Descendants of Robert BURNETT of Eryholme


27. John BURNETT

John was a named beneficiary and sole executor of the will of his father John BURNETT of Hurworth in 1660. The will also named John Jnr's wife Frances as a beneficiary.

A John BURNETT was a witness to the will of Nicholas CONYERS of Richmond, gentleman, dated 21 May 1672. Nicholas' widow, Grace CONYERS, was sole beneficiary & executrix.

John BURNETT was one of nineteen freeholders in the Manor of Hurworth named in a list dated 1684.
[Surtees Society: History & Antiquities of the County Palatine of Durham, iii, p408]

John died in 1686 at Hurworth and was buried in the family plot in the chancel of Croft parish church. He died intestate and administration of his goods, rights & credits was granted to his widow Frances BURNETT on 17 Jul 1686 in the Court of the Dean & Chapter of York [see vacant]. Frances BURNETT of Hurworth, widow, Charles SAYER of Jowlby [sic] in the parish of Croft, gentleman and Thomas CONYERS of Darlington, gentleman, were bound [all signed] and Robert BURNETT and Edward WALTERS witnessed [both signed].

The witness Robert BURNETT was the eldest son of John & Frances BURNETT. Co-bondsman Thomas CONYERS was probably a cousin of John BURNETT - whose mother, the former Frances SMITHSON, had a sister Grace SMITHSON who married Miles CONYERS.

The personal estate of John BURNETT, late of Croft in the county of York, deceased, was appraised on 15th May 1686 by Charles SAYER, Mathew SCURFIRED [sic] and Thomas CONYERS. The resulting inventory includes goods "att ye house in Hurworth" and also "more in ye now dwelling house at Hurworth". Also listed were various crops and livestock at named locations in Croft, Hurworth and Neasham. It would appear that John and his family lived at Hurworth but may previously have lived at Croft.

The surviving children of John BURNETT were beneficiaries of the will of his brother George BURNETT dated 11 Aug 1719. Unfortunately the will does not give the names of the chidren but a note written in the margin of the will [in Latin] names three known daughters of John BURNETT who apparently were granted 'interim' administration of the estate of this George BURNETT on 1 Oct 1723. George's daughter Grace BURNETT finally proved the will and was granted probate on 28 Jan 1725/26. The fact that only the three daughters of John BURNETT were named in this note suggests that they were the only surviving children. Known daughter Ann and son Robert must therefore have died before Oct 1723.

36. Robert BURNETT

A Robert BURNETT son of John and Frances was baptised at Hurworth on 23 Jun 1650. That much is certain. What is not certain is which of two possible John & Frances BURNETTs were his parents. John (1) & Frances married in c1621 and it would be very unusual if they were still having children baptised 29 years later in 1650. John (2) & Frances had known children baptised at Croft on Tees between 1663 and 1669 - their father John (2) was the eldest son of John (1) & Frances. The long 13yr gap between Robert's baptism in 1650 and the baptism of first known daughter Meriel, in 1663, would also be unusual.

If this was Robert son of John (1) & Frances BURNETT then he must have died before Sep 1660. The will of John (1) BURNETT, dated 13 Sep 1660, made no mention of a son named Robert.

If this was Robert son of John (2) & Frances BURNETT then he probably died before Oct 1723. The children of John (2) BURNETT were unnamed beneficiaries of the will of Dr. Thomas BURNETT, their uncle, dated 17 Nov 1712. A marginal note on this will names three known daughters of John BURNETT who had apparently been granted interim administration of the estate of George BURNETT, another uncle, the brother and sole executor of Dr. Thomas BURNETT's will, on 1 Oct 1723. If the three sisters had a surviving brother named Robert BURNETT he would surely have been a party to this administration.

A Robert BURNETT was one of eight freeholders of land in the Neasham Abbey estate [formerly Neasham Priory], Co. Durham, in a list dated 1684 - probably this Robert BURNETT, if he was the son of John (2) & Frances.
[Surtees Society: History & Antiquities of the County Palatine of Durham, iii, p262]

John (2) died intestate in 1686 and administration of his goods, rights & credits was granted to his widow Frances BURNETT on 17 Jul 1686 in the Court of the Dean & Chapter of York. A Robert BURNETT signed as a witness to the administration bond - almost certainly the son.

The entry for Robert's baptism in a typed transcript of Hurworth parish register has the following handwritten note beside it:
"adm. Pens. (aged 18) @ Christs 18 aft. 1668 of John .. [cf]? Hurworth B.A. 1671/2 M.A. 1675."
The meaning of this note is not clear nor is it clear if it was written in the original register or was a note added by the transcriber. The original register would need to be consulted. However, it is known that Robert's uncle, Thomas BURNETT, became a fellow of Christ's College in 1657 and took his degree of MA. in 1658.

37. Dorothy BURNETT

The 1702 will of Christopher SMITHSON, youngest and last surviving son of George SMITHSON and his wife Eleanor, nee FAIRFAX, included a pecuniary legacy of £50 to "cousin Dorothy BURNETT who now lives with my dear mother". Without doubt this Dorothy BURNETT but she was not Christopher SMITHSON's 1st cousin. Dorothy's father John BURNETT was Christopher's 1st cousin she was therefore his 1st cousin once removed. However, in spite of being one generation 'older' Christopher was 10yrs *younger* than Dorothy. He was born in 1670, she was born in c1660. Christopher's mother, with whom Dorothy was living in 1702, was her great-aunt.

