Thomas Metcalf, of Bainesbridge, Chancellor

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Thomas Metcalf, of Bainesbridge, Chancellor

Also Known As: "Captain Thomas Chancellor Duchy of Lancaster Metcalfe", "Thomas Metcalfe"
Birthplace: Nappa, Wensleydale, Yorkshire, England
Death: Died in Wensleydale, Yorkshire, England
Place of Burial: Askrigg, North Yorkshire, England, United Kingdom
Immediate Family:

Son of Sir James Metcalfe and Gelsone Metcalfe
Husband of Elizabeth Metcalfe, Countess of Metcalfe
Father of Cicely Burgh; Joan Metcalfe; Ottiwell Metcalfe; Francis Metcalfe; Sir James Metcalfe and 3 others
Brother of Bryan x Metcalfe, (of Beare Park); Johanna Joan Tempest; Edmund Metcalfe; Cecily Metcalfe; Myles Metcalfe and 1 other

Managed by: Carole (Erickson) Pomeroy,Vol. C...
Last Updated:

About Thomas Metcalf, of Bainesbridge, Chancellor

Thomas Metcalfe (courtier)

Thomas Metcalfe was the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster between 7 July 1483 - 13 September 1486.[1] He was a Privy Councillor in 1460.[2] He was a trusted member of King Richard III's council,[3] and, by reason of his position, judge of the Duchy court that sat at Westminster.[4]

Thomas Metcalfe built Nappa Hall in Wensleydale, North Yorkshire in the 1470s.

He married Elizabeth Hartlington of Hartlington, in Craven, Yorkshire, heiress of an ancient family of Clifford tenants who had been bailiffs of Kettlewelldale.[5]



  • Thomas Metcalfe
  • M, #71041, b. circa 1436, d. before 23 July 1504
  • Father James Metcalfe b. c 1389, d. 1471
  • Mother (Miss) Gilson b. c 1398
  • Thomas Metcalfe was born circa 1436 at of Nappa, Yorkshire, England. He married Elizabeth Hertlington, daughter of William Hertlington, circa 1470. Thomas Metcalfe died before 23 July 1504.
  • Family Elizabeth Hertlington b. c 1436
  • Child
    • James Metcalfe+ b. c 1480, d. 20 Sep 1539
  • From:


  • Thomas Metcalfe
  • Birth: 1424
  • Death: 1504
  • Family links:
  • Parents:
  • James Metcalfe (1389 - 1472)
  • Children:
    • Ann Metcalfe Claypoole (____ - 1545)*
    • James Metcalfe (1460 - 1539)*
  • Siblings:
  • Joan Metcalfe Tempest*
  • Myles Metcalf (____ - 1494)*
  • Thomas Metcalfe (1424 - 1504)
  • Burial: St Oswald Churchyard, Askrigg, Richmondshire District, North Yorkshire, England
  • Find A Grave Memorial# 126584614
  • From:


  • Dugdale's Visitation of Yorkshire, with Additions, Parts 5-7 By Sir William Dugdale
  • Pg.121
    • Metcalfe of Nappa.
  • I. JOHN METCALFE, of Nappa or the neighbourhood, mar. Alice . . . and his issue —
  • II. JAMES METCALFE, of Napa, in com. Ebor., Esq'r., was a Cap't in the Battell of Agincourt, temp. H. 5, bought Nappa of Sir Richard Scrope, b. 1389, d. cir. 1472, probably buried with his wife at Askrigg, mar. . . . daughter of . . . Gibson, of Ireby Hall. (This marriage considered doubtful.) The had issue —
    • 1. Thomas (III).
    • 2. Brian Metcalfe, of Beare Parke, in co. Ebor.
    • 3. Miles Metcalfe, Recorder of York, Justice of Assize at Lancasster, M.P. York 1477, d. 12 Feb. 1485-6, bur. at York Minster. Will 12 Feb. 1485-6, pr at york 21 Nov. 1486 (Test. Eb., iv, 9), mar. Matilda . . . Will 22 Jan., pr. at York 22 mar. 1491-2, to be bur. in York Minster. They had issue —
      • .... etc.
    • Edmund, (?) eldest son, b. circ. 1420, d v.p., mar. Katherine . . .
    • Joan, (?) mar. . . .
  • III. THOMAS METCALFE, Chancellour of ye Dutchy of Lancaster, temp. R. 3, of Nappa, J.P., b. cir 1424, d. 1503-4,
  • Pg.122
  • mar. Elizabeth, daughter and coheire of William Hartlington. They had issue —
    • 1. Sr James (IV).
    • 2. Francis Metcalfe, became a lunatic 1507, marr. Joane, daugh. and coheire of Everard Seyton, of Maidwell, in co. North'ton. They had issue —
      • .... etc.
    • Ottiwell, of Swinethwaite, in Wensleydale (a quo Metcalfe, of Firby, etc.).
    • Ciceley, mar. William Burgh (Glover, 3).
    • Joan, mar. Christopher Conyers, of Marske (Glover, 71).
  • IV. Sr JAMES METCALFE, of Nappa, Knt., High Sheriff of Yorks. 1525, knighted 1528, J.P., b. cir 1460, d. 20 Sept 1539, Inq. p.m. 10 Nov. 1539, mar. Margaret, daughter & coheire of Thomas Pigot, of Clotherham, in com. Ebor., 22 H. 7, on or before May 1512, d. 3 Feb. 1530/1, Inq. p.m. 17 Mar. 1530/1. They had issue —
    • 1. Sr Christopher (V).
    • 2. Humphry.
    • 3. Edmund, of Worton.
    • 4. Oswald, of Hornby, bur. there 4 June 1604, (?) mar. first . . . dau. of Wm. Parkinson, secondly Mary, dau. of Roger Meynell, of North Kilvington.
    • 5. Robert.
    • Ann, mar. Richard Hebborne, of Hardwyke (Glover, 621).
    • Alice, mar. Leonard Frank, of Knighton (Glover, 619).
    • Elizabeth, mar. Thomas Layton, of Sexhow (Glover 540).
    • Margaret, mar. William Hilton, of co. Durham. Will 4 June 1566.
  • V. Sr. CHRISTOPHER METCALFE, .... etc.


