The History of Huddersfield and the Valleys of the Colne, the Holme and the Dearne (1906) by D.F.E. Sykes (1856-1920)

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 2

3. TFones, J.J.,

Obe First of Huddersfield.


Page 3








D. F. E. SYKES, LL.B.,

Author of " The History of Huddersfield," " The History of Colne Valley," " Ben o' Bills," " Tom Pinder, Foundling," " Sister Gertrude," Etc., Etc.



Page 4


Those who have already perused the author's " History of Huddersfield and Its Vicinity" will find a certain degree of similarity, both in matter and treatment, between the earlier chapters of that volume and of the present work. That this should be so was inevitable, for the remote past with which those chapters are concerned is a mine long exhaustively explored. In the later pages of the present work, however, being those concerned with the district to which this history is devoted in the days of Charles I., and from that time to the present, there will be found much which the author believes is now for the first time presented to the public, and even in the earlier folios the mass of information relating to local enclosures contained in this present volume is not to be found in the " History of Huddersfield and Its Vicinity " nor in any other published work.

Page 5

The Hlstory Huddersfield and the Valleys of the Colne,

the Holme, and the Dearne.


Odersfelt-The source and course of the Colne-Of the Holme and Dearne-Natural Aspects-The Woods-Robin Hood and Kirklees-Place Names-Family Names-The Brigantes-Roman Altar-Celtic Evidences-Celtic Customs-Religion-The Druids -Rocking Stones-Celtic Land Tenure-Celtic Survivals in Speech-The Roman Settlement-Altar to Fortuna-Excavations at Slack-Picts-Scots-Danes-Saxons-Evidences of Local Saxon and Dane Settlements-Saxon Land Tenure-Introduction of Christianity-Paulinus-St. Guthlac. :-Mayhall: Annals of Yorkshire; Rhys : Celtic Britain; Hughes: History of Meltham ; Morehouse : History of Kirkburton ; Sykes: History of Colne Valley ; Yorks. Topographical and Archzological Journal; Hulbert: Annals of the Church in Slaithwaite; Lucan: Pharsalia; Caesar:; Com- mentaries; Macdonnell: The Land Question; Skeat: Etymo- logical Dictionary ; Huddersfield Chronicle; Bede: Ecclesiastical History ; Green: Short History of the English People.

NY person whom inclination has led or duty con- strained to make himself acquainted with any con- siderable number of the published works, by various authors, purporting to be what are conveniently styled local, as distinguished from national, histories, cannot but have been impressed by a certain uniformity of method and treatment observable in those writings. The works re- ferred to vary, no doubt, in many respects: in lucidity of style, in symmetry of arrangement, and in the degree of success attained in the effort to identify, in some measure, local records with the general life of the country at large ; for, after all, a nation, in some aspects, is but a congeries of localities. But it is a fact not without its

Page 6


significance that all, or well-nigh all, of the tomes consecrated to local history, however they may differ in the particulars I have indicated, agree in the prominence given to the genealogical records of manorial lords, es- pecially if those territorial magnates are of noble family or alliance, and in the amplitude with which the annals of the various churches of the Established Faith are set forth. The writers of those contributions to the topo- graphical literature of the country would seem to have been, with remarkable unanimity, imbued with the idea that the history of a town or district has been fully narrated when the story of its manorial lords has been set forth, and that enough has been said of the spiritual strivings of its people when the careers of its successive incumbents have been described. Under such treatment the history of a town becomes largely a magnified family tree, a long drawn-out threnody o'er departed greatness, or an amplified Church Calendar. - The writer of these pages must plead guilty to having somewhat too slavishly, in previous essays of historical pretensions, followed too closely what he is now convinced were precedents better disregarded and examples it had been wiser to have shunned. And for this there was the less excuse, because, whatever may have been the case in other parts of the country, it will appear from what ensues in this history that the people of Hud- dersfield and of the valleys that there converge have been largely the makers of their own fortunes, and owe little of what prosperity and well-being they have achieved to the exertions of the owners of the soil ; and that, how- ever profound and far-reaching may have been the influence of the Anglican Church in the district with which this work is concerned, few of those competent to express an opinion upon the subject will gainsay the fact that other communions have exercised an influence not less extensive, and, one may hope, not less beneficial. - The writer, therefore, holds himself justified if these pages be found to be little concerned with the births and marriages and deaths of those whose names figure in Debrett ; if there be little in his narrative of heraldic

Page 7


pomp and blazonry and little to gratify the tastes of those who derive a curious pleasure in observing from afar the glories of the highly placed. The aim of the author is rather to trace the gradual evolution of the general people of the hills and vales endeared to him by a thousand tender associations from the rude beginnings faintly limned in the earliest records to that measure of social, political, economic, and religious fulness of life and achievement they now enjoy ; a measure which, rich and generous though some may count it, seems but the seed and promise of a richer and fairer heritage in the future. The ancient town of Odersfelt had its small begin- nings hard by the confluence, near King's Mill Lane, of two streams, the Colne and the Holme. Of the former of these one slender tributary, the Red Brook, springs near the foot of Pule Hill, hard by the Great Western Inn, and flowing into the Colne Valley, is joined at Blake Lea, in the parish of Marsden, by another stream, Marsh Haigh Brook, whose source is near what was once the Buck Inn at Buckstones. The united waters, coursing in a north-easterly direction, meet, at Snailhorn Bridge, near the Swan Inn, in Marsden, still another stream that descends the hills from Wessenden ; so that the river alike in its sources and its course may be traced by a succession of ancient hostels. The united waters, constituting the River Colne, joined, before their conflux with the sister stream, by many a brook or dyke, notably by the Golcar Brook at Crimble and the Longwood Brook at Milns- bridge, flow down a valley bounded on either side by undulating heights, whose rugged formation would seem to indicate an angry sea of lava chilled into adamantine rock ; on the left bank rise Buckstones, Dean, Laverock Hill, Dry Stroke, Uckhill, Cat Holes, Cop Hill, and Scapegoat Hill ; on the right bank Wessenden, Acre Head, Scout, Shooter's Nab, Chain, Lingard's Wood, and Crosland Hill. The rivers Holme and Dearne, rising on Harden Moss, and flowing for awhile in parallel courses, traverse the ancient Graveship of Holme. The Holme sweeps in

Page 8


rapid stream by Holmebridge, Hinchliffe Mill, Holmfirth, Thongsbridge, Honley, and Armitage Bridge ; the Dearne waters the pleasant pastures of Shelley, Shepley, and Kirkburton, and the course of the Holme and Dearne alike is to be traced by hills and dales richly wooded, and affording to the appreciative eye rare glimpses of sylvan beauty ; the scenery less harsh and rugged than that which marks the course of the sister river Colne. It is probable that Sherwood Forest, world-famous from the exploits of Robin Hood and his " merrie men," stretched in unbroken sweep to the district with which these pages are concerned. It is, of course, matter of ancient and familiar tradition that the popular outlaw found sanctuary in his last hours at Kirklees Priory, within an easy walk of Huddersfield, and there died and was buried, as witness the inscription on the stone that marks his grave :- '

Hear underneath dis lait] stean Lay Robert, Earl of Huntington, Ne'er arci'r ver as hie sa guid, An pipl kauld him Robin Hood ; Sick utlauz az he an iz men Vill England nivre si agen. Obiit 24 Kal. Dekembris 1247.*

On might cite many facts in proof of the wooded character of the district in bygone days. The lord of the manor of Saddleworth, in the twelfth century, gave tithe of his forest of Sadelworth to the mother church of St. Chad at Rochdale; ancient charters speak of the " free chase of Holmfirth " ; old deeds of the lord's hunting- ground at Marsden and of Deanhead Chase, and the Dog Kennels hard by, where legend says the huntsman visiting the kennels in his nightdress was devoured by his own dogs. Not only on the moorside, but in the very heart of Huddersfield, at the right-hand corner of the top of King Street, as you face the east, the stumps of oak trees of great girth have been found deep embedded in the soil. It is probable that the forest giants that once spread

* The date is obviously incorrect if it be true, as seems likely, that Robin Hood lived in the reign of Edward II. (1307 to 1327)

Page 9


their branches in these valleys perished in the great ' Wasting of the North" by William the Conqueror, when it was said that king left nothing standing that could be destroyed and nothing alive that could be killed. The streams that flowed through the green glades were clear, and quick with fish, the woods abounded in game for the hunter's shaft and snare. Many local names re- main to remind us of the former character of the district now so populous, its natural beauties sacrificed to the insistent needs of man: Wooldale (Wolf-dale)-the last wolf in this neighbourhood is said to have fallen to the spear of John o' Gaunt, in the days of Edward III.*-Deer Hill, Doe Hill, Stag Hill, Wolf Stones, Fox Royd, Wild- boarley (Wilberlee), Brockholes, Badger Gate, Buck- stones, and many others the reader's memory will supply, are eloquent of the days when men subsisted by the chase. Nay, the very surnames most rife in the district are significant of its natural rural aspects in olden days. Surnames are a comparatively modern invention. Men, aforetime, were distinguished merely by their Christian or baptismal names, just as in Biblical days men and women were known merely as Adam, Eve, Abraham, Sarah, Jacob, Rebecca, . Sampson, Delilah, Joseph, Mary, and so forth. But as the population swelled, and there were many Johns and Williams in every hamlet, some further mark became necessary, and one device was to add to the baptismal name the name of a man's homestead or residence ; hence we get our Brooks (e.g., John-by-the-Brook), Cloughs, Ramsdens, Sugdens (sike-dene), Deans (a dean, dene, or den, was a hollow in the hills), Shaws, Haighs (Shaw and Haigh are old names for a wood), Sykeses (a syke is a rivulet), Thorpes (a hamlet), Balmforths (a baum-ford, or foaming stream), and others. The earliest inhabitants of these wild and mountainous regions with whom history acquaints us, were a Celtic race, akin to those descendants of our British ancestors

* Mayhall's " Annals of Yorkshire."

Page 10


who still people Wales and Cornwall-the Brigantes, a name derived by Mr. Rhys* from the stem brigant, meaning noble, free, unconquered ; and that the people of these regions have ever been " kittle cattle to shoe," or, in other words, being hard to brand with the seal of submission or subjection, their political, religious, and social records abundantly establish. The most decisive proof of the occupation of this dis- trict by the Brigantes is to be found in the Roman altar discovered in September, 1896, in Longwood, and which the curious may see in Greenhead Park, whither it has been transferred. The altar bears the inscription :-



Abbreviations which, probably would represent: Deo Sancto Brigantum et Numinet Augusti, Titus Aurelius, Quintus, decreto Decurionum, Posuit et Suscoptum Solvit ; or, in our own tongue : "" To the Holy God of the Brigantes and to the divinity of the Emperor, Titus Aurelius Quintus, by decree of the Decurions, has placed [this altar] and [so] fulfilled his vow [or undertaking]." Under what circumstances the vow was made and what it was we can but conjecture. Titus Aurelius was probably a Roman lieutenant in command of the fourth cohort of the Breuci, Pannonian (Hungarian) auxiliaries pressed into the service of the Imperial City and stationed in Slack in Outlane during the time of the Roman occupancy of Briton, of which more hereafter. It is possible that the altar may have been dedicated to the war-god of the Brigantes with some idea of placating that warlike tribe, or perchance in grateful memory of supposed assistance from that minor diety, in the same spirit that, centuries later, moved Walter de Laci to erect the Parish Church of Huddersfield in fulfilment of a vow made by him when in

* See his "" Celtic Britain."

Page 11


deadly peril from a morass that lay between that town and Halifax.

Various implements and parts of weapons supposed to be Celtic have at various times been discovered in the vicinity of Huddersfield ; at Cupwith Hill, under a bed of peat, varying from three to nine feet in depth, knives of white and black flint, scrapers of the same material, supposed to have been used in the dressing of the skins of animals, of which the aborigines made themselves rude garments, arrow-points, and spear or javelin heads, all of flint. The reader will scarce need to be reminded that weapons of flint preceded those made of iron. British celts or battle-axes of stone have also been unearthed near Buckstones, near the entrance gates of Woodsome Hall, at Pike Law, above Meal Hill, at High Flatts, at Stone Folds, and at Marsh Hill, in the township of Denby.* A Celtic kestvaen, or place of interment, was dis- covered by Dr. Walker, near Blackmoorfoot,f and in August, 1896, three Celtic vases, or urns, containing incin- erated human remains, on Pule Hill.f According to Julius Caesar, who, in the year B.C. 55, made a descent upon our island, but whose observations were necessarily some- what hasty and superficial, these Celtic forbears of ours must, some two thousand years ago, have been little advanced in civilization. At a time so little remote from our own, when Rome and Greece had already given to the world masterpieces of art and literature, our own country, if Caesar is to be relied upon, was sunk in savagery and superstition. "From Casar we learn that the natives were entirely ignorant of, or disdained or found no need to practise, the commonest agricultural arts. They culti- vated no cereals They grazed their cattle upon the pastures, and their herds of swine doubtless found succulent nourishment in the acorns that fell from the spreading oak. Milk and flesh and fish were their

* Yorks. Top. and Arch. Journal, IX., 255 and 329; Sykes, Hist., Colne Valley. { Hughes: History of Meltham. ? Sykes: History of the Colne Valley, 15.

Page 12


diet. They dwelt in huts of simple structure, whose earth- floors were doubtless strewed with reeds or heather. The smoke of their fires escaped through a hole in the roof, or by the doorway. They lay upon the skins of the animals they had slain in the chase, and these skins, too, were their clothes by day. This in the rigour of winter time. In the summer this dress was disregarded, and the lithe and sinewy Britons strode their native heath encumbered by no clothing beyond that exacted by modesty, if by that. They wore the hair long flowing on their stalwart shoulders, but disdained the beard. They appear to have had no marriage ceremony, and one man might have many wives, captive often of his bow and spear." Indeed, Caesar asserts that a man might have ten or twelve wives, and that parents and brothers owned their wives in common. ** Their priests were the Druids "-a name derived from the Greek drus, an oak, upon which grew the sacred mistle- toe, our use of which at Christmas-time is a Druidic sur- and there were fearsome sacrifices to the gods. The Druids concerned themselves about divine affairs, looked after public and private sacrifices, and interpreted omens. They gave judgment in all public and private dis- putes ; if any crime had been committed, any murder done, had there been any quarrel about an inheritance or boundaries, they determined it, they fixed the rewards and penalties. If any individual or State proved recalci- trant, the punishment was interdiction from the religious ceremonies. This punishment was hardest of all. A man under this ban was held as impious and criminal. All shunned him ; no one went near him or spoke to him ; he was as though smitten of the plague; he was out- side the pale of the law ; every consideration was denied him.* The Druids usually did not engage in the wars ; they did not pay taxes; they enjoyed immunity from military service. Many disciples flocked to them.

* The historical student will note the parallel in this to the condition of England under the Bull of Excommunication in the reign of John ; and in a lesser degree to that of Ireland under the Boycott of the Land League.

Page 13


Parents sent their children to them. Their teaching was oral, their lessons conveyed in verses that took many years to learn by heart. It was a sin to commit these to writing. This was their cardinal doctrine ; that the souls of men did not perish with the body, but were transmitted to others." _. . . . Lucan, in the Pharsalia, thus apostrophised the Druids : You teach that souls, eased of their mortal load, Nor with grim Pluto make their dark abode, Nor wander in pale troops along the silent flood, But in new regions cast, resume their reign, Content to govern earthly forms again. Thus death is nothing but the middle line Betwixt what lives, will come, and what has been. Happy the people by your charms possessed ! Nor fate, nor fears disturb their peaceful breast : On certain dangers unconcerned they run, And meet with pleasure what they would not shun ; Defy death's slighted power, and bravely scorn To spare a life that will so soon return. The Druids were greatly concerned in the study of the stars and the motions of the heavenly bodies, study- ing the magnitude of the world and of countries, the nature of things, and the immortality and power of the gods. As for sacrifices, they conceived the lives of criminals to be peculiarly acceptable to the gods, and these they burned alive, so also the captives of the sword, holding that only by a life for a life could the immortals be placated. They worshipped particularly the god Wodin, whom Casar identified with the Roman Mercury. They worshipped also Apollo and Minerva, the patron deities of the medical art, of science and literature, and Jupiter, the king of all the gods, the god of gods. The " Rocking " or " Rugging " Stones were supposed to have served as Druid altars. Of these one, up to the year 1827 or 1828, was preserved at Brow Grains, between West Nab and Deer Hill ; another was at Scapegoat Hill, in Golcar. Of recent years students of sociology and economics have been increasingly interested in the question of ancient land tenures. The formulation of the doctrine

Page 14


that the ownership, as apart and distinguished from the occupancy or usufruct of land, should not be suffered to vest in private individuals; the advocacy of land nationalization by one considerable and growing political party ; the tendency among the younger and more earnest members of one of the old historic parties to appropriate that principle piecemeal if they can- not frankly avow it; the urgency given to the question by the depopulation of the agricultural districts and the appalling congestion of urban centres, with the inevitable rise in ground values and residential rents ; all these factors lend to historic enquiries into the tenures that in various ages and under various conditions have prevailed in this country a more than antiquarian interest. It will not be less profitable than instructive to devote an adequate part of these pages to an account of the tenures of the land in this district under the Celts, the Saxons, and the Normans, and to an attempt to show how the general masses of the people have, through ignorance, through supineness, or through weakness, suffered their com- munal rights to pass into private hands. As to the form of land tenure among the Celtic residents of this district, and generally throughout Britain in distant times, I recommend to the student who would wish to acquaint himself fully with the subject the careful perusal of Mr. John Macdonnell's treatise on the Land Question.* I must content myself with slight extracts from that excellent work. " What were the oldest forms of property in Britain there is little evidence. Casar says that the majority of those who lived in the interior did not sow corn. Pro- bably the land, so far as it was cultivated at all, was parcelled out in much the same way in which we find it among various Celtic tribes. We therefore turn to them. In Ireland and the Highlands of Scotland there existed, even in historical times, a form of communism. The Highland clan or sept owned the strath or glen wherein it dwelt. No man held his land in perpetuity, to be

* The Land Question : John Macdonnell. Macmillan & Co., 1873.

Page 15


disposed of as he might dictate. When a clansman died, his allotment might be divided. The chief was only the officer of the clan ; his post was not necessarily hereditary. o. The Highlander could not be taught the justice of the feudal idea of property, which connected everyone with some lord. It long remained to the Celt ' hateful and sqarcely comprehensible." " It would be hard to determine with any degree of assurance to what extent we of this day are indebted to our Celtic forerunners. Are the people of Huddersfield and its environs more Celt than Saxon, more Saxon than Celt? A hasty pronouncement would probably be wrong. At first blush one would be inclined to say that the great facilities for moving from one location to another have destroyed all racial distinctions. I am not so sure of this. It must not be forgotten that those facilities are of very recent date. It takes more than fifty years to obliterate, even to obscure, the characteristic impress of centuries. I am, for many reasons, disposed to think that there is a strong Celtic strain surviving in the people of this district. One consideration of great weight is that the Saxon settler, of whom more hereafter, would find little to allure him in this comparatively harsh and uninviting region. The Angle was of pastoral habits. He was much more likely to be drawn to the fat meads of the midlands and the south, which assured him of rich grazing for his herds and plenteous crops to reward his husbandry. The dispossessed Celt was welcome to find refuge in the hills and caves. Again, the genius of the people of Huddersfield and the converging valleys is more akin to that of the lively Celt than to that of the phleg- matic Saxon. There is something bovine about your true agriculturist that is lacking in the artizans of the West Riding. Pre-eminence in textile arts in which the toilers of our district excel requires no slight measure of manual dexterity and mental resourcefulness. Your true son of the soil is long and heavy of limb, broad of back, slow of thought, deliberate of speech. His eye is the eye of meditation rather than of observation. But your lad

Page 16


of the Valley of the Colne or the Holme or the Dearne is quick of eye and thought, rather too quick, of speech. He has the ready adaptability to change which characterises the Celt. He is emotional, and the poetry within him finds vent in his attachment to music, vocal and instru- mental. - There will be occasion later to record the dis- tinction gained in the melodious arts by sons and daughters of this district. The common speech of our people-not the laboured utterances of the platform and the pulpit or the writings of men whose diction has been influenced, not wholly for the better, by academic training, but the everyday tongue of the mill, the streets, and the mart, reveals the sur- vival of a surprisingly large number of words of Celtic origin. I append a list, not I think an exhaustive one, _ of words in general use that suffice to show that, despite Saxon settler, Danish freebooter, and Norman Conqueror, our Celtic tongue bewrayeth us :-*

Babe, bad, bald, bannock, Lad, lag, lass, lawn, loop,

bard, barrow, basket, bat, bauble, bicker, block, blud- geon. Cackle, cog, coil, combe, cradle, crag, crease, crock, croft, crone, cub, cudgel, curd, cut. Dad, dagger, dandriff, darn, dirk, dock, docket, down, drab, drudge, dudgeon, dun, dune. Ernest. Fun.

Gag, glen, glib, goggle-eyed,

gown, griddle, grounds, gull, gun, gyves. Hassock. Ingle. Jannock, jug, job, jog. Kail, kibe (a chilblain), kick, knack knave, knick- knack kob, knock, knoll, knob, knuckle.

lubber. Mattock, merry, mirth, mug. Nap, nape, noggin, nook. Pack, pang, pat, peak, pert, pet, pick, pie, piggin, pike, pitch, plod, pock, pod, poke, pony, pool, posset, pother, potter, poor, pout, prong, prop, prowl (?), prick, prick- er, pudding (?), puddle, pug, put. Quaff, quibble, quip, quirk. Racket, riband, rub. Shog, skein, skip, slab, slough, snag, spate, spill, stab. Tack, tether, twig. Welt, wheal. And - indirectly : Clutter, crowd, - flannel, flimsey, flummery, hawk, maggot.


* See Skeat's Etymological Dictionary of the English Language,

p. 751.

Page 17


Allusion has already been made to the invasion of Britain by Julius Caesar, B.C. 55. It does not come within the scope of this work to dwell upon the incidents of the Roman subjugation of this country. It is highly im- probable that the conquerors had much to do with this neighbourhood beyond making through it a road con- necting York and Manchester and establishing on that road a station for a small garrison to keep the highway and possibly collect the imposts. So far back as 1736 a Roman altar, dedicated to the goddess Fortune, had been discovered at Slack, in Outlane, amongst the ruins of a building manifestly composed of Roman bricks, many of which are yet to be seen in the common fence walls of that neighbourhood. The inscription on the altar ran : " For- tunae Sacrum Carus - Antonius - Modestus, Centurio, Legronis Sextae Victricss, Posuit et votum solvit, lubens merito : ' Sacred to the goddess Caius Antonius Modestus, Centurion of the victorious Sixth Legion, has placed [this altar] and [so] fulfilled his vow, rejoicing with good reason.' "' One has only to let the imagination revel for a brief while, and one sees in the minds's eye the bleak mountainous district of Slack, a region of gloomy solitude traversed only by sheep runs, and on its fringe the great road along which at long intervals marched the Roman legions or sped the chariots of some haughty proconsul and his train. And at Slack, solitary in the solitude, the small camp with its handful of soldiers and their centurions, keeping watch and ward over a population widely scat- tered in the woods and caves, a people of strange, bar- barous speech, fierce-eyed, and bitterly resentful of the foreign yoke; widely scattered, but apt in the dark November nights to steal through the forests to an appointed spot and swift and unexpected as an eagle from its heights to burst upon the soldiers in their camp and put to sword and flame. Was it for victory on some such night attack that Caius the Centurion, roused in mid night by the din of onslaught, grasping buckler and short-sword, and rushing to rally his men, vowed the altar to the goddess who proved so kind.

Page 18


More than a century after the discovery of the altar to Fortune, the Rev. J. K. Walker, of Dean Head, in Slack, discovered there the remains of a Roman hypo- caust, or arched chamber, in which a fire might be kindled for the purpose of heating the room above it, and evidently used in connection with a set of Roman baths. The Romans of those days, if not godly, were at least cleanly. In October, 1865, the Huddersfield Archzological and Topographical Society, an association formed in 1863, for " the preservation and illustration of the ancient monuments, history, and customs of our ancestors, also to collate and transcribe ancient charters, deeds, and docu- ments, with the ulterior view of employing them as material for a compilation of the history and topography of this locality," made extensive explorations at Slack. The excavations, which involved an expense of over £1,000, revealed the foundations of a large build- ing, with external walls 68ft. long by 56ft. wide and 2ft. thick ; of another floor, resting on pillars, 25ft. by 20ft.; of the floor of a bath, 15ft. by 8ft. The bricks and tiles used in the construction were excellent, and had been made with great skill and care, and on some of them were found stamped the letters and figures COH. IIII, BRE, probably meaning the fourth cohort of that legion (of the Breuci) whom I have mentioned as garrisoning this dis- trict. The remains found at Slack point to the exist- ence there of the baths attached to what we should now call the barracks. The discovery excited both interest and debate in circles, reviving the ancient and still un- settled controversy as to the site of the Roman settlement, Cambodunum, fixed by Camden (Britannia) at Almond- bury, a conjecture not now adopted by antiquarians of authority. The secretary of the local Association, the Rev. George Lloyd, in a paper read before that body shortly after the discovery, indulged in a not unwarranted, if somewhat exaggerated, strain of gratulation. " The excavations (at Slack) now hold a prominent part in the transactions of our Association and has (sic) become

Page 19


a work of interest for all England. If the Huddersfield Archzological and Topographical Association were now to wind up its affairs and dissolve, it has left a name, through that one work, which will never cease to reflect a high honour upon our exertions. Our once local society has got a wide-world fame, and is found enrolled in the historic records of our day."* In addition to the traces of buildings several Roman coins were found ; two silver denarii and many bronze pieces. The denarii are of the reigns of Vespasian (a.D. 70-79) and Nerva (a.D. 96-98), and the period covered by the coins is from the year of our Lord 71 to 114, and they had probably been the property of the soldiers who came to Britain with Hadrian. Whilst on this subject omission should not be made of a discovery of Roman coins made by a labourer in a field in Thurstonland, and some of

which are described by Mr. Morehouse in a work from which I shall have frequent occasions to quote, and to

which I must refer the reader desirous of more detailed

information. . The Roman occupation of Britain ceased some four

hundred and seventy years after the first landing of Julius Caesar B.c. 55. The Imperial City was stormed by the Goths, and the legions scattered throughout the known world were withdrawn for home defence, the garrisons in this country among the rest. Their with- drawal was the signal for the inroads of neighbouring peoples, who had probably cast longing eyes upon the fat pastures of our land, but had been held back by the Roman legions. The Picts and Scots from the north and west swarmed down upon the hapless Celts, who, in reliance on the Roman power, seem to have lost their pristine virtues, and " bore down all before them, like men mowing ripe corn." The men of the race of Cymbeline and of Boadicea sent piteous entreaties for help to Rome,t

* Quoted in Article " History of the Excavations at Slack." '" Huddersfield June 26, 1909. { '" To Aetius, thrice Consul, the groans of the Britons: the barbarians drive us to the sea, the sea drives us back to the barbarians : between these we are exposed to two sorts of death ; we are either slain or " Eccle- siastical History," p. 24.

Page 20


promising perpetual subjection ; but Rome was herself sore beset, and could only counsel the Britons to " handle their weapons like men and undertake themselves the charge of engaging their enemies, who would not prove too powerful for them, unless they were deterred by cowardice." In despair, the British turned for help to the Angles, dwellers in the district now called Sleswick, in the heart of the peninsula which parts the Baltic from the Northern Seas, then a wild waste of heather and sand, girt along the coast with sunless woodland, broken here and there by meadows which crept down to the marshes and the sea.* One can understand how alluring to such people must have been the rich lands of southern, western, and midland England ; but no such temptation assail them to adventure large settlements in the grim and forbidding defiles of the Pennine Range, and the aborigines of this district were probably little molested, so long as they accepted submissively the rule of the new invaders; though it is clear from many of our place names that Saxon thanes had erected their homesteads in our midst. The old rhyme says :-

In Ford, in Ham, in Ley, in Ton The most of English surnames run.

and to these must be added burgh, worth, hurst, stead, and others. Thus we have Almond-burgh, Far-town, Dal-ton, Deigh-ton, Nether-ton, Flock-ton, Farn-ley, Brad-ley, Lind-ley, Shel-ley, Shep-ley, Hon-ley, and the lands in the valley of the Holme are largely in the grave- ship of Holme, graff being the Saxon name of the lord's steward. Saddleworth and Cumberworth derive their names from the Saxon weorihig, a small enclosure. . The Saxons, as every schoolboy knows, were far from being undisturbed in their enjoyment of the country they had won by the sword. They had to fight to keep, and they did not always win when they fought, being glad to buy peace by permitting their assailants to settle in the land. The Danes, who found easy entry into the eastern shores by way of the Humber and the Trent,

* Green: ° Short History of the English People."

Page 21


established themselves in considerable numbers in parts of Yorkshire ; and place names beginning with Kirk (Dan., a church) or ending in by (Dan., a village), in thwasite (Dan., a clearing), in garde (Dan., an enclosure), in thong (Dan., a camp), give sufficient evidence that the sea-rovers founded homes in these parts: _ Kirk-heaton, Kirk- burton, Fix-by, Quarm-by, Slaithwaite, Lin-thwaite, Lin-gards, Upper-thong, Nether-thong, Thongs-bridge, Skelman-thorpe, and others that will suggest them- selves to the reader. The system of land tenure prevailing in this district under the Saxons resembled in its main feature that obtaining under the Celts they dispossessed. I quote again from the book of Mr. John Macdonnell : " In the fifth and subsequent centuries there came to England Angles, Saxons, and Jutes, bringing with them their institutions and customs. Describing the Germans of his time, Caesar distinctly states that they did not know fixed property in land ; each year there was a redistribu- tion of it among the sept (clan). In his Germania, Tacitus, describing the same people two centuries later, mentions that the soil was at intervals-perhaps no longer annually -divided, a device probably employed to assure equality of value in portions. To England, then, came these Jutes, Saxons, and Angles, and, settling there, they formed, we are told, the pagus, or mark. Among the chief and his followers, or comrades, were parcelled out portions of the soil, to be held in absolute ownership, and known as the edel or allodial land. On the outskirt of the mark, lay the waste, belonging to the community and undivided. . . . . Over this folcland or people's land, no man had more than possessory rights. He could not freely devise his interest. It did not descend to his heirs." We shall see in a later chapter that in Hudders- field and the valleys contiguous there were immense stretches of common land ; and it will be interesting to observe how the rights of the general people have been

filched by private greed. Whatever the views of the reader may be as to the

Page 22


theology, as distinguished from the ethics, of the Christian faith, he will scarcely be prepared to question the state- ment that the Christian Church has greatly influenced, it would scarce be an exaggeration to claim, shaped and moulded the beliefs and the character, and consequently the actions and destiny, of the people of the district. The Apostle of Northern England was Paulinus, described by one who baptised him in the River Trent as " tall of stature, a little stooping, his hair black, his visage meagre, his nose slender and aquiline, his aspect both venerable and majestic.'* Paulinus urged the claims of the new religion before the Council of Edwin, King of the land north of the Humber, and thereon a debate ensued (a.D. 627). Coifi, the high-priest of the old cult, being asked by the King to give his opinion, spoke with more than priestly frankness: "I verily declare to you that the religion which we have hitherto professed has, as far as I can learn, no virtue in it. For none of your people has applied himself more diligently to the worship of our gods than I; and yet there are many who receive greater favours from you, and are more preferred than I, and are more prosperous in all their undertakings. Now if the gods were good for anything they would rather forward me, who have been more careful to serve them. It remains, therefore, that if upon examination you find these new doctrines, which are now preached to us, better and more efficacious, we immediately receive them without delay." One is inclined to wonder whether Paulinus had promised a bishopric. The reasoning of another who took part in the debate took a more spiritual and worthier turn. " The present life of man, O King, seems to me in comparison of that time which is unknown to us, like to the swift flight of a sparrow through the room wherein you sit at supper in the winter, with your com- manders and ministers, and a good fire in the midst, whilst the storms of rain and snow prevail abroad. The sparrow, I say, flying in at one door, and immediately out at another, whilst he is within is safe from the

* Bede's "° Ecclesiastical History," 100.

Page 23


winter storm ; but after a short space of fair weather he immediately vanishes out of your sight, into the dark winter from which he has emerged. So this life of man appears for a short space, but of what went before, or what is to follow, we are entirely ignorant. If, therefore, this new doctrine contains anything more certain, it seems justly to deserve to be followed." It is certain that Paulinus preached at Dewsbury, and there an ancient cross declares : Hic Paulinus praedicavit et celebravit : here Paulinus preached and celebrated mass; and at Dewsbury was founded the mother church of this district, the vicar of the Parish Church of Huddersfield and other churches of this district paying dues to the Vicar of Dewsbury. It is probable that missionaries from Dewsbury pervaded the country round, and it is supposed that where no sacred edifice stood a cross marked the spot at which the priest was wont to minister. Crossland may derive its name from such a circumstance. Canon Hulbert, in the Annals of the Church in Slaithwarite, records that a cross formerly stood at Woodhouse on the east of Hudders- field, and still another at Deanhead in Scammonden, at Cruthill, or Cruxhill-Crosshill-on the site of the existing chapel there. If there is any reliance to be placed on the conjectures of antiquaries, and I confess I always regard with no little suspicion the surmises of that most imaginative class of writers, Golcar owes its name to the fact that Guthlac, a Saxon saint, preached there. It must be conceded that the village we now term Golcar has been in old records called Gouthalaghscarthes, Guémagescar, a scar, being defined in the dictionary as " (1) a naked, detached rock ; (2) a cliff, a precipitous bank, a bare and broken place on the side of a hill or mountain " ; clearly a volcanic scar on the face of a hill. It is locally claimed that the bold prominence at the head of Scarr Lane, overlooking the Valley of the Colne, is the spot from which St. Guthlac declared the faith to be heathen. He lived in the latter part of the seventh and the earlier of the eighth centuries

Page 24


(673-714), the scion of a noble family of Mid-Anglia. In his youth, when he is described as " fair-haired, quick- witted, gentle, and refined," he followed the profession of arms, but, divinely called, he entered the priesthood, abjured strong drink, and " traversed the wildest parts of England preaching the faith, penetrating dense forests, crossing dangerous fords and morasses and trackless mountain heights, his life in constant danger from beasts of prey, and the wild aborigines then peopling the mid- lands and the north." His dress was of the skins of animals ; his food barley bread and water, and that but once a day. Such was Guthlac's reputation for sanctity that in his life the great of all parts of the country under- took toilsome pilgrimage to the little hermitage to which he retired in later life, deeming themselves well rewarded by a touch of his saintly hand, and a blessing from his

hallowed lips.

Page 25



The death of Edward the Confessor-The pretensions of William of Normandy-His following-The Battle of Hastings- The introduction of a rigorous feudal System-The Knight's fee -Contemporary money values and wages-Domesday Book- Odersfelt, Almanbutie, Bradleia, Lillai (Lindley), Cornebi (Quarm- by), Daltone, Croisland, Haneleia and Meltha, Witelai, Guldeag- scar (Golcar), Heton (Kirkheaton), in Domesday Book-Ilbert de Laci-Holne (Holme) in Domesday Book-Earl - Warren- Manorial Lords of the Graveship of Holme-Villans-Chevage- Custom of Lytherwyth-Castle at Almondbury-Slaves and manumission-Descent of the Manor of to William Ramsden-Sale of Manor of Wakefield (including Holm- firth)-Comparative Tables of Prices and Wages-The Tenant Right Question in Huddersfeld-Manors in Colne Valley- Manor of Marsden-The Radcliffe family-The Manor of Slai- thwaite-The Kaye family-Woodsome Hall-The Legge family- James II. and Lord Dartmouth-Lord Dartmouth and Rev. John Wesley-The Manor of Golcar-The Savile family-Lord Halifax-Henry Carey-The Manor of Whitley-The Beaumont family-Enclosures of Waste Lands-The Honley Enclosure Act -The Huddersfeld Enclosure Act-The Lindley Enclosure Award-The Dalton Enclosure Award-The Golcar Enclosure Award-The Longwood and Deanhead Enclosure Award-The Graveship of Holme Enclosure-The Meltham Enclosure-The Kirkburton Enclosure-The Shelley Enclosure. AUTHORITIES :-Mayhall: Annals of Yorkshire; Traill : Social England; Domesday Book; Glossary to Domesday Book; Morehouse: History of Kirkburton ; Crabtree: History of Halifax ; Hobkirk: History of Huddersfield ; Commissioners' Report temp. Edward I.; Dodsworth MSS.; Yorkshire Notes and Queries; Nicholls: History of the English Poor Law ; Law Reports: App. Series; Stephen: Commentaries on the Laws of England ; Legge: Italian Ancestry of the Legges ; Hulbert: Annals of the Church in Almondbury; The Parliamentary History of England ; Clarendon : History of the Great Rebellion ; The Dartmouth Papers; Inquisition of Philip and Mary ; Macaulay : History of England ; Dryden: Absalom and Achi- tophel ; Various Enclosure Acts and Awards; Macdonnell: The Land Question.

N the early part of the year 1066, the most memorable year in the annals of England, Edward the Confessor died. He was a prince of the Saxon line and much beloved by the people, and his laws were so just that for

Page 26


many generations after his death the cry of the common people was to be governed by the laws of Edward the Confessor. He left no issue, but there were princes of his blood who, according to our modern notions of inheritance, were in the line of succession. The times, however, were unsettled, and the Parliament, passing over the claims of the lawful heirs of the departed King, invited Harold, a Saxon thegn, whose courage, tried in many a field, and whose wisdom commended him as a fitting ruler in times that clamoured for a man and a leader of men, to ascend the throne. His accession was no sooner known than William, Duke of Normandy, resolved to assert by force of arms a claim to the realm of England, based upon an alleged will of Edward, devising the crown to him ; a claim as preposterous in reason as it was probably baseless in fact and certainly bad in law. William summoned to his aid all the mercenary soldiers of the Continent. Every chief who had in his pay a horde of vassals whom he could equip for the field made haste to swell the Norman host. The adherents of William recked not one jot of the justice of the duke's claim. They were promised the fair domains of England as the price of their assistance. In a word, the expedition that sailed for England was a free- booting expedition, headed by a ruthless leader of men who came for plunder. Every schoolboy knows the story of the Battle of Hastings and of the Camp of Ely and Hereward the Wake, and of the crushing of England under the Norman yoke. The policy of the Conqueror required that the country that had been won by the sword should be kept by the sword. It was necessary to reward those who had helped him to a crown ; but it was expedient to reward them in such a way that the donees should be sureties for the safekeeping of the prize won on the ensanguined field of Hastings. The country was parcelled out into huge fiefs, under a plan that is known as the feudal system. Under this system the country was conceived of as divided into " Knight's fees," and we may regard the Knight's fee as the feudal unit. It appears to have been

Page 27


considered that a yearly income of £20 would suffice to maintain a knight and his household. The reader must not confound the pound of those days with the sovereign of these. A pound is worth what it will buy. Even in the days of Edward III., three centuries after the Conquest, the yearly rent of pasture land was 1d. per acre; an ox, stall or corn fed, was valued at 24s. ; a fat sheep at Is. 8d. ; a fat hog at 3s. 4d. ; a goose at 3d. ; and eggs were 24 for a Id.; whilst ale, not ale and chemicals, was 1d. for two gallons in the cities, and for four gallons in the country. The wages of a master mason or carpenter, about this time, were 3d. per day ; of his journeymen, 1%d. ; and though the wages of any engaged in textile industries are not stated, so far as I am aware, in any contemporary re- cord, we may surmise from those in the trades mentioned, how wages in the textile industries would range.*® In the time of William the Conqueror doubtless prices ranged much lower, and one need not, therefore, wonder that land that would produce £20 per annum was fixed as a knight's fee. Taking one kind of land with another, it seems to have been found that 600 acres represented the average knight's fee. This for revenue purposes was divided into carucates (plowlands) or hides, each of 120 acres ; the carucate or hide into eight oxgangs of fifteen acres. The principal followers of William received at his hands estates each containing many knight's fees. These were the tenants :x capite, or tenants holding immediately from the Crown; and they proceeded to sub-let or sub- feu the several knight's fees to their own personal following in such manner that when the King called upon them to pay their feudal service, or, as we should say, now, to pay their rent, they in turn called upon their sub-tenants. It must ever be remembered that William did not make an out-and-out grant of the lands given to the tenants inx capite. He required in return feudal aids. In effect, the whole military burthen of the country was placed upon the feudal owners of the soil; though it is

* Mayhall's '" Annals of Yorkshire."

Page 28


right to add that from the earliest times every freeman had been bound by law to keep himself supplied with arms and armour ready to take the field whenever the defence of the country required his service. The reader who knows or cares to acquaint himself with the items of our national expenditure is, or may become, aware how great a proportion of our national burthens is in respect of the National Debt-payment for past wars-or in respect of the Army or Navy. This was the burthen the grantees of land under the feudal system virtually coven- anted to bear, and which, in effect, with such aids as the Commons were from time to time minded to make pro re nata, or, as occasion arose, rested upon their shoulders, until the reign of Charles II., when by statute enacted by a Parliament of landowners the feudal burthens were abolished, and the Commons in Parliament granted to the Crown in lieu thereof taxes upon the meat and drink of the people. It was as though the leaseholders of the Ramsden Estate were to meet in solemn conclave, declare their estates to be thenceforth freehold, and grant to the ground landlord, in lieu thereof, a charge upon the borough rate ! The system of land tenure which I have endeavoured to explain at a length I trust not disproportionate to the importance of the subject, necessitated the compilation of a Return of the landowners of the kingdom. This was the Domesday Book-at once a terrier, a rent-roll, an assessment register, a book of settlements, and a legal record. The King's Commissioners responsible for its compilation were bidden " to enquire by oath of the Sheriff of the Shire, and of all the free-tenants, and of the French- born of them, and of the whole hundred, of the priest, the reeve, and six villans (copyholders), from each vill . the name of the manor, who held it in the time of King Edward the Confessor, and who held it now {1086), how many hides there were in each manor, how many plows on the domain, how many men, how many villeins, how many cottars (small copyholders), how many bondsmen (landless labourers), how many freemen, how

Page 29


many socmen (freeholders), how much wood, how much meadow, how much pasture ; what mills, what fishponds ; what had been added or taken away, what it was worth in the time of King Edward, and how much it was worth now (1086); how much each freeholder held; and whether more could be got out of it than now."* The following extracts from Domesday Book relate to the lands of the district with which this history is concerned :- In ODERsSFELT, Godwin had six carucates (720 acres) of land to be taxed, affording occupation for eight ploughs. Now the same has it of Ilbert, but it is waste. Wood pasture, one mile long and one wide. In the time of King Edward (T.R.E. tempore regis Edwardi) it was valued at 100 shillings. In ALMANBERIE, Chetel and Suuen had four carucates (480 acres) of land to be taxed ; and there may be four ploughs there-Lewsin now has it, but it is waste. T.R.E. value forty shillings. Wood pasture six quarentenst long and six broad. In BrRrapLEIA, Godwin and Delfin held two carucates (240 acres) of land to be taxed, and two ploughs might be employed there. Now Chetel holds it of Ilbert, but it is waste. T.R.E. it was valued at or paid three pounds. Wood pasture four quarentens long and two broad. In LIi1LaAIA (Lindley), Godwin held two carucates (240 acres) of land to be taxed, and two ploughs may be employed there. Now Ulchel holds it of Ilbert, but it is waste. T.R.E. it paid twenty shillings. Wood pasture four quarentens long and two broad. In CoRNEBI (Quarmby), Gamel and Godwin held two carucates (240 acres) to be taxed, and two ploughs might be employed there. Ilbert has it, but it is waste. T.R.E. it paid ten shillings. Wood pasture one mile long half a

mile broad. In DartonE Alric had two carucates (240 acres) of

* Traill's " Social England," 236. { A quarenten was 40 perches. See Bawdwen's '" Glossary of Domesday Book," 17.

Page 30


land to be taxed, and two ploughs might be employed there. Now Suuen has it of Ibert, where the same has one plough, and two villeins with one plough. Wood pasture four quarentens long and one broad. In CROISLAND, Suuen held two carucates (240 acres) of land to be taxed, and two ploughs might be employed there. Ilbert has it, but it is waste. T.R.E. value ten shillings. Wood pasture ten miles long and one broad. In HanrErEIA and Cola and Suuen held five carucates of land to be taxed, where three ploughs were employed. Ilbert now has it, but it is waste. T.R.E. value forty shillings. Wood pasture two miles long and a mile and a half broad. In WITELAI (Whitley), Gerneber held five carucates (600 acres) of land to be taxed, where two ploughs might be employed. Now Gamel and Eric have it. There are three villeins, with one plough, and four acres of pasture. T.R.E. value twenty shillings. In GULDEAGSCAR (Golcar), Leuine held half a carucate of land to be taxed, and there may be half-work for one plough. Now Dunstan holds it of Ilbert, but it is waste. T.R.E. it paid ten shillings. Wood pasture one mile long and half-a-mile wide. In HEtoN (Kirkheaton), two brothers held three carucates to be taxed, and three ploughs might be em- ployed there. Ilbert has it, and Gamel of him, but it is waste. T.R.E. value twenty shillings. Wood pasture a mile and a half long and one broad. It will be observed that Godwin, Chetel, Suuen (Sweyn), Delfin, Gamel, Alric, Gerneber, Cola, Leuine, and Dunstan are mentioned as tenants of the land, either inx capite or of Ilbert. This Ilbert was Ilbert de Laci, one of the prime favourites of the Conqueror. His princi- pal castle or seat was at Lassi, between Aulnai and Vere, in Normandy, which he held under Odo, Bishop of Bayeux. It is probable that fought at Hastings under the banner of Odo. To this favoured adherent the Conqueror gave 204 manors in Yorkshire, of which nearly half were in the Wapentake of Skyrack, the others in Stain-

Page 31


cross, Agbrigg, and Morley. Having secured this vast territory he fixed upon a favourable and central site for his castle and abode, near where Watling Street, the great northern road, crossed the Aire, and transformed the ancient name of Brokenbridge to Pontefract, which is simply a Latinised form of the name. He had, how- ever, a castle at Almondbury, which he probably used when hunting in this district, and it was a condition of the holding of the Marsden tenants that they should escort their lord from Marsden to Pontefract when on his hunting expeditions. The town of Huddersfield, Almondbury, and the district comprised in the Valley of the Colne were com- prised in the gift to Ilbert, although Linthwaite, Slai- thwaite, and Marsden are not mentioned, being com- prised, as they were ecclesiastically, either in Almondbury or Huddersfield. The lands included in the Graveship of Holme fell to Earl Warren, and were part of his manor of Wakefield. Domesday Book has the following Record : " In Holne (Holme) Dunstan has two carucates for geld-land to one plough. This land, some say, is inland, others, soke to Wakefield." William de Warren, second Earl of Surrey, was son of William de Warren, first earl, by Gundreda, daughter of William the Conqueror. The grant is affirmed to have been made by Henry II.. in 1107 or 1116, as a reward for the capture of Robert, whose crown Henry had usurped.* The manor long remained in the family of the Earls of Surrey. Of the seventh holder it is recorded that he was summoned, with other feudal tenants, before the King's Council, that he " should come and showe by what right and title he held his lands and tenements. John de Warren, Earl of Surrey, a man greatly loved by the people, perceyving the King to have caste his net for a praye (prey), and that there was not one whyche spake against him, determined to stand against those so bitter and cruell proceedings, and therefore being called afore

* Morehouse: History of Kirkburton.

Page 32


the justyces about this matter he appeared, and being asked by what right he held his lands, he sodenly drawing forthe an olde rusty sworde : ' By this instrument (sayd he) doe I holde my landes and by the same I intende to defend The exact words of this perhaps too candid confession of the basis of his rights are given in the " Con- cise History of the Parish and Vicarage of Halifax "'f :- " Produxit in medium gladium antiquum, evagina- tum, et ait, ' Ecce, domini mei, ecce meum warrantum ! Antecessores mei, vero cum WilieImo bastardo venientes, conquesti sunt terras suas gladio, et easdam gladio defen- dam a quocunquo eas occupare volente; non enim rex terram per se devicit et subjecit, sed progenitores nostri fecerunt cum eo participes et coadjutores,' '' or, in our own tongue : " He cast into their midst an old, naked sword, and cries, ' Behold, my lords, behold my title-deed! My ances- tors, who came with William the Bastard, conquered these lands by the sword, and by the sword I will defend them against anyone seeking to take them ; for the King did not conquer and subdue this country unaided ; but our fore- fathers were participators and assistants in the deed.' " John de Warren, the last Earl of Surrey of that family, died June 30, 1347, and in August of the same year, by Royal Patent, all the lands of the aforesaid John were settled on Edmund of Langley, a younger son of Edward III., and the heirs of his body, with remainder to John of Gaunt. During the Wars of the Roses, there were many escheats and regrants of the manor, but on their conclusion and the union of the White and Red Roses, effected by the marriage of Henry VII. with Eliza- beth of York, the whole of what had been settled upon Edmund of Langley was declared to be resumed and for ever annexed to the Crown. The manor of Wakefield, including the Graveship of Holme, remained parcel of the royal possessions till 1554, when, on the mar- riage of Mary with Philip of Spain, it was united to the Duchy of Lancaster. In the reign of Charles I., by letters

* Crabtree's History of Halifax (1836), Simpkin, Marshall & Co. { Hollinshed.

Page 33


patent dated July 28, 1629, the King granted the manor, in consideration of the sum of £648 1s. od. to trustees in trust for Henry, Lord Holland. In the following year it was by marrage settlement limited in trust for Sir Gervas Clifton, of Clifton, Coy. Notts, and Penelope, his wife, and their issue. Sir Gervas is said to have been a kindly husband and an affectionate father, and his experi- ences both as husband and father were varied and exten- sive, for he married no less than seven times. In 1700 the manor was acquired by Thomas, first Duke of Leeds, and it descended with the title till the sixth duke settled it on Sackville Lane Fox. The land in the graveship is of copyhold tenure, the tenants doing suit at the lord's feet, but the consider- able exercise of the power of enfranchisement has made . these local courts a historical memory, or, as some might be inclined to say, a historical mummery. It is not difficult from a perusal of Domesday Book, and from the researches of modern writers, to form an approximately accurate conclusion as to the economic and social life of our ancestors at the time of the great survey. The villans, or villeins, and their families, made up a great bulk of the population, whose industries were pure agri- cultural or auxiliary to the tilling of the soil. The villein proper had a nominal holding of thirty acres ; the bor- dars or cottiers had a cottage and a garden, or a cottage and about five acres, in the common arable fields. The villein contributed a pair of oxen to the common plough, or plough of the township, the public plough as we should now style it, the cottier having no oxen of his own. Oxen, then, as in France to this day, drew the plough. The lord's plough of eight oxen, which tilled the demesne, or that part of the manor which the lord reserves for his own use, was worked by the services of the villeins, who had also to do service with their own plough and oxen. We learn that the great mass of the agricultural population, now landless, were then landowners. In each village there was a large pro- portion of common land, to be ploughed, harrowed, sowed,

Page 34


and reaped, and enjoyed by the whole community. On the other hand each villein had to plough in spring four acres for the lord, and to supply two oxen for the lord's team, for three days in winter, three in spring,and one in summer. Moreover, each villein had to work for the lord for some portion of three days a-week. The cottiers rendered one day's work a-week. It is to be understood that this was only when the land called for work, :.e., in the times of ploughing, sowing, and reaping. The lord's demesne was cultivated by the compulsory services of villeins and bordars. The villeins were bound to grind their corn at the lord's mill, and could not send their sons away from the farm nor give their daughters in marriage without the lord's leave, often obtained only by payment of a fine. The fine payable for permission to quit the manor was called chevage, and in an Inquisition of the time of Edward III. there is mention of the payments of 4d. each for chevage by Thomas and Adam, the sons of William of Newsome. In a later Inquisition (1480) in the reign of Henry VII. there is evidence of the existence of the custom of Lytherwyth. The extract in Mr. Hob- kirk's History of Huddersfield is very imperfect, doubtless unavoidably so, but one would gather from it that a tenant of the manor of Almondbury was bound to pay a fine to the lord if his son became a priest or his daughter married " sine licentia Domini '"-without the lord's leave. To all intents and purposes Huddersfield eight hundred years ago, and indeed at a much later period, was as far removed from London as London now is from Constantinople. _ It followed, therefore, that the power of the central government in internal administration must rest in the hands of the local barons. As a matter of fact, the feudal chief, seated in his castle, surrounded by his men-at-arms, was over his domain a ruler practically supreme, having often the fear neither of God nor of King before his eyes. There is extant a return to certain articles of enquiry by Commissioners appointed in the reign of Edward I., in which the Commissioners find :-

Page 35


" That the Earl of Lincoln (de Laci) and the Earl Warren _. . . . do not allow the bailiffs of the Lord the King to execute any office in his own lands ; but that they (the earls) execute all such offices by their bailiffs. That the Steward of the Earl of Lincoln tries cases of felony in the Court of Almondbury, which is of the liberty of Pontefract, for the last six years past. That the bailiffs of the said earls take and keep possession of waifs. " Also that when the bailiffs of the Lord the King were about to execute their accustomed office in Scamen- den, in Crosland foss, the bailiffs of the Earl of Lincoln, for the space of five years past, would not permit them. "* Also Hugo, Constable of Almondbury, Robert de Marcheden (Marsden), and Henry Odelin, apprehended a certain thief, and took from him 9s. 7d., and allowed him to escape after keeping him for two days ; and the wife of the said thief they also took and imprisoned at the house of Hugo of the foss in Crosland, but how she escaped they know not. The same Hugo apprehended another thief and kept him imprisoned at his own house for six days, and afterwards let him go." In the following reign, that of Edward II., another Inquisition into the doings at the Castle at Almondbury reported that " a certain stranger was murdered in the Castrum de Almonbury, and his body devoured by worms, birds, and dogs."* It is reasonable to infer that the fact of these Inquisi- tions being held points to the growing power of the central authority and the determination to assert the law of the land, the rights of the subject, and to curb the power of the feudal lords. Although there is no mention of a slave class in the foregoing extracts from Domesday Book, it is certain that such a class existed in the district. An article by Mr. S. J. Chadwickft upon the Priory of Kirklees, near Huddersfield, sets forth what purports to be a manu- mission or grant of freedom to, but was, in fact, a sale and assignment of a female slave, and, judging from the

* Dodsworth MSS. { Yorkshire Notes and Queries.

Page 36


name, an English-born girl. I set forth the terms of the deed in the original Latin, that the reader may have an abiding memorial of those dark days foolish people call " the good old times," and I add a translation that all may understand. The "S' Johannis le Flandrensis '* who executed the deed, some time before 1349, when he died, was lord of the manor of Clifton, in which is Harts-

head :- Sciant presentes et futuri quod Ego Dominus Johannis Flandrensis dedi concessi et hac presenti carta mea, confirmavi et imperpetuam quietam clamavi de me et heridebus meis Priorisse: de Kirkleys et sanctis monialibus ibidem deo servientibus, pro anima patris mei et pro animabus antecessorum meorum et pro tres solidis VI. denariis argenti quod predicti mihi dederunt per manibus Aliciam filiam Wilhelmi Mounger de Clifton et heredes sui cum tota sequela, et catallis suis mobilis et immobilis presentibus et futuris sine retenemento. Ita scilicet quietam clamavi quod nec ego Johannis nec ullus heredum meorum clamavi neque calumniam versus predictam Aliciam vel heredes suos vel sequelam vel catalla sua de cetero possumus exigere nec vendicare. In hujus rei testimonium presentum scriptum sigelli mei impres- sione roboravi. Huis testibus Henrico filio Godewini de Clifton, Thoma de Grenegate, Ada fratre ejus, Johannes de Havearldum, Thomas del Clif, Willelmi et Ada et aliis. Endorsement : (L.S.) S' JonanNnIs LE Manumissio Nativae. FLANDRENSIS.

Know all men now and hereafter that I, Sir Joun FuEMING, have granted and for ever released from me and my heirs Unto the Prioress of Kirklees and the Holy Nuns there serving God, for the soul of my father and for the soul of my ancestors and in. consideration of three shillings and sixpence in silver which they the aforesaid have paid in hand, AricrE, daughter of William Mounger of Clifton, and her heirs, with all her belongings and her chattels moveable and immoveable, present and future, without reserve. Also that I have quitclaimed that neither I, the said John, nor any of my heirs will prefer or present any claim or suit against another in respect of the aforesaid Alice or her heirs or belongings or chattels. In witNEss whereof I have confirmed the

present writing by the impression of my seal. S' LE FLANDRENSIS.

Witnesses : Henry, son of Godwin of Clifton, Thomas of Grenegate, Ada, his brother, John of Havearldun, Thomas Cliff, William and Ada and others.

Page 37


It will now be convenient to trace very briefly the ownership of those lands comprised in the original gifts by the Conqueror to Ilbert de Laci, premising that in this work little attention can be paid to the personal fortunes of the successive territorial magnates who have held large holdings in the district. - And first of Huddersfield :- The manor of Huddersfield, with a slight interval, during which it escheated to the Crown on an attainder subsequently reversed, remained vested in the family of the original grantee, de Laci, until the time of Edward II., when Henry de Lacy, third Earl of Lincoln, died (1312) without male issue, but leaving as his heiress his daughter Alice, who had married Thomas Plantagenet, Earl of Lancaster, a grandson of Henry III., a prince of the blood, and cousin german of the King. In his person were united the four earldoms of Lincoln, Lancaster, Derby, and Leicester, and a portion, probably a very slightly esteemed portion, of his vast possessions, accrued to him by right of his wife Alice, consisted of the manors of Huddersfield, Almond- bury, and Meltham. The earl placed himself at the head of a considerable section of the barons of England, who resented the influence of the King's continental favourites. He raised a large following, among them Richard Whaley, lord of Honley, and Henry Tyes, Lord of Farnley and Slaithwaite, and took the field against the King. He was defeated at Boroughbridge and taken prisoner to his own Castle of Pontefract. The task of apprehending him had been committed to Earl Warren, lord of the manor of Wakefield, the lover of Lancaster's wife, for whom she had left her lawful husband. Could humiliation further go ! Sentence of death was passed upon the Earl of Lancaster, and he was executed before the walls of his castle at Pontefract, having been condemned to be " drawn for his treason, hanged for his robberies, and beheaded for his flight." He was led forth from his castle, set on a lean white horse without a bridle, accompanied by a friar preacher for a confessor, to whom he cried, " Father abide with me until I am dead, for my flesh quaketh for

Page 38


dread of death." He died without issue, March 22, 1322, and his vast estates were forfeit to the Crown, but were conferred upon his brother Henry, last Earl of Lancaster, for the son of this Henry, also bearing that name, was in 1352 created Duke of Lancaster. This Duke died without male issue, and his estates, mcluding the manors of Huddersfield and Almondbury, vested in his heiress Blanche. This lady was espoused by the famous John of Gaunt, fourth son of Edward III., and their son, Henry of Bolingbroke, became King of England, and the manors aforesaid became on the marriage vested in the Crown. In 1599 the manor of Huddersfield was sold by the Crown to William Ramsden, ancestor of the present ground landlord, for the sum of £975 ; but it is right to be remembered that at that time Huddersfield was a mere moorside village, and that the £975 of that day would represent to-day a sum at least twice as great. The following is a copy of the grant :-

Elizabeth, by the Grace of God, etc., to all, etc. Know ye that we, in consideration of the sum of Nine hundred and seventy- five pounds and nine pence have granted to William Ramsden, his heirs and assigns, ALL our Manor of Huddersfield, etc., and all our capital messuage or tenement called Bay Hall, in Huddersfield aforesaid, now or lately in the tenure or occupation of John Brooke, and all our several messuages, lands, etc., now or late in the tenure of Robert Hurst, Roger Howe, John Batley, John Hesslegrave, George Burke (otherwise Brooke), Percival Clay, and Thomas Brooke, etc. Which manor and premises were lately part and parcel of the land and possessions late of Gilbert Gerrard, our Attorney General, and of one John Sankey, or of the one of them, with us lately exchanged, and to a certain Thomas Norris for or under the yearly rent of £23 19 9 granted for a term of 21 years.

The yearly value of the town, three hundred years ago, was less than £25. I am not in a position to state what is the sum of the yearly ground rents now paid in respect of the lands of Huddersfield, but they are popu- larly believed to exceed £100,000. The Ramsden family was formerly settled in Elland, but in 1531 Robert Romysden, or Ramsden, of Elland, married Johanna Wodde, or Wood, heiress of John Wodde, or Wood, of Longley. Longley Hall, Huddersfield, was

Page 39


for many generations the residence of the Ramsden family. John Ramsden, their son, was Under-Farmer of the Queen's Revenue in the Manor of Huddersfield, in Scrip- tural phrase, a publican ; and Ais son, William Ramsden, of Longley Hall, baptized at Almondbury, August 27, 1558, it was who acquired the Manor of Huddersfield in fee. He had already acquired by purchase part of the lands of Kirklees, confiscated by the Crown on the dis- solution of the religious houses, and the extent of his purchases at length provoked an order from the Crown that he be at liberty to acquire no more lands. The first baronet of the family, the title being conferred in 1689, was great-grandson of the purchaser of the manor of Huddersfield. The present ground landlord, Sir John William Ramsden, Bart., is fifth baronet. As already stated, the Manor of Wakefield was sold in the time of Charles I. for £648 Is. od. ; and it may serve to give an approximate idea of what the purchase money of the Manor of Huddersfield (£975) and that of Wake- field (£648) represented if I set forth a table of prices about the times when the purchases were effected. On referring to Sir Frederick Eden's table of prices* we find " in 1500 the price of an ox set down at IIs. 8d. In I5II, 13s. 4d. is given as the price of a fat beeve, and 8s. as the price of a lean one. In 1531 the price of a large ox is £1 6s. 8d. ; and in 1551 a best fat ox is set down at £2 13s. 4d0., a middling one at £2 3s. 4d., and an inferior one at £1 13s. 4d. . . . . A wether sheep, unclipped, is valued at Is. 8d. in 1500 ; in 1529 a wether is valued at 2s. 4d. ; and in 1551 the price of a best lean sheep is set down at 3s. 4d., and a best fat sheep at inferior sort of each being valued at 2s. and 3s. respectively. In I500 the price of a goose is 4d. ; of a dozen pigeons, 4d. ; and of a hundred eggs, 6d. In 1541 it is for a goose, 7d. ; for a dozen pigeons, rod. ; and for a hundred eggs, Is. 2d." If, therefore, we multiply by ten the recorded purchase prices of Huddersfield and Wakefield, of which latter the

* Quoted by Sir George Nicholls in his History of the English Poor Law.

Page 40


Holme Graveship can have formed by no means the most valuable portion, we can form, I think, an approximate notion of what those sums would represent in the currency of this day ; and it must not be forgotten that land values had been much depreciated in the time of Henry VIII. and Elizabeth by the extensive estates taken from the religious houses and thrown upon the market, and possibly by the not ungrounded apprehensions that the title of the purchasers might not prove too secure if the Catholic Church regained and sustained its ascendancy. A comparison of wages paid at different periods may also assist in the estimation of money values. By a statute passed by Henry VII. (1495) the wages of labourers, other than agricultural labourers, and artificers was fixed (for summer) at 2d. a day with and 4d. per day without meat and clothing ; (for winter) 1d. per day with and 3d. per day without meat and clothing ; and it was ordained that " every artificer '' and labourer be at his work, from the middle of March to the end of September, before five of the clock in the morning, and that he have but half an hour for his breakfast, and an hour-and-a-half for his dinner and sleep, and that they depart not from their work till between seven and eight o'clock in the evening. From the middle of September to the middle of March they were " to be at their work in the springing of the day, and depart not till night " ; and the additional half-hour for sleep at dinner-time was not to be allowed during the winter time. The pay of certain specified artificers was as follows :-

A free mason, master carpenter, rough mason, bricklayer, master tiler, plumber, glazier, carver : From Easter to Michaelmas 6d. a day each, without meat or drink ; with meat and drink 4d. a day. From Michaelmas to Easter 5d. a day each, without meat and drink; with meat and drink 3d. a day. Master mason or master carpenter having charge of the work and six or more men employed under him to have 7d. a day without meat and drink, and 5d. a day with meat and drink.

A comprehensive Table of Wages in Sir George Nicholl's work on the Poor Laws gives the following

figures :-

Page 41


1495 1593 1610 Artificers s. d. s. d. s. d. without In Summer o 3 o 8 on an o 10 per

meat and drink - In Winter - o 5 o 7 average o 8 day.

The fact that the wages of textile artisans are not referred to in the various statutes from Henry VII. on- wards is probably due to the circumstance that during the earlier periods of cloth manufacture the art was practised at home and the manufacturer was both master and man. No history of the ownership of the Manor of Hud- dersfield would even approach completeness without some account of what, half a century ago, was a fruitful source of individual anxiety and public controversy-the great Tenant-Right Question. Among the property of the late Sir John Ramsden-I quote from the authorised Reports* -were several pieces of land forming part of the commons or waste of the Manor of Huddersfield, allotted to him in the year 1489¢, and held by him in fee simple to the time of his death in July, 1839. Sir John Ramsden became possessed of these pieces of land under the will of his grandfather. The mode in which the Huddersfield pro- perty was managed was peculiar. A book or roll of the tenants was kept at Longley Hall, and, as the town became extended, any person desirous to take land for the purpose of building a house, used to apply to the agents of Sir John for the land wanted. This was then marked out for him. He erected his buildings, the ground rent was fixed, and his name was afterwards entered on the roll as a tenant, and he paid his rents on the usual day or days of audit. If he wished to sell his house, he and the purchaser used to attend on the agent, and surrender, or purport to sur- render, his property into the hands of Sir John, and the name of the purchaser was substituted for that of the original tenant. The same course was followed on a mortgage, only that in that case both names, that of the mortgagor and the mortgagee, were entered as tenants on

* 1 L.R. App. Series, 130. { As to these enclosures, see later.

Page 42


the tenant roll. In the event of death the name of the legatee, or next-of-kin, was substituted for that of the deceased. Persons thus holding land were popularly described as holding by tenant right. But besides these tenants by tenant right there were other tenants who ob- tained regular leases ; and the universal, or nearly univer- sal, form of lease, was a lease of sixty years, renewable for ever at the end of every twenty or forty years on payment of a stipulated fine.* These tenants holding by lease were entered on the same tenant roll as the tenants by tenant-right ; but a memorandum was made against their names, signifying that they held by lease, and the rents at which they held was always at a considerably higher rate than that at which the other tenants held. Joseph Thornton, in the year 1827, according to his statements in the bill in equity in the case from which I quote, being desirous of erecting a dwelling-house on a piece of high ground at Paddock, applied to Mr. Joseph Brook, agent or sub-agent of Sir John William Ramsden, and stated to him his desire to become a tenant of the piece of ground in question, as he wished to erect a dwelling- house thereon for himself. Brook, he says, informed Bower (the agent) of what had thus passed, and Bower having afterwards come over to Huddersfield to an audit, went with Thornton to Paddock, accompanied by Thomas Brook (a son of Joseph Brook), who was then about nine- teen years of age, and who acted for his father. Thornton pointed out to Bower the land he wished to have for his house, and Bower assented to the application, saying he would leave 'to Joseph Brook the staking out of the exact quantity of land to be taken. The precise quantity of land was afterwards agreed on between Thornton and Joseph Brook, and the ground rent was fixed by Brook, at an annual rent of £4. Thornton then built his house, and had ever since paid the reserved rent of £4 per annum.

The bill then alleged, that while the building of the

* Such tenants were in effect freeholders subject to a yearly rent-charge and a fine on renewal: a blend of freehold, leasehold, and copyhold.-D.F.E.S.

Page 43


house was in progress, and when it was nearly completed Juseph Brook, accompamied by Thornton and his father, came on the land, and on that occasion Thornton consulted Joseph Brook as to the prudence of his taking a lease of the land and buildings; when Joseph Brook stated it would be folly in him to take a lease, that he was equally safe without one, and that he could get a lease whenever he wanted it, the lease referred to being, as Thornton alleged, a lease for sixty years, renewable every twenty years on payment of two years' ground rent as a fine ; no other lease then existing or being known on the Ramsden estates at Huddersfield. No paper or document was signed by Thornton, and he alleged that he took the land, rely- ing on what had been said by Joseph Brook, and on the belief, universally entertained at Huddersfield, and encouraged by Sir John and his agents, that he could have a lease of it for sixty years, renewable every twenty years, whenever he might think fit, and that he would never be disturbed so long as he paid his £4 ground rent, and in the knowledge that very many other persons who had taken plots of land and built on them, on the same belief and assurances, had, on application, had leases granted to them for sixty years, renewable every twenty years. The book or roll of the tenants of the Huddersfield property was kept at Longley Hall, an old manor house situate on part of the property, and the bill alleged that after Thornton had taken the piece of land in question he was entered in that book as the tenant thereof at a yearly rent of £4. Mr. Brook died in the month of May, 1844, and on his death the trustees of the will of Sir John Ramsden appointed Mr. George Lock, then one of Her Majesty's counsel, to succeed him as author and manager of the estates, and as he resided at a distance, he appointed Mr. Alexander Hawthorn to be the resident agent, subject to his control and superintendence. - Alexander Hawthorn resided at Longley Hall. In this state of things it was alleged by Thornton that, finding himself in the year 1845, inconvenienced by

Page 44


want of out-door offices, he applied to Hawthorn for a second piece of ground, and that the same was accordingly measured out for him by two persons acting under the said Thomas Brook, who had survived his father, Joseph Brook, and was then one of the authorised surveyors of the Ramsden estate; that he, Thornton, then erected thereon, under the superintendence of Hawthorn, the additional buildings which he wanted, and that, after he had done so, he secured from Hawthorn a letter, partly printed and partly written, fixing the ground rent for this additional land at £1 os. 6d. per annum, which additional rent had ever since been paid. Thornton alleged that the money expended in building on two pieces 'of land amounted to at least £1,830. The house and out-buildings in West View, Paddock, now or recently occupied by Mr. Edward Kendal, are, I believe, the premises comprised in this letting, and may fairly be considered historic. On occasion of the first hiring in 1837-to resume the statement of the case-no paper was signed by Thornton, but on applying at Longley Hall for the second piece of land, a paper, containing a form of applica- tion, was put before him for his signature as follows :- Huddersfield, 16th June, 1845. Gentlemen,-I beg to make application to you for a plot of ground situate at Paddock, Huddersfield, on which I am desirous of building a mistal and other outbuildings, and which I am willing to hold under you as tenant at will at such rent as you may think proper to fix.--

I am, gentlemen, your most obedient servant. To the trustees and guardians of Sir John William Ramsden, Baronet.

This he signed, but, as he alleged, without consider- ing its purport or effect, without being furnished with a copy, and without having had it explained to him ; he signed it in the belief that it was a mere matter of course, and in the firm persuasion that he was to hold this second piece on land on precisely the same terms as to not being disinherited in the possession, and as to the sixty years' lease, as those on which he held the other land. These were the circumstances in which Thornton alleged that he became tenant, first of Sir John Ramsden,

Page 45


and afterwards of his devisees. " And," said the Lord Chancellor (Lord Cranworth) in his judgment, " there could be not a doubt that he thereby became at law a mere tenant from. year to year.'" Notices to determine the tenancies of Thornton, presumably the usual six months' notices, 'were given by Sir John William Ramsden, and Thornton disregarding these, actions of ejectment were brought to recover possession. At that time the Common Law Courts could not, as now, entertain equitable de- fences, and accordingly Thornton filed his bill in Chancery, praying for equitable relief against the harshness of the common law, under which he had clearly no defence to the action of ejectment, his contention being that he had an equitable right to a lease for sixty years with a covenant for perpetual renewal on payment of certain periodical fines. Whether he had established or could establish that right was the question raised in the cause ; and though the issue has long been decided on the Ramsden Estate, I may remark that on the Dartmouth Estates in Slaithwaite, the tenants of the moor-side holdings are to this day in the same case as the Huddersfield tenants of fifty years ago, and their so-called tenant-right tenures are as pre- carious as that of Thornton was declared to be. The case of Rgmsden at the Suit of Thornton was heard in the first instance by Vice-Chancellor Stuart, and His Honour made an order declaring that Thornton was entitled to have a lease or leases of two pieces of land on the terms stated in his bill. From his decision Sir John William Ramsden or his trustees appealed, and the case was determined by the House of Lords, May 11, 1866. The Court was not unanimous. The Lord Chancellor (Lord Cranworth), Lord Wensleydale, and Lord West- bury were of opinion that Thornton had not made out a case for equitable relief, and it was stated that Lord Brougham concurred in this view. Lord Kingsdown, on the other hand, supported Thornton's contention. The appeal of Sir John William Ramsden was accordingly sus- tained, but without costs, though it is fair to say that, the case being a test case, it is probable the appellants

Page 46


would not have, in any case, asked for costs, and, more- over, that Thornton's case was, I believe, supported not at his own charges, but out of a fund raised either by public subscription or among the tenants of the estates. The following extracts from the judgments of the noble and learned lords fully express the views of the last court of appeal upon the issues involved. The Lord Chancellor said: " It is not my intention to step out of the line of my duty by expressing or even forming an opinion as to how far this claim "'- that based on the reliance placed upon the honour of the Ramsden family-" is well founded. Probably the system was adopted in the notion that it would give to a humbler and not generally wealthy body of dependent tenants an easy and cheap mode of holding and disposing of their houses. It was impressed on them that by means of the register kept in the books at Longley Hall they could sell, mortgage, or dispose of the property, so far as they had property in their houses, by will, at an expense of 2s. 6d., instead of many pounds. Now whatever obligations of honour the mode in which the property was managed may have created in the Ramsden family, I confess that this case has satisfied me that it was absolutely necessary, for the interest of all parties, that some mode should be adopted for putting an end to it. It was an attempt to create a new and cheap mode of conveyancing, which was certain, sooner or later, to involve in difficulties those who had relied on it. The supposed transfers were altogether ineffectual, and it is a matter of wonder to me that litiga- tion was not long ago oc¢asioned by it. Sir John William Ramsden endeavoured to do what he thought fair and just by obtaining powers to grant leases for ninety-nine years. Whether that was more or less than his tenants at will had a right to look for from what they call the honour of the family is a point on which I give no opinion, but that some arrangements should be adopted which should put an end to the system hitherto pursued seems to me absolutely indispensable. In my opinion, the plain- tiffs did not establish a title to any relief, and so their

Page 47


bill ought to have been dismissed. In the particular circumstances of this case, and not at all relying upon the fact that I know that the opinions of your Lordships are not unanimous, which I think is no ground for influencing your Lordships' opinion on the question of costs, but in consideration of the circum- stance that this system has gone on so long, and that the parties might have thereby been misled as to what they supposed to be their rights, I shall advise your Lordships to send the case to the Court of Chancery, with the declaration that the bill ought to have been dismissed, without saying anything as to costs." Subsequent to this decision tenants on the Ramsden Estate who had erected houses, shops, and mills and other structures on their holdings under the so-called tenant-right tenure, were proffered leases of ninety-nine years, dating, I presume, from the commencement of their tenancy, at the original rent. This was not deemed by the tenants an adequate alternative to the sixty years' renewable lease, and Sir John William Ramsden, for many long years, was far from popular on his Huddersfield estates. Indeed, little reflection is needed to show how very much inferior in value is the tenant's interest under a ninety years' lease to his interest under a sixty years' renewable. Under the former the buildings at the expiration of the term became the absolute property of the ground landlord, though they may be little reduced in actual value since their erection. Not only this, but the lessee's interest, say, after fifty years, becomes a rapidly dwindling quantity, and year after year the interest in the term diminishes; that in the reversion, in other words the landlord's, increases. A considerable portion of Huddersfield is built upon these short leases, granted after the decision in 1866. What will happen when the leases expire is matter rather for the prophet than the historian. It is but right to record, however, that in August, 1859, the tenant-right holders in public meeting expressed their gratitude to the Ramsden trustees for the provisions

Page 48


of the Ramsden Estate Act, "a measure which em- powered Sir John to grant leases for 99 years, but not making it obligatory upon them to do so ; but it was felt that the manner in which the hon. baronet had met the of the tenant-right holders entitled him to the sincere thanks of the meeting, and the proposed arrangement opened out the prospects of a brighter era for Huddersfield and its trade. The hope was expressed that before long an application would be made by Sir John for power to grant 999 years' leases."* The names of the speakers at this meeting and of those prominent in the audience serve to remind us who, half-a-century ago, took a leading part in local affairs: W. Moore (constable), John Brook, T. Mallinson, J. C. Laycock, J. Freeman, Jere Kaye, Wright Mellor, J. Brook (registrar), Thomas Hayley, Abraham Walker, John Booth, S. J. Roebuck, T. Firth (jun.), T. Brook (solicitor), G. Brook (jun.), C. H. Jones, C. A. Smith. As has already appeared, the district included in the Colne Valley-by which term I understand the natural Valley, not the Parliamentary Manors Division of that name-was comprised IN COLNE in the grant made at the Conquest to Ilbert VALLEY. de Laci. I have already shown how these ' lands became vested in Blanche de Laci, who married John of Gaunt, and through her in her son, Henry IV. It was, if one may so express it, as the son of his mother and not as King of England that Henry of Bolingbroke became Over-lord of the Colne Valley. The lands thus became part of the Duchy of Lancaster, which, considering their geographical position, is one of those paradoxes in which the laws delights, but which the following extract from a learned writert will make quite clear: " The County Palatine of Lancaster was the property of Henry Bolingbroke, the son of John of Gaunt, at the time when he wrested the Crown from King Richard

* '* Fifty Years Ago," in " Huddersfield Chronicle." £ Stephen's " Commentaries on the Laws of England."

Page 49


the Second ; but he was too prudent to suffer it to be vested in the Crown, fearing that if he lost the one he should lost the other also, for, as Plowden and Sir Edward Coke observe : ' he knew .he had the Duchy of Lancaster by sure and indefeasible title, but that his title to the Crown was not so assured,' and, therefore, he passed an Act of Parliament, in the first year of his reign, ordaining that the Duchy of Lancaster, and all other his hereditary estates, with all their royalties and fran- chises, should remain to him and his heirs for ever ; and should remain and descend, and be administered and governed in like manner as if he had never attained to. royal dignity. And thus it happened, that they descended to Henry the Fourth's son and grandson, Henry the Fifth and Henry the Sixth, many new territories and privileges being meanwhile annexed to the duchy. In the first year of Edward the Fourth, upon the attainder of Henry the Sixth, the Duchy was forfeited to the Crown ; and at the same time an Act was passed to incorporate the Duchy, to continue the county Palatine (making it at the same time part of the Duchy), and to vest the whole in King Edward the Fourth and his heirs, Kings of England, for ever, but under a separate government from the other inheritances of the Crown. Subsequently, in the first year of Henry the Seventh, another Act was passed to resume such parts of the Duchy lands as - had been dismembered from it in the reign of Edward the Fourth, and to invest the inheritance of the whole in the King and his heirs for ever; as amply and largely, and in like manner, form and condition, separate from the Crown of England and the possession of the same, as the three Henrys and Edward the Fourth, or any of them had and held the same." When we come to search for evidence of the descent of the Manor of Marsden we can understand by the light of the preceding paragraph whence it comes that the first muniment of title to engage our attention, an indenture made 33 Eliz., between that Queen, through her Chan- cellor, and one Edward Jones, gentleman, recites a former

Page 50


deed or warrant executed by Edward IV., dated May 18, 1481, by which Edward IV. reserved to the Crown out of the fee farm rents of Marsden, 40 marks*® and eight other marks " for the encroachment," whatever that might mean. Out of this sum of 40 marks the Crown was pleased to remit 4 marks for the use of a minister to perform divine service and worship in the chapel at Mars- den, to be paid every Easter Monday to the living incum- bent from the fee farm rents by the lord of the manor. The recital continues that the tenants had found a minister, and from the time of Edward IV. had paid 40 marks into the hands of the King's Receiver in the Castle of Pontefract. The deed of Elizabeth, having recited as aforesaid, proceeds to witness or declare that if the said Edward Jones, his executors, administrators, or assigns, pay or cause to be paid into the hands of the Receiver- General of the Duchy of Lancaster for the time being, for the use of the Queen, her heirs and successors, such a sum of money, under the name of a fine, as the Chancellor of the Duchy shall adjudge, the Queen grants, delivers, and demits ad firmam (i.e., to farm lets) to the said Edward Jones, his executors, administrators, and assigns, all the dominical lands within the said Manor of Marsden, as summarily remitted by virtue of the aforesaid warrant of King Edward the Fourth, To HoLD to the said Edward Jones, his executors, administrators, and assigns, for the term of twenty-one years, H® yielding and paying therefor to the Queen, her heirs and successors, the yearly sum of £29 6s. 8d. of lawful money at the Feast of the Annuncia- tion of the Blessed Virgin Mary, and that of Saint Michael the Archangel in equal portions, the said Edward Jones, his executors, administrators, or assigns, to be chargeable with the four marks to the minister out of the proceeds, and he or they to find at his or their own charges or cost, a man of piety and learning to do duty in the chapel at Marsden as had been done aforetime, with competent and sufficient fairbote, ploughbote, cartbote, and gatebote.

* A mark was 13s. 4d.

Page 52

of the National Portrait Gallery.

By kind permission of the Trustees

Col. Will. Leage.



> A.



Syn (S


Page 53


Although one hesitates to express any opinion with assurance, one inclines to infer from the terms of this instrument that Edward Jones was a Farmer of the Revenue of Marsden, under the Receiver-General of the Duchy, just as, we have seen, John Ramsden farmed the revenues of Huddersfield before the fee simple in the manor was acquired. In other words, Jones secured the manor on condition of paying the sums mentioned in the grant into the Exchequer of the Duchy, recouping himself as best he could out of those who actually tilled the land ; and it is probable that he or some later lessee bought the reversion of the lease from the Crown, but when and at what price I have not been able to ascertain. It is generally supposed that Jones was succeeded in the lord- ship or sub-lordship by one Edward Firth, and he by a family named Greenwood. - We reach surer grounds in the middle of the eighteenth century, when there lived at Milnsbridge one William Radcliffe, said to have been an attorney, and the steward of the Manor of Marsden, for the owners of the manor, three maiden ladies, so tradition Tuns, had been so alarmed by the wildness of the district and the uncouthness of its people, that no con- sideration would induce them to live in its confines, and they were glad to be rid of the manor to their steward at a small sum. On September 29th, 1706, this William Radcliffe married the widow of John Sillick Dawson, Esq., of Milnsbridge House, the marriage being solemnised at Marsden. The son of this union was still another William Radcliffe, also of Milnsbridge, a Justice of the Peace of the West Riding, who died unmarried September 26th, 1795, aged 85. The sister of this William, Mary Radcliffe, had married one Joseph Pickford, of Alt Hall, Ashton-under- Lyne, and to their son, Joseph, his maternal uncle left his estates in Marsden, Milnsbridge, and Crosland Moor, on condition that he adopted the surname of Radcliffe, in lieu of the name of Pickford, the Royal licence for which pur- pose is dated December 19th, 1795. It was this gentle- man, born Joseph Pickford, but transformed in his fifty- second year into Joseph Radcliffe, who became first

Page 54


baronet of that name in the year 1813. The title was con- ferred in recognition of the services of Joseph Radcliffe, who was a magistrate of the county, in suppressing the Luddite rising, of which more anon, and discovering and securing the conviction and execution of so many of those misguided but most unfortunate men. The present lord of the manor is fifth baronet. Such parts of the Manor of Marsden as have not been enfranchised, are, like those in the Holme Valley, belonging to the Manor of Wakefield, of copyhold tenure. The copy- holders are the lineal descendants in law of those villeins who, and whose families, I have stated constituted so large a portion of the population of this district at the time of the Conquest. They held their holdings subject to certain base services, now commuted into a money pay- ment or fine, and at the will of the lord. To this day copyholders are, on their Admittances to the holdings on the rolls of the Manorial Court, stated to hold at the will of the lord, but with this important addition : " according to the custom of the manor," and the custom of the manor exacteth that so long as the customary duties are paid the tenant may snap his fingers in the lord's face. A customary or copyhold tenant is in effect a freeholder, subject to the payment of a fine on a transfer of the holding. This manor, included in the Conqueror's grant to Ilbert de Laci, appears to have been granted or sub- feoffed, between the years and I2II, Tur Manor by Roger de Laci to one Henricus Teu- or SLAITH- tonicus, which I take to mean Henry the WAITE. Saxon, and in some inexplicable fashion the surname Teutonicus became in later generations corrupted to Tyas, for we have mention of one Sir Baldwin Teutonicus vel (or) Ties or Tyas, who lived about the middle of the thirteenth century, and married Margaret, daughter of Hugh of Elland. In the None Book of Edward I., 1298, we have the entry : " Slai- thwaite, John Tyeis, Peter de Wildborelaye " ; and in the Parliamentary writs for 1326, in the reign of Edward II.,

Page 55


are named John Tyas, Slaighewaite, Richard Tyas, Farn- ley, from which we may assume that in the time of the Tyases, as in that of the succeeding Kayes, the estates at Slaithwaite and those at Farnley, including Woodsome, were in the same family. It is more than probable that the seat of this John Tyas, of Slaighewaite, was at Slai- thwaite Hall, assuredly the most ancient structure in the Valley of the Colne. If the reader desires to gather a lesson as to the progress made in the art of living, let him contrast Slaithwaite Hall, as he may reconstruct it in his mind's eye, from what still remains of that venerable edifice, and any one of the more considerable of the man- sions of our merchant princes in Edgerton, remembering that Slaithwaite Hall was once the abode of a knightly family. A genealogical tree of the lords of this or other manors would find no fitting place in a History of the People. Suffice it, therefore, to say that in the time of Henry VIII., we find the Manor of Slai- thwaite adjudged at law to be the property of Arthur Kaye, of Woodsome, claiming to be the rightful heir of John Tyas. It was he who built the Manor House at Slai- thwaite, and who added to the possessions of the Kayes the Manors of Lingards and Denby Grange. In the Kaye Chapel in the church at Almondbury a stone is inscribed : " Here lyeth the body of Arthur Kaye, De Woodsome, Esquier, who died the xvI October, mMDLXXXxII., and married Breatrix, the daughter of Matthew Wentworth, of Bretton, Esquier, and by her had issue John, George, and Margaret." This son, John of Woodsome, was something of a poet, and had, like most of us, notions of what the ideal woman should be- To live at home in housewyvrie, To order well my famylye, To see that they lyve not Idyllye, To bring up childrene vertuislye, To relyeve poor folk willinglye. This is my care with modestye, To live my lyfe in honestye, Obeying our husbands in what lawful is.

Who housewifilye taketh delightyng in this, Weel may be called good matron or maistres.

Page 56


The Slaithwaite estates remained in the Kaye family down to 1722, in which year Elizabeth Kaye, only child and daughter and heiress of Sir Arthur Kaye, of Wood- some, married the Hon. George Legge, eldest son and heir of the first Earl of Dartmouth, and in the Dartmouth family the estates have since remained. It is claimed for the Legges that they spring from a noble Venetian family, the Legii, a branch of the illustrious house of Traversari, a house connected by alliance with the Foscari, the Piscari, the Falieri, and the Contarini.* In the twelfth century the family was much decayed, one of its members following the calling of a blacksmith. In later days one of the name made his way to England, probably as a merchant. Here he settled and prospered, and in 1340 we have a Thomas Legge Sheriff of London, thereafter twice Lord Mayor and M.P. for the City in 1349 and 1352. Canon Hulbertt records that in 1338 Sir Thomas Legge sent King Edward III. three hundred pounds towards carrying on the war with France. The commerical instinct was strong in the family at this time, for John, a younger son of the aforesaid Thomas, though holding the post of a Serjeant- at-Arms of the Yeomen of the Guard, made himself ob- noxious as a farmer of the hated Poll-Tax, and when the followers of Wat Tyler in the great Peasants' Revolt of I381 seized the Tower, they gave Serjeant Legge short shrift, beheading him on Tower Hill.f During the Civil Wars William Legge, a scion of this house, was remarkable for his fidelity to the ill-starred Stuarts. He fought at Newbury, September 2st, 1643, on the Royalist side, and with such bravery that when attending the King at night in his bed-chamber, His Majesty presented him with the sword he had worn that day, and wished to knight him ; but the gallant soldier refused the distinction. Such was his devotion to the person of his monarch that he won the respect even of those who thought such devo-

* Consult " The Italian Ancestry of the Legges,'" by the Rev. Augustus G. Legge, M.A.

{ Hulbert: Annals of the Church in Almondbury. $ See Political History of England, 4, 43.

Page 57


tion ill-merited. Lord Clarendon said of him ;: " Legge had so general a reputation of integrity and fidelity to his master, that he never fell under the least imputation or reproach with any man,'" and praises him especially for " his modesty and diffidence of himself." When Charles I. was about to meet his unhappy fate he charged the Duke of Richmond to tell the Prince of Wales to " take care of honest Will Legge, for he was the faithfullest servant that ever any prince had." At the Battle of Worcester, 1631, Legge was severely wounded and taken prisoner.* He was confined in the Keep at Coventry, but his wife procured the entrance of an old woman into the Castle, and, disguised in her clothes, the intrepid soldier made his escape. With the restoration of the Stuarts to the throne of England the star of the Legges rose again. The eldest son of William Legge was Governor of Ports- mouth and Master of the Ordnance. In December, 1682, he was created Baron Dartmouth, and Bishop Burnet speaks of him as " one of the worthiest men of James's Court; but he was much against the conduct of his affairs." He was Lord Admiral of the English Fleet at the time of the Prince of Orange's expedition to this country, but failed to intercept the Dutch Fleet, and it was to Lord Dartmouth that James II., last of the Stuart kings, addressed the historic letter which was in effect his abdication of the Crown of this realm : " 1688, December Ifoth, Whitehall. My affairs are, as you know, in so desperate a condition that I have been obliged to send away the Queene and the Prince to secure them at least, what so ever become of me, that am resolved to ventur all rather than to consent to anything in the least prejuditial to the Crowne or my conscience, and having been basely deserted by many officers and soldiers of my troops, and finding such an infection gott amongst very many of those who still continue with me on shore, and that the same poysone is gott amongst the fleett, as you yourself owne to me in some of your letters, I could no longer resolve to expose myself to no purpose to what I might expect from the

* History of the Great Rebellion.

Page 58


ambitions of the Prince of Orange and the associated rebellious lords, and therefore have resolved to withdraw until this violent storm is over, which will be in God's good time, and hope that there will still remaine in the land seven thousand men who will not bow down the knee to Baal, and keep themselves free from associations and such rebellious practices. I know not whether any of the fleett under your command are free to continue serving me, if they are, their best course is to go to Ireland, where there are still some that will stick to me. . . . . If they are not, there is no remedy ; and this I may say, never any Prince took more care of his sea and land men as I have done, and been so ill repaid by them. I have not time to say more, being just a going to take horse.- James R." The King fled and Dartmouth made terms with the Prince of Orange, being thereto urged by his wife, who wrote him a letter so characteristic of her sex that it needs must be quoted : " December 12th, 1688.-I knowe my deare hart this juncture of time is very amazeing to every- body throughout this land, and most pertickelery to you upon all accounts, and more in the discharge of so great a trust as you have in their hands which is thought to be the nation's, since the King is withdrawn ; therefore, I desired my lord Rochester, who, I believe, is reely your friend, to advise you in this matter, and we send you the paper of the Lords to show you what is done heare, and I hope, deare, you will be so wise to your selfe and family as to see what becomes a reasonable man, who, I am sure, is left in the most deploreable condition of any subject or servant whatsoever. Therefor pray consider it well in your one thoughts and then no one is better able to judge than yourselfe what is fitt to be don to acquit you, for as hetherto, I doe not find the prodistant interist disatisfied with you, and the other I look upon as quite exterpreted. Lord Chanseler*® is prisoner in the Tower, and the rable ready to pull him to pieces before he be brought to public justice.- Yours, B. D."t

* The infamous Jeffreys. { The Dartmouth Papers of the Historical Manuscripts Commission.

Page 59


Two years after the Prince of Orange had become William III., King of England, the Earl was suspected of treasonable correspondence with the exiled monarch, and clapt into the Tower, where he died. His son William, second baron, was Secretary of State in 1710, and in I171LI raised to the dignity of an Earl. He enjoyed the friendship of Dean Swift and other men eminent in literature and the arts. He died in 1759, having lived in the reigns of Charles II., James II., William III., and Mary, William III., Anne, George I., and George II. It was his son and heir, George, whose marriage with Elizabeth Kaye, of Woodsome, added the Manor of Slaithwaite to the Dartmouth possessions. It was not at that time, nor for long afterwards, a very valuable addition ; and one of the Ladies Dartmouth is credited with the saying that the rents of Slaithwaite would not keep her in shoe strings. The second Earl Dartmouth was Secretary of State for the Colonies from August, 1772, to November, 1775. Those were critical times, the days which saw the American States drift into the War of Independence. For its writer's name's sake I quote a letter addressed by John Wesley to the Earl: " 1775, June the way to Dublin. All my prejudices are against the Americans, for I am an High Churchman, the son of an High Churchman, bred from childhood in the highest notions of passive obedience and non-resistance, and yet in spite of all my rooted prejudices I cannot help thinking (if I think at all) that an oppressed people asked for nothing more than their loyal rights, and that in the most modest and inoffensive manner which the nature of the thing would allow. But evading this, waiving all considerations of right and wrong, I ask, is it common sense to use force against the Americans ? . . . ' They are divided amongst themselves !' So you are informed by various letters and memorials.* So I doubt not poor Rehoboam was informed concerning the ten tribes!

* These expressions would point to some communication of the Earl to Wesley, vindicating the attitude of his Government.

Page 60


So (nearer our times) was Philip informed concerning the people of the Netherlands! _ No, my lord, they are terribly united, not in the Province of New England only, but down as low as the Jerseys and Pennyslvania the bulk of the people are so united that to speak a word in favour of the present English measures would almost endanger a man's life. . . . O, my lord, if your lordship can do anything let it not be wanting! For God's sake, for the sake of the King, of the nation, of your lovely family, remember Rehoboam ! Remember Philip the Second! Remember Charles I." The American policy of the Prime Minister, Lord North, was not approved by all sections of the English people. A local echo of the general feeling was heard at Woodsome, as we gather from the following letter to Lord Dartmouth from his agent at Woodsome: " July 16th, 1780.-As your lordship has not heard from Woodsome this good while, I take the liberty to say all is safe and well, and the plantations of last spring tolerably pro- mising, considering the cold and dry weather we have had. I mention our safety, as we have not been free from alarm here, owing to a strange idle report that Lord North* had fled from London, and was with your lordship here. This was so much believed by the common people, that a man came from Lascelles Hall one evening, and demanded an audience of Lord North ; being told he was not here he grew abusive. And the next day a consider- able number of rabble, about forty, with horns, pans, and one gun, assembled on the Coombs to come again, and another body beyond Kirkburton. But happily they were dissuaded from it." The present Lord Dartmouth was born May 6th, 1851, and succeeded as sixth earl in 1891. I have pleasure in quoting from my " History of the Colne Valley " : " The relations between the noble family of Dartmouth and the Slaithwaite tenantry have been and are of the most cordial, a circumstance due in no slight degree to the equity of the landlord's dealings and to the tact and consideration of the

* He had married the Earl's widowed mother.

Page 61


local agent, Mr. Jas. B. Eagland, and the London agents, Messrs. Thynne and Thynne. I am assured by Mr. Edwin Gledhill, the capable and astute clerk to the Slaithwaite Urban District Council, that no reasonable project of public improvement within the Council's jurisdiction fails to secure the hearty co-operation of the owner of the soil, nor is that project made burthensome to the ratepayers by any of those pecuniary exactions by which too many landowners, throughout the length and breadth of the kingdom, enrich themselves at the public expense." This manor, as we have seen, was named in Domesday Book as part of the domain of Ilbert de Laci ; but not long after the Conqueror's times THr Manor the manor passed into the hands of the or GoLCAR. Savile family. Certainly in the time of Edward I. Peter de Savill is stated in ancient records " to have held the Manor of Goulacres : three parts of the heirs of Richard le Botiler of Sandall and the fourth part of the said manor of John de Heton by the service of 3d. yearly." And in the year 1337 (10 Edward III.) we find John de Sayvile does homage for land in " Goldecar," and a later Return* records that " Sir Henry Savill, Knt., long before his death, was seized in his demesne as of fee of and in the manors of Botham Hall, Rishworth, and Golcar ; and in the Golcar Enclosure Award of 1823, the last public document I need refer to in this connection, the lord of the manor of Golcar is stated to be the Hon. and Rev. John Lumley Savile, I imagine few manors in the kingdom can be shown to have remained in one family from the time of the first to that of the seventh Edward of England. It were inconsistent with the design of this work to enumerate the successive lords of the manor during that long tale of years ; but I may quote from Lord Macaulay a story of one of the family that throws a lurid light upon the by-paths of national administration. - The Duke of Leeds told in debate in the House of Lords, with great complacence, " a story about himself, which would, in our days, drive a public

* Inquisition of Philip and Mary.

Page 62


man, not only out of office, but out of the society of gentlemen. ( When I was Treasurer in King Charles' time, my Lords, the Excise was to be farmed. There were several bidders. Harry Savile, for whom I had a great value, informed me that they had asked for his interest with me, and begged me to tell them that he had done his best for them.' ' What," said I, ° tell them all so, when only one can have the farm ?' 'No matter, said Harry, 'tell them all so, and the one who gets the farm will think he owes it to me.' The gentlemen came, I said to everyone of them separately, ' Sir, You are much obliged to Mr. Savile' ; ' Sir, Mr. Savile has been much your friend.' In the end Harry got a handsome present and I wished him good luck. I was his shadow then." The most illustrious of the Saviles was Sir George Savile, fourth baronet, President of the Council, temp., Charles II., created Baron Savile of Elland, 1668, Vis- count Halifax, 1679, Earl of Halifax and Marquess of Halifax, 1682. He was born at Thornhill in 1633, and, dying in 1695, was buried in Westminster Abbey, where is a monument to his memory. Lord Macaulay, in his History, devotes much space to an analysis of the character of George Savile:-'" Among the statesmen of these times Halifax was in genius the first. His intellect was fertile, subtle and capacious. His polished, luminous, and animated eloquence, set off by the silver tones of his voice, was the delight of the House of Lords. His con- versation overflowed with thought, fancy, and wit. His political tracts well deserve to be studied for their literary merit, and fully entitle him to a place among English classics. To the weight derived from talents so great and various he united all the weight which belongs to rank and ample possessions. Yet he was less successful in politics than many who enjoyed smaller advantages. Indeed, these intellectual peculiarities which make his writings valuable, frequently impeded him in the contests of active life. For he always saw passing events not in the point of view in which they commonly appear to one who bears a part in them, but in the point of view in which,

Page 63


after the lapse of many years, they appear to the philoso- phic historian. With such a turn of mind, he could not long continue to act cordially with any body of men. All the prejudices, all the exaggerations of both the great parties in the State moved his scorn. He despised the mean and unscrupulous clamours of demagogues. He despised still more the doctrines of divine right and passive obedience. He sneered impartially at the bigotry of the Churchman and at the bigotry of the Puritans. He was equally unable to comprehend how any man should object to Saints' days and surplices, and how any man could persecute any other for objecting to them. In temper he was what, in our time, is called a Conserva- tive, in theory he was a Republican. Even when his dread of anarchy and his disdain for vulgar delusions led him to side for a time with the defenders of arbitrary power, his intellect was always with Locke and Milton. Indeed, his jests upon hereditary monarchy were some- times such as would have better become a member of the Calf's Head Club than a Privy Councillor of the State. In religion he was so far from being a zealot that he was called by the uncharitable an atheist, but this reputation he vehemently repelled ; and, in truth, though he some- times gave scandal by the way in which he exerted his rare powers, both of reasoning and of ridicule, on religious subjects, he seems to have been by no means unsuscep- tible of religious impressions." Some of his utterances on theological matters were, however, well calculated to give rise to misapprehension in an age not so tolerant as our own of freedom of thought and freedom of speech. What, for instance, are we to make of this ?-" A man who sits down a philosopher rises an atheist." None the less, though he was certainly a philosopher, Halifax declared to Bishop Burnet " that he did not believe such a thing as an atheist existed. For himself he believed all he could, and imagined God would forgive him if, unlike the ostrich, he could not digest iron." Dryden depicts Halifax in the well-known lines*-

* Dryden: Absolom and Achitophel.

Page 64


Jotham, of pleasing wit and pregnant thought, Endowed by nature and by learning taught To move assemblies, who but only tried The worse awhile, then chose the better side ; Nor chose alone, but turned the balance too, So much the weight of one brave man can do.

