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map of Hotham and North Cave c1855, showing
Old Rectory, Manor Farm and Hotham Hall

The parish of Hotham is situated in what was once the wapentake of Harthill (Hunsley Beacon division), part of the historical East Riding of Yorkshire (see maps in Introduction). It includes the locality of Hotham Carrs.

Before the Conquest “Hotun” was in the hands of the Anglo-Saxon lords Morcar, Thorkil, Basing and Orm, but by 1086 the larger holdings had passed to William I and the bishop of Durham, and the smaller ones to William’s half-brother Count Robert of Mortain and Robert Malet. The Fitzwilliam family of Grimthorpe became the bishop’s tenants, and the Hotham family the tenants of the Fossards then the Mauleys, whose tenant-in-chief was Mortain. Thereafter the ownership of the various holdings at Hotham becomes too complicated to be set out here. Suffice it to say that over the centuries it involved the king, the Knights Templar and many noble families – Babthorpe, de Brus, Clitherow, Fairfax, Fauconberg, Neville, St. Quintin, Stuteville, Vescy – who were connected to a greater or lesser extent with one or another branch of the Pickering family.

Hotham Hall

A manor house was mentioned in c1530 and is shown on maps as late as 1950, but no longer remains on the current maps in the area now designated Manor Farm. The manor was bought in 1719 by the Burton family, who extended it over the succeeding generations. One of their purchases was North Cave manor, where they built Hotham Hall, which later passed by marriage into the Clitherow family.

The church is dedicated to Saint Oswald and dates back to Norman times, as illustrated by the Norman tower with its belt of zigzag work. It was restored in 1789, the nave was extended eastwards beyond its Norman arch in the early 1800s and the chancel and the nave underwent extensive restoration work in 1905. An unusual feature is the gallery with its own fireplace overlooking the nave. The stained glass windows show versions of the arms of the Burton and Clitherow families, who used the gallery as their private place of worship.

St. Oswald's church, 2022
fireplace in gallery, 2022
gallery and Norman arch, 2022
Burton and Clitherow coats of arms, 2022

Matthew Pickering, the first known member of the Pickerings of Misson, came from a branch of the Pickerings settled in Nottinghamshire. This Matthew’s great great grandson, also a Matthew, was the servant of the Reverend James Stillingfleet, and as such followed his master when he moved to Yorkshire. The Stillingfleets’ ancient roots were in the the East Riding, and the reverend took up the rectorship of Hotham church in 1771. Matthew married a local woman and their son, another Matthew, and his wife were already established members of the community, when at over 50 years old they decided to follow their daughters and sons-in-law to Ontario, Canada in 1831.

Victoria History of the County of York: East Riding, vol. 4, pp. 116-118
History and Topography of Yorkshire, vol. 2, York, Ainsty, East Riding, pp.543-4:
A New and Complete History of the County of York, vol. 3, p.356:
A History of South Cave and of other Parishes in the East Riding of the County of York:
Hotham Hall:
Church of Saint Oswald: