Old West Riding (Winter 1982) by George Redmonds (editor)

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It is not too early, I think, to comment on the progress made by Old West Riding, for the response to it has been encouraging in a number of ways. In one sense the most important aspect of that response has been from the public, for whilst neither of the first two issues is.yet sold out, we have been able to cover expenses and can therefore contemplate the magazine’s future constructively and optimistically. This public response has not by any means been a purely passive one and it is pleasing to be able to say that comment on the published articles has reached us from many parts of England. There are already indications that this will in time increase the number and range of contributions and this can only be for the good. Now that several numbers have appeared, it is poss- ible to say that the range has already increased. The subject matter is no longer biased towards Hudders- field at it inevitably was in the first issue and the

Editor George Redmonds 5 Knotty Lane Lepton Huddersfield HD8 OND

Associate Editors Jennifer Stead Cyril Pearce Peter Watkins

All letters, enquiries and contributions should be sent direct to the Editors. Articles must be in the Editor’s hand no later than July

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The first official census of the population of Great Britain was taken in 1801 as a result of the Popula- tion Act of 1800. The man who suggested it, John Rickman (1770-1840), a Clerk to the House of Commons, was given the task of organising this and the three subsequent censuses. The purpose of the census was to establish firstly the number and distribution of people living in Great Britain, secondly the number of houses inhabited and thirdly the number of workers engaged in agriculture, commerce and manufacture. The government required numbers only to be compiled. To save expense the officers of the parish were used to gather these ‘Statistics in England and Wales, schoolmasters did it in Scotland. Overseers of the Poor were to visit every house in the parish and send the figures thus accum- ulated from answers to oral questions,

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1811 census gives the name of the families employed in such occupations, it does not specify the occupation. To ascertain this information reference to other sources, such as poll books and the parish registers, would be necessary. At the time of the poll in 1807, for instance, 32 out of the 53 freeholders in Honley were clothiers. Other occupations included 1 blacksmith, 1 butcher, 1 carpenter, 2 cartmen, 2 cordwainers, 2 dryers, 1 farmer, 2 husbandmen, 3 millers, 1 millwright, 1 tallow chandler (J. Midwood) and 1 yeoman. In addition there were 2 gentlemen and 1 dissenting minister. From this it would seem appropriate to assume that in 1811 a large proportion of the 87% of the population engaged in trade etc. were con- cerned with the textile trade. Nationally, however, more than one third of the population was employed in agriculture.

Limitations The 1811 census together with those of 1801, 1821 and 1831 provided only limited information, mostly because only limited information was sought, one reason for this being John Rickman’s low opinion of the abilities of the overseers of the poor who compiled the data (14). Hence the 1811 census of Honley gives no details about the relationships between members of each household, their ages, marital status, precise occupation, place of birth or state of mind. It does not even give the address of the householders. It is of little use on its own, therefore, to genealogists and others interested in family recon- stitution or mobility of population. Its limitations from the government’s point of view is shown by the fact that the 1841 census was altered. It was taken on a specific couple of days and was carried out by registrars rather than overseers of the poor. The name of each member of the household was given together with their age (approximate), sex, occupation and whether or not they were born in that country. This information was further extended in 1851 by the inclusion of the place of birth, thus affording details of movement of the population. Each successive census gave more detailed and accurate information (15).

Conclusion The 1811 census for Honley is of interest to students of local history, however, as an original document compiled by the overseers of the poor and for the information it gives about Honley families, housing and occupations. It is also of interest becuase, unlike its national counterpart, it has survived, passing successively from the Honley civil parish officials first to Honley UDC then to Holmfirth UDC, then to a private individual who had the foresight to pass it, with the other civil township papers, to Kirklees Archives Department.

up areas. 1. St. Marys Chapel. 2. Independent ChureR 3. Honley Workhouse.

Coach and Horses.


NO —

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When D.F.E. Sykes wrote some seventy years ago that Huddersfield had its beginnings hard by the confluence of two streams, the Colne and the Holme, he was simply stating what he took to be self-evident. This is, after all, the starting point for almost any history of the town. His more detailed account of the courses of the two streams was, I think, designed to emphasise the contrasts between the two valleys; the Colne “bound on either side by undulating heights, whose rugged formation would seem to indicate an angry sea Of lava chilled into adamantine rock,” and then, in quite a different vein, the Holme, ‘‘richly wooded and affording to the appreciative eye rare glimpses of sylvan beauty: the scenery less harsh and rugged than that of the sister river.” (1) This view of the two valleys has developed into something of a cliche. The very words ‘Colne Valley’ have become emotive, descriptive of a region closely linked with Huddersfield and with the Holme Valley and yet somehow distinct from both: the bleakness, the harsh industrial landscape, the remote hillside cottages have all somehow become stereotyped, evok- ing that fast-disappearing West Riding so faithfully portrayed by Dr. Phyllis Bentley. There are many who have romanticised the scene. Lettice Cooper for example, saw the valley as “a place fortified for the industrial battle, the steep banks battlemented with chimneys and square mill fronts and the high walls of mill yards.” It was a “grim continuous city, stripped like its countryside for action... one of the centres of the textile world”’ (2). Such descriptions by both residents and outsiders, have helped to build up a concept of what the Colne Valley stands for, which embraces mills and music, politics and pollution. The geographic definition, however, is less expansive: for some, the Colne Valley runs only from Marsden to Longroyd Bridge. It is an interesting thought that Bradley, Deighton, Kirk- heaton and Dalton, not to mention Huddersfield, all share the valley of the Colne, but are not of ‘the Colne Valley’. There is aless obvious, but none- theless real, distinction between the valley of the Holme and ‘the Holme Valley.’ The irony is even greater if we examine the history of the river names. For us now, the Colne is an important river rising in the hills west of Marsden and flowing into the Calder near Cooper Bridge; the Holme is considered to be its affluent, joining it at Folly Hall. The description of these two streams as the river Colne and the river Holme is almost certainly a com- paratively modern habit: in all probability even the terms Colne Valley and Holme Valley have no great antiquity. Most surprising of all, however, is the discovery that our ancestors in these valleys may have had a totally different view of what the Colne was. Indeed, the evidence of history runs so contrary

