Methley is a village in what is now West Yorkshire, situated between Leeds and Pontefract. In 1591, some land here was bequeathed to University College by its then rector, Otho Hunt. Hunt had been elected a Percy Fellow of University College in May 1559, and served as the College’s Bursar for 1561/2. It seems that he resigned his Fellowship in about 1563, because the Bursar’s Accounts for 1563–6 show that he was renting a room in the College as Commoner and not a Fellow. A list of incumbents in Methley Church says that Hunt was appointed rector there in 1567.
Otho Hunt died in 1591, and bequeathed the College some freehold and copyhold land in Methley on condition that they be used to endow two scholarships there. As is clear from UC:E11/D1 below, Hunt’s brother Thomas played an important role in securing the bequest for the College. To judge from the College’s Register, however, the first recorded Hunt Scholar, Edward Coplay, was not appointed until 1631.
The College retained this property until October 1867, when it sold it to the Earl of Mexborough for £6000 (information taken from UC:EB1/A1/5 pp. 727–9). The funding for Hunt Scholars, however, continued long after that date.
All the documents in this section were found during the stocktaking of July 1993. Some documents transcribed or calendared by William Smith in the early 18th century proved to be missing.
Because of its proximity both to the Freeston estates in and around Pontefract, and to the Lodge Estates in and around the city of York, several documents about Methley are to be found in the catalogues relating to both these estates (UC:E12 and UC:E18 respectively). In particular, for much of the later 18th and early 19th centuries, the estate accounts for Methley and the Lodge estates were kept in one sequence, and are therefore all to be found in UC:E18.
Catalogued in January 2012.
A pdf version of the full catalogue can be downloaded here.