Scofton was a member of the royal manor of Mansfield. It is mentioned in Domesday thus among other members of that manor: — In Scotebi (Scofton), Torp (Thorp), and Rouueton (Rayton), two carucates.

Soke. In Carletone (Carlton) two carucates, in Scotebi (Scofton), Reneton (Rayton), and Torp (Thorp), two carucates, that is, four to be taxed. Soke in Mansfield. They are waste.

But little is known of the early history of Scofton, but Thoroton mentions that there was "a writ of false judgement 21 H. 8 (1529-30) between Elizabeth Fenton, widow, Plain- tiff, and John Hill, Thomas Capstoke, and Robert Johnson, alias Robert Smith, concerning 3 messuages, 200 acres of land, 40 acres of meadow, 20 acres of pasture, 4 acres of wood, and 10s rent, with the appurtenances in Scofton, in the King's Court of Maunsfield in Sherwood."

Soon after this date we find the Jessop family settled at Scofton, when Wortley Jessop, eldest son of William Jessop, Esq., of Broom Hall, Sheffield, came to live at Scofton towards the close of the sixteenth century. He made his will 13 April, 1615, and being lost at sea, his will was proved in the Manor Court of Mansfield, 27 May, 1617. His son, William Jessop, lived at Broom Hall after the death of his first wife, and the connection with Scofton appears to end with the grandson, and we next find the Banks family resident here.

Joseph Banks was the son of an officer who had served under Sir John Reresby in the garrison at Bridlington, and who died at a great age at his son's house at Scofton. He married, at Sheffield, 5 August, 1689, Mary, daughter of Mr. Rowland Hancock, who resided, as tenant, at Shiercliffe Hall, and was pastor of the Nonconformists at Sheffield, and she had a fortune of £400. Mr. Banks acquired a considerable practice as an attorney, and was agent for the Dukes of Norfolk, Leeds, and Newcastle. He left Sheffield and settled at Scofton, was M.P. for Grimsby in one Parliament (1714-15 to 1721) and for Totnes in another (1721-22 to 1727). He also purchased Revesby, and was buried there in 1727. His son, Joseph Banks, lived at Revesby, and was grandfather of the Rt. Hon. Sir Joseph Banks, president of the Royal Society. But Scofton had passed from this family, having been purchased, about 1727, by Brigadier General Richard Sutton, whose father, Robert Sutton, was son of Henry Sutton, younger brother of Robert,first Lord Lexington' of Averham. It is related that owing to some delay in the transfer of the estate, the General, who then held a command in the north, sent some troops to take possession of it. He died in 1737, but in the short period he was in possession, he planted considerably, and there yet remain clumps of Scotch firs, still known as "General Sutton's platoons," which were planted alternately on either side of the riding, en echelon, being the formation he adopted for his troops in one of the battles he had fought in under the great Duke of Marlborough. He was succeeded by his eldest son, Robert, whose grandson, Robert William Evelyn Sutton, Esq., sold the Scofton estate to Francis Ferrand Foljambe, Esq., in 1800, as already mentioned, when the hall was pulled down and the gardens joined to those of Osberton, whilst the present church was, as has been said, built on the site of the hall in 1833.


Rayton has been mentioned as appearing with Scofton in Domesday as a member of the royal manor of Mansfield. But little is known of its mediaeval history. Thoroton tells us that in 30 E. I. (1302) "Stephen Malovel gave a messuage, 260 acres of land and 7 acres of meadow in Renetone, nigh Worksop, to Alice, the wife of Ranulph de Huntingfield, who bound himself to John de Melsa in 100 marks by a Statute Merchant, and failing in payment, the Sheriff caused the land to be extended at a reasonable price, viz.: £4 9s. 1d. and put the said John in seisin, in which he stood for a year or more, until the said Ranulph and Alice disseised him, &c.

"Upon this came William de Dogmerfield, who said he was King's Bailiff of the Manor of Maunesfield, and that Reneton was a member of the King's said Manor, and the Tenements put in view, ancient Demesne, &c." In this are recorded very many of the customs of Mansfield, which shews that they are as like freeholders as copyholders can be.

Rayton afterwards came, by marriage, into the possession of a branch of the great family of Eyre, of Derbyshire, and continued in that family for some six generations. It afterwards became joined to the Scofton estate, and passed with it to the Foljambes.

The Eyres had a moated residence, the site of which may still be seen near the river Ryton, to the south-east of, and on lower ground than, the modern farm house, the moated enclosure being now used as an orchard.


Bilby, which came into the hands of the Foljambes by purchase for £21,000 in 1801, is mentioned in Domesday as follows:—In Bernesedelawe (Bassetlaw) Wapentake.

Manor. In Bilebi (Bilby) Grimchel had six oxgangs of land to be taxed. Land to three ploughs. Ingram a vassal of Roger's, has there one plough and nine villanes, and one bordar having three ploughs, and six acres of meadow. Value in King Edward's time, 40s; now, 20s.

