History of the Chapelry and Church of Saddleworth and the Township of Quick (1915) by Alfred J. Howcroft

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History of the

Chapelry and Church ot Saddleworth

and the Township of Quick by Alfred J. Howcroft. sz

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(Copy of Announcement in_the Parish Magazine for June, 1915.)



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HE inception of this book was the writing of a general I outline of the history of Saddleworth Church for the Parish Magazine in view of the holding of services in

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Theodore of Tarsus, who became Archbishop of Canterbury, in which high vocation he displayed great administrative ability. He died in 690 a.p. It has been argued that the township—the still more ancient secular division—and the ecclesiastical parish are or have been originally co-terminous. This, however, will not stand the test of examination in all cases. Bishop Stubbs claims that ‘“they have existed side by side for more than a thousand years identical in area and administered by the same persons, yet separate in character and machinery.’’ Nevertheless, we find townships which were too small to need or to be able to support a church on the one hand; and on the other parishes like Whalley and Halifax of tremendous area con- taming many townships. Itis safe to conclude that each has grown up to a certain point independently, and later became associated with the other for natural and moral reasons. Theodore established and encouraged the system of patronage which has persisted to the present day. The parish was, not infrequently, the whole of an estate even including detached portions, for the private chaplain of a Saxon lord or thane, under the Archbishop’s influence, became the parish priest and the oratory the parish church.

T HE ordination of the parish is said to be due to

Jt is known that the ancient parish of Whalley was not identical with any one township, for within it were 50 town- ships, including that of Castleton (embracing Rochdale) and Quick (containing Saddleworth). Quick, with its three or four meres, stood for the secular administration of the district until quite recent times, when by mere accident and general concurrence, without valid reason, the name Saddleworth was applied to parish and township alike.

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The extent, the hilly nature of the territory, and the inaccessibility of the various parts of the parish of Whalley would imply no single township, although it did, in the early Christian organisation, produce a single parish some 50 miles in length, apparently taking in the remote fringe of

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in many essential matters. convents, in course of time, became the strongholds of the Pope—the ramifications of a foreign potentate within an independent kingdom—which caused incessant trouble between ecclesiastical and secular

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umbria. The Kingdom of Mercia comprised a territory reaching from the marches of Wales to the Lincolnshire coast and from Gloucester and Oxford in the South to the boundary of Yorkshire and the River Ribble in the North, including Saddleworth. This Kingdom of Mercia comprised the central part of England and became a bishopric after the con- version of the Saxon Kings, with the See at Dorchester (Oxford). The work of Christianising England had been going on for many centuries in spite of fire and sword. During the -Roman occupation S. Augustine and 40 monks had first preached and founded religious nuclei in various parts of the country. After the Saxon invasion the work began anew, resulting in the conversion of Ethelbert, King of Kent, and the gradual winning over of the remaining kingdoms.

THE HEpTARCHY. Egbert, King of Wessex, in 827 having conquered the other six kingdoms, became the first King of England. The Saxon Kingdom continued until 1016. For some time the Danes, or Scandinavians, had harassed and invaded England. Repeated bribes to leave it only increased their determination to seize the country, which they ultimately achieved by settling in the Eastern territories and electing Canute as their King. For the sake of peace the Saxons arranged a joint rulership of

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appointed stations and setting up

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It was in 1178 that John de Lacy, Constable of Chester, descendant of a great Norman, built Stanlaw Abbey, “* locus benedictus de Stanlawe,’’ the “‘ blessed place of

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decani, Henr. clerico de Rach., Hug de Stapelton, N. clerico, Math. de Glohut, Henr. de Werld, Petro clerico, Martino, Thom. clericis, Henr. Brun et multis aliis parochianis matricis ecclesie.


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of the Stapletons to the de Lacies, and the de Lacies, in turn, to the King. Spiritual and temporal interests were equally well organised.


In 1271 Robert de Stapleton confirmed by charter the grant of tithes by William his father. Step by step the Church was built and endowments provided over a period of nearly 60 years, for in the following year, 1272, the same Robert then makes a grant of 13 acres of arable land for the support of a minister, whose ministrations are henceforth to be regular and confined to Saddleworth. ‘‘S. quod dictus Rob. dedit, concessit et haec presen Charta sua confirmavit Tresdecim acras terrae arabilis cum tofto uno ad aedificia facienda in loco competenti .’’ with one toft for erect- ing buildings ‘‘ suitable to the place.’’ There is to be common pasturage within the Manor of Saddleworth for 10 cows and their young to three years old, 8 oxen and 60 sheep and their lambs to a year old, also for 10 pigs and two averia. The boundaries are :— De Cnouthull p’viam de Cnouthull usq. ad Stanegge

From Knothill by (the) way of Knothill to Standedge usq. ad Stabliclogh de Dighull et de Stabliclogh de Dighull, to *Staveleyclough of Diggle andfrom Staveleycloughof

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ploughed) with tle toft and the house (rebuilt) still remain (except for the land sold for the cemetery), so that for 642 years clerks under Stanlaw and Whalley Abbeys, curates under Rochdale, and independent vicars have enjoyed the gift of Robert de Stapleton—truly a firm title, if titles are worth anything. The minister, like most of his congrega- tion, was a small farmer with the added right of grazing over a part of the lord’s manor and with certain fees. The endowment, to use an apt though hackneyed phrase, rendered him “‘ passing rich on £40 a

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quod cum mota esset quedam altercatio inter d’nos Abbatem et Conventum Loci Benedicti de Stanlawe ex una parte, et Rob. del Schagh, Robertum de Qwyke, Ric. de Holyngreve, Ad. fil. Richardi, et ceteros parochianos capelle de Sadelword ex altera, super sustentationem capellani dicte capelle jugiter servientis, eo quod

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Chapel and the necessary books for the church, by the consent of the parties it will be here settled in this manner: Let it be clear that the said parishioners, having besides the Nave of Saddleworth Chapel the settled gift of Lord Robert de Stapleton, chalice, bells and bell tower, and an enclosed graveyard befitting the rest, maintain and, as often as will be necessary, repair and even renew them. The Abbot and Convent will supply a chaplain who will serve there and things necessary for ministering, such as the priestly vestments and_ the necessary books, and will repair, as often as needful, the chancel of the said Chapel. Each party undertakes faithfully to observe all (these) things. And for the greater security the said Abbot and Convent for themselves and their successors and the said Robert del Schagh, Rob. de Quyke, Ric. de Holingreave, Ad. fil. Ric, for themselves and their heirs and others, their co-parishioners, have fixed their seals alternately to this deed made in the form of a chirograph. These being witnesses: d’no Willo le Vasasur, d’no Johe de Biron, Rogero de Midelton, Willo de Hopwood, H. de Howord, Ad. de

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systematically a Church and endowment for the people of Saddleworth. Undoubtedly the same church stood the ravages of time and storm for 600 years and was seen and entered by those who worshipped there in the year 1880; not entirely the same, but altered, extended, mutilated, and disfigured by every conceivable architectural atrocity to make room for the ever-growing number of worshippers. During the early years of the chapelry service would be rendered by moderately educated men and even by lectors (readers) only. A resident minister was a marked advance towards the complete parochial independence now enjoyed, which has taken nearly six centuries to attain. Then, ag though settling down in tranquility and peace into a long deep sleep, there is scarcely a murmur or whisper of Church life for over two centuries. If unheard, the years could not have been free from the turmoils and vicissitudes incident to human life, but, through weal or woe, the church stood sentinel on the bleak moor side and emerged again from the gloom in the 16th century. They were momentous years for our country, and the tide of events must often have washed over the hills or crept up the valley to this quiet community. Even so, this period remains a sealed book.


Of the three meres comprised by the township (Quick, Saddleworth, and Hildebrightope) Saddleworth was only second in importance in early times. Quick was the dominant third and gave the township its name, which it retained until comparatively recently. The Vill of Sadel- word was in the neighbourhood of the church where the clusters of houses were a century ago, viz., Cloughbottom, Primrose, Pobgreen, Saddleworth Fold, and Cross. The first houses were built on the ancient roads in high, dry and healthy situations on sites selected for their water supply, which, until the advent of the modern waterworks, was the reason of the building and rebuilding on the same sites down to our own times. The church was planted in the midst of the then population, housed in rude mud or stone structures with thatched roofs, often each with its own garth and cattle- shelter.

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There were at one time nearly 20 houses about Clough- bottom, while ruined houses in the vicinity speak of old world village life more busy than that of the valleys.


A matter of some moment was the abandonment of the Abbey of Stanlaw in 1296 and the translating of the convent to

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*The Coucher Book of Whalley Abbey contains the record that the Bishop of Lichfield compelled the Convent in 1335 to repair the chancel roof ‘‘ which has been allowed to become ruinous, the people having sometimes to depart without mass for want of a clerk.’’ The prelate held the monks to their obligations, ‘‘ Dicti vero Abbas et Conventus. Cancellum dicte capelle quoties oportuerit reparabunt,’’ which in sixty-three years they seem to have forgotten, although the parishioners had not.


The dissolution of the monasteries was a first fruit of the great Reformation. In 15386 Henry VIII. obtained an Act of Parliament for the suppression of the smaller houses, to be followed by measures which later swept away the entire system. With the rest, Whalley, the patron of so many Churches in that great parish, fell into the hands of the King’s Commissioners. The usual process was to make a report on the state of the Convent (though not done in this case), to take an inventory of goods and possessions, and to commence the work of demolition. Beautiful carved oak woodwork was burned to melt the roof leads into ingots, the fine stained-glass windows were smashed, and the moulded arches and pillars thrown down. Usually the monks were given small pensions, and the abbot a larger one in propor- tion to his greater dignity. The Convent buildings of Whalley, it is considered, would have cost £120,000 in present-day money. The last abbot, John Paslaw, joined the consequent insurrection called the

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same worldliness, however, in the end overtook even the best orders, succeeding generations entering the abbeys, many without qualification or fitness, others because the vogue has its votaries in every age. The inevitable result, when the light of day was turned on these communities, was that frequently they were found to be corrupt and immoral, often harboured knots of men openly opposed to revealed religion, and universally were proved to be strongholds of the Pope. There could be no greater danger to the State. Moreover, they had become a hindrance to parochial development, the abbots having equalled or overborne the bishops; the regulars, or monkish clergy, affecting a con- tempt for the secular clergy. Holding a large proportion of the wealth of the country (about one-twentieth of the income), they were a formidable ally of the Pope in his encounter with Henry VIII. What- ever our estimate of that Monarch may be, we ought not to confuse cause and effect in our judgment of this great crisis. Apart from the King’s matrimonial outrages, the materials of a great religious revolution were at hand, Henry’s excesses being the occasion rather than the cause of the rupture. On the other hand, their vast possessions had become a tempta- tion to other interests, and so, much of the land found its way back to the class which had originally given it. It is certain that many good men whose fortunes had been merged with those of the abbeys were in their old age turned out of their homes with sad hearts to face a mocking world. Their lives had been associated with much that was beautiful. The principles of the various orders were beautiful; their archi- tecture, painted glass, carving, illuminated books and manu- scripts, their natural surroundings, their hospitality were all beautiful. Theirs were seats of learning, of theology, art, science and literature, and agriculture. No man sought refreshment or shelter in vain—the workhouse was unknown and unnecessary—their entertainment was free and bounti- ful.

