Wills: pre-1858

Index to probates proved at Durham: 1624 through 1857

Extracts of all Wanless-variant names

The Durham Diocese oversaw all wills & probates in Durham and most of Northumberland, including Newcastle. If your Wan(d)less ancestor died in 1650-1786 and left a will or probated property in one of those places, it supposedly should be indexed here. You can sort the table by different fields by clicking on the column headers.

Contributed by Tony Palmer; original index at Palace Green, Durham (holds pre-1858 Durham wills/probates). Also on LDS film #0990061 (Calendar to the Epispocal Consistory Court of the Bishop of Durham, 1650-1786). Also now available at http://familyrecords.dur.ac.uk/nei/data/ and linked to images (after 1627) at FamilySearch.org.

A “Y” in the last column means Tony has a photocopy. An “X” means Durham Univ. Library doesn’t have the document.

YearSurnameForenameLocation etc.DetailsFHL Film #Status
1584WannlyesJohnof Lomleye (Lumley), DurhamProbate: 2 May 1584
See DPRI/2/6 f.53v; and see DPRI/4/3 f.81v: probate, 2 May 1584.

will, 10 February 1584 (DPR/I/1/1584/W4/1)
inventory, actual total £12 0s 4d (with account of debts and funeral expenses of £3 11s 8d), 27 February 1584 (DPR/I/1/1584/W4/2)
1624WandleseJamesYeoman, Hutton Henry par. of Monk Heseldon DURinventory, actual total £122 5s (with account of debts of £147 4s 8d), 10 October 1623 (DPR/I/1/1624/W3/1-2)
administration granted to Margaret Wandless, relict, and Henry Wandless and Mary Wandless, children
1587WanlesJohnMorpeth, NBLbond, 1587 (DPR/I/3/1587/B6)
1608WanlesAlexander (Sander)Rytonn, DUR will, 23 September 1607 (DPR/I/1/1607/W4/1)
endorsed: proved, 16 Jan 1608
indented inventory, actual total £28 6s 7d (with account of debts and funeral expenses of £7 8s 8d), 16 November 1607 (DPR/I/1/1607/W4/2)
bond, 1607 (DPR/I/3/1607/Bxxiv)
1627WanlesHenryClerk, Vicar of Monk Heseldon DURwill, 8 August 1627 (DPR/I/1/1627/W2/1-2)
with [?contemporaneous] list of debts owed by (£30 15s 4d) and owed to (£5 12s 8d) the testator
1608WANLESSEThomas husband of Agnes Wanlesse, Morpeth, NBLwill, 20 December 1608 (DPR/I/1/1608/W5/1)
inventory, actual total £178 3s 8d, 3 January 1609 (DPR/I/1/1608/W5/2)
1629WanlesGabrielGreenchester, par. of Elsdon, NBLDate of probate: 7 October 1629

- bond, 1629 (DPR/I/3/1629/B232)
- nuncupative will, 14 May 1629 (DPR/I/1/1629/W3/1-2)
with inventory, 15 June 1629, actual total £28 10s (with account of debts of £3 3s 10d)
probate granted at Morpeth to Jane Wanles, relict, 7 Oct 1629
1608WANLESSEAgneswidow of Thomas Wanlesse, Morpeth, NBLinventory, actual total £54 9s 4d, undated (DPR/I/1/1608/W5/3)
1630WanlesseAnneNewcastle, NBLbond, 1630 (DPR/I/3/1630/B229)
1618WanlessRogerJarrow, DURbond, 1618 (DPR/I/3/1618/B302)
1634WanlasseRalphPaver, Newcastle, NBLWill, Invin tree & below
1620WanlesEdwardalderman of Durham, dyer, St. Nicholas, Durham, DURsee DPRI/4/12 ff. 397, 398v, 399v, 400v, 401: 26 Aug 1620-13 Oct 1620