  • Dugdale's Visitation of Yorkshire, with additions Volume III. by Dugdale, William, Sir
    • Metcalfe of North-Allerton.
  • I. THOMAS METCALFE, Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster, d. 1503-4. He had issue —
    • Sir James, of Nappa (see vol. ii, p. 121).
    • Francis.
    • Ottiwell (II).
  • II. OTTIWELL METCALFE, mar. and had issue —
  • III. JAMES METCALFE, of Swinethwaite, mar. . . . and had issue —
    • Ottiwell.
    • George (IV).
  • IV. GEORGE METCALFE, second son to James Metcalfe, which James was grandson to Thomas Metcalfe, Chancelour of the Dutchy of Lancaster, of Hood Grand, b. circ. 1516. Will 27 Mar., pr. at York 13 June 1571 (Reb. Test., xix, 207); mar. Elizabeth (?) Bankes. Will 13 Nov. 1580, pr. at York 10 June 1581 (Reg. Test., xxii, 60). They had issue —
    • .... etc.


  • Pedigrees of the county families of Yorkshire Vol. II. (or III.) by Foster, Joseph
  • John Metcalfe, mentioned, with his wife Alice, in the foundation, by his son James, of a chantry in the church of St. Oswald at Askrigg, 8 Edward IV. = ALICE ...... ; ch: James (m. dau. of Gibson) Metcalfe
    • JAMES METCALFE, of Nappa in Wensleydale, co. York, Esquire, described in the Visitations of 1584 and 1665 as having been a captain in France at the Battle of Agincourt, 3 Hen. V., 1415, lord of the manor of Nappa before 9 Hen. V., in which year, Margaret, widow of Richard, Lord Scrope, of Bolton, claims dower in said manor. In 11 Edward IV., Elizabeth, widow of Henry, Lord Scrope, releases to him and his heirs all the lands, &c., in Nappa which lately belonged to Richard, Lord Scrope, father of the said Henry. In 10 Hen. VI. described as "James Metcalfe, of Nappay under the Skar, in the parish of Aysgarth, co. York, Gentleman." In 30 Hen. VI. styled "James Metcalfe, of Nappay in Wensladale, co. York, Esquire." He founded the chantry of St. Anne in the church of St. Oswald, at Askrigg, and afterwards altered the endowment thereof by exchanging lands, which he held of the King in capite, for the lands which he gave to the said chapel at the foundation thereof, which were not held of the King. Inquisition at York Castle, touching the same, 12 October, 8 Edward IV. (1469.) Daily Mass was to be said and prayers offered "for the good estate of our Lord the King and his most dear consort Elizabeth, Queen of England (Edward IV. and Elizabeth); also the the good estate of the souls of John Metkalff, also Thomas Metkalff, and Myles Metkalff, sons of the said James, whilst they live, and for their souls when from this life they pass away; also for the soul of Richard, late Earl of Salisbury, and for the souls of John Metkalff and Alice, his wife, father and mother of the said James, and for all the sons and daughters of the said James, and for the souls of all the benefactor of the aforesaid James, and for the souls of all the faithful departed" (see Inquistion, 8 Edward IV.) In the chapel of St. Anne, which is on the south side of the chancel, there is a black marble slab, from which the brass has been torn, which has probably lain over, and commemorated the founder, James Metcalfe, and his wife. The grooves remaining show half-length figures of a man and woman with hands clasped in prayer. The inscription has been beneath the figures. Over each figure is a scroll, once containing some pious inscriptions, such as "Jesu Mercy." "Lady pray." and above all there appears to have been a figure of Our Blessed Lady and the infant Jesus. The monuments in Askrigg church were defaced, and the brasses torn up, by the Roundheads on the march from Skipton to Bolton Castle. = ......, daughter of ..... Gibson, of Ireby Hall, co. Lancaster. ; ch: Reginald, Bryan (m. Johanna Raughton or Boughton), Myles (m. Elizabeth de la River), Thomas (m. Elizabeth Hertlyngton), Joan (m. William Tempest), .... dau. (m. Marmaduke Constable), Cecilia or Cicely (prob. dau.) Metclafe
      • REGINALD METCALFE, married, and had issue one daughter, Elizabeth, who married Thomas Thornton of Thornton; they had a son, Stephen Thornton, who mar. Cicely daughter of John Medclf, of Holme. (Vide Visitation of 1584. Harl. MSS.)
      • MYLES METCALFE, Recorder of the city of York, and the King's Justice at Lancaster. One of the representatives in Parliament for the city of York, 17 Edward IV., in which year, on the recommendation of the King, he was appointed Recorder of York. On account of his adherence to the House of York, and the offices which he held under Richard III., he was, together with his brother Thomas, the Chancellor, expressly excepted from the pardon granted by Hen. VII. to the men of the north and for a time he was superseded in his Recordership, but was shortly restored through the influence of Lord Fitzhugh and other friendly lords. In 1470 he and his wife, Matilda, were admitted as member of the Guild of Corpus Christi at York, a guild established in 1458, "to the praise and honour of the most sacred body of Our Lord Jesus Christ." He died 25 February, 1484/5, and was buried in the Minster 29 February. A brass, formerly in the Minster, had the following inscription: — " Hic Jacet Milo Metcalf, quondam recordator istius civitatis, ac etaim unus justiciarius dom. regis apud Lacrestr, qui obiit xxv die mensia Februarii, ann. Dom. 1485. Cujus anime propitletur Deus. Amen." Will in Test. Ebor. iv, 9, and dated 12 February, 1 Hen. VII., proved 21 November, 1486, directs that he should be buried "in the Mynster of Seynt Peter, afore awre Lady," mentions his brother Thomas, his wife Mald, his sons James and Richard, and his daughter Katheryn. = ELIZABETH, dau. and co-heiress of Bryan de la River, by a sister and heir of Geo. Crewer. His widow Matilda, who seems to have been a 2nd wife, died in 1492. Will in Test. Ebor., Surtees Society. ; ch: Edmond (m. Elinor Tomlinson) Metcalfe
