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The Pettys of Orton
The Pettys of Cawder House
William Petty of Storithes
The Move to Skipton
Williams's Later Years

Tenth Generation - William Petyt of Storiths      

  William Petyt ‘of Storithes’, the father of Isabella, William and Sylvester was the son of Christopher Petyt of Storiths [1] . He lived at Storithes near Bolton Abbey, and was probably a yeoman farmer.

It would appear that William Petyt was of the yeomanry rather than lesser gentry stock as in the grant of arms to his son William Petyt in 1658 he is described as ‘beinge borne of good and honest parentage’ [2] .

William Petyt was the eldest son of Christopher Petyt of Storithes. He had at least two younger brothers, Christopher and Anthony. He may also have had a younger brother Henry Petty. Henry marries Mary Foster in 1616, but no further trace of their family has been found [24] .

The Pettys of Orton, Westmoreland

William Petty's younger brother Christopher, married Elizabeth Birkbeck of Orton in Westmorland [25] . The Birkbecks had held land in Orton in Westmorland since the reign of Elizabeth I [26] . Petty or Orton Old Hall was a low two storeyed building [27] . Over the front door appear the initials and date, G.B. 1604 M.B., commemorating the rebuilding by George Birkbeck. During the 17th century the Hall was purchased by the Petty family. A panel over a fireplace bears Christopher's arms, disallowed by Dugdale, viz.: three castles with a pair of compasses, together with the initials and date C.M.P. 1689 [28] .

Christopher and Elizabeth had five children, four daughters and one son Christopher [29] . Three daughters died in childhood, but Mary Petyt the youngest married Robert Wilkinson [30] . The eldest son Christopher married twice, most of his children surviving from his second marriage to Mary Wilkinson [31] . Christopher and Mary had five daughters. Their eldest daughter Elizabeth married a Mr. Binns, their second daughter Mary married a Mr.Fountaine and their youngest daughter Jane married an Isaac Ball [32] . Mary Petyt, 'daughter of my cousin Mr. Christopher Petyt, late of Orton Hall in Westmorland' was left £5 in the will of William Petyt of London [33] .Mary was also left £10 in the will of Sylvester Petyt in 1719 [34] . It is not clear why Mary was favoured in this way and her other sisters were not, but in 1725 all the sisters and their mother Mary were given monies in Sylvester Petyt's Charity [35] .

Christopher Petyt died in 1702, but his widow Mary held onto Orton Hall for her eight year old son Christopher [36] . In 1705 William Petyt of London, left £50 in his will for the education of 'Christopher Petyt son of my deceased cousin Christopher Petyt of Orton in Westmorland, Gent' [37] . Christopher Petyt would only have been eleven years old and this money may have been used to train him as an attorney at law. In 1719 Christopher Petyt was also left £50 by his father's cousin Sylvester Petyt of Barnard's Inn [38] . On 3 November, 1721, Mary Petty conveyed to dower and thirds in Orton Hall in favour of her son Christopher [39] . This Christopher was a lawyer and lived for at time prior to his death at Skipton Castle. He also acted as the Yorkshire agent of the Trustees of Silvester Petyt’s Charity. In 1720, a Christopher Petyt is recorded as the Steward of Lord Thanet at Skipton Castle, and this may be the same man. He was married in about 1723 to a lady named Elizabeth and their daughter, also named Elizabeth, was baptised at Skipton Church on August 1st 1724 [40] .Christopher died and is buried at Ilkley in 1728 [41] .

The Pettys of Cawder House

Anthony Pettie settled at Calder or Cawder House in Skipton. This area is partially in Skipton Parish and partially in Kildwick Parish [42] . Anthony Petty married Mary Jowett in 1615 in Keighley [43] . Anthony and his wife Mary had a family of eight children of whom four sons, John, Christopher, Richard and Anthony and two daughters Anne and Elinor survived childhood [44] . Anthony was buried in 1638 and his wife Mary was buried in 1669 [45] .

Anthony's eldest son John Petty married Martha Airton and they had a family of six children of whom five sons, Anthony, John, Christopher, William and Thomas survived infancy
[46] .Anthony Petty's third son Richard Petty married Anna Brigg in Kildwick Parish in 1659 [47] .They had one son Christopher Petty [48] .Richard was buried in 1673, described as a carpenter of Sutton [49] .

