BURNETT of Otley


1. Otley BURNETT

The father of Gabriel, John and Thomas BURNETT, who were all living in Otley in 1579, has not been identified. Otley parish registers begin in 1562 and there is no record of the baptism of any of these individuals.  However, from the dates of marriage of two of these sons it is possible to estimate their likely dates of birth, which in turn gives a very rough estimate of c1550 for the date of marriage of their father. 

2. Gabriel BURNETT

Gabriel, though married twice, apparently did not have any surviving children with either wife. He was a named beneficiary of his brother John's will in 1579 as was another brother, Thomas BURNETT.

In his own will, dated 16 Jan 1617/18, but not proved till 25 Sep 1623, Gabriel did not name any children of his own. Instead, the main beneficiaries of the will were nephew George BURNETT, son of brother Thomas, and the children of George BURNETT - who was sole executor of the will. The will makes only one reference to real estate, "one half burgage in Otley", which was set aside for the "use, behoof, good and help" of one Elizabeth BRAFFERTON - who was also bequeathed a sum of £10. Both bequests were subject to the proviso that they were to be of no benefit to or use of Elizabeth's husband, named as John BRAFFERTON, "if he be alive and returned to the country". It would appear that Elizabeth's husband had abandoned her and the fact that she was so carefully 'taken care of' by Gabriel BURNETT in his will strongly suggests that she was a very close relative. Nephew George BURNETT, the executor of the will, had a daughter named Elizabeth, born in 1595, who would have been old enough to have been married at the time of the will. It is very likely that she was Elizabeth BRAFFERTON.

The pecuniary legacies contained in the will were, in order of mention:
Margaret wife of nephew George BURNETT - £10
Thomas, George & Rosamunde, sons and daughter of George BURNETT - £20 each
Lawrence WHITEHEAD, godson - 10/-
George son of Anthony WARD - 10/-
Mathew son of Mathew WALSHEY - 10/-
Gabriel son of Thomas CRIER - 10/-
Isabell daughter of John LEEDS - 20/- and Lawrence son of John LEEDS - 5/-
Elizabeth BRAFFERTON - £10 plus a further £10 to be paid 'as and when needed' by the executor
Lawrence son of Stephen LYALL - 10/-
Thomas son of Anthony FLESHER - 10/-
Thomas son of Lawrence FLESHER - 10/-
Katherine POOLEY - 5/-
Anne daughter of John PEART - 5/-
Katherine daughter of William PEART - 5/-
Joseph son of Francis ROODES - 10/-
Mary daughter of John JOE? - 40/-
William OLDRED - 10/-
Four children of Samuel BURDETT, gent, - 10/- each and Alice wife of Samuel BURDETT - 10/-
Four children of Mr THOMPSON, parson of Addle [sic] - 5/- each and Elizabeth his wife - 10/-
William son of Thomas THOMPSON - 10/-
Christopher WHITEHEAD - 10/-
Anne wife of Henry TRUELORD - 30/- and Lettice [sic] daughter of Henry TRUELORD - 10/-
Margaret daughter of Margaret WHITEHEAD - 30/-
Richard COWBURNE - release from debt of 5/-
All other Godchildren - 5/- each
To the poor of Otley - income from an investment of £20 distributed annually at Christmas.
Jane daughter of Mr NICHOLLS, preacher at Thornton Chapel - 20/-
James ROBINSON - 20/-
Mr HARRISON, vicar of Otley - 10/- [for a sermon at the funeral service].
Servants of George BURNETT - 5/- each
Mathew WALSHEY - 10/-
Two sons of Anthony HIRST - 5/- each

Chancery records at the National Archive include a document which concerns a dispute between Gabriel BURNET of Otley and John INGLESON [sic] over the lease on a piece of land belonging to the latter. The document was dated 30 Jul 1609 - just less than one year after Gabriel BURNETT married Helen INGLESANT [sic] at Otley.


John almost certainly remained unmarried throughout his life - he left a will, dated 1 Oct 1579, proved 11 Feb 1579/80, which did not name a wife or any children. It named his brother Gabriell BURNETT as main beneficiary and brother Thomas BURNETT as sole executor. Also named were Thomas' wife Ellen, his son George and daughter Agnes. There were several other named beneficiaries who received pecuniary legacies as follows:
Mathew WALSHAY** - £5
John ENGLAND, son of Richard ENGLAND - 10/-
Anne ROODES** daughter of Lawrence ROODES - 10/-
John MAWSON - 20/- off his debt of £3
The seven children of Marmaduke CAWDREY - 3s.4d each
Isabell CAWDREY daughter of Henry CAWDREY - 12d
John JACKSON's son - 12d
The two youngest children of Martin HAWKERIDGE - 12d each
Lawrence & John SIKES, sons of Robert SIKES - 2s.6d each
One of William THOMPSON's sons - 12d

**In his will in 1617, John's brother Gabriel named Joseph ROODES, described as son of Francis, as a beneficiary. The surname had several variants but became standardised as RHODES.
Matthew son of Matthew WALSHEY [sic] was also a beneficiary of the will of Gabriel BURNETT.