will, 24 June 1619 (DPR/I/1/1620/W3/1-2)
will dated 23 June 1619 at head and 24 June 1619 at foot
copy will, 24 June 1619 (DPR/I/1/1620/W3/5)
endorsed: proved
wrapper (DPR/I/1/1620/W3/3)
wrapper (DPR/I/1/1620/W3/4)
1635WanlisMargaretWidow of Ralph, paver, Newcastle, NBLwill, 12 February 1635 (DPR/I/1/1635/W5/1-2)
with contemporaneous list of debts owed to (£3 9s 6d) and owed by (7s) the testatrix
inventory, actual total £10 17s 11d (with account of debts and funeral expenses of £6 0s 8d), 6 April 1635 (DPR/I/1/1635/W5/3)
inventory includes the funeral expenses of the deceased's child
1637WanlesThomasMuggleswick, DURAdm; bond, 1637 (DPR/I/3/1637/B82)
1661WanlessRobertCausey Park, Hebron, NBLWill, Inv, Admin tree & below
1666WanlessRobertKimmerston, Ford, NBLWillsee below
1668WanlessThomasWooler, NBLAdma; inventory, actual total £24 9s 10d (with account of debts and funeral charges of £21), undated (DPR/I/1/1668/W4/1)
1669WanlessJohnNewcastle, NBLWill90862 page 181in tree & below
1671WanlessCuthbertNewcastle, NBLAdmsee below
1672WanlassJamesGirslees, Elsdon, NBLWill90862 page 69in tree & below
1691WanlessRobertBirkenside, Shotley, NBLWill, Inv90869in tree & below
1696WanlessHenry Sen.Durham, DURWill90874in tree & below
1696WanlessHenry Jun.Durham, DURWill90874in tree & below
1698WanlessRobertLinnelwood, Corbridge, NBLAdm
1717WanlessRobertWingate, Kelloe, DURWillsee below
1717WanlessWilliamWingate, Kelloe, DURWillsee below
1721WanlassThomasLumley, DURAdm
1733WanlasseWilliamAdm; Will of 1717see below
1733WanlessMargaretspinster, Gilesgate, Durham, DURWillsee below
1737WanlessWilliamBothal & Hexham, NBLWillsee below
1767WandlassThomasweaver, Barnard CastleAdm
1771WanlessJosephFarnilaw, Hartburn, NBLWillY
1773WandlessGeorgeFulwell, DURWill90914Y
1775WanlessLancelotNewbigin, Hartburn, NBLWillY
1775WanlassRobertMonkwearmouth, DURAdmY
1784WanlessRobertHowick, Kirkharle, NBLWillY
1787WanlessAnthonyGarret Shields, Elsdon, NBLWillin tree & below
1788WanlassGeorgeColtpark, Hartburn, NBLWillY
1791WandlasPeterFulwell, DURWillY
1801WanlessRalphSt. Anthonys, Newcastle, NBLWillin tree & below
1804WanlassMaryStockton, DURWillin tree & below
1807WandlassThomasMonkwearmouth Shore, DURWillY
1812Wanless/WanlaceLionelNewbiggin, Hartburn, NBLAdmY
1816WanlassRalphSt. Anthonys, Newcastle, NBLAdmin tree & below
1823WanlassElizabethMonkwearmouth Shore, DURWillY
1823WanlaceJosephLow Gallow Hill, Bolam, NBLAdm
1825WanlassRalphAlston, NBLWillin tree & below
1827WanlessLionelShelly or Shelby, NBLWillin tree & below
1828WanlaceMarkGallow Hill, Bolam, NBLWillY
1831WanlessJaneElswick Lane, Newcastle, NBL (formerly S. Shields)Will, Admin tree & below
1838WanlaceMarkGrange Cottage, Basingstoke, SouthamptonAdm
1840WanlaceThomasNewbiggin, Hartburn, NBLWillin tree & below
1845WanlaceMaryNewbiggin, nr. Cambo, NBLWillin tree & below
1847WanlaceJosephNewbiggin, nr. Cambo, NBLWillin tree & below
1851WanlessArchibaldBiddleston, Alwinton, NBLWillin tree & below
1851WanlessJohnCleatlam, Staindrop, DURWillin tree & below

Transcriptions (below) of Wan(d)less wills proved at Durham or Newcastle

  • Ralph Wanlass, paver, Newcastle, 1634
  • Robert Wanles, Kimmerston, Ford, NBL, 1666
  • John Wanliss, waller, bricklayer, plasterer, Newcastle, 1669
  • Cuthbert Wanless, Newcastle, 1671
  • James Wanless, Grasslees or Girslees, Northumberland, 1661 and 1671
  • Robert Wandles of Birkenside, [Shotley], Northumberland, 1691
  • Hugh Wanliss, 1702, Holland
  • Robert Wandless, Wingate Grange, 1716
  • William Wanlass, Wingate Grange, 1717
  • William Wanless of Kelloe, administration, 1733
  • Margaret Wanless of Gillygate, City of Durham, spinster, 1734
  • William Wanless, Hexham and Bothal, Northumberland, 1735
  • Anthony Wanless, High Garretsheels, Elsdon, NBL, 1785
  • Ralph Wanless, St. Anthony’s Newcastle, dated 1798, proved 1801
  • Mary Wanlass of Stockton, 1804
  • Ralph Wanless, blacksmith, St. Anthony’s, Newcastle, 1816 administration
  • Ralph Wanlass, Alston, Cumberland, dated 1823, proved 1825
  • Lionel Wanless, Shelly, Netherwitton, NBL, 1826
  • Jane (Jobson) Wanless, South Shields & Elswick Lane, NBL, 1830
  • Thomas Wanless, tenant at Helmington Row, mentioned in 1834 will of Cuthbert Raine
  • Thomas Wanlace of Newbiggin nr Cambo, NBL, 1839
  • Mary Wanlace of Newbiggin nr Cambo, NBL, 1845
  • Joseph Wanlace of Newbiggin nr Cambo, NBL, 1847
  • John Wanless of Cleatlam, 1851
  • Archibald Wanless of Biddleston, Alwinton, NBL, 1851

