The History and Topography of the Parish of Kirkburton and of the Graveship of Holme (1861) - Township of Wooldale

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The History and Topography of the Parish of Kirkburton and of the Graveship of Holme (1861) by Henry James Morehouse


This township forms the lower part of the graveship of Holme, and has an ancient village of the same name, pleasantly situated on an elevation, having a fine aspect and sheltered from the west winds, but not presenting in itself an attractive appearance.

Since the enclosure of the common lands within the graveship of Holme, this township, which is of considerable extent, has become by far the most populous of any within our topographical survey. The greater part of the town of Holm-firth is comprehended within its limits, together with several populous hamlets.

This township is mentioned in the Domesday survey as “Yluedal,” and is described along with five others which were then returned as waste. The name is undoubtedly a corruption of Wolf dale, and indicates its having been the resort of those destructive animals, the prevalence of which, to a comparatively late period, in many of the mountainous districts of Yorkshire is a sufficient proof of the great difficulty there must have been in extirpating them. There are other places in this district which acquired their names from the same source, as Wolf-stones, a rocky eminence about a mile from Holmfirth, along the north-western boundary of the graveship.

Mr. Hunter,[1] in reference to the district immediately to the south of this, says “The wolf found recesses in these woods even to a late period. Wolf-pits, between Dodworth and Silkstone, are mentioned in a charter of the reign of Henry I. The Wolf-pits, near Slade-Hooton, appear in a charter about a century later, and in the reign of Edward I., we find Wolf-pit Cliff, near Aughton, and the luporurn fovea not a proper name, at Wolley.” These clearly indicate the method then usually adopted for their destruction.

Wooldale Hall.

This small mansion, which stands about the centre of the village, was built about the close of the reign of Queen Anne by Mr. Elihu Jackson, who was the eldest son of Mr. Henry Jackson, of Totties Hall. Here he resided for some years, but subsequently removed to Doncaster, where he had been engaged for many years previously in an extensive medical practice. He married Katherine, daughter of Mr. Yicars, of Doncaster (of the family of Thomas Cartwright, als. Vicars, who devised a large property to charitable uses), by whom he had issue an only child, Henrietta Katherine, sole heiress to her father. He died in 1730. Mrs. Jackson survived him many years — dying in 1749.

Henrietta Katherine Jackson married William Salkeld, merchant and citizen of London (grandson of Sir Francis Salkeld, of Whitehall, in the county of Cumberland), who had issue three daughters, viz., Katherine, Ann, and Mary. Mr. Salkeld died in 1754.

Katherine — the eldest daughter — married, first, ___ Hay, who died soon after; secondly, a Mr. Clement, from whom she separated: having no issue.

Aim Salkeld — the second daughter—married, in 1742, Richard Annesley, the sixth Earl of Anglesea. The offspring of this marriage was an only surviving child — Richard Annesley; who, after his father’s death, became a claimant of his titles, honors, and estates. He being the only descendant in the third degree from Mr. Elihu Jackson, and the validity of this marriage being for some time a contested question, first in the English House of Peers, and afterwards in that of Ireland, it will not be altogether foreign to our subject to furnish a brief statement of the circumstances of this remarkable case, more especially with a view to correct the inaccuracies of Mr. Burke, both in his “Peerage,” and in his “Extinct and Dormant Peerages,” whose account of this part of the Annesley pedigree is incorrect, not only from its omissions, but from its misstatement of facts.

