See also

Sarah LUCAS ( -1817)

1. Sarah LUCAS, daughter of Richard LUCAS ( - ), married John WILSON on 21 December 1761. She died on 7 June 1817.


John WILSON, son of Joshua WILSON of Holmfirth (bap.1683, d.1768) and Mary UNK ( - ), was baptised on [Julian] 30 January 1730. He was a He was in the linen trade. John Wilson bought the Seacroft Estate, which remained in the family for some generations after. He died on 24 April 1821. He and Sarah LUCAS had the following children:



John WILSON (1767- )


Richard WILSON ( -1814)


Lydia WILSON ( -1838)

Second Generation

2. John WILSON, son of John WILSON and Sarah LUCAS, was born on 24 February 1767. He appeared in the census. He married Martha BASSETT on 17 October 1798.


... of Seacroft Hall and Cliffe Hall, nr. Darlington.

Seacroft Village is of ancient foundation. It is listed in the Domesday Book and has the oldest remaining village green in England but, in fact, has a much older history. The Venerable Bede records the battle of Winwaed between King Oswy's forces and the, unsuccessful, invading Mercians under King Penda. Bede gives this as taking place near Seacroft on the 15th November 655AD. The name (originally Saecroft) is of Saxon origin - sae meaning pool or lake and croft meaning enclosure or farm.

After the Norman invasion, Seacroft (as part of the parish of Whitkirk) was granted to Gilbert de Laci and it remained in the de Laci family until 1602, when James 1st granted it to George Shiletto whence it passed into the ownership of his wife and then to her second husband Sir Ralph Hansby. He sold it to James Nelthorpe of Windsor in 1656.

In 1643 a battle between Royalists for Charles I and a group of Roundheads under Sir Thomas Fairfax, who were en-route from Tadcaster to Leeds, took place at Seacroft. Fairfax was obliged to retreat across Bramham moor.

St James's Church was built in 1845 and the Wilson family, contemporary owners of Seacroft Hall, were major contributors to the cost.

Seacroft Hall itself was thought to have been built by the Shilettos in about 1605. By the 19th century, the Manor of Seacroft was in the hands of the Wilson family. Darcy Bruce Wilson (1851 to 1936) was the the last owner of Seacroft Hall, which became derelict after his death. Though a listed building, it was demolished in 1954 and a High School now occupies its site. All that remains now of the Hall is the Lodge (gatehouse) on York Road, recently used as part of a Council depot but now derelict. The illustration is a photograph of the Hall, taken about 1880, showing the lake which was latterly called the Fish Pond before being drained in the 1950's.


Eldest son

There exists from 1840 a draft colliery lease relating to the mines and collieries of coal under the land at Seacroft and Austhorpe. John Wilson and Richard Bassett Wilson his son made this arrangement with Edward Waud of Chester Court, Cheshire. The full details are in archives in Cheshire. The lease was for a reversionary term of 21 years at ?00 per annum for every acre worked with a minimum o f ?200 per annum.


There exists from 1840 a draft colliery lease relating to the mines and collieries of coal under the land at Seacroft and Austhorpe. John Wilson and Richard Bassett Wilson his son made this arrangement with Edward Waud of Chester Court, Cheshire. The full details are in archives in Cheshire. John Wilson of Nether Thong is listed as a Woolen Manufacturersin Kirkburton Directory of Trades and Professions for 1834.


Martha BASSETT, daughter of Richard BASSETT of Glentworth (1744-1805) and Martha ARMITAGE ( - ), was born in 1776 in Glentworth. She was baptised on 27 September 1776. She died on 18 February 1869. She and John WILSON had the following children:



Richard Bassett WILSON (1806-1867)


John WILSON (1808-1891)


Jane Lydia WILSON (1815?-1898)


3. Richard WILSON of Springfield, son of John WILSON and Sarah LUCAS, died on 30 July 1814.


On Sunday last, after a lingering illness, borne with fortitude and resignation, Mr. Richd. Wilson, of Spring Field, second son of John Wilson, Esq. of Camp Hall.


4. Lydia WILSON, daughter of John WILSON and Sarah LUCAS, died on 26 January 1838.


Yesterday, suddenly, at her residence, Little Woodhouse, in this town, Lydia, last surviving daughter of the late John Wilson, Esq. of Camp Hall.

