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No.19 Winter 2007-2008
GODFREY BERRY AND THOMAS WRIGLEY - TWO PIONEERS OF EARLY URBAN HUDDERSFIELD
GODFREY BERRY (1756-1829) and his son-in-law Thomas Wrigley (1789-1848) were two pioneers of Huddersfield’s early urban history. Their two lives spanned the dramatic century of Huddersfield’s growth, from a small straggling village in the mid-18th century to a major industrial town by the time of the Great Exhibition.
Father and son-in-law had much in common, beyond their family ties. Both were stalwarts of the parish church and of the Commissioners for Lighting, Watching and Cleansing of 1820 to 1848, Huddersfield’s first ‘municipal’ institution. Both were businessmen - Godfrey with fingers in many pies, Thomas less so, for he was primarily a doctor. Though less well-known than some leading contemporaries, such as Richard Oastler ‘or even Joseph Kaye, their lives - interesting in their own right - have much to tell us about Huddersfield’s century of rapid change.
HUDDERSFIELD IN 1756 “was still really a small village” (Redmonds, 1992). And out on its “fringe” was the separate hamlet of Deighton, where Godfrey Berry was born, his baptism at St Peter’s, Huddersfield taking place on 18 April 1756." Deighton was a small farming settlement, and Godfrey’s father John, aithough described only as a maltster in his 1787 will?, was evidently also a substantial farmer there, presumably growing barley to feed the malt kiln. He and his wife Jane (nee Elswick) had four sons, of whom Godfrey was the youngest, and two daugNters.
As well as farming on his own account, John Berry was a substantial landlord, no doubt holding land under the Thornhill estate, which held the manor of Deighton, and sub-letting it. From his will, we can see that he left his own house and farm to the eldest son John (1746-1826). The next two sons, Joseph (1752-7) and Joshua (1754-1829) had already received “what I think is a sufficient preferment for them to the utmost of what i gained no further inheritance when their father died on 5 March 1787. The daughters Martha (1749-7?) and Mary (dates unknown) received nine tenanted cottages at Deighton and iand at Crosland Moor, plus £200° to build six more. And Godfrey, significantly for the future, inherited - with his brother John - the malt kiln and its appurtenances at Deighton.
But by this time Godfrey was 31 and already making his own way in life. At least from 1784 to 1809, we know that he was a tallow In the early 1780s he had married Elizabeth (or Betty) Walker (1761/2-1813) from Middleton, south of Leeds. She brought to the marriage part shares in farm properties at Morley
and Gildersome; which she had inherited from her grandfather John Ellis.” These contributed to significant land holdings by Godfrey, and his brothers Joseph and John, in what was to become the heavy woollen district. As well as the Ellis inheritance, various deeds record their interest in land, dwellings, warehouses, farm buildings and another maithouse at Morley, Roberttown, Liversedge, Heckmondwike and Birstall between 1789 and 1810.°
While Godfrey is usually identified in these deeds as a tallow chandler of Huddersfield, the two other brothers appear as farmers (and Joseph also as a tanner) of Liversedge Hall; and in deeds of 1816 and 1824 Godfrey himself is also described in this way.’ Perhaps this Spen Valley estate was built up from the ‘preferment already made by John Berry senior for his son Joseph, noted above.
To this point, then, we have a picture of Godfrey as one of an enterprising family which has built up substantial interests in farming, related trades such as tanning, chandling and malting, and rural property, spread from Deighton through Spen to Morley. And the trade directories trace the continued development of his farm- based business interests. In 1805 he is a chandler and maltster; in 1814 a corn and flour dealer; in 1816 a miller too; and by 1822 he is also a common (ie wholesale) brewer. ° There is an obvious ‘downstream’ progression here, from the family’s farming roots to the industrial production of beer, a commodity no doubt in fast-growing demand as the town burgeoned - the population of Huddersfield township having grown more than fourfold from an estimated 3000 in 1778 to a Census figure of over 13,000 in 1821 (Whomsley, 1984).
BUT ALONGSIDE these farm-based businesses, Godfrey was playing a growing part in town development. In 1784 he leased from the Ramsden estate a plot of land south of the butchers’ shambles and slaughterhouse. These then stood on the east side of New St, where King St now joins it - and from 1784 New Stis his address in the directories. It was indeed ‘new’, its development having begun with the erection of the Brick Buildings (still standing between the HSBC and Nat West banks) by the Ramsden estate in 1770, followed by the shambles in about 1772. Godfrey presumably spotted an area ‘on the up’ and by 1797 - but perhaps much earlier - had put up a “dwelling house with outbuildings’. This may well have been a substantial Georgian house, including “windows, cellar windows and bow windows’.’° It would have stood where Vision Express now is. From the evidence of the directories and other records, it seems to have served as both business premises and family home - an ‘establishment’ in the terminology of the day - until Godfrey’s death in 1829.
As a family home it would need to have been substantial: between 1783 and 1802 Elizabeth Berry gave birth to 12 children, of whom three died in infancy or childhood but nine survived to adulthood.
Behind the house, the leased land included a plot which became known as Berry’s Yard. In their Discovering Old Huddersfield, Gordon & Enid Minter (2002) describe how:
The beginnings of three of New Street’s yards can be traced back to the 1770s when Godfrey Berry, George Lockwood and Edward Hawxby became tenants-at-will of just over one rood of land each. Their holdings ran side-by-side down the hillside from New St to where Victoria Lane would be developed in the future. Godfrey Berry, in time, built a house ...and the land behind developed into Berry’s Yard. The yard, which like its near neighbours had a narrow passage entrance, was never as important or busy as the other two. It had no direct exit into Victoria Lane and housed no more than three businesses at any time. (pp27-28)
The Minters may be right that there was a tenancy-at-will before the formal 1784 lease, but in my view they misjudge the value of the location. Berry’s Yard, unlike the others, had no need cf an exit to Victoria Lane, because after the shambles and slaughterhouse had been moved to the future market site in the early 19th century, King St was driven through to Shore Head and Berry’s Yard acquired a frontage onto it.
