A Chapter from History of Saddleworth (1891) by Morgan Brierley (c.1824-1897)

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Distory of Baddleworth



ii j brims due PRICE ONE -SHILLING.


"CHRONICLE" Prixtina@ Works, UxiOX SrREEt.

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istory of Baddleworth -





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Portions of this-one of the sixteen, some larger, some shorter, chapters of Saddleworth History, were read to the Mutual Improvement Society connected with the Independent Chapel, Delph, early in March last, and the whole of it was subsequently printed in eleven consecutive numbers of the Oldham Weekly Chronicle, from which paper the proprietors have thought it not undesirable to re-issue it in this portable and compact form. The author had thoughts of deferring the publication of the whole work till after his decease, but has not permitted them to chrystalise into a Medean law, and it is not unlikely that in the course of next year the com- plete history may be published.

Thoughtful and philosophical readers of this chapter may feel a little disappointment not to find herein some account of the effect produced by the increase and expansion of the educational agencies of the Township of Saddleworth during the last three quarters of a century. It may, perhaps, be sufficient to say that in so far as so intangible but important a subject is capable of intelligible treat- ment, will be found in the chapters on the Manners and Customs, and on the Social Condition of the People. He need not point them out in detail, but the author is quite sensible of other apparent defects in this chapter, for which he will not in vain solicit the indulgence of sensible readers.


Denshaw House, Delph, August 4th, 1891.

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Next to the description and history of a com- munity's inheritance-its place, and means of liviny-comes the even more important question of how it lives ; that is, What is its state of being ? 'This problem involves the question, What has it been in the past? for, as the Preacher saith, " That which hath been is now, and that which is to be hath already been, and God requireth that which is past." Our past is the making of our future; what we think and do to-day determines what we shall be to-morrow. No proverb is truer than the one which says, " 'The child is father to the man." Writers of natural history class man amongst the animals, and this despite his lofty notions of himself and his destiny, and his masterful disposition. It is true he stands at the head of the family, or; rather, the order, and, unfortunately, sometimes at the very foot. Very much he is a creature of circumstances, and of training, which, when properly analysed, resolves itself into circumstance. - By experience we find that all animals are capable of training, of being moulded into usefulness, and the animal man most of all. Gifted with intelligence (which is the light of being), the power of seeing, and with conscience (which is the sense of duty), in a higher degree than any other animal, as he is the most susceptible of it, so is good training the most necessary for his full development. One of England's great poets has said :-

'Tis education forms the common mind, As the twig is bent, so the tree's inclined.

Inspired with a like thought, Dr. Watts, in one of his simple rhymes, says :- .

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Were I so tall to reach the pole. _ Or hold the earth within my span, I must be judged by my soul- The mind's the measure of the man. Not only the character, but even the very existence of a nation as such is determined by its intellectual and moral condition. If we make retrospect of the world's history, we shall find this has always been so. Not its great warriors, but, as Dr. Johnson truly said, " the authors,"-the men of the highest culture-" are the greatest glory of the nation." The lessons of wisdom which we inherit from the great teachers of olden time all come to us through the medium of books, and without much mental training books could not be produced. They give not only a record of events that have happened, but they discover to us the means by which the events

were brought about, and this is the chief feature of their educational value.

Asitis with nations, so it is with the many communities which, in the aggregate, constitute them, provinces, counties, and parishes, if in this connection I may use English geographical tech- nicalities. The importance and real value of each of these is dependent upon the state of its intellectual and moral cultivation, both of which \ qualities depend upon the amount of education it may have received. To form a correct opinion and judgment of, for instance, a parish, it is important, as it is interesting, to investigate the history of its educational institutions. The social condition of a community is immediately con- nected with the means by which its members get their living, whether it be agriculture, manufac- tures and commerce, or by a mixture of these pursuits; and the extent to which these are understood, which is always proportionate to the amount of real education those who follow them have received, is the measure of their prosperity. Without knowledge and aptitude in its applica- tion, which are the result of education, nothing can be successfully done, either in the manipula-

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tion of the land on which we live, or with its produce. _ It is my object in this chapter to give-impeor- fectly it will be, but as perfectiy as I can-some account of the educational institutions of Saddle- worth in the past and at the present time. The first school in Saddleworth of which 1 have been able to find any account was carried on in the chancel of the old Chapel of St. Chad's, by the Rev. John Lees, B.A., incumbent there from his appointment in December, 16635, till his death in 1712. - But it is probable that before him the ministers of St. Chad's were accustomed to be schoolmasters also, for I find a reference made to " the Schoolmaster of Saddleworth" in a memorandum of the Commissioners for the Management of Church Livings during the Commonwealth. - There is a copy of it in the archives of the Archbishopric of Canterbury, at Lambeth Palace. It is dated July 3rd, 1655. As it appears to have escaped the notice of the late Canon Raines, and is never alluded to by any, of the historians of the Parish of Rochdale, I hill quote it at length :- July 3, Mr. Robt. Bath, (a) Minister of Rochdale, in 1655. j ye County of Lancaster, hath attended accord- ing to former order, and satisfied ye Trustees of his

title to ye Vicarage of Rochdale aforesaid, having pro- duced ye instrument of the Bp. of Chester, under his

am -__ _c s

Notrk.-(a) "Mr. Robert Bath, minister of Rochdale." B. 1604. 1.1674. B.A. and M.A. of Oxford. Is said by Calamy to have married a niece of Archbishop Laud [Extd. Jany. 10, 1645], who collated him to the vicarage of Roch- dale Mch. 21nd, 1635.6. Was instituted vicar March 17, 1636.6, Accepted the Solemn League and Covenant, and in 1646 joined the Second Lancashire Presbyterian Classis. In 1645 Parliament had forbidden anyone to use the Book of Common Prayer. Bath, though at first a High man, readily fell in with all the "mnew.-fangled" ways. "Rather than ensnare his conscience," he resigned the vicarage in 1662, and was ranked with the Non-Conformists. He is said to have been "a gracious, humble, meek, and peaceable man, and a solid divine, though he had no very ready utterance. He was a faithful friend, and good in all relations. He spent much time in visiting the sick." (Cixflamyo «* Childbed linnen " is one of the items in his will.

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seale, bearing date ye 17th day of March, 1635, for ye instituting ye said Mr. Bath thereunto, and another instrument bearing date ye said 17th day of March, for his admission thereunto. - And Sir Thos. Alcock (Sir John Byron's trustee), possessor of ye Tithes of Roch- dale, with the Chappell of Saddleworth and Butterworth, being likewise here. _ The Trustees have considered of ye pencions payable by ye said Sir Thos. Alcock by virtue of ye lease of ye said 'Fithes and ye late Arch- bishop to ye said Vicar. to ye School muster of Saddle. worth, as also to ye Ministers of Saddleworth and Butterworth (b). And it appears to these 'Trustees that the Tenant of ye said Tithes standeth bound by covenant to pay over and above ye rent of Eighty Pounds Sevenpence, ye rent reserved upon ye said lease, ye yearly pension of £8, and ye further yearly pension of £6 13 4. by way of increase, in all £14 13 4. All ye 4 usual qr tres. and permitt him ye herbage of ye Churchyard. And to the Curate of Saddleworth five pounds a yeare with an increase of 40s. a yeare, in all £7 a yeare at ye times aforesaid and to permitt him ye herbage of ye Churchyard of Saddle. worth. And to ye Curate of Butterworth 40s. a yeare as also an increase of £1 6 8 a yeare, in all £3 6 8 a yeare at ye times aforesaid. And it likewise appears that the said Tenant is bound by ye said lease to pay beside ye said reserved rent of £80 00 07d. and ye aforesaid stipends, unto ye Schoolmaster of Rochdale £15 a yeare, and unto ye Usher there £2 a year upon such condicons as mentioned in ye said lease, and ye said Mr. Bath alleadgeth that he is in arrears of his said pencion for severall years, ye true state whereof and of all ye whole business ye said Sir Thomas desires may be examined and ye same settled. It is, therefore, ordered by con- sent yt it be referred to Wm. Ashurst and Robt. Holt, Esqrs., who are hereby desired to examine how much of ye said pension is in arrears to ye said Mr. Bath, and who are ye Schoolmaster and Usher of ye said Schools, and who are ye Curates of ye said Chappell, and by what title they claim, how much is in arrears of ye said pencions or of any of them and to whom.-Examine the whole state of ye case, taking for their better informa- tion and consideration of ye lease of ye said rectory from ye Archbishop of Canterbury to Sir John Byron. And to certifie ye whole to these trustees by ye 14th of August next. -

Jo: Pocock, R. Tong,-Edw. Cressett,-R. A. Hall.

NotE.-(b) Ralph Wood was curate of Sad@dleworth at this time. f

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Nearly one hundred years before this time, namely, in 1561, in Elizabeth's reign, Archbishop Parker founded the Grammar School of Rochdale, and endowed the master and usher thereof with the sum of £17 per annum, payable out of the tithes of the parish, which included those of the chapelry of Saddleworth, but neither in the foundation-deed of that school nor anywhere else

have 1 found any provision made for a payment to be made to " the schoolmaster of Saddleworth ;" indeed, nothing payable out of the tithes but the stipend to the curate of, first, £5 a year, which, as we have just seen, was increased to £7 a year in 1655. Doubtless the curate and the "school- master" were one and the same person.

Of Mr. Lees, Canon Raines says :-

He appears to have been a man of a contemplative turn of mind, and frequently walked in the churchyard by moonlight, which excited much surprise among the crones of that day. From the following anecdote I should infer that he was a sincere believer in the truth of Christianity. I had it from a respectable old lady now living (1831)-Mrs. Radcliffe, of Stonebreaks-who has frequently heard her grandfather (J. Andrew., Esq., of Foulbrakes) narrate the circumstance :- A man died in Saddleworth who had been an avowed Deist, and extravagantly given to drunkenness, and cn his death- bed refused those consolations which religion alone can impart. Mr. Lees was much distressed by the profligacy of this infatuated individual, and feared that his views might have a pernicious influence upon others around him. It was fixed that the corpse of the unhappy man should be interred at a late hour on a fine summer evening. - The body was accordingly brought to the church stile ; the friends stood sorrowing around, and waited the arrival of the minister. - Instead, however, of coming in the usual manner, out of the chancel door, he'came from the north side of the church, where he had been reading and walking in his surplice. With a solemn air he approached the coffin and laid his hand upon the top of it. The spectators were in silent astonishment, - wondering what should come to pass. - The minister, then aged and venerah'e, slowly and deliberately said, in a high tone of voice, " Brethren, if this man has died in the faith in which he lived, his soul is lost for ever!'' 'The effect produced was represented to be more striking and beneficial than

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the most elaborate discourse on the dangers of infidelity would have been, delivered from the pulpit. Mr. Raines adds :-

These clap-trap methods of gaining converts were much in vogue at this era, and the quaint and eccentric Pigott, then Vicar of Rochdale, dealt largely in thom. Lees might receive his lesson from his patron. I was told that Lees built the house near the church called *The Old Yew Tree House," and lived there. He possib'y only repaired the dwelling, as the date over the door (1633) is much anterior to his time. A great- granddaughter now [1831] lives there, but occasionally suffers from insanity. e father of this person was much engaged in his day in making wills, deeds, &c., and might be a sort of general writer, as T have heard he was not an attorney. In another place Canon Raines writes of

Lees :- He was a steady and respectable clergyman, and his name was remembered by old persons, who had traditions of him. . . . . He was said to be opposed to the rude sports and savage pastimes of his parishioners, and whilst a bull bait, a dog fight, or a Sunday battle made them happy, tfley were to him a "source of misery, lamentation, and woe." It was | said that in his time foxes were common, otters frequented the Chew and the Diggle, and eagles had been seen in the retired cloughs. He was a native of Ashton-under-Lyne, and of the family of Less, of Hazlehurst, long settled there as landowners. (c)

Here we have a tolerably graphic picture of one of Saddleworth's early schoolmasters. We can almost see him on that fine summer evening, walking in his surplice, with an open book in his hand, under the dark, shady yews, on the north side of the church, Nursing his wrath to keep it warm, till he could, in pedagogic fashion, explode it over the coffin of the poor, besotted " Deist!" 'That he would be a strict and, according to his lights, a conscientious teacher of the youth of the parish there can be no doubt. We may, however, infer from his conduct at this funeral that he would foster rather than dissipate, in the minds of his pupils, the proneness to superstition and belief in

Nots.-(c) Mr. Lees's father was a maxi—£4; of the Min- chester Classis, and a frequent attender at its meetings.

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witchcraft and " boggarts," from which the dwellers in lonely moorland districts are in our own days not entirely free. It is doubtful whether, like the learned curate of Heights Chapel, in the early part of this century, he could not have been induced to "lay," as the pro- cess was called, some local " boggart," such as the famous " Delph Will." Could we get a view of the school in the chancel, as we have of its master, it is very likely we should see it composed of a motley crew of urchins, mostly, if not exclusively, boys gathered from all parts of the wide chapelry, the sons of farmers, small manufacturers, and tradesmen, the brightest of which, if their parents could afford it, being afterwards drafted into the Grammar School at Rochdale, or, perhaps, the one at Oldham, and maybe as far as Halifax, for at that period there was considerable intercourse in the . woollen trade between the last-named town and Saddleworth. In addition to the £7 a year which the ministers of St. Chad's received from the lessee of the tithes there was the small glebe granted by the lord of the manor, which probably would not be worth more than another £7 per annum. Taken together the yearly income would only be about £14, and if we say £14 a year then would be about equal to £30 a year now, it is easy to see it would scarcely be adequate for a man with a family to live upon, and, therefore, the minister would require to do something whereby he could obtain a sufficient means of honest livelihood. Surely, it was much more honourable to earn something by school teaching than to be obliged, as the next minister but one succeeding Mr. Lees, that is, Mr. Heginbottom, was, to go about his parish soliciting doles to augment his stipend. And it is very likely Mr. Lees's school was the only one in the township of Saddleworth in his day. It may be there were one or two dames' schools for teaching girls and little children the initial lessons of refusing and writing,

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and perhaps, as was the case with our early colonists in America, there might be, as the name implies, an occasional pedagoo'ue going «about from family to family like itinerate tailors, and for board and lodgings would give such instruc- tion in learning as he might be capable of. We are told that our Alfred the Great, the Saxon King, in his days of misfortune and poverty, was not too proud to earn his bread in this way. Of the next curate of St. Chad's, a Mr. Beighton, who was appointed in 1714, Canon Raines says :- "This curate was, perhaps, brought up at the Grammar School, Rochdale, and sent to Saddle- worth as a schoolmaster and clerk." There is no account nor any tradition of his having actually taught a school, and he appears to have vacated the living and left the parish of Rochdale in 1821. (d) There is no account of him in any of the registers either in Rochdale or Saddleworth after that year in which the Rov. John Heginbottom was appointed curate of Saddleworth. There is no report of his (Mr. Heginbottom) ever teaching a school, and it is probable he never did. The Canon (Raines) says of him :-" Although a man of superior talents and literary attainments, his whole life was tarnished with dissipation, and his usefulness as a minister much injured by his various excesses." Mr. Raines also says that he had a very large famlly, ""which were anything but a comfort to him.'" We know that in the last century dissipated habits were no bar to a man being a minister in the Church of England, but Mr. Hegmbottom, with his habits, could hardly have acted as a schoolmaster. Seventeen years after the death of Mr. Lees, a most worthy Saddleworth cloth mer- chant, Mr. Ralph Hawkyard, left by will the sum of £200 to build and endow a school within half a mile of Tamewater. The pious and good man states in his will that he had been moved to do this by "taking into consideration the great

_ NorE.-(d) Saddleworth was then a chapelry in the Parish of hdale. _ .

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want of learning in the parish of Saddleworth, especially among the poor sort of people, who, not being of ability to send their children to remote schools, were in a great degree void of learning, and not capable of reading the Divine Scriptures." After the erection of a suitable building "the remainder of the £200, with the further sum of £20 after the death of his sister, Esther Broadbent, and all other sums which by virtue of his will should thereafter fall to the said school, viz., all the clear interest thereof, should go to the maintenance of a discreet and learned schoolmaster, who should be able to teach English, Latin, and Greek." "The school was to be free to all the inhabitants of Saddle- worth." The will directed that the master should "be discharged at the pleasure of his executor, James Harrop, his heirs and assigns." It further directed that "if his sister Esther should die without issue £40 more should go to the endowment ; also £50 more if his half-brother, Thos. Hawkyard, should die before the age of 21, or without issue." The Charity Commissioners, in a report made in January, 1828, say :-

It appears that no trustees had ever been appointed for this charity, but the heirs of James Harrop have in succession acted in the management thereof. The per- son now representing the executor is James Harrop, who succeeded his father about 1809. In pursuance of the directions of the testator a sum of £280 was appro- priated to the endowment of the school. After a school and dwelling house for the schoolmaster had been built, about three acres of land was fenced off to the school, which are estimated to be worth £8 or £10, and held hy the master rent free. The £280 was at first let out to interest to different persons, but afterwards called in, and remained in the hands of James Harrop at 5 per cent. interest. He died about 18 years ago, having appointed his son, James Harrop, his executor, who continued to pay the interest to the schoolmaster till 1826, when he became bankrupt. No dividend had been paid at the period of our inquiry, July, 1827.

The Commissioners further report that the master, then eighty years old, and who had held

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the situation for forty years, had shut up the school, but refused to quit the house, as it had been promised to him for life, on condition of his fencing in the land, which he had done. The Commissioners concluded their report by recom- mending the appointment of trustees. Who was the first master of this school I have been unable to discover. The old gentleman referred to by the Charity Commissioners in 1827 was named Fox. He died September 15th, 1828. There was some difficulty about the appointment of trustees, as recommended by the Commis- sioners, but somehow the management of the school fell into the hands of the Rev. Mr. Mills, curate of Dobcross Chapel, and he engaged a person of the name of Isaac Broadbent to teach six poor scholars in a cottage at Tamewater, paying, I presume, out of the wreck of the funds which were secured from Harrop's bankruptcy. The school would seem to have had a precarious existence from this time up to the year 1855. The late John Hurst, of Tamewater, in 1882, writes as follow respecting it :-

In 1855 the school was resuscitated and rebuilt. and the old school house taken down. The late William Whitehead was the moving spirit, assisted by the late Charles Harrop, and others who had not been educated at the old school, and who could not be expected to be enamoured of the site. At the time money was scarce and the younger members of the committee saw that if we removed the school from the old ground there would be no school at all. William Whitehead worked with might and will to recover from the Harrops the lost money as far as possible, but not another penny could be obtained. We found that Mr. Mills did not owe any money to the school, as he had paid what he had received, or thereabouts; but, because we would not proceed at law with him, the late James Lees, of Delph, would not subscribe, and prevented others from doing. The school was built, and £200 invested in the deben- tures of the Lanc. and Yorks. Railway. Mr. Derwent was appointed the first master, and was succeeded hy Mr. Howson, both good men, but the latter let the Nev. Mr. Holme into partnership, and he did with him. as he has done with others-took the money, and let the others pay. Mv. Bissel, a poet, was the next appoint-

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ment, but it was an unfortunate one. He was succeeded by Mr. Davies, who was a good master, and wished to carry out Ralph Haukyard's will, but the trustees woufll, or could, do nothing in the way of giving him accommodation for boarders.