FHL 0090845 – Durham wills, 1634, L-Y and 1635, A-S, alphabetically grouped

Ralph Wanlass paver being sick and weake in body but perfect in memory and understanding, determined and declared this by worde of mouth to be his last will, before us witnesses whose names are underwritten. Namely that he would leave unto Margaret Wanlass his wife all that (over?) he has, except only that he would bequeath unto his poore mother (or mute son?) twenty shillings for a legacy and that this said wife should be his executrix. Witnesses: Christofer Foster, curate
Enlgbart [sic] Adon
John Will(?)
Proved at Newcastle.

Edward Anderson — An inventorie of the goods and chattels which were late in the possession of Ralfe Wanlis of [Hemra Fell???] paver who ought ___. And he departed out of his lyfe October the 16 1634.
Proved at Newcastle.

Nuncupative [spoken] will of Robert Wanless, Kimmerston, Ford, NBL, 1666
Memorandum: 8th(?) Sept 1666 Robert Wanles of Kimmerston in the parish of fford & County of Northumbld, yeoman
– to my daughter, Phillis Wanles, foure oxen, two stotts, twenty ewes & twenty lambs
– all the rest of my goods I leave to my wife to pay my debts
– spoken and declared in the hearing of these witnesses: James Keen, jurat.; Thomas Keen; John Tate

8th(?) Oct 1666 Inventory of the goods & chattels of Robt Wanles of Kimmerston, Fford
4 oxen, 2 stotts, 20 ewes & lambs (total 9-10-00)
The rest of the goods left to the widdow: 2 stotts & 1 stirk, 4 horses, 5 sowes and another, 1 guy, 4 little stirks, 20 hogs, 20 -emen(?) & denment(?), 2 souls(?), total 28-16-00
Debts owed to: Robert Fortune, John Smals, Tho. Ferra(?), Nan. Miralaure, James Kenn, J. Corrow to pay my lord Grays rent (total debts 24-4-00)
Inventoried by George Mathewson (his mark) and James Keene (his mark), apprizers

Note: a stirk is a yearling bullock or heifer
Will of John Wanlis, waller, bricklayer, and plasterer of Newcastle-upon-Tyne
– messuages and tenements to my loving wife Ann Wanlis
– after her death or remarriage, to my three children John, Cuthbert, and Mary
– all goods and chattels, after debts paid, to my said loving wife Ann, provided she maintains and educates my children in a handsome and decent manner during their several minorities
– wife to be executor
– witnesses: William Watson Jun’r, Eeser(?) Wilson, Not. Pubb. [notary public]
signed by John
dated 25 Feb in the 21st year of the reign of Charles II [1669]
spelled John Wanlesse on the wrapper
inventory of his goods includes basic furniture, napkins, panns and pots, iron bars, tongs, beds, chests, tables
[source: DPRI/1/1669/W6/1 at FamilySearch.org]

Inventory of estate of Cuthbert Wanless,1671, Newcastle

A true and perfect inventory of all such goods and chattles as Cuthbert Wanless, late of the towne of Newcastle upon Tyne, glasier, dyed possessed of, taken on the 6th day of October 1671 by Miles Man, merchant, James Kirbey, pewterer, George Storer, barber & chirurgion, and Robert Slater, cooper.
[detailed inventory of contents of the lower and upper rooms of his dwelling house, the garret, the shop and work room over the shop].. including small iron chimney, tongs, toasting irons, standing cranks, frying panns, brass rings, ladles, spits, skewers, pots, cupboard, looking glass, a buttery, flower shelves, plates, one child’s chair, candlesticks, clothing, carpet, dresser, a map of the world; in the shop were a chimney, tongs, irons, moulds, 20 foot of sett(?) glass, vat, soldering irons.
[Source: DPRI/1/1671/W11]

