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[HILST preparing in 1891-2 my book on the Craven and 
North- West Yorkshire Highlands, I was persuaded that 
some compendious illustrated work dealing with the history, 
antiquities, and scenery of the adjoining province of 
Richmondshire was greatly needed. Dr. Whitaker^s historical work on 
the district, published in 1822, 1 had frequently occasion to consult, and 
found it to contain many errors and iiUperfections, while the cost of the 
book (copies being rarely obtainable under £12), arising principally from 
the many choice engravings after ^ur^er that it contains, restricts its 
possession to the hands of but comparatively few. Other books there 
are on this romantic and attraptiye poi^oytry it is true, but these are either 
purely descriptive or deal with onlf fortibnft of it. Clarkson's History 
of Richmond (1821), and Generai Harrison's large folio volume on the 
Wapentake of Oilling West (1885), are both valuable and important 
works. Of the former it is impossible to speak too highly, and of the 
latter, a most laborious and painstaking venture, which I have referred 
to in the body of my book, it must be said that it consists almost 
entirely of lengthy pedigrees and copies of ancient deeds illustrative of 
local manorial history, and the book is also too bulky and costly 
for general use. Longstaflfe's little volume on Richmondshire and 
Barker's Three Days of Wensleydale are both excellent and now scarce 
works, but published forty years ago they may be said to be in great 
ipeasure now out of date. 

If therefore I have established a raison d^etre for this present 
undertaking, I may say that I have not attempted to compress into a 
single volume a history and description of the extensive archdeaconry of 
Richmond, as originally constituted, and embraced by the labours of 
Dr. Whitaker, above referred to, but have limited my observations to 
that romantic portion of the old baronial liberty of Richmondshire, 
which was granted, as explained in the text, out of the great Saxon fief 
of Earl Edwin to the succeeding lords of Richmond. This comprises 
all that territory lying within the watersheds of the upper Yore and 
Swale rivers, and extending in a southerly direction from the great 
military way of the Romans known as Leeming Lane, to the east of 
Bedale, and northwards and westwards to the parish of Gilling and the 
mountain-wilds of Stainmoor and Mallerstang, every portion of which I 
have personally and carefully explored. 

Upon the civil, military, and ecclesiastical history, natural history, 
antiquities, customs, folk-lore, &c., and of many recent and old-time 
worthies belonging to this interesting province, I have endeavoured to 
discourse in a popular and entertaining manner. The beautiful and 
romantic scenery, which forms so striking and attractive a feature almost 
everywhere in Richmondshire, I have also endeavoured to illustrate by 
pen and picture as fully as the limits of space would admit. Both the 
Swale and Tore valleys, it must be granted, contain some of the finest 
scenery in England, and they had a rare fascination for the artist, Turner. 
The valley of the Swale, with its turbulent, rapid river, presents in places 
almost an Alpine wildness, being deeper and more rugged and confined 
than that of the Yore, which is altogether of an ampler and more luxuriant 
character. The district is an ideal one to the tourist and stranger in need 
of a thoroughly recreative holiday, — a mild but bracing air, many objects 
of historic and antiquarian interest, and attractive scenery. It is, indeed, 
beginning to draw large numbers of visitors from all parts, who find 
homely accommodation at one or other of the inns, farms, or private 
houses to be met with about the moors and dales. Everywhere, it may be 
said, there is a copious supply of very pure spring water, and the air, in 
spite of the heavy rainfall, is particularly free from humidity and fog. In 
Wensleydale, for example, according to the meteorological returns there 
are on an average only two (out of some thirty-five) stations in the British 
Isles where the air is drier than about Aysgaith. This is to be attributed, 
no doubt, to the remoteness of any great population, to a moderate 
elevation of site, also to the strata being composed of shale and limestone, 
which soon absorb the rains, and last but not least to a generally 
excellent drainage. 

The greater part of the area I have dealt with ranges in altitude 
from about 500 feet to 1200 feet above normal sea level, whilst many of 
the hills and peaks ascend to 2000 feet and upwards. The higher parts 
of the dales consist of wide sweeps of heathery moorland — comprising 
some of the best grouse tracts in England — and from many a neighbouring 
summit are to be had wide and magnificent prospects. In the Io\rer 
grounds are the villages, farmsteads, and mansions of the gentry, the 
land being usually rich and pastoral, also abounding in flowery glades 
and rocky glens musical with laughing rills or resounding with the 
thunder of crashing cascades. Much else, too, will be found to interest 
the visitor, especially the lover of antiquities. The district is peculiarly 
rich in mediaeval architecture, apparent in many an ample fortress, 
parish church, ruined abbey, and other religious edifice, about which 
much that is new and interesting has been related in the work. An 
instance may be cited of the old Knights Templars' Hospice and Chapel 
on the slopes of Penhill, whereof nothing hitherto has been recorded. 

bat the interesting history of this romantic institution will be found 
detailed from its foundation onward for many centuries. Likewise all 
the ancient camps, cairns, tumuli, house-steads, roads, dykes, and other 
evidences of prehistoric occupation are described from the author^s own 
observations made on the spot. 

The historic narrative claims special notice, having been derived 
from a great many sources, from local archives as well as from the usual 
channels of information in the Record Office and British Museum. 
Many hundreds of letters, documents, and packages have also been 
received during the preparation of the work, and where so much help 
has been rendered it is almost invidious to mention names. Many of 
these I have acknowledged in the text. Nearly every clergyman, I may 
say, in the area embraced by the work, has rendered me assistance in 
some form, while many other residents have been equally obliging in 
their communications of particular facts. For this courteous help I am 
indeed truly grateful. To the Earl of Wharncliffe I owe a special 
tribute of thanks for the trouble incurred in searching records for a 
history of the Hardraw and other of his Wensleydale estates ; to the 
Hon. W. T. Orde-Powlett (now Lord Bolton) I am also indebted for 
various help, both literary and in the artistic embellishment of the book. 
To the Editors of the Metcalfe Records I am sensible of the service they 
have rendered by giving me the unreserved use of these valuable 
collections, compiled wholly from original and authentic documents, and 
which have enabled me to correct many old errors and furnish much 
new information about one of the most numerous and important families 
in Richmondshire. The chapter on Nappa Hall and the account of the 
Raydale Riot may, I think, be accepted as the most reliable records of 
these subjects that have appeared. The Rev. R. V. Taylor, author of 
The Churches of Yorkshire^ &c., has also placed unreservedly in my 
hands his varied collections relating to Swaledale, which I gratefully 
acknowledge. Mr. J. Norton Dickons, President of the Bradford 
Historical Society, has kindly favoured me with the use of many rare 
volumes, engravings, &c., from his valuable library of Yorkshire books. 
To Mr. Wm. Home, F.G.S., of Leyburn, I am obliged for much useful 
help, rendered not only on the occasion of my visits to Wensleydale, but 
also by the loan of books, papers, &c. Several of the chapters have had 
the advantage of revision by him. Mr. Joseph Raine, of Richmond, 
has also shewn much interest in the work, and to his companionship and 
guidance I owe many interesting facts and discoveries. Among others 
who have been particularly helpful in various ways I must mention 
Mr. John Henry Metcalfe, Easingwold ; Mr. John C. C. Routh, Wood 
Hall, Aysgarth ; Dr. J. A. Fothergill, Darlington ; Mr. Hector Christie, 
Jervanz Abbey ; Mr. J. H. Hutchinson, Catterick ; Lady Clive Bayley, 

Ascott ; Mrs. Hutton, Aldburgh Hall ; Mrs. Tyzack, Abbeydale 
Mr. William Porter, Fairfield ; Mr. John Yarker, West Didsbury 
Mr. John Jas. Stead, Heckmondwike ; Mr. Herbert Wroot, Bradford 
Messrs. N. J. Hone and Archibald Head, London. 

The illastrations have been provided from a numerous collection of 
drawings, rare prints, photographs, &c., the greater part of which have 
been kindly remitted by persons interested in the publication. Many of 
these have been drawn or, in the case of photographs taken specially for 
the work. Several are reproduced from scarce engravings and from 
only known originals. I have also to note a new departure from my 
previous works by the introduction of a number of excellent portraits, 
including some well-known names as well as two or three recent 
centenarians. This is a feature, however, limited strictly to deceased 
worthies identified with the district. It is indeed to be regretted that 
from an assortment of several hundred pictures, most of them conspicuous 
for their excellence or rarity, more could not be used, but the volume 
as it is exceeds by over one hundred pages what was announced. Most 
thankfully have I on another page acknowledged the sources from which 
the many views and portraits have been furnished. 

I should observe that the beautiful view of Semerwater (the only 
lake in Richmbndshire), which forms the Frontispiece to the Large 
Paper edition, has been engraved from the charming picture by 
J. M. W. Turner, R.A., which is one of the great artist's mastei-pieces. 
It has been specially executed and printed for the work by the Swan 
Electric Engraving Company, who it is evident have taken great pains 
to reproduce in an efficient manner the spirit and technique of the 
original. All the other illustrations, by various engravers, have been 
printed at the works of Mr. George F. Sewell, in Bradford, the printer 
of this and the two companion volumes of Craven and Nidderdale, and 
to whom I think a word here will not be misplaced in acknowledgment 
of the care and skill evidenced in the execution of the work. 

In conclusion I have to thank the large and influential body of 
subscribers (whose names are printed at the end of the volume) for the 
encouragement so liberally accorded in the production of the work. 


BUigley^ Yorkshire, 


Part I. — Swaledalb. 

CHAPTER I., RiCHMONDSHiRB : ITS Origin, Extent, and 

History ... ... ... ... ... 33 

UDique position of Richmond — View of the castle, churches, monasteries, &c. — 
Romantic aspects scientifically explained — Rock section in the Museum — 
Ancient British and Roman occupation of Richmond — Whitaker*s theories 
refuted — Old roads and lead mines — Celtic folk-speech — Midsummer Bel-fires 
at Richmond — Richmondshire at the Conquest— Who was Earl Alan ? — The 
Conqueror's grant questioned — Origin and extent of Richmondshire — The 
Conqueror visits Richmond — Local government — Ecclesiastical jurisdiction 
— The shire in 1281 — Lady Godiva in Richmondshire — Remarkable 
resemblances between Coventry and Richmond — Meaning of Richmond — 
Story of the Earldom — The Dukes of Richmond. 

CHAPTER II., The Town of Richmond. ... ... 49 

Richmond in the sixteenth century— Route for seeing the town — View from the 
Castle Walk— The Castle— Aspects in the time of Henry VI I. — Legend of the 
great Keep— Present uses of the Castle— The Parish Church — The Hinderlages 
of Dotneiday— The celebrated baptism in the Swale by Paulinus — The registers 
of the church — A martyr burnt in Newbiggin — Local plague — Marriage 
customs during the Protectorate — Holy Trinity Church— Singular trans- 
formation — ^Ancient chapels — Hospital of St. Nicholas — Monastery of the 
Grey Friars — The Grammar School — Local trades — Market-tolls in the time 
of Edward II. — Trade-tokens — Appearance of the Market Place a century ago 
— ^The pillory and whipping-post. 

CHAPTER III., Richmond Worthies ... ... ... 79 

Canon Tate — Some of his pupils — Memorial in Edmonton Church — The Rev. John 
Brasse — Herbert Knowles and his poem written in Richmond churchyard — 
The Rev. Joseph Edleston — Early worthies of Richmond School, &c — Lord 
Lawrence — Some Richmond M.P.'s — The two Cuitts, artists — Thos. Harrison, 
architect — Christopher CI ark son, historian — " Sister Dora " — ** The Lass of 
Richmond Hill '* — Miss Milbank, afterwards the wife of Lord Byron. 


CHAPTER IV., Whitcliffb Woods, Willancb'b Leap, and 

THE Race Ooursk ... ... ... ... 89 

Environs of Richmond — Sunshine and storm — Anecdote of Dr. Miller — Some 
butterflies and wild-flowers in Whitcliffe Woods — Prehistoric housesteads, 
hitherto unnoticed — Willance's Leap — ^A terrible accident — ^View from the top 
of the Scar — Beacon Hill — Hill-fires at the time of the Spanish Armada, &c. 
The Race Course— Some old-time horse-races — ^Whitcliffe Pasture. 

CHAPTER v., On the Banks op the Swale. ... ... 98 

Meaning of Billy Bank — Bargate Green and the Yorke family — Temple Lodge— 
River-side walk — ^Arthur's Oven — The Round Howe, its phenomena explained 
— Through the woods — Race Course lodge — The new cemetery — Convent of 
the Assumption. 

CHAPTER VI., Easby and the Vale op St. Agatha. ... 102 

St. Agatha, the martyr — Beauty of Easby Abbey vale — ^Scots' Dyke— Its character 
and extent — The purpose of its construction — Early British law — Meaning of 
Easby — Founders of the Abbey — The Abbey Coucher Book — Manor of Easby 
— Family of Jaques — Brompton-on-Swale — Brompton als. Catterick Bridge— 
Chantry Chapel — Coaching days. 

CHAPTER VII., Round about Hipswell ... ... 115 

Windmill Fields — St. Martin's Priory — Its possessions and importance— Pleasant 
situation of Hipswell — Hipswell Church — Manor House — Families of Fulthorpe 
and Wandesforde — Was Hipswell the birthplace of Wycliffe, the Reformer? 
— Colburn, its old hall and chapel — Brompton Hospital. 

CHAPTER VIII., The Roman Camp at Catterick ... 122 

Surmises on the meaning of Catterick — Catterick, a British city — Its importance 
in Brigantian times — Caer Caratauc, al$. Catterick named in honour of 
Caractacus — The Mint at Catterick — Coins of Caractacus — Erroneous 
conclusions of Akerman — Catterick in Roman times — An astronomical 
observatory — Camden's account of the Roman station and discovered relics — 
Bede's opinion — The camp excavated and examined by Sir Wm. Lawson, Bart. 
— Catterick Race Course — Catterick Bridge and its ancient chapel — The old 
George afui Dragon Hotel. 

CHAPTER IX., Catterick and Brough. ... ... 129 

The parish of Catterick — ^Village aspects — The Manor House — Old inns — Ancient 
assize of bread and ale— Local bow and arrow practice — Catterick Church — 
The oldest building-contract extant in the English language — Description of 
interior of church — Sir Walter de Urswick — Memorial of the author of 
Drunken Bamaby — Chantry-chapels — Ancient sun-dials — An old post-office 
— Local trades — Brough Hall — Family of Lawson — Roman Catholic Chapel. 

CHAPTER X., On the Rokan Watling Street ... 141 

Watling Street in Richmondshire connecting three Brigantian cities — Meaning of 
Watling Street — Its original course — ^Leeining Lane— Discovery of gold 
bracelet — A skeleton found bearing Scandinavian fibulae — Other local 
discoveries — The Danegeld — Bolton-on -Swale — Notes on Henry Jenkins, aged 
169 years — Bainesse — Discovery of a Roman weighing-yard — Killerby and 
Oran — Castle Hills—Leases Hall and local families — Relics of the Battle of 
the Standard — Leeming Bar — Turnpike trusts — Scruton. 

CHAPTER XL, Around Bedalb. ... ... 151 

Meaning of Bedale — Early history — The church — A valuable living — Old aspects 
of the town— The Bedale Hunt— Crakehall— The Rev. Thos. Milville Raven— 
Bedale Beck — A remarkable accident — Patrick Brompton — Hunton— Mrs. 
Lanchester, aged 106— Hornby — The castle and its owners — The church — 
Its ancient monuments — ^Vicars of Hornby — Hackforth — Ainderby-Myers— 
Hauzwell — Some notable families — The church — Ancient cross — The Rev. 
Edward 0. Topham — Through Scotton to Richmond. 

CHAPTER XII., Round about Askb ... ... ... 162 

Oliver Ducket — The Barracks — Anecdotes of former Swaledale Volunteers — Local 
geology — Aske Hall — ^A beautiful OKtate— The late Earl of Zetland — Story of 
the manor — Tor, the son of Odin — Meaning of Aske — A Scandinavian legend 
— ^Aske Beck — Royal visits to Aske Hall. 

CHAPTER XIII., Ancient Gillinqshire ... ... 171 

The Giliing valley — Local aspects of Scots' Dyke — Ice-borne rocks — The village 
of Giliing — A capital-town in Anglo-Saxon times — Site of Anglo-Saxon 
monastery proved to be at Collingham and not Giliing — Giliing at the 
Conquest — Extent of Gillingshire — " Castle Hill/' a Saxon stronghold — 
Manorial history — The church — Ancient relics — Local characters — Old 
customs — Morris or sword-dance — Song of Hagman-heigh. 

CHAPTER XIV., Around Gilling ... ... ... 179 

Sedbury — King George III. and Gatherley Moor — Diderston, a possession of 
Jervaux Abbey — Some old roads — Hartforth and its ancient families — Field 
walk to Whashton — A village that gave name to the family of General 
Washington — General Plantagenet Harrison — His remarkable career — A 
wonderful pedigree— Harrisons in the West Indies — A lost Chancery case. 

CHAPTER XV., In the Land of the Vikings ... ... 186 

Eirkby Ravensworth — Fine prospect — Extent of parish — Local longevity — 
Amusing anecdote — Meaning of Ravensworth — The church — Interesting 
memorials — ^The Free School — Ravensworth Castle and the Fitz Hughs — 
Description of the castle — The village of Ravensworth — An old law — Gayles 
and the Wycliflfes — Prehistoric evidences — A curious ancient tenure — Broghton 
Newsham, and New Forest — Bounds of the New Forest — Hergill — A tramp 
over the moors — Ancient wolf preserves — A wide, wild country — Down the 
Clapgate Pass into Marske. 


CHAPTER XVL, Marskb ... ... ... ... 195 

Romantic situation of Marske — A ** Sleepy Hollow " — Meaning of Marske and 
Marrick — Early manorial history — Pride of ancestry — AcQuisition of the 
manor by the Huttons — ^Archbishop Hutton — His family antecedents — The 
original home of the Huttons — Descent of the Marske estate — Matthew 
Hutton, Archbishop of Canterbury — Mr. John and Mr. Timothy Hutton — 
Marske Hall — The church — Manor of Clints — A romantic site— Lost on the 

CHAPTER XVII., Marrick Priory and its Romantic 

Surroundings.... ... ... ... ... 207 

Walk from Marske to Marrick — Skelton — The Roman lead-mines at Hurst — 
Manorial history of Marrick — New church and Wesleyan chapel — Beautiful 
view of the Priory — Its history — Will of one of the nuns — The present church 
— Memorials in the church-yard — The Rev. J. Wharton Mason. 

CHAPTER XVIII., Richmond to Grinton ... ... 218 

A romantic highway — Wild birds — A driving incident — Hudewell — A great snow- 
storm — History of Hudswell — The church — Hudswell Moor — Supposed 
extensive coal-field — Downholme and its history — Ancient deer-park — The 
church — ^An old chapel or oratory — Walburn Hall — Ellerton Priory — A house 
of Cistercian nuns — A raid on the Priory by the Scots — Some tomb-slabs of 
the Prioresses — Family of Ellerton — The road to Grinton. 

CHAPTER XIX., Grinton 221 

Extent and character of the parish of Grinton — The aborigines — ^A prehistoric camp 
— Meaning of Grinton — Local commerce and fairs — Population and acreage — 
Swaledale and its ancient owners — East and West Grinton — Sale of the manor 
in 1865 — Family of Swale — Meaning of Swale — Will of Sir Solomon Swale 
— Tea first drunk in Swaledale at Swale Hall — Anecdote of tea-drinkiug 
at a Richmondshire village — Description of the church at Grinton — Roman 
Catholicism in Swaledale — The Quakers — Grinton and Reeth Bridges — 
Fremington and its old families — Ancient earthworks — Meaning of Fremington 
— Local discovery. 

CHAPTER XX., Reeth ... ... ... ... 236 

A long tramp — The old Buck hotel — ^" Tales of a wayside inn " — The parson and 
his breeches — Meaning of Reeth — Larfce tracts of wild juniper — Mount 
Calvey — Local markets and fairs — Decline of the lead trade — Court of Pye 
Powder — Selling on the Lord's Day — Public buildings at Reeth — The Free 
School — Manor of Reeth. 

CHAPTER XXL, Through Arkbngarthdalb ... ... 2^2 

A glorious day — An Easter walk — Aspects of Mount Calvey — Forest of Arkendale 
— Manorial history — Extensive postal district — An Arkendale postman 
becomes a millionaire — Hurst Moor — Booze — The parish church removed 
from Arkletown to Langthwaite — Description of the church — Its history — 
Scar House-^Windegg cross — Local lead-mines — Roman roads — Whaw — A 
moorland road — Tanhlll — The highest-situated public-house in Yorkshire — 
Snow in August — A night adventure. 


CHAPTER XXII., Up the Swalb from Rebth ... 24^ 

Dr. Johnson •* deviating " — Hark aside — Family of Barker — An ancient mill — 
Maiden Castle— Crackpot — Whitaside and the Close family — Poet Close — 
Over the moors — John Wesley " bogged " — Oxnop and George Kirton — 
Hunting at the age of 80 — A remarkable gathering — Gunnerside Bridge — 
Local scenery and wild-flowers. 

CHAPTER XXIII., Under the Scars around Helaugh... 255 

Antiquity of Helaugh — A decayed town — Meaning of the name— A hunting-seat 
of John of Gaunt — Thomas Chaucer, son of the poet, in Swaledale— A grand 
wolf-hunting country — The last wolves in England and Scotland — Origin and 
objects of horn-blowing in the Forests of Si^aledale and Wensleydale — The 
lure in Norway— Manor of Helaugh>-The family of Wharton— Incident in 
Swaledale— Fateof the Duke of Wharton— Helaugh near Tadcaster— Melbecks 
and the Rev. R. V. Taylor — Mr. Edmund Knowles, C.C. — The church- 
Discovery of Skeletons — Traditions about trees— Fee thara, a Roman ford — 
Low Row and the Parke family — Smarber Hall and Lord Wharton — A curious 
bequest — Local Nonconformity— Anecdotes of Wesley — Gunnerside— Burial 
in woollen — Ivelett Beck and waterfalls — Crackpot Hall and Swinnergill 
Kirk — Grand scenery. 

CHAPTER XXIV., Muker Parish and its Wild Scenery 267 

Extent and character of Muker parish — Geology and natural history — A flamingo 
shot — Remote hamlets and transport of corpses — Muker church — Meaning of 
Muker — A customary market— School and Institute — Proposed railway — 
Local possessions of Rievaulx Abbey — Old local families — A suggestion to 
ethnologists — Swaledale longevity — Nancy Harker — Manor of Muker — 
Thwaite — Wild-flowers — Buttertubs Pass — Heaviest rainfall in Yorkshire — 
Lovely seat — Great Shunnor Fell — ^Antiquity of Angram — Romantic scenery. 

CHAPTER XXV., At the Head of the Swale... ... 275 

striking situation of Eeld— A Viking settlement — The Cat Hole inn — Romantic 
surroundings — Uses of literature — History of Keld — The church and the 
Dissenters — indictment for uttering seditious words — The Independent Chapel 
and the Rev. Edward Stillman — Sources of the Swale — ^Wild scenery — Local 
fruit culture— Catrake Foss — A curious musical instrument — Eisdon Foss — 
Magnificent rock and water scenes — Local wild-flowers — Geological aspects — 
A wild road — Prospect over the Eden valley — Concluding reflections. 


Part II. — Wbnslbydalb. 

CHAPTER XXVL, Middlbham ... ... ... 285 

Ancient importance of Middleham — The Windsor of the North — Life of the 
Nevilles at Middleham~£arl of Warwick, last of the Barons — Richard III> 
— Death of the young Prince of Wales at Middleham — Past and present aspects 
of the Castle — Some old local customs — Roman settlement at Middleham — 
Conjectured meaning of the name — Discovery of a Roman hypocaust — Roman 
roads — William*s Hill — The Conqueror at Middleham — Descent of the manor 
— The Constables of the castle— The castle last occupied — Proposed destruction 
of the castle, temp. Queen Elizabeth — Description of the castle — The church 
— Origin of tithes — The ninths — The church made collegiate by Richard III. 
—Description of the church*— Who was St. Alkelda? — A leper hospital — 
Markets and fairs— Ancient crosses — The whipping-post at Middleham — 
Present aspects of the town — Local worthies— An old horse-rearing centre 
and training-ground. 

CHAPTER XXVII., Through Covbrdalb ... ... 308 

A romantic coaching-route — The pack-horse days — Miles Coverdale, translator of 
the Bible — Family of Loftus — The Coverdale bard — A Coverdale man made 
the coffin of Napoleon Buonaparte — Coverdale and the ancient Danes — 
Cover ham Abbey — The old monks* herb and flower gardens — Some ancient 
effigies — The church — Famous racing establishments — The Topbam family — 
Melmerby — Scrafton — Carlton — Upper Coverdale — The dissolution of 
monasteries, and riots in Coverdale — Government proclamations. 

CHAPTER XXVIII., Around East Witton ... ... 821 

Delightful situation of East Witton — Domesday record — ^Ancient market — ^Village 
feast — St. Simon*s well — Cast-away well — Diana*s well, a Roman tutelary 
spring — A curious fountain — Past and present aspects of East Witton — The 
old church— The present church — A local historian — Cover bridge — An angler's 
paradise — Coverham Abbey fish preserves — Other's cave. 

CHAPTER XXIX., Jbrvaux Abbby ... ... ... 827 

A beautiful scene — History of the abbey — Depredations by wolves — A perfect 
ground-plan of a Cistercian monastery — Description of the abbey — An ancient 
effigy — Family of Fitz Hugh — Arms of the abbey — The story of the last 
abbot — Reflections on the Dissolution — Subsequent history — Local wild- 
flowers— Some survivals of the monks* herb and flower gardens. 

CHAPTER XXX., On the Richmondshirb Borderland.... 835 

Boundaries of Richmondshire — West Tanfield Bridge — Kilgrain Bridge — Its 
Satanic origin — History of the bridge— Payments for watching the bridge 
during the cattle-plague — Thornton-Steward — The ancient church of St. 
Oswald — Manor House — Family of Allen — Sir Edward Banks — Newton-le- 
willows — Aysgarth School — Fingal in the Anglo-Saxon chronicles — Constable 
Burton — The Wyvill family — The former and present mansions — Incident 
during the Civil Wars — Interesting trophies. 

CHAPTER XXXI., Danby and the Scropes ... ..- 848 

Danby Hall — The ancient house of Scrope — Its connection with Richmondshire — 
Lord -Scrope at Flodden — A bead-roll of illustrious names — The family*s 
adhesion to the Catholic faith — Description of Danby Hall — Incident during 
the Jacobite rebellion — The late Major Scrope— Remains of an ancient chapel 
— Ulsbaw Bridge — Roman Catholic chapel — Discovery near Fleet's farmhouse 
— Meaning of Ulshaw. 

CHAPTER XXXII., Spbnnithorne ... ... ... 850 

The Piedmont of Richmondshire— An interesting yillage— Pre-Conquest aspects — 
What means Spennithorne 7— A supposed Roman station— The manor — 
Description of the church— The family of Burgh— Local families— John 
Hutchinson, the eccentric philosopher and naturalist— Richard Hatfield of 
Spennithorne attempts the life of George III. 

CHAPTER XXXIII., A Ramble about Harmby... ... 856 

Early history of Harmby — The family of Harcla — The old mill at Harmby — 
Local possessions of St. Nicholas* Hospital — Manor house — Coaching-days — 
Harmby Gill — An ancient heronry — The Fairies' Well — A famous quarry — 
Palaeontological discoveries of Mr. William Home, F.G.S. 

CHAPTER XXXIV., Leyburn... ... ... ... 859 

Modern aspects — Situation and general health — Glacial evidences — Discovery of 
prehistoric human skeletons and reindeer bones — Last mention of living 
reindeer in Britain — Proof of ancient habitations about Leyburn Shawl — An 
ossiferous cave — Meaning of Shawl — Early history of Leyburn — Family of 
Leyburn — Descent of the manor — Family of Yarker — Dr. Goldsmith — Leyburn 
Hall — Supposed Priory at Leyburn — Ancient and modern buildings — The 
markets — Bull-baiting — Church of St. Matthew — Catholic church — Dissenting 
chapels — Local ministers — Mr. William Home, F.G.S. 

CHAPTER XXXV., On the Moors around Bbllerby ... 372 

The moors between Leyburn and Richmond— Bellerby— The old hall — A tradition 
—Family of Bellerby— The Metcalfes— The church— Wesley an chapel— Old 
toll-bars— Halfpenny House— Over the moors— Hart Leap well— Descent to 


CHAPTER XXXVI., Wensley 377 

A model village — The village gives name to the whole valley — Scandinavian 
irruption — Meaning of Wensley — Discovery of an Anglo-Saxon interment — 
Some Anglo-Saxon stones — Manor of Wensley — The Scropes — Heart-barial — 
The church— Its archaological attractions — Remarkably fine old brass ^ 
Comparison between it and the brasses at North Mimms and St. Albans 
Abbey — The De la Meres related to the Scropes — ^Arms, monuments and 
inscriptions in the church — Thomas Maude — Rev. John Wesley at Wensley — 
Old churchwardens* accounts — The iate Hon. and Rev. Thos. Orde-Powlett — 
Copy of ancient market-charter for Wensley — The markets suspended by 
a pl«gue in 1568— Former aspects of the village— Why the large elm-tree was 
planted on the green. 

€H AFTER XXXVII., Bolton Hall, Rbdmire, and 

Preston-under-Scar ... ... ... ... 394 

Bolton Park — A remarkable gravel-hill — Bolton Hall — The Orde and Powlett 
families — The late Lord Bolton — Redmire— Meaning of the name— An old 
sulphur-spring — Former aspects of Redmire — The church — Parson Calvert — 
Local Wesleyanism — A blind guide— On the moors — Preston-under-Scar — 
Game of fives — Prehistoric dwellings— Preston mill — Keld Head lead-mines 
— Scarth Nick — Magnificent view. 

CHAPTER XXXVIII., Oastlb Bolton... ... ... 402 

Numerous Boltons in England — Origin and meaning of the name — The Wensleydale 
Boltons acquired by the Scropes — Local possessions of Rievaux Abbey — 
Bolton Castle — Some account of its erection— Description of the building — 
Mary, Queen of Scots, a prisoner in the castle — Her attempted escape and 
removal — Letter written by the Queen in the castle— Museum of local and 
other relics— The church at Bolton — Water supply— A bread famine. 

CHAPTER XXXIX., Round about West Witton ... 409 

Wensley Bridge — Lavinia Fen ton, Duchess of Bolton — Early history of West 
Witton — Ancient archery practice — Local trades — West Witton church — 
Family of Whaley — Memorial to Mr. John James, F.S.A. — Catteral — Chantry 
— Swiuethwaite and the Metcalfe family. 

-CHAPTER XL., The Knights Crusaders in Wensleydale 417 

Temple buildings on Penhill — A romantic site — Object of the Crusades — Lands on 
Penhill given to the Knights Templars— Erection of houses — Timber brought 
from Nidderdale — The Templars' possessions in Richmondshire— Lands given 
to maintain lights burning in the Chapel on Penhill— Charges against the 
Templars — The master of the house on Penhill a prisoner in York Castle — 
Tragic deaths of Templars — Dissolution of the Order— Inventory of Templars' 
cattle, goods, and chapel contents at Penhill in 1307— Comments thereon — 
The Knights Hospitallers— Grant to Sir Geoffrey le Scrope — Purchase of the 
Penhill estate by the Robinsons — Sale to Oswald Metcalfe— Purchase by the 
Pilkingtons — Temple farm — Description of ruins — Penhill beacon. 

CHAPTER XLL, Aysgabth 428 

Extent of the imrish— Etymology of Aysgarth— " Castle Dykes "—The bridge and 
waterfalls — Threatened spoliatioii of scenery — Aysgarth Defence Association 
— Letter from Sir Fredk. Leighton— The Middle and Low Forces— Magnificent 
scenery— Wild-flowers— J. M. W. Turner at Aysgarth— Story of his drawings 
— Description of the church — Some memorials in the church-yard— John 
Drummond and the old Yore Mills Academy — The present school— The May- 
pole^The annual Feast— A chat with the centenarian Mrs. Betty Webster — 
Congratulations from the Queen. 

CHAPTER XLII., Pleasant Paths around Aysgarth ... 442 

Carperby and the Society of Friends — ^Local families— Thoresby— An ancient 
chapel — Important discovery of Roman coins— The birthplace of an Arch- 
bishop of York — Bear Park — The Metcalfe family — Some corrections — A 
curious carved stone — Interior of the house — An old Wensleydale clock. 

CHAPTER XLIIL, In and About Bishopdalb.... ... 447 

Meaning of Bishopdale — Palmers^ Flatty anciently a hospice for palmers — Burton 
in Bishopdale — Waldendale and its wild game in old times — Important grant 
of Free Chase — Some notable residences— Thoralby and its ancient chapel — 
May-pole and inns — Prehistoric evidences on Addlebrough— Thornton Rust. 

