The Hamertons, Knolls, and Arches


John R. Schuerman



In previous articles in WP I have discussed the Tempest ancestors of Peter Worden I (a chart showing the descent of the Tempests appeared in August 2005, v. 26, no. 2; see also February 2005, v. 25, no. 4).  I have discussed the Tempests extensively in articles at

The last Tempest from whom Peter is descended is Isabel Tempest, the wife of Lawrence Hamerton.  The descent is as follows:


Isabel Tempest = Lawrence de Hamerton, d. bef. 27 June 1449

Alice Hamerton, b. abt 1412 = Richard Sherburne, d. 1441

Agnes Sherburne = Henry Rushton, d. bef. 1490

Nicholas Rushton, b. aft. 1454, d. 3 May 1508 = Margaret Radcliffe, d. 6 July 1528

Agnes Rushton = (2nd) Richard Worthington, d. 22 Dec. 1526

Peter Worthington, b. 1514, d. 19 Sept. 1577 = Isobel de Anderton, d. 1573

Isobel Worthington, d. 11 Dec. 1580 = Robert Worden, d. 11 Sept. 1580

Peter Worden I, b. abt. 1569, d. Feb. 1638/39 = Margaret Grice


The ancestry of Lawrence de Hamerton is given by Thomas Whitaker in his History and Antiquities  of the Deanery of Craven in the County of York (3rd Edition, 1878, chart opposite p. 150) and by Joseph Foster in his Pedigrees of the County Families of Yorkshire as follows:


Richard de Hamerton, fl. 1170

Orme de Hamerton

John de Hamerton = Agnes

Richard de Hamerton fl. 1284-5 = Agnes

Stephen de Hamerton fl. 1315-16

John de Hamerton fl. 1332-3, d. before 1359-60 = Agnes

Adam de Hamerton = Katherine de Knoll

Richard de Hamerton = Elizabeth, dau & heir of William de Radcliff

Laurence de Hamerton = Isabel Tempest


I am concerned here primarily with the ancestry of Katherine de Knoll, the wife of Adam de Hamerton.  Katherine was apparently a descendant of the Arches family.  The following is adapted from a more extensive discussion I have posted at in which I provide more evidence than given below.  I believe that the descent is as follows:


Thurstan de Arches, fl. 1174-5

Wilin de Arches, fl. 1223, 1228

Reiner de Arches = Sara

Hawise de Arches = (m. by 1266) Elias de Knoll, son of Elias de Knoll

Elias de Knoll

Katherine de Knoll = Adam de Hamerton


All of these families came from the northwest of England: North Yorkshire (the western part of it) and Lancashire.  There is much evidence that Katherine de Knoll is descended from the earlier Knolls and Arches shown above.  Lawrence Hamerton and his wife are buried in the Hamerton chantry in Long Preston church, built by their son Richard.  The slab covering their tomb (which I have viewed several times) has a number of shields including one identified as Hamerton impaled with Knoll and Arches borne quarterly (this means the shield was divided into four quarters, the first and fourth quarters had the Hamerton arms, the Knoll and Arches arms were in the other quarters).  This indicates that a Hamerton was married to a Knoll who was in turn married to an Arches.  More specific evidences for the relationships are primarily land transactions, records of which have survived. The Hamertons evidently inherited (in addition to Hammerton), Hellifield (or Hellifield Peel) from the Knolls.  They are alleged to have inherited Wigglesworth from the Arches.  Whitaker (p. 150) quotes “ex charta pen. Jac. Hamerton, Arm.” (from a charter held by James Hamerton, knight) a document indicating how the Knolls obtained Hellifield:  “For Isabel daughter of Richard de Helghefeld and widow of Robert de Stainton, gave to Elias de Knoll, for his homage and service, and for sixty marks, all the lands which she held as of inheritance in demesne in Helghefeld, whereof thirteen bovates were in demesne, and four bovates in service, as sixteen bovates make two carucates” (a mark is a unit of money, bovate and carucate are measures of land). No date is given for this grant so we do not know which of the three Elias de Knolls listed above is referenced here.  Whitaker (p. 151) goes on to say that Lawrence Hamerton obtained a licence to fortify his manor of Hellifield in 19 Henry VI (1440-41), citing “Chart. Jac. Hamerton.” This appears to be what is now Hellifield Peel, a fortress-like structure now an elegant guesthouse which I visited last September.


Both Whitaker and Foster in their descendancy charts for the Hamertons show Wigglesworth as having come to Adam de Hamerton from his wife, Katherine de Knoll.  The will of Sir Richard Hamerton, Lawrence’s son and the founder of the chantry at Long Preston, is in Testamenta Eboracensia, v. 3 (v. 45 of Surtees Society publications), pp. 258-59 (dated 4 October 1480).  Unfortunately, it does not discuss his holdings of land.  However, Stephen Hamerton, son of Richard, held Wigglesworth at his death in 1500/01 (see his inquest post mortem in Calendar of Inquests Post Mortem, Henry VII, v. 2, p. 243-44).  He also held considerable other properties, including Knollesmere, Hamerton, and “Halyffelde,” presumably Hellifield.[1] 


Both Whitaker and Foster show Katherine de Knoll as daughter of Elias, but I have been unable to conclusively demonstrate this connection, so I believe it must be considered speculative. 


