Power in the Land: The Ramsdens and their Huddersfield Estate, 1542-1920 (2020) by Edward Royle (editor)

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Essays to commemorate the centenary of the purchase of the

estate by Huddersfield Corporation in 1920

edited by Edward Royle


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Published by University of Huddersfield Press

University of Huddersfield Press The University of Huddersfield

Queensgate Huddersfield HD1 3DH

Email enquiries university.press@hud.ac.uk Text © The Authors 2020

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License

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Sir John William Ramsden

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THE PUBLISHERS, EDITOR and authors are grateful to the following for kind permission to reproduced images in their collections: AHR Building Consultancy Ltd; Huddersfield Examiner/Reach plc; Huddersfield Local Studies Library, Kirklees Libraries; Jarrolds Publishing; Kirklees Museums and Galleries; Lafayette Photography Ltd; Leeds University Library Special Collections; Matthew Beckett, Lost Heritage;The National Portrait Gallery; The Pennington family of Muncaster

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Buying Huddersfield for the People Stephen Caunce and Edward Royle


A Ramsden Family Perspective Meriel Buxton







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Illustrations and Permissions

COVER Ramsden Estate Buildings, Westgate (1870), by W.H. Crossland by kind permission of Kirklees Museums and Galleries

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Thomas Dinsley map of central Huddersfield, 1828 by kind permission of West Yorkshire Archive Service, Kirklees

Railway Station

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47. Byram Hall 206 by kind permission of Matthew Beckett, Lost Heritage

48. Sir John Frecheville Ramsden (1877-1958) 214 by kind permission of the Ramsden family

COVER (BACK) Crests of the Ramsden Family, the Huddersfield Improvement Commissioners and Huddersfield Corporation

by kind permission of the Huddersfield Examiner/Reach plc

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Abbreviations CLWC Commissioners of Lighting, Watching & Cleansing DF Dawson File HBC Huddersfield Borough Corporation

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A Note on Contributors

MERIEL BUXTON studied jurisprudence at St Hugh’s College, Oxford, and 1s now a free-lance writer who lives in Leicestershire, married to a great-nephew of Joan Ramsden, née Buxton, wife of Sir John Frecheville Ramsden. She has written several books including biographies of the missionary/explorer, David Livingstone, and of Mary, the ‘High-Flying’ Duchess of Bedford. Her Poverty is Relative, published by Woodperry Books in 2017, tells the story of the Ramsden family during the lifetimes of the 5th and 6th baronets, Sir John William Ramsden (1831-1914) and his son Sir John Frecheville Ramsden (1877-1958). Now retired from the magistracy, Meriel has more time to spend with her husband, children, grandchildren, dogs, horses and Dexter cattle.

STEPHEN CAUNCE is a native of south Lancashire, and has a BA from University College, London. His PhD, from Leeds University, investigated the lives of farm horsemen in Yorkshire by taping oral testimony and was published as Amongst Farm Horses. He also taught at Leeds, after twelve years working in museums. He recently retired as a Senior Lecturer in History at the University of Central Lancashire, where he also conducted collaborative work with the heritage sector and developed an innovative BA in History, Museums and Heritage. He still researches and publishes, mainly on various aspects of northern England’s transformation between 1600 and 1939. He gives lectures in many different settings and is writing a book about the origins of the Industrial Revolution.

DAVID GRIFFITHS has lived in Huddersfield for over 30 years and worked for Kirklees Council in corporate management roles. Much of his retirement has been spent in researching the development and governance of 19th-century Huddersfield. His most recent publications are The Villas of Edgerton: Home to Huddersfield’s Victorian Elite (2017); and, as editor, Making up for Lost Time: The Pioneering Years of Huddersfield Corporation (2018). He is active in several local history and heritage groups and 1s a frequent speaker, walk leader and contributor to local and national journals.

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BRIAN HAIGH 1s a retired museum professional who specialised in social history, education and interpretation. He cared for wide-ranging collections from natural history specimens to works of art which was reflected in the diversity of the exhibition programmes he organised. He was responsible for galleries exploring the Amazon rainforest and Ancient Egypt. He managed the restoration of the Cloth Hall shelter in Ravensknowle Park and the conservation of the stonework and re-pointing of the Victoria Tower on Castle Hill. He is the author and editor of a number of books for schools, and has written on local history topics.

JOHN HALSTEAD studied at Highburton Church of England elementary school, Penistone Grammar and the London School of Economics. He was a civil servant for ten years, leaving the administrative class at the Home Office in 1965 for a career teaching coal miners, steel and other workers at the University of Sheffield. He became active in the Society for the Study of Labour History in the 1960s and was a long-time editor of its Bulletin and its continuation as Labour History Review. He currently serves as one of the Society’s Vice-Presidents. He stood down in September 2016 after a twenty- one year period on the board of housing associations, but not believing in retirement he continues to write and be concerned about modern economic and social issues.

EDWARD ROYLE was born in the Colne Valley, educated in Almondbury and then after Cambridge returned to teach at the University of York where he is now Professor (Emeritus) in History. He has published widely on nineteenth- century British topics as diverse as popular atheism, radical politics and Methodism. Since retirement he has published editions of Yorkshire Visitation Returns of the Clergy (1858 and 1865), and edited a study of the Great Yorkshire Election of 1807. He has frequently been drawn through his research back to his Huddersfield roots and wrote a history of the Queen Street Chapel and Mission for the Huddersfield Local History Society of which he 1s a founder-member.

CHRISTOPHER WEBSTER 1s an architectural historian who has specialised in the buildings of late-Georgian England, and published extensively on the subject. Currently, he is nearing completion of a monograph on church-building and churchgoing at that time. He is also interested in the development of the architectural profession in the provinces in the early-nineteenth century, with several publications on West Yorkshire architects, their training and their patrons. He is retired, after a long career in higher education, and is currently a Research Associate in the Centre for Eighteenth Century Studies at the University of York.

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ON MICHAELMAS DAY 1920 Huddersfield Corporation bought from Sir John Frecheville Ramsden the land and rights held by his family in and around the town of Huddersfield, thus bringing to an end a relationship that had begun in 1531 when William Ramsden married Joanna Wood of Longley Hall. Over the decades the Ramsdens extended their property, acquiring the manors of Huddersfield in 1599 and Almondbury in 1627. By the end of the nineteenth century they owned a considerable part of the land on which central Huddersfield was built. They invested in and benefited from the urban and industrial expansion of Huddersfield in the later-eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, but were never primarily industrial or commercial entrepreneurs: they were ground landlords who, from the later-17th century, lived 30 miles away at Byram. They retained their local seat at Longley New Hall but, as absentees, acted through local agents. They seldom visited the town in person until the coming of convenient rail travel in the second half of the nineteenth century. This collection of essays has been brought together to celebrate the centenary of the 1920 purchase. It does not attempt a comprehensive history but is focused on aspects of the relationship between the Ramsdens and Huddersfield, especially in the nineteenth century during the lifetime of Sir John William Ramsden (1831-1914) for which the archives are particularly rich and when the greatest expansion of the town and Ramsden influence occurred. Some outline of events is offered in chapter 1 by Brian Haigh, who looks at Longley Hall, its inhabitants and the uses to which the buildings were put. David Griffiths then follows in chapter 2 with an analysis of the evolving and sometimes fractious relationship between the town and the family, especially in the nineteenth century. One of the most controversial — as well as economically important — issues in the nineteenth century concerned the terms governing the relationships between the Ramsden estate and its tenants, the intricacies of which are pursued in chapter 3 by John Halstead. Religion and philanthropy, while no doubt sincerely meant, were also a useful means by which the Ramsdens managed not only their tenants but

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the whole community, and this is the theme of chapter 4 by Edward Royle. One expression of such activity was the construction of churches and other public buildings: in chapter 5 Christopher Webster provides studies of William Wallen and James Pigott Pritchett, two architects who did important work for the Ramsden estate in the 1840s and 1850s, giving the town two of its most impressive buildings — the George Hotel and the Railway Station. The final two chapters are concerned with the sale itself. In chapter 6 Stephen Caunce and the editor re-examine critically the ‘Dawson File’, first used by Clifford Stephenson in 1972 to celebrate rather uncritically the story of ‘The Town that Bought Itself’; and in chapter 7 Meriel Buxton gives new insights into the reasons why Sir John Frecheville Ramsden wished to sell the town and how the sale was brought about. Her chapter also provides a personal perspective on some of the key members of the Ramsden family in the nineteenth century, drawing on private family archives. Archival references are given in the end notes to each chapter. Where no location is given, the documents referred to will be found in the West Yorkshire Archive Service Kirklees office in Huddersfield. References to secondary works in the end notes are to the composite bibliography at the end of the book. The idea for this book was conceived and commissioned by the late Hilary Haigh, formerly Huddersfield Archivist and Local History Librarian, then until her retirement archivist at the Polytechnic/University, and a founder- member and long-serving secretary of the Huddersfield Local History Society. The completed project is dedicated to her memory.


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The Ramsdens of Longley,

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Longley Hall: the Huddersfield Seat of the Ramsdens



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houses, being assessed on 25 hearths in the 1672 Hearth Tax; Woodsome was taxed on 22 hearths and Whitley Beaumont on 17. Of the 132 houses in the West Riding listed as having 10 or more hearths, only six had 25 or more; one of these was Byram, which had been acquired in about 1630 by John Ramsden’s grandson, another John (1594-1646) — distinguished from his grandfather by having been knighted in 1619 — who had inherited the Ramsden estates on his father’s death in January in 1622/3."° Byram was probably a grander house than Longley and it had the further advantage of being nearer to York, the centre of county government, to which the Ramsdens like other members of their class were drawn. With gentry status came responsibility. Local government was county-based and depended on the active participation of the gentry. Sir John undertook a number of administrative and judicial roles. A JP from 1627, he was elected MP for Pontefract in 1628 and visit to the town ‘to know what service the townsmen would command’ may have introduced him to Byram only four miles away.'! Set within a deer park, Byram was ideal for entertaining, which was essential to the development of political and commercial alliances. This was made much easier for the widowed Sir John after 1633 when he married twice-widowed Anne Poole, a substantial heiress. Longley had become very much a secondary home, despite the purchase of the Manor of Almondbury in 1627, but it was to become a place of safety for the family in the troubled times that lay ahead. As High Sheriff of the county 1n 1636-7, Sir John bore the responsibility for collecting Ship Money, a levy instituted by the Crown without parliamentary sanction. Despite its unpopularity, he was successful in collecting £11,800 of the £12,000 charged on the county. When Parliament finally sat in April 1640, Ship Money was one of the many grievances which occupied members. Matters were unresolved when Charles dissolved the sitting after only three weeks. The lines for future conflict were drawn. In 1642, Sir John sold land near Saddleworth to raise funds for a regiment, settled his estates and made a will. The family retreated to Longley which was at a distance from the main centres of military activity in the civil wars which followed. Whilst Sir John’s regiment fought at Marston Moor in July 1644, he had himself been captured at the Battle of Selby in April and sent to the Tower. Upon release he joined the forces besieging Pontefract Castle before moving on to defend Newark, where he died in 1646. Now in Royalist hands, Pontefract Castle came under siege for a third time in October 1648 with Cromwell briefly taking charge of proceedings. On 6 November, news reached Parliament that ‘Lieut. General Cromwel is at Biron House near Pontefract, and there continues ‘till he hath so settled the several

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Posts, as that the Enemy may not, as they have done, break forth, plunder and undo the County; which done, he goes to the Head-Quarters, as

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3. Longley Hall, rebuilt eighteenth-century south side, enclosing part of the

original Tudor building. Huddersfield Local Studies Library

existing buildings. Recalling the Huddersfield of his youth, Mr. D. Schofield noted

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Robert Adam and Lancelot ‘Capability’

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5.The Hon. Mrs Isabella Ramsden (1790-1887), wife of John Charles Ramsden and mother of Sir John William Ramsden. Muncaster Castle

6. George Loch

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John Charles was in fact only two years older than his wife, but she was to outlive him by over 50 years. He predeceased his father leaving Isabella Ramsden guardian of his son and heir, John William, who became the fifth baronet at the age of only seven years. Meanwhile, under the terms of the fourth baronet’s will, oversight of the estate passed to trustees, the most influential of whom was his mother’s cousin and brother-in-law, Earl Fitzwilliam (1786- 1857) who first visited the town on Tuesday 5 November 1844 ‘for the purpose of inspecting and interviewing on the proposed improvements, the sites of new churches &c’. After looking around the Cloth Hall, where he bought a piece of fancy cloth, he visited the Parish Church and the Ramsden Street and Queen Street chapels. On Wednesday and Thursday of the same week, the 13 year-old John William, who was making his first visit to the town, joined the agent, George Loch, at the George Hotel to receive the half- yearly rents, estimated to amount to £30,000.”

Estate Office and Resident Agent

Rooms at Longley must have been kept ready for these occasional visits. At other times, the windows would have been shuttered and the furniture covered by dust sheets. Isabella was happy to receive some of the principal ladies of the town during her stay in 1829 but there is no record of any major work having been undertaken in preparation for that visit. She encouraged George Loch to make use of Longley after he took over the management of the estate: ‘I am afraid you will have very uncomfortable quarters at the George Inn, pray go and look at Longley Hall and consider if you would not be fitter lodged there’.*’ Earlier in the year, Loch had made a fact-finding visit to the town uncovering three decades of mismanagement and neglect. Some of this was the responsibility of Sir John’s steward, John Bower, who visited the town twice a year when rents were due, staying for about two weeks on each occasion to conduct business. Like his predecessor, John Crowder, he would have stayed at Longley. The trustees accepted Loch’s

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much of the Ramsden estate correspondence in this period was directed. Blore along with Sir William Tite advised George Loch and the trustees on building proposals, designing some new farm buildings for the estate. He wrote from Dover en route to Belgium in September 1844, suggesting that he had been set a difficult task. He could not match the plans he had been given to the internal arrangement of the proposed extension, but he felt he could not improve on the design without adding to the costs. He assumed that the extension would be in an ‘old English’ style rather than

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the existing buildings, which was said to be much in need, Mrs Ramsden intervened. She had at last received the letter relating to the plans whilst staying at Easthorp Southern, the Warwickshire home of the Vyners : ‘If Longley Hall is found on trial as suitable situation for the abode of the Resident Agent, I sh[oul]d say, hasten to build the wing you propose’. She reminded Loch that at the time of his appointment he had considered that some buildings, including an estate office and residence for an agent, might be required. Summing up, she insisted that there was no economy in postponing the required additions: ‘pray proceed with the consideration of the plans for making it commodious for the intended purpose’. She regretted that the work had not been started. ‘Had the work been set about in May, what progress there might have been made this fine summer!’ She was equally positive about the painting and decorating. It is ‘much wanted’ and ‘must certainly be done’ though May would have been a better time for interior painting than July or Spurred on, Hathorn was able to report to Loch on 24 August 1847 that ‘the kitchen has been painted and whitewashed & otherwise repaired Miss Holt’s parlour, Servants Hall & all the Bedrooms occupied by them [the Holt sisters] & by the servants have been painted, papered and whitewashed’. This was the first work to have been undertaken in the house for over 14 years and the rooms occupied by the Misses Holt were in quite a state. After attending a lecture on public health earlier in the year, Hathorn was convinced that ‘the cleanliness of the habitation the more necessary and important for the preservation of health’.» A late start had been made on the alterations and additions to the hall and good progress made by the end of August 1847. The front door and portico were painted at the same time as the kitchen, but the work was halted before the expected arrival of George Loch so that he ‘should not be annoyed with the smell of the paint’. Four rooms were ready for decorating. Hathorn sought advice on the papers to be chosen. A man had been set on to find a supply of water in the field above the hall. Hathorn was confident that a suitable source would be found and that the pressure would be good enough to carry the water up to the bedrooms. Here, Hathorn probably means the bedroom floor rather than the individual bedrooms. Housemaids would have been expected to fill pitchers “with water and other matters’ in a closet on the landing between the old and new parts of the house. Once the water supply was proved, the pipes could be installed and the painting commence. This would be a considerable improvement; Hathorn had had no running water for three months and had to rely on a well he had dug two years

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was halted when a dispute arose about the cost of the outstanding work. In January 1848, William Wallen had estimated the mason’s work on the new offices at £300 with other costs at £315.°’ This is the first mention of Wallen’s involvement in the project; his plans for the buildings do not appear to have survived. Estimates in March 1848 put the total cost of the work at £712, the discrepancy being accounted for by a higher estimate from Catton, the mason. Wallen explained that since January, ‘the workmen have “struck” and there is now a general demand for an increase of 6d a day for labour’. Furthermore, Wallen noted, the quarry that had been chosen to supply the stone, which was the only source of suitable stone for the job, charged higher rates for its product and, if that were not enough, problems had been found when excavating the foundations, the ground being ‘made’ rather than ‘natural’. Hathorn recommended that the estimates be accepted and the work

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9. Longley Hall, north front. Engraving by Rock & Co. of London, 15 May 1873.

The two gables on the left formed part of the Estate Offices, designed in 1848-9 by William Wallen, enclosing the old Tudor building. The porch by W. H. Crossland was added in 1873 when the whole western side of the Hall was replaced: the ground floor rooms under the two gables to the right were the ante room and the library. Huddersfield Local Studies Library

complained that the ceilings were ‘too expensive and rich’. Wallen disagreed. All the plasterers’ work had been included in the contract and any additional work had been approved. Wallen considered their prices to be fair as there was

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that the ceiling was so black that before it could be whitewashed again, it would have to be papered first. Indeed, the four large front square rooms were in want of being papered and painted throughout as they ‘are hardly fit to receive either Lord Fitzwilliam, Sir John Ramsden or

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week been completely dispelled; for within the last few days a number of painters, paper-hangers, decorators &c. have arrived from London accommodation having in the meantime been provided for them at a neighbouring inn....Were we not convinced to the contrary we should be led to infer that the tradesmen of Huddersfield are not competent to undertake the decoration of these baronial

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of cornice. The walls had been covered with a flock paper mounted on canvas stretched over battens and tacked. The fixings were concealed beneath a gilt moulding or fillet. This was carefully dismantled, the old canvas restored and replaced where necessary before sheets of green and gold paper were applied and the gilt mouldings re-fixed. Paid in September 1850, the account totalled

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to think that any ladies and gentlemen might be encouraged to ‘come up the hill to Longley Hall’ and find them not at

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were to be allocated, and Hathorn had had no say in the decoration and furnishing of the

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Sir John nor any member of the family attended, but it was anticipated that Sir John would become more actively involved in Huddersfield

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position. This had undoubtedly impacted on his career and on his prospects of marriage and family life. Nevertheless, he had ‘become much attached’ to Longley Hall. But he was not too attached and when offered a partnership with a Mr. Chadwick in a public accountancy practice and agency in Manchester, Hathorn accepted, leaving Longley in December 1861. He was succeeded in March 1862 by John Noble who made no mark on the estate or Longley. He retired on 31 October 1864, leaving Hordern to complain that he was away from business for 96 days between 1 January 1864 and 6 August

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general benefit, and mutual convenience be best promoted’.” With this in mind, in August 1865, Burn produced a ground plan showing both elements of the

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room and the waiting room which was ‘sometimes full & under pressure of business Callers’. He did not approve of the proposed siting of the water closets, and was anxious that the surveyors’ office should be located on the south side where it would benefit from the maximum amount of daylight. An alternative might be to move it upstairs into one of the bedrooms, but this was not thought to be as convenient as having all the offices on one floor. Graham did express an interest in the bedrooms above the offices being part of the agent’s

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more changes to the plans for the agent’s house as he did not want the money he had allotted for the works to be exceeded. It was Burn’s assistant William Bunn Colling (1813-1886) who replied. The 77 year-old architect was ‘too unwell to write for himself or give any attention to business’. The working drawings, “which have been thoroughly arranged by Mr. Burn, would be ready in a week when they would be sent to Longley together with specifications in order that estimates could be obtained from local A month later, Burn himself wrote apologising that influenza, bronchitis and lumbago had prevented his working on the drawings and specifications which he had now completed and which he would send to Graham.*! The set of five drawings for the agent’s house, dated May 1866 and now in the archive of Historic England, are either Burn’s office copies or the originals which were never sent.*” They illustrate a roughly ‘L’ shaped two storey addition to the north and east of the extended estate office which had been built in accommodation included a south facing drawing room (18 x 22 feet) with a large bay window, a dining room (18.5 x 22 feet), domestic offices, with cellarage, and upwards of eight bedrooms. Externally plain, the elevations were to be enlivened by tall chimney stacks, gables with kneelers, dormers and the use of dressed stone quoins, window and door frames. Despite Sir John’s haste earlier in the year, these proposals for the agent’s residence were then shelved; there had been another change of plan.

A New Plan

The long-running tenant right case had caused a review of the management of the estate and its leasing practices, necessitating a private Act of Parliament to effect these changes and modify the settlement established by the fourth baronet’s will and subsequent estate acts. John Beasley (1801-1874), the influential agent of the Spencer estate, was commissioned to write a report on the Huddersfield and Almondbury estate, which he presented in 1866. He was adamant that the new estate offices should be built in a central situation in the town and recommended the site of the Cherry Tree Inn.

