Various excerpts detailing the history and sale of Thurland Castle and the reason Nicholas al et were not named in their father's will.
[Carson-Nunn, Gary Carson]
The original name was Gyrlyngton and S L O W L Y became Girlington and finally after the 1800 US census, Gillentine. The name Gyrlyngton was, according to The Yorkshire Place Name Society has identified the Gyrlyngton family to have derived it's name from the "tun" or "town" of Gyrla, a Saxon settlement of early Yorkshire prior to the Norman invasion. This was also a period of time before surnames were used. The first recorded Gyrlyngton was Waleran De Gyrlyngton b: abt. 1058 . Waleran was Lord of Gyrlyngton-juxta-Wycliffe near Richmondshire during the reigns of Henry I and Stephen (1100-1154). Waleran may well have been a descendant of one of William the Conqueror's invading Normans, most of whom were given land for their support.
As for Thurland Castle:
Sir John Girlington, b: 1560, was Lord of Hackforth and Hutton Longvillers in Richmondshire. He exchanged the manor of Hutton Longvillers with Francis Tunstall of Wycliffe in Lancashire for the castle and manor of Thurland and the manor and advows on of the Church of Tunstall in 1605. He died in Thurland Castle on 28 Feb.1613. Before his death, he conveyed the Manor of Hackforth to his brother Thomas.
Sir John Girlington (son of Nicholas) b: July 19, 1613 at Kirkby, Malham, Yorkshire, d: March 1645 in Melton Mobray, England +Katherine Girlington (his 5th cousin - daughter of William Girlington) b: 1617 in Southcave, Yorkshire. Made knight, major general, and sheriff of Lancshire by Charles I on the 6th of June, 1642. Killed in the King's Service at Melton Mowbray (may have actually died a few weeks later due to gange green from a musket ball in his foot). He became heir to the family fortunes after the death of his brother Josias in youth. Like all his predecessors, he was a Roman Catholic; therefore a staunch supporter of Charles I during the English Civil War. After a seven week siege on the castle, he surrendered Thurland Castle to the Protestant Parlimentary forces who backed the Cromwell lead Civil War / Revolt - approximately in 1644.
Sir John's son was the last Girlington to actually inhabit the castle or the castle grounds. John Girlington b: July 9, 1634 d: 1706 m: abt 1674 +Margaret Duckett b: abt 1638, Westmoreland, England. Apparently allowed to reside in Thurland Castle for some time after the war ended. However, most likely lost nobility title and ownership of the castle and lands. Margaret was pledged to Sir John Girlington's male heir as part of an alliance between the Bellingham/Duckett families and the Girlington families. Bellingham was strategically located near the Scottish border to the north. (Margaret was John's 1st wife and Nicholas was the only child. She most likely died in childbirth or from complications shortly thereafter. 2d wife Margaret Curven produced 5 daughters) Ironically, Margaret Duckett was a descendant of the Tunstall and Bellingham families. The Tunstalls were the original owners of Thurland Castle, as well as the original grant of 1004 acres around the castle. What's more ironic, after the leases to the castle paid of the fines on Margaret and John Girlington for being "Jacobites" (supporters of James II and the Stewart line), John was allowed to live on the grounds but not in the castle ... the Tunstall family was eventually granted back the castle. John Girlington died almost penniless. The only recognition remaining today of the Girlington family and Thurland castle is a small gold plaque that the friars placed in the small church on the Thurland grounds .. it merely bares his name, birth in 1634, Lord of Thurland Castle, and that he died in 1706.
So as castles go, the Girlington family actually lived in Thurland for a relatively short period ... 1605 to sometime before 1706.
Yes, Nicholas did have a drawing of the remaining wing. Since he was born some years after the siege destroyed the rest of the castle, that wing is all he knew. It was the billiard room, what we would call a den, dining hall, smaller ante rooms, and a kitchen on the first floor. The upstairs area of that wing was merely sleeping quarters.
[Johnson-Johnston and Related Lines, Doc Johnson]
John Girlington was christened on 9 July 1637 at Tunstall, Lancashire. Upon the death of his brother Nicholas in 1644, John became eldest surviving male heir. As such, John succeeded his father Sir John Girlington as heir to the family possessions at Thurland Castle and elsewhere while still a minor after Sir John died during the defense of Pontefract Castle and Newark Castle in 1644/1645.
