Studies in Local Topography I: The Halls in the Colne Valley (1933) by Philip Ahier

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tudies in Local Topography. PART. |.






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Studies in Local Topography. I:






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Cate 2 ioe Tht,




Slaithwaite Old Hall

Slaithwaite Manor House.... Slaithwaite Dial Stone

Pedigree of. the Kayes. of Woodsome and of Slaith- waite and of the Earls of Dartmouth ....

Linthwaite Old Hall

Milnsbridge House....

Pedigree of the Radcliffes of Milnsbridge House....

Pedigree of the Armitages of High Royd, Honley, and of Milnsbridge House








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12. 13. 14.

15. 16.


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Slaithwaite Old Hall. Slaithwaite Old Hall. The Postern Butts The Salt Pie The Barn The Dungeon

Quaint Window Frames

Slaithwaite Manor House.

Johanis Kaye. The Dial Stone.

7 Slaithwaite + Old Hall


Linthwaite Old Hall previous to its restoration.

Linthwaite Old Hall.

The Great Banqueting Hall—Linthwaite Old Hall.

Milnsbridge House. Sir Joseph Radcliffe.

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In response to a number of requests, the four articles on the Old Halls in the Colne Valley, viz.: Slaithwaite Old Hall, Slaithwaite Manor House, Linthwaite Old Hall and Milnsbridge House, which have appeared in the ‘ Huddersfield Borough Advertiser,” are now being reprinted in booklet form.

A number of corrections and additions have been made as a result of subsequent visits to these Halls, while pedigrees of the families which have owned these Halls have been inserted.

The writer desires to express his best thanks to Mr. Edgar Freeman, M.A., Mr. Pollard Armitage, Mr. EE. Eagland, Mr. Mellor Addy, Mr. and Mrs. J. Sykes, and to the Misses Fleming for their valuable assistance and co-operation in the compilation of these articles. :

In the event of this booklet proving a success, the writer hopes to issue at a later date, a second series entitled ‘‘ The Houses in the Manor of Huddersfield—-Newhouse Hall.”


OcTOBER, 1933.

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Canon Hulbert, in his ‘‘Annals of Almondbury,’’ tells us that the Hall which is still remaining near the boundaries of Marsden-in-Huddersfield was probably the residence of a family of note, that of the Tyases, the ancestors of the Kayes of Woodsome, one of which latter family afterwards built the Manor House of Slaithwaite’’ (p. 425). Before describing this old Hall, it may be advisable to deal with the history of the Manor of Slaithwaite. From the returns of the Doomsday Book, 1085-6, we learn that this manor was granted to Ilbert de Laci who also held the Manor of Huddersfield.

Between 1195 and 1211, the Manor appears to have been granted by Roger de Laci, then Lord of the Manor of Pontefract, to Henricus Teutonicus. This surname in some inexplicable manner became altered to Tyas for there are documentary references to Sir Baldwin Teutonicus vel Ties (or Tyas) who lived in Slaithwaite in the middle of the 18th century.

In the ‘‘None Book’’ of King Edward I. dated 1298, there appears the entry, ‘‘Slaithwaite, John Tyas,’’ while, in the ‘‘Writs of Parliament’’ for the year 1318, occur the names of John Tyas of Slaighewaite and Richard Tyas of Farnley. (Farnley Tyas is sc called to distinguish it from Farnley, near Leeds). Another Tyas, Henry by Christian name, was executed for having taken part in the Earl of Lancaster’s rebellion against Edward II. (1322) but there is no mention of either John or Richard Tyas above mentioned having taken part in this rebellion.

It seems probable that the estates of Farnley Tyas, which included Woodsome, and the estates of Slaithwaite were held by members of the same family and that ultimately they reverted to one of the Tyases, for the Kayes of Woodsome who subsequently succeeded the Tyases, inherited both sets of estates.

The late Mr. G. W. Tomlinson, in his annotations of the refer- ences to the Manor of Slaithwaite mentioned in the Dodsworth MS., (Y.A.J., Vol. VIII. pp. 27-29) gave a complete account of the Tyases, the Finchendens and the Kayes of Woodsome, while Mr. Taylor Dyson, M.A., in his ‘‘History of Huddersfield and District’’ (Ch. XVII., p. 246-282) discusses these families very thoroughly.

. The late Mr. D. F. E. Sykes in his ‘‘History of Huddersfield and District’’ (p. 51) suggested that ‘‘probably the seat of John Tyas of Slaighewaite was at Slaithwaite Hall’’ which in his opinion, ‘‘was assuredly the most ancient structure in the Valley of the Colne.’’ If credence can be given to this statement, then it would

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All that is left of SLAITHWAITE OLD HALL (Middle building in the photograph).

SLAITHWAITE OLD HALL (shewing the old Mounting Block).

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that Slaithwaite Hall dates as far back as the 14th century; in any case, what remains of the Hall at the present moment suggests 15th century architecture.

After the extinction of the Tyas family, the Hall in course of time fell to the Kayes of- Woodsome, until the last of that line, Sir Arthur Kaye, died in 1726, leaving an only daughter, Elizabeth, who married Viscount Lewisham, the eldest son and heir of the first Earl of Dartmouth. Since that year, the Slaithwaite Estate has remained in the possession of the Dartmouth family.

The old Hall stands on the slopes of a steep hill. To reach it, those interested should take the Marsden tramcar, get out at the ‘Olive Branch,’’ walk down a path at the back of the inn, over the bridges which span the Colne and the Canal, under the Railway Arch, turn to the left and keep on climbing up the zig-zag rough road which leads up to the Hall, where they will see it toa two storeyed gabled dwelling house.

The late Mr. D. F. E. Sykes, in his ‘‘History of the Colne Valley,’’ (pub. 1906, p. 49) describes the Hall in these words, ‘Little remains of this venerable and once considerable pile, but that little suffices to show how rude were the edifices in which the gentry of old times were content to dwell. The outer walls are thick as well they need be to withstand the fierce blasts from the Western Ocean that beat upon the lofty eminence on which the hall stands. Oaken rafters much worm-eaten and curved by age span the low and confined rooms, once probably trod by knightly feet, now the shelter of humbler though not less worthy folk. On the boundary walls may still be traced the letter K.’’

In his ‘‘History of Huddersfield and Disirict’’ he says, ‘‘If any reader desires to gather a lesson as to the progress made in the art of living, let him contrast Slaithwaite Hall as he may recon- struct it in his mind’s eye from what remains of that venerable edifice, and any one of the more considerable mansions of our merchant princes in Edgerton, remembering that Slaithwaite Hall was once the abode of a knightly family.’’ (p, 51).

Let us endeavour to describe in further detail the remains of the old Hall which has seen better days and which has lost almost all its former glory. The original Hall apparently consisted of a one-storeyed dwelling some forty feet long and about fourteen feet high. At some later date, it was divided into three cottages which, in Mr. D. F. E. Sykes’s days, were occupied by tenants. Two of these cottages have since been converted into farm-buildings and store-houses and are connected by a communicating door. The third cottage was pulled down some years ago and rebuilt as a stable. As already stated, the walls of the old Hall are very thick, being two feet wide in some parts. In 1933 some new door posts were placed in the entrance as the old ones were almost completely worn away.

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THE POSTERN;, Slaithwaite Old Hall District.

The house called ‘‘BUTTS.’’ Slaithwaite Old Hall District.

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In the cottage adjacent to the gabled dwelling-house previously mentioned can be seen the original stone floor although it is very badly broken in places. There can be no doubt that this room was originally the entrance Hall of the old mansion. It also contained a large open fireplace, no longer in position, but part of the chimney pot is still visible. The roof of this part of the Hall is supported by a massive longitudinal oak beam and also by two arched trans- verse beams which are two feet by one foot in dimensions. These rafters are all held together by wooden pegs which measure four to six inches in length. At some later date this cottage possessed an attic but it has been removed. A door in this cottage leads to a cellar which goes down to a considerable depth and under the gabled dwelling-house adjacent to it.

The entrance to the Hall was by a doorway which formerly had two stout stone door-posts on both sides. On these posts can be seen some crude carving; they were afterwards broken into four pieces and now form part of the mounting block which lies against the walls of this cottage. On one of these stone steps can be seen an inscription which is probably a decorative form of the letter K.

The windows of the cottage are enclosed in thick stone frames. Canon Hulbert tells us that in his day, these windows contained some ‘‘old stained glass.’’ Nearly all these panes have, unfortun-

ately, been broken by the lads of the district; only two now remain.

The other cottage which formed part of the old Hall retains its attic to which one formerly proceeded by an oak staircase now removed. Here can be seen the old-fashioned stone cupboards built in the walls.

Some of the houses which stand in the immediate vicinity of the Hall are still used as dwellings but some have been converted into cowsheds, outhouses and stables. Tradition states that these were the abodes of the tenants and servants of the Tyases.

Over a hundred years ago, all the top storeys of the then dwelling-houses in this locality contained weaver’s hand-looms. These were the days when the hand-loom woollen industry was in vogue before the advent of machinery in mills. (See Miss Phyllis M. Bentley’s latest novel ‘‘Inheritance’’ for a graphic description of these hand-looms).