The wife of this Lord Halifax was the Lady Dorothy Spencer, the Sacharissa of the poets. He had a natural son, Henry Carey, " whose dramas once drew crowded audiences to the theatre, and some of whose gay and spirited verses still live in the memory of hundreds of thousands." One of his songs, Saily in our Alley, is des- cribed as " the most graceful and natural of English lyrics." The Halifax peerage became extinct in the Savile family in 1700, but the baronetcy survived in Sir George Savile, of Rufford, Co. Notts, eighth baronet, who, though only in his twentieth year when the Rebellion of I745 broke out, received a captain's commission, and raised a company of fifty men on his Yorkshire estates to oppose the young Pretender's advance into England. He entered Parliament at a later age, and allying himself with the Whig party, soon evinced a liberality of political sentiments that would have been remarkable in any man, but was doubly so in one of his descent and traditions. He advocated relief from subscription to the Thirty-nine Articles, and when it was urged that sectarians would find their way into the Church of England, he exclaimed, addressing the Speaker, " Sectaries, sir! had it not been for sectaries this cause had been tried at Rome." He introduced bills to promote electoral reform, he supported Catholic emancipation-the rioters under Lord George Gordon burned and plundered his house in Leicester Fields -and he advocated an enquiry into pensions and annuities. Horace Walpole said of him that " he had a head as acutely argumentative as if he had been made by a German logician for a model." The present representative of the family and lord of the manor, is Alfred Frederick George Beresford, tenth Earl of Scarborough, who succeeded to the title and

Page 65


estates in 1884. It may be mentioned as illustrative of the persistency of family names in particular districts, that in Golcar, and in Golcar only, so far as I have observed in this district, the name of Savile is borne by some families of but humble position, yet who could probably trace descent to those lords of that manor who once resided in the district. No record of the manorial lords of this district could have any pretensions to completeness that omitted mention of the Beaumonts of Whitley Beau- Manor or mont. The Whitley estate appears to have WxurTLEYy. been granted in the reign of Edward I. by Henry de Lacy to William de Bellomonte, and from that day to the present one may say of the Manor of Whitley that " Amurath to Amurath suc- ceeds." In the 31 Edward I. Robert de Bellomonte, Knight, was seized of the Manors of Over Whitley, Crossland, and Huddersfield, and though the lordship of the last-named has long ago passed from the hands of the Beaumonts, that family still retains considerable possessions in Whitley Beaumont, Lepton, South Crosland, and Meltham. The will of Richard Beaumont of Whitley Beaumont, who lived in the reign of Henry VI., may be quoted as affording curious evidence of the religious notions of those times : " In the name of God. Amen. On the first day of Decem- ber, in the year of our Lord 1469, I, Richard Beaumont, of Whitley, sound of mind and of healthy memory, make and ordain my will in this manner. In the first place, I bequeath my soul to God, the Blessed Virgin Mary, and all His Saints, and my body to be buried in the Church of St. John the Baptist, in the Choir of the Blessed Mary of Heton. Item, I bequeath in the name of a Mortuary my best animal, according to the custom of the Parish. Item, I bequeath to the High Altar of Heton two shillings. Item, I bequeath to the Hospital of St. Thomas of Canterbury in Rome, forty pence. Item, I bequeath to the Brotherhood of Knaresboro' twelve pence. Item, I bequeath to the Friars of the Order of St. Francis of Doncaster two shillings. Item, I bequeath to the Friars

Page 66


of St. Augustine, of Tickhill, two shillings. Item, I be- queath to the preaching Friars of Pontefract twenty pence." - A Sir Richard Beaumont of Whitley Beaumont, born at Whitley, August 2nd, 1574, and knighted by James I. in 1609, sat in Parliament for Pontefract in 1625 ; Sir Thomas Beaumont fought for the King during the Civil Wars, and held Sheffield Castle for him; and Henry Frederick Beaumont,of Whitley Beaumont, the regnant lord, has, as later pages will show, borne an active part in the political life of this district, and his name will be for ever perpetuated as that of the donor to the town of Huddersfield of the park which bears his name. The reader will or should have observed in the extract from Doomsday Book that refers to grants made in this district the words, " It is waste " fre- ENcLosURES OF quently repeated. It is suggested WaAstE Laxnps. by Mr. Macdonnell in the work my in- debtedness to which I have more than once acknowledged that these words point to the fact that the lands alluded to were common or folcland ; land which was no man's because it was in a sense all men's. These rights of common claimed and exercised by the tenants of manor over these waste or common lands were of the most varied and yet indefinite character: the rights e.g., to turn their cattle and geese upon the common, to gather fuel, to dig turf, etc. In the Honley Award of 1788 it is expressly stated that the Freeholders of that manor claimed in Mag Spring Wood the right of cutting and having timber for Houseboot, Hainboot, Ploughboot, Cartboot, and Fireboot, and of getting slates and stones -privileges or rights one would have thought well worth conserving. It will, I imagine, be conceded by every thoughtful reader that a system that prevented the most effective cultivation of vast stretches of land situate in the heart of growing communities and that forbade the erection of houses and other buildings thereon could not for ever be endured. It is possible that had the Awards to which I shall refer been deferred to these later days, when we are becoming more and more accustomed to the

Page 67


municipal ownership and use of land and buildings, and when Town Councils and District Councils exist conscious of their powers and their duties, a considerable portion of the lands flung so prodigally to private owners would have been consecrated to public use by being vested in the Town or District Councils, with power to let the same for building sites, devoting the rents to the alleviation of the rates. What can present a more suggestive illustration of the muddle-headed way in which affairs are administered in this country than the fact that the public Recreation Ground on Lindley Moor should in 1810 have been awarded, under the Halifax Enclosure Act, to one Charles Radcliffe, and some eighty years later bought at a price for public purposes out of public monies from the successor in title of the private individual to whom public commons had _ been allotted ! The process by which the commons or waste lands in Huddersfield and the Valleys of the Colne and the Holme and the Dearne have been diverted from public use to private ownership is partly to be surmised and partly to be traced by reference to the various Enclosure Acts and Awards affecting this district. How considerable was the extent of what were probably common lands may be inferred from the statement in Doomsday Book that while in Odersfelt the ploughland was but six carucates, the wood pasture was one mile long and one wide ; in Almonberie the ploughland four carucates, the wood and pasture one mile long and one broad ; in Crosland the wood pasture ten miles long and one broad ; in Honley and Meltham the wood pasture two miles long and a mile-and-a-half broad ; and so forth. It is not difficult to believe that the lord of the manor or his steward had little compunction in enclosing for his private use such of the common lands as he coveted, and who so bold as say him nay in days when manorial lords had their own courts- baron, their own. dungeons, and their own gallows, and set at naught the King's writ and the King's officers. In later days when the feudal lords were brought under the law a great landowner desirous of laying hands upon

Page 68


the commons of his manor had recourse to measures less high-handed than those of his ancestors ; the methods of the latter were robbery open and unashamed, those of their more scrupulous descendants robbery under sanction of the law. Private landowners introduced into a Parlia- ment of private landowners private bills for the enclosure of the commons on their estates, and the legislators, mind- ful of the adage, " Thee caw me an' I'll caw thee," passed these bills wholesale. I have been privileged to peruse a number of these Acts and Awards referring to lands in Huddersfield and its vicinity. Some of these refer to former enclosures by the lords of the manor and others, and I imagine that many will realise with pained surprise how considerable a portion of our suburban streets and residences have been constructed and erected upon land once common of the people. The Honley Enclosure Act, the Award whereunder was made in 1788, recites that there were in Honley, including the township of that name Txr HoxnuEy - and that part of South Crosland called EncriosurE. - Mag Lordship, several open commons and waste grounds containing one thousand four hundred acres, and that the Earl of Dartmouth, as lord of the manor, was owner of the soil of the said commons and wastes as parcel of or belonging to the said manor, and that the Freeholders claimed right of cutting and having timber for House- boot, Hainboot, Ploughboot, Cartboot, and Fire- boot, and getting slates and stones, and that as the said commons and waste grounds were in their then pre- sent condition incapable of improvement, it would be advantageous to the parties interested therein if the same were enclosed and certain claims and rights were abolished and settled ; and that the said Earl was owner of a certain water corn mill, called Honley Mill, and claimed from the Inhabitants and Freeholders some soak or suit in the said mill and repairs to the mill dam, which soak or suit and claim to repairs it was desirable should cease. It also recites that the Governors of Clitheroe Grammar

Page 69


School were impropriators of the Rectory of the Parish of Almondbury, and as such were entitled to the Great and Rectorial Tythes of the said Commons and Waste Grounds, and to an annual modus of £3 IIs. 64d. in lieu - of Great or Rectorial Tythes out of ancient enclosed tythable lands in said manor, and that the Vicar of Almondbury was entitled to all vicarial tythes in the said manor. I cannot set out in detail all the allotments made by the Awards under this and subsequent Acts ; but I apprehend that the larger grants are legiti- mate subject of public interest. It should be pre- mised that the Awards made careful provision for public highways, private roads, public footpaths, wells, and watering-places, quarries, and other public ease- ments. Subject to these the Governors of Clitheroe Grammar School obtained by the Honley Award over one hundred acres in fee simple released from all rights of common, the Vicar of Almondbury some 14 acres, the curate of the chapel*® at Honley some 26 acres, and

the Earl of Dartmouth some Iso acres, and Amos Armitage and George Armitage and a many others plots of land varying from zo acres to as many roods. The Earl of Dartmouth renounced his rights to soak at his water mill and received Mag Spring Wood free from those vexatious " Boots" ; even the poor were not forgotten, for the all-providing Commissioners reserved no less than one acre, three roods, and nine perches for the poor of Almondbury. The Huddersfield Enclosure Act of 1784 affected 323A. 3R. and of this area eight acres of land at Marsh were allotted to the Vicar of Hudders- Txr HUDpDERsFIELD field ; over seventy-five acres at EncrosuUurRrE Act. Marsh, Gledholt Bank, Heatonfold, and Luck Lane, and about one hun- dred and thirty acres at Sheepridge, Fartown Green, and Cowcliffe to Sir John Ramsden. The Award made in 1798 appropriates nigh on 170

*» The aforetime curates of the chapels mentioned are now designated vicars of the churches there.

Page 70


acres of land in Farnlee, Westfield, Nearfield, The Spring, Hall Lee, Upper Acre, and Lower Acre, to Thomas Thornhill, lord of the manor of Longwood. This Award, made in 1799, assigned some fifty acres of lands at Black Moor, Spring Mill, and Hoyle House Clough to John Kaye, lord of the manor ; THE NoRTH two hundred and thirty acres at Black Moor, Crostanp Hoyle House Moor, Spring Mill, Rye Croft ENcLosURE. Edge and Crosland Hill to Joseph Radcliffe, of Milnsbridge House; twenty-six acres at Dry Clough, Moor Hill Road, Lockwood, and at Dungeon Wood ; some seventy acres to Benjamin Ingham and others jointly ; and about forty acres at Cowlersley Edge and Crosland Moor to Benjamin Lockwood. The Enclosure Award of 1811 affected lands in Dalton of an area of 194A. IR. 32P., and of this land in Jagger Hill, Nab Hill, Dalton Green, and Almondbury TxE DALTON Bank, to the extent of over forty-six acres, ENcLOsURE. were assigned to the Rector of Kirkheaton ; whilst Sir John Lister Kaye, Bart., lord of the manor, secured lands at Kilner Bank, Jagger Hill, Mold Green, Brow Lane, Little Carr Lane, Dalton Green, Dalton Bank, and Well House Clough, amounting to over seventy acres in extent. Sir John Ramsden received a paltry two and a quarter acres ; the poor of Kirkheaton were awarded two roods and seventy-four perches ; and the trustees of Nettleton's Charity one rood and thirty-six perches. This Award, made in 1823, affected lands to the extent of 330 acres on Wholestone Moor and Bolster Moor. Of all the Awards I have perused this seems THE GOoLCAR to have been the most even-handed, for the AWARD. lands dealt with are allotted in small por- tions to a considerable number of small owners. - This arose probably from the fact that at an early date the lands of the Manor of Golcar were acquired in fee by purchasers of small holdings from the lord. Whilst in Marsden the tenants were copyholders, in Slaithwaite


Page 71


tenants-at-will, in Huddersfield tenants by an imaginary tenant right, Golcar was being gradually parcelled out into small freeholds, to the owners of which on the enclosure of the commons proportionate allotments were made. To the Hon. and Rev. John Lumley Savile, Lord of the Manor, were awarded twenty-six acres in lieu of chief rents ; and some three and a half acres to the Overseers of the Poor of Golcar. SLAITHWAITE AND _There have been no EnclpsurgAwards MARSDEN. in the Manors of Slaithwaite and Marsden. This Award, made in 1825, allotted thirty-nine acres of lands at Black Moor, Head Green, and Cherry Tree Laund, to the Vicar of Hudders- Txr Loncwoon field ; nigh on one hundred and forty AND DEANHEAD acres of lands at Outlane, Whitestone EncrosurE. Moor, Daw Hole, Deanhead, New Hey Road, Nettleton Hill, and Deanhead Com- mon, to Thomas Thornhill, lord of the Manor of Longwood. The Graveship of Holme includes the townships of Austonley, Cartworth, Fulstone, Hepworth, Holme, Upper Thong, Wooldale, Scholes, the area of THxr HoLMFIRTH the Holmfirth District Council com- EncrosurEs. prising Austonley, Cartworth, Upper Thong, and Wooldale, the rest of the Graveship lying within the jurisdiction of the New Mill Urban District Council. The Act " for enclosing lands within the Graveship of Holme and the several parishes of Kirkburton and Almondbury in the West Riding of the County of York," recites that there were within the Grave- ship divers Common Waste Lands and Moors or Heaths containing by admeasurement eighteen thousand acres or thereabouts and several common fields and Undivided Enclosures containing three hundred acres, and that George William Frederick, Duke of Leeds, was lord of the manor and owner of the soil subject to the Common rights, and that the King was Patron of the Vicarage of Kirk- burton. The Act contains the usual provisions for Public Roads, Foot Roads, Wells, Peats, Turves, Quarries,

Page 72


Watering-places, etc. It allots 31 acres. in Cartworth, 96 acres in Hepworth, 63 acres in Austonley, 2 acres 2 roods in Holme to the Lord of the Manor in lieu of his manorial rights, and 17 acres 20 perches in Hepworth as compensation for his Coney Warren, memorial of the dis- tant days when there was a Lord's Chase in the Graveship. To the Vicar of Kirkburton 104 acres in Wooldale and 201 acres in Hepworth and 24 perches in Fulstone are allotted. The rest of this great stretch of common land is parcelled out in varying lots among a large number of small pro- priectors. This Award, made pursuant to Act 57, Geo. III., intituled, " An Act for enclosing lands in the Manor of Meltham in the Parish of Almond- Tur MELTHAM bury," recites that there were in the EnciosUrRrE. - Manor of Meltham 4,000 acres or there- abouts, that John Beaumont, Joseph Green Armytage, Charles Radcliffe, Esquires, and Thomas Shaw, Joseph Eastwood, Joseph Crosland, and Timothy Dyson, Gentlemen, were lords of the manor and owners of the soil, mines, etc. It makes the usual provision for

roads, footpaths, watering-places, quarries, etc. It awards :- To JosEPH GREEN ARMYTAGE OF THICKHOLLINS :- A. R. P. II8 2 II at Fleck Moss. 36 o 29 ,, Slack of Moor. I2 o 20 ,, Town Flack. 79 2 34 ,, Wilshaw and Thickhollins Moor. 4 37 ,, Gill Birks. 6 o 24 ,, Thickhollins Moor and Shivering. 5 I 35 ,, Thickhollins Hill. I5 3 34 ,, Harding Clough. I4I 3 ,, Thickhollins Moor, Dry Clough, and Harding Hill. 124 37 ,, Fleak Moss, Madge Know, and Maggleden.


252 3 II ,, Bell Monte, Scape Moss. IQI 2 I0 ,, Fleak Moss and Fearer Woods. 33 3 I5 ,, Royd Thorns. 55 2 16 ,, Royd Wood. 35 3 10 ,, Deer Hill Bents.

Page 73


To Tmotxy Dyson :- A. R. P. 20 2 24 ,, Harding Moss.

22 I 30 ,, Wilshaw Slacks.

To JosEpHn BEAUMONT :- 8o 3 24 ,, Deer Hill Moss.


I5 3 24 ,, / Intake. 36 2 26 ,, = ,, 22% 3 25 ,, Black Moor Top. I3 2 O0 ,, Laund. 36 I - o ,, Holt Head. 46 2 29 ,, Ram's Clough. 49 I I7 ,, Harding Moss.

To THxomas :- 150 o o ,, Scape Moss, To BROOK, OF HUDDERSFIELD, WOOLSTAPLER :- II 3 16 ,, Harding Bugh. 49 O 29 ,, »» »» To Txomas BrRooK, OF THE CITY OF LONDON, AND CHARLES BroOoKk, OF HEALEY HoUsE :- 38 2 21 ,, Harding Clough. To Jonas Brook, or MELTHAM, COTTON MANUFACTURER :- 5 36 ,, Wearly Moor. I4 I I4 ,, Snape and Dry Clough. 16 3 24 ,, Wilshaw. 7 o o ,, Maggleden Top. 4 I 30 ,, Dry Clough. To GEORGE CROSLAND, OF CROSLAND MOOR, MANUFACTURER :- 18 2 3 ,, Royd Edge. To CROWTHER, OF WasH, MELTHAM :- I0 I 8 ,, Black Moor. To CrispPIN TAyLOR, or MELTHAM, MERCHANT :- 4 I 34 ,, Spark Green. I3 7 ,, Moor Ford Hill. To Joxn TAYLOR, OF GREAVE, NETHERTON :- I9 3 24 ,, Harding Slack. To JosEpH EAsTwoop, or MELTHAM, CLOTH DRESSER :- 53 2 28 ,, Deer Hill End and Haigh's Slack. 22 2 39 ,, Blackmoor Top. 18 1 25 ,, Harding Clough and Fox Royd. JosErpx HAIGH, or ALMONDBURY, YEOMAN :-

II O II ,, Wearley Moor. I4 o 20 ,, Town's Slack. To DEvIsEEs OF JoHN HARRISON :- 18 o o ,, Blackmoor.

20 I IO ,, Haigh's Slack.

Page 74


To DevIisErs or MATTHEW Hirst :- A. OR. P. 30 3 27 ,, Stoneley Carr.

To DEVISEES OF JAMES OLDFIELD :- 35 2 22 ,, Maggleden Edge.

To HEIRS AND DEVISEES OF GEORGE TayLOorR, Or MELTHAM, MERCHANT :- 92 2 16 ,, Deer Hill Moss and White Holes.

To THromas Snxaw, or MELTHAM :- 250 o - o ,, Leggards, Bracken Hill, and Scope. 22 O II ,, Slack of Moor.

To THE CURATE OF HoLMFIRTH :- 2 o 20 ,, Laund.

To tur TrustEEs or MELTHAM CURACY :-

o 3 36 ,, High Moor. o o 3 ,, Green's End. 12 3 33 ,, Swinsher Slack. 8 o - o ,, Wilshaw. 16 o I ,, High Moor. I9 3 18 ,, Hassocks. 8 1 II ,, Harding Hill. I9 I I2 ,, Harding Clough.

To tHE TRUSTEES OF HoxnNLEy CURACY :- I9 3 I7 ,, Wilshaw.

AND, FINALLY, TO THE PooR or MELTHAM :- 4 ,, Little Dyke Bottom.

The Allotments of the Meltham Commons would require very special pleading for their justification. The arguments for enclosure, an argument not without substance, was that the allottee would cultivate the land, grow corn on it, and so add to the national wealth and furnish employment to the peasantry. In the case of Meltham what happened was that the sheep of the poor were turned from the moors that the rich might the better preserve their grouse. This Award, dated June Ist, 1816, declares that the commons, moors, and waste grounds, with the encroach- ments made within 40 years from the THE KIRKBURTON enabling Acts, amounted to 2064. ENCLOSURE. IR. 20P. It allots to the Vicar IIA. 3R. 20P. and 3A. IOP. at Grice Com- mon ; 2A. 3R. I4P. at Teppy Lane; and 2A. IR. 29P. on

Page 75


the Common ; to Trustees therein named 38P. at School Hill for a school ; to the Earl of Dartmouth about 254. in different parts of the parish, in small lots; to the Governors of Sheffield Hospital some za. ; to Sir Joseph Radcliffe za. z2R. 39P.; and to Sir John Lister Kaye, Bart., as lord of the manor, ga. 16P. at Harry Bower, as compensation for his rights in the soil of the manor, 3A. 7P. at Harry Bower, in lieu of Cottage Rent, 2A. IR. 20P. at Harry Bower in lieu of Rabbits Rents, and some thirteen further acres in small lots in various parts of the parish. After provision for roads, footpaths, quarries, watering-places, etc., the rest is allotted in small holdings to a number of allottees. The Award, dated 17th September, 1807, recites an Act, 43 Geo. III., intituled an " Act for dividing and allotting and enclosing a piece or parcel Txr SxELLEY - of open and unenclosed woodland called EncrosurE. - Hartley Bank, and also the several commons, moors, and waste grounds within the Manor of Shelley in the Parish of Kirkburton." It certifies these woodlands and commons contain 288A. IR. 24P. After providing for roads, footpaths, watering- places, quarries, it gives to trustees 2A. IR. I3P. at Shelley Near Bank, 27P. at Town End, 34A. on Long Moor as a provision for School House and School Master ; to the Vicar of Kirkburton 22A. on Barncliffe Hill and IOA. IR. 20P. on Ffeer Moor, which having been let for a term of 21 years for £34 yearly, were to be in full satisfac- tion of vicarious tithes and other tithes great and small, and all ecclesiastical dues or any moduses (Easter offerings, surplice ffees, and mortuaries excepted), which said Easter offerings included house duty and communicants. To Mary Kershaw, Frances Sheppard, and Rebecca Kershaw, and the devisees of the late Ann Russell, as Ladies of the Manor of Shelley, were awarded some fifty acres at Grice, Far Moor, and elsewhere throughout the parish ; the rest in small lots to various proprietors. The Award, dated June, 1827, recites that the commons, wastes, etc., known as Shepley Common,

Page 76


contained 220A. or thereabouts, and THE SHEPLEY that Sir Joseph Radcliffe, Bart., and EncrosurE. Thomas Hardy, Esq., were Lords of the Manor. It gives some 26A. at Carr Common to the Vicar of Kirkburton, some I4A. at Hamer House Common, Dike Bottom, and Nabscliffe to the said Thomas Hardy, and some 25A. at Shepley Marsh, Mankinholes, etc., to Sir Joseph Radcliffe.: The rest of the common is parcelled out among a number of small proprietors. It is no part of the work of the historian to moralise over the records he disentombs ; but I may be permitted one pertinent quotation from the work of Mr. Macdonnell* : '* Once almost every dweller in a manor, unless, indeed, such as were not freemen, had a share in the produce of the common. Perhaps the lord's right was, until the day of division, of a purely honorary character. - Perhaps his legal estate may have been as empty and valueless as the legal estate of a trustee. If he ventured to put up a wall or fence to hinder the commoners' cattle from grazing it would be knocked down. To all intents and purposes, the com- moners and not he owned the common. But when a divi- sion takes place, those whose rights over the common are of a substantial character may get almost nothing, while those whose rights are a figment of law may get almost everything. The former are stripped of immemorial enjoyments, and the latter are gifted with powers which were never theirs before ; and the lord's right at common law to the shell is converted into a right to the oyster itself."

Those fenceless fields the sons of wealth divide, And even the barren common is denied.

It should be borne in mind that several of the En- closure Acts and Awards aforementioned allude to ancient enclosures made before their date ; and that the docu- ments I have summarised are by no means all the instru- ments by which lands in Huddersfield and the adjacent valleys have been diverted from public to private use. The Kirkheaton Award, for instance, I am informed by

* Macdonnell: The Land Question, p. 248.

Page 77


the Clerk of the Urban District Council, in whose custody _ it should be, has been lost or mislaid for many years, and the Council have been so far unable to discover or recover it. Yet even those to which I have had access deal with an aggregate of much more than twenty thousand acres. One cannot but reflect upon the superior astuteness of the advisers of the German municipalities which secured circumjacent lands to the relief of the communal burdens, and reflect, too, perhaps, that of all the methods of becoming a landed proprietor-and they are various, including force, fraud, and purchase-that of a snug Enclosure Award seems the easiest, the cheapest, and the safest. '

Page 78



Of the Parish Church of Huddersfield-The Rev. Henry Venn-The Rev. Edmund Hill-The Rev. Josiah Bateman- Church Rates-The Cemetery-Monuments in the Church- The Parish Registers-The Parish Church of Almondbury- Thomas of Rotherham-Tithes-The Rev. C. A. Hulbert-The Parish - Registers-The _ Plague-Penance-Monuments-The Parish Church of Kirkburton-Monuments-The Parish Church of Kirkheaton-Ancient Chapels of Ease-Church Building Acts- The Ecclesiastical Commissioners-The Ancient Chapel of Mars- den-Queen Anne's Bounty-Some Incumbents of Marsden- The Condition of the People-Tithe Disputes-The Ancient Chapel of Slaithwaite-The Rev. Robert Meeke-Some Other In- cumbents of Slaithwaite-Beginnings of Dissent-Parish Registers- Local Names-Burial in Flannel-The Ancient Chapel of Holm- firth-Holmfirth's Service to Cromwell-Wakes-Rushbearings- The Ancient Chapel. of Honley-Certain Monuments-The Ancient Chapel of Meltham-Modern Churches-The Priory of Kirklees. AUTHORITIES :-Tomlinson : History of Huddersfield in Home Words; The Political History of England ; Miall: Con- gregationalism in Yorkshire; Bateman: Reminiscences; Oliver Heywood : Event Book ; Boccacio : Decameron ; Jessop : Plague 'in East Anglia; Yorkshire Notes and Queries; Moor- house: History of the Graveship of Holme; Whitaker: Loidis et Elmete ; Torres MS. ; Crockford's Church Directory ; Phipps : Monograph on Kirkburton Church ; Sykes: History of the Colne Valley ; Stevens: Commentaries on the Laws of England ; Hearth Tax Returns; Parliamentary Survey, temp Cromwell ; 26 Henry VIII. c. 3; 2 and 3 Anne, c. 11; Robinson: Marsden Memorials; Meeke's Diary ; Hulbert: Annals of Slaithwaite Church ; Book of Common Prayer; Hughes : History of Meltham ; Hobkirk : History of Huddersfield ; S. J. Chadwick in Notes and Queries ; Journal of the Yorkshire Archa@ological Society.

HERE has been no subject upon which men have differed more than upon religion, in the ordinary sense of that word. And yet all will agree that religion has in all ages and among all people played a prominent, perhaps of all other factors the most prominent, part in moulding the convictions, the ideals, the hopes, the characters of men, and therefore it is fitting that in a His- tory professing to be that of the peoples of this or any other district, adequate record should be made of their

Page 79


religious institutions. And first of the Parish Church of Huddersfield. It is probable that the Church at Almondbury and that at Huddersfield were erected about the same period. It may well be that the first-named had priority in point of time, for it seems likely that the de Lacis, residing, or at least having a residence, at Almondbury, would first build a church near their own abode for the convenience of them- selves and their household ; and I imagine, moreover, that the further we go back in our local records the greater the importance of Almondbury, the less that of Huddersfield. The Parish Church of the latter parish is said to have been erected and dedicated to St. Peter, about the year 1073, by Walter de Laci, in fulfillment of a vow made when his life was imperilled on the morass then lying between Huddersfield and Halifax. The first structure, a small edifice in the Norman style, was consecrated by the Bishop of Negropont, and the advowson of the or, in plain speech, the right to nominate the vicar, was conferred some time before 1131 upon the Priory of St. Oswald, at Nostell, the grant being confirmed by royal charter in the following terms :-

Henry, King of England, to Thurstan, Archbishop of York, etc., greeting. Know ye that we have granted to God and St. Oswald and the monks of Nostell, for the soul of my father and mother and of my brother, William, King of England, and for my soul and my wives' and sons', all those lands which were given to God and St. Oswald and the monks in alms, viz. (infer alia) the Church of South Kirby, and the Church at Batley, and the Church of Huddersfield, with the lands appertaining thereto as Hugh de Laval gave them to them.

Hugh de la Val was a sub-feoffee from the de Lacis of the Manor of Huddersfield. The Prior of St. Oswald appointed a Vicar to the Parish of Huddersfield, with the usual allotment of lesser or vicarial and reservation of greater or rectorial tythes. As witness the following Deed of Ordination :- A.D. 1216. Walter, by the grace of God, Archbishop of

York, Primate of England, to all the faithful in Christ, greeting in the Lord. Know ye that WE, on the presentation of the

Page 80


Prior and Convent of St. Oswald, have admitted Michael de Wakefield Chaplain to the Vicarage of Huddersfield, and have canonically instituted him to the said Vicarage, and have caused him to be inducted into corporal possession of the same, which Vicar also, in respect of his Vicarage, shall receive all the oblations and emoluments from offerings at the altar, reserving to the said Prior and Convent the tithes of corn, hay, of pease and beans, in the lands and farms belonging to the said Church-saving a suitable manse for the Vicar, to be assigned to him by the same (Prior and Convent) and the Vicar himself shall sustain all cus- tomary charges and oblations of the said Church, and that this may remain firm and stable for ever we have directed that our seal shall be affixed to the present writing.

In the year 1288 the Pope granted the tithes of eccle- siastical property to Edward I. for six years to enable him to defray the cost of a Crusade to the Holy Land, and in that year a survey of such property was made for the purpose of the tax. From the following extract from the Survey it will be noticed that the churches at Almondbury and Kirkheaton were assessed at a higher value than that at Huddersfield :-


£ s. d. Eccl'ia (church) de Halyfax ................... 93 6 8 Vicar' ejusdem (vicarage of 16 o o Eccl'ia de Almonbury ........................ 40 O0 o Eccl'ia de Huddersfield | ...................... 9 6 8 Vicaria ejusdem ............................. 6 13 4 Eccl'ia de Heton............................. 20

In 1534, 26 Henry VIII., a general visitation of the Monasteries was held, possibly with an eye to that dis- solution which quickly ensued. The following extracts

touch the Rectory of Huddersfield :- s. d. Rectory of Huddersfield. 4 The Outgoings and Profits of the Rectory of Huddersfield, belonging to the said Priory (St. Oswald de Nostell), £3 4s. 9d. of Glebe, and £15 12s. 1od. great tithes in the same county.. 18 17 7

Vicarage of Huddersfield. Peter Longfellow, Clerk, Incumbent. The Vicarage there is worth : Dwelling-House with garden, annual value 3s. 4d., tithe of wool as in former years 60s., tithe of lambs 64s., oblations as formerly £4 11s. 8d., and small tithes and private contributions amounting to £9 18s. 64d. 20 17 o}

Page 81


£ . s. d. Payments as follows :

Annual payment to Edward Kellett, Vicar of Dewsbury, £2 3s. 4d. Payment to the Arch- bishop 3s., and to the Archdeacon of York for procurations 7s. 6d., £0 10s. 6d. ............. 3 3 10

Nett Value ...................... £17 13 2}

The tithe thereof is............... £1 15 4 Chantry of the Holy Trinity. Richard Blackburne, Incumbent. The Chantry is worth in Rents, lands and tenements in Golding, Co. Notts. per ann. Total clear value £4 13 4 The tithe thereof ................ £ ° 9 4 Chantry of the Blessed Virgin. The Chantry is worth : Rents, lands, tenements in Stainland £1 6s. 8d. ; in Slaighthwaite 6s. 8d. ; in Raistrick Is. 4d., and in Huddersfield 16s.

Total per ann. ............................ £2 10 8 Due in rent to William Blackburn 4s., and to the Prior of St. Oswald 1s. Total per ann..... £ 5 o Nett value ...................... £2 5 8 Tithe thereof .................... £ 4 7

We gather that the gross yearly value of the Vicarage at the time of the Reformation was £20 17s. o%d. Out of this the annual pension to the Mother Church of Dewsbury, £2 38. 4d., and other small ecclesiastical dues, tos. 6d., had to be paid by the Vicar, reducing the net value to {17 I3s. 24d. There were moreover two Chantries of the clear yearly value of £4 13s. 4d. and £2 5s. 8d. respectively. At that time wheat, which before the Corns Laws fluc- tuated considerably, but averaged about 55s., was 6s. per quarter, and money therefore was worth nine or ten times as much as now. We may conclude therefore that the annual value of the Vicarage represented under £200 in present values. A Chantry, it may be added, was a small chapel in which masses were said or sung for the repose of the soul of the founder of the Chantry or that of some person designated by him. The endowment was for the payment of the priest who said the masses. The priest of the Chantry of the Blessed Virgin must have fasted sore and oft if we may credit the following :-

The Chantry of our Lady in the Chapel of Huddersfelde, in the Paryshe of Huddersfelde aforesaid :

Page 82


Richard Broke, Incumbent, 42 years of age, hath none other certentie of lyving but the profits of the said chantry. The said Chapyell is distant from the Parysh Churche.

Goods 14s., plate 7 oz., parcellgylte. The yerely value of the freehold land is 50s. 44%d., coppiehold nil. Whereof resolute and deduction by yere 4s. 3%d., and so remayneth to the King's Majestie yerely 46s. 1d.*

We read also of " an obiit (a memorial service held on the anniversary of the founder's death) in the seyd church founded by Thomas Rogers, sometime Vicar there, to have continuance for ever, which gave one yerely rent of 7s., by yere for the maintenance thereof; and of a lampe or light in the seyd church founded by George Key, to have continuance for twenty years, whereof 12 be expired, which gave a yerely rent of 8s. to the maintenance thereof." ' At the Reformation the property of the Nostell Priory was appropriated to the King, who sold to Richard Andrews of Hales and Leonard Chamberlain of Woodstock " all that our mansion and messuage, called the Parsonage in Huddersfield, in the county of York, with its appurten- ances, late appertaining to the Monastery of St. Oswald in the county, but recently dissolved, and being then parcel of its possessions." In 1546 William Ramsden, ancestor of the present ground landlord of Huddersfield, purchased the advowson of the Vicarage of Huddersfield. In the " Political His- tory of England "¢ this same William Ramsden is men- tioned as a considerable purchaser of monastery lands. From the early years of the thirteenth century, when Michael de Wakefield was the first Vicar of the Parish of Huddersfield of whom there is mention, many grave and learned divines have held the Vicariate, most to be com- memorated of them all being the RrEv. HENRY VENN, M.A., who, though he ministered in Huddersfield only twelve years, 1759 to 1771, made his ministry memorable in the annals of the church. Venn was associated with Wesley

* G. W. Tomlinson : " History of Huddersfield '' in Home Words. {t v. 498.

Page 83


and Whitfield in the great religious revival that marked the middle of the eighteenth century. He accompanied those ministers in their apostolic journeyings, and was on terms of friendship with that Lord Dartmouth whom the poet Cowper had in mind when he wrote of one who wore a coronet and prayed. It was the Earl who prevailed upon Sir William Ramsden, the patron of the living, to offer it to Mr. Venn. During his ministry the services of the church were attended by overflowing congregations, people flocking from great distances to hear him. In his time John Wesley preached in the Huddersfield Parish Church on more than one occasion. Venn was the author of " The Complete Duty of Man," and Sir James Stephen ranks him along with John Newton, Thomas Scott, and Joseph Milner, as one of the four great evangelists of the Church of England in latter days. A tablet in the church bears this inscription :- Sacred to the memory of the Rev. Henry Venn, from 1759 to 1771 Vicar of Huddersfield. In a dark day of the Church he was a bright and shining light, and the people of this place rejoiced in his light. In affectionate and unwearied labours among them he spent the vigour of his days, nor resigned the charge till com- pelled by broken health and enfeebled constitution. The years of declining life he passed in comparative retirement as Rector of Yelling, Hants., and died June 24th, 1797, at Clapham, Surrey, where his mortal remains lie interred in sure and certain hope of a glorious resurrection. On occasion of the rebuilding of this church, 60 years from the close of his ministration in it, his sorrowing children and grandchildren, finding his memory still embalmed in the hearts of many at Huddersfield, and conscious themselves, from an experience that has each year accumulated, of the privilege of such a parentage, united in erecting this tablet as their testimony to the truth of the promises

that the kindness of the Lord is from generation to generation of such as fear Him, and that the memory of the just is blessed.

During the Commonwealth the Rev. Edmund Hill was Vicar of Huddersfield, presumably conforming to the Presbyterian form of Church Government. It is interest- ing to learn that he was required to qualify as a Regis- trar of Marriages, that rite being, under the Republic, performed by a civil officer, marriage itself declared to be,

Page 84


what in law it merely is, a contract entered into with cer- tain safeguards for publicity and perpetuation of testimony. In Miall's Congregationalism in Yorkshire* there is a touching story of the Vicar's last moments: " He had attained a profound age, and was confined to his room. In the same chamber was his wife, who had been bed- ridden for two years, and was near her end. Hill left his bed with difficulty to take leave of her, and as he kissed her for the last time he said, ' Ab, my dear wife, thou hast followed me for fifty years, tarry awhile and let me go before thee.' He was, with difficulty, carried back to his couch, and immediately expired. His wife died within two

hours." Oliver Heywood, the Presbyterian Chronicler, in his Diary under date January 29th, 1668-9, has the entry : " This day we have been interring the corpse of

old Mr. Hill and his wife; he was aged 80 years within a few weeks, she near as old, and they had lived many years together. - He died on Wednesday between eleven and twelve o'clock, and she died at three o'clock the same day. Seven Nonconformist ministers laid him in the grave. Lord, sanctify it." It was during the vicariate of the Rev. Josiah Bate- man, who was incumbent from 1840 to 1855, that the present Vicarage was erected, a note of the circumstances in Mr. Bateman's Reminiscences being quoted by Mr. Tomlinson : " This (the old Vicarage) was a very old build- ing in the worst part of the town, with a garden attached in which nothing green would grow. Close by, a large, old-fashioned inn was standing, which in times. past had been built upon the glebe, and now paid a good rent to the vicar. But all was hemmed by tall chimneys and wretched buildings ; and the house proved on trial an unhealthy residence. Again and again, one and another of my family was attacked with illness ; again and again we were in- vited by kind parishioners to make their handsome houses in the outskirts our home for weeks together. But this could not last; and before a year had lapsed a decision

* Quoted by Mr. Tomlinson in the Historical Notes already referred to.

Page 85


was required whether we would leave or stay; and that turned upon the retention of the old house or the erection of a new one. I called a meeting in the vestry, and pro- posed the question. It was responded to with Yorkshire liberality. A beautiful paddock of two acres and more, just outside the town, was exchanged for some glebe land four or five miles away, and on it was built a handsome Gothic Vicarage for £2,200. Patron, parishioners, and friends contributed nearly £1,500, and Queen Anne's Bounty advanced, on the usual terms, £700. Roads were made, trees planted, and fences erected, under the con- tract. All internal fixtures, such as chimney-pieces, stoves, grates, bells, closets, and shelves, were provided and paid for, thus becoming the property, not of the Vicar, but of the Vicarage; and I rejoiced exceedingly when, in due course, I received a request from the bank that I would allow them to close the account, by drawing out the twelve shillings due to me." Thus was the shepherd, with his family, enabled to move from their unsavoury surroundings. But the flock remained. The Cemetery in New North Road was opened also in Mr. Bateman's time. - In the year 1847 it was proposed to lay a general rate by the Vestry for the maintenance of the Burial Ground of the Parish Church. Great hostility was manifested by the Dissenters of the town to this proposal to expend monies compulsorily contributed by men of all religious denominations and of none upon a Burial Ground which would be in law the Vicar's Freehold, and in which only clergymen of the Established Church could perform the last sad rites o'er the dead. An impression prevailed that the motion for a rate could not be met by a direct negative, and accordingly at the Vestry held December 9th, 1847, under the presidency of the Vicar, an amendment was moved by Mr. Joseph

Boothroyd, and seconded by Mr. Wright Mellor-

That a rate of one-eighth of a penny be laid for the Church Yard.

The Vicar objected that no such coin existed, but on

Page 86


the production of a handful of half-farthings, procured by an astute ratepayer from the Bank of England, the objection was over-ruled and the amendment was carried. To collect such a rate would not have been worth the candle, and since that day no more has been heard in Huddersfield of Church Rates, though for some years thereafter Easter Dues continued to be demanded. The following copy of a Demand Note for the latter assess- ment may interest the curious :-

Mr. John Hanson.

Easter Dues. Easter, 1850. PARISH CHURCH OF HUDDERSFIELD. s. d. House Custom ........................... o 3% Persons in family above 16 years of age 2d. each "a sk s e e e e e e eee es - 4 Clerk (2d.) o 2 o 9}

On behalf of the Vicar, Thomas Hawkyard, Collector.

The present edifice dedicated to St. Peter was erected in 1836. It is a Gothic structure, with tower contain- ing a clock and seven bells The construction cost near £10,000. The interior consists of nave, chancel, aisles, and transepts. The pulpit, communion rails, and screen are of pure white stone beautifully carved. The windows representing the Ascension and the Agony in the garden are excellent specimens of their kind, and against neither this church nor that at Almondbury, to which it also refers, can the accusation contained in the following extract from a memorandum of his visitation in 1804 by the Rev. Joseph Hunter be any more alleged : " There are many good stones of yeomen and inferior gentle families in this (Almondbury) parish, but they are so covered with dirt that there is no making out the inscrip- tions. This and Huddersfield are the nastiest churches I ever saw." Few of the monuments in the church are of general

Page 87


interest. Some perpetuate the virtues of members of the family of Brooke of Newhouse, now extinct in the male line, but connected on the distaff side with the Wilkinsons of Greenhead, and through them with the Lister-Kayes of Denby Grange. The inscription on the tomb of " Thomas Brooke, the elder, of Newhouse, gentleman, who was buried November 17, A.D. 1638, betrays an enviable complacency :- In the church militant I fout so unshaken, That to the church triumphant I am taken ; I am one o' th' church still. Grieve not friends to see me advanced higher, Whilst I stayed I prayed, and now I sing in the quier. The Event Book of Oliver Heywood has a reference to this family that incidentally throws a not very flattering light upon the town. "I cannot but take notice and exceedingly admire God's providence, that when one door is shut God opens another for service and employment. By an observable call I was brought to one Mrs. Brooke's, at Newhouse, to keep a fast upon a special occasion, November 18th, 1673, and indeed I have very seldom found such enlargement and melting of spirit. It may be God hath some design of good in that very ignorant place; the old woman was carnal, I fear, her daughters civil. Mr. Gell, the young gentleman that married the one, keeps a kennel of hounds, yet much affected." There is much significance in that " yet." The Parish Registers commence in 1562 and bear witness to the permanence of family names in the same district. Thus in the entries for that year we have the names, Hanson and Aneley of Longwood, Fraunce, Armitage, Sykes, Thorpe of Slaighwith (Slaithwaite), Shaw of Marsden, Fyrthe of Lynley and Longwood, Brooke, Jepson, Clayton of Huddersfield, Whythwham, Dyson, of Golker. The Vicarage is of the annual value of £450 with residence. The Church of All Saints' at Almondbury, accord- ing to " A Little History of Almondburie," quoted by

Page 88


Canon Hulbert in his " Annals of the Cuxurcx _ Church and Parish of Almondbury," AT ALMONDBURY. was probably built by the Lacis, Tyases, and Beaumonts, and their tenants about the year 1100, only 34 years after the landing of Norman William on our shores. Be this as it may it is certain that in 1187, Alice de Lacy and her son Henry Lacy presented to the Rectory, and the Advow- son to the Rectory remained with the Laci family, and, following the fortunes and other property of the Lacis, as heretofore traced, became vested in the Crown in 1399, and with the Crown remained till 1485. Henry VII. conferred the Rectorial Tithes, Glebes, and Advowson of Almondbury upon Thomas, Archbishop of York, a native of Rotherham, who devised them to the College of Jesus at Rotherham, a seminary founded pursuant to the will of that prelate. In this will the testator recalls the fact that in Rotherham in his youth " there was a teacher of Grammar, who came to Rotherham by I know not what fate, but I believe it was by the grace of God he came thither, who taught me and other youths, whereof others, with me, reached higher station. Therefore, desiring to return thanks to the Saviour and to magnify that cause, lest I should seem unthankful and forgetful of the benefits of God and whence I came, I have determined with myself first to establish there an instructor in grammar, teaching all persons gratuitously." The testator then appropriates to the College, the Provost, and Fellows of the same, +4nter alia, " the Parish Church of Almondbury, which is worth twenty pounds four shillings yearly." By Deed of Appropriation, " given in our Chapter House at York, the eighteenth day of the month of June, in the year of our Lord one thousand four hundred and eighty-eight," the Archbishop, with the assent of the Dean and Chapter, " for certain reasonable causes, moving their minds in this matter, and chiefly because a vicar of the aforesaid church (of Almondbury) for the time being, who was bound con- stantly and permanently to reside at the same, would be able by his own watchful attention and industry to

Page 89


collect, levy, receive, and dispose of, and convert to his own benefit and advantage for maintaining hospitality and supporting housekeeping, the Tythes of Lamb, Hay, Wool, Oblations, Mortuaries, and other small tythes in a better and more exact manner than the President and Fellows of the said College who reside at a greater distance from the same. _._. WILLED, ORDAINED, and DECREED that the Perpetual Vicar of the Parish Church of Almond- bury, whosoever for the time being, who shall administer, have, and exercise the cure of the souls of the parishioners of the same Church, should have and receive for his own due and portion and maintenance in future for ever, all and every, the Tythes of Hay, Lambs, Wool, Calves, Fowls, Pigs, Geese, Ducks, Chickens, Doves, Eggs, Bees, Honey, Wax, Milk, Flax, Hemp, Apples, Woods, Trees, Coppices, and other small Tythes, Mortuaries, and Obla- tions whatsoever, within the said Parish, anciently and by right due and customary to the Rector of the same."" But the same deed reserved to the President and Fellows of the said College " the total, entire, and every, the Tythes of Sheaves of Corn of the said Parish, also the entire Glebe,. Lands, Tenements, Messuages, Enclosures, Meadows, Pastures, Rents, and Services whatsoever of old or re- cently belonging to the Rectory of the same Church, and other emoluments whatsoever in any way appertain- ing to, arising to, or concerning the said Church, excepting only the provision theretofore assigned to the Vicar." The Deed also assigned to the Vicar a part of the old Rectory House, subject to his maintaining the same in repair, and to his providing the Bread, Wine, Wax, and Lights suf- cient for the said Church and the procurations and synodals theretofore defrayed and paid by the Rector. I have not stinted in my extracts from this ancient document, for it is very illuminative of the manner in which our forefathers provided for the support of their ministers. When one remembers that at the time when the above deed was signed in the Chapter House at York the parish of Almondbury was almost exclusively agri- cultural, and that a tythe meant in very sooth a tenth

Page 90


part in kind of all the produce of the land and of all that fed thereon, and reflects upon the arguments by which the Church based its claims to tythes, one realises how momentous was the occasion on which Abram gave " tithes of all " to Melchizedek, King of Salem, " priest of the most high God." The advowson and the Rectorial Tithes of Almondbury Church remained in the College of Jesus at Rotherham until the College was dissolved in the reign of Edward VI., when they lapsed to the Crown. In the reign of Philip and Mary they were conferred upon the Clitheroe Grammar School, which was founded by Queen Mary, August 9th, I554, and from the time of Mary to 1867 the advowson or right of presentation to the living of Almondbury was exercised by the Governors of Clitheroe Grammar School, and in that year we find Sir J. W. Ramsden has become patron of the living. That the claim to tithes was capable of being translated into a very substantial and tangible endowment the reader will already have gathered from the fact that in the Honley Enclosure Award over a hundred acres of that manor was allotted to Clitheroe Grammar School in lieu of Rectorial tithes. I may add that a building near the south end of the National School in Almondbury was called the " Tythe Barn," and was doubtless once used for the measurement and storage of the tithes paid in kind. It were outside the purview of this History to enumerate the many rectors and vicars of Almondbury from the days of William de Notyland (Nottingham), the first rector whose name is preserved, in 1231, down to the present, but tribute is due from any writer of the history of this district to at least one of them, the Rev. Charles Augustus Hulbert, M.A., Honorary Canon of Ripon, who was Vicar of Slaithwaite for twenty-eight years before, in 1867, he accepted the cure of Almondbury, which he held till his death in 1888. Mr. Hulbert was a painstaking accumulator of topographical details rather than a skilled compiler ; he knew better how to amass the materials of a fabric than to erect the structure, and his " Annals of the

Page 91


Church in Slaithwaite " and " Annals of the Church and Parish of Almondbury," are valuable contributions to the too limited storehouse of our local lore ; whilst to him also must be attributed the credit of preserving from loss or destruction that unique little volume, the " Diary of the Rev. Robert Meeke." From the Almondbury Annals I cull several extracts from the Almondbury Parish Registers which have an interest even to us of these days so far removed from that on which they were first inscribed.

June, 1558. The plague at Woodsome Mylne in the house of Thomas Skammonden. Thomas Skammonden, Robert, Ralph, Dorethy, and Eliza- beth, children of the same Thomas, died of the plague : first Robert was buried xxvith, about ten o'clock at night, by William his brother and Beatrice his sister. Ralph, on the xxviith, about nine o'clock at night, by the aforesaid William and Beatrice. Thomas Skammonden, and Elizabeth, his daughter, were buried at the same time on the xxxth, about nine at night, by his wife and afore- said children, viz., William and Beatrice. August. Dorethy Skammonden died of Plague, and was buried on the xth, at seven o'clock, by her mother and her brother. September, 1562. Henry Beaumont, of Lockwood, buried on the viith, at sunset. I did not doubt that he was dying of the pest or plague, and therefore he was buried by his wife and young daughter, who bore him to the grave, upon the back of a horse. At this time, and in this year, there died of plague in London five hundred : that number being buried in one week. In another week xx hundred died in London by pest or plague. * Most merciful God defend us from all pest and plague, through Jesus Christ our Saviour.' Amen.

This plague or pest was commonly supposed to take its rise in the East and to be brought by mariners to this country. There can, however, be no doubt that the habits and condition of the people largely contributed to the direness of the periodic visitations. They lived in hovels or in houses in which the commonest sanitary safeguards were neglected. The dunghill and the cesspool were quite generally hard by the house door. Fresh air was as jealously excluded from the living-rooms and sleeping-rooms as though oxygen were the pest itself. Add to this that the people must perforce depend almost entirely on the produce of their own lands, so that, as we may judge from the great fluctuations in the price of corn, the necessities of life were in one year plentiful, in the

Page 92


next at nigh famine prices, and when famine prices reigned we may be sure the lower orders suffered intensely. It seems to be inferred from the extract from the Register concerning Beaumont of Lockwood that the corpse was committed to the earth without the usual services. When people talk of the good old days let them recall this picture of the wife and young daughter laying the body of the dead upon the back of a horse, toiling with their sad burden through Newsome to Almondbury, those they passed on the road fleeing as people in the East from the leper, and casting the corpse into the grave without one prayer said, one holy verse to assuage their sorrow and breathe a hope of the life to come. Let them picture this, I say, and then think of our hospitals and nurses and of the incessant vigilance that guards the humblest home against the dangers of infection. The plague, says Boccacio in that naughty Decameron of his " showed itself in a sad and wonderful manner ; and different from what it had done in the East, where bleeding from the nose is the fatal prognostic. Here (at Florence) there appeared certain tumours in the groin or under the armpits, some as big as an apple, others as big as an egg ; and afterwards purple spots on most parts of the body ; in some cases large and but few in number, in others less and more numerous, both kinds the usual messengers of death. . . . They generally die," he adds, " the third day from the first appearance of the symptoms, without a fever or other bad circumstance attending." " It took men generally," says Villan, quoted by Dr. Jessop in his article on the Black Death in East Anglia, " in the head and stomach, appearing first in the groin, or under the armpits, by little knots or swellings called kernels, boils, blains, blisters, pimples, or plague-sores ; being generally attended with devouring fever, with occasional spitting and vomiting of blood, whence, for the most part, they died presently or in half a day, or within a day or two at the most." Dr. Jessop concluded that the plague was not scarletina maligna, nor small-pox, nor cholera, but a variety of the Oriental plague.

Page 93


The reader will perhaps be interested in reading the precautions devised by our forefathers against the plague, particulars of which are published by Mr. S. J. Chadwick* from papers preserved by the late Sir Thomas Brooke,

Bart., of Armitage Bridge.


Prayer and humiliations for averting the Judgment. Doctors to be stipendiaryes to ye city. Their widows to

have pentions. Care to be taken that neither men nor goods come from any

suspected places without certificat of health, else to be sent sudainly away or put into ye pest house for 40 dayes till certainty

appears. T wo places of intertaynment provided-1st for sound, 2nd for

infected. Statutes against beggars, alehouses, corrupt victualls, inmates

executed. Doggs, catts, conyes, and tame pidgeons destroyed or spar- ingly kept. Noe swine to range abroad, slaughter houses putt downe. Funnells (? Funerals) in church valts and depth of grave

considered. Because few will make known their infection, ye overseers,

keepers, and searchers are to doe itt and are not to depend on ye testimony of women keepers. Person infected not to be removed (though to another of his houses) without aprovement of overseers, and caution to be given

not to wander till sound. Houses infected, though none be dead, must be shutt and

watched 40 dayes. * _ *% _ *%

Notice of one dead of ye plague to be given to the overseers. Such are to be privately buryed in ye night, yet not without privity of constables and overseers. None are to enter ye house but persons permitted, upon danger

of shuttinge upp; dore markt ; no ringinge. haud * _ % *

Bonefyers are to be often made and good fyers kept in and about visited houses.


Rosemary dryed or juniper, bay leaves or frankincense on a chafindish and receive ye fumes. Cast ould iron on ye fire.

* Journal of Yorkshire Archw@ological Society. Part 60.

Page 94


Strong vinegar, a little rosewater, 10 branches of rosmary in a basen, 5 or 6 flint stones cast hott into ye vinegar, and fume the house. Perfume ye house with rue, angelica, gentian, settwell, zedoary, juniper wood, or buryes burnt on embers, steept in vineger and burnt, or else slect lime in vinegar to aire ye house, and burne much tarre, rosen, frankincense, or turpentine, both in

churches and houses. » E » E

'T is ill to be too fearfull. Stamp a handfull of rue in a morter, moysten itt with wine vineger, mix them well, straine ye juice, wett a sponge or tost of browne breade, tye itt in a cloth and smell to itt. Lett none goe fastinge forth, but eate butter with garlick, 2 or 3 cloves, London treakle ye weight of 8d., and a breakfast an hower after, as butter with rue or sage, or wood, sorrell, etc. Steepe rue, wormwood or sage, at night drink a good draught fastinge. In summer plagues use sorrell sauce with bread in the morn- inge, and in autumne eat barberyes with bread to breakfast. Good for preservation to keepe ye body soluble with things of easy operation. If costive take a suppository of boyld hunny, and a little powder of salt. For ye poore, allowes (aloes) ye weight of 6d. in papp of an apple; for rich, pillula Ross. Attenders on infected persons to make issues in left arme, right legg or both.

We read in Morehouse's History of Kirkburion that for four months in the summer and autumn of 1558 the plague raged in that parish, and during its prevalence neither baptism not marriage is recorded. One hundred and twenty persons died of the scourge. From 11th June to the 23rd a death from the plague is recorded daily. Thenceforth no dates are given, and the names of the hundred and eight others are gathered together in one sad entry, opposite is the significant note " Plague Tyme." Other extracts from the Almondbury Register tell of the perils of the wayfarer over the mountain tracks :- February, 1568, Rickard Hyrste, of Mylner Brigge, commynge from Halifax market on Satyrdaye ye xij® daye of Februarie was through a great snow left and stopped-the dryfte of snow was so very greate, and beynge alone all Satyrdaye nyghte, peryshed and died on Lynlaye Moore, not far from a crosse called Hayghe Crosse, and

was found on the morrow after, his horse standynge bye hym, even harde by hym, and was brought home to his own house, and

Page 95


buried at Almonburye, Monday ye xiiij®" day of Februarie-and Elizabeth, the daughter of George Harpyn, an infant, with him. February, 1575. William, ye sonne of Wm. Turnbull, of the age of xvi years or thereupon, was weather bette on Candlemas day, as he came from Marsden, and dyed on ye more, under a rawe or hedge, a little from John Hawkyard's house, and was found on Sundaye after, at Afternoon, and buried after v. (five) off ye same daye, wyth candlelight. 1615. In this year so great a fall of snow as was not known in the memory of any living, far exceeding that in 1540 in magni- tude and duration, in which many travellers as well as inhabitants at Saddleworth perished. 1660. May. Charles the Second, our most pious, as well as august King, after almost 13 years exile, from the beheading of his father, a savageness to be execrated and abominated to all men ; which of these Cromwellian monsters of human race was per- petuated* on the thirteenth day of January, in the year of our Lord mpcxLvIII. to the eternal shame of the Oliverian Republic, impiously done; to his own kingdom, with all joy and acclama- tion, he was restored, invested, and replaced on the xxixth day of this month.

Even the Churchwardens' Accounts of two hundred and odd years ago are interesting :-

with Francet 1698. May 24. Joseph Fryer for a fox head ..:;.... Wine for Communion for the whole year ..... 16 Pd. Henry Kaye for Ringing five of the Clock five month ten days? | ................... 5 1700. Jan. 27. Spent when Mr. Porritt preached .. o I

1697. Aug. 16. For ringing for Joy of the Peace £

There are many entries of payment of the same amount to the curates of Meltham, Marsden, Honley, Holmfirth, and others :-

1705. May oth. For walking in ye Church on ye Sunday to keep people from sleeping, and whipping off ye doggs | ................ o 2 6 1740. For going about to fright children from play in service time, great complaints being made o 2 o

* Presumably the clerk should have written '' perpetrated." { The Treaty of Ryswick, by which the French King withdrew his support of the Stuart pretensions to the British Crown. { Was this the forerunner of the modern '" buzzer '" ?

Page 96


1752. Spent when going to Berry Brow to see if chil- £ s. d.

dren were playing on Sabbath day o 2 1764-5. Paid Paul North for Cloth for Communion Table and for Pennance Sheet ............. 5 o

Mrs. M. A. Jagger, in an article on Honley Church in Yorkshire Notes and tells of an old person then living in Honley who heard her father-in-law tell of his flight to London rather than submit to the ordeal of penance in the old Oratory. A young woman, who had borne an illegitimate child, to escape doing public penance, walked from Honley to York Castle, where her father was imprisoned, with the child strapped to her back. 1778. Another entry of this year prescribes the amount of Com- munion wine to be allowed to the churches at Honley, South Crosland, and Nether Thong. The Vicar or Curate when he officiated was to have one quart in lieu of an allowance which the Rubric had appointed to the officiating clergyman in cele- brating the Communion Service. Each churchwarden was to have on Easter Sunday a pint of wine for his own use. The present church in Almondbury, which super- seded an earlier structure on the same site, was founded in 1522. The Kaye Chapel within the church contains many memorials interesting to the antiquarian and to those concerned with the family history of the great ; but for an account of these and a description of the church itself the reader is referred to other well known and easily consulted local histories. The present net income of the living is stated in the Clergy List*® to be £215. Mr. Morehouse opines that the Parish Church of Kirkburton was erected about the same time as the churches at Almondbury and Hudders- Txr CHURCH - field, and like them appears to have AT KIRKBURTON. been an offshoot from the church at Dewsbury. Whitakert - says " It

* Crockford (1903). { Morehouse: History of the Graveship of Holme. ? Whitaker: Loidis et Elmete.

Page 97


still continues to pay a pension of £4 per annum as a mark of its ancient dependence upon that ancient and fruitful mother of churches, Dewsbury-a sum, the amount of which at that remote period is to be accounted for from the great extent of the Parish of Burton, at least ten miles in length and probably containing fifty square miles.""* The Rev. R. Phipps, M.A., Vicar of Kirk- burton, in a mongraph on the church published in 1902, states that during the rebuilding of a portion of the present chancel " a broken Crucifix was found built in the rubble of the East and North walls, which takes us back. to the fourth century, when Christianity was first adopted as the religion of the Roman Empire," so that the Kirkburton Church may claim an antiquity greater than that ascribed _to it by Dr. Morehouse. One feature that especially emphasises the claim of the building to a remote period is the existence of the " hagioscope, or leper's window, as it is often called, which is in the north wall of the chancel, and opens to the inside of the church," and which Mr. Phipps inclines to think may have been the window through which the Sacrament was administered to the unhappy beings whom their fell disease shut off from com- munion with their kind. The area originally confided to the spiritual care and jurisdiction of the incumbents of Kirkburton comprised the townships of Burton, Shelley, Shepley, Cumberworth Half, Thurstonland, Wooldale, Fulstone, Hepworth, and Cartworth, the four last-named being included in the Graveship of Holme, and all the townships being in the Manor of Wakefield. Four other townships in the Graveship, to wit, Holme, Austonley, and Upperthong, which, too, were under the jurisdiction of the lord of Wakefield, were nevertheless included, for ecclesiastical purposes, within the parish of Almondbury, one of those curious instances, by no means rare, of the overlapping of jurisdictions, the causes of which baffle the research and in vain exhaust the ingenuity of the antiquary. The advowson of the benefice was originally in the lords

* Morehouse says this is an exaggeration, as the ancient parish did not contain more than 16,000 acres.

Page 98


of the manor, the Earls of Warren and Surrey. By the third Earl it was granted to the Priory of Lewes in Sussex, a religious house founded by the first Earl of Surrey, William de Warren. A valuation was taken of the living in 1292, and its annual value at that time was £35 9s. 8d., no inconsiderable sum if converted into money values of this day. The monks of the Priory of St. Pancras, at Lewes, did not long retain the patronage of the living, presenting for the last time in 1331, and in the reign of Edward III. apparently transferring or surrendering the advowson to the Crown. The Crown reserved in its hands a portion of the rectorial dues, and constituted a vicariate, nominating a vicar to discharge the spiritual functions of the incumbency. The Ordination of the Vicarage was dated March 27th, 1357*, and the vicar seems to have been somewhat generously dealt with, for he was to have- I. '" One competent mansion, with other sufficient edifices, at first originally) erected, by the Dean or College of St. Stephen." 2. The Vicar shall have the whole glebe of the Church which belonged to the Rectory : the rents of divers tenants in the town only excepted to the said Dean and College. 3. Also he shall have the tithe-pay of the whole parish, the tithe of lambs and wool, and both quick and dead mortuaries. All quadragesimal tithes (tithes of line, hemp, milkness, calves, foals, pigs, broods, gees, hens, bees, wax, honey, ducks, poultry, pigeons, eggs, swans, of fruits and herbage, and hay of the gardens and crofts of the whole parish) ; and the tithe of mills-corn mills, not woollen mills, bien entendu-whether already built or hereafter to be set up. And all sorts of oblations and small tithes in anything whatsover. 4. Likewise the Peter pence and pennies for hallowed bread, and all oblations whatsoever. The patronage is now vested in the Bishop of the

Diocese. Of the original structure of the church, when Dr.

* Torres MSS. { Intermediary impropriators.

Page 99


Whitaker wrote, there were, he tells us, no remains, that then existing dating back, however, to the reign of the third Edward, and that in its turn has been rebuilt. " We may here observe," wrote Dr. Morehouse, in his History, published in 1861, " in connection with the re- building of this church, that there is still to be remem- bered by some of the old people in the parish a legendary story which represents that when was to be re- built it was the desire of many of the parishioners to have it erected on Stock Moor, in Thurstonland ; but no sooner had they determined to do so, and begun to convey the materials to the place, than they were as speedily brought back to Burton-that is, what materials had been brought in the day, were miraculously removed to Burton in the night, so that the parishioners were at length obliged to adopt the ancient site,'' an instance of Divine preference of which it is to be trusted Kirkburton is sufficiently appreciative. Not many of the monuments in the church are of general interest. One mentioned by Dr. Morehouse recalls the troublous times of the Civil Wars :-

Sacred to the memory of William Horsfall, of Storthes Hall, Esq., who died the 2nd day of August, 1780, in the 55th year of his age. He was descended in direct line from Captain Richard Horsfall, who took an active part with the Royalists in the Grand Rebellion, in the reign of King Charles the First, against the Rebel Army.

I shall have something to say of this inscription on a later page. Another, in the graveyard, is at least quaint :-

Here lyeth interred the body of Elias, son of George Holling- worth, of Wooldale-Townend, he was late gamekeeper to His Grace the Duke of Leeds.

One, humble, meek, and patient here doth lye, Who hunting loved and feared not to dye.

Mr. Morehouse records that a century before his time there was a clerk's house near the Vicarage, in which were incribed lines that are and always will be true :-

Page 100


I wyll to-morrow, yea, that I wyll, I wyll be sure to do it ; To-morrow comes, to-morrow goes, And yet you are to do it. And so Repentance is deferred From one day to another, Until the day of Death doth come, And Judgment is the other.

The living is stated in Crockford at the net value of L101. There is much reason to believe that the Church in Kirkheaton, dedicated to St. John the Baptist, is of very remote antiquity. The discovery THE CHURCH there of a Saxon tombstone with IN KIRKHEATON. runic inscriptions fortifies the tradition that the early Church was founded by missionaries of Paulinus in the seventh century. Certain it is that Kirkheaton, in common with Huddersfield, Almondbury, and Kirkburton, pays tribute to the mother church of Dewsbury: The area originally comprised within the spiritual jurisdiction of Kirk- heaton was very extensive ; but in comparatively recent times Denby Grange has been added to the parish of Flockton and the Houses Hill district, both formerly in the ancient parish of Kirkheaton, has been merged in Hopton. Heton, as it was anciently called, appears to have become a separate parish about the year 1200, the advowson in 1245 being in the Burgh family and the living being valued in the Taxation of Pope Nicholas II., the Crusade assess- ment, at {20 per annum. In the Parliamentary writs of 1316 we find the name of William de Heton, probably a Beaumont. The advowson of Kirkheaton has been in many hands : the de Burghs, the Nevilles, the Watertons, the Crown, and now Trustees. A complete list of Patrons and Vicars from 1245 is exhibited in the church. In the Liber Regis there is mention of the Chantry of the Blessed Mary. It is now used as the Beaumont Chapel, in which is the recumbent figure, so widely known as " Black Dick," of Richard Beaumont. In the Parlia-

Page 101

Ye Olde Eburch, Almondburyg.

By kind permission of Archdeacon Norris, of Halifax.

Page 103


mentary Survey of 1653 the living is valued at £105 yearly, and the Vicar (the Rev. Christopher Richardson), whose name will recur in these pages, is mentioned, as " a godly and well-affected minister who receiveth the Proffitts and performs the cure." The main body of the church has been oft rebuilt, the Tower (circ. 1450) and the Beaumont Chapel, part of which dates to the 14th century, alone remaining of the ancient structure. An inscription on a mural tablet to the memory of the Revd. Bryan Allott, who was Rector 1757-1773, is ascribed

to the pen of David Garrick :- More with the love than with the fear of God, This vale of sorrow chearfully he trod : So tun'd to harmony and hating strife, From youth to age unclouded was his life ; Naught could his earthly virtuous joys increase But heavenly song and everlasting peace.

Garrick is not the only genius associated with the

church. A patten bears the inscription :-


Charles Dickens is claimed to have been of the family of this Thomas Dickins.

The parish of Kirkheaton was much concerned in the Civil Wars, one minister being ejected for refusing to sub- scribe the Covenant, another, of the Presbyterian faith, taking his place, and he in turn being " silenced " on the Reformation. To the memory of this latter a tablet is inscribed :- TO THE MEMORY OF CHRISTOPHER RICHARDSON, M.A., of Trin. Coll. Cam. and Lassell Hall in this Parish, Rector of Kirkheaton, 1646-1661, in which latter year he was silenced. He established the first Presbyterian Church in Liverpool in 1688, and died in that City in 1698, aged 80. This Memorial was erected by John Richardson, of Bromley, Kent, Frances Richardson, of Ventnor, and Martha Sparks,

of Crew-Kerne, his descendants in the fifth generation. July, 1884.

Page 104


A more recent memorial is a window to the memory of J. C. Broadbent, J.P., of Lascelles Hall, who, a pros- perous merchant, yet evinced a warm sympathy with the efforts of the industrial classes for better social and econo- mic conditions. I would express my indebtedness to the present Rector, the Rev. John Wright Moore, M.A., for his courteous assistance in this brief notice of this historic church. The district to which this History is devoted was originally comprised within the parishes of Almondbury, Huddersfield, Kirkburton, and Kirk- CERTAIN CHAPELS heaton ; and for many centuries the or EasE anD Or faithful desirous of assisting at the MopERN EccLE- celebration of mass, confessing their SIASTICAL ProvIt- sins, marrying, baptizing their chil- SsIONS. dren, or burying their dead, were under the necessity of resorting to the church of their particular parish ; though it is probable that itinerant priests made a practice of celebrating mass at stated times at some chosen and fixed spot in the open air; and mention has already been made of the ancient crosses marking those spots at Woodhouse, at Deanhead, at Cruthill, and, possibly, at Crosland. To us degenerate mortals who find it inconvenient to attend divine worship with due regularity unless we have a shrine almost at our doors, it may seem a matter of wonder that people should in olden times have cheerfully and habitually traversed, by rude and difficult roads, the great distances that separated their homes from the parish church ; yet in Ireland at this day the peasants make light of a journey of many miles to attend divine service, and I myself knew a gentleman, but recently passed away, who, week after week and year after year, each Sunday, walked in all weathers from Meltham to Sunny Bank in Golcar to lead his class in the Sunday School and take his place in the chapel. Faith, methinks, aforetime was of a robuster sort than is now general. Be that as it may, as the centuries passed after the erection of the parish churches, the necessity became pressing to provide greater convenience of public

Page 105


worship, and I imagine many readers will care to learn how the existing parochial divisions arose to meet the exigencies of the altered times. As I dealt with this subject at some length in my History of the Colne V alley I may be pardoned reproducing what was there written on the subject.* '' A parish is defined to be that circuit of ground which is committed to the charge of one parson, or vicar, or other minister having care of souls therein-parochie est locus in quo degit populus alicujus ecclesice, a parish is the place in which the people of a certain church dwell. According to Camden, England was divided into parishes about a.Dp. 636, though other writers maintain that their constitution dates only to the Council of Latheran in 1179 -the truth lying probably between the two dates. The creation of the ancient parishes, like that of those which have sprung from them, was gradual, and was dictated from. time to time by the varying needs of the people; but it seems certain that the boundaries of parishes were ori- ginally ascertained by those of manors ; for it very seldom happens that a manor extends over more parishes than one, though there are often many manors in one parish." " The lords "-of manors, I quote from Stevenst- " as Christianity spread itself, began to build churches upon their own demesnes or wastes, to accommodate their tenants in one or two adjoining townships ; and in order to have divine service regularly performed therein, they obliged all their tenants to appropriate their tithes to the maintenance of the one officiating minister, instead of leaving them "-as had been originally the practice-" to distribute them among the clergy of the diocese in general ; and this tract of land, the tithes whereof were so appro- priated, formed a distinct parish-which will well enough account for the intermixture of parishes one with another ; for if a lord had a parcel of land detached from the main of his estate, but not sufficient to form a parish of itself,

* History of the Colne Valley, pp. 128 et seq. { Commentaries on the Laws of England.

Page 106


it was natural for him to endow his newly erected church with the tithes of those disjoined lands. Thus parishes were gradually formed and parish churches endowed with the tithes that arose within the circuit assigned." '* Tithes, then, we see, were the provision made by the lord of the manor for the maintenance of the structure and the conduct of the services of the Church. It is true the tenant paid the tithe, but it is reasonable to assume his rent and services to the lord were abated in view of his obligation to the payment of his pious tribute to the Church, and it may also be assumed that when the transfer of landed property became general a purchaser reduced the price he paid by the capitalized amount of the tithe. .o . . _. This tithe was levied at one time not only upon the produce of land but upon the profits of the trader and the earnings of the labourer; and history presents to us the pleasing picture of a whole people, distracted by no doubts and torn by no schisms, gladly and gratefully contributing to the maintenance of the

Church." Of the chapels of which I have spoken, subsidiary and

auxiliary to the ancient Parish Churches, " some were private, others public 'and designed for the benefit of particular districts lying within the parochial ambit, these latter having been, in general, founded at some date later than the parish church itself, for the accommodation of such of the parishioners as lived too far from the parish church, whence public chapels, so circumstanced, were described as chapels of ease.'" At common law the right of nomination to them is in the incumbent of the parish church. Hence it is that the living of Holmfirth is in the gift of the Vicar of Kirkburton, those of Honley, Marsden, Meltham in the gift of the Vicar of Almondbury; that of Slaithwaite in the gift of the Vicar of Huddersfield ; and formerly Holmfirth, Honley, Marsden, Meltham, Slaithwaite were but ancient chapelries, and their ministers were designated curates. "In 1818 Parliament began to apply itself systematically to the great task of extending the accommodation afforded by the national Church, so

Page 107


as to make it more commensurate with the wants of the people. To this end a long series of Church Building Acts received the sanction of Parliament. The Crown appointed Church Building Commissioners-a body super- seded by the Ecclesiastical Commissioners-who were directed to ascertain where the accommodation of additional churches and chapels-this, of course, does not refer to dissenting places of worship-was required ; and out of the funds placed at their disposal by Parliament, to cause such churches as they thought necessary to be built, or to assist the parishioners or any persons sub- scribing, with grants or loans of money for the building thereof. The New Parishes Act, 1843, provided that the Ecclesiastical Commissioners might form out of the larger or more populous parishes separate districts for spiritual purposes, and the funds in the hands of the Commissioners were made available for endowing or augmenting the income of the ministers. After a church or chapel had been built or purchased for the district and approved by the Commissioners and duly consecrated, the district (immediately upon such consecration) became a new parish for ecclesiastical purposes, and thereupon it became lawful to solemnize marriages, baptisms, churchings, and burials therein, and the minister having been first duly licensed by the bishop to such church, thereupon, ps0 facto, became the vicar thereof, and the new church was styled and designated a vicarage, and was deemed to be a benefice with cure of souls to all intents and purposes. Finally, the New Parishes Act, 1856, enabled the Commis- sioners to select a district to an existing chapel "-such as those of Marsden, Slaithwaite, Honley, Holmfirth, Meltham -" and to constitute it a distinct parish." We have already seen that in the reign of Edward IV. the Crown, out of the 40 marks which it reserved to itself out of the fee-farm rents of Marsden, Tur set apart 4 marks " for the use of a IN MaArRrsDEN. minister to perform divine service and worship in the chapel at Marsden," to be paid every Easter Monday to the living incumbent

Page 108


from the fee-farm rents by the lord of the manor. It is manifest, therefore, that at least so early as the middle of the fifteenth century there was a chapel at Marsden- one of those chapels-of-ease whose origin I have described. In 1666, so modest still was the position of the Curate of Marsden, we gather from Assessments of that year,* his residence afforded but one fire-place. In addition to the money revenue of 4 marks, or 33s. 4d., equivalent to perhaps £20 in our currency, the curate had tithes of calves, of the wool of lambs, tithes of foals, mules, turnips, and other vegetables, and of the swarms of bees. The regu- larity with which this tithe of bees occurs in ancient provisions for the maintenance of the clergy indicates that apisculture was much more general formerly than now, when, in these parts, at least, it is a mere but very fascinating hobby. To these tithes must be added fees for burial and marriage. In the time of Cromwell there were, according to the Parliamentary Survey, 250 families in the chapelry, #.e., a population of some 1,200 souls, and the " maintenance " of the Incumbent is stated at £2 10s., a rough estimate probably of the four marks aforesaid. -In 1738 recourse was had to the Commissioners of Queen Anne's Bounty, who granted £200, in 1816 there was still another grant of £600, and in 1824 one of £500. In view of the fact that in recent years the people of Marsden, assisted by the generous hands of Church- men in other parishes, have raised on the site of the old church a stately edifice whose proportions and beauty of design justify its claim to be the Cathedral of the Colne Valley, it seems ungracious to remark that the benefice of Marsden has been not a little indebted to public funds. As this statement may not pass without cavil, and as the origin of Queen Anne's Bounty is not a matter of common knowledge, and without that knowledge the extension of the Church's activities cannot be fully under- stood, some short account of that Ecclesiastical Fund may not be out of place in this History.

* Hearth Tax Returns, 1666, preserved in the Record Office.

Page 109


In the early days of the Christian Church in England. the first fruits and tenths of all spiritual preferments in. the kingdom were originally a part of the papal usurpation. over the clergy of the kingdom. The imposition was first introduced by Randolph, the Pope's legate, during the reigns of King John and Henry the Third, in the See of Norwich, and afterwards attempted to be made universal by the Popes Clement the Fifth and John the Twenty- second about the beginning of the fourteenth century. The first fruits (primitiae or annates) are the first year's whole profits of the benefice or other spiritual preferment, according to a rate or valor made in the time of Pope Innocent the Fourth, by Walter, Bishop of Norwich, and. were afterwards advanced in value in the time of Nicholas the Fourth, under a taxation by the King's precept, which valuation was begun in 1288 and finished in 1292. The tenths (or decimae) were the tenth part of the annual profits of each living by the same valuation ; and this tenth part also was claimed by the Holy See, under the pretence of the Levitical Law which directs that the Levites " should. offer the tenth part of their tithes as a peace offering to the Lord and give it to the High Priest." These pre- tensions met with a vigorous resistance from the English Parliament, and a variety of Acts were passed to prevent and restrain them, one statute calling the payment of first fruits " a horrible mischief and damnable custom." The Popish Clergy, however, were faithful to the Bishop of Rome, and continued the payments, the exact amount of which will be understood if the reader reflects that had the payment of first fruits and tenths still continued the Vicar of Huddersfield would have paid the whole of his first year's income from his incumbency to the Pope, and thereafter, so long as he: held the living, a tenth of his yearly income. One thus realizes what vast sums in former times found their way from England to Rome. When Henry VIII. resolved on being King and Pope, too, in his own realm, Parliament vested the first fruits and tenths in the Crown as part of the Royal revenue or pension for the Crown (26 Henry VIII.

Page 110


c. 3). By subsequent statutes, benefices under fifty pounds per annum were exempted from first fruits and tenths. From the time of Henry VIII. to that of Queen Anne, a period of some hundred and eighty years, the Church of England contributed to the Royal Treasury the wealth that had previously gone to the Vatican. Queen Anne, by Royal Charter, confirmed by statute 2 and 3 Anne, c. II, transferred the revenue arising from first fruits and tenths to a fund called QUEEN AnNNE's Bounty, which was vested in trustees for ever, to form a perpetual fund for the augmentation of poor livings.* Had the Crown been content to diminish its expenditure by the amount so sacrificed to the Church, it might have been said, with considerable show of reason, that the poorer clergy were indebted to royal beneficence for the augmen- tation of their livings ; but as the Crown in nowise curtailed its profuseness, and as the deficiency in the royal revenue caused by the surrender of the first fruits and tenths was necessarily made good by increased grants to the Crown, it seems idle to deny that the Church is indebted, in effect, to the bounty of the general taxpayer for the subsidies that are euphemistically ascribed to the bounty of Queen Anne. The Marsden Church was rebuilt and enlarged in 1758 and again in 1894. The Church Calendar for 1909 states the income of the Incumbent as £250. Of the various incumbents there can be little narrated in a work whose record of each church must necessarily be brief. One of them, the Rev. Lancelot Bellas, who flourished in the later years of the eighteenth century, attained an un- enviable notoriety from his addiction to the pleasures of the table, and is remembered and quoted to this day from his exhortation to his flock to do as he said and not as he did, to follow the light and not the candle. Of another, the Rev. Edward Edwards, who was preferred to Marsden in 1823, Canon Hulbert declares that he was " the pioneer of civilization in that district (Marsden). _ Slaithwaite

* Steven's Commentaries.

Page 111


could date back 100 years. But when Mr. Edwards com- menced his work in the Valley the village of Marsden was in a comparatively barbarous state " ; in which connection may be quoted also the testimony of John Wesley, who, writing a little more than half a century before the com- mencement of Mr. Edwards' ministrations in Marsden, declared of the people of Huddersfield : " A wilder people I never saw in England. The men, women, and children filled the streets as we rode along, and appeared ready to devour us " ; and again, " I preached near Huddersfield to the wildest congregation I have seen in Yorkshire." Although what immediately follows is scarcely con- cerned with the church in Marsden it may not unfittingly be here introduced, for the period of which it speaks must be near upon that of Mr. Edwards' incumbency of Marsden. About 1880 Mr. J. B. Robinson published in the Hudders- field Examiner, and afterwards collected in a brochure, his " Marsden Memorials." He was indebted for his infor- mation to James Garside, of Oxhouse, born in 1794 ; John Schofield, of Inghead, born in 1804 ; Luke Marsden, born in 1810 ; and George Kaye, born in 1810. We learn that in the early days of these contemporaneous witnesses the cotton was the chief industry of Marsden. The leading firm, that of Messrs. Haigh, occupied extensive works near Warehouse Hill, called " The Factory." The Haighs " imported a number of young persons of both sexes from the Foundling Hospital, London. In the local vernacular they were called ' The Foundlers.' These foundlings lived at a house in Throstle Street, in a building said to have been ' as big as a small factory.' Their em- ployers found them with food, clothing and lodgings. The lodgings were not sumptuously furnished, the clothing would not now be worn by a beggar. The food consisted mainly of oatmeal porridge, made in a boiler. Wages were unknown in the form of hard cash. These imported hands were ' a rough lot." When the factory finally stopped in 1805 the foundlings at once became destitute and paupers, and chargeable upon the poor rates." " They bred," says Mr. Robinson, " after their kind, and it threatened to be a breed that will never become extinct."

Page 112


" The late George Kaye,"-to continue the quotation. from the " Marsden Memorials "-" would tell how, when. six years of age, he worked as a ' billy piecer' at Wood Bottom Mill, how work commenced at six o'clock in the: morning, or even earlier, and ended at eight at night, and. at four o'clock in the afternoon on Saturday. _. . . In. those days there were no half-timers, and little girls had to- work as hard as the boys. In wild, wet weather the poor children were carried to their work by their parents, to remain there until night, in clothes frequently saturated with rain." " The slubbers were the ' upper ten ' of the. operatives, and the highest ambition of the aspiring youth was to become a slubber one day. A slubber could earn as much as 20s. a week. The cardings for the slubber were pieced by children, who rolled the soft ends together on a slanting board with the backs of their hands, from which the skin was worn and bleeding by constant friction. The maximum pay of a billy piecer, of whatever age, was 6d. a day. The willeyers-boys and girls who tended the fearnought and the willey-earned as much as 5s., aye, even 6s. a week. Feeders had 5s. a week, 6s. for two- engines, the feeder of a carder 4s. or 4s. 6d. per week. A youth who earned tos. a week was a ' superior person,' and on the high road to obtain the prize of the labour market-I5s. weekly. No spinning or weaving was at that time done in the woollen mills The slubbing from the billy was taken home by the hand-loom weavers to spin on the hand jenny of 50 spindles, a wonderful advance upon the original one-spindle process. The weft was wound for weaving from the cop by the bobbin wheel. This was a slow process, as only one bobbin could be wound at one time. Husband and wife joined at the labour, beginning soon after daybreak in summer and working continuously (when they were so fortunate as to- have a warp) until ten o'clock at night. But even then the day's work was not finished. The warping had to be done, and the husband 'ran' the warping frame while his wife ' set in.' - With full work the two combined could earn zos. per week. The weaver paid for his own size for

Page 113


the warp ; and after sizing he had to wait for a fine day for drying his warp by the roadside. . . . In winter the only light to work by in the mills was the tallow candle, generally eight candles to the pound, fixed in tin candlesticks. Rude cast-iron snuffers were used, and as frequently the fingers instead. Some manufacturers had 'the candles made of a green or other colour, to prevent the candles being abstracted for domestic purposes by the workpeople. _. . ._ Necessarily it was as much as poor people could do to keep body and soul together ; and how to obtain sufficient clothing was a standing difficulty. A Sunday suit had to last seven or eight years; and cases have been known where the bridegroom has worn his wedding suit, made of good blue cloth, adorned with shiny brass buttons, as his Sunday suit, regardless of the change of fashion, for the remainder of his life, extending over a period of, perhaps, forty years. Working people begged clogs, shoes, and cast-off clothmg for themselves and their children. . . . A native residing at Pule, bearing the honoured name of Pogson, obtained a red coat belonging to a defunct soldier, and wore it to the envy of his less fortunate companions. A woman in those days had to ( make little fit," and fit long. Few could read and fewer could write. Books were rare. Even the 'Number Hawker, with his dear books, though better than none, had not found his entrance into Marsden at the beginning of the century. _. . . Three or four newspapers came to Marsden weekly, and they were passed round among the comparative few who could Tread and took an interest in the history and politics of the day.'" The low rate of wages was not compensated by low prices for what we now consider the necessaries of life. Again to quote Mr. Robinson : " Wheat is regarded as the staff of life, and the principal food of the present day ; but in the first quarter of this '' (the nineteenth) " century, the people had to exist without it. They then lived upon barley made into bread, and oatmeal porridge. The latter is an excellent and wholesome diet, but it is apt to become

Page 114


monotonous when it is only varied with barley bread or oatcake without butter ; and a man, if he has porridge four times a day, may be pardoned for thinking he may have too much of porridge. . . . In Marsden the price of flour was sometimes 8os. per peck. Mrs. Martha Grandage, who kept a shop in the Town Gate, sold flour at 8s. to 9s. per stone, and John Haigh, of Brougham Road, paid 6d. per pound for flour to Thomas Bottomley, a small shop- keeper at Netherley. _. . . Meal was 70s. per 240lbs. ; sugar was 8d. to qd. per lb, and ' as brown as sand ' ; tea was 8s. per lb. Betty Hill worked at 'The Her mother one morning brought her the usual porridge for breakfast, and it was said to her as a huge joke that ' she should have brought Betty some tea instead.' The mother replied that she was better off than some of them, for she could have brought some tea if she had known, as she had a quarter of a pound when Betty was born, which she was saving till Betty was married. _. . . The wages in the mills were paid monthly, and the employer told the shopkeepers how much to trust his people between the pay days. If he sent no word they had to go without goods." For a period of twenty years after 1871 the Vicar of Marsden was the Rev. Thomas Whitney, in whose time the question of payment of tithes by dissenters assumed an acute phase. About the year 1850 the Tithes, Easter Dues, Mor- tuaries, etc., of all the Townships of the Parish of Almond- bury, except part of Honley and of Meltham, had been commuted, with the consent of two-thirds of the property- owners, the tithes of Marsden at £30, and the Easter Dues at £14. In the year 1877, however, Mr. J. B. Robinson, the author, by the way, of the " Marsden Memorials," from which I have so freely quoted, and Mr. Wilkinson, both of Marsden, objected to pay the tithe, and their goods were distrained by the bailiffs of Canon Hulbert, at that time Vicar of the mother church of Aimondbury. An action of replevin was brought against the bailiffs, and the case was heard in the Huddersfield County Court

Page 115


before His Honour Judge Giffard, a brother, by the way, of Lord Halsbury, under more than one Conservative administration Lord High Chancellor of England. The objections to the distress were of a purely technical character ; and the action of replevin failed to accomplish any object save to call attention to the objections of dissenters to contribute to the support of the Established Church, which probably was all the aggrieved parties expected or sought. It is possible that the Word was first preached to the people of Slaithwaite and Lingards by missioners from the mother Church at Huddersfield at the Tur Cxurcx Cross that stood at Lingards till de- AT SLAITHWAITE. stroyed in the year of the great Reform Bill. When the church dedicated to St. Mark was first erected cannot be determined. The first record of it now extant affirms that there was at Slaithwaite, in the year 1593, " an ancient Chapel, which, being much decayed, was repaired and enlarged at the expense of John Kaye, Esq., and his tenants and neigh- bouring inhabitants." In 1651 the Parliamentary Com- missioners reported that there was " no minister, the way bad, and only four shillings per annum endowment." Better days dawned for the Slaithwaite chapelry when, in 1685, the Rev. Robert Meeke accepted the curacy, for he was possessed of or acquired some private fortune, and living and dying a bachelor, he left the means of endowing the church he loved and served so well for forty years. Robert Meeke came of a Nonconformist stock, his father, William Meeke, of Salford, being of the Presbyterian faith, and suffering persecution and imprisonment during the Independent ascendancy in Cromwell's times. In his diary Meeke thus characteristically refers to his ancestry : " I desire to be thankful and humble, for my parentage is of an inferior rank, but I hope, and as I hear, of a religious family, which is better than gentility and greatness. My father was born in a very mean home, my moiher in a courtly hall ; thus the Lord is pleased to make both high and low, noble and ignoble, equal, and both one.

Page 116


I am a branch of yeomanry by my father, of gentility by my mother. - Lord grant me true nobility, virtue, and grace above my mother's blood ; meekness and humility accord- ing to my father's name." Mr. Meeke's life was lived in times when the minds of men were violently agitated by religious differences, when the kingdom was torn by sec- tarian strife, yet midst all the turmoil this simple, un- affected, godly man displayed a spirit of toleration and charity rare indeed in those times and that it were not amiss to emulate even in these. On August 31st, 1694, he wrote in his diary : " Went to see a new chapel, at Tint- wistle, which is built by a Nonconformist, who is tabled at my aunt's. There are since the toleration* many chapels

builded. Lord grant it may be for the good of souls. We all preach the same doctrine, pray for the same things.

All the difference consists in garments, gestures, and words, and yet that difference breedeth heats, discussion, prejudice, jealousies, judging, and coldness of charity and Christian affection among friends. I am afraid this is the effect of such separate meetings and different modes of worship." And, again : " May, 1694. Met with an old acquaintance, a Nonconformist, who told me there was an ordination of ministers at Mr. Thorpe's, of Hopton. There is much difference among learned men about ordination. 'Some are for Bishops, some for Presbyters, some for the Congregation and Lay Elders. Lord promote true religion by men of thine own sending, and by what hands thou pleasest, in thine own time. Grant a greater union among learned, and in particular among pious and reli- gious, men." By his will, dated March 20th, 1724, Mr. Meeke left *' {4 per An. to ye School of Slaightwate for teaching 1o poor children." Some years previously he had obtained from the Queen Anne's Bounty a sum of £200, which was supplemented by a sum of £200 contri- buted by Sir Arthur Kaye and Mr. William Walker, and with this £400 was purchased forty-six and a half acres of

* The reference would seem to be to the Act of Toleration of 1689, the Magna Charta of Dissent.

Page 117


land at Sowood, the rents of which went in augmentation

of the income of the living. A later incumbent of Slaithwaite, a very different

character in many essential respects from the Rev. Robt. Meeke, was the Rev. Joseph Thorns, M.A., who held that cure from 1727 till 1760, despite the fact that his uncanoni- cal habits gave offence to the graver sort of his parish- ioners and occasioned the following letter from John Eagland, his Chapelwarden, to the Archdeacon-a letter I reproduce, by no means as one delighting to perpetuate the memory of backslidings in those responsibly placed, but solely because it throws light upon the manners, notions, and speech of those who lived and moved and had

their being in Slaithwaite a century and a half ago :-

Mr. Thorns presents and affirms that he will present me for perjury, if I do not present all the landlords in Slaithwaite for selling Ale on Sundays at Weddings, etc. Also he wants me to suppress and hinder the singers from singing in our Chapel. Also he has chosen Wm. Bamforth to be Churchwarden for the present year, and according to the opinions of all the best sort of men in Chapelry, he is not a proper person for that office. In the first place, as to the landlords, there is not more civilized men, taking them all together, in one Country Town in England. Their Houses are kept free from gaming or whoring or other vice that I know of. Only the sin of cursing and swearing is too much used by the country people when they meet together; but I have taken care to present four of the most notorious villains. One of which Mr. Thorns has nominated the new Churchwarden. As to the singers they have always botn (sic) a very good character forty years to my knowledge. A few years since Mr. Thorns was sorely troubled with Mercenary qualms, as his constitution is very subject to that Distemper, and he extorted a good guinea from ye poor singing Lads upon this condition that he would never disturb them in their singing any more. Now the Fitt returned on February last, and Mr. Thorns ordered Mr. Batty to send for a Citation for the Singers. Upon that I heard a great part of the Congregation say that if the Singers must not sing they would not come to Chapel any more-for the singers had something new and affecting. But Mr. Thorns for his part had nothing but some Old Sermons to repeat which almost every Body knows : As to reading ye Divine Service he makes a poor Doo with it-he is so very idle yt. scarce one half of the Congregation can hear what he says, which is a great pitty, for it makes a good many absent themselves from Chappel. I don't think but Mr. Thorns is presentable* in his apparel, his

* Liable to prosecution or complaint to the Archdeacon, '' the eye of the Bishop,'' in the hierarchic discipline.-D.F.E.S.

Page 118


white stockings, his white waistcoat, his mottle coat, and his jockey Cap, so that no one can tell by his garb that he is a Priest, for he is oft drest more like a Dancing Master than a Priest- (not to mention his Fighting). Mr. Thorns has a bad property in going over his neighbours' Thresholds oft to hear news and lies amongst the Butchers and sitting in Cobler's (sic) Shops day by day, busying himself with every Body's business, Repeating Grievances, and Proving Tales, causing great disturbance all the Town over, Giving nicknames and makes a droll upon everybody's character, Calling every Body Fool or Beggar but himself, Bullock- ing and hectoring every Body with Wagers, that he is so rich and so rich. Well I do believe the man is rich in money. But would be far better for his Congregation if he was more rich in his Talents of grace. - I am sorry to speak it-But he is realy (sic) a Common Town Pest, continually causing Difference Both in Chappel (sic) and in the street. So I pray God either to mend him, or to Remove him, or take him quite away. Which is the Harty (sic) prayer of the Congregation . June 26th, 1758. Joun EacLtaAnp, Chapelwarden.

On the day following this letter this zealous officer of the church duly " presented '" to the Archdeacon William Bamforth, or Bamford, of Inghead, Joshua Sugden, John Hirst, of Castle, and James Bamford, or Bamforth, of Einley Place, for " common, open, and notorious profain (sic) cursers and swearers.""' I do not find any record of the result of this process. The Archdeacon's powers seem not to have extended beyond ordering the offender to do penance by traversing the aisles in view of the whole con- gregation, probably clad in the penitential white sheet. The Commination Service has supplanted this dis- cipline, and if the reader will turn to his Book of Common Prayer he will find reference to the old practice in the introduction to that Service : " Brethren, in the Primitive Church there was a godly discipline, that, at the beginning of Lent, such persons as stood convicted of notorious sin were put to open pennance, and punished in this world, that their souls might be saved in the day of the Lord ; and that others, admonished by their example, might be the more afraid to offend. Instead whereof (until the said discipline be restored again, which is much to be wished), it is thought good, that at this time (in the presence of you all) should be read the general sentences of God's cursing against impenitent sinners,'"' etc., etc.

Page 119


A man of very different type from Mr. Thorns, and in another way also from Mr. Meeke, was the Rev. THomas WILsoN, who held the cure from 1777 to 1809, a man, according to Canon Hulbert, " plain and earnest in his style and very energetic and loud in his pulpit ministrations, stamping and thundering, as well as sometimes weeping, and using the most tender persuasions '" ; recalling the methods to which Dr. Johnson attributed the success of the earlier followers of John Wesley : " Sir, it is owing to their expressing themselves in a plain and familiar manner -which is the only way to do good to the common people, and which clergymen of genius and learning ought to do from a principle of duty, when it is suited to the common people." " John," said Mr. Wilson to a hand- loom weaver at Crimble, " John, when you have done that piece, and cut it off, what will there be left ? " " Why, thrums, sir!" " And when you have run through your present wild life, what will there be left but thrums :

ruined body and a damned soul ? " Mr. Wilson was a popular preacher and attracted large congregations, nevertheless it was in his time that Dissent first reared its head in the Colne Valley. Of this Canon Hulbert offers an explanation which, I venture to think, does not cover the whole case. The licensee of a certain hostelry in Slaithwaite-the " Silent Woman," an inn whose signboard represented a headless female, applied to the magistrates for the renewal of his license to which the curate objected, probably on the usual

grounds, and the license was not renewed. " Then," said the applicant, "I will thank you to give me a license for a Dissenting Meeting House." Unfor-

tunately for the story vouched by Canon Hulbert, appli- cation for such a license must, under the Toleration Act of 1689, be made to the Quarter Sessions, not to the Licensing Justices. Still it is incontrovertible that the Baptists of the Colne Valley first met in the upper chamber of the " Silent Woman," thence, as their numbers swelled, migrating to the outskirts of the Dartmouth Estates,

Page 120


within which they were denied a site, and founding the Baptist Church at Pole Moor. It was in Mr. Wilson's time, too, that the present church of St. James was erected, the old structure and the burial ground having suffered from the inroads of the Colne ; and in his days also the Sunday School was instituted at Slaithwaite, among the first in the country, the school being held at first in the kitchens or parlours of those members of the church who consented to afford that accommodation, and to these, we are told, the venerable leader of the school, Joseph Mellor, a cripple, was oft borne on the back of Joseph Mayall, of Vineyard ! The Parish Registers commence January Ist, 1684. The names of those baptised, married, and buried show that at the time of the Revolution most of the families now resident in the Colne Valley had representatives then living in the parish-Crowther of Whiggon Cross, Aneley of Low Westwood, Halliwell of Crimble, Haighe, Thorpe of Westwood, Sykes of Holthead and Slaithwaite Hall, Dyson of Westwood, Mallison of High Fflatts, Hurst of Vineyard, Crowther of Fflathouse, Brooke, Balmforth, Shaw, Quarmby of Mooredge, Ffirth of Leymoor, Hoyle of Wilberlee, Wood of Highhouse, Sugden, Cock, Garside of the Vineyard, Walker of Lingards, Cotton of Lin- thwaite Hall, and Woodhead of Slaigthwaite Hall-some- times (so recently as 1707) also written in the Register Slackthwaite Hall. The origin of surnames, especially of one's own, is interesting. Surnames did not become general till a com- paratively recent period. At a more remote period people were known chiefly by their baptismal or, as we commonly say, their christian names. As population increased and in the same village were found many Johns, Richards, Marys, Sarahs, etc., some means of distinguish- ing one John or one Mary from another became necessary. Hence surnames, or super-names, nicknames. Some were formed by adding " son " or " daughter " to the father's Christian name. This we get Johnson, Richardson, Stephenson, etc. Others were derived from a man's

Page 121


calling, as Smith, Baker, Webster (a weaver); others from some personal peculiarity as Cruikshank; many others from the family homestead. Applying this guide

to the names in the Slaithwaite Register we should get- Crowther-John the Crowder, or Fiddler. Ainley-John of his Own Lea or Meadow. Halliwell-John whose holding was near the Holy Well. Haigh-]John of the Haigh or Wood. Thorpe-John of the Thorp or Village (Danish). Sykes-John by the Sike or Stream. Quarmby-John of the Quarm or Quern Village. Ffirth-John by the Firth, or Frith, a Stream. Hoyle-John of the Hoyle or Hole. Wood-See Haigh. Sugden-John of the Sike Dene, River Cleft. Cock-From the French Le Coq, a name probably derived from a heraldic device on the shield. Garside-John of the Garth or Mistal Side. Walker-John the Walker or Fuller.*

And so forth, adding only the caution that name origins, owing to the change in spelling, are generally speculative and often purely fanciful. The practice of calling people by a system of patronymics and by nicknames once prevailed much more than now ; and it will probably soon be among those customs more honoured in the breach than in the observance. As a matter for the curious in days to come I preserve here a fugitive leaflet by an anonymous writer, referring to the village of Meltham. Its like might easily have been compiled fifty years ago in any hamlet in the district.

List or NotEDp PErsonNs HAVE LIVED OR ARE Now Living In MELTHAM.

Walt o' th' Tummer's and Allen o' Jack's, Bonshan Thewlis and Abb o' Crack's ; Jonas o' Debrah's and Jim o' Brick's, Dan o' Jinny's and Abb o' Dick's. Matty o' th' Bar and Mal o' th' Bell, Coddy Mellor and Will o' Nell's ; Jim o' th' Pan and Bloody Dick, Johnny o' Ann's and Jim o' th' Vick.

* Cloth was once fulled by being trodden by the feet: hence Fuller's Earth is sometimes called Walker's Earth.

Page 122


charitable purposes.


Mary o' Debb's and Chale* o' Will's, Dave o' Burd's and Mally o' Bill's; John o' Luke's and Sam o' Kip's, George o' Jane's and o' Phillip's. James o' Joe's and Jammy o' th' Goit, James o' John's and James o' th' Floit ; George o' Phaby's, and Jim o' Nat's, Will. o' Peg's and Jammy o' Matt's. Blow-me-daahn and Harry o' Split's, Pannier Pin and Joe o' Spit's ; Scalefooit Bibsticks and Justler, Denty and Catgears and Tutler. Double Rooag, Shoaty, and Shint, Powlet, Will o' Pricker's, and Blint ; George o' th' Pighle and Tommy o' th' Cop, Lion and Pussy and Mog and Shrop. Bill o' Doad's and Doadt o' Bill's, Coffee Dave and Amos o' Will's ; Ned o' th' Botham's and John o' th' Mill, Pottin Ben and Ben o' th' Hill. Joe o' Gaunt's and John o' Sam's, Bill o' th' King's and Oliver o' Gam's ;f Abb o' Jim's and Will o' Nat's, Listin Joe and Rayner o' Mat's. Hamar o' Dave's and Will o' Walt's, Sailor Hirst and Sam o' Colt's ; Jack o' Frank's and Bet o' Polly, Rainbow Rattler, Strick, and Dolly. Dave o' Dan's and Mick o' Jimmy's, Mule Jack and Dan o' Timmy's ; Joseph o' George's and Tom o' th' Pan, Owd Buzzard and Towler and Tam. Bubbler Watson and Charley Mush, King o' Pule's and Meltham Thrush ; Will o' Bareyeds and Bob, Owd Charlut, Gret Joe, and Todd.

The " Account of what breifes have been promysed {? provyded) since 1689," signed " R. Meeke, Curate," shows that the charity of the faithful at Slaithwaite was not restricted to the parish needs. from the short note authorising it) was a collection for The Account includes briefs for

* Charles. f Gamaliel. { George.

A brief (so-called

Page 123


Irish Protestants, for " carriers whose goods is burnt in Mount Sorrell," for " Teignmouth, near Torquay, burned by French," and for " Captures in Algiers, Sicilly, and Barbary "-then and long afterwards noted nests of pirates. Among the burials in 1679 are :-

April 30. Mary Shaw, buried, affd., Mary the wife of James Shaw, bur. Ap. 30th, affdav. May 3. James Haigh was buried May 26, affd. June 14. Thomas Parkin was buried June 13, affd. June 14. All those above-named whose affidavits hath been produced at the General Quarter Sessions holden at Wakefield for the West Ryding of the County of York, November 7th, 1679.