Sometime between 1649 and 1659, John Girlington was stripped of all hereditary title and wealth after the Commonwealth government was in power. This was punishment for his father's support of Charles I.
Apparently about 1653, while still a minor, an arranged marriage between Sir John's aunt (half sister to Sir John's father, John), Christiana, was the only way to stave off Cuthbert Parkinson from taking over Thurland and all it's manors and grounds. Cuthbert had bought up all the debts of Sir John's father, and attempted to what would amount to today as a foreclosure. Cuthbert had been granted Thurland by the high court in Preston as a result of the suit, then abruptly dropped the suit. But he did not drop the suit until his new wife, Christiana, gave him male heirs.
About 1655, John Girlington married Margaret Duckett, daughter of James Duckett Esquire of Grayrigg, Westmoreland County and Magdalen Curwen (sister of Anthony Duckett, the last male heir of the Duckett of Grayrigg line). Margaret was a grand daughter of Sir Henry Curwen who died in 1622/1623 via his second wife, Margaret Bouskel..
In 1658, he appeared before the Prerogative Court of Canterbury with a plea to assist in the restoration of his property. He stated in this plea that Thurland Castle had been taken and demolished by Parliamentary forces and that his father (Sir John) had conveyed all of his title deeds to Pontefract Castle for safe-keeping. He further stated that afterwards, Pontefract was also taken by the Parliamentarians (in 1644) and that all the said deeds were then destroyed by those forces. At the time, he probably had no idea that his mother, Katherine Girlington, had been fined 800 pounds for being a Jacobite, and that fine was being held against her inherited West Hall estate at Southam Cave (South Cave).
After the restoration of the Stuarts, in 1660, Charles II knighted John as a member of the new order of knights, "Knight of the Royal Oak".
Also in 1660, John returned to Southam Cave (South Cave) and sold his mother's West Hall estate. Upon the sale, the Parlimentary court that still had power in spite of the restoration, placed the sale proceeds into a trust, to go towards his mother's fine. As such, John received little or nothing after the sale.
Listed on the Roll of Burgesses at the Guild Merchant on 10 Sep 1662.
Charles II appointed Sir John as High Sheriff of Lancashire in 1663.
1663 - 1671 Held a Knight's Commission at at Kirkby Lonsdale (similar to a JP Court today)
In 1671, John again filed a bill touching his mother's inheritance. Again, his pleas went unanswered - there was no record of the trust account to be found, so there was nothing to to "touch". It would appear from the notes of this court hearing that once again, Sir John was victim of the Parliamentary authorities that had been in power prior. In as much, in 1671, there was mysteriously no record of the trust that had supposedly been set up in 1660 at the time of the opriginal sale. Just another way for the previous Commonwealth authorities to punish the Loyalist family.
As Knight and High Sheriff, John was able to return just one wing of Thurland Castle to a habitable condition - setting up a series of living quarters, or apartments as they were referred to at the time.
Margaret Duckett Girlington died during the birth of a second daughter named Elizabeth in December 1675. Both Domina Margaret Girlington and daughter were buried in Tunstall parish on 07 Dec 1675. Perhaps in a gesture of romanticism of the time, it was reported that mother and daughter were buried together, with the mother holding the infant in her arms.
Soon after the death of his first wife, John was secondly married to Margaret Curwen, daughter of Sir Patricus Curwen and also a grand daughter of Sir Henry Curwen of Workington by his first wife, Catherine Dalston. Sir John's only son, Nicholas Girlington, was born from this marriage on 28 Nov 1676 (baptized at Chritmas Eve mass on 24 Dec 1676).
Margaret Curwen Girlington died in 1683 (buried on 12 May 1683 in Tunstall Parish). John's eldest surviving daughter, Magdalen, (by his first marriage) had married just before Margaret's death.
1689-1694 Sir John Girlington served as a Lieutenant Colonel during the Lancashire Plot
Sir John's daugher Katherine, (by his first marriage), remained at home to help care for her father and young brother, Nicholas, until 1692 when she was married (Nicholas was 16 at that time). That left just John and his young son, Nicholas, by themselves.
