Sir Ralph Hansby

Sir Ralph Hansby

arms ARMS: Azure three sheldrakes close argent a chief ermine.

CREST: A pheon or.

Sir Ralph Hansby was a member of the King's Parliament, and is mentioned several times in the State Papers Domestic, in addition to the reference in Van Hæsdonck's complaint:

An entry for 23 February 1638/9, headed Information for his Majesty how he has been abused in the bargain of Hatfield Chase, referring to the drainage project of Sir Cornelius Vermuyden, has a deposition by Sir Ralph to the effect that, with Lord Deputy Wentworth and Sir George Ratcliffe, he had executed the commission at Doncaster on 29 August 1628, and agreed with the tenants.

An undated entry, assigned to 1639, says that an Information had been put in the Duchy Court accusing Hansby of "committing of great waste and felling of timber in your Majesty's woods", although which woods is not stated.

Sir Ralph leased Tickhill Castle from King James 1st, under a lease for 41 years dated 13 February 1611. (See the Mellish of Hodsock Collection at the University of Nottingham Library, which also contains a Memorandum of Assignment of the Lease of Bayliwicke of Tickhill and Strafford by Sir Ralph's executor, William Saunderson, to William Mellish Esq.)

Two entries in the State Papers Domestic come from Tickhill Castle. The first is a letter to the Council, dated 31 January 1640/1, containing a reply to a question about the coney warrens there, and the second a petition from 37 inhabitants of Tickhill dated March 1641, asking that no soldiers be quartered there as the stocks of hay and straw were too low.

On 4 November 1640 Sir Ralph was granted the lease on the tolls, piccages [ie a toll paid for the liberty to break the soil while erecting stalls or booths at a fair or market] and stallages [a toll payable for the liberty of erecting a stall at a market] of the markets at Tickhill; the tolls on all carts, waggons, etc in Sunderland Street; the rabbit warren in the common of Tickhill; and three fishponds therein, "all parcel of the honor and manor of Tickhill in the Counties of Yorkshire and Northumberland" for 60 years, providing Sir Ralph, John Slyman and William Hole should live so long, at a total annual rent of 18s 6d and a fine of £30.

Sir Ralph is mentioned twice in cases before the Committee for Compounding: first (in passing) in the case of Thomas Kerisforth of Dodworth YKS heard 29 November 1645; and secondly (posthumously) in the case of the Claimants on the Estate of Stephen Tempest of Roundhay YKS first heard 12 July 1650 (in which his widow Elizabeth Elizabeth Hansby claimed an interest in Roundhay Manor as due her from her former husband George Shillito), Thomas Tempest stating on 20 February 1652 "... Sir Ralph Hansby, 14 years since, pretended a title to it in right of his wife, and sued petitioner's father, but without effect".

Tickhill Castle

Dawn Walker-Gerrard has kindly sent me some pictures of Tickhill Castle, to which she retains copyright, and the text of a leaflet about the castle.

Doorway This doorway was created from an older build that once stood in the motte. It is now incorporated into the wall to provide access to an outer walkway around the castle walls
Coat of Arms The Hansby coats of arms is now displayed above the doorway
Tower On top of the motte are the remains of the eleven-sided tower built by Henry II in 1179. Inside the ruin are the remains of a fireplace, a drain, and well
House The Hansby family built the large house; this house incorporates old stone work taken from the old hall which once had stood in grounds (reportedly the house is 300 years old).

The Hansbys were the most well-known and important persons of the area, and were present at the Castle during the visitations of 1585 and 1612. It is thought John or Hugh Hansby was at the first visitation and had already had possession of the Castle, having restored the hall within the bailey contemporary with designs of the day. Hugh Hansby of London obtained the Castle by lease from the Crown.

Sir Ralph Hansby died and was buried at Tickhill on 2nd December 1643. Ralph, son and heir married and had nine children. His heir (3rd) was made Mayor of Doncaster by King James II and died in 1714.

At the commencement of the Civil wars Sir Ralph Hansby was loyal to the King and kept the Castle in a state of defence keeping control of the area under his influnce. On Sir Ralph's death in 1643, Major Monckton was set in charge of the Castle. The Earl of Manchester sent two hundred dragoons from Doncaster under Col Lilburn to take Tickhill. Monckton and Lilburn conferred, and Monckton went back to Doncaster to agree terms of surrender on July 25th, 1644. The next day the Earl of Manchester, Lieutenant-general Cromwell, major-general Crawford, other chief officers and 20 men, took control of the garrison at Tickhill. In 1647 an order of sleighing the Castle rendered it untenable.

The Hansbys were avid Catholics, and an inspection of the house in 1748 revealed many walls adorned with superstitious paintings and crucifixes.

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