The agent is necessarily obliged to be in the town if not every day, nearly every day in the week, and sometimes twice a day; he has to see not only the solicitor to the estate, but solicitors to the lessees and other parties, and much time 1s lost on both sides in passing between Longley Hall and the town the cashier has instantly to go to the bank, and probably the assistants in the office reside in the town.*

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At the same time, he did not consider it necessary for the agent’s house to be attached to the offices and, taking his own experience into account, he was of the opinion that it was better if this was not so. The Ramsden Estate Act of 1867 took on board Beasley’s recommendations. If a new Estate Office were erected in a convenient and central situation, “it would be a great convenience to the tenants and occupiers of the [estate], and would materially facilitate the economical and efficient management of the said Estates’. Another clause set out the desirability of erecting a residence for the agent on part of the estate and for the provision of a suitable residence for Sir John William and his successors: ‘the only house upon the said Estate available for that purpose is an old mansion house called Longley Hall, altogether inadequate and unsuitable for the accommodation of the said Sir John William Ramsden and his establishment. Provision was made for the demolition and replacement of Longley or for its re-building commensurate with Sir John’s standing and the value of the Huddersfield estates, in the £,75,000 which the act allowed to be raised for developing the estate. This included £8,000 for the new estate offices and agent’s residence and £10,000 for the mansion at Longley, “with such out-offices, stables, coach houses, outbuildings, gardens and pleasure grounds’ as thought

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the offices of George Gilbert Scott before setting up in practice in Halifax in 1858 and later in Leeds. It may have been his work on local churches which drew him to the attention of Sir John William Ramsden but it seems more than likely that it was his prize-winning designs for Rochdale Town Hall (1864-1871), which enhanced the architect’s reputation nationally, that led to his being commissioned to work on estate projects. By 1869, Crossland had moved to the capital and opened an office in Regent Street in premises once occupied by Scott. In Crossland’s plan for the mansion, which was to provide accommodation for both the agent and Sir John on his occasional visits, Wallen’s estate offices were retained, but with new internal arrangements and changed

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12. Longley Hall after 1873. Ground Plan of W. H. Crossland’s hall of 1871-3 WYAS Kirklees, DD/RA/C/27/6.


13. Longley Hall, (A) North, (B) East, (C) South and (D) West Elevations, 2008 survey by AHR Building Consultancy Ltd. AHR Surveys & Project Archive, 2008-10.

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14. Longley Hall, view of the new south and west fronts from the garden (1871-3), by W. H. Crossland. Huddersfield Local Studies Library

over the years. Constructed 1n coursed Crosland Hill stone, the window and door reveals, mullions, sills, heads, dripstones, storey dressings, gable coping and kneelers are all in ashlar. Tall chimney stacks tower above the varied roofscape of blue slate. This includes a conical roof over the dining room bay on the south front. The asymmetrical entrance north front has a finely detailed porch with ashlar reveals and a semi-circular head adorned with the Ramsden arms, to the right of which stands a semi-circular castellated staircase tower with rising windows. Characteristic of Crossland’s work, he had included similar details in the Estate Buildings and Rochdale Town Hall. Graham was to claim that as the whole was very plain he had directed the adding of a string course similar to that in the old building and also label moulding over the

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Sir John was closely monitoring the project. Crossland, who was now working on the Byram Buildings as well as the Holloway Sanatorium at Egham, was sometimes late in providing up-to-date figures. Graham received numerous complaints. Sir John was answerable to his trustees for the £50,000 which had been raised under the terms of the 1867 Estate Act. Until he knew the full extent to which he was committed by the re-building of Longley, he could not raise the remainder of the authorized loan, and to cover the shortfall in the meantime he had no other option but to raise money on his own account.” Crossland’s clerk, A.J. Taylor, spent a month working on the accounts of the various building projects, allowing Graham to produce a statement of liabilities in November 1873. These included £562-5-10 of ordinary expenditure relating to Longley and extraordinary expenditure of

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With the house almost ready for occupation, a consignment of furniture arrived on 18 January 1873,” and Sir John wrote to Graham setting out his intentions for the use of the rooms:

The drawing room and the rooms over it & the room over the dining room, I reserve exclusively for Lady Guendolen & myself. The two sitting rooms [that is, the library and ante room| adjoining the Drawing room, I make over to you, and you are welcome to use the Dining room in our absence. I also make over to you the 4 bedrooms over the East end of the House, the two remaining bedrooms at the top of the front staircase, I should wish to have available in case I bring any guests with me, but you are welcome to use them occasionally for any visitors

of your own.'””

Graham does not appear to have raised any objections to these arrangements and since Sir John’s visits were fairly infrequent and of short duration, they were of no great inconvenience. With the marriage of Major Graham to Frances Mary Smith in September 1874, Longley became a family home once more. By 1881, the Grahams had three sons and a daughter, and their household included Mrs. Graham’s mother, a nurse (the youngest child was only seven months old) and two housemaids.'’' This happy existence was to be short- lived; Major Graham died suddenly, aged 51, on 16 March 1885.' Sir John reassured Mrs. Graham that she could stay at Longley for as long as she needed, but in due course she had to make way for her husband’s successor. Frederick William Beadon (1853-1933) was appointed in June and was soon taking part in public meetings and fulfilling his professional duties, though this was not soon enough for Isaac Hordern who complained of it being an arduous time for him as the new agent did not get to work soon Previously agent to Sir William Eden of Windlestone Hall, Co. Durham, Beadon was already married. His family was to grow up at Longley where they lived until the sale of the estate in 1920. Major Beadon then moved to Byram where he oversaw the dismemberment and sale of that estate.'* During his 35-year tenure of Longley Hall, there were no major changes. Mains drainage arrived in 1889 following a diphtheria scare which the Beadons’ second daughter

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chimney piece, Tapestry Room, Muncaster Castle, removed from Longley New Hall, 1920. Muncaster Castle

for Longley — his interests lay further afield — but he did inherit his father’s enthusiasm for family history. On one of his infrequent visits he found a portrait of the first baronet which he had removed to

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Specifically excluded from the sale was Longley Old Hall, which was considered to be the family’s ancestral home, and which his father had ‘restored’ in 1885. From being the house of one of the richest families in the community, in the words of G. S. Phillips, it had become ‘a poor and naked

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16. Longley Old Hall, interior, showing the board with the text from 1 Peter, chapter

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14 15 16

17 18 19 20 21 22

23 24 25

26 27 28




32 33 34 35 36

37 38 39 40 41 42


Hulbert (1882), pp.231-2 DD/RE/S/4, Survey and Map of the Manor of Almondbury, Timothy Oldfield, 1716. Giles (1986), pp. 48-105. Redmonds (1982), pp.7—11;Tolson (1929),

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51 52

53 54 55 56


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63 64 65 66 67 68


70 71 72 73

DD/RA/C/56, Hathorn to Loch, 30 January 1849. DD/RE/C/72, Hathorn to Loch, 18 May 1850. DD/RE/C/72, Isabella Ramsden to Loch, May 1850. See chapter 3. HC, 15 June 1859. DD/RA/C/73, Sir John William Ramsden [JWR] to Loch, 20 June 1850. WYL/109/58/3, Paid Bills, 1850. Duppa & Collins, 25 March 1850. Paid 21 September 1850; DD/RE/C/65, Hathorn to Loch, 10 October 1849; DD/RE/C/72, Hathorn to Loch, 8 May 1850; DD/RE/C/72, Hathorn to Loch, 18 May 1850; DD/ RE/C/72, Hathorn to Loch, 24 May1850; DD/RE/C/73, Hathorn to Loch, 8 June 1850; DD/RE/C/73, Hathorn to Loch, 21 June 1850; DD/RE/C/73, Hathorn to Loch, 1 July 1850; and DD/RE/C/75, Hathorn to Loch, 19 August 1850; DD/ RE/C/75. Loch to Isabella Ramsden, November 1849 quoted in Dennis Whomsley, ‘Sir John

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74 75 76 77 78 79 80

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106 107 108 109




113 114

DD/RE/C/21/9, EW. Beadon to JWR, 24 August 1889; 11 September and 16 September 1889. DD/RE/C/21/5, Beadon to JWR, 1 October 1889. DD/RA/30, Beadon to JWR, 3 March 1914 and 3 July 1914. DD/RA/30, Beadon to JWR, 9 April 1914.

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The Ramsdens and the Public Realm in Huddersfield, 1671-1920



TO A WELL-INFORMED visitor standing at Huddersfield’s market cross today, a century after the Ramsdens sold their Huddersfield estate, their impact on the townscape remains inescapable. The market cross itself, topped by the family arms, records the grant of market rights to John Ramsden (later the first baronet) in

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of Huddersfield as a municipal borough in 1868, Sir John William Ramsden continued to assert that ‘the Town of Huddersfield is almost entirely built upon portions of his estates’, and successive Huddersfield Corporation Acts down to 1897 continued to reserve his rights as lord of the manor. The estate’s own claims have often been echoed in the national historiography. In his comparative study, Lords and Landlords, David Cannadine suggested that Huddersfield was unique in England in having ‘one family in such a position of predominant territorial power’; that the small, single-member 1832 constituency ‘amounted initially to a nomination borough’; and that ‘local government remained almost entirely in their hands until the passing of the Huddersfield Improvement Act in 1848’.° Similarly, Norman Gash claimed that Huddersfield, ‘without coming quite into the category of proprietary boroughs was sufficiently under the control of Sir John Ramsden to defy the efforts of radicals and tories to capture the seat’.* Scholars who have undertaken more detailed local studies have been a little more sceptical. Jane Springett, in her extensive work on land ownership, concluded that ‘Contrary to the opinions of many contemporary observers, the Ramsden estate did not at any time enjoy an absolute monopoly in land’.° Similarly, Vivienne Hemingway found ‘little evidence that Huddersfield was a nomination borough in the hands of the Ramsden family’, though that did not mean that early parliamentary elections were free of undue pressure or corrupt practices.° This chapter will assess the Ramsden influence on the public realm of the town. It will identify a succession of periods characterised by difterent relationships between the estate and the town, and the turning points between these.Within each period, attention will be given to three dimensions: the extent and location of Ramsden land ownership; the institutions of town governance; and the development of public facilities and the role played by the estate in their development, whether directly or through the governing institutions.

The long eighteenth century: developmental fits and starts’

In acquiring the town’s market rights in 1671,1it has been Ramsden may have been looking to the long-term development of the town as a trading centre’, as well as securing a new source of income for the estate.® If so, it was indeed a long-term ambition: it would be the best part of a century before the estate took further initiatives towards economic development and urban planning. During this period, the town remained tiny by later standards — the estimated township population increasing from about 1,000 in 1716 to 3,000 in 1778? - and the estate took little interest in the facilities it offered.

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The claimed ownership of ‘all but one house’ takes a popular if apocryphal form in a tale related by generations of local historians, and appearing in many versions. The house in question was owned by one Thomas Firth, and the local historian, G. W. Tomlinson, set the tale down thus:

It would be impossible to speak of Mr [Thomas] Firth without allusion to his sharp, practical shrewdness spiced with a flavour of wit. The story about the cottage at the low side of the church-yard which belonged to him is a case in

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in the central area where Huddersfield’s urban public realm developed, the Ramsden estate was overwhelmingly the dominant landowner.


Until 1820, the town was governed by the typical English triad of manor, parish and county magistrates. The estate’s direct role was thus through the civil and minor criminal jurisdiction of the manorial court leet. This met at Almondbury at least annually to appoint its traditional officers, including the constable, who was ‘head of the town’, and to prosecute a range of nuisances. A dozen or more jurors, recruited from the gentlemen and ‘middling sort’ of the town, were convened by the estate steward, invariably a local lawyer. It seems unlikely that successive lords of the manor took much interest in this low-level regulatory activity. They did, however, have other channels of influence at their disposal. The parish vestry retained its Elizabethan jurisdiction over highways and the poor law, and the Ramsdens had held the nomination rights to the parish church, St Peter’s, since 1546; the vicar, in turn, had the right to appoint one of two churchwardens, whose duties had a significant secular dimension. I have found no evidence of the Ramsdens seeking direct influence in the affairs of the vestry. Ata higher level again, as major landowners the Ramsdens were of course well-connected in county society. Their acquisition of Byram around 1632 was partly prompted by its proximity and ready access to York, and from the eighteenth century successive links by marriage to the Earls Fitzwilliam, often Lords Lieutenant of the West Riding, would have afforded opportunities to influence the appointment of magistrates to the county bench and thus to the Huddersfield petty sessions. There 1s certainly evidence of such influence being exercised by the fifth baronet later in the nineteenth and the opportunity would have been available long before that. The magistrates had the oversight of all local matters, including appointments by the vestry of highways and poor law officials, and would have been an obvious focus for the exercise of influence.


With these territorial and institutional powers at their disposal, what part did the estate take in this period in the development of the town’s economic infrastructure and social facilities? For a century after they had acquired the market rights, the answer is only a very small part. Two exceptions should be mentioned. In 1681 land was given for a grammar school at Seed Hill (near Shore Head), which had 20 pupils in 1743, although by 1819 it had been ‘allowed to deteriorate into an elementary school of the

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National [i.e. Anglican] type’.'® In 1743 a waterworks was established: water was extracted from the river at Engine Bridge and pumped to a small reservoir at the top of the town, whence it was made available to the town through wooden pipes. The water was of course unfiltered — though the river was no doubt much cleaner than it would be a century later — and the pipes such that on one occasion they were reportedly blocked by a large trout."’ The turn towards economic development came in the early 1760s, late in the life of Sir John Ramsden (1698-1769), third baronet. He it was who decided to build the Cloth Hall, a principal feature of the town from its opening in 1766, through enlargements in 1780 and 1864, to its demolition in 1930. It provided a covered market for cloth in place of open stalls in and around the Market Place and parish churchyard. Its economic significance has been summarised thus:

The Cloth Hall made Huddersfield a mart where business was done not only in wool and cloth, but in all that related to them; and it was done at inns, or up inn-yards, at street corners and in warehouses, as well as at the Cloth Hall. Nor is that all. A market town develops the mercantile side in place of the manufacturing, and it becomes a centre for allied and subsidiary trades. So banks and warehouses clustered around the Cloth Hall all the many dressing shops and dyehouses were concentrated in the town, and it was the headquarters of the packers and the carriers, by waggon or canal, as

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18. Sir John Ramsden, 4th Bt (1755-1839). Muncaster Castle

the third baronet, it almost certainly was executed by his experienced brother Thomas’.* If he is right — documentary evidence is lacking — then this should be judged a significant contribution by the estate to the public realm. The 1789 Act’s new roads were on open land, but the development of the first town centre grid was soon to comprised New St, Cloth Hall St and King St, all apparently laid out between about 1797 and 1807.” As well as town houses, the development included the Brick Buildings on New St, with accommodation above shops, and the expansion and relocation of a butchers’ shambles and slaughterhouse, first established by the estate around

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19. Market Place, looking towards Kirkgate/Westgate, with the old George Inn (centre). Kirklees Image Archive

20. Ramsden estate map (1778) — town centre street map of Georgian Huddersfield.

At this time Huddersfield was virtually a one-street town extending along the line of the modern Westgate and Kirkgate. The Parish Church (A) and the Market Place (B) are central and the new Cloth Hall (C) prominent to the left. West Yorkshire Archive Service, Kirklees

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Early 19" century passivity

The next period, from the 1810s until the mid-1840s, was to be quite different, with the estate taking a much more passive approach, to the point of neglect, while urban conditions moved towards crisis point. This was down to the personalities and capabilities of the lord of the manor and his agents. The fourth baronet had deferred to his uncle Thomas’s leadership of estate affairs even after coming of age in

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in 1820, the Commissioners of Lighting, Watching & Cleansing (CLWC). Established by Act of Parliament, their eponymous responsibilities ran only 1200 yards from the market cross, within the township of Huddersfield — which radius included portions of Fartown and Marsh hamlets as well as Huddersfield itself. For this small tract, the Act named 59 Commissioners to act, including Sir John Ramsden, his four sons and John Bower. Vacancies were to be filled by co-option, subject to Sir John’s approval. Presumably he therefore had the right of veto over the initial appointments too, so the CLWC could have been shaped as an instrument of Ramsden control over urban management. In practice this opportunity was not taken. No Ramsden, nor Bower, ever attended a CLWC meeting. Two other men sometimes described as Ramsden agents, Bradley Clay (a canal agent) and James Booth, were active early Commissioners, and Sir John took their advice in filling vacancies in 1823 (which happened only twice in 28 years), but there is no evidence in the minutes of any active relationship between the CLWC and the estate.*? Moreover, the court leet continued to operate in parallel, notably in January 1832 when, at the height of the first cholera epidemic, 22 cases of sanitary infractions were

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by 263 to 152 in a riotous first election.*° This was despite Ramsden’s quite ‘advanced’ Whig views: he had supported Parliamentary reform and resigned as a deputy lieutenant in 1819 in protest when Earl Fitzwilliam was dismissed from the lieutenancy for supporting an inquiry into the Peterloo massacre. On the other hand, he was for free trade and against the ten hours campaign, setting him against Huddersfield’s radicals.°’ These events illuminate the limits of Ramsden influence. As mentioned earlier, Hemingway’s close local study of parliamentary politics led her to challenge Cannadine’s judgement that Huddersfield was a ‘nomination borough’, and the spurning of Ramsden’s candidacy bears this out. A similar point applies to local government. Katrina Navickas has argued that ‘In many of the towns and villages in Lancashire and the West Riding that were dominated by one or two master manufacturers or major landowners, such as Halifax and Huddersfield, it was much harder for oppositional groups to gain a foothold in local

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Nonetheless this period, and particularly the decade or so from 1827, did see a significant extension of the town’s urban facilities. The new waterworks of 1828 was quickly followed by the Infirmary, which opened in 1831 and, in 1837-8, by the Guild Hall and Philosophical Hall. The former became home to the county magistrates, the latter included a news room and lending library, and both offered large halls for public meetings and other events. These were among the buildings which led Engels to salute Huddersfield as ‘the handsomest by far’ of the Pennine factory towns.** Together with the town and county police stations and lockups, and later county court building, they formed a rudimentary civic quarter around Ramsden St.* But these were all independent initiatives: the estate was not involved. Moreover, it sometimes actively resisted initiatives from other

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petition was raised against the L & Y proposal and a public meeting convened, from which estate steward, J. C. Fenton, reported on 23 February that:

the Huddersfield people are determined that they will have a railway great numbers signed the petition with the intention of throwing out the obnoxious branch but in the expectation that an advantageous railway communication be brought forward without

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found that his office “smelt overpoweringly of snuff and spirits’, and that the accounting system was ‘very rude and imperfect’. Bower’s visits to the town, he was told, had amounted to no more than two to three weeks each year. Within a week of the visit, Loch’s conclusions and recommendations were encapsulated in a 21-page report to the trustees; they amounted to a complete reversal of three decades of neglect of the town’s potential.” As noted earlier, Whomsley suggested that Thomas Ramsden had pursued an integrated development strategy in the 1780s. Whether nor not that was the

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over Loch and the trustees, and the result was one of the finest public spaces in the north of

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22. Railway Station

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works; the local magistrates and other “principal inhabitants’; and Loch and Hathorn, supported by the

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1862-8, only the solicitor T. H. Battye, remained in post; his appointment in 1861 had followed considerable difficulty in finding anyone willing to

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was proposed for the courts, HIC, HWC, Board of Guardians and overseers of the poor, all scattered around the town in varied premises, almost none of them purpose-built.”° At this point Hathorn and Loch became interested, recognising that it would be in the estate’s interest to have a prestigious building with reliable tenants on a vacant site opposite their new George Hotel.”’ The fifth baronet was nearing the age of majority and the trustees and agents were increasingly seeking his views. On this issue as on many others throughout his 60-year ‘reign’ as lord of the manor, he expressed an ambivalence — or attempt to have things both ways. As reported by Loch, Ramsden “expressed a perfect willingness to go into it’ and indeed wished ‘quietly and as a matter of course to take the entire lead, so far as the design and arrangements of the building are concerned’; Hathorn was to inquire what was needed, but be ‘very careful not to say anything that will commit Sir John to any pecuniary

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appointed the vicars, for assistance — but apparently received no response from Five years went by, with conditions deteriorating, while efforts to find a solution without Ramsden support made no progress, largely because of tensions between Anglicans and Nonconformists. In January 1847 Bateman tried again and Loch responded immediately. Although he found it ‘a matter of wonder and regret that sectarian jealousies and differences should have so

long thrown impediments 1n the way of remedies that have been proposed [T]he horrors of the Church Yard however are so dreadful that I do think the Trustees would do well to entertain the request now made of them’.® Initially a site at Hillhouse was proposed, linked to the trustees’ endowment of St John’s Church on the newly acquired Bay Hall

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through Ramsden’s own motivation and found expression in his characteristic

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acquisitions of the Clough House estate in 1858, Springwood in 1861 [see p.

