The History of the Township of Meltham, Near Huddersfield (1866) by Rev. Joseph Hughes (1803-1863)

The following is the OCR text of a book and will likely contain conversion errors. This page is designed to be indexed by search engines. Click on a page number to view the book in your web browser.

The text is believed to be in the Public Domain.

Page 1


Page 2



Page 4


Aa ag ~ AXT Phage, Snug **

Mm E L T HA M F R M T H E R O M A N C A M P /’~——-\ _ met N ncs R o ( I ' ° / ~N \ j ~ ) /* y Crm les (o >

~ tmz *~


yi - oF _ t H E R m a NO Cc a mor

Page 5















J. CROSSLEY & CO., 6, . 1866.

Page 6


Page 7







Page 9


In laying this History and Description of Meltham before the public, it is necessary to state that the work was commenced in the month of December, 1851, and proceeded with at various intervals during upwards of ten years. After many unavoidable delays, it is now completed, and offered to those who are interested in the annals and prosperity of the Chapelry, in the hope that it

may prove to them an acceptable memorial of their late Pastor.

The design of the author in collecting materials for this work, was to furnish the inhabitants with reliable information respecting their Township-honoured, not only as the birth-place of the celebrated Abraham Woodhead, but also, as the only district in Yorkshire, in which an Episcopal Chapel was built and consecrated, during the Commonwealth. These facts, with many others which are introduced, have been derived, either from old documents extant in manuscript, or from personal inquiries repeatedly instituted among the aged members of the old families in the neighbourhood. Since the author's decease, much addi-

tional matter from both these sources, has been added by the

Page 10

vil. editor, for which, cordial thanks are now tendered to those kind

friends, too numerous to be individually named, who courteously

supplied it, either orally or in writing.

In this preface to the work, planned and partly written by the author, and now completed from his papers, and other documents, it is not too much to state that his attachment to Meltham and its inhabitants, and the deep interest which he felt in their prosperity and happiness, ended only with his life. The following lines engraved on his tombstone, in the new burial ground, convey a true portraiture of him in the exercise of his pastoral

office among them.

Sacred to the Memory of THE REVEREND JOSEPH HUGHES, for Twenty-five years Incumbent of St. Bartholomew's Church, Meltham. A faithful shepherd of the flock committed to his charge. He was born on Sunday, the 3rd of April, 1803, and died on Sunday, the 8th of November, 1863. " Follow peace with all men, and holiness, without

which no man shall see the Lord."

Hrs. x1. 14.

C. H. Meltham, December, 1866.

Page 11





WITH MELTHAM . . & R & R 52

Page 12












ASSOCIATES « « » » f - «














Page 13




APPENDIX . . . . . . 273

Page 14


Page 22, line 5, for one,






204, ,, 8, 217, ,, 14, 259, ,, 1, 271, note,








Brooke, 1829 Margeny Mss. courses,

read once.





Brook. 1849. Margery. Ms. course.

Page 15






$ the object of the following pages is to supply all g the information which has been collected from various sources, and at different times, respecting the village of Meltham, and the district immediately surrounding it, the probable derivation of its name is the first thing that claims attention. On this point a difference of opinion exists among etymologists ; some contending that, like the names of several villages in the neighbourhood of Leeds, corresponding ones to which are to be found in Germany-a proof that they were imported by the Saxon invaders-that of Meltham has been derived probably from the same source, and that its counter- part may still exist in the German fatherland ;* while others, and by far the greater number, refer it to a Roman origin, and maintain that it is either a contraction of Melitfon signifying a place where beehives stand, or a corruption of Mel-tun, that is, the Honey Hamlet. In support of this, they assert, that from time immemorial, beehives were brought from all parts

* In favour of this opinion it may be observed that the name of Meltham, as now written, is found in the Domesday Survey.


Page 16


of the country, during what was termed the heathing time- that is, when the heather was in bloom-and placed in long rows upon the moors lying all round the village.* The universality of this custom has been handed down from father to son ; and its existence, even after the enclosure of extensive portions of the moots in 1817, is still fresh in the memory of many of the inhabitants. There is no doubt that the heather is almost indigenous to bog soil, and its flower very attractive to the bee, and that it yields more honey than almost any other to that laborious insect. The immense quantities of fir and oak wood, more particularly the former, dug out of the moors surrounding Meltham, give abundant proof that at some period, the date of which is unascertainable, extensive forests of these trees must have covered the hills, that they eventually yielded to the destroying hand of time, and falling where they once grew, sank into the soft ground, and were in the course of ages buried deep beneath the vegetable matter constantly accumulating over them. This fir wood, afterwards dug up out of the moors in hundreds of cart-loads, was used as torches by the cottagers within the last seventy years. They cut it into long splinters, and made it serve for candles. The bituminous matter contained in it, gave out a strong bright flame, which had the twofold virtue of diffusing heat as well as light throughout their dwellings. A curious tradition is extant among some of the older inhabitants of the village, respecting certain strange wild beings, probably outlaws, who once skulked in these woods, and for a time

* Beehives, as they are now made, were, of course, the production of a much later date than that at which the name of Meltham was given to the village. At the time of the Roman occupation of the Island, they were usually constructed of the hollow bark of trees, joined firmly together, as well as of the flexible rods of willows. Bees were found to lodge also in hollow rocks, in the cavities of decayed trees, and even in cells dug

under ground. The district around Meltham appears to have been well suited to the wants and habits of the bee.

Page 17


managed to subsist on such roots as they found in them. These miserable creatures, from the colour of their skin, received the name of " Redshanks,"* but nothing is known as to the period of their existence, or the cause of their exclusion from civilized society. The aspect now presented by the moors is that of high, bare, flat-topped hills, and underlying tracts of broken ground, occasionally interspersed with huge masses of grey stone, the surface covered with heather of two kinds, as also with the bilberry plant, which seems, like the heath, indigenous to the soil, and the berry of which may be con- sidered the fruit of the country. On the high moors vast numbers of red grouse are found, while on the plains below, the larks are so numerous that their notes not unfrequently form a chorus of song. The blackbird and thrush also abound in the neighbourhood. Into the Botanical history of the district it is not necessary to enter, but, in passing, it may be remarked, that the whin- bush, fern, harebell, and ground cistus, are common, and that a great variety of beautiful mosses are to be observed on the moors. The soil is particularly favourable to the growth of the holly and the yew, while the oak most frequently forms the undergrowth of those sheltered parts where wood is found, and which it is to be hoped the axe of the woodman may yet spare. A vein of small coal runs through some part of the adjoining hills, from which the several brooks, with their respective tributaries, which water the township, flow down towards Meltham Mills, and, after merging into one stream and taking a north-easterly direction, run into the river Holme at Steps Mill, below Honley.

x A Highlander with buskins and red-deer-skin with the hair outwards. -Supp. to Imp. Dict.

Page 18


Ebe Celtic anb Roman Cras. It is to be regretted that the district immediately sur- rounding Meltham, as well as the tract of moors lying near Crosland, have never yet been properly explored by antiquaries. In similar situations in other parts of the kingdom, a rich harvest of discoveries has rewarded the researches of archgo- logists, and furnished conclusive evidence of the occupation of those vast tracts of moorland by our Celtic forefathers. In some localities numerous small barrows or demolished kistvaens have been discovered, and in others, circles of stones, and traces of ancient British encampments. - Dr. Walker, a learned antiquary, affirms, that he has himself seen the remains of a kistvaen not far from Blackmoor Foot. One remarkable and most interesting relic of Celtic times was to be seen about forty years ago, on a part of the moor called Brow Grains, lying between West Nab and Deer Hill. This Druidical stone,* for such it unquestionably was, familiarly termed a "Rocking Stone," was destroyed in the year 1827 or 1828 ; but its existence on the moors at that time furnishes an undeniable proof of their previous possession by the ancient Celts. Future researches will show whether the speculations of antiquarians on these topics are not borne out by the facts to be deduced from them, and probably the rising generation of archzologists, now labouring in a work of so much interest, may succeed in bringing to light important remains, illustrative of the manners and customs of the early Britons, once occupants of the

* The demolition of this interesting memorial of a bygone age, spared by the hand of time for so many hundred years, was effected by the hand of man, on a Whit-Monday morning, near forty years ago. Some half-a- dozen masons planned and executed the work of destruction for a frolic. They first endeavoured to accomplish it by blasting with gunpowder, and on the failure of this they fetched tools from Deer Hill, with which they drilled a hole, and then wedged it, when the stone fell with a tremendous crash, hardly allowing the man on its summit, who was driving in the wedge, to escape without injury.

Page 19


romantic country lying in the immediate vicinage of Meltham. The flint weapon found on the breaking up of the moor above Wilshaw by James Redfearn, and now in the possession of the historian of "Kirkburton and the Graveship of Holme," adds another to the proofs already given of the residence of the Celts in this district. While the remains of a Roman encampment* below West Nab, on the property of Uriah Tinker, Esq., in which querns or hand-mills for grinding corn were found, give indisputable evidence that the Romans were at one time living in close contiguity to the village.

&be Saxon anb Horman Gras. But to descend to later times. From this periodt until 1080, in which the Domesday Survey was commenced, there is not a single historical record to aid the inquirer in his researches respecting this district. From that document, however, it appears, that in Edward the Confessor's reign, Cola and Suuen, or Swayn, had four carucates of land in Meltham and Haneleia-Honley-subject to guildage, or an annual tax imposed in the time of king Ethelred IL., 991, on every hide of arable land in the kingdom. It is added, Ilbert has it and it is waste. Its value in King Edward's time was forty shillings, a considerable sum at that period. The next piece of information furnished by the Domesday

* Of this the following interesting notice is taken from Mr. Morehouse's ** History of Kirkburton '" :-*"In the adjoining township of Meltham, are the remains of a Roman encampment, on the moor below West Nab, a short distance to the left of the road which leads thence to the village, and in the property of Mr. Uriah Tinker, of Bent House, forming nearly a square of about four chains. When I visited the place about twenty years since, in company with the owner and other friends, the whole was very distinct and perfect. This piece of ground has since been brought into cultivation, yet the trenches are still visible. This encampment would have appeared only to have been made to supply some temporary emergency.'""'-P. 9. + The Roman, which lasted from B.C. 55 to A.D. 448.-Hume's History of England.

Page 20


Record is the dispossession of the two joint Saxon thanes,* and the substitution of Ilbert de Lacy, the Norman lord, in their stead. - Of one of these individuals, Cola, no further mention is made, and his fate is not known, but not so that of Swayn. In some instances where the Saxon thanes had possessed lands before the Conquest, they continued to hold the same afterwards of a Norman lord or baron, as tenant in capite, and in others, after being deprived of large estates in one place, had still larger bestowed on them elsewhere. This was the case with Swayn, one of the joint Saxon thanes of Meltham and Haneleia already named. From what can be collected after examining the names of the Saxons dispossessed of their manors by Ilbert de Lacy, as well as of those who had been removed to other manors, it would seem that this powerful Norman lord had already decided on the erection of Pontefract Castle,t and observing that the round hill above Almondbury was also a desirable site for another of his strongholds, had resolved to plant a castle there, and regulated his measures accordingly. - Meltham was not the only place of which Swayn was deprived ; for the manor of Almondbury itself, part of which was in his hands, was given to another; and yet this could hardly have arisen from any bias unfavourable to Swayn, as he was still allowed to retain possession of a considerable number of manors elsewhere. In Leland's "Itinerary" it is stated that Alric,f or Aluric, a Saxon, the father of Swayn, possessed the Castle of Kirkby, or * The persons now called Lords of the Manor, were, during the Saxon rule, termed Thanes. This designation was changed by the Normans into Barons.-See Appendix, Note A4. + As this castle is elsewhere said to have been built by a Saxon lord, it is supposed that Ibert de Lacy only decided on strengthening or rebuilding it. { This Alric was the son of Richard Aschenald, a Saxon thane. Camden states " that one Aske was the first Saxon proprietor of Pontefract,

and that it descended by due succession to one Alric, or Aluric, from whom William the Conqueror took it.'"

Page 21


Pontefract, before the Conquest, which being a place of strength fit to protect the northern parts, William gave to de Lacy. It is not improbable that as Swayn was the son of Alric, the crafty Norman might deem it impolitic to confide the keeping of two of the strongest positions in the West Riding of Yorkshire to him and his father; yet both these Saxon nobles continued to hold vast estates under Ibert at the time of the general Survey, of which some of their descendants possessed parts as heirs general for many ages after the Conquest-the family of the Askes existing in the county till the time of Charles I. Not many years after Pontefract Castle was built, or more properly rebuilt or strengthened, by Ilbert de Lacy, Almond- bury Castle was erected by King Stephen, who took possession of the throne in 1135, and was granted by him to Henry de Lacy. From this period a great part of the parish of Almondbury was under feudal bondage of the most rigorous description.* In the reignt of Edward IL, Thomas Plantagenet, Earl of Lancaster, was returned Lord of Huddersfield, Holme, Mel- tham, and Almondbury. This powerful nobleman, the first prince of the blood, and one of the most potent barons in England, was beheaded in 1322, at his own castle at Ponte- fract. His death involved many others in the same fate, and the estates of all those suffering with him were confiscated. Among others, Richard Waleys, the Lord of Honley barely escaped with his life. A bond was entered into under the seal of this nobleman, Lord of Honley, by which he acknow- ledges, that having adhered to the great men in rebellion against his sovereign, he had submitted himself to the king's will, and that the king, out of his graciousness had accepted

* Proofs of this may be found in the Inquisitions taken in succeeding centuries. Sir William Beaumont gave lands in North Crosland and Meltham to his son Robert in the time of Edward I. + A period extending from 1307 to 1327.

Page 22


a ransom for his life, lands, and tenements. In return for this great mercy and beneficence, the said Richard Waleys, of his own free will, and without any coercion, hath made oath that he will henceforth be a faithful and obedient subject, and defend the king against all men, and maintain his emprises to the death ; that he will not enter into any alliance or con- federacy against the king, his crown and dignity. If he make default in any of the forementioned points, the king may imprison him at his will ; and he submits to a fine of 2,000 marks to save his life.* The next historical notice of Meltham is found in the Inquisition relating to Almondbury in the reign of Edward IIL, which lasted fifty years, from 1327 to 1377. In that document two tenants from Meltham are named as paying rent to the Lord of Almondbury. And again in the Inquisi- tion made in the twenty-sixth year of Elizabeth, 1584, it is recorded that "John Beaumont, of Meltham, holdeth certain lands and tenements within the said manor of Meltham by copy of court roll of her majesty as of the said manor of Almondbury." This gentleman's descendants continued to reside, and held considerable landed property in Meltham for many succeeding generations, as will be seen in a subsequent notice of them. - The same feudal law, which in Elizabeth's reign connected Meltham with Almondbury, still continued in force during that of James I., from 1603 to 1625 ; nor are there grounds for believing that it had undergone any par- ticular change in the time of his unfortunate son, Charles I. The archzological and historical account of the district given in this chapter furnishes a brief outline, or a sort of bird's-eye- view, of its existence and condition, for little less than two thousand years, beginning with the Druidical epoch, before Christ, and including the Roman, Saxon, and Norman, as well as what may be termed the Tudor period.

* Rot. Fin. Ed. II., M. 23.

Page 23



&be Heb Burial Grounb.

BIKE occasion* of adding a new burial ground to a church for the interment of the dead, and the necessity for it, together with the public observance and commemoration of the second hundredth year of the erection of that church, is an event calculated to awaken many and solemn reflections in the mind, and to recall the memory of years gone by. The design of the writer of this narrative is to give a simple detailed account of circumstances and events connected with Meltham, and to rescue from the devouring grasp of time some of those traditionary and interesting particulars which form the frequent topic of conversation among the aged people of the district. The writer of this sketch is strongly impressed with the propriety of putting on record such particulars, as in a few years these ancient chroniclers of past occurrences will, in all human probability, have disappeared. It is not a fortnight since he visited the house of an old parishioner and made several inquiries respecting the erection of the second church in Meltham. In less than a week after, the old mant

* This was written in 1851. + Thomas Watson, the first person buried in the new cemetery.

Page 24


was numbered among the dead, and this day, December the 2nd, 1851, the minister was called on to perform the solemn office of committing his body to the ground, "earth to earth, ashes to ashes, dust to dust," in the new burial ground, as the forerunner of the many that shall there rest until the morning of the Resurrection.

Obe first in Melthyam.

Whether Meltham possessed a church during the Saxon and Norman eras, is not known, though every village at the time of the conquest is believed to have had some building of the kind. Spelman, who was not in the habit of making rash or exaggerated assertions, states, that at the time of the Domesday Survey* there were no fewer than 45,011 parish churches within the kingdom, whereas the number actually noticed in the Survey does not much exceed 1,700. The only reason that can be adduced for the extraordinary dis- crepancy in these statements is, that Spelman in his estimate included every one of the churches to be found in the kingdom of England, of which only a mere fractional portion is men- tioned in Domesday Book, the precept which directed the formation of that Survey having laid no injunction on the jurors to make any return of churches. The fourfold distinction of churches, specified in the 3rd Law of Canute, A.D. 1033, seems to import that these sacred

* This work, begun in the year 1080, took six years to complete. Sir Henry Spelman considers it the most ancient and venerable monument of Great Britain. The reason assigned by some writers for the compilation of Domesday Book was, that every man should know his own right and possessions, and not be tempted to usurp what belonged to others. The name is said to have been derived from its definite and unquestionable authority, from which, as from the final sentence to be pronounced at « Domesday,'"' or the " Day of Judgment," there could be no appeal. Alfred the Great had finished a like Survey of the kingdom in his time, which was long kept at Winchester, and probably served as a model to William in his undertaking.-Hume's History of England.

Page 25


edifices in his time might altogether amount to a large num- ber, and it is manifest that during the reign of Edward the Confessor, from 1042-3 to 1066, there must have been a very great increase of what were strictly denominated Parish Churches, it being asserted in one of the laws ascribed to that king, that in many places there were three or four churches, where in former times there was but one; and if, as is commonly reported, thirty-six churches were destroyed by the Conqueror in order to enlarge the New Forest in Hampshire, this is an argument that they could not possibly be so few in number as the Domesday Survey would imply. An article published not very long since in the "Gentleman's Magazine," gives the names of a great many churches certainly in existence at the date of the Domesday Survey, not one of which was recognised in that ancient record ; and it is a curious fact, as observed by Sir Henry Ellis in his General Introduction to it, that only one church can be found in the return for Cambridgeshire, and not one in Lancashire, Cornwall, or even Middlesex, the seat of the Metropolis. It appears that the jurors in some counties drew up their valuations in a very different manner to that of others. Some returned, as in the Norfolk and Exeter Domesday, the num- ber of sheep and cattle. Others, as in the instances above named, entirely omitted the churches. And it is observable that out of the twenty-nine places with the prefix " church," four only are mentioned as having one at all. Hitherto it has been thought by some, that neither at Almondbury nor Huddersfield was there a church at the time of the Domesday Survey. But if the testimony of Sir Henry Spelman is to be relied on, who grounds his statements upon those made in Sprott's "Chronicles," written about the year 1274, surely such must have been included in the vast number, above forty-five thousand, said at that period to exist within the compass of the Island.

Page 26


What description of churches these were, is not stated, but great numbers, probably, by far the greatest, were of wood, rude in structure and liable to decay. When such facts as these are taken into account, it can hardly be thought possible that the mother churches of three parishes so extensive as those of Almondbury, Huddersfield, and Halifax, did not form a part of the vast array said to be in existence at the time of the Conquest. But this is a question which cannot easily be decided ; it must therefore be left an open one.

Obe Erection of the Ojapel in 1650-51.

Little is known of the social condition of the village previous to the erection of its church in 1650-51, during the time of the Commonwealth The population at that period could not have been more than about two hundred persons, for the Register of the chapel during the ten years extending from 1669 to 1678 inclusive, gives an average of only ten baptisms, seven funerals, and little more than one marriage a year-namely, thirteen marriages in the ten years. It is probable that some of the inhabitants, from ancient custom and association, would have still resorted to Almond- bury for the rights and privileges of the church, yet, judging from the number of those whose names appear in the Register as having come to Meltham from the surrounding townships for similar purposes, the foregoing average may be considered as a tolerably correct estimate of the statistics of the township at that time. The earliest intimation on record of the intended erection of a church to meet the spiritual wants of the village and neighhourhood is a paragraph in the will of William Wood- head, a native of Meltham, bearing date the first day of November, 1649, the year in which Charles I. was beheaded. Amongst other things the testator willed and directed, "that

Page 27


John Waterhouse, his brother-in-law, should, out of the rents and profits of property in Saddleworth, pay towards the maintenance of a minister to preach the word of God at Meltham, if there should be a chapel there erected, the yearly sum of forty shillings ;" and immediately after this "some of the chief inhabitants of Meltham expended considerable sums of money in erecting a chapel." This building was completed in the year 1651. Some of the descendants of William Woodhead state that the active and prominent part he took in promoting the erection of a church in the village of Meltham, was in con- sideration of the growing age and infirmities of his mother, who was no longer able to go so far as Honley Chapel,* the place of worship in her time nearest to Meltham. The foot-road across Harden Clough, which was then generally used by those living at Roydt in going to Honley Chapel, still retains


the name of "Chapel-gate;" and it was in traversing this wild path on the Sabbath Day that the old lady, Mrs. Martha Woodhead, the mother of William Woodhead, was occasionally pelted with sods by the idle and mischievous lads of those days ; at least there is a family tradition to that effect, and also another testifying to the worthy old lady's steadfast abhorrence of popery, the introduction of which was then indeed rendered not altogether improbable, as a swarm of Jesuits from France and Italy had come over into the kingdom,

* Honley Chapel is of much older date than that of Meltham, for a faculty, granting permission to build a Chapel of Ease at Honley, was obtained in the eighteenth year of the reign of Henry VII., 1503, and doubtless the erection of it took place shortly afterwards. In a document in the handwriting of the late Rev. Charles Drawbridge, Incumbent of Honley, and now in the possession of Mr. Hirst, the Churchwarden of that place, it is stated that the first church was erected in 1507, and probably enlarged about 1630. The present building is the third church at Honley. The earliest minister, of whom Mr. Morehouse has been able to find any record, was there in or about the year 1570. + The Woodheads of that day, and of several succeeding generations, resided on their property at Royd.

Page 28


and were insinuating themselves into every part of the country. These had followed Henrietta Maria into England on her marriage with Charles I., and were known to be using the most strenuous efforts to re-establish the Roman Catholic religion in the Island. Of this, Mrs. Martha Woodhead was quite aware, and is reported to have said that, much as she rejoiced to see a chapel erected in the village of Meltham, she would rather have it burnt to the ground than that it should fall into the hands of the Papists. William Woodhead made his will in 1649, and died a bachelor soon afterwards. He was the youngest of four sons. His brothers were called John,* Charles, and James. It appears that John and Charles lived at Thornhill, while James resided on his property at Meltham. To William Woodhead was given as his portion the Dob- cross property in Saddleworth, and out of that he piously assigned a certain part towards promoting the worship of Almighty God in his native village. By this praiseworthy act of his, others among his kinsfolk and neighbours were afterwards "provoked unto love and to good works." In the year 1661, another benefactor was added to the newly erected chapel, as it was then called, namely-John Waterhouse, yeoman, of Meltham, brother-in- law of William Woodhead, whose sister he had married. It was probably owing to such relationship, and to the confidence he felt in this worthy Churchman's liberality, that Woodhead made choice of him as his heir, and this confidence was not misplaced, for in an indenture elsewhere given, it is recorded that "John Waterhouse, in order to carry out the intentions of his predecessor" in the property, " did grant and convey to certain trusteest the lands and cottage-houses in Dobcross for

* This John Woodhead, who died in 1663, was the father of the

celebrated Abraham Woodhead. + The present mode of appointing new trustees, and the qualification

Page 29


the use of such a preaching minister as should officiate in Meltham Chapel ;" by this act evincing his regard for the memory of his brother-in-law, and his respect for the ordin- ances of religion. His will, bequeathing the Saddleworth property to Meltham Chapel, was made in the second year of the reign of Charles IL., 1661. This worthy yeoman was buried in the chapel yard of Meltham, opposite the lower door. The year in which he died is not known. In addition to these two bequests a third must be recorded, namely, that of Godfrey Beaumont, of South Crosland, yeoman, who by his last will and testament, bearing date the 3lst day of March, in the 14th year of king Charles II., 1672, gave towards the maintenance of the ministers of Honley and Meltham certain lands and messuages lying within the lord- ships of Honley and Meltham, and did vest the same in the hands of certain trustees appointed by him. One very interesting and instructive fact connected with the erection and endowment of the chapel is this, that the first idea of it originated, not with any of the great landed proprietors in the neighbourhood, but with a respectable yeoman of the village, and that to this truly noble class to which he belonged, ard of which the country may justly boast, is the township indebted not only for the sacred building, but the various benefactions wherewith it has been endowed, for, with the exception of the Rev. Abraham Woodhead, who was both a scholar and a divine, but who sprang immediately from this

required for the appointment, as decreed by the Court of Chancery, 1835, are as follows, namely :-*" That all future nominations, elections, and appointments, should be made by the majority of persons, being inhabi- tants and householders within the said township of Meltham aforesaid, assessed and paying rates and assessments both to the poor and church or chapel within the said township, and by none other present at a meeting to be convened for the purpose, by the surviving or acting trustees or trustee for the time being." The present trustees are John Hirst, Mel- tham; Joseph Hirst, J.P., Wilshaw; Uriah Tinker, Meal Hill; and Edwin Eastwood, Meltham.

Page 30


body, all the property now pertaining to the chapel was settled upon it by men bearing the honourable title of yeomen,* independent men, residing upon their own landed property, over which they possessed the entire control. To these names must be added that of a fourth benefactor, the Rev. Abraham Woodhead, a nephew of the first promoter and endower of the chapel. This distinguished man, some years after its erection, when far removed from his native place, for he resided in London, did not forget its claim on his remembrance, but "devised his lands and houses in the township of Meltham for the support of the minister of the Word of God, that should be there settled, who should officiate at the Chapel of Meltham, and to his successors for ever." It is hardly possible for persons now, after a lapse of above two hundred years, rightly to estimate the amount of energy, perseverance, and liberality, it must have required to under- take the building and endowment of a church in a village so isolated as Meltham appears then to have been, nor will these virtues appear less eminent when the circumstances under

* Ckemen axnp Hemer.-*"Gememn is now in the moderne Teutonic written Gemepn, and it is as much to say as Comon, and as in sundry other ancient woords so in this, the letter g being altered into p, it is of become among us to bee Hemen, and varying yet further in ortographie it is written Heoner. And seeing that Gemen is all one with Comon, a Beoman is rightly understood a Commoner. Such were also called Wrgotles, the C being sounded as K; and somtymes also called 1605, p. 331. "Yeoman, in Eng- lish polity, & commoner, or & plebeian of the first or most respectable class. In ancient times, it denoted one of those who held folk-land, that is, had no fief or book-land, and therefore did not rank among the gentry. What he possessed, however, he possessed indepen- dently; he was therefore no man's vassal. To understand the true condition of the ancient yeomen, it must be observed that there were some lands which never became subject to the feudal system. These were called folk-lands, or the lands of the people. When therefore it is said that the sovereign is the lord of the soil of all England, the assertion is not true. He is certainly the lord paramount of all fiefs; but he has no such rever- sionary interest in lands that were never held in fee."-Maunder's Scientific and Literary Treasury. Bir Thomas Smith defines a yeoman to be "a free-born Englishman, who may lay out of his own free-land in yearly revenue to the sum of forty shillings."

Page 31


which they were exercised are duly king dethroned and beheaded, Episcopacy superseded, the dis- traction, misery, and waste attendant upon the civil wars, then fresh in the recollection of all ; for it must be borne in mind that the inhabitants of the West Riding of Yorkshire had been deeply ergaged on both sides, and that in 1643 Royalists and Parliamentarians were carrying on their unnatural contest not many miles distant from the village. Truly, it may be said, that the walls of the chapel were " built in troublous times," and it is a remark- able fact that there is no record existing of a similar work begun anda completed in Yorkshire, at that period. In a letter written in the year 1643, from Bradford, by Sir Thomas, afterwards, Lord Fairfax, to his father, Ferdinando, Lord Fairfax, the first Parliamentarian general, allusions are made to the defence of Ambry, Almondbury, not more than five miles distant from the township of Meltham. The chapel itself was a small and plain building, consisting of a nave and chancel, having two doors, the upper and the lower, probably both on the south side ; to the former there was a porch, such as exists in many old churches built about that period. The western wall of the nave had a single bell gable, with a bell of 148 lbs. weight. In the body of the church were four arched windows, each window consisting of three lights. The east window in the chancel had four lights. On the erection of a new and more convenient edifice in the year 1786, these were inserted in a cottage built about the same time, nearly opposite to the church, and are still to be seen there.*

* These semicircular-headed windows were inserted in the cottage adjoin- ing the Pinfold, near the church, by the masons, to whom they were sold.

Page 32


The floor of the chapel was of mud,* after the fashion of those rude and simple times, and was annually covered afresh with rushes at the feast of St. Bartholomew, on the demolition of the rush-cart, t in vogue at that period. The village feast was then held on St. Bartholomew's day, according to the old style. The pulpit was placed near the north wall of the chapel, about the centre of it. There was an aisle in the middle, and on the south side, ten or twelve pews ;f the remaining space was filled with forms. There was no gallery for the singers. They occupied the chancel, and the communion-table stood at the east end. A panel§ from the old pulpit is still preserved, and is designed for insertion in the present one. It bears the following inscription carved in the wood, "Cathedra Veritatis 1651"-the chair, or pulpit of truth; a most suitable inscription for it, and for every other in the kingdom ; and while it is believed that it has never been desecrated to any less sacred purpose, than the making known the way of salvation to perishing sinners, through the all-atoning blood of the Lamb, it is hoped that the same blessed truths which have been proclaimed by its various ministers, from time to time, may continue to be held and proclaimed by the present, and by successive pastors throughout all generations. It has been observed that the first building had nothing in it to attract the eye, or arrest the attention of the ecclesiologist. It was not built of goodly stones, like the Jewish temple of old ; but doubtless many a "living stone," hewn and prepared

* That is to say, of a preparation of mud, clay, and gravel, which became, after a while, hard and firm. + For an account of the rush-cart, &c., see Mr. Moorehouse's description of it given at the close of this chapter, pp. 30-32. ? Bome of the aged inhabitants state that there was only one pew, which belonged to the Woodhead family ; others, that there were no pews at all, but wooden stalls instead, and that the singers occupied the place now assigned to the font. § This panel was inserted in the new pulpit presented by Mr. Joseph Hirst, of Wilshaw Villa, in the year 1857.

Page 33


within this temple built with hands, has been added to that spiritual temple above, "the maker and builder of which is God." The number of precious souls that have been saved by the preaching of the word, and the administration of the sacraments, within the walls of this sanctuary, must remain a mystery till the great day of judgment, " when the sea shall give up the dead which are in it, and death and hell shall deliver up the dead that are in them." No particulars respecting the old chapel yard have been preserved, beyond the fact that a goodly number of tall trees grew in it-probably ash trees, as three or four of these had to be cut down when the chapel of 1786 was built, and more space required for the foundation.

Ohe Wonsecration.

The building completed, the next thing that occupied, and, owing to the unsettled state of public affairs, perplexed the minds of the promoters of this good work, was, how to get it duly consecrated for the purpose of religious worship. Epis- copacy had been proscribed, and Presbyterianism substituted, as the established form of church government. It was there- fore improbable that any English bishop* would be found willing to expose himself to the penalty of the law, by exercising in public, his episcopal functions at that period, and this was a fact the promoters knew only too well. Yet, notwithstanding the restrictions of the law, and the intem- perate zeal of the partyt then in power, the inhabitants of Meltham still adhered to their principles as Churchmen, even in a time of so much public distraction ; and loath to see their "work and labour of love" left incomplete for want of consecration, applied, in this dilemma, to Henry Tilson,

* The see of York was vacant at that time; for Archbishop Williams had died on the 25th of March in 1650, and his successor, Accepted Frewen, was not appointed until the year 1660. + The Presbyterians, who were themselves shortly after superseded by the Independents.

Page 34


Bishop of Elphin, in Ireland, who had been driven from his see by the troubles prevailing there, and was at that time residing near Dewsbury, and solicited his attendance to con- secrate their newly-erected church with the church yard. The Consecration Deed, or rather the Report of the proceed- ings which took place on that occasion, signed by the Bishop of Elphin, is still in existence, and is thought to be the only document of the kind ever drawn up and preserved. It specifies that the chapel was consecrated on the 24th day of August, 1651, being the feast of St. Bartholomew, after whose name it was called, and on which day the village feast is annually held, which, according to the new style, is now the 5th of September. For the preservation of this interesting record, it is supposed that the public are indebted to the Rev. Christian Binns, the first Curate of the chapel, who had received ordination at Bishop Tilson's hands, October the 3rd, 1650, in Emley Church. The document is entitled "A Correct Copy of the Deed, or rather a Report of the Consecration of Meltham Chapel, August 24th, 1651," and is as follows :-

«*The consecration of the Parochial Chappel and chappel yard of Mel- tham, in the Parish of Almondbury and within the County of York, by Henery Tilson, Bishop of Elphine within Ireland, being consecrated the twenty-fourth day of August, Anno Domini 1651. As followeth ; viz.; at the entering into the chappel yard, the Bishop willed the assembly to pass within the whole compass of the same, and as they went by, sang the hundredth Psalm. The circuit being finished, the Bishop made a short speech, expressing the reasons of such Inclosures about a chappel, namely in a double respect, first that it might be atrium templi; and secondly that it might be ceme- terium or dormitory, or a place for Christians to sleep, till they shall be raised again at the last day, by the voice of the archangel, &c ; and after this, the Bishop speaking to the Founders, told them that the place wherein they stood, and which they had perambulated, was still their own and proper soil, to do with it what themselves pleased. He would therefore know what their intent was, and whether it was their own mind to have it severed and appointed for the burial of the dead within that Parish? To

Page 35


which the Founders answered affirmatively. The Bishop asked the Incumbent and Churchwardens if they had the same desire, whereunto they answered affirmatively. Then was read Psalm the 90th and the 23rd chapter of Genesis, after which the Bishop said this prayer in the chappel yard,- blessed Jesu our only Saviour and Redeemer, who being the Resur- rection and the Life, hast by thy mercy promised, and by thy power art about to raise again to life, the bodies of the dead that lie in the ground, whether rott with corruption or consumed to dust; We humbly beseech thee of thy special favour to vouchsafe that all those thy servants who shall, within this circuit, be interred and buried, may lead their lives in thy fear, and leading them in thy faith, may rest in peace within their graves untill the great day of thy second coming; and may they be raised anew in assured hope to remain with thee in that everlasting glory, which with thy most precious blood thou hast purchased for them-for all that love and look for thine appearance hereafter. O Blessed Jesus, for thy precious sake, hear us! O loving Father for thy Son's sake, to whom with the Holy Ghost, three equal Persons and one Eternal God, be rendered, as is most due, all Honour and praise, both now and at all times, and evermore. Amen.' «*This done, the Bishop and assembly went to the new chapel; in the Porch thereof, the Bishop going in first, turned himself to the Founders, and told them that now indeed the chapel yard was exempted from any challenge of theirs, but that this House did remain their own, to be employed, if they pleased, to their private use. Therefore he demanded if they would also renounce their right, title, and interest in the same? To which their answer was affirmatively. Then the Bishop asked them if their desire was, to have it dedicated to Almighty God, and consecrated to his service? Answer was made affirmatively. * Then the Bishop taking them by their hands, and going forwards said, 'I was glad when they said unto me, We will go into the House of the Lord, even now will we go to his Tabernacle, and fall low on our knees before his footstool.' «* Here they all kneeled, looking towards the east window of the chancel. The Bishop said, © Arise O Lord into thy resting place, thou and the ark of thy strength, peace be within thy walls, and the fear of God within this Sanctuary. For the Founders and my Brethren's sake, I wish theo prosperity ; yea, because thou art an House for the Lord our God, I will seek to do thee good.'

Page 36


"'Then the Bishop prayed as followeth, °O Eternal God, we must acknowledge that thou art of a majesty incomprehensible, and thy glorious presence not to be confined within the largest compass of material Temples, much less within this small receptacle made with hands; for Heaven is thy seat, and Earth thy Footstool, and at one thou fillest all the corners of the world. Notwithstanding most gracious Father, since it is thy good pleasure, not only that thy servants should assemble together to hear thy will revealed in thy Word, and to make known their wants by their prayers and supplications; but also hast promised to vouchsafe thy Habitation amongst mortal men, especially to dwell in such places as they consecrate to thy service, and sever from all profane employments; We most humbly beseech thee, both to accept from us-tho' dust and ashes, yea miserable sginners-this poor duty of ours, performed according to our ability, in building and dedicating this House, fitted to the proportions of the assembly, and withall so to bless it and grace it, that thy word may be read and preached therein in truth and with diligence; thy Holy Sacra- ments administered with fear and reverence, the prayers of thy servants uttered with true devotion and hearty repentance, and heard of thee with patience and performance of what they desire, according to thy will, that whatsoever is or shall be done or spoken, may altogether tend to the glory of thee and thy blessed Son Jesus Christ, to whom, with thee and the Holy Ghost, be all honour, laud and praise, both now henceforth and for evermore. *This prayer ended, the Bishop turned himself to the Font,* and putting his hand into the water, and holding it therein, blessed it in these words. * Almighty and Everlasting God, whose most dearly beloved Son Jesus Christ, for the forgiveness of our sins, did shed out of his most precious side both blood and water; and gave commandment to his disciples, that they should go and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: and from that day did sanctify, not only the Flood of Jordan, but all other waters also, to the mystical casting away of sin; Regard we beseech thee the supplications of thy servants, and grant that all thy servants which shall be baptized in the water of this Font, may receive the fullness of thy grace, and ever remain in the number of thy faithful and elect children, through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.'

* John Taylor, of Peighill, was the first person who was baptised in the chapel of 1651. He was living in 1723.

Page 37


«* Then the Bishop, turning his face to the people, read the Instrument of Consecration, dedicating the chappel to God, in memory of St. Bartho-

lomew the apostle. «'Then the Minister began the ordinary prayers ; In place of the collect

for the day, using the following :- *We beseech thee Almighty God, that thou wilt be pleased continually to dwell in this House, which this day we have dedicated unto thee, and vouchsafe to accept the sacrifices of thy servants, whether of alms, or of prayers, or of thanksgiving, which shall be offered therein; also they keeping to thy sacred word herein read and preached ; that like the seed sown in the good ground, it may fructify in those that shall be there assembled, to the instruction of their understandings, the comfort of their consciences, the amendment of their lives, the saving of their souls, and the glory of thy blessed name, through Jesus Christ, our Lord and only

Saviour. ** Then the Sermon and Communion followed, and also a prayer for the

Founders. *In the service, the Psalms were xxvi. 1xxxiv. and Ccxxxiv: the

Lessons, 2 Samuel v1: St. John's Gospel x. from the 22nd verse. For the Epistle, Ecclesiastes v. to the 8th verse: the Gospel, St. Luke vi1. to verse 11.-HExEricos ELPHINENSIS." Any one turning to the various portions of Scripture indicated by the figures above given, cannot fail to perceive how exceedingly appropriate their choice was for that particular service. The report of this simple and yet dignified ceremony, with the good Bishop's comprehensive prayers on the occasion, brings the narrative of the erection of the first chapel to a close. For 135 years, Sabbath after Sabbath, the fathers of the village assembled themselves together within its sacred walls, to worship the God of their fathers, according to the ritual of the Established Church. Nor can it be doubted that the blessing promised to all them that seek Him, in his public ordinances, was there vouchsafed. For " he is a God hearing

and answering prayer."

Page 38


Obe Enbofoment.

In recording the benefactions by which Meltham Chapel was endowed, we must commend to the grateful remembrance of the inhabitants of the village, the names and memories of those who, in providing for the spiritual instruction of their own generation, did not forget the wants of those who should hereafter be born, but, out of the substance wherewith God had blessed them, set apart a portion for the maintenance of religious worship, in the Chapel of Meltham, according to the rites and usages of the Church of England, for ever. The Perpetual Curacy, or Chapelzy of Meltham, was endowed with, and by means of, divers charitable gifts and donations, from various benefactors. By an Indenture bearing date the 8th day of October, in the 13th year of the reign of King Charles II., and made between John Waterhouse, of Meltham, yeoman, of the one part; James Taylor, of Meltham, Anthony Armytage, of Thickhollings, Abram Beaumont, and Thomas Beaumont, of Meltham, of the other part; after reciting that William Woodhead had devised property in Saddleworth to John Waterhouse, subject to a rent-charge of forty shillings to be paid to the minister of Meltham already referred to, it was by the said Indenture witnessed, that the said John Waterhouse, in order to carry out the intentions of his predecessor, did grant and convey to the already-named trustees the lands and cottage-houses in Dobeross, for the use of such a preaching minister as should officiate in Meltham Chapel, the said trustees reserving a rent-charge of three pounds to be paid from the rents and profits of the lands and cottage-houses, to John Waterhouse and his heirs for ever. There is also another Indenture bearing date December the 21st, 1721, made between Joshua Beaumont, of the one

Page 39


part, John Armytage, of Thickhollings, Abram Radcliffe, juntr., James Taylor, and Joshua Beaumont, junr., of the other part, after reciting that Abraham Woodhead, late of London, by his last will and testament, bearing date the 8th day of June, 1675, did devise lands and houses in the township of Mel- tham, heretofore in the possession or occupation of his uncle, James Woodhead, to Edward Taylor, eldest son of James

Taylor, of Meltham, John Armytage, of Thickhollings, Abram Beaumont and Joshua Beaumont, of Meltham, in trust, that they should pay from the time of his decease, out of the yearly profits of the said lands, a rent-charge of five pounds per annum, which yearly sum, for the first six years after his decease, was to be paid through Mr. Edward Perkins to the said Abraham Woodhead's niece, Adriana Woodhead, then in Holland ; and, after the expiration of the six years, to John Woodhead, then of Thornhill, son of Abraham Woodhead's uncle, Charles Woodhead, for the life of the said John ; and after his decease to the heir male of the said John, and so on successively during their natural lives only ; and did order that the fore-named trustees should pay the residue of the yearly rents of the said lands, to the minister of the Word of God, that should be settled and officiate at the Chapel of Meltham, and to his successors, for ever. The remaining part of the Indenture specifies the appointment of trustees. To these bequests must also be added the endowment by Godfrey Beaumont of the Chapels of Meltham and Honley.


To all Christian people to whom this present writing Indented shall come to be seen, read, or heard. Wee, the ministers of the Chappell of Meltham and Honley, in the Parish of Almondbury and County of Yorke, send greeting in our Lord God Everlasting.

Page 40


Whereas one Godfrey Beamont, late of South Crosland within the Chappelry of Honley aforesaid, Yeoman, By his last Will and Testament bearing date the last day of March in the 24;» year of King Charles the Second, and in the year of our Lord, one thousand six hundred seventy and two, amongst other things Gave and Granted towards the maintenance of the ministers of the Chappells of Meltham and Honley aforesaid, certain Messuages, Lands and Tenements with app'tenances, within the Lordships and Chappelrys of Meltham and Honley aforesaid, and Netherton and South Crosland aforesaid. And no Terrier, Survey, Inventory or Note of all or any of the said Messuages, Lands and Tenements with the app'tenances, hath as yet been presented and Regist'red in the Bishop's Registry at Yorke. now know yee that wee, the ministers of Meltham aud Honley aforesaid, and Chappel wardens of the said Chappells, and other principall Inhabitants whose names are subscribed, belonging to the said Chappells and Chappelrys, doe make and present this our Terrier, Survey, Inventory and Note as &a true Terrier, Survey, Inventory and Note of all the said Messuages, Lands, and Tenements with the app'tenances in manner and form following, That is to say, one Messuage and Tenement with all Lands, Closes and hereditaments to the same belonging, with all app'tenances aforesaid, and now in the tenure and occupation of one John Thorpe or his assignes. Alsoe, part of one Messuage and Tenement situate lying and being at Netherton in South Crosland aforesaid, as the same is now divided by the name or names of one Dwelling, on the south and the entry thereof, the two South Chambers, the South Parlour, one other Parlour on the East. One Barne or Lath joining to the Lathynge, One South Garden, and all that close called Lathynge, One other close called Stannynge Platt. One other close called Scarr Close, and the South halfe part of the fould, and the halfe p'te of one Orchard undivided. And alsoe four Closes of Land called the Lane inge, the George Crofte, Ye Litle pellet royde and the great Pellet royde, now made into two Closes, and also two Closes of Land and Meadow called Green Holme and Intake. And alsoe three Closes of Land called the Stubbing, the Longroyds and the Green Holme, and one other Close called the Overstanding Platt, with all th app'tenances to all and severall the said Messuages, Lands, Closes and hereditaments, belonging or of right app'taining, with the app'tenances situate lying and being in Meltham and Honley, Netherton and South Crosland aforesaid, and now in the severall tenures and Occupations of the said John Thorpe and Joseph Haighe and George Haighe or their assignes.

Page 41


All which said Messuages, Lands, Closes, Tenements, Hereditaments with app'tenances, Wee doe now find to be of the yearly value of Thirty and four Pounds per ann-over and above all charges and reprises-to become yearly due and payable for ever, for and towards the maintenance of the Ministers of the Chappells of Meltham and Honley aforesaid, and which said Messuages, Lands, Closes and premisses with app'tenances were, by the said Godfrey Beaumont in his said last Will and Testament, Devised to Anthony Armytage, Abraham Beaumont, Joseph Haighe and Lawrence Manknell, Yeomen, and their heirs as Feoffees in trust to and for the uses aforesaid. And this wee doe make and present as a true Terrier, Survey, Inventory or Note of all the said premisses with app'tenances, in two partes, One parte thereof to be transmitted into the Bishop's Registry at Yorke, and the other parte to be kept by John Armitage of Thickholling in Meltham aforesaid, Yeoman, with the writeings to the Premisses belonging. In Testimony whereof unto both ptes of this our present Terrier, Survey, Inventory or Note of the P'misses with App'tenances, Wee have set our hands the ninth day of May, in the first year of our Sovereigne Lord James the second, of England, Scotland, France and Ireland, King, Defender of the Faith &c. Ann: Dom: 1685. Wee, the Ministers, Chappelwardens and other principall Inhabitants, Doe believe this to be a true Terrier, Survey, Inventory or Note of all Endow- ments late given to the said Chappells, except what the sd Chappells were endowed withall at their first foundation. Wirt Brax: Minr: of Honley. Ran: Brooxr, Curte of Meltham. ABr' BrEavmoxt, Chappelwarden. Wir: Brooxrr »E Hoxury, Chappelwarden. GoprrEx Broorr, Banks, Chappelwarden. Epw Taxrnor. Ja: BEavmont. Jo: ArmvrTacE. Ja: Winson. RicHarp Mortox.

Page 42



£ s. d. Impd. Paid out of William Woodheads Lands lying at Heyside in the Parish of Oldham and County of Lancaster as a Rent charge P. A. sess seve ee ee eee e e es e ee} 1 Paid out of Lands lying in Meltham in the possession of John Woodhead a Rent charge of £4 . 12 . per ann. .......... 4 12

Paid out of Lands lying in Saddleworth in the possession of John Wood a Rent charge of £3 . 15 . per ann. .............. 3 15

Paid out of Lands lying at Netherton in the possession of Mr. Josh : Haighe the yearly rent of ........................ 8 5 6 Paid out of Lands lying in Meltham in the possession of Joseph Thewlis ye yearly rent of ........................ 4 15 Paid as Chappel Wage and Surplis fees £10 . 10 . O0 per ann. 10 10

£34 3 6 The error in the above certified value of the living of Meltham, has most probably arisen from the carelessness of a former transcriber who has overlooked an "item," but the

sum of £34 3s. 6d., may be regarded as the correct total, and not £32 17s. 6d., as the figures in the aggregate give the amount.



Deo Sacrum et Capells de Meltham-Ex dono pientissime Dn» Dh& Mariz Beaumonte* filis natu maxims Georij; Burdett de Denbigh Hall,

Armigeri 1675.

* Lady Beaumont was married,-first to Richard Pilkington, Esq.; after- wards, to Sir Thomas Beaumont, of Whitley, Knight. As Sir Thomas Beaumont owned property in Meltham, and was one of the Lords of the Manor, Lady Beaumont's gift of a chalice was very appropriate. She was then a widow. There is no doubt Sir Thomas Beaumont had been a liberal contributor towards the erection of the chapel in 1650.

Page 43



The gift of Elizabeth daughter of Timothy Woodhead to the Chappel of Meltham 1784.


The gift of Elizh Daughter of Timothy Woodhead 1784.

Its Status us a Ohbupel of ®ase.

It should be observed that the first chapel at Meltham, was erected as a "Chapel of Ease," in the parish of Almond- bury, for the ease of the parishioners in the neighbourhood, who resided at too great a distance to attend the services at the parish church. The law required for the chapel in that capacity, no resident minister or incumbent, as it could be served by the Vicar and his curates from the mother church. There can be no doubt, however, that the intention of the promoters of its erection was, that it should become a " Paro- chial Chapel," with a permanent minister or incumbent of its own, and consequently less dependent upon the parish church. This is clearly evinced by the foregoing original documents ; for Bishop Tilson, in his account of the consecration, speaks of it as a "Parochial Chapel," and in the Terrier it is evi- dently presumed that it possessed a minister of its own. But it does not appear that the measures necessary for constituting it into a "Parochial Chapel," were ever adopted ; so that it continues still to be in reality a "Chapel of Ease," without a legally assigned district or boundary. Hence every minister of the chapel, in signing the registers and other official documents, described himself, not as per- petual curate or incumbent, but simply as "Curate." And when, on the decease of Mr. Armitstead, in 1828, a dispute arose as to the right of patronage, and considerable excitement on the subject was manifested, the question was referred to the Archbishop of the province, to whose diocese the parish

Page 44


of Almondbury then belonged, who decided the case in favour of the Vicar. By that decision his grace proved that the chapel of Meltham was then a " Chapel of Ease," which could still be served by the Vicar and his curates from the parish church. And it may be added, that in a legal opinion given within the last few months, a similar or corresponding view is taken of this point. It is much to be regretted that Meltham, being the mother church of the valley and one of the three old chapelries in the parish of Almondbury, should have hitherto remained in its present anomalous position, without parochial independence and a legally assigned boundary, whilst the ecclesiastical districts of Holmbridge, Linthwaite, Lockwood, Meltham Mills, Netherthong, Upperthong, and South Crosland, all of recent date, should have been formed into " New Parishes." It was the intention of the late Vicar, had his life been spared, to have taken the requisite means for constituting Meltham into a distinct parish and a vicarage, which, it is earnestly hoped, will yet be effected. How many of the ministers who served Meltham chapel previous to the year 1829, resided within the township, cannot now be ascertained. Some of them are known to have been non-resident, as will be hereafter shown. But since the decease of Mr. Armitstead, the services of a resident minister have been found necessary ; the increase of the population and the consequent additional duties devolving upon him, rendering his constant presence indispensable.

Ebe Ruspbearing. "One of the most gorgeous displays of rural and vulgar

pastime, which has now been discontinued above fifty years, was the Rushbearing.* These gaudy and even costly amuse-

« "'History of Kirkburton," page 168. For this account, Mr. More-

Page 45


ments were not peculiar to our district, being common at that time at least in several parts of Lancashire and Cheshire. To have any just idea of the imposing scene, a person must have been present; words may represent the preparations and general process in getting up this grand show, but to see the idol in all its splendour, is vastly more striking. I have seen numbers, sometimes from three to seven in one day, got up in different hamlets, but all terminating at one point-Holmfirth Parochial Chapel. Here the demolition took place, and the rushes were distributed in the different pews-perhaps by the occupiers of those pews, or by their orders ; which being during harvest-time, the chapel having only a mud floor, must have been a very comfortable preparation for winter. "In preparing the rush-cart much care and management were required ; a common cart was used, upon which the rushes were built in the form of a loaded coach, or cart load of hay, overhanging both sides ard ends, especially the latter. The builder-a connoisseur, no doubt-being provided with several loads of rushes, cut and brought from the commons, together with small rods for prickers, and also cords. His assistants form the rushes into small tight bundles ; with these he fills the body of the cart, carrying up the sides and ends as already mentioned to a considerable height, securing the whole by prickers and cords. Then the entire surface is shorn in the most regular and even manner, and the ends ornamented like carving. " All this is only the mere groundwork. The ornamental part now commences. This consists of all the flowers the season and the surrounding gardens can supply, arranged with all the ingenuity and taste the builder is master of ; the

house states that he was indebted to the late Mr. Joseph Holmes, of Underbank, Holmfirth. He was a schoolmaster, and died at an advanced age. The account was written in 1838.

Page 46


whole being sprinkled with tinsel ornament. Now for the Procession. Here is the greatest attention to display. If the pageant is to be drawn along by horses, they are caparisoned with all conceivable splendour. But the rushcart is often drawn by young men. A fine linen shirt covers their other vestments. - This is all over ornamented with ribbons of every shade and colour, put on in every imaginable form. These are furnished by their relations, sweethearts, or by any of whom they can borrow for the occasion. - When it is not drawn by men, they are employed to ride on horseback, decked out in a similar manner, and furnished with muskets, which they fire at short intervals: these precede the carriage. "*The procession is announced by beat of drum. Bands of music were not common here till the termination of the late French war. An old drummer from about Huddersfield, called Marlborough-from having served under that great general-was often engaged for these occasions. One of these displays from Scholes, perhaps the last from that village, was preceded by from twenty to forty horsemen, equipped as above. It took place between sixty and seventy years ago : I myself saw and accompanied the procession." Though the foregoing description of the Rushbearing applies primarily to the ceremony, as it was usually observed in the Graveship of Holme, yet it is found, upon due inquiry among the aged residents in Meltham, to be an exact delinea- tion of its observance as it was also practised in this township. The last instance of the Rushbearing, of which any record exists, took place in Meltham about eighty years ago.

Page 47





$ we have in the preceding chapter given an account of the building, consecration, and endowment of the first chapel in Meltham ; we proceed now to furnish some information respecting the venerable prelate who conducted the service by which that simple building was set apart for the worship of Almighty God, and also to speak of the several curates who, in succession, occupied its pulpit during a period of 135 years, that is, from 1651 to 1786. The details of Bishop Tilson's chequered life preserved to us in the few historical notices that remain of him, are deeply affecting. They portray the character of one upon whom fell misfortunes and trials of every kind, and who maintained, not only his integrity, but his cheerfulness and dignity, under them all. His true greatness of mind shone forth perhaps more conspicuously when travelling on foot, without a mur- mur, to minister to a wild and rude people dwelling among the hills in Yorkshire, than when officiating as Dean of Christ Church, in Dublin, and Vice-Chancellor of the University. Thus has it ever been with the godly, Gold is tried in the fire, and becomes brighter in the testing. The bush on Sinai had remained unnoticed but for the fire that burned within

it. The church and her godliest members oftentimes send D

Page 48


forth most light when the flames of persecution are kindled in their midst. It is much to be regretted that the records handed down to us of Bishop Tilson's long and eventful life are so exceedingly meagre. Scanty, however, as they are, we gladly subjoin them, in the hope that they may give interest to the chapter upon which we have just entered. Henry Tilson, born in the parish of Halifax in 1575, was entered a student of Balliol Coll. Oxon, in 1593, became B.A. in 1596, M.A. in 1599, and was elected Fellow of University Coll. In October 1615, he succeeded, in the Vicarage of Rochdale, Mr. Rd. Kenyon, who had become Rector of Stockport. He resided there for some years, and on the 4th day of June, 1620, was married by license at Milnrow, to Grace, daughter of -- Chadwick, probably a branch of the Chadwicks of Healey, though unnoticed in the elaborate pedigree of that family in the College of Arms. Richard Linney, of Rochdale, yeoman, by will dated March 12th, 1618-9, gives a legacy to his brother-in-law, Jordan Chadwick, of Heley, gent: and "To Mr. Henrie Tilson, Clerke, Vicar of Rachdale, my best cloake, and one Greek lexicon," and appoints his uncle, John Chadwick, D.D.,

executor. The children baptised at Rochdale were

Dorothy Tilson, bapd July 1, 1621.

Henry y » - March 14, 1623-4. Margaret =,, _ ,, May 7, 1626. John 9% » - Nov. 16, 1628. Nathan 93 33 Jany. 30, 1630-1. Thomas - ,, »» - May 15, 1636.

He became Chaplain to Thomas, the great Earl of Strafford, about 1630, and accompanied him to Ireland when appointed

Page 49


Lord Lieutenant. There is little doubt that Tilson is referred to by Bishop Bridgeman in the following paragraph of a letter addressed to Strafford on June 29th, 1634 :-

** I cannot let this bearer depart out of my diocese without a blessing on you for preferring of him, whom I have found a learned, painful, honest, peaceable, and religious minister, and such a one as-if you had com- manded me to chuse you a chaplain-I could not have named one in my diocese whom I could sooner have recommended to you than this man. Long and long may you rule that kingdom with honour and happiness to it, and by promoting such as he [him], ever may you give scholars occa- sion to pray for you whilst you live, and to bless your memory when you are dead."-Strafford's Letters, Vol. I., p. 271.

To this distinguished nobleman he was indebted for his unhappy promotion. He became Dean of Christ Church, Dublin, Pro Vice-Chancellor of the University there, and lastly was consecrated Bishop of Elphin on the 23rd Sep- tember, 1639. On April 3rd, 1635-not in November, according to Whitaker's "History of Whalley," p. 443- whilst residing in Castle-street, Dublin, he resigned the Vicarage of Rochdale, and, in the letters of resignation, he styles himself, "Henry Tilson, Clerk, M.A., Dean of the Cathedral Church of the Holy and Undivided Trinity in Dublin." His prosperity was of short duration. The miserable Irish rebellion broke out with awful fury, and on the 16th August, 1645, his palace was attacked and pillaged, his library burnt, his goods destroyed, and, what added to the Bishop's troubles more than all, his son, Captain Henry Tilson, the Parlia- mentarian Governor of Elphin, joined with Sir Charles Coote in urging on the rebels. The Bishop fled from the scene of devastation to England, and found an asylum through the liberality of Sir William Wentworth, of Wentworth Wood- house, and Sir William Saville, the relatives of the Earl

Page 50


of Strafford, at Soothill Hall, in the parish of Dewsbury. Here he performed all the functions of his apostolic office, and it is somewhat remarkable that he privately ordained in the "Bishop's Parlour," at Soothill, candidates for holy orders during the suspension of Episcopacy. "I have seen his letters of priests' orders to one of his successors in the Vicarage of Rochdale, for by this persecuted prelate, Henry Pigot, of Lincoln Coll: Oxon, was ordained Presbyter, according to the rites of the Anglican Church, on Thursday, the 27th September, 1654, at Soothill. His lord- ship's circumstances were poor and precarious, and he eked out his scanty income by officiating at a small chapel at Cumberworth for several years, and even, when more than a septuagenarian, travelling weekly upwards of twelve miles, to perform the duty for less than £16 a year. The Bishop was buried in Dewsbury Church, on the 2nd of April, 1655,* in his 80th year, when a mean monument, with his lordship's arms, and which has been designed for an effigy, still remains. Bishop Tilson does not appear to have published any- thing, although one of his letters may be found in Whitaker's and a high estimate of his abilities by his con- temporaries, and especially by Strafford, only confirm the remark of Mr. Hallam, that there is no greater fallacy than that of estimating genius by printed books. Here we have an instance of a man whose moral and intellectual attainments were great, who possessed an enlightened mind, and stood forth in his day honourably distinguished amongst the clergy as an example of zeal without bigotry, and of piety without asceticism, who stated that all his promotion came 'without his seeking and suit,, and who is nevertheless

* From the above date it would appear that the venerable Bishop Tilson was more than seventy-four years of age when he consecrated the chapel at Meltham.

