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LOCAL eS SOCIETY ‘p.
rl (190003) Fp 12949 ere
TREK SUCH 3 e*- Huddersfield
Joyce HN Stevens.
The movement for women's suffrage occupied rather more than half a century: from mid-Victorian days until the ultimately successful
conclusion in 1928 with the “Flapper vote", suffrage for all women over thirty.
Throughout the nineteenth century conventional methods employed to win the cause had met with little progress. "Militancy" began in Manchester, it was there in 1905 that the famous question “Will the Liberal Government give women the vote?" was asked. It was there that for the first time women were forcibly ejected from a major political meeting
and subsequently imprisoned. From this time on women took matters into their own hands.
The Pankhurst family were the greatest figures in the years that followed. Mrs Pankhurst and her supporters, under the slogan “Votes for Vomen", began the campaign that was to harass and disturb the Liberal administration that ruled continuously in Britain until the outbreak of the First World War. What the intense feelings were that could convert Victorian womanhood into creatures of violence is an important and fascinating question.
Of the intense sense of injustice there can be no doubt; no one suffers fear, abuse, imprisonment and starvation recurrently over the years for the sake of renown or for fun. Wor do reasonable and intelligent women turn themselves into figures of ridicule.
The constitution of the country had made it impossible for the women's cause to be pursued constitutionally without the unforthcoming support from men. Women had to fight by every means open to voteless persons and design their activities to put sufficient pressure upon the Government to make them realise that there was more to be lost than gained by a persistent refusal to put into practice the democratic principal they so loudly confessed to.
Writing in her biography The Hard Way Up, subtitled “Suffragette and Rebel", Hannah Mitchell documents suffragette activity at the Huddersfield by-election of 1907. “With all her ablest lieutenants in prison Mrs Pankhurst asked me to go with her to open a campaign against the Government".
Ostensibly, the suffragettes were campaigning against the Liberals and Conservatives, but inadvertently supporting Victor Grayson, the socialist candidate, in whom they had a keen advocate of their cause.
A speaker at a Liberal meeting in Slaithwaite called women's suffrage a matter of “interest". Interest would go nowhere to enhance their battle, action was what was needed. Hannah Mitchell tells of her arrival in Huddersfield “We two alone held a meeting at the Market Cross which aroused such interest that at the close we had enough volunteers to fill the town the next day".
Reg Groves, author of The Strange Case of Victor Grayson, sets the scene when he tells of the “struggle in the West Riding". A saga of struggle could be written about the people living in this area: about the ceaseless struggle to live, to think in their own way, to express themselves. -i-
Vomen latched onto the suffragette meetings to express themselves and their sense of injustice. “We held meetings every day. Hundreds of women would attend afternoon meetings and walk around the town in procession, afterwards pausing outside the Liberal Committee rooms to cry ‘Vote against the Government'". - Hannah Mitchell. Florence Lockwood writes in her biography An Ordinary Life; “During the excitement, when I was coming through Linthwaite Fold I stopped and helped to swell the crowd who were listening to Mrs Pankhurst: a women speaker was something quite new. What she said was new and inspiring to me“.
She relates how she came to support the cause. “As I walked slowly up the hill on my way home, deeply impressed, one of my sisters-in-law overtook me and touched me on the arm. I asked her if she had been listening to Mrs Pankhurst, ‘no indeed', she indignantly replied, ‘I believe woman's place is in the home'. This limitation of women's sphere set my heart beating furiously and I took up the cudgels in defence of votes for women for the first time".
Mrs Pankhurst was intervieved by the Colne Valley Guardian. “Speaking to our representative this evening, Mrs Pankhurst stated that they would take an active part in the campaign. An active crusade on behalf of women's suffrage would be entered upon at once". It was expected that representatives from Manchester, Leeds and other centres would take part. The Guardian concluded the article by adding that Mrs Pankhurst was to be assisted by Mrs Kay, secretary of the Huddersfield branch of the Wational Union of Women's Suffrage.
It was the Association's intention to transport all their forces to the Colne Valley after the nearby Jarrow election was over. July Sth saw Mrs Pankhurst paying a flying visit to Slaithwaite, where she was engaged in a vain search for apartments. In her view the people of Slaithwaite were a “clannish lot“, not given to open doors and arms to every charmer, “charm she ever so bewitchingly". Private householders and publicans steeled their hearts and closed their doors, but the party were in no way downhearted, Huddersfield was not far away and there shelter could be found.