to our modern

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colloquially: it is possible to find examples such as “Slaighwait river” in a dispute of 1627 (10) but descriptions such as ‘brook’ and ‘water’ were far more commonly employed. Later, particularly after 1700, ‘beck’ also became popular and often succeeded in ousting the longer established ‘brook’. In Marsden, where River A had its source and was at its narrowest, it was considered to be a brook. The court roll of 1664 defines it as “Marsden Brooke, as it runs from Marsden up to the water of Calder” (11). In Slaithwaite it was often called a water. Robert Meeke who was the vicar there from 1685- 1724, had occasion to refer to the river on several occasions, but did not use the word Colne. In 1691, after a heavy shower, he said that “Bridley Brook was very strong but the broad water was not very big, the rain falling in one

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DOCUMENTARY Self-help in house building.

The rules of the Thurlstone Building Club 1799,

George Redmonds, Cyril Pearce

The 1980’s have begun in a dramatic way for Britain and may yet prove to be one of the most critical decades in our twentieth century history. A combina- tion of economic depression and an increasingly stark polarisation of political thinking have begun to force us to re-examine many basic assumptions about our society. Central to this re-assessment, and perhaps most emotive, is the growing debate on the future of what has come to be called the Welfare State. With speculation rife about the impending dismemberment of the National Health Service and with the Social Security system groaning under the burden of mass unemployment it is perhaps appropriate to consider, if in a small way, the way our ancestors coped with their lives before Lloyd George laid the foundations of the system for which Lord Beveridge and the post- war Labour government were the principal architects and builders. For the poor, the old, the sick, the destitute and the homeless in Britain in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries there was little save the vagaries of private charities or, after 1834, the harshness of the work- house. The state did not see the care of its less fortunate citizens as its proper concern, Therefore, for those in the lower income groups whom the slightest misfortune might pitch from the ranks of the poor but respectable into those of the social outcasts and paupers, the only possible safeguard was in some form of self-help. Consequently the late eighteenth and nineteenth centuries saw an enormous expansion in the number of self-help groups among

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keys for the club’s deeds box! But it must be remem- bered that in 1799 banks were few and far between and frequently unreliable. The detailed arrangements for subscriptions and contingency plans for those wishing to withdraw their shares also smacks of an age when money had to be carefully guarded and the long- term security of the whole venture could be imperilled by defaulters or misfortune. Finally, rule nine’s imposition of fines for drunkenness or abusive language does help stress the point that, despite the nature of their meeting place, the members were, after all, dealing with money, often their life’s savings, and that needed clear heads and sound judge- ment. There was then no safety net for the members of a building society that failed. “The Article of a Society or Club held at the House of John Charlesworth, Inn Keeper in Thurlstone in the Parish of Penistone in the County of York for raising money by Sub- scription for building houses in the parish of Penistone aforesaid made concluded and unanimously agreed upon this Sixth Day of April in the year of our Lord one thousand seven hundred and ninety-nine. Whereas many benefits arise from establishing Clubs or Societies for building houses part- icularly to those who are not able to advance a sum of money sufficient for that purpose at one time and for the better Accommodation (sic) of the persons who compose this Society and have hereunto set their Hands and Seals, have agreed to Erect Cottages or Dwellinghouses in the parish of Penistone aforesaid according to the propositions and under the Rules herein- after mentioned now in pursuance of such Agreements and it being proposed to Erect Cottages or Dwellinghouses of two several: Dimensions and separate values (according to the several Rules or plans hereunto annexed). It is hereby mutually covenanted declared and agreed upon by and amongst all and every the person and persons executing these presents as follows: First that the parties (subscribers) shall meet annually on the first Saturday in April at the House of the said John Charlesworth or else- where at the hour of six in the Evening at which Meeting by a Majority of the Subscribers a Master and two Stewards who shall be chosen shall conduct the Business for one year at the Expiration of which on the yearly Day a Master and two Stewards shall be annually chosen who shall for the time being have the Management of every concern belonging this Society and there shall be three other quarterly Meetings in every year to be held on the following Days videlizit the first Saturday in June the first Saturday in October and the first Saturday in January on each which the Subscribers shall meet at six o’clock in the Evening and the books shall be open till nine o’clock after which Hour no more Business shall be transacted.

