"As it now appears
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
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).
John Field of Ardeslaw, fermor,
mathymathicall sciences" is how he
described himself in his Will
on his coat of arms
was awarded in 1558 for his services to the science
navigation. In the
previous year he published an almanac entitled "Ephemeris
anni 1557 currentis iuxta Copernici et Rheinhaldi canones ephemeris",
of star and planet positions for navigators,
first in England based on the new astronomy which
placed the Sun at
centre of our planetary system, and not
the Earth. The
work was inspired
orbitum coelestium" by the
Polish scholar and
(1473 - 1543). Surprisingly
other countries were slow to take up this science.
Its development, mainly by protestant states it seems,
navigating the World and exploiting its resouces.
years later Galileo was abused by the Roman
Inquisition for his support of these
new ideas [link].
Dee (1527 - 1609) alchemist, astrologer and mathematician, astrologer
wrote an "Introductory Epistle" to John Feild's almanac.
- The Ardsley favoured
or may not be the village
Ardsley. Historically, Ardsley,
also known as Woodkirk
is a large district
which includes East Ardsley; West Ardsley; Batley; Morley;
Hood; Tingley; Topcliffe;
and other settlements. And so, I aim here
John Field and his descendants into that landscape based on the
historical records, and some well
- As a
curiosity, the Baptism register for St.Michael, East
Ardsley shows my distant
Feild (1706) ,
and the clerk has added marginalia indicating
that the ceremony took place elsewhere, in fact
at West Ardsley (St.Mary), Woodkirk which is two
- Also long ago, "St.Michael's,
Ardsley (q.v.) was a chapel dependent on St.Mary's, Woodkirk."
Joseph Hunter, a
descendant of John
Feild believes that John
son of Richard Felde, and born in
who received his
early education at the ancient monastic
at Woodkirk, an outpost of Nostell Priory near Wakefield, and that he
later graduated from Oxford University. 
Crest on an
antique silver urn in
the possession of a friend of this page, Mr David Collier.
John Feild's last
will mentions a
financial arrangement with (agriculturalist) John Francklyne of
Chart , Kent.
His wife Jane
b.1540  was also
from Kent, and daughter of a
the Franklyne and Amyas families 'of Kent' neighbours, or
related ? Linking to a
we see the ruined church
Virgin and the Holy Rood. In WW2 a
German 'Doodlebug' flying bomb crashed on it. Curiously
this may be a
the Woodkirk, Ardsley church also bears the same
that John and his wife had a part in the naming and
of the church at Woodkirk which replaced the earlier
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
The timeline of
my interest in John Feild begins here : -
1511 - 1568
of Armigael Ward (Oxford B.A. 1532) navigator. His adventures
might have impressed the young John Field.
Will of John /footnote no.1
born. He became Queen Elizabeth's chief adviser, and nemesis
Mary Queen of Scots.
Feild was born.
He became Princess Elizabeth's astrologer.
Dee was born.
He became Queen Mary's
Elizabeth was born, daughter of Henry VIII and Anne
Boleyn. (Later Queen Elizabeth I)
1536 to 1540
of the Monasteries Act
disturbed the Woodkirk (Ardsley) monastery; church; and John
Field's primary education.
1543 May 24
Death of Nicolas
Poland, age 70.
Copernicus 1473 - 1543
1546 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
Following the failure of Wyatt's
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
mentor John Feild.
lodge was their jail because the main house was
in such poor condition. The princess
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
to return to her own 'palace' Hatfield House.
In the meantime our hero and others found themselves in
June 5th & 7th. The Privy Council ordered that
and John Dee  should be
on charges of 'endeavouring by
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
the peace.  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
Copernicus and Erasmus
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.
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
or square-octavo, very close in shape to the present ISO-216
/A5; 210mm x 150mm.
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
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
Then only 10 weeks
1558 Nov 17
died and her half-sister Elizabeth  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 
was about to
settle in Ardsley (Woodkirk), Yorkshire. 
Residence of ancestor John
from about 1558.