Page 51


chiefly remembered by posterity on account of his mis- fortunes." * To this account may be added the following interesting note from Whitaker's " History of Whalley," p. 443 :-

** In the time of the Commonwealth, this little Chapel of Cumberworth, had a very eminent person for its Incumbent, Henry Tilson, Bishop of Elphin, who had been driven from his diocese by the troubles in Ireland, and had found shelter at Soothill Hall, near Dewsbury. Writing to an intimate friend-probably Sir George Radcliffe-and dated 1651, he says, * But you shall knowe that I am not altogether idle, for I pray-after the Directorie+ of the Church of England-and preach every Sunday at a place in the mountaines, called Cumberworth, two myles beyond Emley-where I have by the way, Lawrence;? my Gaius or hoste. It was proffered me by a gentleman, Mr. Wentworth, of Bretton, whom I never saw savinge once, before he sent unto me; and because it came-as all my ecclesiastical livings and preferments have done-without my seeking and suite; and because it is a lay donative, and in his power to give or detaine, and the engag (engagement) was past in that parish, I took it to be pointed out for me by God, as a little Zoar, to preserve my life, and did accept it: though it will not reach to forty marks per ann: Besides, I trust to do God service in the exercise of my ministrie amongste that Moorish and late rebellious§ plundering people. When I first went to Rochdale, you may remember what the old ostler at the Baytinges willed me to do. 'Take with you' (said he) 'a great box full of tarre, for you shall find a great companie of scabbed sheep.' The first Sunday I preached in the forenoone, and read service in the afternoone: and when I perceived by their murmurings that they must have two fodderings, I have made good use thereof; and whereas

* Note on Bishop Tilson by the Rev. F. Raines, M.A., F.S8.A., Rural Dean of Rochdale and Incumbent of Milnrow, Rochdale. See "* Assheton's Journal,'"' Chet. Soc. Pub., Vol. XIV., 1848. + "* Directory for Public Worship." During the civil war, the Puritans supplied the place of the Book of Common Prayer, by a volume bearing the above title. It was prepared by a committee appointed October 17th, 1643, and was established by Parliament, January 3rd, 1645.-Townsend's Manual of Dates. For further information, see Note at the end of this chapter. } Lawrence Farrington, Rector of Emley. § These wild mountaineers had taken a somewhat discreditable part in the civil war against Charles I., from 1642 to '49, and had become greatly demoralised in consequence of it, their mode of warfare being marked by plunder and lawless violence.

Page 52


I might have given them two sixpences, they are well pleased if I give them two groates for a shilling, which I intend to pay them, so childish are they in the right valuinge of God's coyne."*

At the east end of the south aisle of Dewsbury Church is a tablet to the memory of Bishop Tilson, which bears the following inscription in Latin :-

P. M. Reverendi in Christo Patris Henrici Tilson, Hen. F. Episcopi Elphinensis In Hibernia, Nati Ao. 1576, Juxta Halifax, In Agro Eboracensi, Denati 31 die Martii, A. 1655, In eodem Agro. Viri ob Eruditionem, et Pictatem Insignis. Parentis charissimi P. Nathan Tilson, Hen. F. Hen N.

T rans lation :

In pious memory of the Rev. Father in Christ Henry Tilson (the son of Henry) Bighop of Elphin, In Ireland, The initial capitals in the above inscription stand for the following

words :-line 1, Pii Memoria; 4, Henrici Filii; 14, Posuit ; 16, Henrici Filius, Henrici Nepos.

* Dr. Whitaker remarks upon this last sentence, " The Puritans required two sermons every Sunday; and the Bishop, who seems to have been an economist of his doctrine, probably meant by this whimsical figure that the people of Cumberworth were better pleased with two discourses of twenty minutes each, than with one of an hour."

Page 53


Born in the year 1576, near Halifax, in the County of York ; Died the 31st day of March in the year 1655, In the same County : A man distinguished for his learning and piety : A most beloved parent : Nathan Tilson, Bon of Henry, grandson of Henry, erected (This monument.)


Christian Binns, the first Curate of the first chapel or church in Meltham, was the only son of the Rev. John Binns, who was for about eighteen years Minister of Honley Chapel, and, for ten, of Holmfirth, where he remained until his death in 1646.

«* Christian Binns was born at Over Brockholes, and after receiving his elementary education, was sent to Trinity College, Cambridge. His residence there was during the exciting period of the great national struggle of the civil war. He took his B.A. degree in 1646. How soon he entered on the ministry after he left College does not appear. It is probable he took up his residence at his paternal estate at Over Brockholes (Bank End); from which he never removed. He had been ordained a Deacon, but does not seem to have taken a church: perhaps the very un- settled state of the National Church at that time contributed to make him undecided in his course. He had applied for ordination to Dr. Tilson, Bishop of Elphin, who then resided at Suthill Hall, near Dewsbury, from whom many persons who were then candidates for holy orders in the West Riding, sought ordination ; but it had been delayed in consequence of his having to take the oath of the King's supremacy, respecting which he appears to have had scruples. He, however, on the 3rd of October, 1650, was ordained Presbyter by the Bishop of Elphin, at Emley Church, and was the following year appointed to the Curacy of Meltham Chapel

Page 54


(Church), which had recently been erected, and which was consecrated on the 24th of August, 1651, by the same Bishop.* The Rev. Christian Binns continued Curate of Meltham until his death, which took place at Bank End. He was interred at Kirkburton, the 27th of June, 1669. * Elizabeth Binns, sister of the Rev. Christian Binns, Curate of Mel- tham, married Anthony Armitage, of Thickhollins. The Court of St. John's of Jerusalem possessed the right of issuing Probate of Wills within its jurisdiction, being what is termed a " Peculiar." The will of the Rev. Christian Binns, B.A., the last of the name at Bank End, was proved in this Court, and probate granted in the 23rd of Charles II. (1670.) He devised his estate to the children of his sister Elizabeth, the wife of Mr. Anthony Armitage, of Thickhollins. She was buried January 23rd, 1657, and her husband September 8th, 1674." +


It appears from an entry in the old Register of Baptisms and Burials at Meltham, that the Rev. Christian Binns was succeeded in the Curacy by the Rev. George Crosland, B.A. The notification of this is in Latin, and may be translated thus :-" George Crosland, of the Holy and Undivided Trinity College, in the University of Cambridge, B.A., received the cure of souls at Meltham, the 2nd of May, 1669." Of this gentleman and the character of his minis- trations, no tradition now exists. It is probable that he was related to the Croslands of Castle House, or Castle Hill, of which family two members, George Crosland, and his nephew, John, were successively Vicars of Almondbury. The Almond- bury Register records the name of another clerical member of the same family, baptised there "June 17th, 1610, Master of Arts" The Curate of Meltham, the Rev. George Cros- land, married a lady of the name of Martha Bannister, July 20th, 1674, by whom he had two daughters, Francisca, * **The erection and consecration of an Episcopal Chapel, under the then existing state of the Anglican Church, is perhaps unparalleled in the

ecclesiastical history of Yorkshire." + Morehouse's " History of Kirkburton," pp. 127-8.

Page 55


baptised June 8th, 1675, and Elizabeth, baptised December 2nd, 1680. It is supposed that he was interred at Almond- bury, the burial place of his ancestors, as no tombstone or memorial of any description marks the place of his sepulture at Meltham. A curious receipt of money, in his handwriting, to Mr. John Armytage, of Thickhollins, is still in existence, and is thus worded :-

«* August 25th 1676.

«* Recd4 then of John Armytage yeoman, tenn shillings being ye 20/2 for tenn pounds which was to be paid to the Curate of Meltham Chappell upon ye feast of Bartholomew, I sa, received by me y¢ said summ GEORGE CROSLAND Curate."


The name of the Rev. Timothy Ellison, as exhibiting his license in 1674, occurs in the list of Curates, and also that of the Rev. Dennis Hayford in 1683; but their term of service must have been very short, as we have seen that the Rev. George Crosland held the Curacy in August, 1676, and how much longer we know not; while from another document we learn that the Rev. Randoll Broom, Curate of Meltham, officiated at a marriage-that of the Rev. Carus Philipson, Vicar of Almondbury, in 1683, December 17th. Of Ellison and Hayford no record remains. "Their memorial is perished with them." They are not alluded to in the Register.*

* The old Register now in existence belonging to Meltham, dates from the 2nd of May, 1669, on which day the first three lines in it certify that the Rev. George Crosland took the cure of souls at Meltham. At the foot of one column of entries for the year 1711, July 5th, these words are added :-*" And thus far was contained in the old Register book, and here it was a wanting"-1715. By this we gather that there was a former, and probably the first Register, from which this has been copied. From 1669 to 1727 the same clear excellent handwriting is found. Leaves are wanting from 1705 to 1711, and again from 1711 to 1715.

Page 56



The Rev. Randoll Broom exhibited his license in 1683, and held the Curacy of Meltham twenty-two years, but during that period resided at Linthwaite Hall, near Slaithwaite. He died the 17th of December, 1705, in the 63rd year of his age, and was buried in Meltham Church yard, where his tombstone, with the following inscription, may still be seen :-

"Here lies the body of Mr. Randoll Broom, Curate of this place, who Departed ye 17th of Decembr 1705 in yo 6314 year @ t at B|3 fug."

All that we can now learn respecting him is to be gathered from the diary of the Rev. Robert Meeke, Incumbent of Slaith- waite, between whom and Mr. Broom a great intimacy existed, which seems to have led to frequent intercourse and occasional exchange of clerical duties. Mr. Meeke was a faithful and conscientious pastor, greatly beloved by his people, and a friendship with him gives us a favourable impression of Mr. Broom's character. The portion of Mr. Meeke's diary in which his brother clergyman is named, extends over a period of about five years, beginning in 1689 and ending in 1694. The first two entries run thus, and relate only to the village of Meltham :*

14th.-I went to day to Meltham, dined at Yeoman Armitage's, Dame Shaw and her sister Mortimer being with me. « Novembr 17th.-In the forenoon preach't at home, in ye aftern: at Meltham for Mr. Broom, where there were many people."

It is satisfactory to learn from this last remark that even at that early period, and the season of the year-winter-the inhabitants of the village of Meltham did not "forsake the assembling of themselves together on the Sabbath Day."

* The extracts from Meeke's diary have been kindly furnished by the Rev. C. A. Hulbert, Incumbent of Slaithwaite.

Page 57


"*Decem. 25.-Preach't at home from 1 Timothy i. 15th middle part. It was a thaw after ye snow; the way was very wet. Mr. Broom went not to Meltham, but came hither. I desired his pains, but he was not pre- pared, so that I was frustrate of my hope."

The next entry, February 19th, 1690, refers to a journey from Slaithwaite to York, undertaken by the two worthy divines, to enable them to record their votes as freeholders on the election of members for the county. At that time, indeed, such a journey was a somewhat serious affair. On this occa-

sion, from leaving Slaithwaite to returning, it occupied above three days.

« 1690.-February 19.-Aroge about two o'clock this morning and went with Mr. Broom towards York. About ten we came to Leeds, and refreshed ourselves, and then to Tadcaster-about 5 o'clock to York.* be God, arose in a measure of health, though I was somewhat wearied. About 9 we went into the Castle yard to shout for the knights of the shire, viz.-Lord Fairfax+ and Sr. John Kay, they were both chosen, none opposed them. About 11 returned back, called at Tadcaster, and then to Leeds. «* 2l1st.-Aroge in health again praised be God, tho' yesterday through company I stay'd too late up, about 11 we came to Brighouse and so home- ward. April 28th.-Went twice to see a neighbour, being sick and weak- (29th) and to day Mr. Br: went with me, and he pray'd with her, and we returned back. ** Aug. people went to meet Sr. John Kay's son, being lately married, who brought his wife to Woodsome to day. I went with Mr. Broom and my landlord. 1691.-February 22.-It was such a snow during the day that Mr. Broom could not go to Meltham, but came to the chappel and preached for me both ends of the day from Matth. 5. 16. The congregation was very small, but half a dozen women in the forenoon.

* That is, the journey between Slaithwaite and York occupied fifteen hours ! + This was Henry Lord Fairfax, paternal uncle to Thomas Lord Fairfax, the Parliamentarian General, who died without male issue.

Page 58


* Augst. 30.-I preached at home, there was a slender congregation. Many went to Meltham, Marsden, and Ripponden, being the first Sunday

after Rushbearing. * 1692.-April so deep on the moor, that Mr. Broom could

not go to Meltham. He preached for me in the afternoon from 1st Cor:

6. 4. "July 10th. -Rode to Meltham. It was a wet day, by times showers.

Preached both ends, by God's assistance, and returned home safe. Dined at James Oldfield's, who had a child baptized. «1693.-Octr. 30.-Dined at Abr: Beamond's at Meltham with a new married couple, viz.-Mr. Radcliff and his wife. After dinner we went into the town to drink a shot as custom is. We stay'd too long-that it was very late before I came home-Mr. Br: being with me. "July, 1694.-My neighbour Mr. Broom being ill all this week, I pro- mised to preach for him to morrow in the afternoon. God fitt me for

sickness, suffering, and death. « 15.-Preached this forenoon upon a text something suitable to what

happen'd-one to do publique penance. I preached from 1 Tim : 5. 20,* which I prepared yesterday. In the afternoon preach't at Meltham."


As the Rev. Randoll Broom died in 1705, and the Rev. John Kaye does not appear to have taken the Curacy of Melthain before 1710, the cure must have been held in the mean time by some other individual, whose name has been lost, and of whom no record can be found. The Rev. John Kaye was a member of an old and res- pectable family residing in Netherthong,t and from the circumstance of there being no tradition as to any house he occupied or lodged in at Meltham, it is supposed that he also lived at Thong. A flat stone in the Church yard of Almond- bury points out his last resting place. It bears the following

* "Them that sin, rebuke before all, that others also may fear." + The following entry in the Register occurs:-*"1679. Johan: fil: Abra: Kaye de Netherthongue bapt Aug. primo die fuitqe'"'-and some years after-" Curat de Meltham " added.

Page 59

THE CURATES. 45 inscription :-

«« Here lyeth the Body of the Reverend Mr. John Kaye, late Curate of Meltham, who died December the 24th, in the 45th year of his age. Ano Duo 1723."

A few rather interesting fragments of Mr. Kaye's sermons, now nearly obliterated by time, have been deciphered by the help of a powerful magnifying-glass, and are here given as specimens of the doctrine he taught and the style of his composition. The following sentences are from one :-" For Kirk August Feast* 1710." Discourses delivered about 150 years ago are of course somewhat different in their style from those to which we are accustomed to listen in the present day. The text of the discourse above alluded to is from 2 Timothy ii1 12-" Yea, and all that will live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution."

«Though evil men plot, God hath a plot, above their plots - he sits in heaven, and laughs them to scorn. The wicked plotteth against the just, and gnasheth upon him with his teeth; God comes between the plot and the execution, and mars all. He snares the wicked in their own devices. This is a matter worthy of our chiefest meditation. God will punish all wicked men, but persecutors of his people especially. As the martyrs shall have the highest joys-so for their persecutors God has prepared the deepest sorrows. There is a near union between Christ and his church. He is the head, they are his members; He the vine, they the branches; He the husband, and they his spouse; ergo, He must be sensible of the wrongs done to ym. . . . Christ and his people have common foes. Tho' wicked men may forget their wickedness, yet God will not. He can tell Amalek 400 years after what he did against Israel, and punish him for it. . . . If Jeroboam stretch forth his hand against the prophet, that hand shall wither ; if Herod vex the church, worms shall vex him. Now, many live longest, who deserve not to live at all. Here, the Israelites make bricks, whilst the Egyptians dwell at ease-David is in want, whilst Nabal abounds. Here Zion ofttimes is Babylon's captive, and

* St. Bartholomew's Day.

Page 60


they that deserve nothing are lords of all. Yet this is our comfort, the day of the Lord will come, when we shall be above, and our enemies shall be beneath. Now, they may cite us to their Bar, but we cite them, as Jerome of Prague did his adversaries, to God's Bar, and summon you all to answer me shortly before the great and just Judge of all the world."

Again, elsewhere, he says,

*I have read of a woman in the time of Valens, the Roman Emperor, who ran with her hair loose about her shoulders, and her child in her arms, to the place where the martyrs were being slain-and being asked whither she ran, she replied, Crowns are being given to day, and I will be partaker with them. This joy and comfort was peculiar to the spirits

of those times-but we cannot expect the like now."


A gentleman of the name of Sunderland, was, after the death of the Rev. Mr. Kaye, nominated to the Curacy of Meltham, but did not retain it long. Whether he resigned it, or was removed by death, is not known. Nothing beyond the fact of his having once held it, can be ascertained res-

pecting him.


The Rev. John Stainton, A.B., took the cure of souls at Meltham in the year 1724, being nominated by the Rev. R. Slater, Vicar of Almondbury. His name occurs in the bond concerning the building of Mean Bridge in 1724. It is most probable that this gentleman was a descendant of the venerable Robert Stainton, Vicar of Almondbury, who died in 1598, and whose pious and affecting prayer on the occasion of interring Henry Beaumont, of Lockwood, who died of the plague in 1563, is given elsewhere. The Rev. Robert Stainton, as Vicar of Almondbury, was also called upon to commit to the grave in the year 1558 five members of the Scammonden

Page 61


family, of Woodsome Mill, all victims to that awful pestilence. The first death occurred on the 16th of July, 1558-the last on the 10th of August, the following month in the same year. The Vicar's son, Henry Stainton, was Curate of Marsden during his father's life-time. It is most probable that the Rev. John Stainton, the Curate of Meltham, was interred with his family at Almondbury. He only held the Curacy four years. Mr. Littlewood, of whom no record remains save the name, was the immediate successor of Mr. Stainton, and was followed by Mr. Sagar.


This gentleman was nominated to the Curacy of Meltham July, 1728, by the Rev. Edward Rishton, Vicar of Almond- bury, and had previously held the Curacy there, and frequently preached in the Parish Church. He seems to have occasioned much annoyance to the Vicar by his negligence respecting the Registers when at Almondbury, and to have been equally careless and dilatory at Meltham. For in the Almondbury Churchwarden's accounts in 1752, we find the following item :-

©1752, April 5th, Paid three men for going to Meltham to afright Mr. Sagar, to make him send his Register, Mr. Rishton being fast for going forward with his, Pd 3/."

And six years after, in 1758, the alarm that these three men may be supposed to have produced in Mr. Sagar's mind seems to have been forgotten, for we again find another entry :-

«* Paid three men 3/ for going to Meltham about the Register."*

* The Rev. Edward Rishton was a most conscientious and methodical man, as we gather from a note in his handwriting at the beginning of Vol. 4 of the Parish Register. He says:-" As I have always looked upon the due keeping of a Parish Register of the utmost consequence, so I have

Page 62


Mr. Sagar married Widow Broadbent, of Cradin Holes, by whom he had several children. He was found dead in his bed on Wednesday morning, April the 25th, 1770, after holding the Curacy of Meltham forty-two years. As to the performance of his pastoral duties, tradition is silent, but we find occasional mention of him in the diary of a neighbouring clergyman-with whom he appears to have been intimate- the Rev. John Murgatroyd, Master of Slaithwaite School. This gentleman, in his diary, thus writes :-" April 22, 1770, Vesp : Mr. Sagar preached in the morning and I read prayers, and did all for him in the afternoon, he being not very well ; gratis." And on Wednesday morning following, viz. -April 25, 1770, this entry occurs:-"From sudden death, good Lord deliver us" (Mr. Sagar was found dead in his bed). Again we read in the diary :-" At Meltham, 29th April, at

the end of the sermon said something on Mr. Sagar's death."

In another entry in the January previous to this, Mr. Mur- gatroyd Jany, 1770, Mr. Sagar gave me half a guinea, without requesting it, for duty"-and again :-" The Rev. Mr. Sagar departed this life April 26, 1770; went to bed in his usual health, and was found dead in bed in ye morning about 8. He was Curate of Meltham."

It would be a want of justice to the memory of that worthy and truly indefatigable man, Mr. Murgatroyd-himself scantily supplied with this world's goods-were we to pass

been exactly careful, in the several laborious employments I have been called to in the church, to avoid mistakes. But as my care alone is not sufficient to keep this Parish Register with ye exactness I could wish, I desire this justice from posterity; that if any mistakes arise, and the consequences of 'em, they may not be charged upon my memory; but entirely (as in reason they ought to be) upon the negligence of the res- pective curates.-1726. Enwarp Vicar." A note at the foot of this entry runs thus :-" N.B. Edward Rishton, Vicar of Almondbury, deserves the thanks of all men for his care in the good order of yo Register since 1727." To this there is no signature. Charles and Thomas Broad- bent were the last persons whom Mr. Sagar christened.

Page 63


unnoticed his frequent services rendered to Mr. Sagar in the chapel at Meltham, gratis. Persons not long deceased, remember how this good man used to toil on the road from Slaithwaite to Meltham, book in hand, preparing his sermon, regardless alike of the heat of summer and the storms of winter. Three curious receipts of money in the Rev. Robert Sagar's* handwriting are still extant, and are thus worded :- ** Meltham Novbr 29, 1738. There and then, received of Mary Wood-

head, the sum of two pounds, being in full for one half-year's rent, due at Martinmas last, I say, received by me, Robert Sagar, Curate of Meltham."

And again, «* Meltham, November the 11th 1748. There and then, Received of

John Woodhead, the sum of forty shillings, being half-a-year's Rent

arising from lands lying in Meltham, now become due, I say Received by me Robert Sagar, Curate."

Again, «* Meltham, June the 28th, 1755. There, then, and at another time

before received of James Woodhead the sum of two Pounds; being half-a- year's Rent due at Whitsuntide last. I say, received by me, Robert

Sagar, Curate of Meltham." On a table-tomb, in Meltham Church yard, on the south side of the church, and about six yards therefrom, the east end of the tomb being nearly parallel with the east end of the church, is the following inscription :-

«Here Lyeth interred ye Body of the Revd. Mr. Robert Sagar, late Curate of this place, who Departed this Life ye 26th Day of April, 1770, in the 73rd year of his age."

He was buried April the 30th, 1770. Mr. Sagar came originally from Colne, in Lancashire, and

was, at the same time as a Mr. Littlewood, an applicant for the Curacy after the death of the Rev. John Stainton. Mr.

* The Rev. Robert Sagar resided in the house afterwards occupied by Mr. Isaac Woodhead, and in which the Local Board now hold their meetings.

Page 64


Littlewood, it appears, was the person appointed, but whether from ill health or some other unknown cause, he speedily gave up his charge, and Mr. Sagar was appointed to the vacant Curacy. His grandson, Mr. William Sykes-alias William of the School, his father being the schoolmaster at Crosland- now* in his 85th year-a vigorous old man with all his faculties unimpaired, states, that his grandfather greatly desired the appointment, but having been previously rejected by those who now made application to him, was resolved to give them a gentle reminder of their former treatment, and wrote them the following caustic and humorous lines in reply to their request :-

'*LirttuEwoop is gone, GrEaATwoon you have none, What need can you have of a

" Sagar," in the dialect of Meltham, means Sawyer. In Archbishop Sharpe's Book, a copy of which was in the possession of the late Archdeacon Markham, two names occur, namely, those of Samuel Brooke, in 1730, and Jonathan Leatherbarrow, in 1733, as having been nominated to the Curacy of Meltham by the Rev. Edward Rishton, Vicar of Almondbury ; but as Mr. Sagart was unquestionably the Curate of Meltham from 1728 to 1770, when his decease occurred, these gentle- men must have been assistant Curates in the parish.


the last Curate who officiated in the old chapel, was nominated

* April, 1865. + The inhabitants of Meltham appear to have entertained a most kindly feeling towards their pastor, the Rev. Robert Sagar, for about the year 1760, they enclosed from the waste a certain portion of land from which they dug out the stones, and put it into a state capable of cultivation. This they gave to the church for the improvement of the living: it was called *" Parson's Close," and it was from this field that a portion was taken in 1850 for the New Cemetery. t The Rev. Edmund Armitstead resided at Netherton during the whole of the time that he was Curate of Meltham-a period of 58 years.

Page 65


by the Rev. Robert Smith, Vicar of Almondbury, in the year 1770, to whom a further allusion is made elsewhere. In this place we record merely his appointment and the time during which he occupied the pulpit in the first chapel, namely sixteen years. Mr. Murgatroyd's Diary has one or two entries bearing on this period, and on a later one. They relate to Mr. Armitstead, with whom he seems to have been on friendly clerical terms.

©1782, November 24th. At Meltham but no service. Rev. Armitstead gone to see his relations. Rev. Harrop* wo'd be at Meltham Vespers, so, calling no where, I returned home. Again 1789, October 13th at Meltham, no service there M.-I went and dined with Mr. Mellor, at Helm, and we went together to the chapel. I churched a woman and did all the after- noon duty at Meltham, though Mr. Armitstead was returned from Honley, where he had done the morning duty. 1802, June 25t» at Meltham, but did no duty, Revd. Armitstead did it all. I came home to my dinner, and went to Slaithwaite Chapel Vesp :"

The following is an additional note to page 37 :-

* DirEctoryx.-A kind of regulation for the performance of religious worship, drawn up by an assembly of religious teachers in England, at the instance of the Parliament, in 1645. It was intended to supply the use of the Liturgy, or Book of Common Prayer, the use of which had been abolished. It prescribed no form of prayer, or circumstances of external worship, and did not oblige the people to any responses except ' Amen.' "- Dr. Hook's Church Dictionary. ®" Directory, the Church.-The book so called was published in England at the period of the civil war. It was drawn up at the instance of Parliament, by an assembly of Divines at Westminster, with the object that the ministers might not be wholly at a loss in their devotions after the suppression of the Book of Common Prayer. There were some general hints given, which were to be managed with discretion ; for the Directory prescribed no form of prayer, nor man- ner of external worship, nor enjoined the people to make any responses, except 'Amen.' The Directory was established by an ordinance of the Parliament in 1644.-Bishop Taylor." From Haydn's Dictionary of Dates, Vincent's Edition.

* Curate of Holmfirth.

Page 66




MA#TTE the History of the first House of Prayer in the village of Meltham, of which any record remains to us, is intimately connected that of the greatest man whom that village ever produced-Abraham Woodhead-the pater- nal nephew of the original promoter of the chapel of 1651, and the grandson of the worthy old lady, whose pious desire " to set up an habitation for the mighty God of Jacob," among her own people, led to its erection. How far the godly and learned scholar, the notices of whose life we are about to consider, may have influenced his relatives and neighbours to undertake, and afterwards encouraged them to complete this good work, we cannot tell. But, as at the time of its building he was above forty years of age, and a most zealous and devoted son of the church, we are quite justified in supposing him to have regarded it with peculiar interest, nor are we surprised at the provisions of his will above twenty- five years after, by which he bequeaths all the worldly goods* wherewith God had blessed him, for the support of those who should hereafter minister within its walls. When we reflect upon the events of a life marked by so much change and disquiet, and upon his long separation from his native village, it is touching to note the proof he thus

* That is, subject to an annual rent charge of £5 to the heirs male of his Uncles' families-and these failing, to revert to the Church.

Page 67


gave of his regard for its best interests; a regard which, neither time, distance, nor the social and political distractions raging around him, could destroy or weaken. To this fact we would particularly call the attention of our readers at the opening of a chapter on the life and character of this remark- able man. The following biographical notice, extracted from the pages of Anthony Wood's " Athens Oxonienses," * gives us a brief outline of his history. «Abraham Woodhead, son of John Woodhead, of Thorn- hill, in Yorkshire, was born in Maltham, in the parish of Albonsbury, alias Ambury, in the said County, enter'd a student in University College under the tuition of Jonas Radcliff, anno 1624, aged sixteen years or thereabouts, and soon after was made Scholar. Afterwards going through the several classes of Logick and Philosophy with very great industry, he took the degrees in Arts,t became Fellow in 1633, entered into Holy orders, pass'd a course in Divinity, and in 1641 was elected one of the Proctors of the University ; which office being quitted (not without trouble, occasioned by the denying of the Grace of Francis Cheynell,f of which he complain'd to the Long Parliament),§ he travell'd into France with a gentleman commoner of his House, named Thomas Radcliff, son of Sir George Radcliff, and afterwards with Thomas Culpeper, and Thomas Strode, both of the same House. Atlength settling for a time in Rome, he was entertain'd

* Wood's '" Athens Oxonienses." Col. 1157. Bliss's Edition, 1817. + Wood's "Fasti.'"" Ed. Bliss. It is stated that Abraham Woodhead took his degrees thus,-B.A., February 5, 1628-9. M.A., Nov. 10, 1631. He got his fellowship in 1633, and was appointed Proctor May 15, 1641. + «* On account of the degree of B.D. being denied in the Congregation to Francis Cheynell, for two reasons, one of which was, that he had preached against His Majesty's declaration.'"-Fasti Oxon. Vol. ii., Col. 2. A notice of this man (Francis Cheynell), half madman, half fanatic, will be found in the Appendix. § At the Bar of the House of Commons.

Page 68


by George Duke of Buckingham, whom he instructed in Mathematicks, and was much respected by him. After his return into England (being depriv'd of his fellowship by the visitors appointed by Parliament for absence and non-appear- ance anno 1648), he lived for some time in York House in the Strand by the appointment of the said Duke ; but Arthur Lord Capel being informed of the great merits of the person, he entertained, and learn'd of him the Mathematical sciences. In 1660, he was restored to his fellowship by his Majesty's Commissioners, and remained in his College for a time. But his opinion, as to religion, being then alter'd (as it had been since he was at Rome, which he always very warily conceal'd), he got leave of the master and society to be absent, as intending again to travel, with the allowance of £20 per ann. So that retiring to London, he afterwards settled at Hoxton alias Hogsden, near to that city, where he lived very obscurely and retiredly upon that allowance that the College made to him as a traveller, all therein, except one, knowing not to the contrary, but that he was beyond the seas. There I say, being settled, he not only caused youths to be trained up in the Roman Catholic Religion (of which certain members of Parliament did openly make mention in the house, after the Popish Plot was discovered), but also wrote and published divers books in vindication of the Church of Rome, and thereby gained the character by the men of that party of the prime Champion of England to stand up for their cause." Justice to Mr. Woodhead's memory, and to his reputation for integrity, compels us in this place to interrupt Wood's narrative and correct or explain what he states respecting the motives which led to so much seclusion and secrecy on Woodhead's part. The author of the "Athens Oxonienses" and nearly all the writers on the above subject who follow in his wake, and probably quote from his pages, seem to infer that

Page 69


the £20 per annum received by the retired scholar at Hogsden was obtained by him under a false pretence, viz.-that of being abroad as a traveller, when he was in reality living in conceal- ment in London, and that it was, consequently, so dishonest a transaction as to require his withdrawal from society, and the maintenance of as strict an incognito as possible But that all these surmises are unfair and unjust we are enabled positively to assert, for, on this point, reliable information from an undoubted source has been obtained, the sum and substance of which, derived from the Register of University College, Oxon., is, first, that Abraham Woodhead was not resident in Oxford from the year 1660, when he was restored to his Fellowship, to the time when he resigned it on the 23rd of April, 1678, a few days only before his death on the 4th of May, in that same year ; second, that there are repeated entries of leave of absence being granted to him by the society during that period ; and, third, that no mention is made of any conditions under which this leave of absence was given, either as regarded his place of residence or the allow- ance to be made to him by the College. It is presumed, therefore, that Anthony Wood must have obtained his information on these points from traditions existing in the College, or from other sources of which no record now remains. The entries simply record the fact, that leave of absence was granted on each occasion, for a limited period, in the same form as that used on similar applications from other Fellows of the College. Had there been any private arrangement that Abraham Woodhead was to travel abroad, which he did not afterwards fulfil, it is not believed that under the statutes then existing he could have been deprived of his Fellowship on that account. But the College might have refused to renew his leave of absence, and thus have required him to return to Oxford. It is probable that the sum of £20, mentioned by

Page 70


Wood, represented the old stipend of his Fellowship, which he was entitled to receive, whether absent or resident, in addition to the payments for allowances given only during residence. The following remarks, from the same source, occur at the close of the preceding ones :-*" There is good reason to believe, that during the period referred to, Mr. Woodhead was strongly inclined to the Roman Catholic Church, as were also some other members of the same society, but there is no evidence to shew that he ever actually joined that church. He seems to have been a very learned, pious, and self-denying man." After reading the above facts, and discovering that there was, apparently, no moral reason for Mr. Woodhead's retire- ment from the world, we are led to the conclusion that, a life wholly devoted to literary pursuits, and passed in entire seclusion, was the one of his choice and most in harmony with his inclinations, and that no other motive whatever induced him to adopt it. *A noted author* of the English Church saith, that the the 'Guide in Controversies,' Ab. Woodhead, is a person most highly famed among the Roman Catholics, and that he is, in his opinion, the most ingenious and solid writer of the whole Roman party. «His works plainly shew him to have been a person of sound and solid judgment, well read in the Fathers, and in the writings of the most eminent divines and renowned defenders of the Church of England, who had from the period of the Reformation successfully sustained the Protestant cause against Rome. He was so wholly devoted to retirement, and the prosecution of his several studies, that no worldly concerns shared any of his affections, only satisfying himself with bare

* 'Dan. Whitby, in his Epist. before his Appendix following The Absurdity and Idolatry of Host-worship.'

Page 71


necessaries ; and so far from coveting applause or preferment -though perhaps the completeness of his learning and great worth might have given him as just and fair a claim to both, as any others of his persuasion-that he used all endeavours to secure his beloved privacy, and conceal his name ; and although he obtained these his desires in great part, yet his calm, temperate, and rational discussion of some of the most weighty and momentous controversies under debate between the Protestants and Romanists, rendered him an author much famed, and very considerable in the esteem of both. «"He hath written very many things, some of which were published in his life-time, and some after his death, all with- out his own name or initial letters of it set to them. The catalogue of most of them follow."*

« In the library of Mr. Constable, at Burton Constable, near Hull, there is a volume of letters from Mr. Nicholson formerly of University College, to Mr. Cuthbert Constable, who was the Catholic Mecsznas of his day. From these letters it appears that Mr. Obadiah Walker was executor to Mr. Woodhead, and left the MSS of Mr. Woodhead to Messrs. Deane, Nicholson and Perkins all of University College; and that Mr. Deane lodged them in Wilde House which was burnt down about the time of the Revolution, and many of the MSS were burnt or lost. That what remained were conveyed to Lisbon by Mr. Nicholson: that a warrant had been issued by James II. for the publication of Mr. Woodhead's papers at Oxford ; that Mr. C. Constable applied to Mr. Nicholson for the MSS with a promise that he would publish them. Mr. Nicholson received the proposal with joy and thanks, and in 1728, sent the papers to London, and accompanied them with a sketch of Mr. Woodhead's life, which not appearing to Mr. Constable to be sufficiently cireumstantial, he applied to Mr. Hearne, of Oxford, for additional matter. A volume of his letters on this and other subjects connected with it is at Burton Constable. In a letter of August the 17th, 1730, Mr. Hearne says, 'I always looked upon Mr. Abraham Woodhead to be one of the greatest men that ever this

* These, to avoid a break in the narrative, are given elsewhere.- The first Edition of Wood's " Athen Oxonienses" was published in 2 Vols. folio, in 1691.-Ep.

Page 72


nation produced.' And in another of April the 8th, 1734, 'I am sorry the life of that holy and learned man Mr. Abraham Woodhead, is at a stand for want of materials.' Mr. Constable printed the third part of Mr. Woodhead's Church Government, and to it the sketch of his life sent by Mr. Nicholson with some additions. At the end is added a Catalogue of his works. Those in Wood and Dodd are very imperfect. I have been twice within this fortnight to a neighbouring library, in search of this life and catalogue, but have not found it; and indeed have never seen it, but at Burton Constable. In mentioning Mr. Woodhead's work entitled ' Dr. Stillingfleet's Principles Considered,' Mr. Nicholson adds, ' Dr. Seth Ward, Bishop of Salisbury, said, this work contained more reason than the huge volumes written by Stillingfieet.' Perkins he says, was only an Amanuensis at most to Mr. Woodhead. Mr. Woodhead's MSS are at Burton Constable, also a volume of his letters to Dr. Wilby, a Catholic Physician, in Oxford. « This is all the information I can at present find in my notes, I am sorry it is not more satisfactory."*

" When Mr. Obadiah Walker left Oxon., which was on the 9th of November, 1688, to prevent the insults of the rabble, upon the coming into England of the Prince of Orange, he caused to be lodged in the house of a certain boatman near Oxford Wharf, many printed copies of certain books, written by our author, Woodhead, that had not been either sold, or were but half finished, to the end that they might be con- veyed by water to London, there to be disposed of as he should think fit; but the waters being then too high for their passage, the said books remained in the boatman's hands till the 23rd of December following, at which time, some of Col. Mordaunt's soldiers then in Oxon., searching the house of the said boatman, a reputed fanatic, under pretence for the finding out a Popish Priest which he was suspected to har- bour, they discovered the said books, and finding upon examination, that they belonged to Mr. Walker, they seized

* The above Bliss'sedition of Wood's "Athen Oxonienses," and forms part of a letter written by the Rev. John Kirk, and dated,

Lichfield, November 19, 1814.

Page 73


on, and conveyed them away to the Colonel's quarters, with intentions to have them publicly burnt; but upon further consideration, they, at length, after they had detained them several weeks, did, as I have heard, restore them to the person whom Mr Walker had appointed to look after them. « But to return :-It was also reported very frequently that he-Woodhead-wrote 'God's Benefits to Mankind, Oxon., 1680 qu. Published by Mr. Walker as his own; nay and many stick not to say-which is a wonder to me-that he was the author of 'The Whole Duty of Man, and of all that goes under the name of that author." Wood then speaks of other works attributed to the pen of Abraham Woodhead, aud sums up the article in these words . . . "at length after this most pious, learned, and retired person, Mr. Wood- head, had lived to the age of man, he surrendered up his most devout soul to God, in his little cell at Hogsden before mentioned, in sixteen hundred seventy and eight. Whereupon his body was conveyed to St. Pancras Church,* near Houl- bourn, in Middlesex-distant about half-a-mile from the back part of Grey's Inn-and was buried in the yard there, about twenty-two paces distant from the chancel of that church, on the south side. " Afterwards was a raised altar monument built of brick, covered with a thick plank of blue marble, put over his grave ; and on the said plank was this engraven :-

"* A. W. obiit. Maii 4. A.D. 1678, mtatis sum LXX. Elegi abjectus esse in domo Dei ;+ et mansi in solitudine, non quod mihi utile est, sed quod multis."

* The old Church of St. Pancras is of great antiquity, and Anthony Wood tells us, the church yard was long the burial place of Roman Catholics. But Abraham Woodhead did not direct that his body should be buried there; but as his will states, " In any church yard as it shall please my executors to dispose thereof." + * Elegi abjectus esse in domo Dei," is taken from the Vulgate trans- lation of Psalm lxxzxiv. 10., according to the arrangement of chapter and

Page 74



* A. W. died on the 4th of May, in the year of our Lord 1678, and of his own age 70. I have chosen to be an abject in the house of God ;* and have remained in solitude, not seeking what is useful to myself, but to the many."

" This monument [to Abraham Woodhead] being built two or three years after his death, those that put it up, caused his grave to be opened to view the coffin and body, that they might be sure that it was the person for whom the said monument was erected ; and had king James the second continued in his throne two years longer, his body would have been removed to the Chappel in Univ. Coll., and there had a monument erected over him equal to his great merits and worth." The following inscription taken from the "Athens Oxonienses,'" was, the one designed for the monument to which allusion is here made ;-


Nomine sub isto, Lector, qualis et quantus nuper Vir sgculo latuerit suo, Jam nulli in Posterum silendus, Non hxc te tabula docet, sed monet tantum, Ut alibi Fungatur iterum muneris inani vice Hic Cznotaphii+ honos, Ut omnes agnoscant quem nemo ignorat. Hic ille Delius Anglus Hermes sacer, Controversiarum Ducis cognomine inclytus, Peritus, Fidelis, Feliz Ecclesiastics Authoritatis assertor fortis, Conciliorumque Sanctorum Vindex invictus

verse in the authorised English version, which agrees with the Hebrew original, but in the Vulgate Bible it is Psalm lxxxiii. 11., and in the Common Prayer Book version it is verse 11 of Psalm lxxxiv. * "I have chosen," &c. This is the English translation of the passage in the Douay Bible. + Cenotaphii ?

Page 75


In cujus Scriptis Quszcunque sparsim in alijs distribui solent, Nature et Gratis Charismata Compressa, coacervata, superexcellentia : Miramur, colimus, fruimurque. Horum Omnium Pretiosa semina, incrementa Hujusque+ Collegii Alumnus et Socius Hic juvenis suscepit, hic adultus excoluit, Hine postea ob fidem Deo et Regi debitam

Ejectus ; paternoque simul spontaneus Exul Feliciore solo et meliore Clo Mature excocta Ad frugem, segetemque surrexit immensam Opimamque Messem, Secum mox Anglis postliminio redditam ; Scribendo, Vivendo, Moriendo, Patrix, Ecclesig, Calo, Expromsit, Exhausit, Consecravit. Maii 4to obiit Londini. A0 } BEtatis sus 70

Salutis nostre 1678. P. W. Rogerius. « The foregoing Epitaph was sent in a letter to Mr. A. Wood, by Mr. W. Rogers, dated at Jusmore, July 31st, 1692. It was designed for an inscription on a monument to be erected in the Chapel of Univers. Coll Oxon., to the honour of Mr. Woodhead, whose body was to have been translated thither and re-buried, had the times borne it. "Transcribed from the Rev Mr. Wagstaffe's copy, 27th December, 1732, Wanley.] "

Translation. A. W. Under that name, Reader, what kind of a man and how great Lately lay concealed from his own age, Henceforth to be past by in silence by none ;

* Felicia? + Hujusce ?

Page 76


This tablet teaches thee not, but only reminds thee That thou mayest enquire elsewhere. Nevertheless let this tribute of a Cenotaph Perform the ineffectual office of honouring him, That all may recognise the man of whom no one is ignorant. This is that English Apollo, that sacred Hermes, Who was famous by the title of Leader of Controversies,* Skilfal, Faithful, Fortunate. A strenuous advocate of Ecclesiastical authority, An unvanquished defender of the holy Councils. In whose writings We admire, study, and enjoy In a condensed, amassed, and superexcellent form Whatever gifts of nature and grace, Are wont to be thinly scattered in the writings of others. The precious seeds and prosperous increase Of all these things, He, as a Scholar and Fellow of this College, Here in his youth acquired, here in his manhood cultivated. From hence afterwards for his allegiance to God and the King He was expelled ; and at the same time becoming A spontaneous exile from his paternal soil, In a happier land, and under a more propitious sky, He raised what had become maturely ripened To an overflowing crop and a rich harvest, Which was subsequently restored with himself to the English, On his return to his country. By his writings, by his life, by his death, He drew out these things, exhausted them, and consecrated them To his Country, to the Church, and to Heaven. He died in London on the 4th of May in the year of our salvation 1678. Aged 70 years.

P. W. Roger.

* The application to Abraham Woodhead of the title of " Leader of Controversies," used by the writer of the above Epitaph, does not by any means prove that he was really such, but that he was reputed such, by some of his contemporaries-and it is, probably, on this ground that he was claimed as a proselyte by the Roman Catholics of his day.-Ev.

Page 77


Our next notice of Mr. Woodhead is taken from the "Catholic Miscellany," No. 2, January, 1825, appended to «* Dalton's Translation from the Spanish of St. Teresa," Vol. 1. "This gentleman-Abraham Woodhead-who was one of the ablest controversialists of his time, was born in the year 1608, at Meltham, in the Parish of Abbersbury, or as it is generally called Ambury, in Yorkshire. His father was John Woodhead, of Thornhill, in the same County. At the age of sixteen years, he was sent to Oxford, and was admitted into University College. His first tutor was John Ratcliff, and after his death, he was placed under the care of Thomas Ratcliff, both of whom were Fellows of the same house. He soon became distinguished in the University as a logician, and as a good philosopher. In 1632, or in the following year, he took his degree of Master of Arts ; and was afterwards elected Freestone Scholar, then Walter Skirland's Fellow, and there is reason to suppose that he was also elected Freestone Fellow. The honour of pronouncing the Latin oration, when the west side of the University College was built, was con- ferred upon him at the time when he was a Walter Skirland's Fellow, and the discourse which he then delivered is still preserved in the College Library. When he had finished his course of Divinity, and had taken orders according to the rites of the Church of England, he was elected one of the Proctors of the University. This occurred in 1641. In the following year, Mr. Woodhead was summoned to answer at the Bar* of the House of Commons, various charges which were brought against him in consequence of his courage in opposing an overbearing faction, t and of his attachment to the privileges of that University, of which he had the honour to be a member ; for when the Parliament attempted by every means

*« Before the Long Parliament. + In the affair of Cheynell alluded to by Anthony Wood.-EP.

Page 78


to gain it over to the Republican party, and had proposed a convocation in order to introduce the solemn League and Cove- nant, the firmness of Mr. Woodhead prevented in agreat measure the innovation ; and at the Bar of the House, he made so able a defence, that he was dismissed without further molestation, and returned to the University, where he remained till the expiration of his Proctorship, and then procured the College license to travel with Messrs. Harlackenden and Culpepper, two of his own pupils, upon condition that he should quit the care of these two gentlemen, when Mr. Radcliffe, the son of Sir George Radcliffe should be sent over to him; and probably this event soon occurred, for by the College Register it appears that, on the 22nd of June, 1645, he and Mr. Radcliffe had both leave of absence for four terms. About this time he began to entertain doubts with regard to the truth of the Protestant faith, and felt some inclination towards the Catholic religion. This was occasioned, as he writes in one of his letters* to his intimate friend Dr. Whitby, by reading the 'Saints' and the learned and pious works of the great St. Augustine, by way of index. 'To read the Fathers,' says he, 'Would be the business of a man's life ; but in a quarter of a year, by consulting the heads and indexes of the best Fathers about all controversial points, one may be plentifully satisfied concerning their opinions, and what way the Father's incline: He examined also and compared Harding and book written by Dean Cressy pleased him in part, although he disliked the strong and severe expressions with which it abounded. The fame of the virtues and extraordinary piety of St. Charles Borromeo, of St. Philip Neri, St. Francis de Sales, of St. Teresa, and other devout servants of God, had also reached Mr. Woodhead,

* Are these letters extant? If so, where are they to be met with ?-Ep.

Page 79


and he had been induced to commence an inquiry into their lives, and into that religion which had taught them such principles of sanctity, and this inquiry had in a great measure dissipated his errors and prejudices. Still, however, in an affair of such consequence, where the eternal salvation of his soul was concerned, he thought it proper to proceed with the utmost caution. Some years, therefore, elapsed before he declared himself a Catholic.* " It was about this time, when he began to entertain doubts of the orthodoxy of the Protestant faith, that Mr. Aylesbury -afterwards Sir Thomas-governor to the Duke of Bucking- ham, and his brother, Lord Francis, prevailed upon him to undertake the instruction of these young noblemen in the mathematical and other liberal sciences. Mr. Woodhead spent some time on the continent with his noble pupils, and when they returned to England, apartments were provided for him at York House, and a handsome salary allowed him. But this was of short duration, for at the unhappy defeat at Kingston, which occurred in 1648, Lord Francis was killed, and the Duke was in danger of utter ruin. " As he-Mtr. Woodhead-knew himself to be particularly obnoxious to the Republican party, he concealed himself for a short time, until he was received into the family of Lord Capel, with whom he resided at least till the close of the year 1652.+ " Dr. Ferne,t who became, after the Restoration, Bishop of Chester, was, during most part of this time, Chaplain in the same family, and he and Mr. Woodhead were in the constant practice of arguing upon the controverted points in religion.

* Did he ever declare himself a Roman Catholic? All other notices of him state that he " warily concealed his opinions."-ED. + Arthur Lord Capel was beheaded on the 9th of March, 1649. Query, Was Mr. Woodhead Mathematical Tutor to his sons after his execution ? t See Appendix, Note C.


Page 80


The Doctor was a staunch Protestant, while the latter inclined towards the Catholic side; and it is probable that these discussions finally completed his conversion and induced him to quit Lord Capel, and also to resign a pension of £60 per ann. which had been settled upon him for life. " He now retired to the house of his friend, Dr. Whitby,* who resided in the city, where he had leisure and opportunity to examine the best Protestant writers upon Controversy, of consulting the Fathers and Councils, and of more attentively perusing the Holy Scriptures, and examining with particular care those passages which Protestants and sectarians generally cite in support of their various innovations and novelties. * After some time, being desirous of secluding himself as much as possible from the world, and of giving himself up entirely to controversial reading, he united with a few select friends in the purchase of a house and garden at Hoxton, where they lived in common, uniting into one fund the wreck of their property which had escaped the sanctimonious grasp of the Puritanic faction, and devoting themselves to prayer and study until 1660, the period of the Restoration, when the King's Commissioners, deputed to restore the banished members of the University to their respective posts, called Mr. Woodhead from his solitude, to reinstate him in his Fellowship. «He accepted of it again, rather as a mark of justice due to the cause for which he was deprived of it, than with a design to retain it as a Protestant, and never commu- nicated with the Church of England, then or afterwards.

* Daniel Whitby, D.D., the learned divine and voluminous writer, was born in the year 1638, and therefore must have been Abraham Woodhead's junior by thirty years. At the time indicated above-1652-he could not have been more than fourteen years of age, and consequently was not at all likely to have been then a householder in the city of London. This is a fair specimen of the loose way in which many other statements are made in the above article.

Page 81


He remained in the College for a short time; but finding residence there inconsistent with his religious principles, which now were so well known, that not long after, when one of the beadles accused him of Popery to the Vice Chancellor, he laid hold of the occasion, and without any contestation generously chose to retire to his dear solitude at Hoxton.' "Here he employed his time in praying, meditating, and writing in defence of his faith, and for the good of his neigh- bour, with some small exercise to enable him to return to his labours with greater alacrity. As to the interior perfections of his soul, and what passed in the pious moments of his retirement, it is only known to the searcher of hearts, for whom, and to whom, his life and labours were chiefly dedicated ; with only some select and pious associates joining in the same views, and assisting him in his labours, that is, helping him to find places in authors, collate his citations, or transcribe his learned works and the like. For it was here, and that too, without any other assistance, but what was just now mentioned, this learned champion of the church wrote those elaborate treatises of controversy, particularly that of ' Ancient Church in five parts ; the ' Rational Account of the Doctrine of Catholics, concerning an Eccle- siastical Guide in Controversy,'* having in view two of the most learned writers of the Protestant side, Archbishop Laud and Dr. Stillingfleet. " In this retirement he perfected those lasting monuments of his pious soul ; that is, his works of devotion, chiefly wrote in his latter days, in which we see, notwithstanding his humility, how much his soul was elevated towards God. This appears almost through every page of that excellent treatise of the 'Motives to Holy Living,' by way of heads

* These works are attributed by some writers to the pen of Richard Holden, a Sorbonne Doctor, whose initials, R. H., they

Page 82


for meditation, through which the spirit of the gospel and the most Christian virtues shine in the most delightful colours ; as also in his Tract of 'Catholic Devotions and in two large prefaces of his composing, before 'St. Teresa's Life;' and in one to his translation of 'Gregory Lopez's Life: The same spirit shews itself in the 'Life of Christ ;' and that of the ' Benefits of our Saviour.'* " But to return to the last scene of this holy man's life ; though his thoughts in this retirement were chiefly taken up in the choice of the better part, still preparing and purifying his soul, the nigher he approached his end ; nevertheless, as a prudent economy and management is a moral virtue, he so discreetly ordered his temporal concerns, and the little stock God had blessed him with, as not only to secure a moderate maintenance, agreeable to his choice, but something also to be disposed off at his death, to such uses as he thought most proper ; leaving a good part of what he had to the main- tenance of a school in the country ; believing that learning and a careful education, were proper steps to attain the best religion, since it was his own learning, next to God's grace, that brought him to the knowledge of the true church, of which he died an humble, holy member, as well as a very great sufferer for it. "The praiseworthy intentions, and charitable bequestst of Mr. Woodhead, were, however, frustrated by the storm which was raised against the whole body of English Catholics, in consequence of 'Oates's Plot,' and had he lived but a very short time longer, it is probable that his name also would x On his examination before Parliament, Obadiah Walker, when charged with having embraced the Roman Catholic faith, as evinced in these two works, does not disavow his authorship of them, when he could easily have done so, Woodhead having been then long dead. + Every bequest of Mr. Woodhead's was most carefully and religiously

carried out-that to Meltham Chapel, and those smaller ones to his rela- tives. He did not leave any money to a school in the country.-E».

Page 83


have occurred in the list of victims of persecution and perjury, which blots the annals of Charles the Second's reign. How- ever, the providence of God thought proper to take his faithful servant to himself, just before these dismal times happened. «"He had run through a great many trials before; he had been prepared for the kingdom of heaven by many tribulations ; and had employed the talents entrusted to him by his Divine master to the best advantage, having spent the chief part of his time from his youth in improving himself in what he thought might be for the good of his neighbour. And though the stream ran in a wrong channel at first, he soon rectified its course, and made amends for it, to the best of his power afterwards. «" We do not find he ever took any orders in the Catholic Church, though he had in the Church of England, but behaved as a layman after his conversion. However, 'tis supposed he thought celibacy to be the properest state for persons in Holy orders, not only as approaching nigher that of Christ his master, but as a state less distracted with family cares and worldly solicitude, allowing more leisure for the greater duties of their calling. But, by all accounts of him, he lived with an unblemished character with respect to his morals and chastity ; all sides agree in his character as a Christian. " He was now drawing towards the end of his career, and preparing his soul in a greater degree of sanctification and resignation to the will of his Creator, when that dreadful storm of persecution against the professors of his religion was just going to arise ; but the goodness of God snatched him from it, to place him in the tabernacles of the just, and, being seized with a fever, which proved his last, he rendered his pious soul to God, in a good old age, May 4th, 1678, aged 70." Page 413 of the "Catholic Miscellany :"-"We are aware that many of the circumstances related in this sketch of Mr.

Page 84


Woodhead's life do not accord with what Mr. Wood has written in his Oxonienses,' but we have preferred the authority of Mr. Simon Berrington, who wrote his life at the request of Mt. Constable, and who has always given his reason when he departed from Mr. Wood. He had also the advantage of consulting some notes written by the late esteemed, learned, and accurate Rev. Alban Butler." Mr. Constable was displeased to find that Mr. Berrington endeavoured to give Mr. Woodhead the honour of being the author of "The Whole Duty of Man," and other works of the same hand, of which Mr. Constable could by no means be persuaded-merely on account of the difference of style ; there occurring in "The Whole Duty of Man," and the other works of that author, scarce any parenthesis, with which all Mr. Woodhead's works abound. Nevertheless, certain it is, that Dr. John Fell, Dean of Christ Church, and afterwards Bishop of Oxford, who pub- lished the other works of the author of "The Whole Duty of Man," namely-"The Ladies Calling," "The Art of Content- ment," " The Government of the Tongue," " The Lively Oracles Given Unto Us," &c., in folio, at Oxford in 1675- 1678,* and wrote the preface which he prefixed to this edition, and who was the only person then living who knew the true author of " The Whole Duty of Man"-gave this book to the printer in London with other pieces of Mr. Woodhead's, and ordered Mr. Woodhead's name to be added to the title of this, as well as of the other works which he gave to be bound. If Mr. Woodhead wrote that celebrated work, it was before he

travelled abroad, or had any thoughts of embracing the Catholic faith.

* Are these dates correct? Only one writer names 1682 as the date at which Bishop Fell's folio edition of these works was published, all others state 1684 as the year in which it appeared.-Ep.

Page 85




a N the present chapter it is proposed to furnish the Q! reader with certain original documents which ema- nated from Mr. Woodhead's pen a few years before his death, viz.-his will* and four of his letters to his cousin, John Armytage, of Thickhollins ; and also with other four from his executors, Walker and Perkins. To each of these important papers special attention is requested, as the argu- ments to be deduced from them form a part of the evidence respecting Mr. Woodhead's alleged change of faith, which will be considered in the subsequent pages of this volume. The provisions of the will bear witness to the religious opinions held by the testator at the time it was made, and the tone of the letters, written two years before,t may also be said to do the same. We cannot discover a single senti- ment, or any tendency in them, betokening sympathy with Rome; or any of that Jesuitical mode of reasoning we should be led to expect in one who had secretly embraced the doctrines of the Romish Church. On the contrary, they are honest and straightforward,-entirely free from all display of pedantry, being chiefly remarkable for their benevolence and piety. Walker's letters, too, are good, and no ultra-

* Mr. Woodhead's will was executed in 1675. + We gather from the date of his father's death, given in one of the letters, that they were written in 1673.

Page 86


montane bias is observable in them. The first of these is dated the 18th of June, 1678, from University College, Oxon., of which College he was at that time Master, and had been so for two years, nor did he quit that office till 1688 ;* we are, therefore, justified in believing that if his inclinations pointed to Rome at that period, he had contrived to keep them under so much restraint as not to prevent his retaining the Mastership of the College until the year 1688, when he unquestionably embraced the Romish faith. There is no fault to be found with Perkins's letter to Mr. John Armpytage, for reither had Ae at the time it was written become a pro- selyte to Rome. He writes like an honest-hearted man, and gives a simple detail of his friend's death, and in his letter we search in vain for any symptoms of that change of opinion which he professed in after years.


In the name of God, Amen. June ye I, Abraham Wood- head, doe make this my last Will and Testament. First I humblie com'itt and bequeathe my poor soule into ye hands of my good God, my all powerful Creator and all merciful Redeemer, and my body to be buried in any churchyard as it shall please my Exectrs to disposse thereof. Item, I do devise will and bequeathe all yt my messuage or tenement houses and lands, with all the appurtenances whatsoever belonginge thereto, sittuate and lyinge in the township of Meltham or Thickhollings in the Countie of Yorkshire, and heretofore in ye possession or occupa'ion of my Unkle James Woodhead, to Edward Taylor eldest sonn of James Taylor yeoman of Meltham, John Armytage of Thickhollins yeoman, Abraham Beaumont and Joshua Beaumont of Meltham yeomen, and to their heires and assignes for ever, in trust and confidence nevertheless, and to the end and purpose yt they and the survivors of them and their heires, and the heire of the survivor of them, shall and will faithfully p'forme this my will and desire followinge,-

* Art. Walker. Biog. Brit., pp. 6097, 8.

Page 87


And that they shall well and truly pay or cause to be paid from y* time of my decease half-yearly by equall portions out of the p'ffitts of the said lands a rent charge of five pounds pr ann., wth rent charge of five pounds pr ann., I do give and appoint for the first six years after my decease to be paid half-yearly to Mr. Edward Perkins, now livinge in the P'ishe of Bhoreditch in London, and one of ye Exectrs of this my will, to be sent by him to my niece Adriana Woodhead now in Holland, and after her decease to her children. And after these six yeares expired I doe give and bequeath the foresaid rent charge to John Woodhead of Thornhill, son and heire of my Unkle Charles Woodhead, for ye life of yo said John, and after his decease to ye heire male of ye said John for his life, and soe from heire male to heire male of ye said John successively for their naturall lives only, and for want of his male, then to other ye heires male of my said Unkle Charles successively in like manner for their naturall lives only, and when it shall please God that ye heires male of my said Unkle Charles shall faile, then I give and disposse the said rent charge of five pounds pr ann. to ye heires male yt shall descend from my other Unkles, James and William Woodhead successively in like manner one after the other for their naturall lives only ; the Elder and his heires male to be alwaies p'ferred before ye younger and his heires male of any of my said Unkles, with libertie for any of those to whome such rent charge shall be due, to make distresse for the same upon ye said lands from time to time, when and so often as any parte shall be behind and unpaid. Item, my will is yt yo foresaid p'sons Edward Taylor and the rest of my foresaid ffeoffees in trust and their heires or the heire of the survivor of them, shall well and truly pay or cause to be paid, ye residue of ye yearly rents or p'ffitts of ye said lands to ye minister of the Word of God yt shall be settled and officiatt at ye Chappell of Meltham afforesaid att ye time of my decease, and so to his successors in yt same place and office for ever; and in case all ye heires male of my foresaid Unkles should faile, then I give ye said rent charge of five pounds yearly for ever to ye foresaid minister successively. Item, I doe will and desire yt after it shall please God that any two of the foresaid ffeoffees in trust shall depart this life, y other two survivinge shall within one whole yeare then next ensuinge elect, nominate and appoint* foure other persons and theire heires with the consent of y®

* In the year 1721, when the principal inhabitants of Meltham met

Page 88


major p'te of ye housekeepers of the foresaid town of Meltham, obtained thereto, to succeede them in ye same power and trust weh is by this my will com'itted to them and for yt end shall make to those p'ssons substituted, such legall conveyance of ye premisses as shall be requisite and in like manner ye two survivors of ye foure ffeoffees so elected by them, to elect foure others to succeede them. But if it should happen yt before such Election should be made, one or both of the said two survivinge ffeoffees should dye, then the survivor of these, or the heire of ye survivor of them to have ye same power to nominate and appoint foure other p'ssons in such manner as afforegaid, and soe to continue ye nomination of persons and y® conveyance of ye premisses for enabling such persons as shall be nominated to performe ye land trusts in like manner from genera'ion to genera'ion for ever. Item, I doe give all my personall estate of monies, goods or debts due to me, or whatsoever things else I have right to, to Mr. Obadiah Walker ffellow of University Colledge in Oxford, and to Mr. Edward Perking gentleman, livinge now in the P'ishe of St Leonard's, Shoreditch, and to Mr. Joseph Hatt gentleman, livinge alsoe in the same P'she, and to their Executors, Adminstrators & Assignes, and I doe nominate & constitute ye afforesaid Obadiah Walker & Edward Perkins & Joseph Hatt Exectrs of this my Will, and hereunto I have set my hand and seale the day and yeare above written. AB: WoOpkKEAD. Witnesses hereof GEorGE SALE Wiuum Hrasanwoop Crarues Huts.


