Wednesday, 11 July 2018

(14) Wilfred Dykes (1674 - 1743)

Possibly the most important person in my family tree is Wilfred Dykes (1674-1743) as he is the direct link between my branch of the family and the main branch of the Dykes family that goes back to 1270.

Wilfred was not the heir, that was his older brother Frescheville.  Not being the heir almost certainly caused him problems financially later on in life.

At the time of his birth, Wilfred had 2 (possibly 3) older brothers:Thomas (b.1662 d.1674 aged 14yrs); Leonard (b.1664 d.1679 aged 15yrs); and Fretcheville (b.1666-1749).  He also had 2 older sisters Barbara (b.1660); Joyce (b.1672) with a 3rd sister Grace born when Wilfred was 3yo in 1677.  

As you can see the oldest boy Thomas died in 1674 - the year of Wilfred's birth - aged just 14yo.  Further tragedy hit the family 5 years later when the 2nd-oldest boy Leonard died in 1679 aged just 15yo.  I expect at the time, a great deal of emphasis was therefore placed in the 3rd-eldest boy Fretcheville who was only 13yo on the death of Leonard. This could have left Wilfred a bit ignored.

I think that is why (after he moved to live in Hexham) he married the Clergyman's daughter Catherine Allgood in 1697 (when he was 23yo) he took his bride to live in the village of Seaton a few miles outside Workington but, more importantly, on the estate of his aunt Joyce (his father's sister) who had married into the Curwen family and they lived at nearby Camerton Hall.  Wilfred had trained as an "Excise Officer" but it was likely that he was not in a position financially to provide a suitable home for his new wife, who came from the prestigious Allgood family of Northumberland. 

Wilfred and Catherine had a lot of children - possibly 8 in all - between 1697 - 1721.

Catherine Allgood is a bit of a mystery, mainly because (at the time) the birth-dates of women were not recorded or thought important.  Catherine had a sister called Frances, and it may be that her and her sister were twins, as her mother Anne Downes had no more children and her father - the Reverend Major Allgood - remarried in 1679.  As such, I think Catherine was born about 1677-78, and that would make her about 43yo when she gave birth to her youngest child - and my ancestor - Major Dykes in 1721. 

Thursday, 21 June 2018

Robert del Dykes (1270 - 1315)

Robert del Dykes has the distinction of being the first named Dykes to be mentioned in official documents.  He managed that thanks to his wife, Agnes de Croedayk.

At the time of writing I have not seen any proof of either his date of birth or death, but several genealogists make reference to the years 1270 for birth and 1315 for death.

In  the year 1303, the lands of John de Mulcastre (who held the title "tenant in chief") were taken from him by the Crown (King Edward 1st). My understanding is that, at that time, all land was held by the Crown, and the management of that land - and the collection of rent - was down to the Tenant-in-Chief.  The Tenant-in-Chief was able to select the tenants who farmed the land, and also allocated the land; so he held a lot of power in his own vicinity.  Also, the Tenant-in-Chief would be able to skim-off a percentage of the rent for his own use, so not only was it a position of power but it was lucrative. 

The lands held by John de Mulcastre where likely in the area between Carlisle and Cockermouth.  This area, as with all the land in the area between Whithaven on the west costs to Berwick-upon-Tweed on the east coast, was the disputed border area between England and Scotland. Both England and Scotland claimed ownership - the Scots (after winning the Battle of Carham in 1018) claiming all land north of the River Tweed. As such, the Scottish were deadly enemies of the English Crown.
John de Mulcastre lost his title of Tenant-in-Chief due to the "enmity and rebellion of Alice, niece of John, who stays with the Scots the king's enemies" - in other words, Alice had married a Scot and that was most certainly not entertained by the Crown and King Edward 1st.  As such, the land was awarded to Robert de Crokedayk, of Great Waverton in Cheshire.

However, Robert de Crokedayk had no male heir, and so on his death the official records states the land under his control (as Tenant-in-Chief) is to be split in two equal parts and inherited by the sisters of Robert de Crokedayk; the sisters being Agnes and Christiana.

Agnes de Crokedayk was the wife of Robert del Dykes at the time of inheritance, and so had the name Agnes del Dykes.