PaARKIN, Chappel Warden. WILLIAM FFRANCE, r r

Similar entries are common in old Registers of date subsequent to the Restoration, and their explanation is to be found in a curious statute of Charles II. made for the encouragement of the woollen trade and " for the prevention of the exportation of money for the importa- tion of linen "-an insensate Act promoted by the English woollen manufacturers for the protection of their industry at the expense of the flax-growers of the North of Ireland. The Statute enacted that no corpse of any person should be buried in any shirt, shift, sheet, or shroud, or any- thing whatsoever made or mingled with flax, hemp, silk, hair, gold or silver, etc., any stuff, or thing, other than what was made of sheep's wool only, on pain of £5; a curious and instructive instance of the pitiful resorts to which portective tariffs may have recourse. The minister officiating at the burial was required to make affidavit that the Statute had been complied with. In Crockford's " Clerical Directory " the income of the Incumbent of Slaithwaite is stated at £180. All who know and value the worth of the Rev. H. H. Rose, the present Vicar-and to know is to value-will be glad to learn steps are now being taken for the augmentation of the income. The ancient chapelry of Holmfirth comprised the

Page 124


townships of Wooldale, Hepworth, Cartworth, Holme, Austonley, and Upperthong. Of these Txr CHxurcHX - the first three are in the parish of In HormrIRrTH. Kirkburton, the others in that of Almondbury, and though it would appear that the church in Holmfirth has always been recognised as standing in filial relationship to the mother church of Kirkburton, it will be seen that the Vicars of Almondbury have in former days considered themselves to have some interest in the chapelry. It is certain that there existed an ancient chapel of ease in Holmfirth as far back as the reign of Edward IV. (1461-1483 A.D.), Dr. Whitaker observing : " There is extant a confirmation under the privy seal of Richard III. of a grant made to the King's tenants of Holmfirth, mem- bers of the lordship of Wakefield, of xls. per annum, towards an exhibition to mynestre devine service in the chapel there ** ; and it was stated in MSS. in the possession of Dr. Morehouse, bearing date 1698, that " the said chapel was built by the mutual consent and at the charges of the inhabitants within the chapelrie, for a chappel of ease, and that no stipend or endowment was settled upon it by them or others." Most ancient churches and chapels of ease, as we have sufficiently seen in our enquiries in other cases, were indebted to the lords of the manors in which they were erected, for a more or less liberal endowment of glebe and tithe ; but the piety of the inhabitants of the district comprised in the Holmfirth chapelry seems not to have extended to the making of any permanent and reliable provision for the needs of a minister, the MSS. informing us " that ye said inhabitants did by the like consent from time to time procure and agree with such as they thought fitt to be curates there, sometimes for a greater and some- times for a lesser sum, as may be seen by sundrie wit- nesses sworn and examined touching these matters, by which it is manifest yt ye inhabitants gave the curates more or less as they pleased." In the early part of the reign of Elizabeth, Dr. Morehouse tells us, " the curates had £6 13s. 4d. per annum in money, and sent some per-

Page 125


sons up and down the chappelrye for what wool and oats the inhabitants would give them ; but to a Mr. Lord they agreed to give {12 per annum, as he deemed it too low and base a thing to go from house to house for such wool and oats as the inhabitants would give him, and did desire to let him have all in money." During the Civil Wars the people of Holmfirth were active for the Parliament, and when Oliver Cromwell was Protector they appear to have considered the times propitious for putting an end to the inconveniences arising from their divided allegiance to Kirkburton and Almondbury, and having the Chapelry declared an independent parish. They presented a petition to " the at Leeds," in which, as will be observed, they did not fail to remind the commissioners of the sacrifices they had made in the wars. The Petition was dated June 8th, 1650, and it prayed that " the said chappelry should be divided from the parish churches of Kirkburton and Almonburie, and made a parish of itselfe, and Holmfirth Chappel made the parish church," urging, infer alia, the following reasons more or less pertinent :- '" That the said chappel standeth five myles from the nearest of the churches of Kirkburton and Almonburie, many of the inhabitants living six, seven, and some eight miles, and the nearest inhabitants above three miles, from the nearer of these churches. '* That the people of the Chappelrie of Holmfirth have congregated themselves in the said chappel for to heare the word of God preached ; the time whereof the memorie of man is not to the contrarie. " That in the winter time, when there have been great snowes, there are several men living that hath helpt to carry corpes (sic) to the Church, and were not able to reach that night, but lodged by the way, and made the best haste they could, and were not able to reach home the next day. " That the inhabitants of Holmfirth have alwayes, and still doth stand for the Parliament's service, by reason whereof they had above Thirtie houses burned downe by

Page 126


the Armye against the Parliament, under the late Earl of Newcastle; five regiments of the enemy's foot, three of Horse, and two of Dragoons, came into the said chappel- rie, killed and tooke prisoners, and plundered and tooke away all their goods, soe that many lyed in prison, and the rest were forste from their owne habita'cons, to the great impoverishment and hurte of the poore Inhabitants. " That the said Inhabitants of Holmfirth did make and set forth a hundred Musqueteers for the Parliament's service, by order of the late Lord General Fairfax ; and that there are severall of the sonnes and servants of the Inhabitants still in actual service of the Commonwealth. " That Mr. Shirt"-Mr. Shirt was the Vicar of Kirkburton-'"" hath not read the Act of Parliament for observinge the Lord's Day, dayes of Humiliation and Thanksgivinge. "* That they continue up the name of the late tyrant Kinge in both the churches of Kirkburton and Almon- burie, contrarie to the Act of Parliament in that case made for the abolishing of Kingship. " That Mr. Thomas Naylor, Incumbent of Almon- burie, has come forth of his owne parish to the said chappell of Holmfirth, upon Lord's Day, and reckoned with several people for lambs, sittinge and tippleing in a Com'on ale- house, to the dishonour of God and evil example to others. "* That the said Mr. Naylor threatened the church- wardens of the said Chappelrie for to fine them in five pounds everie man for everie month they were absent from Almonburie, and showed them a statute and tould them it was in force which is repealed by this Parliament." Now whether the Commissioners were moved by the obvious necessity for a commodious division of the parish, or by the loyalty of the people of Holmfirth to the Parliamentary cause, or by the slackness therein of the Vicars of Kirkburton and Almondbury, or by the thought of the Vicar " tippleing in a Com'on alehouse " doth not appear, but it is certain that they issued a decree nist,

dated February 25th, 1651, that " the said Chappelrie of Holmfirth be made parochial, and that the profits of the

Page 127


said Vicarage, arising within the said Hamlets and Chappelry, shall goe and be allowed for and towards the maintenance of a godly and well affected minister to preach and officiate in the said Chappel." But whatever satisfaction the people of Holmfirth may have derived from this Order was shortlived, for on the Restoration, nine years later, this and other doings of the tribunals of the Commonwealth were deemed null and void and of none effect, and it was not till May 7th, 1858, that the Church was declared, by Order in Council, a perpetual curacy and the area attached to it a distinct parish. The income of the Vicar is stated at £320. It was the goodly custom of our village youths in the days gone by to strew the earthen floors of the church in which they worshipped with reeds or rushes gathered by the sedgy pools of the hamlet. These were generally, when the season served, collected hard upon the day consecrated in the calendar to the saint whose name the sacred edifice bore, and on that day, the day of the village Feast or Wakes,f borne in triumph to the church and scattered in the aisles and pews, a not superfluous ward against agues, rheums, and other like affections. Hence the village Rush- bearings were once, and that within the memory of those not stricken in years, eagerly anticipated by the youths of many a village in this district-Almondbury, Holmfirth, and Saddleworth among the number-and regarded with indulgent complacency by their elders. The rushes were arranged upon a wain in conical form, somewhat resembling a huge hay-cock, and no little art was shown in the binding together of this reedy mound. It was plentifully decorated with flags and emblems, and the village swains, fantastically attired and decked with ribbons and posies, drew it through the village to the portals of the church amid the plaudits of the crowds of friends, neighbours, and sighseers, drawn to this yearly festival by the hospi- tality of the villagers, the rare chance to meet kinsfolk, old neighbours, and friends. A youth bearing a long pole to which a tin vessel or other collection box was

-{ So called from the Vigil of the Saint.

Page 128


attached, clamoured for the guerdons of the crowd, and coppers and small coin were freely given for the behoof of those who had toiled to gather and plait the rushes, pre- pare the cart and drag it on its slow and hazardous pro- cession along the rutty country routes. It was a pleasing custom, observed long after reeds were needed or would have been tolerated on the sacred floor. But it was, I fear, the occasion of not a little excess, followed by the in- evitable brawls, and, like the Maypole dance and other frolic doings of a former age, seems out of harmony with a world grown older and staider if not older and sadder. We have seen that Slaithwaite was largely indebted to the pious care of the Kayes of Woodsome for the res- toration of the Church of St. James. THE CHURCH The Kayes were lords also of the Manor IN of Honley, and to that family the HoxLEy. church there is not a little indebted. Mrs. M. A. Jagger, of Honley, the gifted writer of " Rookery Mill" and other local stories, wrote some years ago an account of the ancient chapel of ease at Honley, which was first published, I believe, in the columns of the Huddersfield Examiner and afterwards re- produced in Yorkshire Notes and Queries. Mrs. Jagger sets forth the Faculty for the Celebration of Mass in the Chapel of Honley, issued in the 18th year of Henry VII., A.D. 1503, a document that will serve to remind us that many to whom the name of Rome is as that of the Scarlet Woman, and to whom the spoliation of vested interests is abhorrent, worship without qualms in structures originally devoted to the Romish cult. * Tromas, by Divine permission, Archbishop of York, Primate of England, and Legate of the Apostolic See, to the beloved children in Christ, the natives of the villages and hamlets of Houndeley, Meltham, and Crosland, in the parish of Almondbury in the diocese of York, to the Inhabi- tants Greeting in our Saviour's embrace. Since we have lately had information from a true source that the real parish church of Almondbury aforesaid is far distant from the hamlets aforesaid, and that the natives and inhabitants

Page 129


of the villages or hamlets, broken down with age and held with various diseases, moreover women labouring with child, and several others of them being far distant, are by no means able to be present to celebrate mass on holy and other festivals of the Saints, and at the canonical hours in the said church in the parish of Almondbury : We, desir- ing to relieve such persons and other inhabitants of the villages and hamlets aforesaid from a great and heavy labour of continually visiting the aforementioned Parish Church of Almondbury, hoping to maintain that they may more frequently offer the accustomed offerings at the Divine Services and for the rest may be free to attend the offices ; In order that in the Chapel of the Blessed Mary of Houndeley aforesaid, founded and created of old, the mass, the canonical hours, and other Divine offices, may be freely and lawfully celebrated in a low voice by some proper chaplain or proper chaplains, the various vestments and expenses being furnished and found ; ye may have power and such man may have power, while however from thence there shall be no injury to the Parish Church of Almondbury aforesaid. To you and your servants for the hearing and to the chaplain or chaplain aforesaid that the celebration of the mass and other offices may be carried out, licence by these presents We grant. May it be confirmed by confirmation to our spiritual benediction. Given under our Seal in our Castle of Cawood on the last but one of March in the year of our Lord one thousand five hundred and three and the third year of our translation." The chapel thus licensed was the religious provision for Honley (including Netherthong), Meltham, and Cros- land. It was called " The Three Nooked Chapel," one corner pointing to Meltham, another to Crosland. The site was given by J ohn Kaye of Woodsome, teste the follow- ing lines formerly to be read upon painted glass under the

Kaye arms in the chapel :-

I John Kaye, Esquire and Justice of the Peace, The ground of this isle doth freely release, To joyn to this chapel for ever and aye That the people may have the more room to praye. If wicked laws come to pull chapel down, Then witness I give to the poor of the town.

Page 130


The chapel, as I have said, was built but a few years before the Reformation, and coming events, casting their shadows before, perhaps suggested to the kind donor the last two lines of the above poetical deed of gift, if one may so describe it. But though the chapel has been " pulled down '"' more than once, both in fact and in metaphor, there is no reason to believe that " the poor of the town "' of Honley have benefited by the demolition to any greater degree than the rest of the inhabitants. The present, the third edifice built on the ancient site, was built 1842- 1843. Mrs. Jagger states that after the Reformation the Roman Catholics of Honley worshipped in a building be- hind the present row of shops on the left side of the church. as you approach the church. The monuments are of no special note. Itis interesting, however, to read in the list of churchwardens for the year 1685 the name " Will. Broke de Honley," sufficient testi- mony, were such needed, that the affection of the Brookes. of Honley for Mother Church is no new growth.

The following lines, quoted by Mrs. Jagger from a stone erected near the entrance to the churchyard to the

memory of May Wood, aged 32 years, are noteworthy if only for the fact that, like the reputed author of the Pentateuch, the writer records her own death :-

Young maidens all who pass this way, Read and reflect on what I say ; Though I am dead, this stone's my tongue, To tell the world my grief and wrong. Could I my grief to you disclose, If you could feel another's woes, You would not carelessly pass by, Or read these lines without a sigh. My tale is short, my words are few Which here record my griefs to you. A wretch in whom truth found no place, Seduced and brought me to disgrace. Despised, forsaken, in despair, My grief was more than I could bear ; To bear my sorrow oft I tried, But sunk beneath at last and died.

Page 131


If e'er the villian pass this way, And read these lines, to him I'll say, Tremble, O wretch, for we shall meet Together at the Judgment Seat.

An epitaph that suggests more pleasing reflections is found on another stone :-

Say what a good wife should be : And she was that.

The annual value of the living is stated at £350 net. The church in Meltham differs from others in the district in the honourable circumstance that it owes its being, not to the munificence of some Tur CHURCH - territorial magnate but to the piety of AT MELTHAM. - men of the yeoman class.* By his will made November Ist, 1649, William Woodhead, a native of Meltham, directed " that 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 church there erected, the yearly sum of forty shillings " ; the same John Water- house gave " lands and cottages in Dobcross for the use of such a preaching minister as should officiate in Meltham Church " ; Godfrey Beaumont, of South Crosland, by his will dated March 31st, 1672, gave lands in Honley and Meltham towards the maintenance of the ministers of those chapels ; and the Rev. Abraham Woodhead, of whom there will be later occasion to make mention, and who, though a clergyman, sprang from the yeoman class, himself was also a benefactor of the church of his native village. The church is also noteworthy from the fact that it was the only episcopal church consecrated during the Presbyterian supremacy. - This sacred service was performed on August 24th, 1651, by Henry Tolson, Bishop of Elphin, in Ireland, a prelate who had been driven from his see by the troubles in that country, and was at that time residing near Dews-

* For fuller information as to the Church there see Hughes : History of the Township of Meltham.

Page 132


bury. In Whitaker's " History of Whalley "* it is stated that " in the time of the Commonwealth, the little Chapel of Cumberworth had a very eminent person for its Incum- bent, 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-in 1651, he says ' But you shall knowe that I am not altogether idle, for I pray after the Directories of the Church of England-and preach every Sunday at a place in the mountains called Cumberworth, two myles beyond Emley, where I have, by the way, Lawrence [Laurence Farrington, Rector of Emley] 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 engagement was past in that parish, I took it to be pointed out to 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 amongst that Moorish and late rebellious plundering people ' "-a reference, this latter phrase, to the spirited part taken by the people of the neighbourhood of Cumberworth on the Parliament side in the Civil War, of which more later. The living of Meltham is now valued at £530. In 1716 it was stated at £34 3s. 6d. Since the days when the parish churches of Hudders- field, Almondbury, Kirkheaton, and Kirkburton, and the ancient chapels of Marsden, Slaithwaite, Holmfirth, Honley, and Meltham supplied the spiritual needs of this district many other edifices have arisen dedicated to divine worship in conformity with the episcopalian mode of discipline. Space permits only the record of these and

* Quoted by Mr. Hughes in his " History of Meltham," p. 443 et seq.

Page 133


such slender particulars as are subjoined :- In THE ANCIENT PARISH OF HUDDERSFIELD.


St. Thomas (Bradley) Holy Trinity St. Andrew St. John Evang.

St. Mark St. Paul St. Thomas St. Stephen (Lindley)

St. Philip, Ap. (Birchencliffe)

All Saints (Paddock)

Christ Church (Woodhouse) St. John, Evang. (Golcar)

St. Mark (Longwood) St. Bartholomew

(Scammonden and Deanhead)



PATRON. or Living. Bishop of Wakefield £157 Simeon's Trustees £410 Trustees £290 Sir J. W. Ramsden, £220 Bart. Trustees £177 Vicar of Huddersfield - £265 L. R. Starkey, Esq. £300 Vicar of Huddersfield - £380 Vicar of Lindley £220 Vicar of Huddersfield - £275 Bishop of Wakefield £300 99 99 £300 39 99 £260 99 99 £ 193


NAME OF CHURCH. St. Paul (Armitage Bridge)

St. Barn. (Crosland Moor) St. David (Holme Bridge) Holy Trinity (South Crosland) Christ Church (Linthwaite) Emmanuel (Lockwood) St. John, Evang. (Newsome) St. Stephen (Rashcliffe) St. James (Meltham Mills) Christ Church (Helme)

St. Luke (Milnsbridge) All Saints (Netherthong) St. Lucius (Farnley Tyas) St. John (Upperthong)

St. Mary (Wilshaw)

PATRON. or Living. Vicar of Almondbury and Devisee of Thos. Brooke £210 Bishop of Wakefield £300 99 99 £2 I 5 Vicar of Almondbury - £268 99 99 £300 99 93 £2 90 Rector of Lockwood £211 9 9 9) £285 Simeon's Trustees £290 C. L. Brook and Vicar of Almondbury £260 Vicar of Almondbury - £300 99 93 £160 Earl of Dartmouth £220 Bishop of Wakefield £216 Simeon's Trustees £380


NAME OF CHURCH. Holy Trinity (Hepworth) Christ Church (New Mill)

Emanuelm (Shelley) St. Paul (Shepley)

St. Thomas (Thurstonland)

PATRON. Vicar of Kirkburton

93 99 39 39 93 93

3 13

or Livinc.

£135 £285 £161 £250 £250

Page 134



St. John (Lepton) Rector of Kirkheaton _ £130 Christ Church (Moldgreen) $» $» £281

All the above churches are in the Archdeaconry of Huddersfield, the Ven. William Donne, M.A., Vicar of Wakefield, being Archdeacon, and the Rev. Canon How, M.A., Vicar of Meltham, being Rural Dean. In connec- tion with several of the churches, mission churches have been established, which, in the fulness of time, may become parish churches.

To what has already been written concerning the ecclesiastical provisions for the district with which this work is concerned must be added some Txr Priory or notice, however brief, of the Priory of KIRKLEES. Kirklees, beautifully situate in exten- sive grounds about three miles from Huddersfield, just off the high road from that town to

Leeds, should be found in these pages, though the interest in this ancient foundation is of course purely historical. The ancient convent of Kirklees was a House of the Cis- tercian Order, which was founded in 1098, at Cisteaux in Burgundy, in protest against the luxury, and worse than luxury, which had, even then, crept into some of the reli- gious houses of the unreformed faith. An offshoot of this order was settled at Kirklees about the reign of Henry II. The site of the nunnery and other lands were granted to the nuns in mortmain, by Rayner le Fleming, Lord of the Manor of Clifton, the deed of endowment being witnessed, inter alios, by Robert de Laci, and granting " to God, St. Mary, and the holy women of Kuthales, the place in which they dwell, :.e., Kuthelaga and Hedneslaya, as the water of the Kalder goes to the mill, and by the road which leads to the old mill to the runlet of the rocky ( ), and so to Blackelana, and from Blackelana to Wagestan, and from Wagestan to the boundary of Liversege, Hertes- hevet and Mirfield, all within the limits named." The charter also conveyed twelve additional acres to be held

Page 135


of the grantor and his heirs for the souls of his fathers and. his ancestors and for his safety and that of his friends-a provision which secured to the pious donor and his family the benefit, which might probably be not so highly esteemed now as in former days, of the prayers of the nuns of Kirklees. In Mr. Hobkirk's History of Huddersfield the reader will find a list of twenty-one Lady Superiors of the Priory, and of the first, Elizabeth de Staynton, and the last, Joan Kepasst, the monuments are still preserved in one of the

former chapels of the convent.


" Sweet Jesus of Nazareth, Son of God, take mercy on Elizabeth Stanton, Prioress of this House ;" the latter behind the altar of Mirfield Church, of which the Prioress of the convent had the advowson : "Dame Joan Kespasst late Nune of Kirklees was buried ye fyfth day of February, Anno Dui mdlxii." During the four centuries of their domicile at Kirk- lees the nuns of Kirklees became considerable landed pro- prietors. Lands held in the dead hand did accumulate. It will not profit to set forth particulars of these holdings, but one may mention certain pieces of land in Shelfe, viz., Wetecroft, Hallcroft, and Northcroft, and common of pasture belonging to the same town, for four hundred sheep by the great hundred (i.e., 120) with as many lambs, and for ten cows and as many calves, and for eight oxen and one horse. And yet people are to be found who maintain that the rights of common destroyed by Enclosure Acts. were of little or no value ! On the Dissolution of the Monasteries under Henry VIII. the Priory of Kirklees shared the common lot. Its lands were confiscated and given by the dissolute monarch to his favourites, or, in the glut of land that marked the period, sold for an old song. The Rectory of Mirfield and the glebe lands, tithes, tithe barn, and the right of pre- sentation to the Vicarage was acquired by Thos. Savile,

Page 136


of Clifton, for £114. The site and precincts of the Priory, the demense lands, about 260 acres in all, were acquired by John Tesburgh and Nicholas Savile for £287 ISS. 7d., subject to a rent charge of 13s. 4d. to the Crown. In the same year (1545) the other property of the Priory was secured by William Ramsden, of Longley, named over and over again in the records of the time as a trafficker in the lands of the despoiled church, and from him they were purchased by John Armitage, of Farnley Tyas, Yeoman, the ancestor of Sir George Armytage, Bart., the present owner of Kirklees. I am indebted for much of the foregoing account to an article in Yorkshire Notes and Quertes, by Mr. S. J. Chadwick. There is a Roman Catholic Church, dedicated to St. Peter, in New North Road, Huddersfield.

Page 137



The Earl of Lancaster's Rising-Waley of Honley-Tyas of Farnley-The Elland Feud-Assize of Arms-Archers-Local Butts-The Poll Tax of Richard II., Local Returns-Subsidy temp. Henry VIII., Local Returns-The Spanish Armada, Some Local Musters-The Civil War-Sir William Savile-Major Beau- mont of Whitley-Royalist Levies in the District-Local Incidents in Civil War-Isaac Wormall-Beaumont Correspondence-Hors- fall of Storthes Hall-Beaumont Composition-Rev. Christopher Richardson-Rev. Richard Sykes-Rev. Abraham Woodhead- Composition of George Beaumont-Of Francis Horne-Of Thomas Pickles-Of Richard Pilkington-Of Thomas Shirecliffie-of Matthew Waterhouse-Of Tho Hirst-Of Sir John Kaye-Parlia-

mentary Muster-Holmfirth Puritans-The Stuart Rebellions Hearth Tax Refurns.

History of Halifax ; Berry : History of the Volunteer Infantry ; Poll Tax Returns, temp. Richard II. ; Subsidy Rolls temp. Henry VIII. ; Froude : History of England ; Lawton: Skelmanthorpe Notes; Annals of York- shire; Macray: Beaumont Papers; Yorkshire Compositions ; Hughes: History of Meltham ; Jagger: St. Mary's, Honley ; Morehouse: Kirkburton ; Ismay : Diary ; Tomlinson : Notes ; Macaulay : England ; Hearth Tax Returns.

vicinity, as distinguished from the history of their manorial lords, can scarcely be said to have left any impress upon national or local records until the time of the Civil Wars. It is true that before that period there is evidence that in very early days the people had already become known as makers of cloth, and I shall narrate in later pages the humble beginnings of the staple industry. But apart from this one finds but little evidence of concerted action of the inhabitants prior to the Stuart era. What part the people took in historic doings they took as the vassals of their territorial lords. Thus we read that when the great Earl of Lancaster, lord of the Manor of Huddersfield, "one of the mightiest earls in Christendom," rebelled against the King in 1322, many of his sub-tenants in this district followed his fortunes and were involved in his fall.

THE history of the people of Huddersfield and its

Page 138


Richard Waley, lord of Honley, more fortunate than his feudal chief, escaped the axe of the executioner; but his lands was confiscated, and he was fain to pay a fine of 2,000 marks in money, a heavy sum in those days. Henry Tyes, Lord of Farneley-whence the name Farnley Tyas- and of Slaithwaite, also fought under the Earl's banner, and on the suppression of the rising was condemned of high treason and executed, his lands being escheat to the Crown. Sir Robert Beaumont, of Crosland Hall, Hugh of Quarmby, Lockwood of Lockwood, also were among the adherents of the great Earl: The lord of the Manor of Wakefield, in which, as we have seen, Holmfirth was included, was the Earl Warren, and Warren was a sup- porter of the King, and Sir John de Eland, or, as we now spell the word, Elland, was the steward of Earl Warren. Not merely political differences existed between the Earl of Lancaster and Earl Warren. Alice, the wife of the former lord, was abducted, nothing loth it was thought, by Warren. Three hundred years after both lords and lady, and those whom their feud involved in partisan strife, had mouldered to dust, some poetaster set to verse a story that should interest us if only as illuminative of the times when, as we read, " If any earl or great man found him- self aggrieved by another, they frequently got together all their men at arms or knights that held of them, their other tenants and poor dependents, and as much assistance from their friends and confederates as they could, and burnt each others houses, etc." The verses are of inordinate length and were first published about the year 1650, having probably for many generations been recited by the minstrels who wandered from hall to castle and from camp to camp. The Sir Robert Beaumont mentioned in the first of the verses I extract was son of Sir William de Beau-

mont, of Whitley, and married Grace, daughter and heiress

of Sir Edward Crossland, of Crossland.

Some time there dwelt at Crossland Hall A kind and courteous knight, It was well known that he withal Sir Robert Beaumont hight.*

- * Was called.

Page 139


At Eland Sir John Eland dwelt Within the manor hall, The town his own, the parish held Most part upon him all.

He raised the country round about, His friends and tenants all, And for this purpose picked out, Stout, sturdy men, and tall. _

To Quarmby Hall* they came by night, And there the lord they slew, At that time Hugh of Quarmby hight, Before the country knew.

To Lockwood, then, the self-same night, They came, and there they slew Lockwood of Lockwood, that wiley knight, That stirr'd the strife anew.

When they had slain thus suddenly Sir Robert Beaumont's aid, To Crossland they came craftily, Of nought they were afraid.

The hallt was water'd well about, No wight might enter in ; Till that the bridge was well laid out, They durst not enter in.

Before the house they could invade, In ambush they did lodge, And watch'd a wench, with wiley traite, Till she let down the bridge.

A siege they set, assault they made Heinously to the Hall ; The Knight's chamber they did invade, And took the Knight withal.

And this is for most certainty That slain before he was, He fought against them manfully, Unarmed as he was.

* The house still stands at Quarmby, and if the curious inquire in the neighbourhood he will probably be told it was once inhabited by the Kings of Quarmby. { Crossland Hall, too, may still be seen at South Crosland.

Page 140


His servants rose, and still withstood, And struck with might and main ; In his defence they shed their blood, But all this was in vain.

The lady cry'd and shriek'd withal, Whenas from her they led Her dearest knight into the hall And there cut off his head.

The poem goes on to narrate that the murderers demanded meat, ale, wine, and bread. These were set before them by the affrighted household. The two sons of Sir Robert Beaumont were bid to dry their tears and sit at board with the men whose hands were red with their father's blood. The younger complied, but Adam, the elder, refused "right sturdily," and when Sir John Elland gave him bread cast it from him, whereupon Sir John vowed "he would weed out the offspring of his blood as they weed out the weed from corn." On the morrow Lady Beaumont fled with her sons to Brereton, where she had friends. The youths were brought up at Brereton Green, where also sons of the murdered Quarmby and Lockwood had found refuge and protection. There, too, was a son of the great house of de Laci. Young Lock- wood burned to avenge his father's tragic end, and the other youths may be assumed to have been not less eager. They took counsel with two " countrymen," Dawson and Haigh, of Quarmby, probably humble retainers of the great house there, and from them they learned that on a certain day duty would take Sir John Eland to Brighouse " turn ' or leet, doubtless the Court Leet of the manor. They planned to waylay him :- In Cromwell Bottom Wood they lay, A number with them mo, Armed they were in good array, A spy they had also, To spy the time when Eland came From Brighouse Turn that day. Sir John rode into the ambush, and seeing the hostile array, " val'd his bonnet " and spoke them courteously. But Adam Beaumont declared his parentage and fell upon

Page 141


Sir John, who made gallant defence, but was killed. The conspirators Beaumont, Lockwood, Quarmby, and Lacy, fled to Furness, where they lived as outlaws, till they conceived the affair had blown over. Their vengeance was not sated, for the son of Sir John de Eland lived in the manor house there, happily married. They compassed his death. On Ralm Sunday, " about the mirk midnight," they concealed themselves in Eland miln. Now it chanced that- The young knight dreamt, the self-same night, With foes he were besped,

That fiercely battled them to fight, Against him in his bed.

He told his lady soon of this, But as a thing most vain, She weigh'd it light, and said, '" I wis We must to church certain." To church the knight, his lady, and servants repaired, passing the miln-house on their way. Here Beaumont and his friends fell upon them, and Elland fell, shot through the head by an arrow from the bow of William of Lock- wood. His young son and heir, too, fell mortally wounded. The conspirators fled to Ainley Wood, pursued by the people of Elland- Whittle, and Smith, and Rimmington, Bury, with many mo,

As brimme as boars they made them bown Their lord's enemies to slow.

They overtook their quarry in Ainley Wood. Quarmby was pierced by an arrow. Lockwood bore him off into the depths of the wood, where he was found by the Elland men and despatched. Adam Beaumont betook himself to Crossland Hall and there defied his enemies. Lockwood sought shelter at Canon Hill. There he became involved in an intrigue with the daughter of the tenant of that mansion. Bosville, the owner of Canon Hall, was also Sheriff of the county, and he surprised Lockwood dallying with the maiden, who proved not less false than fair; for Lockwood made a stout defence and would have made good his escape had not his mistress cut

Page 142


his bow-string. Thereupon he surrendered and was put to death " to the utter exterpation of the ancient family of Lockwood of Lockwood." Adam Beaumont, more fortunate, contrived to flee the country. He offered his sword to the Knights of Rhodes and fought, with no mean command, in defence of the Christian faith, in the kingdom of Hungary, against the Turks. He was dubbed a Knight of Rhodes, and out of Hungary wrote a letter to Jenkyn Dixon, of Hole (Hoyle) House, narrating his adventures, successes, and honours. He fell in one of the numerous engagements against the infidel, and so honourably ended a bloody and turbulent life.* That the ballad of the Elland Feud is based upon fact is abundantly estabiished by the Assize Rolls of 1353, which sets forth the indictment of Robert Booth of Holmfirth, his brother Richard, Matthew Hepworth of Hnddersfield, Thomas Lister of Almondbury, and Rudolph of Skelmanthorpe, for sheltering William de Lockwood and Adam Beaumond, knowing them to have killed John de Eland and to be outlawed ; of Edmund de Flokton for sheltering Adam de Beaumond ; Thomas Molot de Wakefield for assisting Thomas Lasey; John de Shellay for sheltering William de Lockwood, Adam Beaumond and others at Brighouse. The jury found the prisoners Not Guilty." A pillar now standing in a field at Salendine Nook, and known as Haigh's Cross, is supposed to commemorate the feud. It is inscribed :

QUARMBY'S DE QUARMBY CREST. I 304. The reader will observe that the people of Elland *' made them bown, their lord's enemies to slow," in other words, betook themselves to the then national armour for the rank and file, their bows (bowen) and arrows. In

* See Crabtrec's History of Halifax, 438-452.

Page 143


perusing the account of this ancient vendetta we must not forget that our ancestors were their own army, both for private offence and defence and against external foes. The feudal system required that every freeman should be a soldier. The Assize of Arms of 1181 had provided that every military tenant should be armed, not, as theretofore, just as completely, or as slenderly, as his caprice, his pride, or his parsimony inclined him, but should be furnished . with a coat of marl and a lance, and that his followers should be clad in habergeon (a sort of steel or iron waist- coat protecting breast and back), an iron skull cap, and should bear a lance. Itinerant judges of the Assize at Arms visited each manor and saw to it that each freeman had equipped himself in conformity with his rank and means.* A statute of Henry VIII., in its preamble, throws a vivid light upon the martial exercises of our forefathers : " The Kyng, our Soverign Lord, callyng to his most noble and generous remembrance how by the feate and exercise of the subjecttes of this his realme in shotying in long bowes there hath contynually growen and been within the same grete nombre and multitude of good archers which hath not only defended this realme and the sub- jecttes thereof against the cruell malice and danger of their outeward enemys in tyme heretofore passed, but also with litell nombre and puyssance in regarde have done many notable actes and discomfitures of warre against the infideles and others, and furthermore subdued and reduced dyverse and many reygons and countrees to due obeysaunce, to the grete honour, fame, and suretie of this realme, and to the terrible drede and fere of all strange nacions any thyng to or all attempts to do the hurte or damage of thyme of any of them." The statute proceeds to enact that every man " not lame, decreperte, or maymed beyng withyn the age of lx yeres ' shall have a " bowe and arrowe redy contynually in his house to use

himself and do use himself in shotying " ; he was also to '' teche and bring upp his children and servants in the

* See Berry : History of the Volunteer Infantry, 16.

Page 144


knowledge of the same shotying." " Buttes were to be made '" in every citie, towne, and place " and maintained at the common charge. The people of Meltham to this day are familiar with the name " Popley Butts " ; and the old Manuscript Book at Woodsome mentions " a chappell of old tyme, in the lane above the Butts at St. Elyn well." The earlier events in the feud between the lords of Elland, Quarmby, and Crossland are all assumed to have occurred about the time of the Earl of Lancaster's rising, :.e., about the year 1320. It will be interesting to study at this point certain Returns that enable us to guage the population of Huddersfield and the parts adjacent about this period. In the year 1379, some half-a-century after the Elland Feud, the Commons granted to King Richard II. a Poll Tax, or tax upon each poll or head. One may observe in passing that in country districts people still talk of going to the barber to have their heads polled. The levy seems to have been at the rate of 4d. upon each person, " not a notorious mendicant,"' over the age of sixteen. The student of history will scarce need to be reminded that the attempt of a collector of the tax to verify the age of a young girl led to Wat Tyler's re- bellion, or rather should one say that attempt was the spark that fired a train long laid ? In my " History of Huddersfield and its Vicinity " I have set out the returns of the collectors for this district in detail. It will suffice here to transcribe a summary of them :-

Villata. Inhabitants. Levied. Remarks. £ s. d. Hoderfeld - Adult males 44 19 4 - The List comprises a ,, females 36 Marchant (Johanes

de Mirfield) who is taxed at 6d.; a Smyth at 6d.; a Souter or Shoe- maker at 6d.; a Jaylour at a ffarmer at 12d.; and the others, whose

Page 145


Villata. Inhabitants. - Levied. Remarks. £ s. d. occupation is not specified but who were probably hus- bandmen, at 4d.

Almonbury Adult males 24 Io 8 A Wright is taxed at ,, females 20 6d. ; a Smyth at 6d. ; the rest at 4d. Ffarnelay - Adult males 10 7 4 - Johannes Kay, Tyas ,, females 11 ffirankeleyn - (yeo-

man), is taxed at 40d. ; the rest at 4d This John Kay was of Woodsome Hall, and a descendant, Elizabeth Kay, four hundred years later. married the Hon. Geo. Legge, and became ancestress of the Earls of

Dartmouth. Whytelay - Adult males 16 6 1o A Taylour is taxed ,, females 13 at 6d. ; the rest at 4d. Byrton Adult males 18 8 8 ,, females 22 Heton Adult males 20 8 4 ,, females 13 North Adult males 16 6 2 One Cattle Dealer is Crosseland - ,, females 14 taxed at 12d. ; and

one Smyth at 6d. ; the others at 4d. Crosseland- Adult males 14

fosse ,, females 8 Querenby - Adult males 39 (Quarmby) ,, females 32

Hauneley - Adult males 23 ,, females 22 Meltham Adult males 20 ,, females 11 Holmfirth - Adult males 83 ,, females 84 Slackthwayt Adult males 12 ,, females 9

Page 146


A perusal of the list establishes that families bearing surnames now common in the district were already, six hundred years ago, settled in the neighbourhood. We have the familiar names of Boothroyd, Hanson, Black- burn, Greenwood, Milner, Rose, Hudson, Copley, Brook (By-the-Broke, in the Lists), Batley, Rayner, Vicars, Cooper, Haigh, Brown, Bate, Moorcock (Mocock, in the Lists), Walker, Lindley, Dyson, in the Huddersfield Returns; Thorpe, Newsome, Taylor, Wood, Hudson, Walker, Hepworth, Halliday, Longley, White, in the Almondbury ; Kaye, Tyas, Dyson, Dawson, in the Farnley Tyas; Green, Shepherd, Adamson, Palmer, Hirst, Fox, in the Whitley ; Taylour, Mallinson, Jones, Priestman, - Dickenson (Diconson), Walker, North, Mitchell, in the Burton ; Wood, Burley, Copley, Thomson, Brown, Scott, Bryce, in the Heaton; Armitage (Army- tache), Denton, Rowley, Dickinson, Milner, Crossland, Day, More, in the North Crossland ; Crossland, Denton, Lockwood (Lokewood), Dyson, Bradley, Smith, Walker, in the Crosslandfosse ; Turner, Thewlis, Mason, Wood, Batley, Bate, Denton, Hoyle, Naylor, Moore, Dawson, Hirst, Dalton, Thomson, Collier, Lockwood, Copley, Whitacre, (Qwytacres), Jackson, in the Quarmby ; Cooper, Dean, Judson, Hall, Wilson, Walker, Hanson, in the Honley ; Goodman, Mellor, Dickenson, Smithson, in the Meltham ; and Atkinson, Cooper, Rhodes, Coldwell, Smith, Moor- house, Edmundson, Lindley, Tinker (Thynker); Green, Hinchliffe (Hyncheclyff), Wade, Booth, Naylor, Taylor, Wood, Hill, Littlewood, Green, Slater, Jepson, Broad- head, Burnett, Ramsden, Mallinson, Brownhall, Tinker, (Tynger), Jackson, Hoyle, in the Holmfirth; Lumb (Lymbe) and Hoyle (Hole) in the Slaithwaite. In all the population there is mention of but one merchant, one yeoman, one farmer, one cattle dealer, two wrights, three smiths, and two taylours. There is no hint of anyone engaged in the now staple industry, unless the Taylours were so engaged. From the time of Richard II.'s Poll Tax to the days of Henry VIII., when, in 1523, the Commons granted to the

Page 147


King a subsidy upon lands, goods, and wages, a period of some one hundred and fifty years elapsed. The subsidy was granted to enable Henry to prosecute the war with France "for the conservation of his honour, and for the avenging of the wrongs to his highness and his sub- The unit of the levy was the mark of 13s. 4d., and the term " five marchlands "' meant lands assessed at five marks, £3 6s. 8d. The Returns of the Collectors are as



follows :- HUDDERSFIELD-CUM-BRADLEY. Assessment. NAME. Lands. Goods. Wages. - Tax. £ s. d. £s. d. s. d. Arthur Pilkyngton ... 40 o 40 Thomas Cay for...... 40 20 John Hirst of the Gled- - holtt ............. I0 o 5 o John Hirst of the Greynhed for ...... 16 o o 8 o Edward Cowper for 8 march guds........ 5 6 8 2 8 John Hirst of the town 2 I _o Kateune Cowper, wydow ........... 2 O I _ James Hirst, of Smythed ......... Pe I _ o William Brooke, of Bradlay .......... 6 o 3 Thomas Brooke. ..... 3 O0 1 6 William Brooke and John his Son. ...... 6 o o 3 o Thomas 2 I _ o The Wyff of Thomas Steyd............. P I _ o John Brooke of the Barkhouse ........ 2 o I _ o Humfray Brooke..... 2 O de Edward Brooke, of ........ 6 o o 3 - Edward Brooke, of Blakhouse......... Pe I - o

Edmund Brooke, of Greynhouse .......


Page 148


Assessment. NAME. Lands. Goods. Wages. - Tax.

£ s. d. £s. d. £ s. d. s. d.

Thomas Brooke, of Yathouse ....... e Thomas Armitage .... Roger Cay .......... John Cay ........... 5 O0 Trolisse Brodlay ..... I George Choppell ..... I Richard Dodworth ... I Richard Gaukroger... I

From this it will be seen that in Huddersfield-cum- Bradley, only two persons, Arthur Pilkyngton and John Cay, are taxed as owners of landed estate. The bulk are assessed for goods, and three persons for wages. The Brookes, Hirsts, and Armitages have displaced the families of the earlier subsidy roll, of whom only the

Coopers remain.

n A N o o O0 O o i H N »

0 O

0 O O oa a a

0 - O O

ALMONDBURRY. Assessment. NAME. Lands. Goods. Wages. - Tax. £ s. d. £s. d. fs. d. s. d John Wodd ......... 10 I0 Gilbert Beaumond .... 6 o o 3 o Nicolas Feney, 5 march lands ............. 3 6 8 3 4 Richard Appelyard, 5 march lands 3 6 8 3 4 Peter Cay for........ 1 6 8 I 4 Jenet Cay........... I O0 I John Lokwod........ 5 o o 2 6 John Perkyn ........ I I William Alderslay. ... 2 O0 2 Robert Francis. ...... 2 O0 I- I Thomas Hepworth ... 2 O0 I

It will be noticed that in " Almondburry " the bulk of the taxation is in respect of lands, in Huddersfield in regard of goods, from which it may be inferred Hudders- field was now assuming the character of a place of ex- change or mart. In 1538, John Wood, of Longley, died, leaving a daughter and co-heiress, Johanna, who had

Page 150

Mevd. Ebristopher Hichardson, t. A. (Trin. Coll., Camb.),



Page 151



married in 1531 William Ramsden, son of Robert Ramys- den, of Elland, and thus apparently began the connection

of that family with Huddersfield. is still preserved in Almondbury.

The name of Parkin

WHITLAY. Assessment. NAME. Lands. Goods. Wages. - Tax. £ s. d. £s. d. £s. d. s. d. Richard Beamond, 40 march ............ 26 I4 26 8 Thomas Whitlay ..... 13 6 8 I3 4 William Helweys. .... I o o 6 Roger Copelay....... I o 6 FERNELAY TYAS. Assessment. NAME. Lands. Goods. Wages. - Tax. £ s. d. fs. d. £s. d. s. d. William Rischworth.. 10 o o 5 Charles Cay ......... 8 o o 4 Thurston Cay ........ 2 O I o "Thomas Snappe...... 2 I KIRKBURTON Is NOT MENTIONED. KIRKHEATON. Assessment. NAME. Lands. Goods. Wages. - Tax. £ s. d. fos. d. fs. d. s. d. Christopher North .... 2 I o CROSLAND. Assessment. NAME. Lands. Goods. Wages. - Tax. £ s. d. £s. d. £s. d. s. d. Edmund Cay........ 2 2 John Beaumond ..... 1 6 8 I 4 William 5 2 6 Edmund Dyson...... 5 2 6 Roger Hirst ......... 3 I 6 Thomas Armitage .... 4 O0 4 William Hirst of Th' Armitage ......... 8 o o 4 .Niccolas Morton ...... I0 5 John Tunnyclyff ..... Pe I - o 2 I

John Cay of the Yatte

Page 152


146 WHARNEBY (QUARMBY). Assessment. NAME. Lands. Goods. Wages. - Tax. £ s. d. £s. d. £s. d. s. d. Richard Lokwodd.... 6 12 4 6 8 Thomas Hanson ..... IQ O 9 6 John Dyson ......... 20 10 Robert Hirst ........ 13 6 8 6 8 Edward I0 O 5 O George Hoyll ........ Pe I o Richard Hey ........ I o 6 Robert Denton ...... 2 O I _o George Thewles ...... 2 I _o George Dyson ....... 2 O0 I _o HONLAY. Assessment. NAME. Lands. Goods. Wages. - Tax. £ s. d. £s. d. £s. d. s. d. Thomas Taylyor ..... 8 o o 4 Roger 8 o o 4 Henry Wilson ....... 2 I MELTHAM. Assessment. NAME. Lands. Goods. Wages. - Tax £ s. d. £s. d. £s. d. s. d. John Beamond ...... I I Adam Cay .......... I O0 dle Robert Beamond .... 2 O0 I John Taylyor........ 2 I Edmund Greyn ...... 4 O 2 John Armitage ...... I0 5 HOLMEFYRTH. Assessment. NAME. Lands. Goods. Wages. - Tax. £ s. d. fs. d. fs. d. s. d. William Moerhouse. .. 18 o o 9 o William Banke ...... I I Oliver Robert ....... 1 6 8 I 4 Richard Charlysworth 1 10 o I 6 John Brodhed I I0 I 6 John Moerhouse ..... 1 6 8 I 4 John Poolay......... I I Robert Brueshay ..... 1 6 8 I 4

Page 153


Assessment. NAME. Lands. Goods. Wages. - Tax. £ s. d. £s. d. £s. d. s. d John Cay ........... 1 6 8 I 4 Richard Littylwodd.. 1 6 8 4 Richard Littylwodd, I O0 Edmund Brodhed.... 1 o o I John Lytylwodd, of the Hill. ....... (.-. I o ) dle Thomas Hynchlyff, of the Crosse. ...... .. I O0 I John Tynkar, of the Scolls ............ I O0 I John Greyn, of Cart- worth ............ 2 O0 I George Caslay ....... 1 6 8 I 4 William Lyttylwodd.. 1 6 8 I 4 John Litylwodd, of Yatholme ......... I o I _ o John Cay, of the Hill . . 4 O0 2 John Morehouse, of Lidyatte .......... I o 6 John 2 I o John Bever.......... 2 6 8 I 2 Thomas Genne....... I O0 I Laurence 1 6 8 I 4 Richard Gryme ...... 2 I Peter Gryme ........ 2 O0 I Robert Hynchclyffe .. 2 O0 I

It will be remarked that the Morehouses, Tinkers, and Littlewoods, still retain, in Holmfirth, the prominence observable in the earlier records. SLAGHTWATT (SLAITHWAITE).

Assessment. NAME. Lands. - Goods. Wages. Tax. £ s. d. £ s. d. £ s. d. s. d James Sykes ........ 5 o 2 6 Barnard Campynott.. 2 I MARSDEN. (Not mentioned in the Subsidy Roll of Richard II.) Assessment. NAME. Lands. Goods. Wages. Tax. £ s. d. fs. d. £ s. d. s. d John Mellor ......... 2 I o 2 I

John Shay ..........

Page 154


The above Returns afford a sufficient indication of the condition of Huddersfield and its vicinity in the reign of Henry VIII. ; and we are warranted in assuming that it was much the same in the days when his daughter, Eliza- beth, sat upon the throne and the Spanish Armada set sail upon its expedition for the subjugation and conversion of England. The Spanish looked for an easy victory if -a big could but evade or overpower the English fleet, and disembark their troops on English soil. " Thirty years of peace," writes Froude,* " were supposed abroad to have emasculated the once warlike English nation, and to so have enamoured the people of quiet, that they had no longer energy to defend their own firesides If their vigour was unimpaired it was held certainly that they must want skill and experience. Their peculiar weapon, the long bow, though it had not yet become a toy for the playground, could no longer decide a battle in the face of muskets and cannon ; and ardent Catholic Europe expected confidently that in collision with the trained regiments of Spain or France, the English militia would break in pieces at the first encounter. _. . _. The Prince of Parma knew better what the country was made of. Although the hundred beef-eaters at Court constituted the only permanently existing force in the service of the Government, yet English and Spanish soldiers had en- countered in many a hard fight on the Antwerp dykes or in the open field, and man to man the Spaniards could claim no superiority. He (Parma) had experienced at Sluys that their engineering skill was not contemptible. He knew, perhaps, to use the language of a writer, who, after his own people, respected the Spaniards above all other nations in the world, that ' the English had always been, and at the present were, a free people, such as in few or no other realms were to be found the like, by which freedom was maintained a valiant courage in that people.' Flanders, France, and Ireland had been training schools where many thousands of Englishmen of all ranks had

* Froude: History of England, xii., 351.

Page 155


learnt the art as well as the practice of war; while for the last eight years the militia had been carefully trained in the use of the modern weapons. Volunteer military schools had been established all over the country, gentle- men who had served abroad drilling the sons of knights and squires. Three hundred London merchants who had seen service took charge of the City corps, and the example, it is likely, was imitated in other towns ; while along the coast the privateering trade had made lessons in fighting a part of the education of every high-spirited lad. " In this way for eight years all England had been in preparation for the day of trial. .. . . And thus it was, that when the long-talked-of peril was at the doors, and the people were called on to take their harness to resist invasion, a hundred thousand men, well officered and appointed, were ready at a day's notice to fall into their companies and move wherever they were wanted. In the uncertainty where the Spaniards would land they were left at their homes, but with their line of action accurately laid down. The musters of the midland counties, thirty thousand strong, were to form a separate army for the defence of the Queen's person, and were directed to assemble on the first note of alarm between Windsor and Harrow. The rest were to gather to the point of danger. The coast companies had orders to fall back, wherever the enemy landed, removing the corn and cattle, and avoiding a battle till the force of the neighbouring counties joined them." That this district took its due share in the national duty of defence there can be no room to doubt. In a booklet entitled " Historical Notes of Skelmanthorpe and District,'"' the author of which, Mr. Fred Lawton, has done me the honour of appropriating, without acknowledg- ment, numerous sections of my " History of Huddersfield and Its Vicinity," I find mention of a muster at Barnsley on December 4th, 1587, of a corps, under the command of Richard Wortley and George Woodruff, of those in the localities undermentioned who were in readiness to encounter the Spaniard if and when he should approach

Page 156


these regions The letter a indicates an arquebusier, b a billman, c, one armed with a culiver or firearm. Hicx HovyLAND.

Private Men-p John Weste, b Robert Bilclifie. Town Soldier-c Robert Smythe.

INGBIRCHWORTHE. Private Men-p John Mickelthwaite, Raufe Charlesworthe, his man. Town Soldiers-p John Mickelthwaite, the younger, Godfraye Swydinge, his man.

DENBYE. Private Men-p Thomads Jenkynson, Richard Wilkinson, his man, p John Michell. Town Soldiers-a Raufe Clayton, c Lawrance Hawksworthe, c Richard Owdom.

SKELMANTHORPE. Private Men-a Raufe Burdit. Town Soldier-a Amore Lockwoode.

Crayton West. Private Men-p Peter Hawcksworthe, Thomas Hawcksworthe,

his man, p Richard Clayton, his sone, his man. Town Soldiers-p Henrye Ellis, a Matthew Oxleye. By " Town Soldier" we are probably to understand a member of the Train Bands which, at a later date, proved so useful to the Parliamentary cause during the Civil War. The services of these musters were not required, though it may well be that the knowledge that the manhood of England lay ready to encounter the Spaniard, should he succeed in evading the English fleet, may have deterred those who had placed their loyalty to the Bishop of Rome above their allegiance to their sovereign from any attempt at an internal rising. The defeat of the Armada left England the undisputed mistress of the seas, the acknowledged head of the Protestant powers of Europe, and in a position to regard with indifference the plots and ambitions of her Con- tinental ill-wishers. The position and prerogative of the Crown seemed more securely based than at any time in the history of the country. The Catholics had lost all heart for intrigue against a Protestant dynasty, the

Page 157


danger that had menaced from Spain had united against a common foe the Church of England and the schismatics ; commerce flourished, and James I. succeeded, on the death of Elizabeth, to the throne of a loyal and contented nation. Yet but forty years were to elapse e'er the country was torn by the acutest religious dissensions, and all that was most considerable in the middle and lower classes was arrayed in arms against the King. To attempt to set forth the causes that led to the Civil War, still more to attempt to justify or condemn one side or the other of the contending forces, were utterly beyond the scope and purview of this work. It is sufficient for the present purpose to set forth, with what fulness the records that have survived the ravages of time and the still more fatal consequences of indifference and neglect permit, the part played in the struggle by the people of this district. It must not be forgotten that there was no standing army in the country when Charles I. unfurled his standard at Nottingham. The King relied for the support of his cause upon the landed proprietors, whom alike the tenure of their estates, their affection for the Episcopal Church, and the traditions of their class, might be counted on to rally to his aid. The leaders of the Parliamentary cause found their most devoted adherents in the centres of commerce and among the Puritan, or, as we should say, Dissenting ministers and their flocks. The commander of the Royalist forces in the West Riding was Sir William Savile, Bart., lord of the manor of Golcar. This gentleman, who had been nominated on the Council of the North, and whose devotion to Charles I. and approval of the policy pursued by that monarch under the baleful influence of Laud and Wentworth may there- fore be safely assumed, had served in 1639, the year before King and Parliament came to blows, in the expedition against the Scots. He sat for Yorkshire in the Short Parliament, and when the Civil War broke out he was among the foremost in the Royal cause. He held Leeds and Wakefield for the King, Bradford being in the posses- sion of Sir Thomas Fairfax, the Parliamentary General.

Page 158


On January 23rd, 1643, Fairfax set forth from Bradford for Leeds. He had with him six troops of horse, three companies of dragoons, one thousand musketeers, and two thousand clubmen, men armed with staves, scythes, or such rude weapons of offence as came opportune to their hands. A trumpeter was despatched to Sir William Savile, requiring the town to be delivered into the hands of Fairfax for the Parliament, to which Sir William returned a disdainful answer. The Parliamentary guard then approached the town on the south-west side, with colours flying, to begin the assault, which commenced about one o'clock in the afternoon ; and in two hours the Royalists were driven from their works and their cannoniers killed. Sir Thomas Fairfax, his brother Sir William, Sir Henry Fontis, and Captain Forbes cut their way through all opposition, and, entering the town sword in hand, at the head of their troops, soon got possession of the place, where they,found two brass cannons, with a good store of ammunition. They made many prisoners among whom were six officers. There were about forty-six slain. Sir William Savile fled, and escaped being taken by crossing the river, but Serjeant-Major Beaumont was drowned in making the attempt.f I have found no record of the force that constituted the garrison of Leeds, but it is possible that Sir William Savile had with him some members of the Train Band referred to in the Beaumont papers published by the Rev. W. D. Macray, M.A., F.S.A., a collection of interesting documents preserved at various times by members of the family of Beaumont of Whitley-Beaumont. Amongst these was found a " Shedull indented conteyning ye names of 150 footmen of the Regiment of Sir Henry Savile, Baronett, delivered to Sir John Ramsden, Kunt., for his Company within the said Westz [iding], the viith day of April, 1626." _ The letters C and M probably mean culverin and musqueteer.

{ °" Annals of Yorkshire," 74.

Page 159


ALMoNnNBURY Con. John Blackburn, cor. (cornet) Nicholas Horsfall, m. William Eastwood, c. John Haigh, m. John Bestwicke, c. PrRI. John Farrer, c. Edw. Hanson, m. John Key, m. John Northe, m. Thomas Bynne, m.

CrROsLAND Harr-Con.

William Dyson, c. John . . .dfield, m. Nich . . . . schante, c. HUppERsSFIELD Com. Isaac Wormall, c. Ric. Heaton, c. Edw. Brooke, c. John Ramsley, m. Gilberte Eastwood, c. Tho. Greaves, m. James Butterworth, c. PrRI. Tho. Brooke, c. Ed. Brooke and Edw. Brooke, c. William Brooke, c George Brooke, c. of Hillhouse. Ric. Audsley, m. John Hirst, m.

Widow Hirst, of

Greenhed, m. MarspEN Com.

Stephen Shawe, c. Edw. Marsden, m. Tho. Halne, c. Edw. Haigh, m. William Firth, c. John Marsden, m. PrRI. Geo. Woodhead, c. James Woodhead, m. MELtHam Harr-Con. William Shaw, c. James Woodhead, m. PrRI. Edw. Taylor, c. John Lockwood, c. Geo. Woodhead, c. Humfry Beaumont, m. CUMBERWORTH HALF-Conm. PrRI. Thos. Oxley, c. George Greene, c. Tho. Hirst, m. Tho. Coldwell, m. Darton Con. PrRI. John Northe, c. Arthur Longley, c. George Lee, m. Tho. Hirst and Tho. Beaumont, m. Rich. Brooke, m. Edw. North, m. Barthol. M . . . and m

Matthew Blackburne

Page 160



FArRNLEY TIAs Con. John Thewlis, c. Tho. Slater, m.


John Walker, c. John Sikes, m.


Geo. Lockwood, m.

James Sikes, c;

Ric. Walker, m.


John Littlewood, c. Rich. Batty, c. William Rowley, c. Tho. Beardsall, c.

James Genn, c. John Littlewood, c. Humfrey Brooke, c. Jo. Kay, c.

Henry Jackson, m.


John Hepworthe, c. Henry Morton, m.


John Hepworth, c. George Stafforth, m.

Ric. Beaumont, m.

Ric. Hepworth, junior, and Widow Horsfall


Roberte Chappell, c. John Sikes, m. Stephen Crosley, m.


William Haigh, c. William Hirst, c. Edmund Dyson, m. William Hawkyeare, m. John Anleye [m].

Tho. Crosland, c. Ric. Walker, m. Tho. Denton, m.


Edw. Hanson, c. William Aneld, c. John Hirst, m. Arthur Hey [m].

John Hirst, c. Edmund Hagh, m. Jo. Dawson, m.


Tho. Arthure, c.

William Roide, c. Michael Morehouse, c. Oliver Robert, c. Luke Firthe, c. James Greene, c. (de novo) John Farrer, m.

Godfrey Castle, c. Tho. Mathewman, c. John Hinchliffe, c. John Hirst, c. William Walker, c. Rich. Ellis, m.

Page 161


John Rayner, c. John Ritson, c. Michael Drake, m. John Green, m. LErProN Con. William Sike, c. Edw. Hirst, m. Edw. Wood, m. PRI. John Ramsden, c. John Wood, c. William Cooke, c. WurttTLEy Con. Rich. Lodge, m. George Brooke, m. Edward Wortley, m. Joseph Jessopp, m. PrRI.

William Hepworth, m. William Morehous, m.

SHELLEY CoM. Matthew Wood, c. Jo. Coggin, alias Stringer, c. PrRrI.

John Hey and Jo. Roebuck, m. John Mosley, m. Jo. Tincker, m. THURsTONLAND CoM. George Barber, c. Jo. Lockwood, m. PRI.

Rich. Horsfall, m. John Walker, m. Tho. Lockwood, m. Clargie men within the same precinct to be trained. Mr. Geo. Crosland, Vicar of Almonbury, m. Mr. Edw. Hill, Vicar of Huddersfield, m. Mr. Gamaliel Whittacre, Vicar of Burton, m. Mr. Alexander Stock, Parson of Kirkheaton, m. The Rev. Edmund Hill, A.M., was Vicar of Hudders- field from 1619 to 1652, the Rev. Geo. Crosland was in- ducted Vicar of Almondbury in April, 1598. As his suc- cessor, the Rev. John Crosland, died in 1644, it is clear the Muster Lists given above were compiled before the actual outbreak of the Civil War, though it is likely many of

the men named took part in this conflict.

Page 162


The Rev. Gamaliel Whitaker, Vicar of Kirkburton, suffered severely at the hands of the Parliament forces. There had been, in the first days of the wars, an officer in the Royalist Army named John Firth, commanding a troop raised by Bosville, of Gunthwaite Hall, in the King's interest. The troop was a thousand strong, and every trooper stood at least six feet in his boots. Firth was one of the garrison at Nottingham Castle what time George Fox, the Quaker preacher, was confined there, and the exhortings of the prisoner had such an effect upon his gaoler that he joined the Society of Friends and retired to his homestead at Shepley Lane Head. He was pro- bably suspected of being unfriendly to the Parliamentary cause. A body of horsemen was sent from Halifax to effect his arrest. Forewarned " he took refuge in an old quarry at Skelmanthorpe, but was discovered and taken prisoner. He was mounted on the back of a horse, behind one of the troopers, and the soldiers proceeded with him towards Halifax. As they were passing through Boxings Wood, situated between Shelley and Kirkburton, John Firth slipped off (from) behind the trooper, and escaped into the wood. Search for him proved fruitless, and the troopers went on their way without him. The captain of the horse soldiers was very much exasperated at the loss of his prisoner, and in passing the Vicarage House at Kirkburton he emptied his arquebuss through the stair- case window which faces the road. The vicar's wife was descending the stairs at the time, with a light in her hand, and, whether intentionally or not, he shot her dead. In the parish register at Kirkburton Church there is the entry :- Hester Whitaker, wife of Gamaliel Whitaker, Vicar, who was slaine the twelfth day, at night, January, 1642.

The Rev. Gamaliel Whitaker was a strong Royalist, and it was supposed that he had given some information about this district to the Duke of Newcastle, so he was arrested and taken to Manchester, where in about a month he died in prison. Tradition says the troopers camped the same night under the old Yew Tree at Teapot and

Page 163


Kettle, and that one of Cromwell's soldiers died that night and was buried under the old tree.* In the Huddersfield List we find the name Isaac Wormall, both Christian and surname being sufficiently uncommon, especially in conjunction, to warrant the assumption that the person referred to was that Isaac Wormald who dwelt in the well-known house in Westgate, in Almondbur'y, still bearing the inscription :-

w I 1631 M.

The house is described in Hulbert's " Annals" as a two-storeyed building, having projecting windows above, with an archway at the south end leading to what were formerly the gardens and outpremises, now adjoining the Woolpack Inn, with a summer-house commanding a beauti- ful prospect of Farnley Wood and the parishes of Kirk- heaton and Kirkburton ; the rooms low, but wainscotted with oak throughout, the upper room running the whole length of the building, except a room over the gateway. In Almondbury Churchyard is a tombstone, with arms and esquire's helmet, bearing the record :-

Here lyeth the Body of Isaac Wormald, of Almondbury, who was buryed the Twenty-ninth day of May, Anno Domini 1642. Aged 42 years.

To return to Sir William Savile, who may have been an able commander, but was certainly an unfortunate one. Though unsuccessful in his attempt to hold Leeds for the King-it was in January, 1643, that he surrendered that town-he was appointed in May of the same year to the command of Sheffield Castle, serving under the Earl of Newcastle. There is a letter dated May 23rd, 1643, from Sir Thomas Fairfax, commanding on the opposing side, to the Speaker of the House of Commons, which serves to give us a fair notion of the state of this district and its people at that time : " The Earl of Newcastle's he wrote, " do now range over all the south-west parts of the country, pillaging and cruelly using the well- affected party ; and here about Leeds, Bradford, and

* Lawton: Skelmanthorpe and District.

Page 164


Halifax, being a mountainous, barren country, the people now begin to be sensible of want, their last year's provisions being spent, and the enemies' garrisons stopping all the provisions, both of corn and flesh and other necessaries, that were wont to come from the more fruitful countries to them ; their trade utterly taken away, their poor grow innumerable, and great scarcity to relieve them ; and the army which now lies among them to defend them from the enemie, cannot defend them from want, which causes much murmurs and lamentations among the people ; and for the army itself, it is so far in arrears, and no way appearing how they shall either be supplied with money or succour, as they grow very mutinous."' Savile, we have seen, was holding Sheffield. His wife, Anne, was the daughter of Lord Coventry, Keeper of the Great Seal of England, " a lady remarkable for her zeal and staunchness in the royal cause, from the support of which no difficulties nor dangers, nor even the fear of death itself, could deter her." The lady was the heroic daughter of an heroic age. She lost by death her hus- band ere Sheffield Castle was obliged to capitulate, and as though that were not calamity enough, she was brought to bed of a clild the very day after the surrender, the besiegers, it is affirmed by Dr. Barwick, barbarously refusing ingress to a midwife in hopes of bringing the lady to terms, she declaring that " she was resolved to perish rather than surrender the Castle." Among the Beaumont Papers were found many letters or copies of letters that passed between the Marquis of Newcastle, Sir William Savile, and Major Thomas Beaumont, who was deputy Governor of Sheffield Castle

in Savile's absence :-

(MarguIs or NEWCASTLE TO SIR WILLIAM SAVILE.) 1643. Forasmuch as there is and wil bee dayly occasion durfig the abode of this part of the army here for posthorses for conveying of paquets and other services from Sheffield to diverse places upon occasion, These are therefore to authorise you to direct your warrants to the Constables neare adjoining to bring in from time to time soe many able and sufficientt horses or mares as you shall

Page 165


think requisite for the said service, together with sufficient hay and provender for three dayes. Given under my hand the xvth day of May, 1643.

The Constable of a town at that time held a position analogous to that of the Mayor of to-day.

(Sir Wirriam Savice to Major THxomas BEAUMONT.) PONTEFRATT, QTH OF JUNE, 1643.

In my oppinion it had beene a better way to have sett downe every man perticularly what he should have payed, but that would have been more labour. I like well of the course you have taken ; onely this, the impotition (sic) that is layed uppon any towne must not excuse for the general assessment, and such townes as I make a score against is not convenient for you to medle with att present, but for the Derbysher townes make them pay soundly, and take as greate compase as you like yourselves, but lett no man know what you receve, and somethinge must be weekly taken out of the soldiers pay to allw them shoues and clothes withall.

(Sir Wirrram Savice to Major THomas BEAUMONT.) HEATH, 24TH JUNE, 1643. SIR,- . . . Your letter by this bearer I receved, and for matters of money I have 3oll of yours which I receved in gold of Mr. Denison. I pray you take it againe of James Syll out of my particular moneyes, and bee sure you want not any money nether for selfe nor your frends, soe long as any Roundhead hath either fingers or toas left, within tenn myles of the Castle. . For all other thinges in your letter I shall take care, and once [algaine e treat you to plunder as many goods as to make your- selfe a savor (sic). So in haste I am Your faithfull frend and servant, W. Savicce.

This letter seems to be an exhortation to Major Beaumont not only to supply the necessities of his force by plundering the enemy, but also to make a purse for himself. - This Savile had ever an eye to the main chance.


I like all verry well, onely I would have [you] send boldly into Brad{[fileld parish and thearabouts, and I thinck if the tow companies that are to march stay theare this night it is best, and you may send the drag[oone}rs with them, and when the foote marcheth to Halifax the drag[oonelrs may bringe in some that refuse to pay.

Page 166


(Frances MarkworTtH To Major BEAUMONT.) Aug. 19, 1643.

Maror BEAUMONT, We desire you will take care that the assessment which is to

be paid within Bradfield parish be forthwith levyed and collected, for there is a necessitye for the money towards payment of the soldyers, and if the goods of those which refuse to pay will not extend to make satisfaction, that you will take order that the profitts of their lands may be despo[sed] of towards payment or otherwise to app[rehend] their persons if they [can] be found, wherein wee [pray] you will not faile.

(Sir Wirr1am Savicr to Major Tnomas BEAUMONT.) COTTENHAM, 7BER 22TH, 1643. Sir,-I received your letter of the 17th instant together with a muster of Capt. Horsfall's troope, and I doe desiare him that he will march forthwith with his troope into Lincolnshire to the regiment, and lett him send one trooper to the regiment to give them notice of his cominge. I desiare that he speedely march with his troope because there are but few with my regiment of horse, and lett Capt. Horsfall carry with him his muster-roll sined by yourself and Capt. Himsworth, and the

Comisarye's deputy att Lincoln will make it upp. SIR,-For St. Coll. Shawcrosse wife, if you can conveniently

gett her, take her prisoner and then wee will treat of the rest of

the businesse. . Your faithfull frend and servant, WIL. SavILL®E.

It is clear from this and other documents I have copied from the Beaumont Papers that women took an active part in both sides during the Civil War. The present-day advocates of Women's Rights seemed to have overlooked this argument to support their claim. The Captain Horsfall mentioned in the letter resided at Storthes Hall, Kirkburton. In " Round about Brad- ford "* there is a notice of the Horsfall family :- " Wilsden, the old Cotton Mill at Goit Stock, with the pleasant residence close by, was once occupied by the Horsfall family, who were very early associated with the worsted trade of Bradford, and who played a not un- important part in its development. The Horsfall family seem to have been of some importance early in the fifteenth century, and, as it is shown by some Ancient

* Cudworth. Quoted by Hulbert in his Annals of Almondbury.

Page 167


Deeds, had possessions in the neighbourhood of Denholme at that period. In 1605 Richard Horsfall purchased the Manor of Thurstonland and Storthes Hall, the principal mansion, in the Parish of Kirkburton, near Huddersfield, which had been the seat of the Storthes, a family of some antiquity. A son of this Horsfall took part in the Civil War, when he joined the Royal Army, and held a com- mand in Sir George Savile's regiment of foot. After the battle of Marston, his father having died, Captain Horsfall settled at Storthes and died there in 1688." According to Morehouse, Henry VIII., in I54I, gave to John Storthes, of Storthes Hall, the Manor of Thurstonland, together with certain lands, etc., late belonging " to the monestrye of Roche " [Roche Abbey] *' now dissolved." I have already mentioned the reference to Captain Horsfall in the inscription on the tombstone of one of his descendants, in which it is stated that the gallant captain " took an active part with the Royalists in the 'Grand Rebellion." I grieve to have to dispel whatever pleasing illusions may be nursed by living descendants of the captain, as to the " active part " taken by him on the King's behalf. It will appear, when we come to the records of a later stage of the war, that the gallant captain was a self-confessed deserter. To return to the Beaumont Papers :-

(GEN. Kinc, Lorp EytHIN, to Maior Txos. BEAUMONT.) Sr,-I receaved your letter yesternicht and returne you thanks for your intelligence. I intreat you to let_me heir from you what further you heir of Sir Thomas Fairfax, which way he bends with his troupps that we meay weat upon him. If you wrytt or send, send it by Rotherham. I remean, Your servand, Ey¥THIN. Doncaster, ye 10th of qber (November), 1643, at 1o a klok in the morning. To the Commander in Chief of Sheaffeild, heast, heast, post heast.

But it was not fated that Lord Eythin should " weat upon '" Fairfax. Dis aliter visum. The Parliamentary forces " weated upon '' the Royalist,

Page 168


(THxr Eart or MancuEstER to Major BEAUMONT.)

Sir,-Being in these partes by command of Parliament to reduce such places as yet refuse obedience to their commanders, I have sent you this summons that you may deliver up to me the Castle of Sheffeild now in your possession, with the armes, ordnance, and amunition therein. In the performance whereof you may expect all civilitiee becoming a gentleman of your quality. . . . I desire [your spleedy answer, and rest Your servant, E. MANCHESTER.

(Major GEn. L. CRawroRp to Major BEAUMONT.) Sir,-I am sent by the Earle of Manchester to reduce this place you hold, and therefor send you yet a summons, though my Trumpett was shott att, against the lawes of armes, the other day. You may easily perceive I desire not the effusion of blood, otherwise I might have spared myselfe this labour. If you thinke good to surrender it, you may promise yourselfe all faire respecte befitting gentlemen and souldiers, otherwise you may expect those extremities which they have that refuse mercy. I desire your answer within one houre and rest, Your servant.

August 4th, 1644. Exactly a week after the dispatch of this missive the Castle was evacuated. I extract certain of the Articles of

Surrender, dated 10th August, 1644 :-

First, That the Castle of Sheafield with . . . all the armes, ordnance, and amunition, and all other ffurniture of warr, with all other provissions therein (excepting what is allowed in the following articles) be delivered up to Major General Craufford to morow, in the afternoon by three of the clocke, being the 11th of this instant August, without any dem{i}nition or imbazallment. That the Governer and all field officers, Captains, Lieutenants, and Ensignes, shall march out of the Castle upon delivery thereof, with ther drumes and cullers, and each his own horse, sadle, sword and pistoles, to Pontefract Castle, or such other place as they shall

desire, with sufficient conveye or passes for ther securytie, and the common soldiers with the inferior officers to march out with

ther swords and pickes each to his own home, ore wher else they

please. That the Lady Savell with her children and ffamily, with her

and ther own proper goods, shall passe with coache horses and waggons to Thornhill ore else wher, with a sufficient guard, befitting the quallitie of her person, without injury to any of ther persons, or plundering any of ther goods, ore otherwaies, she or they ore any of them to goe or stay at ther owen pleasure, untille shee or they be in a condition to remove themselves.

Page 169


The surrender made, Major Beaumont retired, on terms, to his own house at Whitley-Beaumont. Here are the words of his safe-conduct :-

[T})hese are to pray and desire all Commanders, Officers, and [Sou)ldiers imployed for the service of the King and Parliament [to per)mitt and suffer the bearer hereof, M[ajor] Thomas Beau- mont quietlie to passe homeward to his house at Whitely hall and their reside without any letts or molest[ations] either in body or goods, the said [Maior Thomas] Beaumont conforminge himselfe to all [the] ordonances of Parliament and demeaninge himselfe as becometh a good subject. Given under my hand at Sheafield, this 13th day of August, 1644. L.

If the gallant officer flattered himself that he was now quit of interference from Parliament, he had presently a rude awakening. He was called upon to attend Com- missioners in London and set forth a statement of his estate and worldly gear. There is an affidavit by his wife, the Lady Elizabeth :-

Elizabeth Beaumont doth depose that her husband, Thomas Beaumont, is at this time soe ill and infirme of body by reason of severall bruises and hurts which he hath gotten in the Castles of Sheiffield and Pomfrey that he is nott able to travill to London without danger of his life.

Here we have the Commissioners' Report :

His Delinquency being in Armes against the Parliament, maior of a Regiment of ffoote and did keep a garrison in Sheiffeild Castle for the Kinge against the Parliament. That he delivered Sheiffeild Castle in July, 1644, to Parliament upon composicon to goe and reside at his dwellinge and is soe infirme of body as that he is not able to come upp in person to finish his composicon. That he hath taken the Naconall Couenant before Xofer Richardson, Rector of Kirkheaton. That he hath taken the Negative Oath before the Committee of York. That he is seized in fiee taile to him and the heires male of his body in possession of and in the Manor of Whitley to which there is certain Freehold Tennants paying 15s. 5d. rents and of divers messuages and lands and tenements lyinge and beinge in Lepton, Crosland, Meltham, Kirkburton, Kirkheaton, of the cleare yeerly value before theis troubles of £283 15s. 5d. for which his fine is £567 10s. 1od. That he is seized of a like estate taill in Reversion of certain other lands and tenements in the Towne and ffeild of Mirfeild

Page 170


of the cleere yeerly value before theis troubles £30 which is to come to him after the decease of his father. Fine £30. That he hath an Expectancy on death of his father of lands in Heaton and Murfeild (sic) of £150 yeerly. Fine in Reversion £{150. Goods value f90 15s. 4d. Fine f10. The whole fine

£757 10s. 10d. There is an inventory of the household goods at

Whitley-Beaumont and of the farming stock. It is in- teresting as affording some notion of how the mansion of a considerable landed proprietor of ancient lineage was furnished two hundred and fifty years or so ago :-

£ s. d. Hall ...................kk kkk kala e eee ees I I0 Dining Room........................... Ck. 2 50 8 New ...... 5 3 8 Hall Chamber o 16 8 Dyning 3 16 8 Best Bedchamber ......................... 2 6 8 Kitchen Chamber ......................... I. o Little Kitchen I5 $3 ye e e ae e e e e e e e a ae ee ke} I5 8 Red Bedchamber ......................... I I0 ef} Se cel .. .s. I3 4 Mayds' .......................... ... s.... 2 O Kitching 4 I4 8 Buttery =..................... . I £28 8 o

Making the most generous allowance for the differ- ence in money values, £28 8s. scarcely represents a sum that in these days would be considered sufficient for the furnishing of a single principal room in a considerable mansion. The reader will have observed that Major Beaumont took the National Covenant before the rector of Kirk- heaton, the Rev. Christopher Richardson. What a picture would it be could the faces of squire and divine have been limned on the taking of that oath ; for the rector was a staunch Presbyterian and had succeeded to the incum- bency of Kirkheaton on the expulsion therefrom of the Rev. Richard Sykes, who, as we shall see, bestirred him- self actively for the King. The Rev. Christopher Richard- son was graduate of Trinity College, Cambridge, and though

Page 171


doubtless episcopally ordained, had seen his way to con- form to the Presbyterian discipline when that became the vogue under the domination of Parliament. He was Rector of Kirkheaton from 1646 till the Restoration, when the Church of England and its ministers came into their own again. Then Mr. Richardson was " silenced." He purchased Lascelles Hall, and, using the staircase as a pulpit, held there religious services after the Presbyterian model, taking out a licence for that purpose. Under date January z2nd, 1693, Oliver Heywood tells in his diary how he preached for Mr. Richardson at Lascelles Hall, and how the serjeant of Sir John Kaye, of Wood- some, came thrusting through the crowd and demanded their licences for preaching. Heywood and Richardson concluded the service and then set out for Woodsome, accompanied by the serjeant and two of Sir John's livery men. Waiting the good knight's pleasure in the outer hall, they observed many waiting men playing at cards, and Heywood indulges the reflection that the devil was spiteful against preaching since he did not hinder but promoted keeping open house, feasting, dancing, and revelling. Richardson produced his licence to the Justice, and on Heywood undertaking to forward his, the ministers were dismissed with a caution not to go beyond the King's intention. When far advanced in years Mr. Richardson removed to Liverpool and estab- lished, at Castle Hey, the first Presbyterian Church in that place. He died December 5th, 1698. He must have been some sixty years of age when he wrote to Mistress Hephizibah Pryme, who became his second wife, the letter which I reproduce, in some doubt as to whether its variance from the style usual in amorous missives is due to the writer's sacred calling or to his years :- My DrarEst LovE,- . . . I am at my own house at present, and I blesse God, in health and wellfare, but not without peace, resolving as soon as I can, and hopeing ere long, to see my dearest deare. In the meanwhile, as I desire to doe, soe you also

may deceiv the weary time with some diversion, a better I cannot command unto you than in the intervalle of other business to inter-

Page 172


taine God into your thoughts with something relating unto him- either his attributes, words and works, especially his works of mercy, wherein he aboundeth towards us in Christ Jesus. Such meditation will purge your mind from vaine thoughts, the bane of heavenly mindednesse, the food, fewell, and nourishers of corrupt affections and lusts: the quenchers of the Spirit, the griefe of gracious, but the complacency and pleasure of carnall hearts. It will also leave a sweet relish uppon your spirit and give more solid delight unto your soul than all the vanityes of this world can afford you, which, when they have found enter- tainments in your thoughts, having kept out better things, leave nothing but emptiness and a sting behind them. As I have been honoured to bee received into your closet, soe that which most affected and took me there was the sight of your bible layd uppon your table, which, when I opened, I observed marked with pieces of paper, to direct into the places, which I conceive were a course of your daily reading, whence I gathered (and I hope truly) that you keep a constant daily course of reading the scriptures. In which I question not but you joyne secret prayer. God Almighty continue [you] in that good way and bless you which is and shall be the prayer of Who is and hopeth to bee, Yours whilst his owne.

C. RIcHKxARpsSON. Lassell Hall,

November 24, '82.

The Rev. Richard Sykes was mulcted heavily 'for his loyalty, as appears from the following Report upon his case contained in the Royalist Compositions :-

G. 178, p. 785. His Delinquency for disertinge his owne house, and goinge into the King's Garrisons, and liveinge there. He rendered himselfe the 20th of November, 1645, to this Comite. He hath taken the Naconall Covenant before Samel. Gibson, minister of Margarett's, Wesm., the 27th of ffebruary, 1645, and the Negative Oath here the 16th of this instant March. But because it doth appear he hath lost a good church living of 300 li per ann. and a great personal estate and hath a great charge of children, And that he was an opposer of bishops and a very moderate man the Commitee do recommend it to the House to take but 1000 li.

Another clergyman connected with this district made himself prominent as an adherent of the Royalist

Page 173


cause-the RrEv. ABRAHAM WooDpHEAD, who was born at Meltham in 1609, and baptised at Almondbury Parish Church, and who, the Rev. Joseph Hughes, author of the History of the Township of Meltham, surmises, received his early education at the Almondbury Grammar School, founded some sixty years before his birth. At the age of sixteen he was sent to University College, Oxford. He took his M.A. in 1632, and was Skirland and possibly Freestone Fellow, and in 1641 became a Proctor of the University. - He fell under the displeasure of Parlia- ment, and in 1642 was ordered to appear at the Bar of the House of Commons, for that "when the Parliament attempt- ed by every means to gain the University over to the Re- publican Party, and had proposed a convocation in order to introduce the Solemn League and Covenant, the firmness of Mr. Woodhead prevented in a signal measure the innovation ; and at the Bar of the House he made so able a defence that he was dismissed without further molestation, returning to the University, where he remained till the ex- piration of his Proctorship." Thereafter he lived for a time under the protection of the Duke of Buckingham, with apartments in York House, and still later he was in hiding in the house of Lord Capel, being suspected of Papist tendencies. That celebrated work, The Whole Duty of Man, is claimed to have been written by him. He died, May 4th, 1678, by his will directing his trustees to pay " ye residue of ye yearly rents of his lands ir Meltham and Thickhollings to ye minister of ye word of God, yt shall be settled and officiate at ye Chappell of Meltham att ye time of my decease, and so to his suc- cessor in ye same place and office for ever." Reverting to the Royalist Composition Papers one cannot but be impressed by the comparative severity with which the agents of the victorious Parliament dealt with the people of Kirkheaton and its vicinity, all of whom may be reasonably supposed to have been much influenced by the teachings of their spiritual guide, the Pastor of Kirkheaton, and their territorial lord, the Squire of Whitley. I confess, however, that the case of Captain

Page 174


Horsfall, of Storthes Hall, does not seem to call for much sympathy. I extract the Report referring to him :-

G. 178, p. 543. His Delinquency that he was in Armes against the Parliate., that he deserted the Earle of Newcastle's Army in August last and there rendered himselfe to the Governor of Sandall Castle in Yorkshire, Colonell Overton, and then went to the Standing Comte. of Yorke, and there took the Negative Oath on the 5th of Aprill, 1644, as appears by Affidavit and hath sithence taken the Naconall Covenant before Isack Reynolds, minister of Grayes Inn, 23rd of March, 1643, and soe within a tenth. He compounds upon a perticuler delivered in under his hand, by which he doth submit to such ffine, etc., and by which it doth appear : That he is seized in ffee to him and his heires in possession. of and in the Manor of Thurstonland with the Appertenantes lyinge in the parish of Church Burton in the said County, and of divers lands and tents. to the same belonginge, of the cleere yeerely value before theis troubles 140 li. for which his ffine is 280 li. Other lands at Neeslinge, Gigleswicke par. valued at 60 li. yearly for which his fine is £63. April 16, 1646. Ffine set is £340. PETITION.-That yor. petitionr. was Captaine of a Troope of horse in the Army under the command of the Earle of New- castle in wch service hee acted for ye space of a Twelve Month and in the month of August last hee deserted his employmt. and rendered himselfe att Sandall Castle in ye County of Yorke, since woh tyme hee hath lived att his house att Storthes Hall in ye said County under ye power and obedjence of ye parlymt. That hee is hertily sorrowfull for his error and humbly craves pdon for ye same and prayes you will admitt him to a favorable compositon to his estate weh is truly presented to you in a pticular hereunto annexed.

It ought perhaps to be stated that the National Covenant, to which reference is made in the Compensation Papers, was the Covenant or Declaration by which the signators agreed infer alia to abandon the Episcopal Church and to accept for the future the Presbyterian mode of Church government and doctrine. Other Compositions in the parish of Kirkheaton and

hard by are as follows :- GrErorcr BEavmont, of Dailton. G. 198, p. 131. Report. His Delinquency that he was an assessor in the parish where he lived for raising money for the

Page 175


management of the army under the Earl of Newcastle; he never took up arms nor departed from his house during the war. Seized of land at Kirkheaton worth £23 10s. per ann. and in Thornhill worth £24, and hath persnl. este. £80 13s. 4d. Fine £90 os. od. Francis of Almonbury, Yeoman. G. 198, p. 181. Report. His Delinquency that he left his dwelling and assisted the King; he submitted in Aug. 1644, he petitioned here 27 Feb. 1646, he took the Covenant 24 Feb. 1646, and the Oath the same day. Lands in Almonbury, £4 6s. 8d. per ann. Fine £55 13s. 4d.

It will be observed that Horne's submission was in August, 1644. The date is significant. The Battle of Marston Moor was fought July 2nd, 1644, and the Royalists of this district may be excused for having little stomach for fighting after the disaster of that day.

THomas PIicKLEs, of Kirkheaton, Tanner. G. 184, p. 525. Report. His Delinquency was that he was an Assessor of the contribution of the parish where he dwells to raise moneys to maintain the forces raised against Parlte. Hath taken the Covent. and the Oath. Hath lands in Dewsbury and Heaton of yeerly value of {10 and persnl. este. amounting to £1087 19s. 10d. PETITION.-That your petitioner was an assessor of the contribution for the parish of Kirkheaton for the King against the Parliat., by which means he is become under the notion of a delinquent, and thereby incurred the displeasure of Parlt. TnHnomas PIGHELL.

The Inventory of this delinquent's property is

interesting. Had they no pictures, no books, in those days ?

s. d One range, 2 tables, 2 forms, 4 chairs, one pan, 3 pots, 4 one spit, and one buffet stool. ................. 3 In the over parlour- One stand bed, 2 trunk beds, one feather bed with beddg., 3 chests, one trunk, one chair. ........ 3 One silver cup and moneys .................... II O In the nether parlour- One stand bed, one feather bed with bedding, one table, a frame and a cupboard, half a dozen CUSRIONS ...l ak alk l rae k e eee e e e ees 2 10 Two stand beds, 2 feather beds with certain bed and cupboard, 2 chairs. ..................... 3 IO

A certain press of Wader (?) ................... I

Page 176


In the whole house 7 chairs, 2 forms, 1 stool, and 8 beds ! Accommodation enough for the night, but what of the day ?

£ s. d. In the barn- Wheat, oat, pease, and hay.................... =o o In the fold- I4 ........... ...... kaa kk r ee ea e eee eee es 7 o In the ground- II COWS, 2 22 O - le O e, 33 6 8 Fle ~ e 4 O Wains, ploughs, and other husbandry ve e 4 O Winter corn ... ho... 7 Tanned leather and dry ........................ 16 o 20 country steer hides and 50 cow hides......... 50 O0 Eleven score hides bought at London ........... 220 O - 120 hides bought at London and not yet at Hull..150 o ie} e, 20 £608 6 8 In bills and bonds ...................... 479 I3 2 £1087 19 10 Fine £120.

Ricxarp PILKINGTOoXN, of Kirkheaton, Gent.

Rrrort.-His Delinquency that he assisted the forces raised against the Parliament. Seized in fee of lands at Kirkheaton worth yearly £57. Glebe lands in Sandall................ £6 10 Tithes in Crigleston worth ............. £61 o Fine at a sixth £258 6s. 8d.

THomMas SHIRECLIFFE, of Whitley,* Gent.

PrETiTiON.-That your petitioner was in arms against the but was a long time in actual service and took arms for the Parliamt. till the beginning of May, 1643 ; that he was taken prisoner by the Lord of Newcastle's forces in the town of Rother- ham and to regain his liberty accepted of a commission for raising a foot company ; he never raised any but kept himself at home, howbeit he has been sequestered.

MatuEw WaTtERHOUSE, of Netherton, Gent. His Delinquency that he was in arms against the Parliamt. PETITION.-That your petitioner's father, Robert Water-

* It is assumed that this Whitley is in Kirkheaton.-D.F.E.S.

Page 177


house, died in arms in his majesty's service, and till his death the petitioner waited on him, and was in arms also, immediately after whose decease he returned home and hath ever since remained in the Parliament quarters. Seized in land in Netherton £50 yearly. Fined at a tenth £83. Whilst the Manor of Kirkheaton, in which the feudal spirit may be presumed to have been of a robuster sort, fared thus ill at the hands of the victors, Huddersfield came lightly off. Even the lord of the manor, Sir John Ramsden, does not appear to have suffered much pecuniary loss, though he was in arms for the King. His regiment was engaged at Marston Moor, but the knight himself had been taken prisoner at Selby in an encounter with Sir James Fairfax's army on its march to the siege of York. He was committed to the Tower for high treason 31st May and released August 14th, and died some eighteen months thereafter, and so escaped the attentions of the Parlia- mentary Commissioners. I find mention of only one Huddersfield resident in the Composition Papers. The case is quoted by the late G. W. Tomlinson, though I do not observe it in the collected papers :-

To the right honble. the Commission for compounding with Delinquents sitting at Westmistr. The humble petition of Thomas Hirst, of Greenhead, in the Parish of Huddersfield, in the County of York, gentleman. Sheweth, That your petitioner did adhere unto the forces raysed against the Parliament in the late Warre, for which his small estate is liable to sequestration, being lately informed against by Major Blackmore. Your petitioner humbly prays (he being not yet sequestered) that he may be admitted to a reasonable composition for his delinquency and estate, according to the particulars annexed. And he shall ever pray, etc. Tro. Hirst. The fine was one-sixth, £90.

If the reader will refer to the muster-roll of Sir Henry Savile's Regiment he will find among the names of foot soldiers and others that of

Txr Wipnow Hirst, OF (GREENHEAD.

I can only surmise that this lady provided a substitute.

Page 178


Although, as we have seen, Col. Will Legge was amongst the most prominent of the Royalist soldiers, it does not appear that the Kayes of Woodsome, to alliance with which family it need scarcely be repeated we are indebted for the association of the Legge family with this district, took a very active part in the war, and that although Sir John Kaye of Woodsome was Treasurer of Lame Soldiers, temp. Charles I., was Colonel of a regiment of horse in the war, and received a baronetcy for his services. The Compensation Papers contain the following Report :- Sir Kry, of Woodsome.

G. 2, p. 62. Mar. 18, 164 4-5. Sir John Key fined 500 li. (£500) it appearing that he hath been in arms against the Parliament but for so long time and that he was one of the first Yorkshire gentlemen that came in and hath taken the Covenant and that his Estate is no more than 500 li. p. ann. and charged with 3000 li. debt. May 16, 1646.-Pardon for Sir John Key.

Hitherto we have been concerned mainly with the doings of those of this district who embraced the Royalist cause. Thus we have seen that the great landowners of Huddersfield and the valleys that lie about the town stood for the King: Sir John Ramsden, Sir John Kaye of Woodsome, Major Beaumont of Whitley, the Saviles who owned Golcar, Horsfall of Storthes Hall, and, on the Beaumont estate at least, many of the tenantry. But there is every reason to believe that the mercantile classes and the general people inclined to the Parliament side. The mere fact that in Huddersfield only one man- Hirst, of Greenhead-was called upon by Parliament to compound for his Delinquency is negative proof that the sympathies of the traders of the town were with the cause for which Cromwell stood. I have, however, searched the archives of the Record Office in vain for any muster- rolls of this district of men engaged on that side. The explanation appears to be that any who drew the sword or shouldered pike or musket for faith and freedom as Parliament understood them, were drafted into the

Page 179


regiments of various commanders, and so their identity was lost. We are not, however, entirely without record of the part played on the Puritan side by some of the people of the neighbourhood in the grim tragedy of the Civil War. Almondbury seems to have been a rallying ground for the Parliamentary forces in the district, notwithstanding that its natural fortress, Castle Hill, looks down on the one side upon Longley Hall, the home of Sir John Ramsden, on the other upon the bonny woods that bower the ancient seat of the Kayes, and the further fact that Storthes Hall and Whitley-Beaumont are in close proximity. To Almond- bury, accordingly, those who were willing to bear arms against the King were summoned to repair, as witness the following proclamation issued by the Parliament leader in these parts :-


WHEREAS the Earle of Newcastle, Sir William Savile, Sir Marmaduke Langdale, Sir Ingram Hopton, Francis Nevile, Esq., and others of that party, have brought into this county a great army of papists and persons ill affected to the peace of the county under a pretence of maineteyning the protestant Religion and the lawes of the land, intending no other than the utter overthrow of both religion and lawes as appeareth by their irreligious and unlawful practises of grinding the faces of His Majestie's subjects by pillaging and plundering their houses, imprisoning and abusing their psons, and imposing on them such grievous tax and intollerable pressure as hath already in pt consumed and will shortly exhaust the whole treasure of this florishing county, for the prenting of weh injuries having at length received many armes, more strength, and comands to assist the inhabitants of theise pts woh through God's assistance have resisted the said popish army with incredible successe. I do hereby require you to give notice hereof to all the inhabitants in your constablery that be of able bodies from the age of 16 to 60 to comand them to repair to ArmonpBURY or some other place near Mirfield, upon Saturday next, upon the 29th day of this instant January, by 9 a.m., each with the best weapons they can procure, and there to stay till they receive further orders from mee, that by unanimous consent wee may through the help of God drive out the popish army, establish peace in this County, and obtayne the trading again, to the comfortable support of poore and rich. Let every man that is able bring with him 4 to 5 dayes pvision, and let poorer sort bee

Page 180


furnished by you the Constable, out of ye comon stocke for ye like time. Hereof faill yu not at yr perill as yu tend yor owne good and the Good of this bleeding and distressed country.

Given under my hand at Bradford, the 10th day of January, 1642. FAREFAX.

The people of the Holme Valley seem to have dis- tinguished themselves beyond their neighbours in their zeal for the Parliament cause. And it will be seen later that in the comparatively recent times when the Civil War raged the Valley of the Holme was much more populous than either Huddersfield or either of the Valleys of the Colne or the Dearne. Holmfirth would in those days be regarded as of much more consequence than Huddersfield, and it is possible that the youthful members of the latter town resorted for their junkettings on feast days and holy days to Holmfirth, much as now the young folk flock from Holmfirth to Huddersfield on Saturdays. According to Mr. Morehouse " it was while the Earl of Newcastle was lying with his large army at Wakefield, in the spring of 1643, that a detachment was sent into those mountainous districts of Yorkshire immediately to the west of Wakefield (viz., the parishes of Almondbury, Kirkburton, and Penistone), whence at that period they could most readily be approached, and where the bias in favour of Parliament was very strong. Of this we have corroborative testimony in a letter from Sir Thomas Fairfax to his father, the Lord General Fairfax, which points to this event, written from Bradford, April 20th, 1643, in which he says: " This town is very weak, by reason many are gone to defend Ambry* (Almondbury) and those parts ; but I hear Captain Radcliffe is revolted to the enemy and most of his company, if not all ; the other company, being not strong enough, returned to Elam (qy. Elland); there Captain Morgan, who had raised some dragoons, joins with them for the defence of

* It is probable that Fairfax spelt the word phonetically, or as he heard it spoken, and it is interesting to note that even then the people spoke of Ambry and not of Almondbury.- D.F.E.S.

Page 181


those parts this day ; some of the Penistone men came also to demand aid, there being seventeen colours in

Barnsley five miles off them." The people of Holmfirth seem to have responded

handsomely to the appeal of Fairfax, for as we have already seen, their petition of 1650 in the matter of the Church claims that " the inhabitants of Holmfirth did make and set forth a hundred musqueteers for the Parliament's service, by order of the late Lord General Fairfax ; and that there are severall of the sonnes and servants of the Inhabitants still in actual service of the Commonwealth."" This zeal for the Parliament brought its natural conse- quences, for, " by reason thereof they had above Thirtie houses burned downe by the Armye against the Parliament, under the late Earl of Newcastle five regiments of the enemye's foot, three of horse and two of dragoons, came into the said chappelrie, killed and tooke prisoners, and plundered and took away their goods soe that many lyed in prison, and the rest were forste from their owne habita'cons to the great impoverishment and hurte of the poore Inhabitants." It was, one need scarcely say, a Stuart king whose wrongheadedness-for wrongheadedness it was, even if we allow it to have been conscientious wrongheadedness- embarked his subjects in Civil War. - We cannot withhold a measure of admiration from the landed gentry and beneficed clergy who made enormous sacrifices for their King and Church. But later Stuarts appealed for similar sacrifices in vain. James II., undeterred by the fate that had overtaken his father, embarked upon a like policy. Sincerely attached to the Romish faith he sought by unconstitutional methods to compass his ends. He caused the following questions to be addressed by the Lords Lieutenants to the powerful gentry of the country, among other to Sir John Ramsden, of Longley, and Sir John Key (Kaye), of Woodsome, both of whose ancestors had been, as we have seen, King's men in the Civil War.

1.-If in case he shall be chosen Knight of the Shire, or Burgess of a Town, when the King shall think fit to call a Parlia-

Page 182


ment, whether he will be for taking off the Penall Lawes and the

Tests. 2.-Whether he will assist and contribute to the Election of

such members as shall be for the taking off the Penal Laws and Tests.

This was what we should now call " heckling " ; but heckling by a king is a very different thing from heckling by a voter, and the spirited replies of the two gentlemen addressed must have afforded but cold comfort to the monarch.

Seeing there is noe Commission produced from the King, neither any authority appears to us by the Statutes of the Militia whereby answers to the Question may be required : Wee take leave to make this Declaration, that we think ourselves under noe obligation to reply to them, otherwise than to show our willingness to exprese our obedience whenever, and by whomso- ever the King's name is made use of. 2.-If any of us be chosen members of Parliament, wee judge we ought not to pre-engage ourselves by consenting to the demand before arguments may be heard and considered in Parliament, and we are further sensible that the protestant Church may be deeply concerned herein as to its security, which Church we are bound to support by all lawful means. 3.-Until such Penal Laws and Tests may be made appear to be repugnant to the Protestant interest, we cannot contribute to any such election.

The Stuart cause died hard. In the reign of William of Orange, who succeeded James II. on the throne, there were ceaseless plottings for the restora- tion of the exiled dynasty. Baron Dartmouth, lord of Woodsome, was, as we have seen, suspected of being concerned in these plots and cast into the Tower. It was perhaps natural that a Legge should be deemed to have a hankering affection for the Stuarts. But when in 1715 the old Pretender made an abortive attempt to recover the throne no family of this district was engaged in the rising. I find only one document that connects the locality with that historic rising. It is preserved by Mr. Hughes in his History of Meltham.


West Rid. Com. Ebor. By virtue of a Warrant from his Majesty's Deputy Lieu- tenant.-These are to command you forthwith to give notice to

Page 183


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 forthwith good and new arms, viz., a Musquett, Bayonet, Cartouch Bag, Sword and Belt, which are all to be in readiness when called for. Hereof fail not. Given under my Hand the elevnth day of March, Ano. Dini. 1715, and by another Warrant from the Deputy Lientenants, you are to be furnish't with the,said cloath and arms by Mr. Robert Milne and Mr. Thomas Warburton, in Wakefield, good and Reasonable Rates. Jas. BEnaAr.

At the time I write these lines* a General Election seems imminent. During its progress many will wear Orange favours. To how many will it occur to connect the issues involved in the Election with the principles of the Revolution and the wearing of yellow rosettes with the Orange lace insisted upon in the above Order. Mrs. Jagger, in her monograph on St. Mary's, Honley,t records that when a child she once saw some dilapidated military garments worn by one of those who answered the call of the constable to help in the defence of that village. The coat was of a red cloth of a now antiquated pattern and furnished with brass buttons. A band of yellow lace adorned the hat. In 1745, when the Young Pretender made a more serious attempt than that of his father to regain the throne lost by the folly of James II., this district was not a little perturbed. We in these days are so accustomed to settled peace within our shores and to implicit reliance upon the protection afforded by a standing army that we realise with difficulty the state of constant apprehension of Scottish raids in which the northern counties lived. My grandfather told me that he well remembered that his father, who lived at Holme, in Slaithwaite, in the last quarter of the eighteenth century, kept ever in the house a loaded firearm, not, as we should now surmise, for poaching or to affright the casual burglar, but that he might be at any hour of the night to sally forth against cattle-lifters from beyond the borders. When, then, it

* December, 1909. -_ t Yorkshire Notes and Queries.

Page 184


was a question not merely of a small band of raiders, such as made the train of Rob Roy, but of an organised body of great numbers, who must perforce sustain them- selves upon their march by pillage, and who were little regardful of the sanctity either of person or property, we can realise in some measure what dismay struck into the hearts of the people hereabouts when it become known that the Scots were on their southward march. - To their concern for their own safety appear to have been added public considerations. " The people of this district," says Morehouse, " were for the most part attached to the reigning family ; there were, however, some-a small section-who were desirous of the restoration of the

Stuart dynasty ; among these were a few of the clergy, yet none of them took an active part, contenting themselves with giving expression to their wishes more or less openly. The Rev. William Eden, the presbyterian minister at Lydgate, entered with great spirit into the cause of the reigning monarch. His appeals to the people from the pulpit, in which he seems to have been assisted by the Rev. Benjamin Shaw, of Bullhouse Chapel, were calcu- lated to arouse the people to ' patriotism and duty '- ' to stand fast to the liberty which had been so dearly won for them,' warning them ' not to become entangled in the yoke of bondage or the devices of popery, which led to both civil and religious slavery.' When the news was received here that the rebels had arrived in England, the state of alarm became very great. The chief constable of the district, and some of the principal inhabitants, set about actively to solicit subscriptions for the purpose of establishing Watch and Ward and raising men to pre- pare to defend the district from pillage and violence. On the Ist of November Watch and Ward was accordingly set up in Holmfirth and in the adjoining townships. The weather during that month was extremely cold and severe, often alternating between rain, frost, and snow. The accounts of the progress of the rebels, brought from day to day, were vague and often contradictory, and the numerous stories which were circulated of the enormities

Page 185


committed by them, and the severities exercised upon the people, were very exciting, each day seeming to add to the excitement. But early on the morning of Saturday, the 30th November, a report had spread far and wide that the rebels had got to Marsden, and would be at Hudders- field in the course of the day. An express had been sent in the middle of the night from Huddersfield to all the principal clothiers in the Holme Valley, to fetch away their cloth.* 'They were in a terrible consternation in Huddersfield, as they were hourly expecting the arrival of the rebels.' It was also reported that a large body of the rebels had arrived in Saddleworth and were expected to come over the moors to Holmfirth ; the people here and in the surrounding places were in the greatest con- sternation and alarm. The people ! flocked into Holm- firth from every side,' the young men, as well as the older ones, having provided themselves with either guns, swords, hay-forks, scythes, and such other deadly weapons as they could obtain, and formed themselves into a large and formidable force. At the head of this troop of moun- taincers was the Rev. William Eden, who had displayed great zeal in the cause. For some days previous to this, Mr. Eden had been at great trouble ' in going about to get men to sign their hands to a paper, to go with him if there should be occasion '; upon which great numbers volun- teered, and now came prepared. He addressed the men before they marched away, urging them to be faithful and stand their ground, and resolutely defend their King, their country, their families, and their homes. Thus pre- pared they marched away in the direction in which the enemy was supposed to be coming, but they met with no resistance. This day has since been remembered as Rebel Sunday." From the circumstance of Mr. Eden having led this band of mountaineers he afterwards received the appellation of ' Captain ' Eden. " On Tuesday, the roth December, a report was extensively circulated that a considerable body of the rebels

* From the Cloth Hall, presumably, then recently erected.- D.F.E.S.

