names as witnesses thereto.

Ann Borrill Pocklington   Gentleman
Robert Jodd of Pocklington Cordwainer
Matthew Mallinson of Pocklington



As shown in the extracts below, several Staveleys in Pocklington are recorded in the late 18th and earlier 19th century in the 1797 and 1823 Baines Directory and the later Bulmer Directory of 1892, (both sort of early Yellow Pages!). Some presumably are descendants of the early 16th century settlement there (or maybe even earlier 14th century) and others being a spin off from the Millington families. The lady brewer is interesting and believed to be the widow of the brewer Thomas.

1797 Baines Directory Transcript for Pocklington

Thomas Staveley Brewer

John Staveley Butcher


1823 Baines Directory Transcript for Pocklington


Staveley Thomas, Chapmangate

Misc. Trades

Staveley Thomas, George Street

He was born in 1776 and married to an Elizabeth with possible elderbrother Stephen, born 1771. This Thomas could well be the same man as the farmer above and son of John, the butcher, in the 1797 edition)


Staveley Mrs. Ann, Chapmangate

Believed to be the widow of Thomas Staveley of the 1797 edition.

Inns and Taverns

Red Lion, Thomas Staveley, George Street

Gentry etc.

Staveley Mrs Susannah, Brass Castle Hill

Believed to be the widow of butcher John Staveley of 1797 edition and mother of Thomas above (b.1776)


An even later single entry is found  as follows:

Bulmer Directory of 1892

Staveley George Robert, agent for Singer's Manufacturing Co., Regent St.


George Robert Staveley is the son of Christopher Staveley of Bewholme and his wife Rebecca Smith.  George married Harriet WILLIAMSON in 1877, and briefly settled in South Cave, Yorkshire, before moving to Pocklington:

1891: George Street, Pocklington, Yorkshire, England

 George R. STAVELEY  Head  M  Male  38  Bewholme, Yorkshire, England  Blacksmith
 Harriet STAVELEY  Wife  M  Female  40  Bewholme, Yorkshire, England  Dressmaker
 George W. STAVELEY  Son  U  Male  13  Bewholme, Yorkshire, England  Scholar
 Harriet STAVELEY  Daur  U  Female  9  South Cave, Yorkshire, England  Scholar
 Ethel STAVELEY  Daur  U  Female  7  South Cave, Yorkshire, England  Scholar
 Nellie STAVELEY  Daur  U  Female  5  South Cave, Yorkshire, England  Scholar


1901: Pocklington, Yorkshire, England

 George R. STAVELEY  Head  M  Male  48  Bewholme, Yorkshire, England  Shoeing and General Blacksmith
 Harriett STAVELEY  Wife  M  Female  50  Arnold, Yorkshire, England  Dressmaker
 Harriet STAVELEY  Daur  U  Female  19  South Cave, Yorkshire, England  Dressmaker
 Ethel STAVELEY  Daur  U  Female  17  South Cave, Yorkshire, England  School Teacher
 Nellie STAVELEY  Daur  U  Female  15  South Cave, Yorkshire, England  Dressmaker


George and Harriet's son, George William Staveley, is missing from the 1901 census, but it is known that he died in 1911 in Pocklington, at the age of 33 years.

Authors: Peter Staveley and Clare Staveley


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