Second at the first Meeting after the Master and Stewards are chosen the Subscribers shall be arranged in two different Classes according to their several Wishes and those who chose to have Houses of the value of one Hundred pounds each shall immediately pay into the hands of the said Master or Steward the sum of one pound one shilling and shall also pay on every quarterly Meeting following in like manner the Sum of twenty-six shillings and the Members who shall choose Houses of the value of Fifty pounds each shall immediately pay ten shillings and sixpence and thirteen shillings on each succeeding quarter Day until

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the Money to be issued from the fund from time to time as they shall think proper for

defraying such Expenses And that it shall not be in the power of any Member to Sell or Mortgage his respective dwellinghouse or Houses until the whole Subscription be comp- leted and the whole of the Dwellinghouses allotted and given possession of to each and every Subscriber respectively provided unless each Member shall first give Satisfactory security to the Master and Stewards for the Society for the performance thereof the Deeds or other Security or Conveyance of the Land whereon such House or Houses are Erected shall be lodged in the Club Box till such Time as every Member provided with a House when this Institution shall cease. Fifth that if any Member finds he cannot or will not continue his Subscription he shall declare his unwillingness at the next Meeting and shall have fifteen shillings returned to him for every pound which he has subscribed as soon as may be without Injuring the fund and be excluded from the society and from any further Benefit thereout on any Account whatever And that if any Subscriber die before his Subscription be completed pursuant to the above plan his legal Representatives may con- tinue his Subsciption and may be entitled to the same privileges which the person deceased was or if they do not choose to continue the same and declare their unwillingness at the next Meeting after the Death of such Subscriber they shall be entitled to sixteen shillings for every pound which shall be paid then by the Master and Stewards as soon as conveniently may be without Injury to the Fund. I Sixth Provided always and it is agreed to by all the Members of this Society that any member or Members having begun his or their Subscrip- tion or Subscriptions and neglecting to pay off his or their proper quota every three Months each of them shall for the first neglect forfeit and pay to the Master and Stewards the Sum of Sixpence for a second one shilling and for a third two shillings to go into the Fund for the benefit of the Society and should any Member or Members so neglect his or their Subscriptions for one whole year he or they shall pay the sum of four shillings for the like. Also or otherwise he or they shall Forfeit and lose one half of the Money by him or them from time to time paid to him or them and be excluded from any further Benefit and privilege from it on any account whatsoever in any wise notwithstanding. Seventh that the said Masters and Stewards appoint others in their Stead approved of by a Majority of the Members give up a true account of all monies by them received paid and laid out on account of this Society and shall suffer every member (if required) to take Copy of the

Annual Accounts And in default of delivering in such accounts every such Master and Stewards shall forfeit and pay the Master and Stewards then appointed the Sum of twenty-one shillings each over and above all monies as shall appear to be in their Hands belonging to this Society for the Recovery whereof every such new appointed Master and Stewards from time to time shall have the power by Action at Law to recover such Arrears and Forfeitures against their predecessors. Eight That any person voted to serve the Office of Master or Steward who shall refuse to serve the said Office shall forfeit the Sum of Two Shillings and Sixpence to be applied to the Benefit of the said Society and that every such Master and Stewards shall have at the End of every year when their respective Offices shall expire such Sum of Money allowed them from the Fund as the majority of the Subscribers shall think a proper Recompence for their Trouble throughout the year in which they served their respective Offices. Ninth That if any one of the Subscribers shall in the Club-room during the Hours of Business use any abusive Language or be intoxicated with Liquor or refuse to be silent when ordered by the Master he shall forfeit two shillings and Sixpence or be Excluded after receiving one half of the Money agreeable to the sixth Article And that no Member during the Club Hours shall spend more than three pence of Liquor to prevent which one of the Stewards shall have the Care of the Reckoning at every Quarterly Meet- ing. Tenth That this Society shall not Consist of more than Forty Members and that if any Dis- pute shall arise between or Amongst any of the Members at any Time during the Continuance of this Association on account of any Miscon- duct Mismangement or any other thing concern- ing the Fund or Capital Stock the said intended Dwellinghouses or any Article or Clause herein contained committed or done by any of the ( ) Stewards or the Members of this Society or respecting anything relative to the same which cannot be foreseen or guarded against such Dispute or Business shall be referred to the Members assembled at the first Meeting then next following the Time when such Dispute Matter Controversy or other thing had for any of the Causes afore- said and by them or a majority of them finally adjusted and determined to all Intents and purposes whatsoever and whose Conclusion

shall be binding on all parties in any wise con- cern therein and that an account thereof be entered in the Books kept by this Society. Eleventh And lastly it is agreed upon by all the parties hereto that provided any one or more of this society at the Time his or their respective Lot or Lots is or are drawn shall not be disposed to build with the Monies arising from his or

This article is continued on page 10

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John Addy

Any study of this subject raise difficulties for those engaged upon it. Not the least of these is the increas- ing complexity in the law of slander and libel which was in a state of flux. Some cases were being dealt with at common law in King’s Bench and at Quarter Sessions. Some can be found in borough archives, and even manorial courts-were punishing defamation (1). The Church Courts also added defamation to its proper business. A limited local study is the best approach for a problem of this nature.

The records of the church courts in York and

and the Archdeaconry of Richmond are very substan- tial but are not easy to use for the cause papers of the Consistory Courts are limited by the varying amount of surviving material on any one case. A brief study of the old parish of Halifax may encourage other readers to undertake some study within their own area, Litigation seems to have been preferred to violence among the middling sort and respectable poor of Stuart England in a desire to distinguish them from the disorderly and ungodly poor (2). The parish of Halifax contained twenty five town- ships and twelve parochial chapels, those of Elland cum Greetland, Coley, Warley, Southowram, North- owram, Sowerby, Sowerby Bridge, Ovenden, Illing- worth, Luddenden, Heptonstall and Hipperholme with Brighouse. In the more law abiding areas of York diocese, discipline was easier to enforce but the diocese was huge in extent and the wilder, remoter areas such as Cleveland, or districts having large numbers of poor such as Halifax, tended to become independ- ent (3). The cases taken before the Church courts included fornication, incest, adultery, wife beating, forced marriages, wife swapping, drunkenness, bastardy, desertion and offences committed in church. Oliver Heywood in 1664 commented on the behaviour of Halifax folks stating,

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He then replied that- “there were several ways of kissing — and the said Henry said he had intercourse with her and he would have it again before he would have it with his own wife.” At this King took offence and a fight broke out. The witnesses told virtually the same story as above and Murgatroyd was condemned and corrected. (11) In a case of defamation in 1663 one Anne Whitby accused Anne Nichols of being a

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heart to pull his gown over his ears” (20). 7 Dr. John Favour, vicar of Halifax at the end of Elizabeth’s reign recorded in the parish register, details of illegitimate births.