Page 186


had arrived at Woodhead, and were on their way over ' Holme Causeway ' (ie., the road over Holme Moss, constructed then of large stones). Notwithstanding the excitement was very great, the troop of mountaineers does not seem to have again assembled, neither did occasion require it." " 1745, December Ith. General Wade's dragoons came from Wakefield to Huddersfield, through Almond- bury, where they remained all night, and went forward to Halifax the following day. " 1745, December 27th. The bluecoats searched Woodsome, on suspicion that some rebels were harboured there. 4 " 1746, April 24th. In Holmfirth there was a large bonfire made and ringing the bell on receiving the news of the victory over the rebels at Culloden, also a large fire on Sudehill. " At Burton they had great rejoicings on Saturday, the 3rd of May, a large bonfire and an effigy of the Pre- tender, which they shot at, and rung frying pans. This was upon the report that the Pretender was taken." In the Diary of the Rev. I. Ismay, under date December Ist, 1745, there is the following reference to the expected coming of the Pretender's army : " The people at Huddersfield, Mirfield, etc., were put into a prodigious panic by ye Lancashire Militia Officers suspecting them to be Rebels. A woman at Huddersfield was frightened to death with the report of the rebels approaching the place. The coal pits at Mirfield Moor and other places were stocked with clothes and provisions." Mr. Tomlinson preserves in his Notes a letter from a Holmfirth gentleman, dated January Izth, 1745: "I hear the Rebels are returning [from Derby], and it is feared some of them will come this way ; they are in greater consternation than they were on Saturday, the 30th of last month. A great many troopers and dragoons lodged in Huddersfield and Almondbury last night belonging to General Wade's regi- ments, George Morehouse, of Almondbury, had four troopers and four horses. They went away soon this morning.

Page 187


General Oglethorpe was with them and lodged at Green- head."

Scot Head, Honley, is said to owe its name to the fact that some of the Scots' force, probably stragglers, reached that place. The events to which this chapter has been mainly devoted, the local happenings during the Civil War and the Stuart risings, took place between 1640 and 1745, indeed a troubled century of our national life! I am able to furnish some detailed particulars of the population of Huddersfield and the valleys that there debouch, not, I regret to say, of the days of the Commonwealth, but of days closely succeeding it. The Hearth Tax Returns here set out contain the names of men who must have been in their prime in Cromwell's time, and many of them must have struck stout blows on the one side or the other. The Hearth Tax was a levy rightly obnoxious to the people. In Macaulay's account of the progress of Wiliam of Orange to the capital he writes: " Along William's whole line of march from Torbay to London, he had been importuned by the common people to relieve them from the intolerable burden of the hearth money. In truth, that tax seems to have united all the worst evils which can be imputed to any tax. It was unequal, and unequal in a most pernicious way ; for it pressed heavily on the poor and lightly on the rich. A peasant, whose property was not worth twenty pounds, had to pay several shillings, while the mansion of an opulent noble in Lincoln's Inn Fields or St. James's Square was seldom assessed at two guineas. The collectors were empowered to examine the interior of every house in the realm, to disturb families at meals, to force the doors of bedrooms, and, if the sum demanded were not punctually paid, to sell the trencher on which the barley loaf was divided among the poor children and the pillow from under the head of the lying- in woman. Nor could the Treasury effectually restrain the chimney-man from using his powers with harshness ; for the tax was farmed, and the Government was conse- quently forced to connive at outrages and exactions such

Page 188


as have, in every age, made the name of a publican a pro- verb for all that is hateful," by the term " publican '" being understood, not a keeper of a public-house, but a farmer or lessee of the public revenues, who bought the estimated proceeds of a tax at a lump sum down and recouped him- self as fully as he could.



HUDDERSFIELD. Hearthes. , Hearthes. Mr. Henry Hirst .......... 5 Geor. Batley, of the same.. I Edmond Walker .......... I Edmond Batley Lisle. ..... I Richard Massey ........... 3 Willm. Broke, of Leeheade. I Widd. Shawe ............. I John Hanson............. 2 James Helliwell. .......... 2 Willm. Archer ............ I Willm. Bramhall. ......... 3 Mrs. Sara 8 Widd. Watmough......... 3 Tho. Brooke, of Yathouse.. 4 Rich. Walker............. I Walter Butler ............ I Tho. Bryer............... 3 Joshua Brooke, of Storth ... 2 Edw. Brooke of Norbar* ... 2 Arthur Hirst, of Birkby, sen. I John Stacey, 2, and 1 en- Tho. Brooke, of the same... 2 creased ................ 3 Geor. Brooke ............. I Widd. I Isacke Goodheire.......... I Anto. Hirst, junr.......... 3 John Starkey ............. 3 Edmond Shawe........... I Abra. Chappell ............ 2 Willm. Wallinson ......... 2 John Brooke, of Blackdiket 2 Widd. Nickoll ........... O. I Willm. Marshall.. ......... I John Dixon .............. 10 Michaell Crosland ......... I Edmond Shawe, Botcher... 3 Joshua I Robt. Stacay ............. 3 John Horsfald ............ 3 Widd. Midwood . .......... 2 Caleb Singleton ........... I John Swallow, juntr. ....... 2 Widd. Birdit ............. I Edw. Brooke, of Townehead 1 John Marsden ............ 3 William Lockwood 2 Anthony Allinson ......... I John Brooke, of Fould ..... I Geor. Greaves ............ 3 Tho. Horsfall, of Well...... 2 John Steade.............. 2 Edmond Jepson ........... I Geor. Steade.............. I Geor. Batley .............. 3 John Bothomley.......... I Abra. Woodheade......... I George Brooke, of Telgreave 1

* Would this be the Northgate of to-day ?-D.F.E.S. { There is still, or was in my youth, a Dyke End Lane, off Fitz-

william Street.-D.F.E.S.

Page 189


Hearthes. Joseph Sunderland ........ I Edmond Smithson ........ I Edmond Kay............. I Willm. Beamound......... 2 John Shaw, of Croftehead.. 3 Mr. Mathew Wilkinson ..... 8 John Cowper, of Eggerton.. 3 Rich. Brooke, of I Joseph Eastwood ......... 2 John Bankes ............. I Edmond France. ....... l.. I Edmond Horsfeild ........ 2 Joseph ... I John Brooke, of Bayhall. .. I John Hirst, of Greene. ..... I Robt. Reade............. I James Feilding ........... 2 Rich. Hirst, of Cloughouse.. 5 Robt. Greene............. 2 Tho. Clegg ............... 3 Arthur Hirst, junr. ........ 2 Edw. Rowlstone .......... I Edw. Cowper, of Woodside. 3 Tho. Armitage. ........... I Rodger Brooke, of Greene- house ................. 3 Tho. Brooke, of Greene.... I Arthur Hirst, of Gleadhould 4 Anto. Hirst, sen........... 2 Geor. Sikes............... I

Edmond Batley, of Lane end 1



Hearthes. Rich. Gilson, of the same... 2 John Rawnshey,.......... 2 Tho. Gibson, of Laine Coate (2) ...ll .l e e ees I Tho. Hudson ............. I Francis Askue ............ 2 John Wallinson........... 2 John Seneor, of Lodge. .... I Michael Cockin ........... I John Thornton ........... I Tho. Spivey .............. 2 Edward Wilson ........... I Mr. John Townley ......... 5 Robt. Mitchell. ........... I Joseph Hepworth ......... I Robt. Prestot............. I Edw. Brooke ............. I John I John Firth ............... I Tho. Marsdén............. I Widd. Crowther, sen. ...... I Widd. Crowther, jun. ...... I Tho. I Jeremy Ambler ........... I Roger Hirst .............. I Peter Wraith ............. I John Browne............ -_ 2 James Hirst, of Lodge. .... I Widd. Hirst, of Oake. ..... I John Gibson .............. I Widd. Netleton ........... 2

........... I


Widd. Read Widd. Woodhead Luke Shawe Mary Crowther John Woodhead Rich. Chadwicke Robt. Peaker John Beswicke Joshua Batley Tho. Brooke, of Comon (?)


John Hallhouse John Batty James Broadbelt John Hardy Willm. Shawe Hen. Beamount Isake Tuncliffe Willm. Jepson James Brearley James Hasliffie, of Marsh Hirst

Page 190


There were, then, a few years after the Restoration, in Huddersfield proper, not, be it understood, in the town now comprised in the County Borough, but in old Hudders- field, one hundred and forty houses, taxable and exempt- not more than may now be counted, I imagine, in more than one street of the modern town. The Hirsts and the Brookes seem to have been the chief families, in number, at least.

ALMONDBERRY. Hearthes. Hearthes. Willm. Ramsden, Esqre....24 Geor. Wilkinson ........... 4. Mr. Horsfald ............. 6 John Hirst ............... I John Wood .............. 3 Geor. Twiddall............ 2 Tho. Hall ................ 2 Geor. Senior.............. 2 John Wood, sent. ......... 2 Willm. Brooke. ........... I John Harpin ............. I Geor. Brooke ............. L Abra. Beaumont .......... 5 Tho. Rawlinson .... ....... L Tho. Broadley ............ 2 Rich. Heatin ............. L Mrs. Fenay*.............. 9 John Blackburne, sen. ..... 2. Tho. Kay ................ 6 John Beamount........... L Tho. Liddall.............. I Willm. Ouldfeild .......... I Edmond Mellor ........... I Robt. Bradley I Geor. Bayly .............. 5 _ Tho. Walker.............. L James Redfearne.......... 4 Rich. Armitage ........... 2 Widd. Woodhead ......... I Willm. Wither............ I Robt. Hirst .............. 4 Widd. Wither............. L Willm. Kay .............. I Geor. Brooke ............. I Whatgodwillt Crosland .... 4 John Woodhead .......... I Tho. Gibson .............. 10 Peter Kay ................ I Robt. Audsley............. 5 John Kay, of Crosse. ...... 3 Mr. Robinson, 5 Widd. Whithead .......... I John Ellistones ........... 3 Mathew 6 Geor. Crosland ............ I Willm. Kay .............. I Robt. Hoyle. ............. 4 Tho. Gleadell............. I John Hemingway ......... 3 Tho. Starkye ............. 2 Gibriell 2 Joseph Whithead ......... I Joseph Kay .............. I John Megson ............. I Jaine Kay ................ 2 Geor. Hinchliffe. .......... 2 Widd. Brooke ............ I Willm. Lockwood ......... I Widd. Haigh ............. I Joshua Lockwood ......... I Robt. Twiddall ........... I Joseph Haigh ............. I

i Hence, probably, Fenay Hall. { This baptismal name, " What God will," is clearly Puritan.- D.F.E.S.

Page 191

History or HUDDERsFIELD AND DistRICT. 185

Hearthes. Hearthes. John Blackburne.......... 4 Edmond Kay............. 3 Widd. Beamount.......... 2 Widd. Blackburne. ..... e Geor. Sikes............... I Abra. Beamount .......... 2 Geor. Field ............... I Edmond Feild ............ I John Kay................ 4 Widd. Rayner ......... e Joshua Lockwood ......... I Roger Robucke ........... I Joseph Kay ..... pek k 5 Lewis Wimpenny ......... I Fran. bv k sk ks 5 Mrs. Appleyeard .......... I Edmond Kay............. 4 Willm. Whitles house...... I Edmond Hoyle ........... 4 Willm. Winpenny ......... I Hen. Griene .............. 3 Widd. Megson ............ 2 Willm. Horsfald ........... 2 Tho. Kay ................ I John Ainley, jun. ......... I PERSONS THIS YEARE FOUND OUT AND INSERTED. Mr. I John Crosland ............ I Robt. Bradley ............ I Widd. I Willm. Roads............. I Geor. Senior.............. I John Dixon .............. I James Beswicke........... I Tho. I Wilton I Tho. Beamount........... I Joseph Hirst ............. I John. Horne. ............. I Tho. Allen ............... I Tho. Berry ............... I Abra. Horsfald ............ I John Marsden ............ I Rich. Stringer ............ LI Willm. Parkin ............ I Tho. Wither.............. I Joseph Hirst ............. I John Mathews. ........... I Margaret Hanson ......... I Rich. Firth............... I Widd. Booth ............. I Geor. Harrorge and John John I Fairebancke ........... 2 Widd. Binns.............. I NOT CHARGEABLE. Abra. Longbottom Michaell Haigh Mathew Ashton James Gleadell Widd. Milnes Robt. Ainley, sent. Widd. Leaper Robt. Ainley, juntr. Abra. Lockwood John Ainley Joseph Ashton Tho. Knight Widd. Scholefeild John Askwith Geor. Preistley John Ratcliffe Mary Duckworth Widd. Wright Jeunes Bedforth John Horton Tho. Bidroyd Sam. Lockwood Arther Kay Widd. Tayler Francis Was John Bradley John Hanson John Kay

Edw. Berry Geo. Kay

Page 192


Widd. Waterhouse Widd. Shaw Robt. Beamount John Crowther John Lockwood Tho. Haigh James Wardley John Haigh Willm. Armitage Tho. Haigh Rich. North Rich. Williamson John Bawden Joseph Brooke Sam Brooke Widd. Hanson Widd. Senior Anto. Dyson

James Sikes Joseph Litle Tho. Blackburne Edmond Shawe John Ainley, of Parkgate Susan Hanson Widd. Beamont

John Wilkinson Tho. Beamont Tayler Robt. Bedford Geor. Willy Willm. Willy Hen. Wood Rich. Marsden

Willm. Hepworth Widd. Sikes Thomas Gilbt Sam Feild Tho. Heaton Robt. Haigh

There appear, then, to have been 184 houses in Almondbury two hundred and fifty years ago. But the value of the Return, and, indeed, of others, is lessened by the fact that we cannot now know what area was com- prised under Almondbury. Clearly not the ancient parish, for we find separate returns for Marsden, part of which was in that parish. Allowing five persons to each house, the population of Huddersfield was, in 1664, about 700 souls, of Almond- bury 920.



Hearthes. Nichollas Lockwood 2 Nichollas Chadwick. ....... 2 Widdow Dyson ........... I Richard Lee.............. 2 Toby Walker ............. I James Wilson ............ 2 John Pogson ............. I Jerem. Aineley ............ I John Hague.............. I Edward Lee.............. 2 John Bray ............... 2 John Hurst. .............. I Widdow Broadbent 2 John Hurst. .............. I Willm. Anieley ........... I George Hurst. ............ I Edward Hurst............ 2 Anthony Bray............ 3 Henry Pogson ............ I

Page 193


Hearthes. Hearthes. James Whitwham......... I Robert Heywood .......... I James Hurst ............. 3 James Goldthropp ........ I Arthur Wilson ............ I Richard Crosland ......... I Widdow Walker .......... 3 Widdow Brooke .......... I Willm. Anieley ........... 2 John Haigh .............. I Joseph Apielyard ....:.... I James Harrison........... I George Dyson ............ 4 John Wilson, senr. ........ I James Dyson............. 5 Edward Harlin ........... 2 Widdow Hoyle ........... I Willm. Dyson ............ I George Ratcliffe .......... I James Bray .............. I John Hurst .............. I Hugh Ramsden........... 3 John Dyson .............. 4 Edward Harlin ........... I Hugh Ramsden........... 4 John Wilson ............. I John: Shaw. .............. I John Lockwood ........... 3 Thomas Foster ........... I James Grime ............. 2 John Haigh .............. 2 Joseph Dyson ............ I Willm. Dyson ............ 2 Willm. Dysonn ........... 2 Edward Haigh............ 2 James Swinden ........... -I Joseph Whitwham ........ I John Taylor.............. I John Hurst ...... ake. .... I John Hall. ............... I James Rigley............. 2 John Hinchcliffe .......... I John Haigh .............. I Robert Shaw ............. I John Haigh .............. I Widdow Dyson .......... o Widdow Eastwood ...... .. 5 John Eastwood ........... I EMPTY AND NOE DISTRESS TO BE HAD. James Whitley ............. I

OMITTED BY REAsoN OF POVERTY-4. Rost BEnxnIt, Collr. James Const.


Hearthes. Hearthes. Sarah Ramsden........... I Thomas Oldfeild .......... I Willm. I Benjam. Houldroyd ...s... I John Hinchcliffe .......... I Joseph Nicholls. .......... 2 Godfrey Hinchcliffe ....... I Henry Smith ............. 2 John Denton ............. I Gilbert Ramsden.......... 2 Jarvas Ainley ............ I John Hanson............. 4 George Haigh ............. 2 Mr. John Taylor, junr...... 5 John Owen ............... 2 Robert Thornton .......... I Edward Hollingworth ..... 3 James Sikes (?) ........... I Joseph Ramsden.......... I Edward Taylor ........... 2 Mr. John Taylor, sen. ..... I John Bawderson .......... F Widdow Brayshay 2 Edward Linley ........... 2 Willm. Crowther .......... I Mathew Jagger ........... I

Johr Hanson............. 2 Willm. Hague ............ I

Page 194


Hearthes. Hearthes. Willm. Hurst............. I John Hague.............. 2 _ Joseph Dawson ........... I George Dawson ........... 2 Abraham Kay............ I John Richardson .......... I Edward Ainley ........... 2 Widdow Gleadall.......... 2 Willm. 2 George I James Haigh ............. I John Hellewell . ........... 2 Benjam. Oldroyd ......... 2 Henry Heigh ............. 2 John Denton ............. I Edward Heigh............ I Michaell Dawson. ......... I Widdow Hurst.....,...... I Widdow Butterworth ...... I Robert Hanson ........... I

EMPTY AND NOE DISTRESS TO BE HAD. George Ripley ............. I

OMITTED BY REaAsoN or PovERTY-I. Tromas MipLEton, Collr. Tnxomas Marrinson, Const.

There were then in all 71 houses in Quarmby (Cold Car Quarter) having hearths, from which we shall be warranted in assuming a population at that time of some 350 souls, mostly, apparently, of the humbler sort. In the Longwood Quarter, 50 hearths, and a probable popu- lation of 250.



HONLEY. Hearthes. Hearthes. Richard Marsden .......... 2 Robt. Beamount.......... I Joseph Sawnderson I Joseph Bayly ............. I Hen. Wilson. ............. I Godfrey Whiteheade. ...... I Humphrey Armitage ...... 2 Charles Crosley ........... I Henry France ............ I Arthur Jeshoppe.......... I William Hepworth ........ I Edmond Eastwood ........ I John Ibbotson ............ I Abra. Beamount .......... 2 Uxor (Wife) Ibbitson ...... I Joseph Seniour ........... I John Crosley ............. 2 Godfrey Litlewood ........ LI James Tailor ............. I Mathew Nowles........... 3 John Hooghe............. I Godfrey Burrough ......... OI Robt. Sikes .............. 2 James Dyson............. I Tho. Leigh ............... I John Leigh ............... I Tohn Wood .............. I Caleb Swallow ............ I

Mary Swinden ............ I Edmond Haigh ........... I

Page 195


Hearthes. Hearthes. Willm. Brooke............ h James Sykes ............. I Nicholas Grinne........... I Willm. France ............ I Robt. lHey ............... 4 Abraham Moorehouse. ..... I James Bawmforth . ........ 3 Abra. I Mrs. Netleton............. 4 John Marsden ............ I Anto. Healey............. I Henry Robinson (one en- Tho. Crosley Lk.... I creased) ................ 2 Geo. Dixon............... I John Lockwood ........... 2 John Greenshoppe......... I John Haigh .............. I Joseph Armitage. ......... I Anto. Dyson. ............. I Uxor Crosley ............. I Joseph Burrough .......... I Richard Turton........... I Joseph Beamount......... I Michaell Woodheade. ...... I Godfrey Ouldfeild......... I John Cockin.............. I Abra. Swallowe ........... I Oliver Dearnley........... I Tho. Lockwood ..... e..... I Uxor Hoyle .............. I James Litlewood.......... I John Healey ......... 22... I Willm. Crosley ............ 4 Denis Haigh .............. I John Taylor.............. I John Sugden ............. H James Thorpe ............ I Joshua Healey ............ 1 _- Roger Armitage, for Tho. Rich. Bates .............. I Ellison and himselfe. .... 3 NoT CHARGEABLE. Charles Heaslegreave ...... I Edward Hepworth ........ I Uxor Burrough, senr....... I Uxor I Uxor Burrough, senr....... I Robt. Armitage........... I Joseph Slater............. I Uxor Battye.............. I Edward Tayler ........... I Uxor Lockwood ........... I Uxor Cockin.............. I Joseph Senior............. I John Dyson .............. I Willm. I Uxor Hirst. ....... I Edw. Taylor.............. I James Armitage .......... I Willm. I Uxor Hadfeild ............ I Mathew Armitage......... I Tho. Hincliffe. ............ I John France. ............. I Uxor Ibbitson ............ I Abra. I Martin I Joseph Healey ............ I Andrew Haigh............ I Joseph I Tho. Cockin .............. I George Watterworth....... I John Robts .............. I Uxor Hutchinson ......... I Leod. Bearnby............ I Richard Tayler ........... I Joshua Ainley ............ I Joseph Taylor ............ I Tho. Turtor .............. I Geo. Healey.............. I Mathew Healey........... I Jeffrey Jaggarr ........... I Jarvas (?) Lockwood ..... .. I Willm. Beamount ......... I Willm. Crosland ........... I Joseph Armitage.......... I

Nicho. I

Page 196


There were then, in Honley, in 1664, about II7 occupied houses, affording an estimated population of about 600. Most of the houses boasted only one fireplace, that, doubtless, in the living-room or '" house." The most considerable persons, judging from the style of the house they occupied, were Robt. Hey (four hearths), James Bawmforth, and Mrs. Nettleton. It was not till 1750, nearly a century after the time of this Return, that the Brookes went to reside and carry on business in Honley.


Hearthes. Hearthes. James Taylor............. 4 Godfrey Lynley ........... I Anto. Armitage, .......... 3 John Tayler de Roode ..... I James Waterhouse ........ I Edward Haigh............ I Edw. Waterhouse ......... I Hugh Tayler ............. I John Woodheade ......... I John Armitage ........... I Tho. Harrison ............ 2 - William Parkin ......... .. 1 Godfrey Hirst, jun......... 2 Timothy Woodheade ...... I John Woodkeade.......... 3 Abra. Woodheade......... I Godfrey Eastwood ........ I Geor. Woodheade ......... I Richard Feild ............ I Willm. Kay, sen........... 2 John Tayler, 2 Geor. Kay .......... oe I James Tayler de Diggle ... 1 Willm. Saunderson I Edmond Parkin .......... - I Joshua Wilson ............ I Rich. Scolefeild ........... I Godfrey Booth ............ 2 Abra. Hirst .............. I Hen. Shawe . ............. 2 Abra. Beabount........... I Widd. Woodheade ...... .. I Michaell Littlewood I Willm. I Joseph Berry ............. I Abra. Beaver............. I John Eastwood ........... I Gibbert I Mich. Woodheade ......... I Edw. Wallinson........... I Anto. Ouldfield ........... 3 Willm. Kay, jun........... 2 Abra. Beamount .......... 3 Widd. Newton............ 3 Tho. Beamount........... 2 Richard Brooke........... 2 Isack 2 Humphrey Wilson I Edward Birkheade ........ I Widd. Wilson ............ I Godfrey Hirst, sen......... I Tho. Woodheade, sen. ..... I John Wilson .............. I Step. Mitchell ............ I John Gleadall . ............ I Godfrey Litlewood ........ I James Tayler de Roce .... I Tho. Litlewood ........... I Widd. Champinet ......... 3 Widd. Smith ............. I John Tayler, jun. ......... I Godfrey Litlewood ........ I

NOT CHARGEABLE. Robt. Woddall Jeremy Lockwood

Page 197


Abra. Hinchliffe Geor. Thorpe John Berry James Haigh John Haigh Geor. Haigh Robt. Mathew Widd. Mathew Widd. Birkheade Xpofer (Christopher) Smith Abra. Litlewood John Wilson John Smith Widd. Earnshawe Edw. Holdsworth Geor. Taylor Anto. Dyson Thomas Shillitoe

In Meltham, then, there were 41 domiciles, suggesting a population of some 200. Of those seventeen had more than one fireplace ; a fair proportion.

HOLMFIRTH. Hearthes. Hearthes. Rich. Allott, gen. (gentle- Humphrey Crosland I Man) .................. 5 Godfrey Goodall .......... I Joshua Earnshawe, one en- Widd. Booth ............. L creased ................ 4 Humphrey Brooke ........ I John Bearsall . ............ I John Armitage ........... I Tho. Bearsall............. I Widd. Bray .............. I Timothy Eastwood ........ I Rich. Walker............. I Willm. Hincliffc........... I John Bayley .............. I Widd. Howard ............ I James Gen ............... I Isacke Heptonstall ........ I Willm. Hanson ........... I John Beaver.............. I Luke Firth............... I John Mouldcliffe .......... I Tho. Roberts ...s.......... 3 Willm. Earnshawe. ........ I John Morehouse .......... I John Batty ............... I Godfrey Charlesworth ..... I John Hirst ............... 1 Joshua Firth ............. 2 Henry Jackson ........... 3 John Crosland ............ I Hinchliffe, I Geor. Howard .. ........... I James Earnshawe......... -I Tho. Robucke ............ I Geor. Tinker, 1 encreased .. I Robt. Hall ............... 2 Oliver Hadfeild ........... OI John Dison ............... I Henry Marsh ............. I Rich. Crossland ........... I Widd. 2 Arthur Kay .............. I Joseph Hinscliffe.......... I Bartho. Bray ............. I Godfrey Robts............ I Godfrey Booth ............ I Joseph Hinscliffe.......... I Francis Wesly ............ I Edmond Hinscliffe ........ I John Cuttall.............. I John Hinscliffe ........... I Abra. Dixon .............. 2 Adam Hirst .............. I Edw. Dearnley ........... I John Litelwood ........... I John Beaver ............. 3 James Hinscliffe .......... I Michaell Watterhouse. ..... I

John I John Cartwright .......... I

Page 198


Hearthes. Hearthes, Robt. I Reaginald Bower.......... I Edmond I Anto. Wilson ............. I John Haigh .............. I Robt. Ellis ............... I John Litlewood, jun. ...... I Tho. Roberts ............. I Widd. I Godfrey Moorehouse. ...... I John Hinscliffe ........... I Joshua Robts............. I Widd. Marsh ............. I Godfrey Castle. ........... I Rich. Hinscliffe ........... I John Broadheade ......... I Michaell Firth ............ I Oliver Roberts............ I James Haigh ............ . I Geor. Moorehouse . ........ 3 Ellica Firth .............. I Nathan Booth ............ I John Litlewood ........... I John Moorehouse ......... 3 John Butterworth ........ L of John Armitage...s......... I John Marsden ............ I Anto. Wilson ............. 2 Michaell Hirst ............ I Mary Castle .............. I John Firth ............... I Widd. Rowbotham........ I Abra. Charlesworth ........ I Jonas Kay ............... 2 Nicholas Gouldwell I John Hinley.............. 4 Hen. Taylor.............. I Denis Haigh .............. I Godfrey Charlesworth ..... I Widd. Marsden ........... 2 Geor. Shawe.............. I John Batty .............. I Rich. Hinscliffe ........... I Joseph Bathewman ....... I John Litlewood, I Hen. I James Keiley 1 Rich. Batty .............. 2 John Hollingworth .. ...... I James Roberts............ I Rich. Marsh.............. I Edmond Moorehouse ...... I Francis Wortley .......... I Widd. Broadheade I Tho. Litlewood ........... I Rich. Ellis ............... I John Mellor .............. I Robt. Fox ............... 1 Widd. Tayler............. I Hen. Gen................. 3 Tho. Beamount........... I Rodger Brooke ........... I Widd. Thornton .......... I Abra. Mathews ........... I John Mellor .............. I Godfrey I Rich. Charlesworth. 2 Tho. Moorehouse.......... I Willm. Almond ........... I Lawe Hinscliffe ........... I Rodger Dearnley.......... I Rich. Booth.............. I Abra. Roade.............. I John Day................ 3 John Haigh .............. I Humphrey Brooke ........ 2 John Watterhouse ........ I Geor. Tyas ............... 2 Rich. Blackburne ......... I Abra. Jaggar ............. I Geor. Roberts ............ I Edw. Beaver ............. I John Ouldham . ........... I James Armitage .......... I John Litlewood ........... I Willm. Beaver............ 2 Gibbs Robts.............. 3 Xpian Binns ............. I James Batty ............. I Rich. Murton............. I

Rich. Litlewood ........... I Edw. Robucke............ I

Page 199


91 + gru‘

" . «so * Leulg! " L mks +> & <% -» & 1

eeu. C ."‘”.'h. ttre ce «n be pus Emad tt N | ‘\:=‘.*-‘7.”.°‘|.ucmN<,TAvaNERuo”flunk!!!”WWW“,_Is.LYDGATECMPEQ‘ M

Obe First Stonconformist Ehapel.

Page 201


Hearthes. Hearthes. Willm. Wimpeyney........ I John Parker.............. I Robt. Whitworth ......... I Widd. Jackson ........... I Joshua Hadfeild .......... I Rich. Mickletwhaite ....... 2 Edmond Broadheade ...... I Francis Beaver ........... I Widd. Midgley I Jo. Hattersley ............ I James Batty ............. I Joshua Tyas.............. 2 Rich. Hinscliffe ........... 2 Xpofer Kay .............. I Rich. Smith .............. I Xpofer Tinker ............ I Adam Greene............. I John Marsh .............. I John Tinger*® ............. I Joshua Berry ............. I Caleb Bery............... 3 Joshua Roade ............ I Tho. Haigh. .............. I Rick. Murgatroyd ......... I Willm. Haigh............. I Godfrey Linley ........... 2 John Hinscliffe ........... I John Crosland ............ I John. Litlewood I Hen. Fletwell............. I Willm. Goodard........... I John Bayly .............. I Geor. Hirst. .............. 2 Willm. Charlesworth . ...... I John Hadfeild ............ I Henry Eastwood ........,... I John Taylor.............. I John Beaver.............. I Willm. Allmon............ I John Marsh .............. I Willm. Gleadell ........... I Widd. Beaver ............ I Geor. Dixon.............. I Geor. I Joseph Broadheade........ 3 Abra. Beaver............. I Ralph Wilkinson........ .. 2 Tho. Moorehouse.......... I Hen. Booth .............. 4 Tho. Hukhinson .......... I Abra. Hinscliffe........... I Geor. Cash ............... I James Hirst. ............. I Hugh Taylor ............. I Abra. Hirst .............. I Widd. Kay............... I James Beaver ............ I Widd. I Thos. Gen................ 2 Rich. Sikes............... I James Charlesworth I Godfrey Hoult ............ I James Tinker............. 2 James Taylor............. I Abra. Berry .............. I Francis Beaver ........... I Joshua Tinker ............ I Geo. Robucke ............ 2 Widd. Charlesworth ....... I Willm. Tyas.............. I John Charlesworth ........ 2 Godfrey Murton .......... 3 Mellers Roberts........... 2 Rich. Kay ............... I John Wagstaffe........... 2 Widd. Moorehouse ........ I Abra. Beaver ............ I Tho. Robucke ............ I Willm. I Gervas Kay .............. I Abra. Greene ............. I John Rowley ............. 2 Abra. I Humphrey Brey .......... I Geor. Roberts ............ I Willm. Thewlis ........... I John Hinscliffe ........... I Nicholas Blackburne ...... I Rich. Hinscliffe ........... I Willm. Moorehouse. ...... . I

Hen. Murton ............. I Godfrey Matthewman ..... I

Page 202


_ . Hearthes. Hearthes. Tho. Hinscliffe............ 2 Widd. Moorehouse ...... .. I Gamaliell Roberts......... I Mathew Moorehouse. ...... 2 Widd. Bray .............. I Willm. Newton ........... 2 Gilbert Cartwright ........ I John Robucke............ I Widd. Hinscliffe .......... I Joseph Arthur............ I James Charlesworth ....... I Abra. Moorehouse......... I Abra. Berry .,............. I John Charlesworth ..... ... I Adam Lockwood .......... I Robt. Hirst .............. 2 Joshua Firth ............. 2 Caleb Charlesworth ........ I Geor. Booth.............. I -_ Abra. Wilby............2.. I Widd. Savile ............. 2 Godfrey Murton .......... 2 Michaell Wood . ........... 2 John Bray ............... I John Tinker.............. I Abra. Earnshawe ......... I Geor. Greene ............. I James Robts. ............ I 'John Castle .............. I Willm. Moorehouse. ...... . 2 Hugh Taylor ............. I Widd. Robucke........... 2 James Roberts............ I Xpofer Wood . ............ 2 Susan Charlesworth ....... I Joshua Thewlis ........... I Joseph Hinscliffe. ......... I -_. Widd. Murton ............ I Joshua Heape ............ I Godfrey Matthewman ..... I Robt. Hinscliffe. .......... I Widd. Matthewman 2 James Charleswort: . . ...... I Henry Moorehouse I James Bray .............. I Mathew Moorehouse. ...... 2 John Moorehouse ......... I Geor. Robucke ............ I Tho. Watterhouse......... I Widd. Robucke........... 2 Widd. Beardshaw ......... I James Bray .............. I Alice Charlesworth ........ I Willm. Hirst ............. 4 Jeremy Kay.............. I Edw. Firth............... I John Hinscliffe ........... I Willm. Lockwood ......... I Godfrey Crosland ......... 2 Henry Wilby ............. I Tho. Litlewood ........... I Michaell Haigh ........... I Widd. Batty ............. I Godfrey Beamount........ 2 Rich. Crossland ........... I Godfrey Berry ............ I Xpofer Wood ............. I Robt. Kay ............... I Geor. Walle ee. 2 Willm. Watson .......... . I James Tinker............. I Godfrey Buckkey (Qy. Joshua Cartwright ........ I Buckley) I Robt. Mellor. ............. I Willm. Rowley ........... I Widd. Cartwright ......... I Godfrey Crosland ......... I Joseph Hinscliffe.......... I Rich. Beaver ............. I Tho. Hinscliffe............ I Tho. Cuttell .............. I Widd. Chappee ........... I


Adam Hinscliffe Mary Hinscliffe Humphrey Earnshawe Susan Binns

Page 203


Thomas Swallowe Marmaduke Pepper Tho. Litlewood Sibbeth Blackburne John Smith Mary Batty John Midgley Martin Shawe James Batty Mary Butterworth Widd. Wood Isacke Heptonstall James Watterhouse Widd. Wagstaffe Oliver Goddard Rich. Batty Widd. Swallowe Alice Hoult Mary Taylor James Gouldwell James Battye John Heptonstall Susan Man Jaine Armitage Joshua Fisher Widd. Rawson Henry Hinscliffe John Cartwright Ambros Hinscliffe Godfrey Batty Godfrey Buckle Abra. Crosland Valentine Booth Susan Hattersby (sic) Willm. Tyas Isabell Clayton Tho. Heaton Sara Haigh Michaell Hirst Abra. Hattersley Isaake Beardall Henry Moore Robt. Matterricke Sam Bramley Abra. Eyley John Haigh

John Linley Humphrey Booth Mary Chappell Godfrey Crosland Abra. Roode Joshua Goodar Rich. Charlesworth Widd. Haigh Jeremyah Fawcett Tho. Broadhead John Swallow Widd. Robts. John Gill Widd. Fawcett James Naylor Humprey Wilson Eliz, Moxon Susan France Geor. Castle Widd. Hill James Buckley Joseph Booth Widd. Fox Joseph Bray John Browne Danyell Bray Humphrey Wilson Mathew Pollard Edmond Robts. Susan Holdsworth Michaell Howgatte Widd. Greene Geor. Gleadhill Ralph Rowbotham John Hadfeild Widd. Marsh Rich. Kay John Kay Joseph Hill Tho. Robucke Grace Broadhead Geor. Fawcett James Senior Widd. Kay Ann Lynley Willm. Foster

Page 204


James Buckle Widd. Roobucke Maud Charlesworth Sara Wilby Michaell Eastwood Tho. Blackburne Willm. Hinscliffe Tho. Hutchenson Tho. Robts. John Eastwood Abra. Hinscliffe John Fisher Joshua Batty James Batty

Richard Helliwell

There were, then, in Holmfirth, in all, 437 domiciles, with a population of, perhaps, two thousand two hundred souls. Of all the houses assessed, considerably more than half boasted only one fireplace, and as to those not charge- able, III in number, it may be assumed that those also were thus slenderly provided against the cold. But in Huddersfield, as we have seen, there were but 140 houses, though a far greater proportion had more than one fire- place. Indeed, whilst in Holmfirth, out of a total of 437 houses, only 52, or less than 12 per cent., had more than one hearth, in Huddersfield, out of a total of 140 houses, 53, or 38 per cent., had more than one. - Again, whilst in Holm- firth only one house had five hearths and but two four, in Huddersfield there was one house with ten hearths, two with eight, three with five, and quite a number with three. We may conclude, therefore, that the wealthier people of the district were already finding Huddersfield a more con- venient place in which to fix their homes.

SHELLEY. Hearthes. Hearthes. Edw. Nickols and Tho. John Shaw I Nickols ..... e 5 Joseph Mossey .......... he Willm. Naylor ............ I Tho. Sykes I Humphrey Hopkin ....... I John Hey and Willm. Joseph Lockwood ......... 3 2 Widd. Longley ............ I Giles Kay |............... I Tho. Sikes and Tho. Shawe. 3 John Hutchinson ......... I Joseph Hepworth and John _- James Hoyle and Widd. Pease .......... oe 2 Hoyle ................. 2 Edw. Senior ............. 2 John Robucke ........... 2 Mathew Nichols. .......... I Willm. Hutchinson I Rich. Nichols and Widd. Agnes Thorpe ............ I Tayler 2 John Hey and Joseph

Willm. Tinker 3 Greene. ................ 2

Page 205


Hearthes. Hearthes. Rich. Booth I John Armitage ........... I Willm. Cocking ........... I John Taylor ............. I Abra. Wood ............. I John Robucke ........... I Rich. Thewlis. ............ I Widd. Broadhead ......... I Willm. Hepworth ......... I John Mossey, sen., Rich. John Warde ............. I Mossey, John Mosey, and Widd. Wood ............. I Hen. Mossey ........... 5 Joseph Battie ............ I NoT CHARGEABLE. Geor. Kilner Xpofer Tinker Joseph Jesshopp Tho. Wright Margaret Jeshopp John Bates John Bingley Rich. Senior Tho. Brutton Sam Feild Gervas Browne Willm. Lockwood John Shaw Eliz., Kay Tho. Chappell Rich. Thorpe Eliz. Lockwood Edw. Nayler

John Nayler In Shelley there appear to have been about the time

of the Restoration but 54 houses, 22 of them small houses with but one fireplace, the largest, that of the Nichols,

having five.

SHEPLEY. . Hearthes. Hearthes. Tho. Firth ............... 5 Edw. Wortley ............ 2 John Pogson ............. 2 John Archer ............. I Thos. Archer ............. I Willm. Moorehouse 3 Robt. Hirst .............. 2 Willm. Hirst ............. I Ralph Gouldthrope ....... 3 Willm. Gouldwell ......... 2 Ann Stephenson .......... I Joseph Gouldthorpe . ...... 2 Joseph Hepworth ......... 2 Edmond Moorehouse ...... 2 Willm. Wortley I Sara Copley .............. I Margarte Hepworth I James Bray .............. 2 Mathew Ward ........... .. 2 Ellen Beardsell ........... 2 John Bray ............... 2 Tho. Firth ............... I Joshua Marsden .......... I Tho. Hobson ............. I Joseph Hobson ........... I Mathew Berry ............ 2 Edw. Armitage ........... 3 Willm. Kay .............. I Ja. Booth I Willm. Kay .............. 2 Edw. Gouldthrop ......... I Abra. Swallowe . .......... I NOT CHARGEABLE. Geor. Moorehouse Dinis Wood

Tho. Wood Alice Lockwood

Page 206


Edw. Walker Tho. Gouldthroppe John Tayler Ellias Malelew John Hobson Eliza. Rowley Tho. Wortley Grace Lockwood Edw. Gillot Francis Rausley

In all 46 hearths to be taxed and 14, or nearly one- third, exempt, presumably on the ground of extreme poverty. Clearly, Shepley was in a parlous state. The Firths who, in the seventeenth century, were the most considerable householders in Shepley, lived at Shepley Hall.

KIRKHEATON. Hearthes. Hearthes. The Parsonage House...... 6 Joseph Murton ........... I Mr. Tho. Dickin .......... 4 Tho. Ashton ............. I Sam Jepson .............. 3 Mary Blackburne ......... I And at his milne........ I Abra. Charlesworth I Valentine Stead .......... 2 Rich. Hepworth .......... I John Wilson .............. 2 Tho. Hepworth ........... I Robt. Lily, 2 Henry Booth ............. 3 Rich. Copley ............. 3 Willm. North ............ I Hen. Spivey ............. 2 John Greenald I Robt. Castle ............. I Willm. Hepworth ......... I Eliz. Staforth ............ I Geor. Wood .............. 2 John Senior .............. 2 Robt. Stringer I John Browne ............ I Abra. Kay ............... I John Pickles t. ............ 2 Tho. Murton ............. I Robt. Pickles ............ 2 John Beamount........... I Willm. Greene ............ I Rich. Beamount .......... I John Walker ............. I Michaell France .......... I Isacke Blackburne ........ I Robt. Wesson ............ I Robt. Swailes............. I Nathan Swallowe ......... I Mrs. Ashton ............. 3 John Armitage ........... 4 Mr. Tho. Pickles .......... 5 Joshua Jackson .......... 2 Geor. Copley ............. I Tho. Parker .............. I John Sikes ............... 2 Mary Greenald ............ I Bartholomew Stead ....... I Tho. Chadwicke........... I Robt. Lilly, sen. .......... I Henry Brooke ............ I John Hepworth .......... 2 Willm. Hobson ........... I Arthur Lee .............. 2 Mathew Perry ............ I Willm. Crosley I Rich. Haigh ............. 2 Sam Senior .............. I Rich. Hawood ............ I Edward Murton........... I Susan Hirst .............. I Willm. Quldroyd I Willm. Grime ............ I Susan Hepworth .......... 2 Jennet Lockwood ......... I

John Brooke, of Cound- bridge ................. 2

Page 207



John Grime Mary Wood - Willm. Firth John Prockter Adam Lockwood Francis Ealand John Tompson Sara Brooke Samuell Hepworth Edw. Brooke Joshua Stafforth Sara Farrand Rich. Garthside Thomas Senior Susan Ledgard Isabell Heblefilt Joseph Stafforth Robt. Greenald

Willm. Beamount John Broadley Abra. Dolliffe John Brooke Samuell Woofenden Geor. Sikes Joseph Hepworth Sam. Greenald Robt. Stafforth Grace Brooke Isack Crabtree Judeth Castle Rich. Senior John Hamshawe Rich. Walker Robt. Pickles Rich. Durance

Ninety-nine households, one mill, and of the 99 more

than a third exempt.

The Thomas Pickles, whose house

had five hearths, and who is distinguished by the preface " Mr.," was doubtless that Thomas Pickles, tanner, who, as we have seen, was fined £120 for his loyalty to the Stuarts in the Civil War. The Dickin family I have men- tioned in connection with Kirkheaton Church as related to that of Charles Dickens, the writer.


Hearthes. Hearthes. Mr. Briggs ............... 6 Arthur Brooke ........... I Sam Wood ............... 2 John Fotton ............. 2 John Robucke ............ 2 Willm. Kay .............. I William Booth ........... I Rich. Hutchinson ......... I Gilbt. Winpennmy .......... 2 Geo. Haigh .............. 2 John Kay 2 John Armitage. ........... I John Hirst ............... I Willm. Turner ............ 2 Edw. Cockell ............. 2 John Cockell ............. I Widd. Chappell ........... I John Smith .............. I Joseph Hey .............. I Robt. Fitton ............. I Joseph Kay .............. I John Moxon, sen. 2 Joseph Haigh ............ I Thomas Shawe . ........... I Robt. Armitage I John Booth .............. I Robt. Dickinson .......... 2 Jervas Sikes I Edw. Nowbells. I John Hoyle .............. L

Page 208


Hearthes. Tho. Wood .............. I Willm. Jagger ............ I Arthur Chappell .......... I Hen. Hill ................ I Thomas Chappell ......... I Robt. Walker ............ I Humphrey Hardy I George Sikes .............. I Geo. Mellor I John France ............. I John Chappell ............ 2 Rich. Hutchinson ......... I


Hearthes. Willm. Smith =............ I Matthew Broadbent ....... I John Fitton .............. I John Moxon, jun. ......... I Xpofer Booth ............. I Tho. Robucke ............ 2 Widd. Chappell ........... I John Hutchenson ......... I John Kay ............... 2 Geo. Wood I Willm. Senior ............ I John Chappell ............ I Tho. Hudson Nicholas Clayton

Jabez Mitchell Gamaliell Hudson Tho. Baily Sam France Widd. Bottomley Xpofer Sikes Gervas Hirst Mathew Booth Robt. Johnson John Sunderland Tho. Mellor John Copley Robt. Taylor John Crosley Rich. Smith Edw. Oxley Gervas Sikes Willm. Oxley Rich. Mellor Edmond Booth Tho. Booth John Parkin Widd. Kay

Geo. Hirst Tho. Hardy Ann Tayler James Gleadell James Kay John Batty Widd. Kay Isabell Armitage Joseph Hirst Widd. Ivees Tho. Mellor John Smith Martin Parkin Geo. Firth Rich. Garner Luke Parkin Robt. Senior Robt. Marsden Robt. Hutchinson Rich. Ivees Widd. Johnson Widd. Exley John Battes Joseph Booth Tho. Parkin

In a supplementary Return for Kirkburton, made in 1671, the house of Sir Thomas Beaumont, of Whitley,

is taxed for 17 hearths.

There were thus in Kirkburton 1o5 houses, 50 of them being exempted from the tax, a fact of sinister signi-

Page 209


ficance. With the exception of the abodes of the knight of Whitley-Beaumont and of Mr. Briggs nearly all the houses in Burton seem to have been of the humblest order.

MARSDEN. Hearthes. Hearthes. Henry Pogson ............ I Widdow Gleadall ......... I James Haigh ............. I John Hague ............ 2. 2 John Senyor ............. 2 John Shawe . ............. I Widdowe Marsden I James Marsden ...... 220... I Edward Haigh ........... I Thomas Haigh ........... 3 Joseph Aynley =........... I Luke Firth ............... 2 Widdow Marsden ......... 2 Edward Firth............. I John Hague .............. I James France. ............ I Thomas Shawe............ I Michael Shawe ........... I John Haigh .............. I John Woodhead .......... 3 Michael Carter T Michael Shawe ........... I Joseph Campinet ......... I John Millar. .............. I John Marsden ............ I Luke Firth ............... I Henry Marsden ........... I Jerem. Haigh I Henry Firth =............. I John Kaye, sen. .......... I Richd. Waterhouse I Thomas Gleadall .......... I Parson of Marsden ........ I Thomas Haigh ........... 2 Edmond Mellor ........... I Thomas Eastwood . ........ I John Kay, jun. ........... I John Shaw . .............. I Thomas Marsden 2 John Marsden ............ 2 Henry Marsden ........... I James Marsden ........... I Luke Marsden ............ I John Shawe . ............. I John Firth ............... I John Mellor .............. I Gilro Shaw ............... 2 John Woodhead .......... I Samuel Haigh ............ 4 John Shawcross I Widdow Haigh ........... 3 Andrew Shaw I Thomas Mellor ........... I Luke Shewe I Wm. Firth ............... I John Haigh .............. I James Carter ............. 2 James Garside ............ I Robert Wood I Robert Mellor ............ I John Shewe . ............. I William Ainley ........... 3 John Marsden ............ I Luke Shewe I Widdow Haigh ........... 2 Widdow Berry ........... I John Woodhead .......... 2 John Mellor .............. I Thomas Hague ........... 2 John Mellor Mal.... I John Haigh .............. I Widdow Shawe ........... I John Gleadell ............ I John Firth ..............2. I John Marsden ............ I James France. ............ I John Mellor .............. I John Marsden ............ 2

William Shawe............ I Omitted by reason of poverty 2

Page 210


There were, then, in Marsden, in the year 1666, the date of this Bill of Hearths, eighty-one occupied houses, and some of these, if we may judge from the number of hearths, were of size above the common, one house having four fireplaces, four having three, and thirteen two, the remainder but one. Among the last named, strange to record, was the tenement of the Curate of Marsden. In the Returns for the Colne Valley one is impressed by the permanence of family names. The Haighs, Marsdens, Shaws, Firths were rife in Marsden two-and-a-half cen- turies ago ; they flourish with unabated vigour to this day. OMITTED BY REason or PovERTY-2.


Hearthes. Hearthes. John Dixon .............. 3 John Pogson ............. I George Hirst ......... 2... 5 Willm. Sykes ............. I Widd. Bottomley ......... 5 Widd. Thorp ............. 4 James Swinden ........... I John Walker ............. I Willm. Sykes ............. I Edw. Marsden ............ I Ab. Hirst ................ I Widd. Hoyle ............. I Thom. Ffrance ........... I Widd. Baumforth ......... I John Baumforth .......... I James Broadbent ......... I Widd. Share ............. I John Armitge............. I John Baumforth .......... I John Hoyle .............. I Edm. Sykes .............. I John Share .............. I Edm. Bottomley .......... 2 Mrs. Stannop ............. 3. Thom. I John Sharpe. ............. I Widd. Sikes .............. 2 John Sikes ............... I James Bottomley ......... 2 Thom. Dalton ............ I John Lockwood I John Haigh .............. I Robt. Parkin ............. I Edm. Sikes .............. I Widd. Sykes ............. I John Sykes .............. I John Hoyle. .............. I Edm. Sykes .............. a Mary Thomson ........... I Nathan Bottomley ........ I Mich. Aneley ............. I John Ffrance ............. 2 James Wood ............. I Willm. Hirst. ............. I Geo. Share ............... I Geor. Hirst .............. I Widd. Lockwood 2 James Armitage .......... I Thom. Townend .......... 2 Willm. Sykes ............. 2 Geor. Lockwood .......... I James May I James Swinden ........... I John Hirst ............... I

Robt. Parkin ............, 1 Thom. Haigh ............. L

Page 211


Hearthes. Hearthes, Willm. Sykes ............. I John Calverley ............ I Widd. Sykes ...... «le.... I James Sykes. ............. I Ab. Hirst ................ I Hump. Kay .............. I John Hoyl ............... I James Meller ............. I Thom. Ffrance ........... I Willm. France ........ 2... I Mary Thomson ........... I Jonat. Shard ............. I John Baumforth .......... I Willm. Knight ........... I Mich. Aneley ............. I Robt. Brooke ............ I Widd. Share ............. I John Aneley ............. 2 James Wood ......... wlll I Willm. 2 John Baumforth .......... I James Carter ............. I Geo. Share ............... I Matthew Walker .......... I Edm. Sikes =.............. I Edm. Lee ............... [oI _John Hirst . .............. I James 1 . John Dyson .......... o Edw. Dyson I Hump. Dyson ............ I John Meller .............. I James Sykes .............. I John Armitage. ........... I Sam France .............. I John Shaw . .............. I

In all 93 houses, suggesting a population of 465 souls, as against 405 for Marsden. A sixth of the popula- tion of Slaithwaite bore the name of Sykes, or Sikes. The Bottomleys come next with seven families, the Hirsts after this with six. Only thirteen houses had more than one hearth. The Widow Bottomley would be, probably, the lady at whose house, as we shall see later, the Rev. Oliver Heywood was a frequent guest. I have now set forth all the Hearth Tax Returns for the district with which this history is concerned. I trust I am not mistaken in supposing that many readers may find the lists both useful and interesting. They are of value for more than one reason. The Parish Registers of the mother churches of Huddersfield, Almondbury, Kirk- burton, Kirkheaton, and of the ancient chapels of Marsden, Slaithwaite, Holmfirth, Honley, Meltham, preserve the entries of baptisms, marriages, and deaths from Most people are gratified to be able to trace their lineage from as remote a root as the records permit. By the aid of the lists it should not be difficult for any family long settled in this district to trace, step by step, the family history at least from the time of the Restoration.

Page 212


The Hearth Tax Returns, again, have a special interest to the social reformer. They marked the beginning of a new kind of taxation, the transfer of the incidence of national burdens from the landowner to the tradesman and the workingman, from the aristocracy to the middle and lower classes-the break-up of feudalism. Prior to the time of Charles II. the cost of the defence of the country and the support of the Crown rested mainly upon the landed gentry. In the first year of the Restoration a Parliament of landowners, by a stroke of the pen, abolished the feudal rents theretofore paid to the Crown for the land of the country, and substituted levies upon the people at large. Some of these were by way of indirect taxation-customs and excise. Another was in concep- tion an income-tax. It was assumed that a man's wealth might be fairly judged by the kind of house he lived in, and the house guaged by the number of its hearths. Hence the Hearth Tax. After its abolition in the time of William III., recourse was had to the window tax. In Mr. J. Horsfall Turner's Notes and I find the following entries extracted from the Sessions Rolls : " William Woofenden, Constable of Quarmby, on ooth, 1677, gave information, as collector of H. Matie's revenue of hearth-money, against William Hirst, of Quarmby, for saying, when arrested for hearth- dues, that Woofenden was a knave, and Sir John Kaye* was a knave, and said that soon one could not let a [--] but a Justice of Peace was ready to send out his warrant Fined f10. Leeds 1677 "-a sum equivalent to £30 of this day. If the reader will turn to the Quarmby List he will see no Hirst in that village had more than three hearths, most but one. The tax was 2s. per hearth. Whether William Hirst was taxed 6s. or 2s. £10 seems a vindictive fine, whether inflicted for non-payment or for disrespect for the magistracy. In the same Notes is set

* Doubtless Sir John Kaye of Woodsome, and the magistrate who issued and signed the warrant to the constable.- D.F.E.S.

Page 213


forth the Petition, in 1687, of the inhabitants of Halifax, Eland, Norbury, Sowerby, etc., complaining that the Collectors had introduced the innovation of levying the Hearth Tax upon " their charcole fires for their hot presses for the pressing of cloth and had distrained upon such as had refused and forced them to pay ffoure shillings for every such pretended ffire, and also other ffoure shillings for every distresse," and alleging that " there were never before any duty paid to his matrie or demanded for such ffires either within the said Townes or at London, or in any other pts. of this kingdom." It will be useful at this point to summarise the Hearth Tax Returns for the whole district which they cover. Although I am not sure that those I have been able to present to the reader are all that are preserved in the Record Office I make no doubt there are few omissions, if any. It may, I think, be taken that the Returns in these pages exhibited present a substantially accurate picture of the area embraced in Huddersfield and the Valleys of the Colne, Holme, and Dearne, as it was at the time of the Restoration. That area practically coincides with the area included in the Huddersfield Poor Law Union, which, on its formation in 1837, had a population of some 90,000. One hundred and seventy-three years earlier the Hearth Tax returns indicate in the same area a population of some 7,500 people living in fifteen hundred houses scattered over the town of Huddersfield and the Valleys of the Colne, the Holme, and the Dearne, houses of so mean a character that of the fifteen hundred more than thirteen hundred had but one fireplace. Of the 79,890 acres included in the present Poor Law Union there is indisputable evidence that over twenty-five thousand acres were, at a comparatively recent date, common of the people. It may serve to convey an idea of what is meant by an area of twenty- five thousand acres if we remember that the tract of land comprised in the Borough of Huddersfield from Berry Brow to Deighton and from Outlane to Almondbury is some twelve thousand acres.

Page 214



The rise of Nonconformity-The Rev Richard Sykes- Wycliff's Threefold Witness-Oliver Heywood-The Conventicle: Act-Proclamation of Justices against Conventiclese-Heywood at Slaithwaite-At Golcar-Esqire Ramsden-Mtris Ramsden- The Rev. Christopher Richardson-Presbyterian Church at Lydgate-Oliver Heywood at Lydgate-At Lassell Hall-Incident at Whitley Hall-The Independent Church at Highfield-Its Trust Deed-Discipline-The Rev. Dr. Boothroyd-The Rev. Dr. Bruce-School Board Elections-Other Congregational Churches-Ramsden Street-Jones v. Stannard-Milton Church -The Baptist Churches-Salendine Nook-The Rev. Dr. Stock- The Rev. D. W. Jenkins-Other Baptist Churches-Pole Moor- The Burnplatters-Secession from Pole Moor-The Rev. H. W. Holmes-The Wesleyan Churches-The Church at Netherthong-- At Almondbury-Abraham Moss-Other Wesleyan Churches- The Kilham Controversy-Local Preachers-Squire Brooke- The Unitarian Church-The Secular Institute-The Friends' Meeting House. AUTHORITIES :-Horne: . Popular History of the Free Churches; Miall: Congregationalism in Yorkshire; The Con- venticle Act; Heywood : Diary, Heywood : Register; Heywood : Memoranda ; Morehouse : History of Kirkburton ; Bruce: Mem- orials of Highfield ; Evans: Pole Moor Notes; Phillips: Walks round Huddersfield ; Mallinson : Methodism in Huddersfield ; Cockin : Life of the Rev. Joseph Cockin ; " Huddersfield Chronicle": Fifty Years Ago.

amie annees commas

HATEVER may have been the case in other 09 parts of the country, there appears no evidence in this district of the existence of Nonconformist churches prior to the Stuart era. As we have already seen, the Presbyterian form of public worship gained some acceptance in England during the Civil Wars, and had it not been for the opposition of the Independents, of whom Cromwell was the foremost figure, it may well have been that Kirks and Elders would now be as numerous in this country as in Scotland. We have seen that during the Interregnum Presbyterian ministers occupied the pulpits of the Established Church in this district. Some

Page 215


of the divines who had been appointed to their benefices before the troubles in the Church and State reached their climax showed no little complaisance, accepting the Solemn League and Covenant, and abjuring their bishops with a docility that would have been more remarkable had not the alternative been the loss of their benefices. Thus in Huddersfield the Rev. Edmund Hill was vicar under both King and Commonwealth, as was the Rev. Thomas Naylor, in Almondbury, and both these clergy- men appeared to have conformed, with what grace we may imagine, to the Presbyterian doctrine and discipline. In Kirkheaton Parish the vicar, the Rev. Richard Sykes, was of less plastic disposition. He defied Parliament and all its works and was summarily ejected. The triumph of the sectaries was short-lived. In 1660 Charles II. was restored, and the Church of England came again into what it doubtless regarded as its own, and the Presbyterian ministers had to shift for themselves. But however pliant some of the shepherds proved themselves, it cannot be gainsaid that about the time of the Civil Wars the principles underlying the churches that mow claim the distinctive appellation of Free Churches took abiding root in this district. How far these princi- ples diverge from those of the Episcopalian community may be judged from what Horne in his " Popular His- tory of the Free Churches" calls Wycliffe's Threefold Witness : " Firstly, that the Bible is the ultimate Court of appeal in all matters of conduct, doctrine, and govern- ment. Secondly, that there is such a thing as private judgment in matters theological, and that it is open to the Christian thinker and teacher to question even the most cherished dogma of the authoritative church, and make appeal to the simplicity of the teaching of Christ. Thirdly, that the Church "-here the allusion would seem to be to the Established Church-'" in grasping the temporal power is sacrificing her true authority and jeopardising her influence, losing her soul to a false ideal " : the Free Churches, conformably with Wycliffe's teaching, being unanimous in the contention that " the magistrate is not

Page 216


to meddle with religion or matters of conscience, nor to compel men to this or that form of religion, because Christ is the King and Lawgiver of the Church and conscience." The dominance of the State in matters of religion, as avowed in the creeds and government of the Anglican Church, was therefore a matter stoutly resisted by the Nonconformists, and, after the Restoration, though the general body of the people probably saw without much regret, if not with actual relief, the end of the austere reign of the Calvinist professors and the revival of the less exacting discipline and more comfortable doctrine of the Church of their fathers, yet many still clung to the prin- ciples underlying the Free Churches, and that despite the fact that their mode of worship exposed them to the opprobrium of their neighbours and the terrors of the law. That the spirit of Nonconformity survived in this district after the Restoration is due mainly to the labours of Oliver Heywood. This eminent divine, born at Little Lever, near Bolton, Lancs., in March, 1630, and baptised in the parish church of Bolton, but without the sign of the cross, entered the Presbyterian Church, and in 1655 settled at . Northowram, and became the pastor of a small church at Coley. These pages are not the place for any record of the manifold labours and trials of this devoted minister, of whom Miall, in his " Congregationalism in Yorkshire " thus writes : " To no servant of God is the cause of Evan- gelical dissent in Yorkshire so largely indebted. Though not a man of genius, his piety, his courage, his earnestness and labouriousness have caused his name to be indelibly engraved in the history of Nonconformity, especially in the West Riding, and his course furnishes the most remark- able illustration of the manner in which the seed scattered by English Presbyterians ripened into modern Congrega- tionalism. A very considerable number of the churches which now belong to Independency have arisen, more or less directly, from the exertions of this most Apostolical man. Even when age and infirmity had much diminished his physical powers, he continued to labour on, and the estimation in which he was held was very wide and

Page 217


general ; and in his old age he received several invitations from other congregations, and among others from St. Helen's, in London, which had lost by death the services of Dr. Annestey. But Heywood steadfastly refused them all. When he could no longer walk, he was borne, like another Apostle John, into the public assembly, and still preached with energy and favour. At length, on May 4th, 1702, he yielded up his spirit to that God whom he had untiringly served amidst such a fight of afflictions. His death quenched the greatest Evangelical light of the northern district. Baxter did great things for Kidder- minster and London. Bunyan did much for the district round Bedford. But still more was done by Heywood in the wide space over which his influence extended." That " wide space " included the district with which this History has to do. Heywood's Diary is a record of his labours, a marvellous story of untiring activity, and I make no apology for extracting from it references to his efforts in this locality, for they are, in all probability, the only remaining minutes of the proceedings of the small and often scant gatherings which in the fulness of time became great and powerful organisations. It should be premised that the Act of Uniformity, passed but two years after the Restoration, compelled or sought to compel " assent and consent '" to everything in the Book of Common Prayer ; and by the Conventicle Act of 1664 all meetings consisting of five persons or more (exclusive of the family) assembled for the exercise of religion in any manner other than according to the Liturgy and practice of the Church of England, were prohibited, and all persons present, above 16 years of age, were for the first offence to pay a fine of £5 (equivalent to at least £20 of this day), or be imprisoned three months ; for the second offence £10 or six months ; for the third offence £100 or be transported to one of the American plantations for seven years. The following copy of a proclamation issued in 1681 is of interest :-

Wrest Rip. CoUN. EBOoR. WHEREAS His Majesty hath been pleased to express his

Page 218


resolution that the Justices of the Peace of the severall Countyes within this His Kingdom of England should use their utmost endeavours to suppress all Conventicles and unlawfull meetings under Colour or Pretence of any excuse of Religion in other manner than according to the Liturgy and Practice of the Church of England, It is this day ordered that . . . the Justices of Peace use their utmost indeavours to suppress all Conventicles and unlawfull meetings upon pretence of such Religious worship within this County. And to the end this good work may be effectually performed. It is further Ordered that a Warrant be made and directed to the Constables, etc., of every Parish and Precinct within this Ryding, Commanding them . . . that they do make a diligent inquiry of such Conventicles and unlawfull meetings in their severall Parishes and Precincts. And that they do take the Christian name, Sir-name, and place of abode of every Person that hath Preached or Teached in any such meeting within a month last past. . . . And also the Christian name and Sir-name, with the additions, of the most considerable Persons that frequent such Conventicles and meetings, and of such as wittingly or willingly suffer any such Conventicles, meeting, or unlawfull assembly in his or her house, outhouse, or barne, etc.

The reader will, therefore, the better appreciate the difficulties under which Nonconformists laboured, parti- cularly after the Restoration and before the Act of Tolera- | tion, and the extracts from Heywood's Diary, referring as they often do to meetings in private houses, the very Conventicles aimed at by the Act, possess a special interest, for those meetings were, so to speak, the very cradles and nurseries of Dissent in this district.

1666.-On Thursday (May 31) I went to Robert Bins' house to visit my friends about Slawait where I am wont to keep exercise every year-but now they are fallen and al things changed. On Thursday, Jany. 9 (1667-8) . . . we passed on towards Slaughwait, but being waylaid with snow upon the hills we had a difficult and dangerous journey, yet at last got to Widdow Bottomley's house, and providence ordered my coming thither very seasonably, for their minister being absent I preached at the chapel* on Lord's day, where I had kept many an exercise, there god assisted graciously at night I went to Robert Bins' house. Nov. 28, '69.-The day after I came to Slaighwait according to appointment; but upon the wrong day, it was a heavisome disappointment, multitudes came from all sides, nobody came to supply the place.

* Clearly the Chapel of Ease of St. James.-D.F.E.S.

Page 219


Aug. 28, 1670.-On Lord's day after young Mr. Root preacht at Shadwel, Lord Savil, Mr. Copley, Mr. Hammond, and 40 of Lord fretzwels troopers from York came took Mr. Root, carryed him to York, put him in the castle, took 4 or 500 names of people, seized on their horses made them pay 5s. a peece before they had them-tho he is a prisoner- . . . he was kept close prisoner put into the low jayl among 12 thieves, had double yrons laid on him for 4 days and nights, but upon Capt. Hodgson's importunity with Mr. Copley was released. Oct. 4, 1670.-On Thursday I went to Slawit to help Mr. Root, in a day of thanksgiving for his deliverance out of prison, and god was seen on that day. June 9, 1672.-Sam Holdworth and I rode to Robt. Bins at Slaughwait where great number of people were got together, god helped me in praying, preaching on Rom. 54. blessed be god.

An entry in Heywood's Register records :-

Sarah Bins (Robert Bins wife) of Slaughwood dyed Saturday May 3, 1684, buryed May 7, aged 77.

And a later entry :

Robert Bins, formerly of Slaughwait dyed at Steneland, buryed at Ealand, June 26, 1692, aged 92. Aug. 14, 1672.-At Slawaut Mr. Dawson and I preacht an exercise-He preacht first, very well, I followed, but could neither pray nor preach as I was wont. I had a weighty subject about the difficulty of salvation from I Pet., 4, 18-but it would not off. I strove and sweat about it but it would not doe, yet towards the latter end of my sermon I found some inlargemt. v Jany. 13, 1673.-I went from home upon a cal to preach at Mr. James Dison's house at Westwood near Slaughwait. When I came thither the people were going down to the chappel, and so had concluded and ordered, that there I should preach for the license for his house was not come. I was a little startled at having been so lately before that great man that is lord of Slaughwait,- but I must either preach there or nowhere so I continued, and there was a great congregation, god helped my heart, affections, voyce, for I was hoarse through a cold.

Heywood's Diary is not confined to recording his journeys and preachings. In the " Rawson" volume are entries that surely should find place in a local history :

A son of Esquire Ramsden's of Longly, who had been a souldier, a wild, ranting, hectoring blade of no mean size, having been at Huthersfield Octob. 30, 79, having been drinking too liberally, went home about 12 o'clock to his mother's, was observed to sing and rant as he went out of towne, but in the morning was

Page 220


found dead in their owne fields a little beyond the bridg, much blood having issued from his body, whether slain by himself or

some other its not known, it was astonishing. 1680. Mtris Ramsden of Langly-hall near Huthersfield, wanting preferment for her daughters suitable to their deserts, and for better education, goes to York, lives there, got various acquaintances. She had with her a daughter that was a widow, had married Sir Wm. Dobson's son of Heath-hall, had 400 li a year joynture. They fell into acquantance with a souldier and his sister (really his wh e)-Intimate they were. The Lady was desired to stay all night, lay with his sister. In the morning the souldier comes into the room pretending business with his sister, she out of bed, he went to her, either threatened or bewicht her to marry him, he sends her to London, now wants writings, oh dreadfull cheat.

-an entry that reads rather like an excerpt from *' Tom Jones " or " Pergrine Pickle."

Mr. Clark, vicar of Huthersfield, hath behaved himself with strange insolency since he came thither in many things, particularly concerning a house and land of 10 li a year given to the poor decayed housekeepers of Huthersfield, but he would needs have it in his hands that he might give it to the common poor of the parish, whereby he lost the favour of the townsmen. With other strange acts-he hath made a law that if any weddings come to church after the clock hath struck 12 they must pay 5sh. or not be marryed. Mr. Robinson, vicar of Ambry [Almondbury] (alas a careless, swearing man) having marryed his daughter to Mr. Hayford (late chaplain at Fixby) placed him at Honly Chapel (one Armitage dying having left 16 li a year to it) yet not content therewith will needs thrust out Mr. Ellison from Meltam (to woh 40 li a year is fixed) to place his son in law in yt place also, and the Mr. Ellison had Mr. Robinson's hand for Meltam, yet he denys his own hand, charging Mr. Ellison for forging it, tho he acknowledged to several that he hath given him his hand. Strange things this Robinson doth, however Heyford is a very debaucht person as is reported.

Between Mr. Richardson, Vicar of Kirkheaton, and Mr. Oliver Heywood a great friendship existed, and the references to Kirkheaton, Lascelles Hall, and Kirkburton are too numerous to be transcribed. Selections only must suffice. It was in the last-named parish, at Lydgate, that a Presbyterian Church was established soon after the expulsion of the two thousand ministers who refused to

Page 221


conform to the requirements of the Act of Uniformity ; and to Lydgate, too, the allusions are numerous.

June 13, 71. . . . went forward to the Lidget in Kirk- 'burton parish, preacht at John Armitage's to a great number. Jan. 13, 72-73. On Thursday upon a call and appontmt, I went to J. Armitage's at Lidget, a licensed place*, where many people were together, preacht, lodged at Mr. Ab. Lockwood's, of Blackhouse in Burton parish. July 4, 73. I went and preacht at Lassal-hall with Mr. Richardson. Jan. 2, 72. I went to Lassel-hall near Kirkheaton to preach an exercise with Mr. Richardson, where we were disturbed by Sir John Kaye's Clark, who required a sight of our licenses, and when we had done we went to Sir John, shewed him our license for the house-with promise of personal-so dismist.

From the Memoranda-

One John Pickles being urged and threatened to the sacra- ment, yet resolved to keep the sitting posture, but the church- warden bad him kneel, and got hold of him to bend his knee and did bow him. Shortly after that churchwarden had his knee broken, woh could never be set straight, but he goeth still bowing and bending his knee and wil doe while he lives. - This was in the parish of Kirk-heaton. On Jan. 2, 1671-2, I joyned with Mr. Richardson at an exercise at Lassel-hall, abundance of people came. When Mr. R. was preaching Sir John Kay's sergeant came, and thrust through the crowd, made inquiry whether he had a licence to preach there. Mr. R. smartly answered wt. have you to doe with that? The man withdrew, Mr. Richardson went on. I confess at first it something affrighted me, and I thought with myself if he come again wn. I am preaching it will put me quite out-Well he finished, I succeeded, and when I had prayed and was preaching, he came again, demanded if we had licence. Mr. Rich. ans. sharply saying what authority have you to inquire ? He ans.: his master sent him. Who is your master, said he, he ans. : Sir John Kay, and he commanded us both in the King's name to goe along with him to his master. Mr. R. ans. : we would not goe without a warrant, he told him he had a warrant, we desired to see it, he shewed it us. I read it, wherein both our Tight names were. When I saw that I gave him mild words and desired him to stay awhile while we had done our work and then

* License issued under an assumed dispensing power of the Crown and the celebrated Declaration of Indulgence.- D.F.E.S.

Page 222


we would obey him. Wel, sth. he, I shall wait your leisure, he stood by, I went on with my sermon, and god graciously helped above fear, it was quite gone, and god helped memory, and elocution, and affection. When we had done our work we went along with that man and two of Sir John's livery-men, came to Woodsome. That Clark (I suppoe he was) was churlish and snappish, told me he thought we had not made such particular reflections as we did. I asked him in what? Sth. he, I took

good notice of your words. I bade him speak truth and I cared not what he said. We went into the hall, wherin many serving- men were playing at cards at the table. We waited a pretty while. At last, Sir John came, who askt us if we had any licences, saying his majesty hath graciously incouraged conformists, and indulged others of his subjects that pretend conscience in not conforming, but his princely clemency hath been abused in many places, therefore sth. he, he hath sent us expresse order to inquire into persons licenses.

On promising to forward their licenses the two ministers were dismissed. I fear the good parson, like many another before and since, must have had an exceptionally quick ear for scandal. In the Event Book under date, July 1, 1674, he jots down :-

There was several gentlemen at Whitley hall. Mr. Rich. Beaumont of Lassel hall slightly invited them to his house. They made an appointment among themselves to come. He had laid up Iq gallons of wine agt. his wife lay in. Being come thither, and besides beer, ale, they drank all those 19 gallons that night except 4 bottles. There was fearfull blasphemous work. There they lay like swine, they were but 7 men that drank all this.

An entry of quite another kind is as follows, and gives some further notion of what dissenters must perforce endure before the Revolution of 1689.

On Aug. 30, 1682, at mine own house, we kept a solemne day of thanksgiving to god for the publick liberty we have injoyed in my house without interruption, above 10 yeares, notwithstanding many warrants issued out agt. us as well as others. Yet we have been secured through the moderation of our officers as instrumental where all the societys round about us have been sadly broken and scattered. Mr. Smith at Kipping e meet not in the day, but in the night for these several months, so at . . . Mr. Whitehurst at Lidiat-all have been some way hindered in the places they are used to meet in.

Page 223


Dangers by road, etc., Heywood shared with other travellers in those days of bad roads and worse lighting. He describes an experience on his way to Lydgate Chapel. that was doubtless common enough :-

Going in the snow from Mr. Lockwood's of Blakehouse to J. Armitage's, going down the hill from Thurstiland to Lidiat, having no tract in the new snow, I mist my way, and went down too soon, and so got entangled in a wood, among bogs, and very dangerous precipices. I made my way towards the end of the wood where I knew my way lay, but toyld hard, one while riding where I durst, another while struggling and sweating afoot till my breath was spent. I stood still and breathed and at it again. My horse followed me, tho' with great difficulty. It was moon- light. At last I got to J. A. When I told him where he had been he was much astonishd, and wondered how I ever got quit, and said I did not know my danger, for that place is full of pits, so that it is called Sinking-hills* by the inhabitants. . . . I was still on a sweat, but got hot drink, fell to praying, preaching to about 40 persons.

In Morehouse's " History of Kirkburton " is an account of Lydgate Chapel : " This religious society takes its rise from the preaching of ejected. THE LyDGATE ministers _. . ._ in the reign of Charles PRESBYTERIAN II., and is the only chapel which was CHxUurcH. founded through the labours of those worthy confessors within a district com- prising the parishes of Kirkburton, Almonbury, Hudders- field, and Kirkheaton ; comprehending the Valleys of the Holme and the Colne (or Marsden Valley) down to Cooper Bridge; including now a population of more than one hundred thousand souls The most important agent in spreading the principles of nonconformity here, and in many parts of the West Riding, was the Rev. Oliver Heywood. Shortly after the 'ejectment' took place a considerable number of ernest persons in the parish having strong religious impressions, and deeply sympathising with those ministers, met together for worship; but as the laws forbade all such meetings, they were held in

* Sinking-Wood.

Page 224


great secrecy.* The place of their most frequent resort was the house of Godfrey Armitage, of Lydgate, who is stated to have been ' a great friend of Mr. Oliver Hey- wood.' This house was pulled down a few years ago." (Dr. Morehouse's History was published in 1861.) " It was an ancient structure, built about the reign of Charles I. or somewhat earlier, and was one storey in height. " In 1672 this Society obtained a license for the house of John Armitage, at Lydgate. The chapel was rebuilt in 1768. In 1786 a gallery was erected ; and in 1801 an organ was added. In 1848 the chapel underwent extensive repairs. "* The interior of the chapel has more the appearance of an ecclesiastical structure than usually appertains to dissenting chapels. The windows are ornamented with stained and ground glass. The pulpit and reading desk are within the communion rail, opposite the entrance. In a recess in the communion table are the works of Archbishop Tillotson, three volumes folio, chained to the table. These have been from time immemorial. " In regard to the foundation deed of this chapel, there is no stipulation with respect to doctrine, neither has any confession of faith for membership been required, and in conformity with these principles the English Presbyterian congregations generally adopted the practice of ' open communion.' " A Mr. Milward was the first resident minister of Lydgate-about 1700. Although the community at Lydgate, in common with many other English Presbyterian churches, gradually discarded the Trinitarian faith, and is now numbered among the professors of Unitarian doctrine, a very little reflection will convince the reader that dissent in this district must turn to Lydgate as the local Mecca of Nonconformity.

* It was customary to have the meetings in a house or barn on an elevated situation. Sentinels were posted who gave warning of the approach of the " minions of the law," whereupon the flock dispersed.-D.F.E.S.

Page 225


If I am right in believing that the Presbyterian Chapel at Lydgate was the first Nonconformist temple erected in this district, it would seem to Or THE InpE- follow that the Independent or Congrega- PENDENT OR tional communities, as lineal successors CoONGREGA- - of the Presbyterians, are entitled to place TIONAL of honour among the existing orthodox CHURCHES. dissenting bodies of the district; though in point of time the Baptist Church at Salendine Nook had precedence. I have already* spoken of the ministry of the Rev. Henry Venn of the Hudders- field Parish Church. His successor, the Rev. Harcar Crook, failed to hold the numerous and earnest disciples whom Mr. Venn had attracted to the ancient fane of St. Peter's. We are that " the people who had profited by his (Mr. Venn's) preaching were repelled from that church by discourses which had formed a marked contrast to those which they had lately heard within the same walls. So that they were dispersed in various directions, some to neighbouring churches and some to dissenting chapels. Several of them at length determined upon building a chapel, in the hope that they might be united together in one body, under a pastor of their own choice. Mr. Venn gave his sanction and assistance to the plan, and advised the people to attend the chapel after it was built. . . It was Mr. Venn's first hope that the Liturgy would be used in the new chapel at Huddersfield. . . . But in this and in many other important respects his expectations were disappointed."" We are told in the " Life of the Rev. Joseph Cockin,'"' by his son, that just as in the motion of a fish the head is pushed forward by the tail, so in this instance, the poorer members of the parish church were the first to resolve upon a chapel and contribute towards it, and afterwards wealthier persons concurred in the

measure and added larger sums. The subscription list, in which Mr. Venn's name figured, began with a sum of £58,

* P. 79 of this work. { See " Memorial of Highfield Chapel," by Dr. Bruce, for a fuller

account of this Conventicle.

Page 226


and ended with a donation by Sarah Radcliffe of one

penny. Thus arose the Independent Chapel at Highfield, the church there worshipping being formed February 14th, 1772, members being admitted by "" an invariable method of relating their experience before the church-either in writing or by word." The first members appear to have been :- William Schofield, Lockwood Katharine Goddard, Dyke-end John Houghton, Huddersfield George Styring, Huddersfield Joseph Hirst, Yew Green William Hall, Quarmby John Hirst, Dyke-end John Bradley, Lockwood George Crow, Lockwood Joseph Beaumont, Lane Head Abraham Littlewood, Huddersfield Nancy Hepworth, Huddersfield John Horn, Marsh - James Bray, Fartown John Brook, Flush House Joseph Mellor, Longwood John Batley, Marsh Ann Batley, Marsh

The Trust Deed, which does not appear to have been prepared till some thirty years after the formation of the Society, being dated September 2nd, 1808, declares that-

The Chapel shall be set apart for and at all times thereafter used for the worship of Almighty God, by that sect of Protestant Dissenters who usually distinguish themselves or are distinguished by the name of professing Christians called Independent or Congregational, and that the Doctrines intended to be therein preached and inculcated be those called Calvinistic-not only as a system of Doctrines uninfluential, but enforced in connection with their proper practical influence on the hearts and life-and no other; and that the following subjects be from time to time treated of and preached upon in the sermons or discourses in the said Chapel, namely :-Original Sin, as set forth in the Shorter Catechism used by the said sect or assembly ; Unconditional Election ; Effectual Calling ; Justification by Faith, through the righteousness of Christ imputed to believers ; the Final Persever- ance of Saints; the doctrine of the Trinity (as treated in the

Page 227


same Catechism), and consequently the Divinity of Jesus Christ, as co-eval, co-eternal, and co-essential with the Father, who in His own incarnate state fulfilled most exactly all the precepts of the Moral Law, as the covenant head of His people, and at His death suffered fully all the penal effects of the sins of all those for whom He died. Which said doctrines and subjects before-mentioned and intended to be treated upon in the said Chapel are agreeable to the religious tenets of' the founders thereof. . . And it is hereby declared that the Minister of the said Chapel shall be from time to time chosen by the Church, or the major part of them ; and that they shall have the power to dismiss him at pleasure and to elect another to supply his place, and so from time to time, as often as they see cause, or as the said Chapel shall become vacant by the Death, Resignation, Removal, or Dismission of any Minister thereof.

The church in its earlier days seems to have kept a jealous eye upon the private life of its members, for not only were backsliders excommunicated for fornication, intemperance, and disorderly walking, but a spirit of austerity was displayed which, if manifested in these laxer times, would probably empty Highfield from its gallery to the seats of the elders. Thus we read :- J.B.-Withdrawn, 1794, as the church would not agree to his children dancing. Miss B.-Separated, 1794, for keeping a dancing school and attending public days (qy., plays). The community at Highfield has been singularly fortunate in retaining for prolonged periods the services of its ministers once chosen. From the formation of the Church in 1772 to the resignation of Dr. Bruce in January, I9o4, a period of one hundred and thirty-two years, it had but four pastors :-

~ The Rev. William Moorhouse 1772-1823. The Rev. Benjamin Boothroyd - 1823-1836. The Rev. John Glendenning 1836-1853. The Rev. Robert Bruce 1854-1904.

The life of Dr. Boothroyd is a striking lesson upon what may be accomplished under the most untoward conditions, given but the will. His parents were in the humblest of circumstances, his father a shoemaker, and

Page 228


himself also a youthful devotee of the art supposed to be under the special favour of St. Crispin. He was sent to a dame's school, and it is easy to conjecture how much, or should one say how little, he would learn there. But he manifested in his earliest youth so insatiable a passion for books, and had so indomitable a resolve to become a scholar, that means were found to enable him to study for the ministry at the Yorkshire Academy, and in due course he obtained a pastorate at the old Noncon- formist church at Pontefract, a church so poor that its minister was fain to add to his stipend by carrying on the business of a printer and bookseller. He wrote and printed a History of Pontefract. A more formidable undertaking was the " Biblia Hebraica, after the text of Kennicott, with the chief various readings selected from his collation of Hebrew MSS., from that of De Rossi, and from the ancient versions, accompanied with English notes, critical, philological, and explanatory." He also published a translation of the Old and New Testaments. He was forty years of age when he set himself to the earlier of these works, and he did not then know a letter of Hebrew, and he studied that difficult language whilst earning his living as a printer and as a preacher. The memory of Dr. Robert Bruce will long be cherished in the district in which he laboured for half a century. Born at Heatherwick Farm, Keith Hall, Aberdeenshire, August 4th, 1829, the son of a considerable yeoman, educated at King's College and Aberdeen University, where he graduated in 1848, taking first-class honours in mathematics, trained for the Ministry at the Lancashire Independent College, Dr. Bruce came, in 1853, to High- field in the full vigour of early manhood and with a mind exceptionally trained for the Ministry he was to adorn. His ability and devotion won early recognition. In 1888 he was chosen chairman of the Congregational Union of England and Wales, and the Yorkshire Congregational Union and the West Riding Congregational Union con- ferred upon him the highest distinctions. He took an active part in the political life of his adopted town, speaking

Page 229


often and always with acceptance on Liberal platforms. He was a foremost figure in the educational work of the district, a manager of the Old British Schools in Out- cote Bank and Spring Street, honorary secretary and governor of the Huddersfield College, deeply interested in the shorter-lived Girls' College, from 1883 to 1903 member of the Huddersfield Public Education Authority, a strenuous service of twenty years, during eight of which he filled the exacting office of chairman. In days to come, whose advent many portents indi- cate, when a system of national secular education shall have superseded the existing compromise exacted by sec- tarian jealousies, people will scarcely credit the story of educational government as it flourished in the years immediately succeeding the first provision of public Board Schools, under Forster's Act of 1870. The Huddersfield Board consisted of thirteen members, elected for three years. The supporters of the Established Church and the adherents of the Nonconformist churches engaged in triennial contests for the supremacy on the School Board. It may be assumed that the Church party, as it was dis- tinctively called, had little or no difficulty in selecting its candidates, for were they not all of one faith. But when the Free Church parties met to choose those who were curiously enough styled unsectarian candidates-curiously, for they represented as many sects as there were candi- dates, quot homines, tot sententrtae-then, indeed, arose a knotty problem. Roman Catholics, Wesleyans, Methodists, Congregationalists, Baptists, Quakers, Unitarians, Secu- larists, all were insistent that their Churches or causes should be represented in the " unsectarian seven." How nice were the calculations of the claims of Highfield, Ramsden Street, Queen Street, Fitzwilliam Street, and so forth, and what tact was needed to adjust the pretensions of contending conventicles ! The only thing that seemed to be of no moment was the educational qualifications of the aspirants to the responsible position of directors of the tuition of the young. Fortunate, indeed, was the party that for so many acrimonious years dominated the Hud-


Page 230


Gersfield School Board that it had amongst its representa- tives a man like Dr. Bruce, who, though holding strong views upon undenominational teaching, was not likely, in the heat of sectarian strife, wholly to disregard the paramount necessity of giving to the children of the town every facility for acquiring a sound secular education. The following statement, to which I am indebted to the Rev. D. C. Tincker, secretary of the Huddersfield and District Congregational Union, indicates the growth of Congregationalism in this town and neighbourhood since the foundation of the mother church at Highfield in 1772 :-

CONGREGATIONAL CHURCHES IN HUDDERSFIELD AND DISTRICT. Highfield, first Congregational Church in Huddersfield. " Mother of all." Formed 1772; rebuilt 1844; membership (1910) 372. Holmfirth, formed 1770 ; rebuilt 1829 also 1890 ; members (1910) 94. Marsden, formed 1790 ; rebuilt 1858 ; members (1910) 74. Shelley, formed 1792; members (1910) 90. Clayton West, formed 1795; rebuilt 1866 ; members (1910) 65. - Honley, formed 1795; members (1910) 123. Netheroyd Hill Sunday School, built 1814. Dogley Lane, formed 1816 ; members (1910) 93. Ramsden Street, formed 1825; Rev. John Eagleton first Pastor ; members (1910) 148. Netherton, formed 1843; members (1910) 20. Paddock, formed 1844 by 61 members from Highfield ; members (1910) 196. Kirkheaton, formed 1845; members (1910) 70. Hillhouse, formed 1864 ; members (1910) 214. Moldgreen, formed 1865; members (1910) 128. Milton, formed 1883 ; members (1910) 321. Great Northern Street, formed 1888 (a Mission from Highfield) ; members (1910) 90. Crimble, formed 1903 ; members (1910) 31.

Milton Church was born of strife and envenomed controversy. Prior to its formation its first pastor, the Rev. John Turner Stannard, was minister of Ramsden Street Chapel, the first offspring of the mother church at Highfield. Mr. Stannard had leanings towards what we

Page 231


now term the Higher Criticism and the New Theology, though I do not remember that these phrases had vogue in his day. But, unfortunately, there were men in his con- gregation who had strong views as to the interpretation of the English language, and who found it quite impossible to reconcile Mr. Stannard's sermons with the terms of the Trust Deed of the Ramsden Street Church. And it will not surprise the student of human nature to learn that men who were loud in their railings at a Creed-bound Church, as they stigmatised the Anglican Establishment, could stoop to invoke the secular arm and appeal to the terms of a Trust Deed, a Creed as precise, if not as intelli- gible, as the Nicene or the Apostles'. This Deed, subscrip- tion to whose dogma was required of the minister, insisted upon :- I. The divine inspiration of the Holy Scriptures and their

sole authority and entire sufficiency as the rule of faith and preacher.

2. The unity of God with the proper Deity of the Father, the Word, and the Holy Spirit. 3. The universal and total depravity of man and his exposure to the anger of God on account of his sins. 4. The sufficiency of the Atonement which was made for us by the Lord Jesus Christ and His ability and willingness to save all who come to Him for salvation.

5. Free justification by faith and by faith alone in the Lord Jesus Christ.

6. The necessity of the Holy Spirit's influence in the work of regeneration and also in the work of sanctification. 7. The predestination according to God's gracious purpose of a multitude which no man can number, unto eternal salvation by Jesus Christ.

8. The immutable obligation of the moral law as the rule of human conduct. 9. The resurrection of the dead, both just and unjust. to. The eternal happiness of the righteous and the ever- lasting punishment of the wicked.

For months before the questions at issue between two sharply divided sections of Mr. Stannard's congrega- tion were referred to the prosaic arbitrament of the law they were keenly debated in the public Press, at street corners, in political clubs and in private circles; and,

Page 232


finally, in 1881, when the matter came for determination before Vice-Chancellor Hall, Dr. Bruce, as the High Priest of a rigid Calvinism, was called upon by the op- ponents of Mr. Stannard to give what lawyers would call expert testimony. The questions at issue were, broadly : Ist, whether Mr. Stannard's teachings were consistent with a reasonable construction of the Trust Deed ; 2nd, whether, even granting they were not, it was in accord- ance with Free Church principles nicely to weigh every word and sentiment of a preacher whose life was universally admitted to be in every sense exemplary, and whose devotion to lofty ideals of conduct was beyond cavil. The first only of these issues could be submitted to the judgment of a legal tribunal, and Vice-Chancellor Hall pronounced a decree inhibiting Mr. Stannard from occupying the pastorate of the Ramsden Street Church. The plaintiffs in the suit, whom it is, I trust, proper to describe as standing for strict Calvinism and the letter of the law, were C. H. Jones, William Atkinson, James Thompson, James Hartley, William Shaw, C. J. S. Couzens, Joshua Whitworth, Benjamin Halstead, John Whitfield, . C. W. Ellis, and Edward Stott. The defendants, who claimed to represent a broader spirit, alike of interpretation and tolerance, were the Rev. J. T. Stannard, J. E. Willians, Chas. Hirst, jun., W. H. Woodcock, Thos. Kettlewell, J. C. Moody, Stephen Arlom, Frederick East- wood, John Joshua Brook, George Maitland, and Walter Turner. The great mother church of Lancashire and York- shire was founded in 1675 " within the forest of Rossen- dale." Of this church an offshoot existed OF THE at Rodhillend and Stoneslack, one com- BAPTIST munity meeting in two places. One Henry Clayton, described as " a good man, not burdened with overmuch learn- ing, but full of faith and the Holy Spirit," was a member of the community at Rodhillend and Stoneslack, and appears to have gathered about him a small number of worshippers at Salendine Nook. In 1739 a " commodious

Page 233


meeting-house '' was erected at that place and duly licensed under the Toleration Act " on the tenth day of July in the twelfth year of the reign of our Sovereign Lord, George the Second, by the Grace of God, etc." Four years later those usually worshipping at the new conventicle at Salendine Nook, " reflecting upon the great distance of most of their residences from the com- munity to which they belonged, and the many disadvan- tages that attended them on that account, and also the hopeful prospect of several well-disposed neighbours joining with them in the fellowship of the gospel, if they had the encouragement of a fit opportunity to do it," determined to unite in " the relation of a distinct Church of Christ," and apply to their mother church for " their dismission from them and for their approbation and allowance of them to sit down together as a Church of Christ by themselves "-this, it should be observed, in strict conformity with the established usage of the Baptist discipline, in the spirit of the son who withdraws from his father's household to establish his own, and not, as we have seen in the case of Milton Church, in that of rebellious or alienated children shaking off the dust of the paternal dwelling and going forth in anger and resent- ment. I have always considered the letter of request and the letter of dismission, the foundation documents of Salendine Nook, to be among the most beautifully and chastely expressed of the many ancient documents which it has been my fortune to peruse :-

Dearly beloved Brethren, forasmuch as it hath pleased Almighty God (in whose hands our Times are) to bound our habitation at so great a distance from you as greatly interrupts our fellowship and communion with you ; and forasmuch as God hath been graciously pleased to send amongst us his faithful servant and our dearly beloved brother in the Lord, Henry Clayton, who hath, for some years past, laboured amongst us in Word and Doctrine to our spiritual profit and mutual satisfaction, and under whose ministry we have been blest with a little reviving, and have now a hopeful prospect of a growing increase: now, that we may not be awanting to improve this happy opportunity to the best of our capacity, it is our desire to embody ourselves together as a Church of Christ, under the care of the said Henry Clayton, our Pastor.

Page 234


The Letter Dismissory, August 24th, 1743, is couched in language equally beautiful :-

Dearly beloved Brethren,-We heartily approve of, and cheerfully consent to, your pious intention ; and for the end you have in view we do hereby give unto all of you jointly, and to each of you severally, a free and full dismission from us. And now, dear brethren, may the blessing of the Lord crown your Christian design with desired success :-may you be happy and comfortable together in your relation as pastor and people, and grow and increase with the increase of God, that we may have occasion always on your behalf to give thanks to our Father and your Father; to our God and your God, in and through our Lord Jesus Christ.

As the church at Salendine Nook was the mother church of many communities of the Baptist profession throughout the district, considerable in membership and influence, the solemn covenant of communion of the eleven brethren who in 1743 founded the parent organisa- tion, destined to be so fruitful of a good effect, may surely claim place in this record :-

We, a small handful of the unworthy dust of Zion, usually assembling for the worship of God at Sallonden Nook, and in obedience to the command of God, and conformity to the example of Jesus Christ and his faithful followers, recorded in the New Testament, upon profession of repentance towards God, and Faith towards our Lord Jesus in water in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost ;- having first given our own selves to the Lord, are now met together with one accord, to give ourselves one to another by mutual consent and solemn covenant, according to the will of God, with deep humiliation for our past sins, and earnest prayer to God for pardoning mercy and preserving grace. We say with

our hearts, we are the Lord's-and subscribe urto Him with our hands in manner following :


We this day avouch the ever blessed Jehovah, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit (the one only true and living God) for our Covenant God, and all-sufficient portion ; and give up ourselves to Him alone for His peculiar people, in a perpetual covenant, never to be forgotten. We receive and submit to the Lord Jesus Christ, as our alone Saviour, Prophet, Priest, and King, on whom alone we trust for wisdom and righteousness, sanctification, and redemption.

Page 235


We devote and consecrate ourselves as living temples to the Holy Ghost, our Sanctifier, Guide, and Comforter, whose gracious. operations and heavenly conduct we desire daily more and more to feel and follow. We take the Holy Scriptures of the Old and New Testament as the only ground and rule of our faith and practice, desiring in all things to be conformed to the holy will of God therein revealed : according to the tenour whereof we now covenant with God, each for ourselves, and jointly together, to worship God in spirit and in truth :-to observe His command- ments, and keep His ordinances, as He hath therein delivered them to us. To be subject to that divine order and discipline which Jesus Christ, our only King and Lawgiver, hath appointed to His Church ; and not to forsake the assembling of ourselves. together for the worship of God in its appointed seasons ; but to continue in our relation to one another, and fill up our places in. the house of God, and maintain His worship therein to the best of our capacity, until death, or the evident calls of Divine Providence shall separate us one from another. To love one another with pure hearts fervently, and endeavour to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace, for the honour of our God and our mutual good unto edification. We will, also, make it our care to walk before the Lord in our own houses with perfect hearts, and upholding the work of God therein, by prayer to God and reading the Scripture, that so the word of God may dwell richly in us. And, as we have given our children to the Lord by a solemn Dedication, so we will endeavour to teach them the way of the Lord, and command them to keep it, setting before them a holy example, worthy of their imitation, and continuing in prayer to God for their conversion and salvation. We will also endeavour to keep ourselves pure from the sins of the times and places wherein we live, and so to be holy in all manner of conversation, that none may have occasion given by our holy lives to speak evil of God's holy ways. And all this, under an abiding sense that we must shortly give up our account to Him that is ready to judge the quick and the dead. Unto which solemn covenant we set our hands, in the presence of the All-seeing, Heart-searching God, this twenty-fourth day of August, in the year of our Lord, one thousand seven hundred and forty-three.

This document, that reads so strangely like a legal instrument, and which, withal, is so commendably free from the jargon of the sects, is subscribed by the founders of the church, of whom only the pastor and two others were able to write their names :-

Page 236


Henry Crayton, Pastor STEPHEN BROOK WILLIAM SoUTHwARK (his x maark) WILLIAM SOUTHWARK, Jr. (his x mark) SARAH FIRTH GRACE JAGGER (her G letter) SUsanNNA LEES (her x mark) ELIZABETH CLAYTON (her x mark)

Davin SoUTHwWARK (his x mark) WortH (his x mark) Mary WaTTERHOUSE (her x mark)

The original baptistry of the Church was at Pot Ovens, Salendine Nook, and there the first neophyte of the new community, Stephen Brook, one of the signators to the above Covenant, was baptized by Mr. Clayton ; and, thereafter, the place was known as Stephen's Well. Of the ten ministers who, in the hundred and seventy- six years that have passed since its formation, have held the pastorate of Salendine Nook Baptist Church, more than one has won distinction in fields neither academic nor theological. The Rev. Dr. Stock (1848-1857, 1872- 1884) was not only widely esteemed as a preacher and pastor, he was an ardent politician and a frequent and fluent speaker upon political platforms ; and the Rev. D. Witton Jenkins, who became pastor in 1895, and from whom his flock seems loth to part, is an eloquent and moving preacher, a fervent apostle of the principles of total abstinence from alcoholic beverages, and is not averse from entering the political lists when occasion offers.

The following Churches in what is called the Hud- dersfield District attest the vitality of the Baptist faith and discipline :-

When Members Churches. Formed. 1910. Salendine Nook |.............. 1743 2. 393 Jagger Green, Longwood -- 2. - Pole Moor. ................... 1792 2. 261 Clough Head, Outlane ......... - 6. «_- Blackley ..................... 1793 2. 199

Lockwood 1795 2. 243

Page 237


When Members Formed. 1910. Meltham 1813 2. 130 Mirfield |..................... 1825 2. 135 GOIc@r =...................... 1835 2. 394 Leymoor --- 2. -- Milnsbridge .................. 1842 2. 440 Huddersfield (New North Road). 1846 2. 326 Elland Edge.................. 1863 2. 199 Lindley, Oakes ............... 1864 2. 137 Scape Goat Hill. .............. 1871 2. 283 Sunny Bank, Golcar........... 1883 2. 49 Slaithwaite, 1886 2. 105 Primrose Hill. ................ 1887 2. 155 Birkby ...................... 1908 2. 26

Of these Churches that at Pole Moor is perhaps most widely known. The site upon which the chapel is situate is upon the estate of the Duke of Leeds in a wild and mountainous district. When the chapel was first erected in the last decade of the eighteenth century, the population of those regions must have been very sparse; but the founders of the Church were fain to build where they could. They were a mere handful of poor men and women who had been in the habit of meeting in the upper chamber of a hostelry once existing in Slaithwaite called " The Silent Woman "-its signboard representing a headless female form. When the congregation outgrew the limits of this room the members sought to obtain land in Slaithwaite, but the Earl of Dartmouth of those _ days, possibly influenced by the then Curate of the Chapel of St. James, could not be induced to grant a plot for the erection of a dissenting conventicle, and land at Scammonden which had been enclosed from the common by the Duke of Leeds was first leased and subsequently purchased, and a small edifice erected and licensed. The contractors for the building of this chapel were Charles Hopkinson and James Binns, and the tender for the work and material should be, for many reasons, of abiding interest :-

December 15, 1788.-An estimate for the prices of mason work for building a place to preach in, near Slaithwaite, Pole, to marrow the Haugh Top Cottages. For dressing and walling at

Page 238


6s. and 9d. per rood ; the north corners of wall stone, 6d. per yard ; dressing corner window lights, 1s. 9d. per light; all other plain hewing, 4d. per foot. Agreement with Joseph Hopkinson for the stones. For wall stone, mason measure, 2s. 6d. per rood ; window stone, 4 inches thick, 4d. per yard ; sash and stone, 1d. per foot ; slate-laying, 3d. per yard ; broad covers, 8d. per yard ; slates, 8s. per 100 ; the wages to be paid at five several payments. Estimate for the house: Dressing and walling, 7s. per rood ; west corner, 1s. 6d. per yard ; plain hewing, 4d. per foot ; heading, 6d. per yard ; fire places and chimney, £1 1s. ; upper fire places, Ios. 6d. each ; common window lights working, 1s. 1d. per yard ; flags laying, 5d. per yard ; other things to be paid for at common prices.

An interesting light is thrown upon the condition of some of the people in the neighbourhood of the new church by G. S. Phillips (January Searle) who, in 1848, was Secretary of the Huddersfield Mechanics' Institute, and who in that year published a small volume entitled " Walks Round Huddersfield ": " A few years ago the inhabitants of the Platts "-this district is hard by Pole Moor-'" were literally savage, living in log huts thatched with sods, and paying neither rent nor taxes. They were a community to themselves, and had their own laws and government. They were the terror, likewise, of all wayfarers, and it was dangerous for any man to go amongst them alone. They lived by hunting and whisky- making, and, when these failed, by depredations. Their legal marriages, however, were celebrated in one or other of the churches in the neighbouring villages, and on all such occasions they marched in grand procession, adorned with ribbons, and having a fiddler at the head of them. Their houses are all built of stone and mud, and, at a distance, have more the appearance of hovels than human habitations. We entered one of them. It con- sisted of a single room, open to the roof. . . . From the rafters of the roof were suspended sundry tattered garments, and in a hole in one of the walls were several broken pots and mugs of ancient manufacture. We enquired into their ways and means, and found that

Page 239


they were weavers earning not more, upon an average, than 8s. per week." These Burnplatters, as they were commonly called, were supposed to be of gipsy origin. They were the bogey-men of the children of those parts, and I remember that my grandmother, who resided in her early married life at Holme, nor far from the seat of the Burnplatters, could find no more awful threat than " to send me to the Burnplatters." The church at Pole Moor was much torn by internal disputes, being divided between Hyper-Calvinism and Fullerism. Under the ministry of the Rev. Abraham Webster, '" a strong, able-bodied man, a pleasant and feeling speaker, and very kind and charitable-minded," the adherents of Hyper-Calvinism, feeling that the doctrine at Pole Moor was but meat for babes, seceded and established a church-Providence-at Kitchen Fold, Slaithwaite, commonly called Gadsby's, from the use there of the hymnal of that compiler. The leaders of the secession issued an appeal which may be cited as a reminder of controversies that once sorely vexed the minds of our forefathers, but which to us seem scarcely comprehensible :-

Seven of us were members of the Church at Pole Moor, and we esteemed both our brethren and our privileges, and we wished to fill our place as beseemed saints; but as we never thought that the Church of Christ was a prison, and as our minister declared that all who did not believe the moral law of Moses was a perfect rule of life for believers must be cut off from the Church, we, having felt the law's power in our conscience, have been glad to hear the small voice of the Gospel, saying, " This is the way, walk ye in it.'' Therefore, upon our denial of the law being our rule of life, we have been separated from the Church.

