Huddersfield Chronicle (25/Jan/1868) - Archaeological and Topographical Association

The following is a transcription of a historic newspaper article and may contain occasional errors. If the article was published prior to 1 June 1957, then the text is likely in the Public Domain.



An exhibition took place, on Thursday evening, in the Assembly Room of the Wesleyan Schools, Queen Street, in connection with the Huddersfield Archaeological and Topographical Association, and it was visited by a goodly number of ladies and gentlemen. The conversazione was attended by the following gentlemen, many of whom were accompanied by ladies :— Rev. Canon Hulbert, Rev. G.G. Lawrence, incumbent, St. Paul's ; Rev. H.E. Garnett, Delph ; Rev. Ingham Brooke, rector of Thornhill ; Rev. W.B. Calvert, vicar of Huddersfield ; Rev. R. Collins, vicar of Kirkburton ; Rev. W.S. Turnbull, vicar of Peni-stone ; Rev. G.B. Mellor, Bradford ; Rev. T.T. Short ; Lieutenant-Colonel Bradbury ; Lieutenant Harpin, Holmfirth ; Dr. Turnbull ; Dr. T.B. Oldfield, Heckmondwike ; Messrs. Bentley Shaw, J.P., William Brooke, Northgate House ; T.H. Battye, J.W. Carlile, T. Robinson, W.E, Hirst, N. Wrigley, W. Eddison, Edmund Dent, Heckmondwike ; T. Chrispin, A Smith, — Leyland, Halifax ; — Stott, Halifax ; Thomas Bradbury, Rastrick ; E. Tindall, Bridlington ; John Holdsworth, Delph ; G.F. Beaumont, Honley ; R. Heslop, John Hirst, Dobcross ; F.F. Abbey, J.G. Berry, R.P. Shaw, E. Mills, R. Meller, solicitor, Holmfirth ; E. Hailstone, F.S.A., Bradford ; J.P. Dowse, E.J. Barber, Brighouse ; J.B. Pritchett, C.C.P. Hobkirk ; Thomas Bradbury, Mirfield ; G.W. Tomlinson, John Fox, John Kirk, Adam Oldroyd, Wm. Hastings, Richard Armitage, and many others. The Earl of Dartmouth was prevented being present through bereavement, and, in his absence, the chair was occupied by the President, Lieutenant-Colonel Brooke, who, in commencing the meeting, called upon

Mr. Fairless Barber, hon, sec., to read the report, from which we abstract the following :—