      • BRYAN METCALFE, of Beare Parke, in Wensleydale. The "Brian of Beare," one of the champions in the story of the Felon Sow. (See the curious old Ballad of "The Felon Sow of Rokeby," In Dr. Whitaker's "History of Richmondshire." and Sir Walter Scott's "Rokeby," &c.) = JOHANNA, daughter and heiress of .... Raughton, or Boughton. ; ch: 4. Roger (m. Elizabeth ..... ), 2. Leonard (m. .... Thursby), 3. Nicholas, 1. Richard Metcalfe
      • JOAN METCALFE, married to William Tempest, of Broughton, 15 Henry VI. (1437) ; had issue
      • .... , a daughter, married to Marmaduke Constable, of Cliffe, co. York, Esq. (See Dugdale's Visitation of Yorkshire, 1665, pedigree of CONSTABLE.)
      • CECILIA, or CICELY METCALFE, Prioress of Marrick Abbey, in Swaledale, 4 Edward IV, (1464), and 13 Henry VII., (1498), was probably another daughter, She died Prioress 17 Henry VII. (1502.) Beare Park, so long the residence of the Metcalfes, belonged to the Priory of St. Andrew, Marrick. On 17 November, 1540, 31 Henry VIII., this convent was surrendered by Christabella Cowper, the then Prioress, and sixteen nuns, and on 6 June, 34 Henry VIII., a lease of the site and demesne lands, and also Beare Park, was granted to John Uvedale, one of the commissioners for the suppression of monasteries in the north parts.
      • THOMAS METCALFE, of Nappa, Esq., Privy Councillor, 38 Henry VI. (1460) In the I Richard III. he was made Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster, by letters patent from the King. Leland, who wrote in 1530/5, describes him as having been in those quarters (Wensleydale) "a great officer as steward, survier, or receyver of Richemont landes, wherby he wasid riche, and able to builde and purchace," that he made additions to Nappa Hall, "in the which building a toures be very fair, beside other logginges." He adds that "Knappey and other places there aboute be able to make a 300 men yn very knowen consanguinitie of the Metecalfes." Thomas, and his son Sir James, held many valuable offices under Edward IV. and Richard III., and were stanch and active Yorkists, on which account Thomas and his brother Myles were expressly excepted from the pardon which Henry VII. was compelled to grant to the inhabitants of the northen counties. Was seised of the 3rd part of the manors of Hartlyngton, Kirkeby in Malghdale, Harynglyth, Hawkeswyk, and Oulecotes, &c., jure usoris. Admitted a member of the Guild of Corpus Christi, at York, in 1490, by Dom. Leonard Metcalfe, entered in the register of the Guild as "Magister Tho. Metcalfe." His name is followed by those of his kinsmen and kinswomen, Jac. Metcalfe et Elezabeth, Jac. Metcalfe et Anna, Brian Metcalfe, Edm. Metcalfe, Ric. Metcalfe, and Magister Joh. Metcalfe. Was one of the executors to his brother Myles in 1485. Named one of the executors in the will of John, Lord Scrope, of Bolton, dated 3 July, 1494. Living 17 Henry VII. (1502), when he was one of the administrators to the estate of James, the son of his deceased brother, Myles Metcalfe. = ELIZABETH, daughter and co-heiress of William de Hertlyngton, Esq., the last of an ancient and knightly family, who derived their name from the village of Hartlington, in Craven, co. York. Will. de Hertlyngton died in 1466. ; ch: Otwell (m. Margaret ), Sir James (m. Margaret Pigott), Francis (m. Joane Seyton), 1. .... dau. (m. .... Fulthorpe), 2. Cicely or Cecilia (m. William Burgh), 3. .... dau. (m. .... Copley), Joan (m. Christopher Conyers) Metcalfe
        • 1. .... METCALFE, a daughter, married to .... Fulthorpe.
        • 2. CICELY, or CECILIA, mar. to William Burgh, of Burgh, co. York.
        • 3. .... METCALFE, a daughter, married to .... Copley.
        • 4. JOAN, married to Christopher Conyers, of Marske, co. York.
        • 5. FRANCIS METCALFE, married Joane, daughter and co-heiress of Everard Seyton, of Maidwell, in co. Northampton (not in MSS. 1487).
        • SIR JAMES METCALFE, of Nappa (or Knappey), co. York, Knt., eldest son, High sheriff of Yorkshire 17 Henry VIII. (1525.) Seneschal of Wensleydale, and Master Forester, 1 Richard III. "James Metcalfe, Esq., the King's sergeant, &c., In this parte of the kingdome and in Scotland, and especially lately about the acceptation of the crowne and royall dignity of this kingdome, hath for life ye office of Master Forester or Master of the game of the King's forests of Wynsladale, Rodale, and Bishopdale, and the office of keeper of the King's parke of Woodhall, Com. Ebor., with an annuitie of 10l." He died 20th September, 1539. In Dodsworth's time this fragment of an inscription was remaining in the north window of the choir of the church of St. Wilfrid, at Burnsall, in Craven. "Orate pro a i a Jacobi Metcalfe armigeri qui hanc fenestram ..... " Hartlington Hall and manor, in the parish of Burnsall, belonged to him in right of his mother as co-heir of Will de Hertlington, who died 1466. Leland in his "Itinerary," says, "Syr James Metcalfe hath a very goodly howse, caullid Nappe in Winsedale, but commonely it is caulled "No Castel." = MARGARET, eldest daughter and co-heiress of Thomas Pigott of Clotheram, co. York, Esq., 22 Henry VII. (1507), died 3 Feb., 1530/1. ; ch: Sir Christopher (m. Elizabeth Clifford), 2. Humphrey, 3. Edward (m. .... Widdrington), 4. Oswald (m. .... Parkinson), 5. Robert, Margaret (m. .... HIlton), .... (m. Sir Robert Bowes), Anna (m. John Fenwick), Elizabeth (m. Thomas Layton), Anne (m. Thomas Hepburn), Alice (m. Leonard Franke), .... (m. .... Widdrington) Metcalfe
          • .... etc.
        • OTWELL (OSWELL, OTIWELL, or OSWALD METCALFE, 2nd son, according to the Visitation of Yorkshire, made A.D. 1612, by Sir Richd. St. George, Norrey King-at-Arms. = "MARGARET, wife of Oswold Metcalfe, buried 19 March, 1539/40, at St. Olave's, York. ; ch: James (m. .... Askwythe or Noddinge) Metcalfe
          • .... etc.


