Manoah Bostick Hampton and Cynthia Mitchell Hampton
     “Lilie” Hampton             4 oldest children of Lilie Hampton & Walter McClure          Lilie Hampton McClure and her family, 1923

Virginia Sanders  Mylius

<gmylius@charter.net>   ·
Birmingham, AL    

Complete notes and sources available upon request.
Wright Family

The name Wright is a common one and can be found often in ancient English history.  Our earliest documented Wright ancestor was John Wright of Ploughland Hall, Yorkshire.  Burke's Commoners of Great Britain and Ireland states:  "Wright, of Bolton-on-Swale:   This family, one of remote antiquity in the North of England, has been settled for centuries in the county of York."   But it starts with John Wright of Plowland, and goes back no further.       The Descendants of John Wright - Some Were Gunpowder Plotters states:   “Descendants of John Wright and Alice Ryther of Plowland Hall settled in Durham, Chester, and London; others remained in the North Riding and the Holderness area of Yorkshire and Lincolnshire. Between 1800 and 1900, over thirty farms, halls and manors, were owned or managed by members of the Wright family.”

John Wright of Ploughland Hall, Yorkshire, was born about 1476.   Often repeated quotes about John state he was from Kent.    “According to several sources, it was in the thirty-third year of the reign of King Henry VIII, that John Wright of Kent, a steward, or seneschal to Henry, moved to Holderness, where as well as purchasing land, he had been granted many lands. This is perhaps an erroneous comment, as the thirty-third year of Henry's reign was 1542, two years after the death of John Wright. Perhaps the source has been misleading and it was the thirty-third year of John's life that he settled in the parish of Welwick, or perhaps it was the thirty-third year of the 16th century, for we know that around this time, part of Thorpe became known as Ploughland, and in 1533 John Wright bought a house and land there (Ploughland [Plowland] Hall) from Gerard Elwyn and George Thorpe and their wives, and that he acquired other property there from the Thorpes in 1538.”  I can find nothing to support the assertion that he was seneschal or servant to King Henry (VII or VIII).   I, personally, believe he was in Yorkshire certainly by the time of his marriage to Alice.    

John married Alice Ryther, daughter of  Sir John Ryther & Isabel Sutton.    They “wedded at the close of the fourteenth, or in the beginning of the fifteenth century.”      "The estate of Plowland came into the Wright family in the reign of Henry VIII, owing to John Wright, Esquire (a man of Kent), having married Alice Ryther, one of the daughters and co-heiresses of Sir John Ryther of Ryther, on the banks of the "lordly Wharfe," between York and Selby."    In 1519 Alice Ryther sold property at Ottringham, Yorkshire. Michaelmas, 11 Hen 8: Plaintiffs - William Grymston, etc. Deforciants John Wright and Alice his wife, one of the daughters of John Ryther, esq. re Messuage & 4 cottages with lands in Ottryngham, Wynested, etc. She was party to a land transaction in 1531 at Ottringham. Michaelmas, 23 Hen 8: James Fox & John Wilkynson, plaintiffs & John Wright and Alice his wife, one of the daughters and heirs of John Ryther re 5 messuages with lands in Ottryngham, Wynested, Hollym and Raynthorp, and also a 5th part, divided into 5 parts, of 5 messuages with lands in Penesthorp, Southorp, Kylnesey, Beverley and Holmeton, in which William Ryther has a life interest.

According to the "Visitation of Yorkshire 1584/85," John and Alice had two sons, Robert and John, although there is mention of a third son, Christopher, “of whom little is known”:  

John and Alice’s children:

1)    Robert  (born about 1501-died Jul 1594 Welwick)
2)    John
3)    Christopher

The children of John Wright and Alice Ryther

Robert Wright, (b abt 1501-d July 1594- buried 18 Jul 1594 in Welwick), John Wright's son, succeeded as the owner of Plowland (or Plewland).   Robert eventually became Sheriff of Yorkshire and was granted Arms by patent under the hand and seal of William Flower, Norroy.   Robert initially increased the size of the family estates through the purchase of the manor of Weeton from Robert Rudston[e] in 1555-56, however, his eldest son William conveyed property in Weeton, probably including the manor, to Richard Legard in 1579, as it is not included in the list of properties conveyed to William on Robert's death.   Robert was buried 18 July, 1594, in Welwick, seised of the manor of Plowland and lands in Weeton, and Pensthorpe.

