The Lords of Biddick
in County Durham
(now Tyne and Wear)

The Biddick and Sanderson Family
Connection

By Audrey Fletcher
Copyright 200
8
When I was younger I frequently went down The Biddick with my friend, Avis Fisher, to fish for
tiddlers in the Burn near Worm Hill. It was a shallow but crystal clear stream which fed into the River
Wear only a stone's throw away. The walk from where we lived in The Terraces took us down past
The Gables and The Parade, Cooks hall (previously known as Biddick Hall) and the railway line. We
continued straight on down Biddick lane until we came to the turn-off at Wormhill Terrace. We didn't
turn off however. Instead we went straight ahead to The Glen, called in at Avis' Aunt Lillian's cottage
on our right for a drink, and then crossed over the road and down the bank to the Burn. We passed
many a pleasant summer's day in this way in the mid to late 1950s.

Although I didn't realize it at the time, this was the same Burn as the one we used to frequent down
The Dene, which was also known as Oxclose. There was a bend in this particular stretch of the
stream and a lovely grassed area where we would set up our camp fire and cook our baked beans
Girl Guide style. There was also a rope hanging from one of the bigger trees, which the boys would
use to swing across the stream. I often wondered how many ended up in the water instead of on the
opposite bank.

Although locally this stream was called The Burn its proper name was the Oxclose Burn. Biddick Hall
was positioned between Oxclose Burn and Biddick Lane.

Oxclose was named for the popular sport of cock fighting in the area.
This old postcard shows Biddick Lane as it winds through The Glen.
The Burn is down to the right off the photo, as is Worm Hill.
The steep rise of the land is evident.
The Spelling of Biddick
There are lots of variations of the name of Biddick. For example:
Bydik, Bidyk, Byddik, Bydyk, Byddyk, Bedic, Bedick, Bedyk, Bedyke and Biddic.

The earliest recorded spelling of BYDIK is in 1183 in "The Boldon Book".
The second earliest recorded spelling, also in "The Boldon Book", is BYDYK.

The Meaning of the name Biddick
The name "Biddick" was of Anglo-Saxon origin, meaning "by the dyke".
"Dyke" is derived from the Anglo-Saxon “dic” meaning a “dyke”, a defence embankment.

There are four possible contenders for the Dyke in the Biddick area ... all of which are my own
original ideas and interpretations.

1) Firstly the banks on both sides of the River Wear which form natural embankments. These
could be considered in terms of defence if the invaders were coming up the River Wear
from across Europe. For example: the Anglo-Saxons or Vikings. A part of these embankments
are clearly shown on the photo of The Glen above.

The following map by Casson in 1801 shows the embankments along each side of the River
Wear and also Worm Hill. Oxclose Burn is highlighted in turquoise and The Glen in red.

North Biddick Hall is shown to the north of The Glen.
Map to show embankments or "Dykes" along the River Wear and also Worm Hill.
Map by Casson 1801
Oxclose Burn is highlighted in turquoise and The Glen in red.
North Biddick Hall is shown to the north of The Glen.
2) Secondly the defence structure referred to could very possibly be Worm Hill.

Worm Hill is generally considered to be a natural feature of the landscape ... and perhaps it
is. Certainly on the map above, the embankments follow their contours around Worm Hill.

However when I was young I remember it being said that it was an artificial structure built up
from the balast of the boats coming up the River Wear. The balast was said to have been
emptied from the boats at Fatfield (where Worm Hill lies) in readiness to be filled with coal.

Looking at the photo below, which I took on a very overcast 4th July 2002, Worm Hill looks to
be a man-made feature, but I would suggest of a much more ancient origin than balast from
coal boats. Perhaps it was a burial mound. Alternatively it may have been built as a defence
lookout as Biddick was in an important strategic position at the lowest crossing point on the
tidal River Wear. The River Wear is on the other side of Worm Hill
.
Worm Hill. Is it natural or man-made?
The surrounding embankments (or Dykes) can be seen
in the background.
Photo by Audrey Fletcher
The following old photo was taken from the summit of Worm Hill. It shows how the hill is
strategically situated in a defensive position overlooking the River Wear and the land beyond.
The bridge is called Fatfield Bridge and is a few hundred metres along to the left from the
original crossing indicated on the next map but one.
The outlook from the summit of Worm Hill
which is strategically situated
in a defensive position overlooking the River
Wear and the land beyond.
Photographer Unknown
3) Thirdly the old network of roads in the area were laid down by the Romans during the
Roman Occupation of Britain ... although it is likely that the Romans built some of their roads
on top of those used by the Celts.

The word "Dike" is the old Anglo-Saxon name for a Roman Road in the local area.

The remains of the well known "Wreken Dike" lie about three miles away from The Biddick,
between Wrekenton and Eighton Banks. The Wreken Dyke was originally part of the Roman
Road called Leam Lane (starting at the port of South Shields and finishing at Lanchester)
before in more modern times the Leam Lane angled slightly to the right at Wrekenton. The old
Wreken Dike continued down to approximately where the Angel of the North stands today,
and then on to Birtley. At Birtley the old Wreken Dike reached aT-junction with the Roman
Durham to Gateshead / Newcastle road.
This 1862 map shows the Roman Road called
Wreken Dike, highlighted in purple. The name
"Wreken Dike" is highlighted in green.
Similarly the Roman Road leading from Johnson's Corner at the top end of Emmerson Terrace
(the start of Fatfield Road) down Biddick Lane and across the River Wear to the T-Junction
with the Sunderland to Chester-le-Street Roman Road was referred to in Anglo-Saxon times
as "The Dike". Thus the land around this area became known as "By the Dike" ... "Biddick".
This third explanation is the most probable.
The Dike.
The Dike: Fatfield Road, Biddick Lane north/south, is highlighted in orange.
Note how the crossing of the River Wear was to the left of Worm Hill
and not to the right of Worm Hill as it is today.
This crossing was probably Brugeford of The Lambton Worm Legend.
The Glen is highlighted in red.
Map by Gibson 1789.
Lots of other "dikes" in the local area now scream out to be recognized. A few which spring to
mind are:
* The road from the Mill House at the foot of Shadens Hill down through Oxclose Road to
come out at Thirlaway's Shop at the top of The Terraces where I was born and grew up, then
straight down through Brady Square to the River Wear.
* The road from the top of Emmerson Terrace, down past Station Road to the River Wear.
* Village Lane which started at Washington Village Green and led up past Havannah.
4) Fourthly it is from The Legend of the Lambton Worm that I finally unravelled the true meaning
of “Biddick”.

