The History of the Township of Meltham, Near Huddersfield (1866) by Rev. Joseph Hughes

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The History of the Township of Meltham, Near Huddersfield; In the West Riding of York; From the Earliest Time to the Present was written by the Rev. Joseph Hughes.

Hughes began writing the book in December 1851 but it remained unfinished when he died in 1863. His wife, Catharine Hughes (née Laycock)[1], edited the manuscript and it was published in 1866 by J. Crossley & Co. of 6 Market Place, Huddersfield.

To commemorate the 150th anniversary of its publication, a new digitisation of the book was undertaken for Huddersfield Exposed. Each scanned page was carefully restored to remove any artefacts and blemishes. This edition has been released for free using a Creative Commons Public Domain Dedication:


  • Chapter 1 : Introduction
  • Chapter 2 : The Village of Meltham in 1649 — The Building of the Chapel in 1650 — Its Consecration by Bishop Tilson in 1651
  • Chapter 3 : Notice of Bishop Tilson — The Curates of Meltham from the Year 1651 to 1770
  • Chapter 4 : The Rev. Abraham Woodhead and His Connection with Meltham
  • Chapter 5 : The Rev. Abraham Woodhead's Alleged Change of Faith — His Will and Letters
  • Chapter 6 : The Authorship of "The Whole Duty of Man" — The Various Claims to it Impartially Weighed
  • Chapter 7 : Bishop Fell's Portraiture of the Author of "The Whole Duty of Man" — The Work Claimed for the Rev. Abraham Woodhead — The List of Works Attributed to Him
  • Chapter 8 : The Rev. Abraham Woodhead's Pupils and Literary Associates
  • Chapter 9 : Parish Registers — Extracts from the Registers of Meltham Chapel, and from Those of the Parish Church of Almondbury
  • Chapter 10 : The Building of the Chapel of 1786 — The Various Additions and Improvements Connected with It
  • Chapter 11 : Meltham Mills — Helme and Wilshaw — Their Churches and Schools
  • Chapter 12 : Early Physical Aspect of Meltham — Its Natural Resources — Introduction of Woollen Cloth Manufacture Into the District
  • Chapter 13 : The Radcliffe Family — Its Connection by Marriage with the Beaumonts of Meltham
  • Chapter 14 : The Manor of Meltham and the De Laci Family — Copy of the Court Roll of Meltham
  • Appendix

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Three different PDF versions of the book are available to freely download:

Notes and References

  1. In February 1867, the Huddersfield Archaeological and Topographical Association recommended that Catherine Hughes should become an honorary member of the association on account of her work in publishing the book.