So we see this unfortunate endowed school had -four different masters in six or seven years, for the poet Bissel failed, and retired in 1863. He left the school much in debt, and at the sale of his effects in February, 1863, a whole edition of his poems, which it seems he had got printed, was sold in a lot at 7d. per dozen volumes! Probably this man was as poor a schoolmaster as he was a poet. - Philosophers almost but poets rarely or never, make good schoolmasters. Another unfortunate appointment was made when Mr. Davies left, the schoolmaster being \ always at loggerheads with the trustees, and ultimately the school was finally closed, and the remainder of the endowment is now appropriated to a scholarship of the annual value of £15, open to be competed for by scholars attending elemen- triry schools in the chapelry or township of saddleworth, and is tenable for three years by the successful candidate in some technical or secondary school selected by the trustees. The latest made scholarship is now held by a pupil trained in Christ Church School, Friezland. In 1865 the late W.* Whitehead, of Dobcross, left by will a gift of £500 for the foundation of five free scholarships at Wharmton School. This fund has been incorporated with the remnant of the Hawkyard Charity, and the charity is now known as Hawkyard and Whitehead's, and is in the management of trustees. The annual income at present, I am informed, amounts to a little over £60 a year. Considering that now the township of Saddle- worth is amply provided with elementary schools, subsidised with State aid, this appropriation of Hawkyard's Charity is perhaps as wise a one as could be devised. It was remarked by Dr. Johnson that in the

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period between 1740 and 1770 " almost every man had come to write and express himself correctly, and that the number of readers had been multi- plied a thousand fold." - It would have been sur- prising if this increased intellectual activity and love of literature and learning had not extended itself to Saddleworth, its small manufacturers making frequent journeys on horseback into the surrounding counties to sell their goods and pur- chase wool. That such was the case we have proof in the fact that several day schools were estab- lished in the township between 1760 and 1790, and subsequently. In 1755 a Mr. John Walker, of Ashton - under - Lyne, bequeathed by will the sum of £600, to be invested in the public funds, the interest of which, calcu- lated at £27 per annum, should be applied to the education of poor children in Ashton, Oldham, and Saddleworth. Of this sum, £4 was allotted to the day school at Delph, and the same amount to one at Lydgate. How long the amount of the grant remained at £4 to each school I am unable to say, but in 1867 the Charity Commissioners had the Walker Charity submitted to them for re-arrangement and the appointment of new trustees. They found the principal sum of the Charity to be £651 3s. 2d., invested in New Three Per Cent. Annuities, standing in the name of the Official Trustees of Charitable Funds, and the sum of £62 6s. 5d. (cash), or thereabouts, in the Manchester and Liverpool District Bank, which had arisen, they said, "from accumulations of inapplied income and interest thereon." It appears from the scheme reformed by the Com- missioners, the amount of annual interest left at the disposal of the trustees was £18 14s., one- third of which was appropriated to each of the three districts of Ashton, Oldham, and Saddleworth. To each of the National Schools of Lydgate and Delph was allotted the annual income of £3 2s. 4d., that to the former place made payable to C. K. Hilton, Esq., of (Greenfield, and that to Delph to (G. F. Buckley, Esq., of Delph, in the

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several capacities of each, Ifsuppose, as trustee of the school at each place. (¢)

'The school subsequently known as the Union School, at Delph, was built in 1765. (¢) - 'The foundation deed, bearing date January 12th, 1765, recites that-

By indenture made between Joseph Lawton, of Dobcross, within Saddleworth, of the one part, and James Farrer, of Bamboro' Grange, co. of York, Esq.; James Lawton, of Deiph, innholder; John Whitehead, of Delph, clothier ; James Lees, of Hilltop, clothier; James Buckley, of Thurston Clough, fustian maker ; Joseph Shaw, of Woodhouse, clothier ; and John Wrigley. of Midgreave, clothier, of the other part. In consideration of £5 paid by said parties (trustees) to Joseph Lawton, and of the yearly rent and covenants herein contained, Joseph Lawton did determine, t, lease, and let, and to farm, let unto said trustees, all that piece, or parcel of land, or und, being 14 yards in length, and 8% yards in breadth, or thereabouts, as the same was measured and staked out, lying and bein situate in the south corner of a certain field at Delp called and known by the name of Great Bottoms, and then in the occupation of James Lawton, his assigns, or tenants, together with, &c., (g)

embracing the customary rights to lessees of land. The term of the lease was fixed at

2000 years, to the yearly rent of one penny, pay- able to the said Joseph Lawton, his heirs and assigns,

NotE.-(e) The legacy was paid to the Master of the Union School, at Delph, till it was closed some thirty years ago, in return for which he was required to teach free of charge four poor children. It is presumed the same regu- lation holds good at the School at Hill End.

NorE.-(f) This school was near the middle of the village, on the south-west side of the main street. The handsome offices of the Delph Branch of the London and County Bank now occupy the site upon which it stood. Delph has still traditions of " Old Nanny Newins,'"' the proprietress of a primitive grocer's shop, in a cellar adjoining the school. After her demise Mr. John Schofield, of Shaw, occupied it on Saturdays as a butcher's shop. Father and son were known as " Old Johnny " and " Little

Johnny," and were people highly respected both at Shaw and in Delph.

NotE.-(g) A {lot of land, known as the " Bowling Green,'' behind the Svan Inn, on the northern boundary of which is built the Delph Reform Club, is part of the

Great Bottoms. Fifty to sixty years ago it used to be part of the Spring Fair (April 24) Ground. °

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on the 24th of June . . . . upon the trusts herein declared concerning the same. that is to say, upon special trust and confidence, nevertheless, and to the intent and purpose. the said trustees, their successors, or some of them, do, and shall, within twelve months next following the execution of these presents, erect and build two bays of buildings, which are to be 9 yards in length between the two outside gab'e ends, and 7 yards within the walls, to be used at all times there- after for and during the remainder of the said term of 2,000 years hereby devised, as a schoolroom for the purposes herein as recited. And that they, ye said trustees, or major part thereof, so soon after ye buildin is finished, as they conveniently can, nominate an appoint a discreet, learned, and sober person to be master of the said school, capable of teaching the English language, and also of teaching writing and arithmetic, which said schoolmaster, to be chosen and elected as aforesaid, shall enjoy the said piece or parcel of land or ground, together with the said schoolhouse so to be erected thereon, as aforesaid, gratis, untill by his misbehaviour or misconduct he shall be displaced by a

majority of the trustees.

The remainder of the deed contains directions to be observed in electing a master when there should happen to be a vacancy, one of which is that " a notice, in writing, be put upon the door of the principal chappel of Saddleworth" (h) 21 days before the election. Directions are also regarding the appointment of a new, or new trustees, upon the occurrence of a vacancy by death, or otherwise. This deed was given by the late John Shaw, of Dale, to Dr. Molesworth, Vicar of Rochdale, in what year the Vicar does not say. There would appear to have been much and painful dispute at the time between Mr. Shaw and other gentlemen, who are not named, as to the appointment of new trustees and the use of the school, which dispute ended in the total abandonment of the school, the ground upon which it was built naturally returning to the heirs of the original lessor, Joseph Lawton. There seems to have been three sets of trustecs,

the last _of which were-

St. Chad's, near Uppermill,

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James Lawton, son of James Lawton. James Shaw, Narbarn

Joseph Lawton. Rev. J ohn Buckle [died 1835]. Joseph Shaw [died 1817].

J ohn Brook, s hone1 &e.

Who the first master was I have not been able to ascertain, but I believe a Mr. Butterfield was some time such, and afterwards had a private academy at Slaithwaite, having for an assistant, or usher, Mr. Nesbit, who wrote an excellent work on mensuration. - Another master, resident between 1830 and 1840, was a Mr. Rooke, remark- able for his handwriting, which was said to be equal to that engraved on Bank of England - notes. A remarkable man, of considerable literary and financial ability, the son of a fustian weaver, and born at Sandbed, near Delph, in the year 1805, in his interesting autobiography, mentions the Rev. John Buckley as being master of the school between 1810 and 1820. Mr. Buckley was an accomplished scholar, and one of a band of geometers for which Oldham and Saddleworth were famous in the early part of the century. Bently writes in high praise of him. He also mentions having gone himself to one of several dames' schools, which at that time were common in Saddleworth. This school was in Delph, and known as " Old Betty's." Mr. Bently says of it :-" We were crowded together in a very small room, a sort of cellar, much lower than the street ; we were rough and noisy, with scarcely a book among us, only a few old leaves of a book of any kind we could get. Sometimes we had holidays because 'Old Betty' had to dig a little baby out of the garden, and take it to some house or other, where the mother was ill, when the neighbours had a merry-makmo' He further says :-" I was removed from 'Old Betty's ' school to the Free School taught by Parson Buckley, through the kind interest of a wealthy neighbour, and my impressions of this school are all of the most pleasing kind, except my being taken away

Page 22


from it so early to earn my bread." . . . "The rest of the scholars almost wholly consisted of the sons and daughters of the neighbouring gentry and manufacturers, both sexes being taught together, as they are still in the Parochial Schools of Sceot- land. The discipline was rather severe, the usual form of punishment being by a strap applied to the extended hand; but I escaped this punish- ment during the whole nine months I was per- mitted to attend." _. __" I was evidently not looked on unfavourably by the more fortunate young persons who were my school fellows; the young gentlemen frequently taking me with them on short parties of pleasure during the half holidays, for which I seldom escaped punishment when I returned home. The young ladies were also very kind to me." Bently states that at that time there were four free scholars on the founda- tion. The Rev. John Buckley, in his " Diary," speaks of three or four Dame's Schools, of which

" Old Betty's" was one, being on Friar Mere at that period. (%)

Concerning the school at Lydgate, the Charlty Commissioners report in 1828 :-

By indenture bearing date 29th and 30th of November, 1792 between John Kenworthy and Henry Buckley, surviving trustees appointed by the indenture herein- after reclted of the one part, and James Harrop, John Ratchfie Wm. Kenworthy (k), and three others. of the other part reciting that by indenture of bargain and sale, enrolled in Chancery bearing date March 3rd, 1768 between Phillip Buckley of the

Nork. -(i) Three others the writer can just remember :- One at Grange (of ante-Reformation fame); another at Ridding, near Castleshaw ; and the third, on the edge of the moor at Bleakhey Nook, in a rugged millstone-gmt cottage, which went by the name of Stag Hall, Many a noted * Huddersfield kersey "" maker got the only school training he ever received in this humble dwelling.

NotE.-(k) Wm. Kenworthy. It was to this gentleman, a woollen manufacturer, that the locally famous S. W. Ryley, ""The Itinerant," was bound apprentice, when a lad, to learn the woollen cloth manufacture. - An account of him will be found in the chapter on Saddleworth authors. A reprint of his interesting "Memoirs" was issued by the proprietors of the (lham Chronicle, eleven years ago.

Page 23


one part, and James Farrer, John Kenworthy, Hent Buckley, and five others, of the other part, the sai Phillip Buckley conveyed to the said James Farrer and others, and their successors for ever, a messuage or dwelling house, with appurtenances, at Lydgate, then aud thereafter intended to be used as a schoolhouse, with a piece of ground thereto belonging, in Saddleworth, containing by estimation three roods, which said messuage had been lately erected by the said James Farrer and others, to be used at all times thereafter as a schoolhouse, upon trust, that they, or the major part of them, as soon as they conveniently could, appoint a discrect, learned, sober person, to be master of the said school, capable of teaching the Latin and English languages, and also writing and arithmetic, he being paid 1s. 6d. per quarter for each scholar learning English only ; 2s. for each learning English, writing, and arithmetic; and 2s. 6d. for each learning Latin, writing, and arithmetic; which schoolmaster should enjoy the said land and schoolhouse and premises, untill by his misbehaviour or misconduct he should be displaced by a majority of the trustees for the time being: and it was provided that whenever the school should be vacant notice should be placed on the door of the parochial chapel of Saddileworth, and that in 21 days afterwards the trustees should meet, and the majority should elect a fit and proper person to be master, to instruct such scholars as should attend, at the prices aforesaid, and that the major part of the trustces should, from time to time, after the like notice, elect a fit and proper person to act in the place of any trustee who should die. . . . By indenture of lease and release, bearing date 21st and 22nd of August. 1812, John Radcliffe and Wm. Kenworthy, the then surviving trustees, conveyed the same premises upon the like trusts to Joseph Harrop, James Harrop, John Whitehead, and twenty others' who, as well as Wm. Kenworthy, are since deceased. . . . The property belonging to the school consists of the premises mentioned in the deeds above abstracted, comprising two schoolrooms, one on the ground floor and the other above. The building is in good condition externally, the roof having been lately repuired at the expense of two of the trustees. There is also a piece of waste land, used as playground, and separated from the school by a turnpike road, which, with a plot of ground adjoining the school, con- tains rather more than three roods. The schoolmaster is allowed to make the same charges as are usually made in the neighbourhood. The schoolmaster receives £4 per annum from Walker's Charity. . . . The £4 is at present received from Mr. Whitton, Manchester.

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A Richard Buckley, of Nottingham, was one of the original trustees of the school. He was probably a descendant of a William Buckley, of Derby, who, as mentioned in the history of the manor of Saddleworth, purchased the moiety of the so-called manor of Quick Mere in 1585 for the sun of £220. Mr. William Hilton, of Quickedge -perhaps the ablest mathematician Saddleworth ever produced-probably received his early train- ing in this school. He afterwards, when a young man, walked to a Sunday school at Hollinwood, kept by Mr. Wolfenden, another eminent mathematician. In 1799 Mr. Hilton was editor of the Liverpool Student, a mathematical and scientific periodical of high character. Ho was also a private teacher of mathematics in Liver- pool. Lydgate School was rebuilt in 1869-70, by the trustees of the late Sir Edmund Buckley, and reopened on the 5th March, 1870.

The next school founded in Saddleworth was that of Kilngreen, Diggle, built by public sub- scription, as were those of Delph and Lydgate. It was built in 1785, upon land given by James Farrer, Esq., the then lord of the manor. In consequence of not being properly defined and fenced off, it is said that much of the land granted by Mr. Farrer was appropriated by the canal company and others, and for ever lost to the foundation. To stop these encroachments a plan of the ground belonging to the school was ulti- mately made, and I suppose it was properly described and fenced off. The inception and carly history of this school were somewhat curious, and involved an element of humour. About the time the school was first built there lived in the neighbourhood of Diggle a gentleman of the name of Hezekiah Shepherd, a woollen manufacturer in a small way, as were most Saddleworth manufacturers in those days. He and about a dozen others of his neighbours hap-

pened on one occasion to be altogether at a

Page 25

19, wool fair at some place in Shropshire, and a lot of wool was on offer too large for anyone, or even a few, of them to buy on account of the lack of means wherewith to pay for it. In one lot it could be purchased at a lower rate than it divided into small lots, so the visitors from Diggle agreed to club their money together and buy the lot as offered. It is said the individual contributions were all of the three denominations of current coin, and when the bargain was concluded they had but a small balance of cash left to defray their expenses home again. The wool was packed in sheets, and arrived safely at its destination at Diggle in the course of time. A day was appointed to divide the wool into portions proportioned according to the amount each person had contri- buted towards the purchase money. To do this required a little knowledge of arithmetic, which none of them seem to have possessed. Hezekiah at last bethought him of a man, who, he was told, had the required ability, and his partners agreed that he should be engaged to make the required calculations, which he performed in the presence of all of them. " Kiah,” as he was generally called, was so struck with the calcu- lator's dexterity in manipulating the figures upon a slate that he exclaimed to his companions, " Let's big a schoo' for this chap-he'd be ready for sitch jobs as this." - The suggestion met with ready assent, and as we shall see, was subse- quently carried out. The division of the sheets of wool proceeded, each man putting his mark upon the one allotted to him, and some one said, " Kiah, mark thy sheet." " Well," said he, taking the chalk, " Awl set a ' tchee' for chimney on to mine-its next to the chimney," - What pre- cise form this letter "tchee" of " Kigh's" would have <assumed was never known, for " Kiah," detecting a sarcastic smile on the faces of some of his friends, with sensitive pride with- held his hand. This trifling incident doubtless deepened the impression in the minds of the assembled gentlemen of the necessity of imme-

Page 26


diately establishing aschool. A subscription was set on foot, " Kiah's " name probably being the first on the list, for it was first on that of the body of trustees afterwards appointed to manage the school. The total amount of the subscrip- tions was not large, being but £65 5s. 114$d., but those who could not give what they desired to do in money contributed, some material for the building, and others labour of man and horse. One gentleman of the name of John Smith gave beer for the labourers of the value of £1 17s. As in many of the buildings erected in Saddleworth in the 18th and preceding centuries, clay instead of lime was used for mortar. Lime was very scarce and very dear in the township till the cpening of the canal, some 25 years subsequent to the time I am writing of. No house was built for the schoolmaster till - 1822, when for the purpose £131 6s. 8d. was raised in voluntary subscriptions, and that necessary work got done. At this period Mr. Josh. Thornton, (1) father of the late Mr. Edwin Thornton, and who for many years before his death was manager of the Savings Bank at Dob- cross, was the schoolmaster. Although he came to Saddleworth to learn to be a woollen weaver, and was almost entirely self-educated, he was one of the few very best and most worthy schoolmasters ever resident in the township. The manner of his election to the office was a little odd. The office was vacant, but there was another and only candidate for it, who had made an active canvass of the trustees. It appears to have ben harvest time, as on the day in the evening of which the election was to take place young Thornton sat at lunch in a cornfield with some other amateur reapers, when the matter was mentioned. Amongst them was a Mr. Abraham Horsfall, perhaps the farmer of the land, and a

NotE.-(l) Brother of the Rev. John Thornton (a'so a poor Saddleworth apprentice), of Billericay, in Kent. - He was a devout Christian, an able preacher, and a volumi- nous author.

Page 27


of the school. He had no great opinion of the candidate who had offered himself, and he knew Thornton to be intelligent, well acquainted with books, and a person of studious habits, so there and then he asked him to be allowed to propose his name for the mastership in the evening. After much demur Thornton consented that he might do so, thinking of it, however, as a bit of a joke. To his astonishment it turned out he was elected, the other candidate receiving only the vote of his proposer. The school had been unfortunate in some of its former masters, one of whom had to be drummed out of the district, after the furniture of his house had been smashed up, for his " misbehaviour and miscon- duct '"' towards some young females he had met at " targets," a kind of rude country balls, some of which were held in the school. The school had been in existence scarcely 25 years, and yet there had been six or seven successive masters. - Mr. Thornton remained at the school nearly a quarter of a century. - He left Diggle in 1835, and for a short period was in business as a dyer with his son Edwin. This adventure turned out unfor- tunately, and he returned to his profession of schoolmaster, and was appointed master at Castleshaw, in succession to Ralph Broadbent, at which place he remained but a couple of years, and then settled at Dobcross in the same profes- sion. When a lad of about a dozen years of age I went a short time to a night school which he held at Castleshaw, and my recollections of him are all pleasant, though he was accounted a severe master. _ It is, perhaps, worthy of note that his immediate predecessor as master at Kilngreen taught a school on the Sunday for young men, for which he charged his pupils 1d. each visit. This worthy was a native of Holmfirth, and left behind him a good reputation. The names of the earliest masters at Kilngreen ara not all of them remembered. The first, I believe, was a Mr. Windross, which is not a Saddleworth name, whence he must have come a stranger

Page 28

22 -

into the parish. I have not been able to see a copy of the first trust deed of this school, but I have reason to believe it was much on the same lines, and its provisions almost identical with thoss of the school deed at Delph. - It is able that in the Delph and Lydgate first school deeds no provision was made for a so-calied religious education, either denominational or any other kind. The same, I believe, was the case with all the first day schools founded in worth. As it was at Wharmton, Delph, and Lydgate, so it was at first at Kilngreen, Boars- hurst, Castleshaw, and Denshaw. All thes schools, excupt the first at Wharmton, were built by public subscription, supported alike by Church- >- men and Dissenters. The laudable object of their founders was to give to the children of the parish the elements of knowledge in reading, writing, arithmetic, and grammar. - They wisely acted as if their religious training might be safely left to their parents and to their pastors in the various chapels of the township. The sucessor of Mr. Thornton as schoolmaster at Diggle was a Scotchman of the name of Thos. . Black, a good scholar, but of so mild and meek a character that he had not courage to ask the parents of the school children for the school wages. It was noticed by two gentlemen, brothers I believe, and neighbours of Mr. Black, that he was actually starving himself for inability to purchase sufficient food, and they insisted upon him showing them his book of accounts, in which they found a startling array of arrears in school wages. They at once made out a list of accounts, and went about to collect them in for the poor man, a task in which they moderately succeeded without liti- gation from their having an intimate knowledge of the delinquents who owed the money. If not inmediately paid they threatened to publish a list of their names with the sums they owed for the schooling of their children. I do not know the names of these two gentlemen, but much honour is due to them for their noble conduct.

