Old West Riding: A Collection of Original Articles (Spring 1981) by George Redmonds (editor)

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OLD WEST RIDING Vol. I No. 1 Spring 1981 Articles and Contributors page INTRODUCTION

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Editor George Redmonds 5 Knotty Lane Lepton Huddersfield

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Local history no longer belongs exclusively to the historian and in recent years it has benefited from contributions offered by specialists in a wide variety of associated disciplines. The oral tradition, genealogy, and place-name studies, to name but a few, have all opened up new avenues of enquiry and brought fresh light to bear on old problems. The number of active enthusiasts has never been greater. ‘Old West Riding’ has developed partly out of this new enthusiasm and partly in response to it. It is not a commercial enterprise but has two main aims; to act as a publishing outlet for amateur and professional alike and to ensure that new and interesting research material reaches a wider audience. The idea of the magazine was conceived by a number of local historians each with his or her own area and subject interests. Inevitably therefore, the first issue reflects these interests. It is, however, hoped that in subsequent issues we shall be able to increase both the number of contributors and the range of topics. Several of the articles included here, for example, have been offered by people who have had to be persuaded that their research findings are of general interest. We hope that others, eventual readers included, will follow their example, and offer us their contributions. Curiously, one of our major problems has been to decide on a suitable title for the magazine. We have no wish to define too narrowly the geographic area it caters for, nor to limit contributions to purely historical matters. Nor is it our intention simply to wax nostalgic about the old West Riding or

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WEST RIDING EMIGRANTS 1843 George Redmonds

In the year 1843 Miles Scafe of Kirkburton and his son Joseph boarded a sailing vessel at Liverpool and left for a new life in America. They landed at New York some six weeks later, having travelled by steerage, preparing their own meals. On arriving, they journeyed up the Hudson to a town opposite West Point and there Miles got a job as a weaver. Joseph is said to have taken up other kinds of work but it is not known exactly what he did in these first months.

Miles Scafe (1806—68) Miles Scafe was the fourth child born to Thomas and Elizabeth Scafe of Thorncliffe, an ancient hamlet just outside Kirkburton. The family had been settled there for some generations, having moved from Flockton in the next parish probably early in the 18th century. The earliest identifiable ancestor of Miles is John Scafe, who in 1688 married Elizabeth Woods. Two of John’s nine children were called Miles and Joseph. We know that Miles’s family was a large one. He had seven brothers and one sister, and we also know that he was an illiterate weaver, almost certainly working a handloom. On different occasions he was described as weaver, fancy weaver and even cordwainer. Perhaps, therefore, like many of his con- temporaries he had more than one skill to take with him to the New World. The problem for Miles was that his skills were commonplace ones for which there was too little demand. Work was scarce, bread was expensive and there seemed little hope of political or social reform. The army and emigration were the classic escape routes locally, and the Scafe family tradition is that Miles’s brother John took the first of these. Brother ‘Jack’, it is said, was assigned to coastal defences at Dover. He was part of a crew in charge of a large battery of guns on one of which was engraved: me well and keep me clean And

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Wisconsin and had a further three sons, Alfred (1848), Andrew (1850) and Charles (1853). Andrew was named after Miles’s younger brother who had remained in England. Miles died in Wisconsin in 1868. The three Scafes born in America all had large families whose descendants today are still in contact with one another and with the descendants of Joseph Scafe.

Joseph Scafe (1829—1902) As a young boy in Kirkburton in the 1830s and 1840s Joseph Scafe’s expectations of life must have been, in many ways, very limited. His father’s decision to emigrate and take 14 year old Joseph with him opened up possibilities for the boy which he could hardly have dreamed of. Miles had the courage to forsake everything and everybody he knew in Yorkshire, but once they arrived in America it was Joseph who became the pioneer. His story is probably best told by his son Charles who, before he died in 1952, wrote down much of what he had heard from Joseph as a young man in the 1880s and 1890s. It was a deliberate attempt to preserve for Joseph’s grandchildren, still alive now, a link with the emigrants of 1843. It is from Charles that we learn that Joseph had learnt to weave in Kirkburton, had emigrated in 1843 and moved to Wisconsin in c. 1848. Up to this time, when he was still no more than 18 or 19 most of his decisions had been made for him. In 1850 he took the threads of his life into his own hands. Gold had been discovered in California the previous year and Joseph (in the words of his son) “joined a caravan and went overland to California in search of riches he crossed the Mo River at Council(?) Bluff, lowa. After crossing the Missouri and travelling up the Platte River Valley to Ft. Laramie, Wyoming with not a white settler between these points. Scattered Indians and many Buffalos. They would kill some buffalo and dry the meat in the dry atmosphere. They cooked with Buffalo chips. From Ft. Laramie they journeyed to Salt Lake City seeing no white settlement between... This caravan had left Wisconsin in the very early spring. When they reached the mountains between Nevada and California Winter had set in and all the mountains were full of snow. This snow in the mountains filled the passes and it was necessary to work down south a long way to get through. Father Scafe and two other men were impatient to reach the gold fields, shouldered their packs and made their way through the snow filled mountains on foot. They reached the gold fields months before the others did. They panned gold from the feather river and its small tributaries... After a time Father decided to return home, went to San Francisco and took a boat the overland traffic was all one way East to West. No West to East. This boat was loaded with miners returning to the east. They landed at a point on the west coast of Nicaragua, walked across that swampy mountainous, insect-ridden country filled with Indians (hostile), caught another vessel on the east coast and went to New York by way of Havana, Cuba. Thence back to These words of Charles Scafe simplify a story he must have heard several times from his father, and are to a certain extent very factual and impersonal. Once he had finished reporting his father’s story, however, he permitted himself one or two observations which are interesting in themselves, as well as for the further light they throw on Joseph. He wrote, “‘Miles Scafe was a weaver by trade. Before him his father was a weaver. No doubt his grandfather was. My father learned weaving. If they had never bucked up and came to America I would probable been a weaver.”’ Later he wrote Father Joseph Scafe at 21 years of age broke from home in Wisconsin to brave the dangers of an over- land trip to California in 1850 took a barrell of courage. It was a hazardous undertaking. Only two places beyond the Missouri river where he could possibly make any purchases. And I will warrent you his purchases were very

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This is not the story of Joseph Scafe’s life, of course. It is the story of what he probably con- sidered to be the highlight of his life. He may have done other fascinating things which by his own standards were not worth the telling. We know, for instance, that he travelled north to Canada in the 1850s to see George Scafe. That in itself may well have been an adventure sufficient for most people. It certainly shows a determination to keep in touch with his family and his past and there is something satisfying in the thought that his grandchildren arrived in Kirkburton in 1975 to look at his birthplace, to examine the Scafe tombs in the churchyard and to have tea with Scaifes in the village who shared the same ancestors.

This account is based largely on genealogical work done for the American descendants of Miles Scafe, and includes extracts from their private correspondence.

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G. M. Briscoe

When I acquired the birth certificate of my husband’s great-grandfather, William Froggett, born 23 March, 1856, I found his father’s name given as Thomas Froggett (deceased), occupation coal miner. This meant that his father Thomas had died in the nine months preceding the birth. The Froggetts lived at Westgate Common, Alverthorpe and a search of the Alverthorpe parish registers revealed the burial on August 2nd, 1855 of Thomas Froggett, coal miner age 31 years. I then went to Wakefield Register Office with the aim of acquiring the death certificate, as he was so young, and no further details were given in the register at Alverthorpe. A death is recorded in the district in which it took place. In this case I expected Alverthorpe to be the place, but it was not. A search of the other Wakefield sub-districts revealed that Thomas had. died following a fall down a mine-shaft at Grove Colliery, Stanley, and the informant was the Coroner. This meant that there must have been an inquest, with the possibility of a report in the local paper. I finally located this in the Wakefield Express of August 4th, 1855. The report which provides detailed and interesting information about the circumstances of Thomas Froggett’s death could so easily have been overlooked.