This apologia was signed by the minister of the new conventicle, the Rev. William Cooper, and by Edmund Sykes, deacon, who, I believe, was my great-uncle, yet none the less I am constrained to say I do not understand it. Of all the ministers of Pole Moor Chapel the memory of none is more fragrant than that of the Rev. H. W.

Page 240


Holmes, who accepted the pastorate in the year 1830, being then about 33 years of age, and held it with ever- growing acceptance to his death in 1875. He was described by the Rev. T. R. Lewis, in a lecture delivered at Scape Goat Hill Chapel, an offshoot from Pole Moor, as "of medium height and slender form, of pleasing appearance, and active temperament." " Mr. Holmes," we learn from the same source, " never spared himself ; he was unwearying in the harvest field. Seven sermons a week, three on the Lord's day, and four during the week, he usually delivered ; but occasionally he would exceed this abnormal number. The week-night sermons were preached in school-houses, cottages, and farm- kitchens, often four miles away from home, and scarcely ever less than two, the distance being no object to this zealous son of God." Such were the numbers that flocked to the remote shrine on Pole Moor that the chapel could not contain the worshippers. In the summer time Mr. Holmes would preach from a tomb-stone in the church- yard ; in the winter, standing in the doorway of the chapel. From the funeral sermon preached by the Rev. Dr. Stock, January 31, 1875, we learn that during his pastorate at Pole Moor Mr. Holmes preached more than II,500 sermons, delivered in qhapels, schoolrooms, and cottages, sermons " marked by sound doctrine, manly vigour of thought, a ready flow of expression, and the deepest earnestness of spirit. . . . He committed more than 2,700 corpses to the silent tomb, and never allowed a funeral to take place without setting the way of salvation before the mourners. . . . In seasons of sickness and of trial Mr. Holmes was a never-failing pastor. His visits to the bedsides of the dying must have been many thousands in number. They were never withheld from anyone, whatever his creed, and however great the distance, however trying the weather, and however unreasonable the hour." In his many journey- ings over the wastes where his lot was cast and his serene and blameless life spent, he was often waylaid on the dark and lonely moors by men of evil designs-a thing

Page 241


not to be wondered at considering the near neighbourhood of those godless Burnplatters-but he came to no harm, for even the reckless and desperate characters of that desolate region had learned to respect this gentle and devoted servant of his Master. I have already written much of the marvellous revival of religious zeal in Huddersfield during the vicariate of the Rev. Henry Venn. We OF THE have seen that many who had attended WEsLEYAN - St. Peter's during the ministry of " T' owd - Trumpet," as Mr. Venn was affectionately called, felt constrained, when failing health enforced that divine's retirement from the strenuous charge at Huddersfield, to erect a new temple with, if not a new faith, a new discipline and a new allegiance at Highfield. Hence the Independent schism. Mr. Venn appears to, indirectly and doubtless unwittingly, have been the cause of the Wesleyan secession. He was on terms of intimate friendship with the Rev. John Wesley, and in the Journal of that great evangelist are many entries attesting Mr. Wesley's visits to Huddersfield and its vicinity, and the impressions, none too favourable, made upon him by the bearing and appearance of the natives. His first visit appears to have been in 1759, and under date June 9 of that year he writes :-" I rode over the mountains to Huddersfield. A wilder people I never saw in England. The men, women, and children filled the streets as we rode along, and appeared ready to devour us. They were, however, tolerably quiet while I preached. Only a few pieces of dirt were thrown ; and 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 "-a record from which one could gather that Wesley's first sermon in Huddersfield was preached at an open-air meeting, possibly at the Market Cross. In the same year Wesley enters in his Diary : " I preached near Huddersfield to the wildest congregation I have seen in Yorkshire. Yet they were restrained by an unseen

Page 242


hand ; and I believe some felt the sharpness of His word."" The first distinctively Wesleyan Society formed in the district with which this History is concerned was at Netherthong. Of this the Rev. Joel Mallinson in his " Methodism in Huddersfield " writes :-" The year Mr. Venn came to Huddersfield* a few godly men and women, followers of Wesley, met together for prayer and Christian fellowship at Netherthong. Their number gradually increased, and, after prayerful consideration, it was resolved to build a chapel. Accordingly a site was secured and careful preparations made, and in 1769 "- ten years, be it observed, after Wesley's first visit to Huddersfield-'" one of the first chapels of village Methodism was erected and opened. It was about the sixth Methodist Chapel in England. The first was at Bristol, the second Birstall, the third Newcastle, and then Hipperholme, Haworth, and Netherthong. The Confer- ence contributed f£f104, and in 1772 a further grant of £13, to this chapel. On two occasions Mr. Wesley preached in the chapel. The first was on July 8, 1772, when he preached at ten o'clock, having preached the same day at Halifax at five o'clock in the morning, and in the afternoon at two in the Market Place, Huddersfield, and in the evening at Dewsbury. The other occasion was on July 6, 1773. On returning from preaching, Mr. Wesley was accompanied by many friends through the Haig Wood, where they took leave of him, after heartily singing :- Ye hills and ye dales, In praises abound, Ye mountains and vales, Continue the sound, -

Break forth into singing, Ye trees of the wood, For Jesus is bringing Lost sinners to God } *"

Almondbury appears to have been the next village in the district to catch the sacred fire, Abraham Moss, a shoemaker, conducting services in the house of Matthew

Lodge at Bank End, Canon Hulbert recording that in 1766 the first Methodist sermon was preached in Almond-

* 1759.

Page 243


bury-it was in the house of Edmund Mellor, Town End -by the Rev. John Martin, commonly called " the weeping prophet," by others " the false prophet," a designation indignantly repudiated by Abraham Moss in the oft-quoted words: " If he be a false prophet, the Bible is false, and the whole system of the Church of England is false also. He takes his text from the Bible, and supports all his doctrines by the teachings of the Church of England as found in her homilies and articles." We are told by Mr. Joel Mallinson that " the aged vicar, the Rev. Edward Rishton, in his eighty-second year, was alarmed at the innovation of Methodist preachers, and appealed to the Archbishop of York against ' the deceivers,' but was advised by his grace ' not to meet the evangelical movement with controversy and " This judicious counsel notwithstanding, " the wrath of lewd fellows of the baser sort was kindled. An attack was resolved on, and forthwith, headed by Joseph Kaye, constable and parish clerk, an excited mob broke into the preaching place "-the house of Squire Studderth, afterwards occupied by the Co-operative Society. '* Approaching the preacher, Kaye ostentatiously lifted his staff and with stentorian voice cried : 'I charge thee in the name of King George to come down.'' Darney-the preacher-firmly retorted : 'I charge thee in the name of the King of kings to let me alone.' The retort was met by a brutal attack, in which the preacher was severely wounded and nearly killed.'*' There was an indictment for assault, the constable relying on The Five Mile Act, apparently not having heard of the Toleration Act, but he escaped with a caution. Space would utterly fail me in which to attempt in this History to trace from its humble beginnings the rise and progress of the Methodist faith and mode of public worship in this district. The story of all the earlier organizations, even of those now the most con- siderable and meeting in chapels erected at much cost and of great size, is one and the same tale: a few earnest men and women, generally of the humbler and poorer

Page 244


sort, meeting together in some lowly cottage, meeting of week-nights and on Sundays for prayer, exhortings, and hymns of praise, sometimes visited by an accredited minister of the denomination, their services more generally conducted by some often illiterate but always fervent local brother-these have been the corner-stone of many of the stately Bethels to be seen in Huddersfield and all the villages round. By what exertions and sacrifices these buildings were erected may be surmised from an extract of a report read fifty years ago (1860) at a meeting in connection with the Linthwaite Wesleyan Chapel *: " This chapel was opened 1806 by Dr. Taft. The cost of the building is supposed to have been £1,200, £700 of which was begged by friends who went to Manchester, Leeds, and other places. John Garside and Matthew Lunn went to Manchester, where they were published in the chapels as impostors ; but they had the God of Jacob on their side, and on the Monday they succeeded better than they had done before. Joseph Whitley and Richard Baxter went to other places. Benjamin Whitwam and - Edmund Baxter went to Leeds, where one gentleman, a Methodist, called them into his room, and bade them kneel down and pray, if they were men. They were almost speechless at such a sudden request, but they knelt down and prayed to the Lord, who heard and answered their prayers. The gentleman gave liberally, which made their hearts rejoice in the work they had undertaken. These men went for three weeks together on a begging tour, and collected about £700. Much work was also done by the inhabitants when the building was being erected, such as digging and wheeling, and there was such an overflow of water that they used the pumps night and day. . . . The women, who were never far behind, also used to help in the work. In the year 1826, some ten days before the anniversary, it was reported that the chapel had given way, and would fall on the Sunday. This caused great excitement in the

* Fifty Years Ago. " Huddersfield Weekly Chronicle."

Page 245


neighbourhood, and some seven of the friends met in the vestry on the Monday to see what could be done. They agreed the end should come down, and forthwith entered into a subscription and got £7. They separated, and some went to Lindley for masons, while the rest went round to beg what would complete the work. The gable end was pulled down, and rebuilt in time for the anniver- sary on the Sunday." Some time before 1775 Edmund Bray-again I quote from the Rev. Joel Mallinson's work-" opened his house in Kirkgate, Huddersfield, for preaching. The house, unfortunately, suffered from a smoky chimney, and with difficulty at times could they see the preacher or com- fortably worship. From this fact the house was called Reek'em. Notwithstanding the inconvenience of the smoke, the congregation grew, and many were added to the 'Church in the house.' Increased accommodation became an urgent necessity, and, after many prayers and frequent conversations, authorities were approached. with a view to securing land called Underbank, at the end of the now Buxton Road." The land was vested in. trustees-Thomas Hudson, John North, Thomas Gold- thorpe, Richard Pool, Thomas Ludlam, Joshua Colling- wood, John Hardy, and James Sykes ; and these gentle- men were, presumably, the pillars of the first Wesleyan Chapel-Buxton Road-erected in Huddersfield. The Trust Deed stipulated " that no person or persons whom- soever shall at any time hereafter preach or expound God's holy word or to peform any of the usual acts of religious worship upon the said piece of ground or hereditaments nor in the said chapel or place of religious worship and premises or any of them or any part or parts thereof nor in or upon the appurtenances thereto belong- ing or any of them or any part or parts thereof who shall maintain, promulgate, or teach any doctrine or practice contrary to what is contained in certain notes on the New Testament, commonly reputed to be the notes of the said John Wesley, and in the first four volumes of sermons commonly reputed to be written and published

Page 246


by him '"'-a definition of doctrine by reference and incorporation that, one would imagine, left no small highway for the proverbial coach and six that it is claimed can be drawn through any Act of Parliament. The new chapel attracted a large body of worshippers from Highfield, which had become inadequate for its congregation, and from this circumstance Buxton Road Chapel long was known as Catch'em, which certainly had the merit of being preferable to Reek'em. In 1819 Buxton Road Chapel was found too small to hold all the urban professors of Methodism, and in that year Queen Street Chapel was erected at a cost of £16,000. It was at that time the largest Methodist Chapel in the world. One of the principal, if not the principal, members of the church in Queen Street at or about that time was Timothy Bentley, founder of perhaps the best-known firm in Yorkshire, that of Bentley and Shaw, brewers. An inscription on a tablet in Queen Street Chapel reads :- Sacred to Faith, Hope, and Charity, all eminently exemplified in the life and spirit of Timothy Bentley, of Lockwood, Esquire, who fell asleep in Jesus, March 31, 1830, in the 62nd year of his age. How thoroughly Methodism permeated this district may be judged from the fact that in 1797 there were Societies of that faith in Huddersfield, Golcar, Longley, Netherton, Crosland, Bag Green, Little Hill, Berry Brow, Armitage Fold, Cawthorne, Thurlstone and Penistone, Skelmanthorpe, Lepton, Houses, Kirkheaton, Kay Lane {(Almondbury), Paddock, Nape Hill, Lockwood, Lindley, Woodhouse, Newsome, Quarmby, Cliff, Deighton, Nether- thong, Hagg Lees, Denby Dale, Kirkburton; Farnley, Emley, High Hoyland, Slaithwaite, Dodworth, Silkstone, Honley, Marsden, Crawle, Woodhall, Netheroyd Hill, Holmfirth, Hepworth, Meltham, Scholes and Jackson Bridge, Huncoats, Shepley, Shelley, Tunnacliffe Hill, Gawthorpe. Of these the most considerable, in point of membership, outside Huddersfield was Holmfirth, with 122 members, Shelley coming next with 117. The total membership of all the above Societies was, in 1797, 1,714.

Page 248

~Koward Brooke.

Page 249


The Methodist communities in the Huddersfield District were originally comprised in the Birstall Circuit, but in 1780 Huddersfield was constituted an independent district, and is now divided into circuits. The first ministers of the Huddersfield District in 1780 were Parson Greenwood and the Rev. Thomas Johnson. The history of local Methodism is not all harmony. Just as in the Colne Valley the Fullerite controversy rent the Baptist community and caused the secession from Pole Moor to Gadsby's ; just as at a later date the Stannard controversy drove a considerable section of the Congregationalist body from Ramsden Street, so, prior to 1815, had a following of the Rev. Alexander Kilham seceded from Buxton Road to High Street. But this last-named secession was not, as the others, on doctrinal grounds. Mr. Kilham, one of the "legal hundred," contended in Conference for a more liberal infusion of lay influence and representation in the government of the Methodist organization, conceiving that the original polity, as settled by the earlier Wesleyans, rested too much upon the authority of the ministers and conference of ministers. The congregation at Buxton Road was largely in sympathy with the principles of church govern- ment advocated by Mr. Kilham, and as the Kilhamites, as they were called, formed a majority of the flock, they proposed to appropriate the site and building at Buxton Road. To this the minority demurred. An appeal to the law resulted in the ejection of the Kilhamites, and they formed the Methodist New Connexion at High Street. Some thirty years later a similar controversy vexed the Wesleyan Church in the Colne Valley and led to the erection of " The Reformers' " Chapel in Carr Lane. No account of Methodism in this district, nor, I suppose, elsewhere, would be complete without some reference to the work of the lay or local preachers, some- times disrespectfully styled " pudding preachers," pre- sumably from the fact that their Sunday meals, gratuit- ously and, it should be said, most willingly furnished by one or other member of the church, constitute their only

Page 250


material guerdon. For the services of the lay preachers the Methodist organization offers an exceptional field. Whilst other Nonconformist communities have for each chapel its settled minister with parsonage or manse, the Methodist communion relies upon superintendent minis- ters, who preach from chapel to chapel throughout the circuit on appointed days, the services on the Sundays when the superintendent is not " planned," and at the many week-day meetings, being conducted by local preachers, men, and sometimes women, who are not ministers by profession, engaged throughout the week in hard labour for daily bread, oft at the loom or forge or plough, and who construe a day of rest to mean a day of strenuous toil in the Master's service. Although the man of culture and acquaintance with modern science and comparative theology must often find himself repelled by the crude doctrine of some of these fervent professors, yet all must, methinks, yield ungrudging honour to these faithful souls who stint no time nor energy nor means in the work to which they indeed, if any, may claim to be called. This district has known many such, so many that one hesitates to name even one, lest such mention should be invidious. But it will, I think, be generally conceded that the name of Squire Brook will be long and honourably remembered in this connection. Edward Brooke was the youngest child of William Brooke, of Northgate House, Honley, and therefore of that family, so highly and so justly esteemed, which has given to this district the late Sir Thomas Brooke, Bart., Mr. William Brooke, of Honley, J.P., Mr. John Arthur Brooke, of Fenay Hall, J.P., the Ven. Archdeacon J. J. Brooke, of Halifax, and of some of whom there will be later occasion to speak. He was born at Honley, March 20th, 1799, and as a young man was addicted to the usual pursuits of the country gentleman of that day, coursing, cock-fighting, and perhaps an occasional bull-baiting, recreations viewed with extreme disfavour by the new sect then beginning to stamp its influence upon the neighbourhood.

Page 251


" Master," said to him one Thomas Holliday, doubtless snatching an opportunity to speak that " word in season "' which comes so readily to some lips; " Master, you are seeking happiness where you will never find it." Whether these words or the circumstance that a gun accident placed his life in jeopardy were the causa causans I know not, but we learn from the excellent monograph of Mr. Mallinson that " for three weeks he mourned his sin and unweariedly prayed, when, at four o'clock, a light beyond the brightness of the morning sun dispelled the gloom of unforgiven sin ; and, bounding up the broad and sounding stairs to his sister's room, he announced the glad news of his conversion, and forthwith sped to the house of Ben Naylor, and they two summoned Joseph Donkersley, and the three prayed and praised, sang and rejoiced together. At the love feast in Green Cliff Chapel the new convert rose and said : ' The camel has got through the needle's eye.' Every heart was moved, and 'the glory of the Lord filled the house of the Lord.'" He was then 22 years of age. Some four years later the Local Preachers' Meeting resolved that " Edward Brooke have a Note on Trial as a preacher," and the following year he was received on Full Plan. From his conversion to his death, January 30th, 1871, he gave himself unstintingly and un- swervingly to the cause he loved and to which he had been called. He was, if half the stories one has heard be true, noted not merely for the earnestness but for the uncon- ventionality of his sermons. " See here," he is said to have exclaimed, gliding, as he spoke, down the pulpit rails, " that's going to hell." Then, with many a groan and sigh, with bent back and straining limbs, toiling up the steps, " that's getting to heaven "-a commentary on the text, " Broad is the way "-that none would be likely to forget. His eldest son, Edward Brooke, J.P., commonly called "* Young Ned," inherited his father's fervent, if somewhat eccentric genius, and was for many years a foremost speaker on the Radical platforms of the neighbourhood. As these lines are written when the nation is in the throes of a General Election, in which the merits and demerits of

Page 252


the House of Lords have been much canvassed, the following gleaning from the Northern Proneer, a paper that had a brief and troubled existence about the early 'eighties, will not be without its interest, though it is manifestly open to the criticism that it has no bearing upon the history of the Nonconformist churches of the locality. At a public meeting called by the Hudders- field District Registration Association, and held in the Town Hall in March, 1882, and presided over by Alderman Joseph Woodhead, it was moved by Coun. D. F. E. Sykes, and seconded by Mr. Edward Brooke, J.P., that- The Upper House, as at present constituted, is unnecessary, obstructive, and dangerous. Among the auditors of the speakers to the resolution was Mr. John Arthur Brooke, a staunch Conservative, who must have listened with very mingled feelings to the burning periods of his Radical and clearly misguided cousin. The Unitarian Church in Fitzwilliam Street, in Huddersfield, is the spiritual daughter of the Presbyterian Church at Lydgate. It were a long story

OF THE to tell how many Presbyterian com- UNITARIAN - munities, especially in Ulster, adopted CHURCH. _ what is called the Arian heresy, but it is

certain that the one at Lydgate was among the number. I am informed by the Rev. R. Thackray, M.A., the present gifted minister of the church in Fitzwilliam Street, that Unitarian services were first held in Huddersfield on Sunday, April 5th, 1846, at a house where Messrs. J. S. Heaps' shop now stands in Westgate. The opening services were conducted by the Rev. George Stanley Heap, late of Lydgate, and by the the Rev. Charles Wickstead, of Leeds. Mr. Heap was the first minister of the new church, the Trust Deed of which stipulated that no credal test should be required of any member or minister connected either with the church itself or with the associated Sunday School. The services were, in 1847, transferred from Westgate to the Hall of Science in Bath Buildings, and in 1854 the present chaste

Page 253


edifice, erected at a cost of £3,000, was opened by Dr. Martineau, the distinguished brother of that noble woman Harriet Martineau. Names of strange sound to English ears are of frequent occurrence in the list of those con- nected with this church-Schwann, Kell, Liebeicht, Huth, Lowenthal. The explanation is that Jews emancipated from Mosaic traditions have found in Unitarianism a faith that, based on the worship of the one true and living God, is fun- - damentally identical with a purified Judaism. The liberality of the Trust Deed, however, allows in the Fitzwilliam Street Church considerable latitude of interpretation and exposi- tion, and I do not think I greatly err if I describe the minister who, from 1862 to 1884, held the charge-the Rev. John Thomas, M.A.-as a convinced Agnostic, though I believe he preferred the term Positivist. His philosophic discourses were much appreciated by the most thoughtful and cultured minds of the town and neighbourhood, and it is a significant fact that the less aggressive section of those who had been wont at Senior's School Room to sit at the feet of George Jacob Holy- oake, Charles Bradlaugh, George W. Foote, Dr. Aveling, and other lecturers of very liberal views, were more and. more attracted to the church in Fitzwilliam Street. Mr. Thomas had in early life been ordained to the Established Church, and at one time the chaplain of the Duke of Newcastle, if memory serves aright. His advancement in the Episcopal Church was therefore assured ; but the change in his theological views compelled his withdrawal from that Church, and he lived and died a poor man, for conscience sake, one of the world's little known and little appreciated martyrs. His was a most lovable dis- position, and by those who knew him he was alike revered and loved. His preaching was not adapted to popular audiences, " caviare to the general," and philo- sopher though he was, it vexed him sore that his scholarly discourses were addressed to but a handful of the faithful few, while the multitude flocked to hear men with not a tithe of his ability. He found consolation in the strains of his beloved violin, and I think his happiest hours were

Page 254


those devoted to the divinest, sweetest, and most elevating of the arts. How great and enduring were the services he rendered to the culture of music in this district an abler writer must tell. The first meeting-house in Huddersfield of the Society of Friends, commonly called Quakers, was erected in the year 1770. It was rebuilt and THE FriENDS' enlarged in 1812 and again in 1898, the MEETING - latter extension being largely necessi- House. tated by the growth in connection with this Society of the work conducted by the Adult Schools, work whose value it is not easy to exagger- ate. In the wall of the latest structure has been pre- served the stone, bearing the initials T. F. and E. H., and the date 1770, once part of the first meeting-house. The initials are those of Thomas Firth and Edmund Horsfall, the first trustees of the Society's Meeting House. - The document constituting the trust is of great interest, not only as preserving the names of the founders of this church, but as vindicating, if vindication were needed, the right of the people to the people's commons until that right was extinguished by the Enclosure Acts. The Trust Deed* is dated December 11, 1769, and is in these terms : " We whose names are hereunto subscribed, viz.: Thomas Ramsden, trustee for Sir John Ramsden, lord of the manor of Huddersfield, and principal freeholders and land- holders in the same parish, do hereby consent and agree that Thomas Firth and Edmund Horsfall . . . . shall and may at any time or times hereafter at their freewill and pleasure enclose and take in with a wall or other fence any quantity of land or ground of and from the bottom of the waste or common called Paddock or Parrock in the said parish of Huddersfield, and part of the said manor not exceeding forty square yards in the whole and to build a house thereon or upon any part thereof to be used as a meeting-house for religious worship by the people com- monly called Quakers at all or any time or times hereafter

* The term is convenient, though the document, not being under seal, is not in strictness a deed.

Page 255


at their free will and pleasure without any acknowledgment or recompense so long as the same shall be used for that purpose only and no longer." The signators to this re- markable document are Thomas Ramsden, J. Ramsden, Jno. J. Kaye, Edward Gregge, M. Briscoe, Thos. Thornhill, Willm. Hague, Wm. Firth, Elizabeth Firth, junr., Joseph Bradley, Danl. Battye, Benj. Walker, A. Savile, Sam Wood, Richard Kitson, Susanna Naylor, John Haigh. How far even so numerous a body of assentors could extinguish communal rights, and, apart from the statutes of limitations, confer a fee simple on the trustees is a question the writer is happily not called upon to determine. In 1790 new trustees were appointed : John Firth, of Lanehead, Shepley, yeoman; William Marsden, of Burdsedge, Penistone, yeoman; Richard Brook, of Raw, Almondbury, clothier ; William Cooper, of Hudders- field, sergemaker ; Robert Firth, of Huddersfield, salter ; Thos. Horsfield, of Greenhouse, husbandman. I am indebted to Mr. J. W. Robson, of Dalton, of that family so long and honourably connected with this Society, for this information.

Page 256



Ancient Provisions for Secular Education-The Dissolution of the Monasteries-Chantries-King James's Grammar School at Almondbury-Kirkheaton - School -Kirkburton Grammer School-Other Local Schools-Meeke and Walker's School-Long- wood Grammar Grammar Grammar School-Marsden Town School -Huddersfield College, Collegiate- Sunday Schools- National - Schools - Mechanics' Institutes-Technical Colleges.

AUutHORITIES.-Inquisition : temp., Henry VII. ; Dodworth :


Yorkshire Notes; The Woodsome Manuscript; Crump: Notes on Headmasters, Almondbury Grammar School ; Returns and Digests of Endowed Oharities (1896, 1897) ; Hulbert: Slaith- waite; Robinson: Memorials; Tomlinson : Huddersfield Notes ; Bruce; Huddersfield Sunday School Memorial.

T is the modern fashion to regard a human being as the I creature of circumstance, verily as clay in the hands of the potter, or rather the two potters, heredity and environment ; and if we give to the term environment a meaning which embraces every influence, good or evil, that shapes our thoughts, directs our aspirations, controls our passions, and generally moulds our character ; if we concede that we are first what we are born and later what we somehow become, we need not cavil at the doctrines of the determinist school of thought. It will be acknowledged that no influences are more potent in the fashioning of the inner, aye, and of the outer, man- for does not the soul shine in the face ?-than religion and education. The last chapter was concerned with the religious provisions for the spiritual needs of the district : the present may appropriately enough be devoted to the earlier scholastic institutions, reserving for a later chapter the mention of those educational provisions made since the State assumed responsibility for the mental culture of its children.

Page 257


From the boy's point of view the spacious days of the Tudors must have been halcyon times. Think of it ! For the great majority of boys and girls there were no schools, no home lessons! Neither youth nor maiden was expected to know how either to read or write. Indeed a layman who could do either was in danger of being suspected of black dealings with the powers of evil. At Woodsome Hall, at Longley Hall, at Whitley-Beau- mont, at Quarmby Hall, at Crosland Hall, at Linthwaite Hall, at the manor houses in Shepley, Marsden, Slaith- waite, Golcar, and in other parts of the wild area with which we have to do, the sons and daughters of the great house were doubtless instructed after a sort either by a domestic chaplain or by the parish priest. Some of the more substantial yeomen, too, doubtless enlisted the services of monk or nun in the tuition of their children. But for the great body of the people all books were sealed books. It was only in 1525, nearly four hundred years, twelve generations and more, ago, that Tyndall completed the translation of the New Testament from the original Greek to the English of his day, giving that priceless boon in fulfilment of his vow to an ecclesiastic of his time : " If God spare my life, ere many years I will cause a boy that driveth the plough shall know more of the Scripture than thou " ; and long after Tyndall's time a man must part with a good sized haystack to own a book that may now be had for a few pence. But little reflection is needed to enable us to realize how limited must have been the curriculum of the schools of olden days. A sixth-form boy of to-day will have a very respectable knowledge of Casar, Horace, Virgil, Eschylus, Euripides, Homer, Demosthenes in the classics ; of French, German, in modern languages; of Botany, Geology, Zoology, Physiology, and I know not how many other 'ologies; of Chemistry, Astronomy; of Euclid, Algebra, Trigonometry, Statics, Dynamics, Optics, and something of Electricity ; and will have become so learned as to have almost forgotten English Grammar, History, and Geography. But consider how little in the days of

Page 258


bluff King Hall was to be learned of the geography of our own country, how few were the cities and towns of any size or importance either in the British Isles or on the Continent of Europe, and how little was known and how much less was written of those cities and towns ; consider that the Americas, all but the northern coast of Africa, Australia, New Zealand, India, most of Asia, China, were undiscovered or but the lands of fable and romance; consider that astrology and the quest for the elixir of life and the philosopher's stone, and the distillation of herbs under planetary influence stood for science; and one marvels what the dominie of former days found to teach when once his pupil had learned to read and write and sum and knew his declensions and conjugations and how to construe, and something of angles and mensuration. Happy the lot of the disciple and light the task, one is constrained to think, of the magister, at the time when the Grammar School at Almondbury, the oldest educa- tional institution of the district, had its origin. One more remark seems germane to the subject. In this twentieth century of ours not only do we think - that every child, however lowly its station, should be enabled to acquire at least the fundamentals of learning : we compel it thereto. Not so our ancestors, whose wisdom it used to be the custom to appeal to and extol. Thus in the reign of Richard II. the landowners petitioned the Crown " that no bondsman or bondswoman should place their children at school, as had been done, so as to advance their children in the world by their going into the Church," and, as we have already seen,* an Inquisition temp. Henry VII. records that a tenant of the manor of Almondbury had to pay a fine to the lord if his son took holy orders without due leave and licence from the lord of the manor. Between the date of that Inquisition and the first year of Edward VI. but some sixty years elapsed, and yet we find at the latter date one of the most con- siderable landowners of this district taking active steps for the promotion of the education of the humbler sort.

* Page 32.

Page 259


There existed, it would seem, an ancient chantry at St. Helen's, in Almondbury. A chantry, we know, was a small chapel in which masses were said or sung for the repose of the soul of the founder of the chantry or some person designated by him. In Dodworth's Yorkshire Notes there is a reference to this chantry which establishes its existence in the fifteenth century, though St. Helen's is wrongly stated to be in Farnley : " I, John de Wridles- ford have given to Michael de Brertwisell, and Maud, his wife, my sister, and their heires, all my land of Fekisby (Fixby), as well in demesne as service, with homages, wards, releifes, paying to the chapel of St. Elen of Farneley a pound of wax." An old Manuscript Book once kept at Woodsome recorded : " Arthur Kaye's ancestors buylded a Chappell of old tyme, in the lane above the Butts at St. Elyn well. About prmo. Edw. Sexti (1 Edw. VI.) he and I (Arthur Kaye and his son John), dyd shift yt, and by con- sent of the parish dyd translate the same into the Scole House that now is, and I (John) did p'cure one Mr. Smith, a good scholar, to come and teach there." The date referred to takes us back to 1547, and it seems that the " trans- lation *" of the chantry to a building that became known as the school house and the procuring of a " good scholar " for a schoolmaster may be reasonably assigned to that date, and Almondbury Grammar School may full well be one of those institutions associated with the name of the sixth Edward, and which reaped the benefit of the exception that was made in the case of the chantries from the general confiscation by the King and his courtiers of the lands of the dissolved religious houses. The earliest benefactor of the school was Robert Kaye, son of Giles Kaye, of Almondbury, who died January 16, 1576, aged but 23, some thirty years after the translation of the chantry from St. Helen's and the appointment of Mr. Smith as headmaster ; and until the grant of the charter to the school in 1609 by James I. the interest on the sum of £46 13s. 4d., equivalent to about £230 in present money values, constituted, apart from fees, the sole revenue of the school. Other pecuniary grants to the school com-

Page 260


prised an annuity of 20s. by William Ramsden in 1616 ; an annuity of 40s. by Robert Kaye, of Woodsome, in 1612 ; an annuity of 26s. by Sir Richard Beaumont in 1620 ; an annuity of 20s. by the Rev. Geo. Crosland in 1623 ; an annuity of 4s. by Thos. Wilkinson, of Almondbury, in the same year ; and an annuity of 15s. by Isaac Wormall in 1633. The original Charter has not been preserved, but the following document contains its substance :-

At tHxE HumBLE Suit of the tenants and inhabitants of Almondbury to establish a Free Grammar School for the bringing up of children in Grammar and all good learnings. To consist of one master, one usher, and governed by six honest men of the most wise and discreet religious persons within the said Parish or dwelling within two miles thereof, who shall be called governors of the goods, possessions, and revenues of the FREE GRAMMAR SCHOOL of King James, in Almondbury. The first-named Governors are :- RoBErRrt KayrE, of Woodsome, WiIrL1am RamspEN, of Longley, - Esquires. GEORGE CROSLAND, Vicar of Almondbury, M.A., NicnoLAs FENAYy, of Fenay, Esquire, RicHxARD APPLEYARD, of Over Longley, RoBErRrt NETTLETON, of Almondbury.

as a Body Corporate and Politique, to hold property with per- petual succession for ever. The survivors have power, with the consent and liking of the master, to appoint fresh Governors, on vacancy by death or removal with the family beyond the said boundary. They are to have a common seal, to elect from time to time one honest, religious, and efficient schoolmaster, and one learned and honest usher. Vacancy of master to be filled up within two months by one having taken M.A. or B.A., to be master during good behaviour ; and in like manner the usher, with the consent of the master, to be removable upon a quarter's warning. Should the Governors neglect, the Archbishop of York. Should his Grace omit, within two months, the Master and Fellows of Peterhouse, in Cambridge, to nominate and present. The consent of the Arch- bishop is required to make good and necessary statutes and ordinances under the Common Seal of the School ; to be kept in a chest under two locks, one for the master and the other for the Governor, appointed by the rest, as President.

Power is given to hold land not exceeding £30 yearly in value, notwithstanding the statutes of mortmain. The Charter is subscribed at Westminster the 14th day of

Page 261


November, in the sixth year of the reign of His Majesty of England, France, and Ireland, and forty-second of Scotland. The statutes or by-laws for the government of the . school must be assigned to a date between 1682 and 1705-6, for they are signed, altos, by the Rev. Carus Philipson, who was Vicar of Almondbury between these dates. Latin and Greek are to be taught to the scholars, but " no popish, profane, or immodest authors, to infect them with error or immorality," a provision which would exclude more than one classic author now commonly read by sixth-form boys. " The master is to speak nothing but Latin to those who understand it," a rule that serves to remind us that Latin was formerly the common tongue of scholars of different nationalities. Other clauses required the master-

To take especial care of the scholars not only in the School, that they diligently apply themselves to their books and studies, but also out of school with regard to their recreations, and to prevent all profane, idle, and immoral practices, and to advise the parents to the same effect. Moderate corporal punishment is enjoined. Poor scholars are to be taught Latin and Greek gratis ; but to be obliged to get moss for the roof of the school, and do other offices. Provision is made for payment by other scholars, born in the parish, for tuition. None are to be admitted who cannot read the Psalter, or are afflicted with any infectious disease, or incapable of learning. Two days in the year are appointed for examination of the scholars, before Whitsuntide and Christmas. The school is to be open at seven o'clock and close at five all the year round. Prayers are provided for morning and evening, with a chapter in the Bible-especially the Sermon on the Mount. Barring out the headmaster is forbidden. The schoolmaster, usher, and scholars are to resort to church on Sundays and Holy Days and other public days, and to behave Teverently. The Church Cate- chism is to be taught once a week. Holiday tasks are to be given at Christmas, Easter, and Whitsuntide. Special holidays may be given at the request of any neighbouring or other gentleman or person of quality, except to scholars in the Black Bill, once only in two years by the same gentleman."

The stipulation that poor youths should be taught Latin and Greek gratis, but should be required to gather moss for the repair of the school roof and render other like

Page 262


services recalls the status of the sizar at the Universities. One likes to think that there may have been in the genera- tions that have passed since the school was founded many a youth of the ancient parish who availed himself of the opportunity of acquiring scholarship, not disdaining the performance of those humble services that, rendered in such a cause, were more than honourable, though, like enough, not so regarded either by the scholar or his school-mates. The veto upon barring out the school- master is usual in the statutes of ancient grammar schools. Custom permitted that on certain occasions the scholars should, without penalty, bar out the dominie, as an emphatic method of demanding a holiday. The Grammar School owes much both to private beneficence and to public assistance. In 1613, there resided in Almondbury, probably occupying the ancient timber and stone building with two gables and a " pent " or porch, situate near the church, and known as " Pentice End," and sometimes as " The Old Recory," a substantial yeoman, one Robert Nettleton. His seal, a nettle growing out of a tun, is still to be found attached to ancient local . documents. On December 13th of that year he executed an Indenture whereby, in consideration of " the great zeal and goodwill which he owed and bore to the old people that there (in Almondbury) were and which there- after from time to time should be inhabiting and dwelling within the Town and Township of Almondbury. and for and towards the making of such bridges and highways as should then or thereafter be in ruin and decay within the Township of Almondbury, and for and towards the preferment in marriage of such poor maids as should be born within the said town whose parents were not able to prefer them respectively according to their calling, honest deserts and behaviour, and for the yearly ease and relief of the poor people within the said town, and for the erection of an almshouse for the perpetual relief of the poor therein," granted to trustees the yearly sum of £3 6s. 8d. and certain lands and messuages in Mirfield, Dalton, Kirkburton, and Burton Deyne.

Page 263


In September, 1737, there died in London one Israel Wormall, great-grandson of that Isaac Wormall who, as we have seen, was included in the local muster-rolls on the King's side in the Civil War, and who resided in the house opposite the Parish Church in Almondbury now occupied by the Working Men's Conservative Associa- tion. By his will, dated Ith August, 1724, Israel Wormall left a yearly stipend of £5 in perpetuity to the schoolmaster of Almondbury, and sundry lands and rent charges, the income whereof was to be applied for the placing out of such poor children of the: Parish of Almondbury as the Trustees of the Charity should approve, to be apprenticed to any of the lower sorts of Trade or Manufacture or Husbandry. Considering the sources of its endowments it is little to be wondered at that the people of Almondbury have on more than one occasion manifested an interest in the government of the Grammar School not perhaps entirely appreciated by the Governors. Thus in 1821 the latter body resolved, on the petition of the inhabitants, that ten poor children belonging to the parish of Almond- bury, to be selected by the Vicar and Churchwardens, should be taught English reading and grammar, writing and arithmetic-subjects much more likely to be useful in after life to the ordinary scholar than the Latin and Greek of the former Statutes. Sixty years later the people of the ancient parish displayed a disposition to enquire into the general administration of the Nettleton and Wormall Charities. It was freely asserted, though with what truth the writer has no means and no desire to determine, that the growing revenues from these Charities were largely left to be distributed at the dis- cretion of the Vicar of Almondbury for the time being, and that none but those who attended the Church need hope to benefit by the beneficence of either Nettleton or Wormall. The many and open expressions of dis- content must have been exceedingly unpleasant to those responsible for the administration of these Charities, and they probably shared the general satisfaction when the

Page 264


Charity Commissioners, in 1881, established a scheme for the administration of the Nettleton and Wormall Charities and for the governance of the Grammar School. By that scheme the government of the school was vested in thirteen Governors, seven Representative, six Co-optative. Of the former, one was to be nominated by the Arch- bishop of York, one by the trustees of Nettleton's Charity, subject to their contributing £25 yearly to the endowment of the school ; one by the Borough County and one by the Borough Justices, and three by the Guardians of the ancient Parish of Almondbury. The Visitor of the school is the Archbishop of York. The scheme provided that religious instruction in accordance with the doctrine of the Church of England should be given, but the parent of any pupil might withdraw his son from the divinity classes. Twelve scholarships, six King's and six Wormall's, were created, all the latter and at least two of the former for boys of the public elementary schools of the ancient parish ; the other King's to be open to the general competition of the youths of the ancient parish. A sum of £50 yearly was to be applied for maintenance scholarships, and there was to be provision for foundation scholarships. The Huddersfield Technical School, which also benefited by the scheme, was empowered to nominate six pupils to attend the school fee free. The present headmaster of the school, Mr. Robert S. Crump, B.A., published in July, 1909, in the Hudders- field Chronicle, Notes on the Former Headmasters of the Almondbury Grammar School, which I understand are to be amplified into a monograph upon the school, and which will be a welcome addition to our local historical works. To these Notes the reader desirous of acquainting himself more particularly with the names and lives of the succes- sive headmasters may well be referred. I permit myself mention of the Rev. Geo. Farrand, who is mentioned in Heywood's Northowram Register as dying in 1679, at the age of 80, having been headmaster near 40 years. The name Farrand is an Almondbury name, and Mr. Crump surmises that he was also curate at the Church, keeping

Page 265


the Register from 1629 to 1665, and inscribing therein the couplet :

Gutta cavat Lapidem non vi sed saepe cadendo ; Sic homo fit doctus, non vi, sed saepe legendo,

which Canon Hulbert rendered :

As a drop will wear away a stone Not by force, but oft returning ; So, by reading oft, alone, Man acquires the gift of learning,

-a rendering open to the criticism that drops of rain do not " oft return " and that acquisition by effort is hardly a " gift." I am far from being a poet, but humbly submit the following :

A stone is worn by constant dripping, A boy is taught by reading oft and not by whipping.

I would also mention the Rev. A. Easther, M.A., headmaster 1848 to 1876, a gentleman remembered by many after the lapse of half a century for the gentleness of his spirit and the graces of his scholarship. He was the author of a Glossary of the local dialect, which I com- mend to all philologists, and from which there will be occasion to quote hereafter. The Rev. Frank Marshall, M.A., headmaster 1878-1896, also wrote a book-A History of Football, a volume which would certainly appeal to a wider if not to a different class of readers from that which his predecessor's were calculated to attract. Mr. Marshall was a man of many gifts, as a teacher of mathematics probably without a rival in any of the schools of the Riding. Shortly after the grant of the Charter to the Grammar School at Almondbury further provision was made in the district with which we are concerned for the establish- ment of one other educational institution. In 1619 Alexander Stocke, rector of Kirkheaton, 1588-1626, gave to Sir Richard Beaumont, of Whitley, Knt., John Armitage, John Kay, Esqrs., and John Ramsden, Gent., a yearly rent charge of 10s. " to and for the maintenance and reparation of the schoole house situate neare to the church of Kirkheaton, lately builded there by me and others, to be used as a schoole house for instructinge and

Page 266


bringinge up of youth inhabitinge within the p'ish of Kirk- heaton in good learninge." In the Kirkburton Parish Register, 1709, it is recorded that " there hath been in the last year past a schoole house erected in the towne of Kirkheaton for teaching children the English tongue and educating them in good learning att the cost of the inhabi- tants of the said towne and with the help of some contri- butions of neighbouring gentlemen." In 1721 this school, known as the Grammar School, was endowed with {100 by the Rev. Henry Robinson, of Leeds, and £20 '* sent by an unknown hand " ; and in 1722 John Hors- fall, of Storthes Hall, gave another £400. In 1706 Thomas Thornhill, of Fixby, Esq., lord of the manor of Nether Linley, gave to trustees a plot of land, nine yards by six, " for the erection and maintenance of a grammar school in Linley and bringing up the children there in learning and good manners," the cost of the erection to be defrayed by the inhabitants. In 1767 Samuel Haigh, of Marston, endowed the school with In 1873 the school was transferred to the Huddersfield School Board. In 1719 (qth May) Thomas Walker, of Hudders- field, salter, gave for a free School in Slaithwaite. Five years later, in 1724, the Rev. Robert Meeke by his will "gave and bequeathed unto the Schoole and the use and livelihood of the Schoolmaster in Sleigh- waite, who was not the Curate or Minister of Sleigh- waite aforesaid, nor of any other place elsewhere, that he might attend the duties of the School without any hindrance, and might have time for necessary. reading and lawful diversion _. . . a parcell of land in Far Sowood in Stainland.'" These gifts were supplemented by a bequest of ten pounds under the will, in 1731, of Dr. William Walker, of Wakefield, the benefactor also of Longwood Grammar School, and by a donation of the same amount by one Michael Ansley. In 1731 a Deed was executed reciting the above provisions " to be laid out for the use of a School of good literature at Slaigh- waite, and that with the bequest of £100 Mr. William Walker had purchased a farm, copyhold land at Wood-

Page 267


lane in Sowerby, containing one messuage or dwelling house, one laith, one cowhouse, with 3 acres and 3 roods. of meadow and pasture land, also ye hay close, and besides that 1 acre and 1 rood, and a close called the Ing." The Deed of 1831 declared that the Schoolmaster should be chosen, after the death of the original trustees, " by the Vicar of Huddersfield for ye time being, ye Curates of Slaighwaite and Deanhead for the time being and their respective successors for ever." It contained further the following provisions, which it is interesting to compare with those of the earlier foundation at Almondhury :

ItEm.-Ten children, boys and girls, to be taught. ItEm.-The master must be a member of the Church of Eng- land, of a sober life and conversation, and one who frequents the Holy Communion. Hath a good genius for teaching youth to read, can write a good hand, and understands the grounds of arithmetic, will also carefully attend his school. ItEm.-The master must take care of the manners and be- haviour of ye scholars ; use proper methods for discouraging vice, particularly lying, cursing, swearing, and profaning the Lord's Day. Oblige them in order thereunto to attend divine service ; teach them in English well. - When the boys can read competently well, then teach them to write a fair legible hand, with grounds of arithmetic, sufficient to qualify them for common apprentices. ItEm.-The master must teach both boys and girls the cate- chism, as is contained in the Liturgy of the Church of England, and catechise them once a week in the School. ItEm.-The children who are taken must be the poorest ob- jects, and chosen out of the townships of Slaighwaite and Lingards by the curate, churchwardens, and overseer of Slaigh- waite for ever. ItEmn.-If any child proves incorrigible after due admonition and moderate correction, such must be displaced and another chosen in its room. ItEm.-The parents of the elected children shall assure the master so far as they can that they shall not be kept from school on any occasion whatever, except want of health. ItEm.-Girls only to be taught to read well and catechised, except the master has a wife, who can teach them to knit or sew,

then that to be done. *t » * s sk k

ITEM, lastly.-If any master does not perform his duty according to the above Rules, or fails in any of the qualifications required of him, then the said electors shall have power to keep back his stipend, remove him, and elect another proper person in his place.

Page 268


In 1859 the " Meeke and Walker" Institute was re-modelled under a scheme approved by the Charity Commissioners ; and by another scheme made in 1898 the foundation and its endowments were to be adminis- tered under the name of " The Slaithwaite School Founda- tion." Religious opinions or observances were not to affect the governors' qualifications, and there were to be representative and co-optative governors. At the time of the Chantry Commissioners' Reports in 1897 the School was mainly used for evening classes " doing good work and assisting many who could not attend the Hudders- field Technical College, and who would otherwise have no opportunity of continuing their education."" In 1825 a Grammar School was erected on School Terrace, Lingards, by public subscription, the Earl of Dartmouth, patron, contributing £255; Mr. Richard Varley, £85 ; Mr. Amos Ogden, £85; Mr. William Dean, {£85 ; Mr. Edmund Sykes, £85; Mr. John Meal, £85; and Mr. Humphrey Sykes, £85. The school was not a success and was closed after a few years of inglorious life. In the year 1731, William Walker, of Wakefield, probably a native of Longwood, established, or at least endowed, the Lonawoon GRAMMAR ScHOOL. In Dews-

bury Parish Church a monument records the gift :-

Here lyeth the body of Will. Walker, late of Wakefield, Gent. Besides many distinguished acts of charity In his lifetime By his Will He left Five hundred pounds for a Free School in this town and Twenty pounds per annum For a Free School at Golcar in the Parish of Huddersfield.

Page 269


The widow of William Walker erected a school-house for the master's use, a stone now near the entrance to the new school, but formerly over the door over the master's

house, bearing the inscription :-

The gift of Dorothy, the wife of William Walker, Non ignara mali miseris succurrere disco.

1734. Another inscription, over the doorway of the school,

is said to have been graven by the chisel of Joseph Millar, probably the first headmaster :- Non operis famam poterit delere vetustas. Other headmasters have been :- The Rev. John Hadwin, M.A., 1798-1803. The Rev. William Robinson, M.A., 1803-1822. Thomas Robinson, 1822-1865. Joseph Richardson, 1865-1868. Under the admirable sway of its present head, Mr. John Edwin Bottom, the school has progressed both in efficiency and reputation. The Charity Commissioners, in 1865 and again in 1878, approved schemes for its government. The premises have been enlarged at con- siderable cost, under the wills of the late George Horsfall, of Acacia House, Quarmby Road, and of the late Crosland Hirst, of Broomfield, Longwood, scholarships have been founded, and there are free scholarships for boys educated

in the local elementary schools. It was not till 1770 that a Grammar School was estab-

lished somewhat nearer the heart of the town of Hudders- field than were those already mentioned. In that year was established FaARTOWN GRAMMAR SCHOOL. It was built upon land enclosed from the common, and the cost of the erection was defrayed by public subscriptions, but the school enjoyed no endowment. A Mr. Binns was for many years headmaster, and the school was better known as Binns's School. In 1818 the ancient village of Marsden woke up to the desirability of providing better educational facilities than were afforded by the Sunday Schools, or the Dame's Schools, or other private seminaries of the neighbourhood.

Page 270


In that year we learn from the Memorials of the Town School by the late J. B. Robinson, Messrs. Joseph Armi- tage, Enoch Armitage, David Armitage, Joseph Dowse, Robert Dowse, Enoch Taylor-of Luddite fame-James Taylor, Arthur Hirst, Daniel Haigh, Benjamin Holroyd, sen., Benjamin Holroyd, jun., Job Stocks, and several of the Whitehead ilk, all having rising families, realising the necessity of having a good day-school, and their children having educational advantages their parents never possessed, set about in good earnest to find the ways and means for erecting a suitable building. - Public meetings were held, public feeling enlisted in favour of the project, and an active canvass for subscriptions commenced. A school-house was erected at a cost of between £400 and £500 thus obtained. A master was advertised for " quali- fied to teach Reading, Writing, Grammar, Arithmetic, etc., with a wife capable of teaching needlework." The Rev. John Falcon, incumbent of Deanhead, Mr. Joseph Lew- thwaite, of Halifax, a gentleman versed in mathematics, and Mr. Duke Burrough, a friend of the Messrs. Taylor, of Marsden, undertook the public examination vive voce of the competitors for the headmastership. The lot fell upon Mr. Joseph Webster, who from 1820 to his death in 1876, filled that responsible position. The Trustees of this school adopted the following regulations for the govern- ment of the school :-

That the School be open to children of all denominations, both on Sabbath* days and week days, and the Trustees shall have power to discharge (by giving six months' notice) any master they may have thought proper to elect to conduct the school. When any matter occurs to need the interference of the Trustees, any five resident inhabitants shall have power to call a meeting of the trustees, and any five of them meeting together (by public notice), as aforesaid, shall be competent to act and make decision. That no person in Holy Orders, or any Theological Teacher, shall be admitted a Trustee. That the Trustees shall meet at the schoolroom every Whit- Monday, at ten o'clock in the forenoon, to arrange and inquire

* The Sunday School was discontinued in 1855.

Page 271


into the school discipline, and any Trustee absenting himself at the above-mentioned time shall be under the censure of the Trustees present, except he can furnish a reasonable excuse.

To be " under the censure " of the Trustees appears to have been a punishment as vague and as terrible as to be " named " by the Speaker of the House of Commons.

That the Schoolmaster for the time being shall be bound to keep the premises in good repair, and shall pay one shilling per annum to the Trustees for the rent of the said premises, viz. :- House, school, and appurtenances, which shall be laid out in improvements as the said Trustees may think proper.

The fees charged were :-

For reading | ............ 4d. per week. With writing ............ 8d. »» With arithmetic. ......... rod. - ,, With grammar .......... IS. $3

Additional fees for geography and mensuration. Two comments are suggested by these statutes. Firstly, the school was to open both on Sundays and weekdays. It was founded, it will be observed, in the days of the unreformed factory system, when young children were sent to earn a miserable pittance in the mills by toiling from six in the morning till eight or nine at night. Sunday was the only day on which man, woman, or child of the working classes had any leisure for learning the veriest rudiments of education, and even given the leisure I imagine that in many families the fees which the headmaster was empowered to exact must often have proved prohibitive. Ah ! those good old days of our fathers ! Secondly, there was no provision for religious educa- tion at the school, no Catechism, apparently no Bible teaching. This is in marked contrast to the statutes of the Almondbury Grammar School and the Meeke and Walker Institute at Slaithwaite. As it is vehemently asserted and as stoutly denied that secular education is fraught with the gravest perils to the State, and as the scientific inquirer has a very proper suspicion of a prior: reasoning, it may be suggested that an inquiry into the

Page 272


morals of Almondbury, Slaithwaite, and Marsden would furnish data for the solution of a much vexed question. The Marsden Town School was rebuilt in 1878 and in 1892 again enlarged-an abiding monument to the public spirit, the intelligence, and the beneficence of the people amidst whom its admirable work is done. The Knowle Bank School on Golcar Hill was erected prior to 1823 by inhabitants of the north side of the Golcar township by voluntary subscriptions upon land enclosed from the common. Clough Head School dates from about the same period. The Reports of the Charity Commissioners for the parishes of Huddersfield, Almondbury, Kirkheaton, and Kirkburton give particulars of the foundation of National Schools at various periods in Huddersfield, Almondbury, Lowerhouses, Honley, Brockholes, Nether Thong, Upper Thong, Slaithwaite, Lingards, Meltham, Meltham Mills, Helme, South Crosland, Netherton, Shelley, Shepley, Thurstonland, Holmfirth, Hinchliffe Mill, Wooldale, Hepworth, New Mill, and other places within the district with which this volume is concerned. These may be consulted by the curious, but the national provision for elementary education deprives them of their import- ance and renders unnecessary their reproduction in these pages. The town of Huddersfield seems to have lagged behind, in point of time, the committees which encircle it in the provision of educational institutions. But the absence down to a comparatively recent period of its history of any considerable academic provision was probably due to the fact that private seminaries admirably conducted were not wanting in the town. Thus we learn from the late Mr. G. W. Tomlinson's Notes*® a school for the sons and daughters of the wealthier sort was conducted at the Huddersfield Vicarage by Miss Coates, the daughter of the Rev. John Coates, M.A., who was vicar of the ancient parish from 1791 to 1823. There was, at a somewhat

* Published in " Home Words."

Page 273


later period, a school at Spring Grove kept by Mr. Tattersfield-this for the children of the retail traders, with whom, of course, the children of the wholesale merchants could not be expected to consort, for the chasm that separates the duke from the baron is as naught compared with that which divides the merchant prince from the shopkeeper. There was Mowatt's School on Paddock Brow-here the late Sir William Broadbent, Bart., M.D., a native of Longwood, and the donor of the Longwood Recreation Ground, received his early educa- tion. There were others, too, in the Colne and the Holme and the Dearne Valleys : seminaries useful and honoured in their day and generation to which the children of the middle classes-schools, except the Sunday schools, and National Schools, were not yet for those of the indus- trial classes-resorted. In the second quarter of the last century, however, institutions of greater pretensions arose in Huddersfield. There was the Collegiate School on Clare Hill, a proprietary academy opened in 1840, and closed in 1887, in its day much affected by the sons of the wealthier of the Churchpeople; and in July, 1838, was founded the Huddersfield College in New North Road-the agent of the Ramsden Estate having granted to its founders a lease of the site with many misgivings as to the town and neighbourhood being able to support both the Collegiate and the College. The School was a proprietary school in one sense, though it may be safely assumed that the proprietors were more concerned to pro- vide for the youth of the district a good secondary educa- tion than to announce big dividends. These public-spirited gentlemen were :-Messrs. John Sutcliffe, David Shaw, Joseph Milner, William Shaw, John Whiteley, William Greenwood, Thomas Pitt, R. G. Jackson, William Willans, Edward Lake Heap, John Harpin, John Robinson, Frederick Schwann, Thomas Mallinson, the Rev. George Highfield, and the Rev. W. A. Hurndall The first president of the Council was Mr. John Sutcliffe, and he was followed in that honourable position by Mr. William Willans-the father of Mr. J. E. Willans, J.P., for many

Page 274


years Chairman of the Huddersfield School Board ; Mr. C. H. Jones, J.P., first Mayor of Huddersfield ; Mr. Wright Mellor, J.P., D.L., also Mayor of Huddersfield ; and Mr. William Mallinson, J.P., for many years president of the Huddersfield Infirmary. The prospectus of the new institution stated that it was intended to provide a '" course of instruction comprising the Greek, Latin, French, German, and English languages, Writing, Arith- metic, and Mathematics, and such other branches of General Literature and Science as it might be deemed expedient from time to time to introduce, combined with moral and religious instruction based on the Holy Scriptures." The first principal of the College was Mr. William Wright, B.A., and he was succeeded by Dr. Milne, Mr. Samuel Sharpe, LL.B., Mr. H. Jefferson, M.A., Professor R. R. Hartley, Mr. J. F. Richards, and Mr. Symons. The College reached the zenith of its prosperity, influence, and reputation under the sway of Mr. Samuel Sharpe, who was assisted by Mr. Joseph Miller, B.A. (vice-principal and mathematical master), Mr. Fairweather (master of the Lower School), Mr. J. French (English), M. Feugly (French), Herr Dammann (German), Mr. Stopford (Drawing), Mr. Geo. Jarmain (Chemistry), and other teachers whose services raised the school to an efficiency that attracted to it pupils from all parts of the north of England. It were easy, but perhaps invidious, to name many men now occupying distinguished positions in various spheres of life who received their early education and were prepared for professional and commercial life at Huddersfield College; but I must content myself with recording the fact that the present Prime Minister, the Right Hon. H. Asquith, M.P., is not only allied by marriage with one of the leading families of the town, but received the elements of an education he has turned to such distinguished use at the Hudders- field College. In June, 1894, the College was transferred by the proprietors to the Huddersfield Education Authority, and is now a Higher Grade School of that body.

Page 275


We have seen that the Trust Deed or Scheme of the Meeke and Walker Institute expressly stipulated that *' the children who are taken in must be the poorer objects," and one would be inclined to conclude from the fact that the people's commons were encroached upon to provide an endowment for the Almondbury Grammar School that that academy also was originally designed for students of the poorer sort. But one grave obstacle barred the of the excellent intentions of the founders of these and other similar institutions. Prior to the passing of the Factory Acts, children of very tender years might be sent to work, and with wages low and food dear, it is easy to see how strong was the temptation to parents to send their little ones to work at the earliest possible moment. It was vain to provide day-schools for children whose earnings were needed at home. The perception of this fact led to the institution of Sunday Schools. In connection with the Parish Church of Huddersfield, Jonathan Stanley, a shoemaker, had a school of that character in Denton Lane, over the stables in the Rose and Crown yard. He was assisted by the sons of the Vicar, Mr. Coates. The late Rev. Dr. Bruce preserved in his Huddersfield Sunday School Memorial (1880) two verses of a quaint hymn, written in a smugly self- complacent strain, that was in use at this and probably at other Sunday Schools :

Why do we on the Sunday meet At school, while others in the street Do run about and play ? It is that we may there be taught, And learn to read as children ought While in their early days.

Oh ! see how many friends unite To teach us reading with delight, And make it all their care, They buy us books, their money spend, Give us their time, and will attend For our instruction there.

The Independent Church at Highfield was the first religious body in the town to build a school specifically appropriated as a Sunday in 1812. The

Page 276


Chapel trustees categorically consecrated the building to the use of " children whose parents or guardians are unable or unwilling to bear the expense of regular attendance at week-day schools. No children who are in the habit of attending regular schools on week-days can be admitted, as it is contrary to the original designs of Sunday Schools and also to common equity and justice, to receive children who have the opportunity of getting a regular education, and, for want of room, keeping back numbers of poor objects who have no prospect of even being taught to read but at Sunday Schools." In the Colne Valley a school-in connection with the Church- had been established earlier in the century at the house of Benjamin Sykes, of Crimble Clough, and thither the teacher, Joseph Mellor, a cripple, was borne each Sunday on the back of Joseph Mayall, of Vineyard. Marsden was somewhat behind Slaithwaite-no Sunday School being established there till 1823, when one was held, in connec- tion with the Church, in an old building called the " Stripping Room," behind the White Hart Inn. Space forbids that this History record the efforts made by Church and Chapel alike to provide in the Sunday Schools of the district some measure, however slender, of secular education for the poorer children of the district. A time came when the State recognized its duties in this regard, and with the coming of the School Boards and their generous provision for elementary education the character of the Sunday Schools underwent a necessary change, and the teachers are no longer constrained. to teach the young boys and girls who attend the classes the rudiments of practical education, but concern themselves mainly with Bible teaching and the moulding of the moral dispositions of their charges. But even yet lingers the necessity for what are called Adult Schools for those of maturer years who failed in youth to benefit to the full by the advantages procurable in the elementary schools. One may hazard the conjecture that in days not far distant the education imparted in the schools provided or wholly or partially maintained out of public

Page 277


funds will be of a purely secular character, and when that time shall come a new era of usefulness will open for the Sunday Schools, and the energies of those who conduct them will find ample scope in inculcating lessons of a higher and not less needed kind than those insisted on in the secular seminaries. The appetite for knowledge grows on what it feeds on. The lust for education was merely whetted by the pro- vision of the Sunday Schools. In 1841 " a few friends to popular education who were desirous of affording to the young men of this town and neighbourhood an opportunity for the improvement of their mental facul- ties," formed " The Young Men's Mutual Improvement Society,"" numbering less than forty members and meeting in the British School, Outcote Bank. By the end of the first year of its existence the classes instituted by the Society were attended by upwards of one hundred pupils, of ages ranging from 16 to 24, the subjects of instruction being Reading, Writing, Arithmetic, Grammar, Geo- graphy, Drawing, Design, and the French a stride indeed from the pot-hooks and multiplication table of the Sunday School. In 1843 there were 182 students, and a small library had been got together for their private reading, and elocution and vocal music had been added to the curriculum. In 1844 the students numbered 410, many of them " persons who previous to their entering this Society were unacquainted with even the first rudiments of knowledge. Six members of the Society had not even learned to read, twenty could read a little but could not write, fifty-six were not acquainted with the simple rules of arithmetic. Their ages ranged from thirteen to thirty." The classes for Ornamental Design as applicable to manufactures were under the superintendence of Mr. Tomlinson, an artist who estab- lished a more than local fame, and Mr. Schischkar, and the pupils in these classes were chiefly artisans employed as fancy weavers, carpet weavers, woollen printers, painters, and joiners, and the committee of the Society, which had now assumed the more pretentious title of the

Page 278


Mechanics' Institute, believed that this branch of instruction, which had been originated with a view of elevating the taste of the artizans engaged in the trade of the neighbourhood, would, in time, be the means of raising the manufactures of this locality to a level in taste and elegance with those of our Continental rivals. About the same year, 1843, Mr. William Marriott, whose name ought ever to be gratefully remembered in this district for his long and zealous services in the cause of technical education, began to teach a class in chemistry, being succeeded by Mr. George Jarmain, afterwards Borough Analyst; and the committee attached much importance to this new study in view " of the inferiority of our fabrics in beauty of dye and colour to those of our Continental competitors "-our fathers apparently not having learned to look to Tariff Reform to aid them in the struggle for the markets of the world. The governing body of the Institute at this period were :-President, F. Schwann; Vice-President, Joseph H. Walker; Treasurer, Samuel Holroyd ; Secretaries, George P. Beaumont, John Fligg Brigg ; Committee, Messrs. Foster Shaw, Samuel C. Kell, Henry Lumb, David Johnstone, Samuel Haley, William Dyson, John Agar, John Aspinall, Thomas Carter, and James Sykes. On the 5th of October, 1859, the foundation stone of a new Mechanics' Institute to accommodate the members of the Society started at Outcote Bank was laid by the Countess de Grey and Ripon, and among those participating in the inaugural ceremonies was W. E. Foster, a name imperishably associated with the grant to the people of these realms of the priceless gift of a system of national education. There were at that time 780 scholars attending the classes which were under the care of a staff of 51 teachers, of whom only 20 received any fee for their services. The nucleus of the library had been added to by a large number of volumes presented by Sir Robert Peel, a local monument to his memory as useful if not as striking as the statue that graces the Station Square. A Penny Savings Bank had been added to the social

Page 279


services of the Society, and it is interesting to note that this was organized on lines suggested by Charles W. Sikes, manager of the Huddersfield Banking Company, and which were subsequently adopted by the Postmaster General in founding the Post Office Savings Bank, Mr. Sikes many years later receiving the honour of knighthood for this and other efforts to promote that excellent and saving virtue-thrift. From 1860 to 1884 the Mechanics' Institute was conducted in Northumberland Street, but in the latter year the Institute that had done such excellent service was superseded by the foundation of the Technical College in Queen Street. The opening of the Board Schools had rendered superfluous the classes for elementary instruc- tion, and the new College was devoted to the higher branches of a liberal education and more especially to technical and scientific education. The building opened in 1884 has perforce been considerably enlarged, and Huddersfield now possesses an institution, well equipped and well endowed, in which not merely may the practical artisan or mechanic learn the principles of his craft, but the young of both sexes may be conducted to the thres- holds of the great Universities of the land. The following gentlemen constituted the first Board of Governors :- Thomas (afterwards Sir Thomas) Brooke, J.P., President ; Edward Armitage, J.P., J. F. Brigg, Vice-Presidents ; Joseph Bate, Edward Brooke, Thomas Walker Brooke, Joseph (afterwards Sir Joseph) Crosland, W. R. Haigh, Henry Lister, Joseph Lowenthal, William Marriott, Wright Mellor, James Priestley, Benjamin Schofield, John Sugden, G. W. Tomlinson, Governors; Enoch Heppenstall, Honorary Treasurer ; and George Thomson, Honorary Secretary. The Mayor of Huddersfield, the Master of the Worshipful Company of Cloth Workers, London (munificent benefactors of the College), the President of the Huddersfield Chamber of Commerce, and the Chairmen of the Huddersfield School Board and Board of Guardians, ex-officto Guardians. The College enjoys revenue not only from the gifts

Page 280


of many benefactors of our own times-notably a sum of £5,000 given by Sir Joseph Crosland, Knt.,-but also from an ancient charity founded in 1647 by the will of Thomas Armitage, an English merchant then resident at St. Lucar de Barrameda in Spain. The will, which was in the Spanish tongue, contained this clause : " I do give to the poor of Huddersfield, where I was born, £200 sterling money of England of forty Royals every pound, and the same shall be put in stock in The Poor's Hospital to increase the same, and the rent thereof shall be distributed and parted by the Vicar and other persons that shall have charge thereof, to buy wool and deliver the same to the poor to work, that they may have wherewithal to sustain themselves. The income of this trust, the corpus of which had considerably in- creased, was for many years distributed in doles, but in 1878 the trustees, under proper sanction, transferred the funds of the charity to the Technical College. In 1894 the Holmfirth District Technical Institute was opened. It had been erected at a cost of £4,456, over £3,000 of which was raised by subscription, Mr. James Marsden, wholesale clothier, of The Limes, Wigan, giving £700. The West Riding County Council, the Science and Art Department, and the Worshipful Company of Clothiers gave the rest of the money. There is no endow- ment other than the buildings, and the income of the Institute is derived from fees, grants, and subscriptions. The example of Huddersfield in the establishing of a Mechanics' Institute was widely followed, the same year (1841) that saw the formation of " The Young- Mens' Mutual Improvement " Society in Outcote Bank, wit- nessing the beginning of a similar enterprise in the Old New Inn at Marsden, an association that developed into the Marsden Mechanics' Institute ; in 1864 Slaithwaite founded a similar institution. Longwood, Lockwood, Lindley, Holmfirth, had their Institutes, and at a later date Meltham its Carlile Institute ; but of all these it may be said that they have necessarily somewhat diverged from their primary end and purpose since the State in 1870 took upon itself the

Page 281


burden of elementary education. Of the provisions made in the district with which these pages are concerned under Forster's Act and the subsequent amending and developing

Acts, mention will, as I have said, be found in a later portion of this work.

Page 282



The Staple Industry, Natural Facilities for-Milnes v. The Huddersfield Corporation (note)-Inquisitions of Edward III.- And of Elizabeth-Fulling Mill at King's Mill Lane-Royal Encouragement to the Woollen Industry-Forstalling and Engros- sing-Ancient Processes of Manufacture-The King's Auluager -The Cloth Hall, Huddersfield-Market Rights-Early Statutes as to Staple Industry-The '" Croppers''-Enoch and James Taylor, of Marsden-William Horsfall-The Luddite Riots Military and Police Provisions-Risings of 1817, Folly Hall Fight "-Plug Riots-Weavers' Strike (1883)-Slaithwaite Cotton Strike-The Fire at Atkinson's Mill-Factory Act Agitation-Holmfirth Flood-Holmfirth Monumental Almshouses. AUTHORITIES.-Inquisitions (ut supra); Anon: The Golden Fleece; Statute, Philip and Mary, 1557; Easther: Glossary of the Dialect of Almondbury and Huddersfield ; Statute, 25 Edward III.; Meeke's Diary ; Thornbury : Old Stories Retold ; Berry : History of the Volunteer Infantry ; " Slaithwaite Guardian " (1906) ; Cowgill: Historical Account of the Luddites; " The Northern Pioneer " ; Croft: History of the Factory Movement ;

Huddersfield Poor Apprentices' Register; 42 Geo. III., c. 46 ; Sykes: History of Huddersfield and its Vicinity ; °" Huddersfield Examiner '' (February 8, 1902); Endowed Charities' Returns


ANY causes conspired to make the woollen industry the staple of the district to whose history these

pages are devoted. First and foremost of these, perhaps, has been an abundant supply of water. The confirmation of the land has resulted in the existence of numberless rivulets from which the fulling mills and dye- houses erected upon their banks derived not only motive power but the water necessary for scouring and dyeing and fulling. - When, at a later period, steam superseded water power, a cheap supply of coal from the beds at Lepton and other contiguous mines fostered the industry already firmly established. Not only must the water used in the various processes of cloth manufacture be abundant-it must be soft. The water that falls upon

Page 283


the great watersheds of the district takes up in its percolation through the peaty moorland a subtle acid, not of itself injurious to human health, but whose presence in the water gives it that attribute of softness that is in- valuable both in the scouring and dyeing processes, con- stituting a solvent, both for soap and dyewares, not fur- nished by waters more densely impregnated by mineral matter.* Again, the herbage grazed on the moors by the sheep, though scanty, is of such a character that the fleece is of a finer, silkier texture than that borne by the sheep fed upon the more luxurious pastures of the great grazing counties; and although this consideration is of little consequence now, when the great bulk of the wool used in the factories is imported, it had doubtless no little influence in earlier days in determining the trend of local industry and in establishing the reputation of the district for the finer cloths. And to all these natural advantages must be added, I imagine, the genius, native and acquired, of the people themselves, due, one inclines to think, to that Celtic strain, little impaired by the admixture of the more sluggish Saxon blood, which streams through the veins of the men and women whose labours at the loom and jinny have contributed as much to the up- building of the mighty fabric of our local industry as the astuteness and enterprise of their employers. The textile art requires nimbleness of wit, dexterity, quick appre- hension and sensitiveness of touch, and these are the attributes rather of the versatile Celt of the North than

* Unfortunately this acid, harmless of itself, acts upon the lead pipes by which the householder's water is conveyed from the main to the house-taps. Abo.t the year 1882, Mr. J. J. Milnes, a. solicitor practising in Huddersfield, evinced symptoms of lead poisoning, indisputably due to the water supplied by the Hudders- field Corporation. A jury at Leeds Assizes awarded him s bstan- tial damages, but the defendant Corporation raised the point that the lead in the water was taken up in the passage of the water from the mains to the tap, and that under the Statute the defendants' liability to supply " pure and wholesome water '' ended at the mains. The House of Lords upheld the contention, and the plaintiff did not receive the damages awarded by the jury.- D.F.E.S.

Page 284


of the massive limbed sons of Anak who tend the wain and tread the furrows in the Midlands and the South. We have evidence that the staple trade was followed at a comparatively early period in this district. In the reign of Edward III. an Inquisition, or, as we should now say, an inquiry, was held, at the instance probably of the Crown, in which the manor of Almondbury had vested, as to the revenue due from the tenants. From this we learn that there was in Almondbury a dyehouse of the value of 6s. 8d. annually, equivalent to about twenty times the money of to-day. In addition to this a rent of I3s. per annum was derived from a fulling-mill; and we may reasonably assume that both the dyehouse and the fulling-mill were not newly erected. In 1584 temp. Elizabeth, another Inquisition was held, and it is interesting to note the names of the jurors : John Kaye, of Woodsome, Esq.; John Ramsden; William Beaumont, gentleman ; John Cudworth ; Nicholas Fenay ; John Hirst ; John Appleyard ; John Beaumont, of Wellhead ; William Kaye; John Kaye, of Thorpe; John North; Humphrey Beaumont; John Beaumont, of Netherthong ; John Armitage, of the Armitage; Edward Cowper; John Kaye, of the Cross; John Blegbourne the younger; Thomas Brooke; John Lockwood ; and John Armitage, of Huddersfield. The jurors found, inter alia, that there was one water corn- mill belonging to Her Majesty as Lord of the Manor, and that the fulling-mill on the tail-goit of the said mill, mentioned in former Inquisitions, having fallen into decay, a second fulling-mill, " annexed to the corn-mill,""' had been lately built by William Ramsden, the farmer of the corn-mill ; but this, too, was reported to be in some decay. From the same Inquisition we learn that the tenants in Almondbury-the ancient parish, be it understood, extending as far as Marsden in one direction and reaching towards Upperthong and Wilshaw in other directions- " made suite to the lord's mill with so much of their corn and grain growing upon any of their lands or tenements within the Manor of Almondbury which should be holden

Page 285


of the same manor, as they should spend in their house, after a certain rate of multure, that is, to wit, after the 16th vessel.* But for such corn as any of the said free- holders should buy, they were not bound to make suite with the same to the said mill, unless they of goodwill and love, but then they paid their multure, but after the rate of the 32nd vessele," This is a very instructive Return, for we learn from it that William Ramsden, the ancestor of the present manorial lord of Huddersfield, farmedt the lord's corn-mill, at " Coln Water, Almonsberie," as it was described in a suit between William Ramsden and Thomas Hey and another in I54I, and that Ramsden charged the tenants who were obliged under penalty to take their corn to the mill, as an incident of their tenure, only twice as much as he charged those who took it "* of goodwill and love "'-t.e., outside customers. We may also, I think, gather from the same Return that the fulling-mill was regarded as of quite secondary consequence to the corn-mill, and that there was no cus- tomary obligation upon the tenants to take their pieces to be fulled there. The mill referred to in the Inquisitions was on Dam- side below Longley Hall, at the conflux of the Colne and the Holme, and as, at that time, the Manor of Huddersfield was owned by the Crown, this mill would be properly called the " King's Mill," and it was thence we get the name of the existing thoroughfare, King's Mill Lane. About the time when the Commissioners of Edward III. were conducting their inquiries into the condition of the royal Manor of Almondbury, the King himself was interesting himself to promote the development of the woollen industry of his kingdom. He had married Philippa, daughter of the Count of Flanders, and at that

* I take this to mean that the tenants must grind their corn grown on the estate at the lord's mill, and the fee charged for multure or grinding was one sack in sixteen.-D.F.E.S. { By this was meant that the Crown sublet its manorial rights to Ramsden at a fixed sum, leaving him to recoup himself from the multure

Page 286


time most of the wool of England was exported to Bruges or Ghent there to be wrought into good broad cloth. The English King or his advisers awoke to the fact that an industry that had enriched the burgesses of those cities might with great advantage to the realm be conducted within our own shores. There is a letter from the King, dated July 3rd, 1331, from Lincoln, and addressed to John Kempe, in Flanders, promising letters of protection and assistance if he would come to England with the servants and apprentices of his mystery, and with his goods and chattels, and with any dyers and fullers who might be inclined willingly to accompany him beyond the seas and exercise their mysteries in the kingdom of England. In a book entitled " The Golden Fleece," published in the year 1599, the anonymous author pays lavish tribute to the third Edward's wise and eminently successful policy in this regard : " The wools of England have ever been of great honour and reception abroad, as hath been sufficiently witnessed by the constant amity which, for many hundred years, hath been inviolably kept between the Kings of England and the Dukes of Burgundy, only for the benefit of the wool ; whose subjects, receiving the English wool at sixpence a pound, returned it (through the manu- facture of these industrious people) in cloth at ten shillings a yard, to the great enrichment of that State, both in revenue to their sovereigns and in employment to their subjects, which occasioned the merchants of England to transport their whole families, in no small numbers, into Flanders, from whence they had a constant trade. to all parts of the world. And this intercourse of trade between England and Burgundy endured till King Edward III. made his mighty conquests over France and Scotland, when, finding fortune more favourable in pros- pering his achievements than his allegiate subjects were able to maintain, he at once projected how to enrich his people and to people his newly conquered dominions. And both these he designed to effect by means of his English commodity, wool ; all which he accomplished, though not

Page 287


without great difficulties and oppositions, for he was not only to reduce* his own subjects who were, and had long been, settled in those parts, with their own families, many of which had not as certain habitations in England as in Flanders ; but he was also to invite clothiers over to convert his wools into clothing (and these were the subjects of another prince), or else the stoppage of the stream would choke the mill, and then not only clothing would everywhere be lost, but the materials resting upon his English subjects' hands would soon ruin the whole gentry and yeomanry for want of vending their wool. Now, to show how King Edward smoothed these rough and uneven passages were too tedious to this short narrative, though otherwise, in their own contrivance, they may be found to be ingenious, pleasing, and of great use. " But this it must be granted, that King Edward was wise as well as victorious, for upon a visitation made by himself to the Duke of Burgundy, during his residence there, he employed such able agents among the Flemish clothiers, as (barely upon his promises) he prevailed with great numbers of them to come into England soon after him when he most royally performed those promises, in giving not only a free denizationt to them, but he likewise invested them with privileges and immunities beyond those of his native subjects, which peculiarities their posterities enjoy to this . . . Seventy families of Walloons were in the first year brought to England by the invitation and promises of Edward. He kept his royal word to all of them. The greater part were at first settled in Kent, but they were by degrees removed to different parts and scattered over the whole of England. They shifted their residences according to the facility with which they could obtain water or fuel, or the material on which they worked. The greater number finally settled in Yorkshire, Gloucester, and the Western Counties."

* re ducere-to bring back or persuade to réturn.—D.F.E.S. { Naturalisation.-D.F.E.S. ? A reference, probably, to the privileges of the ancient Trade Guilds.-D.F.E.S.

Page 288


It is scarcely necessary to say that Yorkshire and the West of England are still the seats of this great industry. It is possible that we owe the surname '* Fleming," borne by some families resident in this district, to this immigration from Flanders. We of this day and generation have no difficulty in realizing the earlier stages through which the leading industry of the district have passed to their present complex development. The clack of the hand-loom may still be heard on the hill-sides, and one may still converse with men stricken in years who cling to this primitive machine. But the days of the hand-loom weaver are numbered. The omnivorous factory has sealed his doom. Gone for ever are the days when the weaver's donkey, grazing on the common or by the wayside, was a familiar object-days in which we are told as many as two hundred donkeys might be counted at one time in the yard of Walker's mill at Lindley, come with their burthen of the woven pieces and awaiting their load of yarn. The preamble to a statute of Philip and Mary (1557), though confined in terms to the neighbouring town of Halifax, must have been equally applicable to our own town and neighbourhood : '" Whereas the town of Halifax being planted on the grate waste and moors, where the fertility of the ground is not apt to bring forth any corn, nor good grass, but in rare places, and by exceeding and great industry of the inhabitants, who altogether live by clothmaking, and the greater part of them neither getteth corn, nor is able to keep a horse to carry wools, nor yet to buy much wool at once, but.hath ever used to repair only to the town of Halifax, and there to buy two or three stone, according to their ability, and to carry the same to their houses, three, four, or five miles off, upon their heads and backs, and so to make the same either into yarn and cloth, and to sell the same, and so to buy more wool of the wool-driver, by means of which industry, the barren grounds in these parts be much inhabitated, and above five hundred householders there nearly increased within these fifty

Page 289


years passed, which are like now to be undone and driven to beggary by reason of the late statute (37, Hen. VIII.), that taketh away the wool-driver, so that now they cannot have their wool by the same small quantity or portion as they were wont to have ; and that also they are not able to keep any horses whereupon to ride, or fetch their wool further from them in other places, unless some remedy be The statute therefore pro- vided " that it should be lawful to any person or persons, inhabiting within the Parish of Halifax, to buy any wool or wools at such time as the clothiers may buy them, other than by engrossing and forestalling, so that the persons buying the same do carry the said wools to the town of Halifax, and there to sell the same to the said poor folks of that and other parishes adjoining, as shall work the same in cloth or yarn, to their knowledge, and not to the rich and wealthy clothier, or any other to sell again ; offending against this act to forfeit double the value of the wool so sold." * Engrossing and forestalling '"' was an offence which the Parliaments of our forefathers endeavoured, but vainly, to stamp out. " To forestall" was to meet a man coming to market and buy up his wares, and " to engross '' was to accumulate the wares to force up the price. Much as I dislike Americanisms, I cannot better describe the process of forestalling and engrossing wool than by saying it consisted in making a " corner ' in wool. It would seem that the statute of Henry VIII. in its anxiety to preserve to the buyer the free and open com- petition of the market-place had so operated as to restrict or perhaps wholly to stop the operations of the " wool- driver," a trader, I conceive, who drove from farm to farm in the shearing season, collecting the fleeces, having, doubtless, some central and convenient store at which he sold the wool to the small hand-loom weavers scattered over the hill-sides. The statute of Philip and Mary was passed to restore the facilities enjoyed by the small craftsmen before the Act of Henry VIII. The statute, moreover, was aimed at " the rich and wealthy

Page 290


clothier,"' by whom, I take it, was intended the immediate precursor of the modern manufacturer. The " clothier," who was not to benefit by the exemptions of the Act, would seem to have been a man who, as distinguished from the small hand-loom weaver, had erected a factory in which he had set up a number of looms, worked by hired labour. How vainly does the Legislature endeavour to stay the operation of economic laws based upon the general convenience or arising from the vices and virtues inherent in human nature ' The statute throws an interesting light upon the early methods of manufacture, and its terms will enable the reader to better appreciate the following description of those methods contained in Mr. Alfred Easther's Glossary of the Dialect of the District of Almondbury and Huddersfield : " Formerly every weaver was really a manufacturer or master clothier. His dyeing pan, which was of lead, was set out of doors. Such men would go to Huddersfield, buy their 5olbs. weight of wool, carry it home on their backs, spread it out on the house-floor, strinkle it with oil, layer on layer, then beat it with sticks. Hand cards were then used. They tossed it together, then turned it off in a floss state, as they do now by the scribbling machine. They worked it together in long slivingsj it was then spun into tough or fine threads, then into warp and woof." Because this work was generally performed by the maidens of the household, they came to be called " spinsters," a name now applied to all unmarried females, though few of them have even seen a distaff. " The piece when made was spread on the floor. A large kitful of urine (weeting) and swine's dung was taken and strained through straw ; it was then sprinkled on the cloth, and, as may be imagined, the smell in the house was horrible. As they lecked one piece it was laid down, and so layer on layer were placed, in the form of a long parallelogram raised from the ground ; then all the members of the house got up and trampled it. There it lay till morning ; it was then wrapped up in a bundle

Page 291


and taken to Honley (or the nearest place) to a fulling mill, it was scoured, the offensive fluid washed out of it, and it was then brought dripping home. It was next trarled over furze bushes, hung out upon the walls, and the small pieces pulled off in the bushes whisked from it ; then buried in the house by the family. " Then it was taken again to the mill, and placed in the fulling stocks with soap, by which it was reduced in dimensions. It was afterwards laid on the mill-stone (a long stone table) and stamped by the Government Official, who affixed seals to the piece impressed with the length and breadth. It was then carried home, and as it was being fastened to the tenters the family pulled at one end to increase the length.* If it was stamped for (say) fifty yards it would thus stretch to fifty-one or fifty-two, and shrunk again on being finished. The market was at Huddersfield, and the cloth was exposed for sale on the churchyard wall. " The seals before spoken of were lead. The officer, who was sworn at Pomfret Sessions, made a hole at one end of the piece. A strip of lead three-and-a-half inches long and half-an-inch broad was bended at one end, was passed through the cloth, and by means of a hole at one end of the lead and a button at the other it was rivetted by a hammer. The length was stamped on the lead with a die. The manufacturer was now at liberty to remove his cloth, which before could not be done without a fine. This stamp-law became obsolete twenty or thirty years before it was repealed." The statute under which this official stamping was done was 25 Edward III., and the official who by means of the leaden strips attested the length of the piece was called the King's Aulnager, or ell-bearer. The conditions, as described by Mr. Easther, under which cloth was manufactured in the earlier days of the industry, were clearly not elysian. Nor, as we shall see, were they compensated by facilities for the disposal of the

* The tenter-frame was for cloth what the rack was for men. Hence the expression, '" kept on tenter-hooks."-D.F.E.S.

Page 292


cloth when made. But they were not wholly bad. The weaver was his own master, so far as man can be his own master in this imperfect world, in which the ever-present necessity of providing for daily needs confronts all but a favoured few. He worked when he liked and he played when he liked. When the horn of the hunter was heard on the hill he could hie him to the meet without the fear of losing his loom. His was a domestic industry in which his wife and children helped, and community of interest knits affection. Many a hand-loom weaver on the moor- side had his cow, his pig, his poultry, and his potato patch.. The breezes of heaven played around the cottage in which he earned his bread. His life was arduous enough and his earnings scanty ; but the less confined conditions and freer atmosphere contributed to health. If his fare was coarse and simple, he brought to it an appetite that would have disdained the " fish and chips " and tripe that the men and women who have been cooped up in our own mills seem to find so tempting and so satisfying. True, to the labour of making the piece were added the toil and uncertainty of selling it. Of these we find a note, under date April 18th, 1694, in the Diary of the Rev. Robert Meeke : " As I was in my study this after- noon, I heard a poor man talking to my landlady under the window, and telling her he had been four days at market with a piece, and could yet receive no money; that he was forced to buy bean-meal to make bread, oat- meal being dear ; and nothing almost got for work. Lord, pity the poor ; put an end to wars. Give rulers prudence to consider the state of the nation." But times were not always bad, and a man had not always to go four days to market to sell his piece. More often the weekly jaunt to Huddersfield was regarded as a welcome break in the week's work, and if the weaver enjoyed himself after his fashion by getting what was called " market fresh " the good wife was required by the general sense of the community to wink at this hebdomadal lapse. We have seen from Mr. Easther's " Glossary " that " the market was at Huddersfield, and the cloth was

Page 293


exposed for sale on the churchyard wall." This might serve in the olden days when the cottage manufacturers were few and far between and when it was a case of one maker one piece. But when the more thrifty or industrious of the small manufacturers began to put out their stuff to their neighbours, and still more when rooms were en- larged and hiréd labour was employed on additional looms-when, in brief, the factory system had its begin- nings, the open market of the churchyard wall or the stalls at the country fairs sufficed no longer. In 1672 John Rams- den, first baronet of the family of Longley Hall, had secured from the Crown a grant of a charter for a market at Huddersfield. There had been such a market at Almondbury granted in 1294 to Henry de Lacy, and the gradual displacement of Almondbury on the top of a hill by Huddersfield at its base probably arose as much from natural convenience of situation as from any other cir- cumstance. The grant of the right to hold a market overt or open market for the sale of goods has always been regarded as part of the royal prerogative, and we shall probably not err in supposing that John Ramsden paid for the privilege, which carried with it the right to levy toil or exact a percentage on the sales. The Charter was in these terms :-

I, the King, to whom these presents shall come, send greeting : WurEREAs by a certain Inquisition taken by our command at Huddersfield, in ye County of York, ye 12th day of September last past before ye day of these presents, and returned in due form and now to be found remaining upon record, it now appears to us that it will not be to the damage or prejudice of us or any others if we do grant to John Ramsden, Esq., that he and his heirs may have and hold one market in ye town of Huddersfield on Tuesday in every week for ever for ye buying and selling of all manner of goods and merchandys, and receive ye tolls, profits and advan- tages from thence coming and arising for him and his heirs for ever, as by ye said inquisition may more fully and at large appear. Know ye therefore that we for diverse good causes and considera- tions, us hereunto especially moving, have given and granted and by these presents for us our heirs and successors do give and grant unto ye said John Ramsden, his heirs and assigns, that he and they shall have and hold one market in ye town of Huddersfield

Page 294


aforesaid, upon Tuesday in every week, for ever, for ye buying and selling of all sorts of cattle, goods, and merchandise whatever, and further that ye said John Ramsden, his heirs and assigns, shall and may have, take, and receive to his and their own proper use and uses all and singular ye tolls, profits, and advantages and emoluments to such market in anywise belonging or of right appertaining or from thence coming or arising. Anp may have, hold, and enjoy the aforesaid tolls, profits, and other premises aforesaid unto the said John Ramsden, his heirs and assigns, to his and their own proper use and uses for ever, without anything to us, our heirs or successors, to be paid or performed. And we do by these presents finally command that ye said John Ramsden, his heirs and assigns, shall freely, lawfully, and quotly [gy. quietly] hold and enjoy ye aforesaid market and ye tolls and profits to ye same belonging, or from thence from time to time coming and arising, according to ye tenor and true meaning of these our Letters Patent, without molestation, hindrance or deniale of us, our heirs or successors, or of our Sheriffs, Bailiffs, Officers, or Ministers, or any other person whatsoever. Dated ye first day of November, in ye twenty-third year of our reign.

The market under the Charter was held in various parts of the town, originally, probably round the Market Cross at the junction of Kirkgate and Westgate, later at the Market Place and in King Street, that for cattle in the Beast Market. But wherever held the lord of the manor exacted his dues. The Improvement Commis- sioners, the governing body of the town preceding the Town Council, constituted in 1848, by the Huddersfield Improvement Act, 1848, took a lease from the lord of the manor of his market rights, :.e., acquired the right to levy the tolls, in return for a fixed yearly payment to the lord. Later the Huddersfield Corporation bought the Market Rights of the lord of the manor, which, it will be observed from the Charter, the Crown had found could be granted " without damage or prejudice to us or any others," for the sum of £43,303, which sum, however, included certain sites. The Cloth Hall was not erected till some years after the grant of the Charter in 1672. The town is indebted for this building to Sir John Ramsden, of Byrom and Longley Hall, who died in 1769. The original edifice was

Page 295


enlarged in 1780. It has the reputation of being the ugliest public building in Yorkshire. One may pause here to admire the astuteness with which successive owners of the manor of Huddersfield have regulated their dealings with that estate. In 1599 there is the purchase for the sum of £965 of the heart of the town of Huddersfield, covering what area I am unable to say with precision ; but we may, I think, con- clude with almost absolute certainty that the nucleus constituting the town lay round and about the Parish Church. To this nucleus, by a silent and gradual process, were added unauthorised enclosures. The Acts of Parliament refer to ancient enclosures. The procedure in the case of the Friends' Meeting House at Paddock shows that enclosures were filched from the people's commons without statutory authority, a method of appropriation sought to be veiled by securing the assent of the principal inhabitants, as though the commoners of one generation could alienate the communal rights for all time. Then there are more daring inroads upon the broad and tempting acres outlying the central plot. These are made under successive Enclosure Acts conceded by Parliaments in which the poorer classes were not represented, and in which they had no voice. Not content with the appropriation of the commons, the manorial lords claimed suit from the farmers for the grinding of their corn at King's mill, the fee charged being, as we have seen, much in excess of that paid at free mills. There was a fulling mill adjoining, though it does not appear that the inhabitants were under any compulsion to take their pieces to the lord's mill, if any other mill existed of convenient access, of which I find no mention. Finally, as we have seen, in 1672 the manorial lord obtained a grant of the market rights, by virtue of which not so much as a carrot could be bought in the market for the poor man's pot that did not pay its quota to the revenues of the lord, and the municipal debt of Huddersfield has been swollen and the yearly rates proportionately increased to rid the people of the burden imposed by the Charter of 1672.

Page 296


But this by the way. The reader will, I trust, have been enabled by what has been said anent the earlier and ruder methods of conducting the leading industry of this district, to form a fairly full and accurate notion of the condition of those engaged in it prior to the great revolu- tion affected by the introduction of machinery into what had been largely a manual art. How large a porportion of the population of this district was engaged in the production of cloth by the primitive methods I have described, may be judged from the following list of all the men in the township of Slaithwaite-cum-Lingards between the ages of fourteen and forty-five, 15th November, 1800. It is alist prepared for the purposes of the Militia Ballot. It refers, it is true, only to a portion of the Colne Valley ; but I have no doubt that it indicates conditions that were common to other parts of the same Valley and also to the Valleys of the Dearne and the Holme. There are earlier documents extant prepared for a similar purpose, but it is the only one in my possession, or to which I have had access, that sets forth the occupations of the persons named-hence its distinctive value. By the term '' clothier"' of such frequent recurrence in the list we are to understand just those small factors-I use the word in its primary sense-or cottage cloth-makers who laid the foundations of the great industry on which this district depends, and amongst whom some of the great manufac- turers of this neighbourhood must look, and I think should look with honest pride, alike for their ancestry and for the founders of the great concerns from which they draw their wealth.


George Quarmby, Clothier. Joseph Bamford, Slacks, Cl'th'r

James Eagland, Town, ,, John Bamford, $3 Thos. Varley, $» $3 Anthony Hoyle, - ,, $3 Saml. Walker, $» James France, Upperhouse, John Walker, $» Clothier. John Bottomley, _ ,, »» James Shaw, Cop, j Thomas Haigh, $3 $» Joseph Shaw, ,, »»

Joseph Bamforth, -,, »» Wm. Shaw, - ,, »»

Page 298

Michbard Oastler.

Page 299


James Hillon, Town, Clothier. Edmond Eastwood, ,, John Wood, $9 Jahn Gill, i, Thos. Carter, a $> John Dyson, o $9 _John Garside, ,, Wright. Joseph Bamford, Slacks, Clothier. _John Bamford, $, » Anthy. Hoyle, $, $1 John Cooper, Town, $3 Edwd. Wilkinson, Kitchen. Joshua Sykes, Town. John Crossley, Town. Richd. Swan, Town, Clothier. 'Saml. Walker, juntr., Hill Top. _James Sykes, Hill Top,

Clothier. Saml. Gledhill, -,, R 'Willm. Sykes, junr., Brook, Clothier.

Ben Sykes, Brook, $9 Mattw. Sykes, ,, i James Walker, ,, a Wm. Knight, ,, i> Ben Sugden, Highfield, - ,, James Beaumont, ,, Mason. James Sugden, Heath, ' Clothier. Joseph Gledhill, -,, is Geo. Shaw, $, Joshua Hirst, Mealhill, _ ,, John Sykes, $3 $» Edmd. Sykes, $3 $3 John Hirst, $9 e Joseph Clay, $3 $» Joseph Shaw (Ann's son), Moor, Clothier. John Shaw, R e John France, $ $ Robt. Parkin, a $, Wm. Bailey, Barratt, $, Joseph Bamforth, ,, $ Edmd. Bamforth, ., $


Geo. Shaw, Cop, Clothier. James Bamford, Cophill, ,, John Cock, Geo. son, ,, $9 John Cock, Joshua son, ,, ;, John Varley, Mean Hey, ,, Joseph Bailey, $» $3 Joseph Bamford, S' Hall,*,, Jas France, Upperhouse, ,, Jas. Shaw, Cop, 33 Josh. Shaw, ,, +3 Wm. Shaw, ,, »» Wm. Dyson, Booth, $3 James Sykes, $3 $3 James Lund, $3 $9 Joseph Lund, _ ,, $3 JOhn Sykes, 9 o James Sykes, Batchelor, Booth, Clothier. Joseph Wood, Bank Nook,

Clothier. Abm. Haigh, Booth Banks, ' Clothier. Wm. Sykes, i, $, John Shaw, is i> James Bamford, - ., $3 James Sykes, » $3

Wm. Sykes, James's son, Booth Banks, Clothier. John Bamford, Warin Bottom, Clothier. James Bamford, D' Wood, Clothier. Wm. France, Shaw Field, ,, John France, $3 $3

Joseph Sykes, $3 $3 Thos. Sykes, $3 $3 Thos. Wood, $3 $3 James Sykes, i, a Ben Sykes, j» $3

Thos. Sykes, Batchelor, Shaw Field, Clothier. Christ. Sykes, $3 $3 James Bamford, Row, $» John Bamford, r Joseph Bamford, -,, »

* Slaithwaite Hall.

Page 300


Rich. Bamforth, Moor, Clothier. Anto. Hoyle, Follingworth, John Shaw, N. End, Clothier. Joseph Dransfield, Thorps, Joseph Gledhill, Clothier. Thos. Gledhill, py oop»

Joseph Bottomley, Longlands, John Eagland, pron Clothier. John Bamford, How Cot, ,,

Saml. Woodhead, Longlands, John Garside, $» $» Clothier. James Bamford, Haulm, ,, John Bamforth, Inghead, ,, Saml. Bamford, $» $> Richd. Bamford, junr., Ing- Joseph Bamford, - ,, $, head, Clothier. Anto. Bamford, +> $3 James Bamford, Inghead, ,, Edmd. Sykes, $, $> Joseph Bamford, - ,, »» Thos. Sykes, $, $» Joseph Taylor, Clough House, Joseph Hirst, a e Clothier. Joseph Bottomley, Rotcher, James Sykes, Clough House, Clothier. Clothier. Thos. Shaw, pp oop» Joseph Sykes, Tom Son, ,, Wm. Dransfield, Blake Stones, Joseph Binns, Tyse, a Clothier. Wm. Horsfall, _ ,, $» Wm. France, py oop Jas. Horsfall, _ ,, $, Joshua Dransfield, Joseph Armitage, Reap, -,, Thos. Day, pp oop» John Dyson, $3 $) Michl. Lund, Calf Hey, - ,. Josha. Garside, Castle, $» Robt. Meal, Wood, »» John Bamford, Wilberlee, ,, John Pogson, Carters, »» Enoch Sugden, $, $3 Ben Pogson, Causey, )» Edmd. Bamford, - ,, $3 Geo. Pogson, Fox Edge, ,, James. Bamford, Laund, ,, Joshua Bamford, Slacks, ,, Joseph Pearson, e Joseph Bamford, - ,, > John Armitage, pp oops Thos. Wood, »» >> James Armitage, $> Geo. Garside, Cross, p> Joseph Bamford, Worsel, ,, John Shaw, $» a John Bamford, py og» Ely Eagland, $» a Edmd. Hirst, py oops Joseph Sugden, ,, $3 Joshua Hirst ppp» John Haigh, juntr., Delves, Joseph Bailey, Clothier. John Sykes, Paddock, $3 Thos. Armitage, Holt Head, John Bottomley, West End, Clothier. Clothier. - Armitage, py oo 3) John France, Goat Hill, -,, James Dalton, oe Saml. Dyson, Bradsha, - ,, John Wood, John Dyson, $» +9 Joseph Meal, oe Abram Hirst, $3 $» Joseph Farliss, $y James Bamford, Birks, - ,, James Schofield, Holt, $3 Joseph Bamford, ,, »» John Lockwood, - ,, )»

Joseph Hoyle, $» $» Thos. Lockwood, ,, )»

Page 301


Ben Hoyle, Woolroyd, Clothier. Wm. Wood, Windy Bottom,

Anto. Hoyle, $3 $1 Clothier. Wm. Pearson, Burn Plat, ,, Ben Meal, $, $» John Pearson, e o Joshua Lee, Delves, o Benjn. Parkin, »» $» Ben Haigh, a »» John Sugden, p, $3 John Wilkinson, Dowry, ,, James Sugden, $, $3 Geo. Wilkinson, - ,, )»

James Armitage, Ainley Place, Clothier.

James Rawcliff, Scotland, ,, Joseph Pogson, Hill Top, .. J ohn Sykes, »» »»

Joseph Armitage, Ainley Place, Clothier. John Lees, Lane, $» Joseph Armitage, James's son, Thos. Haigh, ,, a Ainley Place, Clothier. John Meal, -,, $» Ben Bailey, Ainley Place ,, John Haigh, Newhouse, -,, Joshua Bailey, $, $3 Wm. Sykes, $3 H James Hirst, $, $3 James Shaw, $, $3 Joshua Bamford, -,, $3 John Varley, Wood, +> Joseph Bamford, ,, $» Joseph Lees, $3 »» Ben Bamford, p a Jonathan Priestley, Lane, ,, James Shaw, Whitestake, ,, Mattw. Meal, $y oo opp


James Hoyle, New Close. Joseph Armitage, Slacks.

Poor Mrx WItu Morr Txan OnE CxILD BORN IN WEDLOCK. James Sykes, Barn, - Clothier. John Bamford, Clough House,

Saml. Wood, Butcher. Clothier. Thos. Quarmby, Town, James Hoyle, Castle, $» Clothier. James Hirst, Wilberlee, ,, Jonathan Wood, ,, o Joseph Mellor, Bradsha, ,,

Abm. Shaw, Cop Hill, $3 James Bamford, Slacks, ,,

John Bottomley, Mean Hey, Clothier.

Willm. Varley, », $» Joseph Carter, $ p John Gledhill, Hill Top, -,, Joseph Saville, Highfield, ,,

James Wood, Chickencot, ,, John Hirst, Moorside, »» John Bamforth, Barratt, ,, Geo. Cotton, N. End, $3 Joseph Sykes, Longlands, ,,

James Cock, Bank Nook, ,, John Shaw, Booth Banks, ,, John Sykes, Follingworth,


James Bamford, Howcot, ,,

And seventeen others, in the same category, whose occupations are not stated.

