Extracts relevant to the Huddersfield area are reproduced below. The transcription may contain occasional errors.
COMMERCIAL HISTORY. The following is a list of the banking-houses in this district, with the houses they draw upon in London.
Huddersfield — The Huddersfield Banking Company draw upon Smith, Payne and Smiths. Mr. Hugh Watt is manager. The Mirfield and Huddersfield District Banking Company, draw on Masterman and Co. Mr. John Wilson is manager. Messrs. John, William and Christopher Rawson and Co., draw upon Glyn and Co.
THE POST-OFFICE SYSTEM.
The Post-Office at Huddersfield is in New Street, Mr. William Moore is the post-master. Letters from London, Pontefract, and Wakefield, arrive every evening at six, and are despatched every morning at a quarter before six. Letters from Leeds, Halifax, and Manchester, arrive every morning at a quarter-past seven, and afternoon at a quarter-past two, and they are sent every morning at a quarter-past ten, and in the evening at six o'clock. There are foot-posts to Lockwood, Honley, Thong Bridge, Holmfirth, Paddock, Slaithwaite, Marsden, Longwood, Almondbury, Dogley Lane, Kirkburton, Crossland, Netherton, Meltham, Deighton, Sheepridge, Rastrick, Brighouse, Dalton, Kirkheaton, Lepton, Lindley, and Out-Lane, every morning (except Tuesday) at eight.
CHAPTER I. MISCELLANEOUS PARTICULARS.
The parish of Huddersfield contains the townships of Huddersfield, Longwood, Marsden, Scammonden, Slaithwaite, Golcar, Lindley, and Quarmby. It is in the wapentake of Agbrigg and Morley, in the liberty of the honour of Pontefract, and it consists of the valley formed by the River Colne, with the collateral gullies which fall into its course, and the neighbouring mountains and moorland. The Colne, of course, constitutes the principal feature in its physical geography. It is a small stream which rises not far from the source of the Don, above Holmfirth, and falls into the Calder, near Nunbrook. The principal valley in the parish, is that which contains the villages of Slaithwaite and Marsden, traversed in the whole length of its course by the mill stream which rises in Standidge, and falls into the Colne, a little above the town.
Besides the parish of Huddersfield, our topographical details will extend to parts of the parishes of Almondbury, containing the townships of South Crossland, Farnley Tyas, Honley, Lingarths, Austonley, Holme, Linthwaite, Lockwood, Nether Thong, and Upper Thong. We shall also refer to parts of the parishes of Kirkburton and ]]Parish of Kirkheaton|Kirkheaton]].
The characteristics of the climate and soil, and the general face of the country, are so precisely similar to those of Halifax, that it would be useless to repeat the description.
According to the calculation of Dr. Walker, it would appear that this district is healthy in an eminent degree; so that on an average of five years, the annual number of deaths in proportion to the population, was only as one to fifty-four and a fraction.
The parish enjoys the advantage of several mineral springs, which, if not endowed with those singularly brilliant properties ascribed to sources of greater fame, are important to the labouring classes, to whom access to distant waters is pretty nearly impracticable. At or near Holmfirth, Lockwood, Kirkheaton, and Slaithwaite, are to be found springs, yielding, on analysis, different proportions of sulphureous impregnations. The Spa Baths at Lockwood have recently risen into considerable celebrity. The water is highly valued for its medicinal qualities, and the baths, &c. equal in commodiousness to any in the kingdom. They afford ample accommodation for swimming, warm, Buxton, shower, vapour, sulphureous, fumigating, and shampooing baths; in the latter process a native of India was engaged, and more than ten thousand baths were taken during the last season.
The history of this town, does not furnish much matter for the gratification of antiquarian research, although it is an undoubted fact, that the Castle-Hill, at Almondbury, was the site of an ancient fortification, and that the Roman station at Cambodunum, which we have described already so particularly, was on the confines of the parish in the township of Longwood.
It would seem indeed that Huddersfield itself was the site of a Roman settlement; for in March 7, 1743, at this place, the foundations of a Roman Temple were found, with many beautifully ornamented bricks, and an altar, having a patera at the summit, on one side a cornucopia, and an augural staff on the other. The edifice had been dedicated to the goddess Fortune, by one Antonius Modestus, or Modestinus, of the sixth conquering legion.
It is also known that there are some ancient symbols of Druidical worship still extant in the parish, and that the site of a Cromlech, and several stupendous rocking stones, remain to this day. Not far from Meltham there is one of these stones, but the finest Druidical remain in the parish, is in Golcar, on Wholestone Moor.
The Fortifications on the Castle Hill, at Almondbury, undoubtedly originated with the Saxons. The late Dr. Whitaker says, “that the whole of what Camden states respecting this place, is so hypothetical as scarcely to merit a confutation. First, Almondbury is not Cambodunum, which has been decisively fixed at Slack, near Stainland. Secondly, it is not Roman at all, wanting every symptom which belongs either to the site or the structure of a Roman encampment. Thirdly, it is unquestionably Saxon, &c.” Of the Castle Hill, Dr. Whitaker has given us a ground plan, from which it appears to occupy upwards of eleven acres. The crown of the hill has been strongly fortified by a double wall and trenches; the area within, has also been subdivided into an outer and inner enclosure from the gate, and the remains of mortar and stones, almost vitrified, prove, beyond all controversy, that the place has been destroyed by fire.
Huddersfield is spelt in Doomsday Book Oderesfelt, and its name is most probably derived from Oder, the first Saxon resident.
In Doomsday Book we have the following entries relative to the parish and neighbourhood of Huddersfield.
In Oderesfelt, (Huddersfield,) Godwin had six carucates of land to be taxed, where there may be eight ploughs. Now Ilbert has it, and it is waste. Wood pasture one mile long, and one broad. Value in King Edward's time, one hundred shillings.
In Bradeleia, (Bradley,) Godwin and Delfin had two carucates of land to be taxed, where there may be two ploughs. Chetel now has it of Ilbert, and it is waste. Value in King Edward's time, three pounds. Wood pasture a mile and a half long, and one broad.
In Gudlacsarc, (Golcar,) Luuinc had half a carucate to be taxed, and there may be two ploughs there. Dunstan has it of Ilbert, and it is waste. Value in King Edward's time, ten shillings. Wood pasture one mile long, and half a mile broad.
In Croisland, (Crossland,) Suuen had two carucates of land to be taxed, and there may be two ploughs. Ilbert has it and it is waste. Value in King Edward's time, ten shillings. Wood pasture two miles long, and one broad.
In Daltone, (Dalton,) Alric had two carucates of land to be taxed, and there may be two ploughs there. Suuen now has it of Ilbert. Himself has one plough there, and two villanes with one plough. Wood pasture five quarentens long, and four broad. Value in King Edward's time, twenty shillings, now ten shillings.
In Lillaia, (Lindley,) Godwin had two carucates to be taxed, and there may be two ploughs there. Ulchel now has it of Ilbert, and it is waste. Value in King Edward's time, twenty shillings. Wood pasture, five quarentens. long, and two broad.
In Almaneberie, (Almondbury,) Chetel and Suuen have two carucates to be taxed, where there may be four ploughs. Leusin now has it of Ilbert, and it is waste. Value in King Edward's time, three pounds. Wood pasture one mile long, and one broad.
In Fereleia, (Farnley Tyas,) Godwin and Suuen had three carucates of land to be taxed, where there may be three ploughs. Suuen now has it of Ilbert, and it is waste. Value in King Edward's time, forty shillings. Wood pasture six quarentens long, and six quarentens broad.
In Haneleia and Meltone, (Honley and Meltham,) Cola and Suuen had four carucates of land to be taxed, where there may be three ploughs. Value in King Edward's time, forty shillings. Wood pasture two miles long, and half a mile broad.
From all these entries and notices, it is evident that at the time of the Doomsday survey, nearly the whole of this part of the country was surrendered to a state of absolute devastation; and in a district which is now occupied by fifty thousand individuals, in all probability there were not a hundred human beings to be found.
When the Castle Hill of Almondbury was crowned by its Saxon, or even its Norman fortress, the steep and lofty mountain on which they were placed must have frowned with a formidable aspect on the peaceful and industrious village beneath. Even now, the hill alone, with its remaining earth-works, throws a gloom and shade over the valley beneath, which, combining with perpetual smoke, and with the near and lofty horizon around, excludes no small portion of the light of heaven.
It may safely be affirmed that this parish was separated from Dewsbury, and the parish church erected and endowed under the influence of one of the earlier Lacies, to whose ecclesiastical munificence this neighbourhood has been so deeply indebted, as the founders of parish churches. That by one of them it was given, and afterwards appropriated to their own house of Nostel, is certain. Yet the time and circumstances of these transactions are unknown.