Richard Annesley, Viscount Valentia, Baron Mount Norris and Altham, in the kingdom of Ireland, and Earl of Anglesea and Baron of Newport Pagnel in the British peerage, was the youngest son of Richard, Lord Altham, and had been an ensign in the army. It was not until the year 1727, on the death of Arthur, the fifth Earl of Anglesea, that he succeeded to the titles and honours of the family, of which, as Burke states, he was not left in the uninterrupted enjoyment; “for soon after his accession, a claimant arose in the person of Mr. James Annesley, who asserted that he was himself the son of Arthur, fourth Lord Altham ; and a publication entitled ‘ The Adventures of an Unfortunate Young Nobleman,’ gave a very extraordinary and interesting narrative of his case. In that statement it is alleged that Mr. Annesley was the true and lawful son and heir of Arthur, Lord Altham, and that he had been kidnapped and transported by his uncle Richard, to make room for his own accession to the honors and estates of of the family.
“Mr. Annesley followed up the matter, instituted a suit at law for the recovery of the estates, and after a trial in the Court of Exchequer in Ireland, James Annesley, versus Richard, called Earl of Anglesea, begun on the 11th November, 1743, and continued daily by adjournment to the 25th of the same month, obtained a verdict. We believe, however, that he did not live long after, as the uncle, notwithstanding this decision, continued to enjoy the honors and fortune. The conduct of that person throughout the whole course of his iniquitous career, fully sustained the presumption that he had been very capable of committing the foul crime thus laid to his charge.”
In 1727 Richard, Earl of Anglesea, became enamoured, while in Dublin, with Anne Simpson, the only daughter of a wealthy citizen, then scarcely fifteen years of age, whom he married privately : her father was at first much displeased, but afterwards became reconciled. By her he had issue three daughters, and at that time she was recognised as the Countess of Anglesea. It was, however, afterwards discovered that he had previously married one Anne Phrust, of Devonshire, in England, who was living at the time of his marriage with Anne Simpson, but who died the 13th August, 1741, without any issue by the earl.
The said Earl Richard afterwards entered into a treaty of marriage with Anne, the daughter of William Salkeld, then of the city of London, a merchant, of good family, extensive trade, and considerable property; and the marriage was accordingly had and duly solemnized, in May, 1742,[2] between them, agreeable to the rites of the Church of England, and by. a regular clergyman of that church, in the presence of several persons of reputation and veracity ; and from thenceforth the said Earl Richard and Anne, his wife, resided together, and were known and reputed for such ; and the said Anne was acknowledged and treated as the lawful consort of the said earl, and accordingly did openly participate of and use the titles and honors of her said husband. The said Anne died in London, in some few years after her said marriage, leaving issue Richard Annesley, her only child by the said husband, and then an infant of very tender years ; and thereupon he was by his father removed into Ireland, and kept there far from his mothers friends and relations, who all resided in Great Britain.
About the same time the Earl of Anglesea entered into an improper connexion with one Gillion, or Juliana Donovan, the daughter of one Richard Donovan, who sold an unlicensed kind of ale called “Shebeen,” in a cabin or hut in the village of Camolen, where Lord Anglesea resided. She obtained great influence over him, and exerted such an ascendancy against Richard Annesley—then an infant, and far distant from his mother’s friends — in favour of her own children by the said earl, that, unhappily, she at length succeeded in abating the affection of the father towards his son Richard, and exerted her utmost endeavour to exclude him from the hereditary honors and property of his family, hoping to procure them for her own issue.
About the end of the year 1741, the earl took Juliana Donovan into his house as a menial servant, in which condition she continued many years* during which time she had several children,—one named Arthur, who was born in 1744, after the earl’s death, claimed to be Earl of Anglesea. His claim was founded upon the marriage of the said Earl Richard with the said Juliana Donovan, his mother: which was stated to have taken place in 1741, but which his opponent stated did not take place until 1752.*

* Burke, in his “Peerage,” observes that “he is said to have married three wives, two of whom he heartlessly abandoned, and the offspring of the third was unable but partially to establish his legitimacy.” The fact is, that he married four wives, as the reader will perceive. The third wife alluded to by Mr. Burke was in reality his fourth wife, whom he styles “Miss Donovan,” and observes that he has been led to extract from Jacob a statement regarding this lady in the “Extinct and Dormant Peerage,” which, upon investigation, he finds to be full of error. Miss Donovan so far from being of mean* birth and disreputable character, was a person very highly esteemed, and the niece of Richard Donovan, Esq., of Bally-more, a gentleman of large estate and great respectability, in the county of Wexford. Her mother was Miss Nixon, daughter of George Nixon, Esq., of Newtown, in the same county.” The account which we have given of the family of Juliana Donovan, and her marriage with the Earl of Anglesea, is taken from the Gentleman’s Magazine, where full particulars of the case were given at the time the legality of the marriages was being contested; and it seems extremely probable that the statements made in that respectable journal, and at the time the case was pending, would be in accordance with the evidence then given before the house; and that had it been either partial or incorrect, there is little doubt the editor would have been called upon to correct it. No such correction have I, however, been able to discover. Mr. Burke also states that the claimant of the said honors of the Annesley family, in opposition to the son of Julian Donovan, was “James Annesley, Esq., as heir at law,” who is not shewn to have any immediate connexion with Richard, late Earl of Anglesea; a further proof that he did not fully comprehend the true bearing of the case.