Third Generation

5. Richard Bassett WILSON, son of John WILSON and Martha BASSETT, was born on 3 April 1806. He was a Magistrate and Landed Proprietor. He married Anne FITZGERALD on 5 December 1839. He died on 18 February 1867.


...of Cliffe Hall, Darlington, N.Yorks. The 1851 census lists him as a "Magistrate and Landed Proprietor occupying 60 acres of land employing 12 outdoor labourers and their wives. In the house at the time was a French governess aged 43 and ten servants. In 1861 there were again ten servants and a governess, but also two gardeners, a dressmaker, and a couple more staff.

Note on Cliffe Church, and its connection with the Wilson family:

Cliffe Church, which is dedicated to All Saints, is of unknown foundation, but probably dates from Saxon times. The style of the present edifice is Early English. The fabric was thoroughly restored in 1855, when a "Priest's door," a piece of Norman work, was preserved on account of its antiquity. The tower is massive, and contains three bells, each of which bears the date 1664. The clock was presented by Mrs. Wilson, of Sea Croft Hall in 1841, and the east window, representing the four Evangelists, by Miss Sarah Wilson. There are also two stained glass windows in the south aisle to the memory of Richard Bassett Wilson, of Cliffe Hall, and Anne, his widow. The latter, representing the Raising of Jairus' Daughter, is a beautiful piece of work by Meyer, of London and Munich. There are some other stained glass memorials, and also several tablets to the Witham family, former lords of the manor, who were seated at Cliffe Hall from the middle of the 16th to the early part of the present century, when the estate was sold to the late John Wilson, Esq., grandfather of the present Colonel J. G. Wilson, The roof of the nave is open, with four clerestory windows on each side. The pulpit and font, both of white stone, were the work of Mr. Priestman, of Darlington, and a handsome, carved oaken screen and reredos, erected, in 1876, by Colonel Wilson [Richard Murrough Wilson], were executed by Henry Harwood, of Manfield. The lectern, also of oak, was the gift of Miss Yeoman, In the churchyard are several old tombstones, supposed to belong to the 13th and 14th centuries.


Manfleld School A Glimpse into the Past,..

In the 1850's school building was taking place all over England and Wales. In the countryside the schools were predominantly Anglican, in the towns Methodist and to a lesser extent Roman Catholic, The reasons for this were varied. There was a genuine belief in the value of education and a humane impulse to better the lot of everyone.
In addition Victorian industry and farming had a diminishing need for child Labour. Children - urchins are what they were called - were becoming a nuisance, especially in the towns. Schools had a custodial as well as educational purpose, which in part accounts for their church like architecture with high windows. Manfield is no exception to this development.
In 1858 Richard Bassett Wilson, the then owner of Cliffe Hall and Estate gave one rood, two perches of land and an endowment for building Manfield Church of England School. It was at the same time that the Church was restored. The new building replaced a Dame's School, which stood on the site of what is now Four Oaks.
Its purpose or "Mission Statement' was clear. It was ' for the education of children and adults, or children only of the labouring, manufacturing and other poor classes in the Parish of Manfield.' This meant the education given was to be elementary, the 3 R's, reading/writing, 'rithmetic and religion. Children from better off backgrounds would attend Grammar Schools where Latin and Greek were pursued if not taught - Richmond, Kirby Hill ("closed before the First World War) Polam Hall and the Darlington Grammar Schools were the nearest.
The Minister or his Curate was to be in charge of the school, supported by a body of Church Wardens who were to ntribute 20 shillings a year to the upkeep of the school. When funding members resigned or died they could be replaced by others who were qualified by membership of the Anglican Church and subscription of at least 10 shillings a year, which bought one vote. Up to a maximum of six votes could be purchased for a donation of three pounds.