  • The visitation of the county of Yorke, begun in a Dni MDCLXV. and finished a Dni MDCLXVI
  • James Metcalfe of Nappa in com. Ebor. Esq'r. was a Cap't in the Battell of Agincourt, temp. H. g. = .... daughter of Gibson of Iresby Hall. ; ch: 1. Thomas (m. Elizabeth Hartlington), 2. Brian, 3. Miles Metcalfe
    • 3. Miles Metcalfe, Recorder of York.
    • 2. Brian Metcalfe of Beare Parke in co. Ebor.
    • 1. Thomas Metcalfe, Chancellour of ye Dutchy of Lancaster, temp. R. 3. = Elizabeth, daughter and coheire of .... Hartlington. ; ch: 1. Sr James (m. Margaret Pigot), 2.Francis (m. Joane Seyton) Metcalfe
      • 2. Francis Metcalfe, marr. Joane, daugh. and coheire of Everard Seyton of Maidwell in co. North'ton.
      • 1. Sr James Metcalfe of Nappa, Knt. = Margaret, daughter & coheire of Thomas Pigot of Clotherham in com. Ebor. 22 H. 7. ; ch: 1. Sr Christopher (m. Elizabeth d. of Henry Earle of Cumberland), 2. Humphry, 3. Edmund, 4. Oswald, 5. Robert Metcalfe
        • .... etc.
  • George Metcalfe, 2d son to James Metcalfe, which James was grandson to Thomas Metcalfe, Chancelour of the Dutchy of Lancaster. = ch: 1. Gilbert, 2. John, 3. Richard (m. Margaret Wilson), 4. Anthony Metcalfe.
    • 1. Gilbert Metcalfe. = ; had issue
    • 4. Anthony Metcalfe. = ; had issue
    • 3. Richard Metcalfe of North-Allerton, died in a° 1616, or thereabouts. = Margaret, daughter of Roger Wilson of Danby-Wiske in co. Ebor. ; ch: 1. George, 2. Richard (m. Anne Palleser) Metcalfe
      • .... etc.


  • Herbert Clarence Burleigh fonds - Family files series - Metcalfe (ii)
  • Pg.1
  • It is said that this Danish succession can be traced in an unbroken line from Arkefrith to the present time. William Mainrod Metcalf, Esq., of York, Eng., born in 1839, claims to be the thirty ninth in regular descent from Arkefrith, as follows :
  • 1. Arkefrith.
  • 2. Arkell, Lord of Dent, etc. (Doomsday Book of Edward the Confessor).
  • 3. Gospatrick.
  • 4. Dolfin.
  • 5. William.
  • 6. Richard.
  • 7. Adam, 1252.
  • 8. Adam, 1278, called Medecalfe.
  • 9. Adam Medecalfe, of Bainbridge.
  • 10. Adam Medecalfe, of Thornton.
  • 11. Richard Metcalf, of Baynbridge.
  • 12. Thomas Metcalf, of Baynbridge.
  • 13. John Metcalf, married Alice of Ireby.
  • 14. James Metcalf, of Nappa in Wensleydale, married Gelsone of Ireby, was Captain at the battle of Agincourt, under Henry V, in 1415, and was Lord of the Manor of Nappa when Margaret, widow of Rochard Lord Scrope claimed dower in the said Manor. But in 1472:, the widow of Lord Scrope released to James Metcalf and heirs all claims. In 1439 he is described as of Nappay-under-the-Skar, in Ayegarth. In 1459 as of Wensleydale, York. This James Metcalf founded and endowed the Chantry of St. Anne
  • Pg.2
  • at Askrigg; requiring daily Mass said and prayers offered for the good estate of the King and Queen, of himself and his sons, and their souls when from this life they pass away, and for the souls of all his benefactors, and all the faithful departed. In this Chapel of St. Anne is still (1880) to be seen a marble slab, which has evidently been defaced, the inscriptions, carvings, sculptures, and ornaments of brass torn off. This, it is said, was done by the "Roundheads" in the time of Cromwell. This James Metcalf's children were:
    • 1. Reginald, married a Thornton of Thornton.
    • 2 . Brian.
    • 3. Myles who was in Parliament from York in 1478.
    • 4. Thomas who was Chancellor of the Kingdom under Edward IV and Richard III.
    • 5. Joan who married Marmaduke, Constable of Cliff.
    • 6. Cicely who died in 1502, Prioress of Marrich Abbey, in Iraledale, Priory of St. Andrew, Marrich.
  • .... etc.
  • These Yorkshire Metcalfs were always zealous Catholics. Bryan Metcalf of Beare Park, Wensleydale, was the Bryan of Beare, champion in the story of the Felon Sow of Rokeby, according to Whittaker's History, and Sir Walter Scott's Rokeby." Beare Park, Marrich, Wensleydale, was long a residence of the Metcalfs till it was confiscated in 1543 under Henry VIII 's suppression of Monasteries.
  • .... etc.
  • But our American Metcalfs are descended from Brian, of Beare Park, the third son of James Metcalfe of Nappay, who married Johanna of Boughton. Their sons were:
    • 1. .... etc.


