Tuesday, September 04, 2007


I've just found this item online & thought you might enjoy reading it too ..... wine-tasting or an occupation such as 'Yeoman of the Cellar' seems to be something that Ainscough's have always been good at throughout the centuries!
Hugh Ascue 1537
At least, according to Henry VIII, Sir Hugh served the best wine, the King is reputed to have said....."I had the best wine when he was i'th celler; he is a gallant wine taster, let him have his place againe", and afterwards knighted him."
If you have any thoughts or know any more about this Hugh Ayscough of 1537 please get in touch.
What prompted me to look up Seton, Cumbria & the Ayscough link in the first place was an earlier reference to it in a blog entry Id made on December 12th 2006 taken from a Nottinghamshire forum, where the 'Ayscough Well' of Heanor was being discussed -
"and i've just found this: Ayscough Of Boernician origins, is the name of an old established Cumb. family descended from Sir Hugh Askew, who received the lands of the convent of Seaton, during the dissolution of the monasteries in 1542. (1)"

"A tradition about the manner of granting Seton Priory, which survived till late in the seventeenth century, is of curious interest. Edmund Sandford, writing about the year 1675, has left us this version of it. 'The religious house was gott,' he said, 'by one Sir Hugo Askew, yeoman of the seller unto Queen Catherin, in Henry the Eights time, and borne in this contry. And when that Queen was deforced from her husband, this yeoman was destitute, and he aplied himself for help to Lo(rd) Chamberlain for some place or other in the king's service. The Lord Steward knew him well because he had helpt him to a cup wine the best, but told him he had no place for him, but a charcole carrier. Well, quoth this Monsir. Askew, help me with one foot and let me gett in the other as I can. And upon a great holiday, the king looking out at some sports, Askew got a cortier, a frinde of his, to stand before the king, and then he got on his vellet cassock and his gold chine and baskett of chercols on his back, and marched in the king's sight with it. O, saith the king, now I like yonder fellow well that disdains not to doe his dirty office in his dainty clothes—what is he? Says his frinde that stood by on purpose, It is Mr. Askew that was yeoman o'th celler to the late Queen's Matie and now glad of this poore place to keep him in yr Maties service, which he will not forsake for all the world. The kinge says, I had the best wine when he was i'th celler; he is a gallant wine taster, let him have his place againe and afterwards knighted him.' (fn. 12)

After Askew got his lease of the priory lands in 1537, he was not allowed to have peaceable possession, for an attempt was made, when the commonalty of the northern counties rose in rebellion, to oust him and restore the nuns to their old home. By a petition in 1540 'to the Righte Worshipfull Sor Richarde Riche, Knighte, Chauncellor of the Kynge's Courte of Augmentacons in (of) the Revenues of his Crowne, moste humblye sheweth, and complaynethe unto your good maystershippe, your dailye oratour, Hughe Ascue, officer in the kynges graces sellar, that where your seide oratour hathe of the kinges grace's dymyse by indenture undre his grace's grete seale of his Courte of Augmentacons of the revenues of his Crowne, the house and scite of the late pryorye or house of nunes of Seyton in the countie of Cumberland wt all and singuler the appurtenances, by auctorytie of parlyamente suppresside and dissolvyde, into whiche saide house or pryorye by vertue of his seide lease yor saide oratour dyd entre and was therof peassablye possesside and the same did furnyshe wt suche goodes and catalls as he then hadd. .............."

What is really interesting is that 1537 was at the height of the religious & political turmoils we now know as the "Lincolnshire Rising (1536)" and the "Pilgrimage of Grace (1537)". See links to these on the right. Many of the gentry and land-owners forfeited their estates to the monarchy and religious leaders or were expected to support King Henry VIII without any financial support in repressing and physically combatting the rebellious commoners. In the book "The Tudor Tapestry" we read how Sir Christopher Ayscough of Ashby Cum Fenby, Lincolnshire found himself ruined to the point of bankruptcy because he had initially favoured the wrong side (Protestant uprising) and then quickly switched sides when he realised he was making a huge mistake. However, the damage was done, he had fallen out of favour with the King and his leaders and it was too late to redeem himself, although he did escape with his life. Thomas Cromwell used him from then on to fight the King's causes but refused to finance or reimburse him despite many letters he sent pleading for support in the form of clothes, food and money for his men (20 servants sent to Hull). Read the book for more.....