There were 49 sexual slander cases before the Consistory from Halifax in the 17th century 8 C.P. H.3283

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About two years ago my wife started to work on our family history and she has been particularly success- ful with my mother’s family. Her task in this case was made all the easier by the fact that six generations of Shaws, labourers, colliers, stone-masons and brick- layers, were all born at Slack Side, Wibsey. The last of these six generations was my maternal grandfather, Seth Shaw, 1865—1947, stone-mason and bricklayer. It was he who, about the beginning of the war, showed me a kind of broad sheet, a wrinkled and tattered piece of paper of which he was nevertheless very proud. Thirty years ago, I made a very crude photographic copy with truly inadequate equipment and I still have the negatives, although they are now in pretty poor condition. The text, however is perfectly leg- ible. The piece of paper came into the possession of my mother on the death of her father, but we could find no trace of it when we left that house in 1970. As will be seen from the transcription below, which preserves the layout, spelling, punctuation, etc. of the original, the document records that one, James Shaw, in the 56th and 57th years of his life, from January 1842 to June 1843, walked each Sunday to a different church seventy-eight in all. The date on which each was visited is given along with chapter and verse of the lesson on each occasion.

Transcription I This James Shaw was baptized at St. Peter’s, Bradford on 25th March, 1787, and was the son of James, a collier, and Deborah Shaw of Wibsey. When he married Charity Fletcher in 1808 his occupation was given as coal miner and the census of 1841 records him as a

labourer. He seems to have died before the census of 1851. He was Seth’s great-grandfather and my great- great-great-grandfather. Why did he do it? If there was fashion for this kind of thing among the labouring classes of the mid-nine- teenth century, we have so far failed to find any evi- dence. The distances are most impressive; even in an age when walking was the only way of getting about for most people, few people would make a round walk of more than 30 miles (Ossett) as part of their Sunday morning devotions. Perhaps he merely liked the respectful curiosity of his work-mates when they asked him every Monday morning how far he had walked the day before! More surprising, perhaps, than his athleticism is the fact that a written record was kept and, indeed, was eventually printed. James himself was probably illiter- ate as he only made his mark in the marriage register in 1808. At the time of the 1841 census, his eldest son Joseph was living with his family next door to James and Charity. Joseph had two children, Sarah aged 8 and Shadrach aged 7, who could well have been attending school (Wibsey had at least one day-school at that time) and who might have written down the details each week when their grandfather returned from his church attendances. Shadrach, Seth’s father, certainly wrote his name in the register when he married in 1856. The following is a list of 78 Different Churches atten- ded by James Shaw In the 56 and 57 Year of his Age. Being a different Church on each Sunday throughout the year 1842 and part of 1843, with the Text taken on each occasion in the Morning Service.

1842 Churches Book Chap. Verse Jan. 2nd Wilsden Phillippians 13th 13th & 14th 9th Bingley St. John Ist 3rd 16th Halifax-Old Church 2nd of Timothy 2nd 19th 23rd

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Sth 12th 19th 26th 3rd 10th 17th 24th 31st 7th 14th

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The Thornton Woollen Mill Company, begun in the 1880’s in a massive mill on the Finnish side of the river Neva, nine miles outside St. Petersburg, came to a dramatic end in the last months of 1917, when the Thornton brothers had to write it off as a dead loss. All the English managers and foremen and their families had to flee the excesses of the Revolution, in many cases with nothing but the clothes they stood up in. Russia’s lack of industrialisation meant that she imported vast amounts of cloth, much of it from the West Riding. Gradually, throughout the nine- teenth century, British capital helped to develop industries in Russia so that by 1900, for example, there were many Russian textile mills, managed by English and Germans, although Thorntons’ was apparently the only English-owned woollen mill in St. Petersburg. The British colony in St. Petersburg, about 400-500, mostly in industry, was the second largest community after the Germans. They were respected by the Russians, and lived a luxurious colonial life attended by servants. In 1900 two Huddersfield men answered an advertis- ment in the Huddersfield Examiner and found them- selves in St. Petersburg. One was my great-uncle Edgar Shaw of Armitage Bridge, who was appointed boss finisher at Thorntons’, and the other was Willie Brooke of Crosland Moor, who was made overall mill manager. The Shaws and the Brooke became firm friends. The Shaws’ daughter Dorothy (now Mrs. Crandall) and the Brookes’ daughter Nellie (the late Mrs. Varley) have told me about their life in Russia; Dorothy was 13 when they left in 1917, and Nellie 20. I shall let each tell her own tale.