CHAPTER XLIV., Askrigg ... ... ... ... 451 

Extent of the township and parish — Manor of Askrigg — Railway and coach-roads 
— The markets — The Old Hall — The church — Description of the interior — 
The churchyard—" An honest lawyer" — *' A bad show for Askrigg," an incident 
— Local longevity, a wonderful record— Clock-makicg, an old local industry. 

CHAPTER XL v., Around Askrigg ... ... ... 456 

Charming scenery— Garland Pasture — Fors Abbey— Discoveries on the site — Bow- 
bridge— Dale Grange almshouses— Woodhall Park, a royal chase— Mill Qill 
and Whitfield Forces — The highest native wood in Yorkshire — Maze Holes. 

CHAPTER XL VI., Nappa Hall and the Metcalfbs ... 460 

A famous family — Origin of the name of Metcalfe — First notice of the family in 
Wensleydale— Captain Metcalfe at the battle of Agincourt — Chancellor Thos. 
Metcalfe — Other distinguished members of the family — Sir Christopher 
Metcalfe enters York with 800 horsemen all of his kith and kin — His luxurious 
life — Decline in the family fortunes — Supposed visit of Sir Walter Raleigh 
and King James I. to Nappa — The last Metcalfe at Nappa — Acquisition of the 
property by the Weddells — Description of the Hall — Relics of Mary, Queen of 
Scots — Did the Queen of Scots, while a prisoner at Bolton Castle, pass two 
nights at Nappa Hall 7 


CHAPTER XXXVL, Wknslby 377 

A model village — The village gives name to the whole valley — Scandinavian 
irruption — Meaning of Wensley — Discovery of an Anglo-Saxon interment — 
Some Anglo-Saxon stones — Manor of Wensley — The Scropes — Heart-burial — 
The church— Its archaological attractions — Bemarkably fine old brass ^ 
Comparison between it and the brasses at North Mimms and St. Albans 
Abbey — The De la Meres related to the Scropes — Arms, monuments and 
inscriptions in the church — ^Thomas Maude — Rev. John Wesley at Wensley — 
Old churchwardens* accounts — The iate Hon. and Rev. Thos. Orde-Powlett — 
Copy of ancient market-charter for Wensley — The markets suspended by 
a pkgue in 1563— Former aspects of the village — Why the large elm-tree was 
planted on the green. 

€HAPTBR XXXVII., Bolton Hall, Rbdmirb, and 

Preston-under-Scar ... ... ... ... 394 

Bolton Park — A remarkable gravel -hill — Bolton Hall — The Orde and Powlett 
families — ^The late Lord Bolton — Redmire— Meaning of the name— An old 
sulphur-spring — Former aspects of Redmire — The church — Parson Calvert — 
Local Wesleyanism — A blind guide — On the moors — Preston-under-Scar — 
Game of fives — Prehistoric dwellings-- Preston mill — Keld Head lead-mines 
— Scarth Nick — Magnificent view. 

CHAPTER XXXVIII., Oastlb Bolton... ... ... 402 

Numerous Boltons in England — Origin and meaning of the name — The Wensleydale 
Boltons acquired by the Scropes — Local possessions of Rievaux Abbey — 
Bolton Castle — Some account of its erection— Description of the building — 
Mary, Queen of Scots, a prisoner in the castle— Her attempted escape and 
removal — Letter written by the Queen in the castle— Museum of local and 
other relics— The church at Bolton — Water supply— A bread famine. 

CHAPTER XXXIX., Round about West Witton ... 409 

Wensley Bridge — Lavinia Fenton» Duchess of Bolton — Early history of West 
Witton — Ancient archery practice — Local trades — West Witton church — 
Family of Whaley — Memorial to Mr. John James, F.S.A. — Catteral — Chantry 
— Swinethwaite and the Metcalfe family. 

CHAPTER XL., The Knights Crusaders in Wensleydale 417 

Temple buildings on Penhill — A romantic site — Object of the Crusades — Lands on 
Penhill given to the Knights Templars— Erection of houses — Timber brought 
from Nidderdale — The Templars' possessions in Richmondshire— Lands given 
to maintain lights burning in the Chapel on Penhill— Charges against the 
Templars — The master of the house on Penhill a prisoner in York Castle- 
Tragic deaths of Templars — Dissolution of the Order— Inventory of Templars' 
cattle, goods, and chapel contents at Penhill in 1307— Comments thereon — 
The Knights Hospitallers— Grant to Sir Geoffrey le Scrope — Purchase of the 
Penhill estate by the Robinsons— Sale to Oswald Metcalfe— Purchase by the 
Pilkingtons — Temple farm — Description of ruins — Penhill beacon. 



Bztent of the imrish— Etymology of AyBgarth— " Castle Dykes '*— The bridge and 
waterfalls — ^Threatened spoliation of scenery — Aysgarth Defence Association 
— Letter from Sir Fredk. Leighton— The Middle and Low Forces— Magnificent 
scenery— Wild-flowers — J. M. W. Turner at Aysgarth — Story of his drawings 
— Description of the church — Some memorials in the church-yard— John 
Drummond and the old Yore Mills Academy — The present school— The May- 
pole — The annual Feast— A chat with the centenarian Mrs. Betty Webster — 
Congratulations from the Queen. 

CHAPTER XLII., Pleasant Paths around Aysgarth ... 442 

Carperby and the Society of Friends — Local families— Thoresby— An ancient 
chapel — Important discovery of Roman coins— The birthplace of an Arch- 
bishop of York — Bear Park — ^The Metcalfe family — Some corrections — A 
curious carved stone— Interior of the house — An old Wensleydale clock. 

CHAPTER XLIII., In and About Bishopdalb.... ... 447 

Meaning of Bishopdale — Palmers' Flatty anciently a hospice for palmers — Burton 
in Bishopdale — Waldendale and its wild game in old times — Important grant 
of Free Chase — Some notable residences— Thoralby and its ancient chapel — 
May-pole and inns — Prehistoric evidences on Add lebrough— Thornton Rust 

CHAPTER XLIV., Askriqg ... ... ... ... 451 

Extant of the township and parish — Manor of Askrigg — Railway and coach-roads 
— The markets — The Old Hall — The church — Description of the interior — 
The churchyard-" An honest lawyer" — ** A bad show for Askrigg," an incident 
— ^Local longevity, a wonderful record — Clock-making, an old local industry. 

CHAPTER XLV., Around Askrigg ... ... ... 456 

Charming scenery— Garland Pasture— Fors Abbey— Discoveries on the site — Bow- 
bridge — Dale Orange almshouses— Woodhall Park, a royal chase— Mill Oil! 
and Whitfield Forces — The highest native wood in Yorkshire— Maze Holes. 

CHAPTER XL VI., Nappa Hall and the Metcalfes ... 460 

A famous family — Origin of the name of Metcalfe — First notice of the family in 
Wensleydale — Captain Metcalfe at the b.attle of Agincourt — Chancellor Thos. 
Metcalfe — Other distinguished members of the family — Sir Christopher 
Metcalfe enters York with 800 horsemen all of his kith and kin — His luxurious 
life — Decline in the family fortunes — Supposed visit of Sir Walter Raleigh 
and King James I. to Nappa — The last Metcalfe at Nappa — Acquisition of the 
property by the Weddells — Description of the Hall — Relics of Mary, Queen of 
Scots — Did the Queen of Scots, while a prisoner at Bolton Castle, pass two 
nights at Nappa Hall 1 

CHAPTER XLVII., In the Forest of Wenslbydalb ... 471 

Bainbridge the capital of the Forest — A centre of ancient highways — Strategical 
importance of Bainbridge in Koman timeB — Camd^n^s concIuBions questioned 
— The Koman camp constructed of stone between a.d. 205 and 208 — ^The 
ancient Forest in the custody of twelve foresters, &c. — Objects of horn- 
blowing — The village of Bainbridge — An ancient inn — The stocks — Qrammar 
School — Excursion into Raydale — Description of Semerwater — Wild birds. &c. 
— Local legends — Prehistoric lake-dwellings — Counterside, an old Quaker 
settlement — Dr. John FothergiIl,F.R.S. — Jessie Fothergill, authoress — Stallen 
Busk — Ancient vaccaries — An old chapel — Romantic aspects — Waterfalls and 
wild flowers. 

CHAPTER XLVIL, Around Hawbs ... ... ... 481 

The Ha»se of Domesday not Hawes— The town of Hawes not existing in Korman 
times — Enclosure of wastelands — Chapel-of-ease erected by King Richard III. 
— Dues paid to Askrigg till the reign of Charles II. — The Nonconformists — 
The pack-horse days — Hawes as a visitors* resort— Romantic scenery— Ancient 
camp at Gayle — The Routh family — Burtersett — A wonderful dog — Great 

CHAPTER XLIX., Scenes and Adventures in Upper 

Wenslbydalb ... ... ... ... ... 486 

Hardraw Scar — Simonstone— History of the Wharncliffe estates in Wensleydale — 
The chapelries of Hardraw and Lunds— Hardraw church— Climate and rainfall 
— Storms and floods — Forty years* experiences of the vicar of Hardraw — Lost 
on the moors— A narrow escape — Snow in June— A struggle in a snow-drift — 
Storm in January, 1895— Roads and passes snow-blocked — No markets at 
Hawes for nearly eight weeks— Scene in the Buttertubs pass — Cotterdale — 
Thwaite Bridge — Mossdale — Around the Moorcock — Snow-blocks on (he 
Settle and Carlisle railway— Fatal accidents — A singular coincidence. 

CHAPTER L., Through Mallerstang... ... ... 498 

The old pack-horse road by Hell Gill— Dick Turpin avoids the Sheriff's WHrrant 
by leaping the chasm on "Black Bess"— Hell Gill bridge— Hell Gill fair- 
Drovers and their bagpipes — ^Lunds and the Vikings — ^Lunds church — A local 
worthy — Through Mallerstang — Pendragon Castle, its origin, history, and 
traditions— Old Forest boundaries— Lammerside Castle— Approach to Kirkby 
Stephen — Conclusion. 



In the Labob Paper Edition only. 

Semerwater, drawn by J. M. W. 
Turner, R.A. 

View of Bichniond two Centuries ago 
Burton Constable Hall in the 17th 
Century ... 

Engraved for this work from the original 
supplied by 

Brit is fi Museum 



... 49 

... 841 

In Both Editions. FULL PAGE VIEWS. 


Arms formerly in Richmond Parish Church 

Grey Friars Tower, Richmond ... 

Rev. Canon Tate 

Plan of Environs of Richmond 

Easby Abbey ... 

Ground Plan of Easby Abbey ... 

Brough Hall a Century ago 

Scandinavian Fibulae found near Catterick 

Bedale in the Coaching Days ... 

Oilling Church 

Marske Hall ... 

Marrick Church and Remains of Priory ... 

Grinton Church 


Middleham Castle in 1780 

Ground Plan of Jervauz Abbey 

Kilgram Bridge 


Brass in St. Albans Abbey 

Brass in Wensley Church 

The late Lord Bolton ... 

Askrigg Church 

Mrs, Rmithf Wood Hall, AysgaHh 33 
Gale's " Honoris de Richmond *' 

Mrs, Routh, Wood Hall 

Ingham Riley, Richmond 

C. E. Cookes, Richmond 

Mrs. Routh, Wood Hall 
Yorkshire Archaeologieal Stfciety 

J. Norton Dickons^ Bradford ... 

J. Yeoman, Bedale ... 
Mrs, Routh, Wood Hall 

Do, do. 

Do, do. 

Do, do. 

F, Brundrett, Clayton 
J. Norton Dickons, Bradford .. 
Yorkshire Archaeological Society 
Hector Christie. Jervaux Abbey 
Geo. Hepworth, Brighouse 
Herbert Wroot, Bradford I 
Wm. Home, Leybum I 

Mrs. Routh, Wood Hall 

Richmond from the South 

William I. granting Richmondshire to 

Earl Alan ... 
The Castle Walk, Richmond ... 


... Lord Howard of J^ngham 

Valentiiie, Dfindee 







Plan of Richmond Castle 

Keep of Richmond Castle early this Century 

Richmond Parish Church and Grammar 

Friars Wynd, Richmond 
Market Place, Richmond, a Century ago... 
Interior of the Old Grammar School, 

Richmond ... 
Dorothy VVyndlow Pattison (* Sister Dora') 
Lady Noel Byron 

View from Willance's Leap, Swaledale ... 
Bargate Green, Richmond 
Richmond from the River Side... 
Easby Abbey from the River ... 
Hipswell Church 

Hipswell Hall 

John Wicliffe denouncing the Grey Friars 
Remains of Chapel on Catterick Bridge ... 
Catterick Church 
Sir Wm. Lawson, Bart. 

Mrs. Lanchester 

Hornby Church 

Hornby Castle 

Aske Hall 

Rt Hon. Thomas, Earl of Zetland 

Hauxwell Cross 

General Plantagenet Harrison ... 

The Old Hall and Mill at Marske 

Seal of Matthew Hutton, Archbishop of 


Matthew Hutton, Archbishop of Canterbury 
Timothy Hutton, Esq.... 
The Old Church, Hudswell 

Walburn Hall 

Rev. Sir John Swale, Bart. 

Gunnerside Bridge 

Mr. Edmund A. Knowles, C.C. ... 

Muker Beck ... 

Mrs. Nancy Harker 

Gunnerside ... 


At the Head of the Swale 

Hoggarth*s House 

Plan of Middleham Castle 

South-west angle of the Keep, Middleham 

Middleham Church 

The Old Church, Horse House, Coverdale 
Inscribed Doorway, Coverham Abbey ... 
South Doorway, Jervauz Abbey 
Danby Hall ... 

Yorkthire Arehteologiodl Society 
J. Norton Dickons, Bradford ... 

Valentine, Dundee ... 
Inghavi Riley ^ Richmond 
















... 283 
Yorkthire Archteological Society 295 

Rev, E, B. Smith, Kippax ... 297 

Do. do. ... 302 

Mrt. Dene, Leedt ... ... 309 

F. Brundreit, Clayton ... 314 

Rev. E. B. Smith, Kippax ... 329 

Mrt. Scrape, Danby-on-Yore ... 346 

Cfiat. 0. Tate, Richmond 

R. Fenton, Richmond 
Auty, Tyjiemvnth 
F, BrundretU Clayton 
R. Fenton, Richmond 
Rev, H. A. Anneiley, Hiptwell 
Do. do. 

Sir John Laivton, Bart., Brough 


J, B. Suiithton, Ley hum 

Rev. H. Travis Boultbee, Hornby 

J, Yeoman, Bedale ... 

TJiot. Spencer, Richmond 

Mrt. Rovth, Wood Hall 
IVm. Home, F.Q.S., Leyburn ... 

J. Xorton Dickont, Bradford ... 
T. Brear ^ Co., Ltd., Bradford 
Mrt. Hutton, Aldburgh Hall ... 

John Stantfeld, Leedt 

Mrt. Tyzack, Abbey dale 

F. Brundrett, Clayton 

Rev. R. V. Taylor, Melbeckt ... 

F. Brundrett, Clayton 

Jat. Harker, Harrogate 

F. Brundrett, Clayton 

Do. do. 

Do. do. 


Major Simon Thomas Scrope ... 

Leyburn Shawl 


Old Cottage, Leyburn ... 

Anglo-Saxon Skeleton... 

Ancient Parclose in Wensley Church 

Bolton Hall ... 

Bolton Castle... 

Mr. John James, F.S.A. 

Remains of Knight Templars Chapel on 


Aysgarth Bridge 

Above the High Force, Aysgarth 

The Low Force, Aysgarth 

Aysgarth Church 

The Middle Force, Aysgarth 

Thomas, Marquis of Wharton ... 

Mrs. Betty Webster ... 

The Alpine Garden, Bear Park ... 

Carved Stone at Bear Park 

Wood Hall Park 

Mill Gill, near Askrigg 
Nappa Hall a Century ago 
Bedstead of Mary, Queen of Scots 
Bainbridge ... 
Counterside ... 
Dr. John Fothergill, F.R.S. 
Miss Jessie Fothergill ... 
Moorcock, near Hawes Junction 
Lunds Church 

Mr9, Scrope, Danhy-on-Yore ... 348 

Valentine y Dundee ... ... 361 

Frith 4* Co.y Reigate, Surrey ... 368 

Wm. Home, F,G.S., Leyburn ... 371 
Hon,W. r. Orde-PoioleU.Wensley 380 

Do. do. 387 

•/. B, Smithson, Leyburn ... 395 

Geo, Hepworthy Brig house ... 405 

IVm. Seruton, Bradford ... 411 

Hon. W. T, Orde-PowlHt 
Chat. A. Hou/ef Aysgarth 
Rev. E. B. Smithy Kippax 
Rev. F. W. Stow, AytgaHh 
Chas. A. Houfey Aysgarth 
Fi-ith 4" Co., Reigate, Surrey 

J. B. Smithson, Leyburn 
Thos. Bradley, Bear Park 

Do. do. 

John C. C. Routh, Wood Hall 
Frith ^f Co., Reigate, Surrey 
J. Norton Dickons, Bradford 
Robert Vyner, Newby Hall 
F. Brundrett, Clayton 
IV7H. Home, F. G.S., Leyburn 

Do. do. 

Miss S. Fothergill, Bowdon 
F. Brundrett, Clayton 

Do. do. 




Civil Pariah or Population. 

Township. 1881 1891 

Abbotsidb. High 493 412 

Abbotside, Low 130 143 

Agglethorpe, with Cover- 
ham 211 

Aiskew 881 

Arkengarthdale 999 

Aske 211 

Appleton 104 

Askrigg 624 

Aysgarth 370 

1881 1891 

Bainbridob 683 

Bedale 1046 

Bellerby 311 

Bishopdale 87 

Boltou-on-Swale 77 

Brompton-on-Swale 360 

Brough 120 

Burton-cum-Walden 454 

Burton-on-Yore 147 

Caldbergh, with East 


Carlton 252 

Carlton Highdale 247 

Carperley, with Thoresby 298 

Castle Bolton 169 

Catterick 660 

Colburn 102 

Constable Burton 213 

Crakehall 484 













Civil Parish or 

Hudswell 181 223 

Hunton 411 322 

KiLLERBY 59 41 

Kirkby-on-the-Hill 77 69 

Leyburn 972 982 

Mabrick 307 246 

Marske 268 222 

Mashain 1071 1063 

Melbecks 1165 600 

Melmerby 110 102 

Melsonby 532 499 

Middleham 818 782 

Middleton-Tvas 640 474 

Moulton 273 235 

Muker 837 615 

Newbiggin 104 lol 

New Forest 49 36 

Newsham 275 211 

Newton-le- Willows 838 478 

North Cowton 283 266 

Patrick Brompton 178 163 

Preston 362 298 

Ravbnsworth 241 264 

Redniire 347 243 

Reeth 988 667 

Richmund 4502 4216 

Dalton 206 167 

Dowuholnie 112 73 

Easby 123 147 

Ellerton Abbey 44 48 

EUerton-on-Swale 172 149 

Eppleby 417 366 

Fearby 222 228 

Finghall 99 82 

Firby 84 95 

Garriston 30 29 

Gatenby 61 40 

Gayles 61 61 

Gilling 872 764 

Grinton 377 280 

Hackforth 158 121 

Harinby 182 171 

Hauxwell, East 96 116 

Hauxwell.West 40 26 

Hawes 1890 1615 

Healey, with Sutton 311 264 

Hipswell 269 208 

Hornby 90 91 

St. Martin 79 

Scorton 407 

Scotton 116 

Scruton 359 

Skeeby 169 

Spennithorne 200 

Stainton 41 

Stanwick St. John 56 

Thoralby 206 

Thornton Rust 143 

Thornton Steward 277 

Tunstall 244 



Walburn 30 

Wensley 322 

West Layton 76 

WestSciafton 106 

Whashton 134 

Witton, East (within) 269 

Witton. EaHt (without) 

(including Jervaux) 121 

Witton, West 660 










Feet Feet Feet 

Appersett (Bridge)... 774 Counterside 1020 Muker 780 

Arkengarthdale Coverham Abbey' ... 600 Oughtershaw 1180 

(St. Mary's Church) 871 Eaaby 350 Outhgill 850 

Askrigg 726 East Witton 370 Preston-urider-Scar 700 

Aysgarth 660 Grinton 675 Kedmire 620 

BaiDbrigge 709 Gunnerside 760 Reeth (Market Place) 668 

Bedale 140 Hardraw 790 „ (Lane Foot)... 728 

BeggarinoDds 1 100 Hawes (Church) 808 Richmond 460 

Bellerby 700 „ (Market Place) 788 „ (Race Course) 847 

Bowea lUnicom inn) 914 Hudswell 670 „ (Beacon) 1047 

Burtersett ( Wesleyan Keld 1080 Scotton 540 

Chapel) 947 Kirkby Stephen 660 Sedbusk 1000 

Carperby 720 Leyburn (Mkt. Place) 652 Spennithorne 551 

Catterick 180 Marsett 860 Stallen Busk 1200 

Catterick Bridge 208 Maaham 339 Thornton Rust 800 

Castle Bolton 800 Middleham (cross)... 489 Wensley 400 


Feet Feet Feet 

Addlebrough 1564 Haws Bnd (Seiner- Nine Standards 2158 

Bear's Head (Semer- water) 1600 Pendragon Castle ... 810 

water) 2019 Hell Gill Bridge 1200 Penhill 1680 

Beck Crooks Bridge 1257 High Seat (Mailer- Penyghent 2273 

Birkdale Tarn (Swale stang) 2328 Punchard Toll Bar... 1178 

Head) 1620 Horse House (Cover- Reeth Bridge 616 

BleaMoor 1753 dale) 850 Rogan's Seat 2204 

Bow or Baugh Fell... 2226 Kilgram Bridge 300 Scarth Nick (top) ... 1040 

Buttertubs Pass Ingleborough 2373 Semerwater 820 

(summit) 1682 Keasdon (Swaledale) 1636 Shaw Piiddock (inn) 1137 

Calvey 1599 Keld to Kirkby Ste- Shunnor Fell 2351 

Cam Fell 1890 phen, high road ... 1680 Spence Intake House 1181 

CamHouses 1502 Lady's Pillar 2267 Stags Fell 2213 

C.B. inn (Arkendale) 970 Langthwaite Bridge Stake Pass (summit) 1822 

Cocker Top 1626 End 841 Tanhill(inn) 1727 

Cosh House 1400 Leyburn Shawl 800 Tavlor Rigg 1620 

Danby Moor Wood... 555 Little Fell (Hawes) 2186 Ten End (Hawes) ... 1919 

DoddFell 2189 Lovely Seat or Luna- Water Crag 2186 

Gavle Bridge 861 sitt 2213 Watson Ho. (Swale- 

Qiiibon Hill (Wens- Lunds Fell 2186 dale) 967 

leydale) 1781 Lunds School 1130 Wetherfell 2015 

Great Bell (Mailer- Mickle B'ell 2.591 Whaw (Lane Head) 1075 

stang) 1230 Mile House (Hawes) 846 Whernside 2414 

Great Shunnor Fell 2351 Mirk Fell 1800 Whitfield Fell 1750 

Halfpenny House ... 820 Moorcock (inn) 1050 Widdale Fell 2203 

Harland Hill (Cover- Muker Edge 2213 Wild Boar Fell 2323 

dale) 1758 Xewby Head 1421 Wood hall Greets 1721 

The highest inhabited building in Yorkshire appears to be the inn on Tanhill 
(Arkengarthdale), 1727 feet. The statement on page 247, I am informed, applies 
to Taylor Rlgg. The highest inliabited house in England is Rumney's House 
(1980 feet), south of Alston, in Cumberland. The highest inhabited building in 
Europe is the Alpine Club House (12,000 feet) on Monte Rosa in Switzerland. 



Stations. Authorities. above ssa->leveL Depth of rain in inches 

Feet. 1883. 1894. 1896.' 

Aysgarth Vicarage...., Rev. F. W. Stow 644 84-85 4437 41'14 

„ „ 659 3086 42-50 39'30 

Baldersby W. Gregson 101 2011 27-33 30-91 

Bedale (Thorpe 

Perrow) W. Culverwell 170 21-85 28-08 2905 

Bolton Hall F. Scrivener 420 26-30 34-90 3868 

Bowes G. J. Symons, F.R.S 950 2480 4180 36-90 

Carperby J. Willis 720 80-86 

ForcetfcPark J. Michell 360 22-72 31*48 31-91 

Guisborough (Button 

Hall) Sir J. W. Pease, Bart.... 400 22-81 27-79 33-29 

Guisboroagh (Lock- 
wood Beck Res.).... W. FAnson, C.E 632 26-43 32-13 33-52 

Hardraw Vicarage Rev. R. Pinck 790 4662 4824 

Hawes Junction The Meteor. Council 1185 66-46 6247 65-80 

ff (Luuds 

School) Mr. Masheter 1100 ... 61-97 55-18 

Ingleby Greenhow 

Vicarage Rev.J. Hawell 448 2738 28-89 8264 

Ingleby Manor The Hon. H. Sidney 440 29-04 32-29 34-48 

Leyburn (Grove 

House) G. W. Wray 660 2697 36-70 

Masham (Aldburgh 

Hall) Miss Greenwood 200 23-88 86-54 


(Albert Park) J. M. Parnaby 30 

Northallerton The Meteor, Council 130 

„ (Rounton Grange) The Royal Meteor. Soc.. 250 

Osmotherley T. Yeoman 660 

Pickering (Rectory)... Rev. G. H. Lightfoot 150 

Richmond (The Grove) G. Roper. 430 

., Mrs. Davidson 463 

Saltburn W. W. Stainthorpe, M.D. 160 

Scarborough (South 

Cliff) Dr. Monk 160 

Stanwick Park W. Higgle 300 

Thirsk (Sowerby) C. M. Swarbreck 106 

Whitby (Royal Cres- 
cent) T.Newbitt 150 23-87 24-43 3022 















27 02 














35 48 




According to Symons* Brituh Rainfall^ from which the above abstracts are 
made, the heaviest recorded rainfall in the British Islands in 1895 was at the Stye, 
in Cumberland, and amounted to 127*65 in. At the Ben Nevis Observatory it 
was 117 93 in. The least rainfall was at Abbots Court, Hoo. Rochester, Kent, 
which was 14*88 in. At Seathwaite, in Cumberland, the records have been kept 
for more than 50 years, and the average annual rainfall is 135 inches. In the wettest 
year it has exceeded 182 inches, and in the driest it has fallen to 88 inches. 



(^Prepared, by ptmnUiion^ frovi the Mttccdfe Records.) 

|HE subject of the three days' siege of Raydale House, near 
Semerwater, is one of peculiar interest It has been discussed 
or referred to by several writers, but in every case either 
inaccurately or imperfectly. Dr. Whitaker, in his History 
of Whallef/y in referring to Nicholas Assheton's account of it, as set forth 
in his Diary ^ remarks that ''the origin of this petty war is not explained," 
&c., and that " Sir Thomas Metcalfe seems to have been a man bi-utal 
and ferocious," — ^a most unwarrantable inference, which one would 
hardly have expected the learned historian to have drawn, after his tacit 
admission of ignorance of the circumstances which led to the '' petty 
war.*' Yet the editor of the Chetham Society's edition of the Diary 
repeats these statements, and Mr. Harrison Ainsworth, in his story of 
Th€ Lancashire Witches, alludes to the same reprint as "exhibiting an 
extraordinary amount of research and information," which may be taken 
for granted, but unfortunately the " research " does not go to the root 
of the subject, and the explanations are for the most part vague and 
one-sided. Mr. Ainsworth also falls into the common error of making 
Mrs. Edith Robinson aunt to Sir Ralph Assheton and Mr. Nicholas 
Assheton, whereas she was aunt to the wife of the latter, and no relation 
whatever to Sir Ralph. 

The particulars, as set out in the Metcalfe Records, compiled from 
the Proceedings in the Court of Star Chamber, <&c., are briefly these. 
By letters patent, dated at Westminster, 24th February, 7th James I. 
(1609-10), written in Latin, the King, for a fine of £38 19s. and for 
other good causes, &c., granted and to farm let to Sir Thomas Metcalfe, of 
Nappa, Et., then the King's tenant and farmer, the tenement of Raydale 
and other tenements described by the names of " Esti-adale and Westra- 
dale, otherwise Radale and Cragdale, parcel of our manor of Bainbrigg 
within the Archdeaconry of Richmond, Ac, formerly in the tenure of 
Christopher Metcalfe, Et., deceased, or his assigns, &c.," likewise the 
tenements with appurtenances in Thoralby, Marsett, Woodhall, Biindsike, 
and Gayle, (as set out in the fine), to have and to hold the said several 
tenements, lands, and other premises for the term of forty years, rendering 
annually for the whole of the said tenements, <&c., the sum of £19 9s. 6d. 


of lawful English money, &o. ; and also at the renewal of every lease 
from time to time of the premises or any of them to be made whenever 
it should happen, two years' annual value of the premises in the name 
of a fine or entry. 

I have made some mention of Sir Thomas, and his financial 
embarrassments, in the notice of Nappa, and it appears by an indenture 
dated 8th July, 1610, Sir Thomas, in consideration, as therein expressed, 
of £1000 to him paid by William Robinson of Worton, in the county 
of York, gentleman, the receipt whereof he acknowledged, assigned to 
Robinson the Raydale and other properties comprised in the lease of 
1609-10, with the exception of Woodhall and Gayle, to hold the same to 
him, his executors, and assigns, for the residue of the term of years 
thereby granted, with a covenant by Sir Thomas (who had a desire to 
occupy the lands for six years) to pay Robinson for the premises a rent 
of £100 per annum, half-yearly as therein mentioned ; and a further 
covenant that if Sir Thomas paid such yearly rent during those six 
years, and at the end of the six years £1000, then Robinson should 
reassure all the said lands with his interest therein to Sir Thomas. Had 
Sir Thomas met these obligations the quarrel that followed would not 
have occurred ; as it is he failed to pay Robinson the rental of £100 a 
year for the six years, nor did he pay the £1000 at the end of that time. 

The trouble then began. William Robinson at once took proceedings 
for recovery of possession, and for this purpose he on 15th April, 1616, 
executed upon the premises a lease thereof to his son John Robinson 
and his assigns, from the 26th March then last for the term of five 
years. Under this lease John Robinson entered the premises and was 
thenceforth possessed until 20th April, when one James Wetherall, who 
was Sir Thomas's bailifP, entered and ejected him therefrom. Where- 
upon John Robinson brought an action against Wethemll in Easter 
Term, 1616, in the Court of King's Bench. Wetherall pleaded not 
guilty, issue was joined, and process was afterwards respited for the trial 
of the action at the York Assizes in the July following. Immediately 
afterwards, and in the same term. Sir Thomas exhibited in the Court of 
Exchequer a bill against William Robinson, John Robinson, James 
Wetherall. and Henry Moore, for redemption, and for an injunction 
restraining John Robinson from proceeding with his ejectment against 
Wetherall in the meantime. In this bill Sir Thomas enters at great 
length into the circumstances and position of the case, explaining the 
reasons for and conditions of the grant made by William Robinson, to 
which the latter makes full answer, sworn 17th June, 1616, shewing his 
version of the case.* The result was, at the Assizes held at York Castle 

• Ercheq. Q, 7?., No. 1462 


on July 15th, before Sir Edward Bromley, Kt., one of the Barons of 
the Excheqaer, and Sir Augustine Niccols, Kt., one of the Justices of 
the King's Bench, John Robinson appeared by his attorney, but James 
Wetherall did not appear, and a jury being sworn (four out of the panel 
and eight de circumstantibtu) found Wetherall guilty of the trespass and 
ejectment complained against him, and assessed the damages at 2d., and 
for disbursements and fees 40b. 

Further orders followed, all disastrous to Sir Thomas, reinstating the 
said Robinson in possession of the said tenements with the appurtenances, 
a proceeding which was very keenly felt by Sir Thomas. Nor did he 
make any efPort to disguise his injured feelings. On the contrary his 
anger grew, — he became desperate, and resolved, at any rate, to let 
Robinson know that he should have no peaceable holding of his coveted 
possessions. The loss of Raydale, (at all events until the expiration of 
the lease in 1649, and probably, too, the right of renewal) which had been 
for so many long years in his family, was undoubtedly a grievous blow to 
Sir Thomas. And conscious of the little hope of ever regaining his 
rights to the old family patrimony, like the impulsive man he was, 
intoxicate with grief, thereupon added more fuel to the flame which 
helped on his ruin. 