Robert  married firstly Anne Grimston of Grimston Garth, the daughter of Thomas Grimston, about 1526 in Yorkshire.    Anne's ancestry is listed in Collins's Peerage of England, and states of Anne’s father:  THOMAS GRIMSTON, Esq. of Grimston, who married the daughter of Nicholas Girlington of Harkfurth, and had (with two daughters, Ann, married to Robert Wright, Esq. of Plowland, county York; and Maud, married to John Thwenge, Esq. of Upper Helmesley) many sons, of whom John was ancestor of the Grimston's of Neswick.   His eldest son was another Thomas Grimston.    This family is denominated from its possessions in the county of York, and descended from Sylvester de Grimston of Grimston, who attended William, duke of Normandy, in his expedition to England as standard-bearer, and in that station valiantly fought at the battle of Hastings, where the kingdom proved the reward of their victory over Harold, who then possessed the throne; and the year following, on the Conqueror's settling his household, he was appointed his chamberlain, and did homage for Grimston, Hoxton, Tonsted, and other lands, which he held of the Lord Roos, as of his honour of Roos in Holdernesse, Yorkshire.

Robert and Anne (our direct ancestors) had three children:

1)  William  (see below) born about 1526, died Dec 1616 at Ploughland, Welwick, Yorkshire.
2)  Anne
3)  Martha

Robert married second Ursula Rudston, whose family had been lords of Hayton, near Pocklington,  from the days of King John.    Robert and Ursula were staunch Catholics,   Ursula Wright, wife of Robert, was incarcerated for a total of 14 years, chiefly in Hull prison with a number of other recusant wives including one of her Babthorpe cousins, and Alice Oldcorne, a relative of the Jesuit Father Edward Oldcorne. It is said that "the courage and cheerfulness of this forceful old lady provided great moral uplift for the other prisoners".   Ursula Wright was akin to the Mallory (or Mallorie) family, of Studley Royal, Ripon, and so a cousin in some degree to most of the grand old Yorkshire gentry, such as the Ingleby family, of Ripley Castle and of Harewell Hall, Dacre, near Brimham Rocks, in Nidderdale, and the Markenfields, of Markenfield Hall, near Ripon, to mention others beside."  Ursula was the daughter of Nicholas Rudston and Jane Mallory,  daughter of Sir William Mallory, of Studley Royal, near Ripon.    

Robert and Ursula had at least 5 children.    This is as far as I have taken their descendants:

1)   John WRIGHT (of "The Gunpowder Plot") (b.13 Jan 1568-probably at Ploughland Hall,parish of Welwick,Yorkshire d.8 Nov 1605-Holbeche House,Staffordshire; killed after the Gunpowder Plot was exposed)
 | sp: Dorothy
  |  +- a)  (a daughter) WRIGHT
2)  Christopher WRIGHT (of "The Gunpowder Plot") (b.1570-Ploughland Hall,Welwick,Yorkshire d.8 Nov 1605-Holbeche House,Staffordshire,killed after the Gunpowder Plot was exposed)
 | sp: Margaret WARD
 |  |  a) Edward WRIGHT (a.6 Oct 1589)
 |  |- b) John  WRIGHT (b.Abt 1593)
 |  | sp: (Miss) BUSFIELD
 |  |  +- i)  John WRIGHT
 |  |- c)  Eliza WRIGHT (a.23 Jul 1594)
 |  |- d)  Francis WRIGHT (a.12 Jul 1596) (possibly buried at Welwick?)
  |  +-e)  Marmaduke WRIGHT (a.3 Feb 1601)
3)    Ursula WRIGHT (b.Abt 1571 d.1588)
 | sp: John CONSTABLE (b.Abt 1554 d.1581)
 | sp: Marmaduke WARD (2nd husband)
 |  |- a) John WARD (d./from wounds received in a duel)
 |  |- b) "The Venerable" Mary WARD (b.23 Jan 1585 d.23 Jan 1645-Heworth,near York)  (another interesting descendant!)
 |  |- c)  Barbara WARD (b.1586)
 |  +-d)  George WARD
4)    Martha WRIGHT (b.Abt 1577)
 | sp: Thomas PERCY - Gentleman, the Gunpowder Plot conspirator.   (b.1560 d.9 Nov 1605-Holbeach House, Staffordshire)
 |  |- a)  Robert PERCY
 |  | sp: Emma MEAD (m.22 Oct 1615)
 |  +-b)   (daughter) PERCY
 |    sp: Robert CATESBY (son of Robert Catesby the conspirator)
5)   Alice WRIGHT
   sp: William READSHAW (m.1593)

John and Christopher Wright are well-known instigators of the infamous Gunpowder Plot, now commemorated every year on Guy Fawkes Day  in England.   The book The Gunpowder Plot and Lord Mounteagle's Letter gives fascinating details about the entire plot and its consequences.  

