Some Cartwright records

By Mrs George Cartwright

Memorandum on a seventeenth century pedigree of the family of Cartwright.

THE earliest records of the Cartwright family date from the 16th century. At that time there seem to have been two principal branches of the family established at Ossington and Ordsall, and there is a fair amount of evidence, such as frequent intermarriages and documentary claims of cousinship, in favour of the presumption that these branches came from a common ancestor. This ancestor is supposed to have been a certain Hugh Cartwright, who married Maud Coo or Coe, and it is a curious fact that a family of that name was living at Ordsall in the 16th century, as appears from the registers.

The above note, which is reproduced from an old family pedigree of the 17th century, records how the marriage of a certain Edmund Cartwright (probably of Norwell), with Anne Cranmer, resulted in the acquisition of some rich church lands in Kent, and of the manor of Ossington through his brother-in-law, the Archbishop ; but according to Thoroton, the manor of Ossington was given to a certain Richard Andrews, and it was through a subsequent marriage of Edmund Cartwright with Agnes Andrews, that Ossington passed into the possession of the Cartwright family.

The registers of Ordsall Church, which date back to about 1540, are full of entries of baptisms, as well as marriages and burials of Cartwrights, of whom there appear to have been several families in the place, but the meagre information afforded by the registers makes it impossible to discover if, and to what extent, they were related. Curiously enough the Cartwright entries abruptly cease after the year 1585, and no records have as yet been discovered to shew the cause of this family migration. They appear to have settled at Edingley and Normanton, near Southwell, and a family of Cartwrights are also mentioned in the visitation of 1614, as established at Wheatley, but although Wheatley is not far from Ordsall, there is no evidence to shew that this latter family had any connection with the Ordsall Cartwrights.

The first document, which throws any light on the Ordsall branch of the Cartwright family, dates from the reign of Edward the sixth, and is the will of one Alexander Cartwrighte, of Whitehouses, Ordsall, co. Notts., husbandman, dated March 18th, 1551, and proved at York, May 12th, 1552. Besides various charitable bequests to the poor of Ordsall, of what appear nowadays ridiculously small sums, as for example, "Poor in Almshouses in East Retford 12d," and to the "Poor living in Southend of Castlegate in East Retford 4d," he left several acres of land in Ordsall to his sons Alexander, George, Thomas, and Gregory, with the proviso that they were not to be alienated from the family. To his wife, Isabel, and his son, Gregory, each 4 oxen and an iron-bound wain, son Thomas received one acre of barley and a cowe, Son George was given 2 bullocks etc, and to his Son Alexander 2 bullocks, 2 ewes etc, while his daughter, Isabel, had to be content with 20 Marks, and a bed and bedding. For some unknown reason, he left the residue of his property to his wife and his youngest son, Gregory, thus making him his heir.

Gregory's will was proved at York, in 1574. He desired "to be buried in the Sotheyle of Church of Ordsall," and left to his wife, Elizabeth, "the messuage I now dwell in, and my landes in Ordsall, Thrumpton, and Eaton for nineteen years," after which it was to go to "Son George." A will has also been found of a certain Edmund Cartwright, of Moorhouse, parish Laxton, co. Notts., dated July 23rd, 1580, who leaves an annuity of £6 13s. 4d., from the manor of Ossington, to his son, George, but from internal evidence, it seems practically certain that it was the Ordsall farmer's "Son George," who makes a will in 1612, which begins thus: "In the name of GOD Amen the eight and twentieth day of March accordinge to the computation of the Church of England one thousand six hundred and twelve I George Cartwright of Normanton in the Parish of Sowthwell and the Countie of Nott Gentleman beeinge in good and perfecte memorie (thanks be given to GOD for it) and yet consideringe the mortalitie and uncertaintie of this present lief do make and ordaine this my last Will and Testament in manner and forme followinge." He leaves his "divers landes tentes and hereditaments in Normanton afsd Upton Kirklington and Ordsall . . unto the use and behoof of William Cartwright my sonne and heire apparente and the heires of his bodie lawfully to bee begotten "and failing him to his daughter Ffrances, and after her to his nephew, Richard Denman, of Ordsall. George Cartwright was evidently seized with some mortal illness while his children were mere infants, as he leaves minute directions with his wife as to the education of his "'Sonne' during all the time of his minoritie and nonage in the true religion and feare of GOD and in civilitie learninge and good breeding according to his degree and calling as well in some gramer schole as also in one of the universities of Cambridge or Oxforde as soon as he shall be fitte to go to the same; "and he makes" my trustie and welbeloved frendes John Chaworth the elder of Sowthwell afsd esquier and William Cartwright my cousin of Edingley in the Countie of Nott afsd Gent. for the special trust I repose in them my true and lawfull exequutours of this my last Will and Testament."

