Monday 2 December 2019

Barnhill near Howden - and mud

Today is the second day of December and it is fine and frosty. Molly and I have just been for a walk and at last the standing water is retreating and the ground is less soggy.  Road edges have suffered in this weather.
There has been work going on at Skelton to  improve the clough entry into the  River Ouse but this has meant that with the road intermittently closed more traffic has been using the narrow track known as the Hazel croft or more usually Asselcroft or Aizle croft.   I don't normally meet any other traffic on this single track road but passing is difficult and as the road sides have become incredibly muddy I am avoiding it.

Historically I am turning my attention away from chapels and looking at the interesting history of Barnhill near Howden. By coincidence I have been asked twice recently about it and so have looked
out my notes and done a bit more research. Here is a summary.

A brief history of Barnhill

In a charter of 959 AD it was mentioned as ‘Beornhyll’. There have always been stories about the 'hill' visible south west of Barnhill hall.  Was it a burial place? Who was‘Beorn’  - the word could could mean warrior or could be  simply a personal name.

In the Domesday Book of 1086 ‘Bernehelt’ was listed as a bailiwick of the manor of Howden and was approx one carucate - the area which could be ploughed by one plough team in a year and could be anywhere  between 60 and 100acres.

There was a house and moat and a family called Barnhill or Bernhill lived there. The moat has been much altered but was on the  edge  of Howden Park.

Bernhill family

There are mentions of a Richard de Bernhill  in 1334 and a Nicholas de Bernhill in 1398 and 1415. The Bernhill family seem to have been connected by marriage to the Saltmarshe family.

In 1481 Edward Saltmarshe wrote in his will that William Bernyll should inherit the 'capital messuage' of Bernyll and all the lands... according to the entail created by the ancestors of the said William.
However the will also said that if William or  his heirs wanted to sell Barnhill then the Saltmarshe family should have first refusal.
Possibly William's mother was a Saltmarshe as the will also said that William  should pay 3s 4d annually to his father Thomas's widow.

The will also stipulated that the present tenant of Barnhill should stay on for at least 12 years, implying that William himself lived elsewhere.

 The Metham family at Barnhill

In 1495  William and wife Emma sold Barnhill to Sir Thomas Metham and  his wife Isabel.  Sir Thomas lived at Metham near Laxton. Isabel was his second wife and they had a son William. Sir Thomas gave Barnhill to William.

There was an interesting court case in the early 1530s  describing how Sir Robert Constable of Flamborough sent a gang of thirty men to 'Barnhill Grange' who forcibly broke in and took several animals. Sir Robert  said he believed that Barnhill was part of manor of Howden and took 8 small oxen,  6 draught oxen, 4 milk cows,  2 mares with foals and 8 young colts  in lieu of his steward’s fees for the manor.

There were accusations that there was a fight, servants were hurt, oats were destroyed and other animals driven away.

This Metham family were still there in 1590  when Howden registers show the baptism of Isabel, daughter of Thomas Metham of 'Barnell'. The Metham name disappears from the registers soon afterwards but there was obviously a small community there as there are several incidences of 'Barnell' in the Howden registers throughout the seventeenth century.

The Elands

From the 1720s  descendants of Thomas Eland lived at Barnhill. In the parish records Barnhill is written variously as Barnal House, Barnellhall etc.

One interesting record is of the marriage in 1755  of Abraham Eland  of Barnhill Hall to Mary Clark of Brind which took place in Wressle Castle Chapel

There is a stone stone outside Howden church to George Eland late of Barnhill Hall who died in 1795 aged 50.

Nineteenth century

By 1834 Thomas Waterhouse was renting the farm at Barnhill Hall and living there with six children and two servants.

In 1861 Robert Askham and his family were living at Barnhill Hall which was a farm of 138 acres.
But in Feb 1870 there was an auction at Barnhill Hall, the premises then of Mrs Askham.

For sale were  7 Draught Horses, 10 Beasts, a Milch Cow, Cows in Calf, a Fat Bullock, a Fat Heifer, Waggons, Carts, a Dog Cart a Riding Saddle and Bridle, Gig Harness, Horse Gearing, Drills, Ploughs, Harrows, Agricultural Machines as well as a quantity of household furniture and dairy utensils and 20 tubs of Regent seed potatoes

John and Alice Kershaw were farming there in  1871 but Alice died in 1873 and John in 1880. There is a stone to their memory in the churchyard.

In 1878  there was another sale at Barnhill when all the  farm stock of a Mr Ibbetson was auctioned.
By 1881 John and Anne Everatt and one year old Richard and 2 farm servants were at the farm. The couple went on to have seven children.

