Palmes family

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Palmes – Lindley memorial 1593, Otley Church
Bryan Palmes M.P., of Naburn Hall in 1511; Member of Parliament for York
Lodge House of Naburn Hall
William Palmes, M.P., of Lindley Hall
George Palmes (1776–1851), J.P., D.L., of Naburn Hall, Yorkshire. Portrait by Charles Robert Leslie
Lady Mary Fane by Sir Peter Lely.
Palmes Pedigree Roll, 1599

The Palmes family of Naburn Hall, and the cadet branches of Lindley Hall, North Yorkshire; Ashwell, Rutland; and Carcraig in Ireland, are an ancient English aristocratic family, noted for their adherence to Catholicism.

Origins and estates[edit]

The family were originally seated at Taunton Deane, Somerset, where Manfred de Palma/Palmes had by the "Gift of Milo Earl of Hereford & Constable of England, 53 Oxgangs of Land and 25 Messages in the Lordship of Taunton Dean".[1] Manfred was "known to be living in the sixth year of the reign of King Stephen, 1140 AD".[2]

The Palmes family of Naburn can trace its ancestry through a maternal line to Robert de Todeni (died 1088), a powerful Norman baron. Todeni's importance is reflected by the 80 estates in 11 counties that he was granted by William across England. His principal Lordship was at Belvoir where he built his home, Belvoir Castle, before establishing Belvoir Priory in 1076.[3] Among Todeni's many estates was Naburn. In 1226, William Palmes of Taunton acquired the Lordship of Naburn through his marriage to Matilda, daughter or sister of Richard de Watterville; a direct descendant of Robert de Todeni from whom the land had passed to the Wattervilles. From then on, the estate continued to descend uninterrupted from father to son within the Palmes family until 1974, on the death of Commander George Bryan Palmes.[4] The Palmes family were said to have been "unique in being able to boast an unbroken heritage".[4] Edmund Burke described the family as "one of serious antiquity".[5]

The will of Brian Palmes, Sergeant-at-Law, of Naburn Hall, was dated 31 October 1519. It shows that in addition to Naburn the family held estates in: Riccall, Escrick, South Duffield, Elvington, Barthorpe, Sutton, Holtby, Berrythorpe and Gate Fulford.[6] A cadet branch of the family was seated at Lindley Hall, North Yorkshire, and an Irish line of the family settled at Carcraig.[7]

Naburn Hall[edit]

The manor house of the Palmes family – Naburn Hall – is first recorded in 1345. It had eight hearths in 1672. A drawing of circa 1720 shows it as a two-storey house, three bays long, with attic windows in tall pointed gables. The house was remodelled in 1735 by Brian Palmes (1696–1737), who was married to Anne, daughter of Robert Scarisbrick of Scarisbrick Hall. The hall was again altered in 1818 by George Palmes (1776–1851). In 1870, it was restored and enlarged to the designs of William Atkinson, though the 18th century interior and central block remained unchanged. The main three-storey square block of rendered brick and stone dressings has a concealed slate roof. In the 19th century, a two-storey wing was attached. Attached to the rear of the hall is the derelict yellow brick and tile Chapel of St. Nicholas, originally built in the 16th century by Nicholas Palmes (died 1551) of Naburn, so his family could continue to practice Catholicism. The chapel was rebuilt in 1870. The Coach house and Stables were built in the late 18th century with a Pedimented Clock tower and domed bell-turret. A one and a half-storey Gate Lodge was built on the main road in the early 19th century, with a central stack, slated roof and veranda.[8]

Lindley Hall[edit]

Guy Palmes was the brother of Bryan Palmes of Naburn Hall, and like him also a Serjeant-at-law during the reign of Henry VII and Henry VIII. His son and heir, Brian, married Isabell (died 1550), daughter and co-heir of Thomas Lindley, of Lindley, North Yorkshire. Their son, Sir Francis Palmes, acquired the Lordship of Lindley and established the family at Lindley Hall, renouncing his Catholic faith to become a Protestant. His great-great grandson, William Palmes of Lindley, married the Hon. Mary Eure, younger daughter and co-heir of William Eure (died 1645), 6th Baron Eure. Their only surviving son died without issue and Lindley was acquired by their son-in-law, Sir William Strickland, 3rd Baronet, of Sizergh Castle, the husband of their youngest and only surviving daughter, Elizabeth.


Lineage – Boleyn family and Henry VIII of England[edit]

The Palmes family of Naburn are directly descended from Mary Boleyn and her daughter, Catherine, who is generally believed to have been the daughter of Henry VIII of England while Mary was his mistress.[9][10] Mary's sister, Anne Boleyn, afterwards became the second wife of Henry VIII and the mother of Elizabeth I of England:

Lineage – Seymour family, House of St. Maur[5][edit]

Alexander Palmes, known to have been living in 1161, married Rose, the daughter of Adam Newmarch, and had issue:

  • Jerome Palmes, Alexander's heir, married Anne St. Maur (another spelling of Seymour), daughter of John St. Maur. They were the grandparents of William Palmes who acquired the Lordship of Naburn in 1226. Through Jerome's marriage, the Palmes family can prove its descent from the Seymour family, headed by the Duke of Somerset, ancestors of Jane Seymour, wife of Henry VIII.[12]
  • Richard Palmes married Jane, the daughter of Sir John Arundel
  • Margaret Palmes married Robert St. Maur, son and heir of Sir John St. Maur.
  • Jane Palmes married Thomas Pownes

