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A chronology of events, mainly in Yorkshire, involving various Wells individuals and associates - including emigrants


(Names in RED indicate John's family)


1180 Robert de Welle (son of William, who was the son of Walter, who was the son of Ragemer tenant of Gilbert de Gant in Claxby St.Andrew, Withern and Well, Lincolnshire when the Domesday Book was compiled ), who farmed the the Honor of Haughley (alias Constable) 1184-88, Suffolk, is mentioned in Lincolnshire where his uncle Gilbert Gant is Earl of Lincoln.


??? Grant by Nicholas son of Roger of Warlouby (Warlaby, Aiderby Steeple, 2 miles west of Northallerton, Yorkshire) - probably a grandson of Espervarious (Sparrowhawk) de Welles who had a grant of land in Warlaby from Walter son of Ranulf de Magneby (c. 1260 Yorks.Archeol.Jnl. XIII 69).


1329 Geoffrey le Scrop quer. Richard Wells def. of the manor of Masham, Yorkshire: to hold to Geoffrey and his heirs he gave 100 marks.

1350 William le Scrop chivaler (wife Katherine) quer.(buyer) Roger de Welles (wife Joan) def.(seller) 1 messuage, 2 carucates of land, 30 acres of meadow and 1000 acres of pasture in Sadbergh near Richmond (Sedbury in parish of Gilling, Yorkshire). To hold to Wm. and Kath. and the heirs of Wm. Release and warranty by Roger and Joan for themselves and the heirs of Joan. Wm. and Kath. gave 100 Marks.

1361 Bramley Grange (between Ilton and Kirkby Malzeard, Yorkshire) leased to Robert de Well and 3 others for £6 13s 4d per annum by Fountains Abbey

19Jul 1362 William del Welles witness of Feoffment (a mode of conveying freehold estate): Joan widow of John Horner to Sir Richard Tempest (1 toft with croft and 1/2 acre in Studley, Yorkshire).

1366-1383 Wakefield deeds (feoffment) Various documents referring to Robert de Welles of Wakefield. inc. reference to a tenement with garden and croft in the west street of Wakefield ( see )

May 1390 Sir David Lindsay performed a notable feat of arms on London Bridge where John Lord Welles was unhorsed at the third pass. See also robert.htm

1391 Henry 1st Lord Scrope of Masham died. He was born c.1345 and was on an expedition to the Holy Land in 1365 when Alexandria was taken.

1392 Stephen Scrope 2nd Lord Scrope of Masham summoned to Parliament 1392-1406. He married Margery (died 29May1422) daughter of John 4th Lord Welles and widow of John Lord Huntingfield. Stephen died 25Jul 1406 and is buried in York Minster (will in Test. Ebor. iii p31).


16Feb 1410/11 John de Welles elected to abbacy (a canon of the house), chapter at Egleston, Easby, Yorkshire.

4Sept 1452 Richard Prokter and John Whixley appointed attorneys in relation to a lease of the Manors of Stodelay and Lynton (in Craven, Yorkshire) and elsewhere, to Dionissa wife of William Tempest.

25Jan 1453/4 Grant by John Cowper of Saxton late of Loderyngton (Lotherington, 5 miles SW of Tadcaster, Yorkshire) to John Welles and Joan his wife. Lotherton Hall between Methley and Towton.

1454 Thomas Well and Thomas Litstar account for cattle at Aldeburge Grange, near Masham, Yorkshire..

23Nov 1456 John Welles and Richard Proctour given power of attorney to enter upon Manors of Studley, Lynton in Craven and 12 messuages in Wynksley, Ripon, Brompton juxta Northallerton and Copped Hewyk, 4 messuages and 50 acres of land, 10 acres of meadow in Grantley (all in Yorkshire)

1457 William Wells receives payment from Fountains Abbey for the delivery of wine.

29Mar 1461 Battle of Towton (1), near Tadcaster, in Yorkshire. Lionel Lord Welles (1) (2) was killed and his body conveyed in secret to his tomb in Methley (2) near Leeds (home of his second wife).

Tomb of Lionel Lord Welles

22Apr 1446 Will of John Welles, parson in the Cathedral Church of York

1470 Richard Lord Welles and his son Sir Robert Welles destroy the manor house of Sir Thomas Burgh of Gainsborough (Lincolnshire), King Edward’s master of the horse and former knight of the body, carry off his goods and chattels and drive him from the county of Lincolnshire.

3Mar 1470 Both Welleses pardoned.