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In 1977 I began to transcribe and edit an old diary which I had found a few years previously in a Huddersfield junk shop. It was the last diary of John Swift, a clothier turned quack doctor who lived all his life in the Holme Valley, south of Huddersfield. Among the leaves of his diary were several letters to his daughter, and one of these, dated 6th January 1844, describes in the greatest detail her brother Tom’s wedding. Tom had made a splendid match with Emily Learoyd, the youngest daughter of a wealthy Huddersfield millowner. After the wedding in Queen Street Chapel, John Swift took a glass of wine at Learoyd’s before returning to his wife who had remained at their cottage home at Newsome. He writes to his daughter: Mother was at home, I ordered Mother to call in the neighbours and make them a good breakfast and fine Spree they had. Nancy Riet [Wright], Nany Vickerman and George Crossley wife danced a Reel then Nanny Crossley and Nancy Reet rung Adam Bells... they were in the parlour when they begun to Make Merry and some of them were allmost tipsey, no Men intermixed or anoied them. (Italics mine) For long enough I could find neither documentary nor oral explanation for ‘rang Adam Bells’ and even experts could not help me (1). Handbells were sometimes rung at weddings, but in this context that did not seem likely. Finally I put an enquiry in the Huddersfield Examiner, which was answered by Mr. George Taylor of Holmfirth, a retired millworker, a dialect poet and dramatist (2). ‘Ringing Adam Bells’, he said, was a naughty game still played in the 1880s at Laikin Neets [playing nights] in the Holme Valley: These Laikin Neets were held in turn at the homes of those who lived in these scattered hamlets in the valley. By the dim light of tallow candles, the evenings were spent in song and dance and in a variety of games that grew more boisterous as the strong ale, brought in long cans by the children from the village inn, went the way all good ale should go. When sufficient ale had been consumed, the youngsters were locked out of the house while the grown- ups played their secret game. It was on one of these occasions that George Taylor’s grandfather, then a lad, peeped through a tear in the paper window blind and witnessed the following: The men and women were seated in two circles on the floor, facing each other, the inner circle men, the outer circle women. The fiddler was in the centre playing a lively tune as the women sang: Ring in th’owd Adam Bells Kitlins i t’clough Who can see my bare arse? Whereupon the women all fell backwards and threw their skirts over their heads and the men finished the verse with: Me, fair enough! My grandfather never told me what followed and this must be left to the imagination.

Mr. Taylor’s grandfather remembered the tune, which goes like this:

Here was a mystery. In the 1880’s the game was played in secret and with its original erotic intent, yet in 1844 it was played in public exclusively by women, presumably in a more decorous version, at a wedding celebration. This seems to be another example of the co-existence of crude and socially acceptable versions of the same game, as in Hot Cockles (3). Might not Adam Bells have been at one time a crude wedding game in which

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The influence of Methodism and the beginnings of ‘Victorian’ manners may have just begun to affect the Newsome version, since John Swift specifically mentions ‘no Men intermixed or anoied them’ which implies that was not usually the case. It is recorded that men and manners in the villages around Huddersfield were notoriously rough, and Mrs. Jagger of Honley (6) mentions that many rough and often indecent pranks were practised on bride and groom on their return home from church. Indeed it was common for bride and groom to creep stealthily to Almondbury church by different routes in their weaving and working aprons to escape notice and to return home in the same secret manner. Sexual mores were lax. Examination of parish registers shows that the incidence of pre-marital sex and illegitimacy had always been high, many couples getting married only when the girl became pregnant (although no shame attached to this). The problem worsened during the eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries (7) when attempts were made by local philanthropists to encourage chastity; (my own great-grandmother was one of those who received the Maid’s Portion of the Nettleton Charity when she proved she had been married a full nine months without producing a child.) Of course, ignorance, coarseness and brutality were widespread until well into the nineteenth century. However, the special roughness of the people of the Holme Valley (and Colne Valley) may be attributed to their long isolation from civilising influences. Huddersfield and its moorland hamlets to the south and west were long cut off from main routes of communication, and many visitors were shocked by the fierce and brutal inhabitants, who were suspicious of strangers, and resistant to any kind of change. John Wesley wrote 9 June 1757: I rode over the mountains to Huddersfield. A wilder people I never saw in England. The men, women and children filled the streets and seemed just ready to devour us. In April two years later he wrote: Preached near Huddersfield to the wildest congregation I have seen in Yorkshire. John Pawson, a Birstall Methodist, in 1765 began preaching again in ‘the mountains’ above Huddersfield, ‘where the people in general are little better than heathens, ignorant and wicked to a degree’. Honley men were nicknamed ‘bulldogs’ because they were so often violent and drunk. They practised bull-baiting, dog-fighting, cock-fighting, shin-poising and stoning and sodding of strangers. In 1805 a vigilante group had to be set up in Honley, to combat drunkenness and disorder. Forty years later they were no better. A writer in the Leeds Mercury January 11th 1845, in a plea for a mechanics’ institute at Honley, describes the working classes there as more than ordinarily debauched, the drunk and disorderly did a great deal of damage at night, and ‘vice and immorality prevail to a great degree’. The isolation of the Huddersfield hamlets is also illustrated in the fact that after the Reformation, Roman Catholics continued to practice their religion openly without hindrance, Catholic images and objects of worship being kept on display over the fireplace. Throughout the Commonwealth, when so many wakes and feasts were prohibited, Honley people continued their Feast (8). The long survival of the Huddersfield dialects in their pure forms is also proof of that area’s isolation until this century (9). In such a climate it

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In north and east Yorkshire, the girl playing cocklety bread is swung back and forth, or bumped, in a squatting position, by two others. In west Yorkshire and north Lincolnshire the children turn head over heels after repeating the third line, and in Cornwall, the phrase to make cockle-bread meant to turn head over heels on a bed (12). John Aubrey in 1686 describes cocklebread thus: Young wenches have a wanton sport, which they call moulding of cocklebread; viz, they gett upon a Tableboard, and then gather up their knees and their coates with their hands as high as they can and then they wabble to and fro with their Buttocks as if the(y) were kneading of Dowgh with their A - - - Aubrey gives two versions of the rhyme and continues: I did imagine nothing to have been in this but meer Wantonnesse of Youth — rigidas prurigine vulvae. Juven. Sat. 6 (129). But I find in Burchardus, in his Methodus Confitendi on the VII Commandement, one of ye articles of inter- rogating a young woman is, if she did ever subigere panem clunibus [knead bread with her buttocks] and then bake it, and give it to one that she loved to eate: ut in majorem modum exardesceret amor? [in order to increase his ardour]. So here I find it to be a relique of Naturall Magick, an unlawfull Philtrum (13). Patricia Crowther, the Sheffield high priestess of the Old Religion, has told me that moulding cocklety bread was indeed a powerful charm and would have worked. The heels-over-the-head posture is one that is found in witchcraft. (14) It is the posture of the world of creation in Egyptian mythology (see illustration). In Indian yoga it is the plough position, which among other benefits, relieves aching backs and shoulders. Would it be too outrageous to suggest that the spinsters and weavers of the Holme Valley rang Adam Bells for so long partly because they enjoyed its therapeutic value?

The Egyptian Sky Goddess Nut dominates the World of Creation, ordering and creating all things.

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A game with the same movement was recorded in New York in 1883, a girls’ game called Humpty Dumpty: This game is for girls only. All present sit in a circle, then each girl gathers her skirts tightly, so as to enclose her feet. The leader begins some rhyme; all join in, and at a word previously agreed on, keeping the skirt tightly grasped, throw themselves over backward. The object now is to recover the former position without letting go of the skirt. (15) Since the girls sit in a ring, this game is more likely to be related to Ringing Adam Bells than to Moulding Cocklety Bread. The latter was an aphrodisiacal charm perpetrated usually by one person, whereas the former was a group ritual, perhaps once considered vital for the fertility and continuance of the tribe. Ring games in general are a survival among children of ancient tribal marriage and fertility customs (16). Other games played until the end of the nineteenth century at Holme Valley Laikin Neets and feasts were similarly associated with match-making and fertility (see forthcoming article on ‘Merry Nights’). Although the action of Ringing Adam Bells may be ancient, the words clearly are not. What immediately springs to mind is the north country narrative of Adam Bell, Clym o’ the Clough and Will Cloudesley first printed between 1548 and 1568, a tale of three outlaws as famous at one time as Robin Hood; (they were reputed to be contemporaneous with Robin Hood’s father!) References to Adam Bell and Clym o’ the Clough as outstanding archers are common in literature from Shakespeare to Restoration drama, but between the two printings of D’Avenant’s The Wits (i.e. between 1634 and 1673) their popularity, at least in the south, had waned (17). Clym of the Clough is occasionally referred to in a boasting sexual context (17 and 18), Adam Bell has been equated with Cupid (19). It may be that the rhyme of Ringing Adam Bells came into being in the sixteenth century or early seventeenth century, most likely before the Civil War, when manners were in all classes crude (vide farting matches at fairs, which after the Interregnum were looked at in retrospect with some amazement (20)). It could therefore be that ‘Ringing th’owd Adam Bells/Kittlins i’?