Will & Inventory of James Wanless, Grasslees or Girslees, Northumberland, 1671

July 1661 or 1662 (hard to see, and I can’t read the day)
James Wanless of the Grassles in the countie of Northumberland
– to my son William Wanless, all my land and houses and mill and my whole interest in Grassleys when he comes to youres under the …of sutt.. til …shall be ..with me and my heirs forever
– to Gatherine Wanless my wiff the third of all my aforesaid lands and mill and houses for her life
– to my daughter Isabell Wanles 20 pounds to be paid by her brother or her mother if she … …follow…sell or else to have nothing but what her mother will
– to my younger daughter Elspeth Wanless 20 pounds in the same manner aforesaid and to be …on after another
– if their brother dies without lawful heirs and my eldest daughter is to pay if the full heirs 60 pounds out of my land to his young sister and  failing them both, my youngest daughter is to have all my aforesaid lands and mill and all that I possess for her and her lawful heirs and failing, them all to rom to my brother Michael Wanless and his lawful begotten heirs…and failing then all to my next relyens in the name
– wife Catherin to pay my debts
He signed.
Witnesses: William Clennell, William Inanddon(?), James Gledston, Parssivill Spours

15 July 1671 Inventory of James Wandless, late of Girslees, Northumberland, yeoman deceased
8 something, 2 little oxen, 2 kine, 2 little quies, 2 little stirks, total value £6
7 sheep valued at 14s
house and purse 1-10-00
tropp(?, household stuff – total value 16-4-00
funeral expenses 3, debts and servant wages 13
by James Gleigston, Percivall Spoors

Will of Robert Wandles of Birkenside, [Shotley], Northumberland, 1691

12 March 1690 [1691] Robert Wandles of Birkenside, Northumberland
– to Jane my wife, 6 pounds, to be paid out over 4 quarters of the year, to be paid out of my estate & lands by my son Robert Wandles
– my wife shall have tennancy of lands at her own dispose
– to my son Robert Wandles, all the tenement & estate of lands & houses which I am now possessed of lying in Birkensid, and doing the duty to his mother during her natural life
– to my wife Jane and my son Robert Wandles and my daughters Elizabeth Surtus & Janne Surtus, all my movable goods, equally dividided
– to John Surtus & Elizabeth Surtus…kows, ewes, lambs out of my sheep
– rest of sheep to be divided between the 3 women (wife Jane, 2 daughters)
– 5 pounds to each of the daughters Jane and Elizabeth Surtus, within one year of my deceased and my wife’s
– to Jane my wife all my movable goods and household stuff
– wife Jane and son Robert and 2 daughters Elizabeth & Jane to be executors
– made his mark (a shaky “R”) and seal
Witnesses: John March, Cuthbert Hunter, Matthew Taylor, Thomas Hopper

Inventory dated 1 May 1690, total £51.
A bond was filed in 1691, according to the NEI index, but it’s not online.

Wrapper is dated 1691 and says “will of Robt Wallass late of the psh of Shotley”


Will of Hugh Wanliss, 1702, Holland [proved in prerogative court of Canterbury]

4th Feb 1702 [written 1701/2] I Hugh Wanliss [no location or occupation stated]…for the good will and affection I bear my well-beloved wife Sarah Wanliss, I make and appoint her sole heiress and executrix, granting her all pay or arrears of pay due to me in his retired(?) [or Majesty’s?] service…I do set my hand and seal the day and year above mentioned at Dortdah in Holland Signed (his mark) Hugh Wanliss.

Witnesses: Francis Ruysh [or Kuysh], Chaplain; John Norridge, Chirurgeon; Edw. Booth, Adju’t.

Probated in London. [This is in Latin. Mentions Johannes Eston, Sara Wanliss, possibly Richard Rainto — need a Latin translator!]

Will of Robert Wandless, Wingate Grange, Durham, 1716

7th July 1716 Robert Wandless of Windgate Grainge in the County of Durham, being sick and weak in body but of good and perfect memory…
– to my son Richard Wandless, the sum of two shillings sixpence
– to my grandchild Dorothy Wandless, the sum of four pounds, and half of the household stuff unto me belonging
– to my son William Wandless, all my goods and chattels whatsomever I am possessed of, with all the utensals & instruments of husbandry commonly called plough gears & wanegears, and the other half of the household stuff
– said William Wandless is to be sole executor, provided that he provides Robert Wandless & Dorothy, his father and mother, with [illegible, meat, drink, washing, and lodging, & all manner of wearing apparel during the time of their natural life
Witnesses: Robert Story (his mark), James Smith, Tho. Gibson
Outside wrapper says 1717; perhaps it was probated then.

