fonds PR/COX - Parish records of Coxwold

Identity area

Reference code



Parish records of Coxwold


  • 1533-1975 (Creation)

Level of description


Extent and medium

0.22 cubic metres

14 boxes and 12 rolls

Context area

Name of creator

(fl 8th century-)

Administrative history

The earliest reference to a church at Coxwold was in an eighth century letter of Pope Paul I. In 1145 the rectory and advowson was granted by Roger de Mowbray to the Prior and convent of Newburgh, and appropriated to them sometime later. The convent held the advowson until the Dissolution of the Monasteries when it passed to the Crown who granted it, in 1547, to the Master and Fellows of Trinity College, Cambridge. The priory itself was purchased by the Belasyse family. In 1899 the advowson was transferred from the college to the Archbishop of York.

The present parish church of St Michael dates to the first half of the fifteenth century, replacing an earlier structure. The chancel was rebuilt in 1777 by Henry, Earl of Fauconberg, the head of the Belasyse family who still own the Newburgh estate today. The church contains funerary monuments of the Belasyse family and serves as the estate church.

The parish has, at various times, included Coxwold, Angram Grange, Birdforth, Byland, Byland Membris, Kilburn, Newburgh, Oulston, Silton, Thirkleby, Thornton cum Baxby, Wass, Wildon Grange and Yearsley. From at least the twelfth century Coxwold had chapels of ease at Silton, Thirkleby, Kilburn and Birdforth. A further chapel is mentioned at Oulston in the fifteenth century, although it no longer exists, and in 1853 a chapel of ease was consecrated at Yearlsey.

None of these chapelries now remain. Birdforth chapel was augmented through Queen Anne’s Bounty in the eighteenth century and subsequently became a separate benefice in the patronage of the Archbishop of York. Kilburn, which included Wass, also became an independent parish in 1732, and in 1856 Thirkleby was united with Husthwaite to form a separate benefice. In 1960 Yearsley also separated from Coxwold. However a change in the parish boundaries resulted in Wass being transferred back from Kilburn to Coxwold parish in 1956.

Today the parish, which includes St Michael’s Church at Coxwold and St Thomas’ Church at Wass, is part of the united benefice of Coxwold and Husthwaite, which also includes Husthwaite and Carlton Husthwaite.

Archival history

Immediate source of acquisition or transfer

The archive was deposited at the Borthwick Institute in 1974 by the incumbent. Further additions were made to the archive in 1980, 1985, 1988 and 1995.

Content and structure area

Scope and content

Includes register of christenings, 1583-1957 (note this register uses the Dade registration scheme for the years 1770-1812, maiden names only; register of marriages, 1583-1962; register of burials, 1583-1859 (note this register uses the Dade registration scheme for the years 1770-1812); register of banns, 1801-1823, 1845-1937; communicant numbers, 1818-1823; register of Yearsley services, 1929-1953; register of services, 1901-1975; records concerning benefice income, including accounts of Easter dues, 1727-1732, sequestration accounts, 1926-1927, and Yearsley stipend correspondence, 1898, 1954; charity records, including accounts, 1693-1956, deeds of poor's lands, 1794, 1873-1930, list of poor's bonds, 17th century, map of lands in Husthwaite and Easingwold, 1865, and correspondence, 1900-1972; churchwardens’ records, including accounts, 1632-1688, 1791-1936, arbitrations on assessments for Birdforth, 1533, 1637, fabric papers, 1961-1968, Yearsley accounts, 1895-1933, and Yearsley restoration papers, 1965-1967; records of incumbents, including dilapidations, 1967-1969; overseers’ records, including accounts for two years, [1630s], and list of apprentices, c.1720-1835; school records, including accounts, papers and correspondence, c.1896-1969, log books, 1863-1974, and managers' minutes of meetings, 1903-1974; Vestry/Parochial Church Council records, including minutes of meetings, 1806, 1815, 1822-1825, 1829, 1842, electoral roll, 1920-1971, parish maps, 1956, 1959, correspondence, 1956, Yearsley Moor enclosure award and map, 1867, magazines, 1895, 1904, 1951-1975, Yearsley minutes of meetings, 1954-1960, and Yearsley correspondence, 1960.


Further accruals are expected.

System of arrangement

Conditions of access and use area

Conditions governing access

Records are open to the public, subject to the overriding provisions of relevant legislation, including data protection laws. 24 hours' notice is required to access photographic material.

Conditions governing reproduction

A reprographics service is available to researchers subject to the access restrictions outlined above. Copying will not be undertaken if there is any risk of damage to the document. Copies are supplied in accordance with the Borthwick Institute for Archives' terms and conditions for the supply of copies, and under provisions of any relevant copyright legislation. Permission to reproduce images of documents in the custody of the Borthwick Institute must be sought.

Language of material

  • English
  • Latin

Script of material

Language and script notes

Physical characteristics and technical requirements

Finding aids

A typescript finding aid, to file level, is available for consultation in the searchroom of the Borthwick Institute. This includes all material received up to and including 1995.

Uploaded finding aid

Allied materials area

Existence and location of originals

Existence and location of copies

Registers of christenings, 1583-1957, marriages, 1583-1962, and burials, 1583-1859, are also available on microfilm at the Borthwick Institute (References: MF 669-670).

Related units of description

The parish records of Birdforth and Wass are also deposited at the Borthwick Institute.

Publication note

Yorkshire Parish Register Society, 'The parish registers of Coxwold. 1583-1666.' Transcribed and edited by R. L. H. Lloyd (Leeds, 1955).

Notes area

Alternative identifier(s)

Access points

Name access points

Genre access points

Description control area

Description identifier

Institution identifier

GB 193

Rules and/or conventions used

ISAD (G): General International Standard Archival Description, International Council on Archives (2nd edition, 2000); Rules for the construction of personal, place and corporate names, National Council on Archives (1997).

Level of detail

Dates of creation revision deletion

Created by S. A. Shearn, 01.02.16.




Accession area