Several historians have placed this redevelopment around 1807 - for example Redmonds (1982) and Law (1992). I believe it was a little earlier. Certainly King St does not appear in the Ramsden rentals for 1798. There is then a frustrating gap in the rental series until 1807, by which time there are at least seven rent- paying properties, growing to 17 in 1815, when the street appears almost complete.'' This suggests that development may have gone ahead at a steady pace from 1800, when the original Methodist chapel was opened on the present site of W H Smiths (opposite the site of the 1819 chapel, which is now the Lawrence Batley Theatre)'?. Certainly in 1802 the Ramsdens leased a parcel of land in ‘King St’ to William
Godfrey Berry apparently played a significant part in developing King Street. In his well-known articles on ‘Huddersfield 70 years ago’, published in the Examiner in 1878, ‘Native’ states flatly that “Godfrey Berry and Dr Wrigley built the houses which stand on the [south] side at the top of King Street.”"* (We will come back to Dr Wrigley below.) The rentals show that Godfrey Berry’s annual rent for ‘New St’ tripled from £16/0/0 in 1798/9 to £50/4/0 in 1807/8, settling at £48/13/0 thereafter, which again implies that the development was complete by 1807. And from Godfrey’s will of 1829, we know that by then the King St properties comprised 14 dwellings (with 5 privies!), 3 warehouses, 1 shop (workshop?), 2 stables, 2 malthouses, an ‘old candle house’, gig house, garden privy and yards. ° Some of these of course reflect Godfrey’s own businesses, but most of this property had sitting tenants. I
There is some evidence that Berry undertook property transactions elsewhere in the town, including the development of a plot on the West side of nearby Market Place in 1804.'° But his other significant business interest was the New Town Brewery. New Town was developed at the north end of the town from about 1797 (Minter & Minter, n.d.), but Godfrey did not acquire land for his brewery until 1822, when he leased it from Joseph Rushforth of Elland, who owned the Bay Hall estate.'” The brewery occupied a triangular plot between Oxford St (now the one-way outward lane of Bradford Road), Green St and eventually Viaduct St - the shape is preserved by the present building on the site, which is in multiple commercial occupancy. With the land came rights to draw water “from a certain spring or well of water near thereto” - could this be the spring later exploited by Ben Shaws? By 1829 (again drawing on Godfrey’s will) the New Town property comprised a dwelling house and three cottages, brewhouse, maltkiln, vats and other utensils, stable and other buildings. Baines’ Directory of 1822 lists Berry as one of five brewers in the town, including the better-known Timothy Bentley. While not on the scale of Bentley’s, Berry’s brewery was sufficient to establish something of a family brewing dynasty, as we will see below.
GODFREY BERRY had an active public as well as a business and a family life. He was certainly an active member of the Church of England. The Huddersfield parish church records are patchy, but we know that he was a churchwarden in 1812/13 (Ahier, 1948-50). In that capacity he supervised the building of six cottages at South Parade (now buried by the ring road near the top Manchester Road). As the Minters (2002) describe it:
On the left hand side of the ring road there is a small stone structure built to display a bronze plaque and a stone tablet which were preserved when the property they commemorated was demolished. The stone tablet records the erection of dwelling houses in 1812, under the immediate direction and superintendence of Godfrey Berry, for the purpose of supporting an organist and choir of singers in the Parish Church of Huddersfield.
He appears regularly in St Peter's vestry records from 1815 to 1827, undertaking various aspects of church business.*® Moreover as a Liversedge Hall farmer in 1816 he was one of numerous. trustees acquiring land for “the intended [Anglican] National School at a handsome building of 1818 which still stands - now converted to five apartments - in Halifax Rd, opposite Liversedge Town Hall. He and Elizabeth were remembered in a memorial window in St Peter’s, and although the stained glass window was removed, apparently in the second world war, a brass memorial plaque remains on the North side of the nave.
A further civic role came with the establishment in 1820 of the Commissioners for Lighting, Watching and Cleansing the town (CLWC), within a radius of 1200 yards from the Market Place. Godfrey was one of the 59 Commissioners named in the 1820 Act, all of whom were required to have personal wealth of at least £1000 (equivalent to some £60,000 today’) to serve. Some were more assiduous than others, and Godfrey was one of the most active members in the early years, attending 31 meetings and chairing 10 of them between September 1820, when the CLWC first met, and June 1823, when the membership was first refreshed 2 " He continued to play an active part, though not quite at the same pitch, until shortly before his death, attending for the last time in December 1828.
His involvement was, however, very much focussed on the lighting aspect of the CLWC’s responsibilities, where he saw an opportunity to combine public service with his own entrepreneurial talents. ‘Native’ in his 1878 article recalled that, 70 years before,
“the streets were all in darkness. People went about at night with hand glass lanterns, and our shops were lighted up with candles or muddy oil lamps. It was then decreed by our authorities that our main streets should be lighted up. For this purpose lamp-posts were put down at wide intervals. These were furnished with oil lamps which gave a dim, uncertain light, and served only to make darkness visible.”
No doubt Godfrey Berry had supplied tallow for some of the candles. But gas street lighting, which had been introduced in London in 1814, was spreading rapidly across the country (Chandler & Lacey, 1949), and the Commissioners took lighting as their top priority. At their first meeting on 8 September 1820 they appointed eight of their number to survey and report on existing lights. Meeting again a week later, they appointed 11 members to report on costs of either oil or gas. Godfrey was a member of both committees. On 6 October a decision was made in favour of gas; a supply contract was agreed on 30 March 1821; the Huddersfield Gas Company came formally into being three days later, on 2 April; and on 5 October the streets were lit for the first time with 136 lamps, an event “celebrated by the town’s people with unusual
Only two of the founding gas proprietors - described as “shadowy” and “obscure” by two earlier historians (Prest, 1990; Golisti, 1986) - have been identified. Godfrey Berry himself was described many years later, by his son-in- law Thomas Wrigley, as “the principal Promoter of the erection of the Gas Works’.** And I indeed in the CLWC minutes, or 8 December 1820 he is recorded as proposing, “on behalf of the Gas Adjudicators”, a 10-year supply contract. A fortnight later a 7-year contract “with gas company” was agreed, on the terms eventually confirmed in March 1821. The only other known founding shareholder, again from his evidence to the 1848 Inquiry, was Thomas Wrigley himself. The gas works they and their unknown partners owned was put up on land leased from the Ramsden estate, on its present site off Leeds Road.*
This was evidently a hectic period for Godfrey (who was 65), as the formation of the gas company in 1821 was followed by the brewery in 1822. However, Betty had died in 1813, and the youngest child (Godfrey junior) reached 19 in 1821, so perhaps home life by this time had few attractions or responsibilities.
