Family History Notebook

Crosier Surtees (Surties)
of Merryshields / Redworth

Son of Crosier Surtees and Jane Hodgson, born 17401

Married Jane Surtees on the 12th of September 1769 at Heighington 5 (she left him in 1800)
Crosier Surtees 1760
Crosier Surtees in the uniform of a lieutenant
of the Durham Light Infantry c1760

Children by his wife Jane Surtees

Dorothy, 1770-1771
Jane, b. on the 12th of October 1771(married George Charles Mensforth on the 16th of February 1797 at Heighington3)
Dorothy5 , b. on the 21st of 1772(married John Thomas Christopher on the 16th of August 1796 at Heighington3)
Lambton, b. 21 Dec 1776, buried 27th of September 1786 at Heighington
Lambton, (married William Williams Esq)
Phillis, b. 1st of August 1779(married William Horne on the 22nd of February 1805 at Heighington3)
Robert, born 1782

Crosier and Jane Surtees

Illegitimate children by Jane Shaw

?Jane, baptised on the 2nd of September 1792 at Hamsterley (by Bishop Auckland)
George, baptised on the 7th of June 1795 at Hamsterley
Robert, baptised on the 30th of July 1799 at Hamsterley
Crosyer, born on the 4th of July 1801, baptised on the 15th of January 1802 at Hamsterley

Died 21st December 18036 while crossing Linburn Beck, buried 26th December 1803 at Heighington



2    Footnote on page 577 of  Matthew And George Cullen: Farming Letters 1798- 1804 : Surtees Society

3    History of the Parish of Ryton by William Bourn 1896

Robert Surtees of Ryton was the second son of Edward Surties 
or Surtees of Broad Oak, in the parish of Ovingham (who died in 
1655), by Margaret Coulsin, niece and heiress of Robert Surtees, 
alderman of Durham. Robert Surtees of Ryton, who married 
Catherine, daughter of John Hauxley of Crawcrook, died October 
4th, 1710. He left several daughters and two sons. Hauxley 
Surtees married Ann Watson of Silksworth, and died 17 19, without 
issue. Edward Surtees of Mainsworth died 1744, aged eighty-four 
years. Robert Surtees of Redworth, eldest son of Edward, by 
Jane Crozier, married Dorothy, daughter and co-heir of Thomas 
Lambton, Esq., of Hardwicke, and had two daughters, one of 
whom, Jane, married her cousin, Crozier Surtees of Redworth. 
George Surtees of Mainsworth, second son of Edward, died un- 
married, 1769. Crozier Surtees of Merrysheels, in the county of 
Northumberland, married Jane, daughter of Ralph Hodgson, Esq., 
of Alwent, and was father of Crozier Surtees, Esq., who married 
his cousin, Jane Surtees of Redworth. Hauxley Surtees of New- 
castle married Elizabeth Steele, and was father of Robert Surtees, 
who had Mainsforth by gift of his uncle, George Surtees, Esq. 
James Surtees was the youngest son of Edward Surtees. 

Robert Surtees of Ryton was the great great-grandfather of 
Robert Surtees of Mainsforth, the historian of Durham, born 1st 
April, 1779, at Durham, in the parish of St. Mary, in the South 
Bailey. In his will, dated 10th June, 1700, Robert Surtees devised 
to his nephew, Ralph Ord, the house at Ryton Loaning Head. 

Robert Surtees was an extensive landowner in Ryton, Crawcrook, 
Hedgefield, and Whickham.

ie Robert Surtees of Redworth married Dorothy Lambton and had two daughters, one of whom, Jane,married her cousin, Crozier Surtees of Redworth



4    Lieutenant Crozier Surtees
The Durham Militia

Ref No. D/DLI 7/683/1
Commission of Crozier Surtees of Staindrop, gent., as lieutenant to the militia company, under the command of Captain William Hutchinson; issued by Henry Earl of Darlington, Lord Lieutenant of County Durham, 8 December 1759
(Parchment, 1 membrane)

Why should Crozier be 'of Staindrop'? He apparently had no connection with southern Durham and his uncle's property at Redworth until he married Jane Surtees in 1769.

