10. BUCK

William image

Jack Priestley’s Family History

This site is a work-in-progress. There is a massive amount to cover. I have included both male and female lines. Keep coming back for more.
I have numbered the generations working backwards from my own as (1)

 JOHN BUCK and JANE (10)

 JOHN BUCK.  John was the second of three successive generations of John Buckes. The third also had a son John, though he is not a direct ancestor. This means that, in the course of a lifetime, John was known variously as “John Bucke junior”, “John Bucke” and “John Bucke the elder”. Care needs to be taken to note the point at which the next generation enters the records.

He was the fifth of ten children of John Bucke of Idle, in the West Yorkshire parish of Calverley.

Baptism. Calverley
1655  Mar 13   John son of John Bucke of Idle

He was the eldest son.

He was born during Oliver Cromwell’s republican Commonwealth, but was only five when the Stuarts returned to the monarchy.

He married before 1683. We do not have a record of the marriage, but the burial register shows that his wife’s name was Jane.


JANE. We know only her first name. The only evidence about her comes from her burial.

 The couple had three sons, only one of whom survived.

Baptism. Calverley
1683 April 8   William  son of John Bucke junior of Idle
William was buried on the 20th of that month.
1684 May 21   John   son of John Bucke junior of Idle Park
John’s own father was still alive then, since he is known as John Buck junior.
We do not have the baptism of the third son, Lawrence. But the burial register for 1686 records the tragedy.

Burials. Calverley
1686  May 29  Jane  wife of John Bucke of Idle
1686  June 5  Lawrence  son of John Bucke of Idle

The close proximity of these deaths suggests that Jane is the wife of John Buck junior, and not his mother.

So far, John is said to be “of Idle”. That suggests he is living in the village, and not at Idle Mills. His father had probably taken the mill over when John’s grandfather died in 1673.

John’s father died in 1689, leaving the younger John as the male head of the family. He is no longer John Bucke junior.

On 1st March 1692 an assessment was made made on the inhabitants of Idle by James Booth and Lawrence Buck. The tax was to help pay for King William and Queen Mary’s war against France.

John & David Buck   £4.16.0

David Buck is John’s brother, 15 years younger. They were presumably living together. David was 22 and unmarried.

This is the largest assessment in Idle. It must reflect the Bucks’ wealth.

In the 1693 we see further evidence of the Bucks’ association with Idle Chapel, where his father had served as churchwarden. This was a chapel of ease to save Idle residents the journey to the parish church in Calverley. After a spell with Congregationalist ministers, the chapel returned to the care of the Church of England in 1689.

Old Chapel, Idle.
Appointment of new trustees.   26 Aug 1693. [1]
By Thomas Slater of Rose in Idle, and Abraham Nichols of Eccleshill (the surviving trustees appointed by the Wills of Samuel Sunderland, 20 Jan. 1676, and Peter Sunderland, 24 Dec. 1677 respectively); appointing John Buck, Benjamin Sandall, Lawrence Buck and Henry Slater as trustees and vesting the trust property in them for the benefit of the minister of Idle Chapel.


John married again. We know only that his second wife’s name was Mary.

There was one child of this marriage.
Baptism. Calverley
1694 Sep 26   Mary  John Buck of Idle Mill

For the first time, John is shown to be living at the family’s corn and fulling mill on the Aire. The mill had been occupied by the Buckes since the late 1500s. They were originally tenants, but bought moieties of the property until they owned both the mill and Buck Wood outright.


 Buck Mill, now demolished

 The four-storey building shown here was a later addition, with a steam engine and boiler house. But parts of the original mill can be seen.

Although David was so much younger than John, he died before him in 1700, aged only 30. He had been married four years previously. A daughter Jane was baptised on 4 June 1700 in Thackley. His wife, Mary, was buried on June 16 and David on July 3. Mary’s death could be attributed to the complications of childbirth, but David’s early death is unexplained. They may both have fallen victim to an infectious disease. David appears to have known he was approaching death. He made a settlement on his newborn daughter, as well as drawing up his will.

Burials. Calverley.
1700  Mary, wife of David Buck, Thackley, June 16
1700  David Buck, Thackley, July 3

Thackley lies north of the village of Idle and south of the River Aire. It forms the southern boundary of Buck Wood.

John was made a trustee of his brother’s estate.

Probate of the Will of David Bucke of Thackley in Idle granted to John Bucke (executor) at York   12 Jul 1700 [2]
Probate copy Will annexed dated 19 June 1700: bequeathing personal estate for payment of debts supplemented by leasing the following closes for 11 years:-
Ley Close, Great Close, Burgan-Heys, Great Wood and the new close in Idle; remainders to Lawrence Bucke younger son of John Bucke, on payment of £10 to William Halliday and Thomas Hargrave (nephews) at 21 years of age; 5s. to daughter Jane who was provided for by previous settlement; Trustees: his brother John Bucke of Idle Mills and John Swaine of Thackley.
Receipt for £2. 2s. 0d probate fees.

The assessment known as the “Constable Ley” listed the inhabitants of Idle who held land in 1707. The list is signed by Benjamin Sandall, Jeremiah Bower, John Slater and Jonathan Booth. It includes:

John BUCKE,  Lawrence BUCKE

By 1710, John’s surviving son John junior is 26, and old enough to be named with his father in property transactions.

