2017-07-28 09:36:31 UTC
The family of Malbis (Malebisse or Malbys) had been in Yorkshire since the time of Henry I or earlier. I don’t want to give a long pedigree here, but I would like to show the how family died out, their heirs and some of their connections with other families.
In the early fourteenth century, the head of the family was Sir John Malbis who died shortly before 8 March 1316, when the writ for his inquisition post mortem was issued.  He is the last of the family for which a post mortem exists and it allows us to see the family’s main land holdings: - The manors of Acaster Malbis, Copmanthorpe near York, Scawton (Scalton) near Helmsley, and land in South Otterington and Little Ayton. As well as the land holdings shown in the inquisition, the family also held land in Muston, Filey, Hawnby, Sutton-under-Whitestonecliffe and the advowson of Newbo Abbey in Lincolnshire, founded by John’s ancestor Richard Malebisse (instigator of the murder of the Jews in York in 1190).
Sir John Malbis was succeeded by his son William, who was born about 1299 (aged seventeen in 1316). In 1341, Sir William Malbis was married to a lady named Mary (probably Samson), who was presumably the mother of his children.  William and his wife had five sons and probably two daughters. The eldest son William married, by a settlement dated 31 January 1341, Isabel daughter of Sir Roger Bigod of Settrington by Joan his wife (this marriage is not mentioned in Complete Peerage).  The younger William died shortly afterwards, and Isabel married secondly before Easter term 1348, Sir Roger de Burton (who was born 21 September 1306, and died before 10 October 1359), of West Harlsey, Burton in Kendal, etc. She married thirdly, before 15 January 1360, as his second wife Walter de Faucomberge, Lord Faucomberge of Skelton, etc. He died on 29 September 1362. She died s.p., on 19 May 1401, having lived a widow for over 38 years, and was buried in Guisborough Priory. 
In Easter term 1348, a fine was made between William Malbis knight, plaintiff and Master Thomas Sampson, William Sampson, John de Sutton, parson of Acaster and William de Harum, parson of Hawnby, deforciants, of the manors of Acaster Malbis, Copmanthorpe, Skawton, Muston, Filey and Aton in Cleveland, and ten pounds rent in South Otterington. The manors, etc., with the homages and services of Roger de Burton and Isabel his wife which they held of the plaintiff were settled upon William Malbis for life, with remainders to Thomas, son of the said William Malbis in tail male; remainder to John, Thomas's brother in tail male; remainder to Richard, John's brother in tail male; remainder to Walter, Richard's brother in tail male; remainder to right heirs of Richard Malbys. 
The next eldest son was Sir Thomas Malbis, who married a lady named Isabel, by whom he had two sons, John and Roger who died young, and two daughters, Elizabeth and Margaret, the eventual heirs of the family whom I shall come to later. The next two sons, John and Richard died, probably in the plague of 1349. The youngest son, Walter, was a knight and in late 1363 after the deaths of his elder brothers, he went on a pilgrimage to the Holy Land. His father Sir William Malbis died in early 1365 and when Sir Walter returned from his pilgrimage a few months later, he was in for a surprise, because under the fine of 1348, he, as the last male heir should have inherited his father’s lands. But, Sir William de Saint Quintin of Harpham and Elizabeth his wife were occupying his lands when he returned to England. On 5 August 1365, Sir Walter Malbis and Sir William de St. Quintin came to an agreement. William said that he had entered the lands as the lawful heritage of his wife, supposing that Sir Walter was dead.  The term “lawful heritage of his wife” makes it almost certain that Elizabeth, the second wife of Sir William de St. Quintin of Harpham (died after March 1370) was a daughter of Sir William Malbis and that she considered herself her father’s heir when she thought that all her brothers had died.