Will of William Wanless of Wingate Grange, Kelloe, 1717

18 Dec 1717 William Wanlass of Grange in the county of Durham, yeoman
– to Jane, my well-beloved wife, 10 pounds and the bed which stands in my forehouse, and all the bedding and furniture belonging to it, also all my peuder [pewter] dishes and plates
– to my 2 sons Robert and William Wanlass, each of the 50 pounds
– to my daughter Dorithy Wanlass, 30 pounds
– children’s sums to be placed out at interest for their best advantage by my executors until they attain, respectively, the age of 20 or marriage; in the meantime, the interest is to be paid to their mother for their maintenance
– if any child dies before marrying or coming of age, their sum shall be paid to the survivors of them
– to my said daughter, all my household goods except the bed and peuder before devised to my wife
– my trusty and well beloved friends Richard Wanlass of Grange and Thomas Clerk of Windgate, both in the county of Durham, to be my executors
– anything left over is to be used for the maintenance of the children by the executors
– signed by his mark and seal, William Wanlass
– witnessed by John Elcoate, James Smith (his mark), Jo’n Heaton

8 Feb 1718 Richard Wanlass filed a bond to administer the estate of William Wanlass late of Grange

Administration of William Wanless of Kelloe, 1733

9 Jun 1733 – Thomas Watson of the parish of Kelloe, Diocese of Durham, yeoman, and John Hutton of the parish of Sedgfield, Diocese aforesaid, yeoman, are bound in the sum of £200, dated 9 June 1733. The condition of the bond is that Jane, wife of Thomas Watson, do execute the last will & testament and administer the goods & chattels of John [lightly crossed out] William Wanless late of the parish of Kelloe, Diocese of Durham, deceased, left unadcured(?) by Richard Wanlass one of the executors therein named now also deceased. Signed by the mark of Thomas Watson, signed by Jon. Huttons [or Hutton].

20 April 1734 – will of Margaret Wanless of Gillygate in or near the City of Durham, spinster

— I have entered into articles of agreement for the sale of my house and garth in Gillygate to my nephew Thomas Parkin, in consideration for him agreeing to pay my executors £50 within one month of my death, which is to be used for the following purposes

— to pay my debts and funeral expenses
— £5 to my nephew Joseph Perkin [Parkin]
— 50 shillings to my nephew William Henderson
— 20 shillings to my sister Elizabeth Winter
— one shilling a piece to any children of my sister Hubbork who are living at my death
— legacies made on the condition that the legatees surrender their rights, title, and interest in the said house and garth to my nephew Thomas Parkin
— all my household goods, ready money, cloths and linen, rest and residue of my estate to my nephew Thomas Parkin
— executor is nephew Thomas Parkin
— she signed very shakily and someone else wrote her name more clearly below
— witnesses Edward L. Goddard, William Baron Jr, William Plummer
[Source: Durham University; have copy]

William Wanless, esquire, Hexham in the County of Northumberland, 1735
– to my daughter Mary Wanless, £600
– to my dear and loving wife Mary Wanless and my said daughter Mary Wanless, all my goods and chattels to be equally divided
– said wife and daughter to be executors
– dated 10 March 1735
– witnesses Phia. Jefferson, Rich. Ellis
Date of probate: 2 September 1737 by Mary Wanless the Elder and Mary Wanless the Younger
Bond filed 31 Aug 1737 by Mary Wanless the Elder, Mary Wanless the Younger, and John Reed, all of Longhurst in the parish of Bothal, Northumberland, for £1500, bound to execute the will of William Wanless, Esqr. late of Longhurst in the parish of Bothal. (All 3 appear to have signed.)

Will of Anthony Wanless, farmer, of High Garretsheals, parish of Elsdon, Northumberland, 25 Aug 1785

Being very sick and weak of body but of perfect mind and memory…
— to my nephew William Thompson, son of John Thompson, £5
— to my niece Eleanor Robson, wife of John Robson, £5
–to my niece Mary Thompson, wife of George Thompson, one cow now in his possession, her grass in the summer, and the house which she now lives in during the term of my farm which I now possess
— to my niece Elizabeth Davidson, daughter of Gabriel Davidson, £5, a blue bed quilt and 2 pair of blankets
— to my nephew James Thompson, son of John Thompson, whom I make executor of my estate, all my singular goods, chattels, lands, messuages & tenements, bonds, notes, and ready money, to be possessed and enjoyed by him after payment of my debts, legacies, and funeral expenses
Signed “Anthony Wanles” in a shaky hand.
Witnesses: Gab’l Goldburn, Reynold Hixon
Will proved 7 Nov 1787 by James Thompson, executor