Twentieth century

After the Everatts Barnhill had other occupiers until the Lapish family moved in. The last members of the family to live there were, I believe Don Lapish, his wife Rene and their son Richard.

Barnhill Hall as it was when the Lapish family lived there.

Rene came to Howden as a land girl and lived in the Thorpe Road hostel. Below are some pictures of her as a land girl. She married in 1956.

Rene with farm workers. Does anyone recognise them?

Rene at Hawcrofts' Lock Farm.

Rene with lorry

Woodcock hall

After writing the piece above I was asked if I knew anything about Woodcock hall which was a little way behind Barnhill.

It was on the lane which runs from  Barnhill and towards Howden station.  The map here shows where it was in 1854 but by 1881 the house was uninhabited.

I found that a Jane Watson, wife of Carrick Watson had died there in 1863 although they could not have been there long as in 1861 they were living in the Manor house in Howden and Carrick was a cordwainer [ worker with leather.]

Does anyone know any more?

Wednesday 6 November 2019

Goole library family history day

It's that time of year again when Goole library hold their annual family history day - the 9th November. I have been going for years now and taking my computer and old photos to help anyone who wants help with their family history.

I shall be alongside my friends and colleagues from  the Boothferry Family and Local history Group,  the Goole First World War Research group, the Marshland history group and  others. We will be there from 10am to 4pm and will have access to Ancestry and Find my Past as well as indexes of local cemeteries and other records.

Come along and see us - and have a chat about local history.

I have been researching local chapels with my Goole and Howden  history classes. Who knew there were so many? We have looked at those in the Howdenshire area and found so many that you could not go more than a mile before finding one.

Of course chapels provided not only a religious service on a Sunday [and still do ] but a busy social life with classes, sports groups, anniversaries and support for members.

I am already into double figures in Goole and  just beginning to look at the Snaith and Marshland areas. But sadly many of these buildings are now empty, converted into houses or just plain gone. There were some magnificent  chapels - many in Goole for example built before there was a Church in the town.  It has been an interesting study and one cannot help but be impressed by the enthusiasm and devotion of chapelgoers in those early days.

Here are a few pictures.


Old Goole, Beulah

Goole Carlisle Terrace, now the site of Goole library and museum 
Goole United Methodist, Boothferry Road


Holme on Spalding Moor

Newport Primitive Methodist

Wednesday 23 October 2019

Howden Bridgegate

I have been sorting kitchen cupboards and decided I was more interested in sorting old pictures.

So here are some views from 2002 when the PA building in Bridgegate was under construction. Although to me these pictures seem relatively recent I think that a lot of newer Howden residents  might not know what used to be there. I have included an old photo to help

Wednesday 16 October 2019

Conkers and classical music

I have just come in from walking Molly and have picked up a few conkers from the road through Saltmarshe Park. I cannot resist them when they are so shiny but after a few days they become dull. There is a saying that spiders don't like conkers and that if you put them under your furniture it will keep them away. I have not noticed that it works - we have plenty of spiders!

It's been a busy few weeks. Both my Goole and Howden local history classes have started and we have been looking at local nonconformists - Puritans, Independents and Quakers. Topics have ranged from Ezekiel Rogers who took his congregation in the 1630s from Rowley near South Cave to America and founded Rowley in Massachusetts to Sebastian Ellithorp of Sandholme who was a Quaker and who died a prisoner in York castle for his faith.

Interesting too has been the story of  Cornelius Empson of Goole, another Quaker, who emigrated and called his house in Delaware 'Goole Grange'.

Congregational chapel  - the Milton rooms were behind

 And not forgetting the minister of the Congregational church in Howden who slept in a different bed for 14 years until his church  and manse were built. This was the chapel which stood in St Helen's Square in Howden.

 Also this summer I have been attending the series of free lunchtime concerts in Howden Minster. These were community events,  some sponsored by local businesses. I have been 'on the door' giving out programmes and have been pleasantly surprised as I chatted to people as they came in.

Some were local people who came to enjoy an hour of classical music followed by a cup of tea within walking or easy driving  distance of their homes.

But several had travelled from further afield - from Sheffield, Hornsea, Doncaster and as far as Derby to name but a few. They had made a day of it, exploring Howden and having lunch in the town. Many became regulars and  commented on  the friendliness of the people, the beauty of the church and the high quality of the music. We have heard professional performances on piano, oboe, violin, flute as well as by two singers.

I am  already looking forward to next year's concert series. We are very lucky to live in the Howdenshire area which has such an interesting past but has so much going on today.