The members of the Council have to report that during the past year they have directed their attention to the work of consolidating the basis on which the association rests, rather than to any special object of research ; but, at the same time, they trust that no opportunity of applying all the means at their command has been omitted in promoting the general interests of the association. They are happy to state that not less than 40 members have been added to the roll, which now comprises 22 life members. The subscriptions of the latter, amounting to £115 10s., are ready for such investment as may be found most desirable. Before giving details of work done the members of the Council desire to state what, in their judgment, is the right policy to be pursued, not only with reference to explorations at Slack — which excited so much interest as to give a strong impetus to the extension of the association, — but also as regards any future work (and there mar be many) of the same description. They believe that it will be found advisable not to commence any work until a definite sum can be set apart for the specific object contemplated ; and they think that no temporary success should be allowed to induce the association to attempt more than the amount so appropriated would suffice, not only to carry on effectually but fully to complete. An opposite policy with regard to the excavations undertaken at Slack, has to some extent crippled the action of the Council in that work ; for, though determined to maintain and improve the position which the association has acquired there, they are equally resolved not to commence any new excavations until all the contingencies and liabilities of what has already been effected shall be fully provided for. Under these circumstances the fencing-in of the principal foundations laid bare has been complete, and the museum at Outlane has been maintained, but no fresh work has been undertaken.
The members of the Council met eight times daring the past year, and at every meeting something new and of importance was submitted for their consideration. In the spring, a meeting was held at Outlane, which led to a closer observation of remains within a short distance of Slack, which were visited under the guidance of Mr. J.S. Stott. The wider area of operations laid open to the Council by the alteration of Rule II. has already been the means of adding to the collection of MSS. some valuable notes by Thomas McKenna Hughes, Esq., B.A., F.G.S., of the Geological Survey, on remains of antiquity met with in the course of his work in North-West Yorkshire
The honorary secretary, in the spring, had the pleasure of being present again at Canon Greenwell’s important Barrow diggings on the Yorkshire Wolds. He has also made a search for two urns containing calcined bones, which were found about forty years ago at Castle Hill, in Rastrick, and subsequently re-interred. Evidence was obtained as to the place of re-interment, but search was unsuccessful. From the statement of Stephen Rushforth, who, as a boy, was the actual discoverer, it has been found impossible to determine what was the precise character of the urns ; but this much is now clear, that the occupation of the castle or earthwork seen by Dr. Johnson in the 17th century, and described by Mr. Watson in his "History of Halifax," dates from a period when, and is referrable to a race by whom cremation of the body was customary before interment. The urns, if preserved, might have decided approximately the true period of deposit ; but the remembrance of the surviving persons acquainted with the facts is not sufficiently explicit to afford further information of scientific value. The president and the honorary secretary, with some of the members of the Council, availed themselves of the opportunity afforded for joining the Royal Archaeological Institute at its meeting held in Kingston-upon-Hull last summer. To the temporary museum formed there on the occasion the Council gladly contributed for exhibition the survey and plans of Slack made for the association, as well as a selected number of tiles and other antique objects, from the collection deposited in the museum at Outlane.
The members of the Council at several of their meetings have had the pleasure to acknowledge gifts of MSS., and other valuable documents presented to the association. These came chiefly from one source, namely, from the collection made by the late Mr. William Turner, of Hopton. The last of such presents, consisting of some manor rolls of Marsden, which was received from the band of Miss Mary Elizabeth Turner, his niece, was acknowledged so recently as the 2nd of December last. The Council cannot but feel that the members generally will justify the grateful appreciation with which each successive gift from Miss Turner was received ; and will fully approve of the expression of sympathy which was called forth by the melancholy intelligence of her decease. Miss Turner had died before the thanks conveyed by the Council for her last present reached her ; and the first announcement of her death was coupled with that of the munificent bequest which thus so closely connects her name with this association. It has been felt also by the Council that the report would be incomplete without some tribute paid to the memory of Miss Turner’s uncle, Mr. William Turner, by whom the collection of the volumes comprised in the bequest was chiefly made. For this, application has been addressed to that eminent archaeologist and esteemed vice-president. Dr. Walker, who has forwarded a record of the undoubted worth of his departed friend In determining what books formed the subject of Miss Turner’s bequest, as afore-stated, Mr. Benjamin Chadwick and Mr. S.J. Chadwick, the executors, not less than Mr. Charles Turner a surviving brother of Mr. William Turner, have shown the utmost liberality ; and in transmitting them to the honorary secretary for the association, they announced that the bequest, as provided by Miss Tomer, should be free of duty. Mr. Bradbury, of Longroyd, Rastrick, a member of the Council, had selected from his own library fifteen volumes which he has presented to the association.
It is felt by the Council that the association has now arrived at a critical point of its existence, when the basis of more extended usefulness must be carefully laid, and an attempt be made at once to secure premises of their own. The president, treasurer, and hon. secretary, with five members of the Council, namely, G.F. Beaumont, Colonel Bradburv, Thomas Bradbury John Burgess, and the Rev. H.E. Garnett, M.A., retire by rotation, but are eligible for re-election. The Rev. James Hope and E. Brooke, jun., have also expressed a wish to retire from the Council. An auditor has also to be appointed, and Mr. William Hastings is recommended by the Council for that office. The council, in closing this report, wish to remind the members that the future success of the association is entirely in their own hands, and that if everyone will do as much as he is able to promote its extension, there are no limits to its usefulness, short of the complete attainment of its objects through the whole county of York. The thanks of the association are again due to the Literary and Scientific Society of Huddersfield, for the gratuitous use of one of their rooms for the last annual meeting, and for the periodical meetings of the Council which have been held there.

The accounts were then laid before the meeting.

The President proposed the adoption of the report, and it was seconded by the Rev. Canon Hulbert, and carried unanimously.

The retiring Council were re-elected, on the motion of Dr. Morehouse, and seconded by Mr. J.W. Carlile.

The Hon. Secretary moved that, in place of the Rev. James Hope and Mr. Edward Brooke, who had retired, Mr. S.J. Chadwick and the Rev. Ingham Brooke, rector of Thornhill, be added to the Council. The latter gentleman would prove an able representative of the association in the district of Thornhill. The Council were anxious to extend the district of the association as much as possible, so as to give as much interest to their work as they could get.

The motion was seconded by Mr. G.F. Beaumont, and carried unanimously.

Mr. Wm. Hastings was re-appointed auditor.