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Onwards for 100 years the religious

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abroad, it is significant there should have been a strong feeling in favour of a revived Monarchy. In 1660 Charles II. was therefore received with frantic joy. This confidence was ill-requited, for the reign was immoral and marks one of the most disgraceful pages in our history. The Stuarts were more than suspect of Romish leanings, James II. was openly Roman Catholic, and as a result of his acts on their behalf he had to flee the country. Parliament then settled the succession in the Protestant and female line by electing Mary, the daughter of James II., and William of Orange, her husband, to reign jointly. It was in the reign of William and Mary (1698) that the stocks were set up in front of the old Church, probably replacing an older set. They were originally instituted and commanded to be set up by Edward III. in 1850 for the punishment of serious offences, but in the time of the Stuarts they were brought into use against Sabbath breakers and drunkards.

New WINDOWS AND EXTENSIONS. After the long period from the completion of the Church to Tudor times, during which it remained the same simple structure, the first step in the almost endless changes which were afterwards made was the inserting of larger windows in the North and South walls for the small lancet windows. This occurred in the Middle Tudor period, about 1530, the mullioned windows being good examples of the style.

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exactly in the same place as the old one, but a little on one side. It was substantial and large, with swelled carved finals round the parapets. These now stand like sentinels in St. Chad’s garden, Uppermill. About this time hand- some rusticated gate posts and gates were erected at the main entrance. These are, after 100 years’ guardianship of the Church, guarding the same sylvan retreat and are passed by thousands unknown and unheeded. A vestry meeting held on 29th July, 1747, authorises the payment of accounts by “‘ reimbursing Joseph Lawton and William Shaw, the present chapel wardens, all the expenses they were at in Repairing the said Chapel and finding other Necessaries for the Use of it for the last year; and also for defraying the Charges of making the Bell Frames hanging the Bells, fixmg up the Clock, making and hanging the Chapel Gates, and providing other necessaries for the use of the said Chapel this year.’’ The accounts are passed and the vestry book numerously signed by well-known names.

CHALICE AND HEARSE. Memoranda appear in the earliest vestry book thus :— Memorandum. The larger Communion Chalice at Saddleworth was bought in the Year of our Lord 1729 and cost £3 9s. Od., towards which Sum the Reverend John Hegginbottom, Minister of Saddleworth, paid £2 2s. Od. and the Parish £1 7s. Od.

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space. In order to meet a later emergency an extraordinary step was taken; a

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agreeable to the advice given by Mr. Nichols, Proctor,. of Chester.’’ It must appear that the congregations were so Jarge that the singers were presumably crowded out, and a

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in 1823-5 for repairs and for the walls and gates of the new graveyard. He was paid in 1826 £145 14s. 6d. for ‘‘ Pewing the bottom of the Church and sundry other work,’’ and John Shaw received £8 13s. Od. for plastering and limewashing. “For putting the Church in mourning

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church roof. And this constant expense was kept up, with annual reiteration, to the very demolition of the Church, when, if seems, in desperation the parishioners decided to make a drastic end of it. Appended are the Wardens’ accounts for a couple of years or so (the balancing is not annual and regular), which will give an idea of church affairs

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Aug. 17—To Edmund Wood for a pair of stockins

Sep. 3—

Oct. 13—

Nov. 1—

Dec. 24—

1815. Jan. 80—

Feb. 6— ”

Mar. 2—


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Mar.25—To Samuel Atkinson for repairing

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Mar. 27—To

May 31—

June 8— July 8— 24— Oct. 1—

1816. Jan. 3—

April 3—



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May 23—To Joseph Harrop one half of Expenses to Manchester when purchasing Iron Book Case,

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the bearing Timbers and Spars are in a very decayed state and the Tenon forced out of the Mortices of the Collar Beams and Rafters and the Pans have every appearance of being decayed on their bearings, more of the spars are in a similar Condition. and the Slate and Latts are very bad. That this Committee does therefore strongly recommend an entire new roof and also new beams and such supporters as are necessary under the Top gallery on the South Side. They also recom- mend all the arches and Pillars within the Church to be taken down and rebuilt, the front and back wall and West gable end to be taken down and rebuilt.’’ Then they report (sur- veyed 24th November, 1829) ‘‘ We the undersigned have surveyed the aforesaid Church and find it requisite to take down and rebuild the whole of the back or North side of the Church and raise it to the same height as the front, also the West end and front or South side to take down and rebuild. And also take down and rebuild the Porch. Also to take down the whole of the arches and pillars inside the Church and rebuild the same with two additional courses of stone to raise the pillars three feet each. Also an entire new roof as the whole of it is in a very dangerous and decayed state, and the roof is sunk so much as to force the collar beams and rafters from their mortices and pushed the walls and pillara

out fo a great extent. JOHN WHITEHEAD.



Work and Materials £700 O O Estimate for Chanceel............... 50 O

£750 O O

PLAN AND Ata Vestry Meeting held 25th March, 1830, inter alia, it was

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the 18th day of November last be also requested to continue their Services and to give their Assistance to the Church- wardens in making Contracts for such Repairs and in complet- ing the same.’’ On 2nd June, 1830, the Vestry ordered that ‘‘ a rate of one shilling and sixpence in the pound be rated and assessed upon the Inhabitants, Leypayers of the Township of Quick for the current year for repairing the said Church, and other necessary purposes relating to the said Church.’’ <A couple of months later a requisition is sent to the Vestry Clerk, ‘‘ We, the undersigned, request you to call a Vestry to be held at Saddleworth Church on Monday, the 16th of August instant, for the purpose of taking into con- sideration the propriety of removing the Wall of the Chancel on the South side of the Parochial Church and for making such other alterations as may then be agreed upon according to the Estimates and Valuations to be produced by the This is very numerously signed by

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Interest of £1,172 9s. 2d. in the 3 per cent Reduced Bank Ann. £39 16s. Od. By order of the Court of Chan- cery £7 per ann.*

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Building and Repairing of Churches and Chapels 418 of that number are hereby declared to be free and unappropriated for ever in addition to 517 formerly provided, 259 of which


Incumbent. THOMAS BRADBURY, Church BEN WRIGLEY, Wardens.’’

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Width of these.

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good middle and two side aisles,* chancel, baptistry, and other conveniences, it is heavy and unimposing in its appear- ance. In 1746 the old steeple was found to be in an insecure state, and was consequently taken down. It would be diff- cult to arrange the present! steeple under any given order of architecture, and we may safely say, without incurring the censure of any living individual ’’ (probably the architect was dead and buried), ‘‘ that it reflects but little credit upon the taste of the designer.’’ Then in mitigation of these stric- tures,

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as so antient a building can be expected to be. The Chancel belongs to the Archbishop of Canterbury, and is very decent. A curtain hangs before a part of the Communion rails for the purpose of screening the Minister in putting on his Surplice, there being no Vestry. Directions were given to the Church- wardens to erect a Vestry which might answer the purpose and contain the Iron Chest for the Registers, according to the Act of Parliament, which they promised to do. The Chureh- yard is large and decent.”’

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the building of a NEW Church. The “‘ Enlargement ’’ of the Church is to cost £1,888 12s. 5d., and that of the Chancel £1,082 8s. 3d., a startling disproportion in the judgment of anyone who knows the Church. But two sums of £250 and £175 17s, 2d. are included for

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the East end. this is the only remnant left of the first church. It will be observed also that a tombstone is built into the East wall at the South-east corner at a point which was clear of the old church.

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sow) LN!

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of local interest Barry made plans for the extension of Ash- way Gap. Mr. Platt and Mr. Shaw, of St. Chad’s, were dis- cussing these plans in situ, when Mr. Shaw enquired how a certain room was to be entered. It was discovered that a staircase had been overlooked and omitted, and in disgust Mr. Platt threw the drawings over to Mr. Shaw and told him to make a new set. Mr. Shaw completed the work. It is probable Sir Charles Barry had never seen the drawings which were at fault, so occupied was he with work all over the country, including Manchester, where he built the Art Gallery with other buildings. Saddleworth Church (without the tower, the 1746 tower remaining) cost about £3,000* as abstracted from the wardens’ accounts. It is very substantially built of large ashlar blocks from the Running- hill quarries, which also applies to Oldham Church.

REVIVAL OF GOTHIC. The design is not good Gothic, but is the fruit of the early struggles in the Gothic revival after a two and a half centuries’ slumber. Church architecture after the Refor- mation ceased; the new learning which supervened stirred men’s desire to see ancient historical countries. The beauti- ful temples of Greece and Rome were measured, drawn and studied, and, in course of time, reproduced with more or less freedom in our own country. All the new churches in London, and indeed throughout the country, were built in the styles of Pagan temples with modern variations to adapt them to new requirements. _ St. Paul’s and others of Wren’s churches are a subsequent development of the classic influ- ence, some of which preserve the Gothic plan and outline. During the reigns of Anne and the Georges there was a dis- tinct falling away in the smaller buildings from the bold classical treatment, and we find churches like old St. Peter’s

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style, the only style of their period. They were simple and quaint, and arrested attention. Where is there another feature, for instance, to take the place of the doorway or the beautiful bell turret of the old Weslevan Chapel, Uppermill? Probably our longing for the new and our veneration for the old when it is gone may eventually cause enquiry to be made as to the whereabouts of the latter. The tower of the Church was a little earlicr than these edifices, but in the same spirit. This was the last phase of the classic style, or rather the employment of classic mouldings and features in plain and severe circumstances.

