The Phillips, Weber, Kirk, & Staggs families of the Pacific Northwest

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  • ID: I36426
  • Name: Robert CONYERS , of Sockburn, Sir 1 2
  • Sex: M
  • Birth: ABT 1371 in Sockburn, Darlington, Durham, England 2
  • Death: 25 APR 1431 3 2
  • Note:
    I am following a descent of the Conyers family developed by John Watson and posted to SGM, 31 Oct 2008. Its major difference with the information in VCH (shown below) is that Scolastica de Cotum m. Roger Conyers, the younger brother of the John which VCH said was her husband. This was where the Conyers of Coatham split off from the Conyers of Sockburn: John the elder son was ancestor of the Sockburn & Girsby line & Roger the younger son m. Scolastica & founded the Conyers of Coatham (and eventually Ormsby & Hornby).

    The following was copied from VCH-Yorkshire North Riding:


    In the time of Aldhun Bishop of Durham (990-1018) Snaculf son of Cykell granted 'Socceburgh and Grisebi,' with other lands, to the church of St. Cuthbert at Durham. After the Conquest SOCKBURN became the seat of one of the great baronial families of the bishopric, the Conyers of Sockburn. There are two traditions as to the origin of the barony. A Sir John de Conyers, probably apocryphal, is made the hero of one of those dragon-slaying exploits which are given as the explanation of various ancient tenures in the Palatinate, and is said to have been buried in Sockburn Church before the Conquest. The legend that he received his lands for his prowess in slaying the poisonous 'Worm of Sockburn' is supported by the serjeanty belonging to the manor which is mentioned above. It was the duty of the lord to meet the Bishop of Durham on his first entry into the diocese and present to him a falchion. This was restored to him by the bishop, and he was then quit of all services. The custom was still observed in 1771.

    Conyers of Sockburn. Azure a sleeve or.

    Another tradition makes the Conyers family hereditary constables of Durham Castle from the time of William the Conqueror, and therefore presumably tenants of the Bishops of Durham in the Palatinate from that date. It seems probable, however, that the actual origin of the barony was the grant of land in Bishopton, Stainton, Sockburn, Dinsdale, Girsby, Hutton, Newton, Howgrave and Holme which Bishop Ralph Flambard made to Roger de Conyers, a member of his council, at the end of the 11th or beginning of the 12th century. This grant was confirmed by the Prior and convent of St. Cuthbert. A later confirmation states that Roger de Conyers was enfeoffed by Bishop Ralph 'in Hutton, Norton, Holme and Howgrave for one knight's fee. And Rounton, Girsby, and Dinsdale for one knight's fee, and Bishopton and Stainton and Sockburn for one knight's fee. And Elmshit which he holds of the honour of Brancepeth and West Auckland and Evenwood and Morley and Mayland for one knight's fee. And Bedlington and Bedlingtonshire for two knights' fees. And Finningham in Suffolk which he holds of the honour of Crayke for half a knight's fee.'

    This Roger de Conyers was the chief defender of the bishopric in 1141-4 against the invasion of William Cumin. He alone of the barons of the bishopric refused to do homage to the usurper, and in 1144 he succeeded in compelling him to surrender Durham Castle. Earlier in the struggle he had fortified his own estate of Bishopton, and had used it as a place of refuge for the legally elected Bishop William de St. Barbara.

    Roger de Conyers, son and heir of the first baron, had a confirmation of the grant of Bishop Ralph from Henry II, and was holding three knights' fees of the Bishop of Durham in Yorkshire in 1166.

    Roger de Conyers had three sons, Robert, Roger and Geoffrey. Robert was the eldest, and with his father made a confirmation of the grant of West Rounton Church to Bishop Hugh Pudsey. Whether he actually came into possession of his father's lands is uncertain, but they were certainly acquired before 1195 by his brother Roger, who appears to have had no legal claim. Roger son of Robert made various attempts to recover his inheritance. A preliminary settlement was made by fine in 1195, when Roger de Conyers, the uncle, quitclaimed to his nephew lands in Hutton, Norton and Dinsdale, reserving the dower of Basilia widow of Roger de Conyers, and in return Roger, the nephew, quitclaimed his right in Bishopton, Sockburn, Girsby and Stainton, reserving the dower of Mabel widow of Robert de Conyers.

    In the next year, however, Roger son of Robert owed 40 marks for having right of his father's lands against his uncle Roger in Hutton, Norton, Girsby and Dinsdale. The elder Roger nevertheless remained in possession of Sockburn and appears to have been succeeded by his brother Geoffrey. In 1225 Geoffrey was dead, and his son and heir John was under age and in the custody of Hubert de Burgh. Two years later John de Bassingburn was his guardian and had to meet a demand made by Leonard the Jew of York for the payment of a debt due from the estates of Geoffrey de Conyers. In 1239 John de Conyers was in possession of the estate and took a further step in the settlement of the feud with the elder branch of the family, now represented by Robert son of Roger. John complained that Robert had not kept the fine of 1195, and made a fresh agreement, by which he granted Robert the manor of Finningham in Suffolk and received in return the manor of Girsby and half a carucate in Dinsdale to hold of Robert and his heirs. At the same time Robert quitclaimed to John all his right in Bishopton, Stainton, Sockburn, Auckland, West Rounton, and a carucate in Dinsdale which John had previously held. This was the end of the dispute as far as Sockburn was concerned, and the descendants of John remained in possession, while Robert founded the family of Conyers of Hutton Conyers (q.v.).

    The heir of John was his brother Humphrey, lord of Girsby in 1259. He was dead in 1283, when his widow Parnel claimed dower. His son John succeeded him and proved his right to free warren in Girsby in 1293. He married Scolastica daughter and heir of Sir Ralph de Cotum, and was succeeded by his son John before 1304.

    The latter died in 1342 without male issue. His daughter Elizabeth married Sir John Colvill and carried some of the Conyers' estates into his family. Sockburn, which must have been entailed, passed to another John Conyers, apparently a nephew. He held the manor till February 1394-5, when he was succeeded by his son Robert. Robert died in 1431, leaving a son Christopher, who was under age. Christopher had livery of his lands in 1444, and in 1470 had licence to fortify his manor of Sockburn. His son William succeeded him in 1487 and died in 1490, leaving a son Christopher. This Christopher was succeeded six years later by his son Thomas, who proved his age at Darlington in 1511. He died in 1520. His son and heir George was the next lord of Sockburn, which he held till his death in 1567. John Conyers his son succeeded him, and was in his turn succeeded by another George, his son and heir, who died in 1625-6. William son of George was the last of the male line of Conyers From: 'Parishes: Sockburn', A History of the County of York North Riding: Volume 1 (1914), pp. 449-454. URL: Date accessed: 03 May 2009.

    Father: John CONYERS , of Sockburn b: ABT 1335 in Sockburn, Darlington, Durham, England

    Marriage 1 Isabel PERT b: ABT 1380 in Tyverington Manor, Dalby cum Skewsby, Yorkshire, England
      1. Has Children Elizabeth CONYERS b: ABT 1397 in Sockburn, Darlington, Durham, England

      1. Title: VCH-Yorkshire North Riding, available in
        Media: Book
      2. Title: Magna Carta Ancestry, by Douglas Richardson, 2005, Genealogical Publishing Co.
        Page: 798
      3. Title: VCH-Yorkshire North Riding, available in
        Media: Book
        Text: 1431
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