During the campaign, several members of the Association were in prison, including the Pankhurst daughters, they had been sentenced to two months imprisonment. Posters were reproduced and displayed in the town demanding their release. Hannah Mitchell says “We so beset and bedevilled the Liberal candidate that the Government gave in and released all the captives halfway through their sentences".
The released women took the first train to Huddersfield. All the available halls had been booked in anticipation, but all were packed long before the train was due. “Huddersfield honoured itself that day, by the welcome it gave to those women; yet not one of the by-election candidates had the ‘manliness’ to declare himself on our side" - Hannah Mitchell.
Florence Lockwood relates how she saw Adele Pankhurst after her release: she wore a “little, dirty, limp print dress, her face was sunburnt, freckled and perspiring, her voice was hoarse from over use". Meetings of all the candidates were well attended, but Grayson's were packed, overflowing from halls into the streets outside. On the hillsides, he often talked to meetings of five, sometimes ten thousand. It might be curiosity, but curiosity didn't make those shrewd, tough, reticent mill- folk cheer and shout, even throw their hats in the air.
The day of the election, July 18th, saw much diversion all over the constituency by the suffragettes who were posted at each polling booth. They were very generous with their literature and persistent with their requests to the voters to put their crosses against the Government. One elderly elector refused a bill offered to him and was promptly reminded that his mother was a woman, "That is so“, he replied, “but she was a good deal better than many of the present generation for she stayed at home and mended her stockings". The suffragette protested that she hadn't any holes in her stockings and threatened to take off her boots as proof. One suffragette pleaded with an elderly man, “You'll vote against the Liberal candidate won't you?" at the same time thrusting into his hands the inevitable bill. The document was screwed up and thrown to the ground and the voter almost terrified the suffragette with
the ejaculation “Aum leet geen, if tha' meddles wi' me aw'll sam thi up!" I
Much merriment was caused by a beshawled women who joined the suffragettes at Marsden, she shouted excitedly that “every women ought
to have the vote whether she was a widow, or unmarried or what the $242C% she was".
According to the Colne Valley Guardian even the wily policeman did not escape the vigil of the suffragettes. One officer of the law, being offered a printed document, replied that he had already got one, “Well
take another", said the fair pleader, “and don't forget to run the right man in".
The Guardian even went to the lengths of publishing a poem on the subject: There once was a suffragette fair Who, the vote with man wanted to share, She looked lonesome and meek But could spend by the week Lively Parliament when she gathers there.
When the election result was announced it was seen that the suffragettes were rewarded in that the candidate closest to their cause won, Victor Grayson was returned. In his post-election address Grayson stated “I must not forget this, we stand for equality, human equality, sexual equality and I thank the women for what they have done to keep the Liberal out".
Grayson later said that women had won the election for him. Hannah Mitchell says of Huddersfield “It was a wonderful experience, like putting a match to a ready-built fire, the Yorkshire women rose to the call and followed us in hundreds". She adds “My cousin who lived there
all her life said to me years later ‘never was there such a time in Huddersfield‘”.
ISAAC MARSDEN. Tom Valnwright.
If you stopped anyone in the street today and asked them if they had heard of Isaac Marsden, do you think they would answer “Yes"? Of course not. Yet when a book by the Rev. John Taylor entitled Reminiscences of Isaac Marsden of Doncaster was published a century ago, it ran into at least two editions.
But why should Mr Marsden be of interest to the members of Huddersfield Local History Society when Doncaster is named in the title of the book? The reason is that evidence suggests he was born at Blacker Farm, Emley Parks, Emley near Huddersfield. In his early life his parents had occupied a cottage in Skelmanthorpe, owned successively by his great grandfather, Joseph Marsden, who purchased it in 1776, his grandfather, David Marsden, and his father, William.
Joseph Marsden is referred to in his will as a clothier and his inventory shows he had furniture, implements for weaving and a smallholding with a cart and several sheep bars and other farming gear. He died in 1789 aged 74 years and is buried at Emley.