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The growing town also lacked a public park. Instead Edgerton Cemetery became a place of recreation: the large numbers walking its carefully laid out paths on Sundays in particular necessitated the appointment of keepers to ensure that order and decorum were maintained.’’ However, it emerged in August 1858 that the 32-acre Springwood estate was about to come to

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Springwood was bought by the Ramsdens anyway, for £20,000, in November 1861. This meant that they now controlled a complete arc of largely undeveloped land from the railway at Springwood through Greenhead and New North Rd to their St John’s Church at Bay Hall, Birkby, offering ample opportunity for residential development on the favoured north- western slopes of the town. In 1862-3 Ramsden and his agents sought to develop a master plan for the area, taking advice from London architect, William Habershon, and from the London builder (and Lord Mayor), William Had these plans gone ahead they would have been a town planning achievement to rank alongside the Georgian grid and Victorian new town, albeit in a suburban mode. But they did not: still limited to 99-year leases, the estate could not compete with the development of nearby Edgerton as the premier suburb, using 999-year leases from other landlords, especially the Thornhill estate. A final light is shed on this period by the extraordinary six-page letter from Ramsden to Nelson late in 1859, quoted in chapter 1.'°* The immediate cause was the decision that Ramsden himself, rather than Nelson, should preside at the forthcoming annual rent dinner for his tenants; but a much wider point was made which confirms the view of Ramsden’s biographer that

Jack was not an easy man to work with. Even with members of his team in whom he retained total confidence, he could rarely resist excessive micro-management, seeking to know, record and be involved in every detail of every decision taken.'”

Reading between the lines, however, it seems unlikely that Nelson had his ‘total confidence’; and the vastly experienced Hathorn was to leave in 1862. In summary, this period was characterised by a slowed pace of land acquisition; limited contributions to the public realm; and a diminished interest in the HIC and town governance. Instead the lord of the manor and his agents turned their attention to the ’micro-management’ of residential development, but only at the end of the period cleared away the last of the legal obstacles that stood in their way. The departure of experienced trustees and agents, and Ramsden’s own personality and inexperience, played their part in shaping this less ‘heroic’ period.

1867-70: The world turned upside down?

So far we have examined three major developmental episodes - the 1760s/1770s, the turn of the

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balance, with the estate forced to respond to a major upheaval in governance initiated from the ‘town’.


By 1867 there was a gathering consensus that the 1848 settlement was no longer fit for purpose. The town had spread far beyond the 1200-yard radius, but the 1848 Act’s power of extension had never been pursued. Instead no fewer than eight local boards had been established

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At one time or another Sir John sought reassurance of continuity on all these issues, though some proved trickier than others. Market rights were a major bone of contention for the next decade [see p. 72]. The court leet survived until 1896, though latterly with purely honorific functions graced by an annual dinner, and the appointment of a constable continued at least until 1893; a proposal for the Mayor to hold the post ex officio was declined by the first incumbent, C. H. Jones, and not

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Alongside the incorporation negotiations of 1867-8, the estate completed the reform of its tenure arrangements through the 1867 Ramsden Estate Act which, by authorising 999-year leases, removed the last barrier to the estate acting as an ‘economically rational’ property developer. Its role as lord of the manor, by contrast, was becoming increasingly anachronistic. The last annual rent audit dinner for the estate’s tenants, which Ramsden had been so keen to attend personally in 1859, took place in Ramsden had recognised by then, the dinners

are not suited to the present condition of the estate. In fact that both the Town and the estate have outgrown

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of up to £12,000. Crossland was then commissioned to design a market hall on a site bounded by King St, Cross Church St and Kirkgate (essentially where the Kingsgate shopping centre is today). He produced a block plan and an itemised estimate of £33,244, though no detailed designs have come to Clearly the estimate was far more than the authorised funding and the proposal went no further. The second outstanding issue concerned the town’s premier public space, St George’s Square. Like almost all the town centre, this was owned by the estate. It had not been adopted as a public street by the HIC. In the 1850s an ‘ornamental centrepiece’ had been planned, but no designs had been produced to Ramsden’s satisfaction, and the space had been left for ‘open air meetings at elections and other like purposes’.''” It was therefore open to the estate to enclose the space, and in 1866 designs to fence it in had been drawn up by Graham but not taken forward. With the advent of the Corporation, Ramsden saw an opportunity for a different solution to what had perhaps become an embarrassment. The state of the Square, Graham wrote at one point, was ‘a disgrace to the town’, and in April 1870 the land was offered to the Corporation provided that they paved it and on condition that the estate’s permission would still be required to erect anything there. The issue remained unresolved in 1872, when it became embroiled in controversy about a proposed statue of Sir Robert Peel [see pp. 73-4].

1870-1910: a long withdrawing roar?

In his comparative analysis of ‘lords and landlords’, David Cannadine suggests that the last two (of six) phases of the relationship between landed proprietors and ‘their’ towns in the late-19th and early-20th centuries were ‘ornamental impotence’ followed by ‘territorial abdication’.''® In the Ramsden case, this latter was reached in

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open a footpath through his land they very respectfully asked Sir John, through his agent, for his permission. Members of the Ramsden family were frequently invited to open a new building or bridge, which would often take a family name, and were always asked in the politest and formal terms, with great gratitude expressed when the family agreed.'*!

But cordiality was accompanied by a hard-headed defence of estate interests and equally by a zealous assertion of the Corporation’s independence.


The April 1868 agreement to incorporate a ‘saving clause’ in future local Acts was activated in 1871 when the Corporation put forward a 463-clause Bill establishing new powers, going far beyond those inherited from the HIC and the local Boards to cover street works, sewers and lighting; building regulations and licensing; smoke control and a fire brigade (established 1n 1872); parks, baths and libraries; and the erection of a town hall. The estate’s greatest immediate concern was with its market rights. Its motives seem (as so often) to have been mixed. As Graham later recalled to town clerk Joseph Batley, ‘Sir John Ramsden himself was averse to alienating the Fairs and Markets, and only consented to do so in order to meet the wishes of the Corporation’. In 1871, therefore, he had renewed his proposal to build a covered market and offered to lease it, with the rights, for 21 years and then to sell the freehold. A corporation deputation to Byram on 7 February failed to resolve the issue, and the Corporation then sought to include compulsory purchase in the Bill before Parliament, which the estate believed violated the saving clause. They prevailed in the Lords and ‘even more emphatically’ in the Commons, and at the end of June Graham could telegraph Ramsden to report that ‘the whole of the Markets Clauses thrown

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The negotiations over market rights were paralleled over the same years by the Corporation’s attempts to buy around half of the Greenhead estate in order to create Greenhead Park. Unlike the markets, and despite their opportunistic Springwood initiative, the Ramsdens had no inherent interest in that quintessential piece of Victorian public realm, the public park.The land they held at Greenhead was a prime residential site, which they had owned since 1848 and were now well-placed to develop. Plans to do so were noticed at the estate office by Alderman Thomas Denham in 1869; he resolved that the land should instead be ‘secured for the town’ and soon persuaded the Corporation to adopt the proposal. From that point it took 12 years of on- off negotiations before the town finally acquired a park of 30 acres, half the size envisaged by Denham, in 1881. Once again, Ramsden was torn between the prospect of more lucrative development and the reputational benefit of a generous gesture towards the town. Eventually, in a reprise of the ‘cashback’ arrangement adopted at the cemetery and proposed for Springwood, the Corporation paid the estate £27,533-17-6, representing £30,000 for 30 acres, plus interest at 5% since 1878, when terms had been agreed, less a donation from Sir John of The estate then lost no time in capitalising on the splendid residential sites overlooking the new Park. As a report of the opening

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the statue in the Square. This was a serious faux pas. Receiving the news, Ramsden responded that ‘I object very decidedly as you know to the use of the Square for such a purpose’, that the usage of the Square remained in his gift, not the Corporation’s, and that his London lawyer Wynne was to be

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had the most acrimonious disagreement with Sir John Ramsden as he and the members of the Town Council sought to build a Town Hall in Princess Street — a site leased from the Ramsden estate. Sir John Ramsden supported by other leading influential local property owners was totally opposed to the proposals and refused to co-operate in any way with the Council. The dispute was so intense that Joseph declared to the

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and in 1887 had offered a floor of Somerset Buildings rent-free for a library and art gallery, though the Corporation — pioneering 1n many areas but laggardly on this front — had not taken it

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certain districts are set aside for certain purposes. The centre of the Town is devoted to Shops and Warehouses, and the vacant land 1s reserved for future extensions of these. The lowlying land between the River and the Canal is allotted to mills and manufacturing premises, and their future extensions — other parts are residential and set apart for private houses of various sizes and

There is nothing here to challenge David Cannadine’s argument that ‘for all [the Ramsdens’| tight legal control, the zoning pattern remained primarily influenced by topography’.'* The real purpose of the submission, however, was to resist proposals for the taxation of vacant land. Considerable land, it argued, had been bought, sewered and paved by the estate for which there was as yet no great demand; but when there was, values would rise and ratepayers would benefit, so there was no detriment from holding it vacant meanwhile. But perhaps this long-term view had now gone far enough, for it was at about the same time that the estate’s 40-year campaign of land purchase came to an end. And while Graham in 1880 had described Ramsden as ‘a very

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though still owning half the town’s land, the estate behaved increasingly as a rational but short-termist rentier, in a sense returning to its early 19th- century outlook.

1910-20: the last goodbye

On 31 March 1910 Ramsden made over the Huddersfield estate to his son John Frecheville Ramsden (1877-1958) — as he put it, he had ’abdicated in his

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Country Planning Act encouraged a change of heart. Ironically, at this point, after decades of declining influence, it appears that the Ramsden estate decided to take the initiattve and goad the Corporation into action. A site on Oldgate was identified and plans drawn up by K. F Campbell, the Borough Engineer, acting for the Ramsden estate, were approved by the Council on 15 February 1911. Less than a year later the Ramsden tenements, Huddersfield’s first, were

As well as the town centre tenements, Sir John Frecheville was also ‘interested to hear that a scheme for a Garden City has been brought forward’ — in Dalton — and was ‘anxious to do all in my power to help it on’. He was willing to sell land to the promoters at £250/acre (a quarter of his father’s price for Greenhead Park 30 years earlier), noting that out-of-town development was good for the estate. Hearing that Beadon was to visit a garden city development in Liverpool, he was keen to come too.'** Shortly afterwards a plan was drawn up for a new garden suburb on land adjoining Edgerton cemetery, between Highfields and St John’s church, in a return to the unrealised residential master plans of the 1860s. Once again nothing came of this and indeed another century was to pass before any part of the site was taken for housing. Whether Sir John and his agents could have brought more of these plans to fruition, had war not intervened, cannot be known. In the judgement of Meriel Buxton, it seems unlikely:

There can have been few less propitious moments in British history than 1914 for a business empire, which essentially was what the Ramsden estates had become, to pass from the control of a man who

enjoys making money to one whose sole interest is in spending

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the town’ throughout the period, however, the most vigorous growth was from the 1840s to the 1880s, and especially after 1868. Second, there is a cyclical pattern to the estate’s development of the town’s facilities. The market rights were acquired in 1671; the Cloth Hall and Canal established in the 1760s and 1770s, followed by the Georgian town centre; the railway-based new town developed from the late 1840s. Between and beyond these developmental episodes were long periods of retreat from active engagement in town affairs. Third, there is a long-term shift from a paternalistic to a more commercial relationship to the town, but this was not a simple transition: the elements were intertwined over a long period. Fourth, these trends interacted to produce a succession of different institutional settlements for the governance of the town. The Ramsdens were always a player in these, and particularly in the case of the 1848 Improvement Commissioners. Paradoxically, however, the HIC’s establishment also evidenced the emergence of an independent middle-class civic politics which had been somewhat retarded by the strength of the Ramsden interest, but which now came to challenge it. From 1868 the estate’s rise as a landowner was accompanied by its ejection from formal governance, leaving a complex relationship with the new municipal authority. Fifth, the estate’s political grip on the town has been exaggerated. There was always room for independent radical politics, the estate’s policies were often strongly contested, and Huddersfield was never a ‘pocket borough’. The estate often worked through alliances with other forces, notably the town’s leading merchants. These were often Tories: the Ramsdens, Whigs and Liberals themselves (at least until the 1880s), were always pragmatic about their local allies. Finally, although long-term historical trends were at work, the impact of personalities is striking. The third and fifth baronets had more in common with each other than with the fourth, during whose later years the town languished. Agents were equally diverse in their approaches; and two periods of trusteeship, led by strong family figures, were important in initiating the key developmental episodes. As always, the interplay of personality and circumstance turns out to be the stuff of history.


For comments on an earlier draft, I am grateful to Brian Haigh, John Halstead, Cyril Pearce and the editor. Dennis Whomsley’s work, much of it unpublished, has been indispensable. Any remaining errors or misjudgements are of course solely my own.

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1 Journal of the House of Commons, xxxiii, 414. KC311/18/13, Township Papers, Huddersfield: Report on the Borough of Huddersfield; with a Description of the Proposed Boundary. 3 Cannadine (1980), p.42. Huddersfield was not one of his detailed case studies, but his later point, that ‘we still await a study which deliberately and self-consciously investigates the position of the Ramsdens in the public life of the town’ (Cannadine (1982), p.12), is one inspiration for this chapter. 4 Gash (1953), p.xi. 5 Springett (1982),

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25 26 27 28

29 30 31

32 33 34 35 36 37 38 39 40 41 42 43

44 45 46 A7 48 49

50 51 52

53 54 55

56 57 58

Girouard (1990), p.180. Whomsley, ‘1769-1839’, p.15 and (1984), p.35. Whomsley (1984), p.31; indeed Thomas had appointed him, in 1769. In 1818 Bower was involved in ‘several overlapping enclosures which may well have slowed up the process’ of the Shipley enclosure, where he was commissioner: Coomber (2017), pp.

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59 60 61 62 63 64 65

66 67



70 71 72 73 74 75

76 77 78 79 80

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93 94


96 97

98 99 100 101 102 103 104 105 106 107 108

109 110 111 112 113 114 115

116 117

118 119 120 121 122 123 124

125 126

See chapter 3. DD/RE/C/62, Hathorn to Loch, 27/8/49; Law (1992), p.68, referencing DD/ RE/C/90. See also below, p. 166. KMT18/2/3/12/1, Minutes of the HIC Market Tolls (Special) Committee, 16 June 1852. Law (1992), pp.80-1. I am grateful to Brian Haigh for this point. Interestingly HIC Chair Joseph Brook had noted in 1850 a ‘strong desire in the public mind for a recreation ground and public gardens’, but argued that a well-done cemetery would meet this (DD/RE/C/79, 12 December 1850). The account of this episode summarises Griffiths (2011c), pp.16-25. HC, 28 August 1858. Springwood Hall was a Georgian mansion of c.1805. DD/RA/11, Nelson to Ramsden, 1 September 1858. HC, 8 January 1859. KMT9/17/1, Draft HIC Park Committee minute, 17 November 1858. DD/RA/C/41/1, 1862. See above, p. 23. Buxton (2017), p.187. These events are detailed in Griffiths (2018). DD/RA/C/35/10 — the source for all quotations in this section unless otherwise stated. HC, 14 November 1868, 30 October 1869, 28 October 1893; DD/AH/2. In the 1860s it had become customary for the HIC chair to serve as constable. Ramsden’s letter of concession was printed in full in HC, 22 June 1867. The agreement is set out in DD/RE/198. DD/RA/C/26/4, Ramsden to Graham, 1 April 1870. S. Chadwick, HDE, 23 July 1968. For Longley Hall see chapter 1, pp. 27-34. Hordern, ‘Notes’, 1870, p. 89. See Pearce (2018) for details. KMT18/2/2/1, HIC minute, 3 October 1866; DD/RE/198, Nelson to Ramsden, 5 October 1866, Ramsden to Nelson, 8 October 1866, Nelson to Ramsden, 13 October 1866. DD/RA/C/26/1, 6/5/69. This and other details in this paragraph are from a memo by Graham and accompanying bundle of correspondence, in connection with the 1876 Huddersfield Improvement Bill (see below), DD/RA/C/vol III. One design was in Gothic style by W. H. Crossland (DD/RE/49). Cannadine (1980), p.59. See Chapters 6 and 7. DD/RA/C/35/10. Evans (2018), p.91. DD/RA/C/33/14, 7 February 1871, 27 June 1871; DD/RE/198, 31 May 1873 HC, 22 February 1871. Wright Mellor was a cloth merchant and a long-term ally of Ramsden and his moderate Liberalism. In 1860 he had been party to manoeuvres by Ramsden to provide covert financial backing to the Examiner, the town’s Liberal newspaper [see chapter 3, pp. 103,108] DD/RE/198; DD/RA/C/15/2. DD/RA/1(11), 29 June 1877; DD/RA/15(5). For further details, see Griffiths (2011b).

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127 128

129 130 131

132 133

134 135 136 137 138


140 141 142

143 144 145 146

147 148

149 150 151 152 153 154 155 156


Huddersfield Weekly News, 4 October 1884. This summary is adapted, with thanks, from unpublished notes by Christopher Marsden, ‘Aspects of Victorian St George’s Square and Huddersfield’ (2013). DD/RA/C/26/4, Ramsden to Tomlinson, 11 May 1870. DD/RA/C/vol

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The Ramsden Estate Dispute of 1850-1867




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overturned in May 1866 on appeal to the House of Lords in Ramsden v. Dyson. The opposition to Ramsden indicated its complete capitulation on 20 December 1866, so concluding the dispute. Sir John William, it seemed, had won complete victory. But there was a coda. Sir John William decided to apply to Parliament for a new Ramsden Estate Act in 1867, which would give him the power to grant 999-year leases.

The Neglect of the Estate

The Ramsdens were absentee landlords who employed absentee agents.' The Huddersfield agent to 1816 was John Crowder of Brotherton. Until his first recorded lease issue of 1780 the land would have been let without lease. These early leases were for 60 years, renewable at twenty-year intervals on payment of the renewal ‘fine’ and regular payment of rent. Such leases, issued by Crowder up to his death in 1816, sharply declined thereafter due to a change in the method for calculating the renewal fine. During this thirty-six year period, however, leases only applied to a portion of the land. The bulk continued to be let without lease, a practice followed almost exclusively by Crowder’s successor, John Bower. After the fourth baronet’s death in 1839 Bower continued to serve the Trustees until his own death on 7 May 1844.This then prompted the Trustees to commission George Loch to visit the Huddersfield estate and make recommendations concerning its future management. Loch reported on 6 June, detailing the shortcomings of the previous administration.* Bower had visited only twice a year and had more business to attend to than he could get through during his stay. He drew up all the leases, but with charges and delays in completion which sometimes lasted years. Applications had been made to a sub-agent, the surveyor Thomas Dinsley, who set the price of the land, but to get favourable consideration the applicants treated Dinsley to a drink at the public house of Joseph Brook, another sub-agent, who after a year or two fixed the rent. There was no general plan for setting off land for buildings and there was no consistency in requiring leases. People not infrequently erected buildings on land occupied without any lease, or any communication with the estate management. These

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keeping of books, the appointment of a competent local agent and reporting to a London auditor.