  • Romantic Richmondshire: Being a complete account of the history, antiquities ... By Harry Speight
  • Pg.374
  • .... etc.
  • The visitation made by William Flower, Norroy King of Arms, in 1584-5, gives a Brian Metcalfe, of Bere Park, as being a son of Miles Metcalfe, and father of an eldest son Richard (with the descent from him of the Bellerby branch), and a second son Thomas, of Nafdy [Nappa], and another son Reginald. It is, however, erroneous to describe Thomas as of Nappa, as it is also to give him, as the entry does, a son Sir James Metcalfe, Kt., who as is well known, was son of Thomas, son of James, son of John, and not a son of Thomas, son of Brian, son of Miles, as this entry would make him. The Rev. Mark Metcalfe was also of this branch. He was vicar of Northallerton in the reign of Queen Elizabeth, and his tomb-stone, with arms and date 1593, is the oldest monumental slab in the venerable church of All Saints at Northallerton.*
  • .... etc.
  • Pg.444
  • .... those who have copied him state that "the ancient house of Beare Park was the residence of the older line of the Metcalfes, and after their removal to Nappa that of a younger branch ;" and in the Metcalfe and De Hertlyngton Genealogy contained in the third edition of Dr. Whitaker's History of Craven, the first James Metcalfe of Nappa is described as being of Bear Park and of Nappa. Both of these statements are incorrect, and are probably the consequence of the various mis-statements made by Sir William Slingsby and others, elsewhere noticed. As to the first statement, Bear Park was until the surrender of monasteries a possession of Marrick Priory. In an action brought by Sir Richard Neville against several persons for hunting without license in East Bolton Park, Richard Wylkynson, yeoman, then of Bere Park, was one of the defendants, and there is no evidence to support the suggestion that anyone of the name of Metcalfe was tenant there until 1458-9, when Brian Metcalfe is undoubtedly described as of Bear Park in the De Banco Roll of 37th Henry VI., and he is the first instance of any member of the race bearing that Christian name. As to the second statement, James Metcalfe was clearly never the tenant of Bear Park, and at the last-mentioned date had been established at Nappa for about forty years.†
  • Brian Metcalfe died about 1501, when Cecyle Metcalfe was Prioress of Marrick, and this lady, by deed dated 9th January, 6th Henry VII., made a lease of Bear Park to one Humphrey Metcalfe and his wife, at a yearly rent of £6 and 5d. Later Bear Park passed to the holding of Roger Metcalfe, and then to his son, Leonard Metcalfe, who purchased the estate in or shortly after 1544. He also possessed lands in Kirkby Malhamdale, Hanlith, Oulcotes, Hawkeswick, and in Carperby. Dr. Whitaker states that in the reign of Elizabeth the Metcalfes had
  • Pg.445
  • incurred a forfeiture of which, he observes, "I can give no account." It is however explained by the fact that the above Leonard Metcalfe took part in the disastrous "Rising in the North," in 1569, and being convicted of high treason and sentenced to death, had his lands confiscated. But ultimately he received a pardon,* and regained possession, obtaining in 1573 a lease for 21 years of the lands forfeited by him on his attainder. Many significant allusions to him will be found in Sir Cuthbert Sharp's Memorials of the Rebellion of 1569, published in 1840. Leonard Metcalfe must have died before 1592, for in that year his eldest son, John Metcalfe, of Bear Park, held a Court Baron at Hanlith in his own name.
  • .... etc.
  • Pg. 461
  • .... etc.
  • It is not known when the family first appeared in Wensleydale, but they were certainly there in the 13th century, although it is impossible at this distance of time and in the absence of authentic records to establish their relationship with the John Metcalfe, father of James Metcalfe, of Nappa, who lived in the time of Richard II. After protracted research it must be stated that whatever pedigrees have been published containing a connected descent anterior to this period can only be regarded as conjectural. James Metcalfe, son of John and Alice Metcalfe, was born in the year 1889, as is shewn on the evidence of James himself, given on the taking of the inquisition for proof of age of Henry le Scrope, son and heir of Richard le Scrope, of Bolton, Kt., taken at York Castle 25th January, 1439-40. But who was the father of John has never been properly proved, and after the most careful search it seems doubtful now whether it ever will be. In the Herald's Visitation for the year 1530 appear the "armes of John Metcalfe esquyer, beside Richemont, and auditoure to the kyng in those partyes" : Argent, three calves passant sable, in the fess point a crescent gules for difference. It is not known how he was related to the Nappa family, but in his will, proved at Richmond in 1541, he mentions his cousin Christopher Metcalfe, of Nappa, Esquire, and also his cousin Marmaduke Metcalfe.
  • James Metcalfe took part in the French campaign in 1415, and waa a Captain at the battle of Agincourt. His home was then at Worton in Wensleydale, and there is no doubt that he went out at the instance of Sir Richard Scrope, of Bolton, who was indented to attend in his own person in France, and bring 15 men-at-arms and 45 archers ; a small retinue when compared with others, but representing at that day probably the whole available fighting force of Wensleydale. Some years after the great battle Sir Richard was again in France, and died in 1420 during the siege of Rouen. He had in the interim between the battle of Agincourt and his return to France, enfeoffed James Metcalfe in a portion of his estate called Nappa, where he afterwards resided, and was the ancestor of the long and illustrious line of Metcalfes who emanated from that house. He was also the founder of the chantry in Askrigg church, previously mentioned.
  • Edmund Metcalfe, eldest son of James, was born about 1420, but died in his father's lifetime. His younger brother, Thomas, succeeded to the estate at Nappa, where he permanently resided and married a daughter of William Hertlington, an ancient and arms-bearing family,
  • Pg.462
  • seated at Hertlington in Craven. Sir William Slingsby, in his additions to the Yorkshire Visitation of 1584 at the College of Arms, states he was a member of the Privy Council and Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster in the 38th Henry VI. (1459-60). But to have attained to the Chancellorship at so early an age is probably a mistake, though he undoubtedly received the latter appointment in 1483, but whether for the first time is unknown. Many other responsible offices he held besides. In 1485-6 he received a grant of the office of Surveyor of the Castle and lordship of Middleham, and of all manors, lordships, &c., within the liberties of Richmond. This was an appointment of considerable importance, and was probably one of those referred to by Leland when he said that Thomas Metcalfe "waxed rich" ; its value to him being no doubt much greater than the mere amount of salary attached.
  • The estate or demesne of Nappa, which probably contained no more than some 400 acres, even with the additions stated by Leland to have been made by Thomas, descended together with whatever share he had in the Hertlington lands in right of his wife, to his eldest son, afterwards
  • Pg.463
  • Sir James Metcalfe, Kt. His most extensive landed possessions consisted of long beneficial leases of various portions of the lordship of Middleham, the Rolls of which shew that he held not only the Raydale lands and others adjacent, which were afterwards occupied by Sir James and his immediate lineal descendants for many generations, but leases of other lands and vaccaries of considerable rental and extent, which do not appear to have been renewed by Sir James, but which in almost every instance were subsequently occupied by persons of the name. Chancellor Thomas Metcalfe's younger brother, Miles, was also a personage of great note in his time. He resided at York and was a member of the Bar, and ultimately became Recorder of York and Justice of Assize at Lancaster. In 1477, 1478, 1482 and 1484 he represented the City of York in Parliament. He was also King's Deputy at the Council of the Duchy of Lancaster, which assembled at Westminster, and the Duchy Records contain numerous references to him. He died extremely wealthy in 1485.
  • But to continue with the Nappa line. Sir James Metcalfe, of Nappa, the eldest of the three sons of the Chancellor, was born about 1460. In early life he served on the Scottish Border under Richard, Duke of Gloucester, whose chief residence during the latter part of the reign of Edward lV. was, as before related, at Middleham Castle. He was a gentleman of high standing, and in point of wealth the possessor of numerous properties and offices which must have raised him to a position of considerable power and influence. He held the post of Coroner of the Marshalsea of the King's Household ; likewise the offices of Master Forester, or Master of the Game, within the Forests of Wensleydale, Raydale, and Bishopdale, and Keeper of the Parks of Woodhall, near Nappa, and Wanless, in West Witton and Swinethwaite. He also served the office of High Sheriff of Yorkshire in 1525, and was knighted by the king at Windsor in 1528.* In 1523 he contributed to the Lay Subsidy levied upon the inhabitants of Staincliffe and Ewecross. The account is given in an extremely well-preserved paper book at the Record Office [Exchequer Q.R. Lay Subsidies, Yorkshire W.R., 14th and 15th Henry VIII.†] and shews that he was chief lord of Hertlington, and gives the names of his twelve tenants there ; .... etc.
    • * In the Chapter House Books relating what horses were taken by the inhabitants off the field of Brauxton, i.e., Flodden Field, in 1513, mention is made of "James Medcalfe of Nappaye," as having received "three grey geldings, a baye gelding, and a black gelding," which makes it highly probable that he took part in that great engagement.
    • † This book is quite the finest specimen of a Lay Subsidy of this or any other period for Yorkshire.
  • Pg.464
  • .... His eldest son is returned among others for Nappa, as "Christopher Metcalfe, Esq." Sir James married late in life — when he was 52 — a daughter of Thomas Pigot, Esq., of Clotherham, near Ripon, a lady then in her 20th year, and by her acquired a large territorial fortune. He died at an advanced age in 1539, and on November 10th of that year an inquisition p.m. was taken at Topcliffe declaring the extent of his various lands and possessions.
  • Sir Christopher Metcalfe, who was born in 1513, succeeded his father, and following shortly the death of the latter, John, Lord Scrope, entered an action contesting the proprietary right of Christopher to the manor of Nappa. .... etc.
  • .... Still Sir Christopher remained a man of considerable wealth, and married a daughter of Henry, 11th Baron Clifford, created Earl of Cumberland in 1525, and Knight of the Garter in 1532. The Earl died in 1541, .... etc.