We do not know much about his son David, except that he lived in the Parish of High Hoyland and married Rachel Jackman on the 5th November 1781. He died in March 1836 and was buried at Emley. Documents show that he had ten children born between 1782 and 1804. His first child, a daughter, was baptised at Emley on the i/7th July 1784. William married Anne, but neither her surname nor where they were married is known. Their first child, Ruth, was baptised at Emley on June 24th 1804. Five other children were born to them. Their second child, a son, died when twelve years old. Isaac was the third, born 3rd June 1807 and baptised at Emley 12th July (Skelmanthorpe Feast Day). He was followed by Elizabeth born 1809, Joseph born 1812 and lastly Annis born 1826.
At the time of Isaac's birth William was a clothier (a weaver of cloth), but whether at Blacker Farm or in Skelmanthorpe is not known. While Isaac was a child, William had rheumatic fever and was ill for several weeks. Later periodic bouts of rheumatism made him consider how best to earn a living for himself and his family. He saved what he could and started to buy wool direct from farmers and to employ others to dress and weave it. He travelled and sold cloth at various markets.
Just when William left Blacker Farm and came back to Skelmanthorpe village is not known, but it must have been before Isaac finished his education. According to John Taylor, he remained at school until he was twelve or thirteen years old. The Town School stood in what is now the Sunday School yard of the Skelmanthorpe Methodist Church and was demolished in 1884.
While at this school, Isaac acquired a passion for reading which stayed with him all his life. More than once he earned a beating for neglecting his allotted tasks in order to follow his passion for reading. His writing was atrocious and his spelling no better. His written work was careless and incoherent, nor did he improve in later life. It is said that sometimes only he could read what he had written. At arithmetic he was fair to good, and was able to keep accounts and make calculations for business purposes. We are told he knew nothing of grammar, geography
or history. His only information on these subjects came from his passion for reading. I
By the time he was twelve or thirteen years of age, his father came to the conclusion that he would benefit no further from being kept at school and took him away to help in the business.
It is almost certain that by that time William had sufficient funds to buy a plot of land across the road from where the ancestral Marsden property was situated. This plot was at the corner of what is now Saville Road and Marsden Street. According to the plan of 1800 for the “enclosure of commons and wastes of Skelmanthorpe", it was owned by J Firth. William erected new buildings and used the ones already on the land, probably farm buildings.
Isaac now had to try and learn handloom weaving, but he was quite inept. Time and time again he mixed up the “ends” and colours of the weft. If he was weaving stripes, he made them narrow where they should have been broad and vice versa. Despite his father's chastisement he did not improve. There is a tradition in the village that he wove until he only had one warp end left in the loom and asked his mother what he should do. She replied "Pick straight at it and cut that one out too”. He was put to cropping with the old fashioned hand shears and fortunately, did rather better. In warehousing he was more successful, packing the cloth for sale and going to the market and actually selling the cloth.
In his early teens he seems to have been impressed by the faith of his mother. She was a Methodist and was drawn to the Primitive Methodists who were campaigning in the area at that period. His father had no use for religion in any shape or form and did not encourage [Isaac in any religious activities. William in his own eyes was a just man. It is on record that while dining at an inn, where he had gone on business during a hiring fair, he found a roll of greasy paper. On examination, he found it comprised of one pound banknotes. He tried to find the owner but failed. A year later, dining at the same inn, he overheard a man say that at the last hiring fair he had lost twenty pounds. William questioned him and being satisfied that the man was indeed the loser, took from his pocket twentyone sovereigns. These he handed to the man, saying that was the amount with five per cent interest.He insisted the man take the money but, as for himself, he would accept no reward. A hard but just man.
That was the atmosphere in which Isaac grew up; a mother who sought to lead her son in good ways and a father who did not really care what his son did so long as the tasks he was given were done well and in the time expected. Neither was William concerned how Isaac used his non-working
hours. The consequence was that he kept bad company and neglected his mother's teaching.
As he grew physically, he became broad and stocky with extraordinary long arms, which were to serve him well in the future. The bad company were of the drinking, cock fighting and wrestling fraternity, and by the time he was twentyone he was the leader of a gang of these roughs. His particular friend John Senior, was nicknamed "Black Jack".