It is certain that the Earl of Anglesea did not acknowledge his marriage till 1752, and that Juliana Donovan till nearly that time gave receipts and signed sureties for money by her maiden name ; and in 1751, by the same name, entered up a judgment in the Court of Exchequer in Ireland, — which remains upon record. On the other hand, “a certificate of marriage in 1741 was produced in favour of Arthur, which has not been legally invalidated.”
On the 7th April, 1759, the Earl of Anglesea, though at that time under sentence of excommunication, made his will, by which he bequeathed to Julian, by the name of his beloved wife Juliana, Countess of Anglesea, a rent-charge of £1,000 a year, and all his personal estate.
The said earl died in 1761, under sentence of excommunication, and Julian possessed herself of his personal estate, to the amount of £20,000.
Upon the decease of the Earl of Anglesea, Arthur Annesley, pretending to be the eldest son of the said earl by Juliana, and born in lawful wedlock, did, without giving any manner of notice to Richard Annesley (the son of the said earl by Anne Salkeld, his late wife), and without divulging the real circumstances or situation of the family, surreptitiously obtain a seat amongst the Right Honorable the Peers of Ireland, as Viscount Valentia and Baron of Mount Norris and Altham.
The said Arthur having thus imposed himself upon the Right Honorable the Lords of Ireland, proceeded to claim the titles of Earl of Anglesea and Baron of Newport Pagnel, before the Right Honorable the House of Lords of Great Britain, alleging himself the lawful son and heir of the late earl by the above-named Juliana Donovan. But such pretences having then become a matter of public notoriety, opposition was given thereto, and the circumstances and situation of the family, and of the said Earl of Anglesea in particular, with respect to his marriage with the said Juliana, and of the time thereof, were laid in evidence before the house; and as it appeared thereupon before their lordships that the said late earl did, in the year 1752, about eleven years after his marriage with the said Richard Annesley’s (present claimant) mother, Ann Salkeld, intermarry with the said Juliana Donovan, now Countess of Anglesea. But the said Arthur, hoping to upset the marriage between the parents of Richard Annesley (claimant), in the year 1742, then pretended that the said earl had intermarried with the before-named Juliana Donovan, in the county of Wexford, so early as the 15th September, 1741, a month after the death of the said Anne Phrust.
Their lordships having heard all the evidence produced by and in behalf of the said Arthur, touching the pretended marriage, and having taken into conside ration the testimony of the said Juliana, Countess of Anglesea, delivered at their bar; and having been thereupon satisfied that the said Juliana was not then or for above eleven years afterwards, duly married unto, or acknowledged as the lady of the late earl ; they, upon the 22nd day of April, 1771, were pleased to resolve and judge, That the said Arthur has not any right to the title, honors, and dignities so claimed by him.
The said claimant, Richard Annesley, next presented his petition to his Excellency the Lord Lieutenant of Ireland, praying to have his claim to the said Irish honors laid before his Majesty, in order that the same might be put into a proper course of examination and decision; and also seeking such other relief as unto his Excellency should seem proper.
The following notice of this affair appeared in the London Evening Post of the 4th April, 1772 :— “Richard Annesley, the claimant to the titles and honors of Richard, the late Earl of Anglesea, is the legitimate son of the said earl, by Ann, second daughter of William Salkeld, of the city of London, merchant, and great granddaughter to Sir Francis Salkeld, of White Hall, in the county of Cumberland, and granddaughter to Elihu Jackson, Esq., of Wooldale Hall, in Yorkshire.”
On the 2nd June, 1772, “the long contested Valentia cause was decided by the House of Peers in Ireland, in favour of the sitting lord; nineteen were for him, and only six against him. Several lords did not vote upon the question, — which seemed doubtful. It is somewhat remarkable that this noble lord is illegitimate in England, and the true son of his father in Ireland, and that he has been so declared by two tribunals, each supreme in its decisions upon the question of the different peerages.”[3]

