Gomersal: Past and Present (1930) by Henry Ashwell Cadman (1872-1933)

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Chapter I. Chapter II. Chapter III. Chapter IV. Chapter

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Gomersal Past and Present




N the year 1916 I was asked to give a paper on any matter I I thought fit with a view to obtaining money to assist in pro- viding huts for our soldiers. It was a very difficult matter to decide what paper to prepare and after much thought and consideration, I came to the conclusion that I would get together all the information about Gomersal I could, To start with, I seemed to know nothing of my subject, and this appeared to me pardonable as one naturally knows very little of one’s own district, and a great deal about districts which one visits whilst on holiday or in general reading. The paper had to be given early in the January of 1917, so there was no time to waste. I had the scantiest of material, and I thought the best plan would be to interview some of our oldest inhabitants and get to know all they knew.

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place and the paper was written and read on the 23rd of January, 1917, at the Hill Top School, and the result was that a goodly collection was taken during an interval of carol singing. When the matter was referred to, in the St. Mary’s Church Parish Magazine, the following note appeared :—“‘ At an interval in the evening some carols were sung by members of our G.F.S. and a collection was taken on behalf of a Fund for providing Huns for our soldiers.” Punch got hold of it and called it “A work of Supereroga- tion.” See their issue of 28th February, 1917. Since that time, I have been continually adding notes to my collection, and I have been pressed to bring it out in book form by many old friends in Gomersal. To bring out any book of this description needs a good deal of pluck and determination. The result is, a production of items of interest which I have collected from time to time. The book, as my readers will have observed, is dedicated to Mr. and Mrs. Oldroyd of Gomersal Hall, who have, for some time urged me to write it and if I should be fortunate enough to please my readers, then I can only say that they must thank my sponsots, who have paid for the cost of production. I trust that I shall receive the generous indulgence of those readers who may have expected something better. I have tried to follow the example set by one of our greatest historians, John Stow, who wrote the History and Antiquities of London, and who died in 1605. Sir Henry Spelman said of him that we were beholden of him for stitching up for us our English History. To unceasing industry, Stow added an un- quenchable love of truth. In his earliest writings, he announced his views of historical composition. No amount of fine phrases or elegant composition, he considered, could atone for the slightest deviation from fact. ‘“‘In history” he said “the chief thing that is desired is truth,” and adds this rhythmical caution to the phrase

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As Gomersal was in the Kingdom of Elmete I cannot proceed without again referring to this Kingdom. Barwick-in-Elmete and Sherburn-in-Elmete both fortunately connect the present with the past. In the seventh century there was a Royal Palace at Barwick which was occupied by Eadwine King of Northumbria and who was the first Christian King. This Kingdom was faithful to the Christian faith and practice through the dark ages of Angle Paganism. The Northumbrian Kings made Barwick their granary (Berewic—Cornvillage). The River Calder was one of this Kingdom’s boundaries. Little is known of the Roman occupancy of this district but they had a station or town at Cleckheaton (“‘ Heton” as it was formerly called). The Romans smelted iron at Low Moor. Gomersal no doubt figured in the wholesale massacre by William the Conqueror. The City of York was utterly destroyed and the chief nobles with their wives and children were put to death and their possessions were confiscated. Sherburn, I believe, was the only place about this district which escaped. Absolute butchery followed, homes and stockyards burnt and the people who survived were reduced to eat the flesh of horses, dogs, cats and even men in order to sustain their lives. Some sold them into slavery and human corpses rotted in heaps and were preyed upon by wild beasts for there were none left to bury them. William of Malmesbury says that there were no fewer than a hundred thousand persons perished in Yorkshire at that time and that the whole country was made a desert. An ancient writer said that he would not attempt to describe the misery of the people. It was too painful and would be misbelieved. So fearful was the record of “The tumult of each sacked and burning village “The shout that every prayer for mercy drowns

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had taken place. A carucate was generally estimated at about a hundred acres. I can find no evidence of the Romans ever occupying Gomersal. On the authority of Thoresby and other eminent historians there does not seem much doubt that the road which connected York with Manchester passed through Gomersal. It would be about the year 600 A.D. which brought the Saxons into this district. They built all their buildings out of wood. The Knights Fees in Yorkshire 1290/1302/3 records that (1) John Tilly (Tylly) held one carucate and four bovates of land (2) John de Hekmundwyk held six bovates as tenant of John Tylly (3) John also holds six carucates in Gomersal and (4) William de Vasavour being tenant of two bovates. In the Nomina Villarum, a return required in relation to the military levies granted in the parliament of 9. Edd. II. it was directed that one man-at-arms should be raised from evety town- ship. It was stated that the two townships Gomersal and Heckmondwike were held by John Tilly. The Tilleys came from Tilli near Caen, the family being of some importance in Normandy. Under the patronage of the Lacies and the Warrens they attained great importance in Yorkshire. Hugh de Tilly had three sons, Otho, Ralph and Roger. Otho Tilly was the Steward of the Earl of Warenne at Conisborough Castle. As principals and as witnesses of gifts the name of Tilly 1s often mentioned in the monastic records of Kirkstall, Nostel and Pontefract.

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therefore succeeded to the estate. There is in the British Museum (Add Charter 12639) an Indenture by which John Tilly of Okewell, entailed certain lands in Gomersal, Birstall and Birkenshaw on John de Meltham and Margery his wife. This was in 1 342. About 1466 the Gomersal estate of the Tillys passed to Geoffrey Pigott and in 1469 they passed to his son Thomas. Thomas Pigott died in 1512 leaving four daughters, the youngest of whom, Joan, had for her portion Gomersal, Heckmondwike and Oakwell. Joan married twice, her first husband being Sir Giles Hussey and her second Thomas Falkingham. She had a son, Thomas, by her first husband, to whom in 1565 she conveyed the Manors of Oakwell, Gomersal and Heckmondwike and Carlton Miniott, near Thirsk. In three years Thomas Hussey had sold all the Manors of Oakwell, Gomersal and Heckmondwike and thus the long con- nection of the Tilly family with these estates came to an end. The purchaser was Henry Batt. The pedigree of the Batts is to be found in Mr. J. W. Clay’s Edition of Dugdales Visitation, Volume I, page 352. Mr. Lancaster states that the account of the Batt family in Scatcherd’s is very inaccurate. On the 12th September 1771 Grace Cryer, Widow, was summoned to appear at the Manor Court of Gomersal and Oakwell at the school house in Birstall to do suit and service and also to pay all such rents as were due and payable to Sir Thomas Sainsbury and Fairfax Fearnley. The Gomersal Tyllys, who held so much land, continued to retain their position for a great number of years and Burton in his Monasticon writes that in the third year of Richard the second’s reign, John de Tilly had a grant of free warren for Birstall, a very valuable privilege for hunters in those days. Gomersal is described as two manors. Birstall was probably one of them but the connection between Gomersal and Heckmond- wike was so close that it is very likely that Heckmondwike was one of them and not Birstall. Mr. T. W. Thompson writes that there are many valid reasons for supposing that Popeley was one of the manors and Stubley the other. It is probable in early days that Gomersal with the rest of the Parish of Birstall formed part of the old Saxon Parish of Morley and that Ilbert de Lacy founded the Church of St. Peters at Birstall on account of the old Parish Church at Morley being at the other extremity of the district. There are no remains of the old Birstall Church, the existing old fabric only dated from the reign of Henry VIII. This beautiful old church was restored in 1870 at a cost of £18,000. Before I continue with my brief survey, I should tell my readers what I have discovered as to the derivation and meaning of Gomersal.

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One authority states that Gomersal is said to mean “ the Common Hall,” or “ The Men’s” or “the common or peoples Gomer or gomers from gum, OE a man, al or sal OE a hall or place of meeting. The component parts of Gomersal are Gomers hal sale. The first element in Gomersal is probably the old personal name Godmoer, with subsequent assimilation of Dm to mm. We may compare Codmersham in Kent, which appears as Gomersham in the Doomsday Book and Godmoeresham in Kembles Codex. The termination in Gomersal is probably OE

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Mr. G. W. Parker of Heckmondwike thinks that the situation of the Manor of Gomersal may be easily traced even at this distant date. He says, and I think rightly, that it may well be assumed that Popeley being by far the greatest and most important house and holding in the township (that is the whole of the township of Gomersal) if not the manor house was the residence of the Lord’s representative—the Bailiff. In the poll tax of 1379 the occupier was tated at 20s. od. If Oakwell had then been in existence, it would not have escaped taxation. Mr. Parker says that the fields (formerly one large field) comprised the Manor Lea and that the Manor Lea Well at its extreme Western side is still in existence, though not now in use. This is without doubt the well I have referred to later called “the Mannerly Well.” Mr. Parker further says that the edges of these fields may still be correctly described by the term

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as the Commons. Though the place name is perhaps sufficient evidence of this spot being the site of the open fields, there are signs of long and continued cultivation. It is on the border of this ground that the village of Gomersal had its beginning extending loosely along the Northern boundary. The Southern boundary is the “Certain rein”? mentioned in the boundary of the adjoining Township of Liversedge and on this boundary line is the little group of dwellings known as Walsh Houses. (Wealh and Walsch were words applied by Teutonic tribes to all people who were not of their own stock nor spoke their language). This place name brought to Mr. Parker’s mind, with a vividly illumin- ating flash the fact that among the Saxon dwellers of this early settlement, there remained a lingering remnant of the old British ot Celtic people. Mr. Parker concludes his article by stating that there is the little settlement of Spen with its own patches of arable and

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Johannes Burnewell and wife. Johannes Chapman and wife. Johannes Emson and wife. Johannes Gaytherd and wife. Johannes of Hall and wife. Johannes Longe and wife. Johannes of Stones and wife. Johannes Talour and wife. Johannes Whytlay and wife. Nicholas Wyse and wife. Ricardus Coupar and wife. Ricardus Morisson and wife. Robertus Bewas and wife. Robertus Morisson and wife. Robertus Pyper and wife. Robertus Turner and wife. Willelmus of Gomersall and wife. Willelmus of Popeley and wife. Willelmus Speght and wife. Willelmus Walker and wife. SINGLE List. Agnes Hawdoghter. Anola Manar. Hugo Speght. Isabella Swanland. Johanna Semster. Johanna of Schagh. Johannes Byll. Johannes Persy. Matila Speght. Richardus Britton. Richardus Dier. Robertus Popelayman. Rogerus Kape. Rudulphus of Schagh. Willelmus Kape. Willelmus Kirkngschagh. From the above list we may conclude that Robert Pyper was a musician, Johannes Chapman a merchant in a small way of business for he only paid the usual groat, and he may have been in the cloth trade, and that Johannes Talour was a maker of clothes. Richardus Dier and Willelmus Walker would be engaged in the actual manufacturing processes of cloth. The Poll Tax for the Spen Valley realised £3 2s. 6d. and Gomersal’s. share was 17S.

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To poor people the infliction of the tax was no light matter. A journeyman earned

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of Heckmondwike to Master William of Popeley “ cattle dealer ” of Gomersal. From this document we learn that fulling of cloth was being carried out in the district at this early period. Mr. T. W. Thompson came across an old record which furnishes a brief and yet interesting table in connection with County rates and I will take the liberty of setting forth the following list which appears in his book called “The Spen Valley.”

SESSMENT FOR YE SURVEYORS 1584. West Riding co Ebor (York). Wapentake of Agbrig and Morley.

Cleckheaton 11 J S (Three shillings). Gomersal «11 J S (Four shillings). Heckmondwike 1 J S (Two shillings). Liversedge

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and there

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About two thirds of the not paid proceeded along the Leeds and Whitehall Road, and the remaining third passed from Gomersal to Birkenshaw or the contrary. Deduct one third from the above for double journeys and another third for carriages driven off the road by the erection of a Toll Gate and one third bona fide

payers remain. Josh Ellison—Surveyor.”

There are two plates on the walls of the railway bridge just below the Gomersal station. The plate on the North side reads Bradford Road ”’ and the other on the South side reads “ Dews- bury Road.” Just below the bridge stands the Scotland Inn. In the garden has been erected an arch (one of eighteen discovered in York while digging for foundations) and is believed to have formed the cellars of Saint Mary’s Abbey Hospital, founded before 732 A.D. In a building in the garden the members of a Club called the Birstall Savage Club meet. This Club was established in 1884. The first coach on the Cleckheaton to Leeds route was the a smart white and silver turnout driven by the proprietor Joseph Illingworth, who wore a smart livery coat with brass buttons, knee breeches and leggings, and a white top hat which had seen better days. The old man was not left long in possession of the road as a Heckmondwike man put two new yellow and white coaches on the route, and the drivers on purpose to annoy Illingworth, used to draw their strong horses across the road to impede the progress of the “‘ The coaches from Heckmondwike were usually drawn by three horses and the drivers called at Sammy Sykes’ shop. This shop was on the site of the present buildings of the Central Co-operative Stores. The coaches then proceeded down Church Lane. I have not been able to ascertain why the road leading from Clough Mills to the old Castle Hill Bar House is called Oxford Road. This certainly is very modern. The old name was the Holme Lane End and Heckmondwike Road. I have been much struck with the fact that Gomersal was so well supplied with schools about eighty years ago and they will be noticed later on. Lamps were deemed a luxury and candle light was the common illuminant. In those days our forefathers retired early and there were no street lamps. The water was supplied by several wells, the chief ones being the Moor Lane Pump, the Doidy Poidy Well in the old feast ground, the Pickel Well in the Monk Ing fields and the Mannerly Well near the Moravian Burial ground.

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The Doidy Poidy Well was owned by Joseph Mortimer and it was so called because Mortimer’s christian name was

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Riding the stang was always very popular excepting to the patty concerned. A few years ago I was fortunate in hearing of two which occurred in Gomersal within the then living memory of man. In the early forties there were two families who lived at Brecks Farm. I will not of course divulge their true names so will describe one of them as the Jones family and the other the Smith family. Jones’ wife accused Smith’s wife of having polluted the drinking water and the Smith family left the farm and removed to the top of Moor Lane. The Jones family wishing to make the most of the affair resolved that Mrs. Smith’s effigy should tide the stang. A long pole was obtained and the effigy was affixed to the centre. "Two men then took hold, one at each end and walked up Moor Lane, followed by a huge concourse of people The procession stopped opposite Mrs. Smith’s house and repeated the nominee. My informant, a dear old lady, would not tell me the whole of the verses but it commenced thus :— “It’s neither your fault nor my fault that I ride this stang.” After all the verses had been repeated the stang was taken round Gomersal, when ultimately the

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namely John, Thomas, Percival, Frank, Mary and Martha. John succeeded his father in the bank. Thomas became a leading surgeon in London and was Head of Guy’s Hospital. Percy joined the Dewsbury business of Hague, Cook and Wormald. Frank after being called to the Bar entered the Dewsbury business. Percy Wormald lived with his two sisters who were unmarried at Moor Lane House. John Wormald Senior purchased the Liversedge Hall Estate and so came possessed of the right to bury in the North Chapel, otiginally called the Chantry of the Trinity in Birstall Church. In that Chapel was buried amongst other members of the Neville family a Lady Neville who was one of the Gascoignes of Harewood House. Her will is published by the Surtees Society and she diercted her own burial to be in the Chantry at Birstall and left money for paying the expense of having a light burning perpetually in the Chantry. John Wormald the son of Thomas (who resided at Denton Park) and his uncle Frank (of Potterton Hall) married two sisters, the Misses Cook. Percival Wormald was very fond of a practical joke. When Mr. Thomas Ellison was about fourteen years old he served as a butcher boy to the landlord of the Shoulder of Mutton Inn, who was a butcher as well as a publican. The boy’s instructions were to deliver a leg of mutton at Break’s Farm and when at the bottom of Moor Lane Mr. Wormald set his dogs on him. The boy started throwing stones at them and Mr. Wormald called out

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of them, he replied “Shure to God, I burned them.” Mr. Wormald, however, gave the man {5 to purchase new ones and told him not to go on the spree for a month. On one occasion Mr. Wormald ordered his man to rouse him at 6 o’clock in the morning and instructed him to throw a brick through the window if he got no reply. There was no reply so a brick was heaved through the window. The man received half a sovereign for carrying out his instructions. A plumber from Dewsbury called on Mr. Wormald and asked sor payment of his account. He was made to take his boots off, and when he got home he found he could not pull them off for ” had put resin into them. The poor and distressed people in Gomersal found never failing friends in Mr. Wormald and his sister, and one room was kept stocked with blankets and other material for there was always a constant demand for them. Miss Wormald had the cottages (which stand just above the house) built for a kind of Institute and there she taught the girls in the evening. Afterwards it was occupied for many years by Jim Fisher who was employed about the place. Many good stories of the jokes practised by Mr. Wormald appeared in the “ Batley News” on the 4th and of November, 1916. There are memorial tablets in the Birstall Church as follows In memory of Mr. Thomas Wormald of Gomersal who departed this life 7th February, 1792, aged 58 years. Also of Martha, his wife, who died 11th of October, 1796, aged 58 years. Also of May their only daughter, wife of John Hague, Esq., of Crow Nest, near Dewsbury, who died oth of December, 1826, aged 62 years. The inscription on the second is :— RESURGAM. Sacred to the memory of John Wormald of Temple Bar, London, Banker, who departed this life the 4th of December 1797, aged 71 years. The third tablet reads as follows :— In memory of John Wormald of Temple Bar, London, and Moor Lane, Gomersal, who died 21st April, 1835, aged 74 years. Also of Fanny his wife, who died z9th October, 1857, aged go yeast. Also of Elizabeth Mary, their elder daughter, who died 27th July, 1851, aged 53 years. Also of Percival theiz third son, who died 29th September, 1877, aged 72 years.

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Also of Martha Ann, their younger daughter, who died 29th May, 1880, aged

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““which gave us such a hearty welcome, and where we

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On the site of these two houses there was formerly one house owned by James Scott. The first resident Minister of Grove Chapel, namely the Revd. John Hall Cooke lived here and in his time the premises were described as “‘ house, stable, garden and orchard.”” James Scott was the father of John and Josiah Scott. Mr. Charlesworth served with the Expeditionary Force in Egypt in 1882 and he was engaged in the fighting on the way up to Tel-el-Kebir. He was present when the Courts Martial sentence of exile on Arabi Pasha was promulgated and saw him marched away to go an board ship on the Nile. He was next promoted to the staff of the Commander in Chief with rooms in the Royal Palace at Abdin and while there the following incident occurred :— Owing to much looting sentries were posted at every entrance. On one occasion when Mr. Charlesworth was returning to his rooms, he heard the sentry in the court yard shouting to a man what he would do if he did not go away. The sentry had placed his rifle in such a position as if he was just going to knock the stranger down. Mr. Charlesworth ordered the sentry to “ stand fast’ and said to him “ For God’s sake man, mind what you are doing, don’t you recognise His Highness the

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six hours, the little craft managed to steer tolerably fair when she was tacked off the mouth of Lough Ryan. There was a very heavy sea at this point which caused the yacht to labour and pitch against a strong head wind with double-reefed mainsail and fore- sale and staysail. Her staysail was split and the foresail completely cattied away. ‘The Captain was advised to make for either Belfast, Cambeltown, Ayr, Troon or Lamlash, there being no danger if any of these courses had been adopted, but he, apprehending no danger, would not deviate from the course which he had prescribed for himself. A new sail was then hoisted and the yacht proceeded and after some time the Copelands and the Donaghadee lights wete observed. They then made Ballyferris Point. The night was pitch dark and before the crew were aware they found them- selves among sunken rocks and in two or three minutes were in the midst of breakers. The yacht became absolutely unmanage- able and struck the Scullmartin Rock with a bump, which, it 1s supposed, made an indentation in her side and admitted the water. Immediately she filled, capsized and sank. It was found impossible to launch the lifeboat as everything had happened so quickly. Immediately after the yacht struck the rock Mrs. Knowles and the nurse rushed up from their berths. This was about 11 o’clock at night. In the confusion, the nurse dropped the baby in the sea. ‘Two of the sailors managed to climb upon the mainmast head which still remained about seven feet above the water, and pressed the Captain to join them there. He refused to do so as it was impossible to get his wife up as well, and he would not leave her side. The Captain was fastened to a lower part of the mast, and slung in

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was almost benumbed with cold. Her husband, though being entreated to save his life by climbing up on the mast refused to do so and stayed by his wife to the last. One of the men had also made an effort to lift Mrs. Knowles upon the mast but her husband would not allow him as he thought she would be more securely tied to the lower part of it. Captain Knowles, although much exhausted by remaining in the water such a length of time, continued tied to the mast till daybreak, when the cords with which he was lashed gave way. He was quite powerless and unable to do anything. The men tried to pull him up to the mainmast head beside them but were unable to do so. Some minutes after, he was seen by one of the men to float between the fore and main masts with his huge frame stretched out, but whether he was carried away by the sea or sank is not known as he was not seen afterwards. The crew were rescued just in time. The yacht became a total wreck. Only Mrs. Knowles’ body was recovered and an inquest was held on her body and a verdict of “‘ accidental

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was killed in the Crimean War.

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down Moor Lane, and the meaning of the word Ings is grassland near water, generally low lying. In Denmark EN Eng means a meadow neat water. In West Jutland the low lying fields or

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Some of the items of expenses picked out at random from the Cash Book are as follows :—Book, 14d.; Coal, 74d.; Candles,

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John Harling read a paper entitled ‘‘ Under

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J. Clough was instructed to wait upon the Heckmondwike Stationmaster to enquire what the railway fare would be to Hollingworth Lake. George Greaves recited a poem entitled “ The cotton

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ment Society as this, in the same way as it is nearly impossible for them to understand and enjoy such writers as Thackeray, Elliott and others simply because the world which they wrote about was so vastly different to our present one. Amongst the names of the members of the Gomersal Wesleyan Mental Improvement Society I find the following :—William Harling, George Hirst, Samuel Jackson, Hannah Farrer, George Greaves, Joshua Akeroyd, James Taylor, Eliza Woodcock, Samuel Brooke, William Houghton, Martha Mann, Joseph Berry, Thomas Hirst, Eliza Mann, Joseph Sutton, Walter Farrer, Lydia Lang, George Kershaw, Joseph Barstow, William Bastow, Elizabeth Cawthron, David Kershaw and Sarah Hopkinson.

The following is an interesting case, the particulars being taken from an old manuscript book in my possession :-— “ Declaration in Adwalton Court by Benjamin Wood against John Preston and his wife for a supposed trespass by the wife laid with a continuando.

of Pontefract. To wit Benjamin Wood by James Law his attorney complains of John Preston and Mary his Wife in a plea of trespass and so forth for that the said Mary on the 7th day of October in the Year of our Lord 1770 and on divers other days and times between the day and the day of levying the plaint of the said Benjamin Wood unlawfully and unjustly broke and entered the close of the said Benjamin Wood called Far Scotland situate lying and being in the Parish of Birstall in the County of York and within the jurisdiction of this Court and the grass of the said Benjamin Wood on those several days and times there growing of the value of 20/- of lawful money of Great Britain trod down spoilt and consumed with her foot in walking thereon and then and there did other wrongs to the said Benjamin Wood to the damage of the said Benjamin Wood of 39/11 and therefore he brings suit and so forth. Pledges of prosecution. John Doe and Richard Doe.

Filed oth January 1771.

Honours of Pontefeact. John Preston and Mary his wife at the suit of Benjamin


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And the said John Preston and Mary Preston by James Carr their Attorney come to defend the injury and damages and whatsoever else they ought to defend when &c. And as to all the said trespass above supposed to have been committed by the said Mary Preston, except the breaking and entering the said close of the said Benjamin Wood called Far Scotland in the said declaration mentioned and in which &c., and the grass of the said Benjamin Wood there growing, treading down, spoiling and con- suming with her foot in walking thereon, the said John Preston and Mary Preston say that the said Mary Preston is not guilty thereof and of this they put themselves upon the Homage and as to the said breaking and entering the said close of the said Benjamin Wood in the said declaration mentioned and in which &c., and the grass aforesaid of the said Benjamin Wood there growing treading down spoiling and consuming with her foot in walking thereon the said John Preston and Mary Preston say that the said Benjamin Wood ought not to have or maintain his afore- said action thereof against them because they say that in through and over the said close of the said Benjamin Wood in the said declaration mentioned and in which and long before the first time when and at the said several times when &c., and from the time from of the memory of man is not to the contrary and now was and yet is a certain common footway leading from the King’s Highway called Moor Lane in the hamlet of Great Gomersal in the Parish of Birstall aforesaid to a certain other highway in the hamlet of Birstall in the said Parish aforesaid and within the jurisdiction of this Court leading from Leeds in the County of York aforesaid to Eland in the said County for all the liege subjects of the Lord the King and his predecessors to go return pass and repass on foot at all times of the year at their will and pleasure Wherefore the said Mary Preston into the close of the said Benjamin Wood in the said declaration mentioned and in which and at the said several times when and did enter and through in along and by way aforesaid did walk and pass on foot as she lawfully might in so doing the said Mary Preston at the said several times when and did necessarily and unavoidably tread down spoil and consume a little of the said grass of the said Benjamin Wood in the said close in which was then growing in the way afore- said with her foot in walking thereon doing as little damage to the said Benjamin Wood on those occasions

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as she possibly could are the same breaking and entering the said close of the said Benjamin Wood in the said declaration mentioned and in which &c., and the said grass of the said Benjamin Wood there growing treading down spoiling and consuming with her foot in walking thereon whereof the said Benjamin Wood hath above complained against the said Mary Preston AND this the said John Preston and Mary Preston are ready to verify wherefore they pray judgment if the said Benjamin Wood ought to have or maintain his aforesaid action thereof against them &c. Honour of Pontefract. BENJAMIN WOOD against John Preston and Mary his wite. And the said Benjamin Wood saith that he by reason of anything by the said John Preston and Marv Preston in their Plea alleaged ought not to be barred from having and maintained his said action against the said John Preston and Mary Preston because he saith that the afore- said Mary Preston on the said 7th day of October and on several days and times in the said declaration mentioned and in which &c., in the Parish of Birstall aforesaid and within the jurisdiction aforesaid of her own wrong and without cause as by the said John Preston and Mary Preston in their plea above alleaged with her foot in walking did tread down spoil and consume the grass of the said Benjamin Wood there lately growing and being in manner and form as the said Benjamin Wood hath above thereof complained against them and this he prays may be inquired of by the

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sO narrow in one part of it as to be only nine inches broad. It is not probable that such rampart was formerly a beaten track, because by the remains of trees &c. it appears to have been a shrog overgrown with wood and brambles and there- fore the footpath must have been by the side of it. The Defendant Mary Preston is a poor old woman labouring under ..the common infirmity of old age, a decay of sight, lives in Mooz Lane, from whence her nearest way to Birstall is over the said close. On the said 7th of October, being a Sunday, she went alone from her house to Birstall Church or meeting. The said close not being corn or meadow land in 1770 but pasture ground and the rampart being in the bad plight already described, and there being a beaten track by the side of it, she walked in such path by the side of the rampart wickedly deviating from what Plaintiff calls the common footway, the tampart, and thereby consuming the vast quantity of grass growing in a Pasture Field in the month of Cctober. For this atrocious offence, Plaintiff, who with two or three of his children was watching in the said close, abused her very much and in a few days (namely on the 12th of the same October) levied this his plaint, which is certainly one of the most frivolous and vexatious actions that ever was instituted in a Court of Judicature.” I have been unable to find what was the ending of this strange case. On the North side of Moor Lane nearly opposite the residence of Miss Wright, there was a spring, the overflow of which ran down the lane and ultimately joined the Nutter beck. Reeds grew freely down the course. Near the top of Moor Lane stands Peel House, an antique building and which must have stood more than 350 years. This is a most interesting house and I have had a good description given to me of its appearance eighty years ago. Originally it was one house, now it is occupied as two dwellings. Aboutninety years ago it wasowned by Thomas Boden and occupied by Thomas Pearson. In 1840 its rateable value was £3 13s. 4d. From the gateway to the porch the path was laid with diamond shaped tiles. The outside door was oak and studded with nails and there were two steps down to get into the porch. The porch opened into a very large kitchen which led into a room full of old carved oak. There was a beautiful carved oak mantel in the kitchen and the floor was flagged with diamond shaped tiles. There was an open staircase from the kitchen. It contains part of its plaster ceiling with conventional heraldic shields. In old

Tom Pearson’s time,

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kitchen and it was usual for members of a band from the Wesleyan Chapel to attend. On these occasions Tom would sit on an old oak chair which had a carved back. He was the grandfather of the Misses Mann, who kept a school at Gomers Hall, a beautiful old building at Hill Top, and which unfortunately has just been demolished by the Spenborough District Council. This vandalism should never have been allowed as it was quite possible for the road to have been widened without the demolition of this beautiful house. Thus do our ancient buildings disappear but in this case the Local Authority should have known better. Tom Pearson was a clothier by trade and he wore a black silk handkerchief over his head and was in the habit of wearing a low crowned silk hat for his outdoor head gear. He always wore his hat stuck over his silk handkerchief. He was a famous local preacher. Mr. T. W. Hanson says that in 1649 John Batt sold a house and land to Richard Peel yeoman of Gomersal so we may conclude Peel House was the house to. The celebrated Birstall Church bass singer John Watson, a hand loom weaver, afterwards resided at Peel House. It was said that when he got to the low E flat it took alt tone out of t’bass fiddle. Mr. Watson was one of the singers chosen to sing before Queen Victoria at the opening of the Leeds Town Hall. Writing about singers, it was said that there was a contest between the two bass singers of Batley and Birstall Church respectively as to who could get the lowest note. As the contest required a great deal of liquid refreshment it was undecided and the Batley man who had to walk home, found a gate conveniently open and went to rest in the field. He was awakened in the morning by a cow moo-ing in his ear and he sleepily murmured

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During tunnelling operations in connection with the making of the new line between Heaton Lodge and Wortley, a man named Robert Heywood was the victim. The accident happened about too

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The Maypole was at the top of Moor Lane and one can imagine the welkin echoing to the very old song :— Come lasses and lads take leave of your dads And away to the Maypole hie For every fair has a sweetheart there And the fiddlers standing by For Willy shall dance with Jane And Johnny has got his Joan To trip it, trip it, trip it, trip it, Trip it up and down. But very often May Day gatherings ended up with fights. Great jealousy always existed between the inhabitants of Great Gomersal, Little Gomersal and Spen. ‘There is a tradition which has been handed down that the last Maypole in this district stood on Liversedge Green. This Maypole was demolished in a fight by the Gomersalians and there is a similar tradition about the Maypole on Cleckheaton Green, so as Mr. Frank Peel says “ It is evident that ancient inhabitants of Gomersal were more pugnacious than their neighbours.” I have no evidence when the Gomersal Maypole ceased to exist, but there is abundant evidence to prove that there was one in Gomersal, the proof being that its vane is now in the Batley Museum. It is in the form of a fish. There used to be a legend that Moor Lane was possessed of a phantom horse and another legend that whenever a birth was expected in Great Gomersal a pad-foot came out at night from the Monk Ing fields and shouted out “ Thee first or me first.” This was said to be a warning to people not to go out. The Pinfold or pound is on the South side of Moor Lane at the top end. It is in excellent preservation. It was a pound overt, that is open overhead. It was used for the purpose of putting in cattle which had been distrained or strayed. Tom Newby (whose predecessor I think was Joseph Mortimer) was the pinder and it paid him to impound ali the cattle he could find straying. His remuneration was 3d. per head and this had to be paid before he would allow them to be released. The owner of the cattle was legally entitled to rescue his animals before they were impounded, but once old Tom had got them safely in, the owner could not break the pound without incurring heavy penalties. The Pinfold was formerly owned by the Constables of Gomersal. Tom’s wife was called May and they lived in Neddy Lane. They had a donkey and cart and hawked scouring stones. There was no better known couple in Gomersal. Jackie Boden Junr., was also for some years the pinder and in addition to his office he carried on the duties of the village

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bellman as well as the village’s principal barber. Jackie was brought up as a mechanic and worked for many years in the scouring department at Gomersal Mills. He could tell stories by the yard. He quite seriously claimed to be the Mayor of Gomersal. His father, also named Jackie, had only one arm. He kept a donkey which had panniers hung over it for the purpose of carrying coal to the houses of his customers. ] think the last Gomersal Constable was Benjamin Long- bottom. If a person misbehaved himself and the Constable was called upon the scene, there was no obligation for the latter to attend unless 1/- was paid. In case of a misdemeanant being taken into custody, the Constable had to take him to the Dewsbury lock-up and that meant walking all the way. The old town school in Moor Lane which was built by public subscription, ceased to exist when the Mechanics’ Institute was built. The building was sold a few years ago and then demolished. John Horsfall was formerly the master and he was succeeded, I I believe, by Joseph Sutton. Six Gomersal scholars, three poor boys and three poor girls, were taught free of charge and the fees for the other scholars were from Gd. to 8d. per week each. One of the boys used to cook mussels and oysters there for himself but not for the other boys. Before the Wesleyan School was built the Wesleyan scholars received religious instruction on Sundays at the Town’s School, and they used to march in pro- cession from there to the Chapel. On one occasion the whole of one class was locked out of the Chapel because its teacher was in favour of reform. In town schools in the district the following was usually the charge.

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barn, mistal, stable and yard. The Inn is now owned by The London Midland and Scottish Railway Company and occupied by Mr. Norman Wilby. The tailot’s shop near the Mechanics’ Institute was formerly occupied by George Berry, the draper, who before occupied a shop at the corner of Grove Square. Why is not Queen Street still called Whimmey Street, it’s proper name, and what gave rise to its aspiring to Royalty ? Were the inhabitants who resided in Whimmey Street ashamed of the name? I expect this was the reason. Why name a street “‘Whimmey ” >? Well, the reason was this. The property round about was formerly owned by James Rhodes who developed it as a building estate and sold it off in lots for building purposes. He could never satisfy himself as to what name to give it and he christened it and

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the year the office was removed. I have been told that it was probable that John Shaw was responsible for the name of the street getting to be called Whimney Street instead of its true name which he did not like. Before proceeding further with my tour through Gomersal, I must again refer to the Knowles tamily, who in their day were one of the best known families in the district. As early as 1765 a Lionel Knowles was settled at Gomersal and had four sons, of whom Lionel and John engaged in business as cloth merchants at Gomersal. Charles and Christopher, the other two brothers were butchers and farmers, the former at Tadcaster and the latter at Tong. Christopher was the ancester of that branch of the Knowles

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Drub Lane was originally called Brandy Croft Lane. Seventy years ago there were several coal pits in Drub Lane, one of which was named the Drub Coal Pit. Near Primrose Hill was a path called “ Doctors

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is the ‘‘ Briar

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and received fifty guineas according to law. He distinguished himself and when discharged the year before the Battle of Waterloo he was a colour sergeant. He took part in several battles fought by the Allied forces against Napoleon, one of which was the Battle of Barrosa in Spain, in 1811, where the British under General Graham after being abandoned by the Spaniards, defeated a superior force under Nictor. George Fletcher did not learn his correct name till his wedding day. He worked at Burnley’s mill from about 1850 to when he reached the age of 74. He died in Gomersal at the commencement of the present century having exceeded his ninetieth year. House ” (now the residence of Mr. J. W. Heywood, a gentleman who has devoted a great part of his time in local affairs, being a member of the old Gomersal Urban District Council and a member and a late Chairman of the Spenborough Urban District Council) was formerly owned and occupied by William Hirst and afterwards by Sarah Sigston Welby and her three daughters the Misses Ella, Lucy and Gertrude. There was formerly a one-decker cottage called ““ White

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John Lees continued at Grove Foundry and carried on business for some years on his own account. Then his sons Messrs. Lancelot William Lees and Samuel Lees joined him, the firm’s name becoming “‘ John Lees and Sons.” The business was afterwards converted into a Limited Liability Company, the name being “ John Lees & Sons

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William Sigston and his brother both being bachelors lived at the house now called Sigston House, in Sigston Fold, and is now occupied by Mr. L. W. Lees. This house has N K 1634 over its door. Nicholas Kitson of Gomersal in 1630 was fined £10 for refusing Knighthood. It is supposed that he built the house marked N K_ 1634 and that the other house marked I K 1659 in the Sigston Fold was built by a member of the same family and was formerly called Cross House. The following men who lived in the Gomersal Township were also fined for refusing Knighthood. Robert Hopkinson (£10); Francis Popeley

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Horse Close, and the Little Horse Close, containing together twelve acres of ground, capable of great improvement. For other particulars inquire of Mr. Joseph Stainthorp of Popeley or Mr. Thomas Brooke of Cleckheaton. To whom all persons indebted to Mr. Boden at the time of his death are required to pay their respective debts, without further notice ; and to whom all those who have any demands on his estate or effects are desired to send a particular account thereof. The close of land immediately behind Poplar Farm is called the “‘ Tenter Croft,”’ which is evidence that cloth was dried there. Thomas Sigston was very fond of hare coursing and preserved the whole of the land from Hill Top down to the Spenbridge, then on to Maizebrook and Drub Lane. He was a great friend of old Tommy Hardill mine host of the Old Saw, and together they spent many pleasant hours talking over dogs and hares. He also delighted in demolishing the booths erected in the road for the feast, but he always paid for the damages with a good grace. John Crowther, an old clothier, lived at Poplar Farm. Thomas Crowther, a member of the same family lived at the old house now called Poplar Farm at the bottom of West Lane, now occupied by Mr. Herman I. Walker. In 1854, Joseph Crowther, a clothier, lived at this old house. The Gummersalls, also a clothing family, lived in the remaining house in Sigston Fold. The Bird Acre buildings are quite modern and there is a row of cottages which was formerly a workshop owned by the late Samuel Brook, who gave employment to a number of men in Gomersal in the production of machinery. These premises comprised: machine

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was occupied by William Greaves, then by Mr. Benjamin Crowther, junr., and latterly by Mr. Sam Asquith. Scott Lane was formerly called Neddy Lane after a well known character named Neddy Popplewell who lived there. The only centenarian I have been able to hear of in Gomersal lived in Scott Lane, in a cellar dwelling. She was named Hannah Baxter, and she just lived to attain her hundredth year. Her dwelling only had one room. She was a diminutive old lady and had a wonderful nerve and a steady carriage. But Hannah was a Christian and she continually said

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Red House is a picturesque residence of the time of Charles II., and is of particular interest, having often been visited by Charlotte Bronte. The house up to the time of its purchase by Dr. J. C. Sykes was for nearly two and a half centuries occupied by the Taylor family. On various grounds this family is entitled to rank among the most prominent of all the families of the Spen Valley and although members of it have been referred to at various times and in various ways the family has never I believe been treated as a whole. The Taylor family may claim respect for their long residence in Gomersal, where, for probably a period of about two centuries they were engaged in the woollen trade of the district. The first documentary evidence I have met with of the existence of the Taylor family is in the Churchwardens’ accounts of White- chapel, formerly called the White Chapel of the North. In those accounts for the year 1651 will be found the name of a Joshua Taylor as witness to their accuracy. In 1741 a John Taylor entered his protest against the sum of 2/- being spent out of the town’s money towards the “ shot,” referring to the customary jollification which in those remote times usually took place at the settling of the town’s accounts. These two items may be deemed slight evidence on which to base the assertion that the two persons named were the ancestors of the present representatives of the Taylor family of Gomersal, but I venture to think that the evidence is sufficient. ‘The historian from his habit of looking all round his subject naturally sees more of it than his readers, and in this instance he notes the partiality the Taylors from “ time immemorial ” have for the honoured scripture name of Joshua. There have been seven Joshuas in the family succession. Next to Joshua the name of John appears to be in favour, and both these are found represented in the town’s books at Whitechapel. I must, however, point out that the name of Taylor is common enough in the district and one must not rely too much upon the evidence adduced. Evetybody conversant with the “Shirley” of Charlotte Bronte, of course knows Red House, which is square and built of brick, and standing in its own grounds. Dr. Sykes modernised it somewhat, but its general effect had not been spoilt. It is the house described by Bronte in “ Shirley” as

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built by William Taylor in 1660, who had evidently succeeded in business sufficiently to enable him to build a residence for his family, members of which resided in it to nearly the end of the last century. William Taylor had a son Joshua born in 1700, whose eldest son was John born in 1736, and there have been several Joshua Taylors resident at Red House. All of them were engaged in the cloth trade. It would appear that John Taylor built the mill at Hunsworth as I find from the “autobiography of Thomas Wright of Birkenshaw,” where he says “ A friendly acquaintance of mine (Mr. John Taylor, merchant of Great Gomersal) had lately (1785) built a pretty large mill for carding machines to which he had attached four stocks to mill woollen cloth. He wanted a searcher and proposed to me to obtain the place.” The office of

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John Taylor of Great Gomersal, merchant, appointed in the year 1783 Cornelius Buck, of Bradford, his factor or agent for vending of all such Woollen Cloths, Coatings, Naps, Frizes, Duffils, Rattines, and other Woollen Goods and all such Linen and Hardware Goods as he the said John Taylor should consign to North America to the care or charge of the said Cornelius Buck. It is interesting to note this spelling of “ Duffil.” It 1s now spelt “ Duffel,” and is derived from Duffel, a town near Ant- wetp. It is described firstly as a kind of coarse woollen cloth having a thick nap or frieze and secondly as an outfit or supplies collec- tively : Kit. Colloquial United States. In 1798, John Taylor leased to John Wilson of Hunsworth for 11 years not only part of the Hunsworth Mill together with a quantity of machinery for the purpose of scribbling and carding mixed or dyed wool only, but also a pretty considerable portion of housing and land near to the Mill. At that time John Taylor occupied the Mill for the purpose of scribbling and carding wool only and having more room in such mill than he could conveniently employ, decided him to lease as aforesaid. The reason why Wilson was testricted to scribble and card mixed or dyed wool only was in order to prevent any competition between Taylor and Wilson with respect to obtaining custom for the different parts of the mill respectively occupied by them. The rental for the whole was £300 per annum payable by Wilson. On the 25th of April, 1803, the whole of the Mill and machinery including those parts occupied by Wilson were totally destroyed by fire. T'wo months after, Taylor agreed to build and completely finish for Wilson’s use two rooms in the new Scribbling Mill then under course of construction on or before the 20th November in the same year. ‘Taylor also agreed to provide one willey and seven engines. The terms were to be identical with the former terms. The new part of the mill and machinery were completed on the Ist January, 1804. Wilson did not prepare and tender to Taylor the new lease in pursuance of the agreement. Wilson in direct contravention to the agreement, almost entirely discontinued to scribble and card mixed or dyed wool and in lieu thereof scribbled and carded white wool. Nine parts of ten of all the wool which he so scribbled and carded was white wool, thus causing an injury to Taylor. The above facts are taken from a case submitted to Counsel for his opinion and there is no record as to how the matter was ultimately settled. The aspect of the countryside has undergone considerable change since the erection of Hunsworth Mill. The River Spen at that time flowed with pure water and abounded with fish. The woods of Hunsworth formed a pleasant feature of the slope

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stretching upwards to Gomersal. The cuckoo and the thrush were early and late visitors of the neighbourhood and the aspect of the landscape was rural indeed. The Hunsworth Estate consisted of about 1200 acres and was carefully preserved, and my two great-uncles Charles and William Carr of Hill Top, and my father could often be seen going ovet the estate, and at eventide heavily laden after their day’s sport. The erection of Hunsworth Mill however would do little towards detracting from its pleasant surroundings as it was driven by water power. Even after steam was introduced it was for the purpose of driving the water wheel. Its founder John Taylor was an energetic man and attended well to his business. He was his own traveller and went about in search of orders for his own goods. At that time it took three days to travel from Gomersal to London and that was thought quick work too. The journey was generally performed on horseback. John Taylor was a friend of Wesley, who generally stayed at his house when in the neighbourhood of Gomersal. He was not an attached member of the Wesleyan body but had a following of his own. To this end he built the Brick Chapel, the Briar Chapel to which I have before referred, where he preached. Joshua Taylor, the son of John Taylor inherited all his father’s energy as a trader, while he possessed characteristics peculiarly his own. Charlotte Bronte drew her characters with wonderful fidelity and this is exemplified in that drawn under the soubriquet of

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Wesleyan Chapel as her visits to Red House took place between 1831 and 1840. There was also a building used for cloth finishing purposes in the back premises of Red House. The Red House premises were in 1840 described as house, kitchen, garden, lawn, shrubberies and plantation. Press shop, pearkine shop, packing shop, counting house, coach house, cart shed, barn, stable and yard. Joshua Taylor (Hiram Yorke) had four sons and two daughters, all of whom with the exception of Waring were immortalised in

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John Wesley preached in Gomersal on the 6th August, 1776, and also on 25th August, 1789, when he lodged at Red House with Joshua Taylor. Poor old Nancy Beverley had an account at this bank and was a creditor when it suspended payment. She sold green-groceries and pots in premises just above Pollard Hall. While she was walking up Oxford Road she was heard muttering to herself the following words: “Oh Lord thou knows I’ve trailed mi long legs up Leeds loins to mak me bit o’ brass but if thou’l nobbut promise me to let me have it agean, Pll tak gooid care ther’s ne’er a dule of ‘em tutch it agean.” An old Gomersalian told me he remembered going to purchase some apples of her and he asked for two pounds weight. Old Nancy could not get the correct weight so she sliced a bit off one of the apples. She told my informant that she made a loss over every pot she sold, and on his asking her how she managed to carry on her business, she teplied that she couldn’t live at all unless she sold a “ reight ” lot. Joshua Taylor’s (the Hiram Yorke) widow Mrs. Taylor held a teligious service every Sunday evening in the kitchen, which good men from Bradford came to conduct. At the close of the service Mrs. Taylor gave the boys sweet biscuits and water. Joshua Taylor (Hiram’s father) said that the ghost of Dr. Carr who was formerly his medical attendant once appeared at Red House, and he said he distinctly heard the old Doctor strutting about on his crutches. In the early days there was a dyehouse in the plantation between Red House and Pollard Hall. On its ceasing to be a dyehouse, William Heaton used it for cabinet making purposes and it was in this building that he repaired the old oak for Thomas Burnley which the latter had purchased for Pollard Hall. Old Doydy (Joseph) Mortimer, a short thin old man was chapel keeper at the Grove Chapel for a number of years. With snuffers in hand he would walk very cautiously round to decapitate the wicks of the candles and how anxious were the gentle worship- pers fearing some portion of the burnt wick falling on their bonnets. There was formerly a school carried on at Fieldhead, built in 1730 (now the residence of Mrs. Edwin Midwood) by Ebenezer Hodgson, whom I have before referred to. Mr. Hodgson must have resided at Fieldhead before residing at Follingworth. From all accounts he was an excellent teacher and disciplinarian. This house is in the Birkenshaw area, but it is interesting to note that there was a road from it to Springfield. Francis Willey who afterwards became Lord Barmby was educated at Fieldhead. Caroline Frances Swaine, daughter of Joseph Swaine, died here.

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Pollard Hall, a fine old Elizabethan mansion was up to a few yeats ago entirely overgrown with ivy on its Southerly side. It is so picturesque in appearance as to arrest the attention of passers by. ‘The date of its erection, 1659, and the initials of a former resident, Tempest Pollard are enduringly preserved on the old oak entrance door which is in itself a study. In 1844 Pollard Hall with the adjoining estate was purchased from Sir Charles Ibbetson of Denton-in-Wharfedale by Thomas Burnley, whose predecessors had resided there for many years, extending over the lives of three generations. ‘Thomas Burnley resided at the Hall until his death in 1863. Under his supervision it underwent considerable alterations, the primary object being, however, to restore it to its original character, more particularly as to its interior. It had for many years been used for weaving. The description of the Pollard Hall premises in 1840 is as follows :—House, kitchen, warehouse, barn, stables, mistal, gig-house, saddle-room, cartshed and garden with dye-house, dry-house, spinning shop, warehouse, reservoir and croft. Mr. Burnley was an ardent collector of antique furniture and a big buyer of old oak. The result of his judgment is manifest in every room of the Hall. Mr. Thomas William Burnley, the son of the last mentioned Mr. Thomas Burnley, added the portion on the Western side. It is a pity the road was cut so neat the Hall, but one can imagine how beautiful the grounds must have been which extended on the other side of the road for a considerable distance. These grounds (through which runs the Church Beck) are reached by means of a tunnel under the road. Pollard Hall is also interesting from the fact that Herbert Knowles the youthful poet lived there, under the charge of his Aunt Sarah, the wife of William Burnley. There is evidence that in 1714 a bridle path ran past Pollard Hall with trees overhanging. There was a gateway opposite which led into the Upper Pighill Close. At that date there was a vety large building on the Westerly side of Pollard Hall. The property was then occupied by Joseph Goodier. There may be some teaders of the Cleckheaton Guardian who recollect that paper publishing a precious souvenir of Herbert Knowles in the form of a facsimile copy of his celebrated poem in their issue of the roth January, 1900. I have the cutting by me now and this leads me to say how important it is to keep memoranda

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Lines written in the Churchyard of Richmond, Yorkshire. “It is good for us to be here ; If thou wilt let us make here three Tabernacles: one for Thee, one for Moses and one for

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Unto Sorrow ? the dead cannot grieve, Not a sob nor a sigh meet mine ear, Which compassion itself could relieve. Ah! sweetly they slumber, nor hope, love nor fear Peace, peace, is the watchword, the only one here.

Unto Death ? to whom Monarchs must bow, Ah no! for his empire is known, And here there ate trophies enow ; Beneath the cold dead and around the dark stone, Are the signs of a sceptre that none may disown.

The first Tabernacle to Hope we will build, And look for the sleepers around us to rise ! The second to Faith which ensures it fulfill’d ; And the third to the Lamb of the great sacrifice, Who bequeathed us them both when he rose to the Richmond, Oct. 17th, 1816. HERBERT.

This is what Montgomery wrote of these lines: “Lines which ought to endure the memory of the author. Truly he built a monument more durable than brass, in compiling these casual lines with little prospect of pleasing anybody but himself and a circle of juvenile

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the age of twenty-five years he married Elizabeth Phillips and shortly after removed to “ Ye house called Green

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Southey the then Poet Laureate with a letter stating his circum- stances, etc., and hoping by the publication of it to receive funds to prosecute his studies at the University. Southey replied on 27th October, 1816, and advised him not to publish it because there was not the slightest likelihood of emolument from it. Herbert replied asking him to write Mr. Tate, which he did. Mr. Tate wrote Southey to the following effect. “If you will answer for his genius, I will make answer for his good conduct.” Southey then wrote to his friend Grosvenor C. Bedford that he wanted to raise {30 a year for four years. The result was that the money was attanged to be paid, Southey himself promising to provide £10 and the balance was to be provided by Rogers the Poet and Lord Spencer. Spencer in his autobiobraphy says that his father was so much an admirer of

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in the left hand corner which in heraldry is the second son’s coat of arms. The crescent meant that the ceiling decoration was composed of somebody’s heraldic shield. The coat of arms 1s the Horton arms—a lion within a border of wavy lines. On the lion’s shoulder should be a small boar’s head. ‘There is certainly something like a blob on the shoulder. To ascertain whether there is the boar’s head or not it would be necessary to wash off the coats of whitewash. The crest of the Hortons contains a rose, and roses as well as the shields are repeated in the designs. The history of this noble house would be well worth following up. I can only add that the door shows quite plainly T.P.1659, but Mr. Hanson says that when he swung the door into the shade he discovered that the centre panel had once had M upon it. He (Mr. Hanson) searched the Birstall Church Register and found that Mary Pollard was buried 11th November, 1682 and that this proved that the initials T.M.P. on the door and spout-heads mean Tempest and Mary Pollard. It is difficult for us to realise the tremendous importance of Cloth Halls in the economic organisation of the textile industry. I must, therefore, take you back to the time when there were no retail shops and no show rooms or warehouses. Owing to such circumstances it was therefore necessary to have markets. The woollen industry had centred round Leeds, Wakefield and Halifax, and the business was carried on by men called Clothiers. A Clothier was not a large master manufacturer, but a man in a very small way of business. He was called the small clothier. He was, it is true, a manufacturer, but he also did a little farming. Attached to his cottage was a piece of land, generally from one to fifteen acres in extent, on which he kept poultry, pigs, a cow ot two, a horse or an ass, or on which he grew potatoes, vegetables and such crops as did not require a great amount of attention. He was the head of a firm which might employ only his own family or which might be so extensive as to enlist the services of a number of journeymen, women and apprentices. There was considerable variety in the size of such concerns, but even the largest clothiers seldom employed above twenty or thirty persons. There were numbers of Clothiers in Gomersal in the olden days. After the Clothier had purchased his wool, it was taken to his house where it was prepared for spinning. The manufacture of white cloth was carried on throughout a very widespread area, which area included Gomersal. It will be quickly seen that Leeds was a very awkward place for the white cloth market, and this plays a very important part of the history of Gomersal.

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But to return to the description of the manufacture, the wool after being cleaned, was handed out to be carded and spun. These processes might be carried out by the Clothier’s wife and children, but in most cases the amount of yarn which a Clothier’s own family could spin was quite inadequate and hence external assist- ance had to be obtained. The wool when spun was returned to the Clothier’s headquarters and was then prepared for the loom. The weaving was generally done by the Clothier, assisted by his son orf apprentice. When the piece was woven it was taken to the fulling mill to be fulled, scoured and washed. Then to the tenter frame, on which the cloth was stretched and left to dry. There are many fields in the district which are named the tenter field or croft and formerly these fields were used for trade purposes. The pieces having dried were then ready to be taken to the market. It had still many processes to undergo before it was ready to be made up into clothes but this work was left to those who bought the fabrics from the Clothier. The cloth was sold in the rough. After Daniel Defoe left Bristol in his tour through England and Wales, he proceeded to Leeds and as our forefathers sold their cloth in Leeds it is well worth while taking notice of the conditions there in 1724-26. The following is an extract from his diary ;—

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“The increase of the manufacture and of the trade soon made the market too great to be confined to the brigg or bridge, and it is now kept in the High-street, beginning from the bridge and running up North almost to the Market- house, where the ordinary market for provisions begins, which also is the greatest of its kind in all the North of England, except Hallifax............ nay, the people at Leeds will not allow me to except Hallifax, but say, that theirs is the greatest market, and that not the greatest plenty only but the best of all kind of provisions are brought

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a word spoken in the whole market, I mean by the persons buying and selling ; ’tis all done in whisper.”

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not as the statue in that case directed was no more than 44 inches in breadth in more than one third part of the length thereof being a less or smaller quantity of cloth in breadth by 3 inches than was mentioned on the seal of load thereto affixed by the said Richard North. Fined twenty five shillings that is 5/- for the first inch in breadth 10/- for the second inch in breadth and 10/- more for the third inch in breadth. The above piece of cloth was bought in Leeds Hall. 18th February 1766. Conviction of Edward Prince a merchant for having in his custody Cloth with the seals defaced. Fined 40/-. 4th January 1732. Jonathan Crowther Clothworker of the Town- ship of Gomersal was convicted and fined {10 for neglecting and refusing to provide for and maintain his poor-apprentice Abraham Scholefield. ist July 1771. Articles of agreement made this date Between Mary Thompson of Staincliffe Hall Widow, Francis Thompson her son and Jeremiah Rhodes and John Rhodes of Little Gomersal Cloth workers Merchants and Partners whereby the sd Francis Thompson was to be taught the trade or employ- ment of a Clothworker Merchant. 31st January 1765. A meeting of Woolstaplers and Dealers in Wool was held at the Half Moon Tavern in Cheapside London when it was resolved to prosecute every person who should put or wind within any fleece of wool, any clay, load, stones, sand, tails, deceitful locks, lotfalls, combre, lambswool or any other thing, in order to deceive the buyer thereof either in quality or weight, contrary to the laws made in that behalf; and that the costs of every such prosecution should be borne and defrayed out of a fund then raised for that intent. About 1760 an agreement was entered into by Wakefield Mercers to discourage such Taylors as supply their Customers with cloth and trimming. The cause of complaint was that the Taylors privately supplied their customers with cloth and trimming intending to make exhorbitant gain to themselves and to prejudice the trade of the Mercers keeping open shops within the town of Wakefield. The Mercers agreed for a term not to supply or sell to any such Taylor or private Retailer that keeps sells and make up into wearing apparel such cloth ot trimming of his own, any sort of mercery goods whatsoever. The Gomersal Cloth Hall was erected on the site of the Mill run now by Messrs. Thos. Burnley & Sons Ltd. The first erection of a Cloth Hall in the County was at Halifax about the year 1700. The Leeds White Cloth Hall was the third erected in the County.

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During the early years of the 18th century commercial supremacy of Leeds was threatened and the first trouble came from Hightown which is situate in the very heart of the white cloth area. The question was then asked, why not a market at Hightown? So thought two enterprising gentlemen, Mr. Green and Mr. Brooke who were lords of the manor of Hightown. The story is best told in the words of the petition sent by the Mayor and Corporation of Leeds to the Duke of Newcastle on

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path is very difficult to negotiate and Gomersal people wonder why it is not kept in decent repair. It is interesting to note that early in the 19th century the continuation of this footpath extended across the fields opposite, that is, over the new graveyard and joined up with the Little Gomersal footpath. In 1829 it was diverted so as to make the same mote commodious to the public. When the Gomersal Cloth Hall was opened (it was on a Lady- day) there were public rejoicings which lasted for days. Up to a

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by Thomas Carr and Crowther Hirst and they were formerly occupied by Benjamin Lang. In October 1803 James Bayley and Samuel Bayley for the consideration of {2204 assigned other premises to Swaines the bankers, consisting of leasehold premises comprising a dwelling- house, stables, outbuildings and five closes of land, with a large factory for spinning cotton and a smaller one for scribbling wool then in possession of Carr and his undertenants, and all the furniture in the house and the stock and trade, machinery and utensils subject to certain sums of money due on mortgages. It is apparent therefore that the Swaines acted as bankers for Thomas Carr who relinquished business in 1808. In that year the firm of Joseph and Edward Swaine became entitled to all Carr’s leasehold interest, and they took possession and used the Mill portions as Woollen Mills and continued to do so till 1850. This Joseph Swaine was my maternal great grandfather who lived at Brier Hall and died in 1870 aged 89. Before going to Brier Hall he resided at Bunkers Hill. Edward Swaine was the half brother to Joseph and died at York in 1885 in his 95th year. He lived at Crow Trees, Gomersal, during his business career. This is the old Crow Trees, now occupied by Mr. J. S. Brooke. 1 mention this, as three houses neat ate known by the same name. Crow Trees, owned and occupied by the Gomersal Working Men’s Club is built on “Bunkers Hill.” The other Crow Trees is the house in Oxford Road occupied by Mr. Burnhill. The Swaines were located in Horton early in the sixteenth century and probably before. The history of Swaine and Rams- bottom’s Mill in the Holme just outside the Horton boundary is interesting, on account of its being the first erection of the kind in Bradford. In the meadows before the mill was erected, the famous Bishop Blaize demonstrations were marshalled before proceeding round the town. Swaine’s partner, Henry Rams- bottam and Edward Peace of Darlington met every three months at the Golden Lion in Leeds or at the Star and Garter at Kirkstall to arrange the list of prices to be charged for worsted yarns during the ensuing quarter. The Swaines were undoubtedly the oldest Presbyterian family in Bradford, several of its members having been upon the trust since the foundation of the Chapel in 1717, when Abraham Swaine’s mame appeared. When the foundation stone of the new chapel was laid in 1868 the ceremony was performed by Edward Swaine. About a hindred years ago the firm of Knowles, Woodhead and Houghton commenced the manufacture of loom and spinning

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mules in a portion of the Cloth Hall buildings being tenants of the Swaines and while there Woodhead unfortunately lost his life whilst in the act of loading a mule, which was being carried over the head of a horse harnessed to the shafts of the lorry, when the horse took fright and bolted. The firm afterwards became known as Knowles, Houghton & Co. and ceased business about the end of the last century. A portion of the Cloth Hall Mill was run by William Hirst under the Swaines before he built Butts Mill. Ninety years ago the Cloth Hall Mill was described as a scribbling, cloth and dressing mill, with engine house, boiler houses, raizing shop, pearking shop, packing shop, smith and joiners’ shop, burling rooms, counting house, food sheds, stables, fire engine house, oil warehouse, mistal, old dye-house, reservoir and mill yard. In 1844 John Taylor a sub-tenant of the Swaines occupied. the East wing of the Mill. Taylor gave up his tenancy in that year and all willeys were removed and from that date to when Swaines gave up business this portion of the Mill was used for scribbling, slubbing and spinning of white wool only. In 1844 the Cloth Hall was purchased from Sir Charles Henry Ibbetson, Bart., by Thomas Burnley and the whole of the premises after Messrs. Swaines lease had expired were occupied by him in the manufacture of knitting worsted and Scotch fingering yarns. Sir Charles Henry Ibbetson died at Denton Park in 1861. One of his ancestors was Henry Ibbetson who raised a corps of 100 men at his own expense in the rebellion of 1745, and in con- sideration thereof was created a Baron on the 12th May 1748 in which year he served the office of sheriff of the County of York. The Burnleys were in the worsted trade for five generations. It is impossible to ascertain the

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James Burnley) who died in May 1827 at Berwick-on-Tweed, the business having previously been disposed of to Mr. W. C. Gaunt of Bradford. A large portion was burnt down in a disastrous fire and Mr. Gaunt rebuilt it and added many new buildings. It is now one of the biggest and finest mills in Yorkshire. At the Wool safeguarding enquiry held in London in March 1929 the firm’s representative stated that the combing machinery consisted of 56 Schlumberger Combs with a capacity for producing 50,000 lbs. of tops weekly. The firm had also 30,000 mule spindles for the spinning of dry-combed yarns on the French system, and could produce 30,000 lbs. a week of single warp yarns by running on day time only. The names of Samuel Fearnley Wigglesworth (died 1908), George Crabtree (died 1924), Nelson Oldroyd (died 1926) and Richard Schofield Parkin (Dick Parkin) will long be remembered as having faithfully served the firm of Burnleys for long periods. Many years ago

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child’s grandfather was out all night looking for her, and he had a basket filled with Haverbread and milk ready for her. Work in those days commenced at 5 o’clock in the morning and stopped at 6 o’clock in the evening, but very often at 7 o’clock and there were only short stoppages for breakfast and dinner. In the old days donkeys were employed to take weft and warp from the Gomersal Cloth Hall Mill to Bingley to be woven, after which it was brought back. A noted character named Joe Rush who was a Bingley man and rather simple was always in a hurry when he came with his donkey from Bingley but when he returned it was as my informant said

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turers, Houghton Bros., Machine Makers, James Howard & Co., Sizers and H. F. Cockill & Sons Ltd., Curriers. Shackleton Smith became the tenant of the Mills on 1st March 1871. In the late seventies of the last century the Butts Mill was burnt down during the occupancy of Shackleton Smith. It is a fact that the whistle sounded for many hours before the firemen could stop it. The remains of the mill became the property of the Burnleys, who erected a large shed at the rear. Just below the Gomersal Mills and immediately opposite the Butts Mills there is a dam. In the middle of the last century there was no wall, simply a thorn fence which formed the boundary to the road. William Brook (the grandfather of Mr. Benjamin Gledhill)

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side stood a long building, at the end of which was a cottage now used as offices. The long building was named the Tenter Stove, which was used for drying cloth. This is the only instance of a Tenter Stove I have come across in the district. Near this was a garden. The remainder of the land was meadow. On the Easterly side of the mills formerly stood the workshop of John Briggs which was burnt down a few years ago. John had only one arm. Tradition says that the bricks of the Upper Spen Buildings (the two rows of houses opposite the Mills) were made from the clay which was got from the land behind the Mills. ‘The holes made are now full of water which serve the Mills. On the Westerly side of the last mentioned Mill stands the Vicarage, the home of all the Vicars of Gomersal. The first Vicar, the Reverend Michael Smith Daly married Miss Knowles of West House. The Reverend Robert Fetzer Taylor, who was the second Vicar of Gomertsal, was born at Scholes in 1846, and was the elder son of the Reverend R. F. Taylor, for fifty years incumbent of the old White Chapel at Cleckheaton. He graduated at Christ Church, Oxford, in 1869, with a first class in Natural Science. He was ordained to an assistant curacy at Birstall in 1872, which he held for four years. He was Vicar of Gomersal for twenty-four years. On leaving Gomersal he was presented by Dr. William Carr, junr., with the Rectory at Hedenham in Norfolk. Nine years later he retired and lived at Grundisburgh in Suffolk, where he died in November, 1923. He married the only child of John Battye of Birstall in 1880. John Battye died at Birstall in 1899. He was present at Charles Dickens’ wedding, and was a pupil of the Reverend William Margetson Heald, and when studying in Leeds attended classes by Christopher Wilson, the “ Christopher North” the author of

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on the floor with her comb in her hand, but totally unconscious. She died without recovering consciousness on 1st March, 1893. Mary Taylor was at school in Brussels after she had left Roe Head, and in 1841 she emigrated, as is hinted in the novel, to New Zealand, and entered into the Drapery business in Wellington, in which she made a competence. She was a woman of great intellectual powers and wrote “‘ Miss Miles: A tale of Yorkshire Life Sixty Years ago,” published in 1890, and the “ First duty of

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Spen Hall has been rebuilt many times and the present buildings show 16th, 18th and 19th century work. It is said that after the attack on St. Peg Mills in 1842, the Hussars bivouacked in the garden of Spen Hall, at the same time as several of the rioters were hiding in the outbuildings there and dare not come out. Spen Hall calls into mind the name of Alexander Dixon, and the attack on Rawfolds Mill. Billy Clough the blacksmith of Cleckheaton, having spent a pleasant evening (11th April, 1812) with some friends at Littletown and being fond of good ale and good company, was carrying out his usual plan of not going home till morning, when he was alarmed and effectually sobered by meeting some scores of rough-looking men armed with sledge hammers, hatchets, guns and other weapons. The men who swept past him in such hot haste were Luddites who were making the best of their way from the spot before the Military arrived. When Billy reached the lane leading to the Mill his curiosity overcame his fear and he crept cautiously down to the building to see how matters stood. Just as he stumbled unto the yard over the debris of the gates which had been shattered to bits, Dixon, who was apprenticed close by, was entering also. On going up to the door and making themselves known, Cartwright unbarred it and came out with a lantern to reconnoitre round the building. Not far from the door they came upon the prostrate form of a young man who was writhing in agony and who, when the light was flashed upon his pale face, implored them to kill him and end his misery. Dixon and Clough at once bent down to help the wounded man. Frank Peel in “ The risings of the Luddites ” says that aid was refused by Cartwright until the man confessed who were the leaders in the attack and that Hammond Roberson looked on in grim silence. This I do not believe for one moment and one must not forget that this book was written in the romantic style. Dixon became afterwards a _ well-known Cleckheaton worthy, and his name held in honour. His beginning was very humble, having commenced as a “town’s apprentice”’ to John Brook, a Manufacturing Chemist. When his master failed, he began business for himself on a small scale, with William Crowther of Gomersal as partner. The partnership was not of long duration. Dixon’s business was confined to the manufacture of dye-spirits and he finally realised a considerable fortune. He resided at

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cottage sublet to William Heaton. Dixon took an active part in the management of local matters and was interested in the management of affairs at the Red Chapel, Cleckheaton. He built Nellroyd Mill. Without any notice to his friends he, overcome by trouble and grief, started for Australia and was never seen again. His landing however could not be traced and it was feared that he had jumped overboard in a fit of temporary derange- ment. Of Lower Spen I have learnt little, except that there were formerly three wells. Two were used for drinking purposes but the water in the trough was not so used. Spen, which of course includes both Upper and Lower Spen,

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uninclosed, the road winding round it. In 1840 the Bar keeper was George Mawson. The other instance is that nearly opposite the Toll house was a well built house which was demolished by the Railway Company. It was formerly occupied by Samuel Reeve (a former member of the Local Board); then by William Venables Rhodes the antiquarian, and later by Mr. Charles Leach. Soldiers were stationed at Spen during the riots caused by the boiler tappers, they taking possession of the food which had been given to the tappers by kindly disposed people. Spen Bank House lies on the declivity towards Cleckheaton and is now occupied by Mr. Benjamin Rhodes Bateman, who for many years served on the District Council. The Corn Mill just below was rebuilt many years ago and it was formerly owned and managed by a family named Mann. Henry Mann (one of the founders of the Cleckheaton Philarmonic Choral and Orchestral Society) resided at Spen Bank House, was the younger son of Mr. Joseph Mann, who was a brother of Thomas and John Mann, two of the earliest Bradford Stuff Merchants. It is said that John Mann was the first patentee of an invention for supplying cork legs and artificial limbs. Arthur Firth lived for many years at Spen Bank House and catried on the corn business under the style or firm of Firth & Blackburn. In 1746 the Spen Corn Mill belonged to John Smyth of Heath and on the 4th day of October in that year he leased the premises to John Walker of “ Spenn

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pavilion. I well remember watching many games of cricket there when the ground was very small and rough. The Broom Hill fence wall is on the North and the gardens on the South were formerly cultivated by Albert Mortimer. In the club’s early days there was a pool of water used for watering the cattle just near the Broom Hill wall and during a match the striker hit a ball into the middle of it. The young boys were sports in those days and without a moment’s hesitation Irvine Kemp dived straight into the pond and retrieved it. I know he felt very proud of himself, but very wet into the bargain. In Spen Lane, overlooking the cricket ground stands a most picturesque house named Spen Cottage, now occupied by Mr. Norton S. Harrison, one of John Harrison’s grandsons. That it is a very old house there is no doubt. It’s history I have tried to get to know, but without success. Some think it was linked up with White Chapel, but I never came across any evidence to prove this. It has a beautiful stained glass window, and old oak timbers. It is a house I remember from my very early days when Aquila Mottimer and his wife lived there. They kept a grocer’s shop in the room facing West. The house at one time went under the name of Pruin Hall, and in the early forties was occupied by Joseph Milner formerly of the Old Robin Inn at Cleckheaton, who is repotted to have kept a bull dog, which was the terror of the boys. Formerly two Misses Wooler kept a dames school here. The old brick building on the East side was used for weaving by Milner, and there were twelve hand looms in the lower room and a hand jinny in the upper room. Milner bought his yarn from the Company Mill. In the year 1829, James Shepley, a joiner of Little Gomersal, erected the oak staircase in Pruin Hall as well as providing all the oak in what is now called the oak room. This is the room which has the old ecclesiastical window. Pruin Hall afterwards became the “ Gardeners’ Atms,”’ and was kept by Charles Mortimer. A man called Smith occupied the cottage adjoining Pruin Hall and his daughter was a leading singer at the Gomersal Wesleyan Chapel. Mr. and Mrs. John Harrison occupied Pruin Hall for many years, the latter passing away at 2-30 p.m. on the 14th January, 1924, and her husband at 6 p.m. the following day. Mrs. Harrison was 85 years of age and her husband in his 90th year, and they were interred on the same day at Gomersal Church. They were married on ist October, 1864, at St. Peter’s Church, Horbury, by the Revd. S. Baring-Gould, the hymn writer and author of well known books. Mr. Harrison was at the time of the wedding the organist of the Church. He setved for many years on the Gomersal Urban District Council,

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being its Chairman for two years. Both Mr. and Mrs. Harrison were eagerly looking forward to the celebration of their diamond jubilee anniversary. Mr. Harrison formerly carried on business at Horbury and then at Dewsbury. He commenced business at Gomersal in 1888. The low-decker cottages just below Pruin Hall were called Pruin Houses and Spen Lane was called Pruin Lane. The Tanning works on the West of Pruin Hall were some years ago erected by John Harrison on the site of a block of farm buildings. Later, Mr. Harrison and his sons converted the business into a Limited Liability Company under the name of John Harrison & Sons (Gomersal) Limited. Broom Hill, just above Pruin Hall was erected about 1876 by my father and is the only house in the district which is built in the style of a Swiss Chalet. He resided there until about 1896, and Mr. Ernest Cockill then became tenant before he removed to Marsh House. It is now owned and occupied by Mr. Reginald Michell Grylls, a gentleman who has spent practically all his leisure hours in the public service, for many years being a member of the Cleckheaton Urban District Council and its Chairman for two years. He is a member of the Spenborough Urban District Council, a West Riding County Councillor and is now the Chairman of the Higher Education Committee of the West Riding County Council. Mrs. Grylls is a justice of the Peace, being the first lady in the district to have this honour conferred. My father, Henry Cadman, married Mary Anne Ashwell, a grand-daughter of Joseph Swaine. In 1858 he was introduced to the Kilnsey Angling Club by Lionel William Knowles and in 1884 became one of the founders of the Yorkshire Angling Association. He was a frequent contributor to the Angling column of the Yorkshire Weekly Post. In 1898 he published a book entitled

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Roundhill is occupied by Mr. Jonathan Gomersall, a member of the Spenborough Urban District Council and formerly on the Gomersal Urban District Council, and its Chairman for two years. The mill is worked by Jonathan Gomersall, Ltd., and was formerly worked by James Sutcliffe Broadbent. On the North- Westerly side of the dam was a gasometer. This Mill calls into mind the days of the Chartist Riots, in- directly caused by famine and familiarly known as the ‘‘ Bread Riots.” It is recorded that the events of those days in the Spen Valley began with a big meeting at Peep Green, Roberttown Common, and twelve bands accompanied the crowds which paraded round the district. On the 18th August, 1842, the mob marched on Round Hill Mill owned by James Sutcliffe Broadbent (after leaving Andertons Mill at Cleckheaton) and after tapping the boiler there, no resistance being offered, they came on to St. Peg Mill. As soon as it became known that the rioters were approaching Cleckheaton, James Anderton, then a young man, rode on horse- back to Bradford in an incredibly short time, in order to fetch a troop of Lancers. The attacking force consisted of between 5000 and Gooo men. Before the Lancers arrived, a troop of Yorkshire Hussars came from Leeds where Prince George of Cambridge was acting against the rioters. On arriving at Cleck- heaton the Hussars were joined by some hundreds of special constables. They proceeded to St. Peg Mill where after the Riot Act had been read they charged the mob. ‘The mob was in charge of Clisset who called on his men to follow him. They resisted strenuously for some time and made good use of the stones and dross which were on the roadside. The well-trained soldiers and the specials were ultimately victorious. A large number of prisoners was taken, so many in fact, that as regards this district the riot received its death blow. The following Gomersal men were taken into custody : Richard Thomson (26) clothier, Charles Leighton (18) farmer, and Thomas Barber (22) collier. The house near is called Roundhill, and was for many years occupied by Charles Philander Anderton, J.P., and is now owned and occupied by Mr. Jonathan Gomersall. The Cleckheaton Golf Glub had its first home in the fields alongside Scrat Lane. A small uninclosed piece of land alongside Scrat Lane was presented by Samuel Jackson to the inhabitants of Gomersal. Bawson Cliffe was for many years the home of J. S. Broadbent and

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Heckmondwike. Behind Bawson Cliffe will be found a homestead called “ Throstle Nest,” beautifully situated on the South of the woodlands. ‘The road leading East is named Ferrand Lane. Just opposite the West End Hotel we find a new colony of houses. lately built by Mr. Jonathan Akeroyd of Birstall. Hill Top is a little district all to itself, deriving its name from Hill Top House. Previous to the year 1635, Hill Top House (which however should be called Hill Top)—which was built of brick—barn, gardens etc., and the close of land, was demised by Randall Fearnley to Thomas Mortimer of Gomersal, carpenter, for the term of twenty years at a yearly rent of £3. In 1643 Randall Fearnley gave the property to his son Thomas Fearnley. The deed contained a curious proviso that on payment of the sum of twelve pence of lawful English money before two or three honest witnesses Randall might re-enter and resume possession of the property. On 3rd November, 1674, the property which was then described as a dwellinghouse, smithy, etc., and a close of land, was conveyed by John Rook of Gomersal, Yeoman, to William Turner, clothier. In 1746 the smithy ceased to be mentioned and it is recorded that Thomas Hodgson formerly dwelt here and in that year Richard

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The Revd. W. M. Heald (the father of Canon Heald) taught Thomas Musgrave at the Birstall Vicarage, who was 14th Wrangler in 1810, A.B. the same year, A.M. 1813, the Lord Almoner’s Profes- sor of Arabic, 1821, appointed Bishop of Hereford 1837 when he received the title of S.T.P. by Royal Letters on the ground of that appointment, and afterwards elevated to the Archbishopric of York, where he died about 1860. Charles, brother of the Archbishop, also received his education from the Revd. W. M. Heald at Birstall. He came in 1803, and it is an instance of the interest which even at that early age, namely I1 yeats of age, he took in music (which continued his delight through life and his solace in old age) that he remembered the then old sexton, one Samuel Crowther who often used to blow the organ for him when he went down to the Church to practise. While the two brothers were at Birstall they were in the habit of spending their holidays at Marsden with William Horsfall, the gentleman who was murdered at Lindley Moor by the Luddites in 1812. Charles was placed

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discoloured and suffered and underwent great pain smart and anguish whereby his life was in great danger. And also for that the said Fairfax Fearnley, to wit, on the same day and year aforesaid with force and arms, to wit, with

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Hall in 1807 and a monument in his memory was placed in Horbury Church. This Church he built at his own expense as a thank- offering. It is interesting to note that Charles Carr the second was one of the trustees of the organ and South gallery in Birstall Church. Charles Carr the first preserved the Carlinghow Shay owned by the Earl of Wilton, which was famed for woodcock and snipe. The Hill Top House premises in 1840 were described as a house, out kitchen, coach house, and barn, stables, mistal, shed, green- house, bath, lawn, garden and shrubberies. ‘The bath house was situate at the bottom of the garden and was covered with glass. It was entered by a dressing room neat which was provided with astove. ‘The water was obtained from the pump near by. There were very few baths in Gomersal a hundred years ago washing being abhorred by the English, and it is only of recent years that it became fashionable, and I don’t think now its benefits are fully appreciated. The old chestnut of the annual dip is not exaggerated. Charles and William Carr indulged in the sport of coursing, which was very popular eighty years ago. ‘They preserved Huns- worth for that purpose. Jacob Mitchell was their gamekeeper there. Poaching took place, and prosecutions were frequent. The Carrs coursed at the Broughton Open Coursing Meeting by permission of Sir C. R. Tempest, Bart., at Farnley, the home of the Fawkes, and at Tong by permission of Colonel Tempest. In a letter written in 1843 from Bierley Hall there is a reference to a man having shot two pheasants in a field adjoining the Hunsworth preserves. The accused man was seen, who denied shooting the pheasants but admitted shooting at a hare. In March, 1859, the Reverend H. J. Smith of Birkenshaw wrote to William Carr stating that he was requested by the inhabitants of Hunsworth to solicit his aid towards effecting an object tending to the preservation of game and other property as well as to the benefit of the inhabitants generally. In 1857 Miss Currer’s tenants complained about their crops being destroyed by rabbits and pheasants in the land adjoining Hunsworth Wood over which she gave the right to shoot. One of the tenants said he counted 22 pheasants in his wheat field. The year 1838 was a troublous one, as the following letters, both written in August, will tell :— My Dear Sir, I am obliged by your enquiry and am happy to say that beyond a little and very trifling annoyance I reached home safely and had no visitation from the Blackguards during the night. I went to Dewsbury early this morning and found the town tranquil. I suppose the fumes of liquor had evaporated. I have been in close communication during the day with Colonel Campbell who

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arrived in Leeds this morning and he has, at the suggestion of the Magistrates, decided to leave an officer and twenty men for our protection. I have heard from Ingham and Greenwood and they appear to have escaped quite as well as could have been expected. The feeling against the former arises from his voluntary evidence before the Poor Law Committee and Greenwood is supposed by the mob to have taken a share in the meeting to which he was not entitled from non-residence. I appear to have but little of their notice and have been in Dewsbury all day without insult. The agitators on Wednesday are alone answerable for this uproar. Yours very truly, John Hague, Dewsbury Mills. I am glad to hear that you are not much injured for I heard this morning that you had received several rather severe visitations from stones, &c. To Mr. William Carr, Solicitor, Gomersal.

Dewsbury Moor. My Dear Sir, I almost feel ashamed at receiving your very kind note, as I ought rather to have sent over to enquire after you who sustained so serious a blow actually in my service ; however you must take the will for the deed, for I have had to send in so many directions about one matter or another that I really found it impossible. I am sincerely glad to know that your injury is not so serious as I apprehended, and that you are not likely to sustain any very serious inconvenience. Thank God, I may say now that I have escaped almost unhurt, for tho’ I also was struck with a stone while in your gig, my hat saved me and I have nothing more than a soreness and general lassitude to-day. The mob remained here till long after ten o’clock and but for the protection afforded by the presence of the soldiers, eleven of whom remained here during the night, I don’t doubt this house would have been entirely demolished and probably some of us killed. Mr. Hague got home without any molestation and has been in the town to-day and has suffered no annoyance. I have determined not to allow the military to return to Leeds at present, as the threats of violence on their disappearance are rather alarming. In haste, Yours most faithfully, J. B. Greenwood.

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To Mr. William Carr, Solicitor, Gomersal. The Lodge at Hill Top House was originally built as a one storey building and many years after another storey was added. Hill Top House has very tender recollections for me and my family, for in addition to its family tradition, it was our home for nearly thirty years. Mr. Sydney Smith now resides there, having purchased it in 1927. After the death of the widow of Charles Carr the younger the house was occupied during the making of the new line by Mr. Ernest C. Trench, now Chief Engineer to the London and North-

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ye should tak’ yer own, and that if you don’t give me a written promise that you won’t refuse one of my notes again send the Town Crier round to say you’ve stopped payment.” After that he never had another note refused. On another occasion Wilson went up to London on business and stayed at one of the old fashioned coffee houses. He described his experiences as follows :—‘‘ There were a fire in the room as ye might ’a put it in yer hand and it would never have burnt you, so I rungd bell and I said to

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He was also Superintendent Registrar of the Dewsbury district. He resigned the Clerkship in 1873, Joseph Peace suc- ceeding him. On William Carr’s death in 1887, Joseph Peace succeeded him as Superintendent Registrar. Charles Martin was deputy to William Carr for many years and became Registrar of Births and Deaths in the Liversedge sub-district, which included Heckmondwike. He died in May, 1921. It is claimed that Charles Martin had a unique record in census work, having taken part in five successive enumerations and had made all preparations for a sixth which however did not take place before his death owing to the industrial trouble. He also held the position of Presiding Officer or Poll Clerk at one or other of the stations at each election for fifty years. Charles Carr the younger was Registrar for the Otley County Court as well as the Clerk of the Court of Requests for the several Parishes of Bradford, Keighley, Bingley, Guiseley, Calverley, Birstal, Mirfield, Hartishead-cum-Clifton, and the Lordship or Liberty of Tong in the West Riding of the County of York. There were Court houses in all these Parishes. Gomersal is bounded on the Westerly side by the river Spen which is said to have got its name in 1795, and which 1s now called Spen Beck. I remember years ago hearing a story relating to “ Spen Beck.” Many years ago the licensee of the George Hotel in Cleckheaton was a lady and she was fond of the brown cream. Late one evening on returning from seeing friends in Gomersal she was found lying upon her back in the beck, in mid-stream, with the water trickling over her face and into her mouth, smiling benignly and

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had been held for a long period by members of the Blackburn family, as witness the following :—George Blackburn, book- keeper to Wm. Hirst & Son succeeded Benjamin Ellis and on his (Blackburn’s) death, was succeeded by his widow, who held the position till her son William was appointed. In those days the district included Tong, Birkenshaw and other outlying parts now covered by the Cleckheaton and Heck- mondwike offices. The letters were brought to the village by a

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favour of the 2nd instant did not arrive here till this morning (the sth).” In 1855 telegrams were sent through The Electric Telegraph Company and the following is a copy of a request attached to a message from Selby Station to Gomersal.

COPY. The Electric Telegraph Company No. 8. (Incorporated 1846). Stamp Apl 18 1855

You are requested to give no fee or gratuity to the messenger, and to pay no charges beyond those entered in this sheet. Message for Carr. Charges to pay — — Excess on message

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shop near the last mentioned one, now used by Mr. Harding as a fish shop was for many years used as a butcher’s shop by Martin Willans who was succeeded by Ellis Walker, who carried on business there previous to his removal to larger premises in Oxford Road. Between the barber’s shop and the Co-operative Stores was, in olden days, the carriage drive to Hill Top House. The present buildings used by the Gomersal Industrial Co- operative -Society, Ltd., were built upon the site of three houses and shops and three cottages and stables and yard owned nearly a hundred years ago by Margaret Whitworth, who occupied a house, warehouse and stable. The other occupants were Samuel Sykes who kept a grocer’s shop and Robert Parkinson licensed retail beer-shop keeper. There was afterwards a grocers and provision dealer’s business carried on by — Garbutt. Just above are the Stores’ butcher’s shop and offices. On the site of the last mentioned was Tom Ross’ blacksmith’s shop. Thus we get the name of Ross Street. He was succeeded by Dick Graham. Immediately above is a dwelling-house which was in early days a grocet’s shop kept by Jimmy Shiers. In addition to his business he attended to the cows at Hill Top House. He made a great study of algebra. Behind Jimmy’s house was a watehouse. Near this house stands Mr. Halliday Walker’s butcher’s shop and house. He succeeded his father Ellis Walker. Immediately underneath his front door was a grocer’s shop carried on by Tom Brown. Richard (Dick) Beverley a mechanic in business on his own account at Gomersal was the first captain of the Birstall Fire Brigade. It is recorded that this brigade was provided in 1834 by the Leeds and Yorkshire Assurance Co., and later supported by the Liverpool London and Globe Insurance Co., by whom the former was absorbed. At the bottom of Albert Street and Ross Street there was a long building used as workshops. Immediately behind Dr. Mason’s surgery was another workshop, and opposite on the North of Albert Street was the engine house. These were the engineering works of John Stead, a maker of “shear

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many years. I hope there will be many old Gomersalians left who remember him riding on his famous 56 inch wheel, formerly called a penny-farthing. No one who has not ridden an ordinary bicycle can be deemed to have fully enjoyed life. At the end of Charles Street stands Scottonville, the home of Mr. Herbert Thackray, whose connection with the Gomersal Mills dates from 9th August, 1875, and he tells me that he made a too close connection with the firm, losing his arm on the premises on the 30th April, 1879. On the South side of Charles Street lived for many years in the house near the road the Misses Marianne and Harriet Mellor, the two daughters of Charles Mellor, confidential clerk to Charles Carr. It was in the cottage behind this house where old Priscilla Smith lived and to her was ascribed as being the last person in Gomertsal to forsake crinolines. The Gomersal ladies bought the steels for their crinolines from William Muschamp, Wilson and Dawsons, all of Cleckheaton. We now arrive at Crow Trees, the Crow Trees occupied by Mr. Burnhill as I have mentioned. This house was formerly occupied by Mary Ann Swaine a sister of Joseph Swaine (Brier Hall) whom I have before mentioned. On her death Mary Ann Ashwell daughter of Joseph Swaine and widow of Stephen Ashwell, occupied it for many years, having previously lived at Popeley. Later the house was occupied by Mr. H. W. Broadbent, and then by Mr. John Stainburn Brooke of the Crow Trees near by. Now we arrive at the true Crow Trees, which is a very old red brick house with a beautiful garden in the rear. Many years ago a spiteful attempt was made to spoil its prospect by erecting immediately opposite, in the form of a tower an ugly edifice with hideous stone corbels “ making faces” at the occupants. This building was known as “ Spite Hall,” and in addition to its being unsightly, was ill adapted for habitation and was demolished. Its stone gate posts which were removed about 50 years ago were about ten feet high. I Spite Hall was built in 1819 by Charles Mellor to spite Dr. Benjamin Sykes for blocking a bedroom window on the South side of the Crow Trees, now occupied by Mr. Burnhill. This Crow Trees was built by Mellor. The red brick wall on the South is standing now. ‘The following is a copy of the cost of erecting Spite Hall :-—

1819. £ s. d. May Pd. Messrs. Blackburn & Co. for 8 6 6 Do. Joseph Sykes

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May 27 Thos. Aspinall, flags, &c. 5 June 1 Do. Wm. Dove, stone leading, &c. 5 July 2 Do. Isaac Firth, slate leading, &c. 5 June 30 Do., Rich. C. Ramsden bill 1610 6 Aug. 16 Do., Wm. Hammond for bricks 3 Sept. 27 Do., Wm. Roberts for riggings O Paid Tweedale & Carter for 2 dozen lim

and leading

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At one period this house was occupied as a school by Williamson a Cleckheaton man. The Schoolroom was over the coachhouse. The house after the death of Dr. Sykes was then occupied by Edward Swaine and it is recorded that he planted a rhododendron shrub about 1830 which grew to huge proportions. In 1876 it measured nearly fifty yards in circumference. It really outgrew itself but always bloomed profusely, and I understand that recently it has been somewhat severely trimmed. After Edward Swaine left, the house was occupied by many tenants in succession, including Frederick Ellis. During the construction of the Heaton Lodge to Wortley Railway through Gomersal it was used for offices by the Engineers of the London and North Western Railway Co. A very early owner had hot water pipes inserted inside the North wall for the purpose of helping on the fruit trees. After various occupiers for short periods, Dr. H. O. Steele removed from Lane Side House and continued to practice with Dr. Richard Waring Taylor as his partner. After Dr. Steele’s death his widow continued in occupation and then removed to Onslow Village, Guildford. For a long time a notice was affixed to the outbuildings, which read as follows :—“ Beware of Steel Traps and Guns.” Now we atrive at “ Crow Trees,” at Bunkers Hill, home of the Gomersal Working Men’s Club and Institute. At the close of the 18th century, Charles Carr, my great grandfather was the occupier. In 1808 Charles Carr removed to Hill Top House. Joseph Swaine my maternal great grandfather occupied the Bunkers Hill Crow Trees before his removal to Brier Hall. After- wards it was occupied by my wife’s grandfather Henry Roberts, afterwards by Henry Roberts the younger (whose only daughter married Major Thomas Henry Newsome of Dewsbury) and previous to its purchase by the Working Men’s Club, by Mr. E. A. Paris, the manager of the Tramway Company, whose daughter Ruth, married the only son of the late Vicar, the Revd. E. B. Toase. Ninety years ago this house (Bunkers Hill) was occupied by Samuel Stead. The house has been vastly altered, many inside walls taken down and also both chimney stacks. Near thereto is the ground owned and occupied by the Gomersal Cricket Club which was in early days riddled with gin pits. On the left hand side of the drive up to the Bunkers Hill Crow Trees stand some very old buildings which were formerly occupied by William Dove and his son, who were farmers and carriers. These buildings are now occupied by Mr. James Brook Peel and Mr. Ernest Hanson.

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of Heckmondwike, who was afterwards knighted for his work in forming the Heckmondwike Artillery Volunteers. Her wedding, which took place on 8th October, 1862, was the largest and most important one ever celebrated at Gomersal. One hundred volunteers attended in full dress, and arrived at the church at ten o’clock and had to pass through an immense crowd numbering hundreds upon hundreds of persons, and there were many ladies attired in gay dresses befitting the occasion in the then “ expanded ” style. Everybody appeared to be doing their best to secure coign of vantage, and though none but females, except a favoured few, were admitted to the inside of the church, yet it seemed to be the wish of all to get as near to the gates as possible. A detachment of police, under Inspector Nicholson, was posted outside in order to maintain something like quietness, but that was impossible, for the ladies crushed amongst the mass of people screamed out that their dresses were torn, their shawls being lost and their crinolines broken. The ladies, forlorn as they looked, then emerged from the midst of the crowd and were taken inside the church yard. The policemen were tossed about by a crowd highly good- humoured but determined to see all that there was to be seen. The crowd at the North gate was much less dense and advantage was taken of this circumstance to put down the bridal party and their friends there. The police were gradually withdrawn from the West gate and they took up a position on the outside of the other. It is recorded that humorous scenes were witnessed. One good lady

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understood, guns were fired, and the bells of Liversedge and Birstall Churches pealed forth their joyful melody. Two gun detachments were formed and they took their places upon an omnibus, and drove at once to Fort Charles, where under the command of Sergeant Whaley of the Royal Artillery, the Govern- ment Instructor, they fired a royal salute of twenty-one guns, in honour of an auspicious event. No. 1 gun was manned by Sergeant Gledhill, Bombardier Charlesworth and Gunners Crabtree, Jenkinson, Ashworth, Hodgkinson and S. Smith ; and No. 2 gun by Corporal Smith, Bombardiers Alexander, McKinne, D. Gomersal and Gunners Ashton, Waring and J. Wilson. The wedding breakfast was held at Field House, after which the bride and bridegroom took their departure in a chaise and four for Wakefield, whence they proceeded to London, en route to the North of Italy. The peal at Liversedge was composed for the occasion, and they rung on their musical peal of eight bells

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she shouted

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the property consisting of the house and outbuildings. The house has been completely modernised and Mr. Foster has lately erected six bungalows near. On the land on the North of Upper Lane there was a coal pit. The lane leading to Field House was called Pit Lane. What is now called Listing Lane was formerly called Gomersal Lane. Upper House, now occupied by Mr. E. Roberts was formerly occupied by Shecaniah Rhodes. This gentleman was not, I think, connected with the Rhodes’ of Gomersal House. He lived with a maiden sister and died at about the age of 92. It was observed after his death that the following words were scratched on a pane of glass in one of the windows. “ Shecaniah Rhodes was born in this house.” ‘The old man is well remembered by old Gomersalians as wearing knee breeches and gaiters. He kept a cow and hotse and cart and had a man to look after them as well as his land. A field near the house is still called “‘ Shecky and the footpath on the East leading from Upper Lane to Lower Lane is called ‘‘ Shecky footpath.” For some years before her removal to Marsh House, Mrs. James Burnley and her family lived at Upper House. I may add that

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dealer ‘‘ Shoddy Charlie” to distinguish him from the other Shepley who was a grocer. The nickname of course stuck to him ever after. It is interesting to note that one of the earliest Building Societies to be formed in England was the one founded at Little Gomersal on the znd October, 1824. This Society was formed for the purpose of raising a fund of money out of which each member thereof should be entitled to receive a share proportionate to his contribution in such order of time as the said share might happen to be drawn by ballot in such manner and at such respective times and subject to such conditions and restrictions as were mentioned in a deed poll or instrument in writing under the hands and seals of the several persons contributing to or being members of the Society. Kirklees, as we all know is famed for having in its domain the grave of Robin Hood. It is a matter of conjecture as to whether Robin Hood really existed or not. He is generally sup- posed to have been a real personage but if his story is purely a legendary one, it seems to me to be somewhat extraordinary that the wind, which it is said he could not stand, is still known to this day in Gomersal and district as the “ Robin Hood Wind,” and so far as I can find out, is quite unknown in other parts of England. The Robin Hood wind, as we all know, is a thaw wind, which is in the North-East. Those who are interested might read the late Mr. C. A. Federer’s pamphlet

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Chorus. So to the wedding we did go, brave boys, To the wedding we did go: And there were many thousand people To see this extra show.

There were twenty eight fine asses and six horses beside, Accompanied the wedding—now you need not be surprised : They were nicely decorated—now what I say is true So well they did their duty, did this wonderful

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and calmest night I ever remember, slackened and ceased. I checked the impetuosity of my men, some of them being eager to sally forth after them, and on collecting the state of our remain- ing ammunition, I found that 162 shots had been fired by us, which led me to fix the time of the affray, to have been 20 minutes, which I found afterwards fully confirmed by several persons in the neighbourhood. Many providential preservations were after- watds manifest, no hurt was sustained by us.” In connection with the Cartwrights, I have inspected a photograph of the following :—William Cartwright’s image being a photograph on glass, taken from it in the early days of photo- graphy and placed in a brooch, but the image is very nearly faded away. On the opposite side of the brooch is the hair of Mr. and Mrs. Cartwright worked together into a floral design, and round the rim of the brooch is engraved “ William Cartwright, ob April 15, 1839, AT 64. Sarah Cartwright ob Feby. 15, 1840, AT 72.” William Cartwright had

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Mrs. Wilby had a tester bed. I loved to listen to her speaking the pure dialect. Some of her words which I remember were Whittle (carving knife), Voider (clothes basket), Piggin (a lading can). A can was formerly used to catch the blood from a pig just after it had been bled, hence “

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was in attendance on Queen Elizabeth when she died. I do not know where the original site of the old house was, but I think it unlikely that the present Gomersal House is more than a hundred yeats old. It is a fine building, situate within beautiful grounds and has a magnificent view. It is now owned and occupied by Mrs. A. T. Sugden, widow of A. T. Sugden, who for some years represented the Gomersal Ward on the Spenborough Urban District Council. In April, 1929, Mrs. Sugden offered to present to the Spen- borough Urban District Council land consisting of more than six acres in Lower Lane for use as a recreation ground and as a memorial to her late husband and his membership of the Council The offer was unanimously accepted. In 1757 the following properties, all in Little Gomersal, belonged to Martin Charlesworth of Lower Lane House, Little Gomersal, cloth dresser, the eldest son of Thomas Charlesworth of Little Gomersal, cloth dresser :—-Lower House ; The Newhouse ; Three dwellinghouses called the Lane End Houses and several closes of land. It thus appears likely that Gomersal House was formerly called The Newhouse. The first Dr. William Carr came from Stackhouse in Craven. He resided in one of the Lower Lane Houses. Dr. William Carr the second, removed into Gomersal House from Crow Trees. He discontinued the practice and it passed to Dr. H. O. Steele. He

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He had three hand looms and a long quiney which had between sixty and seventy spindles. There was, many

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Mr. James A. Grimshaw’s house was for many years used as the Wesleyan Manse. James H. Bywater purchased it and occupied it for a short time previous to his going to Canada. The building at the back belongs to the Wesleyan Methodists and is used as a Sunday School. Fourteen thousand persons assembled at Little Gomersal on the evening of the 21st July, 1919, to celebrate the end of the War. A fancy dress parade in which some 300 participated, in front of the Wheat Sheaf Inn. They proceeded to Hill Top where they were joined by the Cleckheaton Victoria Band. The procession wended its way to three fields lent by Mr. G. L. Brown, of the Wheat Sheaf Inn,

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children returned to their respective schools for tea and later they indulged in games and sports outside. In the middle of the eighteenth century bread was carried in panniers by pack-horses from the Fulneck bakehouse to Gomersal, Wyke and other places. The earliest members of the Moravian Unity came from Moravia and they had of course great difficulty in making them- selves understood. The difficulties under which they laboured are illustrated by the following incident. A brother who was attached to the Wyke Settlement expressed a wish to go to Gomersal and he was instructed to ask on his way there “Is this the way to

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Railway Company for working the trafic upon terms which would be mutually advantageous to both Companies. The landowners upon the line were favourable to the project and would generally give their support to it. Had the Bill gone through, the capital of the Company would have been £400,000 in

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as (except the entrance by the West) makes the coming

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Newsome. For many years the Northerly end of the building was used as a blacksmith’s shop by Joshua Ross. This part is now occupied as a rag warehouse by Mr. Smithson. A year or two ago the Inn was destroyed by fire and rebuilt. The present licensee is Mr. Edward Harris Wood. Castle Hill House, now occupied by Mr. George Cook, was the old home of the Burrows family. At one time the house was successively occupied by Eustace Firth, J.P., Mr. Reginald Cooke and Mr. A. J. Pyrah, J.P. In the grounds there was a windmill (erected on the maltkiln), drying kiln, counting house, barn and stable. Opposite the gates stands the old Toll Bar House. The windmill was demolished in 1873. The Castle Hill Mill was occupied by the Castle Hill Mill Co. in 1840, the proprietors being Joseph, Junius and Horatio Smith, and was owned by them. The Mill was purchased by James Sutcliffe Broadbent in 1846. Its description in 1840 was a Cotton Mill, engine house, boiler house, dry house over warehouse, bleaching house, gas house, reservoirs and mill yard. The Lower Castle Hill House was situate on the South of Castle Hill House. ‘The turnpike opposite the gates was called the Castle Hill House Turnpike and ninety years ago was kept by John Oddy. On the North of Castle Hill House there were two sandstone quarries. Castle House is situate on the East of Castle Hill Mill. There used to be a bridle road through the Castle Hill grounds and it was said that someone made an annual practice of walking Overt it in order to keep the right open. I have the minute book of the Birstall Polling District Reform Registration Society and find that in 1837 there were 1315 voters. The Polling District included Batley, Churwell, Cleckheaton, Drighlington, Gomersal, Gildersome, Heckmondwike, Hunsworth, Liversedge, Morley Soothill, Tong and Wyke. It is interesting to note that the first meeting was held at the White Horse Inn, on the 30th April, 1838. The meetings were afterwards held at the house of Samuel Wood, the Black Bull Inn in Birstall. Gomersal was one of the places visited by Oliver Heywood, who mentions having kept a “‘ fast” in Gomeral on the zoth October, 1679. The large machine works known as California Works were formerly owned and occupied by Messrs. Houghton Knowles & Co., who acquired a great reputation in the manufacture of machinery used in the woollen trade. They are now let off in sections to Messrs. James Howard & Co., and Messrs. Henry Hirst & Sons. An exhibition was held in London about the year 1879 at which Messrs. Houghton Knowles & Co. exhibited. The firm induced

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Joe Walker of Little Gomersal to attend it, and work the hand loom in order to show the difference between the old and the new method. Joe was dressed in the old style of hand weaver, in yellow knee breeches, coloured stockings, coloured coat and low buckled shoes. Closely adjoining the last named premises is the manufactory (known as Quarty Mills) of Messrs. Wood & Grimshaw, Ltd., which they purchased more than thirty years ago from Henry and S. D. Roberts, and have added to considerably since. I have a small strip of material which was woven at this mill by Henry Roberts & Sons in 1863 for competition at Bradford for presenta- tion of a piece of Bradford material to H.R.H. Princess Alexandra of Denmark for a wedding present on her marriage with H.R.H. the Prince of Wales. The strip in question was intersected with the emblem of the Prince of Wales (the three feathers), but was not the one ultimately selected. In 1857 Daniel Carter was tenant of the whole of the garret or attic at Quarry Mills and he used it for Cotton Doubling. The small dryhouse used for drying yarns was built near the chimney in 1857. The mention of Messrs. Wood & Grimshaw Ltd. reminds me of Mr. Alfred Wormald who has been with the firm for about thirty years as scribbling overlooker. He and his wife celebrated their golden wedding in April or May, 1924, at Gomersal. Mr. Wormald commenced his cricketing career with the Gildersome Club when he was seventeen years of age, afterwards appearing with Holbeck, and later the Bowling Old Lane Club, from 1884- 1895. He was reserve stumper for the Yorkshire County XI. He first played in 1885 and his last year was 1891. His record is as follows :—Completed innings, 9. Runs, 162. Average, 18.00. He caught out twelve batsmen and stumped two. During a Yorkshire and Lancashire match, he says that Henry Hill of Dewsbury, returned the ball so hard to him (Mr. Wormald) that one of his thumbs was smashed. The Company Mill at Little Gomersal has an interesting history. It was built by a co-partnership of men about 1827 for the purpose of carding wool for the small manufacturers. In those days there were about twenty small manufacturers in Little Gomersal. Before the erection of this mill the wool was carded by a single thread at a wheel. The small manufacturers bought wool in packs, which it was necessary to have carded, and the establishment of the Company mill was a real blessing to them. Very seldom could a man afford to buy one pack at once and {£20 was a large sum for a man to have by him. and it was generally the other way.

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A piece of cloth took about a week to weave and once a week each manufacturer took his cloth to Leeds on a donkey and sold it at the Cloth Hall Market. Each manufacturer had a stall there. In those days about thirty donkeys were kept in Gomersal. In 1840 the Company Mill was owned and occupied by Burnley Firth and Co., and comprised a scribbling and worsted mill, engine house, boiler house, wash house, counting house over Briggs’ reservoir and mill yard. The shed is

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Thomas William Shaw of Craven Lane Terrace had a long connection with Birstall Church. His great grandfather, Joseph Shaw and his grandfather of the same name were Parish Clerks at Birstall Church, and T. W. Shaw proudly said that his family had been connected with that Church for over 165 years. He started

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only be an advantage to themselves but also to their posterity had unanimously come to a resolution to erect and build a Public Workhouse for the reception of all such poor persons as belonged to the said Township of Gomersal and not able to maintain and support themselves not in the least doubting but would have the good effect intended. And it was further recited that the said Fairfax Fearnley was lawfully and rightfully seised of a good estate of inheritance in fee simple of and in two undivided third parts of the several moieties or two undivided third parts of the whole of the manor wastes and commons of Birstall, Gomersal and Heckmondwike and being desirous to encourage so laudable an undertaking for the sum of ten shillings he the said Fairfax Fearnley conveyed to the said Joseph Priestley and others two full undivided third parts of all that piece or parcel of wast ground in Gomersal containing 50 yards in length and 19 yards in breadth adjoining a close of land called the Spought Clough on the East and to the Highroad on the South And also all that other piece or parcel of wast ground containing 180 yards in length and 8 yards in breadth adjoining the said close called the Spought Clough on the North East and to the Highroad on the South West where- upon was intended to be erected and built a Workhouse for the habitation of such poor persons as belonged to the said township of Gomersal and were maintained thereby. That Indenture was followed by a declaration of trust executed by the said Joseph Priestley, Joseph Stainthorp, William Charles- worth and James Boden. The following is an interesting bill :— Leeds, I January, 1840. The Overseers of the Township of Gomersal. To Thomas Newsam. 1837. Apl. 8—Making survey of the Workhouse and £s d. premises situate at Gomersal, describing the several rooms in the house for the purpose of shewing its capabilities as an Union Work-

house I I oO Chain leader

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I should point out that Flush Lane commences at the Leeds and

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John Berry worked a jinny pit near the site of Mrs. William Lawford Berry’s house. I have found no evidence that there was a ducking stool in use in Gomersal. There was one in Morley and also in Liversedge. This speaks well for our fore-mothers, who were probably kept in good discipline, and therefore a ducking stool was not necessary. Moorfield House was built by Edwin Knowles, a partner in Messrs. Knowles Houghton & Co., who lived there many years. After him came Firth and Chadwick Clegg. Mr. N. J Clough now resides there. There was formerly a coal pit behind the house. South East of Moorfield House in the middle of the Popeley Fields stands an old house. This house was built for James Craven and sprang up so quickly that it was called Mushroom House. In 1870 the principal coal pits in Gomersal were as follows :— Brook House Colliery carried on by Thos. & John Tattersall.

Crow Trees

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TWENTY-TWO. 1st Innings 2nd Innings Mr. E. Scott, c. Ellis, b. Griffiths 13 John Thewlis, c. Carpenter, b. Griffiths

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found in “‘ Whose Who.” He married a daughter of the Reverend W. Harrop at one time the Minister at the Grove Chapel. The Reverend Miles Hanson left England about twenty years ago and is now Minister of the historic Eliot Church (Unitarian) at Roxbury, Boston. In 1811 the population of the Gomersal Township (Gomersal, Birstall and Birkenshaw) was 5002, and in 1840 its area was 3200<. or. 33p. of which 91a. 3r. 9p. comprised Turnpike roads, high- ways and occupation lanes. The following is an extract of the result of revision of the old Birstall Polling District, Eastern Division, 23rd October, 1882 :—Gomersal Township Liberal claims made were 27. 1 struck off and 26 sustained. Tory claims made were 6 and none struck off. Of the new {12 os. od. occupiers the Liberals had 17 and the Tories

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Tuesday, the 21st June, 1887 will be remembered as one of Gomersal’s red-letter days. The Gomersalians made it a general holiday to celebrate the Jubilee of Her late Majesty Queen Victoria. Even a stranger might have divined it so, by standing at Hill Top and observing the bannerettes and flags hung from almost every building on the road. The scene was eminently picturesque. Over each side of the road stretched branches of trees, rich in vari-coloured foliage, whilst at the curve near the Mechanics’ Institute he would almost fancy that the road ended in a leafy bower. A children’s demonstration was held in Benjamin Machell’s field. For this purpose it was splendidly adapted, protected as it was by trees, beneath whose spreading branches many found refuge from the burning sun. A stand had been erected for the accommodation of the elderly people and there was another (as an old dame several times explained) for the

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Flat race, 100 yards for those under

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I wonder how many of the winners now reside in Gomersal ? The band played selections of dance music during the evening, and the proceedings closed about 10 o’clock. A total sum of £160 had been raised to cover the expense of the celebration. Fred Rhodes and T. L. Burnley acted as Secretaries. 1st October, 1913, was the date when the first aeroplane alighted at Gomersal. The machine was called the

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brothers and sisters ; niece to her husband; sister to her uncles and aunts, and daughter to her grandfather.” The annual “‘ Old Folks Tea” has been held since 1907 with the exception of the years 1916 to 1918. ‘The first tea was held at the Mechanics’ Institute on the 14th December, 1907, the cost being defrayed by subscriptions collected from the members of each Church. For some years the event was held in rotation at the various Sunday Schools and continued to be conducted on these lines till 1924. In 1925 one of the friends at the Primitive Methodist Church offered to pay all the expenses and since then the expenses of the tea and entertainment have been defrayed by one of the members of the churches. The event now takes place in the summer at the Grove Sunday School, being the most central. Usually about 120 to 140 sit down to tea and about 40 to jo teas are sent out to the sick folk. The first treasurer was Dr. R. W. Taylor and the first secretary the Reverend E. P. Roe. For many yeats the two posts have been held by the Reverend Joseph Pleasants.

The following is a copy of a printed notice, a very interesting relic of the past :— RULES OF THE ASSOCIATION FOR THE PROSECUTION OF FELLONS IN THE TOWNSHIP OF GOMERSAL. Rule 1.—That a General Meeting of the Subscribers to this Association be held on some Wednesday in January in every year ; of which notice shall be given by the Secretary to the Committee. 2nd.—That a Treasurer of this Association be chosen at such Annual Meeting. 3rd.—That a Committee of nine subscribers be also chosen at such Annual Meeting, and invested with full powers of applying, in such manner as they shall think proper, any sum, or sums of money, for any purpose connected with the detection, apprehension, of prosecution, of any person or persons having committed a felony, fraud or disdemeanour, on the person or property of any subscriber to this Association (such felony or fraud being com- mitted within the Township of Gomersal) and also for the better direction and management of this Association. 4th.—That three members of such Committee do constitute the same. sth.—That the funds of this Association be raised by a rate upon property in the following proportions, viz. :— 14d. in the pound on land. 3d. in the pound on ordinary buildings. 6d. in the pound on riskable property and retail shops.

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6th.—That when a subscription shall be entered in the books of this Association in the name of a firm, the same shall protect only the property of such firm; and that the private property of any individual in such firm shall only be protected when subscribed for separately. 7th.—That the Secretary, or any two of the Committee be empowered to call a meeting of the Committee, at any time they may think proper. 8th.—That any three of the Committee be empowered to call a general Meeting of the Subscribers at any time they may think proper.

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The notable features of Gomersal fifty years ago were its rich meadows, and the existence of hedgerows—not irregular lines of ragged specimens of hawthorn, patched here and there with stone fencing, which are as common to-day as they are hideous, but well grown and well trimmed hedgerows. In the early part of the last century property tax, comprising Landlords’ Duty..A and Tenants’ Duty..B, was payable. The collectors for the Gomersal Township were Benjamin Wood, 1806 ; Emanuel Emmet, 1807 ; John Hinchcliffe, 1808 and 1809 ; William Hammond, 1810; and William Holmes, 1810. In 1844 payers of property and income tax were notified from Leeds that the proper officer for receipt would be in attendance at the Talbot Inn, Bradford, on a certain day. Discounts were then allowed upon all payments made in advance. The Boy Scout movement was at one time very strong in

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Shortly after a demonstration of a like character was given in the grounds at Red House, many of the Doctors in the district taking part. I On the

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Process consisted of an iron floor running along the whole length of building, provided with steam piping thereunder. Tradition has it that the Taylors had been connected in business with J. Crowther of Hightown, and this lead to founding of the business of the Oakwell Soap and Drysalters Co., Ltd. Eventually the business became a private firm under the control of John Proudfoot Humble, whose sister had married Thomas C. Taylor. Abraham Rhodes, who eventually became a partner, took over the management about 1876. Abraham and his brother John formerly carried on the business of Wool and Waste Dealers under the style or firm of J. & A. Rhodes, on the premises in Craven Lane now occupied by Mr. Walter Walker, and they afterwards removed to premises in Listing Lane. In 1881 the firm, which was then controlled by J. P. Humble and A. Rhodes, brought out a dry soap speciality called the ** Yellow-Oxy-Kali”’ and that year was the commencement of the making of dry soap at the Oakwell Works. The soft soap trade was again commenced. Abraham Rhodes was the first man to take out a patent machine for packing soft soap in packets, it was granted to him in the early eighties. Both proprietors died in 1911, within ten days of each other, and in that year was formed The Oakwell Soap Co., Ltd., the business now being controlled by Mr. James William Rhodes and Mr. Abraham Rhodes, who continue the manufacture of Dry and Soft Soaps and Wax Candles. It is not often that a clay quarry can be called beautiful, but I think that anyone who gets permission to view the Oakwell Quarry situate behind the buildings, will agree that a quarry can be made beautiful. This quarry is always full of water and is a haven of refuge to such birds as waterhens, snipe and kingfishers. In the chimney belonging to the works, brown owls have nested for some years. Jackdaws used to breed in the same chimney. In Kirk Wood close by, the songs of birds can be heard partly through the night, and in the breeding season many feathered visitors rear their young.

The Gomersal Gas Light Company was formed under or by virtue of a deed of settlement dated the 25th October, 1847, and made between John Berry the younger, John Hirst, William

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younger, Benjamin Ellis, James Houghton, Samuel Wilby, Thomas Charlesworth, Samuel Sykes, Thomas Ross, Samuel Kershaw, Lydia Ann Scott, Sarah Berry, James Wilson, John Parker, George Berry, John Porritt, William Allott, Thomas Elstub, William Porritt, Martin Willans, Benjamin Thornton, Robert Berry, Edward Swaine, Joseph Fearnley Wigglesworth, Joseph Berry, George Berry, Thomas William Burnley, William Crowther, Benjamin Scarth, James Glover Slater, Benjamin Longbottom and Samuel Porritt of the first or one part and William Ackroyd (trustee on behalf of the Comapny) of the second or other part. The first directors were John Berry the younger, Thomas Burnley, Benjamin Ellis, John Hirst, James Houghton, James Knowles, Samuel Porritt, Edward Swaine and Samuel Sykes, and the first auditors were William Rhodes and William Crowther. Dr. J. G. Slater was the Secretary. The capital proposed was The proposed additional capital was £2,000. Amount to be raised or authorised to be raised by loan £,2,000. Amount of capital subscribed or proposed to be subscribed at the date of the Deed, £1,280. Division of the capital in equal shares of

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GOMERSAL PAST AND PRESENT. Memorial Services 3 Attendance at Heckmondwike on the visit of the King and Queen on

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(We give the above as it reached us ; if our readers can make any good sense out of it they deserve all the credit they get, for we cannot understand what the “ colour sergeant is aiming

at.—Ed. C.G.)

The Gomersal Poultry Society was founded in 1879 and on the 8th May, 1880, they held their first annual exhibition of poultry, pigeons, ducks and rabbits, in a large square near the Rose and Crown Inn, Little Gomersal. There were over 100 entries and the exhibitors included some of the well-known poultry breeders and fanciers in Yorkshire and Lancashire. The officers of the Society were :—Joseph Brown, President of the Society; James Bell, Vice-president; J. G. Harrison, Treasurer ; Jabez Crabtree and Edwin Sheard, Secretaries ; and the committee were W. Hutchinson, John Travis, John Sutcliffe, Chas. Buckley and Oliver Sheard. In the afternoon and evening, Ottaway’s String Band of Gomersal, played selections of music in the show ground. In 1881, the Society held a much larger show in the field in Oxford Road now used for cricket, which was extended to entries for dogs and pigs. Sports were also indulged in and there was a six a side football competition. This Society continued to flourish, and in 1893 Birstall enthusiasts became interested, and from that year the Society became known as the Gomersal and Birstall Agricultural Society. Shows for horses, cattle, pigs, dogs, poultry, pigeons, rabbits, cats, cavies and eggs were held at Gomersal and Birstall alternatively. The Society was disbanded in 1898. Mr. Ben Smith acted as Secretary from 1883 to 1898 with a break of three years. Dr. Mason was its President for a number of years and William Greaves was its last President.

John Rhodes of the Township of Gomersal, plumber, by his will, dated 30th August, 1774 and proved at York in the November following, gave {200 to the Vicar and Churchwardens of the Parish of Birstall, in trust to place out the same at interest in government security, and to apply the interest money in providing good and wholesome bread for such poor industrious housekeepers of the said township as duly attend Divine service in this church (Birstal) in the forenoon and do not ask or receive any relief whatever by or out of the poor rate, and no other persons ; the bread to be distributed for ever in manner following, that is, every Sunday, immediately after morning service the trustees are

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to distribute equally among such ten housekeepers, so much bread as the yearly interest will purchase weekly and every week. And for the more equal distribution of it, the testator’s will directed, that the objects of his charity be divided into three classes ; such as dwell in the hamlet of Birstal to form the first class; the inhabitants of Great Gomersal to constitute the second ; and the inhabitants of Little Gomersal and Birkenshaw to compose the third class ; and that ten members of the first class shall be entitled to the first weeks’ distribution of bread ; the like number of the second class shall be entitled to the second week’s distribution ; and the like number of the third class shall be entitled to the third week’s distribution; and on the fourth Sunday ten other or different members of the first class shall be entitled to that week’s distribution of bread; and on the fifth Sunday ten other or different members of the second class shall be in like manner entitled; and on the sixth Sunday ten other or different members of the third class shall be in like manner entitled ; and so onwards in continual


Trinity Term in the 12th year of the Reign of King George the Third.

LEE. Yorkshire to wit.—Sir Thomas Salusbury Knt. and Fairfax

Fearnley Esquire complain of Jeremiah Rhodes and Jonathan Brooke being in the custody of the Marshal of the Marshalsea of our Lord the now King before the King himself for that the said Jeremiah Rhodes and Jonathan Brooke on the ist day of January in the year of our Lord 1771 and on divers other days and times between that day and the day of exhibiting the Bill of the said Sir Thomas Salusbury and Fairfax Fearnley with force and arms broke and entered the close of the said Sir Thomas Salusbury and Fairfax Fearnley in the Parish of Birstall in the County of York called the Lane otherwise the Lane leading from Gomersall to Little Town in the said County and dug raised and got divers large quantities of coal earth and stones, to wit, two thousand cart loads of coals two thousand cart loads of earth and two thousand cart loads of stones of the said Sir Thomas Salusbury and Fairfax Fearnley of the value of £500 from and out of the said close and took and carried away the same and converted and disposed thereof to their own use. And also for that the said Jeremiah Rhodes and Jonathan Brooke on the said 1st day of January in the said year of our Lord 1771 and on divers other days and times between that

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day and the day of exhibiting the said bill of the said Sir Thomas Salusbury and Fairfax Fearnley at the Parish of Birstall aforesaid seized took and carried away divers, to wit, two thousand other cartloads of coal two thousand other cattloads of earth and two thousand other cartloads of stones of the said Sir Thomas Salusbury and Fairfax Fearnley of the value of {200 there then found and being, and converted and disposed of the same to their own use and other wrongs to the said Sir Thomas Salusbury and Fairfax Fearnley then and there did: against the peace of our Lord the now King and to the damage of the said Sir Thomas Salusbury and Fairfax Fearnley of {200 and thereof they bring their suit, &c. Pledges to prosecute. John Doe and Richard Roe. The case was defended, but the result I do not know. The following is the case to Counsel on behalf of the


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the loss of their goods to the great damage and common nuisance of all the liege subjects of our said Lord the King through the same way going returning passing riding and labouring and against the peace of our said Lord the King his crown and dignity and that the Inhabitants of the Township of Gomersall aforesaid in the county aforesaid the common highway aforesaid (so as aforesaid being in decay) from the time whereof the memory of man is not to the contrary have been used and accustomed and still of right ought to repair

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To John Pitchforth the Prosecutor of the said Indictment. To the Justices and Commissioners of our Lord the King appointed to hold the Assizes at the Castle of York in and for the County of York on Saturday the fourth day of August 1770. We Richard Wilson and Edward Leedes Esquires two of his Majesty’s Justices of the peace for the West Riding of the County of York (within which Riding the Highway here- after mentioned lieth) do hereby certify that we did this 4th day of August instant view the whole of the Highway leading from the Town of Leeds to the Town of Elland in the County of York which lies in through and over the Township of Gomersall in the said County and that the same Highway is now in good and sufficient repair. In witness whereof we have hereunto set our hands. the same 4th day of August in the year of our Lord 1770. Ric. WILSON. Epwp. LEEDES.

Witnesses. John Priestley the younger. James Carr. On the 9th August 1770 James Carr and John Priestley swore an affidavit at York Castle that they along with the said Justices had viewed the Highway and that upwards of {60 had been expended in its repairs.

The celebration of the Coronation of His Majesty King Edward VII. and Her Majesty Queen Alexandra and the restoration of peace in South Africa should have been held on the 26th June, 1902. On account of the King’s illness this had to be postponed to the August following. George Whitworth Mason the Chairman of the District Council, acted as Chairman of the Committee appointed to promote the celebration and I and Charles Martin acted as the General Secretaries. The Old Folks’ Tea was held in the Mechanics’ Institute and the Scholars’ Tea in their respective schools. A Juvenile Coronation ceremony was held in the field neat the Shoulder of Mutton Inn and this was followed by a concert given by the Friendly Minstrels and wound up by a May- pole dance, dumb-bell exercises and sports. The following was the order of procession :— Police Officer—George Senior. Marshalls—E. Charlesworth and T. Hodgkinson. Officers of Committee .&c.

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Band. Guard of Honour—Milton Trevor Charlesworth ; Second in command, Harry D. Bateman. Mace Bearer—Sam. M. Mason. Sword Bearer—Tom Craven. King and Queen—John Edward Hibbert and Nellie Simon. Train Bearers—Reggie Brooke, Herbert Lighter,

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The Juvenile Coronation Ceremony was arranged by the Misses Hemingway, Mrs. E. R. F. Mason and Mr. Edwin Charles- worth, and

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John Taylor, Gomersal, merchant, only son and heir of Joshua Taylor, Gomersal, clothworker. William Taylor, Gomersal, clothworker (eldest son of John Taylor of Gomersal, Yeoman). John Boden of Gomersal, clothier, one of the two younger sons of James Boden and also brother and heir of Thomas Boden late a Dragoon in the King’s Own or third regiment of Dragoons. James Boden of Gomersal, stuff merchant. William Sigston, clothier. Martin Charlesworth of Little Gomersal, merchant. Joseph Nusse of Gomersal in the Parish of Birstal, dyer (probably Dyeworks, Birstal). Benjamin Lang of Great Gomersal, innkeeper. Mentioned in 1768. Timothy Crowther of Gomershall, merchant. 1783. Caleb Crowther of Gomershall, merchant. 1783. John Burdekin of Gomershall, gent. 1783. Joseph Charlesworth of Township of Gomersal, clothier. Edward Gomersall of Great Gomersal, clothier, a tenant of John Blayds. John Wilcock of Stubley, maltster, about 1808. Joshua Kershaw of Great Gomersal, who died on March 17th, 1705, and who was buried at Birstall. There is an epitaph on his tombstone.

POPULATION. 1801. Gomersal Township

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The Amphibious Lodge of Freemasons whose headquarters are now at the Freemason’s Hall, Heckmondwike, held its meetings at Gomersal in the year 1813. There will be many Gomersalians who will remember Edwin Hirst. His nickname was

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HE following list is taken from White’s Directory in 1838 and it is interesting to know who were the principal people one hundred years ago.


Post Office at Mr. Benj. Ellis’s. Letters twice a day from


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Mortimer, Benj. and Saml., corn millers. Rhodes, Hy. and Shecaniah, gentn. Ross, Joshua and Thomas, blacksmiths. Scholefield, Mrs. Susannah. Scott, James, woolstapler. Scott, Mr. Joseph and Samuel. Sigston, Thomas and Wm., gentlemen. Smith, Wm. and John, rope makers. Smith, Joseph, tailor. Smith, Julius & Co., cotton thread mfrs. Spedding, Samuel, painter, &c. Stead, Saml., machine maker and worsted spinner. Swaine, Edward, merchant. Swaine, Miss Mary Ann. Terrys & Harrison, coal merchants. Thornton, Thos. & Sons, woolstaplers. Thornton, T. Vict., Shoulder of Mutton. Westerman, Mrs. and Whitworth, Met. Wood, James, patten maker. Woodhead, Joseph, flock dealer.

ACADEMIES. Cockhill, Thomas. Coupland, Crine. Horsfall, Henry. Proctor, Louisa. Sutton, Joseph.

BEER HousEs. Berry, Robert. Balmforth, Eln. Boden, Thos. Hanson, Joshua. Parkinson, Robert. Woodhead, Wm.

Boot AND SHOE MkErs. Cawthorn, Wm. Chadwick, Thos. Chadwick, Wm. Kershaw, Samuel. Lord, James. Machell, Isaac. Mortimer, Joseph. Thorpe, Abraham. Thorpe, John. Walker, Benj.

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(1) (1)



BUTCHERS. Berry, Robert. Wrigglesworth, J. Willans, Martin. CARDMAKERS. Birkby, Wm. B. Broadbent, Jas. S. Fox, David. FARMERS AND GARDENERS. Barraclough, W. Fox, Jonathan. Furness, Wm. Smirthwaite, C. Thompson, John. Wrigglesworth, T. Jorners, &c. Firth, Wm. Greenwood, Jph. Heaton, James. Woodhead, John. SHOP KEEPERS. Berry, G. (and draper). Berry, John. Beverley, Richard. Ellis, Bj. (and draper). Hanson, Abraham. Hargreaves, Mth. Hartley, Thomas. Heaton, Wm. Mortimer, Samuel. Parker, Wm. Parker, Sarah and Mary. Shaw, Sarah. Smith George. Sykes, Joseph. Shiers, James. MACHINE MAKERS. Beverley, Richard. Brooke, Samuel. Knowles, Houghton & Co. Stead, Samuel. MALTSTERS. Bower, Hannah.

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_IKE most other small villages, the parochial affairs in Gomersal passed through a period of lethargic quiesence. Previous to the adoption of the Local Government Act 1858, the Town’s affairs were managed by the Parochial Committee. I have a note of one of their meetings which was held on 11th July, 1873, and attended by Frank Burnley (chairman), William Houghton, Samuel Knowles, John Porritt and Miles Hanson. The clerk reported that the accounts had been paid by the Sanitary authority. The committee then discussed drainage matters at length, when it seemed necessary to co-operate with adjoining districts in the matter of outfall and a deputation was appointed to wait on the Birstall Board. The adoption of the Local Government Act by places all round left our village to the watchful oversight of the “ Rural Sanitary Authority”? of the Dewsbury Union, which it is said met the requirements of the place even worse than the old Town- ship Highway Board. Another course, however, remained, namely for the ratepayers of Gomersal to form a Local Board of their own or submit to a portion of the district being annexed to Cleckheaton, leaving the remainder to be probably divided amongst the neighbouring boards. This alternative was received with some hesitancy, but further partition was not to be thought of. A resolution for the adoption of the 1858 Act was passed by the owners and ratepayers on the 4th February, 1875, and in May, 1875, a Local Board was formed, the first board consisting of Frank Burnley (chairman), William Houghton, Joshua Taylor, Thomas Broadbent, Daniel Carter, Samuel Jackson, Benjamin Longbottom, Samuel Knowles, J. S. Ellison, William Greenwood, Miles Hanson and Benjamin Craven. The first Clerk was C. P. Pickersgill, and the first medical officer Dr. Henry Octavius Steele. The Board entered into possession of the committee room in the Mechanics’ Institute, in July, 1875, and in 1883 they removed into the room opposite. Then the district comprised Great and Little Gomersal and

Spen, having a population of about 4,000 and a rateable value of

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C. P. Pickersgill was the Clerk for five years and in 1911 on Joseph Peace’s death, he succeeded to the latter’s offices. Charles Martin was appointed Clerk to the Gomersal Local Board in 1880, and resigned in 1904, in which year I was appointed. The old Gomersal Urban District was situate upon the top and slopes of the range which divided the valleys of the Spen and Scotland Becks, and was intersected by five branch valleys, namely : Church Beck in the Church Woods ; Nan Hall Beck in Swinley Woods ; Listing Lane Beck ; Firdene Beck in Scotland Wood and Lower Spen Beck. Its area was about 1,099 acres. In 1911 the population was 3,796 and in 1914 was estimated at 3,850. The altitude of the district varied considerably in the following order :— I Above sea level

Popeley Fields (highest point)

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The medical officer reported ‘‘ Regarding the pig-stye at Spen, now that the pigs are removed I do not see how the place can continue to be a nuisance, the filth having been removed by the recent rains. As my previous statement misled the Board, I can only express my regret for it. The pigs were the cause of the stye being a nuisance.” In accordance with notice given at the previous meeting, Mr. Reeve intimated that he would move that the resolution adopted at that meeting directing to the removal of the pig-stye belonging to Mr. S. Kemp at Spen, as a nuisance, be rescinded. Before allowing the motion to be made however, the chariman said that he felt it his duty to make an explanation which he hoped, in some measure, if not entirely, at any rate as far as the board

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The Chairman: No, there was nothing further done in the matter. In reply to the chairman, Mr. Reeve said he was not quite satisfied to withdraw his notice of motion, although his reasons were partially met in the medical officer’s fresh statement. If the chairman would allow him, he would make his motion. The Chairman: I apprehend if he moves the resolution it will be supported ? Mr. Reeve then proceeded to move his resolution and in doing so said that the explanation given had lessened considerably the work he would have to do, but at the same time, they had not done away with every reason he had for moving that Mr. Roberts’ motion be rescinded. He would, however, ask that what the chairman had said with reference to personal remarks might not altogether be adhered to; he would not trespass too much. The Chairman: Excuse me, Sir— Mr. Reeve: I am referring to a certain extent to the conduct of an officer of the board— The Chairman: It is outside the matter. Mr. Reeve: Why I move this resolution is because IJ believe that the medical officer’s certificate was not what it ought to be. The Chairman: He admits that— Mr. Reeve: And I want him to admit that the place was no nuisance, as it really was not. It is an understood thing (The Chairman: Pardon me; that is going away from the point) that we have no power to make a person bring us a plan for the erection of a pig-stye, and if so, we have no power to remove it, whether it be 30 feet or not. The Chairman: That is not the question and I must object to your going into the matter. Mr. Reeve : Then I go to the certificate and prevent me if you like. The Chairman: I will prevent nothing that is fair. Mr. Reeve: That certificate (the one given by the medical officer a month ago) was never brought here until it was asked for by the board. The Chairman: That is hardly the question, the resolution is the point. Mr. Reeve: It is Sir—I say this before the board, and then

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on this resolution. You are at liberty to do so on giving notice— Mr. Reeve: When I was speaking in the absence of the medical officer’s report a month ago, had I not a right to assume what I did assume ? And assuming that, I had a right to make a motion, and I have a right to speak upon that motion. The Chairman: I wish simply to stop you when you are travelling beyond your right. Mr. Reeve: It is a farce that I should move the resolution. The Chairman: I cannot allow you to make such statements. Mr. Reeve: You will admit that the medical

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Mr. Currie: I never did. Mr. Roberts: There is nothing—nothing at all. Mr. Carter: If the board is going to trouble itself with what is said by outsiders, it is a job. Mr. Scott: But it is censurable. The Chairman: If the statement is correct, the inspector is highly culpable. Mr. Reeve: I say it 1s correct— Mr. Scott: If I were in your place (to Mr. Reeve) I would let the matter drop. The subject was then abandoned, the chairman remarking that the board-room was not a court of justice. The following is a copy of a letter from Mr. Samuel Reeve to the Editor of the

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will suffice. He has already the satisfaction of complete success for his

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be very dangerous to health.” This report, let it be worth what it may, had to be wrung from him by my action at the Board, after the nusiance inspector had been harassing these people for months. If it was what he says, he ought to have made his report without delay, so that the Board could have set their nuisance inspector to work in a proper way, and not let him please himself whether he took any action or left it alone, just as it suited him. Even the certificate condemning the pig-stye was never before the Board until after the inspector took action upon it. The medical officer only says what he would be bound to say, but with more clearness and emphasis, if he were to give a true report of his own or anybody’s water-closet. And why does not ‘ A Rate- payer’ enlarge upon that part of the report which tells us of a life having been lost by being ‘ exposed to the smell of refuse during the cleaning of the ashpit?” The Board has the cleaning out of premises in its own hands, with plenty of disinfectants at hand, and the combined wisdom of medical officer and nuisance inspector to advise and oversight its work. Yet in the emptying out of a privy, a human life is sacrificed, and this draws from the medical officer a mere statement of the fact, while he goes out of his way to enlarge on the pig-stye at Spen being a nuisance and liable to produce diarrhoea, while this would-be champion of the public health disdains to notice the fact. Regarding the removal of the pig-stye, if

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The following is a list of the members of the Council at the time of the amalgamation. Chairman: Herbert William Broadbent. Vice-Chairman: Henry Hirst. Henry Wallace, Richard Waring Taylor, William Walker, Alfred James Booth, Jonathan Gomersall, William Sutton, George Smith, John William Heywood, Benjamin Rhodes Batemen, William Edmund Moorhouse. The following is a list of the officers at that time: Clerk : Henry Ashwell Cadman. Treasurer: Hepburn Simpkin. Medical Officer: Edward Ratcliffe Fidler Mason, L.R.C.P., Collector and Assistant Overseer: Arthur Parsons. Waterworks Manager: George Sykes. Surveyor, Inspector of Nuisances and Lighting Inspector : Ben Hinchcliffe, M.I., M.U.N.E.

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HE little school in the Little Gomersal fields bears the date 1843 and was built by private subscription. It was used for services by the Gomersal members of the Church of England for some time before the Church was built. Paul Ward was the first master and he was succeeded by — Moorhouse, 1859/62 and then by — Leach. The Church was built in 1851 mainly through the exertions of the Revd. Michael Smith Daly, M.A., and was dedicated to St. Mary the Virgin. The order assigning a district out of the Parish of Birstall to Gomersal was made on the 25th February, 1846, but in November of the same year the boundary was changed and a portion restored to the Mother Parish. The boundary was altered in 1900. The district (formed under the Peel Act) was taken from that of Birstall and comprises Great and Little Gomersal. The Church is an excellent example of the Flowing Decorated Style, wherein solidity and decoration have been happily blended. Some people have said, that its appearance would have been improved if the tower had terminated in a spire. I do not agree with this view. In 1864 a new transept and vestry were built, and an organ added, the illumination of the latter being executed by a London artist at the expense of Mr. Mann of Spen Bank. The stained glass window on the East is in five compartments, the work being by Ward & Hughes of London. The West window is also filled with stained glass, the gift of the ‘‘ Artisans, teachers and scholars of the school.” The window on the South aisle is also stained and was put in, in 1869 and dedicated by Sir Charles Henry Firth of Flush, Heckmondwike, “‘ in humble submission to the will of God and in memory of Ada, Lady Firth.” There is also a brass tablet under this window which reads as follows :—

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BEAR YE ONE ANOTHER’S BURDENS. To the glory of God and in loving memory of Colonel Sit Charles Henry Firth. Born May 4th, 1836. Died January 17th, 1910. This tablet is erected by the members of the Yorkshire Fire Brigade Friendly Society as a token of love and gratitude for his work in establishing their Society, and for his unwearied and effective labour for the good of Firemen. The West end was added in 1882. The cost of the edifice before the last enlargement was about £4,000. The benefactions to the Church are as follows and they are recorded on a tablet on the East of the South aisle.


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Marianne Mellor bequeathed {500 to augment the endowment fund of the incumbent which was transferred to Queen Ann’s Bounty on 1st June, 1905. A hymn written by the Bishop of Wakefield and set to music by Arthur Sullivan (by request) was ordered to be used in all Churches and Chapels in England and Wales, and in the town of Berwick-upon-Tweed upon Sunday the 20th June, 1897 (the Diamond Jubilee of Her late Majesty Queen Victoria) as forming part of the service authorised to be used on that day. The Revd. R. F. Taylor conducted the service at Gomersal Church and gave an admirable historical address. The area of the churchyard was increased by adding three- of an acre of land the gift of Dr. William Carr, junior, which was consecrated on June 27th, 1899, by the Bishop of Wakefield, who was attended by his domestic Chaplain the Revd. C. D. Hoste. The following clergy were also in attendance

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the fact that music could either be used for the Glory of God or merely to pass an idle hour in sensual gratification and said they (the congregation) should seriously ask themselves what use they intended to make of it. He asked them to make use of St. Cecilia’s exemplary life, and of that solemn day when the last procession would take place. On the 4th August, 1918, prayer and thanksgiving to Almighty God were offered up in the Church, this being the fourth anniversary of War and being the appointed day for intercession on behalf of the Nation and Empire and our Allies in that time of war. What was described as being one of the most important movements in connection with the work of education in Gomersal was formally inaugurated at Hill Top on the 12th July, 1873, when the Vicar the Revd. M. S. Daly laid the corner stone of the Hill Top National School. About four hundred scholars assembled at the Little Gomersal National School and marched in procession to Hill Top. The procession was headed by a large banner bearing the name of the school and the following marched at the head :—The Vicar; the Revd. W. T. Storrs (Heckmondwike) ; Frederick Ellis and George Illingworth, the Churchwardens ; Walter Clough and William Walker, the sidesmen ; the architect, Mr. Handstock, and members of the Committee. The formal proceedings having taken place, Joseph Crowther delivered an address to the Vicar, which was acknowledged. The Vicar then proceeded to lay the stone under which several coins were thrown by the spectators in the accustomed manner, saying

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separate parish, distinct from that of Birstall. To God be all the glory and praise, through Jesus Christ. Amen.” Afterwards a tea meeting was held at the Little Gomersal School. The Hill Top Schools were completed in 1874, the plot of land worth {450 having been granted for that purpose by the Master, Fellows, Bursar and Scholars of Trinity College, Cambridge. The cost was {£2,500 and the Schools were opened free of debt. The style of its architecture is Gothic. The Jubilee of the Sunday School was celebrated in September, 1924. ‘This date also coincided with the completion of 50 years in the School as teacher and superintendent of Mr. Tom Eyre. Mr. Eyre was presented with a wallet containing Treasury Notes to the value of £13 in recognition of his services. The infants’ school was carried on just prior to the building of the school at Joseph Greaves’ farmhouse (Royds Farm) at a rent of six shillings per week. The older scholars attended at the Little Gomersal National School. It is interesting to note that the annual salaries paid in 1872 were as follows :—The master, £35 os. od.; two male pupil teachers, {15 os. od. and {12 10s. od. ; and two monitresses, {10 os. od. and {10 8s. od. The Government grant was {69 16s. od. The Hill Top Schools were opened on 4th May, 1874, and Mrs. Hearfield was left in charge of the infants at the Little Gomersal School. The official opening of the Hill Top Schools however took place on the 8th September, 1874, at which the Lord Bishop of Ripon took the chair. In the evening a tea meeting was held, at which about 450 persons sat down.

The list of Vicars is as follows

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Joseph Crowther was one of the pioneers of the Sunday School in Gomersal for the Church of England.

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In the year 1738 Messrs. Ingham and Delamotte were preaching in the churches and chapels throughout a district comprehended between Halifax, Leeds, Wakefield and Bingley. Both spoke and wrote of themselves, as recently converted to God “in the true Gospel way,” by the instrumentality of the Brethren ; Ingham during his voyage with his Brethen to Georgia and his residence among them in Germany ; Delamotte during his intercourse with them in London. In 1740 Delamotte, writing to Jacob Rogers (B.A. and Fellow of St. John’s College, Cambridge) says: “ Here is, I trust, a prospect of a very fine work in Yorkshire........ I had rather see ten souls truly converted, than 10,000 only stirred up to follow.” The above serves to bring us into some little acquaintance with men, of whom it is said, their uncommon fervour in preaching the gospel in the churches and chapels of Yorkshire, caused a general sensation, wherever they went, and drew numbers after them from one place to another. It was not until 1742 that the Brethren came boldly forward, and took upon themselves the responsibility of feeding with the wotd and Sacraments the societies which had been gathered in Yorkshire, chiefly by the labours of Ingham and Delamotte. In 1742 a general love-feast of a somewhat remarkable character took place in the open air, in a field near Great Gomersal. The people were seated on the ground in rows and by

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Brother Ockershausen was arrested whilst preaching at Mirfield and carried prisoner to York Castle and he was afterwards tried and acquitted at Wakefield. Shortly after, their preaching places including Little Gomersal were licensed by the Archbishop of York. The objects which the Moravian forefathers had in view, whey they resolved to build a congregation-place or village, having its own civil as well as religious regulations, are gathered from the diaries the following :— ist. It was to be a centre of evangelical usefulness. 2nd. It was to afford a home for missionary brethren and sisters, coming from Germany, and who might require a residence for some time in England. 3rd. It was to be a place, where the children of their labourers and missionaries might be brought up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord. 4th. <A place for educational institutions to which those who wete not members of

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chapels. In like manner with prayer days, there was to be a

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three houses opposite the Gomersai House front-gates. The cubicles in which the sisters slept are on the top floor in the middle house and remain intact to the present day. They are boarded off from the lower rooms and are not in use.

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1759—62 Ockershausen 1836—46 W. I. Okely

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For seventeen months after the opening of the chapel, preachers were supplied by the neighbouring ministers and by students from Airedale Colege, and the Church became definitely formed on the 28th December, 1826. The Revd. J. H. Cooke became the first resident minister and he resided at a house on the site of the one now occupied by Mr. W. H. Clough. Within two years, the chapel which had cost £1,300 was out of debt, and on this achievement a Sunday School was built at a cost of

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D.D., of the City Temple, preached on the evening of the 18th. A United Tea and Public Meeting were held on the 21st, Mr. Rawson Peel being in the chair. Services were held on the 22nd, the Revd. W. Harrop being the preacher in the morning, the Revd. E. Roe in the afternoon, and the Revd. A. Lee in the evening ; followed by a communion service which was conducted by the Revd. J. Pleasants. A memorial brass is placed in the chapel to the memory of Willie Beaumont, Harry Benson, Jabez Carter and Albert Parkin, who fell in the Great War, 1914—1918. I must add that a most excellent little work was published by the Revd. J. Pleasants entitled ‘‘ The Story of the First 100 Years, 1825—-1925. All Gomersalians should always keep this work on their shelves and no library in the Spen Valley is complete without it. This work together with Mr. Pleasants’ manuscript lecture I have found most helpful. In 1926 Mr. Oldroyd of Gomersal Hall gave an acre of land behind the chapel to the trustees for the benefit of the congregation. The Grove Guild was founded in 1923. In 1926 Mr. Rawson Peel completed fifty years service as librarian, teacher and superintendent, and at the annual prize-giving held on the zoth February, 1926, was presented with a complete set of Dickens’ Works bound in morocco. Mr. Peel is the father of the Revd. Albert Peel, previously noted. It has generally been thought that the “‘ Grove” took its name from Grove Lane which is just opposite. This is not the case, as before the building was erected, the Lane was called Little Lane. Then after the building appeared, the lane became to be generally known as

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Wesleyan Methodism in Gomersal commenced long before the present chapel was built. A small band met at a meetin place or house which also did duty as a Sunday School. The Sunday School was at one time held in the Town School (now demolished) which was in Moor Lane. Sunday School anniversary services were held in the Grove Congregational Chapel, lent for the purpose, as the meeting house was not large enough. It then became absolutely necessary that a chapel should be built in Gomersal. Edward Brooke, better known as Squire Brooke, was a frequent visitor and he became one of the chief supporters and promoters of a scheme for building the chapel. This is what he says in his diary : June 24th, 1826, Sunday. Set off to Gomersal to preach in the afternoon and evening. Preached out of doors in a large field. Preached in the evening in the Calvenist Chapel, our place being too small. After preaching we went to our own place and held a

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on the front bears the following inscription :—


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room 26 feet by 14 feet. The scheme also included extension of the burial ground, nearly an acre of land at the West End having been added, and a fence wall was erected round the new portion. Total cost estimated at about

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The well known novelist Joseph Hocking took charge of the services for two years about 1886. There never has been a resident minister. The congregation form part of a circuit called the Birkenshaw and Gomersal Circuit and the minister attends at Gomersal on alternate Sundays. This denomination is now known as the United Methodist Church. This was the result of the amalgamation of the Methodist New Connection, the Bible Christians, and the United Methodist Free Churches. The Chapel in Gomersal is called The West View Chapel The following is the list of ministers since 1889.

Date Names 1885 Revd. J. E. Swallow 1891 Revd. Wm. Conrad Balmer 1894 Revd. Henry Fothergill

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The first Primitive Methodist Chapel built in Gomersal was upon the site of the present one. It was built on the site of an old thatched cottage in 1850. The Sunday School was erected about 1870. In 1872 the chapel was demolished and the present one erected. The first trustees were :—

1. James Allatt 6. Josephus Leak 2. Wm. Allatt 7. Wm. Blamires 3. Wm. Smith 8. Edwin Warden 4. Richard Allatt 9. Benj. Furness

5. Benj. Blamires 1o. George Spurr There never has been a resident minister, the needs of the congregation for many years being served from the Batley and Heckmondwike Circuit, but latterly from the Batley Circuit. The names of the Ministers :—

Date Names 1872 Revd. G. H. Beeley 1875 Revd. John Milner 1881 Revd. C. Rumfitt 1883 Revd. Edwin Dolton 1887 Revd. Mark Knowlson 1889 Revd. Jackson Harding 1890 Revd. W. A. Eyre 1892 Revd. Wm. Manprize 1895 Revd. G. W. King 1898

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BOUT the end of 1849 or the beginning of 1850, it was definitely decided to build this Institute by the principal people in Gomersal and district and a strong committee was formed for the purpose of proceeding with the scheme. The cost of the building was raised in shares. On the 26th April, 1850, a meeting was held at the Shoulder of Mutton Inn, when the report of the committee appointed to

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“The hope of the founders and promoters is, that their labours and its contemplated results may be of use to many generations ; and that the building and its adjuncts may long continue to be devoted to and be of great service in the advance- ment of the intelligence, sobriety and morality of the important district by which it is surrounded.” Signed, J. Dobson, Architect. L. W. Knowles, Wm. Ackroyd, J. S. Broadbent, Thos. Burnley, 4j3Wm. Crowther, J. Berry, junr., E. Hodgson, Building Com- mittee. The first meeting of the members and subscribers of the Mechanics’ Institute took place at the Institute on the 1st March, 1852, presided over by Lionel W. Knowles. The following were appointed to serve on the Committee of management

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“Prosperity to this and similar

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continued to do for a number of years until they were superseded by the various Educational Acts. Books were given to the library by well-wishers of the Institute, and it is worthy of note that many working men contributed their mite of 1, 2 and 3 volumes each. The number of volumes was upwards of 340. The issues were from June 6th, 1852 ,to March 5th, 1853 (nine months). Bound books 2,392. Periodicals 396. It was specially noted that very little light reading was enquired for and the greatest demand was for history, biography, travels, etc. The price for admission for membership was :—

£ os. d. Number of members 1st class I

I o per annum = 22 2nd class O12 oO per annum 49 3rd class o 8 o

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Joseph Akeroyd and Samuel Knowles; and the Directors or Committee: Joseph Sutton, Samuel Lees, William Houghton, Benjamin Craven, John Harrison and the Revd. J. A. Savage. The Bank commenced business on the first Saturday in February, 1859. In the first eleven weeks there had been 772 deposits and the total amount deposited was £37 19s. 11d. In 1860 the schoolmaster agreed to take all money received by the school with a guarantee of {60 by the Institute and he had to find all necessary stationery. On the 11th August, 1860, the Rules of the Penny Bank were amended, one of which read “ that all monies arising from deposits shall be weekly paid into the “Birstall Savings Bank” by the treasurer to the credit of the trustees.” At the next meeting, however, these rules were cancelled by a majority of one vote and it was decided that the control and management of the Bank should be under the direction of a committee elected by the depositors. On Easter Tuesday the 22nd April, 1862, the celebrated Mrs. Sunderland of Brighouse (called the “ Yorkshire Queen of Song

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In 1866 the Gomersal Temperance Society had the use of the large room. In that year the Institute was approached by the ‘‘ Yorkshire Penny Savings with a view to establishing a branch at Gomersal and the result was that the old Bank was taken over and the

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demanded that the premises should be vastly altered in default of which they would erect a new school. The trustees and the three remaining members refused to negotiate and the Institute was saved. On 16th June, 1910, a conference took place to decide upon the futute working of the Institute. Representatives from all bodies in Gomersal attending. After Mr. Arthur Tait, the Secretary of the Leeds Institute of Science, Art and Literature and Mr. Joseph Daykin the organising Secretary of the Yorkshire Union of Institutes and the Yorkshire Village Library had addressed the meeting, it was decided that 19 members should be elected from the delegates to consult with the Trustees and Committee. with a view to the drawing up of new rules and preparing a scheme for the re-organisation of the Institute. The three surviving members: George Crabtree, Benjamin Collett, and James Henry Bywater were warmly thanked for the splendid way in which they had stuck to their duties in acting as the committee of the Institute. For nearly a quarter of a century, they had carried on in the face of great difficulties, and fortunately they all lived to see the complete resuscitation of our Institute. These names will live for ever in the history of our village. In 1879 there were four members consisting of the three I have mentioned and James Whitley Carter, and on the latter’s death the triumvirate continued their labour of love till they were rescued in 1910. Had they refused to carry on, what would have happened ? They, however, remained faithful to the great trust reposed in them and never forgot the founders’ wishes. The re-opening ceremony took place on the 15th October, 1910, and was attended by a large number of residents which completely filled the hall, many of whom enrolled themselves as members. The first annual general meeting after the resuscitation, took place on the 17th February, 1911, when the triumvirate insisted on tetiring from office, but their resignations were only accepted on the condition that they would serve on the General Committee for their respective lives. George Crabtree acted as one of the auditors until his death in 1924. In 1912, the County Council removed their scholars from the Institute to the new Council School, thus enlabing the members to continue with the main scheme of completely decorating the premises and providing furniture and billiards tables. On the zoth April, 1917,a smoking concert was held, presided over by Dr. Mason, at which presentations were made to the Secretaries ; Mr. A. W. Crabtree and Mr. Herbert Hodgson in recognition of their work for the previous six years. A rosewood chiming clock and a silver cake stand were presented to Mr.

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Crabtree and a gold watch to Mr. Hodgson. It was stated that in 1911 the only furniture possessed by the Institute was a table and two chairs. {£443 had been spent in renovations and furniture which had been paid out of revenue except for {120 which had been raised by voluntary subscription. The original rules were revised and adopted on the

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1870—President : Frank Burnley. Secretaries : Joseph Kellett and B. Crowther. Edwin Knowles. 1871—President : William Crowther. Secretaries : E. Halmshaw and B. Crowther. Treasurer: Edwin Knowles. 1872—President : William Crowther. Secretaries : E. Halmshaw and B. Crowther. Treasurer: Edwin Knowles. 1873—President : William Crowther. Secretaries : E. Halmshaw and Joseph Kellett. Treasurer: Edwin Knowles.

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This is a Society for the relief of the afflicted and the support of the aged, established on the 25th February, 1848, by the Reverend A. Mc’Millan, the minister at the Grove Chapel. On the title page of the rules appear these words

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This lodge, instituted under the National Independent Order of Odd-Fellows in the Dewsbury District was founded on the 22nd March, 1852, by Thomas Ludlam (Grand Master) John Lancaster (Secretary), Richard Raper, John Brook and Thomas Middlebrook. The first meeting took place on this day at the California Inn, and the lodge was formally opened with a member- ship of 25. After remaining a few years at this Inn, the meetings were held at the Bull’s Head Inn, and afterwards they were held at the California Inn. Later the meetings were held at the Bank Field Inn, and then at the White Horse Inn, where the meetings are still held. The following members have held the office of Secretary :

John Lancaster 1852—1861 Laurence Goldsbrough 1862—1877 Joshua Blamires 1877—1887 James Atkinson 1887—1893 Samuel Greenhough

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The history of Co-operation in Gomersal dates back to the yeat 1868, when a few men (part co-operators and part non-co- operators) consulted together the advisability or otherwise of forming a Co-operative Society for the village. Meetings at Cottage Houses took place, and the result was the calling of a public meeting which was held at the Mechanics’ Institute. Addresses were delivered by various men who were interested in the movement. ‘The decision of the meeting was that a society be formed. At that meeting a few names were enrolled, and a committee was appointed to make the necessary arrangements. Mrs. Blackburn, grocer, of Gomersal, who carried on business at Mr. G. Sykes’ shop, offered to the committee her shop, stock and fixtures at a valuation. Terms were ultimately agreed on and Mrs. Blackburn was engaged as the storekeeper in March, 1868. The first members had to do voluntarily much of the work themselves, such as cleaning currants and any odd jobs in the evening. Would such work be done now? My answer is

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in the £ on members’ purchases and left a balance of £20 19s. 11d. to Reduction of Fixed Stock. In that year, 1869, the stores were open daily at half-past seven in the morning and closed exactly at eight o’clock in the evening, except Fridays and Saturdays, when they were open until ten o’clock. On the 26th April, 1873, a soirée was held at the Mechanics’ institute to celebrate the opening of the then new stores at Hill Top. The progress of the Society has been remarkable. The sales for the quarter ending 4th March, 1929, amounted to £9,393 os. Id., giving a profit of £1,137 os. od. The share capital was £20,378. The sales from the inception of the Society down to that date amounted to

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In 1878 there were no sports clubs in Gomersal other than the Spen Victoria Cricket Club, which was really a club run by Cleckheaton men. The first sports club to be formed in Gomersal was formed by the then Vicar of Gomersal, the late Revd. R. F. Taylor, and was a football club called the Gomersal St. Mary’s Club. The members were chiefly from the Sunday School. The first season of the Gomersal St. Mary’s Football Club was in 1879 ot 1880, and the headquarters were in the field on the East of High Royd. The next headquarters were in a field belonging to land let with the Wheat Sheaf Inn. The Gomersal St. Mary’s Cricket Club was formed chiefly through the influence and initiative of the Revd. R. F. Taylor in 1881. The first ground was the football field last mentioned. Boatds were erected on two sides of the field (about six and a half feet high) by the Low Moor Iron Company and were kept in repair by the landlord of the Wheat Sheaf Inn with such voluntary assistance as was accorded by the members of the club. In about twelve yeats time the boards gave way and the club was asked to keep them in repair. This was quite out of the power of the club to do, and in the early nineties, it removed to its present headquarters in Oxford Road. In 1885 the Heavy Woollen

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Cleckheaton (43 mins. 12 secs.); 2—John Briggs, Gomersal (44

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Dr. Mason and Mrs. Mason were presented with a silver tea and coffee service and a gold mounted fountain pen in recognition of their services to the club. The silver plate on an oak tray which accompanied the service bore the following inscription: “‘ Presented to Dr. and Mrs. Mason by members and supporters of the Gomersal C.C., in appreciation of valuable

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The Gomersal Conservative and Unionist Club was established in 1885, and for many years its headquarters were in the old ware- house at the bottom of Moor Lane. Its annual ball was always looked forward to by the Conser- vatives and it was one of the great social events in the district. Through lack of interest it dissolved in 1908. I regret that the old records appear to be lost but from what I can gather the club was the earliest Conservative club to be established in the district, and it was at one time alluded to as the Mother Club. The only record I can come across was that, on the 15th December, 1903, when a Game Dinner was held. The prime mover for this gargantuan feast was George Raper, at that time the President. He will be remembered as a great international judge of dogs. He edited the Kennel Notes for the F7e/d. The Dinner must have been one of the largest, from point of variety, ever partaken of in Gomersal, or for that matter in the district, and it reminds me of the entertainment given at Cawood Castle in 1466, when George Neville was installed to the Archbishopric. The Menu of the famous Gomersal Dinner was as follows :—

Soup. Hare Soup. Joints. Roast Beef Roast Mutton Roast Veal Boiled Leg of Mutton Tongue Roast Goose Roast Ducks Rabbit Pie Pigeon Pie Game. Venison Pheasants Roast Hare Grouse Wild Duck Vegetables Potatoes Turnips Carrots Sweets. Apple Tart Jam Tartlets Lemon Cheesecakes Lemon Jelly Claret Jelly Cheese and Celery Dessert. The following is a copy of the toast list

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Smith, Mrs. S. H. C. Briggs, Mr. W. Walker, Mr. S. Smith, Mr. G. Roberts ; Treasurer: Dr. S. H. C. Briggs ; Secretary: Mr. G. Porteus ; Committee of Management: Mr. G. Roberts, Mr. G. H. Cheesebrough, Mr. F. Davenport, Mr. H. Wright, Mr. J. S. Brooke, Mr. A. Stephenson, Mr. G. Porteus ; General Committee : Mrs. F. Smith, Mrs. S. H. C. Briggs, Mrs. J. S.

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A meeting of the Gomersal Liberals was held on the 17th December, 1885, at the Mechanics’ Institute and it was then decided to form a Liberal Club, and the following members were appointed to look out for suitable premises. Messrs. Samuel Reeve, Miles Hanson, John Bruce Knowles, John Henry Bywater, Walter Mitchell Crowther, Thomas Burnley, junr., James Brearley and Walter Stansfield. The first officers were :—President: Mr. Henry Brooke ; Vice-Presidents:

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An attempt was made to form a nursing association for Gomersal in the late eighties or early nineties of the last century. A well attended meeting was held at Gomersal House, when Dr. Carr promised to subscribe £50 per annum for the first two years. Nothing further was done and a few years later Louis Fox of Follingworth, called a meeting at the Mechanics’ Institute, and though the meeting was in favour of a formation, it was thought that a full time nurse was not needed. The next move to be taken was by Mrs. A. T. Sugden who called a meeting at the Mechanics’ Institute which was held on the 25th February, 1926, and was largely attended. Henry Hirst presided and was supported by Mrs. Sugden and Dr. E. R. F. Mason. The Association was founded at this meeting and the first officers elected to serve

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This club was founded on the 23rd September, 1920, under the presidency of Mr. J. W. Neale, assisted by the Hon. Secretary, Mr. G. C. Johnson and other enthusiasts. It was then decided that the club should hold trials at 25, 50 and 1oo miles, and 12 and 24 hours, and that certificates should be awarded for rides at these distances and times. The qualification was fixed at 75 miles in 9 hours. In 1922 the qualification ride was altered to 100 miles in 1o hours. In 1927 after great efforts, the club achieved their ambition to hold an open “ 100” which was well supported. The first trophy to be presented to the club was presented by Mr. Bernard Rhodes of Batley. It is competed for annually under the R.R.C. recommendations, and is awarded for one year to the winner of the handicap of a chosen club event. The names inscribed on the plinth are :—

h. s. 1924—Mr. J. W. Brooke 25 miles I 13 §§ 1925—Mr. W. Nebard

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1928 and its 1929 supplement. The club is to be congratulated on these exceedingly good productions. The officers for 1929 were :—President: Mr. F. A. Tuplin ; Vice-Presidents :

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144—THE SPEN VICTORIA CRICKET AND BOWLING CLUB. The headquarters of this club have always been at Upper Spen in the hamlet of Gomersal. The Cricket club was inaugurated in 1865 by Mr. George Wright, and the late George Hardwick, Sam Haley, Alfred Starkey, James Strafford and Robert Corry, and they received valuable assistance from James Woodcock of the Marsh Rolling Mills. These inaugurators were members of the Cleckheaton Wesleyan Sunday School. Charles Mortimer sub-let the field to the club at one shilling per week rent. At the time I am writing about, there was a cricket club in Cleckheaton, whose headquarters were at the Knoll, on the site of the present Police Station. Its members were known as the “‘ Top o the Knollers.” That club was very strong and could beat all other clubs for miles round. In course of time the club had to give up their ground and half of the members joined the Spen Club. In 1867 the Spen Club consisted of seventeen members. The first committee was constituted of the following :—Friend Ripley, sam Haley, Abraham Roberts, John Bennett and W. H. Wood ; the Secretary was James Strafford and the Treasurer, Sam Birkett. Friend Ripley held the Treasurership for twenty-seven years. In 1872 the first professional was engaged. In 1888, 3,000 square yards were added to the playing area of the field. In 1890 the first cricket pavilion which cost {120 was opened. In 1893 a scheme for the extension and improvement of the ground was adopted. The Bowling Green was formally opened in 1894 with a match between James Kaye, the veteran champion, at that time aged 83 years, and James Morrison of Clifton. In 1902 the decision to purchase the grounds was made, and finding the then accommodation to be inadequate, the committee decided to build the present pavilion and club rooms which were opened by Joseph Holroyd on the 26th June, 1909. In 1920 a large plot of land adjoining the top of the cricket field was purchased. A football ground was also made by levelling up the South end of the cricket area. Later a further area of land was purchased. Percy Holmes, the noted Yorkshire County batsman, was associated with the Spen Victoria Club for four seasons before he became a regular member of the Yorkshire XI. He passed the records of the Lords historic ground by making 315 not out, in June, 1925. The club won the Heavy Woollen Cup in 1896, the team being captained by Mr. Ben Hirst. In 1914 they reached the final tie.

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UGUST 23rd, 1577. The inquisition was held at Wakefield before Christopher Mather AR and others and the jury which included the names of Henrici de Tong AR, Johis Batt de Burstall gener., Johis Gretheede de Batley, Ric Stubley de Hecken- wike als Heckmanwike, Willini Broke de Burstall, Thomoe Kirkby de Birkenshawe, Roberti Popeley de Gomersall, Willini Broke de Heaton Clack, Edward Fernley de Hunsworth, Johis Rayner de Liversege, &c., &c. 1582 (Circa). Martin Sheard from whom Michael Sheard (the Batley Historian) was directly descended married Jane Wilbore who was the widow of William Wilbore of Healey (died 1582) Jane’s maiden name was Breare and she was a native of Gomersal. 8th June, 1334 is the date of the Chantry Chapel of

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Only three gentlemen from Gomersal ever acted as trustees under the trust and they were :— Dr. William Carr, junior, appointed 19th October, 1866. Mr. William Henry Colbeck (West House) appointed 19th October, 1866. Mr. Henry Ellis (Tenlands) appointed 19th October, 1866. Mr. Michael Sheard mentions some interesting particulars in his book “ Records of Batley ”’ of which the following is a copy :

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years to Randolph Fearnley of Gomersal, Clothier, a house and fifteen acres of land at Gomersal at the annual rent of £26; and on the same day they granted a similar lease of a house and fifteen acres of land to John Fearnley of Gomersal, Clothier, at the rent of {23 per annum. In the year 1820 it was reported to a meeting of the trustees that the house at Gomersal was in a ruinous condition and it was decided to leave it in its then state and erect a new house near. The result was the erection of the house (Field Head) late in the occupation of Miss Swaine at a cost of £475. In 1814 the estate was let to Randolph Fearnley for £66 tos. per annum. A short time after Benjamin Fearnley appears as tenant, for in 1822 the trustees agreed to grant him a lease for twenty one years at the old rent (viz. {£66 1os.) in consideration of his having spent £116 upon the property. The present (1894) total rental was {108 Ios. In 1799 Messrs. Emmett agreed to purchase on lease the seam of coal and ironstone under the Gomersal estate, called or known by the name of “ Fusdon Bed,” at and after the rate of Sixty guineas per acre, paying as a fixed rent the value of one acre per annum. The bed of coal is now practically exhausted.”

The Batley Manor though taking its title from Batley, was not confined to that Township or Parish, but it included a number of dwellinghouses and other property in the adjoining district as far as and including portions of the Parish of Halifax, and was at one time part of the possessions of the Preceptory of Newland. The Preceptory was dissolved by Henry VIII. but to whom the Batley Manor was granted is uncertain. So far as the Batley Manor is concerned, we get glimpses of how lands in Gomersal came to be in it. A court was held on the 28th October, 1765, before Mr. Parker, the steward, who proceeded to address the jury immediately after they had been swotn. He explained how the courts of St. John of Jerusalem had their original from the Holy Wars and many other matters relevant to the issues. The address is far too long to give in detail and I can only suggest that if any of my readers desire further information it will be found on page 235 in

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Henry Ibbetson’s, are tenants of this Manor and ought to do suit and service at this Court for and in respect of the said lands and tenements respectively, which have descended or otherwise come to their possession since the last Court held in and for this Manor, but that they and each of them have neglected so to do.” I have only stated the Gomersal lands but there were many other properties in practically every township near which came within the purview of the verdict. At a court held on the same day namely the 28th October, 1765, the persons who owed Suit and Service to the View of Frankpledge and Court Leet of King George III. with the Court Baron of Miss Mary Horton Lady of the Manor the following persons amongst many others were present

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Ricus Liversedge de Gom’sall.”

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An extract made from the General Sessions held at Pontefract on 3rd April 1638 before William Lord Critchton and others. ‘Ranulph Fearnley of Gomersall Yeoman for assaulting on 17th February 1637 at Gomersall and maltreating Anne Goodall. Witness Anne Goodall. Wm. Goodall. (Puts himself, confesses the indictment at Wakefield 9th July 1638; The fine is taxed at 2/- and paid to Sheriff.’’) At the General Sessions held at Wakefield on 16th January 1639 before William Saville Baronet and others :—‘ Robert Crowther of Gomersall Clothier for having on the ist of July 1639 and at divers other times both before and since at Hallifax and divers other fairs and markets in the West Riding, sold to the King’s lieges divers parcels of ligne (linen) by false weight. Witness Wm. Rayner, Jo Rayner, Ant Brooke (Pontefract 14th April 1640 confesses the indictment and his fine is tax at 3/4.)” At an inquisition held at Pontefract on the 14th April 1640 before Francis Wortley Kt and Bart and his fellow justices, William Gomersall of Gomersall Laborer, for stealing on the 7th of April 1640 at Thorneover (Thorner) two mares color the one black brown, the other a gray, value 30/-

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overseeres of the highwayes, there to be repaid unto those who formerly disbursed the same for that worke.”’ At the General Sessions held at Wakefield on 12th January 1642 Before John Ramsden Kt and others

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Y last words must be to thank most sincerely all my old fellow Gomersalians for their kind help in giving me various information which enabled me to write something of my native place. I should have liked to have mentioned them all, but space forbids. I must also thank Mr. and Mrs. Oldroyd for the interest they have taken in the publication of this little record. H. ASHWELL CADMAN. 11, THE VALLEY, SCARBOROUGH. September, 1929.

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