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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)

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HENRY NOBLE.  We first meet Henry Noble at the baptism of his son Joshua in 1610. We no longer have the Whitby registers before 1608, so we are unable to say when he was born, who his parents were, when he married and to whom, and whether there were other children before Joshua.

The dates of this and following baptisms lead us to assume that Henry was born in the last quarter of the 16th century, in the reign of Elizabeth I.  There were other Nobles having children baptised at the same time, giving the impression that the Nobles had been in Whitby for some time, and developed a wide extended family.

When he died in 1667, Henry Noble was a yeoman living in Larpool, a rural area in the parish of Whitby. It lies just over a mile south of Whitby town on the east bank of the River Esk. We do not know his parentage, but his father may also have been a farmer. It is quite possible that Henry grew up on this farm on this bend in the river.


His marriage is likely to have taken place before the start of the registers in 1608. There is no mention of his wife in his will, so it would appear that she predeceased him. We have not found a record of her burial, or not one that identifies her as being his wife. There are times when the parish register does not give such details.

We have records of six children baptised in Whitby.
Baptisms. St Mary the Virgin, Whitby.
1610 Jan 19  Josua
1613 Mar 13  Elizabeth
1616 Jan 23  Ruth
1619 Feb 3  Allison
1622 Jan 16  Robert
1623 Dec 16  John
1624 Dec 14  Hnry

Burial. Whitby.
1624/5 Jan 2  Anne d of Henry Noble

We do not have a baptism for Anne. It is just possible that she was mistakenly entered as Henry’s daughter and was, in fact, his wife, dying soon after Henry the younger’s birth. There are no further baptisms after this.


His eldest known son, Joshua, became a yeoman like his father. He farmed at Eskdaleside, further up the River Esk from Larpool.

Robert became a mariner, captaining the Margaret. This was the time when Whitby was taking off as a seaport, with ships carrying coal and minerals up and down the coast.

Henry the younger stayed on the farm at Larpool, which he inherited from his father.

Farming was in decline in the 17th century, with the prices of grain and wool falling. Nevertheless, Henry seems to have been fairly wealthy, though his fortune may be measured in property like houses, rather than money.


His son-in-law John Lockwood, husband of Elizabeth, died in 1654. He also lived in Larpool. He left his “father Noble” 20 shillings. The witnesses were Henry Noble the Elder and Henry Noble the Younger.

He owned an eighth share in four ships, one of which was the Constant, master Isaack Anningson, Henry’s son-in-law. The Margaret was captained by Henry’s son Robert and the Alice by Isaac’s brother Joseph Anningson.


When his son Robert made his will in 1656 he left his father “our house” now occupied by Nicholas Rowsley. “I forgive my father Noble all the rest of the porcion which yet remained due to me.” This was evidently a shared purchase. Henry is to take over Robert’s share as well as his own. Another house is left to the occupant for her life, and then to Robert’s wife. “All the rest of the houses given by my father Noble at our marriage I give to my wife for her life.” Henry appears to have given Robert a number of houses. We assume he did the same for his other children.

Robert had a quarter share in the Margaret, which, if we have read it correctly, was a pink. This was square-rigged vessel with a narrow stern. It was suited to coastal and shallow waters, and was capacious, with considerable room for cargo. He also had an eighth share in the galleon Endeavour,.


Henry’s own will shows that he owned houses in Whitby and an eighth share in the ship Constant.

He lived through the upheaval of the Civil War in the 1640s and the Republican Commonwealth that followed it in the 1650s.

 Henry made his will on 28 Dec 1667.

He describes himself as “Henry Noble of Larepoole the Elder in the parish of Whitby and County of York yeoman”.

To his grandson Ralph Noble he left £40, to be paid when he reached the age of 21. Ralph was the son of Henry Noble the Younger, born in 1654.

To Henry’s sons, Robert and Richard, he left all his houses in Whitby.

Henry the Younger’s other children, Elizabeth Noble and Henry Noble received £20 each.

His grandchildren, Gregory, Elizabeth, Mary and Anne Anningson received £20 to be divided equally among them. These were the children of his daughter Alice and Isaac Anningson.

His Milburne grandchildren, children of his daughter Ruth, were John, Richard, Robert and Ruth. They also received £20 divided between them when they reached the age of 21.

To his grandchildren Henry, William, Robert, Joshua, Elizabeth and Anne Noble he left £6, to be divided equally between them.

He left his sister Damson Noble 40 shillings.

To Katharine Bonnyman he left 20 shillings.

The poor of Ebberstone received 20 shillings.

His household goods, bedding, pewter, brass and wood vessels he bequeathed half to his son Henry and the other half to be divided equally between his daughters Ruth Milburne and Alice Anningson.

His children Joshua Noble, Henry Noble, Ruth Milburne, Alice Anningson and Sarah Noble are each to receive a 20 shillings gold piece.

His grandson Henry, son of Henry, is to receive a 20 shilling gold piece and four silver spoons.

John Dawson and Alice Dawson each receive 20 shillings.

His grandson William son of Joshua receives 5 shillings.

He gives his son Henry Noble an eighth share of the Constant of Whitby, master George Browne, and all the rest of his estate, lands and goods. This is the ship that was formerly captained by his son-in-law Isaac Anningson, who died in 1662. Other Whitby wills show that it was customary to own an eighth share in a ship.

He makes Henry the Younger his executor.

The witnesses are William Hartston and Anne Brigge, both of whom make their mark.


Although Henry the Younger is the youngest child, he receives the most generous bequests, and Henry son of Henry the Younger is the most favoured of his grandchildren. It is likely that Henry the Elder had already provided for his other sons, as he did for Robert, with the understanding that Henry the Younger would inherit the family farm.

We do not have the date when the will was proved.

Nor do we have a record of Henry’s death or burial. There was a Henry Noble buried in Whitby on 2 Jan 1668. This would fit well with the date of his will, but his age is given as 5. No baptism has been found for Henry Noble in 1662-3 and the information comes from a transcript. This may be an error in copying. Parts of the register are badly faded. An age of 85 would put his birth around 1584-5, which is what we would expect for Henry the Elder.

His life spanned the reigns of four kings and Oliver Cromwell’s Commonwealth.


[1] George Weatherill (1810-1890): Whitby from Larpool.





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