Chris Hill, a talented young flautist

This season's final concert was last week. An audience of around 100 heard Steven Goulden, tenor accompanied by Amy Butler piano perform Schumann's song cycle  Dichterliebe.

Below are links to the performance on youtube

Friday 30 August 2019

Saltmarshe heritage events

It's almost September and  it feels autumnal. The apples are doing well and we have had a few figs and greengages. I am hoping to pick some brambles too [ blackberries to non Yorkshire folk] and make an apple and bramble pie or maybe some jam. It's one of my favourites.

But with my local history hat on I would like to publicise a couple of things. For many years now I have been teaching local history classes in both Howden and Goole. Both classes restart after the summer break in a little over a  fortnight.

The Howden class meets on a Monday afternoon at 1.30 in the town council offices on Bridgegate and the Goole one on a Thursday morning at 10am in the Ilkeston Ave community centre. Both classes last 2 hours with a coffee break and run for 11 weeks.

Over the years I have run these classes not only have I made some good friends but the students have too. Some have been coming for  30 years and some have joined in January this year. Classes are  formalish in that I talk or show slides and students listen  but everyone soon joins in and has their two-penn'orth!!

This term we are going to look at the history of local chapels in both Howden, Goole and the villages.
The classes are run by the WEA and students are asked to enrol online or by telephone. But you can come along to the first class, see if you enjoy it and then enrol. Or contact me through my Howdenshirehistory  website if you have any queries.

The Howden class begins on Monday 16th September and the Goole one on  Thursday 19th September.

This summer we have visited various churches. Here we are at Eastrington

But in between these two classes  on Wednesday  18th September  I shall be giving two talks at Saltmarshe hall. It is heritage open week when interesting places all over England, many not normally open to the public,  are open to visit.

Saltmarshe Hall wil be open from 10am to 4pm. My illustrated talks will be at 11am and 2pm and will last about half an hour. Cream teas will be available at £6.95 pp.

Inside the library at Saltmarshe hall  around 100 years ago

I also have a small private museum in an 18th century cottage  in Saltmarshe. It houses a collection of bygones and is normally open only by appointment. But it will also be open that day,  within walking distance along the riverbank from the hall.

Inside the old cottage museum at Saltmarshe

So it will be a busy week but, I hope, an enjoyable one.

Sunday 18 August 2019

Bell and Harrison families of Gilberdyke Mill

I was recently asked to look at one of the names on the roll of honour in Gilberdyke memorial hall. This was JO Harrison.

James Oswald Harrison 1894 - 1914

James who was brought up in Gilberdyke,  was killed in October 1914 aged 20.

His father John William Harrison had moved from Gilberdyke to Garthorpe with his family to run the Bay Horse hotel there.

The Bay Horse at Garthorpe. John Naylor, the landlord whose name is shown on the board, died in 1908 and his widow emigrated to Iowa to be with her family. John Harrison then came from Gilberdyke to Garthorpe.

But the further back I went in the family history the more interesting - and complicated it got.

John William Harrison was born in 1864 at Spaldington Mill. His father was James who was the miller there, as his father had been before him.

James Harrison snr had died in 1840 aged 46 and in 1845 his widow Mary married another miller, Thomas Bell so by 1851 the mill was being worked by Thomas and the Harrison children were living there too.

Thomas was part of the long established and extensive Bell  milling family of Gilberdyke. His grandfather [I think], Alexander had been at Gilberdyke since the 1760s.

In fact the Bell family history illustrates the fact that millers' families often intermarried and that younger sons often went off to become millers elsewhere. I have found various Bells also milling locally at Newport, Reedness, Barmby and Atwick.

Then James jnr's mother Mary died and in 1861 James was the Spaldington miller and his sister was his housekeeper. Two years later at Eastrington he married  21 year old Elizabeth Bell - whose father, Nathaniel was the miller at Gilberdyke.

I am not sure of the exact relationship but Elizabeth would be a sort of distant niece of James' stepfather Thomas.

James and Elizabeth at Spaldington  had at least five children but then tragedy struck. Two days before Christmas  in 1873, while at Selby market, James suddenly collapsed and died aged only 38. This left Elizabeth with a mill and a large family as well as being pregnant with her daughter Minnie [who went on the marry Harry Gossop].

Spaldington Mill got a new tenant and Elizabeth moved back to her parents' home at Gilberdyke Mill. Living next door was retired farmer John Harrison Stather. John was born in 1815 at Everthorpe and so was quite a lot older than Elizabeth.

[ I said it was complicated !! I  cannot yet work out why he was called Harrison Stather and whether there was any connection with the other Harrison family]

However they married in 1881 at Eastrington church and in 1883 their son was born - named Harrison Arthur Stather.

