Midgleys of the Wolds

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Midgleys on Wolds 2

On the 6th of December 1790 Richard Midgley married Hannah Nichols at the church in the little village of Kirkby Gryndlyth on the Yorkshire Wolds.

His descendants spread out to the surrounding villages throughout the 19th century and the following pages give some information about them and their lives.

His own parentage is still to be finally confirmed; he does not appear to have been born in the village and the best candidate so far comes from Sheriff Hutton - but further research is required.

Hannah Nichols was the daughter of Joseph Nichols and Hannah Hicks from Hutton Bushel on the road from Pickering to Scarborough.

So why were they there?

The answer is that this was a time of huge development and change at the nearby great estate of Sledmere, of which Kirkby Gryndlyth was part.

Christopher Sykes (1749-1801), who was MP for Beverley 1784-90, made a fortuitous marriage in 1770 to Elizabeth Egerton of Tatton whose inheritance of 17,000 from her father was hugely augmented by her inheriting her brother's Cheshire estates and another 60,000 from her aunt in 1780. Christopher Sykes sold off shipping interests and government stock and he and his wife expanded the Sledmere estate. They bought and enclosed huge areas of land for cultivation and built two new wings to the house.

The grounds were landscaped to a plan by Capability Brown and 1000 acres of trees planted. The entire village of Sledmere was relocated. Sir Christopher left a vast estate of nearly 30,000 acres and a large mansion set in its own 200 acre parkland which survives in the family to the present day. This was one of the largest estates in the country in its day.

Both of them are described as being Servants and so they were probably working on one of the farms in the village.

One of the features of life in rural East Yorkshire were the Hiring fairs. These happened once a year at Martinmas when single farm servants would line up to bargain for positions for the following year with farmers and their wives where they would ‘live in’ at the farm on bed and board with their wages paid at the end of the year. These occurred at places such as York, Malton and Driffield and so it is quite reasonable that they could have come to the area via one of these.

Find out more about Richard Midgley


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