« For my very loving coosin John Armytage at his house in Thickhol- lings, these" Good Coosin-I am much obliged to you for yor kind tre* since I have suffered together with you the great losse of yo' Father. I know not whom to trouble with my tres, but yorself, wth shall not be but in necessary

to choose new trustees for the estate under Abraham Woodhead's will, out of forty-four names recorded, only twelve persons were able to sub- scribe their own names! * "Tre" is used for letter-and " tres" is the abbreviation for letters.

Page 89


busines. I suppose before this, yo" brother is upon his way to Oxford : if not, it is time he should be so. You need feare nothing concerning him, he is there under ye care of a very honest man, and his fortunes there depend upon his virtues & industry. I shall assist him with my friend in anything I can. The money of mine yo" Father had in his hands is 198. 74. as he writ in his last tre. Now yor father is dead I must intreat you to owne ye cow weh my aunt had of him, and now John, I think hath her, and if any need be I pray you take possession of her. For I bought her for Abrah : and he is to have ye benefit of her milk. I give the goods you send me a note of, to my coosin Abraham, and I think it is fit yt they be removed privately if you will give leave, to yor house, excepting ye table chaire and chest, the removing of wth will be taken too much notice of, unles Abraham may have one of ye chests where he is.

I think yor Father sent me word ye quit rents have not been paid this 10 or 11 yeares, yt is, never since my Father died-who died in 1663. I hope John possessing my land will not make me pay quit rents. If he doth I must dispose of some of ye land to pay such charges. Coosin, I desire when you go to Wakefield you would enquire of Mr Briggs, at his shop whether two old poore women Doctor Wilbye's aunts be living. For if they be, or either of them, his Executor hath a little money for them weh I shall send you.

Coosin-you are a young man, and can have no great experience in ye world as yet-therefore you have more need to make yo" addresses dili- gently to God Almighty in yor prayers yt he would give you counsell in all things how to carry yorself. Endeavor to imitate your Father's ways in managing yor busines and alter not anything hastily, & take heed of marrying suddainly, or a person not well known to you. You will find much excellent counsel in ye Proverbs & Ecclesiasticus, read them much. Be pittifull and charitable to yor poore neighbors & God will take pitty on you. You shall not want my prayers, tho' little worth, and so desiring yors. I rest your very loving Coosin A. W.

I pray send no money on my account to any one, I could, may be, help some necessitous persons a little, but this cannot conveniently be done by me there are so many others of my poore kindred will expect it- Novr 11th.

Page 90


SECOND LETTER. To my good Coosin John Armytage at his house in Thickhollings- These. Good Coosin-I thank you for removing ye goods, and for yor enquiring after poore women at Wakefield. I have sent 40s/ by James Dyson desiring you when you have next occasion to goe to Wakefield to send for Susannah Wilbie, and to pay ye 408/ to her yourself, and you may be pleased to tell her yt Dr Wilby, when he died neither left her, nor his other aunt any- thing by his Will, only his Executor hearing she was alive, sent her this money as a voluntary almes ; and yt this money is all for herself. I pray you finish yor busines with Goodman Parker, I thought yo" Father had done it. My Coosin Timothy should not first have set Lime upon Harding foot, & then afterwards sent me word. I think I ordered yt he should not plow it-How long, or how little time he may keep it in hand, I cannot tell him. I heare nothing but well hitherto of yor Brother from M Walker, who I know will take good care of him. When I perceive any need, he shall not want the best advice I can give him, as being obliged to this by his good Father, and ye kind offices you also do me. The money in your hand for my Coosgin Abrah :* I would make up 308/ if it would be laid out for him in Sheep, or any way-but these not to be in John's keeping-So desiring God to direct and guide you in all yor affaires, woh he will do, if you humbly consult him con- tinually in yor prayers. I rest your very loving Coogin March 17th. A. W.

I am afraid ye end of Sarah living alone will not be good. Mind what report you heare of her.


For my very loving Coosin John Armytage at his house in Thick- hollings-these-carriage P4. Deare Coosin-I received this tre inclosed from M Walker concerning yor Brother I told him I could not send to you till ye Carriers returne, which would be on this day March 30-desired him if ye Yorkshire Carrier to Oxford should come sooner, to give you an account of yor Brother's

* I writ you word what it was.

Page 91


sickness by him. What he hath done, I know not, nor have I since heard from him, not a little wondering at it. But I think it is rather a signe yt yor Brother is recovered or recovering, than dead. Yor Brother is in a place where he can want nothing either conducing to his Bodies or Soules health. I writ to Mr Walker yt all care should be had of him, & yt he living or dying all charges should be honestly defray'd. But this I needed not have written, for he is a very pious man, & besides wishes yo" Brother very well. Nothing more can be done but yt you resign him freely into ye hands of 0" merciful God, and help him what you can with yor prayers, who knows what is best for us, & many times takes us away betimes in o" youth, when as yet we have not loaded orselves with so much guilt, that he may prevent 0" more grievously offending in a longer ill-spent life, and againe spares others in their youth yt in their latter daies, more seeing ye extreme of vanities of this world, they may by such experience, more increase in his love. He is Sovreigne Master of all. His holy will be always done. Dear Coosin Your affectionate friend to my power, A. W. March 31-If you have written by this carrier, I have not yet received yo" tre. Direct me in your next how I may send to you by post, if need be at any time.


For my good Coosin John Armytage at Thickhollings Good Coosin-I received yo" tre after I had written to the yeoman. I received a tre from Mr Walker dated April 4th wherein he writes that he hopes well of yor brother's recov'y, if no relapse cast him down againe. That ye mercy of God gave successe beyond hope. His sicknes I under- stand from him will be very chargeable. But you may presume he will want nothing necessary. Neither would yor going to Oxford signify any- thing at all for his help ; only let him not want your prayers. I thank you for letting out the closes for this yeare, I intended ye rent, when any comes in shall goe towards reparacon of the housing. I pray tell me in yo" next in whose hands yo other grounds are yt are not in John's, or to whom they are accountable for them. Also, I desire to know what rent is due to me from my Coosin Timothy, since Perkins was paid off. I think I sent him word by you formerly yt he should by no means plow Harding foot. Coosin, what you lay out, 1 shall

Page 92


send you when it comes to any sume, meanwhile I pray, set it down on my score. If Mr Crosland pay you 40s/. chappel money, receive it. In some haste I take leave of you. Your much obliged Coosin

April 21 A. W.


To his worthy friend Mr John Armytage at Thickhollings near Meltham Yorkshire Sir-I am to acquaint you yt your kinsman and my excellent friend Mr Abraham Woodhead is dead, by whose direction I apply myself to you to signify thus much, & if you please to communicate to others (concerned therein) ye notice of it. He died yo 4th of this month, after a long sick- ness of some two months, a gentle fever yt brought him to a consumption, perfect to the last in his memory & intellectuals (wherein God had blessed him to a great degree) but his body wasted away to skin and bone. I understand his love to and esteem of you-& desire you would informe hig & yor kindred of this, & prevent what trouble yu can of any of their needless coming up, out of expectation of their own, or distrust of others. He hath left a Will and three Executors, Mr Walker (known to y2) myself and Mr Joseph Hatt. I would have sent you a copy of the Will inclosed herein, but (because the ordinary Carr® [carrier] Dison* is not come) I know not whether it will arrive to yu. When I can heare from yu, it shall be sent. He desired these enclosed sums should be paid to his kindred, tho' not all expressed pticularly in his Will; woh will be duly discharged as soon as you shall give me order for ye payment of them. You may direct your tre to me either to M Sadler's at the Red Lion in S Lawrence lane, or to ye Bell in Wood Street, where it will be called for. The Carrier I now send by is named Pollard, he goes near y4, he saith, and so to Halifax, and hath the same Inn at the Bell in Wood Street and used to travel with Dison. I desire to hear as soon as may be fro' yu and meanwhile rest

Sir-your assured friend and Servant,

Epw. PERKINS. May 16th, 1678.-I speedily expect Mr. Walker fro' Oxfd but not yet come.

* Daniel Dyson, "carrier," resided near Meltham Mills, where the family remained for several generations.

Page 93



Rev. Obad Walker to Mr J. Armytage For my worthy friend Mr John Armytage at Thickhollings near Meltham Yorkshire Sir-My worthy friend and fellow Executor of Mr Woodhead's last Will & Testament, hath from London given you account of the death of yt ex- cellent person or deare Friende, as also of his Will, & of his giving alike before his death severall sums of money to divers of his kindred. I think also that he hath sent you the names to whom, and the summs which are due to each one. If he have not, you shall very speedily receive it by a letter left for you at the post house in Wakefield. We are both very anxious to discharge those sums as soon as is possible ; and to that purpose I have spoken to yor neighbor Daniel Dison to lay out yt money for me, and I will repay him either here or at London. I intend therefore to send you either myselfe or friend a particular of those names & the sums, and the forme of an acquittance, which when you shall receive, be pleased to call to yor neighbor Mr. Dison, and calling to- gether these persons, let them subscribe ye acquittance, taking 2 copies of them, lest one should miscarry ; and yorselfe with ML Dison attest that those are their hands. I shall also write to M" Dison concerning returning the money. I heartily intreat you to take upon you this trouble for y" neighbours sake, & for the sake of yr worthy friend who is passed to a better life. Wishing unto you all content & hapines.

I rest Sir University College Oxon your humble Sert June 18th 1678 OBAD WALKER

*I have sent you by Mr Dison half a crown wth is for a clock of y Brother's not accounted for in the former reckoning."


Walker to the Same Sir-Yours of Dect 30th came to the College in my absence weh is the reason I send you an answer so late ; this being the first time that yI neighbr hath been at Oxon. since my return home-I am very glad yt yourself and thé feoffees have undertaken the trust committed to you by o" deare Friend Mr Woodhead-I now send you all the writings conc:

Page 94


that Estate sealed up in a litle boxe, intreating you as speedily as you can to let me or Mr Perkins have notice of the receit of them. Mr Perkins gave you notice hereof by a letter some weeks ago, and also ordered you to pay the money due to Mrs Adriana to me from time to time, as long as it shall be due to her, and he hath also given me directions how to send to her, which money you may please to pay either here or at London to Mr Gervase Wilcock upon Snowe-hill, for my use; and his acquittance shall discharge you-So beseeching Almighty God to prosper this free gift of our friend to yr Church, I rest Sir Your humble Servant March 14 1678/9 OBAD WALKER

From the Revd Obad Walker to Mr Armytage of Thickhollings Sir-I sent by yor neighbour Daniel Dyson at his last coming hither a litle Boxe of writings & a letter unto you cone: Mr Woodhead's benefac'on to yor chappell intreating you also to take such order as you thought good for paying the rest of ye money due to his niece Adriana.* But I hear nothing either of the receit of ye boxe, or letter, or sending the money : wth leaves us in some perplexity, out of woh I intreat you to deliver us as speedily as you can, either by sending to me hither at Oxon, or to MT Wilcock at the Fox Goose & Cock, upon Snow-hill, in London for mee. Here will now in a few daies bee another payment due to Mrs Adriana, so that if you think good it may be sent, both yt and this together. Shee is very importunate and I believe stands in need enough of money : I therefore intreat you to help her as soon as you can. I rest Sir yor Servant May 1st 1679 OBap WALKER


As at the period of Abraham Woodhead's birth the village of Meltham did not possess a chapel of its own, he received

x Adriana Woodhead married to -- Havers, and at that time residing in Holland. To her Mr Woodhead left an annuity of £5 for the first six

years after his death.

Page 95


the holy rite of baptism at the Parish Church of Almond- bury, and hence we find his name thus entered in the register there :-

«* Abrahamus fil: John Wodhead de Meltham baptiz. 24 Aprilis, 1609."

Of his infancy and boyhood no historical record or tradition remains ; nor can any be found of the preparatory instruction he must have somewhere received to fit him for entering the University at sixteen years of age. But it is not improbable that he was sent to the Free Grammar School of King James, at Almondbury, then recently established, and the one nearest to the village of Meltham.


The two notices of his life which were presented to us in the preceding chapter-one from Anthony Wood's " Athenx Oxonienses," the other from the "Catholic Miscellany "-were selected from a number of others* for two reasons. The first, because they are the earliest, and the fullest in their details ; the second, because being taken, the one from a Protestant, the other from a Roman Catholic author, they are likely to place us in a better position for judging impartially of the merits of Mr. Woodhead's character, and enabling us to ascertain how far the testimony of these writers respecting him corresponds the one with the other. And here, before we proceed to comment at length upon these notices, and in doing so, we must once again request attention to the important documents inserted in the early

* In addition to the two notices named above, six others will be found in the Appendix, which will be given, not because of any new matter contained in them, for they contain mere repetitions of those now before us-the ideas and facts the same, only differently to convince the reader that nothing whatsoever relating to Abraham Woodhead has been either suppressed or distorted.


Page 96


portion of this chapter, which, when carefully considered, will help to throw much light on Mr. Woodhead's religious sympathies These documents-his will and his letters- both purely Protestant in their character, seem to disprove the statements so frequently made and generally believed, as to his having joined the Romish Church, and tend to estab- lish our confidence in him as a consistent clergyman of the Church of England. The letters of Walker and Perkins are also, as before observed, free from any apparent bias un- favourable to Protestantism, and so in all probability were their writers at that period. Had this distinguished man-Abraham Woodhead-at any time embraced the doctrines of the Church of Rome, and joined himself to her communion, as the article in the "Catholic Miscellany" assumes, we cannot doubt that some indication of his change of creed would be discoverable in one or other of these documents. This, however, is not the case, and they serve to strengthen us in the opinion that, while he lived, his influence and example kept his friends firm in the Protestant faith, to which, we are persuaded, he himself adhered through all those times of fiery trial.


The first edition of Wood's Oxonienses" was published in 1691, just thirteen years after Abraham Woodhead's death, and it is to be regretted that the learned author of that work, before writing his celebrated notice of him, the latter portion of whose life was so secluded from the world, did not apply to his relatives then living at Meltham for fuller information respecting him, and the religious opinions he was supposed to have held. Had he done so, he

Page 97


might have gleaned many interesting particulars of his early life, and of the vicissitudes which marked his later career. But, most important of all, he would have learned that, in 1675, three years before his decease, Abraham Woodhead made his will, and devised the whole of his property to the Protestant church of his native village; that he had two months' sickness immediately previous to his death, through the whole of which, he retained full possession of his faculties ; and, consequently, had his religious opinions undergone any change during those years, he had time and opportunity afforded him to reconstruct his will and bequeath his property anew. Had Anthony Wood been acquainted with these facts, we are disposed to think that he would have instituted a far more searching inquiry into the works which issued from Obadiah Walker's private printing press, some of which were said to have come from Woodhead's pen; for the strange inconsistency of endowing a Protestant church with the one hand, and building up that of Rome with the other, would, probably, have seemed to the writer of the " Athen Oxonienses" quite as unaccountable as it does to us. We also think he would have ceased to wonder that " The Whole Duty of Man" was attributed by many of his cotemporaries to this learned divine. Before noticing the controversial works ascribed to Mr. Woodhead, we must examine the grounds and nature of his intimacy with Obadiah Walker, who unquestionably embraced the Romish faith some time after the death of his old tutor, between the years 1685 and 1688. That he did so, his letter* in 1688, to Dr. John Radcliffe, whose conversion to Rome he sought to effect, leaves us in no doubt whatsoever. Obadiah Walker, at his first entrance on College life, was placed under the tuition of Abraham Woodhead, who was

* This letter will be found in a subsequent chapter.

Page 98


seven years his senior, and had already been, during that period, a member of the University. Both were from the same county-Yorkshire-and it is not improbable that from their first association with each other, a mutual feeling of good-will sprang up between them, which the similarity of their tastes and pursuits afterwards ripened into friendship. To these causes may also be added a similarity in some of the leading features of their lives, such as the persecution to which both were subjected from the same quarter, and the travel in foreign parts common to both. These combined, were likely to form a strong bond of union between them, and it appears they did so, for in after life we can hardly separate the history of the one from that of the other. Of the list of Romish works, twenty-three in number, said by Anthony Wood to have been written by Woodhead, two, " The Historical Narration of the Life and Death of our Saviour Jesus in two parts; and that of " God's Benefits to Mankind," were charged by the Parliament on Walker, at the Bar of the House of Commons, in 1689 ; and though he denies their papistical tendency, he fully admits their authorship. Another on " Church Government" is also stated by some to have been written by Walker, while " The Guide in which came out with the initials R.H., is affirmed to be the work of Richard Holden, a Sor- bonne Doctor. Twelve of the other articles named in Wood's list were published after Woodhead's death, all bearing the initials O.N., or N.O.*-for bibliographers are not agreed on

* If these initials were adopted for the purpose of concealment as regarded the author, and to mislead public opinion as to the real writer of the works thus fathered on Abraham Woodhead, how came Stillingfleet to ascertain that they did belong to him? _ It is obvious that he could only have guessed at this, and the fact of the writer " N.O."" being styled by him "a moderate man," carries with it a confutation of this idea-as all proselytes are proverbially keen and rancorous in tone when they enter upon the discussion of theological questions.

Page 99


this point-yet they state, that these were " said to have been written or translated by Mr. Woodhead." Dr. Stillingfleet styles this N.O., <.e., Woodhead, "a moderate man." But, have we clear and unmistakeable testimony that these iritials do represent Woodhead ? That is, have we as clear and unmistakeable testimony respecting them, as we have respecting his will and his letters ? It is quite possible that the retired Scholar knew not of his name being associated with the initials above alluded to, and, therefore, was at no pains to defend his character from the charge of inconsistency which they involved. We speak of the works published in his lifetime, with the letters N.O. or O.N. attached to them. How far he may have aided in the translation of some of the works specified in Wood's list, we cannot tell, but that he ever put forth any tract or treatise with a deliberate design to convert others to Romanism, our confidence in his consistency forbids us to believe.


Of the article on Woodhead, taken from the "Catholic Miscellany," it is somewhat difficult to speak. The materials from which it has been composed, were collected, we are informed, by Messrs. Deane and Nicholson, both of whom joined the Romish communion about the same time as Walker.* The fulness of detail and apparent candour of statement in that notice of Mr. Woodhead, is at a first glance exceedingly plausible, but it will not bear close investigation ; and from a careful perusal of its pages, we rise strongly impressed with the idea that its real object from first to last is, not to furnish the reader with a true sketch of Mr. Wood-

* Qurry.-Is information from such a source to be considered reliable ?

Page 100


head's life and sentiments, but with a portrait of an able, learned, and pious Protestant divine, led by the force of that irresistible truth which the writer believes to exist in the Church of Rome, to forsake the false and embrace the true faith. To claim a victory over so strong and argumentative a mind as that of the Rev. Abraham Woodhead, was a work worthy of those who had themselves apostatized from the religion to which Ae belonged, and in whose defence he had so ably written; and this the writer of the "Catholic Miscellany " well knew. The article abounds in strange and startling assertions, the truth of several of which it is impossible to prove, and many of which may be easily disproved. In no history of Bishop Ferne,* can any mention be found of his ever having held the position of Chaplain in Lord Capel's family, as stated in the " Miscellany," and we can hardly suppose that, in noting the particulars of so short a life as Ferne's, this circumstance would have been passed over in silence by his biographers ; for Capel was one of the great historic men of his day, and intercourse and intimacy with him, would have added lustre to any reputation, however great in itself. With regard to the friendly controversies, said to have been carried on between Ferne and Woodhead, under Lord Capel's roof, we must, therefore, remain in doubt, until conclusive evidence of the fact from some more reliable source be laid before us ; for down to this time, we are by no means certain that these two reverend gentlemen ever met at all, or were ever engaged in any theological disputation whatever. Again, we observe, that a looseness of style and great inaccuracy of statement pervades the whole of the article, and that names and dates are not correctly given, but that which

* Note D, Appendix.

Page 101


most damages its other assertions and casts a shade of doubt over them all, is the falsehood or blunder respecting Mr. Woodhead's will. Whence, we ask ourselves, did this arise ? If it arose from want of proper information-generally to be had if carefully sought-we must deplore it. If it originated from a desire to conceal the truth, we must condemn it, and be excused if we profess ourselves ready to believe only so much of the whole as is corroborated by the testimony of other and more orthodox writers. It has been well said that "Truth is the foundation of all morals." It should be so of all history; and it is this, and this alone, that we would endeavour to cull out from the materials now within our reach, respecting the character of the Rev. Abraham Woodhead. That he was what is termed a High Churchman, we are quite certain ; most of his cotem- poraries among the learned were so; that he suffered much from the hostility of the Presbyterians and Independents for his allegiance to Church and State, is matter of history ; that he was a loyal adherent to the House of Stuart-and in that sense might be called, politically, a Roman Catholic-we do not doubt, but that he ever became theologically such, we cannot possibly admit; for men are best judged by their actions, and to these we fearlessly point in refutation of what has at various times been said and written to prove that this excellent man had apostatized from the faith of his Fathers. Surmises are, we know, readily made, and names as readily bestowed ; for we have not forgotten that Chappel, the pious Bishop of Cork, was at Cambridge called a Puritan, from the strictness of his morals ; and in Ireland, a Papist, from the fervency of his devotion, and his great exactness with respect to the ceremonies of the church. The glaring discrepancies everywhere abounding ir all the biographical notices of Mr. Woodhead, are so apparent, and

Page 102


the assertions respecting him so contradictory, that we are almost weary of remarking on them. One writer insisting that "He warily concealed his religious opinions ;" another that "He openly declared himself a Romanist;" one, that "The secret of his person was known to a single individual only ;" another, that "He instructed youths in the Romish faith at Hogsden ;" and again, a fifth affirming, that he taught a large school in that place. If so, he must, we think, have had great difficulty in preserving the requisite incognito, unless boys in Ais day were less disposed to pry into what is designed to be kept secret, than they are in ours, or had their tongues under much better control. Whence all these conflicting statements took their rise, it is impossible for us at this distance of time to say ; but probably from want of authentic information on the part of the first biographer, Anthony Wood, who manifestly substituted hearsay for evidence, and in whose track, with some few slight verbal alterations, all other writers on the subject have followed. It is quite possible that, to some, the question discussed in this chapter may appear altogether unimportant, and to others tedious. But to those residing in the village which gave birth to Abraham Woodhead, and living under the shadow of the church which he endowed, the subject must necessarily be one of great interest. They are all aware that Meltham, in the year 1608, produced a child who became a learned man, and, from the evidence now laid before them, we think they may be fully justified in adding that he was a consistent man.

Page 103




Whe Authorship of " Whe WKAbole Butp of lan." a JT the name of the Rev. Abraham Woodhead be

intimately associated with the village of Meltham, it is

hardly less so with that celebrated work-" The Whole Duty of Man"-of which, he was believed by many, in his own day, to have been the author. On what grounds that belief rested, the chapter next in order after this will show. In the present chapter it is proposed to consider the question negatively, in the ensuing one affirmatively-in this, to decide who was not, in the next, who was, the author of that work. The inquiry is one of much interest, and demands a patient and careful investigation of statements often repeated, but never verified; and which, during the course of more than two centuries, have never been so thoroughly sifted as to lead to a conclusive decision on this much disputed point. The first step in our inquiry must be an examination of the list of works written by a certain anonymous author, between the years 1656-7 and 1678, with

Page 104


the date of their publication, followed by copious extracts from Bishop Fell's preface to the folio edition of " The Whole Duty of Man," and the other works by the same author, published by him in the year 1684. These extracts will be found of almost equal importance to the subject of the present chapter, as were the original documents from Mr. Woodhead's own hand, furnished in the preceding one; and the same thoughtful attention, therefore, is requested in their perusal. To them must be added a brief notice of the opinions expressed by several eminent men as to the merits of " The Whole Duty of Man," and lastly, the names of those to whom its authorship has been attributed, with an impartial examination of their respective claims to that honour.


The anonymous works to which we have alluded were published in the following order :-

1.-*"* The Whole Duty of Man," printed for T. Garthwaite, 1658, with a letter prefixed by Dr. H. Hammond, dated March 7th, 1657. The Gentleman's Calling," printed for T. Garthwaite, 1660, with a letter prefixed by Dr. Humphrey Henchman, dated October 27th, 1659. The Causes of the Decay of Christian Piety," written by the author of " The Whole Duty of Man," 1667. The MS was conveyed to Garthwaite by H.E., in a letter prefixed, dated June 7th, 1667. The Ladies' Calling," printed at Oxford, 1673. The editor of this work is said to have been Dr. John Fell. By his Address to the Reader it would appear that he was then unacquainted with the author's name. 5.-" The Government of the Tongue," printed at Oxford, 1674. At this time the name of the author had probably been ascertained by Dr. Fell. 6.-** The Art of Contentment," printed at Oxford, in 1675. 7.-"* The Lively Oracles Given to Us," &c. Oxford, 1678.

Page 105



These works were collected together and published with a preface by the learned Bishop Fell, in a folio volume, in the year 1684. From that preface we subjoin the following extracts :-

"*Our excellent author having wrote the tracts which make up these volumes, at several times, as the exigence of the church, and the benefit of souls directed their composure ; did likewise publish them apart, in the same order as they were made; which procedure had this incidental advantage, that the reader was not at any time affrighted by too great a task at once imposed upon him; and could carry about in all removes those instructions, with which it was his interest to be still conversant."

After enumerating a number of works brought out by inferior writers, but ascribed to the author of "The Whole Duty of Man," Dr. Fell adds,-

* Beyond all these, there is now lately come abroad a weak, rambling, incoherent Tract entitled, The Vanity of the Creature, by the author of The Whole Duty of Man, and lest this should not be credited, the Reader is refer'd to a farther account in a letter prefixt to the book, which says that the little Tract call'd The Vanity of the Creature, was written by the first author of The Whole Duty of Man: But indeed it is a strange vanity of this creature to hope to be believed in so extravagant an asseveration, which almost every period of that book confutes. "*To avoid like attempts and impostures for the future, it is here solemnly declar'd; that these Tracts which we here exhibit, are the genuine and the only writings of our author. * Indeed had Almighty God lent longer life to this eminent person, we might have receiv'd many and ample benefits by it; and particularly a just Treatise, which was design'd and promig'd, of The Government of the Thoughts, an argument which none had more deeply consider'd in its utmost extent, or was better prepar'd fully to comprehend or give direction

Page 106


in; for as 'tis the prerogative of Omniscience to know the thoughts of others; so it requires a great measure of divine assistance and purity of heart to understand one's own. And certainly had this work been finish'd, 'twould have equal'd,-if not excell'd, whatever that inimitable hand had formerly wrote; But the Divine Wisdom judged it fit, to deny the benefit of this institution to our profligate age, which is so little concern'd to regulate the sallies of thought, that it stops at no extravagance of words or villany of actions; and is so far from being reduc'd by gentle methods of persuasion, as not to be restrain'd by the severity of laws, or terrors of executions. Many, I doubt not, will now expect an account of the person and condition of the author; but besides that it is an ill-manner'd thing to pry into what is studiously concealed ; the gratifying this curiosity would be an injury to the design of these writings, by robbing them of one very efficacious motive of conviction. "* As the case now stands, all men must see and allow, that neither faction, nor interest, nor pride, nor covetousness; nor other temporal advantage was sought for by the time and pains employed in these Discourses ; and that the setting forth the glory of God, and serving the interests of piety in gaining souls, were intirely the inducements; and therefore in all reason to be hearken'd to and complied with, by all such as have a consideration of duty and value for eternity. «*If the Reader shall please, instead of useless enquiries, to bring the same devotion and sincerity to the perusal of these Discourses, as was employ'd in the writing of them ; if he print in his mind, and transcribe into his practice what he reads, his pains will be answer'd by suitable advantage; and this kind of edition will be such, as will not be injurious to the Author or his book by debasing of it, nor to the Publishers propriety, in multiplying copies, and by this honest way, stealing an impression. 'The pious votary will, by this method, more intimately acquaint himself with the writer of these Tracts, than he could do by any the most punctual account of his name and family and person, that a Herald, Historian, or Painter could contrive. " Let him be wise and humble, temperate, chaste, patient, charitable and devout; live a whole life of great austerities, and maintain an undisturb'd serenity in the midst of them; and then he will himself become a lively picture of our Author."

Page 107



We proceed next to examine the various notices of that celebrated Whole Duty of Man"-first published in London, aronymously, in the year 1658, in order to ascertain from them the value attached to it by the pious and learned men of that age, and its claim to be considered the great devotional work of the seventeenth century. We commence with Dr. Hammond's prefatory letter to Mr. T. Garthwaite, the whole of which, being too long for insertion, the first clause, with the last only, are here given.

Dr. Hammond begins thus :-

«*You needed not any intercession to recommend this task to me, which brought its invitations and reward with it,"

And ends by saying :-

«*The introduction hath supplied the place of a preface, which you seem to desire from me, and leaves me no more to add, but my prayers to God, that the Author, who hath taken care to convey so liberal an alms to the Corban so secretly, may not miss to be rewarded openly, in the visible power and benefit of this work, on the hearts of the whole nation, which was never in more need of such supplies as are here afforded. That His all-sufficient grace will bless the seed sown, and give an abundant increase, is the humble request of your assured Friend, «* March 7th, 1657. "* H. Hammond."

Some idea may be formed of the estimation in which the work was held, from the fact that, not long after its publica- tion, it was translated into Latin, French, and Welsh ; and we read, on unquestionable authority,* that "this book, 'The Whole Duty of Man, and Dr. Hammond's ' Practical

* Vide " Granger's Biographical History of England," Vol. III., p. 13.

Page 108


Catechism, were the main props of our religion after the Restoration of Charles II."* Bishop Bull-we are told by his pious biographer, Robert Nelson-valued this book so highly, that "Upon Sunday Evenings he had one of the chapters read out of it for the benefit of those, who had been deprived (from necessary services) of attendance in the House of God." And Isaak Walton, in his "Life of Bishop Sanderson," informs us that, "He, in his retirement, had the church prayers read in his chamber twice every day ; and at nine at night some prayers read to him and to a part of his family, out of 'The Whole Duty of Man. "t Dean Stanhope also bore testimony to its worth, and recommended it to a young friend who had taken holy orders, as a "rational, instructive and familiar mode of teaching." On Dr. Fell's opinion of the whole of the author's works, as given in his preface-more favourable perhaps than any of those here quoted-we cannot now enlarge, but must content ourselves with giving that of a modern writer in the "Edinburgh Review,"f vol. 44., p. 5, who remarks in speaking of the style of " The Whole Duty of Man," and of the other works by the same author, that "after the lapse of a hundred and seventy years, they contain scarcely a word or a phrase which has become superannuated."


We approach next the long contested point of authorship,

* Granger probably means that, these two devotional works were far more universally diffused among the people than any others at that time. + These prayers belong to the highest class of devotional composition, and are remarkable for their spiritual fervour and comprehensiveness. t The article here alluded to, appeared in No. 87, June, 1826, on, * Who wrote Icon Basilike?" by Christ: Wordsworth, Master of Trin. Coll., Cambridge.

Page 109


and pass on to weigh the various claims that have been made to it, for several of the pious and learned men of the seven- teenth century, not by themselves-for during their lives it does not appear that the question was ever raised, " The Whole Duty of Man," and the other works by the same author being published anonymously-but by their friends and admirers after their decease. Hence the difficulty of arriving at anything like a satisfactory conclusion on the subject. In proof of the secrecy observed in regard to the authorship of this work, we are struck with the fact that, Bishop Atter- bury,* no mean proficient in either ancient or later literature, and most thoroughly conversant with the Oxford Press, and the works that issued from it-Bishop Fell's edition was printed at Oxford-should have been ignorant of the name of its author. This we learn from a sermon of his on 1 Tim. vi. 4, where, speaking of the best Christians being frequently least known, he says, "and of this there is one, though a very late, yet so remarkable an instance, that, for the honour of our holy faith, I think it may deserve to be particularly mentioned. The instance, I mean, of the author of that excellent book, ©The Whole Duty of Man,' who took not more care to do good to the world, than he did to conceal the doer of it; being contented to approve himself to Him, and Him only, who seeth in secret, and resolved that the praise of men, whether in his life or after his death, should be no part of his reward." The names of the several persons to whom the authorship of " The Whole Duty of Man" has been attributed are the Fell, the Rev. William Fulman, Arch- bishop Lamplugh, Archbishop Sancroft, Dr. Obadiah Walker, Bishop Chappel, Dr. Henry Hammond, Dr. Henchman,

* Francis Atterbury, created Bishop of Rochester, in 1713, was born in 1662, and was a student in Christ Church, Oxford, in 1680.

Page 110


Archbishop Frewen, Dr. Arthur Charlett, and the Rev. Mr. Basket, Lady Pakington, Archbishop Sterne, Dr. Allestry, and the Rev. Abraham Woodhead. Bishop Fell, in his folio edition, published in 1684, from which, extracts have been already given, and to which, frequent reference must be made, positively states that the author of the works contained in it was then dead. It seems, therefore, mere waste of time to examine the claims of those who were actually living some years after that date.* died 1686; ArcHBIsHnor SAnNcROFT, in 1693 ; ArcHBIsHOP LaxrLucH, in 1691; Tar Rev. FuuMaAxN, in 1688 ; Dr. OBapIax WarkER, in 1699.+ The list of claimants is again curtailed still further, when it is considered that in the preface to " The Causes of the Decay of Christian Piety," certain allusions are made to the great Pestilence and Fire in London, both which took place after the Restoration-the fire in 1666, and the pestilence in the preceding year. This necessarily excludes Bisnor CHaPrPEL, who died in 1649 ; Dr. Hrxnryr Hammoxp, who died in 1660 ; and ArcHBIsHROP FREWEN, who died in 1664 ; While Dr. Henchman, who edited " The Gentleman's Calling," died in 1675, three years before the publication of " The Lively Oracles," the last tract in Bishop Fell's folio. Of the Rev. Mr. Basket, a clergyman in Somersetshire, nothing more is known than that Dr. Clavering, Bishop of

* It seems as strange as it is true, that Bishop Fell was himself actually numbered by some writers in the list of suppositious authors. + Notices of all the claimants have been procured, and would be given in this volume-for they are all curious and interesting-but want of space forbids their insertion.

Page 111


Peterborough, suspected him to be the author of " The Whole Duty of Man," and Dr. Charlett "was that busy man- Master of University College-the Abraham Froth of the 'Spectator,'" and consequently not very likely to be the writer of works such as those under consideration.* Of the remaining candidates for the authorship of "The Whole Duty of Man," and the other tracts contained in Dr. Fell's folio volume, we now proceed to speak. These candidates are :- ParincGtoNn, who died in 1679 ; ARCHBISHOP STERNE, who died in 1683 ; and Dr. AurEsTRY, who died in 1680.


The authorship of "The Whole Duty of Man" has been claimed for Lady Pakington by Mr. Ballard, who gave a biographical sketch of her in his volume entitled «" Memoirs of Learned Ladies of Britain," and it is probable that on his authority this and other works from the same pen are at the present day published with her ladyship's name prefixed to them. It is therefore desirable that the grounds of this claim be thoroughly sifted in this place, and every argument in favour of Ballard's opinion, as well as against it, be here brought forward and candidly weighed. The following extracts from his sketch are, in themselves, well worthy of a perusal, for Lady Pakingtont was in the

* A curious instance of the misleading nature of hearsay evidence on the subject, is furnished by the following paragraph from good old John Evelyn's Diary :-* I went to visite the Bishop of Lincoln (Tenison) when amongst other things, he told me that one Dr. Chaplin, (Charlett) of University College, in Oxford, was the person who wrote '* The Whole Duty of Man,' that he used to read it to his pupils, and communicated it to Dr. Sterne, afterwards Archbishop of York, but would never suffer any of his pupils to have a copy of it.'" Here Evelyn certainly mistook the name, as did Dr. Tenison the man. + Dorothy Lady Pakington was the daughter of Lord Keeper Coventry, by whom she had been most carefully brought up, and liberally educated.


Page 112


best sense of the word a remarkable woman, and everything connected with her is full of interest. Her biographer says :-"It may seem needless in drawing the character of this excellent lady, to take notice of the great advantages she had in her education, and of the wonderful improvement she made in her studies, for though she was well known to and by the best and most learned divines of her time, yet hardly any pen will be thought capable of adding to the reputation her own hath procured to her, if it shall appear that she was the author of a work which is not more an honour to the writer than an universal benefit to mankind. "The work I mean is 'The Whole Duty of Man' Her title to which will, I hope, be so well ascertained that the general concealment it hath lain under, will only reflect a lustre upon all her other excellencies, by showing that she had no honour in view but that of her Creator, which, I suppose, she might think best promoted by this concealment. But as it is not now generally believed, so I perceive it will not easily be allowed, that, she was the author of that valuable book, or was capable of writing it. "There are no less than four different persons to whom this work has been publickly ascribed. The first was Mr. Abraham Woodhead, a very learned and pious gentleman ; but there needs no other argument to confute this false report, than to affirm that this worthy person lived and died a zealous Roman Catholic. * «"One learned gentleman says, that neither this lady nor any other could be the author of these books, which he determines from that very great variation of style, and

* In proof of this startling assertion, Mr. Ballard refers to Anthony Wood's notice of Abraham Woodhead. But no such broad and positive statement can there be found.-This is one among the many instances in which false conclusions were drawn from wrong premises.

Page 113


different manner of treating the subjects contained in them. And he instances, particularly in 'The Christian's Birthright, ' where,' says he, 'besides the many quotations from Hebrew writers, that every page almost abounds with, the language is more exalted, and a closer thread of logical reasoning runs thro' the whole, than does thro' any of the other treatises- both argument and diction being such as the deepest scholars would make use of." "For my own part, I believe the Doctor (Hickes) meant nothing more nor less than modestly to inform his readers, that she was the author of the book, and I am confirmed in this belief by a lady now living, who has told me more than once, that Dr. Hickes* assured her that Lady Pakington was the author of 'The Whole Duty of Man, and that he had seen the manuscript wrote with her ladyship's own hand ; which from the many erasures, alterations and interlinings, he was fully satisfied was the very original book." "A curious document next follows, from which the following paragraphs relating to this subject are taken :-" Afterwards among other private affairs of her family, she (Mrs. Eyre) told me who was the author of 'The Whole Duty of Man, at the same time pulling out of a private drawer a MS., tied together and stitched in octavo, which she declared was the original, written by her mother, Lady Pakington, who disowned ever having wrote the other books attributed to the same author, except 'The Causes of the Decay of Christian Piety, + &c. " A seeming difficulty arises from this last evidence where * Dr. Hickes was the author of an Anglo-Saxon Grammar, which he dedicated to Sir John Pakington, grandson of the distinguished lady named above, and it was in this dedication that he made use of the words, "* she " (Lady P.) " deserved to be reputed the author of a book concerning the Duty of Man, published in English by an anonymous person, and well

known through the Christian world," &c. + Query?-If Lady Pakington was the author of " The Causes of the

Page 114


Mrs. Eyre asserts, that Lady Pakington disowned writing the other five treatises which have been constantly attributed to the author of "The Whole Duty of Man." Possibly, therefore, we may be at liberty to understand Mrs. Eyre's declaration as implying no more than that Lady Pakington did not lay claim to these books, nor upon any occasion did she ever mention them as her own; otherwise it will be difficult, if not impossible, to reconcile this declaration with the fact of Bishop Fell's having published all these several treatises as the works of the same author. «*For, if we could suppose Bishop Fell, who had full commission to do whatever he pleased with some, if not with all of these tracts, to have made ever so great alterations in them, as indeed he has been complained of for so doing in another instance, yet still we think this will hardly justify Lady Pakington's positively denying herself to be the author of these works, if they were originally her own compositions. "She had some time before her death been labouring to complete a book entitled ' The Government of the Thoughts, which is taken notice of by Bishop Fell in the following manner :-' Had Almighty God lent longer life to this eminent person, we might have received many and ample benefits by it ; and particularly by a just treatise which was designed and promised, of ' The Government of the Thoughts, &c. * Any one who reads 'The Ladies' Calling' with attention, may observe a great number of passages which plainly indicate a female hand. «"Lady Pakington died full of years, May 10th, 1679." Such are the arguments adduced in favour of this lady's

Decay of Christian Piety," why was not this MS. also found in her repositories along with the other? The answer is obvious. That work was never sent at all to Westwood Park, in MS., nor was it published till after Dr. Hammond's death, consequently Lady Pakington had not access to it, and could not therefore transcribe it as she had done "* The Whole Duty of Man."

Page 115


claim to the authorship of these celebrated works-strong in some points it must be admitted, till we examine the whole of the evidence and discover how speedily it breaks down ; for First -The author of "The Whole Duty of Man" must have been the author of all the other works contained in Bishop Fell's folio volume. On this point the Bishop speaks positively. Second-In the preface, the masculine pronoun is used when the writer is alluded to-never the feminine. Third-The author must have visited foreign lands, for he alludes in "The Lively Oracles" to having "travelled in Popish countries." Fourth-He must have been perfectly conversant with such learned languages as Greek, Hebrew, and Syriac. Fifth-He was not known to Dr. Hammond. Sixth-He must have " lived a whole life of great austerities, and maintained an undisturbed serenity in the midst of them." Such are Dr. Fell's words ; and none other are needed to disprove the claim that has been made in favour of Lady Pakington. She was the elegant and accomplished mistress of a noble courtry mansion- Westwood Park-the resort of most of the distinguished men of the day, to many of whom it proved a safe and blessed asylum from the political and religious storms raging in all parts of the kingdom. She was a wife, and the mother of three children; and a beautiful portrait* of her in costly and tasteful attire, her dress of rich white satin, adorned with pearls, and her hair dressed in the fashion of that day, with a profusion of the same ornaments, suggests the idea of anything rather than the austerities of a recluse

* This charming portrait is to be found in "Dr. Treadway Nash's Notes for a History of Worcestershire," a copy of which is in the Library of the British Museum.

Page 116


life, and brings her before us in her honoured capacity of the dignified and graceful head of a household, over which she ruled so wisely and so well as to obtain for herself the appellation of the "Good Lady Pakington.'" There is no doubt, and her interesting countenance confirms this idea, that she was a most pious and gifted woman, and everything Mr. Ballard represents, except the author of works so profound that it would hardly have been a praise to any woman to have written them. The subjoined extracts from Dr. Michael Lort's remarks on this subject may assist the reader in forming a correct opinion regarding it. * But no one ever suspected a female, till a MS. of 'The Whole Duty of Man' was found in Lady Pakington's study after her death, said to be in her own handwriting, and, hence occasion was taken to give her the reputation of being the author. «* But whoever considers the several particulars mentioned in the foregoing pages, which have been collected from various publications, concerning the real author, will find that they exclude Lady Pakington from being that person. Dr. Hammond lived with her at the time of the publication of " The Whole Duty of Man," on the most intimate footing, and, therefore, could not have been a stranger to the fact, if the composition had been hers. This circumstance alone is sufficient to settle the dispute at once, had not Bishop Fell, who appears to have known the author before his death, spoken of him in the masculine gender. «Besides, all the six subsequent tracts are said, in the respective title pages, to have been written by the author of " The Whole Duty of Man," or are severally referred to by Dr. Fell as such ; but it is not pretended by the advocates of Lady Pakington's claim that she was the author of any of the subsequent tracts-none of which were found in MS. in her

Page 117


study. How, then, it will be asked, can the MS. of " The Whole Duty of Man" being found in her own handwriting be accounted for? We answer, it appears from Dr. Ham- mond's letter to the printer, dated 1657, that above a twelve month elapsed before it was published, for the first edition is dated 1658. It is therefore probable that Dr. Hammond* communicated this valuable MS. to his great friend and patroness Lady Pakington, and that she was so pleased with it as to have taken the pains to transcribe it. "This MS. having been discovered after her death, and no author of it then being known, it was natural enough for her ladyship's zealous friends to give her the reputation of being the writer. And this will account for Dr. Hickes's assertion in the dedication of his Saxon Grammar to her grandson, Sir John Pakington." We close the inquiry as regards Lady Pakington's claim by adding a letter which appeared in "The Gentleman's Magazine" for the year 1754, vol 24., p. 26, as it seems to form a sort of supplement to Dr. Lort's remarks already given. One paragraph contained in the magazine will be readily endorsed by many of those who may have previously considered this knotty point, it still remains a doubt, and is much easier to prove who was not the author of " The Whole Duty of Man," than to assert who was." The letter is as follows :-

«* Clapham, Jan. 8. «* I see by a note in your last Magazine, p. 6, of the blazounry that you join in opinion with many others, that Lady Pakington was the author of the book called ' The Duty of Man.' There are several reasons men- tioned by Mr. Ballard, in his © Memoirs of Learned Ladies, published in

* It is well known that Dr. Hammond at this time, 1657, was living in Lady Pakington's house, where he died in the year 1660.

Page 118


1752, to induce us to be of the same mind, which are by no means con- vincing to me. The only positive evidence in her favour (for the rest is but hearsay) is that mentioned by you, namely-that the sheets of that book are still preserved in the family to this day, in her own handwriting. This, I allow, does show that she was acquainted with the author, but not certainly that she herself was the author. I am very apt to think, that the real author, whoever he was, and who took so much care to be con- cealed whilst alive, left no remains in his handwriting by which he might be discovered after his death. «* My reasons for believing that this lady was not the author, may be found in Dr. Hammond's advertisement to the first edition, printed in 1657. Here the Doctor mentions to Mr. Garthwait, the bookseller, ® you needed not any intercession to recommend this task to me, which brought its invitation and reward with it.' Now if Lady P. was the author, and the Doctor lived under her roof, can it be supposed that she would have sent the book to London, afterwards to be returned to Dr. Hammond at her house? And if the sheets in her own handwriting are now to be supposed an evidence of the author, could not the Doctor, long acquainted with her, have at once discovered her as such 2 " It is remarkable that there was a great deal of religious intimacy between this lady and the Doctor. In some private prayers I have seen of hers, she thanks God for giving her so wise and prudent an adviser, whose name was famous all over the nation, or to that purpose. Why, then, should she be so shy to show this book at once to so intimate a friend, when afterwards, the author, whoever he was, was very well known to Bishop Fell? For, in the preface to the edition in folio, of 1684, of the works of the author of ¢ The Whole Duty of Man,' the Bishop speaks of him as one who was ' wise and humble, temperate, chaste, patient, charitable, and devout ; lived a whole age of great austerities, and main- tained undisturbed serenity in the midst of them,' and who was not alive at the time of this publication. ** But the reason which weighs with me above every other, against the supposed author, and appears decisive on the point, is, that the Bishop speaks of this author in the masculine gender, when he might easily have avoided making any distinction of the sexes.*

* The following extract from an article in the " Edinburgh Review," No. 87., Art. I., p. 1., June, 1826; is subjoined, as a curious instance of the possibility of entirely overlooking a palpable statement in the writings of an author. ""It is peculiar to the question of the authorship of * The

Page 119


*'The pious votary,' says he, 'will, by this method, more entirely acquaint himself with the writer of these tracts, than he could by the most punctual account of His name,' &c. " It's strange that Mr. Ballard, who, evidently had read this preface, by the quotations he makes from it, did not perceive this ; or, if he did,

would take no notice of it. «* Yours, &c., Obed. Reperet."


The venerable Archbishop Sterne, has been thought by some of his admirers to have as fair a claim as any other learned man of his day to the honour of this authorship ; and it is not improbable that the claimants of it for him have grounded their belief on an article in the " Biographia Britannica," which says, "The author of this most excellent book, ' The Whole Duty of Man," was Bishop Chappel,* who, dying in 1648, at Derby, was buried at Dilstrop, in Notts. The MS. of it was transmitted by Dr. Sterne, afterwards Archbishop of York, to Dr. Fell, Dean of Christ Church, who having read it before-hand to his pupils, occasioned several to say that Ae, the said Dr. Sterne was the author ; as also others did by means of a copy of Bishop Chappell's

Whole Duty of Man,' that even the sex of the writer is disputed. It is a question whether it was written by a Dean of Christ's Church (Dr. Fell), or ' by a Baronet's Lady in Worcestershire,' (Lady Pakington). The methodical and even systematic spirit, the calmness approaching to cold- ness; the precision, clearness and elegant correctness of diction, which run through all the tracts of the writer neither correspond to the education of women of that age, nor to their susceptible feelings at any time. Yet, in the long and able preface to that collection of tracts, in which the author is spoken of in the third person, much labour and skill are employed in avoiding the natural and usual employment of personal pronouns, either of which must have reference exclusively to one sex. The writer of the preface (Dr. Fell), was therefore certainly desirous that his readers should ascribe the tracts to a woman, and it is hard to conceive any motive for this wish, but a repugnance to deceit." * Bishop Chappel died in 1649. "* The Whole Duty of Man" came out in 1658; and " The Causes of the Decay of Christian Piety," by the author of " The Whole Duty of Man," in 1667 ; and in the latter work allusion is made, as we have already observed, to the great Pestilence and Fire in London-events which occurred seventeen years after Bishop Chappel's decease.

Page 120


MS. being found in Lady Pakington's closet after her death, that she wrote it." It has been said that Archbishop Sterne was suspected of being the author of this work. "But," says Mr. Ballard, " why he was suspected on this occasion, I am very much at a loss to know. If I did not believe Lady Pakington to be the author, I have many reasons that will not permit me to think that Archbishop Sterne was-for, first, why should he own his 'Comment on the 103rd Psalm, and his 'Book of Logic} and so carefully conceal his being the author of a more useful work? Secondly, we are assured by Bishop Fell, that if the author of 'The Whole Duty of Man' had lived a little longer, the world might have expected another treatise, entitled the © Government of the Thoughts.? "It is submitted to the reader's consideration, whether a man, in the 87th year of his age, could probably be employed in drawing up a work of that kind, when it can hardly be imagined he could be a perfect master of his own reason. And, thirdly, to put the thing out of doubt, is the style and orthography of his Comment on the 103rd Psalm,' which is so very different from that of the author of ' The Whole Duty of Man, as I think will not permit any one that will carefully compare the two books, to believe they were wrote by the same person."" This closes the case for Dr. Sterne, and there can be no doubt that it closes it also against him.


Dr. Allestry is the last candidate on our list whose pretentions are to be examined in the present chapter, and they appear to rest on such insufficient grounds, that they might be very summarily disposed of, had not an article lately appeared in " The Journal of Sacred Literature and

Page 121


Biblical Record,"* strenuously advocating his claim, and bringing forward many plausible arguments in support of it. This has rendered it necessary to enter at some length into the evidence, and place before the reader all those cogent reasons which appear to forbid the probability of Allestry's authorship of the works in question. First, then, we advise the reader to turn to the paragraph in Dr. Fell's preface to the folio of 1684, in which he gives a slight sketch of the anonymous author of the works contained in it, and compare that with the one given of Dr. Allestry in the preface to his sermons. The one is described as "living a whole life of great austerities, and maintaining an undisturbed serenity in the midst of them." Whereas, it is stated of the other, that "his conversation was always cheerful and entertaining, especially in the reception of his acquaintance at his table and friendly visits." A Again, Dr. Allestry's life was one of active service both to God and to man, and he was a person who might be emphatically termed a public character. In proof of this, we need only take a glimpse at the events which marked his comparatively short career, for he died at 60 years of age. He was sent to Oxford, 1636-took arms in the royal cause, 1641-expelled the University, 1648-appointed Regius Professor of Divinity, 1660+t-made Provost of Eton, 1665-resigned the Professorship of Divinity in 1679-and died January 27th, 1680. As circumstantial evidence against Ais authorship of the works in Dr. Fell's folio volume, we find him assisting his kinsman, Mr. James Allestry, the bookseller, who "from a plentiful fortune had been, in common with many others of the same calling, reduced by the Great Fire in London, from affluence to

* Vol. V., pp. 433-35, 1864. + Another writer gives the date of this appointment as 1663.

Page 122


poverty, by bestowing on him eighteen of his sermons to 'make him some reparation of his losses" To these, twenty-two were afterwards added to make up a volume. About the same period, and for the same object, namely, to make some repair for the calamity of the Fire in London, the MS. of 'The Causes of the Decay of Christian Piety,/* is conveyed, to Mr. T. Garthwait, the publisher of 'The Whole Duty of Man.!" - The letter is as follows :-

* To the in my hands a practical treatise concerning ¢ The Causes of the Decay of Christian Piety," so visible in this our age; written by the excellent author of 'The Whole Duty of Man ;* and having obtained permission to make it publick, I was in some doubt, whether the present disturbed state of affairs, would not make it reasonable to delay the edition. But, considering that times of difficulty and trouble bring thoughts of virtue into their minds, who forgot their duty and their God in affluence and quiet, I am apt to think a discourse of this kind, seasonable enough at this time. Almighty God give you some repair for this great calamity ;+ as it was the author's kindness that you should have the offer of this tract, whatever it prove, so I think it will be a little the more seasonable, that it comes as a new year's gift, &c. Your very loving friend, "* January, 1667. H. E."

It is clear from these two literary offerings-the sermons to Mr. James Allestry, and the tract to Mr. T. Garthwait- that they were not made by one and the same person. And

* The following note which has been transcribed from a MS. on a fly leaf prefixed to a copy of " The Causes of the Decay of Christian Piety," published in 1675, which belonged to Dr. Kennett, Bishop of Peterborough, furnishes an additional (see note, p. 97) instance of the discrepant charac- ter of hearsay evidence. It appears to be in the handwriting of the Bishop himself. "* Dr. Allestree was the author of this book and wrote it in the very same year wherein he went through a course of Chymistry with Dr. Willis, which is the reason why so many Physical and Chymical Allusions are to be found in it. And the copy of it came to the press in the Doctor's own handwriting; as Tim. Garthwaite told the present Archbishop [Tenison]

of Canterbury, and his Grace affirmed [the same] to me in Sept., 1713." + The late Fire in London. [ b ept., 17

Page 123


consequently that the sermons and the tract on " The Decay of Christian Piety," were not by one and the same individual. As Dr. Allestry evidently wished to serve his relative and namesake, and could not be in ignorance as to the popularity of " The Whole Duty of Man," which had then been more than nine years before the public, it would have seemed most natural for him to have given a work with the name of the author of " The Whole Duty of Man" appended to it, as the best help he could offer to his relative, and doubtless he would have done so, had the work been Ais to give. The article in " The Journal of Sacred Literature," quoted in the foregoing pages, also states, that any one comparing Allestry's sermons with the works in Dr. Fell's folio, must be so struck with the resemblance in style between the two, as to be convinced that they were written by one and the same hand. But after instituting a most careful comparison of them, we have come to an entirely opposite conclusion, and venture to pronounce them works of the same period, but certainly not from the same pen. Another argument in favour of Allestry's authorship of the works in question has been deduced from the fact of his having, at his death, left his unpublished papers to his friend Bishop Fell ; but from these stores, no part of those collected together in the folio volume could have been gathered, as all the tracts contained in it, had been before the public from 1658, when the first work, " The Whole Duty of Man," was published, to 1678, when the last, "The Lively Oracles," came out. This was two years before Dr. Allestry's death. His bequest to Bishop Fell, therefore, by no means proves -in fact to us it helps to disprove his authorship-but it evinces the confidence he felt in his friend's judgment and integrity. The subjoined note* from the " Biographia

* «Having, a little before his death, communicated to the Bishop of

Page 124


Britannica," explains the nature and conditions of Allestry's bequest to Dr. Fell. Again, if the sermons and the tracts were by the same individual, why does Dr. Fell, in his preface to the folio volume containing those tracts alone, emphatically declare that "they are the genuine and only writings of the author." He should not have omitted the sermons, and if the naming them would have destroyed the secrecy he desired to maintain, he could have called them " Certain Sermons," without alluding to Dr. Allestry as

their author. There is also another plea put forward by the writer in

" The Journal of Sacred Literature," in favour of Dr. Alestry as the author of the disputed works deduced, the article states, from Dr. Fell's preface, in which he is said to insinuate that the excellent author of those tracts had but recently died. This is surely an inference which cannot fairly be drawn from the Bishop's words. It is true that he speaks

Ozford several particulars concerning his intentions for the disposal of hig goods and papers; the Bishop observed, that there was no mention made of his lectures, and knowing how his modesty, during his life, had resisted &l importunities for the publishing of them, suspected that the same motive might be more prevalent at his death ; therefore, he wrote to Dr. Allestry, requesting that his lectures might be preserved, which had cost him so much study and labour, and would be proportionably useful to others. The Doctor's answer, by letter, bearing date January 19, 1680, was: That having not had opportunity to revise what he had written, which was not everywhere consistent with his present imaginations, though in nothing material, yet in some particulars which he should have better examined; especially divers of the © Act Lectures,' which being upon the same head, the thread of them was not right nor didactical, and ' Necta- rius's Penitentiary,' not expounded the same way in one place as in another, and the first, blundering and not true ; therefore, he adds, ' that if the Bishop had not writ, and for that he himself would not go out of the world without satisfying him in everything, he had resolved to have sent for his papers and burnt them. But now he gave them up all to the Bishop, upon this inviolable trust, that nothing of them should be pub- lished as a scheme of his, but to be made use of to serve any other design the Bishop should think fit.' Dr. Allestry's words are here transcribed, because the plainest account of things is always the most satisfactory."- Art. Allestry, Biog. Brit., Note to p. 114.

Page 125


of the author as dead, but he is, we think, intentionally silent as to the period of his decease, and the following dates -very important to our present inquiry-forbid our believing him to have alluded at all to Dr. Allestry on this occasion. The last of the series of tracts under consideration, " The Lively Oracles," was published separately, as were all its pre- decessors from the same pen, and came out at Oxford, in 1678,-Dr. Allestry died in 1680. Dr. Fell wrote his preface in 1684, and in it, after speaking of the author of the tracts, adds, "Indeed, had Almighty God lent longer life to this eminent person, we might have received many and ample benefits by it," &c. Now, as Dr. Allestry was certainly living two years after the publication of " The Lively Oracles," these words could hardly be considered applicable to him. It is possible that some may be disposed to ask why Bishop Fell delayed the publication of the entire works to which he attached so great a value for so many years after the appear- ance of the last of them, viz.-" The Lively Oracles," that is, from the year 1678 to 1684? We cannot ourselves quite understand this, but suppose it may have arisen from want of leisure on his part, and from his knowledge that they were, during the whole of that time, in circulation among the public, and had even a better chance of being read as separate pieces, than when collected and bound together. But this, of course, proves nothing whatever either as to one or other of their suppositious writers. With Dr. Allestry's honoured name we bring the present chapter to a close, and, in doing so, cannot but express our surprise that a question once thought of sufficient moment to engage the attention of the learned and to arouse the curiosity of the public, should have been so long so loosely, and, it must be added, Ahitherto, so superficially examined.

Page 126


For the truth of this assertion we need only point to the names of the fourteen individuals to whom, respectively, the works in question have been, from time to time ascribed, thirteen of whom are given in the foregoing list. - It is, how- ever, quite obvious that to one alone out of that number can this praise be due; but it is not certainly so obvious how that one should still remain undiscovered. Perhaps the solution of the mystery may be found in the fact, that few of the persons who have hitherto written on this subject have, with sufficient care, studied the contents of Bishop Fell's preface; that others trusting to oral tradition, the least reliable of all sources, have become bewildered by the confusion of names and pretensions thus brought before them, and have given up the search in utter despair; while a third class, misled by incorrect statements at the outset of the inquiry, have abandoned it as a hopeless task.

