Boundary stones are a safe bet as a subject, so prolific, there must be scores of them on the moors, with many inscribed, providing a tantalising glimpse of their history. This stone is on the boundary of Hutton and Newton Moors and is inscribed ‘RY 1752’.
RY stands for Ralph Yoward. There are several other of his boundary stones on the moors all with this date of 1752 which is a bit of a mystery. The Yowards were a Stokesley family who were the lesses of Crown Land in Hutton and of the Lordship of Hutton Manor. Ralph succeeded on the death of his father, Richard, in 1751 and almost immediately surrendered the lease. So the mystery which is baffling local historians is why the inscription is a year after Ralph gave up the lease.
Hutton became Crown Land following the dissolution of the Hospital of the Savoy in 1702 although the Yowards are recorded as being in receipt of tithes in 1691 so it is likely the lessor at that time was the hospital. The hospital itself has an interesting history. It was founded in 1512 in London by Henry VII for “poor and needy people”. Edward VI dissolved it in 1553 only for it to be refounded three years later by Queen Mary. It seems that Hutton was one of many estates that the Hospital acquired. The Hospital was sited on what is now occupied by the Savoy Hotel and Savoy Theatre in London; close by the only part of the original buildings to survive is the chapel.