Winteringham from the Hull Packet Series:
Town & Village Sketches

Winteringham Local History and Genealogy

Town & Village Sketches - 18 & 19 - Winteringham
From the Hull Packet 5th February 1884, and 29th February 1884

Winteringham, like its neighbour Winterton, is a place of high antiquity, and many traces of the ancient and ubiquitous conquerors of the land, the Romans, may here be found. About ha1f-a-mile northeast-of the town a small promontory in the Humber protected a little haven called Flashmire; this is now silted up, but on this promontory, it is supposed, the Roman  station, "Ad Abum," was situated. Dr Stukeley, the antiquary, who visited Winteringham in 1724,  speaks of a fine spring (an important adjunct to a military settlement), also of vast chimney stones, pavements, and foundations, which often broke the plough-shares; also of remains of streets or roads, made of gravel and  sea sand. When this "ploughing up" took place, about 1700, there must have been a veritable harvest of Roman coins and other ancient remains brought to light, which would have made glad the hearts of the Dry-as-dusts of today. Stukeley goes on to say, " This _ place is over against Brough, the Roman town on the Yorkshire shore ; but it is rather more eastward, so that with the tide coming in they ferried over very conveniently thither." In the summer of 1826; which was remarkably dry, and the Humber consequently unusually low,- the remains of this ancient Roman causeway, both at Winteringham and Brough were easily discerned. On a tumulus near the church being explored, a cinerary urn and about a score of celts were discovered, apparently of British origin. Winteringham was also a wintering station of the fierce Northmen, whose rapacity and valour spread dismay through all the coast, especially the north-east coast, in the early days of " our rude island story." Danish names are thickly scattered in the locality, and Danish blond still runs through the veins of many of the dwellers in the land. It is  recorded that when  St. Etheldreda, or Audry, who, about the middle. of the 7th century, was Abbess of a convent founded on the spot where Ely Cathedral now stands, and of which she and St. Peter share the patronage, fled before her enemies, she crossed the Humber, and taking shelter in Winteringham Haven was hospitably entertained, and remaining there a short time, she there built a church. Her father was a king of the East Angles. It is curious to note that her more familiar name, Audry, is the source from whence the modern word "tawdry" is derived. At the fair of St. Audry, held at Ely in former days, fragile toys and cheap finery, especially necklaces, called St. Audry laces, were articles in great demand. Hence the abbreviation 'tawdry laces, the adjective being ever subsequently applied to anything common or tarnished. Rich, in his "My Lady's Looking-glass," . published 1616, says, "It was a happy age when a man  might have wooed his wench with a pair of kid-leather gloves, a silver thimble, or with a tawdry lace; but now a velvet gown, a chain of pearl, or a coach with four horses will scarcely serve the turn." Particular mention is made of Winteringham in connection with the great massacre of the Danes, which by the secret orders of Etheldred II, surnamed the