As a result of the devsatation associated with the English Civil War and with the loss of all of his mother's inheritance, the Girlington's seemed to have constantly been plagued with financial difficulties. With the castle in such disarray and only John and a young Nicholas available to tackle the task of restoring Thurland Castle any further, John Girlington sold the castle in 1698 to John Bennett, a lawyer of some importance in London. Following the sale of Thurland, Sir John Girlington and Nicholas moved to the nearby town of Hornby and took residence in Hornby Hall.
Based on the circumstances, John Girlington wanted to give his only son a start on his future. It appeears John exercised a very common custom of the times and gave Nicholas his rightful inheritance prior to John's death. This would account for Nicholas coming to the colonies un-indentured, bypassing the indentured route through Barbados, being able to marry soon after arrival and having funds available to purchase land.
Either about the time of Nicholas' departure for the colonies, or most likely shortly thereafter, John Girlington died in at Hornby Hall in 1706. He was buried in Tunstall Parish on 19 Sep 1706. Daughter Katherine Girlington Ayscough (pronounced Askew) was the executrix of her father's estate. Nicholas, who had already been given his inheritance, was not mentioned in his father's last will and testament. Based on the willl mainly containing minor personal items being given to his daughters, and a few monetary gifts to the church, it appears Sir John had also given his daughters their monetary share of their inheritance prior to his death.
(Note: Since his son had already departed for the colonies, there would have been no logical expectation that Sir John or his daughters would have been able to contact Nicholas, or know with any certainty that Nicholas had even survived the voyage to the colonies or his forray in the colonies. As evidenced by the bequeathments of the will, no monetary sums were mentioned other than the final gifts to the church. This strongly indicates that Nicholas, Magdalen and Katherine had already received their respective monetary inheritances prior to Sir John writing his will - probab;y soon after the sale of Thurland castle in 1698 when the funds were finally available to Sir John.)
Monarchs during the life of John Girlington:
King Charles I reigned from 27 Mar 1625 to 30 Jan 1649
Parliamenatry Commonwealth from 30 Jan 1649 to 29 May 1660
King Charles II reigned from 29 May 1660 to 06 Feb 1685
King James II reigned from 06 Feb 1685 to 11 Dec 1688
King William and Queen Mary reigned from 13 Feb 1689 to 27 Dec 1694
King William continued to reign as King William III from 28 Dec 1694 to 08 Mar 1702
Queen Anne reigned from 08 Mar 1702 to 01 Aug 1714
Tunstall, parish and township, in north Lancashire, near the confluence of the Lune and the Greta, 3 miles S. of Kirkby Lonsdale - parish, 9360 acres; township, 1076 acres
Hornby, a village, a township, and a chapelry, in Melling parish, Lancashire. The village stands at the confluence of the Wenning and the Lune rivers, adjacent to the Little Northwestern railway, 8½ miles NE by E of Lancaster; is neatly built; commands beautiful scenery along the valleys; is sometimes visited by tourists; has a station on the railway, a post office under Lancaster, and an inn; is a seat of petty sessions; was formerly a market town; and has still cattle fairs on every alternate Tuesday of the summer months. The township comprises 2,115 acres. The manor belonged, in the 12th century, to Nicholas de Montbegon; passed to the Stanleys, Lords Monteagle; and belongs now to John Foster, Esq. Hornby Castle, the manorial seat, was founded by Nicholas de Montbegon; retains two towers built by one of the Lords Monteagle and by Lord Wemyss; has undergone recent extensive renovations and improvements; and stands on an eminence, overlooking the rich surrounding scenery. The estate was the subject of a famous litigation, called "the Great Will Cause, " begun in 1826. Hornby Hall was the seat of John Murray, Esq. A Roman mound is near the river Lune. A Premonstratensian priory, a cell to Croxton abbey, was anciently there; and was given, at the dissolution, to the Stanleys; and the remains of it are now a farm-house. The church is ancient; has a chancel, and an octagonal tower, built by the first Lord Monteagle, after the battle of Flodden; and contains a tablet to Dr. Lingard, the historian. The shaft of an ancient cross is in the churchyard. A small Roman Catholic chapel is just to the west of the church.