4Mar 1470 Sir Robert Welles having set himself up as Great captain of the commons of Lincolnshire proclaimed a meeting at Ranby Hawe, near Lincoln, to resist the King, who (he claimed) was coming to destroy the commons.

The King received news that Welles was joined by assemblies from Yorkshire, and other counties, to the number of 100,000 men.

Lord Welles, the King’s captive, was caused to write his son Robert demanding his submission, otherwise his father would be put to death.

12Mar 1470 Richard Lord Welles was executed.

14Mar 1470 Sir Robert Wells brought before the King. News arrives of the hostile gatherings in Richmondshire (Yorkshire), where John Lord Scrope of Bolton, Sir Richard Conyers (Robin of Redesdale) of Hornby, North Yorkshire and others were raising his Wensleydale (a dale from Hawes in the north through Wensley and Masham to Ripon in the south) connection.

19Mar 1470 Sir Robert Welles executed before the entire army at Doncaster, Yorkshire.

8Oct 1470 The will of Dame Elizabeth Welles, Lady Welles, wife of Sir Robert is proved. As requested she is buried in Doncaster at the Carmelite Friars.

March 1475 Lands formerly belonging to the Welles and Willoughby families settled on Richard of Shrewsbury, the King’s second son.

21Oct 1494 Margery Mistress of le Welles, mother of Sir William Ingilby to John Darnton, Abbot of Fountains, parcel of land with appurtenances in Ripley, Yorkshire.

1495/6 John Well holds fishery at Aldburghe near Masham, Yorkshire.

1499 Death of John Viscount Welles (son of Lionel Lord Welles) and husband of Cecily of York, daughter of King Edward IV. His estates were settled on Dame Cecily for life with reversion to the King for 10 years after her death. One of her four daughters, Katherine, married Sir Thomas de la Laund and later married Robert Tempest. John's will was proved on the 22 June 1499.


1535 Sir Thomas Wels (priest) corrodian in Fountains Abbey infirmary.

1536 Thomas Welles, of the King’s household, granted household of the site of the late Priory of Ardern ( Warwickshire ).

1537/8 Humfrey Welles/Wellys is made an overseer (along with Sir George Griffith ) of the will of his cousin Dame Katherine Babington of Kingston, Nottinghamshire. She leaves 'myn own silver cupp doble gilte with cover to the same' to her 'nece Mary Wellys'.

2Jun 1538 Robert Welles leases property in Galphay from Fountains Abbey, Yorkshire.

Sept 1540 Dissolution survey compiled for Fountains Abbey.

20May 1553 King Edward V1, in the fortnight before his death of consumption, granted to Lord Talbot the manor of Balsover in Derby, 6 messuages in Craven, Yorkshire (inc.Galphay Wood and Cowmyres,as detailed on the Robert Welles of Galphay page) and properties elsewhere.

15Dec 1599 Will of Cornelius Welles vicar of ‘Kyrkebymalsherde’ (Kirkby Malzeard), Yorkshire.

1599 Royal Visitation entry for Downeham, Lancashire: '.....vicar not resydent, nether kepith auny hospitalytye. Also that Thomas Bentam, Jennet Welles, Henry Hellingworthe commen fornycators and doth lyve naughtylye.'


13Apr 1650 Christopher and John Wells of Cow Myers (with others) pay £1,336 for Cow Myers, Galphay Mill, Galphay Wood and elswhere (see Vyner Deeds page).


1742 Birth of William Wells in Thirsk, Yorkshire. A mason, he built the Methodist Chapel at Thirsk and knew Wesley, who hand knelt in prayer with William and his wife, Margaret (nee Dobson), and commended them both to the Divine protection when they left Yorkshire. They left England in 1773, landing in Boston.  They left Boston soon after arriving and settled in Point de Bute, New Brunswick (then known as Nova Scotia).  Researcher: Barb (nee Wells) Henderson [email protected] 

19Mar 1792 Mary Wells tried at York and sentenced to 7 years. Transported to Australia aboard the 'Royal Admiral'. Researcher Lyn Clarke [email protected]


15Mar 1823 George Wells (native of York, whitesmith, age 18) convicted at York Assizes of housebreaking and sentenced (death remitted) to 14 years and transported to Australia. Researcher: John Graham [email protected] 