Nellie Brooke Ours was the only English woollen mill in St. Peter- sburg, owned by the three Thornton brothers; Percy and Arthur in Russia, while Herbert stayed in Bradford to do the wool buying from their offices in Cheapside. The wool was bought at the London wool sales, and then sent on to Russia, where they made every type of cloth from blankets to fine worsteds. The mill was set up in the we went out there in 1900 when I was 3. There were 50 or 60 Englishmen there who’d come over to teach the Russians how to run the mill, because they weren’t at all industralised, very few were educated. We had 3,000 Russian work- people, who mostly lived on the compound, in very crowded conditions. They were very backward and ignorant, (soldiers called up for the Fist World War didn’t know left from right, so to drill them they had to call one foot “hay” and the other “‘straw’’, and chant “hay, straw, hay, straw” etc. They were also extremely superstitious. I had my own maid who filled me with all kinds of superstitions.) The mill was colossal, bigger than Titus Salt’s at Salt-


aire, with five stories and a huge facade, and three chimneys. It was fuelled entirely with wood, and there was many massive piles of logs in the compound. The mill was in this huge compound, the size of a small town, with just fields and the forests of Finland behind it, and only the Neva in front. We were isolated. There was nothing else on our side of the river. Across the river were lots of other mills, iron- works, electricity station etc. The Spasky Cotton Mill was across there, Coates the thread people were the owners, from Rochdale, and the bosses were mainly from Lancashire. Our compound had workers’ flats, bosses’ flats, and four beautiful houses — for the Thorntons, the manager (that was us), the paymaster- treasurer-accountant (Edwin Coates) and the lawyer (that was Edwin Coates’ brother.) The compound was surrounded by a high fence of stakes, with barbed wire on top to protect us, I suppose from animals in the surrounding country- side, but I think mostly because of the unstable political situation. There: were three revolutions while we were there — in 1905 after Bloody Sunday, a small company of Cossacks was billeted with us to protect us. They had the run of the bale room, they were jolly, gave us turns on their horses, and burst into wonderful singing all the time. They gave daring demonstrations on their horses because they were so bored. We weren’t allowed out of the compound because of the fighting close by. On our side of the river we could take a little tramcar into St. Petersburg that pulled three cars behind, it made a terrific noise. Or we could go into town ona little steamer. We also had our own private droshky, a horse-drawn four-wheeled carriage; in summer we had our own trap, only Mrs. Thornton had a car. The mill had its own ferry, but when the river froze we could run across. Everything had to come to us across the river so we were sometimes stranded in the winter, with no supplies for days, but we had enough. We had our own a little building dug out six feet deep and stacked solid with huge blocks of ice. We just used to chip our little holes to put the milk jug in and so on, we never had anything go off, even during those hot summers. Mother madeprostokvasha (clotted milk) every day, I couldn’t abide it, it was just like sour milk to me. Mrs. Thornton treated me like a daughter — her daughter Vera and I spent all our time together, we were like sisters. I used to call Mrs. Thornton

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helped at confinements etc. We had a hospital, and in 1915 Russian wounded First World War Soldiers were nursed here by Mrs. Shuttleworth and Millicent Pennington. The matron was Miss Mottershead. Here’s a photograph of Commander Locker Lamson M.P. He visited us with his armoured cars; he was a terrific chap. His right hand man and chauffeur Geoff Gauler was a grand chap too. We entertained ourselves with plays and concerts and tennis, There was a tennis court outside the compound where we had tournaments with all the English people in St. Petersburg. We all met at the English Church every Sunday in St. Petersburg; our lot used to cross the river in two ferry boatloads and go en masse, and in summer we had cricket matches and in winter foot- ball matches. Every Easter I used to stay at the Hoe’s dacha in Finland, and every summer I spent with Vera at the Thorntons’ dacha. It was a marvellous life. Vera Thornton was engaged to a handsome American writer, Negley Farson, who wrote about the mill in one of. his books, and I think he mentions Edgar Shaw (but not by name, you’d have to recognise him). Vera threw him over, and he never got over it. He wrote to me in 1960, here’s the letter: we all saw the end of an epoch. And I much prefer the old one. when I went back in 1941, Russia was just one huge state concentration camp. To me,

Dorothy Shaw My parents went out in 1900, and I was born there, they were going to call me Neva after the river. There were plenty of foreign overseers at the mill, some Germans, until the outbreak of the First World War, when they were interned. Some of the West Riding

people there were Willie Brooke, manager, Fred -

Pearson, wet finisher (also from Crosland Moor), Sam Sykes, Joseph Crosland, Crawshaw, Mennell from Leeds, Stead from Guiseley. I used to go with Mrs. Thornton outside the compound to exercise the dogs. The dogs we always got from England. I didn’t go to school, but Mrs. Holdsworth taught nine English kids in the yard at her house. My father used to say that the Russians could be cruel. If anyone displeased them they would jump on that person’s toes. I don’t think our overseers were cruel, and working conditions at Thornton’s weren’t too bad, although the Russian workers were extremely poor, and lived, as they still do, crowded into small apartments. They wore colourful clothes, full skirts and over-blouses, mostly cotton, with a small shawl on their heads, and elastic sided boots. The men wore their trousers tucked into high boots, and brightly coloured shirts, buttoned high at the neck. In winter they mostly had sheepskin-lined coats and high felt boots called valenki. They were very super- stitious, and had a great many religious festivals. Much of the land behind the compound was owned by the Thorntons. They grew feed for their horses. The horses and carts had to bring bales of wool and chemicals from the port of St. Petersburg, and carry finished cloth back. The mill made cloth for army


uniforms, blankets, and goats’ hair shawls, which were tartan, about 60” x 40”. We had a private ferry to get workers across, two

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Russian First World War, wounded outside the mill hospital 1915

Mrs. Brooke is served tea by her maid

The Works’ Manager’s office

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The Scott brothers, Fred, Arthur, Gerard, and Archie, whose father had just been killed by a boiling vat 1913

Arthur Thornton and Vera (middle)

Nellie Brooke and Vera Thornton in Finland I


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Mrs. Brooke, Hattie,

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textiles in Russia. “Even the war-time foremen in the woollen and cotton mills felt themselves vastly superior as human beings to any Russian Grand Duke.”’ Servants were treated kindly, but shockingly underpaid, and