Dorothy left a will dated 17 Feb 1732/33 at Hurworth, proved 20 Jun 1733 at York. The beneficiaries of the will were, in order of mention:

Nephew George BURNETT - £10
Grace TOWERS, sister to George BURNETT - £10
Christopher & Robert GARNETT, sons of George GARNETT of Barton - £10 each
Margaret GARNETT, daughter of George GARNETT - £10
Nephews William & George WOODHOUSE, sons of Thomas WOODHOUSE of the City of York - £10 each
Margaret WOODHOUSE daughter of Thomas WOODHOUSE - £10
Nephew William CONYERS - release from his debt
Sister Margaret FAWDEN - rest of estate, sole executrix

Witnesses were: Thomas RICHARDSON, Mary WILKINSON, George BELL

The 'nephew' George BURNETT was in fact the testator's cousin, son of her uncle George BURNETT. Grace TOWERS was therefore the testator's niece. Similarly 'nephew' William CONYERS was almost certainly a cousin, probably a second cousin [Dorothy's great-aunt Grace SMITHSON married Miles CONYERS - William CONYERS was probably their grandson]

31. George BURNETT

George BURNIT of Eryholme was listed with three hearths in hearth tax returns for Allerton, Gilling East & Halikeld, at Michaelmas 1673. George was identified as parish constable at Eryholme.

George BURNETT of Eryholme was one of four supervisors named in the will of his uncle George SMITHSON of Moulton in 1692.

Durham Record Office Ref No: D/Br/D 902
Brancepeth Estate: Thomas Smithson's Lands
12 December 1696
(1) Thomas Trollopp of South Street, Durham City, gent. ; *George Burnett the younger* of Arieholme [Eryholme], Yorkshire, gent.; Joseph Watson of Oldbrough, Yorkshire, gent.; and George Higgins of Sunderland Bridge, yeo.
(2) John Addison of Ovingham, Northumberland, esq.
(3) Thomas Smithson of Moulton, Yorkshire, gent., and Mary, his wife
Award from (1) to (3) of a messuage with appurtenances occupied by Elizabeth Harland and the south part of an uninhabited house as specified [and land in Helmington Raw and Offerton in parish of Houghton le Spring, Durham]
*There was another, older George BURNETT at Eryholme, son of Christopher BURNETT, who was born in 1629*

In 1697 George BURNETT of Eryholme, gentleman, was named as a trustee in the will of his uncle Thomas SMITHSON of Moulton [party no.3 in the deed above]

George was the sole executor of the will of his brother Dr. Thomas BURNETT, Master of the Charterhouse in London, who died in 1715. George was bequeathed £500. The rest of Thomas BURNETT's estate was to be divided equally between the children of his late brother John and the children of his late sister ASKWITH [no forename given but known to be Frances]. A note written in the margin of the will and dated 1 Oct 1723 appears to record that Dorothy BURNETT, Margaret FAWDON and Meriel NICHOLSON, the three surviving daughters of John BURNETT, were granted administration of the goods, rights and credits of the executor, George BURNETT [their uncle]. Act books record that administration was granted on 10 Apr 1723 in the Deanery of Gilling on the estate of George BURNETT of Eryholme. However, only Margaret FAWDON, wife of George FAWDEN, gentleman, and described as next of kin of the deceased George BURNETT, was named as the administratrix. Furthermore, George did not die intestate - he had already written his will and was apparently living in Dinsdale at the time.

George BURNET of Dinsdale in the County of Durham, gentleman, left a will dated 7 Aug 1719. The main beneficiaries of the will were sons John and George and daughter Grace, who received equal shares of the remainder of the estate after payment of debts and funeral expenses. The three siblings were also named as joint executors. Cousin Thomas SMITHSON of Moulton and brother [sic] George HARDING of Tolby were appointed as supervisors of the will. Witnesses were Margaret FAWDON, William GUBLING? & Martha SMITH.
Probate was granted six and a half years later, on 28 Jan 1725/26, to Grace BURNETT in the Prerogative Court of Canterbury [London].

It is highly likely that George's children were under 21yrs of age when he wrote his will and that daughter Grace was the eldest - reaching age 21 during 1725 or January 1726 and thus able to prove the will. The administration granted in 1723 was probably an interim administration during the minority of the eldest surviving executor named in the will - in this case daughter Grace BURNETT. The cousin Thomas SMITHSON appointed supervisor of the will was the son of the testator's deceased uncle Thomas SMITHSON. The other supervisor, "brother" George HARDING was obviously an 'in law' rather than a sibling and was not the husband of one of George BURNETT's sisters. He must therefore have been either the brother of George BURNETT's wife or the husband of one of her sisters.

42. Grace BURNETT

Grace is thought to have been born in 1704 or 1705. She and her brothers John and George were sole beneficiaries and named co-executors of their father's will dated 1719. Grace was granted probate on the will in January 1725/26.

Grace was married by 1733 - she was a beneficiary, under her married name TOWERS, of the will of her aunt Dorothy BURNETT.

IGI includes the marriage of Thomas TOWERS and Grace BURNETT, on 29 Oct 1726, at Ryhall in the County of Rutland - *probably* the marriage of this Grace BURNETT [or a remarkable coincidence!].