3April 1833 Robert Wells b. 31 Jan 1780 in Wressell/Wressle (East Riding of Yorkshire near Howden - an area known for Wells families), son of Ann (nee Wood) and Robert Wells, set sail from Wardley's at the foot of the river Wyre, for Quebec, Canada on board the Six Sisters. With him were his children Margaret (b.3 Jan 1814), James (b.24 Jan 1815), John (b.20 Sept 1824), William (b.14 Sept 1826, Bradford, Yorkshire), Richard (b.28 Jun 1831, Bradford, Yorkshire). His son Issac was born 20 Jun 1833 in the immigration sheds in the then York (now Toronto). Robert died 6 Jan1864, Greenbank, Ontario. Researcher and descendent of James Wells is: [email protected] Stan's information is HERE. Some members of this family, including Isaac Newton Wells, later moved to the USA (inc. Detroit, Michigan). Norma Markum Redick of Kansas ( [email protected] ) is a descendant of Agnes Wells ( 24 Sept1842 - 10 Feb 1929) daughter of James Wells and she would welcome any further information on the family. Joyce and Jim Wells are also researchers of these families [email protected]

1864 William R. (Robert/Reid) Wells b.1819 in York, Yorkshire (to Mary Ann (Reid) and George Wells, whitesmith) travelled to New York with wife Henrietta and 6 children as part of the LDS Church migration program. They had joined the church in Bradford in 1852. The family travelled on to Utah and Willliam became a tinsmith in Richfield. Researcher: Carolyn Royce [email protected]

1869 Joseph Wells b.2 Apr 1846 Leeds, died 1 May 1919 Charleroi, PA, USA, married 25 Dec 1868 Jane Marks b.23 Nov 1848, died 16 Apr 1925, Charleroi, PA, USA, emigrated from England in 1869 and settled in Ohio and later Western Pennsylvania. Joseph was the son of William and Mary (Fryer) Wells. Daughter Ellen b.18 Mar 1872, Washingtonville, Mahoning, Ohio. Joseph Wells and Jane (Marks) Wells had 9 children in total; William H., Ellen, Elizabeth, Alfred, Arthur, Steward, Joseph, Annie, and David. (A William and Mary Fryars were married in Scarborough, Yorkshire 25 Dec 1830). Donna Walker [email protected]

c1878 William Wells (son of Thomas Wells) b.1859 Follifoot near Pannal/Harrogate, Yorkshire, arrives in Ontario as a Methodist minister. Researcher: Robin Potter [email protected] ( The Follifoot Wells are probably connected to the Cowmyres/Ripon Wells. The Cowmyres and Pannal Wells are linked - look for PANNELL in the Vyner deeds. Also, a Joseph Wells of Follifoot, but late of Plompton, made a will dated 11 Jan 1860. There are established links between the Cowmyres and the Plumpton (near Ripon) Wells families. contact: John or Rosie Wells).

Late 1870s Henry and Sarah Wells leave Leeds / Bradford for Joliet, Will, Illinois, USA with children Susanah, Arthur,  Emma and Florence. Hayley Woodlock (nee Wells) [email protected] Web page: HERE .

? Late 1890s William Wells born 9 Dec 1861 in Rotherham area? and son Leonard Wells born 13 Nov 1891, Car House, Greasbrough, Rotherham, Yorkshire arrive in the USA. William naturalised in Cleveland, Ohio 6 Oct 1916 at which time he was married to Emily (Webb). Leonard received his citizenship at Wilbur Wright Field in Ohio, 1 July 1918. Leonard was married to Matilda (Gorndt). Leonard had a brother George and sisters Maye (California?) and Olive. George and Olive may not have left England.

Jeff Wells ( is keen to hear from any other researchers of this family.


19 jun 1908 Edwin Wells of Bradford aged 57, arrives in the USA from Liverpool on the 'Mauretania'. Probably brother of Henry (see Late 1870's above) Hayley Woodlock (nee Wells) [email protected] Web page: HERE .

January 1925, Eric Lawrence Wells formley of "West Royd" , Neall Carr , Otley . In January 1925 he sailed under the assumed name of Wilfred Pearson to Australia sailing on the  s.s. "Demosthenes" for Victoria, Australia. Hayley Woodlock (nee Wells) [email protected] Web page: HERE .

17Jun 1931 Death at Wellington Hospital, New Zealand of John Wells (born. 12 Mar 1868, Ripon, Yorkshire) . Researchers: John or Rosie Wells

??? Eric Wells (son of George Wells b. 6 Apr 1902, Rotherham and later of Bradford), who married Ethel emigrated to live in Edmonton, Canada at 9622 - 163 St. (Eric and Ethel had a daughter Pam). [email protected]


b. = baptised/christened

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The above section will be expanded as Yorkshire names are found or supplied

contact: John or Rosie Wells



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