The 'Anglo-Saxon Chronicle', in 681, calls Hexham ‘Hagustaldes ea’. 'Hagustealds' were a class of younger sons with no inheritance, who tended to seek land outside the main community. 'Ea' is Old English for stream or river, but this was replaced by ham (hamlet) over time and by 1188 the Pipe Rolls refer to the place as Hextoldesham, from which it is only a short step to Hexham.

[From ‘Dictionary of English Place Names’, by E Ekwall]


HEXHAM 3937 5639. Hexham was the seat of a bishopric between 678 and c.821 and was later an important religious centre. Formal evidence of borough status is lacking until 1547. Hexham was probably a significant commercial centre from the twelfth century onwards. As it is not clear how long Hexham had enjoyed borough status, it is not recorded as a medieval borough in this Gazetteer (BF, p. 144). Market town c.1600 (Everitt, p. 468).

M (Prescriptive) Sun; recorded 21 Oct 1222, mercatum, held by W. Archbp of York. A Mon market was to be held at the manor in lieu of the Sun market until the king came of age (RLC, i, p. 515). On 24 May 1227, K Hen III granted W. Archbp of York a Mon market (CChR, 1226–57, p. 42). On 27 May 1227, the sh of Northumberland was ordered to cause the archbp of York to have the market (RLC, ii, p. 187). On 23 Aug 1239, the market was granted again by K Hen III to Walter, Archbp of York (CChR, 1226–57, p. 245). In 1293, the archbp of York claimed a market from time out of mind (QW, p. 591).
F (Letter Close) vf, Luke the Evangelist (18 Oct); feria gr 1 Mar 1223, by K Hen III to W Archbp of York. To be held until the king came of age (RLC, i, p. 536b). On 24 May 1227, K Hen III granted a fair on vf Luke to W Archbp of York (CChR, 1226–57, p. 42). On 27 May 1227, the sh of Northumberland was ordered to cause the archbp of York to have the fair (RLC, ii, p. 187). Fair granted again by K Hen III to Walter, Archbp of York on 23 Aug 1239 (CChR, 1226–57, p. 245).
F (Charter) 3+fm, James the Apostle (25 Jul); gr 18 Apr 1320, by K Edw II to William de Melton, Archbp of York (CChR, 1300–26, p. 422). To be held at the manor.
F (Charter) 4+fm, Simon and Jude (28 Oct); gr 18 Apr 1320, by K Edw II to William de Melton, Archbp of York (CChR, 1300–26, p. 422). To be held at the manor. It is not clear whether this fair replaced that on 18 Oct or was supplementary to it.

Samantha Letters, Online Gazetteer of Markets and Fairs in England Wales to 1516 (http://www.history.ac.uk/cmh/gaz/ gazweb2.html): [Northumberland] (Centre for Metropolitan History, Institute of Historical Research).


List of Hexham Bailiffs

1233, Nov. 23rd, Richard de Ulreme
1235, Nov 19th, Richard, son of Alexander
circa 1226-1242, Robert de Witon
circa 1251-5, William de Doncaster
circa 1251-5, John de Elmham
1252  Richard
1268, Sep. 21st, R[ichard] (?)
1272, Roger de Saxton
1274, William de Toluse
1287, Robert de Skypton; John de Lithegraynes, steward
1293, Jan. 10th, Robert de Skypton, referred to as recently dead
1294, May 12th, John de Cimiterio
1295, (?), Roger de W[ha]ton
1299, Aug.-Nov., John de Vaus, king's bailff sede vacante
1300, Aug., Henry de Menill
1303, Aug. 17th, William de Kelesholt appointed
1307. Jan. 16th, Henry de Menill
1308, Oct 17th, Robert le Porter
1309, Jan. 3rd; 1310, Feb 19th; and 1311, June 22nd, Roger le Thornton
1312, Sept. 23rd, Sir John de Vaus Appointed
1313, Dec. 27th, Ralph de Dalton
1314, Nov 25th, Nicholas de Whitfeld
1314, Dec. 30th, Sir John de Haulton appointed, revoked 5th Feb., 1315
1315, April 5th, Sir John de Vaus appointed
1317, Dec. 26th, Richard Dusyng
1318, Feb. 13th, Warin de Swethope
1318, Nov. 20th, Sir John de Vaus appointed
1321, June 10th, Richard de Langton appointed vice Sir J. de Vaus, resigned; John Travers, steward
1322, Mar. 18th, John de Wauton appointed
1322, Nov. 8th, Thomas de Fetherstonhalgh