As well as gas, Godfrey Berry reputedly made an unsuccessful attempt to improve the water supply to the growing town. As ‘Native’ told the story in 1878:
Godfrey Berry, a maltster and miller of New Street, a leading man in the town proposed a scheme whereby a larger supply of water might be obtained. His project was as follows. A large reservoir was to be constructed in the Old Market Place, into which the Bradley Spout water was to be brought. Then there were to be four pumps, one at each corner of the Market Place, from which the people might fetch water. Well, Godfrey and his colleagues set to work with a right good will A large hole dug built round and arched over, and when all was over they made the astonishing discovery’ that water would not run up-hill. The project was therefore dropped.
This taie has been repeated verbatim by later historians, including Sykes (1898), Woodhead (1939) and the Minters (2002). The arched reservoir certainly existed, and was revealed in 1906 when the public toilets were installed (there is a photograph in Woodhead, 1939). However, I have found no contemporary evidence of Godfrey’s involvement in the project, and his other ventures do not suggest that he was ain impractical man. It would be good to know more about this episode.
WHATEVER THE: TRUTH of Godfrey Berry’s ‘water adventure’, there is no doubt that water supply was one of the many interests of his son- in- law, Thomas Wrigley.
Thomas was baptised at Almondbury on 12 April 1789, his parents being James and Elizabeth Wrigley.?’ He trained as a medic and started his practice as a surgeon and apothecary in 1810. The trade directories of 1814 to 1822 record him at Cow/Beast Market, but in 1824 he moved to New Buildings, Queen Street. These were indeed newly erected and were one of the first buildings apart from the new (1819) Methodist Chapel.”° I believe they are probably the building now occupied by MyMou bar and the Sony shop, close to the corner of King St. In 1833 he applied unsuccessfully for the post of surgeon at the Infirmary, newly established in 183179, but remained in private practice in Queen ot until he died in 1849.
In October 1815 he married Christiana Berry (1791-1858), the 6th child of Godfrey and Elizabeth, and they went on to have three sons and two daughters of their own. One can imagine the rapidly developing town centre being a small world, in which it would be easy for young members of leading families to meet. But the links between the Berrys and Wrigleys seem to have been particularly close. Christiana’s younger sister Harriet (b.1797), the ninth Berry child, married Thomas’s nephew Robert Wrigley. And Thomas was regularly involved in Berry family business, acting as trustee of the estate of Godfrey’s brother Joshua and witnessing the will of his brother John.°° This closeness perhaps coloured ‘Native’s’ memories in 1878, when he referred to the King St houses as having been built by Berry and Wrigley (see above) - but as they were built by 1807, when Thomas was only 18, in fact his involvement seems very unlikely.
There was certainly much overlap between the public activities of the two men. Thomas was another active vestry-man - appearing in vestry minutes from 1820, a churchwarden in 1825/6 and a member of the committee set up in 1835 to acquire new clocks for the rebuilt »arish church.*' This body took the view that the CLWC should pay to light the clocks, with the Gas Co contributing half price gas, and Wrigley was asked to take charge of this resolution. However there is no mention of the request in the CLWC minutes and the outcome is unrecorded. Like his father-in-law, Thomas Wrigley is memorialised in the parish church, as a “much respected” surgeon.
In 1823, when its membership was first refreshed, he was one of nine new recruits to the CLWC (which co-opted new members to fill vacancies left by death or non- attendance), selling his gas company shares to avoid any conflict of interest®? (a consideration which had apparently not troubled his father-in-law). He immediately became a very active member and remained so until the CLWC was wound up in 1848 (unlike Gudfrey’s son John Berry, a maltster at New St in 1822, who was appointed at the same time but rarely attended). Over these 25 years Wrigley chaired nearly 70 meetings, attended many more, and was in my I judgement the most active of all the Commissioners (only the cloth merchant Thomas Kilner Jnr coming close for consistency and longevity of involvement).
In contrast, moreover, to his father-in-law’s focus on street lighting, Thomas’s interests ranged across the full range of the CLWC’s functions. He did take an active interest in lighting, underta:ing in several years to superintend the repair of lamps before the winter lighting season and serving on committees to agree the location of new lamps and to fix the hours of lighting. In 1826 he was deputed to press the Gas Co for speedy action to lay new pipes in Manchester Rd, and from 1837 he was regularly involved in renegotiating the gas contract as it came up for renewal (which may have helped to secure cut-price gas for the church?).
As a Commissioner he also took a particular interest in the town ‘watchhouse’ or lock-up. This was apparently owned by the Ramsden estate and used as a base for the Commissioners’ watchmen and to detain miscreants overnight. In March 1835 Sir John Ramsden sent notice that the building should be removed and replaced. The Commissioners immediately agreed that it should be replaced “upon a larger scale and in a more eligible situation’, and adopted plans to this end by Wrigley, who was to supervise its erection. Several later CLWC minutes reveal his continuing superintendence of this part of their work.
The jurisdiction over policing of the town was very complicated at this period, with the manorial court at Almondbury and the vestry of the township still involved as well as the CLWC. I hope to unravel this before long in a further HLHS publication. Suffice to say here that Thomas Wrigley, unusually, played a part in the justice system in all three arenas. At the manor he was a juror of the traditional Court Leet in 1822, 1823 and 1826, and was appointed as a special constable in 1825 and as the traditional head constable of the town, an annual honorary appointment, in 1827.°° And in 1835, when the township resolved to appoint a full-time deputy constable, he was on the committee which drew up the duties, terms and conditions of the £100-a-year post.”
He also played a part in the CLWC’s public health functions. In February 1824 he was one of a committee appointed to survey the town’s footpaths, cellar lids, flaps and grates for obstructions and other nuisances - apparently the first time the Commissioners had sought to exercise their regulatory powers under the 1820 Act. And from 1838 he was periodically on the committee which supervised the scavenging (ie street cleaning) function; the actual work was contracted out to paupers from the workhouse.