Page 29


Black did not long remain at Diggle, and he was succeeded by a young man who, like Thornton, was mostly self-taught, and unexpectedly came out of a handloom to the school desk. - This one did not prove to be so satisfactory as Mr. Thornton, and his place soon became too hot to hold him. He has had several successors, but their history and names are unknown to me. In 1844 a ball was held to raise funds for the repair of the school building, and in the year 1870 £450 was raised in public subscriptions to pull down the old school and rebuild it. This was done, and to supply the whole estimated cost of the work-about £700- a bazaar was held in the new schools at the com- mencement of the year 1870. - The school is now under the auspices of St. Chad s, and, therefore, is recognised as a Church school. In the year 1811 Messrs. John and Jonathan Avison purchased and gave land for the purpose of a Wesleyan chapel and school and a burial place at Uppermill. It is stated by the Rev. Mr. Stamp, in his memoir of the late Mr Nutter, of Delph, that after the walls of the chapel were erected, and the roof put on with the aid of sub- scriptions and loans, the work suddenly ceased for want of funds, and for eighteen months the building "stood stock-still, the wind whistling through and through." - The difficulty was ulti- mately overcome, and on the 10th of October, 1813, the chapel was " consecrated to the worship of God." Nothing is said of the erection of the school, and I infer that though the ground had been given the school was not built till some years afterwards. In what year I do not know, but not many years afterwards, a Mr. Tweedale commenced to teach a day school there. He was a well-informed and ingenious man, and the school did well under him. He married the daughter of a joiner, and, in the intervals of school teaching, l-arned his father-in-law's art. He invented a machine for making window frames, which was said to be a great improve-

Page 30


ment over the old methods. In his declining years, I believe, he was connected with the Court of Requests, or County Court as it is now called, at Uppermill. A son of his was for many years Town Clerk of Oldham. After Mr. Tweedale followed - several - masters, whose names I have been unable to get, till that of Mr. John Avison, now retired, but still living, and, as a good schoolmaster, his praise is in everybody's mouth who knows him. I1 think he was succeeded by Mr. Hudson, a brother, I believe, of the able master of the Delph Wesleyan Day Schools, Mr. Clarence Hudson. At an early period in the century there was a day school kept by a well-educated man of the name of Ralph, (m) a stranger in Saddleworth, but, having delicate health, after a few years he was obliged to give up his school and leave the district. Whether anyone took his place I am not sure, but somewhere have seen it stated that Mr. James Platt, afterwards master of Boarshurst School, for a short period taught a day school in Upper- mill, and this might be it. By clause 28th of the Saddleworth Commons' Enclosure Act of 1810 the Commissioner under the Act was "empowered to make an allotment not exceeding 20 acres from the commons about Upperwood for the maintenance of a public school and schoolmaster at or near Foulrakes, and also to allot as much land from the waste and commons there as said Commissioner shall think proper for a site for the school. - The 20 acres were to be an endowment for the said school for ever, but this provision of the Act was to be available only if the school were built within three years from the period of the passing of the Act." The Charity Commissioners, in their

NotE.-(m) In the minutes of the Saddleworth Sunday School Union for the year 1817 reference is made to a Mr. Thomson "opening a day school" at Uppermill. He would be in succession to the late Mr. James Platt, who at this time had been appoiuted master at Boarshurst. An account of Mr. Platt will be found in the chapter on

Saddleworth authors.

Page 31


report of January, 1828, make the following remark concerning Boarshurst School :-" A school was lately erected at Boarshurst, in Lord's Mere, by subscription, and upon an enclosure which was commenced about 10 years ago an allot- ment containing about 25 acres was set out for the nse of the schoolmaster. The award is not yet executed, and the land remains uninclosed and unproductive." Two errors in this report are obvious-one as to the quantity of land allotted to the institution, and the other as to the time when the school was built. The following is a

copy of the original document in the possession of Mr. Bradbury, J.P., of Kinders, Green- field :-

We, whose names are hereunto subscribed, do severally engage and bind ourselves and ou» several executors and assigns to contribute the several sums opposite our respective names for and towards the build- ing of a public school upon the waste ground at Boars- hurst, at or near Foulrakes, in the parish of Saddle- worth, or upon a certain ancient inclosure adjoining to the said waste, if such ancient inclosure shall be given in lieu of and in exchange for the waste at Foulrakes. And we severally undertake for ourselves and our several executors, administrators, and assigns, that we will pay our said several subscriptions into the hands of Messrs. Wrigley & Co., bankers, at such time or times as Ralph Fletcher, the Commissioner under the Saddleworth Inclosure Act, shall, by writing under his hand, direct and appoint. And which said money so paid into the said bankers' hands, he, the said Ralph Fletcher, shall direct in what manner to be laid out four the purpose of building the said school, in order and with the intent that the said school may be erected within the time limited by the said Inclosure Act, and that, in conse- quence of such school being so built, he, the said Com- missioner, may be enabled to set out and allot in and upon and from the commons, moors, and waste grounds in Upperwood, or in such other place in Saddleworth as the said Commissioner shall think proper, a quantity of land not exceeding twenty acres, as an endowment to the said school for ever, which said land so to be allotted for the purposes aforesaid, he the said Commissioner is to convey to trustees pursuant to the said Act, as witness our hands the 5th day of July, 1811.

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Then follow a list of 37 names, with promised amount of subscriptions, equal to £291 7s. 6d. Only one of them is less than £1, and that one is

half a guinea. The following are the principal subscribers :-

£ s. d. Ralph Bradbury, Foulrakes ............ 50 O John Broadbent, Tunstead............... 50 O James Buckley ............................}.. 50 O Giles SR&W 21 John Buckley........... oe 25 Edward Brown .............................. 21 O John SR&W 10 10 Ralph Fletcher ......................2....... 10 O

Amongst the subscribers is one lady, a Mrs.

Andrew, of Foulrakes, to whose memory be all honour.

At a meeting held six months afterwards, viz.,

January '3rd, 1812, John Buckley, of Upperwood, in the chair, it was resolved :-

That every subscriber of £10 should be a trustee of the school. It was the unanimous wish of the meeting that Ralph Fletcher, the Commissioner, as soon as possible should convey the lot of 20 acres of the Waste, in Uppermill, to the trustees of the school. It was also agreed that when the trustees should be reduced to a small number the surviving trustees should convey to new trustees, so as to keep the original number for ever. It was resolved that the major part of the trustees for the time being should have the afiomtment of the schoolmaster, and also of discharging him for misconduct or misapplication ; and also of all other arrangements respecting the school hereafter. It was also resolved that the said school shall be twelve yards in length and eight yards in breadth, with a boarded floor, and one storey high. and agreeably to the plan produced at the meeting by Mr. John Buckiey. It was also agreed that John Buckley sets the said school to be built immediately. (Signed) Jorn BuckuLEy, Chairman.

The school was accordingly built, and opened in the year 1814. The late Mr. James Platt, of Prospecton, was appointed the first master of the school, and under his able management it had a most prosperous career. In his youth he had

Page 33


been assistant master in the school at Ogden, kept by the famous Rev. James Hargreaves, a man of great natural and acquired talents, and of great originality of mind. He was much celebrated both as a schoolmaster and a preacher of the Baptist denomination. He was also an author of some repute. Mr. Platt was a man of rare culture, and also an author of both prose and verse, evincing considerable ability. He would appear to have been master of Boarshurst School for some 22 years. I find from the minute book of the trustees that he agreed to give up possession of the school on the 31st of December, 1836. He subsequently, in 1840, was appointed Guardian of the Poor, after a pretty sharp contest with a Mr. Hesslegreave and two other candidates for the office. This office he held till 1854, when he was appointed Clerk to the Guardians under the new Poor-Law Act. The next schoolmaster at Boarshurst was Mr. Shackleton, who, says the late Mr. Edwin Thornton, " for thirty years pursued a very quiet unobstrusive course of attention to his chapel on Sundays, and to his school on week days. At the chapel he appeared as one of the instructed; at the school he was the instructor, and was believed by most who knew him to be a very worthy and useful man. - His life seemed to be an unbroken course of duty." Mr. Shackleton was succeeded by Mr. Bower, of whom Mr. Thornton says:-" He was a man whose over-average talent brightened and showed to advantage a good English education. His deportment and conversation were those of a gentleman. His extensive information was not ostentatious, but modestly advanced as the emergencies of conversation might elicit it. His aptitude for public speaking might have been improved to a high degree of excellence if his path in life had called for the cultivation of that desirable and popular qualification ;" but, it is sadly added," his intemperate habits sent him early to his grave."

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28 /

Mr. Bower was succeeded by a Mr. Evans, lately deceased, who seems to have been a man of average ability as a schoolmaster, and much respected by his scholars and neighbours. The award to the school under the Inclosure Act was not executed till the year 1834, so that up to that time the grant of 20 acres of land was of no benefit to the schoolmaster. - At a meeting of the trustees on the 3rd of May, 1834, it was resolved "That the master for the time being should be required to teach five children, under ten years of ago, free, in reading, writing, and arithmetic." Also, "'That a committee of the trustees (to be appointed) be empowered to let the common allotted to the school, provided eligible offers be made to them." At a meeting held in October in the same year (1834) five children over eight years of age were drafted into the school as free scholars, and it was agreed that they should remain as such till they were 11 years of age. On August 22nd, 1840, the trustees agreed to present a memorial to the Committee of Council on Education for the pur- pose of procuring a grant of money to improve and enlarge the schoolhouse. What the result was does not appear in the trustees' minute book. The trustees held a meeting Dec. 28th, 1842, and " resolved that the Sunday school be withdrawn from the Saddleworth Union of Schools in consequence of the unfair appropriation of the funds of the Union." In April, 1843, a moeting was held for the purpose of letting th 3 waste land belonging to the school for a term of 45 years, the "reserved bid" for which, it was agreed, should be £2 12s. 6d. In the following month the trustees agreed to build a house beside the school, so that probably their appeal to the Privy Council for a grant of money had met with a favourable response. In 1856 it is stated that "* The school having been certified as a place of publick religious worship, was, by the Superin- tendent Registrar, in 1872, registered for the solemnization of marriage therein." Mr. R. T.

Page 35


Bradbury, in 1884, informed me that a few years previously he and the late' Mr. Richard Buckley, with the consent of a newly-appointed body of trustees, had sold the common land belonging to the school to the Ashton, Stalybridge, and Dukinfield Waterworks Committee, from the pay- ment for which they were enabled to invest £1,200 in Consols, which yield to the school an income of £36 a year, which is something better than the estimated value of £2 12s. 6d. in 1843. The next public school built in Saddleworth was that at Castleshaw, by public subscription, about the year 1817. Mr. Ralph Broadbent was the first appointed master of the day school, and remainted till about the year 1835, when he removed to a school built for himself at Spring Hill, near St. Thomas's Chapel, Heights. He was considered an able and fairly successful schoolmaster, and had always a number of boarders from distant places, about Oldham and Royton. The late John and James Platt, the eminent machine makers and M.P.'s for Oldham, were scholars of his. Iam inclined to think he had been a scholar of the Rev. John Buckley, of Delph, for, like him, he was rather severe in his discipline, and prone to use a short strap upon the open hands of dull and refractory pupils. After his removal to Spring Hill it was said that one day he attempted to correct a bigt'scholar named Jerry Longbottom in this way, when Jerry turned round upon him, and put him into the fireplace of the schoolroom. Jerry, of course, then ceased to be a scholar, but his subsequent career in life was not a straight or happy one. Mr. R. Broadbent was followed at Castleshaw by Mr. Joseph Thornton, who had been at Kiln- green for 24 years, but he stayed only about a couple of years, and was succeeded by Mr. William Black, a brother of Mr. Thomas Black, of Kilngreen. William, like his brother, was a meek and amiable man, but not unsuccessful as a teacher of the young. He stayed, I think, some seven or eight years, and the school so declined that only a

Page 36


female could be induced to take charge of it. It is now taught by a female, who, I believe is a good and conscientious teacher both of the day and Sunday school. I am not aware that any charitable endowment was ever made to this school. The school at Denshaw was built by public subscription in 1824, and the first master of the day school was a Mr. George Duckworth, who, for a few years previously, had taught a day school in a private house in the village, in which Mr. James Platt, of Boarshurst, had previously taught for a short period. Mr. Duckworth was a master of but mediocre abilities, and the school had never much of a reputation, either under him or any of his successors, who have been three or four in number, but none of them hardly worth mention. None of them seemed to have adopted the profession out of a love for learning and teaching, but simply to eke out a living as best they could, and which, at the best, was but a meagre one, till these latter days of Government grants in aid. These notices of Saddleworth day schools are far from complete, but they would be still more so if I omitted to mention one kept for many years in Delph by a Mr. Firth, best known as " Billy Firth." He taught school in a private house on what is known as Cobbler's Hill. He was a man of considerable natural ability, and entirely self-taught, after acquiring a knowledge of reading and writing, which probably he learned at a dame's school. When a youth in his teens, towards the close of the last century, he occa- sionally attended the ministrations of Mr. Noah Blackburn, in the Independent Chapel, Delph, and, through that, formed acquaintance with another youth of studious habits, and fond of reading. This was Mr. John Thornton, at that time serving his apprenticeship as a weaver at Broad. head, but who afterwards went to Homerton College to study for the ministry, which he sub- sequently entered, and was a noted preacher and

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writer of religious books for the period of 40 years at Billercay, in Kent. - This Mr. John Thornton was as an elder brother of Mr. Joseph Thornton, the schoolmaster. The two youths-Thornton and Firth-used to meet together for the purpose of assisting each other in their studies, to talk about the books they read, and discuss matters of politics, philosophy, and theology. - Firth was a diligent reader of the writings of Paine and other Freethinkers, as they are now called, and often put Thornton, who was a pious man of orthodox leanings, to his shifts in defence of his opinions, or what he thought such. - Mr. Thorn- ton, in his autobiography, confesses to having received some benefit from their acquaintance, and they corresponded for some time after Thornton's departure to London for the purpose of mutual improvement in the art of composition. Thornton says of him: "We exchanged several letters, and thounh I felt I had truth on my side my opponent had decidedly the advan- tage over me in facility and force of language, as well as in general information. He was a youth of good abilities, and had read the works of some of our most noted modern philosophers. He pushed his argument metaphysically, while my appeal was made chiefly to the testimonies of Scripture. - On the whole this controversy gave an impulse to my mind which proved really useful to me." - Thornton further says :-" There were then beginning to rise up in the neighbourhood [of Delph] several debating societies. _. . I attended three or four tlmes but they were too noisy and turbulent for me." " Billy Firth," it seems, afterwards became too fond of frequenting the public house, and on one of his sprees the recruiting sergeant got hold of him, and he served for a while under General Hill in the Spanish and Portuguese wars. The little learning he had acquired was taken notico of, and proved serviceable to him in the army. He was in much request to write letters for his fellow-soldiers, and on one occasion the accounts

Page 38


of a careless or dishonest commissariat officer being in disorder, and no one about the General being able to clear them up, some one mentioned Firth, and he was set to work. He soon made them intelligible, and so satisfied Lord Hill with his ability that the General promised him he would find a better place for him than that of a private soldier, if he would only promise to give up his habit of occasionally getting too much drink. Firth could not engage to do this, and so he did not get promoted, but from that time he was in more favour with his superior officers in consequence of the general's commenda- tion. His position became a comparatively easy one for a common soldier, and he was helped out of any bit of trouble into which he happened to get. I presume he would return to Delph at the end of the war, perhaps with a pension, but of this I am not certain. By-and-byehe commenced school teaching, which he carried on as long as he lived. The Rev. John Thornton says he had reason to believe that in his elder years Firth renounced some of his youthful opinions, " and returned to the faith of Christianity. I knew the old man very slightly, but was afraid of speaking to him. With parents he had a good reputation as a teacher, especially of arithmetic, but amongst children he had a character for severe and violent discipline. The error of a severe school discipline lies in the indiscriminate use of the same treatment to all children alike- to the slightly dull but not idle or wilfully dis- obedient, as to the refractory and mischieviously negligent. The skilful schoolmaster will be as diversified in the treatment of his pupils as a good horticulturist will be in the management of his flower and fruit trees. Unfortunately, good schoolmasters are much rarer than good' gardeners. Except in our Sunday schools, the race of what are called Hedge Schoolmasters, is now extinct in Saddleworth, as it is elsewhere. They are prepared and turned out like well- made machinery nowadays, and unfortunately too

Page 39


often they happen to be nothing more than machines. But the teacher's function is of the highest, and, for its right and efficient discharge, demands heart and soul, as well as trained intellect. By a reference to one of the tabulated state- ments at the end of this chapter it will be seen there are many other day schools in Saddleworth besides those of which I have already given some account. The exact or approximate date of the foundation of each school is there set down. The day schools immediately connected with St. John's Church, at Hey, ought perhaps to have been included in the list, since, as is stated in the Chapter on the Saddleworth Churches and Chapels, " Hey Chapel " was built at the instiga- tion of a Saddleworth lady. Some particulars of the schools are appended to the list given. The population of the parish of Hey, within the boundaries of the township of Saddleworth, is about one-tenth of that of the whole township, and this is served by the day schools at Strines- dale, Austerlands, and Shelderslow, all three of which I believe owe their origin to the benevolent and enterprising missionary spirit of the venerable incumbent of St. John's, Hey, the Rev. Mr. Grundy. To him and to Canon Green, of Friez- land, Saddleworth is much indebted for their labours on behalf of parochial schools and education generally. Both of them have been instrumental in training and introducing into _- the ministry of the Church to which they belong vicars, rectors, archdeacons, and bishops. One or two of the curates who officiated at Hey before the time of Mr. Grundy, who has been at the head of the parish for over half a century, were, I believe, like their compatriots at St. Chad's, Saddleworth Fold, and St. Ann's, Lydgate, anything but total abstainers from the produce of breweries and distilleries. I scarcely think the Rev. Mr. Mattinson, sometimes a curate at Hey, was one of these. He appears to have kept a respectable day and boarding

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echool at Springhead, near Hey, in the second decade of the 19th contury. Amid the "Shaw Chronicles " of St. Chad's, Uppermill, which were kindly submitted to my inspection by Mr. Thos. Shaw, the owner, I found the following copy of a school bill, which may not be devoid of interest, nor, perhaps, of instruction, to schoolmasters of

this and future days :- Springhead, 1814.d s. d. To Master John's school wages-a quarter in arithmetic, Latin, Greek, &c. due September

30th, 1814 eee 15 Abated on account of absence........................... 2 13 O0 N.B.-None will be admitted for a less time than a

quarter. t» Payment is requested immediately upon becoming

due. Received the above Sept. 13th, 1814.