Surtees related that the Lambton Worm “frequented a green mound near the well (the Worm
Hill), where it lapped itself nine times round, leaving vermicular traces, of which, grave living
witnesses depose that they have seen the vestiges”.  Vermicular traces are those markings
left by a worm, resembling its motion or track. The word “worm” is derived from the Latin
“vermis” ( the Latin V is pronounced as a W) and the later Anglo-Saxon “wyrm”.

Several years ago I made the monumental discovery of the Prehistoric Circles at Mount
Pleasant, a place which on the old maps is termed “Biddick”, south of the River Wear. I later
included this revelation in my web page
“Worm Hill”, having recognized the Prehistoric
Circles as the markings made by the legendary Lambton Worm.

These vermicular markings are formed from ancient ditches forming circular enclosures at
Mount Pleasant, possibly as long ago as 2500 BC in the Early Bronze Age. They may even be
Neolithic. These Prehistoric Circles are among my most exciting discoveries.
Prehistoric Circles at Mount Pleasant … The Dikes
Several years ago I made the monumental discovery of the Prehistoric Circles at Mount Pleasant
and recognized these Prehistoric ditches as the markings of the legendary Lambton Worm
.
The hero of the legend defeats the Lambton Worm
Artists Unknown 1846
The Relationship of the Vermicular Traces to Worm Hill
Astonishingly, the central point of these ancient vermicular markings or ditches, lies exactly
4000 feet from the central point at the summit of Worm Hill. Moreover, the two central points
lie on a perfect West East alignment.
The central point on top of Worm Hill and the centre of
the Prehistoric Circles formed by ditches lie on a perfect
West East alignment and are exactly 4000feet apart.
The site of the Early Bronze Age Cist Burials discovered at Fatfield in 1907 would have been
chosen because of their proximity to both Worm Hill and the Prehistoric Sacred Circles.
Early Bronze Age Cist Burials discovered at Fatfield in 1907
Photograph by Mr. Parker Brewis 1907
The Prehistoric Circles at Mount Pleasant in July 2012
In July 2012 my husband, Edwin, and myself “walked the prehistoric circles” at Mount Pleasant,
in the footsteps of the ancient peoples of the area. We took one hundred memorable
photographs. The
outer ditch and parts of the inner ditch were covered in crops but they were
still clearly visible in the landscape. We were able to make our way down into the foot of the
surprisingly deep outer ditch ... an awe inspiring, and almost sacred experience. About a third
of the Inner Circle was trackway, a public footpath, leading to farmsteads. Later as we stood on
Cox Green Road and looked towards Penshaw we saw the Inner and Outer Ditches clearly
defined in the landscape. As we later stood above the Outer Ditch and looked towards Worm
Hill it was like being present at the birth of the Sacred Mound, rising out of the landscape.
Various views of the outer and inner ditches of the Prehistoric Circles at Mount Pleasant ...
the vermicular traces left by the legendary Lambton Worm
Photos by Audrey Fletcher July 2012
Biddick ... “By the Dyke”
The name “Biddick” is of Anglo-Saxon origin, meaning “by the dyke”. The word “Dyke” or
“Dike” is derived from the Anglo-Saxon “dic” meaning a “dyke”, a ditch, sometimes a
defence embankment. Due to my discovery of the Prehistoric Circles, made up in part by
banks and ditches, at Mount Pleasant, the origin of the name “Biddick” becomes clear. “By
the Dike” refers to the land by, near or next to the Prehistoric Circles, termed “The Dikes” by
the Anglo-Saxons. The lands "by the dikes" was later corrupted to "Biddick".
Biddick ... “By the Dike”
“By the Dike” refers to the land by, near or next to the Prehistoric
Circles, termed “The Dikes” by the Anglo-Saxons. The lands of
“Biddick” were both to the north and south of the River Wear.
Photo courtesy of Google Earth 23 July 2008
North Biddick Hall

On the above map by Gibson 1789 North Biddick Hall is shown to the north of The Glen.
The Seat of the Estate of North Biddick most probably stood on the same site as the later
North Biddick Hall. The site was relatively flat and close to a fresh water supply, later named
the Oxclose Burn. Moreover it was only about a mile down the road from Washington Manor,
the ancestral home of George Washington, the First President of the United States of America.

North Biddick came into the possession of the Hylton Family upon the marriage of Jane de
Biddic (the sole daughter and heir of John de Biddic) to Sir Robert Hilton, Knight, Baron of
Hilton in the mid 1300s. Their son William held Biddick Manor at the time of Hatfield's Survey,
1377-1380.

North Biddick Hall was progressively built by the Hilton Family over several centuries. In the
1800s the Hall came into the possession of the Cook Family. Joseph Cook was an industrialist
who founded the Washington Iron Works.

Unfortunately Cooks' Hall, formery known as North Biddick Hall, was demolished in 1966, due
to subsidence caused by the coal mining in the area.
Read more at end of page.
Cooks' Hall, formerly known as North Biddick Hall, was demolished in
1966, due to subsidence caused by the coal mining in the area.
Photo courtesy of Edwin Fletcher
The Estate of Biddick and The Boldon Book of 1183

Biddick, which is divided into North Biddick and South Biddick, separated by the River Wear, is
first mentioned in "The Boldon Book" of 1183.