Anthony Petty of Cawder Houses' youngest son Anthony moved from Skipton to Shelf in Coley Parish near Wakefield by 1660 [50] . This Anthony Petty had three sons Christopher, Richard and Anthony, and three daughters, Mary, Ellen and Deborah. Anthony died in 1699 but all of his children were beneficiaries of Sylvester Petyt's Trust in 1725. Christopher Petty of Shelf is recorded as having five children in 1725, but only two are named, Ellen and John. Christopher was given £5 and both his children, Ellen, who was lame, and John, who was blind, were give £5 each [51] . A third child of Christopher's, also called Christopher, was paid £7 to be put out as an apprentice [52] . His son John was apprenticed in 1731 [61] . Christopher's brother Richard Petty married and had a family of three sons William, John and Richard and three daughters, Anne, Alice and Margaret [54] . Richard was given £5 by the Petyt Trust, and his sons John and Richard were given £7 to be put out as an apprentice [55] . Anthony's son Anthony Petty had eight children by 1725 and was also given £5 by the charity [56] . Five of his children, Anne, Anthony, Abraham John and Thomas were also put out as apprentices and given £7 each [57] . Anthony's children David Petty and Deborah Hudson were also given £5 [58] . Anthony's daughter Mary is described as having a large family of six children as is her sister Ellen. Of these two only Mary was a beneficiary of Petyt's charity. Mary received £5 and her son Samuel was given £7 and put out as an apprentice [59] .

William Petyt of Storithes

William Petyt married twice, but he did have an adulterous liaison with an Alice Coates in 1615 [60] . William had one daughter as a result of this affair, Jane Coates. His first wife was Mary Holmes whom he married about 1627 at Skipton [3] . By her he had at least one daughter, Elizabeth [4] . Elizabeth lived to adulthood and married Richard Mitchell [5] . It may have been at this time that William's wife Mary passed away. Neither the Parish registers nor Bishops Transcripts are available for 1631 and it is highly likely that Mary died in 1631 as a result of complications in childbirth.

William Petyt married secondly Maria Petty, in April 1632 in Bolton Abbey [7] . Mary Petty was the daughter of Thomas Petty, of Embsay, and these Petty’s may have been distant relatives [8] . Maria, or Mary, Petty married William as her second husband. Mary Petty had first married Stephen Catterson in Skipton on 9 October 1615, and was widowed nine years later [9] . She had two children by her first marriage, Margaret and Thomas, and a third child, Anne from an intended marriage, and it is highly probable that they joined her in her new home [10] . Margaret would have been twelve years old, her brother eight, and Anne five, when their mother remarried. and joined their step-sister Elizabeth, aged about one.

The Move to Skipton

 After initially living in Storithes, William Petty and his family moved to Skipton and took up residence at the Red Lion Inn where William lived for the rest of his life. In 1649 a ‘William Petty and Mary his wife’ paid seven pounds for ‘one burgage with stables, barn and garden’ for  ‘Thomas Catterson her son’ [11] . It would therefore appear that Thomas’s mother, Mary, and his stepfather, William Petty, were paying the rent for him. In 1649 Thomas would have been aged about twenty-four and able to take charge of his lands himself, so this seems a little strange. If, however, the Cattersons had fought on the side of the Royalists and the Petyts had been parliamentarian supporters in the English Civil wars this may have been a sensible way to safeguard Thomas’s patrimony [12] . In 1652, William Pettye paid ten pounds a year in rent to Lady Anne Clifford for a house and grounds in Skipton [13] . As the wage of a servant would have been about ten to twenty shillings a year at the time this would have been quite a substantial house. This may have been the house situated on the site of the Red Lion today.

In 1660 a William Petty and Thomas Catterson were both jointly responsible for a rent of nineteen pounds paid ‘upon the rack’ to the Lord of Skipton Castle for a tenement [14] . William Petyt’s daughter Isabella married a Francys Catterson son of Thomas Catterson and their marriage might have been a union of land rights in the centre of Skipton. It is, however possible that the Thomas Catterson named in the rent rolls was the son of Mary Catterson, nee Petty, William Petty’s stepson. However, in 1660 Thomas Catterson would have been aged about thirty-five, and of an age to share this rent with his stepfather and was more than old enough to manage his own property by himself [15] . In 1660, moreover, William Petyt, Thomas’s stepfather would have been dead for at least a year. This would mean that it was William Petyt, the younger, half-brother of Thomas Catterson, who was sharing the rent for properties in Skipton in 1660. This may have been a joint venture.

