Appendix 2 - Addenda to Catholic Ancestor Article

Addendum contributed by Father Brendan Hodgson OP

The concluding installment of the history of the Sayer family of Worsall appears above. At the same Father Hodgson states that most of the published Hodgson pedigrees give the founder of the Hebburn-South Tyneside branch of that family as James Hodgson, married to…..Sayer (or Saire) of Worsall. James himself probably originated in the Lanchester branch of the family, but the question is, which Sayer daughter became his wife? Father Hodgson is of the opinion that it may well have been Helen, who was a sister of William Sayer (1503-1531). The husbands of William's three other sisters - Jane, Elizabeth, and Margaret - are already shown on the pedigree. Father Hodgson suggests that one could, however temporarily, assume that Helen was born circa 1500-1520 and that, as the dates would agree, she does seem to be the only likely candidate. He adds that Lancelot Hodgson of Lanchester, a son of James, makes mention in his will (1558-59) of "Mr Saire", "Mr Crathorne, my Lord of Westmoreland" – "the Neville element" - and his cousins "Tempest and Willye".

The Hodgsons were also related to the Southerne (or Southeron), Langley and Ingleby families, and thus to three martyrs of the 16th and 17th centuries. Sir Robert Hodgson, great-grandson of James Hodgson, married Frances Ingleby, a kinswoman of Blessed Francis Ingleby, seminary priest, who was hanged, drawn and quartered at York on 3rd June 1586; James Hodgson's grandson, Robert, - Sir Robert's father - married Ann Langley, daughter of Blessed Richard Langley, who for harbouring priests, was hanged at York on 1st December 1586; and James Hodgson's granddaughter Katherine was the mother of Blessed William Southerne, seminary priest, who was hanged, drawn and quartered at Newcastle-upon-Tyne on 30th April 1618.

Letter from Dr. Michael Sayer

My own family is descended from Francis Sayer of Marrick Park, a farm still existing and which appears to have been confiscated circa 1605, presumably because Francis was unable to pay the recusancy fines; Mr J.P.Sayer's sources might be able to confirm this.

Francis's son, also Francis (of Yarm) died before 1630, as his family was relieved of their debts in John Sayer's will of 1630. John, a son of Francis (of Yarm) was given a house in Yarm by this will, and another son, James, inherited half of a tenanted farm at Marrick in Swaledale.

James subsequently appears at Thornton Rust in Wensleydale, whence his descendants (including myself) can be traced in parish registers to the present century. Family business interests in lead-mining continued into the late 18th century, but by the mid-17th century all the Wensleydale Sayers were being baptised in the Anglican Church; by the 19th century they were Methodists.

Thornton Rust, still a village of quite modest population, was remarkable for its display of extreme Protestantism in the Calvinistic chapel at the end of the single street, and the rival Particular Baptist chapel of 1836 at the other end; there was also a Wesleyan chapel and a small outpost of the parish church at Aysgarth.

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