Leading families in medieval Sunderland
The most prominent secular tenants within the Sunderland area were the Hiltons, who held the castle and lordship of Hylton (See the Hilton Family of Hylton) However a number of other leading gentry families also held land in the locality. Principal among these were the Bowes family who, like the Hiltons were also prominent tenants in chief of the Bishop. Slightly lower down the social scale came the Middleton family of Silksworth and the Hedworths who held land in Southwick.
Content generated during research for two paperback books 'Sunderland and its Origins: Monks to Mariners' (ISBN 13 : 9781860774799) and 'Sunderland: Building a City' (ISBN 13 : 978-1-86077-547-5 ) for the England's Past for Everyone series