Alternatively, the tenement may have part of Mary Petty’s wedding settlement on her marriage to Stephen Catterson, in which case her second husband, William Petty, would have administered the dower property for her, on her death when it would have reverted to Stephen Catterson’s family. The ‘dower’ property seems to have been centred on the plot of land where the Red Lion now stands, and this tenement was later in the hands of Isabella and Francys Catterson's descendants. Mary Petty’s first husband, Stephen Catterson, and Francys Catterson’s father, Thomas Catterson, were brothers. When Mary and Williams daughter, Isabella Petty, later married Francys Catterson, she was actually marrying one of her stepbrother’s cousins.

William's Later Years

            William and Mary Petyt had a large family of nine children. Their first son William died an infant in March1633 and was buried in Bolton Abbey [6] . Only approximate dates of birth for two of the boys are known with any certainty, William, born about 1637, and Sylvester, born about 1639 [16] . Between these two sons Henry Petyt, the second eldest son was born, probably around 1638 [17] . In the early seventeenth century children tended to be born at roughly eighteen-month to two-year intervals, after the elder child had been weaned. As William was the eldest son of the family, and allowing at least two years between each of the first five children, William and Mary Petyt’s first child probably arrived in 1632/3 [18] . If this is so, then William Petyt, ‘of Storithes’, must have been born at the latest in 1609, and at the earliest in 1599, making William between the ages of twenty and thirty when he married. William Petyt died, and was buried, at Bolton Abbey in 1659 [19] . As his children William and Sylvester lived until they were aged between sixty and seventy, I think that a date nearer to 1599 than 1609 is preferable for the birth of William Petyt ‘of Storithes. This would indicate that he was nearer thirty than twenty when he married Mary Petty.

It is unknown what affect the death of their father William, ‘of Storithes’, had on the twenty two year old William and eighteen year old Sylvester. It is possible that William Petyt had suffered from a long illness or even died in 1658, as from April to September 1658 all three eldest sons, William, Henry and Sylvester applied and were granted coats of arms by the Norroy Herald [20] . A year after his father’s death William Petyt entered Cambridge, as a ‘lesser pensioner’ [21] . Their father’s death did not prevent either William or Sylvester from pursuing careers at the bar which may indicate that their father had made provision for them in his will, or that a relative provided for them [22] . As two of the youngest sons, they would have been presumably at a disadvantage in the inheritance of their father’s estates, their future success indicates that their family was one of some little substance in local Yorkshire circles. Their eldest brother Christopher probably inherited the substance of any estate that the family had, and their other brother Henry may have taken charge of the Petyt patrimony at Storithes. If, as postulated above, Christopher Petyt moved to Kent with his wife, this may indicate that the Petyt family had some estates in Kent as well, but this has yet to be proved [23] . William’s youngest daughter, Isabella Petyt, had already married Francys Catterson in 1654 and would have been well provided for by her husband.



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[1] Most of what follows in based on Dawson’s account in the History of Skipton on p.247.. Dawson refers to an article by Mrs. G.A.Patmore in the Craven Pioneer, a biography of the Petyts, which may have further information. I have yet to check this source.The identification of Christopher as William's father is based on Christopher's will.

[2] See YAJ Vol18, p. 349.

[3] William Petty married Mary Holmes of Bolton-in- Skipton in 1628. Pavers marriages Licenses.

[4] Information from Anthony Petyt by correspondence.

[6]   William Petyt was buried on 20 March 1632. Bolton Abbey Bishops Transcripts.

[7] William Pettye and Marie Catterson married on 9 April 1632 in Bolton Abbey. Bolton Abbey Parish Registers before 1689. .

[8] See Dawson

[9] Mary Petty and Stephen Catterson had married on 9 October 1615. Stephen Catterson of Skipton was buried on 30 December 1625. Skipton Parish registers.

[10] Margaret was christened on 24 November 1620, Thomas was christened on 15 September 1624. Skipton Parish registers.