"In the one thousand one hundred and eightythird year of the Incarnation of our Lord at the feast
of St. Cuthbert in Lent, Lord Hugh, Bishop of Durham caused to be written down in his and his
men's presence all the returns of his whole Bishopric, fixed rents and customs as they were then
and had been before"

The reason Biddick wasn't mentioned in "The Domesday Book" of 1086 was because this
assessment of tax obligations to the crown stopped at the River Tees. This suggests that
William the Conqueror had not yet succeeded in having full jurisdiction over the area north of
the River Tees.
This is an example of entries in "Bolden Book" about 1320.
They are written in Latin.
South Biddick is two entries down from Ryhope,
and unfortunately on the next page!
The fifth entry in "The Boldon Book", following those of Durham, Plawsworth, Gateshead and
Little Usworth,
is for Biddick.

"BYDIK. Bydik' Ulkilli facit servicium sexte partis unius feodi unius militis."
"BIDDICK. Ulkill's Biddick does the service of a sixth of one knight's fee."

Note: A knight's fee was a payment made in exchange for a drengage tenure.
A
drengage was a tenant owing light personal services and holding areas of arable land of 120
acres or more. He was a high ranking villein, a tenant with some authority. Many of the
personal and drengage services involved the provision of men, greyhounds and ropes for the
"Great Chase" of deer.

As Ulkill  was not an invited participant of the Great Chase, as was William de Hertburn for
example, this would suggest that he was not of sufficient social standing or rank to attend. In
other words he was not Lord of the Manor of Biddick, rather he was a high ranking tenant.

It can however be assumed that Ulkill's family continued to prosper as they are mentioned in
the "Court Rolls of Manors held by Durham Priory (1296-1384)". These Court Rolls recorded
procedings in the Courts, the main contents of which were land transfer and conveyancing.

South Biddick is listed separately in The Boldon Book.

"SUTHBYDYK. Villani de Suthbydyk tenet villamsuam ad firmam et reddunt v li et inveniunt viii xx
homines ad metendum in autumpno et xxxvi quadrige ad quadrigandum blada apud Ottanam."

"
SOUTH BIDDICK. The villeins of South Biddick hold their township on lease and pay five
pounds and they provide 160 men for reaping in the autumn and 36 carts for carting corn to
Houghton."

The following map, dated 1610, shows the location of North Biddick and South Biddick.
However, by that time, North Biddick has become  referred to as "West Bedik" while South
Biddick has become referred to as only "Bedik".
Extract from a map of Durham dated 1610
showing the postion of North and South Bedik,
separated by the River Wear
The Estate of Biddick and The Hatfield Survey 1377-1380

Bishop Hatfield's Survey was a record of the possessions of the See of Durham.

By the time of Bishop Hatfield's Survey  in 1377-1380 the Estate of Biddick had passed into the
possession of the Hylton Family through the marriage of Jana de Biddic, soul heir, to Sir
Robert Hilton, Knight, Baron of Hilton.

The entry for North Biddick appears in The Hatfield Survey as follows:

North Bedik. Willielmus de Hilton miles tenet villam de North Bedick quond'm Johaanis de Yheland
per sextam partem feodi unius militis & redd. per ann. liij s. iiij d.

North Biddick. William de Hilton, soldier, (knight)  holds the estate of North Biddick once (held by)
Johannes de Yheland, for a sixth part of a fee of a soldier (knight) and returns 53 shillings and 4
pence.

Note by Audrey Fletcher: Was John de Biddic, the father of Jana de Biddic who married Sir
Robert Hilton, also known as Johannes de Yheland? Or were they two different people?
The Genealogy of the de Biddick Family

This apparently accurate and fairly comprehensive ancestry of the "de Biddick" family was
published in 1785 by Hutchinson in
"The History $ Antiquities of the County Palatine of Durham".
It is a copy of Mr. Gyll's Manuscript which was written down in the time of Charles II, 1649- 1685.

The DESCENT of the Family of BIDDIC, Lords of BIDDIC,
in Com, Dunelm. Same MS. (i.e. Mr. Gyll's Manuscript)

Robert de Biddic Lord of Biddic, lived in the time of Maude the Empress: he married
________ the daughter of ________ and had issue John, his son and heir, and Jane who was
married to Thomas de Carowe, of whom descended the Caroews of Clopton, Barons of Clopton.
John de Biddic Lord of Biddic, son and heir of Robert: he married ________ the daughter of
William Hilton, Dominus de Hilton, and by her he had issue Thomas, his son and heir.
Thomas de Biddic Esq. Son and heir of John, son of Robert Dominus de Biddic: he married
Elizabeth, the daughter of Thomas Seton, of Seton, Esq. And they had issue John, William and
Margaret.
Sir John de Biddic of Biddic, Knt. Son and heir of Thomas, son of John, son of Robert de
Biddic: he married Edith, the daughter of Sir Hugh Spring, Knt. And by her he had issue Robert,
his son and heir.
Robert de Biddic Esq. Son and heir of Sir John de Biddic: he married Ann, the daughter of Sir
Ralph Lumley, Knt. And they had issue John, their son and heir.
John de Biddic Esq. Son and heir of Robert: he married ________ the daughter of John
Rowlston, Esq. And they had issue Alexander, their son and heir.
Alexander de Biddic son and heir of John: he married, to his first wife, Jane, the daughter of
Richard Chancellor, of Brafferton, Esq. and by her had issue Thomas, his son and heir: Robert
2d, James 3d, and Richard 4th son: and he married to his second wife ________ the daughter
of ________ and had issue.
Robert de Biddic (als. Sander-son) son of Alexander, by Jane his first wife: he married
________ the daughter of ________ Fishburne, Esq. And they had issue Robert, his son and
heir.
Robert de Biddic (als. Sander-son) son and heir of Robert: he married ________ the
daughter of ________ and had issue Thomas and James.
Thomas de Biddic (als. Sander-son) son and heir of Robert: he married ________ the
daughter of Sir Walter Grindall, Knt. And had issue John.
John de Biddic (als Sanderson) son and heir of Thomas de Biddic, Lord of Biddic: he married
________ the daughter of Sir John Gilford, Knt. of Cockerly, and they had issue Jane, their sole
daughter and heir, married to Sir Robert Hilton, Knt. Baron of Hilton, in whose right, the said Sir
Robert Hilton and his issue, enjoys the said Biddic, and is owner thereof till this day.* This John
de Biddic (als. Sanderson) lived in the reign of King Edward III. About Ann. Dom. 1377. +