On Wednesday, June 4th, 1617, or just 22 days after Robinson had 
been put in possession by the Sheriff, Sir Thomas went to the house, 
accompanied with forty to sixty men armed with guns, swords, pikes. &c., 
and called upon those within to give up possession. This they refused 
to do, whereupon the house was fired at many times, and the siege was 
continued until the following Saturday afternoon, when assistance 
arrived. On the previous evening (Friday) James Hodgson, one of 
Sir Thomas's — the attacking — party, was killed by a shot fired from the 
house by one Dent, Dr. Whitaker enlarges upon this untoward event, 
but it is evident there were no other " wounded persons " and only one 
person was killed. However it were folly to say anything in extenuation 
of the conduct of Sir Thomas, who had become desperate by the failui*e 
of justifiable resources, and was determined to harass and annoy his 
opponent by every means in his power, foul or fair. He even went so 
far as to bribe the local coroner, named Bell, whose duty it became to 
hold an inquest on the body of James Hodgson, to empanel a packed 
jary of Sir Thomas's own nomination, to return a verdict not only of 
wilful murder against Dent, who fired the shot, but also, as accessories, 
against all others who were in the house at the time, as well as William 
Robinson, who was then in London, the motive for this is stated in the 
Star Chamber minute, hereunder. But although Bell the coroner acted 
as he had been bribed to act, and the inquisition was held and the 
desired verdict was obtained, there is nothing to shew that any of the 


parties were actually put upon their trial at the ensuing Assizes, and as 
will be seen presently the charge was ultimately withdrawn. 

Both Mr. Raines in the Chetham Society's volume (xiv.) and the 
editors of the fourth edition of Dr. Whitaker's History of Whalley 
" fear there are no records extant of the Court of Star Chamber to prove 
what was* the event of this suit." Had they, however, made proper 
search the following explanation would have been found : 

The Ratdale Riot. The Charge and Sentence. 
(^From the Minuten of Proceedings in the Court of Star Chamber.^* 

The King's Attorney, by the relation of (John) Robinson, pit. aginst Sir Thoinaa 
Metcalfe and divers others for a rebellious and warlilce riott and for conspiracfe. 
The riott was, that a certaine piece of land and a house having bin ejected from 
Metcalfe to Robinson whereof he was put in possession by the Sheri£fe ; about 
three weeks after the said possession, Sir Tho. Metcalfe assembled to the number 
of 60 men, armed with musquitts, calivers, pikes, javelins, long-bowes and arrowea 
(and) came before the house in the evening, they discharged their gunns as soone 
as they came, and presently sent a sumons to those within to deliver upp the 
possession, to which they answered, that if they had authority for it they were 
ready to doe it, otherwise they would wast their lives ; hereupon they began to 
besiege the house ; they gave many assaults upon it, discharged their peices against 
it, and in one hour of one of their assaults shott through the house 17 tymes ; 
continued this sieze with many assaults from Wednesday night till Satterday in 
the afternoone that a serjeantt att armes came from Torke with the mother of 
(John) Robinson, who in the beginning of this siege got forth, of the house with 
some danger and abuse offered her, being thrown to the ground, beaten, and after 
carry ed and layd in a ditch for dead by two of the riotors. These riotors also 
gave forth they would recover by the club-law what was lost by the comon law ; 
said, upon refusal of yeelding, they were all but dead men ; and upon the death 
of Hodson, one of their riotors company, who was slayn by a shott which waa 
made from the house, being the only man they did shoote, they rejoyced and said 
all was their own, that was worth all the rest ; they within the house should all 
be hanged. During the siege also, the Ladie Metcalfe came thither and encouraged 
the riotors and would have hired a woman to sett fire in the house promising to 
bear her out in it. 

For this offence Sir Thomas Metcalfe was fined att a thousand pounds ; those 
of his riotors company complayned against, being to the number of about 30, at 
five hundred markes apeece ; and if any of them proove insufficient. Sir Tho. 
Metcalfe to answer the whole. His lady fined at 500 li alsoe. Sir Tho. Metcalfe 
to be imprisoned in the Tower att his owne charge during the King's pleasure, and 
all these riotors complayned of for a yeare and a daye. 

The decree of the Court to be sent to the Assizes to be publickely read and 
some of the riotors to be set on a high place there to aske forgiveness for their 
offence and that enquiry should be made of the neglect of Justices of Peace for 
not taking knowledge of this rebellious seige during the tyme thereof. 

Sir Tho. Metcalfe and Bell the Coroner are charged of a conspiracie seeking 
unjustly to take away by coulor of law the lives of some of the King's subjects, 
namely of Dent, that slew the above Hodson, and of the rest of those that were 

* 8. P. Domestic Series, vol. cdii., page 6. 


then in the house. The circumstances were, that Bell did send a warrant to the 
constable for sundry persons which he knew not, which were named to him by 
Sir Tho. Metcalfe, that he did empanell a jurie that were every one of them either 
of kindred to Sir Tho. Metcalfe or his tenants, or his servants, or the brothers of 
the riotors ; that when the jury did only find the said Dent to be guilty of th& 
death of Hodson, the said Bell told them they were very favorable and that h& 
would help them and soe took the verdict from them which they had written and 
went and drew one himself, whereby the said Dent was found guilty of the murder 
of Hodson, and all those that were in the house, together with one of the 
Robinsons, who was then in London, ayding, assisting and accessory to the murder ;. 
and for this, his proceeding, he received 10 li reward, besides his ordinary fees, of 
Sir Tho. Metcalfe, who by this meanes thought to have endited and convicted of 
murder both the said Dent and all the said Robinsons ; by which meanes they 
should be all hanged, their lands and goods forfeited, and then he would to the 
court and gett a grant thereof from the King, and thereof reward his riotors. Sir 
Tho. Metcalfe was fyned att 2000 li ; the couronner at 1000 li ; and one of the 
jurors also was fyned, but their whole company besides him were freed because 
they were not charged neither with corruption nor malice. 

There were damages adjudged to Robinson against Sir Tho. Metcalfe for both 
offences 1000 markes, and ordered that the appeal which lay against Dent and 
Robinson should be withdrawn.* 

Sir ThomaB having lodged legal proceedings against Robinson in the 
Court of Chancery, touching the question of bonds,! he took the 
precaution to mortgage his only unencumbered estate, viz. : that of 
Clotherham, thinking it mighc prove disadvantageous to his opponents 
if he did so. Accordingly, by an indenture dated 25th March, 
16th James I. (1618), he mortgaged to John Muscott, citizen and 
vintner of London, his manor or lordship of Clotherham alias Cletherom 
in the county of York, and lands in Clotherham, Studley Roger, and 
Grantley, with a proviso for redemption on payment of £735 on the 
25th September then next. This precautionary step put another bolt in 
the hands of Sir Thomas to fling at his adversary, whom he regarded aa 
a vile usurer, and a Shylock determined to have his pound of flesh. 
Here is the sequel. In Trinity Term 17th James I., an extent was 
awarded for levying the damages and costs which had been adjudged to 
him Robinson, by virtue of which an inquisition was taken at York 
Castle on October 17th of the same year, when the manor of Clotherham 
was found to be of the yearly value of £100, and on the 20th of the 
same month, Robinson was put into possession of the manor. At this 
time, however, Robinson could not have been aware that the manor was 
then in mortgage to Muscott, but when he applied to the tenants they 

* The zneaningr of this probably is that the trial of the coroner^s inquisition, whereby these' 
two were f onnd gvdXty of murder, was not to he proceeded with ; and it would further shew that 
none of the others in the house were included in the inquisition.— Jfc(c<i(/e Record». 

t M.M. 72, No. 829, Chancery Bills and Answers, Charlee I. 


refused to pay him their rents unless he would enter into bonds with 
sufficient sureties to save them harmless from encumbrances, and this he 
did. Thereupon Muscott, no doubt with the connivance, if not at the 
instance of Sir Thomas, entered and executed a lease of the manor to 
one Vaux, and in his name commenced upwards of twenty actions 
against the tenants for their rents, and an action of ejectment against 
Rowland Fawcett, Robinson's tenant of part of the manor, in which 
last action he obtained a verdict by default at the Spring Assizes for 
Yorkshire of 1621, and in Easter Term in that year signed judgment 
and obtained and henceforth held possession. To add to Robinson's 
difficulties the tenants who had to pay Yaux brought actions against 
him on his bonds, and he was put to great expense on this ground alone. 

The end of it all was that Sir Thomas made good his complainings, 
and by petition obtained a full pardon and release for himself, his 
sureties, and other defendants in his suits. This release was delivered 
by privy seal dated 10th and letters patent dated 18th March, 1621-2, 
whereby each and all of the fines and penalties imposed upon them by 
the Court of Star Chamber were pardoned and remised, with a release 
of all their lands and tenements, goods and chattels, forfeited to his 
Majesty, extended, seized, or taken in execution by reason of the said 
recognizance or sentence. 

It need only be said in conclusion that neither William Robinson nor 
his son John lived long to enjoy their hard-obtained possession of 
Ray dale ; for the latter died at Raydale on or shortly before 13th Feb., 
1627-8, on which day an inventory was taken of his personal estate, 
consisting of £41 worth of cattle, but no will of his or administration 
to his estate is forthcoming. William Robinson died at Worton, in 
Wensleydale, a few weeks after, for on March 20th an inventory was 
taken of his pei*sonal estate, consisting principally of cattle, valued at 
£151 Ss. 4d. 

This William Robinson, by the way, who died in 1627-8, was no 
relation whatever of the William Robinson of Newby, who in 1627 
married Sir Thomases daughter Frances. The editors of the fourth 
edition of Dr. Whitaker's Whalley say that the son of William Robinson, 
of York, merchant, "died about 1618, and the aflFray here recorded 
appears to have taken place upon that event.^' They are also mistaken 
in affirming the Robinsons to be tenants of Raydale, which they never 
were, as the narrative shews. Furthermore it may be requisite to observe 
that the house called Raydale is not a ruin, but in good repair, and if 
not of the period of the riot, cannot be many years short of it. 



There are certain historical words and phrases employed in this and 
similar works, which are not always intelligible to the ordinary reader. 
It is therefore believed that the few pages here allotted will form a useful 
reference on the subject. The particulars are copied, by permission, 
from the Yorkshire Arch(zological Journal (Record ISeries). 

Advowson of a church. The ri^ht of patronage, i.e.y the power of presenting 
some fit and proper person to the Bishop or Ordinary for institution into a 
vacant benefice. Seti Kennett, Glossary, also Ayliffe's Parergon, pp. 410 — 17. 

Advowson of a religious house. The right of patronage acquired, sometimes by 
the founder of the house, and sometimes by a powerful neighbour, who was 
chosen by the house as advocate, patron, or champion. Sometimes the patron 
had the sole nomination of the abbot or prior, and sometimes he granted a 
conge d' Hire or licence of electing to the members of the house. See Eennett, 
Glossary^ also Freeman, Gorman Conquest, vol. v., p. 501. 

Agist, agistment. " The taking in the beasts and cattle of every person being an 
inhabitant within a forest that may for their money have common of herbage 
there for such beasts as are commonable within a forest ; and this manner of 
taking in of cattle to pasture or feed by the week or by the month or otherwise 
is called agisting of beasts or cattle, and the common of herbage that they 
have there for their beasts is called agistment. But it is to be understood 
that agistment is most properly the common of herbage of any kind of ground 
or land or woods, or the money that is received or due for the same." 
Man wood, c. 11, s. 1. 

Almoigrne or frankalmoigne. libera elemosina, free alms. The tenure by which 
religious corporations in almost every instance held their lands. It was 
subject to no service except that of praying for the soul of the donor and 
those of his ancestors and heirs, and except up to the date of the Norman 
Conquest or thereabouts, the trinoda neeessitas, i.e., the duty of rendering 
military service, and the building and repair of castles, bridges, and high roads. 
This tenure could not be created by a subject after the Statute of Westminster 
the Third, Quia Emptores, 18 Edw. I. It dififered from tenure by divine 
service in that lands held by the latter tenure were subject to fealty, &c., and 
also to distress in case of breach or neglect of the service under which the 
land was held. 
Ameroement, amerciament. The pecuniary punishment of an offender against 
the king or other lord in his court, that is found to be in misericordid, i.e., to 
have offended and to stand at the mercy of the king or lord. An amercement 
differed from a fine in that it was arbitrarily imposed at the discretion of the 
court, but a fine was fixed and certain. 
Assise or Assize. Jacob (^Law Dictionary^ says, that according to our ancient 
books, assize is defined to be an assembly of knights and other substantial 
men, with the justice in a certain place and at a certain time appointed. This 


word is properly derived from the latin verb asHdeo^ to sit together, and is also 
taken for the court, place, or time when and where the writs and processeB of 
assise are handled or taken. And in this signification assize is general, as 
when the justices go their several circuits, with commissions to take all 
assizes ; or specialf where a special commission is granted to certain persons 
(formerly oftentimes done) for taking an assize upon one or two disseisins 
only. There were five several commissions for a general assize, viz. : (1) Of 
Oyer and Terminer, directed to the judges and many other gentlemen of the 
county by which they were empowered to try treasons, felonies, &c. (2) Of 
Gaol delivery, directed to the judges and the clerk of assize associate, which 
gave them power to try every prisoner in the gaol, committed for any ofifence 
whatsoever, but none but prisoners. (3) Of Assize, directed to the judges 
and the clerk of assize, to take assizes and do right upon writs of assise 
brought before them, by such as were wrongfully thrust out of their lands and 
possessions. (4) Of Nisi Prius, directed to the judges and clerk of assize, by 
which civil causes grown to issue in the courts above, were tried in the 
vacation by a Jury of twelve men of the county where the cause of action 
arose. (5) A Commission of the Peace in every county of the circuit, and all 
justices of the peace of the county were bound to be present at the assizes, 
and the sheriff also, to give their attendance on the judges, or they should be 
fined. The term assize was likewise applied to a jury where assizes of novel 
disseisin were tried. The term assize also was used for a writ for recovery of 
possession of things immovable, e.g., assize of novel disseisin. It also 
signified a Statute or Act of Parliament, e.g., Assize of the Forest, Assize of 
Bread and Ale, &c. 

Bailiwick, halliva. Under the term was comprised any oflSce, jurisdiction, or 
territory, committed to the care of a subordinate official. 

Bovate or Ozgang. Half a virgate, or yard land of varying measurement. 
The following measurements appear, viz. : 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 15, 16, and 
24 acres, A bovate appears to have been the holding of a tenant who 
contributed one ox to the manorial team of eight oxen. See Vinogradoff, 
p. 238 

Garuoate, carvcata. A ploughland or hide was of uncertain extent, but said to 
be the extent that could be ploughed by a team of eight oxen in the course of 
a year. The size varied in different parts of the country and according to the 
nature of the land. The normal size is said to be 120 acres, but in Kirkhy''s 
Inquest (Surt.), p. 446, are several examples, varying from 106^ acres to 27| 
acres, and in the Register of Worcester Priory (Camd.), a carucate appears to 
have contained 180 acres. Seebohm ( VUl. Cominun.^ p. 37) gives instances of 
hides varying in area from 240 to 120 acres. Coke (i. Inst.^ 69 a.) says that a 
plowland may contain a messuage, wood, meadow, and pasture. See also 
Elphinstone, Interpretation of Deeds, s.v., *• Measures of land." 

Demesne, to hold lands in, was to hold the same as the demesne lands of the 
manor. To be seized in demesne, was said of one who held lands for the term 
of his life. But he who held the same to him and his heirs, or to him and 
his successors, was said to hold in his demesne as of fee. Demesnes were in 
common speech the lord's chief manor place, and the lands belonging to it 
which he kept in his own hands. The king's ancient demesnes are the lauds 
and manors which were in William the Conqueror's hands, and in Doniesday 
book stated to have been in the possession of Edward the Confessor. See 
Elphinstone, Interpretation of Deeds^ and the authorities there cited. 


Forest. '* A forest is a certain territory of wooddy grounds and fruitful pastures 
privileged for wild beasts and fowls of forest, chase, and warren to rest and 
abide in, in the safe protection ,of the kinR for his princely delight and 
pleasure ; which territory of ground so privileged , is iiieered and bounded 
with unremoveable marks, meeres, and boundaries, either known by matter of 
record or else by prescription ; and also replenished with wild beasts of 
Tenerie or chase, and with great coverts of vert for the succour of the said 
wild beasts to have their abode in. For the preservation and continuance of 
which said place, together with the vert and venison, there are certain 
particular laws, privileges, and officers belonging to the same, meet for that 
purpose. .... The wild beasts of the forest are five, and no more, that 
is to say, the hart, the hind, the hare, the boar, and the wolf. The beasts of 
the chase are also five, the buck, the doe, the fox, the martin, and the roe. 
The beasts and fowls of warren are the hare, the coney, the pheasant, and the 
partridge. All these have privilege within the forest." Manwood, c. I. "A 
Forest doth consist of eight things, viz. : of Soil, Covert, Laws, Courts, 
Judges, Officers, Game, and Certain Bounds." Coke, lY. Ifut., 289. *' The 
next in degree unto it (a forest) is a liberty of a frank-chase. A chase in one 
degree is the selfsame thing that a park is, and there is no diversity between 
them, save that a park is enclosed, and a chase is always open and not 
enclosed, and therefore the next in degree unto a frank-chase is a park. The 
last and next in degree unto a park Is the liberty and franchise of a free 

warren Every forest is a chase, a park, and a warren, but a chase 

is not a forest, but a part of it ; and in the like sort of a park and a warren." 
Manwood, as above. The owner of a wood within a forest or chase might 
not fell timber or cut wood therein, except under certain restrictions. Coke, 
lY. Inst., 297-8 ; Manwood, 0. 8. Manwood further states that although it is 
a common opinion that a forest may not be held by a subject, yet there are 
instances of forests being held by subjects (tf.^., the Earl of Lancaster, tewp, 
Edw. IL and Edw. IIL), who executed the forest laws therein, (c. 3, sees. 2, 
3 and 4.) 

Forester. An officer of the forest, sworn to preserve the vert and venison of the 
forest, to attend upon the wild beasts within his bailiwick, to watch and keep 
them safe by day and by night, to apprehend all offenders there in vert and 
vension, and to present them at the courts of the forest. Termes de la Ley, 
See also Coke, lY. Inst,, 293, for the oath of a forester, setting out his duty. 

Hall and Goart. The lord's court was originally held in his hall, and so was 
called hallmote or halimote,as well as court baron. The receipts from hall 
and court would be the fines and amercements imposed at the court. 

Manor. Latin, nuinerium. French, manoir. Formerly meant an extent of land 
granted to some person, for him and his heirs to dwell upon and enjoy, and 
which was divided into three parts, viz. : (1) The demesne lands, which were 
reserved for the lord's own use, and cultivated to a certain extent by his own 
teams and servants, and to some extent by the tenants of the manor who held 
by praedial services, i.^., by the service of agricultural labour ; (2) The assised 
or tenemental lands, or lands granted or let out by the lord to tenants in 
consideration of rents or services, or both, and varying in tenure from the 
freehold of a free tenant to the uncertain tenancies of the various classes of 
servile tenants, which uncertain tenancies, however, eventually developed into 
a tenure which, under the name of copyhold, is now practically fixed and 
certain ; (3) The waste lands, which also belonged to the lord, but subject to 
the common rights of the tenants. 


Both the free and the servile tenants were of varioas degrees. The free 
tenants included lords of inferior manors held of a superior manor or honour, 
tenants by knight service, and other classes of free tenants, all of whom were 
liable for some rent or service to the lord of the manor under whom they held. 
The servile tenants were also of many classes, and were not the same in every 
manor. Another class of tenants was the sokemen, who were sometimes free 
and sometimes villein. 

Every lord of a manor exercised a jurisdiction over his tenants in the 
court of the manor, called the court baron ; and in some manors was also 
held a court leet, which had jurisdiction over crimes committed within the 
manor ; the court baron dealing with civil business, especially with matters 
relating to the freehold. In later times arose the customary court, which 
dealt with the interests of the copyholders of the manor, and is now frequently 
called a court baron. Owing to the gradual changes in the position of the 
tenants of manors, and to the greater security and fixity of their tenures, also 
to the sales of demesne lands and other possessions of the lords within the 
districts of their manors, the term manor is now more generally understood 
to mean the jurisdiction and privileges belonging to and exercised by the lord 
than the land comprised within the district of the manor. The term had, and 
still has, a very comprehensive and varied meaning. In some instances it was 
synonymous with honour or hundred, and in one instance, at least (viz. : the 
Manor of Taunton Dene), a manor comprised five hundreds ; other manors 
comprised large districts and several towns, while in other cases there were 
three or four manors in one township. The term manor was also sometimes 
applied to a messuage or mansion house only. See further on this subject, 
Seld., vols. ii. and iv. ; Vinogradoff*B Villainage in England ; the Custuwals 
of Battle Abbey; the 'Bomesday of St. PauVs; Cruise on Dignitie$, c. 2 ; 
Digby's Real Property^ q. 1 ; Scrut ton's Commons and Common Fields; and 
many other authorities. 

Prebend. A several benefice rising from some temporal land or church appro- 
priated towards the maintenance of a clerk, or member of a collegiate church, 
and commonly named from the place from whence the profit ariseth. Blount, 
Law Diet. 

Service, knight. Tenure by knight service was esteemed the most honourable 
species of tenure. For this tenure a quantity of land was necessary, the area 
of which was uncertain, but the annual value of which was fixed at £20 at 
an early period, probably in the reign of William the Conqueror (^see p. 18S 
ante,'). This holding constituted a knight's fee, and he who held it was bound 
to do homage and fealty to his lord, and to attend him to the wars for forty 
days in every year if called upon, which attendance was his redditns or return, 
his rent or service for the land he claimed to hold. In lieu of personal 
attendance, however, a money payment called scutage or escuage was 
eventually accepted. Under the provisions of the Assize of Arms passed in 
1181, the holder of a knight's fee must possess a coat of mail, a helmet, a 
shield, and a lance, and every knight was to have as many of these arms and 
weapons as he had knight's fees. A tenant by knight service might hold 
either of the king or of a subject, but in either case he was liable to do 
homage and fealty to his lord. The tenure drew to it seven Incidents, viz. : 
aids, relief, primer seisin, wardship, marriage, fines for alienation, and escheat. 

Soke, sora. Jurisdiction. A liberty, privilege, or franchise granted by the 
king to a subject ; also the area or territory within which that franchise is 




KoMANTlC iM(1iM0Xr)>i!li: 


cmap'if::: i. 

ti- .i»- p')'*iti'»ii of KiohitMini — View (.- Hn- « i«:fl«., • !.,j rj."-, jn i'!' t«r^ .- • • 
iioijiaiitic Ji*4pft''tp ^oif'rjtitk-nM'- ixp niii«»'{ ~ K ■'. k -»■• m.-u Mi t-' ''In - .m - 

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» v*''.r-'^ rlT '_r L • ' '>i it.^ "'".ation. TiihiiiL-. as ii uc-v uihui 

_^^ ' T^-- - '* Ji-i altvu'^t <U)U- (vfiin tl:.' hanks (»f tii • 

^'». fafccinaii'iiT in i(s ]>■. ."tiuvsuiii.^ ncj^MliicsN, 

r ooiuhHR'd V. i li nu airiin ^«< ainl n'M'j:TitiKl" u!i-mu 

*<N ■'/**• 3S^" ■'*'' '^^■t»<*l^' n'acr, that (1(>L»» n(>t b«*:onir to tir:.;^ 

Knan sboioiiL'li, I)'r-|<ani, or ary ')f '];<' Ni'-K'n-rlx 

si^natl•(; jouu-^ of lii1'':ation ^n rli-^ coa^r. 

^'AioliijnitJ compares H.'.il-iaoiMl \\<'» I'^Ivdo in iSj^iin, rh.a rft.»., -'i.rc/.iil 

c r\ f>n Lit loyal cniintjnrt-/' hut vjt} inucii to rl.t- advj.:-.! ^t. nf tiie 

- riiuT, whicii, h(i i'ightl\ inaiiitahis, i« uior^ heaiuiful hy i»''?-i p of u f 

iMiri jijt woods that suu'ound it. I»ut tk* <:'o of fVc .)id >|ani.'h 

»',.iii'r../, with irs ruined fortress and iiohlf [)roinfiiadL' htiK-a; Ii, ^n. jjtl\ 

^ : 


V'vs^^ :•■■• 

^ '- ••■* ' -■ • 'I. :'■ ^*- -^ •-'• M 

«■ ' ^: 



'. .^1? 

. -i ■ ■ 







Unique position of Richmond — View of the castle, churchesi monasteries, &c. — 
Romantic aspects scientifically explained — Rock section in the Museum — 
Ancient British and Roman occupation of Richmond — Whitaker's theories 
refuted— Old roads and lead mines — Celtic folk-speech — Midsummer Bel-fires 
at Richmond — Richmondshire at the Conquest — Who was Earl Alan ? — The 
Conqueror's grant questioned — Origin and extent of Richmondshire — The 
Conqueror visits Richmond — Local government — Ecclesiastical jurisdiction 
— The shire in 1281 — Lady Godiva in Richmondshire — Remarkable 
resemblances between Coventry and Richmond — Meaning of Richmond — 
Story of the Earldom — The Dukes of Richmond. 

HERE is probably no town of the same extent 
in the North of England compai*able with 
Richmond in the bold, impressive grandeur 
of its situation. Rising, as it does, upon 
an abrupt slope from the banks of the 
surging Swale, there is something peculiarly 
fascinating in its picturesque iniggedness, 
combined with an airiness and magnitude about 
the whole place, that does not belong to either 
Knaresborough, Durham, or any of the strikingly 
situated points of habitation on the coast. 
Swinburne compares Richmond with Toledo in Spain, that stern ** proud 
city on her royal eminence," but very much to the advantage of the 
former, which, he rightly maintains, is more beautiful by reason of the 
luxuriant woods that surround it. But the site of the old Spanish 
capital, with its ruined fortress and noble promenade beneath, greatly 


resembles that of Richmond. Approaching the latter bj train there is, 
indeed, something quite un-English in its remarkable position and 
grand amplitude and bristling array of ancient and modern architecture, 
where mediaeval tower and spire are mingled promiscuously with erections 
of modern date. As you leave the station and step on to the massive 
stone bridge that spans the quick-flowing river, you look up to the castle- 
crowned height, — stem, majestic, and impregnable — while around you 
are wide, swelling sweeps of forest and precipitous field-pastures which 
remind one not a little of the sunny green alps of Switzerland, or seem 
to want only the familiar vines to call up memories of some old Rhine 
town. Below you courses the broad and noisy Swale, with its long white 
belt of foam pouring over its rocky ledge like a miniature Schaffhausen. 
and reflecting here and there on its bosom the mossy crags and rich 
foliage on its banks. 

From whichever direction you approach the gmnd old town the view 
is pleasing and romantic, but more particularly so from the south and 
east or Easby road. From both these points of view you command the 
whole of the southern and eastern acclivities from the river-cataract, 
just mentioned, to the most dominant feature of the town, the sturdy 
old Norman castle, with its lofty, stalwart, and almost perfect stone keep, 
towering one hundred feet from its foundations, and upon whose storied 
walls the storms and rigours of eight long centuries seem to have had 
but little effect. How the heart must have leapt at the very sight of it, 
in the old feudal days, when from its guardian towers and battlements 
floated the inspiring banners of Scolland, Marmion and Fitz Hugh ! 
A short space from this rises the tall column of the Market Place, and a 
little to the right is the handsome, mediaeval tower of the Grey Friars, 
with its monkish memories of fallen splendour. Near it stood a 12th 
century Nunnery, now long vanished, of which we might say with 
Longfellow in the song of the poet Basselin : 

Once a convent, old and brown 

Looked, but ah ! it looks no more 
From the neighbouring hill -side down 
On the rushing and the roar 
Of the stream 
Whose sunny gleam 
Cheers the little Norman town. 

Lower down upon a humbler and more sheltered site stands the time-toned 
Parish Church, and opposite is the famous Grammar School with its 
church-like, Gothic windows. In the distance, piercing the blue ether, 
is reared the graceful spire of the new Roman Catholic Church, while 
away beyond spread the lofty moore of Hudswell and the green heights 
and purple wastes of upper Swaledale. The accompanying general view 


of the town is from a photograph kindly supplied by Lord Howard of 

The eminently picturesque physical aspects of the site of Richmond 
are mainly due to a fault or downthrow of the strata which runs through 
the town in a north-easterly and south- westerly direction, cutting off the 
Bed Beds from the Main Limestone, the latter being repeated in the 
river opposite the Friary. The Main Limestone may be seen forming 
walls of rock at the bend of the river about 200 yards below the railway- 
station bridge, while the Red Beds, covered with earth and gravel, are 
on the opposite side of the fault. The fault, as stated, runs south-east 

Richmond from the South. 

below the Parish Church ; the Castle standing high up on the Red Beds. 
These Red Beds Limestone, I may observe, are usually the most purely 
calcareous of all the Swaledale limestones, containing sometimes as much 
as 97 per cent, of carbonate of lime. They range above the so-called 
Yoredales of Professor Phillips, and are of greater thickness here than 
in the higher parts of the dale. The Main Limestone, which is the 
uppermost bed of Prof. Phillips' Yoredales, may be seen just north of 
the Richmond Race Course, and the beds having a general southerly dip, 
nearly all the limestones and sandstones of the series can be seen to out- 


crop one after another, forming a set of escarpments overlooking the 
Oilling valley. South of the Swale, on the line of this fault, are some 
old workings, said to have heen copper mines, and there are old copper 
and lead workings on the opposite side of the river near the town. 

A capital section of the Mountain Limestone of Swaledale is 
preserved in a case made up on a scale of three fathoms to an inch in the 
Natural History Museum at the Mechanics' Institute, Richmond, which 
no geologist or interested person should neglect to consult, as the actual 
series of rocks along with their position in situ and relative thickness 
are seen at a glance. In this museum is a large and varied collection of 
fossils and other curiosities, local as well as from distant parts of the 
world, including many examples of great rarity, which may be profitably 
inspected. In the staircase is a large and excellently-preserved tomb- 
slab of an ecclesiastic, bearing the device of a cross and chalice, which 
is believed to have come from Easby Abbey. For many years it served 
as a flagstone in a house at Richmond, but having fortunately been laid 
with the carved side downwards it suffered no injury. This peculiar 
circumstance reminds me of a story I heard many years ago at Richmond. 
A local baker it seems stole an old tombstone for the hearth of his oven. 
Once a week he was in the habit of making a large kind of oven-cake 
or flat-loaf, and one of his customers discovering a death's-head very 
clearly impressed on the bottom of the cake ran in terror to a church- 
warden friend and neighbour, fearing that the unwelcome device was 
sent as a warning of some evil or disaster that threatened himself or his 
family. As those were days of wide-spread ignorance and superstition 
the churchwarden was equally dismayed, especially when on examining 
his own loaf he found the impress of maiTow-bones. In their alaim the 
two men at once flew to the parson, who however could afford them no 
consolation, inasmuch as the ominous word "Resurgam" was legibly 
set forth in bold relief upon his own loaf I How the mystery was solved 
or what became of the portentous hearth-stone my informant did not 

But to turn to the story of Richmond. Of its earliest occupation 
and inhabitants we have but little positive evidence, though we may 
safely infer from the strength and position of the site afterwards occupied 
by the Normans that this particular spot was a centre of population and 
well defended at the time of the Roman conquest. In the peaceful era 
preceding the Roman invasion, so elevated and exposed a situation was 
doubtless not peopled, excepting perhaps as an occasional watch or look- 
out post. The natives of that period chose more obscure and sheltered 
sites, in caves where accessible, or in housesteads constructed of turf and 
stone, with spacious enclosures for their cattle, which at that time 
constituted the chief wealth of the people. A number of these primitive 


housesteads aud enclosures, which strange to say have been entirely over- 
looked by every topographer of the district, lie about a mile west of the 
town, and which I shall describe in an ensuing chapter. That Richmond 
was occupied as an outpost of the Roman camp at Catterick is not 
improbable, in spite of Whitaker's conjecture to the contrary. That 
historian bases his conclusion on the assumption of there being no 
diversion from the great road to the north from Cataractoniumy and that 
the site of Richmond would be of no service to the Roman conquerors. 
To the latter assertion I would answer that the lofty and unscalable crag 
on which the castle stands would be of value to any contending army 
holding it, while the northern and eastern sides, protected by a moat and 
rampart, would render the position pi*actically unassailable. Indeed, 
from the discovery of Roman pottery and of a bronze ring with seal 
bearing a Roman device, as well as a large hoard of Roman coins 
concealed in the crag, and centuries afterwards found at the foot of the 
hill and but a short distance from the cataract in the river, which is 
supposed to have originated the name of the camp near Catterick Bridge, 
I conclude that the Richmond rock was secured by these warlike invaders 
before or during the construction of the said camp. Moreover, that 
Swaledale was accessible by no branch from the trunk road through 
Catterick is an obvious inaccuracy, as we have positive knowledge of the 
Romans having worked the lead mines far west of Richmond, and a 
properly kept road would be necessary for the conveyance of the un forged 
metal to the mining station or dep6t at Richmond or Catterick for 
subsequent transportation. Indeed there is a reasonable probability that 
Richmond, from the natural strength and convenience of its position, 
was an outpost of the Roman garrison at the camp near Catterick, and 
whence assistance might be given and guides obtained for the escort of 
persons commissioned to the mines situated amidst the intricate solitudes 
of upper Swaledale, 

A very ancient thoroughfare passes the town on the north side and 
westward under the Beacon, whence it divides, one branch going north- 
wards over the High Moor to Ravensworth and the camp at Gayles, and 
another westward to Marske and Reeth. These ancient roadways 
continued in use until the pack-horse days, when the present highway 
was made up the valley, and it is most probable they were begun by the 
early British inhabitants and possessors of this district. A road of very 
primitive construction, which is described by Warburton, the Somerset 
Herald, in a letter dated at Bedale, in 1717, to Roger Gale, the eminent 
antiquary, passed by the noilh side of the Friary wall at Richmond to 
the top of Richmond Moor, where, he adds, " I lost it, but I believe it 
shoots north-west, and meets with that which goes north from Ethelburgh 
[Addlebrough] near Askrigg, to some where about Barnard Castle." 