Loch’s actions to secure the landlord’s interest

The Trustees responded to Loch’s report by appointing him to oversee Huddersfield, while retaining his position on the Bridgewater Estates at Manchester.* A fellow Scot, Alexander Hathorn (1815-1892), was appointed under him to be resident at Huddersfield, commencing early in October. Loch’s first move on the tenure question — of uncertain date but apparently by mid- June 1845 — was to require new applicants for non-lease tenures to sign a paper acknowledging they were tenants-at-will, holding the land at such rents as the Trustees might think proper to fix. The position of the old tenants without leases remained a problem which Loch hesitated to address because action to secure the Trustees’ legal position might ‘arrest the increasing prosperity of the estate and alienate the feelings and goodwill of the whole population’. The remark proved prescient, though this first step did not create alarm. Loch’s second action on land tenure was to make a small addition in April 1850 to the rental of each non-lease tenancy when a transfer was made. Despite Loch’s fear in 1845 that further action might have a deleterious effect, by 1850 he appears to have decided that continued hesitation would be dangerous: ‘as regards the value of buildings erected’, tenants might be successful in establishing a claim in their favour against the landlord in a Court of Equity, because of ‘the long usage practised in the management of the property’.° This move coincided with the first appearance of a Huddersfield newspaper, the Huddersfield Chronicle. The paper was started by men new to the town, J. J. Skyrme and Robert Micklethwaite, the latter a Tory in politics.° Joshua Hobson, who already had a considerable newspaper career with The Voice of the West Riding and the Chartist Northern Star, was engaged to contribute anonymously, despite still being employed by the Improvement Commission.’ He drew attention to Loch’s innovation in June with an article placed on the page normally used for editorials, noting the anomalous character of Ramsden tenures without a lease. He identified all the interests affected — the tenant, whose hard-earned savings and ‘possessions’ were involved, the ground landlord, and the general public interested

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this as ‘tax of no small amount’.® A further article drew attention to Loch’s earlier move, which ensured that new persons applying for a building site signed a document constituting them tenants-at-will. But some old tenants had also been induced to sign without receiving the explanation that it also made them liable to be ejected at Hathorn was in no doubt as to the identity of the author and both he and Loch recognised his intellectual grasp of the

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in dealing with a community like Huddersfield it will be necessary for me to take a very decided stand against all that is demanded and expected of me by the

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estate act, the Thornhill Act of 1852 being held up as a good model.” It particularly thought in March that it would be proper and just to adopt the 999-year leases issued on the Thornhill estate. * The matter was eventually settled in favour of the Ramsden estate at the York Spring Assizes in March 1858 when a jury decided for Swift’s dispossession.” The Swift case particularly disturbed confidence in Huddersfield for reasons other than Hobson’s journalism. The presiding judge remarked that Swift’s attorney was wise not to raise a doubt about whether the tenancy was capable of being determined by notice to quit, since had he done so Sir John ‘would have been compelled to serve notices throughout Huddersfield in order to maintain his right’. Could one successful eviction be followed by many more? In any case, Sir John announced in April that he intended to stop transferring tenant-at-will property and to grant 99-year leases in place of the 60-year leases provided for in the 1844 Estate Act. The Swift eviction and notice of the intention to cease transfers of tenant-at-will property created

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been transferred in

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meeting. He drafted the requisition with the lawyer, John Freeman, as well as the programme for the meeting and the resolutions to be

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commence at such a date as was just with reference to the past length of the holding, so could last for a term of less than 99 years. The ‘fair and equitable

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fourteen years, since the ‘continually recurring and unnecessary expense’ entailed would make property unavailable for mortgage. Sir John conceded the difficulty of the clause, but if it were to be cancelled payments should be at a silver standard ‘to maintain the land at its present value’. He expected gold to depreciate by twenty five per cent within the course of a few years. The deputation agreed that such a clause should be drafted, implicitly conceding that the real value of Sir John’s income should be preserved even though there was no similar mechanism for the income of his tenants.*° The status of Freeman and the committee appointed to watch the bill is uncertain.

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office, which might have thrown light on the matter, is empty of any papers except a copy of what was finally

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August 1859 meeting. He noted the bulk of the business was concluded before tenant-right owners were able to attend in substantial numbers; the twenty or thirty there early did not contribute. They received the resolutions in sullen silence and did not raise a hand in support. The author, subsequently to be revealed as John White Moore, also presented information on the cost of constructing his property, the outgoings, and an estimate of his annual return from investment

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central point of the series was that Parliament should be approached again for a power to grant 999 year leases as ‘the only leases’ to be available in The significance of Jones’ entrance into the argument is that his father, also Frederick Robert Jones, was the land agent whose expertise had been employed in producing the varied covenants for Thornhill leases in the Edgerton, Lindley and Hillhouse areas. Discussion turned to action on 11 April 1860 when a group of tenant-right owners met at the Nag’s Head Inn at Paddock. They appointed a preliminary 4

committee to set up a defence

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tenant-right holder, but his grandfathers and his father had erected buildings on that tenure and he had long taken an interest in the question. He said he had written to the Leeds Times ‘more than twenty years ago’ in support of tenant-right owners on the Moldgreen estate of Sir John Lister Lister His friendship with Loch, who had come twice from London to aid him personally in ‘matters of considerable moment’, had not prevented him from doing his public duty when action was first taken on the tenant- right tenure. The tenant-right owners on the Thornhill estate were originally in a worse position than those with Ramsden, but when leasing powers were obtained there in 1852 the tenants recetved an ‘entitlement’ which contrasted with Ramsden’s ‘sole will and pleasure’. He argued that the valuations in progress would increase Ramsden’s aggregate rental income from the

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The deputation took a professional short hand writer with them to meet Sir John. It was his account of the proceedings that Hobson presented to the assembled tenant-right owners. When the deputation arrived, Sir John

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A week after this report in the Chronicle appeared, its competitor newspaper, the Examiner, commented that the ground landlord had been ‘held up as a gigantic swindler’, but no one was likely to be won over by means ‘whose natural tendency is to alienate and sour’. The Buckden meeting had for the most part produced a fair and honourable settlement of differences: all shades of political opinion and the intelligence, enterprise and interests of Huddersfield had been represented in the deputation. The paper included a letter from Thomas Mallinson on the relative value of leases but concluded with comment on the fate of the 1,000-year lease clause. He admitted such a clause was in the bill but claimed Sir John had never intended it for tenant- right property, or only exceptional cases such as the provision of land for public institutions. He did not think he would get it approved.” Thomas Mallinson wrote to Sir John in July 1859, suggesting ‘we make use of our local paper with advantage’.® He had already had one interview with Joseph Woodhead, editor of the Examiner. Sir John had not responded immediately, but following the meeting with the TRDA deputation at Upper Brook Street and clearly upset by the campaign in the Chronicle, he invited Mallinson to meet him at Byram on 14 September 1860 to discuss ‘the newspaper press at Huddersfield’. At their meeting Mallinson told Sir John about a debt Woodhead owed to Frederick Robert Jones, junior, who was pressing for payment.A meeting of Mallinson, Wright Mellor and Woodhead had elicited the information that Jones and other debts could be paid off with a loan of

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26. Wright Mellor

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The merit of the argument on both sides of this public debate is unclear, but Ramsden’s patience with the tenant-right agitation came to an end in November. Seven notices to quit were served on the leaders of the TRDA. Sir John wrote some time later that this was ‘to terminate an uncertainty which was more prejudicial to the tenants than myself’, but at the time there was no end to general uncertainty in the district. The notices to quit did not bring about greater confidence and an increase in construction investment on the Ramsden estates in comparison to its neighbours. The relative uncertainty Sir John had in mind undoubtedly related to his legal position as compared to that of the tenants-at-will, but both sides to the dispute had obtained legal opinion and the issue had not been fully determined in a court. The immediate effect of the notices to quit was to stimulate an action in the Court of Chancery. Seven bills were filed in Chancery but it was decided to proceed with that entered concerning Joseph Thornton of Paddock. The case entered Vice Chancellor Stuart’s court in February 1862, but there was a delay of two years, largely at the behest of Ramsden, to allow for the preparation of a large volume of affidavits, before the hearing commenced on 10 February 1864.° The court proceedings lasted for eleven days. Judgement was delivered on 25 May 1864. The facts in Thornton v Ramsden, while distinct in detail from the cases of Swift, Redfearn and Kilner, which had given rise to the collapse of the building trade and insecurity on the Ramsden estate, referred to the same system of letting. Joseph Thornton, aged twenty five, a partner in a cloth- dressing firm, decided to build ‘a gentleman’s residence’ on high ground at Paddock. He applied to the resident Ramsden agent, Joseph Brook, for a plot adjacent to a quarry. This was approved, the land staked out and the

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Vice Chancellor Stuart delivered judgment in May 1864, noting that Chancery had gone very far in many cases to protect the possession of a tenant who expended money on land in good faith and reasonable confidence that his possession would not be disturbed. Chancery would not presume that a landlord had a right to take the immediate possession and enjoyment of a building, without any compensation, as soon as the tenant had expended his money on it. He thought that in this case there was sufficient evidence of an understanding or agreement that the possession of the tenant should not be disturbed. In his view, the language of ‘tenant-at-will’ was merely used to distinguish those tenants who had a lease from those who did not. He did not consider it a case of specific performance, whereby a specific party would be required to act to fulfil a contract; nor had compensation been argued. As both parties seemed to think the grant of a lease under the terms of the 1844 Act would be the most appropriate relief if he found for the plaintiff, that was the decree. He found for the plaintiff with costs, with the matter to be settled between the parties in chambers. The telegram summarising the decree sent by Mr Clarke, the London solicitor employed on behalf of Thornton, to Frederick Robert Jones, junior, chair of the Defence Association, “was read with the greatest avidity’ when printed and circulated in the town. In the evening a band of musicians voluntarily paraded the streets; but the tenant-right owners as a body

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erief that so many of his tenants who had expressed gratitude for the Act of 1859 and originally applied for leases under it had been induced to withdraw their applications and make themselves part of an agitation to set aside their own Act. He dreaded more on their account than his own the consequence of them compelling him in self-defence to enforce his rights against them, but he was willing to make allowance for the circumstances under which they had been misled and would treat the application as though it had never been withdrawn. This was on condition it would be made public that Gledhill had openly separated from contesting Sir John’s rights.” The correspondence between Gledhill and Noble duly appeared in the Examiner which commented that ‘the noted failure of many other schemes propounded by Mr Hobson does not augur well for the success of the tenant- right agitation’. It believed Gledhill to be representative of a large class of tenants who were beginning to understand the danger of not taking 99-year leases and clearly agreed with the estate that it had no end in view but the welfare of the tenants.” The Chronicle reprinted the correspondence a week later, but here Frederick Robert Jones commented that while unsure whether the humility of Salome and Wright Gledhill was sincere, he felt humiliated to see such a specimen of ignominious surrender published and even gloated over. He thought the publication was a breach of faith and had been told that Salome so considered it. Moreover, the Gledhill letter was ‘the very echo and counterpart’ of two other letters addressed to Noble. Jones’s comment was supplemented by two letters from Frederick Schwann, who was away from Huddersfield at North Houghton, near Stockbridge in Hampshire. His first letter expressed support on the tenant-right question, believing in the ‘intrinsic justice’ of their case. His second letter enclosed £50, remarking that he did not pretend to understand the subtleties of the law that might give the landlord ‘the right of demanding his pound of flesh’, but he hoped that he would ‘meet with no better success than Shylock in a similar case’.” The publicity about the Gledhill re-application for a 99-year lease was part of an attempt to counter the TRDA success in persuading tenant-right owners to not submit or withdraw applications for 99-year leases. It was a detail in the broader measure whereby the estate drew up a draft 99-year lease for every tenant-right holder and sent it to them for perusal and possible signature. It was to be returned at the tenants’ convenience but the accompanying letter from Longley Hall assumed they would want a longer rather than a shorter lease. The draft therefore gave recipients the option of accepting or rejecting the silver clause for payment of rent. If they accepted, Sir John would grant a 99-year lease dated from 29 September 1859, but if they struck out the clause it would be 99 years from the date of the commencement of their original tenancy. Frederick Robert Jones claimed that the purpose of this move was

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to provide evidence ‘hereafter’ that Sir John had done everything in his power to act justly towards his tenancy. The option should have nothing to do with the term and what it proved was ‘the despotic disposition of Sir John in the treatment of his tenantry’.” This activity by the estate and in the press was taking place shortly after Thornton’s bill had been filed in Chancery. The co-operation of Woodhead at the Examiner, secured in 1860, had been helpful, but as the suit finally entered into hearings at Chancery in February 1864 Sir John decided on further action. He invited Wright Mellor to meet him at Byram to discuss the

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the matter, though the law had been pursued at his expense. The

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tendered in the usual way at the next rent audit, but when dissatisfaction was expressed, they were told their application for a 99-year lease could be withdrawn and the rent paid as previously. The offer was acted upon and 735 withdrawals, as Sir John had stated, took place. Sir John’s claim that he was not at issue with ‘the general body’ of his tenants, only those who ‘repudiate the act which he procured at their request’, was not borne out by the fact that only 556 leases had been granted on some 3,000 holdings. Jones concluded with comments on the Thornton case. He argued that while Sir John denied any attempt to dispossess any of his tenants of the vast property constructed on his land, he did commence an action which could have no result other than dispossession, unless the Court of Chancery had interfered to restrain such

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Cranworth and Wensleydale, taking the view that on entering possession there was only one class of tenant rather than two, but some subsequently took up leases. More emphasis had been placed on the words ‘tenant-at-will’ than they deserved since it had a technical meaning in Huddersfield which was equivalent to copyhold, or holding at the will of the lord and according to the custom of the manor. What the majority judgement illustrated was the success of a legal reform movement strongly influenced by liberal political economy, as opposed to the continuance of local land customs and Chancery protection of tenant-right holders. Cranworth would not pass an opinion on whether the tenants had a right to look for more or less from the Ramsden family than what they were prepared to grant, but he thought it indispensable that an end be put to the system that had prevailed. As a consequence of the House of Lords decision, more tenants came forward requesting 99-year leases under the 1859 Act. But Ramsden, unlike Nelson, did not think matters could be settled by the granting of these leases. Sir John had discussed an intention to dispense with the services of Nelson with Abel Smith in July 1865. He had been persuaded to retain him until delivery of the judgement from the House of Lords appeal, but by autumn 1866 he had decided on a new course. It was, rather than ‘a mere question of

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favourable to the Ramsden Estate referred to

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24 25 26 27 28



31 32

33 34

35 36 37 38

39 40 41

42 43


45 46

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48 49 50 51


53 54 55 56


58 59 60 61 62 63 64 65 66 67 68

69 70 71 72 73 74 75 76 77 78 79 80

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Religion and Philanthropy



THE ORIGINS OF THE Ramsden family fortunes date back to the Reformation and the opportunities it presented to astute landholders and manufacturers to extend their economic and social standing through the purchase of former monastic properties from the Crown. The rectory of Huddersfield had belonged to the Priory of St Oswald at Nostell from the early twelfth century until the latter was suppressed 1539. William Ramsden bought this in 1546, giving him and his heirs the right as lay rectors to the great tithes and the advowson — that is, the right to appoint a vicar to the living — which the family retained until 1920. After William’s death in 1580 his brother John continued the process of land acquisition in Almondbury, Huddersfield and elsewhere; then John’s son, William, bought the manor of Huddersfield from the Crown in manor of Almondbury followed in 1627 during the time of this William’s son, another John, who was knighted in 1619. The advowson of Almondbury, though, had been bestowed on Clitheroe Grammar School by Queen Mary, and was not acquired by the Ramsden family until

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through Longwood, Golcar, Slaithwaite, one half of the village of Marsden and up into the moorlands of Scammonden, an area of over 12,000 acres. There were two ancient chapels of ease, in Slaithwaite and at Deanhead in Scammonden, each with a perpetual curate appointed by the vicar of Huddersfield, to which was added

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When Henry Venn was appointed vicar of Huddersfield in 1759, Sir John Ramsden, 3rd baronet (1699-1769), made an appointment which for a few years put Huddersfield at the centre of the map for northern Evangelicalism. The background to the appointment, though, suggests less about Sir John’s personal views than about the process by which the propertied élite worked together in the administration of their estates. Venn was at the time the curate at Clapham in London and was known in Evangelical circles there for his preaching and his piety. But Ramsden did not know of him and it was the 2nd Earl of Dartmouth

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Bright (Countess Rockingham from 1752), and by her marriage to Sir John, Elizabeth (Mrs Weddell from 1771) and Margaret (Lady Ducie from 1774).° Though Lady Ramsden failed to promote John Riland for the Huddersfield vicarage, as Venn had hoped, it may well have been through the Countess Rockingham’s influence that her half-brother, the 4th baronet, appointed John Lowe to Huddersfield (and Brotherton) in 1784. In the next generation there 1s correspondence surviving between the Countess Rockingham, her husband’s niece, Charlotte Wentworth, and her husband’s brother-in-law, John Milbanke.’ Even allowing for the conventional language of the day concerning religious matters, these letters suggest a deep personal piety which 1s reflected also in the attitudes and concerns imparted to their wider families — notably Charlotte Wentworth’s daughter, Isabella (who married John Charles Ramsden) and her nephew, the 5th Earl Fitzwilliam, both of whom were to be key players in the history of Huddersfield in the nineteenth

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responsible for the chancel (see below), but it was only after his death that the pace of change, including religious change, quickened in the town and parish. John William Ramsden came into his estates at the age of 7 on the death of his grandfather, the 4th baronet, in 1839 [see Illustration 18, p. 49]. For the next 14 years his affairs were administered by Trustees, the most important of whom was the 5th Earl Fitzwilliam, cousin and brother-in-law of John William’s mother, Isabella Ramsden, who was the daughter of Thomas, Lord Dundas. Fitzwilliam, Mrs Ramsden and her brother, the Earl of Zetland, set the tone for the Ramsden approach to religion in the town for the next seventy years, with Sir John William Ramsden playing a full part from 1852 onwards. In this the Ramsdens were served by a series of able agents and their assistants, notably George Loch (appointed overall estate manager in 1844) [see Illustration 6, p. 9], Alexander Hathorn (Huddersfield agent, 1844-61) [see Illustration 7, p. 11], R. H. Graham (agent,

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July where she with his assistance laid the foundation stone for the new chancel at St Paul’s church, but they then had to go immediately to London, unable to stay even for the luncheon." It was easier to lend a name as a patron to some worthy cause — though that often meant heading the subscription list with a handsome donation. It was easier still to send a small contribution of £5 or £10. Sometimes, as in the case of a church or a school, Ramsden might donate the land — leasehold — or allow it to be let at a reduced rental. Small donations and favours oiled the workings of community relations; they controlled the mood in a thousand often hidden ways and were essential in the hierarchical and patriarchal social order that the Ramsdens were trying to maintain in the modern, industrial society of Huddersfield on which much of their wealth depended. Even so, Sir John was not a naturally emollient character and, as one contemporary historian noted with reference to the long-running dispute over the length of leases and tenant right between 1859 and 1866, ‘relations of the present baronet with his Huddersfield tenantry have not always been of the most cordial description’.'® The policy of the Ramsden Trustees on donations was clearly set out in an advice note from Earl Fitzwilliam in 1850 with regard to whether the Trustees should contribute to the organ fund at Paddock church:

It is very true that an organ is not the most useful thing [on] which 5 or 10£ can be expended, but upon the whole I should advise contributing to it — for two reasons — first, Paddock is not a place where the rich of Huddersfield reside — only poor to be found there — second, I think it desirable that he [Ramsden] should not do anything, either in the affirmative or in the negative line, which may give him a reputation for stinginess — from none to 4 or 5 and 20 is the period during which his character in the world will be stamped — it is in early life that the world forms it estimate of man’s disposition and character, and the world, having so formed its judgement, rarely, if ever, reverses it, however good

reasons may appear subsequently for changing its opinion

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£,26,433-13-0,a few hundred pounds over the estimate; of this sum,

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Drawbridge, curate at Honley, appealed for funds for a parsonage but had not yet launched an official appeal, Fitzwilliam advised Loch: ‘if you find a loose £5 note in your pocket I should think it might very properly find its way with Mr Drawbridge’.* When the clergyman at Holy Trinity, serving the north of the town, appealed for donations of over

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not so successful when they claimed that they were not obliged to pay for the drainage and paving of the street outside their new chapel in Fitzwilliam Street,” but the Free Wesleyans did better. They had acquired a site for their new chapel in what was to become Brunswick Street and found they needed extra land for the caretaker’s house. The going rate was 4d. but they hoped for the usual discount down to 2d. as with the chapel site. Nelson advised ‘having regard to the state of public feeling at the present moment and to the fact of

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As well as the site for the original church, St Paul’s had had £50 in 1856 for general repairs, £5 for additions to the schools in 1868,

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just down the road.*’ An equally chancy request came from the Berry Brow Methodist New Connexion Salem Chapel

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Beadon advised that the local YMCA “is rather sectional [meaning sectarian] in its managing staff — and you might appear to uphold Nonconformists against Church people’. Accordingly, Ramsden politely declined, citing ‘many considerations’ why he could not

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man, who holds the mental life of the town in the hollow of his hand’”’

Church Patronage

Next to atheists, Sir John William disliked ritualists the most. This becomes clear in the way he set about choosing new incumbents for those churches where he had influence. The Ramsdens’ principal ecclesiastical patronage lay with the two ancient parish churches of Huddersfield and (from 1857) Almondbury, and the new church of St John, Bay Hall, opened in 1853.There were also two other new churches where he was a trustee — St Andrew’s on Leeds Road, built in 1870 for which Ramsden gave £1,000 towards the

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that ‘the clergy throughout the parish would, without a single exception, unfavourably regard his nomination’. Such opposition to a High Churchman accorded with Sir John William’s personal views and after some delay he made an offer to one of the more experienced clergymen within the parish, Thomas Bensted, who had been vicar of Lockwood since 1848. When he declined the offer, Ramsden turned to Charles Augustus Hulbert, the long- standing moderate Evangelical clergyman at Slaithwaite, whom he knew only by reputation and who accepted. The delighted Evangelical Bishop of Ripon congratulated Ramsden ‘upon having made such an excellent What none of the candidates and lobbyists appears to have known is that Snowden and Ramsden had been at Eton together and Snowden was ‘a very old

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wishes so well that I need not tell you. I should consider I acted wrongly if I appointed any clergyman with the slightest tendency towards High Church or

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Churchman — perhaps not so advanced as they have been accustomed to at Almondbury’. Again Sir John had shown himself prepared to get involved in the detail of the appointment, to make his own enquiries and to follow his own preferences to secure a sound, moderate Evangelical clergyman for his church, even when this meant overruling his agent.