John himself is 55 and is now John Bucke the elder. He is willing to accept an income for himself and his wife when he makes over Idle Mills and other properties to his son on John junior’s marriage to Martha Garth, daughter of Jeremy Garth.

Lease, Release and Counterpart   7-8 Apr 1710  [3]
Made between John Bucke of Idle Mills and John Bucke junior, and Jeremy Garth of Bolton near Bradford and Martha Garth spinster, and William Rawson of Bradford and John Marshall of Yeadon (trustees), concerning the messuage wherein John Bucke the elder dwelt, Upper and Lower Barns belonging, water mill and 2 fulling mills known as Idle Mills and several closes of land [named] in Idle and Shipley; being the Marriage Settlement of John Bucke junior and Martha Garth, making provision for John Bucke the elder and his wife during their lives and a jointure for Martha, rent charges and annuities for other members of the family.

Martha’s mother was Sarah Rawson, so the William Rawson, trustee, may be her grandfather or uncle.

Bolton was an area in Calverley parish, and not the Lancashire town.

Besides the “messuage” or house where John Bucke the elder lived, and the two barns, the property held in trust for the couple included “the Water Corn Mill and 2 Fulling Mills with 4 stocks under one roof, called Idle Mills, standing near the house” and a drying kiln for the corn mill. The closes belonging to Idle Mills were Kiln Close, Wails [Wales] Close, New Close, Two Days Work or Mill Close, Brow Close, Sandall Ing, Ramsden Ing, Wade Close, Great Ing (formerly in three closes called High Holme Ing, Hobson Ing and Three Days Ploughing), Coate Close with a little laith or barn, Little Stubbings, Great Stubbings.

There were also 3 pieces of Woody ground near the House: The Great Wood-End lately purchased by John Buck the father from his brother David, adjoining Sandall Ing on the north west, Mill Wood, Mill Wood Brow.

An ing is a water-meadow. There would have been a number of those along the Aire.

The settlement reserved to John Buck the father for the use of himself and his wife Mary for life: 1 ground room in the house called the Great Parlour and a chamber called the Men’s Chamber, south east end of the Lower Barn with use of the threshing floor, an Eeling or Mystal adjoining the north-east side of the south-east end of the barn,  liberty to brew and wash in a room called the Outkitchen, standing near the house with access to all the above. [4]

An eeling room was for drying eels caught in baskets placed in the mill race of watermills.

John the elder also reserved to himself for the next 6 years: ‘All the Timber Trees Wood Underwood & brushwood (other then what shall be fitt requisite & necessary to be left standing for Wavers or Standers according to the Custome of the Country)’ in Great Wood End’.

In 1720 John and his son were involved in a lawsuit with Sir William Calverley, who had bought the lordship of the manor of Idle in 1714. It concerned the payment of manorial rents.

Sir Walter Calverley versus John Buck   c.1720  [5]
Bill and Answer and other legal papers in a dispute between Sir Walter Calverley and John Buck the elder and John Buck the younger concerning several rentcharges issuing out of Idle Mills which defendants admitted were formerly paid but claimed that part was payable by Swaine and Slater to whom part of the lands had been sold.

John Buck the elder admitted he owned the Water Corn Mill and a Fulling Mill, a messuage and other buildings, lands and tenements; but Thackley Ing and Half-hall Ing had been given by Lawrence Buck, grandfather of John Buck the elder, to his younger son William, who conveyed them to John Swain and Henry Slater.

About 7 years previously, the yearly value of the house, mill and lands was about £60; but since by ‘rebuilding & making an addicion thereto of a new Corn Mill & otherwise’ the value was about £80.

Ye old Mills did consist formerly of one pair of Millstones in ye Corn Mill only but one pair of stones then added to ye Corn Mill & two other stones were formerly added to ye said fulling Mill.

John Buck the elder said his father John Buck, before his death in 1690, had settled the East Wood and cottage on his other son, David. John Buck the elder had purchased the property from David Buck before his death in 1700. [6]

 John is beginning to let go of the reins in 1722.

Appointment of new trustees of the Sunderland Charities   23-24 Feb 1722  [7]
And transfer of the properties from John Buck the elder and Henry Slater to Sir Walter Calverley, John Buck the younger and Thomas Slater.
[Original Lease and copy Release]

The Sunderlands were related by marriage to the Bucks.

The older John died in 1728. He would have been in his early 70s.

Burial. Calverley.
1728 11 18  John  Buck of  Idle Mill   Yeoman

He was classed as a yeoman, a substantial farmer owning land. He saw his son rise to the rank of attorney and gentleman, from the Bucks’ 16th century origins as tenant millers.


[1] National Archives: A2A: WYL500/831 
[2] WYL500/876
[3] WYL500/287-289

[4] Leeds Archives: WYL 500/288.
[5] WYL500/923a
[6] Bradford Archives: DB 5/24/31 – Further Answers of John Buck, father and son. www.lhi.org.uk/projects. “A Breath of Fresh Aire”. 4.
[7] WYL500/836  




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