This site is a work-in-progress. There is a massive amount to cover. I have included both male and female lines.

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The generations are numbered working back from Jack's as (1)




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We have traced our Petyt/Petty family back to Christopher Petty of Storiths near Bolton Abbey. He died in 1612 and his sons were married in the early 17 th century. We would estimate his birth date around the middle of the 16 th century. We do not know his parents, but there are earlier Pettys in this area who are either his ancestors or closely related.


THOMAS and RICHARD PETTY. A Thomas Petyt was listed as renting a cottage and two acres of land at Storiths from Bolton Priory in 1473.

Also in 1473, a Richard Petty held eight acres of land and meadow at ‘Hesilwode’ [Hazlewood, close to Storiths] valued at 5s and another 12 acres of foreland called Wilflat worth 7s.


HENRY PETTY. We then have Henry Petty . William Dawson, in his History of Skipton tells us: “The first member of the [Petyt] family connected with this district appears to be Henry Petyt , who died at the beginning of the 16 th century. He lived at Guiseley, and was buried at Bolton [Abbey]. His will ... is dated 1509.” Guisely is 10 miles SE of Bolton Abbey.

1509 was the year that Henry VIII ascended the throne.

Henry Petty bequeathed his son John Petty his ‘father’s good sweard, bowe and arrows’.


JOHN PETTY. In the early 16 th century, this John Petty lived at the Stedehouse in Storiths, near Bolton Abbey. This is now Park House Farm.

Gillian Waters, who has extensively researched this family, believes he may be the John Petty of Estby (modern Eastby), four miles from Storiths, who was a bowman at the Battle of Flodden in 1513. King James IV of Scotland invaded Northumberland, but was defeated by the English in a decisive victory. James became the last British monarch to be killed on the battlefield. He suffered a serious arrow wound. Waters’ reason for identifying John Petty of Storiths as this archer is that his father Henry Petty left him a bow.

In those times, every able-bodied man was expected to train in the use of a weapon: pike, harquebus (an early form of musket) or longbow. Practice took place on Sundays. It took great strength to draw a longbow to its full extent. English archers were feared across Europe. If they were captured, their enemies usually cut off two fingers, so that they could no longer use a bow. The practice of sticking up two fingers is thought to have been a gesture of defiance, showing the enemy that they could still draw a bowstring.

Since archery was so widespread, the link between John Petty of Storiths and John Petty of Eastby must remain speculation.

Henry Petty , who left John his bow, died soon after 1509. Since John appears to have been of full age when his father died, he must have been born not later than 1488.


ALICE MOONE. Dawson also tells us that “ John , the son of this Henry ... married the sister of Richard Moon (written Moyne), Prior of Bolton Abbey at the time of the Dissolution.” We know that the name of John Petty’s wife was Alice, so it follows that her maiden name was Alice Moone .


John and Alice lived at the Stedehouse in Storiths. Waters writes:

“The Stedehouse was quite a wealthy grange, part of the estates of Bolton Priory, and administered by the canons of Bolton. It was situated north of the village of Storiths, separated by Pickles Gill from the village. Hazelwood Moor rose behind it, and two fields on either side called Westfield and Eastfield may denote that the fields were used in rotation. When Bolton Priory was dissolved in 1539, the last Prior of Bolton Abbey, Richard Moone, rented out the lands to local farmers to maintain continuity in the economy of the local region. John Petty’s widow Alice was recorded as the tenant at the Stedehouse in 1539, in the Bolton Priory rentals of that year. Therefore it would appear that her husband John Petty died before 1538-9.



“The Stedehouse was rented to Alice Petty for a term of 41 years at a rent of £6 18s 3d to be paid biannually, in ‘equal portions’, to Henry Clifford, Earl of Cumberland, and lord of Skipton Castle on the feasts of Invention of the Holy Cross and St Michael the Archangel. This rent was partially paid in kind. Twenty-four calves were deemed to be worth £4 rent, 50 stone of cheese as 29 s 2d, and 25 stone of butter as 18s 9d. This, however, only made up a total of £6 7s 11d worth of rent. The deficit was paid in cash, a further 3s 4d for the use of browsing rights a ‘the holles’, and the last 7s for tithes of grain. This farm was one of the wealthiest farms in the township of Storiths and Hazelwood in the 1539 rentals. It would not only have produced enough stock and dairy products to cover the rental in kind, but also a surplus which would have been sold at Skipton Market to gain the monies needed to pay Lord Clifford.”

Waters points out that the farm must also have produced enough food to feed the family of Alice Petty. There was probably a considerable household of family, farm servants and dairywomen.

“In addition to dairy farming, the family grew some kind of grain, either wheat or barley, as they paid 7s a year for the tithes of grain as well... To farm such a substantial tenement would have required a body of men and women.” In Tudor times rye was more common than wheat in Yorkshire.

These rentals were for 1539. Following the break with Rome, Henry VIII dissolved the monasteries between 1536 and 1541. The buildings were either dismantled or sold off to his friends. Henry also took over the lands and income of the monasteries, providing him with much needed revenue.

Waters tells us: “It is interesting to note that in leasing the Abbey’s property on the eve of the Dissolution, Prior Moone’s family seem to profit quite comfortably. Apart from the major landowners such as Henry Clifford, the lesser farmers who seem to profit the most are Moone’s family or related to Prior Moone by marriage. ..

“Prior Richard Moone originated from Long Preston, and most of the Moone family, present in the Bolton Abbey area in 1539 seem to have moved to Bolton from Long Preston at the time when Richard took up his vocation at the Priory. [There are no Moones in the 1473 rental for Bolton Abbey.]

“Family ties with Prior Richard Moone may also have helped the Petty family increase their landholdings on the Bolton Abbey estates in the wake of the Dissolution. However, in the will of Sir Richard Moone, proved in 1541, there is no reference to Alice or John Petty .”

We know that John Petty died before 1541, so he would not be a beneficiary of the will. Alice may also have died by then.

“If John Petty had indeed married the Alice Moone , sister of Prior Richard Moone, it would have certainly helped his family acquire lands at the Dissolution. However, the Pettys had lived in the area of Bolton Priory for generations and may have been able to acquire lands through judicious marriages and good service to their lords.” We have already seen that Richard Petty and Thomas Petty held land in Hazlewood and Storiths in 1473.

“Although Hazelwood and Storiths were villages closely associated with Bolton Abbey and housed the farm workers and labourers on the Abbey’s vast estates, it is possible that these Pettys may be associated with our Petty line. Perhaps these Pettys had extended their land holdings by 1538-9 by close acquaintance with the Prior of Bolton Abbey, as the priory’s grange at Stead near Storithes was not leased until the eve of the Dissolution.

“However, these landholdings may have been of a temporary nature. By 1652 the Stedehouse was in the hands of the Cliffords of Skipton Castle who used the Stedehouse for their stockman... It is possible that the Pettys of Stedehouse also served a similar purpose for the canons of Bolton priory.”


ROBERT PETTY. In the Bolton Abbey Rentals of 1538 a Robert Petty also farms at Storithes on a tenement of 6 closes and a pasture valued at 14s. It is possible that this Robert may be a son or brother of John Petty . Since he outlived John, he could be the father of Christopher Petty who died in 1612. John and Alice Petty could be Christopher’s grandparents, but we have no confirmation of this.



Dawson, William Harbutt,, History of Skipton. 1882. https://archive.org/stream/historyofskipton00daws/historyofskipton00daws_djvu.txt





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