|1539 - Act for Dissolution of the Great
Monasteries and Abbeys.
The free rent of the burgesses in Skelton is given as 3s : 7d.
1540 - Guisborough Priory was pulled down.
1542 - In Skelton well over half the taxpayers assessed for the Lay Subsidy paid at the lowest rate - on goods valued at less than one Pound [240 pennies]. Lay Subsidy was a taxation system based in rural areas of a fifteenth part of a person's moveable goods including crops. In towns it was a tenth.
1545 - After the dissolution of the monasteries the church at Skelton was granted to the see of York and the Archbishop is still patron of the 'living', [controls appointment of local vicar, his payment, vicarage etc].
| 1546 - A domestic chapel in Skelton castle is mentioned in
1547 - Death of Henry VIII and accession of Edward VI.
|It is unlikely that Skelton villagers saw many
unemployed vagrants at
this time, as from 1531 they had been sentenced to a whipping and from
this year branded with a 'V' on their faces. A repeat offence justified
1549 - Act passed to forbid the Catholic Mass.
1553 - Death of Edward VI and accession of Mary.
1555 - The Highways Act made the parishes responsible for the highways and the churchwardens and parishioners had to elect two surveyors of the highways, whose duty it was to specify four days every year when the inhabitants had to supply the necessary materials and work eight hours daily on road repairs, under pain of fine for default.
|1556 - Death of John Lord Conyers of
Skelton Castle. He was the son William Conyers, who had inherited in
1490. The estate was divided between John's three daughters; Anne, the
wife of Anthony Kempe, Katharine wife of John Atherton and Elizabeth
wife of Thomas Darcy. There is a record of fraction between the
husbands of the 3 daughters regarding their shares and it is believed
they deliberately allowed the Castle to fall into disrepair.
'The goodly chapel, one of the jewels of this Kingdom, rudely went to the ground, with the fair hall and large towers; so that now scarcely are the ruins of a chapel to be seen'It would seem from the following that it was Anne, who occupied Skelton Castle and continued to do so with some hardship, following her husband's death.
"Anne Dacre/Darcy was the daughter of Thomas Dacre, 2nd baron Dacre of the North (November 25, 1467-October 24, 1525)
and Elizabeth Greystoke (July 10, 1471-August 14, 1516). On September 28, 1515, she married Christopher Conyers, 2nd baron Conyers of Hornby (c.1491-June 14, 1538). On February 2, 1539, her brother, William, 3rd baron Dacre, wrote to Lord Cromwell to ask him to befriend Anne, who needed his aid for herself and her young children. Lady Conyers herself then wrote to Lord Cromwell from Skelton Castle on July 10, 1539. Her eldest son John (1524-June 30, 1557) was still a minor and so had become a ward of the Crown, but he was already betrothed to Maud Clifford, daughter of the earl of Cumberland. Although her husband had tried to make arrangements for the rest of his family before his death, he had left behind enormous debts and she was faced with raising Elizabeth, Jane (c.1522-December 4, 1558), and Leonard (c.1529-1577) and arranging marriages for them without any income. She asked Cromwell for her dower rights and begged to be allowed to stay where she was and "be your farmer of my said son's lands." In a second letter, written on October 17, 1539, she restates her case, telling Lord Cromwell that since her husband died she has had "nothing to live upon, but as we have borrowed amongst our poor friends, and daily sundry of the creditors of my said lord my husband calls upon me for such debts as he was indebted unto them; the which I shall never be able to pay, unless I may be therein relieved and holpen by the profits of such of my said husbandís lands as he devised and assigned to that purpose, and for the preferment of his children." She asks again for her "dower and living" but when or if she received them is not recorded. Anne wrote her will on December 16, 1547 and it was proved on April 1, 1548. She asked to be buried with her husband in the Church of All Saints in Skelton and, among other bequests, left her daughter Jane all her clothes except one gown of tawny velvet with one kirtle of tawny damask, which she left to her other daughter.
1558 Death of Mary and accession of Elizabeth I.
|1559 - The Act of Supremacy and Uniformity
excluded from any office all who would not conform the the established
protestant religion and anyone failing to attend his parish church was
to be fined one shilling, a large sum then for ordinary people.
1569 - The Rising of the Earls. Catholicism was strong
in the north and the efforts to suppress it led to rebellion.
1570 - Reprisals against the rebels of 1569 began and
600 rebel commoners were hanged in local towns.
|1573 - Records in the church register begin.
They are retained from this date and are kept in the new church.
1576 - A Poor Law authorised counties to establish houses of correction for vagrants; and set out the "Punishment of the Mother and reputed Father of a Bastard"
1577 - Skelton Estate was "bought" by Robert Trotter.
1582 The populace were required to attend Protestant Church of England services.
Those who refused to do so were termed "Recusants" and were brought to Court to face penalties:-
"In East Cleveland resistance appears to have developed late in Elizabeth's reign. In this year Egton with 9 Recusants was its only centre.
In 1586, however, Brotton had 19 presentations for Recusancy, Egton 13, Hinderwell 10 and Skelton 8."
1587 16th February. The Trotters were granted heraldic Arms. "A Chief Ermine with a Lion Azure [De Brus] over all."
To what extent the religious strife of the previous decade brought about this change of ownership is not known, but it is likely Catholic supporters of the Rising of 1569 were dispossessed.
1586 - Mobilisation in response to war threats from Spain began and Langbaurgh had to provide 350 men on the same basis as county rates.
Severe famine in most of Britain.
1588 - Spanish Armada.
1601 The Poor Relief Act of this year placed responsibility for local affairs upon the 'Vestry', a committee of the leading figures of a Church Parish, who ran the daily business of the area.
1603 - Death of Elizabeth I and accession of James VI of Scotland as James I.