Generation - Isabella Petyt
Catterson, father of Stephen Catterson, married Isabella Petyt on
30 January 1654 in Skipton. Initial research found only one Isabella Pettie
of the right age to marry Francys Catterson in Skipton. This was
a certain Isabella, daughter of John and Anne Pettie of ‘Embsay
Kirk’, who was born in Skipton in 1630. It appeared that this Isabella was therefore
a cursory glance through Dawson’s History of Skipton changed my
opinion dramatically. Although there was an Isabella Pettie born to
John Pettie ‘of Embsay Kirk’, she did not marry our Francys Catterson.
The Isabella that married Francys Catterson was in fact the daughter
of a William Petyt of Storithes near Bolton Abbey. This Isabella was the youngest daughter of William
Petyt of Storithes and Maria Petty, daughter of Thomas Petty
of Embsay. It is possible that Isabella’s mother Maria
was closely related to John Petty of ‘Embsay Kirk’, and the two
Isabellas may have been cousins. However, this is yet to be proven.
was born in 1633 in Storithes, Bolton Abbey and was twenty-one years
old when she married Francys Catterson. As her mother Mary Petty had married her first
husband at the age of sixteen this would appear to be a late age
to be married in the context of the seventeenth century. It may be possible to
find papers recording the marriage, the dowry, and any goods or
lands that changed hands as a result of the marriage. It is highly
probable that Isabella’s father William, and Francys Catterson’s
father Thomas, had mutual business or land interests and the marriage
may have united these interests.
bore Francys eleven children of whom only five survived . Ann had been buried before she had reached
the age of two in 1661, Sylvester had been buried within three months
of his birth in 1664, and an unnamed and unbaptised child had been
buried in February 1665/6. Baby
William did not reach his first birthday, and Isabel was christened
and buried on the same day. Isabella
gave birth to her eleventh and last child, in 1673, a daughter named
was buried on 22 June 1681 in Holy Trinity Church, Skipton.
Petyt had one sister and five brothers, and four half sisters and
a half-brother. Her mother Mary Petty had been married twice and
intended to marry a third time. Her father William Petyt had also married twice
and had one daughter Elizabeth by a previous marriage. He also had
a daughter Jane Coates from an earlier relationship. Of her sisters, most married. Her half-sister
by her father, Elizabeth, married twice firstly to Thomas Child
and secondly to Richard Mitchell. Elizabeth Child nee Petyt had two sons
William Child and Robert Child and a daughter Mary Child before
her husband Thomas Child died. Elizabeth then married Richard Mitchell
and they had four children. Elizabeth was widowed in 1719 and was
well provided for in her brother Sylvester's will.
Isabella's half sister, by her mother, Margaret Catterson, married
Thomas Cookson and tenanted the Red Lion until her death in 1660. Isabella’s eldest half-sister, by her mother,
Mariana, married a Thomas Battersby and it is possible that both
Mariana and Thomas Battersby were buried in Bolton Abbey in the
late seventeenth century. Isabella’s half-sister Anne Petty,
alias Dodsworth, married George Robinson on 26 July 1650 in Skipton.
and George's daughter Ann Robinson married Henry Petty of Ilkley
in 1673 and made another Petty family connection. Ann and Henry Petty's son George married Anne
Joule and had a family of six sons and one daughter in Arncliffe. George's sons John and William were apprenticed
as part of the Petyt Trust.
Isabella's half-brother Thomas Catterson, by her mother did have
a daughter Susanna. Of
Isabella’s four youngest brothers, one William died young, one Henry
died young, Christopher married a Susanna Pepper, daughter of Alexander
Pepper of Kent, and a second Henry married a Briscoe. Christopher Petyt may have moved to Kent on
his marriage to Susanna, but the name Christopher remains popular
in the Petyt families that remained in the Bolton Abbey area. Henry
moved to London with his brothers, married and had one daughter
Henry Petyt was the second eldest surviving brother and in 1658
petitioned and was granted a coat of Arms by William Ryley, the
Norroy King of Arms. His arms were the same as had been granted
to his brother William, but with a ‘crescent for a second difference’.