Artistic genius is discoverable in the prefix of the open hand to receive payments, a quality of mind not uncommon amongst parsons. - Well, if they are as good as they ought to be, and, as I am pleased to testify, some of them are, no right- minded person will grudge them the just reward of their labour. - John Radcliffe, Esq., of Stone- breaks, the maternal grandfather of Mr. Shaw, of St. Chad's, and captain of the first company of Volunteers ever organised in Saddleworth (1798- 1803), when an old man, used occasionally to visit Mr. Mattinson's school, and give his assist- ance in the teaching of Latin and Greck. A right down good-neighbourly deed on Mr. Rad- cliffe's part. It may be noted, as a most unusual characteristic of a schoolmaster's bill, to make an abatement in the charge on account of absenco of the scholar. At this period, and previously, there would probably be one or two other private adventure schools in the township. In the list of subscribers to a second edition of a book entitled " Arithmetic Fairly Laid Open," by John Gore, an accountant

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in Manchester, published in 1769, is the name of a Joseph Harrop, of Saddleworth. Mr. Ralph Broadbent's school, at Springhill, was a purely " private adventure," and was closed about 1860, Mr. Broadbent being then an old man. Besides the work of the school he carried on a milk and grazing farm, and acted as cow doctor of the district around. He was almost entirely a self- taught man, and never altogether divested himself of his native rusticity. Like many others, he took to school teaching not so much for the love of it as for the means of getting what is termed "@a respectable living." Most of the schoolmasters of his time would have made uncouth and sorry figures in one of the monthly discussions of the present College of Preceptors in London. The philosophy of education as practised by Dr. Arnold at Lalecham and Rugby, and by Dr. Thring at Uppingham, was little under- stood in those days. If a pupil could work by the rules set forth in Cocker, Walkingame, or Dilworth (from which Thos. Carlyle learnt arithmetic), and Lindley Murray, all went on smoothly, but if he could not, the only remedy was an application of the strap to the palm of the hand or another part of the body of less delicate repute. In the libraries of very few schoolmasters was to be found the fine work on teaching, &c., by Elizabeth's clever Latin Secretary, Roger Ascham. Hardly less true than then, even at this day, aro some of his remarks. For instance:-"This perverse judgment (unwise selection of subjects of study) of men hindereth nothing so much as learning, because commonly those that be unfittest for learning be chiefly set to learning. As if a man nowadays have two sons, the one impotent, weak, sickly, lisping, stuttering, and stammering, or having any misshape in his body, what doth the father of such one commonly say? This boy is fit for nothing else but to set to learning and make a priest of, as who should say the outcasts of the world, having neither countenance, tongue, nor wit, be good enough to

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make these men of, which shall be appointed to preach God's Holy Word, besides other most weighty matters in the commonwealth." Simi- larly, in the days of Oliver Cromwell, wrote Sir Henry Wotton :-"I will not disable any for proving [becoming] a scholar, nor yet dissemble that I have seen many [un-] happily forced upon that course, to which by nature they seemed much indisposed. Sometimes the possibility of preferment prevailing with the credulous, expecta- tion of less expense with the covetous, opinion of ease with the fond, and assurance of remoteness with the unkind parents, have moved them, without discretion, to engage their children in adventures of learning, by whose return they have received but small contentment. . . . . . They might hope to avoid some misery if their friends, who were so careful to bestow them in a college when they were young, would be so good as to provide a room for them in some hospital when they are old." Sixty or seventy years ago it used to be said that broken-down tradesmen turned to school teaching, and just as truly may it now be said that ambitious and covetous parents appoint one or more of their sons to the profession of a scholmaster for the purpose of merely getting a living. Of such is rarely found " the salt of the earth." , The school at Doctor Lane was first built in 1833, it would seem, much in the way that Kiln- green was founded in 1785, its origin being due to a few poor and unlearned residents of the dis- trict around. It was intended for a Sunday school and preaching conventicle, the first secre- tary being Mr. Samuel Broadbent, a worthy old gentleman, still living, I believe, about Merestone Height. The object of the founders seems to have been so much undenominational in religion that preachers of all sects who could be induced to attend were made welcome. Mr. Calvert, the good minister of Ebenezer Chapel, Uppermill, had the privilege of delivering the first sermon ever given in it, and after his institution as incumbent

Page 43


of Hey Chapel the venerable and most excellent Mr. Grundy frequently preached there. In what year it was opened as a day school I do not know, but I apprehend it must have been subsequent to the year 1837, for it appears that a night school was commenced in it that year, under the management of four amateur teachers, of the names of Thomas Fozzard, John Whitaker, William Waring, and Thomas Travis. One Joseph Lees was the first master of the day school held in it, paying a rent of £2 a year for the tenancy to the trustees. According to a speech made at the jubilee of the school in 1883, by Mr. Wrigley, the munificent founder of the church of St. Paul's, Scouthead, to which place the school is now affiliated, the teaching in it had been so far efficient that "there was scarcely a country in the world in which were not to be found men who had been educated at Doctor Lane," one of them having been three times Mayor of Melbourne, in Australia. This may not be saying too much for the school, for it is well known that neither emigrants nor Mayors of towns are necessarily well educated, and Mr. Wrigley, with praiseworthy candour, intimated that " previous to 1868 there was more boxing than learning in the day school." In that year an effort was made to place it under Government inspection, and, since 1873-4, in which year it received a grant from Government of £32 8s., it has been fairly well subsidised. The grant for the year 1889 was £71 4s. 6d. In 1878 the school was rebuilt by subscription, and publicly opened by Mrs. Wrigley, Mr. Wrigley and his family being large contributors towards the cost. Some reference being made to the eccentricity of spell- ing in the first minute book of the school managers, Mr. Broadbent, the. secretary, explained it by saying "thur wur no school boards then. There were no day schools for miles areawnd the place, and aw never went to one i' mi life. The only edication aw ever had wur at th' Wesleyan Sunday Schoo' at Delph,

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88 which at .that time wur th' best place i' th' parish

for larnin'.'"' Mr. Broadbent, though a poor weaver, had enjoyed greater privileges than the excellent "'Kiah," the woollen manufacturer of Diggle, about the end of the previous century. The day and Sunday schools at Austerlands were built in the years 1838-9, by public sub- scription, and enlarged a few years ago. Mr. Grundy was appointed to the now vicarage of Hey in 1838, and has taken an active interest in, and oversight of these schools since their open- ing. Like all the other day schools in worth, they are taught by certificated masters, and are under Government inspection. They have accommodation for nearly 240 scholars, the average attendance being from 110 to 120. The grants for the day and night schools respectively for 1872-3 were:-Day school, £42 1s. 6d.; and night school, £18 15s. 6d. Since that year no grant appears to have been made to any night school at Austerlands. . The schools at St. John's, Hey, were first erected 1840-1, a couple of years after Mr. Grundy's induction into the Chapelry, and rebuilt in 1885, at the sole cost (£4,500) of Mr. Austin Ogden, a fine and venerable " old chap," still living at Hey. (n) Of him it may be truly said, " Well done, good and faithful servant." He has made glad the heart of my friend Mr. Samuel Andrew, the clever historian of Oldham, an ingenious Celtic linguist, and the worthy Mr. Grundy's senior churchwarden for some twenty years past, at St. John's. These schools are by far the noblest structures of anything of the kind connected with Saddleworth. - They appear to have been always successfully conducted. They afford accommodation for 716 scholars, the average attendance, however, being only from 150 Not®.-(n) Hey : The old school premises were sold, and now form a portion of Mr. Rhodes' cotton manufactory ; and from being utilised for the instruction, development,

and- sharpening of children's intellects, are turned to the equally noble purpose of teaching the little ones how to

earn an honestliving.

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, 39

to 160 during the last ten years. The parish being partially in Lancashire, a moiety of the scholars will probably belong to that county. Since 1873-4 the annual grants by the Committee of Council have averaged more than six score pounds, that for 1882-3 amounting to £159 15s. for an average attendance of 154 scholars. In 1860, Mr. Joseph Lees munificently built a day and Sunday school at Shelderslow. These premises are described as " neat and com- modious." There is accommodation for 196 scholars and average attendance of 100. The Government grant was £15 16s. 3d. in 1874-5, and for the years 1889 and 1890 respectively, £101 118., and £95 17s. 6d. The " picturesque building," as Mr. Grundy aptly describes it, at Strinesdale, "among the hills above Top o'th Meadows," known as Strines- dale School, was built by subscription, and opened in 1871. It affords room for 143 scholars, but the average attendance appears to be only about 40. The Government grants to this school have not been large; that for 1374-5 being but £11 16s., and the last one, for 1990, £32 15s. The late excellent Bishop Fraser laid the founda- tion stone of this school, and the perpetual trustees are Vicar and Churchwardens of St. John's, Hey. Mr. S. Andrew reports highly of the quahtles of the mistress of the day school, Mrs. Smethurst, whose labours date from the opening. It is even more important that a school should have a good teacher than a place of worship a good preacher. In the romantic "vil" of Roughtown, on the south-eastern slope of Quick Edge, recently included in the new municipal borough of Mossley, are situated two good and flourishing day and Sunday schools, one of them known as the " British" in connection as a Sunday school with the New Connexion Methodists, ably supcerin- tended by R. S. Buckley, Esq., J.P., and the other belonging to the Church of St. John the Baptist, built by subscription, largely supported

Page 46


by the late Messrs. Whitehead, of Royal George, who built, and partially endowed the church. The British School was built in 1865-6, by Mr. Robert Hyde Buckley, of Carr Hill, Mossley, and enlarged by his son, Mr. Robert Shaw Buckley, in 1880. This school has accommodation for 460 scholars (being the largest in Saddleworth), and the average attendance is over 300. The Government grant in 1873-4 was £82 Os. 1d. for both day and night school ; in 1882-3, £360 10s. ; and in 1889, £233 3s. 6d. Mr. Robert Pickles was the first headmaster of this school. The National School attached to St. John's has accommodation for 391 scholars, and the average attendance in 1889 was 184. In this year anight school appears to have been kept, with an average attendance of 23 scholars, for which a grant of £10 14s. was allowed by Government. The grant for the day school was £44 6s. 5d. in 1873-4 ; for 1889 it was £156 16s. 2d. The schools in connection with Christ Church, Friezland, of which Canon Green is the much respected incumbent, were built about the year 1850, at the sole expense, I believe, of the generous and munificeont Whitehead, who also built and endowed the church. Here there is accommodation for 334 scholars, and an average attendance of about 200. Taking the population of the parish of Friezland into account, this is perhaps the best attended school in Saddleworth, except the Delph Wesleyan School. A flourish- ing night school appears to have been con- tinuously kept for many years past, with an average attendance of nearly 50 scholars. The grant for both the day and night school in 1873-4 was £116 6s. 3d., and in 1889 £204 19s. 8d. The day and Sunday schools belonging to the Church of St. Mary's, Greenfield, were erected in 1884, by the representatives of the late Richard Buckley, Esq.. of Hollyville, who himself built and amply endowed the church itself. There must have been a school connected with

the place previously, for I find from the Com-

Page 47


mittee of Council's Reports that a grant was made to it in 1873-4 of £14 8s., and the grants have been made every year since. There is accommodation for 305 scholars here, with an average attendance of 112 scholars in 1889. In 1885-6 the average attendance was 152, and the Government grant amounted to £153 16s.; in 1889 it was £102 66. I am not in possession of any trustworthy information in regard to the origin of the Delph Wesleyan Day School, but I have a dim recollection of Mr. Whitehead teaching a day school on the Methodist premises there between the years 1835 and 1840. Mr. Clarence Hudson, the present head master of the school, informs me " that in 1869 Messrs. John Hudson, J. M. Clifton, W. G. Nutter, and a few other enterprising gen- tlemen about the school launched a day school, under Government inspection. The building erected in 1816 was too small, and a school nearly twice the size was built, mainly through the generosity of Robert Byrom, Esq., of Slackeote. Ten years later the school was found to be too small for the accommodation required, and a noble wing was added for the infants, at a cost of £1,200. From being a day school of 60 children in 1870 it has become one of 360 in 1890." Since 1869 the school has had a succession of six head masters, the present one, Mr. Hudson, receiving his appointment in 1880. Between the years 1873 and 1888 this school has received Government grants to the amount of £2,000. The first grant made to the school was £50. In 1890 the grant amounted to £210. The schools now have accommodation for 392 scholars, with an average attendance of 220. I am not aware of any day school in any way directly connected with St. Chad's, the mother church of Saddleworth, previous to the year 1860. On November 10th of that year a circular was issued, calling " a meeting of gentlemen interested in the proposed erection of day and Sunday schools in connection with Saddleworth Church '"

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(St. Chad's). A meeting was accordingly held, and a committee formed of sixteen gentlemen, resident in different parts, and belongmcr to all the meres of the township. The two first names on the list of the committee are W. K. Schofield and Robert Brideomak, at that time church- wardens. The first list of subscriptions to the Building Fund was as follows :-

£ s. d. F. F. Whitehead, Beech Hill ............ 105 Per _ _ _ ,, === ay - 3% 105 (Probably from another member of the family.) John Collm e, Brownhill .................. 25 O0 Thos. Wfiey Lydgate..................... 10 O0 Rev. R ocke (incumbent) ...... 5 James Bradbury, Huddersfield ......... 25

W. K. Schofield ............ A site for the schools.

All these gentlemen have since gone to their "long home," but, as being instrumental in the establishment of a useful institution, their names are worthy of being preserved. I remember that Mr. W. K. Schofield was specially active in promoting the scheme. For many years he was a master bluedyer at Heathfields, and had assisted in the estabhshment of the Mechanics' Institution at Uppermill early in the "forties." Mr. Robert Brideoak-for many years resident at Knarr Barn, near Delph-was somewhat of a model gentleman farmer, resident upon his own land, and a man of genial disposition. He belonged to the Brideoak family of Oldham cotton - spinners and manufacturers. Always before, and sometimes subsequent to the establishment of a Saddleworth bench of magistrates, it was considered a badge and guarantee of gentility to be a churchwarden. Saddleworth never had a resident Lord of the Manor, nor indeed much of a squirearchy, and the churchwardens' pew was looked up to with awe as " the highest seat in the synagogue," and with which it was well for the parson to keep on good terms. The office has been, and ought always to be, an honourkble one, but nowadays is not an object of ambition to any but parochial and vulgar minds. Archdeacons

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in their charges sometimes declare it should always be discharged by pious men, but in a wide experience of more than half-a-century, of hundreds of wardens I cannot recollect, more than one or two who were more religious than an ordinary publican. Sometimes they are jolly fellows. I have known wardens at St. Thomas's, Friar Mere, and in the adjacent parish of Miln- row, go out of church soon after the commence- ment of the service, professedly on the hunt for Sabbath breakers, and immediately enter the nearest public house (say " Old Jonathan's "), and discuss the incidents of a "cock battle" over a " warm quart" or two, with rum in it. It is a tradition that one Sunday the parson of Milnrow dismissed the " whole assembly " in the midst of a service to join in an otter hunt in the river which runs through the village. The spread of education is said to have dissipated the rude sports of our forefathers, but I incline to think there has been little more change than one of fashion, and that morally we are little, if any, better than our ancestors. A dog is not a bit less vicious because it has required to be chained up. For reasons, doubtless, of convenience to the children in the populous village of Uppermill, the schools at Heathfields were vacated in 1884, sold, and converted into cottages, new schools having been built in the village. Taking the scale of . Government grants as a criterion of judgment, these schools seem to have had a prosperous career. The old premises had accommodation for 176 scholars ; the new ones for398. The Govern- ment grant amounted to £186 14s. in 1887-8, and to £178 the year following, thus ranging amongst the highest in the list of Saddleworth schools. We have seen that Hawkyard's foundation at Wharton fell into the hands of " Parson Mills," (0) as he was generally called, the incumbent of

NotE(o).-The Rev. T. L. Mills, incumbent of Holy Trinity Church, Dobcross (1820-1844), and James Buckley, Esq., of Greenfield, qualified as magistrates for the West

Page 50

y 44 Holy Trinity Church, Dobcross, and. was, no donbt, as much as possible, made to subserve the interests of the Church of England. The schools in Platt-lane, at present in connection with Holy Trinity Church, were erected in 1858, at the expense of Mr. W. Whitehead and his daughter, Miss Whitehead, of Dobcross. For many years - Mr. Edwards, the son-in-law and curate of Mr. Simpson, the present incumbent of Dobcross Church, was the head master at Platt-lane. This school has accommodation for 337 scholars, with an average attendance of about 200. Since 1873-4 the Government grant has ranged from £87 12s. to £183 158. in 1888-9. The schools at Hill End, Delph, in connection with St. Thomas's Church, Friar Mere, were built in 1870, at the expense, mainly, of Messrs. J. E. and G. F. and Miss A. Buckley, of Linfitts House, and formerly of Broadhead. At first there was accommodation for 219 scholars, but in 1884 it appears to have been enlarged, and now there is room for 357. The average attendance is about 160. The small endowment derivable from Walker's Charity of 1755 goes to the managers of this school. The average attendance of scholars in 1873-4 is set down as 36, and the Government grant £12 1s. 6d. In 1888-9, for an average attendance of 151, the grant was £145 4s. It requires to be added that in 1880-1 a Govern- ment grant of £218 2s. 6d. was made to this school " for building enlargements and fixtures." The educational grant for that year was £109 4s., making a total of £327 6s. 6d.

Riding in July, 1828. "Old Sturges," as the rev. gontle- man sometimes was called, was also a magistrate for Lancashire, and acted as chairman of the County Bench at Oldham, and later, at Royton, for many years. In 1844 he was appointed to the living at Littleborough, and died there. He was an active magistrate, but, like all clericals appointed to that function, was noticable for severity. Country swains who happened to prove less faithful than they had been intimate with their " sweethearts" always got their responsibilities fixed bi "Old Sturges" in a manner for which they rarely thanked him.

