Link to my Basic Family Tree of 30 ancestors ( 1800 - 1935 )

John Field 1522 to 1587

The proto-Copernican astronomer of England
[ My 11th great-grandfather ? ]

John is also known as; Astrologer of Anne Boleyn's daugher Elizabeth TUDOR;
Associate of philosopher John Dee 1527 - 1609;
Farmer of Ardsley/Woodkirk/West Yorkshire, 
and an Agent 
of the Royal Court of Wards and Liveries

"Genealogy is not a science. Public records are defective and too often entirely wanting.
The Father of Lies has an unknown number of representatives dead and alive.
And only a child's mother has any chance of naming the biological father."

This page was opened in 2008 as a tool to help trace my ancestors who lived in the Ardsley and Batley parishes of West Yorkshire. As new facts have emerged my procedure has been one of iteration and revision. My original aim was to prove a thread from my ancestor John Barber-Field, baptised at St.Mary's, West Ardsley on Easter Day 1778 to his ancestor, a Tudor court astrologer "John Field" entombed in the same church 191 years earlier.  To add a little colour, the list of events has been dressed with some popular historical pointers. The auspices of have been priceless in this search, especially the ease of access to copies of ancient registers. A very early example found is a Bishop's Transcript including the baptism of another ancestor on the 18th Feb 1616 within a neat pen-and-ink page.  It is the oldest facsimile image of this quest seen so far.  Only 18 years earlier Queen Elizabeth introduced the Act of Parliament (1598) which directed her Bishops to maintain such records.
In 1834 Yorkshire historian Edward Parsons wrote :-
"As it now appears from the household books, or privy purse expenses of our ancient kings, queens, nobility etc, that they scarce did one important act without first consulting their astrologers - - - as John Field and ** John Dee pursued the same profession with equal reputation at court, one as the great astrologer of Elizabeth, and the other of Mary - - - as the jewels left to Field's wife, if not the plate, had probably been given to our Sidrophel* by the former - - and as his history is a most interesting portion of the literary history of the county of York, I may perhaps be excused for a little curiosity about his residence, and a wish to ascertain whether he is laid in the porch of East Ardsley church, or as I believe in that of Santa Maria at Woodchurch." (Within the 'greater' Ardsley, south of Leeds). 

* "Sidrophel" an ill-fated astrologer in a 1660s satirical work by Samuel Butler.
** John Dee although often referred to as the "Dr" he was not entitled as such until 1585 when he was 58.

I share Mr.Parsons preference for St Mary's church (Dewsbury Road, Woodkirk) as the resting-place of John Field. His reasoning in the full article is feasible, not least that St.Mary's church was close to a water corn mill such as mentioned in John Field's will, whereas the East Ardsley church is on a dry hill.  Also, we should expect that John and his family might have moved house at least once within the 'greater' Ardsley as I have proposed below at 1558.
More than a hundred years ago this Field family was brought to the attention of historians in the U.S.A. by genealogists Osgood Field, and Clifton Pierce.  My own research was inspired by an article in "Nebula" the Journal of Leeds Astronomical Society, volume 34, 2006, iss.2, p.18; and that a branch of my own family tree reaches into Ardsley.  For example the flush gravestone of my 6th g.grandfather Joshua Field 1681 - 1755 saddler is but a few paces from where I believe John Field the Copernican was buried in the spring of 1587.

This Crest has all the attributes mentioned below by Windsor Herald of Arms,
in addition it includes the slogan, " SEMPER in MOTU "  which translates as
"Always in Motion" or "Perpetual Motion" allusive to the
predictable (apparent) shifting of the Sun, Moon and stars.


Field arms 1558-Sep-04 [crest omitted]
"Sable, a Chevron between three Garbs Argent"
( Arms of John Field )

"Arms were confirmed to John Field of Ardsley, co: York on 4 September 1558."

At the same time the
Crest atop was granted;
"A dexter Arm issuing out of clouds  fesswise proper habited Gules, holding in the hand
also proper an Armillary Sphere Or." (EDN 56.18b; Miscellaneous Grants 1.59)

The above definitions from the armorial were given by letter  dated 17 July 2009
from William G Hunt, Windsor, Herald of Arms, London  EC4V 4BT

No proof of a Knighthood has been found. 
If John Field had been dubbed a knight (i.e. Sir John Field)
the crest would have included a Helmet, but that is plainly not the case.

The same rank was in turn inherited by his son Matthew, and then Matthew's eldest son James (b.1587). The Royal Court of Wards and Liveries was responsible for the appraisals.  The fact that John Field was not  knighted does not surprise me as there was no love lost between him and Queen Mary I.  For example in 1555 John Field and his friend John Dee were imprisoned, close to being burned at the stake probably for meddling in the matter of the Queen's failure to produce an heir.

"I John Field of Ardeslaw, fermor, sometymes studente in the mathymathicall sciencesis how he described himself in his Will of 1586.  A Crest on his coat of arms was awarded in 1558 for his services to the science of navigation.  In the previous year he published an almanac entitled "Ephemeris anni 1557 currentis iuxta Copernici et Rheinhaldi canones ephemeris", i.e. tables etc of star and planet positions for navigators, the first in England based on the new  astronomy which placed the Sun at the centre of our planetary system, and not the Earth. The work was inspired by "De revolutionibus orbitum coelestium" by the Polish scholar and linguist Nicholas Copernicus (1473 - 1543).  Surprisingly other countries were slow to take up this science.  Its development, mainly by protestant states it seems, simplified the task of navigating the World and exploiting its resouces. Seventy-five years later Galileo was abused by the Roman Inquisition for his support of these new ideas [link].
John Dee (1527 - 1609) alchemist, astrologer and mathematician, astrologer to Mary Tudor, wrote an "Introductory Epistle" to John Feild's almanac

Crest on an antique silver urn in the possession of a friend of this page, Mr David Collier.

Joseph Hunter, a descendant of John Feild believes that John was a son of Richard Felde, and born in Ardsley, West Yorkshire, who received his early education at the ancient monastic cell at Woodkirk, an outpost of Nostell Priory near Wakefield, and that he later graduated from Oxford University.  [8]

John Feild's last will
mentions a financial arrangement with (agriculturalist) John Francklyne of Little Chart , Kent.  His wife Jane b.1540    [14] was also from Kent, and daughter of a John Amyas[3a]   So, were the Franklyne and Amyas families 'of Kent' neighbours, or otherwise related ?   Linking to a image we see the ruined church of St.Mary the Virgin and the Holy Rood.  In WW2 a German 'Doodlebug' flying bomb crashed on it.  Curiously (although this may be a coincidence) the Woodkirk, Ardsley church also bears the same name.  Is it possible that John and his wife had a part in the naming and dedication of the church at Woodkirk which replaced the earlier monastery ?