Whitaker shows Elias’s parents as Reiner (Reginald) de Knoll and his wife Beatrice de Arches.  But Reiner was the older brother of the Elias I have shown as Katherine’s father and the son of the second Elias.  Further there is considerable evidence that Reiner and Beatrice had no children.  In addition, Beatrice was probably not an Arches.  The error arises in Flower’s Visitation of Yorkshire (on line, Google Books, pp. 152-3, pedigree of Hamerton).


The Arches


There were a number of Arches families in early post-conquest England, but their relationships are cloudy.  The earliest Arches ancestor of Katherine de Knoll that I know of was Thurstan (fl. 1174-5).  He was likely related to other earlier Arches that have been identified, but I have been unable to determine these relationships.  The descent from Thurstan de Arches to Reiner de Arches is given by Charles Clay, Early Yorkshire Charters, volume 11 (hereafter, EYC).  EYC provides considerable evidence for this descent from charters of the family.  EYC has charters in which Thurstan de Arches gave to Fountains Abbey land in Arncliffe in and before 1170, and land between Kilnsey and Arncliffe in 1174-75 (no. 128-9, pp. 154-56).  EYC, v. 11, pp. 156-57, no. 130 (c. 1180-1200) is a confirmation of these gifts by Thurstan’s son, Wilin de Arches.  EYC, v. 7, pp. 185-86, no. 116 has a gift before April 1221, by Walter de Arches, another of Thurstan’s sons, to Furness Abbey, which the notes indicate was confirmed by Wilin. EYC says “Wilin de Arches had a son William whom he mentioned in one of his charters to Fountains (note to no. 130 [EYC, v. 11, p. 185, see above]); but his successor was his son Reiner who confirmed the gifts of his grandfather Thurstan and his father Wilin [Fountains Chart. i, 72].”  Reiner de Arches apparently had two daughters, Maud (Matilda) who married John de Alta Ripa (alias Dautrey) (she married second, Adam de Buckden) and Hawise who married Elias, son of Elias de Knoll.  The Percy Chartulary (v. 117 of the Surtees Society Publications), pp. 123-124, no. 374 has an agreement between John de Alta Ripa and his wife Maud and Elias son of Elias de Knoll and Hawise dated 28 January 1265/6.  This document refers to an inheritance by Maud and Hawise from Reiner de Arches, not explicitly identifying them as his daughters.[2]  The agreement provided for dividing their inheritance between them.  The advowson of the church of Arncliffe (the right to appoint the priest, a valuable right) was to be shared (that is, alternated) between them.  Land in Staverbot (Starbottom), Langestrother, and Ketelwell and the homage and service of Arncliffe were to go to Elias and Hawise while land in Hapton, Heyton, and Rathmell was to go to John and Maud.


The Knolls


The Elias de Knoll who married Hawise de Arches apparently had sons Reiner de Knoll (who married Beatrice) and Elias.  There are two lawsuits recorded in the De Banco rolls for 18 April 1325 in which Elias, son of Elias de Knoll claimed lands in Netherhelghefeld and Stauerbot.  The lawsuits describe the relevant relationships in somewhat confusing language but it is clear that Elias de Knoll and his wife Hawise had two sons, Reiner and Elias.[3]  An inquest following the death of Beatrice, the wife of Reiner de Knoll (Cal. Inq. P. M., v. 6, Edward II, pp. 399-400, C 134/93/16), 18 Edward II (1325), confirms that Reiner died without heir of his body.  Her IPM (Ibid.) indicates that she held the manors of Knoll, Staverbot, and “Netherhelghfeld” (Nether Hellifield) and the advowson of Arncliffe.


I have shown Katherine de Knoll as the daughter of Elias de Knoll III (she might have been his granddaughter, the daughter of still another Elias).  As indicated above, this should be considered  speculative since I have no solid evidence she was his daughter.


I am grateful to Chris Phillips for translating and interpreting several documents.  I am also grateful to Ken Swint for calling my attention to questions about the Knoll and Arches descent and for pointing me to a number of sources.


[1]  A manuscript in the British Library, Add. MS 30146, by William Langton has several evidences for Lawrence Hamerton of Wigglesworth, his son Richard, and one for John, his great-grandfather (1359).  There are also evidences for the Knolls in this manuscript.  Langton was involved in the revision of Whitaker’s History of Craven.



[2]  However, a De Banco roll entry, cited below, says that Reiner de Arches gave Staverbot to Elias de Knoll in marriage with Hawise, so this is additional evidence, though perhaps still not conclusive proof, that Reiner was the father of Maud and Hawise.  He could have been their uncle, or another relative.

[3]  I discuss these lawsuits and other evidence for these relationships at  Records of the lawsuits may be viewed at and  These are on the website of the Anglo-American Legal Tradition at the University of Houston Law School (AALT). This digital archive of materials at The National Archives is being assembled by Robert C Palmer and Elspeth K Palmer and is available at  The documents are in medieval Latin script.  Chris Phillips has translated and interpreted these items for me.