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The Saddleworth Wesleyan Methodists have manifested a wonderful vitality during the last thirty years. In 1864 they started a "cause" in an "Old Chamber" at Wrigley Mill, near Weakey, and so rapidly did it grow that in 1868 they built a nice little Chapel, and premises for a Sunday and Day School. At the day school the average attendance in 1875-6 was 36, and the grant from Government was £16 13s. 4d. In 1888-9 the average attendance was 68, and the grant was £63 14s. 1d. There is accommodation for 117 scholars. Five or six years ago the Methodists of Green- field erected fine premises, comprising Chapel and Sunday and Day Schools. In the Day School is accommodation for 311 scholars, the average attendance in 1887-8 being 78, and in 1888-9 88. The grants from Government were respectively £51 16s. 9d. and £72 7s. 6d. I have now taken account of twenty Day Schools situated in the township of Saddleworth. Twenty-one, if I include the school attached to St. John's at Hey, which is just outside the western boundary, and, as before stated, belongs to a parish, one-half of which is in Saddleworth. Fifteen of these schools are in connection with the Church of England, five are Wesleyan Methodist, and one undenominational, namely, Boarshurst. The fifteen Church Schools have accommodation for 4,412 scholars, with an aver- ago attendance of 1,749 in 1888-9, in which year they received in Government grants £1,651 14s. 1d., or nearly 18s. 10%d. per head of the scholars. The Wesleyan Schools have accommodation for 1,530 scholars, of which 779 is the average attendance The Government grants to these in 1888-9 were in the whole £691 12s. 6d., or a little over 17s. 9d. per head. The grant for Boarshurst School in the same year amouuted to nearly 18s. per scholar. The number of schools on the list for inspection and claiming annual ts in England and Wales in 1888-9 was 19 , with accommodation

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for 5,385,643 scholars, and an average attendance of 3,633,094 for an estimated population of 28,500,000. The population of Saddleworth in 1888-9 may ke taken at 22,300. From these data we find. that for England and Wales the school accommodation for scholars is as 1 5529 of the population, and the average attendance as 1 7-84. In Saddleworth the corresponding relationships are 1 3°6 and 1 86; so that whilst we exceed the nation in providing abundance of accommodation we fall somewhat short of it in securing average attendance of the scholars. The Government grant to the nation in the year 1888-9 was 17s. 64d. per scholar in average attendance; the grant to Saddleworth schools was 18s. It

may be said, if educational progress can be esti- _

mated by a monetary standard, on that score Saddleworth is to be congratulated. Anyhow the township appears to be as fortunate in procuring public money for its schools as its Episcopal Churches have been in securing grants from Queen Anne's Bounty Fund. The late Sir Edward Baines (p), of Leeds, in 1843, in his ably written work on " The Social, Educational, and Religious State of the Manu- facturing Districts," gives the following figures relating to Saddleworth Schools :-

Dame and Other

Infant Private Factory Sch'ls. Scholars. Sch'ls. Scholars. Sch'ls. Scholars. 19 362 24 856 4 T7

That is, a total of 47 schools and 1,295 scholars. The population of the township at that time was 16,829. It thus appears that whilst now with less than half the number of schools, though the population is nearly two-fifths larger, the propor- tion of scholars in attendance at school to the

Nots (»).-Lady Baines may be said to have been a native of dleworth, being a granddaughter of the Bev. Noah Blackburn, for thirty years resident minister of the Independent Chapel, Delph. This gentleman's name will crop lip again in my History of Seddleworth Sunday Sehoo . «

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population is as 1 to ; in 1843 the same pro- portion was 1 to 13. So much for compulsory atfiemliance and State aid in support of the schools,

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pus i t fo:

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The materials for a history of Saddleworth's Sunday Schools are not so easily accessible as might be supposed from the comparatively brief period during which they have been in exist- ence. The worthy people who first instituted them have long since gone to their eternal rest, and the few documents connected with the origin of most of our schools are either destroyed or so hid as to be inaccessible. If we turn to the general history of Sunday Schools we find that to Mr. Robert Raikes, of Gloucester, belongs the credit of so founding and managing Sunday Schools that they took their place amongst the permanently established institutions of the country. We find mention made of Sunday Schools, however, two or three generations before his time. In the life of Dr. Wilson, a famous and good Bishop of Sodor and Man in the last cen- tury, we find in connection with the directions be laid down for the management of the Day Schools in the parishes of the island the following :- " And whereas some of the poorest sort may have just cause, and their necessities require it, to keep their children at home for several weeks in the summer and harvest, such persons shall not be liable to the penalties aforesaid, provided they do (and are hereby strictly required to) send such children, during such absence from school, every third Sunday to the Parish Church, at least one hour before evening service, there to be taught by the schoolmaster to prevent losing their learning, and if a schoolmaster shall neglect his duty, and complaint be made and proved, he shall be discharged, and another placed in his stead at the discretion of the Ordinary ; and every rector, vicar, or curate, shall the first week of every quarter visit the petty school and take an

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account in a book of the improvement of every child, to be produced as often as the Ordinary + shall call for it." This was in the year 1703, nearly four score years before Mr. Raikes began his first Sunday School in his own city. In Hayden's " Dictionary of Dates" is the following paragraph :-" The first '©Sabbath School* was founded by Ludwig Hacker between the year 1740 and 1747, at Explorata, Lancaster County, Pennsylvania, among the German Seventh Day Baptists there. The schoolroom was used as an hospital after the battle of Brandy-Wine, fought in 1777. This event occasioned the breaking up of the schools, about five years before the first Sunday School was instituted in England, at by Robert Raikes, about 1782." These America Sunday Schools would probably owe their origin to somewhat similar circum- stances to those which led Bishop Wilson to make his praiseworthy eifort at starting Sunday Schools in his churches in the Isle of Man. Here I may remark that Wilson founded Public Libraries in the island in 1699, some 135 years before they were heard of in England. A detailed account of the early history of Sanday Schools is given in a " Sketch of the Life of Robert Raikes, Esq.," by W. F. Lloyd, published in 1826. Mr. Raikes was the proprietor of the Gloucester Journal. Finding his scheme of estab- lishing Sunday Schools for vagrant street chil- dren exceeding his most sanguine expectations in producing good, in November, 1883, he gave a short account of it in his newspaper, which, for- tunately, was copied by a London newspaper, and this arrested the attention of Colonel Townley (q), of Rochdale, who applied to Mr. Raikes for more particulars, and the good man replied in a long letter, which soon afterwards (1784) appeared in the Gentleman's Magazine, which then had an

Nor Townley, of Hall, the friend and patron of '' Tim Bobbin," the auchor of "'Tummus un Meary,'"' established a Sunday School at Milnrow about this time-1784-5.

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extensive circulation all over the kingdom. But the paragraph in the London newspaper, soon as it appeared, was seen by some Oldham gentle» men, the Henshaws, hat manufacturers, who at once acted upon it, and started a Sunday School, as Raikes had done, with hired masters. - Their efforts were rewarded with success, and secured the patronage of the clergy of the town, by taking the Sunday scholars to church every Sunday. The system of remuneration to the teachers continued in most schools for many years. - In 1785 the first collection for the benefit of a Sunday School was made in Oldham Parish Church, after a sermon preached by Dr. Asheton, the Rector of Middleton. Several Sunday Schools were soon set up in the neighbourhood of Oldham and Rochdale, all of which had paid teachers. But a nobler and more unselfish spirit was soon made manifest amongst teachers. A body of Wesleyan Methodists had a meeting house on Higher Moor, in Oldham, and "one evening, when the business of the class was over," says one of the members, " the subject of Sunday Schools was introduced, and formed the general topic of conversation. Someone urged that, as they were in so low a condition in a pecuniary point of view, they could not begin, and carry on, and support paid teachers. Mr. Samuel Scholes, one of them, said, 'Lads, I'll tell you what we must do ; we must each of us find a teacher ; we must all come and try what we can do, and if you will do so we can have a Sunday This idea was approved of, and arrangements were at once commenced." The following memorandum was made at the time by Mr. Scholes :- ’

The Wesleyan Methodist Sunday School in Oldham was established March, 1785, in the Old Chapel, Bent Brow, by class leaders and others. The class leaders were John Lingard, William Dalton, Edmund White- head, Samuel Scholes, William Jones, and Daniel Mellor. The superintendents were Dr. Halkyard, John Clegg (timber merchant), John Ashall, Samuel Mills, Francis Thursby, Edmund Whitehead, and Henry Brooks. Besides these are given the names of twenty

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teachers, one of which, a professional schoolmaster, was to receive a small remuneration for his trouble. (This exception may be excused, as, I dare say, professional teachers in those days received but poor pay for their day week.) The school assembled at nine in the morning, and, after lessons, the scholars attended divine service at St. Peter's Church, the Rev. Hugh Grimshaw being the minister, who was at that time incumbent of St. Peter's. There was preaching at one o'clock at noon, in the Methodist Chapel. Attendance for scholars, half-past two in the afternoon. The scholars took their own books to school until such time as a subscription was raised. when the following books were bought :-12 Bibles, 18 Testaments, 24 spelling books, and 24 reading-

made-easy books. The books were lodged in the class- room from Sabbath to Sabbath.

Such is the account of the first Free-taught Sunday School in England, and to the Oldham Methodists belongs the high honour. John Wesley had inspired them with much of his own grand spirit, and the seed he scattered there was not thrown upon barren ground. It reminds one of the fine Talmudic apothegm, "The world is saved by the breath of children." The movement would soon extend to Saddleworth, no doubt, Delph, its headquarters of Wesleyan Methodism, being in the Manchester Circuit, as Oldham was. John Wesley bad visited Delph, in 1788, a cir- cumstance which, recorded in his Diary, says he had "had a good time" there, in preaching in the Independent Chapel. Mr. Clarence Hudson, Master of the Wesleyan Day Schools, has kindly made some inquiry for me, and he is of opinion the Wesleyans had a Sunday School, in the Old Sand-Hole, Millgate, as early as 1784. He says :- "The school was certainly in existence in 1786, from proofs absolutely indisputable." Their first chapel was in the Sand-Hole, but the school was afterwards removed to a cottage in Knott Hill- lane, now occupied by Mr. Wm. Banks Hudson, and after that again removed to a room over the house in which Mr. Franklin Shaw, bookseller, lives, showing that, like Wesley's ministers, it had something of an itinerant character. In 1816 a Sunday School was built upon the site of the

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present schools, sixteen years after the erection of the chapel. In 1823 the Sunday School Com- mittee passed a resolution "That writing be taught from 9 30 until 10 30 a.m., and from 1 30 till 2 30 p.m."' This laudable practice was con- tinued till 1864, though in many places, in the meantime, people's minds were much exercised as to the propriety of teaching the art on a Sunday. Such saints might lift their own ass out of a pit had it fallen in on a Sunday, but certainly they would have let their neighbour's die there rather than help it out. After the Wesleyan Sunday School at Delph (1786), the next established of which I have found any authentic trace was at Lydgate, in 1788. In the Manchester Mercury of September 9th in that year appears the following advertise- On Sunday, the 14th inst., a Charity Sermon will be preached for the Benefit of a Sunday School in the Chapelry of Lydgate, within Saddleworth, by the Rev. Thomas Seddon, A.M., who is nominated by the Rev. Rich. Hind (r), D.D., Vicar of Rochdale, to the Chapelry of Lydgate, aforesaid." We have seen that a Day School was founded at Lydgate as early as 1768, and a church built in 1787. It is probable that the Sunday School would be conducted on the same premises as the Day School, and may have existed a few years prior to 1788. I shall have occasion to refer to this school again, in giving an account of the Saddleworth Sunday School

Notre Hind, D.D., Vicar of Rochdale (1778-90), said to be a man of " haughty, imperious, and tyrannical temper.''-Preached the consecration sermon at the open- ing of Dobcross Church (1787), and was present when Bishop Cleaver consecrated St. Anne's, Lydgate ; preached before the House of Commons, January 30, 1765; used to to say " My pulpit is my throne," a saying of the good (George Herbeit, with a better sense than Hind.

Seddon resigned the curacy in a fow years to enter the army. He was drowned on his way to join the troops in Flanders. He was somewhat literary, and published 2 vols. of " Letters to an Officer in the Army'"' (his brother) ; also two or three sermons in tract form. - Hind also published three of his own sermons.

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Union, established in 1810. The school was rebuilt in 1870 by the trustees of Sir Edmund Buckley, who, we are told, were all Churchmen. Seeing that Sunday Schools are obviously and properly the nurseries of the churches, it is less matter of surprise that once established they should soon be spread throughout the kingdom than that they should not have existed from the time of Him who said " Suffer little children to come unto me, and forbid them not." The reason of this probably lies, first, in the fact that for a long period the Christian churches had "no abiding place;" and, second, when they had grown into powerful institutions they began to be secularised, and utilised as engines of civil government. - The lesson strikingly manifest in the history of all countries, and to which I know of no exception, that wherever a priesthood allies itself to, and becomes an instrument of govern- ment, it acts as an enemy to freedom of thought and the general diffusion of know- ledge amongst the common people. As the Hebrews persecuted their prophets, and the Greeks their philosophers-both of them the teachers of the people and advocates of freedom- so the Roman hierarchy, the most powerful as it has always been the most insiduous agent of government that ever existed, invariably persecuted those of its sons who sought to enlighten the world by the extension of know- ledge and the inculcation of philosophic and religious truth. As professing to derive their assumed credentiais to instruct and to exercise authority over the minds of men from a super- human source, it is but natural they should be expected to uphold the equality and the common. _ brotherhood of all men. But, alas! how common it is for the possession of a little power to beget in the heart of man a desire for more, and a dis. position to use it rather for purely selfish pur- poses than a disinterested employment of it for the good of others. It would seem to be an inherent weakness in the professional ministers,

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of religion to defer to mere human power wherever it discovers itself. In comparatively free Britain and America, the government of which is directly under the control of the people, do wo not generally observe these ministers of religion pandering to prejudice and ignorance? How few there are amongst them who dare to speak "the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth." Two thousand five hundred years ago a wise and good man in the history of his own people wrote down these words :-" A wonderful and horrible thing is committed in the land ; the prophets prophesy falsely, and the priests bear rule by their means; and my people love to have it so : and what will ye do in the end thereof ? " I return to my narrative. On the 7th of September, 1785, a "Society for the Support of Sunday Schools" was founded in London, under the auspices of which many such institutons were soon established throughout Britain and Ireland. In fourteen years-that is, from 1786 to 1800-this society alone contributed upwards of £4,000 for the payment of hired teachers in Sunday Schools. We have seen that hired teachers were employed in the Sunday Schools first established in Oldham. Whether teachers were ever regularly paid in Saddleworth Sunday Schools is not clear, but from an entry in the minute book of the Saddleworth Sunday School Union it appears that " an allowance " in some form was made to the teachers. At a meet- ing of the Union, in December, 1816, complaint was made that some of the inspectors failed to attend the quarterly meetings, and it was resolved that in future " no grant, or order, or provision shall be made for any school, except an inspector of that school be present.! It was added "This resolution shall in no wise affect or prevent the usual allowance to the tsachers." In 1803 the Sunday School Union for the kingdom was estab- lished. As showinz what progress in the estab- lishment of Sunday Schools had heen made, this Union reported in May, 1825, that in Great

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Britain at that time there were 5,764 schools, with 62,447 teachers and 666,535 scholars. The report, however, is defective, as from many parts of the country no returns were given to the Union. It does not appear that any returns were supplied from Saddleworth. Presently it will be shown that Saddleworth established a Union of its own in 1810. In 1815 there were eight Sunday Schools in this Union, namely, Kilngreen, Uppermill, Wharmton, Delph (Independent) Wood (Castleshaw), Lydgate, Denshaw, and Boarshurst, which altogether had an attend- ance of 1,307 scholars. But there would be at least two Wesleyan Sunday Schools besides the above-named in the township at that period. The Rev. John Buckley, of St. Thomas's, Friar Mere, in his annual report to the Bishop of Chester in 1815, mentions the " Delph Methodist School as containing upwards of 100 children." The eight Union schools in 1819 con- tained 1,508 children. Before the Boarshurst School was built, in 1812, the seven schools then in the Union had 1,401 scholars, Wharmton School having the largest number, namely, 300. In . 1821 the eight Union schools had only 1,155 scholars, nearly 100 fewer in 1822, but in 1832 the number was 1,324. The population of the township in 1811 amounted to 12,559; in 1821 to 13,902; and in 1831 to 15,986. The late Sir Edward Baines reports the number of Sunday Schools in Saddleworth in 1843 to be:-Church Schools 4, with 544 scholars and 129 teachers; other Sunday Schools 18, containing 3,132 scholars and 807 teachers. The population in 1841 was 16,829. What the numbers are in 1891 we shall see further on in this chapter. Saddleworth appears to have been singularly free from members of the Roman Catholic Church in modern times, as no trace is found of them in either church or school. - No Saddle- worth parishioner is tound in the List of Recusants drawn up the Commissioners in the diocese of Chester, who conducted their inquiries in 1580,

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et seq. Sir John Ramsden, the lord of the manor during the Commonwealth, was a zealous and rigid Presbyterian ; and one of the Farrer family - (s), which subsequently owned the lordship, was & Bishop of the Church of England. - Members of the Lancashire classes frequently held a monthly exercise in " Saddleworth Chapel," and the cele- brated Nonconformist Henry Newcombe, in his diary for 1662, mentions having preached there one day. The Rev. John Buckley, in 1814, thus reports to the Bishop of Chester :-" The number of houses in this chapelry [Friar Mere] is about 258. I compute the Methodists at 100 families ; Independents, perhaps 60 ; Anabaptists, 60 to 80 ; (t) no ParimsTs." On another occasion, he says, there was one Papist in the Chapelry, a p Irish tailor, who, on the Sabbath, walked to and from Manchester to worship amongst his co-religionists, and, not improbably, was the most pious individual in the township. There has, therefore, never been any risk to Saddle- worth children of suffering perversion to the Romish faith. - Such theology and religion as Saddleworth has ever had since the Reformation has been entirely of an Episcopal or Dissenting cast. What is termed " High Church " has a fow times made attempts to introduce itself, but has never met with a kindly reception. Saddleworth is Protestant to the backbone. - But here, as in most other places, Church and Dissent have never fraternised much. - When the venerable and saintly John Wesley visited Delph in 1788, only three years before his death, the curate of Heights Chapel (u) having promised his chapel for

L222 c 2222222

Notre one time secretary to Cranmer, the celebrated Archbishop of Canterbury; was ultimately tried for heresy by the Popish Bishop of St. David's, and

¥£ed at the Market Cross, Caermarthen, March 30th,

Nots a "Return of Papists' Estates," made in

the reign of George I., one Papist, John Dawson, was found in Butterworth.

(u). -The Rev. Launcelot Bellas, M.A., was then incumbent of Heights. He shortly afterwards was trans- ferred to the curacy of Marsden, which village, from the

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the good man to preach in, was obliged to turn back upon his courtesy, and refuse the privilege at the last moment, as John and his friends were about to commence their journey up the hill. However, the Independents hospitably gave up their chapel for the use of the disappointed Methodists on that day. Sinco then there appears to have been no love wasted between Church folks and the Wesleyans on Friar Mere. In 1815 the Rev. John Buckley, seeretary of the Saddleworth Sunday School Union, says to his bishop, of the Delph Wesleyans, " Not likely to unite with ours (schools) in any plan." - For a few years the Episcopalians and the Delph Inde- pendents seem to have worked together for good under John Buckley and Noah Blackburn, these. gentlemen being chiefly instrumental in the formation of the Saddleworth Sunday School Union, in the year 1810, as will now appear :-

Ata meeting of the gentlemen, ministers, and other inhabitants of the parish of Saddleworth, in pursuance of public notice, at the house of Mr. John Wrigley innkeeper, of Dobcross, on Friday, the 30th day o March, 1810, to deliberate upon a plan for uniting under one scheme of management all the Sundai Schools within the said parish. - The Rev. Noah Blackburn in the chair. The following resolutions were unanimously agreed upon as leading rules for the conducting of the Suptgsy Schools within the said parish that become united :-

1. " That the five congregations meeting for divine worship at Saddleworth, Dobcross, Delph (the old chapel), Heights, and Lydgate, do now unite their efforts to support the Sunday Schools that either are, or may be, instituted under the patronage of the said Union." 2. " That the principal object of this Union is to teach the children of the poor to read their mother tongue and write a plain hand, and also to improve their tender minds with the duties they owe to God and their parents, and to form them fit members of society."

notoriety he conferred upon it by his " sprees," afterwards was popularly called " Bellas-town." Bellas married a Saddleworth lady-a Miss Shaw-" of some means,'' it is stated.-Query: Did she countermand the invitation to

Wesley ?