* This was published by Hutchinson in 1794      + Thornton’s Nottinghamshire, p.474

Joh de Bydik about 1200 Greenwell Deeds Durham County Record Office
Ref No. D/Gr 17
[A 40] Latin. Undated, but later than D/Gr 16. (D/Gr 16 was dated 1200) The one after this was
also 1200.
Charter whereby Thomas de Esse confirms to William de Lumeley land in Morton [as in D/Gr
16] which he had of the gift of Walter Daudre. [Boundaries and conditions are as in D/Gr 16].
Witnesses: Galfrido fil. Galfridi, Rad. de Applingdene, Willo. de Monasteriis, Ricardo de
Yelande, Thoma de Herington, Ada[m] de Bradeley, Willo. de Birteley, Galfr. Scouland, Ranulfo
de Merley, Robt. de Urpath,
Joh. de Bydik, Waltero de Pelow.
Seal missing.

In 1261 Alexander de Biddyk, was the Sheriff of County Durham.

Documentation that Alexander de Bydic was alive on
6 Kal. March 1282 (24 February, 1283)

Indentured inspeximus by Richard [of Claxton], prior of Durham of a Grant by Robert de Insula,
bishop of Durham, to John the Fleming of Newcastle and his wife Isabel of a portion of the
episcopal moor of Shotton and Easington with stated bounds, i.e. from the the road from
Castle Eden to Haswell across Goreburne, then up along that road northwards up to the
bounds of Ludworth, as enclosed by a ditch, then down along the bounds of Ludworth through
the middle of Wydeker southward to Goreburn, then down along Goreburne eastward to the
said road from Castle Eden to Haswell, to hold in severalty all days of the year, holding from
the bishop and his successors with common pasture in the moors of Shotton and Easington,
paying an annual rent of 66s. 8d. with the forinsec service due from one fortieth of a knight's
fee when scutage is levied in the bishopric. The heirs of John and Isabel will pay a relief of 10
marks in lieu of all other dues.
Witnesses: Sir Guiscard de Charron, knight, steward of Durham; Sir Thomas of Herrington,
knight; Sir John son of Marmaduke, knight; Sir Roger Bernard, knight; Sir William of Layton; Sir
John of Farnacres, knight; Sir Eudes de Ponchardon, knight; Master Robert Auenel, clerk;
Master Roger le Counte, clerk; Master Nicholas of Appleby, clerk;
Alexander of Biddick; Robert
of Burnigill; 'others'.

Documentation that Alexander de Bydic was alive
in the 13th century.

Alex. De Bydik Greenwell Deeds Durham County Record Office
Ref No. D/Gr 84
[A 26] Latin. Undated, ? thirteenth century.
Charter whereby William de Latona, knight, confirms to William, son of Hugh Mody de Hettona
2 acres of land lying at Sexhope west of Laton's cultivated demesne in Hetton. To have to
Mody and heirs, Mody paying yearly to Laton and heirs 16d. Laton grants to Mody and heirs
that Mody's heirs, of whatever age they be, shall be free of wardship (warda) by paying ad
relevium 16d. If the heirs be under age they shall remain in the custody of the nearest relative
until they come to full age. Mody and heirs must mill as much of the corn grown on the said
land as it is necessary for them to mill, at Laton's mill at Hetton ad vicesimum sextum vas, et
erunt propinquiores tremello post bladum meum dominicum. Mody grants to Laton and heirs
that they may be able from the moor called Cotewall to make approvement as shall seem best;
the boundary beginning at Wydehope, descending near le Morflat de Eplingdene unto the way
leading to Dalden [etc.]; Mody and heirs shall have right of common in the said land for all
beasts in the open and fallow season after the corn and hay have been garnered. The land
shall produce in 2 years, and in the 3rd lie fallow. Laton and heirs warrant. Witnesses: Dominis
Thoma de Herington, Willo. de Yelande, Johe. filio Marmeduci, militibus, Rado. de Eplingden,
Alex. de Bydik, Thom. de Herle, Ratio. de Morislawe, Hugo. clerico.
Seal missing.

Further documentation that Alexander de Bydic was alive in 1285.
Date: 17 Kal. July [15 June] 1285.
This charter records the origins of Flemingfield Farm.
Durham University Library, Dean and Chapter Muniments, Misc. Ch. 7083
This manuscript was issued by the prior and chapter of Durham, attesting that they had seen
the original charter and accepted it as genuine.