One of these houses goes by the name of the ‘‘Lithus’’ or ‘‘Lit-house.”’ The late Mr. W. E. Haigh, in his ‘‘Glossary of the Huddersfield Dialect’’ (p. 63) has the words, ‘‘ ‘lith-ess, lith-es, lit-es,’ the old name, now obsolete, for a dye-house, as litster, or Lister was for a dyer.’’ Perhaps this ‘‘Lit-house’’ may have been the dye-house attached to the hand-looms. About sixty or seventy years ago, it was the abode of poachers who ran a club in this two- storeyed building containing old fashioned window frames and old

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The “‘SALT-PIE.”? Slaithwaite Old Hall District.

THE REMAINS OF THE BARN. Slaithwaite Old Hall District.

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oak rafters. Here in the evenings, they would foregather, tell their experiences, make plans for their next exploits; meanwhile the snuff-boxes would be passed round, clay pipes would be smoked and much liquid refreshment consumed !

The dilapidated ruins of a very old barn are opposite the old Hall, on one of the remaining cross-beams has been cut out the initials A.E.W. and the date 17038. The ‘‘artist’’ also tried to cut out a coat-of-arms which would baffle any student of heraldry ! The barn is about 75 feet long and 14 feet high. It is fast crumbling to pieces but one can still see the massive oak beams which supported its roof.

That the old Hall was an important place is proved by the names of the fields and houses situated within a short radius :—

(i) Park Gate. Evidently at some former period the Hall was surrounded by a park which may have had a gateway at its entrance.

(ii) Butts. This is a survival of the days when archery was practised; no doubt in this field was placed the target and upon it the tenants exercised their arrows.

(iii) Long Lands. These were, no doubt, the fields which belonged to the Lord of the Manor, in contradistinction to those of shorter length which were cultivated by the tenants.

(iv) Booth. The late Mr: D. FicE. Sykes defined this as ‘‘a close adjoining, which would seem to point to a tiine when the farmstead of the lord occupied its site.”’

(v) Postern. This is a long passage a little over a yard wide and about 100 yards long leading down from one of the dwelling houses in the neighbourhood of the Hall to the fields on the hillside. It is fenced on both sides by walls built of loose stones to a height of about four feet. Chambers’ Dictionary defines a ‘‘Postern’’ as either ‘‘a back door or as the covered passage between the main ditch and the outskirts of a Hall or Castle usually closed by a gate.’’ It is quite possible that in former days, this long passage now known as the ‘‘Postern’’ may have been covered in some way and that during the petty warfares which may have been waged by the Lord of the Manor of Slaithwaite against cther local magnates, this postern could have been used as a hiding place or ‘‘cover.’’ Behind the walls on both sides of the passage, the tenants of the Hall could have shot their arrows on the attacking party climbing up the hillside.

(vi) Dungeon. One of the houses on the hillside is so called. The name conjures up visions of dark deeds perpetrated in the Middle Ages when the Lord of the Manor had the right of erecting a gallows and executing his refractory tenants. At one time, the windows of this house were protected by iron bars but these have disappeared. Would these iron bars have been a part of the original dungeon ?

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The house called ‘‘THE Slaithwaite Old Hall District.


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These place names which survive to the present day suggest, as the late Mr. D. F. E. Sykes was the first to point out, that Slaithwaite Hall must have been a dwelling of considerable importance in the Middle Ages.

Another building in the immediate vicinity of the Hall rejoices in the name..of “‘Salt-Pie.’’ It a ‘‘Salt-Pie’’ is a erected against another one’’—a sort of lean-to structure. On one of the outhouses near by can be seen some quaint bits of architecture. One of them is a stone window frame which may have been part of a church or chapel whose existence has ser forgotten.

There are very few documents relating to the old Hall. The writer was shown by Mr. E. Eagland, the agent of the Earl of Dartmouth, the Rental Book of the Estate for 1651-1653 but there is no mention of the Hall therein. The 1804 Rental Book contains the following entry ‘‘a farm house, three small cottages, and an old barn.’

It is marked on the ‘‘Plan of the Canal from Huddersfield to Ashton-upon-Lyne, 1795’ (printed by T. Stockdale, Piccadilly, London) and written Slaightwaite Hall.

In the list of able-bodied men between the ages of fourteen and forty-five who were enrolled under the terms of the Militia Act of 1800 for the purposes of the Militia Ballot was Joseph Bamford of Slaithwaite Hall. (D. F. E. Sykes ‘‘History of Huddersfield and District,’’ 289). Canon Hulbert, in his ‘‘Annals of Almondbury,’’ stated that he had in his possession, a claymore taken there in 1745, from a Scotch rebel, evidently endeavouring to reach Scotland after the collapse of the Younger Pretender’s rebellion in ane This claymore had been preserved at the old Hall.

After the pedestrian has explored’’ all that there is to see at Slaithwaite Hall, he can wend his way up the old pack horse road, cross Merridale and proceed to Nont Sarah’s where a good ‘‘ham and eggs’’ tea is sure to refresh ‘‘the inner man.’’

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The old Manor House of the Kayes of Woodsome, and later of Slaithwaite, still stands at the end of the road from Slaithwaite to Huddersfield; near its courtyard flows a swiftly running stream which feeds the Canal.

This Manor House was built by Arthur Kaye whose name together with his wife, Beatrix Kaye, is commemorated over the fireplace at Woodsome Hall. It was probably erected at some date between 1560 and 1570. Arthur Kaye found that his ancestral home at Woodsome had become too large for him in his declining years and consequently built this smaller house, a rectangular building of the then Elizabethan style, and handed over Woodsome to his son, John Kaye.

The Woodsome MS. quoted by Canon Hulbert in his ‘‘Annals of Almondbury’’ (p. 194) says :—

‘‘He (Arthur Kaye) built a Hall at Slaughwaite, where, after marrying a second wife in his old age, he probably lived the latter end of his life-time until his death, which was probably on the

16th of October, 1575 or 1578.”

This statement we know to be an error for the following is the entry in the Almondbury Church Register :— ‘‘Arthurus Kaye, armiger, sepultus erat xx Actobris 1574.”’ Arthur Kaye, of Woodsome, and later of Slaithwaite, married Beatrix Wentworth on the 25th of May, 1517. He was a Justice of the Peace for the County of York and held the Manors of Farnley Tyas, Denby Grange and Lingards which included Slaithwaite, the two latter having been purchased by him during his lifetime.

His portrait together with that of his wife formeily hung over the fireplace of the great hall at Woodsome. They are now in the possession of the Lister-Kaye branch of the family. I

He was succeeded by his eldest son, John Kaye, who, in 1587, likewise followed his father’s example by vacating Woodsome in his old age and residing at the Manor House, handing over the former building to his eldest son, Robert Kaye. John Kaye’s portrait, which formerly could be seen at Wocdsome, is to be found at Ravensknowle. John Kaye died at the Manor House at some date after 1593. His son, Robert Kaye, appears to have adopted the same pro- cedure as his father and grandfather by residing at the Manor House in his old age. (‘‘Annals of Almondbury,’’ p. 197).

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JOHANIS KAYE. Photo by Mr. W. H. Sikes, from the painting formerly at Woodsome Hall, now at Ravensknowle Museum.

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The old Manor House of Slaithwaite remained in_ the possession of the Kayes of Woodsome till 1726, when Sir Arthur Kaye died leaving an only daughter, Elizabeth Kaye, who married the Hon. George Legge, Viscount Lewisham, heir of the lst Earl of Dartmouth.

Thus it came about that the Manor House became the property of the Dartmouth family, in whose possession it remains to this day.

The House is built of solid stone some three feet thick, the windows are encased in stout stone frames; originally they con- tained diamond-shaped panes, but these have disappeared and in their place sheets of glass substituted. The most ancient part Is at the east end and contains two rooms on the ground floor which are now used as the offices for the Dartmouth Estate.

The room used as an office contains a fourteen-light window transomed and mullioned while a similar arrangement obtains in the room above. The entrance doorway to the office is a parti- cularly massive one being surmounted by a huge semi-circular slab.

The west end portion of the house is now occupied. On the ground floor is to be seen a twelve-light mullioned window while upstairs are two five-light windows with modern mullions. The doorway of the lower room has a fine coping stone with corner decorations. :

The late. Mr. D. Sykes in-his “History of the Colne Valley’’ tells us ‘‘that the partitions and joists were made of oak, but these have, in recent times, been converted into chairs for use in the recom of the Court Leet.’’ These chairs have likewise departed from this room, they were sold some years ago as they possessed little antiquarian value.

In the room where formerly the Court Leet met, there is a long oak table, which, to use the late Mr. Sykes’s words, is ‘‘so large that it could not have been conveyed into the chamber either by the former narrow doors or windows’’ (p. 51). A number of theories have been formulated as to how this table got into this room :—

(1) The late Mr. Sykes thought that the table had been lowered into the room before the roof was built !

(11) Others have suggested that the table was placed on the bare site and that the Manor House was built around it !

(iii) It is more likely, however, that the various parts com- prising the table were brought separately into this room and that it was finally put together there.

This table contains some most beautifully hand-wrought carv- ings on two sides only, as it was originally intended to rest against the corners of a wall. The ‘‘Court Leet’’ Room is entirely panelled in oak. Formerly there stood a large open fireplace on one side of this room, but during the last century it was panelled up except for

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a small space when a modern fireplace was inserted. On various parts of the panelling some curious plain carvings are to be seen, while a cupboard made from pieces of the original partitions, and containing the same type of carving, still rests in a corner of this recom.