It is interesting to note that Henry and his family were described
as ‘descendinge from the auntient family of Petties alias Petits
of Yorkshire’. Henry Petyt moved to London and was a vintner
in Drury Lane, London. He
left his daughter Elizabeth to the care of his brothers, William
and Sylvester and he left a ring to his sister Isabel Catterson.
brothers William and Sylvester Petyt did not marry,
but became attorneys and were members of the Societies of Law at
the Inner and Middle Temple in London. They both had distinguished
careers, and it is perhaps because of this that we know much more
about these two than their married siblings.
William Petyt, Keeper of Tower
Petyt was born about 1637 in Storithes near Bolton Abbey, and may
have been christened on 13 April 1637 at Bolton Abbey. He was educated at Ermystead’s Free Grammar
School under Mr. Doughty and was admitted to Corpus Christi College,
Cambridge, under Mr. Abney on 26 April 1660, at the age of 19, as
a ‘lesser pensioner’. In 1658, William was granted his first coat
of arms by William Ryley, Norroy King of Arms and is described as
‘of the society of Barnard’s Inn, London, gent.’ and ‘hath
spent much of his tyme and youth in the study of the Common Laws
of England, and is hopeful in his waeis and indeavours within’. This would indicate that William had already
studied law at Barnard Inn for sometime before he was admitted to
Corpus Christi College in 1660.
1662, at the age of 21, he was already settled in London in Chambers
at the Middle Temple and continued his legal studies. He studied
Common Law and was called to the bar as a barrister in 1670, aged
29. On 2 February 1668-9 William Pettye leased
Eshton Hall from John Wilson of Eshton and is described as a victualler, which may mean that William has a small business on
the side. In 1663, William was involved
in a dispute over lands in manors of Gisburn
and Newsholme. In
1671, he was Receiver-General to the Duke of Somerset, and in 1680,
he published three books. On 9 June 1689, William was called to the bench,
which I think means that he became a judge. He became Autumn Reader
at the Middle Temple in 1694 and Treasurer in 1701.
1689, the House of Lords petitioned the King William III to methodise
the records in the Tower of London, which had become badly disorganized
and were rotting. William, was therefore, appointed Keeper of the
Records at the Tower of London and spent many years cataloguing
various Medieval, Tudor and Stuart manuscripts. This was a post
at first probably unpaid, but soon worth five hundred pounds a year
. In this task, he was assisted by George Holmes
of Skipton Parish who worked with William at the Tower in 1690 as
a clerk. William must have valued George’s work as he
left him the princely sum of 200 pounds in his will. Petyt’s work at the Tower must have been very
important and skilled. A report of a special Committee, consisting
of Petyt and Sir Christopher Wren and others details the problems
he faced with ‘multitudes of records of several reigns lying confusedly
in danger of utterly perishing’. William was also
a founder member of the Royal Society.
also wrote many learned papers on matters of constitutional and
political importance and was known by his contemporaries as a controversialist
and as a great debater. He also moved in celebrated circles and certainly
knew Sir Christopher Wren and may have socialized with him. He also collected many manuscripts of his own,
especially on matters of seventeenth century political debate, including
the English Civil wars. His manuscripts were left in trust to friends,
with an injunction that they should be preserved and deposited in
a library. William bequeathed 150 pounds to buy or build a library
to house his manuscript collection, and an additional one hundred
pounds was left to one of the trustees to take care of them. An additional four hundred pounds was left by
William to be spent by his brother Sylvester in printing and publication.
However, the manuscripts found their way to the Library of the Inner
Temple where they remain today.
his later years, William lived at Chelsea in London where he built
a vestry, and a school with apartments for a teacher. He died at Chelsea on 3 October 1707, aged about
seventy, and was buried in the west part of the Temple Church in
the Courts of Law. His brother Sylvester set up a monument to his
memory in the Temple Church in London, paid for by a 100 pound bequest
in William’s will. The monument is still there today.
his will, dated 12 July 1705, William left 20 pounds for the support
of two poor scholars at Christ Church Cambridge, fifty pounds each
to the Society of the Inner Temple and Middle Temple, fifty pounds
to Ermystead’s Grammar school, and five pounds to be distributed
to the poor of Skipton and Bolton Abbey parishes. The scholarships
to Corpus Christi, Cambridge built connections between the Free
School in Skipton and Cambridge.