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - 

The timeline of my interest in John Feild begins here : -
1511 - 1568   Lifespan of Armigael Ward (Oxford B.A. 1532) navigator.  His adventures might have impressed the young John Field.
See Will of John /footnote no.1

1520 William Cecil was born. He became Queen Elizabeth's chief adviser, and nemesis of Mary Queen of Scots.

 John Feild was born.  He became Princess Elizabeth's astrologer.

1527  John Dee was born.  He became Queen Mary's astrologer.

Princess Elizabeth was born, daughter of Henry VIII and Anne Boleyn. (Later Queen Elizabeth I)

1536 to 1540  Dissolution of the Monasteries Act      would have disturbed the Woodkirk (Ardsley) monastery; church; and John Field's primary education.

1543 May 24  Death of Nicolas Copernicus in Poland, age 70.

Copernicus at his desk

Nicolaus Copernicus  1473 - 1543

Birth of Thomas Digges at Wootton, Kent who upon the death of his father became a ward of John Dee. See 1560 and 1576.

1547 Jan 28   
Death of King Henry VIII

1554 Following the failure of Wyatt's rebellion, Queen Mary imprisoned Princess Elizabeth in the Tower of London and later moved her to Woodstock under house arrest. There, I believe the princess met the queen's astrologer John Dee and her own mentor John Feild.  Apparently the lodge was their jail because the main house was in such poor condition.  The princess remained at Woodstock for almost a year until her release in April 1555.  She was summoned by her half-sister Queen Mary to live at Hampton Court, then in October 1555 allowed to return to her own 'palace' Hatfield House.

In the meantime our hero and others found themselves in hot-water :-

1555 June 5th & 7th. The Privy Council ordered that astrologers John Field [33] and John Dee [28] should be examined on charges of 
'endeavouring by enchantmentes' to destroy Queen Mary in the matter of her failure to produce an heir; and bewitching children, etc. They were jailed and it was Christmas of the following year before Dee was bound over to keep the peace. [12]   The webmaster believes that our John was released at the same time and that during their imprisonment the shamed astrologers had worked on their recognition and championship of the Sun-centric planetary system as propounded by  Nicholas Copernicus and Erasmus Reinhold.

1557  Birth of John Savile who became 1st Baron Savile of Pontefract, mentioned here as he built Howley Hall, nr Woodkirk establishing a dynasty of interest to the Field family researchers.

1557  Publication of 
ancestor John Feild's "Ephemeris Anni 1557 - - - " based on the Copernican system, prefaced by John Dee.  
The book is an almanac of star and planet positions etc specifically for the year 1557. The printers' format is known as small-quarto or square-octavo, very close in shape to the present ISO-216 /A5; 210mm x 150mm.

1558  September 4th.  The family Arms were confirmed to John Field and a Crest awarded for his services in the science of navigation.  It is unlikely that this would have meant an audience with the Queen.  Following the death of his father he would have petitioned the Court of Wards and Liveries for his right to continue in his late father's office as estates agent and tax collector.

Then only 10 weeks later :

1558 Nov 17  Queen Mary died and her half-sister Elizabeth [25] ascended to the throne.  Robert Dudley, known as a 'favourite' of Elizabeth, appointed astrologer John Dee to set the date of her Coronation, and around that time ancestor John Field [35] was about to settle in Ardsley (Woodkirk), Yorkshire.  [7]


Residence of
ancestor John Field from about 1558.
John and his wife moved from the south of England to Ardsley (Woodkirk), Yorkshire.  Having been one of Queen Mary's courtiers perhaps he was not welcome at the court of Queen Elizabeth. However on a personal level, perhaps he had inherited his father's lands and resettling in Yorkshire might have suited him. Earlier, when as a young man he left for Oxford, the monastic cell at Woodkirk would have been closed under the Dissolution of the Monasteries Act.  Land management had been conducted at Woodkirk for centuries, making it an ideal homestead for a retired courtier.  His residence though not yet identified may have been Topcliffe Hall (demolished c.2016) about one mile north of St.Mary's still within the greater manor of Ardsley/Woodkirk. This is proposed upon the assumption that John Field's burial in the porch of Ardsley's church uncannily imitates that of Sir John Topcliffe. The Topcliffe tomb (1513) is under a slab in the chancel of St.Mary's, Woodkirk. The Latin memorial inscription was seriously blemished with mortar c.1835, however with great foresight it had been earlier recorded by lawyer and historian Mr Norrisson Scratcherd of Morley, thus:-
Which in the webmaster's English translates to :-  
Wikipedia shows John Topcliffe (LCJ 1496 - 1512) in his place among the others who held the post of Lord Chief Justice of Ireland (Link). There is also a reference to author Jane Austen's, Pride and Prejudice, i.e. the character of Mr Darcy was based upon that of her sweetheart Thomas Lefroy who many many years later became Lord Chief Justice of Ireland (LCJ 1852 - 1866).

. . . .Image of Topcliffe Hall Ardsley c.1913

Home-Sweet-Home ( ? )
Topcliffe Hall, righthand image, as photographed about 100 years ago.
In 2013, the building was still standing, near to Carlsberg Tetley Brewing WF3 1SP.
Now in 2018 Google Earth shows nothing there, the old Hall has gone from our eyes.
For the photograph, credit gladly acknowledged to the Leodis Archive, Leeds City Council

And see this Genuki link

Just prior to John Field's death his Will styles him as a 'fermor', so a definition of the word has been sought. It is clear from other parts of the will that he is a farmer i.e. in his Will he mentions agricultural chattels which he left to his wife. However a 'fermor' might also have been a Tax farmer (old English 'fermor' = collector of land-taxes) as described in 
this link.   If so he would have been responsible for 'harvesting' taxes etc, and as can be seen at 1612 June 11  his son Matthew had the power to penalise those in debt.  Now (2014) as a late addendum to this paragraph I realise that John's son Matthew 1563, and in turn his grandson James 1587 became agents of the Royal Court of Wards and Liveries which commissioned them as tax-collectors and land agents.

Children of John Field and his wife Jane (as recorded in 1584) : -
1562 Richard, 1563 Matthew, 1565 Christopher, 1568 John, 1570 William, 1572 Thomas, 1574 James, 1577 Martin, 1580 Ann

1563   birth of Matthew Field  Matthew my 9th g.grandfather  (St.Matthew is the patron saint of tax-collectors.)  
Of John Field's children, I believe that Matthew is the most likely to be my
ancestor.  Following his father's death he appears to have taken over as head of the family, and as the 'squire' would be the most likely son to remain on the estate along with his mother.  Also John Field's will link makes it clear that he is disinheriting his eldest son - - "I do give to my disloyal and loose-lived son Richard one silver spoon in full payment of his child's portion, with which he be not satisfied will he lose the benefit of the same".  So is this the reason why the Will refers to "my eight children" and not the 'nine' as listed above ?
1573   Thomas Digges (age 30) protege of John Dee published "Alae seu Scalae Mathematiae" dedicated to chief minister to Queen Elizabeth, William Cecil / Lord Burghley.  Later in 1587 Cecil signed the death warrant of Mary Queen of Scots.  She was executed at Fotheringay Castle on his estate.