Unready, took place on the night of November 13, 1002 ; the extermination was complete, but their countrymen took a blood revenge in after years. Doomsday says - "Manor, in Winteringham, Ulf had 12 caracutes of land to be taxed; land to as many ploughs Robert, a vassal of Gilbert de Gant, has there 4 ploughs; there is a priest, and a church, and 3 mills off [sic] 37 shillings and 4 pence ; and one ferry of 13 shillings, and the site of a fishery, value in King Edward's time, and now, ten pounds; tallaged at 40 shillings." It appears that in 1143 Winteringham was the scene of an interesting incident in ecclesiastical history. Wills de St. Barbara, a monk of Durham, and Dean of York, in that year attended a council in London, and during his absence was elected Bishop of Durham. He was informed of his enhanced dignity whilst at Winteringham, on his return journey to York. He was, or affected to be, overwhelmed with the tidings, and protested his unwillingness and reluctance to accept the office. Notwithstanding his "noli episcopari," he was taken to the altar of Winteringham Church, the election confirmed, and a Te Deum sung to commemorate the event. The lordship of Winteringham was held, as well as about 130 other Lincolnshire lordships, by Gilbert de Gent (Ghaunt, or Ghent), the nephew of Maude, the Queen of William the Conqueror.  The chief seat and head of the barony was at Folkingham. The chivalrous and famous family of Marmion (hereditary champions of England), succeeded Gilbert de Gant, partly by purchase and partly by marriage. Dugdale cites an ancient record which states that "Robert Marmion in 1166 held in Winteringham 12 Knights' fees by descent, and 2 by purchase." About a hundred years later a descendant and namesake of the above Robert held the manor, after him a son William, and a grandson John, who in the xi. Ed. II. obtained a grant from that Monarch of a weekly market on Wednesdays. The Close Rolls show that Robert Marmion went to the wars for his father in 1214. A. Robert Marmion died in 1218, leaving two sons by different wives. Both the sons were named Robert, there was also a younger son named William. The great-granddaughter of the elder Robert, the lady Joan, married Sir John Dymoke, and by this union the Hereditary Championship is held by the Dymokes of Scrivelsby at the present day. It was the younger Robert Marmion of the two half brothers who possessed the manor of Winteringham, and though this branch of the family never held the Championship, yet it procured the higher honours of a Peer of Parliament. The Church of All Saints, at the west end of the village, is a venerable pile, but the date of its erection is uncertain, it is in the Norman and early English style, and appears to have been formerly larger than at present, the arches in the body of the church are Norman, with richly-wrought zigzag mouldings; over the chief entrance is a rudely sculptured figure, whose history is lost in the mist of ages. At the east end, and nearly opposite the  chancel door, was formerly placed a tomb, on which reclined the effigy of a cross-legged knight, in chain mail, said to be the figure of a Marmion. Could this be the tomb of Sir Walter Scott's
"Lord Marmion, 
Lord of Fontenaye,
Of Lutterward and Scrivelbaye, 
Of Tamworth tower and town." 