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The Sussex sheepshearers’ version is played only by men, devoid of its tune, and devoid of its Original intent. It has become a mere childish

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In 1812 William Horsfall of Marsden was shot by the Luddites as he rode along the old Manchester Road on his way home from Huddersfield. His mill, known as Ottiwell’s Mill and now demolished used to stand where Bank Bottom Mill is, at the foot of Binn Road. It figures in one of the best-known episodes of the Luddite story. William Horsfall had installed cropping-frames there and his relationship with the militant workers of the neighbourhood was so bad that soldiers were brought in to defend the machines. A defensive wall with loop-holes in it was built in front of the mill and cannons were placed behind it. There is an old photograph of the mill, as it was in 1812, on p. 99 of ‘History of the Huddersfield Woollen Industry’ by W. B. Crump and G. Ghorbal. There are two excuses for repeating this well-known piece of Colne Valley history. The first is the photograph shown here. Whilst the picture of the old mill is familiar to many people, much less is known about the house at Ottiwells, photographed at the time of its demolition. From its style it would seem to have been built in the years around 1800, and one feature which helps to date it is the venetian window in the gable end. Although this is not visible here, it can just be seen on the photograph mentioned above. The second reason concerns the name Ottiwells itself, which has survived the buildings it once described ; ‘now only a name’ as W. B. Crump says. The explanation offered in ‘Place-Names of the West Riding’ is that there was a well at this point and that the first part of the word was the Middle English personal name Otto. There is, however, a much more likely and satisfying explanation, which can be deduced from the parish registers. From the 1620s ‘Ottiwelle’ or ‘Ottuell’ in Marsden was the home of a family with the surname Marsden. John Marsden, who was living there in the 1620s, was almost certainly the direct descendant of Othuel Marsden of Marsden who died on October 28, 1589. Between 1561 and 1574 Othuel and his wife Joan had six children, three daughters, Alice, Elizabeth and Mary, and three sons, John, Thomas and Edmund. At that time Ottiwell was an extremely rare christian name and there seems little doubt that the house was named after this man.



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In the Colne Valley in 1530 Edmund Kaye of Linthwaite was exceptional. He could call himself a gentleman at a time when his neighbours were clothiers, websters and husbandmen. He owed his rank to his manor of Linthwaite, but besides the manor, with its fulling mill at Hoyle Lees, he had an interest in Roche Abbey property in the Doncaster area as well as in land at Deanhead and some that he rented in Slaithwaite (Slaithwaite Court Rolls for 1524 and 1528). According to the tax assess- ments of 1524 he was not so well off as some wealthy gentlemen in the Huddersfield area or indeed some clothiers like John Dyson of Quarmby, but he had business dealings that extended over the locality: at Hoylehouse, at Bankhouse in Longwood, at Dodlea and with John Tonyclif of Honley, Peter Wilson of Bothom (near Botham Hall), Thomas Burnlay the dyer of Longroyd Bridge and others. Family connections confirmed his standing. They included respected families of the neigh- bourhood: the Kayes of Woodsome, the Saviles, the Lockwoods and further away the Jacksons of Snydale near Pontefract; and he had useful ties also with families of some consequence over the Lanca- shire border: the Greenhalghs of Brandilsome near Bury, the Butterworths of Belfield in Rochdale and, most splendid in sound, the Entwistles of Entwistle — at Bolton.

However, in spite of all this Edmund Kaye was an anxious man in 1530 when he made his will. He was not especially troubled by a guilty conscience. He had extended his family outside wedlock but, as parish considerations and parental feeling prompted, he met his obligations. He had some twinge of conscience certainly about Kirkstall Abbey. The neighbouring manor of Lingards belonged to Kirkstall and we know from the Slaithwaite Court Rolls that Linthwaite men were tempted to trespass on Lingards Common for their turves. So Edmund Kaye left the Abbey a donation. Other- wise his spiritual condition seemed to be no particular worry. He left it to his executors to do the best they could for his soul, and he wisely included Sir John Roose among the executors. The title ‘Sir’ here did not denote noble rank but was the current term of respect for a priest. John Roose was in fact Edmund Kaye’s local priest, the curate in charge of Slaithwaite Chapel, which served Linthwaite also. What really troubled Edmund Kaye was that he had no son able to inherit, but five daughters and of these only Janet was married and Anne was in a delicate position, under negotiation but the match not yet clinched. Edmund Kaye knew that fatherless heiresses were a prey to scheming families and it was a problem to secure the welfare of his daughters and prevent the husband of any one from trying to overreach the rest. In the end he was defeated. The latter part of his will lacks the brisk precision with which ke began it when he was making provision for his sister. He rested his hopes finally on a practical arrange- ment that he worked out with his good neighbour John Dyson. This man was therefore among the witnesses to the will together with a clothier Robert Ainley. Another witness was Anne’s ‘intended’. It was important that he should know the terms of the will so that he should be helped to come to the point. The timber that was bequeathed to him might well be useful for the matrimonial home. This will was not known to D. F. E. Sykes and Philip Ahier when they wrote of Edmund Kaye and Linthwaite Hall. In the light of it their accounts need correction. It is disappointing, however, that we are still left without clear information about the Hall.

Will of Edmunde Kaye de Lynthwaite Borthwick Institute, York Wills: 11A 13v

Dated: July 23, 1530. Proved: November, 1532. In the name of god Amen the xxiijt® day of July in the yere of our lorde god Millesimo Quingente- simo xxx'° I Edmunde Kaye of Lynthwaite gentilman of hoole mynde and perfitte remembrance do order and make, this my testament and last will, in maner and forme foloyng. First I gif and bequeath my saull to almyghtie god, our ladie sancte marie, and all the celestiall company of hevyn, and my bodie to be beried, in the parishe churche of almondby. also I gif to Janet Kaye my suster al my corne fawmes at lynthwaite in conye close, callid Ridyng an other callid pighill and in a parcell of land callid crofte, and

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be absoluyd of suche trespases as I haue done Againste theire place. x’. to John Dison of the hoole- house.

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Lilian Robinson The following is recorded in the West Riding Quarter Session Order

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Lilian Robinson

The Seventeenth Century Probably the first ‘Proclamation relating to Rates and Conditions for Carriers’ was issued at the Quarter Sessions for the West Riding of York, held at Pontefract, in May 1692. At this same time it was ordered, in relation to workers’ wages, that, ‘the Rates and Terms of eight or nine years ago be in force again from these Sessions, with the same methods and rules to be observed as are thereby directed’. In the Session records for April 1647 is recorded a ‘Limitation of the rates and conditions’ for various workpeople within the West Riding. It may have been considered customary for the terms to be considered each year at the Spring Sessions, held at Pontefract. They are not recorded annually, but it is clear that, from 1692, in the years when Proclamations were issued, the conditions for both Carriers and Workers, were considered at the same time. The following Proclamation, for the year 1700, is typical, and portrays conditions in the very early days of long-distance transport. Turnbridge, described in a 19th century directory as ‘scattered houses in the township of Cowick and parish of Snaith, two miles from Snaith’, is the only place named on the carriers’ routes, which is not well-known today.

Rates of Carriers’ Wages, 9th April, 1700 By virtue of a late Act of Parliament Intituled an Act for the better repairing & mending the high ways & for setting the rates of Carriage of goods his Majestys Justices of the peace in the said quarter sessions Assembled have Assessed & rated the prizes of all Land Carriage of goods whatsoever to be brought into any place or places within this Ryding by any Comon waggoner or Carrier att the respec- tive rates & prizes following, viz: from London to Doncaster Rotherham Sheffield Barnsley Pontefract Wakefield Hallifax Leeds or any Markett Town or other place within this Ryding as far distant from London as Leeds is from May day to Michaelmas fifteen pence a stone & from Michaelmas to May day eighteenpence aStone & nomore & for any odd pounds five farthings & no more through the whole year.

From London to BurrowBridge from Mayday to Michaelmas Seventeen pence a stone & from Michael- mas to May day nineteen pence a Stone & for every odd pound three halfe pence & no more through the whole year. From London to any place within this Ryding that is distant from London twenty miles more than Leeds two pence halfe penny a stone more than the said fifteen pence & eighteenpence & so propor- tionably for a greater or lesser distance.

