The Reynard Family 1687 – 1948

The Reynard Family 1687 – 1948


The house passed through various hands during the 17th century, including William Wray (the younger), John Southwell and Robert Markenfield, before in 1687 being sold by George and Margaret Usher (the latter being one of the daughters of Robert Markenfield) to William and Robert Reynard. The property is described as “Hobgreene House with all edifices gardens and orchards”. The Reynards were yeoman farmers from nearby Scarrow, part of the parish of Ripley.

So began a period of ownership for the Reynard family which lasted for 261 years. The Reynard family over the next two centuries built most of what now exists at Hob Green and laid out the gardens.

On Robert Reynard’s death in 1723 the property passed to his son William. William would have been part of a yeoman class aspiring to acquire the status of a gentleman. In October 1745 he enlisted in Captain Danby’s Company of the Yorkshire Association against the Scottish rebellion. He must have comeback unscathed for in the following years, he took on various local roles, including acting as a Commissioner for the enclosure of Bishop Thornton Moor in 1758. In the Enclosure Award, William is described as “Gentleman” so had made the transition from yeoman by then. He also acted for Edward Norton as his Steward and acted as an arbitrator in a dispute between George Horner of Woodale and his tenants at Nidderdale in 1763. The latter may have had an important influence on the future of the Reynard family, for William’s son, also William in 1764 married Mary the daughter and one of the heirs of George Horner. The Horner family were a wealthy yeoman family from Nidderdale with other members of the family being successful merchants in Hull.

During the 18th Century the Reynards added to their land ownerships around Markington and Bishop Thornton thereby cementing the transition to the gentleman class. William and Mary’s eldest son Horner Reynard inherited the Hob Green Estate in 1810, he himself having been active in acquiring land in the preceding years. Then in 1812, Horner Reynard inherited from his uncle Simon Horner, the brother of his mother Mary, a substantial estate at Sunderlandwick, near Driffield.

To be continued…

By Andrew Hutchinson 

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