Great Mitton Hall from the south. The left one story structure was probably the location of the original hall from the Norman de Mittons. The right structure was part of an original H style add-on common to the 14th century. The left part of the structure was probably removed at some point for tax purposes.
The door above is in Great Mitton Hall and the frame may have an outside one of a door into the original manor house before the present structure. That original manor structure was probably in the center part of the later “H” designed add on structures of wattle and daub in the 14th century.
Foreclosure by primogenitor
The de Mitton family ceased to be the Lords of Mitton manor after 1310 with the death of the second Henry de Lacy Feb. 5th that year. Undoubtedly family members remained in the Great Mitton area as is documented by Emma and Cecily Mitton deed of Aighton, Bailey and Chaigley to John de Bailey in 1362. But the de Mittons were no longer the lords of their namesake demesne manor and probably other manors they may have held under the de Lacy’s after the death of the second Henry de Lacy, He was the last of the great de Lacy barons of Bowland and Honour of Clitheroe from the post Norman conquest and the de Mittons families feudal liege family until his death. His daughter Ann was the only heir due to the previous deaths of her two brothers. As such her husband became the recipient of the de Lacy lands and with out any blood connections with his family he replaced the de Mittons as manor lords by 1312. Had Henry de Lacy’s sons survived him rather than his only daughter the de Mittons probably would have continued as lords of Mitton manor.
The specific paternal linkage of Roger Mitton’s (d.1585) pedigree back to a late 14th century Mitton early Norman connection is lacking specifics. Many of the records may have been lost or probably never existed. Formal recording of births, marriages and deaths by parish clerks did not begin until the middle of the 16th century (1538). However, we can cite some Mittons from dates based on Jack Knowles’ 1982 genealogy The Mittons of Craven found in the British Library. It provides the following:
“The Craven branch of the family may therefore have descended from the other grandson Hugh or John or from their second cousin Ralph”.
The above three can be linked directly back through the Mitton pedigree to Ralph the Red. They were living about the end of the 14th century and that would make them approx. 7th. generation descendants of Ralph the Red. Knowles genealogy then lists other descendant Mittons found but has no specific pedigree to connect father to son.
- John of Pendleton living in 1377.
- William and Thomas, sons of John (?) living in Clitheroe in 1443.
- Henry and John of Pendleton mentioned in 1498.
- William who held land at Wymondhouses a few years later.
- Richard of Colne mentioned in 1509.
- John and Robert around 1520.
- William in 1531.
- Henry a property owner in Colne 1551.
- Miles, greave of Colne 1551.
- George B.A., Vicar of Garstang 1609-1621.
Many more Mittons in the immediate area were found in the “Court Rolls of the Honor of Clitheroe” during the 15th-16th century by the author.
- Emot, wifeof William
- James, son of Henry
- John, son of William
- Margaret, wife of Henry
- William William, son of Henry
- Elizabeth, wife of James
- Henry of Colne
- James of Roughlee
- William, son of John
As to who these exact de Mitton bloodline descendants are to the Norman or the Craven Mittons is not known based on present research. It encompasses a post-10th generation time line from Ralph the Red. However, both a Roger and Richard are mentioned. Knowles genealogy documents those two in the Bishops rolls as well as Henry from Colne in both sources. Given the close proximity of Craven to Clitheroe being its area court it is entirely possible that those names coincide between the two sources for the times. This further suggests the early bloodline linkage to the de Mittons of Great Mitton from the earlier 12th century genealogy of the Coucher Book of Whalley.
At some point some the de Mittons must have migrated the short distance north to the Craven area of Yorkshire in the 14th to 15th century still within the same parish. They also dropped the “de” from the surname. It was from this Craven area line that the later Ontario Mittons trace their ancestry back to “Squire” Joesph Mitton and is authenticated by the Bishops Rolls. The ones who remained in the Great Mitton area may have Anglicized the surname to a “y” to “Mytton”. But we do not know of any Mittons of that spelling related to the Craven or Canadian Mittons.
The Craven non-required pre 1338 Bishops rolls documentation of birth, marriages and death are undoubtedly the reason for the missing pedigrees until a Roger Mitton of Austwick. He was born circa 1338 and died in Craven 1585 and has been now documented. One reason for the migration from Great Mitton to the Craven area may have been the great plague, but most likely is that they were forced off their manor lands after the de Lacy land holdings that included de Mitton manors were passed to Thomas Plantagenet, the Earl of Lancaster and husband of Alice de Lacy upon her fathers death. She was the only remaining heir when her father died Feb. 5th, 1310. His tenure was the final apex of the great de Lacy barony but ceased abruptly upon Henry’s death. The de Lacy lands were incorporated into the Duchy of Lancaster and many today are still held by the Crown with Queen Elizabeth as the Duke of Lancaster.