RELIGION AND ARCHITECTURE, In the early decades of the last century the Gothic spirit had taken hold of the best architects of the country, and Sir Charles Barry, Pugin, Sir Gilbert Scott, George Edmurd Street, and others were the pioneers who ultimately changed the taste of the public and infused into it a new interest and regard for our old parish churches. Their early work was not good in the light of the best medieval architecture, but it gradually improved, until to-day it is equal to the best work of our forefathers. A fault of this early enthusiasm was the attendant pride in the new growths which obscured almost every claim of antiquity. - Churches were swept away rather than restored, or restored with new features totally unlike the originals. St. Chad’s grounds in Uppermill will bear eloquent testimony to this. Accompanying this architectural revival, on parallel lines, was the Oxford Movement, which applied the same medieval spirit and tradition to theology and ritual. The two, in the nature of things, went hand in hand, and in spite of the injury due to a few extreme and over-zealous High Church devotees, the Church of England gained mightily from each and by the association of both. Such was the atmosphere which had begun to breathe over England at the time of the building of the new Church, freeing the sacred edifices from centuries of whitewash and dismal furnishings, where the little regard for old associations did not prefer a new beginning ; producing the finest music in the world from her sons, and a far greater energy and activity in her clergy. By the minor influences

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Saddleworth has been affected; but the everlasting hills are not more obdurate against time than her children are opposed to reactionary tendencies, as the interval has shewn and the demonstration against even a chancel screen proved in 1899.

THe Hicu

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With much circumstance and legal formality Mr. White- lock, in May, 1853, appoints James Radcliffe, of Ryetop, his elerk—‘‘ being a Person of full age known to me to be of honest conversation and sufficient for his Reading, Writing, and competent skill in Singing to be the regular Parish Clerk of the said Chapelry during his good Behaviour,’’ etc., etc., with certain penalties if he fail in his duties. The Vestry meetings are very serious and businesslike, as they are bound to be, seeing that most of the affairs of the Township and Parish are dealt with. Mr, Whitelock, who is invariably chairman, unless absent, has everything in proper order, and the Vestry books speak well of his interest and public spirit by the thorough way in which they are kept by him. Church rates are now felt to be unfair in their incidence except for the general support of the Church and graveyard, and smaller expenses are often defrayed by public subscription. When a warming apparatus is required in 1853 for the Church, it is: proposed to raise it by voluntary subscription, just as, still advancing, William Halliwell, of Quickmere, and John Buckley, J.P., move in 1856 that money for Church repairs. should be raised in the same manner. And so the old dis- pensation passes away, gradually, by public sentiment, before the force of law deals the last blow.

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Glebe Fields; (38) that £250 for walls to enclose it and £30 for consecration fees and law expenses be raised in a similar manner; (4) an application was to be made to the Commis- sioners for building new Churches for assistance. There was in contemplation the building of an ‘* Oratory,’’ or cemetery chapel, but the Vestry did not order it. A did. rate was

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Parishes. My. Hirst is certainly resident in the new Parish of the Holy Trinity, Dobcross, but being on the Commission of the Peace he considers that he is not lable to serve the office of Churchwarden. He consents to act as such at the old Parish Church, where he and his family attend Divine Worship.

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opponents in the Parish Magazine. The local newspapers of the time testify to the high feeling and general interest in the number of letters, pro and contra, published in the corre- spondence columns. The affair had a marked effect on the Vicar’s health, from which he never made complete recovery. Through all this trouble, and, as it now seems, useless ran- cour, he never lost the respect and affection of his. parishioners. Both acted, undoubtedly, from what they con- ceived to be the best and soundest motives, and it proved, at least, that many who may appear indifferent have fixed notions and predilections on matters supposed to be beyond their outlook. <A later development was the visit of the

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fon circa 1215 would not be readily identified from the appearance of the Church well remem- bered two generations ago, and represented diversely by various prints with more or less truthfulness. It was not built at once as a complete church, but in parts as necessity arose, instalments being added well into the 138th century. First, the body of the Church was built and probably the lower part of the tower, then the belfry, and later the chancel. In 1746 this tower had become dangerous and was rebuilt, not improbably the result of unequal settlement and fracture caused by the added weight of the superimposed belfry. In the deed of 1272 securing an agreement between the Abbot and Convent of Stanlaw and the parishioners, represented by Robert del Schagh (Shaw), Robert de Quyke, Richard de Holingreve, and Adam his son, the Church being complete, the monks undertook to provide books and vestments and to repair the chancel and the parishioners to repair and renew the nave. There was a church complete, having a nave, chancel, and tower with a peal of bells. The completed Church was very simple in plan, not large in the modern sense, having a nave of three bays, altogether 38 feet long, and a chancel 25 feet long, both 20 feet 3 inches wide and 16 feet high to the wall plate. There were three lancet windows on each side of the nave, a North door and South porch.

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parishioners considered now, as they did some sixty years later, should rest with the elerics to repatr.

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third on this foundation. There may be some con- fusion of ideas in these contentions. As it stood in that year the tower was the second, half the Church was an extension or series of extensions of later times, but, beyond all question to any intelligent student, the remainder was the Church of the Stapletons, the original, the first Church built six cen- turies before. As would be natural and to be expected, the roof was in a decayed and irreparable state, clearly proved by the accounts for repairs and the report at the rebuilding. The old tower had gone 84 years before. The very dimen- sions and simplicity of the oldest part and the need to put in larger windows speak of an early English church. Adel in the Norman style and West Gilling are similar in plan to Saddleworth, and in the case of the latter the same thing. occurred; an extension was made on the South side, and, unlike Saddleworth, a second extension on the same side, leaving the North wall intact.

THE TOWER. When the old tower threatened to give way in 1746 and the new one was built, a noteworthy and prudent policy was adopted. It will be observed that, instead of planting it on or about the same foundations, it was moved on one side until the ridge of the nave coincided with the North side of the tower. Raines’ sketch and Butterworth’s also, crude though the latter be, shew this distinctly, and both might easily be mistaken for inaccuracies; but subsequent rebuildings have proved them to be correct. The drawing in ‘‘

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if the reader will refer to the comparative plans he will observe that the tradition which says that the new Church is greater than the old by six feet all round is approximate 80 far as it speaks of its width and wrong when referring to its length. The new Church is not longer than the old.


Early in the 18th century there began the practice of crowding the Church with galleries. First the West gallery was erected in 1711, followed by two others in the South extension, one in the chancel, and the last on the North side, of small dimensions. But as though to fill the place brimful another, an extraordinary gallery, was perched over the South gallery, and an excrescence was fixed on the flat roof for headway. The singers sang and panted amid internal and external heat in this choice position, called the ‘‘ cockloft.”’ All these galleries were approached by external staircases— one on the North side, which stopped up the North door; another on the South, common to the South and chancel galleries; and a third at the South-West end near the tower. These galleries, necessary to make provision for the growing number of worshippers, were the cause of most of the mon- strosities which render this Church unique. Four doorways are cut through the walls for access. The South wall must be raised to admit the gallery, and three mullioned windows are provided for light. On the North side also, two addi- tional windows are inserted, and, as for the chancel, the walls were hammered to pieces in putting in windows over the gallery and windows under the gallery.


The North-West corner of the nave hag an angle buttress of considerable size, evidently to keep stable the walls after the removal of the first tower; but in size and ugliness it 18 outclassed by that at the South-East corner of the extension, which must have shewn something more than a tendency fall away from the old building when the wall was raised for the gallery. It surely served its purpose if it could not be regarded as an ‘‘ ornament ”’ like Mr. Timothy Whitehead’s gallery. Until a few years prior to its destruction the floor

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Page 77


was flagged, the seats were loose, open-backed benches,

Page 78


worth, gave “‘ regularly fully and annually all our tithes from all produce of my land in Saddleworth with the appur- tenances of the forest to our mother Church of St. Chad.’”’ The family was generous to the Church,

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In 1293 the second Robert gave Hildebrighthope (Friar- mere) to Roche Abbey (Rupe), near Rotherham. In the reign of Edward I. the Stapleton name is lost, and the manor is in the possession of Warin de Scargill, a North Riding family, by his marriage with Claricia, or Clara, the daughter of the second Robert de Stapleton, of Cudworth, lord of the manors of Thorpe Stapleton, Qwyk, and Saddleworth. The Scargills held the manors of Saddleworh and Quick for about two and a half centuries—until the reign of Elizabeth, when they again followed the female line and passed into the Tun- stall family. The subsequent owners were William Stubbs, Sir John Ramsden, William Ramsden, William Farrer, John Farrer, James Farrar, James Farrar, who died in 1791, when the manor was sold, according to his will, and purchased by his tenants and others.

In connection with the Stapleton family it is interesting to note that the place Cudworth in Saddleworth is the name of their Yorkshire residence, and that they had as neighbour here Gilbert de Notton, who held Crompton and Bealmoor in 1212, his predecessor being Adam fitz Swain, both neigh- bours of the Stapletons in Yorkshire. It is more than probable that a settler in Saddleworth, from their Yorkshire estate, would receive the surname ‘‘ de Cudworth,’’ whose descendants may have migrated to Werneth to establish the notable family of Cudworths of Werneth, who, it will be seen, had property in Saddleworth (by turning to the Yorkshire Feet of Fines and Calandarium Inquis’ Post Mortem).

Page 80



of persons guilty of gross misconduct or heterodoxy had been resorted to for centuries. The Western and Eastern Churches had practised it against each other as a means of pressure and reprisal in their differences. Down to the Reformation it was an instrument of discipline of great power because it carried with it severe disabilities and the obligation of the civil authorities to take action. At the Reformation it became less punitive, and in the reign of

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Contra James Broadbent, of the same place. For read- inge the order of Buriall att the buryall of the dead and in the Church sometymes service, being 4

ounge vouth of XVI. or XVII. yeares of age. y

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the reign of Edward VI. (1552), when an Act of Uniformity was passed, afterwards re- pealed by Queen Mary. In the reign of Eliza- beth it was re-instituted, the Forty-two Articles of Religion being reduced to thirty-nine. A number of clergy, variously estimated, but less than 400, refused to conform, the great majority of whom had been appointed by Roman Catholic prelates in the reign of Mary. Amongst the first dissenters were Roman Catholics, but in subsequent reigns the greater number consisted of the followers of Luther and Calvin, and from the latter the first dissenting body was formed in 1581. The end of the Tudor line and the succession of the Stuart dynasty (James I.) gave a great impetus to the dissenters, inasmuch as the new house shewed decided lean- ings towards the Papacy, and the Roman Catholic element within the Church made full use of the Royal favour. Dissent grew most when the Church appeared to be reactionary. So hated was the system of Popery that every symptom of inclination towards or toleration of that system drove thou- sands into their conventicles. The reign of Charles I. brought on the crisis, Parliament took up arms against the King, and the country was plunged into civil war. In 1649 Charles, a good but mistaken man, was beheaded, when the direction of State fell into the hands of the masterful Crom- well. Before this, however, the dissenters had seized the opportunity to destroy the Church they so ardently disliked with some justification, yet quite outrageously. It remained with them to prove that, denouncing persecution and intoler- ance in others, they were capable of such excesses them- selves. The solemn League and Covenant enforced the disuse of the Prayer Book. The Directory for Public Wor- ship, which took its place, forbade kneeling at the Holy

earliest Nonconformists probably date from

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Communion and even the use of a ring at the marriage ceremony. No religious ceremony was permitted at the graveside or before the burial of a dead body. General inter- ference with religious and social life marked this period of new commandments and new catechisms. It is a characteristic of all creeds that their civil supremacy has been the occasion of a mean repression of heterodoxy.