The remains of this road were visible in the Whitcliffe Pasture till the 
enclosure of the Common Fields at the beginning of this century. 

Evidence of the old Celtic presence is also furnished in local folk- 
speech, and particularly in the Celtic numerals by which the flocks and 
herds, gathered in the surrounding pastures, were always counted. 
Moreover it is extremely probable that the place called Hindrelaghe in 
Domesday stood upon or near the site of Richmond, a circumstance 
which prescribes an even higher antiquity to the settlement than the 
name of Richmond, which I shall discuss hereafter. For I take it that 
this word, as written in the 11th century, will bear a truly Eastern 
interpretation, derivable from the Sanscrit hindur, water, and laga or 
laya, an abode, indicative of an Aryan-Celtic community formed here 
perhaps after the Roman secession, and affording an interesting instance 
of the survival of a Celtic town-name down to the Norman period. 
In support of this belief we have the local Beltane fires, which have been 
lighted from time immemorial at Richmond, and even within the 
recollection of persons still living these Midsummer fires, attended with 
feasting and dances, were celebrated annually in the Richmond Market 
Place. It is possible, however, they may have had their origin on the 
Breton immigration in the eleventh century. They are still kept up 
at Penzance and a few other places in Cornwall, as well as in Celtic 
Ireland and Britauy at the present time. The fires were originally 
sacred festivals of the primitive sun-worshippers, and were offerings to 
the god of light and warmth at the return of length of days and the 
life-restoring energy of the earth. Though in an altered form the 
custom is still retained in our churches by an annual thanksgiving to 
God Almighty for the bounty of the earth's harvest. 

On the Roman evacuation the country, we are told, was devastated 
by the Picts and the Scots and eventually fell a prey to the Anglian and 
Danish tyranny. Some have supposed the celebrated Scots' Dyke, which 
runs northwards to the east of Richmond, is an earthwork of this period, 
but I shall shew this to be otherwise. Following shortly upon the death 
of Tosto and the Norwegian king in 1066, came the Normans' "crimson 
conquest *' and the loss of England to the Saxons. Before the iS^orman 
accession Richmondshire, or that portion of the North Riding of 
Yorkshire now so called, formed part of the great northern fee of the 
Earls of Mercia. The great and powerful Earl Edwin, the last of the 
Mercian rulers died, it is commonly recorded, in open revolt against the 
Conqueror, but if we are to trust the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle he was 
treacherously slain by his own people in 1071. At any rate, before this, 
the Conqueror had seized his vast estates and gave them immediately 
and unreservedly to his kinsman, Alan Rufus, whom he also created 
Earl of Richmond. This Earl Alan has been confused by some of the 


earlier genealogists with another of the same name, Alan Fergeaunt, 
Duke of Britany, but the latter had no interest in Richmond. He had 
a brother Eudo, who had six sons, all of whom except Geoffrey, the 
eldest, appear either to have accompanied the Conqueror in his expedition 
to England, or being then too young, subsequently partook of his bounty 
or that of their elder brethren. Alan Rufus was probably the second 
son of the above Eudo, Count of Penthievre in Britany,* who dying 
without issue, was succeeded in the Earldom of Richmond by his brothers 
Alan Niger (the Black) and Stephen. The fifth of Count Eudo's sons 

Fr^>m an early I6th century drawing preserved among the Harleian JUSS, 

William I. granting Richmondshire to Earl Alan. 

was Brian, Earl of Cornwall, and the sixth and youngest Ribald, who by 
the bounty of his brethren became possessed of the great fee of Middleham 
and was primogenitor of the lords of that place. 

The brief grant by which the extensive and beautiful province of 
Richmondshire was obtained by the first Alan, is if genuine, curious and 
remarkable. It exhibits none of the clauses, conditions, or reservations 
which characterise legal documents of the kind at the present day, but 

• See VArt de Verifier les Dates, xiii., 245. 


shews with what freedom and simplicity — with almost one dip of the 
pen — vast ten-itorial properties were given and transmitted by family 
inheritance from generation to generation, acquiring with the progrees 
of time an enormous and ever-increasing value. The Conqueror's bequest 
translated is this : 

I, William, surDamed the Bastard, do give and grant to thee Alan, my nephew. 
Earl of Britany, and to thy heirs for ever, all the towns and lands which lately 
belonged to Earl Edwin in Yorkshire, with the Enight*s Fees, churches, and other 
priTileges and customs, in as free and honourable a manner as the same Edwin 
held them. Given at the siege before York [i^. A-D. 1069—70.] 

The authenticity of this document has been severely questioned, for 
inasmuch as it is not likely the Conqueror would describe the grantee as 
" my nephew " when it is proved that he was not ; neither was he his 
son-in-law, as some authorities affirm. Their common ancestor and 
great-grandfather, as set forth in their published pedigree, was one 
Conan Tortus, as then called ; consequently they wei*e second cousins. 
In the next place Dugdale is wrong in attributing the marriage of 
Constantia, the Conqueror's daughter, with this Earl Alan. She was, 
indubitably, the wife of a second Alan Fergeaunt, son of Hoel, Earl of 
Cornwall, as is proved on the authority of a chai*ter originally produced 
by Lobel and afterwards quoted by Gale.* 

But on whatever prescription the original grant may rest it is certain 

that Earl Alan Rufus was in possession of the great Earl Edwin's fee of 

Richmondshire soon after the Conquest. And he brought with him his 

brothers and cousins, and hosts of his countrymen, who gave to 

Richmondshire a strong Breton tincture which it has preserved to this 

day. Many of these Bretons brought their horses and dogs. An old 

rhyme says each of the men 

Came out of Britany 
With his wife Tiflfany, 
And his. maide Manfras, 
And his dog Hardigras ! 

and a lively and astonishing time it must have been to the native 
population on this Breton immigration of man and woman and dog ! 
The precise time when the shire itself was formed is not ascertainable, 
but Alfred the Great, we know, divided England into counties, 
hundreds, and tithings, though that may have reference only to the 
southern parts of the kingdom. In the north counties and shires do 
not appear as such until about the middle of the 11th century, and 
in the Conqueror's survey we find '* Richmundeseire " a definite area 
included among the divisions of the great kingdom of Northumbria.f 

• Addituw.Jiio. 1, page 269. 

t See Dr. Stubb's C^ruttitut tonal History of England, I., 108—118 ; Kemble*s 
Saxons in England, I., 72 — 87. 


Ft embraced the older Saxon wapentakes of Oilliug East, Gilling West, 
Hang East, Hang West, and Halikeld, all in the North Riding. But 
this grand territory, I may observe, was not a moiety of the wealth 
obtained by our Breton warrior from his triumphant master at the 
Conquest. Altogether he owned no fewer than 440 manors and 140 
Knights' Fees, besides enjoying many other bounties and privileges, 
which earned for him sometimes the title of Prince of the East Angles. 
His territorial possessions alone were probably not far short of 100,000 
acres, and they were amongut the fairest in England. It is, however, not 
quite clear why the Conqueror should bestow all this wealth on a single 
one of his followers, and we can only suimise that some arrangement 
was made between William Duke of Normandy and the martial Count 
of Britany, his cousin, or perhaps with Count Eudo, his father, that in 
the event of victory attending the .invasion of England, and for the aid 
rendered by the Count of Britany, whose well-drilled regiments are said 
to have numbered fully one-third of the Conqueror's army, these lands 
and honours were to be bestowed. During the building of the Castle, 
William the Conqueror, it is said, and with much probability, visited 
his great kinsman, and remained some time at Richmond. 

The Honour of Richmond then comprised 199 manors, situated in 
various parts of England, of which 108 were waste, shewing what fire, 
slaughter and famine had done in places where only a little time before 
all had been fruitful and prosperous. Of these 199 manors the Earl's 
dependants held 133, while the total number of carucates subject to the 
King's geld was 1153. The land was declared for 853 ploughs, and was 
assessed for £80. In addition the castle ward had 43 manors, of which 
four were then waste, leaving 161 carucates and five bovates of land to 
be taxed, for 170 ploughs and a half. Of these the Earl's vassals, who 
were mostly Bretons, held 10 manors, which were assessed for 
£110 lis. 8d. In a few cases the old nobles were allowed to retain 
their estates, but subservient to the new lord. Thus did Gospatrick, 
the son of Arkil. 

With regard to these particular assessments which became the 
universal fiscal law, I may point out how different was the position of 
the Norman chiefs and their feudatories to that of their predecessors 
the Anglo-Saxon landowners. The latter were absolute proprietors of 
their own particular family properties or communities; these were 
formed into tithings and hundreds, and were governed by their own 
self-regulated laws and methods, as local circumstances required, and 
they owed subjection only to the King or chief who had been chosen by 
them as their lord or ruler. The law of primogeniture did not exist ; 
on the death of a monarch it was the prerogative of the Witan to 
choose the man who seemed most worthy to be his successor. It was 


therefore under the Saxon shire-gemot that the above lands of !EarI 
Edwin were subject to various taxes and custom-dues, which were either 
modified or abolished by the necessities of the feudal system. When 
the Domesday Book was completed, counties were divided into manorB 
and manors into farms, and these lands of Richmondshire being 
constituted an Honour or Liberty, were held immediately of the King 
in capite, that is by military service and free of all other incumbrance or 
taxation. For a long period, however, after the Conquest the internal 
government of the English boroughs was left to their ancient customs^ 
and the modifications of these customs which each community voluntarily 
made ; all the earliest charters of the Norman Kings and great lords 
merely giving or conferring as "privileges," which they had now in 
great measure really become, the very common law-right of which these 
free communities had long been in the enjoyment.* The change was 
therefore not near so revolutionary and destructive as many imagine 
it to have been, for not only did the surviving tenantry remain on the 
land and retain many of their ancient privileges, but the Conqueror, 
who had done no more than deprive those nobles who had taken up 
arms against him of their great fiefs, really took nothing from the under- 
tenants holding of these fiefs. Even so late as the reign of Edward 
IV. the tenantry claimed to hold their estates by a tenure, which can 
only be regarded as the direct resultant of the old free communities. 
So averse were they to the evils of feudal slavery and arbitrary taxation 
it was enacted that the will of the lord could only be exercised with 
certain reservations according to the ancient custom of the manor. And 
this is a bearing of wide significance, for it leads us back along the 
archaic path of manorial history to the two important diverging points 
of lords' rights on the one hand and tenants' rights on the other. 

As with the civil, so with the ecclesiastical jurisdiction of our 
division, we must go back to those obscure days of Christianity when 
all lived together *' joint in food, worship, and estate," for evidence of 
that local religious authority and dominion which has come down to us 
through many changes to the present day. As at present constituted 
the Archdeaconry of Richmond can be traced by actual historic 
sequence back almost to the Conquest, when in the year 1090 Conan 
de Ask, the first recorded Archdeacon of Richmond, was living. Before 
that time, as we gather from the Visigothic and Anglo-Saxon codes, the 
Archdeacon was a judge having jurisdiction within a tithing, for every 
hundred consisted of ten districts, called tithings, and in eveiy tithing 
was a constable or civil dean. This no doubt was evolved from the 
original inception of the office of deacon, which on the rise of monachism 

• See Statistics of Mvnicipal Institutions in the Statistical Society's Journal, 
vol. 98. 


seems to have been applied to a monk placed in charge of ten others^ 

for whose discipline or execution of appointed tasks he was held 

responsible.* Before the foundation of the See of Carlisle in 1183, the 

Archdeaconry of Bichmond extended even so far west as to embrace the 

Bnral Deaneries of Alerdale and Cumberland, Fumess, Coupland, Kendal, 

LoDsdale, and Amunderness (which at the tiniie of the Conqueror'a 

survey included the Deiran portions of modem Westmorland and 

Canaberland, Lancashire north of the Ribble, and the wapentake of 

Ewecross, then all in Yorkshire), besides Kichmond, Catterick, and 

Boroughbridge (the last-named being now included in the lately-formed 

Archdeaconry of Ripon). To the same dignity were appropriated the 

churches of Easingwold, Clapham, Bolton -on -Sands, Arlekden in 

Cumberland, and Thornton Steward. The whole of these, together 

with other revenues of the Archdeaconry, were included in the 

Archdeaconry of Bichmond and See of York down to 1537, when 

Henry VIII. founded the See of Chester, to which they were transferred. 

By the restoration of the See of Bipon in 1886, the Archdeaconry of 

Bichmond, now embracing six Deaneries — a considerable reduction in 

point of acreage though not in population — has since been included in 

the Diocese of Bipon. 

As specific of the various properties held of the Earldom and 

Honour of Bichmond it may be mentioned that these included the 

Castle and Lordship of Bichmond, with the manors of Gilling, Aldeburgh, 

Bowes, Forcett, Danby, Multon, Catterick, Arkengarthdale, and New 

Forest ; two cow-runs called Esthorpe and Westhorpe, and the bailiwicka 

of Gilling East and Gilling West, Hang East, Hang West, and Halikeld ; 

the advowson of the Church of Danby-on-Wiske and the advowson of 

the Hospital of St. Nicholas, near Bichmond, together with 58^ Knights*^ 

Fees comprehending various bailiwicks. According to a return made 

10th Edward I. (1281) the several possessions of the Earldom were 

valued as follows : 

The Borough of Richmond, with all appurtenances 

Gilling do. 

Forsett do. 

Molton do. 

Bowes and Bolron do. 

Arkilgarth with the Forest do. 

Aldeburgh do. 

Lead Mines with the produce of the Garden and perquisitep 

of the Great Court 

Baynbrigge, with the Vaccary in the Forest 


Ward of the Castle of Bichmond 

Total yearly value 

• Vide St. Augustine, Dtf Mor, Ecel. Cath., I., 31. 
t See General Harrison's History of GiUing Wett, 





































The earliest owner of Richmondshire of whom we have any record 
was Leofric, first Earl of Mercia, who lived in the time of King 
Ethelbald. His descendant, Leofric, fifth Barl of Mercia, had for his 
wife the celebrated Lady Godiva, daughter of Thorald, Earl of Lincoln, 
both of whom, we may not unreasonably assume, had by occasional 
visits a personal knowledge of their Yorkshire possessions. They lived 
however in Warwickshire, where the Earl died in 1057 and was buried 
in the Priory at Coventry, of which he was the founder. The family 
was long resident in Warwickshire, and the ancient castle of Warwick, 
occupying a similar position to that of Richmond, on the north bank of 
the river, was their favourite seat, as it became subsequently of the 
great Earls of Warwick, whose connection with Richmondshire I have 
elsewhere pointed out. The castle at Warwick is traditionally held to 
have been built by Ethelfreda, daughter of Alfred the Great, and wife 
of Ethelred, third Earl of Mercia. She or her husband is believed to 
have founded the monastery wrongly supposed to have been at Gilling, 
near Richmond, which was afterwards destroyed by the Danes. Able 
and generous themselves, their descendants, the powerful Earls of 
Mercia, were among the foremost benefactors of their time, and 
promoted many noble and charitable works. They founded, as I have 
just stated, the Priory at Coventry, from which establishment that city, 
then called Conventre, is said to have taken its name. 

There are some rather curious and noteworthy points of resemblance 
between this old Warwickshire city and our Yorkshire Richmond, 
oonjointly the property of these Earls of Mercia. The remarkable old 
Church of the Holy Trinity at Richmond may be said to be represented 
by the equally ancient Church of the Trinity at Coventry. In the latter 
is a window containing a painting of the above-mentioned Earl Leof ric 
and his wife the Lady Godiva, beneath which is the legend : 

I, Luriche, for love of thee 
Doe make Coventre tol-free, 

in allusion to Lady Godiva's traditional nude ride through the city in 
order to obtain from her lord certain remissions and favours on behalf 
of the oppressed citizens, a story which most historians agree is a base 
fabrication that arose out of a garbled tradition in the pageant-loviug 
days of the " Merry Monarch." The old King^s Head at Coventry, 
adjoining which is the eifigy of ** Peeping Tom " (another little 
invention to spice the festival of Lady Godiva), has its counterpart in 
the old King's Head^ the principal inn, at Richmond. Then there is 
the lofty and handsome old tower of the Grey Friars, as at Richmond, 
one of the most conspicuous ornaments of the town, which at Coventry 
occupied a proud and all-seeing position till the modern church was 


built. Then again Goventrj, like RichmoDd, was surrounded with a 
strong wall, both of like age and design — early fourteenth century, and 
at each place there are only some odd portions of the wall now standing,, 
with two of the bars or postern-gates. 

These singular resemblances must of course be regarded as purely 
accidental, as the Earls of Mercia, lords of Warwick and Richmondshire,. 
flourished long before these erections came into existence. Indeed Lady 
Godiva appears as one of the greatest landowners in Domesday, 

How or when the name of Richmond was first introduced has 
afforded much scope for speculation. It is perfectly certain that the 
division which after the Norman Conquest became the Liberty or 
Shire of Richmond existed as a political dominion severed from and 
independent of Celtic authority long before the stubborn troops of the 
Conqueror set foot upon the soil. We have seen that the Saxon Earl 
Edwin belonged this " little kingdom " or shire of Richmond, cut oflT 
from the encompassing territory, as the Anglo-Saxon word sciran^ to 
shear or separate, implies. This, therefore, I suspect was the reich or 
kingdom of its pre-Norman possessors {vid$ Goth, rekh, A.S. ricey 
Scand. reich\ just as France was the Frank-reich, or kingdom of the 
Franks, or Austria, called Oester-reich, the eastern kingdom, Surrey, 
anciently Siid-rice, the southern kingdom, &c. So Richmond was the 
rice-munt ah reich-mont of the Anglo-Saxon or Danish rule or 
government — a name which, singularly, has preserved its original 
lingual sound in the place called Rikemundike, near Barforth or **' Old 
Richmond," on Tees.* Not as Whitaker opines from the exceeding 
richness or fertility of the dominion, for at that period the great bulk 
of the land must have been wild moor and waste ; nor yet as Gale and 
Clarkson suppose from a castle of the name of Richmont in Britany, 
of the existence of which history and tradition are silent. Nor yet 
again can we possibly identify it with Rougemont, the red-hill, as at 
Exeter, with its castle stored like that at Middleham with memories of 
the chivalrous Richard TIL, whom Shakespeare makes exclaim : 

Richmond ! When last I was at Exeter, 

The Mayor in coartesy show'd me the castle, 

And call'd it Rougemont : at which name I started, 

Because a bard of Ireland told me once 

I should not live long after I saw Richmond. 

Premonitory of the ill-starred monarch's untimely fate on the blood- 
stained field of Bosworth. 

* The Surrey Richmond, originally a hamlet of Kingston, took its name from 
Henry VII.'s former title of Earl of Richmond, in Yorkshire, which he inherited 
from Edmund Tudor, to whom it had been given by his half-brother Henry VI. 


For several centuries after the Conquest the Honour of Richmond 
-was held by the Dukes of Britany, who bore also the title of Earls of 
Richmond. Following the first three lords of the Honour already 
mentioned came Alan III., who succeeded to the title on the death of 
his father, Stephen, in 1142. He like his predecessors generally styled 
himself Earl of Britany and England (i.e. Gomes BritannuB et AngUoi)^ 
and it was left to his son Conan to adopt the specific title of Earl of 
Richmond, by which title the subsequent lords were known. He was 
created Earl of Cornwall by King Stephen, but forfeited it by his 
reversal at the battle of Lincoln. By his wife. Bertha, who was co-heir 
of her father, Conan III., Duke of Britany, he had issue two sons, 
Conan, the eldest, his successor, and Brian, founder of the noble house of 
Fitz Alan, lords of Bedale. Conan lY., in spite of his time-serving 
humility to the English King Henry II., was one of the wealthiest and 
most powerful men of his time. He added to the strength and grandeur 
•of the castle at Richmond by erecting the great tower or keep, which 
was finished about the year 1160. He was a great benefactor to the 
monks of Jervaux, whose establishment he caused to be transferred from 
Fors to the more favourable site at East Witton. He gave the monks 
•extensive pasture lands in Wensleydale, likewise pasturage throughout 
his New Forest, near Richmond, for all their cattle, and he allowed 
them to keep mastiff dogs for chasing wolves and wild beasts out of 
these domains, a very great privilege in those days, when every hound 
or mastiff was obliged to have three claws cut off each forefoot to 
prevent it from hunting the King^s deer. He also gave the tithes of 
his mills at Richmond to the Priory of St. Martinis near Richmond. 

Earl Conan died in 1170 and was buried in the Cistercian Priory at 
Beyard in Britany, founded by Earl Stephen, his grandfather, and 
where he and his son Alan (father of Conan) were also interred ; the 
former in the ides of April 1187 (not 1144 as Clarkson states), and the 
latter in 1146. Earl Conan left by his wife Margaret, sister to William 
the Lion, King of Scotland, an only daughter, Constance, who became 
the wife of Geoffrey Plantagenet, son of Henry II., King of England, 
who thus acquired, in the right of his wife, the Dukedom of Britany 
and the Earldom of Richmond. Frequently after this period it happened 
that the Earldom of Richmond became a fief of the Kings of France, 
owing to the circumstance that the Dukes of Britany were subjects of 
the sovereigns of that country, and by virtue of their titles as Earls of 
Richmond were also subjects of the Kings of England. Thus when the 
two nations were at war with each other the Earldom of Richmond 
passed for the time being to the conquering party, though what would 
be the precise effect of these transfers, beyond the loss of honour and 
an appropriation of Crown dues, on the internal management of the 


province of Richmond, it would be difficult to determiue. Concerning 
no donbt chiefly the leadei-s of the two governments, little, we 
imagine, wonld the peasantry of that age trouble themselves on the 
score of political largess ; their lives would be the same, their daily 
avocations unaltered, and little would it matter to them whether the 
fruits of their toil were dropped into the cofFera of France or of 
England. This strife continued till the close of the fourteenth century, 
although it was not till the reign of Henry VII. that the Duchy of 
Britany finally passed to the French Crown, and in 1582 was formally 
united to France. 

It is needless to describe the many ware and various civil and military 
events appertaining to the Earldom of Richmond subsequently, these 
being largely a recapitulation of English history, and have been already 
sufficiently dwelt upon by previous historians of the province. Nothing 
paiticular is recorded of Richmond in the era following that which I 
have described, save the visit of King John to the town and castle for 
two days in February 1206, and again in 1209 and 1212. Edward II. 
ordered the town to be enclosed with a stone wall and fortified, as a 
protection against the irruption of the Scots. In the next reign the 
King, Edward III., advanced his son John of Gaunt to the dignity of 
Earl of Richmond, and gave him all the castles, manors, lands, <&c., 
belonging to the Honour of Richmond, making it thereby an annexe of 
the Dachy of Lancaster. John of Gaunt died in 1399, and shortly 
after the castle and Honour of Richmond reverted to the Crown. It 
was then granted by Henry IV. to Ralph Neville, first Earl of 
Westmorland, for the term of his natural life, and the same monarch 
did also grant to his third son, John, Duke of Bedford, in tail male, the 
said Honour, Castle, &c., together with the title of Earl of Richmond, 
but subject to the life intei*est of the said Ralph, Earl of Westmorland. 
The latter died 4th Henry VI. (1425), when the Duke succeeded, 
and on his death without issue, in 1485, the Honour of Richmond, with 
all its members and appurtenances, was inherited by his nephew and 
next heir, the young King Henry VI. 

The remainder of the story may be briefly told. Henry VII., who 
had usurped the title of Earl of Richmond, gave the Honour and 
profits of the estate to his mother for her life. She was the celebrated 
Mai^aret Beaufort, the friend of Caxton and patron of the new art of 
printing.* From her proprietorahip the county of Richmond then 
continued in royal hands till the year 1618, when Ludovic Stuart, Duke 

* Among the earliest specimens of printing extant is *' Waltere Hylton's Scala 
PerfectionU, Englished and printed in William Caxton's house by Wynken de 
Worde, anno Salutis 1484, by desire of Margaret, Countess of Richmond and 


of Lennox, in the peerage of Scotland, was created Baron Settrington 
and Earl of Richmond (being the last of a long line of illustrious men 
who bore that title), and in 1623 Earl of Newcastle and Duke of 
Richmond. He died the following year, when all his honours expired 
except the Scottish Dukedom, which passed to his brother, Esm^ Stuart. 
James Stuart, second Baron Clifton and Earl of March, and fourth 
Duke of Lennox, son of Esm6 Stuart, third Duke and Lord d'Aubigny 
(France) and nephew of Ludovic Stuart, Duke of Richmond, of the 
creation of 1618, succeeded his father in 1624 in the Barony of Clifton, 
Bromswold, the Earldom of March, and the Dukedom of Lennox, and 
was created Duke of Richmond in 1641. In 1672 the Dukedom of 
Richmond again became extinct. 

Charles Lennox, a natural son of Charles II. by Louise de Queronaille, 
Duchess of Portsmouth in England, and Duchess d^Aubigny in France, 
was born in 1672, and in 1675 was created Duke of Richmond and at 
the same time Earl of March and Baron Settrington of Settrington in 
the county of York, all in the peerage of England ; also in the peerage 
of Scotland Duke of Lennox, Earl of Darnley and Baron Methuen. 
The Lennoxes also hold the French Dukedom of Aubigny, registered in 
the Parliament of Paris in 1777, inherited by Charles, second Duke of 
Richmond, from his grandmother. Charles Gordon Lennox succeeded 
as fifth Duke in 1819. He was at the battle of Waterloo and was 
aide-de-camp to the Duke of Wellington at the latter end of the war. 
The name of Gordon, it may be added, was assumed in addition to and 
before Lennox by his Grace in 1836. He was succeeded by his son 
Charles Henry Gordon-Lennox as sixth Duke of Richmond, &c., in 
1860, who was further created Duke of Gordon and Earl of Kinrara in 
the peerage of the United Kingdom in 1876. He is the present owner 
of the castle of Richmond and of the ground upon which it stands, 
while the Corporation of Richmond holds the manorial rights of the 
borough besides other ancient privileges. Thus while the burgesses of 
Richmond by virtue of their own industry and legitimate grants are in 
complete possession of these valuable titles, the dominion of the present 
lords is restricted to within the castle walls, a striking example of the 
futility of the argument that the history of feudal landlordism has been 
one of oppressive growth and encroachment upon the rights of the 
people. At Richmond we see it has been just the reverse. 

Having now surveyed the origin, extent and history of the county of 
Richmond, let us turn our attention to the town, with its ancient streets 
and buildings and various other features of interest. 



The Town of Richmond. 

Bichmond in the sixteenth century— Route for seeing the town — ^View from the 
Castle Walk— The Castle- Aspects in the time of Henry VII. — Legend of the 
great Keep— Present uses of the Castle— The Parish Church — ^The Hinderlages 
of Dotnesdajf — The celebrated baptism in the Swale by Paulinus — The registers 
of the church — A martyr burnt in Newbiggin — Local plague — Marriage 
customs during the Protectorate — Holy Trinity Church— Singular trans- 
formation — ^Ancient chapels — Hospital of St. Nicholas — Monastery of the 
Grey Friars— The Grammar School — Local trades — Market-tolls in the time 
of Edward II. — ^Trade-tokens — ^Appearance of the Market Place a century ago 
—The pillory and whipping-post. 

HAVE spoken of the romantic beanty of the situation of 
Richmond, and there must be few if any towns in England 
of the same size that can boast of so many and various 
buildings of historic interest. In addition to the castle 
and its belongings there are two very ancient churches, several 
monasteries, chapels, chantries, crosses, guilds, colleges, schools, and 
hospitals, besides other secular and religious institutions, now or in past 
times existing, lying within or about the town. These I shall describe 
in some detail with such facts and incidents as belong to their 
foundations and career. The town anciently appears to have been 
enclosed with a strong wall and entered by three bars, viz^, in French- 
gate, Finkle Street, and Bargate or Briggate. The two former were 
removed more than a century ago in order to widen the streets for the 
passage of waggons, &c., these avenues of public trafSc having been 
constructed for horse and foot passengers only, long before the present 
type of wheeled vehicles came into use. There was in addition a coeval 
postern-gate in the narrow lane called Friar's Wynd, which gave 
convenient access in passing between the Market Place and the church 
of the Grey Friars. A portion of the town wall is still in evidence here, 
yet there are writers who have doubted the existence of this wall, and 
who have affirmed that no protective enclosure besides the three gates 
mentioned was ever erected. But, I ask, of what value would the gates 
have been without the connecting wall ? The grant of murage obtained 
in the 6th year of Edward II. (1312) affords of course no evidence of 



the wall having been then built, but that it was constructed appears 
certain, for among Dodsworth's MSS. in the Bodleian Library is an 
inquisition of the time of Edward III. wherein distinct mention is made 
of the ruinous condition of this wall. . Moreover that painstaking and 
usually exact antiquary, John Leland, who visited Richmond about the 
year 1538, tells us that the town was walled, and from his remarks we 
infer that the wall encompassed little more than the area of the Market 
Place, which agrees with the position of the several gates in it. The 
old antiquary's description of the town about the time of the fall of the 
monasteries is so interesting that I give it in full : 

" Richemonte towne is wauUed and the Castel on the river side of Swale is as 
the knot of the cumpace of the waul ; in the waul be three gates, French Gate on 
the northe parte of the towne, and is the most occupied gate of the towne ; Finkel 
Streate Gate ; Bar Gate ; al three be downe. Vestigia yet renuiyne. In the 
Market Place is a large Chapel of the Trinites. The cumpace of the ruinus waallis 
is not half a mile abowt ; so that the towne waul cumpasith little but the Market 
Place, the howses abowt hit, and gardens behind them. There is a suburbe 
without French Gate, Finkel Streate suburbe strayt west from the Market Place, 
and Bar Gate suburbe. But French Gate suburbe is almost as bigge as bothe the 
other suburbes. In French Gate suburbe is the Paroche Chirche of al the hole 
towne. A little beyonde the end of French Gate Streate is or was a late Chapel 
of a woman anchorette. Bar Gate suburbe commith downe to the bridge end of 
Swale, the which bridge is sumtime chaynid. At this side the bridge is no 
buildinge. In this suburbe is a Chapel of St James. At the bakke of the French 
Gate is the Grey Freres, a little without the wauUis. Their howse, medow, 
orchard, and a little wood, is waullid yn. Men go from the Market house to hit 
by a Postern gate. There is a conducte of water at the Grey Freres, els there is 
none in Richemont. Not far from the Freres waul is a Chapel of St. Anthony. 
Al the towne and suburbes be on the farther side of Swale. The Castel is nere 
hand as much yn cumpace as the circuite of the towne wall. But now it is in 
mere ruine. The Celle of St. Martin is on the hither side of Swale, little more 
than 1000 fotte from the French Gate suburbe. There is a Chapel yn Richemont 
with straung figures in the waulles of it. The people there dreme that it was ons 
a Temple of Idols." 

The reference to strange figures in the concluding portion of the 
description led Clarkson to suppose that these must have been the basfio- 
relievos at Trinity Chapel, which caused Leland to remark that the people 
thought them to have belonged once to a temple of idols. It is however 
hardly credible that so observant an antiquary as Leland would have 
made, after his protracted topographical survey of England, particular 
allusion to these figures if they had been nothing more than the relief- 
carving so frequently to be met with on the doors, &c., of mediaeval 
churches. As I have elsewhere explained, there is every probability 
that the site of Trinity Chapel was occupied by an earlier Christian 
temple afterwards destroyed by the Danes, and there is good reason for 
supposing the " strange figures " alluded to by Leland were relics from 
this heathen temple which are now lost. 