Notable family members[edit]

Several members of the family have married into the peerage, this includes:

Civil War[edit]

Sir Brian Palmes raised a regiment for King Charles I; subsequently he was compounded for his estate by the Parliamentarians.[16]

The family had links to the Fairfax family through the marriage of Janes, Sir Guy Palmes' daughter to Sir Nicholas Fairfax, son of Sir Thomas Fairfax of Denton, Yorkshire,[17] this couple were the grandparents of Thomas Fairfax, 1st Viscount Fairfax.[18] Sir Guy Palmes initially opposed King Charles I and later became an ardent Royalist.[19] His son Sir Bryan Palmes was a Royalist also.[20]

Catholicism and Nonconformity[edit]

The Palmes family were Nonconformist; in the 17th century they received quietuses for recusancy fines.[21] Catholicism excluded the Palmes family from public office and they seem to have retreated to their estates, though their pedigree indicates that they continued to marry well, usually to other large landed Catholic families like the Langdales and the Stapletons.[22]

The heir of Brian Palmes, Nicholas Palmes (died 1551) of Naburn Hall, married twice and left an heir, Brian Palmes (d. circa 1581), whose second wife, Anne, was the daughter of John Constable of Burton Constable Hall. These two generations of the Palmes family were the first to be affected by The Reformation. Coming from a family who for several generations had been admitted of Corpus Christi, York, they were not swift to abandon their Catholicism and Brian Palmes was the first member of the family to be recorded as paying a recusancy fine in 1577. Unfortunately for the Palmes family they were rather visible, as Naburn Hall stood two miles downstream on the opposite bank to the palace of the Archbishop of York on the River Ouse and they went on suffering fines for non-attendance at church until they changed religious allegiance in 1784. Until that time their Catholicism meant that half the village of Naburn was Catholic as well, while the other half of the village followed the Protestant example of the Baines family at Bell Hall.[23]


  1. ^ Old Naburn by W.M. Baines p.41
  2. ^ A genealogical and heraldic History of the Commoners of Great Britain and Ireland, enjoying territorial possessions or high official rank, but uninvested with heritable honours, Volume 1, Page 611
  3. ^ Rutland, E.D.; Pruden, J. (2009). Belvoir Castle: A Thousand Years of Family Art and Architecture. Frances Lincoln. p. 18. ISBN 9780711230521. Retrieved 24 June 2015.
  4. ^ a b Hull History Centre
  5. ^ a b Burke, J. (1834). A genealogical and heraldic History of the Commoners of Great Britain and Ireland, enjoying territorial possessions or high official rank, but uninvested with heritable honours. 1. Colburn. p. 611. Retrieved 24 June 2015.
  6. ^ Old Naburn by W.M. Baines p46
  7. ^ Yorkshire Life, April–June 1952
  8. ^ Yorkshire: York and the East Riding. By Sir Nikolaus Pevsner and David Neave – 1995. Page 617.
  9. ^ Public Record Office. Letters & Papers. vol. viii, p.567.
  10. ^ Ives. Life and Death of Anne Boleyn. pp. 16–17.
  11. ^ Papers of the Palmes Family of Naburn in the National Archives
  12. ^ A Genealogical & Historical Pedigree of the Ancient Family of Palmes of Naburn' by Theo's Beckwith of the city of York and F.A.S London 1782 A.D., page 5
  13. ^ Willis, Browne (1750). Notitia Parliamentaria, Part II: A Series or Lists of the Representatives in the several Parliaments held from the Reformation 1541, to the Restoration 1660 ... London. pp. onepage&q&f&#61, false 229–239.
  14. ^ "The registers of Wadham college, Oxford ... From 1613 to [1871]". Retrieved 24 June 2015.
  15. ^ Denis Larionov & Alexander Zhulin. "Read the eBook Dugdale's Visitation of Yorkshire, with additions (Volume 3) by William Dugdale online for free (page 22 of 39)". Retrieved 24 June 2015.
  16. ^ Dundale's Visitation of Yorkshire, with Additions, volume III, edited by J.W. Clay F.S.A. – page 293 [1]
  17. ^ 'A Genealogical & Historical Pedigree of the Ancient Family of Palmes of Naburn' by Theo's Beckwith of the city of York and F.A.S London 1782 A.D
  18. ^ "- Person Page 13029". Retrieved 24 June 2015.
  19. ^ "House of Commons Journal Volume 6: 4 September 1648 | British History Online". Retrieved 24 June 2015.
  20. ^ "Palmes, Bryan (DNB00) - Wikisource, the free online library". Retrieved 24 June 2015.
  21. ^ "University Archives". Retrieved 24 June 2015.
  22. ^ The National Archives, DDPA; DDPA(2)
  23. ^ Allison, History of York East Riding, iii, p. 81; Foster, Pedigrees, iii; Trappes-Lomax, 'The Palmes family', pp. 443–4)

External links[edit]