Page 127




Wharacter of the Heb. Abrabam Woodbbeab, ani of the Author of " Che Hbole Qutp of

a JH entering upon an examination of the affirmative side of the question respecting the claim to the authorship of "The Whole Duty of Man," and the other works contained in Bishop Fell's folio edition of 1684, we refer again to the preface of that volume, and observe the statements made by the bishop relative to the habits and character of its anonymous author. And these should be compared with the sketch given of the Rev. Abraham Woodhead, in the " Atheng Oxonienses," that it may be seen how far the two portraits resemble each other, and also where the resemblance ceases. Bishop Fell says :- «* Let him [the reader] be wise and humble, temperate, chaste, patient, charitable, and devout ; live a whole life of great austerities, and maintain an undisturbed serenity in the midst of them, and then he will himself

become a lively picture of our author." I

Page 128


Anthony Wood, in delineating the character of Abraham Woodhead, uses these words :-

"He was so wholly devoted to retirement and the prosecution of his several studies, that no worldly concerns shared any of his affections, only satisfying himself with bare necessaries; and so far from coveting applause or preferment (tho' perhaps the completeness of his learning and great worth might have given him as just and fair a claim to both, as any others of his persuasion) that he used all endeavours to secure his beloved privacy, and conceal his name; and altho' he obtained these his desires in great part, yet his calm, temperate, and rational discussion of some of the most weighty and momentous controversies under debate between the Protestants and Romanists, rendered him an author much famed, and very considerable in the esteem of both."

The similarity between these two sketches up to a certain point is so remarkable, that they seem almost to describe one and the same individual Bishop Fell's representation of a "whole life of great austerities," agrees well with Wood's opening paragraph as to his being "so wholly devoted to retirement, and the prosecution of his several studies, only satisfying himself with bare necessaries," &c., and each alike testifies, though not in precisely the same words, to the charity, calmness, and humility of their respective subjects. Wood speaks of Mr. Woodhead's desire for privacy and the concealment of his name, and Bishop Fell, who studiously avoids making any allusion to the author of his volume which might lead to his discovery, implies that Ae cherished a similar wish for secrecy which should be observed even after his death. It should, however, be borne in mind that as these two biographers view their respective subjects through a widely- different medium, the resemblance in the description of each is necessarily incomplete. Bishop Fell describes a Protestant, knowing that the writer of his volume was such ; for none other could have written the tracts contained in it; whilst Wood represents a Roman Catholic, believing Mr. Woodhead

Page 129


to have secretly joined himself to the communion of the Church of Rome. But his statements as to Mr. Woodhead's supposed change of creed are not supported by reliable evidence, as we have already shown; nor is he correct in another of his remarks, as to his want of attention to matters of worldly business, when he states, " that no worldly concerns shared any of his affections ;" for his letters, given in a previous chapter, clearly evince how the profound scholar thoroughly understood all questions affecting property and its legal rights, to which he was wide awake, and how firmly resolved he was to enforce his own claims. Implicit confidence therefore cannot be placed in the whole of Anthony Wood's assertions in his description of his character and creed. In confirmation of Mr. Woodhead's "endeavours to secure his beloved privacy and to conceal his name," we remark that these efforts appear to have been both consistent and abiding, for even in his correspondence with his cousin John Armytage, of Thickhollins, he never gives any address, nor does he sign his name in full, using only the initials of it, A, W."-neither is the handwriting his own-it is that of his amanuensis. As regards the contents of the letters, they prove him to have been not only a charitable man himself, but an admirer of that grace in others. "Be pittifull and charitable to your poore neighbours," is his injunction to his cousin, and it would seem that the duty he thus urged on his relative was one he was most willing to perform himself ; and it is a noticeable and somewhat curious fact, that Bishop Fell mentions* this particular quality as one of the dis- tinguishing characteristics of the author of his volume. * In an article from "The Gentleman's Magazine," on the subject of Lady Pakington's claim to the authorship of "* The Whole Duty of Man," given in the preceding chapter, an incidental remark, bearing on this point, appears,

well worthy our notice in this place. "I am very apt," the writer says, ** to think that the real author, whoever he was, and who took so much

Page 130


THE IDENTITY OF THE AUTHOR OF "THE WHOLE DUTY OF MAN." Another striking instance in corroboration of the Rev. Abraham Woodhead's identity with the author of " The Whole Duty of Man," is supplied by the statement of one of the workmen employed in Mr. Norton's* printing office, who was always entrusted to carry the proof-sheets of the work to Mr. Woodhead to correct. This man affirmed, "that the corrections and alterations" made in them "were the same hand with the copy." Now nothing certainly is more common than for one man to revise the work of another, and, therefore, the carrying of these sheets to Mr. Woodhead to correct, does not, in itself, prove anything decisive, but we consider that the similarity of the handwriting does, and that it furnishes strong presumptive evidence as regards the authorship. t Again, it is a remarkable fact that "The Lively Oracles Given Unto Us" came out in the year 1678, the year in which Mr. Woodhead died. Bishop Fell places this tract the last in his folio volume, and in speaking of the whole works, of which " The Lively Oracles" was unquestionably the last published, adds, "Indeed, had Almighty God lent longer life to this eminent person, we might have received many and ample benefits by it." There is something strange in the coincidence, to say the least of it, which marks the close of Mr. Woodhead's life as the period in which the publication

care to be concealed whilst alive, left no remains in his handwriting by which he might be discovered after his death." The fact of Mr. Wood- head's never giving his address, nor writing his own letters, nor signing his name in full, seems to render the resemblance between him and the person here spoken of very striking. aoa e §" * Roger Norton was printer and publisher to Mr. Woodhead in his life- time, and brought out an edition of his works in 1695, seventeen years after his decease. . . . + The narrative whence this information is derived is given in full in the Appendix.

Page 131


of these tracts came also to a close; nor can this be viewed in any other light than as one of the many links in the chain of circumstantial evidence which connect him with their authorship. It should be here remarked, that every page in " The Iavely Oracles" testifies against the errors of the Romish Church. But though the censure be pointed, yet it is marked throughout by a tone of Christian charity and moderation, and by the calmness of judgment to be expected in an author of whom Wood names these as prominent characteristic features. The biographical sketch of Mr. Woodhead given in the « Catholic Miscellany," testifies to his acquaintance with the opinions of the fathers, also how he arrived at it, and does so by way of confirming what it states as to his change of faith. It is somewhat curious that out of this particular portion of the sketch, an argument should be furnished in favour of his authorship of a tract more decidedly opposed to the system and practice of the Church of Rome, than any of his previous ones. In this tract-" The Lively Oracles"-the author quotes from thirty to forty of the fathers ; and though it may be objected that most of the learned writers of the 17th century did, both in their sermons and treatises, refer very frequently to those ancient authorities, it only requires us to compare this tract with other writings of the same period, to discover that the fathers are here quoted or referred to in the propor- tion of ten times to one, in them. - Here again is an additional proof afforded us, and that from an unexpected quarter, of Mr. Woodhead's being the writer of the last ard by far the ablest of the tracts in Bishop Fell's folio volume. Another argument in favour of his authorship of the works in question is gathered from this same "Catholic Miscellany,"

Page 132


where wo read thus :-" Mr. Constable was displeased to find that Mr. Berrington* endeavoured to give Mr. Woodhead the honour of being the author of 'The Whole Duty of and other works of the same hand, which Mr. Constable could by no means be persuaded of, merely on account of the difference of style." t Was it possible that Mr. Constable, a scholar and a literary man, could have perused those works without discovering that they could not have been written by a Roman Catholic? How could he read " The Causes of the Decay of Christian Piety," " The Ladies Calling," and all the other tracts, in which the anti-Romish sentiment is repeatedly enunciated, and not get his mind disabused of the idea that the author of such works could also be the author of the Popish controversial ones ascribed to him ? A mere glance over "The Lively Oracles" should have been enough to settle that question for ever. It has been observed already that the works under consideration, from the clear reasoning which pervades them, must have been the production of a mathematical mind, to which it may be added, that the learning and research which they display, savour strongly of the cell of the retired student. Attention, however, should be called to the fact that two of them, "The Ladies' Calling," and " The Gentleman's Calling," must have been written by one who had also at some period of his life been a close observer of men and manners ; for without this he would have found it impossible to write so ably and pointedly upon the duties of the two classes, or

* Mr. Simon Berrington wrote a life of Abraham Woodhead at Mr. Constable's request, and copied largely from Alban Butler's notes on Evzfidhead. Berrington, Constable, and Alban Butler were all Roman atholics.

+ Of the difference of style here alluded to notice will be taken elsewhere.

Page 133


describe so well the virtues and vices of each as prevailing at that period-a period of frightful demoralisation-when men were wanting in principle and women in purity. Into the highest, and, we suspect, much the least worthy class of society at that time, Mr. Woodhead's* connection with the Duke of Buckingham and Lord Capel would necessarily give him an insight; and the earnest remonstrances and exhortations contained in the tracts addressed to ladies and gentlemen, lead to the belief that the writer had occasionally brought under his observation the worst speci- mens of each sex, while they also bear witness to his inter- course with and respect for the virtuous among both. To the statement given in the "Catholic Miscellany," and most probably derived from Alban Butler, that Dr. Fell ordered his printer to append Mr. Woodhead's name to " The Whole Duty of Man," and the other works by the same hand, we attach no importance whatever, because Bishop Fell's secrecy as to the authorship of them, so strikingly observable in his preface, forbids our belief of it. But we do attach weight to Anthony Wood's remark that "many stick not to say (which is a wonder to me) that he was the author of 'The Whole Duty of Man,' and of all that goes under the name of that author," because it proves that in his day this opinion was entertained by many of his learned contemporaries.

* It may be objected that one so recluse in his habits as the author of the '* Athen» 'Oxonienses" informs us Abraham Woodhead was, never could have been placed in a position to write on the virtues or vices of the ladies and gentlemen of his day, but we would remind the objectors that, until forty years of age, he had occasionally mixed in society-the last thirty years of his life only "" being wholly given to seclusion ;" and that Bishop Fell in delineating the character of one who had as he states " led a whole life of great austerities,'" could not have forgotten that the person of whom he thus spoke was the author of " The Ladies' and Gentleman's Calling." It is clear, therefore, that he saw nothing irreconcilable in these apparent


Page 134


A SUMMARY OF THE POINTS OF RESEMBLANCE BETWEEN THE AUTHOR OF "THE WHOLE DUTY OF MAN," AND THE REV. ABRAHAM WOODHEAD. In summing up the evidence of the case before us, to use a legal phrase, we must observe that there are seven cardinal points of resemblance to be noticed between the character of Bishop Fell's anonymous, and our suppositious author, a failure in any one of which would so damage the plea set up in behalf of the latter, as finally to exclude his claim to the authorship of the works under discussion. The seven points to be compared are these :- 1st. -Habits of seclusion and austerity of life. 2nd.-Close observation of men and manners. 3rd. -Mathematical ability. 4th. -Learning and piety. 5th. -Humbleness of mind and charitableness of disposition. 6th.-Travel in Popish countries.* 7th. -Membership in the Protestant Church. To these may be added many minor points of resemblance, such as the concealment of the place of abode, the employment of an amanuensis, even in the writing of familiar letters, to prevent the discovery of the author by means of his hand- writing, also his "temperate, chaste, and holy life," &c., &c. These minor, together with the cardinal points, appear to us conclusively to identify Mr. Woodhead's character with that of the author of " The Whole Duty of Man," as described by Bishop Fell in the preface to his folio volume.

* The following passage from " The Lively Oracles," while it testifies to its author's foreign travel, testifies also to the calmness of his judgment and the largeness of his charity. "I would not," he writes, "" be hasty in charging idolatry upon the Church of Rome, or all in her communion, but that their image worship is a most fatal snare, in which vast numbers of unhappy souls are taken, no man can doubt, who hath with any regard travelled in Popish countries. I, myself, and thousands of others, whom the late troubles, or other occasions sent abroad, are and have been witnesses thereof."

Page 135


But, whilst in a preceding chapter devoted to a vindication of Mr. Woodhead's character from the charge of covert Romanism, the strongest arguments which were advanced against its truth were drawn from certain original documents, namely his will and some of his letters, so in this case the most cogent proof in favour of his claim to the authorship of " The Whole Duty of Man" may perhaps be deduced from an equally original source-a MS. sermon*-unquestionably his, found among the papers of his cousin John Armytage, along with many other documents of more or less value, preserved by the members of the Thickhollins family. This sermon is in the handwriting which was generally in vogue among the learned men of the time of Queen Elizabeth, and that of James the First, but the style and diction belong to a later period, and the resemblance in both to the works in Bishop Fell's folio volume is so striking, as almost to prove them to be the productions of one and the same pen. The MS. is in some parts not only time-worn and difficult to decipher, but the writing is obliterated by age, and the paper, in one or two pages, somewhat decayed. There is, however, much that can be made out, and the whole gist of the discourse may be ascertained by a careful examination of such portions as are legible. The date is Oxford, but the year in which it was written, if that were ever added, is now worn out. Extractst from this sermon are given in the Appendix, to afford the reader an opportunity of comparing its style and that of Mr. Woodhead's letters with the works published by Bishop Fell.

* As no other specimen of Mr. Woodhead's penmanship has been hitherto discovered, it is supposed that this escaped the fate of such as were either destroyed before his death by his own hand, or after it by the hands of his executors, from the fact of its being safe in the possession of his cousin at Thickholling. + See Appendix, Note E.

Page 136



In treating of this question we must not omit to state that among the several surviving members of the Woodhead family now resident in the village of Meltham, no doubt whatever is entertained of Mr. Woodhead's being the author of "The Whole Duty of Man." It may not, however, be safe to attach much weight to oral tradition in general, unless supported, as in this case, by positive and reliable evidence ; but in this instance it is certainly very significant and worthy of credit, and the more so, because several individuals in that family, since the period of Abraham Woodhead's death, having successively attained to advanced old age, it is most probable that the tradition was handed down from father to son, and, in consequence of the longevity of the parties, had not in its descent to pass through very many generations. Their respective ages during the last two hundred years ranged as follows :-

Matthew Woodhead aged 90 John, the son of Matthew _ ........................ , 86 Ann, the cousin of Matthew _ ...................... , 91 Rebecca, the cousin of Ann .............. "s o o a o e e e e ,, 88 Thomas-died 1864-the son of Abraham, and the nephew of Matthew 1, 95 And there was an Elizabeth Woodhead who died in the year 1597 seee ee eevee eee ees. ;, 88

It is also worthy of notice that in some of the houses occupied by the Woodheads, two, and, in one instance, three copies of the works in question are still to be found. These persons firmly believed Mr. Abraham Woodhead to have been their author, and though some of them had heard a rumour that he had gone over to the Church of Rome, certainly they did not credit it. For how could they imagine

Page 137


that a person who had become a Papist should ever have thought of endowing a Protestant church? And for this reason, and with this view of the question, they not only satisfied their own minds, but "put to silence the ignorance of foolish men."


The subjoined list of works given in the Oxonienses," being generally attributed to Mr. Woodhead's pen, is here added to show the estimation in which he was held as a writer in his own day. In a controversial point of view they might doubtless be considered both able and convincing. But Mr. Woodhead's fame as the author of the treatises collected and published by Bishop Fell, rests, we think, on a much firmer and more lasting basis.

1.-A brief account of Ancient Church Government, with a reflection on several modern writings of the Presbyterians touching this subject. London, 1662. 2nd Edit., 1685. (This book is attributed by some Roman Catholics to Obadiah Walker, and by others to R. Holden.) 2.-The Guide in Controversies, or, a rational account of the Doctrines of the Roman Catholics concerning the Ecclesiastical Guides in Contro- versies of Religion, in IV. Discourses by R. H. The two first Discourses, London, 1666. The other two in 1667. Second Edition, London, 1673. All were published together. 3.-Exercitations concerning the Resolution of Faith, 1674. (This was in reply to Strictures on the 3rd discourse in the above "* Guide in Con- troversies,'"' by Stillingfleet.) 4.-Appendix to the Four Discourses concerning the "" Guide in Con- troversies,'"' further shewing the necessity and infallibility thereof, against some contrary Protestant principles, 1675. Also called in some copies, Discourse of the Necessity of Church Guides for directing Christians in their faith. 5.-Annotations on Dr. Stillingfieet's answer to N. O.'s consideration of his principles. (This is an answer to Stillingfleet's reply to the next book, No. 6.)

Page 138


6.-Dr. Stillingfleet's Principles considered. Paris, 1671, by N.O. 7.-*Considerations on the Council of Trent, being the 5th discourse concerning the " Guide in Controversies." London, 1687. 8.-The Roman Church's Devotions vindicated from Dr. Stillingfleet's misrepresentations by N.O. 9.-The Roman Doctrine of Repentance and Indulgence vindicated from Dr. Stillingfleet's misrepresentations, 1672, by N. O. (Stillingfleet in the preface to this reply styles N.O. (i.e., A. Woodhead) a moderate man.) 10.-*Of the benefit of our Saviour Jesus Christ to Mankind, Oxford, 1680. (It is probable that this book was not by Woodhead.) 11.-*An historical narration of the Life and Death of our Saviour J. C., in two parts. Oxford, 1685. (This book was published by O. Walker, and then said to be the composition of A. Woodhead, his tutor. It caused great clamour in the University but was much praised by James II. 12.-Two Discourses concerning the adoration of our Blessed Saviour in the eucharist. (O. Walker published this book, but the printer treacherously gave the sheets as they were printed to his opponents, so that an answer was published at the same time as the book. He (O. W.) set up a private press and printed the next book, No. 13, himself. 13.-*Church Government, Part V. Oxford, 1687. Published in April. (The zealous Controversialists published a reply in June.) 14.-*Two Discourses.-The first concerning the spirit of Martin Luther. The second concerning the celibacy of the clergy. (From Walker's private Press.) Oxford, 1687. 15.-*Pietas Romana et Parisiensis, or a faithful relation of the several sorts of charitable and pious works eminent in the cities of Rome and Paris. Oxford, 1687. (At Mr. Walker's private press.) 16.-*Of Faith Necessary to Salvation. Oxford, 1688. To which are annexed, treatises-1, Of infallibility, 2, Concerning the obligation of not preferring or acting against our Judgment or Conscience, 3, Concerning obedience to Ecclesiastical Governors, 4, Concerning Salvation possible to be had in a Schismatical communion and the danger of being therein. 17.-*A Compendious Discourse of the Eucharist, Oxford, 1688. (At Mr. Walker's Press.)

* It should be observed that seventeen of the works in this list, which are marked with an asterisk, were published after Mr. Woodhead’s death, and that several of the others were claimed for Obadiah Walker and Richard Holden. A doubt, therefore, arises as to Abraham Woodhead's being the author of any one of them.

Page 139


18.-*Motives to Holy Living, with Forms of Devotion, Oxford, 1688. (At Mr. Walker's Press.) 19.-*2nd and 3rd Treatises of the first part of Ancient Church Government. Oxford. Walker's Press, 1688. 20.-*Catholic Theses. Oxford, 1689. (Not completed.) 21.-*Concerning Images and Idolatry. Oxford, 1689. 22.-*Apocalypse Paraphrased (not completed). Oxford, 1682 or 1689. 23.-*A Larger Discourse concerning Anti-Christ. Oxford, 1689. (Not completed.) *A. Woodhead was reported by some to have been the author of " God's Benefits to Mankind." Oxford, 1680. Anthony Wood adds, " some stick not to say (which is a wonder to me) that he was the author of ' The Whole Duty of Man,' and of all that goes under the name of that author." *He published the following translations :-St. Augustine's Confessions, 1679. Life of St. Theresa,. 1669 or 1671, with other Treatises con- nected with her memory. Also the second part of St. Theresa's works. The Holy Life of Gregory Lopez, 1675. *He also re-edited-1679-Hilton's scale of Perfection, and another Treatise by the same author. *From other sources than Wood, it appears that he translated " The Institutions of the Congregation of the Oratory in St. Marie's, in Vallicella, Rome."" Oxford, 1687.

Page 140




Whe Reb. Moobjead's Qupils anb @Assottates. THE DUKE OF BUCKINGHAM.

HF fact that Mr. Woodhead had been brought by the reputation of his attainments as a scholar into relation- ship with two noblemen of such celebrity as George Villiers, Duke of Buckingham, and Arthur, Lord Capel, and that, not within the of his College, but in two of the greatest capitals in Europe-Rome and London-is so remarkable, that we should not be justified in passing it by unnoticed. It was in Rome, where Mr. Woodhead resided for a short time with some of his College pupils, that his acquaintance with the Duke of Buckingham first commenced ; and it is but reasonable to conclude that he must have enjoyed much celebrity as a tutor, before he could have been appointed to teach the science of mathematics to one occupying so exalted a position as the duke-the favourite of his sovereign, and even then the chosen associate and friend of several of the great literary men of the day. This distinguished personage and his younger brother, Lord Francis Villiers, had both been educated at Trinity College,

Page 141


Cambridge, and had therefore previously studied under able instructors ; their biographer says "their names were entered in the College-book the same year with Prince Charles," and it is most probable that the same tutors who had the charge of these young noblemen, had also that of the royal youth. It is much to the credit of the duke, and it may be taken as a proof of the respect he felt for his preceptor, that afterwards, when for a time Mr. Woodhead was unjustly deprived of his fellowship, he was received and entertained at York House by his grace's appointment.


A further testimony to the talents and worth of Mr. Wood- head is afforded by Lord Capel's choice of him as his instructor, for Anthony Wood states that " being informed of the great merits of this person, he entertained and learned of him the mathematical sciences." - In both instances the tutor resided with his noble pupils, and strange indeed must have been the contrast presented to Mr. Woodhead's observant mind by the characters of the two men; the duke, brilliant, versatile, witty, " wanting no quality but the quality of virtue" ; Lord Capel, grave, pious, accomplished, and possessing that quality in its most comprehensive sense. The notices of these two distinguished noblemen which are appended in this chapter, are inserted because of the connection which they had with Abraham Woodhead as his pupils ; whilst the biographical sketches of Drs. Fell, Hammond, and Allestry are added in consequence of their being his literary associates, and on account of the particulars narrated affording a graphic insight into the character of the times in which he lived.


Of Radcliffe, Strode, and Culpeper, the young men who were sent abroad under the care of Mr. Woodhead as their

Page 142


tutor, we know nothing more than that they were gentlemen commoners of University College, and members of old and highly respectable families, and that the father of one of them, Sir George Radcliffe, was a great sufferer for the royal



The only notable College pupil Mr. Woodhead seems to have had of whom any biographical record exists was Obadiah Walker, to whom the position of first on the following list is therefore assigned. Anthony Wood* states that he was "the son of William Walker, of Worsperdate, near Barnsley, in Yorkshire, where he was born in the year 1615.+ He became a student in University College under the tuition of Abraham Woodhead-whose servitor he was-in the latter end of 1631, aged 16 years or thereabouts, took a degree in arts, was elected Fellow of his College in 1635, and, proceeding in his faculty, he entered into holy orders and became a noted tutor. After he had continued in his College during the war, he was ejected from his fellowship by the visitors appointed by Parliament in 1648. - Whereupon giving a farewell to his country for a time, he travelled beyond the seas, and spent a considerable time in Rome, whereby he advantaged himself much as to the knowledge of the world, men and languages. " After his Majesty's Restoration, being put into his fellow- ship by the commissioners then appointed to visit the University, he travelled again with certain young gentlemen, spent more time in Rome, and after his return, might have * Wood's Athen. Oxon. Art. Obadiah Walker. + In a sketch of Dr. Walker's life given in the works of the late Dr. Thomas Zouch, it is stated that he was born at Worsborough, near Barnsley, in 1616, but according to the dates inserted near the end of the

same sketch, his birth must have occurred, not in 1616, but in 1613.- 2ouch's Works, Vol. ii., pp. 426-8.

Page 143


been elected Master of his College on the death of Dr. Thomas Walker, anno. dom. 1665; but he refused it, and chose rather to live an obscure and retired life than take that trouble upon him ; yet after the death of Dr. Richard Clayton -who had succeeded Dr. Walker in the mastership-he accepted of that office rather than a stranger should come in, as 'twas designed, anno. dom. 1676. "In the latter end of October, 1678, the Popish Plot being then discovered and the generality of the people much exasperated, especially upon the murder of Sir Edmondbury Godfrey, there was a complaint made in the Parliament House against him for giving an assisting hand-as Abraham Woodhead then lately deceased did-towards the training up of youths at Hogsden, alias Hoxton, near London, in the Roman Catholic principles, and that he had expressed himself very Popishly affected in his notes on the life of King Alfred, then lately by him published, as I shall tell you anon, there- fore he was esteemed not fit to govern a College." In an article in the " Biographia Britannica," on Dr. John Radcliffe, the founder of the Library at Oxford which bears his name, we meet with some curious information respecting Obadiah Walker, in connection with him, and confirmatory of Walker's change of religion from the Protestant to the Romish faith on the accession of James II., in 1685. The circumstances may be briefly stated thus :-Dr. John Rad- cliffe, the celebrated physician, was a native of Wakefield, and was educated at University College,* Oxford, where he was residing at the close of his academical career in 1677. It is not improbable that his intimacy with Mr. Walker may

* * Several of his name and family had been bred at this College. One, Jonas Radcliffe, was tutor to the famous Abraham Woodhead, who after- wards travelled into France, with Thomas, son of Sir George Radcliffe, a gentleman commoner of the same College."-Wood's Athen. Ozon., Vol. ii., col. 613.


Page 144


have commenced at that period. In the article just alluded to, it is said, "The society of University College was at that time-1687-governed by Mr. Obadiah Walker, a gentleman in every other respect worthy of honour and esteem, had he not unfortunately complied with the religion of the unhappy prince then reigning. However, this did not hinder the Doctor [Radcliffe] from testifying his gratitude to that College where he had received the best part of his education." In 1688, some time before the bishops were sent to the Tower, and matters were carrying on towards the introduction of Popery by less violent means, Father Saunders, one of the court chaplains, and another Dominican, had it in com- mand from the king to use what solicitations should be thought needful to bring him {[Dr. Radcliffe] over to their communion ; and these proving fruitless, his fellow collegian, Mr. Walker, just mentioned, had orders from above to write to him. One of his letters, with Dr. Radcliffe's answer to it, are here given. Dr. Walker's is as follows :-

«* University College, May 22, 1688. * Worthy Sir,-Were it possible for me to bring you to a true sense of your unhappy condition, in pinning your Faith upon a few modern authorities of no credit ; I should grudge no pains of producing more and more instances, which the inspired writers, and the Fathers of the Church abound with. «* But since a man of your excellent parts, and great knowledge in things that concern the health of the body, that is only to endure for a moment, thinks it of less weight to consult the welfare of your soul, whose pains and whose pleasures must be equally everlasting; give me leave to tell you, from a heart full of grief, for your unwillingness to be convicted, that I have left nothing unattempted to absolve mine, in relation to the argu- ment you are so willing to drop the pursuit of. You bid me read Dr. Tillotson, upon the real presence, with his answer to Mr. Sergeant's rule of faith; I have done both, with the greatest impartiality, and find no other impression from them, than what fixes me in the profession of that

Page 145


faith, which I bless God, after so many years of adhering to a contrary persuasion, I have, through his great mercy, embraced. *I have entreated you to do the same, by authors, whose judgments have ever been had in remembrance, and whose determination must be infallible, from the Holy Spirit that conducted them. And you send me word, the duties of your profession bend your studies another way ; and that you have neither leisure nor inclination, to turn over pages that have no value in them, but their antiquity. This is indeed somewhat unkind, but the goodness you always receive me with, on every other occasion, and the regard you have shown, and say you will farther shew to the Foundation,* which I have been thought fit, howsoever unworthy, to preside over, engages me to make you as little uneasy as possible. «* I shall therefore, pursuant to your desire, dismiss the matter, which I could willingly wish to hold longer in debate, on account of the reasons before mentioned ; and since you seem ardently to desire a mutual corres- pondence, as to other affairs, continue to oblige you in fulfilling every request you shall make to me. «* In the mean time be assured, that I shall be incessant in my prayers to the great God above, and to the blessed Virgin, for her intercession with the Lamb, that died for the sins of the world, that you may be enlightened, and see the things that belong to the peace of your immortal soul; who am, in all respects, worthy sir, your most obliged, and most

humble Servant, " 0.

Doctor Radcliffe's answer was in these terms :-

«* Bow Street, Covent Garden, May 25th, 1688. «* Sir,-I should be in as unhappy a condition in this life, as you fear I shall be in the next, were I to be treated as a turn-coat ; and must tell you, that I can be serious no longer, while you .endeavour to make me believe, what I am apt to think you give no credit to yourself; Fathers and Councils, and antique authorities, may have their influence in their proper places; but should any of them all, though covered with dust 1,400 years ago, tell me, that the bottle I am now drinking with some of your acquaintance, is a wheelbarrow, and the glass in my hand, a salamander, I should ask leave to dissent from them. «* You mistake my temper, in being of an opinion that I am otherwise

* i.e. University College, Oxford.

Page 146


biassed, than the generality of mankind are. I had one of your new con- vert's poems in my hands just now, you will know them to be Mr. Dryden's, and on what account they are written at first sight ; four of the best lines and most apropos, run thus :-

«** Many by education are misled, So they believe, because they were so bred ; The priest continues what the nurse began, And thus the child imposes on the man.'

You may be given to understand from thence, that having been bred up & Protestant at Wakefield, and sent from thence in that persuasion to Oxford ; where, during my continuance, I had no relish for absurdities; I intend not to change principles, and turn Papist in London. «*The advantages you propose to me, may be very great, for all that I know; God Almighty can do very much, and so can the King; but you will pardon me if I cease to speak like a physician for once, and with an air of gravity, am very apprehensive, that I may anger the one, in being too complaisant to the other. You cannot call this pinning my faith on any man's sleeve ; those that know me, are too well apprized of a quite contrary tendency. «* Ag I never flattered a man myself, so it is my firm resolution, never to be wheedled out of my real sentiments; which are, that since it has been my good fortune to be educated, according to the usage of the Church of England, established by Law; I shall never make myself so unhappy, as to shame my teachers and instructors, by departing from what I have imbibed from them. «* Yet though I shall never be brought over to confide in your doctrines, no one breathing, can have a greater esteem for your conversation, by letter, or word of mouth, than, Sir, your most affectionate and faithful servant, "Jorn RAaDoLIFFE."

« Nor did the doctor, when the neccessity of the times, in the succeeding revolution, which followed this epistolary intercourse by the heels, prove otherwise than a constant friend and benefactor to Mr. Walker. For though he could not be induced to adhere to his opinion in matters of religion, he would always abide by his determination in points of learn- ing; and, out of a generous sense of the difficulties Mr. Walker

Page 147


laboured under by his non-compliance to the Government, from the time of his first coming to London, after the scene of affairs was changed in Oxford, gave him the allowance of a handsome competency to the day of his death, and contributed largely to his funeral expenses."* The foregoing letters contain a positive avowal of Mr. Wal- ker's change of faith in the year 1688, but it is said that this change took place as early as 1685, when James II. came to the throne ; and in confirmation of this inference we learn from the * Biographia Britannica" that one "Thomas Deane declared himself a Papist in March, 1685, about the same time with his master, Obadiah Walker, whose creature and convert he "He (Deane) was once or twice in prison at London, as a Jesuit, or Priest, and December the 18th, 1691, stood in the Pillory at Charing Cross, under the name of Thomas Franks, a reputed Jesuit, for concealing a libel or pamphlet, against the Government, written by a fellow lodger, in the same

house with him. " On the 4th of February, 1688-9, the Vice-Chancellor

and Doctors of the University of Oxford declared him [Obadiah Walker] non-master, for being a Papist; and the 15th of the same month, Edward Ferrer, senior Fellow of University College, was elected master in his room. About the 25th of October, 1689, he was brought by habeas corpus from the Tower to Westminster Hall and sued for bail; but, instead of obtaining it, he was sent for to the House of Com- mons, where, standing at the Bar, he was charged with several heinous offences ; as namely, 1st, for changing his religion ; 2nd, for seducing others to it ; and 3rd, for keeping a mass house in the University of Oxford. To which he made these answers:

* Article, Radcliffe, Biog. Brit., vol. v., p. 3453. + Biog. Brit. Art. Walker, vol. vi., p. 4098.

Page 148


"1st.-I cannot say that I ever altered my religion, or that my principles do now wholly agree with those of the Church of Rome. Mr. Anderson was my governor and director, and from him in my youth I learned those principles which I have since avowed. If they were Popish, I have not changed my religion; and they will not be found to be wholly agreeable with the doctrine of the Roman Catholic Church. 2nd.-I never seduced others to the Romish religion ; all my books and precepts tend only to make men good moralists and good Christians; nor did I ever interest myself in persuading any body to this or that party. This will be plain to every body that reads my books of the 'Life of Christ,, my book of 'Education,' my book of ' Benefits.'* "* Parliament.-*' Those very books are not without excep- tions; many Popish doctrines are in them.' " Walker.-'I suppose not, gentlemen; my "Life of Christ" was licensed by the Vice-Chancellor of Oxford ; was revised by Dr. J. Fell, who owned me for his friend, and who is sufficiently known to have been no Papist; and it was perused by the present Professor, Dr. Jane.' " Parlkament.-*'But there are alterations in it from the copy revised, allowed and licensed.' " Walker.-'None, sirs ; I appeal to all that reviewed it: there is no alteration in that book, no passages therein inserted that were expunged, and the like satisfaction shall be given in the rest of my Treatises.' " 3rd.-As to the Chapel, it was not more my gift than the Fellows of University College. King James requested it of us, and we gave a part of it to the College for his use. The employment of it was according to his command, and I am only concerned as being one that obeyed him in it."

* Biog. Brit. vol. vi., p. 4098. Art. Walker.

Page 149


Unfortunately for Mr. Walker's claim to veracity, and the confidence we might otherwise have reposed in his word, the foregoing correspondence with Dr. Radcliffe, which took place in 1688, about seventeen months only before he was sum- moned to the Bar of the House, entirely contradicts some of the statements there made as to his altered creed ; and also as to the efforts he was accused of making to seduce others to his views. For we cannot forget how in that correspondence, with all the warmth peculiar to a new convert, he blesses God for the change wrought in his opinions, and urges them upon the acceptance of his friend, or what he says about entreating the intercession of the blessed Virgin with the Lamb on his behalf There can be no doubt whatever that he attempted the conversion of his friend to Popery, though he failed to effect it.


George Villiers, Duke of Buckingham, follows next in order, and, among many other matters relating to him in the " Biographia Britannica," we find the following particulars of his residence in Italy, where his acquaintance with Mr. Woodhead first began. "The duke and his brother, the Lord Francis Villiers, after their mother's second marriage, which greatly offended the king,* were committed by him to the care of the Earl of Northumberland, and sent to travel in France and Italy-Florence and Rome were the places where they chiefly resided, and here they lived in as great state as some of those sovereign princes. Brian Fairfax, in his 'Memoirs of the Duke,' records to their praise 'that the youths brought their religion [the Protestant] home with them.'

* Charles I. had taken a special charge of these young noblemen after their father's assassination, and had bred them up and placed them with his own children under the same tutors and governors.

Page 150


"The duke, and probably Lord Francis, his brother,* were instructed in mathematics at Rome by Mr. Abraham Wood- head, who was there at that time on his travels as tutor to some young gentlemen of University College, Oxford, of which he was then a Fellow ; and upon his return, being deprived of his fellowship by the Parliament visitors in 1641, he was entertained at York House by his grace's appointment. "The portrait of this nobleman has been drawn by many masterly hands; Burnet has hewn it out with his rough chisel; Count Hamilton touched it with that slight delicacy that finishes, while it seems but to sketch ; Dryden catched the living likeness; Pope completed the historical resem- blance."t Brian Fairfax alone threw the veil of charity over faults of the most glaring character, and affectionately endeavoured to conceal from the public eye the moral defects of which, in his close relations with the duke, as one of the gentlemen composing his household, he could not himself be ignorant. Of the versatility of this nobleman's talents, his extraordinary powers of fascination, his personal beauty, and courtliness of address, there can be no question. The romantic story of his marriage with the only child and heiress of the Lord General Fairfax, on whom his confiscated estates had been bestowed-for Buckingham adhered firmly to the royal cause -may not be very generally known. The particulars are these-living in France, whither he had escaped, and trusting to the fascination of his talents and personal beauty, he ven-

* "In the year 1648 this promising young nobleman, even more remark- able for his personal beauty than his elder brother the duke, met an early and untimely death in the civil wars at the head of his troop. Having his horse killed under him, he got to an oak tree in the high way, about two miles from Kingston, where he stood with his back against it, bravely defending himself, scorning to ask quarter, and the enemy barbarously relzfgsing to give it, till, with nine wounds in his face and body, he was slain." + Vide " Royal and Noble Authors."

Page 151


tured-an outlaw who had not made his peace with Cromwell, and consequently was not sure either of life or liberty-to return to England to woo, and, as it proved, to win the daughter of the staunch Republican General. It might be that before that time Fairfax had seen cause to regret much to which, in his capacity as leader of the Parliamentarian army, he had been compelled to yield ; but, however it was, the Duke of Buckingham made good his suit, and succeeded in gaining the consent of the parents, as well as the affections of the daughter, and, along with her, recovered the possession of his forfeited estates. The marriage took place September {th, 1657, at Nunappleton, near York, "a new and noble house built by Lord Fairfax, where he kept up an equally noble hospitality." It is a somewhat curious circumstance, and perhaps not unworthy of note, that two of the great literary characters with whom the Duke of Buckingham was particularly associated, Abraham Cowley, the poet, and Abraham Wood- head, the mathematician, both rank among the earliest purifiers of the style of English composition from the con- ceited pedantry which had before encumbered it. The duke's intimacy with the poet first began at College.


Lord Clarendon's sketch of that truly noble-minded man, Arthur, Lord Capel, who was one of the heroes and martyrs of his day, follows next. "Arthur, Lord Capel, was a man in whom the malice of his enemies could discover but very few faults, and whom his friends could not wish betteraccomplished, whom Cromwell's* own character well described, and who

* Cromwell, who had known him very well, spoke so much good of him, and professed to have so much kindness and respect for him, that all men thought he was now safe. But then he concluded, "* That his affection to the public so much weighed down his private friendship, that he could not

Page 152


indeed would never have been contented to have lived under that Government. His memory all men loved and reverenced,

though few followed his example. "He had always lived in a state of great plenty and general

estimation, having a very noble fortune* of his own by descent, and a fair addition to it by his marriage with ar excellent wife, a lady of very worthy extraction, of great virtue and beauty, by whom he had a numerous issue of both sexes, in whom he took great joy and comfort, so that no man was more happy in all his domestic affairs ; and he was so much the more happy, in that he thought himself most blessed in them ; and yet, the king's honour was no sooner violated, and his just power invaded, than he threw all these blessings behind him, and having no other obligations to the crown than those which his own honour and conscience suggested to him, he frankly engaged his person and his fortune from the beginning of the troubles, in all actions and enterprises of the greatest hazard and danger, and continued to the end

without ever making one false step. "In a word, he was a man, that whoever shall, after him,

deserve best of the English nation, he can never think himself

but tell them, that the question was now, whether they would preserve the most bitter and most implacable enemy they had. That he knew the Lord Capel very well, and knew that he would be the last man in Eng- land that would forsake the royal interest; that he had great courage, industry and generosity; that he had many friends who would always adhere to him ; and that as long as he lived, what condition soever he was in, he would be a thorn in their sides, and therefore for the good of the Commonwealth, he should give his vote against the petition-a petition presented by Lady Capel, which occasioned a great debate. Ireton's hatred of him was immortal; he spake of him, and against him, as of a man of whom he was heartily afraid, and so, after a long debate, though there was not a man who had not a value for him, and very few who had a particular malice or prejudice against him, he was cast." * «* Lord Capel kept a bountiful house," said his grandson of him, " and shewed forth his faith by his works, extending his charity in such abundant manner to the poor, that he was bread to the hungry, drink to the thirsty, eyes to the blind, and might be justly styled a great almoner to the King of kings."-Lady Theresa Lewis's Lives, from the Clarendon Gallery, Vol. i., p. 252.

Page 153


undervalued, when he shall hear that his courage, virtue and fidelity, is laid in the balance with, and compared to that of the Lord Capel." The historian Guizot gives a most affecting record of this great man's last days on earth -his imprisonment, trial, and execution. - This account is so deeply touching that no apology is thought needful for its insertion as a supplement to Lord Clarendon's. He says, "The Lord Capel, regardless of his position, when, a few days after, a more important trial- that of the king-commenced, with the enthusiasm of a high- minded gentleman and of a valiant soldier, wrote from his cell in the Tower on the 15th January, 1649, to Cromwell to represent to him the enormity of such a crime, and to conjure him to save the king.

**I frankly give you leave,' he said in this remarkable letter, 'nor do I value the inconvenience it could draw along with it, that there is not that honest expedient in the world to serve him by, that I would not hazard myself in to employ for him; nor do I know what earthly felicity it is, which could be so welcome to me as to advance a step beyond any other in my duty towards him. But my present condition refuseth me the ability of any thing else but that of invocating the favour of God for him, and making my addresses to you, whom I take to be the figure that gives the denomination to the sequence of a great many ciphers that follow you.'

«"He then set forth at great length, and in terms sometimes of reproach, and sometimes of flattery, all the motives of religion, justice, policy, duty, honour, interest, pride and personal ambition, which might combine to influence Crom- well's decision ; and he concluded with these words :-

my conclusion shall be very plain, because you may thereby be the better assured of my sincerity in all the rest. The ancient constitu- tions and present laws of this kingdom are my inheritance and birthright, and if any shall think to impose upon me that which is worse than death, which is the profane and dastardly parting from these laws, I will choose the lessor evil, which is death. I have also a right in Kingship, the

Page 154


protector of those laws. This is also, by a necessity and conjunction with that other, dearer to me than life. ** And lastly, in this King is my present right, and also obligations of inestimable favours received from him. I would to God my life could be a sacrifice to preserve his! Could you make it an expedient to serve that end, truly I would pay you more thanks for it than you will allow yourself from all your other merits from those you have most obliged, and die your

most affectionate friend,' «** CapEu.'

"Cromwell returned no answer to this letter, but he did not forget it. He possessed that pitiless sagacity which, while it enabled him to recognise the value of an enemy, only convinced him of the necessity of putting him out of the way. " At his trial Lord Capel was not only dignified-he was haughty and undaunted. Without paying any attention to the court, he gazed severely on the audience, as if to reproach them with the complicity of their presence. He maintained, that by the terms of the capitulation of Colchester, and the explanations of the Lord General Fairfax himself, his life had been secured to him. 'I am a prisoner of war, he said ; 'I had a fair quarter given me, and all the gowns in the world have nothing to do with me.' In any case, he demanded to be tried by his peers: 'Though kings and lords be laid aside, yet the fundamental laws of the he said, 'are still in force." « He called the attention of the court to Magna Charta and the Petition of Right; he desired to see his jury, and that they might see him ; and said, 'he believed that a precedent could not be given of a subject tried for his life, but either by bill in Parliament, or by a jury.' In reply, President Bradshaw told him 'that he was tried before such judges as the Parliament thought fit to assign him, and who had judged a better man than himself* When the Attorney-

Page 155


General concluded by demanding that he should be hanged, drawn, and quartered, Lord Capel 'seemed to startle,' but, speedily recovering himself, he told the court, 'that however he was dealt with here, he hoped for a better resurrection " The execution was fixed for the following day, the 9th of March, 1649. During the night Lord Capel requested his friend Dr. Morley, who had visited him in his prison, to administer to him the sacrament. "I desire to receive it," he said, "from a minister of the king's party, and according to the liturgy of the Church of England. « I think I cannot accuse myself of any great known sin, committed against the light of my conscience, but one only, and that is, the giving my vote in Parliament for the death of my Lord of Strafford ; which I did against my conscience, not out of malice to the person of the man, but out of a base fear, and carried away with the violence of a prevailing faction ; for which I have been, and am, heartily sorry, and have often with tears begged, and, I hope, obtained pardon of Almighty God. If you think it neccessary or fit, I will confess this great and scandalous sin of mine, together with the cause of it, openly upon the scaffold, to God's glory, and my own shame. "Dr. Morley encouraged him in this virtuous intention. The next morning, Lord Capel's family visited him-his wife, his eldest son, two of his uncles, and his nephew, all together, for they were not permitted to see him separately. He kept them with him an hour, lovingly but sadly endea- vouring to sustain their courage, and to address to them his last counsels. 'I would not,' he said to his son, 'I would not have you neglect any honourable and just occasion to serve your king and country with the hazard of your life and fortune ; yet I would have you to engage yourself-as IL,

Page 156


thanks be to God for it! have done-neither out of desire of revenge, nor hope of reward, but out of a conscience of your duty only. The best legacy I can leave you is my prayers for you, and a verse of David's Psalms, which I command you, upon my blessing, to make a part of your daily prayers, as I have always made it a part of mine, viz. :-"Teach me thy way, O Lord, and lead me in a plain path."* For I have always loved plainness and clearness both in my words and actions, and abhorred all doubling and dissimulation, and so I would have you do also." "When the moment of parting arrived, Lady Capel's strength failed her, and she was carried away in a fainting fit. 'Well, doctor,' said Lord Capel, as soon as he was left alone with his friend Dr. Morley, 'the hardest thing that I had to do here in this world is now past-the parting with this poor woman. I believe I shall be called upon presently to go to the place where I am to take my leave of all the rest of the world, and, I thank my God, I find myself very well disposed to it and prepared for it. I am in good hope that when I come to die, I shall have nothing else to do but to die only.' Yet he wrote twice to his wife, during the short interval between their separation and the scaffold. 'Let me live long in thy dear memory, I beseech thee ; sorrow not unso- berly, unusually ; God be unto thee better than an husband, and to my children better than a father. I am sure He is able to be so; I am confident he is graciously pleased to be so.' o. «* Lord Capel appeared last, and alone on the scaffold. 'Sir,' said the officer who commanded the execution, 'is your chap- lain here?' 'No,' he replied, 'I have taken leave of him ;' and, perceiving that some of his servants were weeping, he

* Lord Capel was a very pious man, and in his youth had written a book of meditations, not published till after his death.

Page 157


said, 'Restrain yourselves, gentlemen ; restrain yourselves.' Then turning to the officer, he asked, 'Did the lords speak with their hats off or *With their hats off, replied Colonel Beecher. Lord Capel then took off his hat, and spoke briefly and firmly, showing equal frankness and decision as a royalist and as a Christian. "He did as he had promised Dr. Morley; he accused himself of his vote against Lord Strafford. 'I do here profess to you,' he said, 'that I did give my vote to that bill against the Earl of Strafford.* Truly this, I may say, I had not the least part nor degree of malice in doing of it. But I must confess again, to God's glory, and the accusation of my own frailty, and the frailty of my nature, that truly it was unworthy cowardice not to resist so great a torrent as carried that business at that time.'" People and soldiers, friends and strangers, all beheld him

die, with mingled feelings of admiration and respect.

Tbe Reb. Abrabam Woodbent's Hiterarp Associates.


Dr. Fell, the learned and energetic Bishop of Oxford, and editor of the folio volume containing the works which we believe to have been written by Mr. Woodhead, was born in 1625, and in his eleventh year was entered a student of Christ Church, Oxford. At the breaking out of the civil war he took arms in the cause of Charles I., and, after some training in garrison at Oxford, became an ensign. In 1648, being then in holy orders, he was ejected by the Parliamen- tary visitors. In 1660, he was appointed Prebendary of

* In the " Biographia Britannica," Vol. ii., p. 1161, Art. Capel, are these words, following Strafford :-*" I doubt not, but God Almighty hath washed that away with more precious blood, and that is, with the blood of his own Son, and my dear Saviour Jesus Christ."-NSee Appendiz,

Note F.

Page 158


Chichester ; Canon, and afterwards Dean of Christ Church ; and one of the royal Chaplains in Ordinary. He immediately applied himself to the moral elevation and outward adorn- ment of his College, and restored discipline to the great advantage both of learning and religion. He repaired ruinous edifices, and raised new and extensive buildings, chiefly at his own cost. From 1666 to 1669 Dt. Fell was Vice- Chancellor of the University, and during that time he reformed many abuses, personally visited the chambers of the students and marked their progress He took a lively interest in printing, and carried out the unfulfilled design of Archbishop Laud. He was a bold and most uncompromising defender of the rights of the University, and when in 1675 he was elected Bishop of Oxford, he was still retained Dean for the benefit of its interests. - It has been supposed that Dr. Fell's excessive labours, and his dread of a change of religion under James II., shortened his days. He died in July, 1686, to the great loss of learning, the University, and the Church of England. He was a keen observer of men and their merits, a painstaking overseer of his clergy, and a zealous defender of the Church.


The pious Dr. Hammond, most justly considered an ornament to the age in which he lived, is the next in order. Henry Hammond* was born in the village of Chertsey, in Sur- rey, in 1605, and in 1618 was sufficiently advanced in scholar- ship, though then only thirteen years of age, for admission into the University, and was entered at Magdalen College, Oxford. Here he enjoyed the friendship of many pious and learned mer ; among others that of the distinguished Jeremy Taylor,

* Dr. Hammond wrote an introductory letter to "* The Whole Duty of Man," published in 1658.

Page 159


afterwards Bishop of Down and Cannor. In June, 1625, he took the degree of Master of Arts, and some idea may be formed of his early habits from the fact that during the whole period of his residence in the University, he devoted thirteen hours a day to study and reflection. Dr. Frewen was at that time President of Magdalen and a great admirer of Hammond's piety and talents It was through his instrumentality that the living of Penshurst, in Kent, was offered by the Earl of Leicester to the young divine, and a more desirable appointment could hardly have been made. From 1633 to 1643 he had the pastoral care of the flock at Penshurst, and was as much devoted to, as he was beloved, by it. But the evil times then prevailing * drove him from his charge, and soon after we find him a captive in Oxford. The ten weeks of confinement to which he was there subjected, were spent by him in study and the exercises of devotion, and after various trials and disappoint- ments, he was permitted to seek the friendly shelter of Westwood, in Worcestershire, the seat of Sir Johnt and the " good Lady Pakington," as she was always called. There he was accounted a most worthy and honoured guest, and as a spiritual pastor to the household over which he presided, he was looked up to with reverence and affection. Dr. Hammond's piety and learning made him a bright ornament of that church to whose spiritual interests he had devoted the best years of his life, and of whose final triumph he felt secure. "Pondering," as he says, "the tempers of men, and the so mutable habits of their minds," he felt confident that in a few years, when the pleasure of the change should cease with its novelty, "reason would come back in the cool of the day,

* See Appendix, Note G. + Sir John Pakington was a zealous royalist.


Page 160


and the nation would again build up the prostrate church." In speaking of him as an author, Dr. Fell remarks, " that he wrote with a mildness which can only be accounted for by the fact, that his closet was his library, and that he studied most upon his knees." In his last sickness, when one of his friends prayed with much earnestness for his restoration to health, he said, "I observe that your zeal spends itself all in that one petition for my recovery ; in the interim you have no care of me in my greatest interest, which is, that I may be perfectly fitted for my change when God shall call me ; I pray let some of your fervour be employed that way. "His body was deposited in the vault of that generous family whose friendship and protection he had enjoyed during so many years of his life" He died in April, 1660,

aged 55 years.*


Richard Allestry associated with Abraham Woodhead and Obadiah Walker in the " Paraphrase and Annotations upon all the Epistles of St. Paul," a work of considerable labour and research, was a native of Shropshire, born in 1619, and educated at the Grammar School, Coventry.+ He entered Christ Church, Oxford, at fifteen years of age. But in the early part of his life his studies were greatly interrupted by the troubles occasioned by the civil wars which broke out at that time. In 1641 he entered the royal service with other students, and served a volunteer as a private soldier. He was frequently to be seen with the musket in one hand and a book in the other, for learning and loyalty were his distinguishing characteristics. A most tender friendship existed between Allestry

*x Vide Dr. Fell's " Life of Dr. Hammond." + Encyclopedia Brit.

Page 161


and Dr. Hammond,* who left him his valuable library, assigning as a reason that he well knew his books, in Alles- try's hands, would be useful weapons for the defence of that cause he had so vigorously supported. This valuable library, along with his own, Dr. Allestry, at his death, bequeathed to the University. He was in 1663 made Regius Professor of Divinity, and two years after, Provost of Eton College. His original biographer-Dr. Fell-thus portrays his character :-

«* His mind, that nobler part of him, was composed by an extraordinary indulgence of nature; those faculties, which in others used to be single, and are thought necessary to be so, were united in him. Memory, fancy, judgment, elocution, great modesty and no less assurance, a compre- hension of things and fluency of words; an aptness for the pleasant, and sufficiency for the rugged parts of knowledge; a courage to encounter, and an industry to master all things, make up the character of his happy genius. From his first childhood he had a strong impression of piety, and the duties he owed to God and men. «* In his constitution he had a great deal of warmth and vigour, which made him apt to take fire upon provocation ; but he was well aware of it, and kept a peculiar guard upon that weak part; so that his heat was reserved for the great concerns of the honour of God, and the service of his Prince and country, wherein he was altogether indefatigable, and in the most dismal appearances of affairs would never desert them, nor despair of their restoration. «* There was not in the world a man of clearer honesty and courage ; no temptation could bribe him to do a base thing, or terror affright him from the doing of a good one. This made his friendships as lasting and inviolable as his life, without the dirty considerations of profit, or sly reserves of craft; not the pageantry of ceremonious address, or cold civility; much less the servile falseness of obsequious flattery.

* An affecting incident is related in some of the notices of Dr. Allestry's life in reference to his friend Dr. Hammond :-*" After Allestry had been imprisoned at Lambeth House, on his release, returning to visit his friends, and among others the learned Dr. Hammond, then residing at Sir John Pakington's Mansion, Westwood, he met the corpse at the gate, being carried to the grave ! "

Page 162


"His conversation was always cheerful and entertaining, especially in the reception of his acquaintance at his table, and friendly visits. He was exceedingly tender of saying anything that might administer offence, or reflect upon any one's reputation. - There was no person who more literally verified the saying of the wise man, that ' much study was a weariness of the * After his day's work, he was used to be as faint and spent, as if he had been labouring all the time with the seythe or flail; and his intention of thought made such waste upon his spirits, that he was frequently in hazard, while at study, to fall into a swoon, and forced to rise from his seat and walk about the room for some time before he could recover himself. © His contempt of the world was very extraordinary, and in his large and constant charities, both by settled pensions to indigent persons and families, and occasional alms, so also his bounteous hospitality. But the uncontrollable proof of contempt of the world, is, his dying poor-he having never during his life purchased an inch of ground, nor any annuity, or lease, to the value of a penny-nor did he take care to renew the patri- monial estate which he held by a leage for life.* «* His greatest treasure was his library, which was indeed a considerable one, both for the number of books and choice of them; but these he disposed of by deed before his death to the University of Oxford for the use of his successors in the chair. Though he hung thus loose from the world, he neither was negligent in secular affairs, nor unskilful in the managery of them ; which was made manifest by his dexterous discharge of the private trusts committed to him in behalf of his dead friends, and the administration of his public employments. He was for several years treasurer of Christ Church, in a busy time of their repairing the ruins made by the intruding usurpers; and amidst the necessary avocations of study, found leisure for a full discharge of that troublesome employment. « In the managery of the business of the chair of divinity, as he per- formed the scholastic part with great sufficiency in exact and dextrous untying the knots of argument, and solid determination of controverted points, so he was not oppressed by the fame of any of his most eminent predecessors. His prudence was very remarkable in the choice of subjects to be treated on ; for he wasted not time and opportunity in the barren insignificant parts of school divinity, but insisted on the fundamental

* It is proper to remark that Dr. Allestry died a bachelor.

Page 163


grounds of controversy between the Church of England and the most formidable enemies thereof. * By his judicious care herein, though he found the University in a ferment, and a great part of its growing hopes sufficiently seasoned with ill prepossessions, he so brought it to pass, that during the whole tract of seventeen years that he held the chair, there was no factious bandying of opinions, nor petulant sidings on account of them ; which things disturbed the peace of the last age, and helped forward to inflame those animosities, which ended in the execrable mischiefs of the civil war.* * Upon the 28th day of January in the year 1680, this excellent person after a life spent in indefatigable studies, and faithful endeavours for his religion, his king and his country, and after the patient sufferance of a long and painful sickness, with Christian resignation and full assurance, rendered his soul into the hands of God ; and on the first of February he was decently interred in the choir of the Collegiate Church, at Eton, on the north side of the communion table. Over his grave was soon after laid a black marble stone with this engraven thereon :- ' Ricardus Allestree Priepositus, obijt 28 Jan. 1680." And on the north-wall his executors erected to his memory a monument of white marble with an inscription upon it in Latin."

Dr. Allestry wrote and transmitted to posterity, besides his share in the " Paraphrase and Annotations upon all the Epistles of St. Paul," already alluded to, a volume of excellent sermons in folio, being forty in number, part of them singly published by himself, and the remainder by Dr. Fell, Bishop of Oxford, after his death, in 1684. Prefixed to this volume, and facing the title page, is a portrait of him with this inscription :-" RicHarpus Aunuestry S.§.T. ProrEssor Rrc. Oxon. En: Cur. Canoxious Conn ZEtoxnExsis Prarositus Rro. MarrstaTI a. SacRIs, &c."

* The Preface to Dr. Allestry's Sermons.

Page 164




Parish Registers.

waif: old parish registers of the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, which have escaped the destructive effects of time, contain many curious and valuable notices of persons and events nowhere else to be found, by which they afford some insight into the local history of the districts to which they belong, and of which they were probably, during that period, the only records preserved. From 1500 to 1700, the entries in them were generally made in Latin, which was the language then mostly used by the clergy in public documents ; and as no specific forms were prescribed by authority, they were at liberty to add whatever note or comment they thought proper, to each entry, whether of baptism, marriage, or funeral. Of this license they appear to have made occasionally a free and judicious use. In the present authorised mode of making the entries in the registers, excursiveness is altogether prevented, whilst methodical uniformity is preserved, and doubtless, a greater

Page 165


degree of accuracy secured. No opportunity therefore, is afforded for recording the occurrence of incidents which are not admissible according to the prescribed form. This is to be regretted, as, by a more comprehensive mode, the record of many important events of historical value might be preserved in them for the information of future ages.


The old registers of Meltham Chapel record the names of several families which were apparently at one time well established in the district, but which have since entirely disappeared, and their very existence is forgotten among the inhabitants. As an instance of this-" Campinett"-a name once well known at Meltham, but now not remembered, even by the oldest resident, may be mentioned.

The register of the chapel for 1669 commences with the following entry :-

Georgius Crosland & Individuz® Trinitatis Collegii in Universitate Cantabrigiensi & in A. B. suscepit Curam Animarum Melthamien : 20 Maij Ao. 1669. That is, George Crosland of the College of the Holy and undivided Trinity in the University of Cambridge, B.A. received the Cure of Souls at Meltham 22d of May in the year 1669. 1st Baptism. " Martha fil: Isaaci Waterhouse Bap: 180 Ap. 1669. 1st Funeral. Jacobus Kirkhead Sepult. 220 Maii 1669.

1st Marriage. Geo: Taylor & Elizab Shaw, Matrimonio Copulati Novembr 300. 1669.

In the year 1676, the following registry of a marriage,

baptism, and funeral, in the same family quickly succeeded each other :-

Johan Armytage & Maria Beaumont Matrimon Cop :* July 4th 1676. «Johan : f: Johan Armytage de Thickhollings baptizat May 180 Vivat valeatque. Maria Ux: Johan Armytage Sep May 180. 1677."

* The gentleman whose marriage is here recorded was John the eldest

Page 166


In the year 1670, there is another affecting record of mortality in the Kilner family :-

Guil: fil: Guil: Kilner bapt: Ap. 20, 1670. Eliz: Ux. Guil: Kilner Sepult: 110 Sept 1670. Guil: fil: Guilel: Kilner Sep 110 Sept 1670.

In this instance the mother and the son were both interred on the same day.

