History of North Allerton, York, England

The town of North Allerton is pleasantly situated in an agreeable valley, in the North Hiding of the county of York; to the district around it has, from the earliest period, given the name of a shire; it is thirty-two miles north of York, and thirty-four south of Durham. The shire contains the following parishes and townships: Birkby, Borrowby, Brompton, Brawith, Cotcliffe, Crosby, Deighton, Ellerbeck, Foxton, Girsby, High Worsall, Holme, Hornby, Hutton Bonville, Hutton Sessay, Hutton Conyers, Knayton, Landmoth with Catto, Lazenby, Leak, Little Smeaton, North Allerton, Norton Conyers y North Kilvington, North Otterington, Osmotherley, Over Dinsdale, Romanby, Sigston, So werby under Cotcliffe, Thimbleby, Thornton-le-Beans, Thornton-le-Street, West Harlsey, West Rounton, Winton, with Stank and Hallikeld, of which the borough and market town of North Allerton, with Lazenby, the chapelries of Brompton, Deighton, and High Worsall, with the township of Romanby, are comprised in the parish of North Allerton.

In Domesday Book this town is called Alvertune, Aluertune, and Alreton. Simeon of Durham, who flourished about the year 1100, calls it Alvertona; and Peter de Langtoft, or his translator, Alverton, which it is generally called in all other ancient records that mention it. This gave Gale reason to believe that it took its name from the great King Alfred, and was originally called Alveredtune, which was afterwards softened into Alvertun, and Allerton. (* Gale's historical account of the borough of North Allerton, printed in Nichol's Bibliotheca Topographica Britannica, No. 2, pt. 2, 1781.)

However, as the abundance of Allertons in the county of York, beside that of which we are now treating, being at least eight, viz.: Allerton Mauleverer, Chapel Allerton, Moor Allerton, Allerton-Bywater, Allerton Grange, Allerton Gledhow, Allerton near Bradford, and Allerton Lee, (beside Allerton, in Somerset, Notts, Salop, Stafford, and Lancashire,) renders it impossible to conceive that they were all founded and named after that monarch, it must appear much more reasonable to suppose that the name is a mere incident to the situation of each place, or owing to some other circum-stance common to all.

It is probable that the particular spot or adjacent country has formerly abounded in Alders; a tree of which one species is said to affect a dry and elevated situation, and the other is a " most faithful lover of watery and boggy places; crassique paludibus alni Nascuntur."* The latter sort is now called, in Yorkshire, Ellers; hence Ellerbeck, a hamlet on the Codbeck, about four miles east of North Allerton; hence also the Ellerburns, Ellerbies, Ellerkers, and Ellertons in different parts of the county, Thoresby observes, "nothing being more familiar in former ages than for towns and territories to receive names from the sort of wood with which they abounded; an observation which might be supported by almost innumerable instances."

Lambarde gives us the name in Saxon characters Ealferton, as Camden about the same time, and Skinner after him gave it Ealfertun. It is much to be regretted that neither the one nor the other of these writers have made us acquainted with his authority, which cannot be the Saxon chronicle, as the name does not occur in it.

The distinction of North, which this town obtained above five hundred years ago, is chiefly, if not wholly, owing to Allerton Mauleverer, situated about twenty-five miles south, near the London road, between Boroughbridge and Wetherby, formerly the estate of an ancient family of that name, which resided there for more than five hundred years, but became extinct upon the death of Sir Richard Mauleverer, the fifth baronet. The estate after passing from the Mauleverers to Lord Arundel, the Viscount Galway, the Duke of York, and Colonel Thomas Thornton, was purchased by Charles, Lord Stourton, in 1805.


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Ingledew, Christopher James Davison. The history and antiquities of North Allerton, in the county of York. Published by London: Bell & Daldy, 1858.

Families Named After The Town

Residence or birth at North Allerton, of course, gave names to families. Stephen de North Alverton, was in 1295 vicar of Marsk, near Redcar ; Dr. Roger de Northalverton, in 1311 was vicar of Skipwith, in Howdenshire. (Burtons M.S.) In 1338, in the epis-copacy of Bishop Bury, Talbot de Northalverton, by his deed granted to John, the son of Adam de Menevyll and Agnes his wif e, and their heirs, a rent charge out of the lands in Great Haswell, which John, the son of Henry de Kellaw, by his deed, gave to Lucie de Hes-sewell, and which John had of the gift of Thomas, son of Ralph Beaufour and Eupheme his wife, by fine in the court of Bishop Beaumont. This instrument shews us a race of ancient proprietors.* Among the names of the pilgrims from England to Rome in April 1507, in the records of the English college at Rome, is that of Thomas de Northalderton dioc : Eborac.

Matthew de Allerton gave land in North Allerton to the abbey of Byland. William de Alverton gave the Austin Frier's land in this town, 14 Edw. III. In 1282 Warinus de Alverton was presented by the master and brethren of the hospital of St. James, juxta North-alverton, to the vicarage of North Ottrington. William de Allerton was the 14th abbot of Fountains. Jukel de Alverton, was amerced Ixvjl. & xiijs. & iiijd. for intercommoning with the King's enemies, Richard de Allerton was an executor to the will of Matilda, wife of John de Smeton, (proved xiij Mar. mceccii.) which contains the following legacy, " Item lego Matildse uxori Ricardi de Allerton barker j cellam, quam dedit michi vir meus." The names of Hugo diaconus de Alvertona, Robertus de Alvertone, Johannes de Aluertone, Thomas de Aluertona, Nicholaus de Aluertona, and Rogerus de Alvertona, are recorded in the Liber Vitoe Ecclesiw Dunel-mensis., as benefactors to the cathedral church; and John de Alverton in 1378andl381,as feretrar,or shrinekeeper of St. Cuthbert. We also find Richard de Allerton one of the bailiffs of York temp. Edw. II. ; and John Alverton temp. Edw. III. But as the name occurs more frequently further south, they may have sprung from other Allertons.