It may be the inevitable effect of our composite human , and religious nature that in these circumstances bitter con- flict and hatred should proceed from otherwise sane and admittedly good men. There was no exception to the rule now that those who had objected to uniformity or to orthodoxy had gained the day. In 1653 (on a Sunday) John Evelyn wrote in his famous diary: ‘* No churches or public assembly; I was fain to pass the devotions of that blessed day with my family at home,’’ where he instructed and enlightened them. Again (1655):

Page 85


font. There was an order in 1653 that, where there were other Churches, the Cathedral Churches should be surveyed pulled down, and the materials sold. The opposition raised by this order, however, prevented so extreme an act; so that the Churches were merely robbed of their plate and the roof leads taken to provide bullets.

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opinion worked round as the result of bigotry and repression, he appears to have become less stable in his views. ‘‘ Not- withstanding Wood’s great zeal for and against Presby- terianism, Old John Heywood, of Saddleworth, in 1658 had

Page 87


Other evidence that Saddleworth ‘was ‘involved in the great religious differences of the times is seen in the number of Congregationalist families in the district, due principally

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Page 89


away; but it took uearly two centuries after the civil war to restore confidence and a spirit of toleration. Whether the old Adam in Church and Dissent is dead or merely dormant we know not. Yet, there is this difference—a mighty differ- ence—between the issues of to-day and those of the 16th and 17th centuries, that in the latter the main personalities and forces were foreign, operating against national interest and unity; whereas, to-day our obstacles and susceptibilities are purely sectarian and traditional, concealing a great deal of the quiet respect we entertain for each other. The

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was that of Robert de Stapleton, who about the year 1272 gave 18 acres of land with a toft for buildings and grazing rights over half his Manor of Saddle- worth. It was the land now in front and to the North of the Vicarage extending to the Clough near the Church Inn, in- cluding the Cemetery. The 13 acres were not the statute acres of to-day, but would be in the proportion of about 4 to 8, making the quantity about 17 acres. With the exception of the Cemetery plot sold off, this endowment is still in the possession of the Vicar after an interval of 648 years. With the land and the pasturage was the right of ‘‘ house bote and hay bote,’’ or the privilege of taking timber for building or for use in the house and for repairing hedges, ‘‘ Cart bote and plough bote ’’ are privileges of a similar nature not men- tioned.

T HE first endowment (of the Chapel of Saddleworth)

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one peny. Every Plow one peny. Every Swarm of Bees one Peny. Every Cow a peny and every colt or calf one half- peny, and by Landholders for Hay one peny.

* In 1717 Saddleworth is certified: £16 10s. Od. viz., Glebe about 7 acres and (a) half consisting of 2 gardens, 2 meadows, 5 fields for Ploughing or Pasture (8 of ’em are called Geld Fields and ye other 2 Ovenhouse Fields) worth about 71 (p)er ann(um), paid out of ye Tythes 71, surplice fees £2 10s. Od. The minister has a house of 3 bays and 2 bays of outbuilding viz., 2 Barns, a stable and Shippon.—Certi- ficate of Joseph Beighton, Minister, 18th June, 1717.

In Notices of Livings and their respective values, Par. of Rochdale, extracted from Ecton’s Thesaurus 8vo, 1723, Saddleworth in Yorks. is certified at £16 10s. Od. value.

Bradley Farm, near Milnrow, was purchased 13th October, 1740, from Anne Wolstenholme, widow of Daniel Wolstenholme during the curacy of Mr. Heginbottom. He and the Vicar of Rochdale, Dr. Dunster, and the Governors of Queen Anne’s Bounty were the purchasing parties to the Indenture, which secured the laying out of £200 provided by Rochdale and £200 provided by the Queen Anne’s Bounty. Dr. Dunster appears to have found £157 8s. 2d. himself, it is thought, in order to secure the augmentation of the Saddle- worth living, this sum probably being the correct amount.

t‘‘ The following is the account of the Living of Saddle- worth in 1764, taken from a document which I gave to Mr. Hay in the handwriting of Dr. Wray ’’ :—

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149 Xtenings at 8d. each 419 4 64 Burials at 6d. each 112 44 Marriages at 2/6 each 5 5 £11 16 4 Impropriation

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future £39 16s. Od. These are all the particulars, etc., you will require.

C. D. Wray to Rev, HEerBertT ALKIN,* Brownhill Cottage, Saddleworth.”’

Mr. Whitelock’s return, a year later, runs :—

Page 94

75 A PLAN of

A Plott or parcel of Common or Wast Land lying at Saddleworth in the County of York & Diocese of Chester; measured, meared and marked out from the

Page 95




Page 96

Rev. HUGH DOIG. B. B. BRADSHAW Rev. RICHARD WHITELOCK, (For 52 years Sexton).

Page 98




Robertus del Schagh. Robertus de Qwyke. Ricardus de Holyngreave. I Ad(am) filius Ricardi.

Who were parties to an agreement between the Abbot and Convent of the Blessed Place of Stanlaw and the parishioners of Saddleworth Chapelry. The following are taken from the late Mr. John Rad- cliffe’s ‘‘Saddleworth Parish Registers,’’ chiefly abstracted from the Vestry books :—


1631 1632


1634 1635








Willm Pharrant (Farrand), John Buckley, Henry Whitehead, John Schofield. — Broadbent, Ralph Gartside.

James —————, Henry Linthuit, John Scolefield,

Thomas (Wild). John Wrigley, John Buckley, Robert Greave, Thomas. Winterbottom. Robert Whewall, James Shaw. Edmund Farrand, ffrancis Schofield, Lawrence Hawk- yard, — Wrigley. John Shaw, Robert Kenworthy, John Tweedall, John Greave. Ralph Whitehead, Thomas Platt, James Kenworthy, Henry Gartside. Lawrence Kindar, Henry Whitehead, John Schofield fil Robt., Francis Gartside. Robert Gartside, Edmund Ward, Miles Andrew, Richard Kenworthy. Edmund Buckley, James Broadbent, John Shaw, Thomas Whitehead. John Gartside, Ralph Hauckyard, Edmund Buckley, James Broadbent. John Linfitt, James Whitaker.

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1678 1679 1681 1682

1690 1693 1695 1698 1700 1708 1709 1710 1711 1712 1713 1714 1715 1716 1717 1718 1719 1720 172] 1722

1723 1724


1726 1727

1728 1729 1730 1731 1782 1733

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1737 1738

1739 1740 1741 1742 1743 1744 1745 1746 1747 1748 1749 1750 1751 1752 1753 1754

1755 1756 1757 1758 1759 1760 1761

1762 1763



John Wrigley, de Midgreave; Saml. Ramsden, de Lane-head. I John Schofield, junr., of Grange; Edward Kenworthy, of Wood. James Harropp, for Dobcross. For Wood’s Land, and John Schofefield for Greenman’s. John Scholefield, for- Housesteads; Robt. Hall. Abraham Wood of Yew Tree, Tho. Bradbury, of Hole- house. Laurence Scholefield, John Andrew. John Bradbury, Runninghill; Hugh Shaw, for Halls. Jonathan Milnes, Thomas Shaw. James Whitaker, John Platt. Joseph Milnes, for Wood; John Taylor. James Kenworthy, Jonathan Shaw. Joseph Greaves, John Tweedall. Joseph Lawton, Dobcross; William Shaw. Joseph Lawton, William Shaw. Joseph Lawton, Dobcross; William Shaw. Wm. Kenworthy, senr., James Wrigley. Wm. Kenworthy, senr., James Wrigley. Henry Whitehead, Robert Winterbottom. Edmund Platt, Platt Lane; John Buckley. James Buckley, Walters; Robert Mayall. James Shaw, Hollings; Jas. Buckley, Upper House, Wallhill. John Schofield, jr., Philip Buckley. Abraham Rhodes, Robt. Schofield. Thomas Wrigley, Benjamin Gartside. James Platt, Hollins; Edmund Buckley, Wallhillgate. John Milnes, Wood Close; William Harrison, Lane. James Rhodes, Intack; John Schofield, Lanehead. Edmund Buckley, Stone Brex; Henry Whitehead, Calf Heah. Joshua Radcliffe, Birches; Joseph Whitehead, Mow Walls. Wm. Broadbent, for Delf (for part of Mr. Barker’s); Edwd. Kenworthy, Quickedge. Joshua Platt, Lane Head; Robert Holden, Clugh- bottom.

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1765 1766 1767 1768 1769 1770

1771 1772

1773 1774 1775 1776 1777

1778 1779

1780 1781 1782 1783 1784 1785 1786



Timothy Whitehead, Ship, for Grains; John Lees, Daniels, for Kester’s. Edmond Wood, Heathfields ; James Fitton, Brow. John Platt, Waters; James Kenworthy, Quick Edge. John Winterbottom, Noon Sun; John Whitehead, Dale. Jno. Dronsfield, Grains; Danl. Shaw, for Garlicks, Strins. John Shaw, Gorburn Clough; Benjamin Brearley, for Minsey Croft. John Winterbottom, Benjamin Brearley.

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1788 1789

1790 1791

1792 1793 1794

1795 1796

1797 1798

1799 1800 1801 1802

1803 1804

1805 1806 1807 1808 1809 1810 1811 1812



James Broadbent, James Buckley.