1670 Thomas Campinett & Adilicias Dyson, matrimonio Cop: Septr. 20.

This name, Campinett, occurs very frequently in the old register. In the year 1681 there are no entries of any kind, and one only in 1682. From 1699 to 1716, fourteen marriages are recorded. The fifteenth is entered thus :-

Thomas Ramsden nupt: by virtue of Banns published and certified by Mr. Parrott Cur: de Halifax Nov. 16th. 'The Lady's name is not given.'" 1718 Sarah Ux Samles Firth Sep 270 & a Crysome* child buryed." ©1719. Mead and Elizabetha Sunderland nupt: Mar 240 by virtue of a Lycence granted by Nathan Sharp Surrogate."

son and Heir of Anthony Armytage Gentr. by his wife Elizabeth Bynnes of Bank End, who was the sister of the Rev. Christian Bynnes-or Binns- the first Curate of Meltham Chapel-1651-John Armytage afore- said, married Mary the widow of Godfrey Beaumont of South Crosland, who died in 1672 without issue, and bequeathed a portion of his property to Meltham and Honley Chapels: Mary the relict of Godfrey Beaumont, was, before her first marriage, Mary Waterhouse, eldest daughter and coheir of Jameg Waterhouse of Meltham. She was married as afore- stated July 4th, 1676 to her second Husband John Armytage of Thick- hollins, and having died in childbed was buried at Meltham on the 18 of May 1677, the same day that her son was baptised. This son, John Armytage of Thickhollins, was in 1716 one of the grand jury at York. He died intestate the 14th, of Novr. 1747. x « Chrisom "-A child that dies within a month after its birth-so called from the Chrisom-cloth, a cloth anointed with holy unguent, which the children anciently wore till they were christened.-Dr. Johnson.

Page 167


At the end of the list of names registered in 1711 there is the following entry :-

"July 5th, and thus far was contained in the old Register book, and here it was awanting till 1715."

There is a previous blank from 1705 to 1711.

1720. Josephus f: Willi Goddard de Greave sep. 240 Dat veniam Corvis, Vexat censura Columbas. A remark by the Revd. Mr. Kaye cur: de Meltham. ** Advena nomine Johan Smyth: Com. Lanc: Sep. 25 Aug :" He died of the malignant Licolnshire Fever. Jacobus Oldfield Clark Sep: Aug: 270 1722. Marthaf. Josh: Tinker de Upperthongue bap: 25; July, five fingers upon each hand. Sept. 180. - On this day a great flood. 1724, July 28th. Mean Bridge was finished by James Hacking and Joseph Pickles workmen, for the sume of 4. 7. 6. and the workmen gave bond for securing the said bridge for 7 years next coming. John Armytage de Thickhollings yeo: Chappelwarden, Abram Wood- head, Netherthongue, yeo. Constable." 1725. A New Bible for the Chappell, 1. 7.

Common Prayer Book. 16. both bought by John Armytage of Thickhollings, yeom: July 29. Chappellwarden for the preceding year.

1729 Joseph Millns alias King O'th' Cop* was buried at Meltham by the Overseer of Crosland December the 4th. 1730 James the son of George Taylor O'th' Royd, Clark was baptized at Meltham November the 28. 1732. James the son of James Taylor O'th' Great House in Meltham yeoman was baptized ibid May the 17th. 1734 Mr William Ripley Schoolmaster of Meltham was buried ibid by Grace Eastwood, October the 17th.

* It is to be observed that in 1726 the use of in the register ceases, and instead of the expression ""de cop," or " de Thickhollings," "* O'th' is substituted, thus " O'th' Cop," or, " O'th' Thickhollings."

Page 168


1737 Thomas the son of Thomas Mellor O'th' Great House in Meltham clothier, was privately baptized October the 30th. 1738 Matthew Waterhouse living with his sister at Peigh-hill-Brow was buried in the chancel of Meltham, July the 29th. " James Taylor O'th' Fox Royd alias ' little Uncle,' Clothier was buried

December the 20th. 1750. Grace the daughter of George Taylor Dryer at the Upper Mill was baptized by Mr. Rowley she being the first child he baptized October the 21st. 1751. George the son of Joseph Taylor of Meltham, alias " young Heybrow," Huntsman, was buried May the 18th. 1751 John Horsfall and Lucy Wilson both of this Parish, were married at Meltham June the 5th - The Banns having been three times regularly published in the Parish Church of Almondbury, and nothing objected. «1762 Old Mrs. Mary Armitage O'th' Thickhollins was buried in the Chancel July the 27th."

The last entry of Funerals is-

* Sarah Wood. Dau" : of Edwd Wood 18th [Decr] 1812."

The last entry of Baptisms is- «* Nancy D of John & Hannah Taylor Born November 28th 1812."

Also the following entry :-

* Sarah D. of David & Taphath Redfearn, born October 19th 1812 Entered in the New Register when publicly baptized."

The same volume which contains the registers from the year 1669 to that of 1812, contains also, at the opposite end of the book, the Chapelwardens' accounts from October 7th, 1723, to January 17th, 1742. In them are some curious memoranda of which a few specimens are subjoined -on the cover inside is the following,-" July 21, 1727 :-

«* Mr Kenworthy joined with us for ye Leed's Mercury. «* 1726 Cleansing Chappell, 1/. «« Imprimis, at Almonbury Court 5/ to a Passenger from Pensylvania /64 '* Surplisse Washing 2 years & mending, 2/6

Page 169


June 14 1735 Pd Jno. Taylor for ringing & cleansing the Chappell 3,6 , _ Burplisse Washing 1/- ©1739. Memorandum, That Widdow Barrot Pot was sold for one shilling, and the same was given in exchange to X[topher] Tinker for schoole Range, so that the Range that is in the schoole* does belong to it."

THE REGISTERS OF THE PARISH CHURCH OF ALMONDBURY. It may not perhaps be uninteresting to some of the present inhabitants of Meltham to learn from the Parish Register of their parent church-Almondbury-the names borne by the " forefathers of their Hamlet" three hundred years ago. At that time only a few families lived in it in pastoral simplicity, with moors unenclosed, and lands undrained. It was little suspected then what rich stores of blessings were laid up for their successors in the future, when, by the advancement of general civilization and scientific appliances, aided by indi- vidual enterprise, their native glens and barren wastes should be converted into busy seats of industry and wealth. The present generation would do well to review and contemplate the past, in order to enable them to value rightly the physical and social improvements of the age in which they live.


©1558 June." "Plague tyme." "Agnes the daughter of James Wod- head of Meltham was baptized the 10th day. The sponsors were Antony Oldfelde, Agnes Parkyn and Elizabeth Wodhead. June-George Woddeheade the son of John of Meltham was baptized the 14th day-the sponsors were George Woddehead John Eastwood & Agnes Parkyn. 1558 October. Antony Hayghe the son of James of Meltham was

* The first school, which was built on the same site as that on which the present stands, was erected in 1735; Mr. Benjamin Armytage, of Thickhollins, gave the wood required for it. His note-book, now in the possession of Mr. Edwin Eastwood, states that " it came to £4. 8s. 6d."

Page 170


baptized the 27th day. The sponsors were Andreas-Antony Oldfelde*

& Agnes Butterworth. Novemr -Isabella Parkyn the daughter of John of Meltham was

baptized the 10th day-the sponsors were John Waterhouse, Isabella Waterhouse & Agnes Greene. 1558 December-Agnes Taylyer the daughter of John of Meltham was baptized the 15th day-the sponsors were, John Eastwodde Elizabeth Hayghe & Joanna Waterhouse. January-John Taylyer of Meltham was buried the 10th day. February-Antony Armitedge the son of John of Thickhollyns was baptized the 11th day, the sponsors were Roger Greene, Anthony Oldfelde & the wife of Humfrey Beaumont. 1559 Apryll. Roger Greene the son of Roger of Thickhollyns was baptized the 25th day. The sponsors were Gilbert Beaumont, William Lockwodde & the wife of John Parkyn. Augustij. John Sykes the son of Barnard of Helme was baptized the 6th day; the sponsors were Edward Taylyer, John Eastwodde & Alicia Heryson. Beptembris. Antony Eastwodde the son of Richard of Meltham was baptized the 17th day. The sponsors were Antony Oldfelde John Taylyer & Jane Taylyer the wife of Edward. Octobris.-James Hayghe the son of William of Meltham was baptized the 15th day. The sponsors were James Taylyer James Woddeheade & Joanna Gleydyll. Novembris. Antony Dyson the son of John of Meltham was baptized the 19th day, the sponsors were Antony Oldfelde Wylliam Dyson, & Agnes Butterworth. Joanna Eastwodde the daughter of John of Meltham Mylne was baptized the 19th day: the sponsors were John Taylyer, Joanna Thewlys & Elizabeth Eastwodde. February. Edwardus Hayghe the son of James of Meltham was baptized the 21st day, the sponsors were John Bayleye Edward Taylyer & Agnes

Oldfelde. 1560 Maye. Edwardus Taylyer the son of Edward of Meltham was

baptized the 23rd day, the sponsors were Roger Greene Edwardus Taylyer

& Agnes Oldfelde 1560 Novembr - Elizabeth Woddheade the daughter of James of Mel-

tham baptized the 10th day, the sponsors were Edward Taylyer Elizabeth Hayghe & Alice Beaumont.

* Of Crosland Hall.

Page 171


Decembrig. Henry Taylyer the son of John of Meltham was baptized the 6th day : The sponsors were Henry Beaumont, George Butterworthe & Elizabeth Armytedge. Apryll. Isabella Beaumont ye daughter of John of Meltham was baptized the 13th day, the sponsors were John Taylyer Isabella Water- house & Margareta Armytedge. 1561 Maye. Elizabeth Butterworthe ye dr of John of Meltham was baptized the 11th day, the sponsors were John Beaumont Joanna Parkyn & Elizabeth Eastwodde. June. John Waterhouse of Meltham was buried the 13th day. Alicia Woddheade the wife of John of Meltham was buried the 17th day. August. Thomas Armytedge of Thickhollyns was buried on the 26th day. October. Joanna Dyson the daur of John of Meltham was baptized the 28th day: the sponsors were Edmund Dyson, Isabella Beaumont and Isabella Bothomleye. Novems Joanna Hayghe the daughter of James of Meltham was bap- tized the 1st day: the sponsors were Thomas Armetedge Joanna Brookes- banke & Agnes Taylyer. 1562 Januarij. Joanna Armytedge ye daur of John of Thickhollyngs was baptized the 7th day. The sponsors were Rhychard Wylson, Joanns Coldwell & Agnes Taylyer. 1562 Feby. John Taylier the son of Edward of Meltham was baptized the 25th day: the sponsors were John Taylyer, James Hayghe & Agnes Oldfelde wife of Antony. June. Barnard Syks of Helme was buried the 18th day. Novembs. Elizabeth Olfelde ye daur of Antony of Crosland Hall was baptized the l1th day: the sponsors were Richard Wodde, Elizabeth Wodde & Anna Olfelde."

In some of the earlier volumes of the Almondbury registers there are not to be found many notes referring to occurrences in the hamlet of Meltham. From 1556 to 1602, when the population was small and sparse, events worthy of record were necessarily few ; there is, however, one entry* written x ©1559. Wyllm Brygge ye sonne off Jeferaye of Helme was drowned ye xxo day off October at Parke Mylne as he and one Humfrey Army- tedge's horse comed over at a Hebble* or narrow Brygge a tempest off

wynde blewe him sodenly into [the] water for because off greate rayne * Hebble a wooden bridge.

Page 172


in the quaint English of that period, shewing that the language was, although then in its transition state, not inferior in its descriptive power to the modern English The writings of Chaucer, Shakespeare, and other earlier poets, contain some of the sublimest thoughts that can be conceived by man, expressed in language of extraordinary power and beauty, and it is natural to desire to know more of a language that could be employed in its native force with such effect, not only by men of genius, but by others in the ordinary affairs of life. The epistolary correspondence, and the written records of the time, abound in terms both quaint and expressive, touching in their simplicity, and oftentimes very pathetic. Such, it should be observed, are the characteristics of many of the notes made by the Rev. Mr. Staynton, Vicar of Almondbury, who died and was buried there in 1597, aged 80 years. These notes are written in English, as if the Latin tongue, in which the registers were then kept, had been found insufficient for purposes of local description. The foregoing entry is one of them, and a few such curiosities of the olden time may not be destitute of interest as specimens of primitive English, and the mode and style of its construction. ©1568. Rychard Hyrste off Mylnes Brygge commynge from Halyfax Markett on Satyrdaye ye xijo daye of Februarie was through a greate snowe left & stopped-the dryfte of snowe was so very [greate] & beynge alone all Satyrdaye nyghte peryshed and dyed on Lynlaye Moore, not farra from a Crosse called Hayghe Crosse, and was found on the morrowe after, his horse standygne bye hym-even harde bye hym, and was brought home

to his owne house, & buryed at Almonburye Munday ye xiijo daye of Februarye."

There is another pathetic incident related of a poor boy

yt fell yo day & nyght before the water was greate-and so by that meanes he was drowned & his fellow saved. They were both [servants] unto one Myles Wylson a taylyer by occupation, & his servannts. *Keep us most

merciful Lord from such a sudden & unexpected death. Amen.''"-Prayer translated from the Latin.

Page 173


who perished upon one of the moors. It is as follows :-

©1575. Willim ye sonne off Wyllm Turnebull off ye age off xvio years or thereupon, was weather bette on Candlemas daye as he came from Marsden and dyed on the More under a rawd or hedge, a little from John Hawkyearde house & was found on Sondaye after, at afternoone, and buriede after V off ye Clocke at nighte ye same daye wt Candle lyghte.

Another curious entry occurs relative to a sad tragedy at Marsden, viz. :- «1594 December. Elizabeth the wife of John Eastwodde of Marsden, ' quinto die precedente nocte sub hora Septima' was cruellie kylled with an axe as it was suspected by Oliver Hurste a neybour, & the Crow- ner queste goynge on her, then buryed the tuesday after-beynge the tenthe daye-yt was foure or fyvye dayes after she was kylled, & much moneye

about V or Vj lb taken out, & for the same moneye slayne piteously to see."

The following note also, in its natural simplicity, is highly expressive :- 1569, Jenett ye wife of John Marsden off Marsden by soden chanche the xxijo daye off Julye slipped off a brygge, as she was bowne* to mylke- or as she comed from ye pastrie, the water beynge up by ye reason off rayne

yt night & in ye mornynge, & was drowned, & found agayne about one of ye Clock, and was buryed ye xxiiijo off Julye."


In the parish records there are also incidental notices of another kind, but of considerable value in an historical point of view, which show that many advantages, privileges, and blessings, are now enjoyed, to which former generations were comparative strangers. Before the opening out of the coal-fields, turf and peat and the underwood of the few forests around, were almost the only fuel used by the inhabitants throughout the parish of Almondbury and the districts adjoining. Hence,

* A very common word in general use in Yorkshire, which signifies bound to, or going to.

Page 174


during the protracted inclemency of rigorous winters, then so frequent, their homes were destitute of many comforts now realised by the poorest cottagers, which resulted in numerous premature deaths. It is to be noticed, in particular, that the mortality in infant life was excessive, especially in the outlying parts of the parish, caused to some extent by their distance from the parent church. Baptism was, as a rule, not long delayed, and infants in the depth of winter were taken all the way from Marsden, Meltham, Linthwaite, Bradshaw, Austonley, and Holme, to the parish church to be baptised, and, very frequently, a few days afterwards to be buried ; and it is painful to reflect that their exposure on such long and dreary journeys may have been accessory to their early death. The present are better times, for which it well becomes all to be thankful. While the physical condition and domestic comforts of the people have been improving, it is most gratifying to find, on consulting early records, that the climate has also become ameliorated, and the severity of the winters diminished. In proof of this, several entries in the register written in Latin, much defaced and difficult to decipher, may be adduced. The general sense of one of them, when translated, as nearly as can be made out, is as follows :-

*In this year 1614, there was so great a fall of snow, that so much had not been known before, according to the general belief in the memory of living man-exceeding by far that great snow which fell in the year 1540, and which both in quantity and long continuance was truly remark- able. Many travellers suffocati inhabit mortuos apud Sadleworth et pochianis in qua.-Januar) die vicessimo."

Again, in the year 1634, there was a similar visitation, and the then Vicar, the Rev. George Crosland, records in Latin, in the Almondbury register, what follows:-" Hoc anno

Page 175


1634," &c. A literal and correct translation of this has been published by Mr. Morehouse in his " History of Kirkburton" -see page 161-and runs thus :-

* This year (1634-5) almost the whole winter was remarkable for frost and cold ; the snow was in such abundance and so drifted, that it was scarcely possible to go out of doors to the corn mill or to the butchers. Many travellers perished in the storm through hunger and cold, at which time the inhabitants of Over Thong bringing for burial the corpse of Mar- maduke Pepper, were detained in Honley, and brought it to church the following day. «* This winter was much colder than that of the year 1614; so that it might be called the greatest, the severest, and the longest. It began on the 10th of of January, and lasted till the 3rd of March."


The sanitary condition of the parish of Almondbury during the time of the " peste," or plague, which visited Kirkburton parish in 1558, next demands some consideration. From the absence in the registers of any entries relative to deaths from it, it may be naturally inferred that the hamlet of Meltham happily escaped that awful visitation. The township at that time contained only a small number of families, somewhat isolated and widely scattered, with plenty of fresh air to breathe and pure water to drink. The enjoyment of these advantages, when accompanied by habits of sobriety and cleanliness, are found to be the best preservatives of health, and it is probably owing to the existence of these among moun- taineers that they are, as a general rule, less liable to epidemic and febrile attacks than those living in towns, or cooped up in narrow glens, and brought of necessity into closer contact with each other. But to whatever cause it may be owing, the fact is certain, that the cases of one family only are recorded in the parish register of Almondbury during that M

Page 176


sore visitation of a death from the " peste," or plague, which was then desolating Kirkburton to a frightful extent. In Holmfirth there were a few cases, and five fatal ones occurred in a family* at Woodsome Mill, on the confines of Kirkburton parish, but just within the township of Farnley Tyas and the parish of Almondbury, in a house still in existence. On consulting the valuable reports of the Registrar General, and those of sanitary associations, it is ascertained that the prevalence of an epidemic or infectious disease does not necessarily imply an increase of the "general death rate." It is natural to inquire, therefore, if such was the case in early times, and the parish registers furnish reliable information on this point. Mr. Morehouse, in his " History of Kirkburton," a work abounding in extensive research and minute observation of facts, shows that in the great plague of 1558, which visited the parish of Kirkburton and spread terror among all classes, the deaths from ordinary sickness did not vary much, if at all, from the general average of 134 years, taken from 1551 to 1685, unless the mortality was increased by accidental causes, such as the " sanguinary contests of the civil war," years of scarcity, or other casualties. The first appearance of the plague was in June, 1558-it continued in all its malignity till the following October, when no less than 120 persons had fallen victims to it-while during the whole of that fatal year only thirty-seven names are recorded in the registeras having died from ordinary complaints. It is further added, that the first entry in the parish register took place on the 11th of June, from which date one or more deaths occurred daily up to to the 23rd, after which no dates are given. Opposite to the latter entry is written " Plague tyme."

* The Scammonden family.

Page 177


«* During these four sad months, there is neither baptism nor marriage recorded ! "

Mr. Morehouse gives an ingenious statistical estimate of the population of the parish of Kirkburton at that time, and finds it equal to 2,100 persons.

'* Out of this number, no less than about 120 individuals were carried off by the Plague in the short space of four months, being nearly six per cent., of the whole population."

The writer of these remarks has before him an exact trans- cript of the entry relative to the Scammonden family previously alluded to, as also of every name recorded in the first volume of the parish register of Almondbury, commencing in 1556 and ending in 1602, several extracts from which were long ago communicated by the then curate, the Rev. Walter Smith, to Dr. Whitaker, who published them in his well-known work, "Loidis and Elmete," 1816. The register is written in the abbreviated Latin of that time, and is now much defaced and rendered almost illegible by decay ; but the translation of this particular case as given by Dr. Whitaker is upon the whole correct. In the margin there is the following note :-

«* Plaga ad Woodsome Mylne, in domo Scammonden "-Thomas Scam- monden, Robert, Ralph, Dorothea and Elizabeth, children of the same Thomas, died of the Plague. In the first place, Robert the son of Thomas, ** was buried on the 260 day of July (1558) at 10 o'clock at night, by Wil- liam and Beatrix his brother and sister. Ralph was buried on the 270 day of July, at 9 o'clock at night, by the said William and Beatrix, Thomas and Elizabeth his daughter were buried together on the 309, at nine o'clock at night by his wife, and the said William and Beatrix. Dorothea was buried on the 10th of August at seven, by her mother and brother William. *' These simple but touching recitals tell but too plainly their own sad atory ! '"*

* The "History of Kirkburton," page 11th.

Page 178


The tremulous character of his handwriting under such appalling circumstances sufficiently indicates the feelings of the vicar, Mr. Staynton, at that time. During the five months that the plague was ravaging Kirkburton parish, twelve burials only are recorded in the register of the extensive parish of Almondbury ; not a single burial is entered from Meltham, only one from Honley, two from Austonley, one from Cros- land Fosse, one from Lockwood, one from Thongs Bridge, one from Longroyd Bridge, and not one from Farnley Tyas, except the very sad ones relating to the Scammonden family. Thus the general health must have been good, the "death rate" being much below the average, and the diseases through- out this favoured district of the ordinary kind only, or other- wise it would have been, no doubt, duly noticed. In the year 1563, there was a solitary instance of another visitation of the plague within the parish, and the following affecting record of it is found in writing not easily deciphered, the Latin text being much abbreviated :-

« Henry Beaumont of Lockwood was buried on the 7th day of Septem- ber, after sunset, I not doubting (non dubitabam) that he had died of the ' Peste ' or plague, by his wife and little daughter, and was brought to the burial place upon horse back (super 53m dorsu) by them." *

Probably no one dared to accompany them for fear of infection. The good and pious vicar adds a note descriptive of the then mortality from the plague in London, and

concludes -

« Clementissime deo, nos apeste et plaga defende per Tesi x- servator mxm. Amen. 'Most merciful God, defend us from the Peste and plague, for the sake of Jesus Christ our Saviour. Amen.'"

The remarks on the value of parish registers, as well as the extracts from those at Almondbury in the preceding pages,

x The above extract is translated from the Latin.

Page 179


have been generously supplied by the pen of a valued friend, John Nowell, Esq., of Farnley Wood. To his unwearied and disinterested labours the parish is indebted for a complete transcript of the first register at the mother church, which consisted of mere loose and shattered leaves, from which many of the entries had been well nigh obliterated. The execution of this undertaking, both difficult and tedious, in a superior style of caligraphy, will doubtless be duly appreciated by future posterity.


Of that most appalling visitation, the plague, which made its appearance in London in the year 1665, "Evelyn's Diary," written on the spot, gives a graphic description. He says, writing on the 16th of July, 1665 :-

* There died of the Plague in London this week 1,100, and in the week following, above 2,000. Two houses were shut up in our Parish."

In September, the mortality increased in London to ten thousand weekly, and Evelyn, passing through the city, observes that it was-

*A dismal passage and dangerous to see so many coffins exposed in the streets, now thin of people; the shops shut up, and all in mournful silence, as not knowing whose turn might be next."

Again, in October, he says :-

''To London, and went through the whole city, having occasion to alight out of the Coach in several places about business of money, when I was environed with multitudes of poor pestiferous creatures begging alms ; the shops universally shut up ; a dreadful prospect."

Meanwhile, the pestilence was doing its fearful work at Deptford, and, in September, he writes :-

Page 180


"* Near thirty houses are visited in this village, whereof one has been the very nearest to my dwelling."

London was spared from a return of that desolating malady, but the chastening hand of God still rested upon the city ; the fire of London added to the warnings and chastisements already inflicted, and called loudly upon the nation to repent. Of that fearful visitation, Evelyn was an eye witness, and perhaps no finer description of it can be produced than that which he gives in his journal. Two or three paragraphs from this heart-rending recital are here added :-

©1666, 2 September. This fatal night about ten, began that deplorable fire near Fish Street, in London."

It was raging all through the following day, and Evelyn writes :-

*The fire having continued all this night (if I may call that night which was light as day for ten miles round about, after a dreadful manner), when conspiring with a fierce eastern wind, in a very dry season, I went on foot and saw the whole south part of the city burning from Cheapside to the Thames," &c,

He then describes the consternation and despondency of the people, which, combined, seemed to paralyse all action on their part, and stupify rather than rouse them. - He adds :-

«* All the sky was of a fiery aspect, like the top of a burning oven, and the light seen for above forty miles round about for many nights. God grant mine eyes may never behold the like, who now saw above 10,000 houses all in one flame; the noise, and crackling, and thunder of the impetuous flames, the shrieking of women and children, the hurry of people, the fall of towers, houses, and churches, was like an hideous storm, and the air all about so hot and inflamed, that at the last, one was not able to approach it, so that they were forced to stand still and let the flames burn on, which they did for near two miles in length, and one in

breadth. The clouds also of smoke were dismal, and reached upon com- putation near fifty miles in length.

Page 181


I left it this afternoon burning, a resemblance of Sodom, or the last day. It forcibly called to my mind that passage ' We have here no abiding city ;' the ruing resembling the picture of Troy; London was, but is no more ! *

Through the fourth and fifth days of September the fire continued to rage, and was only checked in its destructive progress by the blowing up of houses, and the forming of wide gaps between it and the buildings, which must otherwise have served as additional fuel for it. October the 10th was set apart as a day of national humiliation, and a general fast was pro- claimed throughout the whole country ; for to the horrors of the plague and of the fire had been added those of the sword, as England was, at that period, engaged in war with the French and the Dutch.


The following notes taken from the Rev. Mr. Sagar's account book, now in the possession of his grandson, Mr. William Sykes, residing at Crosland Edge, and kindly per- mitted by him to be made public, are curious as showing the simplicity of the times in which they were written, and the difference in the value of money at that period as compared with the present, as well as the relative prices of food :-

«1744. Then I bought of our Landlord half a swine which comes to 0: 19. 0. "1744. August the 14th. Then I bought of Thomas Child a sack of malt. 0. 13. 6. ©1747. July the 31st. Then I gave to William Hinchcliffe school- master towards a quarter's wages, one shilling. «1751. Then I gave for a Pot of Butter weighing four pounds 0. 1. 4. «1753. A Shoulder of Veal, eightpence. ©1753. 3 pounds and a quarter of Mutton, eightpence. ©1754. Novr. 29 Then I bought of Ruth Taylor and her son Joseph, a Quarter of Beef, which came to thirteen shillings.

Page 182


©1767. Leg of Veal 1/. 1776. Mutton 34 per pound. * Treacle 2$4 per pound. " A memorandum that my head was shaved January the 19th 1754. * A memorandum that I paid to Anthony Armitage Junior October the 9th 1754, the Queen's Rent, 1 shilling and threepence. * A memorandum that I had a new Riding Coat, and a new pair of Serge Breeches made, finished, and brought by William Marsh on Satur- day the 1st of November 1760. ©1763. Then I lent to Sally* a Portugal piece of Gold twenty-seven shillings." :

In the chapel wardens' accounts for the year 1739, there is a quaint and curious entry respecting the school then recently erected, for which Mr. Benjamin Armytage, of Thick- hollins, gave the wood. Of that school, it is stated in the Rev. Mr. Sagar's account book, that in the year 1747 Mr. William Hinchcliffe was the master. But there must have been tuition carried on somewhere in the village before that time, as the register of 1734 records the burial of

«* Mr. William Ripley, school-master of Meltham, Octr. 17th."

The school itself was built probably in the year 1736, but some time previous to that it is recorded that

«* Matthew Lockwood by will dated the 23rd of May, 1715, directed the

interest of £20 to be paid to a school-master for teaching children in the town of Meltham, English or


Transcripts of a few entries from Mr. Benjamin Armytage's cash book are here added, access to which has been kindly

* This lady, who was one of Mr. Sagar's daughters, was married to Mr. William Sykes, the schoolmaster at Crosland.

+ Vide George Lawton's " Collectio Rerum Ecclesiasticarum,"' Ed. 1840.

Page 183


permitted by Mr. Edwin Eastwood. Some are curious, particularly those relative to the value of agricultural produce and the price of food, entirely corroborating the memoranda in the Rev. Mr. Sagar's note book on this subject. Mr. Benjamin Armytage was a tanner by trade, and consequently had large dealings in oak wood, &c. The first entry here given, points to this fact :-

'* Feby. 23. 1731. Sould David Man, John Ionson all ye okes and ye ashes in ye Greenhead spring for 2. 10. 0. and to pay ye of May in yo year 1742."

Again, there is another entry about wood :-

* November ye 27. 1739. Made a greement with Josh : for to cut cord wood for me in ye pimroyd for 0. 2. 8. per cord Appelyarde Wood at O. 1. 8. per cord, and he is to do ye pimroyd first, and I am to set on help in ye uperwood, if I see proper, and he is to do them betwixt and ye 2nd of Febr next, by use I gave earnist. 0. 0. 6. Jenery ye 27. Pade him 0. 10. 6. «* April 17. 1740 Pade him more 1. 10. 0."

And again :-

* February ye IV day 1739. Thomas Windle made a greement with him to cut and cole ye wood and he is to have 0. 9. 0. per corde I gave him Earnist 0. 0. 6."

Mr. Armytage also makes other entries :-

«* 1735. Sould a Cow for 2. 12. 6. «©1736. Sould 10 Ewes at 4 shillings and 4 pence a piece. «©1736. Had a Cow and Calf for 2. 17. 0. ©1747 April. Sould John Armytage, 15 Ewes and Lames at 0. 8. 0. per Ewe 7 Wethers at 0. 7. 0. per Wether. «* And he pays George Talor for a Layn of Veal 0, 1. " In 1736. For a Shoulder of Mutton . 1. 2. Leg of Veil . 1. 2."

The following shoe account in the year 1739 is certainly curious :-

Page 184


1 pair of my own shooes .................... 4 1 pair my wife ....... o a a ee bear re enue be paks 2 6 1 pair Ben Sister 2 6 George Meller 3 6 1 pare Cloggs soled and heele peeced.......... 8 My Bootes mending ........................ 7

Mr. Benjamin Armytage has also left on record some notes respecting his man servant :-

©1743. Pade him when he wentto Slaithwaite at yo feaste O 1 O0

At Saddelworth .. 1 2 More at Saddelworth .. ........................ 10 To pay for a Hatt .......................... 2 He lost 4 a day when he cut of his haire Pade him at Bartholomew .................... 1 Pade him at Honley feaste .................... 1 Loste 1 day

Sepr ye 13. When ye Meain Bridge was taken down 1 day My Wife pade him in cash 0. 2. 0.

This man, whose name was Benjamin, began his year in February, 1743, and was to have four pounds per ann., for

his services. In Mrs. Benjamin Armytage's accounts are the following :-

An Apron 24 Carrots 24 Cabidg 14

It is to be observed that then, as now, a certain degree of proportion existed between produce, labour, and manufactures, as the foregoing extracts plainly evince.

Page 185




Obe Wbapel of 1786.

*I does not appear that the public spirit which in the year 1650 led the inhabitants of Meltham to supply themselves with a chapel of ease for the worship of Almighty God, had been extinguished in that of 1785, when they again met together to consider the propriety of erecting for them- selves a larger and more commodious church. The former edifice had stood for 135 years, and its then decaying walls, and limited accommodation for the wants of an increasing population, called for immediate and strenuous exertion- nor was this wanting. As a first and necessary step, they applied to Parliament for the required powers, and on the 29th July, 1785, a

Page 186


faculty* was granted to re-build the chapel, and in vol. page 298, of the " Parliamentary Survey," t it is recorded :-

"* That the inhabitants of Meltham-Half, in the said parish-Almond- bury-are now building another chapel within the same parish, and in regard that it is almost six miles remote from the Parish Church, and about 80 inhabitants are fit to repair to it, we do desire on their behalf, some maintenance from the Parliament for a minister."

The value of the living in 1707, and probably even later on, is stated to have been £34. 3s. 6d. per annum ; but a document in 1716, rates it at £40 per annum, well paid, namely, £20 raised upon houses, "which," says Mr. Radcliffe, an inhabitant of Meltham, "was, I suppose, settled when the chapel was consecrated, and £20 more since given in land." That in the year 1785 only "eighty inhabitants were fit," that is were of age to repair to the chapel, is a clear proof that the population was at that time small, and this shows that even a very limited number of persons, united in heart and hand, and pulling steadily together, may effect much. The inhabitants of Meltham had tested this fact before, and they were then about to test it again. All the preliminary steps which were necessary having been taken, the demolition of the old edifice was decided upon. A notice of the day on which it commenced has been preserved in the diary of the Rev. Mr. Murgatroyd, the master of the Slaithwaite Grammar School, who writes on July 6th, 1786, "I hear they are this morning taking down Meltham Chapel."

THE MATERIALS OF THE CHAPEL OF 1650. The materials} of the first chapel were used in part for the

* A brief had been granted for it in 1782, but that must have been for the repairs of the old chapel. + Bee Appendix, note G. { Among these was a stone from the old chapel on which is the date 1651 rudely carved. This was preserved and introduced into one of the side posts of the west door, where it may still be seen.

Page 187


second,* and the residue sold to the masons. A portion of these was applied to the building of a fulling mill,t and the stone pinnacles, which had ornamented the porch of the old chapel, were made use of to adorn one end of the new mill. What more remained of the materials, went towards the building of a cottage situated close to the Pinfold, and not far from the chapel. In this cottage the old east windows were inserted, and are in existence at this day. It is tradi- tionally stated, that in making the contract with the masons, the old bell was entirely forgotten, and that these worthies refused to give it up, except on the condition of its being filled with ale. This, or an equivalent being granted, it was restored to the proper authorities, and eventually hung in the belfry of the rew chapel, to summon the inhabitants of Meltham to Sabbath worship in the new, as it had previously done in the old. This bell came originally from Almond- bury, and bore the date of 1736. It had probably done duty in the first chapel for fifty years, and was destined to further

* The second or present chapel was built by subscription. Mr. William Brook, then residing at Thickhollins, was chapelwarden at the time of its erection. The masons' contract for building it was 150 guineas ; but even then-1785-it was an admitted fact, and one the masons were not slow to discover, that they had taken it at far too low an estimate, and only made very poor wages out of it. They must, however, have fulfilled their contract well, for the substantial walls and roof of the building, still in a perfect state, bear witness to the honesty of those who constructed them. + This fulling mill stood on a part of the site now occupied by a por- tion of the Messrs. Brooks' cotton factory, and was built by Mr. Nathaniel Dyson, out of the materials of the old chapel purchased by him. Some pieces of the oak wood, however, still remained on hand after this sale, and out of these a curious piece of furniture was constructed by a man named Joseph Rouse, who applied for the wood work of the new chapel. On being desired to give some previous proof of his skill as a workman, he took his tools and produced what was apparently only a substantial oak dressing table, with three drawers in it, but was found, on closer inspection, to contain a writing desk, two side mirrors, several secret drawers, and almost countless boxes one within another. It is needless to add that he was afterwards entrusted with the wood work of the chapel. Joseph Rouse lived many years after its completion at York. This wonderful dressing table is in beautiful preservation at the house now occupied by Mr. Job Hirst.

Page 188


service in the second for fifty more, when it was superseded by the present musical peal in the year 1836. As the chapel of 1651 found both promoters and endowers in the Woodhead family, so also that of 1786 could boast of of a faithful and energetic friend in one of the same name and lineage-an " Abraham Woodhead," born and bred in the vil- lage of Meltham. This gentleman, it would appear, took a most active part in public affairs, was a very staunch Churchman, and kept the younger members* of the community in good order. Those who remember him, describe his appearance as commanding, his features handsome, and his manner

somewhat pompous.


It has been stated that the masons began to pull down the old chapel on the 6th of July, 1786, and it is recorded that the new one was ready for the organ on the 19th of June, 1788, that the instrument was brought into the village on that day, set in order on the 20th and 21st, and fully opened on the 22nd day of the same month. The pulpit belonging to the old chapel was put up in the new one for temporary use as soon as the building was ready for divine service, and the

x A humorous instance of this propensity is still fresh in the memory of some of the inhabitants of the village. The old version of the Psalms had always been sung in Meltham Chapel, but some of the younger mem- bers of the congregation, wearied of these, greatly desired the introduction of a few modern hymns. To carry out this idea, one of them purchased hymn-books, and, on a Sunday agreed upon between these innovators and the singers, they rose and with one accord commenced singing their hymn. Mr. Abraham Woodhead, considering this a dangerous precedent, and a youthful impertinence not to be endured, immediately stood up in his pew, and in a stentorian voice, for he had most powerful lungs, began one of the accustomed Psalms, and so entirely drowned the voices of both choir and congregation, that they were forced to desist and leave him master of the field. This resolute opposer of innovations and novelties ended his days in the city of Chester; and he is said, by one of his descen- dants, never to have absented himself from the daily service of the Cathedral during the whole period of his residence there.

Page 189


last sermon preached in it by the Rev. E. Armitstead was on the 21st of June, 1789, the text, which he took being from Galatians vi. 5, "For every man shall bear his own burden." How these words were applied by the preacher, whether in the sense indicated by the apostle, or as an exhortation to his hearers to exercise a conscientious liberality-for on such an occasion it may be concluded there must have been a collec- tion-cannot now be ascertained. The same pen* which noted down the text of the last sermon from the old pulpit, has also preserved the first from the new one, preached on the 28th of June, 1789. It was from Psalm viii 4, "What is man, that thou art mindful of him ? and the son of man, that thou visitest him ?" The Chandelier in the centre of the building, at that time considered a specimen of superior workmanship and an object of admiration to all beholders, was brought into the village October 25th, 1788, and suspended by the chain in its present position November the 2nd of the same year. This last event seems to have completed the internal deco- rations of the chapel in the year 1788, and no doubt the two great additions, the organ and chandelier-neither of which existed in that of 1651-were held in due estimation by the inhabitants of that time. Nothing more, probably, was wanting in their opinion to make their sanctuary all they could desire, and nothing then remained but that they should assemble themselves duly within its walls and diligently listen to the instruction to be therein given them.

* The person to whom we are indebted for the preservation of these and many other interesting particulars relative to the second chapel, was George Taylor, the father of Mr. Joseph Taylor, the Registrar, who was in the habit of noting down in the fly leaves of his Bible any circumstance of interest connected with the chapel, of which the following are additional examples:-** When James Broadbent was buried in Oct. 1786, the roof of the church was not completed, but in the following Decr. it was so." «* Mary Kinder of Greave, afterwards Mrs. Timothy Dyson, was the first person baptised in the second church Decr. 29. 1786."

Page 190



who was appointed to the Curacy of Meltham in 1770, had occupied the pulpit in the old chapel for sixteen years, and he was the first occupant of that in the new, of which he retained possession for forty years, until his decease, which occurred in October, 1828, at the advanced age of 85. His remains were brought from Netherton, where he had resided during the whole of the time that he had charge of the chapelry, and were interred under the communion table in

Meltham Church.


Mr. Armitstead was succeeded by the Rev. Lewis Jones, Vicar of Almondbury, who, as such, appointed himself to the Curacy, and continued to hold it for ten years, during the latter three of which, the taste for church improvement, which had lain dormant in the minds of the inhabitants of Meltham from the close of 1788 to the beginning of 1835, a period of forty-seven years, was suddenly aroused, and came upon them with such irresistible force, that they resolved by the building of a tower to raise their chapel to the dignity of a church, and, for the accomplishment of that end, immediately determined upon opening a subscription list. It was at the

* This reverend gentleman was appointed Vicar of Almondbury in the year 1823, by the governors of Clitheroe School, in whose hands the patronage of the vicarage was vested at that time. It is now in the gift of Sir John William Ramsden, Bart. It is worthy of note that during the incumbency of the Rev. Lewis Jones, and in most cases through his instrumentality, fourteen new churthes have been built and consecrated in his parish, with schools attached to them, and to which, with two exceptions, parsonage houses have also been added. Besides which, two or three schools have been built aud licensed for divine service. The names of these several churches are Linthwaite, Lockwood, Farnley Tyas, Upperthong, Netherthong, Holme Bridge, Meltham Mills, Armitage Bridge, Crosland, Milngbridge, Helme, Wilshaw, Rashcliffe, and Brock- holes.

Page 191


same time considered desirable to increase the accommodation in the chapel by adding a north aisle or transept, capable of containing a sufficient number of forms for the children of the Sunday schools, and placing a gallery above it.


On the 25th of February, 1835, a faculty was obtained to enlarge the chapel and to erect a gallery ; and as 310 free sittings would be thereby obtained, in addition to the 750* already existing, the Incorporated Society for Promoting the Enlargement and Repairing of Churches and Chapels gave a grant of £250 to assist in carrying out the design. There was perfect union in the counsels of those with whom the idea of these improvements first originated, and the success attending "a long pull, a strong pull, and a pull altogether," was never better exemplified than on that occasion. In the village and neighbourhood very handsome subscriptions were readily obtained for the contemplated additions. These included a square embattled tower, with a vestry in the basement, a north aisle or transept, and a gallery above it. Heretofore the vestry had been in the north-east corner of the chapel, near to the communion rails, in the space now occupied by two pews belonging to the family of the late Mr. Jonas Brook.


On March the 5th, 1835, the first stone of the tower of Meltham Church-for henceforth, by virtue of this tower, it was to be considered and called a church, and not a chapel- was laid by Charles Lee, Esq., of Leeds, and a sermon preached on the occasion by Dr. Naylor, Head Master of the Grammar School at Wakefield, in his capacity of Chaplain to the Free-

* Another document states the number of appropriated sittings as 650. N

Page 192


masons, who attended the ceremony in great numbers. The Rev. Dr. took for his text the 8th verse of the 32nd chapter of Isaiah, " But the liberal deviseth liberal things ; and by liberal things shall he stand." The collection after the ser- mon amounted to £16 14s. 3d. In the autumn of that same year, and on a day-St. Bartholomew's, the 24th of August- memorable in the annals of Meltham as that on which the first chapel was consecrated, the top stone of the tower was put on ; and great, beyond measure, were the rejoicings in the village on the occasion. It was the time of the annual feast, and the inhabitants were resolved to make a real holiday of it. Among other amusements, baskets, to which pulleys were attached, had been provided to enable the more adventurous among the crowd to make easy ascents to the top of the tower, and probably in the excitement of this novel and somewhat hazardous expedition lay its greatest charm. One act of daring imprudence, which must have thrown all others into the shade, is still remembered, and has been narrated by the individual* who was himself the perpetrator of it. This mad freak was no other than mounting the ladder used by the masons in their work, with his little child, a year old, in his arms, and holding her in triumph on one of the east pinnacles of the tower. This he did in defiance of the entreaties and remon- strances of the bystanders, who hardly dared to look for his safe return with the child from so giddy an eminence. The cost of these additions and improvements was £1,500 ;

but there was still something more wanting to make the church all that its friends desired, and that was-

* The incautious person here alluded to was Mr. Joseph Taylor, the registrar, now an older, and, we trust, a wiser man. Our venerable friend the late Mr. James Garlick was so horror struck at this act of daring imprudence, that he rushed into his house to escape the sight of Wllll'iti he believed inevitable-namely, the destruction of both father and child.

Page 193



The tower completed, it stood invitingly ready for their reception, and the inhabitants of Meltham, being enthusiastic lovers of music, were resolved at that time to gratify their taste for it by the purchase of a peal of bells,* six in number, which should eclipse all others in the neighbourhood, and bring not only harmony, but glory to their village. The idea was so popular, that subscriptions for the object were speedily obtained, and on Monday, the first of February, 1836, the bells were brought in triumph by carts, readily volunteered for such a purpose, into the village. By the 20th of February they were ready for use, and on that day they sent forth their first glad volume of sound, and awoke an echo of gladness in every heart in Meltham. The love of church bells is one of our strongest national characteristics, our country being from an early period called «* Merry England," because of the prevalence of bells in it, and the universality of the taste for ringing them. It is to be lamented that any evil should be connected with that which is associated with the most solemn, as also with the most joyful seasons ; and yet such is unfortunately too true, for the ringing of the church bells is frequently made an excuse for the neglect of that sacred worship to which it invites others, and thus "from the tower to the alehouse," has become almost a proverb. The first prize ringingt took place on the 6th and 7th of April, 1836, being the Wednesday and Thursday in Easter week, and, as may naturally be sup- posed, the new bells were for a length of time the universal

x One of these bells was presented by Mr. Shaw, of Lingards, and £100 given by Messrs. Charles and Matthew Woodhead towards the + Of the fourteen sets of ringers who competed, the Almondbury senior ringers obtained the first prize, Saddleworth the second, and Kirkheaton senior the third.

Page 194


topic of conversation with both young and old. It would indeed be difficult to overrate the sweetness and fulness of their tone, or the high estimation in which they were then, and have ever since been held. The inscriptions upon them

are the following :- On the first or smallest bell,-

Mortals, with us your voices raise, To sound abroad Jehovah's praise. The gift of Edmund Shaw, Gentleman, Lingards. Taylor fecit Oxford, 1835.

On the second,-

A voice from the temple, a voice from the Lord. Rev. Lewis Jones, Minister, 1835.

On the

Call a solemn assembly. Taylor, Founder, Oxford. 1835.

On the

Holiness unto the Lord. Taylor, fecit, Oxford.

On the

As in Adam all died, so in Christ shall all be made alive. This Peal was cast by W. & J. Taylor, Oxford, 1835.

On the sixth, -

Jesus of Nazareth, the trumpet of God. W. & J. Taylor, fecerunt. 1835.

It is to be observed that the bells, though cast in the year 1835, were not hung until 1836. It did not require much foresight to perceive that a church, furnished by the public spirit and energy of those around it,

Page 195


with a tower and peal of bells, was likely to be left without a clock ; and hence, in a short time after, that useful appendage* was added, and which gave the last finishing touch to the whole structure. Those who witnessed the excessive interest shown by the inhabitants of Meltham in the erection of the tower and the addition of bells to their church, affirm that, during the six months which the building occupied, the wall outside the churchyard, whence its daily progress could be watched, was the general rendezvous of the working men in the evenings, and that the excitement about the bells was so great as to induce vast numbers of the people to go as far as Marsden to meet and welcome them. Such enthusiasm could hardly be excited in the present day by the erection of a far more pretentious edifice, and it is doubtful whether the inhabitants of Meltham will ever again feel the same amount of pride and delight as they unquestionably did on the completion of their tower, and the first ringing of their sweet-toned bells.


[In the year 1838, the Rev. Joseph Hughes was nominated to the incumbency of Meltham, on its resignation by the Rev. Lewis Jones, vicar of the parish, and patron of the living. The appointment was viewed with entire satisfaction by all at the time it was made, and what was thought of it twenty- five years after, when this faithful pastor was removed from his charge by the hand of death, on Sunday, the 8th of November, 1863, is best known to those who remember the village of Meltham on that Sabbath Day, a day of darkness and distress to all its inhabitants, and one on which we may not dwell in this place. His memory is enshrined in the

* The pleasant musical chimes of the clock were added at the sole expense of Mr. Eastwood's family.

Page 196


hearts of the people, and there all those who loved him best

are well content to leave it. A beautiful monumental tablet,* erected to his memory in

the church where he ministered so long, bears the following

inscription :-

«* The righteous hath hope in his death." In Memory of the Revd. Joseph Hughes, Incumbent of Meltham, Who for twenty-five years, As the minister of Christ, Laboured with much zeal and love In this chapelry ; He died the 8th day of Novbr. 1863, In the 61st year of his age. This Tablet Is erected by an affectionate and sorrowing Flock, Under a deep sense of their loss in being deprived of his earnest, faithful and devoted ministry among them. ** I determined not to know any thing among you, save Jesus Christ and him crucified.")

From 1836 to 1851, nothing further seems to have been projected or done, either to the external or internal frame- work of the church, but the gospel continued to be faithfully preached within its walls, and it is trusted that during that time many souls were, through the instrumentality of the ministry, added unto the Lord.

* This tablet is erected on the south wall, west of the pulpit, and near the far door.

Page 197



In the year 1851, the church and churchyard were closed by an order of the Queen in Council, according to the pro- visions of Acts 16 and 17 Vict. c. 134 ; and 15 and 16 Vict. c. 85, against the continuance of further interments therein, when active steps were taken by the churchwardens* to pro- vide ground for a cemetery, and a rate was levied for its

purchase and enclosure. The churchyard at Meltham not being of large extent, and having been used as a place of sepulture for a couple of centuries, its crowded state rendered such additional provision a matter of positive necessity, and the cemetery was proceeded with, and got ready for consecra- tion on Friday, the 14th of November, 1851, on which morning the bells rang a cheerful peal to welcome the only bishopt who had visited Meltham since the 24th of August, 1651-the day on which the first chapel was consecrated by Bishop Tilson. - In the evening his lordship kindly occupied the pulpit, and preached the annual missionary sermon to a large and very attentive congregation. On the following Sunday, November 16th, two admirable and appropriate discourses, the one by the Rev. D. James, of Kirkdale, the other by the Rev. C. A. Hulbert, of Slaithwaite, were delivered from the same pulpit. The text taken by the former was from Exodus xv. 11, "Who is like unto thee, O Lord, among the gods ? who is like thee, glorious in holiness, fearful in praises, doing wonders." The text of the latter was from Daniel ix. and the latter part of the 25th verse, "The street shall be built again, and the wall, even in troublous * Mr. Hirst, of Wilshaw, and Mr. Edwin Eastwood, of Meltham, filled the office of churchwardens at that time. + Dr. Longley, then Bishop of Ripon, afterwards translated to Durham, next to the see of York, and now Archbishop of Canterbury. His fine

musical ear immediately discovered and appreciated the sweetness of the bells, and the correctness with which they were rung.

Page 198


times." On each occasion the attendance of the inhabitants was very large, and unqualified satisfaction was expressed

with both discourses.


From the year 1851 to 1857 nothing more, worthy of record, was done in the church. But in the latter year, the comfort of the congregation was greatly increased by the removal of an unsightly stove, and the substitution in its place of hot water pipes. By means of these, every part of the edifice was effectually warmed, and an even temperature produced throughout. - Stairs from the transept into the boys' school below were also added, and the congregation thus relieved of the noise and confusion inseparable from the exit of the boys of a Sunday school, pushing their way out at the same door with their elders, impatient of restraint and eager for dismissal. After the addition of these stairs, the boys were henceforth to go by them from the transept into the

lower school.


At this time a new pulpit was put up in place of the old one, and the panel from that of 1651, which had been care- fully preserved, with the inscription carved in the wood- Cathedra Veritatis 1651*-was inserted in the centre of it in front, and easy and commodious stairs substituted for the almost perpendicular flight by which the former narrow and confined pulpit had to be reached. These various improve- ments were effected by the kind liberality of one of the members of the congregation, Mr. Hirst, of Wilshaw Villa. t * See pp. 19 and 20. + At the same time new carpets for the pulpit stairs, and also cushions

and hangings for the pulpit and reading desk, by Mrs. Tinker, of Bent House; a complete set of new books for the communion table

Page 199



The next improvement in the interior of the church at Meltham was a new organ, erected in 1859. This excellent instrument was presented by the late lamented Mrs. Beau- mont, the beloved wife of Mr. Alfred Beaumont, then of Park Cottage, near Huddersfield, and now of Greave, in the new parish of Netherthong. This amiable lady, the only child of Mr. Joseph Hirst, of Wilshaw Villa, was removed suddenly by death, at the early age of twenty-seven, a short time before the organ was opened, which, therefore, will ever remain an affecting memorial of one whose memory will long survive in the esteem of her relatives, friends, and neighbours.


[When the incumbency of Meltham became vacant, near the close of the year 1863, by the death of the Rev. Joseph Hughes, who had held it for twenty-five years, the Rev. Edward Collis Watson, previously Curate of Meltham Mills, and afterwards Incumbent of Honley, was appointed to the living by the patron, the vicar of the parish. Since Mr. Watson's appointment, the chandelier, mentioned in a pre- ceding page-175-of this chapter, has been removed, and the internal improvement of the church has been further effected by the introduction of gas light.] In taking our leave of the church we may observe, that however defective the fabric may be in an architectural point of view, it undoubtedly has a three-fold claim upon the inhabitants for their liveliest regard. 1st, As the link which and reading desk, by Mr. Laycock, of Huddersfield ; and a second silver chalice, or cup, was added to the communion plate, on which is engraved

the following inscription :-*" This cup was presented by the Rev. Joseph Hughes, and Catharine, his wife, to Meltham Church, Whit- Monday,


Page 200


connects them with the chapel of 1651 ; 2nd, As the truest memorial of the Churchmanship of their forefathers ; and, 3rd, As being evidently the mother church of the valley.


Hannah, wife of Charles Woodhead died July 18th, 1833, in her 43rd year. Charles Woodhead died Septr. 21st 1845, in his 55th year. Joseph Green Armytage died Octr. 3rd. 1841 In the 82nd year of his age. Ann wife of Joseph Green Armitage died July 10th 1819 in her 53rd year. John Armytage, Son of Anthony Armpytage, died Septr. 18th, 1801, aged 70 years. William Armytage, son of Anthony Armitage, died May 23rd, 1807, aged 65 years. Jonas Brook, Meltham Mills, died January 14th, 1836, aged 60 years. William Brook, died December 14th, 1806 aged 72 years. Martha, widow of William Brook died February 1st, 1834, aged 87 years. William Wilson Brook, son of Jonas Brook, died Octr. 21st, 1836, aged 15 years.


Sacred to the Memory of James Taylor, who departed this life on the 19th day of Nover. 1839, in the 29th year of his age. Also Sarah Taylor, the daughter of the above who died August 15th, 1840, aged 1 year and 9 months.

Page 201


Also Francis Edward Taylor, son of the above James and Nancy Taylor, who departed this life Augst 15th, 1845, aged 8 years. Also Nancy the wife of John Ingham of Greetland in the Parish of Halifax, and the late wife of the above James Taylor, and mother of the above children, who died Augst 15th, 1850, aged 39 years. Also James Kilburn Ingham, son of the above, who departed this life April 20th, 1851, aged 11 months.


Next to the church, the National and Sunday Schools in connection with it, claim a brief notice, and especially their rise and progress. The earliest intimation on record* of the schoolmaster being at Meltham, is contained in a clause in the will of one Matthew Lockwood, dated " May 23rd, 1715, by which he directed the interest of £20 to be paid to a schoolmaster for teaching children in the town of Meltham, English or Latin." Whether there was at that time a school- house in existence, is not certainly known, though it may be inferred that there was not, from the fact that one was required and built in the village in the year 1737, the wood for which was given by Mr. Benjamin Armytage, of Thick- hollins, and there is no tradition extant of a previously erected school-room. This building stood on the same site as that of the present school, but was of much smaller dimensions and

* Vide "George Lawton's Collectio Rerum Ecclesiasticarum. 1840. 18th Report, p. 552."

Page 202


ruder construction. What means of instruction may have existed, or what kind of teaching may have prevailed in the village previous to the year 1737, cannot now be definitely ascertained, though it may be inferred that neither the quali- fication of the teacher nor the extent of the instruction was more than elementary and superficial ; for when the principal inhabitants met in 1721 to elect new trustees for the chapel estate under the will of the Rev. Abraham Woodhead, only twelve persons out of forty-four were able to subscribe their names. Education, it is true, at that time was mainly con- fined to the privileged few, even in the vicinity of large towns. It would, therefore, be unreasonable to expect that it could have been widely diffused in a remote and isolated village like Meltham. In proof of the gross ignorance which per- vaded many parts of the West-Riding of Yorkshire, even thirty-six years later than the period specified, the Rev. John Wesley records in his journal an account of his visit to Huddersfield, and adds a description of the people to whom he preached. In June, 1757, he states :-

* I rode over the mountains from Halifax to Huddersfield, and a wilder people I never saw in England. The men, women, and children filled the streets as we rode along and appeared just ready to devour us. They were, however, tolerably quiet while I preached ; only a few pieces of dirt were thrown, the bellman came in the middle of the sermon, but was stopped by a gentleman of the town. I had almost done when they began to ring the bells, so that it did us small disservice."

And again, in 1759, he says :-

''I preached near Huddersfield, to the wildest congregation I have seen in Yorkshire; yet they were restrained by an unseen hand ; and I believe some felt the sharpness of His word."

Nor were such barbarous proceedings then confined to the West-Riding alone, for when George Whitfield* preached in

x Vide Philips's " Life and Times of Whitfield."

Page 203


Moorfields, a.op. 1742, the same degree of lawless violence marked the conduct of the bystanders, who, if inhabitants of a less wild country than that visited by his friend Mr. Wesley, were in no ways behind them in barbarity of conduct, so that the schoolmaster was quite as much needed in Moorfields, though so near to the great metropolis, as in the neighbour- hood of Huddersfield. A beneficial change has taken place in the tone of society throughout the whole kingdom since the time in which these two apostolic men lived and preached, and is perhaps nowhere more strongly marked than in the West-Riding of Yorkshire. This is doubtless mairly attributable to the humanising influence of Sabbath schools, to which the district of Meltham, in common with many others, owes much of its advance in civilisation and morals. - It is about eighty years since Sunday schools were first established in the village, and well and wisely have they done their work in it from that day to this. Let all honour be given to the memory of those who first founded these institutions. They were the organisers of a system adapted more than any other to combine and elevate the largest class of society, and effect the greatest amount of good on the greatest number of persons. Our great national poet has said, that the quality of mercy " blesses him that gives, and him that takes," and this, it may be observed, is eminently the case in Sunday school teaching, which, while it enforces attention and obedience in the scholar, at the same time exercises the virtues of self-denial and patience in the teacher, and thus, morally, strengthens both. The village of Meltham owes its first Sabbath school to the exertions of Mr. William Whitacre,* a gentleman who in the year 1788 was appointed one of the commissioners to inquire

* The uncle of John Whitacre, Esq., of Woodhouse.

Page 204


into the state of the neighbouring chapel of Slaithwaite. His attention, probably, about that period, was called to the important subject of schools, for it was only a year later that he succeeded in establishing one at Golcar Hill. A second Sunday school was set on foot in the village of Meltham in 1806, by some gentleman whose name cannot be ascertained. It was held in the week-day school, and when that ceased to be large enough to contain all who sought admission into it, a third school was opened in a cottage opposite the church, subject to the same rules and under the same management as the preceding ones. And from that day to this, the institu- tion of the Sabbath schools has never lost its hold upon the affections of the people of Meltham. In evidence of this, the educational statistics of the year 1864, as furnished by Mr. J. W. Carlile, in his speech at the meeting of the Mechanics' Institute held in the village, are here subjoined. They stand thus :-

* Average attendance of children at Meltham Church School, 265 ; at Meltham Mills School, 270; At Greave School, 87 ; at Helme School, 138. At the Baptist School, 117; and at the Wesleyan School, 240; making a total of 1,117. The number of teachers, giving only one to each class, is 122, making the total of teachers and scholars attending the different Sunday schools 1,239, or one in four of the whole population."

With facts such as these before us, we are not surprised at the amount of interest excited in the district by the annual Whit- Monday festivities, in which all classes join heart and hand, or at the processions and social tea drinkings which mark that truly red letter day. After the old village school of 1737 had fallen into decay and become unfit for use, it was taken down, and in the year 1823, another erected on its site. This, and the school-house attached to it, were built by subscriptions raised at the time, and by money-£100-borrowed of James Brook, Esq.

Page 205


The amount of the masons' contract for the work was £266 16s. 3d. After an interval of twenty-two years, the space, which previously had been found sufficient for the number of children, was then rendered wholly inadequate, by the rapidly increasing population of the village, for their future accom- modation. Accordingly, measures were adopted in 1844-5, for enlarging and improving the school, so far as the limits of the site would admit, in order to meet their wants. The extension and other alterations in the building were made at a cost of £315 10s.; and the money for defraying the expense incurred was raised partly by subscriptions among the inhabitants, and partly by means of grants obtained from the Committee of Privy Council on Education and from the National Society. The grant from the Committee of Council was £110; and from the National Society there were two grants of £25 each-one of them dated July 4th, 1844, and the other May 26th, 1846. From that period the school became a National School, and was at the same time placed under Government inspection. Mr. Lawford, who is well known for his efficiency as a teacher, is the present master. He entered on his duties in that capacity in February, 1844, with five scholars only. And when the number in attendance is now found to amount to one hundred and sixty, some idea may be formed of the success which has attended his labours. The career of the school from 1844 down to the present time has been marked by constant and steady progression, as the periodical reports of Her Majesty's Inspectors of Schools fully testify.