John and his wife moved from the south of England to Ardsley
Yorkshire. Having been one of Queen Mary's courtiers perhaps
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
Earlier, when as a young man he left for Oxford, the monastic
at Woodkirk would have been closed under the Dissolution of the
Monasteries Act. Land management had been conducted
Woodkirk for centuries, making it an ideal homestead for a retired
courtier. His residence though not yet identified may have
Topcliffe Hall (demolished c.2016) about one mile north of
St.Mary's still within
greater manor of
is proposed upon
the assumption that John Field's burial in the porch
church uncannily imitates that of Sir John Topcliffe. The
(1513) is under a slab in the chancel of St.Mary's, Woodkirk. The Latin
memorial inscription was
with mortar c.1835, however with great foresight it had
been earlier recorded by lawyer and historian Mr Norrisson
of Morley, thus:-
in the webmaster's English
translates to :-
- "Orate pro amina
quondam Capitalis Justicarii Domini
Henrici VII et VIII in Hibernia. Item Magistri Monetae qui Quidem. Obit
XII die Decembris Anno Domini MCCCCCXII. Cujus animae propicietur Dues."
Wikipedia shows John
Topcliffe (LCJ 1496
place among the others
who held the post
of Lord Chief Justice of Ireland (Link). There
is also a reference
Austen's, Pride and Prejudice, i.e. the character of Mr Darcy
based upon that of her sweetheart Thomas Lefroy
who many many years later became Lord Chief Justice of Ireland (LCJ
- "Please pray for
(the soul of) John
Topcliffe, once Lord Chief Justice of Ireland in the reigns of Henry
VII and Henry VIII; and of the
Exchequer. He died the 12th of December 1512."
- However, as
alternative residence another place deserves our consideration as it
is very near
to St.Mary's church. An old
c.1890 shows a
'Manor House'; 'Fields Buildings';
and 'Woodkirk Mill' (water-powered), all three just a
walk from the church.
- It appears
that the water courses were important to the Field family, i.e.
Woodkirk Mill (the water corn mill) mentioned in John's
relied upon the combined power
of Woodkirk Beck and Hey Beck; and Fields' Buildings near Syke Beck
were probably the site of their saddlery workshop (see the conjectural
below '1660' on this page). If part of the works was a tannery a water
course would have been essential. Unsurprisingly John
Field names a tanner, Robert Allott as a
. . . .
Digges' father died, and as a consequence young Thomas age 14,
too young to inherit the estate, became a ward and pupil
of John Dee. As Dee had
Field's Ephemeris, it follows that the young Digges would be acquainted
with John Field and his works. There
was also a geographic connecton between
Field; they both had strong links with the county of Kent : 1560 is
about the time of John's marriage to Jane Amyas of Kent; and
at that time Thomas Digges (b. in Kent) would have been about 14 years
see 1576 for example of Thomas Digges work ]
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
wife. However a 'fermor' might also have been a Tax farmer as
described in this
link. If so he would
responsible for 'harvesting' taxes etc, and as can be seen at 1612
his son Matthew
had the power to
penalise those in debt. Now (2014) as a
addendum to this paragraph I realise that John's son
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) : -
Richard, 1563 Matthew,
birth of Matthew
Field Matthew my 9th
is the patron saint of tax-collectors.)
Field's children, I believe that Matthew is the most likely to
Following his father's
death he appears
taken over as head of the family, and as
the 'squire' would
likely son to remain on the estate along with his mother.
Field's will link makes it clear
is disinheriting his eldest son -
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
why the Will refers to "my
eight children" and not the
'nine' as listed above
Thomas Digges (age 30)
protege of John
Mathematiae" dedicated to chief
minister to Queen Elizabeth,
William Cecil / Lord Burghley.
Later in 1587 Cecil signed the death warrant of Mary
Scots. She was
executed at Fotheringay Castle on his
Baptism of William Shakespeare at
John Dee  was touring Europe. He was
made a Doctor
whilst visiting Prague or Krakow.