Page 103

1814 1815

1816 1817 1818 1819 1820 1821 1822 1823 1824 1825 1826

1827 1828

1829 1830 1831 1832 1833 1834 1835 1836 1837

1838 1839


John Rooth, Brownhill; John Roberts, Linfitts. Joseph Harrop, Grasscroft; James Harrop, Tame- water. John Buckley, Broadhead; John Buckley,

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1840 1841

1842 1843 1844 1845 1846 1847 1848 1849 1850 1851 1852 1853 1854 1855 1856






William Heginbottom, Horist; James Shaw, Stones. Jonathan Lees, Austerlands; John Bradbury, Brown- hill. Jonathan Lees, Austerlands; John Bradbury, Brown- hill. Jonathan Lees, Austerlands; John Bradbury, Brown- hill. Wm. Shaw, Uppermill; Frederick Kenworthy, Wood Mill. Thomas Robinson, Woodbrook; Wm. Kenworthy, Shaw, New Delph. Thomas Robinson, Woodbrook; Wm. Kenworthy, Shaw, New Delph. Thomas Robinson, Woodbrook; John Bradbury, Rye- fields. James Wrigley, Scouthead; Jobn Bradbury, Ryefields James Wrigley, Scouthead ; John Bradbury, Ryefields James Wrigley, Scouthead ; John Bradbury, Ryefields Edward Hilton, Coverhill; William Kenworthy Scho- field, Heathfields. Edward Hilton, Coverhill; William Kenworthy Scho- field, Heathfields. Wm. Kenworthy Schofield, Heathfields; Jno. Millns,

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1862 1863 1864 1865 1866 1867 1868 1869 1870 1871 1872 1873 1874 1875 1876 1877 1878 1879 1880 1881


1883 1884


Wim. Kenworthy Schofield, Heathfields; Daniel

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1885 1886

1887 1888 1889 1890 1891 1892 I 1893 1894 1895 1896 1897


1899 1900

1901 1902 1903 1904 1905



Ben Hirst,

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John Taylor, Brownhill; William Radcliffe Robinson, Uppermill. Albert Edward Wood, Dobcross; George Reuben Gaunt Bradbury, Uppermill. Albert Edward Wood, Dobcross; George Reuben Gaunt Bradbury, Uppermill.

Page 108

A. J. HOWCROFT, Rev. JAMES WARING, Cc. A. R. BYROM, Vicar’s Warden. Vicar, People’s Warden.

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same bells, very probably, referred to in the agree- ment of 1272 where the parishioners are spoken of as

Page 111


The Ashton ringers took the first prize on the 14th, having completed 720 changes in 25 minutes and a half, But this was beaten by the Oldham men six months later, for on the 28th April, 1782, at Saddleworth Church (six bells) the Junior Set from that town rang 720 changes of

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1866 at Kirkheaton

Page 113


unfortunately fell through the trapdoor of the belfry to the bottom of the tower in 1862, which caused his death. He says there were many sets of ringers in the fifties and subse- quently ; in fact, ringing being one of the few occupations of mind and interest in those days almost everybody was a ringer on the hillsides, their time being pretty equally divided between ringing, drinking, and trail hunting,

The late Mr. James Thorpe also had a long service as a ringer, having devoted some 40 years of his life to the art. On August 28rd, 24th, 25th, 1875, there was a great contest at Saddleworth Church, for which over £100 had been sub- scribed. Upwards of £50 was given in prizes. All England was awarded Ist prize, Kirkburton (No. 1) 2nd, Batley 3rd, Almondbury Ch. Ringers 4th, Kirkburton 5th, Meltham 6th. There were 25 contesting sets. Six rang out. The first prize was £20 and a silk banner; the second prize £12, and the third £8. So well had the public supported the contest that a surplus remained, which was expended on the repair of the road at Church Banks Mill. The All England set was made up of Joseph Roebuck, Armitage Bridge; J. Green Hardy, Kirkheaton; Joseph Marsden, Wigan; Richard Whitehead, Kirkheaton; Jos. Littlewood, Armitage Bridge; John Rhodes, Holmfirth. The first prize winners made 225 faults; the second 300; the third 317; the fourth 369; the fifth 370; and the sixth 382.

There is a gravestone at the North-west corner of the Churchyard to the memory of John Holden, an old ringer, who died 6th February, 1847, in his 84th year. The follow- ing verses are inscribed :—

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Another gravestone about the middle of the lower grave- yard records the death of James Wood, of Church Banks Mill. He was so absorbed and interested in Ringing (though not a ringer himself) that he attended contests at 30 different Churches, 12 in Yorkshire, 10 in Lancashire, 4 in Cheshire, and 4 in Derbyshire. His son, James Godfrey Wood, a ringer, known as

Page 115


Bellringing is an interesting and complicated art, unsus- pected by those whose experience does not reach beyond

Page 117


Deanshaw to Saddleworthfrith, as well as Castleshaw; while the lower valley of Harrop was Marshlands, now Marslands.

THe SHAGH, The term Shagh is Anglo-Saxon or Danish, bestowed by Saxon or Danish scttlers after the Roman withdrawal. What was the appearance or condition of the district in Roman or pre-Roman times? So far as human life and activity were concerned only the hills and hillsides were frequented, tilled or inhabited, for reasons as sound then as they would be out of place now. The valleys were swainps and marshes grow- ing rushes, with thick woods and scrub on the verge of the swamps mixed with large stones. to-day, after cen- turies of draining and cultivation, much of the valley is waterlogged in the rainy seasons. Progress in the valleys would be difficult, if possible; no effective road could be pre- served, and danger would lurk in every copse or thicket. The shaghs were, therefore, consistently avoided, and the ridges and high ground wisely clung to, where roads and tracks would be hard and dry, the country open, and a sharp outlook could be kept. Naturally, in a district so inhospitable, settle- ments were few and roads infrequent; yet roads were neces- sary between the more favoured districts of Yorkshire, Lan. cashire and Cheshire. The great peaks of Alderman and Alphine looked down upon a primitive world supporting here and there a few sheep, cows and wild animals, with an occa- sional miserable homestead, often open to the depredations of marauders. THE First Roaps, Saddleworth, or rather Quick (for the first encroachment of occupation and civilization seems to have come from that direction) had only two main tracks or roads from the South, the one entering under Noon Sun at Shadworth Lane, being spoken of two centuries ago as the road from Mottram to Marsden, and undoubtedly the one used by the Romans from Melandra to Castleshaw (skirting Bucton Castle lower down the valley), proceeding by way of

Page 118


Castleshaw. The other came by Mossley to Quick, Lydgate, Burnedge, Wade Hill, Dobcross, Nab End, Sunfield Lane, to join the other road at Hunter’s Hill. Once only does the latter descend to the valley and the former twice, unavoid- ably, in the length of the Township. Quick and Dobcross are each situated on one of these original highways, and Saddleworth (Church and ville) on the other—the three most ancient hamletis in the Township. An important road of similar antiquity is the road lead- ing from Oldham and Austerlands through Woodbrook to Grotton Hall, joining the Quick road at Burnedge and leaving it behind Wharmton, proceeding in a very direct line by Moorgate through St, Chad’s grounds, Uppermill, Smithy Lane, Saddleworth Fold, to Saddleworth (near the vicarage), and probably beyond. A branch from this was made in later Saxon times to Shaghs, or Shawhouses, from Smithy Lane, Uppermill. Other original roads are the Roman Road lead- ing from Castleshaw Camp to Knothill, Thurston Clough, Austerlands, and Oldham, the ‘‘ magna via’’ of later days; and the branch roads, one leading to Hill Top and Ship Lane and the other to Grange, Heights and Denshaw by Hey Flake Lane.


After the break-up of the Roman Empire and the English invasion in A.D. 450 the Teutonic hordes swept over the country in all directions and drove the British into Wales and Cornwall. It was probably during the Mercian Kingdom, which absorbed the central part of the country from Oxford to the Ribble and from Wales to the East Coast in the 7th or 8th century, that the Saxon settlements were established at Quick, Saddleworth, Dobcross, Hildebrighthope, and Harrop. The occupying races may be traced by the names they have left behind them; the hills, rivers, and woods invariably being Celtic and the towns and possessions Saxon, sometimes Danish when of later origin (see the chapter on Toponomy). The Saxon names of Oldham, Ashton, Hollin- wood, Failsworth, Newton, Moston, Middleton on one side, and Huddersfield, Meltham, Marsden, Lepton, Hopton, Kirkheaton, etc., on the other shew that Saddleworth was

Page 119


washed by the Mercian and Anglian waves of the Saxon influx from West and East. Quick or Wick, variously spelled in old records (the Q and W being convertible), is the locality originally overgrown with quickwood or hawthorne, a con- dition which the situation would favour. Saedela’s-worth was established on the ancient road about Cloughbottom and Pobgreen, where the land is dry and water plentiful. Dob- cross, probably the site of a runic preaching cross, is reminis- cent in the name

Page 121

Dem shagh Mat

Page 122


of the Shagh and the cultivated fields had crept down ino the valleys, a fourth Mere was separated from that of Saedela’s-

Page 123


In the valuation of the manor (of Wakefield, in the possession of King Edward the Confessor before the Conquest) certain places are stated to be in the soke of Wakefield; it proceeds:

Page 124


Pontefract Castle is the possession of the Duchy of Lancaster, and the Chancellor of the Duchy pays to the village school of Cawthorne (near Barnsley) £5 4s. Od. per annum and appoints the as of old, consequent on the de Lacy possessions coming into the hands of the Duke of Lancaster and the King. The Warrens of Sandal Castle, Wakefield, were neigh- bours of Pontefract Castle, and it may be that some arrange- ‘ment of exchange or consideration was made between them to attach Quick to the Honor (Clitheroe) which it already adjoined, then possessed by the de Except for Honorial purposes it will be seen, by the Yorkshire Lay Sub- ‘sidies and Fines, that it still remained in Yorkshire. The fact that Quick is ignored by the legati on the Lancashire side and casually mentioned only on the Yorkshire side proves it to have been regarded as of little value for taxing. The Manor Court of Saddleworth being held at Almond- bury is a point of some interest, seeing that the latter was in the Honor of Pontefract held by

Page 125


Earl in the Jate Saxon period. There is nothing extra- ordinary in this, as a reference to a good map will shew. Worcestershire and Flint have each detached portions of territory enclosed within neighbouring counties. Parts of Worcestershire are to be found in Gloucestershire and of Flint

Page 126


Honor of Clitheroe, subsequently passed to the de Lacies of Pontefract. By the end of the 12th century it is subinfeuded to the de Stapletons, by marriage it passes to the Scargills (a name still well known in Yorkshire), then to the Hollands (probably leased), back to the Scargills, by marriage to the Tunstalls, to William Stubbs, and to the Ramsdens in the reign of Elizabeth. The Ramsdens held it until 1654, when it was purchased by the Farrar family, who sold it to their tenants in 1791. *The manors were bought by the Farrars for £2,950. From 1758 there was one long succession of mortgages. There is first a Common Recovery in 138th William ITI., wherein John Mirdall and Martha his wife are vouchees of the Manor of Saddleworth and Quick. In 1758 Lord Bradford (who is a lunatic) by his trustees becomes mortgagee for £8,000; in 1765 it is taken over by the Earl of Mansfield. A second mortgage is given by the Robert, Archbishop of York for £3,000 in March, 1778, which was paid off in 1776 by James Farrer. Oliver Tilson, Francis Barlow, and Colonel Daniel Jones are mortgagees for an additional £1,500 in 1780. Then Francis Fowke takes over Lord Mansfield’s mortgage of £8,000 and lends James Farrar another £5,000 (making a £13,000 mortgage) in 1787. Still increasing, Stephenson Lushington, William Ross, and John Dancer take over Fowke’s mortgage of £13,000 and advance Mr. Farrar a further £3,000. He died in February, 1791, when his trustees sold the estates and disposed of the £16,000 mortgage.

