1. Thomas BURNETT
Surviving "parish chest" records for Bishop Monkton include references to two men named Thomas Burnett and distinction between them was made by describing one of them as Thomas Burnett jnr. At regular intervals, up to and including 1763, a Thomas Burnett witnessed various accounts and made his mark in the records. In 1764 and 1766 Thomas Burnett jnr. signed the overseers accounts as a witness. In 1769 both men were witnesses of accounts and in 1774 both men were amongst those who approved an order for the Overseer to pay the poor of the parish - Thomas made his mark Thomas jnr. signed the order. There was a third man named Thomas BURNETT, whose wife was named Ann, living at Bishop Monkton during this time but he died in 1762. He therefore can't have been either of these two witnesses to accounts who must have been Thomas BURNETT husband of the former Mary DICKINSON and their son Thomas, born 1741. Thomas snr., at different times, held the offices of Chapel Warden, Overseer and Constable, and in 1765 a Thomas Burnett was "surveyor of the highways" - though it is not clear if this was also Thomas snr.
Thomas' wife, Mary (nee DICKINSON), died in October 1754. Thomas married his second wife Mary HORNER in December 1755. There were no known children of this second marriage before Thomas died in March 1787 - unfortunately the burial register gives no indication of his age at death. It is possible that Thomas was a son of a Thomas Burnett of Bishop Monkton who had three known children: Peter (1711), Mary (1715) and William (1717). However, Thomas would have to have been an earlier child of this family - he married in 1729 and is likely to have been at least 21yrs old at the time - therefore born before 1709. A William Burnett of Bishop Monkton was also having children baptised during this period and there is a six year gap in these baptisms, between 1703 and 1709, which could quite convincingly be filled by this Thomas. There was also a Thomas Burnett baptised in 1703, son of John Burnett and Margaret TREEDAL of Ripon who would be a good candidate for Thomas Burnett, husband of Mary Dickinson - especially since they named their first known son John and their one known daughter Margaret.
Whatever his origins, Thomas was obviously a highly respected member of the community at Bishop Monkton and his two known sons followed in his footsteps. His descendants farmed at "Broadfields" and "Hood Hole", two farms that still exist today.
Thomas is thought to have been the brother and sole executor mentioned in the following extract from Yorkshire probate records:
Will of Ann HEBDEN, widow of Christopher HEBDEN dec'd, of Sawley [buried Ripon]. Will made 1764. Sole executor brother Thomas BURNET of Bishop Monkton & residue. Brother William BURNET of Maunby £10 his children 20/- each. Edward BURNET of Bishop Monkton £10. Nieces Mary TAYLOR £20 & Ann TAYLOR £2. Elizabeth wife of William INGLEBY of Littlethorpe £20. Nephew John BURNET son of Thomas BURNET of Bishop Monkton £20. Sister Elizabeth BURNET the house in Risplith bequeathed in will of late husband Christopher now in possession of Thomas BILTON. Servant William BILTON the house now in possession of Sarah ANDREW.
Witnesses: Stephen BEECROFT, Eleanor & William DOWNHAM.
Christopher HEBDEN married Ann BURNETT at Ripon on 13 Dec 1746 - both were described as "of this parish".
In the will William BURNETT of Maunby can be identified as the man who had at least nine children baptised at Kirby Wiske between 1752 and 1769.
4. Thomas BURNETT
Undoubtedly the Thomas Burnett jnr. who regularly signed as a witness to the accounts of various parish officers at Bishop Monkton from 1764 onwards. Another Thomas Burnett who was also a regular witness, occasionally at the same time, but who consistently made his mark was almost certainly his father.
Thomas married Phillis WELLS in 1765. The licence was issued 27 Dec 1764 for marriage between:
Thomas Burnett the younger of Bishop Monkton in the parish of Ripon ... yeoman ... age twenty four years and upwards and a bachelor ... and Phillis Wells of the same place aged twenty four years and upwards and a spinster.
Thomas left a will, dated 2 Aug 1814, proved at York 20 March 1815, which named his wife as main beneficiary. Among several other beneficiaries were "..two children of nephew Thomas BURNETT, decd." and "..seven children of nephew William BURNETT, decd." As far as can be determined the two nephews mentioned were both sons of Thomas' brother John BURNETT and his wife Eleanor THEAKSTON. Another nephew William FOSTER was named as sole executor of the will.
Phyllis/Phillis was the sister of Catherine WELLS who married Joseph MIERS in 1764. Joseph & Catherine had six known children including a daughter named Phillis [sic] who married John FOSTER in 1782 - Thomas BURNETT was a witness at this marriage and a William FOSTER was the executor of Thomas' will in 1815.
Alice MIERS, another niece of Thomas BURNETT & Phyllis (WELLS), married Wm. BURNETT in 1799.