In 1891 John William and his brother Bell both described as millers were living with them. Also there was young Harrison Arthur Stather while  James was an apprentice in Hull.

Elizabeth died in 1895 and  her husband in 1899. The four brothers [ three Harrison and one Stather] at various times worked as millers but eventually moved to different jobs, leaving Bell Harrison to run Gilberdyke mill

Gilberdyke Mill with Bell Harrison centre

When he retired his younger half brother Harrison Stather took over. By then the mill was used mainly for grinding grain for cattle feed. His son Mr John Stather, who was the last owner of the mill, remembers that his father frequently had to get up in the night to take advantage of the wind and it was this unreliability which led to the removal of the sails. The mill was then powered by a tractor which stood in a shed behind the house. Most of the grinding was done during the winter months, since the Stathers were also farmers and worked the land the rest of the year.

Family group at Gilberdyke mill: Tom Jackson, left of Sunnycroft, his wife Mary [nee Harrison],  Bill Harrison, Harry Gossop. Standing front right Minnie Harrison, later Gossop.  

But back to James Oswald Harrison [with thanks to the Crowle soldiers memorial page]

James enlisted in the Royal Dragoons at Hull on 1st December 1913. He was posted to the 1st (Royal) Dragoons and joined them in camp at Dunbar the following day. When the Dragoons returned to South Africa, James stayed behind in the UK to finish his training and was posted to the 2nd Dragoons (Royal Scots Greys) in York on 4th February and then the 5th Dragoon Guards on 16th August 1914. On 24th September with the 1st Royal Dragoons now returned back from South Africa, he rejoined them again.
When James rejoined the 1st Royal Dragoons they were at Windmill Hill Camp at Ludgershall, Wiltshire, where they had joined 6th Cavalry Brigade in 3rd Cavalry Division in preparation for service on the Western Front. On 5th October the Division left Windmill Camp for Southampton and began to embark next day for Belgium. After some sailing delay due to suspected submarine activity in the English Channel, they arrived at Ostende on 8th October and proceeded to Bruges as part of IV Corps.
The Division had originally been intended to assist the Belgian Army at Antwerp, but following the fall of that town they made their way south to Ypres, and on 13th October were the first British troops to enter that town.
The following day the 1st Royal Dragoons  were active south of Ypres, skirmishing with German cavalry near Neuve Eglise and camping with their brigade in Wytschaete that evening. On 15th they again patrolled south of Ypres, moving north to St Julien that evening. On the 17th and 18th the Brigade sent forward squadrons towards the Menin to Roulers road where they again skirmished with German cavalry patrols. The night of the 17th was spent at Zonnebeke and the 18th at Moorslede, near Passchendaele.
On 19th October the two armies finally met in what was to become the First Battle of Ypres. 7th Cavalry Division had intended to attack Menin and whilst 1st Royal Dragoons and 10th Hussars advanced from St Pieter to capture Ledeghem, it was soon clear the force opposing them was much larger than anticipated and under sniper fire from German Cyclist Battalions, they fell back west of Ledeghem towards Rolleghem Cappelle (Rollegem-Kapelle). The German infantry now appeared and supported by several artillery batteries launched a determined attack on Rolleghem Cappelle, forcing the Brigade to withdraw back towards Moorslede.
James Harrison was one of the five men of the 1st Royal Dragoons to lose his life that day, the unit’s first casualties of the war. It appears he was killed in the initial withdrawal from Ledeghem to to Rollenghen Capelle, his body left on the field where he fell, 1 mile south of Rollenghem Capelle. James has no known grave and is remembered on the Ypres (Menin Gate) Memorial.
Not having heard from him since he went over to Belgium in December his parents had become extremely concerned so they wrote to the War Office. The reply came back with official notification of his death in October. 

If anyone would like to add more to this post I would be pleased to hear from them. But now it's time for Sunday tea and Poldark!!!

Tuesday 30 July 2019

Butterflies and history

Well it's chucking it down outside, the lawn is turning into a wildlife  habitat and we have had last week the hottest day ever. So this blog post is a mixture of natural and local history. While it's raining I'm sitting at the computer  trying to organise old pictures.

 Here is a topical one.  Until the M62 Ouse bridge was opened this was a familiar sight as Boothferry bridge opened to let ships pass through.  There are less ships now - but there have been plenty of queues recently as the Ouse bridge has been shut for repairs and accidents

The entertainment of watching a ship go through the bridge

It will soon be harvest time. Hay has been made locally and the giant bales are waiting to be gathered.  And I have seen a combine harvester in action and so corn will be next - when it's not raining. I can just remember though when this was the way to cut it. This picture was taken just across the road from the previous one and shows members of the Walker family of Booth harvesting with a reaper and binder just off  the road to Knedlington .