On the vertex of the gable of the Manor House is a solitary much weather-worn finial, slightly reminiscent of the one over Quarmby Hall, while below it, is a rudely carved face of a female cut out in stone. I

The top storeys of the east end of the Manor House are un- occupied at the moment, in the days when the Colne Valley Volunteer movement was a live force in the district, they were used as an Armoury and Drill Hall. The Colne Valley, Volunteer Force came into existence in 1803 and continued till 1878. The late Mr. D. F. E. Sykes, in his ‘‘History of the Colne Valley,’’ gave a complete account of its history (p. 294-299), There are one or two references to Slaithwaite Manor House in the Rev. Robert Meeke’s Diary edited by the late Dr. H. J. Morehouse in 1874.

‘“‘August 7th, 1689, Sir John Kaye came to Slaithwaite with whom I dined.”’ ‘October 7th, 1690. It being our Court Day, stayed with Mr. Brooke, the steward and then with the jury.’’

As already stated, the Manor House is now used as the Offices of the Dartmouth Estate. In former days, the Court Leets of the Barony of Dartmouth were held in the oak panelled room. There seems every reason to believe that the Manor Jury assembled at the Dial Stone before attending the Court Leet. The Dial Stone formerly stood in front of the Manor House.

Records of the Minutes of the Court Leets, held at this Manor House in the years 1829 and 1881, are in existence. Through the courtesy of Mr. Edgar E. Eagland, the writer has been kindly permitted to reproduce the ‘‘Minutes’’. of the last Court Leet held here on November 16th, 1881.

The reader will note the quaintness of the language—its legal phraseology, The expression, ‘‘We . . . do continue a pain,”’’ means ‘‘We will enforce pains and penalties.’’

The following is the transcipt :—

MANOR OF SLAITHWAITE CUM LINGARTHS. TO WIT. The view of Frank Pledge and Court Leet of our Sovereign Lady the Queen and Court Baron of the Right Honourable William Walter, Earl of Dartmouth, Lord of the said Manor, held the Sixteenth day of November, One thousand eight hundred and eighty-one (1881),

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Before Arthur Denison Smith, Gentleman, Deputy Steward of the said Court. James Bamforth Eagland, Bailiff.

Jurors: 5 Clement Wood, ap. Foreman, G. H. Walker, David Eagland, Eh Eagland, Joseph Dodson, R. R. Armitage,, Thomas Ashton, Benjamin Sykes, James Wood, John Sykes, J. L. Varley, Hervey Wilkinson. David Eagland, Constable for the whole Manor. John Sykes, Benjamin Sykes, Bye-law men for Slaithwaite. William Dyson, Joshua Bamford, Pindars for. Slaithwaite, Enoch Hirst, Pindar for Lingarths, Timothy Bamforth, J. B. Eagland, Affeerors. Thomas Aston, Bye-law man for Lingarths,

1.—We, the Jurors, aforesaid, sworn for the Manor aforesaid, do continue a pain (1.e., will enforce pains and penalties), that if any person or persons within the said Manor shall suffer his or their swine to go about unyoked or unwrung, he be amerced the next Court day in the sum of five shillings.

2.—We also continue a pain, that if any person or persons do sell or otherwise dispose of any peat or other fuel from off the common or waste grounds within this Manor, he, she, or they shall be amerced the next Court day in the sum of ten shillings for such offence.

3.—We also continue a pain, that if any person or persons shall set fire to any turf, grass, or heath, or turn the soil thereof for any purpose whatsoever on any part of the said Common and Waste Grounds within this Manor, he, she or they so offending shall be amerced the next Court day in the sum of five for every such offence. We also continue a pain, that each and every

cecupier of Lands and Grounds within this Manor shall keep their

drains and by-setts belonging to the same at all times to take away the water which ought to run therein, and that such persons offend- ing therein shall be amerced the next Court day in the sum of ten shillings for his or their neglect or refusal.

4.—We also continue a pain, that if any person or persons within this Manor shall hereafter dig for peat, firewood, or other fuel whatsoever within the limits of the peat grounds allotted or

set out for or belonging to any other person or persons within this

Manor, such person or persons offending therein shal! be amerced the next Court day in the sum of ten shillings for every such offence.

5.—We also continue a pain, that if any person or persons within this Manor shall hereafter presume to dig for peat or any other fuel within the limits of this Manor, except in such place or places as is or are allotted for them by the Jurors, each and everv person offending therein shall be amerced the next Court day in the ‘sum of ten shillings.

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6.—We also present, that a footpath leading to Bank Top by a flight of steps which are about to be removed owing to Railway extension and which footpath will be diverted, should be remade, to be suitable, fit and proper for the use of foot passengers proceeding to Hill Top. 7.—We also present, that George Mallinson, of Linfield (sic), is called upon to fence off his lands from the adjoining lands of Lord Dartmouth, and if not, be amerced... . at the next Court day. 8.—We also present, the excess of water flowing down Bradley Brook from the Waterworks (Huddersfield) requires to be provided for by additional outlets at Badge’s Gate Brook, Sellars Clough and Scout. (Then follows again the name of the Jurors). ae Since that date, no Court Leets have been held, but up to about fifteen years ago, the Manor Jury, who had first assembled at the Manor House, then walked round the boundaries of the Manor.


Up till 1931, there could be seen in the courtyard of the Manor House a solid stone pillar some five feet in height, which was Iccally known as the Dial Stone. The late Mr. D. F. E. Sykes, in his ‘‘History of Huddersfield and its Vicinity,’’ (p. 196) tells us that “‘fifty years ago there was a sun dial there, still remembered, but now no more to be seen. It is believed it replaced a still earlier cress, for the old inhabitants can remember meetings being sum- moned to the sun dial.”’ I Canon Hulbert, in his ‘‘Annals of Slaithwaite Church,’’ written in 1864, giave a brief account of a cross which existed here while he was the Vicar cf this Church. In this work he says, ‘‘Crosses were erected in the meeting's of cross roads, here as elsewhere; the base and part of the shaft of one still exists in front of the Manor House, in the village of Slaithwaite. Lingards Cross was reckless- ly destroyed about thirty years ago.’’ (pp. 16-17). Unfortunately, Canon Hulbert did not give a complete description of the base and part of the shaft. One would like to have known whether it was Anghan in type or whether it dated from a jater period. In the preface to this book, Canon Hulbert wrote, ‘‘the design of the present work is not topographical but religious.’’ Strange to say, here was his opportunity to have expounded at considerable length on what might have been a religicus cross, but he omitted to do so.

Was there actually a part of a cross in front uf the Manor

House in 1864 when Canon Hulbert published his lectures into book

form, or was it there when he delivered these lectures apparently at an earlier date? I Certainly Canon Hulbert made no reference:to this cross in his chapter on Slaithwaite in his ‘‘Annals of Almondbury,’’ when

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THE DIAL STONE. Formerly standing in the front of Slaithwaite Manor House, now in Douglas, 1.0.M. (Photo by Mr. Harry Wceod.)

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he wrote these some twenty years later. The late Mr. D. F. E. Sykes likewise made no reference to a cross at Slaithwaite in his ‘‘History of Huddersfield and its Vicinity’’ (no date), but in his ‘‘History of the Colne Valley,’’ writen in 1906, he quoted from the MSS. of the late Mr. J. E. Freeman, M.A., a former solicitor in Slaithwaite, who stated that ‘‘the Dial Stone is said to stand where cnce stood the Village Cross.’’ (p. 52). This statement of Mr. Freeman’s confirms that of Canon Hulbert’s that there actually was across in front of the Manor House. But neither of these two writers gave any clue as to the date and the reason for its diSappear- ance. I Mr. Edgar Freeman, M.A., the younger. brother of the late Mr. J. E. Freeman, M-A;:, in’a letter to the writer, says :—‘' There is every reason for thinking that the Stone mentioned as the Dial Stone was originally part of a Preaching Cross erected somewhere in front of the old Hall (otherwise the Manor House). If the stone is examined, it will, I think, be found that there is a hole or socket in which probably at some time the column of the Cross would be fixed. It would appear that this column was detached and broken

and a Sun Dial inserted. This also later was taken out but Mr.

Joseph Alfred Holmes, of Union Street, Slaithwaite, who takes a vreat interest in these things tells me that he considers that the Sun Dial was taken away by the then Steward, Mr. Varley, into Varley Fold where the Varleys then lived and he has some recollec- tion of having played with it when a boy.”’ If a cross were actually in existence in front of the Manor House at Slaithwaite, one wonders why it was erected. Assuming that Canon Hulbert was correct, there can be no doubt that it was an ecclesiastical one, but the theory that crosses were erected in this locality after the traditional visit of Paulinus to Dewsbury in CZ0 A.D. is gradually being discarded. It is possible, but one cannot definitely prove the statement,

the original cross (if it really existed) was set up to remind

the owners of the Manor of Slaithwaite that the land there had some connection with the Pricry of Kirklees, for at some date

_ between 1195 and 1211, Roger de Laci, Constable of Chester,

granted this Manor to Henry Tyas (Chapter I., p, 1) and charged it with the payment of a mark (6/8) annually to the Nuns of Kirklees.” (G. We Pomlinson in ¥.A.J,, Vol VILL, 6. 21a)... Can any reader throw any light upon the existence of a cross at Slaithwaite ? The subsequent history of the Dial Stone is interesting :— (i) During the Great War of 1914-18 it was white-washed, in order to prevent pedestrians colliding with it during the then darkened nights. (ii) In March, 1931, the Dial Stone was removed to Douglas, Isle of Man, where it now rests in Mr: Harry Wood’s garden.