She and her sister, Christiana de Crokedayk were not the automatic beneficiaries. As there was no male heir, the lands automatically passed to the Crown on the death of the male line. Representation had to be made to the Crown for any female heirs to inherit, and this isprobably the reason why the transfer was recorded by Royal Charter on 20th February 1304 (see illustration of the Calender of Fine Rolls). In order to obtain the lands, Robert del Dykes swore allegiance to the crown (fealty) and so assumed control of the share of his wife's sister, Christiana de Crokedayk.

Robert del Dykes lived until 1315 and, before he died, Agnes de Crokedayk gave birth to a son Walter del Dykes in 1308.  As he died in 1315, it is almost certain that he died during the siege of Carlisle by Robert The Bruce between July 22nd and 31st of that year. A most excellent narrative of the Siege is available via this link. It is likely that Robert del Dykes was one of only 100 "men-at-arms" who defended Carlisle Castle during the siege, 

This information is recorded in: 
1) "A genealogical and heraldic history of the commoners of Great Britain and Ireland, enjoying territorial possessions or high official rank; but uninvested with heritable honours" by John Burke and published in 1834 (see pages 263-265).
2) "Calendar of the Charter Rolls preserved in the Public Records Office: Edward I and Edward II 1300-1326".

Friday, 15 June 2018

Family Tree from Robert del Dykes (1270-1315) to Wilfred Dykes (1674-1743)

(02) - William del Dykes (grandfather of Robert del Dykes) (no records)
(01)- ????? del Dykes (no records)
00 - Robert del Dykes (b.1270-d.1315) = Agnes de Croedayk
I believe that Robert del Dykes died in the Siege of Carlisle of 1315
01 - Walter del Dykes (b.1308-1349est) Without records it is probable that Walter del Dykes died when the "Black Death" (plague) hit Carlisle in 1349 and devastated the town.
02 - William del Dykes (b.1330est - 1380est) Almost certain that William del Dykes was born before 1349 and lived in the reign of  Edward II = The marriage to Agnes, heiress of Sir Hugh Waverton is not proven
03 - William del Dykes (b.1355est - 1420est) lives in the time of Edward III = wife unknown
04 - William del Dykes (b.1380est - 1440est) lives in the time of Richard II = Jane, heiress of Sir Hugh Dystyngton,
05 - William del Dykes (lives in the time of Henry IV) approx. 1405-1460 = Katherine Thwaites, of Thwaites
06 - William del Dykes MP for Cumberland (lives in the time of Henry VI) approx. 1430-1485 = Elizabeth, daughter of Sir William Lee Thwaites, of Thwaites (Elizabeth is a descendant of William the Conqueror via WtheC’s sister)
07 - William del Dykes (???-???) approx. 1450-1500 = Christiana, daughter of Sir Richard Salkeld
08 - Thomas Dykes (???-???) approx. 1470-1540 = Isabel, heiress of John Pennington of Muncaster - possibly also had a son called John Edward Dykes who went to America where spelling changed to DIKES. He possibly sailed to the USA between 1620-1650
 with his son Anthony (1606-1638)
09 - Leonard Dykes (???-???) approx. 1520-1580 = Anne Layton of Dalemain (in 1541)
10 - Thomas Dykes (???-???) approx. 1535-1600 = Jane, daughter of Lancelot Lancaster of Sockbridge
11 - Leonard Dykes (???-???) approx. 1560-1625 = 1st wife Anne, heiress of Radcliffe of Cockerton; (2nd wife Margaret Fretcheville of Staveley, niece of Lord Fretcheville)
12 -Thomas Dykes (???-1643) approx. 1600-1643 = 1st wife Joyce, niece of Lord Fretcheville; (2nd wife Jane de la Vale, heiress of Robert de la Vale)
13 - Leonard Dykes (1640 - 1720) = m.1660 Grace Salkeld, daughter of John Salkeld
Leonard & Grace had 7 children
3 x Girls: Barbara (b.1660); Grace (b.1677); Joyce (b.1672)
4 x Boys: Thomas (b.1662 d.1674 aged 14yrs); Leonard (b.1664 d.1679 aged 15yrs);
13(i) - Fretcheville Dykes (b.1666-1749) Heir;                                                   
14- Wilfred Dykes (b.1674-1743) who is my link.

Dates to be filled in on this page as the information is discovered and verified. 
For personal narratives, check the pages (right) and identify using the generation numbers above.

