The surname Wellock is almost certainly unique in its origin and all the evidence relates to a family established in Linton parish 600 years ago. In the course of its history the spellings indicate that the vowel of the first syllable changed from ‘a’ to ‘e’ and this is significant when it comes to the name’s meaning. The continuity in Linton and adjoining parishes is remarkable and there are still several Wellock families farming in that area. It has never been a prolific surname and the modest concentrations in towns close to Airedale reflect this limited ramification.
1379 William Walok, a married man, paid 4d in the Poll Tax: he was one of only eleven married men in the village, and probably of the middle rank as far as status is concerned, for several of his contemporaries paid 6d or Is.
1522 William Walloke is listed as a tenant of Sir John Mallerey in the Loan Book.
1545 Roger Waloke, buried at Linton in Craven, made a will which has survived in the Registry at York ~ an indication that the family was possessed of at least some property.
1569 Thomas Wallocke had a daughter baptised at Linton Church 28 Oct.
1571 Robert Wallocke had a son baptised there 16 Sept.
From this date the surname can be traced through the Parish registers and wills and what follows is a
selective list of entries illustrative of status, occupations and spelling developments.
1580-82 William Wallocke of Linton described as a Catholic Recusant,
1582 Robert Walocke of Linton. Will at York.
1596-1602 William Wallocke had a family – he was probably the William buried in 1613.
1638 Robert Wallocke of Linton had a son William baptised,
1647 William Wallocke of Linton had a son John baptised.
1684 George Wallocke of Garnshaw (Hebden) had a son William baptised 18 October.
1692-6 Anthony Wallocke or Wellocke married Mary Ibberson and the family lived at Skyrethorne in Threshfield.
1702 Wi.1liam Wellok married Mary Layland.
1735 William Wellacke, farming at Threshfield, had a daughter Ellin baptised.
1781 William Wellock had a son Thomas baptised. 1811 William Wellocke was a joiner in Linton.
1496 John Wallocke held a lease as a tenant of Fountains Abbey of half the abbey’s lodge at Newhouse(s) in Bordley. His co-tenant was Roger Symson and the rent was 33s.4d. Just when this branch of the family moved from Linton is not certain but the surname is not found in earlier rentals or other abbey documents. He and his descendants farmed the lodge until the Dissolution and appear to have remained as tenants for some time afterwards.
1507 Lease by Marmaduke, abbot of Fountains, to John Walloke and Isabel his wife of “a full moiety of their lodge of Newhous in Craven…… to hold for twenty years, paying 30s per annum. John and Isabel are to repair and maintain all houses and buildings now standing…… and all hedges, ditches, stone walls and other necessary defences except for timber and roofing f lags.”
1534 The abbot’s court at Malham. Henry Walok of Bordley was fined Id for vert (i.e. stealing growing wood). This was a minor offence and common to most of the tenants. In fact Henry served on the jury as a sworn man. William Wall(ok)? of Kilnsey in the same roll.
1539/40 Newhouse “Item ther be ij tenements late in the holding of Jaffray Proctour and John Wallock with lands, medoos, pastors, comons and wastes ther unto belonging, and rents by the year 40s. (Dissolution Rental)
1543 Henry Wayloke of Malham. Subsidy Roll (Tax list). This is an interesting entry in that it suggests how
the name was pronounced and how the modern form developed. It also shows that Bordley, although in
Burnsall parish, was probably being assessed under Malham because it lay within relatively easy reach of
1576 John Wallocke, John Tenaunte and John Kydd were involved together in four land transactions
described in slightly unusual terms: They acquired from Robert Whyte, esq, “thirteen messuages with 1-and
in Burnsall Over Bordley, Nether Bordley, Hetton, Kirkby Malham and sixteen twenty-sixths of lands in
Hetton, Nether Bordley and Malham.” They immediately parted with some of this property to Anthony
Proctor, Richard Ayrton and Widow Margaret Thompson. John’s name was written either Wallocke or
1590 Henry Tenante and Mary his wife sold to John Walker two messuages with land in Kirkby Malhamdale
and Malham. K warrant issued against John Tenante junior and John Wallocke and their heirs. (Both here
and in 1576 it seems likely that the property was that which had formerly belonged to the abbey).
1592 Further land deals involving John and Margaret Wallock, i.e. ¾ of the manor of Darnbrook, four
messuages with land in Malhamdale.
1597 William Wallocke of Newhouses (i.e. Bordley) had a son Henry baptised. (Malham parish register)
1597 John Waillocke of Newhouse )
1604 Roger Waillocke of Know Bank )
Kirkby Malham registers contain evidence of the family’s continuity in the area. The following are selections only:
1636 Henry Wellock of Kirkby Malham, yeoman, married to Ann Catterhall by licence.
1641/2 Henry Wallocke, agriculterer, aged 24, married to Elizabeth Fawcet (22) of Giggleswick.
1666 John Wallocke’s daughter Mary buried.
1673 John Wellock of Smearbottom had a son John baptised.
1685 In Lord Thanet’s benefaction to the poor of Craven there are two relevant entries:
John Wallock of Malham Is. Roger Well( ) and Jane his wife, Jane and three children 6d. Additional
1555/6 William Wailocke, a priest, possibly of Topcliffe, is mentioned in a testimonial. The letter says of
him “William is of good fame and borne in lawfull matrymonye, and of honest conversation, gyven to no vyce
or notoyous Cryme wherby yowth may be spotted and honestie defaced” etc. R.IV Bd. I/xvi (Borthwick). It
may be that this man was the Catholic Recusant of Linton ( 1580-82) who was given the courtesy title of ‘Sir’
as a priest. There were Catholics at Bordley (1572-1674). 1587 William Wallocke of Halton in Craven Will.
1685 Anthony Wellacke of Skipton (Lord Thanet’s benefaction)