Uniuersis Christi fidelibus presens scriptum visuris uel audituris Ricardus Prior Ecclesie
Dunelmensis 7 eiusdem loci Conuentus salutem in domino. Nouerit vniuersitas vestra / nos
Cartam venerabilis Patris domini Roberti dei gracia Dunelmensis Episcopi inspexisse in hec
verba. Heredes eciam 7 assignati dictorum Iohannis Isabelle dabunt decem marcas / pro
releuio dicte terre cum acciderit. In cuius rei testimonium presentem Cartam sigilli nostri
impressione fecimus communiri. Hiis testibus Dominis Gwyschardo de / Charron' tunc
senescallo Dunelm', Thoma de Herington' Iohanne filio Marmaduc' Rogero Bernard' Willelmo
de Laton'. Iohanne de fernacris. Eudone de Ponchar/don', militibus 7 Magistris Roberto
Auenel' Rogero le Counte. Nicholao de Appilby Clericis.
Alexandro de Bedick'. Roberto de
Bruninghill' et aliis / Data Dunelm' vi. Kalendarum Marcii. Anno domini Mo. CCo. octogesimo
secundo. 7 Pontificatus nostri Nono. Nos igitur dictas donacionem concessionem / 7 Carte
confirmacionem quantum in nobis est ratas Habentes 7 gratas eas tenore presencium
confirmamus In cuius rei testimonium presenti / scripto sigillum Capituli nostri fecimus apponi.
Data Dunelm'. xvij. Kalendarum Iulii. Anno domini. Mo. CCo. octagesimo Quinto.
Durham University Library, Dean and Chapter Muniments, Misc. Ch. 7083
This manuscript was issued by the prior and chapter of Durham, attesting
that they had seen the original charter and accepted it as genuine.
See Richard Britnell's article "Between Durham and the Sea" at
http://www.dur.ac.uk/r.h.britnell/haswell/
The Biddick - Sanderson Connection

In 1666 Christopher Sanderson of Eggleston, in co. pal, Durham, Esq., now one of his
Majesties Justices of the Peace, in this country, aged 48, an 16 Aug., wrote:
"By an ancient booke in the custody of Raphe Bows of Bradley, in co. pal. Durham, it appears
that Thomas de Biddick alias Sanderson, who lived in King Ed. III’s time, had issue John
de Beddic alias Sanderson, which John left issue Jane, a sole dau. And heire, with whom the
inheritance of Beddic went to her issue by Sir Robert Hilton of Hilton, whose wife she was.
And that from a younger son of the said Thomas de Biddic alias Sanderson, the family of
Sanderson, sometimes of Loupe and Barnard castle, did descend from which family of
Sandersons of Loupe, Christopher Sanderson, Esq., now of Eggleston, and lord of that
mannour is descended."
Note by A. Fletcher: Edward III reigned 25 Jan 1327 to 21 June 1377.

In The Antiquities of Nottinghamshire Robert Thornton (1623-1678) wrote:
"Alexander de Bedick in parochia de Washinton in Episc.de Duresme 1333 (married) Jana fil.
Ric Cancellarii. (They had two sons) 1: Thom. de Bedick alias Saunderson (who married) Maria
fil. Walteri Grindall. 2: Jacob. de Bedick  alias Saunderson (who married) Margareta fil. Walteri
Wilton de Eskdale."

Notes by A. Fletcher: Alexander and Jane's second son Robert, and their fourth son Richard are
not mentioned in this pedigree. Jacobus was their third son.
The beginning of the Saunderson Pedigree in
The Antiquities of Nottinghamshire by Robert Thornton
It is clear from Mr. Gyll's Manuscript, Christopher Sanderson of Eggleston and Robert
Thornton (all of whom wrote in the mid 1600s) that
the name of Sanderson originated with the
names of the sons of Alexander de Biddick.
Mr Gyll writes the name as "Sander-son" indicating
the origin as "son of Sander". "Sander" is an abbreviated version of "Alexander",
pronounced "Alec-sander". Perhaps Alexander de Biddick was known as "Sander" to his
close friends and family. Perhaps the name "Sander" was adopted by his family when a
younger brother or sister was unable to get his or her tongue around the more complex
"Alexander".

The de Biddick Family worshipped at and were buried at the Washington Village Church,
about a mile up the road from the de Biddick Estate.
The old church at Washington Village which was built on a hill, was thought to be of Saxon
origin. Perhaps it was, and the Norman tower was added at a later date. The South Porch, far
left of the picture, was the burial place of the Lords of Washington Manor, ancestors of
George Washington, the First president of the United States of America. Members of the De
Biddick family were buried outside the church, on the lee side, sheltered from the sometimes
harsh weather.

When this old church was pulled down in 1832
almost everything was discarded, there was no
thought given to retaining our Washington heritage. For example: the font ended up as a
cattle trough and the grave cover of Alexander de Biddick as a window sill. No-one knows
what happened to the Washington tombs. Probably used as rubble. It is thought however that
some tomb covers, probably from the graveyard, were placed upsidedown, and used to flag
the knave.

Fortunately for the descendents of Alexander de Biddick, his grave cover was rediscovered
when the old rectory building was demolished in 1962, and it is now inside the 1833
Washington Village Church. It's almost perfect condition tells us that it was close to the
original church building and on the lee side. It also tells us that Alexander de Biddick was  a
priest.
The Washington Village Church
The grave cover of Alexander de Biddick
Robert Surtees noted in Volume One of "History and Antiquities of County Durham" published
1816, that
in the Washington Church-yard was a stone, " an effigy in a sacerdotal habit: Hic
jacet Alexander de Biddicke"
. This would suggest that the grave cover was still in place
when the old church was pulled down in 1832.

In the same volume Surtees noted:
"On a ridged coffin-lid in the Church-yard, (in Vincent's time,) sculptured with a sword and
cross: Hic jacet Jacobus Sanderson".
Notes by Audrey Fletcher:
* "Church-yard" refers to Washington church yard
.
* The sword and cross suggests that not only was Jacobus Sanderson a knight, but perhaps
that he had been away at The Crusades or even that he was a Knights Templar.

Unfortunately this coffin lid has not been rediscovered. However there is a reference to a
drawing of the grave cover at:

http://flambard.dur.ac.uk:6336/dynaweb/handlist/ant/surtrain/@Generic__BookTextView/4301
Large Folio Volume of tipped in engravings and sketches.
Contents include fine art reproduction engravings, portraits, topographical engravings, memorial
tablets, effigies, armorials and drawings of local interest, some of which were used by Robert
Surtees in the History of Durham.
f.12.
Drawings of grave covers of James Sanderson and Alexander of Biddik in Washington
churchyard.