Tuesday, 12 June 2018

Dovenby Hall

Dovenby Hall was officially occupied by the Dykes family when they moved there in 1791 on the marriage of Joseph Ballantine-Dykes to Mary Dykes (who, prior to then, was the occupant).

However, the house became associated with the Dykes family many years earlier.
In 1728, Leonard Dykes (grandson of 12(i) Fretcheville Dykes born in 1666) married Susanna, daughter of the Reverand Thomas Capstack, and they had two sons; Fretcheville Dykes and Lawson Dykes. It was the eldest son Fretcheville who married Mary, daughter of John Brougham of Cockermouth.
Fretcheville and Mary had only one (recorded) child, a daughter called Mary Dykes and she was fortunate enough to inherit Dovenby Hall from her uncle Peter Lamplugh Brougham, on his death as Peter Lamplugh Bougham had no heir.
Subsequently, in 1791, Mary Dykes married her cousin Joseph Ballantine-Dykes, who was the son of Lawson Dykes (younger brother of Fretcheville).

Lawson Dykes had the good fortune to marry (in 1765) Jane, daughter and heiress of John Ballantine.  As a consequence of the marriage, Lawson took on the surname of his wife's family and the Coat of Arms becoming Lawson Dykes-Ballantine.

Lawson and Jane had three children: the first being Joseph Ballantine-Dykes who married Mary Dykes (see above). Then came Fretcheville Ballantine-Dykes who served in the East India Company, and their sister Mary Dykes who married James Spedding.

So, Mary Dykes inherited Dovenby Hall and, in marrying her cousin Joseph Ballantine-Dykes, managed to keep the house in the family.

Joseph and Mary had a lot of children (ten).

Fretcheville Lawson Ballantine-Dykes would have retained the titles, and had to use the name Ballantine, as would his brother Joseph (who took holy orders at Oxford);  Lamplugh Brougham, Lawson Peter, and James William.

Unfortunately, as my family name is plain "Dykes" and not Ballantine-Dykes, my branch of the family that leads to William Dykes born in 1919 either (a) broke off before the marriage in 1728 of Leonard Dykes and Susanna Capstack; or (b) Leonard and Susanna had 10 children and Leonard also had a child with an unknown woman (how someone found this out is anyone's guess).  It is unlikely that one of the male children fathered Wilfred as the eldest would have been born in 1729.  So it's possible that Wilfred is the illegitimate son of Leonard! But it is more likely that Wilfred's father was Leonard's uncle.

Whatever, it would seem the only connection my family has with Dovenby Hall is the Dykes family motto; examples of which should be found within the Hall; as Leonard and Susanna did not live there - Dovenby Hall was inherited by their granddaughter Mary.

My earliest proven relative is Wilfred Dykes born in 1747.  He married Mary Winn and had one child with him, John Dykes born in 1801 (died in 1838).  However, the reason for having only one child with Mary Winn was because he died, as Mary Winn married again in 1805 to Samuel Moss.

The father of Wilfred Dykes is proving tricky to identify, as he was probably born between 1720-29.

This information is from Burke's Peerage published in 1826, and "A Genealogical and Heraldic History of the Commoners of Great Britain and Ireland".

Monday, 11 June 2018

Warthole Hall and Cockermouth Castle

The original Warthole Hall was occupied by the Dykes family in about 1540 after they acquired it following Henry VIII's Reformation of the Church. Prior to then, Warthole Hall was a monastery: the manor of Warthole belonged formerly to the Abbey of Calder.

This building was demolished in about 1670 as that's when the replacement hall was built.

The original Warthole Hall would have looked something like this.

This photograph is of Blencow Hall which is also in Cumbria. It is a fortified manor house, and the original manor house is in the middle, with the fortifications in the form of towers at each end.  The replacement Warthole Hall, built in 1670 (and demolished in 1830) was built to a design by William Thackery of Thorpenhow.

At about the same time, William Thackery also remodelled Drawdykes Castle, which is situated close to Hadrian's Wall on the North-East side of Carlisle, and it is possible that Warthole Hall was a larger version of this style of house.


Cockermouth Castle is now a private home, but the owners occasionally open it up to the public, and here is a picture of the dungeon where Thomas Dykes uttered the words "rather broken than bent" when he would not renounce allegiance to the King (Charles 1st) and join the Parliamentarians, and so he was tortured and left to die in the dungeon at Cockermouth Castle.  Note that the dungeon only has one small window.