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No-one knew where this Revolution was going to lead the working class. The workers themselves were ignorant of outside conditions and working hours. Their leaders attemped to see how far they could get by trying it on, and the managers were almost driven mad. Farson describes (p 187) a manager (Edgar Shaw ?) going through this ordeal day after day, standing on a table in the mill yard, trying to reason with his workers. He would begin by saying they were all running the mill together, which must make money so each could make a living. Now, they would not pay several thousand roubles a pood for their wool, would they? So why ask the mill to pay ridiculous prices for labour? Then one of the extremists would shout

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THE FROZEN MOMENT: Social History from the Records of the Sheffield Flood

Barbara Whitehead

The inhabitants of Pompeii, caught for posterity at one point of their daily lives, had more warning of danger than the inhabitants of one of the long valleys which, with their intervening hills, form the city of Sheffield. At about midnight on the eleventh of March 1864 after a day of violent gales, the embank- ment of the almost completed Dale Dyke reservoir gave way and a majestic wall of water, level with the roofs of three-storey buildings and containing at least a hundred and fourteen million cubic feet of water, began to roll down the valley of the river Loxley. It carried houses, factories, people, cattle, trees, rocks, all before it, bringing destruction and death down its eight mile route into the heart of the town. The event was short and sharp; two to three hours after the flood began, the river Don at Doncaster was Only “Higher than usual”’ as, their force exhausted in that spectacular journey, the pent-up contents of the dam slid by on their way to the sea. The records of this flood can yield a tremendous amount of information about how people were living at the time, in two main ways. Firstly from the statements of what they were doing when the water reached them, and secondly from the claims for recompense made afterwards. Most people were in bed and were wearing

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insight into people’s homes and way of life. In some areas we have information about upper floors, but in more cases lower floors only were flooded. Some people seemed to have set out to impress the Commis- sioners. Thomas Marsh of Neepsend began his list with ‘One harp, value £6,” and went on to the value of “music for Another man emphasized his piety by beginning with ‘‘Four large Bibles” and then listing religious tracts. Mud left behind by the water was often twelve feet deep and in their assessments the Commissioners often deducted the amount claimed for cleaning, perhaps because the Corporation had supplied carts to take mud and debris away. It is often difficult to understand why one claim should be paid in full when another person only received a small proportion. There are all kinds of tradesmen; muffin baker, anvil maker, comb maker, powder flask maker, etc. Here is the claim for a delightful corner shop, that of

William Batty, a grocer in Harvest Lane: “Lost, personal clothing and furniture.

school books pigs of fifteen stone each stock in trade including 6 lbs. coffee, 4 lbs. Packet Cocoa, 7 lbs. candied lemon, 24 lbs. lump sugar mustard, dates 3 Ibs. ground ginger, box epsom salts, 12 lbs. Ricketts Black Lead, 1 box Blue, 1 gross Trelvetrees Washing Powder... 10 lbs. hemp seed, 1 box cigars, 6 doz. lead pencils, Buttons, tape, cotton, needles, pins, thimbles 4 bags of flour and 100 lbs. of bread...” John Bate, a glass cutter and photographer, claimed for: loss of 24 half plate paspertaux, Camera stand, chloride of gold, nitrate of silver; Steel engraving of H.R.H. The Prince of Wales favour- ite greyhound £1;24 Stereoscopic Pictures...” Charles Hodkin, botanist, of Russell Street, had losses including; “3 hampers of herbs, Gamboge, Anniseed, Angelica Root, Burdock seed, Cherry bark, Gentian root, Golden Seal, Indian Pink, Mazarine Root, Marshmallow Root, Peruvian Bark, Lobelia, Poplar Bark, Pleurisy, root, Polipodia, White Pond Lily, Scullcap, Senna, Sassafras, Bark, valerian Root, Black Root, Una Visa, Cardigan Seeds, Cubebs, Dandelion Extracts, Motherwort, Allitertive Pills, Rheumatic Fever and cough powders, Female Corrective Powder and other articles... £6” In a public house, you could have ordered, prior to the flood, “Ale, beer, bitter beer, Porter in bottles, Bass Pale Ale, Scotch ale, Port wine, Cordials... pickled lemons and pickled ox tongue...” Most people had oilcloth on the floors of their houses, and a hearth rug. Skin rugs were common. If the ground floor only was flooded, people always seemed to have lost their boots, so these must have been left downstairs at night, as one might expect. Here are two typical working men’s claims; “Mathew Greaves, grinder;- of Percy Street,


Harvest Lane;- Hair seated sofa, Dresser, table, 5 chairs, fender and Irons, floor oilcloth, hearth rug, window blind, Maiden Pot, glasses, crockery, 1 pair Sunday boots, Plaid woollen Shawl, clothing for three children (frockjackets, shoes, petticoats, trousers, chemises, underclothing) Silk Handkerchief, 2 table cloths, ash pan, 1 ton coals, 2 pancheons of lard, Brushes Blacking and Black Lead, Sweeping brushes, Kettle, 3 sauce- pans. Claim £14:4:8, assessed at £6.”