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John Kaye=Elizabeth Finchenden (after 1378). Laurence Kaye.

I John Kaye=Jane Skargill (living at Woodsome, 1422). I

John Kaye, of Woodsome (alive in 1460)=Jane Lacy, of Cromwell Bottom.

William Kaye, of Woodsome. I

I ‘ I Edward Kaye, of Woodsome. George Kaye, of Woodsome=Margaret Radcliffe, I of Longley (Lancashire).

I Nicholas Kaye, of Woodsome= Elizabeth Wentworth. Arthur Kaye, of Woodsome, builder of Slaith- waite Manor House, d. 20th Oct., 1574= Beatrix (May 25th, 1517).

I , John Kaye, of Woodsome, died at Slaithwaite Manor House some time after 1593=Dorothy Mauleverer, of Wothersome, Co. York.

Robert Kaye, of ee) d. at Slaithwaite Manor House 1620— Anne, daughter of John Flower, of Whitwell, Co. Rutland.

John Kaye, of Woodsome and Wothersome, d. March $th, 1641=Anne, of Sir John Ferne, Secretary of the Council of the North.

Sir John Kaye, of Ist Baronet, d. 1662. =(i) Margaret, daughter and co-heiress of Thomas Moseley, Lord Mayor of York, and_ Elizabeth Trigot, his wife. ; =(ii) Elizabeth, daughter of Sir Ferdinand Leigh, of Middleton, near Leeds, and widow of Franci: Bardett, of Birthwaite. é Catherine, daughter of Sir William St. Quintin, of Harpham, widow of Michael Wentworth, of Woolley

I Sir John Kaye, 2nd Baronet, d. 1706=Anne, daughter of William Lister, of Thornton-in-Craven.


i J Baronet, d. 17 26 = Anne, daughter George=Dorothy, daughter » and of Mary, daughter of Sir of Robert Saville. ‘ley, d. 1740

I I John. Robert Sir Arthur Kaye, 3r of Sir Samuel Marrow

Elizabeth Kaye Sir John Kaye, who took =(i) George Legge, Viscount Lewisham (d. 1732} son of the name of Lister Kaye, the Ist Earl of Dartmouth. as Sir John Lister Kaye, (ii) The Right Hon. the Lord North and Guildford. 4th Baronet.

I William, 2nd Earl of Dartmouth, d.- 1801. =Frances Catherine, daughter of Sir Charles Gunter Nicoll. I

George, 3rd Earl of Dartmouth, d. Nov. 4th, 1810. vady Frances Finch, daughter of the 4th Earl of Aylesford. I

I William, 4th Earl of Dartmouth, 6. 29th Nov., 1784, d. 22nd Nov., 1853. =(i) Lady Frances Charlotte, daughter of 2nd Earl Talbot. (ii) Hon. Frances, daughter of George, 5th Viscount Barrington.

Walter William, 5th Earl of Dartmouth, b. 12th Aug., 1823, d. 4th Aug., 1891. = Lady Augusta Finch, daughter of 5th Earl of Aylesford.

I William Hencage, 6th Earl of Dartmouth, b. 6th May, 1851.

=lLady Mary Coke, C.B.E., 4th daughter of the 3rd Earl of Leicester. William, Viscount arenes b. 22nd Feb., 1881. =Lady Ruperta Carrington, 3rd daughter of the Marquess of Lincolnshire. Biographies of the Kayes of Woodsome and their successors, the Earls of Dartmouth, are to be found in Canon Hulbert’s ‘‘Annals of Almondbury’’ (pp. 193-212); in D,. F. E. Sykes’s of Huddersfield and Its Vicinity’’ (pp. 192-208); and in Mr. Taylor Dyson’s recently published ‘‘History of Huddersfield and District’’ (Ch. XVII., pp. 246-252).

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. Gaunt, ‘‘time-honoured Lancaster,




Linthwaite Hall stands about half a mile from the township of Slaithwaite on the Huddersfield-Slaithwaite main road. As one gets out at No. ZO stage on the tram route to Marsden, the old

is seen on the left-hand side of Linfit Fold, up the steep

hill formerly known as Gledhill Dyke (now called Gordon Road) where once a ditch separated the Honour of Pontefract from the Honour of Wakefield.

A few words concerning the Manor of Linthwaite may not be out of place. It does not appear to have been included in the Doomsday Survey of 1086-7 but in 1361 it belonged to John of as the lineal descendant of the de Lacies who had previously held the Honour of Pontefract. From the Poll Tax Returns of 1879 under the heading of Villata de Crossland Fosse, we find the names of Willelmus de Lokewood and ° Elizabeth de Lynthwaite who each contributed the sum of four pence to the National Exchequer while Thomas de Lokewood and Isabella, his wife, paid the same amcunt (D. F. E. Sykes, ‘‘History of Huddersfield and its Vicinity,’’ p. 98). When was Linthwaite Hall built-and who was the builder ? On these points there are no less than four different opinions :— (1) Hobkirk in his of Huddersfield’’ (2nd Edn. 1869, p. 54) says that ‘‘it was evidently built about the same time as Wocdsome.’’ This is not very definite information for Woodsome Hall has been rebuilt at least three times in the long course of its: existence. (Mr. Taylor Dyson, M.A., “‘History. of Huddersfield and District,’’ p. 248). (ii) The late Mr. D. F, E. Sykes, in his ‘‘History of the Colne Valley,’’ (1906) says that Linthwaite Hall was once ‘‘occupied by the Kayes though not apparently of the elder line and by a Kaye it was probably erected. Prior to 1550, Linthwaite Hall was owned and probably occupied by one Edmund Kaye’’ (p. 52). (ili)) Mr. G. R. Day, in his ‘Architecture of Linthwaite Old Hall’’ (1907) stated, ‘I have adopted the theory that it was built in the early part of the 16th century by the De Lynthwaites’’ (p. 2). (iv) Mr. Louis Ambler, in his ‘‘Old Halls and Manor Houses of Yorkshire’’ (1918) said that ‘‘the Lynthwaite family built the main portion about 1600 of stone faced with ashlar; and it was added to later by the Lockwcod family, who owned the property after 1615”’

(p. 61).

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LINTHWAITE HALL, previous to its restoration in 1890. Photc by the late Mr. Isaac Hordern, reproduced by kind permission of the Huddersfield Public Library Committee.

LINTHWAITE OLD HALL, after its restoration Phote by Mr. W. H. Sikes, of Almondbury.


Page 27

ead ee i


Thus the precise date of the building of the Hall and its actual builder are still matters of controversy.

During the Middle Ages, the family of the de Lynthwaites, previously mentioned, were evidently owners of land in this locality, but whether a member of that family built the Hall is, as has been said, a matter of dispute. The late Dr. H. J. Morehouse, in his ‘‘Notes to the Rev. Robert Meeke’s Diary’’ (pub. 1874) stated that ‘‘this family had been seated here from an carly period, probably

to the middle of the 16th century during which period we find their

names in charters either as: principals or as witnesses’? (p. 46). Hobkirk, in his ‘‘History of Huddersfield,’’ said that ‘‘the de Lynthwaites were probably Lords of the Manor as they certainly owned a large property here which descended with them many generations till it failed in the male issue’’ p. 55). . The family of Linthwaite did not become extinct till about 1615. A rather amus- ing episode is recorded in the Wakefield Court Rolls (Vol. I., p.. 224) concerning one John de Lynthwaite. On the 24th of June, 1256, he summoned Dycnisia de Mallesheved and her two brothers for having seized twelve of his cows on the previous Whit-Saturday at Hanging Royd, Golcar, driven them down into Dyonisia’s cattle enclosure at Crosland (now Linthwaite), and kept them there until they were re-captured by the bailiff of the Earl of Warren. The spectacle cf Dvyonisia and her two brothers driving these cows down the sides of the Colne Valley, through the River Colne and up the steep bank to Linthwaite must have been somewhat thril- ling! John de Lynthwaite claimed twenty shillings damages which the Court awarded him and the defendatts were fined twelve pence (nc doubt one penny per cow !)

Hecbkirk, in his ‘‘History of Huddersfield,’’ mentions three decuments dating 1452, 1455, 1478, in which William de Lynth- waite appeared as a witness.

It would appear, however, from the late Mr. D. F. E. Sykes’s researches, that Edmund Kaye owned in 1550 and that in that year he died withcut leaving male issue and without having made a will. Consequently his estates at Linthwaite fell to his four daughters and co-heiresses, namely, Jenett, Ann, Elizabeth and Margaret. Jenett married William Lockwood of Linthwaite,

(probably a descendant of one of those two Lockwoods mentioned

in the Poll-Tax Returns cf 1879); Ann married Thomas Thornhill of Toothill (a relation of the Thornhills of Fixby); Elizabetn married Christopher Bothe of Toddington in Lancashire and Margaret married Adam Holden of Harlingden in Lancashire. As these ladies (or their husbands) could not come to a satisfactory agree- ment as to how their father’s estates should be divided, they decided to put the matter to arbitration, two of the arbitrators were Arthur Kaye of Woodsome and John Thornhill of Fixby.