Thomas Digges reissued his father's Prognostication
Everlasting with a few
original publication introduced an English version
of Copernicus' Revolutions
to which Thomas
added a supplement
explaining his (own) new understanding of the cosmos.
of the time, even after Copernicus, believed the starry sky to
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
the line of sight) and into the outer reaches of 'space' - - a
unheard of then.
version of Copernicus' solar system diagram in which he shows
stars as asterisks beyond the 'circles' of the planetary
1582 February 24 The Gregorian
calendar was invented
and adopted by the Roman Catholic church, but it was many years before
England followed suit.
Heralds, Flower and Glover were in
Field's family and reviewed his right to Arms [3a p.494]
1586 Dec 31
Field made his Will [link].
shows no legacy for his son Matthew. Could
it be that
conveyance of the Ardsley manor to Matthew
been arranged beforehand in the
same way as Matthew did later on behalf of James in
1587 Feb 8 Mary
Scots was beheaded at
Field [65, b.1522]
1587 May 3 John
Field's will [link]
probate at York.
of James, son of Matthew
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
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
from his brother Robert 1589 > George 1615
1647 > and Joshua 1681 seems very ordinary,
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;
his son Thomas Lord Savile b.1590; then
grandson James Lord
d.1671 no male issue.
eventual demolition of the hall at line 1730) Our
James Field b.1587 was harassed by Thomas Lord Savile, the
mentioned in Star Chamber proceedings, see below at line 1638 April 10
1596 Dr John
was appointed Warden at Christ College, Manchester.
Howley Hall, Batley
with a dollop of artist's licence
( click on the image for a treat )
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 I
1604 * * * *
The Gunpowder Plot
Ref. 1606 Jan 30th & 31st
aged  and others died on the the scaffold for
their parts in the Gunpowder Plot.
There was a great comet in the sky, later
Comet. Edmund Halley studied the comet's movements in 1682,
of Dr John Dee  scholar, buried at
May 10 For reference only. A child of John Lord Savile's died
buried at All Saints, Batley. On the next line of the record,
days later, Elizabeth Savile was also buried there, probably the
child's mother. This is
included here as it
is in the locality of other events described on this page
the acrimonious relationship ( [3a] Parsons
p.328 ) between James Field and Thomas Lord Savile at 1638 Apr 10 on
page, and later claims of the webmaster to some
ancestors being in
the Batley records, e.g 1615, 1647 and 1675.
1609 July 17 ancestor Jane
her will. Executor
: William  of Thurnscoe. [2/Pierce/p.24]
1609 Aug 3
Burial of ancestor Jane [Amyas]
Marriage of uncle James
Field [age 21]. Regarding his children from 1610 : Surnames
spelt as found; and in the Leeds record Jas = James, (standard
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
great a time for one woman. There were Judiths born at both
places, which suggests that the latter child might have
after a deceased half-sister which was not uncommon.
cousin Robert, son of James Field . James
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
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
June 11 ancestor Matthew
Field [49, b.1563] /Document at National Archives, index states
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
James Field: MD244/194 11 Jun 1612 to MD244/207 1 May 1651. Some of these are
referred to below.
1613 Birth of William
the Hill, Middleton, Leeds. He invented instruments
See 1639 / Transit of Venus etc. 
Birth of William
family occupied land at Oulton, Rothwell and probably
had an interest in Holling Hall farm homestead
the webmaster's 'Barber' ancestors. (See 1753)
Henry Field, son of ancestor Robert Field
 at All Saints, Batley
Field ancestor [52, b.1563] of
and William Field
of Carhead bought one quarter
of the manor of Idle (nr Shipley) from John Lord Savile.
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
with him on "cock and bacon".
& 3a to Parsons 1834]
Feb 18 (A
of ancestor George
Field, son of ancestor Robert Field
[b.1589, age 27] at All Saints, Batley.
