Honley Feast (1887)

The 1887 Honley Feast began on Sunday 25 September.

The Huddersfield Temperance Society held a "very large meeting" on the Sunday of the feast, with their portable coffee cart proving popular.[1]

62-year-old John Kaye, a weaver of Lascelles Hall, had left his home to attend the first day of the feast but failed to return home. It was ascertained that he had been seen "under the influence of drink" and his body was eventually found in the river below King's Mill, Huddersfield. At the inquest into his death, it was assumed that he had "had too much to drink, missed his way, and wandered across a field into the river."[2]

During the feast, the Mount Pleasant Wesleyan Chapel, Lockwood, held several fundraising events in an attempt to pay off an outstanding £100 debt on the building. This proved to be so successful that they proposed to use the excess to build an adjoining school.[3]

Oliver Stocks, plumper of Milnsbridge, was charged with causing grievous bodily harm on musician John William Taylor and also George Frederick Holt, landlord of The Red Lion in Lockwood on the Tuesday of the feast. Stocks was also charge will assaulting James Lodge, an innkeeper on Buxton Road. In return, Holt, Taylor and Lodge, along with labourer James Burke, were charged with assaulting Stocks. Finally, Lodge and Burke were also charged with assaulting labourer Squire Kennedy of Lockwood! A fracas had started at The Red Lion in which Stocks had allegedly stabbed Holt in the leg, and then other attacked Stocks. After heading the evidence — which took several hours — the magistrates committed Stocks to face trial for the alleged stabbing and then fined both Stocks and Lodge 5 shillings each for attacking each other.[4] At the November Yorkshire Assizes, Stocks was found guilty and sentenced to six weeks' hard labour.[5]

In February 1888, the Chronicle reported the death of the "celebrated architectural sculptor" John William Kitson. Born in Armitage Bridge in 1846, Kitson found work at the London firm Messrs. Farmer and Brinley before moving to America in the mid-1860s. He formed the New York company Ellin and Kitson with Robert Ellin. The newspaper noted that Kitson had studied drawing with Peace Sykes at the Huddersfield Mechanics' Institute and that he had later supervised the stone carvings which adorned the exterior of the Ramsden Estate Buildings on Railway Street. Kitson had briefly returned to England in the autumn of 1887 and "stayed without ostentation amongst his relatives at Berry Brow and Honley". Together with his cousin, he visited the feast and looked upon "the old haunts of his childhood."[6]

Notes and References

  1. "Huddersfield Temperance Society's Festival" in Huddersfield Chronicle (15/Oct/1887).
  2. "Huddersfield: Deaths from Drowning" in Leeds Times (01/Oct/1887) and "Huddersfield: Deaths by Drowning" in Yorkshire Post (30/Sep/1887).
  3. "Mount Pleasant Wesleyan Sale of Work" in Huddersfield Daily Chronicle (29/Dec/1887).
  4. "Serious Stabbing Case Near Huddersfield" in Leeds Mercury (22/Oct/1887) and The Alleged Stabbing Affray at Lockwood" in Huddersfield Chronicle (22/Oct/1887).
  5. "Yorkshire Assizes" in Sheffield & Rotherham Independent (19/Nov/1887).
  6. "Death of a Pioneer in American Architectural Sculpture" in Huddersfield Chronicle (24/Feb/1888).