1576   Thomas Digges reissued his father's Prognostication Everlasting with a few amendments.  The original publication introduced an English version of Copernicus' Revolutions to which Thomas added a supplement explaining his (own) new understanding of the cosmos. Philosophers of the time, even after Copernicus, believed the starry sky to be a domed ceiling which held the stars in their places and at a constant distance from the observer. However, Digges quite rightly postulated the third dimension which cast the stars away (along the line of sight) and into the outer reaches of 'space' - - a place unheard of then.

Digges' version of Copernicus' solar system diagram in which he shows
stars as asterisks beyond the 'circles' of the planetary orbits.

Click to     Wikipedia

Thomas Digges

1582 February 24  
The Gregorian calendar was invented and adopted by the Roman Catholic church, but it was many years before England followed suit.

1585  John Dee [58] was touring Europe.  He was made a Doctor of Medicine whilst visiting Prague or Krakow.

 Heralds,  Flower 
and Glover were in Yorkshire and recorded John Field's family and reviewed his right to Arms [3a p.494]

1586 Dec 31  John Field made his Will [link].  Strangely the Will shows no legacy for his son Matthew.  Could it be that the conveyance of the Ardsley manor to Matthew had been arranged beforehand in the same way as Matthew did later on behalf of James in 1631 at Thurnscoe ?

1587 Feb 8  Mary Queen of Scots was beheaded at Fotheringay Castle.
1587  Death of John Field [65, b.1522]
1587 May 3  
John Field's will [link]  probate at York.

1587  Birth of James, son of Matthew [24].

1589  Birth of ancestor Robert; son of Matthew [26, b.1563] He was a grandson of the Copernican, and brother of James [aged 2].

From here and
throughout the 1600s this timeline, to some extent, deals with the lives of both of these brothers. Uncle James' family, a spur on my pedigree, is included because of James' rank, and my recognition of his children born at Ardsley and Thurnscoe. In comparison, my ancestral thread from his brother Robert 1589 >  George 1615 >  James 1647 > and Joshua 1681 seems very ordinary, although well documented.

Ref. 1590  Howley Hall was built one mile west of Woodkirk, St.Mary. The hall was in turn the seat of John Lord Savile, Earl of Sussex; then his son Thomas Lord Savile b.1590; then grandson James Lord Savile b.1647 - d.1671 no male issue. (See eventual demolition of the hall at line 1730)  Our Copernican's grandson James Field b.1587 was harassed by Thomas Lord Savile, the fact was mentioned in Star Chamber proceedings, see below at line 1638 April 10

Negative image (as night)

Howley Hall, Batley
with a dollop of artist's licence
( click on the image for a treat )

1596  Dr John Dee [69] was appointed Warden at Christ College, Manchester.

1598  BENCHMARK  Parish churches were for the first time required to keep records of Births, Marriages and Burials.

1603 Mar 24  Death of Queen Elizabeth I, succeeded by James the 1st.

1604 * * * *

The following  'Sir Henry Savile' had no obvious link to the above Savile family of  Howley Hall, Batley.
1604 Sep 30   Henry Savile, of Merton College, Oxford was knighted by King James I. Sir Henry was one of the body of scholars which later prepared the "Authorised Version of The Bible" (1611). He personally translated (from Greek) parts of the Gospels; Acts of the Apostles; and the Book of Revelation.
And earlier (1583) in Queen Elizabeth's reign along with Thomas Digges and John Dee, Sir Henry sat on a commission to consider whether England should adopt the Gregorian calendar - - - but the result was it seems a 'NO' as the eventual change was as late as 
1752. Ref. 1604-1605  The Gunpowder Plot
Ref. 1606 Jan 30th & 31st  Guy Fawkes aged [35] and others died on the the scaffold for their parts in the Gunpowder Plot.
1609  Death of Dr John Dee [82] scholar, buried at Mortlake, Richmond-on-Thames.  [12 p.322]
1609 July 17 
ancestor Jane [Amyas] Field signs her will.  Executor : William [39] of Thurnscoe. [2/Pierce/p.24] 
1609 Aug  3
  Burial of
ancestor Jane [Amyas] Field [69], at Ardsley
1610  Marriage of uncle James Field [age 21].  Regarding his children from 1610 : Surnames spelt as found; and in the Leeds record Jas = James, (standard religious  abbreviation).  St.Peter's church, Leeds referred to below is four miles from Topcliffe Hall.  It seems that James married twice as his children range from Robert b.1612 at Ardsley, to Anne b.1649 at Thurnscoe, which seems too great a time for one woman.  There were Judiths born at both places, which suggests that the latter child might have been named after a deceased half-sister which was not uncommon.

1612  Birth of cousin Robert, son of James Field [25].  James  "------had a son, Robert born in 1610, who emigrated in 1636 to Boston, and in 1645 moved to Flushing, Long Island." [2/Pierce/p.24]  (Robert's relationship as a 'cousin' is, along with other cousins,  abbreviated. To be strictly correct he should be described as my '1st cousin 10x removed'. I have used the same device with the titles of uncles. For example, this Robert's father, James is strictly speaking, my 9th great grand uncle, not simply an 'uncle', i.e. a term used in this page for brevity.)

1612 June 11 ancestor Matthew Field [49, b.1563] /Document at National Archives, index states "Feoffment MD244/194  11 Jun 1612  Contents : of a moiety of the manor of Thurnscoe in performance  of an indenture of the same date (Sir ? ) Gervais Clifton to Matthew Field. Deed poll, Latin." This is one of fourteen such transactions naming Matthew Field and/or James Field: MD244/194 11 Jun 1612 to MD244/207 1 May 1651.  Some of these are referred to below.

1613 Birth of William Gascoigne of Thorpe on the Hill, Middleton, Leeds.  He invented instruments for astronomical observations.
See 1639 / Transit of Venus etc.
   1613 September   Birth of William Calverley whose family occupied land at Oulton, Rothwell and probably had an interest in Holling Hall farm homestead of the webmaster's 'Barber' ancestors. (See 1753)

1614 Jul 10  Baptism of uncle Henry Field, son of ancestor Robert Field [25] at All Saints, Batley

Matthew Field ancestor [52, b.1563] of Ardsley and William Field of Carhead bought one quarter of the manor of Idle (nr Shipley) from John Lord Savile.