There is nothing in the original trust deeds about the qualifications of the teachers apart from the headlined fact that ' the Master or Mistress must be a member of the Church of England' The grounds for sacking a teacher were clear - 'defective or unsound instruction of the children in religion' The emphasis on the religious worthiness of the teacher was, in part, due to the ferment in the Victorian Church. Charles Darwin was to publish ' The Origin of Species' in 1859. The ideas it contained about species evolving over tens of millions of years had been common for at least thirty years - there was great interest in fossil collecting, an activity undertaken by scholarly gentlemen. The view that man shared a common line of ancestry with the apes challenged orthodox religious teaching which one instance dogmatically asserted that the world had been created in 4004 BC. It is doubtful whether these debates reached Manfield and if they did it is a near certainty that they were not mentioned in the village school. Of more interest is a photograph from 1883 showing Miss Sophie Haines aged 23 with 30 school children. Those identified are Harry, Esther and Mary Boyd, the generation of the great grandparents and grandparents to Mrs. Graveney's family. There is also Mary Gowton and Jack Tweddle. Others have not been identified but no doubt have descendants living In the area.
Children left school early in those days. In 1870 school was compulsory till 12. In 1902 the leaving age was raised to 13, in 1918 to 14. In 1944 the age went up to 15 and in 1973 to 16. Several villagers still remember the endless school gardening they were given to do when there was little for older pupils to do, especially in the post war years when books were in short supply.
In the mid 1950's the school ceased to be an all age elementary school.

Those who passed the eleven plus or 'scholarship' transferred to Richmond Girls High School or Boys' Grammar School or to the Richmond Secondary Modern - now combined as the Richmondshire School and one of the highest achieving in the country.
Manfield Church of England School still educates children aged 5 - 11 in a Christian ethos and has been praised in OFSTED and other reports for the all round achievement of its pupils.
When the school opened the telephone had been invented, but was not in use, there was no electricity, the car was at least thirty years away, the modern bicycle did not exist and manpower meant just that - a lifetime of heavy physical work in farms or in factories for men, and for women, long hours in domestic service or shops. In 2003, 145 years since Manfield School was founded a pupil at eleven is not half way through his/her education as the effective leaving age is now 18 because of Sixth Form Education and Vocational Training Schemes.


From a History of Manfield:

.... the following years have been difficult to trace, therefore the next record found was that of 1751, when the village belonged to Lord Marmion, the owner of Tanfield. Then, just over a hundred years later, in 1857, Richard Basset Wilson became owner. In 1823, when Edward Bains published his History Directory an Gazeteer of the county of York, he had this to say about Manfield: Manfield, in the wapentake of Gilling East, and liberty of Richmondshire: 9 miles north of Richmond; a parochial village; the church is an ancient structure with a tower steeple, and is dedicated to St Michael. The living is a rectory, in the patronage of the King. Here is a small free school, with an endowment of 10l. per annum. Population 440.


Cambridge University Alumni

Richard Bassett Wilson
Entered: Oct. 22, 1824
Died: 23 Mar 1867
More Information: M.A. 1833, incorp. from Oxford. [Eldest s. of John, Esq., of Seacroft Hall and Cliffe Hall, Yorks. (and Isabella, dau. of Richard Bassett). B. Apr. 3, 1806.] Matric. from University College, Oxford, Oct. 22, 1824, age 18; B.A. (Oxford) 1829; M.A. (Oxford) 1833. Adm. at Lincoln's Inn, 1829. Of Cliffe Hall, Yorks. Married, Dec. 5, 1839, Anne, dau. of William Fitzgerald, Esq., of Adelphi, Co. Clare, and had issue. Died Mar. 23, 1867. Brother of John (1825). (Al. Oxon.; Inns of Court; Burke, L.G., which gives Feb. 18 for date of death; G. Mag., 1867, I. 683.).


He studied at University College, Oxford and then at Lincoln's Inn for the law. The 1851 census lists him as a "Magistrate and Landed Proprieter occupying 60 acres of land employing 12 outdoor labourers and their wives. In the house at the time was a French governess aged 43 and ten servants. In 1861 there were again ten servants and a governess, but also two gardeners, a dressmaker, and a couple more staff". He performed the duties of a typical man of the gentry, including endowing a local school and helping the poor. There are two stained glass windows in the local Manfield Church dedicated to the memory of Wilson and his wife.


Anne FITZGERALD, daughter of William H.W. FITZGERALD (1789-1872) and Juliana Cecilia FITZGERALD ( - ), was born. She appeared in the census. She died on 11 July 1877. She and Richard Bassett WILSON had the following children:



Juliana Cecilia WILSON (1840-1898). Juliana was born on 11 September 1840. She married Thomas Charles Johnson SOWERBY on 14 September 1865. She died on 15 November 1898.