Mary Salkeld, the third daughter, married Lieutenant James Preston, R.N. She died without issue. Lieutenant Preston was many years engaged in active service, under the command of Admiral Sir Charles Hardy; and he ultimately attained the rank of captain. He resided, in the latter years of his life, at Wool-dale Hall, where he died in 1807, at the advanced age of eighty-eight years.

Totties Hall.

The History and Topography of the Parish of Kirkburton and of the Graveship of Holme (1861) - figure 26.png

A substantially-built mansion in the small hamlet of Totties : having much the appearance of a manor house. It is about half a mile distant from the village of Wooldale, to the southward. It consists of a centre, and two projecting wings. The engraving above will best convey an idea of its precise character.

Over the principal entrance is cut in the stone "J. / H.K." — the initial letters of the builder’s name, and that of his wife ; and over another door is the date, “1684,” when the house was erected. Mr. Henry Jackson, the builder, possessed a considerable estate in the graveship ; and on this, as well as on other accounts, is entitled to a brief notice.

The family of Jackson — which has become extinct in the male line, or at least has long ceased to have any connexion with the district, — was of long standing in this parish. The name is to be frequently met with in ancient copies of court roll, and other instruments connected with this district. The family appear to have been seated many generations at Mealhill, in the township of Hepworth. I have met with Humfray Jackson, of Mealhill, who married Margaret Crosland, by whom he had a son Henry, baptized at Kirkburton, 3rd June, 1593, which son, during the civil wars, was in King Charles I.’s service, a comet in Captain Joshua Castle’s troop, under the command of Sir Francis Mackworth; afterwards under Colonel Thompson, in the north of England. He married, in 1635, Elizabeth, daughter of George Tyas (and widow of Oliver Roberts, of Wooldale, she having issue by her first husband one child, Oliver, very young at the time of his father’s death), by whom he had two children — a son, Henry, and a daughter, Elizabeth. He died in 1667.

Elizabeth Jackson, the daughter, married in 1663 to Gervas, son of Robert Leek, of Horbury, Gentleman. Henry Jackson, his son and heir, who was the builder of Totties Hall, became an early convert and an active follower of George Fox, the founder of the Quakers, and like the early converts of that sect, he manifested a strong spirit of antagonism to the Established Church, and its priesthood. He had received a liberal education, and possessed an ample fortune, since in addition to his paternal estate, he had been made his principal heir by his half-brother, Oliver Roberts of Wooldale, who died in 1668, without issue. These circumstances combined to give him considerable local influence.

It is more particularly as a leader of a religious sect that his name is now remembered. He was the principal founder of the Meeting House at Wooldale. He was probably instrumental also in founding the Highflatts meeting, in the township of Denby, which originated about the same period. He travelled through many parts of England, preaching and spreading the doctrinal views of the Quakers: for which he was subjected to many trials and hardship^ He suffered imprisonment along with many Quakers and other Nonconformists, “for resorting to unlawful conventicles,” and “absenting themselves from church.”

When James II. resolved, for his own political purposes, to grant to all his subjects religious liberty, Henry Jackson was then a prisoner in York Castle, for nonconformity, and, together with many others, was released by an order dated 30th March, 1686, directing that all persons confined there “for conscience sake,” should be set at liberty. He married, in accordance with the forms of the society, Katherine, the daughter of Charles Cooke, of Haitfield, the 8th February, 1665, by whom he had issue three sons, — first, Elihu, afterwards of Wooldale Hall, of whom we have already spoken; second, Henry, succeeded his father at this place ; and, third, Abel became a merchant in London. He had also one daughter, . . . who married Gervase Seaton.