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3. "That the congregations so united shall in rota- tion, for the support of such schools, make subscriptions, collections, and donations, which shall be placed in the hands of a treasurer hereafter to be chosen, who shall apply the moneys, as by the committee, for the support of the said schools, and give notice to the ministers to make such collections in their turn."

4. "That a committee be chosen out of the whole parish consisting of four to each school (24 at the com- mencement), to manage the business of the schools, act as inspectors. or appoint sufficient persons in their stead. Also, that they shall meet every quarter, at which one teacher from each school shall attend to give an account of the behaviour of the scholars, their progress, and what is wanted to carry on the institution with pro- pricty. And, future, that the ministers of the said Union shall constantly be added to the said committee (making their number five more) to vote with them, but not liable to serve as inspectors. And in order to render this Society permanent, and to secure the property belonging to it, the committee shall have power, whenever it shall be judged by them that any school in the Union fixed in one part of the parish would be more con- venient and beneficial in another part, to remove the forms, desks, and books, the property of this Society, to such other situation, and that at any of the meetings nine out of the said number of committmen shall be com- pelilsenlt to act, or as many in number as there are schools." -

5. " That Mr. John Wrigley, banker, of Dobcross, be the treasurer for the first year of this institution, and the following gentlemen to form the committee for the present year, viz.:-Messrs. John Roberts, Delph ; Jonas Ainley, Delph; James Shaw, Dale ; J ohn Shaw, Sandbed ; James Lawton, Delph ; Joseph Heginbottom, Well Head ; Thomas Harrop, Doficross ; James Harrop, Tamewater ; Joseph Lawton, Dobcross ; Francis Platt, Heathfields ; Samuel Rhodes, Deanhead ; John Buckley, Hollingrove ; John Platt, Heathfields ; John Bradbury, Brun; James Bradbury, Fairbanks; Joseph Harrop, Grasscroft; James Wright, Grove; James Wrigley, Lower Lydgate; John Ragcliffe, Stonebreaks ; Ammon Platt, Heathficlds ; John Broadbent, Tunstead ; Gamaliel Buckley, Delph; Edmund Buckley, Banks ; and Giles Shaw, Uppermill."

6. "That there shall be an annual meeting of the com- mittee, treasurer, and one master from each school, when the accounts of the year shall be audited, the pro-

gress of the children inquired into, and the state of the schools ; at which time half of the committee shall go

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out of office, and new ones chosen in their place, to be chosen by, and go out at the discretion of the ministers

of the said Union." Then follow a number of "Rules for the

Teachers," making the number of resolutions into 18, concluding as follows :-

** That the ministers of the Union give notice to all the said members of the committee to meet them at the house of Mrs. Lawton, innkeeper, Delph, on Thursday, the 25th of April next, to enter into such resolutions as

they judge proper for forwarding into practice the good intentions of this institution.”—Signedl:

N. B.LacKkBURN, Chairman. It is a remarkable fact that, perhaps with the exception of the Delph Wesleyan Sunday School, and, possibly, the Sunday School at Lydgate, all the earliest Saddleworth Schools were undenomi- national in principle. Indeed, nothing of a sectarian character is indicated in the first trust deed of the Lydgate School. In the six articles I have just quoted from the first minute book of the Saddleworth Sunday School Union there is nothing that can be construed into denomi- nationalism. The second, which sets forth the _" principal object of this Union," is one to which a professed Deist could take no exception. In the twelve remaining articles, which I do not quote at length, there is nothing in contraven- tion of this wise and tolerant spirit of equality on grounds of religious belief. The Ninth Article, one of the " Rules for Teachers," runs thus :- The main object of this Charity being to qualify the oor children of the said parish to r the Bible and estament, and to write a plain hand, it is what they [the teachers] are to labour to accomplish. They are

not allowed to bring in any books or papers to be taught but by order of the Committee, nor teach the scholars

lessons anything contrary to the leading doctrines of Christianity, as set forth in the Articles and Homilies of the Church of England. This is the nearest approach to anything of a sectarian hue, and it may be allowed as tending to keep the schools of the Union free from con- troversy. The " Rules for Inspectors" include

one to the effect that "the schooling is to be

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commenced and concluded each day with an appropriate prayer." This, also, is a wise direction, but was not generally observed in the schools, I fear. When a child, for many years I went to one of the schools connected with the Union, but do not remember that ever once was prayer audibly made, either before or after " schooling." Not even the demented shipwrecked sailor's resource of making "a collection," for lack of ability to pray, was thought of as a substitute. It is no reflection upon the good intentions of the teachers to say their ingenuity seldom exceeded the smartness of directing a poor learner to " call it something sharp, and go on," if in reading, a word presented itself of any complexity in spelling. They were mostly of the type of the Uppermill one, who one day was reading Gore's Iiverpool Advertiser, with the page upside down, and being asked " What news ?" said he thought it must have been very rough at sea, as all the ships were wrong side upwards ! The hitherto miserably incongruous compound of Church and Dissent did not long work har- moniously in the commendable Sunday School Union. The perversity begot of pride and intolerant assumption on one hand, ard of revolutionary fanaticism on the other, always leads to mischief. The Church ministers were not all possessed of the mild and gentle dis- position nor the culture of the Rev. John Buckley, of Friar Mere. Sutcliffe, of St. Chad's, and Cleasby, of Lydgate, were far from exemplary ministers of the Gospel, both of them being devotees of Bacchus and John Barleycorn, rather than disciples of the Prophet of Nazareth. Canon Raines says of "he was addicted to low company and drunkenness, . . . . a high Tory -of no literary attainments." Sutcliffe, Cleasby, and Bellas, of Marsden, were often " on the spree » tooether Noah Blackburn, in a small pamphlet, pubhshed in 1818, relates from his point of view how dis- sension soon discovered itself in the Committee of

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the Union. He had then left the Union, and calls his tract, " A Statement of Facts; or Reasons Assigned for Seceding from the Saddleworth Sunday School Union." - He addresses himself to his " Respected Countrymen," and after a few preliminary remarks says : " Whether or not I am correct in my sonjecture I will not assert, but it has appeared to me for some time, and, indeed, almost from the commencement of the Union, that the clergy, especially those who have thought more sedately (sic) upon the business, have had a design of separating me from the Union, as, I presume, the following statement will show to every dispassionate and unbiassed mind. I say it has appeared so to me; the truth of it I leave to the minds of the clergy." Hethen says : " Eight years ago the four clergymen and myself united in the formation of Sunday Schools, in which, I believe the inhabitants of the parish cordially joined, and have given proof of their cordiality by liberally coming forward with pecuniary aid." - Disclaiming all sectarian spirit, he proceeds to show how he took an active part in the establishment of the schools, and thought he had a right to visit them " in rota- tion '" whenever he thought fit. He then relates how " one Sabbath evening," soon after their commencement, in company with a friend, he paid a visit to one of them. - His intention was " to address the children, to pray with them and for them, and to dismiss the school." Directly after they entered the school, " the clergyman of the place came in, hastened to the chair, and dis- missed the scholars," upon which Noah and his friend, of course, had to quit too. - It is easy to see that, under similar circumstances, this delec- table piece of Saddleworth religious history would be sure to be repeated at this day, and thus shows that Saddleworth folk's nature, like human nature in general, is ever essentially the same- '

The past still travels with us from afar ' And what we have been makes us what we are.

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Mr. Blackburn goes on to say that he drew up the address or statement of principles upon which the Union was originally founded (quoted above), the four clergymen before alluded to having each also agreed to write out such a sketch, but failed to do so, so that at the public meeting called to adopt a scheme, Mr. Black- burn's being the only one produced, was approved and sanctioned. It was ordered by the meeting to be printed, but, says Mr. Blackburn, " the clergy took the alarm, and I was forbid to pub- lish it at present." One of the clergy borrowed the manuscript, and on returning it, " sent one of his own compositions, desiring that it should sup- plant mine." Mr. Blackburn says he was not to be "duped " in that way, and with the advice of influential friends, he at once got 200 copies of his own composition printed and circulated. (v.) The clergy, he says, charged him with being actuated by vanity and presumption - "with flattery, a passion I know as little of as most people." Poor Noah! he seems to have felt the suspicions and envious treatment of the clergy very keenly. He records how, a short time after the opening of the schools, the conductors of | Kilngreen School invited him to preach in the school, " to address the children and the people that might attend." "This raised a terrible fer- ment in a certain quarter, and 1 was informed that I must neither address the children nor preach in the school." ".This kind of conduct filled me with astonishment, and I felt very sen- sibly for the poor children, for it appeared I must not visit them, and none else would." I found that our boasted Union was only a union in name, not in reality, and instead of animating me, quite relaxed the sinews of exertion." But he did not till 1817 leave the Union. It required a few more

NotrE (v).-Whether this one of Noah's was identical with the copy from the minute book, which only I have seen, I do not know. Probably it was not. Should one of the "200" have been fortunately preserved, I should esteem it a favour to be allowed to see it. -M.B.

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doses of clerical intolerance and unfairness to drive him finally out. In the minute book of the

Committee of the Sunday School Union I find the following :-

At a meeting of the clergy of the Union at Dobecross, March 3rd, 1812-Resolved, that no one of the ministers of this society shall visit any of the schools of the Union for the purpose of exhorting or praying with the scholars, excepting that or those schools to which (by the custom or usage of this society) he is to appoint the


The object of this seems clearly to be the exclusion of the element of Dissent from the schools. No other business appears to have been transacted at this meeting. I gather from the Rev. John Buckley's Diary that, in 1813, consider- able excitement existed amongst the Saddleworth clergy " in consequence of Noah Blackburn, of Delph, and other Dissenters in the township of Quick, having sent a petition to both Houses of Parliament, praying that all persons, of whatever sort, desirous to go to the East Indies, for pro- pagating Christianity, &c., should not be molested, but protected so long as they behaved well." It is not easy to see why a proceeding of this kind should give umbrage to any reasonable body of men, much less to men professional teachers of the Gospel. However, a letter of remonstrance to the members of Parliament for the West Riding was sent by the Saddleworth clergy, which, amongst other singular remarks, contained this :-

We have got a few uneasy persons, particularly two Dissenting ministers, one of them residing, and the other occasionally coming within the township, that employ much time in stirring up the lowest of the people to intermeddle as reformers of State affairs, hence petition after petition is passing; the late one (for Peace and Reformation in Parliament), was, as we understand, transmitted to you. We knew not of it till after it was sent to you to present. 'The one which you are shortly to receive is now handing about for signa- tures, which will not be wanting so long as there are so many children in the Sunday Schools that can write their names. .

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Were it necessary to comment upon language of this kind, used by professed clerical patrons of Sunday Schools, it would be painful as: difficult to find terms sufficiently strong in reprobation of it. The Church of England may well pray to be saved from some of its servants and over- zealous friends. The work of disintegration in the Sunday School Union went on. Ata meeting of the committee in 1814, an order was made " That some forms and desks in the possession of Mr. Blackburn be sent to Boarshurst School." Yet, in 1818, the Secretary of the Sunday School Union sent an invitation to Mr. Blackburn to attend a quarterly meeting. Mr. Blackburn

replied as follows :- . Delph, 2nd July, 1818. Rev. Sir,-Being returned from a journey to-night, I lose no time to answer your letter inviting me to a meeting to-morrow evening. - Why you should invite me to such a meeting I am at a loss to devise, because it cannot fail to be in your recollection that above a year ago you voted me out of the Union, since which time I have considered myself as having nothing to do with it, nor can I as things stand. However, if my congregation have no objection to continue in the Union I shall use no means to prevent them.-As a friend to

Sunday Schools, I am, Sir, yours respectfully, N. BLACKBURN.

Extract from the minute book of the Sunday School Union :- At a meeting at Mr. Turdough's, Calf Hey (near Junction, Friar Mere), 26th June, 1817, Rev. B. Cleasby in the chatr, it was resolved, " That the Church Catechism be introduced into all the schools of this Society, and that the scholars thereof be taught the same, according to the rites (sic) of the Church of England, provided, nevertheless, that none of the

scholars be forced contrary to their parents' consent or approbation to learn the same."

Mr. N. Blackburn, in his " Statement of Facts,' &c., says persons who attended this meeting and assisted to make a majority to pass this resolu- tion had no right to be there, upon which he resolved to secede. He proceeds :-

I -am a Dissenter-an Independent Dissenter-in principle, and I am so far from being ashamed of the

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name that I rejoice in the privilege. . . . . Yet, though I am a Dissenter, I heartily approve of and always preach a able to the Doctrinal Articles of the Church of England, not because they are the Doctrinal Articles of the Church of England, but: purely because they appear to be agreeable to the Word of God. He disapproves only of its discipline and cere- monies, and does not think that if the teaching of the Church Catechism had been proposed at first the Saddleworth Sunday School Union would ever have been formed. He asks if one-fifth part of the property of Sunday School Union property does not belong to the Dissenters? In his con- cluding paragraph of the "statement, &c.," he says:-" We have come to a resolution to establish a Sunday School among ourselves, but are willing to relinquish the idea if the parishioners are willing to return to the first principles of the Union." The Reverends (?) Sutcliffe and Cleasby were not likely men to revoke their unseemly work. According to the Rev. John Buckley and Canon Raines, who knew both of them only too well, they were a disgrace to the Church of England.-(w.) When wickedness clothes itself in priestly garb it is ever most hope- less, most odious, and most mischievous. The minute book of the Saddleworth Sunday School Union, which was preserved by the late Mr. Whitelocke, of St. Chad's, and which was lent to me for a few days, extends over a period of 23 years, from 1810 to 1832. During the whole of this period the good and revered Mr. John Buckley, 45 years curate of Friar Mere, was the ° indefatigable secretary. The meetings of the committee were held quarterly, and almost invariably at some respectable inn. These meet- ings were itinerant, and circulated through the

NotEk (w.)-The Rev. John Sutcliffe, M.A., the last of the Ancient Order of Servitors in University College, Ox- ford, 40 years headmaster of Haworth (birthplace of Charlotte Bronté) Grammar School, near Bradford, and curate of Saddleworth, died at Dobcross, 1841. Never went near the school of which he held the head- mastership for 40 years! ~

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- 67

whole of the township, in the months of March, June, September, and December, from the Sun Inn, on the northern boundary, to Greenfield, in the south; and from Standedge Foot, in the east, to the Three Crowns, above Auster- lands, in the west. There would appear to have been always provided a sumptuous dinner, delectated with wine and other drinks. At the quarterly meeting, held December 30th, 1830, this resolution was passed, I doubt not, though it does not appear who moved it, at the instance of the worthy secretary :-"That this meeting is unanimously of opinion that the system of expecting the inspectors who attend the annual meetings to take wine after dinner is injurious, and serves to prevent many zealous inspectors from attending, as they cannot afford to spend the sum required, and do hereby recom- mend that after a plain, decent dinner every inspector be allowed to please himself what he drinks." Future generations will, perhaps, marvel to learn that nearly every kind of meeting of a public nature was held in public houses in Saddleworth in the last half of the last, and the first half of this, century. When petty sessions of the magistrates were first held in Saddleworth (+) it was in a public house, and they continued to be so for many years subsequently. At an extraordinary meeting of the promoters of the Sunday School Union, held at Delph, April 26th, 1810, the Rev. Mr. Sutcliffe in the chair, the undermentioned places were " selected for the establishment of Sunday Schools, viz., Delph, Uppermill, Kilngreen, Wharmton, Lydgate, and at some convenient situation on Friar Mere." At a second extraordinary meeting at Uppermill, May 10th, 1810, Rev. Noah Blackburn in the chair, it was agreed to engage Kilngreen School for a Sunday School, at a rental of 2s. 6d. a week; one at Uppermill, from a Mr. Brookes (school-

Nots Petty Sessions were first held weekly at the 'Commercial,' Uppermill, and at the ° King's Head,' Dobcross, alternatel "-B, T. BRADBURY, J.P.

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master), at a rental of £8 for one year; and a room at Wood, Friar Mere, belonging to Mr. James Mills, at 1s. per week. 'Mr. Fox, the schoolmaster at Wharmton, made "a gratuitous offer" of schoolrooms. The Rev. Mr. Buckley offered a room free at Delph, and " it was expected a room at Lydgate would be obtained free of charge." It may be inferred from these state- ments that no Sunday Schools existed in the localities named at this time. It may be the Sunday School in the chapelry of Lydgate, in 1788, had somehow ceased to exist. New brooms, it is said, sweep cleanly. Con- siderable show of business is made at these early meetings of the Union Committee, in arranging for the purchase of books and the necessary furniture for the schoolrooms. At a meeting at Dobcross, July 9th, 1810, Noah Blackburn in the chair, it being reported that books which had been ordered in London some months before had not arrived, Mr. James Shaw, of Dale, was " deputed to purchase 10 dozen of Markham's Spelling Books at Huddersfield, if he can pur- chase them at 10s. 6d. per doz.!" Mr. Blackburn was " deputed" to wait upon Mr. Roby, " or some other trustes, of the Auxiliary Manchester Society to the British and Foreign Bible Society, with a ticket from Mr. Whitehead as a recommendation, to purchase, at the reduced prices, Bibles and Testaments . . . to the amount of £10 10s., for the S8. S. Union!" How shrewd, thrifty, and economical must needs be these " Little Peddling- tonians," and yet, withal, so respectable! Not pounds, but guineasworth of Bibles must be purchased ! The respectable form of subscrip- tion to a charity in our great grandfathers' days was in guineas and half-guineas! Pounds, shillings, and pence were for the common and vulgar! "The Revs. Blackburn and Buckley (sec.) were deputed to receive the communications of the other clergy of this Union, and with their own endeavours make out proper (!) forms of prayers and a selection of psalms and bymns

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for the use of the S. School Institution '!" Ob, my! Ten days after this magnificent essay of work the sapient gentlemen hold a fifth extraordinary meeting at Delph, Rev. Mr. Sutcliffe in the chair, when " a selection of psalms and hymns were approved of, and ordered to be printed." At the regularly appointed quarterly meeting, at Dobcross, September 27th, 1810, " forms, &c. ,” were ordered for Uppermill and W harmton Schools [Mr. Fox would seem to have reserved his school furniture}, and a room of Mr. Robert Ken- worthy's was engaged on Sundays, at the rate of 1s. 6d. per week, at Salterhebble's, " as the room in Delph School is become too small for all those that attend!" "Stoves and pipes" were ordered for Wood Schools, and sundry other things for the other schools. Saddleworth Church was ; fixed upon to make a collection on behalf of the Sunday School Union on the following 14th of October. Finally, at this meeting it was resolved " That none of the children in the schools shall be allowed to begin to write till they can read in the Testament." Dare not to say our parochial ancestors could not legislate! - Alas! for " pot- hooks and ladles." So they go on! The next quarterly meeting was held at Delph, December 21th, 1810, at the house of Mr. Daniel Wrigley [" Shankin's"] when, after sundry orders for *" forms, &c.," had been agreed upon, the follow- ing orders for books, " under the direction of the clergy "-(oh ! these clergy)—were deter- mined :- " Kilngreen.-6 Bibles, 12 Testaments, 12 Spellings." " Warmton (so spelt).-15 Bibles, 24 Spellings," " Delph.-12 Bibles, 24 Spellings." "A few shillings" were allowed to repair a "hole in the roof" of the Delph School, and respecting the " School at Wood " it was resolved "that the removing of the scholars out of the mill into other rooms be agreed to at £5!" So the first Sunday School in Friar Mere was started

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in a mill. " Books for Lydgate School, purchased by Mr. Harrop, ordered to be paid for." " It is judged reasonable by this meeting that a school be established upon that side of Friar Mere called ''The Dark Side'" This resolution was made in response to an application from Denshaw.