Jacobus Sanderson (alias James Sanderson) was the third son of Alexander de Biddick.

The descendents of James, the third son of Alexander be Bedik.
COMBE, alias East or Nethercombe, was an appendage to the manor of Lewisham
From: 'Parishes: Greenwich', The History and Topographical Survey of the County of Kent:
Volume 1 (1797), pp. 372-420.
URL: http://www.british-history.ac.uk/report.aspx?compid=53781.
On the restoration of king Charles II. the fee of this estate returned to the crown, and the
possession of it to the Fortrees; and James Fortree, son of Leah, in 1663, quitted his
residence at this place, and built Wombwell-hall, in Northfleet, where his family continued till
very lately.

Afterwards Combe came into the possession, and was the residence of Sir William Sanderson.
This family is said to be descended from Robert de Bedick, of Bedick lordship in Washington, in
the bishopric of Durham, who lived in the time of Maud the Empress.
James, third son of
Alexander de Bedick, being called Alexanderson, was ancestor of this family, which from him
came to be called Sanderson
.............. (fn. 23) Sir William Sanderson above mentioned was
created a baronet in 1720, and was succeeded in his title and estate by his son of the same
name, who by his third wife Charlotte, one of the daughters of Sir Richard Gough, of the
county of Warwick, who survived him, left an only child, William Henry, who, on his father's
death, in 1754, succeeded him in title; on whose death, in his 15th year, in 1760, it became
extinct. On the death of Sir William Sanderson, the father, his widow, lady Sanderson, became
entitled to this seat and estate, which she died possessed of in 1780; when it came to the Rt.
hon. Frederick Montague, as heir at law, who is the present owner of it (in 1797).

The Sanderson Coat of Arms
Sanderson. They bore for their coat armour, Paly of six argent and azure, a bend sable.
The family of this name, in the bishopric of Durham, bear a sword argent on the bend; and it is
borne with three mullets on the bend by others. (Same reference as above)

Was it merely a coincidence that the three mullets, or five pointed stars, were also a feature of
the Washington Coat of Arms?

An amended Biddick Sanderson Family Tree

I have compiled this amended Biddick-Sanderson family tree from surveys, documents and
manuscripts previously mentioned in this web page.

The Descent of the BIDDICK SANDERSON Family,
      Lords of Biddick in County Durham
  
 
  Compiled by Audrey Fletcher August 2008
Based upon surveys, documents and manuscripts.

Robert de Biddic, Lord of Biddic, lived in the time of Maude the Empress: he married
________ the daughter of ________ and had issue John, his son and heir, and Jane who was
married to Thomas de Carowe, of whom descended the Caroews of Clopton, Barons of Clopton.

Note by A. Fletcher: Maude the Empress reigned April to November 1141. However she was
Empress Consort 07 January 1114 to 23 May 1125. She was also known as Empress Matilda.

John de Biddic, Lord of Biddic, son and heir of Robert: he married ________ the daughter of
William Hilton, Dominus de Hilton, and by her he had issue Thomas, his son and heir.

Thomas de Biddic, Esq. Son and heir of John, son of Robert Dominus de Biddic: he married
Elizabeth, the daughter of Thomas Seton, of Seton, Esq. And they had issue John, William and
Margaret.

Sir John de Biddic, of Biddic, Knt. Son and heir of Thomas, son of John, son of Robert de
Biddic: he married Edith, the daughter of Sir Hugh Spring, Knt. And by her he had issue Robert,
his son and heir.

Note by A. Fletcher: John de Biddic was still living in the year 1200.
Greenwell Deeds.  Durham County Record Office . Ref No. D/Gr 17

Robert de Biddic, Esq. Son and heir of Sir John de Biddic: he married Ann, the daughter of
Sir Ralph Lumley, Knt. And they had issue John, their son and heir.

John de Biddic, Esq. Son and heir of Robert: he married ________ the daughter of John
Rowlston, Esq. And they had issue Alexander, their son and heir.

Alexander de Biddic, son and heir of John: he married, to his first wife, Jane, the daughter of
Richard Chancellor, of Brafferton, Esq. and by her had issue Thomas, his son and heir: Robert
2d, James 3d, and Richard 4th son: and he married to his second wife ________ the daughter
of ________ and had issue.

Note by A. Fletcher: Alexander de Biddic was Sherriff of County Durham in 1261 and still
living in the year 1285.
Durham University Library, Dean and Chapter Muniments, Misc. Ch. 7083

With reference to the father-in-law of Alexander de Biddic: Richard Chancellor of Brafferton,
Esq. is recorded as Sir Richard Chancellor of Brafferton, Knt. in "The DESCENT of the Family
of CHANCELLOR, of Brafferton, from Mr. GYLL MS."

Robert de Biddic, (als. Sander-son) son of Alexander, by Jane his first wife: he married
________ the daughter of ________ Fishburne, Esq. And they had issue Robert, his son and
heir.

Note by A. Fletcher: this was Robert 2d, i.e. second son of Alexander de Biddic.

Robert de Biddic, (als. Sander-son) son and heir of Robert: he married ________ the
daughter of ________ and had issue Thomas and James.

Thomas de Biddic, (als. Sander-son) son and heir of Alexander: he married _Maria*_ the
daughter of Sir Walter Grindall, Knt. And had issue John.

Note by A. Fletcher: this was NOT Thomas, great-grandson of Alexander de Biddic as Mr.
Gyll states in his manuscript.
Rather, this was Thomas, son and heir of Alexander de
Biddic
. It was he who married Maria, daughter of Sir Walter Grindall, Knt. This suggests that
the name "Robert" was written in error on Mr. Gyll's original manuscript.