1327, Mar. 13th, Thomas de Lelom appointed  He was several times a justice of Assize.  On 21st Jan., 1327, Archbishop Melton desired the prior and convent of Hexham to reward Lelom with a pension, and in conformity with this request the bailiff received 5 marks annually, charged upon the lands of the priory at Little Broughtom in Yorkshire.  In 1350 he gave certain lands and house to the priory.
1328, Aug 6th, John de Wauton appointed
133?, Jan 14th, Robert de Bridelington, steward
1331, Dec, 15th, William de Wyrkesworth appointed, rector of Slaitburn, co. York
1332, Oct. 13th, Richard de Tang appointed
1333, Oct. 4th, Richard de Acom appointed
1334, Sept. 12th, Thomas de Lelom appointed
1338, July 7th, Robert de Ogle appointed
1343, Jan. 12th, William de Haukesgarth appointed
1343, June 20th, Richard de Donyngton appointed steward
1344, Nov. 14th, Roger la Zouche appointed steward
1346, July 5th, Robert de Ogle appointed steward
1349, May 10th, Sir William de Graystok appointed steward
1350, Dec. 26th, Robert de Ogle appointed steward
1355, Feb. 16th, Richard Ask appointed
1355, July 17th, Walter de Bridelington appointed steward, recotr of Skirpenbeck
1356, Oct. 28th, Richard de Ask appointed; made bailiff for life 27th Dec., 1364
1369, Oct., Elya de ...; Henry de Baron, steward
1377, Aug. 12th, Thomas de Blenkinsop appointed
1399, Dec 1st, William de Mitford, steward, appointed
1408, John Bowet de Hoperton
1409, May 10th, William Mitford appointed
1423, April 15th, William Carnaby appointed
1451, Aug. 11th, William Errington; Nicholas Ridley, steward
1458, Sept. 12th, Sir John Nevil
1461, May 6th, Sir Humphrey Nevil
1461, Dec 3rd  George Lumley


1479 (Whitsuntide) The Black Book of Hexham


Priestpoffle ward:  Thomas Monk, I tenement, rent Is. 6d.; Mariota Wer, I tenement, rent 8d.; Jn. Laverock,   Patrick Laverock, Thomas Monk, Tho. Barthelemew, Jn. Greene, Jn. Wanles, Archbald Dikson, Robt. Milnar, who also holds a garder, Roger Bischop, Jn. Hurde, Her'le Turpyn, Jn. Lee, Wm. Whytskalez, Wm. Chaumer, Archbald Diksun, Jn. Whyt, suitor, Jn. Whyt, Thomas Monk, widow of Jh. Whyt, Jn. Whitskale, Johanna Huton, Ric. Armstrang, Ric. Hunter, Tho. Heslihop.

Puddyng Raw:  Johanna Gladow, Wm. Chaumyr, Patrick Laverok, Rolland Watsun, Jn. Watsun, client, Jn. Scot, Jn. Leschman, widow of Robt. Hyn.  One waste there.  Wm. Spavyne, Robet. Nicolson, Robt. Stokall, Jn. Patonson, Thos. Elysum, Alicia Hudsun, Wm. Symson, Johanna Batsun, Robt. Barkar, Jn. Lytill, Wm. Gladow, Thos. Hyrd, Alicia Hird, Wm. Jonsun.  Three gardens there.

Liberty of Tyndale with Presdale and Aldenneston Moor:

Ellryngton mill: annual income of 13s. 4d. from the mill of Elleryngton.

Thirlwall: I close called Wardrew; I acre in meadow of Crakdale, at a rent of 15s.; 3 roods of land at Wyrch-snake-colfe, at a rent of 5s.; Wyrthkeryne, at a rent of 4s.; Priorbank, at a rent of 3s.; Welhouse, with garder and croft, in all 1/2 acre, with 2 acres I rood of land, at a rent of Is. 6d.; one tenement called Croymagh, with two buildings.

Knaresdale: with pasture.

Whytfeld: at a rent of 16s. 8d., of which 3s. 4d. is appropriated to the sacristan and 13s 4d. to the cellarer.