Then follow the names of twenty-four persons de- scribed as infirm and not able to serve, and of these, too, the occupations are not given. Thirty names follow of men who had been balloted, but who had either served

Page 302


already or had hired substitutes, and of these men the calling is not stated ; two, James Armitage, of the Town, and Joseph Hirst, of Meal Hill, were exempt on the ground that they were commissioned officers or privates in the regular forces, or in some Volunteer Corps or Association. There were no names of " Resident members of the Universities, Clergymen, or Licensed Teachers of any Separate Congregations ; five Apprentices ; and the list concludes with the following others: Ely Taylor, Surgeon and Apothecary, Richard Horsfall, Woollen Cloth Stamper (the Aulnager of whose office I have already spoken), Timothy Armitage, Surveyor, Benjn. Bailey, Overseer of the Poor, Edward Shaw, Assistant Overseer, Thos. Gill, Schoolmaster, William Sykes, Deputy Constable, Joseph Sykes, Constable." I have set out this list with some amplitude, because it is most instructive as to the condition of the people in the country villages surrounding the central town. It may be gathered from its examination that of the " Able men with not more than one child," in the Township of Slaith- waite-cum-Lingards, 202 in number, some 190 were " clothiers," t.e., handloom weavers ; and of the " Poor men with more than one child born in Wedlock," whose occupations are stated, 24 in number all exercised the same calling. Indeed, one may conclude that in the Township I have selected as a type, the whole adult male popula- tion, engaged in any sort of work, was so engaged except five apprentices, the Surgeon, the Aulnager, the Surveyor, the two Overseers, the Schoolmaster, the Constable and his Deputy. Anyone acquainted with the district may'in his mind's eye follow the footsteps of the Enumerator of this local Census, as he walked from the centre of the hamlet, St. James's Church, and wandered along, first the left bank and then the right bank of the river, and note that, in house after house, almost without a break, the hand- loom supported the family it sheltered. This fact enables us to enter with fuller compre- hension upon the history of the doings of those ill-advised but ill-used men, who, in what are known as the Luddite

Page 303


Riots, entered upon a vain endeavour to stay the super- session of manual craft by machinery. We shall, I think, realise from a study of that list why it was that the Luddites were regarded by the common folk as heroes and martyrs ; for we may be sure that the "frames," whose introduction the Luddites so violently resented, were generally regarded as the precursors of machinery that would invade every branch of the local industry, and bring gaunt hunger to the home of each and all of the humble cottages that dotted the hills on every side. If we except the terrible time of the scourge known as the Black Death, English history records no period in which the people of this district were called upon to endure hardships more severe than were their lot during the first two decades of the last century. Wheaten flour was retailed to such as could afford it at 8s. to 9s. per stone, more than four times the price paid by the house- wife of to-day. Oatmeal, which was more commonly used by the working-class, was proportionately dear. Wages were low. The " croppers," as they were called, men who finished cloth by shears worked by the hand-there is a Croppers' Arms Inn at Marsh-were the best paid of the operators, and their wages did not exceed 24s. per week. And not only was food at famine prices, but employment was anything but plentiful. The country was and had long been engaged in the Titanic struggle with Napoleon. The fleets of France and her allies scoured the seas, and the export of goods was practically out of the question. We do not need after recent experiences* to be told there are two Englands. With the farmers whose produce and young stock fetched prices never dreamed of before or since, and with their landlords whose rents went up by leaps and bounds, the ceaseless wars were an unmixed blessing. To fight Napoleon was not only a patriotic duty, it was a virtue that was its own reward. Far otherwise was it with the manufacturers and their workpeople. The warehouses groaned with pieces for which there was no mart, and the men who depended for

* Written after the General Election of January, 1910.

Page 304


their food, fuel, and shelter for themselves and their wives and little ones upon the making of cloth could find no work for their hands to do. It seems almost the devil's spite that this precise juncture should be chosen for the introduction of machinery that must inevitably displace thousands of operatives. And yet, of course, it was but cause and effect. The necessities of the times set the manufacturers' wits to work, and they saw a remedy in the cheapening of production. If that entailed hard- ships on the operatives-so much the worse for the operatives. The world cannot stand still lest a few workpeople be starved to death. They must comfort themselves in their agony with the maxims of political economy. The particular innovation which, in this district, roused the resentment of the operatives engaged in the staple industry was a finishing-frame that, it was said, would enable one man to do the work of ten croppers. There were in the year 1812 in Marsden two brothers, Enoch and James Taylor, who had begun life as village black- smiths in a small smithy on the site of the Town School in that hamlet, the business afterwards expanding into a foundry that enjoyed a wide reputation, endured for a century, and has but recently been abandoned. These brothers engaged in the making of the new frames, doubt- less to supply the local demand. It was not against them that any spirit of ill-will was manifested by the artisans of the district. Mr. Sam Wilkinson (son of Mr. Joseph Wilkinson, of Dowry, Lingards, who must have known well many of the local Luddites), writing from a distant colony to the Slaithwarite Guardian in 1906, said : " They never exhibited any spite against Mr. Taylor; he came and went where he pleased unmolested ; their hatred was towards the men who bought and used the machines. He was a good man and so acknowledged by his workmen and his townsmen." Enoch Taylor was reputed to be a freethinker, and when he died a local preacher declared that he was in hell " making castings for the devil." The Luddites called the hammer with which

Page 305


they destroyed the machines " Enoch," saying, " Enoch made them and Enoch shall break them." Within a stone's throw of the smithy of the brothers Taylor were Ottiwell's Mill and Bank Bottom Mill, in which the business of woollen manufacture had been established by Abraham and John Horsfall, conducted in 1812 by William Horsfall. Mr. Horsfall was at that time in the full prime and vigour of manhood. He took an active part in the life of the Valley. He had a commission in the local levies raised for the purpose of defending the country against the threatened invasion by the French. He was a man of somewhat choleric temper, and, if tradition be true, certainly of unguarded speech. He is said to have declared that he would stock Ottiwell's with machinery if he had to ride up to his saddle-girths in Luddite blood. He introduced the new frames into Ottiwells and openly exhorted the manufacturers of the district to do the same; and when the fainter-hearted among them, dismayed by the acts of violence and intimi- dation that soon became of nightly occurrence, or perhaps averse to intensifying the sufferings of their poorer brethen by an ill-timed innovation, shrank from following his example. Horsfall and some others were foremost in exhort- ing the weaker brethren to quit themselves manfully. And indeed the employers had need to summon all their courage. The operatives had borne with what patience they might

the privations inseparable from bad harvests and slack trade ; but when they saw the handiwork of man and the

contrivances of science enlisted to make their dire extremities direr still, they turned in their blind despair to conspiracy and violence. The Luddite Associations did not originate in this district, though this district will ever be most commonly associated with them. All over the parts of the North of England engaged in the textile arts combinations of the working people had been formed to prevent the use of improved machinery. At Tintwistle, in Cheshire, the machinery of Rhodes's cotton factory had been destroyed ; Burton and Sons' factory at Middle- ton, in Lancashire, had been attacked and four of the

Page 306


rioters killed ; at West Houghton a mob broke into the mill of Messrs. Wise and Dancroft, smashed the machinery, and fired the building ; at Newcastle-under-Lyme, Wigan, Warrington, Eccles, and so far north as Carlisle there were riots; at Leeds the mill of Messrs. Oates, Wood, and. Smithson was burned to the ground ; at Rawdon, at Horbury there were similar outrages ; and at Nottingham the militia and special constables were in frequent conflict with organised gangs of rioters frenzied by hunger and made reckless by despair. Their leader in the latter town was called Ned Lud or King Lud, but there was probably no person bearing that name, though the men engaged in the conspiracy of destruction were universally styled Luddites. It is likely that many of the men had views beyond the breaking of machinery ; vague notions of reform or even of revolution-and it would be strange had they not. Thus in the trial of John Schofield, the younger, of Netherthong, clothdresser, charged with shooting at John Hinchliffe, of Upperthong, clothier, with intent to murder, Mr. Hinchliffe deposed that in May, 1812, he met the prisoner in Upperthong Lane, who asked him if he was a Luddite. He added that " they were wanting to get a body of men within the liberty of Holmfirth ; they had got such a body of men at Hudders- field, and they wanted to get a body of men at all other places, and then they might all start in a moment and overturn the Government. He said he had been on that business from four o'clock in the morning, said he was going to a meeting then, and he said there would be one from Manchester and different places at that time, and two delegates were to be found to go up to the House of Commons and see what they could do there. He said that all the officers and men, except one sergeant, in a whole regiment were fwissed :n,* besides four of the Queen's Bays, and then we parted."

* " Twisted in," i.e., bound by secret oath. After the arrest of the Luddite leaders in this district great numbers went to Mr. Scott, who resided at Woodsome, to be " untwisted."

Page 307


The leader of the Luddites in Huddersfield was one George Mellor, a young man employed at the finishing shop of his step-father, John Wood, at Longroyd Bridge, a building on the site of the Tramcar Shed. He appears to have gained considerable ascendancy over not only many of the men engaged in the same " shop," but over a very large number of others, spread over the whole district. These men were confederated in a secret society. In the introduction to " An Historical Account of the Luddites,"' published in 1862 by John Cowgill, it is stated, on the authority of evidence taken before a secret committee appointed by Parliament " that societies existed for for- warding the objects of the disaffected was clearly mani- fest, all which societies were directed by a secret com- mittee, which might be considered as the mover of the whole machine ; and it was established by the various information, received from various parts of the country, that these societies were governed by their respective secret committees ; that delegates and messengers were continually despatched from place to place for the purpose of concerting plans and conveying information ; that a small weekly contribution paid by every member of these combinations formed a fund, by which the delegates and messengers were wholly or in part supported, according to the nature and extent of their services ; that this fund, there was every reason to suppose, was also applied to the support of the (families of the) imprisoned Luddites ; that an illegal oath of the most atrocious kind was extensively administered ; that secret signs were arranged, by which the persons engaged in these conspiracies were known to each other; that in some parts of the country those engaged in these societies assembled in large numbers, chiefly by night, upon heaths or commons, taking the usual precautions of patrols and counter-signs ; that muster- rolls were called over by numbers, not names ; that they were directed by leaders, sometimes in disguise; they placed sentries to give alarm at the approach of any person whom they might suspect of an intention to inter- rupt or give information of their proceedings; they

Page 308


dispersed instantly at the firing of a gun, or other signal agreed upon, and so dispersed as to avoid detection ; in some instances signals were made by rockets and blue lights." The following are the terms of the oath administered to the associates :-

I, A. B. , of my own voluntary will, do declare and solemnly swear, that I never will reveal to any person or persons under the canopy of heaven, the names of the persons who compose the secret committee, their proceedings, meetings, places of abode, dress, features, complexion, or anything else that might lead to a discovery of the same, either by word, deed, or sign, under the penalty of being sent out of the world by the next brother who shall meet me, and my name and character blotted out of existence, and never to be remembered but with contempt and abhorrence ; and I further now do swear, that I will use my best endeavours to punish by death any traitor or traitors, should any rise up among us, whenever I can find him or them, and though he should fly to the verge of nature, I will pursue him with unceasing vegeance. Sohelp me God, and help me to keep this my oath inviolable.

The administering of this oath was made a capital offence. The reader may form his own conclusions as to the wisdom of the Legislature and the humanity of the executive from this simple instance. One John Eaden was tried at the Special Commission, of which more hereafter, for administering an illegal oath. A witness deposed that having received a copy of the oath, he asked Eaden what it meant. Eaden said : " It was to form a regular organisa- tion in the country, to overturn the tyrannical system of government."" Eaden was " transported beyond the seas for the term of seven years." The plan of campaign adopted by the Luddite organisation was of the simplest. - Threatening letters were sent to those manufacturers who had set up the new dressing-machines. In the disturbed state of the country these often sufficed. When they failed more drastic measures were resorted to. "In March (1812) the ma- chinery belonging to Mr. Francis Vickerman, in that neighbourhood (Huddersfield) was destroyed. In April the destruction of Bradley Mills was threatened ; but

Page 309


the execution of these threats was frustrated by the presence of a military guard, to which the protection of the extensive concern was, for many months, confided." As the days of the winter of 1811-12 lengthened towards spring the leaders of the organisation doubtless felt that some steps must be taken more striking than the issue of letters of intimidation and feeble attacks, easily thwarted, upon mill property. Two men stood out among the leaders of the employers, remarkable for their ability and their determination. One was William Horsfall, of Marsden, and the other William Cartwright, of Rawfolds Mill, Liversedge. It was resolved to make an example of these men. Which should be attacked first was decided by tossing a coin, and the lot fell upon Cartwright. How the attack upon Cartwright's mill was made and how repulsed I will endeavour to tell in the words of the witnesses at the trial on January 9, 1813, at York, before a Special Commission, presided over by Mr. Justice Thompson and Mr. Justice Le Blanc, of James Haigh, of Dalton, aged 28, Jonathan Dean, of Huddersfield, aged 20, John Ogden, of Huddersfield, aged 28, James Brook, of Lock- wood, aged 26, John Brook, of Lockwood, aged 22, Thomas Brook, of Lockwood, aged 32, John Walker, of Longroyd Bridge, aged 31, and John Hirst, of Liversedge, aged 28. The offence with which the prisoners were charged was having, in company with George Mellor, William Thorpe, and Thomas Smith (of whom there will be further occasion to speak), and one hundred persons and upwards, to the jurors unknown, riotously assembled on the night of the 11th April (1812), and having begun to demolish a certain water-mill, occupied by Mr. William Cartwright, situate at Rawfolds, in the parish of Liversedge. It will be observed that between the night of the attack and the trial many months intervened. It trans- pired in the course of the proceedings that it was on the 24th of October, 1812, that Benjamin Walker, the inevit- able accomplice and informer, made the disclosures that put these men on trial for their lives. For six months a secret shared by hundreds, aye, thousands of the poorest

Page 310


of the poor, was zealously guarded, though the Govern- men offered a reward of £2,000 for information, and the magistrates and police had been unceasing in their efforts to discover the Luddites. The police did not scruple to act as spies. Joseph Nadin, a police officer in Man- chester, sent two men, John M'Donald and John Gosling, into this district, who mixed among the people in the public-houses and other resorts, who not only professed their sympathies with the grievances of the workers, but declared their anxiety to be " twisted in." Among the magistrates the most zealous and intrepid was Mr. Joseph Radcliffe, of Milnsbridge House, whose services were rewarded by a baronetcy. But neither police, spies, nor magistrates effected much. But £2,000 proved an irre- sistible bribe, and Benjamin Walker, of Longroyd Bridge, and William Hall, both of them croppers working at John Wood's "shop " at Longroyd Bridge, turned King's evidence. This was Hall's evidence as to the attack on Cartwright's Mill :- "I am a cropper. I remember the Saturday on which Mr. Cartwright was attacked. I worked at John Wood's, at Longroyd Bridge, near Huddersfield. None of the prisoners worked there. I know Joshua Dickinson, who is a cropper; I saw him about the middle of the day at John Wood's shop. Sowden was there at that time. He came to bring ball and powder. He brought a good bit of powder, about a pint, and a good deal of ball. The powder was in a paper, the ball in a little bag. He also brought two or three ball-cartridges. He gave me directions what to do, and in consequence of those directions I went to a field belonging to Sir George Armitage.* I went with Smith and George Dyson, and overtook George Brook, of Lockwood.t We got to Sir George's field about ten o'clock. We found two or three score people collected when we got there. We remained there a good part of an hour, and during that time a number of other persons joined us. The place where we assembled was an article called the Dumb

* Of Kirklees. { One of the prisoners.

Page 311


Steeple. I cannot state the number, but there were a good deal more than a hundred. Before we left the field ' they ' called over the people, not by name but by numbers, each person answering when his number was called. I was No. 7. There was a man to put us in order. We were formed into companies. I was in the pistol company. Mellor and Thorpe were the men who formed us into a line. There were two companies of pistol-men. - There was also a company of musket-men, which marched first. They were two deep and ten in breast. George Rigg and I were ordered to go last and drive the men up, and see that none went back. We went all in a line over Harts- head Moor, and in this manner went to Rawfolds. There were hatchet-men, and others who had sticks, and others who had nothing at all. There were also hammers and mauls. When we got to Rawfolds we were stopped and formed into lines, thirteen abreast. Mellor formed the musket company, Thorpe the next company. I identify the prisoners James Haigh, Jonathan Dean, John Ogden, James Brook, John Brook, John Walker, and John Hirst. They were all there. We formed into a line, and then advanced towards the mill. There was a good deal of firing from inside the mill. I was amongst the last. When I got up to the mill they were breaking the windows and doors. I heard Mellor call out: 'The door is open'; ' Fire at the bell.' I heard one call out, ' There is a man shot.' I saw a man lying on the ground ; I fired twice into the mill. The firing on both sides continued a consider- able time. The door in the front was cut through, but not opened. When the firing ceased we got away as fast as we could. I went through the beck in the direction of Hightown." Joseph Drake, also a cropper, working at John Drake's; Benjamin Walker, a cropper, working at Wood's ; Joseph Sowden, a cropper, working at Wood's ; gave similar evidence, the testimony of one witness or the other fitting the halter on the necks of the accused. Mr. William Cartwright described the attack as viewed from the inside of the mill :-

Page 312


" On April 11 (1812) I was in possession of a mill at Rawfolds. I had been in possession of it nearly three years. It was a water mill, erected for the express purpose of finishing cloth by machinery. Previous to the 11th April I had anticipated an attack being made upon it, and in consequence of this apprehension I had taken such measures for its security and protection as I thought best adapted for the purpose. I had slept in the mill for six weeks previous to the attack, and had procured musketry and ammunition, and several of my workmen slept in the mill for the week immediately preceding the attack. I had beds put in the mill. I myself slept in the counting- house. On the 11th April, which was Saturday, I had in the mill five soldiers, and four of my own people besides myself. I retired to bed at twenty-five minutes after midnight. In a quarter of an hour I heard the dog bark furiously. It was on the ground-floor, and had been placed there for the purpose of giving the alarm on the approach of any person in the night-time. I got out of bed, supposing the dog to have given a false alarm, for I expected the first alarm to proceed from the watch at the outside of the building. As soon as I opened the door I was astonished by a heavy fire of musketry, accompanied by a violent breaking of the windows on the ground-floor. The crash was considerable. A violent hammering was at the same moment commenced at the door, and a part of the assailants went round to the other door at the end of the building. One side of the mill was protected by a pond of water, and on that side there was only a narrow footpath. My men and the soldiers and myself fléw to our arms instantly. They had been piled the night before. We had not time to put on any of our clothes. We didn't think of that, but commenced a brisk firing. * A bell had been put on the roof for the purpose of giving the alarm to a small detachment of cavalry sta- tioned in the neighbourhood. This bell was immediately rung, but unfortunately the rope broke. We fired through loop-holes which were in an oblique direction with respect to the interior of the building, but which commenced at

Page 313


its front. The firing was kept up regularly by the people out of doors for a considerable time. I continued to hear the most violent crashing and hammering against the doors, and occasionally heard cries of ' Bang up, 'In with you,' ' Are you in ?' ' Keep close," ' D the bell, get to it and silence it.' The bell-rope broke almost immediately on the first ringing of it ; but so important did I consider it that it should continue to give the alarm that I ordered two men to get upon the roof to ring it. I distinctly heard the expressions, ' In with you, lads,' 'D them, kill them every one.' A constant firing on both sides continued for some time, how long I could not state exactly, but from the number of shots fired by us I suppose it must have been about twenty minutes. After the firing from without had slackened, we abated ours within, with a view to save the effusion of blood. I then heard a confused alarm on one side, as if an attempt was making to carry off the wounded men. After the firing had ceased I heard the cries of the wounded men. " The people on going off appeared to divide and take different roads, but both of them leading ultimately

towards Huddersfield. " I examined the mill after the attack. The windows

on the ground floor were entirely broken, with the excep- tion of nine squares of glass out of three hundred. The woodwork of the windows was damaged so much as to be entirely useless. One of the doors was almost literally chopped to pieces, with holes in it that a man could put his hand through. The windows in the upper storey had also suffered considerable damage. I produce a large bag filled with hatchets, mauls, hammers, masks, etc., found about the mill after the retreat of the rioters." This, then, is the story of the memorable attack on Cartwright's mill, one of the most desperate, the most determined, and the most deplorable of the many acts of violence in the long and sad struggles between labour and capital. Many men were wounded in the attack, two were killed, and others, less happy, were to expiate their folly on the scaffold.

Page 314


The reader need scarce be told that Charlotte Bronte has described the mill and its owner and his defence of his property in her immortal novel " Shirley." Another and less gifted author has told the tale in " Ben o' Bill's, the Luddite"; and Mrs. L. Banks's novel, " The Bond Slaves," also is founded on the Luddite doings. It will, I imagine, be a matter of no little wonder to the reader how, less than a hundred years ago, so con- siderable a body of armed men as met on that fateful night at the Dumb Steeple could be got together from their scattered homes, march in force for some miles, and commence and sustain for a while a violent attack without attracting the attention of the custodians of the public peace. We are so accustomed to the presence in our midst of a large and vigilant body of police that it is difficult for us to realise how inadequate were the pro- visions in the times of our grandfathers for the protection of life and property. In Huddersfield at the beginning of the last century the police force consisted of a few old men called " Charleys." It was not till Sir Robert Peel organised the police force that these guardians of the peace exchanged the name of " Charley " for that of "* Bobby " or " Peeler," names clearly referable to the statesman who abolished the Corn Laws. These Charleys were dressed " in a long top coat with several capes, and a large slouched hat." _ They patrolled the town carrying a large horn lantern " nearly as large as a butter firkin," and a large wooden " rattle," which they probably used to warn malefactors of their approach. In March, 1812, the Legislature, alarmed at the state of the manufacturing districts, had passed an Act reciting that " considerable mnumbers of persons have for some time past assembled themselves together on different occasions, in a riotous and tumultuous manner, in several parts of the County of Nottingham, and the town of Nottingham, and in the adjoining counties, and have had recourse to measures of force and violence." The Act authorised the magistrates to order that every man above the age of 17 years of age and rated to the relief of the poor, should be liable to the

Page 315


duties of watching by night and warding by day. By Section 18 the watcher and warder was required " during his time of watching and warding, to the utmost of his power, to endeavour to prevent all murders, burglaries, Tobberies, affrays, and all felonies, outrages, and dis- orders " ; and he was empowered to " arrest and appre- hend all Nightwalkers, malefactors, rogues, vagabonds, and other loose, idle, disorderly, and suspicious persons . __. _.. and deliver the same to the constable at the watch house, to be there detained till they could be carried before the Justice." The watchers and warders were to be paid out of the rates and furnished at the public charge with " rattles, staves, lanterns, and such weapons, arms, and accoutrements * as the Justices should direct. These not very heroic measures were supplemented by the use of the military. In " Old Stories Retold," by W. Thornbury, we are told that the 10th King's Bays and the Scotch Greys were billeted in various hostelries about the district " impoverishing and sometimes ruining the landlords, irritating the high-spirited, oppressing the neutral, and contaminating the whole neighbourhood. The cavalry were quartered at the Red Lion, Marsden, kept by John Race. These regiments were not allowed to remain long in one place, for fear of the men becoming tainted with Luddite opinions. These soldiers marched every night to the Market Place in Marsden, and having been paraded, were then told off in two divisions, the one to protect the road to Ottiwells and Valeside, and the other to spend the night between Marsden, Woodbottom Mills, and Lingards. All their movements were well known, and as the clash of their swords, the tramp of their horses' feet were to be heard at a long distance at night, it was easy for the Luddites to steal away behind hedges, crouch in plantations, or take by-roads to their work of destruction." Near Mr. Cartwright's mill also, at Raw- folds, the military had been stationed, but they did not appear on the scene of action till the attack on the mill had been repulsed.

Page 316


It requires no great effort of the imagination to picture the rage and dismay that filled the breasts of the Luddite leaders when the attempt at Rawfolds failed so ignominiously. They must have realized then that other tactics must be adopted or their schemes abandoned. They probably knew that they would call in vain upon the rank and file to muster in force for overt and concerted action ; that what was done must be done secretly and by the leaders themselves. Only thus, it appears to me, can we account for-by no considerations can we excuse or palliate-the terrible resolve they came to to turn from the destruction of the machinery and aim at the lives of those who persisted in its use. They must have known that the attack on Cartwright's mill had exposed them to the utmost terrors of the law ; that their lives were in the hands of a hundred accomplices, any one of whom might at any moment succumb to the temptation offered by the blood-money dangled before the eyes of a body of working- men half distracted by hunger and destitution. We have already seen that William Horsfall, of Ottiwell's, Marsden, was foremost among the local manufacturers in adopting the new frames and loudest in the expression of his resolve to continue their use. That he apprehended difficulties and dangers in carrying out his determination we cannot question. His mill at Ottiwell's was fortified. Soldiers were stationed in Marsden and every precaution taken for the protection of the frames erected in the mill. But Mr. Horsfall does not appear to have anticipated personal violence, for, though he had held a commission in the Upper Agbrigg Volunteer Infantry,* and must pre- sumably have been accustomed to the use of firearms, and though, if we are to believe that he used the threats attributed to him, he was not averse to their use, there is no evidence that on the day he met his death he had taken the precautions for self-defence which the troubled state of the times, apart altogether from any apprehension on grounds personal to himself, might well have suggested to him. On Tuesday, April 28, seventeen days after the

* See Berry : " History of the Volunteer Infantry," p. 357.

Page 317


affair at Rawfolds, he went, as he was in the habit of doing, to the market at Huddersfield. Though more than a fortnight had elapsed since the attack on Mr. Cartwright's mill, no arrests had been made of any con- cerned in that affair, and we can well believe that among the manufacturers and merchants who attended the market and dined at the market ordinary, and took together the friendly glass that succeeded the ample meal, the talk was all of Rawfolds and Mr. Cartwright's splendid stand against the forces of insubordination and ness. Mr. Horsfall's mind must have been full of this topic when, between five and six of the afternoon, he left Huddersfield to ride homewards. His way lay down Outcote Bank, along Longroyd Bridge, and then up the old Manchester Road over Crosland Moor. The tale of what followed had best be told in the words of the wit- nesses at the trial at York on January 6, 1813, of George Mellor, of Longroyd Bridge, William Thorpe and Thomas Smith, of Huddersfield, cloth dressers, charged with the murder of William Horsfall. The chief witness against the accused was Benjamin Walker, an accomplice. He said :- " I am a cropper by trade, and worked at John Wood's, at Longroyd Bridge, about a quarter of a mile from Huddersfield. Mellor and Smith also worked there in April last. Thorpe worked at Mr. Fisher's shop, two or three hundred yards from Wood's, but I was not acquainted with him. I remember the affair at Raw- folds, and the men being killed there, being talked about in our shop. Thorpe was there then. They said it was a hard matter. Mellor said the method of breaking the shears must be given over and, instead of it, the masters must be shot. That was most that I heard said ; they said they had lost two men, and now they must kill the masters. I do not remember what day Horsfall was shot, but I was that day at Wood's. Smith and Mellor worked in one room, I in another. Between four and five in the after- noon I was with Mellor, William Hall, William Walker, and my father. Mellor asked me if I would go with him

Page 318


to shoot Mr. Horsfall." Witness omits to say what answer he gave to this cool proposition. " After that I went to my drinking.* I was absent about half-an-hour. On my return I found Mellor in the shop along with Varley and Hall and my father. Mellor gave me a loaded pistol and said I must go with him and shoot Mr. Horsfall. He told me it was loaded with double ball. It was primed and loaded nearly up to the top. He ordered me to go to Mr. Radcliffe's Plantation." This was a small cluster of trees, probably a rabbit warren, standing on the Cros- land Moor Road at the corner of what is now Dry Clough Road. It was the property of Mr. Joseph Radcliffe, of Milnsbridge House, the magistrate to whom, months afterwards, Walker revealed the names of those who shot Mr. Horsfall. I well remember, as a boy, being shown in the wall opposite the plantation, marks as of bullet-marks, and being told by an old resident that they were the marks of shots fired at Mr. Horsfall. If they were they must have been aimed very low and beneath the mark. "* I think both Smith and Thorpe were present. Smith and- I went together. Mellor was dressed in a drab coloured jacket when he was in the shop, but when he came to the plantation he wore a bottle-green top-coat. Thorpe had a dark top-coat. Smith and I both wore close- bodied bottle-green coats. Smith and I went up the highway, past the Warrener House. Smith had a pistol with him which he told me was loaded. We had been at the Plantation ten minutes before Thorpe and Mellor came. Smith went up to them, but I didn't. I had told Smith on our way to the Plantation that I could not do it ; but Smith said, ' Let us go forward and counsel them to turn back ! ' " What Smith said to Thorpe and Mellor the witness, of course, could not testify, but proceeded : " On Smith's return from talking with Mellor and Thorpe he said they told him if we offered to leave them they would shoot us. Smith and I were ordered to stand twenty yards from Mellor and Thorpe, who stood in the corner of the Planta-

* Tea, we should now style the meal ; but it was scarcely likely the croppers drank tea at the price it was then at.-D.F.E.S.

Page 319


tion nearest the Warrener House "-#.e., nearer Hudders- field. "Smith and I were ordered to fire if Mellor and Thorpe missed him, they were to whistle when Mr. Hors- fall was coming. One of them, Mellor, I think, said, ' He is coming.' " The Plantation is surrounded by a wall a yard and a quarter high. Smith and I got up when we heard he was coming. I do not know what Thorpe and Mellor did. I could not see them for the wood. We heard pistols go off. Smith and I fled back into the wood. We were joined directly by Mellor and Thorpe. Thorpe thrust his pistol into my hands, saying he would not carry it any more. The cock was down and the barrel warm. Mellor damned Smith and myself, saying we should have shot, choose how. I never saw Mr. Horsfall. We all went over the fields into Dungeon Wood. I threw down Thorpe's pistol and Mellor took it up. Smith and I hid our pistols in a molehill. Mellor gave me two shillings-I was bout- and told me and Smith to go to Honley. We went into a public-house at the bottom of Honley, where there was a collier drinking and far gone in drink. A man who had been to market came in and said Horsfall was shot. Thereon Smith started whistling, and the collier danced to it. Smith and I had seven or eight pints of ale and got home about ten o'clock. I told both my father and mother the same night what had happened, but I never opened my mouth about the matter to anyone outside my own family. ' " On the following day Mellor sent for me into the shop. Thorpe was there and he produced a Bible, and I was sworn on the Bible to keep silence about the affair. I heard later from Sowden, who said he had read it in the newspapers, that the Government had offered a reward of £,2000. _ About October 17 my mother, at my request, went to Justice Radcliffe and gave information. A week afterwards I was taken to Chester Castle by the police and kept there till now." William Hall, a cropper working at Wood's, and who appears to have lodged, as Mellor did, at Mr. Wood's house

Page 320


-Mr. Wood was stepfather to George Mellor-and who was Mellor's bedfellow, gave corroborative evidence, as did Joseph Sowden, a cropper residing at the Yews. One can understand how, when Walker was removed for safe custody to Chester Castle, and the news spread that an informer had turned King's evidence, all who had been engaged in the Luddite doings tumbled over each other in their haste to curry favour with the authorities, to save their own necks, even if there were no hope of participating in the reward. There was other evidence beside that of the accom- plices, testimony which enables us to picture to our minds every incident of that tragic deed. Joseph Armitage, of Crosland Moor, publican, said : '* I keep the Warrener public-house,* and had known for

many years the late Mr. Horsfall, who lived at Marsden, and was a merchant and manufacturer; I saw him on Tuesday, the 20th of April, in the morning on his way to Huddersfield, which market he was in the habit of attend- ing. I saw him in the afternoon about a quarter before six ; he stopped at my house and took a glass of rum and water. John Sykes and Joseph Sykes, hawkers of cloth, were there, and he treated each of them with a glass ; he stopped about twenty minutes and then went away. There is a plantation on the way to Marsden, about a quarter of a mile distant on the Marsden road. About half- past six some children came down the road and said, 'Mr. Horsfall is shot!' Both the Sykeses and myself went to the place and found him sat upon the road thirty yards below the plantation nearer my house. Mr. Horsfall was brought down to my house." Henry Parr said : " I was going home from Hudders- field to Marsden on Tuesday, the 28th of April. I cannot say what time it was when I left Huddersfield. When I

* This hostelry stood on the site of the Co-operative Stores in Crosland Moor. When the new Manchester Road was made and the tide of traffic diverted it is probable that the licence was transferred to the present inn on the new road, the Warren House Inn.-D.F.E.S.

Page 321


came near the Warrener House I heard the report of fire- arms. It was a very large crack, and seemed to come out of the nearest corner of Mr. Radcliffe's plantation, from which I was about 150 yards. < I saw the smoke and saw four persons in the plantation. I did not know the persons, but they were all dressed in dark-coloured clothes. Before Mr. Horsfall got opposite the plantation the men were walking about in it. I saw them before I heard the crack. When I got up to the plantation one of them stooped under a bough and fired a piece. After the report, the horse of the person riding before turned round, and the rider, whom I afterwards found to be Mr. Horsfall, fell with his face upon the horse's chine. He raised himself up by the mane and called ' Murder!' As soon as he called out ' Murder !' one of the four men got upon the wall with one hand and both feet. I called out to him : 'What, art thou not content yet ?' I then rode up to Mr. Hors- fall at a gallop as hard as I could. The men ran out at the back side of the plantation, the farthest from the road. When I came up to Mr. Horsfall he was sat upright on his horse. He said : ' Good man, I am shot !' There was a mark of blood upon the upper part of his breeches. He fell sick, and was going to fall off. I took hold of his arm and came back a foot piece. The blood gushed out of his side. He said: 'Good man, you are a stranger to me and I to you ; go to Mr. Horsfall's'; he then fell off his horse. Both his feet were fast in the stirrup and I loosed them out." Roland Houghton, of Huddersfield, surgeon, said : "*I was called in about seven o'clock, and went to the Warrener House as soon as possible. I got to the War- rener between eight and nine, and found Mr. Horsfall lying on a bed with his clothes off. He was sick, pale, and much exhausted, and his pulse could scarce be felt, it was so weak and tremulous. I found two wounds in the upper part of the left thigh, about three inches asunder, another on the lower part of the belly on the left side, another on the lower part of the scrotum, and two more on the right thigh, and a slight bruise, not a wound, on the lower part

Page 322


of the belly. One ball had been extracted from the right thigh, and I extracted one ball from the outside of the right thigh, near the hip joint.* Mr. Horsfall said : ' What is your opinion, doctor ?' I replied : ' Indeed, Mr. Horsfall, I consider you are in a very dangerous Deceased answered : ' These are awful times, doctor ! ' * We have seen that after the murder Walker and Hall made off to Honley, where they spent the night drinking in an inn. The movements of Mellor and Thorpe were also accounted for. Martha Mellor, wife of Joseph Mellor, a cloth dresser, a cousin of George Mellor, deposed : ¢" We live at Dungeon Bottom, about two hundred yards from Dungeon Wood. I saw Mellor on the afternoon of the day of the murder, about a quarter past six o'clock. I had not then heard of the murder. There was a gentle- man with him whom I have not seen since." It was Thorpe. " They came from the workshop into our house. George asked if my husband was in. I told him he was at the market. He then asked me if we wanted a workman. I said we did not. He asked me to lend him a handker- chief, and I lent him a black silk one. He asked me if I would allow Thorpe to wash himself. He had light- coloured stockings, light-coloured waistcoat, and light- coloured breeches. He had not then got a greatcoat on. He had put it off. Thorpe had a greatcoat. George asked to borrow a coat and I told him my master's coat was in the shop. They stopped about a quarter of an hour. Mellor has always borne a good character since I knew him, about two years." Thomas Durrance, an apprentice of Joseph Mellor, said : '" I am about seventeen years old. Mellor and Thorpe came into our shop on the night of the murder. I went upstairs with Mellor. Thorpe did not go. When we got upstairs Mellor gave me two pistols, about a foot long. I put them under the flocks, which are the refuse of the

* The wounds on the right side can only be accounted for on the supposition that after the first discharge the horse swerved round towards Huddersfield, thus exposing the right side, whereupon other shots were fired. -D. F. E.S.

Page 323


cloth. It was in the workroom. There were not many flocks, but sufficient to hide the pistols. Mellor gave me 5s. and told me to give half of it to my fellow apprentice, Kinder, and said we were not to say anything about them. I showed the pistols to Kinder and to two other appre- tices and to my master when he came home. My master removed them from beneath the flocks and hid them under straw in the barn." It is clear, then, that not only were the facts of the crime known to the three men actually engaged in it, but to other men engaged in Wood's shop. It is also clear that within a very short time of its perpetration, Joseph Mellor, his wife, Thomas Durrance, Kinder, and two other apprentices knew circumstances that must have led them to entertain the gravest suspicions as to the connection of Mellor and Thorpe with the deed. Yet, despite the reward of £2,000, neither Mellor's cousin nor any of his household seem to have given any evidence till the news spread that Benjamin Walker had turned King's evidence. Against so damning a body of evidence what could be urged in refutation of the charge? The crime was committed, as near as the time could be fixed, about twenty minutes past six. For the defence, William Hanson swore he saw Mellor on the day of the murder walking from Huddersfield to Longroyd Bridge about a quarter to seven. John Womersley, a clock and watch- maker, swore he saw him at a quarter past six at the corner of Cloth Hall Street in Huddersfield. That he went with him to the White Hart near the Cloth Hall, stopped there with him about twenty minutes, and left him there in company with William Buttersby. From the White Hart witness went to the Brown Cow, and as soon as he got there the news arrived that Mr. Horsfall was shot, and he saw the soldiers start for the scene of the murder. William Buttersby, of Taylor Hill, swore that he was at the White Hart with Mellor and Womersley, and had two pints of ale with them. They were there half-an-hour, and whilst they were there they heard that Horsfall was shot. John

Page 324


Thorpe, of Castle Street, deposed to being with Mellor near the George Inn in Huddersfield at two minutes to six. Jonathan Buttersby, a shoemaker, swore he saw Mr. Horsfall riding homewards between five and six, and twenty minutes later came across and talked with Mellor in New Street. George Armitage, blacksmith, Lockwood, and his brother, Joseph Armitage, also gave evidence in support of his altbi. Charles Ratcliffe, of Huddersfield, cropper, swore he saw Thorpe at a quarter to six busy at work at Fisher's shop in Longroyd Bridge. Frances Midwood, of Longroyd Bridge, swore she saw him about the same time. So also did Abraham Pilling. For Smith also an alibi was sought to be established. As to this evidence the learned judge, in his summing-up to the jury, made the following comments, the propriety of which iew will be disposed to question : " Even supposing the witnesses to come under no improper bias or influence in what they are saying, they are speaking of a transaction, which not only took place a long time ago, but was not imputed to the prisoners at the bar till a considerable time after it had taken place. For this took place in the month of April, and it does not appear that inquiry was made before the magistrate, or any of these persons com- mitted, till the month of October. Nothing happened immediately after the transaction to lead those persons particularly to watch, so as to be accurate in the hour or time on that particular evening when they saw these persons at a particular place; and we know how apt persons are to be mistaken, even when care is taken, in point of time. . . . But independently of this, you have evidence of that which appears to me to be the strongest part of the case, and to require the most explana- tion, but which has not been explained ; I mean, the transaction which took place at Joseph Mellor's house at Dungeon Wood." _ Ay, there was the rub. The jury did not take long to consider their verdict. They retired at half-past seven, and twenty-five minutes later brought in a verdict of " Guilty!" against the three prisoners.

Page 325


Charged in the usual way, Mellor replied: "I have nothing to say, only I am not guilty." 'Thorpe : " I am not guilty, sir; evidence has been given false against me; that I declare." Smith: " Not guilty, sir." The sentence was : " That you, the three prisoners at the bar, be taken from hence to the place from whence you came, and from thence, on Friday next, to the place of execution ; that you be there severally hanged by the neck until you are dead, and your bodies afterwards delivered to the surgeons to be dissected and anatomised, according to the directions of the statute. And may God have mercy on your souls." Thomas Smith was subsequently recom- mended to mercy by the jury, probably on the ground that he acted under some compulsion, but the recommenda- tion was not acceded to. Nor was an application, by whom made I know not, that the dread sentence of the law should be carried out on the spot on which the murder was committed. The trials of the men concerned in the attack on Cartwright's mill and of the murderers of Horsfall did not sate the appetite of the law. On January 7, John Schofield, the younger, of Netherthong, cloth dresser, was charged with wilfully shooting at, or counselling, aiding, and abetting some person to shoot at, with intent to murder, John Hinchliffe, of Upperthong, clothier. It was proved, however, that prisoner was at home in bed when the shot was fired, and he was found not guilty and acquitted. - On January 8 John Eaden was charged with administering an unlawful oath to Richard Howell, at Barnsley. He was found guilty and sentenced to seven years transportation. John Baines, the elder, Charles Milnes, J ohn Baines, the younger, William Blackeborough, George Duckworth, and Zachary Baines were charged with administering an unlawful oath to John M'Donald, at Halifax. M'Donald was a spy employed by the Government, and wormed himself into the confidence of the Luddites by professing a burning zeal in the cause. All the men except Baines were found guilty, and were sentenced to seven years' transportation.

Page 326


On January 9 James Haigh, of Dalton, Jonathan Dean, of Huddersfield, John Ogden, of Huddersfield, James Brook, John Brook, Thomas Brook, all of Lock- wood, John Walker, of Longroyd Bridge, and John Hirst, of Liversedge, the ages of the prisoners ranging from 22 to 32, were indicted for having, in company with George Mellor, William Thorpe, and Thomas Smith (who had been executed the previous day), and one hundred persons and upwards, to the jurors unknown, riotously assembled on the night of the 11th of April, and having begun to demolish a certain water-mill occupied by Mr. William Cartwright, and situate at Rawfolds. James Haigh, Jonathan Dean, John Ogden, Thomas Brook, and John Walker were found guilty and were executed on January 16. The others were found not guilty and acquitted. On January 5 John Swallow, John Batley, Joseph Fisher, and John Lumb, all of whom were coal miners, were charged with burglariously entering the house of Samuel Moxon, of Upper Whitley, and stealing therefrom several promissory notes (a guinea note and two {1 notes in fact), twelve shillings in silver and a quantity of butter. Mr. Park, counsel for the Crown, said that though the offence was a burglary, it was evident from the number of persons concerned in it and from the open violence with which it was effected, that it arose out of and was con- nected with that system of outrage and intimidation that had so prevailed in the West Riding. William Moxon deposed he lived with his father, Samuel, at Upper Whitley. On the night of July 3 he was awakened by a loud noise, and presently after heard the report of a gun, and the breaking of the windows, accompanied with cries of " Open the door." On the door being opened by him a man, disguised, and having a pistol in his hand, rushed in, put the pistol to his head and exclaimed, '" Your money in a moment." Earl Parkin, an accomplice, deposed that he had a gun, Joseph Fisher a sword, one of them a pistol, and that before the confederates set off to Moxon's, they blacked their faces, and some of them put shirts over their

Page 327


clothes. Lumb was recommended to mercy and respited. The others, found guilty, were executed. On January 11 Job Hey, John Hill, and William Hartley were charged with burglariously entering the house of Gorge Haigh, of Copley Gate, Skircoat, and stealing therefrom a gun and pistol. It appeared that Haigh was roused in the night by noises as of the house door being beaten by the butt of a gun. He heard cries : " Your arms, your arms ?" He asked what was to do. The reply was : " General Ludd, my master, has sent me for the arms you have."" The prisoners were found guilty and sentenced to death. On January 12 James Hey, Joseph Crowther, and Nathan Hoyle were tried for stealing a one pound note and about four shillings in silver from the house of Mr. James Brook, of Sheepridge. The evidence given by one Joseph Carter, an accomplice, shows that numbers of lawless and unprincipled men, in nowise connected with the Luddite movement, took advantage of the state of terror reigning in the district to plunder on their own account. Carter stated that after the robbery of James Brook's house at Sheepridge, he and the prisoners went in the course of the same night to several other places, and upon dividing their booty " they shared £15 each." He could not state how long he had been in the trade of robbing ; and he began of informing as soon as he was taken up, in the hopes of saving himself." The prisoners were found guilty and the death sentence was pronounced. Against David Moorhouse and John Smith, against whom true bills had been found for similar burglaries at Kirkburton, the Crown proffered no evidence and they were discharged. The calendar of this Special Commission, the Bloody Assize of Yorkshire, contained the names of sixty-four persons, Of these 17 were hanged, I reprieved, 6 transported, 7 acquitted,

Page 328


17 discharged on bail, I5 a by proclamation. I »» on giving sureties. The Historical Account from which I have taken the particulars of this dark chapter in the industrial life of this community was published by John Cowgill, Queen Street, Huddersfield, in 1862. It was probably compiled from the newspapers of the day. The report of the execution of the murderers of Mr. Horsfall is sad reading : " The execution of these unhappy men took place on Friday, January 8, 1813, at nine o'clock, at the usual place behind the Castle at York. Every precaution had been taken to render every idea of a rescue impracticable. Two troops of cavalry were drawn up in front of the drop, and the avenues to the Castle were guarded by infantry. Five minutes before nine o'clock the prisoners came upon the fatal platform. After the ordinary had read the accustomed form of prayer on these occasions, George Mellor prayed for about ten minutes; he spoke with great fervency and devotion, confessing in general the greatness of his sins, but without making any confession of the crime for which he suffered. He prayed earnestly for mercy, and with a pathos that was affecting. The sur- rounding multitude were evidently affected. Wilkiam Thorpe also prayed, but his voice was not so well heard. Smith said little, but seemed to join in the devotion with great seriousness. The prisoners were then moved to the front of the platform, and Mellor said: 'Some of my enemies may be here ; if there be, I freely forgive them, and all the world, and I hope the world will forgive me.' William Thorpe said : 'I hope none of those who are now before me will ever come to this place.' The executioner then proceeded to perform his fatal office, and the drop fell. Some alteration had been made in the drop, so that all the body was visible when they were suspended. In former occasions only the feet and head could be seen by the spectators. They were executed in their irons. They appeared slightly convulsed for a few moments. * The number of people assembling was much greater

Page 329


than is usual in this city on these melancholy occasions, but not the slightest indication of tumult prevailed, and the greatest silence reigned during the whole of this solemn and painful scene. . . . And thus have perished, in the very bloom of life, three young men, who, had they directed their talents to lawful pursuits, might have lived happy and respected. They were young men on whose countenance nature had not imprinted the features of assassins. " In the interval between the trial and execution, the prisoners behaved very penitently, though they refused to make any confession either in the prison or at the place of execution. Thorpe, on being asked if he did not acknowledge the justice of his sentence, said : ' Do not ask me any question.' Mellor declared : 'That he would rather be in the situation he was than placed, dreadful as it was, than have to answer for the crime of their accuser, and that he would not change situations with him even for his liberty and two thousand pounds.' But, with all his resolution, he could not conceal the agonies of his mind, for on the night before the execution, he fell to the ground in a state of insensibility, and it was thought he would have died in his cell; but he soon recovered, and in the morning his health was perfectly restored." The bodies of George Mellor, William Thorpe, and Thomas Smith were taken to the County Hospital at York for dissection, and a strong military guard was placed there several nights to prevent any attempt to carry them off. I have been told, but can scarce credit the state- ments, that the mangled bodies were ultimately conveyed in a cart to Huddersfield and thrown into a grave at Highfield, Huddersfield. No record is preserved either at York Castle or at Highfield of the execution. Benjamin Walker, the informer, one is not distressed to learn, did not prosper. The blood money was dis- sipated in coarse debauchery. In his old age he was an inmate of the Huddersfield Union, in life shunned and loathed, his memory a by-word and a reproach.

Page 330


I have dwelt at considerable, but, I trust, at not unwarranted length on the Luddite Riots. I am far from palliating the offences against life and property of those engaged in them, but one cannot but reflect that these men were not common malefactors; that, though mis- takenly, they laboured for their class. Nor can one escape the reflection that in an industrial system scientifically organised and directed, improvements in the methods of production would not entail the hardships that drove George Mellor and his companions to crime and a shameful

death. The suppression of the Luddite Riots and the execu-

tion or transportation of the leaders did not, unfortunately, remove the many causes that had driven the masses of the people to despair and the remedies of despair. Three years after Mr. Horsfall was shot the decisive victory of Waterloo restored peace to Europe, and surely then might a distracted people have looked for the blessings of peace. Yet an Act of Parliament, passed in 1815, prohibited, in the interests of the farmer and the landowner, all impor- tation of corn into this country from abroad until wheat should have reached a price that banned the wheaten loaf from the poor man's table. Trade still continued bad. In July, 1816, the Huddersfield Commercial Bank, Ingham's Bank, as it was generally called, stopped pay- ment. In the same month Brook's Bank, also of Hudders- field, closed its doors. Throughout the length and breadth of the land there was unemployment, hunger, disaffection. Secret societies for the overthrow of the Government, ay, of the constitution itself, were numerous. There were wild dreams of a march upon London. The people of the capital were assured that their brethren from the pro- vinces were arming to march to their assistance, that " all the country was to rise as one man '" ; the people of the Midlands whispered to each other that " the northern clouds, men from the north, would come down and sweep all before them " ; the people of the north were told that the men of London waited only for them. Sunday, June 8, 1817, was fixed for the general rising.

Page 331


Banks were to be seized and their coffers emptied, prisons were to be thrown open, the magistrates were to be made prisoners, the few police to be overpowered, and, event- ually, a republic proclaimed. At midnight of that day some three hundred men and youths gathered at Folly Hall Bridge in Huddersfield. A man named Taylor was heard to cry; " Now, my lads, all England is in arms, our liberties are secure, the rich will be poor and the poor Tich." What this handful of men, armed with pistols, pikes, and scythes expected to accomplish, what actually they would have done if left to their own devices, one can only conjecture. The magistrates had timely warning of the gathering. A patrol of the Huddersfield Yeo- manry, under Captain Armytage, galloped up, a few shots were fired ; the horse of one of the troopers, a Mr. Alexander, was wounded, and the patrol " retired," a euphemism for galloping headlong away, I suspect, to seek reinforcements, and these arrived but to find that the foe had melted into the darkness and the rising was at an end. In the following month, at York Assizes, Joseph Sykes, Isaac Johnson, Joshua Thewlis, Abraham Oldham, John Oldham, and Benjamin Donkersley were charged with stealing arms from the house of Clement Dyson, of Honley ; Benjamin Lockwood, George Woffenden, John Wilson, Joseph Jysopp, with unlawfully shooting at Mr. Alexander. The prisoners were found " Not Guilty " and acquitted. The Grand Jury threw out the bills charging the fol- lowing with participating in an unlawful assembly :- Jonathan Bailey (25), clothier, Pog Ing; Jonathan Brook (28), cloth dresser, Meltham ; John Kinder (41), cloth dresser, Honley; Benjamin Taylor (24), fancy weaver, Honley ; Benjamin Brook (18), weaver, Salford, Lockwood ; Joseph Beaumont (23), cloth dresser, Lock- wood ; William Crowther (17), shoemaker, Lockwood ; Benjamin Green (21), cloth dresser, Honley; Joseph Haigh (20), weaver, Berry Brow ; James Oldham (25), cloth dresser, Berry Brow ; John Oldfield (32), weaver,

Page 332


Almondbury ; Abraham Oldfield (32), weaver, Almond- bury. And thus ended the famous " Folly Hall Fight." In the second week of April, 1820, it was freely rumoured in Huddersfield and all the villages round that there was to be a general rising of the disaffected among the people and that the town was to be attacked in force. The plan of campaign was actually known. The Kirk- heaton, Skelmanthorpe, Grange Moor, and Kirkburton sections, constituting the southern division, were to assemble on Almondbury Bank. The Mirfield, Hartshead, High Town, and Colne Bridge sections, the eastern division, in Kirklees Lane; the Thornhill, Dalton, Rastrick, and Brighouse sections, the north division, in Fixby Park; and the western division, consisting of the Lindley, Quarmby, Outlane, Ripponden, and Barkisland contingents on Lindley Moor. A beacon was to be kindled on Castle Hill, the various sections were to rendezvous at the Dumb Steeple, and then an advance made upon the town of Huddersfield. The attack was fixed for Wednesday, April 11. The local magistrates took prompt steps to counter the threatened assault. Handbills were issued calling on the inhabitants to " come forward and be sworn as special constables as the only alternative to prevent the Watch and Ward Act being put into force." A meeting of the burgesses was held at the George Hotel to concert steps for the defence of the town and protection of the lives and property of the citizens. Mr. Joseph Haigh, who built Springwood Hall, and whose property in Golcar sold after his death for over £100,000, presided, and declared that " he was persuaded no arguments would be required to obtain the assent of the inhabitants to the above step, as such were the diabolical designs of the conspirators that if their plot had not been discovered it is probable that not one of those present at the meeting would have houses to go to." At an adjourned meeting held in the George Inn on April, it was resolved " that an Armed Association be formed for the defences of the town," and several gentlemen came forward for the purpose, who were

Page 333


supplied with arms. Mr. Berry in his " History of the Volunteer Infantry," preserves the names of the officers of this Armed Association :- _ Captain Commandant-Lewis Fenton. Captain-Robert Dunlop. Lieutenants-Thomas Anderson, James Campey Laycock. Ensigns-John Sunderland Hirst, Tristram Ridgway. Of these, Captain Lewis Fenton was, twelve years later, the first member of Parliament for Huddersfield. Captain Robert Dunlop was a Scotsman, who settled in Huddersfield about the year 1805, and, with his brother- in-law, Thomas Hastings, established the firm of Dunlop and Hastings, cloth merchants. Their warehouse was in King Street. Mr. Dunlop resided in the building, adjoining the Queen Hotel, afterwards occupied as an office by Mr. T. W. Clough, solicitor, and at a still later date by the present writer. Lieutenant Thomas Anderson was also a Scotsman. He carried on business with a Mr. John Tyne, under the firm of " Tyne, Anderson, & Co," at Mark Bottom Mills, Paddock, with a warehouse in Union Bank Yard. He resided at Newhouse. In 1834 he was chairman for Mr. Michael Thomas Sadler when that gentleman contested Huddersfield. Lieutenant James Campey Laycock was a solicitor, and founded the firm of Laycock and Dyson and Laycock. He was for many long years clerk to the local Justices, and took an honourable part in con- nection with the religious and philanthropic institutions of the town. Ensign John Sunderland Hirst was a native of Longwood, born in 1781. He married a daughter of William Brook, of Meltham Mills, and Mr. T. Julius Hirst, J.P., of Meltham Hall, is his grandson. Ensign Tristram Ridgeway was a woolstapler, residing in Bath Buildings, with a warehouse in Station Street. He married a daughter of the Rev. John Coates, Vicar of Huddersfield. Mr. Berry also informs us that the uniform of the Armed Association of 1820 was bottle green with black facings on collar and cuff, green worsted epaulettes, a crimson sash

Page 334


worn round the waist, a tight-fitting jacket, and a high stove-pipe hat, with a thick wooden protection in the crown. _ The Armed Association was not left to confront the invaders unsupported. The 4th Dragoon Guards and 85th Regiment of Light Infantry, some two hundred men in all, chanced to be quartered in the town. Prompt measures were taken. The shops were closed and barri- caded. The townsmen armed themselves. Special con- stables were enrolled. The military were concentrated in the Market Place and threw up a barricade. On the night of Tuesday, April 10, several gentlemen on horseback patrolled the outskirts About five o'clock on Wednesday morning a mounted messenger rode in with the alarming intelligence that several hundred men, armed with pikes, guns, and other weapons, bearing a standard and beating a drum, had been encountered in the village of Flockton and were marching on the doomed town. Another courier brought in news that still another force, headed by a man on horseback, was coming from Grange Moor. A detach- ment of the Irish Dragoons was sent to intercept the advance from Grange Moor. They found the Moor strewn with discarded weapons, the insurgents dispersed. _ William Costive, formerly a sergeant in the 29th Regiment of Foot, Richard Addy, a private in the Rifles, both Waterloo men, and a score or so other men, all from the neighbourhood of Huddersfield and Barnsley, were arrested and conveyed under armed escort to York. On September 9, 1820, they were arraigned on the grave charge of high treason. The prisoners, who had been advised to throw themselves on the mercy of the Crown, pleaded " Guilty." A formal sentence of death was passed upon them, but the sentence was commuted to one of transportation for seven years. Thus ended the Siege of Huddersfield. Men still living talk of the Plug Riots of 1842. In August of that year the factory operatives of Lancashire were on strike, and conceived the idea of compelling a cessation of work in the mills of the adjoining county.

Page 335


On Friday, August 12, a great body of half-starving men, women, and children streamed over Stanedge Moor into Yorkshire, some by way of Holmfirth, some down the Colne Valley. In the Holme Valley the plugs were drawn of the boilers at Stoney Bank Mill, Moorcroft Mill, Ing Nook Mill, Sudehill Mills, Schole Mills, Lord's Mill (Honley), David Shaw, Son, & Co.'s Mill (Honley), Beaumont, Vickerman & Co.'s Mill, Steps Mill (Honley). - The same course was adopted at the mills of Messrs. Brook Bros. (Meltham Mills), Stables (Crosland Mills), Wrigley (Nether- ton), and John Brook & Sons (Armitage Bridge). In the Colne Valley the mob surrounded the mill of Messrs. Sykes and Fisher, at Marsden, and demanded that the work be instantly stopped. The boilers were " plugged "-so the phrase seems to have run, though one would have thought '"' unplugged " a more appropriate term-the fires were extinguished, and the shuttles of the dams drawn. The mob visited the foundry of Messrs. Taylor & Co., in the same village, and compelled the discontinuance of work. All through Slaithwaite, Linthwaite, Crimble, Golcar, Long- wood, the same insensate tactics were adopted-insensate, for how should it profit workless men to throw their fellows out of work. At Longroyd Bridge the Colne Valley contingent, some five to six thousand, of the marchers assembled about Starkey's Mill. Mr. Thomas and Mr. Joseph Starkey addressed the crowd and urged them to go peacefully to their homes. Then the Riot Act was read. Messrs. Starkey's workpeople offered to defend the mill, but it was deemed useless to prevent the drawing of the plugs. The immense concourse, the original body swollen, doubtless, by the curious, the ne'er-do-weel, and by sympathisers, converged at a rendezvous near St. Paul's Church. They had looked for help and countenance from the local Chartists, but they were not forthcoming. Instead, they found a troop of the 4th Lancers, and at sight of them the vast crowd dispersed. How great was the distress in this district at that time may be judged from the fact that in the Huddersfield Union 11,000 people, more than one-tenth of the population of the

Page 336


Union, were in receipt of parish relief, and that the average wage of a family was not more than one shilling per head per week. It is both pleasing and instructive to note the differ- ence in the methods of industrial warfare observable in the great conflict between labour and capital that raged in Huddersfield and all the district round in the year 1883, a conflict so prolonged, so intense, and affecting interests so great, having indirect consequences so momentous- I refer more particularly to the formation of the local Labour Party-that it is not without justification that the conflict is still referred to emphatically as tHE Weavers' Strike. For some time before 1883 there had been smoulder- ing discontent among the operatives engaged in the local woollen industry. In the year 1880 there had been a strike at the mill of Messrs. Taylor and Littlewood, and at its conclusion the men, feeling acutely the lack of a general organisation, established a Weavers' Association, the terms of membership being an annual subscription of 4d. per annum from each member and the usual obligation to a levy for strike purposes, with a corresponding right to strike pay when occasion justified it. A strike at Messrs. Martin's Mill, at Lindley, resulting in the prosecution of a number of youths for picketing, intensified the feelings of mutual resentment-the men complaining of unfair wages, the masters of unwarranted interference in their control of their mills. Mr. Albert Shaw was the secretary of the Weavers' Union, and in the absence of any Associa- tion on the part of the employers he appears to have striven, with some measure of success, to raise wages in isolated mills by threatening to withdraw the men, tactics that were the more successful because there was no common understanding among the employers as to rates of wages, each firm regulating its scale of remunera- tion by considerations largely determined by the nature of the goods manufactured and the character of the machinery in actual use in its mills When one reflects that the wage-earning capacity of the weaver depends, not only upon his own ability and assiduity, but upon the

Page 337


character of the warp and weft supplied to him, and not less upon the excellence or otherwise of his loom and upon the promptitude of the " tuner" when anything goes wrong, one can appreciate the difficulties that con- fronted the (manufacturers of the district when they resolved to establish a uniform scale and formed the Huddersfield Woollen Manufacturers' and Spinners' Association, with Mr. William Schofield, accountant, as secretary, and the late Mr. Joseph Crowther, of Marsden, and Mr. Alfred Sykes, of Brockholes, as its leading spirits. It is probable that this determination on the part of the employers was reached less from any feeling that the workpeople were overpaid than from an uneasy sense that their supremacy in their own mills was threatened. This feeling was somewhat maladroitly expressed by Mr. Edward Armitage, J.P., in a speech delivered by him at the Heckmondwike Chamber of Commerce on March 14, 1883. Referring to the strike at Huddersfield, then in its early stages, Mr. Armitage said: " The masters were determined to be masters, and no longer be dictated to as in the past by the Weavers' Union. In point of fact, for the past two or three years they had hardly been able to speak without having the Union at them. He held that masters and workpeople were quite competent to deal with matters arising between them, without the interference of a Union. Unions were a curse to the country, and the sooner they were put down the better. A Masters' Union had lately been formed in the Hudders- field district, and those already comprising it represented not fewer than 5,000 looms. He had no desire to trample upon the workpeople, but the time had come when the masters must speak out on these questions and shew their determination at an important crisis like the present. The Statement they had issued was a fair one-it was an equalisation, not a lowering, and the employers were thoroughly determined to stand by it through thick and thin. By that statement the masters would either stand or fall." The Statement alluded to by Mr. E. Armitage in the

Page 338


above not very conciliatory speech was a Scale of Wages framed by the employers and posted on February 26, 1883, in every mill represented in their Association with the following take-it-or-leave-it intimation :-



The following scale for 18 strings of 1o feet per string has been compiled by the above Association, and will come into operation on the 26th day of March, 1883.

It was believed by the operatives that the Scale to which the above notice referred would mean a substantial reduction in the wages generally earned in the woollen mills of the district. Whether or no that was so I do not profess to determine. The employers alleged that the Scale would not, on the whole, have that effect. The point is not now material. People act upon what they believe. The following letter, addressed to the Northern Proneer, authoritatively stated the views of the repre- sentatives of the employees :- '

Sir,-Having seen the list of prices paid by the masters in this district as compared with their new scale, which was published in your Second Edition last Saturday, and having carefully examined it, we find it inaccurate in several particulars. We therefore send you for publication a similar list which we have prepared, and which we believe to be a correct one. In these scales, as in those you published before, all the prices are for 18 strings to the piece. We are the more induced to send these lists because of the state- ments which have been published in other papers during the last few days, and which we do not consider are likely to aid the public in coming to a proper opinion on the matter in dispute. In face of these figures we should be glad to know if the masters still say that their new scale is not a reduction but a readjustment, as, if this is so, we are utterly at a loss to understand the question. These statements have been supplied to us by the masters them- selves, so that we assume they are right.


Page 339

NEw SCALE. Jos BEAUMONT AND Sons. Picks. 1Shuttle. 2 Shutts. 3 Shutts. 4 Shutts. Picks. 1 Shuttle. 2 Shutts. 3 Shutts. 4 Shutts.

s d s. d. . s. d. s. d.. s. d. s. d. II 12 20 I0 10 II 9} I3 2 I5 2 18 6 19 6 40 18 4 IQ 3 20 - 8 22 7 26 6 28 43 60 25 10 26 9 28 2 30 I Rormnson Bros., MarspEN. € kkk}. 20 9 3 I0 10 9 € kkk}. . 40 16 9 17 6 18 2 €. 00}. ...... |-- Co 24 3 25 25 9 ak.... Gro. BEAUMONT AND Sons. I2 20 I2 I3 I4 I5 40 I7 18 o I9 20 - 28 4} 60 23 24 - O 25 26 o MIppLEMOST. 20 I0 10 II 9} 13 2 I5 2 40 18 4 IQ 3 20 8 22 7 } 60 25 10 26 9 28 2 30 I MarspEN Co., WooLLENS. 20 9 3 I0 10 9 € kkk... 40 16 6 17 3 18 o 4 60 24 -O 24 9 25 6 ee ARMITAGE Bros., WoOoOLLENS. 21 10 6 I2 € s aks. s kk. 0s 41 18 o 19 6 2.0... ae 4 61 25 6 27 ee «kk... Joun CROWTHER AND Sons, WooOLLENS. 12 20 8 6 9 3 I0 19 40 16 6 17 3 18 o sal....

28 4} 60 24 -O 24 9 25 6

s. 20 9 40 16 60 24

s. 10 17 25

© & r O C

I I 18 26

20 9 40 16 60 24

10 17 25

O \O \© O \O ® O \O O

20 9 10 40 16 17 60 24 - O 25

II 18 26

\©O O l O \O \O O \o ® O \

10 17 25

II 18 26

20 9 40 16 60 24

o 6 < eal Lon] O \O \O© O \ ® O \ ©


19 28

20 9 10 40 16 17 60 24 -O 25

I I 18 26

0 CO <4 © \O \© O \O ~ O \O


19 28

10 17 25

20 9 40 16 60 24

I I 18 26

o \o _ O \O \d O \ O \ O

20 9 40 16 Co 24

10 17 29

I I 18 26

O \O O \O

© \o \© O \ O




Page 340

cc 2 avs .. 10. R ala

NEw Scars. | FRIEND HEPPENSTALL, WOOLLENS. Picks. 1Shuttle.: 2 Shutts. 3 Shutts. 4 Shutts. Picks. 1Shuttlee 2 Shutts. 3 Shutts 4 Shutts.

s. d. s. d. s. d. s. d. s. d. s. d. s. d. I0 - o II I2 20 9 9 I0 II I2 2 sek ls. 17 6 18 6 19 6 40 I7 4 18 7 IQ 9 kk. ... 25 3 26 6 28 4} 60 24 7} 25 8 27 sak. Wn. Harror, THnin WHITE WorstEDS. 25 3 s kkk .s 60 27 28 6 30 «kk. s.

33 I1} € kkk... 80 34 6 36 6 37 6 ee

41 3 eee 100 42 O 43 6 45 O 0000 ...... TAyLOR AND LIitTLEwoop, THIN WHuITE WorstEDps.

25 3 ee 60 22 6 24 - O 25 6 ek kk... 33 1} woe 80 30 31 6 33 ak.... 4L 3 a. k.... 100 37 6 39 40 6 «.k... MarspEN MILL Co., WorRrstTEDS. 60 22 9 24 25 3 kkk... 60 24 9 25 6 26 3 sk k.. 80 29 10} 31 33 I+} oe 80 32 3 33 33 9 sk k....

100 37 39 41 3 a ... .s. 100 39 3 40 6 41 3 a ..... ArmITAGE BROS., WORsTEDS.

25 3 k.} 60 23 25 6 27 «kkk... 33 I¢ kkk... 80 30 33 34 6 k ..... 41 3 € k.... 100 38 40 6 42 O ak.... E. T. SyxrEs. 26 3 27 33 9 35 41 3 42 D. BROADBENT. 25 6 27 33 O 34 40 6 42

s. 20 9 40 16 60 24

< ©

60 22 9 24 80 29 10% 31 100 37 O 39

O w

60 22 9 24 80 29 10} 31 100 37 39

O0 \ O

O \

60 22 9 24 80 29 10+ 31 100 37 39

O \O O

25 3 ee 60 24

33 1} oe 80 32 4I 3 sk.... 100 39

60 22 9 24 80 29 10} 3I

100 37 O 39

a ~, oa , o O ~, oa O \D.

25 3 . ...... 60 24

33 I+ € ek k.. 80 3I 41 3 € k k.}. 100 39

60 22 9 24 80 29 10+} 31 100 37 O 39

O \O O O \d O O O



Page 341

NEw SCALE. LIDDELL AND BRIERLEY. Picks. 1Shuttle. 2 Shutts. 3 Shutts. 4 Shutts. Picks. 1Shuttle. 2 Shutts. 3 Shutts. 4 Shutts.

s. d. s. 60 22 9 24 80 29 10} 3I 100 37 O 39

s. d. s. - d. s. d. s. d. s. d. s. d. 25 3 s kk. .s. 60 25 6 27 Oo 28 6 33 I1} sak... 80 33 34 6 35 O ee 41 3 2.0.0... 100 40 6 42 O 43 6 €. 00 .s. , SyKkEs AnNp Co. 259 3 ae 60 24 -O 25 6 27 € kk .s 33 1} 2.0... 80 31 33 34 6 ee 3 k kee .s 100 39 40 6 42 O €.. .}}. . CROSLAND, LINDLEY. 27 28 34 6 36 42 O 43 FRANCE, HonLEy. 27 O 28 34 6 36 42 _ O 43 G. BroOK. 25 6 27 33 O 34 ek e} 40 6 42 O eee MarITIN, Sons, AnD Co. 25 3 2... .s 60 24 O 25 6 27 2... 33 I+} ee 80 31 6 33 34 6 sk.... 4LI 3 » 100 39 40 6 42 O ee Joun Tavyror AnNp Sons 25 3 .s. 60 22 6 24 - O 25 6 . 33 I} 2.0... 80 30 31 6 33 ae 4LI 3 s k. ... 100 37 6 39 40 6 ak....


60 22 9 24 80 29 10} 31 100 37 O 39

€>O¢n O \ O

60 22 9 24 80 29 10} 31

100 37 39

25 3 2.06... 60 25

33 1+} ee 80 33 41 3 kkk... 100 40

O \ O

60 22 9 24 80 29 10} 31 100 37 O 39

25 3 € k.... 60 25

33 1} sk k.... 80 33 41 3 2.2... 100 40

w o w - uv o o w o w ~v o uw

© \ O

60 22 9 24 80 29 10} 31

100 37 39

25 3 ae 60 24 33 I} oe 80 3I 4L 3 kkk... 100 39


© \O O0 O O \ O

60 22 9 24 80 29 10+} 3I 100 37 39

o v o

60. 22% 9 24 80 29 10} 31 100 37 39

O \ O



Page 342


The employers accompanied the Scale by the follow- mg statement communicated to the local Press: " In the Huddersfield district there is no uniform system of paying for the same classes of goods. Whilst the Weavers' Association have been endeavouring to establish a maxi- mum uniform rate, the employers have really decided upon a mean average scale, obtained by a comparison of the rates paid throughout the district. The only difference between the scale for which the weavers have fought and the new scale posted by the manufacturers is a difference of 4d. per string of ten feet,* which makes a total difference as against the weavers of qd. per piece of 18 strings, on one-shuttle-men weavers-Dobcross looms. As to the question of shuttles, the men have always insisted upon 1d. per string for the second shuttle, whatever the number of picks in the piece may be. a good weaver having a 20 pick (per inch)f piece would receive for three shuttles 3s. extra for work which he could do in two days or thereabouts ; and under the same conditions another weaver weaving a piece of 80 picks (per inch), taking eight days, would only receive exactly 3s. for the second and third shuttle, as in the former case. To remedy this state of things, the masters have adopted a percentage scale for the shuttles, fixing Is. per shuttle as the minimum ;- in no case going below that, whilst in some cases the shuttles are paid for at double the former rate demanded by the weavers. Taking the new scale as compared with the rate of wages paid throughout the whole of the district, it is found that whilst in the most extreme cases, upon a low number of picks, it may appear a considerable reduction to some workmen, in another case-the other extreme- the advance to a workman is equally considerable. The rate of wages in the new scale, it is stated, will be found to be higher than the wages paid in either Leeds, Dews-

* A piece is supposed to measure 60 yards or 180 feet, estimated for mill purposes in 18 strings each of 10 feet.-D.F.E.S.

{ I.e., zo threads of weft to the inch, entailing 20 " picks '' or throws of the shuttle.-D.F.E.S.

Page 343


bury, Batley, the West of England, Scotland, or any other woollen district for the same class of goods." Despite the assurances of the employers as to the practical operation of the New Scale the employees regarded it with perhaps natural suspicion. The weavers had probably never heard of the words of Laocoon : " Quidguid 1d est, timeo Danaos et dona ferentes" (What- ever the thing is, I fear the Greeks even when they bring . gifts) ; but they very accurately represented the mental attitude of the employees of the new scale. _ A meeting was held at Longwood Tower-a structure thrown up at the time of the Cotton Famine, a spot of ill omen. Mr. Ben Copley, the President of the Weavers' Association, a man of gentle and reserved nature, and Mr. Allen Gee- now Alderman Allen Gee, J.P.-a member of the com- mittee and the shrewdest and most level-headed of that body-recommended the weavers to adopt the new scale under protest, to test by experience its actual working, reserving to themselves the right to abjure it if their worst forebodings were verified. This counsel was not followed, the weavers probably fearing that to acquiesce even for a time would jeopardise their position. They accordingly left their mills as they " downed " their warps, and for twelve long weeks a strike which involved nearly every woollen mill in the district dragged its weary length. Never, I imagine, was a strike of such dimensions entered upon with so slender a provision of means. The Weavers' Union had only some £200 in hand, and though some £1,200 was contributed by sympathisers from outside, the pinch of want was soon felt. But though there must have been intense suffering in many households the privations were cheerfully borne. Throughout that dreary three months there was no serious breach of the peace. Many attempts were made at a settlement. There were conferences in the Town Hall, the Mayor (Alderman John Fligg Brigg) using every endeavour to bring the contending parties to terms. At those conferences the employers were represented by Messrs. F. Eastwood, George Brook, jun., Eli Mallinson (Linthwaite), Arthur

Page 344


Whitwam (Golcar), Joseph Crowther (Marsden), Alfred Sykes (Brockholes), Joshua Littlewood (Newsome), Joseph Brierley (Slaithwaite), Joah Lodge (J. Lodge & Sons), J. A. Armitage (Armitage Brothers), B. Hanson (Hirst, Hanson, & Sons), Frank Taylor (John Taylor & Son), Edwin Martin (Martin & Son), Lindley), and E. T. Sykes (Milnsbridge) ; the weavers by Mr. B. Copley, (chairman of their Association), Mr. Albert Shaw (secretary), Mr. George Armitage (treasurer), Mr. Allen Gee, and Mr. Joseph Crawshaw. From the beginning the men appear to have been wishful to submit the differences to im- partial arbitration, a course consistently counselled frow the outset by the Northern Proneer; but there were difficulties in the agreement upon the terms of reference. Finally, after months of suffering and loss, both to employers and employed, the men went in under the new scale, slightly modified. I am informed, however, that the scale for which so many sacrifices had been made, broke down of its own inherent defects, and in a few months after the strike there were few mills in which it was acted upon without modification. If, as some had the hardi- hood to assert, the object of the employers was simply to stamp out Trade Unionism in the woollen industry of the district, the subsequent history of that industry would seem to indicate no great measure of success ; for so far from local Trades Unionism receiving its death blow as the result of the Weavers' Strike of 1880 the operatives seem to have conceived the idea that a more compre- hensive organisation was essential to their interests. On September 24, 1885, a meeting of representatives of the workers in many industries in the town and district was held in the Chess Tavern, High Street, then kept by Mr. E. E. Fleming, Secretary of the Weavers' and Textile Workers' Union ; and at that meeting the opinion was strongly expressed that all the trades concerned should be welded into a Trades' Council. In the following Novem- ber the Huddersfield Trade and Labour Council was formally inaugurated, Mr. Allen Gee being president, Mr. E. English, treasurer, and Mr. E. E. Fleming, secre-

Page 345


tary. At the Trade Union Congress held in Huddersfield in 1900 the local council was able to claim that there were

"" only a very few societies not affiliated to the Council, and the number of trade unionists in the town was far

greater than at the time the council was Indeed, so marked was its success that shortly after its formation it felt justified in acquiring the Mechanics' Hall in North- umberland Street, for offices, club rooms, and assembly hall. It will, I think, be generally conceded that no little of the success achieved by the Council in the adjustment of trade disputes and the protection of the interests of the employees has been due to the tact and moderation of Mr. Allen Gee, who played so great a part in the strike of 1883. Mr. Gee's parents were both hand-loom weavers at Lindley, where he was born. He himself received his education at the Church National School, beginning to earn his living as a piecer at I1 years of age, and as a weaver at 19. In 1899 he was engaged upon the staff of the " Yorkshire Factory Times." In 1892 he was returned by the Lindley Ward to the Huddersfield Town Council ; in 1904 was raised to the aldermanic bench ; and in 1907 was made a Justice of the Peace. He has been an official of the General Weavers' Union for more than half a century, and has more than once been requested to give evidence before Parliamentary Committees. Of much longer duration than the dispute of 1883, but confined to a smaller area, was the Slaithwaite Cotton Strike of 1896. It affected some 400 operatives employed at the mills of the Slaithwaite Spinning Company. The "* hands " came out in June, 1896, and remained on strike till March of the following year, being supported in their demands by the Lancashire Cotton Association. The operatives complained that their wages were 15 per cent. below the Bolton list provided for the same class of work, and they also demanded the removal of an Overlooker who is said to have made himself obnoxious to the em- ployees. As the weeks lengthened into months the less determined of the strikers began to dribble back to their work, and the strike failed to accomplish its objects. The

Page 346


most noticeable memorial of it is a notice which I under- stand is still to be read on the walls of the Company's

mills :-

Any person employed in this mill must be of good character and may not be a member of any Trade Union or Association.

At the risk of wearying the reader with a tedious array of statistics he is invited at this juncture to direct his attention to the following figures extracted from the '* Returns of Wages " published as a Parliamentary Blue Book in 1887. These Returns give the average rates of wages paid " in Huddersfield and neighbourhood during the years 1839, 1849, 1859, 1866, 1867, 1874, 1877, 1880, and supplemented by the excerpts I subjoin from Mr. Owen Balmforth's short " History of Huddersfield," published in connection with the visit of the Trades Union Congress in 1900, will at least assist the reader to a con- clusion on the much debated question whether or no the condition of the industrial classes is better than that of

their fathers. WEEKLY WAGES-MEN.

Description of

Occupation. | 1839 | 1849 | 1859 | 1866 [1867-8] 1874 | 1877 | 1880 Wool Sorters 21/- | 22]- | 22/6 |22]- to |22/- to | 28/- (26/- to | 24/- | 32/- 28/- Mule Spinners . .| 25/6 | 25/6 | 27/- |18/- to |18]- to | 28/- |30/- to | 30/- , 30/- | 30/- 40/- Weavers- Hand-loom ..| 12/- | 12/- | 16/- | - -- C i s Power-loom..| - | 10/9 | 18/- |18/- to |18/- to | 24/- |20/- to | 26/- 23/6 | 23/6 35/-

Mr. Allen Gee, giving evidence before the Royal Commission

on Labour in 1891, stated that a '' good workman, fully employed, will average 24/- a-week, but employment is irregular. - Weavers are paid at a lower rate, their average earnings will be from 6/- to 16/-.""' He gave, however, the case of a man whose earnings during the first five months of that year had not averaged 10/- a-week. Speaking generally, and taking 9000 looms, Mr. Gee thought 17/- to 18/- a-week represented the average earning. Mr. Owen Bamforth's Monograph on Huddersfield contains a list of prices of various articles now of common use. They are for the years 1816 and 1900 :-

Page 348

H. JF. Wilson,

Copyright Photo by Bamforth & Co.

Page 349


Prices paid in Huddersfield

In 1816. In 1900. Black Tea ........... 8/- 2. 2/4 Raw Sugar |,, | ............ 1/- 6. -/2 Lump Sugar ,, | ............ 1/4 -. -/2% Candles py oe e e e e e eee ees -/g 1. -/4 Mustard py oe e e e e e k ke ees 2/- 2. 1/6 Coffee py oe e e e e ee ee ees 3/6 -. 1/4 Starch py ook ee k e e e ee ees 1/- 2. -|5 Currants $y oe k e ee e e kk} 1 /- 2. -/4 Vinegar per quart. ........... -/8 e -/3 Salt - per stone ............ 5/4 2. -|5 Brown Soap ,, | ............ I1/- 2. 4/8 Mottled py oe eee e e e ee ees 13/- 2. 3/6

To this statement it should be added that corn is vastly cheaper than before the Repeal of the Corn Laws, and that rents and rates are much higher.

The above particulars as to wages and prices of necessary commodities may to some make but dry reading. Statistics repel the thoughtless and superficial, but to those who can appreciate their significance, get to the core of them and translate them into living facts they are as fascinating as a romance. I do not hesitate, therefore, to add to the foregoing array of figures information as to local rates of wages for which I am indebted to a paper read in the Session of 1909 before the Huddersfield Techni- cal College Textile Society by Mr. George Henry Wood, F.S.5S., the very able and well-informed Secretary of the Huddersfield and District Woollen Manufacturers and Spinners' Association.* The reader will note that the Table (IV.), which I take the liberty of extracting bodily from Mr. Wood's paper, gives the wages at different periods for a full week's work, and will make such allowances as his experience or observation suggests for these not infrequent intervals of involuntary idleness which so seriously diminish the actual yearly income of the operatives of this and every other district.

* Lecture XI. Journal of the Society. Ninth Session, 1908-9. (Broadbent & Co., Huddersfield).

Page 350


Average Earnings for a full week's work for operatives engaged in the Huddersfield and District

Woollen and Worsted Industry.













Teazers and Fettlers

Scribbler's Feeders ...

Weavers, Men _......

a Women

»» Average* .. Pattern Weavers. ....

Warpers, Men ......

$3 Women

$3 Average* .... Dyers .............. Millers. 20

Menders and Burlers ..



14/- 8/8

18/- 8/-

12/8 17/6 19/6 8/9

1 5/-

8/- 18/- 13/6 17/6 25/- 10/- 14/4 17/6 19/6


16/6 to 18/-



9/- 23/- 17/- 21/-

20 - 22/-



I1/3 24/- 18/- 21/5 25/- 25/- 15/6 19/2 21/- 25/- 10/6

22/- to 22/6

12/- 27/6 20/- 23/9 27/6 26/6 17/- 20/8 23/- 23/6 12/3

23/- 12/3


11/6 24/- 18/- 20/4 25/- 22)- 18/4 22/- 22/4


20/10 to 21/4

11/6 22/10 15/6 18/1 21/2? 22)- 14/6 17/5 ?


* Allowing for changes in the relative numbers employed.


12/6 24/- 1 5/6 18/6 22] - 24] - 16/6 19/- 22/- 23/- 12/6





14/6 26/- 19/6 22] - 26/- 28|- 17/6 20/6 23/2 23/- 16/6



Page 351


Changes in Average Wages for an ordinary week's work in the Woollen and other Industries, 1871-1906. 1871= 100.

1871 1874 1877 1880 1883 1886 1891 1896 1900 1906

Wool and Worsted, Huddersfield ....... 100 - IIL I22 II4 I0OQ 102 104 IO7 III - I2I $» H 100 _ 125 --- IIO 105 100 --- - - 100 - III »» ,,V Dewsbury & Batley . 1oo IIO0O IIO IIO 100 - 100 go -_ 100 _- 108 Worsted, Bradford ..................... 100 - 122 104 93 92 92 92 94 96 - 102 COttOM ... ake e e e e e e e e e es 100 - 105 IIO 103 IIO 108 IIS IIQ 125 133 Coal Mining ........................... 100 _ 135 96 91 97 QI _ 126 - IO9Q 135 122 Puddling .s 100 _ 132 99 - 104 go 82 q2 83 - 128 - 100 Engineering |............... val es. IOO - IO9Q9 109 IO3 IIO 105 116 120 125 128 Shipbuilding .......................... IOO - 10g 108 Ios II7 105 122 120 128 127 Building ..... s IOO - I0OQ OII3 II3 II3 II18 123 130 130 Cabinet Making ....................... 1I00 - IIL - II5 OII4 OII4 III 116 II7 123 123 Printing kes 100 - 106 109g 109g 10g 10g II4 IIs 116 119 eff, 100 - 108 - III IOQ - IOQ IOQ 120 - I21 125 - 128 Dock Labourers ....................... 100 106 100 100 100 100 II4 - IIQ,. I1I9 119 Agriculture (England and Wales) ....... IOO II2 II3 IIO IIO I0O7 IIL - III - IIQ _ 120 $» (Scotland) ................. 1I00 - 120 OI3I 120 OII7 I23 128 I34 I4I - 145 $» (Ireland) =.................. 100 - IO4 I0OQ II2 II3 II7 I2LI 126 - 130 143


All Industries ................. ull... IOO - II3 IIO 106 10g 108 118 118 130 - 131


yrm-re=- -> ~- p a u u - - =


Page 352


In Table VII. Mr. Wood enables us to see at a glance the variations in wages in specified industries over a period beginning in 1871 and ending in 1906, and again it must be remembered that the purchasing value of the pound sterling fluctuated not a little during the same period. Taking 100 as the standard in 1871, the figures show an advance in wages in 1906 in the woollen and worsted trade in the Huddersfield District of some 20 per cent., nearly twice that attained in the Leeds and more than twice that in the Dewsbury and Batley Districts. Dealing in the same paper with the exports of our home manufactures, Mr. Wood is able to deduce from the statistics he has collected with so much care and arranged with such practised skill, a conclusion that should rejoice the heart of every lover of his kind : " We may say that our home manufactures '"-s.e., I take it, the making of goods for the home markets, actually used by our own people within the four seas,-'" have increased by 46 per cent., our exports by about 6 per cent., our home manu- factures retained at home by 109 per cent., and our total home consumption by II3 per cent. between 1870-4 and 1905-8. This clearly indicates a remarkable change in the distribution of our trade. Thirty-five years ago we manufactured more for export than for home consump- tion ; to-day, our largest market is our home market." In other words, our manufacturers sent their pieces abroad because our own people could not afford to buy them. "In 1870-74, 614%4 per cent. of our manufactures were exported, and 38% per cent. were for the home market ; in 1905-8, the percentage of exports (while the total amount had slightly increased) was only 444% per cent., while the home trade took 55% per cent. Than this there is probably no more definite and conclusive proof to be found of the advance in material well-being of the great mass of our population during the past 35 years." In writing of the Luddite Riots, the Plug Riots, and other futile-and yet, perhaps, in the end, not wholly futile-strivings of an oppressed and distracted people

Page 353


for an amelioration of an intolerable lot, we have had to record the tragic failure of the popular efforts. Although to do so involves some departure from chronological order, I may introduce here as strictly germane to the matter in hand an account of the successful agitation for statutory reform of the conditions of labour. On the night of February 14, 1818, there were engaged in Atkinson's factory at Colne Bridge a number of girls, most of them of very tender years, some budding into maidenhood, none of whom neither the law nor the public conscience would now have suffered to work late into the night. The Overlooker, who probably lived in the mill yard, appears to have gone home and to bed, taking the precau- tion to lock the girls in. A fire broke out. The key of the door could not be found. The frantic workers beat at their prison gates in vain. Seventeen victims of a brutal system perished in the flames. There is a monument in Kirkheaton Church inscribed :-


West side :

Stranger ! if e'er a mother's tender fears Have watched thy steps from dawn to riper years : If e'er soft pity for another's woe Has swelled thy breast and caused a tear to flow ; Oh then! will Nature speak in accents mild, A parent's anguish for a suffering child ; Then will a sigh escape the pensive head, A passing tribute to the untimely dead.

Page 354


North side :


East side:

Martha Hey, aged 9 years; Mary Hey, 9 ; Elizabeth Drake, 9 ; Abigail Bottom, 10 ; Elizabeth Stafford, 11; Frances Seller, 12 ; Ellen Haytack, 12; Elizabeth Ely, 13; Mary Moody, 13 ; Ellen Stocks, 13 ; Mary Denton, 14 ; Sarah Sheard, 14 ; Mary Laycock, I4 ; Nancy Carter, 16.; Elizabeth Moody, 17 ; Sarah North, 18.

No one was hanged for what the epitaph passes over as a " striking and awful instance of the uncertainty of life and the vanity of human attainments," but which will probably strike the reader as a " striking and awful instance " of the certainty of the consequences of a callous neglect of the commonest precautions against an ever-present danger. But the horror excited by the cruel fate of these helpless victims of the fiendish industrial system, which laid broad and deep the foundations of our industrial pre-eminence upon child labour, won for the agitation for Factory Reform the sympathy and support of thousands who had never seen a mill. There are old people still living who can recall the hardships of the unreformed factory system. But, lest their children forget, I think it incumbent on me to preserve in these pages the testimony of those who told before the Parliamentary Committee of 1833 the story of those cruel times- Joseph Habergam, of Northgate, Huddersfield, said :-

I am 17 years of age. My father died six years ago, but my mother is still alive. I began to work when seven years old at George Addison's, Bradley Mill, near Huddersfield. The empioy- ment was worsted spinning ; the hours of labour at that mill were from five in the morning till eight at night, with an interval for rest and refreshment of thirty minutes at noon. There was no time for rest or refreshment in the afternoon ; we had to eat our meals as we could, standing or otherwise. I had 144 hours actual labour when 7 years of age, and I received as wages 2s. 6d. per

Page 355


week. I attended to what are called " throstle machines " ; this I did for 24 years, and then I went to the steam looms for about six months. In that mill there were about 50 children of about the same age as myself. These children were often sick and poorly. There were always perhaps half a dozen regularly that were ill because of excessive labour. The work was not very hard, but having to work so many hours made it worse: it was rather hard of itself, but it would have been better if we had not had so long to stand. We began to grow drowsy and sleepy about three o'clock, and grew worse and worse, and it came to be very hard towards six «or seven ; I had still to labour on. There were three overlookers; there was a head-overlooker, and then there was one man kept to grease the machines, and then there was one kept on purpose to strap. Strapping was the means by which the children were kept at work. If was the main business of one of the overlookers to strap the children up to this excessive labour-the same as strapping an old restive horse that had fallen down and will not get up. This was the practice ddy by day. The overlooker was continually walking up and down with the strap in his hand, and his office was to strap the children on to their labour. Out of the thirty minutes allowed for dinner, five minutes, and sometimes ten, were occupied in cleaning the spindles. On Saturday we gave over at six o'clock, after which time we used to be made to fettle the machines, which used to take about an hour and a half. Sometimes, during the time I worked at Bradley Mill, the clock was a quarter of an hour soon in the meal time ; we had but just done fettling, and we had but half got our dinners, and the overlooker put the clock forward to one, and he rang the bell, and we were obliged to run back to our work. This was not an uncommon practice. During the 24% years I worked at that mill there were about half-a-dozen of the children who died. The owner of the mill did not send after those children to enquire after them when they were disabled by their long, confined labour -they lived sometimes for three months after they left. If anyone had taken an account of the deaths at the mill, the deaths of those children would not have been included in his statement. They did not die in the mill ; but I knew one boy who died when he had been out of the mill only two days; ke was stuffed up by the dust.* There is considerable dust in that employment; you cannot take

* The reader may have noticed that the latest theory as to the course of appendicitis is that it is caused by fluff from the bags in which flour is kept. If that theory is correct the workers in woollen mills are exposed to constant danger of that disease. -D. F. E. S.

Page 356


your food out of your basket or handkerchief but what it is covered with dust directly. It is necessary that we should have time to eat our breakfast and '" drinking,'"' but there is no time, and we have to bite our food as we can ; it is laid up on the board-sometimes the " flue '" gets into it, so that we cannot eat it. The children are often sick because of the dust and dirt they eat with their meals. The children ate their dinner on the boiler-house thatch, or anywhere, as they could not go home. I lived a good mile off. In winter we, the children, ate our dinners sometimes out of doors and sometimes in the mill. When I gave over attending the " throstles " I worked at '* bobbin winding '' at the steam looms. The labour was con- tinued the same length of time, from five in the morning to eight at night. When trade was brisk I have worked from five in the morning to nine at night. For this additional hour's labour each working day I received, for the whole six months, ten pence halftpenny.* This was the sum received by each, big and little, for the whole time. This was when I worked at the " throstles." I was forced to work the additional hour. When we, the children, worked at the '" bobbin work '"' we were not used so cruelly. There was no strap, only the overlooker was a very savage man, and he used to strike the children under the ribs, till it took their wind away, and they fell on the floor, and perhaps lay there for two minutes. All the overlookers are in the habit of treating the children with severity ; the masters put them up to it, because they could not get the quantity of work done unless they were to beat them. When I left Mr. Addison's, Bradley Mill, I went to Mr. Brook's, Upper Mill, Huddersfield. At Mr. Brook's the usual time of labour for the children was twelve hours per day. We worked from six in the morning till eight at night, we had half an hour to breakfast, one hour at noon, and half an hour at drinking-time, making altogether twelve hours of actual labour. The hours were too long, we could not stand them. I was ten years of age when I went there first. I remained nearly four years. I worked at Lewis' machine in the dressing department. I have stated the regular hours of work; when trade was particularly brisk I was obliged to work from five in the morning till half-past ten, sometimes till eleven, for four months together, and once all night. My regular wage was five shillings a week.t and they gave a shilling extra for over hours. I must either have worked these over hours or left my place. It was the same in other mills when

* Though the phrasing is somewhat ambiguous, I do not under- stand the witness to have meant 10%$d. per hour for six months, but a total amount of 104%$d. for the extra work of the halit-year. { Less than 1d. per working hour. -D.F.E.S.

Page 357


trade was good. I found that labour very distressing to me, and it increased the pain in my limbs. It also increased the deformity which came upon me, and I have had to drop it several times for a fortnight together. They did not use the strap there, they used to strike with the fist and kick with the foot. During the time I worked there I wished many times they would have sent me for a West India slave. I had heard the condition of the West India slaves described. I felt myself very much overworked, with insufficient rest, and very much injured by that length of labour. This rendered me very miserable in my mind, and I thought there could be nothing worse, and that there could not be worse slaves than those that worked in factories. On one occasion I worked all Friday, Friday night, and Saturday. I left that situation for this reason. - One morning I was between ten minutes and a quarter of an hour late; the overlooker met me, he gave me a knock on the head against a step and caused a great lump to rise, he said he would turn me off, " a young devil, for being too late." He followed me up the steps, but he could not catch me. I ran round the steps to get away from him, and I left the place. I was then 14 years of age.

The witness here, at the request of the committee, stood up and showed his deformed limbs, and in this connection I may recall that when I was a youth it used to be a common saying in the Holme Valley that there was scarce a mill-hand in Holmfirth who could stop a pig with his legs-a circumlocutory way of stating that the operatives were mostly bow-legged.

I was straight and healthful as anyone when I was seven years old. There were other children at the mill who became deformed in like manner. There were some very often sick, and some were deformed ; but the parents who were able to support their children took them away, in consequence of seeing they would be deformed if they did not take them away. My mother being a widow, and having but little, could not afford to take me away. The parish would not have relieved me if my mother had taken me away. She had frequently been to the parish authorities, but she was no better for it. I have seen my mother cry oftentimes, and I have asked her why she was crying, but - she would not tell me then, but she has told me since. She was so affected by seeing my limbs give way by working such long hours.

One may interpolate here the remark that the parents of these young children were in a very cruel dilemma. The employers would not employ adults at the wages

Page 358


necessary to support an adult, so long as child labour could be obtained with the sanction of the law. If a parent, precluded from obtaining work by the competition of child labour, would not suffer his child to go to the factory and applied for parochial contribution towards its support, the authorities refused relief on the ground that the child, even a child of seven years of age, should be put to work and support itself. The choice for the parent then lay between being indicted for manslaughter for neglecting to support the infant or sending it to be slowly done to death or cruelly deformed in a factory. The overlookers under whom I have hitherto worked have been in the habit of strapping and cruelly beating the children for very little faults-for being late in the morning and for letting the ends run down. One part of the discipline of these mills is profound silence : they will not allow the children to speak ; if two are seen speaking they are beaten with the strap. The masters encourage the overlookers to treat the children in that manner. I have seen them when the master has been standing at one end 'of the room and two of the overlookers speaking to him, and if he has chanced to see two of the girls speaking to each other he has said, '' Look yonder at those two girls talking," and he has run and beat them the same as they beat soldiers in the barrack-yard for deserting. The strapping was going on principally in the morning from half-past five to six ; for if there were twenty that were late at their work they would all be beaten. There was strapping in the after part of the day also ; it began about three o'clock and continued then till the time they dropped their work -very cruel strapping. If they had not strapped the children they would have fallen asleep. The children could not be kept up so long at their labour if they were not so treated. It was reckoned by the children to be very bad usage. Towards the end of the day the flies of the machines would burst their (the children's) knuckles. Accidents were frequent. The children were not capable of performing the amount of labour that was exacted from them, without perpetual cruelty. I had at that time working similarly a brother and a sister, his name was John and her name was Charlotte. I cannot say how old my sister was when she began working at the mill, but my brother John was seven. They were often sick; my brother John died three years ago-he was then sixteen years and eight months old. My mother and the medical attendants were of opinion that my brother died from working such long hours, and that it had been brought about by the factory. They have to stop the " flies " with their knees, because they get so swift they cannot stop them

Page 359


with their hands; he got a bruise on the shin with the spindle- board, and it went on to that degree that it burst; the surgeon cured that, and then my brother was better. He went to work again, but when he had worked abour two months more his spine became affected, and he died. His medical attendants stated

that the spinal affection was owing to his having been so over- worked at the mill, and that he died in consequence.

Working in the mill has had a great deal of effect on my own health, and I have had to drop it several times in the year. When I had worked about six months a weakness fell into my knees and ankles ; it continued and it has got worse and worse. It was attended with very great pain and the sense of extreme fatigue. Under these circumstances I had to work as often as I could, «otherwise not any allowance would have been made to me by the occupier of the mill. I live a good mile from the mill ; it was very painful for me to move in the morning. I could not walk, and my brother and sister, out of kindness, used to take me under each arm and run with me to the mill, and my legs dragged on the ground in consequence of pain ; I could not walk, and if we were five minutes late the overlooker would take a strap and beat us till we were black and blue. The overlooker knew the reason of our being a little too late ; we have stated to him the reason, but he never minded that, he used to watch us out of the windows.

The pains and weakness in my legs increased. I was beat and kicked in the way described for being too late. It is customary in some mills to abate the wages. I do not think they did so

at Mr. Brook's. * » * »

I was placed by my mother under the medical treatment of Dr. Walker, of the Huddersfield Infirmary.* In that Infirmary they can only take into the house twenty at once, because there are not subscribers enough to enable them to take more, and there are so many accidents that they are obliged to take in. They would have taken me in if they could ; they have twenty- two in sometimes, but twenty is the regular rule. It is a new place. My mother got a recommendation from Mr. Bradley Clay. It is nearly eleven weeks since I dropped work. Mr. Oastler got me into the Leeds Infirmary, as an in-patient, under the care of Mr. Hey. He examined me, and said that my deformity was caused by the factory system. He said he thought

he could have done me good if he had had me a few years ago;; that there would have been means of bringing me straight. He said it was all from the factory system-working so long and standing so many hours. Mr. Hey said that there were but poor hopes for me.

* This noble institution was opened in 1831, and the witness appears to have correctly stated that the number of beds was about twenty.-D. F. E.S.

Page 360


Dr. Walker says I shall never be right any more. The cause of my illness has been going on all along, but I have got rather worse since I was 14 years of age. I cannot walk above thirty yards before my legs begin aching very bad, and then I cannot walk at all.

The poor lad was not only twisted in body ; he was stunted in mind, though apparently of good natural


When at the factory I had not any opportunity of learning to read or write-only a little on the Sabbath day. I have tried to learn to write within these last ten or eleven weeks. I do not think there is above one in a hundred in the factories that can write. I am still an in-patient in the Infirmary. There are similar cases to mine. There is one boy, he is weak in the knees, same as I am, but not quite so far gone. under Mr. Smith, I think, a surgeon; and there is another boy in the same ward as I am, he was struck on the hip by a slubber, with a billy-roller. There is another boy who was kicked by an overlooker with his foot, :and his body is the same as if it had been taken off and set on behind him. His body is twisted and he goes upon crutches. I have been in the Leeds Infirmary a week last Saturday night. Last Tuesday but one there was a boy brought in about five or six o'clock in the evening from a mill. He had been catched with the shaft, and he had both thighs broken, and from his knee to his hip the flesh was ripped up the same as if it had been cut by a knife; his head was bruised, his eyes nearly torn out, and his arms broken. His sister, who ran to pull him off, got both her arms broken and her head bruised, and she is bruised all over her body. The boy died last Thursday night but one, about eight o'clock. I do not know whether the girl is dead, but she was not expected to live. That accident occurred in consequence of the shaft not being sheathed.

