Baildon family

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The Baildon family took their name from Baildon Hill. One of the first of the Baildon family was Hugh de Baildon in 1195. In 1408 one of his descendants, through purchase, became one of the Lords of the Manor. Baildon was then part of two manors, the other in the sixteenth century being in the hands of the Hawksworths. Therefore, at one time, Baildon had two manor houses; one on Hall Cliffe near the Church; the other being Baildon Hall in lower Baildon. In the 1960s the Hall Cliffe house was pulled down to make way for the building of the Ian Clough Hall but the lower hall with its gables and mullioned windows is still there, though not as obvious as it might be as it is hidden away at the end of Hallfield Drive. It is a grade II* listed building (a building of national importance) and in the listing is described as a house of importance with the rare survival of a late medieval timber framed crossing and a finely panelled and plastered seventeenth century ceilinged parlour with a good (original) Elizabethan staircase.

Robert Baildon (1541-1599) was one of a long line of Baildons who were rumbustious characters, well known for legal quarrels, fighting, intimidation and even murder. His great grandson, Francis (1627-1669), the last of the Baildons to live in Baildon Hall, had a difficult life having inherited his estates as a child - others took advantage of him. He too was a fighter, being a Royalist Captain in the Civil Wars (1642-51). He helped to defend Skipton Castle against the Roundheads. There is a legend that Charles I’s nephew, Prince Rupert, slept at the Hall after his defeat at the Battle of Marston Moor near York in 1644. As a supporter of Charles, who was executed in 1649, Francis was lucky to establish his right to his estate from Parliament when he came of age in that year. A copy of his letter requesting this is in the main room of the Hall alongside a cupboard, which was his. His marriage to Jane Hawksworth, whose family were Round-heads, probably helped in his claim.

The Baildon Parish registers date back to 1621. The earliest of these registers still shows how Francis Bayldon of Baildon Hall tried to alter his baptism entry for 1627 to make it appear that he had been baptised in 1628 and was therefore underage when he contracted a gambling debt in 1649. The forged entry appears in his own handwriting. Francis died in mysterious circumstances in May 1669.

After the death of Francis in 1669 his widow lived in the Hall until her death in 1691. The Hall then passed through the female line to Thompsons, Meyers and Meekes. It was finally bought by the Maude family, the last of them, who died in 1929, being Colenel William Maude. Maude Avenue is named after him. He opened the Baildon War Memorial and District Nurse's Home after the 1914-18 War.

Sir Francis Baildon was one of the would-be recipients of the Royal Oak insignia of King Charles the Second - until the King changed his mind. Read about it here - Why Francis put the Merry Monarch in his place -courtesy ThisisBradford.