William atte Yatte, 1300s

Lawrence Ward has done a lot of research into the Yates relating to Stanford in the Vale. His notes mention William atte Yatte of Charney and his wife Isabel being listed in the 1381 Poll Tax, so there were Yates in Charney even in the late 1300s.

Richard Yate, 1400s

‘The Yate family came to the Vale as wool merchants. In the mid-1400s, Richard Yate settled in Charney Bassett, a village a few miles south of Buckland. His son John traded from there as a highly reputed merchant of the staple at Calais. John Yate owned sheep farms in Wantage and Lambourn; in 1538 he bought the former Abingdon Abbey grange at nearby Lyford and moved there.’ [extract from Oxfordshire Local History Magazine Vol 10 No2 Page 28; with thanks to Tony Hadland for this and the information below]. Lyford Grange at the time was a moated manor house similar in scale to Baddesley Clinton. It was there that Edward Campion was captured after a protracted search and he was eventually hanged, drawn and quartered. In 1970 he was formally declared a saint by the Pope.

[The term “staple” refers to the medieval system of trade and its taxation. Under this system it was  required that all overseas trade in certain goods be transacted at specific designated market towns or ports, referred to as the “staple ports”. Calais was called “the Staple”. The trade was dominated by the Merchants of the Staple who, from 1363, had been granted the exclusive right to trade raw wool in Calais.]

Frances Yate

Francis and Frances Yate and the arrest of Edmund Campion at Lyford.

On our Charney History web page for the ‘Dunches‘ we have:

‘In 1582 Sir William Dunch of Little Wittenham, once auditor of the Mint to Henry VIII and Edward VI, and now squire extraordinary to Queen Elizabeth I, bought the estate including ‘The Manors of Charney and Basseys’ from William Powlett. Frances Yate was a tenant for Charney Manor but sublet it to William and James Coxedd.’

Are ‘Frances’ Yate and ‘Francis’ Yate one and the same?

Tony Hadland has written to us and advised us of the following:

With the Yates, as with so many families, we suffer from the problem of the same forenames being used not only in successive generations but also by cousins, etc. There were a number of Yate families in the Vale, so it is sometimes tricky to determine, for example, which Francis is which. And there are John Yates and Mary Yates galore, often contemporaries living in close proximity.

That said, the female form Frances is much rarer among the Yates. Thomas Yate (died 1565) married Frances White and they had a son called Francis (thought to be born in the early 1530s and who died in 1588). Francis was the owner of Lyford and married Jane Tichborne (probably about 1560): their son, another Thomas Yate and also an owner of Lyford Grange, was born about 1570 and still alive in 1623. The first wife of this second Thomas was Mary Tregian, whose father was imprisoned for 28 years for harbouring the canonised Catholic martyr Cuthbert Mayne. One of their daughters was Frances Clare Yate (1597?-1625), a Franciscan nun at Nieuport in Flanders. 

If the widowed Frances Yate was still alive at the time, she was possibly the tenant of Charney Manor who sublet it. However, the spelling of Frances/Francis can occasionally be inconsistent for records of this period (at least when transcribed) and in the context of Yates I have come across the spelling ‘Frances’ being used for a male and ‘Francis’ for a female. So, ‘Frances’ and ‘Francis’ may indeed have been the same person.

Charney Parish Records

The earliest parish record is of the baptism on 25 Feb 1623 of Jane Yate, daughter of Thomas. Otherwise records are of the 1800s.


We have been contacted by a descendant, now living in America, who note that they are ‘a  descendant of the Yate/Yates family into America in the 1600’s. Most of the Yates family genealogy was first through “Baltimore Maryland” into Virginia, where my family was from. Then Kentucky, Tennessee, Illinois, and then into the western states’.

Maryland was originally a Catholic colony and several Yate sons from Lyford emigrated there.