Aske Hall is located on the north side of Richmond on the road to Gilling West. The main entrance is through an impressive archway:
The road leads in due course to Aske Hall which is just visible in the image below:
The hall and estate is currently owned by the Marquess of Zetland whose son is the Earl of Ronaldsay. The estates and title were acquired in the early 18th century by the Dundas family whose wealth was acquired from Army contracts particularly in respect of the Seven Years War. Since that time the house and estates have been extensively developed.
The previous Earl of Ronaldshay, Lawrence John Lumley Dundas born in 1876 succeeded to the marquisate of Zetland in 1929. From 1898 he travelled extensively in the Far East and in 1900 was appointed as an assistant to Earl Curzon, viceroy of India. He served as governor of Bengal for six years from 1916. His knowledge of and connections with India were such that he was appointed as the Conservative secretary of state for India (and Burma from 1937) between 1935 and 1940. (See also The Zetland (Dundas) Archive).
The estates were originally owned by the Aske family an ancient family long established in Yorkshire. In 1536 Robert Aske led the "Pilgrimage of Grace" an uprising against King Henry VIII. Marching under the banner of St Cuthbert and the badge of "five wounds" he occupied York on the 16th October and five days later captured Pontefract castle with Lord Darcy and the Archbishop of York.
Aske was always a reluctant rebel and with the 30,000 or 40,000 men he commanded would have overwhelmed the royal forces gathered under Norfolk at Doncaster. With however the promise of a pardon for his men and a parliament for York he persuaded his men to disband. Under guarantee of safe conduct he proceeded to London where he was well received by Henry. Fully believing in the King's good intentions to visit Yorkshire, of holding a parliament in York and of free elections he returned home.
Aske later wrote to the King advising him of the still unquiet state of the North and Midlands. He was not however secure in the King's trust. In the April of 1537 he went to London on false assurances of security and upon his arrival was arrested. Following trial by a commission at Westminster he was sentenced to death for high treason. Aske was paraded through the towns and countryside of Yorkshire before being hanged in York. Robert Aske was recognised as a true leader who gained the loyalty, confidence and affection of his followers.
See also rebellion in the North
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