There was, however, a strong body of opinion in the town that the CLWC were dilatory in applying their public health powers. From 1835 they worked alongside a Board of Highway Surveyors, elected at an annual vestry meeting of the township’s ratepayers, which not infrequently pressed for stronger action. Neither the Board nor the Commissioners had sufficient powers to manage the immense public health problems of the fast-growing town, and their responsibilities overlapped. The result was a good deal of sniping and, more rarely, concerted joint action. Wrigley seems to have favoured the latter. He was, for example, a member of a short-lived joint committee of the Commission and Board formed in 1846, when cholera threatened, seconding a resolution of Joseph Kaye’s that they should “act cordially together, as unitedly, they can bring their respective powers together much more
His public health interests also found expression as one. of the 120 Waterworks Commissioners, when that body - another separate institution - was established in 1827 to build Longwood Reservoir. By 1845 he was clearly a leading player, signing agreements on beha!f of the company 38 Indeed, according to a brief but warm newspaper obituary, it was ‘to him and another surgeon, who has also lately passed from the scene of life, the town of Huddersfield is mainly indebted
for that invaluable blessing, a copious supply of pure water’.°’ This suggests that he was probably among the 74 “leading inhabitants” who presented a memorial to Sir John Ramsden in 1826 requesting a new water supply and went on to promote the 1827 Act (Woodhead, 1939).
His last service to the 1820 Commissioners was to take the leading role in managing the transition to the newly-constituted Improvement Commissioners who replaced them in 1848. From May to August of that year, as the Huddersfield Improvement Bill m2de its way through Parliament and the new body was established, he chaired no fewer than 11 meetings of the old one - campaigning against perceived inadequacies in the new legislation (which he opposed); petitioning the House of Lords (and being granted £100 for his expenses while in London); and, after securing at least some of their objectives, leading an orderly handover to the new body. Accordingly, he became the chief witness for the 1820 Commssioners at the public inquiry into the 1848 Improvement Bill, giving evidence for most of the day.
The inquiry transcript confirms that he had decided views on public health issues. For example, he argued strongly that the Ramsden Estate should have laid out streets with sewers before permiiiing building, citing his own house in Queen Street, where he had put in a 95-yard drain, as a case in point.** But he found it harder, under pressure of some quite hostile cross-examination, to show that he had shown much vigour in translating his concerns into effective action. Moreover he attributed the town’s public health problems largely to the influx of Irish immigrants, who “seem to take a delight in living in filth and dirt themselves; you can scarcely get them into clean lodgings’.°* This may seem startling to a modern eye, particularly as his Leeds Mercury obituarist reported that he was “from an early period of life steadily attached to the reform party, and bore the name of reformer when it was anything but fashionable”. But Frederick Engels said much the same in his Conciiion of the Working Class in England of1845.
Thomas Wrigley was, then, much more of a professional man and a public servant than his father-in-law. He was also, reported his obituarist, an active member of the Temperance and Philosophical Societies, and “his exertions in the furtherance of the objects of either society were never wanting.”*° But he did also find time for some business activities, beyond his medical practice. Though the gas shares were long gone, at his death he left the family home in Queen St and several other dwellings and buildings in Commercial St and Union St, plus a cotton warp manufacturing business.*' The dwellings evidently provided an income, and the occupation of his widow in the 1851 census was given as ‘oroprietor of houses’; a role inherited by his daughter Jane Berry Wrigley after Christiana’s death in 1858. But there were also personal and business debts and mortgages (though the net value of his estate was assessed at up to £3000, around £250,000 in today’s money), and Thomas Jnr, the youngest child, who still had the textile business in 1851, was employed as a cashier by 1861. He was, however, Godfrey Berry’s grandson, and another inheritance awaited him.
AS WE HAVE SEEN, Godfrey Berry had died in 1829. His estate was valued as not exceeding £8000, or about £500,000 in today’s purchasing power (arguably several millions in relative wealth - see note 20). At this point seven of his 12 children were alive. The New St house passed jointly to his eldest daughter Sarah (1783-1850), who remained unmarried, and to his son-in-law John Smith, who had married the 5th (but now 2nd surviving) daughter Anna Maria. (Smith, somewhat in the family tradition, was a flour and provision dealer, whose business moved from Kirkgate to the New St premises. He too became a member of the CLWC in 1837, when there was another major turnover of members, but never attended.) The property at King St and house at New Town were divided amongst five of the six surviving daughters. (One other daughter, Elizabeth, had married Richard Burrell, a Wakefield man of independent means, and received only a cash bequest.)
The only surviving son in 1829 was the 12th child, Godfrey Berry Jnr (1802- 1870), so he inherited the main business asset, the New Town brewery. But while retaining ownership, after six months he assigned the lease and apparently sub-contracted the business to Messrs Thwaite and Ramsden, and by 1837 the. New Town brewer was one Jonaihan Crawshaw.** in that year’s trade directory Godfrey Jnr is still listed as a maitster at New St; and in that year’s influx he too joined the CLWC”?, though playing little part - perhaps because his fi rst wife died that year, leaving him with four sons aged nine or younger to bring up.“
Despite his apparent lack of initial interest in the brewery, in later life Godfrey Jnr - or his managers? - went on to build up something of a brewing empire. When he died in 1870 he left the Huddersfield brewery and two more, in Burton-on- Trent and Carleton, Ontario.*°? The New Town brewery was inherited jointly by © his youngest son Edward and his nephew, none other than Thomas Wrigley Jnr. However, neither seemed to take much interest in the business and I have not tried to trace its fate. I
SO THERE THE story ends, at least for now. The lives of Godfrey Berry Snr and Dr Thomas Wrigley spanned a dramatic century of change in Huddersfield, and epitomised much of it. In Godfrey we see the transition from farm-based to urban occupations, and the wealth to be earned from property development in the fast- growing town centre. He also saw a business opportunity for his gas company in the first beginnings of modern public utilities in the town. In the next generation, Thomas was a greater public servant, and also a characteristic figure of the time as a member of the fast-growing medical profession, whose concern for public health was evident in his work on cleansing and nuisances, membership of the Waterworks Commission and interest in the Infirmary. Both Godfrey and Thomas were active in the parish church, which had been central to the town’s government for centuries, but both also made a significant contribution to the beginnings of modern municipal institutions in Huddersfield.
