Hebden & Variants Family Website


   Introduction 900 AD - 1500 1501 - 1700 1701 - 1836 1837 - 1913 1914 - 1938 1939 - 2000


Pre-Norman to Middle Ages

The origin of the Hebden family pre-dates the Norman Conquest and goes back to Aldhun, the first Roman Catholic Bishop of Durham, who held the post from 995 to 1018AD. The bishops were immensely powerful, and often wealthy landowners in their own right, - Aldhun was no exception. His daughter Ecgfrida married Uhtred, the Earl of Northumbria, and had a son Aldred. From a subsequent marriage Ecgfrida produced a daughter, Sigrida (born 1015)

  Sigrida had married three times, once even to Edwulf, Uhtredís son by his second marriage to Sigen. The tendency to marry close family relatives suggests that some of these marriages may have been political or to protect family assets. Sigrida's third marriage was to Arkil, son of Ecgfrith and from here the Hebden line emerges through their son Gospatric de Rigton, born between 1040 -1045AD. He married Matilda (perhaps also a descendant of Uhtred) around 1065, and produced four sons, one of whom, Uhtred jnr, inherited the estates owned by Gospatric and became the first Lord of Hebden, Burnsall and Conistone.   
Arkil fled to Scotland in 1068 after rebelling against the King, but Gospatric remained in England and married the daughter of Dolfin (son of Thorfin). Their son, Dolfin of Appletreewick, had three sons Thorfin, Swayne and Uchtred De Hebden of Coniston and Burnsall, who became Lord of the Manor of Hebden around 1145.
From him, the Lordship passed to his son Simon De Hebden who had four sons. The eldest, William, eventually inherited the title, and married Alice Aleman, the widow of Sir John Aleman of Studeley. The marriage however, produced two daughters, Ellena and Cassa, with no male heir to the title. 
Ellena effectively regenerated the Hebden line. Her second marriage to Sir Nicholas De Ebor produced a son, William. The title passed to Sir Nicholas through the female line on marrying Ellena, and the succession then passed to their son William around 1250. A diagram of the family tree during this period can be seen here                   (continued...)

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  (Right, Top) St Wilfred's Church, Burnsall from the bottom of the churchyard. (Below) A board on the wall below the west window at the back of the church showing the Rectors of Burnsall from 1228. Hebdens are well represented!