Whilst the present state of the National School at Meltham, as regards the efficiency of the teaching carried on in it, is

Page 206


highly satisfactory, it must be admitted that the limited dimensions of the building itself, with its defective means of ventilation, and no space for play-ground attached, is utterly inadequate to supply the growing exigencies of the place. The improved system of instruction adopted in all schools under Government inspection, requires ampler room and bet- ter arrangements in order to be put into proper and successful operation. It is, therefore, to be earnestly hoped that no time or exertion will be spared in promoting the erection of a new and commodious building on the site which has been purchased by Mr. Charles Brook, jun., and by him munifi- cently presented for that object. By united and persevering effort on the part of the inhabitants who have the welfare of the young at heart, the reproach of inferior and insufficient school premises may be speedily and effectually removed, and thereby another instance would be added to those already enumerated of the public spirit which has ever prevailed in Meltham. P.S.-Since the foregoing paragraph was written, an influential building committee has been appointed to carry out the plans of the projected new schools, and contracts for their erection have been already entered into. It is therefore highly probable that the foundation stone will be laid, and the building commenced in earnest before this work be out

of the press.

Page 207




@be Hamlets in the of leltham. MELTHAM MILLS-ITS NAME.

m3 enable the rapid growth and present importance of the flourishing village of Meltham Mills to be duly

appreciated, its condition some eighty years ago should be reviewed, when it contained only a small corn mill,* about

* This never was, properly speaking, a fulling mill, though occasionally called so after the year 1820, when a few stocks were put down in it to


Page 208


the size of a cottage situated near the Old Manor House, built by Mr. Nathaniel Dyson's ancestors many centuries before, and in which he at that time lived. It was from the corn mill attached to this house that the place originally derived its name of " Meltham the designation still given to it by many of the older inhabitants of the district. And if to these two buildings, the manor house and the corn mill, five or six small cottages be added, a fair picture of the village of Meltham Mill, as it was in the year 1786, will be presented. It did not assume the name of Meltham Mills till a few years later on, when it became entitled to do so in consequence of the increased number of mills erected in it.


With regard to the Old Manor House, there is a tradition that it was built at a time when the wages of masons were a peck of meal, or a penny a day ; and that the old wall of Mottram Church, or churchyard, was then in building ; the masons, after finishing their work at the mansion, are said to have gone direct to complete the wall at that place. If the statement as to the rate of wages at that time be correct, the Old Manor House belonged to an exceedingly early period, as the earnings of a mason in the year 1350 amounted to three- pence a day. The following curious story connected with this ancient edifice, and some of its early occupants, has also been handed down by tradition :-One of the lords of the manor who resided in it, and whose name was Dyson,* died intestate,

assist the fulling mill near Mr. W. Myers's house, and these were only used at a time when the water became very low and insufficient. * The Dysons are a very old family, and their names may be found as residents at Meltham Mills for many generations back. A Mr. Daniel Dyson filled the important office of a public carrier between London and this part of Yorkshire in the year 1650, and is named by the Rev. Abra- ham Woodhead as such in one of his letters to his cousin John Armpytage.

Page 209


and left behind him a widow and two sons, Nathaniel and Daniel. To supply the deficiency of a will, the widow, who was a spirited lady, is reported to have taken the law into her own hands, and to have executed a deed, by which she gave the royalty to one son, and, as an equivalent, £5 to the other ; the remaining lords of the manor being appointed by her to decide which of the sons should have the royalty, and which the £5. Such a document would hardly be held valid in the present day, whatever may have been its legal force then. The story is given as handed down by tradition.


But to resume the history of the various mills erected from time to time in this part of the valley from the close of the last century down to the middle of the present, Mr. Nathaniel Dyson, as has been already stated, in the year 1786, purchased a part of the materials of the old chapel of Meltham erected in 1651, and with these built a fulling mill near the site of the premises where Mr. W. Myers's workshop now stands. This was afterwards bought by Messrs. Brooks, and taken down by them about the time that the present church at Meltham Mills was built. Another small mill stood on the stream behind Wood Cottage ; it was situated about half-way up the long and narrow dam and stream which are now overlooked by tasteful pleasure grounds, but at that time the stream ran through rough and tangled banks. This was a scribbling mill, and was used for scribbling, carding, and slubbing wool only ; the exact date of its erection is not known, but it could hardly be further back than from eighty to eighty-five years, perhaps even less than that, as the pur- pose for which it was used, namely-scribbling, carding, and slubbing by water power, superseded the same kind of work performed by hand labour about that period ; and if, therefore, it

Page 210


was built at the commencement of the new system, it could not be of an earlier date than about 1780. It is stated on good authority that this building was taken down between fifty and sixty years ago, being then found too small and not well adapted to meet the required improvements of the time. - Messrs. William Brook and Sons were the owners and occupiers of this mill, and were at that time engaged in the woollen trade. The fulling department was carried on in another small building which stood on the site of the south end of whatis now termed the "old" or "first factory," namely, that building in which the clock, with the illuminated face, is placed, facing the north. In the year 1785-6, Mr. William Brook,* who was at that time residing at Thickhollins, which he had taken on a twenty- one years' lease, built a small woollen mill on a part of the site occupied by the present extensive cotton thread factories, which was worked by a water-wheel. As, however, the supply of water proved insufficient to keep the machinery in action, a steam-engine was erected for the purpose of pumping it up from the pond at the foot of the wheel into a small dam above, from which it was conveyed back again to the wheel. By this means the whole machinery was kept in continuous motion, the same water being again and again used for the same purpose.

THE ENLARGEMENT OF THE MILLS AND THE CONSTRUCTION OF THE RESERVOIR. Some years later on, the building above mentioned was enlarged, the woollen mill converted into a cotton factory, and about the year 1805 a reservoir was made, calculated to afford a constant and sufficient supply of water for the carrying on of the works. The aid of the pumping steam-engine was there- fore dispensed with, being no longer required.

* This gentleman went to live at Thickhollins in the year 1774.

Page 211


The idea of the reservoir* first originated with the late Mr. Jonas Brook, whose keen foresight, practical sense, and steadiness of purpose, peculiarly fitted him for the inaugura- tion of a new and great design. It was under the auspices of this gentleman that the manufacture of cotton thread was introduced into the neighbourhood ; and the firm of Messrs. Jonas Brook and Brothers, now so widely known, then first entered upon its successful career. The business once established, was rapidly extended by the great talent and energy of Mr. Jonas Brook, and its expansion led from time to time to the erection of much larger works. This worthy man, whose memory is held in much esteem by his family and friends, died in the year 1836, and his remains were followed to their resting place in Meltham Church by the sincere regrets of all his workpeople. The principal part of the management of the business after his death devolved on his younger brother, Mr. Charles Brook, of Healey House, and at that time the works were again still further enlarged. The nephews of this gentleman, Messrs. William Leigh and Charles Brook,t became in the year 1845, on the death of their father, James Brook, Esq., of Thorparch, proprietors of the extensive cotton works at Meltham Mills, to which they made considerable additions by the erection of another large factory and a great

* After the completion of this reservoir, some doubt as to the strength of its embankment caused Mr. Jonas Brook much anxiety and many sleep- less nights, as he well knew the loss of life and property that must have ensued to the valley and village of Meltham Mills, in case of the bursting or overflow of the bank. + In deference to the wishes of one of the oldest and most highly respected of the commercial men whose names continually occur in the present chapter, the distinctive mercantile title is given to them in preference to the one usually bestowed in courtesy ; and this point is the more readily ceded for two reasons, the first, because they are here spoken of entirely in their commercial capacity as millowners; the second, because it is that by which they are universally known and honoured in their own district.

Page 212


number of cottages for the accommodation of the operatives in their employ. In various other ways they also greatly improved the works, and brought them at length almost to their present magnitude. The name of another estimable man, James Brook, Esq., of Thorparch, who was at one time intimately connected with Meltham Mills and its immediate neighbourhood, must be here introduced. His great benevolence and worth, enhanced by the charm of simplicity and naturalness of character, made him beloved and respected by all, and those who knew him most intimately, used to remark that his fine open countenance, so expressive of kindly feeling, was a true index of his mind.

THE ERECTION OF A BUILDING FOR A CHURCH AND SCHOOL. Fully sensible of the increased responsibility attached to increasing wealth, Mr. James Brook, in the year 1838, made provision for the spiritual welfare and instruction of those residing at Meltham Mills, by the erection of a neat and commodious Gothic edifice, built on the plan recommended by Bishop Wilson, and designed to serve the double purpose of a church and school; it combined in itself also two small residences, one for a clergyman, the other for a schoolmaster. This building was licensed for divine service by the then Lord Bishop of the diocese-Dr. Longley-and was opened for that purpose in the December of 1838. It contained 2050 sittings.


The first appointment made to this church was that of the late Rev. David Meredith, whose talent and piety had been amply tested in the church and village of Meltham, where he had previously laboured with unwearying diligence for above

Page 213


three years, and where his ministry was held in the highest possible esteem. From the close of the year 1838, when this valuable young clergyman took upon him the charge of the new church at Meltham Mills, until the summer of 1841, when failing health compelled him to resign his post and try the effects of a dry and warm climate, strongly recommended to him by his medical advisers, be continued to minister with devoted earnestness among his people, notwithstanding the weakness of his frame and the depressing nature of his com- plaint. How truly sad was the parting between pastor and flock when it actually took place, many who read this may remember, for the place of his destination was a most remote one-Smyrna-and who among them could be hopeful enough to anticipate his return? This, however, was in the good providence of God permitted ; and when in the year 1845 he again reached the shores of England, he was received with a cordial welcome by the friends whom he had left behind, and who rejoiced in the prospect of being once more placed under his ministerial care.*


The church accommodation afforded by the building of 1838 was, in the year 1844, found so inadequate to meet the wants of the increased numbers who sought admission within its walls, that the erection of the present beautiful Gothic structure of St. James's, Meltham Mills, was decided upon, and so rapidly was the work executed that it was ready for consecration by the 11th of November, 1845. It was in this

* During Mr. Meredith's abscence in Smyrna, the Rev. W. P. Brancker was appointed to the incumbency, but had relinquished it before Mr. Meredith's return. Of the latter estimable man much might here be added did space admit of it both to interest and edify his old flock. A tablet in Meltham Mills Church records his lamented death at the age of forty, and testifies to his worth as ** an approved minister of Jesus Christ."

Page 214


sacred edifice, which contains 730 sittings, that the Rev. David Meredith continued to officiate until the year 1850, when he removed to Elland, in the parish of Halifax. The worthy founder and endower of the church, James Brook, Esq., did not live to see its completion, having been called to his rest some months before it was finished. A notice of the monument raised to the memory of this good man by his three surviving sons, will be found in another place ; and the inscription it bears, as a faithful sketch of his character, may be read with interest by many of those who knew him in life, and who still hold his name in affectionate remembrance. THE ERECTION OF NEW SCHOOLS AND A PARSONAGE HOUSE AND OTHER IMPORTANT EDIFICES. The various improvements and additions made at Meltham Mills within the last twenty-five years must not be overlooked, for they deserve to be put on record for the information of future generations. After the completion of the church, a suitable school, in connection with it, was erected by Mr. Charles Brook, of Healey House, in the year 1856, assisted by grants from the National Society, and to this, a few years after, a beautiful parsonage house, in the Gothic style of architecture, was added by the same gentleman. The infant school was built by his nephew, Mr. Charles Brook, junior, as also the noble dining hall for the comfort and convenience of the workpeople employed at the cotton thread manufactory. This spacious room is furnished with a stove and apparatus adapted for the heating of water, coffee, &c., and is also fitted up with all the appliances necessary for lectures, concerts, and public meetings of every kind. A large swimming bath below, greatly adds to the completeness of the accommodation

in the building, and is much appreciated by those wise enough to make use of it.

Page 215


One striking feature in the Meltham Mills landscape is the handsome family mansion-Meltham Hall-built by the late Mr. William Leigh Brook, in the year 1841, which, standing on a slightly elevated plain, and in the midst of tastefully arranged grounds, has, from every poirt of view, a very imposing effect. <


The last and certainly the most delightful addition to all that has been previously undertaken for the benefit of the inhabitants of Meltham Mills and neighbourhood, are the public gardens, or, as they are popularly called, " The People's Pleasure Grounds."* These were laid out by Mr. Major, the celebrated landscape gardener, at the sole expense of Mr. Charles Brook, junior, and are not only picturesque to the eye, but beneficial to the health of those who from time to time resort to them for the enjoyment of innocent recreation and social intercourse. Eventually, when the wood on the slopes has attained a certain amount of growth, these grounds, the gift of a generous and large-hearted man to the public, will form a still more marked feature in the landscape, and afford shelter while they also add beauty to it.

THE GOOD FEELING PREVALENT BETWEEN THE EMPLOYERS AND THE EMPLOYED. Such are the physical changes which have been effected at Meltham Mills by the talent, public spirit and energy of the Messrs. Brook, and the moral effects produced by their character and conduct upon the vast number of operatives in their employ is perhaps still more striking. Between these, and the masters and managers, the utmost harmony has at

* The handsome row of houses called Bank Buildings, which overlook the pleasure grounds, were also built by Mr. Charles Brook, jun.

Page 216


all times prevailed, and while those at the head of the business have ever shown the deepest interest in the well being, both temporal and spiritual, of their workpeople, they, on their part, have, as a body, been found diligent in duty and faithful to those under whom the providence of God has placed them, and the result, with his blessing, has been prosperity to all parties Families having once settled at Meltham Mills have rarely removed from the place, and in numerous instances three generations, and in one, four out of the same family are found working together in the factory.


The ecclesiastical district attached to St. James's, Meltham Mills, contains a population of 1096 souls The church, which stands at an angle with Meltham Hall and the mills, is of Gothic architecture, cruciform in figure, and adorned with a spire. Its interior is richly ornamented with stained glass windows, many of which are memorial ones. On the walls a great number of illuminated texts are inscribed ; and several monuments which record early and affecting deaths are to be found in the chancel and other parts of the building.* The whole edifice, within and without, as well as the pretty churchyard surrounding it, is kept with scrupulous exactness, and bespeaks the care bestowed upon it by one who would not choose himself to dwell "in a house of cedar," while any thing was lacking in the house of God.

* It may not perhaps be generally known, that the communion rails of this church once formed a part of the chapel erected at Meltham in the year 1651. The facts of the case are these:-The fulling mill which had been built by Mr. Dyson out of the materials of the old chapel, was sold by him to the Messrs. Brook, who pulled it down, and made use of the oak wood which had originally formed a part of its roof, for the communion rails at St. James's. Once consecrated to a sacred purpose, it was thus accidentally restored to it, and is, therefore, associated in the mind with the interesting old edifice of 1651, and serves to connect the two together.

Page 217


THE REV. ANDREW FROST AND THE REV. EDWARD CUMMING INCE. Hitherto the pulpit of this church has been filled by faithful and diligent pastors, men "wise to win souls," and fully alive to the responsibility of their sacred office. One of these, the Rev. Andrew Frost, now a missionary in India, succeeded the Rev. Mr. Meredith in the year 1850, and in 1853, on the resignation of the Rev. Mr. Frost, the vicar of the parish appointed the present much respected incumbent, the Rev. Edward Cumming Ince, to fill this important post.

ATTENDANCE AT THE SCHOOLS, LENDING LIBRARIES, ETC. The schools in connection with the church are under the effi- cient care of Mr. and Mrs. Morehouse. The average attendance in the day schools is 274, in the Sunday schools 270, and in the night school 32. To the lending libraries and clothing club connected with the schools and mills, the allotment gardens and annual horticultural show established for their encourage- ment, the limits of this work will not admit of more than a passing allusion, but it must be observed that all are kept in excellent working order, which reflects great credit on those by whom they are managed. This review of the rise and progress of the cotton thread manufactory of Meltham Mills contains in itself an important moral lesson, showing how a well ordered and successful business has been made the centre of much that is excellent


and of "good report among men." In proof of this we point to its church, schools, libraries, commodious cottages, public gardens, baths, &c., and to countless other arrangements

designed for the comfort and well being of the working classes.

Page 218



Among the various monumental inscriptions in St. James's Church, transcripts of which are here given, that in the chancel on the founder, James Brook, Esq., of Thorparch, is the first to claim attention.

In this chancel lie the mortal remains of James Brooke, Esgre., Aged 71 years, who was born July 1. AD. 1773, and died April 27. AD. 1845. Humble, sincere, cheerful and benevolent, an affectionate Husband, an indulgent Father. A faithful friend, a kind master, and an upright merchant. As the Founder of this Church, he left a lasting memorial of his care for the Poor, And of his Faith and piety towards God. His three surviving sons erected this monument in affectionate remem- brance of his many Christian Virtues.

Also the remains of Jane Brook Relict of the above, who died September 1. AD. 1849, aged 69 years. © Faith, Hope, Charity, these three; but the greatest of these is charity.


On the opposite side is the following tablet :-

Consecrated To the Memory of Charlotte The beloved and affectionate wife of William Leigh Brook, Esquire, of Meltham Hall, and third daughter of Joseph Armitage, Esquire, of Milns Bridge House, Who died the 10th day of October, 1847. Aged 37 years. She " being dead yet speaketh. "

Page 219


Also in Memory of William Leigh Brook, Esquire, Of Meltham Hall, Son of the late James Brook Esquire Who died of Cholera at Cologne September 19th, 1855 Aged 46 years. Also of Emily his second wife, Youngest daughter of Joseph Armitage, Esquire Of Milns Bridge House Who died of Cholera at Frankfort-on-the- Maine September 17th, 1855, aged 33 years. Their remains are interred in the Cemeteries of the places where they died. «* Lord make me to know mine end, and the measure of my days, what it is, that I may know how frail I am." Psalm 39. 4. Charles Armitage Brook Youngest son of the above William Leigh and Emily Brook died March 31st, 1856, aged 2 years. '* Blegged are the dead which die in the Lord from henceforth : Yea, saith the spirit, that they may rest from their labours ; and their works do follow them.'" Revelations ch : 14. v. 13. Sacred to the Memory of James Brook Youngest son of James Brook, Esq., of Thornton Lodge Who died on the 12th day of February, 1840 In the 24th year of his age Renunciation of self and a sure trust in his God and the Saviour Were the foundations of his character in life And the unfailing source of his hope and peace during his last long illness ; He left behind him those who will never cease to remember How kind and dutiful he was as a son, and how Affectionate as a Brother, His remains are interred in a vault beneath this Church.

Page 220


In Memory of The Revd David Meredith The first Incumbent of this Church who after a faithful and earnest ministry in the gospel of Christ Fell asleep January xxviii. 1853 Aged XL «'Those things, which ye have both learned and received and heard and seen in me, do, and the God of Peace shall be with you."

A beautiful east window has during the past year-1865 -been put into the chancel by Mr. Charles Brook, junior, the subject of which is, "The Ascension." It bears the fol- low inscription :-" I ascend unto my Father and your Father, to my God and your God."

THE UNEXPECTED DEATHS OF MR. AND MRS. WILLIAM LEIGH BROOK. Two of the very affecting inscriptions in the chancel of this church may serve to teach future posterity, as the events they record have taught the present generation, a solemn lesson on the uncertainty of human life and of all things pertaining to it. Many of the inhabitants may remember the health and spirits in which Mr. and Mrs. Brook, of Meltham Hall, left their home in the month of August, 1855, never again to return to it; and many still surviving in the neighbourhood can recal the shock, like the sudden fall of a thunderbolt in the midst of a calm, which was produced throughout it by the arrival of a telegram announcing Mrs. Brook's death, of Asiatic cholera, on the 17th of September, 1855, at Frankfort-on-the-Maine. The circumstances under which this sad intelligence reached

Page 221


Meltham Mills were very remarkable, and seemed, if possible, to increase its sadness ; for, on the morning of that day, news of the fall of Sebastopol had arrived, and all hearts were filled with gladness at the prospect of returning peace which this event seemed to promise. From every part of the mills flags were floating in honour of it, decorations everywhere pre- paring, and expressions of joy and exultation were heard on all sides. But the telegram came on with its dread message, and in a moment all was reversed. Flags were instantly lowered, decorations stopped, and it might truly be said then, as once on a former occasion in Israel, "the victory that day was turned into mourning unto all the people." - It will also be remembered how, before the public mind had at all recovered from the effects of this first stunning blow, a second, still more terrible, followed close upon it, and another telegram, with the appalling intelligence of Mr. Brook's death at Cologne, of the same malady-Asiatic cholera-two days only after that of his wife, closed this solemn tragedy. The effect produced upon the neighbourhood by these events may be better imagined than described, as also the regrets felt by all, for the friends thus suddenly cut off in the bloom and vigour of life, far away from their kindred and country, and from all the alleviating circumstances attendant upon a home deathbed. To the poor of the district and to his workpeople, Mr. Brook's untimely death was a great loss ; for to the former

he was a liberal benefactor, to the latter a most considerate master, and to all a kind and friendly neighbour.


I. In Memory of Charles John Brook, who died FebY 17th 1857.

Aged 27 years.

Page 222


II. In Memory of Charles Armitage youngest son of William Leigh and Emily Brook, died March 31st, 1856 Aged 2 years. III. This window was presented by The workpeople in the employ of Jonas Brook and Bros of Meltham Mills, As a tribute of affection to their late master William Leigh Brook. IV. This window was presented by Charles Brook Junr Esqre In Memory of Charlotte and Emily The Wives of his late Brother William Leigh Brook. v. In Memory of Clara Jane Birchall who died At Bonchurch, March 4th 1863 Aged 22 years.

The two lines inscribed on the fifth and last window, which record the removal of one, a young wife and mother in the

very morning of her existence, may serve to remind those who read them of the shortness of life, in " the midst of" which " we are in death."


Another interesting object in this part of the district which next claims attention, is the handsome and well ventilated silk mill at Bentley,* erected by Mr. Charles Brook, of Healey

* The following information respecting the property formerly called « Bentylee,'"' has been collected from various old documents, and may interest some of those more immediately connected with it:-** Bentylee was sold, along with several other fields, in the year 1583, by Edward Taylor and Roger Greene to James Wodheade, of Meltham, Husbandman -uncle of the Rev. Abraham Woodhead." In 1665 it passed into the hands of Abraham Beaumont, who settled it, along with other landed property, on Ellen Dixon, of Burnlee, his intended wife, and in the year 1755, it had become the property of Abraham Radcliffe. After that, it is believed to have fallen into the possession of Anthony Armytage, of Thickhollins.

Page 223


House, in the year 1840. Adjoining this are several neat dwelling-houses for the overlookers and some of the skilled workmen connected with the establishment, which were built about the same time. In this factory, as in that of the cotton thread at Meltham Mills, great numbers of women and young girls find employment, preference in both to females, because of their superior delicacy of touch, which peculiarly fits them for the handling of the slight material, whether silk or cot- ton, which has to pass through their fingers. Precisely the same harmony is observed to exist here between the employers and employed, as at Meltham Mills ; nor would it be easy in any locality to find masters more deeply interested in the welfare of their workpeople than those at Bentley Factory.


Bentley mill and the houses contiguous to it, now belong ecclesiastically to Helme, which, before 1858, formed a part of the chapelry of Meltham, but was in that year constituted a new parish under the Marquis of Blandford's act. This parish is now furnished with a church and school of its own, and in consequence, enjoys many religious privileges from which, owing to the remoteness of its position with regard to Meltham, it was previously excluded. The village of Helme owes the great blessing of its church to the family of Mr. Brook, of Healey House, by whom it was built in memory of one of its members, Mr. Charles John Brook, whose lamented death took place at Thickhollins, on February 17th, 1857. Christ Church, Helme, was endowed by Mr. Brook and his eldest son, with the sum of £5000, and was consecrated by the Lord Bishop of the Diocese-Dr. Bickersteth-on Thurs- day, the 3rd of November, 1859. It forms a striking feature in the landscape, and is a pleasing object from almost every part of the valley below. Compe- P

Page 224


tent judges of ecclesiastical architecture greatly admire the style and proportions of this structure, which belongs to the early English decorated Gothic, while that which most pleases common observers is, its perfect adaptation to the locality in which it stands, and of which it is the chief ornament. The interior of the building is enriched with a great number of Scripture texts, and is calculated to accommodate 300 persons, besides which, it will seat 100 school children. The pretty churchyard, though so recently consecrated as in the November of 1859, has already numerous tenants, and contains within its precinets the mortal remains of many whose names and memories will long continue to be cherished in the district. One in particular may be mentioned, who, coming a stranger into the village of Meltham, lived in such love and harmony among her neighbours during her short sojourn in their midst, that her early death was felt as a personal sorrow by every one, for all loved and trusted her.


The following inscription is to be observed on a tablet in the baptistery under the tower :-

"{0% (%C 6%0%$ 04 son." THIS CHURCH WAS BUILT AND ENDOWED IN MEMORY OF CHARLES JOHN BROOK, oF THICKHOLLINS, BY HIS BROTHERS AND SISTERS; HE DIED ON THE l7TH DAY OF FEBRY., A.D., 1857. AGED 27 YEARS. "* Tbe Memorp of the just is blessed." THE FOUNDATION STONE WAS LAID ON THE pay or 1858, BY HIS ONLY SON. " Other foundation can no man lap than that is laid, tohich is Jesus Elrist,"

Page 225



The mortal remains of Charles John Brook repose in the churchyard of Meltham Mills, and on a white marble headstone which marks his place of sepulture, the following touching lines are inscribed :-

«*The Memory of the just is blessed." In Memory of Charles John Brook, who Entered into rest February 17th, 1857. Aged 27 years. «* With Christ, Which is far better." «* Be ye algo ready."

Of the benevolent and estimable young man, whose early and lamented death is here recorded, much might be said in this place, for he belonged to the district by birth and educa- tion, was known and loved by all residing in it, and was felt to be in the best sense of the word, the friend of all, his whole energies being devoted to the promotion of the spiritual and temporal good of those among whom his lot was cast. To the poor and afflicted his ready sympathy with human suffering of every kind, especially endeared him, and made his presence in the chamber of sickness and death both a solace and support. The name of "John Charles," as he was familiarly and lovingly called by his poorer friends, was a household word in every family, and will long be remembered as such in all the cottages* of the working-classes, whether * The following anecdote illustrative of the nature of this young man's ministrations among the afflicted, was communicated by the poor sufferer most nearly concerned in it, to the writer of these lines several years ago.

M. E., the narrator, was at the time when the circumstance occurred, lying on a bed of sickness, from which she never again rose. Her case

Page 226


scattered over the distant moors, or situated in the nearer hamlets. Among the latter, that of Helme was, from the remoteness of its position and want of spiritual privileges, an object of much interest to him, and it is to these combined circumstances, it probably owes its selection as the site for a memorial church. The incumbent is the Rev. James Brook, who is much respected in the parish.


The school at Helme was for a time under the management of Mr. Lunn, and at the last meeting of the Meltham Mechanics' Institute, when statistics were given of the various schools in the ecclesiastical districts, it appeared that Helme, out of a population of 787, had 78 children under daily instruction, 138 in its Sunday school, and that the young persons from Holthead and Helme, attending the

evening classes, amounted in number to 54. The picturesque Gothic cottages built by Mr. Brook, of Healey House, in the road leading to Helme, are a great addi- tion to the beauty of the landscape, and their gay little gardens, sloping down to the highway, have a most pleasing effect.

was a most distressing one. Great bodily, and still greater mental anguish, for, though unquestionably a child of God, her faith and hope were pain- fully overcast during a part of her sickness. At this time she was constantly visited by Mr. Charles John Brook, who was always in the habit of reading the Scriptures to her. Finding that all the promises and encouragements _ held out in them to " fainting souls" fell dead upon her ear, and that the comfort they were designed to convey, she was unable to receive; he one day said, in taking leave of her, " Well, Mary, your heart is full of fear, and I see you cannot get all the peace offered you in this Psalm "-the 103rd, which he had just read to her-" I will leave you one single verse of it to think about-it is this:-* He knoweth our frame, he remembereth that we are dust';"' and, she added, "I have been able to think of this, and have found comfort from it.'' The poor sufferer's memory was much impaired by her sickness, but it was able to retain these few touching words.

Page 227



One more interesting portion of the chapelry of Meltham, still remains to be described, which is Wilshaw. In this hamlet which belongs entirely to Mr. Hirst, various additions and improvements have been made during the last twenty years. But before entering upon a description of them, it may be well to glance for a moment at the probable aspect of the locality in the fourteenth century, at which time we gather from an ancient document of the reign of Edward IIL, that Wilshaw was a well wooded and possibly a well watered portion of the district. This curious and valuable document, once in the possession of the late Joseph Green Armytage, Esq., of Thickhollins, was a grant from Edward III. to John de Thickholyns, empowering him to cut wood in the Willow Shae, or Shaw, now called Wilshaw, in all probability the site on which the church and a villa have since been erected. It is very interesting to be thus carried back to a period so early as that between the years 1327 and 1377, in the first of which Edward IIL, began, and in the last of which he ended his reign, and through a vista of so many centuries to get a glimpse at Wilshaw, lying embowered in thick trees, among which it must be concluded from its name, that the willow preponderated. It is also interesting to find that the names of Thickhollins and Wilshaw, have, in so great a lapse of time undergone so little change either in their spelling or pronunciation. This is the first and only record extant of the country situated immediately contiguous to the two hamlets of Greave, in the township of Netherthong, if, indeed, they existed at all at that period. Its present aspect is highly picturesque, as are all the views everywhere to be seen from it. The same distinctive features of wide heath-covered moors and

Page 228


magnificent extent of sky, prevail here as elsewhere on these high hills, and give to the landscape a character of breadth and boldness peculiarly its own. The sun-sets, occasionally to be observed from it, are remarkable for their richness and beauty-a fact which is attributable to the great distance of the horizon from the spectator.*


Such are the natural features of this remote corner of the district. Of the artificial ones that have been added to it, neither few in number nor unimportant in character, it may be affirmed that the patient and industrious pursuit of com- merce has in few localities been crowned with greater success, or produced more marvellous results during the last twenty years than in that of Wilshaw, where the erection of a church and infant school, with a house for the minister, the laying out of extensive and beautiful grounds, owe their existence to the genius of well directed commercial enterprise as exhibited in the person of one very spirited individual, Mr. Joseph Hirst, of Wilshaw Villa. This gentleman's woollen cloth mills are situate, one at Meltham Mills, and the other at Royd Edge ; he has also other extensive buildings at Wilshaw, adapted to hand-loom weaving, dyeing, woolsorting, &c., &c., and near to these he has erected neat and commodious dwelling- houses for some of his overlookers and skilled workmen.


St. Mary's Church, Wilshaw, was built and endowed by Mr. Hirst, in memory of his beloved and only child, Mary,

* The walls which have been lately built to enclose these moors, though doubtless an improvement in a utilitarian point of view, have sadly spoiled the picturesque beauty of the landscape, by converting the wild broken ground into some thing very like a series of ill cultivated fields; and the wide open road, into a long, narrow, stupid lane.

Page 229


the wife of Mr. Alfred Beaumont, of Park Cottage, whose early death took place on June the 9th, 1859. The first stone of this edifice was laid by Mrs. Hirst on the 31st of March, 1862, and it was consecrated by the Lord Bishop of the Diocese on the 27th of April, 1863. The infant school, which forms a part of the building, is a spacious room, well adapted to the purpose for which it was designed, it is fur- nished with forms for the weekday evening lectures, and is also used as a Sunday school. The daily attendance of infants averages thirty-five, and there are fifty on the books. The rumber of Sunday scholars is 104, the population of the district is 490. The minister is the Rev. J. S. E. Spencer. This church is calculated to seat 230 persons, including the school children. The style of its architecture is that termed Romanesque. Nothing can exceed the beauty of the stone masonry without, equalled only by that of the wood work within, the carving of which is greatly admired, while every- thing connected with the church bespeaks the care and attention bestowed upon it. A handsome east window bears the following inscription :-

«* In Memory of Mary, the only child of Joseph and Eleanor Hirst, of Wilshaw, who died June 9th, 1859."

And on each of the north and south windows in the chancel these lines are inscribed :-

«* In Memory of Mary, the beloved wife of Alfred Beaumont, Esq., 1864."

It would be impossible to withhold a tribute of affectionate respect to the memory of this amiable young lady, suddenly removed from her family and friends by the hand of death, in the 28th year of her age ; nor can it be considered out of place here to record her endearing qualities as a daughter

Page 230


and a wife, the tenderness of her sympathies with the poor, and the anxiety she ever evinced in all that concerned their

best interests.

THE PROSPEROUS STATE OF THE CHAPELRY AND THE BENEFICIAL OPERATIONS OF THE CHURCHES IN IT. In closing this description of the foregoing three portions of the township of Meltham -Meltham Mills, Helme, and Wilshaw, it is a source of satisfaction to be able to testify to the prosperous condition of all, and to the beneficial influence exercised over each respectively by the Messrs. Brook's and Hirst. Nor are they alone actuated by a conscientious sense of duty towards their workpeople, for the same principle operates with the heads of other establishments in the district, smaller in extent, but similar in kind, and to the universal prevalence of this feeling, the general order and prosperity of the township is, doubtless, attributable. The good carried out by the churches built at Meltham Mills, Helme, and Wilshaw, furnishes ground for much thankfulness, and a satisfactory solution of the old adage, " divide and conquer," for without their agency, the beneficial results now observable, never could have been effected ; it being quite clear, that four zealous and conscientious men, each placed in the centre of his work, must necessarily be able to accomplish much more than one, however apostolic and unwearying in his labours.

Note to page 213.-Wilshaw.-Shaw in this name signifies a grove or wood, so that the designation by which this hamlet is known, means & Willowgrove or Willow-wood. As used by some early English writers shaw implies also a thicket.

Page 231

to *T



Carly Phpsical Aspect.

a H treating of the early physical aspect of Meltham, and of the artificial and social changes which have been effected in it from time to time, by the hand of man, it is unnecessary to revert to pre-historic eras, when the whole surface of the country was in a state of nature, in order duly to appreciate the extent and value of the improvements which have been made by the advance of civilisation and the

Page 232


knowledge of mechanical science. It is sufficient here to notice the condition of the township at the time of the Nor- man Conquest, when it was held by two Saxon thanes, Cola and Suuen, who were dispossessed by the Conqueror, and when the manor fell into the hands of the Norman Baron, Ilbert de Lacy. It is by no means improbable that at that time the extent of wood which existed in the district, and the uncultivated state of the ground in general, conduced to render it a place of favourable resort to its new proprietor and his retainers, as affording a cover for the wild animals with which the neigh- bourhood abounded, and the chase of which was the most favourite diversion of the Normans. That the deer, the wolf, and the fox were then to be found in the district, may be naturally inferred from the significant names of Deer Hill, Wolf Stones, ard Fox Royd still remaining in it, the places so called being the precise localities to which these animals would most probably have resorted. There is no doubt whatever that the red and fallow deer were found at Honley and Holmfirth in the reign of Edward III., for there is an incidental allusion to their existence in the sad record of the Elland and Beaumont feud of that period. When Lockwood, of Lockwood, had been for some time living in concealment after the tragic murder of Sir John Elland, of Elland,* and his son, by the Beaumont's of Cros- * " Sir John Elland, of Elland, was a man of great account, and High Steward to the Earl of Warren, Lord of the manor of Wakefield. He slew Robert Beaumont in his own house at Crosland Hall the 24th, Edward III. And was himself slain by Sir Robert Beaumont's sons as he came from keeping the Sheriff's turn at his own manor of Brighouse. The quarrel was about the Earl of Lancaster, and the Earl of Warren, that took away the said Earl of Lancaster's wife, there being a man slain of the said Earl Warren's party in a hurley-burley betwixt the two Lords for that matter. Elland search for the murderer in the said Beaumont's house, who belonged to the said Earl of Lancaster, and slew him there ;

Lockwood of Lockwood (William) was put to death, he, as well as Adam Beaumont, was a gentleman retainer, or adherent to the Earl of Lancaster."

Page 233


land, and was travelling from Ferry Bridge to Cannon Hall, he was advised by two of his young kinswomen, whom he accidentally met on his way, to go directly to Crosland Hall, to Adam Beaumont, where he might live safely, and hunt with him and other gentlemen both the red and fallow deer, at Hanley-Honley-and Holmfirth And this advice, backed as it was by the information that elsewhere the sheriff and his men were making diligent search for him, he had done well to follow. There is no record or tradition extant as to the precise time when these animals became extinct in the district ; but it is most likely that they were driven out here, as in many other parts of the kingdom, by the increase and spread of the population and the gradual extension of agricultural operations.


With regard to the natural resources of the township of Meltham, there can be no doubt that wood for the building of huts and for fuel was to be had in abundance on the high moors, before the seam of coal was discovered ; while the lower grounds furnished pasturage for the oxen, and the oak trees, every where plentiful, produced a sufficient quantity of acorns for the support of the vast herds of swine, which in those days formed so large a part of Saxon wealth ; and honey, the luxury of those times, was not wanting in a district surrounded by heath-covered moors. The Domesday Survey testifies to there being land under the plough at Meltham, which necessarily implies the cultivation of cereal crops ; and game of various kinds probably abounded in the forests, -OCrabtree's Hist. of Halifax, The Earl of Lancaster was at that time Lord of the manor of Meltham, Huddersfield, Crosland, Holme, &c., and of numerous other places, in right of his wife, Alice de Lacy; the unhappy

woman who was the cause of so much bloodshed, and of a deadly and lasting feud between the Earls of Warren and Lancaster.

Page 234


while the mountain streams, at that time untainted by dye- wares and other impurities, yielded a plentiful supply of fish. These apparently insignificant streams were eventually destined to effect great physical and social changes in the valley through which they flowed, and under an agency then undreamt of, to bring wealth and social improvement within its range ; for there can be no question that to every part of the district this supply of water power has been more enrich- ing than the discovery of a gold mine, and has been productive of far greater moral good.

INTRODUCTION OF THE WOOLLEN CLOTH MANUFACTURE INTO ENGLAND, THE WEST-RIDING, AND MELTHAM. There is no actual proof as to the date at which the woollen cloth manufacture was established in Meltham,* but it is not impossible that it might have been so, early in the time of Edward III, as there is direct historical evidence of its introduction into the West-Riding of Yorkshire in the 12th year of his reign ; for it is recorded that in 1338, the manu- facturers of Flanders-Flemings-seeking refuge from the persecutions with which they were assailed in their own country, repaired in great numbers to England, and many of them settled at Halifax, and the neighbouring places ; and in the same year an act of Parliament was passed for the encouragement of foreign weavers. t Additional testimony as to the period of its establishment in England, is also furnished by an old monastic chronicler, who, in recording the virtues of Edward and his Flemish con- * Mr. Morehouse in his valuable "* History of Kirkburton "' states, " that the introduction of woollen cloth working is unquestionably of great antiquity, and that there are strong reasons for believing that it was actively carried on in the Parish of Kirkburton in the reign of Edward III."

+ " Mayhall's Annals of Yorkshire," published in Leeds in 1860. pp. 34. 35.

Page 235


sort, exclaims, "Blessed be the memory of king Edward the III., and Philippa, of Hainault, his Queen, who first invented clothes," by which, we suppose the worthy monk to mean cloth, as there is no reason whatever for believing that previous to this reign, our ancestors were without garments of some kind or other. The quaint historian, Fuller, when drawing a comparison between a pastoral and manufacturing country, speaks of the great benefit likely to accrue to England from the introduction of this art, and says, "The king having married Philippa,* the daughter of the Earl of Hainault, began now to grow sensible of the great gain the Netherlands got by our English wool, in memory whereof the Duke of Burgundy, a century after, instituted the order of 'The Golden Fleece, wherein, indeed, the fleece was ours, but the gold theirs, so vast was their emolument by the trade of clothing. Our king, there- fore, resolved, if possible, to reduce the trade to his own country-men, who as yet were ignorant, as knowing no more what to do with their wool than the sheep that bore it." But it is stated, that "the art of manufacturing cloth was known and practised in some parts of England even long before this period, and that it was introduced into England from Flanders in the year 1111."t+ " The first exportation of English cloth occurred in 1197." "In 1261, all Englishmen were commanded to wear British cloth ;" and, in " Trusler's Chronology," it is stated, that "cloth manufacture was established in England by Edward I." It is probable that on the settlement of the Flemings in the West-Riding, during the reign of Edward III., the manufacture of cloth became a separate and distinct branch of business, and has ever since continued to expand its dimensions. Previously, it is not improbable, that most

* See Appendix Note H. + " Townsend's Manual of Dates."

Page 236


families made cloth for their own use, as many do still in some parts of Wales, and thus have given employment to the women in carding and spinning. With regard to the period at which woollen cloth was first made in Meltham, although it is not, as already stated, impossible that it might have been as early as the time of Edward III., it more probably dates a good deal later, between the years 1495, and 1509, during the reign of Henry VIL, when, as remarked in a learned work by Professor Millar, the coarse woollen manufactory was introduced into the West-Riding of Yorkshire. "The woollen trade of Eng- land," he says, "made considerable advances in the reign of Henry VII., when, after a long course of civil dissensions, the people began to enjoy tranquility under a prince, who favoured and protected the arts of peace. About this time were set on foot the coarse woollen manufactures of Yorkshire, particularly at Wakefield, Leeds, and Halifax, places remarkably well adapted to that species of work, from the plenty of coal and the numerous springs of water with which they are supplied." * So much for the probable introduction of this branch of industry-the staple trade of England-at an early period into this district. - But there is direct and positive proof of its existence here in the time of queen Elizabeth, during the early part of whose reign mention is made in a curious old document dated "20th Julye, 1578," of a "John Wodde, off Heye, off the Parisshe off Almonburie within the countye off Yorke, Clothier, and of a "Thomas Beaumont, clothier, to whom property is left in trust for John Beaumont," &c. By another indenture bearing date October 10th, 1646, John Beaumont, of Meltham, devised, along with other property, a x Vide " Millar's Historical view of the English Government from the settlement of the Saxons in Britain, to the accession of the House of

Stuart." Mr. Morehouse states in his " History of Kirkburton '' that there was a fulling mill at Mytham Bridge in the reign of Henry VIII.

Page 237


fulling mill, cottages, &c., to his son Abraham Beaumont, and a George Beaumont, of Meltham, his half brother, a woollen draper, left behind him a will dated June 14th, 1659. There is also a James Haighe, of Meltham, clothier, alluded to in a deed bearing date 1657, a Thomas Mitchell, of Mel- tham, clothier, in 1704, and William Radcliffe, clerk, of Dinnington, in the countie of York-the great grandfather of Sir Joseph Radcliffe-lets a "fulling milne" in Meltham, in the year 1707, with appurtenances, dams, &c., for twenty one years, at the yearly rent of eleven pounds, to James Roberts, of Steps Milne, in Honley, and Joseph Roberts, of Dungeon Milne, both in the parish of Almonburie. © The following entry from a register is curious, as affording a picture of one of the restrictive laws in force respecting woollen cloth in the early part of the last century :-

* Sarah Brearley of the parish of Almondbury maketh oath that the body of Elizabeth Butterworth of Meltham-lately deceased-was not buried in any materiall contrary to an act of Parliament made for burying in woollen. Dated 30, October, Sworn before me Isaac Walton, Curate of Marsden Chappell."

To these might doubtless be added, many more instances of a similar kind, all tending to prove that the woollen cloth working, as it was called, very early took root in this country, and that it, along with the cultivation of the soil, helped to stimulate the energies and industry of the inhabitants.


To the pursuit of agriculture, however, the first place was necessarily given by persons, nearly all of whom where free- holders, and, as in the documentary evidence respecting property in Meltham, from the time of Elizabeth to that of queen Anne, the terms yeoman and husbandman are per- petually applied to the various individuals therein named,

Page 238


it is natural to conclude that most of the inhabitants Wer© landed proprietors; those on a larger scale were called yeomen, and those on a smaller one husbandmen, and both freeholders. It is perhaps to the preponderance of this class, that may be traced the excessive love for their district, so many of whose acres were their own, which ever distinguished the inhabitants of Meltham, and also that strong independent self-will and impatience of restraint, which they have on many occasions evinced.


To the tilling of the soil and the working of woollen cloth, must be added a third branch of industrial pursuit, namely, that of tanning leather, which was carried on at Meltham, though not to any great extent, considering the abundance of oak bark to be had in the neighbourhood and the constant supply of water. But this branch of trade has long since left the place, and Mr. Benjamin Armytage, who resided at Thickhollins, in 1731, as far as is known, was the last person connected with Meltham, who embarked largely in it.


Of Thickhollins itself, from its antiquity and beauty, the boast and ornament of the district, it is to be regretted that no particular records remain, and that beyond the generally admitted fact of its having been always ranked as the Great House* of the neighbourhood, it was also admired for its ancient respectability. Tradition gives no clue to the date of its erection, nor is the name of its founder preserved. The first allusion to it, as has been already stated, is to be found * Tradition testifies to the open-handed hospitality of this ancient mansion for many generations back, and this is a characteristic it is by

no means likely to lose in the hands of its present occupant, Mr. J. W. Carlile.

Page 239


in the time of Edward III., when a John de Thickholyns, probably the lord of the soil, was in sufficient favour with his Sovereign, to ask and obtain a special grant at his hands.* But though no conjecture can be formed as to when or by whom the first mansion at Thickhollins was built, the present one is supposed to stand on its site, and may, probably, retain the old foundations, but it has been so often enlarged and remodelled that its present shape and dimensions convey no idea of what its former aspect might have been, or afford the least clue as to the domestic habits of its early occupants. And thus the history of a place whose records might have furnished details of sufficient interest to fill a separate chapter, are brought within the limits of a couple of pages. It is believed that the first member of the Armytage family who settled at Thickhollins was Thomas, the son of "John Armitedge, of Ermytage," who died in 1527. This Thomas was a younger son, and is the gentleman pointed out by the compiler of the Thickhollins pedigree as the ancestor of that branch. The earliest entry of any one bearing the Armytage name, in the Almondbury Parish Register, is the fol- lowing Feb. 11. Anthony the son of John Armi- tedge Bapt. of Thickhollins." The incidental notices which have been gleaned respecting certain members of this family are very few, and very meagre, and amount to nothing more than such bare facts as the following, namely, that a sister of Christian Binns, the first curate of Meltham, married an Anthony Armytage, probably sometime between the years 1651 and 1669; that the mother of Abraham Woodhead was an Armytage ; also that one of his Thickhollins cousins was at University College, Oxford, when Dr. Obadiah Walker was the master of it, about 1675; that his eldest cousin, John

* Namely, a grant to cut wood in the Willow Shae.


Page 240


Armytage, of Thickhollins, in the year 1676, married Mary,* the relict of Godfrey Beaumont, of South Crosland, yeoman ; that she died the following year after the birth of her first child, who was baptised the same day his mother was interred at Meltham ; also that his son, John Armytage, of Thickhollins, " Armiger," was one of the grand jury at York in 1716, and that he died on the 14th of November, 1747. One more glimpse of this ancient family is afforded in the Meltham Register in 1752, where it is noted, that "old Mrs. Mary Armi- tage, o'th Thickhollins, was buried in the chancel July the 27." The Thickhollins property is now vested in the person of the Rev. J. N. Green Armytage, son of the late Joseph Green Armytage, Esq. The luxuriant growth of the holly at and near this interesting old place, fully justifies its name, and gives it a bright and cheerful appearance even in the gloomy months of winter.


The deed respecting the erection of Mean Bridge is still in existence, and has been kindly lent for insertion in this volume, by its possessor, Mr. Joseph Taylor, the registrar. It runs thus :-


Noverint univers? per presentes nos Jacobum Hacking de Sowerby et Josephum Pighles de Rushworth in Comitatu Eboraci, Masons, teneri et firmiter obligari Abrahamo Woodhead de Netherthongue, in parochii de Almonbury et Comitatu predicto, yeoman, in decem libris bong et legalis Magn» Brittannis solvendis eidem Abrahamo Woodhead aut suo certo Attornato, Executoribus, Administratoribus, vel Assignis suis. Ad

* This lady's maiden name was Waterhouse, her first husband's name was Godfrey Beaumont, of South Crosland, who left property to Meltham and Honley chapels.-See page 17.

Page 241


quam quidem solutionem bene et fideliter faciendam Obligamus nog et utrumque nostrim per se pro toto et in solido Heredes, Executores, Administratores nostros firmiter per prresentes Sigillis nostrig sigillatis datis vigesimo octavo die Julij Anno Regni Domini Georgij Regis Magne Brittannigzg Francis et Hibernis fidei Defengoris &c., decimo Annoque Domini 1724.

[Translation of the above.

Know all men by these presents, that we James Hacking, of Sowerby, and Joseph Pighles, of Rushworth, in the county of York, Masons, are held and firmly bound to Abraham Woodhead, of Netherthong,* in the parish of Almondbury, and county aforesaid, yeoman, in ten pounds of good and lawful money of Great Britain, to be paid to the said Abraham Wood- head or his certain attorney, executors, administrators or assigns, for which payment to be well and truly made, we bind ourselves, and each of us, by himself, for the whole and in gross, our heirs, executors, and administrators, firmly by these presents, sealed with our seals, dated the twenty-eighth day of July, in the tenth year of the reign of our Sovereign Lord George, of Great Britain, France, and Ireland, King, Defender of the Faith, &c., and in the year of our Lord 1724.4] Whereas upon the seventeenth day of January last past, a bargain was made betwixt the above-named Abraham Woodhead, Constable of Meltham- halfe in the Parish and county aforesaid of the one part, and the above bound James Hacking and Joseph Pighles on the other part, whereby the said James Hacking and Joseph Pighles undertook to build a new stone bridge at Meltham aforesaid, for and in consideration of the sum of four pounds seven shillings and sixpence, to be paid at two several payments, viz. one halfe part at the finishing of the said Bridge, and the other halfe part at the feast of St. Bartholomew next ensuing. Now the condition of this obligation is such, that if the above bounden James Hacking and Joseph Pighles will and do rebuild the said Bridge, if it should happen to be broken down by floods, or within the term of seven years next ensuing the date hereof, and further, if the said James Hacking and Joseph Pighles or their heirs, executors, &c., shall

* «* Nether-Thong, although now an independent township, was formerly called Meltham-Half, having been severed from Meltham at a remote period.-History of Kirkburton, Note p. 218. + Mean Bridge was enlarged September 13th, 1743. In a document of the year 1677, 29th, Charles II., we observe that an injunction is laid "* upon those whom it shall concern to keep in repair the Meane Gate and Lane," penalty for neglect of such 25s. each.

Page 242


during the term of seven years next ensuing, maintain, uphold and keep the said bridge in good repair, the Battlements only excepted, as occasion shall require and when requested by the Constable of Meltham aforesaid then in office. Then this obligation to be void, otherwise in force.

Sealed, signed and delivered The seal of being written upon treble James () Hacking Sizpenny stampt paper The seal of as the Act requires, in Joseph Q) Pickles presence of John Stainton* Ticketed outside John Shaw James Hacking Bond concerning & Joseph Pighles Mean Bridge.


This bridge was widened westward sometime between the years 1805, and 1807, in consequence of an accident which occurred to a spirited and valuable horse in crossing it on the 12th of August, 1805, by which the animal was nearly killed. The circumstances which gave rise to the accident were these. A person, Mr. John Armitage, assisting at the inn on that day, took the horse which belonged to one of the gentlemen who had come to shoot on the moors, to water at the goit. When returning, at a pretty sharp trot, the animal, unex- pectedly, took fright, and with his rider on his back, leaped over the east battlement. Armitage escaped almost miracu- lously, for, though his neck was somewhat twisted, yet no bones were broken. The horse was not actually killed by the fall, but so injured, that it was found necessary for him to be immediately shot. - After this accident the bridge was widened by order of the constable then in office.

NOTICES OF SEVERE DISTRESS. The year 1799, known as the "dreadful barley time," is

* Probably the curate of Meltham, nominated by R. Slater, vicar of Almondbury in 1724.

Page 243


well remembered by the aged inhabitants of Meltham, when oatmeal was sold for five shillings and fourpence per stone.* The township then suffered severely with many other parts of the country from the effects of a succession of bad harvests. The year 1812 appears like that of 1799, to have been one of much distress and privation to the working classes in Mel- tham, and it is satisfactory to observe by the town's books, that a subscription was at that time entered into for the relief of the necessitous poor of the township, then containing a population of about 1470 only. Of this subscription, Mr. James Garlick and Mr. Crispin Taylor were the collectors.


In the year 1819 a Wesleyan Methodist Chapel was erected in the village, in connection with which is a flourishing Sunday school, which was stated at the last meeting of the Mechanics' Institute to contain 240 scholars.t


The pastor of the Baptist Congregation, the Rev. Mr. Thomas, now in the 79th year of his age, states that he has resided in Meltham for thirty-seven years, during which period he has been instrumental in building two Sunday schools, and in 1864, a New chapel of commodious dimensions. The number

of scholars attending his Sunday school is stated to be 117.


It is probable that the most important physical changes which have taken place in the district, were produced by the act for enclosing the lands in the manor of Meltham, passed * The measure called hoop was sold for sixteen shillings. It contained three stones of sixteen pounds to the stone.

+ The Wesleyan Methodist Congregation was established at Meltham in the year 1807.

Page 244


in the session of 1817, the 57th year of the reign of George III., which was amended in the first of William IV., and carried into effect in the year 1832, for the walling m, drainage, and cultivation of the waste lands, consequent upon it, especially those that lay nearest to the village, must have naturally affected its aspect, and taken away the wild romantic beauty it previously possessed, when the heather and bilberry plant were to be found blooming much nearer to it than they are at present.

THE TURNPIKE ROAD FROM HUDDERSFIELD TO MELTHAM. The turnpike road from Huddersfield to Meltham* was begun in 1819. An act for amending, improving, and main- taining of which passed in the session of 1825, in the 6th year of George IV., must have conduced greatly to advance the social condition of the people, by affording them facilities of intercourse with their Huddersfield and other neighbours, and opening out markets from which their ancestors were necessarily excluded. The completion of this road gave a considerable impetus to trade and industrial pursuits of every description, and in consequence of it, improvements of various kinds at first gradually, and then rapidly succeeded, and made way for each other.


On a portion of the glebe land situated above the village an excellent Parsonage House with suitable offices attached,

* Meltham is in the upper division of the Wapentake of Agbrigg. It is six and a half miles south-west by south from Huddersfield. Its boun- daries are far west, West Nab; north west, Corner of Deer Hill; north, Blackmoorfoot ; east, Folly Dyke. The Druidical or Rockingstone, mentioned in pp. 6, 7, was, it appears by a document of the reign of Charles II.-1677-considered one of the boundaries of the township of

Meltham. *" The Rockingstone att Farrcroft Nabb " being therein speci- fied as one of the limits.

Page 245


was erected in the year 1839, by the Rev. Joseph Hughes, who had been appointed to the incumbency in the previous year. The building of this house was an event of great interest to all the inhabitants of Meltham, for in addition to the prospect it held out of a resident incumbent, one whose blessed vocation it should be, as has been well said, "to do the greatest amount of good to the greatest number of persons," its elevated position, overlooking the village, and visible from many points of view, led them to expect that it would be not only a most prominent, but also a most pleasing feature in their landscape. Nor were they disappointed in their hope, for its completion fully justified their anticipations. A stone scroll over the front door bears the following inscription :-

A> X' 1839.

THE POST OFFICE, NEWS-ROOM, LENDING LIBRARY, MECHANICS' INSTITUTE, AND ODD-FELLOWS' HALL. Among the most important public improvements in the village was the establishment of a Post Office in the year 1845, afterwards followed by the opening of a News-room, and the formation of a Lending Library in 1851, furnished by the kind liberality of some of the neighbouring gentlemen interested in the welfare of the inhabitants The volumes composing this library are kept in an apartment above the News-room, and being well assorted, are a great boon to all the readers of the village. The Mechanics Institute was opened in the year 1849, and a Female Institute, under the able superintendence of Mr. Lawford, does good service among the young women, who receive instruction in it on certain week days in the evening, in Scripture history, writing, geography, and accounts. The Odd Fellows' Hall, a large room belonging to the members of the order whose name it bears, was built in 1851, and is well adapted for public meetings of various kinds, tea drinkings, concerts, &c.

Page 246



An intense frost in the spring of 1855, which began on the 6th of February, and lasted till the 5th of March, was a cause of much suffering in the village and district contiguous to Meltham, and called for immediate sympathy and aid from the rich towards their poor neighbours This was readily accorded, and liberal subscriptions were promptly set on foot for the supply of bread, soup, and coal to the most necessitous among them. - The supply of bread and soup thus provided was sufficient for the relief of 1359 families, to whom it was distributed at Meltham Parsonage from the 8th of February to the 5th of March. The coal was distributed to the poor in the village.*


Gas was first introduced into Meltham in November, 1855, after the completion of the Gas works near Mean Bridge, which were erected by a joint stock company with a capital of £2,000, in shares of £2 each, and at an outlay of £2,250, the extra £250 being borrowed money. - Subsequent improvements have been made, the cost of which was defrayed

out of the reserve fund of the company.


In the year 1860, a Board for Local Government was formed, under whose auspices in 1862, the village was sup-

* [In connection with the coal at that time distributed in the village, many may doubtless remember the two friends, both now passed away, the Rev. Joseph Hughes, and Mr. Charles John Brook, engaged together in that work of charity, the older man sitting in the street, book and pencil in hand, keeping an account of the coal, which the younger one, with a hearty good will, shovelled into the baskets and boxes of the aged

and suffering persons for whom it was designed.]

Page 247


plied with water, abundant in quantity and excellent in quality. The water was first turned into the mains on the 5th of May in that year.


The last and perhaps the most important event as regards its probable effects upon the village of Meltham has yet to be recorded, namely, the cutting of the first sod of the Rail- way which is to connect Meltham with Huddersfield. This was done by Mr. Charles Brook, jun., on April the 4th, 1864. The widening of the road to Thickhollins, and the diversion of it from the Old Bridge is remembered by many as a recent improvement which was much needed. So also is the intro- duction of a Rural Police into the district, the establishment of Mr. Charles Rayner's printing press, and some other minor additions on which our limits will not permit us to dwell.


The census of the population of the township of Meltham from 1801 to 1861 is as follows :-1801, 1279 ; 1811, 1470 ; 1821, 2000 ; 1831, 2746 ; 1841, 3262 ; 1851, 3758 ; 1861, 4046. The number of families in Meltham in 1728 is stated to have been 85, and in 1750 they had increased to 102, while the census of 1861 gives them at 890. The township consists of 4590 acres. The number of houses in it in 1841 was 477. The money raised by the parish rates in 1803, at five shillings in the pound was £288 14s. 61d.

Note to p. 185:-Gas was introduced into Meltham Church in Decem- ber, 1865, and was lighted for evening service on the 24th of that month.

The cost of this improvement was about £50, which was defrayed by voluntary subscriptions.

Page 248




Obe MRabciftc dfamily.

a AI is somewhere about two hundred years since the name and family of Radcliffe first became connected with the village of Meltham, by the marriage of one of its members with a lady-Mary Beaumont by name-the daughter of Abraham Beaumont, of Meltham, yeoman, a gentleman who was possessed of considerable landed property in the district. Debrett in his pedigree of the ancient family of Radcliffe, gives an interesting account of its origin, and states that the name is derived from the village of Radcliffe in the county of Lancaster, and that it claims affinity with one of our early English monarchs, Ethelred-Ivo Taylebois-Earl of Anjou, from whom it sprang, having married Elfivat, a daughter of King Ethelred. It is also connected with the noble but unfortunate House of Derwentwater, and with the Earls of Sussex, &c. But it is unnecessary to follow the pedigree through all its various ramifications ; suffice it to state, that the young divine, William Radcliffe, clerk, the third son of Edmund Radcliffe, of Oldham, in the county of Lancaster, gentleman, about the year 1670, married Mary, the daughter of Abraham Beaumont, of Meltham, and, according to Debrett, the heiress

Page 249


of her brother George Beaumont*-these Beaumonts were a younger branch of the ancient family of Beaumont, of Whit- ley Beaumont, and of Crosland, in this county-and were scions from the same root, viz. :-the noble baron Roger de Bellomonte, who accompanied William the Conqueror from Normandy to England. The Rev. William Radcliffe who married Mary Beaumont, above-ramed, was educated at Brasenose College, Oxford, and was afterwards curate of Thorpe Salvin, where several of his children were born. He was subsequently nominated to the rectories of Aston and in Yorkshire, both which he held for forty years. Of his numerous family by Mary, his wife, the daughter of Abraham Beaumont, of Meltham, aforesaid, William Radcliffe, his third son, settled himself at Milnsbridge House, near Huddersfield, in right of Elizabeth his wife, relict of John Sellick Dawson, Esq., sometime of the same place. By this lady he had five children, two of whom died young. Of the surviving ones, William, Charles, and Mary, it is recorded that William Radcliffe, Esq., of Milnsbridge House, eldest son and heir, was Lieutenant Colonel of the West York Militia, and one of His Majesty's justices of the peace for the West-Riding of Yorkshire. He died unmarried September 26th, 1795, aged eighty-five years, and devised his estates to his nephew, Joseph Pickford, eldest son of his sister Mary.