1615 (Savile/Field friendship ?)  There was a John Savile living at Haigh Hall probably a relation of the Howley Hall family. It is believed that James Field who lived nearby was Savile's steward. There is a tradition of Field inviting Savile as he came out of Woodchurch one Sunday to dine with him on "cock and bacon".
[notes 2a & 3a to Parsons 1834]

1616 Feb 18  (A Julian Sunday)
Baptism of ancestor George Field, son of ancestor Robert Field [b.1589, age 27] at All Saints, Batley. 

1615-Field_George_baptism [fax]

West Yorkshire Archive Service : D37/1

1616 April 23
  The death of William Shakespeare
1617 May 13   Baptism of 'uncle' Mathew Feild, son of James Field [b.1587, age 30] recorded at St.Peter's, Leeds [10a]
Mathew, named by convention after his paternal grandfather. Misspelling of "Field" is to be expected when recording a largely illiterate population, the interpretation of the surnames etc was at the discretion of the Parish Clerk.  A very similar misspelling occurs on the baptism record [1706] of Hanna, daughter of Joshua.  His name is recorded as Joshuae Feilds. In general many of these discrepancies were due to the sluggish shift of the established church away from Latin.

Ref. 1618 October 29  Execution of Sir Walter Raleigh in London. His body was laid to rest in St Margaret's Church, Westminster, the very place where two of my cousins were baptised on 22 September 1822. (link) 1619 Feb 12   Baptism of 'cousin' Lanclot [sic] Feild, son of Jas [32] Recorded at St.Peter's, Leeds  [10b]

1620 Jul 30    Baptism of 'uncle' John Field, son of Robert Field [31] at All Saints, Batley

1620 Sep 5
 Baptism of 'cousin' Judeth Feilde, daughter of Jas [33] Recorded at St.Peter's, Leeds 

1620 Sept 66  The Pilgrim Fathers set sail from Plymouth, England for North America aboard the Mayflower.

1622 Mar 31  Baptism of 'uncle' Thomas Field, son of Robert Field 1589 at All Saints, Batley

Thomas Field baptised 1622 at All Saints, Batley
West Yorkshire Archive Service : D37/1

1623 Oct 26
Baptism of 'cousin' Margrit (sic) Fields, daughter of Jas [36] Recorded at St.Peter's Leeds

Ref. 1625 Mar 27  Death of James I, succeeded by Charles I

1626  From this year, James "- - had several children baptised at Thurnscoe [3a/Parsons/p.327] "   These would be in addition to those recorded at Leeds from 1610 to 1623.  The Thurnscoe children [Hunter/p.496] are of little interest at this time, see my tree at "Ancestry" where I am known as 61007.

1630 Aug 30/31  John Lord Savile died at his home 
Howley Hall (exactly one mile west of St.Mary's, Woodkirk). And later, following the death of John Savile there were serious loggerheads for James with the next generation of the Saviles namely Sir John's son and heir Thomas Lord Savile. (Parsons on p.327 says : "This young Lord is charged by James to have - - taken him alone to his study, shuts the door, putting the key into his pocket, goes to a drawer, whence he takes out a dagger puts it to his breast, and swears by a most fearful oath that if he did not presently sign and seal that writing before him, he would kill him in that place. He thus terrified, sealed it." See 1638 Apr 10 1631 Apr 5   ancestor Matthew Field [68, b.1563] perhaps anticipating his demise arranges conveyance of the manor of Thurnscoe in trust to his son James [44].  At the National Archives (MD244/199) Matthew is referred to as Matthew Field the elder of Ardeslaw (not the younger Matthew b.1617).

1631 Jun 2  Death of  Matthew Field ancestor [68, b.1563] [2] Pierce p.24

1631 Sept 8  Matthew Field
ancestor / Document at National Archives, index states "Inquisition post mortem of Matthew Field of Ardeslaw. MD244/200  8 Sep 1631  Contents :  Relates to Thurnscoe manor (land).  Taken at Doncaster."  [5]

1631 November 3  'uncle' James Field [44] inherits his right to coat-armour (as did his father Matthew, and grandfather John Feild). James Field/Document at National Archives, index states  "Royal livery MD244/201  3 Nov 1631  Contents : Includes extent of the manor of Thurnscoe.  Sir Robert Nannton wiki, Master of the Royal Court of Wards and Liveries and Sir Benjamin Rudyard, Surveyor of Liveries, pro King Charles (I) to James Field." [5]

The Court of Wards and Liveries was a money-spinning instrument of the State set up by Henry VIII.  It took over the management of estates where the main beneficiary of a Will was incapable, for example, under the age of responsibility; or an imbecile etc. and many families were overcharged for the services.  
After the Civil War the discredited Court was abolished, and from 1660 the money was instead raised by taxes on alcohol, tobacco, and luxuries.

1633  Trial and second judgement of Galileo by the Holy Office which charged him as "vehemently suspect of heresy". [link]  He was imprisoned (at the mercy of his accusers) until his death in 1642.

1636  Death of Robert Greenwood of West Ardesley who had been a supervisor of John Field's Will of 1587. The death is noted in Dugdale's 1665 - 1666 Visitation of Yorkshire.  The same family-tree also shows Greenwood's son "Ferdinando Greenwood, a Lieutenant of Horse in the service of King Charles 'slane' in the Civil War at Newark".

1638 Apr 10  Star Chamber enquiry into a complaint by Thomas Lord Savile of Batley that James Field [51] was accusing him of false imprisonment and being forced to sign contracts under duress (actually, at the point of a dagger).  There is a legend that this case "ruined Field who ended his days in great poverty on Haigh-moor-side (note at 1587).  The Civil War in this country, the troubles of the times, and the consequent destruction of the Star Chamber prevented in all probability this affair being brought to regular issue."  

1639 Nov 24 (Julian calendar)  
A transit of Venus across the Sun was observed for the first time.

Snapshot of the 2004 Transit // © 2016 Geoff Royle 

Photo taken during the 2004 Transit of Venus

The 1639 'transit' brought together three English north-country astronomers, Jeremiah Horrocks [21] of Southport; and William Crabtree [29] of Salford; and William Gascoigne [27] of Thorpe-on-the-Hill, Leeds. Horrocks predicted the transit, then he and Crabtree witnessed it, each from his own home. Gascoigne  joined the group later. He, Gascoigne invented the telescope-micrometer and other instruments. Upon the outbreak of the English Civil War (1642) he was commissioned as a Royalist officer, and I have read somewhere that he was killed two years later in the Battle of Marston Moor. The battle site near York is only 20 miles north of his home. Some historians have named the above trio as the fathers of today's Astronomy.

