The French house of Salveing was seated in Dauphiny: and "Loyaulte de Salveing" was a proverbial saying in the province. The English Salvins, however, claim no descent from it, deriving their name from Le Silvan, probably assumed by their ancestor from his dwelling in Sherwood Forest. The patriarch of the line "Joceus le Flamangh," who came to England at the Conquest, held the third part of a knight's fee in Cukeney in Nottinghamshire, and two ploughlands of the King "by the service of shoeing the King's palfrey on all four feet, with the King's nails, as oft as he should lie at his manor of Mansfield; and if he lame the King's palfrey, or prick him, or shoe him too strait, he shall forfeit to the King a palfrey worth four marks." His grandson Thomas built a castle at Cukeney during the war between Stephen and the Empress Maud, "when," says Surtees, "almost every landed gentleman in England turned his house into a peel or castlelet:" and after the peace, in Henry II.'s time, founded Welbeck Abbey. His only child was a daughter: but his brother, Ralph le Silvan, of Woodhouse, carried on the line, and was the father of Osbert Silvan, Sheriff of Notts in 1140. "His descendants held the manor of Woodhouse, in the Forest of Sherwood, at least as late as 1330, but were more frequently styled of Thorp-Salvin,[1] a small parish on the extreme Southern border of Yorkshire. From this principal stem, before 1260, branched a younger line of Herswell and North Duffield: but the exact point from which the Salvins of Newbiggin branched off does not seem clearly ascertained. George Salvin, who died 5 Hen. V., acquired very extensive possessions by marriage with the sister and co-heir of Peter Lord Mauley, of Mulgrave. Their knightly descendants continued in wealth and splendour for several descents: but their fortunes gradually declined, and most of their extensive estates were alienated before 1700. The line terminated with Thomas Salvin, an officer in the Austrian army, who died unmarried: his only sister, Mary, married Sir John Webb, Bart.; their daughter and sole heiress, Barbara, married Anthony, sixth Earl of Shaftesbury, whose only issue, Barbara, born 1788, and now wife of the Honourable William Ponsonby, is the sole representative of Salvin of Newbiggin, and co-heir of the ancient Barony of Mauley."—Surtees. The title of De Mauley was granted to her husband in 1838, and is now borne by her son.

Of the other branches of the family, above enumerated, one only remains. A cadet of the house of Herswell in Yorkshire, Gerard Salvayn (great-grandson of the Sir Gerard who was High Sheriff of Yorkshire 24 Ed. III.) married Agnes, styled Lady of Croxdale, in the county of Durham, about the end of the fifteenth century. She was the grandchild and sole heiress of Robert de Walton, Treasurer of Brittany in 1350, and the picturesque domain that she brought to her husband has descended in uninterrupted succession, through fifteen generations, to the present owner. Its ancient name was Croixdale, from a cross that once stood in the deep glen below the house. This glen—probably from being so gloomy, and overhung by great rocks that the sun is said to have scarcely touched the roof of the old mill which stood in the narrowest part—was believed to be haunted by evil spirits. "To banish the infernal inhabitants, a cross was erected here, which gave name to the adjacent lands: so the desert of Cross Fell, in Cumberland, is in old authors and charts styled Fiend's Fell; and since the erection of a cross thereon, to vanquish the legions of Satan, it has obtained the present name of Cross Fell."—Hutchinson's Durham.

  1. "The Salvins must have been settled at Thorpe-Salvin soon after the Conquest, and as they appear to have been a family of distinction, it is probable that the ancestor might be one of the two knights of De Busli mentioned in the Domesday Survey of Laughton."—Hunter's South Yorkshire.

-- Cleveland

Return to Main Index