Tuesday, 5 June 2018

Early history of the Dykes family

The earliest member of the Dykes family that I can find is Robert del Dykes who was born in 1270.

The earliest mention of the his name name in official records relates to the year 1303.  In that year, the lands of John de Mulcastre (tenant in chief) were taken from him by the crown (King Edward 1st) due to the "enmity and rebellion of Alice, niece of John, who stays with the Scots the king's enemies"; and the land was awarded to Robert de Crokedayk, of Great Waverton in Cheshire.

On the death of Robert de Crokedayk there was no male heir, so the official records states the land is to be split in two equal parts and inherited by the sisters of Robert de Crokedayk; Agnes and Christiana.

Agnes de Crokedayk was the wife of Robert del Dykes at the time of inheritance, and so had the name Agnes del Dykes.

She and her sister, Christiana de Crokedayk were not the automatic beneficiaries. As there was no male heir, the lands automatically passed to the Crown on the death of the male line. Representation had to be made to the Crown for any female heirs to inherit, and this was recorded by Royal Charter on 20th February 1304 (see below). In order to obtain the lands, Robert del Dykes swore allegiance to the crown (fealty) and so assumed control of the share of his wife's sister, Christiana de Crokedayk.

Robert del Dykes died aged 45 in 1315. He and Agnes had two children; Agnes del Dykes born in 1306 and Walter del Dykes born in 1308 (I can't remember where I found this information). Agnes, wife of Robert del Dykes, was born in 1279 in Waverton Cheshire.

At this time the language of the landed-gentry was undergoing change as, since 1066 and the Norman victory at the Battle of Hastings, the principal language of Court was French. With the Norman victory, all the English Barons, Dukes and other peers of the realm lost their lands to the victorious (French-speaking) Normans . In order to regain control of their lands, the English had to marry their daughters to the Norman lords.  In the meantime, for about 200 years, French remained the principal language of Court.  The first king who spoke English as his first language was Edward 1st.

From Burke's peerage (see below) there appears to be a bit of confusion. The male line starts with William del Dykes and not Robert del Dykes.

It is further confusing as William is married to Agnes, heiress of Sir Hugh Waverton of Waverton. Are Robert and William the same person?

From the above, after a number of "William" Dykes - possibly 9 in a row - and the one that is of interest is  there came a Thomas Dykes, whose some was Leonard Dykes.  Leonard is very interesting and he married Margaret Fretcheville (the Fretcheville name was then associated with the Dykes family for over 200 years). 

At this point we can get an idea of the date as the son of Leonard Dykes was another Thomas Dykes, who is described as a "distinguished cavalier".  This almost certainly relates to the time of the English Civil War between 1642-51.  Thomas Dykes is the source of the family motto Prius frangitur quam flectitur "rather broken than bent".  Thomas Dykes, was a Royalist at the time of the English Civil War during the reign of Charles I, secreted himself at Wardhall (Warthole Hall) after the defeat of his party at the Battle of Marston Moor on 2nd July 1644. Thomas Dykes is then reputed to have hid in many areas of his land, including in a mulberry tree, which stands to this day (it sits on land behind a bungalow adjacent to the site of Warthole Hall - see aerial photo below, the tree is at the bottom of the photograph and the outline of Warthole Hall can be seen in the field). 

Unfortunately, Thomas Dykes was soon captured by the Parliamentarians and imprisoned at locally at Cockermouth Castle. Thomas Dykes was offered his freedom and the restoration of his property if he would become a traitor to his King by joining the Parliamentarians, but responded with Prius frangitur quam flectitur - Sooner broken than bent. 
Thomas died at Cockermouth Castle and, such was the strength of the story, the family adopted Prius frangitur quam flectitur as the family motto, and the mulberry tree as a family symbol..

Before he died, Thomas had two wives, the first being Joyce, niece of Lord Fretcheville of Staveley, and his 2nd wife was Jane de la Vale.  His heir was Leonard Dykes, son of Joyce.  It would appear (I need to do some research) that Leonard Dykes raised his game for his bride as he was married to Grace Salkeld who was decended from Richard Huddleston who was married to Margaret Nevill who was the illegitimate daughter of the Earl of Warwick (the man who would be king).