Before I enter upon a particular description of the historic buildings 
at Bichmond, I may for the benefit of strangers point out the readiest 
way in which a survey of the town may be made. The route described 
may be covered in a couple of hours, more or less, with such additions 
for closer observation as the time at the disposal of the visitor will 
allow. Leaving the railway station at Richmond and crossing the bridge 
jou pass the Parish Church on the right, and the Grammar School 
on the left. Keeping forward the street called Frenchgate, hereafter 
mentioned in early charters, is passed, with the Mechanics' Institute 
and Natural History Museum. Now you ascend into the Market Place, 
where is the Town Hall, Market House, <&c., surrounded with many 

The Castle Walk, Richmond. 

good shops, inns, and dwelling-houses. Opposite the Old Bank stood 
the May-pole of merry memory. In the centre of the Market Place is 
the very ancient Trinity Chapel, with houses and shops built into its 
walls — a most singular arrangement of uniting a religious edifice with 
offices of trade. Opposite is the King^s Head inn, and just above is the 
alley called Friar's Wynd, which you enter and pass through the 14th 
century postern-bar. There are some remains of the old town wall here 
(above-mentioned), being about six feet thick and built of rough undressed 
material, but the arch and jambs of the gate are of large hewn stones. 
On the right stood an old Meeting House of the Society of Friends, 
which in recent years was converted into a warehouse. It was burnt 


down three years ago and the present boilding erected on the site. 
Now cross the road and enter (by permission) the beaatifnily laid-out 
grounds of the School House, in which stand the ruins of the church of 
the Grey Friars. Next turn on Rosemary Lane, past Finkle Street 
(Dan. tnncl, an angle or corner, a short winding street) into Newbiggin. 
Here John Wesley preached to a great multitude from the steps of the 
house now occupied by Mr. Joseph Baine, and here the Protestant 
martyr Snell suffered death by burning on account of his religion (see 
hereafter). Opposite is the Freemasons* Hall and the beautiful Roman 
Catholic Church, and at the top is the entrance to the attractive Temple 
Grounds, where is the Cumberland Temple or Culloden Tower, built to 
commemorate the defeat of the Scots under the ** Young Pretender " in 
1745. It stands on the site of an ancient fortified mansion called 
Hudswell Peel. The grounds with their beautiful walks and curious 
caves, &c., are the property of Major John Smurthwaite, and are 
accessible only by permission. Now go down Bargate, at the top of 
which is the Working Men*s Hall, built by the Earl of Zetland in 1875. 
Near the bottom of this very steep thoroughfare you may turn up 
Cornforth Hill and pass under the ancient gate or bar, erected in the 
time of Edward II. Built on the slope it looks threateningly out of 
the perpendicular, but it is well buttressed with mortared stone on the 
west or low side. Now you are on the Castle Walk and have a level j 
view of the country riverwards, which George IV. when he was Prince 
of Wales stoutly declared was the noblest prospect he ever beheld. The 
Culloden Temple stands out picturesquely away on the right, and 
opposite are the Billy Bank Woods running westwards towards the 
Round Howe. Eastward down the river is Clink Bank under which in 
a paddock was fixed the old Ducking Stool ** for curing scolds." Turn 
up Millgate, behind which is the Corporation School, erected in 1851 by 
the then Mayor, Leonard Cooke, Esq., but originally founded by the 
Corporation in 1812. Now passing the Post OflBce yon are back again 
in the Market Place, having completed the survey of the interesting old 

To advert now to details of these historic buildings, the first object 
that demands attention is the Castle. It is mentioned in the 
Domesday survey of a.d. 1086, and was doubtless in the preceding era 
a non-military residence never intended for defence, and probably 
maintained as a hunting-seat of the Earls of Mercia, who would obtain 
sport to their hearts' content in the wild and extensive forests of 
Swaledale. On the subjection of the country by the Normans, Earl 
Alan Rnfus, already mentioned, began the erection of this huge castle 
of stone, to which the great keep was added about a century later. 
The Saxons had made Gilling, three miles to the north of Richmond, 


their stronghold and capital, but there were no natural advantages of 
situation there such as appealed to the warlike Normans, and so the 
rock-girt height on the north bank of the Swale was chosen by the new 
conquerors, and every vestige of previous occupation was levelled and 
removed. Norman and Breton masons were chiefly employed in the 
work of constructing the castle, which was completed about the year 1 100. 
In external outline the walls of the castle are an irregular triangle 
with a projection at the northern angle formed by the Keep and 
barbican, the whole space covered being about five acres (see annexed 

ei ttf_ 


A, K«tp. 

B. Bat*ttmm, 

e Stdtarndt HmU. 
O.Grral CMapd. 

Plan op Richmond Castle. 

plan). The southern face, which rises above the cliffs of the Swale, 
and was in consequence the main protective work of the castle, extends 
about 160 yards, while the eastern and western fronts, naturally less 
strong, are about 130 yards in length. A broad and deep moat 
extended along the northern and eastern sides, but was long ago filled 
up. From its position on an acclivity it can never have held water. In 
the early part of last century while digging in this moat opposite the 
barbican the old draw-bridge was found. It was afterwards re-buried 
and a house built on the site. At the weakest point of the castle which 


lay towards the town was built the great tower or Keep. It resembles 
other Norman keeps, says Mr. G. T. Clarke, F.S.A., the well-known 
military architect, in its rectangular plan, its pilaster buttresses, its^ 
well, its angle turrets, and its entrance on the first-floor level. It is- 
peculiar in its enormous archway in the basement, in the absence of any 
original spiral staircase or fireplace, or visible garderobe. '^The main 
ward of the castle,'' observes Mr. Clarke, ** seems always to have been, 
clear and open in itfl centre. The buildings were placed against the 
curtain, probably along all three fronts, and certainly along those to the 
east and south-east. The curtain abuts upon the Keep and its ramparts^ 
are on the level of the first floor. Proceeding westward from the Keep, 
the curtain, though mutilated, is tolerably perfect for about 25 yards» 
Then, along the west front follows a breach of 40 yards, and thence the 
wall is tolerably perfect to the south-west angle, and has a thickness of 
above ten feet in the part nearest to the Keep. Though much altered 
and repaired there are traces of flat pilasters outside, and inside are two- 
rather peculiar features, one a large opening, the arch of which is nearly 
a half-circle, and which may possibly have been connected with the- 
principal or garrison chapel of the Castle, which there is reason ta 
believe stood near this point. 

Whether Earl Alan began the Keep is uncertain. Mr. Milward in^ 
an excellent account of it in the ArchcMlogical Journal^ volume 52^ 
supposes its date to be about 1170, and it is usually attributed to Earl 
Conan, who died in that year. This may very possibly be the correct 
view, but the lower part of the Keep appears earlier, possibly the work 
of Earl Alan Fergaunt.* The Keep is small [about 54 feet by 46 feet,, 
and 108 feet highf] compared with the importance of the Honour and 
fortress, the walls are very thick,^ the ornaments few and simple, and so 
far as can be seen, there is no trace of fireplace, sewer-vent, or portcullis. 
The straight staircases are somewhat similar to those seen at Chepstow, 
Ludlow, Carlisle, Bamburgh, and Prudhoe, — Keeps of various dates^ 
though all Norman. By whom the Keep was raised a story is also- 
unknown. The work is of the Norman period, but scarcely by the 
original builder of the Keep, being of inferior quality. If Earl Alan 
built the Keep, Earl Conan probably raised it, but if Conan was the^ 

* Dugdale in his visitation of Richmond in 1665 asserts the tower to be of the 
time of Henry I., as the doors and windows are like the body of the west part of 
St. Paurs Church in London, which are of that date. 

f Formerly 99 feet as Clarkson gives it, but some years after he wrote about 
nine feet of rubbish was removed from the base of the tower, which was theA 
accurately measured 108 feet 7 inches. 

X The stone of the external walls of the Keep evidently came from Coalsgartb 
qtiarry in Whitcliffe pasture, as there is no other stone in the neighbourhood like it 


builder, the addifcion mast be dne to Geoffrey, or the Earl of Chester, 
his next saccessors. 

The Boath-west angle is capped by a rectangular turret of moderate 
size, and of Norman origin, with later additions. It stands upon the 
cliffy which here commences* From hence, along about three-quarters 
of the south front, the curtain appears to have rested upon a revetment 
wall, filling up the natural irregularities of the rock, and crowned 

Kbep op Richmond Castle early this Century. 

probably by a low parapet, a high wall here being scarcely necessary. 
Part of this wall has fallen down the cliff. This seems to have been 
apprehended, for other parts of the wall have buttresses which savour of 
the Decorated period. 

The principal domestic buildings, hall, kitchen, and chapel, stood 
near the south-east comer of the ward, and were built against either 


wall. They extended about forty-five yards along this soathem front, 
the curtain being raised to support them. Of these buildings the most 
perfect is the great hall, *' ScoUands Hall *' [so-called from Scolland, 
Lord of Bedale, a great feudatory of the Earl of Richmond, whose 
entertaining room was here]. This is an oblong of about two squares, 
the curtain forming its south side. The basement, probably a store, has 
a door near the middle of the north side, and is furnished with a line of 
loops along the south side, six from the main store room, and two from a 
compartment walled off at its end. The upper floor, being the ball, 
was entered by a large round-headed doorway, with flanking Norman 
columns, in the north side, near the west end. This was approached by 
an exterior stair. The hall, 26 feet by 79 feet, was lighted by two ranges 
of coupled round-headed windows, five in the outer or south wall, and 
four in the north wall, of which the easternmost has been partially 
enlarged and replaced by a round-headed recess and window, probably of 
Decorated date. In the west end are three windows, the central long 
and narrow, the lateral ones shorter and lower down, the whole forming 
a triplet. The piers between them have been replaced in modem times. 
In the north-west corner is a well staircase ascending from the hall-floor 
level to the roof. There is no fireplace. 

The floor was of timber, and the roof probably flat. Along the top 
of the south wall is a Norman corbel table, composed of small round- 
headed arches springing from either heads or corbels of a Roman pattern. 
On the north side this table is gone. At the floor level of the hall, but 
outside the south wall or curtain, about 30 feet above the ground, is a 
range of square holes, probably for the support of a timber balcony or 
hritasche^ for the defence of this important quarter. The hall is 
certainly of Norman date, but its triple west-end windows have decidedly 
an Early English character. There are traces of buildings west of the 
hall, and the curtain there, between its Norman pilasters, seems to have 
been rebuilt." 

In addition to the offices and apartments already enumerated were 
others, including the building known from time immemorial as " Robin 
Hood*s Tower." The basement room of this tower was a small chapel 
or oratory, dedicated to St. Nicholas. This chapel was a cell to 
St. Martin's, on the farther bank of Swale, and was given to the Abbot 
and Convent of St. Mary's, York, by Stephen, Earl of Richmond, soon 
after its foundation in the eleventh or early in the twelfth century. A 
more spacious chapel was afterwards erected on the west side of the 
castle, of which parts of the jambs of a large west window remain. By 
a convention made in the year 1275 (?) between John, Earl of Richmond, 
and the Abbot and Convent of Eggleston, six of their community were 
to have residence and celebrate divine service within the castle of 


Richmond in perpetuity. In time of war they were however to perform 
their servioes at Eggleston, unless by special appointment of the lord 
of the honour of Richmond or his bailiff. This charter was further 
ratified by John, Earl of Richmond, in the time of Edward III. 

The castle, as before stated, has never withstood any siege, but it 
was probably dismantled in the time of King Stephen. In 1171 William, 
King of Scotland, was confined a prisoner within it and only liberated 
by the payment of a ransom of £100,000. Also David Bruce, King of 
Scotland, was conveyed here after the battle of Neville^s Cross in 1846, 
and taken hence to Odiham Castle in Hampshire, where he lay eleven years 
and then only obtained his freedom by payment of 100,000 marks. The 
ill-starred monarch Charles I., was also brought here in February, 1646, 
when a prisoner on his way to Holmby House. 

Many interesting particulars relating to the castle and its various 
parts are furnished in a schedule prepared at the instance of Lords Scrope 
and Conyers, commissioners appointed to view the same in the time of 
Henry YII. From this schedule it appears ruin had gone apace by 
process of natural decay and that the castle walls had become thickly 
overgrown with ivy, ** whiche must be cutt downe and the walle newe ;'* 
the builders of that day properly believing that vegetable growth of 
that kind, now so much admired on old ruins, did not lend stability to 
the masonry. It is also stated that the ^' mantill wall from the utter 
yate- house to the est part of the inner yate is in decay of maisone wark,'^ 
and that ^' the hall is in decay and wanttes a greysse and a porche and 
corbelles and spouttes of stone, and must be new refresshede. And the 
mff and floures thereof, with all the doyers, wyndoys, and other necessaries, 
is in decay and will take by estymacon c. oakes. Also the thekinge and 
coverynge thereof will take xvi. foder of leide." The paystre, brewhouse, 
bakehouse, and horse-mill, were also declared decayed ; likewise the great 
chamber wanted windows, and the chapel next the great chamber was in 
decay in walling and a window of three lights, and the roof, floor, and 
porch, with other necessaries would take 20 oaks for repairs. Adjoining 
the said chapel were pieces of old walls which were supposed to have 
been houses ; also upon the west side of the dungeon was an old wall, 
bnt what house had been there was not known. Finally it was stated 
that there were no guns within the castle nor artillery for its defence. 

Before concluding this somewhat extended notice of the castle I 
must not omit a reference to the legend which appertains to the great 
keep. It is traditionally asserted that deep below its foundations the 
famous King Arthur and his Knights of the Round Table are held in 
slumber by some mysterious charm. The story is current that upon an 
ancient stone table lie a great horn and sword, and whoever shall blow 
the one and draw the other, indescribable wealth and fame will speedily 


attend him. Many jeare ago, a man who was known by the name of 
Potter Thompson is said to have penetrated this vault, where he saw the 
slumbering king and his band of valiant knights, and beside them laj 
the wonderful horn and sword. He at once began to draw the sword,, 
but the eyes of the sleepers slowly opening he desisted, and fled with all 
possible speed, a voice calling after him r 

Potter, Potter ThompBon 
If thou hadst either drawn 
The sword or blown the horn, 
Thou'd been the luckiest man 
That ever yet was born 1 

Perhaps this story originated through some underground vault now 
filled up, or what is more probable from an imported legend current among 
the Breton soldiers garrisoned at Richmond in the Norman centuries,, 
for I remember when in the wild region of the Morbihan and Western 
Britany many years ago, hearing a similar story of Sang Arthur, whom 
the Breton folk firmly believe is buried in the small island of Agalon off 
the coast of Britany. At no great distance is the historic castle of Brest, 
which was originally built by the family of Dreux, who were Dukes of 
Britany as well as Earls of Richmond in the ISth century.* 

In Speed^s Plan of Richmond made in the year 1610, an opening i& 
shewn in a large field on the south side of the castle, called the EarVs 
Orchard, and which he says is connected with a passage ^' that goeth 
under the river, and ascendeth up into the castle." No such passage 
exists, but it seems that the common belief in underground passages is^ 
no new invention and had got a footing even so long ago. This Earl's 
Orchard was sold by the Buttons last year to Mr. Joseph Raine, of 
Richmond, who is about to erect a good house upon it, and lay out the 
grounds. The estate comprises some 17^ acres, and lying on the south 
side of the river it commands a noble view of the castle and town, and 
the picturesque far-reaching vale beneath. 

The lower story of the Castle Keep is now used as a Guard Room of 
the 4th Battalion Yorkshire Regiment, while the apartments above are 
fitted up as an armoury, where arms and accoutrements are kept for 
about 700 men. Some forty years ago the area within the walls waa 
levelled for a parade ground, and a number of dwellings were built in 
keeping with the castle, to accommodate sixteen of the staff-sergeants of 
the Regiment. The terrace-walk outside the walls was also constructed 
and laid nearly 120 feet above the Swale, commanding a fine view of its 

* Was it the peculiar gilt-hilted sword and cnrious horn (now in possession of 
the Duke of Richmond) referred to by Clarkson, which had to do with this 
mysterious legend ? The horn was found when part of the west end of the castle 
fell down about a century ago. 


banks and the snrronnding connfcrj, and affording a cloee view of the- 
walls, on which masses of iry Inxuriate along with many species of 
plants. See the engraving on page 51. 

After the Castle the next monament of greatest interest is the Parish 
Church, which stands on the sonthem slope of the hill as we pass to and 
from the railway station. Of the precise date of its origin the records 
are silent ; it is however most probably a foundation of the first Earl of 
Richmond^ and contemporary with the building of the Castle, but the 
Church of the Holy Trinity, in the Market Place, to be presently 
described, is situated much nearer the Castle and is in all probability the 
older of the two, for it is generally believed to occupy the site of an 
Anglo-Saxon edifice or Danish pagan temple. If Richmond be the site 
of the Hinderlage* of Domesday one or other of these churches certainly 
existed before the Norman Conquest, and had an officiating priest. But 
St. Paulinns, the great Christian missionary in the north, always blessed 
his converts in the name of the Holy Trinity, a fact which lends some 
probability that the chapel of the Trinity at Richmond was originally of 
his foundation. Some writers have maintained that it was in the river 
Swale in Kent where St. Paulinus performed his celebrated baptism of 
10,000 pagans in one day, but this exploit in the Kentish Swale has 
reference to the ministrations of St. Augustine in the south, whereas the 
great baptism in the Yorkshire Swale was directed by St. Paulinns, and 
it is therefore not at all unlikely that a Christian temple would be^ 
erected by him at Richmond in commemoration of the event. According 
to Stukeley, this sainted apostle Paulinus (who became Archbishop of 
Tork in a.d. 625) built many churches in Yorkshire in celebration of 
his conversion of the Northumbrian king and people to the Christian 
faith, and amongst them was doubtless the seventh century chapel at 
Catterick, near Richmond, which was dedicated to St. Paulinus. Pope 
Gr^ory the Great in his Epistle to St. Eulogius, Patriarch of Alexandria, 
writing on the conversion of the Britons, says : " On the day of Christ's^ 
nativity he (Paulinus) did regenerate by lively baptism above ten 
thousand men, beside an innumerable multitude of women and children. 
Having hallowed and blessed the river, called in English 'Swale,^ he^ 
commanded by the voice of criers and masters, that the people should 
enter the river confidently two by two, and in the name of the Trinity 
baptise one another by turns. Thus they were all borne againe, with no 
less a miracle than in tymes past the people of Israel passed over the sea 
divided, and likewise Jordane when it turned back, for even soe they 

^ There appears to have been two places of that name ; one on the south bank 
of the Swale, near Hudswell, and the other on the north side. Both are mentioned 
in an extent of 80th Henry II., but have disappeared before the next extent was- 
made 15th Edward I. 


were transported to the bank on the other side, and notwithstanding so 
•deepe a carrent and channel, so great and divers differences of sex and 
age, not one person took harme.'* 

The Parish Church, which is dedicated to St. Mary, appears to have 
been granted by Alan Rnfas, first Earl of Richmond, who died in 1089, 
along with that at Catterick, and the tithes of all his demesne lands, &c., 
•to the Abbey of St. Mary (then called St. Olave's) at York, which he 
restored. This wealthy monastery retained the patronage till the 
Reformation, when the pension of £5 a year, payable out of the revenues 
•of the church, was given by Henry VIII. to Trinity College, Cambridge. 
The right of presentation to the rectory is now held by the Bishop of 
Ripon, and the annual value of the living is about £800. 

The church has undergone a good many restorations and alterations, 
and little save the massive piers near the doorway has been preserved of 
the original building. The tower, which is 80 feet high and bears six 
ponderous bells, was built in the early pai*t of the 15th century and on 
'the centre battlement displays the arms of Neville, along with those of 
Scrope and Aske, ancient benefactors. The south porch has been entirely 
rebuilt, but the porch on the north side, which has been restored, has a 
groined roof of the same age as the tiower, and over it is a niche, which 
no doubt at one time contained an image of the Virgin. Within the 
interior are several interesting monuments and inscriptions and some 
curious examples of carved work. The stalls which are now appropriated 
•to members of the corporation, the choir, and the officiating clergyman, 
were brought from the ruins of St. Agatha's Abbey, at Easby, diortly 
■after the Dissolution, and have been retained here ever since. Their 
•design is somewhat unusual and resembles those in the abbey church at 
Selby. AH have misericordes and canopies and part of the fronts also 
xemain. Over the mayor's stall is a shield also from the abbey, bearing 
the rebus of Abbot Bampton (inst. a.d. 1515), a crosier fixed in a tun, 
4;he latter inscribed ' b a,' while a label surrounding it contains the word 
' abbas.' There is also an inscription on a filleting above the stalls, 
which reads : 

Becum sunt abustones claustraltutn, bictus precfosus, ctbns exqnisittus, 
Tumor in claustra. Its in capitulo, titssuilutio in cboto negligent tiscipulus, 
inobelJims jubmis, ociosus sitntx, obstinatus monacf)tt0, curialis reltgtodns. 

A text which carefully enjoins the good conduct of the monasteries, and 
forbidding the abuses to which they were addicted. The most striking 
monument in the church is one erected to the memory of Sir Timothy 
Hutton, of Marske (ob. 1629), and his wife and children. The family 
lived at the Friary and were buried here. There are other memorials in 
tablets and stained glass to the families of Hickes, Robinson, Clarkson, 


Croft, Cloee, Tomlin, &c. Within the church was the chantry of 
St. Anne and St. Catherine, of the foundation of William Stenall, clerk,, 
licensed 27th March, 7th Henry YII.. to pray for the souls of the founder 
and all Christian people and to help the curate in the ministering of 
sacraments. All that remains of this chantry is the entrance and piscina 
in the south wall. At the Dissolution in 1585 the chantry was returned 
as of the annual value of £4 lOs. 8d. ; John Brokeholle being then 
incumbent, and there were stated to be in the parish " one thousand two- 
hundred houseling people," or a total population of about 2400.* 

The church underwent a complete restoration by Sir Gilbert Scott in 
1858-59 ; its original features having been as far as was practicable 
judiciously preserved. It includes a nave, with side aisles extending 
beyond the chancel arch, and a chancel now much improved. The 
tracery of two of the east windows was unaltered, but that of the third 
was made to correspond with the lancet lights in the south aisle. All 
the windows were formerly filled with richly and curiously-painted glass,, 
some designed with figures and others with armorial bearings of founders 
and ancient benefactors. Much of this was destroyed at the Reformation, 
as "gaudy exhibitions of the appendages of Popery," and what remained 
suffered a further extinction at the hands of the Puritans during the 
Commonwealth. It is however of exceeding interest to remember what 
arms and devices have been illustrated within the historic fane, and the 
accompanying plate copied from the original in Gale's Honoris de 
Richmond (1722), will help to picture to us the ancient glory and family 
pride concentrated in these various devices belonging to former 
benefactors and patrons of the church and parish. Dugdale in his 
collection of arms in Yorkshire churches, copied from William Flower, 
Robert Glover, and Sir Thomas Fairfax, of Denton, says that there were 
formerly placed in the east window of the northern aisle, the arms of 
Fitz Hugh, Neville, and Scrope of Bolton ; in the. north windows of 
the same aisle those of Neville, Halnathby ; in one shield the Nevilles, 
Fitz Hughs, Marmions, and Montagues, quartered ; those of Tibetot,. 
Scrope of Bolton, and John of Gaunt. In the east window of the 
southern aisle were those of John of Gaunt, John of Britany, Earl of 
Richmond, Neville, and the aims of France and England quartered. 
In a certain southern window were the bearings of John of Gaunt, and 
in another those of Fitz Hugh. In the highest windows of the north 
part of the church, were the shields of Fitz Hugh and Coniers ; in the 
high windows of the southern part were those of Scrope of Bolton 
quartered with Tibetot. In the windows of the belfry were the 
Marmions and Scropes of Masham. Besides the Fitz Alans and Fitz 

* There were also certain lands and tenements given to the finding of other 
priests and obits in the said church.— ^« Surteet Soc. Pub., xci. 140, xcii. 617. 

SnEccl^d^afy?cAta/o€ie Richsiund 

In orientaL feneftrsi 
Cancelli . 

ifflwi'll fl 


In OcddtetalUSneflra Alae 

Cm JluAm,. 


laboreal'ibus feneOrts 

Jermf^ deJBvitm, 


InOrLentalL feneltra 


In quadam Au 
flrali fiaieAra 

InakersLAu Infupreinisfeneflnscx In (upremi^ fe InfcneAra 


firali fiaieftra Aquilinan pmte Eccti* fj^^g^ 

FthSifJi Fu^Mt^ 



JcfW^ dtM^Aan 

Sculpla (uper reurum in Can 
cello OriemeiD vrrfus . 

Super partem extenorcm 

Arms formerly in Richmond Parish Church. 


Haghs, there were engraved upon the wall in the chancel towards the 
-east, the arms of Neville and those of the Duke of Britany. 

In 1892 the chancel underwent some further marked alterations, from 
designs supplied by Mr. C. Hodgson Fowler, of Durham. Previously 
it was very inadequately lighted and to remedy this defect a large window 
was made in the south wall ; old engravings showing such a south light 
to have formerly existed. The levels of the chancel floor, which were 
extremely low, were then altered and towards the eastern end much 
raised. The sanctuary was enlarged by the removal of the altar-rail and 
the erection of a new one some feet westward ; it has been paved with 
marble mosaic, and provided with steps of red Irish marble. The 
memorial reredos to the late Canon Ottley has been practically re-made, 
though retaining some of the old mouldings ; it is now a beautiful object 
framed in a cornice and side-shafts of carved Caen stone. A retable of 
citron-yellow marble replaces the former stone shelf, and the arches are 
filled with alabaster panels (the gift of Mr. and Mrs. Roper) carved in 
relief by Mr. Milburn, of York. The sanctuary pavement and choir 
pavement are both memorials to the dead, the former the gift of the 
Misses Ryder, in memory of their mother, brothers, and sisters ; the 
latter the gift of Mr. Edward Elliott, in memory of the late Richard 
Bowers, r.R.C.S., E., and J.P. The oak of the former holy table has 
been incorporated in a new one, handsomely panelled and carved, the gift 
of the Rev. E. Bickersteth Ottley and Mrs. Ottley, in joint memory of 
Canon Ottley and Bishop Hamilton, of Salisbury, (Mrs. Ottley 's father). 
By these several memorial offerings and by the liberal donations of 
Miss Easton, Lord Zetland, and Captain Gerald Walker, in addition to 
the general fund contributed by members of the congregation, has the 
interior of the chancel been so efficiently restored and made pleasing for 
the service of God. It need only be added that the beautiful altar- 
coverings, frontals and super-frontals, which are of exquisite embroidery, 
have been worked and presented by the Countess of Zetland and by 
Mrs. and Miss Walker, of the Hill House.* 

The old 15th century font of Teesdale marble has been retained in 
the church. The bowl is octagonal and supported on a pedestal of the 
same shape, and around it are eight shields, on one of which appears an 
abbreviated inscription : Jhesi Johannis Baptists^. On the old step are 
the initials of John Metcalfe and Robert Robley, churchwardens, and 
the date 1661. 

The registers of the church begin in 1556 and contain some curious 
and interesting entries, such as : '' 1558, Sept. 9th, Richard Snell brent 
in Newbiggin, almost opposite to the goal." How this person met his 

* Additional particulara will be found in the Ripon Diocesan Church Calendar 
ior 189S. 


fate is not explained here. Bat this was the last year of the sad reign 
of Queen Mary, when many a brave-souled victim was still being led to 
a martyr's fire in many an English market-place. Worthy old Puller 
does not appear to have known of this case of burning alive, as he speaks 
of only one Yorkshire martyr during the reign of Mary, by name Leaf. 
But such a tragic spectacle would seem to have been actually witnessed 
at Richmond, for in Foxe's Book of Martyrs it is stated that there were 
two persons of the name of Snell who were apprehended and thrown into 
prison for their religion. One of them lay in abject confinement, and 
whether by neglect or the dampness of his cell suffered so acutely that 
" his toes were rotted off,'' and on his liberation he was obliged to go 

Richmond Parish Church and Grammar School. 

on crutches. At last, by order of Daykins, the Bishop of Chester's 
Commissary, he was constrained to go to mass, and had a certain sum of 
money given him by the people, but repenting of his action within three 
or four days he threw himself into the Swale and was drowned. The other 
one remained steadfast in his faith and liis godly spirit was freed by 
the "glorious fire of martyrdom." 

In the same important i*egister, under date of 1611, is the entry 
of one Francis Beckwith, a recusant, buried at Langhill. The old 
pre-Reformation faith still continued to cling to numerous families m 


the north, and on the accession of James I. to the English throne, when 
an Act was passed for the dne execution of the statutes, it was ordered 
to take the names of all those who still abided by the old religion. The 
following were then declared Papists at Richmond : Lady Oascoigne, 
wife of Sir William Gascoigne, Et. ; Robert Atkinson, glasier ; Robert 
Oibson, Nicholas Bacon, cordwainers ; William Atkinson, yeoman ; 
Bridget Atkinson, spinster, his daughter ; the wife of Leonard Beckwith, 
gent. John Johnson, a recusant, not a Papistical recusant ; Marie, wife 
of Arthur Hutchinson, mercer ; Marie Heighington, widow ; John Olose, 
Sadler, recusantes for a year. Annie Taylor, widow ; Marie Hutchenson, 
Marie Heighington, and John Close. It will thus be observed that it 
was not those only who occupied a high position in life who were 
recorded, but the humblest inhabitants were watched (sometimes secretly), 
how and where they attended the service of Ood. 

A melancholy interest attaches to one portion of the register, where 
it is recorded under the year 1597 that the pestilence here began, and 
that one Roger Sharp, who first died in the time of the pestilence, was 
buried 17th August, 1597 ; the last victim being one Cuthbert Oliver, 
who was buried 15th December, 1598. It is stated that the sum total 
who died was 1050. But this number, large as it is, represents those 
who succumbed within the parish only, and it must have exceeded 
one-third of the total inhabitants. According to an ancient ^ns'^ription 
preserved in the parish church at Penrith it is recorded that the total 
number of fatal cases in 1597 — 98 in the rural deanery of Richmond 
was 2200 ; in Penrith, 2260 ; in Kendal, 2500 ; and in Carlisle, 1196. 
So dire was the extent and malignancy of the outbreak that nearly all 
public business was suspended, the law-courts were closed, and the 
assizes at Durham could not be held. The West Riding Justices 
compelled every constable of a division to set two or three persons to 
keep watch and ward within his constabulary, and that henceforward 
householders themselves were to keep watch and ward to prevent the 
passing of strangers, and that no hirelings or strangers were to be 

Of entries relating to the Civil War are a few, as — ** Oswald Metcalfe 
slain by a soldier, bur. 7 Apr. 1644 ; William Ibbeson, a soldier slaine 
on Gatherley Moore, 8rd Sept., 1644.^' It must be remembered that 
Richmond Castle was never subjected to a siege, otherwise the number 
of fatalities here during the war would have been more conspicuous. 
During the Protectorate when marriages were performed by magistrates, 
after the banns had been proclaimed in a public market-place as well as 
in the church, we find that in the period during which this method of 
wedding prevailed, viz., from Nov. 9th, 1658, to March 8rd, 1659, or 
about 5 years and 4 months, 828 marriages were solemnised. One or 



two abstracts from the registers will suiBoe to show the nature of the 
compact : 

1655, May 14, William Todd of Sedbuske, his own guardian, and Elizabeth 
Whiteheele of the said parish, were married by John Kay, Alderman, the same day, 
and were published three several Lord^s days in the chapel of Askrigg, that is to 
say upon the twenty-second, twenty-ninth of April, and sixth of May by Henry 
Janson, registrar of Askrigge, and no objection at all by anyone. Witnesses, ^. 
Age of the man twenty-five and of the woman twenty-eight. 

1659, Thomas Chumley, Esq., of the parish of Brandsby, and Mrs. Katharine 
Tonstall of the parish of Wicklifife, were published three market-days at the 
market-cross in Richmond, in three several weeks, according to Act of Parliament 
made and provided in that case, and married the 25th day of June, 1G69, by 
Thomas Smith, Alderman, Justice of the Peace, and Quorum, before these 
witnesses, &c., and no objection made. 

It has long been matter of doabt where this scion of the old knightly 
family of Cholmley was married. The family was long seated at 
Brandsby Hall, Easingwold, and Gilling Castle, co. York., and were large 
landowners ; after the dissolntion of monasteries they acquired all the 
lands and possessions belonging to Whitby Abbey. The Tanstalls of 
Wycliffe and Scargill were also a noted family, and one Marmadake 
Tunstall of WyclifFe bequeathed to his coasin, Cuthbert Tunstall of 
Richmond, the sum of £25 a year for life by his will in 1755. The 
above Thomas Cholmley, married at Richmond, had by his wife Catherine 
a family of three sons and three daughters, whose descent is given in 
Burke's Landed Gentry, 

We might linger long and profitably in the very ancient "God's 
Acre" that surrounds the church, culling from its many tombs and 
headstones recollections of former inhabitants, of rich and poor, humble 
and great, poet, artist, and divine, each in life pursuing diverse thoughts, 
aims, and aspirations, but ever with advancing years seeming feeble and 
vain compared with the might of God, until all have become alike, 
companions united in that silent Garden of a better Hope I 

Then shall the good stand in immortal bloom 

In the fair garden of that second birth ; 
And each bright blossom mingle its perfume 

With that of flowers which never bloomed on earth. 