Archive Service : D37/1
1616 April 23 The
of William Shakespeare
1617 May 13
'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
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
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
Baptism of 'cousin' Lanclot [sic] Feild, son
of Jas 
1620 Jul 30
of 'uncle' John
son of Robert Field
 at All Saints, Batley
of 'cousin' Judeth
Feilde, daughter of
Jas  Recorded at St.Peter's, Leeds [10c]
1620 Sept 66 The
Pilgrim Fathers set sail
from Plymouth, England for North America aboard the Mayflower.
of 'uncle' Thomas
son of Robert Field
1589 at All Saints, Batley
West Yorkshire Archive Service : D37/1
Margrit (sic) Fields, daughter
of Jas  Recorded at St.Peter's Leeds [10d]
Ref. 1625 Mar 27
Death of James I,
From this year,
James "- - had
several children baptised at
" These would be in addition to
those recorded at
from 1610 to 1623.
[Hunter/p.496] are of
interest at this time, see my tree at
"Ancestry".co.uk where I
am known as 61007.
Aug 30/31 John
Lord Savile died at his home Howley Hall (exactly one mile
of St.Mary's, Woodkirk). And later, following the
of John Savile there were serious loggerheads for James with the
of the Saviles namely Sir John's son and heir Thomas Lord
p.327 says :
"This young Lord is charged by James to have - - taken him
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
Field [68, b.1563]
anticipating his demise arranges conveyance of the manor of
trust to his son James . At the National Archives
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,
1631 Sept 8
/ Document at
mortem of Matthew Field
Sep 1631 Contents : Relates to Thurnscoe manor
Taken at Doncaster." 
November 3 'uncle'
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 :
of the manor of Thurnscoe. Sir Robert Nannton wiki,
Master of the
Court of Wards and Liveries and
Rudyard, Surveyor of
Liveries, pro King Charles (I) to James Field."
The Court of Wards and Liveries was a money-spinning instrument of the
State set up by Henry VIII. It took over the management
where the main beneficiary of a Will was incapable, for
example, under the age of responsibility; or an
many families were overcharged for the services.
the Civil War the discredited Court was abolished, and
from 1660 the
money was instead raised by taxes on
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
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
Greenwood, a Lieutenant of
Horse in the service of
'slane' in the Civil War at Newark".
Star Chamber enquiry into a complaint by Thomas Lord
Savile of Batley that James Field
 was accusing
him of false imprisonment
forced to sign contracts under duress (actually, at the point
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." [3a/Parsons/p.328]
1639 Nov 24 (Julian
A transit of Venus across the Sun was observed for the first
Photo taken during
the 2004 Transit
three English north-country astronomers, Jeremiah Horrocks 
and William Crabtree  of Salford; and William Gascoigne
of Thorpe-on-the-Hill, nr Leeds. Horrocks predicted the
then he and Crabtree witnessed it, each from his own home.
Gascoigne joined the group
later. He, Gascoigne
the telescope-micrometer and other instruments. Upon
outbreak of the English Civil War
was commissioned as a Royalist officer, and I have read
he was killed two
later in the Battle of Marston Moor. The battle site near
is only 20 miles north of his home. Some historians have named the
above trio as the fathers of
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
serves to remind us of the trials and tribulations of the
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
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
Jeremiah Horrocks [link]
- - - - - - - - -
- - - - - - - - -
- - - - - - - - -
1641 The Star Chamber
1642 Outbreak of
1644 Dec 22 Baptism of George
of George [29, b.1616] at All Saints, Batley. (George 1644 elder
brother of my ancestor James 1647)
the Battle of Marston Moor. (see 1639 / Venus
1645 Robert Field 
James  moves from Boston, N.America to Long
1647 Aug 14 Baptism of ancestor
James Field son of George [32, b.1616] at Batley
West Yorkshire Archive Service : D9/3
1649 Jan 30
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
rent from Francis Pierrepont. He was not in
this role as landlord
much longer it seems, as the Field
of land agents had
the losing side in the Civil War and it appears that
James returned to Ardsley. (See 1638
"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
1660 The Royal Court
and Liveries was abolished by the
Abolition Act 1660
1666 The Great Fire of
have a watershed.
Court which had employed four generations of the Field
family was gone,
by Heralds Sir William Dugdale
and Sir Gregory King shows no "Field" estate.
The role of the
Fields as civil servants / estates managers was over,
and James who received his right to coat-armour in
of my ancestors to hold the office.