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in Huddersfield parish, were not on Ramsden land. The rebuilding of Slaithwaite chapel in 1789 fell to the Earl of Dartmouth who granted the

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were on the bishop’s list. For example, the priority in Huddersfield was for new churches in Marsh and Crosland Moor but Ramsden was interested in promoting a new church for Moldgreen, nearer to Longley Hall. As he

explained to the bishop:

I will devote a thousand pounds to the extension of churches in the Borough of Huddersfield, including under the term “extension” the improvement of existing as well as the building of new churches. I do not however wish to hand the money over to a Committee, but to give it direct from myself in each case to such churches and in such amounts as the strength of their respective claims upon me may seem to me to warrant.

He added, ‘My difficulty about making any Committee the channel of a gift is that for all objects at Huddersfield application is made direct to me and those interested expect a direct response from

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27. Huddersfield old parish church, rebuilt 1503. Kirklees Image Archive

28. Huddersfield new parish church

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fallen in and was being propped up on long poles: this would cost £500 to to put right. A proposal to levy a church rate for £500 was rejected and one for £250 was never collected. Pritchett next proposed rebuilding the nave and chancel, leaving the tower, at a cost of £2,000. Then it was decided to raise the chancel floor, so Pritchett proposed raising it sufficiently to create a crypt; then it was decided to replace the tower; this meant that the nave could be extended to increase the accommodation. So, Pritchett ended up designing a new church. Even by taking the cheapest quotation (which turned out to be a costly error) the total bill came to £9,869-14-5. The work was completed in October 1836. Sir John Ramsden and his Trustees’ contribution over the years from 1834 was £650. Large though this sum was, it

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erowing impatient, and she urged the agent, George Loch, ‘Pray take this matter into immediate consideration’.’”’ Progress was then rapid, and the correspondence shows the personal involvement of both Mrs Ramsden and her son in the detailed arrangements. It was, for example, she who sent the cheque to pay for the silver trowels to be used at the laying of the foundation stone by her son, which took place on 16 October 1851.” The construction was undertaken by local builder, Joseph Kaye, and completed in 1853 [see Illustration 29, p. 136]. This church, which cost

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29. St John, Birkby (1851-3), by William Butterfield. Kirklees Image Archive

Archaeological Association [sic]. Ramsden was consulted and deferred to at every stage because he was paying for it. He showed himself sensitive to the fabric of the medieval church which housed the burial place of his ancestors, and was doubtless reassured by Hulbert’s promise that ‘I am equally watchful that nothing Scriptural and Protestant should be left out, any more than anything leaning to Popery introduced’ — but one wonders, in view of his later comments, what he thought of the ‘new Surpliced choir’ present at the re-opening of the chancel and chapels in November

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The fourth Ramsden church, St Michael’s, is the church that never really was— certainly notin the form that Ramsden had intended

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on their estates, though without showing that degree of personal piety and religious commitment exhibited in the life of the second Earl of Dartmouth. While the Ramsdens’ religious beliefs were undoubtedly sincerely held, the estate papers unsurprisingly bring little of this out beyond communicating Sir John William Ramsden’s deeply conservative moderate Evangelicalism, his conscientious support for tradition, and his abhorrence of ‘medieval’ Ritualism and other such un-Protestant innovations. What is clear is that the religion of the Ramsdens, whatever it meant in private, had a public purpose and a part to play in the management of all who lived and worked on their estates. It helped determined the Ramsdens’influence and upheld their local power. This re-enforced their Whig predisposition towards religious toleration, something they shared with their Rockingham and Fitzwilliam relations. In a predominantly Nonconformist town, they were even-handed in their treatment of the various denominations while giving their principal support to the Established Church. Though absentee landlords since the later seventeenth century, they maintained their presence by patronage and paternalism, with many small ceremonial and financial gestures which have now left little trace, punctuated by occasional acts of significance which are still remembered and acknowledged. Chief among these are the appointment of Henry Venn to the Huddersfield living in 1759 — something for which Sir John Ramsden can actually take little credit — and the building of St John’s church by Isabella Ramsden in memory of her husband at the time when Sir John William Ramsden, her only surviving son and heir, came of age. This chapter has focused on his life and activities partly because the surviving sources are so rich, partly because the expansion of the town during his lifetime created many new needs for charitable activity and opportunities for church and school building, and partly because, in an age of improved communications — the postal service and railways — it was easier than ever before to be an absentee landlord who at the same time could be in active and even daily contact with the affairs of his Huddersfield estate.


1 These 8 churches had become 25 by 1858 and over 40 by 1914. For a brief survey of religion in Huddersfield, see Haigh (1992), chapters 5 and 6. 2 Foster (1874), vol. 2,‘Ramsden of Longley Hall and Byram’;Venn (1924), p. 417 and (1953), p. 240 3 Venn (1836), p. 68; ODNB (2004), “Venn, Henry

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10 11 12

13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20



23 24 25 26 27

28 29

30 31 32 33

34 35


Information from the Clergy of the Church of England Database

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37 38


40 41 42 43 44 45 46 47




51 52 53








DD/RA/C/27/7, Graham to JWR, 14 July 1875. DD/RA/C/21/10, Beadon to JWR, 19 and 28 April 1890 and JWR’ reply, 23 April 1890. DD/RE/C/67, Mrs Ramsden to Loch, 10 December 1849; DD/RA/C/4/8, Loch to Fitzwilliam, 18 and 27 November 1850;White’s Directory (1895), p. 394; DD/ RA/C/26/2, Graham to JWR, 20 March 1872; Griffiths (2011b), p. 10, and above, chapter 2, p. 73. DD/RA/C/26/3, JWR to Graham, 12 May 1871; for Bruce, see I. Schofield (1999), pp. 89-101. DD/RA/C/22/1,W. Yeoman to JWR, 18 October 1884. DD/RA/C/22/1, Graham to JWR, 8 February 1884. DD/RA/C/20/2A, JWR to Willans, 21 December 1881; DD/RA/C/21/10, Appeal for new Independent Chapel, May 1884. DD/RA/C/4/8, Loch to JWR, 9 July 1850. Sykes (1898), pp. 390-1. DD/RA/C/21/10,T. R. Porritt to JWR, 24 December 1890, Beadon’s advice, and JWR’s draft reply dated 1 January 1891. DD/RA/C/22/1, Bardsley to JWR, 28 September, 2, 3, 4,5 December 1884; JWR to Graham, 5 December 1884. DD/RA/C/34/3,

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61 62

63 64

65 66




70 71

72 73 74







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87 88


Hulbert (1882), pp. 33, 88-91, 115-18; DD/R/dd/VII/165; DD/RA/C/26/2; 27/2,

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Architectural patronage in early- Victorian Huddersfield: the Ramsdens, William Wallen and J. P. Pritchett



AS THE WEST RIDING manufacturing towns prospered in the first half of the nineteenth century on the back of the rapidly developing textile industry, there was a corresponding growth in the provision of professional services necessary to support the manufacturers. Thus, in Bradford there were twelve firms of attorneys in 1822, but thirty-five by 1853;' Halifax, with three firms of accountants in 1822, had seventeen 31 years later? and there were also substantial increases in the provision of banking, insurance and transport services. It is all clear evidence of a thriving economy in the ‘clothing district’ towns. A not inconsiderable part of the new-found wealth was devoted to building. And this was not just utilitarian construction, but architecture, implying ambition and vision on the part of the patron and a project that required the services of a professional architect, not just a superior builder. It was often through its public buildings that these expanding towns competed with one another for status and were to be judged by visitors. In Leeds, a lone architect’s office in 1809 had increased to eighteen in 1851° and in Bradford, the two firms in 1822 had grown to thirteen in 1853.* It is thus surprising that Huddersfield, well populated by other professionals, had no resident architect before 1838 when William Wallen chose to move from London, bringing to the town the benefits of his metropolitan training, experience and knowledge of current fashions

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Holy Trinity church (1816-19), by Thomas Taylor of Leeds; Emmanuel, Lockwood (1828-9), by R. D. Chantrell, also of Leeds; St Paul’s (1828-30), by John Oates of Halifax; and the rebuilding of the parish church of St Peter (1834-6) was supervised by J. P. Pritchett of York [see Illustration 28, p. 133]. Meanwhile, the Congregationalists built the Ramsden Street Chapel (1824) to a design of Pritchett’s [see Illustration 33, p. 149] while the Roman Catholic St Patrick’s (1832) was by John Child from Leeds. Among the public buildings, Oates was responsible for Lockwood Baths (1827) and the Infirmary (1829-31) while Pritchett designed Huddersfield College (1838-9) and would soon be responsible for the magnificent railway station (1846-50). Did it matter where these architects had their offices? On one level, perhaps not and the absence of a group of resident architects did not stop Priedrich Engels, in 1845, from concluding that Huddersfield’s ‘modern architecture’ helped make it ‘the handsomest by far of the factory towns of Yorkshire and Lancashire’ — high praise indeed from a well-travelled

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Where does this assertion that the town had no resident architect before Wallen leave Joseph Kaye, a master builder in the town and a man apparently capable of producing a sound design when one was needed? Kaye began his career as a builder around 1800 and over the next sixty years, according to Edward Law, erected a substantial proportion of the town’s buildings and at one time employed over 1,000 men.'* Among the many building for which he contracted were several of those listed above including the Infirmary and St Paul’s. The late-Georgian period witnessed the publication of a range of books illustrating, in straight forward terms, the principles of contemporary Classical architecture aimed at ambitious builders and joiners seeking to reinvent themselves as architects, and Kaye was one of

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33. Ramsden Street Congregational Chapel (1824), by J. P. Pritchett, demolished 1936. Kirklees Image Archive

client and architect was complicated by the involvement of the Ramsden Estate, intent on overseeing the town’s physical changes. This was especially true from 1844 when the diligent George Loch was appointed estate steward; Loch, assisted by Alexander Hathorn, the local agent, carefully controlled both the overall development of the town and the individual new buildings within it. And Isabella Ramsden, a woman of ‘strength and

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Wallen was born in 1807, the son of the London architect John Wallen (1785-1865). The family lived in a series of elegant houses in Spitalfields, London, from where John ran his practice. John had been a pupil of Daniel Alexander, a brilliant and successful architect for whom Pritchett had once worked, who excelled at the design of large industrial buildings, warehouses, prisons and dockyards which often involved staggeringly large budgets and provided an essential component in Britain’s world-wide industrial and mercantile supremacy. They were looked on with amazement by informed foreign visitors to the capital. John had several pupils who went on to enjoy notable careers and it seems that the training he offered was of an exceptional standard.*” William Wallen thus enjoyed an unusually thorough architectural education in his father’s office. The formal part of his pupillage is likely to have been completed around 1828, by which time he would have been is then a ten-year gap before he began independent practice in Huddersfield. His activities in this decade, and the men with whom he was associated, give a clear picture of his energy and ambitions, and reveal a young architect of outstanding ability. He became a partner in his father’s firm in 1831.7!

Wallen’s antiquarian interests

Wallen was also acquainted with many of the leading antiquaries of the period, especially through the Topographical Society of which he was secretary in the His antiquarian interests had already been brought to the public’s attention when, between 1828 and 1833, he exhibited a total of eight works of art at the Royal Academy, mainly depictions of medieval

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unhappy perversion has swayed alike the mere tyro and the consummate master’. Instead he urged a more catholic approach: no styles ‘are deserving of utter condemnation.’ He proceeded to deliver a brief history of architecture from the Greeks onwards, taking a swipe along the way at the ‘ignorant’ use of Gothic by Inigo Jones and Christopher Wren. He urged a careful study of whatever style a patron requested, a philosophy soon to be borne out by his own career in Huddersfield.

Wallen in Huddersfield

Nationally, the first half of the nineteenth century contains many examples of London trained architects identifying an opportunity in an expanding provincial town and relocating in order to exploit it. Thus, both Thomas Taylor and R. D. Chantrell moved to Leeds and Richard Pope went to Bristol, while G. T. Andrews settled in York. Usually, these practices developed relatively slowly. However, in Wallen’s case he seems to have established himself with remarkable rapidity. His known early commissions were almost all concerned with Church of England projects — churches, schools and vicarages — suggesting the town was on the look-out for not just a talented architect, but a talented one with solid Anglican credentials. His earliest known job in the Huddersfield area was St David’s church, Holmbridge, in the parish of Almondbury where the Ramsdens were lords of the manor. The project gives some idea of the complexity of church building in this period, especially where there was reliance on a grant from the London- based Incorporated Church Building Society, as many projects did. A church for this isolated community was deemed desirable and a grant was successfully applied for in 1832.*°A design was solicited from Henry Ward, then in Wakefield”’ — although soon to move to Hanley, Staffordshire — but no suitable site could be found. When, in 1837, a site was found, tenders for the scheme exceeded Ward’s estimate. He could not be contacted, or perhaps had lost interest in the project, and in June 1837 new designs were provided by Chantrell. Although an experienced church architect who had successfully undertaken a number of jobs part-financed by the ICBS, the Society’s Surveyor objected to the closeness of the galleries. Chantrell made revisions approved by the Surveyor in July, but the Society withheld final approval for some unspecified

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Jones, having retrieved Ward’s plans, already approved and for which a grant had been secured, then abandoned the Chantrell scheme and sought an architect to supervise the erection of Ward’s design. On 18 March 1838 he asked Chantrell to oblige but the latter declined believing such a course to be ‘unprofessional’ and had already been told that some other person was ‘going to execute Ward’s This is confirmed by a letter from Wallen to the ICBS, dated 7 March 1838, only four days after Ward’s plans were requested, stating ‘the Building Committee had appointed me to carry into erection the church at Holmbridge, relinquishing all the plans previously to this date, and have determined upon erecting the original design of Mr Ward to which the [ICBS’s] official seal has been attached the committee have appointed me to act as surveyor of the works and superintend the erection of the church ?* Clearly, early in 1838 Jones must have had discussions with Wallen and lined him up to take over the Holmbridge project. Other than the chancel, added by Edward Hughes in the 1880s, the design is largely as shown in Ward’s

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curriculum than the grammar schools could provide. Furthermore, the Nonconformist elements in the town resented the interest of the established Church in the older

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was limited to the completion of the church, school and houses at Meltham Mulls, a project started before Wallen’s arrival in the town, and the new vicarage for Huddersfield parish church, erected near Greenhead in 1842.” Despite all the newly-built churches, the 1840s was a turbulent time for Anglicans. The rapid advances of the Cambridge Camden Society — often referred to as the Ecclesiologists — formed in 1839 and intent on pushing the Church of England in a ‘Higher’ direction, caused serious turmoil among Anglican church-builders as well as worshippers. The society was intent on reviving decoration and liturgy banished by the Puritans, and encouraged the building of new churches that more faithfully followed pre-Reformation models; ‘preaching box’ layouts were soon deemed repellent by its supporters and “Gothic authenticity’ was the new imperative. Impressive support for the Cambridge Camden Society came quickly. After only four years of existence, it could boast the patronage of both archbishops and twelve other bishops. Low Church Evangelicals — and one of their strongholds was Huddersfield — must have felt decidedly marginalised. The society claimed the moral high ground and there was little room for those who merely wanted to maintain the status quo.°° Of central importance in spreading the Ecclesiological message to the provinces were the ‘diocesan’ societies that sprang up around the country from the early

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Architectural Society a very effective ally’ Indeed, Wallen, as the first architect member, was present to hear these words, and over the next few years he would be joined by most of the leading Yorkshire architects who specialised in church work, including Chantrell. It was at this first meeting, on 29 September 1842, that Wallen was elected to the committee. During its early years, he appears to have been a diligent supporter and a regular attender at committee meetings, despite these initially being held at a variety of locations round this very large county. He also sat on various sub-committees — for instance those overseeing the restoration of Howden Minster in 1842, and the Chantry Chapel, Wakefield the following year. At the first AGM in 1842, he presented the society with ‘an illuminated copy’ of Little Maplestead, possibly the first item acquired for the library. At the second AGM, held in York in October 1843, he read his paper on “The Geometrical Principles of Gothic Architecture’, and after the committee meeting in Halifax in November he repeated it.°* He — and Chantrell — were re-elected to the committee at the October 1844 meeting, but neither attended any meetings during the year and they were not re-elected to the committee at the annual meeting of October 1845. Were they just too busy elsewhere to continue? Possibly, but having initially been such

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36. St Paul, Shepley (1845-8), by William Wallen. Leeds University, Special Collections MS 78.

external interests. He might have been expected to be a torch-bearer for the Ecclesiologists, yet his churches suggest quite the opposite. Specifically, while the Ecclesiologists urged architects to specify long chancels, steeply pitched roofs and clerestoried naves, and never to incorporate galleries, in many respects Wallen’s designs of the 1840s remained firmly wedded to pre- 1840 ideals: box-like naves undivided by arcades, shallow roofs and always a gallery, sometimes on three sides of the nave, as at Milnsbridge. And several of his churches — for instance Whitehaven and Shepley — have no chancel at all while others are modest in

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that what was deemed a failure in their eyes continues to be marginalized. But if we can accept that Wallen and his clients had little interest in faithfully reproducing medieval churches, we are liberated from the highly subjective confines of Ecclesiological ‘success’. As we have seen, Wallen certainly had an academic interest in the architecture of the Middle Ages® but, it seems, his approach to the design of modern churches was much more pragmatic, especially when budgets were small as was invariably the case with his commissions. A particularly revealing passage from his Essays is this: he condemns those who believe ‘every pointed building must be a cathedral or nothing; nor shall we attempt to copy some vast church within a twentieth part of the space, and with a hundredth part of the money.®’ Evidence that Wallen took a consciously anti-Ecclesiological stance — or, indeed, any stance — is frustratingly elusive, although there are one or two hints in that direction. Crucially, his Essays include his opinion that in all but the largest churches, ‘the width does not justify the inclusion of aisles’: they spoil the proportions and mask the pulpit from parts of the In the heady days of the Ecclesiological revolution, this was a refreshingly independent and rational idea. And the inclusion of west galleries in all his churches in order to produce a satisfactory level of accommodation was equally

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worshippers.” Milnsbridge had required a mere £2,500, including “all its fittings and hot water heating system’ and provided places for 945.”° The ‘neat and picturesque’ Gothic chapel at Aspley cost only £500.”