The church of the Holy Trinity in the Market Place, was as before 
remarked, probably the original church of the parish, but as the town 
extended and population increased became subservient to the Parish 
Church, above described. Both formed part of the endowments, in the 
12th century, of St. Mary's Abbey at York. According to the Certificates 
of Chantries, 1st Edward VI., it is stated that the Trinity Chapel was 
resorted to as a safeguard in time of plague, being distant from the 
Parish Church 1000 feet, and that the inhabitants find at their own 


charge three priests, at sach wages as they agree upon, having no lands 
or tenements to their sustenance. There were also in the Parish Church 
two other priests receiving in like manner their wages of the inhabitants, 
whereof the schoolmaster was one« In 1380 license was granted to 
Nicholas de Eirkeby to endow a chantry at the altar of St. Thomas the 
Martyr in the chapel of the Holy Trinity of Richmond to pray for the 
souls of the same Nicholas, Henry le Scrop, and Peter de Richmond. 
After the dissolution of St. Mary^s Abbey the patronage of the church 
became vested in the Corporation, and continued with that body until 
the passing of the Municipal Corporation Reform Act in 1885, when it 
was purchased by Leonard Cooke, Esq., some time Mayor of Richmond. 
Subsequently the advowson was purchased by Thomas, late Earl of 
Zetland, who presented it to the Trustees of the Grammar School. 

The church, outwardly, presents a most singular aspect, by reason of 
the insertion of a dwelling-house and tobacconist's shop between the 
steeple and nave ; likewise other shops, including a tobacconist's built into 
the south wall beneath the gallery — an odd eiLample of desecration 
probably unique. The anti-church party may deem this a seeming satire 
on the external forms of religion being held up by no more solid 
buttress than that of '^ smoke '* — evanescent as the aromatic vapour in 
the greater creed of God's Holy Word, wherever it may be preached I 
It seems from documentary evidence that the tenements occupying the 
site of the south aisle were built as long ago as 1740, when the inhabitants 
b^^n to repair the fabric for renewal of public worship, since which 
time services have been regularly held in it. The ancient curfew-bell, 
which is traditionally believed to have been placed in the tower in the 
reign of the Norman Conqueror, is still rung every night at eight and 
every morning at six o'clock, as of old, when the inhabitants of Richmond 
were obliged to put out their fires and lights, bolt their doors, and go to 
bed at that hour of the evening, to be up again next morning at six, as 
by law enacted. On a bell at Coventry (a comparison with which city I 
have elsewhere drawn) dated 1675, is engraved a similar injunction to 

be up at six : 

** I ring at six to let men know 
When to and fro* their work to goe." 

The house of the town-crier at Richmond being near the base of the 
tower, singularly enough he or his wife may, as they frequently do, ring 
the morning curfew from their bed, as the bell hangs immediately above. 
The age of the bell is unknown, but it is inscribed : *' ®mne super nomen 
3tmsi est benerabtle notnen." 

Outside the walls of the town were several other ancient chapels. 
One of these, dedicated to St. James the Apostle, stood in Bargate, and 
was possessed of a chantry, founded by John Copeland. The remains of 

this chapel were used in the erection of a cottage, still standing. Another 
called the chapel of St. Edmund, (king of the East Angles), stood on 
Anchorage Hill, and is now replaced by Eleanor Bowe*s Hospital, an 
almshouse for poor widows, founded in 1607. A third, dedicated to 
St. Anthony, was at the corner of Pinfold Green, near to Quaker Lane. 
In addition to these there was the corporate Guild or Brotherhood 
dedicated to the praise of God and honour of St. John the Baptist. 
The object of this body was to encourage religious observance in all the 
pursuits of daily life, and out of a common fund relieve the aged and 
infirm and give succour to deserving strangers. They enjoyed certain 
immunities while in the town, and when they travelled obtained exemption 
from the payment of certain tolls, &c. This ancient society, being not 
fundamentally a trade guild, was dissolved by act of Henry YIII. and 
its property confiscated. The house of the fraternity stood originally on 
the site of the present Town Hall, but was afterwards removed to 

A few remarks must now be offered about the ancient Hospital of 
St. Nicholas, of which only a small portion is left, built into the present 
mansion of St. Nicholas, on the Easby road. It was founded in the 
reign of Henry II., probably by one of the Breton Earls of Richmond, 
for the relief of poor and sick people, and for the entertainment and 
lodging of pilgrims and of lost and distressed travellers, its use being 
similar to the Hospices still existing abroad. In 1292 a demise was 
made by Mary Neville, Lady of the manor of Middleham, to Alan, Master, 
and the brethren and sisters of the Hospital of a plot of land in Frenchgate 
[probably the earliest mention by name discovered of this ancient 
Richmond street] with gardens and rents and the hill towards the 
Hospital ; reserving the right of her fold on Fuller's Green during 
Richmond fair, and the forge held by Elias de la Greue ; for 20 years 
for 208. yearly rent. About the middle of the 14th century the Hospital 
had fallen into decay by reason of poverty and ill management, but was 
restored and augmented by William Ascough, of Ascough near Bedale, 
who also founded within a chantry for one priest to say mass in the chapel 
of St. Nicholas the Confessor for ever. Sharing the fate of the dissolved 
monasteries, it was in the 37th Henry VIII. thus surveyed : 

Thospitall of Skynt Nicholas wtthyn the Pabtsshe of 

Richard Baldewyn, iDcumbent, chaplen to my lady Maryes Grace. Havyng no 
foundacioD to she we, but the inhabitantes sey that there is a pry ate that doth say 
masse i!j dayes in the wek, and other iij dayes at the chappell of Seynt Kdmonda 
in the sayd towne, and doth fynde a pore body in the same. And the fermer of 
the sayd hospital! doth say and affirme that he fyndytk the forsayd pryste at hie 
wyll, and the sayd inhabitantes do affirme that the incumbent is bonde to fynde 
the sayd priste to say masse, as is aforesayd. 


The nyd hospitall is dystaant from the said parysshe churche halffe a myle. 
The necessetie thereof is ased, as afore is moDsioDed. There is no landes, ten. sold 
ne alyenatyd sythe the statute. 

Goodes, ornaymentes, and plate perteynyng to the aforsayd hospital], as 
•pperyth by iuTentory, that is to say, goodes valued at nd., plate, nil. 

Firste, the scyte of the howse with edifices therto belonging, one orcharde, ij 
liile gardens, and a chappell yarde, envyroned with a stone wall, conteyneth by 
ettimacion ij acres ; and one lytell closse therunto adjoynyng, conteynyng by 
estimaoion ij acres. In all, worth by yere, vji, yiijd. 

Item, one closse called the Brode Inges, conteynyng by estimaoion iij acres ; the 
Well Closse, conteynyng by estimaoion ij acres ; the Cote Wall Closse, conteynyng 
by estimaoion j acre ; one close lyeng betwene the Bst Felde of Richmonde and 
the More, conteynyng by estymacion ij acres ; in tlie West Felde of Richmonde 
z acres ; in the Gallowe Felde of Richmonde x acres ; in the Bste Felde of 
Richmonde xlvj acres. In all, Izziiij acres rentyd at xvji. the yere, in all, iiij/i. 
ZTiijt. viij<2. 

Item, the Eylne Close, conteynyng by estymacion iij acres ; the Hye Closse, 
eontenyng by estymacion viij acres, lyeng in Richmond. In all, xj acres, rentyd 
at XTJ<2. the acre. In all, xiiij«. yii]d. Item, the cotages in Rychmonde, lyeng in 
Aldbyggyog Strete, payng by yere, x«. ; one cotage lyeng in Bargate, xij«. ; one 
wast pece of grounde where an olde smythe stowde in French Gate. vji. : one fre 
rente yerely goyng furth of Hudswell landes, v«. In all, xxTij«. \]d. Item, in 
Newsome certane erable lande by yere xij«. ; in Hudswell, one cotage with 
certayne land by yere xi2. ; certen lande with a frounte without a house, lyeng in 
Skebye, xxt. ; one wast pece of ground in Harmebye, x.\]d. ; certen landes in 
Jolbye by yere, xiij«. ii\}d. ; certen landes in Skorton by yere, xx<2. ; one cotage in 
Burton Counstable by yere, xviij<2. ; one pece of grounde in Cattery k,xij<2. ; certen 
lande in Lemyng by yere, vg. In all, Ixvf. vjd. 

Some of the sayd hospital!, xH. xiij«. 
Payable yerely to the Kynges Majestie for a tenthe, xx<2. ; to Richard Bowis for 
certen lande wythyn the Hye Close, iiij<2. ; to the Eynges Majestie for suet of 
courte in Richmonde Castell, xij^f. ; for suet of the burrowe courte in Richmonde 
towne, xiji. In all, xxvjf. 

And so reinayneth, ixZi. vij«. 

Memorandum : — That the after cropi>e of Brode Inges, Well Close, one close 
lyeng betwene the Este Felde and the More, Westefelde, Gallowe Felde, and of 
the Este Felde, dothe belonge yerely unto the burrowe of Richmond, after sithe 
and sikkell, and frome the feaste of Seynte Mychaell, th*Archangel], unto the 
feaste of th*Annunciacion of our Lady. 

Memorandum : — That there is a chappell wythin the sayd hospitall, havyng a 
fiatte rouffe, beyng coveryd with leede, conteynyng in length Ix fote, and in brede 
zriij fote, by estimaoion. 

Having been for some time occupied bj the family of Wickliffe* it 
was purchased by the family of Norton and subsequently came to the 
Yorkes, by the marriage in 1660 of Mary, daughter of Malger Norton, 
of St. Nicholas, with John Torke, Esq., of Gowthwaite Hall in Nidderdale. 
He sold it to the Blackbumes, and the Rev. Francis Blackburne in 1813 
re-Bold it to the late Lord Dundas of Aske. The house underwent 

* See Wickliffe of Hipswell ; also Harrison's Oillitig Wetty page 43. 


nnmerouB repairs and alteratioDs, of which it stood in mach need, about 
fifty-five years ago, and while excavating on the north side a great many 
hnman bones were turned up along with a stone coffin (being the second 
there found), containing a skeleton and small chalice. As coffins of stone 
fell into disuse about the middle of the 15th century this was in all 
probability the sarcophagus of one of the early Masters of the Hospital, 
who held ecclesiastical rank. 

Friars Wynd, Richmond. 

Turning now from the Market Place through the old Friars Wynd, 
before described, we arrive at the tower of the Grey Friars, time-toned 
yet beautiful in decay. This house was of the foundation of one 
of the great lords of Middleham, Ralph Fitz Randolph, in 1258. He 
died in 1270 and was buried at Coverham Abbey, but his heart, enclosed 
in a leaden urn, was interred in the choir of the church of the Grey 


Grey Friars Tower, Richmond. 


Friars at Kichmond. He was a feadatory of the Earls of Richmond, 
and whose place in the castle was over the chapel of St. Nicholas on the 
east. In Gale's Registrum Honoris de Richmond there is a quaint old 
bird's-eye view of the Castle, and over the oratory of St. Nicholas is 
portrayed a banner displaying the arms of Fitz Randolph, <7r, a chief, 
indented, azure. The house, established for the order of Franciscan 
monks, originally consisted of a warden and fourteen brethren, and np 
to the Dissolution received from time to time grants of lands and houses 
for its maintenance. The Franciscan Friars belonged to one of the 
Mendicant Orders which had been founded by St. Francis of Assissi and 
sanctioned by Pope Innocent III. They suflFered severely on the dispersion 
of the monastic property by reason of their refusal to owe allegiance to the 
king, and owing to their dwelling in the midst of towns their houses 
were speedily demolished and the materials absorbed in the surrounding 
buildings. The brotherhood had sworn to follow the rule of the holy 
St. Francis and in it " they would live and die." Many of them suflFered 
death in consequence, and others lingered long in damp and unwholesome 
prisons, until death put an end to their misery.* The house of the Orey 
Friars at Richmond was surrendered by Robert Sanderson and fourteen 
brethren on the 19th of January, 1538, and was afterwards granted to 
John Banastyr and William Metcalfe for a term of years. The site of 
the monastery along with some 80 acres of land adjoining is now the 
property of Edward Robinson, Esq., whose family acquired the same in 
the year 1713. The original edifice appears to have been demolished for 
the purpose of erecting a larger church on the site, of which the tower 
end only was begun shortly before the dissolution of monasteries. It is 
an admirable composition of late Gothic design, the structure being 
supported by four very beautiful pointed arches, springing from clustered 
cylinders, and at each side of the upper story is a handsome window of 
two lights ; the whole being well-proportioned and finished with an open 
ornamental parapet, having crocketed pinnacles at the angles. From 
its great height, the tower appears from all points a beautiful and 
commanding object. A short distance to the west of it there appears to 
have been a Nunnery situated in a plot of land called the Nun's Close, 
but nothing is known of it beyond the bai-e mention of such a convent 
in the Pipe Roll of a.d. 1171. 

Among other of the notable institutions belonging to Richmond 
mention must be made of the long-established Free Grammar School. 
The offspring of an earlier foundation, it was reorganised and endowed 

* A good deal of curious information reBpecting this order of Begging FriarB 
will be found in the Aittiquities of the English Franeiicans or Friers Minors^ 
commonly called the Gray Frier s^ with Appendix on the English Nuns of Saint 
Clare, 4to, published in 1726. 


by the Corporation early in the reign of Qaeen Elizabeth, and for nearly 
three centuries was condncted in an unpretentious stone building in the 
parish church-yard. Many of the old Grammar Schools in the dales, I may 
observe, were originally located in proximity to the church, as it frequently 
happened in former times that the duties of schoolmaster were combined 
with those of parish clerk. Whitaker gives a list of the schoolmasters 
from 1696, and to these I may add the name of John More, priest, who 
was master of the school in 1548. He^ received a yearly stipend of 
£6 13s. 4d. (10 marks), which was granted to him by the burgesses 
and bailiffs of the town of Richmond out of the revenues they appropriated 
at the late Dissolution. 

In 1849-50 a new spacious and handsome building was erected on 
the opposite side of the road to the old edifice, as a memorial to Canon 
Tate, who was head master of the school from 1796 to 1888, when he 
was succeeded by his son, the Rev. James Tate. Of the learned and 
estimable Canon Tate, whose successful labours at Richmond are amongst 
the most notable in local annals, I shall have more to say in the next 
chapter. The good work begun by him continued to prosper so that it 
became necessary about the year 1866 to make further extensions, and a 
large school-room, with class rooms, &c., was added at a cost of nearly 
£2000, raised by public subscription. The school has been thoroughly 
reorganised and now ranks as one of the best classical seminaries in the 
north. The buildings have accommodation for about 200 boys, and the 
subjects taught include Latin, Greek, Mathematics, English, French, 
German, Science, and if required. Commercial subjects, such as Book- 
keeping, &c. In the higher forms boys are prepared for the Universities, 
the Indian Civil Service, the Army, London Matriculation, or other 
public examinations. There are numerous scholarships and exhibitions 
tenable at the School and at the Universities. A gymnasium has recently 
been built near the school-house, and classes are formed in gymnastics 
and carpentry. The new school-house consists of the Friary House and 
Lodge. The old school premises in the church-yard were, I may add, 
pulled down in 1856 and the materials used in the construction of a 
house for the master of the National School, in the vicinity of where 
it stood. 

I will now oonolude with some remarks on the former aspects of the 
town, its trade, and commerce. Shortly after the erection of the Castle, 
when the affairs of the town began to assume a more settled condition, 
markets and fairs were held under the protection of the reigning Earls : 
all cattle or goods exhibited for sale being subject to certain specified 
tolls, an arrangement that prevailed till the year 1 145, when in order to 
prevent fraud and establish a more equitable method between the lord 
and his tenants. Earl Alan, son of Stephen, granted for ever to his 


burgesses of Richmond, his borongh of Richmond, and manor called the 
Land of Fontenay (probably the site of Richmond and part of its 
environs) in fee farm under a yearly rent of £29, to be paid by equal 
portions at the feasts of St. Martin in the winter and Pentecost ; and 
directed that ^' they should well, freely, and honourably possess and hold 
the same, in plains and in woods, in pastures and in waters, in meadows 
and in all places, and that they and their heirs should hold it from him 
and his heirs for ever.'* This was a great advance from the position of 
servitude to which the inhabitants had been hitherto subjected, and was 
as Mr. Clarkson properly observes, the first dawn of the institution of 
municipal corporations, which afterwards proved so favourable to general 
liberty. The burgesses had now the power to rent tolls, have fairs and 
markets, choose their own municipal officers, make bye-laws, and in other 
ways enjoy the rights of freemen both as regards their persons and 
their property. 

The earliest trade would be that in com and cattle, and such 
necessaries of daily existence ; accompanied no doubt by some local 
enterprise in the tanning and dressing of leather. This is apparent 
from references made to the trade in early Richmond charters, and in 
1827 I find one Peter the Tanner at Richmond paid 4s. subsidy. In 
the reign of Edward II. the king granted certain tolls to be levied for 
five years on all goods and articles exhibited for sale in the Market Place. 
This was intended as a contribution towards defraying the expenses of 
constructing the town wall, and as the various commodities to be taxed 
are separately named in this 14th century grant I quote it in full, as it 
affords a lively picture of the appearance of Richmond on market-days 
at that time. The imposts were these : 

For every eight bushels of corn was taken one halfpenny. 

For every horse, mare, ox, and cow, one halfpenny. 

For every hide of horse, mare, ox, and cow, fresh, salted, or tanned, one 

For every cart-load of salted or fresh meat, three halfpence. 
For five fat hogs, one halfpenny. 
For every salmon, fresh or salted, one farthing. 
For every hundred mulnells, conger and stikar eels (some kinds of dried 

fish from the North Sea), salted, one penny. 
For ten sheep, goats, or pigs, one penny. 
For ten fleeces, one penny. 
For every hundred skins of sheep shorn, goats, stags, hinds, bucks, and 

does, one halfpenny. 
For every hundred skins of lambs, kids, hares, rabbits, foxes, cats, and 

squirrels, one halfpenny. 
For every hundred (each containing one hundred ells, and every hundred 

ells six score) of linen web, canvas, Irish cloth, Galewith and 

worsted, one penny. 


For every horie-load of oloth, one halfpenny. 

For every whole piece of oloth, one halfpenny. 

For every piece of silken cloth without gold, and chef (ten ells) of sendal 

imported, one farthing. 
For every lamprey sold before the Passover, one halfpenny. 
For every tan of wine and potashes, three halfpence. 
For every horse-load of ashes, one halfpenny. 
For every horse-load of honey, one penny. 
For every tun of honey, two pence. 
For every sack (twenty-six stone) of wool, two pence. 
For every truss of cloth brought in a cart, two pence. 
For every horse-load of cloth or of divers other minute articles coming 

to the town, one halfpenny. 
For every cart-load of iron, one penny. 
For every horse-load of iron, one halfpenny. 
For every cart-load of lead, two pence. 

For every cart-load of tan to be sold during the week, one penny. 
For every quarter of woad, two pence. 
For eight sheaves of garlic, one farthing. 
For every thousand herrings, one halfpenny. 
For every horse-load of sea fish, one halfpenny. 
For every hundred boards, one halfpenny. 
For every quarter (eight bushels) of salt, one farthing. 
For every weigh (fourteen stone) of cheese and butter, one halfpenny. 
For every cart-load of brush-wood or coals in the week-days, one 

For every thousand faggots, one penny. 
For every weigh of tallow and lard, one penny. 

The corn-market at Richmond continued to be one of the largest in 
the Riding, until the eatablishment of the toll-free markets at Lejbnm 
and surrounding towns when it declined. Formerly a good trade was 
done in yam stockings and woollen knit caps for seamen, and large 
quantities made here were also shipped to Holland and the Low 
Countries. In later times when the Swaledale lead mines were in full 
work there was a large commerce done in this article, but the large 
importation of Spanish lead has put a stop to the profitable working of 
this industry. The Paper Mills, formerly carried on by Mr. Cooke and 
now by Messrs. Pearson (nephews of the late proprietor), were once the 
most important local industry, but competition with more fortunately 
situated places has greatly crippled the firm's operations, and now only 
some thirty persons are employed. 

There were also at one time no fewer than thirteen guilds or 
trading companies, such as the Mercers, Grocers, Cappers, Tunners, 
Fullers and Dyers, &o., belonging to Richmond and enjoying many 
peculiar privileges, which are now obsolete. During the scarcity of 
copper coinage in England in the reign of Charles II., several Richmond 
tradespeople issued their own pence and half-pence, and these trade 


tokens, as thej were called, continaed in use till 1672, when the country 
was supplied with a copper coinage from the Royal Mint. The following 
are some that are remembered belonging to Richmond : (1) Ob.^ Francis 
Allen in (tVi the field) Richmond, Rev. God save the King, the hinges 
head; (2) Ob. Richard Campian 1668, The Tallow Chandlers' ArmSy 
Rev. Of Richmond, Talow Ohanlr (in thefisld\ His Half Pent ; 
(3) Ob. Luke Chynnal, A Windmill^ Rev. In Richmond 1667, (m the 
field) L c E ; (4) Ob. Robert King at the, the King's head, Rev. 
Ferry in Richmond 1666, (in the field) His Half Pent r e k ; 
(5) Ob. Robert Loadman, a Crown, Rev. Richmond Carrier (in tlie 
field) a true lover'^s knot dividing R L ; (6) Ob. William Marsham, The 
Bakers' Arms, Rev. In Richmond 1668 (in the field) w m s. Wardell 

Market Place, Richmond, a century ago. 

describes twenty examples of Richmond tokens in Bowman^s Yorkshire 
Antiquities, and doubtless there have been others which are now lost. 
But the number preserved serves to illustrate the respectable position of 
the local tradespeople and their various callings at that period. 

Ample, well-built, and convenient as the Market Place now is, we 
must, apart from these trade tokens, have recourse to old prints and 
writings to picture its appearance in former days. The annexed cut is 
from a drawing of the Market Place executed at the beginning of the 
century by Julius Csesar Ibbetson, who was a native of Masham. He 
was a frequent exhibitor at the Royal Academy, and Benjamin West 


called him '*the Berchem of England/' He had a somewhat chequered 
life and eventually returned to Masham where he died in 1817, aged 
58 years. Clarkson, who was his friend, tells us that opposite to the Town 
Hall, a long range of houses, rebuilt in the year 1761, occupies the site 
of the old Toll Booth, where the weights and measures belonging to the 
town were kept, and which also was the place appointed for the officers 
employed in collecting the tolls. Above the place where it stood was 
fixed the present com or toll-bell, purchased by the chamberlains in 1754, 
and near it was the Wool House, now (1821) a grocer's shop, where all 
wool, '* in any manner sold within the liberties of the Corporation," was 
weighed, it being the staple commodity of this place. Below this are 
the Shambles, ranging backwards from the street, and to these and to 
the open stalls erected before them the country butchers have now free 
resort at all times. This range of shops was erected in 1764 at the 
expense of the Corporation in place of the ancient ones which stood 
between the Consistory Court and the King^s Head inn. On the north 
side of the Market Place was a large quadrangular building called the 
College, which is thought to have been the ancient habitation of the 
chaplains or priests who officiated at the various chantries and free 
chapels in the town. 

A handsome Market Cross formerly stood in the middle of the Market 
Place. Upon a high flight of steps was raised a square platform, in the 
centre of which stood a large pillar of stone placed in a sole or bottom- 
stone of large dimensions and weight. At the top was an ornamental 
cross enclosed by a square wall about six feet high, and at the four corners 
were placed buttresses, on the top of each appeared a dog sitting made 
of stone, and on the sides were carved the arms of Fitz Hugh, Scrope 
quartering Tibetot, Conyers, and Neville. As the line of Fitz Hugh 
ended early in the reign of Henry VIII. this cross must have been erected 
before then ; in all probability when the charter of Henry YI. (1440) 
was renewed. This ancient and picturesque relic was removed in 1771. 
On the north-west side of the pillar criminals were held to some iron 
rings and then publicly flogged, as ordained by the Act, until '' the bodie 
be bloodie by reasone of such whipping." The whipping had sometimes 
its humorous side. On one occasion a Scotchman and an Irishman were 
ordered to be flogged for some indictable offence, when the Irishman 
stoutly maintained that the Scotchman was to blame for having led 
him into the misdemeanour. Both however were condemned. The 
Scotchman begged as a favour that he might have a piece of canvas on 
his back while the flogging was being administered. The magistrates 
granted the favour, then turning to the Irishman they said, '' We must 
give you some favour, — what do you ask ? " *'Och, glory to ye'r ahnors," 
replied Pat, "If it plaze ye'r ahnors, I'd loik the Scotchman on my 


back ! '' The Coart was convulsed, but needless to say Pat's request was 
not conceded. 

Not far from the cross stood the Pillory, and near by were three other 
old stone Crosses, called respectively the Wheat, Barley, and Oat Cross, 
no doubt from the circumstance that corn of that kind was sold there. 
The pillory is a very old instrument of punishment used in this country 
before the Norman Conquest and known at that time by the significant 
name of "stretch-neck." It was applied in various offences. In 1687 
an order of the Star Chamber forbade any book or pamphlet to be printed 
without proper license, and all offenders were to be set up in the pillory 
and whipped through the city of London. An early instance of the 
use of the Richmond pillory may be cited from the records of the 
Quarter Sessions held at Thirsk in April, 1693, when a Grinton man 
was sentenced to " stand in the pillory at Richmond on Saturday next 
in open market for the space of an hour," for inasmuch as he had been 
convicted of stealing Sir Marm. Wyviirs deer. This ancient machine fell 
into disuse early in the present century, but was not actually abolished 
by Act of Parliament until 1887. 

Such were the former methods of punishment in vogue locally, yet 
neither the pillory nor whipping-post were aught compared with the 
capital torture of committal to the flames, the fate of at least one 
unfortunate victim at Richmond, as already related. 




The Rev. Canon Tatk. 


The liow J ).-'"jh K. I !f>r, ):._]•". •'. .v .-• . 
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' A NOV I AT' 



Richmond Worthies. 

Canon Tate — Some of his pupils — Memorial in Edmonton Church — The Rev. John 
Brasse— Herbert Enowles and his poem written in Richmond churchyard — 
The Rev. Joseph Edieston — Early worthies of Richmond School, kc. — Lord 
Lawrence — Some Richmond M.P/s — The two Cuitts, artists — Thos. Harrison, 
architect — Christopher Clarkson, historian — " Sister Dora " — ** The Lass of 
Richmond Hill '* — Miss Mllbank, afterwards the wife of Lord Byron. 

|OREMOST among those of a past generation of workers who 
have added lustre and renown to the ancient glory of 
Richmond must be placed the late Canon Tate. He was the 
Earl Alan of modern local life, a chieftain and conqueror in 
the field of intellectual chivalry, and a man of whom any town or country 
might well be proud. Bom at Richmond in 1771, he became Head 
Master of the Free Grammar School at the early age of 25, a position 
which he held for the long period of thirty-seven years, when, through 
the recommendation of Lord Grey, he was presented with a Cauoniy in 
St. PauPs Cathedral, London, and eventually with the valuable living of 
Edmonton, (of John Gilpin renown), which he retained until his death 
in 1848. During his many years* life at Richmond he did perhaps more 
than anyone else to advance the social and intellectual well-being of its 
inhabitants, leaving behind him the permanent influence of his example 
of goodness of heart as well as of mental worthiness. His academical 
attainments were undoubtedly of a high order and ranked him among 
the first scholars of his time. His courtesy, genial kindness, and 
simplicity of manner endeared him, moreover, to all his scholars and his 
friends. Many of those who had the happiness to be his pupils rose to 
distinction in after life, for the devotion to his work and his patient 
nobility of purpose seemed to inspire confidence in his pupils and 
strengthen their powers for new efforts. It is said, indeed, that the 
scholars at Richmond School, during his tutorship, gained more honours 
at Cambridge than the pupils of any other master. Where others failed 
the Richmond scholars won easily. Among his pupils were the learned 
Dr. Musgrave, Bishop of Hereford, and afterwards Archbishop of York ; 
Rev. Charles Musgrave, M.A., Archdeacon of Craven ; Dr. Peacock, 
F.R.S., &c., late Dean of Ely ; John Netherwood, Head Master of 
Appleby Grammar School ; the Rev. Wm. Sidgwick, Head Master of 


SkiptQn Grammar School, whose daughter Mary became the wife of 
Dr. Edward White Benson, the present Archbishop of Canterbury. 

Tn theology and classics he' was the rival of Archdeacon Paley, and 
like that famous divine was possessed of a rare fund of humour. No 
one better enjoyed a good joke than the worthy master of Richmond 
School. Sydney Smith, himself a merry wit, first met him in a country 
coach, telling a friend afterwards that he had been travelling with a 
man who had been " dripping Gi^eek ! " 

Canon Tate, though not a prolific writer, contributed a number of 
papers to the classical reviews. It is however, in his Horatius ResiitutuSy 
illustrative of the life and works of his favourite poet, and in his 
Continmus History of St, Paul that the tone and language of the master 
are seen at their best. Canon Tate during his life received several 
valuable testimonials of gratitude and esteem from his old pupils and 
friends, while the present large and costly Grammar School, at Richmond, 
described in the last chaper, was erected in 1850 as a permanent memorial 
of his name and worth. As before stated he resided in his latter years 
at Edmonton, near London, and died in 1848. The following excellent 
and deserving memorial to him is copied from a tablet in the church of 
All Saints, Edmonton : 

" Id Memory of the Rev. James Tate, M.A., formerly Fellow of Sidney Sassez 
College, Cambridge, and for xzxvi. years of pre-eminent success the learned master 
of Richmond School, Yorkshire. He was appointed a.d. 1833, Canon Residentiary 
of the Cathedral Church of St. Paul, London, and became Vicar of this parish 
A.D. 1838. His mind was vigorous, discriminating, and ingenious, his discourse 
eloquent, his knowledge rich and exact, with simplicity, cheerfulness, and winning 
courtesy, and with a temper naturally generous and humane. In him were 
combined the higher graces of Christian faith. He was humble, patient, and 
charitable towards all men. After long and well-merited distinction as a scholar, 
his later years were devoted, amid congenial friendship with a godly jealousy alike 
of profaneness and superstition, to the illustration and defence of gospel truth- 
Born at Richmond June xi., A.D. 1771, he died at Clifton, near Bristol, Sept. ii., 
A.D. 1843, and was interred in the vaults of St. PauPs Cathedral. This monument 
was erected by his sons James and Thomas, his successors respectively at 
Richmond and Edmonton." 

Through the courtesy of Chas. G. Tate, Esq., J.P., of Richmond, a 
grandson of the worthy Canon, I am enabled to present the accompanying 
portrait, photographed from the excellent copy by the celebrated engraver, 
Samuel Cousens.* A sketch of the interior of the old school is also 

* Samuel Cousens, who executed the portrait from the painting by Pickersgill 
presented to Canon Tate by his pupils, was a native of Exeter, and as a mezzotint- 
engraver has had few equals. He was a born genius, and at the age of ten gained 
the silver palette of the Society of Arts for a drawing after a print by James Heath 
representing '- The Good Shepherd," painted by Murillo. He amassed great wealth 
by his profession, and gave £16,000 to the Royal Academy (of which he was the 
first elected academician-engraver) in trust for the benefit of deserving and poor 


annexed, shewing the master^s desk and a tablet above it, whereon was 
inscribed the names of all the masters down to the removal of the school 
in 1850. Bade and simple as it appears, beneath this humble roof was 
trained some of the leading minds of the time. The windows depicted 
in the sketch look southwards into the valley,— :a charming prospect of 
hill and dale. 

The Rev. John Brasse, B.D., was the son of a Richmond stonemason 
and was one of Mr. Tate's first pupils. The youth shewed considerable 
promise while under Mr. Tate's tuition, and the latter possessing the 

Interior of the Old Grammar School, Richmond. 

happy faculty of detecting precisely where a lad's talents lay educated 
him accordingly. The boy's parents were not, unfortunately, gifted with 
too many worldly goods, — as believers in a name may be inclined to 
judge — and so the good man, his tutor, set about to collect money enough 
to maintain the lad at Trinity College, Cambridge. Thither in due time 
he went, and acquitted himself so honourably that after taking his B.A. 
degree as a high wrangler in 1811, he was awarded a Fellowship, and 
was eventually presented by his College to the living of Stotfold in 


Bedfordshire. Here he lived occupying his leiBure with translating and 
pablishing the classics, and he also became famous as the editor of a 
Oreek Chadus^ based upon a translation of Dr. Maltby's improved reprint 
of Moreirs Thesaurus Poeticus. He died greatly respected in 1888. 