* This is a mistake, she was the heiress of her brother Abraham. + The young rector of Dinnington had a large family of sons and daughters, and when at Thorpe Salvin, had a very small stipend to support them. Hunter in his "South Yorkshire" states that he was instituted rector of Dinnington on the 17th of April, 1688, on the presentation of King James II., and held the living till his death in 1727. His eldest son, Abraham, so named after his maternal grandfather, following the example of his father, married a Mary Beaumont, of Meltham, his second cousin, the daughter of Thomas Beaumont. This event took place either in 1693 or 1694, and formed a double connection between the Radcliffes and Beaumonts. Another of the rector of Dinnington's sons became con- fessor to the household, and gentleman of the chapel, of Queen Anne. William and Abraham were both brought up to the profession of the law.

Page 250


This gentleman, the great grandson of the Mary Beaumont, who about 1670 became the wife of the Rev. William Rad- cliffe, in compliance with a clause contained in his uncle's will, took the surname and arms of Radcliffe only. He was for several years a most loyal and active magistrate, one of His Majesty's justices of the peace for the counties of Lan- caster and Chester, the county of Derby, and the West-Riding of Yorkshire, and also Deputy Lieutenant for the West-Riding. His services during a period of disorder and public outrage were so highly esteemed by the Government, that in 1813, at the suggestion of the Lord Lieutenant of the West-Riding of Yorkshire-Earl Fitzwilliam-a baronetcy was offered him with the singular favour of a gratuitous patent This he accepted, but lived six years only to enjoy it, as he died in the year 1819. Charles Radcliffe, Esq., the uncle of the baronet, some- time resident at Heath, near Wakefield, married Francina, daughter and co-heir of Richard Towne, M.D., of York, and had by her three daughters, but no son. The William Towne Radcliffe,* of Smithouse, in the parish of Halifax, the son of Charles Radcliffe, Esq., of Smithouse, who had landed property in Meltham, must therefore have been the great nephew of Mr. Radcliffe, of Heath. It would appear that Mr. Abraham Radcliffe, of Meltham, married, for his second wife, Abigail, the daughter of Luke Wilson, of Mytham Bridge, the founder of Wilson's charity, and, after the birth of a son, removed to Almondbury, and resided in the ancient mansion there, called "Townend," of

* William Towne Radcliffe, gentleman, of Smithouse, in the parish of Halifax, and his only sister, dying without issue, by virtue of their father's will, proved at York 28th April, 1818, on the decease of both his children, the estates at Meltham now vest in his godson Francis Horncastle, Esq., and his share of the undivided estates in Almondbury, and the parish of Kirkburton, are vested in a distant relative, Charles Turner, Esq., of Hopton.

Page 251


which he became the purchaser. The family were of great eminence as solicitors, and the building in which they had their office is still in existence. The subjoined notices from the old register of Meltham chapel were forwarded to Almond- bury in the year 1857, and copied into the parish register there.

©1694 (copy) Sarah ; f: Abrahami Radcliffe bap: Feb: 21. ©1696 Abrahamus;* f: Abrmi Radcliffe bap : Feb : 7. ©1698 Willms. f: Abrami Radcliffe bap: Mar. 8. ©1700 Maria: Ux: Abrhi Radcliffe Sep: May 16. «* I hereby testify that the foregoing extracts are correctly taken from the Register of Baptisms and Burials in Meltham Church. JosrpE HUGHES, «* Meltham Parsonage, Incumbent." August 25th, 1857."

The following additional extracts from the registers enumerate the subsequent members of the Radcliffe family who emanated from Meltham.

«* 1705 Dec 30 John+ the son of Abraham Radcliffe, baptized at Meltham. 1711 May 19 Anna the daughter of Abraham Radcliffe of this town gentleman baptized. «* 1713 Apl 22 the son of Abraham Radcliffe gentleman was baptized. 1721 Nov 9 Sarah the daughter of Abraham Radcliffe of Townend gentleman was baptized. «* 1723 June 29 Abigail the daughter of Abraham Radcliffe of Townend gentlemen baptized. «©1724 Sept 18 Maria the daughter of Abraham Radcliffe Gentn of Townend baptized. «* 1735 April 17th John Hopkins of the Parish of Huddersfield gentleman and Mrs. Rachael Radcliffe of this parish spinster were married by Edward Rishton (by virtue of a Licence granted by Dr. George Leigh Vicar of Halifax.)

* This gentleman was living at Almondbury in the year 1720. + Died at Almondbury in 1763. { Settled at Charlston in South Carolina.

Page 252


«® Apl 27th Charles son of Mr. Abraham Radcliffe of Townend attorney

at Law was buried. ©1739 Sept 17 Abigail wife of Mr. Abraham Radcliffe of Townend

attorney at law buried. "©1747 Apl 1 Mr. Abraham Radcliffe attorney at Law was buried.

«©1752 Oct 19 The Revd. Mr. John Hirst, Curate of Longwood Chapel and Mrs. Abigail Radcliffe, spinster, of this Parish were married by virtue of a Licence granted by Mr. Thomas Rhodes, Vicar of Batley. ©1763 Dec 31 John Radcliffe of Townend Gentlemen was buried. ©1764 Mar 13 Catherine the Relict of John Radcliffe of Townend

Gentlo. was buried. 1782 Apl 24 Buried Miss Sarah Radcliffe who was born at Townend in Almondbury, but died at Woodhouse in Rastrick.


Of the ancient family of the Beaumonts, of Meltham, with whom, as already stated, the Radcliffes first allied themselves in marriage about the year 1670, some particulars have been gleaned from old legal documents kindly furnished by several of those professional friends to whose courtesy the editor is indebted for some of the most valuable notices in this work. From one of these documents it appears that John Beaumont, the elder, of Meltham, yeoman, by indenture dated May 23rd, 15th, Elizabeth-1553-enfeofis his son and heir John Beaumont, the younger, with a moiety of his lands, and all his possessions in Meltham, &c., to him and to his heirs for ever, retaining the other moiety to his own use during his life. A second indenture states that this John Beaumont, the younger, upon whom a moiety of his father's property was settled in 1573, in anticipation of his contemplated marriage with Agnes, widow of Thurstan Mottley,* of Honley, died

* Thurstan Mottley.-Thurstan bears a singular resemblance to Thur-

ston or Thurstin Clough, near Honley, which probably derived its name from its owner here mentioned.

Page 253


about the first year of Charles the first's reign, and was succeeded in his estates by Ais son, also a John Beaumont, then forty-seven years of age. In the inquisition holden at Bradford in 1625, the lands and possessions therein described prove him to have been a very wealthy yeoman. From a third indenture it appears that the son and heir of this gentleman, again a John Beaumont, and the fourth of that name in an uninterrupted succession, devised all his estates in Meltham, to wit, his house at Over Royd Closes, &c., with cottages, fulling mill, &c., to his eldest son and heir apparent, Abraham Beaumont, retaining only for his own support a small annuity out of the proceeds thereof. This annuity was £8 per annum for life, which was a very trifling sum out of so considerable a property ; but probably at that period-1645-desires were humble, and wants few. The Abraham Beaumont here named was, it appears, married three times. By his first wife he had four children who survived him, namely-Abraham, his eldest son, whom he made his heir, George apprenticed to a woollen draper, Mary, who became the wife of the Rev. William Radcliffe, curate of Thorpe Salvin, and Sarah, wife of Tristram Teesdale, attorney at law. Abraham Beaumont made his will in 1673, and died the following year.* His eldest son, Abraham, as already stated, was made heir to the chief part of his father's landed property, and he, dying without issue, by his will dated April 16th, 1707, devised to his sister Sarah, the wife of Tristram Teesdale, attorney at law, one farm with appurtenances, for her natural

* There is no tradition as to the house or houses occupied by the Beaumonts in Meltham for the two hundred years from 1573-the date at which the notice of them here begins-to 1773, when their initials were | B , | over the door of the house in which Mr. Edwin Eastwood now resides, and which

1773 his father purchased of the Beaumonts. The name of this house is Lydgate, or Nether End House.

carved in stone, thus

Page 254


life, and to his brother George the farms called Royd and Haigh Farm, with appurtenances in Meltham for his natural life, the premises all to be kept in good repair, and on their deaths gives and bequeaths these to his brother-in-law, William Radcliffe, clerk, in addition to all his other posses- sions, which at his decease are left to his said brother-in-law, William Radcliffe, clerk, for the term of twenty-four years next, after his decease. To every one of his nephews and nieces he bequeaths handsome legacies, and after the expira- tion of the said term of twenty-four years, or as soon as the debts and legacies can be raised, he devises the remainder of his property to his great nephew Abraham Radcliffe,* junior, and his heirs male. This fortunate young gentleman was the eldest son of Abraham Radcliffe, senior, and Mary Beaumont, his wife. His father, and grandfather, the rector of Dinnington, it appears, each married a Mary Beaumont. Abraham Radcliffe, junior, eventually settled at Brighouse. It is clear from the provisions of Abraham Beaumont's will that he had considerable personal as well as landed property to leave behind him, and he appears to have forgotten none of his relations in the disposition of it. One portion of a legacy to

* It was of the father of this Abraham Radcliffe and his wife, that the Rev. Robert Meeke, speaks thus in his diary :-*" October 30, 1694. Dined at Abr. Beaumond's at Meltham, with a new married couple, viz. Mr. Radcliffe and his wife. After dinner we went into the town to drink a shot as custom is. We stay'd too long, that it was very late before I came home. Mr. B. [Broom] being with me.'" The lady's maiden name was "* Mary," and she was the daughter of Thomas Beaumont, of Mel- tham, consequently half-cousin of her husband. Abraham Radcliffe, junior, was the eldest son of this lady. He was baptised at Meltham, February 7, 1696. By a document which he granted, viz., a lease which was witnessed by his two sons Abraham and William, in school-boy writing, it is evident that he had become possessed of the property in Meltham to which it relates, either as heir at law, or by bequest of his uncle Abraham Beaumont, or of his grandfather William Radcliffe, clerk. This branch of the Radcliffe family eventually settled at Smithouse, in the neighbourhood of Brighouse.

Page 255


his brother George furnishes a curious specimen of the simplicity of the times in which he lived. It runs thus :-

«* Item, I give to the said George Beaumont one chamber for himself to live in, called the chamber over the great Parlour, during his natural life, or so long as he shall keep single and unmarried ; Item, I give to the said George Beaumont a bed with bedding, one chest, & table, and a Range in the chamber."

The summing up of this document is somewhat curious. After nominating and appointing, as he had done several times before in this same will, his brother-in-law, William Radcliffe, clerk, the whole and sole executor of his last will and testament, revoking all former wills, he directs "that in case any opposition by any suit-at-law be brought by any person claiming a legacy under this will, such act shall make void the legacy of him or them." These Beaumonts were not only possessed of property, as is proved by the aforesaid documents, from 1573 to 1707, and well educated persons, as appears from the specimens of their caligraphy to be found in various deeds to which their names are appended, but also a fine race of men ; and the branch of the family settled at Town-end, Almond- bury, was not inferior to the one at Meltham. The last Abra- ham Beaumont, of Almondbury, seems to have been held in veneration as the village sage. In the churchwardens' accounts his name frequently occurs from 1690 to 1704, and then the "labourer ceasing from his work," this follows in the parish register :-" Abraham Beaumont,* de Town-erd, a man-in his generation-honest, useful, agreeable, to the grief and loss of the neighbourhood, departed this life on the 15th day of Septr. anno 1705, and was buried on the 17th day." To one of the members of a collateral branch of this ancient


* The entry is in Latin-the translation here given is a literal one. R

Page 256


family, viz., Godfrey Beaumont, of South Crosland, yeoman, the chapels of Meltham and Honley are indebted for endow- ment by lands and houses which he left for the maintenance of the ministers of both, in the year 1672. These are situate in the lordships and chapelries of Meltham and Honley, Netherton and South Crosland. Among several other documents relating to property in Meltham which have been kindly furnished by Mr. Daniel Dyson, two, alluding to the Beaumont family, appear of sufficient interest to claim a place in this chapter. Both are of the reign of Queen Anne-the first is "an indenture in the fifth year of the reign of our Sovereign lady Anne, by the grace of God, &c., anno dom., 1706, between William Harrison, of Edge-end, in South Crosland, in the county of York, yeoman, of the one part, and Katherine Beaumont, of Sharleston, in the said county of York, widow, of the other part, and witnesseth, that William Harrison sells to the said Katherine Beaumont, two closes of land lying and being within the township of Meltham, near to a messuage there called the Coppe. These closes were called and known by the several names of Edmund's Close and Upper Intack, and had been previously purchased by William Harrison of one Edmund Walker, of Huthersfield, in the said county of York, yeoman." One of these closes seems to have retained the name of its original owner, Edmund. The second document is an inden- ture made in the thirteenth year of our Sovereign lady Anne, &c., anno dom., 1714, between the Right Honourable Thomas, Earl of Westmorland, Baron le de Spencer and Burgash, of the one part, and Joseph Fisher, of the parish of Huthersfield, of the other part, by which the Earl of Westmorland, who had come into possession of this property in right of his wife, Katherine Beaumont, sells these closes aforesaid to Joseph

Page 257


Fisher, of Huthersfield, yeoman ; and thus puts an end to his connection with the village of Meltham. In Hunter's account of Lupset, Heath, and Sharleston, some curious notices of Madam Katherine Beaumont, of Sharleston, may be found. She was the daughter and heiress of Thomas Stringer, Esq., of Sharleston, and married Richard Beaumont, Esq., of Whitley, who died in 1704, at the age of twenty-six years. "The young and wealthy widow had soon another suitor, one of her own name. What some of her neighbours thought of this matter may be collected from the following passage in a letter of one of the Wentworths', of Wolley, written in January, 1705 or 1706 :-' Colonel Stringer is constantly at Sharlston, and it is everybody's opinion the widow will have him, and then I think, as Yorkshire has been talked of for rich widows, so it may be for foolish ones.' " However, it appears the persons most immediately interested in the matter thought differently, though it did not go to a marriage. - In "Le Neve," p. 120, it is stated, "Colonel Thomas Stringer died of a fever in his coach as he was going from Courtray, in Flanders, September, 1706. His body was brought over and interred at Enfield. There is a monument in the church, at Enfield, erected to his memory by this lady after she became Countess of Westmorland. Her death took place on the 4th of February, 1730, and she was buried at Apethorpe. The Countess of Westmorland's first husband, Richard Beaumont, Esq., of Whitley, was one of the lords of the manor of Meltham, where he was also the owner of considerable property." The extracts from the will of Thomas Beaumont, of Meltham, dated March 18th, 1669, are here subjoined, as helping to connect together the various members of the Beaumont family, and associating them with persons and events once well known in the village of Meltham.

Page 258


"In the name of God, Amen, the 18th day of March, the 22 year of the raigne of our Sovereigne Lord king Charles the II. by the grace of God of England, Scotland, France, &c., defender of the faith, &c., anno dom., 1669, I, Thomas Beaumond, of Meltham, in the Parish of Almon- burie, and countie of Yorke, yeoman, being sick and weak in bodie, but yet of sound and perfect memorie-blessed be God for the same-and knowing the uncertaintie of this life on earth, and verie desirous to settle things in order, I do make this my last will and Testament in manner and forme following, viz.- Ffirst and principally I revoake and hereby do disanull all and everie former wills and testaments by me formerly and before this time at the date hereof made and declared, and then I commende my soule into the hands of Almightie God who gave it me, and assuredly believing that I shall receive full pardon, and to be remissed of all my sins and to be saved by the precious death and merits of my blessed Saviour and Redeemer Jesus Christ, and my bodie to be returned to the earth from whence it was taken, and there to remain untill the joyful coming of our Lord and Saviour to judge the quick and the dead, by whose mightie power it being raised and made incorruptible, I doe steadfastlie believe in soule and bodie to enjoy life eternal. Desiring withal to be buried within the Chappell of Meltham aforesaid, in such decent place there as I shall make known to my executors hereafter named, and as touching such worldlie estate as the Lord in his mercie hath lent me, my will and mean- ing is, the same shall be bestowed and employed in manner and form, as hereafter is expressed."

Then he gives to all his children, consisting of four daugh- ters* and one son, equal portions, and further on, adds :-

"* Item, my will and mind is, that if it happen-as God it defend-that my said wife, Sarah, do die and depart this life before my said son, Joshua, attaine his full age of twentie and one yeares [his son, Joshua, was not fourteen at his father's death], I ordaine, constitute and appointe my well beloved brother-in-law, Edmund Broadhead and my halfe brother, Abraham Beaumont, younger, my joynt and lawful executors, &c., &c."

* The names of his daughters were Marie, afterwards married to Abra- ham Radcliffe, eldest son of William Radcliffe, clerk; she died in the year 1700, and was buried in the Chapel of Meltham ; and Martha, Anne, and Rebecca; he had also one son, Joshua, to whom he gives and bequeaths all his possessions on condition that he shall pay to his four daughters, three score and four pounds each.

Page 259


The following extracts from inquisitions held in various reigns are given in this chapter, as the most circumstantial of them-those in the time of Queen Elizabeth-are confirmatory of the documents before adduced, to prove the social position of the Beaumont family in Meltham at that period. On examining the various inquisitions relating to Almond- bury, the first is found in the hundred rolls in Edward I., A.D. 1273-4. The second in Edward III. The third in Henry VI. The fourth in Elizabeth's reign. The fifth in James I. In one part of the inquisition in Edward the third's reign, two tenants from Meltham are found paying rent to the Lord of Almondbury. In Elizabeth's reign there is a very long return by a jury appointed to survey the manor of Almondbury, and to answer nearly thirty articles of inquiry. The three first questions, and the answers to them, appear to be the only facts of this lengthy document referring to Meltham. It seems that for many ages, periodical returns were made from Almondbury to Pontefract Castle ; what became of these returns on the entire destruction of the Castle is not known, but it is feared that with the overthrow of that stronghold they perished, along with many other valuable memorials of the past. It is, however, possible, that some remains of these important documents may still be found in public or private collections of manuscripts, sufficient to fill up a chasm in the history of the Castle at Almondbury.

It was ordered in Trinity Term, the 26th year of Elizabeth, 1584, that Edward Stanhope, Esq., Surveyor, shall, by virtue of his office, survey the manor of Almonbury, parcel of the Dutchy of Lancaster, in the county of York, and shall notice in writing, to be delivered in the church there, upon some Sunday, or holiday, after the Common Prayer, twenty days before the said Edward Stanhope shall begin his said survey, whereby as well the freeholders as copyholders may make their evidence ready, to be showed at the time of the said survey.

Page 260


Articles to be inquired of upon the survey of the Queen's Majesty's manor of Almondbury, taken and made by Edward Stanhope, Esq. The three first articles are as follows :-

1st.-In the first place to inquire and present a perfect boundary of the ring, and uttermost bounder of the whole manor and township of Almonbury, liberties of the same, and what out-towns be belonging to the same, or that the same doth extend into, and how the same is divided from all other parishes and manors adjoining upon the same. 2nd.-Also how many townships, or several and distinct villages there be within the precincts of the said manor of Almonbury, or into which the same manor extendeth, and by what particular names they be called, and how they do lie. 3rd.-Also, whether the Queen's Majesty in the right of her Dutchy of Lancaster, be chief Lord of the said manor of Almonbury, and of all the lands and tenements contained within the said towns or hamlets belong- ing to the said manor.

Then follow the answers to the above three articles, and it is added :-

They further say, that the townships of Huddersfield, Honley, and Meltham, South Crosland, Slaithwaite, and such, do, in respect of the Court Leet, belong to the said manor of Almonbury, for that the several constables and certain men of every the said townships, do twice in the year, make their suite to the said Court Leet, holden within the same manor of Almonbury, and there do make presentments upon their oaths of their new constables, at the Court Leet holden at Michaelmas yearly, and of affrays, bloods, and such other common annoyances-at both the said Court Leets-as are done and committed within the said several townships, and as are usually presentable at a Court Leet. And they further say, touching the said first article, that the said manor of Almondbury doth extend itself into the manor or lordship of Huddersfield, for that Edward Cowper, one of the afore-named jury, doth hold freely by soccage and messuage, certain lands lying within the said manor of Hud- dersfield, called Egerton, of the Queen's Majesty, as of the said manor of Almonbury.

Page 261


Also, the said manor of Almonbury doth stretch itself into the manor of Meltham, for that one John Beaumont holdeth certain lands and tene- ments lying within the said manor of Meltham, by copy and Court Roll of Her Majesty, as of the said manor of Almonbury. And also the said manor of Almonbury doth extend itself into the manor of South Crosland, for that one Thomas Beaumont, and John Cryer, do hold two messuages and certain lands freely lying in South Crosland aforesaid, as of the said manor of Almonbury, &c. And also, for that John Armitage, of the Armitage, holdeth one parcel of ground in South Crosland aforesaid, called Royd Bank, and one meadow called Mereholm, lying in South Crosland, as of the manor of Almon- bury. And as touching the dividing of the said manor of Almonbury from all other manors adjoining, they say that the said manor of Almon- bury is divided as follows :-That is to witt, from the manor of Woodsome, on the south part, from the manor or lordship of Honley, on the west part, from the manor of South Crosland and North Crosland, on the north west and north partes, from the manor of Huddersfield, on the north part, from the manor of Dalton, on the north and north-east parts, and from the manor of Lepton, on the east part, &c. To the second article they say, that there be no several or distinct townes within the precincts of the said manor of Almonbury, except the town of Almonbury and Newsome, nor in the towns into which the said manor doth extend itself, as is aforesaid, to their knowledge. To the third, they say, that the Queen's Majesty, in the right of Her Highness' Dutchy of Lancaster, is the chief lord of the said manor of Almonbury, but not of any of the lands and tenements contained within the said townes and hamletts, belonging to the said manor in respect of the Court Leet of the said manor, to their knowledge, other than of the said tenement in Huddersfield, called Edgerton, and of the lands and tenements of the said John Beaumont, in Meltham, and of the said lands of the said Thomas Beaumont, John Cryer, and John Armitage, of the Armitage, in South Crosland, holden of the said manor of Almonbury, as is aforesaid, in their deposition to the first article, &c., &c.

In the answer to the seventh article is given a list of the copyholders who held land of the manor of Almondbury at that date, and amongst them are the following :-

Page 262


John Beaumont, of Meltham, holdeth by copy of Court Roll, two closes lying in Meltham, the one called Smithy Croft, and the other Netheroyd, now made into two, with two sheepcotes thereupon builded, containing altogether by estimation, seven acres and a half, and payeth by the year three shillings * * * * And again they-that is the jury-further say touching the said seventh article; that all the aforesaid several copyholders before named-except the said John Beaumont, of Meltham-do hold their said several copy- hold lands and tenements, by the customs and services hereafter mentioned, that is to wit, to make suit to the Lord's court and mill, in such sort, manner and form, and with such and so much corn and grain, as the freeholders of the same manor do, and ought to do, and as is before set down in their deposition to the said sixth article. But they say, that forasmuch as the said John Beaumont, of Meltham, is not bound to repair any part of Her Majesty's mill-dam, as copyholders within the manor be, therefore whether the same John Beaumont be bound to make to the lord's mill or no, the jury know not, and they further add that the copyholders of the bond tenure ought to repair the mill-dam of the lord's timber in such sort, manner and form as the freeholders ought to do. * * * * x *

Page 263




Obe Manor of Weltham.

KFORE proceeding to give a list of the lords of the manor of Meltham, it will be necessary to inquire to which class of manors, "capital" or "customary," that of Meltham belonged. The former of these, such as that of Almondbury,* were termed " capital," and had other manors under them. "Customary manors"'t were granted by copy of Court Roll, the lords of which had power to hold Courts and grant copies ; to which is to be traced the origin of copy- hold estates, that is, of those held by Copy of the Roll of the Court of manor. To this class Meltham seems to have belonged. A proof of the relative position of the two manors

*» Of this " capital'" manor of Almondbury, it is stated in the " Domes- day Survey,"" "that it had even then been granted out by Ilbert de Laci to one Leusen, yet notwithstanding this grant, the Lacies, as superior lords, had erected a castle, of far inferior dimensions undoubtedly to the great Saxon fortification, on the site and most probably out of the ruins of the former." + An explanation of the difference existing between "capital'" and * customary" manors, is contained in the Glossary to " Bawdwen's Trans- lation of the Domesday Survey." It is as follows :-*" A manor cannot be, without a Court Baron. It must be, time out of mind. At this day a manor cannot be made. It may contain one or more villages or hamlets, or only great part of a village. And there are capital manors, or honours, which have other manors under them. The lords whereof perform customs and services to their superior lords. There may be also customary manors, granted by copy of Court Roll, and held of other manors. But it cannot be a manor in law, if it wanteth freehold tenants, nor be a customary manor without copyhold tenants.'"-Bawdwen's Translation of the

Domesday Survey, Glossary, p. 13.

Page 264


has been already furnished at length in the preceding chapter, by extracts from certain inquisitions held in the reigns of Edward III., and Elizabeth, in each of which, the tenants

from Meltham, spoken of as paying rent to the Lord of Almondbury,* prove the connection existing between the two

manors, and place the question beyond all doubt. Previous to the time of Edward the Confessor, the last monarch of the Saxon line, who reigned from 1041 to 1066, it cannot be ascertained in whose hands the manor or royalty of Meltham was vested. But at that period the Domesday Survey states it to have been, along with the manor of Haneleia -Honley-in the joint possession of two individuals, Cola and Suuen, How long they and their ancestors may have held it, does not appear, but most probably all through the reign of the Confessor. In the year 1086, when the survey was completed, these two manors had passed, like many others

in Yorkshire and elsewhere, into the possession of Ilbert de Laci. - Whether Cola and Suuen subsequently held them as tenants of or under him, is not recorded. Of Suuen it is stated that he continued to hold several important manors, in various parts of the country, after the Norman occupation of the Island. Ibert de Laci was one of the powerful Barons who accompanied William of Normandy to England, and subsequent events shew that he was a favourite, as well as a follower of the Conqueror, for to him William gave the castle and town of Brokenbridge, called afterwards according to the Norman dialect, Pontefract. He had also by his gift, all that part of the county of Lancaster, then and * That the Lacies, as superior lords, retained in their own hands the chief power over the manor of Almondbury, may be gathered from two facts respecting them, in the reign of Edward I. One of them is, that Edward made a grant to Henry dc? Laci, enabling him to hold a v’veekly market on the Monday at "* Almonburie in Com. Ebor.," and the other, that

Alice de Laci and her son Henry, third Earl of Lincoln, presented church of that place in the year 1287. presented to the

Page 265


since called Blackburnshire, now one of the hundreds, situate towards the West-Riding of Yorkshire,* with other lands of vast extent; so that at the time of the General Survey he had no less than 150 lordships, or the greatest part of so many in Yorkshire, ten in Nottinghamshire, and four in Lincoln- shire, and obtained from King William Rufus a confirmation of all those customs, belonging to his castle of Pontefract, as he had enjoyed in the time of William the Conqueror, his father. Some idea of the importance to which the family of the De Lacies eventually attained, may be inferred from the fact that no less than thirty-five coats-of-arms are stated in the " Encyclopzdia Heraldica" to have belonged to them. It appears to have been the policy of William to bestow the best lands in his new kingdom on his old retainers, and as the passion for hunting was universal among the Normans, it is concluded that a wild and thickly wooded district, such as was the West-Riding of Yorkshire at that period, must have been accounted the best, as affording them most scope for the pleasures of the chase. There might also be another and still more cogent reason why the Conqueror gave so vast a territory to this already puissant Baron, namely, the means he thus placed at his disposal for keeping the whole in subjection to himself its new sovereign.

* **The whole county of York is divided into three parts, denominated from three several quarters of the world, West-Riding, East-Riding, and North-Riding, and the division by Ridings is only a corruption of the Saxon Trithing, which consisted of several hundreds or wapentakes, nor wus it peculiar to this county, but formerly common to most of the neighbouring ones, as appears by the laws of Edward the Confessor, and the life of King Alfred."-Camb. Brit. Glossary to Domesday, p. 17. *Treding or Riding, not improbably Trithinga, was a portion of a county that contained three or four hundreds. These Trithings had their Trithingerefas, their governors or reves ; and what could not be determined in the hundred or wapentake, was ended here; and what could not be ended here was determined in the shire."-Brady's Hist. pp. 142-3.

Page 266


Ebe KXorbs of the anor of MWeltham.


the first Lord of the manors of Almondbury* and Meltham, was, it would appear, the founder of the great family bearing his name. He left behind him two sons, Robert and Hugh. Robert, also called Robert de Pontefract, succeeded his father and became heir to his possessions.


He was the second Lord of these two manors. This chief- tain eventually joined some of the powerful Barons adhering to Duke Robert, surnamed "Courthose,"' son of the Conqueror, in rebellion against his brother Henry I., and was forced to buy his peace at a dear rate. * * * But even after this, both he and Ilbert his son were expelled the realm by King Henry, and the honour of Pontefract was bestowed on Henry Traverse, who was mortally wounded by his own servant a few days after, and died of his wounds. After which, the King bestowed this property on Guy de la Val, who held it till King Stephen's time.


who had been exiled with his father Robert, but by special favour of Stephen, re-obtained his Barony of Pontefract, and was ever after one of the staunchest adherents of that monarch, died without issue, and was succeeded by

* *The grandeur of the nobility under William the Conqueror was very great. The Earls Palatine had all royal officers, and in state differed very little from Kings. All other Earls likewise had their great officers of state, though they lived not in the same magnificence as the Earls Palatine did. Earls, as also Barons, in those times, had every one their castles very well fortified, and endowed with many privileges, which were called the head of their Baronies."-Brady's Hist. p. 201.-Bawden's Glossary.

Page 267



who had full restitution of his whole honour of Pontefract, and all his other lands in England and Normandy. And in anno dom. 1147-12th of Stephen-did, with the consent of the Abbot of Fountaynes, and in accomplishment of a vow made in the time of his sickness, found a monastery for Cistercian Monks, first at Bernoldswicke, and afterwards removed them to Kirkstall in Com. Ebor., which monastery he amply endowed with lands and revenues. * * *


succeeded his father Henry in all his lands and honours. He was one of the Barons who attended at the solemn coro- nation of King Richard I. He died without issue.


The successor to his great possessions was Albreda de Lissours, then wife of Richard Fitz Eustace, feudal Baron of Halton and constable of Cheshire, who was the widow of Henry de Laci and laid claim to the Barony of Pontefract, and all other lands of her deceased brother Robert, under pretence of a grant from Henry de Laci, her first husband. By Richard Fitz Eustace she had a son John, who became heir to his half uncle Robert, and assumed the name of De Laci and inherited as


the Baronies of Halton and Pontefract, with all that they included, as well as the constableship of Chester. This feudal

lord espoused Alice de Vere, and dying in the Holy Land, anno dom. 1179, was succeeded by his eldest son,


constable of Chester,. - This nobleman assisted at the siege of

Page 268


Acon in 1192, and fighting under the banner of the lion- hearted Richard, shared the subsequent triumphs of that monarch. At the time of the accession of King John he was

a person of great eminence.


his son, was also constable of Chester. In the 15th year of King John, this Baron undertook the payment of 7,000 marks to the crown in the space of four years, for livery of the lands of his inheritance, and to be discharged of all his father's debts due to the Exchequer, further obliging himself by oath, that in case he should ever swerve from his allegiance, and adhere to the king's enemies, all his possessions should devolve on the crown; promising also that he would not marry without the king's licence. By this agreement it was arranged that the king should retain the castles of Pontefract and Dunnington still in his own hands, and that he, the said John de Laci, should allow £40 per annum for the custody of those fortresses. The next year the Earl had Dunnington restored to him upon hostages. About this time he joined the baronial standard, and was one of the celebrated twenty- five barons appointed to enforce the observance of Magna Charta. He married a daughter of the Earl of Chester and Lincoln, and was created by Charter, dated at Northampton, 23rd November, 1232, Earl of Lincoln in right of his wife Margaret, the above mentioned daughter of the Earl of Chester and Lincoln. This John de Laci, the first Earl of Lincoln, left behind him a son, his successor,


who, though considered the second Earl of Lincoln, never assumed that title, by reason that he died before his mother, in the year 1257. His mother, Margaret, married for her

Page 269


second husband, William Marshall, Earl of Pembroke. Edmund de Laci was succeeded by his son,


the third and last Earl of Lincoln in that family. He mar- ried Margaret, sole daughter and heiress of William Longespe, Earl of Salisbury, and had thereupon the Earldom of Salisbury added to his other titles and estates. Among various other grants made to Henry de Laci by King Edward I., was one to enable him to hold a weekly market on the Monday at Almondburie in Com. Ebor. Of this distinguished nobleman, there are some interesting notices preserved, and among them the de Laci, third Earl of Lincoln, was one of the most eminent of the nobles of his time, and enjoyed the highest place in the favour of King Edward I. In the third year of Edward II., upon that monarch's march into Scotland, the Earl of Lincoln was constituted governor of England during the king's absence. This nobleman died in 1312, at his mansion house, called Lincoln's Inn, in the suburbs of London, which he himself had erected in that place where the Blackfriars' habitation anciently stood. Immediately before his decease, he called his son-in-law, the Earl of Lancaster, to his bed side, and addressed him in words to the following effect :-

** See'st thou the Church of England,* heretofore honourable and free,

* The Lacies held an immense amount of church property and patronage, and from this expression of the Earl's, it would appear that he was much opposed to the universal supremacy at that time exercised by the Pope of Rome in the kingdom of England. It is true that this foreign element had been, if not introduced into the church, greatly strengthened under the Norman rule, for it is stated on the authority of several historical writers -Ingulphus, Malmesbury, and Brompton-** that the Saxon bishops had stood forth as champions for the rights and ancient laws of the people, and that William, finding it impossible to awe or silence these true patriots, proceeded to deprive them of their benefices, and to plunder the churches and monasteries without scruple, and according to the report of Roger of

Page 270


enslaved by Romish oppressions, and the king's unjust exactions? - See'st thou the common people impoverished by tributes and taxes, and from the condition of freemen, reduced to servitude? See'st thou the nobility, formerly venerable through Christendom, villified by aliens in their own native country? I therefore charge thee in the name of Christ, to stand up like a man, for the honour of God and his church, and redemption of thy country ; associating thyself to that valiant, noble and prudent person, Guy, Earl of Warwick, when it shall be most proper to discourse of the public affairs of the kingdom, who is so judicious in counsel, and mature in judgment. Fear not thy opposers, who shall contest against thee in the truth, and if thou pursuest this my advice, thou shalt gain eternal heaven."

This great Earl left an only daughter and heiress, Alice de Laci, married first to Thomas Plantagenet, Earl of Lancaster, who became Earl of Lincoln in her right, secondly to Eubold le Strange, and thirdly to Hugh le Frenes. Her ladyship assumed the title of Countess of Lincoln and Salisbury. She died without issue in 1348, when those honours became extinct in the De Laci family. Henry de Laci dying in the year 1312 was succeeded in all his honours and possessions by his son-in-law,


Earl of Lancaster, above named, who was the twelfth Lord of the Manors of Meltham, Huddersfield, Almondbury, and Holme,

all of which, with the castle and honour of Pontefract, and a

Wendover and other ancient chroniclers, he appropriated to his own use all the chalices and rich shrines on which he could lay his It is also stated by these and other equally reliable historians, " that it was in vain for the English clergy to appeal to the Roman Pontiff for protection, as William was supported by the authority of the new system of church government adopted by the Norman bishops, which was, to deprive the people of the use of the Scriptures in the Saxon tongue, thereby rendering one of the best and noblest legacies, bequeathed to them by the royal reformer King Alfred, the translation commenced by him of the word of God, a dead letter. It also became an understood thing, that no scholar of English birth was to be admitted to any degree of ecclesiastical prefer- ment."-Inguiphus, Halket, Eadmer, and the Saxon Annals. Itis pos- sible that Henry de Laci saw when too late the evils of such a system.

Page 271


vast accumulation of wealth, titles, and estates fell to him in right of Alice, his wife, the representative and heiress of the powerful House of De Laci. Thomas, Earl of Lancaster, was the grandson of Henry III., consequently a prince of the blood, and cousin German of Edward II. He was by far the most opulent and influential nobleman of his day, possessing in his own right and in that of Alice, his wife, no less than six Earldoms, with a proportional estate in land. His mar- riage with this great heiress proved the ruin of his domestic peace, and the crowning misfortune of his life, for she was in every way unworthy of her father and of her husband. In the year 1317, she was seized and carried off with much violence by order of the Earl of Warren to his castle of Reigate, in Surrey, and her subsequent conduct led to the belief that she was herself a party to this flagitious act. It would seem that her husband also had entertained this opinion, for she was immediately divorced by him, and in his wrath he proceeded to avenge himself on the Earl of Warren by laying siege to some of his castles in Yorkshire From this course the king-Edward II., -commanded him to desist, and he was of course compelled to do so. But in the year 1318, when the Earl of Lancaster undertook to pardon every one his trespasses and felonies done against him, he excepted those wrongs committed by the Earl of Warren, and being then at the height of his power, took from his hated rival the grant of his manor of Wakefield, and obtained also Conings- borough, by which means he banished the Earl of Warren entirely from the north It does not appear how far the domestic troubles of the Earl of Lancaster may have aug- mented or aggravated his impression of public evils, but certain it is, that in 1322, his discontents drove him into open rebellion against his Sovereign, and led to the com- mission of acts, for which, on the 23rd of March in the same s

Page 272


year, he paid the penalty of his life before the walls of his own castle of Pontefract. Edward, though not naturally of a vindictive temper, on this occasion indulged his revenge against Lancaster, for indignities practised by him on Gaveston, his wicked favourite, and among other cruelties unworthy of a prince towards a subject, issued orders to the Earl of Warren to pursue and apprehend him ; and in addition to this, gave Warren a place among the Peers present in the castle of Pontefract, when sentence of death was passed on the once powerful master of it, and he was led forth to execution. From the root of bitterness engendered in the quarrel between these two powerful nobles, arose all the hatred, violence and bloodshed that have been recorded among the rival retainers of Lancaster and Warren, and to it must be attributed the three- fold murders committed by the Ellands, Lockwoods, and Beaumonts* of that day. All the honours of Thomas Plantagenet, Earl of Lancaster, became forfeited under his attainder. He died without issue, but his brother, Henry Plantagenet, being a distinguished soldier in the Scottish wars, had livery of his lands in the 17th year of Edward III.,- 1342-and was restored to the dignity of Earl of Leicester. For a time it would, however, appear that some of these lands were alienated, though they again reverted to the house of Lancaster, as will be seen in a future portion of this chapter, for in Whitaker's " Loidis et Elmete," it is stated that :-

"* In the 9th of Edward II., Thomas, Earl of Lancaster was found Lord of Huddersfield. Soon after his execution it must have been granted out ; for by deed dated at Huddersfield 1333, Sir Richard de Birton, Knight, gave to John de Birton, his son, all his manor of Hodresfield,+ with the

* Sir John Elland was steward to the Earl of Warren. Beaumont and Lockwood were retainers of the Earl of Lancaster, and the lives of all three were sacrificed in this feud. + Whitaker, p. 348, the authorities given by him are "The Harl. MSS. 805. f. 67."

Page 273


rents and services of Ric: de Hanlay, Margeny de Quarmby, Adam de Hepworth, Adam de Lockwood, Adam de Blackburn.-Witness, Sir John de Elland, Brian de Thomhill, John Hemynge, Knights."*

This, it will be seen, applies to Huddersfield. Nothing is here said of the manor of Almondbury, but in the same work, Whitaker's "Loidis et Elmete," the following passage occurs :- " By Patent dated 33rd of Henry III.,-1249-free warren in Almonbury was granted to Edmund de Lacy," and it is added "In the Dutchy of Lancaster it continued, till it was purchased of the Crown A.D., 1627, by Sir John Ramsden, Knight, in whose descendant, Sir John Ramsden, Baronet, it is still vested." But to return to its original possessors of the House of Lancaster upon the accession of Edward III.; Henry, Earl of Lancaster, brother of Thomas Plantagenet, who was beheaded in the reign of Edward II., rose so high in the favour of his young Sovereign, that he had the honour of girding him with the sword of knighthood, and as soon as the new monarch was crowned, he was appointed, the King being a minor, his guardian. After which, in the Parliament begun at Westminster, the attainder against his brother being reversed, he was restored to all the lands of his father and brother, with the Earldoms of Lancaster and Leicester, and he must then have been reinstated in his manor of Almondbury as well as in all those pertaining to the family of which he had by his brother's death, become the head. In this same year, the first of Edward III., he was also constituted Captain General of all the King's forces in the marches of Scotland.

XIII.-HENRY, EARL OF LANCASTER, was consequently the thirteenth Lord of the capital manor of

* «Some curious information as to the relative importance of some of the towns and villages in the wapentake of Agbrigge in early times may be gathered from the ancient Taxe of the old wapentake, made probably in the reign of Edward III., in which the Taxe of Hodresfield is stated to be 13/4, that of Meltham 12/."-West's MSS.

Page 274


Almondbury, and its customary one of Meltham. He was the last Earl of the House of Lancaster. On his death in the year 1326, he was succeeded in all his lands and honours by


in Monmouthshire, so called from having been born there, who thus became the fourteenth Lord of Almondbury, and after numerous dignities and titles had been heaped upon him, he was created Duke of Lancaster, March 6th, the twenty-fifth of Edward III. This nobleman repaired the Savoy House in the Strand, London, at a cost of 25,000 marks. He had no sons, but left behind him two daughters, Maude and Blanche. Maude, the eldest daughter, died without issue, and all her lands belonging to her father reverted to her younger sister, Blanche, who had married in 1359, John of Gaunt, Earl of Richmond, fourth son of King Edward III., and Philippa, his queen, and who, "in virtue of this marriage became Duke of Lancaster, Lord of the castle and town of Pontefract, and of the manors of Bradeford, Almonbury, Altofts, &c., also of the Bayliwick of Osgoldscrop, Agbridge," &e.


was therefore the fifteenth Lord of the manor of Meltham, which on his death vested in his son,


Earl of Hereford, the issue of his marriage with Blanche above named, who afterwards became Henry IV., and thus was the Dutchy of Lancaster, and the Barony of Pontefract,* with all

*+ Numerous proofs are incidentally recorded of the connection existing between Meltham and Pontefract from the time of the Lacies to that of the Royal Lancasters, and through them to that of Queen Elizabeth. Among these proofs may be reckoned the one given by Dr. Boothroyd in his " History of Pontefract," in which he states that Meltham Chapel is named in the list of parishes and chapelries within the Deanery of Ponte-

Page 275


its dependencies united to the Crown of England. That the manor of Almondbury continued in the possession of royalty till the year 1627, when it was purchased of the Crown by Sir John Ramsden, Knight, as already stated, there can be no doubt, and with the manor of Almondbury that of Meltbham was down to, if not after that period, legally connected. Certain indentures still extant lead to the conviction that in the year 1571, the thirteenth of Elizabeth, some parts of the latter had been sold out ; and another dated 1583, leads to a similar conclusion. The first of these, in the 13th of Elizabeth, is "an indenture made between Robert Rockley, Esq., and his son, of the first part, the Waterhouses and Armytages of the second part, and John Beaumont of the third part, to lead to the uses of a fine and recovery of one fourth part of ye manor of Meltham." And again, by an indenture bearing date November 16th, the 25th of Elizabeth, 1583, and made between certain parties therein named, it appears that " whereas Edward Taylor and Roger Greene, of Meltham, having purchased of George Woodroffe, Esquier, and his son, of Woolley, one half the manor or royalty of Meltham, and having sold certain portions of the same to the persons above named, the proportionate parts of the manorial rents those persons are entitled to, are in this deed set forth, and the modes of payment and recovery thereof." _ Also, a Feoffment deed, the 25th of Elizabeth, from Edward Taylor and Roger Greene, to William Haigh, of Gate Head, in Marsden, of the three roodes of appletree land, Briggland, Dales, &c., being land sold out of the manor of Meltham." - There is also a curious document of Charles the first's time which runs thus :-

«* On the 30th day of Julye, 1649, John Taylier, of Milnes Bridge the

fract. The authorities consulted in this chapter are the " Domesday Survey," Dugdale's " Baronage of England," Whitaker's " Loidis et Elmete," and some other later ones, viz :-*" Burke's Extinct and Dormant Peerage of England," and Ormerod's " History of Cheshire."

Page 276


elder, yeoman, and Hugh Taylier, of Thickhollings, sell, for the considera- tion of 2 hundred and fourscore pounds, the, manor or royalty of Meltham with all the Rights and priveleges appertaining thereto, to Joshua Broad- head of O.W. thongue.'"' (Overthong.)

In a conveyance dated April 24th, 1677, it is stated that-

"A moiety of the royalty of Meltham was sold by John Wilson of Ferneleye Tias, to James Taylor of Meltham for the consideration of ye somme of of lawfal money of England."

And in a copy of the Court Roll of the manor of Meltham, holden November 7th, 1667, elsewhere given, the names of the several lords of the manor at that date, are furnished. They are as follows :-Richard Beaumont, Esq.,* James Taylor, gentleman, Joshua Beaumont, Joshua Hirst, John Armitage, Abraham Beaumont, John Waterhouse, Edward Waterhouse and James Taylor." And again in 1741, Beaumont and Radcliffe, Esqs., com- plain of an encroachment on their manorial rights by James Taylor, of Meltham, but agree to refer the dispute to Richard Wilson and John Dyson, Esqs. In the year 1751, Mary Walker, of Inghead, in Slaithwaite, widow, sold to John Eagland, of Inghead, Slaithwaite, a third part of the manor of Meltham, with all the rights and privi- leges appertaining thereto. In 1817, the Inclosure Act states that the Lords of the manor of Meltham are, John Beaumont, Joseph Green Army- tage, and Charlee Radcliffe, Esqs., Thomas Shaw, Joseph Eastwood, and Timothy Dyson, gentlemen. The present Lords of the manor of Meltham are H. F. Beaumont, Esq., M.P., the Rev. J. N. Green Armytage, Uriah

* A Sir Thomas Beaumont, of Whitley, owned property in Meltham, and was one of the Lords of the manor in 1650. The Richard Beaumont, Esq., above named, afterwards Bir Richard, was most probably his son. It was the widow of this gentleman who presented a chalice to Meltham Chapel in 1675.

Page 277


Tinker, Esq., Messrs. Charles Brook, jun., and Edwin Eastwood. In 1842, an Act of Parliament was passed, called the Parochial Constables Act. Previous to that time, the con- stables of Meltham were always sworn in at the Court Leet, at Almondbury, called the Court Leet of the great Court Baron, Sir John Ramsden, Bart. If they had any grievances to present, they were to be presented there. This Court Leet is still in existence at Almondbury, and the constables, if required by the township, could still be sworn in there. But since the passing of the Act of 1842, this has been abandoned. The person, however, filling the two offices of pinder and bye- law-man is still sworn in at Almondbury.

THE DE LACI FAMILY AS BARONS OF HALTON AND CONSTABLES OF CHESHIRE. An abridged account of the De Lacies taken from notices* of them in Ormerod's " History of Cheshire," is here added as a supplement to the foregoing sketch of those members of the family, who were, each in their turn, Lords of the manors of Almondbury and Meltham ; for although the author of that work treats of them chiefly in relation to Chester, of which they became constables in Fee, through the marriage of Albreda de Lissours, widow of Henry de Laci, with Richard Fitz Eustace, feudal Baron of Halton, and constableof Cheshire, it entirely establishes the fact that after the year 1180, these possessions fell by inheritance to the Lords of Pontefract Castle, and that this remarkable union of feudal power in the person of one individual, first took place in the time of Roger de Laci, constable of Cheshiret (grandson of Richard Fitz * This notice is from the pen of the venerable antiquary Sir Peter Ley- cester; it was written in the year 1666. + In " Burke's Extinct and Dormant Peerage," John, the father of this Roger, is said to have assumed the name, and as John de Laci, to have

inherited the Barony, of Pontefract, along with that of Halton, and the constableship of Cheshire.

Page 278


Eustace, and Albreda, his wife), who became heir to all the vast territorial possessions of the Lacies through his grand- mother. Sir Peter Leycester states, "that this Roger was the first member of the Fitz Eustace family who assumed the surname of Laci." Most certain it is, that if he added much wealth and power to the House of which he thus became the head, he also received very much from it, for the De Lacies were at that time, as it has been already stated, feudal lords of an immense extent of country in the West-Riding of Yorkshire, and had in addition to this, valuable property in Nottingham- shire, and in the county of Lincoln Of the Barony of Hal- ton, and constableship of Cheshire, Sir Peter Leycester, in 1666, writes thus pronounced ' Hanton,' which is as much as to say, a town upon a hill, for hawe and howe is an old English word for a hill. In Domesday Book it is written 'Heletane' It is now a poor town or village, and the inhabitants that have any lands or inheritance there, are all copyholders to the King, as Baron of Halton, save two small cottages now-1666-in possession of John Jackson and Richard Jennings, which are of the fee of St. John of Jerusalem. The castle was built by the Barons of Halton presently after the Norman Conquest, and by degrees repaired and enlarged, who being seated here, flourished for a long time, and were constables of Cheshire in fee, that is, to them and their heirs by descent, as it were after the manner of the High Lord Constables of England, so were the Barons of Halton to the Earls of Chester, and in their ancient charters did always style themselves by the title of Constables of Cheshire, and were the highest in place and dignity to the Earl himself, and above all the other Barons of Cheshire. In the reign of Henry III., their posterity became Earls of Lincoln, and upon the death of Henry de Laci, Earl of Lin- coln, in 1310, all his lands and honours came to the Earl of

Page 279


Lancaster with Alice, his daughter, and heir in marriage, and at last Henry Bolingbroke, son of John of Gaunt, Duke of Lancaster, was so great a subject and so popular, that he drew unto his part most of the nobility of England, and thereby most traiterously deposed Richard IL., his cousin, son to the Black Prince, and made himself King of England by the name of Henry IV. So was the Barony of Halton annexed to the Crown." The first Baron of Halton, after the coming in of the Normans was Nigell, who was succeeded by his son William, the second Baron of Halton, but probably the first constable of Cheshire. The third Baron of Halton was William, jun., the son of the above named William, he was also constable of Cheshire, This nobleman died in Normandy in the reign of King Stephen, and as he left no issue behind him, his inheritance was divided between his two sisters. One of whom, Agnes, being married to Eustace Fitz John, he became in her right fourth Baron of Halton. The son of this Eustace Fitz John, and Agnes, his wife, was Richard, who succeeded his father, and was fifth Baron of Halton, and also constable of Cheshire. He married Albreda de Lissours, half sister of Robert de Laci, Baron of Pontefract Castle, and his son and heir, John, became sixth Baron of Halton. He, too, was constable of Cheshire. This nobleman married Alice, sister of William Mandevyle, by whom he had issue, Roger, constable of Cheshire, who assumed the surname of De Laci. John died at Tyre, in the land of Jerusalem, 1190, and was succeeded by the above named Roger as seventh Baron of Halton. He was surnamed " Hell," for his fierce and magnanimous spirit. As all the possessions of Robert de Laci, of Pontefract Castle, in Yorkshire, accrued to him, he took the name and inherited the property in 1194. * * * This Roger is ranked by Hoveden as the most eminent Baron of the realm, and next

Page 280


after the Earls, among those great persons whom King John most doubted, and required to swear fealty to him by his commissioners anno 1199, which they did upon condition that every one of them should have their lands restored. And the king restored unto Roger de Laci his castle of Pon- tefract, having first received his son and heir for a pledge. "In 1204, this heroic and magnanimous champion kept the Castle de Rupa Andeliaci,* in Normandy, for King John against the French with such gallantry, that after all his victuals were spent, having been besieged almost a year, and many assaults made, but still repulsed by him, he mounts his horse and issues out of the castle with his troops, choosing rather to die like a soldier, than be starved to death. He slew many of the enemy, but was at last, with much difficulty, taken prisoner. So he and his soldiers were brought prisoners to the King of France, where, by the command of the king, Roger Laci was to be no strict prisoner for his great honesty and trust in keeping the castle so gallantly. This Roger gave the church of Rochdale, which belonged to the Honour of Pontefract unto the Abbey of Stanlaw. He married Maude de Clare, and had issue, John de Laci, constable of Cheshire, afterwards Earl of Lincoln.t Roger died anno dom. 1211, and was succeeded by his son, who became constable of Cheshire, and eighth Baron of Halton. This Baron was one of those great persons whom Pope Innocent III., excommu- nicated for conspiring against King John, anno dom. 1216. In the year 1218, he went, accompanied by many other of the Barons, to the siege of Damietta, a city in Egypt. By Mar- garet, his second wife-the Countess of Lincoln in her own right -he had a son, Edmund, who succeeded his father as con-

* The Rock of Andelys.

+ He was created Earl of Lincoln by Charter, dated at Northampton, the 23rd of November, 1232.

Page 281


stable of Cheshire, and was ninth Baron of Halton. During his youth he was made Ward to the King, and never assumed the title of Earl of Lincoln, by reason that his mother, by whom it came, survived him. This young nobleman married Alice, the daughter of the Marquis de Saluces, in Italy, and cousin to the Queen of England. By her he had a son, Henry de Laci, third Earl of Lincoln, constable of Cheshire, and tenth Baron of Halton. His daughter and heiress, Alice, married Thomas, Earl of Lancaster, and thus did the Barony of Hal- ton become annexed to the Earldom of Lancaster, and in right of his wife, he-Lancaster-became eleventh Baron of Halton. Henry of Lancaster, the brother of Thomas who was beheaded, was restored to all his brother's lands and honours anno dom. 1326, and was the twelfth Baron of Halton. In the year 1345, this powerful nobleman died and was succeeded by his son, Henry of Grismond, who, inheriting all his lands and honours, became thirteenth Baron of Halton. Blanche, Gris- mond's youngest daughter, to whose lot all his lands fell, was married to John of Gaunt, upon whom, the dukedom of Lancaster was bestowed in 1362. The issue of this marriage, Henry Bolingbroke, Earl of Hereford, became afterwards Henry IV., and thus was the Dutchy of Lancaster,* and the Barony of Halton united to the Crown of England."

* Vide Ormerod's '" History of Cheshire," pp. 509, 511, 513, 514.

Page 282



* MANOR OF The Court Baron of Richard Beaumont Esq., James

MELTHAM. ) Taylor, gentleman, Joshua Beaumont, Joshua Hirst, John Armitage, Abraham Beaumont, John Waterhouse, Edward Waterhouse, and James Taylor, Lords of the said manor held this 7th day of November in the year of the reign of our Lord Charles the Second by the grace of God, of England Scotland France and Ireland King, Defender of the Faith, the 29th, and in the year of our Lord 1677, before Thomas Beaumont, gentleman, Steward of the said manor. Free Tenants of Richard Beaumont, Esq. William Ramsden, John Woodhead, Anthony Oldfield, Francis Waterhouse in right of his Wife, John Waterhouse, John Roebuck for lands at Helme, John Haigh in right of his Wife. Free Tenants of James Taylor, gentleman, and others. Anthony Oldfield, Edwin Taylor, George Crosland, for the lands of John Gledhill, Abraham Beaumont, Edward Taylor, Joshua Beaumont, John Taylor, Hellena Beaumont, Widow, for the lands of James Haigh, Abraham Beaumont, John Taylor the elder of Helme, John Roebuck, John Haigh in right of his Wife, John Haigh for the lands of George Twedell heir of John Haigh, William Holdroyd, Francis Waterhouse, John Helliwell. Tenants by lease and at will of Richard Beaumont, Esq. Thomas Parkin, Robert Weedall, Hugh Taylor of Roid, Jeremiah Lockwood, James Taylor of Pighill, Mary Waterhouse, widow, Abraham Hinchliffe. Tenants by Lease of James Taylor and others. John Berry, Abraham Hirst, John Eastwood, Richard Scholefield, Anthony Dyson, George Taylor, Thomas Shilletoe, Michael Littlewood, Godfrey Linley, Abraham Armitage, Joshua Mellor, John Mitchell.


taken there before the Lords of the manor on the oaths of John Taylor of Helme, James Taylor of Roid, Joseph Haigh, Anthony Oldfield, Thomas Campinett, Godfrey Eastwood, John Eastwood, Hugh Taylor, Thomas

Page 283


Winpenny, Matthew Lockwood, Anthony Dyson, John Woodhead, Thomas Harrison, and John Armitage, jun., who say upon their oaths that [certain persons here named, ninety-eight in number], have dug turf and other fuel, and some, or one of them digs turf within this manor, not having right so to do. Therefore each of them is fined in the Court of the Lords as appears above the names of each of them.*

2/ Also, the Jurors say and present that James Taylor of Roid, and John 2

Armitage the younger have run sheep, and each of them have run sheep to their damage within this manor. Therefore are fined in the Court of the Lords as appears above the names of each of them. Also, the Jurors say and present that John Littlewood of White Walk broke into the pasture of the Lords and dug turf within this manor and sold it out of the manor. Therefore he is fined in the Court of the Lords 3/4. Also the Jurors say and present that John Armitage of Roid, put the sheep of others to depasture upon the free lands within this manor. There- fore he is fined in the Court of the Lords 5/ Also the Jurors say and present that the inhabitants of Thongs Greave have diverted the water from its ancient course within this manor contrary to the penalty before laid. Therefore they are fined in the Court of the Lords 10s.

3/4 Also the Jurors say and present that John Wood of Honley, Joseph

3/4 3/4 Thorpe, senr of Linfitt, and Joseph Thorpe, junr have dammed the water

and have by reason thereof killed the Fish, and whoever of them has killed the fish or taken them alive within this manor. Therefore each of them is fined in the Court of the Lords as appears above the names of each of them. Also the Jurors say and present that Thomas Swallow, junr of Holmfirth did fish within this manor. Therefore he is fined in the Court of the Lords 2/6. Also the Jurors say and present that Joseph Fryer and his brother have committed the like offence and they are fined in the Court of the Lords 64.7 Also the Jurors say and present that Jamas Redfearn has forfeited to the Lords 2/6 by a like act, therefore he is fined in the Court of the Lords 2/6. Also the Jurors say and present that John Rawdon of Almonbury did fish

* The amount of fines in some cases is in others 4d., in others 2d. + It is not easy to understand why a fine of 2/6 in some cases and of 6d. in others should be laid for the same offence.

Page 284


within this manor without leave of the Lords and he is fined in the Court of the Lords 2/6.

Also the Jurors say and present that James 21/360thomley and Joseph 2gelli- well of Wickencross made a chase after Hares with dogs of Hares called Greyhounds and each of them did course within this manor without leave of the Lords. Therefore each of them is fined in the Court of the Lords

as appears above the names of each. a Also the Jurors say and present that John Harmon of Edge, J oshuafiDyson of Mill, James Bothomley of Wickencross, George Batley of Willingforth Foot put cattle upon the Freehold of the Lords within this manor to depasture not having right so to do. Therefore each is fined in the Court of the Lords as appears above the names of each of them. Also all the Jurors say and present that Abraham Beaumont cut wood called Hollin within this manor against the penalty formerly imposed and therefore he is fined in the Court of the Lords 2/ Also the Jurors say and present ags follows in these words in English [the former being in Latin] Imprimis. Wee lay in paine yt the Helmes lane Gate be kept in repaire by whom itt of right belongs or for every trespasse wh happens for want of the same beinge soe repaired to forfeit 1/83. Item We lay in paine that noe person dwellinge forth of this L ds p shall bringe sheepe or other catell to feed or depasture upon the Waste without a right so to do shall for every such trespasse forfeit for every sheepe 24 and for every beast 84 and for every horse or mare 3/4. Item. Wee lay in paine that the Meane Gate and lane be kept in repaire by whom it concerns or every person neglectinge the same to forfeit respec- tively 2/. Item, Wee also lay in paine that every person within this Ldsp shall make his or their out fence lawfull and sufficient before the 15th day of April, or forfeit 64. Item. Wee lay in paine that any person that shall rescue any goods cominge to be impounded within the Lord's fould or that break the same open upon paine of every person for offending shall forfeit 3/4. Item. Wee lay in paine that no person or persons shall gett any stones in the L dp and sell them of this L dp on paine of every person every time for offending to forfeit 64.