I believe the
themselves in trade at Ardsley to
develop a traditional interest in the manufacture of horse
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
which was well
established at Woodkirk long before our astronomer's time due
to the annual
Fairs held there. The Royal Charter for the fairs
received in the reign of King Stephen in 1135. For additional
background information go
through these recommended links : (Lee
Detail from a
painting, "Lee Gap
E.Ferneley 1782 - 1860
away from the
artist, had the power to drive
an old water (corn)
mill at Hey Beck Lane (Batley Road).
The image is included
here with the
of the Turton family who own the original painting. (Email - 22 July
See also : http://www.bbc.co.uk/arts/yourpaintings/artists/john-e-ferneley
WOODKIRK / WEST
of the Fields as 'new-age' saddlers.
Nov 19 Marriage of
Field [28, b.1647] and
Fearnley at All Saints,
Joshua Field b.1681
1674 Nov 25
of my ancestor Isack
Cryer and ancestor Hannah Asquith at
Batley, parents of Judith Cryer b.1680
Archive Service :
Baptism of ancestor Judith Cryer at
i.e. daughter of
Judith, my 6th
- All Saints, Batley
and St. Mary's, Woodkirk are adjacent parishes, separated by
Dewsbury/Leeds Road. The church buildings are
only two miles apart. In the
been customary for marriages to take place in the
parish church. Later,
of the above couple, Richard
and James Field 1678 were baptised at
Saints, Batley. Joshua
(b.1681) is believed to have been a child of this
family, but a search for the fact has been frustrated by lost
letter from the Borthwick Institute, York tells us that church
for Woodkirk, West Ardsley; and East Ardsley are missing for 1679 to
1681, and the webmaster
that the All Saints, Batley records suffered the same fate.
bride's maiden surname 'Fearnley' occurs again in 1747.
of ancestor Joshua
Field, son of James [34, b.1647]
, a code used sparingly throughout my pages as a generation
1693 March 31 (O.S.)
(longitude) Harrison was baptised at Foulby, St.Michael, nr
His mother was an Elizabeth Barber who married Henry Harrison, 7 June
Marriage of ancestor Joshua Field
saddler, and ancestor Judith
Cryer at Woodkirk,
Nov 15 baptism of Hanna [10e] daughter of
- Although recorded
St.Michael's, East Ardsley,
parish clerk's handwriting indicates
"Woodkirk" which would
have been St.Mary's, West
appears to have
been named 'conventionally'
after her grandmother, in
fact both of her grandmothers (see 1674 and 1675) were
Birth of Thomas
Field, son of Joshua[27, b.1681]
Mar 27 Baptism of Thomas Field, son of 'Jehosha'
1710 abt ancestor James Barber was
- later of
Holling Hall (Now Oulton Farm, Wakefield Rd, Oulton, Leeds LS26 8EL)
Nov 24 Baptism of ancestor John
Field, Woodkirk, son of ancestor Joshua Field [39,
May 24 Death of Thomas aged 14, son of ancestor Joshua Field [39,
Thomas, my 5th
It seems that
Joshua never got
over the boy's death.
Their very simple and yet durable gravestones are embedded,
close contact in the lawn at St.Mary's, Woodkirk. His
small turf-level gravestone
to the south-facing porch at West Ardsley, St.Mary
Nov 3 Baptism of ancestor Anne Briggs at
Rothwell, Holy Trinity, her father's name was William.
Howley Hall demolished
great-grandson John Lord Savile whose seat it was from 1590.
great-grandson in question was the Earl of Cardigan - - - but that's
another story. See the location
remains of the ruins Howley Hall [today]
1744 about Birth
of son Thomas to ancestor James Barber 
of Holling Hall,
the baby's mother not known but might have been "Maria". A
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
(Woodlesford Station webmaster).
Her death at 31 would have left James free to marry again as logged
below at 1747.