It has been said that astronomy is the most serene of sciences, and I couldn't agree more. Also I feel that the history of astronomy serves to remind us of the trials and tribulations of the giants, such as Ptolomy; Copernicus; Galileo; Newton and others.  And then there's pathos - - for example the young Horrocks died aged 22 only a year after the Transit. He left us with a fond farewell heralding the next Transit (1761 ?).
He wrote :
"Thy return, posterity shall witness; years must roll away, but then at length 
the splendid sight again shall greet our distant children's eyes."
Jeremiah Horrocks

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

1641   The Star Chamber was abolished.

1642   Outbreak of the 
English Civil War
1644 Dec 22 Baptism of George Field, son of George [29, b.1616] at All Saints, Batley. (George 1644 elder brother of my ancestor James 1647)

1645  Robert Field [33] son of James [1587] moves from Boston, N.America to Long Island [see 1610]

1647 Aug 14  
Baptism of 
ancestor James Field son of George [32, b.1616] at Batley

James Field baptised 1647 at All Saints, Batley
West Yorkshire Archive Service : D9/3

1649 Jan 30  Execution of Charles I.  Start of the Commonwealth Period. 
1651 Apr 3   James Field [64, b.1587] Document at National Archives ( MD244/203 ) He is referred to as "James Field of Thurnscoe Grange".  

1651 May 1   James Field [64, b.1587] Document at National Archives ( MD244/207 ) Final archive entry of James Field, of Thurnscoe. He received rent from Francis Pierrepont.  He was not in this role as landlord for much longer it seems, as the Field family of land agents had served the losing side in the Civil War and it appears that James returned to Ardsley.  (See 1638 Apr 10, "There is a legend - - - ")

1651 Sep 3  Battle of Worcester, which marked the end of the English Civil war.

1658   Death of Oliver Cromwell aged 59.

1660   Coronation of King Charles II.

1660   The Royal Court of Wards and Liveries was abolished by the
Tenures Abolition Act 1660

1666   The Great Fire of London.   [ link ]

Here we have a watershed.
The above Court which had employed four generations of the Field family was gone,
and the  1665-1666 Visitation of Yorkshire by Heralds Sir William Dugdale
and  Sir Gregory King shows no "Field" estate.

Arms shown fading away The role of the Fields as civil servants / estates managers was over,  Arms shown fading away
and James who received his right to coat-armour in 1631 was the last
of my ancestors to hold the office.

I believe
the Fields re-established themselves in trade at Ardsley to develop a traditional interest in the manufacture of horse tack, i.e saddles; bridles; stirrups etc.  This enterprise was no flash in the pan. After the Civil War, the sport of deer hunting declined, to be gradually replaced by fox hunting. The latter which required greater agility of horse and rider would have brought about refinements in the design of saddlery
the art and craft of which was  well established at Woodkirk long before our astronomer's time due to the annual Horse Fairs held there.  The Royal Charter for the fairs was received in the reign of King Stephen in 1135.  For additional background information go through these recommended links : (Lee Fair)  <>   (YouTube)


Detail from a painting, "Lee Gap Fair" by  John E.Ferneley 1782 - 1860
Woodkirk Beck, flowing away from the artist, had the power to drive
an old water (corn) mill at Hey Beck Lane (Batley Road).
image is included here with the approval of the Turton family who own the original painting. (Email - 22 July 2014)

See also :

WOODKIRK / WEST  ARDSLEY  and the resurgence of the Fields as 'new-age' saddlers.

1674 Nov 25  Marriage of my ancestor Isack Cryer and ancestor Hannah Asquith at All  Saints, Batley, parents of  Judith Cryer b.1680
¦     ¦
1675 Nov 19  Marriage of my ancestor James Field [28, b.1647] and ancestor Hannah Fearnley at All Saints, Batley, parents of  Joshua Field b.1681
1675 marriage of James Field and Hannah Fearnley

West Yorkshire Archive Service : D37/1
1680   Nov 28  Baptism of ancestor Judith Cryer at Woodkirk, filia, i.e. daughter of Isaac Cryer  Judith, my 6th g.grandmother
¦     ¦    
1681   Birth of ancestor Joshua Field, son of James [34, b.1647]
Joshua >> m-m-f-m-f-f-f-f , a code used sparingly throughout my pages as a generation indicator. Editor-GR

1693 March 31 (O.S.)  John (longitude) Harrison was baptised at Foulby, St.Michael, nr Wakefield, W.Yorkshire.
His mother was an Elizabeth Barber who married Henry Harrison, 7 June 1692.)

1705 Nov 27   Marriage of ancestor Joshua Field saddler, and ancestor Judith Cryer at Woodkirk, Ardsley  [10g]  

Reference only: 1706 Nov 15 baptism of Hanna [10e] daughter of Joshuae Feild (sic)
1708  Birth of Thomas Field, son of Joshua[27, b.1681]
1709  Mar 27  Baptism of Thomas Field, son of 'Jehosha' Field, at Woodkirk, St.Mary's

1710 abt  ancestor James Barber was born - - later of Holling Hall (Now Oulton Farm, Wakefield Rd, Oulton, Leeds LS26 8EL)

1720 Nov 24  Baptism of ancestor John Field, Woodkirk, son of ancestor Joshua Field [39, b.1681].

1722 May 24  Death of Thomas aged 14, son of ancestor Joshua Field [39, b.1681]  Thomas, my 5th great-grand-uncle.
It seems that Joshua never got over the boy's death.  Their very simple and yet durable gravestones are embedded, in close contact in the lawn at St.Mary's, Woodkirk.  
His small turf-level gravestone is close to the south-facing porch at West Ardsley, St.Mary

1723 Nov 3   Baptism of ancestor Anne Briggs at Rothwell, Holy Trinity, her father's name was William.

Ref. 1730  Howley Hall demolished by a great-grandson John Lord Savile whose seat it was from 1590. The great-grandson in question was the Earl of Cardigan - - - but that's another story. See the location and what remains of the ruins Howley Hall [today]

1744 about
 Birth of son Thomas to 
ancestor James Barber [34] of Holling Hall, the baby's mother not known but might have been "Maria".  A Maria Barber who died age 31 (child-birth) is mentioned in 'Rothwell, Holy Trinity' graveyard notes by a Rev Mercer (late 1940s) brought to my attention by Howard Benson (Woodlesford Station webmaster).  Her death at 31 would have left James free to marry again as logged below at 1747. 

1747 Sep 23   Marriage of ancestor James Barber [53 b.1694] of Holling Hall and ancestor Ann Briggs [24 b.1723] at Rothwell, Holy Trinity. The Register states : "The 23rd day James Barber & Anne Briggs were married by Mr Brown, vicar. Banns thrice pub(lished)"

Dec 30   Marriage of 
ancestor John Field [27] saddler, and
ancestor Sarah Fearnley at Woodkirk. My 5th g.grandparents.  
Sarah could have been John's cousin as his paternal grandmother was a Fearnley. See 1675.

then 36 weeks later :
Sep 11   Baptism of 
ancestor Thomas Field, ( my 4xg.grandfather ) at Woodkirk.  I would like to think that this ancestor was named after his deceased uncle Thomas for the reasons at "1722".
1750, for reference only :- -
"The Calendar (New Style) Act 1750" was introduced in England, a part of which subtracted 11 days from the calendar of 1752.  In a nutshell Wednesday the 2nd of September was immediately followed by Thursday the 14th of September.