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These arbitrators delivered their verdict in a deed of award and partition which bears the date September 22nd, 1551 :—‘‘Wilham Lockwodd and Jenett, his wife, as in right of the said Jenett, shall have, occupie and enjoye to them and the heires of their bodies and failing such issue the right heires of William Lockwodd, the capital messuage, called Linthwaite Hall, etc., as the same were then occupied by the said William Lockwodd, subject to a yearly chief rent to the head Iord of 7d.’’ (MSS. of the late J. H. Sykes, Esq., of High House Green, Linthwaite; quoted Py De oF oy Sykes, ‘History of the Colne Valley,” p- 53),

The Lockwoods held the Hall till 1620 when Margaret, the daughter of John Lockwood, married on the 12th of December, 1620, Tempest Thornton of Thornton and Tyersall, Yorks., and thus the Hall and its adjacent lands fell into the family of the Thorntons. The widow of the above John Lockwood, however, continued to reside here till her death in 1630.

A certain Captain Thornton lived at the Hall in the days of Oliver Cromwell, and, so tradition states, went to beat up recruits on behalf. of the Parliamentarians at Pighill in Slaithwaite when the chapel loosed” one Sunday evening (Canon Hulbert, ‘‘Annals of Almondbury,’’ p. 402).

From the Diary of the Rev. Robert Meeke, the curate at Slaithwaite (1684-1724), it would appear that his brother-in-law, Mr. Brooksbank lived at Linthwaite Hall about 1695 and also that the Rev. Randall Broome, the Minister at Meltham, also lodged there and rode from thence to his duties in that district. There are one or two references to Linthwaite Hall in the Rev. Meeke’s Diary :— 1691. Dec. 2. Stayed at home all day and studied at night — and then went to Mr. Broome to meet Mr. Thornton with whom I sat till 9 o’clock. Dined the following day with Mr. Thornton at Linthwaite. i

1693. Jan. 6th. Yesterday dined at Linthwaite with Mr. Thornton.

After the death of one of the Thorntons (if not before) the Hall appears to have been divided into dwelling-houses. Later it was purchased from one of the heirs of this particular Mr. Thornton by William Radcliffe, an attorney of Milnsbridge. (D. F. E. Sykes ‘‘History of the Colne Valley’’). About the year 1729, a family of Sykes ‘of the Flathouse removed thence to Linthwaite Hall and remained there for four generations till 1847. This family were Moravians and while they lived here, the members of that religious persuasion assembled at the Hall once a month and held a service as long as cael of the Sykes’s lived in it.

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The Hall is now the property of the Trustees of the Radcliffe Estate and is still divided into four dwelling-houses. Strange to say, all its occupants are members of the same family.

Four very good descriptions of the Hall have been written by former topographers.

(i) The late Dr. H. J. Morehouse in his “Notes to the Rev. Meeke’s Diary’’ (1874) said :—

“Judging from its strong and durable masonry, and the very large oak timbers of which it is composed, the builder would seem to have had a special desire that it should endure many generations. If such were his wishes, thev must have been realised notwithstand- ing that it has suffered much from neglect.’’ (This was written in 1874). :

This last paragraph may have had the effect of causing its then owner to make some alterations for the late Mr. G. W. Tomlinson stated in 1881 that ‘‘the Hall had been put into excellent repair by its present owner, Sir Percival Radcliffe.’’ (Quoted by Canon Hulbert ‘‘Annals of Almondbury,’’ p. 402). A photograph of the Hall taken before its restoration by the late Mr. Isaac Hordern can be seen in his Photographic Book No. II. in the Huddersfield Public Library (Reference Dept.). The photograph at the head of the chapter is a reproduction by kind permission of the Hudders- field Public Library Committee.

(ii) The late Mr, D. F. E. Sykes who was a frequent visitor to the Hall, described it thus :—

‘““There is the same rectangular form (as can be seen at Slaithwaite Manor House), the body of the house with wings at right angles at each end. The upper rooms within are still panelled in oak, black with age, and the dining-hall still presents a nobie and imposing aspect. If one can imagine the Hall with a courtyard in front, with fountains playing in the centre and orchards and. eardens stretching far around, one realises what a sweet and pleasing abode Linthwaite Hall must once have been.’’ of the Colne Valley,’’ p. 52).

(iii) Mr. G. R. Day, in 1907, wrote a most interesting booklet on ‘‘The Architecture of Linthwaite Old Hall’’ to the contents of which the writer is very much indebted for a description of the building as it existed in Elizabethan days. , (iv) Mr. Louis Ambler in his work on ‘‘Old Yorkshire Houses’’ gave drawing of the Plan and Elevation of the House and also. a short description. (Plate LXIV.). It is evident that the builder intended that the Hall should contain all the features of a Tudor mansion. The plan, as drawn by Mr. Day, certainly shows such rooms as the Great Banqueting Hall with a Ladies Room and a smaller Hall which may have been

Page 30


used as a ‘‘Withdrawing’’ room. Between the two Halls and the kitchen stood the corridor which was approached from the outside by the two entrance porches which are situated below the two smaller gables. The front of the Hall faces South-East. Invari- ably Tudor houses were built so as to get as much sun as possible through the windows of the Great Hall.

The most prominent features on the two exterior sides are the two unequal gables concerning which Mr. L. Ambler says: ‘‘the continuation of one side of the large gable over the room above the porch is unusual.”’ The original corridor (previously mentioned) through the Halls entered by the porches at both ends contains two stone seats 1m- mediately on entering it. The doors are enclosed by a. massive stone cross piece supported by two vertical ‘‘jambs’’ or stone posts. A new doorway has been cut between the former Banqueting Hall and the former kitchen to allow admittance into No. 27.

On entering the Hall by this modern doorway we proceed into a room which is known as the ‘‘Sun Parlour,’’ no doubt because the rays of the sun shed their light in this room in the days of early spring. The stx-light window is divided into stone mullioned fraines each containing diamond-shaped panes of glass encased in lead. The original stone window sill still remains but has been covered with a wooden surface. The stone floor of this room has been covered with matting. Two huge oak beams parallel to the walls span the ceiling but these have been distempered.

On the right of the corridor is the original late Elizabethan or early Jaccbean pantry built of oak panelled cupboards. Some of the doors comprising this cupboard are fastened with old-fashioned hinges of a very primitive type. At one end of this pantry is the base of a massive oak joist which extends to the top of the building. This pantry may have been used as a hiding place while a tradition has been handed down that in its interior ‘‘soldiers were wound up’’—a form of crude punishment meted out to refractory pikemen in the later Middle Ages.

Proceeding along the corridor we arrive into the Great or Banqueting Hall to which in former days was attached the Min- strel’s Gallery. The area of this Hall is almost a square, 8 yards by 84 yards. The two principal features of this Hall are the windows, one of which is a two six-light and the other a two seven- light mullioned and transomed window; the upper windows of one set contain the original geometrically patterned leaded windows some of which are square shaped (3in. square) and others are in the form of an elongated diamond. Mr. Day said that these were a relic of this almost lost art of the Middle Ages. The lower panes of the window on the southern side are of a later date, the middle one has been removed and a modern wooden frame inserted. ‘

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A PORTION OF THE GREAT OR BANQUETING HALL. Linthwaite Old Hall. Photo by A. H. Broadbent & Co.

Page 32


The second feature of the Banqueting Hall is the ceiling which

is panelled into 1382 smaller ones which are themselves part of a three larger. Mr. Day was of the opinion that ‘‘the panelled ceil- ing is a later addition as open timbered roofs went out of vogue in the late 16th century (which would be some time after the Hall was built) and gave place to these ceilings in order-to provide rooms over the Great Hall and consequently more privacy and accommo- dation to the house; the conditions of living having considerably improved at this period, owing to the more settled aspect of the country. The existence of the stone corbels under the wall pieces lends colour to this theory probably having supported an earlier cpen timbered roof.’’ These six corbels on the walls at their juncture with the panelled ceiling are still visible and instructions have been given to the occupiers of the Hall that they must not be painted, nor distempered nor papered! Three oak beams 12in. by 14in. span the ceiling and enclose the 132 panels previously referred. At one time there could be seen an old-fashioned large open fireplace similar to that in Woodsome Hall but within living memory it has been closed in and a modern fireplace inserted.

Within a yard of the wall which holds the modern fireplace a new piece of oak beam has been placed while the panelling which it encloses is likewise modern. Several explanations for the existence of the new panelling have been given :— (i) According to one version, it appears that this part of the Hall caught fire at one time and that these new panels replaced those which had been charred. (ii) It may be that the Minstrel Gallery occupied this space above the former open fireplace and when either one or the other was removed, fresh support for the rest of the transverse oak beams was deemed necessary. (iii) A story has been handed down that a pulpit or rostrum occupied this part and when it was removed the additional panels were inserted. Either of the reasons given under (11) seem to be the most likely. The story regarding the pulpit may have had its origin either from the visits of the Rev. Robert Meeke to the Hall, but we have no record that he actually preached there; or, from the fact that the Moravians held services there from 1729 to 1847.

The side of the Banqueting Hall adjacent to the Butler’s Pantry.

is beautifully panelled in oak. Near the ceiling is some upraised carved oaken work. The staircase leading to the upper rooms of No. 27 (which contains the Banqueting Hall) is modern. Oak panelling divides this part from No. 29. One of the panels was said to have a secret opening at one time. In one of the upstair rooms can be

iin ili

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= =



seen a portion of one of the original oak beams which supported the roof. A manhole leads from one of the bedrooms into the attic which is covered by the large gable. This attic spans the breadth of the Hall.