“John Massey, hammer man of 173 Attercliffe Row:- Brussels carpet, 6 Mahogany chairs, Mahogany Loo table, Mahogany Chiffonier, sofa, Coals, crockery, brushes, pair of men’s Boots, 2 water cans, Wash bowl, Hearth rug, mats, etc. Cleaning expenses of £1:5:0. Total £6:1:0 assessed at £4.” Mathew Gould was most bothered about his garden. He was a furnaceman at the Old Park Rolling Mill and claimed for:-

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illuminating example of the widely different meanings which can be attached to those two emotive words, gentleman and labourer. James Drabble, gentleman, was the owner of leasehold property (12 cottage houses, and lessee of a hosier’s shop and a pub) and he occupied one of his own houses, number 3 cottage House in Greystock Street. His claim runs:- “Damage done to furniture etc. in a cottage house in my occupation:- Oilcloth spoiled 10/—, Carpet 12/—, hearth rug 4/—, 2 skin door mats, Cellar:- 2 wash pancheons broken 2/-, Bread 3/—, load of coal spoiled 10/—, pots broken, 3 pairs of boots

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the activity of the

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marriage he paid aman to teach him Latin. His journal records that on various occasions he took books “‘to Mrs Jeffrys” for binding, amongst them “Popular Educator” (6 vols) and ‘‘Parish Magazine” (2 vols), as well as

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The fourth of the Ingham sons, William Bairstow, who inherited some of the better Ingham qualities, lost his life at the hands of natives on Brooker’s Island, New Guinea, an event noted by John Hepworth in his diary: “Mr Willie said to have been murdered on December Sth, 1878, in New Elsewhere, as in the inscription on the memorial window in Mirfield church — the East Window — the year only is set down; possibly the exact date remained uncertain. In May 1880 John Hepworth and his wife had a visit from Mr and Mrs Rogers, the William Rogers who had been head gardener in 1866-8. It would be interesting to know what he thought of the gardens now. One of John Hepworth’s assistants, names Fretwell, must have caused concern by a habit of arriving late for work, for there is a table recording his arrival times and number of minutes late (ranging from 5 to 30) over the period 14th October to Sth November. Other points considered by John Hepworth as worth recording included the results of a poll taken on a question concerning the School Board on 11th January, 1879, On 28th August, 1893, after fourteen years service with E.T. Ingham and a total of just over twenty- nine years at Blake Hall gardens, John Hepworth retired — retired, that is, from professional gardening, for he remained active in other directions. As a first step he took over from his brother-in-law a grocer’s shop in Batley, a successful enterprise which remained in the family for about fifty years. It was, though, in the ecclesiastical field that his achievements probably became best known. He started amovement to establish a church and parish at Purlwell, hitherto part of Batley parish, and remained actively connected with its development, serving as a member of the Building Committee, later as People’s Warden, and then as Vicar’s Warden of the new parish (St. Andrew’s). He was an elected member of the Central Board of Finance for the Wakefield Diocese, and of the Ruri- Decanal Standing Committee. He wrote a detailed history of St Andrew’s up to 1917. When he died in 1918 — the year also of E.T. Ingham’s death — the Bishop of Wakefield could write:

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PAWNSHOP RECORDS Ian Dewhirst, G. Redmonds

The pawnshop used to play an important role in working-class communities, but is now almost a thing of the past. A set of accounts for a Keighley pawnshop has been analysed for us below by Ian Dewhirst and this is followed by the reminiscences of the editor’s father, who worked in such a business as a boy. Both accounts touch on the period of the First World War and they offer interesting points of comparison. lan Dewhirst “If you want any Brass,

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The costume, assuming that it was the same one, charts a poignant course of devaluation. The first three times she pawned it, it raised 5s. The fourth time, she only got 3s., and the fifth time, it was down to half-a-crown.

Ronald Redmonds In 1915 I was fourteen years old. My working hours at North’s in Manchester Road, Bradford were 7.30a.m. to

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The pleasant rural village of Clifford in the West Riding was the location of a specialist outlier of the widespread linen industry of that County in the form of the shoe-thread manufacturing firm of the Grimston family. Their business was to become probably the largest of its kind in the country and was to survive at Clifford for almost half a century. The exact date of the foundation of the business at Clifford is uncertain, although in a letter of 5.1871 Thomas Grimston stated that his firm had been trad- ing for forty years. A trade directory published in 1834 does not refer to any Grimston in the vicinity of Clifford although it does mention Robert Grimston, a fellmonger living at Landleed House, Waterside, Knaresborough and both Ralph and Thomas Grimston were natives of that place — the former born there in about 1797 and the latter in about 1802. There were by c.1834 several thread-manufacturing firms in Knaresborough. The 1835 West Riding poll book lists the then three partners in the mill at Clifford: Thomas and Robert both living at Clifford and Ralph at Knaresborough. They had then recently taken the tenancy from the Bramham estate of Clifford Mills, old-established water-powered corn mills lying in fact in large part in Bramham but closely adjoining upon the village of Clifford. In 1806 these mills had been conveyed for the use of Michael Maud, described as a thread mer- chant, who was “of” Clifford Mills in 1808. In 1819 Maud conveyed his Clifford Mills property to James Fox of Bramham Park, but he is referred to in the trade directory of 1821 as a miller, thread manufacturer and flax spinner at three mills close to Clifford and including Clifford Mills. The 1838 trade directory of the West Riding refers to the Grimstone as “patent yarn & shoethread’’ manu- facturers at Clifford Mills, where they also became farmers, purchasing some property themselves. By 1848 “At Clifford Mill, in this township, is Messrs. Grimston’s old established manufactory for patent shoe-thread — the superiority of which, over similar articles, has long been

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compelled to husband their resources as much as possible.”’ Being in the depths of the countryside posed some transport difficulties for business, even though the Grimstons’ raw materials and finished products were relatively light in relation to their bulk. In 1870 the firm used a traction engine to pull their waggon(s) and were about to remove their traffic to Newton Kyme railway station. The engine was described in May 1871 as being of 8h p and working “‘exceedingly