AHIER, Philip (1948-50), The Story of the Three Parish Churches of St Peter the Apostle, Huddersfield; Advertiser Press, Huddersfield. CHANDLER, Dean & LACEY, A Douglas (1949), The Rise of the Gas Industry in Bnitain, British Gas Council, London. K (1986), The Gas Adventure and Industry in Huddersfield and Vicinity; typescript at Huddersfield Local Studies Library (HLSL). GRIFFITHS, David (2002), ‘Read Holliday and Lunnclough Hall’, in Stephen Wade (ed), Aspects of Huddersfield 2; Whamciiffe Books, Barnsley. LAW, Edward J (1992), ‘Markets. Fairs and tolls in Huddersfield’, in E A H Hilary Haigh (ed), Huddersfield: A Most Handsome Town; Kirklees MC. MINTER, Gordon & Enid (nq), Discovering Old Huddersfield, pt 1; Barden, Huddersfield. MINTER, Gordon & Enid (2002), ibid, pt 5; Barden, Huddersfield. PREST, John (1990), Liberty and Locality: Parliament, Permissive Legislation and Ratepayers’ Democracies in the 19th Century; Oxford. REDMONDS, George (1992), ‘Settlement in Huddersfield before 1800’, in Haigh, op cit. SYKES (1898), The History of and its Vicinity, Advertiser Press, Huddersfield. WOODHEAD, T W (1939), History of the Huddersfield Water Supplies; Huddersfield County — Borough. TOMLINSON, G W (1885-7), ‘The Tombstones in the Parish Church of Huddersfield’, appendix to his History of Huddersfield. WHOMSLEY, Derek (1984), ‘Market Forces and Urban Growth: the Influence of the Ramsden family on the Growth of Huddersfield, 1716-1853’, Journal of Regional & Local Studies, 4.
' Genealogical facts about the Berry family, unless otherwise noted, come from the following sources: Inscriptions on tombstones at St Peter's Parish Church, Huddersfield (transcribed in Tomlinson, 1885, and in some cases stil! visible in the churchyard); St Peter's Church parish register transcripts at Huddersfield Locai Studies Library (HI.SL); wills at the Borthwick Institute, University of York; Censuses from 1841; and information from Gordon Berry, a living descendant. ; Borthwick Institute, 131/408. > About £20,000 in today’ S prices; but see note 20 below. 4 Bailey’s Northern Directory, 1784; Hoiden’s Triennial Directory, 1805-07. ditto, 1807-09 - all reproduced in E J Law, Essays in Local History, v.1, typescript at HLSL. ° Walker family and property information from West Yorkshire Registry of Deeds, Wakef eld, CO669/912. WY Registry of Deeds, DB27/27, DW133/145, Fl497/598 and FK669/832. “WY Registry of Deeds, DB36/36 and HU724/721. ® Meanwhile the remaining son, Joshua, had made the most of his ‘preferment’ closer to the parental home in Deighton, where his will of 1825 (Borthwick Institute, 180/128) identifies three farms and some 20 coliages passing to his six children (five Berrys and one ‘natural son’ with the surname Hirst). ° Holden, 1805-07; Pigott’s Directory, 1314-15; ditto, 1816-17 (these reproduced in Law, Op. Cit. vols. 1,3, & 4); Baines’ Directory, 1822, in HLSL and at http: , WY Registry of Deeds, DZ92/114, which records the registration in 1797 of the 1784 deed. West Yorkshire Archives Service (WYAS) Kirklees, DD/RE/r. 2 Personal communication from Brian Haigh, Huddersfield University Archives. 'S WYAS Kirklees, DD/R/dd/7/55. '* Huddersfield Daily Examiner, 24 May 1878. 8 ” Borthwick Institute, 180/241. 'S WY Registry of Deeds, EQ590/747.
WY Registry of Deeds, HO313/309. '® 4815 Huddersfield rate book, at WYAS Kirklees: Churchwardens’ minute book, WYAS Wakefield, WDP32/89. sw WY Registry of Deeds, GL36/36. *° This and the calculation in note 3 use the Composite Price Index from O’ Donoghue, Goulding and Allen (2004), ‘Consumer Price Inflation Since 1750’, at http: /Awww.safaira. com/other/curnulative-uk-inflation. However, while adjusting for price inflation converts historic sums to their equivalent in current purchasing power, it makes no allowance for two centunes of economic growth. Clearly somebody with wealth of £60k in today’s money was far wealthier in 1820, relative to the society of their time, than somebody with £60k today. A further ten-fold adjustment probably gives a reasonable sense of their true position. *' Details about the CLWC are from their minute book, in the Huddersfield Borough collection, WYAS Kirklees, unless otherwise noted. 22 Huddersfield Daily Examiner, 31 May 1878. 23 Wakefield & Halifax Joumal, 5 October 18214, quoted by Golisti (1986). *4 Minutes of Proceedings of a Preliminary Inquiry on the Huddersfield Improvement Bill [of 1848] (printed Huddersfield, 1851), Q1063; WYAS, Kirklees, KMT99. (Subsequently referred to as MPP!) *° The gas works provided a start in business for another and greater Huddersfield entrepreneur, Read Holliday, whose chemical business began in 1830 when he set up next door to the gas works to utilise the by-products - see Griffiths (2002). Huddersfield Daily Examiner, 31 May 1878. 2” Genealogical facts from Thomas's will (see next note), Censuses and information from a living relative, Linda Wrigley. Ramsden rentals, WYAS Kirklees, DD/RE/r. papers, WYAS Kirklees, KC31 1/18/12. Borthwick Institute, 180/128 and 174/191. * WYAS Wakefield, WDP32/89. 32 MPPI, Q1073. Manor of Almondbury Court Rolls; WYAS Kirklees, DD/R/M/11. Township minute book; WYAS-K, KC790/2. Huddersfield Board of Surveyors minutes, 13 August 1846; WYAS Kirklees, KC790/3. % Huddersfield Waterworks Act 1827: Huddersfield Waterworks, printed by William Pratt, 1855 (Local Pamphlets, HLSL, vol. 21). ag LOCUS Mercury, 2 June 1849. (There was of course no Huddersfield newspaper at that time. ) 38 MPPI, Q1109-44. 8 1g MPP, Q890-904. ° I eeds Mercury, 2 June 1849. “" i> Borthwick Institute, 221/645. “2 WY Registry of Deeds, KN714/648; White’s Directory, 1837. 43 This meant that, of the 95 Commissioners who served from 1820-48, five were members of the Berry family - Godfrey snr, sons Godrey jnr and John, and sons-in-law Thomas Wrigley and John Smith. “ 7, Paul's Church burial register at HLSL (buried 7/8/37). 1am grateful to Gordon Berry for details of Godfrey Berry Jnr’s 1869 will and other information about Godfrey Jnr. The latter's Canadian connection seems to have been established at least by 1828, when he was 26 and his first son John was born there. After his father’s death in 1829 he was back in Huddersfield until the 1840s; in Canada as a brewer in 1851; but had retired back to New Town by 1861.