No. 29 contains two oak beams across the ceiling of its principal room: while another cuts these two at right angles. There is also a window seat below each of the mullioned windows.

There is supposed to be an underground passage leading from Linthwaite Hall to Kitchen Fold which probably took its name from being the site of one of the out-houses of the Hall. The present occupiers of the Hall have endeavoured to locate this sub- terranean passage but so far have not been successful.

Hobkirk, in his ‘‘History of Huddersfield,’’ says that a ghost story lingers. It appears that some old chieftain whom the

neighbours called a petty king lived here and for some mis-

demeanour against the crown was beheaded in some fields nigh at hand and is said to ‘‘come again’’ generally appearing as a headless horseman roaming about in the dusk of evening. Mr. Hobkirk says that he was assured by one of the residents in the .fold that his uncle who had been dead some thirty years, had one evening seen him watering his horse at a well near the Hall, and to his question, he answered that he was ‘‘without his head.”’

Hobkirk also described the barn adjacent to the Hall which in his day was rather a curious structure, ‘‘having been, before the present owner came into possession (t.e., in 1869) a kind of shed, roofed, but open at the sides, which were composed of six immense logs of unwrought timber joined together at the summit by cross beams.’’ (‘‘History of Huddersfield,” p. 54). This description cannot be improved upon although the barn has been converted into a garage. It is a good example of a ‘‘crucks’’ barn. It measures about 80 feet long, 24 feet wide while the height to its apex is approximately 30 feet. Those interested in the architecture of the Hall will find two very good accounts :— (i) Mr. G. R. Day’s ‘‘The Architecture of Linthwaite Old Hall,’’ the plans of which are to be seen in Ravensknowle Museum. Gi) Mr. Louis Ambler’s work on ‘‘Old Yorkshire Houses’’ where the plan and elevation of the Hall are drawn in elaborate detail.

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The ancestral home of the Radcliffes and later of the Armitages who originated from High Royd, Honley, can still be seen in the heart of Milnsbridge although it is now in a very derelict condition; at the present time, it is bound on the south by George Street and on the east by Dowker Street,

Previous to the building of the present mansion, it appears that a dwelling house, of some importance stood on or near the site but the writer has not been able to ascertain whether it was owned by a family of Dawsons or of Taylors as the original title deeds are not forthcoming. I The Rev. John Hunter’s MSS. in the British Museum inform us that there formerly stood in the Huddersfield Parish Church a raised tomb on which were inscribed the words, ‘‘Here lies the body of John Dawson of Millsbridge, gentleman, who departed this life 26th of October 1 704, aged 36. Also of Martha, his mother, relict of George Dawson, a Dodlee, who died 29th of October, 1709, peed a as tombstone has disappeared from the Parish Church,

A family of Taylors also held land in Milnsbridge; Elizabeth, the daughter and co-heiress of John and Dorothy Taylor married, first, John Sellick Dawson, probably a descendant of the above John Pawson. ‘On his death, She married in 1760, William Radcliffe, the third son of William Radcliffe and Mary Beaumont and so handed over to her second husband the Taylor estates in Milns- bridge. On this point, the Rev. J. Hughes, in his ‘‘History of Meltham’’ (p. 285) says, ‘‘William Radcliffe settled himself at Milnsbridge House, near Huddersfield, in right of his wife, Elizabeth Taylor, relict of John Sellick Dawson, some time of this place.’’ A complete pedigree of the Radcliffes is to be found in Foster’s Visitation (1884, Vol. II.). William Radcliffe III., the son of William Radcliffe and Elizabeth Taylor, in all probability built the present Milnsbridge House. Canon Hulbert, in his ‘‘Annals of Almondbury’’ (p. 391), says ‘“Milnsbridge House was always the centre of influence in the Colne Valley.”’ The date of the erection of the present building is uncertain; the late Mr. G. W. Tomlinson, in his ‘‘Founders of the Hudders- field Subscription Library,”’ said “that it was supposed to have

Page 35


been built about 1750,’’ while Canon Hulbert, in the work quoted above, said that it dated to the year 1756. ‘It is certainly character- istic of the architecture of the 18th century and shows the influence

which the style of continental builders had upon local landowners.

Canon Hulbert said that the house was re-built ‘‘in the handsome Roman style,’’ but the late Mr. D. F. E. Sykes was of the opinion that it possessed ‘‘no architectural beauty.’’ ( !)

Milnsbridge House consists of a central building which was the residence of the owner and his family in former days, and two sloping wings built on both sides of the main portion which were the abodes of the servants, coachmen, &c.

A print of Milnes Bridge House, drawn by J. P. Neale, engraved by F. R. Day and published on January 3lst, 1829, by Jones & Co., London, gives a faithful representation of the building in the days of its glory. Thereon is depicted the three-storeyed dwelling-house with a plain pedimented doorway and two windows on each side of it on the ground floor. Each of the two upper storeys contained five windows while on the pediment below the gable window is the beautiful rose window surrounded by upraised scroll work and surmounted by a crest. Both wings possessed two storeys and an attic and were each lighted by four windows, two on each storey. A similar arrangement of windows obtained at the back of the house which now faces Dowker Street. The side windows contained coloured panes of glass some of which can still be seen. The print also depicts a beautiful lawn and a serpentine lake upon which ducks were swimming. Trees and bushes are shown at the side and back of the house.

Other details concerning the grounds have been given to the writer. A sunken fence or ha-ha separated the lawn in front of the house from the outer lawn. Beyond the lawn and the lake (or fish-pond as it was sometimes called) elm trees grew in profusion and were the abodes of rooks which made their nests in their lofty branches. At the moment five trees remain in front of the house. Close to the lake was a boat-house which stored a rowing boat. This boat was always taken out whenever cricket matches were . played on the lawn. The remaining members of the batting XI. used to row on the lake and ‘‘fish’’ for any balls which the batters had hurled on the water !

Mr. George Pollard Armitage, of Conkwell Grange, near Bath, sends the following particulars concerning the surrounding's of Milnsbridge House :—

“The front gates were just opposite the old Corn Mill by the bridge; a high wall divided the grounds from the river and there was a narrow road on one side. A rookery was just inside this high wall. The kitchen garden stooa where Allison and L. Hal- stead have their premises. The water supply for the house came

Page 36

From the Print of J.P. Neale,


engraved by F. R. Day.

Published January 31st, 1829, by Jones & Co., London.


Page 37


from behind the gas works near the former Longwood Grammar School. The Annual Gaia was held in the field opposite the house which had a terrace and a sunk fence.”’

Jones, in his ‘‘Views of Picturesque Yorkshire Houses,’’ gave the following description of Milnsbridge House :—.

‘“The Valley in which this house is situated is of the most fertile and beautiful description ; it is bounded by hills rising above each other to a considerable height and cultivated to the summit. This house is built with stone of correct architecture, consisting of a plain centre, having a pediment enriched with scroll work, and two wings in corresponding design. The shrubbery that adjoins the house is disposed with much taste; in front the lawn is bounded by two detached pools. of water, beyond which runs the rich prospect of the adjacent country.’’ (Quoted by Mr. G. W Tomlinson in the work mentioned previously, p. 67). It would seem that after 1829 the two pools of water were convert’ i into a serpentine lake.

Alas, this description of the surroundings of M:lnsbridge House no longer obtains. In a letter to a correspondent dated March 15th, 1901, Mr. Mellor Addy, the agent of the Armitage Estates in Milnsbridge, wrote :—

‘“The House and its surroundings are now very different from its appearance in the print dated 1829. The house itself is divided into five dwellings. The owner has died and his successors are living away from the neighbourhood; the fish pond still remains, but there are no graceful swans; the gardens are cut up into streets largely built up. Tall chimney shafts, mills and workshops are round about and the peaceful serenity conned by a glance at the engraving has given place to life, vigour and _ ceaseless activity.”’ In 1906, when the late Mr. D. F. E. Sykes wrote his ‘‘History of the Colne Valley,’’ he stated, “‘It is now partitioned out into more than one dwelling ‘leased out I Like to a tenement or a pelting farm,’ and hemmed in on every side by mills and the serried and dreary rows of the homes of the hardy artisans of Milnsbridge’”’ (pp. 92, 93). : The ‘Rev.: J. E. Roberts, in! his‘ ‘‘Annals of Longwood,”’ written in 1923, wrote the following paragraph concerning Milns— bridge House :— ‘“The ancient home of the Radcliffes and the Armitages stands in (what is now) Dowker Street, its glory departed. It needs an effort of the imagination to see it in its former pomp—the scene of bountiful hospitality to ‘the gentry and clergy,’ and of generous benevolence to all sorts and conditions of men—a good old house

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standing proudly:in its grounds, surrounded by green fields in an -atmosphere free from smoke and ‘muck’.’’ (p. 3). In 1933, the condition of the House is even worse than it was ten years ago, on its walls might be written ‘‘Sic Transit Gloria Mundi.”’ I Milnsbridge House is one of those buildings in our district which has become historic by reason of its having been the resid- ence of Mr. (later Sir) Joseph Radcliffe, whose name will descend to posterity as the magistrate who was most instrumental in se— curing law and order after the Luddite Riots of 1812, when Mr. William Horsfall, of Marsden, was shot in a wood near Dry Clough after returning from Huddersfield. The story of the Luddite Riots and the murder of Mr. Horsfall is related by Mr. Taylor Dyson, M.A., in his ‘‘History of Huddersfield and Dis- trict,’’ (pp. 348-397), and by the late Mr. D. F. E. Sykes in his ‘‘History of Huddersfield and its Vicinity’’ (pp. 281-289). Canon Hulbert in his ‘‘Annals of Almondbury,’’ states that Mr, Radcliffe was also in a similar danger but was preserved (p. 391). Mr. Radcliffe spared no efforts to obtain the arrest of Mr. Horsfall’s murderers, viz., George Mellor, Thomas Smith, Benjamin Walker and William Thorpe, and, in recognition of his services as a magistrate in restoring law and order, the Prince Regent, after— wards George IV., awarded him a baronetcy on the recommenda— tion of the Lord cf the West Riding, the Earl of Fitz- william Wentworth. (See Mr. G. VW. Tomlinson’s ‘‘Founders of the Huddersfield Subscription Library, 1807,’’ where copies of the letters sent to Sir Joseph Radcliffe by Lord Sidmouth and by the Earl Fitzwilliam are reproduced. Mr. Taylor Dyson, in the work quoted above, gives these as well as an obituary notice from the “‘Courier’’ of Leeds).

