March 15, 2020
Whole Number 171
RICHARD SPARK, 14th CENTURY FARMER IN YORKSHIRE
[Editor's Note: The following ancient land record involving a Richard Spark is copied from Yorkshire Charters from the Lindsay Collection, Translations & Notes by T. Walter Hall, F.R.Hist.S., published in Sheffield, England in 1928. While we have little hope that descent from Richard Spark can ever be proven, or from the Henry Spark who was a witness, the translated text from the Latin of this document may be interesting to our readers. An "oxgang" mentioned was the land that could be tilled by one ox, or about fifteen acres. ]
1318 at the feast of saint Michael (29th September ).Lease (Latin), made between Roger son of Richard de Farburne of the one part and Richard Spark of the same place of the other part, by which the aforesaid Roger granted and to farm let to the aforesaid Richard, one oxgang of arable land in the field of Farburne, as it lay in divers places; a certain oxgang called the oxgang at the cross, with three roods of meadow in the park at Farburne to the aforesaid oxgang appertaining, with two pastures in the pasture that was called Pinkale as of the custom was;
and also one house in the same town, with a garden adjoining; and a certain house (which) Robert then formerly held; to hold to the aforesaid Richard and to his heirs or assigns from the aforesaid Roger and his heirs or assigns, freely, etc., for the term of twenty years then next following from the date of that agreement; paying yearly to the aforesaid Roger and his heirs or assigns twenty and three shillings, at two terms of the year, to wit, at Pentecost and at the feast of saint Martin in winter, by equal portions; warrantly of title, covenant by the lessee to keep the house in repair and at the end of the term to leave it in good condition.Witnesses: Roger son of Roger de Farburne, Henry Spark of the same place, William Schyref of the same place, John Freman of Ledesham, Robert son of Thomas de Bretton, Adam del Grene of the same place, Thomas son of Peter of the same place.Vellum: one skin 8x6, seal of yellow wax broken and obscure.Notes: Fairburn is in the parish of Ledsham, four miles from Pontefract.