Page 127


Willa de Quyk Gilbertus de la Quyk

Page 128


De Grangia de Ildbrictop x vaccas precium cujuslibet iiijs. Item vj boves precium

Page 129


* (Feet of Fines for Yorkshire.) Westminster, Octave of the Purification 15 Ed, II., 1822—Robert de Holand and Maude his wife quer.: Adam de Preston and William de Wirkesworth def.: of the Manors of Quick, Sadelworth and Sadelworthfrith : and after the death of the said Robert :— Quindene of Michaelmas, 5 Ed. III., 1381. Robert son and heir of the said Robert and Maude quer.: the said Adam and William def.: of the said tenements, which the said Robert (the father) had recognised to be the right of Adam and William had granted the same to hold to Robert (the father) and Maude for their lives; the remainder to Robert, son of Robert, and the heirs male of his body, re- mainder successively to Thomas and Allan, his brothers, and the heirs male of their body, remainder to the right heirs of Robert (the father). 7 Ed. IIT. (138384). Cecilia, who was the wife of Warin de Scargill, claims against Robert de Platte and others, the third part of the Manor of Quick as her dower. 1834. Warin de Scargill, Chivaler, was seized of the Manor of Sadelworth Frithes, which he demised to William de Seargill, his son at the yearly rent of £70, and he after- wards sold the said Manor to Robert Holland, after whose death, Matilda, widow of the said Robert, was seized thereof. (Plantagenet Harrison’s History of Yorks.). To defray the cost of the wars with France and Scotland Parliament enacted in 1341 (temp. Ed. III.) the appropria- tion of the ninth fleece and sheaf.

Page 130


ffernlee, Willelmus de Schagh, Johannes de Mercheland, Willelmus Wryglegh, Johannes fforthe, Adam Kirkeyerde, Robertus de Scholler’, Johannes Bakestoman, Margota de Lees, Matilda Hobdogter, Anota de Den, &c.,

Page 131


Monday next after ye feast of St. Michaell, 12 R. II. (In the evidences of John Holcroft, of Marton, 1635. Dodsworth MSS., Yorks.

Page 132


* YORKSHIRE FINES. 1554. Hilary Term (I. Mary).

John Pedley and Richard Humston, Plaintiffs. Richard Trafford, Esq., Deforciant-

Manor of Wycke and 24 messuages and 8 cot- tages with lands in Wykke and Sadelworthe Frythe. Richard Radcliffe, gent, and George Dombell, gent, Edmund Trafford Kt. and Edmond Trafford his son and heir apparent, Thomas Leigh and Isabel his wife, Hugh Traves and Ann his wife, Randulph Clayton and Thomasine his wife, Alice Trafford and Gilbert Gerrard, Esq., Manor of Wyke als. Whykke and 28 messuages and 10 cottages with lands there and in Saddelworthe Frythe. 1560.

Page 133


12 messuages and 3 cottages with lands in Quicke and Saddleworthe which on the death of Robert and Agnes remain to Robert Holte, their son and his lawful male issue; and failing such on his decease to William Holte, another son and his lawful male issue; and failing such on his decease to the lawful issue of Robert and Agnes, and failing such to the rightful heirs of Agnes.

1573. Michaelmas Term (15 Eliz.). Richard Master, gent James Shalcrosse 14 messuages and 2 cottages with lands in Quycke and Saddylworth Fryth.

1581. Michaelmas Term (23 Kliz.). Robert Holte and Peter Heywood Arthur Assheton, William Assheton, Edward Assheton and Charles Assheton 20 messuages and 10 cottages with lands in Quycke, Castleshaw, Grange, Delfe and Sadleworthe.

1582. Hilary Term (25 Eliz.). Edward Lewkner and Thomas Conyngham Thomas Saull and John Clayton 10 messuages with lands in Sadelworthfrith. 1586. Trinity Term (28 Eliz.). Richard Shereburne, Kt., Richard

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1591. Hilary Term (84 Eliz.). William Blount, Esq. Pl’ Francis Conrade, gent, and Elizabeth his wife

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XXXIXS. Vi ef armis ete. apud Quicke in Westrid’ com’ pd’ una’ vaccam

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111 10 Elizabeth.

Gilbert Gerrarde, Attorney General, Thomas Leigh, Isabel his wife and others, as seized in Fee. P\’s Edmond Prestwyche charged with the detention of Title deeds and Interrogatories proposed for his examination, def’.

Premises and Matters of Dispute: Messuages, Lands, Meadow and Pasture.

Places Counties Manchester Chorlten — — Lancashire Saddleworth Fryth I Quycke Yorkshire

18 Elizabeth.

Attorney General Pl. Robert Farrand claiming from Sir John Byron, Knight, Lessee of the Archbishop of Canter- bury. Premises and Matters of Dispute: Common of Pas- ture on Lands late parcel of the Chapel of Sadleworth.

Place County Saddleworth.

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37 Elizabeth.

William Stubbs as Lord of the Manor of Sadleworth Pl’, Peter Winterbottom, Hugh Scottfeild and others, Tenants of the Manor of Mossley, Def’s.

Premises, &c.: Commons or Waste grounds, called High Moor and Quick Edge.

Places I Counties Sadleworth Manor : Sadleworth Fryth I Yorkshire Mosley or Mosseley Manor I Lancashire

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agreement or covenant that the defendant should convey the lands to the plaintiff and for the breach of which the action was brought.’’ To the lay mind the process of

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the 20 sheep in the bill ment’d were going on all

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the King’s Taxes, to revise assessments, levy rates and collect

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find work for the able-bodied unemployed, and to provide for the infirm, the aged, and the physically unfit. They were also empowered to levy rates for their support. Seeing that the Act had a tardy acceptance it would be probably much later that the first overseers were appointed in Saddleworth, and in view of the civil war and its attendant distress it is not unlikely to have been adopted during the Commonwealth or at the Restoration (1660). A list of Overseers has been kept from the year 1708.


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situate upon and over a certain rivulet called Greenfield water, in the pack and prime way leading from Marsden to Mottram, At Wakefield Sessions, 17th Jany., 1782, they ‘traversed and had leave to plead specially, and at Pontefract Sessions 8th Oct., 1782, were found not guilty. IT am, Revd. Sir, Your obt, Servt., Rev. R. Whitelock, B. Drxon. Saddleworth.


In 1794 a Vestry clerk is appointed and affairs are put on a more satisfactory basis. Mr. James Ingham is the Clerk. There seems to be much distress in the district, and a Com- mittee is appointed to assist the Wardens and Overseers in dealing with it. Many people have their rents paid out of the rates, and the goods of James Platt detained in Man- chester by the Carriers are to be released by the payment of £9 12s. 1d. Moreover, the rates are not readily paid and the Overseers are inconvenienced. Measures are to be adopted to enforce payment. The House called ‘‘ Lucian Castle ’’ is to be taken from John Bottomley, of Grange, for a year at £18 per year for the poor to

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hunting, and which have been paid to the Overseers, be severally returned to ther by the Overseers on account of their

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of this Township be and they are hereby authorised to employ a Molecatcher to destroy the Moles within this Township for the term of fourteen years from this Time at a Salary not exceeding Sixty-seven Pounds per annum to be paid quarterly so long as he continues to do his Duty to the satisfaction of the Occupiers of Lands within the said Township.’’ At the same meeting the opinion is expressed that if the owners of the Manor would give up the rights in the commons of Harrop Edge and Runninghill and if the public would sub- scribe towards an Act of Parliament for enclosing them for the benefit of the poor ‘it would be to the interest of the Township. 390,000 HERRINGS, The great philanthropist and member of Parliament, William

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years’ engagement, is thus disposed of: Ordered that the Molecatcher be dismissed from his employment by this parish.’’ Had he abolished all the moles in twelve months, or had he made a working agreement with them? Matters even more serious than moles (which appear to have been left for their owners to catch) now engage the energies of the Vestry (May, 1801) :— SOLDIERS,

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mittee is appointed to take the matter in hand and report to a meeting of inhabitants:

Mr. James Wright, of Grove Mr. John Kenworthy, of Gr

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allotted 40 acres of land on Runninghill for the use of the Poor, in May it is decided to secure this land for the new Establishment, and it is especially urgent seeing ‘‘ that only one year now remains before it will revert back to the Lords of the Manor.’’ The Wardens and Overseers are ordered to see that ‘‘ this Township is placed under the Provision of the Act of the 22nd year of the present King, commonly called Gilbert’s Act.’’ An Instrument is to be provided by the Clerk by which money may be borrowed on the security of the rates. The work is to go on with all “‘possible Expedition agreeable to the Center of the Plan produced to this Meeting by Mr. Joel Hawkyard.’’ A little later the Vestry agrees

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veyor to survey the Township, and it is resolved that the whole of the Township be surveyed including the Commons. The enclosed lands contain about 8,700 acres, and the un- enclosed about 7,000 acres. It is to be planned to scale, with Book of Reference, and is to be completed in 18 months. Mr. Joel Hawkyard is engaged to do the work according to his proposals to the meeting. More distress and subscrip- tions ‘‘ during these oppressive Times.’’ In September the old Workhouse is still unsold, and the Guardian is ordered to sell it for £150 if he can—by ticket at Mr. James Lawton’s, Delph. GREAT DISTRESS. The laypayers are £802 6s. 11d. in arrears and they are to be compelled to pay; but there is never any appearance of hard dealing. The Vestry of January, 1817, considerately expresses the opinion that where tenants cannot pay the

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this period. But circumstances compel the authorities to move, and by March they have applied for and obtained £200 from the Association in London for which they return their grateful thanks. Dr. Kenworthy offers “‘ his Services in his Profession as Surgeon and Apothecary to the Poor of this Township for £60 per ann.,’’ and is accepted.