Reaping at Booth

And finally as I wrote in my last blog post there have been several Minster concerts this summer and we have been treated to some wonderful performances, particularly in  the new lunchtime series. There are still three more to come.  But does anyone recognise these people, obviously practising their singing in the Minster a few years ago?

But I promised some natural history too. In my last article for the Howdenshire Magazine I wrote about  the once flourishing teazle industry around Eastrington and Gilberdyke. Teazles were grown commercially to be used in the West Riding cloth industry.

 I have several growing in my garden which attract all sorts of wildlife. We are being asked to look at how many butterfly varieties we see. Here are what I saw yesterday - and I did not count the cabbage whites! Hope I've identified them correctly!


Painted lady

Another peacock

Red admiral

Friday 5 July 2019

Summer music

It's a lovely summer's day and I am going outside soon to  water all the plants in pots - and give some to our chickens. They are confined to barracks at the moment as we have had a fox visit and our flock is now two down.

I have been having a musical summer so far. My daughter Amy Butler and her partner Steven Goulden  aka the Saltmarshe Duo have, in addition to their own musical commitments, organised a series of free lunchtime concerts in Howden Minster.

These are proving very popular and are of a very high musical standard. The next one is Thursday 11th July and is performed by nationally acclaimed oboist Elizabeth Kenwood. My role in the concerts is to greet people as they come in. Many have not visited Howden before and find it, as indeed it is, a delightful small town.

Last night I attended the Snaith Choral Society's summer concert in the Methodist chapel there and thoroughly enjoyed it. Amy was the accompanist and we were treated to a 4th July themed programme including works by Gershwin and Aaron Copland.

The bees are happy too now the sun has come out and are working the many lime trees around us and we have been picking redcurrants and raspberries.

It is also a time for family history visitors. I recently showed an  American descendant of the Ainley family around  Eastrington, Snaith and Kellington and have sent a  copy of my book on the history of Eastrington to California.

This morning I was visited by descendants of the Carter and Clough families, brewers and bankers, who lived in Howden in the nineteenth century. And coincidentally I have just been transcribing a diary written by Elizabeth Storry whose husband too was a banker in Howden.

Her family were friendly with the Hutchinson family at the Rectory.  Frances Hutchinson, a daughter, was an artist and we recently put on an exhibition of her works in the Shire hall.

So poor old Molly [our Labrador ] has spent some time in her bed.  What with piano and singing pupils and family historians the place is not her own - although she thinks it is.!!!!

PS The Saltmarshe family of Halifax,  close relatives of the Saltmarshe family here, got a mention on this week's episode of Gentleman Jack  - see my previous post.

Thursday 30 May 2019

Gentleman Jack and the Saltmarshe connection

I have been enjoying the Sunday night drama Gentleman Jack based on the life of Anne Lister of Shibden Hall.

I am particularly interested in the characters of the Rawson family - Christopher and Jeremiah who were Halifax business men and bankers and at odds with Anne about her coal deposits.

What is interesting to me is that if it had not been for the Rawson family the present Saltmarshe Hall would probably not have been built.

The ancient Saltmarshe family was going through a bad patch and in the seventeenth century had had to sell much of their property.  But they were good farmers and businessmen and were slowly buying some of it back in the eighteenth century.

The head of the family, Philip Saltmarshe who died in 1796 at the age of 88 never married. His brother Arthur married in 1751 Ann Mawson of nearby Cotness. Arthur and Ann lived in a farmhouse near the river and much nearer the village than the present hall. They had one son whom not surprisingly they named Philip, born in 1753.

Saltmarshe Old Hall where Elizabeth Saltmarshe nee Rawson lived.

And on 10th May 1779 this son married Elizabeth Rawson, daughter of Christoher Rawson of Stony Royd, Halifax. The Rawsons and Saltmarshes had apparently already been in business together for some years as merchants trading with 'the Orient'

Their descendant,  the last but one Philip Saltmarshe published a book about the family in which he wrote

'To this alliance we owe in a great measure our present position. It was mostly with Rawson money or with the results of investments made with Rawson money that our grandfather and father made the  numerous purchases of land that they did and the handsome fortunes left by our great uncles Arthur and Christopher were put together when they were partners with the Rawsons in their city business'.

Philip and Elizabeth lived in this farmhouse which became known as the Old Hall and had 8 children.
Philip died in 1791 and his widow, the former Elizabeth Rawson, brought up her children and managed the estate with the help of her Rawson family.

