East Herrington

In the days of Bishop Bek the Lord, William de  Herrington gave the Eastern Manor to Roger de Eshe. He died in 1313 but his descendants continued as Lords of East Herrington as well as of Esh in the County.

Bishop Hatfield’s survey mentions more of the farming life of the community. Thomas Colvyll, Knight, whose wife was an heiress of de Eshe, held two parts of the Manor in return for foreign service.

He rendered at various seasons of the Church’s year twenty shillings for cornage, two parts of a Milch Cow, four quarter of oats, ten bushels of scat oats, two quarters of scat malt. One man was to plough and harrow four acres at Newbottle and twelve to do the Autumn Harvest.

Thomas de Herrington, probably one of the original family still in the area – held 40 acres and a messuage by old inheritance and attended the Bishop’s Chase with two parts of two greyhounds – goodness knows how that was determined!

The carrying of two parts of one ton of wine were his responsibility and he might also be engaged when necessary to attend Embassies for the Bishop.

The Windmill was on the side of St. Chad’s Road and Summerhill – known as Miller Hill Lonnen. All disputes were to be settled at the Halmote court of Durham.

The Lord also owned the Haining then estimated at 100 acres and worth 37 shillings and two pence a year rent. At a certain time each year a man was sent to do Watch and Ward Service for 40 days.

By Tudor times the de Eshe line ended with a daughter who married William Smythe of Nunstainton, a Catholic implicated in the Northern Rising of 1569 when the forces led by Nevill of Raby occupied the Cathedral and laid seige to Barnard Castle.

Lord Burghley’s hastily drawn-up map of 1569 to help him determine the extent of the rebellion – the earliest known map of County Durham – clearly shows two places marked as “Haryngton”. (He had known this area – 0n a visit to Bernard Gilpin at Houghton he is said to have looked across the countryside and remarked “What more can a man want?”).

And indeed two rebels joined at “West Erynton” one of whom was executed. The same happened at “Overton” and the same executions carried out for Houghton , Newbottle, Seaham, Seaton and Hetton – all to prove Elizabeth’s promise to send “Such a breakfast as the North had never known”.

Before commissioners on 25th April 1570 Robert Robinson together with Thomas Chilton and William Ranson in Newbottle expressed “lamentable penitence” for taking part in the Rising and were among the lucky ones granted a pardon. Could this be the Robert Robinson still living in Middle Herrington in 1591 ?

Despite their implicaton the Smythe family rode the persecutions that followed until the Civil War.

In 1644 the Parliamentary Commission sequestered the estate of “all lands belonging to George Smythe Esq. Papist” for £15 per annum. Middle Herrington was released to John Lawrence, and East Herrington to Thomas Smythe at £10.

From the Parliamentary days we find the tenants of East and Middle Herrington were used to grinding their corn at Newbottle “and we find no complaints thereof. … they are bound to carry lead, stones and timber to the said mill and find thatch to repair thereof and to scour the mill dam.” A John Rutter ran the Mill. George Barkas held High Haining with 3 closes and 24 acres in Bridemoore.

The Protestation Returns to 1641-2 show a total of 30 adult males in East and Middle Herrington willing to sign to maintain the established religion at this time.

So we have a full list of the menfolk working from these returns to produce perhaps 135 population:

John Lawrence John Guy
William Lawrence John Page
William Hunter William Wilson
Christopher Smith Barnard Robinson
George Taylor Christopher Robinson
Robert Wilkinson Senior and Junior George Hall
Alex Simpson Richard Johnson
Richard Milborne John Dickson
Robert Lorence Thomas Smith
Robert Charlton Anthony Bailes
Matthew Spurrier Ralph Readhead
John Hutchinson John Coupland
Philip Fetherston Tobias Uswand
John Allen Thomas Douglas
Henry Bavington  

In 1663 there were 30 hearths in East Herrington but William Creighton the village constable “refuseth to make returns”. Clearly he was on the side of the villagers.

A later list of 1674 shows the number of hearths (20) for each household which gives some indication of social standing of both Herringtons

William Punshon 1 John Twentyman 4
Robert Taylor 1 Ralph Robinson 2
Robert Gibson 1 Thomas Smith 2
John Fetherston 1 William Watson 1
Richard Smith 1 Cuthbert Taylor 1
Henry Page 1 Francis Morgan 1
Richard Surrett 1 William Humble 1
John Wilkinson 1    

At the restoration the East Herrington Manor was recovered and Edward Smythe creatcd a baronet. In 1786 they sold the estate to General Lambton.