brother, Sylvester Petyt, was probably christened on 3 January 1639
in Storithes near Bolton Abbey. He too, was educated at Ermystead’s Grammar
School, but apparently did not attend Christ College, Cambridge. In 1658 Sylvester was also granted a coat of
arms, similar to his brothers coat, but with a mullet for a third
difference. By 1662 he seems to have accompanied his brother
William to London and was settled in Chambers at Greys (or is it
Barnards) Inn, but he was not attached to this society until 1666. Barnard’s Inn was one of the Inns of Chancery,
where the younger students of law were usually placed. He did not
rise as quickly as his brother William, but he did work for a time
as a clerk to the Lord Chief Justice Sir John Holt. Later, in 1701, Sylvester was a Principal of
Barnard’s Inn, in London. He seems to have practiced as a lawyer from
the Inns of Court, and lived towards the end of his life at Bell
Savage yard in London. Sylvester was responsible for setting up the
library at Skipton, and made the first gift of books in 1708.
died on 1 October 1712 and was buried in St Andrews Churchyard in
Holborn, London on 6 October 1712. In his will he specified that
he was to be buried ten feet deep, and between three and four o’clock
in the afternoon.
left a legacy of over 24,048 pounds in his will of South Sea Annuities. He
had also made monies through giving mortgages of land to his friends. His will was proved four years
after his death, on 23 May 1723, due to the inactiveness of the
trustees. He executed his brother’s wishes, and left twenty
pounds a year to keep poor scholars at Christ College Cambridge.
He founded also the library in Skipton, housed in the parish Church,
and left one hundred pounds in his will to maintain the library
and monies to cover small salaries for both a librarian and a schoolmaster
at Skipton. In addition, Sylvester also left each of the
parishes of Skipton, Bolton Abbey and St. Andrews, Holborn, ten
pounds to be distributed among the poor, and one hundred and forty
pounds to clothe and apprentice twenty poor children in each one
of the three parishes. To St Andrews, Holborn, the parish of his later
residence, Sylvester left a further two hundred pounds for the further
maintenance of the poor. To Storithes, the place of his birth, he
also left three hundred pounds to provide a school. This school
was later joined to the Bolton Abbey Grammar School, established
by Robert Boyle, in a new building at Beamsley. To Skipton Free Grammar School, Sylvester also
left fifty pounds to buy books necessary for public use.
also left most of his personal possession and about two and a half
thousand pounds to his near relatives. Among those who are mentioned
are his niece, Mary Ferrand, wife of Timothy Ferrand, the headmaster
of Skipton Grammar, and her daughter, son and grandson. It is of especial interest to us that Sylvester
leaves a ‘long swing clock’ and portraits of him and his brother
William to ‘my nephew’ Stephen Catterson in Skipton. All these grants amounted to relatively little
and over thirty thousand pounds of Sylvester’s legacy was left.
Sylvester left this to his Trustees to administer. Among the gifts left by Sylvester, a messuage
in Skipton bought from a Timothy Coopethan was left to his nephew
is probably no surprise, that perhaps because of his benefices,
or because of his family links with Skipton that there is a plaque
dedicated to Sylvester in Skipton Parish Church today, and once
there was also a portrait of Sylvester, and a shield of his arms
‘arg. a lion ramp. Gules on a canton…a pheon…a crescent for difference’
in the church as well. Sylvester’s armorial bearings are also depicted
on a window in the hall of Barnards Inn. His brother William’s coat of arms is also described
as ‘argent a lyon rampart gules in the dexter chief a Pheon sable’. This
is also the coat armour of the Petyt family of Cornwall and Yorkshire.
The Petyt Grants of Arms
William and his brother Sylvester had been granted arms in 1658,
these were very different to the arms displayed in Skipton and in
Barnards Inn. In 1658 William had been granted ‘ Quarterly or
and azure on a bend gules, three pheons of the first; and for his
crest, On healme and wreath of his colours a crane argent, holdinge
in his sinister foote a rundle, checqued or and azure, mantled gules,
doubled argent’. This is very different from the arms displayed
which had been awarded to both William and his brother Sylvester
by the College of Heralds on 29 May 1690 viz, ‘Argent, a lion
rampant gules, on a canton azure a pheon or. Crest: A crane
proper, holding with the dexter foot a pebble stone’.