1753 Mar 28   Birth of ancestor Mary Barber (4xg.grandmother) daughter of James [52 b.1710 abt] and Anne [30 b.1723] of Holling Hall, now Oulton Farmhouse, LS26 8EL.  "Holling Hall" sounds like a grand location but not so, as it became a typical 'home-farm' adjoining the estate of the superior Oulton Hall
(LS26 8HN).  Mary was baptised at Rothwell, Holy Trinity on Sunday 15 Apr 1753. In 1760, the Blayds (Calverley) family of Oulton Hall acquired the freehold of Holling Hall, and the Barber family remained as tenants.
Image : © 2017 / Google Earth
Image : Oulton Farm was Hollin Hall built abt 1685
53º 44' 30.22" N   1º 27' 12.50" W   elev 144 ft

Homestead of my Barber ancestors in the 1700s
Grade 2 Listed
Now known as Oulton Farmhouse LS26 8EL, currently (2018) in the occupation of
Cairnsworths Consulting Ltd (Mr T D Cairns)
" King James (1603 - 1625) did sell to William Foreman and heirs "

1755 May 31   Death of ancestor Joshua Field [74 b.1681]
1755 Jun 1   Burial of ancestor Joshua Field, saddler.
Joshua has a special place in this saga. When my wife and I visited St.Mary's, Woodkirk [2008] we went with little hope of finding anything of real interest. However upon entering the churchyard we found ourselves face to face with a significant group of Field family graves. Joshua's [1755] gravestone was there, embedded in the turf and yet proud enough to attract our attention.   The gravestone is close to the south facing porch of Woodkirk, West Ardsley, St.Mary

"1759 news" Gladly received from Howard Benson, webmaster of site themed for Woodlesford (railway) Station  [Link]
" - - - an advertisement in the Whitehall Evening Post, a London newspaper, connects him (Richard Butterfield) to the sale of the freehold of Holling Hall estate at Oulton now in the occupation of 
Mr James Barber."  
Presumably my
ancestor Mr James Barber was the tenant, not the freeholder but whatever transpired regarding the potential sale seems to have had little or no effect on the Barber family as James' son Thomas (42) was still farming at Holling Hall 27 years later.  Incidentallly in those days the form of address 'Mr' was a mark of respect accorded to a man of property sometimes measured in terms of the number of hearths or fireplaces or chimneys he possessed !

1760  Freehold of Holling Hall farm including some surrounding properties (fee-simple) were sold to the Blayds (Calverley) family of the nearby Oulton Hall. [17]

1762 Nov 21  Burial at Rothwell, Holy Trinity, of ancestor James Barber [52, b.1610 abt] 5th great-grandfather.
In the register he is entitled "James Barber, Yeoman - - from Holling Hall, Oulton".

Reference only: 1769 June 3 :  Captain James Cook an English navigator had carried a team of scientists to Tahiti for the purpose of precisely timing a Transit of Venus; and simultaneously as part of the same experiment, similar observations were carried out by others at Greenwich, London, England, i.e. two sets of observations at opposite ends of a very long baseline.  As a result, calculations were made which greatly improved our knowledge of the scale and structure of the Solar system.  The success of the experiment was in no small measure due to watchmaker John Harrison's earlier solution to the so-called Longitude Problem.  His creation the H4 chronometer, a reliable sea-clock, was transforming the science of navigation.

1771  Jan 21   Marriage of my ancestor Thomas Field [23, b.1748] and ancestor Mary Barber [18, b.1753] at Woodkirk. Mary was a newcomer to the village. Her birthplace Hollin Hall [extant] is about 6 miles NE of Woodkirk.
1771 Nov 13   Burial of ancestor John Field [51, b.1720] Woodkirk, Ardsley  "saddler & householder".  That house was probably Syke House a few yards to the west of the Bull's Head near the Dewsbury Road / Rein Road (A6029) junction. Considering the history of the cross roads and the presence of  the Field's saddlery works perhaps Rein Road was aptly named. (see map referred to at line 1851)

1778 Apr 19   Baptism of ancestor  John Barber-Field son of Thomas [30 b.1748] and Mary Barber [24 b.1753] at St.Mary's, Woodkirk. His middle name 'Barber' is squashed into the register as an after-thought, perhaps acknowledging his late grandfather's status i.e. James Barber [1710 - 1762] Yeoman of Holling Hall. Now in modern times the double-barrelling of John's surname has been a fortuitous 'Google' tag.
1778 baptism of John Barber Field

West Yorkshire Archive Service : D 108 / 41
Transcript : "John Barber-Field son of Thomas and Mary Field of The Syke, Sadler (sic) was born 7th April and baptised the 19th of April."

c.1781   Death of ancestor Ann Barber [58, b.1723] nee Anne Briggs, widow of James Barber [m.1747]
(presumed from memoranda c.1944 of Rev Geoffrey Hamish Mercer i.e. both graves at Rothwell, Holy Trinity).

1786  Thomas Barber (42) son of James (b.1710), was still farming at Holling Hall, Oulton (Rev Geoffrey Mercer's sketch-map)

180Nov 20  For reference only, a rhetorical query, on behalf of my co-conspirator Mary B-E :
Molly Barber-Field [25, b.1775], sister of John Barber-Field (see below), married Officer of Excise Thomas Barber. I think that this tax-collector was a son of Thomas on the 1786 line above,  i.e. Molly's cousin, assuming generation steps of 31 years.

1803 Sep 25   Marriage of ancestor John Barber-Field [25, b.1778] saddler of St. Andrews, Canterbury, and
ancestor Sophia Crockford of Borden, Kent.  
There are coincidences here, i.e. that our John Barber-Field (originally of Woodkirk, Yorks) found himself a wife
 240 miles away in Kent as did our Royal astronomer John Field 240 years earlier.

Ref. only : 1805 Oct 21st : "The Battle of Trafalgar" and the death of Admiral Nelson.

1805 Nov 20   Birth of ancestor Sophia Field, daughter of John Barber-Field [27, b.1778]   (Winterschladen family bible)

Jan 5 Baptism of 
ancestor Sophia Field at St.Andrew's, Canterbury, Kent, England    (Canterbury Cathedral archive U3/S/1/4/St.Andrew's)

1808 : Here it would be remiss of me to not mention the Rev. John Hepworth, incumbent of Woodkirk, St.Mary from 1808.  For 38 years his signatures (and marginalia) streamed through the parish registers as he escorted his parishoners one-by-one through life's pivotal moments.  The Gentlemen's Magazine (Bowyer-Nichols, London) records his death aged 68, as the 18th of July 1846.