‘“Memorandum that Mr. Joel Hawkyard, the Land Surveyor, not having produced any Map or Plan of Saddle- worth or any part thereof, resolved that it is the opinion of this Meeting that no

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Survey to Mr. James Monk, of Chowbent. He has assisted Mr. Hawkyard. One pound is paid to Mr. Bailiff, Surveyor, for attending the meeting, which will be credited on squaring up accounts. Mr. Monk is now (April, 1820) to be urged to. complete the Map of the Township. He has not yet made a contract, and obviously it is the intention of the Wardens and Over- seers to bind the (new) Surveyor fast this time. At this period, owing to the destitution, the difficulty of getting in the rates, the urgency of the new Survey and Valuation, the Workhouse buildings and other desiderata, meetings are held every two or three days, and public men (who could not escape the duties imposed upon’ them by the Vestry) must have spent the whole of their time in regulating most painful and exacting business. Occasionally we observe a Warden is to be compelled to serve, and the deputy Constables warned to attend to their duties at the various Churches.

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Mr, Mong.

Mr. Monk proves to be

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liable to the terms of his contract. He is advised to engage two other assistants. In July Mr. Monk and his assistants attend a meeting with maps and reports. Only 1,000 acres now remain to be surveyed. He has engaged, also, Messrs. Johnson and Joseph Shaw to assist him. These endless reso- lutions are kept up threatening penalties, like the Sword of Damocles over Mr. Monk’s head. Another letter from Mr. Monk states that he is ill, and the Committee writes very strongly saying he has broken every promise he has made; they recommend him to arrange with Mr. Dunn, which may stay the measures they contem- plate taking against him. The language of the resolutions is always dignified and in the best taste, under all these cir- cumstances of provocation and disappointment.

Poor Mrs, Monk.

The Committee meets on 19th January, 1822, and Mrs. Monk attends, desiring to be liberated from the obligation of completing the Survey. They resolve that they cannot advise the Wardens and Overseers to do this, but they approve the proposals of Mr. John Ashworth, the elder, and accordingly they recommend the payment ‘‘ to Mrs. Monk, the Widow of Mr. James Monk, the Sum of 3 pence per acre on account of his surveying Lord’s Meer, part of this Town- ship,’’ as it appears from the statements of certain people as to the state of the Survey that this would be conformable to the agreement. Whatever may have been the suspicions of onlookers 100 years after as to the reasons for the numerous delays and failures it now appears Mr. Monk was really ill, and his efforts to survey this very difficult country—not easily appreciated without some knowledge of it—at 3 pence per acre, with all the attendant threats and monetary shortage, broke him down and ended tragically. The Vestry and Committee had acted correctly and not impatiently all through in dealing with a mere business matter; and it is to their honour and shews the great hearts they possessed that they could act with so much Christian charity and sympathy towards this bereaved lady in the circumstances. In May, 1822, the following resolution is carried:

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Sense of this Committee, unanimously, that the Sum of Money due on the Contract to the Executors of Mr. James Monk is inadequate to the Service rendered, and that Justice as well as Humanity require an additional Compensation. That it appears to this Committee that the price of Seven pence per acre is not more than a reasonable remuneration for the Survey of this Township, and this Committee doth hereby unanimously recommend to the Vestry Meeting to increase the Compensation partly on the recited Grounds of Justice and Humanity, and (to save the legal situ- ation) because if they do not act with liberality there “is preat hazard of the suspensation of the Survey.’’ The Vestry duly confirmed this reeommendation. The Map and Valuation were ultimately completed, and ‘* Complaining Parties under the new Valuation ’’ were met and dealt with in September, 1822. Mr. Ingham is still the Clerk. Subscriptions are collected throughout the Township for the distressed Irish. John Buckley, of Hollingreave, is Head Constable now (1823) and for several years past. The Wardens and Overseers are not satisfied with some of the land enclosed for the use of the Poor under the Act of 1810, and they request Colonel Fletcher, the Commissioner, to exchange it for a better quality and to include in it the ‘‘ Quarry in which Mr. Broadhead, of Ashton under Lyne, is now getting

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formation and Erection of a Dam Bank for the projected Reservoir of the Mill Owners in Raddoc in Dean.’’ The last is an example of digression in the treatment of place names: Red-oaken-dean is intended. The name is variously spelled and seldom suggests its original meaning. An overlooker is to be engaged

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Township within the present year, for the purpose of con- sidering the propriety of releasing the Township from the operation of Gilbert’s Act.’’ This step was annulled at a subsequent meeting. THe New

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strongly protests, and as he makes no restitution it is intended to seck redress by law. A number of gentlemen is appointed to act on behalf of the landowners to take counsel’s opinion and such measures as will restore the Pin- fold to its ancient form and situation. There is a vote taken on the question of engaging a paid Collector, which is carried in the afirmative by five—all the voters signing the book pro and contra; but a doubt exists as to whether such a course is legal and counsel is to be consulted again. Councel advises that the course taken is not Justified by 59 Geo. 3c. 12 Sec. 7, and they are advised to appoint an assistant overseer at

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roads. Stage Coaches were still (1838) rolling through Saddleworth, chiefly plying between Leeds and Manchester, but there were services to Holmfirth and Halifax also. The ‘‘ British Queen,’’ plying between the “‘

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first-named were sent up to the Justices with a recommends- tion to appoint the first. In March, 1841, elaborate rules are laid down for the Workhouse—exceptionally good—and the dietaries of the Chorlton and Manchester Institutions are given. Oatmeal, porridge figures prominently in the list. The population in 1841 was 16,829. A 2d. rate was levied in December for the repair of the Churchyard walls.


1843, March. Since 1837, when Mr. Ralph Lawton was to be proceeded against for appropriating the Pinfold, nothing had been done except to pass a similar resolution a year ago. Now the Committee seems to have melted away, either owing to the obduracy of Mr. Lawton or the lack of urgency for a Pinfold. The following interesting report is handed in by Mr. Broughton after six years’ of enquiry and hesitancy: ‘‘ On the third of March last I addressed a note to Mr. Bent, the Chairman of the Pinfold Committee (who always called the meetings) to know if he intended to call a meeting to agree on a Report. His reply was he did not intend to do so. I, therefore, as a member of that Committee, present this Meeting withrby own Report. From the following facts I. make certain conclusions. First, the late Mr. Farrar, when Lord of the Manor of Quick Lords and Shaw Meres, erected a Pinfold on Woodsgreen, as it was called, for the use of his tenants, he at the same time holding his Manorial Courts. Second, after the Manor was sold the late Mr. Harrop, of Dobcross, being one of the Lords of the said Manor, at his own cost and on his own responsibility removed the Pinfold from Woodsgreen to Wood Lane, where it remained many years; he then removed it to near Midgreave, on some land previously purchased at a sale at Shaw Hall, and the deposit paid by Mr. Ra. Lawton’s father; it was allowed to remain here until the present owner, Mr. Ra. Lawton, was about to build his present house.. He asked and obtained the consent for its removal of Mr. Joseph Shaw, the Commissioner, and many of the Lords of the Manor; also of the late Mr. John Harrop, who not only freely gave his-consent, but also gave

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Mr. Lawton the stone, which he said was his own private property. Mr. Lawton has erected another Pinfold much better than the original one (which is the one we have to do with) at Dobcross, and he also offered to make certain improvements in this. From these facts I am led to the following conclusions :— First, that there never was a Parish Pinfold, Friarmere not being a part of the Manor. Second, that if restored to its original situation that must be Woodsgreen. For, if one Lord of the Manor could remove it on his own individual responsibility twice, another having this precedent could remove it again. Third, a Parish Pinfold would be a great evil, there now being no courts held to assess damages. There is no redress for the Poor Man against extravagant charges, but that most expensive course of Rep I, therefore, wish the meeting as far as they can to dis- charge the Committee: and in conclusion I congratulate the meeting that only Four out of Twelve attended when private property was destroyed, and one of the Four was from Friar- mere.

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Overseers otherwise ; his remuneration to be 3d. in the pound on the amount collected. He gives security for £1,000. The names of 50 of the principal people are submitted for the office of Constable. The railways make their advent into Saddleworth in 1816, the great operation of piercing Standedge having begun. In

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The resolutions breathe a sweet reasonableness and a desire to avoid expense, and ultimately the Wardens and Overseers meet a

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Benjn. Tweedale, Enumerator. Wm. Kenworthy Schofield, Heathfields, dyer and finisher of Woollen Cloth, employs 55 men, 5 women, B31 boys, B girls

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I do hereby certify that the Election of Guardians of the Poor for the Township of Saddleworth was conducted in

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Mr. Whitelock was a Guardian ex officio as a Justice of the Peace and was elected Chairman, which position he con- tinued to hold to the end of his days. In the Poorhouse at this time were 76 not able-bodied persons, 1 able-bodied person, and 12 children; 258 persons were in receipt of relief outside the House.

INpDustTRY IN 1854.

The Poor Law Board orders a new survey and valulation in 1854, and Mr. James Platt, of Prospecton, the Clerk, issues an advertisement for surveyors and valuers. He states, in making plain the conditions, that there are ‘* 9,156 acres of meadow, pasture, and farm buildings, 7,514 acres of moors, 3889 acres of plantations, 3,550 inns, shops, houses, and cottages, 58 woollen ‘mills, 87 cotton mills (some of both with gas apparatus), 12 dye houses, 4 woollen printing shops, 3 saw mills, 2 foundries, and 2 machine shops; and of cotton print works, bleach works, glue works, iron-turning mills, paper mills, rasping and bone mills, one of each; 2 village gas works, about 6$ miles of railway with 4 stations, 4 eollieries (one with coke ovens), 35 stone quarries, and other The Wardens and a majority of the Overseers this year by deed conveyed all the Township land and the Workhouse buildings to the Guardians, which deed was duly registered at Wakefield. A road is proposed to be stopped by Mr. Ralph Thomas Bradbury, ‘‘ leading from a Road near Foul- rakes past a Mill or Factory called Foulrakes Mill and ending at a certain road leading from Road End,’’ etc. The Vestry consented, and an order to close the road was obtained at the Midsummer Quarter Sessions held at Bradford (1855). About the same time the L. & N.-W. Ry. Co. seek and obtain the diversion of a path over the railway leading from the turnpike road to Oldham (near the entrance gates to Wharm- ton Tower) to a point near Greenfield Station. This must have been a most dangerous path over the two lines, and the substitution of the two subways was a public benefit. Then in 1856 Mr. Richard Buckley, of the Nook, Greenfield, applies for and is permitted to divert a road near his resid- ence.