He remained steadfast in his religious views to the close of his life, and died at an advanced age in 1710, and was interred in the burial ground attached to the Wooldale Meeting House.

Henry, the second son, to whom his father devised the Totties Hall and other estates, became a preacher among the Friends. He married Mary, daughter of Thomas Blwood, of Kirby, near Kendal, in the county of Westmorland, by whom he had issue two children — Ebenezer and Martha. The latter married, in 1735, ___ Lister, of the parish of Bradford, and had issue. Mr. Lister was dead in 1743 ; in which year she again married, — William Cowill, of Leeds. She died in 1745.

Ebenezer Jackson, only son and heir, succeeded his father at Totties Hall, where he died without issue, and by his will, dated 3rd November, 1775, devised all his estates to his nephew, Henry Lister, then of Totties Hall, from whom it passed by will in 1794 to Thomas Lister, surgeon, of Bradford, afterwards a merchant, who became a bankrupt in 1814, when the estate was divided and sold.

The History and Topography of the Parish of Kirkburton and of the Graveship of Holme (1861) - figure 27.png

The hall, with certain lands, were sold in two lots. One — purchased by the late Mr. Thomas Morehouse, of Spring Bottom, in Netherthong, was by him devised to his daughter Ellen, who married Mr. Thomas Dyson, of Elmwood, in Netherthong, merchant, in whom it now vests. The other was purchased by the late Mr. James Moorhouse, of Downshutts, in Scholes, who devised the same to one of his sons.

In front of an old messuage in this hamlet stood, about twenty years ago, a sun dial of singular design, formerly known as “Old Genn’s Dial,” or “Genn’s Gloclc,” of which the subjoined sketch is a representation.

The pillar upon which the dial was fixed was formed of large stones, somewhat rudely hewn : the whole bearing a resemblance to a house clock. This relic of “olden time” has not been preserved entire to the present period, — its situation having been changed on rebuilding some of the premises: the dial face having been placed on the top of an outbuilding, and the massive pillar removed. The dial bears date 1672, with an appropriate motto, “Ut hora sic vita fugit,” and has also the initial letters of the names of the owner and the sculptor.

Henry Genn, the original owner, was a “sturdy yeoman,” connected with the Society of Friends, or Quakers, and one most determinately opposed to the payment of tithes ; but in some respect his sympathies would seem to have accorded with a more ancient and primitive people — his house being surrounded with a number of unhewn stones of remarkable size.

He was a man of somewhat coarse manners, of primitive habits, of a stern inflexible temper, of a quaint but racy humour, yet with an apparent taciturnity, which, together, rendered him an object of local notoriety, and his sayings and doings were remembered long after he had passed away.


The History and Topography of the Parish of Kirkburton and of the Graveship of Holme (1861) - figure 28.png

This small but substantial structure was built by George Morehouse, of Stoney Bank, about 1630, for one of his sons. He was descended from Thomas Morehouse, of Fulstone Hall, in the adjoining township, living in 1574.

This house is a pleasing specimen of the style usually occupied by the class called yeomen. Its original appearance was preserved entire till about 1778, when a considerable addition was made to it, but in a more modern style; and subsequent alterations have also contributed to change its original character.

The view of it given above is from a sketch taken before any material alterations had been made.

George Morehouse aforesaid by bis will devised Moorcroft to bis son John, who in 19 Charles II. [1666], settled it upon George Morehouse, his son and heir, and Margaret Crosley, of Honley, his intended wife in fee, and to the survivor and to their heirs, &c. George Morehouse (last named) died in 1695, when it descended to his only son, George, who died in 1720, having devised it to his eldest son, John, who sold in it 1748 to his relative, Thomas Morehouse, of Stoney Bank, when it became the residence of his eldest son, George, — the author’s grandfather.

History of the English Presbyterian Chapel, at Lydgate.


  1. South Yorkshire, vol. i., page 3.
  2. This marriage is not noticed in Burke’s “Peerage,” in connexion with Mount Norris.
  3. Gentleman’s Magazine.

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