It might reasonably be objected to the evidence of the lad Habergam that he spoke with some amount of animus against the mill-owners. If a tithe of his story was true he would have been more than human had he spoken otherwise. But evidence was given by another witness, a clothier, whose bias might have been expected to be wholly in favour of the employers. Yet this is what Abraham Whitehead told the Committee :-

I am a clothier, and reside at Scholes, near Holmfirth, which is the centre of very considerable woollen mills for three or four miles ; I live near the centre of thirty or forty of them, and have

Page 361


had constant opportunity of observing the manner in which these mills are regulated and conducted, and I have observed them for the last twenty years. The youngest age at which children are employed is never under five, some are employed between five and six as pieceners. In the summer time I have frequently seen these children going to their work as early as five or six in the

morning, and I know the general practice is for them to go as early to all the mills, with one or two exceptions; I have seen

them at work in the summer season between nine and ten in the evening ; they continue to work as long as they can see, and they can see to work in these mills as long as you could see to read. In winter there is a variation ; some of the mills begin to work at six o'clock, and some only begin as soon as they can see to work in the morning, but many of them begin at six, or between five and six in the winter time. I live near to parents who have been sending their children to mills for a great number of years, and I know positively that these children are every morning in the winter season called out of bed between five and six, and in some instances between four and five. My business as a clothier has frequently led me into these mills, to carry work to or from them. I have for the last twenty years constantly made observations on these mills, having seldom missed a week going to some of them, and sometimes two or three times a day. I cannot say I ever saw these mills actually at work later than ten; I do not say they have not been at work later, I have seen them as late as ten in the winter season- children of tender years were employed. I have been in mills at all hours, and I never in my life saw the machinery stopped at breakfast-time at any of the mills. The children get their breakfast as they can ; they eat and work ; generally there is a pot of water-porridge, with a little treacle in it, placed at the end of the machine, and when they have exerted themselves to get a little forward with their work, they take a few spoonfuls for a minute or two, and then to work again, and continue to do so until they have finished their breakjast. This is the general practice, not only of the children, but of the men, in the woollen mills of the district. There is not any allowance for the afternoon refreshment called '' drinking '' more than for breakfast. In summer some mills allow an hour for dinner and others forty minutes. There is no time allowed in the winter, only just sufficient to eat their dinner : perhaps ten minutes or a quarter of an hour, and in some cases they arrange the same at noon as they do at breakfast and '' drinking." The children are employed as pieceners. They, when at work, are always on their feet-they cannot sit and piece. The only interval the children have for rest is the very short time allowed for dinner, except it may sometimes happen that they may be out of what we call '" jammed wool,'' and then

Page 362


the children have a short time to rest themselves, and even then they are frequently employed in cleaning the carding machine. I have seen children during the last winter (1832) coming from work on cold, dark nights, between ten and eleven o'clock, although trade has been so bad with some mills that they have had nothing to do; others have been working seventeen and seventeen-and-a-half hours per day. This requires that the children should be awakened very early in the morning. I can tell you what a neighbour told me six weeks ago-she is the wife of Jonas Barrowclifie, near Scholes. Her child works at a mill nearly two miles from home, and I have seen that child coming from its work this winter between ten and eleven in the evening ; and the mother told me that one morning this winter the child had been up by two o'clock in the morning, when it had only arrived from work at eleven ; it then had to go nearly two miles to the mill, where it had to stay at the door till the overlooker came to open it. This family had no clock, and the mother believed from what she afterwards learnt from the neighbours that it was only two o'clock when the child was called up and went to work; but this has only generally happened when it has been moonlight, thinking the morning was approaching. It is the general practice in the neighbourhood-and any fact that I state here can be borne out by particular evidence that, if required, I can point out. The children are generally cruelly treated ; so cruelly treated that they dare not hardly for their lives be too late at their work in a morning. When I have been at the mills in the winter season, when the children are at work in the evening, the very first thing they enquire is, "° What o'clock is it?" If I should answer, '' Seven," they say, '" Only seven! it is a great while to ten, but we must not give up till ten o'clock or past." They look so anxious to know what o'clock it is that I am convinced the children are fatigued, and think that at seven they have worked too long. My heart has been ready to bleed for them when I have seen them so tired, for they appear in such a state of apathy and insensibility as really not to know whether they are doing their work or not; they usually throw a bunch of ten or twelve cardings across the hand and take one off at a time. But I have seen the bunch entirely finished and they have attempted to take off another when they have not had a carding at all. They have been so fatigued as not to know whether they were at work or not. The errors they make when thus fatigued are that, instead of placing the cardings in this way (describing it), they are apt to place them obliquely and cause a flying, which makes a bad yarn, and when the billy-spinner sees that he takes his strap or the billy-roller and says, " D n thee, close it, little devil, close it," and he smites the child with the strap or billy-roller. It is a very difficult

Page 363


thing to go into a mull in the later part of the day, particularly in winter, and not hear some of the children crying for being beaten for this very fault. How they are beaten depends upon the humanity of the slubber or billy-spinner ; some have been beaten so violently that they have lost their lives in consequence; and even a young woman had the end of a billy-roller jammed through her cheek. The billy-roller is a heavy rod of from two to three yards long, and of two inches diameter, and with an iron pivot at each end ; it runs on the tops of the cardings over the feeding cloths. I have seen the billy-spinner take the billy-roller and rap the children on the head, making their heads crack so that you might have heard the blow at the distance of from six to eight yards, in spite of the din and rolling of the mackinery ; many have been knocked down by the instrument. I knew a boy very well of the name of Senior, with whom I went to school; he was struck with a billy-roller on the elbow, it occasioned a swelling, he was not able to work more than three or four weeks after the blow, and he died in consequence. There was a woman in Holm- firth who was beaten very much with a billy-roller. This which is produced (showing one) is not the largest size, there are some a foot longer than that ; it is the most common instrument with which these poor little pieceners are beaten-more commonly

than with either a stick or a strap. * * _ * _ *

There is not any possibility of children employed in this way obtaining any instruction from day-schools, but since this Factory Bill was agitated, when I have been at the mills the children have: gathered round us for a minute or two as I passed along and have said, ° When shall we have to work ten hours a day? Will you get the Ten Hours Bill? We shall have a rare time then, surely somebody will set up a neet school ; I will learn to write, that I will."

If children whose parents were on the spot and were known to the employers, many of whom doubtless attended the same place of worship, and were knit by many ties, often of blood, to the masters, had to endure treatment so cruel, what must have been the lot of these poor found- lings who were '" apprenticed " by the Poor Law Guardians or their Overseers to the millowners. The canal connecting the eastern and western shores had been constructed in the last years of the eighteenth and first years of the nineteenth centuries. It was opened for traffic April 4, 1811. The hapless mites were brought by boat-loads into Huddersfield and the Valleys of the Colne and Holme. The children so apprenticed appear

Page 364


to have been of the ages of seven, eight, and nine years, and upwards.* In my " History of Huddersfield and Its Vicinity," I set forth (p. 304) a copy of an Indenture of apprenticeship made in 1778, whereby the Overseers of the Poor of the Township of Kirkburton apprenticed a child to John Brook, of Dalton, clothier. The youth was to serve the master until he was 21 years of age; he was to have sufficient of meat, drink, apparel, washing, lodging, " and all other things necessary for him,"" and the master was to " well and faithfully teach, learn, and instruct " the apprentice in the " art, trade, or occupation of a clothier,"' allowing him one shilling yearly for his pocket money, during the term of apprenticeship, and at the end thereof provide him with " two good suits of apparel, as well as linen or woollen, and all other things necessary for holidays, and also one for working days "-about as ambiguous an expression as I remember to have seen even in a legal document. The apprenticeship was, in most cases, a mere form. The apprentice became, in fact, the bondslave of the master, housing, food, and clothing being often of the most wretched kind. It is well to recall that the conditions of child-labour, which I have described in the words of eye-witnesses, prevailed in a county that in 1784, in 1790, in 1796, in _- 1802, and again in 1807, had returned to Parliament, and on the last four occasions returned at the head of the poll, William Wilberforce, the apostle of the abolition of negro slavery. Well might the witness Joseph Habergam say " he had heard the condition of the West India slaves described." The movement for the abolition of the slave trade had profoundly stirred the West Riding. Surely, surely, many a manufacturer, as he rode on his stout cob to record his vote for Wilberforce, must have had more than a passing qualm as he thought of the tender infants toiling in his own mill, slaves in all but the name, and

* Cf. the Register of Poor Children of Huddersfield bound Apprentices from and after the ist day of June, 1802, kept pursuant to 42nd Geo. III., c. 46.

Page 365


slaves whom he had not had to buy and whom he had not to keep. And yet, so doth custom blunt the senses, the manu- facturers of this district appear to have regarded with amazement and indignation the suggestion that child labour should be prohibited. They formed an Association for the purpose of resisting factory reform. Of this Association the Secretary was Mr. James Campey Lay- cock. I had the honour of a slight acquaintance with Mr. Laycock. A more high-minded, a more humane gentle- man Huddersfield has never known. Yet even to such a man the condition of the children working under the unreformed system, so far from calling for legislative interference, seems to have presented itself as com- paratively enviable. On August 3, 1831, two years before the sitting of the Parliamentary Commission, presided over by Mr. Sadler, from whose proceedings I have so largely quoted, the Association presented the following Petition to Parliament :- A PETITION of manufacturers, mill-owners, and other persons interested in the woollen trade, residents of Huddersfield and the neighbourhood, in the West Riding of the County of York, setting forth :- That all legislative interference in regard to the price of labour or the mode in which masters should employ their servants is injurious to the principles of sound commercial policy, and so far as respects the woollen manufacture is uncalled for. That the business in which the petitioners are engaged is in no one of its processes injurious to the health of young persons, but it is, on the contrary, a wholesome and comfortable employ- ment, not requiring any excessive heat or other excessive exertion. That this trade differs entirely from the cotton manufactures, the temperature of the atmosphere of a woollen mill being much lower, and the dryness and dust of wool (the inconvenience of which is felt in the spinning of coarse cotton to a great degree) being moistened by oil, which is used in large quantities in the first process of the manufacture- That in the particular villages about Huddersfield, where a woollen mill is not established, the working classes are in a much greater state of poverty, and the evils of a surplus population are

felt with increased severity, the rents are worse paid, the people are worse clothed, the children are less orderly, and, in short,

Page 366


everything bespeaks the want of that order and activity which prevails in districts where mills are established. That the Petitioners observe with pain that for the purposes of remedying abuses which, in regard to the woollen trade, they contend have not been proved, a Bill should have been brought into the House which will not only attach the stigma to the Petitioners of having oppressed children, which they do not deserve, but will subject the Petitioners to many inconvenient and uncalled for regulations, and will have the effect of injuring those whom it is meant to serve by compelling masters to give less wages. > The Petitioners therefore most humbly pray the House to. reject the said Bill altogether, or to confine it to those branches of trade in which the alleged evils have been proved, but at all events to modify its provisions as regards the woollen manufacture, because many of its clauses are quite inapplicable to, and incom- patible with the carrying on of, that trade.

The Petition proceeds to urge objections to sundry specific clauses of the Bill, particularly insisting that " in case of mills worked only by water the supply of power is very often uncertain, the mills are dependent, not only upon the weather, but also upon the capacity of the reser- voir, and those mills lower down the stream are further dependent upon all the casualties which may happen to. the mills above, and if the water should not reach the lowest mill till twelve o'clock at noon, how could the work of this mill be completed by nine o'clock in the evening ? " The petitioners further pleaded that " the burthen of a large family is much alleviated to a poor man when he can get his children into early employment ; those who are engaged in visiting the poor can testify that the first thing asked for is their influence in getting their children into a woollen mill ; children are now taken into Infant Schools at two and three, and at six years old they are enabled to attain the elements of instruction, and they are then capable of performing many of the light and minor employ- ments about a woollen mill." It does not appear to have occurred to the petitioners that a simple solution of the difficulty was to give to the father of a family a wage sufficient to support the family ; though one can imagine the shocked surprise with which the Secretary of the

Page 367


Association, who was a solicitor, would have received the suggestion that the scale of legal fees should be reduced, and that he should recoup the loss by employing his sons and daughters as clerks as soon as they were old enough to sit on a stool and hold a pen. The Petition was signed by the following firms :- W. and W. H. and H. Stables, Crosland Mills ; Starkey Bros., Longroyd Bridge; Jonas Brook & Bros., Meltham Mills; Thomas Nelson & Co.; Henry Brook & Sons ; Roberts Bros. ; David Shaw, Son, & Co.; Norris, Sykes,

& Fisher; John Hannah & Co.; Thomas Kilner-all of Huddersfield.

In the year 1830 there lived at Fixby Hall, in one of the most considerable mansions on the outskirts of Hud- dersfield, a gentleman named Richard Oastler, who was at that time engaged as steward of the Thornhill Estate. He was a Churchman and he was also a Tory. In that year he addressed to the Leeds Mercury a letter pointing out the conditions that prevailed in the mills of the district and declaiming indignantly against the cruelty of child labour. The working-men of Huddersfield and district, and not the working-men only, but all those whose hearts could be touched by the sufferings of the helpless, must have read that letter with profound thankfulness that a champion had arisen in the ranks of the cultured and the powerful. - One Sunday morning some half-dozen working- men walked from Huddersfield to Fixby Hall and had inter- view with Mr. Oastler. They thought it necessary to ex- plain that they were all Dissenters and all Radicals, but appealed to him to sink political and sectarian differences and lead them in a movement based simply upon the dictates of a common humanity. "It was agreed," wrote Oastler, " to work together, with the understanding that parties in politics and sects in religion should not be allowed to interfere between us." Then was formed " The Huddersfield Short-Time Committee," and the names of the men who constituted that body should be gratefully preserved in the memories of the men, women, youths, and maidens of this district

Page 368


who earn their livings in the mills :- William Holt, cotton twister; John Leech, general dealer; Lawrence Pit Keithley, general dealer; Samuel Glendinning, cloth merchant ; Job Bolland, cloth finisher ; William Kitson, cloth finisher; John Hanson, fancy weaver; James Brook, furniture dealer; George Beau- mont, weaver, Almondbury ; John Hirst, Co-operative Stores' manager ; John Rawson and Williaw Rawson, late cotton spinners, Bradford ; Thomas Johnson, weaver, Paddock ; Charles Earnshaw, cloth finisher, Paddock; George Armitage, Paddock ; and, subsequently, William Armitage, of South Crosland. It is impossible within the limits of this work to record all the steps, even all those taken in this district, that marked the progress of the Factory Movement from its beginning to its final triumph. But space may well be found for mention of the great meeting held at York on April 24, 1832, which, despite the long miles that separate the county capital from this neighbourhood, was attended by hundreds of its people, old and young, male and female. Many of the operatives who swelled the great gathering-we are told by Mr. Croft, quoting, apparently, the words of an eye-witness-had to walk from forty to fifty miles, some a greater distance still. The air was cold, the rain during the previous night fell in torrents, the weather was described in the Castle yard as the most inclement within memory. How many, one may wonder, of those who gathered in that yard re- called that twenty years before a number of young men of the same class and consumed with the same spirit of revolt against the hardships of the worker, had perished on the scaffold erected within a stone's-throw of the place of meeting. Leeds, Bradford, Huddersfield, Bingley, Keigh- ley, Dewsbury, Batley, Honley, Holmfirth, Meltham, Pudsey, Elland, Rawdon, Otley, and other towns and villages were on that 24th April represented in the Castle yard. Thousands of men, foot-sore but not faint of heart, who had walked from 24 to 50 miles, were deeply thankful when their eyes that morning saw York Minster. Not

Page 369


only men, but factory boys and girls, mothers with infants in their arms, fifty miles from their homes, were there to hold up their hands to heaven as an earnest of their desire to be freed from a worse than Egyptian bondage. It was a sight to have made a man love his kind to see how the stronger helped the weaker on the road to York, and from York home again ; to mark them share each other's food, to behold the noble spirit of self-sacrifice which made those in front wait for and often return and help onward those in the rear. Oastler and Bull were everywhere cheering and encouraging the straggling bands. Fatigue, hunger, and thirst were borne with courage and self-denial. It was a great undertaking to convey so many thousands to York. The night before the meeting Leeds was filled with people, who, having been refreshed and provided with a few hours' rest, moved forward all that tempestuous night. Many could not proceed in consequence of the weather. Thousands proceeded, mostly on foot, but some in carts and waggons which they provided for themselves. The appearance of the road was novel and impressive ; it resounded with cheers, which were uttered by the pilgrims to those who passed them in carriages of various sorts. Some groups had torches composed of old ropes, and the undulations of the road afforded many views of illuminated groups successively rising over hills and disappearing the next instant, leaving a loud, long cheer behind, as they sank out of view. With the early dawn the Race Course at York began to teem with multitudes. The writer of this sketch affirms he saw numbers whose footsteps were traced in their own blood into the Castle yard, and out of it homewards, occasioned by the length of the journey and the badness of their shoes and clogs. The meeting was an impressive one. The High Sheriff presided, and at the close of the meeting congratulated the multitude on their conduct. The weather continued boisterous and wet, torrents poured down ; bread was scarce; and where to rest that night many knew not. Stables, barns, school- rooms, and outhouses had been engaged at Tadcaster, and well strewn with " long feathers " ; but there were

Page 370


many who could not reach so far, their feet were bare, blistered, bleeding, some profusely, and far short of Tadcaster some hundreds implored a resting-place at inns of various grades, or wherever they could get a roof to cover them. Oastler, Sadler, Bull, Pit Keithley, and John Wood did all they could to alleviate the sufferings of the sore crippled pilgrims. Covered waggons, with bread and restoratives, were dispatched to bring up the rear. The leaders accompanied them armed with lanterns to inspect the roadside and ditches if requisite. Oastler never asked his followers to do anything he was not pre- pared to do himself, and he " headed his subjects " on foot through the entire journey. The weather began to clear, the march became more cheerful, and home began to draw nearer. - Arriving at Leeds they were greeted by thousands and provided with refreshments in the Cloth Hall Yard, where they were addressed by Sadler. The Huddersfield Division, " The King's Own," started again, and arrived at home amid the greeting and- cheers of the women and children who welcomed them home. It seems incredible that, after all this fatigue, the Huddersfield men that same evening held a public meeting and kept up the recital of their pilgrimage until a late hour, finishing that day's work with a dance in the Market Place. That night, when Oastler undressed, the skin of the soles of his feet peeled off with his stockings. An operative, who worked and resided near Holmfirth, was a follower of the " Old King." He, along with others who were working at a mill, were going to their work as usual, when they heard the strains of the Holmfirth Band ; they then and there resolved to accompany their fellows to York " to see Old Oastler reighted.'"" With the band they went. The Huddersfield contingent had started soon after five o'clock, but they overtook the main column at Dewsbury, where it had been delayed by the organising committee. Having walked about fourteen miles, many began to falter, but the continual increase of the advancing multitude inspired them with renewed strength and vigour. At Leeds they again halted, where they were

Page 371


provided with refreshments. On their arrival at Tad- caster, many were weary and literally tired out, and great numbers were fain to sleep on the floors of the various public-houses in that village, and even in the green fields around. Those accompanying the bands of music were somewhat more fortunate than the rest, for both in going and returning they had the opportunity of " busking," which to some extent afforded them unexpected relief. They had also the sympathy of the villages through which they passed, which also frequently resulted in practical assistance. There will be more to tell, both of Oastler and Sadler, in that portion of this history devoted to the Parlia- mentary contests of Huddersfield. The foregoing excerpt from Mr. Croft's monograph is valuable, as showing the devotion with which the popular leaders of a century ago laboured side by side with those they led, sharing their privations and stimulating by example their exertions ; useful also as showing how great were the sacrifices the people themselves willingly made to attain the Workers' Charter. Fashions have changed sinte then; now the leaders, supported by the subscriptions of the workers, ride in first-class carriages, don evening dress, and pose as connoisseurs of costly vintages. As for the people, it may be questioned if they would now undertake a march to York, even to see a football match. The story of the rise and progress of the staple industry of the district is, it will have been noted, a story of many tragedies and many cruelties, from thoughts of which the mind refuses to be diverted by those records of great mechanical triumphs and great fortunes amassed, on which the historian who sees only one side delights to dwell. There remains to tell the tale of a catastrophe widely known as the Holmfirth Flood, and the account is based in part upon the narrative in Moorhouse's History and in part upon the reminiscences of survivors contained in the Huddersfield Examiner of February 8, 1902. Bilberry reservoir was one of a series of eight which

Page 372


were authorised in 1837 to be constructed within the graveship of Holme for the better supply of water to mills in the Holme Valley during the dry seasons. Bilberry reservoir is situated at the head of a narrow gorge or glen leading from Holmebridge to a high bluff of land called Good Bent, and supplied by two streams draining the moors of Holme Moss on the one side and the hills running up to Saddleworth on the other. The confluence of the streams takes place between two large hills called Hoo- brook Hill and Lumbank that run parallel to each other, and the valley then opens out and forms an extensive oval basin of not less than 300 yards diameter. The reservoir is formed immediately above this basin by a large embankment across the valley some 340ft. long and 98ft. high; enclosing about seven acres of surface avail- able for storing water. The construction of the reservoir was let to Messrs. Sharp & Sons, Dewsbury, in 1838, for £9,324, but owing to a dispute arising during the making of the embankment about a defect in the foundation, owing to a spring in the centre of the puddle-bank, the contract was broken, and the Commissioners were involved in a Chancery suit. The contract was then let to Messrs. David Porter & Bros., and by the advice of Mr. Leather, Leeds, engineer to the Commissioners, a cofferdam was sunk in the centre of the embankment to get to the seat of the spring, and means adopted which it was hoped would remedy the defect. The means, however, proved ineffectual, and the embankment leaked more or less up to the time of its bursting. The embankment was originally intended to retain about sixty feet of water in the reservoir, and was constructed of the debris of the valley with a puddle-bank of about four yards in breadth running through the centre. The inner slope of the embankment was three to one, and covered with stone sets ; the outer slope was two to one. The by-wash, which was a circular chimney about four yards in diameter, was on the south or right-hand side of the reservoir, and was sunk through the embankment near to its junction with Hoobrook Hill, and communicating with a tunnel emptying itself on the lower side of the

Page 373


embankment. The outlet of the water was by an open culvert along the bed of the reservoir communicating with the tunnel referred to by two patent trap-doors or shuttles situated directly parallel to each other at the bottom of the chimney. The traps or shuttles were placed the one inside and the other outside the east of the chimney, and were worked by perpendicular rods raised by a common screw on a platform at the top of the chimney. In the event of the trap doors being insufficient to convey the surplus water away during extraordinary supplies, the water on rising to the level of the chimney or by-wash would meet with a way of escape presumed to be adequate to all contingencies. At a subsequent period the embank- ment settled considerably towards the centre, and its sur- face sank below the level of the by-wash. This circum- stance, and the fact that the embankment was not raised to its former height-(Dr. Moorhouse says neglect of the Commissioners led to do this)-or to reduce the length of the wastepipe or chimney in a corresponding degree, may be regarded as the immediate cause of the awful catas- trophe. It is calculated that at the time when the embank- ment gave way the quantity of water in the reservoir would not be less than 86,248,000 gallons, or the enormous and fearful amount of 300,000 tons in weight. For several days the water had been noticed to in- crease in the reservoir, though one of the shuttles was kept constantly open, the other not being in working qrder. On the 4th of February, 1852, the reservoir had been filling at the rate of eighteen inches an hour, and there was a considerable wind action on the inner face of the embankment. There was a strong impression that the reservoir would burst, if the rain continued, on which account many persons visited it during the afternoon and evening ; but such apprehensions and reports having on former occasions been excited and having proved ground- less, were therefore now generally received with greater or less incredulity. Several persons remained on the embankment watching the steady advance of the water till the first overflow swept away a considerable portion of

Page 374


the outer embankment, which, not being faced with stone, offered little resistance to the torrent of water pouring down its surface. It was not till it had arrived at this stage that an alarm of their perilous position was attempted to be given to the inhabitants of the valley below; but unfortunately it had then been too long delayed. The outer bank was soon gone; the puddle bank next gave way ; and then just as though the inner em- bankment had been struck with lightning the whole mass of earthwork gave way with a loud thundering crash, and the pent-up waters which formed this gigantic reservoir rushed with fearful velocity through the opening just made. This terrible outburst was described by some of the spectators, who were on the neighbouring hills at the time as being awfully grand. The moon was shining, brightly, and the rain had ceased, when at one o'clock the embankment gave way, but the wind howled fear- fully, as though some portentous event was about to happen. At the base of the embankment was a two-storey building, Bilberry Mill, occupied by Jos. Broadhead, and used as a woollen mill. Being built on one side, and rather out of the direct course of the torrent as it rolled down the valley, only the end of the mill was caught by the sudden swell, and about ten feet length and its gable were washed down. The fulling-miller here had charge of the shuttles of the reservoir. He had been watching the progressive rise of the water until it began to overflow, and then he returned to his house to remove part of his furniture, etc. It was while he was thus engaged that the embankment gave way, and it was with difficulty that he made his escape. A little further down the valley, and on the same side as Bilberry Mill, was Digley Upper Mill, lately occupied by Mr. John Furniss, woollen manufacturer, and consisting of the factory, large house, farm buildings, and outhouses. The end of the mill and some machinery were washed away, and pieces, warps, etc., destroyed ; and the gable end of the house, comparatively new, and

Page 375


the whole of the farm buildings and twelve tons of hay, three cows, and a horse, were swept away. In the house were Mrs. Furniss and two children, and also two Bank- ruptcy Court messengers in bed. They were alarmed at the rapid rise of the water, and left the house. One of the messengers had barely time to put on his clothes and get to the rising-ground before the final burst of the reservoir took place, and he had to wade up to the middle in water before he could gain the mountain side. The fulling miller in the factory had been confined to his bed for several weeks, and he and his family remained in the house at one end of the mill until the following day. The valley, from the reservoir down to this point, opens out to a considerable width. On the preceding day the whole of the intervening flat was a fine sweep of rich meadow land ; it now presented a strange contrast, being thickly covered with sand and loose stones, giving it the appearance of having been washed for ages by a vast mountain torrent. The tremendous force of the flood is shown by the fact that two pieces of rock, each estimated at four to five tons in weight, were carried from one side of the reservoir embankment by the force of the torrent, and deposited near Furniss's house, a distance of a quarter of a mile. The valley narrows rapidly on approaching Digley Mill, belonging to Mrs. Hirst, the widow of a Mr. Geo. Hirst, and consisting of a large mill, a large weaving-shed, containing thirty-four looms, and other machinery ; extensive dyeworks, two good dwelling-houses, seven cottages, barn, mistal, shed, etc. The whole of this property, except the mill chimney and part of the steam engine, was swept away. The large boilers were floated down the stream with the greatest ease. Four cows and a valuable horse, and £50 in cash, were swept away, and the total loss was put down at £10,000. The factory crossed the valley in a position to receive the full force of the flood as it dashed along between the rocks. Fortunately, there was no loss of life here, as some friends, having become alarmed, had prevailed on the

Page 376


families to leave before the reservoir gave way. The rumours which induced some of these persons to remove were current in Holmfirth the same evening, but unfor- tunately the inhabitants, from having heard similar reports often before, disregarded them, and retired to bed, hoping that all would be well. The gable-end and one window length of Bankend Mill, which was the next building in the valley, were washed away ; it was completely gutted in the lower rooms, and the machinery in the upper storeys was thrown together in heaps. The dyehouse and stove were completely cleared away. Messrs. Roebuck, woollen manufacturers, were the occupants of the mill. The valley widens until it reaches Holmebridge, a small hamlet, where the stream is crossed by a one-arched bridge, and about forty yards on one side of the stream stands Holmebridge Church, in the centre of the grave- yard. The greater part of the bridge was swept away ; the walls around the church were washed away, and the yew trees planted in the churchyard were uprooted. The interior of the church and the churchyard presented a melancholy spectacle. Inside the church the water had risen 5ft. ; the floor was torn up, the pews had been floating, and there was a thick deposit of sand and mud. In the centre of the aisle was the body of a goat which had been washed from Upper Digley Mill, and close by, resting on the seat of one of the pews, the coffin and remains of a full-grown man, which, with other bodies not found, had been washed up from the graves by the whirl- pools formed by the current as it passed over the church- yard. So far there had been no loss of human life, but a little lower down, at the village of Hinchliff Mill, the loss of life was very great. The village, consisting principally of cottage houses, is on the left bank of the river, and the mill which gives its name to the village is a large factory five storeys high, erected on the opposite side of the river. From Holmebridge to this point the banks of the river become more confined, but the mill withstood the force

Page 377


of the current without any serious damage to its walls, though the water went through first and second storeys and did great damage to the machinery. On the village side of the river six dwellings, three storeys high, which formed Water Street, were swept down, and carried forward with the flood, and of the forty-two inmates, thirty-five perished. The houses here not washed away were in some cases flooded into the chambers, and in one of them were sixteen individuals, who saved their lives by getting on to the roof. In the adjoining houses five persons perished from the houses being filled with water, thus making a loss of forty lives in this locality. Cros- land, Charlesworth, Dodd, Earnshaw, Marsden, and Metterick were the names of the occupants of the houses. Though the loss of life was great, it would have been more so but for some miraculous escapes. One of the most remarkable was that of James Metterick, aged twenty-four years, who lived in Water Street with his father, and who afterwards stated that when the flood came there were ten persons in the house. On being awakened he partially dressed, and ran to the window, meeting with his stepmother, and they saw that the reservoir had burst. The other children were in the lower rooms, but they were handed up to the higher chamber by the father, and just then the deluge came, and the water burst into the room. Mr. and Mrs. Metterick landed the children one storey higher, but Mr. Metterick and one child were caught on the stairs, and the next moment the whole house was carried away, and he saw no more of the family. He found himself in the raging torrent, and was swept before it for a quarter of a mile like a feather. He succeeded in laying hold of a floating plank, but soon after lost it; then seized another, and was carried aside into Bottom's Mill reservoir, where he floated on comparatively still water, and by paddling and the aid of the wind succeeded in getting on land. From Hinchliff Mill the valley opens out again, and in the centre stands Bottom's Mill, but as the flood here

Page 378


became widely spread the building sustained compara- tively little damage. The next in the line of the flood were the machine shops and works of Messrs. Pogson & Co., to which much damage was done. The Victoria Mill also sustained great damage to its machinery. Here the valley again becomes contracted, and so continues through the town of Holm- firth. At Victoria Mill three cottages close to the river were destroyed. Twenty persons were in the cottages, and they were rescued only by a communication being opened up through the walls in the end house, which was rather higher up away from the flood. Here in one chamber the poor creatures were huddled together, expecting death momentarily, when at length the water abated sufficiently to allow of their being removed, which was barely effected before the house fell. Within a short distance on the opposite bank of the river stands Dyson's Mill, which was occupied by Mr. Jonathan Sandford, and near to which he resided. His house was swept away, leaving scarce a vestige behind, and with it himself, his two children, and servant. The factory sustained very serious damage, both in its walls and machinery. The bodies of Mr. Sandford's daughters and his housekeeper (Ellen Wood) were found a few days after the flood ; but the body of Mr. Sandford was not found until the 20th of February, more than a fortnight afterwards. Prickleden or Farrar's Upper Mill is the next, and the large dyechouse was completely cleared of its huge pans and fixtures. One of the engine boilers, weighing six tons, was carried away to Berry Brow, a distance of three miles. The damage here was estimated at upwards of £3000. Mr. John Farrar owned the premises. From this place through the town of Holmfirth the banks of the river were closely built upon, and the destruction of property was therefore very great. The factory known as Lower Mill, situated a little below Prickleden, was built across the stream, but the torrent of water rushed onwards, and carried the greater portion

Page 379


of the factory along with it, leaving only the two ends standing. The mill was filled with valuable machinery and woollen material, the property of Mr. Hobson Farrar. Between Mr. John Farrar's dyehouse and Holmfirth is Scar Fold, which consists of the lower storeys of cottages, facing the stream, over which are others abutting upon the high road. One of the cottages which projected a little further to the stream was swept away, but its occupants (Jonathan Charlesworth, his wife, and two children), being alarmed, made their escape. In the adjoining house two children of Richard Woodcock's were lost. In the next row of houses below all the inhabitants escaped except in one house occupied by Jos. Helliwell and his family, who slept in the bottom room. He had only just time to run upstairs. His wife and five children were drowned in their beds. Helliwell himself was saved. by being dragged through the floor of the house above. It appears that some person had run down the valley when the embankment burst to give the alarm in Holm- firth. Near the Lower Mill this messenger was met while running crying " Flood ! flood !" by several young men returning from Holmfirth, but being unable to utter anything more he sank thoroughly exhausted on the ground. The company at once suspected the true cause, and immediately commenced giving the alarm through the neighbourhood ; but in less than five minutes the flood arrived. The Upper Bridge was dismantled, the water rising many feet above the battlements. A small cottage, situated at the corner of the bridge, occupied by Enor Bailey and his family, was swept away. His wife and two children were drowned, and he himself narrowly escaped. The Hollow Gate is a long, narrow street which runs parallel with the river. The inhabitants of this locality suffered severely. The bed of the river was completely choked up, and the current diverted from its usual course. On the side next the river stood the toll-bar house, kept by Samuel Greenwood, who, with his wife and child, were

Page 380


swept away. He was seen to come out of the douse with a lighted candle in his hand ; he returned, closed the door, and in a moment or two not a vestige of the house could be seen. Lower down on the same side of the street was an extensive carrier's warehouse, which was swept away, as was also the cottage in which John Ashall, with his wife and child, perished. Another cottage adjoining these premises met a similar fate. It was occupied by a labouring man (John Kaye), with whom lived his son-in-law and daughter, with their child. The latter were drowned, while a remarkable deliverance awaited the old man, who was driven by the force of the current into Victoria Square on the opposite side of the river a little lower down the street. He was seen floating on the water by a person who at once stretched out a pole to the drowning man and rescued him from almost certain death. On the further side of Hollow Gate the occupiers of the houses and shops sustained great damage, but no loss of life. At Rotcher (a continuation of Hollow Gate) much damage was done. James Lee, tailor, perished, and it was a matter of surprise that the house did not come down. Lee and his grandson Job were downstairs at the time, making clothes for a funeral. The flood burst open the door, and the old man, unable to help himself, was drowned. Job managed to swim about the house, and fortunately his cries were heard by a man and his wife, who lodged in the house and were sleeping upstairs. They immediately ran to his assistance, but found them- selves unable to open the chamber door; with their feet, however, they managed to force out one of the panels, and pulled him through. The battlements of Victoria Bridge were swept off. The shopkeepers on Victoria Street suffered great loss, especially those situated near to the river. The destruction of property was very great in that part of the town extending from the Ribbleden Brook to the White Hart Inn, which forms a closely compacted and populous part, and is principally occupied as shops.

Page 381


A considerable part of the houses occupied by Mr. Charles Marples and Mr. W. D. Martin, watchmaker, situated near Victoria Bridge, were swept away ; but fortunately their families were enabled to make their escape. The flood in this part of the town rose to a considerable height. The church sustained no very serious damage ; but a most remarkable proof was afforded in the churchyard of the amazing power of the flood. One of the massive pillars of the gateway was lifted from its bed, twisted half-way round, and yet, singularly enough, left to main- tain its perpendicular. Immediately opposite the White Hart Inn stood the dwelling occupied by Mr. Shackleton (a retired publican), his daughter, and grand-daughter. The flood did great damage to the house, and washed away the furniture. A desperate and successful effort was made to rescue the inmates from their perilous situation. The Holmfirth Mill, then occupied by Messrs. N. Thewlis & Co., who were employed in the woollen manu- facture, was assailed by the mighty torrent, which rushed through the two lower storeys, smashing the machinery, and doing a great amount of damage. Adjoining the mill were two cottages-one occupied by Richard Shackleton, joiner, his wife, and three children ; the other by Sidney Hartley (engineer to Messrs. N. Thewlis & Co.), his wife, eight children, and an apprentice boy (John Dearnley). Both these cottages, together with the families, were swept away, except three little girls, the children of Sidney Hartley, and the apprentice boy, who, being suddenly floated up to a part of the roof that remained, caught hold of the rafters and clung to them. When the flood began to abate, John Dearnley got upon the roof and assisted the little girls to do the same, and ultimately enabled them to gain a place of greater safety. Below the mill, near to the river side, were some large dyeworks in the possession of Messrs. John Roberts & Son. The destruction of these premises was most complete: Between the dyehouse and the mill was the dwelling- house of John Roberts, which was entirely gutted. On

Page 382


the opposite bank of the river stands the Wesleyan Chapel, surrounded by its burial ground. A part of the graveyard was washed away to the depth of several feet, near the corner of the chapel, which yet stood firm. The chapel was flooded to within a foot of the top of the pews. On the same side, nearer Victoria Street, was Eldon House, the residence of Jos. Charlesworth, Esq., J.P., which was flooded to a great height ; being at one time completely surrounded with water. The damage done was considerable. The residence of Joshua Moorhouse, Esq., J.P., was also flooded, and the extensive warehouses, dyechouse, etc., belonging to the same gentleman, were entirely destroyed. On leaving Holmfirth the river is crossed by a county bridge leading to the railway station. Great damage was done to this bridge, the whole of the battlements being carried away. Near to the bridge on the right-hand side stood the cottage of George Exley, the front of which was washed away, together with some outbuildings. The family had a narrow escape. The valley from Holmfirth to Lockwood forms a fine sweep of meadow land ; the hills rising rather precipitately on each side, richly clothed with wood, and along the valley are several handsome residences and factories. On this fatal morning it presented a most deplorable aspect, being overspread with timber, broken machinery, dead cattle, human bodies, mud, stones, and

all kinds of débris. Although only one life was lost below Holmfirth

(a child at Smithy Place), many persons very narrowly escaped a watery grave. At Bridge Mill, Thongsbridge, Mytholmbridge, Smithy Place, Honley, and Armitage Bridge considerable loss of property was sustained, both in goods and machinery, but the mills and factories were

not seriously damaged. A sight so appalling as that here but faintly described, and consequences so disastrous and overwhelming to the inhabitants of the Holme Valley, and which for a time seemed to paralyse the energies of the people, speedily

Page 383


enlisted national sympathy. The loss sustained was, in the first instance, estimated at £250,000, but at a subse- quent period was found to have been considerably over- stated. After all the schedules had been received the amount was ascertained to be £67,224 10s. q#%d., exclusive of a claim of £33,000 made by the mortgagees of the reservoir. It must not, however, be supposed that the above figures by any means represent the total amount of loss actually sustained, as they did not include either the amount of losses for which no statements were sent in, or that to which manufacturers and millowners were subjected by the stoppage of their mills, and in some cases by the entire suspension of their trade. The following are the names of the persons who perished in the flood :- HIncHLIrF Miur. James Booth, 60, Mrs. Booth, 44, and Wm. Healey, 46, of Fold Gate; Mrs. Brook, 30, and Hannah Brook, I0, Fold Head ; Joshua Crosland, 39; Chas. Crosland, I4; Joshua Crosland, 21; Mary Crosland, 19; Hannah Crosland, 17; Martha Crosland, 15; Foster Crosland, 8; Ralph Crosland, 3 ; Rose Charlesworth, 38 ; Hamer Charlesworth, 9 ; John Charlesworth, 7 ; James Charles- worth, 14; Joshua Charlesworth, 14; Ruth Charles, worth, 1 ; Jos. Dodd, 48 ; Mrs. Dood, 30 ; Sarah Hannah Dodd, 1; Elizabeth Dodd, 7; Joshua Earnshaw, 70 ; Chas. Earnshaw, 30 ; Abel Earnshaw, 5; Ann Beaumont Earnshaw, 12; Betty Earnshaw (lived with Metterick), 30; Wm. Exley, 26 ; Nancy Marsden, 40 ; Eliza Marsden, 45; Joshua Marsden, 14 ; Jos. Marsden, 16; James Metterick, 60 ; Jane Metterick, 3; Mary Metterick, 31 ; Wm. Metterick, 38; Samuel Metterick, 21; Alfred Metterick, 8; Jos. Metterick, 1 (all of Water Street) ; Jonathan Sandford, 45 ; Sarah Jane Sandford, 9 ; Emily Sandford, 3 ; Ellen Wood, 22. HoLMFIRTH. H. Bailey, 32, - Bailey, daughter, and - Bailey, infant, age not stated, of Upper Bridge; John Askall, 36; Mrs. Askall, 30 ; Alfred Askall, 2; Mrs. Fearns, 30 ;

Page 384


Lydia Ferans, 6 months ; Samuel Greenwood, 46 ; Mrs. Greenwood, 46 ; Amy Greenwood, 12 ; Eliza Matthews, 12; and Chas. Thorpe, 14 (all of Hollow Gate) ; George Hellawell, 9; Sarah Hellawell, 6; Elizabeth Hellawell, 4; Mary Hellawell, 28 ; John Hellawell, 2; Ann Hella- well, 1; Alfred Woodcock, 13 ; and Sarah Woodcock, 11 {all of Scar Fold) ; Sydney Hartley, 40 ; Mrs. Hartley, 39 ; Martha Hartley, 16; James Hartley, 14 ; Elizabeth Hartley, 3; Ellen Ann Hartley, 1; and Geo. Hartley, 3 months; James Lee, 60°; Richard Shackleton, 31; Tamar Shackleton, 23 ; Hannah Shackleton, 2; James Shackleton, 4 ; and Grace Hirst Shackleton, 4 years and 6 months (all of Mill Hill). HonLEy. Elizabeth Healey, 8, of Smithy Place. An inquest was held upon the body of Eliza Marsden, a formal verdict of " Found drowned after the bursting of the Bilberry Reservoir'' having been returned upon all the bodies. At the inquest all the circumstances of the sad catsatrophe were investigated, and on February 27th the jury found as follows :- l "* We find that Eliza Marsden came to her death by drowning caused by the bursting of the Bilberry Reservoir. We find also that the Bilberry Reservoir was defective in its original construction, and that Commissioners, en- gineers, and overlookers were greatly culpable in not seeing to the proper regulation of the works. And we also find that the Commissioners, in permitting the Bilberry Reservoir to remain for several years in a dangerous state, with a full knowledge thereof, and not lowering the waste-goit, had been guilty of gross and culpable negligence. And we regret that the reservoir being under the management of a corporation prevents us bringing in a verdict of manslaughter, as we are convinced that the gross and culpable negligence of the Commissioners would have subjected them to such a verdict had they been in the position of private individuals or a firm. We also hope that the Legislature will take into its most serious consideration the propriety of

Page 385


making provision for the protection of the lives and properties of Her Majesty's subjects exposed to danger from reservoirs placed by corporations in situations similar to those under the charge of the Holme Reservoirs Commissioners." From the personal narratives of survivors preserved by the correspondent of the " Examiner,"' I must content myself with culling only that of Mr. Allen Kaye, who, in I9o2, was employed as scribbling engineer at the mill of Messrs. John Woodhead & Sons, Thongsbridge. '"" At the time of the flood," Mr. Kaye told the " Examiner's" commissioner, "I was five years and three months old, and we lived at Smithy Place Mill, in a house in the mill fold. I remember, young as I then was, the night before the flood. It had rained almost incessantly for a month or five weeks. On that eventful night my father and mother and my sister stayed up late watching the river. They went to bed. My sister had the toothache, and got up between one and two o'clock. She looked out of the window shortly afterwards, and saw the fold full of water, and the river overflowing. She said to my father, ' The reservoir has burst, and the fold is full of water.' My father got up, looked out, and said, 'It has, lass. My father then said to my mother, ' We must get on to the The house door was two steps below the level of the ground. My father took me from my bed and carried me downstairs in his arms. My mother and sister followed. As soon as my father unlocked the door, and before he could lift the sneck, the door flew open, and knocked both father and mother down, and he lost me. Mother went upstairs again, and my father called out, ' Lass, I've lost the child.' My mother replied, 'Tha nivver has.' 'Yes, I have,' responded my father. The house now filled with water to the height of five feet eight inches. My father broke off part of a swing window, and got on to the wall qutside. My mother attempted to light a candle, but failed. My father had gone out to see if I was in the fold. The house window was then carried away by the flood, and a portion

Page 386


of the floor was carried away. There was a burling-table imm the house, and the water mysteriously opened a leaf, and that blocked the window. My mother succeeded in her second attempt to make a light: She heard me call out as well as I could, ' Father, fetch me.' We had some mahogany drawers, the lower ones of which had been taken out, and then the drawers vaulted, and the top drawer fell out, and, there not being much in, it floated on the water. By some unexplainable means I must have fallen into the floating drawer when my father lost hold of me. - My mother exclaimed, ' Dick, I've heard t' child.' My father returned through the window-hole into the bedroom, and took the candle from my mother, who followed him downstairs again, and when they got down the stairs as far as my mother could get, father said, * I can see him-over against the fireplace.: My father succeeded in reaching me in my Noah's Ark. As soon as he had grasped the drawer and got me out the drawer sank. The water would then be a little above my father's head, but he managed to return to the bedroom with me safely secured. I remember that when the waters had subsided we got away, and went into lodgings, where we remained eleven weeks. I also recollect seeing people going down the river with the flood. Two waggon-boilers also went down, one going as far as Shaw's factory, Honley, and the other landed in a field opposite Sir Thomas Brook's residence at Armitage Bridge." The heart of England was profoundly stirred by the accounts that were published of this appalling calamity. A Committee was formed for the relief of the sufferers, Messrs. John Brooke, J.P., of Armitage Bridge, and W. Leigh Brook, J.P., of Meltham Hall, being chairmen, and Messrs. J. C. Laycock and John Freeman secretaries. Contributions to the fund were poured in with hand so lavish that in the event the amount subscribed was found more than adequate for the compensation of the pecuniary losses incurred. A sum of {7000 was accorded to the mortgagees of the reservoir for its repair-it being probably felt that the mortgagees at least were innocent

Page 387


of any neglect of duty. In addition to this sum, £31,344 18s. was distributed among the sufferers, a sum of almost equal magnitude being returned to the subscribers. An abiding memorial of the Holmfirth Flood remains in what are called in the Charity Commissioners' Report the Holmfirth Monumental Almshouses, the origin of the Charity being set forth in the recitals of the deed of endowment dated 10th January, 1860, and made between Cookson Stephenson, of Lincoln's Inn, Esquire, of the one part, and Joshua Moorhouse, of Holmfirth, Esquire, J.P., and 13 others (trustees) of the other part. By that deed, Mr. Cookson Stephenson, for a nominal considera- tion, conveyed to the trustees a copyhold plot of land, comprising 1210 square yards, situate at Laith Croft, near Lane End, in Wooldale ; and the instrument recited that in order to commemorate the Holmfirth Flood caused by the bursting of the Bilberry Reservoir on the 5th of February, 1852, by which 81 lives were lost and an immense amount of property destroyed, and in order further to commemorate the munificent liberality of the British public towards the alleviation of that calamity, it had been some time before determined by the inhabi- tants of the district extending along the valley of the Holme, and which had been the scene of the awful disaster, to erect a number of almshouses as a suitable memorial of the flood, for which purpose subscriptiens had been solicited and obtained from various sources by a committee appointed for that purpose, and it had been further contemplated, if sufficient funds could be obtained, permanently to endow the almshouses for the benefit of the inmates ; and that the sum of {1000 had been raised by the ladies of Holmfirth by means of a bazaar for the endowment of the almshouses ; and that the almshouses had been accordingly erected. The trustees of the Charity were to represent the seven townships of Holme, Austonley, Upper Thong, Cartworth, Wooldale, Nether Thong, and Honley, all of which had been seriously affected by the flood, and to the poor of which townships

the almshouses were to be dedicated. The persons

Page 388


eligible to be elected as occupiers or inmates of the alms- houses were to be such persons (male or female) being over 60 years of age as should not have received parochial relief within 12 months of their application for election, and were to be allowed to continue in the almshouses until death, unless chargeable with irregularity or mis- conduct, when they might be dismissed. The almshouses are built on the hillside overlooking Holmfirth, with a southern exposure. These are of stone, in a Gothic style, with high gables and an orna- mental spire. They contain five separate houses, all under one roof. Each house has a living-room and a bedroom on the first floor, and a cellar. The inmates do not pay rates, and are supplied with water free ; but they supply themselves with other necessaries, including furni- ture and coals. They receive a pension of 3s. a-week each. A mark upon a stone column close by the bank of the river, in the heart of the town of Holmfirth, indicates the height attained by the waters of the flood as they rushed down the valley.

Page 389



CONTENTs.—1Early Parliamentary - Representation-Some distinguished Members-The constitution of County Divisions- The Enfranchisement of Huddersfield-Its Members-Certain Contests-The Colne Valley Division-Its Members-The Holme Valley Division-Its Members-The Origin of the Local Labour Party. AUTHORITIES.-Park : The Parliamentary Representation of Yorkshire; Meeke's Diary; " The Leeds Mercury " ; " The Holmfirth Express " ; The Dictionary of Natural


ROM the year 1295, when we have the first records of F knights of the shire and burgesses returned to con- stitute a Commons' House, down to the year 1821, a period of over 500 years, the County of York returned to Parliament but two members for the county and a few members for cities and boroughs. Those cities and boroughs that did not return a member were regarded as part and parcel of the county. The town of Huddersfield was enfranchised by the great Reform Act of 1832. Up to that year, therefore, both Huddersfield and the Valleys of the Colne, the Holme, and indeed the whole area with whose history we are concerned, were included in the county representation, and after 1832 the electors in the Valleys were so included until 1885, when the Colne Valley and the Holme Valley Divisions were constituted. In a very excellent little work entitled, " The Parlia- mentary Representation of Yorkshire from the earliest Parliament on record, in the reign of King Edward I., to the dissolution of the 22nd Parliament in the reign of Queen Victoria," compiled by Mr. Godfrey Richard Park, the reader will find set forth the names of those who have from the earliest down to very recent times gone from the county of broad acres to speak the people's will in the great Council of the nation. The names of those who in the

Page 390


earlier centuries sate at Westminster or elsewhere-for Parliament often accompanied the King's person-have no meaning for us now, except perhaps to read us a whole- some lesson on the vanity of human ambitions. Even the antiquary knows little or nothing of the men included in these earlier lists, and yet doubtless in their day and generation they were men upon whom all eyes were fixed, chosen for their station or their abilities or their public spirit to stand in the King's presence and speak for the people of his greatest county. I set out the names of the knights of the shire for a few years, and the reader will be quick to admit that a longer list would but uselessly cumber these pages :- EDWARD I. 1290. Dominus Nicholaus de Gerthstona. Dominus Ricardus de Crepping. 1295. Petrus Pecard, Simon de Gonsel. 1297. Dominus Robertus de Percy. Dominus Robertus de Bailiolo. Johannes Sampson. Johannes de Heselarton. 1299. Simon de Kyme. Johannes de Heselarton. It will be observed that in ten years there were five Parliaments. It must not be inferred that in ten years there were five Parliamentary crises such as those with which recent events have made us familiar. In-the early days of Parliament the Commons' House was probably regarded by the King and his Council, probably indeed regarded itself, merely as a convenient device for supplying money to the Crown for the carrying on of the government of the country. When the King wanted money for a war or to supply an Exchequer depleted by his extravagance he summoned his faithful Commons ; when he had got it he thanked them or did not thank them, as his mood or their

complaisance suggested, and bade them return to their homes. The electors were the freeholders whose estates

were worth forty shillings yearly, or, say, forty pounds of

Page 391


our currency, or implying the ownership of a freehold estate of at least thirty acres of good land. One sees the voters must have been the squire, the parson (by virtue of his glebe), and here and there a substantial yeoman. The elections for Yorkshire were held at York. The roads were bad, there were dangers from footpads and highwaymen, dangers few would care to brave to vote for members whose duties and privileges were originally so circumscribed. An extract from the diary of the Rev. Robert Meeke, who, as we have seen, was curate of the Slaithwaite Chapelry, will enable us to realise how arduous a duty was that of the voter in olden times, a duty more often undertaken to oblige an ambitious landlord, patron, or neighbour, than from any interest in public affairs :-

1690. Feb. 19.-Arose about two o'clock this morning and went with Mr. Brown towards York, about ten we came to Leeds,

and refreshed ourselves, and then to Tadcaster, and so at 5 o'clock to York. - 1690, 20th. -Blessed be God, arose in a measure of health, though I was somewhat wearied. About 9 we went to the Castle Yard to shout for the Knights of the Shire, viz.: John Fairfax and Sir John Kay, they were both chosen, none opposed them. About 11, returned back, called at Tadcaster, and then to Leeds. 1690, in health again, praised be God, though yesterday, through company, I stay'd too late up, about 1I we came to Brighouse and so homeward.

Not a word, be it noted, about the issues in the elec- tion. And yet the voting was for the first Parliament of William and Mary, the Parliament that consummated the " glorious Revolution." _ But, however indifferent the ordinary voter may have been in normal times we may well believe that in the days of Charles I. and Cromwell every freeholder felt constrained to come to some sort of decision upon the great issues involved in the struggle between the Crown and Parliament. It was in those days and by that struggle that the English people assumed, and assumed, as was believed, for all time, the character of a self-governing race, its Parliament the mother of Parlia- ments for free nations, its constitution the envy of the world. Surely, then, if ever, no elector but rode to the

Page 392


poll under a heavy sense that his vote was a trust and not a mere personal privilege. That Yorkshire appreciated to the full the gravity of the issues is manifest from the names of the men it sent to the earlier and later Parliaments of Charles I. In the beginning of the King's reign there was no reason to suspect that he nourished any designs upon the liberties and the faith of the people; nor was there reason to suspect that in one man, and that man Sir Thomas Wentworth, a member for the county, he would find the chief aider and abettor in his schemes. But when the years revealed the character and intentions of the misguided King and his counsellors, Yorkshire proved true to the core to the principles of civil and religious liberty. - The following members, of some of whom more than bare mention should be made, sate for Yorkshire in the time of Charles I. and the Commonwealth, or Inter- regnum, as the courtly lawyers called it :-


1625. Sir Thomas Wentworth, Knt. and Bart. Sir Thomas Fairfax, Knut. 1626. Sir John Saville, Kant.

Sir William Constable, Bart. 1627. Robert Bellasis, Esq.

Sir Thomas Wentworth, Kant. and Bart. 1628. (Vice Wentworth, created Baron). Sir Henry Saville, Kant. 1640. Henry Bellasis, Esq. Ferdinando, Lord.


(Members of the National Assembly or Convention).

1654. Thomas, Lord Fairfax. John Lambert. Henry Tempest. John Bright. Edward Gill. Martyn Lister.

Page 393


1656. John, Lord Lambert. Francis Thorpe. Henry Tempest. Henry Arlington. Edward Gill. John Stanhope.

It is quite impossible within the limits of this work to give any adequate account of the men who, in the times of Charles I. and the Commonwealth, sate as representatives of the freeholders of Yorkshire, and two of whom, at least, on opposite sides of the great conflict, attained the highest distinction. THomas WENTWORTH, created in 1640 Baron of Raby and Earl of Strafford, was the eldest son of Sir William Wentworth, of Went- worth-Woodhouse, now the stately home of the Fitz- Williams, and where the privileged visitor may gaze upon the portrait, limned by Vandyck, of the ill-fated first Earl of Strafford. He was born on Good Friday, 13th April, 1593, at the house of his maternal grandfather in Chancery Lane, educated at St. John's College, Cambridge, admitted a student of the Inner Temple, and when but 18 years of age married the eldest daughter of the Earl of Cumber- land. Favoured above most men in his birth, his academic education, his training for a public life, his fortune and his matrimonial alliance, he seemed the very darling of Fortune. In 1614, on attaining his majority, he was elected for Yorkshire, sitting in the Addled Parlia- ment. In the following year he was appointed Lord Lieutenant of the county ni succession to Sir John Savile, who was said to have made " use of his authority to satisfy his own ends," and was removed from his office. There had long, we are told, been bitter rivalry between the Saviles and the Wentworths, and they soon, according to Ranke, " imported their county quarrels into public affairs."" According to Clarendon,* Wentworth's " first inclinations and addresses to the Court were only to establish his greatness in the country where he appre-

* Rebellion, I., 341.

Page 394


hended some acts of power from the old Lord Savile, who had been his rival always there, and of late had strengthened himself by being made a Privy Councillor and an officer at Court, and he rested not until he had bereaved him of all power and place in Court, and so sent him down a most abject, disconsolate old man to his country." The rivalry between Wentworth and Savile, the Montagus and Capulets of Yorkshire in those stirring times, must have greatly excited the people of this district, where the Saviles possessed considerable estates, notably at Golcar, In 1623 both Savile and his son Thomas were elected for the county, but in 1625 the fickle electors rejected both the Saviles in favour of Wentworth and Sir Thomas Fairfax. This election led to much debate. According to Gardiner*® the occasion of the quarrel was not only of interest in itself, but as ' bringing into collision two men "-Wentworth and Eliot-'*" who, more than any others, were to personify the opposing views of the parties in the approaching quarrel "-between the King and Parliament-'" and who were both to die as martyrs for the causes which they respectively espoused. At the beginning of the session Sir Thomas Wentworth took his seat as member for Yorkshire. His rival, Sir John Savile, accused the Sheriff of the County of having conducted the election so irregularly that a fresh appeal to the electors was a necessity. According to Savile, the Sheriff, being a friend of Wentworth, interrupted the polling when he saw that it was likely to go against the candidate whom he favoured." The reader will remember those were the days of open voting. The Sheriff, having been sum- moned to give an account of his proceedings, explained that when the poll was demanded it was past eleven in the morning, and that he had doubted whether it could legally be commenced at so late an hour. He had, however, given way on this point, but he believed that no one who had not been present when the writ was read had a right to vote, and consequently when some of

* History of England.

Page 395


Savile's men broke open the doors in order to force their way to the poll, he had put a stop to the voting and had declared Wentworth to be duly elected. In the discussion in Parliament arising out of this affair " Wentworth bore himself as haughtily as usual. Not only did he state his case proudly and defiantly, but, in opposition to the rules of the House, he omitted to withdraw when it was under investigation, and rose again to answer the argu- ments which had been urged against him. Eliot at once rose to denounce the offender, comparing him to a Catiline who had come into the senate in order to ruin it. " It was no mere personal rivalry, no casual differ- ence, which divided Wentworth and Eliot. With Went- worth good government was the sole object in view. Everything else was mere machinery ; . . . excepting so far as they could serve his side he cared nothing for those constitutional forms which counted for so much in the eyes of other men. The law of election existed, one may suppose him to think if not to say, for the purpose of sending Sir Thomas Wentworth to Parliament. He was himself arrogant and overbearing to all who disputed his will. In private he expressed the utmost contempt for his fellow-members, and it is not likely that he had any higher respect for his constituents He was an outspoken representative of that large class of politicians who hold that ability is the chief requisite for govern- ment, and who look with ill-concealed contempt upon the popular will. '* Eliot stood at the opposite pole of political thought. To him the attempt to convert Parliamentary elections into a sham was utterly abhorrent. In them he saw the voice of the nation speaking its mind clearly, as he saw in the representatives of the nation once chosen the embodiment of the majesty of England. Out of the fulness of his heart he reproved the man who held both the House and its constituents in contempt." The victory in this Parliamentary struggle rested with Savile. Wentworth's election was declared void, and at the election of 1626 he had the mortification of

Page 396


seeing his hereditary enemy, Sir John Savile, returned in his stead. He, however, secured re-election in 1627, his colleague in the representation being ROBERT BELLAsIs, a member of the family of Bellasis or Belasyse of Newborough, co. York, and Worlaby, co. Lincoln, its head better known to the reader of history as Viscount Fauconberg. The Bellasis were stout King's men during the Civil War, raising six regiments of horse and foot for the service of the King. If Gardiner's appreciation of the character and temperament of Wentworth be correct, it is not difficult to understand how much in sympathy he would come to feel himself with Charles I. Both believed in a despotism of talent. It was, of course, to be a benevolent despotism ; but was there ever a despotism that did not picture itself as benovolent? Although during the earlier years of his public life Wentworth gave indications of popular lean- ings and was viewed askance by the King and Court, the time came when he was regarded and execrated by the popular party as the King's most sinister counsellor : his evil genius. In July, 1628, he was created Baron Wentworth ; in December, Viscount. In the same month he was appointed President of the Council of the North-to quote the words he addressed to the Council at York on taking his seat as President: " Within the space of one year, a bird, a wandering bird, cast out of the nest, a prisoner, (but now) planted here again in my own soil, amongst the companions of my youth; my house honoured, myself entrusted with the rich dispensa- tion of a sovereign goodness, nay, assured of all these before I asked, before I thought of any." The Council of the North, it may be desirable to state, was a Court not established by the law, but owing its being to an exercise of the royal prerogative in the days of Henry VIII. after the suppression of the Pilgrimage of Grace. Its powers, says Gardiner, had increased gradually, till there was little room left for the execution of the ordinary law by its side. Wentworth was virtually King of the North, yet but thirteen years were to pass before his

Page 398

Jobn K.C..

Page 399


head fell on Tower Hill (12th May, 1641), despite the assurance '" upon the word of a King " that he " should not suffer in life, honour, or fortune." The Sir THOMAS FAIRFAX who in 1625 represented Yorkshire in Parliament, and who was raised to the Scottish peerage with the title of Lord Fairfax of Cameron, was the eldest son of Sir Thomas Fairfax of Denton and Nun Appleton, Yorks. In his youth he served with distinction in the Low Countries. He married Ellen Aske, daughter of Robert Aske, of Aughton, Yorks., of that family whose name will always be associated with the " Pilgrimage of Grace." Ellen bore him many children. The epitaph on her tomb in Otley Church runs :

Here lies Leah's fruitfulness, here Rachel's beauty, Here Rebecca's faith ; here Sarah's duty ; but the father does not appear to have appraised his offspring very highly, for on Archbishop Matthews complaining to him that of his three sons one had wit without grace, another grace without wit, and the third neither grace nor wit, Fairfax consoled him by observing that of his own three sons, Ferdinando, bred to be a soldier, was a coward ; Henry, meant for a parson, was only fit for a lawyer; and Charles, bred for a lawyer, was only fit for a parson. To Sir John Savile, who in 1626 was member for the county, reference has already been made. He was the first alderman of Leeds. Savile was a prime favourite of the Duke of Buckingham, and through his influence secured the post of comptroller of the household, which he held till his death in 1630. He was buried in Batley Church. He built Howley Hall in Batley, described by Camden as sedes elegantissimae," but now a ruin. Here he was visited by Rubens, the painter. His colleague in the representation of Yorkshire, SIR WILLIAM CONSTABLE, subsequently played a considerable part in the Civil War -casting his sword on the side of Parliament. At the Battle of Edgehill his bluecoats completed the rout of the king's red regiment, and one of his ensigns took the

Page 400


Royal standard. In 1644 he seized Burlington, assisted in the capture of Whitby, retook Scarborough, and defeated Newcastle's forces at Duffield and Malton. In 1648 he was one of the custodians of Charles at Carisbrook Castle. He was one of that hapless monarch's judges and signed his death warrant. During the Common- wealth he was president of the fourth Council of State. He died in 1655, and was buried in Westminster Abbey. On the Restoration his estates were confiscated and his remains removed from the Abbey. He was lord of the manor of Holme, but his financial straits compelled him to sell that estate. Although the first Lord Fairfax was credited with the saying that his son Ferdinando was " a mere coward at fighting," that son won for himself no mean reputation as a military leader. In 1640, we have seen, FERDINANDO FaArFAx was member for the county. He commanded a Yorkshire trained band in the first Scottish war. In 1642, at a meeting of the partisans of the Parliament, held at Leeds, he was chosen to command the Parlia- mentary forces in Yorkshire. He established his head- quarters in the West Riding and blockaded the Royalists in York. In 1643 (June 30) he was defeated by the Earl of Newcastle with great loss on Adwalton Moor near Brad- ford. With a handful of followers he made his way to Hull, of which he was appointed governor ; but Newcastle gave him no rest, besieging him in that city. But to write in full the doings of the Fairfaxes, father and son whose names were so rife in this troubled period, would be almost to write a history of the Civil War. Ferdinando died in 1647. During the Interregnum the following members sat for the West Riding, and it is worthy of remark that it was under Cromwell that the several Ridings first had separate Parliamentary representation :- 1654.-Thomas Lord Fairfax. John Lambert, Esq. Henry Tempest, Esq. John Bright, Esq.

Page 401


1654. -Edward Gill, Esq. Martyn Lister, Esq. 1656.-John, Lord Lambert. Franeis Thorpe, Esq. Henry Tempest, Esq. + Henry Artlington, Esq. Edward Gill, Esq. John Stanhope, Esq. LORD FAIRFAX, " the Great Lord Fairfax,"* was the son of Ferdinando. He was born at Denton, Yorks, in 16II-I2. From the commencement of the Civil War he was prominent among the supporters of Parlia- ment in Yorkshire. On June 8, 1642, he presented to the King on Heyworth Moor a petition of the York- shire Gentry and Freeholders, asking redress of grievances. The King refused to accept it, and is said to have attempted to ride over him. For some time he served as second in command under his father, and was described by Prince Rupert as " the man most beloved and relied upon by the rebels in the North." In 1644 he shared with his father in the defeat at Adwalton Moor. In 1645 the House of Commons by tor votes to 69 appointed him to command in chief, " the greatest trust and confidence that was ever put into the hands of a subject." At Naseby, in 1645, he defeated the King with the loss of all his infantry, artillery, and baggage; himself displaying reckless courage and capturing a standard with his own hands. When the fortune of war finally declared against the King, Fairfax recommended " all kind usage to his majesty's person,'' and urged that " tender, equitable, and moderate dealing towards his majesty, his royal family, and his late party, so far as may stand with safety to the king- dom, is the most hopeful course to take away the seeds of war or future feuds among us for posterity, and to procure a lasting peace and agreement in this now distracted Although he held high and responsible office under the Protectorate, he declined to take part in the Scotch cam- paign, retiring to his seat at Nun Appleton. After Crom-

* Markham : Life of the Great Lord Fairfax, p. 48.

Page 402


well's death he was suspected of furthering the restoration of the monarchy, and no doubt countenanced the action of General Monk, which resulted in the return of Charles II. to the throne of his fathers. He died in 1671. Although the matter is not strictly germane to the Parliamentary representation of the county and to the subject of this History, it may interest the reader to learn that some half-a-century after the death of " Black Tom," as the great Lord Fairfax was called, from his swarthy complexion, Thomas Fairfax, sixth lord, though not in the direct line of descent from the great leader of Cromwell's times, emigrated to America. The Yorkshire estates had been sold in 1716 to pay his father's debts, and he himself had been jilted by the lady to whom he was engaged. He settled at Belvoir, on the banks of the Potomac. Here he was visited by young George Washington, to whom he entrusted the survey of his estates. But he never forgave Washington's action in the War of Independence, he him- self living and dying a staunch loyalist. When the news of the surrender of Cornwallis was broken to him he took to his bed and died. The present Lord Fairfax is a citizen Y' the United States. Joun LAMBERT, who was member for Yorkshire in 1654 and 1656, was, like the Fairfaxes, a strenuous sup- porter of the Parliamentary cause. He was born at Calton, near Malham Tarn, Yorkshire. He studied for the Bar, but does not appear to have been called. On the outbreak of the Civil War he served under Sir Thomas Fairfax, " carry- himself very bravely." At the Battle of Marston Moor Lambert's regiment was part of the cavalry of the right wing, which was routed ; but Lambert and Sir Thomas Fairfax, with five or six troops, cut their way through the enemy and joined the victorious left wing under Crom- well. In the disputes that arose between Parliament and its army Lambert proved a successful mediator, the news- papers of the day praising his " fairness, civility, and moderation, and his endeavours to reconcile differences and quarrels of all kinds . . . . a man so com- pletely composed for such an employment could not have

Page 403


been pitched upon besides.'""* Lambert did not sit among the King's judges, but, says Rushworth, there can be little doubt that he ap- proved of the proceedings. At the crowning victory of Worcester his horse was shot under him, and Cromwell. wrote to Parliament : " The carriage of the major-general (Lambert)-as in all other things so in this-is worthy of your taking notice of," a hint which resulted in Parliament voting to Lambert an estate in Scotland of £1,000 yearly value. In 1652 Parliament appointed him Deputy Lord Lieutenant of Ireland, and he made great outlay to equip himself for the dignity, " too soon putting on the prince," as the critics of the day averred. But as by a later decision the Lord Lieutenancy was abolished, Lambert's deputyship came to nought. Space forbids to follow this general and statesman through the times of the Protec- torate. He was faithful to his Republican views to the last. When Cromwell died, and the hopes of the Royalists revived, one wrote: " I wish Lambert were dead, for I find the army much devoted to him, but I cannot perceive that he is in any way to be reconciled to the King, so that 'tis no small danger that his reputation with the army may thrust Dick Cromwell out of the saddle and yet not help the King into it."" When Richard Cromwell was created Protector in his father's place Lambert insisted that the Protector's power in military and legislative matters should be strictly limited. " Let the people's liberties be on the back of the bond," he urged. None the less he appears to have had a very shrewd estimate of the value of popular favours. He recalled in conversation the words of Cromwell when the populace cheered him and Lambert on their way to repel the Scotch : " Do not trust to that," said Cromwell, " these very people would shout as much if you and I were going to be hanged." On the Restoration he was excepted from the general indemnity ; but, as he had taken no part in the King's trial, he was allowed to withdraw to Guernsey. He was

* See Dictionary cf National Biography. Sub-tit. Lambert,* John.

Page 404


known by his own party as " honest John Lambert." Still another Yorkshireman with a family name still common both in the Colne and Holme Valleys, was Francis THORPE, who played no small part in the grim tragedy of the Civil War. He was the elder son of Roger Thorpe, of Birdsall, in Yorkshire. He, too, was a lawyer, and, called to the Bar in 1621, was ancient of Gray's Inn in 1632 and bencher in 1640. He was Recorder of Beverley in 1623-1649, in which latter year he was raised to the Bench. In the Civil War he served in the army and was given a colonel's commission. Although he took no part in the King's trial, he delivered a charge to the Grand Jury in York in 1649, which was published by the apologists of the King's trial, sentence, and execution. In later days he modified his views, and on the Restoration was given the benefit of the general indemnity. SIr Joxn BRIGHT, who represented Yorkshire in 1654, was of a family settled in Badsworth and Carbrook, Yorkshire. In the Civil War he raised several companies in the neighbourhood of Sheffield for service on the side of Parliament, and received a captain's commission from Lord Fairfax, later becoming a colonel of foot. We are told " he was but young when he first had the command, but he grew very valiant and prudent, and had his officers and soldiers under good conduct." In 1654 and 1655 he was high Sheriff of Yorkshire, and for a time he acted as Governor of Hull and York. At the Restoration he acquiesced in the new order and was rewarded with a baronetcy. Of the Parliamentary representatives of Yorkshire during the reign of Charles II. there is little or nothing that need be recorded in these pages. The Fairfax family by one or other of its members still continued to enjoy the confidence of the freeholders. In fact, that family affords to us the pleasing example of a house sending one or other of its sons to the councils of the nation in many reigns and under circumstances as diverse as could well be imagined. There was a Fairfax in Parliament for the county of broad acres in the reign of Elizabeth and again

Page 405


in 1625 and again in 1640. These in the time of the first Charles. There was a Fairfax holding the same honourable and in those days perilous position in 1654-he under the Commonwealth. There was a Fairfax sitting in 1660, in 1678, 1679, 1680. These under the restored King. A Fairfax sat for the same constituency in 1688 and 1689, the years of the Revolution, and in 1698, 1700, and I7OI, in the reign of William and Mary ; a Fairfax in 1706, I707, in the reign of Anne. The representation from the time of Charles II. to that of Anne was shared with the Fairfaxes, mainly by the Cliffords, the D'Arcys, and the Downes, estimable country gentlemen in their day and generation. It was in 1685, in the time of James II., that a local family, the Kayes of Woodsome, first began to emerge from the comparative obscurity of a merely local influence and fame to play a part upon the larger stage of national life. In that year Sir John Kaye of Woodsome entered Parliament as member for the county, and continued to enjoy the support of the electors, almost uninterruptedly, till his death, sitting in the reigns of James II., of William and Mary, of William, and of Anne.

James II.

1685-Charles, Lord Clifford.

Sir John Kaye, Bart. 1688-Thomas, Lord Fairfax.

Sir John Kaye, Bart. WIrLIamM AnD>p Mary.

168g-Thomas, Lord Fairfax. Sir John Kaye, Bart.

Wirrram III.

1695-Thomas, Lord Fairfax. Sir John Kaye, Bart. 1698-Thomas, Lord Fairfax. Henry, Viscount Downe. 17z00-Thomas, Lord Fairfax. Sir John Kaye, Bart. 1z0or-Thomas, Lord Fairfax. Arthur, Viscount Irwin.

Page 406


ANNE. 1702-William, Marquis of Hartington. Sir John Kaye, Bart. 1705-William, Marquis of Hartington. Sir John Kaye, Bart. 1706-(Vice Kaye, deceased). Thomas, Lord Fairfax. 1707-The Marquis of Hartington. Thomas, Lord Fairfax.

In the year 1707 a by-election for the county was necessitated by a circumstance probably without parallel in county representation. In 1707 the. Marquis of Hartington succeeded his father in the dukedom of Devonshire, and. must perforce abandon the Lower for the Upper House ; and in the same year Lord Fairfax, who up to that time enjoyed only a Scotch peerage, and was therefore eligible for a seat in the Commons, was created a Peer of the United Kingdom and went to the House of Lords. Of this Marquis of Hartington, who must not be confounded with his more illustrious father, the first duke, it is said in the Characters of the Court of Great Britain, quoted in the Dictionary of National Biography, that he was ' a gentleman of good sense, a bold orator and zealous asserter of the liberty of the people, one of the best beloved. gentlemen by the Country party in England." - The Country party, it may be desirable to explain, was the political party more familiarly known as the Whigs, the political ancestors of the modern Liberals The great Whig party may be said to have arisen in the reign of Charles II. in the debates on the Exclusion Bill, a Bill which sought to exclude James, Duke of York, the King's brother, from the succession to the throne, on the ground of his papist views. The Tories, or Court party, insisted on the divinity of hereditary right ; the Whigs, or Country party, insisted on the right of the people to exclude a Romanist heir. The first duke, the father of the member for the county, was foremost in his advocacy of the Exclusion Bill, his son, the MaArRrQguUIs or HARTINGTON, was also, as we have seen, a popular member of the

Page 407


Whig party. Yorkshire, then, which throughout the struggle between Crown and Parliament in the time of the first Charles, had been resolutely favourable to the Parliament, was staunch in later years and reigns also to the principles of civil liberty.

1707-(Vice Hartington and Fairfax). Henry, Viscount Downe. Sir Conyers D'Arcy, Kant.

Viscount Downe was the son of that John Dawney who was one of the representatives of the county in 1660. In Burke's Peerage we read that Sir John was elevated to the peerage of Ireland as Viscount Downe in 1680 and sat in limes’s Irish Parliament in 1689. The son Henry sat for the county in the reigns of Anne and George I.; but beyond this fact his name calls for no particular remark.

1708-Henry, Viscount Downe. Sir William Strickland, Bart.

Sir William was a grandson of that Sir William Strick- land, of Boynton, co. York, who owed first his knighthood and later his baronetcy to Charles I., but none the less vigorously supported the Parliamentary cause in York- shire, representing Hedon in the long Parliament. At the election of 1708 the candidates were Viscount Downe, Sir William Strickland, the Hon. Conyers D'Arcy, Sir Arthur Kaye, Bart., and the Hon. Thomas Wentworth. The election lasted four days, and 15,549 freeholders voted, Lord Downe polling 4,737, Sir William Strickland 3,452, the Hon. Conyers D'Arcy 3,257, Sir Arthur Kaye 3,136, and the Hon. Thomas Wentworth a poor 958.* 1710-Henry, Viscount Downe. Sir Arthur Kaye, Bart.

It is scarcely necessary to say that Sir Arthur Kaye was of Woodsome Hall. In the Parish Church at Almond- bury a large white marble monument has the record : In this Choir lies deposited The Body of Sir Arthur Kaye,

Bart., of the ancient and honourable Family of the Kaye's, that has flourished for many ages at Woodsome; being the Eldest

* Smith's '" Old Yorkshire '' (Old Poll Book).

Page 408


Son of Sir John Kaye, by Anne, Daughter of William Lister, Esq., of Thornton, near Skipton in this County. He had the honour to be chosen Representative of this County to several Parliaments ; in which great trust he behav'd himself with such loyalty to his Prince, and Fidelity to the Country. He was upright and sincere in his intentions, Free from Ambition, Faction, or Avarice. He was a constant Communicant with the Church Establish'd ; Courteous, Affable, Benevolent to all men. He married Anne, one of the daughters and Co-heirs of Sir Samuel Marrow, of Birkwell, in the County of Warwick, Bart., by whom he left only one child, viz., Elizabeth, married to the Right Honourable Lord Lewisham, eldest Son of William, Earl of Dartmouth. Dame Anne, his relict and sole Executrix, in conjugal piety, gratitude, and affection, has caused this Monument to be erected.

He died on the 10th of July, 1726. 1713-Henry, Viscount Downe. Sir Arthur Kaye, Bart.

GEORGE I. 1715-Henry, Viscount Downe. Sir Arthur Kaye, Bart. 1722-Henry, Viscount Downe. Sir Arthur Kaye, Bart. The death of Sir Arthur Kaye in 1726 necessitated a by-election, which resulted in the return in 1zyo7 of Cholmeley Turner, Esq. At this election Sir John Lister-Kaye, the nephew of Sir Arthur, to whom the title passed in default of male heirs of Sir Arthur, sought to hold the seat. Canon Hulbert, in his Almondbury Annals*, quotes the following extract from a private letter of the day: " On Friday, ye 3rd, Sir. John, ye Candidate, had 1,500 freeholders byassed by mercenary means, to support Mr. Cholmeley Turner, his adversary's interest, who was all along proclaimed to have the victory, right or wrong, and accordingly carried it, and no wonder, when none of Sir John's men were, com- paratively speaking, suffered to be polled, owing to Mr. Bathurst, the High Sheriff. But the unfortunate party had the mouth and applause of our people, tho' ye other party got the victory, at the expense of Twelve Thousand Pounds."

* P. 2040.

Page 409



1727-Cholmeley Turner, Esq. Sir Thomas Wentworth.*

Sir Thomas Watson Wentworth was created Earl of Malton and afterwards Marquis of Rockingham.

1728-(Vice Wentworth). Sir George Saville, Bart. 1734-Sir Miles Stapylton, Bart. Cholmeley Turner, Esq. 1741-Sir Miles Stapylton, Bart. Charles, Viscount Morpeth. I74I-(Vice Morpeth, deceased). Cholmeley Turner, Esq. 1747-Sir Miles Stapylton, Bart. Sir Conyers D'Arcy, K.B. 1I750--(Vice Stapylton). Henry, Viscount Downe). 1I754-Sir Conyers D'Arcy, K.B. Henry, Viscount Downe. 1758-(Vice D'Arcy, deceased). Sir George Saville, Bart.

Sir George Saville, or Savile-the surname is spelt sometimes with one, sometimes with two I's-was the only son of Sir George Saville, F.R.S., of Rufford, Co. Notts, who sat for the county in George II.'s first Parliament. The Savilles were lords of the manor of Golcar. Sir George was born at Savile House, in Leicester Fields, on the site of the present Empire Theatre. He was 33 years of age when elected for Yorkshire and represented the county in five Parliaments. He died in 1784. His was a distinguished career. _ When the question of general warrants was raised in Wilkes's case Saville spoke and voted against the arbitrary pretensions of the Crown. He was one of the pioneers of electoral reform. He opposed the

war which lost England the American colonies ; fifty years before the Catholic Relief Bill became law he advocated

* Qy. This should, I imagine, be Sir Thomas Watson Went- worth. -D. F. E.S.

Page 410


the abolition of religious penalties and disabilities; in 1780 he presented to the House a petition of the York- shire freeholders for economic reforms. " Savile "-I quote from the Dictionary of National Briography-" was a staunch Whig of unimpeachable character and large fortune. He devoted the whole of his time to public affairs, and was greatly respected by his contemporaries for his unbending integrity and his unostentatious benevolence. In person he was slightly above the average height. He had a slender figure, a sallow complexion, and a feeble voice. Though destitute of oratorical power, his speeches were clear, forcible, and persuasive. . . . Horace Walpole says in his memoirs: " He had a head as acutely argumentative as if he had been made by a German logician for a model. Though his reason was sharp his soul was candid, having none of the acrimony or vengeance of party ; thence was he of greater credit than service to that in which he 'listed." A marble statue of Saville was erected by public subscription in York Minster.


1761-Sir George Saville, Bart. Hon. Edwin Lascelles.

Mr. Lascelles was son of the Earl of Harewood.

1468-Sir George Saville, Bart. Hon. Edwin Lascelles. 1774-Sir George Saville. Bart. Hon. Edwin Lascelles. 17480-Sir George Saville, Bart. Henry Duncombe, Esq. 17483-(Vice Saville). Francis Ferrand Foljambe, Esq. 1784-Henry Duncombe, Esq. William Wilberforce, Esq. 17490-William Wilberforce, Esq. Henry Duncombe, Esq. 1796-William Wilberforce, Esq. Hon. Henry Lascelles.

Page 411


1802-William Wilberforce, Esq. Walter Fawkes, Esq. 1807-William Wilberforce, Esq., 11,806. Viscount Milton, 11,177. Hon. Henry Lascelles, 10,989. Walter Fawkes, Esq., 2. This was the first contested election for the county which had occurred for sixty-six years. From the time of the old Pretender to 1807 the great Whig and Tory families of the county had divided the representation between them. The modus operand: was of the simplest. The heads of the chief Whig and Tory families met at York, agreed upon their respective nominees, generally a younger son, and the thing was done. The election of 1807 is specially interesting for more reasons than one. The return of Wilberforce at the head of the poll indicated for the first time for generations the revolt of the freeholders against the domination of the county families. Lord Milton was the chosen of the great Whig grandees, Mr. Lascelles of the Tory. The usual course was for the great landowners to indicate to their tenantry how they wished them to vote, and for the tenants, whose voting was open, to vote accordingly. Those who voted for Wilberforce were drawn from both of the great historic parties, as an analysis of the votes show :-

Wilberforce (Plumpers) ......... eee se k kes I1I73- Wilberforce and Milton 6.6.0 1753 Wilberforce and Lascelles 8880 11806

It will also be seen that the advocate for the abolition of slavery drew the main part of his split votes from the Tory side, only 1,753 of the Whig faction casting him a vote. Lord Milton's plumpers, 9,108, secured him the second seat. The poll opened on May 20, 1807, in the Castle Yard at York in thirteen booths, amongst which the wapentakes were apportioned according to a previous agreement between the committees of the three* candi-

* The candidature of Mr. Fawkes was not seriously regarded.

Page 412


dates. The poll was daily open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., except on the first and last of the fifteen days the poll lasted. The Sheriff or Under-Sheriff presided over the poll, and these were assisted by two assessors, serjeants- at-law, to decide the objections that were taken as the free- holders tendered their votes. The election is famous also for the vast sums expended by the candidates. Mr. Lascelles, the Tory candidate, and Lord Milton, the Whig, are stated to have spent between them £200,000. Many of Wilberforce's supporters insisted, we are told, on paying their own expenses, which seems to have been then re- garded as a quite exceptional mark of public spirit. Yet his election bill amounted to £28,600, defrayed by public subscription. The Hon. HENRY LAascELtES, the Tory candidate, was the son of Edward, first Earl of Harewood. He sat for the county in the Parliaments of 1796, 1802, and 1812. In the election of 1807 the Tory ascendancy was broken down, Lascelles securing 1881 votes less than Lord Milton. A few months later he was returned for Westbury, and in 1818 for Northallerton. He was regarded as a moderate Tory, but his moderation did not permit him to support

the great Reform Bill. In his later years he addicted him- self to the pursuits of a country gentleman, maintaining

the Harewood Hunt. He died at Bramham, after returning from a run with the hounds. Of WILLIAM WILBERFORCE it is quite out of question that any adequate notice should be given in these pages. His name is familiar to all as the great apostle of emanci- pationof the negroes under the British flag. The family was long settled in Yorkshire and took its name from Wilber Foss, a hamlet near York. Many of its members were engaged in the Baltic trade and William Wilberforce inherited from one or other of his relations a fortune that enabled him to devote his time and talents to a public career. As a youth he was inclined to the frivolities of a fashionable life ; but being accompanied on a Continental tour by Isaac Milner, the great mathematician and divine, a native of Leeds, was persuaded to a more serious view of

Page 413


life and its responsibilities. It is especially to be noted by the youths who may peruse these pages that as a lad Milner earned his living at the loom. His brother Joseph had been sent to Cambridge by rich and influential friends, and on taking his degree was made headmaster of the Hull Grammar School. He sent for his brother Isaac to be an usher at the school, and the messenger found Isaac at the loom " with Tacitus and a Greek author by his side." The removal to Hull led to acquaintance with Wilberforce, whom, as I have said, he accompanied on the grand tour. They read together Doddridge's " Rise and Progress of Religion," and this lea to Wilberforce's " conversion," and a resolution thenceforward to lead a religious life. In the last quarter of the eighteenth century he made the acquaintance of Thomas Clarkson, and pledged himself to take up in Parliament the cause of emancipation and the suppression of the slave trade. Wilberforce himself has left it on record that William Pitt recommended him to take Parliamentary action, and that he made up his mind at the foot of a tree in Holwood Park (Pitt's country place), where there is now a stone seat, placed by Lord Stanhope, with an inscription. How that resolve bore fruit and how Wilberforce and those associated with him secured the triumph of their cause the reader must learn from other volumes. The Right Honourable CHARLES WILLIAM WENT- WORTH FITZWILLIAM, Viscount Milton, Wilberforce's col- league, was the only son of William Wentworth Fitz- William, second Earl. Born in London May 4, 1786, he had just attained his majority when he contested the county in this memorable fight. He represented it in five success- ive Parliaments. " FitzWilliam was a man of chivalrous honour, high moral courage, and a perfect independence and disinterestedness. In the outset of his public career he was opposed to Parliamentary reform, but afterwards became an ardent advocate of that measure, although his family possessed several pocket boroughs and had been known for its aristocratic exclusiveness. He was also an early advocate of the repeal of the corn laws, when

Page 414


his fortune depended mainly on the land. He carried his free trade principles to their logical consequences, and offended the Yorkshire manufacturers by refusing to oppose a Bill permitting exports. - He concurred with his father in denouncing the Peterloo massacre." The election of 1807, in which it will be agreed the three protagonists were worthy champions of the most justly celebrate in all Parliamentary contests, was of such great and abiding consequence that in the same year the names of the voters were published with an indication of the way in which they cast their votes. A century has passed since those days, but many of my readers will doubtless find the names of their grandsires or great-grand- sires in the following lists, and will learn with pleasure their political proclivities. In the whole West Riding 13,830 persons voted, 5,807 for Wilberforce, 6,100 for Lascelles, and 7,625 for Lord Milton.


N.B.-Where the place of Freehold not expressed, identical with Residence. W. stands for Wilberforce; L. for Lascelles ; M. for Milton.

Name and Description. Freehold. Candidates. W. L. M. ALMONDBURY- Batley, John, clothdresser, Huddersfield ......... I I Booth, Wm., clothier . ......................... I Bray, Thos., butcher, Wooldale . ................ I I Bradley, Jon., surgeon ........................ I Crosland, Jas., woolstapler ..................... I I Dobson, John, jun., banker .................... I I Harrison, Rich., shopkeeper .................... I I Horsfall, John, merchant ...................... I I Hirst, Barnabas, shopkeeper, Kirk Burton ....... I I Hirst, John, clothier, Meltham . ................. I Haigh, Joseph, husbandman ................... Haigh, Mark, clothier ......................... I I Haigh, Walker, clothdresser, Meltham ........... I I Hallas, Wm., clothier, Lepton ................... I I Kaye, Thos., tanner ........................... I I

Kaye, Jas., traveller .......................... I

Page 415


Residence. Name and Description. Freehold. Candidates. W. L. M. Oldfield, Joseph, clothier, South Crosland ........ I Oldfield, Wm., cartman ........................ I Owen, John, shoemaker ....................... I Parkin, John, yeoman ......................... I Poppleton, Jonathan, gent., Thxrstyland ......... I Poppleton, Rich., butcher ...................... I Roberts, Geo., yeoman ........................ I I Roberts, Jno., clothier ......................... I I Ramsden, Jos., woolstapler .................... Ratcliffe, Lawrence, clothier .................... I OI OI Sherran, Thos., saddler, Lepton ................. I Sherran, Joseph, saddler, Lepton ............... I I Smith, Walton, schoolmaster ................... I I Woodhead, Jos., clothier ....................... I I Wright, Jonathan, clothier ..................... I

Of the Almondbury freeholders, therefore, 38 voted, 1q for Wilberforce, 19 for Lascelles ; 12 for Lord Milton ; these last all plumpers. It will at once be apparent that the sentiment that supported Wilberforce was manifested largely by the partisans of the Tory candi- date. In the emancipation of the negro, as in that of the

factory child, the Whig party was lukewarm when not actively hostile.

Residence. Name and Description. Freehold. Candidates. W. L. M. .BIRKBY-- Holroyd, Thos., merchant ..................... I Hirst, Wm., gardener, Honley .................. Hirst, Geo., clothdresser, Huddersfield ........... I I BRADLEY-

Campbell, Robt., clothdresser, Hopton ........... Firth, Robert, clothier, Almondbury ............ Lister, Marshall, yeoman ...................... BURTON KIRK (KIRKBURTON)- Archer, John, tanner .......................... I Booth, Matt., shopkeeper, Denby ............... I Booth, Jno., merchant ........................ I Booth, James, innkeeper ...................... I Binns, Wm., clothier ......................... Dyson, Joseph, clothier ....................... Earnshaw, Wm., woodcutter ................... I Filton, Francis, gent. .......................... I Green, Jno., husbandman, Shelley .............. I I

Page 416


Residence. Name and Description. Freehold. Candidates.

W. L. M. Hirst, Wm., clothier .. ......................... I I Haigh, Jno., clothier, Honley ................... I I Hey, George, clothier .......................... I I Heptonstall, Josh., yeoman ..... ce I I Jackson, Richd., miller ........................ I Jackson, Wm., miller ......................... I I Jackson, Wm., miller ......................... I I Jackson, Richd., gardener ..................... T Jessop, Josh., clothler ........................ I Lockwood, Thos., clothier, Shlpley .............. I Lee, joshua clothler ........... ce I Mallinson, John, clerk, Wakefield ............... I I Noble, Edwad., tanner ......................... I Oxley, David, clothier .................. 2k}... I I Parkin, Robt., woodfeller ..................... I Savage, Josh., husbandman .................... I I Savage, Wm., husbandman .................... I I Josh., butcher, Shepley ............... I I Smith, Josh., butcher, Shepley ...... oe e e e ek e ees I I Smith, Jos., butcher .......................... I I Wickham, Thos., clerk I I Burton HicH- Armitage, Wm., husbandman, Kirkburton ....... 1 Dyson, Wm., yeoman, Kirkburton .............. I Hanson, Jno., clothier, Kirkburton ............ I Littlewood, Josh., clothier ..................... I In Kirkburton and Highburton 34 freeholders voted- I5 for Wilberforce, 21 for Lascelles, 13 for Milton. Residence. Name and Description. Freehold. Candidates. W. L,. M. CornrE BRIDGE- Brook, Edwd., tailor, Almondbury .............. 2oI I Marsh, Thos., shopkeeper, Kirkheaton ........... I I CROSLAND, NoRTHK- Dyson, Jno., clothier, Honley .................. I Fairbank, Jno., clothier, Meltham ............... I Haigh, Jno.. butcher .......................... I Hall, Joshua, blacksmith ..................... I I Hainley, Jno., clothier, Almondbury ............ I I North, Joshua, labourer, Almondbury . .......... I Roberts, Josh., labourer .......... ce ae e e e e e e ke I I Roberts, Jas., drysalter ........................ I I Ramsden, Laur., clothier ...................... Sykes, Jno., clothier, Honley ................... I

Walker, Abm., clothier ........................ I

Page 417


Residence. Name and Description. Freehold. Candidates. W. L. M. CROSLAND, SoUTH- Brayshaw, Wm., innkeeper, North Crossland ..... I I Brook, Joshua, clothier, Netherthong ........... I I Dyson, John, clothdresser, Honley .............. I Fairbank, Stephen, carter, Meltham ............. I Harrison, John, clothier, Meltham .............. I I Harrison, David, clothier, Netherthong .......... I I Haigh, John, clothier ......................... I If Johnson, Wm., clothier ........................ I I Oldfield, Jas., clothier, Meltham ................ I I Walker, Josh., clothier ........................ I I Wilkinson, Jonas, cotton spinner, Wyke ........ &0 I OI CROSSLAND DELFE- Brook, Wm., clothier, Netherthong ............. I I CrRrossLaAND EpGr- Harrison, John, clothier, Meltham .............. I I CrossLanp HILL- Bray, Joshua, clothier, Golker .................. I Pearson, Thos., cartman, Lockwood ............. I I

In the two Crosslands, Crossland Delfe, Edge, and Hill, 26 freeholders voted-I7 for Wilberforce, 20 for Lascelles, and 7 for Milton. Two of the voters split their votes in a curious manner, giving one vote to the Whig and one to the Tory candidate.

Residence. Name and Description. Freehold. Candidates. W. L. M. DaALTON- Atkinson, Josh., merchant, Thurlstone .......... I I Atkinson,. Law, Esq., Wortley .................. I I Bowman, Jno., clothier, Almondbury ............ I I Brooke, Geo., joiner, Almondbury .............. I Cockell, Josh., clothier, South Crossland ......... I I Eastwood, Chas., yeoman, Mirfield .............. I Eastwood, Noah, husbandman, North Crossland I I Eastwood, Jas., miller, Mirfield ................. I Fisher, Jno., merchant ........................ I Green, Geo., labourer, Foulstone ................ Mellor, Joshua, Lepton ........................ I Tolson, Richd., clothier, Lepton ................ I

Twelve of the freeholders of Dalton voted-8 for Wilberforce, I1 for Lascelles. There was one plumper for Wilberforce, 3 for Lascelles. Lord Milton did not poll a vote.

Page 418


Residence. Name and Description. Freehold. Candidates.

W, L. M. FarniEy TYAS- Schofield Geo., tanner, Cumberworth Half. I Senior Jno., woodcutter, Honley................ I Scott Joseph, Esq., Almondbury................ I

Mr. Joseph Scott resided at Woodsome for some years.

Residence, - Name and Description. Freehold. Candidates.

W. L. M. GOLKER- Ainley, John, clothier | _ .................. I I Ainley, Daniel, e I Ainley, John,: e s..... I Blackburn, Josh., w Huddersfield ...... I Blackburn, John py oo e e e e e e e e e e e e e e e e as I Brigg, John - py oe e e e e e e e e e e e e ee ees I Crowther, John 99. I Crowther, Thos., e I Crowther, Geo., py o e e ee e e e e e e e e e e ee es I Dyson, Wm., e & .+ .} s I Dyson, James py oe e e s e e e e e e e e e e e ees I Day, Thos., merchant, Stainland ................ I Eastwood, Jno., clothier | .................. I I Eastwood, Jas., $3 ae e e se e e e e e e e e e e e as I Eastwood, Edmd., ,, - _ .................. I I Gill, Thos., py e e e e e e e e e e e e e e e ees I Haigh, Jas., py oe e e e e e e e e e e e e e ee es I Haigh, Jas., $p ooo + kkk kkk kk n aa abe ans I Haigh, Edwd., e I I Helliwell, Wm., py oe e ee e e e e e e e e e e e ees I Hirst, Josh., e Scammonden ...... I Hirst, Edmund, cotton weaver ............... o I I Hinchclifie, Ben, clothdresser | ............... I OI Hinchcliffe, John, py oo e e e e e e e e e e e e e ees 'I I Hinchcliffe, Thos., py e e e e e e e e e e e e e ees I I Hall, Jas., cottage manufacturer .............. & I I Kettlewell, Wm., clothier...................... I Livesey, Geo., py oe e e e e e e e e e e e e e e e es I Lockwood, Benjn., ,, Huddersfield ...... I Lockwood, Josh., $y oe a e nn e e e e e e e e s ee ks I Rawcliffe, Josh., py o e ee e e e e e e e e e e e e e es I Ramsden, Hugh, yeoman ...................... I Ramsden, Robt., clothier | .................. I Ramsden, Jas., Ye e e e e e e e e e e e e e e ees I Ramsden, John, pp oe e e e e e e e e e e e e e e e es I Shaw, Jas., o Almondbury . ...... I Shaw, Thos., 33 I

Page 419


Residence. Name and Description. Freehold. Candidates. W. L. M. Sykes, Thos., clothier | _ ....... Le e e e ee e e e es I Sykes, John, p ~ I Taylor, John, e, T Taylor, Samuel, e C Taylor, Wm., pp e e e e e e e e ee e e e e eek s I Turner, Chas., »» Longwood ......... I I Walker, Wm., Esq. ......... "a ae e e e e e e e e e e ee ees I Walker, Joseph, clothier | ........ ce a e e e e e ees I Walker, James, r a sk ek e e ev e e kkk eas I Whitwham, Walker, ,, Meltham I Whitwham, John, r ae e e e e e e e e e ee e ee es I Whitwham, James, ,, - _ .................. I Wood, John, pp oe e e e e e e e e e e e e e eke} I Wood, Samuel, eee ce e e e e e e e e ek es I Whitwell, Ben, pp oe e e e e e e e e s e e e ee ees I

Fify-two freeholders of Golcar voted-1I1 for Wilber- force, 14 for Lascelles, and 39 plumped for Milton. It may be further noted that of the 54 voters fifty were engaged as merchants, clothiers, or cottage manufacturers, by which term the handloom weaver was dignified. Of these fifty most of them resided in and voted in respect of their own freeholds.

Residence. Name and Description. Freehold. Candidates. W. L. M. HEATON KIRK (KIRKHEATON)- Armitage, John, cardmaker..... Ca a e ee e e ee e e ee kes I Atkinson, Josh., clothier ....................... I OI Atkinson, Thos., gent. ......................... I I Barnard, Geo., Esq., general.................... I Beaumont, Richd., clothier..................... I I Cowgill, James, innkeeper...................... I I Cheesborough, Wm., clothier,................... I Dyson, Hanby, clothier ........................ I Day, Jas., clothier, Almondbury . ................ I I Gibson, Richd., I I Kaye, John Lister, Esq.,....................... I Ness, John, innkeeper, Thornhill. ............... I Sunderland, Jno., clerk, Carleton. ............... I I Strickland, Benjn., clothier, I I Smith, Robt., husbandman..................... I I Sheard, Mat., shopkeeper, I

Sykes, Jno., husbandman ...................... I I

Page 420


Residence. Name and Description. Freehold. - Candidates. W. L. M. Sykes, Jas., clothier, Cumberworth.............. I Senior, Joseph, yeoman........................ I I Walker, Joseph,

Twenty freeholders of Kirkheaton voted-I1 for Wilberforce, I7 for Lascelles, 4 for Milton. Mr. John Lister-Kaye gave a straight vote for the Tory candidate, as did General Barnard.

Residence. Name and Description. Freehold. Candidates. Ww. L. M. HoLME - Chadwick, Moses, Green, John, farmer........................... I Haigh, JOhNM, | ,, | ......................... e h

All solid for the Whig candidate.

Residence. Name and Description. Freehold. Candidates. W. L. M. HoLMFIRTHR- Booth, John, butcher, Cartworth................ I Boothroyd, John, butcher, Netherthong. I I Gartside, Wm., dyer, Cartworth................. I Haigh, Geo., butcher, py oo e e e e e e e ee s oe I Mellor, Joseph, clothier, ,, - ................. h Morton, Jno., clothier, Austonley ............... I Roberts, Jonas, gentleman ..................... I Stocks, Jas., surgeon, Shelley ................... I

Only eight freeholders from Holmfirth, and of these seven plumped for the Whig candidate.

Residence. - Description. - Freehold. Candidates. W. L. M. HonLEy- Armitage, George, Esq. ........................ I I Armitage, Jas., clothier ........................ I Armitage, Tom, husbandman................... I Beaumont, Jno., clothier, I Bottomley, Jas., millwright .................... I I Brook, Joseph, cordwainer ..................... Brook John, e Brook, Willm., clothier ..................... k.. II Batley, Benjn., gent. .......................... Bray, Benjn., miller ...........................

Chappel, Abm., clothier ........................

Page 421


Residence. Name and Description. Freehold. Candidates. W. L. M. Donkersley, Benjn., clothier .................... I Donkersley, Benjn., | ,, - ................. I Littlewood, James, $> Meltham. ...... sk.... I Eastwood, James, butcher. ..................... I Firth, John, blacksmith. ....................... I France, Wm., clothier ....................... I Green, Thomas, | ,, - .......... ca k k e ess eee I Garner, John, py oe e e e n e e e e e e e e e e e eee ee es I Garner, Wm., py oo e e e e e e e e e e e e k eee es Ck.... I Greaves, Peter, $9 Quick ......... kk k ke ees I Gartside, Giles, dyer........................... I Hanson, Abm., clothier I Hanson, Geo., $y oo ee 60s ae e e e e e e e e e e eke kes T Haigh, Richd., , I Haigh, Thos., $y oe e e e e e e e e ee e e e e e e e e e ess I Haigh, Joseph, e I Haigh, John, farmer, Netherthong .............. I Heap, Joseph, clothier......................... I Hampshire, John, dissentg. minister............. I Hinchliffe, Geo., clothier ...................... :. I Hobson, Ely, clothier, Cartworth................ I Holdfield, Joseph, cartman.................. "s as I Kay, John, cartman........................... I Kay, Joseph, clothiér................. k kei... I Kay, Ely, carpenter ..........................s I Littlewood, Benjn., clothier ..... ae kre... ..}. I Littlewood, Richd., $4 oke e kes 2k s s s e ees. I Lockwood, Joseph, 3, 6 e e e e e e s e e e e e e eke vs I Lockwood, Joseph, py oe e e e e e e e e e e e e e I Lockwood, John, py oe e e e e e e e e e e e e e e eee I Midwood, Josh., tallowehand................... I Moorhouse, Joshua, yeoman.................... I Robinson, Joshua, dyer.....;................... I Sanderson, Francis, clothier ............ kk kk}. I Swift, John, a e e e e e e e e ee e e e ees I Schofield, Joseph, py os e e e e e e e e e e e e e ee ees I Schofield, Joseph, py oe e e e e e e e e e e e e e e e eek I Schofield, Wm., py oe e e e e e e e e e e e e e e eke} I Taylor, Jas., py oe e e e e e e e e e e e e e ee ees I Thornton, Thos., miller | ...................... I Thornton, Jas., e I I

Fifty-three freeholders from Honley-five recording their votes for Wilberforce, 4 for Lascelles, and 47 for Milton, all plumpers. Of the freeholders from Honley 32

Page 422

408 - History or HUDDERsFIELD AND

are described as clothiers and nearly all of these voted in respect of their own, probably residential, freeholds. Far other was the case in the next district, the town of Huddersfield itself, where out of the total number of

voters, 66, two-thirds voted for freeholds possessed outside the town.