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In 1856, March, Nuisances Removal Committees are appointed, according to an Act of last year, for the various divisions. In 1857 the “‘ full and fair annual value ’’ of the Town- ship is returned at £72,635 and the ratable value 253,609. In 1859, ‘‘the Bill for the better management of High- ways having been considered, it is resolved that this meeting recommend the Inhabitants of Lord’s Mere to appoint a Board of Surveyors (as formerly) on the 25th March next,” which they did. This is their only commentary on the Bill.”’ SADDLEWORTH VERSUS SADDLEWORTH, The year 1861 provides an emergency which could not occur under a unified Township as at the present day. A dispute as to the boundaries between the Meres is the cause of much feeling and expense.

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the appointment of Constables comes up as usual. This is six years after the creation of the West Riding Constabulary by Act of Parliament, and County police protect the district. It is admirable how these old worthies are loath to let go one after another the ancient offices they have so long known and honeured. Of course they don’t want the County police; the old Constables are good enough. As a matter of fact they are already superseded, and it has appeared stupid to continue to elect them. The discovery has therefore been made that 5 and 6 Vict., c. 109, sec. 11, provides that elected Constables continue in office until other Constables are elected in their places, so Mr. R. T. Bradbury moves and Mr James Platt seconds ‘‘ that there is no necessity to assemble the inhabitants to elect Constables (who are gener- ally re-elected) when they may continue in office until replaced by others.’’ The attention of the Justices also is to be called to this important point of law. After this there is no further appointment of Constables, and, seeing that the

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A meeting held 10th August, 1866, by requisition nega- tived a proposal to adopt the Local Government Act of 1858 for the rest of Saddleworth. I Occasionally the Churchwardens’ Accounts are entered, shewing that they are always met by private Subscriptions. Thomas Shaw, of Dacres, diverts a footpath near his residence in 1868. I Mr. Bradshaw, Assistant Overseer, with £25 per year, is dismissed, and re-elected with a salary of £35 in March of this year. It was further advanced to £50 in 1871.

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owing to the increased duties imposed on him Mr, Brad- shaw’s salary was increased to £100. The duties of the Township Vestries at this time, apart from the defending of Indictments and the paying of costs (as was frequently the case), were the election of Overseers of the Poor, Surveyors of Highways, and Collectors of rates. A letter received from Mr. Henry Mallalieu by Mr. Doig marks a further slipping away of the old order :—

To the Vicar of Saddleworth Church, Chairman of the Vestry Meeting. March 25th, 1886. Rev. and Dear Sir, At a meeting of tho Ratepayers of the Upper Divi- sion of Shaw Mere, held last night, it was decided to elect their own Surveyor of Highways, in their own dis- trict, and not at Saddleworth Church, as before. Yours truly, H.

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Two more formal meetings were held at the Church in August, 1889, to authorise the engagement of the Mechanics’ Hall for Township meetings, which was ultimately fixed at £2 per year for 5 years.

SappLEWortH U.D.C. Saddleworth became an Urban District Council in 1900 {exclusive of Springhead), merging the Local Board of Uppermill. The first Council was made up of the following gentlemen :— F. W. Mallalieu, J.P., Chairman. I A. W. Knott, Vice-Chairman.

DELPH WARD. UPPERMILL WARD. George Isaac Brierley, James Hinchliffe, Brooke Hanson, Ashton Wainwright Knott, Edwin Hudson, Thomas Shaw Platt, J.P.

Frederick William Mallalieu, Thomas Edwin Moorhouse. I

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Dobcross.........- Bailey, Percival. Buckley, Eliza Ann, Holmes, Mary Ann. Edwards, Harry P. (Rev.). Uppermill......... Bradbury, John Winterbottom. Knott, Ashton Wainwright. Platt, Thomas Shaw, J.P. Greenfield......... Dransfield,

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brighthope having been a distinct Saxon estate like those of Quick and Saddleworth. If it were not the possession of William de Stapleton in 1215 when the tithes of Saddleworth were given to Rochdale, his family acquired it a little later, for at the end of the thirteenth cen- tury Robert de Stapleton granted the fee of Hildebrighthope to the Abbey of Roche, near Rotherham, which it held until the dissolution in 1537.

A LL the actualities and probabilities point to Hilde-

In all the delineations of the boundaries when the Stapletons make a gift of pasturage, e.g., to Nostel Priory or to the parson of Saddleworth, the limits on the West are either the Tame or the mere of Quick, and on the North the

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of Hildebeorht, Harra and Saedela, taking these three names to represent the original Saxon or Scandinavian Settlers.

The name

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can only have been conferred by those living to the West of it. AustonLEY, Dom. B., Alstaneslei, later Alstanley, the lea of Alstan. O.E., leah, a field = ley. BowGREAVE (modern Ballgrove), the bow, and greave or grove, graefa (Sweet’s Anglo-Saxon dict.). It is said that the late Mr. Owen Platt was the first to officially enter the name as Ballgrove under the impression that Bow was a corruption of Ball. Another possible inter-. pretation, O.N. bol, a farm, and greave.

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Knottr, Norse, a knot or projection of land; Cnut, the Danish King; hull, hill, common in 13th century, Dighull, Crowehull.

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‘“The Manner of receiving the Easter Roll and Mortuary’s are thus :—Each Horse payeth a Penny; for every Married Man or Widow at the offering a penny; every Plough a Penny; every Swarm of Bees a penny ; every Cow one penny ; and every Colt and every Calf one half penny. for Mortuaries—every one Buried in the Chancel payeth 6s. 8d. ; every one that Dieth worth twenty Nobles* in Movable Goods over and above his Debt payeth 3s. 4d.; if worth £30 payeth 6s. 8d. ; if Worth £40 or upwards 10s. Statute 21 of Henry 8, Chap 6. that House or Smoke or Garden hath been substituted in the room of Horse and Plough. In closes where there are more than ten Stacks of Corn (or even ten) in one Close, the odd Stacks shall not be tithed; the Land Owner setting up the Corn Stacks may be a good Consideration for the same, because of Common right; the Tithe man is to take the Corn tithe in the Sheaf, but when the same is Stacked, as is customary in Many places, the tithe Man may not break any odd Stack, for he cannot tithe both by the Stack and the Sheaf. And this was the opinion of Serjeants Poole and Kenyon and Lawyer

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Wray, Vicar of Rochdale, who entered into a long dispute with him as to the independence of Saddleworth. His habits became Jax and many of his parishioners shunned him. It is said at harvest time he would persuade his congregation after service to assist him in getting in his crops, after which he provided a cask of beer and the company danced while he fiddled.

After Mr. Podmore, Mr, Zouche was appointed in 1792. It was a pity and a mistake to have given this gentleman the curacy. He was very well connected, having relatives who had occupied the Episcopal Bench. His uncle was the Vicar of Sandal Magna, near Wakefield, and it is due largely to his persistence that Dr. Drake was induced to appoint him. It is interesting, though somewhat painful, to read the corre- spondence leading up to the appointment. Mr, Zouche would not live at the old Vicarage, where it was expected he would take his mother and sister, but made his home at the Cross Keys Inn. His manner at times was strange and heedless. One day when playing with a piece of stick in the fire he suddenly rose and thrust the glowing brand into the eye of Mrs. Broadbent, the landlady, and blinded her. He was removed and the living sequestered. His relative and guardian, Lord Lonsdale, made provision for Mrs, Broadbent, and

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James Radcliffe,

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largely of wrought iron ; had been much repaired and was transferred from the Georgian tower (over where the singers were to sit “‘ under the clock face’’) to the new tower in 1846. Messrs. Hirst Brothers, of Oldham, put in the new clock, and a yearly sum is paid for winding and cleaning it.

The candelabra of 12 lights is a still beautiful feature of the church, though it has ceased to be useful. A flying dove surmounts the lights. A similar one is to be seen in Emley Church, Yorks. Mr. Bradshaw was very proud of this ornament, as we now regard it, though it should be realised that it has played a useful and important part in both churches. It is dated 1717, and bears the names of John Bentley and Edmund Knight, Churchwardens.

In 1788 the first organ was placed in the West gallery of the old church, near the tower. <A space of 5 feet by 9 feet was cleared of pews and an organ purchased by public subscription. The bells were pur- chased by the same means 42 years before. Hitherto the instrumental music had been produced on violins and flutes. The organ, described

as being sweet-toned, matched the excellent singers of this day, who were now brought from the

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TOWNSTEAD AND Lyep.—These two names are very striking and carry us back to early times. Townstead appears to have been an important position in the township. Market Place, Manchester, was formerly Market Sted; and Market Street, Market Sted Lane. Probably the Town’s Sted was the town’s trading centre, near the main road and the branch to Holne, within the Lord’s manor and subject to tolls and dues payable to him.

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Thou chief of Villans, hear thy doom, Hell for thee is making room ; On thee the people’s curse shall fall, Months shall not pass before we’ll all Assemble together for to appoint, Some one to knock thy neck off joint.

So devilish nought thou’s been of late, That every one thy name does hate ; Unless thou soon quits thy abode, Remember this—it’s but thy God. Gold shall not save thy glutted maw, Each imp of hell on thee shall fix its paw, Savagely IN THEE they’ll sink their claw.

Monster of infamy, prepare, Ills from thee we will no longer bear ; ‘Long we have borne them to our disgrace, Lo, now we tell thee to thy face, Sworn we have those ills shall cease.”’

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A member of this family remembers the old yew tree which was blown down in 1854. She was informed there was a number of them about the church in former times, from which bows and arrows were made. She also remembers seeing a man in the stocks, which, fortun- ately, are still preserved.

One old gentleman—nearly a centenarian—being pressed to

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The sun has just fallen behind the Western hills and the haze is already stealing up the valley, this early springtime afternoon. Objects are becoming dim and distant; yet there is a rosy glow high on the hillside. A funeral group is sadly and slowly leaving the lower graveyard now that their charge is laid in its last resting place, to return, maybe, to some remote home. For seven hundred years the slopes have looked down on the same mournful ceremony, with passing bell and bier in unfailing accompaniment. Twenty genera- tions lie beneath and about this moorland church, whose beginning was so noble, whose story is loved as one of the treasures of life. ‘‘ They come from America and all

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