FHL 90927 – Holly has copy of this one

The will of Ralph Wanless late of St Anthony’s in the county of Northumberland

This is the last will and testament of me Ralph Wanless of Saint Anthony in the county of Northumberland yeoman.
— payment of just debts and expenses and charges of proving the will
— to my friends Robert Reay of the Sandgate without the Walls but within the liberties of the town of Newcastle upon Tyne Clark, Tyne Bowery(?) [or clerk at Tyne Brewery?] and William Hedley of Newcastle upon Tyne yeoman and the survivors of them and the executors and administrators of such survivor All those my messuages tenements or dewelling house and premises and appurtenances at a place called Bird’s Nest near Dent’s Hole in the county of Northumberland, which I hold by Lease from Sir Matthew White Ridley Baronet and also all my household goods and furniture, chattels, money, securities, all personal estate.
— all above in trust for my dear wife Ann Wanlass and her assignees, who get the rents and profits of the leasehold; wife Ann to enjoy the use of my household furniture for her natural life
— upon the death of my wife Ann, rents and profits go to my daughter Ann Spowers formerly Ann Wanlass and now the wife of Robert Spowers of St. Anthony’s, waggonman; said rents and interests from securities to be placed out at interest for her sole and separate use and not subject to the debts or contracts of her present husband or any other husbands
— after the death of my wife and daughter, proceeds of rents, interest, securities, etc. to be placed out at interest for the child or children of my said daughter by her first husband Thomas Wanlass, that is to say Ralph Wanlass, Mary Wanlass, and Ann Wanlass, in equal proportions among those of them that are living, for their clothing and education until they reach the age of 21
— Isabel Spowers the child of Robert Spowers to receive the rents and profits of my dwelling house & appurtenances at the West End of the Bird’s Nest, now in the possession of Joseph Spence, for the remainder of the lease I hold under Sir Matthew White Ridley, Baronet
— when the children reach 21, they are to receive the residue of the money in equal shares
— if none of daughter Ann’s children other than Isabel Spowers are living when wife Ann and daughter Ann die, then my leasehold promises and personal estate go to the said Isabel Spowers, but if she dies before legal age, everything is divided among my own next of kin according to the law.
– 10 pounds to be divided equally among my wife’s brothers and sisters who are living at my wife’s decease
– 10 pounds to be divided equally among my own brother and sister at my wife’s decease
– wife and Robert Reay William Hedley to be exec’rs
– dated 1 May 1798, signed with his mark Ralph Wanless
– witnesses Robert Hall, Chas. Handasyde
— presented for probate 1 August 1801

This seems to be Ralph Wanless & Ann Robson; the location fits their death records. 2 or 3 generations of Sir Matthew White Ridleys were mayor of Newcastle in 1774 and 1791; various Hedleys and Reays were also mayors.


Last will & testament of Mary Wanlass of Stockton, dated 10 May 1804

Source: copy of original from Durham University

Mary Hedley was the 2nd wife of Thomas Wanlass of Stockton (who died in 1803)

— to my niece Elizabeth Middleton of Trimdon, Durham: £20 in small sums of 20 or 40 shillings from my executors, allowing her interest from time to time for the residue remaining in the exec’r’s hands; a feather bed, pillows & bolster, 3 blankets, one pair of sheets, a table cloth, 2 pillow cases, 2 cotton quilts, half a dozen silver spoons, and part of my wearing apparel.
— to Alice Page, wife of Thomas Page of Stainton, North Riding of York, yeoman: my black silk gown, petticoat and long black satin cloak
— I give my household furniture equally betwixt my son & daughter in law, Thomas Wanlass and Jane Wanlass
— to Thomas Wanlass aforesaid £10
— to Jane Wanlass aforesaid £5
— to Thomas Brown near Marton, North Riding of York, schoolmaster, £5 to be paid within 6 months after my death
— all the rest of my money out on securities at interest or otherwise due to me after payment of debts and funeral expenses in even and equal portions, share & share alike, betwixt my said niece Elizabeth Middleton and my son-in-law Thomas Wanlass
— executor to be Thomas Page aforesaid of the township of Thornaby in the parish of Stainton in the North Riding of York, yeoman
— she signed very shakily
— witnesses Henry Busby, John Chipchase
— will presented for probate on 23 May 1804 by John Chipchase “a Quaker” and Thomas Page
— estate valued at less than £100


Administration of estate of Ralph Wanless, blacksmith of St. Anthony’s, Newcastle, 1816

23 Feb 1816 – Mary Ann Wanlass of St. Anthony’s in the parish of All Saints, Newcastle upon Tyne, Northumberland, widow, Robert Hall of the same place, farmer, and Robert Reay of the town and county of Newcastle upon Tyne, gentlemen, are bound in the sum of 600 pounds. The above Mary Ann Wanlass the lawful widow and administratrix of the goods & chattels of Ralph Wanlass, late of St. Anthony’s in the parish of All Saints, Newcastle upon Tyne, Northumberland, blacksmith deceased, is to make an inventory and administer the estate by 23 Feb 1817.

Signed by Mary Ann Wanlass, Robt. Hall, Rob. Reay. Estate declared under £300.