John Gerald WILSON (1841-1902). John was born on 29 December 1841 in Yorkshire, Man[s]field. He was a Colonel in the Army. He married Angelina Rosa Geraldine O'BRIEN on 4 June 1873. He died on 8 March 1902.


William Henry FITZGERALD-WILSON (1844-1932). William was born on 22 April 1844. He was a Barrister. He married Isabella Olave STANHOPE on 21 November 1885. He died on 17 April 1932.


Mary Lucia WILSON (1844?-1930). Mary was born in 1844 (estimated) in Kilnarsola, Co. Clare, Ireland. She died on 20 January 1930.


Richard Bassett WILSON (1846-1901). Richard was born in 1846 in Cliffe Hall, Piercebridge. He was a Colonel in the Army. He died on 21 March 1901.


Augusta Jane WILSON (1848- ). Augusta was born on 28 May 1848. She married Thomas Robins BOLITHO on 30 June 1870 in Westminster.


Emily Gertrude WILSON (aft1851-1928). Emily was born after 1851. She married James Fitzgerald BANNATYNE on 17 December 1878. She died on 10 October 1928.


Maurice Fitzgerald WILSON (1858-1945). Maurice was born on 4 February 1858 in London. He was a Civil Engineer. He was confirmed on 20 October 1874. He married Florence May BADNALL on 2 August 1884. He died on 23 December 1945. He was buried in December 1945.


6. John WILSON of Seacroft Hall, co. Yorks, son of John WILSON and Martha BASSETT, was born on 1 January 1808. He married Anna Maria Isabella MACLEOD on 13 April 1846. He died on 29 January 1891.


John Wilson was born in 1808 and died at Seacroft Hall on 29th January 1891. He was educated at Rugby School and Trinity College, Cambridge and went on to become a JP for the West Riding of Yorkshire and a Captain in the 2nd West Yorkshire Militia. The Seacroft estate was bought by John Wilson Snr, of Camp Hall, Water Lane (1731-1821).


Anna Maria Isabella MACLEOD, daughter of Roderick MACLEOD of Cadboll, co. Ross, MP ( -1903), died on 26 December 1903. She and John WILSON had the following children:



Roderick John WILSON (1847-1881). Roderick was born on 15 April 1847. He died on 3 June 1881.


Darcy Bruce WILSON (1851-1936). Darcy was born on 17 June 1851 in Ledbury, Worcestershire. He died in 1936.


Arthur Henry WILSON (1853- ). Arthur was born on 24 April 1853. He married Alice Louisa WAINWRIGHT on 12 November 1885.


Constance WILSON ( -1938). Constance died on 1 December 1938.


Louisa WILSON (c. 1862-1948). Louisa was born circa 1862 in France. She died in 1948.


7. Jane Lydia WILSON, daughter of John WILSON and Martha BASSETT, was born in 1815 (estimated). She married William SPOONER on 6 October 1841 in Whitkirk, Co. York. She died on 17 August 1898 in 8 Norham Gardens, Oxford.


William SPOONER of Walton Lodge, nr. Stafford, JP, son of Venerable William SPOONER (1778-1857) and Anna Maria Sydney O'BRIEN ( -1846), was born on 18 July 1811. He was a Barrister-at-Law, Judge of County Court for N. Staffs. He died on 19 May 1880. He and Jane Lydia WILSON had the following children:



William Archibald SPOONER ( - )


Mary Anne SPOONER (1842- ). Mary was born on 30 October 1842 in 17 Chapel Street, Belgrave Square, London. She was baptised in Elmdon.


Henry Maxwell SPOONER (1846-1929). Henry was born on 9 May 1846. He was an Archdeacon. He died on 1 April 1929.


Janet Sarah SPOONER ( - )


Catherine Barbara SPOONER ( - )


George Archibald SPOONER (1879-1879). George was born on 11 July 1879. He died on 3 August 1879.


Barbara SPOONER (1881-1881). Barbara was born on 28 January 1881 in Keble Terrace, Oxford. She died on 29 January 1881.