From the rolls of Richard II. it appears, that in the third of that reign, free warren in Huddersfield was granted to the prior and canons of Nostel. Long prior, however, to this time, Roger de Lacy (about the year 1200) “granted to Wm. de Bellomonte (ancestor to the Beaumonts of Whitley), for his homage and service, 12 bovates of land, with their appurtenances, together with a moiety of the demesne meadow of that town, and of the wood, and four marks rent out of the mills.”
The same Roger de Lacy granted to Colin de Dammevile 24 bovates of land in Huddersfield, and all his lordship (dominium) there; the other moiety of the demesne and wood, 57 acres of land, upon Arcotecliffe, and 20s. rent from the mill, with all the appurtenances of the said town.
The said Colin de Dammevile, for the soul of his lord, Roger de Lacy, gave to God, the blessed St. Mary, and the abbot and monks of Stanlaw, all his part of the mill of Huddersfield, upon the river Caune, and 20s. annual rent.
In the 9th Edward II. Thomas, Earl of Lancaster, was found Lord of Huddersfield. Soon after his execution, it must have been granted out; for, by deed dated at Huddersfield, 1333, Sir Richard de Birton, knight, gave to John de Birton, his son, all his manor of Hodresfield, with the rents and services of Ric. de Hanlay, Margery de Quernby, Adam de Hepworth, Adam de Lockwood, Adam de Blackburn, &c. Witnesses, Sir Jon de Elland, Brian de Thornhill, JohnHemynge, knights, &c.
What were the intermediate passages of this manor during a period of more than two centuries, is not known. It probably continued in the Burton family till their extinction in heirs female; but by indenture bearing date June 12, 16th Elizabeth, John Byron, Esq., sold the manor of Huddersfield to Sir Gilbert Gerrard.
Of the precise time when the present family became seized of this manor we are not informed, but it is certain that John Ramsden, Esq. of Byrom, had a grant of a market at Huddersfield, by patent dated November 1, 23rd Charles II. On the parish church there is little to observe. It was well adapted to so populous a parish, but contained no memorials of importance. It appears to have been rebuilt about the time of Henry VIII. The old front had the arms of France and England quarterly within the garter, and the initials E. R. in the character of Edward VI.
An interesting fact is recorded of this vicinity in the middle ages. It was the occasional resort of the bold outlaw, Robin Hood. Already we have given a detailed account of the nunnery at Kirklees. That place was the occasional residence and sepulchre of this ancient archer and freebooter, Robin Hood, who lived in the beginning of the thirteenth century, and who, according to tradition, was suffered to bleed to death by a nun, to whom he had applied to take from him a portion of his redundant blood. That such a character existed, the testimony of Peirs Ploughman appears to decide; whether he was, as the epitaph preserved by Dr. Gale, dean of York, imports, of noble parentage, or an outlaw of humbler birth, is not equally clear; but that his mortal remains rest at Kirklees, under an ancient cross, and beyond the precincts of the nunnery, is generally admitted. The cross bears no inscription, but the epitaph may have been engraved upon a tomb-stone, which has ceased to exist; it is in these words:—
A statue of this renowned freebooter, large as life, leaning on his unbent bow, with a quiver of arrows, and a sword by his side, formerly stood at one side of the entrance into the Old Hall.
The town of Huddersfield, both in population and trade, was very insignificant until about the commencement of the last century. At that period it was less by one-half than either Halifax or Wakefield, but now it is superior to them both, and appears likely to retain its accumulating pre-eminence. The country, indeed, is admirably adapted for manufacturing purposes. Its local advantages, arising principally from its coals and water-falls, have elevated it to the rank of one of the principal seats of the woollen trade.
The trade of Huddersfield, indeed, has now become immense. Its manufactures now consist of broad and narrow cloths, serges, kerseymeres, and cords. Fancy goods also to a great extent, comprising shawls and waistcoatings in great variety, besides articles from silk, are made in abundance in this vicinity.
The rapid progress of Huddersfield in importance and opulence, was indicated by the erection of the Piece Hall, in 1766. This edifice was built by Sir John Ramsden, and was enlarged by his son in 1780. It is an extensive circular edifice, two stories high, divided on one side into separate compartments or shops, and on the other into open stalls for the accommodation of country manufacturers of woollen cloths. There are two central avenues of stalls for the same purpose, and about six hundred manufacturers now attend here every market day. The doors are opened early in the morning of the market day; they are closed at half-past twelve o'clock at noon; and they are again opened at half-past three for the removal of cloth, &c. A cupola and bell are placed above the entrance for the purpose of regulating the time allowed for doing business.
The great progress of the town and neighbourhood of Huddersfield, was materially subserved by the great system of internal navigation of which it is the centre, and which communicates with the eastern and the western seas. The Ramsden Canal was formed under an act of parliament, obtained in the early part of the reign of George III. in the minority of the present Sir John Ramsden. It commences at the King's Mills, close to the town, crosses the high road to Halifax, and passing Blackhouse Brook, near Deighton, unites with the Calder at Cooper's-Bridge. In this way a communication is opened with the great trading towns of Halifax, Wakefield, Leeds, and York, as well as Hull, from whence the merchandise is shipped to foreign countries. The act of parliament under which this canal was formed, has recently undergone thorough investigation. It has been found that Sir John Ramsden is entitled to no more profit than six per cent. upon the money originally expended upon the construction of the work, that the dues consequently ought to be materially reduced, that the accounts ought to be open to public inspection, and that in fact Sir John is the trustee of the public. These matters have been represented to Sir John Ramsden, who, it has been understood, has promised to accede to the wishes of the public, and the stipulations of the act of parliament.
The Huddersfield Canal is one of the most stupendous monuments of human industry and skill to be found in the kingdom. It joins the Ramsden Canal at the south end of the town, and proceeds westward by the way of Longwood, Slaithwaite, and Marsden. It is then conveyed by a vast .tunnel three miles and a half long, beneath the great mountain of Standedge, to within two miles of Dobcross, from which the canal, after crossing the river Tame in several of its windings, comes within a mile of Lydgate, by Mosley and Staley-Bridge, and unites with the Ashton and Oldham Canal, near Ashton-under-Lyne. The navigation to Manchester is then direct, and from thence the communication by water and land is made daily to Liverpool, the great depot of commerce on the western coast. It has been generally believed that this canal has answered better for the town, and for the country through which it passes, than for the proprietors. It has been a losing speculation, and many years will probably pass away before it pays common interest for the money vested in the undertaking, which was very considerable.
We shall now proceed to give some miscellaneous particulars relative to this town and its vicinity, which, although detached and unconnected, are neither uninteresting nor unimportant.
It might be supposed, from the high hills with which the town of Huddersfield is surrounded, and with which the parish and neighbourhood are intersected, that there should occasionally occur sudden floods in the vallies destructive to property and dangerous to life. This has more than once been the case in this district. In 1799, several mills and houses between Holmfirth and Huddersfield were swept away by the floods, and one individual lost no fewer than eight hundred pieces of finished goods. In 1815, at Marsden, the inhabitants were alarmed by the exhibition of that singular phenomenon, a water spout, apparently formed of a dense black cloud, and resembling a long inverted cone, the lowest part of which seemed nearly to touch the ground, whilst above it the clouds were white and fleecy, and seemed much agitated by the water, which after falling, appeared to rise again rapidly up the vaporous spout with a spiral motion. A terrible tempest and a destructive flood ensued. The bursting of the great reservoir on Standedge was one of the most disastrous events of the kind which ever occurred in this part of the country. A similar event occurred at Holmfirth, on Sept. 21, 1820, when, after a continuance of heavy rain, the great reservoir above Black-Sike Mill burst its embankment, and rolled down the valley a prodigious volume of water, which forced down the buildings in its course, leaving the inhabitants and the workmen in the mill adjoining, and at Burn Lee dyehouse below, only just time to hurry to the heights, and escape its destructive fury. The flood commenced at seven o'clock in the evening, and the water had subsided at ten, but the inhabitants did not dare to retire to rest. The next day presented a truly affecting scene of desolation; mud, stones, timber, broken furniture, work tools, and prostrate trees were spread over the fields for a considerable extent, and the herbage, fences, and buildings in many places were destroyed. Happily no lives were lost, although the wreck of property was very great.
It has been supposed, and not without reason, that the neighbourhood of Huddersfield was at one time dreadfully infested with wolves. The township of Wooldale, in the vicinity, probably took its name from its abounding with wolves, which were once so numerous in this part of the kingdom, that they attacked and destroyed great numbers of the tame beasts of the villages. The inhabitants, finding all their efforts to destroy them in vain, petitioned King Athelstan, beseeching him to grant them relief, by taking some effectual method to destroy those ferocious animals; for which service, they bound themselves, and their successors for ever, to give every year one thrave of corn, out of every carucate of land, in the bishoprick of York. Their petition was granted, and buildings erected in many places, particularly in the woods and forests, for the reception of dogs and huntsmen; by whose means these ravenous creatures were in a little time entirely extirpated. It is curious to remark, that the thrave of corn out of every carucate of land, was afterwards given by government to the cathedral of York; and is, to this day, called Peter-Corn.
