In 1447, University College acquired several properties and quitrents in Newcastle-upon-Tyne from one Alice Bellasis. Alice was apparently the descendant of the wealthy Pampden or Pampeden family, who had acquired several properties in Newcastle in the thirteenth and early fourteenth centuries. On the basis of the following deeds, this genealogical sketch of the Pampden family has been attempted:
John Pampden (fl. 1235–50) had a wife, Sibilla, who is later recorded as his widow (fl. 1253–1294).
John and Sibilla Pampden had at least seven children, namely:
Adam, their eldest son (fl. 1270–1300), who married Alice (fl. 1289–96)
Roger, a younger brother of Adam (fl. 1277/8)
Isabella, who married Gilbert son of John c.1267.
Hugh Pampden, a priest (fl. 1260–1304).
Christiana, Agnes and Eve who were all nuns (fl. c. 1292–4).
Several deeds mention a Gilbert Pampden, son of John (fl. 1270–bef. 1308), who may be an eighth child, unless he is to be identified with the husband of Isabella Pampden.
Gilbert had at least two children:
John (fl. 1295–1342), who married Matilda (fl. 1316).
John, son of Gilbert Pampden, had at least two children
John, son of John Pampden son of Gilbert Pampden (fl. 1333–42), who died childless.
Cecilia (fl. 1342–92), who was first married to Roger de Halywell (fl. 1331–42; d bef. 1350), and then to John de Parys (fl. 1350–63). Cecilia inherited her brother’s lands on his death.
Cecilia had at last one son, Thomas de Halywell (fl. 1392). Two deeds from the early fifteenth century mention a Cecilia de Parys. It is not clear whether this is John Pampden’s daughter, or someone else. It is unlikely to be the former, because in 1400/1 some land is granted to be held during her lifetime, and a deed of 1409 suggests that she is still alive.
After Cecilia Pampden’s death, at an unknown date, her estate passed to her cousin and heir John de Belasis, son of John de Belasis, cousin and heir of John de Pampden who was also son and heir of Alice, wife of John de Drewes (fl. 1403; d. 1440)
John Belasis had one known child, a daughter, Alice, who was described as aged about 30 in 1440, and it was Alice Belasis who sold the properties to University College.
In 2000, the Archivist of University College attempted to track down what could be known about the properties passed on to the College, based largely on assistance from the Newcastle City Library, and walking round the city. The results are given in notes to the deed UC:E5/2/1D/2.
The Newcastle estate did not prove a very successful investment for the College. First of all, the Fellows were only able to acquire it by agreeing to give Alice Belasis an annual rent of £5 16s 8d for life, a large payment which, according to the College accounts, they had to continue paying until 1473/4. Furthermore, it never quite brought in as much money as had been hoped. There were lawsuits with the wealthy Brandling family concerning a house which they occupied (see UC:E5/2/L1/1–9), and the College had trouble administering what were its most distant properties: a survey of the Newcastle estates in the 1590s (UC:E5/2/MS1/7) revealed that several of them could no longer be found.
By the early seventeenth century, the College was collecting rent from just one property, a house in Westgate Road (now no. 67) which was for a while split into two parts. Although no extant documents shed light on the College’s actions, it is clear that by now it had ceased to draw up leases for any other houses in the area, which suggests that the College had abandoned all hopes of gaining any rent from them, and therefore decided to cut its losses by concentrating on the one property. Even then, they had a difficult moment when, in 1715, the house’s the occupant supported the Old Pretender, and was deprived of all his estates, but the College was unaware of this until the late 1720s. Eventually the house was sold in 1894, and the College had no more property in Newcastle after that date.
The medieval deeds in UC:E5 have already been calendared in some detail in A. M. Oliver (ed.), Early Deeds relating to Newcastle upon Tyne (Surtees Society vol. 137, 1924). Oliver chose to arrange all the deeds in chronological order, so that the history of individual properties is not always easy to judge from his edition. Oliver’s numbers are noted in this catalogue, and a concordance between his numbers and those of the catalogue is given as an appendix.
The name of William Smith will appear several times in this catalogue. A Fellow of University College from 1675–1705, Smith sorted and listed all the documents in the archives which were there in his time. His notes therefore provide an invaluable guide to the appearance of some documents which are now lost or damaged, and supply some insights into their interpretation.