The first annual meeting was held at the house of Mr. John Bottomley, Saddleworth Church, when the work done in the schools was reported upon as "highly gratifying." Said report "ordered to be printed and circulated." The treasurer's accounts were passed, showing a balance to the credit of the Union of £112 1s. 9d., which was carried forward to the ensuing year. Well, despite the pomposity of show, this was indeed a year's good work for Saddleworth. Poor mothers who had been puzzled and troubled with their children running wild and to waste on Sundays, with cheerful hearts could now, on the morning of the Blessed Day, wash and finish their dressing with clean, white pinafores, and send them to school, singing-

O come, come away : Who does not wish to die a fool Must early come to Sunday School, And there learn the Saviour's rule ;

O0 come, come away.

There was no more occasion for such items as this, which appeared in the Churchwarden's accounts of Almundbury for 1752 :- *

Spent when going to Berry Brow to see if the children were playing on the Sabbath Day.

It may please and be of interest to the descendants and relatives of the first Inspectors of Saddleworth Sunday Schools to give a list of their names, as they appeared in the first Annual

Report :- (*)

Note (*).-There were four inspectors to each school, and they attended at the schools four weekly in rotation. Two new ones were elected, or rather appointed, by the

clergy annually., |

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71 Kilngreen. -Samuel Rhodes, Deanhead............ } or . John Bradbury, Brum........................ James Broadbent, Harrop Cote ......... } New Joseph Bradbury, Running Hill ......... Uppermill.-Ammon Platt, Heathfields............ Old John Broadbent, Tunstead.................. Wm. Buckley, Uppermill .................. New John Radcliffe, Cross ........................ ' Warmton.-Joseph Harrop, Tamewater ......... Old John Wrigley, Dobcross..................... Wm. Whitehe@Rd ... New JAMC Wild cesses es Delph.-Jonas Ainley, Delph ........................ John Shaw, Sandbed-lane .................. } Old John Gartside, Delph ........................ } New Robert Kenworthy, Delph......:........... Wood.-James Shaw, Dale ........................... t ota Edmund Buckley, Banks .................. Abraham Gartside, Nook .................. { N Ben Wrigley, Castleshaw .................. § New Lydgate.-Joseph Harrop, Grasscroft ............ James Wright, .,..... } o Robert Platt, Brownhill ..................... N John Radcliffe, Grasseroft.................. } ew Denshaw.-Joshua Radcliffe, Bowkhouse......... 1 ol g ohn Ecfiofielgl,bI(-)];c¢iightsl:f._.“I.1 games a oseph Hegginbottom, Heights ......... James Whitehead, Denshaw............... i New

The large number of teachers (129) for four Church Sunday Schools, as given by Ed. Baines in 1843, in comparison with the number of scholars (544), is accounted for by the fact that the same teacher only served one Sunday in four. For many years the Saddleworth Sunday School Union held on its way with varying useful and financial success. There are causes so good that no amount of stupid mismanagement can easily ruin. The Sunday School Union was one of these. Decent people, who daily felt the incon- veniences and hindrances of defective schooling, availed themselves of the opportunities afforded by Sunday schools to impart to their children the means whereby they might subsequently get knowledge, namely, the ability to read and write, " cordially," as Noah Blackburn said, did all they could to support the institution, not only with

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T2 their contributions, but, with the trifling ability to teach which they themselves possessed, were proud to give their services as teachers in the schools. Among the advantages and blessings derivable to the: poor from Sunday schools I need not dilate. My excellent and cultivated friend, the late Mr. Edwin Thornton, in his admirable prize essay on Sunday schools, saved me this grateful task: It will be found in his writings about to be published ere long. It makes not the least of the many claims he has left to a cherished remembrance in the hearts and minds of his countrymen. As a Sunday school teacher for the most and best part of his life, no one was better qualified than he truly and fully to deal with the subject. We have seen that the little but ancient village of Denshaw made early a? lication to be admitted into the Sunday School Union, so that it might also have a Sunday school. A school was started in a house that belonged to Mr. J. Schofield (? alias "Duntle"), the annual rent of which was £10 9s. 2M., but a portion of the premises was re-let to James Wrigley as a cottage for five guineas a year. It may be stated here that the total rent paid by the Union for its schools in the year 1818 was £28 5s., of which sum £10 4s. 2$d. was paid for the rent of the schools on Friar Mere, one on the "Light Side" and the other on the " Dark Side." It is noted in the minutes of the annual meeting of the Union Committee in 1812 that application had been made by someone for the premises at Denshaw for the purpose of teaching a day school, the applicant, I conjecture, being Mr. James Platt, afterwards master of Boarshurst School. He had been a pupil and assistant teacher in the Rev. Mr. Hargreaves's school at Ogden. This school so flourished that the school buildings now at Range, a short distance from the village, were erected, mainly by public subscription, in 1824 There was much misunderstanding and dissension amongst the subscribers-Churchmen

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and Dissenters-when the trust deeds of this school had to be drawn up. One deed was drawn up which contained the appointment of 24 trustees, 12 Churchmen and 12 Dissenters; but this the majority of the Churchmen repudiated, upon which the principal subscribers amongst the Dissenters declined to pay up their quota, and the process of building and fitting up was for a time suspended. Ultimately, however, the build- ings were finished at a total cost of £462 9s. 11d., inclusive of £16 8s. 8d. paid for the land. But the managers, as is usual in such cases, got much into debt. The amount of subscriptions received up to the spring of 1829 was £290 2s. 9d., which left a debt owing "in unpaid bills" of £172 7s. 2d. In 1829 a trust deed was settled, in which were appointed 21 trustees, all Churchmen, of which the Rev. John Buckley, curate of Friar Mere, was one. Through him application was made to the " Board of the National Society for the Education of the poor in the principles of the Church of England " for "affiliation," and on the 6th May, 1829. This Board made a grant of £100 to the school. In the "application " or petition sent to London occur the following statements :- 3 £5353?“ population of the Chapelry in 1821 was

[According to the Government Census Returns the population in 1831 was 2,757.] "2. The number of children therein receiving chess (2,50 mtfil'fous instruction is not less than 200 boys an ris." this statement and the Government Census in 1831 were correct, nearly one-sixth part of the popula- tion of Friar Mere was attendingfhe schools !] , "3. Exclusive of the school (Denshaw) for which aid is asked, there is not in the Chapelry at present provi- sion for the instruction of more than 100 boys and 100 girls in a Sunday School similar to this, and maintained y occasional collections in the same chapel situated within two miles from this." [The Delph Union School and the Castleshaw School, as it exists to-day, wore then in a flourishing state. In the year 1832 the number of Sunday scholars attending Castleshaw School was 157, and at Delph School 135,

according to the report of the Sunday School Union.

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May it not be said that " if truth were banished from the rest of the world, it still ought to be found in the hearts and on the lips of Sunday School teachers ?"] - * The instruction to be afforded in the school is by one permanent stipendiary master, assisted by a sufficient number of male and female teachers gratuitously. The master's stipend is the occupation or rental of the new dwelling house, worth £5 per annum." ** 7. The schoolroom is large, 40 feet long, 30 feet wide," and 13 feet high to the ceiling, making an area of 6feet square to each boy and girl (100 of each). "* 8. The instrument or writing £22131; deed] constitutes it freehold, and for nc other use t for a school under the Establishment !' _" 9. The estimated cost of the ground is £16 8s. 8d., and of the building £446 1s. 3d., the fitting-up not charged. The benches, books, and cupboard, were taken from schoolrooms which were rented before this was under- taken, and not charged. The books are 43 Bibles, 48 Testaments, 30 spellings, 90 readings (? ° made easy), and 40 Catechisms.'" [We thus see that the Reverend Sutcliffe's, or Cleasby's, resolution had borne fruit, and the Catechism had been introduced into the schools of the Union, though partly supported by the Dissenters. Professedly religious bodies are sometimes endowed with the powers

of the octupus.] "10. The estimated annual charge for Master is the

House £5, and for Books £5 more, total £10." "12. The subscribers include land proprietors, their tenants, clothiers, weavers, mechanics, &c., in the neighbourhood." . - " Several of the land proprietors, being Dissenters, refused their subscriptions, because the school was solely upon Church principles, i.e., not allowed to be also licensed for Dissenting preaching. This has much reduced the expected means." "13. The only other means are second subscriptions from those who have already subscribed, the utmost of wgich 8379 can expect is thirty or forty pounds.'"- 66 ign ,n " Jorn BUcKLEYy, Incumbent, "Wx. Trustee, " ABM. GARTSIDE, Trustee, " Joun BucxuEy, Inspector, " Gro. Master, ** Managers appointed at annual meetings."

The reference to the school being " not allowed to be licensed for Dissenting preaching" is, perhaps, traceable, to the fact that the school at

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Boarshurst had been licensed for that purpose a short time previously, viz., October 4th, 1827 (y). The statement in the eighth paragraph about the school being "under the Establishment " is sub- stantially, but not literally, true. The engagement in the trust deed of lease and release is in these words :-" For a Sunday and Day School for the instruction and teaching of children in such branches of learning as the said trustees in their discretion shall think fit, and in instructing them in good manners." > The motto over the lintel of the door is " Fruditio utilis moribus urbanis." Denshaw School was thus the first in worth to come under the auspices of the National Society, and the first to receive the dubious honour of a " National " grant of £100. This grant, how- ever, did not finish the difficulties of incubation. In January, 1831, I find the trustees being " sued for debt" by a timber merchant of Oldham, and by James Brierley, a carpenter. Following the example of Denshaw, on November 4th, 1831, the School at Delph was affiliated to the National Society. The benefits derivable in this case would be in getting books, &c., cheaply, and at first hand. - All schools under this society were obliged to accept its scheme of.: teaching, subser- vient to the Church of England. In 1865 the only surviving trustee of the twenty-one originally appointed in 1829 was Mr. Josiah Swithinbank. The then incumbent of Heights Chapel, who was a trustee ex-officio, was relieved of his trust by the Charity Commis- sioners, who sanctioned a new deed, containing a

NotE upon the action of the (so-called) Churchmen in this Denshaw School business, I believe the Wesleyans started a Sunday School and place of worship at Cherry Clough, on the Huddersfield and Newhey turn. pike roadside. The place is now known as Chapel-street, and consists of a cottage and a shippon. On the erection of Denshaw Church (1862-3) the Wesleyan "cause'" declined, and, ultimately, ceased to exist ; but during the t two or three years it has been revired under the ostering care of the Messrs. Byrom,lof Brooklands Lodge. The Sunday worship is conducted in the large room of tile Co-operative Stores, Junction.

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" conscience clause " for Dissenters, whereby the number of trustees was reduced to nine, including " Old Swithinbank," who could not be persuaded to relinquish his trust, and the patron, incumbent, and wardens of Denshaw Church for the time being. The trustees are all to reside within seven miles of the School; and whenever a vacancy occurs amongst 'them the survivors are to elect & new one, subject to the approval of the Charity Commissioners. The incumbent for the time being is to be chairman by virtue of his office. About the time of the completion of the new trust deed, the late Henry Gartside, Esq., of Wharm- ton Tower, the founder and patron of Denshaw Church, considerably enlarged the school build- ings at his sole expense. In 1813 it was arranged for "all the schools in the Sunday School Union to meet at one o'clock on the second Sunday of September that year, at Wool Road, for the purpose of attending St. Chad's Saddleworth Church that evening." This appears to have been the first of a series of annual meetings of the schools belonging to the Union for the purpose of attending one of the parochial chapels, the ministers of which were active members of the S. S. Union. Itis to be noted there is no account of their ever assembling in the Independent Chapel, Delph. The reason why is easily to be conceived. When the writer was a Sunday - scholar the annual meetings of the scholars at some place of worship were held on Whit Tuesday. Some weeks before, hymns and tunes to which they were to be sung were selected, and each Sunday till the anniversary the scholars of each school were taught to sing them. At a meeting of the Unior Committee in December, 1811, it was decided to purchase a copy for each school of the first volume of Harrison's Psalm Tunes. Some of the schools had a fiddle or two. There is an entry in the Boarshurst School minute book which reads :-" It was moved and carried unanimously that Ner Bottomley, of Tunstead, should have

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the bass fiddle during the next quarter!" Another :-" It was agreed that Ner Bottomley should have five shillings of a salary, and go free of expense at the yearly day, for playing the bass fiddle, subject to a fine, morning and evening, if he does not attend with the fiddle.'"' Ner would be there at the time, no doubt. A more pleasant and attractive sight can hardly be conceived than the scholars of half-a- dozen schools, in separate bodies of some two hundred each ; the girls dressed in white, or light, gay patterns of calico, and the boys with bran new suits of cloth or fustian, wending their way from different quarters through the lanes and footpaths encircled by green fields and flowery meadows which lead through Harropdale, and up the gentle slopes to St. Chad's, on a bright, sunny morning in May or early June; linnets and finches in the wayside hedges and larks overhead, warbling their sweet minstrelsy ! And there ever prevailed a laudable feeling of rivalry in the schools as to which should acquit itself best in the singing at the churches on the anniversary. " Bill at Turner Bank," with his violin, and " Ner," of Tunstead, with his bass, would tweedle their strings with the finest and most delicate touches. "Tom o' Rachel's," too, with his German flute, would, in sotto voce parts of the tunes, make its soft and silvery notes penetrate every part of the sacred edifice, and subdue to finest touches of ecstacy the tender hearts of the children. One can hardly think with composure that impure lips such as those of Sutcliffe or Cleaseby should be permitted to take any part in such a service. With the pious and gentle Rev. John Buckley, of Friar Mere, it would be different. With a childlike but exalted simplicity, heart to heart, he would discourse to " the little ones " upon their privileges, their responsibilities, and their duties, not only on Sundays at school, but in their daily life at home. Blessed be the

memory of the good and upright clergyman. He

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\ 78

and such as the venerable Grundy, of Hey Chapel, are the salt which preserves the Church of England in the hearts of the people. After service in the chapel the children and teachers of the schools marched back again, sometimes taking a circuitous route through the villages to show their finery. Back again at the school the scholars had refreshments served out to them in the shape of spice cake and home-brewed ale. Sparingly as this was generally done, the ale in some cases proved a little too potent, and the lads would fight a few battles on their way home. A valued friend informs me that he has heard old folks relate how they had seen the scholars of the circumspect Wesleyan School at Delph "over the line" after having Whitsuntide cake and ale. These things are of the past. The Delph Wesleyans are now mostly teetotallers, and to the Church and other schools " Bands of Hope " are current institutions. Our forefathers saw none, and perhaps there was not much harm in taking a gill of mild home-brewed ale after an exhaustive march under a broiling sun. How the funds for the " yearly days," as they were called, were raised the following entry from the minute of the Boarshurst School will explain :-

£, March 19, 1840.-Some of the teachers were requested to go round the neighbourhood, and collect what they can towards defraying the expenses of the Annual Day (Friday). OwEN Pratt, Chairman.

June 18th, 1840.-It was unanimously agreed that the money (8s. 2d.), left at the yearly day, s be spent for the benefit of the scholars on Christmas Day, together with 7s. out of the treasurer's hand.

The Quarterly Meeting of the Inspectors and Teachers of Boarshurst Sunday School was held 17th December, 1840, when it was agreed that the scholars should go to Mrs. Broadbent's, Cross Keys Inn, Saddleworth, to have the refreshment which is expected to be provided for : them, viz., 108. in cake and the remainder in ale.

Here is a resolution of a more commendable

character :-

17th June, 1841.-That the scholars shall be taken to church the first Sunday of the summer months. .

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At Castleshaw Sunday School, for many years it was the custom on the " yearly day," after the children had been sent home, for the teachers to clear out the schoolroom, and prepare it for a ball for them and their friends to be held in the evening. The young folks of the best families in the neighbourhood always attended these dances, which were continued into the early hours of the next day. These balls were subjects of conversation in the neighbourhood months before and months after their celebration, and often were the precursors of changed relationships in the families of those who attended them. Happy days ! sometimes followed by days of disappoint- ment and too late repentance. When the Saddleworth Sunday School Union ceased to exist I am unable to say. At a meeting of the Trustees of - Boarshurst School, December 28th, 1842, it was " resolved that the Sunday School be withdrawn from the Saddleworth Union of Schools, in consequence of the unfair appropriation of the Funds of the Union;" and in April, 1884, it was decided to form a Union with the Sunday School at Kilngreen, so that this latter body must have left the S. S. Union about the time the Boarshurst S. School left it. It is probable the Union would then cease to exist, and the Schools of which it was composed would each commence financing, &c., on its own account. The anniversary assemblies and walks of the scholars now take place on Whit-Friday, the Whitsuntide holidays having been by change of custom prorogued from the beginning to the end of the week. Service in one of the Chapels of the township has been discontinued, and the scholars are taught special hymns for some Sunday, in the spring or summer, set apart, on which day special collections are made for the support of the School in connection with each church or chapel. On the Whit-Friday celebra- tion almost invariably some of the Schools engage a full band of music to accompany them in their

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walks, and their sports afterwards in fields engaged for the purpose. Some of the sports carried on are even less conducive to refinement in morals than was the old custom of regalement with cake and ale. Often as much money is spent on a band by one School as would purchase a decent library. At the annual meeting of the Sunday School Union, held at the Swan Inn, Dobcross, in 1831, one of the resolutions reads as follows :-" That this meeting learns with very great grief that the Rev. Mr. Buckley wishes to resign the office of secretary, and do unanimously request that he will continue it so long as he can without danger to his health; and they likewise take this opportunity to assure him of their great respect for his private and public conduct."* five years of faithful and virtuous service to his Chapelry of Friar Mere, as pastor and minister, and some time as schoolmaster, this good man died in 1835. The Rev. Noah Blackburn died in 1821. The Rev. James Buckley (brother to John Buckley, of Friar Mere) another clerical member of the S. S. Union, died in 1820. The Rev. Bowness Cleaseby, of Lydgate, after being twice suggended by the Bishop, for immoral conduct in Westmorland, in 1829. The Rev. J ohn Sutcliffe, of St. Chad’s, another member of the 8. S. Union, to avoid expulsion by the Bishop, resigned his curacy in 1828. Died 1841. There is no evidence to show that a Sunday School existed in connection with the Independent Chapel at Delph prior to 1810. We have seen that Mr. Blackburn, in his pamphlet written in 1818, stated that his people had resolved to start one of their own, separate from the Union, in that year. There is a tradition that it was established in an upper room, near the centre of the village. When I first knew the school, in 1837, it was held in the upper rooms of a dwelling

Notr (*) The grammar of these Union resolutions some- times limps a little.