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Bruce Strong

In February 1840 the 40 inmates of the Pudsey work- house celebrated Queen Victoria’s wedding. All were regaled with roast beef and plum pudding, the tradi- tional festive fare. The men were also treated to “‘good old English ale’, whilst the women made do with “excellant tea and buns”. But all joined to drink Her Majesty’s health

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caused great distress in the first years of the 19th Century. In January 1801 a Moravian ‘labourer’ reported: ‘“‘Much outward distress —. It is not uncommom to hear of such as are perishing by The Moravians were obliged to begin an additional ‘watch’ because of the “many plunderings”’ (9). The pressure on the poor rate must have been severe and was probably related to the decision in February 1802: “to discontinue the poor house and the occupants dispose of as soon as possible.” Within a fortnight the workhouse was contracted out to John Cooper, a cloth manufacturer who was to be paid 3/— a week to find board, including 2 meat dinners a week, and ‘fire’ for each inmate (10). John Cooper was then free to use the workhouse and the labour of the inmates for his own cloth manufacturing business. Although the workhouse was to be inspected period- ically the officials soon seemed to slip into the attitude that their responsibility ended when the contractor had been paid. Certainly what references there are to the workhouse during the next 35 years reveal it as an utterly sub-Dickensian establishment. In 1817 the Moravians determined not to “suffer (Ann Willey.) — to remain in such a place of wretched- ness as the workhouse seems to be” (11), and many years later aman recalls having seen

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children were sent to Calverley workhouse because of the master and matron’s: “‘capabilities and fitness to undertake the instruction of Youth” (21). But despite these changes after three years the work- house still did not meet the requirements of the new system. In June 1840 the Board of Guardians resolved: “in consequence of misgovernment — the establish- ment should be dissolved and the inmates removed to other and better conducted establishments’. The news led to an angry meeting in the Town School, where bold resolutions were passed condemning the “interference of strangers” in what had traditionally been township matters. There was a burst of festivity, the church bells were “‘set a-ringing”, the Tory band played its most rousing tunes and the cry was: ‘‘Down with the New Poor Law”’. The natural indignation was vigorously fanned by local Tories eagar to make the most of a popular cause to match the Liberal’s anti- Corn Law campaign (22). Yet petitions could not change the decision of the Union, which itself was beholden to the Poor Law Commissioners. The following October the work- houses at Pudsey and Calverley were both closed; John Rogers and his wife received a golden handshake in the form of the three year old workhouse clock. The building then had various uses, as a flock ware- house, possibly as a hospital during the 1849 cholera


epidemic (23), and finally as the cottages depicted by W.J. Noble. It was demolished in about 1900 and to- day the old town workhouse is almost forgotten.


1 Leeds Mercury 22.2.1840 2 Borthwick Institute of Historical Research. Pudsey Pecular Wills 3. West Riding Session Records 1611-42, Yorks.Arch.Soc. Record Series, Vol. LIX 4 West Riding Quarter Sessions Order Book 10.7.1663 5 Borthwick Institute of Historical Research. Diocesan Wills. Feb. 1740/41 6 Moravian Pudsey Daily Diary. March 1762/May 1762 7 Moravian Diacony Conference 9.4.1764: 11.2.1765 8 Moravian Pudsey Daily Diary 22.3.1753. 9 Moravian Fulneck Daily Diary 26.1.1801: 8.3.1801

10 History of Pudsey, Simeon Raynor 1887 (quotations from Township Book) p. 147 11 Moravian Fulneck Elders Conference 11.2.1817 12 Pudsey and Stanningley News 10.7.1885 13. Life of Joseph Barker (by himself) 1880 p. 90/1 14. PRO MH 12 14720 15 Urine, bought by local woollen mills to use in scouring, etc. 16 Leeds Intelligencer 27.1.1838

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OLD WEST RIDING Vol.2 No.2 Winter 1982 Articles and Contributors page HONLEY FROM THE 1811 CENSUS Hilary Haigh

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Vol. 1 No. 1 Spring 1981


Vol. 1 No. 2 Autumn 1981

NEW HALL, ELLAND; The Story of a Pennine Gentry House from c.1490 to the mid-19th century Column Giles USES OF URINE Jennifer Stead with assistance from Authur Saul Part 1 THE NORTHWARD MARCH OF A WEST YORK MILITIAMAN DURING THE NAPOLEONIC WARS Jan Dewhirst SPRING END; The Earliest Well-Documented West Riding Scribbling Mill John Goodchild HUDDERSFIELD AND YORKSHIRE DIALECT Stanley Ellis MARLING George Redmonds MILLY SANDS, A West Riding Field-name George Redmonds ARCHBISHOP NEILE’S PRIMARY VISITATION OF THE HUDDERSFIELD DISTRICT 1633 John Addy CHRISTIAN NAMES POPULAR IN THE WEST RIDING IN THE MID-14th CENTURY Helen M. Jewell TONG STREET George Redmonds RINGING ADAM BELLS Jennifer Stead BURIED TREASURE Lilian Robinson

Vol. 2 No. 1 Spring 1982

THE USES OF URINE Jennifer Stead Part II COCK-FIGHTING IN YORKSHIRE Lilian Robinson THE CIRCUS COMES TO TOWN Gillian Briscoe SHIBDEN HALL: The early development of an important Halifax house Peter C.D. Brears AN ATTACK OF THE GOUT George Redmonds JACOBINISM AND UNREST IN THE HUDDERSFIELD AREA 1799-1803 Alan J. Brooke DOG PITS George Redmonds J.G. LOWOOD, THE GANISTER KING John Goodchild

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