While Isaac's social life took the form described, William prospered. The sale of his cloth increased in the Doncaster and North Lincolnshire area and he rented a room in the yard of the Wellington Inn in Doncaster. He also purchased a horse and a light cart for the conveyance of his goods. In time he decided to take Isaac with him as his assistant
and came to the conclusion that he was more useful in marketing cloth than in the mill. William had such confidence in Isaac that even at seventeen he allowed him to make some journies alone and put him in charge of the warehouse at Doncaster. While this arrangement was convenient for business, the division of his time between Skelmanthorpe and Doncaster did nothing to stabilise his character. He chose rough companions in Doncaster similar to those he had in Skelmanthorpe. When he was in serious trouble in Skelmanthorpe he remained in Doncaster and vice versa, greatly to the distress of his mother.
In Skelmanthorpe Isaac and his crony, Black Jack, took particular delight in plaguing Eli Hampshire; an old, rather crossgrained man living in a one decker (bungalow) halfway up Gib Lane. They took large stones and rubbed them up and down outside the walls, making a rumbling sound which frightened the old man. Another of their tricks was to climb on the roof and place a sod on the chimney pot and smoke him out. Once, finding a stray donkey they tied it to the door sneck so that when Eli eventually opened the door he was confronted by the animal. The donkey broke free and as he tried to catch it, it charged over his vegetable garden and flowers and ruined then.
Isaac went over to Doncaster taking Jack with him. While at the Vellington Inn they fermented a dispute which set the company quarelling and fighting. In the heat of the moment Isaac up-ended the long table and everything on it crashed to the floor. Such was the uproar and anger that the pair dare not return until the incident was almost forgotten.
On another occasion, Isaac and his friends went bathing in the River Don. The lads attempted reckless exploits, Isaac who was one of the most daring, got caught by the current and was swept away. He went to the bottom and was, with some difficulty, found and brought to the surface. Some thought he was dead but a neighbour's persistent efforts brought
him round. It was many days before he recovered from the effects of his folly.
His mother tried her best to get him to change his way of life but her efforts seemed to be in vain. Still he had his good points. Once, when riding to the Red Bear Hotel in Thorne, the landlady met him and said "Oh Mr Marsden what am I to do?" She explained that a gang of navvys were quarelling and fighting in the kitchen, breaking up everything in the place. Isaac told her to see to his horse and went in. He caught hold of the ringleader and shook him like a terrier, took him to the door and threw him out across the street. Going back to the kitchen he repeated this until they were all outside. The ability to do this lay in the power of his arms. He could hold his opponent at arm's length or pull them to him and squeeze them until they could offer no resistance.
He had a very good memory and could remember what he had read whether in news sheets or books. He had read Paine's Age of Reason, Mirabeau's System of Nature and every tract and pamphlet of a similar type that he could lay his hands on, but he sneered at and ridiculed religion. Isaac became a first class salesman and was known at the various fairs and markets as a shrewd, keen and observant young man, who could sell as much cloth as his father could manufacture. There seemed to be two Isaac Marsdens, one who could attend diligently to his father's business and the other wild, boisterous and foolish.
He fathered two daughters by one Anne Taylor but never married her. Later in life she married Isaac's cousin and lived with him in the Marsden property in Skelmanthorpe.
His Conversion. So from seventeen to twentyseven, Isaac lived a wild, dissolute life and everyone, except his mother, despaired of ever improving him. It is said that one night Mrs Marsden prayed long and earnestly for him and about 4 a.m., she received an assurance which she always clung to, that there would be a change in his life. I
One Sunday, in the late Autumn of 1834, the Rev. Robert Aitken was appointed to preach special sermons in the new Wesleyan Chapel, Priory Place, Doncaster. Isaac decided to go and hear this well known popular preacher. He thought that he may be able to pick out some idiosyncrasy which he might imitate to the amusement of his friends, but was shocked as it seemed that the preacher was speaking to him and him alone. Isaac felt that his life was being illuminated and that he was in a sorry mess. He stayed on to the prayer meeting that followed and still found no comfort or release from the remorse he still felt over his misused life. He was not completely won over to a different way of life as shortly afterwards, when he was in Skelmanthorpe he found there was to be a Love Feast at the Wesleyan Chapel. He thought he would parody the various speakers and took pencil and paper to note down what they had said. They told how their lives had been changed by accepting Christ as their saviour. Finally his mother spoke and told how God had blessed her and cheered her heart and that the thing she desired most was that God would “save my Isaac". Being present at the Love Feast altered his whole outlook. These people whom he knew intimately had “something“ which he did not possess. He put away his pocket book and pencil, stood up and told those assembled that he would try and find out what they had, adding “and if I get converted the Devil had better look out".