The youthful genius, Herbert Enowles, was also one of Mr. Tate*s 
pupils. He commenced writing poetry at an early age, and on submitting 
a specimen of a volume, which he had hopes of publishing, to Southey, 
who was afterwards Laureate, the latter declared it to be '' brimful of 
promise and power," and offered to send him £10 and to get a like sum 
each from Earl Spencer and Samuel Rogers. Southey seems to have 
judged his protege an orphan wanting the means to advance his education, 
for in reviewing the Three Tabernacles^ or Lines u^ritten in Richmond 
Churchyard^ October 7th^ 1816, he says, ** The reader will remember that 
they are the vei'ses of a schoolboy, who had not long been taken from 
one of the lowest stations in life, and he will then judge what might 
have been expected from one who is capable of writing with such strength 
and originality upon the tritest of all subjects."* The remarkable poem 
may be found in many Yorkshire collections and need not be quoted here. 
Southey, however, is wrong in attributing poverty to its author, who was 
the son of a Gomersal woollen merchant in comfortable circumstances, 
and a gentleman possessed of ample means for the education of his 
family. One of his sons, James Enowles, was articled to the Law, and 
became an eminent barrister and Q.C. He was connected with the 
Northern Circuit for a long period and died in 1868. Herbert, the poet, 
was of a delicate and more meditative turn, and died in 1817 at the age 
of 19. A stone to his memory may be seen in the burial-ground of the 
Upper Chapel, Heckmondwike, where he was interred. 

We might go on multiplying instances of genius developed under the 
fostering care of Mr. Tate, but one more case must suffice. The late 
lamented Rev. Joseph Edleston, M.A., LL.D., who died at Cambridge in 
November, 1895, aged 79, and was interred at Sowerby, near Halifax, 
was a worthy pupil of Mr. Tate. He graduated at Trinity Collie, 
Cambridge, and became senior Fellow and Bursar in 1840. He held the 
valuable living of Gainford, near Darlington, of which his college was 
patron. He was a refined scholar, excelling in philosophy, and possessed 
of a good critical acumen. In 1856 he edited the Correspondence of 
Sir Isaac Newton and Professor Cotes, and was also author of other 

An earlier generation of pupils at the Richmond School produced 
such men as the Rev. Thomas Taylor, the eminent Elizabethan author 
and divine ; Fletcher Norton, Chief Justice in 1769, and created a peer 
in 1782 by the title of Lord Grantley ; Dr. Conyers Middleton, author 

♦ Vide Quarterly Review, xxi., 397. 


of the Life of OicerOy &c. ; Dr. Chapman, Master of Magdalen College, 
Cambridge, &c. The celebrated Archdeacon Blackbnrne was also a native 
of Richmond, having been born here in 1705, and where he was a 
constant resident for more than forty years. He held the living of 
Richmond and for some time was chaplain to Dr. Matthew Hntton, 
Archbishop of York, who installed him Archdeacon of Cleveland in 
1750, and also gave him the prebend of Bilton in York Cathedral. He 
died in 1787, and his collected works have since been published in siz 
or seven volumes by his son. . 

The celebrated Lawrence family settled at Richmond in 1809, and 
here it was some two years later that Sir John Lawrence, afterwards 
Lord Lawrence, the hero of Delhi, and " saver of India " first saw the 
light. A man of many and varied parts, and a born soldier, he has left 
a name alike distinguished and imperishable in English military annals. 

Among a past generation of Parliamentary representatives mention 
may be made of the Bathursts, an old local family who sat for Richmond 
in many Parliaments in the 17th and 18th centuries. John Bathurst, M.D., 
of Richmond, lived duiing the troubled era of the Commonwealth. He 
went to London and amassed a fortune, which at .his death in 1658 was 
said to amount to £2000 a year. He married at Marske in Swaledale, 
January 27th, 1635-6, Elizabeth, daughter and co-heir of Brian Willance 
of Clints, by whom he left several sons, one of whom, Theodore Bathurst, 
resided at Leeds and was M.P. for Richmond in 1690. He was an 
author of good repute, of whom Thoresby speaks with affection.* He 
left a son Charles, whose son Charles was M.P. for Richmond in 1727 
and died in 1743, some say partially deprived of his i*eason. He was of 
a rather hasty temperament and on one occasion is said to have '^chucked" 
a waiter down the staircase of the King^s Head inn at Richmond. The 
fall, unfortunately, resulted in a broken leg, and when the landlord 
went to complain to Mr. Bathurst of his violent conduct, the latter 
abruptly walked off, telling the landlord '* to put it in the bill ! " 

Among the earlier noted M.P.^s for Richmond was William Walsh 

(1663 — 1708), a knight of the shire, courtier, and man of letters. He 

was the friend of Dryden and Pope, and the latter mentions him in one 

of his compositions among those who had encouraged him in his juvenile 

studies : 

Granyille the polite, 
And knowing Walsh, would tell me I could write.f 

Dryden declared him "the best critic in the nation/' and wrote the 
preface to one of his prose works : Eugenia^ a Defence of Women. His 
poetical writings shew him to have sided with the Revolutionist party, 

* See Duoatus Leodensis^ pages IS, 16, &c. 
f Su alflo Pope's S»*ap on OrUieism, 


and in the reign of Qaeen Anne he was made Gentleman of the Hone 
nnder the Dake of Somerset. James Howell, the friend of Ben Jonson, 
was another old-time literary M.P. for Richmond. He seems to have 
obtained his election chiefly through the influence of Emmanuel, Lord 
Scrope, Lord President of the North, (afterwards Earl of Sunderland)^ 
whose secretary he became about 1626. Howell was descended from 
the ancient Kings of Wales, and among the various public offices that 
he filled was that of Clerk of the Privy Council to King James I. He 
was a splendid linguist, an accomplished and industrious writer, and is 
said to have been one of the earliest Englishmen who made a livelihood 
by his pen. His principal work, Familiar Letters, first published in 

Dorothy Wyndlow Pattison ("Sister Dora"). 

1645, contains some racy anecdotes of his travels, as well as a portrait 
of himself. He died in 1666, aged 72, and was buried in the Temple 
Church, London. 

Of artists and architects who have added no little honour to the 
neighbourhood of Richmond must be mentioned the names of Cuitt and 
Harrison. George Cuitt was born at Moulton, five miles from Richmond, 
in 1743, and evincing a marked talent for drawing at an early age he 
was sent to Italy at the expense of his patron. Sir Laurence Dundas. 
This good fortune enabled him to pursue his studies with no anxiety 
save that to excel, which indeed was permitted him, for he had, on 


retnrDing to England, attained such skill that his drawings and etchings 
began to attract attention and were soon eagerly sought after. He 
settled in London but ill health obliged him to come north, and at 
Richmond he continued to reside until his death in February, 1818* 
His paintings and etchings of portraits, as well as of local buildings 
and scenery, are both numerous and good, possessing as they do a 
freedom and delicacy of treatment and refinement of feeling eminently 
characteristic of a true artist. Many of these have long been in 
possession of families at Richmond, while others were sent away to the 
order of private collectors living in remote parts of the country. 
Mr. Cuitt married and survived his wife only four weeks (see the tablet 
in Richmond Church), leaving an only child, George Cuitt, also an 
artist, who lived at Chester, and afterwards settled at Masham, where 
he died. The work of the latter, however, is inferior to that of the 
father, but bearing the same name is often confused with it. Thomas 
Harrison, of Richmond, the architect, who won laurels for himself at the 
castles of Chester and Lancaster, was the friend of the elder Cuitt, and 
with him shared the beneficent patronage of Sir Laurence Dundas. 
For some time he studied at Rome, and on his return home acquired a 
reputation second to few in his profession. 

One whose name will always be identified with the literary annals of 
Richmond is Christopher Clarkson, F.S.A., author of the History of 
Richmond^ and a gentleman — to quote the words upon his tombstone in 
Richmond churchyard — respected not more for his antiquarian researches 
than for his private worth. He died in 1888 in the 75th year of his 
age, bequeathing a lasting monument in the great work on his native 
town. It displays wonderful research and painstaking effort in the 
marshalling of facts, besides an insight, knowledge and perspicuity of 
expression rarely equalled and never excelled. It is said that he grieved 
much at the feeble reception accorded at the publication of this noble 
work in 1821, but since that day public taste and enlightenment have 
greatly increased, and his book is now one of the most sought after and 
valuable of Yorkshire county histories. His son the Rev. Christopher 
Olarkson became possessed of his valuable MS. collections, but where 
these have since been placed I have not been able to discover.* 

In Clarkson^s younger days there was but one bookseller in Richmond, 
and that a woman, who was quite a character in her way. Her real 
name was Isabella Tinkler, but she was always known as '^ Tibby," and 
few in her trade knew more of books, their histories, mysteries, prices 
current, &c. George Cuitt, the artist before mentioned, etched her 
portrait in a characteristic attitude in her shop. She is depicted sitting 

* See alio Oentleman's Magazine for 1838, Part I. 


on a low buffet by her shelves of books, with a pipe in her mouth, a 
walking-stick close by, and a half-knitted yam stocking with ball of 
wool on the counter. Tibby had a heavy masculine face, and but for 
her garments might have been mistaken for a man. She attained a 
good old age and died in 1794. The successor in the business was 
Mr. Matthew Bell, a son of Captain Stephen Bell, Adjutant of the 
North York Rifles, who I believe came from Bowes. Matthew's eldest 
son was George Bell, another pupil of Tate, who made great headway in 

Lady Nobl Byron. 

London and became principal of the well-known publishing firm of 
Oeorge Bell & Sons, at one time Bell & Daldy. He died in 1890, 
aged 76.* John Bell, another son, succeeded to the Richmond business, 
and was the originator of the Richmond and Ripon ChronicU. 

* For biographical notices of Mr. George Bell (with portraits) see the 
PuUUhert' Circular ^ Illuitrated London News, &o., for December, 1890. 


I have now made record of some of the principal characters of 
former times at Richmond, a record that might be almost indefinitely 
extended, for Richmond indeed can claim among her sons distinction in 
almost every walk of life : in divinity, history, and literature, the arts 
and sciences, in politics, and in arms ; while among her worthy daughters 
the qualities of charity and of beauty have been scarcely less notable. 
Among those whose nobility of heart and charitable example have earned 
undying esteem may be mentioned the celebrated Dorothy Wyndlow 
Pattison, or " Sister Dora," who was bom at Hauxwell, near Richmond, 
iu 1882, and whose self-sacrificing labours and thoughtfulness for 
suffering mortals really only ended with her death. She died at Walsall 
in the "Black Country," on Christmas Eve, 1878, where a public 
monument has been erected to her memory. Her grandfather, Mr. Wynn, 
built the well-known Prior House at Richmond, now about a century 
ago, which was subsequently occupied by Mr. Thomas I* Anson, 
Mayor of Richmond in 1780, and sister to Miss Fanny I' Anson 
(Mrs. MacNally), the beautiful heroine of the well-known song, " The 
Lass of Richmond Hill." Many persons and particularly those living 
in the south of England, have always presumed that Richmond Hill in 
Surrey was alluded to in the name of this famous old song. But there 
can be no question that Richmond in Yorkshire was the place where the 
heroine lived when the song was penned, and whom the author, 
Leonard MacNally, a London barrister, shortly afterwards married. In 
Sir Jonah Barrington's Personal Sketches of his oum Times it is stated 
that Mr. MacNally wrote the song on a Miss I* Anson, daughter of 
Mr. William I^Anson, a rich attorney, of Bedford Row, Bloomsbury, 
who had a country house on Richmond Hill.^ He was a King's Bench 
solicitor, and owner of various estates in Yorkshire. Their old family 
seat at Richmond, still known as the Hill House, stands on the highest 
point of ground above the town, and in later years was occupied by 
Sir Ralph Milbank, whose only daughter became the wife of one of the 
most celebrated poets of modern times. Lord Byron. Many of the 
poet's letters and verses were addressed to Miss Milbank at the Hill 
House, Richmond, and in one of his epistles he speaks of her as " a 
poetess, a mathematician, a metaphysician, and yet withal very kind, 
generous, and gentle, with very little pretension. Any other head would 
be turned with half her acquisitions and a tenth of her advantages." 
She had quite a hattue of lovers, and Byron says she refused six suitors 
before accepting him. 

• See Notes and Queries, January, 1879, p. 68. 


Plak op Environs of Richmond. 



Whitcliffb Woods, Willancb's Leap, and thb Race Course. 

I love the seaion well, 
When forest glades are teeming with bright forms, 
Nor dark and many-folded clouds foretell 

The coming on of storms. 

When the warm sun, that brings 
Seed-time and harvest, has returned again. 
*Tis sweet to visit the still wood, where springs 

The first flower of the plain. — lAmgfelhm, 

Environs of Richmond — Sunshine and storm — Anecdote of Dr. Miller^ Some 
butterflies and wild-flowers in Whitcliffe Woods — Prehistoric housesteads, 
hitherto unnoticed — Wil lance's Leap — ^A terrible accident — View from the top 
of the Scar — Beacon Hill — Hill-fires at the time of the Spanish Armada, &o. 
The Race Course— Some old-time horse-races — Whitcliffe Pasture. 

ROUND Richmond the country is not less romantic 
and attractive than the history which envelopes the 
wonderful old town. The walks, indeed, are so many 
and 80 various, abounding in archsBological and 
scientific objects of interest, and lying amidst the 
most enchanting scenery, that it is difficult to know 
where to begin. But atmospherical conditions have much to do with 
the enjoyment thereof. Blue skies and golden sunshine are always 
welcome to the holiday rambler, yet there are times too, when even the 
non-enthusiast cannot fail to enjoy a real moantain-storm or the effects 
of a rainy sunset, albeit attended with some personal discomfort. 
Perchance you are overtaken by such a storm and have to seek shelter 
or a temporary lodging at the nearest cottage. You may be generally 
sure of a welcome from the good-hearted house-wife, who in due course 
will regale you with the best of her provisions, good home-fed ham, 
fresh eggs and milk, and the sweetest of home-made bread and butter, 
fare simple enough but never more acceptable than to the travel-tired 


and huDgry pedestrian. Some of these fanners* wives however, are very 
jealous of strangers, (or shall we say afraid of a little extra work ?) but 
this is much oftener the exception than the rule. It is related, for 
instance, of the late Dr. Miller, the well-known Congregationalist 
preacher, that one night being caught in a violent thunder-storm on a 
North Riding moor, and getting thoroughly wet, he was invited to accept 
the hospitality of a generous-hearted dalesman. They descended to the 
farmhouse together when the worthy minister was shewn upstairs and 
equipped with a suit of clothes, while his own were taken into the kitchen 
to dry. Presently the doctor came downstairs in the borrowed clothes 
just as the farmer's wife was coming out of an opposite room. She had 
the family Bible in her hand with the intention of inviting the minister 
to read a portion from the Scriptures before retiring. Being dusk and 
mistaking Dr. Miller in his borrowed garments for her husband, she 
lifted up the good book and gave him a sound whack on the head as he 
walked in front of her, exclaiming with emphatic but subdued voice, 
^' Sitha, tak that for askin' him to staay all 't neet I " The mistake was 
of course, at once discovered, apologies followed, and the worthy pastor 
took the affair with good humour, the housewife explaining that she had 
the house full of haymakers, but if the doctor would take things as he 
found them [he had done that with a vengeance I] he was as good as 
doubly welcome. May you, gentle reader, always be the same ! 

A fine day we must have at anyrate for our first trip, which will be 
up Whitcliffe Lane to the famous Whitcliffe Woods, so well known for 
the abundance and rarity of their moths and butterflies as well as of 
their shrubs and wild flowers. Among the former are the very rare 
Anesychia funerella and Gradllaria imperialella, which have been 
captured only in one other locality in England, viz., in the fens near 
Oambridge. Likewise that h&ndsome and largest of all the fritillaries, 
the Argynnis Faphia, may sometimes be seen sweeping through the trees, 
or alighting perchance on some favourite wild-flower. Mrs. Davidson, 
of Richmond, supplies the following interesting list of plants which she 
has found in these woods and their immediate vicinity under the hills : 

Lathroea ttquaitiaria, Ranuneulus flammida^ R, aurieomus^ HfyosotU sylvatiea^ 
Afelampyrum sylvatieumy Orchis Tnaseula, Hieraeium syl^aticuw^ H. pUosella, 
Hypericum pulchrum^ Draha vema, Poly gala loulgarU, ArahU hirgtUa, Valerian'- 
dla olitoria, Thymus serpyllum, Helianthemum vulgarCj Lychnis diurna^ Stellaj-ia 
holottea^ S, graminea^ Sedum acre^ Conopodium denudatum, Galium eruciatum, 
Eupatorium cannahinum, Oarduus nutans^ Tragopogon pratensis, Leantodon 
hispidutf Crepls virenSf Lapsana communis^ Jasione montana^ Omalis acetosella^ 
Vaeeinium myrtillus^ Campanula rotundifolia^ Linum oatharticum^ Calamintha 
clinopodium, Geranium sylvatieum, O. pratense, G, Rohertianumy G, lueidufn. 
Origanum vulgare, Vicia sepium^ Fragaria vesea^ Potentilla tormentillaf Lathyrus 
maerorrhizuSf Agritntmia eupatoria^ EpUohium montanum^ Primula vulgaris^ 


P, writ, P, elatior, P. farinoso^ Lyiimaehia nemcrum, Stachyt hetoniea, Lonieera 
eapri/olium, Cartw praeox. Below the WMtcliffe Woods and nearer the river 
Swale grow Cardamine amara, Mentha aquatica, Pedicularia palugtriky Veronica 
hteeahunga, Arenaria vema, Cochlearia offieinalii. Primula farinosa grows 
in a wet spot below the woods, and TroUius europceui grows near hedges on the 
opposite side the river and has also been found in Coalsgarth Wood. Another 
rather nnoommon flower has been found in woods on the opposite side of the Swale. 
▼is. : — Oagea lutea. Amongst he shrubs in Whitcliffe Woods are Vihumum opului, 
F. lantana^ and Pruntu padtu, 

Bnt atfcractive and rare as are the butterflies and wild flowers, there 
are other things in these romantic woods that claim our vigilance and 
attention. Beneath the spot known as Willance^s Leap (of which more 
anon) are some remarkable enclosures coveriug an extensive area, and 
which do not appear ever to have been described. They are not noticed 
in any topographical survey of the district, nor are they marked on the 
ordnance maps. Their discovery was made some years ago through the 
intelligent explorations of Mr. Joseph Baine, of Richmond, who kindly 
took me to view them. It was generally supposed in the neighbourhood 
that they were old sheep folds, but their general plan, with entrenchments, 
and the great thickness of the walls preclude the possibility of their 
having been constructed for such a purpose, or that they are erections of 
such date as that supposition might imply. They are altogether beyond 
the requirements of a recent civilization, and most probably belong to 
an era anterior to the Roman Conquest, for both Csesar and Strabo tell 
us that the houses of the Britons were built in woods, in conjunction 
with folds for their cattle and enclosed with a trench and a rampart. 

The contour of the enclosures is oblong, and consists of a main 
dwelling area, moated, and two wings, along with what looks like a 
oemetery at the east end. A modem roadway runs east and west right 
through the encampment, and is probably formed on the original path. 
Near the western entrance is a round mound like a tumulus, but upon an 
examination of this it was found to be barren, and was probably a pagan 
mortuary reminder as the cross afterwards came to be to Christians on 
entering a Saxon or Norman town. The westernmost enclosure is about 
88 yards or 100 feet square ; the next to it is much larger, being about 
70 yards long by 80 yards wide, and it was probably within this well- 
walled area that cattle were kept at night protected from the attacks of 
wolves, &c., which at that time infested the forests of Swaledale. On 
the eastern side of this enclosure and separating it from the one occupied 
by the huts of the owners, is a deep, well-fashioned trench or fosse, 
50 feet wide, which has also extended along the south side of the area, 
and is here still very perfect. The walls of this dwelling-area are of 
great thickness, measuring on the west side 18 to 14 feet through, with 
an average height of about 5 feet. The stones of the inner courses are 

in many places well-faced and laid on, and display some knowledge of 
the use of metal tools ; in othere they are rough and undressed and have 
been built up anyway. 

A curious feature in connection with these archaic enclosures is the 
fact that a gallery or passage with several apartments has been constructed 
in the thickness of the walls. One of these remains tolerably perfect 
and is at the east entrance to the moated enclosure where the wall is 
18 feet thick. It is entered from the outside like an Esquimaux dwelling 
by creeping along a short low passage 8 feet wide, the jambs and lintel 
of which are still in situ. The apartment entered is of the usual horse- 
shoe pattern, but wider than it is long, being 8 feet 2 inches one way 
and 6 feet 10 inches the other. The present depth is 6 feet, but the floor 
is filled with stones and rabbish, detracting somewhat from the original 
height. Inside on the left of the passage upon entering is a sitting 
recess, 80 inches wide, or it may have been used as a pantry or open 
cupboard for the placing of vessels or cooked meats. A careful examination 
of the walls disclosed a fine rubbing or grinding-stone, much worn by 
pounding in the middle, a substitute for the primitive quern. The stone 
is somewhat oval in shape and 15 inches across at its greatest diameter. 
It is now in the York Museum. At the south-eastern angle of this 
apartment is a rude staircase of two steps connecting a smaller upper 
apartment, probably a sleeping-room. It is approached by a low passage 
12 inches wide, the roof or lintel of which remains. The external wall 
at this point is about 7 feet high and has probably not been much higher, 
both apartments having been roofed with the branches of trees covered 
with turf and sods, to match the other parts of the wall, so that complete 
concealment would be ensured. 

At the east end are apparent indications of a cemetery, where a 
number of mounds of earth and stone, and huge unhewn fragments of 
rock are piled cromlech-fashion on the ground. The latter have no 
doubt been denuded of their coverings, but some of the mounds do not 
appear to have been disturbed. Nothing that is remembered has ever 
been found on the site, and only careful spade work can reveal their 
origin and true age. 

The site of the camp has been well chosen, being at a sufficient 
elevation above the valley to protect it from damp and the effects of 
frequent river-floodings, while on the north a magnificent wall of rock 
rises to a considerable altitude and forms a grand natural defence on 
this side. " Here," observes Mr. Olarkson, writing in the ignorance of 
his times, *' we see the violent convulsions which the surface of this 
globe must have received at the great Deluge, when the earth was torn 
from its centre, and rocks, water, and woods separated from their old 
habitations, were removed to a distance." But the rocks here display 


no each signs of convulsion, although a fault extending along the 
summit of the hill for about a mile in a north-easterly and south- 
westerly direction separates the siliceous shales, cherts, and limestones to 
a small extent, yet it does not interfere with the general westerly trend of 
the Underset and Main Limestones, which here form grand escarpments 
towards Richmond. These lofty perpendicular faces are entirely due to 
the slow process of denudation, by the widening and deepening of the 
valley, and the abrasion of their angularities by the grinding action of 
ice in the Glacial Period. 

At the summit of these bold cliffs is a spot known as '^ Willance's 
Leap," which makes one shudder to think of the marvellous exploit of a 
hunter at this place in the year 1606, the truth of which is vouched for 
in local records. Robert Willance was a member of a family who came 
into Swaledale from Dent in the 16th century, and through success in 
trade acquired considerable wealth and became owners of the manor and 
estate of Clints. Harrison afiBrms that Robert Willance was the son of 
one Richard Willance, a draper, of Richmond, who married and left two 
sons, Robert and Nicholas, the latter of whom succeeded to the 
Richmond business. Robert was a successful lead miner, and his 
adventurous spirit led him not only to enterprise in the depths of the 
Swaledale hills, but he loved also to explore on foot and on horseback the 
wildernesses of their rugged summits. On the occasion above referred 
to he was out hunting with a party when a fog coming on he galloped 
unawares to the verge of this tremendous cliff. Before he had time to 
withdraw his horse it sprang fractiously forward and bounded over the 
cliff, its rider half paralysed on its back, to the valley below, a fall of 
over 200 feet ! The animal was killed outright, and it is marvellous to 
think that Willance escaped with but a broken leg. The leg however 
had to be amputated, and tradition affirms that it was interred beneath 
a large stone in Richmond churchyard. Willance afterwards became an 
Alderman of Richmond, and lived till 1615, when on the 12th of 
February in that year he was laid beside his leg. To commemorate his 
extraordinary escape at Whitcliffe he caused three stones to be erected at 
the places where his horse had taken the fatal leap. Each stone is 
24 feet apart, and two of them are inscribed : " 1 606. Olory be to our 
merciful God who miraculously preserved me from the danger so great.'* 

The view from the top of the Scar, of which I give an engraving, is 
singularly wild and beautiful, combining a wide reach of moorlands to 
the west, with the winding river flowing between luxuriant banks in the 
valley below. The view is further enhanced by crossing the depression 
to the west of Willance^s Leap, and climbing the opposite bank you look 
up the romantic little valley of Marske with the beautifully-seated Hall 
and village in the foreground. A short walk from Willance's Leap to 


the north side of the trainlDg-ground and adjoining the old '^jagger 
road" to Reeth is the Beacon Hill, which likewise commands a 
wonderfully-extensive prospect. On a clear day it is possible to discern 
the towers of York Minster, over 40 miles away to the sonth-east, while 
the Cleveland Hills, the tower of Hartlepool Church, and the country 
surrounding the estuary of the Tees, are also visible. This old beacon 

View from Willance's Leap, Swalbdalb. 

is nearly 1000 feet above the sea, from which it is distant about 80 miles, 
and being the highest point of land betwixt it and the sea has been a 
signal for giving alarm from very early times. Fires were kindled on 
its summit, which could be seen for many miles round, and by this 
means in times of war when any danger was imminent the people knew 


to prepare themselves for the fray. At the time of the Spanish Armada 
(▲.D. 1580) the government issued orders for the lighting of certain 
beacons, and amongst them was Richmond, *^ which," says the mandate, 
"receiveth lighte from Omsbary Topping, in Langbarge, and giveth 
lighte to all the north-western parts of Kichmondshier and the Bishoprige 
of Darham." We all know Maoaulay*s stirring poem on these incidents. 
Again dnring the threatened invasion of Napoleon in the early part of 
this century guards were stationed at most of the beacons to watch and 
kindle fires immediately the occasion arose. How admirably does the 
old Scotch song of *' Symon and Janet " describe the sensations of seeing 
a beacon blaze in a remote country hamlet at such an eventful time : 

She, seeing our Bignals B-blazin*, 

Came runnin* and rivin* her hair : 
** 0, Symon ! the Frenchmen are landit 1 

Gae, look mon, an* slip on your shoon, 
Our signals, I see 'em eztendit 

Like red-risin* blaze o' the moon.'* 
** V^hat plague, the French landit ?" quo' Symon, 

And clash gaed his pipe to the wa', 
" Faith, then, ther's be loadin' an' primin'/* 

Quo* he, ** if they're landit, awa' 1 " 

A species of surprise and preparation that must have roused the quiet 
dulness of these sequestered dales, not only during the great Napoleonic 
wars, but on many a previous occasion when armies and bands of 
big-boned Scots came down from their northern fastnesses with the 
rapacity of wolves, destroying or carrying oflF everything they could 

From the Beacon cottage we may follow the old road down to the 
well-known Race Course, for Richmond has an old fame for its horse- 
races which were only suspended some dozen years ago. As many as four 
or five thousand people would congregate here on a single race-day, and 
many a noted steed has been put upon its mettle on this classic ground. 
It was not however till about the year 1765 that the present race-course 
was adopted ; the contests previously having been held on the High 
Moor, and there is a reference in the Coucher Book belonging to the 
Corporation, of a cup for the horse-race being in possession of the 
Alderman so early as 1576. In 1765, when the races began to be held 
on the new ground, several important meets here took place. I gather 
from Reginald Heber's Historic Matches, (vol. xv., a.d. 1766) that on 
September drd, 1765, £50 was run for and won by Mr. Cornforth*s bay 
mare Dido, 5 years old ; Mr. Alcock's roan mare Miss Peeper, 6 years old, 
being second. Next day £50 was run for by 4 year-old colts, and was 
won by Mr. Fenwick's bay, Dux. The day following, September 5th, 
a cup value £80 was ran for, carrying weight for age, one four mile heat, 


and was won by Mr. Penwick's bay horse, Le Sang, 6 years old. The 
same day a sweepstakes of 20 guineas, ** play or pay," was run, and won 
by Mr. Shafto's bay colt ; Mr. Fenwick's bay filly being second. I may 
add that in the same year, 1765, Mr. Fenwick's celebrated horse. Dux, 
won a £50 match, to which was added 65 goineas, at the Newcastle 
meeting on Jnne 27th ; the odds at starting being 6 to 1 on the winner. 
The same horse also secared the Noblemen and Gentlemen's Great 
Subscription of 50 guineas each at the York Races on August 19th of 
that year, and on the 28rd August the Great Subscription, to which was 
added 50 guineas by the city of York, was likewise won by this famous 
Richmond competitor. 

Many very good horses visited Richmond about this time, particulars 
of which may be gathered from Heber's Annual Racing Booh, first 
published in 1751. Such was the horse Bosphorus, which stood at 
Mr. Robert Kay's at Low Gatherley, near Richmond, in 1752, and when 
five years old won several £50 prizes, beating all the capital horses of 
that year. At six years old he won seven Royal Plates, and afterwards 
won other matches and several £50 prizes. Cade, the property of 
Sir William St. Quintin, was another celebrity, which stood at Easby, 
near Richmond, in 1752, and was the sire of some notable runners. At 
the York Races held in August, 1752, a subscription purse of £94 lOs., 
to which was added £50 by the City of York, was run for, and won by — 

1 Sir William St. Quinton's brown h., Cade. 

2 Mr. William Fenwick's ches. h., Trunion, 
S Mr. Scroop's bay h., Danby Cade. 

The sire of all these great runners being the above horse, Gade^ which 
was accounted by all acknowledged judges at that time as one of the 
fleetest and best horses in England. A long and interesting history 
might be compiled of the victories and achievements of this and the 
other old-time racers above named. The most famous local horse of 
modem times is without doubt that wonderful animal VoUigeur, owned 
by Lord Zetland, which was bom and reared on the Aske estate, and 
whose celebrated contest with the Flying Dutchman in the Spring of 
1851 is still the theme of sporting men. 

The large pasture at WhitclifiFe was at one time largely ovei^rown 
with scrub and trees, as appears by a petition of the burgesses of 
Richmond in 1440. When the common fields were enclosed in 1802 it 
was enacted " That that part of the Common Field or Pasture called 
Whitley, which has been for several years past used as race-ground, and 
whereon the stand for viewing the races was erected, and also so much 
of that part of the said Common Pasture which had been used as 
training-ground for horses, not exceeding fifty acres in the whole for 
such training-ground, were to remain in the same state and condition as 


before." Thus it was that a fine open tract of 82 acres of racing and 
44 acres of training-groand were secured. The Grand Stand, originally 
erected in 1775 at a cost of £1200, commands an excellent view of the 
course, and from it, too, on a clear day an uninterrupted prospect of 
many hundreds of square miles of surrounding country is obtained, 
extending as far as Roseberry Topping and Darlington eastwards, and 
southwards to York Minster. 

After an exhilarating walk over these open breezy uplands you will 
return with fresh zest to an exploration of the peaceful vale beneath, — 

" Whose verdant arms enfold each village fair, — 
Afar from towns where passions stern prevail, 
Afar from commerce and her sons of care 1 " 



On the Banks of the Swale. 

Meaning of Billy Bank — Bargate Green and the Torke family — Temple Lodge— 
RiTer-side walk — ^Arthur's Oven — The Round Howe, its phenomena explained 
— Through the woods — Race Course lodge — The new cemetery — Convent of 
the Assumption. 

|R0M the broken character of the vicinage of Richmond the 
viewB in every direction are wonderfully varied and romantic, 
and few places, as I have already remarked, can boast such a 
diversity of short moorland and woodland walks. A very 
pleasant little trip is that through the Billy Bank Woods to the Round 
Howe and back by the high road, — a round tour of about five miles. 
You go down Bargate to the old bridge over the Swale. Leland, the 
king's antiquary, who journeyed hither about 1587, says that " Bargate 
suburbe cummith downe to the bridge end of Swale ; the whiche bridge 
is some time chayned." The present stone structure was erected in 
1789. Originally the bridge was of wood, and before that the river here 
was doubtless forded. I conjecture that Billy Bank is but a corrupt 
form of the Celtic Bel-y-ban, meaning the ford at the hill or ?isight. 
Ballyshannon, i.e., the ford of the Shannon, is of similar origin ; there is 
also at Bingley in the West Riding an extensively wooded height, like that 
at Richmond, called from time immemorial Bell Bank Wood, and which 
skirts the river Aire where it has no doubt once been forded. 

On the west side of Bargate Green was formerly a good house, called 
The Hall, where the ancient family of Torke long resided. They were 
of the knightly family of Yorke of Gowthwaite in Nidderdale and 
represented the borough of Richmond in Parliament for nearly a century.* 
The house was pulled down in 1828, when Mr. Jaques of Easby Hall 
purchased the estate. The Temple Lodge was built by John Yorke in 
1769, and for some time was used as a menagerie. Subsequently it was 
bought of Messrs. Gill and Allison by George Smurthwaite, Esq., father 
of the present proprietor, who considerably enlarged the house and 
improved the grounds ; these are beautifully wooded and fall to the river, 
and contain some curious grottoes. 

* See the author's Nidderdale and the Garden of the Nidd^ pages 452, 467, &o. 