Residence. Name and Description. Freehold. Candidates. W. L. M.. HUDDERSFIELD- Armitage, Thos., yeoman ...................... I I Armitage, Wm., clothdresser.................... I Atkinson, Rich., clothdresser, Mirfield ..... s...... I T Archer, Joseph, innkeeper, Elland ............... T Alexander, Alexander, dyer, Ovenden............ T Batley, Rich., clothier, Rushworth .............. T Brook, Joseph, bookseller, Saddleworth ...... .... I Booth, Uriah, merchant, Kirkburton............. I Booth, Richd., druggist, I Booth, Wm., tanner, Cumberworth-half . .......... Booth, Jno., innkeeper, South Crossland .......... I Bradley, Thos., saddler, Cumberworth ........... I Bradley, Jno., gentn. .......................... I T Bradley, Jos., ironmonger...................... I T Beaumont, Jno., fuller......................... I I Broadley, Peter, grocer, Dalton................. T Bradshaw, Benjn., surgeon, Upperthong ......... T Bradshaw, Wm., gentn., Elmley ................ t Billing, Jas., clothier, Liversedge................ L Billing, Jas., currier, Liversedge................. T Coates, John, I I Cooper, Benjn., tailor. ......................... I Dyson, Bramhall, merchant .................... T Hawkesby, Ed., woolstapler, Wortley ............ E Hudson, Fred, linen draper, Rathmell........... I I Hirst, Wm., husbandman ...................... L Horsfall, Abm., merch., Marsden. ............... I I Helm, John, plumber. ......................... I Hirst, John, clothdresser....................... T Haigh, John, py e e e e e e e e e e e e e e e e e e e ees Haigh, Thos., Esq., Clayton .................... I I Haigh, Rob., tinplateworker, Hemsworth ........ ) d Haigh, Benjn., mercht. ........................ I I Houghton, Thos., mercht., Heckmondwike I Houghton, Jno., mercht., Honley ............... I I

Johnson, Jos., shopkeeper, Elmley .............. ) a

Page 423


Residence. Name and Description. Freehold. - Candidates. W. L. M. Marshall, Tho., raff merchant, Almby. ........... --I Midwood, Saml., clothier....................... Midwood, Jas., malster, Saddleworth ............ I Mills, Thos., blacksmith, Almby................. Moore, Fred, bookseller, Castleford .............. I I Mortimer, John, gentn., Barnsley ............... I Macauley, Firth, Esq., I Newhouse, Rich., plumber ....... s e s e e e e ee ees I I Pulleyne, Wm., gentn., Bradford ................ I Rawlinson, Geo., innkeeper..................... I I Rhodes, Wm., spirit mcht., Ouram South ......... Radcliffe, Wm., farmer, Rastrick................ I Radcliffe, Joseph, Esq. ........................ I I Styring, Thos., gentn., Saddleworth ............. Sykes, Wm., glazier, Sherran, Thos., -saddler, ' I Shaw, Jonathan, clothier....................... Stocks, Wm., linendraper, Marishes.............. I Scholes, Paul, butcher. ........................ Scholes, George, malster, Ackworth ...... e s.... ss Simpson, Wm., schoolmaster, Southowram. ...... Taverler, John, innholder, Stainland............. I Tempest, Wm., currier, Drighlington ............ Thewlis, Richd., saddler, North Crossland ........ I I Vernon, Tho., woolstapler, Gomersall . ........... Walker, Willm., gent. ......................... I Walker, Ezra, mason.......................... Wilks, Wm., apothecary, I

LonGroyp BRIDGE- Waddington, Wm., clothdresser................. I

Sixty-six freeholders of Huddersfield voted-26 for Wilberforce, 19 for Lascelles, 45 for Milton. It must not be forgotten that the limited nature of the franchise excluded many of the townspeople. The voters, as might be expected from their place of residence, were of varied callings. " John Coates, clerk," was the Vicar of Hudders- field, and he voted for Wilberforce and Lascelles, which was the " ticket " of the Tory party.


rt oo K MH of oF ob p4

F - OH FH pi

Residence. Name and Description. Freehold. - Candidates. W. L. M. LEPTON- Copley, Joseph, clothier, Kirkburton............. I

Cowgill, Wm., clothier......................... I I

Page 424


Residence. Name and Description. Freehold. Candidates. W. L. M. Hallas, David, clothdresser..................... I I Haigh, Edwd., clothier......................... I I Jessop, Jno., tanner, Kirkburton......... kk ...}}. I I Jessop, Geo., JOIN@r............................ I I Ibberson, Josh., clothier, Kirkburton ............ I I Lockwood, Ambrose, labourer, Thornhill. I Spivey, Wm., butcher ................ kk... .es I Sikes, Edwd., husbandman..................... I Walker, Saml., gentln. ..... ce ae a e e e e e e eee ees 2.0 I OI LIDGATE- Bostock, Jno., shopkeeper, Quick ............ & .. I LINGARTHS- Shaw, Edmnd., farmer, Bradford .............. 2.0 II

Varlow, Jno., clothier, N. Crossland and Golker... I I LINTHWAITE-

Brayshaw, Matt., clothier...................... I I Bottomley, Sam1l., clothier,; N. Crossland ......... I Eastwood, Saml., py oo e s e eee ee I Lockwood, Richd., husbandman, Kirkburton ..... I Parkin, Josh., clothdresser, N. Crossland ......... I Ramsden, Richd., clothier...................... I Sykes, Joseph, clothier, N. Crossland ............ I Sykes, Wm., 3» py oe e e e e e eee es I I Sykes, Saml., clothier............... Ce k k es e k e ees I Swallow, Jas., yeoman......;................... I I Whitley, Saml., clothier. ...... (kee kk bek pk k rr bes I

In Lingarths (Lingards) and Linthwaite there were 13 voters-6 for Wilberforce, 5 for Lascelles, 7 plumpers for Milton.

Residence. Name and Description. Freehold. - Candidates. W. L.. M. LocKkwoop- Armitage, Joseph, merchant, Almby ............ I Battye, Dan, cloth merchant, N. I Hirst, Josh., clothdresser....................... I Hewitt, Jno., joiner, I Ingham, Benjn., banker ...................,.... I Kinder, Paul, clothdresser ..................... I Lockwood, Wm., plaisterer, Denby. ............. I North, Wm., corn dealer....................... I I North, Geo., clothier, Newsome................. I Shaw, Jas., clothier ........................... I I

In Lockwood I1 voters-5 for Wilberforce, 4 for Lascelles, 7 for Milton.

Page 425


Residence. Name and Description. Freehold. - Candidates. W. L. M.

Lonawoop- Broadbent, John, clothier...................... I Dodson, Jno., I I Eastwood, Ely, shoemaker ..................... Eastwood, jonathan, clothier, Golker....... k.... France, Joseph, clothier, Stainland.............. Hirst, Wm., clothier........................... Hirst, Thos., clothdresser .............. kk ...s. I Hanson, Edwd., clothier ....................... - Longwood, Daniel, farmer, ' Lofthouse, Joel, clothier, Liversedge. ............ Robinson, Wm., clerk, Huddersfield ............. I I Ramsden, Jno., Denton...................... 6} Shaw, Thos., clothier.......................... Taylor, Jno., e Wrigley, Geo., | ,, ............ 'sa k a eke ek ks Yeales, JOSH., = ,,. =. eer... eee e e .e .}} Yeates, Thos., - ,, Barkisland ................

Out of 17 voters in Longwood, 13 plumped for Milton, 1 split his vote between Milton and Wilberforce, 1 plumped for Wilberforce, and the Tory candidate polled only two votes.

W- KOKO Foi oM i4

allel sla

Residence. Name and Description. Freehold. - Candidates. W. L. M. MARsSDEN- - Broaley, Jas., shopkeeper, N. Crossland .......... I I Bellas, Lancelot, clerk, Saddleworth............. oI I Davenport, Wm., innkeeper, Wakefield .......... I I Garside, Jno., yeoman, Saddleworth.......... k.. I I Horsfall, Wm., merchant. ...................... I I Haigh, Danl., yeoman, N. I I Mosley, Wm., shoemaker, Ingbirthworth. I Waterhouse, Sam, clothier ..................... I Wood, Jno., clothier, Saddleworth......... kkk... I Whitehead, Saml., corn dealer .................. I

It is curious to note the difference in the politics of Marsden and Longwood ; the latter Whig almost. to a man, in Marsden the Whig securing only one vote.

Residence. Name and Description. Freehold. - Candidates. W. L. M. MELTHAM- Battley, Josh., dyer, I

Jas., clothier .......................... I

Page 426


Residence. Name and Description. reehold. Candidates. W. L. M.

Bower, Jas., clothier .......................... I I Boothroyd, Benjn., clothier, Meltham-Half. ...... I Bottomley, Jas., I Brook, Jas., woolstapler, Huddersfield ........... I Brook, Jonas, a py oo s e e e e e e ees I Brook, Jonas, o py oo e ee eee es I Charlesworth, Joshua, clothier, Hepworth I Dyson, Nathanl., miller.............. le e k e e s e es. I Dyson, Nathanl., writer, Avistnley.............. I Eastwood, Luke, woolstapler ............ vik .... I Eastwood, Wm., butcher. ...................... I Eastwood, Josh., clothier, Meltham-Half......... Eastwood, Jno., clothier ....................... Ellis, Jno., yeoman. ........................... Garlick, Jas., clothier ........................ I I Haigh, Jno., py oe e e e e e e e e e e e e e e e e ee e e ees Hirst, Matthew, | ,, = ........................ Hirst, Benjn.................................s. Hirst, Robt., clothier.......................... Hinchliffe, Jno., dyer, Thirstyland .............. Holdroyd, Jno., clothier........................ Holroyd, Benjn., |,, | ........................ I Miller, Jas., gentn............................. Moorhouse, Tho., yeoman, Thirstyland ........... Newton, Wm., De aoe e e e e e e e e e e e ee e e ees. Radcliffe, Chas., Esq........................... Rawcliffi, Jas., clothmiller...................... Sheard, Abm., clothier......................... Siddall, Jno., husbandman, Meltham-Half. . ...... Sykes, Jno., clothier, Meltham-Half ............. Sykes, Geo., clothier........................... Taylor, Geo., yeoman. ......................... Taylor, Geo., clothier......................... . Taylor, Geo., engineer ......................... I I Taylor, Jas., clothier Taylor, Jno., py e ee e ee e e e e e e e e e e e a e ee ees Taylor, Jno., Meltham-Half ............ Wilson, Jno., $» pp e e e e ee e ee es Wilson, Benjn., ,, - ......................... I Woodhead, Wm., clothier ...................... I Woodhead, Abm., clothier ..................... I

i F= p4

- - H HM M OH Of OM oH b OM ob obo p oM oi b b = }4

H F4

In Meltham of 43 voters, 29 voted for the Whig candidate.

Page 427


Residence. Name and Description. Freehold. Candidates. W. L. M. NETHERTON- Armistead, clerk, Almondbury . ................. I I Dickenson, Wm., husbandman, Thornhill. ........ I Stephenson, Day, stuffmaker ................... I Stephenson, Joshua, husbandman, Wakefield ..... Shaw, Jno., husbandman....................... I White, David, labourer ................. wi...... I Wigley (Qy. Wrigley), Jas., clothier. ..... eee I Widdop, Jno., malster, Thornhill. ............... I Wrigley, Joseph, clothier....................... I PADDOCK- Shires, Thos., woolstapler, Golker ............... I Thornton, Wm., clothdresser .............. a.... I QUARMBY- Sykes, Wm., tanner, Longwood ................. I SHELLEY- Turner, Jno., clothier.......................... I Walker, Benjn., ,, .............. kee ...e... I SHEPLEY- . Bottomley, Jonathan, clothier.................. Bottomley, Wm., clothier...................... Broadbent, Jno., clothier, Shelley ............... Firth, Jno., malster........................... I Firth, Robt., drysalter..................... oe Gelder, Josh., clothier ......................... I I Hinchcliffe, Jonathan, clothier.................. Hardy, Wm., husbandman, Kaye, Josh., carpenter......................... Noble, Benjn., tanner, Shepley-Over.. ...... tsk}... I Noble, Josh., tanner, Shelley ................... I I Pearce, Jno., clothier........................ I Savage, Thos., tanner, Shepley-Over........... o Walker, Josh., clothier......................... I Willman, Josh., | ,, I Wortley, Michael, shopkeeper ................... Wells, Elihu, farmer ..........................



F _- i

In Shelley and Shepley, too, a strong preponderance of Whig feeling.

Residence. Name and Description. Freehold. Candidates. W. L. M. SKELMANTHORPE- Archer, Jonathan, husbandman.................

Dyson, Josh., clothier, Cumberworth-Half.

Page 428


Residence. Name and Description. Freehoid. Candidates. W. L, M. Field, Thos., clothier, Shelley ................... Field,. Josh., clothier, Cumberworth-Half......... Fisher, Luke, cordwainer, Cumberworth ......... Jepson, David, clothier, pp oo e e e e ee e Marsden, Ralph, ,, e ess elk .s. Marsden, Geo., 99 $p oo Pickles, Wm.,. clothier, Cumberworth-Half........ Shaw, Jonas, worstedmaker, Cumberworth .......

In Skelmanthorpe the voters were Whigs to a man.

iM oF oo oH oof opp oo o 4

Residence. Name and Description. Freehold. - Candidates. W, L. M. SLAUGHwWAITE- Eastwood, Edmund, dyer, N. Crossland .......... I Varley, Jno., miller, we ee ee e eee es. Wilson, Thos., I I

Just as in Skelmanthorpe, the voters were all of one, so in Slaithwaite, but not of the same, mind.

Residence. Name and Description. Freehold. Candidates. W. L. M.

THIRSTYLAND-- Armitage, Joseph, clothier, Honley ............. Armitage, Jno., py oe ee ee eee ee ek ee es Armitage, Thos., ,, -- Kirkburton.......... Cocker, Jas., 1) _ Shelley ........... 2. OIL I Hemmingway, Thos., ,, | .................... I Jenkinson, Wm., blacksmith cll kle. .e. ... I I Hinchliffe, Josh., clothier ...................... I Kippax, David, mason, Meltham . ............... I I Noble, Jno., clothier, Kirkburton................ Stephenson, Jno., clothier...................... I Walker, Jonas, yeoman........................ I I Walker, Jonas, clothier ........ Cae e ee e ee ee eee es. 1 THong UPPER- Armitage, Jno., clothier, Honley .............. Battey, Thos., py e e e e e e e e e e e e e a e e e ees DYson, Josh., »» Dalton ............... Hirst, Josh., yeoman .......................... Hinchcliffe, Jas., husbandman, Cartworth I Marriott, Thos., oe e e e e e e e e e e e ee e ees I I Taylor, Jno., clothier ......................... Taylor, Jno., e Taylor, Jas., »» ae e e e e e e e e e e ee e eee eave}. Wadsworth, Geo., clothier......................

m - Fo f oH

Page 429


Residence. Name and Description. Freehold. Candidates. W. L. M.

THONG NETHER- Boothroyd, Joseph, clothier, Meltham-Half ..... r Dyson, Jas., 39 pp e ek} I Hobson, Abel e I Hobson, Ely, cordwainer ..... te a e e e e e e e s e e ee ees I I Hobson, Elihu, shopkeeper............. ce . ...}} a Haigh, Jno., yeoman ................. ee ee ee .s Stephenson, Cookson, gent...................... Woodhead, Joseph, clothier ..... t...}. I Woodhead, Abm., e I Wimpenny, Wm., py oe e e e e e e e e e e e e e ekle} T Town Enp- Walker, Thos., clothier, Golker.................. C

HALL- _ Ryder, Jno., schoolmaster, Ecclesfield ........... I

WooOpHKOoUSE- Shaw, Jos., fustian mfr., Quick ............... 2. T Whitaker, Jno., merchant, Huddersfield . ......... I I

WooOLDpaLE- Bray, John, clothier........................... Bray, Joseph, Bates, Jno., clothier................ 's ve 6 e ak en as Eastwood, Jonathan, carpenter................. Harrop, Jas., drysalter, Netherday.............. I I Hinchliffe, Thos., clothier, Thirstyland ...... ck k .. Hinchliffe, Jonathan, ,, | ..................... Hinchcliffe, Geo., - -,, ae e e e e e e e e s e e e e ee s ens Moorhouse, Geo., gentn., Horbury............... Moorhouse, John, | ,, ........ e I I

F Ooi oi 14

HoH o oH oH

Ho ooH Om H

For the district with which this history is concerned 503 freeholders recorded their votes. Each could cast two votes and plump and split his votes as he liked. There were 194 votes cast for Wilberforce, 198 for Lascelles, and for Milton 308. As we have seen, as the result of this memorable contest, Wilberforce was returned at the head of the poll, Lord Milton coming second. Had the voters of this district had their way, Lord Milton would have been at the head and Wilberforce at the bottom of the poll. I have not hesitated, for many reasons, to reproduce the long list of the voters from this district in the contest of a hundred years ago. I imagine people like to know who

Page 430


were the men of this locality who, at the beginning of the last century, rode to the ancient capital of the county and recorded their votes at the hustings. Iimagine, too, that the political student of to-day cannot but be interested in an election in which the people of Huddersfield and its neigh- bourhood declared so emphatically for those principles of political and social reform which were to bear fruit in the great reform of 1832. We may now resume the roll of county representatives. 1812-Viscount Milton. Hon. Henry Lascelles.

1818-Viscount Milton. James Archibald Stuart Wortley, Esq.

Mr. Wortley was created Baron Wharncliffe in 1826.


1820-Viscount Milton. J. A. S. Wortley, Esq. 1826-Viscount Milton. Hon. William Duncombe. Richard Fountayne Wilson, Esq. John Marshall, Esq.

The election of 1826 was the first election after the Act I and 2 Geo. IV., c. 47, which gave the County four members. The contest is said to have cost the sitting members more than a quarter of a million of money. Mr. Marshall was a Leeds merchant ; Mr. Wilson was of Ingmanthorpe. The election of a successful merchant for the county was but one of the many indications that the sway of the landed magnates was being challenged by the prosperous business man. WIrL1am IV. 1830-Viscount Morpeth, 1,464. Henry Brougham, 1,295. Hon. William Duncombe, 1,123. Richard Bethell, Esq., 1,064. Martin Stapylton, Esq. 1830-(Vice Brougham) Sir John V. B. Johnstone, Bart.

Page 431


It is scarcely necessary to say that this struggle for the representation of the county took place upon the question of the Reform of the House of Commons. Of Henry, afterwards Lord Brougham, Lord High Chancellor of England, it is unnecessary to write in these pages. Viscount Morpeth was a worthy colleague even of Henry Brougham. He supported the cause of Parliamentary Reform. For more than six years he was Chief Secretary for Ireland, and during those years carried through the House of Commons the Irish Tithe Bill, and the Irish Poor Law Bill. In 1848 he succeeded as seventh Earl of Carlisle.

1831-Viscount Morpeth. Sir J. V. B. Johnstone, Bart. George Strickland, Esq. John Charles Ramsden, Esq.

Mr. Ramsden was of the family which is so intimately associated with the town of Huddersfield. He was the father of the present baronet. On the passing of the Reform Act of 1832, the West Riding became for Parliamentary purposes a separate county, and the town of Huddersfield was enfranchised. Before treating of the representation of the borough it will be convenient to continue the history of the county representation. 1832-Viscount Morpeth. George Strickland, Esq. 1835-Viscount Morpeth. Sir George Strickland, Bart. 1835-Viscount Morpeth. ' Hon. J. Stuart Wortley. This election was caused by the acceptance by Viscount Morpeth of the office of Chief Secretary for Ireland,


1837-Viscount Morpeth. Sir Geo. Strickland, Bart. Hon. Jno. Stuart Wortley. 1841-Hon. Jno. Stuart Wortley. Edmund Denison, Esq.

Page 432


The long tenure of the Whigs of the membership for the county was broken in this election. It is interesting to note that George Julian Harnay and Lawrence Pit- kethley were nominated in the Chartist interest, but obtained no votes. There were 25,273 voters at this election, and the following figures show the political complexion of the West Riding at that time :- Hon. John Stuart Wortley, C., 13,165. Edmund Denison, Esq., C., 12,780. Viscount Milton, L., 12,080. Viscount Morpeth, L., 12,031.

The election of 1841 gave the finishing stroke to the Melbourne Ministry. The Whigs had clung desperately to office. The Budget of Mr. Baring, the Chancellor of the Exchequer, had shown a deficit of nearly two millions. He proposed to meet this in part by an alteration in the sugar duties. The House of Commons rejected the pro- posals by a majority of thirty-six votes. The country clamoured for the resignation of ministers, but they sought to rehabilitate themselves in popular favour by coquetting with the Free Trade party, though Lord Melbourne, " with characteristic oaths," had declared that of all the mad things he had ever heard suggested Free Trade was the maddest, and Lord John Russell had often condemned and sneered at the demand for Free Trade. When, there- fore, Lord John brought forward proposals to lower the duties on the importation of cereals, he exposed himself and his colleagues to all the suspicion generally begot by tardy and opportune conversions. It may serve to give an idea of the way in which the country used to be governed to recall the story of the Cabinet dinner at which the resolve to introduce the Government proposals was arrived at.* Lord Melbourne is said to have called from the stairs to his departing colleagues: " Stop a bit! Is it to lower the price of bread or isn't it? It doesn't much matter which ; but we must all say the same

* See Dict. Natl. Bio. Sub-tit.: Lamb, William.

Page 433


thing.'' Yet he denounced Peel's conversion to Free Trade in unmeasured terms, exclaiming to the Queen : " M'am, it's a damned dishonest act !'"* In May, 1841, Peel proposed a vote of want of confidence in ministers, and the motion was carried by a majority of one. Parlia- ment was dissolved, and the Tories were returned to power by a great majority, the West Riding, as we have seen, joining in the general condemnation of the Whig ministry, and sending its former Whig representatives to the right- about ; though, in 1846, Viscount Morpeth, at a by- election, secured the seat of Mr. Stuart Wortley. Between 1841 and 1847 the cause of Free Trade made vast progress, and in the latter year Viscount Morpeth and Richard Cobden were returned unopposed, Mr. Edmund Denison, on the show of hands being against him, declining to go to the poll. A year later the voting at an election necessitated by the election of Viscount Morpeth as sixth Earl of Carlisle, was as follows :- Edmund Denison, Esq., 14,741. Sir Charles Eardley, Bart., 11,793.

So that the division which in 1847 had returned to Parliament the protagonist of Free Trade, in 1848 returned a Tory, but a Tory who was opposed to the duties on corn. For some years thenceforward the representation of the Riding was divided between the two great political parties :- 1852-Richard Cobden, Esq. Edmund Denison, Esq. 1857-Edmund Denison, Esq. Lord Goderich. Lord Goderich, it is scarcely necessary to say, became a foremost leader in the Liberal party, and was better known to a later generation as the Marquis of Ripon.

185q-February. (Vice Goderich) Sir John William Ramsden, Bart.

In the same year another election, the last under the old electoral arrangements for the county, took place,

* Greville's Memoirs, II., 351.

Page 434


and the following figures show the then state of parties :- Sir J. W. Ramsden, Bart., L., 15,978. Frank Crossley, Esq., L., 15,401. Hon. Jas. Stuart Wortley, C., 13,636. Sir J. W. Ramsden succeeded as fifth baronet in 1859; he was Under-Secretary for War in 1857-8 ; and High Sheriff of Yorkshire in 1868. He is the ground landlord of the greater part of Huddersfield. His colleague, Mr. Frank, afterwards Sir Francis, Crossley, was born at Halifax, October 26, 1817. His father, John, had begun the business of carpet manufacturing in a very small way at Dean Clough Mills, and in the mill young Francis worked at the loom as a boy, his pocket money depending on his industry. The three sons of the founder of the firm, Jno. Crossley, junr., Joseph Crossley, and Francis Crossley, constituting the firm of J. Crossley & Sons, made the concern the largest of its kind in the world. Its buildings covered an area of twenty acres, and the employees numbered between five and six thousand. This great and Tapid development of a small business is attributed to the acquisition by the partners of patents which, with the improvements they themselves devised and patented, gave them immense advantage over their rivals One loom, the patent of which became their own property, was " found capable of weaving about six times as much as could be produced by the old hand-loom." The possession of this loom and the acquisition of other patents compelled the manufacturers of tapestry and Brussels carpets to throw their hand-looms aside, and to apply to Messrs. Crossley for licenses to work their patents. Mr. Francis Crossley was Mayor of Halifax in 1849 and 1850, member for that borough in 1852-59, when, as we have seen, he was returned for the West Riding. On the re-arrangement of areas he sat for the northern division till his death in 1872. His princely benefactions to his native town néed no recalling in these pages. By 24 and 25 Vict., cap. 112, the West Riding was, for Parliamentary purposes, divided into two divisions, Southern and Northern, the district with which this

Page 435


History is concerned being comprised in the Southern Division. The first election for this division took place in 1865, and in the contests of that and later years the polling was as follows :- -

Lord Milton, L., 7,258. Henry Frederick Beaumont, Esq., L., 6,975. Christopher Beckett Denison, Esq., C., 6,884. Walter Spencer Stanhope, Esq., C., 6,819.

1868-Lord Milton, L., 8,110. H. F. Beaumont, Esq., L., 7,943. W. S. Stanhope, Esq., C., 7,935. Lewis Randle Starkey, Esq., C., 7,631.

1874-W. S. Stanhope, Esq., C., 9,705. L. R. Starkie, Esq., C., 9,639. Wm. Hy. Leatham, Esq., L., 8,265. H. F. Beaumont, Esq., L., 8,148.

1880-Hon. H. W. C. Fitzwilliam, L., 11,385. W. H. Leatham, Esq., L., 11,181. W. S. Stanhope, Esq., C., 10,391. L. R. Starkie, Esq., C., 10,020.

Of these members and candidates in recent times, it is scarcely necessary to say much. Lord Milton was of the house of Fitzwilliam, and in the confidence of the electors that he would vote as straight as he was known to ride to hounds lay his sole claim to the honour of representing the division. Mr. W. H. Leatham was of a firm of Wakefield bankers, eminently safe and pre-eminently dull. Mr. Stanhope, of Cannon Hall, was a more portly Chaplin, as florid and rotund in his periods as that venerable Protectionist. Mr. H. F. Beaumont, of Whitley Hall, was of that family so long and so honour- ably associated with Kirkheaton, a family that owned Huddersfield long before it passed into the hands of the Ramsdens. Mr. L. R. Starkie was of the firm of Starkie Bros., of Longroyd Bridge. Not a man of them all with any real qualifications as a political guide and leader. The election of 1880 was the last before, and the

Page 436


General Election of 1885 the first after, the extension. of household suffrage to the counties, the Colne Valley and the Holme Valley Divisions being then constituted. The elections since that time for the new electoral districts have been as follows :-

CoLNE VALLEY DvIsION. 1885 (Dec.)-H. F. Beaumont, J.P., D.L., L., 5,398. Thos. Brooke, J.P., C., 4,541. 1886 (July)-H. F. Beaumont, unopposed. 1892 (July)-Sir James, Kitson, L., 4,987. Jno. Sugden, L. U., 4,281. 1895 (June)-Sir James Kitson, L., 4,276. Harold Thomas, C., 3,737. Tom Mann, Labour, 1,245. 1q9oo-Kitson, L., 4,699. Bagenall, C., 4,176. 1906-Sir James Kitson, unopposed. 1907 (July)-Albert Victor Grayson, Socialist, 3,648. Philip Bright, L., 3,495. Granville Wheeler, C., 3,227. Iqro-Chas. Leach, L., 4,741. A. Boyd-Carpenter, C., 3,750. Victor Grayson, Socialist, 3,149. VALLEY DvisION. 1885-Henry J. Wilson, L., 6,208. Col. H. C. Legge, C., 3,164.

1886-H. J. Wilson, L., 5,322. Walter Armitage, L. U., 2,780.

1892-H. J. Wilson, L., 5,640. Harold Thomas, C., 3,317. 1895-H. J. Wilson, L., 5,001. ' George E. Raine, C., 3,459. 19oo-H. J. Wilson, L., 4,505. Major C. B. S. Wortley, C., 3,739. 1906-H. J. Wilson, L., 6,850. Major Sydney G. Jebb, C., 2,677. Iqr0o-H. J. Wilson, L., 6,339. W. Geoffrey Ellis, C., 3,043. William Pickles, Labour, 1,644.

Page 437


Mr. Henry JosEprx WILson, of Osgathorpe Hill, Sheffield, has represented the Holmfirth Division since its constitution, holding the seat against Conservative, Liberal Unionist, and Socialist attack. Mr. Wilson was born April 14, 1833, but sure never was a haler or alerter octogenarian. He is the son of William Wilson, of Rat- ford, Torquay, and Mansfield, and in 1859 married the daughter of the late Charles Cowan, M.P. for Edinburgh. He received a liberal education at University College, London, though he was probably from the first destined for a commercial career, and became director of the Sheffield Smelting Company. He has all his life been a pronounced Radical of the old school of politics, and though not taking a prominent part in the debates in Parliament, has done useful if unostentatious work in connection with social reform, being in 1893 a member of the Departmental Committee on Regulation of Prostitu- tion in India, and in the same year a member of the Royal Commission on Opium in India. He is a convinced Free Trader and a strong supporter of Temperance Reform. His robust common-sense and his consistent advocacy and support of the political and social principles he adopted in early manhood, and from which he has never swerved amid all the changes that have, during his long life, been evinced by a somewhat fickle public, have won for Mr. Wilson an almost unique position among. politi- cians. From being deemed an extreme politician in his ripe manhood, he has lived to see himself denounced as behind the times ; but he can reflect with pride that the change is with the world, not with himself. It has simply moved towards his standpoint of half a century ago. How thoroughly his attitude has been in harmony with that of his constituency is indicated by the remarkable fact that he has often beaten his opponent by a majority of nigh two votes to one, although on two occasions he was confronted by antagonists drawn from the two most powerful of the territorial families of the district-in 1885 by Col. Legge, a member of the house of Dartmouth of Woodsome ; in 1900, by Major Wortley, of the noble

Page 438


house of Wharncliffe. In 1910 his opponent, Councillor WILLIAM PICKLES, was a man of very different type and representing principles with some of which Mr. Wilson had probably a large measure of sympathy. Mr. Pickles is essentially a man of the people. Unaided by the ad- vantages of birth, fortune, and academic training, which fall to the lot of most aspirants to public honours, he has by ardent self-culture and by steadfast devotion to the cause he has at heart, won for himself not only popular favour but the ear of the Council of the Borough. He is an earnest and ready speaker. He takes infinite pains to acquaint himself with the subjects on which he speaks, and is consequently heard with respect even when he does not secure acquiescence in his views. He led a forlorn hope in the Holme Division, as probably none knew better than himself; but he threw himself into the breach with chivalrous courage and so bore himself that those who in future espouse the same cause in the constituency will find their task all the easier for the vain attempt. No history of this district could have any pretensions to even an approach to completeness without some notice of that family which has for many generations played a leading part, not only in the industrial, but in the political, social, and municipal life of Huddersfield and its vicinity. I refer to that family, of which one member, THomMaAs, was twice an unsuccessful candidate for the political suffrages of his friends and neighbours ; and it says much for the value attached by the people of this district to political principle that whilst no man has ever enjoyed more of the esteem of all classes of the community than the late Thomas Brooke, he essayed in vain to secure the endossement by the majority of the electors of his political professions. The Brooke family was settled in the hamlet of Scholes certainly so far back as the reign of James I., being probably small yeomen, and possibly uniting with the cultivation of the land the cottage facture of cloth. About the year 1750, William Brooke, the great-great-grandfather of Sir Thomas Brooke,

Page 439


built a house in Honley. He had married Sarah Kaye, of Farnley Tyas, who was in all likelihood a blood relative of the ancient family of Kaye of Woodsome Hall. This William Brooke may be regarded as the founder of the present firm, whose business is now concentrated at Armitage Bridge. After his death the business was carried on by his son John and by his grandson William. This grandson, born in 1763, built and resided in Northgate House, Honley. His son Thomas, born in 1798, also resided at Northgate House, dying in 1859. To him were born in 1830 Thomas Brooke, of Armitage Bridge, the subject of this brief notice; William Brooke, of Northgate Mount, Honley, in 1834; Joshua Ingham Brooke, afterwards Archdeacon and Vicar of Halifax, in 1836; and 'John Arthur Brooke, of Fenay Hall, Almondbury, in 1844. The names of Thomas, William, and John Arthur Brooke are so familiar and so honoured by all who dwell in Hudders- field and its neighbourhood that their mere mention is their eulogy. Thomas Brooke, like all, or nearly all, his kin, was a devoted Churchman and a staunch Conserva- tive. He was a ripe scholar, and to him the lovers of archzologic lore owe much. He early took an active part in the Volunteer movement, holding the commission of lieutenant-colonel on his retirement in 1872. He was diligent in the duties of the magistracy, often presiding as Chairman at Quarter Sessions. He had so acquainted himself with those branches of the law with which Petty and Quarter Sessions have to do, that even experienced Clerks of the Peace deferred to his opinion. In 1898 his many public services were somewhat tardily recognised by the conferment of a baronetcy, the title becoming extinct on his death. SIR JAMEs Kitson, who for so many years repre- sented the Colne Valley, and who was raised to the peerage in 1907, with the title of Baron Airedale, is a son of the late James Kitson, founder of the Locomotive Building Works, now carried on at Airedale Foundry, Leeds, by the firm of Kitson & Co., Limited. Young Kitson, like Mr. H. J. Wilson, was educated at University College, London.

Page 440


He studied engineering under Prof. Hodgkinson and chemistry under Prof. Graham, and his notable success in after life in the business to which he devoted himself is a not unneeded rebuke to that still large body of English- men who profess to set practical above theoretical know- ledge. Despite the claims made upon his time and energies by a business that has grown to mammoth proportions, Lord Airedale has not shirked public duties of the most exacting character. In 1897 he was elected first Lord Mayor of Leeds. For two years he was chairman of the National Liberal Federation, and all his life he has been a staunch Liberal and a convinced Free Trader, affirming with emphasis that English manufacturers must rely for their hold upon the markets of the world not upon a wall of tariffs, but upon the excellence of their products. Mr. Joun SUgpEN, J.P., who unsuccessfully contested the Colne Valley in 1892 as a Liberal Unionist, is a native of Slaithwaite. He was born at Lower Wood in 1838, of humble parentage, his father being a fancy weaver and foreman to Mr. Amos Ogden, of Mellors, Lingards. When of very tender years young Sugden had to go to work to supplement the slender means of the family. But he was bent upon self-improvement, and at sixteen years of age acted as secretary for the Slaithwaite Mechanics' Institute, availing himself with avidity of the means of culture afforded by its classes. In 1879 Mr. Sugden was elected Chairman of the Slaithwaite Local Board, and it was to his exertions that is largely due the new bridge in that village over the River Colne. Removing from his native village to Huddersfield, Mr. Sugden was returned to the Town Council for the Lockwood Ward. From his youth to the great split in the Liberal ranks over Home Rule, Mr. Sugden had been an ardent Liberal, being a welcome speaker on Liberal platforms in Huddersfield and for many miles around ; but on the historic cleavage he cast in his lot with the Liberal Unionists. He is still full of vigour and enthusiasm ; but one cannot help feeling that the political environment of his later years is not so congenial to him as that within which he won his early renown.

Page 441


Mr. Tom MANN, who, in 1895, contested the Colne Valley as a Labour candidate, was born April 15, 1856, and from his tenth to his twelfth year worked as a farm labourer, then for three years on the pit bank and in the mine, then for a spell as an engineer in Birmingham, settling in London in 1877 as a journeyman engineer, and four years later joining the Amalgamated Society of En- gineers. For many years he was widely known in connec- tion with the Trade Union organisations, but declared himself a Socialist in 1884. Probably no election witnessed in this district has excited interest so intense and so widespread as that which resulted in the return of Mr. ALBERT VICTOR GRAYSON as the representative of the Colne Valley. Mr. Grayson stood as a revolutionary Socialist-whatever that may mean. The following lurid sentences taken from his election literature will convey a fair notion of the appeals on which he relied in his candidature :-

I am appealing to you as one of your own class. I want emancipation from the wage-slavery of Capitalism. I do not believe that we are divinely destined to be drudges. Through the centuries we have been the serfs of an arrogant aristocracy. We have toiled in the factories and workshops to grind profits with which to glut the greedy maw of the Capitalist class. Their children have been fed upon the fat of the land. Our children have been neglected and handicapped in the struggle for existence. We have served the classes and we have remained a mob. The time for our emancipation has come. We must break the Tule of the rich and take our destinies into our own hands. Let charity begin with our own children. Workers, who respect your wives, who love your children, and who long for a fuller life for all ! a vote for the Landowner or the Capitalist is treachery to your class. To give your child a better chance than you have had, think carefully ere you make your cross. The other classes have had their day. It is our turn now !

Little more than a quarter of a century had passed

since the Colne Valley had returned as its representative a Fitzwilliam, aristocrat to the finger tips, and a dull and

Page 442


decorous banker. And now, to an extended electorate, not only were these wild and whirling words addressed, but found an echo in the hearts of those who heard or read them. Time had been, and not so long before the election that saw Mr. Grayson's return for Colne Valley, when candidates talked mildly about " cautious and well- considered " extensions of the franchise, about education and disestablishment and other topics of a not very exciting kind. Here was a young and fiery orator, " Eng- land's greatest mob-orator '"' he has been called, talking about taking meat and drink from the tables of the rich and spreading them upon the tables of the poor. The change in the note of the appeal corresponded with a change in the direction of the political energies of the people to which some reference may be permitted. Many circumstances had combined to impress upon a considerable number of the working-men and women of Huddersfield and the surrounding district the con- viction that, however much their employers might differ upon questions of pure politics, they were very much of a mind upon questions of pure economics ; in other words, that when wages were in question there was no sort of difference between the Liberal employer and the Tory employer. Indeed it was often alleged that the Tory employer was, as a rule, more liberal in his treatment of his employees than his Liberal critic. Many of the working- men had read, marked, learned, and inwardly digested the candid avowal of the Licensed Our Trade is Our Politics "-and had concluded they might do worse than resolve that their wages should be their politics ; that to them and their families the amelioration of their social and economic conditions was of more vital importance than those alterations in Church and State over which their fathers had excited themselves at election times. The Weavers' Strike of 1883 had seen the captains of the local Liberal party, who chanced also to be captains of industry, foremost in insisting upon that uniform scale of wages which the employees, rightly or wrongly, viewed with so much suspicion. It was not easy for men who

Page 443


believed their employers to have been engaged in a con- spiracy to lower their wages to place implicit confidence in their professions of a consuming regard for the working- classes when they sought their suffrages, whether for Liberal or Conservative candidate. The new spirit had manifested itself in Huddersfield a decade before the advent of Mr. Grayson in the Colne Valley. In 1890, as we shall see, Mr. H. R. Smart had contested that con- stituency as a Labour candidate polling some fifeeen hundred votes. But Mr. Grayson scorned to describe him- self by an adjective so vague as " Labour." He solicited the support of the electors as a Socialist, the first avowed socialist to woo an English constituency ; and for this it is no exaggeration to say that for a time the eyes of the civilised world were fixed upon the Colne Valley. ' Mr. Grayson was born in Liverpool in 1882.* His parents were of the working-class; but the youth was apprenticed to a firm of engineers. His natural parts, however, marked him out for a different calling. Through the influence of the Rev. J. L. Haigh, minister of the Anfield Unitarian Church, young Grayson was admitted to the Home Missionary College, affiliated with Owen's College. But the whole bent of the young student was towards political and social propagandism. He has the dangerous gift of fluent and mordant speech, a gift that enables him to delight and entrance a popular audience, but which often betrays him into utterances that require subsequent modification or explanation. His maiden speech in the House of Commons, awaited with no little speculation, was made upon the subject of the Cromer grant. The comment of the " Westminster Gazette" may be pre- served in these pages: " It was the very speech which the Socialist member in the up-to-date novel would have made. It revealed a gift of picturesque expression, as in

* The reader will find some account of Mr. Grayson's life and a considerable record of his speeches in a Monograph by Wilfred Thompson (°° Worker '' Press, 1910).

Page 444


the description of the slum in which a litter of straw stood for a bed and rags and disease made a lurid background for the poor, who deserved grants from Parliament far more than those in high places. But his language and figures of speech were not those of the dwellers in such slums ; they reeked of Bernard Shaw and Karl Marx, with an added touch of realism derived from personal knowledge of the lot of the poor. For there was no gain- saying the sincerity of the young man, or of his utter fear- lessness as he attacked the Government for its impotency to deal with the social problems and denounced the grant to Lord Cromer as a robbery from the public funds that should go to Old-Age Pensions. The House laughed loudly at his impertinence as he pointed at the Treasury Bench and warned those seated there that they were losing the confidence of the country by their neglect to deal with social reform on his lines, and that in consequence a Socialist Ministry would be seated on that bench. The laughter was uproarious. And yet one thought that the appearance of this strange young man, with his white face and carefully combed hair, and his bold appeal that he that hath should give to him that hath not, had a dis- quieting effect on the nerves of the Assembly." In his speech after his election Mr. Grayson declared that " he looked forward to every constituency in the West Riding of Yorkshire following Colne Valley's lead." But three years later Mr. Grayson failed to hold for

Socialism the seat he had captured " while all the world wondered."

Up to the Reform Act of 1832 the town of Huddersfield -not then a municipal borough-was included in the county representation.

Txr BoroucH It remains to give some account of ELECTIONS. the elections of 1832 and later years, with the, votes polled for the candidates :-

1832 (December)-Fenton, Capt. Lewis, W, 263. Wood, Capt. Joseph, L., 152.

Captain Fenton was Captain-Commandant in the

Page 445


local Armed Association. He stood as a Whig, his opponent as a Liberal. The recording of the votes at the polling- booth occupied two days. There was much excitement and disorder. The Riot Act was read and the military called out ; but an election was formerly scarcely considered com- plete without these proceedings. Capt. Fenton was a son of Mr. Wm. Fenton, of Spring Grove. He met his death by a fall from a window in the house in Spring Grove Street.

1834 (January)-(On death of Capt. Fenton). Blackburn, John, W., 241. Sadler, Michael T., T, 147. Wood, Capt. Joseph, L., 108.

Of these names two will live in the history, not only of this district, but of the nation. The great question before. the electors at this, as at the election of 1832, was the extension of the franchise, the Whigs reiterating Russel's famous advice to " rest and be thankful," the Liberals and Radicals-Capt. Wood was dubbed Radical as a term of abuse-clamouring for greater liberty. But it is not as opponents of the extension of popular liberties that either Blackburn or Sadler will live in history. John Blackburn, K.C., was the nominee of the Ramsden family, and though he had an unpleasant enough time of it at the hustings, secured the majority of the votes recorded. Little is known or can be gathered concerning him or his ante- cedents ; but it is certain that he was a man of remarkable acumen and untiring energy. It is to him we are indebted for the Report on Municipal Administration, that led to the abolition of the close corporations and vestries and the passing of the Act of Parliament which is the Magna Charta of municipal life. Appointed chairman of the commission to inquire into municipal abuses and to devise a remedy, he threw himself into the work with an exem- plary ardour quite unprecedented in and little followed by royal commissioners. He appears in the course of a very brief period to have visited every town and city in the kingdom, to have mastered the intricacies of its local government-and city differed in its administration from

Page 446


city and town from town in a bewildering manner-to have routed Bumbledom in its strongholds, and finally to have presented to Parliament a monumental Report compiled largely by his own hands, which once and for: all de- nounced the municipal systems then existent and made municipal reform a necessity that none could deny. MicHarLrt THomas SADLER was a resident of Leeds, and took an active part in the affairs of that borough- Leeds was not then a city-being treasurer of the Board of Management of the Poor. He very early interested himself in the cause of Factory Reform. In 1829 he was returned to Parliament for Newark, and to him was entrusted the management in Parliament of the cause of Factory Reform ; and it was Sadler who presided over the great Commission that sealed the doom of the unreformed system, and from whose proceedings I have so largely quoted in previous pages. In Alfred's " History of the Factory Movement" there is a generous tribute to his character: " Though called a Tory, he was, properly speaking, of no party, he was of the nation. so. He was opposed to the monopoly of riches; he desired the distribution rather than the heaping-up of the pro- ducts of labour and land, and devoted his energies to that end. Sadler's soul, like that of his friend Oastler, was dead to class or party interests, as understood by the leading political writers and legislators of his time ; his sympathies were on the side of the injured and oppressed. In the estimation of Sadler, to labour was the law of life, and the business of philosophers, mechani- cians, and statesmen, was to discover how life's burdens should be lightened, and its enjoyments increased for in proportion as man's control over the materials of the earth increased ; that the nearest approach to the melien- num was to be found in the elevation of the labouring

portions of the community." - Mr. Sadler's chiefsupporters in Huddersfield were Mr. John Whitacre, of Woodhouse, and Mr. James Booth, of Thornton Lodge. Mr. Black- burn was supported on the hustings by Mr. William Brooke, of Moldgreen, and Mr. Thomas Starkey, of Spring Grove.

Page 448

Niarhet Place, 1800.

Page 449


1835-Blackburn, W., 241. General G. W. A. Johnson, L., 109. 1837 (on death of Blackburn). Ellice, Edward, Jun., L, 340. Oastler, Richard, C, 301. EDpwARD ELLICE, JUN., was a statesman of some distinction ; indeed, the late Sir Thomas Brooke, of Armi- tage Bridge, once described him to the writer as the most noteworthy of all the men who have represented Hudders- field in Parliament. He was the only son of the Right Hon. Edward Ellice, and a grandson of Earl Grey. He was educated at Eton and Trinity College, Cambridge. When the Parliament in which he sat for Huddersfield was dissolved, he was returned in the Liberal interest for St. Andrew's Burghs, and represented that constituency for forty-two years. He supported the abolition of the Corn Laws and the Navigation Laws and was a firm and consistent Free Trader. In November, 1869, Mr. Gladstone offered him a peerage " as a genuine tribute to his char- acter, position, and public services." This offer Mr. Ellice declined. Early in life he bought a residence in the High- lands, and there " he did all in his power to improve the dwellings of his tenantry, and by planting, fencing, and road-making did much for their comfort. He knew per- sonally everyone who lived on his estates, and had great influence with them. When he first went to live at Glen- quoich, a freebooter of the Rob Roy type haunted the district, and had a little stronghold on an island in Loch Quoich, which still bears his name. This Highlander called on the new proprietor, and, sticking his dirk in the table, defiantly declared that to be his title to his island. The freebooter soon came to like Ellice, and lived in amity with him till other neighbours, less willing to miss a sheep now and then, stormed the stronghold and placed the High- land robber in durance at Fort William. Though Ellice had clear and definite opinions upon all the great political movements of his time,, his active political life was en-

gaged chiefly with measures of practical importance." He died in 1880.

Page 450


In the year 1831 RicxAarD OAsTLER resided at Fixby Hall. He was steward of the Yorkshire estates of Mr. Thomas Thornhill, of Riddlesworth, co. Norfolk, as his father had been before him. In Alfred's " History of the Factory Movement " it is stated that " Mr. Oastler had not long entered upon the stewardship before he dis- covered that the expenses attendant upon the faithful discharge of his duties were much greater than the amount of his salary, that being £300 a year, without a single per- quisite. Mr. Oastler was received by the gentry and others, who were more or less connected with the estates, in the most hospitable manner, and when they called upon him like hospitality was returned. In affairs relating to the church, turnpike roads, and other public works, in parochial as in county questions, Mr. Thornhill, through Mr. Oastler, was constantly advised with; on such matters many were the guests at Mr. Oastler's table. The tenants were invariably received at Fixby Hall with hospitality, the poor were not sent empty away. Mr. Oastler had regard to Mr. Thornhill's name and thus it was that name was honoured." At that time, the reader will scarce need to be reminded, the country was violently agitated on the question of West Indian Slavery. Mr. Oastler's attention had been called to the condition of child-labour in the mills of the town that lay at the foot of the hill on which his residence stood. On October 20, 1831, he wrote in the Leeds gencer an appeal " to the working-classes of. the West Riding of the County of York," headed, " Slavery in Yorkshire." It contained the following passage: " The real friends of tyranny have put on the mask of philan- thropy, and, with the cry of ' no slavery," would rivet the chains upon your children, all the time persuading you they are the only ' Liberals' of the day. From such turn away ! And be ye assured that no man, be his pretensions what they may, can really wish to emancipate the poor black slave in the West Indies who refuses his aid and assistance in emancipating your children from a state of slavery more horrid than that by which the infants of the

Page 451


slaves in the West Indies are cursed. Be duped no longer ' Willingly lend your assistance to emancipate black slaves ; but imperatively require from those members of Parlia- ment, ministers of religion and its professors, as well as the ' factory masters' who solicit your aid in favour of the blacks, that they shall prove their sincerity, and that they really do hate slavery, by encouraging and signing peti- tions in favour of ' ten hours a day ' as the limit of your children's work. If they refuse this, you will need no further proof that they are no real friends of liberty, however 'liberal' they may profess themselves to be ; bring them to this touchstone, and you will then either tear off their 'liberal' mask, or compel them to join you in emancipating your little ones." The supporters in Hud- dersfield of the short-time movement-their names I have already recorded-read this spirited effusion with delight. In The Home Mr. Oastler set out an account of the historic meeting at Fixby to which allusion has already been made.* " One Sunday morning, when we were all pre- paring to go to church, about half-a-dozen working-men, from Huddersfield, called upon me. They had read my letters in the papers about ' Yorkshire slavery '; they informed me they wished to converse with me about those letters of mine, and that they came on behalf of the factory-workers of Huddersfield to thank me for them, and to offer their best assistance to me. I told them that I was going to church, that on any other day I should be glad to see them. They replied. ' Sunday, Sir, is the only day on which we can come ; we are in the mill all the rest of the week, from early in the morning till late at night." This information brought home most forcibly to my mind that the factory system and the fourth commandment could not work together. I thought the matter over, consulted with Mrs. Oastler, and, seeing that it was clearly a work of charity, remained with them ; the rest of the family went to church. Those men, being factory workers, gave me much useful information, invited me to communi-

* See page 355.

Page 452


cate frequently with them, and offered cordially to co- operate with me in striving to obtain a change in the factory system. I heard all they had to say with great interest. I was struck with their great intelligence and civility. I had seen much of the poor when in sickness and distress, at their homes, in the workhouse and the infirmary, but, until that day, I had never entered into communion with working-men on matters relating to themselves as a class, connected with their employers. A new field seemed to be opened unto me. These working-men surprised me by the knowledge which they communicated, and the sensible manner in which they conveyed the knowledge to me. Still, I thought there were hindrances to our working together, I being a Tory and a Churchman, they Radicals and Dissenters ; therefore, after thanking them, I said : * It will be better that we work separately, you taking your course, I taking mine.' They thought differently. After a good deal of conversation we agreed to work together, with the understanding that parties in politics, and sects in religion should not be allowed to interfere between us. That agreement has never been broken." This is not the place in which to record the heroic exertions of Richard Oastler in the movement he made his own. It must suffice to narrate as succinctly as may be the part played by the people of Huddersfield in upholding the children's champion. In 1837 Mr. Oastler sought to be returned as member for Huddersfield-and sought in vain. It must not be forgotten that he appealed to a very limited class of electors; that less than seven hundred voters went to the poll. Oastler was the nominee of the Tory party, and it was stated that a Bradford Tory conveyed to him the freehold without which in those days no man might stand for Parliament. The working-men and women for whose children Oastler pleaded had no votes; they could only hold up their hands and make themselves as objectionable as possible to the Whig candidate and his supporters. Mr. Oastler's chief local supporters were the Rev. W. Madden (Vicar of Woodhouse), Messrs. James Brooke,

Page 453


John Whitacre, Jeremiah Riley, William Stocks, Thomas Pedley, Laurence Pitkeithley, and Joshua Hobson, the able journalist and politician to whose memory a handsome monument may be seen in the Huddersfield Cemetery. He founded the Weekly News. It is interesting even after the lapse of seventy years and more to read the comments of the Whig organ, the Leeds Mercury, upon the defection of the working-class and their support, though it could only be of the kind called moral support, of the nominee of the Tory party. " Mr. Oastler, it is said, is to receive a qualification from a Tory, and, as he says he must be maintained whilst in Parliament, of course the Tories will have to support him. Now, are the Radicals such innocents as to suppose that the Tories would do this unless they were well assured that Mr. Oastler would prove a supporter of Tory measures, and, as a necessary conse- quence, an opponent of Radical measures? The supposi- tion is ridiculous to the last degree. No, no ! the Tories are panting and straining for a return to power. Mr. Whitacre, Mr. Armitage, and their friends would see Mr. Oastler in that place to which he so often consigns his opponents before they would support him, if they were not morally certain that he would be found among the hottest partisans of Toryism. Can any man doubt that? Cer- tainly not a man in Huddersfield. Then the Radicals are a gulled and bamboozled set, if they stir a finger towards seating a ferocious Tory in their representation." And again : '" We are at a loss to conceive anything more scandalous and monstrous in political proceedings than the union in one phalanx of the professed champion of the altar and the throne with the revolutionary Radicals who carry mob tyranny to the most insufferable lengths. To see Mr. Whitacre hand in hand with Mr. Pitkeithley— to see the Huddersfield blues halloing on the Almondbury Radicals-to see the rampant advocates of unbounded liberty shouting for the man who tells them he would repeal Catholic emancipation-these things make one blush for the degeneration of human nature." At that time not only were the people of this district

Page 454


concerned about Factory Reform ; they were threatened with the restriction to the point of abolition of out-door relief for the poor. Oastler's banners were inscribed : ** Ellis is for separation, bastiles, and starvation ; Oastler is for comfort and happiness to the poor " ; " Oastler is the friend of our factory children." Mr. Ellis won the day, however, by fifty votes, and the Leeds Mercury, declared his return to be a triumph of Constitutionalism over a base and wretched coalition of Tories and Destructives. " After the conduct -of the Huddersfield Tories ""'-wrote the Mercury-'" in supporting a political incendiary like Oastler, who has boasted both in speeches and in print that he would feach the factory children to destroy their masters' property,; nay, who has actually taught them how to ruin the machinery in the malls by a knitting needle-who has actually called for men that would fight up to the knees in blood for the Ten Hours' Bill-who has threatened the millowners not only with ' the but with ' the dagger and the torch has officially declared that ' title-deeds ' are no security for property unless the people willed it, and whose whole conduct is that of the incendiary, only mitigated, if mitigated, by the buffoon- it is manifest that the Huddersfield Tories would support anything in human shape, provided that he called himself a Tory and avowed mortal enmity to the Whigs." Oastler made another attempt upon the representa- tion of Huddersfield in 1837, his opponent being Mr. Stansfield, a Whig. The workers, having no votes, tried what they could do by intimidation or the boycott. The following letter was sent to those suspected of favouring

the Whig candidate :-

Huddersfield, July 27, 1837. DEAR SIR,-We have been informed you intend voteing [sic] against the wish of the labouring class, as well as the men of wealth. Now, sir, we have to inform you that if you do not vote against the Whigs at this time we will mark your shop. We have associations formed in all the surrounding villages to such a degree that we can ruin your business. Perhaps you are relying for assistance from those 400 printed names-if so you will soon find out the delusions. What are 400 names to support nearely [sic] 200 shopkeepers: What, in fact, are 400 names in comparison

Page 455


to 20,000 people and upward who are waiting with longing anxiety for Mr. Oastler's return to Parliament ? If by your vote you blast the ardent wishes of the people, can you expect them to trade at your shop? We are sure you cannot-then be wise in time lest you should repent when it is too late. If you wish the people to support you in your trade-support them by your vote-or else

do not vote at all. FROM THE PEOPLE.

There may be clearly a tyranny of labour no less than a tyranny of capital, but the shopkeepers of Huddersfield were not to be cowed, and the result of the poll was- Stansfield, W. R. C. (W), 323. Oastler, 301. In the following year Mr. Oastler ceased to reside at Fixby. He had got into arrears with his accounts, though his employer imputed to him no fraudulent intention. In the fourteen years of his stewardship the balance against him amounted to near £3,000, for which he gave his pro- missory notes, payable by instalments. In default of payment, judgment for the balance due on the note was given against him, and he was cast into the Fleet Debtors' Prison. " The morning of the day (August 25, 1838) on which he left Fixby was in Huddersfield and neighbour- hood a time of stirring interest ; the roads leading to Fixby were crowded with travellers bent on paying their respect to a man whom they honoured, and whom they believed to be ' persecuted for righteousness sake.' The Hall was thronged with friendly visitors ; on the spacious lawn in front were assembled groups of warm and anxious admirers; the coach road through the park to the lodge was lined by crowds of people, waiting to greet the ' dis- charged steward ' as he passed. In this assemblage were many of the most influential inhabitants of the neighbourhood ; numbers of the tenants were there, in whose faces was depicted a strong sense of decorous sorrow. Vast numbers of the poor had that day congregated ; all felt that they were losing a counsellor and friend. The poor seemed specially desirous of showing their attach- ment to one whose ear had always been open to their complaints, and whose feeling heart had oftentimes

Page 456


prompted him to minister to their wants. . . . Mr. Oastler was escorted into Huddersfield with a long procession of friends, accompanied by bands of music and banners ; all the way to Huddersfield the way was lined with an enthusiastic throng. As the open carriage in which Mr. and Mrs. Oastler and their adopted and affectionate daughter, Miss Tatham, with their faithful friend, Mr. William Stocks, passed along the road, they were cheered and blessed by young and old, by rich and poor. Mothers held their babes uplifted, and asked him to look upon ' the factory child's When the procession reached Huddersfield it was welcomed by a vast number of factory children, who sang theire-song, ° We will have the Ten Hours' Bill,' etc. The streets of Huddersfield were filled with human beings, who made way for the pro- cession, and cheered most lustily. The windows of the houses were occupied, and, in many instances, the house- tops were covered with anxious spectators. Commodious hustings had been erected in a spacious plot of ground near St. Paul's Church,* where the business of the day closed with the presentation of addresses to Mr. Oastler and the delivery of speeches in favour of the Ten Hours' Bill, and against the new Poor Law. . . -. It was estimated that at least one hundred thousand persons had thus openly expressed their attachment to Mr. Oastler's principles and character. Not a few had come from Lancashire to take part in these proceedings."'t Oastler was lodged in the Fleet Prison on December 9, 1840, beguiling the tedium of his durance by the issue of the " Fleet Papers." He was released in January, 1844, the amount of his debt, interest, costs, and sheriff's expenses, £3,243 I5S. 1od., having been raised by sub- scription or guaranteed by the committee: Jonathan Schofield, W. Walker, W. B. Ferrand, John Milner, Joshua Pollard, Isaac Milnes, J. Walker, Wm. Underwood, Lord Feversham, John Fielden, Lawrence Pitkeithley, and

* The Technical College now stands on that ' spacious plot.'"'- D.F.E.S. j Alfred : " History of the Factory Movement."

Page 457


Samuel Glendinning. " On Shrove Tuesday, February 20, 1844, Mr. Oastler made a public entry into Huddersfield ; his old friends and neighbours welcomed him back among them with a right hearty Yorkshire greeting. The roads leading to Huddersfield, from towns and villages miles distant, were enlivened by groups of men, women, and children, travelling thitherward to manifest their affection for him whom they designated 'the poor man's friend.' The morning was fine, the sun brilliant, and Nature joyous with the hopes of spring. About eleven o'clock in the forenoon crowds gathered at the Railway Hotel, Brig- house ; all was contentment and rejoicing, and from many lips passed the words ' God bless the old King !'" An address was presented to Mr. Oastler, who declared the aim of the factory reformers to be " to divorce labour from poverty and to wed labour with plenty," a motto which might well be adopted by social reformers of the present day. " The distance from Brighouse to Huddersfield is about four miles, through a hilly and romantie part of Yorkshire. At every turning of the road the numbers augmented ; as the crowd increased so did the musicians, for Yorkshiremen, like the inhabitants of all lands of hill and glen, are lovers of music. The cheering was repeated loud and long, and the sound echoed from hill to hill, human voices and soul-stirring strains. As the pro- cession approached Huddersfield it was marshalled in the following order: A body of horsemen ; band ; banner inscribed ' Oastler, our defender, ' Oastler and native industry '; band; flag, ' Oastler and no a group of small flags, Union Jack; band ; several car- riages ; band ; banner inscribed ' Lindley, and on the reverse, 'The Ten Hours' Bill' ; band; Mr. Oastler, in an open carriage, accompanied by the Rev. G. S. Bull, Mr. Jonathan Schofield, of Raistrick, and Mr. Wm. Stocks." Mr. Oastler addressed from 12,000 to 15,000 persons assembled in the open space of ground in front of the Druid's Hotel, on the Halifax Road. '* Mr. Oastler was a changed man; the energy of

Page 458


former years had been mellowed by experience and reflection and chastened by imprisonment." In 1847 the electors of Huddersfield were again in the throes of a contested election, the candidates being no longer Whig and Tory, but Whig and Liberal, the Tories, a dying race, doubtless supporting the Whig candidate as embodying the nearest approach to their political ideals. Thus we find among the supporters of Mr. Cheetham members of many local Tory families: John Sutcliffe, Joseph Starkey, Joseph Kaye, T. P. Crosland, Joseph Shaw, John Mallinson, William Crosland, John Crosland, and W. Tatham ; whilst the Liberal candidate counted amongst his supporters William Willans (a pillar of Non- conformity and father of Mr. J. E. Willans, J.P.), George Mallinson (father of the late William Mallinson, J.P., so long and so honourably connected with the Huddersfield Infirmary), Thomas Mallinson, Foster Shaw, C. H. Jones (first mayor of Huddersfield), J. A. Heaps, and T. W.

Clough, who occupied a position analogous to that of the present Town Clerk.

Stansfield, W. R. C. (W), 542. Cheetham, John (L), 487. 1852. Stansfield, 625. Willans, Wm., 590. Mr. Stansfield was unseated on petition, and that event seems to have scotched, if not killed, the Whig party, as an organised body, in the town of Huddersfield, and its members either threw in their lot with the Tories or, joining the more progressive of the two historic parties, became known as " timid Liberals." 1850. Goderich, Viscount (L), 675. Starkey, Joseph (C), 593. Viscount, Goderich, better known as the Marquis of Ripon, died but recently full of years and honours, having filled the illustrious position of Viceroy of India, and in later years being the trusted leader of the Liberal party in the House of Lords. Mr. Starkey was of the firm of Starkey Bros., of Longroyd Bridge.

Page 459


1857 Akroyd Edward (W), 833. Cobden, Richard (L), 587.

Richard Cobden, it is scarcely necessary to say, was the champion of Free Trade. Huddersfield has the dis- tinction of having rejected the two men, Richard Cobden and Richard Oastler, whose labours have, it is scarcely too much to say, done more to lighten the lot of the toiler than the exertions of any other statesmen whose names are written in the history of our land. But it was an unenfranchised Huddersfield that rejected first the champion of the children, and, later, the advocate of an untaxed loaf for the table of the poor.

1859 Leatham, E. A. (L), 779. Akroyd, Edward (W), 587.

It was in this contest that the long dominance of the sour and frigid Whigs was overthrown. Men bent and grey still kindle with enthusiasm as they tell how the young and ardent Liberal banker from Wakefield came like another David to do battle with the Goliath of the old Philistinism. Mr. Leatham in his early manhood and in his prime was an admirable leader of the advanced section of the Liberal party. He was eloquent with a chaste and scholarly eloquence, and his speeches were not only eagerly listened to and vociferously acclaimed by his constitutents, but reported at length in the leading journals of the day, the Times itself sending down its reporter to his annual meetings. In the House of Commons Mr. Leatham confined his efforts largely to ridiculing the claim of women to the suffrage. .He was wont to win the cheers of his Huddersfield audiences by denouncing the Game Laws, though he was himself a preserver of game. He consistently supported the adoption of the ballot at elections. _ These look to us of these days but poor items of an advanced political programme ; but half a century ago Edward Aldam Leatham was regarded by many a worthy citizen of Huddersfield as little less dangerous than a Robespierre or a Marat. He represented the borough from 1859 to 1886, save for a period of three

Page 460


years, during which the seat was held by Mr. Thomas Pearson Crosland.

1865 (July). Crosland, T. P. (Lib. C), 1,019. Leatham, E. A. (L), 787. 1868 {on the death of Mr. Crosland)- Leatham, E. A. (L), 1,111. Sleigh, W. C. (C), 789. 1868 (Nov.) Leatham, E. A. (L), unopposed.

( 1874. Leatham, E. A. (L), 5,668. Brooke, Thomas (C), 4,985.

1880 (April). Leatham, E. A. (L), 7,008. Lindsay, W. A. (C), 4,486.

1885 (Nov.) Leatham, E. A. (L), 6,960. Crosland, Joseph, 6,194.

Of these opponents of Mr. Leatham, .of Sir Thomas Brooke I have written on previous pages; Sir Thomas Crosland was a local manufacturer, little fitted for a political career. Serjeant Sleigh and Mr. Lindsay may, without disrespect, be described as "" carpet-baggers." In 1886 Mr. Leatham was not invited by the local party leaders to contest the constituency. He refused to follow Mr. Gladstone in his Irish policy, and when it came to choosing between Mr. Gladstone and Mr. Leatham the local party did not hesitate to throw over the gentleman who had so long represented the Liberal cause and who had fought for it so many hot and costly contests. Mr. Leatham retired to his country seat, Misarden Park, and with his books and his gun probably succeeded in solacing himself for the ingratitude of the electors who had once cheered him to the echo.

1886. Summers, William (L), 6,210. Crosland, Sir Joseph (C), 6,026. 1892. Summers, W. (L), 7,098. Crosland, Sir Joseph (C), 6,837. 1893 (February), on the death of Mr. Summers. Crosland, Sir Joseph (C), 7,068. Woodhead, Joseph (L), 7,033.

Page 461


1895 July 15). Woodhouse, Sir J. T. (L), 6,755. Crosland, Sir Joseph (C), 5,868. Smart, Hyman Russell (Lab.), 1,594. 1900 (Oct. 3). Woodhouse, Sir J. T. (L), 7,896. Carlisle, Col. Edward Hildred, 6,831. 1906 (Jan. 15). Woodhouse, Sir J. T. (L), 6,302. Williams, Thos. Russell (Lab.), 5,813. 1906 (Nov. 28). (On appointment of Sir J. T. Woodhouse as a Commissioner of Railways)- Sherwell, Arthur Jas. (L), 5,762. Williams, Thos. R. (Lab.), 5,422. Fraser, John Foster (U), 4,844. IQIO. Sherwell, A. J. (L), 7,158. Snell, H. (Soc.), 5,686. Smith, H. (C), 5,153.

To write of political contests in years so recent as those that have passed since the severance of Mr. Leatham's connection with the borough, without betraying a partisan- ship unseemly in a writer were a task too diffi- cult for the author of these pages, and he must content himself with the briefest of notices of the chief actors in those stirring struggles. Mr. JosErx WooDpxrEap who, defeated in Hudders- field, was later returned for the neighbouring constituency of Spen Valley, is the son of Mr. Godfrey Woodhead, currier and leather merchant, and was born near Holm- firth in the year 1824, and though now nearing his ninetieth year enjoys a measure of health and displays a degree of bodily and mental vigour that alike surprises and delights all who have the honour of his acquaintance and is a valuable testimony to those principles of total abstinence Mr. Woodhead has professed and practised from early manhood. In his early days young Woodhead taught in a Sunday School connected with the Church of England, but in his riper years attached himself to the Congrega- tional Church. It was probably intended by his parents that he should follow a commercial career ; but the whole bent of the youth was towards literature and political

Page 462


polemics. He lectured when in his teens upon the tem- perance platform, and became absorbed in the passionate constitutional controversies that raged about the great Reform Bill. It chanced that about the year 1850 a number of gentlemen in Huddersfield and its neighbour- hood conceived the idea of establishing a local newspaper that should advocate the new Liberalism. Mr. Woodhead was invited to edit this paper. It had a hard struggle for existence. The men who in an ardent moment had embarked upon the task of establishing a newspaper grew weary of the calls upon their purses. They were only too ready to transfer what they regarded as a white elephant to the young and strenuous editor. For weary years he had a hard fight; but courage, patience, perseverance, and ability won the day, and the Examiner is now not only a valuable property, but is rightly considered one of the best provincial papers in the kingdom. It advocated strongly the incorporation into one municipality of the hamlets that fringed the old town of Huddersfield-Marsh, Pad- dock, Lindley, Fartown, Bradley, Sheepridge, Moldgreen, Dalton, Almondbury, Newsome, and Lockwood ; and it was but fitting that its editor should, on the constitution of the Council in 1868, be among the first members. In 1871 he was elected alderman, in 1876, 1877, and in 1883 Mayor. In politics, it is scarcely necessary to say, Mr. Woodhead is an intrepid Liberal. In his prime he was one of the most frequent and most acceptable speakers on Liberal platforms in Huddersfield and for many miles around. He would almost certainly have secured the seat in 1893, but it is understood that at the eleventh hour of the polling a number of textile workers, who remembered and resented the attitude of the Examiner in the strike of 1883, cast a Tory vote for the first and last time in their lives. SIr J. T. WoopxousE was a solicitor practising in Hull. He was a Liberal of the orthodox type, a fluent rather than an eloquent speaker, and found his reward for his political orthodoxy and attentive ear to the party whip in the well-salaried post of Railway Commissioner. CoL.

Page 463


E. H. CARLILE is a colonel of Volunteers, a member of the great firm of Meltham Mills, and is entitled to be gratefully remembered in this district for his munificent gifts to the Huddersfield Infirmary. Of Mr. A. J. SHKERWELL, the present member, one may write with more freedom, for he won his spurs and attained distinction in fields which all parties may claim as common ground. Keenly interested in social questions. Mr. Sherwell has contributed largely to the literature dealing with temperance ; and the work " Temperance Problems and Social Reform " is a classic. Mr. Sherwell was for a short time in the Wesleyan Ministry, but withdrew from that vocation on theological grounds. He is an able and ready speaker, and is listened to with respect when he addresses upon the subjects he has made his own in the most fastidious assembly in the world-the House of Commons. I have, on a previous page, adverted to the first beginnings in this district of the Labour Party. The year 1895 witnessed, in the area with whose political history we are now concerned, the beginning of that series of three-cornered contests which seem likely to continue until the Labour or Socialist forces confront a new party, whose advent many portents foreshadow, consisting of Conservatives and those Liberals whose individualistic philosophy makes them suspicious of or actively hostile to the collectivist teaching. In that year, as we have seen, Mr. Tom Mann contested the Colne Valley as a Labour candidate. In that year, also, Mr. H. R. Smart contested Huddersfield in the same interest. In view of the importance necessarily attaching to the emergence of a new and powerful party, destined, to all seeming, to revolutionize the political history of the country, one may, without apology, devote some space to the origin of the local Labour Party. I shall avail myself without scruple of the article contributed to the Handbook of the I.L.P. Conference (1908) by Mr. BEN RILEY, a member of the National Administrative Council of the Independent Labour Party, and who, himself a cap- italist, spares neither time, money, nor labour in the

Page 464


spreading of principles which involve the destruction of the private capitalist. Indeed, I know of no greater tribute to the nobility that still may be found in human nature than the fact that though Socialism owes much, if not all, of its motive power to the pity excited in generous natures by the sight of the unemployed and the unemployable, the most ardent and the most devoted adherents of the Labour Party, in this district at all events, are themselves neither unemployable nor unemployed. It was, writes Mr. Riley, in the year 1890 that Huddersfield workmen began to talk of Independent Labour politics. For some years previously a few individuals, Mr. Ramsden Balmforth-he is the brother of Mr. Owen Balmforth, of whom later-and Mr. Ben Turner among them, had been casting about from time to time for some means of expressing the necessity of Socialism and independent politics. Mr. Turner, as far back as the year 1886, went to the trouble of advertising in the local Liberal newspaper inviting any Socialist in the locality to communicate with him. No response, however, came to his appeal, and it was not till after Mr. Turner had left Huddersfield that steps were taken to bring Socialism before the public. In 1890, under the auspices of the National Fabian Society, Mr. de Mattos lectured in Huddersfield, and a local affiliated society was formed, of which the chief members were Mr. (now the Reverend) Ramsden Balmforth, and Messrs. James Green; C. Merryfield, Joe Dyson, Moorhouse Dyson, and the late John Holland. The meeting-place was Thornton's Temperance Hotel in New Street, a once famous resort of the quidnuncs of the town and district. About the same time a few men at Slaithwaite and Marsden, chief of whom were the late County Councillor George Garside, Messrs. G. W. Haigh, Walter May, G. H. Cotton, Tom Balmforth, and Sam Eastwood, met together and formed what was then called the Slaithwaite Social-Democratic Club, and at a meeting of that club on July 21, 1891, at which addresses were delivered by Messrs. W. Bartley,

Page 465


Allen Gee, and Ben Turner, it was resolved to establish an Independent Labour Union. Three months later a deputation from the Huddersfield Fabian Society, con- sisting of Messrs. Ramsden Balmforth, James Green, Joe Dyson, Moorhouse Dyson, Chas. Merryfield, and some others, waited upon the Huddersfield Trades Council and invited it to co-operate with the Fabian Society in pro- moting local Labour representation. At a further meeting held July 23, 1891, the Huddersfield Labour Union was established with the following officers :-President, John White, Cotton Operatives' Society ; secretary, Joe Dyson, Fabian Society ; treasurer, Thomas Topping, Railway Servants' Society. The objects of the Union were stated to be :-" To promote the interests of workingmen in whatsoever way it may from time to time be thought advisable, and to further the cause of direct Labour representation on local bodies and in Parliament "; and it was declared that " its operations shall be carried on irrespective of the convenience of any political party. Persons holding official positions in connection with political organisations shall not be eligible for membership, and members of the Labour Union accepting official positions in any political organisation shall thereby forfeit their membership." That the new party was almost entirely a party of workingmen, with workingmen for its leaders and officers, is easily seen from a perusal of the list entitled " Some Pioneers of the I.L.P. in Huddersfield, 1890-1893, and in the Colne Valley, 1889-1893," contained in the Hand- book of the 1908 Conference. Space forbids that I should reproduce this list in exfenso. The names of G. A. Boothroyd, W. H. Beaumont, Dan Whiteley, William Wheatley, Harry Thomas, Edgar Whiteley, William Pickles, Joe Pickles, and in the Colne Valley, G. H. Cotton, Harris Hoyle, Walter May, Tom Balmforth, Sam Eastwood, Charles Whitwam, John I. Swallow, France Littlewood, Richard and Mrs. Richard Walker, Bem Pogson, F. C. Green, and Wilson Brook are those mostly of men little dowered with worldly wealth, but well

Page 466


known for the earnestness and self-sacrifice they have displayed in the advocacy of political, social, and economic reform. In 1905 the party established The Worker, a weekly paper, avowedly devoted to the diffusion of Socialist principles. Early in its career it was so fortunate as to secure as editor Mr. Jamrs LEaTHAM, a gentleman of national reputation as a writer and publicist, and under his control the paper has established a deserved reputation among the Socialist publications of the kingdom. The new organisation, founded in 1891, had not long to wait for an opportunity of showing its claws. " In February, 1893, Huddersfield went through a memorable By-Election. Hitherto, from the time of the Reform Bill of 1832, the Borough had always been represented by a Liberal, and it was assumed that a Liberal would once again be returned without difficulty. The Liberal Associa- tion selected as their candidate Mr. Joseph Woodhead, a typical and courageous Liberal politician of the old individualist type. Unfortunately for himself and his party, Mr. Woodhead, although admittedly a courageous fighter, a keen politician, and a public spirited man, had, as proprietor of the local Liberal newspaper, some years previously come into bitter conflict with the Typographical Union. Immediately Mr. Woodhead was brought forward by the Liberal Association, the Trades Unions, and parti- cularly the Printers' Society, together with the Labour Union, took the field in an active campaign to compel Mr. Woodhead either to come into line with the rules and regulations of the Printers' Trade Union, or withdraw his candidature for the constituency. Mr. Woodhead proved obdurate and the Labour Union recommended its members to abstain from voting in the election. Many members of the Union who, before the formation of the [Labour] Party, had 'been staunch adherents of Liberalism, are said to have gone out of the town on voting day in order to avoid the suspicion and temptation of disloyalty." A glance at the results of this and subsequent elections will show that the local Labour Party has hitherto been more successful in thwarting the aspirations of Liberal candi- dates than in securing the return of its own nominees.

Page 467



CONTENTS: Local Government-The Vestry-The Court Leet-Old Huddersfield-The Huddersfield Lighting Commis- sioners-Board of Highway Surveyors-Huddersfield Improve- ment Act, 1848-Incorporation of the Borough-Mayors of Huddersfield-Area, Rateable Value, Population, and Other Statistics-Some Public Works-Local Boards-District Councils -Education Statistics -the Care of the Poor. AUTHORITIES : Webb, Local Government; Horsfall Turner : Sessions Notes ; "' Native" in'" Huddersfield Examiner ' ; Various Local Acts; Phillips: Walks Round Huddersfield; Esther : Glossary of Almondbury ; Sugden : Slaithwaite Notes.

HE local government of Huddersfield and the surrounding hamlets from the earliest times to the beginning of the last century conformed very closely to what, without disrespect, one may term the Tory ideal, in which I take to be that power should be vested in the highly placed in the pious hope that it will always be exercised for the benefit of the lowly in station. The governing bodies were the Vestry and the Court Leet, a surveyor of county roads and bridges being appointed by the Justices at Quarter Sessions. Over the Vestry the Vicar presided as of right; over the Court Leet the Lord's Steward. It is not unfair to assume there- fore that much of the government of the town and adjacent villages was exercised by the heads of the Church and the representatives of the owners of the soil. There was much confusion of authority, and a substantial yeoman residing say in Almondbury might have been excused if he was never quite certain when he was acting as a member of the Vestry and when as member of the Court Leet. Thus, although the functions of the Vestry were primarily the preservation of the Church, the appointment of the people's wardens and the auditing of church

Page 468


accounts, we find in the Churchwardens' Accounts for Almondbury several payments " for Foxes' heads and Foomards' or Polecats' heads," clearly indicating that the Vestry did not deem itself confined to matters purely ecclesiastical. In Huddersfield, again, in the year 1812, we find the Vestry resolving that " a standing constable, to act as police officer, is highly necessary, and shall be elected in this township." Another minute of the Vestry, dated January 9, 1816, reads- In pusuance of legal notice having been given in the Parish Church on the 28th December last, a general meeting of the inhabitants of Huddersfield was this day held for the purpose of taking into consideration the present alarming state of the country and the more effectual preservation of the peace . . . when, after duly deliberating on the enormous burglaries and other depredations recently committed, we have thought it necessary to advertise for and engage an active and experienced man who

will devote the whole of his time to the discharge of his duty as an assistant constable, etc.

By a later minute the duties of the assistant constable were defined to be "" to look after, detect, and take thieves ; to visit the lodging-houses frequently ; vagrants of all kinds to take up; to examine hawkers and pedlars, or those likely to have stolen goods in their possession ; to visit the public-houses frequently." The assistant constable appointed under the resolu- tion of the Vestry must not be confounded with the con- stable appointed by the Lord's Court. The Court Leet, now in most manors a mere mummery, was formerly a tribunal of great authority and dignity. It was a Court of Record and its chief function was to conduct the View of Frankpledge, by which every resident in the manor must be vouched for by some known substantial freeman. The Court Leet was entrusted with the pre- servation of the peace and the punishment of minor offences. Its chief officer was the constable, and many of my readers will have seen an old constable's staff with the royal crown emblazoned on its butt. The Court also appointed a pinder, whose staff of office resembled a shepherd's crook, and whose duty it was to pin or im-

Page 469


pound stray cattle damage feasants. There was a pinfold in every hamlet. The name is preserved curiously enough in one of the stages of the tramway-line to Slaithwaite- Pinfold. The Court Leet had authority to deal with all public nuisances, eaves-droppings, waifs, and to present by jury all crithes whatsoever in the manor. All freeholders were bound to attend the Court, which was to be held once a year before the Lord's Steward ; also all persons "* resiant or commorant," #.e:, resident or staying in the manor, except persons under twelve and over sixty years of age, and excepting also peers, women, and the King's tenants in ancient demesne. Many duties were imposed by statute upon the constable besides those of keeping the King's peace. In. 1671 the constables received orders to search for guns, bows, nets, greyhounds, etc.-this presumably with the view to the detection of poachers. They were also to inquire if any weaver, harvest-man, or servant had more wages than the statute allowed-this in connection with the statutes by which the wages of the workers were sought to be kept down at the rates ruling before the Great Plague. In 1683 the constable had to search for unlicensed conventicles and to keep their eye upon Popish recusants and absentees from church. They were made responsible for the setting of the Watch and Ward, and in a neighbouring town the constable was fined for not providing a cucking-stool. In Slaithwaite, by the bye, the churchwardens and not the constable seem to have held themselves responsible for this terror of the scolding virago feste the following entry in the wardens' accounts for 1799 :-

Wood for Cuck Stool ....................... 7s. od. Ditto for Whipping Post .................... 3s. od.

In default of appointment by the Court Leet the magistrates at Quarter Sessions might fill the varcancy. In the Ancient Sessions Notes, extracted from the originals by Mr. J. Horsfall Turner, I find under date January, 1689, a " Petition from Carus Philipson, Vicar, and eight others of Almondbury, for a constable, as the late one had

Page 470


died a week before this application, and the Lady of the Manor refused to call a Court, as her steward resided at a great distance and the weather was unreasonable." A curious extract, dated April, 1681, from the Pontefract Sessions Rolls, is as follows :-

Petition of Esther Bramhall reciting that Nicholas Bramhall yor Petitioner's husband was made Constable of Huddersfield for this psnt yeare and yor poore petitioner being a poore widdow hath noe sonne to supply the office, her sonnes being little boyes, and the Townsmen doe charge yor poore petitioner to provide a man to pforme the office for the residue of this yeare-Begs that another may be elected.

It is easy to see that in a country where the means of communication were of the slenderest, with few books and no newspapers, the lord of the manor, with a probably obsequious Court, not only administered the law within his domain, but in effect made it. A traveller voyaging through the country might find himself, in the space of a month's tour, not only in a hundred different jurisdictions, but under as many different codes of criminal law. From this confusion the country was rescued by the statute I Edward III. 16 instituting the office of Justice of the Peace and vesting in the magistrates the criminal juris- diction of the Court Leet. The justices, acting under the advice of a clerk supposed to be learned in the law, adminis- tered the general law of the land, not that of the manor ; and this statute to all intents and purposes broke down the authority of the Lord's Court, shore the steward of his power, and did not a little to break down the feudal rule of the great landowners. From the reminiscences contrbuted by " Native " to the Huddersfield Examiner, and from a monograph compiled by the late G. W. Tomlinson, with the aid of an old map of the town dated 1788, it is possible to form some notion of what manner of town Huddersfield was at the commencement of the last century. The main streets or " gates '' were Northgate, Westgage, Kirkgate, and Castlegate, so called probably from its being the gate or road to Almondbury Castle, though " Native " attri- butes the name to the existence in that thoroughfare of

Page 471


Towzer Castle, an old prison in which offenders were con- fined after having been flogged at the tail of a cart from the Cloth Hall to the Dog Inn in Old Street. That flogging was a common punishment is established by reference to many old statutes, and we have seen that the Vestry of Slaithwaite found it necessary to provide a whipping post. Towzer Castle is said to have been so called from the name of the constable's dog. I remember that when I was very young it was common to say a man committed to prison had been sent to Towzer. The names Northgate and West- gate call for no explanation ; Kirkgate was obviously the road to the Parish Church. Castlegate, according to the map of 1788, was not a continuous street ; there were the beginning and end of a street, and gardens lay between. That was the fashionable quarter of the town, according to Mr. Tomlinson. Certainly some of the houses in that locality, now occupied as lodging or " doss '"' houses, are lofty, and contain a large number of rooms. The Beast Market was in existence, but known as the Cow Market, and was connected with Kirkgate by a passage so narrow that two carts could not pass. Near the church was the old Vicarage, and the site of the present Parish Church Schools was called the Parson's Croft. The Pack Horse Inn in Kirkgate must have been a thriving hostelry. Its yard, approached by a high gateway, was two hundred yards in depth ; there were stalls for a hundred horses, with granaries and accommodation for stage coaches, post- chaises, and carriers' waggons. The name of the old inn carries back the mind to a period anterior to the days of the stage-coach, when goods were conveyed on pack- horses along the bridle paths over the moors, still known as pack-roads. Off Kirkgate, in Old Street, was the old Post Office, a sub-office served from Halifax, Wakefield, and Manchester. Letters were at the time of which I write paid for on delivery. A Mrs. Murgatroyd was the postmistress, and it was her part to mark on each missive the charge for carriage and delivery. An old woman called Brooks- bank was the sole letter-carrier of the town. The Royal Mails bore the letters from the town to

Page 472


distant centres, and there were Foot Posts every morning, except Tuesday, to Lockwood, Honley, Thongsbridge, Holmfirth, Paddock, Slaithwaite, Marsden, Longwood, Dogley Lane, Kirkheaton, Farnley, Crosland, Netherton, Meltham, Deighton, Sheepridge, Rastrick, Brighouse, Dalton, Kirkburton, Lepton, and Outlane. _ At the top of Kirkgate stood the Market Place, flanked on the north by the old George Hotel. On its eastern side were, as now, shops, but the upper parts of these were occupied as dwellings. A gallery ran above the shops and gave access to the dwellings. On the western side of the Market Place were the New or Brick Buildings, erected at the time the Cloth Hall was reared. From this row to High Street were fields known as Macaulay's Croft and Cooper's Croft. There was a shambles or slaughter- house where is now the top of King Street-that busy thoroughfare was not then existent. These shambles were demolished in 1807, and the bricks used in the erection of livery-stables in Chancery Lane, the site of which belonged to Dobson's Bank, and was thrown into Chancery on the failure of that firm, hence the name. The Boot and Shoe was even in those days a highly popular resort. Near it was the theatre of the town. Ramsden Street was then green fields and orchards, stretching to the Shore. At the top of Chapel Hill was Fisher's Factory, in which the first steam engine used in Huddersfield was set up. Buxton Road was called the " New Turnpike to Holm- firth." Albion Street, John Street, South Parade were fields across which a footpath ran to Outcote Bank. In Market Street stood what is now the Queen Hotel, then the mansion of Mr. John Brooke, J.P.; from the Cloth Hall to Macaulay Street open fields, with tenters for drying cloth. At the junction of Westgate and Upper- head Row was a row of one-storied brick houses, known as " Hell Square," from the character of the tenants. Near to, where George Street now terminates, in a house of modest dimensions, resided James Brook, father of the Charles Brook to whom we owe the Meltham Convalescent Home. Moving westwards from the centre of the town,

Page 473


the way lay over a footpath crossing the site of St. Patrick's, fields spreading on either side. Peter Street, Lord Street, Byram Street, John William Street, Station Street, Railway Street, Brunswick Street, Fitzwilliam Street were not. Trinity Street, New North Road were as yet untraced. A wood lay between Blacker Lane and West Hill. Highfield Chapel, erected in 1772, was approached from the town by a narrow, dirty lane, often ankle deep in mud. Well might Phillips in his Walks Round Huddersfield describe the town, whose population in 1801 was but 7268, as " a miserable village, the houses poor and scattered, the streets narrow, crooked, and dirty." Of public services the town had few to boast. The first attempt at water-storage was a small reservoir near Midgley's warehouse in Upperhead Row. This was supplied with water pumped up from the river by a small engine standing in a small house near Eastwood's mill at Folly Hall or Engine Bridge. It was once intended to store water in the Market Place, and deep vaults were constructed and arched over, but difficulty was experi- enced in filling the vaults, whose stones were found when the present lavatories were constructed. The majority of the townsfolk relied for their domestic supplies upon watercarts which perambulated the town. As to public lighting, " people," wrote " Native," " went about at night with hand glass lanterns, and our shops were lighted up with candles or muddy oil lamps. It was then deemed by our authorities that our main streets should be lighted up. For this purpose lamp-posts were put down at wide intervals. These were furnished with glasses, something like an inverted beehive. In these were placed oil lamps, which gave a dim, uncertain light, and only served to make darkness visible. . . . Gas was not known at that day as an illuminator. The first gas used in Hud- dersfield was made by William Waite, a plumber and glazier. His shop was next door to the Globe Inn. His gas apparatus was in the back workshop, and from this he lighted up his front shop window. The new light in

Page 474


the district created great wonder. The shop was sur- rounded nightly by a crowd of spectators, who marvelled greatly how anyone could set fire to the end of an old lead pipe. The first inn in Huddersfield in which gas was burnt was the White Lion in Cross Church Street. Mr. Waite made a large leather bag something like a round bellows, and took it to the inn filled with gas, placed it under the table in which a hole was burned to admit a pipe that stood about six inches above the table. Then the gas was ignited and consumed to the great astonish- ment of the jovial though perhaps not specially intelligent frequenters of the house." In addition to the churches, chapels, Cloth Hall, Police Station, and Justices' Room, the only public buildings appear to have been the Riding School in High Street, often used as an assemply room for concerts and balls, and a Theatre on the west side of Queen Street. There was no Court of Civil Jurisdiction until 1839, when the jurisdiction of the Ancient Court Baron of Pontefract was abolished and courts for the more easy and speedy recovery of small debts within the Honour of Pontefract established. Pontefract, it will be remembered, was the central seat of the de Lacis, Lords of the Manors of _ Huddersfield and Almondbury. The Huddersfield In- firmary was not erected until the thirtieth year of the century. For amusements the people relied on the various Feasts, Wakes, Thumps, and Rushbearings, and they delighted in bull-baiting, bear-baiting, horse-racing, and cock-fighting. There was a bull-ring at Longwood. The name " Bull-Ring " survives. There was another at Quarmby Clough; another at Moles Head Hall, Golcar, and doubtless many others. Mr. Esther, in his Glossary of Almondbury, has an account of this brutal sport. "In former days many of the cottagers (of Almondbury) kept bulldogs, and it was positively dangerous at times to pass through the streets of our village. The bull was usually brought from Flockton, where one was kept for the purpose of being baited at

Page 475


wakes, feasts, etc. At Almondbury Common is a tri- angular piece of ground where, in the latter days of this delectable sport, the animal was tortured for the pleasure of other animals as fierce as itself, if not more intelligent.* The bull was tied to a stake with ropes about twenty yards long ; the owners of the dogs stood in the front ranks with their pets, which were successively slipped at the bull. Sometimes they were tossed yards high; some- times they caught the poor creature by the muscular part of his head, when the animal became frantic, tossing them wildly in its agony, and the spectators yelled and danced with delight. . . . The last bull-baiting is said to have occurred at the Rushbearing, 1824, when the animal was brought into town with a band of music." Small as the town was a century or so ago, and limited as the population, the service of coaches and mails appears to have been excellent. The Royal Mail and The Royal Hope from Halifax to London, via New Mill, Penistone, and Sheffield, called at the Pack Horse Inn daily, the former at 8-15 p.m., the latter at 7-15 a.m. The fare to London was £1 11s. 6d. inside, £1 Is. outside, the journey taking two and a-half days. There was a coach from the George Inn to Bradford every Tuesday evening. To HAaALirax.-Tke Royal Mail (from London) called at the Pack Horse Inn every afternoon at 4.30 ; and The Royal Hope every afternoon at 6.30, both going through Elland. To Hormrirtx.-The Tally-Ho, from the Wool Pack, every Tuesday afternoon at 5 ; going through Lockwood and Honley. This would be the market coach. To HuLL.-The Fair Trader (from Manchester)-its name had clearly no connection with Tariff Reform, for there was no Free Trade in those days-called at the Pack Horse Inn every morning at 8, going through Mir- field, Dewsbury, Wakefield, Pontefract, and Knottingley. To Cornwallis (from Manchester) called at the Rose and Crown every morning (Sunday excepted)

* Is the reference to the dogs or to the spectators

Page 476


at 10, and The Independent, from the same inn, every morning at 10.15. The Dart, from the Pack Horse Inn, every morning (except Sunday) during Summer at 7 and in winter at 8 ; going through the Upper Mill and Morley. The Umpire (from Manchester) called at the Pack Horse Inn every afternoon at 1.30. The True Briton every after- noon at 4; and The Pilot called at the Rose and Crown every evening at 7, going through Mirfield. To ManxncurstER. -The Accommodation, from the Pack Horse Inn, every week morning during summer at 6, and in winter at 7; and The Fair Trader every morn- ing at 8. The Umpire, from Leeds, called at the same inn every morning at I1 ; and The True Briton every afternoon at 3. The Cornwallis (from Leeds and Wakefield) called at the Rose and Crown every morning, except Sundays, at 8, all going through Marsden, Delph, and Oldham. The Pilot (from Leeds) called at the Rose and Crown and Swan Inns every afternoon at 1; and The Fair Trader (from Hull) called at the Pack Horse Inn every afternoon at 5, both going through Mossley and Ashton. To WAKEFIELD.-The Cornwallis (from Manchester) called at the Rose and Crown Inn every morning, except Sunday, at 10, via Lepton and Horbury. The coaches conveyed passengers, and, in the boot, and under the special care of the guard, small parcels, often of great value. For the conveyance of heavy goods, such as the pieces woven in the looms, D. Dawson & Co.'s waggons and vans started daily from their warehouse in Kirkgate to London, Doncaster, Bawtry, Leicester, Nottingham, Northampton, Newark, Grantham, Upping- ham, Stamford, etc. The turnpike troads traversed by the coaches and wains were not the excellent highways we are accustomed to. The old road from Halifax to Manchester, for instance, passed by Slaithwaite Hall, descending into the valley by a steep, narrow, and rutty road near one of the sources of the Colne, thence by Throstle Nest into Lancashire. A later road, known as the Old Coach Road, constructed by Blind Jack, of Knaresboro', ran from Huddersfield

Page 477


over Crosland Moor, along the Chain, up Hard End, and so onwards. The New Road was opened in 1839. Accidents were common and little heeded. The Fleece Coach, in August, 1823, on its road to Sheffield, was over- turned at the bottom of Shelley Bank, the driver taking the declivity at full speed and omitting to lock the wheels. He was found guilty of manslaughter, for, besides six passengers seriously injured, of nine Methodist ministers on their way to Conference, two, the Rev. Mr. Sargent and the Rev. Edward Parker Lloyd, were killed on the spot. Seven years later the Manchester and Huddersfield mail was overturned at Longroyd Bridge, and the coach- man and passengers were hurled to the river's bank: Mr. Samuel Statham, of Huddersfield, was killed ; Mr. D. Berry, of Almondbury, had his leg broken. The principal inn in Huddersfield appears at that time to have been the Pack Horse, at least for business purposes ; the George was probably the more fashionable. A time-table of the coaches calling at the former hostelry gives some notion of the daily scene near the entrance to the Parish Church :- 6 am. The Accommodation. 7 am. The Dart. 7.15 am. The Royal Hope. 8 a.m. The Farr Trader. II am. The Umpire. 3 pm. The True Briton. 4 p.m. The True Briton. 5 pm. The Farr Trader. 6.30 p.m. The Royal Hope. It was not till 1811 that the Canal relieved somewhat the heavy traffic of the roads. On April 4 of that year the tunnel piercing the vast pile of Stanedge was opened. The cost had been three-quarters of a million, and the work, began in 1794, took seventeen years to complete and was attended by many fatal accidents. Thirty-eight years were to elapse before the London and North-Western Railway passed through the district. The single-line tunnel through Stanedge was commenced in 1845, finished

Page 478


in 1848, the length three miles and some yards, the cost over £200,000. Another tunnel was opened in 1870, and

still another in 1894. In his Slaithwatte Notes Mr. John Sugden gives a

lively account of Slaithwaite in the days when the Canal was utilised to its utmost capacity :- " Why should men," writes Mr. Sugden, " from all time attempt to poke fun at Slaithwaite Docks, because in former times these old quays in the village were famous for the commerce of a wide area. Say the time when the coaches ran on the Manchester Road. The Star Inn was then a great place, kept by the late Mr. J. Parkin, a fine old English gentleman, with his breeches, broad-brimmed hat, coloured waistcoat, and a joke to fit him either for his butchering business, his spirit trade, his farming, or as mine host of the Star Hotel, for which he was known far and wide (without offence) as ' Old Star,' full of gallantry and ready wit, well known, and appreciated. " The banks of the Canal in and around Slaithwaite were crowded with men seeking work and looking on the busy scenes. The pond from the crane to what was called ' Dartmouth Lock ' was full of boats, loading and unload- ing, and passing to and fro with every kind of merchandise. Large casks were taken in and put out at the crane, stones laden and sent away to all parts. Varleys, of the Corn Mill, had their own boats and warehouse ; Sykes' (Mingley's) ran their coal boats to their own little wharf ; Rrierley's, with others, did a general trade." Small as was the town of Huddersfield in the days of which I write-it had in 1820 a population of 13,000- much dissatisfaction existed with the rule or no-rule of the Court Leet and the Vestry, and in the year 1820 a Bill was promoted and an Act passed " for lighting, watching, and cleansing the town of Huddersfield." The preamble states that " the town of Huddersfield is large and populous and a place of considerable trade, and is also a great thoroughfare for travellers, and some of the streets, lanes, and other public passages within the said town are not lighted or watched, and all of them are not properly

Page 479


cleansed, but are subject to various nuisances, and it would tend to the safety and convenience of the inhabitants of the said town and of the public if the same were properly lighted, watched, cleansed, and regulated, and the nuisance abated and prevented for the future.'" The limits of the Act were confined to twelve hundred yards from the Market Cross. The following gentlemen constituted the first Board of Commissioners, for a seat upon which a qualification of £1,000 personality was essential, vacancies by death and other causes being filled by co-option, and only those being eligible whose election was approved by the lord of the manor :-Sir John Ramsden, Bart., Messrs. John Charles Ramsden, Joseph Haigh, Benj. Haigh Allen, Thos. Allen, Wm. Walker Battye, James Brooke, Joseph Brooke, John Booth (Market Place), John Booth, Godfrey Berry, Wm. Brooke, John Bower, Richard Clay, Bradley Clay, Joseph Clay, John Dobson, William Bowers Dobson, John Dyson, Robert Firth, Thos. Firth, John Horsfall, John Horsfall (of Huddersfield), Thos. Hastings, Edward Hauxby, Joseph Kaye, Thos. Kilner, jun., John Lees, Thos. Marshall, Jeremiah Marshall, Hy. Nelson, Wm. North, Joseph Schofield, Walter Wm. Stables, Wm. Stocks, John Sutcliffe Wm. Shaw, Thos. Swift, William Wilks, Richard Atkinson, jun., Wm. Booth, Jas. Booth, Joseph Stoney, Benj. Bradshaw, John Eastwood, John Graham, Thos. England, Jas. Pilling, John Priest, Wm. Rhodes, Jno. Riley, George Starkey, and Wm. Wigney. The Commissioners were to meet every three weeks, or on emergency, at the George Inn. They were to cause the streets, lanes, and public passages to be lighted, to lay gas pipes, to supply the town with gas, to employ a ciency of able-bodied men as watchmen. The authority of the pinder of the Courts Leet of Huddersfield and Almondbury was recognised and confirmed, and the house- wives of the town were directed to clean the footpath in front of their houses every Wednesday morning before nine o'clock. All persons rented under £6 per annum were exempt from rates.

From 1820 to 1848 the government of the town rested

Page 480


in the Commissioners under the Act of the former year. In the latter year the Huddersfield Improvement Act was passed, by which the administration of local affairs was vested in twenty-one Improvement Commissioners, of whom eighteen were to be elected by the ratepayers, three to be nominated by the lord of the manor-a right, how- ever, never insisted on. The municipal franchise was, however, very restricted, all householders under £10 per year being excluded, and the larger ratepayers having a cumulative vote. A heavy property qualification excluded from the Board all but a limited section of the inhabitants. The first Commissioners were designated in the Act, and their names serve to indicate who, more than half-a-century ago, were the leading spirits of the town : Joseph Armitage, George Armitage, James Booth, Joseph Beaumont, jun., John Brook, Thos. Pearson Crosland (afterwards member for the borough), Edmund Eastwood, Thos. Firth (tea dealer), Thomas Atkinson Heaps, Abraham Hirst, William Kaye, Jere Kaye, Thomas Mallinson, William Moore, Samuel Routledge, John Sutcliffe, and Joseph Shaw. Although the Commissioners under the Acts of 1820 and 1848 were able to effect many sorely needed reforms and to establish many useful public services, it was felt both by the majority of the ratepayers and by the Improve- ment Commissioners themselves that a Charter of Incor- poration would alone meet the growing needs and aspirations of the town. Petitions for the grant of such a Charter had been promoted in 1841 and 1842, and these were supported by the lord of the manor. In 1867 the Improvement Commissioners themselves passed a resolu- tion in favour of the securing of a Charter; and in May of that year Mr. Joseph Turner presided over a meeting of the ratepayers which, with five dissentients, endorsed the resolution of the Board :-

That having regard to the position of Huddersfield and adjoining districts with respect to population, unity of commercial and public interests, and necessity of increased water supply, for which and for other purposes a more united system of local govern- ment would be advantageous, it is, in the opinion of this Board, desirable that a Charter of Incorporation for Huddersfield and the adjoining districts should be applied for.

Page 481


Ratepayers, 4,933 in number and representing a rateable value of £106,782, supported this resolution by Petition ; 2,049 inhabitants, rated at £16,750, petitioned against incorporation. In 1867 Captain ap- pointed by the Privy Council, held an inquiry, the case for incorpotation being presented by Mr. Joseph Batley, afterwards first Town Clerk of Huddersfield. At that time the population under the jurisdiction of the Improve- ment Commissioners was 24,100, the area governed by them had a rateable value of £100,108. To that area had to be added, Marsh, Fartown, Deighton, and Bradley, with a population of 15,725 souls and a rateable value of £34,106. With these it was proposed to incorporate Lockwood. Moldgreen, and Dalton, Lindley, Almondbury, and Newsome. The people of Bradley opposed the application, urging that their village was only required as " a mouth of discharge for the impurities of Huddersfield." On July 7, 1868, Huddersfield was incorporated with 12 wards, 14 aldermen, 42 councillors. The first council of the new municipality consisted of the following gentlemen : Alderman Wright Mellor, J.P., D.L., Henry Brooke, J.P., Alfred Crowther, J.P., Thos. William Clough, James Crosland, J.P., David Binns, Charles Henry Jones, J.P., George Scholes, David Sykes, J.P., Nathaniel Berry, John Crawshaw, J.P., John Day, J.P., John Priestley, Thomas Denham, J.P., Councillors William Ledster, Charles Hirst, sen., J.P., Joseph Wood- head, J.P., Henry Hirst, Edward Clayton, James Had- field, Joseph Hirst, John Hellawell, Robert Appleton, Read Holliday, Joseph Benson, John Eccles, William White, Daniel Calverley, Alan Brook Haigh, Henry Lister, Joseph Stork, James Scholes, Joseph Byram, James Starkey, Isaac Robson, Charles Crosland, John Varley, J.P., George Arlson, Roger Houghton, Alfred Walker, J.P., E. J. W. Waterhouse, J.P., Benjamin H. Hattersley, John F. Brigg, J.P., William Henry Aston, J.P., Oates Bairstow, Benjamin Thornton, William Marriott, J.P., Ginnethon Dyson, Joseph Barrowclough, Law Hopkinson, Enoch Sykes, John Shaw, Reuben

Page 482


Hirst, J.P., and Richard Porritt. The first Mayor of Huddersfield was CnarLEs HENRY

JonEs, and he was re-elected in 1869, 1870, 1871, retiring from the Council in 1872. He was a man of commanding presence, and of dignified bearing, in manner reserved, in speech sparing but to the point. But though an austere man, he was essentially a just man and a true man. He stood aloof from the petty intrigues and personal strivings so often rife in municipal circles. He cared little for office and nothing for its trappi