Sep 23 Marriage
of ancestor James Barber [53
of Holling Hall
and ancestor Ann Briggs [24
Trinity. The Register states : "The 23rd day James Barber &
were married by Mr Brown, vicar. Banns thrice pub(lished)"
Dec 30 Marriage of ancestor John Field 
and ancestor Sarah
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 :
Baptism of ancestor Thomas Field, ( my
like to think
that this ancestor was named after his deceased uncle Thomas for the
reasons at "1722".
1750, for reference
only :- -
July 28 Death of Johann Sebastian Bach. Mentioned
because this webmaster, an aspiring organist, was born on another "July
"The Calendar (New Style) Act
1750" was introduced in England, a
part of which subtracted 11 days from the calendar of 1752.
nutshell Wednesday the 2nd of September was immediately followed by
Thursday the 14th of September.
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"
like a grand location but not
so, as it became a typical 'home-farm' adjoining the estate of the
8HN). Mary was baptised
Holy Trinity on Sunday 15 Apr 1753. In
Blayds (Calverley) family
of Oulton Hall
acquired the freehold of Holling Hall, and the
remained as tenants.
May 31 Death of ancestor Joshua Field [74
|Image : © 2017 / Google Earth
44' 30.22" N 1º 27'
12.50" W elev
HOLLING HALL (Tudor)
Homestead of my Barber ancestors in the 1700s
Grade 2 Listed
Now known as
Oulton Farmhouse LS26 8EL, currently (2018) in
Consulting Ltd (Mr T D Cairns)
" King James (1603
did sell to William Foreman and
Jun 1 Burial of ancestor Joshua Field,
Joshua has a
special place in this
saga. When my wife and I
visited St.Mary's, Woodkirk  we went with little hope
of finding anything of real interest. However upon
churchyard we found ourselves face to face with a significant
group of Field family graves. Joshua's  gravestone was there,
embedded in the turf and yet proud enough to
attract our attention. The
gravestone is close to
facing porch of Woodkirk, West Ardsley, St.Mary
"1759 news" Gladly received
Benson, webmaster of site themed for Woodlesford
" - - - 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
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
27 years later. Incidentallly in those days the form of
'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 !
Freehold of Holling Hall farm including some surrounding
properties (fee-simple) were sold to the Blayds (Calverley)
of the nearby Oulton Hall. 
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
only: 1769 June 3 :
Cook an English navigator had carried a team of scientists to Tahiti
purpose of precisely timing a Transit of Venus; and
simultaneously as part of the same experiment, similar
carried out by others at Greenwich, London, England, i.e. two
of observations at opposite ends of a very long baseline. As
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
earlier solution to the so-called Longitude Problem.
creation the H4
chronometer, a reliable sea-clock, was transforming the
science of navigation.
Jan 21 Marriage of my ancestor Thomas Field
[23, b.1748] and ancestor Mary Barber [18,
Mary was a newcomer to the village. Her birthplace Hollin Hall
[extant] is about 6 miles NE of Woodkirk.
Nov 13 Burial of ancestor John Field [51,
"saddler & householder".
That house was
House a few yards to the west of the Bull's Head near
Road / Rein Road (A6029) junction. Considering the history of the cross
roads and the presence of the Field's saddlery works
Rein Road was aptly named. (see map referred to at line 1851)
Apr 19 Baptism of ancestor John
Barber-Field son of Thomas [30
b.1748] and Mary Barber [24 b.1753] at St.Mary's,
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
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."
of ancestor Ann
Barber [58, b.1723] nee
widow of James Barber [m.1747]
(presumed from memoranda c.1944 of Rev Geoffrey Hamish Mercer i.e. both
graves at Rothwell, Holy Trinity).
Thomas Barber (42) son of James (b.1710), was still farming
(Rev Geoffrey Mercer's sketch-map)
1800 Nov 20
For reference only, a
rhetorical query, on behalf of my co-conspirator Mary B-E :
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
Thomas on the 1786 line above, i.e. Molly's cousin, assuming
generation steps of 31 years.
Marriage of ancestor John Barber-Field
saddler of St. Andrews,
are coincidences here, i.e. that our John Barber-Field
of Woodkirk, Yorks) found himself a
away in Kent as did
our Royal astronomer John Field 240 years
Ref. only : 1805 Oct
"The Battle of
Trafalgar" and the death of Admiral Nelson.