In 1346, Sir Thomas Malbys (the second son of Sir William Malbis) was holding one quarter of a knight’s fee in Naburn.  Apparently, he or his father had been enfeoffed in this land by William son of Nicholas Palmes of Naburn. It’s possible that Thomas’ wife Isabel was a daughter or sister of William Palmes. On 20 August 1351, William son of Nicholas Palmes of Naburn murdered William de Grove of Naburn for which he was tried by the king’s justices and found guilty. To avoid the hangman’s noose, William Palmes claimed that he was a clerk in holy orders and was handed by the sheriff to the ecclesiastical authorities for punishment. Out of the frying pan and into the fire for poor William, because he spent the next fifteen years in the prison of the Bishop of Winchester. Sir Thomas Malbis died in early 1359, and his wife Isabel in 1360. Their two young sons John and Roger were also dead, so their heirs were their two daughters, Elizabeth and Margaret. In 1363, Elizabeth and her husband, John Herring petitioned the king to recover the manor of Naburn and the advowson of the church of St. George, Fishergate, York, as the inheritance of Elizabeth and her sister Margaret.  This had the perhaps unintended consequence that on 16 December 1363, the king ordered an inquisition into who had possession of the manor of Naburn and the advowson since William Palmes was convicted of murder in 1351, and for the sheriff to seize the property into the king’s hand as an escheat. The first inquisition in January 1364 reported that William Palmes had been siezed of the manor and advowson on the day that he committed the murder of William de Grove.  On 18 February 1364, as an interim measure, the manor of Naburn was granted at farm to John Herring and Elizabeth his wife until it should be decided whether the manor should belong to the king as an escheat, or to John and Elizabeth.  On 24 September 1364, the king granted the manor of Naburn to the king's esquire Walter Whithors to hold at pleasure. 
A further inquisition was held at York castle on 14 January 1365 when it was found that after 20 August 1351, when William Palmes committed a felony, Sir William Malbis had occupied Naburn until 11 November 1353. The manor was then occupied by Sir Thomas Malbis until March 1359, then by his widow Isabel until November 1360, then by Sir William Malbis as guardian and next of kin of Elizabeth and Margaret Malbis until November 1361, when Elizabeth married Thomas Redmayne. Thomas Redmayne had died before November 1362, Elizabeth occupied it until April 1363 and then John Herring, who had married Elizabeth, held it until January 1364 when the manor and the advowson were sized into the king’s hand.  William Palmes was finally released from prison and he obtained a royal pardon in May 1370,  although William de Whithors had extorted an annuity from him in order not to obstruct the pardon. Later William complained to the king about Whithors waste in the manor and requested damages.  The Palmes family continued to hold the manor of Naburn until the 20th century.
Coming back now to Walter Malbis, the last male heir of the Malbis family. No doubt childless himself, he knew that after his death, the Malbis name would die out and his inheritance would go to the descendants of his nieces Elizabeth and Margaret. Although there is no documentary proof of this, he came to an agreement with John Fairfax, rector of Gilling, Yorkshire and Prescott, Lancashire, that Walter would enfeoff John with all his lands and in return John would arrange the marriage of Margaret Malbis with John’s nephew and heir Thomas Fairfax, son and heir of his brother William Fairfax of Walton and that John would enfeoff another nephew, Richard Fairfax, brother of Thomas with the Malbis lands provided that Richard Fairfax changed his name to Malbis and carried the Malbis arms. The transfer of the Malbis lands to the Fairfax family was probably not so straightforward as I have suggested because on 25 April 1368, William de St. Quintin granted his capital messuage and land in Acaster Malbis to William Fairfax.  There is also a puzzling lease by William de St. Quintin on 19 June 1369, of a wood in Little Ayton, which was part of the Malbis lands, where the rent was payable, half to William de St. Quintin and half to William Fairfax. 
On 4 November 1369, John Fairfax granted his manors of Acaster Malbis, Copmanthorpe and Scawton to his nephew Richard Fairfax, with “the name and arms of Malbis.”  Walter Malbis was probably dead at this time. The last mention of Walter Malbis is in the inquisition post mortem of Ralph Bulmer, held on 3 June 1367, when Ralph was said to be holding a messuage and land in Lazenby of Walter. 
About 1365-6, Margaret Malbis married Thomas Fairfax, and by him had at least 5 children; William, Richard, Guy, John and Ellen. Margaret must have died before 1382, when Thomas Fairfax was married secondly to Margaret de Friston, widow of John de Clifton of Clifton near York and Sir Robert de Rocliffe of Helperby, whose will is dated 16 September 1381.  Thomas Fairfax made his will on 20 January 1395, proved on 26 January, in which he mentions amongst others, his wife Margaret, his brother Brian, and his brother Richard Malbis.  He left a son and heir Richard Fairfax, his eldest son William, who had married Constance Mauley, having pre-deceased him.