These remarks made a great impression on his friends in Skelmanthorpe. They did not know how to receive them; was he joking or was he serious? They did know, however, that he had attended a prayer meeting the previous Sunday at Doncaster and afterwards gone willingly into the enquiry room. This made them think and hope that a change was taking place in his life. To confirm that this was the case, he went into the Wellington Inn and told the landlady that “he was going to turn over a new leaf". She told him she would believe it when she saw it. He replied that she would see it because he was fully determined.
Isaac sought the companionship of a young man called John Butler, a committed Christian, who had been trying for some time to get him to change his ways. There were several others who sought to influence his ways especially an old man called Waring. This man went to his rooms to talk with him and saw his collection of infidel literature. With forceful arguments he persuaded Isaac to burn the books. His Christian supporters in Doncaster did all they could to help him in this time of spiritual struggle. Finally during the morning of Sunday, 11th October, 1834 he announced that a change had taken place in his life. One of the first things he did after this was to go home to Skelmanthorpe and tell his mother what had happened to hin.
He told all with whom he came in contact of the change in his life, sought out his old companions and tried, with some success, to convert them. He visited the sick and needy and helped them out. Often, when he had finished selling cloth in the market place, he would speak to the people with a view to converting them. :
During the period of the 19th century, Skelmanthorpe Feast Week in July Saw scenes of great drunkenness, dog fighting, bull baiting and other deplorable activities. Isaac went home for the Feast and during the day
he took his stand between two public houses and began speaking to his old comrades in the village. They tried to tempt him in by offering him beer, tobacco and spirits. They reminded him of his former life and did their best to make him lose his temper.
Businessman and Preacher. Two years after his conversion he was invited to go on the Plan of the Doncaster Wesleyan Circuit, he went on trial as a Local Preacher and later onto the Full Plan. From thereon all his leisure time was spent in going up and down the Doncaster area, and further afield, preaching and conducting meetings.
During this phase of his life his family moved from Skelmanthorpe to Doncaster, and Isaac's diary for the period gives details of his many preaching and speaking appointments. Between 1834 and 1847, he seems to have spent all his leisure hours travelling about the north of England evangelising, but he also made some excursions southwards for the same purpose. He would carry out his duties to the family business and then follow his passion of leading men to God. A great deal of his success lay in the fact that he sought to understand the problems of all those with whom he came in contact. He was also a great favourite with children, able to attract them and keep their attention.
In August 1847 his mother became gravely ill and died on the S3ist of that month. She was buried at Scissett Churchyard, as was her daughter Annis when she died. It was a bitter blow to Isaac as the family business was also passing through a difficult time and he was beginning to feel the strain. Fulfilling his preaching engagements and working almost round the clock resulted in a strained voice and near physical breakdown. One bright spot was that he met the woman who eventually became his wife. She was Mary, the second daughter of a farmer and his wife, Robert and Sarah Barker of Burton on Stather. Two things interfered with their immediate marriage. One was the responsibility he had taken on with his own family. Owing to the second marriage of his father, he was now responsible for his sisters’ welfare and had to help Joseph all he could. Secondly in Mary's case she had care of her father and his house. Mary was about a year older than Isaac. They were married in August 1856, about a year after the death of her father, and took up residence in Priory Place, near to the Wesleyan Chapel.
The new Mrs Marsden proved to be as interested in the Church as he was, becoming a dedicated worker and class leader at Priory Place. The time came when Isaac felt he must retire from business, leaving it to his brother Joseph, and devote all his time to evangelistic work. He was out preaching almost every Sunday. On occasions he left home on Saturday morning and on reaching his destination would conduct an evening meeting. On the Sunday he took two or three services and held a prayer meeting, while on the remaining days of the week he visited and took evening services, arriving back in Doncaster on Thursday or Friday in time to lead his class meeting, consequently Mary saw very little of hin.
Isaac had become a friend of William Booth, the founder of the Salvation Arny. As a boy of fourteen Booth had heard him speak in a Wesleyan Chapel in Nottingham and was much impressed. After Booth had become a United Methodist Minister and then left to found the Salvation Arny, Isaac kept in touch with him. He sent donations towards his work among
the underprivileged and gave out copies of the “War Cry" whenever the
opportunity arose. This paper was one of the last things he read as he lay dying.