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Memorial to the South Parade parish houses sponsored by Godfrey Berry, on the Ring Road between Manchester Road and Outcote Bank.
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The triangular site of Godfey Berry's New Town brewery, between Green St and Oxford St (now the outward access from the Ring Road to Bradford Road)
Thomas Wrigley’s memorial in the Parish Church
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Conpuctor xn, E. WHITWAM.
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LIST OF BAN. DS. Friday, - Saturday & Sunday, Aug. 19th, 20th & IRISH cuARDs. Sunday, Aug. 28th—BRIGHOUSE. & RASTRICK a. _ Wednesday, Aug. Sist—IRWELL SPRINGS BRASS. ae Se eo 3 to 5 and 7 to 9-30. Sundays, 3 to 5 and 7 to a. > where otherwise stated. ~~ on a
Collecting Sheets and Programmes at Park Entrances. Admission to Enclosure 3d. (Including Tax), exeept for performances of local. Bands only, when there will be No Enclosure Charge, but boxes ab Hnclosure Entrances. 7
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Special Notices.—Visitors are Respectfully Requested— = (i) Not to induige in Talking,- Laughing, and Rustiing Nowspaners, és .Ete., during the time the Band is Piaying. (2) Not te permit Children to run about .the Band Stand Enclosure. oe (3) Not: té: leave their Programmes in the: Parts et ‘in. the <>
Receptacies: provided. for. Waste Paper, THE “GRAND” — MANCHESTER OAD.
Wheatley, Dyson & Som Printers, Muda.
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“WHEN I SURVEY THE WONDROUS CROSS.” mf survey the wondrous Cross On which the Prince of glory died
‘My fichest gain I count but loss, : And pour.contempt-on all my pride.
Forbid it, Lord, that I should boast, Save in the Cross of Christ my God ; All the vain things that charm me most, I sacrifice them to. His Blood.
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I PICTURE THEATRE, _ MANCHESTER ROAD.
_ Continuous Performance ‘dally, from 2-30 to 10-30. > This Theatre is the finest and most comfortable place in
town, equipped with the latest ventilation devices, so that - the air is always fresh, and, in summer, delightfully cool.
ee “Special attention has “been paid to'the seating, so that ‘patrons need have no fear of becoming cramped.
; The last word in pictures, comfort and music—
VANCOUVER, BRITISH COLUMBIA - AN EARLY HUDDERSFIELD CONNECTION
In April 2007 my Wife and I enjoyed a fabulous touring holiday in the magnificent and spectacular Canadian Rocky Mountains. Starting in Calgary and finishing with several I days in Vancouver, little did we know at the time we were following in the footsteps of two well-travelled local Victorian gentlemen, namely John Morton and Samuel Brighouse, who were Cousins and hailed from Salendine Nook.
It started after our return home when I casually mentioned to my good friend Stephen Carter, who is the Librarian at the Huddersfield Examiner, that we had recently been to Vancouver.
"Oh", he replied, “Did you know two of the founding fathers of Vancouver came from Huddersfield"?! He then produced for me copy of the Examiner dated Saturday August 18 1962 which told the story of this fact in considerable detail. I have taken much information from this story to outline what I consider worthwhile to relay to our readers.
Vancouver itself is actually named after a Dutch Sea Captain Vancouver who sailed into the inlet called Burrard’s canal and dropped anchor there circa 1790. Our two “locals” left England in May 1862 on board the Great Eastern Paddle Steamship which was making her maiden voyage across the Atlantic, almost exactly 50 years before the ill- fated Titanic made her maiden voyage on the same route. Morton and Brighouse were leaving for a new life in a new land of opportunity, excited by, and spurred-on by, tales of adventure, new frontiers and gold in the Canadian provinces.
They sailed via New York, Panama, San Francisco and arrived at Victoria on Vancouver Island on 25 June 1862. Firstly, fired by the lure of gold, they trekked 400 miles to the diggings in the Cariboo territory but after only three months returned to Victoria. The weather had been severe and all the best claims had been taken or panned out.
(2) Our intrepid pair were not dismayed. They travelled across to the shores of Burrard's inlet where Vancouver city now stands. By this time they had become good friends with another pioneer from Yorkshire - William Hailstone from Scarborough. Their friendship was to last a lifetime and the trio were to become known as ‘The Three Greenhorns', a name now given to one of Canada’s leading restaurants. The word ‘greenhorn' was initially used derisively to settlers in North America to describe inexperienced and innocent newcomers to the West.
John Morton was impressed from first sight of Burrard’s inlet, not just because of its great beauty, but because it had all the advantages of a large natural harbour. His two friends, Brighouse and Hailstone, were convinced by his fervour and enthusiasm as he outlined a plan to buy up land around the inlet as an investment. They filed their claim and each staked out 180 acres around the bay agreeing to pay the colonial government in Victoria one dollar per acre. They had difficulty raising the 540 dollars needed - all new settlers were poor, but in North America in 1862 this was not a crippling disadvantage. It was John Morton who kept their morale high when the others would have given up. All three worked at whatever jobs were available, digging ditches, selling milk, felling trees. Living away from most other white men they became friendly with the native Indians and came to admire and trust them. They were taught by them to hunt and fisii and soon overcame their first nervousness, which was a result of hearing tales of torture and massacre further
Part of the agreement with the colonial government was that a cabin should be erected in the centre of the 540 acres and lived in. The threesome took it in turns to do so. They called their land the ‘city of Liverpool’ and had it registered under this name, but it soon became known as ‘Morton's place’. The site where the log cabin and barn were built is now occupied by the twenty-five storey marine building, home of the Vancouver Board of Trade.