  • Elizabeth SCROPE
  • Notes: though James Metcalf had a daughter called Elizabeth she could not have been this person. James Metcalf married relatively late, but it is thought that he made a first marriage to Elizabeth Scrope who brought him property in Sledmere. She was the daughter of Sir John Scrope 5th Baron Scrope according to some theories. Curiously James Metcalf's father was addressed by this Lord Scrope in one document as brother, and this was further evidence for their children being married. At the time if your child was married to someone else's child then you would address the other in-law as brother. A James and Elizabeth Metcalf were married members of the same Guild of Corpus Christi that Sir Robert Constable and Beatrice were members of in about 1490. They were probably the James and Elizabeth Metcalf who were involved in a land sale in 1488, the same landsale that Thomas Metcalfe and Elizabeth his wife was also involved in. James Metcalf had a father called Thomas and mother called Elizabeth who could have been living in 1488. One of Robert and Beatrice Constable's daughters were married to the grandaughter of another member of the Guild, it was obviously a place where people of like social status could meet. It is interesting that in the 'Dorso' of a legal document (Yorkshire Deeds, 8, p 47, YAS RS) dated 26 Mar 1539 one of the people mentioned is Robert Constable of Sledmere, James had a brother called Robert, who unfortunately did not leave a Will. This mention is very curious. More evidence will probably come to light in time. John, Lord Scrope married as his second wife Elizabeth St John. Elizabeth St John was a member of Henry VII's family, descended from his grandmother. She had a daughter Mary who was married to Sir William Conyers in 1479 and it would seem likely that this Elizabeth would be the mother of our Elizabeth.
  • Father: John SCROPE (5° B. Scrope of Bolton)
  • Mother: Elizabeth St. JOHN (B. Scrope of Bolton)
  • Married: James METCALFFE of Nappa
  • Children:
    • 1. Elizabeth METCALFFE (m. Marmaduke Constable of North Cliffe)
  • From: SCROPE4


