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Thomas Stansfeld (bef.1430 - 1465)

Parents: John de Stansfeld & Mary (Fleming)

Born: bef.1430
Flourished: 1451-1461 
Died: 1465

Siblings: 
Geoffrey
Isabel (married Thomas Savile, possibly of Hullenedge)
probably Jane (appointed Prioress of Kirklees Priory in April 1491)
possibly Ann
possibly James
possibly Ralph

Marriage
#1 possibly Alice Savile of Copley
(no direct evidence)
#2 Isabel



Evidence

Children
Geoffrey (son and heir)
Richard
Nicholas
James
probably Thomas
possibly William 

Other Facts
Thomas held lands in Stansfield, Wadsworth, Heptonstall, and Erringden of which he was Tenant in Chief. The lack of records for Thomas may be due to the fact that he was only head of the family line for five years between his father's death and his own.

Sources
- History of the Parish & Vicarage of Halifax
- YAS DD99/B2/1
- Lancashire Archives
- National Archives KB9/349 /53

Mobirise

(Above) 1 Oct 1451 Thomas acquired one 4th of Erringden Park.
(History of the Parish & Vicarage of Halifax p511)
This secondary evidence adds a little more detail to the record below.

Mobirise

1457 Indenture of variance:  between John Tounley, esq, and Gilbert Legh of Clifton, gent, they being agreed to fulfill ye ordinances awarded by us Ric. Worsley, Laurence Lyster, Thos. Stansfeld and Gilbert Banaster concerning a tenement called Bukclogh in Clevecher. 3 seals. (Lancashire Archives DDTO O 1/54)

The above has been included as there are so few records for Thomas but, given that the record concerns Cliviger, the Thomas Stansfeld in this record could well prove to be one of the Stansfelds from the Burnley area.

But there is also a record in the National Archives (KB9/349 /53) which refers to Isabella, late wife of Thomas Stansfield, having had cattle stolen first at Wadsworth and later at Hepton (Heptonstall) - see foot of this page for why Hepton might actually refer to Wadsworth, or even Stansfield or Erringden.

This last record, from the Court of the King's Bench, forms part of the retrospective Oyer and Terminer (inquiry) into the bitter feud between the Pilkington family and the Savile family, the latter supported by members of the Stansfeld family because of their close family ties. This inquiry was only established in 1478. So, the date referred to above, 6 Jan 1461, refers to the date of the offence; thus the reference to "Isabella late wife of Thomas Stansfield" only indicates that Thomas was dead by the time the Oyer and Terminer took place and does not contradict his apparent death in 1465.

(Below) 20 Nov 1465 The Will of Thomas Stansfeld. Thomas appears to have been the first of his line to write a Will.

Note: the reason the Probate, dated 24 Jan 1465, appears to pre-date the Will itself, dated 20 Nov 1465, is that prior to 1752 the new year started on 25 March. So according to our modern calendar the Probate was effectively 1466.

Mobirise

To clarify why the reference to Hepton(stall), earlier on this page, may actually be a reference to Wadsworth (or Stansfield or Erringden), we can turn to the succinct explanation provided by John Stansfeld in his History of the Family of Stansfeld of Stansfield p14-15.

At the present time, also, the parish of Halifax is subdivided into three ancient chapelries:—
First. The district attached to the mother church of Halifax, including the townships of Halifax, Sowerby, Warley, Ovenden, Southowram, Hipperholme-cum-Brighouse, Midgley, Skircoat, and Shelf. Second. The parochial chapelry of Elland, consisting of the townships of Elland-cum-Greetland, Barkisland, Fixby, Norland, Rastrick, Rishworth, Soyland, and Stainland with Old Lindley. Third. The parochial chapelry of Heptonstall, containing the townships of Heptonstall, Erringden, Langfield, Stansfield, and Wadsworth.

It is necessary that these should be clearly understood, as, unfortunately for the antiquary without some local experience, each chapelry is called after the leading township within it. The way this affects the subject is as follows. Any person described, say, in his will, as of Halifax, might have been resident either in the township of Halifax, the parochial district of Halifax, or in the parish of Halifax at large. And in the same manner, a person described as of Heptonstall, may have been resident either in that particular township, or in any of the townships of Erringden, Stansfield, Langfield and Wadsworth. 


My thanks to researcher Joanne Backhouse for her collaboration and guidance regarding the Stansfeld family and Calderdale.