* "The Antiquities of Nottinghamshire" by Robert Thornton (1623-1678)

John de Biddic, (als Sanderson) son and heir of Thomas de Biddic, Lord of Biddic: he
married _
Jana*_ the daughter of Sir John Gilford, Knt. of Cockerly, and they had issue
Johannes who died,* and Jane, their sole daughter and heir, who married to Sir Robert Hilton,
Knt. Baron of Hilton. This John de Biddic (als. Sanderson) lived in the reign of King Edward III.**

** Thornton's Nottinghamshire P 474

Note by A. Fletcher: Edward III reigned from 25 January 1327 to 21 June 1377.

*  "The Antiquities of Nottinghamshire" by Robert Thornton (1623-1678)

By the time of Bishop Hatfield's Survey in 1377-1380 the Estate of Biddick had passed into the
possession of the Hylton Family through the marriage of Jana de Biddic, soul heir, to Sir Robert
Hilton, Knight, Baron of Hilton.
A Description of North Biddick Hall, later known as Cooks' Hall.

Distant Memories of Cooks Hall
by Winna's Boy

My mother was Winnie Walmsley of 21 The Terraces, Washington. During the Second World
War she married my father, Edward Fletcher. I was named Edwin Fletcher, Ed after my father
and Win after my mother. My mother was in service at Cooks Hall after she left school, before
war broke out. Years later, on my frequent visits to Cooks’ Hall the two maiden Aunts of
Joseph Cook would always call me "Winna's Boy".

I recall my Mam telling me that the Miss Cooks used to leave money under cushions and
carpets not only to test her integrity but also to make sure that she cleaned properly. She was
taught by them how to make sauces and wait on table. They used to entertain a lot of military
people prior to World War Two.

When I was a young lad in the early 1950s my mam's sister, my Auntie Miriam, would often take
me with her to CooksHall, where she worked for Joseph Cook. He kept hens and goats in
what were once the stables. I can smell the goats now and see the billy goat in his corner
pen. The chickens weren't caged, they were what are termed "barn chickens". There were
lots of incubators for the eggs.

I would help Aunt Miriam to feed the chickens and collect the eggs. Joseph would see to the
goats Later in the day Aunt Miriam delivered the eggs and goats' milk to Joseph's customers
in the local area. Sometimes she took me with her.

Every year there was a garden party held at Cooks Hall, on the lawns in front of the house.
The front of the house was very private, it could not be seen from either the main road
(Fatfield Road) or the access road the house.

The estate was approached from Fatfield Road through wrought iron gates hung between two
sandstone pillars next to the 39 bus stop. The Lodge was on the right-hand side. With my Aunt
Miriam I walked down a dirt and gravel driveway which swung slightly to the left and was
bounded on each side by woodlands. Lining the road along each side were dark leafed
rhododendron bushes. It seemed to me like there were hundreds of them.

Just before reaching the house there was a pathway, still bordered by rhododendron bushes,
leading off to the left. At the end of this path we found ourselves on the front lawns and the
front of the house. It was very private from public view.
Cooks' Hall was formerly known as North Biddick Hall.
This view is of the front of the house and the front lawn
where the garden parties were held.
Photo courtesy of Edwin Fletcher
The house was of grey sandstone as were the stables and outbuildings. I imagine that the
sandstone was originally a golden colour, which had been blackened over time by the smoke
from the coal fires in the local area.

The main driveway, flanked by the rhododendron bushes, curved to the right and brought us
to the back of the house. Here we came to a big bay window and a door just a little further
along. This was the family access. The house then kicked in towards the kitchen access used
by the staff.

Much of the land at North Biddick Hall (CooksHall) is flat but to the left-hand side of the front
of the house, where the stone wall and cobblestone paving led to the two storey stables, the
land fell away. I don't know if this was natural or if perhaps this is where the sandstone was
dug out for the building of North Biddick Hall. The lower storey was entered via a steep
roadway while the upper storey was entered from the side which was level with the main
driveway.

The back of the house, the stone wall and the double storey stables were on the left-hand
side of the main driveway. On the right-hand side there was another stable block where
Joseph kept his car, which was locally referred to as"Joseph Cook's Jalopy". At the far end of
this stable block was where Joseph kept his goats, and behind it were the greenhouses and
kitchen gardens.

Cooks Hall just missed being bombed during World War Two when a parachute mine fell in
Cooks Wood leaving a big crater, which later filled with water.

The place had an air of aged gentility.

When it was realized that the house would have to be pulled down due to subsidence from
the local coal mines, many of the effects were sold off. However people weren't so much
interested in the furniture as in the stuffed birds and animals.

When my Auntie Miriam moved from North Eastern Cottages up to Raeburn Avenue my wife
Audrey and myself were there to help her move. Joseph Cook came along to give a hand as
well. That was the kind of man he was.

Edwin Fletcher
********
The following memories of Cooks' Hall and  the Cooks' Hall Ghost were sent to me in July 2009
by Roseanna Erskine (nee Havelock).

Hello Audrey,

I came across your site when was looking up Cook's Hall. It was lovely to read your and your
husband's memories which were so much like my own. My brother and I spent a lot of time at
the Hall. Joseph loved horses but couldn't ride, we could ride but couldn't afford a horse...the
perfect combination.

We spent one summer holiday cleaning out the hen house to reveal Beamish museum style
stalls and stables. There was a lot of chicken dirt to remove, it nearly touched the roof. We
had to strip off at the back door when we got home ...there was no way we could take our
smell into the house. Am I right in remembering a Miss Josephine, Miss Enid and was there a
Miss Mary. I remember them at Cook's Hall bus stop, off to the flower market in Newcastle,
Miss Josephine with her brown woolly hat on and old raincoat.

My brother got the old 1921 Fiat Torpedo red and black car working and used to drive around
Washington having a great time with Mam in beside him.