The President said, having got through the business portion of the meeting, he had now a very painful duty to discharge. It was to announce the great disappointment which had been unexpectedly experienced in the unavoidable absence of the Earl of Dartmouth, who had been announced to preside. In a letter, dated January 18th, his lordship stated that, owing to the death of a near relative, he should be unable to take the chair at the meeting. There were letters of apology from other gentlemen, and he would presently request the hon. sec. to read them. With reference to Lord Dartmouth’s absence, be thought he might say the Council felt that they would, on some future occasion, have a fair claim on his lordship to come amongst them ; and he thought his lordship would undoubtedly be most ready to recognise that claim. Still his lordship’s absence was a very great disappointment ; but they would endeavour to make up for that absence by pointing to the beautiful collection of objects of antiquarian interest which they had been enabled to bring together on that occasion. The programme must not only be acceptable to their friends, but might, in some measure, stimulate them to increase the interest which they knew so many felt in the special objects they were endeavouring to promote. In the report which had been read some allusion had been made to the nature of those studies, and to the special objects of the association. He wished to use the present opportunity for impressing upon those present the importance and interest of those studies, in fact, he might say, the fascination of them. They styled themselves an Archaeological and Topographical Association. What did that mean? Did it not mean an association whose aim was to investigate and illustrate the monuments of antiquity which our own old locality afforded? At the same time they did not forget nor neglect other matters which might throw light upon the more general history of the past. (Applause.) He thought the research which they had been enabled, in some measure, to institute in this neighbourhood had revealed to us that there were in our very midst numerous relics of bygone ages which they, as an association, were anxious to save from destruction, and which when so saved, they might utilise in some manner or other. He was sure many now present could call to mind the ruthless destruction of many such objects. One of the aims of the association was to place on record, before it was irretrievably lost, the collection of such objects, and also to preserve and use those which are still extant. All these matters, it might be, would be landmarks for them in investigating the history of the district. They must remember that the character and progress of a neighbourhood like ours was rapidly altering almost every feature of the surrounding places. This, he thought, would show that it was especially necessary that they should lose no time in carrying on the work which they were undertaking, for it must be manifest that each year would render their task more difficult. He thought he might call attention and appeal to the manuscript collection which they had been enabled to bring together, as a proof that very much could be done in the direction which he had indicated ; and, he thought he might further add, that each successive enquiry which they had been enabled to make had only convinced them that there were still more and greater fields open for investigation and research. He very much doubted whether many of the members had had the least idea that such a collection as they had in the room that evening could have been brought together by a local association. It was true they had to be thankful for the liberality of many of their friends from a distance, and amongst them he would especially mention their much-respected brother, Mr. Mellor, to whom they were indebted for a magnificent collection of "rubbings ;" but some of those present would hardly have entertained the idea that such a collection of objects of archaeological interest could be brought together by an association like their own. But, to go further, he thought few of the members knew that they had such monuments of the past as they had visited during the past year. What mere pleasing objects of interest could exist than the churches of Kirkburton and Almondbury? He might mention, again, the earthworks of Castle Hill, and that magnificent specimen of domestic architecture of the period — the hall at Wood-some, which they were proud to say was the Yorkshire residence of their noble patron, Lord Dartmouth. (Applause.) He had not mentioned the unexplored mine of objects of antiquarian interest which lay buried at Slack, which they had done something towards bringing before the public. He could point on the left hand to many illustrations of what they had there discovered. They had plans of the work which had been now opened, and also some of the tiles, coins, and other matters which had been disinterred there. Possibly some persons might be disposed to ask — what good there was in looking up, and taking up, the remains of those past ages? If so, he might venture to reply that much that was noblest in act was based on those monuments of antiquity and similar ones ; and the history of the past, which they were thus trying, in their small way, to evolve, was the best schoolmaster for the future ; and, by careful study of the history of what was past, they might all learn to avoid the mistakes which our ancestors made, and imitate those noble examples which so many had set before us. And was it not true that, by accurate comparison of those different remains of bye-gone ages, they could best trace out the process of that civilisation which had made us moderns what we are, or, at any rate, what we thought we were. We must consider that we had advanced, step by step, towards the position which we now occupy. It was one of the many objects of the association to trace out, and lay clearly before their friends and associates the various steps by which they had arrived at that result. The report which they had already adopted had, he thought, given them some idea of the work of the association during the past year ; and he need not, therefore, dwell on the operations of the association, (Applause.)

The Hon. Secretary then read letters of apology from Sir John Ramsden, Bart. ; Vicar of Halifax, E.A. Leatham, Esq. ; Sir George Armytage, Bart., Spencer Stanhope, Esq., Canon Hall ; — Monckman, Esq., Malton ; James Stansfield, County Court Judge, and other influential antiquarians and gentlemen.