"Marmion, whose steady heart and eye,
Ne'er changed in worst extremity.
Marmion, who died a gallant knight, '
With sword in hand for England s right,"

On the thrice fatal field of Flodden, where
" With dying hand above his head,
He shook the fragment of his blade, .
And shouted 'Victory.' "

England has had many a Marmion since Sir Walter
wrote the above thrilling lines, and her annals up to
this day are crowded _with instances of patriotic devotion, even in the "worst extremity."
BartonĚonĚHumber, 1884. C.H.C..


No. 19. - WINTERINGHAM. - Part II.
Winteringham has somewhat fallen away from its former importance, having once been a corporate town.  Stukely writing (from the village inn) July 24, 1724, says, 'The present Winteringham is still a Corporation, and the Mayor is chosen only out of one street next the old town, where was a chapel; the bell of it now hangs in a wooden frame by the pillory, and makes a ridiculous appearance. Here is a vast jaw hone or rib of a whale, that has lain time out of mind; the church stands on the end of the Lincolnshire Alps!' From another source we find that it was an 'Annual custom from time immemorial in this manor to elect a mayor who, jointly with the bailiff, has the power to give livery of seizin of all freehold estates upon every alienation by descent or purchase; the Mayor also collects burgage rents due to the lord.'  Mr R Brown, jun., of Barton (in The Academy for November, 1881), speaking of Canon Farrar's 'Language and Languages' in which the Rev Canon observes, 'how often do people who make a "declaration" recall the fact that the origin of the expression is a custom, dead for centuries, of giving a straw (stipula) in sign of a completed bargain? Mr Brown goes on to observe, that it may be of interest to know that in the Manor of Winteringham, this custom, far from being dead, obtains at the present time. A straw is always inserted, 'according to the custom of the manor,' in the top of every surrender (a paper document) of copyhold lands there; and the absence of the straw would make the whole transaction null and void. In a list of delinquents who for various offences took refuge at the Sanctuary of St. John of Beverley (published by the Surtees Society), a curious instance is given from Winteringham. 'No. ccxciv. Robertus Cok fissisian! (could this be an MD.?) et Johannes Colyne, Tailor, on April 26, in the 10 year of Henry VII., came to the Liberty of St. John of Beverley for suspicion of felony and several other causes touching their lives and liberties, and were admitted in accordance with the rights and customs, &c.' The ancient parish bye-laws are also curious and quaint. In the oldest book of ackountes, at a parish meeting held January 6th, 1685, it was thus ordered: 'Item. That none shall burne or bake at any unlawfull time of night on paine of 3/4d. Item. None shall dry any hempe or flax by the fire on paine of 3/4d. Item. None shall smoke tobacco in the streetes upon paine of two shillings for every default.'  The Register commences 1562. It appears that banns of marriage were not always published in church, as the following entry will show. 'The purpose of marriage betwixt Thomas Wressell, of this parish, and Margaret Davison, of Burton-super-Stather, was the first time published in our markett upon Saturday, April 19th, the 26th and 3rd of May, 1656. They were married. Matthew Geree, Register.' This unusual way of forging the bonds of matrimony may he accounted for when it is remembered that the above entry was made by Matthew Geree during the Commonwealth, when priests and prelates and things appertaining thereto were exceedingly unpopular. Singularly enough eight men, all whose Christian names were Thomas, were successively married in the year 1658. Winteringham can boast of once being the residence of the celebrated Henry Kirk [sic] White. For purposes of study and to fit himself for University honours he sought a quiet retreat here, and put himself under the tuition of the Rev Orlando [sic] Grainger, the then curate, he afterwards returned to college, and devoted himself so closely to his studies that his health became impaired, and he died after a protracted illness at the early age of twenty-one. At the commencement of his decline he was attended by the late Mr Richard Eddie, of Barton-on-Humber. . Writing from Winteringham the young poet says:-' Winteringham is now a delightful place, the trees are in full verdure, the crops are browning the fields, and my former walks are become dry under foot, which I have never known them before. The opening vista from our churchyard over the Humber to the hills and receding vales of Yorkshire assumes a thousand new aspect.' And again, 'The villages, woods, and villas on the opposite bank sometimes render the scene quite enchanting to me. In a letter speaking of the river Trent as watering the place of his nativity, he bursts into pathetic song (shortly after recovering from sickness),
Once more, O Trent, along thy pebbly marge,
A pensive invalid, reduced and pale,
From the close sick-room, newly set at large
Woes to his wan, worn cheek the pleasant gale.
O! to his ear how musical the tale
Which fills with joy the throstle's little throat!
And all the sounds which on the fresh breeze sail,
How wildly novel on his senses float!
It was on this that many a sleepless night,
As, lone, he watched the taper's sickly gleam,
And at his casement heard with mild affright,
The owl's dull wing and melancholy scream,
On this he thought, this, this his sole desire,
Thus once again to hear the warbling woodland choir.
The Rev Thomas Adams, styled the English Pascal, a shining example of old-fashioned evangelical piety, was rector of Winteringham, to which he was presented in 1724. His 'Private Thoughts' and other works are yet read with beneficial interest; a Scotch edition had an introductory essay by the lamented Dr Daniel Wilson, Bishop of Calcutta. Mr Adams died full of years in March, 1784, aged 83, having retained the living for the long period of sixty years, 'nor ever changed nor wished to change his place.'
Barton-on-Humber, 1884. C. H. C

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Winteringham News, Don Burton World of Nature Photo Archive (modern photographs of the village), What the Papers have said about Winteringham (since July 2004), High Resolution Historical Photographs , Winteringham Film Archive, Winteringham Nature Site, Winteringham Recipes, Winteringham Camera Club, Winteringham Village Hall, Winteringham Chapel


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