Carriage by Carts From Leeds to Selby or Turnbridge or from Wakefield to Selby or Turnbridge & from any other Markett Town or place in this Ryding to Selby or Turnbridge as far distant from the same as Leeds is a Truss Containing four horse packs & proportionably more or Less from May day till Michaelmas six shillings & sixpence From Michaelmas to Christmas for four horse packs & proportionably more or less ten shillings and sixpence. From Christmas till May day for four horse packs & proportionably more or less fifteen shillings & six pence & so proportionably for a greater or Lesser distance.

From Selby or Turnbridge to Leeds & Wakefield & to any other Markett Town or place in this Ryding as far distant from Selby or Turnbridge as Leeds is from May day till Michaelmas twelve shillings a Tunn From Michaelmas till Christmas eighteen shillings a Tunn & from Christmas till Mayday twenty four shillings a Tunn & so proportionably more or less.

And it is ordered by this Court that the rates & Assessments be forthwith printed and sent to the severall Mayors & other Chief Officers of each respective Markett Town within this Ryding to be hung upp in some publick place in every such Markett Town to which all persons may resort for their information & no such Common Waggoner or Carrier shall take for Carriage of goods & Merchandize above the rates & prizes hereby sett upon pain by the said Act, to forfeit for every such offence the sume of five pounds to be Levyed by distress & sale of his or their goods by warrant of any two Justices of the peace where such waggoners or Carrier shall reside in manner as by the said Act is appointed to the use of the parties grieved.


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April 1692

April 1693

April 1695

April 1700

April 1703

April 1706

April 1731


LONDON to Doncaster Rotherham, Sheffield Barnsley , Pontefract Wakefield, Halifax Leeds OR other places in Riding as far distant from London as Leeds is:— Throughout Year Mayday—Michaelmas Michaelmas—Mayday Odd Ibs throughout year

1d pound

15d stone 18d stone

144d pound

15d stone 18d stone


15d stone 18d stone

1%d pound

14d stone 18d stone

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Between 1692 and 1733 (and for many years thereafter), rates and conditions varied hardly at all. The additional charge for distances of 20 miles beyond London—Leeds was raised from 2d to 22d a stone in 1693. Ten years later the May Day—Michaelmas rate, London—Doncaster etc. was reduced from 15d to 14d, and London—Burrowbridge from 17d to 16d astone. In 1706 the York—Wakefield etc. charge went up from 2d to

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The British ‘economic miracle’ of the 19th century was forged in the harsh furnace of unfettered free enterprise — or so we are told. In fact this was not the whole truth. Enterprise was far from ‘free’, in the laissez-faire sense of the term, and was consistently fettered albeit lightly and at the margin. Throughout the century Parliament acted, with an apparently endless flow of legislation, to protect individuals, groups and society at large from some of the excesses of unbridled competition. Few people in Christian Britain were happy to see women and small children working long hours in textile mills or underground in coal mines or to see working people exposed to the degradation of sweatshops and unsanitary housing conditions. Yet, while Factory Acts, Health Acts and Artisans’ Dwellings legislation can be seen as the humanitarian regulation of a fundamentally sound system’s excesses, in reality Parliament, through the agency of the new municipal authorities, went much further and, at the local level, actually challenged the free enterprise ethos itself and in so doing laid the foundations for today’s mixed economy. The challenge, unwitting though it may have been for the most part, took the unglamorous form of what some have chosen to refer to as ‘Gas and Water Socialism’. From the 1820’s onwards, Parlia- ment granted powers to municipal authorities to provide, and in many cases take over, the essential infrastructure of an increasingly urban society: Water, Gas, Electricity, Transport and even the land itself. What is most remarkable is that these quasi-collectivist powers were conferred by Parliaments, publicly committed to free enterprise, upon municipal authorities no less anti-socialist in their make-up. One such local authority which took on these powers and extended them with great enthu- siasm was Huddersfield Corporation. Such was Huddersfield’s enthusiasm for municipal enterprise that in 1896 a ‘Special Commis- sioner’ writing a series for the Yorkshire Factory Times under the title ‘Snap Shots of Local and Industrial Yorkshire’ was moved to head his piece on the town, ‘Communistic Huddersfield’ He went on... ‘In municipal work Huddersfield is as advanced a town as any in the kingdom, in fact, 99 per cent of the towns and cities are behind Huddersfield in municipal enterprise Huddersfield is one of those places which has done things of a communistic character and not known it. Call Alderman Hirst (Liberal Mayor 1891-3), a socialist and he would probably reply he wasn’t, yet socialistic work has grown and grown, and the Corporation is the biggest employer of labour and property owner in the borough.’ (1) The writer, of course, had a particular axe to grind and that he did with undisguised relish. The York- shire Factory Times was a trade unionist and Labour newspaper founded in 1889 to serve the industrial West Riding. It was staffed largely by trade unionists many of whom, like Allen Gee of Huddersfield, Ben Turner of Batley and W. H. Drew of Bradford, were key figures in the movement which formed the Independent Labour Party in 1893 and were, to varying degrees, committed to socialism. It was, for them, a source of some amusement and good propaganda to suggest that Liberal and Conservative councillors were demonstrating the solid good sense of socialism by adapting appa- rently socialist policies at the local level. While it is certainly not true that Huddersfield’s municipal undertakings were inspired by a socialist ideology, the extent of the town’s undertakings was, by 1896, quite remarkable: waterworks, gasworks, electricity supply, tramways, local markets, a model lodging house, council housing, public baths, public parks, and, later in 1920, the Corporation even bought out the town’s principal landlord, Sir John Frecheville Ramsden, and in so doing took into public ownership most of the land within the borough’s boundaries. How was all this possible? How was it that quasi-collectivist policies were encouraged by Parlia- ments and local authorities in 19th century Britain which, under other circumstances, would have run a mile at the mere thought of socialism? The answer is complex but it has little if anything to do with socialist ideology. In fact the terms often used in this context — ‘Municipal Socialism’ or ‘Gas and Water Socialism’ — are themselves anachronisms when applied to Victorian municipal enterprise. They only began to appear in the currency of this debate towards the end of the 19th century when municipal ownership was already an established fact in most of Britain’s principal provincial towns and cities. Indeed, it could well be argued that the link between socialism and municipal enterprise was really a product of the particular circumstances of London’s local politics rather than those of the pioneering provincial towns. As


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Professor Kellett (1978) maintains:

Page 25

The suggestion here that enterprises under public control could be relied upon to act with more ‘elevated feelings’ than those subject to the profit motive is a potentially radical one. Hopkins’ inten- tions, however, were more modest. Modesty is not a quality easily associated with Joseph Chamberlain. His contribution to the theory of municipal enterprise was as much a loud rallying cry for the brave new Birmingham which as Mayor between 1873 and 1876 he tried to create, as it was a clear articulation of the spirit per- vading the often diverse elements underlying much early municipalization. His views had a great deal to do with the rising spirit of British local democracy even if couched in terms of the Joint Stock Company.

