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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 Jack’s as (1)



JOHN FAWCETT. The date and place of John’s marriage makes it very likely that his baptism is the following:

Baptism. Askrigg.
1677 Feb 27  John son of Jam. Fawcett                                                             

He was the eldest child of James Fawcett and Jane Tenant.

There is a gap of 11 years between John’s baptism and that of his sister Elizabeth. There were almost certainly other siblings whose baptism records are no longer legible.

In 1681 his grandparents Edward and Margaret Fawcett commissioned a long-case clock from the renowned clockmaker John Ogden, who had newly arrived in Askrigg. The Fawcetts must have been quite a well-to-do family.

Ogden trained several apprentices, and, by now, Askrigg was known for its clockmakers. Another major source of income was knitwear.


JANE METCALFE. Their marriage took place in Askrigg, so we would expect Jane to be living there. There are just two Jane Metcalfes born in or near Askrigg in the right time-frame (1666-1686).

Baptism. St Oswald, Askrigg.
1676 Apr 16  Jane daughter James Metcalfe,
1678 Nov 27  Jane daughter of John Metcalfe

The burial register for Askrigg does not begin until 1701, so we cannot tell whether either of these died in infancy.

John’s grandmother Margaret was also a Metcalfe. They were a numerous and prominent clan in Wensleydale and elsewhere, having moved from Dentdale, just south of Wensleydale, in the Middle Ages. For centuries the home of the head of the clan was the fortified manor house of Nappa Hall near Askrigg.

Nappa Hall[1]

Marriage. St Oswald, Askrigg.
1701 May 10  John Fawcett and Jane Metcalfe

 We have found two baptisms for John Fawcett following this. There may have been others in this hard-to-read register.

Baptisms. St Oswald, Askrigg.
1706 Aug 18  James son of John Fawcet of Askrigg
1709 May 21  Jeoffrey son of John Fawcett of Buse.

The different abode suggests that the second boy was the son of another John Fawcett.

A number of baptisms give Buse as the residence, but we have not been able to place it. ‘Askrigg’ means they were living in the town.

In1740 their son James died, leaving their daughter-in-law Mary with three small children and another on the way. Doubtless the grandparents helped with raising these fatherless children.

Askrigg was granted a market charter by Elizabeth I. It grew in importance in 1751, when the Richmond to Lancaster Turnpike was sent through the village, and in 1761, when the turnpike to Sedbergh was started. It became a bustling little town.  This ended in 1795, when the turnpike was re-routed south of the river, bypassing Askrigg.

John and Jane may have had a long life.

Burials. St Oswald, Askrigg.
1766 May 2  Jane wife of John Fawcett of Askrigg

This indicates that John was still alive. If this is correct, he outlived her by another six years. His burial record sheds fresh light on his occupation.

1772 Dec 6  John Fawcett of the Turnpike Gate.

We should, however, treat these with caution. Jane would have been 90 and John 95. There may be an earlier burial for Jane that has been missed.

On the other hand, we have found no other 18th-century marriage for John Fawcett and Jane in a 10-mile radius, so this may be the right pair.


[1] Nappa Hall – Wikipedia




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