1822 Baines Directory and Gazetteer includes my ancestor Thomas Field [74, b.1748], saddler  (Sophia's grandfather and my 4th g.grandfather)

1822 Sep 8  Burial at  St.Mary's, Woodkirk, Ardsley of my ancestor Mary Field (nee Barber) of Syke [68, b.1753 Holling Hall, Oulton, wife of ancestor Thomas (d.1835).  In the church record both Mary and husband Thomas have as their abode 'Syke' which I am assuming was Syke House, adjacent to the Bull's Head Inn, Dewsbury Road.

1825 September  25th,  for reference and its significance : 
The opening day of the Stockton and Darlington Railway. This brought about a massive cultural change around the World. For too long the people had been content with things as they were.  The effect on this branch of my family is illustrated by the virtual grave table at the foot of this page, i.e. the way in which easier travel affected the distribution of birth-places.  

1835 Aug 11  Burial of my ancestor Thomas Field of Syke House [86, b.1748] saddler, at St.Mary's, Woodkirk, Ardsley. The record of his burial shows an informal note in the margin which states "Parish Clerk nearly 40 years".

1851 Census
shows my great uncle Isaac Field [69] was farming 50 acres, estimated to be about half the arable land of Lee Fair Green, West Ardsley. The total area of the Green is 140 acres which includes the site of ancient water-powered corn mills and the course of Woodkirk Beck (the mill stream). The ancient corn mills are very likely to be those mentioned in John Field's will. The Green (2015) is bounded by Syke Rd; Baghill Rd; Hey Beck Lane aka Batley Rd; and Dewsbury Rd.  Also, a map of 1894 
shows old established Field's Buildings on the northern apex of the triangular Lee Fair Green. (The map extract shows Dewsbury Rd to the left, and Syke Rd to the right.)

Click on map to expand

1851 Jun 25   Death of my ancestor John Barber-Field [72 b.1778], 3 x g.grandfather. (Date from a Winterschladen family Bible)
Father and daughter, last individuals in my line of 'Field' ancestors, R.I.P.
1883 Feb 11   Death of my ancestor Sophia Barrett nee Field [77 b.1805], g.g.grandmother, at Hume Terrace, Darlington.

[1]   Parish record information re 1681 / Joshua Field received from The Borthwick Institute, University of York ( 29 May 2009)

[2]  Recommended book from which many internet websites seem to be sourced :---

"Field Genealogy", by Frederick Clifton Pierce, published 1901. Available on-line
The book may be downloaded from a choice of formats. I would strongly recommend the .pdf at 44Mb (not b/w).
Some time after the death of Mr Pierce, May 1, 1905 there was an interesting comment in a newspaper about the book; its author; and a Mr Somerby [link] .

[2a]  Recommended reading from a Google digitised book : by Edward Parsons published in 1834 :-
"The Civil, Ecclesiastical, Literary, Commercial and Miscellaneous History of Leeds, Halifax, Huddersfield, Bradford, Wakefield, Dewsbury, Otley and the Manufacturing District of Yorkshire.

The blazonry of the Arms was described (for a fee) by "Windsor Herald of Arms", London by letter dated 17 July, 2009 (EDN 56.18b; Miscellaneous Grants 1.59)
This translates to three silver wheat-sheaves and silver chevron, on a black background and [not illustrated] the crest, a right arm in a red sleeve issuing out of clouds holding in the hand a golden armillary sphere, i.e. a spherical frame of the heavens with lat/long circles and an ecliptic circle tilted relative to its equator.  The crest honoured John Field's contribution to England's grasp of Copernicus' revelations.
[3a] In the Gentleman's Magazine, 1834, p.491 the Rev. Joseph Hunter contributed
, "Some Particulars of the Life of John Field, the proto-Copernican of England".  Then later. as a critique of the foregoing, Edward Parsons wrote essays [ 1834 ] on "Ardsley" and "Woodchurch" in a Yorkshire history book Digitized by Google  pp.322-335.  Mr Parsons takes delight in challenging Mr Hunter's suggestion that John Field attended an East Ardsley church, preferring instead, as I do, Sancta Maria [St.Mary's] at Woodkirk, Ardsley. Also [8], another Joseph Hunter, a descendant of John Field mentions Woodkirk, Ardsley in connection with John Field's education, adding some  weight to the argument which favours St.Mary's.  Images of England "  the U.K. Government's statutory adviser on the historic environment provides archaeological notes about St.Mary's which include references to 'watermills' such as mentioned in John Field's last Will. i.e. " Excavations have revealed a courtyard over 50ft square with adjacent buildings. There was also a garden, an orchard and a stone dovecote with fishponds below the church which served as reservoirs for the watermills.  St.Michael's, East Ardsley (q.v.) was a chapel dependent on Woodkirk. [Written by] Joan Thomas, St.Mary's, Woodkirk (undated church leaflet). "

More conjecture for future consideration : John 'longitude' Harrison' was born near Nostell Priory, Wragby.  There is an ancient religious connection between 'Nostell' and St Mary's, Woodkirk. The webmaster wonders whether the hyphenated Barber-Field children of the 1700s were so named as a kind of hero worship e.g. John Barber Field was baptised only 10 years after Harrison's clocks contributed to the scaling of the Solar system through the Tahiti/Venus experiment.

[5]  The U.K. National Archives provide useful references to Matthew Field (b.1563) and his son James  [go to page at National Archives MD244/194 to 207]
.  The records show that in the early 1600s Matthew, and later, his son James had business dealings regarding Thurnscoe, although it appears from the evidence that "Matthew Field of Ardislaw", preferred to commute between the two places.

[6]  Once upon a time before this history came to light,  the webmaster dabbled in astronomical instrument making : - -  Optical telescope  Radio telescope

[7]   The date of the trial of John Field, believed to be for the illegal prediction of Queen Mary's pregnacies, was found in John Foxe's Book of Martyrs 1583/p1581.

[8]  Wikipedia link and Wikisource link to John Field proto-Copernican.

[9]  A Topographical Dictionary of England (1848), pp. 66-69. See Ardsley (West) here > > > URL:  

[10] CITATIONS 1617 to 1706  [10a] etc etc

[10a]  "England, Births and Christenings, 1538-1975," index, FamilySearch ( : accessed 31 Dec 2012), Mathew Feilds, 13 May 1617; citing SAINT PETER,LEEDS,YORK,ENGLAND, reference ; FHL microfilm 0599914 IT 3, V. 1, 0599915 IT 2, V. 3, 0599916 IT 2, V. 7, 0599919 IT 1, V. 20.