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house, near where the Manse now stands, at the eastern end of the " Old Chapel." I am indebted-as for much other luterestma information-to my late friend, Mr. Edwin Thornton and his eldest son, John Edward, for copious accounts of the origin of the Congrega- tional Chapel, and Sunday School connected with it, at Uppermill. First the chapel, as appears in another place, was built in 1807; but the first trace of the institution of the Sunday Sehool appears in 1825, and onwards to 1830, et seq., which was taught almost exclusively at first by females. A Mr. Joseph Winterbotton had been instrumental in founding the Chapel, which at first was of a Methodist complexion, and a cousin of his, Esther Winterbottom, was one of the earliest teachers in the school, which met on the . floor of the chapel, a portion of which was without pews. A Miss Betty Robinson, of Cank,; was another of the teachers, and the inspectors were Joseph Whitehead, of Den, John Schofield, of Shaws and Thomas Shaw, of Rye Top-best known as "Shaw at th' Rye." The late Mr. Owen Plat, J.P., of Prospecton, was one of the early male teachers. Later Mr. Edwin Thornton became an active teacher, and for many years was an inspector of this school. It was in that capacity he wrote the prize essay on Sunday Schools, sometime about 1848. The first roll-call of scholars, viz., for 1825, contains the names of 75 girls and 48 boys, and that for 1826, 69 girls, and 67 boys. These numbers show a healthy condition of the new movement. The numbers slowly declined till 1830, the last year of the school's existence under the original management, when they were 39 girls and 43 boys. The chapel, known as "The Independent Evangelical Methodist Church," had drifted into financial difficulties, and had to be sold, an afflicting circumstance to its zealous and pious founders. It was purchased by parties connected with the Independent Chapel at Delph, of whom the principal were John Platt, senior,

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Esq., of Heathfields, and James Buckley, Esq., J.P., of Hollyville, Greenfield. No Sunday School connected with the new interest seems to have been started till 1837, by the late Miss (z) Jane Buckley, of Hollyville, who paid out of her own pocket all the expense incurred in the first year of its existence. Miss Buckley was worthily and efficiently assisted by Miss Sally Bottomley, of Greenfield, Miss Ann Clifton, of Delph, and the Misses Marshall, of Harropdale, all of whom, with Miss Buckley, have retired to a blessed and eternal rest. The teaching of writing on a Sun- day, a bugbear to some of the Church members, was obviated by doing it on Saturday evenings, under the direction of Mr. Shackleton, the school- master of Boarshurst. The school premises were in " St. Marie's Gate," or " Lower Fold," Upper- mill. The school had been opened in June, 1837, and in July the Pastor of the Chapel, Mr. Calvert, requested Mr. Edwin Thornton to take charge of the boy scholars, and soon afterwards the late Mr. John Schofield and Mr. William M'Auliffe offered their assistance in teaching. In the autumn it was found necessary to remove into the bottom of the chapel again, from which place, however, they removed to rooms on the third storey of a building in New-street, now or lately occupied by Mr. Edward Buckley, corn mer- chant. Here they remained for about three years, and in 1838 a collection was made in Ebernezer Chapel for the benefit of the School, after a sermon by the Rev. Mr. John Sutcliffe, of Ashton. Soon after this time efforts were made by the School authorities to raise funds towards the erection of new School premises. Amongst the earliest sub- seribers were :- One of the two sisters who subsequently rebuilt the «Old Chapel" at Delpn. The Buckleys of Hollyville wete connected with this chapel from its foundation in 1746. Mr. Edward Schofield, of Castleshaw, who ' gave the greatest sum to build this place," and who died in 1749, in the 50th year of his age, devised to his "loving friends," John Buckley, of Tunstead, and Nathaniel of

Saddleworth Fold, each £100. Mr. James Buckley, of Tunstead, was one of his executors,

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« -£ s. d. James Bottomley & éon, Holly Grove ... 20 O Ammon Platt, finisher........................... 5 O0 Miss Jane Buckley .............................. 10 O A Well-wisher-T.S8.8. 2 O Wm. S. Broadbent .............................. 1 10 Miss Wood, Carr Barn ........................ 10 And (not least) Sabbath School Children. O0 5 2% £39 5 24

This modest sum was the nucleus of other benefactions, and Mr. Iweedale, the Uppermill Day School master, undertook the oversight of the building operations. Lying before me is a list of 16 successive superintendents of the School, the first of which is Mr. Edwin Thornton (" for a while single banded "), and the last Mr. F. Midwood. In the list is the name of a lady, Mrs. Hervey Bradbury. Lady superintendents will by-and-bye become more prevalent. The number of scholars attending this School will be found in the second of the tabulated statements at the conclusion of this chapter. The Congregational Sunday School at Dobcross owes its origin to a split, or secession, from the Dodbcross, or Wharmton, Church School (under the management of " Old Sturgess ") in 1839. At first it was counted " undenominational," and was held in a small room at Bridge House, on the northern border of the village, for which a rent of £4 a year was paid. The school started with 54 scholars-30 boys, and 24 girls. The teaching staff consisted of rather more than half the number of scholars, namely, 28, of whom 18 were males and 10 females. The financing was on a modest scale, the first year's expenditure being £21 3s. 2%d., and the income £19 17s. 3d., the result of subscription, several units of which were promised to be given annually. It was in these premises the late Mr. Thornton.the father of Edwin Thornton, for several years taught a day school, which gave some relief in the matterof rent to the Sunday School authorities. Owing to depression in the trade of the district, the annual subscriptions fell off considerably, but

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the school so increased in numbers that in 1851 some additional room was obtained, and the rent increased to £6 a year. 'The first "Charity Sermons" for the school were preached in 1854, when the collections amounted to £3. In this year a Young Men's Improvement Society was started in connection with the Sunday School. This was carried on for some years, but ultimately ceased, and the library of 200 volumes it had acquired was presented to the Sunday School. Here it may be mentioned that, with few excep- tions, all the Sunday Schools in Saddleworth, both Church and Dissent, have Mutual Improve- ment Societies in connection with them, at the monthly meetings of which in the winter season written essays and speeches of considerable ability are delivered on various subjects of a moral, religious, literary, and scientific nature. To his wreat credit it may be said the minister of the Church to which the School is affiliated presides at these meetings, and imparts a culti- vated tone to the conduct of them. When the reverend gentlemen condescend to discourse upon subjects of which they have a little verifiable knowledge they are almost always instructive and entertaining. Thrift, ever commendable till it degenerates into greed, is cultivated in many of the schools by the agency of Penny Banks, the deposits belonging to some of them amounting to upwards of £2,000 (a). Regarding Young People's Mutual Improvement Societies, it is worthy of notice that at a meeting of the Saddleworth Sunday School Union in 1817 it was resolved " that per- mission be given to the ladies and gentlemen of thls parish that wish to nuke a trial of estabhbh-

Nots (a).-There can be no better cvidence of the superior well-to-do-ness of what are termed the working classes, in these days, as compared with their condition nfty years ago, than such facts as these and the many wealthy co-operative socicties in the township. - 'The writer of this History wellremembers how careful he had to be when twelve or thirteen yeurs of age. It took h1m nearly twelve months to save 7d., with whnch to buy small second hand copy of the "Life of B. Franklin,"

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ing adult Schools to be admitted into, and make use of, any of the Schoolrooms within this union, and of the books and furniture belonging to this society within the same, provided their scholars attend only after the dismission of the Sunday scholars on each Sabbath day between the hours of six and nine in the evening." This is one of the few praiseworthy notions sanctioned by the union, but it is doubtful if it ever came to any- thing but a notion. . The School at Bridge House kept on increasing, and about 7866 it was deemed advisable to build new and larger premises. (Gentlemen connected with the Independent Chapels of Delph and Uppermill interested themselves in the watter, and one of them-the late Mr. Hervey Kershaw, cashier of the Saddleworth Banking Company- promised a subscription of £20 to the building- fund if in future the School should be conducted on Congregational principles. Hitherto it had been & School for all denominations. In 1868 application was made to the owner of some neighbouring land for a plot upon which to erect new premises, but he declined to "sell it at any price, and particularly for a School, having been for some time sufficiently annoyed by trespassing and mischief by scholars of the present School, which I should be glad to see removed." It is unnecessary to give the name of this enlightened landowner. Probably he afterwards repented himself of his inhospitable neighbourship. The member of a Saddleworth family-Mr. Hessel- zrave, of Marsden-sold the people a plot of ground, and a school and chapel were built, and opened in 1871. One of the two Miss Buckleys, of Holly Ville, Greenfield, who had shortly before, at their sole expense, rebuilt the " Old Chapel" at Delph, sent a cheque for £100 to the Bridge House School Fund by Mr. Adamson, a friend of Mr. Midwood's, and who became the first minister of the chapel. At present the place is without a settled minister, but is said to be in a flourishing state. Neither Bridge House, Delph,

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nor Uppermill Independent Churches have been invariably happy in their choice of resident ministers. Occaswnallv, as now at Delph, a sensible and good man is hit upon. The number of scholars in attendance at the Bridge House Sunday School will be found on Table Second at the end of this chapter. The Church of England Sunday Schools, gene- rously founded and built by the Messrs. W hite- head, of Royal George, the one at Friezland, in 1849, and the other at Roughtown, in 1858, have all along had a prosperous career, the 'latter now having in its fold 400 scholars and teachers, inclusive of Bible classes composed of 16 young men and 69 young women. 'The present Canon Green, of Friezland, and the late worthy Mr. Macdonough, long time Incumbents of the churches, have always manifested a warm and active interest in their schools. It remains now to notice the little Primitive Methodist Sunday School at Delph, the Congre- zational Sunday School at Springhead, and its sister institution at Pastures, in the same neigh- bourhood. Providence Chapel, at Springnead, and Ebenezer Chapel, at Uppermill, had a kin- dred and nearly simultaneous origin, due to the religious zeal of two enthusiastic working men named John Buckley and Joseph Winterbottom, of Mossley, who, sometime, had been members of the Methodist New Connexion Church there, but debarred from preaching - for which they had a gift - by the said church, on account of alleged heresy in doctrine, they found an outlet for their spirits in the cottages of sympathising neighbours, and betimes in the summer months-like their co-religionists, the Primitive Methodists-in the fields and waste lands near the villages of Grotton and Uppermill. - Like all such primitive adventurers for others' good rather than their own, they had to encounter the contumely of " the respectable," and the rude behaviour of the " roughs," amongst whom they essayed to pray

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and preach. A field at Grotton is still pointed out in which, on alternate Sundays, the two worthies used to "hold forth," and more than once, at a fair or Wakes time, they had to flee from their persecutors to avoid 'bodily harm from missiles of one kind or other thrown at them. But their missions grew, and ultimately the little fraternities established in each village managed to build for themselves humble meeting houses, so-called Little Bethels, of three narrow bays each, and galleries stuck under the roofs. Always the manner in which the secular work of causes such as these is done is characteristic of the sim- plicity and earnestness of those who originate them. Bazaars, as they are called, with their paraphernalia of gaiety and ostentation, were not then in fashion as the where-with-which to raise funds; and whilst the masons, &c., were at work during the week parties of two or three of the brethren would be perambulating the neighbour- hood begging small doles with which to pay the workmen's wages on the Saturday. We have seen that the Uppermill " Ebenezer" was built in 1807. " Providence Chapel," at Springhead, was built the year previously, viz, in 1806. As at Uppermill, it might be several years ere a Sunday School was started at Springhead. In what year I am unable to say. By reference to Table II. it will be seen that Springhead has now the most numerously attended Sunday School in the township of Saddleworth-a little Christian army of 586, including scholars and their teachers. In 1843 the late Sir Edward Baines gave a return (see Table III.) showing that the number of scholars and teachers in attendance at Dissonters' Sunday Schools in Saddleworth was 3,939- teachers 807, and scholars 3,132; so that now Springhead alone has nearly one-sixth o? that number. Baines gives the number of schools at 18; the number now is 12. It is to be noted- and it may or may not be remarkable from his this most excellent man gives

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the number of Church of England Sunday Schools at that time as only 4, and the number of . scholars 544, and teachers 129; whereas we know that on Friar Mere alone there were three Sunday - Bchools connected with the Church of England. Those who supplied the good man with his infor- mation must, or ought to have known this. It is one of the myriad instances in which the truth is suppressed to serve the purposes of party and sectarian bias. Only too frequently we find that Paul is not one whit better than Peter in matters of this kind. It behoves the historian to be on his guard against the wiles of both tentmakers and fishermen. It may be worth the while to mention that Dr. Gastrell, Rishop of Chester, in his time, 1714-1726, estimated the number of families in Saddleworth at 300, of which 50, he said, were Dissenters. - Baines, in 1843, reverses the proportion. He gives the number of " sittings " ir the Episcopal churches as 3,244, in Dissenting chapels as 7,417. In 1891 I apprehend the proportion will be in favour of the Church of England. A reference to the chapter on churches and chapels will show. Since their secession from the original Wesleyan body of Methodists, the Primitives have always had a remnant in Saddleworth, resident mainly about Delph. - They used to worship on the first premises of the orthodox Wesleyans, over the Sandhole in Millgate, forty years ago. They have now a pretty little chapel lower down in Millgate, in a portion of which a Sunday School is taught. _ This Sunday School would appear to have been started in 1864, with 10 scholars, which have increased to 60, with 12 teachers. 'This is, indeed, very good. The writer must con- fess to having a somewhat suppressed fondness for these simple, humble, but earnest worshippers of their Creator, not so much for any doctrines they hold or repudiate, perhaps, as for their spirit and mode of worship, oftimes in the open- air and upon the hills, under the unshaded canopy of heaven, in the grand temple of Nature

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" not made with hands." 'The green sphere- topped. hills of Saddleworth are ever beautiful to behold, but most so when a company of primitive worshippers is assembled upon a central one, such as Knott Hill, or Harrop Edge, and tremu- lous waves of hymnal music float over the adjacent valleys. When travelling through the Galilean hills and valleys of Palestine (in some aspects not unlike those of Saddleworth), and, maybe, in the very footsteps of the Master and His companions, near on two thousand years ago, my thoughts often reverted to similar, if less favoured worshippers, in the sweet pastures of my own land, and in my own days. Says the pious Keble :- ~

Soon o'er their heads blithe April airs shall sing, A thousand wild flowers round them shall unfold ; - The green buds glisten in the dews of spring, And all be vernal rapture as of old.

Not unnaturally it may be expected that forth the attendance at Sunday Schools will slightly diminish in numbers, as the attendance of children at Day Schools is now made compul- sory and free of charge. The tender brains of the young will require a little rest. It is beside the question to say that on Sunday they should receive religious instruction. But should they not be religiously instructed every day ? Is not the giving of all kinds of wholesome and useful knowledge a religious work? Can it be that truth is less divine on weekdays than it is on a Sunday? It is to be hoped that Sunday Schools will not be less numerously attended than hitherto they have been. If possible, the instruc- tion imparted to children on Sundays should be made more refreshing than it is on weekdays. It is needful that all kinds of what is termed secular knowledge should be made available in réading and interpreting the Sacred Scriptures. A knowledge of arithmetic, geography, astronomy, history, and natural science is essentially neces- sary to a correct understanding of the Bible. Creeds and catechisms may he useful for com-

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parison, but should never be set before children as the primary elements of truth, especially of what is called "religious truth." A -right, reasonable, and intelligible interpretation of the Bible will enable the children to form their own religious beliefs, which, except so far as these are their very own, can never influence their conduct of life, Honesty and sincerity are essential elements of religious beliefs and motives. To instil into our children's minds other people's dogmas, regardless of the reason that can be given for them, is worse than sending them to school clothed in other people's cast-off garments. I have now, in conclusion of this chapter, to notice one other Saddleworth Sunday -School, now extinct. From early in the "thirties" to early in the "forties" there existed on Friar Mere a famous school, which, though held or kept on a Sunday, was not recognised as a Sunday School. It was " kept" in a small spinning and weaving room (b) in a cottage at Turner Bank (vul- gzularly called Turney Bank) near to New Tame, on the main road between Junction and Delph. Mr. Henry Buckley (¢), a relative of the Mr. Ken-

Note (b).-Picture to yourself a small chamber, com munication with which was achieved by climbing a narrow flight of stairs, cieled off from the house part by thin boards, through the ®" slifters'' of which sometimes ou a Sunday morning "Bill's" fiddle would send variously... twisted octaves of charming music. The chamber, lighted by small diamoud-pancd windows, contained a forty.spindled jenny, a pair of Kersey looms, and a small tressle-bed, which afforded a finely.cushioned seating for the idlest portion of the students. "Charley" Winter. bottom and "Joe"" Haigh will remember it well. Ah ! very grand is the Basilica of St. Paul at Rome, and incffably beautiful is Salisbury Cath capable, as no other work of men's hands is, of lifting the soul of itself; but, to the writer, much dearer than these are his reminiscences of this humble tenement frcing Badger Edge.

Note (c). -Henry Buckley died at Woodhouse Knowl, Delph, July 15th, 1856, in the 47th year of his age. At the time of his decease he had in preparation a work on weometrical analysis and on porisms, He had married the widowed daughter (Mrs. of Mr. Joseph Shaw, who succeeded Colonel Fletcher as Commissioner under- the Saddleworth Commons Enclosure Act of 1810,

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worthy, of Quick Mere, with whom Riley, the "itinerant " actor, was bound apprentice to learn the cloth manufacture, was the teacher of this school. The school was open on Sunday fore- noons only, and the subjects taught were arith-. metic, algebra, the elements of Euclid, and men- suration. A charge of one penny per Sunday was made of the scholars, all of them young men varying in age from thirteen to thirty years. Some of the young men came a considerable dis. tance to the school, a few from Standedge Foot and Castleshaw. The attendance was very irregular, there being sometimes only two or three scholars present, especially if the weather was inclement. The writer of this account can remember some very rough days when he was the only one there. Although Mr. Buckley was not perhaps the most capable and successful of teachers, he was nevertheless an able mathematician, as his man contributions to several mathematical periodical); of his day, such as the Ladies' Diary, the York Courant, and the Educational Times, fully evince. He had been a pupil of Mr. John Butterworth (Jack o' Ben's), of Haggate, near Royton, who for many years taught mathematics on Sunday mornings in his own little cottage, where he fol. lowed the occupation of a handloom fustian weaver. Butterworth, whom the writer knew," was perhaps, though self-taught, the ablest geometer in Lancashire in his own days. He possessed the rare faculty of teaching in a very high degree, and - many a subsequently successful student was deegly indebted to him for instruction in the higher branches of mathematics. He was a copious and valued contributor to all the mathematical periodicals of his day-a greatly more extensive branch of literature than it is nowadays. Mr. Buckley sometimes visited another remarkably able mathematician, a friend of Butterworth's, namely Mr. Wolfenden, of Hollinwood, a mentally rich, but materially poor man. In elementary mechanics he was, if possible, superior to Butter-

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worth. For many years he calculated the "* Liverpool Tide Tables." The Butterworth, and Buckley-were members of a fraternity of most accomplished and self. instructed mathematical scholars who dwelt on the borders of Lancashire and Yorkshire in the early part of this century. The Rev. John Buckley, of Friar Mere, and Mr. William Hilton, of Quickedge, were of the number. The writer sometimes wonders if Royton or Saddleworth will ever see the like again. It may be reasonably doubted that Government grants-in-aid to schools will ever produce anybody like them. The Sunday School teaching of Nature's gentlemen, referred to above, was looked at askance by those who objected to teaching writing on a Sunday in their schools-people who care more for the rites and ceremonies of the Jewish Sabbath than for the Christian way of observing it by doing any kind of good as opportunity presents itself ; people who profess to know a deal of what the Creator did in olden times, thousands of years ago, but few of whom know anything of His " mighty works," now to be seen day by day and night by night, in the infinite universe, on the earth, and in " the waters under the earth." But such teaching was productive of truly and intelligently religious

men-men who could give a reason for their belief.

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