[Source: Durham University; have copy]

FHL 0090962 – Durham wills, 1825-1826


Will of Ralph Wanless of Alston in the county of Cumberland, merchant
– unto my dear wife Mary Wanless and to her brother William Walton and Christopher
Litell of Alston, blacksmith, all the lead ore mines or veins and shares of lead ore mines or
veins which shall belong to me or to which I shall be any way entitled at the time of my
– one undivided third part to my dear wife Mary Wanless
– remaining 2 undivided third parts – I direct my trustees to carry on and work as long as
they think proper, for the use and benefit of my two children Ann Wanlass and Ralph
Wanlass in equal shares; exec’rs are allowed to sell or otherwise dispose of the lead mines
at their discretion for the most benefit of the said children while the children are minors
– upon attaining 21 yrs, the children are to have equal shares; if one dies, the other gets the
dead ones share
– profits from lead mines or sale of mines while children are minors are to be used for the
maintenance, education and advancement of the children
– if in any year the profits from the mines should exceed 200 pounds, then my trustees
should pay to my mother Ann Wanlass if then living 20 pounds for each year of such
profits; if clear profits are 100 pounds, then she gets 10 pounds; if clear profits are 50 lbs,
she gets 5 lbs
– all household goods, cattle, furniture, res of property to dear wife Mary Wanlass after
debts and funeral expenses are paid
– dear wife Mary and previously mentioned trustees are executors; they are not
responsible for any losses and are to be properly reimbursed first for their expenses, time,
and trouble
– signed 6 June 1823 by Ralph Wanlass
– witnesses Robt. Bainbridge, Alston and John Litell, Alston
– proved 5 Sept 1825 by Christopher Litell, a dissenter from the Church of England and
commonly called a Quaker; William Walton, the other surviving ex’r.


18th. April, 1826. Lionel Wanless of Shelly Northumberland, Farmer.

– To eldest son George Wanless now residing in London 10 pounds to be paid after 6 months. If he dies before then legacy to go to his 2 sons Lionel & William when they reach 21.
– To daughter Isabella Orange (widow of James Orange) residing at Newcastle upon Tyne 6 pounds to be paid after 6 months. If she dies before then legacy to go to her 3 children Mary, Thomas & Isabella when they reach 21.
– To dear wife Mary annuity of 10 pounds for life.
– Residue to son Joshua Wanless who is also Executor.
Signed X Mark of Lionel Wanless
– witnesses: Wm. Winship, Geo. Gledston
19 Dec 1827 – Joshua Wanless of Shelly in the chapelry of Netherwitton, Northumberland, farmer, the sole executor. Effects under £200. Resworn before probate as under £300.

FHL 90977 – wills are in alphabetical groups by surname – this film has 1850 R-Z, all of 1851, and 1852 A-

Will of Jane (Jobson) Wanless, 1830
Source: Durham University
I bequeath my personal property and effects to my brother Mark Jobson of Elswick Lane, farmer.

— She tried to sign or maybe make her mark, and a note at the bottom says “Jane Wanless, being unable to sign her name, we the witnesses saw her make and attest to her mark as her own act and deed.
— witnesses William Nesham Jr, Sea(?) Green(?), Newcastle, and the mark of Margaret Whiteford
— Letters of administration of this will annexed of Jane Wanless, formerly of South Shields in the county of Durham but late of Elswick Lane in the chapelry of Saint John, Northumberland, widow, deceased, were granted to Mark Jobson of Elswick Lane aforesaid, farmer, the universal legatee. Effects sworn under £100.

19th. April, 1839. Thomas Wanlace of Newbegin, otherwise Newbiggen, Northumberland, Farmer.
– To sister Mary Wanlace annuity of 40 pounds plus household goods.
– To brother George Wanlace annuity of 32 pounds.
– To Ann Wanlace wife of George, after his death, annuity of 15 pounds.
– To _____, son of George and Ann, 800 pounds.
– To brother Joseph Wanlace 2,000 pounds
– Mary’s legacy is in full satisfaction of any claim she may have on estate
of brother Lionel of which Thomas obtained letters of administration. She
must deliver proper release to executors within 3 months or forfeit legacy.
– Same condition applies to George and nephew’s legacies, likewise to any
claims they may have on estate of father Lancelot of which Thomas obtained
letters of administration “de bonis non”.
– To Mr. Joseph Fenwick of Netherwitton 100 pounds.
– To James Tate of Rothley 100 pounds.
– To William Winship of Newcastle, son of late Mr. Lionel Winship of Cambo
100 pounds.
– To Dorothy Lambert, wife of Matthew Lambert of Cambo, 50 pounds.
– To Lancelot Wanlace, brother of said Dorothy Lambert, 50 pounds.
– To Robert Wanlace & Mary Wanlace, son & daughter of late Robert Wanlace, another brother of said Dorothy Lambert 25 pounds each.
– To Hannah Forster, daughter of Mr. Robert Forster of Hartington Hall 19
– To Catherine Cook, eldest daughter of William Cook the younger deceased,
late of Saugh House 19 guineas.
– To Anthony Thornton, son of Mr. Thomas Thornton of Harwood 19 guineas.
– To Edward Charlton, now in my service 19 guineas.
– To Hannah Sinclair, daughter of Henry Sinclair of Newbegin, laborer 19
– To James Lambton son of Edward Lambton of Rothley, carrier 19 guineas.
– To James Batey of Newbegin, mole-catcher 19 guineas.
– To Said Robert Forster of Hartington Hall 19 guineas.
– To George Wanlace of Saugh House, farmer 19 guineas.
– To the Treasure of the Infirmary at Newcastle (for the use and benefit of that charitable institution), 19 guineas.
– All residue to friends William Winship of Cambo, Gentleman and his brother John Winship of Kirkhill, Gentleman, who also made Executors.
Signed (on all 4 pages)
Witnesses – Hen. Brumely, Geo. Brumely, Matt. Soulsby