Elizabeth Malbis’ second husband John Herring died and she married thirdly, Adam de Beckwith. In July 1383, John Fairfax and Richard Malbis granted a share of the Malbis lands to Adam and Elizabeth, consisting of the manors of Muston, Filey, Hawnby, Sutton-under-Whitestonecliffe, South Otterington, and Little Ayton, with the advowsons of Hawnby and South Otterington churches.  In January 1384, John and Elizabeth de Beckwith quit-claimed all their rights in the manors of Acaster Malbis, Copmanthorpe, Scawton and the advowson of Newbo Abbey to Richard Malbis.  Adam de Beckwith died before March 1400, when Elizabeth’s feoffees granted her the manor of Muston and land in Filey, with remainders successively to William Beckwith her son; John Beckwith his brother; Ralph Beckwith his brother; Katherine wife of John Kellawe; Elizabeth sister of Ralph; Elizabeth Herring daughter of Thomas Herring; and the right heirs of Elizabeth. 
Richard Fairfax, who had changed his name to Richard Malbis married Isabel and died on 1 November 1401, holding the manors of Acaster Malbis, Copmanthorpe and Scawton and leaving a son and heir William aged 9.  His widow Isabel married secondly Nicholas Saxton and started a series of legal actions against Richard Fairfax, the heir of Margaret Malbis, claiming the manors of Acaster Malbis, Copmanthorpe and Scawton.  William Malbis, the son of Isabel and the last of the name, married Sibyl, daughter of Sir Alexander Neville of Thornton Bridge. Sir William Malbis died s.p. before July 1420,  starting a new round of legal actions by his widow Sibyl, claiming the manors from Richard Fairfax. Sibyl died leaving a will proved on 4 October 1426.  And so the Malbis name disappeared from Yorkshire, leaving the Fairfax and Beckwith families holding the Malbis lands.
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 The Manuscripts of Sir George O. Wombwell. Bart., at Newburgh Priory, Historical Manuscripts Commission, 53 (London, 1903), 15.
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 C. V. Collier, ed., "Documents at Scampston," The Transactions of the East Riding Antiquarian Society, vol. 21 (1915), 25.
 Inquisitions and Assessments Relating to Feudal Aids, vol. 6 (1920), 223.
 Special Collections: Ancient Petitions, SC 8/51/2538.
 Calendar of Inquisitions Miscellaneous (Chancery), vol. 3 (London, 1937), 197, no. 538.
 Calendar of Fine Rolls, vol. 7, Edward III: 1356-1368 (1923), 281.
 Calendar of Patent Rolls, Edward III, vol. 13: 1364-1367 (1912), 18.
 Calendar of Inquisitions Miscellaneous (Chancery), vol. 3 (London, 1937), 200, no. 546.
 Calendar of Patent Rolls, Edward III, vol. 14: 1367-1370 (1913, 409.
 Special Collections: Ancient Petitions, SC 8/198/9867.
 J. M. Stanley Price, ed., Yorkshire Deeds, vol. 10, Yorkshire Archaeological Society, Record Series, 120 (1955), 3.
 C. V. Collier, ed., "Documents at Scampston," The Transactions of the East Riding Antiquarian Society, vol. 21 (1915), 44.
 J. M. Stanley Price, ed., Yorkshire Deeds, vol. 10, Yorkshire Archaeological Society, Record Series, 120 (1955), 4.
 Calendar of Inquisitions Post Mortem, vol. 12, Edward III (1938), 98, no. 125.
 James Raine, ed., Testamenta Eboracensia, Part I, Surtees Society, 4 (1836), 118.
 James Raine, ed., Testamenta Eboracensia, Part I, Surtees Society, 4 (1836), 204.
 Feet of Fines: CP 25/1/278/143, number 1.
 Feet of Fines: CP 25/1/289/54, number 104.
 M. J. Hebditch, ed., Yorkshire Deeds, vol. 9, Yorkshire Archaeological Society, Record Series, 111 (1948), 127.
 Calendar of Inquisitions Post Mortem, vol. 18, Henry IV (1987), no. 568.
 W. Paley Baildon, "Acaster Malbis and the Fairfax Family," Yorkshire Archaeological Journal, 19 (1907), 21-27.
 Calendar of Patent Rolls, Henry V, vol. 2: 1416-1422 (1911), 295.
 W. Paley Baildon, "Acaster Malbis and the Fairfax Family," Yorkshire Archaeological Journal, 19 (1907), 29.