Thomas Wrightson 1755 of Neasham Hall

Information suppiled by Zed & Ilma Malunat

Ilma is a descendant of Prof. John Wrightson WILLIAM WRIGHTSON


Birth:    1755, White House, Dinsdale Durham UK

Death:  1826, Hurworth Church near Neasham Durham U.K.

Occ:     farmer

Educ:    McCoulís school at White House South Durham and at Sedgefield

 William went to school at a small-established school started by a Mr. McCoul.  McCoul was a rebel adherent of Prince Charles Edward Stuart, who, had in the celebrated retreat of the Highland army in 1745 remained behind and established the small school for the children of the farmers and country folks near to White House. His learning was limited, but his discipline was strict. Assembly stated at 6 A.M. even in the winter!

 On the death of his father Thomas, William was brought home and although barely in his teens, soon showed that he had inherited his mother's energy and general capacity.  His mother never did give up the oversight of her own property and was in the habit of herself inspecting what was done on her widely scattered farms.  On these occasions she rode upon a pillion-saddle, holding by the belt of the groom while her son accompanied her on his own spirited horse.

It seems that William was greatly influenced by his mother, at the age of 19 he had set his heart on occupying by himself a farm of 400 acres, called Morton Palms, in the parish of Haughton le Skerne.  This was assisted by his mother and his Uncle Richard Garmonsway.  Here during the later years of his residence he married Mary White, the eldest daughter of Robert White of Norton, near Stockton-on-Tees.

Williamís noble-minded mother and his truly saintly sister both died in 1797, they died within two month of each other.

 On the death of his mother who lived for 30 years longer than her husband, William inherited a considerable amount in money and property.  He inherited 5 farms, two lay north of Stockton at Cowpon and Wolviston, another lay at Harrowgate near Haughton-le-Skerne, the fourth was at Newton Grange and the fifth was the entailed farm of White House.  William also bought from Sir Charles Turner the Neasham, Morton and Maidendale estates for 30 thousand pounds.  He now owned 11 farms.  His eldest son would probably inherit more from the Wrightson's of Cockerton.

 Neasham Hall had around 400 acres.  in 1805 Neasham Hall became the seat of the Wrightson family.   

 In 1803 William's circumstances were such that he was able to purchase from Sir Charles Turner, the Neasham, Morton, and Maidendale estates for the sum of 30,000 pounds.  He was then the owner of not less then 11 farms.

 On the Neasham estate, which consisted of 400 acres, which had an enviable position and a rich soil, William resolved to erect a family mansion.  Around Christmas 1805 Neasham Hall became the seat of the Wrightson's and had been successively the home, first of his son and then the wealthiest, and most influential grandson Thomas Wrightson, M.P. (1894)

 The estates that William had bought were largely undeveloped, and with prices increasing in value, plus the demand of farm produce because of wars and an increase in population caused William to ridicule the idea of any danger arising from incurred debt.  He entered on, and persevered in, this almost fatal course of policy until his debt reached the alarming figure of 60,000 pounds. (An enormous sum of money then)

 For a considerable time William was convinced that he was right and continued to develop his beautiful estates.  But when Napoleon Bonaparte fell and so did the landed interest.  This at last opened William's eyes to his one great mistake, and realised that he had gone too far.  He ordered a valuation of his entire property, and it was valued at no more than 90,000 pounds.  After the passing of the Currency Bill of 1819 the value sank to as little as 60,000 pounds, which was the amount of the debt.    As a result of political abroad and financial legislation in the U.K. William found himself in a most critical situation.  Some of the farms were sold, but at the time few people were willing to invest in land.  It was here that his son Thomas, with his Lawyer-like cast of mind and concentrating energy soon made him invaluable, although still a youth.  The uniting effort that Thomas and his father William espoused in battling the adverse circumstances were in a few years able to dissipate the debt and the prospects began to brighten again.

Unfortunately in 1825 when there was a gleam of national prosperity and the Chancellor of the Exchequer was congratulated. But, alas! In the winter of that darkest year clouds spread over the country, there was a fearful commercial crisis.  The Bank, in which William had accumulated his much needed money, went broke, and some of his largest debtorís failed.  To top it off a fire destroyed the most valuable agricultural building on the home farm.

 Due to trying to save his estates, and travelling twice down to London during that dreadful winter on the storm-beat tops of the coaches of the times.  With his spirit crushed beneath the burden of anxiety, here ached home at last in a rheumatic fever and laid him up for 9 month. He was a shattered man, and the misfortune broke Williamís heart.  He had but a short illness and he died at Neasham Hall on the 8/7/1826, he was 71 years old.  He was laid in his own vault beneath his memorial tablet in Hurworth church.

An Elizabeth W. Mitchell is listed as a relative.


Spouse:            MARY WHITE

Birth:    ?

Death:  ?



Children:           THOMAS (1799-1872)







            MARY ELIZABETH