During the course of the French Revolutionary war, the inhabitants of the vicinity of Huddersfield largely partook of that antigallican spirit which pervaded almost the whole population of the country. After the disruption of the peace, or rather armistice of Amiens, the number of the Huddersfield and Upper-Agbrigg volunteers amounted to three thousand men. They received their colours from Lady Armytage, and were commanded by Sir G. Armytage; they made considerable progress in military discipline; they constituted one of the finest bodies of men in the country; and there is no doubt but that the enemy would have felt their prowess, had it ever been necessary for them to have taken the field.
When the general peace induced the disbanding of the military array of volunteers, and excited hope that a new era of prosperity was about to dawn upon the country, the inhabitants of Huddersfield reared a permanent and munificent monument of their gratitude, by founding a Dispensary, which, fifteen years afterwards, was connected with an Infirmary, and constitutes one of the greatest blessings of the country as well as ornaments of the town.
The frightful and distressing events which occurred during the existence of the Luddite combination, in 1811, we have described in their proper place in this History; and we have condemned in proper terms the horrible conspiracy which involved the murder of Mr. Horsfall, in broad day light, on his return from Huddersfield market. Some other occurrences of a similar character have still to be narrated, before we bring these miscellaneous details to a conclusion.
In 1817, general discontent prevailed throughout the West-Riding of the county of York, on account of the commercial distress. And numbers of the people regarding a radical parliamentary reform as the only permanent cure for the distressing and harassing evils to which they were exposed, were profoundly dissatisfied with government because of their inattention to the petitions of the people. These feelings were considerably heightened by certain political emissaries, who, in the spring of that year, came down into the north of England, and who, affecting to be themselves radicals, were, in reality, spies and instigators. The most distinguished of these characters was a person of the name of Oliver, a man of plausible manners and of insinuating address. Mr. Oliver, introduced by a reputed delegate, visited the reformers in Nottinghamshire, Warwick shire, and Lancashire, but the south-western part of the county of York was the favourite seat of his pestiferous mission. Here, as in other places, he and his travelling companion sedulously inculcated upon their dupes the belief, that the people in the metropolis, and in other populous parts of the kingdom, were ready to rise in open rebellion, and waited only to be joined by the reformers of the north, in order to overturn the government by physical force. To obtain credit with his employers for zeal and usefulness, he assembled several meetings of persons, whom he dignified with the name of delegates. One of these meetings was held at Thornhill Lees, on Friday, the 6th of June, at which Mr. Oliver attended in person. While the assembly, which consisted of about a dozen persons, were preparing for deliberation, they found themselves surrounded by a strong detachment of military, headed by Major-General Sir John Byng, the commander of the district, by whom ten of them were secured, and conveyed to Wakefield, for examination before the sitting magistrates. Mr. Oliver, the prime mover of the assembly, was suffered to escape. The events of this day, however, led to a distinct recognition of his mission, and to a public exposure, through the medium of the press, of his official connexions. It was now no longer possible to conceal the fact, that a system of espionage had been resorted to, and the first minister of state, Lord Liverpool, when pressed upon the subject in the House of Lords, admitted “ that Mr. Oliver had been employed by government to gain information from the disturbed districts;” but his lordship assured the house “ that he had been discouraged from endeavouring in any way to excite, or to extend the disaffection which he was to assist in suppressing.” A few days after the capture of the delegates at Thornhill Lees, a full bench of magistrates, with the venerable Lord Lieutenant (Earl Fitzwilliam) at their head, assembled at the Court-House in Wakefield, and after a patient inquiry into the circumstances of the case, the prisoners were all discharged; but two of them were detained by a Secretary of State's warrant, under the Habeas Corpus Suspension Act, on a charge of high treason. Two days after the meeting at Thornhill Lees, some hundreds of persons assembled about midnight, at a place adjoining the town of Huddersfield, called Folly Hall Bridge, under a delusive expectation that they would be joined by other insurgents from various parts of the kingdom, and that, when united, their force would be sufficiently strong to overturn the government of the country! The approach of a small body of yeomanry cavalry produced considerable alarm in the ranks of the insurgents, but they mustered military ardour sufficient to fire several shots, and one of the cavalry horses was wounded in the head. The yeomanry not considering it prudent to engage with so great a disparity of numbers, retreated for the purpose of obtaining a reinforcement, but, before they could return to the field, a panic had seized the motley assembly at the bridge, and, in a few minutes, their force was completely dispersed. Four and twenty persons, charged with having in some way participated in this futile enterprise, were subsequently apprehended and committed to York Castle, and several others fled from justice and from their country. At the assizes, in July, ten of the prisoners were put upon their trial before Baron Wood, part of them charged with stealing fire-arms on their way to the place of rendezvous, and the remainder with aiding and abetting certain persons unknown, in firing at, with an intent to kill, maim, or disable Mr. David Alexander, the yeomanry cavalryman whose horse was shot in the head. Both the charges being ill supported by evidence, all the prisoners put upon their trial were acquitted, and the bills presented against the principal part of the other prisoners were thrown out. In fine, not a single conviction took place, and this ominous sedition terminated without the loss of a drop of human blood, either in the field or on the scaffold.
A similar affair took place three years afterwards. In 1820, the manufacturing parts of the country having laboured many months under extreme distress, a disposition to tumult and insubordination began to prevail amongst some of the people, and on the night of Friday, the 31st of March, a simultaneous rising was appointed to take place in the populous villages around Huddersfield, where a large number of pikes were found. A plan of approach from various points, for the purpose of capturing the town, and giving a signal of successful rebellion, by stopping the stage coaches, was organized, and partly carried into effect. Towards the hour of midnight, considerable bodies of men marched from the different villages to their appointed stations, Huddersfield forming the centre and point of attack. The eastern division bivouacked near the obelisk at Kirklees, (called the Dumb Steeple) and committed some excesses on two or three persons who were travelling in that direction; but from some cause not well ascertained, but probably from the detected treachery of their instigators, the insurgents, not only here, but at all the other stations, dispersed suddenly, and returned to their homes without making their intended hostile attack. The itinerant emissaries, of which there were numbers passing about the country, represented this as a premature movement, to remedy which, the night of Wednesday following was appointed for the breaking out of the grand rebellion, and Grange Moor, a large plain, centrally situated between Huddersfield and Barnsley, was the appointed place of rendezvous. A number of infatuated men, principally from the town and neighbourhood of Barnsley, many of them workmen out of employment, and none above the rank of labourers, repaired to the moor in the course of the night. After waiting till morning in anxious expectation of the approach of a triumphant army, which they had been led to believe was advancing from the north on its route to London, they began to disperse, and their movements were considerably quickened by the appearance of a body of the king's troops, from Huddersfield. As soon as the first alarm had subsided, several of the insurgents, both in the neighbourhood of Huddersfield and Barnsley, to the number of twenty-two, were apprehended and committed to York Castle, where they were arraigned for high treason at the summer assizes, and charged with conspiring or intending to levy war against the king. On Monday, the 11th of September, an adjourned assize was held for the purpose of proceeding with the trials of these prisoners, but during the evening of the preceding day, an offer had been made to them by the authority of the law officers of the crown, to the effect that if they would consent to plead guilty of the charge preferred against them, their lives should be spared, and the sentence of death, which must be passed upon them, commuted to some more lenient punishment. Comstive, a disbanded soldier, and one of the heroes of Waterloo, who appears to have been the leader of the Barnsley division, and whose fate, had the trials proceeded, seemed inevitable, exerted himself with great vigour and success to obtain the acquiesence of his fellow prisoners in this proposal, which was in the end unanimously acceded to. The prisoners, on being placed at the bar, all pleaded guilty, and the final decision of the crown was, that they should all, without exception, be transported beyond the seas for the term of seven years.
One of the most disastrous events that ever occurred in the town of Huddersfield, was the failure of the banking house of Messrs. B. and J. Ingham and Co. This catastrophe produced extensive calamity, many individuals were utterly ruined, and it was long before the town and neighbourhood recovered from the shock. In another place we have given a list of the banking establishments at present existing in the borough of Huddersfield. Suffice it at present to state, that these establishments justly possess the confidence of the neighbourhood, and that they materially subserve commercial prosperity.