The Rev. Canon Raine, M.A.. of York, read a paper on "Topographical materials for Agbrigg Wapentake." The rev. gentleman said he looked upon the association as the guardians of the antiquities of this Wapentake, documentary and otherwise. They could not fail to see how the materials of the past were disappearing daily, and he hoped something might be done to resuscitate them. It was impossible, he continued, to estimate the loss sustained by the wholesale destruction of old deeds. Canon Raines offered some suggestions to be adopted by members of the association in the collection of documentary evidence ; and said that, when the proper time arrived for the publication of the materials they had gathered, whatever the expense of giving them to the world might be, in so free-handed and patriotic a county as Yorkshire, the necessary funds would immediately be provided. (Applause.)

The Hon. Secretary read a paper, by Mr. Monckman. Malton, on "Ancient flints, stones, implements, and weapons."

The President read a paper, by Mr. A. Wade, on certain objects found at Slack.

The Rev. G.B. Mellor, Bradford, briefly described some of the rubbings from monumental and other brasses in old churches, with which the walls of the gallery were covered, and stated that there were four classes of monumental brasses, namely ecclesiastical, military, civillian, and miscellaneous.

The President announced that there were other papers, but they would duly appear in the transactions of the association, of which he hoped every one present would become a member. It now only remained for him to perform the very pleasing duty of proposing a vote of thanks, not only to the gentlemen who had contributed the papers, and especially the Rev. Canon Raine and Mr. Monckman, but also to the gentlemen who had sent such a magnificent display of objects of archaeological interest to adorn the room that evening. The special thanks of the association were due to Sir George Armytage, Bart., who had contributed so large a collection of interesting objects, amongst them being two banners of the old local militia, and also to Lord Wham-cliffe, Mr. Ecroyd Smith, Mr. E. Tindall, Bridlington, for contributing so wonderful a collection of flint implements.

The Hon. Secretary seconded the motion ; and it was passed with acclamation.

Bentley Shaw, Esq., proposed a vote of thanks to the president, and said it was one of the most agreeable evenings they had passed for many a day.

The motion, having been seconded by T.H. Battye, Esq., was carried unanimously.

Wm. Brook, Esq., moved that the best thanks of the meeting be given to the indefatigable hon. secretary, Mr. F. Barber.

The Rev. G.B. Mellor seconded the motion ; and it was passed in a most cordial manner.

In the course of the evening refreshments, provided by Mr. Cardno, New Street, were partaken of, and the visitors beguiled the time away, some by lending an attentive ear to the several papers, and others in examining and conversing upon the interesting collection of antiquities, which embraced bronze celts, a bronze vessel, and weapons ; flint and stone implements ; tiles, &c. from Slack ; coins, proof pieces of money ; rubbings from monumental brasses, impressions of seals ; ancient MSS., books, engravings, photographs, and plans ; and also a portion of the Turner library, which consists of 700 volumes, recently bequeathed to the association, and other remains and records of ancient times. The exhibition of ancient weapons and implements of stone and flint, found by Mr. E. Tindall, of Bridlington, was held in one of the large vestries ; and much attention was paid by the visitors to this department. The stone and flint implements, from the rudest to the most polished, it was explained, overturned in different parts of France so nearly resemble those found in Yorkshire as to render their identity almost impossible. A photograph of the notorious "Flint Jack," who, it is well known, made flints and palmed them off as priceless memorials of the past, was exhibited. Amongst the collection sent by Sir George Armytage, were a variety of objects disclosed in excavating at Kirklees in 1863 ; a magnificent cup presented by the Royal Huddersfield Fusilers to Sir George Armytage, Bart. ; several ancient weapons of warfare ; manuscripts relating to Kirklees Priory and estate of Sir George ; and the arms and names of the lords of Kirklees. The cases, which were surmounted by a series of photographic views, contained episcopal, conventical, royal, military, municipal, and other seals, lent by the Rev. G.B. Mellor ; engravings contributed by the Rev. J.M. Pilter ; bronze dagger, found at Woodnook, near Wakefield, Mr. W.H. Bartholomew, C.E. ; Roman coins and clay moulds found at Lingwell Gate ; massive gold ring found at Marsden, Mr. J.P. Dowse ; English silver coins from Henry VIII. to Victoria, lent by Mr. G.D. Tomlinson. Copies of the armorial bearings of families mentioned in Watson’s "History of Halifax," were also on view ; and amongst the other exhibitors were the president (Lieut.-Colonel Brooke) the Rev. Canon Hulbert ; Mr. Wm. Schofield, Mr. R. Armytage, Mr. Alfred Hoyle, Mr. Ecroyd Smith, Miss Crawshall, Lieut. Harpin, Mr. F. Barber, &c.