Wallen’s secular buildings

Archives concerning the building of secular structures rarely survive on the scale of that devoted to Anglican projects, and what was recorded of Wallen’s secular work is, almost certainly, only a fraction of what he actually did. Nevertheless, what is known reveals engagement with a range of building types and demonstrates Wallen’s competence with a number of styles, but especially with the Italian Renaissance Revival which placed him absolutely at the forefront of fashion in the 1840s. The first notice of a commission unconnected with the Church of England came in 1840: the interior design for the 1840 Huddersfield Exhibition, held at the Philosophical Society’s premises: “The rooms will be beautifully decorated in the Saracenic order under the direction of Mr Wallen’;” sadly, no images survive. It was a modest project, but one useful in promoting Wallen among the town’s elites. The patrons included Earl Fitzwilliam and the Earl of Zetland, both Trustees of the Ramsden Estate, and the list was headed by the Archbishop of York and the Bishop of Ripon, underlining Anglican support, although David Griffiths stresses the exhibition’s non-sectarian philosophy. The organising committee’s chairman was Joseph Brook, partner in the Meltham Mills company whose family we will encounter below. Also in 1840, Wallen surveyed the roofs of Fixby Hall for Thomas Thornhill.” It was another minor job, but it was through these mundane appointments that useful contacts might be made. In this instance, just two years later,in in his capacity as lord of the manor of Calverley, donated the site for the new church of St John, Farsley, near Leeds, which Wallen designed. Did Thornhill promote Wallen for the job; it seems unlikely to have been merely coincidence? And in 1844, Wallen was appointed to survey Calverley’s parish church. More significant architecturally, in 1842 or 1843, Wallen was engaged to build Eshold House at Woodlesford, near Leeds, for Henry Bentley, owner of the nearby Eshold

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37. Riding School, 1846-7 (subsequently altered, left) and Zetland Hotel,

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the crowning achievement of Wallen’s years in Huddersfield [see Illustration 23, p. 59]. The scheme seems to have originated in September 1845 when Alexander Hathorn, the Ramsdens’ local agent, wrote to George Loch, the estate steward, setting out what he saw as the opportunities the arrival of the railway offered. He was keen that the Ramsdens, not the railway shareholders, should be the principal beneficiaries. Fitzwilliam was enthused, securing the station commission for Pritchett and laying the foundation stone himself in 1846. The outcome of Hathorn’s initiative was a dignified new street leading from the town and an impressive new ‘square’ in front of the station surrounded by an outstanding set of buildings, the work of a number of mainly local architects. In terms of both the acreage covered and the architectural magnificence of the new buildings, it was a scheme almost without parallels among the northern industrial towns. Only the development of Newcastle upon Tyne in the second quarter of the century could rival it. William White, publishing in 1853, concluded “St George’s Square and the new streets Opening into it, are the handsomest parts of Huddersfield, being spacious, and lined with elegant stone buildings.** The Huddersfield Chronicle enthused, not unreasonably, ‘from the front of our noble station Huddersfield is one of the most splendid towns in the

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hotels in England’, according to

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and the total height [was to be] 95 feet so that the summit would be nearly 1,000 above the level of the sea’ with extensive views. The cost was estimated at However, in 1849 Isabella Ramsden objected strongly, claiming that her son’s ‘antiquarian taste 1s quite shocked at the idea of the old fort on Castle Hill being disturbed for a new erection of any sort or kind?” Nevertheless, in 1851, at the ‘Huddersfield Brewster Sessions it was stated that the tower, talked of some time ago was now likely to be proceeded with and that Mr Wallen had his plans ready for that

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38. Castle Hill hotel (1851), usually ascribed to William Wallen. Huddersfield Local Studies Library

The Peel Monument

Following Robert Peel’s death on 2 July 1850, the good citizens of Huddersfield lost no time in considering the erection of a fitting monument. 101

A committee of forty-four was formed to consider proposals,'’' and early in 1851 a competition was organised which solicited as number of designs from architects. The Chronicle devoted much space to the project, beginning a long article with a discussion of possible sites, concluding the only sensible one was in the new square in front of the station, one the Ramsdens were reluctant to provide. It then proceeded to assess in detail eight anonymously submitted designs, concluding that design III “was by far the most appropriate among the sketches we have

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a successful professional gentleman. Initially he resided in Buxton Road/ Chapel

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Wallen and the Ramsdens

What was Wallen’s relationship with the Ramsdens and their agents? Pritchett was initially the family’s favoured architect, a position seriously dented by the 1842 partial collapse, during reconstruction, of St Edward, Brotherton. In 1844, having read in the Leeds Mercury that Fitzwilliam had recently visited Huddersfield accompanied by Pritchett, Isabella Ramsden repeated a warning she had first issued to George Loch the preceding August:

Now, he [Pritchett] must not be employed in his profession, on any work, for which the Ramsden family are expected to pay. — He has given us a lesson we shall not forget.— He must not be employed by the Trustees.— we [the Ramsdens] are resolved that we will not have

any thing now to do with

However, it seems Fitzwilliam was unmoved and Pritchett’s most memorable addition to Huddersfield and one that was the result of Ramsden patronage — the railway station — was yet to be started. Nevertheless, this spat can only have aided Wallen’s position. Yet he too managed to fall out with Mrs Ramsden in 1849 over the Castle Hill Tower. More positively, in 1851 he prepared plans for ‘covering the Market Place The idea seems to have originated with Isabella Ramsden who felt that the ladies of the area, who bought [items there] deserved some covered accommodation. However, nothing came of the

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Loch, father and son, had extensive metropolitan connections and would have known, or known of, Wallen’s father, John, the ‘principal quantity surveyor [in the 1830s] in the

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north-south, sandwiched between the original tower and chancel, and, worse still, in 1816 he had built the new St Nicholas, Norton, East Yorkshire — in Fitzwilliam territory — in the Grecian style. Using ‘pagan’ idioms was, for the Ecclesiologists, the ultimate sin. If the Ramsdens were to capitalise on their generosity at St John’s they needed to impress their equals at least as much as their tenants. Thus, while they were content to let Pritchett author the new railway station and Wallen design the estate office at Longley Hall or the George Hotel, neither could, in the new climate, be entrusted with a ‘Ramsden’ church; this was a job for a big-named metropolitan architect, one who carried the Ecclesiologists’ stamp of approval. The initial choice was London-based Edward Blore who had recently completed Buckingham Palace and was currently engaged at Windsor Castle and Hampton Court; Loch would have known Blore through the latter’s work on the Bridgewater estate at Worsley, Lancashire, where he was also the agent. It is a mark of Ecclesiological dogma that even an architect of Blore’s eminence was pilloried for his churches: his Christ Church, Hoxton, London, was deemed a ‘truly contemptible building’ by an architect ‘entirely unacquainted with the true spirit of Pointed architecture.’'** His design was also too expensive and so the commission went to William Butterfield, widely seen as the Ecclesiologists’ favoured

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10 11 12 13

14 15 16

17 18 19 20

21 22 23 24

25 26 27 28

29 30

31 32

33 34 35

36 37 38 39 40

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46 47 48 49

50 51 52 53 54 55 56 57




61 62

63 64



67 68 69 70 71 72 73

74 75


discrete buildings but the new chapel was often referred to as ‘the Lecture Room’, e.g. HC, 25 January 1868. ICBS, file

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7/ 78



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114 115 116


118 119 120 121 122 123 124 125


University of York, Borthwick Institute, NHS/BOO/6/2/3/2, Registry of Admissions Book, 6 Nov 1850-10 Sept 1855. Many of the details that follow are based on information generously supplied by Gary Jones of Brisbane, Australia, a distant relative of Edward Jones, one of John Wallen’s pupils. I am grateful to him for sharing this information. Wyles (1992), pp. 308, 312. HC, 11 March 1854. WYASK, DD/RA/C/4/1, Isabella Ramsden to Fitzwilliam, 9 November 1844; see also DD/RE/C/3/26, Isabella Ramsden to Loch, 20 August 1844. WYASK, DD/RE/C/90, Isabella Ramsden to Loch, 2 November 1851, quoted in Law (1986), p.

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Buying Huddersfield for the People


‘IT IS OFTEN TRICKY to decide when an agglomeration of huts and houses becomes a town with a sense of

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since Tudor times had mostly been about ceremony and prestige rather than the practicalities of running a community. In effect, the reforms of 1835 recognised that the manufacturing and mining towns had reset the whole urban agenda on their own terms, rather than their being absorbed into an existing system. Huddersfield was thus recognised as a thriving industrial settlement when it became a municipal borough in 1868, and would go on to be given county borough status as part of the formation of the new West Riding County Council in 1889. This removed the town entirely from the county’s administrative apparatus, but this chapter recounts how, after a delay, one further step which few other towns could ever have considered, and hardly any ventured upon, was undertaken. As the town’s Liberal newspaper, the Examiner, commented at the time, when the Corporation decided to acquire the Huddersfield portion of the landed estates of the feudal overlord, the Ramsden family, that was but ‘another step along the path of municipal progress which has been so consistently and successfully followed even before, and certainly since, the incorporation of the

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originated and how it was brought to fruition largely through the efforts of Councillor Wilfrid Dawson. A re-examination of the bound volume of documents known as the ‘Dawson File’, which Stephenson relied upon, certainly supports the factual aspect of his account as far as it goes.’ However, he rather glosses over the manner 1n which negotiations both began and were carried through, almost to the point of completion, and leaves a number of important questions unanswered. In particular, according to Stephenson the process was nudged along by an astonishing series of coincidences which were apparently vital to its success. There are also some elements in the story which might suggest the possibility of sharp practice to modern minds used to suspicions of corruption and underhand dealing in such matters. This chapter therefore goes over the process again, using an approach which would be associated today with the phrase ‘due diligence’ as applied to such enormous corporate financial dealings, in so far as such a thing 1s possible from such limited material. At the same time, it must be stressed that it was always clear that Dawson himself never stood to make any personal profit from the scheme. At his funeral the Examiner reported that

a rumour [had been] rife at the completion of the bargain to the effect that Alderman Dawson had “made a profit, or drawn a commission” on the transfer — an insinuation that had hurt [him] very much. “Not by one penny piece’’, said Councillor Barlow, “did he or his firm benefit. Even on the completion, when he was offered a cigar he declined it so that for all time he could honestly say “Not a farthing in any shape or

form came to me or mine through this

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39. Wilfrid Dawson

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else who was to play a significant part in the Huddersfield purchase, Samuel William Copley, was also a director. Another business associate and financier involved in cotton speculation was James White, who was also to enter the story of the Huddersfield deal." The existence of the Dawson File in itself leaves the researcher with a sense of confusion about motives and methods, which Stephenson largely ignores. Its creation shows that Dawson wanted to preserve a formal and comprehensive paper trail covering the course of his negotiations, which he knew were unorthodox, and yet it was effectively put away in a place where it was unlikely to be found, and where if found its significance would almost certainly be missed. It was thus far more likely to have disappeared for ever, than be utilised as it ultimately was — and presumably was intended — to be. Most of the 175 documents included seem unimpeachable individually, but the process they reflect, taken as a whole, is generally eccentric and at times bizarre. In that sense the File can sometimes seem almost designed to obscure the real significance of what was done. What is apparent is a fairly ruthless, driving urge by Dawson to achieve a personal goal which he knew his colleagues on the council did not actively share, much less the general public. A similar scheme had been proposed by Councillor E. A. Beaumont in 1894, apparently after talking about such matters to the financier Baron Rothschild, but it had then been firmly rejected as impractical."' What may have motivated Dawson to ignore this is Huddersfield’s unusual continuing dependence on a single manorial lord. The Ramsdens owned most of the land on which the town centre stood and, although they had previously been closely and positively involved 1n various aspects of the town’s development, they now seemed increasingly detached.'* When Dawson had first joined the council in 1917, he had stated that such a purchase was ‘his great ambition’, but in all his later comments on the actual purchase, he said that the initiative really came from the Ramsdens, not The account given by Meriel Buxton in chapter 7 clarifies the issues by showing that Sir John Frecheville Ramsden had demonstrated a steadily diminishing emotional identification with his ancestral estate around the town, except perhaps for Longley Old Hall, which was not included in the Instead, there was a growing engagement with other sections of the family’s lands, especially in Scotland. With a shift in the Ramsdens’ economic attention to the Malayan plantations which they had fortuitously acquired and which proved highly lucrative, even the practical significance of Huddersfield as a source of income was reduced." There is also some evidence in the Dawson File and elsewhere that the rise of socialistic politics in the town made it harder for paternalism to function in a way that satisfied the family. Finally, the rise of much larger, impersonal companies at the heart of the local economy

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must also have diminished any possibility of maintaining any real control of development by a feudal lord. The work of Springett also suggests that the estate had been run for several decades in a rather unrealistic manner, and its long-term financial value therefore was far from clear, something which almost wrecked the search for agreement over what was a fair price to be

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a dealer in furniture, carpets and boots. In 1887, having saved about

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later insisted that Sir John would never have approached the council directly, and it is probably true that if any other councillors had been the first to become aware of the possibility of the purchase then they would not have taken it up. Not only would the price have been completely unprecedented as an item of municipal expenditure, but also the council had no existing powers to proceed at all with such a large purchase. Only Parliament could enable such actions, and there was no precedent to suggest that it would. National government was at that time very wary of what could be seen as reckless spending by councillors sent giddy by the reformed local government system, even when identified as investment in their towns, for such things would have been quite unthinkable only a few decades earlier. For Dawson to set the ball in motion as a private individual in this way, and then trust that the council would eventually endorse his action rather than condemn and disown it, was taking an enormous risk even though at the end of the process it was revealed that Dawson (who was deputy chairman of the Finance Committee) had had the support from the start of the mayor, Carmi Smith, and the chairman of the Finance Committee, Ernest Woodhead. Councillors Rowland Mitchell and Thomas Canby are also mentioned by Stephenson but their names do not occur in the Dawson File correspondence and they hardly constituted what Stephenson dignified as ‘an unofficial very select committee’.* There is little to suggest that anyone on the council except Dawson was actively involved before the whole

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So, it would appear that Copley was playing an important part in the initial proceedings before 15 March 1919 when he appears in the Dawson File as an associate who was willing to take on the role of actual purchaser, but with the declared intention of passing on the estate if and when the Corporation could get the legal powers to buy it. When Copley came to record his version of events in 1934, his memory and some of the details may have strayed from what actually happened and he almost certainly compressed the time scale and exaggerated his own role, but there 1s some contemporary corroboration for his story and there are points at which his account helps fill some of the gaps in the Dawson File.* Copley, Dawson and White were all business associates at this time, and it was at White’s office in London that Melville (whom Copley remembered as Melrose) first met the three men.*” How or why this came about is not clear but it would seem from Copley’s account that Melville may have known White and may well have ‘happened’ to come to his office on business. This seems far more credible than the story of the social gathering and the night at Melville’s flat. Stephenson later noted “That Melville’s contact with Copley and Dawson was deliberately “set-up” is an interesting

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through his solicitor, Acland Hood. Dawson, whose desire to end Ramsden control of the town was as strong as Copley’s, must have been dismayed to learn of Copley’s independent ambition. However, after the two men had discussed the matter further, Dawson felt re-assured that Copley would sell the estate to the Corporation when they were in a position to buy

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At this point, we should turn our attention to the solicitor, Acland Hood. His initial link was just to Melville, but he soon offered his services to Dawson for more general liaison with Sir John. The implication was that he would prove more effective than anyone else, which is what Melville had claimed for himself at the start, though why anyone should have been needed to act in this way is hard to understand unless it is true that Copley had agreed to pay Melville for liaising with Ramsden. Moreover, it was to become evident that Hood’s role had never been clearly defined, not even how his fee would be calculated. That would be disputed even as negotiations reached a climax, adding an unwelcome distraction to an inherently unsettling process. Indeed, at one crucial point Hood effectively refused to do any more work, though this threat does not seem to have been carried

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started but it was a very unlikely way to run a coherent negotiation, especially as so far Sir John himself had not yet come to the fore on the Ramsden side. Dawson feared the possibility of a secret deal getting out, and wanted to push on, but on 28 April Hood stated that they were bidding too low to hope to reach agreement. On their side, they queried whether sales of Woodhouse Mill and the Lion Arcade had been reflected in the price asked. Copley, however, was now satisfied over levels of

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the minute of the General Purposes Committee came before the subsequent meeting of the Town Council and its adoption was moved by the Mayor, seconded by the Deputy-Mayor and carried unanimously:’ I think’, said Councillor Robson, ‘that the Council should accord its thanks to the three gentlemen who have carried through these negotiations — to the Mayor, Councillor Dawson and Alderman

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discussed for the first time by the Town Council. It can be said at once that, in responsible quarters in Huddersfield, not the smallest doubt is entertained of the scheme going through. The self-appointed committee of three, which has been conducting secret negotiations with Mr. Copley for some months past, decline to make any statement on the point, one way or the other; but it can be taken for granted that the three gentlemen concerned would count their labours as wasted, and suffer keen disappointment if the Town Council refused to ratify what they have

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property. This is the only clear evidence to support Dawson’s belief that he should conceal the identity of the eventual purchaser of the estate. Once the news had broken, the newspapers could not resist telling the Sam Copley story. The weekly version of the Yorkshire Observer ran a “Special Huddersfield Supplement? about

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On 6 May the Borough Treasurer had confirmed to Dawson the implementation of Copley’s requirement about the Corporation’s insurance business, though no promises survive about influencing others.”” On 16 July Dawson was negotiating over mortgaging the Estate with the Prudential to expedite payment, insisting that this was a very short term expedient, with repayment promised ‘when the purchase by the Corporation takes

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ongoing inter-war depression created an environment where it would have been hard to make the substantial gains from better management that were anticipated. However, the bulk of the purchase money was borrowed from Cardiff Corporation at a variable 6% per cent and in fact interest rates had fallen to 4 per cent within two years — another gamble that turned out well. By 1970 almost all the loans had been paid off, a further £980,000 had been contributed to the rates and £435,000 to the capital

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In other words, it would resolve the tensions inherent in the position whereby a manorial landlord was able to inhibit the ambitions of an elected local authority

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This would fit with Copley’s known attitudes, but he would not have intended to lose by his investment, and

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12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19

20 21 22 23




27 28

29 30 31

32 33


35 36



Stephenson (1972), p. 10. For Copley’s Lancashire interests, see HDE, 28 October 1919, and for White, see HDE, 12 August 1936. DF 66A, Examiner interviews, Alderman Beaumont, HDE, 27 October 1919; Stephenson (1972), p. 10. See chapter 2, pp. 76-7. Stephenson (1972), p. 10. See chapter 7, pp. 208-10. Buxton (2017), pp. 313-26. Springett (1992), pp.

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38 39 40


42 43 44

45 46 47 48 49 50



53 54

55 56 57 58 59 60

61 62


64 65 66 67 68 69



Yorkshire Observer Budget, ‘Special Huddersfield Supplement’, 1 November 1919. DF 101, Speech at Town Hall, 12 January 1920. DF 72, Hood to Copley, 30 October 1919); DF 125, Dawson to Hood, 20 February 1920; DF 145, Hood to Dawson, 19 March 1920; DF 149, Hood to Copley, 9 April 1920. DF 19, Dawson to Ernest Woodhead, 16 April 1919. In 1934 Copley said Dawson had offered him £50,000 profit on sale to the Corporation. DF 23, Dawson to Woodhead, 27 April 1919. DF 21, Woodhead to Dawson, 18 April 1919. DF 27, 28 and 29, 2,5 and 6 May 1919, correspondence between Dawson and Hood; DF 30A, Ramsden Estate: Summary Rentals less Outgoings, May 1919. DF 34, Capel-Cure & Ball to Hood, 22 May 1919. DF 41, James White to Dawson, 19 June 1919. DF 50, JFR to Dawson, 24 August 1919. DF 54, Hood to Dawson, 11 October 1919. DF 62, Copley to Dawson, 24 October 1919. Copley spoke to the reporter in 1919 of ‘the inspiring dream of his life’: Yorkshire Observer Budget, ‘Special Huddersfield Supplement’, 1 November 1919. DF 66, 28 October 1919, Examiner interviews, HDE, 27 October

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72 73


75 76 77 78 79 80

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A Ramsden Family Perspective


Mother and son: Isabella and John William

JOHN WILLIAM RAMSDEN HAD a lonely childhood. Before he was born his parents had already lost a son and daughter. One of his two surviving sisters died while he was still a baby, leaving only John William and his sister Charlotte, sixteen years his senior. He was too young to remember any of his other siblings. Worse still was to come when his father, John Charles, died suddenly in 1836, leaving his five-year-old son heir to the baronetcy and all the vast estates of the Ramsden family. Just before his eighth birthday, his

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a man with the right professional attributes and sufficient personality to drive through the necessary changes. Loch had been working with his father on the Bridgewater estate, where canals were the central feature. He had been called to the Bar and was able, in addition to his work in Huddersfield, to work in London on the legislation being put through Parliament relating to the Ramsden estate, which Earl Fitzwilliam was satisfied justified the high salary Loch demanded. He was initially asked to report on the condition of the estate and was highly critical of the appalling state in which he found it. He was then appointed auditor and

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this was only the first step. He must now strike a suitable deal with the railway company and knew that the Ramsden Trustees must own not just most but all of the land affected. Unfortunately, the fourth baronet’s will stated that additional land could be purchased only when there was excess income to pay for it. There was none. The most important relevant block of land was the Bay Hall estate, outside the town centre but on the route of the proposed new railway. Here is where Loch’s good relationship with Isabella and her determination to do the best for her son came into play. The Trustees could do nothing to raise the necessary funds so Isabella personally borrowed from her brother-in- law, Charles Ramsden, the money to buy the land, putting Loch in a strong enough position to negotiate an excellent deal with the railway company. After Isabella had been repaid there were still sufficient funds for the rebuilding of the George Hotel, the opening up of what was now named John William Street and the purchase of the Greenhead/Gledholt estate.° Isabella was equally successful in her relationship with John William himself. She remained throughout her life the one person who was always prepared to stand up to him whenever she felt that it was right to do so, usually with a sense of humour which seldom failed to win him round. She would happily tell him how uncomfortable his carriage was and that she would therefore avoid using his coach makers, or how dismal his servants looked in their new, all black livery. This continued throughout her life. Even aged 97, on noticing her son’s receding hairline, she commented, “Well, Sir John, and when are you going to buy a wig?’ Highly intelligent, she would read a wide range of books, even ones in German when in her nineties, and she remained almost unbeatable at backgammon to the end: when her son played a move which did not impress her, she made her views extremely clear. Although she could be sharp with her son, she remained thoughtful and considerate to staff and to her companion, Bunny Dundas, an unmarried younger cousin who remained with her to the end of her life, an invaluable support and friend. Not surprisingly, when she was seriously ill in 1879 and forced to endure the horrors of contemporary medicine (including treatment with a turpentine plaster and doses of brandy and ammonia), John William never left her side: temporary fluctuations

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41. Sir John Wiliam Ramsden, 5th Bt

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quality was he associated in later life — and he gave the credit to his brother- in-law, Edward Horsman, husband of his sister Charlotte, for getting him more actively involved in the world around him. After his marriage, Isabella’s support took a practical form. She had an excellent relationship with his wife Guendolen, aware as she was of John William’s many shortcomings as a husband, and indeed pointed them out to him bluntly if unavailingly: “This being dear Guen’s birthday and the day she comes of age What a pity it is that you did not postpone the journey.” She offered practical support by stepping in when ill health restricted Guendolen’s activities. Repeated pregnancies, too often ending in miscarriages, meant that she was unable to play a full part in John William’s lifestyle of perpetual motion. His mother, and sometimes his sister Charlotte, would deputise as hostesses for him in London when the House was sitting. After the birth of Hermione Charlotte (known as Mymee), their first child, Isabella frequently had her, and later the other children, to stay at Buckden, or eventually Byram, for extended periods. Mymee and Isabella’s companion, Bunny Dundas, remained close for the rest of Bunny’s life. This gave Guendolen the opportunity to travel, which she loved, when her health and intervals between pregnancies permitted. For many years, John William and his mother were united by their love for Buckden, where John William undertook a massive tree planting scheme, but eventually Buckden lost its appeal for him when he fell in love with Ardverikie, the Scottish estate which he first started to buy in 1870. He wrote his mother a marvellous letter at that time, setting out both the appeal of the place and his immensely complicated plans for acquiring all the land that he wanted there, plans which he later followed almost as a blueprint.'’ She gave him full backing, even supporting his sale of outlying parts of the Buckden estate to finance his plans elsewhere, while remarking that it was sad that he would never again care as deeply about Buckden as he had previously."' John William was a man who loved places more than he ever loved people. Ardverikie became the abiding passion of his life. He also loved his other country estates, Buckden, Byram and Bulstrode, the Buckinghamshire estate Guendolen inherited from her father. His relationship with Huddersfield was quite different. If Ardverikie was his wife, his mistress, his favourite child, Huddersfield was his business. As such it remained of supreme importance to him. Despite his own misgivings about himself as a young man, John William was always a hard-working, capable businessman, enjoying to the full the many benefits life had conferred on him but, unlike his son, having no illusions about the responsibilities which accompanied those benefits. On the other hand, he was less of an idealist than his son. He had no burning ambition to improve the lot of the people of Huddersfield, merely to keep to

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42. Sir John William Ramsden, 5th Bt (1831-1914). Kirklees Image Archive

43.The Hon. Lady Helen Guendolen Ramsden (1846-1910), married to Sir John William Ramsden in 1865. Muncaster Castle

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his side of the bargain between him and them as he understood it, without interpreting it unnecessarily against his own interests.