The most terrible fire which ever alarmed the inhabitants of Huddersfield, occurred on March 30, 1828. About two o'clock in the morning of that day, a most dreadful and destructive fire, supposed to be the work of an incendiary, broke out in the extensive premises of Messrs. Joshua Lockwood and Co., manufacturers of cotton and woollen cords, in Manchester-Street, Huddersfield, and the devouring element raged with such fury, that in about twenty minutes the roof of the principal mill fell in, and shortly after all the floors in succession; the whole factory, six stories high, then became one mass of fire, and the flames rose perpendicularly to such a height, as to be seen by all the surrounding country to a great distance. Fortunately, by dint of unremitting exertions, the remaining parts of the premises were preserved. This was the most dreadful conflagration which has happened in the town or neighbourhood of Huddersfield. The loss sustained was about £10,000, and no part of the premises was insured.
Considerable attention was excited in the neighbourhood of the town, about the time of the preceding calamity, by a highly interesting occurrence. It was the discovery of some very rare organic remains at Crossland Moor. The most remarkable of these relics, is that of a petrified fish, resembling the Anguilla species, and about three feet six inches in length; near the head the circumference is about eleven inches, in the middle six inches and three-quarters, and just above the tail four inches. The singularity of this specimen is increased by the division of the whole length of the fish into joints about five or six inches from each other, resembling the joints of a branch or trunk of a tree. The exterior of each joint has also that sulcated appearance so common in many of these lithophytic remains, and which has often been compared to oriental bamboo. The number of joints in the fish are nine, but in some of the smaller specimens the exterior appearance is the same, though the joints are fewer. Along with these remains were collected some petrified shells, apparently of the muscle genus. The discovery of these interesting demonstrations of the tremendous diluvial convulsion, excited general interest.
Huddersfield, by the provisions of the Reform Act, sends one member to Parliament. The number of individuals entitled to vote is between six and seven hundred. At the first election, Captain Fenton was elected member of parliament for this borough. But when that gentleman unfortunately put a period to his own existence, at the second election in 1833, the candidates put in nomination were, Mr. Blackburne, Mr. M. T. Sadler, and Captain Wood. The former was returned by a considerable majority. At the general election in 1835, Mr. Blackburne and General Johnson were the candidates, and the former was again returned.
The great, and almost the sole proprietor of this town, is Sir John Ramsden, Bart., whose family had a grant of the market by patent, dated as early as the 23rd of Charles II. The revenue derived from this property by the Ramsden family, is, at the present day, more than princely.
CHAPTER II. ECCLESIASTICAL HISTORY.
SECTION I. THE ESTABLISHED CHURCH.
In referring to the Ecclesiastical History of this vicinity, we shall include the parish of Almondbury, and some of the neighbouring places.
Huddersfield is a vicarage in the patronage of Sir J. Ramsden, Bart.
The Old Church has recently been pulled down, and a fine New Church is in the course of erection. It was dedicated to St. Peter, and was a small edifice, comprising a nave and aisles, a large projection similar to a south transept, a chancel and aisles, and an embattled tower at the west end. The whole appears to have been erected at different periods, though Dr. Whitaker says it was rebuilt about the time of Henry VIII.
Trinity Church, situated on an eminence, was built by the late excellent B. Haigh Allen, Esq., at Greenhead, at an expense of £12,000. The first stone of this edifice was laid in 1817, and the church was opened for public worship on Sunday, the 10th of October, 1819, having been consecrated two days before by the Archbishop of this province. The architect was J. Taylor, Esq. of Leeds. It is a handsome edifice, in the pointed style of architecture, comprising a nave and aisles, chancel, and embattled tower, with pinnacles at the west end. The interior is fitted up with much taste, and in the gallery at the west end, is a good organ. The church contains upwards of one thousand five hundred sittings, of which one third are free seats. Its situation, which is on the north-west side of the town, is very commanding, and from every part of the surrounding country, it forms a beautiful object, at once picturesque and impressive.
Paddock Church, built by the parliamentary commissioners, is a neat edifice, with a tower, in the perpendicular style of architecture. The first stone was laid November 5, 1828, and the church was completed in 1830. The contract amounted to £2,606 12s. 2d. It will hold four hundred and eight persons in pews, and four hundred and fifty-nine in free seats.
St. Paul's Church, in Ramsden-Street, also built by the parliamentary commissioners, is an elegant edifice, with a tower and spire, erected from the designs of P. Atkinson, Esq. The first stone was laid November 13, 1829. The contract was £5,486 15s., and the number of persons it will hold, one thousand two hundred and forty-three, of whom three hundred and eight can be accommodated with free sittings.
The church at Longwood is a perpetual curacy, dedicated to St. Mark, and valued in the parliamentary return at £116 8s. The vicar of Huddersfield is the patron.
The church at Marsden is a perpetual curacy, valued in the parliamentary return at eighty pounds per annum.
The church at Scammonden, is also a perpetual curacy under Huddersfield, but the population of the whole chapelry is very small.
The church at Slaithwaite, is also a perpetual curacy under Huddersfield, and it is valued in the parliamentary returns at one hundred and twenty-nine pounds.
Christ Church, at Woodhouse, near Deighton, a beautiful and chaste edifice, the architecture in the style of the thirteenth century, was erected by the late John Whitacre, Esq., in whom and his heirs, by act of parliament, the living is vested.
The church at Golcar was erected from the designs of J. Atkinson, Esq. It is a handsome edifice in the early pointed style of architecture, having a tower and a well proportioned spire. It will seat five hundred and twenty persons in pews, and four hundred and thirty in free seats.
Lindley has a new church, the first stone of which was laid June 11, 1828, and it was consecrated September 7, 1830. It is a neat edifice of pointed architecture, consisting of a nave and chancel, with an embattled tower at the west end. The details of this edifice are of all periods, and many entirely fanciful. This church will hold four hundred and eight persons in pews, and four hundred and fifty-nine in free seats. The contract came to £2,615 15s. 8d. J. Oates, Esq. was the architect.
At Almondbury, in ancient times, was a Saxon church, built by the celebrated Paulinus, and dedicated to St. Albans. Now, the village is the centre of an extensive and numerously populated parish. The benefice is a vicarage, valued in the Liber regis at £20 7s. 11d. Patrons, the trustees of the free grammar school of Clitheroe, Lancashire. The church, dedicated to All Saints, is a neat structure of pointed architecture. The roof of the nave is in fine preservation; it is flat and panelled, and on a filleting round the whole of it, are some curious verses.
The church at South Crossland, erected on high ground, was built by Mr. Atkinson, of York, and is a very plain building of early pointed architecture, with a tower at the west end. The first stone was laid on the 15th of October, 1827, by the Rev. Lewis Jones, the vicar of Almondbury, and the church was consecrated September 8, 1830. It is dedicated to the Holy Trinity, and contains seven hundred sittings, of which three hundred and twenty-two are free. The contract was £2,321 4s. 1d. The site was given by Richard Henry Beaumont, Esq.
The church at Honley is a neat building, it is a perpetual curacy in the patronage of the vicar of Almondbury, and is valued in the parliamentary returns at £124 9s. 6d.
The new church at Nether-Thong deserves to be accounted one of the first of the smaller class of the churches erected by the parliamentary commissioners, both as regards the chasteness and elegance of its style, and the moderate charge at which it was built. Mr. Chantrell, of Leeds, was the architect.
The chapel at Meltham is a good country edifice, dedicated to St. Bartholomew.
The new church at Lockwood, is an elegant edifice of decorated pointed architecture. It has a small bell turret on the roof, and, to the credit of the architect (R.D. Chantrell, Esq.), all the details are from specimens of the period he has chosen for the building. The first stone was laid September 4, 1828, and the church was consecrated September 8, 1830. It will contain five hundred and twenty-two persons in pews, and three hundred and ninety-eight in free seats. The contract was £2,950 15s. 3d. The site was the gift of Sir J. Ramsden, Bart.
The new church at Linthwaite, was built by the same architect who erected the church at Golcar, and is very similar in style and appearance. The first stone was laid April 9, 1827, and it was completed in 1829. It will contain eight hundred persons, two hundred of whom are accommodated with free seats. The contract for the building amounted to £2,969 2s. 10d.
The benefice of Kirkheaton is a vicarage, valued in the Liber Regis at £13 6s. 8d. Patron, the King.
The present church, built in the reign of Edward III., pays a pension of £4 per annum, as a mark of its dependence upon that ancient and fruitful mother of churches, Dewsbury, from which it appears to have been severed about the time of the first Earl of Warren.
Holmfirth, in the parish of Kirkheaton, has a chapel. It is a perpetual curacy under Kirkburton, valued in the parliamentary returns at £123 2s. This is the only chapel in the parish of Kirkburton, of the antiquity of which there is nothing known certain, but it was probably erected in the reign of Edward VI.