Manor. In Odesach (Hodsock), Ulsi had two carucates of land to be taxed. Land to four ploughs. Turold a vassal of Roger's, has there two ploughs, and three sokemen who hold four oxgangs of this land, and twelve villanes having nine ploughs. There are two mills of 16s 4d and eight acres of meadow. Wood pasture one mile long and half a mile broad. Value in King Edward's time and now, 60s.


With regard to the history of Bilby, Thoroton places the Ingram, mentioned in Domesday as the ancestor of the lords of Alfreton. At any rate William Fitz Ranulph of that family was a benefactor of the abbey of Welbeck, giving the abbot and canons the mill of Bilby. William's daughter, Isabella, married John de Orreby, who, with Thurstan Dis-pensator, held, under the Countess of Eu, one third part and a twelfth part of a knight's fee in Bilby, the Countess herself holding direct from the Crown.

Afterwards the Chaworths, the representatives of the lords of Alfreton, held Bilby, and it appears that they sold it to Sir William Hewet, the rich London merchant, who was Lord Mayor in 1559, and who purchased estates at Barking, in Essex, at Wales, in Yorkshire, the place of his birth, and at Harthill, also in Yorkshire. The Hewets of Shireoaks were descended from his brother. Sir William Hewet's only daughter married Edward Osborne (ancestor of the Dukes of Leeds), the story of whose rescue of the young lady from drowning in the Thames at London Bridge, and subsequent marriage, is too well known to be here repeated.

The son and heir of Edward Osborne, Sir Edward Osborne, Bart., sold Bilby to Sir Gervase Clifton, of Clifton and Hodsock, Bart. In 1695 Sir Gervase Clifton sold estates in Bilby, Ranby, and Styrrup to Sir Cresswell Levinz, Kt., Serjeant-at-Law, and two years later, in 1697, he sold to Levinz the royalties of Bilby and Ranby.

In 1748 William Levinz the younger (of Grove) conveyed to the Honourable Morgan Vane, for the sum of £5,500, property in the parishes of Babworth and Blyth, including Bilby. He was known as "His Honour Vane," and in 1768 he sold Ranby Forest, containing some 1,400 acres, in Babworth parish, to William Mellish, of Blyth Hall. By his first wife, Margaretta Knight, the Honourable Morgan Vane had a son, Morgan, who succeeded to Bilby, and was three times married. On his third marriage he settled all his property on his wife, Catherine Brooks. Two years after his death she married John Dore, of Reading, and on her marriage with him settled the Bilby estate so that her children, by her second husband, benefited equally with those of her first. The present Lord Barnard is the grandson of her son by her first husband. The trustees of this marriage settlement sold Bilby, in 1801, to Francis Ferrand Foljambe, Esq. for £21,000. He lived at Bilby Hall for a short time whilst making the additions to the house at Osberton, and is described as of Bilby Hall in his return as M.P. for Higham Ferrers in 1801, 1802, and 1806. But he then moved to Osberton, and the widow of his eldest son (who had died 14 January, 1805), finding Aldwark Hall, where they had lived, too large for her, came to Bilby Hall with her young family, and occupied it until her eldest son came of age, in 1821, and entered into possession of the Osberton estates. The Hall at Bilby was not a large one, but had one very good room in it—the drawing room. There was an ornamental sheet of water in front of the house which afterwards became silted up, and is now done away with, the dam being removed. The house was partially pulled down, and what was left was converted by the late Mr. Foljambe into keepers' cottages and kennels. For a short time he kept his hounds here, but after that only the pointers, beagles, and Clumber spaniels. The old stables have been converted into cottages by the present Mr. Foljambe. There is an old oak with great spread of branches on Bilby lawn, and some fine cedars in the old pleasure ground.


With regard to Hodsock, the Domesday Lord of Hodsock, Torald de Lizours, has been mentioned already. He was a witness to the foundation charter of Blyth Abbey—1088. The second lords of Hodsock were the Cressys, who were connected by marriage with the Lizours family, as shewn in the accompanying pedigree. They held it for nine generations, from the reign of Henry II. to that of Henry IV., when Sir Hugh Cressy, Kt., dying issueless, his elder sister, Katherine, the wife of Sir John Clifton, carried this estate to that family, 9 H. 4 (1408). It remained in the Clifton family for thirteen generations, being sold by Sir Gervase Clifton, sixth Baronet, in 1765, to William and Charles Mellish (father and son). The latter was father of Col. Henry Francis Mellish (the friend of the Prince Regent), who, in 1807, sold that portion of his estate, which lay on the south-east side of the road from Blyth to Worksop and south of Hodsock Bridge, to Francis Ferrand Foljambe, including Fleecethorpe, Hodsock Millhouse, &c., containing 1,094 acres, 3 roods, 39 poles, of which 482 acres, 31 poles are in the parish of Carlton and 612 acres, 3 roods, 8 poles in the parish of Blyth. The late Mr. Foljambe made a further purchase of land in Carlton parish.