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OUGRNAL No. G€dTUMN 1993
THE WEST YORK MILITIA IN NAPOLEONIC TIMES
By E.M. Tittensor
There are, in our local archives, a number of documents relating to the Militia which are of interest both to local and to family historians. Here I shall attempt to describe some of them and the background against which they were prepared.
THE MILITITIA The Militia wasa home defence force, completely separate from the Army proper. It was remodelled in 1756 on the outbreak of the Seven Years War, to defend the kingdom if it became necessary to employ the Regular Army abroad. In peacetime, men were to be trained and exercised together on the first and third Mondays from March to October, and on Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday and Friday in Whitsun week. In case of actual invasion, or upon imminent danger thereof, or in case of rebellion, the Militia was to be embodied and might be led to any part of the Kingdom. When embodied Militiamen were entitled to pay as part of the King's Forces, and to the benefits of the Chelsea Hospital. In 1973 the Militia was embodied on the outbreak of war with France and was brought up to strength by ballot. After the defeat of Napolean at Waterloo in 1815 the Militia lapsed until 1852 when 80,000 men. were recruited without resorting to the ballot. The Militia was embodied again on the outbreak of the Crimean War in 1854.
THE BALLOT Under the Militia Bill of 1757 counties were required to prodice a specified number of private men, to be drawn by ballot from lists drawn up by the parish authorities. for the West Riding of York the nuber was 1,240. The Regular Army provided adjutants and sergeants as a permanent staff. I The number of men to be provided by each district towards raising the number for the whole country, was decided at Pontefract Sessions in March 1795. The number for Dewsbury was five, for Dalton and Golcar one each. For
Honley, Upperthong, Thurstonland, Scammonden and Holme the number was four each. Huddersfield had to provide five men, Kirkburton one, Kirkheaton, Almondbury, Lepton, Upper Flockton and Shepley three each. Marsden provided two, Mirfield two, Slaithwaite two and Wakefield nine. On the first Tuesday of June each year, the Chief Constable made a return of all the men settled in the district who were between the ages of 18 and 50 years, not including Peers, Members of Parliament, University men, Clergy, Parish Officers, apprentices and seamen. Alsoexempted under the Ballot Act of 1802 were thase who had enlisted in the Volunteers and Yeomanry and who had been reported to be efficient. Lists, specifying those who ‘laboured’ under any infirmities incapacitating them from serving as Militia men' were to be displayed on the church door on Sunday morning. Appeals against inclusion in the lists were heard by Deputy Lieutenants. The quota for the parish was then chosen by ballot out of the whole number of men liable to serve. Drawn men were served for three years, or might provide fit and approved substitutes. A Militia Ballot List for Slaithwaite-cum- Lingards prepared on the 15th November 1800 gives the names of all the men in the township between the ages of 14 and 45. The original list, which was in the Parish chest at Slaithwaite, has now been lost, but was quoted by D.G. Sykes in his History of Huddersfield and District written in the early 1900's. This gives the names of 30 men who had been ballotted but who had either served or provided a substitute; all but one (Saml Wood, a butcher) are clothiers. Sykes omits the names of 17 men whose occupation was not stated, and the names of 30 men who had been balloted but who had either served or provided a substitute. He does, however, quote the names of the surgeon and apothecary Ely Taylor, Richard Horsfall, woollen cloth stamper, the surveyor Timothy Armitage, Benjn. Bailey Overseer of the Poor, Edward Shaw, Assistant Overseer, Thos. Gill, Schoolmaster, William Sykes, Duputy Constable and Joseph Sykes, Constable.
A ballot List for the township of Thurstonland has survived and is in Kirklees archives (KC271/ 54). This is dated 7th November 1796 and headed "A List of all the Persons residing within the Township of Thurstonland between the Ages of Eighteen and Forty Five Years". It gives the names and occupations of 56 men liable to serve in the militia, mostly clothiers but including a Schoolmaster (James a currier, 2 husbandmen, 2 masons, a gardener, acoachman and a footman, 2 cordwainers anda farmer. Nine are infirm. Twenty nine are "Poor men having two children born in wedlock"; Seven have been balloted and have served in the Militia either themselves or by substitute. There are 6 apprentices (4 clothiers, 1 tanner, 1 millwright). Persons who "think themselves aggrieved" must appear at the White Hart Inn in Wakefield on a certain date (left blank) after which no appeal could be had. A notice in Leeds Mercury on the 3rd October 1807 also advises of the right of appeal. "Under the Militia Act, every person whose name is inserted in the list placed against the church door, and claiming any kind of exemption whatever, must appeal to the Deputy Lieutenants on the day stated in the list in order to get hisname struct out; otherwise the parish in which such person resides will be called upon to provide a greater number of men, and such person fined without mitigation in the sum of 20s. James KNUTTON, miller, of Thurstonland was drawn in the ballot in 1810 and his Notice to serve is in Kirklees archives (KC27157) "Wapentake of Agbrigg. To Wit To No. 37 James KNUTTON, Miller, Thurstonland of the Township of of
This is to give you NOTICE, That You are chosen by ballot to serve in the Militia, for the West Riding of the County of York and You are to appear (or find a sufficient Substitute) to take the Oath in that Behalf required, and to be enrolled in the said Militia, on the 6th day September next at the New Court House, in Wakefield, at Ten o'clock in the Forenoon of the same day. Herein fail not, & c. Dated this 20th day of August in the year of our Lord 1810 Richard BEATSON
High Constable for Agbrig". Jame KNUTTON did not serve himself but provided a substitute and notice of this is also in the archives (KC271/57). "Wapentake of Agbrigg in the West Riding of Yorkshire. I do hereby certify that James KNUTTON was ballotted to serve in the Militia of the said Riding and that this day Thomas ARMITAGE of Horton in the Parish of Bradford in the county of York was duly sworn and enrolled to serve in the said Militia as his substitute. Dated this 28th day of September 1810 Signed Benj. CLARKSON Clerk of the Subdivision Meetings"
SUBSTITUTES A man drawn in the ballot, known as a Principal or drawn man, did not have to serve himself but might provide a fit substitute. Muster Rolls in the Archives at Bradford show that most of the men serving were substitutes. A Muster Roll of the Sunderland belonging to the Ist Regiment of West York Militia commanded by His Grace the Duke of Norfolk for 174 days from 2nd January to 24th June 1793 gives only five Principals out of 112 private men. The Roll of Captain Stanhope's Company at Durham in June 1793 (SpSt.10/7/17) has 2 Principals out of 60 men. A transcription of this Roll, which gives the ages, heights and descriptions of 67 men and the place where they were born, was published in Old West Riding, December 1991. In theory, substitutes had to be men with not more than one child born in lawful wedlock, and "from the same county, riding, or from some adjoining county or place" as the men whom they replaced, and the Muster Roll of Captain Stanhope's Company in 1793 shows that all the man were born in Yorkshire. One volume in the Record Office at Wakefield, however, covers the period 1811-1815 and tells a different story. The parish providing relief for the wife and family of a substitute reclaimed the money from the county for which the man was serving. The volume, Militia Orderson Townships (QD/136), shows the families of 160 substitutes living at places as far distant as Sunderland, Middlesex and Devon. I have recently compiled an index to this volume, and copies of this index are
lodged in the Record Office and in Huddersfield Local Studies Library.
INSURANCE Men on parish ballot lists were able to pay insurance for the provision of a substitute should they be drawn. Leeds Mercury for 24th and 31st October 1807 publishes an advertisement by W.G. Pilkington, Samuel Lumb & Co. setting out the terms for insurance. Applications could be made by applying at the office of Mr Pilkington, Hotel Yard, Briggate, or at Mr Lumb's, Woodhouse Lane.
VOLUNTEERS The Volunteers Act of 1794 empowered Lords Lieutenant to enrol and train volunteers to be used as reinforcements for the Militia in the event of an emergency. Hundreds of small units were raised; most were infantry but there were a few artillary units and a number of light cavalry, often known as Yeomanry. The History of the Volunteer Movement in Huddersfield from 1794 to 1874 has been written in detail by R.P. BERRY. His book is available in Huddersfield Local Studies Library and in the the lending library. Kirklees Archives (KC271/55) has a document compiled at Thurstonland on 30th April 1798. This gives the names of 56 men forming themselves into a Corps of Volunteers to serve gratuitously within the parish of Kirkburton "under such Regulations or Articles as shallbe hereafter agreed on". Another undated list (probably a copy since it is all written by the same hand, gives the names of a committee set up to regulate and direct an Armed Association, the names of 17 men willing to serve and find their own Arms and Accoutrements, one man (Thomas Inman) willing to serve provided an allowance is made for time taken up inexercising, and thirty four men willing to serve but unable to find Arms and Accoutrements. Although most names appear on both lists, they are not identical. A few names appear on one list but not on the other, and some men who were able to sign their names on the 30th April 1798, are down as having made their mark on the undated list. We are also indebted to Berry for quoting in
his book another document which at that time was in the parish chest at Slaithwaite but which has since been lost. This is also dated 25th April 1798 and addressed to the Constable of Slaithwaite requiring him to make a return of the numbers of men of the age of 15 years and under 60 years, distinguishing how many of them are incapable of active service because of infirmity, which belong to any Volunteer corps, and which are willing to be armed, trained and exercised for the defence of the kingdom. The whole number of men between the ages of 15 and 60 in Slaithwaite and Lingarths is 616. Six are willing to serve on horses, 1300n foot. 42 are infirm, 5 belong to an Armed Corps. The number of old people and infants not able to remove themselves is 459. 97 horses are available, 78 carts, 1 sword, 1 pistol, 1 firelock and 3 pikes, as well as axes, spades, shovels and other implements. One public oven can bake Icwt of bread in 24 hours. One corn mill can grind 24 quarters or corn in one week. The number of men between 15 and 60 years who are infirm and not fit for active service is 42. There must have been another list of names which has not survived and which is not given in full. However the notes against some of the names are quoted, eg: "John RAMSDEN, Waterside, engineer, two chidren under three years old. No objection to be enrolled in the Infantry provided they be trained at Slaithwaite and Government finds arms. John BAMFORTH (Mr Sykes); If Dob go, I go alongside her. James SYKES, Cophill, is determined to kill a Frenchman, if possible. A similar list for Thurstonland has survived (KC271/58). This is headed "A list of the inhabitants of the township of Thurstonland and of the age of 15 and under 60" and is undated. There are 238 names. Luke WILSON and Josh. SWALLOW are described as "out of age", and Josh. SMITH as "aged". Eleven men are infirm, John MOSS and Francis WILKINSON are sick, Jonas HIRST, Wm. HEYWOOD, John POOLE and Chas. JENKINSON are lame. Thomas BOTTOMLEY, Wm. BOTTOMLEY and Josh. BOTTOMLEY are Quakers. Charles STEVENSON is lame and
incapable of removing himself, his wife or his two children. Some of the men are serving as volunteers. Eight guns and one cutlass are listed and sundry other implements. Miss HORSFALL can provide a driver, three draught horses, one wagon and two carts.
Local Militia and Supplementary Militia In 1796 the Supplementary militia was set up, to be drawn by ballot and called out in batches for 21 days training. In 1808 the Local Militia Act set up a reserve force of Militia, intended to supercede the Volunteers. 213,609 men were to be raised by ballot and to serve for 4 years. Substitutes were not allowed. Exemption might be purchased by a fine. Half of these fines were remitted for an effective member of a Volunteer or Yeomanry Corps serving at his own expense without pay or
allowance. The Local Militia was liable to be called out for training and exercise for 28 days, not neessarily consecutive. They could be marched to any part of the kingdom in case of invasion. Sir George Armytage became Col. Commandant of the new Agbrigg Local Militia, and most volunteer officers and men joined, though they clung to the name volunteers. The history of Local Militia is included in Berry's History of the Volunteer Movement. There were eleven batallions of Local militia in the West Riding. Leeds Mercury on 29th April 1810stated that of 1,300 men in the Upper Agbrigg Local Militia Regiment not more than 6 were balloted men. In January 1814 they offered their services to do duty in any part of the country which the Crown might require.
FORMER SHOPKEEPERS, EX-ALDERMAN HELLAWELL'S RECOLLECTIONS & REMINISCENCES
From the Supplement to the Huddersfield Examiner 9.9.1911. Submitted by E. Law
Ex-Alderman G.W. Hellawell, one of the oldest tradesmen in Huddersfield, kindly gave our representative his recollections and reminiscences of the shopkeepers of the town, in several cases as far back as the inception of the "Examiner", and in many others halfa century and more ago. Ina large number of cases the same business is carried on as in the old days though, of course, the shops themselves have undergone a complete transformation. Another interesting fact is that in the old days quite a number of members of the Society of Friends were in business in the town, whereas today there are comparitively few.
Mr Hellawell who was born in 1844 recalls the fact that when he was quite a boy the oldest establishment in New Street was the brush shop of Mr Jeremiah Young, the grandfather of the present occupier, Mr Henry Young.
A good deal more than half a century ago the shop at the corner of South Parade and Buxton Road was in the occupation of Mr Roebuck,
butcher. Above was that of Mr Ainley, boot and shoe dealer. Next door was the Albion Hotel, which at that time was kept by Mr Peace, and subsequently by Mr Henry Partidge. The present vaults was a greengrocer's shop, kept by a Mr Empsall. Mr Richard Brook, a printer and stationer, who was also the proprietor of some famous herbal pills, occupied the next establishment, and next door again was Mr Hellawell's tinner's shop, now an ironmonger's, now in the occupation of Mr McKitrick. Behind these shops were some private residences, one of which was tenanted by a noted medical man in the person of Dr Jonas Hellawell. Continuing along Buxton Road, succeeding shops were occupied by Mr Lorimer, corn dealer; Mrs Sadler, confectioner; Messrs Chapman, pork butchers; Mr Stables, boot maker; and Mr Joseph Hirst, pawnbroker. The last named tradesman, a Conservative, was amember of the Town Council from 1868 to 1870 and again from 1871 until his death on the Ist May 1881. He represented the Central Ward.
Next to Mr Hirst's establishment, Mr Slee carried on a confectionery business. A draper was in business next to Mr Slee, and when he left, the shop was tennanted by a confectioner in the person of Mrs Sidebottom, whose husband carried on business in the next shop as a saddler. Mr Sidebottom's neighbours were Messrs. Bentley, grocers, and subsequently, Messrs. Wallaces Ltd., the present occupiers became the tennants of the premises. What isnow one large drapery and fent shop consisted of several separate establishments in the days under notice, the respective proprietors of which were Mr Jospeh Ibeson, china and earthenware dealer; Mr Sam Armitage, butcher, Mr Chapman, music seller; and Mr Russell, draper. A big fire occurred in
these shops and Miss Ibeson (an aunt of Mr J.E. Ibeson) suffered so severely from shock that she died shortly afterwards.
The shop at the corner of Buxton Road and John Street, No.24 Buxton Road, was formerly an iron warehouse, but in 1844 Mr James Hellawell, the father of ex-Alderman Hellawell, converted it into a place suitable for his smallware and fancy goods business, and in the basement he had a fent shop. Mr Jas. Hellawell who had also an establishment at 37 King Street, was among the advertisers in the first issue of the "Examiner".
Whatis now the West Riding Hotel was formerly the woollen warehouse of Messrs. J and G Hinchliffe. The first proprietor of the Hotel was Mr Westwood Hirst, whose son now carries on the outfitting and hosiery business next door. On the site of that shop was the private residence of Mr Joseph Kaye, a well-known builder and contractor, grandfather of Sir A.K. Rollit. Next to Mr. Kaye's house, Mr Chapman, a chemist and druggist, carried on business, and the succeeding shop was occupied by Mr Jonathan moore, music seller, behind whose premises was
the office of Mr John Brook, registrar of births and deaths for along period. Mr John Hellawell, corn merchant, who sat on the Town Council from 1868 to 1871, and whose death occurred on the 2nd October 1881 was in business next to Mr Moore, and the shops which were recently converted into the Picturedrome, were occupied by Mr H. Roebuck, furnisher, and Messrs. Thorntons, clothiers. Underneath Messrs. Wm.
Wrigley and Son's warehouse, recently converted into shops was a noted eating house and pie shop kept by a Mrs Noble. The basement of Messrs. John Brooke and Son's warehouse was occupied byaclogger, Mr Harry Mellor, who wasa veritable son of Anak, and was not afraid of exposing his brawny arms in the streets where he wasa familiar figure. Next came the Mr Henry Hibbert, grocer; and Mr Fearnside, druggist; and Mr Joseph Hirst, the pawnbroker previously mentioned, kept a clothier's shop at the corner.
comer of High Street and New Street was a tobacconist's shop kept by Mr Benjamin Wade,
who served on the Town Council from 1882 to 1885 and died on the 21st October 1896. The
Commercial Hotel was kept then bya Mr Ainley and afterwards for a long period by Mr Benjamin Hutchinson. The "Commercial" in those days was a kind of money mart, for the leading tradesmen of the town went there to exchange silver and copper for gold or bank notes. Next to the hotel was Jeremiah Young's establishment previously referred to. The shop now occupied by G.W. Hellawell was formerly kept by Mr Johnson, aconfectioner, afterwards by Mr Henry Wormald, a grocer, a member of the Society of Friends, and later still by Mr Clayton, a confectioner. It has been devoted to Mr Hellawell's business since 1856.
Next came the business of Mr Shaw, popularly known as "Twenty Shaw Twenty", draper (now the picture shop of Mr A. Marshall); and Mr Bull, confectioner, now Miss Bradley, confectioner. In the vacinity there was formerly
the Halifax and Huddersfield Union Bank, and
in the adjoining yard there was a large warehouse (now occupied by Messrs. Wadsworth, tea merchants) belonging to Mr Joseph Hirst of Wilshaw. Inthe same yard, the lateex-Alderman Stocks, architect, had his office, and Mr Hellawell has a vivid recollection of forming one of a deputation which waited upon him to invite him to seek municipal honours. near the site of the Imperial Arcade were the establishments of Mr John Holroyd, grocer, (afterwards Mr W. Hoskin, a Friend who is still living) Messrs.
Hanson & co., cabinet makers; Mr James Sykes, silversmith; and Messrs. Whitfield, Johnson & Co., now Messrs Joshua Marshall & Co. It was
in the next shop, Messrs. Haigh, who hailed from Quarmby, sold woollen cloth. Then came Mr William Watkinson who dealt in Berlin wools and fancy goods; Mr Ludlam Ramsden, ironmonger; Mr John Wm. Walker, draper; and Mr Joseph Hirst, draper. Then came the former general Post Office which was afterwards converted into shops which were occupied by Mr Henry Walker, smallware dealer; Messrs. Elliot Hallas and Sons, boot dealers; and Mr J.B. Littlewood, tailor. Other old shopkeepers in this vicinity were Mr A.T. Palmer, a Quaker, Mr Dore, chemist and druggist and Mr Stancliffe, tea dealer. What is now Mr Dawson's hosiery shop at the corner of New Street and Cloth Hall street, was in the occupation of Mr Cooper, silversmith. At the opposite corner, where now stands the London City and Midland Bank, was the draper's shop of Messrs. Cooper, Smeaton and Lawton. Thencame the shops of Mr Walton, tobacconist, and Messrs. Wheatley Dyson & Co., printers and stationers. Near what is now Messrs. Pearce and Sons establishment there was a Post Office, which did duty before that previously mentioned, and at that time Mr Wm. Moore was the postmaster. succeeding what was formerly the Yorkshire Bank were the following tradesmen's premises - Mr W.P. England, druggist; Mr Faulkner, draper; Mr Waters Hardy, printer; Messrs. Fryer and King, chemists and druggists; and Mr Booth, ironmonger. The last named carried on business where the Halifax Joint Stock Bank (now the West Riding Banking Company) stands today. Subsequently the Chamber of Commerce held their meetings in a portion of the Bank premises. Mr Henry Fryer, a member of Fryer and King, was a Quaker.
Among the stallholders in the Market Place Mr Hellawell remembers Mrs Hardy, fruiterer; Mr Duffy, fancy goods dealer; and mr Dennis Lardner, also a dealer in fancy goods. The shops between the Market Place and the Boot and Shoe Hotel were occupied by Mr B. Brown, printer, and Messrs. Harris & Stansfield, drapers. Even in those days the Boot and Shoe was a noted Hostelry, where started the omnibus for Meltham several times a day. The shop next to the Hotel was successively occupied by Messrs. Bentley,
grocers; a tradesman who hailed from Sheffield; Mr Varley, boot maker; and Mr Brooke, hatter.
It may be remembered that the son of the last named recently sold the other property
at the top of Kingstreet to the National Provincial Bank of England.
The shop at the opposite corner of King Street was in the occupation of Messrs. J]. & G. Hensall, carpet dealers, and under Thornton's Temperance Hotel Mr Henry Wormall, a grocer and a Quaker, carried on business. Between there and what was formerly the Imperial Hotel were the shops of Messrs. Garret and Haigh, hatters; Mr Joseph Boothroyd, draper; Mr Allen Holroyd, grocer; Mr George Whitehead, printer,
and Mr Wm. Lockwood, jeweller. In those days the Imperial Hotel was kept by Mr Samuel
Bradley, and a subsequent proprietor was Mr J. Varley. Among other shopkeepers in New Street were Mr Brooke, ironmonger, (a Quaker); MrT. Washington, draper, agent for Brook's sewing cotton (his shop was conspicuous with a huge reel on the top of it); Mr Holmes, ironmonger; Mr Josephus Roebuck, cabinet maker; Mr Charles Billington, shoe maker; Messrs Ousey Bros., fancy dealers; Mrs Roberts, draper, Messrs. Schofield and Oldfield, drapers; Mr Wm. Pratt, printer; Mr A.T. Palmer, stationer; Mr Jno. Lee Dyson, wholesale grocer; and Mr Wm. Edward Hirst of Lascelles Hall, wool merchant, whose premises occupied the site where now is the shop of Messrs. J. Wood and Sons, musical instrument dealers. Before most of the foregoing shops were erected a mill existed on the site. The corner shop (now the offices of the Prudential Assurance Company) was in the occupation of Mr Thornton, a draper, and afterwards of Mr James Thompson, stationer.
The Woolpack Hotel was also the starting place of a Meltham omnibus, and the adjoining offices were utilised by Messrs. Learoyd & Co., solicitors. Great changes have taken place in the succeeding establishments in Buxton Road. among the earlier tradesmen were Mr James Brooke, furnisher; Mr Henry Hoyle, draper; Mr Edmund Marsh, grocer; and Mr Dougherty, pawnbroker.
It was on Mr Hellawell's suggestion that the Co- operative Society purchased the Victoria Hall property, which has enabled them to add their premises with such effectiveness as they have done.
Following the article is last year's issue, John C. Brook adds some further information:
The extracts from J.W. Robson's recollections of Victorian life in Huddersfield in the No.4 Autumn 1992 copy of the Journal referred under the heading "A Local Invention" to Mr John Hanson and that he was the inventor of "the process of 'drawing' lead pipes". However, that wasn't strictly correct, as though in 1837 John Hansontook out a patent coveringimprovementsin the method of'extruding' lead pipes (that being the proper term, rather than drawing), and had at that time been making them for several years on his own design of hydraulic press, the basic principle most likely came from another source.
John Hanson and two of his brothers (George a plumber and Charles a watchmaker) were all of an inventive nature and between them accounted for about twenty patent specifications in the middle of the 19th century.
John in particular had a great interest in firearms. As early as 1841, together with William Golden (gunmaker and ironmonger) of Cross Church Street, he produced a patent for a type of breech loading (up until then guns were muzzled loaded) and retained this interest for the rest of his life; his last patent on the subject being in 1870. A notice in the Huddersfield Examiner of the 7th of July 1866 advised that "By kind permission of Mr John Hanson of Folly Hall, the original (sic) inventor of that destructive weapon the Prussian Needle Gun, Mr Bradley of the Royal Oak Hotel, folly Hall has in his possession for a few days, for the inspection of the public, one of the original breech loading guns manufactured by Mr Golde of Huddersfield and such as was sent by him (by command) to the King of Prussia”.
For three consecutive weeks in 1878 (may 25th, June 1st & 8th) the Examiner printed a series of articlesentitled "Huddersfield 70 Years Ago" under the authorship of "Native". Philip Ahier in one of his books tells that this was the pseudonym of John Hanson. These articles take on back further than the recollections of Messrs. Robson & Roebuck to the very early days of the 19th century.
John Hanson died in 1885 aged 85 years. He was interred at Emmanuel Church, Lockwood in a family grave with his wife and two of his children. Their memorial stone survived the general clearance of the graveyard and may still be visible today.
Returning to the recollections of Mr Robson in the paragraph following on the reminiscences about John Hanson he mentions that his father bought a shop in King Street from a John Dougill. This Mr Dougill came from strong Quaker stock. Born in 1805 he had learnt the grocery trade with an uncle in Bradford before starting up in King Street as a 'Grocer & Porter Dealer’ about 1830. He retired from business in 1838, on selling the shop to Isaac Robson, when only 33 years old and lived at Thorpe House, Almondbury, till his death in 1860. He, his mother and his wife are all interred in the Friend's burial ground at Paddock.
What is strange, however, is that the namesof John Hanson and John Dougill should by chance come so close together in the extracts from Mr Robson's recollections, as this same John Dougill gave Mr Hanson considerable financial help in establishing his leadworks at Folly Hall in the days before William Dale, another Quaker gentleman, joined him as a partner.
A COTTAGE INDUSTRY -
PRESERVING SKELMANTHORPE'S PAST
For the majority of local historians, the ultimate reward for their labours is to see their work published - as an article, pamphlet or even, for the fortunate few, as a book. Very few aspire to anything more tangible than the printed word, but, within our own Society is one member who has achieved a much more remarkable ambition - to create and run his own museum.
InSkelmanthorpe's Queen Street standsa terrace of small and apparently unremarkable weavers' cottages, previously best known as the backdrop toa television comedy series. There are no signs or notices, but behind one door is a remarkable tribute to the village's textile industry and the people who worked in it.
Built around 200 years ago, the little 1 up, 1 down cottage fell into such disrepair that it was condemned by the local Council and it has twenty years work by Mr Robinson and friends to achieve its present immaculate condition.
The ground floor is the living room, dominated, as in most Victorian kitchens, by the range.
Made in Huddersfield by Bower and Child of Moldgreen, it is flanked by the original stone
sink with tiled splashback anda massive cupboard that originally contained the fold-up bed. There are pottery fairings on the shelf, period photographs and military souvenirs; a child's rocking commode and even a jar of goose greese among the many objects that make up the cosy clutter of domestic life. But it is upstairs that the serious business of life, and this museum, is found.
Skelmanthorpe was particularly notable for its fancy weaving and silks and these are comprehensively illustrated by the many framed displays that line the white-washed walls. There are samples of shawls, textile tools, printing blocks, pattern books, a Norton family tree and contemporary posters. The domestic nature of much of this industry is represented by a spinning wheel and the room's centrepiece, a fully operational hand loom. Nearly a century old, it is one of the few survivors of the hundred or so that were reputedly in use up to the First World War and now forms part of the museum's educational programme. Access is necessarily limited, but working demonstrations and lectures are planned for selected groups. Ifthe opportunity offers, this small museum is well worth a visit.
SEEN AND HEARD
This year's excursions both dealt, in very different ways, with the subject of settlement. In October it was the Holme Valley, while the June excursion made the short journey to see an elite development of Victorian Huddersfield.
NORTH TO ARCADIA: THE JUNE EXCURSION
To think of any sort of rural idyll whilst battling against the traffic that hurtles on the inner ring road and onto New North Road takes the sort of imaginative leap that only ahistorian is likely to attempt. Tostand back to admire the architecture is an action verging on the foolhardy, which is a shame because in the opinion of many knowledgeable observers, including Tourism Officer David Wyles this really isa very important street.
As Huddersfield developed as an important industrial town in the early 19th century, its more prosperous inhabitants began to move up the slopes, above the smoke line, to the relatively unspoilt country beyond. Here, each inhabitant could, as our speaker explained, build his own private arcadia in whatever style took his fancy; be it gothic, Italianate, vernacular or any combination that the architects could devise.
It was not all domestic architecture of course, and our tour began in front of Huddersfield's second best known portico - the Infirmary, built in the Greek revival style by John Oates in 1831. from here it was also possible to view one of the few surviving Georgian terraces and St. Patrick's Catholic Church, built in the "lancet style" in 1832 with financial assistance from those same manufacturers whose own prosperity depended ona stable, if impoverished, workforce. A little further up the road, the established church was represented by the early gothic revival Holy Trinity, while Pritchett's Huddersfield College emerged in a style described by our guide as "Jacobethan". A popular style this, apparently, for academic buildings of the period, possibly conveying suggestions of Oxbridge colleges and
complementing the classical Greek associations of the medical architecture down the street.
Our tour ended, all too quickly, at Edgerton Cemetary, the last resting place for many of these "wool barons" who had built the mansions that are now so admired. Sir John Betjeman had waxed predictably lyrical about the area when discovering Huddersfield for the Daily Telegraph in 1964, but the final word probably belongs to the 'Builder' magazine which, a century earlier, had considered “house architcture of the provinces’.
But the public demand for good taste is on the increase in England. I onlyneed refer to the New North Road in Huddersfield, for an example of pleasing domestic architecture. In this street there is a great variety in point of style in the different houses, both gothic and classic examples are to be seen, frequently, juxtaposed and with an effect that is emminently satisfactory. One instance of a detached classic villa is perhaps the most perfect specimen of the classic house architecture in England. But no two houses are alike where they are quite detached, and this is productive of a charm which, as far as my experience goes, is without example in England
SETTLEMENT AND CLEARANCE WITH DR. REDMONDS
For the eminent landscape historian W.G. Hoskins "the English landscape itself, to those who know how to read it aright, is the richest historical record we possess". To that statement we might add that for those who can read the place names aright, any landscape can become a mine of historical information. As proof of this, Dr. the October day school with a detailed survey of the place names of the township of Holme.
There is an incredible wealth of place names to work on, even an area as small as the township of Honley has around 1,000 place names to study, and the Huddersfield district in general has a
very meaningful, if deceptive, landscape. It is easy to be mislead by the stereotyped views of mills, terraces and weavers cottages that lend a superficial uniformity to so many towns and villages. This means that a village founded two centuries ago can look much the same as one founded by the Anglicans - it is the names that provide vital clues to their origins.
Many place names are dithematic, they consist of two elements - a specific and a generic. Common examples of the latter include turn (= town) and ley (= clearance in woodland). Both are indicators of Germanic settlement, but are les common in the Holme Valley, where the early settlers were Anglican, unlike the neighbouring Colne Valley where Scandinavian peoples had moved in from the west.
Other names relate to geographical features, such as field (as in Huddersfield), whichdescribes an open, unenclosed space, and wood, the forest that surrounded virtually all such places. A new settlement might simply be called that (Newsome = at the new houses) or be named after an individual resident like Robert Choppard or a family, suchas the Hinchcliffes, hereditary millers at Hinchcliffe Hill. A specialist trade might leave its mark, as in the iron smithies at Honley, while a chapel of ease could found a Chapeltown.
Woodlands were once so widespread that the names for them almost rivalled the prolific Eskimo vocabulary for snow! In addition to the vast, uncultivated woodland from which all clearances were cut, there was the enclosed park (originally set aside for hunting, later for growing construction timber); the spring wood where copice timbers grew on an 18 year cycle; the withens where willows grew, and hirsts where special trees could be found such as Hollin Hirst and Maple Hirst. On the edge of the moors, the scrubby woodlands might be known as shaws, white complete clearances produced two very significant names; hey (an old English word for the large scale clearances of the early period) and royd (the post Conquest equivalent for small scale clearance by individuals). In Newsome this gave rise to Jackroyd and the strangely
named Burmroyd, a much corrupted reminder of the abortive borough at Almondbury. Somewhat
less obscurely, the hamlet of Ebson House takes its name from Heb's son. Heb being a familiar
form of Herbert, a Herbert being a member of the prominent deButterly family.
