In 1795 the name of a George Soulby of Snow Hall, now a gentleman, appears on a deed. 6 Soulby had married Wright's old housekeeper Sarah Wake at Gainford the 27th May 1779, and he was churchwarden there for many years.
Wright's devisee and the new owner of Snow Hall, Richard Sherwood, seems never to have lived in the hall. He died in 1816. Thomas Sherwood his son, also a medical man, moved from Bishop Auckland to Snow hall in 1815 when he was 45 years old. 8
Thomas Sherwood's twelve page will was made on 21 February 1828. It was clearly drawn up by a lawyer, and it makes for very dry reading after Timothy Wright's will. As Sherwood also owned property outside the diocese of Durham his will was proved at the Prerogative Court of York. 9 Snow Hall was left to his children in order of preference rather than of strict male primogeniture: he had quarrelled with his eldest son Richard Thomas, and his second son Ralph had abandoned his medical studies in Edinburgh to go on the stage. So it is that his younger son Christopher is nominated to inherit the hall, preceding his brothers William, Ralph and Richard Thomas; and their sisters Elizabeth Sarah and Mary Sherwood are then named to follow their brothers in line of inheritance to the property. The will reveals nothing of the tragedy of his death.
Sarah Elizabeth, Thomas Sherwood's daughter died on 24 October 1829. At her request Ralph was allowed to come home, but he soon died of consumption (tuberculosis) on 11 January 1830. Their father was overcome by these deaths in such quick succession and committed suicide the following month on 28 February.
Robert Surtees wrote to Sir Cuthbert Sharp, a fellow historian,
Christopher, William and Richard Thomas died within a few years of their father without marrying and the house passed to Mary Sherwood, who married her cousin William Surtees Raine (no relation of the Raynes) in 1840. A number of illustrations of the south front of the old house survive in Durham County Record office dating from 1823 onwards. There is also an intriguing elevation of the same south front with three gables dated 1836 and with a prominent Rayne coat of arms above the doorway. It is presumed to be a proposed plan of alterations that was never carried out.
6. See DCRO D/HH8/3/69.
7. See FamilySearch, image 63 of 437. They were married by licence, the allegation and bond for which were made by Soulby on 22 May that year (DDR/EJ/MLA/1/1779/219). Soulby stated in the allegation that both he and Wake had not been married before, and both were over 21 years of age. Soulby's bondsman was a Durham watchmaker named John Charlton.
8. Surtees Raine, B., 'Thomas Sherwood of Snow Hall' in Teesdale Record Society Journal, 1944, no.12, p.24.
9. This court's jurisdiction encompassed the whole of the northern province of England and Wales and included the dioceses of York, Durham, Carlisle, Chester and Sodor and Mann.
10. Sharp MSS, Durham Cathedral Dean & Chapter Library, vol.44 f.495.
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