His Final Days. During the later part of 1881 his health began to fail. If he spoke in the open air at all he seemed to catch a coid and be laid up for several days. Walking a considerable distance from where he was staying to the place where he was taking a service caused him to suffer again. The Rev. J. L. Britten advised him to confine his preaching to the Doncaster Circuit. But shortly afterwards, sensing his weakness, he said "It is all over, my work is done“. On Christmas Eve 1881, he wrote to a friend “I am getting. worn out and getting worse and worse". He was nearly seventyfive and for most of his life enjoyed good health, but now he failed rapidly. His strength had gone, and, unable to take food, by the
middle of January he lay dying. The end came at 2 a.m. on Tuesday, 17th January 1882. I
He was buried in Doncaster Cemetery on Friday 20th January. The service prior to the interment was held in a packed Priory Place Chapel. Several ministers took part and the Superintendent of the Circuit gave the address. This address in Taylor's book takes up three and a half pages.
Several thousand followed the hearse to the cemetery and great crowds lined the streets.
Clearly, after his conversion, he had a great influence on all ranks and condition of men and the gathering at his funeral was a proof of this. A memorial service conducted by his brother-in-law, the Rev Elihu Tyas, was held at Skelmanthorpe the following Sunday in the Wesleyan Chapel. Many years ago the writer was told by an old lady who was present, that the chapel was full to overflowing. People were so eager to pay tribute that some had to sit on the window sills and pulpit steps.
Few people today have ever heard of Isaac Marsden but in his day and generation he was known not only in West and South Yorkshire but throughout England.
Sources for this paper include the Rev. Taylor's Reminiscences, the writer's own collection of Marsden documents dating from 1769 and the memories of many local people.
+ + % %
AS THEY WERE SAYING -------~- ,
Even the most enthusiastic members sometimes have to miss a meeting. So, to fill those gaps, our Press representative, Edward Law, summarises the past season's talks.
28th November 1988. Clifford Stephenson, a member of our Society regaled members with a talk on ‘Some of those that got away’. The subjects were local people who had left their native county for distant parts. They included his own parents who had settled in Canada for a short period; the Lockwood family who had gone to the U.S.A. via Suffolk in the 17th century; William Pontey, a nurseryman who was engaged by the Dukes of Bedford; and John Morton and Samuel Brighouse, natives of Salendine Nook, who founded the City of Vancouver in British Columbia. + + ¥
i2th December 1988. The Society celebrated its tenth anniversary in appropriate style with a meal and talk at Woodsome Hall.
Over 50 sat down for the meal which was in the ancient setting of the galleried Great Hall before an open fire. The stone chimney which serves the Great Hall was built by Arthur Kaye, whose name with that of Beatrix his wife, is inscribed on the massive wooden lintel above the hearth. Arthur was the subject of an absorbing talk presented by Dr George Redmonds who suggested that he may have been named Arthur to allude to the supposed descent from Sir Kay, of the court of King Arthur.
Dr Bagles, the Chairman of the Society, toasted “the founder members"; the response was made by Councillor Cyril Pearce, one of several founding members who were present. # #
30th January 1989. Mr B Haigh, Curator of the Bagshaw Museum gave a talk on Batley in the 19th century, comparing and contrasting it with Huddersfield. From the centre of a small blanket manufacturing district at the beginning of the century it progressed to become the country's most important producer of recovered woollens. The processes to produce shoddy and mungo were invented in the town giving rise to the industry, which prospered greatly in times of war with the supply of raw materials for the production of military uniforms. Some of the opulent warehouses and sales premises can still be seen in the town.
Batley attained Borough status in 1868, the same year as Huddersfield, principally, it is said, to avoid being absorbed by its larger near neighbour, Dewsbury. % 2 +
27th February 1989. Mrs D Priestley spoke to the Society on the works of Joseph Kaye, the leading builder in Huddersfield in the first half of the 19th century. An extensive builder his principal contracts were Holy Trinity Church at Greenhead, St Paul‘s in town, the Infirmary, Wew North Road, his own mills at Folly Hall, the Railway Station and the George Hotel, illustrations of which were shown.