The benefice of Kirkburton is a rectory, valued in the Liber Regis at £25 13s. 9d., in the patronage of T. R. Beaumont, Esq. The church is dedicated to St. John the Baptist. After the origin of local names, the first race of mesne lords who appear at this place, bore the denomination, de Heton. They were benefactors to the house of Fountains, and to their piety, the parish church may with great probability be ascribed. The payment of £1 3s. 4d. to the church of Dewsbury, proves its ancient dependence on that church, from which it was probably severed about the year 1200. In the church-yard is a gigantic yew-tree, supposed to be coeval with the church, as it could scarcely have attained to its great magnitude in less than six centuries. In the north aisle of the choir, is a cumbent statue of Sir Richard Beaumont, of Whitley, Bart.; of this family, who have long been lords of this manor, are several other memorials in this church.
The ejected ministers, those fathers of Nonconformity, in the vicinity of Huddersfield, were not numerous. They were—
Mr. DAVID DRURY, of HONLEY. — He was a native of Scotland. After his ejectment he returned thither, where he fared much better than many of his brethren in the reign of Charles II. but was continually changing his place. He died at Edinburgh, about the time of the first General Assembly, in the reign of King William. He was eminent for piety, and for his gift in prayer.
Mr. CHRISTOPHER RICHARDSON, at KIRKHEATON. — After his ejectment, he retired to his own house at Lassell-Hall. Besides preaching on Lord's days, he had a lecture in his house once a month, in which several of his brethren united. He afterwards went to Liverpool, where he preached once a fortnight, and the intervening day at Toxteth-Park Chapel. His preaching was to the last, very neat and accurate, though plain and popular. He had a healthful constitution, which continued till old age. He died in December, 1698, aged about 80. He was mighty in the scriptures, being able on a sudden to analyse, expound, and improve any chapter he read in the pious families which he visited. In Yorkshire he was much followed. A neighbouring minister, whose parishioners used to go to hear him, complaining once to him that he drew away his flock, Mr. Richardson answered, “Feed them better, and they will not stray.”
The ejected ministers, however excellent their motive, and however valuable their principles, left behind them no permanent monuments of their zeal, in the parish of Huddersfield. The establishment and increase of many of the Dissenting churches in the parish, are to be ascribed to much more modern times, and principally to the labours of an individual who will be held in everlasting remembrance. Of this individual we shall present the best account we can find.
The Rev. Mr. VENN was born at Barnes, near Richmond, Surrey, in the year 1725. His father was a clergyman of considerable eminence; and the son being at an early age intended for the same profession, he went through his academic studies with great reputation, and was elected Fellow of Queen's College, Cambridge. Some time after his ordination he met with “Law's Serious Call,” which he read with great attention. The effect produced on his mind by this writer's arguments in favour of a holy life, were strong and lasting. He eagerly perused his other publications, but found in them a degree of mysticism and obscurity relative to some of the important truths of Christianity, which by no means afforded him equal satisfaction.
Removing from a retired situation to Clapham, near London, he became acquainted with many religious characters, from whose society, and from perusing the writings of the Rev. Mr. Walker, of Truro, he derived great advantage. With the more enlarged views he now had of the gospel system, his zeal and assiduity increased; so that his labours, while curate of Clapham, were blessed to 'many. Through the interest of Lord Dartmouth, or of the munificent John Thornton, Esq., the vicarage of Huddersfield was presented to Mr. Venn, about the year 1759. The situation in which he was now placed, was, in almost every respect, a contrast to that he had left. To use the expression of a highly respected minister, who was not only an eye witness of what then passed, but was one of the happy subjects of the change produced, — “When Mr. Venn came to this parish, he found it, and all the country round, in worse than Egyptian darkness, dead in trespasses and sins; yet, the difficulties he had to encounter were so far from restraining his exertions, that they inspired him with renewed ardour and zeal. His language and address were dignified, masculine, and energetic. — He prophesied over the dry bones with the solemnity of a messenger from Heaven. His preaching was exceedingly alarming;— hundreds, and I may even say thousands, flocked to hear. Many were pricked to the heart, and were constrained by the power of Divine grace to flee from the wrath to come: so great a change in a short time was perhaps never witnessed in modern times. The minister laboured day and night, in season and out of season, redeeming every opportunity for sowing the blessed seed of the word among his hearers:— he indeed travailed as in birth to have Christ formed in them. It is impossible for me while I retain my memory ever to forget, and by any language half to express, what I have seen and felt under his commanding voice. His exhibitions of the purity, spirituality, and extent of the Divine law; the exceeding sinfulness of sin; the glories of the person, the boundless fulness and unsearchable riches of Jesus the Saviour; the work of the Holy Spirit upon the heart; and the method of grace in perfecting the saints unto glory; were striking and impressive beyond description. During the space of more than four years, I had the privilege to hear him expatiate on these and other subjects with increasing delight. He was the means of introducing many valuable clergymen into this parish and neighbourhood, among whom may be mentioned the late Rev. Mr. Burnett, Mr. Powley, Mr. Wilson, and Mr. Ryland, who were all successively curates in this parish, though most of them afterwards removed to other important situations." During Mr. Venn's continuance at Huddersfield, he published a volume of sermons, which he dedicated to the worthy gentlemen at Clapham, to whom he felt himself under great obligations. But the most popular and useful of his publications, was, "The Complete Duty of Man." This work greatly contributed to the diffusion of Divine truth through every part of the kingdom, and, in a great measure, superseded the circulation of one under a similar title, inculcating very different doctrine, and which, as before observed, had formed a part of almost every library.
Mr. Venn remained for about eleven years at Huddersfield; but his incessant labours produced such an effect upon his bodily health, perceptible not only to himself but to his friends, that he thought it advisable, when in the height of his usefulness and popularity, (though to the regret of thousands), to quit the important station for one more retired, and better suited to his declining years. This was in the year 1770, when he removed to Yelling, in Huntingdonshire.
Perhaps no parish minister was ever honoured with greater success than Mr. Venn, during his residence at Huddersfield. He might, without impropriety, be termed the apostle of the extensive sphere in which he moved. A few aged, who yet survive, speak of him with rapture; and while they consider him as their spiritual father, they are waiting for the period when they hope to meet him again, as the children whom God hath given him. Mr. Venn, like his friend Mr. Grimshaw, appeared to have one great object in view, to make men Christians; "to turn them from darkness to light, and from the power of Satan to God." He was eminently distinguished by a catholic spirit, with respect to other denominations of professing Christians. The image of Christ, and the spirit of Christianity were dear to him, wherever he saw the traces of them. It is well known that by the recommendation he prefixed to the "Reign of Grace," he was the means of bringing Mr. Abraham Booth, the writer of it, till then in an obscure situation, to public notice. After his removal to Yelling, he occasionally visited his late charge; and he could not witness with indifference the efforts they made to perpetuate the good work he had begun, and their determination to hear elsewhere, when they could not do it to their satisfaction from the pulpit he once occupied, that blessed Gospel which had been the power of God to the salvation of their souls. Great numbers of young persons were among the fruits of Mr. Venn's ministry; and of these, at least thirteen, many of whom went through a course of preparatory studies with the Rev. Mr. Scott, of Heckmondwike, near Wakefield, became useful, and some of them very eminent ministers, chiefly in the Independent Connexion — none of them now survive. Mr. Venn's residence and ministry at Huddersfield, were not only productive of important results in a religious point of view, but in promoting civilization and laudable exertions for the temporal welfare of the neighbourhood. The truth of Scripture has in all ages been verified; "Righteousness exalteth a nation, but sin is a reproach to any people." "Godliness is profitable unto all things, having promise of the life that now is, and of that which is to come." True religion, while it purifies the soul, elevates the mind above degrading, licentious indulgencies, and directs its energies into an useful channel. To all human appearance, the parish of Huddersfield, even in a commercial point of view, would never have been what it is, but for the spirit of inquiry which was excited at the period now referred to:— for though our holy religion principally directs the attention to those things which are not seen and eternal, it inculcates principles which are the best bond of civil society, and enjoins such an use of the world, as will lead to every proper exertion for our own temporal good, and the welfare of all around us."
The influence of Mr. Venn's character and labours in the cause of religion, will be made abundantly evident, in the course of the following details.
One of the fathers of Dissent in the neighbourhood of Huddersfield, was the Rev. W. Moorhouse. And as such, a longer account of him than is usual, is demanded at our hands. He was born August 15th, 1742, O. S., at Shephouse, near Peniston, Yorkshire; his parents being plain, respectable people, in the cloth business, to which also their family was brought up.
Mr. W. Moorhouse's religious impressions took place when he was very young, as is generally the case with those destined by Heaven for ministerial usefulness; but by what means they were first excited does not fully appear; most probably they arose from attending the meetings of the Wesleyan Methodists, who then first began to flourish in Yorkshire; for in a family belonging to that denomination, he resided as a cloth-maker five or six years. About this time, he frequently, on the Sabbath, walked to Huddersfield and returned, a journey of twenty-five miles, after hearing the Rev. H. Venn, vicar of that place, who was truly "a burning and shining light," where "gross darkness covered the people;" of whose ministry he was a warm admirer, and Mr. V. saw in his young hearer the presages of future eminence and usefulness. Soon after this period, Mr. M. commenced business for himself, and by industrious frugality had so fair a prospect, that many of his acquaintance blamed him for relinquishing it as soon as he did, for the Christian ministry, especially as he was recently married. This served, however, to exhibit the purity of his motives, and cut off all "evil surmisings." His aifectionate wife was Sarah, daughter of Mr. Roebuck, one of his neighbours; by her he had six children, two of whom survive him; one has been eighteen years in the ministry, at West Melton, near Rotherham. Mr. M.'s second wife was Frances, the relict of Mr. Haigh, near Huddersfield; she died July 23rd, 1807.
He was many years connected with the Methodists, being noticed for his superior abilities in leading their prayer meetings, and preaching occasionally for them, till his views on the five points became thoroughly changed; especially on Redemption and man's Free Will. This extensive alteration arose — not from a fickle temper, a whimsical love of novelty, or a cavilling spirit; much less from party ambition; but from deep conviction and diligent study of the Scriptures, to which, doubtless, the enlightened ministry of Mr. Venn and of Mr. Thorpe, then at Masbro', near Rotherham, and whom he occasionally heard, greatly contributed. Such was Mr. M.'s reputation and influence, that a division occurred among the Wesleyans, part of the society encouraging him to preach his new Calvinistic doctrines in his own house and the adjacent places, and many flocked to the standard. He was soon invited to preach in Huddersfield, where, on New Year's Day, 1772, he opened a new chapel, erected under the encouragement of Mr. Venn, who being soon to leave the town, and knowing that many in his congregation were disposed to forsake the Church establishment, gave them, with a liberality very uncommon, his cordial sanction, recommending Mr. Moorhouse as their minister. Mr. V. also printed an affectionate pastoral letter to the people, dated the very week that the chapel was opened. The election of a preacher among the new Dissenters was by vote of all who subscribed half a guinea to the building, which caused no small canvassing and exertion for three candidates, Mr. M. obtaining the situation by a majority of only one vote, and that a casting one. His competitors were, Mr. Dawson, of Cleckheaton, and Mr. Crossley, of Booth, with whom he always lived in the greatest friendship. It is something singular, that after his election as minister by the congregation, a church was formed, who unanimously called him to the pastoral office, in which he continued among them above fifty years, with great acceptance and success.
Between Mr. Moorhouse and Mr. Venn, existed a very affectionate intercourse, as appears from the epistle printed in a note,* written when the former was newly settled at Huddersfield, and the latter had removed to Yelling. The document is worthy of being rescued from oblivion, because exhibiting, by a noble instance of Christian charity, the kindness of a father anxious for the welfare of a son in the gospel of Christ; abounding also with most important counsel to ministers in genera], and highly calculated to silence the outcry raised against Calvinism, as an illiberal and licentious system. Doubt less Mr. Venn's Calvinism was derived from the venerable Articles of the Church of England; Mr. Moorhouse thought much as Mr. Venn, and however high the latter might be in doctrine, he wrote that valuable practical book, "The Complete Duty of Man."
According to his circumstances, his own charity was also active, for he had a feeling heart; and an instance among many is known, of his taking the entire charge of an orphan boy, about three or four years old, left by the Rev. S. Midgley, a dissenting minister, near Penistone, Yorkshire; nor did his contributions and solicitations for the aid of others cease, till the youth was comfortably settled in the world. Thus, in various ways, he "delivered the poor that cried, and the fatherless, and him that had none to help him; and caused the widow's heart to sing for joy."
The ever busy tongue of slander, anxious to scatter upon him "the poison of asps," once ventured (what will it not venture?) seriously to attack Mr. Moorhouse's moral character; but was soon glad to retire, silenced, ashamed, and confounded, nor did she ever after dare to raise her voice against him. Among his own people, such were his veracity and punctuality, that it became proverbial for them to say, "If Mr. Moorhouse promise, we have him safe;" and he was exceedingly displeased, even in things of minor importance, to see so many careless of their word and engagement.
In 1792, he printed a small pamphlet, "The Refutation Refuted;" being a defence of the Deity of Christ, against Mr. Smart's professed "Refutation" of some sentiments advanced by Mr. Elliott, a Wesleyan preacher. The whole impression of Mr. Moorhouse's tract, which displays great fairness and sound argument, was sold in a few days. After this, he never appeared as an author, except in a sermon preached before "The London Missionary Society."
Notwithstanding his undeviating habits of the strictest temperance and regularity, Mr. Moorhouse, several years before his death was afflicted with a most excruciating disease, which rendered the cathetre often necessary. Many times was he rescued apparently from the grave, by the watchful care of his affectionate friend, the late R. Houghton, Esq., whose medical skill was only exceeded by his steadfast religion. Often, before his "appointed time" arrived, Mr. Moorhouse summoned his children from a distance, "to see him die;" and in such interesting circumstances, gave that advice which should never be forgotten. At one time, to his son in the ministry, he said, "I have been searching for my evidences, and have found it hard work."- He then intimated how he had been blessed with this happy discovery to his unspeakable consolation; and, generally at parting, gave his son a most solemn charge to remember the awful responsibility of the sacred office. In this good man's chamber of suffering, were found scraps of paper, on which he had written such ejaculations as, "O Lord, let me be afflicted, but in mercy." — "Patience." — "God be merciful to me a sinner."
When sufficiently restored to have, as he said, "a new lease granted, though certainly a short one," he filled his office with additional interest; testifying his strong regard to an affectionate people, from whom he had been twice invited, with tempting offers, to remove; but increasing debility soon rendering an assistant necessary, the Rev. B. (now Dr.) Boothroyd became his colleague, whose long previous acquaintance and esteem made the union greatly to their mutual satisfaction. After enjoying, for several years, great comfort in this connexion, his infirmities were such, that in a letter dated August 29th, 1822, he finally resigned his charge, with the deepest regret, which his people returned in a manner worthy of themselves.
At Midsummer, 1823, he sunk rapidly under his disease; and in July, a most violent attack summoned him to the grave. During his last few months, he was wholly absorbed in spiritual objects, and a preparation for heaven; for, after his resignation, he considered himself as having little else to do but to die; and, when lying down in bed, would often survey himself, to see how much, or rather how little space he should occupy in his grave. Frequently would he dwell on Christ's merciful intercession, as extending to all his followers; quoting our Lord's words, "Neither pray I for these alone, but for them also which shall believe on me, through their word;" adding, "l am sure I have believed their word." He would often say, "I have nothing of my own to rest upon, nothing to recommend me to God; I am a poor sinner of myself, — no goodness in me, — Christ and his Cross."
Early in the morning of July 29th, when Mr. Moorhouse was nearly eighty-one, the "vital spark of heavenly flame," which had exhibited for several days only a quivering light, was gone. Thus lived, and thus died, this excellent man. His interment was attended by a large assembly, who made "great lamentation." The Rev. J. Cockin, of Halifax, gave an address in the chapel, and at the grave; on the Sabbath but one following, the Rev. J. Toothill, of Hopton, preached to a most overflowing audience, from Acts xi. 24. — "He was a good man, and full of the Holy Ghost, and of faith; and much people was added unto the Lord."
The Independent denomination in the vicinity of Huddersfield, established by the labours of this excellent man, rapidly increased. Besides the large chapel, at High Field, another spacious, beautiful, and commodious edifice, has been built in Ramsden-Street. This is one of the best and most elegant edifices of the kind in Yorkshire. It was opened in 1826; and its first minister was, the Rev. J. Eagleton, one of the most talented and useful ministers ever known in the West-Riding of Yorkshire. The estimation in which he was held, may be ascertained by the fact, that in one day, in 1829, no less a sum than six hundred and thirty-six pounds was collected by his congregation, to defray the expences incurred at the erection of the place. Mr. Eagleton's death was justly and universally lamented; he was one of the best men and ministers who ever lived.
THE WESLEYAN METHODISTS.
The labours of Mr. Wesley in Huddersfield, as in Halifax, were very abundant. We shall pursue the same plan in this, as in the preceding book, and shall make some extracts from the Journals of Mr. Wesley relative to this place.
The first time Mr. Wesley mentions Huddersfield, occurs under the day of June 9, 1757. He says, "I rode over the mountains to Huddersfield. A wilder people I never saw in England; the men, women, and children, filled the street as we rode along, and appeared just ready to devour us. They were, however, tolerably quiet while I preached; only a few pieces of dirt were thrown; and the bellman came in the middle of the sermon, but was stopped by a gentleman of the town. I had almost done, when they began to ring the bells; so that it did us small disservice. How intolerable a thing is the Gospel of Christ to them who are resolved to serve the Devil." And again, in 1759, he says, "I preached near Huddersiield, to the wildest congregation I have seen in Yorkshire; yet they were restrained by an unseen hand, and I believe some felt the sharpness of His word."
Mr. Wesley, with reference to July 6, 1767, informs us, "In the evening, I preached at Halifax, where I had the pleasure of meeting Mr. Venn, with whom, in the morning of Saturday, the 7th, I rode to Huddersfield, and preached between eleven and twelve. The church was pretty well filled, considering the short warning. At half an hour after one we took horse. The sun shone burning hot, and the wind was in our back; but very soon the sky was overcast, and the wind changed and blew just in our face all the way to Manchester. It was with difficulty that I preached in the evening, my voice being exceeding weak, as I had preached three times a day for ten days, and many of the times abroad."
The following are miscellaneous entries in the Journals.
The Wesleyan Methodists at Huddersfield, as well as at Halifax, have become a very numerous, a very active, a very useful, and a very influential body. There are two circuits in the range of country to which we are now adverting — the circuits of Huddersfield, and Holmfirth. In the first there are stationed three travelling preachers, and a supernumerary; and at Holmfirth, two travelling preachers. The Methodist chapels in the neighbourhood are too numerous to be distinctly specified, they are found in every village containing any considerable population, and the active local agents of the society penetrate to the most secluded villages to preach the gospel. The elegant chapel in Queen-Street, is one of the most commodious, and until the erection of the new places in Leeds, was the largest, chapel in the West-Riding of Yorkshire.
The NEW CONNEXION METHODISTS have a very flourishing interest in Huddersfield; their chapel in High-Street is an excellent building, and the numbers in the society are increasing. This body have in Huddersfield circuit, three chapels, eleven societies, two circuit preachers, twenty local preachers, and upwards of seven hundred members.
The ROMAN CATHOLICS have recently erected a very ornamental edifice, as a place of worship, in Huddersfield.
The SOCIETY of FRIENDS have a place of worship in this town, characterised by their usual neatness.
The BAPTIST interest in the neighbourhood of Huddersfield, originated at Salendine Nook. This interest, which in a great measure owed its origin to itinerant preaching, was established August 24th, 1743, when the church consisted of twelve members, several of whom were dismissed from Rodhill-End and Slack, in the parish of Halifax. Mr. Henry Clayton had preached to them many years, but was ordained pastor at this time; Mr. Wilson, of Rawden, Mr. Jackson, of Barnoldswick, and Mr. Thomas Ashworth, of Cloughfold, assisting at the ordination. Mr. Clayton was pastor of the church thirty-three years. For a long course of years he had laboured with little apparent success; but, in the latter part of his ministry, the congregation increased, and many were added to the society, who were the fruits of Mr. Venn's ministry. Mr. Wood was invited to be Mr. Clayton's assistant, and was received into the family of Mr. Ingham, where he was generously entertained for several years. Mr. Wood succeeded Mr. Clayton, after having been his assistant for about four years, and was pastor above twenty years. He died in September, 1794.
Mr. Wood was remarkably circumspect and exemplary in his conduct—steady in his attachment to what he believed to be right, whether in principle or practice. — His judgment was correct; and he was well skilled in casuistical divinity; but his preaching was plain and practical, especially for the last twenty years of his life. — During this period, he was fully convinced of the propriety and necessity of a ministerial call to the unconverted; and it is worthy of remark, that after he had this conviction, and acted upon it, his labours were abundantly more successful than before. He was much attached to the writings of the late President Edwards; but the Bible was his chief delight, and he studied his sermons with great assiduity; he wrote them almost at length, though he did not use notes in the pulpit. He was the author of an excellent association letter on religious zeal.
Mr. Fawcett gives the following particulars relative to this denomination in this neighbourhood. "A brief narrative has already been given of the distinguished success which attended the labours of the Rev. Mr. Venn, during his continuance at Huddersfield. He was, as has been related, the great instrument in the hand of God of the diffusion of Gospel light in that neighbourhood. To that period we may refer, as being the happy commencement of what afterwards took place in that populous manufacturing district, among the Baptists, Methodists, and Independents. ‘As a wise master builder, he laid the foundation, and other men built thereon.'
"At the removal of this truly great man from Huddersfield, the crowds who had followed him from different places, with so much earnestness and delight, became like sheep deprived both of their shepherd and of the pasture where they had been so richly fed. A considerable body formed themselves into a society on the Independent plan, and erected a spacious edifice for public worship, where a large congregation was soon collected, and long continued to attend, under the ministry of that venerable minister of Christ, the Rev. Mr. Moorhouse. Another considerable society on the same plan was established at Holmfirth. Others connected themselves with a small Baptist church at Salendine Nook, then under the pastoral care of the Rev. Henry Clayton, who, though he preached there, lived at a farm near Wainsgate. The interest, previously to the accession and the removal of Mr. Wood, from Halifax, to be co-pastor with Mr. Clayton, was in so low a state, that the collections scarcely served to defray his journeying expenses."
Mr. Benjamin Ingham, of Lockwood, having received the word with joy from the lips of Mr. Venn, knew its value by an experience of its power on his own soul. Being in very extensive business as a cloth merchant, he had, among his other premises, a large room which he appropriated to the worship of God, principally for the use of the Baptists, to whom he now decidedly attached himself. Salendine Nook, where he was a member, was at the distance of three miles, and like many other meeting houses which the Baptists formerly erected, stood in a very solitary, dreary situation. He, however, made a point of attending there with his family regularly on Lord's days, till towards the close of life, when he generously, at his sole expense, erected a handsome place of worship, for the convenience and accommodation of Lockwood and the neighbourhood.
Besides the Baptist Churches mentioned above, there is a numerous congregation at Blackley;— another in a wild region denominated Pole Moor;— another at Meltham;— and to them another may be added at Slaithwaite.
SURVEY OF THE VICINITY OF HUDDERSFIELD.
The attention of the reader will now be directed to the different villages in the neighbourhood of Huddersfield, — then we shall return to the town, and close the book by some local descriptions and details.
Lockwood is a village and township, in the parish of Almondbury, and same wapentake as Huddersfield, now nearly united to that populous and flourishing town; it is beautifully situated in the valley of Holme, and in the midst of a romantic and finely sheltered country. The great attraction of this place is its spaw and baths, already described.
Lindley, or Lindley-cum-Quarmby, is a township, in the parish of Huddersfield, about two miles n. w. of that town. The manufacture of woollen goods is carried on extensively in the township.
Deighton and Sheepridge form a populous portion of the hamlet of Fartown, in the parish of Huddersfield, about two miles n. b. by e. from that town. The manufacture of velveteen and woollen cords are the branches prevailing here.
Golcar is a populous township, in the parish of Huddersfield, in the upper division of the wapentake of Agbrigg, West-Riding; extending from about two to five miles west from Huddersfield. The manufacture of coarse woollen cloths, chiefly for the Huddersfield market, is carried on here very extensively; and finer cloths are likewise made, with which some of the inhabitants travel through different parts of the country. In the production of these articles, a very considerable power from water and steam is employed; there being in motion, in the two townships of Golcar and Longwood, twelve water wheels, of the united power of 170 horses, and three steam engines, equal to the exertion of 57 horses. Here are also two free schools, erected by subscription, in 1816; and one upon the national plan, opened in 1831.
Longwood is a chapelry, approaching to within about a mile and a quarter of Huddersfield, and extending to about four miles and a half north-west from it. The manufactures are of the same nature as those existing in Golcar. A school was founded here, by William Walker, in 1731, for the education of forty children of both sexes, who are taught reading, writing, and some of the necessary rules in arithmetic. About two miles from Huddersfield, near the main road leading to Manchester, is the village of Milns-Bridge, where are several woollen cloth manufactories, and scribbling mills. The machinery employed here, include four water wheels, of 45 horse power, and two steam engines, equal to that of 6 horses.
Honley is a populous chapelry, in the parish of Almondbury, upper division of the wapentake of Agbrigg, West-Riding; situated about three miles and a half south from Huddersfield, upon the river Colne. Fancy and other woollen goods are manufactured to a very great extent; there are besides scribbling and fulling mills, and dye works; the whole furnishing employment to a great number of the inhabitants. The Earl of Dartmouth is lord of the manor, and holds a court, by his steward, annually in October, when a constable is appointed, and cases of trespass and damage adjudged.
South Crossland is a township, in the same parish as Honley, a short distance from that town, and about two miles from Lockwood. The manufactures are of the same nature as at Honley.
Farnley-Tyas is a township, in the same parish as Honley and Crossland, about three miles from Huddersfield, and two from Honley. There are but few manufacturing establishments in this township, and, divested of these, it is a place of very little importance. The Earl of Dartmouth contributes £30 annually for the support of a school, in which thirty children are instructed.
The populous village of Holmfirlh, partly in the townships of Wooldale and Cartworth, in the parish of Kirk-Burton, and partly in the township of Upper-Thong, in the parish of Almondbury, in the wapentake of Agbrigg, West-Riding; six miles south from Huddersfield; situated at the junction of the Holme and Ribbleden streams, and on the sides of three hills. The prevailing manufacture is that of woollen cloth, of which great quantities are forwarded to the Huddersfield market, as well as to other parts of the kingdom. The extent of trade in this district may be conceived from the fact, that no fewer than forty-three mills are to be found within the circuit of two miles from Holmfirth, all, with the exception of four mills for grinding corn, employed in the various processes of the woollen manufacture.
An excellent national school was built here, in 1831, towards the erection of which the National School Society granted £200, and nearly £1,000 more was subscribed by the spirited and exemplary inhabitants; it is a lofty building, in the Gothic style, and is as much an architectural ornament to the place, as the institution is an honour to those by whose means it was founded. Annual fairs take place on the last Saturday in March, the Saturday next before Old May-day, and on the first Saturday after the 26th of October.
Nether-Thong, or Thongue, is a village and township, in the parish of Almondbury, one mile n. w. of Holmfirth. The manufactures are of the same description as those which prevail in the places before-mentioned.
New Mill is a thriving village, in the parish of Kirk-Burton, about a mile and a half n. e. from Holmfirth. .Besides the woollen manufacture, for which there are several establishments, stone quarries, and coal mines, are worked to some extent, and there is a considerable brewery, and a pottery. It is expected that a mail between the metropolis and Halifax will be established in the course of a few months, which will pass through this village. Annual fairs are held here on the Monday before the last Wednesday in February, the first Wednesday in August, and the first Wednesday after the 14th of November, all for cattle, &c. Population returned with Kirk- Burton parish.
Thurstonland is a village and township, is the same parish as New Mill, about a mile n. e. therefrom. A free school for the instruction of children of the poor of this township, was founded in 1763, by Mrs. Ann Ludlam; the endowment at present amounts to £25 per annum; the school is conducted by Mr. Joseph Hirst.
Wooldale is a populous township and ancient village, in the same parish as Thurstonland, not far from that township, and about six miles s. from Huddersfield. The Society of Friends have a meeting-house here; and a school was erected about sixty years ago, by means of a legacy, and subscriptions, on part of the Waste given by the Duke of Leeds.
Marsden is situated on the banks of the Wessenden, which has its source about two miles from the village, and being joined by the Haigh, takes the name of the Colne, which separates the two parishes of Almondbury and Huddersfield;. In dry seasons, there is not water sufficient to supply the various mills upon its banks, to obviate which inconvenience, a large reservoir has been formed in the neighbourhood, which will furnish enough to work the mills for two or three weeks, at the rate of eight hours a day. The manufacture of woollen cloth is carried on to a considerable extent, in the chapelry and the neighbourhood. The Huddersfield and Manchester Canal passes about three quarters of a mile hence, where it is received into a tunnel, three miles and a quarter in length, under Standedge. For about a quarter of a mile at each end, the tunnel is arched; the remainder of the roof is formed of the different strata of earth composing the mountain, through which it is cut. The canal is frequently obstructed by the falling in of portions of the roof; a person is therefore stationed at each aperture, whose business it is to regulate the entrance of boats. The tunnel is about 655 feet above the level of the sea, and the canal is about twenty miles in length, from Huddersfield to its junction with the Ashton canal.
Three fairs take place here annually, — on the 25th of April, July 10th, and September 25th, for cattle and pedlary; that in September being a very large cattle fair.
Kirkheaton is a township, in the populous parish of its name, in the upper division of Agbrigg wapentake, West-Riding, nearly three miles north-east of Huddersfield. The manufacture of fancy goods, chiefly woollen fabrics and woollen cloths, prevail here to some extent. In the cemetery of the church is a neat monument, erected by subscriptions, to record the awful loss of life from fire, which broke out in Mr. Atkinson's factory, at Colne Bridge, on the 14th of February, 1818, by which seventeen children fell victims to the dreadful element. In the same church-yard is a large yew-tree, measuring in girth, twenty feet nine inches; and its antiquity is stated to be traced to the remote period of eight hundred years back. The living of Kirkheaton is a rectory, in the presentation of the Rev. M. Alderson, near Rotherham. Richard Henry Beaumont, Esq., of Whitley-hall, is lord of the manor.
Dalton is a populous manufacturing township, in the parish of Kirkheaton, about one mile therefrom. The manufactures in this township are of the same nature as Kirkheaton, for which there are several very extensive establishments. The Sweden-borgians have a chapel here.
Lepton is likewise a populous township, in the same parish as Dalton, about three miles and a half east by south from Huddersfield. In addition to manufactories for woollen cloth and fancy goods, several scribbling and fulling mills are dispersed through the township and its vicinity.
Emley is a village, in the parish of its name, in the same wapentake and riding as Kirkheaton, about eight miles from Huddersfield. This is an agricultural parish, and contains no manufactures. The places of worship are, the parish church, dedicated to St. Michael, and a chapel each for Wesleyan and Primitive Methodists. The living of Emley is a rectory, in the gift of the Earl of Scarborough, and incumbency of the Rev. Robert Pym. Two annual fairs are held here, one on the 25th of March, the other on the 29th of September, for cattle, earthenware, &c.
Flockton is a chapelry and village, in the parish of Thornhill, in the same wapentake and riding as Kirkheaton, seven miles east south-east from Huddersfield. In this chapelry, and the neighbouring township of Shitlington, are extensive coal mines. The places of worship are, a chapel of ease to Thornhill, and one for Calvinists.
The village of Meltham, five miles south-west from Huddersfield, situate on the new road between that town and Manchester, and surrounded by hills. Many mills here are employed in the manufacture of woollen cloth, the greater proportion of which is taken for sale to the Huddersfield market. There are, besides an extensive manufactory for sewing cotton, and silk throwing, belonging to Messrs. Brooks'; an iron foundry of Mr. Kilburns'; and in the chapelry, are colleries, fulling mills, and dye works. A free school was erected by subscription in 1823. Two fairs are held here, one on the first Saturday after the 6th of April, the other on the first Saturday after the 11th of October; both for cattle, &c.
Slaiihwaite is situate in the valley of the Colne, and near to the Huddersfield and Manchester Canal. The manufactures of this chapelry are extensive, numerous, and various; comprising that for woollen cloth and small wares; cotton spinning, and machine making; there is besides, a considerable iron and brass foundry, (where also steam engines are made,) together with several scribbling and slubbing mills. The prosperity of the place is likewise promoted by its spa, which was discovered a few years since, said to be equal in its chalybeate properties to the waters of Harrogate, and found to be efficacious in the cure of rheumatic and scorbutic complaints. Mr. R. Varley, of the firm of Scholes, Varley, and Co., extensive cotton spinners of this place, has, at a considerable expense, erected commodious baths for the accommodation of visitors, and the spa is now resorted to in the spring and summer months by the neighbouring gentry, and families of the most respectable «lass in trade. A place of worship for Baptists, a free school, and a grammar school are in the chapelry.
The following are the Religious Societies in the town of Huddersfield. The Auxiliary Bible Society; the District Committee for promoting Christian Knowledge; the Religious Tract Society; the Wesleyan Methodist Missionary Society; the Church Missionary Society; the Auxiliary to the London Missionary Society; the Peace Society.
The Charitable Institutions are — the Huddersfield and Upper Agbrigg Infirmary, on the Halifax New Road; the Dispensary, in the Pack Horse Yard; the Ladies' Benevolent Society for providing Linen, &c., for poor Lying-in Women; the Ladies' Benevolent Institution; the Dorcas Society, connected with the Ramsden-Street Congregation; and the Provident Union Society.
The Literary Institutions are — the Mechanics' Institute; the Society for Intellectual Improvement; the Subscription Library, in West-Gate; the Law Library, in Kirkgate; the Circulating Library, at Mr. W. Moore's; the Commercial News Room, in New-Street; the Subscription News Room, at the George Inn.
The National School, Seed-Hill, and the Infant School, in Spring-Street, are both admirable institutions.
The Miscellaneous Institutions are — the Savings' Bank, in High-Street; the Gas Works, on the Leeds Road; the Water Works, in Spring-Street.
The market-day, on Tuesday, presents a scene of great activity, and the market is not only celebrated for its vast transactions in the cloth trade, but is well supplied with every article which is required by the wants of the inhabitants. The fairs are held on the 31st of March, on the 4th of May, and the first of October. The May Fair is the principal one.
The vicinity of Huddersfield exhibits in its handsome residences, its numerous manufactories, and its teeming population, every indication of a rapidly increasing importance and opulence; and its inhabitants are distinguished even in the West-Riding of Yorkshire, for their spirit, their intelligence, and their enterprise.