[11] See Rowley Archive at Skipton Library quoted form a Valuation of Skipton taken on 20/21 March 1649.

[12] See above.

[13] See Dawson, History p. 200.

[14] See above.

[15] If, however the Petyts had supported Parliament and the Cattersons had fought for the King in the Civil Wars, such a division of the property would have enabled the property to stay in the hands of the Cattersons. Embsay and Storiths were in the hands of the Parliamentarians in the Civil Wars. See Spence.

[16] See above.

[17] See YAJ Vol.18 p. 350-351.

[18] William and Mary were granted a license to marry in about April/May 1632. See Paver’s Marriage Licenses p.9.

[19] Dawson. I have yet to check the Monumental Inscriptions and gravestones at Bolton Abbey which may reveal further clues. 

[20] See YAJ Vol 18, pp. 349-151.

[21] Dawson.

[22] I have yet to find this William Petyt’s will.

[23] See below for details found in Kent. It does not appear from the Visitations of Kent that the family lineage survived for long in Kent, if Christopher moved there at all.

[24] Henry Petty marries Mary Foster on 11 April 1616. Mary is buried on 20 October 1656. Henry is buried on 22 March 1664. Skipton Parish Registers.

[25] Information through correspondence with Anthony Petyt. I have yet to prove this.

[26] Burns History of Westmorland

[27] Victoria County History

[28] These arms were those of the Masons.

[29] The following information is from Anthony Petyt by correspondence.

[30] Elizabeth Petyt born about 1652, died 1656 in Orton. Rebecca Petyt born 1654, died 1656, Bridgett Petyt born 1656, died 1656. Mary Petyt born about 1660 married 26 June 1698 in Crosby Ravensworth Robert Wilkinson. They had an only child William Wilkinson. Information from Anthony Petyt by correspondence.

[31] Christopher Petyt born about 1650 in Orton, Westmorland. He married first Jane Kennion on 7 May 1674 in Ravenstonedale. She died in 1684. Christopher then married Mary Wilkinson on 5 February 1684/5 in Orton. Christopher died in 1702 in Orton. Information from Anthony Petyt.

[32] Christopher and Mary had Elizabeth Petyt born 1686, who married a Binns. Mary Petyt born 1688 who married a Fountaine. Sarah Petyt born 1690. Jane Petyt born 1697 who married Isaac Ball. Rachell Petyt born 1699, died 1700 in Orton. Information from Anthony Petyt.

[33] Will of William Petyt, 1705.

[34] Will of Sylvester Petyt 1719.

[35] Mary Pettyt, widow of Christopher Pettyt the Testator’s cousin german, aged 70 years', and their daughters Elizabeth, Mary, Sarah and 'Jane, wife of Isaac Ball.' They were all given £10 each Sylvester Petyt's Charity 1725.

[36] Christopher Petyt was born in 1692

[37] Will of William Petyt, 1705.

[38] Will of Sylvester Petyt 1719.

[39] Their son Christopher Petyt was born in 1692 and married an Elizabeth. Their daughter Elizabeth Petyt was born in 1724 and married William Fleming of Rydal on 10 September 1745. Information from Anthony Petyt.

[40] Skipton Parish Registers.

[41] The Hall then passed to a branch of the Garnett family, of whom one William devised the property to the right heirs of Mary Holme and John Garnett Holme, who sold it to Dr. Thomas Gibson, the author of Legends and Historical Notes.

[42] On modern ordnance survey maps Cawder Hall farm can be seen between Skipton and Keighley, near Snaygill.

[43] Anthony Pettye of the parish of Skipton & Marye Jowett of the pishe of Bradford married 11 Dec 1615. Keighley Parish Registers. Mary Jowett was christened on 24 February 1599 daughter of William Jowett in Hepstonstall. IGI.

[44] Marie was christened on 10 September 1616 and buried on 25 July 1632, John was christened on 13 October 1618, Ann was christened on 19 June 1627, Christopher was christened on 16 January 1620, an unbaptised son was buried in 1622, Richard was christened on 11 July 1624, Elinor was christened on 1 May 1629 and Anthony was christened on 5 February 1634. Skipton Parish Registers.

