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Seventh Generation - Leah Catterson       

   Leah Catterson was christened 24 August 1697 [74] . Leah was the eldest of eleven children born to Stephen and Grace Catterson. Stephen Catterson owned various properties in Skipton, including the site of the Red Lion Inn and it is possible that Leah was brought up in the house of the Red Lion [75] . In 1697, this was a substantial property with an extensive garden and outbuildings and the Garth covered the current town Hall Car park.

By the time Leah was twelve years old she had been joined by three sisters, Mary, Elizabeth and Martha, and two brothers, Thomas and John [76] . These six children would have been very close. However, their baby brother John did not survive his second year and they would have watched his little body being buried in Skipton Parish Church on 25 September 1709 [77] .  Two more sisters, Frances and Grace, and a brother, Sylvester, had joined the family by 1713, and the sixteen year old Leah would have probably been an asset to her mother in helping to take care of the eight children [78] . On 26 January 1713, Leah would have had to watch her twelve-year-old sister being buried, and this would probably have affected all the Catterson children. The last two children to join the family, both boys named Stephen, did not survive their second year [79] .

 Leah Catterson married Edward Heelis in Kildwick church on 18 December 1719 [80] . Leah was twenty-two years old, and her husband would have been at least twenty years old. Her youngest brother Stephen would have been about eighteen months old at her wedding and may have attended the wedding in Kildwick.  Six years later Thomas Catterson, Leah’s brother, died at the age of twenty-two, leaving only two brothers and four sisters alive out of the original family of eleven children [81] . 

Leah’s three surviving sisters married well, Martha married Henry Mitton, an Attorney at Law, Mary married a Mr. Paley of Giggleswick, and her youngest sister Grace married John Heelis, Chandler of Skipton. It is possible that Grace met her future husband through the endeavours of her older sister Leah who had also married a Heelis, or through her sister Mary, who lived in Giggleswick where Grace’s marriage to John Heelis took place. This John Heelis appears to have gained lands through his connexions with the Cattersons, including a share of lands on Cockpit Lane in Skipton [82] . This may be where the old Cockpit was, and perhaps the site is presently occupied by the Cock and Bottle Inn on Swadford Street. This John Heelis also gained lands in Lambert Hill including one tenement and a barn with stables [83] . However it is possible that these lands were either leased or sold to a Richard Dawson of York in 1749. At the time of the land transfer John Heelis himself was in prison in York Castle. The reasons for this imprisonment at the present time remain unknown.

The majority of the family properties were inherited by Leah’s oldest surviving brother, Frances Catterson on the death of their father on 29 November 1741 [84] .  Frances Catterson was a Yeoman Farmer of Gawflatts farm, ‘Hingan Raine’, between Stirton and Skipton [85] .  His landholdings were substantial enough to allow Frances to vote in the 1741 election, in which he voted for George Fox. Frances does not appear to marry and on his death in??? the sole [GPW1]  surviving brother, Sylvester Catterson, inherited the majority of the estates [86] . However, Frances appears to have had a soft spot for his sister as he left Martha Mitton the freeholds of properties that he owned in Skipton.

Sylvester Catterson married Mary Parkinson, daughter of James Parkinson of Hetton, yeoman. This may have been a marriage allying various farms in the area. Sylvester continued to farm at Gawflatts, but is also described as a Tanner, and held various lands in Skipton itself, including Lambert Hills, a messuage in Newmarket Street and an orchard near Waller Hill called Cattersons orchard [87] . Sylvester also leased lands in Addingham at Bentley Bridge Croft from the Earl of Thanet [88] . Sylvester also transferred a lease of a messuage, barn, outhouse and garths in possession of Thomas Chamberlain to Hannah Richardson of Skipton Widow [89] . He had nine children by Mary Parkinson. The eldest son, Sylvester Catterson predeceased his father in 1790 when he died from Consumption aged twenty-one [90] . This was only two years after the death of his sister Mary Catterson on 1788 who also died aged twenty-one from Consumption [91] . Of three other sons, only two appear to have survived infancy, Stephen and John [92] . The oldest of the three, James, was buried in 1780 [93] . Of Stephen Catterson's five daughters, Mary died young, but the other four appear to have survived infancy. Ann Catterson married a Joseph Smith, painter and decorator, Grace married Lewis Pantin [94] . Little is further known of Margaret and Elizabeth. Sylvester’s eldest surviving son Stephen Catterson inherited the farm at Gawflatts called ‘Hingham Raine’ [95] . Stephen Catterson’s will was proven on 13 November 1793 [96] .


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[74] Skipton Parish Registers.

[75] It is apparent from the will of her father that Leah did dwell I Skipton, but exactly where has yet to be ascertained. See below pp?? for a list of properties owned by Stephen Catterson.

[76] Mary Catterson was christened on 19 December 1699, Elizabeth was christened on 16 June 1701, Martha was christened on 19 May 1706, Thomas was christened on 10 August 1703, and John was christened on 23 March 1708. Skipton Parish Registers.

[77] Skipton Pariah Registers.

[78] Frances was christened on 31 January 1710, Grace was christened on 14 August 1711 and Sylvester was christened on 21 October 1712. Skipton Pariah Registers.

[79] Stephen Catterson was baptized in Skipton, North Yorkshire, 29/03/15.   He was buried on 6 February 1716. Stephen Catterson was baptized in Skipton, North Yorkshire, 3/06/1718, This Stephen was buried on 5 October 1722.

[80] Kildwick Parish Registers.

[81] Thomas Catterson was buried on 3 March 1725. Skipton parish Registers.

[82] See Rowley, Yorkshire Deeds, 22/33 June 1745.

[83] See Rowley, Yorkshire Deeds 8 May 1749.

[84] Skipton Parish Registers.

[85] See Rowley Collection.

[86] See Will in Rowley, dated 13 November 1745.

[87] See Rowley West Yorkshire deeds, 29 January 1778 an agreement with the Earl of Thanet over Lambert Hills. See also Deed dated 23 May 1782 in Rowley’s west Yorkshire Deeds.

[88] See Rowley, west Yorkshire Deeds 11 May 1764.

[89] See Rowley, west Yorkshire Deeds 27/28 January 1643.

[90] Sylvester Catterson was buried on 27 January 1790. Skipton Parish Registers.

[91] Mary Catterson was buried on 31 October 1788. Skipton Parish Registers.

[92] Stephen Catterson was christened on 21 October 1781, and John Catterson was christened on 24 November 1784. Skipton Parish Registers.

[93] James Catterson was buried on 8 February 1780.

[94] Grace Catterson was christened on 4 July 1775, Elizabeth Catterson was christened on 20 February 1778, and Margaret Catterson was christened on 25 May 1787. Grace was married to Lewis Pantin in 1793. Ann Catterson had married Joseph Smith previous to 1800 and had born six children by 1810. These births are registered in Skipton Parish Registers.

[95] See Rowley West Yorkshire deeds, 3 September 1772.

[96] See Raistrick Archive, No. 950. Skipton Library.


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