[10b]  "England, Births and Christenings, 1538-1975," index, FamilySearch ( : accessed 31 Dec 2012), Lanclot Feild, 12 Feb 1619; citing SAINT PETER,LEEDS,YORK,ENGLAND, reference ; FHL microfilm 0599914 IT 3, V. 1, 0599915 IT 2, V. 3, 0599916 IT 2, V. 7, 0599919 IT 1, V. 20.

[10c]  "England, Births and Christenings, 1538-1975," index, FamilySearch ( : accessed 31 Dec 2012), Judeth Feilde, 05 Sep 1620; citing SAINT PETER,LEEDS,YORK,ENGLAND, reference ; FHL microfilm 0599914 IT 3, V. 1, 0599915 IT 2, V. 3, 0599916 IT 2, V. 7, 0599919 IT 1, V. 20.

[10d]  "England, Births and Christenings, 1538-1975," index, FamilySearch ( : accessed 31 Dec 2012), Margrit Fielde, 26 Oct 1623; citing SAINT PETER,LEEDS,YORK,ENGLAND, reference ; FHL microfilm 0599914 IT 3, V. 1, 0599915 IT 2, V. 3, 0599916 IT 2, V. 7, 0599919 IT 1, V. 20.

[10e]   "England, Births and Christenings, 1538-1975," index, FamilySearch ( : accessed 07 Jan 2013), Hanna Feild, 15 Nov 1706; citing EAST ARDSLEY,YORK,ENGLAND, reference ; FHL microfilm 98531.

[10f]   "England, Marriages, 1538–1973 ," index, FamilySearch ( : accessed 07 Jan 2013), James Field and Hannah Fearnley, ; citing Batley, York, England, reference ; FHL microfilm 1542093.

[10g]  "England, Marriages, 1538–1973 ," index, FamilySearch ( : accessed 08 Jan 2013), Joshua Field and Judith Cryer, ; citing West Ardsley, York, England, reference D 108/39 it 16; FHL microfilm 1542170.

[10h]  "England Deaths and Burials, 1538-1991," index,
FamilySearch ( : accessed 09 Jan 2013), Joshua Field, 01 Jun 1755; citing [REFERENCE-ERROR], reference D 108/37 it 14; FHL microfilm 1542170.

[11]  Credit for some of the Thomas Digges data : (Obsolete hyperlink removed as a result of Link-Rot)

[12]  "The Queen's Conjuror" by Benjamin Wooley [ISBN 0 00 655202 1]

[13]  Sir John or not Sir John ?  
See which includes text, "Whereas knights would have had a helmet above their shield - - - - that denoted their rank."  
The literal definition received from the Windsor Herald, College of Arms does not include a Helmet. See shield image and notes, near the top of this page.

[14]  The birth year of Jane Field (Amyas) has been estimated on the reasonable assumption that she was 40 when Ann the last of her children was born. Many external webpages seem to have missed this point.

[15] Topcliffe tomb inscription St.Mary's, Woodkirk was described in a third-party URL linked from here, unfortunately now inoperative.  However the fact may be searched for and found elsewhere.

[16]  Many spellings of our astronomer's surname can be found. The following recommendation is from the Oxford University, Dictionary of National Biography. i.e. "Feild [Felde], John".  Many thanks to Dr. Brett D. Hirsch of the University of Western Australia for relaying this advice.

[17]   Howard Benson's website, "Woodlesford Station" has information about my Barber ancestors' homestead, Holling Hall (farm), Oulton, Rothwell, Leeds.  The following link will take the reader to a memoradum of historian Rev Geoffrey Mercer where pages 138-140 include conveyance of the property from King James (Stuart) to a William Foreman, and further information about the historical 'freeholder' sequence.

[18]  At line 1639 November 24 I allude to a slim volume by Dr Allan Chapman entitled "Three North Country Astronomers", i.e. my fellow Northeners, Jeremiah Horrocks, William Crabtree and William Gascoigne. Inspired by the Transit of Venus saga I once visited the church at Much Hoole where Horrocks was an incumbent officer, rank unknown. However in the mean time I have read that in all probablity Horrocks may have made his observations from Bank Hall, Liverpool Road, to the north of Much Hoole, near Preston. Bank Hall, an historic stately home is where some folk believe that Horrocks was employed as a children's tutor.


Is this how St. Mary's, Woodkirk, looked when it was a "wood church" ?
This image shows a rare 14th C "wooden church" near my home in Cheshire, England.  
A south facing porch is a feature of many old English churches. It is an entrance 
around which churchgoers; brides; babies; mourners and pall bearers may be 
welcomed to the church in the warmth of the Sun. ( weather permitting :)

Photograph (below) by Robert Abell, see

 Bramall Hall
Example of a Tudor manor house
This is Bramall Hall, about a mile from the webmaster's home.

Virtual Grave
( Dig down in time )
Christian Names

Rosa Susannah
( Birth )

Birth surnames

( of )
> 86 years
1911 - 2010
1877 - 1952
1840 - 1919
( the )
1805 - 1883
1778 - 1851
1748 - 1835
1720 - 1771
1681 - 1755
1647 ~ 1717
1616 ~ 1685
1589 ~ 1659
1563 - 1631
1522 - 1587


( Railways )
Ardsley, W.Yorks

Deaths at the (~) symbol have been estimated as a lifespan of three-score-and-ten years.

These thirteen generations show an average step of 31.5 years. I wonder if others recognise the period as fairly 'typical' ?

" For all our pains, we beg only this favour, that whenever you see the Sun, the Heavens, or the Stars, you will think of us. "
Bernard de Fontenelle (mathematician) 1657 to 1757

Astrologer sketch

An astrologer inventing his predictions.
Is the owl apparently blind or blinded in one eye symbolic in some way ?

Dear reader, the above timeline data is as they say, "To the best knowlege and belief"
but as dry as dust, so I believe that you deserve a dedicated final page with  my
concluding thoughts. Please advance to :  The lastword about my Ardsley roots

In the name of simplicity and to ease an otherwise bumpy ride, many data sources have been omitted. 
However please feel free to enquire/inquire. I believe that my claims are easy to affirm via the
avenues of the wonderful internet, not least of which is my '61007' account at
where my personal galleries include many facsimiles of ancient registrations.

Tudor gentlemanTudor gentleman

©  2008 - 2019  GEOFF  ROYLE  G4FAS

I am a mechanical, electrical & radio engineer, and an amateur astronomer at visual and radio frequencies.
My home is 35 miles SW of St.Mary's, Woodkirk / Ardsley, Yorkshire, England.

Please expect the above live data to be amended from time to time, however from
05 May 2019 11:55 am (Epoch)
under the auspices of the Harvard Law School Library a copy is archived/frozen forever as