A word or two may here be said concerning Sir Joseph Radcliffe. His real surname was Pickford, and was the son of Joseph Pickford and Mary Radcliffe, the daughter of Radcliffe and Elizabeth, daughter and co—heiress of John and Mary Taylor, of Milnsbridge. He was born on the 8th of May, 1744, and eventually inherited his uncle William Radcliffe’s estates in the Colne Valley, which the latter had obtained from his mother, Elizabeth Taylor, on condition that he changed his surname to On the 19th of December, 1795, he obtained the Royal Sign Manual which authorised him to effect this change of sur- name as directed by his uncle’s will. He was educated at the Manchester Grammar School, and later became one of its Gov— ernors. He was one of the founders of the Huddersfield Subscrip- tion Library, 1807, and in the work which bears that title, the late Mr. Tomlinson gives a complete pedigree of the Radcliffe-Pickford families from which the above details are given. Mr, Tomlinson also stated, ‘‘There are many stories told about Sir Joseph, all

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turning on a rough but hearty English manner, which perhaps helped to make him so great a favourite amongst his neighbours. In a short notice which-appeared at the time of his death in ‘The Gentleman’s Magazine,’ he is spoken of as ‘one of the few remain— ing examples of old English hospitality’.’’ (p. 22). He married three times and died on the 19th of February, 1819, and was buried at Royton.

The Rev. Joseph Hunter’s ‘‘ Notes on Milnsbridge House’ (MSS. in British Museum) contains the following interesting _ details concerning the building and Sir Joseph Radcliffe :—

(a) ‘‘I once spent a night at Milnsbridge; it was in 1811, when Mr. and Mrs. Radcliffe were the sole inhabitants; it was in the time of the Luddite disturbances, and when I was there, there was a special guard of watchmen on the premises. Mr. Radcliffe’s firm conduct at that time gained him great praise, and as a reward the dignity of baronet was conferred upon him.”’

(b) ‘In April, 1807, Mr. Radcliffe made a private marriage at St. Pancras Church, London, with a young person who attended on the Miss Pickfords, and particularly on one of them who was a great invalid. Her name was Elizabeth Creswick, the daughter of Richard Creswick, who had been a silver plater in Sheffield, of a family of respectability but a reduced branch of it. She was a pretty and attractive young woman and of strict propriety so far as I ever heard. The marriage was kept secret for nearly three years, and when it became known, the Miss Pickfords left their father’s house’’ (!) (quoted in Y.A. ‘A, Vol. VII., p. 428).

Charles Searle Phillips, in his ‘‘Walks Around Huddersfield,’’ written in 1848, gave a graphic pen—picture of Sir Joseph Radcliffe which is well worth reproducing, as copies of the above work are very scarce :— :

‘“There stands an old house by the river side, half buried in trees, which to me is one of the most interesting objects in the valley. For it was in this house that Joseph Radcliffe lived during the Luddite insurrection, and by his prompt, energetic measures, as a magistrate in those times, won for himself an honourable knighthood. From the accounts I have heard of this man, he, over all others, was best fitted to meet the emergencies of his day. Cool, vigilant, active and courageous, no difficulties. could conquer his resolution and no objects or dangers could intimidate him. He was the terror of evil—doers and the inevitable avenger of all out- rages perpetrated within his jurisdiction. If any insurgent were brought before him, his mercy was law, his justice, execution. As easily might you wring blood out of the obdurate rocks which frowned in shaggy horror over his mansion, as compassion out of. his iron heart. ‘He that breaketh the law, shall perish by the law,’ that was his maxim. Not that he was without pity and the natural affections of a man, but that he saw into the folly and

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Sir JOSEPH RADCLIFFE, of Milns—Bridge House, near Huddersfield, Bart.

“The Original Portrait placed in the Court House at Wakefield, and this Print, are the tribute of Public Respect and Gratitude.”’

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insanity of the insurrection and believed that instant justice. however severe it might seem to be, would prove the best mercy in the end. To reason with unreasonable men was impracticable, and useless, even if it had been practicable; there was no course left, therefore, to the ministers of the law, but the stern and sum- mary punishment of the transgressors of it. For these trans- gressors, by their own act and deed, were placed beyond the pale of society and order, doing nothing but mischief to themselves and to others. ‘Hence,’ said Sir Joseph, ‘I will by fair or foul measures, bring them back to order, and, at last they shall call me friend instead of inexorable judge.’ ’’

““There is an engraved portrait of Sir Joseph to be found in almost every house in Huddersfield, which, before I knew any— thing about him, the history of the man, struck me as remarkable. There he sits in his study—a muscular, stout man—dressed in the old English gentleman style, with his ruffled shirt, knee-breeches, and silver buckled shoes. His right arm rests upon a table, and there is an air of noble courage about his person not to be mis— taken. Look with what majesty he sits in that old arm chair. His: chest thrown out, his hand erect, and his stern fierce eye, made, like that of Mars, to threaten and command. His favourite hound lies under the chair, with his great massy head between his master’s feet, altogether a very notable picture.”’

Regarding this painting, Mr. G. W. Tomlinson said that the original is to be seen in the Wakefield Court House, and that en- gravings by Sharp and Heath are deservedly popular in the neigh— bourhood. Sir Joseph Radcliffe was succeeded in the baronetcy by his grandson, Sir Joseph Radcliffe, of Rudding Park, who, in 1820. let the house to Mr. Joseph Armitage, of High Royd, Honley. In 1823, Mr. Armitage purchased the mansion and the surround— ing estate, and it remained in the Armitage family till August, 1919.

Mr. Joseph Armitage was the eldest son of Mr. George Armitage, J.P., and of Sarah Walker, of Lascelles Hall. He was born on the 9th of February, 1778, and died on August, 17th, 1860. He married Ann Taylor, the daughter of Joseph Taylor, of Blackley Hali, near Manchester. After he had purchased Milns.- bridge House from Sir Joseph Radcliffe, he removed from Honley to Milnsbridge, where in 1823, he had founded the mills which subsequently bore the rame of Armitage Bros. There were eventually three mills under their control, viz., The Spring, Bur- dett (so called because Sir Francis Burdett laid the first stone, and was the guest of Mr. Armitage at the time), and Lower Bank Mulls.

Mr. Armitage continued to reside at Milnsbridge House up to within a few years of his death in 1860. Both he and his wife are

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buried at Milnsbridge Church, to the building of which he con- tributed generously. A monument to his memory states that ‘‘He filled many offices of trust, both public and private, and his en- deavour was at all time to do his duty, fearlessly and independ— ently. In private life, an affectionate husband and friend.’’ An oil painting of Mr. Armitage can be seen in the Board Room of the Huddersfield Royal Infirmary, of which institution he was one of the Trustees. After his death, his eldest son, Mr. George Armitage, to whom his father had bequeathed the Milnsbridge estates, also resided at Milnsbridge House till 1875, when he left to take up his abode at Nunthorpe Hall, York. I His second son, Captain Joseph Taylor Armitage, who lived at Birkby Grange, inherited the Honley estates of his father. In the late seventies of the last century, the old homestead was divided into four, if not five dwelling-houses. The centre portion, which contains the Italian plaster work, was occupied by Dr. John Mackenzie till 1884, and later by Dr. T. Park until his removal to Bournemouth. The late Mr. A. J. Slocombe (formerly clerk to the Huddersfield Magistrates) and Mrs. Slocombe resided in one part of the house shortly after their marriage. The central portion became vacant for a little while till it was taken over by the Milnsbridge Conservative Club. <A part of the House was also at one time used as a private school conducted by Miss Priestley. On August 6th, 1919, Milnsbridge House was sold by Mr. George Pollard Armitage, the great-grandson of Mr. George Armitage, who had bought it in 1823, to the Armitage Lodge of Freemasons who hoped to convert the building into a Masonic Temple. The scheme, however, fell through due to the impos-— sibility of putting the idea into execution owing to the heavy addi_ tional expenditure which would have had to be incurred. In October, 1923, the Freemasons sold the building to its present owner, Mr. W. H. Robinson.