List of Hexham Bailiffs

1487, Mar. 6th, Nicholas Belyngham appointed; William Percy, steward
1528, Jan., Edward Horsley
Before 1533, Lord Dacre
1533, April 10th,Ralph Fenwick appointed
1534, Oct 8th, Sir Reynold Carnaby appointed
1538, Lewis Ogle, deputy bailiff
1538, Dec. 20th, Walter Lee
1547, Sir Robert Bowes
circa 1550, William Conyers
1574, William Heron, bailiff and chief steward

1590, Edward Crashaw, steward
1598, John Whitfield, steward
1599, Roger Widdrington, bailiff and steward
1607. John Fenwick, steward
1612, July 1st, Richard Carr
1626, Richard Thirlwall
1630,, Richard Carr
1646, Launcelot Allgood
1653, Stephen Anderton
1662, Patrick Crow




The duties of a wait are specified in Hexham Manor Rolls, Borough Book, 1665, cited in A. B Hinds, 'A History of Northumberland, Vol. III, Hexham', Newcastle upon Tyne and London, 1896. [another link]

‘We the burrow jurie of Hexham for the tyme being, have been diveerse tymes, and especially at this tyme desired to consider the good and benefit of the whole towne in generall. And whereas seuerall addresses and motions haue beene propounded and moued unto us for the constituteing and appointing them a waite, for the better stirring up of their servants and apprentices to their labour and imployment, urgeing the custome and practise of other good towns (as laudable in this particular) unto us. We therefore order & present Tho. Patteson to be waite and servant to this towne, and soe to continue untill the next court, and untill another be appointed in his roome; and that he shall goe about the towne once euery night, between the houres of seaven & nyne a clocke at night, and euvery morneing between three and fiue of the clocke, playing upon some audible musicall instrument, and shall often as he goeth alonge salute the people, acquainteing them with the tyme of the night and morneing, and what weather then blowes, and thus shall he continue betweene Michaelmasse & Kandlemasse, and in all other things shall carefully & honestly demeane himselfe in the said service in as large and ample manner as others who have had the same office haue formerly done; and if any great complaint against him shall be, that the same be referred unto the lord of this mannor to be ordered by his discretion. In lieu & consideration of such his said seruice, all other pipers and musitions whatsoeuer shall be debarred from playing in this towne in any companie or at any meeting whatsoeuer unlesse they first compound with him for the same, and in case they will not take a discharge from him, that then the constable bringe them before the baliffe of this towne for such their contempt; and that the said Tho. Patteson shall haue the accustomed benevolence of euery neighbour in this towne at the Christmasse tyme as other waits haue formerly had; and the ye constables shall out of the townes charge buy him a red coat, which he shall weare at meetings as the townes liuerie; and we hereby request the lord of this manner to bestow upon him the cognisanze that formerly John Blakelocke had bestowed upon him, that he may be knowne from others to be the lord of the mannors servant, and the townes servant, and thus shall he continue to be the townes waite, quamdiu bene se gesserit’.


List of Hexham Bailiffs

1670, Thomas Allgood
1687, Benoni Carr
1689, William Carr
1690, Thomas Allgood
1713, John Carr
1716, Joseph Tait
1725, Launcelot Allgood

1736, Thomas Allgood
1741, John Carr
1751, John Ord
1765, Ralph Heron
1803, John Bell
1809, John Bell, junior


1839 "The Penny Cyclopedia" by The Society for the Diffusion of Useful Knowledge

Hexham is in the south division of Tindale ward, 278 miles from London. The parish comprehends Hexham township, 4,310 acres, with a population, in 1831, of 4,666 ; and Hexhamshire, 24,060 acres, with a population, in 1831, of 1,376 : together, 28,370 acres, population 6,042. Hexham is believed to have been a Roman station. Camden conjectured that it was Axelodunum, one of the stations of the ‘Notitia,’ on the line of the wall (per lineam valli), which later antiquaries fix near Carlisle; Horsley contended for its being the Epiacum of Ptolemy, a town of the Brigantes, which others fix at Lanchester.

Two inscriptions on stones in the vaults of the ancient church are considered as proofs that a Roman station. did exist here. In the seventh century (A.D. 674) a monastery was founded here by St. Wilfrid, who erected the monastic buildings in a style of magnificence little known at that day. He built also three churches in Hexhamshire, which domain had been granted to him by the queen of Northumbria. A few years afterwards (about A.D. 678), on the division of the Northumbrian diocese into three parts, a bishop's see was established at Hexham, and continued for many years, until the bishops were driven out by the Danes, and the diocese was afterwards united to Lindisfarne. The abbey and town of Hexham were sacked by the Danes early in the ninth century; and in A.D. 875 it was again attacked, the church burnt, and the inhabitants massacred.

