Descendants of Robert BURNETT of Eryholme


1. Robert BURNETT

Robert BURNETT of the Hill House, parish of Eryholme, left a will dated 4 Jul 1557. The main beneficiaries of the will were his wife Elizabeth, his sons John, William and Robert and his daughters Jane, Elizabeth and Agnes [the order in which they were named in the will]. John was identified later in the will as the eldest son and Jane the eldest daughter. The will also makes it clear that at the time it was written all of these children were under 21yrs old [hence born after 1536].

There were several other named beneficiaries but none were identified as relatives. Mr Thomas MARKINGSELDE Esq. was one of the other beneficiaries and he was also appointed as supervisor of the will, together with Richard BRERE, gentleman. Thomas MARKINGSELDE was obviously Lord of the Manor because the will includes the 'desire' that his mastership be good to Robert BURNETT's wife and children.

The impression one gets is that Robert BURNETT died relatively young. He obviously expected that his wife might marry again and made 'arrangements' for this eventuality in his will. In fact, though his widow Elizabeth lived on for another 34yrs, she did not re-marry. Elizabeth left a will dated in 1586, but not proved until 1592 - she therefore died between those two dates. It is interesting to note that Elizabeth's will identifies sons John, William and Robert, and daughters Jane and Agnes, both of whom were by then married, their surnames being ANDERSON and PENNYMAN respectively. The will makes no mention of a daughter named Elizabeth but a daughter named as *Margaret* METCALFE was a beneficiary. It is possible that Margaret was Elizabeth's daughter from a previous relationship, before she married Robert BURNETT, or another relationship after Robert's death; otherwise the most likely explanation is that daughter Elizabeth was known by the name Margaret.


Elizabeth survived her husband Robert BURNETT by at least 20yrs. She left a will dated 1 Nov 1586, which was not proved until 5 Jun 1592, so died between those two dates. The beneficiaries of the will, in order of mention, were:
Son Robert BURNETT
Son William BURNETT
Daughter Jane ANDERSON
Daughter Agnes PENEMAN (sic)
Ann PENEMAN daughter of son-in-law James PENEMAN
Elizabeth BURNETT daughter of son William
Wife of son William BURNETT (unnamed)
Daughter-in-law Elyn BURNETT
Charles & John BARKER
John ESHE & Jane ESHE his sister, and all the other children of daughter Margaret METCALFE.
Katherine LAWSON
Goddaughters Ann DODSWORTH & Frances HUSBAND

The fact that John & Jane ESHE [ASHE] were children of daughter Margaret METCALFE suggests that Margaret had been previously married to a man named ESHE/ASHE, who died.



John BURNETT was a beneficiary of his father Robert's will dated 4 Jul 1557. The will stated that John was the eldest son and was under 21yrs of age at that time - hence born after 1536.

John BURNETT was also a beneficiary of his mother Elizabeth's will dated 9 Nov 1586

Mr. John BURNETT of Dalton on Tees was a named beneficiary of the will of Robert BURNETT of Dalton on Tees in 1606 and was identified as his brother. John was also charged with responsibilty for the tuition & guardianship of the interests of his brother's eldest son John BURNETT and was a joint supervisor of the will. John's wife was an unnamed beneficiary of the will.

An inquistion post mortem held at Richmond [Yorks] on 6 Aug 1624 following the death of John BURNETT Snr. of Dalton on Tees, gentleman, identified land and property owned by John BURNETT and the jury decided that William BURNETT, brother of the deceased was the 'next heir'. The jury also recorded that at that time William BURNETT was "eighty and two by years" and that on the day he died John BURNETT said that he had no other heir. This suggests that John and his wife had no children - this suggestion reinforced by the terms of his will [see below].

Probate on the will of John BURNETT of Dalton on Tees was granted on 3 Dec 1624 to John BURNETT, son of Robert BURNETT, brother of the deceased, and James PENNYMAN Jnr., the joint executors. An inventory in the sum of £421.14s.8d was presented. The executor James PENNYMAN was the testator's nephew, son of James PENNYMAN of Ormesby who married Agnes BURNETT of Eryholme on 14 Feb 1576/77. Agnes was the testator's sister.