Sons Arthur and Christopher were taken into the Rawson family business and lived at Halifax.  Christopher married his cousin Emma Rawson and Anne Lister often mentions visiting them in her diary.

Eldest son Philip, born 1780  built the present Saltmarshe Hall in 1825 aided financially by his aunt Catherine Rawson.

So it seems likely that Anne Lister and her family would have  known the Saltmarshe family well. I am going to watch the rest of the episodes and hope for a mention.

This stained glass window is in the Saltmarshe chapel of Howden Minster. The bottom right hand shield represents the Saltmarshe Rawson marriage

Monday 20 May 2019

History of Wressle 1

I recently visited the village of Wressle - as opposed to the castle - and realised that I did not know a lot about it. Everyone - myself included - looks at the wonderful castle, reads about its illustrious history but misses out on the village itself.

An old postcard of Wressle Castle

Lords of the manor

Wressle was an estate village, owned until a sale in 1957, by the descendants of the Percy family.  It is a slightly confusing story as to what these descendants were called!

The male Percy line died out and the vast Percy inheritance passed through the female line to the 6th Duke of Somerset of Petworth House who had married heiress Elizabeth Percy.

Their son Algernon, the 7th duke, died in 1750 with no legitimate male heirs.

So it was agreed that after his death the Percy lands should be split. Half should go to his daughter Elizabeth's husband, Hugh Smithson, who was given the title of Duke of Northumberland - this inheritance included Airmyn.

The other half should go to descendants of Algernon's sister who had married Sir William Wyndham, who was given the title of Earl of Egremont. This half included Wressle.

Their grandson, the third Earl inherited in 1763. He was a noted patron of the arts, fathered around 40 illegimate children but left no legitimate heir. His eldest son inherited most of the property in 1837 but could not inherit the title and was known simply as Colonel George Wyndham.

Then in 1859, Queen Victoria bestowed a brand new title of Baron Leconfield on Colonel George, so the family continued to be known as Lords Leconfield. 

So if you look at the records for Wressle you might find it being owned variously by the Dukes of Somerset, the earl of  Egremont,  Col George Wyndham or Lord Leconfield.

Nineteenth century villagers

Farms [including those at  Loftsome, Newsholme and Brind] were tenanted from the estate as were the village houses and the vicar too was appointed by the Egremont family.

Most of the inhabitants of Wressle worked on the land or in associated trades. In 1823 for example  there was  Richard Waterworth,  gentleman  listed at the Castle,  John Calvert, Robert Keighley  and John Neville were  listed as farmers; Miles Hutchinson was  a corn merchant,  John Markham was the village blacksmith, Thomas Revell, corn miller and George Williamson, carpenter.

Some 15 years later in 1840  some names have changed and the village  now had  a shop and shoemakers

Miles Hutchinson, coal dealer; Robert Johnson, shopkeeper; William Markham, blacksmith; William Revell  corn miller; John Thompson, wheelwright, Thompson and Pearson, coal dealers and
William Thompson  and Charles Williamson shoemakers.

Farmers were  G Atkinson at the Grange; Joseph Keighley,  Edward Latham at the castle,
 and Jane Neville.

The church and vicars 

The present church, dedicated to St John of Beverley, was built in 1799 after the previous church had been destroyed in the seventeenth century. After this services had been held in the castle but when this was badly damaged in 1796 by a fire the lord of the manor built a new brick church.

This engraving of the castle shows it before it was badly damaged in 1796

A plaque above the church door reads

This church was built on the Site of the Ancient Parish Church of Wressell in the 39th Year of the Reign of KING GEORGE the 3rd Anno Domini 1799.



Richard Waterworth of Wressell  James Craven of Newsham Church Wardens

The vicars were appointed by the Egremont family.

In 1814  Rev George Ion, vicar of Bubwith and Wressle died.

The new vicar was  Hon and Rev  Fitzroy Henry Richard Stanhope. He was married to Caroline Wyndham illegitimate daughter of Hon Charles Wyndham. But it seems unlikely that  the Stanhopes ever  lived at Wressle.  Rev Thomas Guy of Howden was his curate and appears to have been the clergyman who was responsible for the parish. Certainly he signed the registers until the late 1850s.

Interestingly when Rev Stanhope died the following, not very flattering article, appeared in the  Morning News

April 1864
Death of a Pluralist. The death of the Hon. and Rev. Fitzroy H. Stanhope, Dean of Buryan in Cornwall, and rector of Catton, and vicar of Wressle, near Howden, Yorkshire, is announced. 
The rev. gentleman, who died on Monday, was one of the most notorious pluralists. He was born in 1787, and was the fifth son of the Earl of Harrington. He was brought up to the army, but for some reason found it expedient to leave the service. Thereupon he attempted to enter holy orders, but no English bishop could be found willing to ordain the quondam officer. 