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stances resulted in municipal control. The detail and weighting of these particular issues often varied from one undertaking to another. At the centre of this interplay of argument, as Asa Briggs (1963) has pointed out, the role of ‘civic pride’ is inescapable. ‘The West Riding may be called a ‘conurbation’ but the sturdy civic pride of its constituent parts, ‘a self-assertive attitude of independence’, dominated its nineteenth century history.’ (9) While this was true of the West Riding it was not unknown in the other new industrial areas of Vic- torian Britain as Chamberlain’s work in Birmingham demonstrates. Civic pride allied with the idea of ‘progress’ was a powerful force. It produced sometimes bitter local rivalries between, for example, Leeds and Bradford, Dewsbury and Batley or, north of the border, between Glasgow and Edinburgh. Council leaders being, for the most part, local men expressed this not only in the competing grandeur of their town halls but also in their wider municipal policies. Allied to this there is also a sense in which these wider municipal policies of progress and reform were a way of striking a blow for the new industrial elite in their political, social and cultural battle with a more traditional Britain. Well into the 19th century Britain was still essentially a feudal society. The aristocracy continued to rule, their great town and country houses dominated British urban and rural architecture, county society and London’s court life were the strict arbiters of taste and good manners and, although reformed in 1832, Parliament remained the best gentleman’s club in the world. It is in opposition to the hegemony of the landed aristocracy that we can see the often frantic efforts of the ‘new men’ of Britain’s industrial revolution to assert themselves. The corporations of the new industrial towns were convenient vehicles through which the new order could assert its identity, to demonstrate its own culture and its vigour. Central to a town’s well-being then, as now, and to its image in the wider world, was the health of its people. On this score the new industrial towns had an appalling record. While cholera epidemics after 1832 dramatised the shortcomings of their sanitary provisions, throughout the century the per- sistence of endemic diseases such as typhus, dysentery, tuberculosis and a host of other diseases of over-crowding and poor sanitation kept the question of public health alive. For reasons which were only approximately right urban reformers in the 1830’s and 1840’s pointed to the provision of a ‘pure and wholesome’ water supply as a necessary pre-requisite for the improvement of public health in the new and populous towns. It is, therefore, not without significance that the first major area for the extension of municipal powers was that of water supply. By 1835 few towns at all, let alone those in the industrial districts, had adequate supplies of water. Some, including Halifax, Hull and Brecon, had powers of supply vested in their improvement commissioners — often the precursors of properly constituted municipal corporations. Nevertheless, even these supplies were often poor in quality, intermittent in quantity and inadequately distributed. Investigating fifty towns between 1843 and 1845 the Royal Commission on the Health of Towns reported:

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the future of the town and neighbourhood depends.’ (11) The one clinching fact in the arguments preceding Huddersfield’s incorporation was that the intended authority would proceed rapidly to provide an adequate water supply for the borough and its neighbourhood. As a consequence one of the first acts of the new Corporation after 1868 was to buy out the Huddersfield Water Commissioners and establish the locally famous initials ‘H.C.W.W.’ — Huddersfield Corporation Waterworks. During the course of the next thirty years the town embarked on a massive and ambitious pro- gramme of reservoir building and renovation at Longwood, Blackmoorfoot, Deer Hill, Wessenden, Butterley and Blakeley. By the end of the century these provided almost five hundred million gallons of water a year through over 240 miles of mains to Huddersfield and its neighbourhood. By 1897 the Corporation could boast a water supply which ‘. will constitute a guarantee against the contingencies of the future that may well excite the admiration, if not the envy, of less fortunate communities.” (12) Huddersfield was not alone in its municipal control of the water supply. In 1871 only 250 out of a total of 783 urban authorities were spending money on their own water undertakings. By 1897 this had risen dramatically to 610 out of 990. ‘The transformation of the water supply is primarily due to the replacement of commercial enterprise in this field by municipal undertakings operating on pure public utility principles.’ (13) In the arguments about municipalization of the water supply progressive municipalities had morality on their side — there were few political forces quite as potent as Victorian morality when roused, especially in the largely Non-conformist communities of the industrial North. Water was a necessity of life and it was, therefore, morally wrong for private companies in monopoly positions to make often excessive profits out of human needs. But morality did have a practical side; many of the private companies had insufficient ambition and inadequate capital to undertake the major civil engineering works necessary for the provision of an adequate water supply for the growing towns. Local authorities had both ambition and capital and, unlike private companies, were not governed by the need to make profits. The municipalization of gas can not be explained in exactly the same way although there are many similarities. From its first appearance in 1806 illuminating Manchester’s King Street until the middle of the century, gas was not considered a central issue in the effective management of Britain’s new towns. As a consequence private gas companies were given licenses to operate in many towns. In some cases their position was unchallenged and they had a monopoly; in other more populous towns rival gas companies competed to supply an expanding market. At one time, for example, there were fourteen different companies operating in London and in some districts several companies laid their mains in the same streets. Cut-throat competitiomled to price-fixing or the elimination of the lesser

companies by the more successful who then reaped the benefits of monopoly in higher prices. By the middle of the century the picture was chaotic. There were local private monopolies, as in

Huddersfield, or an anarchy of small competing companies with all that that meant in terms of sharp practice, the proliferation of gasworks, constant excavations in the highways, danger from gas leaks and erratic pricing. By this time, however, the public view of gas had also changed. Rather than a luxury it was now seen as a necessity. Gas lighting, for the first time, ended man’s dependence on daylight. The useful length of the day was extended. While this had obvious implications for social life, theatres and entertainment, its implications for industry were dramatic: for the first time night-shift working was really possible with proper illumination. Gas light was also essential for the proper policing of urban streets. Since the only rational way of providing gas was in a monopoly situation, doubts began to be expressed as to who should have that monopoly. One approach was to regulate the industry very closely as to prices, quality and general standards but the other, which was increasingly favoured, was to vest powers of gas manufacture and supply in the municipal authorities. By 1900 more than 40% of all gas undertakings in Britain were in municipal control. In fact the picture here is distorted by the London figures where large and powerful private gas companies resisted municipal intervention. Excluding London, more than half of the gas supplied in provincial towns and cities came from municipal gasworks. In 1872, when only four years old, Huddersfield Corporation bought out the Huddersfield Gas Company, which had a local monopoly, and the smaller Moldgreen Gas Company. In so doing they discovered that there were other advantages to be obtained from municipal gas: profits from Corporation gas could be used to relieve the burden of the rates. What the town, and many others like it got therefore, was a cheap essential service which was also capable of helping to finance other


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aspects of local government. If gas lighting helped the policing of urban streets, it also helped to pay the policemen’s wages. The provision of electricity by municipal authorities arose directly from their involvement in the manufacture and supply of gas. Electricity was the next technological step on from gas, at that time, as a source of light and power. It was natural, therefore, that to protect their position in the local market local authorities persuaded a compliant Parliament to allow them to extend their powers into this area. Electricity municipalization was advocated with some of the arguments used for gas. Electricity being capital-intensive could only be supplied on a monopoly basis. Since local authorities had demonstrated their competence in the matter of public service with water and gas the extension of their powers here was uncontroversial. By the 1890’s, when local authorities had begun to make these moves (Huddersfield, 1893) it would appear that municipalization had begun to generate its own momentum. This is probably one reason why the London Fabians were so excited at the prospect for socialism of an ever-expanding sphere of local government enterprise. Tramway municipalization followed similar patterns. Outside the major cities markets were not sufficiently large to provide the scope for competition between private companies. Parliament, however, perhaps anxious at the extension of municipal enterprise, was reluctant at first to admit that private enterprise could not provide an adequate service. It hit on the odd suggestion that local authorities should provide the track and then lease its use to private operators. Huddersfield attempted this but failed to persuade a private operator to take on the service. As a consequence, in typical pioneering fashion, Huddersfield Corporation in 1882 became the first local authority empowered by Act of Parliament to lay its own track and operate its own tram service. Other authorities were not slow to follow this lead especially when the original private operators found the cost of electrification beyond their means. By 1900 there were 61 municipal tramways operating 520 miles of track and 89 private companies operating 467 miles of track. By the last decade of the 19th century municipal authorities in Britain had established beyond doubt, their right to intervene, on behalf of their citizens, in the provision of a number of the essential services which made urban living more tolerable. Water, gas, electricity and tramways were the major elements in this picture. They had arisen from a combination of factors, some of them cultural, social or political, others, perhaps more important, derived from a view that services considered to be essential should not be subject to the profit motive or to the vagaries of the market place. The funda- mental question which the Fabians began to pose in the 1890’s was, ‘what do you consider to be essential services?’ Huddersfield went beyond gas, water, trams and electricity by building council houses in the 1880’s, running a model lodging house, acquiring local market rights, opening public parks, buying and running public baths, operating a coal delivery service on its tramways and, finally in 1920, buying out its ground landlord. But, Huddersfield Corporation was not then and never in all its hundred and six years of existence a socialist authority — no matter what the ‘Yorkshire Factory Times’ might say. There was, clearly, a fine dividing line which the London socialists longed to see crossed, between those services which might properly be considered the province of the municipalities and those which private enterprise could provide. Where this line should be drawn is still unclear. Nevertheless, what the far-from-socialist councillors of Victorian Britain’s proud municipalities were unwittingly doing a hundred years ago, was to inject a significant element of public ownership into an otherwise free enterprise economy. In so doing, they established the lines of the argument which still rages today although now chiefly at the national level: what precisely should be the balance between free enterprise and public ownership in the British economy.


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1 Yorkshire Factory Times 3 July 1896 J. R. Kellett, ‘Municipal Socialism, Enterprise and Trading in the Victorian City.” Urban History Yearbook 1978

p 38

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We have also merrymakings of various degrees ranging from a ball to a ‘Laking’ or ‘Playing Night’, when ‘Here comes three jolly, jolly sailor boys’ is sung as the merrymakers march around in couples on stone-flagged cottage-floors. The lilting strain of the old ditty is trilled forth with youthful vigour, the only requirement for enjoyment being a pillow or cushion to be ‘kissed on the floor’. Other merrymakings also vary in character from the stately dinner-party at Th’Maisters’ to a humble boiling of toffee, when the dwellers in some ‘yerd’ or ‘fowd’ join their finances for the purpose of purchasing treacle and

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George Redmonds

My interest in the word Steaner was awakened by a map of Southowram for the year 1625 (1) (see Map A below). It had been drawn as a result of a dispute over lands by the River Calder and “steaner’ was used in the text accompanying the plan. As the same word was used on other maps of roughly the same period and in similar circumstances, it is worth looking at the text for 1625 and relating it to the map. ‘Note that all the ground by north the pricked lyne is confessed to be of the olde Steaner and to be p(ar)cell of Southowr(am): And all by Southe the pricked lyne is alledged to be won and encreassed land by force of the said River, some at one tyme and some att an other. Note that the Ashe tree is felled and was cutt downe within the memorye of man, and that the said River hath bene seene to run in the next gulff but one to the said Ashe by many men livinge. Note also that the said River hath made in former ages great alteration of Landes for that there were (sic) is two closes of Mr. Lacyes being by Southe the said River w(hi)ch be p(ar)cell of Sowthowr(am) and other two closes of Mr. Thornhills which lye by Northe the said River and be p(ar)cell of Rastricke. Which closes are accounted as forced from their severall Townshippes by alteracion of the said Ryver and dothe (sic) lye within one halffe myle together. There can be no doubt that such changes of course by the rivers in this part of the old West Riding were commonplace. Among the holdings of John Lockwood in a rental of Almondbury for 1611 (2), for example, were ‘half an oxgang and 6 acres of land, meadow and pasture called the

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Certainly attempts were made to prevent the rivers from changing course and destroying good pasture land. It will be noticed that on the map of 1625 ‘weares’ are shown to have been in use on the north bank of the Calder, probably to ensure that no more Southowram land was conceded to Rastrick. “Weares’ or weirs were, in this case, probably wooden defence works rather than dams, and tenants were expected to build them and Keep them in good repair to protect the valuable riverside pastures. The custom was one of long standing. In the Huddersfield court rolls in 1532 they are called ‘pilas sive wayres’ (4) and a Dalton deed of c1340 is explicit about their use. When John Flemmyng granted land to William de Bretton at Dalton.Lees, one of the provisions in the lease was that the ‘lessee be allowed to assart the Leghes wherever he could make land or meadow, except the width of half an acre of land next the water bank’ and he was ‘to make one rood of wer at the bank of the water of Colyn (i.e. Colne) and the lessor another rood.’ (5) There are interesting references also in Kirkheaton, a township which lay partly in the angle formed by the confluence of the Colne and the Calder, both of which were given to flooding. In the court rolls of Kirkheaton manor for 1615 (6), for example, one of the bye-laws stated clearly ‘that the ocupyeres of the Longeynge by the waterside shall make a sufficient weare for the defence of the water of Kelder, in paine of 20 shillings.” Despite this a number of tenants incurred fines in the next few years. Similarly it was also ordered in 1617 ‘that the Ruyns of a close called Colne bottome shal be repaired by those who permitted the same to be ruynated.’ The latter were ancient pasture lands, having been mentioned as early as the 12th century. At this point I should like to return to a consideration of ‘steaner’ and its precise meaning. The word was used frequently in minor place-names within a limited area of West Yorkshire and it has been discussed by Professor Smith in his ‘Place-Names of the West Riding of Yorkshire’. His detailed views On the etymology of ‘steaner’, together with a summary of the place-name evidence, appear at the end of this article but it is fair to say that he usually interprets it as ‘rocky ground in or by a river’, or an ‘exposed rocky place’ in a river.

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This probably explains how the word first came into use, but it does not fully explain its signifi- cance to our more recent ancestors. Professor Smith himself quotes examples, in 1341 and again in 1486, where it was being used specifically for pasture land and there are similar cases to this in other local documents e.g. 1494 a close of land called the Steynour, lying between the water of Keldre and a close called Wydkynrode (7). 1672 aclose belonging to widdow Bothomley called the Steaner (8). The inference is that even at this early period steaner was sometimes used to describe good land, rather than stony or rocky land. It is, however, worth noting that on the map of 1625 the word ‘Stonybancke’ is at a point close to what may have been the river’s original course. Moreover, in the map of 1625 and also in at least two maps by Saxton, the word steaner is used in such a way as to suggest that it had a more precise meaning. In the 1598 plan of the Calder at Horbury (9), (see Map B) steaner occurs in the title and clearly refers to the ‘island’ formed by the bow of the river. Here again ‘weares’ were in use by the Horbury tenants, presumably to prevent the Calder from following its more northerly course. It was also at Horbury that a steaner to the south of the bridge came under discussion in 1649 (10). It was said that it ‘did hinder the straight Current of the River of Calder as it had formerly runne in a righte lyne through the said bridge,’ and it was judged necessary, ‘for the preservacon of the repaire of the bancks near the same, to Cutt the said banck, sandbed or stayner thorough and demolish it.’ In this case the meaning is absolutely clear. There is one further interesting development in the linguistic history of ‘steaner’. The spellings collected by Professor Smith show clearly the variation in the vowel of the first syllable, i.e. 1490-92 Littilstonyr or Litilstener. They also show how after c1700 a final ‘d’ was not unusual (11). Indeed, as

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The fact that these are field-names, located in bends of the river (13), supports the view that they were once ‘steaners’. No doubt the less frequent use of the latter word and the increasing use of stone as a building material both played their part in the development. It would, in any case, be interesting to consider the declining fortunes of ‘steaner’ as the turbulence of the Pennine streams and rivers was reduced. Better drainage, together with the development of reservoirs and canals must all have played their part in this. In conclusion it must be said that this article is only a preliminary look at the significance of ‘steaner’. Further research into riverside field-names seems certain to produce more examples of the word, and more variant forms. It may be that it was used more frequently, and over a wider area than I have realised. Even if that is not the case, the careful documentation of all these minor place-names, along the Aire and Calder and their feeders, may well be of interest to more than linguists.

The Place-Name Evidence Professor A. H. Smith has already accumulated a good many references to this place-name element in ‘Place-Names of the West Riding of Yorkshire’. His views as to its meaning and distribution are in Vol. 2 p 151 and Vol. 7 p 282. In the former case he says, “These names are probably Old English stzner ‘stony, rocky ground’, in some cases influenced by Old Norse steinn ‘stone’ (plural steinar); it no doubt survives as Scots dialect stanners (from 1508, A New English Dictionary) ‘small stones and gravel on the margin of a river, or those in the bed of a river which are occasionally exposed and dry.’ When discussing its distribution he states that it is ‘fairly well represented in Middle Calderdale (Agbrigg and Morley) and Skyrack; it seems sometimes to refer to exposed rocky places in rivers and pools.’ To supplement the examples quoted in this article I have below summarised the place-name evidence, including some relevant dates and spellings, together with the volume and page references. This is worthwhile as most of the place-names are not indexed in Smith, and the list gives some idea of the period during which the element was in use and the main variations in spelling.

Agbrigg Rothwell 2. 145. Stainer Clost) le Steenre, Damheued steenre 1292, Rothewell Stayuener (sic)

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Other places dealt with by Smith but lying outside the above area are Stainery Clough 1. 239. and Stainer Hall 4. 33. However, a detailed search of the field-names in Wapentakes other than Agbrigg, Morley and Skyrack may reveal additional examples.

REFERENCES 1 The Savile Collection. Nottinghamshire County Record Office 2 A Survey of the Manor of Almondbury, 1611. No 146 Ravensknowle Museum Collection, Huddersfield 3 Quarter Sessions for the West Riding. Indictment Books, QSI/4 4 Whitley Beaumont Collection, WBR/III/. Huddersfield Public Library. Local History and Archives 5 Yorkshire Deeds, Vol III p 20. Yorkshire Archaeological Society, Record Series 6 WBR/II/11. Huddersfield Public Library 7 Catalogue of Muniments at Kirklees in the possession of Sir George Armytage, privately printed, 1900. No 150 8 Slaithwaite Manor Court Rolls, Dartmouth Estate Papers, Sheepscar Library Leeds. Ref. supplied by

9 10 1]

12 13

M. A. & M. T. Freeman A re-drawing of Saxton’s map, based on the copy in the West Yorkshire County Record Office Quarter Sessions Order Books. QSO/2/248 The earliest ref. I have with a final ‘d’ is 1588/9 ‘Mannours of Thorpe and Steynard, in the countye of Yorke’, Savile Collection, 207/155 These maps, copies or originals, are in the Local History Department, Huddersfield Public Library See Map C — a re-drawn section of the Radcliffe Estate map in Sheepscar Library, Leeds

N.B. There is a very useful discussion on ‘steaners’ as they are drawn on Saxton’s maps in Christopher Saxton,

Elizabethan Map-Maker. by I. M. Evans and H. Lawrence, pp. 96, 105.


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Although it is generally accepted that Friendly, and Building Societies had their origins in 18th century clubs, there seems to be very little detailed information available about them for the early years. A Survey of the Ramsden Estate (1797), in Huddersfield Library includes the names of ‘William Shaw and Joseph Boothroyd for Outcoat Club houses’, and similar entries occur in the same archives in a Beaumont Estate survey of 1796, but these do little more than tell us of the existence of the clubs. It seems, therefore, worthwhile picking up any reference to the clubs, in the hope of putting together some more detailed account and with this in mind we include the following indentures, sent by Mrs. S. Gates. Could it be club money that was being used by the officials in the following land transaction?

23rd December 1768

INDENTURE made between Ann Woolhouse of Sheffield, widow, Executrix of Joseph W] lhouse late of Sheffield, carpenter, deceased, of the one part, and George Dakin of Sheffield aforesaid, scissorsmith, and John Smith and John Gorrill of the same place, cutlers, Master and Wardens of a certain club or Charitable Society held at the house of George Fox known by the sign of the ‘African Prince’ in Sheffield aforesaid of the other part, of or concerning that spot or plot of ground being part of a certain close lying at the North end of Sheffield aforesaid called Peacroft (description) Registered at Wakefield 6th February 1769

15th January 1777 INDENTURE made between George Dakin of Sheffield, knifesmith, and John Smith and John Gorrill, cutlers, late master and wardens of a certain club or charitable society held at the house of George Fox known by the Sign of the African Prince in Sheffield aforesaid. all that plot of land being part of a certain close lying at the North end of Sheffield aforesaid called Pea Croft (size given 12 x 24 yards) Sale witnessed by John Greaves of Sheffield, innkeeper, Thomas Waterhouse of Upperthorpe, tanner, and William Clarke, clerk to the said William Hoyle (the perchaser)


George Redmonds

The element ‘rod’ is Old English in origin and means ‘clearing’. It occurs very frequently in South Yorkshire place-names but is rare north of the River Wharfe and almost unknown outside the county, except where Lancashire and Derbyshire share a common boundary with Yorkshire. The word is not in Domesday Book but came into use shortly afterwards and is very frequent from the 13th century onwards. It was often combined with personal names such as ‘Dobbe’ and ‘Gibbe’ and such place-names are characteristic of the years before 1350 when the clearance of waste and woodland made such great advances. As a Yorkshire place-name suffix ‘rod’ has now almost invariably become ‘royd’ and this is con- sistent with a normal vowel-change in the dialect. The dialect pronunciations of words such as ‘coat’ and ‘coal’ illustrate the same change, as do the place-names Soyland and Hoyland. This diphthong- isation was already taking place in the 14th century for the surnames Rodes and Roides exist side by side in the 1379 Poll Tax returns. It is no exaggeration to say that hundreds of small localities and field-names preserve the ‘royd’ suffix and from these there has emerged a fascinating group of local surnames many of which are among the best known in Yorkshire. Moreover, ‘royd’ surnames seem to be exclusively Yorkshire in character despite the fact that the suffix occurs occasionally in Lancashire and Derbyshire place-names. Surprisingly this highly individual group of names has never been satisfactorily dealt with in surname works and it is therefore the aim of this essay to offer an account of those which have survived.


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This means the omission of many which occur in early records. Typical of these are, e.g. William del Hengandrode (1307) and Robert de Bentlayrode (1314) [W.C.R.] which quite possibly never became hereditary. Even in the Poll Tax of 1379 there were many such as Clayrod, Monkrod and Smartrode which seem either to have been temporary appellations or to have died out very quickly. It also means the omission of some, such as Ishroyd, which were not actually ‘royd’ names. This particular example was probably a corruption of Isherwood and it is useful in that it illustrates the way in which surnames migrating into the South Yorkshire area came under the influence of ‘royd’ as a characteristic local suffix. Ishroyd along with many others did not survive, but others of this type which did have added to the problems of dealing with this group of names, and are dealt with here.

Ackroyd, Akroyd, Akeroyd, Aykroyd, Ecroyd, Eckroyd 1379 Richard de Ekerode [W.C.R. ] 1381 John de Aykroide (Wadsworth) (1) 1479 John Akerod (Heptonstall) [W.Y.R.] 1545 William Aikrod (Wadsworth) [S.R.] 1568 Margaret Eckroyde (Elland) [P.R.] The source of all these names is a locality in Wadsworth now known as Akroyd and meaning ‘oak-tree clearing’. Akroyd is particularly common in the Calder Valley where it originated, whereas the more numerous Ackroyd is characteristic of the Bradford area. Although Ecroyd and Eckroyd undoubtedly share the same origin and can be found in Yorkshire records, they are now principally Lancashire surnames. There has, unfortunately, been confusion between this surname and Akrigg, derived from a West- morland place-name. This may have been helped by the colloquial pronunciations of both names; Akroyd, for example, was said to be ‘locally called Akreds’. (2) Moreover, migration between Kendal and Halifax, well-evidenced as early as the 16th century, must have helped in the confusion. A Wake- field resident, described as Roland Aikrid of Kendal [1545 S.R.], illustrates the difficulty this could cause, but perhaps the best example occurs in the will of William Hawkrig (1551) of Heptonstall. (3) In it he refers to his son William Haycrode and his brother Robert Haycred. As a consequence it is

difficult to say what the family origin is of rare surnames such as Ackred, Akred, Akrid, Acrid and Acred.

Boothroyd, Both(e)royd, Butroyd, Butroid 1274 Gilbert de Bouderod (Ossett) [W.C.R. ] 1379 William Bowderode (Dewsbury) [P.T.Y.] 1316 John de Botherode (Rastrick) [W.C.R. ] 1379 Richard Butrode (Rastrick) [P.T.Y.] 1465 Thomas Boderode (Kirkburton parish) [W.B. ] 1484 Thomas Butroyd (Thurstonland, in Kirkburton parish)

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Buckroyd 1297 Agnes de Buggerode (Ulley) [S.R.] 1379 Johannes Bokerode (Ulley) [P.T.Y.] 1681-91 John Butteroids/Bucroyd/Buckroid of Vicar Lane (Leeds) [P.R.] 1717-19 Robert Burkroyd/Butroyd/Bukroyds (Leeds) [P.R. ] This rare Leeds name is almost certainly a variant of the common Boothroyd. There is no evidence yet to link the early examples quoted above with the later names, and the Ulley family seems to have become extinct. However, it is just possible that Buckroyd survived through the whole period until it arrived in Leeds and became confused with Boothroyd (via Butroyd), but this does not seem very likely. In either case there are several minor place-names in Yorkshire which, on linguistic grounds,

could be responsible either for giving rise to the surname, or influencing its development from Boothroyd.

Greenroyd 1523 Richard Grenerawde (Rochdale) (5) 1581 James Grenerodd (Santingley) [W.Y.R. ] 1593-97 William Grenroide/Greenroode (Leeds) [P.R. ] This rare Calder Valley name must also have a Lancashire origin. It is a variant of the more common

Grin(d)rod. Although as a minor place-name Greenroyd occurs several times in Yorkshire there is no evidence for any family name derived from it.

Holroyd(e), Howroyd, Holyroyd, Holdroyd 1331 William del Holrode (Sowerby) [W.C.R. ]

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There was certainly confusion between the two types of name and it does not seem to me at all certain that it was ‘Margaret’s clearing’. The place-name has now given way to Hollins.

Oldroyd(e), Holdroyd 1315 Adam del Olderode [W.C.R. ] 1546 Christopher Olderode (Guiseley) (9) It is in the Dewsbury parish registers that the complexity of Oldroyd’s early history becomes apparent. The surname in its present form has been well established there for roughly 400 years, but in the 16th century something over 40 variant spellings are recorded. These include: 1540-56 Gilbert Olred, Oylerhiade, Wholreyde, Holred, Hollered 1543-52 John Olred, Olerede, Hollored, Olleroyd If, as seems likely, the ancestor of these men was John Holroyd, taxed at Soothill in Dewsbury in 1524, the names would seem to be variants of Holroyd. Similar runs of variants exist in other places and are too numerous to list here, but a further striking example is at Bramhope near Otley, i.e. 1524 Owlred [S.R.] 1539 Ollerhed (10) 1545 Oldred [S.R.] 1609-12 Olred/Oldred [Otley P.R.] 1672 Aldroide, Alroyde (11) The striking thing about these names is that even in parishes which are not close geographically, the variant Ollerhead, or some almost identical form, is always recorded. This exists as an independent surname and first appears in Yorkshire in the 14th century, i.e. 1379 Robert Ollerhede (Haworth) [P.T.Y.]. Its origin seems likely to be the Lancashire locality Holrenhead, where Henry, the son of Richard Ollerhead, was living in 1317 (12). Ironically, the only safe thing one can say about Oldroyd is that it seems most unlikely to be derived from the place-name Oldroyd or that it is in any way connected with Adam del Olderode (1315). It is more likely to be a variant of Holroyd or Ollerhead, or even both.

Ormondroyd(e), Ormonroyd, Ormandroyd, Ormanroyd, Omordroyd, Holmonroyd, Halmonroyd 1354 William de Hamundrode (Bradford) (13) 1379 William Hawmunrode (Horton nr. Bradford) [P.T.Y.] 1545 Miles Hawmond (Horton) [S.R.] 1616 Miles Hawmond (Horton) [W.Y.R. I 1626 John Almanroid (Bradford) [P.R.] 1631 William Hawmond (Horton) [W.Y.R.] 1641 George Armaroyd (Pudsey nr. Bradford) (14) Ormondroyd is the commonest of several variants of this name and belongs almost exclusively to Bradford. Its history is complicated in that it is well documented at the beginning and at the end, but very obscure over a 500-year period in the middle. The easiest way to explain what happened is to say that Hamundrode and Hawmunrode seemed to be extinct, simply because they were regularly abbreviated to Hammond or Ormond. It was the latter, influenced possibly by the Lancashire Ormerod, which was responsible for the present-day Ormondroyd — but only after the use of the suffix ‘royd’ reasserted itself. ‘here are numerous precedents locally for this type of development. Rushworth, Popplewell and Barraclough, to name only three, also appeared quite often as Rush, Popple and Barrow. The difference is that these names were all prolific and the abbreviated forms can be seen as variants. Ormondroyd, on the other hand, which was always uncommon, appears very rarely in its unabbreviated form. How- ever, there is some evidence to show that branches of the family which moved into neighbouring parishes, sometimes took the full form with them. These probably account for the rare Leeds names such as Halmonroyd, where the illogical ‘I’ is the result of a mistaken association with words such as ‘half’. This explanation of the name Ormondroyd is not based merely on supposition, for there are Ormondroyds who have traced themselves back to an ancestor called Ormond. The key also lies in the diary of Oliver Heywood, the famous minister of Coley Chapel. He noted that in the 17th century, Henry Ormond was also known as Henry Ormorett, and this phonetic spelling accords very well with today’s colloquial pronunciations of Ormondroyd.


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Ormroyd(e), Ormeroyd, Omroyd, Armroyd, Armrod 1346 Ellotte de Ormerode [W.C.R. ] 1468 John Ormerode (York) (15) 1540-57 Peter Ormarode/Omroid, of Burnley [Halifax P.R.] 1665 Grace Armroyd (Rothwell) [P.R.] 1738 Thomas Ormroyd (Rothwell) [P.R.] These are variants of a Lancashire surname, Ormerod, and quite unconnected with Ormondroyd, which they might, however, have influenced. As soon as branches of the family migrated into York- shire the suffix underwent the diphthongisation which affected the local names. Without genealogical evidence it is difficult to say whether Armroyd belongs here or to Ormondroyd.

Rhodes, Rhoades, Royds, Royd(e) 1274 Alan del Rodes (Sowerby) [W.C.R. ] 1379 Richard de Rodes (Holmfirth) [P.T.Y.] 1476 Robert Rodes (Darfield) [W.Y.R. ] 1559 Isabel Royde (Elland) [P.R.] 1669 John Rhoads (Bingley) [P.R.] 1761 William Rhodes/Rhoades (Leeds) [P.R.] This is a prolific Yorkshire surname, which has a number of distinct place-name origins. Although it was often diphthongised in records, forms such as Royds are more common outside than inside Yorkshire, where the usual spelling is Rhodes. It is difficult to say just why this should be so, especially as the localities which gave rise to the name, e.g. Roydhouse in Shelley, have preserved the dialect form. Of course the spelling Rhodes, identical with that of the Greek island, may well have been influenced by vicars anxious to demonstrate their education.

Stainrod 1317 John de Stevenrode (Carlton nr. Royston) [W.C.R. ] 1372 Robert de Stevenrode (Thurlstone) (16) 1379 Robert de Stenrode (Thurlstone) [P.T.Y.] 1424 William Stevenroide (Silkstone) (17) 1548 Isabel Stenroyd (Kirkburton) [P.R.] 1593-1619 Phillip Staynroide/Stanrod (Sheffield) [P.R.] & [W.Y.R.]

This South Yorkshire surname has never been prolific, but its origin and early history offer several points of real interest. It is the only name in the group which has no connections with the Calder Valley and the only one which has retained the suffix ‘rod’. This seems particularly strange, for through- out its history, examples with the dialectal form ‘royd’ have been very common. However, the main point of interest is its origin. Most of the later spellings suggest a common formation, i.e. ‘the stony royd’ and there are numerous minor place-names of this type, which might be thought to be the source; several of them actually lie close to where the family had its origins. Despite this, the earliest references clearly point to the origin “Steven’s Royd’ and although there is as yet no evidence for this place-name in the area where the family is first recorded, it is a characteristic formation, and can be found in other parts of Yorkshire, e.g. Steuenrode 1320 (Rawden) (19). The change from ‘Steven’ to ‘Stain’ which is first evidenced in the 14th century, appears to have been completed before the first parish register entries, and it is possible that this has much to do with

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W.C.R. Court Rolls of the Manor of Wakefield 1274-1331, Yorkshire Archaeological Society, Record Series

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Hown Foaks’ Invitation tut Queen

Most gracious, lovely Sovereign Queen, Unequalled in renown, © E all yor routes, yun nivver been To visit us at Hown.

But, as yur baan ta cum so near, Yu mud as weel cum nar, An see us reight, yun nout ta fear, As awkurd as we are.

We han som oddish ways, for sure Un raither strange opinions, But ta ther Queen ther’s nub’dy truer E all yur gret dominions.

Yum tak no noatis what they sen, Ut maks us into nout, But cum an’ have a peep, an’ then Yul nivver rue yur route.

Win had a meetin’, an agreed — One day ith Factory stairs — To fit yu up wi’ all yul need, an’ pay ur equal shares.

Sum’s promised meit, an sum a bed, An us ut as nu brass Ul shape ta mak some point astead, An author pay ur pass.

For sure ur meeans are but small, But wen we want a brust, Ther isn’t wun emang us all But what can get sum trust.

Yun nout to do but mak it nawn Whot toime yo mean ta start, An’

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Un we’n a parson un ur own, Ut preyches Church an’ State, Sooa yo can yer him preych, yo no, If yun a mind to wait.

An’ whol yer majesty is here,

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HUDDERSFIELD EXAMINER SATURDAY 25 MAY 1878 It may not be uninteresting to the present generation to learn a little of what Huddersfield was upwards of seventy years ago. It was then but a village compared with what it is now. Great and wonderful has been its development within the allotted span of life; so great indeed that young Huddersfield will scarcely credit what I am about to narrate. I who write this am a native of the town, but I have no pretensions to be considered a chronicler or historian. I shall merely relate a few things that came under my own observation when I wasaboy.....

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