The will was dated 4 Jul 1620 and had the following beneficiaries [in order of mention]:
Unnamed wife - the house in which the testator was living together with all household "stuff" [itemised], land in Dalton and some livestock
Nephew John BURNETT, son of brother Robert BURNETT, deceased - testator's wife's bequests after her death
Brother William BURNETT - £100
William & Thomas BURNETT, sons of brother William BURNETT - £50 each
William BURNETT, grandson of brother William BURNETT - lease which the testator had purchased from his father [not named]
Children of brother Robert BURNETT, deceased [except John as above] - £40 each at age 21yrs or at 18yrs if by then married.
Brother William BURNETT and his heires, for ever - testator's house in Stokesley
Nephew John BURNETT (son of brother Robert BURNETT) and his heires male - land in Dalton on Tees named "Starfurthes Land" [sic]
Robert BURNETT, second son of brother Robert BURNETT - same land in Dalton if John BURNETT had no male heir.
William BURNETT, fourth son of brother Robert BURNETT - same land in Dalton if Robert BURNETT had no male heir.
If none of the sons of Robert BURNETT had a male heir then the land in Dalton would pass to the testator's own "rightful heirs"
Ann ASHLEY - £10
Mary MORLEY - £10
The poor of Dalton £2 per year for 20yrs out of the testator's lease in Dalton to be distributed at Christmas and Easter
The poor of the parish of Croft - £2 to be distributed 20 days after the testator's decease
John SMITHSON - a silver bowl
Ann SMITHSON, wife of above John - £20 promised to her at her marriage plus two silver spoons
Sister ANDERSON [no forename] - one old chest
James PENNYMAN the younger - £20 if he had paid the testator for the horse he had agreed to buy from him [for £20] otherwise not
Nephew John BURNETT - one silver bowl
Niece M[ary]? PENNYMAN - the "least" silver bowl
Niece AYSLIBYE* [sic] - two silver spoons
Niece BRADSHAW - two silver spoons
Niece SCARTAYN [sic] - two silver spoons**
Niece PILLY - two silver spoons ***
Wife - one guilded spoon
All of the testator's godchildren - 2/6d each
All of his servants, except George WRAY - 2/6d each
George WRAY - £1 per year and a suit of clothes
Jane HOWARD - £10
Thomas PILLY appointed supervisor - one old ryall [sic] for his pains.

Witnesses to the will were: William BURNETT, Anthony METCALFE, Leonard LANGCHESTER, John SMITHSON, Thomas KITCHINGS, Robert WATSON and Walter JOHNSON.

*Susan AISLABY, nee BURNETT, was daughter of the testator's brother William.
**Ellen, daughter of testator's sister Agnes PENNYMAN married Alan CERTAIN (sic) of Redcar.
***Mary, dtr of testator's sister Agnes PENNYMAN, married Thomas PILLEY of Skelderskew Grange, parish of Guisborough [Paver's Index has marriage in 1608 at Guisborough or Croft, with a footnote that the marriage took place on 20 Oct 1608 - no location given]

On 1 May 1621 a codicil was added to the will which made one or two of the bequests in the original will more specific. A further codicil was added on 14 Feb 1621/22 which bequeathed all of the testator's corn, stored in barns or still growing, to his wife - except the corn from a specified field which he had already sold to his nephew John BURNETT. Also, the codicil stated that the testator had given to his nephew John BURNETT a beast which he had bought from him, but if the beast died before the testator, then £20 was bequethed to the *son* [unnamed] of nephew John BURNETT at age 21yrs. This indicates that the nephew John BURNETT had one son who was born before 14 Feb 1622, the date of the second codicil.

Though not named in any of the above documents there is other evidence to suggest that John BURNETT's wife was named Eleanor and that she, if not John, was a Roman Catholic. A "daughter in law" named Elyn (sic) was a beneficiary of the will of John's mother Elizabeth BURNETT in 1658 and a list of Recusants 'presented' at quarter sessions of the County Court held at Richmond, on 9 Jul 1616, includes: At Croft, Ellenor, wife of John BURNETT, gent'.

7. Agnes BURNETT

James Pennyman (d. 1624) had six sons and four daughters by his wife, Agnes Burnet of Cleveland, and one illegitimate son, William Pennyman (will dated 1628), who became one of the six clerks in chancery. William married Anne, daughter of Sir Robert Aske of Aughton, and their son, also William (1603-1643), followed his father into law after matriculating from Christ Church, Oxford, in 1623. He was a student of the Inner Temple and was made baronet in 1628 by Charles I. He succeeded to large estates in Yorkshire and built Marske Hall in 1625.
Hull University, Brynmor Jones Library: The Pennyman Family Papers, Catalogue Ref. DPE
( See also: Ambler, The old halls and manor houses of Yorkshire, pp. 75-6; DPE/7/2, DPE/12/5]