Over the next five years they purchased more parcels of land, worked hard and developed a very successful farming industry. More settlers and their families meant more mouths to feed, more homes to build and more money to make. The arrival of the Canadian Pacific Railroad in 1867 further boosted opportunity and development all
(3) along the banks of the Fraser River. Pioneering entrepreneurs were in seventh
Samuel Brighouse with his knowledge of farming was largely responsible for introducing thoroughbred stock into the territory. He was a popular man with the farmers and at their invitation served on Vancouver City Council. He was regarded by many as the most energetic forward-thinking member of that body. Two buildings on the nearby Laitulu Island still bear his name - Brighouse Railway Station and Brighouse Post Office.
However John Morton's pioneering work was just as impressive. Vancouver still bears witness to this. He built the first Baptist Church and the land surrounding ‘Morton's Place’ became the heart of the residential area of Vancouver. Now, with its high-rise office blocks, apartments, large shopping precincts and other such cathedrals of consumerism it is worth many millions of dollars. Morton, Brighouse and Hailstone would all die very wealthy men with some fascinating tales to tell, about their part in Canadian history and folklore. All three eventually did return to England and died within thirteen months of each other, just before the First World War, when they were in their late seventies.
At the beginning of this article I mentioned the fact our two principles came from Salendine Nook. Indeed John Morton and Samuel Brighouse were cousins from neighbouring families of farmers and potters. In the late part of the sixteenth century John Morton's ancestors had fled from Scotland. They settled in Salendine Nook and were the founders of the Baptist faith there. They also carried on their family craft of potters.
Samuel Brighouse - his mother was a Morton before her marriage, was born in Salendine Nook in 1836. His father, also Samuel, was a farmer and innkeeper. He kept the “Spotted Cow" and had 100 acres which was a large holding of land in this part of the West Riding. He was also the parish overseer and a member of the board of poor law guardians.
(4) When he was eighteen young Samuel took charge of his father's farm. He was content in his work and prospering and it was only the result of an early teenage promise to his Cousin John Morton that he undertook the journey to British Columbia where they were to play a significant role in Canadian history.
There are several present day reminders of the Morton and Brighouse families in Salendine Nook and Lindley. Pottery Street lies near to where the long gone kilns and tall chimneys once made them familiar landmarks. The Spotted Cow still serves fine ales and spirits whilst the Baptist church still caters for the nourishment of another kind of spiritual needs. As late as 1986 remnants of the pottery still survived opposite a fold of cottages, ona wall, there was a sign saying ‘Enos Morton and Sons’. Nearby is the churchyard surrounded by the blackened tombstones of generations of Mortons. In Lindley churchyard a tall weathered monument carries the name of Samuel Brighouse along with those of his wife and several children.
The full story of the Morton and Brighouse families and pottery production at Salendine Nook, is another long one, perhaps best saved for another day.
Martin Hirst August 2007 DOWN TOWN VANCOUVER TODAY
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QUICK READS A summary of some recent publications.
Vivien Teasdale has published a companion volume to her work on Huddersfield’s mills. Moving away from the buildings themselves, she concentrates on the personal reminiscences of those who toiled within them. In Huddersfield Mill Memories; an oral history (Wharncliffe, 2006, £10.99), the full range of trades is represented; from the shop floor menders, spinners, burlers and menders through overlookers, and progress clerks, to design engineers and mill owners. There are those who lived and worked in the same village and those who came from Poland, Jamaica and the Punjab. All contributing to a way of life now largely gone. Not everyone, of course, belonged to this hard-working culture, and the dark side of local life has also attracted the Teasdale pen. Foul deeds and suspicious deaths around Huddersfield (Wharneliffe, 2007, £12.99) details 29 desperate deeds committed between 1811 and 1915. There is plenty of period atmosphere, with unruly horses and unruly drinkers. burning straw stacks, domestic violence, unprovoked attacks in the street, horrible murders, and, inevitably, the Luddites. Poverty and alcohol fuelled many problems, though there is also a lingering sense of déja vu, basic human nature, it seems never really alters. That darker side not withstanding, the public house has been an important part of British life for centuries, and, now that it i is disappearing, has become a subject for much nostalgia. A new publication from Tempus (Images of England series,2007, £12.99) takes the reader on an "armchair pub crawl’, courtesy of its ex-publican author, Dave Green Appropriately titled Huddersfield Pubs this visual history recalls the times when pubs really were houses, with fruit trees and well- stocked garden like the Lamb Inn at Hillhouse in 1803, or were places of mass entertainment; from bare-knuckle fights at the Shepherds Rest, Austonley to the more sedate summer teas for up to 2,500 people at the Great Western, Stanedge. As ever with this sort of publication, if the primary topic isn't of interest, then the background probably will be; much of Huddersfield life in the 19" Century is depicted here. Life, as they say, is a stage, and Huddersfield’s stage can rarely have attracted so much lively interest outside the small circle of theatre-goers as it has done recently. Brian Haigh’s new role as historian and archivist is well known, and manifests itself in various forms .A colourful example appeared in the January issue of the nostalgia magazine Down Your Way. Their January 2007 issue carried a poster cover and an article on “the prettiest theatre in the provinces”. Pretty it may have been, but colourful proscenium arches (including the famous Yetton Rant) concealed inadequate dressing rooms and vigorous marketing, of even the most recent West End productions, failed to make the Theatre secure. Despite the efforts of such luminaries as Alfred Wareing and Nita Valerie, the final curtain came down in 1961. Gone, but certainly not forgotten, the archive can be accessed on firstname.lastname@example.org or by ringing 01484 473168. The same magazine, incidentally, carried an article of reminiscences of life in old Ingbirchworth by Clive Goodhead. Music played a large part in this,
apparently, and visits to the Huddersfield Choral are recalled fondly. Which possibly didn't also apply to the local climate which was “allus two top coits colder’ than the low lands of Doncaster, from which the writer's mother hailed.
Chris Heath has already proved to be a prolific author in the Denby area. Denby and District (in 3 volumes), Denebi; farmstead of the Danes and a History of the Denby Dale pies have all examined this area in immense detail. Now this coverage has been extended with a photographic archive. Ye olde Townships: a Denby and District Archive photographic album has been published in 2 volumes by Wharncliffe Books of Barnsley, and covers around half a century's worth of people, their activities, and their homes This covers Denby Dale, Scissett and Ingbirchworth, with Skelmanthorpe and Clayton West in the companion volume. There is also, for this Society, the added bonus of seeing two of our members credited as joint authors. Potted biographies of former Chairman, Stanley Sheead and his friend Leslie Robinson, “two giants of local history.” open each volume. In addition to personal photographs, two views of their own permanent contribution to local history, their museum in Skelmanthorpe are included.