[45] Anthony Petty was buried 6 February 1638 and is described as of Cawder. Mary Petty, widow of Cawder was buried on 8 November 1669. Skipton Parish Registers.

[46] . John Petty married Martha Airton on 3 June 1649 in Skipton. They had Mary christened on 4 January 1651 and buried on 23 April 1661, Anthony christened on 24 October 1651, John christened on 12 April 1655, Christopher christened on 5 October 1658, William christened on 17 August 1661 and Thomas christened 20 May 1665. Skipton Parish registers.

[47] Richard Petty married Anna Brigg on 10 September 1659. Kildwick Parish registers.

[48] Christopher Petty was christened on 6 February 1660. Kildwick Parish Registers.

[49] 14 June 1673 Rich. Petty Carpentarius de Sutton. Kildwick Parish Registers.

[50] Anthony Petty son of Anthony of Cawder House died in Coley in 1699. His son Anthony was born in 1660 in Shelf in Coley Parish. http://www.terrysancestors.co.uk/pafg148.htm#5022

[51] Chr. Pettyt of Shelf, a poor relation and has 5 children. To Chr. Pettyt of Shelf, son of Anth. Pettyt, senior, deceased.---£5.To Ellen and John, his children, the one lame the other blind.---£5. John, son of the said Chr. Pettyt, blind. Trustee Accounts 1725.

[52] Chr. Pettyt, son of Chr. Pettyt of Shelf, son of Anth. Pettyt, deceased. Trustee Accounts 1725.

[54] Richard Petty the elder was born in Shelf 1690. His children Ann was born on 19 May 1723,Alice PETTY was born on 6 Nov 1720, Martha PETTY was born on 21 Aug 1726. All born in Coley.See http://www.terrysancestors.co.uk/pafg148.htm#5022

[55] Rich. Pettyt, another son of the said Anth. Pettyt, senior. To Rich. Pettyt, another son of the said Anth. Pettyt.---£5. John, son of Rich. Pettyt, another son of the said Anth. Pettyt. Trustees Accounts 1725.1727 Thomas Wilkinson, Shoemaker, with Richard Petyt. Petyt Trust.

[56] Anth. Pettyt, son of the said Anth. Senior, has 8 children. To Anth. Pettyt, son of the said Anth. Pettyt.---£5.Trustees Accounts 1725.

[57] Anne, daughter of Anth. Pettyt, son of Anth. Pettyt, deceased. Anth. Son of the said Anth. Pettyt, son of Anth. Pettyt, deceased. Abraham, another son of the said Anth. Pettyt. Trustees Accounts 1725. Abraham Petyt was apprenticed with James Watkins, clothier. Anthony Petyt was apprenticed with William Wood, Clothier. 1731 Thomas Harrison, Cordwainer, with John son of Anthony Petyt. 1734 David Armitage with Thomas son of Anthony Petyt. Petyt Trust. 1727 Ann Petyt was apprenticed with Richard Leigh in Beamlsey. Petyt Trust.

[58] Deborah Hudson, another daughter of the said Anth. Pettyt,senior.To Deborah Hudson, another daughter of the said Anth. Pettyt.---£5.David Pettyt, another son of the said Anth. Pettyt, senior. To David Pettyt, another son of the said Anth. Pettyt.---£5.Trustees Accounts 1725.

[59] Ellen, daughter of Anth. Pettyt, senior, deceased, has 6 children. Mary, daughter of Anth. Pettyt, senior, has 6 children. To Mary Pettyt, daughter of Anth. Pettyt, senior, deceased.---£5.Samuel, son of Mary Pettyt, daughter of Anth. Pettyt, deceased. Trustees Accounts 1725.

[60] Jane Coates was christened on 25 April 1615, daughter of Anne Coates and William petty. Kildwick Parish Registers. William may also have married an Alice Holmes in 1616 in Addingham. See Addingham Parish Registers.

[61] John Waterhouse, Weaver, with John son of Christopher Petyt.1731. Petyt Trust.

[62] Michael Horner discovered the cave in May 1837. His employer Jackson entered the cave on 20th June 1837. This was the date that Victoria acceded to the throne. In 1896 George H. Brown of Settle,

[63] Thomas Horner is also described as a painter and paperhanger. 1857 directory.

[64] Thomas Horner married An



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