John and Christopher Wright were schoolfellows of Guy Fawkes.   John was the third to be initiated into the Gunpowder Plot, some time in May 1604.   Their intentions were to blow up the Houses of Parliament.    The plan, of course, failed.   Dictionary of National Biography states:   “He took an active part in all the operations of the conspirators, and on the eve of the actual discovery of the plot (on the afternoon of 4 Nov.) he fled from London with Catesby.  At Holbeche on the morning of the 8th, when an accident took place with some gunpowder, he wished in his despair to ignite the rest so as to blow up the house and all.  In the fight which followed with Sir Richard Walsh's men, he and his brother fell mortally wounded.  Sir Thomas Lawley, who was in this affair assisting the sheriff of Worcester, wrote to Salisbury:  "I hasted to revive Catesby and Percy and the two Wrights, who lay deadly wounded on the ground, thinking by the recovery of these to have done unto his majesty better service than by suffering them to die," but the people standing by roughly stripped the bodies naked, and no surgeon being at hand, they soon died."   After the capture and imprisonment of the conspirators, the bodies of those who had died at Holbeche were exhumed, and the heads removed for display at Westminster Palace.   One quote says he was "shot, buried, dug up, beheaded, and head hung on gates of London."

Christopher Wright married Margaret Ward, a sister of Marmaduke Ward, of the Wards of Mulwith, and by her he had issue, a son, John (born abt. 1593), who married into the Busfield family of Lincolnshire, and himself had a son called John (Visitation of Yorkshire 1612). As a point of interest, Christopher Wright's widow then married a noted papist, Sir Henry Curwen of Northumberland (8 January 1606). This would indicate that Margaret Wright (nee Ward) remarried less than two months after her first husband's death.”    Much more can be found online about Christopher, who shared his brother’s fate.    

John Wright (II):    Of Robert's younger brother John, we know that "John Wright was granted lands by the crown in Sancton in 1553, also parts of the former Acaster property in Selby".    A curious entry is noted in Catholic Recusancy in the City of York 1558-1791 by J.C.H.Aveling:   "f.6v 19 July Margaret, wife of John Wright of York/suspected in religion/she promised to go to church and was enjoined to do so and certify; no bond".     This is almost certainly a reference to Robert's younger brother and his wife. The entry occurred along with entries regarding the arrest of Alice Oldcorne, who we know was imprisoned for recusancy between 1560 and 1580 along with John's sister-in-law.  No further details of John are available, but present research is attempting to determine if the Wrights of Skelton, from whom the priests William Wright and his brother Thomas Wright are descended, are descendants of either John or Christopher, the younger brothers of Robert Wright of Plowland.”

There was also a Francis Wright at Newbie, and a John Wright at Grantley.  They may have been the children of John and Christopher Wright, the uncles of John and Christopher Wright, the Gunpowder plotters.   In the Register of Welwick Church are the following entries of Burials:  

13 October 1654, Ffrauncis (sic) Wright, Esquire
2 May 1664, Ffrauncis (sic) Wright, Esquire  (this was the son of Nicholas Wright)

Christopher:   “of which little is known”

William Wright, son of Robert & Anne Grimston Wright

William Wright, son of Robert & Anne Grimston Wright, was born about 1526, died December 1616, and was buried 27 Dec 1616 at Welwick in Yorkshire.    Another source says he died August 1621, but the burial date seems to confirm the 1616 date!      A Genealogical and Heraldic History of The Commoners of Great Britain:   “William Wright died at Ploughland, and was buried at Welwick (the parish in which Ploughland is situate), 27th December 1616.   His wife Anne (Thornton) died 28th December 1618, and was buried at Welwick.”     William conveyed property in Weeton, probably including the manor, to Richard Legard in 1579, as it is not included in the list of properties conveyed to William on his fathers (Robert) death.    “The names of William Wright and Ann, his wife (born Thornton) are still recorded on a brass in the north aisle of Welwick Church."

William married Ann Thornton (died 28 Dec 1618, buried at Welwick in Yorkshire), daughter Robert Thornton and Margery Thwenge, (daughter of George Thwenge of Helmsley-on-the-Hill, Esq.)  Ann was of East Newton, in Rydale, “a lady who was related to many old Rydale and Vale of Mowbray families in the North Riding of Yorkshire.”     "William and his wife Ann were likewise attainted several times for recusancy.  An interesting anecdote from The Yorkshire Papists says Ann was considered a "lunaticke person" and subsequently absented herself from church. Whether she was indeed mentally unbalanced, or merely employing thoughtful subterfuge against church services that were contrary to her belief we cannot say, but given her previous record it is not difficult to believe her maintaining some charade to avoid attending church."

