The parentage of Priscilla Cunningham, wife of John Reyner, follows from the will of Martha Cunningham of Leeds, widow, written in 1639. It mentions “my daughter Pricella Reyner wife of John Reyner” along with the Reyners’ children John, Martha and Joshua. The will of Martha’s husband Bryan Cunningham had been written in 1635/36, mentioning his daughter “Prescilla Rayner”.


Bryan is known to have had a brother called Francis Cunningham and their father was living at Burton in Monk Fryston in 1601.[1] The only candidate found for the father is the William Cunningham, gentleman, buried at Monk Fryston in 1606/07. A chancery bill of complaint of 27 January 1606/07 relating to the estate of Sir William Gascoigne of Birkin mentions “Willm Conyngham and Bryan Conyngham of Burton Salmon”. In the corresponding demurrer of 9 April 1607, Bryan is mentioned but not William, presumably because the latter had died by then.[2]


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1          WILLIAM CUNNINGHAM of Burton Salmon, Monk Fryston, Yorkshire, gentleman, was buried on 6 March 1606/07 at Monk Fryston.[3]


Children of William Cunningham:

2              i               BRYAN CUNNINGHAM (bur 1636); m MARTHA BANISTER.

ii             FRANCIS CUNNINGHAM of Burton Salmon, b ca 1579;[4] m 17 May 1608, Monk Fryston, MARGARET CRABTREE.[5]


2          BRYAN CUNNINGHAM of Burton Salmon and Bradford, gentleman, was buried on 1 May 1636 at St Peter, Leeds.[6] He married on 1 February 1601/02 at Monk Fryston, MARTHA BANISTER,[7] daughter of Henry and Ruth (Smith) Banister (see here). Martha was baptised on 3 July 1586 at Halifax and buried on 18 January 1639/40 at St Peter, Leeds.


Children of Bryan and Martha (Banister) Cunningham:

                                i               ANN CUNNINGHAM, bap 20 Nov 1603, Monk Fryston;[8] m 10 Feb 1630/31, Bradford, ALEXANDER FAWKENER.[9]

                                ii              MARY CUNNINGHAM, bap 2 Nov 1606, Monk Fryston;[10] m 18 Oct 1632, St Peter, Leeds, MICHAEL FAWKENER.[11]

                                iii             PRISCILLA CUNNINGHAM, bap 16 Jul 1609, Monk Fryston,[12] bur 8 Dec 1682, Bradford;[13] m 23 Jun 1629, Bradford, JOHN RAYNER[14] (see here).

                                iv             WILLIAM CUNNINGHAM, bap 27 Feb 1611/12, Monk Fryston,[15] bur 14 Jun 1639, Ledsham;[16] m MARY.[17]

                                v              JEREMY CUNNINGHAM, bap 24 Mar 1623/24, Bradford.[18]

                                vi             BRYAN CUNNINGHAM, bap 8 Aug 1627, Bradford,[19] bur 14 Nov 1628, Bradford.[20]

[1] York cause papers (Borthwick Institute, CP.G.3057, CP.H.3939).

[2] National Archives, C 8/8/33. A fine of 1575 relating to property in Carleton has plaintiff Brian Stapleton and deforciants William Cunnyngham and Frances his wife, but it is not known if this is the same William.

[3] Monk Fryston parish registers (online at

[4] York cause papers (Borthwick Institute, CP.H.3939).

[5] Monk Fryston parish registers (online at

[6] St Peter, Leeds, parish registers (online at; will dated 18 Mar 1635/36, proved Dec 1636 (Borthwick Institute).

[7] Monk Fryston parish registers (online at There was apparently an earlier ceremony “in a house at poule in brotherton parishe… upon sondaye next after xxenmas day last past”, the validity of which was disputed: York cause papers (Borthwick Institute, CP.G.3057).

[8] Monk Fryston parish registers (online at

[9] Bradford parish registers (online at

[10] Monk Fryston parish registers (online at

[11] St Peter, Leeds, parish registers (online at

[12] Monk Fryston parish registers (online at

[13] Bradford parish registers (online at; Bradford bishop’s transcripts (online at

[14] Bradford parish registers (online at

[15] Monk Fryston parish registers (online at

[16] Ledsham parish registers (online at The will of Martha (Banister) Cunningham, dated 16 Dec 1639, mentions “Marie Cunningham daughter of my sonne Willm Cunningham deceased”. Mary, daughter of William Cunningham, was baptised at Ledsham on 20 Jan 1637/38.

[17] I have not found the marriage of William Cunningham, but his wife would appear to be the Mary Cunningham, widow, who married John Askham at Ledsham on 12 Sep 1640.

[18] Bradford parish registers (online at

[19] Bradford parish registers (online at

[20] Bradford parish registers (online at