The Duke of York then interposed on behalf of his comrade, and wrote to the Bishop of Cork requesting him, so the report goes, to do what was needful in the following concise note : " Dear Cork, — Ordain Stanhope. — Yours, York." 

His Royal Highness's letter had the desired effect, and obtained the reply :  " Dear York, — Stanhope's ordained.— Yours, Cork." 

Having thus become capable of holding preferment, he was more than fifty years ago inducted into two Yorkshire livings. But in 1815 the far more valuable preferment of the Deanery of Buryan became vacant. This is an old collegiate establishment near the Land's End, comprising three livings and worth £1,000 a year. Mr. Stanhope was appointed, went down and read himself  in, and, from that day to this, has been drawing his thousand a year and has never been near the place. '

However a vicar of Wressle had already been appointed in 1857. He was Rev Isaac Brittain.  There are plans and letters relating to  the building or improvement of former parsonage house at Wressle  in the East Riding archives dating 1857-8 - it would be interesting to have a look at them.

Rev Brittain, despite his improved accommodation, resigned in 1867. The new vicar was Rev James Knight.

The following charming description of decorating the church for Christmas was in the Goole Times of December 1870

WRESSLE. The custom of decorating the modest little Parish Church of Wressle had not been overlooked this season. Though neither profuse nor elaborate, yet everything was exceedingly good taste, and harmonised well with the simple proportions of the interior. By the judicious use of evergreens, relieved with bunches of holly berries, barberries, &c., the windows had been made very attractive while the altar, the pulpit, and the font had evidently had much time and labour devoted to them. The whole, the general effect produced by the decorations was such to reflect much credit on the skill of the ladies who had undertaken the work—Mrs Knight, the Misses Byham, and Miss Goundrill. Mr Cbeesebrougb, also, had considerably enhanced the beauty of the interior by the scrolls and mottoes which he had affixed to the otherwise bare wall, and which were certainly above average specimens of that particular kind of decoration.

Rev Knight moved to 'the south of England' in 1875 and was replaced by Rev  Richard Kennedy. He had formerly been a curate at Beverley Minster. He and his wife had two young daughters Rosa, who was blind and Florence. They employed a cook, a housemaid and a kitchenmaid.

The Kennedys advertised soon after their arrival for a gardener as follows,

WORKING GARDENER wanted, married, wife take the laundry; must understand kitchen and flower garden, greenhouse and vinery; good character indispensable; a Churchman; cottage found; also washing machinery. Apply by letter, the Vicar, Wressle, Howden.

Rev Kennedy died suddenly in  1910 and villagers placed a marble cross in the church yard and to his brother Holmes Kennedy who had lived  at the vicarage too.

Twentieth century vicars

Rev William Henry Fearis was the vicar from 1910 to 1928. In 1911 he was living at the vicarage with his wife,  his nine year old daughter Joan, his daughter's young companion, a governess from London, a cook and a housemaid.

Rev Arnold Speak

This paragraph has been contributed by Rev Speak's granddaughter from his memoirs. He wrote, after moving to Wressle in 1926, 

The reason for my move was my commendation to the patron by my vicar who had taken such an interest in me. Very rarely has a man such a good friend as I had in Dr R L Bellamy who was then vicar of Kirby Overblow near Harrogate.
We came to Wressle in April with the furniture of a bungalow to furnish a vicarage. There was the parish church and a mission church to be served. The mission church was at Brind about 3 miles away. At the first I covered the distance by cycling, later with a pony and governess car, still later with a motor car.
I was a member of the cricket team and was able to introduce tennis. My patron, Lord Leconfield very kindly laid three courts and we had much interest, matches being played two or three nights each week during the season.
Church and mission congregations were quite representative of the parish which had only 300 people and the people proved very loyal and appreciative. We printed our own magazine for the last 2 years making a profit of £5 on a circulation of 60 copies. For some time I held the chaplaincy of the Howden workhouse and hospital and also assisted in Goole owing to the shortage of staff there. We stayed six and a half years and then came to Wheldrake in October 1932.

Wressle vicarage
Rev Speak's car

Rev Speak playing cricket

Rev Speak was followed followed by Rev Jessup. His daughter Monica Jessup married Rev Bertram Allen Ramsker of Goole.

Rev Ramsker was at one time vicar of Drax but more recently was vicar of Snaith [ 1950 -71]. 