26th. March, 1845, Mary Wanlace of Newbiggin near Cambo, Northumberland, Spinster.
Whole of estate and effects to brother Joseph Wanlace of Newgiggin in trust for following legacies to be paid within 3 months.
– To Mary Wanlace of Greywell Hampshire 10 pounds.
– To Joseph Wanlace of 15 Colet Place, Commercial Road East, London 19 pounds 19 shillings.
– To John Wanlace of North Middleton 19 pounds 19 shillings.
– To Dorothy Lambert of Cambo 10 pounds.
– To Hannah, wife of George Wanlace of Cambo Saugh House 10 pounds.
– To James Batey of Cambo Saugh House 10 pounds.
Said brother Joseph Wanlace Executor.
Mary Wanlace X her mark
Witnesses – George Simpson, Thomas Smith.

17th. February, 1847. Joseph Wanlace of Newbiggin near Cambo, Northumberland, Husbandman.
Executors –
Mark Wanlace of Gallowhill, Farmer
Robert Wanlace of Fomert Law, Farmer
George Wanlace of Saugh House, Farmer
– To Launcelot Wanlace of Netherwitton, labourer 5 pounds.
– To Dorothy Lambert, wife of Matthew Lambert of Cambo, cartwright 5 pounds.
– To Hannah Boyd, wife of James Boyd of Cambo, tailor 5 pounds.
– To Mark Sinclair of Close House near Cambo, labourer 5 pounds.
– To James Batey of Saugh House, molecatcher 5 pounds.
– To Mary Wanlace, widow of my late brother Mark Wanlace 10 pounds.
– To Barbara Brewis, daughter of Thomas Brewis of Grange Moor, farmer 5
– To Hannah Brewis, another daughter of above, 5 pounds.
– To Jane Wanlace of Hawick near Kirkwhelpington, spinster 5 pounds.
– Residue to executors, said Mark Robert & George Wanlace.
X mark of Joseph Wanlace
Witnesses – George Simpson, schoolmaster, Cambo, Thomas Smith, tailor, Cambo
Proved at Durham 6th. March 1847.
Effects sworn under 5,000 pounds
Annotated “Testator died 19th. February, 1847”.

p.1 Will of Cuthbert Raine of West Thickley, Auckland St Andrews, Durham
– wife Dorothy
– dwelling in township of Helmington Row now in the occupation of Thomas Wanlass, tenant
– sons John, Wm, and Cuthbert Raine
– 1 Jan 1834; proved 10 Dec 1850 by John Raine of Redwell, farmer

p. 575 John Wanless of Cleatlam, Co. Durham
— all household goods and furniture to wife Margaret Wanless, plus al money, securities, personal estate and effects, subject to payment of my just debts and funeral and testamentary expenses
— after wife’s death, same goes to the son and daughter of my said wife, Thomas Clark and Mary Clark, in equal shares
— wife is exec’r
– signed (his mark) 24 May 1851, witnesses William Hodgson, John Trotter; proved 1 July 1851 by widow

p. 602 Archibald Wanless of Bidlestone, dated 30 April 1851
– commend my soul to God thankful for all his kindness in hope of his fabor and order my body to be decently buried in hope of a glorious resurrection
– debts to be paid out of my effects
– my father’s widow to be paid her annual sum
– my 2 sisters be paid 25 pounds each 2 years after the death of my father’s widow
– remainder of effects to my beloved wife and children and I would think it best for them to carry on the farm in the usual way and no division is to take place as long as my dear wife lives or remains my widow; if she marry, she shall have no claim on my effects; no division should take place until my youngest daughter is 21; then remainder should be divided equally among my 4 children or my trustees can determine the division.
– executors are Thomas Clark of the Follions, Robert Shiel and Thomas Shiel of Sourhope.
– signed Archibald Wanless
– witnesses Samuel Cathcart, Frank Richardson
– proved 10 Nov 1851 by Thomas Clark of Follions, farmer, Robert Shiell of Sourhope in North Britain, and Thomas Shiell of the same place, farmers.