Origins of Lindley
The name Lindley comes from the old English for a clearing in the midst of lime trees, Lind - meaning lime tree and Ley - meaning clearing. The place name Lindley occurs at least four times in the West Riding of Yorkshire, Old Lindley and Nether Lindley (between Elland and Huddersfield), Lindley is the ancient parish of Otley and Lindley in Headingley a lost locality. There are at least two distinct surnames derived from these and they cannot always be kept apart. What follows is an account of the Otley family drawn from various sources.
The Lindley's took their name from the hamlet of Lindley near the township of Otley now represented by Lindley Hall, a substantial farm on the northern side of the reservoir of the Washburn Valley.
Lindley Hall - Click image for a better view.
Lindley was one of the small hamlets of the Liberty of Otley which came into being in 937 AD by a grant to the Archbishop of York by King Athelstan after the battle of Brunanburgh The Liberty was centred around Otley, the market town with church, court house, pinfold the Archbishops Hall and chapel.
Otley All Saints - Click image for a better view.
The custom of identifying a person by his place of origin seems to have started in the Saxon times but did not become common until Norman times and in many cases much later. Early references to the surname may be unrelated individuals, many occur in undated deeds, but it is fair to assume that the Lindley name was a hereditary surname from the 1200's.
The First Lindley The first Lindley to appear in writing was a Sivard and Thomas de Lindele in the York Assize Court Rolls in 1204. Folcasuis, known as Falk appears in the Extent of Otley in 1307, his son William was in Otley in 1292.
In the 1200's a certain Edard or Udart de Lindley was farming the land around Lindley Hall, his grandson William de Lindley was betrothed to Alice Fulk of Wakefield. Alice was well connected as her father known as Fulk the Butler was a manservant to the Archbishop of York, as a result of his connections to the Archbishop, Fulk was enabled to buy half the Manor of Farnley as a wedding present for Alice and son-in-law William de Lindley and as a result of this it marked the rise to prominence of the Lindley's who throughout the middle ages were to become an important family in Yorkshire.
The Leathley connection
Sometime in the 12th century the Lindley's moved to the next township of Leathley when the township became part of the Forest of Knaresborough but returned to Lindley after the signing of the Magna Carta.
A Robert de Lindeley was at Lindley in 1378 and is described as an Armiger, a William de Lindley became Lord of Farnley a township to the east in about 1230, the Lindley's continued as Lords of the Manor of Leathley until the 1524 period when Isobel the sole heiress of Thomas Lindley of Lindley married Brian Palmes of a York family. During this time the Lindlay's became established at Otley and are named in many records.
The Family Branches Out
Sometime during the 15th century a branch of the family became established at Leathley and at Skutterskelf in Cleveland, this is shown in the Will of Thomas Lindley gent, in which he mentions his son and heir Percival and William Lindley of Leathley, amongst his possessions he mentions "My suit of armour in the tower at Hexham". In a footnote of the extract of the will there is a reference to Skutterskelf and the Gower family, So now we have an ancient family land owning and with some influence in three locations, Lindley, Leathley and Skutterskelf in Cleveland.
My direct ancestors came from CASTLEFORD and I have not as yet been able to connect myself to the LINDLEY’s of , Lindley, Leathley and Skutterskelf in Cleveland.
copyright (c) Ian Britton - FreeFoto.com
I am grateful to Dr George Redmonds who supplied me with this information