  • 'Metcalfe01'
  • James (or Miles) Metcalfe of Wensleydale & Nappa (& Bere Park), Yorkshire (a Captain at Agincourt 25.10.1415)
  • m. _ Gibson (dau of _ Gibson of Ireby Hall)
    • 1. Thomas Metcalfe of Nappa (Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster)
    • m. Elizabeth Hartlington (dau of _ Hartlington of Hartlington)
      • A. Sir James Metcalfe of Nappa
      • m. Margaret Pigot (dau of Thomas Pigot or Pigott of Clotherham)
        • i. Sir Christopher Metcalfe of Nappa & Wensleydale
        • m. Elizabeth Clifford (dau of Henry, Earl of Cumberland)
          • a. James Metcalfe of Nappa (d 1579/80)
          • m. Joan Savile (dau of John Savile of Stanley)
            • (1) Sir Thomas Metcalfe of Nappa (b c1579, d 07.1655)
            • m. Elizabeth Slingsby (dau of Sir Henry Slingsby of Screvin or Scriven)
              • (A) James Metcalfe of Nappa (b 1603/4, a 08.1665, recorder of Richmond)
              • m. Margaret Hicks (dau of William Hicks of London)
                • (i) Elizabeth Metcalfe
              • (B) Thomas Metcalfe (3rd son)
              • m1. Frances Burdet (dau of Francis Burdet of Burthwayt)
              • m2. Grace Rokeley (dau of Robert Rokeley of Rokeley)
              • (C) Frances Metcalfe (d 1658)
              • m. Sir William Robinson of Newby
              • (D)+ other issue - Scroope (Major), Henry, Elizabeth (d young), Mary (d unm), Katherine (d young), Joane
          • b. Margaret Metcalfe
          • m. George Middleton of Leighton
          • c.+ other issue (dsp) - John, Ingram, Charles
        • ii. Edward (Edmund) Metcalfe or Medcalfe of Morton (3rd son?)
        • m1/2. Anne Clifton
          • a. son (doctor)
        • m2/1. ??
          • b. other (haberdasher)
        • iii. Oswald Metcalfe or Medcalfe (5th son)
        • m. _ Parkinson (dau of William Parkinson)
        • iv. Anne Metcalfe or Medcalfe
        • m. Richard (probably not Thomas) Hebborne
        • v. (Margaret) Medcalfe (d before 10.06.1566)
        • m. (Sir William) Hilton (b by 1511, d 1562)
        • vi. (Agnes) Medcalfe
        • m. (Sir John) Widdrington (b c1503, d 10.10.1571)
        • vii. Alice Metcalfe or Medcalfe
        • m. Leonard Frank of Knighton
        • viii. (Alice) Medcalfe married _ Bowes, presumably ...
        • m. Robert Bowes (Master of the Rolls)
        • ix. Elizabeth Metcalfe or Medcalfe
        • m. (Thomas) Layton of Saxhow (d 22.12.1583)
        • x.+ other issue - Humphry, Robert
      • B. Ottiwell Metcalfe
        • i. James Metcalfe
          • a. Ottiwell Metcalfe
            • (1) George Metcalfe
              • (A) Ottiwell Metcalfe
          • b. George Metcalfe
            • (1) Gilbert Metcalfe
            • m. Jane Jerom of London (widow of _ Greene of Lamouth)
              • (A) George Metcalfe (a 1612)
              • m. Mary Trotter (dau of Robert Trotter of Skelton Castle)
                • (i)+ issue (a 1612) - Gilbert (b 1610/1), Margaret
              • (B) John Metcalfe
              • m. Elizabeth Hopwood (dau of Robert Hopwood)
              • (C) James Metcalfe (5th son)
              • m. _ Merriman
              • (D)+ other issue - Anthony, Leonard
            • (2) John Metcalfe
            • (3) Richard Metcalfe of North Allerton or Northallerton (d c1616)
            • m. Margaret or Anne Wilson (dau of Roger Wilson of Danby Wiske)
            • (4) Anthony Metcalfe
            • m. _ Lambert (dau of Robert Lambert of Oulton)
              • (A)+ issue (a 1612) - George (b c1597), Robert, Peter, Anthony, John
      • C. Francis Metcalfe
      • m. Joane Seyton (dau of Everard Seyton of Maidwell)
      • D. daughter
      • m. _ Fulthorpe (Christopher?)
      • E. Cicily Metcalfe
      • m. _ Burgh
      • F. daughter
      • m. _ Copley
      • G. (Joan) Metcalfe
      • m. (Christopher) Conyers of Marske
    • 2. Brian Metcalfe or Medcalfe of Beare Park
    • One of Foster's pedigrees, that for Metcalfe of Bellerby and Nappa, starts with Miles of Bere Park (rather than James of Wensleydale) father of Bryan of Bere Park father of Richard of Bere Park father of Nicholas of Bere Park + Anthony (priest) + Symon of Askrigg & Bere Park father of the Lucas who married Katherine Jackson. We follow Dugdale and the other of Foster's pedigrees which cover this family.
    • m. _ Boughton
      • A. Richard Medcalfe of Bedale
        • i. Lucas Medcalfe of Bedale and of Bellerby
        • m. Katherine Jackson (dau of Robert Jackson of Bedale)
          • a. Thomas Medcalfe of Bellerby (dsp 18.05.1575)
          • m. Dorothy Dransfield
          • b. Mark Medcalfe of Bellerby (a 1585, vicar of Northallerton, 4th son)
          • m. Elizabeth Thomlinson (dau of Anthony Thomlinson of Gateshead)
            • (1)+ issue (a 1585) - Mary (b c1577), Martha (b c1578)
          • c. Matthew Medcalfe
          • m. Lucy Parkinson (dau of William Parkinson of Burniston)
            • (1)+ issue (a 1585) - Francis (b c1569), Lucas, Nicholas, 4 daughters
          • d. John Medcalfe of York
          • m. Alice Herbert (dau of _ Herbert, alderman of York)
            • (1)+ issue - Thomas, (John,) Matthew, Ursula
          • e. Anthony Medcalfe had issue (daughters)
          • m. _Crumpe of London
          • f. Richard Medcalfe of Louth Park (9th son) had 4 wives
            • (1)+ issue - Thomas, Myles
          • g. Mary Medcalfe
          • m. Bartholmew Stringer of Richmond
          • h. Dorothy Medcalfe
          • m. John Stapleton of Bedale
          • i. Jane Medcalfe
          • m. Thomas Parkinson of Burnistoni
          • j. Margaret Medcalfe
          • m. John Smelt (son/heir of John of Ainderby Myre)
          • k.+ other issue - Nicholas (dsp 08.09.1581), Lucas (dsp), Symon
      • B. Leonard Medcalfe of Burton
      • m. _ Thursby (dau of _ Thursby of Thursby)
        • i. Ambrose Medcalfe
        • ii. Godfrey Medcalfe of the Henring (3rd son)
        • m. _ Snynaye of Kent
          • a. Valentine Medcalfe
          • b. Michael Medcalfe
          • m. _ Thursby
            • (1) Edward Medcalfe
            • (2) William Medcalfe
            • m. _ Trollope (dau of John Trollope of Thornley)
              • (A) Christopher Medcalfe of Heneage
              • m. _ Godsworth
                • (i) Vincent Medcalfe
            • (3) John Medcalfe in York
              • (A) Michael Medcalfe in York
            • (4) Vincent Medcalfe of Otterington
            • m. _ Metcalfe
              • (A) Michael Medcalfe
      • C. Nicholas Medcalfe or Medcalfe
        • i. Nicholas Medcalfe
        • m. _ Devinthe
        • ii. John Medcalfe of St. Nicholas (dsp)
      • D. Roger Medcalfe or Medcalfe of Beare Park
      • The following is partly supported by Visitation (Yorkshire, 1563-4, Bosvyle).
      • m. Elsabeth Redman (dau of Richard Redman of Hareworth by Anne, dau of Thomas Clapham of Beamsley)
        • i. Leonard Medcalfe of Beare Park
        • m. _ Redman (dau of James Redman of Twistleton)
          • a.+ issue - John, Brian, Roger
        • ii. George Medcalfe of Alnwick
          • a.+ issue - William, Anthony
        • iii. Marmaduke Medcalfe of Hutton
        • m. ?? (widow of _ Conyers of Hutton)
          • a. George Medcalfe
        • iv. Winifred Medcalfe
        • m. _ Procter
    • 3. Miles Metcalfe or Medcalfe (d 1485, recorder of York)
    • m. Elizabeth de la River (dau of Brian de la River)
      • A. Edmond Medcalfe
      • m. Ellinor Tomlinson (dau of Christopher Tomlinson 'of Birdforth')
        • i. Ellinor Medcalfe
        • m. George Layton of Sproxton
    • 4. Reginald Metcalfe or Medcalfe
      • A. Elizabeth Medcalfe
      • m. Thomas Thornton of Thornton
        • i. Stephen Thornton
        • m. Cicely Medcalfe (dau of John Medcalfe of Holme)
    • 5. Johanna Metcalfe probably of this generation
    • m. (c1437) William Tempest of Broughton (d before 07.1490)
  • Main source(s): Visitation (Foster 1875, Yorkshire, 1584/5+1612, Metcalfe - various), Visitation (Dugdale, Yorkshire, 1665, Metcalfe of Nappa)
  • From:


Legendary Origin of the Metcalf Surname: Two Saxon salesmen were travelling through the forest, the one named Wilfred and the other Oswald. They were surprised to see what they thought to be a red coloured animal of large size, approaching them at a slow gait. Wilfred, seized with fear, thinking it was a lion, rushed off to the nearest hamlet. The more courageous Oswald confronted the animal and found it to be, not a lion, but a harmless red calf From that time forward he was known as Oswald Metcalf and his friend received the name of Wilfred Lightfoot

The surname “Metcalf” belongs essentially to the north of England, and has its origin in Yorkshire. They were most plentiful in the district of Wensleydale. The history of the surname commences with a man who was called “Arkefrith”. He was a noble Danish warrior and commander who came over to England with King Canute in the year 1016 A D. In reward for his valuable services, King Canute granted him vast tracts of land and estates in northern Yorkshire. He was styled “Lord of Dent” and his name appeared as such in the DoomsdayBook.

He was succeeded in the ownership of his lands by his son Arkyll. Arkyl was succeeded by his son William, who in turn left left the estates to his eldest son Richard. Richard, however, seems to have ceded to his son Adam only a portion of the lands and estate of Dent, namely the lands extending to the top of the mountain known as “Calffe Fell”, on the borders of Westmorland ( the “Lake District” ).

This mountain was so named for the reason that in those times that neighbourhood abounded with wild deer and a deer up to the age of four years being called a “calffe” by the foresters. The mountain became known for short as “The Calffe”. By virtue of his owning half of the Calffe, in which neighbourhood he resided, Adam in due course became known as the man of “Half-the-Calffe”, and in time his son (also Adam) who succeeded him, took the name “de Medecalffe de Dent”. This was in 1278 AD. He was unfortunately “slain in single combat by one Richard de Steynbrigge who was mulct by ye coroner in a fine of 14/6d., but he himself died of wounds received in ye fight, before the sheriff could levy against him”.

He was survived by his eldest son who also bore the name of Adam, and who appears to be the first to use the surname in its more modern shortened form, being officially styled as “Adam Mede-calffe of Baynbridge, chief forester to the Earl of Richmond”. The name was spelt in this way for many generations, until, with modernised English spelling, it changed to the various forms in which it appears today.

In the senior male line of descent, the Christian name Adam recurs for many generations, until one comes to the name of James Metcalf, a very distinguished character, who, in the year 1415, was appointed Captain of the troops from Wensleydale area, and fought in the battle of Agincourt. He was the son of Thomas Metcalf of Bainbridge, in the District of Wensleydale, and for his services was knighted. He became Lord of the Manor of the magnificent and vast estate of Nappa Hill, on the shores of Lake Somerville.


view all 12

Thomas Metcalf, of Bainesbridge, Chancellor's Timeline

Wensleydale, Yorkshire, England
Age 29
Of, Nappa, Yorkshire, England
Age 31
Of, Nappa, Yorkshire, England
Age 35
Nappa, Yorkshire, , England
Age 38
Yorkshire, , England
Age 40
Of, Nappa, Yorkshire, England
Age 46
Nappa, Yorkshire, England
Age 63
Holme House, Yorkshire, , England
July 1504
Age 77
Wensleydale, Yorkshire, England