Item. Wee lay in paine that every person or persons that keepe swine within this Ld p shall sufficiently yoake and wringe the same on the feaste of St. Michael next and soe yearly upon paine to forfeit 3/4.

Page 285


Item. Wee lay in paine that noe pson or persons shall sleate* any sheepe upon the Comons of Meltham upon paine of every pson every time for offending to forfeit 1/2. Item. Wee lay in paine that noe person or persons having any sheepe called Riggolds+ shall suffer the same to depasture upon the Comons betwixt Michaelmas and Christmas upon paine of every person every time for offending to forfeit 1/2. Item. Wee lay in paine that every person or persons whom itt concerns shall keepe the water cominge down the Town slack in its ancient water- course and not suffer itt to spoil the lands as formerly itt has done upon paine of every person neglecting the same to forfeit 6/8. Item. Wee lay in paine that every person shall scourse the water course against their owne grounds in the Swadin} holds before all hallows next or forfeit 3/4. Item. Wee lay in paine that the way be open and passable for cart and carriage from Meltham Royd by Fell close stile upon paine of any person obstructing ye same to forfeit 3/4. Item. Wee lay in paine that noe person dwelling forth of this Lordship shall come to kill fish by lading, § angling, or otherwise, upon paine of every person every time for offending to forfeit 6/8. The Jurors further say and also certify to this court that the metes and boundaries of this manor having been inspected are in manner and form as follows namely in these English words :- First. The East end of one close called Bentylee and from the said Bentylee following the water to Gylloproyd Dyke, and from the said Gylloproyd Dyke unto the East end of old Helme, and from the said East end of old Helme unto Wykenforth ford, and from the said Wykenforth ford following the highway unto Swithen crosse, and from the said Swithen crosse following the old highway unto Nether forde att Brydley Brooke, and from the said Nether forde att Brydley Brooke following the ditch to the stoop att Over Highway, and from the said stoop att Over Highway

« That is, shall hound a dog at them. + Ridgels ? ? No place answering to this name can now be discovered in the township of Meltham unless Cradin Holes, in Helme, be intended by it. The calligraphy in the original MSS. is almost obliterated, so that the name cannot satisfactorily be deciphered. § This is effected by diverting the stream from its proper courses, until its chtgnnel becomes so shallow that the fish may be easily laded or baled out of it.

Page 286


following the ditch unto the Bowstones, and from the said Bowstones straight to Bolsterstones, and from the said Bolsterstones straight to Greene Fladheads, and from the said Greene Fladheads following the ditch unto Shyton Nabb, and from the said Shyton Nabb following the ditch unto Rockingstone* att Farr Croft Nabb, and from the said Rocking- stone having waters divided to Blake Gate, and from the said Blake Gate along and after straight to Childe of Edge, and from the said Childe of Edge straight to Wilshaw ford following the water unto Gilbert's Dyke,

and from the said Gilbert's Dyke following the water unto Rigge Dyke, and from the Rigge Dyke following the water unto Honley Bridge, and from the said Honley Bridge following the water unto the Miln Bridge, at the said East end of the said Bentylee where this boundary begun." Affirmed by the whole homage. Summary of this Court.

* For an account of the ruthless destruction of this ancient boundary stone and relic of Celtic times see page 6 of this work.

Page 287

bo I J


Note A, page 6.

«Cora and Suuen."-The first of these, Cole or Cola, is a very ancient Teutonic personal name. In Domesday Book it appears as a baptismal one, but in the Rotuli Hundredorum, or Hundred Rolls of the date of 1273, it is used as a family name. Cola probably means a cultivator of the soil, from the Latin Colo, to till; and Suuen originally signified a herdsman or pastoral servant. It is a Scandinavian personal name of great antiquity, which was introduced into this country under the Danish rule. In Domesday Book, several persons-tenants in chief and otherwise-are called Svain, Suain, Suanus, Suuen, Swen, or Sweno. Some of these persons are specifically stated to have held lands under Edward the Confessor. The well known ascendency of the Danes in Yorkshire from the time of Ethelred I., A.D., 868, downwards, accounts for the name frequently occurring in this county. Cola and Suuen appear to have been dispossessed of their lands in Meltham and Honley, by the Norman invaders ; for, according to Domesday Book, they held both manors immediately pre- ceding Ilbert de Laci. Suuen, however, held Farnley, Crosland, and Dalton.* He was also Thane or Saxon proprietor of several other manors mentioned in Domesday. He must consequently have been a person of much con- sideration in his day. The individuals who are now called " Lords of the manor," were designated " Thanes' during the time of the Saxon rule. This term was changed by the Normans into " Barons.'' In speaking, therefore, of Cola and Suuen as possessors of Meltham before the Norman Conquest, it is more correct to call them Thanes than lords of the manor. And that they were " Thanes," is evident from the fact that one of them, Suuen, is spoken of in Domesday Book as holding territorial districts in various parts of Yorkshire, besides those of which he was deprived by Tlibert de Laci. The following remarks in explanation of the title of Thane

* It is stated that Suuen held Dalton of Ilbert.

Page 288


are taken from Bawdwen's Glossary to his Translation of Domesday Book :- * Thanes were the great men who attended the Anglo Saxon kings in their courts, and held their lands immediately of those kings. Thanes were the Saxon nobility, and divided into Thani Regis, Mediocres, and Inferiores. * The first, in the Saxon times, were equal to the Barons in the Norman, as the Thani Mediocres were to the lesser Barons, or Lords of manors, and the Inferiores were made up of the lowest degree of freeholders."-Spelman Tyrell. Inst. to Hist. B.76. *The name, Baron, succeeded after the Normans into the room of King's Thane. However, in the beginning of the Norman state, that of Thane was also retained ; nor is it likely that the use of language could have been so suddenly altered, that the title of Baron only should have presently expressed it."-Kelkham's Illust. Dom. " Thane land"-land, granted by the Saxon kings to their Thanes, which were held with all immunities, except the threefold necessity of expeditions, repairs of castles, and of bridges. For Tainlands that were honorary possessions, the word Baronis was used from the time of the Normans."-Seld. Tit. Hon. 688. «* In the Book of Domesday, land holden by Knight's service, was called Tanilands, and land holden by socage was called Reveland."-Litt. Ten. Folio 86, p. 98. «* It seems probable that the socage tenures were the relics of Saxon liberty, retained by such persons as had neither forfeited them to the king, nor been obliged to exchange their tenure for the more honourable, as it was called, but at the same time more burthensome, tenure of Knight service. -Encyclopedia Britannica, vol. 17, p. 568, Art. Socage.

Note to page 5.

As there is some difference of opinion among antiquaries respecting the exact nature and extent of the carucate, or carrucate, for it is spelt in both ways, the following remarks are appended as a Note to page 5, of this volume. « Dr. Thoroton says, carucates and hides were the very same, and esteemed to contain 100 acres, six score to the hundred, but were assuredly more or less according to the lightness or stiffness of the Glossary to his Translation of the Domesday Survey.'"-p. 3. « Carrucate-carrucata-in our ancient laws and history, denotes &

Page 289


plough land, or as much arable ground as can be tilled in one year with one plough. In Domesday Inquisition, the arable land is estimated in carrucates, the pasture in hides, and meadow in acres. Skene makes the carrucata the same with hilda or hida Littleton the same with soc. «*The measure of a carrucate appears to have differed in respect of place as well as time. In the reign of Richard I., 1189, it was estimated at sixty acres, and in a charter of the same reign at 100 acres; in the time of Edward I., 1272, at 180 acres, and in the 23rd of Edward III., 1350, a carrucate of land in Burcester contained 112 acres, and in Middleton 150 acres. By a statute under William III., for charging persons to the repair of the highways, a plough land is rated at £50 per annum, and may contain houses, mills, wood, pastures," &c.-Encyclopedia Britannica, vol. 4, p. 184. «*The pound mentioned in Domesday Book," says Sir Robert Atkins, «* for reserved rent, was the weight of a pound of silver, consisting of twelve ounces, which is equal in weight to £3 283. 0d. of our present money. The same weight in gold is now worth £48. The shilling mentioned in the same book consisted of twelve pence, and is equal in weight to 3s. of our money. A carucate, hide, or plough of land, was a certain quantity of land, about 120 acres; an ox was then valued at 7s. about 1770 it was worth £7 10s. ; its present value in England is nearly £20.-1836." --=Note to page 48 of Crabtree's Hist. of Halifax.

Appendix to pages 47-8.-A nore rron tur Rev. Epwarp RisgTon, To THE Rev. RoBERrT SAGAR,

Dear Sr-I am very willing yt James Armitage should be Buried in ye Chapel of Meltham according to the desire of his Relations, Provided ye Dues be paid to me, ye Clark and ye Sexton of Almondbury, but not otherwise, wth I impower you to Receive. If you know not what the Dues are for Burying in ye Chapel, you must Inform yourself from some of ye ancient Inhabitants, but I presume they may be ye same are paid in ye chapel of Marsden. I am your affectionate Bror March 7th 1731. Epwp. Risgtox. PS. Since I wrote this, I find by Mr. Philipson's Book yt ye Dues are 38. 44. to me, 1s. to the Clark and 44 to ye Sexton. This was paid in 1700, for one of Mr. Armitage's Family, and this I shall expect. E.R. To the Reva. Mr. Sagar.

Page 290


Appendix to page Rev. Fraxors CarytnEunt.

Anthony Wood gives a long and curious account of Francis Cheynell, whose name is intimately associated with Abraham Woodhead's college life, and among other things respecting him says :- "He became a violent Presbyterian, and was appointed one of the Parliamentarian apostles to convert the University from Loyalty to Pres- byterianism. He was made visitor in 1646-7-8." The report Wood gives of his conduct at Chillingworth's grave is so extraordinary that it can only be accounted for by the malady-madness- which afterwards overtook him. It is as follows :- " Afterwards, Chillingworth's body being carried into the Cloyster adjoining, Cheynell stood at the grave ready to receive it, with the author's book of the ® Religion of Protestants,' in his hand ; and when the com- pany were all settled, he spake before them a ridiculous speech concerning the author, Chillingworth, and that book ; and in the conclusion, throwing the book insultingly on the corpse in the grave, said thus :-' Get thee gone, then, thou cursed book, which has seduced so many precious souls ; get thee gone, thou corrupt, rotten book, "earth to earth, and dust to dust ;" get thee gone into the place of rottenness, that thou mayest rot with thy author and see corruption.' After the conclusion, Cheynell went to the Pulpit in the Cathedral church, and preached a sermon on Luke ix. 60,- ¢ Let the dead bury their dead,' and while the malignants, as he called them, made a shift to perform some parts of the English Liturgy at his grave."-Wood's Athene Oxonienses, Article, Chillingworth, vol. 3, page 94.

Notice C, page 65.

Henry Ferne, Bishop of Chester, was born at York in 1602. Having preached before the king, he was appointed Chaplain-extraordinary. During the usurpation Dr. Ferne lived in retirement. At the restoration he was appointed master of Trinity College, Cambridge, and was twice elected Vice-Chancillor. He was consecrated Bishop of Chester, but died

about five weeks afterwards, in March, 1661. He was buried in West- minster Abbey.

Notice 1, page Woopr®rap.

Notice of Abraham Woodhead, from " Walker's Sufferings of the Clergy, University College, Oxford."

Page 291


«* Abraham Woodhead, A.M., Fellowship. He was a native of the county of York, and became Fellow of this House April 27th, 1633. In 1641, he was one of the Proctors of the University : afterwards he travelled into France and Italy, and returning into England, was, for non-appear- ance, he being at that time in London, turned out of his Fellowship by the visitors, October 17th, 1648, and the same day, George Gale was put into his place. «* After this, he lived some time in London, was supported by George, Duke of Buckingham, and after by the Lord Capell. To the former of whom he had taught the mathematics at Rome, and to the latter in England. * In 1660, he was restored to his Fellowship, but having changed his religion, he tarried a very little while in the College, and getting leave of the society to travel, with the allowance of twenty pounds a year, he retired to Hogsden, near London, where he lived in so much secresy and conceal- ment, that but one only of all the society knew any other than that he was abroad on his travels. " In that retirement he became a champion for the Romish religion and died there in 1678. Notwithstanding he is one of the blemishes of this list, he must be owned to have been a man of very great parts and learning."

Notice 2, page 81.-Amranax Woonrrap.

Notice of Abraham Woodhead, from Collier's " Biographical Dictionary." «* Woodhead, Abraham, son of John Woodhead, of Thornhill, in York- shire, was born at Maltham, in the parish of Ambury, in that county in the xviith century. He was bred in University College, Oxford, where he was Fellow, entered into orders, and was one of the Proctors of the University about 1641. "* Some time after, he travelled into France, from whence he went to Rome, where he was reconciled to that communion, though he did not discover it. During the usurpation of the Rump and Cromwell,* he was outed of his Fellowship, but was restored in 1660. ** Being of a different communion, though undiscovered, he got leave of the College to travel upon a small allowance, and thus retiring to London, he settled at Hogsden, near that city, where he lived very privately, and died there in 1678. He was a person of great learning and judgment, very well read in the Fathers, and in the works of the most considerable apologists of the English Reformation.

* The close of the Long Parliament, so called in ridicule.

Page 292


«< He is esteemed one of the best Roman Catholic authors of the English nation, and manages the controversies with more temper and judgment than many others. «* Some of his works are :-* A Brief Account of Ancient Church Govern- ment ; with a reflection on several modern writings of the Presbyterians' ;* «*To proceed, Mr. Woodhead has written ® An Historical Narration of the Life and Death of our Saviour,' in two parts, published by Mr. Walker. ' Two Discourses concerning the Adoration of our Blessed Saviour in the *'Church Government,' part v., &c. 'Pietas Romana et Parisiensis ; or a faithful relation of the geveral sorts of charitable and pious works, eminent in the cities of Rome and Paris.' 'Two Discourses, the first concerning the spirit of Martin Luther, and the Original of Refor- mation ; the second concerning the Celibacy of the Clergy." He wrote some other things too long to mention, but never set his name to any of his tracts. ''This book, is by some supposed to be written by Obadiah Walker,- ' The Guide in Controversies ; or, a rational account of the Doctrine of the Roman Catholics, concerning the Ecclesiastical Guides in Controversies of Religion.' This book is divided into four discourses :-' Exercitations concerning the Resolution of Faith against some Exceptions,' &c. siderations on the Council of Trent, being the Fifth Discourse concerning the Guide in Controversies.' 'The Roman Church's Devotions vindica- ted from Doctor Stillingfleets' Representations.' 'The Romish Doctrine of Repentance and Indulgence.' Most of these tracts are answered by the learned Doctor Stillingfleet."

Notice 3, page 81.-AsBranamx Woopnrap.

Notice of Abraham Woodhead, from Dodd's " Church History.";- * Abraham Woodhead, son of John Woodhead, of Thornhill, Yorkshire,

* This work was by Obadiah Walker, as before stated.-See page 123. + Charles Dodd, from whose " Church History," vol iii., Edition, 1742, this article is taken, was a Roman Catholic Priest, whose real name was asserted by some to be Richard Tootle, by others, Hugh Tootell. He published in 1724, a "Certamen Utriusque Ecclesiz," a list of all the eminent writers of Controversy, Catholic and Protestant, since the Reforma- tion. Between 1737 and 1742, appeared his well known work, "* The Church History of England, from 1500 to 1688, chiefly with regard to Catholics." It is written, of course, from a Roman Catholic point of view, but is valued by historical students of all creeds for its communica- tion of facts not to be found elsewhere. He is supposed to have died about 1745.-Extract from an article in the "Universal Dictionary."

Page 293


was born at Maltham, parish Abbersbury, or Ambury. At sixteen he was entered a scholar in University College, Oxford, 1624; his tutor, Jonas Radcliff. After taking degrees in arts, was chosen Fellow in 1633, and soon after, entered into Orders. In 1641 he was one of the Proctors of the University. Not long after he went abroad, first with Thomas Radcliff, son of Sir George Radcliff, and again with Thomas Culpeper and Thomas Strode, who had all been gentlemen commoners, and his pupils in Univer- sity College. *He spent a considerable time in Rome, lived with the Duke of Buckingham there, instructing His Grace in the mathematical sciences. It is supposed about this time he went over to the Church of Rome, ' tho' with all privacy imaginable.' On his return to England, he had an apart- ment in the Duke of Buckingham's house, in the Strand, and was afterwards entertained in Lord Capel's family. " In 1648, he was deprived of his Fellowship, by the Commissioners sent down to purge the University of Oxford. Upon the Restoration of King Charles II., 1666, his Fellowship was restored to him, and he lived for some time in College ; till, growing very uneasy under the remorse of occasional conformity, he obtained leave to travel, as he pretended, with the usual allowance of £20 per annum. But instead of going abroad, he retired to a poor apartment, in Hogsden, near London, where he spent several years in instructing young Catholic gentlemen, and composing those learned works which afterward appeared in the world. *The secret of his person was communicated only to one particular friend : nor was he detected till a little before his death, while Oates and Tong were busied in contriving their plots against the Catholics. He lived not to be a spectator of the calamities that befel his friends, dying at Hogsden, May 4th, 1678." *+ * * Here follows an account, the same as that given before in the notice from Anthony Wood, of his burial, &c., in St. Pancras' churchyard. «* Mr. Woodhead is looked upon to be one of the ablest controversial writers of his time, and though it is not customary with Protestants to give any extraordinary character of those who desert their party, yet this learned person seems to be an exception. * His learning and modesty are so conspicuous that common justice requires that he should be mentioned with honour. Both Catholics and Protestants may have recourse to his works to learn the true state of the question between the two churches. His works plainly shew him to have been a person of sound and solid judgment ; well read in the Fathers, and

Page 294


in the polemical writings of the most eminent and renowned defenders of the Church of England. *The author of the " Guide in Controversies," ' says Dr. Whitby, 'is a person most highly famed among the Catholics, and the most ingenious and solid writer of the Roman party.' * What Mr. Woodhead's merits were in private life, is entirely unknown ; he was dead to the world, but will always live in the following works." [ A long list of them which is elsewhere given, follows. Then is added Anthony Wood's remark]-*"* Many stick not to say, which is a wonder to me, that he was the author of ° The Whole Duty of Man,' and of all that goes under the name of that author."

Notice 4, page 81.-Asranax Woopnrrap.

Notice of Abraham Woodhead, from Chalmer's " Biographical Diction- ary."*-** Abraham Woodhead, whom Dr. Whitby pronounces 'the most ingenious and solid writer of the Roman (Catholic) party,' and who merits some notice from his name occurring so frequently in the Popish Contro- versy, at the latter end of the seventeenth century, was the son of John Woodhead, of Thornhill, in Yorkshire, and was born in 1608, at Meltham, in the parish of Abbersbury, or Ambury, in that county. He had his academical education in University College, Oxford, where he took his degrees in arts, was elected Fellow in 1633, and soon after entered into Holy Orders. In 1641 he served the office of Proctor, and then set out for the Continent, as travelling tutor to some young gentlemen of family, who had been his pupils at College. * While at Rome, he lodged with the Duke of Buckingham, whom he taught mathematics, and is supposed about the same time to have embraced the communion of the Church of Rome, although for a long time he kept this a profound secret. On his return to England he had an apartment in the Duke of Buckingham's house, in the Strand, and was afterwards entertained in Lord Capel's family. In 1648, he was deprived of his Fellowship by the Parliamentary visitors, but merely on the score of absence and non-appearance when called. «* After the Restoration he was reinstated in his Fellowship, but finding it impossible any longer to conform, he obtained leave to travel with the allowance of a travelling Fellowship. Instead, however, of going abroad, he retired to an obscure residence at Hoxton, near London, where he spent several years, partly in instructing some young gentlemen of Popish

* Chalmer's General Biog. Dict., New Edition, vol. 31, page 270.

Page 295


families, and partly in composing his works. Here he remained almost undiscovered until a little while before his death which happened at Hox- ton, May 4th, 1678. He was buried in St. Pancras churchyard, where there is a monument to his memory. ** Woodhead was considered as one of the ablest controversial writers on the Popish side, in his time, and some Protestants have paid respect to his abilities and candour. «* Most of his works were printed at Mr. Obadiah Walker's private press, and some of them have been attributed to him. Wood gives a long list of about twenty-three articles, some of which are translations. The principal of his original writings is his ' Guide in Controversies,' or, more fully ® A Rational account of the doctrine of Catholics, concerning the Ecclesiastical guide in controversies of religion; reflecting on the late writings of Protestants, particularly of Archbishop Laud, and Doctor Stillingfleet, on this subject ; in four discourses,"-under the initials R.H., 1666, 1667, and 1673, 4to. *The Protestant writers with whom he was involved in controversy, and in whose lives or writings his name occurs, were, Peter Heylyn, Bishop Stillingfleet, Archbishop Wake, Drs. Aldrich, Smalridge, Harrington, Tully, Hooper and Whithy."*-Ath. Ox. vol. ii.; Dodd's Ch. Hist.; Biog. Brit. Art. Wake.

Note to page Cargourc MiscELLANY ON ABRAHAM * The writings of Mr. Woodhead are so numerous, and contain such & fund of erudition, of solid piety, and sound argument, that they form a complete devotional and controversial library, and have not only been highly commended by many succeeding Catholic authors, but several learned Protestant writers have borne testimony to their merit." * ** [Hearne, Wood, and Whitby, are quoted here to prove this.] " Simon Berrington in his brief account of the writings and life of the author of ¢ Ancient Church Government,' has this passage. what is particu- larly to be admired in Mr. Woodhead is, that in all his disputes with his learned adversaries, one may say the most learned the Church of England ever had, he never exceeds the bounds of modesty and fair language,

* This statement must be viewed as a matter of mere conjecture, for as Mr. Woodhead's writings were always published anonymously, it could not possibly be known that ke was the person thus "involved in controversy with Protestant writers."


Page 296


never using any personal, or even party reflections ; free from passion or invidious zeal, he calmly, but with the more solidity, shews the weakness of his advarsaries' cause, the strength of his own, and leads them insensibly to the truth, by a certain force of reasoning peculiar to himself.' " * He, however, admits that his method and style is wholly peculiar to himself, and, indeed, so very uncommon, that if there be an objection against them, that is the chiefest. Nothing can be objected against his learning or judgment, and very few come up to it. His intermixing so many parentheses, and parentheses* runs through all his works, and some- times hinders the sense from being carried on so smoothly as it might be otherwise, but makes fully amends by the solidity of his judgment, and the vast stock of learning he almost crowdsinto his paragraphs. This is another peculiar mark of his writings, so that by an over cautiousness, endeavouring to express his sentiments more fully, and to leave nothing without reflection, he is a little hard to be understood in some places. It is also customary with him to refer the reader to what he had wrote in some former treatises. With these acknowledged peculiarities his works were nevertheless greatly esteemed by the late learned and pious author of the ' Saints Lives,' who possessed many of his MSS. While he resided at the University he composed a book of Logic; another of Philosophy, with the Duke of Buckingham and his brother ; Paraphrase, with Lord Capel; ' Instructions for Oratory ;' and a small tract on Glasses.' After he retired to Hoxton, the following numerous list was the work of his indefatigable pen :-* An Historical Narration of the Life and Death of in two parts,+ printed at the Theatre, Oxford, 1685-many exceptions were made in the University against this book, particularly by Doctor George Reynell, of Caius College; 'The Benefits of our Saviour,'+ &c., quarto, Oxford, 1680; *Ancient Church Government,'f 1685, &c.-Extracts from Appendix to *" Dalton's Translation from the Spanish of St. Teresa." «He was privately interred in the churchyard of St. Pancras, near Lon- don, under an ordinary monument, raised altar-wise, built a little height

* Parentheses pervade some of the works assigned to Abraham Wood- head, but those works have been claimed for other writers, whereas none occur in his letters, sermons, and the treatises by the author of the "* Whole Duty of Man."

+ The two works mentioned above are attributed to Obadiah Walker- see page 84.

{ This work is attributed by some to Obadiah Walker, and by others to Richard Holden-see pp. 84 and 123.

Page 297


with bricks, and covered with a slab of blue marble, on which was this humble Inscription, ¢ Elegi,'* &c. "Afterwards, in the year 1732, the grave was opened, and after digging about a foot from the surface of the earth, a small but firm cemented arch was found, just sufficient to encompass the coffin, which being quite laid open, the coffin was found to be decayed, and the bones bare of flesh, were carefully gathered together, and preserved decently, till a new coffin was brought, wherein they were deposited, and a handsome marble monument erected to his memory, and to that of a young lady of great merit. This lady was the first and most beloved wife of Cuthbert Constable, Esq., of Burton, Amatia, or Amey, daughter of Lord Clifford. She died 25th of July, 1731. Etat. 26. Her widower caused her to be buried by Mr. Wood- head, and erected this new monument+ jointly for her, and also for that pious great man with the following Epitaph :-

Hic Jacet Qui elegit abjectus esse in domo Dei, Et mansgit in Solitudine Non qusrens quod sibi esset utile sed quod multis, Abraham Woodhead, Maximum Collegii Universitatis Oxonii, ut et totius sceculi ornamentum Vivumque virtutum omnium exemplar : Vir Versus Deum pietate, Versus Ecclesiam Catholicam humillimo obsequio, Studiorum indefess& assiduitate mirabilis, Honoribus, divitiis, sceculiq ; voluptatibus omnibus Vitam humilem, obscuram, laboriosam pratulit ;

* This inscription is given in page 59, which see. + * Abraham Woodhead's monument in St. Pancras churchyard, has fortunately escaped the ravages of time and the recent desecration of this sacred spot. The monument is a large one, of stone, with a sloping top, and stands about twenty paces, in a straight line, from the little door in the south side of the chancel. Abraham Woodhead's inscription, which is still perfectly legible,; is on the north side of the tomb, and that of Amey Constable on the south side. Lysons, in his 'Environs of London,' iii. 354, has printed in extenso the inscription on Woodhead's tomb."- Notes and Queries, September 15, 1866. ? An experienced who visited and examined the monument in October, 1866, found the inscription so obliterated, excepting one or two lines, as to be incapable of being accurately deciphered.

Page 298


Neque Libris Quos per-multos et utilissimos et piissimos doctissimosque edidit Nomen suum inscribi passus est Obiit ferd Septuagenarius Maii 4to, Anno Dom. 1678. P. V.* Cuthbertus Constable.


Here lies Abraham Woodhead, Who chose to be an outcast in the house of God, And remained in solitude, Not seeking what might be useful to himself but to the many : A very great ornament of University College, Oxford,+ As well as of the entire age, And a living example of all virtues : A man Of the most fervent piety towards God, Of the most humble obedience to the Catholic Church, Remarkable for unwearied diligence in his studies, He preferred a humble, retired, and laborious life, To honours, riches, and all worldly pleasures : Very many Books, Most useful, most pious and most learned, He published, But would not allow his name to be prefixed to them. He died almost seventy years old, May 4th, In the year of our Lord, 1678. Cuthbert Constable Devoted this tribute to his memory.

Note D, page 86.

Considerable doubt being entertained as to Dr. Ferne's having ever held the office of chaplain in Lord Capel's family, a query on the subject

* P.V. stand for Ponendum or poni voluit. + The literal rendering of the original would be,-"" of the College of the University of Oxford."

Page 299


was put a short time ago, into "Notes and Queries," and it elicited the following reply :- «* The statement has probably been made from the fact, that Dr. Ferne accompanied Lord Capel and the other commissioners from King Charles I., to treat with the Parliamentarians, at Uxbridge, in matters relating to the Church."-Vide "Clarendon's History of the Rebellion," Ed. 1849, vol. iii., p. 498.-Notes and Queries. In " Clarendon's History of the Rebellion," Ed. 1843,* it is not stated that " Dr. Ferme accompanied Lord Capel and the other commissioners," &c., but that he was one of those sent by the king. The passage runs thus :-" On the King's part, besides Dr. Steward, who was a commissioner in matters relating to the church, there was Dr. Sheldon, afterwards Archbishop of Canterbury ; Dr. Lany, afterwards Bishop of Ely; Dr. Ferne, afterwards Bishop of Chester; Dr. Potter, then Dean of Worcester, and Provost of Queen's College, in Oxford ; and Dr. Hammond ; all who, being the king's chaplains, were sent by him to attend the commissioners for their devotions, and for the other service of the church, as the manage- ment of the treaty required ; which could not be foreseen.'"-Book 8th, Ed. 1843, Period 1644, p. 523. This paragraph is rendered in precisely the same words in * Clarendon's History of the Rebellion," Ed. 1720, vol. ii. part 2, p. 583. From the above, it does not appear that Dr. Ferne stood in a nearer relation to

Lord Capel than any of the other Divines sent by the king with the commissioners.

Note E, page 121.-ExtrRaAcTs rRom a MS. SERMON SUPPOSED TO HAVE BEEN Mr. WoopgErap's.

St. Luke, xiii., 23, 24 verses.-" And one said unto him Lord shall there but few be saved ? and he said unto him, strive to enter in at the

straight gate, for I say unto you, many shall strive to enter in and cannot."

lst, The curiosity of sinful man, that will pry into the secrets of God, and question with his Maker, in these words, © Lord shall there but few be

* The advertisement to this edition, printed at the University press, Ozford, 1843, contains the following In this edition the original manuscript of the noble author, deposited in the Bodleian Library, has been followed throughout, the suppressed passages have been restored, and the interpolations made by the first editor have been rejected. The

public, therefore, are now in possession of the genuine text of this important work."

Page 300


saved? 2nd, Christ's answer to these questions, and he said ' strive;' and 3rd, the reason of this answer, ' many shall strive.' 1st.-A general will in all men to be saved. 2nd.-A kind of impossibility all men ran, not to enter in and be saved -and this, not in respect of any thing in God, but in regard of the malignant wickedness of sinful man. The eye is never filled with seeing, nor the ear with hearing, no more is the hearte of man with knowing, but oftentimes the excellenter the thing is which the hearte of man desireth, the greater is the mind to desire it. It was an excellent thing to know good and evil, but the sin was great in that they sought to rob God of his knowledge. Now Satan seeing this to be a very plausible and forcible argument hath never ceased to show to all the sons of Adam this apple of the tree of good and evil, to the end he might drive them from out of Paradise, that is, out of the favour of God. x % * * * When as Peter in a curious sorte asked Christ of John, saying, What shall this man do ? Christ answered him and said, ' If I will have him to stay till I come, what is that to thee? So here, when Christ saw this man more inquisitive about other men's matters and salvation than his owne, doth answer him, as it is in my text, ® Strive to enter in,' &c., and as though he should have said, What is that to thee, whether many or few shall be saved-look thou to thyself-see that thou be of the number of those that shall be saved. Strive about it, for indeed this salvation is not easily attained. Thou must take pains and labour for it. It was an easy thing to lose Paradise, but harde to gette it again. There are many briars in the way to hinder thee. It is a crowne thou seekest for, therefore thou must runne for it. It is a mastery, therefore thou must strive for it. Lastly, this kingdome, as our Saviour saith, must suffer violence, and the violent take it away. Gregory upon the 7 penitential Psalms saith, ' This is a blessed striving, when we strive about heaven ; This is like Jacob's wrestling with God, who would never rest till he had gotte a blessinge ; so this will never reste till it have gotte a kingdome.' By this is not our neighbour wronged, neither by this can Jacob be termed a supplanter of his Brother. For God is not as Isaac, who when he had bestowed one blessing upon his sonne Jacob, had not another for Esau, but answered him, 'I have bestowed the blessing upon Jacob, and I have none left for thee'-but when we strive for this heavenly kingdome, the second of them may say, 'thou hast reserved another blessinge for me, bless me good Father'-and then will God say, not as

Page 301


Isaac, 'I have blessed thy Brother or neighbour, and I will bless thee also, for I never want blessinges.'

Appendix to page 115.-Asranamx WoonrrEap.

The following document from Mr. Woodhead's pen, serves to endorse the statement made at page 115, Chapter VII., respecting the tone of his letters, and his great exactitude about all " worldly concerns." ** Know all men by these presents that I, Abraham Woodhead, of Lon- don, do appoint and depute my very loving cousin, Anthony Armitage, of Thickhollings, receiver of ye yearly rent of nine pounds due to me for my house and land in Meltham, from my aunt, and my cousin, John Wood- head, and to be paid at Whitsuntide and Martinmas by equal portions. And hereby I do also authorize him, the said Anthony, in any defect of payment of any part of the said rent to use all lawfull means for distraining of any goods yt may be found in the said house and lands. In witness whereof, I have set to my hand and seale this twenty-fifth day of Septem- ber, A.D. 1671. Signed in ye presence of

Edward Perkins AB. WoopxrEap's ) seal Joseph Hatt

Notice 5, page Woopnrrap.

Notice of Abraham Woodhead from the preface to the * Paraphrase," &c. In the " Paraphrase and Annotations upon all the Epistles of St. Paul," a work declared to have been written by Abraham Woodhead, Richard Allestree, and Obadiah Walker, "the third edition, 1708, corrected and improved by the late Right Reverend and learned Dr. John Fell, Bishop of Oxford," are some particulars respecting Abraham Woodhead not noticed in Anthony Wood's Athen. Oxon. They are the following :- «* He [Mr. Woodhead] often frequented the house of a particular friend who lived in the narrow passage going up by St. Swithen's church, near London-Stone, where he sometimes continued for several days. Heo was, in all probability, the author of 'The Whole Duty of Man,' which was affirmed by a workman in Mr. Norton's printing house, who was always intrusted to carry the sheets to him to correct ; nothing [certainly] is more usual than for one man to revise the work of another, but he further

Page 302


testify'd, that Mr. Woodhead's corrections and alterations were the same hand with the copy.* «* Most of Obadiah Walker's writings were attributed to him, which was only occasion'd by the great intimacy between 'em, his genuine works are only The Whole Duty of Man, Decay of Christian Piety, Government of the Tongue, Lively Oracles, Art of Contentment, The Gentleman's Calling, The Ladies' Calling." *Tho' many things have been impos'd upon him, under the name of the author of 'The Whole Duty of Man,' these pieces were published together in folio, at Oxford, by Bishop Fell, who writ a preface to them « * * He was jointly concern'd with Dr. Allestry and Obadiah Walker in this work, so that no one particular part can be assign'd to him."

Notice 6, pages 118-9.-Asranam WoopnrEap.

Notice of Abraham Woodhead, from Alban Butler:-*"* Abraham Woodhead, born in 1608, at Meltham, in Yorkshire, died 1678, pronounced by Whitby, see Chalmers, 'the most ingenious and solid writer of the Roman Catholic party,' and considered as one of the ablest controversial writers, on the popish side, in his time. 'Our Author,' says Charles Butler, in his life of Alban Butler, 'was a great admirer of the writings of Abraham Woodhead; he purchased his manuscripts, and by his will bequeathed them to the English College at Douay.' «* Mr. Woodhead is one of the writers to whom the celebrated ©Whole Duty of Man' has been attributed. On that subject the editor is in possession of the following note in our author's handwriting: 'Dr. John Fell, Dean of Christ Church, afterwards Bishop of Oxford, who published the other works of the author of 'The Whole Duty of Man,' in Oxford, 1675-78 folio, and who was the only person then living who knew the author of 'The Whole Duty of Man,' gave this book of 'The Whole Duty of Man' to his bookbinder, and Hawkins, his bookseller in London, with other pieces of Mr. Woodhead's, and ordered Mr. Woodhead's name to be affixed to the title page of this as well as of the other works which he gave to be bound."

* An edition of the works of the learned and pious author of "The Whole Duty of Man," "was printed at the Theatre, in Oxford, and in London, by Roger Norton, for Edward Pawlett, at the sign of the Bible, in Chancery Lane, A.D. 1695."

Page 303


Note F, page 143.-Norice or tur Earu or Strarrorp.

Perhaps history affords no stronger evidence as to the integrity of that distinguished and unfortunate nobleman, Lord Strafford, and to the injustice of the Bill of Attainder passed upon him by the House of Lords in 1641, than the testimony born to his character by two such men as Archbishop Usher, and Lord Capel. The one, Usher's, before his condem- nation, the other, Capel's, after it, and at the moment when he himself, basely dealt with by Cromwell, had been unjustly sentenced and was about to suffer on the scaffold. **The unhappy monarch, distracted and perplexed between the peril of refusing his assent, and the injustice of granting it, sent for Archbishop Usher and some other Prelates; Usher had a conference with his royal master in the evening, and declared his opinion that if His Majesty was satisfied by what he had heard at the trial, that the Earl was not guilty of treason, he ought not in conscience to consent to his condemnation, and when the king yielded to the popular demand, and gave to the Bill that sanction which weighed upon his spirits during the remainder of his days, the Archbishop expressed his feelings with tears in his eyes, 'Oh, sire, what have you done? I fear that this act may prove a great trouble upon your conscience; and pray God that your Majesty may never suffer for signing this Bill.' ** It is related that Lord Strafford, when Viceroy of Ireland, had looked upon Archbishop Usher with no very friendly feeling, and therefore it is the more delightful to observe, that he made choice of the Primate for his spiritual adviser, now that his days on earth were numbered. The good Archbishop had many interviews with him, and on the last evening of his mortal existence, assisted him in his prayers to that Court, where, as the Earl remarked, ' neither partiality can be expected nor error found.' ** Next morning he attended Lord Strafford on the scaffold; kneeled down and prayed by his side; and observed with comfort that the departing noble- man was engaged in silent devotion ; Usher was personally addressed in that courageous and eloquent speech which he delivered before disrobing for execution ; and then, having received his last farewell, hastened from the touching scene, and bore to the king the tidings that all was over, adding the only consolation which the case admitted, that he had seen reagon to believe that the Earl was well prepared for that change, and that his last gloomy hours were brightened by the hope of eternal glory."*

* Biog. Brit., vol. vi., Art. Wentworth. W

Page 304


Note @, page 145.

*The measures of spoliation and ejection, which commenced in the year 1640, were carried chiefly into effect by means of committees. One of the most notorious of these was the committee appointed to try ' Seandalous' ministers, a comprehensive appellation, designed to include all who might be obnoxious to the party in power. By authority of these Parliamentary committees, a great number of the Clergy, estimated by some writers to amount to seven thousand, with their wives and families, were turned out of their comfortable homes, robbed of their furniture, and often of the whole of their private property, and thrown upon the wide world, to seek a precarious subsistence from some occupation ; or at best made dependants upon the bounty of the generous but impoverished loyalists. «'No tyranny of King Charles ever equalled the tyranny of this Parliament and their agents : no measures of the star chamber were more indefensible than the severities of these countless star chambers, erected in every part of the country." Such is the testimony borne by the Biographer of Hammond,* and by Walker in his " Sufferings of the Clergy;" yet while the cruel edicts of the Parliament are to be condemned, full justice should be rendered to the character of the Puritans as a body. Of them it is affirmed :- «* That their general deportment was strict and grave; as ministers of the gospel they were diligent and zealous ; peculiar earnestness and warmth distinguished their preaching; and they frequently assembled their people privately for prayer. Works of great piety and excellence remain to attest that many of them were powerful advocates of religion and virtue. By such means they naturally and deservedly gained a share of public esteem ; and the coercive measures that had been pursued towards them, being more commonly vexatious than severe, were just such as might increase their popularity, without answering the purpose for which they were intended." It has been well remarked by Bishop Heber-'" That no party had then been found enlightened enough to perceive the great wickedness of persecution in the abstract, or the moral unfitness of temporal punishment as an engine of religious controversy."

Note @, page 172.

«* The Parliamentary Surveys alluded to, were made," says Archdeacon

* Bishop Fell.

Page 305


Todd, "in pursuance of various ordinances of Parliament during the Commonwealth, by surveyors appointed for that purpose, acting on oath. At the Restoration, these valuable papers were delivered to Juxon, Arch- bishop of Canterbury, and they were deposited in the Library at Lambeth Palace. They form twenty-one large folio volumes. Some of the returns are duplicates, some original, but they are all, by a decree of the Court of Exchequer, admitted in evidence as original records. They are Surveys of Episcopal and Capitular, as well as parochial, possessions, and as they also describe impropriations or Rectories, are often minute as well as important. Some additional surveys of the same nature have been discovered in the Tower of London."

Appendix to pages 191-32.

The interesting ceremony of laying the foundation stone of the new schools alluded to in pages 191-2, took place on Saturday, the 10th of November last, in the presence of a large number of the clergy and laity of the neighbourhood. At three o'clock in the afternoon divine service was held in the church, after which the incumbent and churchwardens, followed by the members of the building committee and the congregation, walked in procession to the site, which lies near the church, on the south side. It being in accordance with the general feeling of the public that the Schools should be memorial of their original projector, the late Rev. Joseph Hughes, his daughter was invited by the committee to lay the foundation stone. In a cavity, underneath the stone, was placed a leaden box, containing a Bible and Common Prayer Book, copies of The Times, the Huddersfield Chronicle, and the Huddersfield Examiner ; several silver and copper coins of the present reign, and an illuminated parchment bearing the following inscription :- "* St. Bartholomew's Church, Meltham-Meltham Memorial Schools. These Schools were erected by public subscription, on land presented for that purpose by Charles Brook, jun., late of Meltham Hall, now of Enderby, Leicestershire, Esq., J.P., in memory of the late Joseph Hughes, who was for 25 years Incumbent of the Chapelry of Meltham. The foundation stone was laid by his daughter, Jane Gwenhwyfar, on this the 10th day of November, in the year of our Lord 1866.

Page 306


('The Vicar of Almondbury, The Incumbent of Meltham, Trustees” The Incumbent of Meltham Mills, The Incumbent of Helme, and {The Incumbent of Wilshaw.

Edward Collis Watson, Incumbent. James Smart, B.A., Curate.

James Battye and. } Churchwardens. Thomas Allen Haigh, Charles Brook, junior, Edward Brook, James William Carlile Edward Coleman Gooddy, Joseph Hirst, Thomas Henry Lawford, James Ramsden, and

! Thomas Denton Scholes.

Building Committee, 4

John Kirk and Sons, Architects. George Moorhouse and Co., Builders."

A handsome silver trowel, provided by the subscribers, and presented by Edward Brook, Esq., Bent House, was used on the occasion. By the Trust-Deed the Schools are united to the National Society for promoting the Education of the Poor in the principles of the Established Church, and their management is vested in the Incumbent for the time being of the Chapelry of Meltham. The National Society has made & grant of £80 towards their erection.

Note H, page 221.

As regards the supply of wool for the woollen cloth manufactory, the fol- lowing extracts point out the source whence it may have been derived :- **The existence of sheep in this island previous to the Roman invasion, is not mentioned by any very early historian. Even and Tacitus are both silent on the subject. There is, however, in one of the ancient British triads, an allusion to the existence of three hundred and sizty thousand sheep in Wales, about the commencement of the Christian era ; and itis recorded that the Romans, during their sojourn in this island, established at Winchester a woollen manufactory, which was supplied with the native fleeces of the

Page 307


country, and so well did the project succeed that the woollen cloths of Britain soon excelled the productions of every other part of the Roman empire ; for the finest and most expensive dresses used on days of festivity and august ceremony, were procured from Britain. ** That there were sheep here also, after the conquest of the country by the Saxons, may be inferred from incidental allusions to them or their wool, in old records. It is said of King Alfred's godmother that she was skilled in the spinning of wool, and that she took pains in training up her daughters in the same employment. And Sharon Turner, in his * History of the Manners, &c., of the Anglo-Saxons,' 1805, p. 58, asserts that *for their animal food they had oxen, sheep, and great abundance of swine.'" The historian Hume states that the heaviest tax imposed, in Edward the first's time, was on wool, and from the same authority some curious facts are ascertained respecting wool, as an article of commerce between the English and the Flemings, in the time of Edward III. D'Arteville, a brewer in Ghent, who governed the inhabitants of that city with a more absolute sway than had ever been assumed by any of their lawful sovereigns, was the man to whom Edward applied himself for bringing over the Flemings to his interest; and that Prince, the most haughty and most aspiring of the age, never courted any ally with so much assiduity and so many submissions, as he employed towards this seditious and criminal tradesman. D'Arteville, proud of these advances from the King of England, and sensible that the Flemings were naturally inclined to maintain connections with the English, who furnished them the materials of their woollen manufactures, the chief source of their opulence, readily embraced the interests of Edward, and invited him over into the low countries. Edward, before he entered on this great enterprise, affected to consult his Parliament, asked their advice, and gained their consent; and the more to strengthen his hands, he obtained from them a grant of 20,000 sacks of wool; which might amount to above a hundred thousand pounds. This wool was a good instrument to employ with the Flemings ; and the price of it with his German allies."-Hume's Hist., vol. ii., p. 426. It appears from a note to chapter xvi., of this work, that in the eighth year of this monarch's reign, there were about 30,000 sacks of wool exported every year, and that the medium value of a sack was £5. * * * « Edward endeavoured to introduce and promote the woollen manufacture, by giving protection and encouragement to foreign weavers, and by enact- ing a law, prohibiting every one from wearing any cloth but of English make. The parliament prohibited the exportation of woollen goods, which

Page 308


was not so well judged, especially while the exportation of unwrought wool was so much allowed and encouraged."-Hume. An interesting notice of the encouragement given to the woollen cloth manufactories of this kingdom by Queen Philippa, the Flemish Consort of Edward the III., is given in Miss Strickland's Queens of England, vol. i1., pp. 310, of Queen Philippa. It is as follows :- «* Philippa, young as she was, well remembered the source of prosperity which enriched her own country. She established a manufacturing colony at Norwich, in the year 1335; but the first steps towards this good work were commenced so early as the third of July, 1331, within a few months of the assumption of power, by the youthful king. A letter so dated, from Lincoln, is addressed to John Kempe, of Flanders, cloth-weaver in wool, in which he is informed, that if he will come to England with the servants and apprentices of his mystery, and with his goods and chattels, and with any dyers and fullers who may be inclined willingly to accompany him beyond the seas, and exercise their mysteries in the kingdom of England, they shall have letters of protection and assistance in their settlement.* «* Philippa occasionally visited Kempe, and the rest of her colony in Norwich. Nor did she disdain to blend all the magnificence of chivalry with her patronage of the productive arts. Like a beneficent queen of the Hive, she cherished and protected the working bees, and at a period of her life, under twenty years of age, which, in common characters, is considered girlhood ; she had thus enriched one of the cities of her realm by her statistical wisdom."


The following note to the Constable of Meltham-Halfe, copied from a time worn old document, dated 1715, refers to the time of the universal arming throughout the country, when the Pretender made his first attempt on the British crown, and proves that the authorities at Meltham were not exempted from the duty of furnishing men and arms for the purposes of national defence :- To the Con'ble of Meltham-Halfe. West-Rid. }

Com: Ebor.-By virtue of a Warrant from his Majesty's Deputy Lieu-

* Fgdera. " Probably the name of John Kempe is derived from Comb, that instrument being used in his employment, and means 'John of the Comb,' as the old English of the verb 'to Comb,' is to kempe. Kempe was the Patriarch of the Norwich woollen manufactures."

Page 309


tenants,-These are to command you forthwith to give notice to all the Principals of Foot+ within your Constabulary, to provide for their men a Red Cloath Coat Lined with Orange and trimmed with Brass Buttons, and a Hatt bound with broad Orange Worsted Lace, and also to provide forth- with good and new arms, viz.:-a Musquett, Bayonett, Cartouch Box, Sword and Belt, which are all to be in readinesse when called for. Hereof fail not; Given under my Hand the Eleventh day of March Ano Dm. 1715. And by another Warrant from the Deputy Lieutenants, you are to be furnish't with the said Cloaths and arms by Mr. Robert Milne and Mr. Thomas Warburton, in Wakefield, good and at Reasonable Rates.


+ Probably officers of Infantry.

Page 311


I N D E X . PAGE Almondbury, Castle of =. ......................... ...... 6, - 7 Inquisitions relating to ...................... 8 Manor of .................................. 245 Vicar of, Rev. Lewis Joneg.................... 176 Allestry, Dr. Richard ...................... 107, 111, 146, 149 Armitstead, Rev. E., Sermon by .......................... 175 Not1G@ Of 176 Armytage, Mr. Benjamin, Cash book of ................ 168, 170 Family Pedigree of. ..................... 225, 226 Beaumont Family 238, 244 Godfrey = 17, 27, 152 Bees and Beehives 2 Bell, Old = ss ee se ve e e ee e a e e e e e e e e e e e ees 173 Bells, New Peal of 179, 181 Bentley, Silk Mill at ................................ 208, 209 Binns, Rev. Christian.. .............................. 39, 40 Brook, Charles, sen. 200, 208, 209 Charles, jun. ....................s. 200, 202 Site for Schools, at Meltham, presented by, 192, 292 Charles John 209, 212, 232 a oe e, 198, 199 Monument to .............................. 205 Memorial Window of ........................ 208 ...... .. ak ea e e e e e e e e e e n e e ene ee e e e e e e ae eee & 197 William .. ........ ..... 196, 173 Mr. and Mrs. W. Leigh, deaths of .............. 206, 207 Monument to .............. 205 Memorial Window of ........ 208 Broom, Rev. Randoll ................................ 42, 44 Buckingham, Duke of, .................... 126, 127, 135, 136 Bull, Bishop ........................}.. ress 94


Page 312


PAGE Burial Ground, New .. ks kk sk ek ee + e e ee e ee +s 9, 183 Butler, AlID&Q .......... ...s se ss ee e e ek e e e e e e e e e e e e e s e e e 119 rcc &.... 119 Capel, Arthur, Lord 86, 127, 137, 143 emor ) e 274, 275 Castle of Kirkby or Pontefract. ................... 6, - 7 Chapel, First, of Meltham, 1651 ...................... 12, 13 Consecration of, by Tilson, Bishop of Elphin 19 Consecration Deed of .......................... 20-23 Communion Plate of 28 Copy of Terrier of Meltham and Honley.............. 25 Endowment Of ek .e} s 24 Description Of ...... 17 Status of, as a Chapel of Ease to Almondbury ........ 29 Chapel of 1786 .... ssa svk se ae ee ee ee ee e e e e e e es 171 Completion Of .. es ks 174 Completion of the Tower of ......... se e e e e e e e e eee es 178 Erection of Transept and Tower of .................. 177 Gas introduced into .............................. 233 Heating Apparatus introduced into .................. 184 Materials of Old .. e. e ...}} 172 New Organ presented to, by Mrs. Alfred Beaumont .... 185 New Pulpit presented to, by ........................ 184 Oak Wood of Old ................................ 173 Chapels, Baptist and Wesleyan............................ 229 Chappel, Bishop 87, 96 Cheynell, Rev. Francig .............................. 53, 276 Climate, Severity of .. 159, 160 on 6, App. 273 Constable, 57, 58, 70, 283, 284 Cromwell, Oliver .... s. ee a e e s ea ae ee e e ee ee ee e. 137 Crosland, Rev. G. 40, 41 DirectOfy ........ .... ss ss ae ae ae a e ee e e ee e e ae e e ee ee as 37, 51 Dison, D@ADIGl .. 78 District, Prosperous state of .............................. 216 Dodd, Charle® = 278 Druidical or Rocking Stone ............................ 4, 272 Dyson Family =.................................... 194, 195

Earls Palatine. ................. .... errr .. 252

Page 313

INDEX. 299

PAGE Edward III. 221, 225 Educational Statistics of the District ...................... 190 Ejected Ministers, Treatment of .......................... 290 Ellison, Rev. T. eres e..} 41 Encampment, Roman 5 Eras, Celtic and Roman.................................. 4 Sazon and Norman ................................ 5 Ethelred II., King, Land Tax in his time, A.D. 991 .......... 5 Ethelred I., King, A.D. 868 .......................... .... 273 Fell, Dr. John, Bishop of Oxford .......................... 143 His Preface to Works, by the Author of "* The Whole Duty of Man." se s e e e e e e e e e e e e eas 91 Portraiture by, of the Author of " The Whole Duty of Man" 92 Ferne, Dr. H. .............. ce ke ee. .}} 65, 86, 276, 284, 285 Feud, Elland and 218 Feudal Law in time of Queen Elizabeth .................... 8 Fir Wood found in Bog Soil .............................. 2 Flemings .......................... 220, 221, App. 293, 294 Flint Weapon discovered on Moor 5 Frost, Rev. A. H. esse.} 203 Frost, Intense, in 1855 232 Gas Works, Erection of. ..........................e...... 232 Gaunt, John of ............ .... .... seee seee ee es ee e. ees 260 Gentleman's Calling, The 118, 119 Hainault, Philippa ..s.k k. s e.. s.}. 221 Hammond, Dr. H. ............................ 144, 146, 147 Helme, Church of ........................ sess}... .. 209, 210 Inscriptions in the Church of ...................... 210 New Parish of ..}. 209 School and New Cottages at ........................ 212 Hereford, Henry Bolingbroke, Earl of ..................... 260 Hughes, Rev. J. eee sees ekke ee} 181, 182 Notice Of esse 232 Parsonage erected by 230, 231 Schools, Memorial of ............ App. 291, 292 Ince, Rev. EB. C..............s vse s ee ev ee ee e e e s ee e e e e e e as 203 Inquisitions, Extracts from .......................... 245, 248

Inscriptions on Tombstones in Meltham Church Yard.... 186, 187 Jesuits in k kkk k ees 13

Page 314


PAGE Jurors employed in making the Domesday Survey ............ 11 coh o P ap ace, 44 Extracts from Sermons, by 45, 46 Kistvaen, Remains of, near Blackmoor-foot _ ................ 4 Lacies, The, as Barons of Halton and Constables of Cheshire 263-267 Lacy, Albreda de 253 Edmund de se eee 254 Henry de esse 253 Ilbert ees 6, 7, 250-252 John de 253, 254 Robert de ............ eve v ee ev e e e e s e ee e ees 252 Roger de ees e kk k e e e ek ee ek s 253 Ladies' Calling, The e. 119 Lancaster, Henry Grisgmond, Duke of ...................... 260 Henry Plantagenet, Earl of .................... 259 Thomas Plantagenet, Earl of ............ 7, 255-258 Leather, Tanning Of 224 Library, Lending 231 London, Plague of, 1665, Evelyn on 165 Fire of, 1666, Evelyn on ........................ 166 Maunder's Scientific and Literary Treasury.................. 16 Mean Bridge, Contract for Building .................. 226, 227 Enlargement of ............................ 228 Gate and Lane, Repairs of.................... 270 Mechanics' Institute 231 Meeke, Rev. R., Diary of 42-44 Meltham, Agricultural Pursuits in .................. ee 223 Early Physical Aspect of.................... 217, 218 Enclosure Of esses es }s 229 Local Government Act introduced into ............ 232 Manor of =..................... i +a se ne an sn 249-267 Natural Resources of. ........................... 219 News Room opened in .......................... 231 Odd-fellows' Hall built in........................ 231 Origin of Name, Roman or Saxon ? ................ 1 Population of, from 1801 to 1861 ................ 233 Post Office established in, 1845 .................. 231 Railway to 233

Sanitary state of, in 1558........................ 161

Page 315

INDEX. 301

PAGE Meltham, Seasons of Suffering in ...................... 228, 229 Tablets in the Church of ........................ 186 Turnpike Road to,...........................}.. 230 Meltham Mills 193 Architecture of the Church at ................ 202 Church and School of, 1838 .................. 198 Church of St. James's at .................... 199 Communion Rails of St. James's at............ 202 Erection of various Mills at .............. 195-197 Memorial Windows in the Church of ...... 207-208 Meredith, Rev. D....................... 198, 199

Meredith, Rev. D., Tablet to, in St. James's Church 206 Monumental Inscriptions in St. James's Church

...u un s e e s e e e e e e e e e e ee ee ee e ees 204, 205 Old Manor House at .................... 194, 195 Origin of the name of........................ 194 Miscellany, Catholic 63, 70 Careful Examination of ...................... 85-88 Murgatroyd, Rev. J. = ..................s sess esse e sees 48 Diary of ................ .sk. k. eke k...} 51 O. N. or N. O. es eves seve ee ee e e ee e eee 84, 85 Oracles, The Lively ............................ 116, 117, 120 Order for Military Accoutrements in Meltham, 1715 .......... 293 Pakington, Lady, her claim to the Authorship of " The Whole Duty of Man." .................... 97-105 Arguments against her claim, from ** Gentle- men's Magazine" .................. 103, 104 Perkins, Edward, his Letter .............................. 78 Plague, Visitation of, in 1558 ............................ 162 Pleasure Grounds, The People's, Meltham Mills ............ 201 Radcliffe, eves e. er ks. .s 129, 130 Family of 234-238 Letter of, to Dr. Obadiah Walker 131, 132 Radcliffe, Sir Jogeph .................................... 236 Ramsden, Sir John = 261 Redshanks, Outlaws .................................... 3 Registers, Parish, of Almondbury | .................... 155-159 Township of Meltham | ...................... 150-154

Review, Edinburgh.. ........................k... kkk 104

Page 316


PAGE Ridings, Saxon Origin of sss 251 Rishton, Rev. es ss se se ee ee e e e e e e ee es 47, 275 Rocking StON@. ............. ss esse se ee ee e e e k e e e e e e e e es 4, 272 Rushbearing, Account of 30,-32 Sagar, Rev. R. sss s es s eee es seee} 47-50 Extracts from Account Book of .......... 167, 168 Scammonden Family .s .s se seee esses} 168 Schools, Sunday and National ........................ 187-191 New projected 191, 192 Smith, Sir Thomas, on Yeomen .......................... 16 Spelman, Sir Henry 10, 11 Sprott, Chronicles by 11 Stainton, Rev. J. esse se e e ee e e ee ee ee es 46, 47 Sterne, Archbishop .... 105, 106 Strafford, Earl of ..........................}.}s 35, 143, 298 Survey, Domesday ............................ 5, 10, 11, 273 Surveys, Parliamentary .se. s ee}. 291 son' e 5-7, 24, 273 Thanesg, S&XONM = sess ee e e s e e e e e e e e e ee e aes 274 ThickholliN8 ss sass es e e ee e e e e e e e e e e e ees 225 Tilson, Henry, Bishop of Elphin ........................ 33-39 Verstegan on the Word Yeoman .......................... 16 Villiers, Lord Francig 136 Walker, Dr. Obadiah, at the Bar of the House of Commons 133-135 His Letters ...................... 78, 80 Notice of ...................... 128-133 Warren, Earl of .. .............. .... esses es ee ek se ee e e e e as 275 Waterhouse, 13, 24 u e ae 152 Watson, Rev. E. C. .................. k... 185, 292 Wesley, Rev. J., Notice of West Riding by, in 1757 .......... 188 Westmorland, Earl of .............................. 242, 243 Whitby, Rev. Daniel, D.D. .............................. 66 «* Whole Duty of Man," Author of, as described by Bishop Fell and Abraham Woodhead compared ...... 120 Authorship of the, considered 89, 100

Character of the Author of the, by Dr. Fell.... 113 Extracts from Dr. Fell's Preface to the Folio Edition ofthe Works, by the Author of the 91, 92

Page 317

INDEX. 303

PAGE * Whole Duty of Man," Identity of the Author of the, noticed in

Bishop Fell's and Anthony Wood's character of ................ 116-118 Instances of the Estimation the, was held in 93, 94 Names of the persons for whom the Authorship of the, was claimed .. 95, 96

Wilshaw, Additions and Improvements at. ................... 214 Derivation of Name _ ...................... [v+ +r as 216 Inscriptions on Windows in the Church at .......... 215 Nataral Features of ............................ 213 St. Mary's Church and Infant School .............. 215 Woodhead, Rev. Abraham ........................ 15, 16, 52 Additional Notices of ...................... 276-288 Alleged change of Faith, by .................... 71 Anthony Wood's Notice of .................. 53-55 Character of, as showed by his Letters 115 By Anthony Wood ................ 114 Epitaph on es kk se}. 59 Extracts from Sermon, by ................ 285, 286 His Claims to the Authorship of the " Whole Duty of Man" es es kes es. }s 89 Kirk's Letter respecting, in Athens Oxonienses 57, 58 Infancy and Early Life of .................. 80, 81 Intended Monument to, in Chapel of Univ. College, (o) o e 60-62 Letters of .............. ...... ks ee ss ks s .}. 74-78 List of Works attributed to ................ 123 125 Longevity of the Woodhead Family .............. 122 MS. Sermon, by 121 Notice of, in the " Catholic Miscellany" ...... 63-70 Notice of, in the "Catholic Examined 85-88 Place of Burial of ............................ 59 Remarks on Biographical Notices of .......... 81-85 Remarks on Wood's Notice of .............. 55, 56

Will Of sess es es ee }} 72-74

Return to the Huddersfield Exposed home page
View the list of other OCR'd books