As previously stated, at the present time, the mansion is in a terrible state of decay. The division of the centre portion played havoc with the Italian plastered ceilings and the mural decorations. Through the courtesy of Mr. Robinson, the writer was privileged to see what still remains of the old Georgian Mansion. In the room on the left hand side of the original entrance doorway is a magnificent marble fireplace, the centre supporting piece contains a bas-relief in colours. representing an amphora and a cluster of grapes. This fireplace is surmounted by a plaster overmantel painted in green which extends to the ceiling, where are still to be seen six of the original plastered frescoes, two of which.are most interesting. One is in the form of a boar’s head encircled by a hunter’s horn and pierced by a spear, while the

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SE =


other is a stag’s head pierced by a gun and a sword. On the walls of this room, which, no doubt, was the reception room in the days of Sir Joseph Radcliffe and Mr. George Armitage, are two panels ; these have been painted over, but there is reason to believe that they originally contained paintings or frescoes. A marble pedi-— mented doorway led to another room. The floor of this reception room is made of oak. Above the staircase and on some of the walls and ceilings of the rooms in the second storey are old plastered panellings. In one room, the whole of the plaster has fallen down and has revealed the rushes to which it was originally fixed. An examination of the broken pieces shows that this plaster work was over one inch thick and that it was elaborately executed. , I

The attic, which contains the rose window previously men- tioned, has its floor concreted, while the arched roof of the gable is supported by two sets of huge oak joists.

On each side of the roof are two massive chimney breadths, each over eight feet long. Each chimney breadth is surmounted by five pots. On the West side of the roof are terraced stone balustradings supported at the two corners by square stones. on which have been inscribed the letters J.R., possibly Joseph Radcliffe. The view of the Colne Valley from the roof is an extremely fine one; Linthwaite Church, Crosland Moor, Longwood Tower can be seen. Before the advent of the Mills and their lofty chimneys, it must have been a wonderful thrill to have been seated on the roof of the House and have admired the then beauties of the Colne Valley.

The cottage adjacent to the old House, the stables and the dog kennels have been recently demolished to make way for the new Sunday Schools. of the Milnsbridge Methodist Church.

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The Rev. William Radcliffe, bap. de Oldham, 20th March, 1638, d. 12th Sept., 1727=Mary, daughter of Abraham Beaumont, sister and co-heiress of Abraham Beaumont, of Meltham, d. 4th May, 1725.

I William Radcliffe, of Milnsbridge House, bap. 20th Oct., 1670, d. 20th May, 1748, bur. at Huddersfield =Elizabeth, daughter of John Taylor, and widow of John Sellick Dawson, of Milnsbridge, m. at Marsden, 19th Sept., 1706. I

I : , I I William Radcliffe, d. unmarried, 26th Sept., Mary Radcliffe, bap. at Huddersfield, 19th Nov., 1795. 1707, d. 6th August, 1747=Joseph Pickford, of Alt Hill, in Roy pee fees d.

I Sir Joseph Radcliffe, of Milnsbridge House, bap. 8th May, 1744, born at Alt Hill. On the death of his uncle, William Radcliffe, he succeeded to the Milnsbridge and other estates, and in compliance with his uncle’s will, assumed the surname and arms of Radcliffe. Created Baronet 2nd Nov., 18138; d. at Clifton, near Bristol, 19th Feb., 1819; buried at Royton. (i) Katherine Percival, daughter of Thomas Percival, ‘of Royton; d. 15th May, 1765. (ii) Elizabeth Sunderland, daughter of Richard Sunderland: d. 26th March, 1796. (iii) Elizabeth, daughter of Richard Creswick, of Sheffield ; d. 22nd Nov., 1855.

< a


I (ii) “he Rev. Joseph Pickford, M.A., b. 31st August, 1766; d. 17th May, 1804=Mary, ae daughter of Sir Archibald Grant.

Sir Joseph ene aoe of Rudding Park; b. 5th June, 1799; d. at Rudding, 29th Nov., 72=Jacobina Maria, 4th daughter ol Gen. John Macdonell.

Sir Joseph Percival Pickford Radcliffe (8rd Baronet); b. 4th Oct., 1824; m. 20th Oct., 1854; d. 27th April, 1908=Katherine Mary Elizabeth, daughter of Sir Edward Doughty.

Sir Joseph Edward Radcliffe (4th Baronet); b. Ist August, 1858=Mary Katherine, daughter of John Reginald Talbot, Esq.

The Hon. Everard Joseph Radcliffe, B.A., J.P.; b. 27th January, 1884=Marguerite Magdalen Ashton Case, daughther of Capt. Henry Ashton Case.

Joseph Benedict Everard Henry Radcliffe; b. 10th March, 1910.

i cee ame

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William Armitage (witnessed the charter of 1492)

John Armitage, of the Hermitage. He was one of Roger Armitage, of Honley. Will dated

the parties to the charter of 1492, and had from his 10th April, 1537, proved at York, 5th May, father ‘‘his messuage called Armyteyge, with. all 1537.

and sundry its lands and pertinents in the town / I and territory of Crosland fosse.’’ Will proved 10th l

May, 1527. Buried in the Church of Almondbury - , James Armitage 7 others. I I I John Armitage, of The Hermit- William Armitage, of Crosland, Thomas Armitage (from whom age. Will dated 4th June, 1561, Will dated 28th May, 15738 = the Thickhollins branch des- bur. at Almondbury, 25th May, Margaret Turton, sister and cend). 573. heir of William Turton.

John Armitage, of High Royd. Bap. 7th Mar., 1550. Will dated 20th July, 1601, proved 19th Dec., 1601. Buried at Almondbury=Jernet or Joanna Taylyer. I


James, bap. Roger, bap. William, bap. Richard Armitage, of Vhe Under- Two llth Jan., 10th Feb., 21st May, banks, and later of Dudmanston. daughters 1572. 1577 1579 (Will dated 24th Oct., 1665, proved

19th April, 1666)=Sarah Stevenson, of Shepley, married at Kirkburton 22nd May, 1615. Purchasea Dudmanston

1663. ee Ca). Ae joseph Armitage, of bapt. 15th Richard Armitage, of Townend, Almondbury, and Feb., 1617. Will dated 6th Oct., 1686. Will later of Dudmanston; b. 20th Jan., 1627, at Dud- proved 3lst May, 1689. Bur. at Almondbury. manston; bapt. at Almondbury 27th Jan., 1627. 27th April, 1689. Died unmarried. Will’ dated 1st Jan., 1705, Will proved 9th Jan.,

1706. Died in 1705. or. 6. =(1) Maria (or Mary) Bayley (20th Oct., 1655). =(2) Martha Bayley, daughter of George Bayley, of pay

I ||

I William Armitage. Joseph Armitage, of George Armitage, of Townend, Almond- Maria

Dudmanston, and bury, and later of High Royd, Honley; Elizabeth later of Wakefield. bap. 12th May, 1674; d. 8th Jan., 1742

=Alice Jaggar (or Jagger), d. 24th Dec., 1743. I

Joseph Armitage, of High Royd; bap. 9th Aug., 1716; bur. 15th Aug., 1785, at Almondbury= Mary, daughter of the Rev. Wilson, of Holmfirth; bur. 14th Dec., 1798, aged 83. I George Armitage, J.P., of High Royd; b. 21st Sarah Armitage=William. Fenton, of Spring

Nov., 1738; d. 16th Dec., 1815; m. 16th April, Grove, Huddersfield. 1776=Sarah Walker, daughter of Joseph I Walker, of Lascelles Hall; b. 7th April, 1748; Captain W. Fenton, Ist M.P. for Huddersfield, d. 18th July, 1834. 1832. I I I Joseph Armitage, J.P., and D.L., of High Royd, and later of Milnsbridge House ; Three

b. 9th VKeb., 1778; d. 17th August, 1860. Purchased Milnsbridge House=Anne, eldest daughters daughter of Joseph Taylor, Esq., of Blackley Hall, near Manchester; d. 5th Feb., 1854, aged 72. I

: l 1 George Armitage, J.P. and D.L., of Milnsbridge Captain Joseph Tayler, 12; of Birkby 13 ick House, and of Nunthorpe Hall, York; b. 24th Grange; b. at High Royd, 24th April, children Sept., 1806; m. 24th Aug., 1830; d. 19th Feb., 1809; m. 27th Oct., 1848; d. 14th July, 1878=Caroline Jane, eldest daughter of James 1ss0=Ellen, second daughter of Henry Dowker, Esq., and of Elizabeth Buttle, of Ingram, Esq., of Halifax. North Dalton, E.R. (d. 16th March, 1882). I I Charles Ingram Henry Arnold I Joseph Armitage, J.P., of Milnsbridge House, and of Storthes Hall; b. 23rd 6 other Sept., 1840; m. 30ti Jan., 1866; d. 2nd April, 1898 = Julia Frances Pollard, second children daughter of George Thomas Pollard, Esq., of Ashfield, Cheltenham, and of Stannery : Hall, Halifax, d. 17th March, 1923. I

George Pollard Armitage, Esq., J.P., of Conkwell Grange, Bath; b. 21st April, 1867; Ethel m. 7th Feb., 1912=Coralie Eugenie, daughter of the Rev. W. de Boinville, of Burton, Westmoreland. . I

Josephine Meriel Chastel Armitage.

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