Nov 20 Birth of ancestor Sophia
John Barber-Field [27, b.1778] (Winterschladen family bible)
Baptism of ancestor Sophia Field at
Cathedral archive U3/S/1/4/St.Andrew's)
1808 : Here
it would be remiss of me
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)
his death aged 68, as the 18th of July 1846.
Directory and Gazetteer
my ancestor Thomas
Field [74, b.1748], saddler
grandfather and my 4th g.grandfather)
Sep 8 Burial at St.Mary's,
Ardsley of my ancestor Mary Field (nee
Syke [68, b.1753 Holling Hall, Oulton,
wife of ancestor
Thomas (d.1835). In the
church record both
Mary and husband Thomas
as their abode
'Syke' which I am assuming was Syke House, adjacent
to the Bull's
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
at the foot of this page, i.e. the way in which easier
travel affected the distribution of birth-places.
Burial of my ancestor Thomas Field of
[86, b.1748] saddler, at St.Mary's,
Ardsley. The record
burial shows an informal note in the margin which
"Parish Clerk nearly 40
shows my great uncle Isaac Field  was farming 50
acres, estimated to be about half the arable
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
Field's will. The Green (2015) is bounded
by Syke Rd;
Baghill Rd; Hey Beck
Lane aka Batley Rd; and
Rd. Also, a map of 1894 shows old
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.)
Death of my ancestor John
x g.grandfather. (Date from a
Click on map to
and daughter, last individuals in my line of 'Field'
1883 Feb 11
Death of my ancestor Sophia
Barrett nee Field [77
Hume Terrace, Darlington.
information re 1681 / Joshua Field received from The
Institute, University of York (
29 May 2009)
Recommended book from which many
internet websites seem to be sourced :---
"Field Genealogy", by Frederick Clifton Pierce, published 1901.
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;
a Mr Somerby [link]
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
Arms was described (for a fee) by "Windsor Herald of Arms", London by
letter dated 17 July, 2009 (EDN 56.18b; Miscellaneous
This translates to three
wheat-sheaves and silver chevron, on a black background and [not
illustrated] the crest, a right arm in a red sleeve issuing out of
holding in the hand a golden armillary sphere, i.e. a
spherical frame of
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
Parsons wrote essays [ 1834 ] on "Ardsley" and "Woodchurch" in a
Yorkshire history book Digitized by Google
Parsons takes delight in
Hunter's suggestion that John Field attended
Ardsley church, preferring
instead, as I do, Sancta Maria
[St.Mary's] at Woodkirk, Ardsley.
another Joseph Hunter, a
descendant of John
Field mentions Woodkirk, Ardsley in connection with
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
about St.Mary's which include references to 'watermills' such
mentioned in John Field's last Will. i.e. "
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
St.Mary's, Woodkirk (undated church leaflet).
conjecture for future consideration : John 'longitude' Harrison' was
born near Nostell Priory, Wragby. There is
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
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
from the evidence that "Matthew Field of Ardislaw", preferred
commute between the two places.
 Once upon a time before this history came to
light, the webmaster dabbled in
astronomical instrument making : - - Optical
The date of the
trial of John
Field, believed to be for the illegal prediction of Queen Mary's
was found in John Foxe's Book of Martyrs 1583/p1581.
link and Wikisource
link to John Field
Topographical Dictionary of
England (1848), pp. 66-69. See Ardsley
(West) here > >
1706 [10a] etc etc
Christenings, 1538-1975," index, FamilySearch
(https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.1.1/NBMX-521 : accessed 31 Dec
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.
Christenings, 1538-1975," index, FamilySearch
(https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.1.1/JW6N-24N : accessed 31 Dec
Lanclot Feild, 12 Feb 1619; citing
PETER,LEEDS,YORK,ENGLAND, reference ;
FHL microfilm 0599914 IT 3, V. 1, 0599915 IT 2, V. 3, 0599916 IT 2, V.