William and Ann had at least six children:

1)    Nicholas WRIGHT (b.Abt 1550 d.1648)
 |   sp: UNKNOWN
 |  +-   a)  Francis WRIGHT (son of Nicholas) (d.1664 - buried at Welwick)
2)  FRANCIS WRIGHT * (1st) of Sowerby, Thirsk Parish, York Co. (b.Abt 1553-Sowerby,County of York,England d.1651)
 | sp: ANNE MARKHAM Sowerby, York (sister of Henry Markham)
 | a) FRANCIS (II) WRIGHT * of Bolton-on-Swale (b.1575-Aldborough,England d.1651-Yorkshire,England)
 |  | sp: GRACE BECKWITH (a.8 Mar 1584-Pateley Bridge,Yorkshire m.Abt 1596 d.Abt 1665)
 |  +-    b)  Christopher WRIGHT
3)     John WRIGHT
4)     William WRIGHT (b.1560 d.1648)
 | sp: Ann MILLS
5)     Anne WRIGHT
6)     Robert WRIGHT of Foston (b.1572 d.1620)
   sp: Ann GIRLINGTON of Sandal
    |-    a)  Mary WRIGHT
    | sp: Ralph CRATHORNE of Ness
    +-   b)  Anne WRIGHT

Francis Wright (I), son of William Wright and Ann Thornton

Francis Wright (I) of Sowerby, Thirsk Parisk, York Co (b abt 1553-d 1651) of Bolton-upon-Swale; see Dugdale's Visitation of Yorkshire in 1584/5 and 1612, p 98.) born in Sowerby, County of York, England; married into the Markham family (cousins) of Yorkshire, England.  A Genealogical and Heraldic History of The Commoners of Great Britain repeats the above information, and adds that he was the father of  Francis Wright, of Bolton-on-Swale, who married Grace Beckwith.   I believe William and Ann had another son, Christopher, but can find no further information on him.  

Francis married Anne Markham:    I am sure we have all seen the following quote in Burkes:    “Francis Wright , of Sowerby , in the county of York,  who m. the sister of Henry Markham , (This gentleman's son and heir, Henry Markham, esq. died s. p. and divided his property, at Bolton , between his cousins, Francis Wright, of Sowerby, and another Francis Wright, also his own cousin) and was father of Francis Wright, of Bolton-on-Swale in the county of York , who died about the year 1651, leaving, by Grace, his wife, daughter of - Beckwith , esq. of Aldborough, in the same shire, one son and three daughters.”      

A History of the Markham Family , by David Frederick Markham, Clements Robert Markham,  does not mention either Anne or the Wright’s in any way.   I welcome any comments on Anne’s possible parentage!   

All I have for children of Francis and Anne Markham Wright were Francis (II), and possibly a son Christopher.   

Francis Wright (II), son of Francis Wright & Anne Markham

Francis Wright II, of Bolton-on-Swale, (b abt 1575-d 1561), is another of whom we know little.  Once again, Burkes tells us who he married:   “Francis Wright, of Bolton-on-Swale in the county of York, who died about the year 1651, leaving, by Grace, his wife, daughter of - Beckwith, esq. of Aldborough, in the same shire, one son and three daughters.”    

We are left to wonder about Grace’s parents.    As with the Markham’s, the book, The Beckwiths by Paul Edmond Beckwith, doesn’t mention Grace or the Wright’s in any way.    I have a theory that her parents were Sir Roger Beckwith and Dorothy Currer, but would love others opinion on this.   

Francis Wright and Grace Beckwith had the following children:

1)   Rev. FRANCIS (III) WRIGHT * (D.D.) (b.1601-Bolton-On-Swale,England d.1655-Yorkshire,England)
 | sp: ANNE MERITON  (MERYTON) * (b.Abt 1606-England m.1626 d.19 Mar 1669/1670-England)
2)   Elizabeth WRIGHT (b.Abt 1602)
 | sp: Finian (Ninian) ANDERSON of Gales, in Yorkshire
3)   Grace WRIGHT (b.Abt 1603)   (see next page for further information on Grace)
 | sp: Dr. Thomas MERITON esq. of Castle Levington (d.1652)
4)   Jane WRIGHT (b.Abt 1604)
   sp: John PALLISER of Kirby Wiske, also in Yorkshire