The Jessups left Wressle in 1939 and the new vicar was Rev Frank Trow, formerly the curate at St Paul's in Goole.

A plaque in the church commemorating Wressle men killed in World War One

The school

In 1892 we read that  'The parochial school is a neat building of brick, with master's house attached, erected in 1854 for 75 children. There are about 48 in average attendance'.
The headmaster  from at least 1888 was Joseph Warham. He and his wife had seven children all born at Wressle. After 40 years he and his wife retired to Hunmanby. He died in 1945.

An fascinating letter turned up in the newspaper files from 1909:

 Rev R. Kennedy, Vicar of Wressle, has received a highly interesting letter from Yorkshireman, Mr Foster Leek, a native of the village and old scholar of the Wressle National School, now residing in Tasmania. 

Before proceeding to Australia, Leek, who is a fine specimen of a North countryman, spent his early boyhood at the brickyard, subsequently working  at Woveley Edge Colliery. He has spent 28 years of service in the mounted and foot police of Australia and New Zealand, which have impaired neither his magnificent physique nor his innate vigour and shrewdness. 

He has established himself in what is, perhaps, one of the most charming beauty spots in the "tight little island. Previous to the advent of Leek in 1905, there was nothing but its natural rugged beauty to commend the locality. 

[ a lengthy description of his tea rooms and museum follows] concluding wit the statement that from 20,000 to 30,000 people annually visit such a paradise.

 He would like to have a Union Jack flag to hang in his museum, presented by the children of Wressle school, where he spent many happy days, and asks whether Mr Kennedy can arrange the matter. 

If so, he would like the names of the subscribers, the master's, and the Vicar's, together with any remarks, which would have framed and placed along with the flag in his museum. In return for this kindness he would send an Australian flag to be hung up in the school at Wressle, together with model of the first, house they occupied on  their arrival in Tasmania, which would the children a. good idea of the houses the first settlers lived in in new countries, and would be an object of interest to many the unborn generations. 

Mr Leek states that he is thinking of adding a clause to his will leave £150 to the school at Wressle, to be invested, and the interest spent providing a feast and tea on Empire Day for all the children, and old men and women in the village ; and at every feast the flag to be carried round the school playground by the eldest girl in the school, and saluted by all the children. 

The Tea Feast is be known as "Leek's Gift." Mr Leek thinks that if does this for the village where he has spent so many days it may induce other children to remember their native village when they grow and become wealthy. In conclusion Mr Leek wishes to be instructed in the Vicar's next letter how and to whom the award is to be paid on his death. He trusts that his letter will convince the Wressle children that at a child born in humble life can get on the world if he goes the right way.

Foster Leek died in 1920 but I can find no mention of his legacy!

Wressle school around 1912. Joseph Warham standing on the left and Rev  Fearis seated

 I am not sure when the school closed.

I have been finding out about Wressle - this is part one!!!  Does anyone have any more information or pictures about the village I could share?

Saturday 20 April 2019

Flowers and history

It's  Easter Saturday and a lovely morning. But before I go outside and do a bit of gardening  I thought I would catch up on my blog. I have a little more time now as my WEA local history classes in Howden and Goole have finished until September.

Topics we have studied have been very varied - ranging from the history of Spaldington, the work of Howden artist Frances Hutchinson to the history of the fire brigades in Goole. There is a syllabus but often a chance comment leads the subject down more interesting paths!!!

I have more time too to continue cataloguing my old photos of the area - I keep collecting them onto my computer but am now trying to organise them with a view to updating my Howdenshire history website.

I receive e mails from many people about their family history and try to help them. Families I have been looking at include one of the Connor families of Howden who came in the mid nineteenth century from Ireland via Ashton under Lyne. But try as I can I cannot find anything about their Irish origins.

Another family were the Scotts who were farm workers around Howden. The lady who contacted me from Australia could not sort out which of the three William Scotts in the Howden area at the same time and of similar age was her ancestor. But with the aid of the Find my Past website where the parish registers are available I found out which he was.

William Scott married Frances Smith on May 1st 1798 at Howden. Their first child was born at Belby and subsequent children at Thorpe Lidget  [just outside Howden]. I think one of their sons, a Thomas Scott emigrated to USA and fought in the civil war there but as yet I cannot be certain.

Time now to appreciate the sunshine - and here are two pictures to welcome spring. The first is taken in the Howden tulip fields  [really!!] and I leave it to you to identify the ladies and the location.

The second is taken in my garden a few minutes ago. I was pleased to discover a patch of violets under an apple tree. The chicken amongst them is one of a recently acquired 'rescue' hen from a local chicken farm - she and her companions are keeping us in eggs and we are very happy with them.