The examples are legion and so are the sources. Chief among them is the vast bulk of the Wakefield Court Rolls, surviving from 1274 to 1920and hardly yet exploited by local historians. Relating these sources to the landscape is an art in itself, and can provide unexpected results. Holmfirth Parish Church, now so obviously Georgian, dates its foundation as a chapel of ease to 1476, but Dr. Redmond's researches suggest a chapel already in existence at the time of the Black Death. Up at the top of the valley, around Bradshaw it requires a considerable effort of imagination to see behind the drystone walls and crumbling farms, the medieval fields that marked the limit of cultivation in theGraveship. And of course, there is the river itself, now so central to its valley, but for most of the period
under discussion actually known as the River Colne.*
As a footnote to the day's event, mention must be made of Newsome South Methodist Church. Not only our hosts for the day, they have been holding a centenary exhibition of Methodism in the area. The present chapel is in Berry Brow, but the displays covered chapels at Lockwood, Newsome, Primrose Hill, Taylor Hill, the Rock, Salem and Woodroyd.
Colne or Holme by Dr. Redmonds in Old West Riding, Vol.2, No.2, 1982
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No 'blockbusters' this year, but a wide range of publications on local subjects. Buildings figure prominently among these and, as the Society prepares to visit Woodsome again, it is interesting to see that the hall has a new chronicler in the former clubcaptain Austin F. Holroyd. Woodsome: the place and its people reflects the hall's current dual function. As the introduction modestly explains, "this little book is for member and visitor alike who wishes to kow a little more about this glorious back-drop to his game of golf". To achieve this, the book appears in two editions, a historical guidebook at £6, or, for £15, a combined guide and history of the golf club. Although it is not a source of original research, "the student of history or architecture should look further for technical knowledge", this is a well written historical guidebook for those fortunate enough tostep beyond the first tee. If Woodsome represents the new wealth of the 16th century, then the ‘brass castles' performed much the same function for the 19th century. Described by author George Sheeran as "as much a part of the Yorkshire scene as Dales farms, mill chimneys or pie and peas", these mansions are given their due consideration in Brass Castles: West Yorkshire new rich and their houses 1800- 1914. (Ryburn £12.95). Local examples include Banney Royd, Reinwood, Meltham Hall and Lindley Vicarage, while Ravensknowle merits a chapter to itself as one of ten case histories. Mill owners mansions, mills, terrace houses and chapels are generally regarded as integral parts of the local landscape, but medieval buildings, with a few notable exceptions, are unfortunately not. Which gives Peter Ryder, author of Medieval Churches of West Yorkshire (West Yorkshire Archaeology Service £9.95), something of a challenging task. Despite an initial observation that "the modern county of West Yorkshire is not renowned for its ancient parish churches", the book goes on to prove that its 69 churches and chapels are remarkably well preserved and far from lacking in interest. Largely Perpendicular they may be, but these are such gems as Anglo-Saxon Ledsham and Norman Adel. And among the local contingent of Almondbury, Emley, Huddersfield,
Kirkburton and Kirkheaton, there are honourable mentions for "the most complete early English building" (Kirkburton) and "the most dramatic late medieval ceiling" (Almondbury). Shepley may not boast a medieval church, but its recent history is given a thorough airing in Shepley - business and leisure 1890-1990: a village history (Shepley village Magazine, £3.00). Originally compiled by the late Norman Smith and completed by the magazine's editors, this is a thermatic study, with chapters and such topics as churches, buildings, railways, education and, of course, Seth Senior's Brewery. History as personal experience is the theme of Hazel Wheeler's latest production from the family archives. Huddersfield at War (Alan Sutton, £9.99) presents, in the author's words, "an often amusing, sometimes poignant record of everyday life in a northern town - or in other words, the Second World War as seen from the Central Stores, Deighton. Very mucha popularrather than an academic history, its mass of period details, interspersed with local reminiscences, will doubtless strike a nostalgic chord with many readers. Few years pass without some new contributions to textile history, and this year has produced two studies of opposite ends of the industrial spectrum. W.P. Hartley'sarticle inthe currentY.A.S. Journal (Vol.65, 1993) considers the ways in which early 19th century mill owners secured their supplies of coal. Involvement in coal mining by the wool textiles industry: some West Yorkshire examples shows how poor transport forced such firms as Middlemost Brothers of Huddersfield and Thomas Dyson of Holmfirth set up their own mining concerns to guarantee the supplies that would keep the steam engines working. Alan Brooke focuses his research on one of the smallest units of the textile industry - the handloom weaver. His Handloom fancy weavers c.1820- 1914 (Workers History Publications,) is "an account of the conditions of the fancy weavers and of the response to the flight". Fancy weavers remainedoutside the factory system longer than their woollen colleagues, but class divisions were sharper, and, in the author's opinion, the poor weaver's life was a far from happy one.