Husband and wife: John William and Guendolen

Guendolen had a more powerful influence on her husband than was immediately apparent. The youngest of three daughters of the Duke and Duchess of Somerset, Guendolen was also descended through her mother Georgiana from the great playwright Richard Brinsley Sheridan, author of The Rivals and School for Scandal. They were a remarkably talented family: both Georgiana’s sisters were writers and had many other accomplishments. Georgiana herself, whose wit and originality were legendary, was chosen to be the ‘Queen of Beauty’ at the Eglinton Tournament, which attracted 100,000 spectators in 1839. Guendolen’s father was a politician, author of two books and served as Lord Lieutenant of Devon for a quarter of a

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Guendolen, only 19 at the time of her marriage and immediately plunged into a seemingly never-ending cycle of child-bearing and ill health, did not succeed in producing the longed-for son and heir until she was over 30. But throughout those years she enjoyed the support of her mother-in-law and

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44. Opening of Somerset Bridge by Lady Guendolen Ramsden, 25 May 1874. Kirklees Image Archive

people from Huddersfield to Byram to join the celebrations. No doubt here again the lead was taken by Guendolen rather than her

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45. Portrait group at the Yorkshire Agricultural Show, 1888, taken outside Longley Hall entrance porch. From left to right: standing, Lord Harewood, Sir John William Ramsden, Lord Auckland; seated, EW. Beadon, Col. Ramsden, Hon. G. Lascelles Huddersfield Local Studies Library

46. Official party at the laying of the corner stone of the Victoria Tower, Castle Hill by John Frecheville Ramsden, Saturday 25 June 1898. Sir John William Ramsden is centre front; John Frecheville Ramsden is immediately behind him; Isaac Hordern is to his far right. Ramsden Family Collection

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before making her his wife. It was one of the best decisions of his life. But her Norfolk background was yet another factor in his drift southwards. John Frecheville’s older sister, Mymee, had long made her own life far from Yorkshire. An independent spirit, Mymee cared for none of the things which so attracted her brother, but her parents’ way of life was not for her either. She travelled extensively, particularly in Norway, and resisted all attempts to find her a husband. A puzzle and something of a disappointment to her mother, she of all the family was the most willing to stand up to her father. John William and Guendolen’s middle child, a sweet and gentle girl named Rosamund, was close to her mother, in awe of her father and increasingly dependent financially and socially on her brother, John Frecheville. Later she made what the rest of the family viewed as an unwise marriage, had a son, then died while the child was still a toddler. Had she lived she would have been so proud of her son who went on to become the great art connoisseur Sir Brinsley Ford, an exceptionally charming and erudite man. She was probably more settled in Yorkshire than either her brother or sister, but she too eventually drifted south. After her marriage she bought a house in Sussex. So gradually in a single generation the ties with Yorkshire were loosened. Guendolen herself really preferred to be at Bulstrode, her parents’ old home, with easy access to London, to her sisters and to the doctors on whom she was increasingly dependent. Perhaps because of his nomadic lifestyle, constantly moving between Byram, London, Bulstrode and the place he loved more deeply than any other, Ardverikie, none of John William’s family ever imbued his deep sense that, no matter where he might spend time, Byram was truly home. In 1909, for the first time in his life, John William passed a whole year without spending a single night at Byram'’. Guen’s health was a major factor, but, even when he came up to Huddersfield to celebrate 70 years since he had inherited the estate, he stayed at Longley and returned south immediately afterwards without visiting Byram. However, of Huddersfield he wrote:

My visit was most satisfactory. Everybody was most cordial and the Town looks very prosperous. I am much impressed with the large amount of building going on in many different parts of the estate.'®

His relationship with the town could be compared to that of an elderly married couple who have had many disagreements, some deep and bitter, but are indissolubly bound together by a lifetime of shared memories of every kind. In 1860 he had been amongst the officers who joined the 1st Yorkshire (West Riding) Artillery Volunteer Corps on its formation. More than 40 years later he was the sole survivor of that original intake. He alone had witnessed the work of Isaac Hordern in the estate office for more than sixty years.

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Father and son: John William and John Frecheville:

For such an intolerant and demanding man, John William was remarkably patient and tolerant with his son. Believing as he did that he himself had been idle and

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excess of £300,000, but John William stipulated that the plantations must be made over to him and he refused to provide an income for his brother-in-law for the future. He saw this as the only way to save his sister from bankruptcy, but she and her husband erupted with fury. Relations between brother and sister never really recovered, despite, as is clear from the correspondence, John William’s best attempts to heal the breach. This was sad: in earlier years they had had a good relationship. Charlotte gave children’s parties for Mymee and teased her brother when, contrary to his own interests, he stubbornly refused to pay a groom’s moving expenses from Byram to Bulstrode — ‘I hate trouble and so do

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George’s controversial 1909 Budget increased death duties even in cases where property was passed on to the younger generation but the donor failed to live for a full three years after making the gift. So, without further consultation with John Frecheville, John William decided (in his own words) ‘to abdicate’. This meant that provided he survived until the spring of 1913 no tax would be payable on the transition of the estate. In fact, John William died in April 1914. John Frecheville was astounded, suitably appreciative but did not even fully understand the basis on which the decision was taken. John William thereafter made no attempt to interfere, reserving for his diary his mistrust of the advice now being offered to John Frecheville by a young friend, who made ‘a new proposal which I cannot say that I

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had done at Ardverikie. Kenya offered the opportunity to do precisely that. Further, land in Kenya could be bought at subsidised rates by those who had fought in the War. Early in 1919 John Frecheville started to buy land, initially at Marula. He also invested £900,000 in the Trust which he had set up for speculative investment in raw materials, mostly in Africa, and a further million pounds in Cox’s Shipping Agency. Algernon Cox was the friend whose schemes had puzzled and concerned John William before the war. John Precheville was spending capital which he did not

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of Wilfrid Dawson or of his great ambition ‘to see the Corporation own the Ramsden This was not widely known about even in Huddersfield at the time. Dawson was able to act as he did only because a man such as Sam Copley existed, both able and willing to finance the venture himself and happy, had things turned out differently, to keep the whole estate for himself: If Sir John were minded to sell but without any clear idea about how or to whom, then this is where Stephenson’s ‘Mystery Man’ comes in. It was he who brought the parties together and it was his solicitor who drove the negotiations forward, so who was he and why did he become involved? It is clear from names included in the Dawson File that the ‘Mystery Man’ was Captain Charles Le Despencer Leslie Melville, seventh and youngest child of the fifth son of the Earl of Leven. Born and brought up at Branston Hall in Lincolnshire, he joined the Grenadiers, finishing the war as a captain. In 1911 he had married Rose Chesney at the fashionable church of St George’s Hanover Square, but all was not as the family might have wished. Charles was the black sheep of the Leslie Melville family. He was declared bankrupt in 1912. The family was well-known and respected in Branston. Charles’ father was a banker, had been High Sheriff of Lincolnshire, and served as a magistrate and Deputy Lieutenant. There was no shortage of money at home and perhaps Charles began to pin his hopes on an inheritance. If so, he was to be disappointed. His parents in fact handled his bankruptcy with dignity, sensitivity and caution. His mother made a new will in 1912 in the light of the situation. Apart from a number of legacies for family, godchildren and staff, her main property was 338 acres of land in County Cork, known as her Irish estates. This land, or the capital representing it if it were sold, was put in trust with the income going to her husband during his lifetime and after his death to Charles as the main beneficiary. Charles had an older brother, Alexander, also a captain in the army, but apparently a man more in the mould of his father. He and Arthur Tritton, probably a London banker, were the two trustees for what became known as Charles’ Trust, with the extremely onerous duty of ensuring that the capital remained intact and deciding how the income was to be allocated. Everything was tied up as tightly as possible to ensure that neither Charles nor his creditors had access to the capital and it was for the trustees to decide whether the income went to Charles, his wife or any children. His mother died in March 1918 and his father in the following January. His brother was an executor of both wills, together with other family members and, in their father’s case, another local banker. Although their mother’s estates, including the Irish land, were worth less than £17,000, their father left more than £120,000. Once again, everything was kept well away from Charles and his creditors. The family pearls might be worn by his wife or a daughter if he

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had one, but the likelihood of him attempting to sell them was foreseen and forestalled. His debts to his father were to be dealt with sympathetically but not totally written off: £5,000 and some further land was added to his Trust fund, and £1,000, partly in kind, was made available for furnishing a house, but everything else went primarily to his brother with a portion for his sisters. His parents were determined that he should not have the opportunity to fritter away any more of the family money and the details of their settlements indicate how aware they were that they were dealing with a highly manipulative

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The story as told by Clifford Stephenson relies so heavily on coincidence that it almost beggars belief. That the group of Dawson’s friends who met on the train, on the unusual occasion when Dawson himself was unable to go to his own flat in London, should happen to include a stranger, who by chance invited him to stay and only then discovered that he came from Huddersfield, so then casually asked if he knew anyone interested in buying a large estate there, stretches coincidence to breaking point. It also ignores the cunning displayed in other parts of the story by Charles Leslie Melville as well as his nature and circumstances. Copley’s account seems much more probable: that the friends were Copley, Dawson and White and that he had met them in White’s office where the initial Huddersfield conversation took place. It may have been a coincidence that Melville visited White’s office when Copley and Dawson were there, or Melville may already have done his homework, found out about Copley’s or Dawson’s dreams for Huddersfield and made sure that he was himself in the right place at the right time so that the whole process could progress with a slickness engendered by careful planning.

The man who sold Huddersfield

John Frecheville was generous but not a good judge of character and he always kept his own counsel. His closest confidante was his wife, Joan. Their marriage was exceptionally close, despite the willingness of both to spend months apart when he was in Kenya and she was happier in the garden at home. In many ways they were very like each other but, in common with most men of his generation, he would not have discussed financial matters in depth with her. The one with whom arguably he should have discussed the whole issue of Huddersfield was his oldest son and heir, John St. Maur Ramsden, who was eighteen in 1920, a young man of high intelligence, sensitive, thoughtful, but also practical. There is no record of what he thought about the sale of Huddersfield but he spent much of the following year, 1921, with his father in Kenya, sometimes just the two of them and sometimes joined by John’s uncle, Geoff Buxton. All the indications are that John became very close to his father at this time. He certainly fell in love with Kenya, where he was to spend much time later in his life, writing in his diary ‘I speak of Africa and Golden Joys’.*’ John was supposed to be going up to Cambridge in October 1921 but, at his father’s instigation, a somewhat high-handed telegram was sent to the university informing them that he would not now be coming up until after Christmas. John, unlike his father, was a hard worker by nature and he eventually returned having prepared a presentation for the Pitt Rivers Museum in Oxford of an anthropological collection. Father, son and uncle all relaxed together, joking and enjoying the country.

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48. Sir John Frecheville Ramsden (1877-1958). Ramsden Family Collection

Yet John Frecheville’s mind at this time was filled with the need to decide on the future of Byram, family home for the Ramsden family for hundreds of years and, now that Huddersfield was sold, their last real link with He discussed it with no-one, probably not even Geoff Buxton. When John eventually returned to England he picked up a copy of Country Life. As he wrote in his diary:

I came on an advertisement for Byram to be sold. It is the first I have ever heard of it. I think it is a very good thing as it is expensive to keep up and we never live there. I really don’t know the house at all and have no regrets about it but the garden with its beautiful terrace and statues by the lake and its wonderful yew fences, the highest I have ever seen, will be a loss. 1 am afraid Daddy who knows it well is very sad at parting with it. However it is such an expense to keep up and wants so much money spending on it before we could live there that it is hardly worth keeping it.*!

John William, while making all the decisions himself, had allowed his son to make a playground of his empire, visiting Malaya in lordly style, in the

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hope that the young man would develop a sense of responsibility towards his inheritance. John Frecheville was a much more kindly and

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dragged through the courts even after the unfortunate man’s death in a lunatic asylum to which John William’s behaviour had driven him for his misguided attempts to help his client, but there were many others. John William’s habit of suing people whose performance had fallen short of what he expected at times resulted in him being unable to find anyone prepared to work for Yet his diaries in later life reveal a more sensitive, caring man than outsiders ever dreamed of. He undoubtedly mellowed with age. Many of his staff were extraordinarily loyal to him and stayed with him for most of their lives. Sometimes he struggled to see things from the point of view of others, in part because his personal life experience was so utterly different from that of the majority of people with whom he came in contact. If his system provided for paying bills on a six-monthly basis, it simply would not have occurred to him that this could create cash-flow problems for others. But, while he remained in charge, the jobs of his employees were secure. His empire was built on a sound foundation. In later years, his diary records numerous instances of his care and concern for members of his

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in life which he was determined to avoid at all costs. He often worried, sometimes despaired, strove to guide him in what John William believed to be the right direction, but ultimately he had no alternative. John Frecheville was his future. Had he had two sons, or even lived at a time when a daughter could be considered on an equal footing with her brother, he might perhaps have played one off against the other. It is impossible to tell. As it was, John Frecheville held the ace of trumps. Considering the differences in their characters, it is remarkable that the two men got on as well as they did. But then it was so clearly in the interests of both that they should do so. Each ultimately wanted the relationship between them to work and neither ever risked seriously endangering it. The very skill which was John Frecheville’s strength, and the absence of which was his father’s weakness, helped the younger man immeasurably. He did have considerable charm, a natural way of getting on with people which stood him in good stead throughout his life and worked even with his own father. His strengths and weaknesses were quite different from those of his father. John William only really flourished once he entered the commercial world. This was never an environment with much allure for John Frecheville, cultured, with wide interests, undoubtedly a ‘people person’. John Frecheville was an urbane man with a large circle of friends, playing a prominent part in the social and sporting worlds of England, Scotland and Kenya, well-travelled, well-read, an immensely knowledgeable plantsman, interested in history and a number of scientific subjects where he was keen to attempt to turn such knowledge as he had into successful business ventures. He was also a practical man who earned his Swahili nickname Kimondo, referring to the bag of nails and basic tools he carried everywhere with him. He, almost alone amongst the European settlers, knew exactly how to build waterways on the land, something of vital importance when establishing new grazing areas. He and Arthur Cole, husband of his niece Tobina, had a shared enthusiasm for all such projects and delighted in working together to bring life-giving water to their arid estates. Tobina (then Cartwright), as a young girl in Kenya, had lived in her uncle’s house for extended periods, and described him some 70 years later as a giant among men. People of all ages and from different walks of life undoubtedly adored him. He would bring a young grandson into a group in a way which made the boy feel on equal terms with his grandfather’s friends. With his own children as they grew up, however, he could sometimes lack imagination and if they were acting on his behalf he was frequently reluctant to accept their accounts of events, preferring the word of an unreliable employee: he did not always show good judgement when making appointments. Whether John William would in fact have delegated authority had the young John Frecheville been willing to take responsibility was rarely tested.

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John William certainly believed that he was keen to do so and only his son’s total lack of interest prevented him from playing a prominent part in the family businesses. A generation later John Frecheville was not good at delegating to his children, all of whom in different capacities tried to undertake some of his burdens, only to have their efforts rebuffed. John St. Maur in both Kenya and Malaya, Bobbie at Muncaster and Joyce at Ardverikie all suffered from this. More of an idealist than his father, John Frecheville was at one time keen to enter Parliament, fired with enthusiasm for the good he might achieve. John William had no such ideals: his principles were concerned rather with running a sound and successful business. John Frecheville’s dreams were more uplifting and inspirational. Unfortunately, he rarely showed the determination necessary to put them into practice. The fact that John William died in April 1914 (demonstrating, one is tempted to feel, his usual impeccable timing) meant that the transition of power from father to son (for, despite a few ominous rumblings, little of major importance changed in John William’s lifetime after his so-called

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Most of the information in this chapter is taken from private sources not accessible to the public. Enormous numbers of family letters, diaries and other papers are in the possession of the family but have never been catalogued. Thus any attempt to reference them would be meaningless. The author had access to some of this material for her book Poverty is Relative and this is the source for much of the material contained in this chapter.


See chapter 3, p. 89. See chapter 2, pp. 56-7. See above, chapter 4, p.120. Whomsley (1974), pp. 191-2. Whomsley (1974), pp.

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30 31 32 33 34 35 36 37 38 39 40 41 42

43 44


Stephenson (1972), pp. 9-16. See chapter 6 for details, pp. 175-7. Stephenson (1972), p. 11. Stephenson (1972), p. 16. Beard (1989), pp. 38-54. HDE, 28 October 1919; see chapter 6, p.177. DF 77, W. P. Raynor to Dawson, 1 November 1919. Stephenson (1972), p. 11. KC/592/2/15, ‘How I came to be interested in Huddersfield’ — see chapter 6, p. 181. KC/592/2/15, ‘How I came to be interested in Huddersfield’ — see chapter 6, pp. 181-2. John St Maur Ramsden Diary, 1921. See Wickham and Lynch (2019). John St Maur Ramsden Diary, 1921. Although a number of authors quote this, I have been unable to trace its original source. Buxton (2017), pp.

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Manuscript sources

Cumbria Record Office, Whitehaven DPEN Pennington-Ramsden Papers DPEN/311 Ramsden Letters

Leeds University Library, Special Collections MS 491, Isaac Hordern, ‘Notes Relating to the Ramsden Estate and Huddersfield’ (also in WYASK, DD/RE/419).

The National Archives, Kew HO 107/2294/15/23: 1851 Census, Longley Hall. RG 10/4356/94/20: 1871 Census, Longley Hall. RG 11/4375/14/21: 1881 Census, Longley Hall.

Swindon, Historic England Archive MD60/00034 — MD60/00038, Longley Hall Agent’s House, Plans of Cellars, Ground Floor, Bedroom Floor, Roofs and East Elevation and Sections.

University of York, Borthwick Institute NHS/BOO/6/2/3/2, York Asylum, Registry of Admissions Book, 6 November 1850-10 September 1855.

West Yorkshire Archive Service, Bradford BDP78, Oakworth Christ Church Parish Records

West Yorkshire Archive Service, Kirklees CBH/A/321, Huddersfield County Borough architects. DD/AH/92, Philip Ahier Papers DD/R, Ramsden Papers DD/RA, Ramsden Family Papers DD/RE, Ramsden Estate Papers KC592, Clifford Stephenson Papers

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Page 247


Beard, Madeleine (1989), English Landed Society in the Twentieth Century. London: Routledge.

Beard, Mary (2015), SPQR:A History of Ancient Rome. London: Profile Books.

Beardmore, Carol, Steven King and Geoff Monks (2016), The Land Agent in Britain. Newcastle: Cambridge Scholars Publishing.

Broadbent, G. H.

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Crump, W. B.

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Griffiths, David (2011c), ‘Springwood, Huddersfield’s lost park’, Huddersfield Local History Society Journal, 22, pp. 16-25.

Griffiths, David (2012), “Before the Corporation: Huddersfield’s early civic buildings’, Huddersfield Local History Society Journal, 23, pp. 14-20.

Griffiths, David (2015), ‘Huddersfield in turbulent

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Hilton, K, (1989), “Huddersfield

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Marsden, Christopher (2018), ‘Huddersfield Architects an A—Z Listing’. Huddersfield: privately printed.

Mills, D. R. (1980), Lord and Peasant in Nineteenth Century Britain. London: Croom Helm. Minter, Gordon and Enid (1996), Discovering Old Huddersfield, 4 vols. Huddersfield: Barden and Co. Moore, D. C. (1976), The Politics of Deference. Hassocks: Harvester Press. Morgan, B. G. (1961), Canonic Design in English Medieval Architecture.