It is difficult at present to understand the difference between
the arms or why the lion rampant was suddenly added in 1690. It
is also difficult to understand why these two alone were awarded
these arms with the rampant lion. I have not as yet found any reference
to Henry Petyt who was also granted arms in 1658, changing his arms
to a rampant lion. William and Sylvester may have been granted these
arms for their work at the Inns of Court, but the matter is at present
unclear.On the assumption that Christopher Petyt may have moved
to Kent with his wife I have found at least three lines of Petits
in Kent, but their arms are very different, being based on variants
of three leopard’s or lions face, and do not seem to be related.
correspondence has indicated that the arms granted in 1658 were
granted by William Ryley, Norroy King of Arms. After the restoration
Ryley was discredited and many of the arms he had granted were quietly
In 1690, when both William and Sylvester were well known and very
rich, their brother Henry had died in 1667, they reapplied for a
grant of arm which was awarded by Sir Thomas St. George, Garter
King of Arms. Some of the information given in support of the application
was pure invention to make the brother's pedigree look better than
it was. There was no need for this because they were descended from
a perfectly respectable Yorkshire family.
Isabella Pettie was christened on 6 March
1630, as was her twin sister Ellin Pettie. Skipton Parish Registers.
John Petty married Ann. Her body was interred 23/12/1664 in Skipton,
North Yorkshire. John Petty and Ann had five children. Isabel Pettie was baptized in Embsay, 6/03/1631.
Thomas Petty was baptized in Embsay, North Yorkshire, 7/03/1628.
William Petty was baptized in Embsay, North Yorkshire, 5/05/1633.
Ellin Petty was baptized in Embsay, North Yorkshire, 6/03/1630.
She married Samuel Smythe in Skipton, North Yorkshire, 17/10/1654.
Robert Petty was baptized in Skipton, North Yorkshire, 2/04/1635.
John Petty also had a child Mary, by Elizabeth Howden.
Mary Howden was baptized in Embsay, North Yorkshire,
Skipton Parish Registers.
Isabella Petty daughter of William Pettyes
was christened 11 August 1633. See Bolton Abbey Parish Records
A Mary Batorsbe was buried in Bolton Abbey
on 30 August 1694, Thomas Battersby was buried on 27 March 1728,
and a Mary Battersby was buried on 16 March 1728, Bolton Abbey
Parish Registers .Margaret
and Thomas Battersby had at least four children. Their daughter
Mary Battersby was 'aged 72 years, her mother half-sister of
the Testator' in 1725. She was left £30 in Sylvester Petyt's
will of 1719 and was given £10 by Sylvester Petyt's charity.
Mary Battersby's sister Margaret married William Blakely and
was aged 70 in 1725. She was left £30 in Sylvester Petyt's
will of 1719 and was also given £10 by his charity in
1725. Mary Blakely's daughter Mary wife of Thomas Gill was also
left £20 in Sylvester's will and given £10 by his
charity. 17 June 1718. Thomas Gill of Burley in ye parish of
Otley, Tanner, & Mary Blakey of Westhall in ye parish of
Ilkley married by publication of Banns. Ilkley Parish Registers.
Mary and Margaret Battersby's brother Thomas Battersby was aged
65 in 1725. Thomas was released from various debts he owed Sylvester
Petyt in 1719 and was given £10 by his charity in 1725.
Thomas's daughter Sarah wife of Thomas Croft was left £20
in her great-uncle Sylvester's will in 1719 and given £10
by his charity in 1725. Mary Battersby's second son John battersby
had died by 1719, but Sylvester left A 'John Battersby and his
Sister Eliz. Battersby the Grandchildren of my late Sister Mary
Battersby £20 each to be paid unto them within one year
next after my decease. ' These were probably John's children.
John Battersby's widow Mary Battersby was given £10 in
Sylvester's charity in 1725.