All the documents in this collection were found in the archives during a stocktaking held in the summer of 1993.
A. M. Oliver (ed.), Early Deeds relating to Newcastle upon Tyne (Surtees Society vol. 137, 1924).
A. F. Butcher, ‘Rent, Population and Economic Change in late-medieval Newcastle’, in Northern History 14 (1978), 67–77.
A. D. M. Cox and R. H. Darwall-Smith, Account Rolls of University College, Oxford (2 vols OHS new ser. xxxix 1999 (1381/2–1470/1), xl 2001 (1471/2–1596/7)).
The College's papers on its properties in Newcastle have been arranged into the following sections:
UC:E5/1: Documents concerning the houses before their purchase by University College
UC:E5/1/D1: A House in Market Street, c. 1235–1414
UC:E5/1/D2: House in Market Street, adjoining the previous one, c. 1260–9
UC:E5/1/D3: House in Market Street, held of the Friars Minor, 1290s
UC:E5/1/D4: House in Market Street, different from the preceding, 1342–59
UC:E5/1/D5: House in Market Street near the Cemetery of St. Nicholas’s Church, c. 1283–1328
UC:E5/1/D6: House in Market Street, near land of the Friars Minor, c. 1268–1415
UC:E5/1/D7: House in Skinner Street, 1310/11
UC:E5/1/D8: A House near the Cemetery of St. Nicholas, 1329
UC:E5/1/D9: A second House near the Cemetery of St. Nicholas, 1335
UC:E5/1/D10: House in Pilgrim Street, c. 1250–1405
UC:E5/1/D11: House in Pilgrim Street, different from the preceding, 1332–4
UC:E5/1/D12: Three Houses in Pilgrim Street, 1342
UC:E5/1/D13: Another House in Pilgrim Street, c. 1292–1338
UC:E5/1/D14: A Further House in Pilgrim Street, c. 1295–1340
UC:E5/1/D15: A Further House in Pilgrim Street, c. 1286–1312
UC:E5/1/D16: House by the Churchyard of All Saints, c. 1293/4
UC:E5/1/D17: A House by ‘the Entrance of Pampeden’, c. 1292–9
UC:E5/1/D18: A House in Westgate near a Lane to St. John’s Chapel, c. 1240–1372
UC:E5/1/D19: A House in Westgate, c. 1301–3
UC:E5/1/D20: House in Sindgate, c. 1250–94
UC:E5/1/D21: Documents relating to the General Administration of the Estates under the Pampden Family and their Heirs, c. 1269–1440
UC:E5/1/D22: House apparently not sold to University College
UC:E5/1/D23: Roll containing copies of Deeds relating to Newcastle
UC:E5/1/MS1: Early copies and drafts of some of the preceding deeds
UC:E5/2: Documents concerning the Houses after their Purchase by University College
UC:E5/2/D1: The Sale of the Houses to University College, 1447–54
UC:E5/2/D2: Early Leases of Various College Properties, 1449–1505
UC:E5/2/D3: Leases of a Property rented by the Brandling Family, 1481–1617
UC:E5/2/D4: Property near Cemetery of St. Nicholas, 1483
UC:E5/2/D5: Property near Cemetery of All Saints’ Church, 1465–83
UC:E5/2/D6: Lease of several Newcastle Properties, 1597
UC:E5/2/D7: Leases for a House in Westgate, 1504–1894
UC:E5/2/D8: A Bond relating to Newcastle, 1529
UC:E5/2/L1: A Dispute with the Brandling Family, 1505–99
UC:E5/2/L2: A Dispute with the Anderson Family, c. 1600
UC:E5/2/MS1: Notes and Memoranda concerning the Newcastle Properties, 16th century
UC:E5/2/MS2: Notes made on the History of the Newcastle Estates, 1680s
UC:E5/2/C1: Correspondence on the Newcastle Estates, 1578–1890
UC:E5/2/F1: Financial Papers relating to the Newcastle Estate, 1836–89
UC:E5/2/AD1: Architectural Drawings and Plans, 1838–c.1881
Because of the length of the complete catalogue, it has not been placed online. Instead, a pdf version of it may be consulted here.