5    That all the Norton and Stockton Christophers, however,
descend from the above Richard is more than probable, from his
being the first who settled at Norton, whence the two subse-
quent branches both likewise removed, and finally settled, together, at
Stockton. Captain William Christopher's wife Anne was daughter of
Tatham of Bishopton, near Stockton (which family matched with
Raisbeck) ; and his son John Thomas, who died net. 31, and to whose
memory there is an inscription at Norton, married Dorothy daughter of
Crozier Surtees, Esq. of Merryshields, by Jane, daughter and co-heir
of Robert Surtees of Redworth. Esq. (great-uncle of the historian of
CO. Durham), and descended from the Lambtons of Hardwick (who
were cousins to the Bayleys and D'Oylys through Freville, Milward, and
Clarke of Chilcote), and died leaving issue.
John Gough Nichols. The Topographer and genealogist (Volume 2) . (page 52 of 57)


This is a name of distinctively northern origin and derives from the Norman French Sur Tees meaning 'on the Tees. Originally the Surtees family were called Siward, a name of Anglo-Viking origin, but acquired the name Surtees when they settled by the River Tees at Dinsdale near Darlington. Descendants of this Dinsdale family included Robert Smith Surtees (1805-1864) of Hamsterley near Shotley Bridge (See North West Durham), County Durham. R.S.Surtees was the creator of 'Jorrocks' the fox hunting cockney grocer, whose antics appeared in the New Sporting Magazine and Jorrocks Jaunts and Jollities. Robert Surtees of Mainsforth near Ferryhill (1779-1834) the greatest historian of County Durham and the author of the History and Antiquities of the County Palatine of Durham. His four volume history of the county is still the most important historical reference work covering the County of Durham. On Tyneside, Bessie Surtees, the daughter of a wealthy Newcastle merchant acheived great fame in that city in 1772 when she defied the wishes of her father and sneaked out of her bedroom window in the middle of the night to elope with a humble young man by the name of John Scott. John Scott went on to become a wealthy peer, acquiring the baronry of Eldon near Bishop Auckland and subsequently giving his name to Newcastle's Eldon Square. In 1801 Scott became Lord Chancellor of England. The historic Bessie Surtees House from which Bessie eloped can still be seen on Newcastle's quayside. It is now the headquarters for the regional office of English Heritage.

5    Heighington Marriages

6    Burke's Commoners

7    Officer's Grenadier Cap, Durham Militia, 1759-1761. This cap is made of brown fur with an embroidered plate (badge) on the front. The plate is made of silver wire with other coloured threads and has the letters 'DM' and the crest of the Earl of Darlington, who was Colonel of the Regiment. On the back of the cap is a green velvet bag with a silver net and tassel. The Grenadier Cap in the DLI Museum is extremely rare and it is the oldest known, surviving item of uniform worn by the Durham Militia. It belonged to Crosier Surtees of Redworth Hall near Newton Aycliffe. Born in 1739, he joined the Durham Militia when it was formed in 1759. Crosier Surtees retired in 1761 but not before he had his portrait painted. This painting, by an unknown aritist, shows Lieutenant Surtees in his Militia uniform. His Grenadier Cap, now rather dark, is at the bottom of the painting. Acc No: 1092

8    "For example, when Robert married Dorothy Lambton, of Hardwick, in 1744, his father - Edward of Mainsforth - was so displeased that he disinherited him.To spite his dad, Robert bought and rebuilt Redworth Hall, near Heighington. Robert's heiress was his daughter, Jane. Whoever married her would gain a fortune of £20,000 and Redford Grove.According to Hilary Jackson's history of Heighington, she was only 17 in 1769 when, urged on by her mother, she "rashly married her cousin Crosier Surtees, of Merryshields, who was a son of her father's brother". (Merryshields is probably near Hexham. ) Says the Rev Jackson: "Crosier was a mean and grasping man who had a brief and undistinguished career in the Durham Militia, the forerunner of Durham Light Infantry." His cap and portrait are on display in the DLI museum.Crosier, who was 13 years older than his wife, treated her cruelly.In 1800, after 31 years of marriage, they separated - probably because Crosier was carrying on with a local farm lass.He lived out the end of his days with her in Pennington Rake, an isolated farm on the moors above the forest. Jane, meanwhile, took up with a clergyman.Crosier's days ended quite suddenly. In 1803, he was returning, very drunk, from a banquet with Lord Barnard in Raby Castle. Somewhere on the moors, his horse failed to negotiate a stream properly.He tumbled from the saddle, fell into the water, and froze to death."

Northern Echo, Feb 6, 2008

[Crosier was, in fact, living at Ewdean House very close to the site of the later Redford Grove. The stream where Crosier is said to have been found is Linburn Beck. ]

9    St James, Hamsterley:- On the west wall of the north transept is a Hatchment for Crosier Surtees of Merryshields,
d.1803, with the arms of the Surtees family and the motto ‘Malo Mori Quam Foedari’. {I would rather die than be dishonoured, Better to die than be dishonoured}