Henry Petyt was born about 1638 in
Storiths. He moved to London with his brothers William and Sylvester
but does not seem to have studied law. He does appear to have
been involved with William and Silvester’s money lending
enterprises. Amongst Silvester’s papers was a bond dated
1667 showing that Henry had lent £40 to Ambrose Pudsey
on which no interest appears to have been paid. Information
form Angela Petyt's website.
Henry had at least one child, a daughter
Elizabeth who married Richard Wright on 24 July 1696 in St Nicholas
Cole Abbey, London. IGI. It is not known when Henry died. Elizabeth
Wright nee Petyt's husband Richard Wright was a joiner of Rotherhythe,
Surrey. In 1705 William Petyt had left his 'niece Mrs. Betty
Wright the sum of two hundred pounds and a ring.' in his will.
In 1717 Sylvester Petyt had loaned Elizabeth and Richard Wright
£300 as part of a down payment on a mortgage. In his will
of 1719 Sylvester Petyt left his niece £300 and £10
each to her and her husband to buy mourning. He also left £600
to be divided amongst Elizabeth's children. A further £100
was also bequeathed to Elizabeth. In 1725 Elizabeth 'the Testator’s
niece and Heir –at- Law' was given £20 by Sylvester's
charity ' for her own use being very ill'. Richard Wright, was
given 'a years interest of £300 due on his mortgage to
the Testator due on the 24th March And also the interest of
his additional mortgage of £200 lent by the Trustees since
the Testator’s death from the 16th August 1722 to 16th
August 1725. ---£65'. Elizabeth and Richard Wright had
two children. Their son William Wright was bequeathed all 'my
printed books of Law Presidents and Entries wherein are written
or entered Declarations or other Pleadings at Law also all Tables
and in manuscripts of Declarations and Pleadings.' by Sylvester
Petyt in 1719. In 1725 William Wright was given £30 by
Sylvester's Charity. His sister Adriana Wright had married John
Oakley. Adriana Oakley was given £10 by Sylvester's charity
in 1725. A 'John Pettyt, son-in-law to the said Rich. and Eliz.'
was also given £10 towards the charge of burying his wife.
Henry Petty alias petit was granted
the arms on 13 August 1658. See YAJ Vol.18 p. 350-351.
For the following, see National Biographical
Dictionary and Dawson’s History of Skipton. Also, see Whitakers
History of the deanery of Craven ed. Morant, p. 436. Dawson
says he was born in 1637, but the National Biographical Dictionary
prefers 1641. See also The Ancient and Free grammar School of Skipton
in Craven, by A.M.Gibbon, Hodder and Stoughton, 1947, pp. 47-57.
For date of birth see IGI William was christened
on 20 March 1632/3 in Storithes, the son of William Petty of
Storithes. There is another William Petty son of William Petty
christened 30 September 1635. Bolton Abbey Parish Registers
previous to 1689.
See YAJ Vol. 18 p.349-150.
Gibbon p. 48 states the salary of 500 pounds.
The Lord Treasurer Godolphin’s warrant to William Pettyt awarded
an ‘additional’ annuity of two hundred and fifty pounds a year
This George Holmes was the son of George
Holmes and Margaret Petty and was born in Skipton about 1662.
See Dawson’s Loose leaves of Craven History P. 253. George Holmes
may have been related to William Petyt through his mother Margaret.
See Gibbon pp52 , 55 & 56. Five pounds
a year was paid to the librarian, and twelve pounds for the
See Gibbon p.52, also Whittaker and Dawson
on Skipton Parish.
See p. 198 in Grantees of Arms named in Docquest
and patents to the end of the seventeenth century.…. Ed. By
W.Harry Rylands, Published London 1915. Harleain Society. William
is described as ‘of the inner Temple’, and Sylvester, ‘of Barnard’s
See The Visitations of Kent, ed. By W.Bruce
Bannerman, Vols 1 &
2, Published by the Harleain Society, London 1924. These arms
are based on leopards heads, not lions and seem to derive from
a completely different source. I have looked at the visitations
of 1575, and 1620 and have not been able to find a family with
the same arms.
Based on correspondence with Anthony Petyt.