Dawson family of Weston Hall, near Otley, West Riding of Yorkshire
Immediate source of acquisition:
These documents were deposited at the Archives Department of Leeds City Libraries in February 1972 (Acc. 1704) with the exception of items WYL639/349, WYL639/391 and WYL639/392, which remain at Weston Hall. The Department holds a photograph of 349.
The majority of the deeds of the Weston Estate were found in bundles lettered A to L which are referred to in the schedule prepared for Chancery proceedings c.1866 (WYL639/346); it is to these bundles that the letters at the ends of the entries in this catalogue relate. The remaining documents were found in no apparent order, either loose or in miscellaneous parcels. Of the latter only a bundle marked '10. Papers etc. received from Mr. Earnshaw in November 1823' has had its contents recorded with (10) at the ends of the appropriate entries.
Vavasour family of Weston Hall, Weston, Yorkshire
Weston, West Riding of Yorkshire
Administrative / biographical background:
These documents relate chiefly to the Yorkshire estates of the Vavasours of Weston from whom they have descended to the present owner. The property was built-up by Sir Brian de Lisle (latinized as de Insula), who died in 1234, and by his nephew Sir Robert de Stopham (died before 1275). The Stophams seem to have originated in Sussex and Dorset and the Yorkshire branch to have been established by the Lisle inheritance.
Sir Robert de Stopham's daughter Maud married John le Vavasour of Denton, to whose descendents the property passed on the failure of the Stopham line in the middle of the fourteenth century. It then comprised the manors of Weston and Newton (in the parish of Nidd) and other lands at Burley-in-Wharfedale and Baildon. The last of the Baildon property appears to have been sold c.1700 and that at Newton in 1795.
On the death of William Vavasour in 1833 the estate passed to his nephew, William Elmsall Carter, a Lincoln attorney, who himself died in the following year. His daughter, Emma, married Christopher Holdsworth Dawson, grandson of Joseph Dawson, the Unitarian minister who became one of the founding partners of the Low Moor Ironworks. Through this marriage the property has passed to the present owner.