In the end Joseph lived in the cottage next to the garage which was the tack room really. He
didn't want to go. I always felt the place could have been sorted out, it was the land price that
interested them more. He finally moved to Yorkshire.

I remember seeing the Commodore there with his very smart uniform being picked up in a
flash car to go off on duty, when he was there normally he wore the tattiest clothes and
seemed to be having a whale of a time. I don't know what his connection was with the family.
Just before the place was pulled down Joseph let us have a party, he killed some chickens,
put on the fires and left us to it...quite an experience.

Joseph saw the ghost many times and so did the aunties but they never told him and he never
told them. It was Bryan Ferry's dad who saw her a lot too in the rose garden. About the
ghost...she was said to be of a young girl who lived at the Hall but I don't know when. She fell
in love with the gardener but of course that wasn't quite the plan of the family and they had to
stop seeing each other. They used to meet in the rose garden and she was often seen there
by the family. I never saw her. So it isn't surprising that it was the gardener who also saw her
frequently. He was Mr Ferry, Bryan's dad. He told my Dad  that when he was taking out the
plants prior to the demolition of the Hall, each time he pulled up a rose it was flung back into
place. It was only when he said he would leave them that it stopped. So  the roses were left to
the bulldozers and we don't know if they experienced any problems.

One night we were called by Joseph to see to the horse. Joseph had been down at the
stables and heard the horse going wild kicking the sides and she was in a terrible sweat. At
the same time he saw the ghost wander past the stable. When we got there the stable was in a
state with damage to the wooden sides and her bucket kicked in. They say that animals have a
sixth sense.

She was often seen in the house by both the Miss Cooks and Joseph but neither told the
other to protect them. Yes Joseph really didn't want to leave. We never heard from him after
he left so I don't know how he got on, very sad. I always maintained that the land was of great
value and that is why the Hall went. I am sure it could have been restored and made into a
hotel or country club ...anything is better than demolition. They did build a lot of houses there.
Someone I know whose house was built partly on the site of the ros garden said there was
one part of their house that was always cold whatever they did...... decide for yourself.
Our family tree does go back to Sir Henry Havelock of Indian Mutiny fame and Havlok the
Dane. I still don't get a free drink in The Havelock at Fatfield though!! My Aunty is Miss
Havelock (or was before she married) and she was a piano teacher, most people in
Washington knew her then so maybe  ou know the family. Before I  was married I lived in
Biddick Villas not far from the Ferry family... After having some lovely weather in June we have
had some serious  rain with the Wear bursting its banks in Durham. Today is fine and sunny,
let's hope it lasts.

I hope you have enjoyed hearing my memories as much as I did yours.

Regards Roseanna Erskine (nee Havelock)          


The following memories of the Cook Family and Cooks' Hall were sent to me in November and
December 2011 by Mary Hall.

Dear Audrey,

I stumbled across your website when researching in my family history -
http://washingtonlass.com/Biddick_Sanderson.html - and was fascinated to read the accounts
of North Biddick Hall and the Cook Family. My great grandmother was Annie Cook. I believe
there  were six sisters and two or three sons. Joseph, Blanche, Mary (who I'm named for),
Josephine (reputedly very good at violin, still held by the family somewhere), Annie, Enid and
the sons were James Falshaw (one of the eldest, and married at some stage), Joseph and
possibly one other... Their parents were Joseph and Isabelle Blanche, it was Joseph who
founded the iron works, we have some photos of the interior of the iron works. Only two of
the sisters married, the story goes that the elder sister Blanche married someone whose
surname was Marr and she died in childbirth in the 1880s/1890s, her daughter Joan was
brought up at North Biddick by the aunts, Joseph Cook senior forbade his other daughters to
marry, as he didn't take her death well. My great-grandmother decided circa 1890s that she
was going to marry the son of a local farmer recently returned from the Boer War, Henry Hall,
and her father would have to lump it!! Annie was a very strong lady in her older years, so I
figure she must've had some considerably personality for her time! They must've eventually
come to terms, as Annie visited her sisters regularly after Henry and herself moved to
Cumberland in 1901 (to live away from the mining in the Washington area, ironically the farm
they bought was compulsory purchased for coal mining in the 1970s). My father and uncle
used to go and visit them at Biddick in the 1950s and 1960s, Josephine (Jos) was apparently
great fun and a favourite with her great/nieces and nephews! The house was indeed yellow
sandstone in its hey-day, we have a water colour by Annie somewhere in the family and indeed
the stuffed animals were of considerable interest to my father who was a young boy at the
time, I think we have one of the stuff snipes still!!! Some of the furniture and effects are held
in our family now, I believe I have a photograph scanned onto the computer of the drawing
room in the halls hey day. I remember something about a ghost, but will have to ask my father.
It's fascinating hearing peoples memories from the era, I believe the aunts went to live in
various places after the 1960s, one of my cousins, who is also descended from Annie Cook,
looked after some of them in their old age.

We know that prior to their move in the Washington area the Cooks were historically Wool
Merchants in Leeds, or rather, there is a picture in the family of an old man, named, "Joseph
Cook, Wool Merchant, Leeds". The Falshaw family and Hobson family who are Isabelle
Blanches ancestors are interesting in themselves - Sir James Falshaw, 1st English Provost of
Edinburgh was her uncle and George Hobson (of the Forth Rail bridge and the bridge over
Victoria Falls, "Uncle Georges Bridge") was her brother.

I am related to the Halls of Fatfield Farm, down North Biddick Lane, my great-grandfather
Henry, came from there. He saw service in the Boer War and was in the relief column at
Mafieking, I believe Joseph Cook served in the Boer War as well. We have a fairly
comprehensive history of the Hall family that a relative complied in the 1960s, the family
originally came from Otterburn, Northumberland (circa 16th Cent). I was rather hoping people
had recollections of them and Fatfield. If anyone knows anything about the Hall family of
Fatfield Farm I would be fascinated to hear.

Mary Hall  

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2008


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