Liverpool: University Press.

Morris, R. (1990), Class, sect and party: The making of the English middle class — Leeds, 1820-50. Manchester: University Press.

Navickas, K. (2016), Protest and the politics of place and space, 1789-1848. Manchester: University Press. Neale, J. M. and Webb, B. (1843), The Symbolism of Churches and Church Ornaments. London: Rivington.

Nicholson, P. (1798), The Student’s Instructor in Drawing and Working the Five Orders of Architecture. London: J. Taylor.

Ormrod, W. Mark (ed.) (2000), The Lord Lieutenants and High Sheriffs of Yorkshire, 1066-2000. Barnsley: Wharncliffe Books.

Oxford Dictionary of National Biography (2004): Oxford: University Press.

Pearce, Cyril (2018),°A pioneer in municipal enterprise: Huddersfield, 1868-1920’, pp.

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Richardson, Harry W. (1971), Urban Economics. London: Penguin Education.

Richardson, M. (1903), St John’s Church, Bay Hall, 1853-1903. privately printed.

Roberts, Matthew (2018), ““God Save the Paddock Flag”: Anti-Poor Law and Chartist Banners, 1837-1844’, pp. 39-61 in Hargreaves (2018).

Robson, T. (1831), Robson’s London Dictionary. London: Robson & Co.

Royle, Edward (1996), ‘Owenism and the Secularist Tradition: the Huddersfield Secular Society and Sunday School’, pp. 199-217 in Living and Learning, ed M. Chase and I. Dyck. Aldershot: Scolar Press.

Rumsby, John H.

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Springett, Jane mechanics of urban land development in Huddersfield, 1770-1911’. Unpublished Ph.D. thesis, University of Leeds.

Springett, Jane (1982), ‘Landowners and urban development: the Ramsden estate and nineteenth century Huddersfield’, Journal of Historical Geography, 8:2, pp. 129-44.

Springett, Jane (1986), ‘Land development and house-building in Huddersfield, 1770-1911’, pp. 23—56 in M. Doughty (ed.), Building the industrial city. Leicester: University Press. Springett, Jane (1992), pp. 449-80 in Haigh (1992).

Stephenson, Clifford (1972), The Ramsdens and their Estate in Huddersfield. “The Town that bought itself”. Huddersfield: The County Borough of Huddersfield.

Sykes, D. F E. (1898), The History of Huddersfield and its Vicinity. Huddersfield:

Advertiser Press

Taylor, Kate (2012), Wakefield Diocese: celebrating 125 years. Norwich: Canterbury Press.

The Church at Longroyd Bridge, 1859-1899 (1899). Huddersfield: privately printed.

Thrush, Andrew and John P. Ferris (eds) (2010), The House of Commons

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Wallen, William (1836), The History and Antiquities of the Round Church at Little Maplestead, Essex. London: John Weale.

Wallen, William (1842), Tivo Essays Elucidating the Geometrical Principles of Gothic Architecture. Leeds: Edward Baines.

Weatherhead, Arthur S. (1913), Holy Trinity, Huddersfield. Three lectures on the history of the church and parish, 1819 — 1904. Huddersfield: privately printed.

Webster Christopher (ed.) (2003), ‘temples worthy of His presence’: the early publications of the Cambridge Camden Society. Reading: Spire Books.

Webster, Christopher Alternative to Ecclesiology: William Wallen’, Ecclesiology Today, 42 (June), pp. 9-28, published as G. Brandwood (ed.), Seven Church Architects

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Wickham, Louise and Karen Lynch (2019), Yorkshire Gardens Trust. Selby District Historic Designed Landscapes Project. Byram Park, published at https://www.yorkshiregardenstrust.org.uk/byram-park.

Williams, J. (1845), Williams’ Directory of the borough of Leeds, &c. London: J. Williams. Woodhead, T. W. (1939), History of the Huddersfield water supplies. Huddersfield: Tolson Memorial Museum.

Wyles, David J. (1992), ‘Architectural Design in Nineteenth Century Huddersfield’, pp. 303—40 in Haigh (1992).

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Acland Hood, see Hood advowsons 46, 115, 127-30, 174, 176 Almondbury 2, 3, 5, 8, 115-17, 123, 130, 138, 151, 174 parish church (All Hallows) 8, 117, 123, 127, 130, 135-7, 138, 152, 186, school, 153; Grammar School, 118, 152 Andrews, George Townsend (1804-55), architect 151 Architectural Society 150 Ardverikie estate 24, 119, 177, 184, 199, 205, 207-10, 212, 215-16, 218 Armitage Bridge, St Paul 131, 142n50 Armitage, George 95 Aspley Mission 138, 153, 159, 165, 169n45

Baptists 122, 125; New North Road chapel, 122 Bardsley, Rev. James 126, 128, 130 Barrowclough, Florence 179, 188 Bateman, Rev. Josiah 62, 63, 123, 132 Bay Hall Estate 45, 58, 63,67, 83n58, 118, 134, 135, 143n76, 197 Bay Hall, St John 19, 63, 67, 80, 118-19, 121, 123, 127, 128, 131, 134-6, 138, 139, 140, 167, 168, 174, 186, vicarage135 Beadon, Frederick William (1853-1933), agent 34, 36, 40n104, 78, 79, 80, 119, 123, 126, 128, 129, 204 Beasley, John (1801-74), land agent 27, 40n83 Beaumont, E.A., councillor 177, 210 Bensted, Rev. Thomas 121, 128 Bentinck, Ruth Mary Cavendish- (née Seymour)

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Byram 4, 5,7, 8, 19, 26, 33-5, 46, 52, 54, 72, 103, 108, 119, 188, 199, 203, 205, 206, 208, 209, 214, 215 Byram Arcade 77 Byram Buildings 33, 40n97 Byram Street 43, 77

Calvert, Rev. W.B. 128 Camden Society/Ecclesiologists 155, 157, 158, 167, 168 canals 43, 47, 48, 53, 55-7, 75, 78, 81, 82n21, 83n49, 196 Canal Act (1774) 43, 48 Castle Hill 162-3, 165, 166 hotel 62, 164 Victoria Tower 203, 204 Catholics 125, 136, 144n88 St Patrick, New North Road 122, 146, schools 121, 122 Chantrell, Robert Dennis (1793-1872), architect 146, 151-3, 156, 169n32 Child, John (c.1790-1868), architect 146 church rates 125, 134 Clay, Bradley, agent 53 Cloth Hall 7, 10, 14, 43, 47, 48, 50, 51, 58, 65, 75, 81 Coates, Rev. John 117 Cocking, William (1817-74), architect 162, 165 Cole, Prudence Tobina, née Cartwright (1928-2016) 217 Colling, Wiliam Bunn (1813-86), architect 27 Congregationalists, see Independents Copley, Samuel William (1859-1937) 176- 88, 190, 192n19, 211-13 Cowclifte schools 121, 135 Crook, Rev. Harcar 117 Crosland, George 95 Crosland, Joseph 121, 131 Crosland, Thomas Pearson 110, 112n19 Crossland, William Henry (1835-1908), architect 14, 15, 28-33, 40n90, 70-1, 77,79, 85n117 Crossley, Rev. Owen Thomas Lloyd 129, 130 Crowder, John, agent 10, 52, 82n21, 89


Dalton 45, 76, 77, 80, 138 Dartmouth, Earls (Legge family) 116, 139 William (1731-1801), 2nd Earl 117, 131, 140 William (1784-1853), 4th Earl 118 William Walter (1823-91), 5th Earl 135 Dawson, Wilfrid (1871-1936) 175-88, 190, 191, 210, 211, 212, 213 Dawson File 175, 177, 179, 180-3, 188, 190, 191, 210, 211 death duties 209 Deighton 47, 76, 174 Dinsley, Thomas, surveyor 51, 89 donations 64, 73, 76, 119, 120-4, 127, 130, 131-2, 134, 135 Drawbridge, Rev. Charles 121-2 Dundas, Bunny 197, 199, 202 Dyson, Ernest, borough treasurer 188 Dyson, Lee 89, 105, 110, 111n3

elections 44, 53-4, 71, 82n6, 112n6, 112n18 Engels, Friedrich 52, 55, 83n31, 146 Estate Office, Longley Hall 10, 12-15, 25, 27, 70, 89, 160, 166, 168 Estate Office, Westgate 27-8, 70, 111, 180 Evangelicalism 24, 117, 127-30, 131, 140, 155, 157

Farnley Tyas, St Lucius 153, 169n32 Fartown Grammar School 152 Fenton, James Crosland 56, 64, 131 Fenton, Lewis 53 First World War 79, 80, 209, 210, 211, 218 Firth, Thomas 45,65, 77, 82n10, 86n139 Fitzwilliams of Wentworth Woodhouse 46, 53, 54, 117, 134, 140, 168, 195 Charles William Wentworth- Fitzwilliam, 5th Earl Fitzwilliam (1786- 1857) 10, 16, 19, 23, 56, 63, 118-22, 125, 134, 147, 148,159, 161, 166, 195, 196 Fixby 116, 159, 174 Fowler, Charles Hodgson (c.1823-1903), architect 138 Freeman, John, lawyer 95-8, 100

George Hotel 10, 57, 59, 62, 63, 65, 71, 75, 160-2, 166, 168, 197 George Inn 10, 50, 57

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Gledhill, Wright 106-7 Golcar 116 St John 143n64 Gothic architecture 14, 21, 70, 85n117, 134, 138, 151, 155-6, 158, 159 Graham, Richard Hewley (1834-85), agent 24-6, 28, 29, 32-4, 68-71, 72-4, 78, 119, 122, 126 Greenhead 45, 58, 66, 67, 73, 124, 131, 155, 197 Greenhead Park 66,

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Improvement Acts: (1848) 44, 68 (1871) 72 (1876) 74 Incorporated Church Building Society 151-2 Independents/Congregationalists 104, 117, 125, 134, 148 Highfield 117, 124, 126 Milton 125, schools 125 Paddock 124 Ramsden Street 10,51, 75, 122, 123, 134, 146, 148 149, 153, schools 122 Irish 141n29

Jebson, John 100 John William Street 43, 57, 75, 99, 162, 197 Jones, Charles Henry (1800-84), mayor 69, 71, 72 Jones, Frederick Robert, jnr, lawyer 88, 99- 101, 103, 106, 107, 109-11, 114n52 Jones, Rev. Lewis (1824-66) 117, 127, 138, 142n50, 151, 152

Kaye, Jere 95, 97 Kaye, Joseph (c.1779-1858), builder 135, 147 Kayes of Woodsome 3, 116, 135 Kenya 209-10, 212, 213, 215, 217-18 Kilner, Thomas 93, 105 Kirkheaton 138, 153, 174 schools 153

Leeds 16, 29, 47, 55,57, 145-6, 151, 153, 156, 158, 159, 161, 165, 196 Leeds Intelligencer 152, 158 Leeds Mercury 108, 166 Leeds Times 101 Legge, Augusta Georgiana (1854-1931) 186 Leslie-Melville, Charles le Despencer (1877-1929) 179-85, 210, 211-13, 218 libraries 55, 66, 77, 79, 86n139 Lindley 45, 100 St Stephen 143n64, 148, 153 Lingards 116, 142n53 Linthwaite 95, 116 Lion Building 162, 184 Lister-Kaye, John Lister (1801-71), 2nd Bt 45,77, 101, 138


Loch, George (1811-77), agent 9, 10, 12- 16, 19-23, 56-7, 58, 60-4, 87-9, 90-1, 92,101, 112n4, 119, 122, 123, 125, 149, 161, 166-7, 168, 195-7 Lockwood 45, 65, 95, 116, 131, 146, 174 Emmanuel 121, 128, 131, 142n50, 143n64, 146 Longley, St Mary’s 138 Primitive Methodist schoolroom 138 Longley (Old) Hall 1-3, 36, 37, 135, 177, 186 Longley (New) Hall 2-8, 10, 12-36, 70, 96, 98, 101, 105, 107, 111, 118, 119, 131, 138, 204-6 Longley Hall (Girls) Central School 36 Longroyd Bridge, St Thomas 127, 131, 138, 165 Longwood 55, 116 Grammar School 152 Lowe, Rev. John 117, 118

Malaya 177, 207-9, 214-15, 218 Mallinson, Thomas 95, 98, 99, 100, 103, 106, 123 markets 5, 22, 47, 65, 70, 72, 76, 81 Market Hall 70-2, 75 Market Place 7, 43, 47, 50, 51, 53,57, 65, 74, 75, 86n133, 166 market rights 43, 44, 46, 51, 65, 68, 69, 72,73, 81 Marsden 116 St Bartholomew 153, schools 153 Mellor, Wright (1817-93), mayor 72, 85n124, 98, 103, 104, 106, 108, 126, 128 Meltham 116, 135 St Bartholomew 160 Meltham Mills 155, 159 St James 155, schools 155 Melville, Charles see Leslie-Melville Methodists 122, 125 Free Wesleyan: Brunswick Street 95, 123; Hillhouse 125; Sheepbridge 122 New Connexion: Berry Brow 125; High Street 51 Wesleyan: Paddock 121, 125; Queen Street 10,51, 122, schools 122 Primitive: Longley 138 Micklethwaite, Robert (1819-88) 90, 112n6 Milbanke, John 118

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Miller, T. McGregor 126 Milnsbridge, St Luke 142n50, 153, 157-9, parsonage 153 Moldgreen 77, 101, 138 Christ Church 132, 138, schools122 St Michael 131, 138-9 Moore, John White 99 Muncaster Castle 2,35, 41n110, 209, 218 Municipal Corporations Act (1835) 58, 173, 174

Nelson, Thomas Wright (1802-83), agent 23, 62, 64, 66, 67, 70, 88, 92-4, 96-7, 106, 111, 112n18, 122, 123 New North Road 75, 95, 99, 122, 153, 165, 178 Newsome 175 St John 119, 131, 138, 142n50 Noble, John, agent 24, 106-7 Nonconformists 63, 95, 122-6, 140, 148, 153 see also under individual denominations Norris, Rev. W. Foxley 138, 139

Oastler, Richard 55, 83n49, 112n6 Oates, John (1793-1831), architect 146, 148, 153, 160

Paddock 98, 100, 105, 120 All Saints 120, 125, 131, 143n64, 148, schools 121 Congregational chapel 124, schools 95 Wesleyan chapel 121, 125 Paddock Brow, Johnny Moor Hill Mission 121 parks 65, 66, 72, 73, 74, 76 see also Greenhead Park Parliament 4, 27, 53, 72, 74, 76, 89, 95, 100, 101, 111, 180, 182, 185-8, 196, 218 parliamentary 4,5, 43, 44, 45, 53, 54, 77, 119, 131, 143n64 parsonages/vicarages 122, 131, 130, 131, 135, 148,151, 153 patronage (church) 115, 116, 117, 123, 127- 30, 135, 142n50 see also advowsons Peel, Robert (1788-1850) 59, 71, 73, 74, 163, 164


Philosophical Hall 55, 74, 100, 146 politics 5, 53, 54, 61, 81, 82n6, 90, 95, 112n6, 125, 140, 215 poor, poverty 109, 118, 120 poor law 46, 53, 55, 62 Pope, Richard Shackleton (c.1793-1884), architect 151 population 44, 52, 87, 108, 115, 173 Primrose Hill, St Matthew 131 Pritchett, Charles Pigott (1818-91), architect 62, 147 Pritchett, James Pigott (1789-1868), architect 57, 59, 62, 132-4, 146-8, 149, 150, 152, 153, 154, 160-2, 165, 166, 167, 168 Public Health Act (1858) 68

railways 16, 55-6, 57, 58, 61, 64, 81, 140, 161, 166, 196-7, 202 Huddersfield Railway Station 10, 19, 59, 74, 75, 134, 146, 148, 166, 168 Ramsden Charity 118 Ramsden Estate 10, 16, 21, 23, 27, 34, 35- 7,43, 44-5, 46-51, 54-6, 57-8, 62, 63-4, 70, 76-7, 80-1, 89, 115, 120-1, 143n62, 149, 174, 178, 187-8, 196, 211 Ramsden Estate Act (1844) 58, 65, 92, 93, 102, 106, 109 Ramsden Estate Act (1848) 58, 60,63, 65, 68 Ramsden Estate (Leasing) Act (1859) 65, 88,92, 97, 98, 100,101, 102, 107,109, 111 Ramsden Estate Act (1867) 28, 33, 65, 70,78,89,106,111, 178 Ramsden (Huddersfield) Estates Bill/ Lands Act (1920) 182, 187, 189 Ramsden Tenure Dispute, see Tenure Dispute Ramsden Trustees (4th Bt) 10, 134 (5th Bt) 16, 54-6, 58, 60-2, 64, 89-91, 119, 120, 124, 134, 147, 159, 161, 163, 195-7, 207 Ramsden, Charles (1801-91) 197 Ramsden, Elizabeth (Mrs Weddell) (1749- 1831) 118 Ramsden, Geoftey William Pennington (1904-87), 7th Bt

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Ramsden, Helen Guendolen, née Seymour (1846-1910) 33, 34, 36, 119, 144n86, 199-203, 205-6, 216 Ramsden, Hermione Charlotte ((Mymee’) (1867-1951) 199, 205, 208, 216 Ramsden, Isabella, née Dundas (1790- 1887) 8,9, 10, 12, 13, 19, 56, 58, 63, 65, 83n58, 87, 112n4, 118, 119, 131, 134, 135, 139, 140, 148, 149, 161, 163, 166, 167, 195-7, 199, 216 Ramsden, Joan, née Buxton (1881-1974) 139, 202, 203, 206, 209, 212, 213 Ramsden, John (1594-1646), Kt 4,5 Ramsden, John (1648-90), 1st Bt 5, 35, 41n109, 115, 118 Ramsden, John (1698/9-1769), 3rd Bt 5, 8, 47, 49, 117, 140 Ramsden, John (1755-1839), 4th Bt 5, 7, 8, 43, 45, 48, 49, 52-4, 56, 63, 87, 116, 117, 118-19, 134, 147-8, 167, 195, 196, 197 Ramsden, John (d.1591)

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South Crosland 116, 142n50, 143n64 Springwood 45, 65-7, 73 St George’s Square 57, 61, 70, 71, 73-4, 75, 77, 160-1, 164, 165 Stephenson, Clifford (1903-92) 174-5, 179-82, 189, 191, 191n7, 210-13 Stewart, John 100, 104 Story, Rev. Charles Edward 128 streets 43, 49,50, 51,57, 60, 71, 74, 75, 76, 123,161 Swallow Street Mission 121 Swan, Rosina Elizabeth 201 Swift, Frederick 92, 93,94, 105, 108, 109

Taylor, James 104 Taylor, Thomas (c.1778-1826), architect 146 Tenure Dispute 16-17, 27, 66, 87-9, 92-8, 99-106, 106-111, 120, 122-3 leases 23, 58, 65, 67, 70, 88-9, 90, 92-3, 95-8, 99-100, 102-4, 107, 109-11, 120, 122, 178,189, 190 tenancies-at-will 52, 65, 89-93, 97, 105-6, 108-11, 111n3, 178, 195 Ramsden v. Dyson 89, 111n3 Thornton v. Ramsden 88-9, 98, 105 Tenant-Right Defence Association 88, 100, 101-5, 106, 107, 111 Thornhill, Thomas (1780-1844) 159 Thornhill Estate 45, 65, 67, 88, 93, 99, 100, 101 116, 178 Thornhill Act (1853) 93 Thornton, Joseph 100, 101, 105, 106, 108, 109, 110 Tite, William (1798-1873), architect 12, 22, 57, 62, 161, 162, 165 Town and Country Planning Act (1909) 79-80 Town Hall 61, 62, 64, 72, 74-6, 79, 126, 186 Trotter, Rev.Joseph 117 turnpikes, roads 47, 48, 49

Unitarians Fitzwilliam Street chapel 122-3

Varley, John 126 Venn, Rev. Henry 117, 128, 140

Wakefield, Bishop of: William Walsham How (1823-97) 131, 138


George Rodney Eden (1853-1940) 128, 129, 187 Wallen, William (1807-88), architect 14-16, 18,57, 59, 65, 145-6, 147-62, 162-8 Ward, Henry, architect 151, 152 waterworks 47,55 Waterworks Commissioners 51, 53, 55, 62, 69 Waterworks Acts (1827) 53,55,68 (1845) 68 Wentworth, Charlotte (1746-1833) 118 White, James, financier 177, 181, 184, 213 White, Oswald, architect 139 Willans, James Edward (1842-1926) 125 Wilson, Rev. G.S. 128 Woodhead, Ernest (1857-1944) 180, 183, 184-5 Woodhead, Joseph (1824-1913) 75-6, 103, 106, 108 Woodhouse, Christ Church 131

Yorkshire Archaeological Association 136 Yorkshire Architectural Society 155-6, 159, 165 Yorkshire Observer 185, 187

Zetland, Dundas, Thomas (1795-1873), 2nd Earl 112n4, 119, 159 Zetland Hotel 160

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