Thhave been honoured and privileged to work with two giants of local history. Inow know that Christmas comes more than once a year — indeed, every time I meet up with them, another “Pandora’s Box’ is opened. Between them they have over a hundred years experience in the field of local history research and make my twenty-five seem paltry. They have both been unstintingly generous, kind and friendly, whether it was in Stanley’s shed or Leslie’s attic, and I can only hope that the trust they have placed in me will be in some way acknowledged by the publication of these books. My grateful thanks to you both.
Stanley Sheead and Leslie Robinson.
— Leslie Robinson & Stanley Sheead
Leslie Robinson Leslie Robinson is the owner of a small textile museum in Skelmanthorpe. This was brought together in order to portray something of the centuries old textile industry, which had, until recent years, flourished in the village — as indeed, it had done in the greater part of the West Riding — but which has now sadly almost disappeared without trace. Emphasis at the museum is centred on the craft of handloom weaving which, almost unbelievably, lingered on in Skelmanthorpe until the 1930's, half a century after it had been discarded in industry. He attributes much of his interest in this subject to his weekly childhood visits to his Grandparents, who lived in Jebson’s Fold, Savile Street, Skelmanthorpe, where six hand-looms were regularly at work, two plied by his Uncles. He also has a fine collection of old photographs, which cover many aspects of local village life and events, illustrating graphically the way we once lived, some of which have been used in this publication. All the aforesaid items, along with many others are readily available by the interested on request to him.
The downstairs interior of the Queen Street Museum, Skelmanthorpe.
Leslie Robinson & Stanley Sheead
The upstairs interior of the Queen Street textile museum, showing an original handloom.
Stanley Sheead Born in Skelmanthorpe in 1927, Stanley was introduced to the values and importance of local history by his Grandfather, Fred Dalton. The interest was encouraged further by the father of his stepmother, the well-known antiquarian and historian, Fred Lawton. Also, the late Tom Wainwright, with whom, for 35 years, they did much research into the history of the village. They formed the Skelmanthorpe Local History Society in 1987, passing on their interest to others. Stanley was also the Chairman of the Huddersfield Society for many years. Stanley spent all his working life in the textile industry and is particularly knowledgeable regarding the history of his former employers, the Field family, one of the main driving forces behind the development of Skelmanthorpe. He helps his good friend, Leslie Robinson, in the Skelmanthorpe textile museum, explaining and demonstrating the mechanics of cloth production with the handloom there.
And finally Hot off the press comes a work of academic scholarship from Huddersfield University. Sons and daughters of Labour; a history and recollection of the Labour Party within the historic boundaries of the West Riding of Yorkshire. Edited by Brendan Evans, Keith Laybourn, John Lancaster and Brian Haigh, this is intended to be the first of a series dealing with all three major political parties, and drawing attention to the political archives at the University. I With those qualifications, there is an obvious leaning towards Huddersfield and district. From the cover illustration of workers leaving Crowther’s Mill in Marsden (Saturday afternoon and aprons still to wash!) to chapters by such local luminaries as Cyril Pearce, Keith Laybourn,David Clark, Barry Sheerman M.P, and Clr Molllie Walton, the town has a substantial representation. From the Party’s beginnings in 1906 right up to Huddersfield politics in 2006, the book includes characters as various as Victor Grayson and John Prescott, and ends with a personal account from one of the movement's father figures, Fred Jowett of Bradford
Huddersfield Local History Society
* 13 October
*11 December 28 January #25 February #31 March #28 April
Programme 2007 - 2008
“Yorkeology : Edgar Wood and His Professor Clyde Binfield
Saturday Seminar at Newsome South Methodist Church Famous Women
John Harrison’s Clocks Don Metcalfe :
Incorporating the Annual General Meeting
Robin Hood : Yorkshireman Eric Houlder
Christmas Dinner at The Old Bridge Hotel Holmfirth Final details still to be arranged
Victorian & Edwardian Leisure Tan Dewhirst
Partnership for Heritage Richard Butterfield
Huddersfield Trolley Buses & other films Derek Lawton
Women in Coal Mining and Mining Communities Rosemary Preece
Huddersfield Rugby Union Club Barrie Starbuck
Excursion. Details still to be arranged
All Meetings except those marked * and # will take place in the Children’s Library,
Huddersvield Library at 7.30 pm
#Meetings in the Light Reading Room at 7.30 pm
The 2008-2009 series of talks will commence on Monday 29" September 2008
Membership Subscriptions: Single £6 : Joint £10 are due at the start of the session
Hon. Secretary Mrs Freda Hollingworth 62 Greenhill Bank Road New Mill, Holmfirth HDS 1ER Phone: 682340
WE ARE NOT ALONE... Some other local organisations providing talks and events on local history.
Huddersfield Local History Library’s Lunchtime Club provides talks every two months in the Light Reading Room at the Library at 1pm.Their programme for 2008 is: I
23” January Conserve and preserve, by Allan Beaumont, WY Archive Service 19'" March The Brontes in Kirklees, by Lesley Kipling 14'4 May Storthes Hall remembered, by Ann Littlewood
23™ July The buildings of Huddersfield project, by Brian Haigh. Huddersfield _ University
24" September “Oi-put that light out!” by Pam Riding. Local Studies Library
19"" November Diaspora, determination and other discoveries in Irish Family History, by Lynne Schofield. Huddersfield and District Family History Society
The Colne Valley, Huddersfield and Holme Valley Civic Societies and the Huddersfield and District Family History Society all have regular programmes.
The Kirkburton and Highburton Community Association are working on the history of Kirkburton, with particular reference to Burton Dean. Project co- ordinator is Steve Robinson on 01484 863985.
For some visual history, the Huddersfield Video & Cine Club are holding a week of film shows to mark their 75 Anniversary. Huddersfield Town hall 26-30" November 2007
Editor: Mr. K. Brockhill, 52 Croft Gardens, Birkby, Huddersfield.