In the twelfth century the archbishop of York established here a priory of regular canons of St. Austin, and bestowed on them the former cathedral, and many other gifts (A.D. 1112). In the Scotch wars of Edward I the town and part of the church were burnt, and the title-deeds of the priory lost; but by royal authority an inquisition was taken (e. D. 1297), and their various gifts confirmed by charter. The revenue of the priory, at the dissolution, was £138, 1 shilling and 9 pence gross, or £122, 11 shillings and 1 penny clear.

The town is pleasantly situated on an eminence, near the south or right bank of the Tyne, a little below the junction of the North and South Tyne. It consists of several streets, the principal of which are tolerably wide, but the rest are generally narrow ; the streets are partially paved and indifferently lighted. The market-place is a. spacious square, tolerably well paved, and surrounded with pretty good houses ; on the south side of the market-place is a market-house, furnished with piazzas; part of it is appropriated as a butter and poultry market, and part to stalls for butchers' meat ; at one end of the building is a ‘pant,’ or reservoir, the water to which is conveyed by pipes. In the market-place is an ancient stone building, with a dial in front, formerly used as the town-hall of the bishops and priors of Hexham, and now used as a sessions-house. There are a bridge over the Tyne of nine principal arches, and three supplementary arches to allow passage to the waters in time of floods; a suspension-bridge over the South Tyne, near the town ; and a bridge with two arches over a burn west of the town. On the top of the hill on which the town stands, not very far from the town-hall, is a square tower, used as a prison by the bishops of Hexham. But the most important building is the old priory church, now used as a parish church. It is a cruciform building with a central tower, above 100 feet high to the battlements, or 125 feet high to the top of the vane. The nave, burnt by the Scots in the time of Edward I, has never been rebuilt ; the transepts are separated from the choir by a screen richly carved in the lower part and adorned in the upper part by an emblematical painting. The choir is separated from its side aisles by massive clustered pillars supporting pointed arches ; above these is the second tier of arches, of Norman character, separated by massive clustered columns ; and above these again, a third tier of arches, pointed, supporting the wooden roof. There is a fine east window, and in the church are several ancient monuments. There is an ancient crypt, which some have supposed to be part of the original Saxon church built by Wilfrid. At the west end of the church are the remains of the monastic. buildings ; the refectory is yet entire, and is occasionally used as a room of entertainment ; it is very spacious, and has an oak roof. There are some remains of the cloisters, which show the richness and excellence of their architecture. The gateway of the abbey, supposed by many to be Saxon, is also standing. There are two Catholic chapels, a Scotch church, and two or three other dissenting places of worship in the parish.

Several manufactures and branches of trade are carried on, spinning woollen yarn, hat-making, tanning, leather-dressing, and glove-making. The market is on Tuesday for corn and provisions ; and there is a Saturday market for butchers' meat. A market for cattle is held on the alternate Tuesdays during a considerable part of the year. There are two yearly markets for horses, cattle, sheep, and swine : at the earlier of these, held in August, vast quantities of lambs are sold. The Midsummer sessions for the county are held here, and petty-sessions for the ward every month. In the western part of the town is a house of correction for the county.

The living is a perpetual curacy, of the clear yearly value of £139, in the peculiar jurisdiction of the archbishop of York.

There were, in 1833, a grammar-school, with a small endowment and 65 scholars ; a school, partly supported by subscription, with 230 children ; seven other day-schools, with 200 scholars ; and six Sunday-schools, with about 705 children.


List of Hexham Bailiffs

1839, July 25th, Thomas Johnson

1842, Nov. 21st, Jasper Gibson




List of Hexham Bailiffs

1873, Jan. 17th, R.R. Dees, resigned 1891






List of Hexham Bailiffs

1891, Dec 31st, T.W. Thompson




Batey, Robert - 44 yrs - 4 Nov 1943 - Swinhope, Sparty Lea, Hexham Rural District, NBL [Page1808, "Civilian War Dead Roll Of Honour" for Northumberland, Durham and Yorkshire]


Spurrs, Arthur (National Fire Service) -- 7 Feb 1944 - Minsteracres, Hexham Rural District, NBL [Page179, "Civilian War Dead Roll Of Honour" for Northumberland, Durham and Yorkshire]