Kaye did not confine himself to one activity. He was also a brewer and beer retailer, mill owner, lime burner and quarry owner.
20th March 1989. Councillor C Pearce, a founding member of the Society spoke on Huddersfield in World War One. He has undertaken detailed research in preparing a thesis for his M. Phil. and in his talk examined the choices between patriotism and conscience. He revealed that there was a strong pacifism movement, and opposition to conscription in the town. Both causes were received by the Huddersfield public with a good deal more tolerance than was shown by the country as a whole. # + %
17th April 1989. The Society was addressed by the Rev. D B Foss, Vicar of Battyeford, on Marmaduke Bradley, the last Abbot of Fountains Abbey.
The Abbey had an extensive land holding or Grange at Bradley and it may have been that Marmaduke was a local man. They also had industrial interests in the area, winning and working ironstone, and were responsible for the erection of bridges over the Calder (Cooper Bridge) and the Colne (Colne Bridge) in the 13th century.
Marmaduke was shown to be a thoroughly ungodly man who bribed and inveighled his way into the office of Abbot. He surrendered the Abbey to the King in 1539 receiving in return a pension of £100 p.a., a substantial sum at that time.
15th May 1989. Mr L Robinson, a member of our Society, gave a talk on Huddersfield Court Witnesses in the 19th century. The source of the detail was a collection of legal briefs discovered by Mr Robinson some twenty years ago in a local solicitor's office and now deposited with West Yorkshire Archives, Kirklees (KC165).
In a fascinating talk a small number of cases were considered in detail.
They ranged through assault, manslaughter, cloth theft, riot and
seduction to the bizarre case of body-snatching by two local apprentices in the 1820's. I
Readings of the witnesses’ statements were given by Society members Mrs G Robinson, T Wainwright and S Sheead.
3% + + +
FOR THE BOOKSHELF.
Longwood is the subject of a recent Kirklees publication. E Shackleton's A Living Inheritance: The Story of the Ancient Yorkshire Township of Longwood (Kirklees Leisure Services, 1988. £3.95) is an uncritical, but well illustrated and fact-filled account that strives to keep big neighbour Huddersfield at arm's length.
For devotees of the Colne Valley there is a re-issue of D F E Sykes' well known work of 1906, the History of the Colne Valley ‘Toll House Reprints, 1988. £35). With its half leather binding, this is a handsome volume, but one intended, presumably, for the collector rather than the historian.
History of a very different style is the subject of a new book on Holmfirth, Where the Pratty Flowers Grow: Yoices from Holmfirth, edited by Brenda Scott (Yorkshire Art Circus, 1988. £3.95). The publishers believe that “everyone has a story to tell" and this book allows 33 people to do just that, albeit briefly! Topics range from childhood in the early part of the century, through wartime life on the home front, to the much debated effects of a certain popular television series.
A wich longer perspective on Holmfirth's past is taken by Eileen Villiams in Holmfirth: From Forest to Township. (Lofthouse Publications and Toll House Reprints, 1989. £4.95). This is a facsimile reprint of the hardback first published in 1975.
Huddersfield itself is the subject of a series of pamphlets written and produced by our own Edward Law. Essays in Local History: A Series of Papers Relating to the Huddersfield Area: covers a wide variety of topics, including Huddersfield banks, architects, printers and most recently, the George Hotel. At the time of writing 11 titles are available, all direct from the author.
George Redmonds extends his specialist knowledge of place names to the Colne Valley in Slaithwaite: Places and Place Fames (G R Books, 1988. £2.25). This covers the township in minute detail from Abbots Chair to Yew Tree, by way of Onely House and Pickle Top.
Another specialised form of research is aerial photography and the County's Archaeological Service has produced a popular introduction to the subject in Aerial Time Machine: Discovering West Yorkshire from the Air. (West Yorkshire Archaeology Service, 1989. £.50). This paperback contains an annotated selection of 60 plates from their stock of over 5,000 items. Local sites include Holme, Meltham, Oldfield, Flockton and Marsden.
Finally, the ones that got away! The Cocker Connection Regency Press, 1989. £4.95). Mark Dalby traces the sons of Huddersfield weaver Benjamin Cocker as they made their successful ways around the world of the mid- nineteenth century - from Huddersfield and Dewsbury to Tasmania and Tonga. -12-