0599919 IT 1, V. 20.
Christenings, 1538-1975," index, FamilySearch
(https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.1.1/JW6J-82J : accessed 31 Dec
Feilde, 05 Sep 1620; citing SAINT PETER,LEEDS,YORK,ENGLAND, reference ;
microfilm 0599914 IT 3, V. 1, 0599915 IT 2, V. 3, 0599916 IT 2, V. 7,
IT 1, V. 20.
Christenings, 1538-1975," index, FamilySearch
(https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.1.1/JMGW-651 : accessed 31 Dec
Margrit Fielde, 26 Oct 1623; citing SAINT PETER,LEEDS,YORK,ENGLAND,
FHL microfilm 0599914 IT 3, V. 1, 0599915 IT 2,
0599916 IT 2, V. 7,
0599919 IT 1, V. 20.
Births and Christenings, 1538-1975," index, FamilySearch
(https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.1.1/J7WJ-FTR : accessed 07 Jan
2013), Hanna Feild, 15 Nov 1706; citing EAST ARDSLEY,YORK,ENGLAND,
reference ; FHL microfilm 98531.
Marriages, 1538–1973 ," index, FamilySearch
(https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.1.1/NFWS-P6N : accessed 07 Jan
James Field and Hannah Fearnley, ; citing Batley, York, England,
reference ; FHL microfilm 1542093.
"England, Marriages, 1538–1973 ," index, FamilySearch
(https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.1.1/NF4K-TWQ : accessed 08 Jan
2013), Joshua Field and Judith Cryer, ; citing West Ardsley, York,
England, reference D 108/39 it 16; FHL microfilm 1542170.
and Burials, 1538-1991," index, FamilySearch
(https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.1.1/J8GX-WZF : accessed 09 Jan
2013), Joshua Field, 01 Jun 1755; citing [REFERENCE-ERROR], reference D
108/37 it 14; FHL microfilm 1542170.
Credit for some of
the Thomas Digges data : (Obsolete hyperlink removed as a result of
Conjuror" by Benjamin Wooley
[ISBN 0 00 655202 1]
Sir John or not Sir
John ? See http://www.historylearningsite.co.uk/coats_of_arms_heraldry.htm
"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.
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
webpages seem to have missed this point.
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.
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
relaying this advice.
Benson's website, "Woodlesford Station" has information
about my Barber ancestors' homestead, Holling Hall (farm),
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
James (Stuart) to
a William Foreman, and further information about the
At line 1639 November 24 I allude to a slim volume by Dr
Chapman entitled "Three North Country Astronomers", i.e. my
fellow Northeners, Jeremiah Horrocks, William Crabtree and
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,
historic stately home is where some folk believe that Horrocks was
employed as a children's tutor.
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,
south facing porch is a feature of many old English
churches. It is an entrance
which churchgoers; brides; babies; mourners and pall
bearers may be
to the church in the warmth of the Sun. ( weather permitting
Dig down in
( Birth )
> 86 years
1911 - 2010
1877 - 1952
1840 - 1919
( the )
1805 - 1883
1748 - 1835
1720 - 1771
1647 ~ 1717
1616 ~ 1685
1589 ~ 1659
1563 - 1631
1522 - 1587
( Railways )
symbol have been estimated as a lifespan of three-score-and-ten years.
generations show an average step of 31.5 years. I
if others recognise the period as fairly 'typical' ?
" For all our
beg only this favour, that whenever you see the Sun, the Heavens, or
the Stars, you will think of us. "
(mathematician) 1657 to 1757
Is the owl apparently blind or blinded in one eye symbolic in some way ?
reader, the above timeline data is as they say, "To the best knowlege
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
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 www.ancestry.co.uk
where my personal galleries include many facsimiles of ancient
2008 - 2019
I am a mechanical,
engineer, and an amateur astronomer at visual and radio frequencies.
My home is 35 miles SW of St.Mary's, Woodkirk /
Please expect the above live data to be amended from time to time,
however from 05 May 2019 11:55
under the auspices of the Harvard Law School
copy is archived/frozen forever as