The registers of Southwell Cathedral shew that George Cartwright was buried on the 8th day of September, 1612, at the early age of forty.

William Cartwright, however, seems to have done credit to his father's anxious care for his education, and is supposed to have been the Colonel Cartwright, who, as a staunch Royalist, took an active part in the siege of Nottingham Castle, himself leading one of the assaults. He is constantly mentioned in Colonel Hutchinson's Memoirs, and was not a favourite with Mrs. Hutchinson, who describes him on one occasion as "growing bold in the exercise of an abusive wit he had."

Another member of the family, one of the Ossington branch, Sir Hugh Cartwright, of Hexgrave Park, near Edingley, was also on the King's side. When Pontefract Castle, the last castle held for King Charles, was surrendered to General Lambert, Sir Hugh and his son, Captain Cartwright, who were supposed to be implicated in the death of the Roundhead, General Rainsborough, at Doncaster, were exempted from the general amnesty as dangerous Malignants, and in order to save them from the vengeance of their enemies, they were left blocked up in a secret chamber with a month's provisions, until, the search being over, they managed to escape, and made their way to Antwerp, where the former died in 1668, and his body being brought to England, was buried at Methwold Church, co. Norfolk. In Bloomfield and Parkin's "History of Norfolk," vol. i, p. 510, we read: "On the pavement about the Communion Table lye several marble gravestones, . . . and one thus inscribed: 'Here lyeth the Body of Sir Hugh Cartwright of Nottingham, Knt, aged 74 and dy'd An Dom 1668.'"

Sir Hugh Cartwright, the cavalier, d. 1668.Reproduced by permission of "The Ancestor."Sir Hugh Cartwright, the cavalier, d. 1668.Reproduced by permission of "The Ancestor."

Sir Hugh Cartwright's first wife was his cousin, Mary, daughter of William Cartwright, of Edingley, but the following letter was written, during his exile, to his second wife "att Ansley," and she is supposed to have been a Momford, of Norfolk.

"Antwerp this 19th of September 1666.
My dearest joy and only contentment in this world,

I thank you I have now by this post received a letter from you dated ye 22 of August, and before this I have not received any from you since ye first of July. Now by these you write yt, GOD willing, I shall expect you at Callice in ye latter end of October, where if GOD gives me leave, I will not fail to wayht upon you. And if ye young Gallant1 hould his resolution for Paris, I am pleased, for as to my owne inclinations, I like France as well to live in as any place whereever I came. But I shall desier to hear often from you, for truly a peece of paper from you is very welcome to mee, and besides ye occasions & resolutions may alter and until such time as I receave a post . . . from my sonne of ye Gentleman's2 resolution and of ye precise time when I shall attend him, I will not remove hence, for att any time I can bee there in eight dayes, and I shall not desier to bee att Callice above 8 dayes, before I may expect to receive you there. I am confident yt my sonne knowes as well or better then I doe how the prsent trebles are in France, & yt at this prsent the Archduke is wth ye Spanish Army wthin twenty English miles of Paris, and wth partyes of horse makes Rades every day to the gates of Paris, but I write not this to alter their resolutions or to put them in fear more than they shall find cause for, & for myself, I am not affraid but yt I can pass or live safely in one part or other of France, & not come wthin forty or fifty miles of any Army. You write of bringing sugar, I doe thinke you should not, for I know they send sugar from hence to England, good loafe sugar is heare 18 pence, Curants 4 pence, Raysing 5 pence after ye rate of English money, and ye English pound waight, nor doe I think yt there is any thing for man's use that is not to bee had cheaper heare than to be brought over except Ribons, stokings & woollen broad clothes, besides you must know that wee must pay for every pound waight wee carry from Callice unto Paris 4 pence, for it must pass by wagon as we doe, & we ourselves must pay foure pistolle for every person from Callicc to Paris, besides 4 pence ye pound for all ye goods, and it will cost mee as much from this place, where I am to Callice, the journey beeing much what equall.

(1) Probably Charles II. (2) Probably Charles II.