Prom the Swale bridge you turn to the right along the river-bank and 
proceeding some little distance there is a charming view of the castle 
and town with the bridge below {see engraving.) You now follow the 
wood-path up a half-mile when an open field is crossed under picturesque 
crags of broken limestone, at the extremity of which is a large natural 
opening called from some forgotten tradition " Arthur's Oven." It has 
probably to do with King Arthur and his famous knights, the legend of 
whose mysterious incarceration beneath the keep of Richmond Castle I 
have elsewhere explained. Arrived at the so-called Bound Howe you 
have here presented a scene of very singular aspects that cannot but 

Bargatb Green, Richmond. 

arouse in the beholder a curiosity to know how such a place can have 
been formed. No satisfactory explanation has, I believe, been offered as 
to the cause of the phenomena. A vast amphitheatre of wood-crowned 
hill opens suddenly from the river, and in the middle of this great gap 
is an immense conical hill, somewhat oval in outline, and several hundred 
yards round at its base. It is covered with trees and verdure and had 
formerly upon it an ornamental summer-house built in the form of a 
Chinese Temple, by Cuthbert Readshaw, Esq., in 1756. At first sight 
the hill looks like a huge gravel mound, or the work of man, but that it 
is neither is apparent upon an examination of the material of which it 


is composed. This in places consists of solid rock in sitUy corresponding 
exactly with the strata on the opposite banks, a fact which has led some 
authors to suppose that the hill has been detached from the surrounding 
cliff by some tremendous convulsion of Nature. But the definite lie of 
the rock betrays no such convulsion. The explanation seems to me to 
be that at a remote era the opening has been formed simply by a 
curvature of the river, dammed at this point and following the course of 
least resistance, that is by washing away the softer and looser portions 
of the strata the ** round howe " became in time an island, which was 
left high and dry when the obstruction was removed and the river-bed 
became deeper. The reason why the ground now slopes so much towards 
the river arises from the fact of the denudation of the precipitous strata 
enclosing the hill which has filled up the area. The river flows now at a 
much lower level, and has, I am told, deepened its bed at this point 
four or five feet within the last fifty years. 

We now climb the forward path and penetrate the wood once more. 
Around as are beautiful flowers and shrubs and overhanging foliage in 
great variety. The showy wood geranium, wood-betony, yellow pimpernel, 
lesser stitchwort, &c., are spread gaily among the bright clumps of giant 
bell-flower, while many another less common shrub and flowering plant 
frequently attracts attention. This woodland walk extends to the bridge 
over the Swale, or nearly a mile, but the path being narrow and thickly beset 
with rasps, thistles, burdock, and masses of sweet cicely, in places shoulder 
high, cannot be recommended, especially in wet weather, to gentlemen 
attired in a black suit or ladies in silk. In dry weather however the 
walk is full of delight. At the bridge you may, by pursuing the Richmond 
road a short distance, ascend a green lane to the Race Course lodge, 
where perchance you may hear something of the fearful snowstorm that 
happened in March, 1886. The lodge was nearly buried in snow, and 
the drifts reaching as high as the bed-room windows almost shut out the 
light for several days. But keeping along the highroad towards Richmond 
you pass^n a little time the new Cemetery, which is formed on the slope 
of the hill, the top of it being 86 feet higher than the main road, — a 
rather steep gradient. Here I may correct an error which has been 
circulated in proof of the salubrity of Richmond, that no burial took 
place within the parish for two months after the cemetery was opened. 
This is a mistake ; interments took place in the church-yard at Richmond 
as usual every week for some time after the cemetery was opened on 
March 1st, 1886, yet it is true that the first burial did not occur here 
until April 27th, 1886, or seven weeks after the cemetery was opened. 
The headstones are now pretty numerous, and better evidence of the 
general health and longevity of the dalesfolk might be derived from a 
perusal of the inscriptions upon these, as in other local burial-grounds, 


rather than from mere numbers. Among them may be seen one to the 
memory of John Todd, who died in May, 1893, aged 85 years, and of 
his wife Dorothy who died aged 82, having survived her husband but 
two months. They were a much respected couple and well-known in 
the Richmond district ; on their tombstone it is recorded that they ^'were 
married 61 years, and led an exemplary life." The Todds were a long 
lived family, and the John, here commemorated, was I am told a 
descendant of old Mrs. Todd, who died in 1790, aged 108. 

Richmond from the River Side. 

Keeping along the high road, with the Swale on our right, we pass 
the old-established Paper Mills and then the noble range of buildings of 
the ^' Convent of the Assumption,** erected through the generous 
patronage of the late Duchess of Leeds, as a boarding and day school 
for young ladies. The mother house is at Auteuil, Paris, founded by 
Archbishop Affre, who had the misfortune to lose his life at one of the 
barricades in Paris during the Revolution of 1848. The various 
apartments of the convent are well arranged, and include study, music, 
and recreation rooms, large dormitories, infirmaries, chapel, <&c. ; the 
west wing being set apart for the Sisters. 

Our road is now straight into Richmond. 



Easby and the Vale of St. Agatha. 

St A^tha, the martyr — Beaaty of Eaaby Abbey vale — Scots' Dyke^Ite character 
and extent — The parpose of its construction — ^Early British law — Meaning of 
Easby — ^Founders of the Abbey — The Abbey Coucher Book — Manor of Easby 
— ^Family of Jaques — Brompton-on-Swale— Brompton als. Gatterick Bridge — 
Chantry Chapel — Coaching days. 

DELIGHTFUL short excursion from Richmond may be 
made to that pictaresqne little valley so long held sacred to 
the memory of the Christian martyr St. Agatha, who for 
refusing to sacrifice to Pagan gods, was put on the rack, 
burnt with hot irons and mercilessly tortured to death. To her honour 
the humble church at Easby was first built, and afterwards arose the 
glorious pile in its vicinity, ei*ected by the holy brotherhood of monks as 
a further memorial of her piety and sufferings. 

Beautiful almost at any season is the retired and sheltered spot where 
the old Abbey lies, to reach which we may either take the low road by 
the Parish Church or go up Frenchgate and along the Terrace, high 
above the Swale, proceeding as far as Sandford House (Mrs. G. Harrison) 
where the road divides. By taking the one on the right you descend to 
the rustic village of Easby, where the old church and monastic ruins 
repose in seeming oblivion of the world and its busy ways. 

While near Sandford House it is worth while inspecting the famous 
Scots* Dyke, one of the most remarkable earthworks in the whole country. 
A gate on the left leads through a shady lane to Whitefield Farm, 
whence the great embankment or dyke is observed running in a northerly 
direction through the pasture. It can be traced from the North Riding 
through the counties of Durham and Northumberland to the very 
confines of Scotland, a distance of more than 70 miles. It consists in 
some part of its course of a central fosse or ditch with a bank or 
rampart of earth and stones, being the upcast of the ditch, and raised 
parallel on either side. In some places the bank or banks are obliterated. 
In the old boundary-rolls of the borough of Richmond it is called the 
Road Dyke ; indeed it is not improbable that the banks were used at an 
early period as a roadway for travelling through the country, at that time 


largely marsh and moor, and the discovery in its vicinity of many 
decayed iron hoops of ancient chariot-wheels seems to countenance this 
belief. The dyke appears to have extended southwards in the direction 
of Bipon, and northwards by Easby, Gilling, and across Gatherley Moor 
(keeping almost parallel with the great military road of the Romans, 
Watling Street) ; thence to the extensive earthworks at Stanwick, and 
northward to Barforth-on-Tees,* whence it passed through the counties 
of Durham and Northumberland, crossing beneath the great Boman 
walls of the Emperors Hadrian and Severus, and intersecting the famous 
Four Dykes at a point about two miles east of Housesteads, where it is 
known as the Black Dyke. Thence it pursues a north-westerly course, 
crossing the border into Scotland by Wheel Fell, between the rivers North 
Tyne and Bead. 

By whom and for what purpose this extraordinary earthen rampart 
was constructed has given rise to much discussion. That it could be due 
to any military requirements of the Anglo-Saxons, Danes, or Normans, 
is wholly improbable. The comparative shallowness of the ditch, and 
the ramparts above it, even if paled, would offer but a feeble defence, 
and be of little strategic value to any great body of men among those 
nations properly equipped for combat. It could serve but as a temporary 
hiding place, and then would be equally available for an invading army 
as for the original possessors of it. That it was constructed by the 
Bomans for a similar strategic purpose is a plea likewise indefensible. 
No such gigantic labour would be undertaken by these invaders, for 
furnished as they were with eveiy requisite for the conduct of war, both 
offensive and defensive, such an earthwork would have impeded rather 
than have advanced their contests with the hordes of impetuous Britons, 
who careless of life and inured to every species of danger, would just as 
surely have taken advantage of such an entrenchment to hamper the foe. 
Indeed it is not too much to afSrm that no nation could ever have formed 
a work of this character with a military object. As to the Boman 
invaders they appear to have utterly disregarded any strategic value 
that may be supposed to have belonged to it, for their great walls in 
Northumberland were built over and through it, and both there and in 
Yorkshire the Boman military and vicinal roads crossed it, apparently 
as an obsolete and effete work. There can in fact be but one explanation 
of the origin and object of this remarkable construction, extending as it 
does in one continuous ridge through portions of three counties, namely, 
that it was primarily made a defining line or boundary, separating one 

* It is noteworthy that many places compounded with Bar lie on Boman 
roads, such are Barbon, near Eirkby Lonsdale ; Bare, on Morecambe Bay, &c. 
I may say that bar was the old war-cry of the Teutonic races, from haren to raise 
the Toice. (^8ee Collingwood^s Mana Names in Cumbria,') 




commnnity or tribe from another. The names of these tribes and the 
motive for this compact is left to conjectore. Caesar and other early 
historians of Britain tell ns that the Brigantes of the northern provinces 
were constantly at war with each other before the Romans came hither, 
and there is no doubt that the great Brythonic invasion, or late Celtic 
wave which spread over Britain, had the effect of dislodging the native 
races and causing much bloodshed and commotion. The older settlers and 
indigenous tribes took refuge in the north, leading a half-savage life 
among the mountains, making frequent incursions however into their 
old dominions, and harassing the new comers at every assailable point. 
Numerous forts, camps, and earthworks are still to be met with scattered 
in wild places over these northern parts, which remain almost alone to 
attest the constant wars and internecine strife between these primitive 
contending tribes. Does not Juvenal, a contemporary of the warlike 
Brigantes say, in alluding to the storming of the British camps : 

Dirae maurorum attegias. et castra Brigantum 7 

Tacitus tells us the same ; also how the stalwart Britons fought with 
darts, slings, and large swords, being skilled in the use of these weapons. 
Also knowing no danger, they rushed with such deadly ferocity 
against their opponents, that given equal fighting weapons, the Romans 
who were in stature inferior, could never have held out against them. 
According to Ptolemy the native tribes who occupied the most northern 
part of the country took the name of Scottendeni, a name that seems to 
have got corrupted to Ottedenoi, and their dominion extended as far 
south as the two Tynes ; the region to the west being occupied by the 
Selgovse, while the territory of the Brigantes proper extended from south 
Yorkshire noi*thwards to those of the foregoing, and eastwards to the 
region of the Parisii, which included a large portion of the East Riding 
stretching towards Flamborough.* It seems to have been by some of 
these primitive tribes that the great ** Scots^ Dyke " was constructed, to 
define the bounds of their respective territories before the northern 
incursion of the Romans in the first year of the Christian era. How it 
got the name of Scots* Dyke I do not know ; perhaps from its having 
served as the partition line between the great tribes of the Scottendeni 
and Selgovse, and some clans of the Brigantes. The strictest vigilance 
would be kept by watching that no member of a tribe encroached without 
authority upon the territory of another. When a man was caught 
trespassing and could give no satisfactory account of his action or of 
his identity with the tribe to which he belonged, he was at once brought 
before the chief of the offended clan, and put to death. Sometimes, as 

* The well-known Danes* Dyke at Flamborough is now definitely ascertained 
by General Pitt Rivers to belong to the Bronze Age of the ancient Britons. 


in the case of Offals Dyke, extending from Flintshire to the Bristol 
Channel, capital punishment, it is said, immediately followed the trespass 
without trial or question of any kind. Whether this summary method 
of the Mercian kings* dealing with the lives of culprits obtained in this 
neighbourhood at the same or a later period than the time of Offa we 
have no means of knowing. Yet the daughter of OfiFa, we are told, on 
the excellent authority of Bede, was married to King Ethelred at 
Catarractontum (Catterick), the principal of the southern forts adjoining 
the Scots* Dyke, and it may have been that the same laws that governed 
the borderlands of Mercia prevailed here too. 

In early British times it was a fundamental principle of the constitution 
that every member of a clan was bound to support and protect the chief 
under whom he lived. It was also important that he knew something 
of his family antecedents, and could he prove his kindred to some 
community through nine descents, and the like number of collateral 
affinities, he was considered a freeman, and eligible for the leadership of 
a tribe. But as our knowledge of the native government of Britain 
before the advent of the Romans is, unfortunately, extremely meagre, I 
shall offer no opinion with respect to what was the law at that era on 
either side of the Scots* Dyke in Richmondshire. I may however observe, 
that as a civil boundary of the ancient Britons, it has continued as the 
demarcation of many townships and parishes down to the present day. 

As we stroll down to Easby from the Scots' Dyke I should remark 
the error of some writers in attributing the name of Easby to its situation 
east of Richmond. But when Easby was first so named Richmond had 
no existence, according to the testimony of Domesday^ and in that recoi-d 
Easby, which constituted a separate manor, is spelled Asebi. This I 
take to be a derivative from the Scand. aas^ meaning a ridge, in allusion 
to the proximity of the place to the Scots* Dyke. The prefix aas^ asj 
enters frequently into place-names in Norway and Sweden, and also in 
parts of Britain known to have been colonised by these intrepid Northmen. 
Yet another meaning may belong to it, for eas^ aia^ means a waterfall, as 
in Aisgill, Easegill, and perhaps Aysgarth, &c. Also of a river, from 
the Scand. aeSy A.S. eas ; thus Easby may signify the by or village 
beside a river. Certain it is that the name contfiins no component of the 
situation east 

Now we are at Easby, a lovely nook, with its handsome manor house, 
close by the way, one of those stately homes of old England standing 
amid tall ancestral trees, which Mrs. Hemans so happily writes about. 
The gardens are bright with many flowers, and the retired and umbrageous 
character of the pretty spot must soothe the fevered mind and cool the 
travel-stained tourist on a hot summer's day. Here we come to the grey 
old church and overspreading abbey, still beautiful and majestic in decay. 


The Abbey owes its origin to the liberality of Boald, Constable of the 
Castle of RichmoDd, in 1152, who endowed it with lands in Hadswell, &c. 
It was erected for the body of Premonstratensians or White Canons, an 
Order that was introduced into England from Picardy about a.d. 1140. 
In the reign of Edward II. the posterity of Roald having disposed of a 
large share of their lands to the great house of Scrope, this loidly family 
rebuilt and considerably extended the structure of the monastery, assigned 
to it the manor of Brompton, and otherwise increased its endowments, 
so that they came to be regarded as the second founders. Leland even, 
from information derived on the spot and from observing their arms in 

Easby Abbey from the River. 

the abbey, speaks of the Scropes as the founders, but this, obviously, is 
not historically accurate, while the employment of different arms at 
different periods was by no means unusual in conventual establishments. 
Unfortunately very little is known of the life and conduct of this 
important monastery, a leading element of its proceedings being contained 
in the ancient Abbey Coucher Book which was kept among the manuscripts 
at Burton Constable, but at the dispersal of these extensive collections 
in 1892 this valuable repository could not be found. Among the ancient 
charters, however, now in London, may be traced many interesting 
particulars of the management of the Abbey and of the troubles and 


difficaltiea which the Abbot, in his capacity as landlord, had with his 
numerous tenants. That he, through his servants, did not always act 
wisely or exceeded his obligations, is patent by an indictment contained 
in the Assize Rolls for 1284, when one John de Hellebeck and John de 
Bellerby entered a complaint that John, the Abbot of St. Agatha along 
with seyeral brethren of the house, had unlawfully deprived them from 
the use of a mill at Bolton-on-Swale. The Abbot however maintained 
that he was entitled to a yearly rent of 2s. out of the said mill, which 
he had by gift of Robert of the Hellebeck, and that he distrained for the 
rent, which was then in arrear. A jury was empanelled and found that 
the Abbotts servants had gone to the length of stripping the irons and 
other instruments of the mill, so that it could not be used, they therefore 
found for the plaintiffs, damages 10s., — equal to nearly as many pounds 
of present money. 

The Abbey continued its office of ministering to the religious and 
social needs of the community till 1535, when it was surrendered to the 
kiug's deputies, who broke the seal of the monastery and received a 
written confiscation. From that time these superb buildings— once the 
great pride of Swaledale — have gone to decay. About ten years ago the 
Council of the Yorkshire Archaeological Society, out of a special fund, 
commenced to excavate the Abbey ruins, and theur praiseworthy action 
resulted in a plan of the church being for the first time made out, along 
with a complete disclosure of the plan of the infirmary buildings, a most 
interesting section situated on the north side of the church. The work 
was carried out under the superintendence of Mr. W. H. St. John Hope, 
the able church antiquary, who furnishes the following description of the 
principal features of the ruins : " The church — which is cruciform in 
plan — as originally laid out consisted of a short aisleless choir ; north 
and south transepts, each with an eastern aisle containing three chapels ; 
and a nave of seven bays, with north and south aisles. There was also 
probably a low central tower. Although the foundation of the Abbey 
is assigned to 1152, there are no traces of any buildings of that date 
with the exception of a round-headed arch, with a double row of beak- 
heads, now re-erected on much later jambs at the foot of the dorter stairs. 
The church appears to have been begun quite a quarter of a century 
later, when the Norman style was giving way to the Early English. 
Unfortunately the remains of the original church are but small, the 
lower parts of the north and south choir walls, the south transept aisle* 
and the north and west walls of the north transept with a fragment of 
its aisle, being all that is left. No portion of the nave exists except part 
of the plinth of the north wall of the north aisle. Imperfect as the 
remains are, they are yet sufficient to show that although the church was 
appai^ntly fully laid out, its erection was somewhat slow. The earliest 






part completed was the soath transept, which was of transitional-Norman 
work, ca. 1180. The choir was probably of the same date. The next 
work was the north transept, bnt it was not built until the Early 
English style had come into fashion, its date being ca. 1190. The tower 
over the crossing, and the nave and aisles, would follow. The outer 
wall of the south aisle was usually an early built work, to enable the 
north cloister alley to be placed against it. The original church was 
about 170 feet long and 88 feet 9 inches across the transepts." 

Clarkson laments the fact that the Abbey was not allowed to remain 
*'as a specimen of how religious houses were constructed," but the 
general design of the buildings is by no means orthodox and affords no 
example of typical arrangement, the apartments of the monastery are 
not always in the usual positions, and there is scarcely a room in it that 
is constructed at perfectly right angles, the walls inclining more or less 
out of a straight course. It is particularly noticeable in the main walls 
of the infirmary, which are not at coiTect angles to the axis of the church, 
but turn slightly eastwards. The great cloister-court also, assumes the 
form of a trapezium instead of a square or rectangle as is usually the 
case in a monastery. The side on the north, the wall whereof is gone, 
measures 98 feet ; that on the east 63 feet ; the south 82|^ feet, and the 
west 100 feet. The irregularity, observes Mr. Hope, probably began by 
the Canons setting out a smaller square cloister for their temporary 
buildings, but having a mind to make it larger in the permanent ones, 
they were thrown out by the parish church, and perhaps by the river ; 
but chiefly by the church, which by limiting them on the east side, made 
necessary the thick block of buildings on the west, but for which there 
is room enough for the usual plan. On the east of the cloister-court 
were the chapter-house and the sacristy, the former a beautiful vaulted 
apartment, where the processionals were formed and the chief business 
of the Abbey was transacted. It had formerly three windows, two on 
the south and one on the east ; the latter having been sometimes 
mistaken for a doorway. Over the chapter-house and part of the sacristy 
is a long room, containing a large open fireplace, with a locker for a lamp 
opening in its west jamb. On the west side of the cloister was the 
monks* dormitory and the guest-houses, while the south part was bounded 
by the frater-house, which was reached by a flight of steps from the great 
door in the cloister. Throughout the abbey it is observable that all the 
doors have raised and chamfered sills, by which draughts and cold air 
were prevented from entering, as the doors were made to shut against a 
frame all round. 

Although the original extent or dimensions of the choir are apparent 
it is not now possible to determine its features and arrangements. There 
are two sepulchral recesses in the north wall, too small for effigies, which 


are supposed to mark the resting-places of Boald, the founder, and his 
wife. The Scropes were interred here too, but there was no " Scrope 
Chapel,*' properly so called, as some writers contend belonged to the 
chapel on the north side of the nave. Among the witnesses in the famous 
Scrope and Grosvenor controversy (1885 — 1890) was John, Abbot of 
St. Agatha, who made no mention of such a chapel, but deposed that 
Sir Richard le Scrope*s father, Henry Scrope, who died in 1886, was 
buried in the abbey precincts, ^^ above the choir higher than their choir 
in a part of their church buried under high stones, and upon the stone 
a knight graven of stone and painted with these same arms, azurey a 
bendy or ; " and that Sir Richard's elder brother. Sir William le Scrope, 
who died in 1844, *^ lies on an high altar-tomb, all armed, and the arms 
graven on a shield represented upon him without painting or colours." 
The Abbot also stated that many other of their lineage were buried here 
under flat sculptured stones. No traces of these ancient graves are now 

The original gate-house of the Abbey is in good preservation, with 
its main middle entrance and greater and lesser doorways, of the same 
age as the earliest parts of the monastery, but the upper story, or Abbot's 
court-room, which was long used as a granary, is of somewhat later date. 
Close by is the old " Abbot's Elm." 

The Parish Church, founded long before the monastery, occupies a 
sombre yet picturesque situation on the south-east side of the Abbey 
cloister. It is a quaint structure, bearing some resemblance to the old 
church at Heysham on Morecambe Bay. The site of the Abbey was no 
doubt chosen by the monks in proximity to the church of the parish as being 
convenient for them while the monastery was building. Subsequently 
it formed part of the Abbey endowments, and was served by the Canons. 
The interior arrangements comprise a nave with south aisle, a chancel, 
south porch, and a chapel on the north side. The prevailing style 
shews that the building underwent considerable alterations and enlarge- 
ments in the early part of the 15th century, probably before 1424, as in 
that year Nicholas, Bishop of Dromore, Suffragan of York, received a 
commission to dedicate it and the area for the churchyard, and to constitute 
it a parochial church. But structural traces of the original Norman 
building are still apparent, while the old Norman font, with its richly, 
sculptured exterior, is happily preserved. On the north side of the 
chancel is a low, arched recess, which is conjectured by some writers to 
mark the resting-place of Richard Scrope, Chancellor to Richard II., 
who died in 1421. By his will. Lord Scrope ordered his executors to 
found a college for a certain number of priests and clerks, a circumstance 
which seems to have persuaded Camden that the church was made 
collegiate, but no writings can be found to give credit to such foundation. 


The probability is that Lord Scrope intended it to be collegiate, but died 
while the charcli was being repaired. On the porch are carved the arms 
of Scrope ; shields of the arms of Aske appear on the west and of 
Conyers on the east side of it. There is also a mutilated effigy of the 
patron saint Agatha in the wall near the chancel door. 

When the church was restored in 1868-9 by Lord Zetland and 
Leonard Jaques, Esq., patron of the living, some curious Scriptural 
paintings of the eleventh or twelfth century were uncovered on the walls, 
and which have been renovated, but their subjects are difficult to trace. 
In the chancel are three sedilia and a piscina. A brass plate near a 
smaller piscina, marking apparently the site of an unrecorded chantry, 
mentions the burial here of Eleanor Bowes, the heiress of the Musgraves 
of Barclay Castle, who died in 1623, aged 76, but was debarred from 
her inheritance by composition and entails. She became the wife of the 
eminent Robert Bowes, Esq., of Aske, Queen Elizabeth's treasurer and 
ambassador to Scotland, and after being his faithful consort for more 
than 81 years, she remained his widow at Aske for about 25 years. She 
was the founder of the Bowes Charity at Richmond, before mentioned. 

About a century ago a singular discovery was made in the church 
of an epitaph ** pon the death of Richard Swale, gentleman,** written in 
Hebrew, Greek, Latin, and English, extolling his many virtues and 
bequests to the poor. The epitaph, which was beautifully written, was 
pasted between a double oaken board, which had always been mistaken 
for one whole piece and had long been used for cutting bread upon for 
the communion. The date of it is stated to be 1588,* and Whitaker 
even ascribes its composition — an eminently Protestant/ur(?r6m exultarUem 
— ^to no less a personage than the great Reformationist Miles Coverdale. 
But among the wills at Richmond is to be found one of Richard Swale, 
dated December 1st, 1577, which from its benevolent tone and style 
compares remarkably with the laudatory record on the old communion- 
board. The testator orders his body to be buried in the church at Easby. 
He gives to the church 10s., and to the parish church of Bolton-on-Swale 
6s. 8d. He also gave to every house within the parish of Easby the sum 
of 4d., likewise to the poor of Richmond 20s. These and similar bequests, 
public and private, seem to indicate that he is the Richard Swale of the 
epitaph, and that the date, 1588, ascribed to the latter is wrong. 

With regard to the manor of Easby it was held before the Conquest 
by one Tor, a Dane ; afterwards it passed to the Constables of Richmond 
Castle, and then, as explained, to the Abbot and Convent of St. Agatha, 
with whom it remained till the Dissolution, when it became vested in the 
Crown. Henry VIIL, in 1587-8, leased it with other estates in the 
neighbourhood to John, Lord Scrope, of Bolton, and his assigns for a 

* Vide Oents, Magazine for 1799. 


term of 30 years at an annual rent of £283 13s. lid. Its subsequent 
history has been traced by Clarkson to 1729, when Juliana, Viscountess 
Dowager Howe, descended from the last Scrope of Bolton, and her son. 
Viscount Howe, conveyed in fee to William Burton, Esq., of North 
Luffenham, co. Rutland, ''all those manors, or reputed manors of 
St. Agatha, St. Trinians, Easby, Uckerby, and Bolton-on-Swale, with 
lands in Hudswell and Richmond, and a farm at Barton,*' for the sum 
of £14,605. In the same year, 1729, William Burton sold the manor 
of Easby with the abbey, mill, and several closes, to the Rev. W. Smith, 
rector of Melsonby, for the sum of £5700. Mr. Smith soon afterwards 
built the present mansion. From the Smiths the estate passed to 
the Knowsleys and Johnsons, and in 1816 was purchased from 
Cuthbert Johnson by Robert Jaques, Esq., for £45,000, with whose 
descendants it still remains. This family has been long seated in 
Richmondshire, and traces its descent to one Jakes or Jaques of 
Bainbridge, forester to Earls Alan and Conan in the time of King Stephen. 
Richard Jakes, of Bainbridge, had lands in Thornton Rust, in right of 
his wife Alicia, who was a daughter of James de Baynbrigge, chief 
forester to the Earl of Richmond, in the time of Edward I. They 
resided at Thornton Rust for a long period, and also at Spennithorne. 

We may continue our walk from Easby by a pleasant road to 
Catterick Bridge, for a view of the famous Roman Gamp, described in 
the next chapter, returning to Richmond by rail from Catterick station. 
The road runs through the straggling village of Brompton-on-Swale, 
anciently Brunt on, where in the 12th century the romantic fraternity of 
Knights Templars had a small possession. Subsequently, in the reign of 
Edward II., the whole manor, with the mills, &c., was purchased by the 
Scropes, who presented it, 44th Edward III., to the Abbey of St. Agatha 
at Easby. Old charters mention a bridge as being here, but this has 
reference, unquestionably, to the bridge over the Swale situated some 
distance to the east of Brompton, and now called Oatterick Bridge. In 
the 30th Edward I. (1301) the following persons paid subsidy at 
"Brompton Brigg : " William at the Cross, 6s. b^d. ; Hugh fil Alexander, 
2s. Id. ; Elizabeth, 9s. 2^d. ; John Orype, 2s. 2^d. ; Imania, Is. 6d. ; 
Walter Gill, €s. 3d. ; Robert Clerk, 2s. lOd. ; Galfred Piscator, 8s. 9id. ; 
William Attetounend, 4s. ; Richard Rymour, 4s. ; the Abbot of St. Agatha, 
for his grange, 30s. Id., and a few others. This population hardly 
tallies with Leland's account of the Bridge in 1535. '^ Katerikbridge 
selfe hath but one house as an yn." But what was popularly known as 
Brompton Brigg included probably a scattered population, if not the 
hamlet of Citadilla. 

When the Monks of St. Agatha got possession of Brompton it was 
subject to an annual payment by them of 106s. 8d. for a chantry priest 


to pray for the soal of the donor, Richard, Lord Scrope, 22Dd Richard II. 
Nothing remains of this old chantry-chapel, bat there are two or three 
fields at the north-east of the village still suggestively called Steeple 
Fields. The present church, or chapel-of-ease, was built in 1887 on a 
site given by the vicar from the glebe land. It is a neat stone structure 
close to the road leading to Richmond. The interior was improved with 
new choir seats and a light chancel-screen three or four years ago, when 
a beautiful little organ, built by Messrs. Forster and Andrews, of Hull, 
was also erected, chiefly through the exertions of Mr. F. W. Dodd, 
foreman at the Catterick Bridge Nurseries, who collected upwards of 
£100 towards the cost. 

The National School was erected about the same time as the church. 
There is also a neat and well-built Wesleyan Chapel, erected about three 
years since. The village otherwise possesses no special features of interest, 
but in the hey-days of hoof and wheel, when the coaches from London 
to Edinbro", &c., clattered over Catterick Bridge there was a good deal 
of cross traffic through Brompton, which has now greatly declined since 
the introduction of the railway. There were then three inns in the village, 
the King William upon entering, the Crovm in the middle, the Phanix at 
the west end. The two latter still exist. Early last century it would 
also appear there were other inns within the constabulary of Brompton- 
OD-Swale, and two of these, kept respectively by Thomas Shipley and 
Elizabeth Ramshaw, were ordered by the Court of Quarter Sessions, 
assembled at Thirsk, October 6th, 1730, to be suppressed. 

It appears from the same Sessions* records that Brompton Bridge 
was repairable by the inhabitants of Brompton, but on the plea of poverty 
they were frequently assisted by grants from the county rates. Thus in 
July, 1682, it is stated that '^ by the late violent floods ** the bridge had 
collapsed, but " being of general use to the country, though to be repaired 
by the inhabitants of Brompton, yet they being poor and not able to 
build the same again at their own charge, this Court being credibly 
informed that the building the said bridge again and making it a bridge 
for cart and carriage (at the least) will cost £60, doth order that £30 be 
estreated and given as a gratuity towards building the said bridge.*' 
Again in April, 1690, it was ordered that ^' £40 be estreated as a gratuity 
for Brompton Bowe Bridge, the inhabitants of Brompton undertaking 
to get the said bridge well and sufficiently repaired, and to be at all 
charge of such repairs beyond the said sum, the same being no county 

The effect of floods at this point was sometimes very disastrous, and 
was not thoroughly remedied till about the year 1780, when a cut and 
dam was made through the batts, or low shore-lands, adjoining the 
bridge. In 1672-3 we read that the parish of Brompton had not only 


to repair the bridge, &c., but were wholly responsible for any loss or 
damage sustained by the floods within their territory, the latter 
circumstance being of course applicable to other parishes as well. Thus 
a violent flood in the winter of 1672-3 carried off a dwelling-house 
which stood near the river at Brompton, and the parish oflicers there 
were forthwith ordered to provide ''a convenient habitation for the poor 
man, his wife and children,*' unless they can shew good cause to the 
contrary to the two nearest Justices. 

It may be interesting to give the names of some of the inhabitants 
of Brompton-on-Swale four hundred years ago : 

William Bishopric 
Miles Wedyrhead 

John Bishoprio 
Robert Walker 
John Huntyndon 
William Perte 
Richard Jakeson 
William Stodehyrd 

Thomas Bishopric 
Wm. Symond 
Christ. Johnson 
John Jakeson 
Ingelram Carter 
John Smyth 
Thomas Taillour 
Adam Porter 
Wm. Smyth 

Thos. Stapylton 
Thos. Pykebasske 
Thos. Smyth 
Wm. Stirkeland 
Gandewinne Fauset 
Thos. Rawe 
Wm. Watson 
Edmund Watson 
John Tailloar. 

These were all summoned 21st Edward lY. (1480) for cutting down 
trees and underwood, value £10, declared to be the property of the Abbot 
and Canons of the monastery of St. Agatha at Easby. How the dispute 
terminated does not appear. With the exception of the family of Garter, 
I believe none of these names are now found in the parish. 

At Brompton was born in 1762, the Rev. John Carter, M.A., F.S.A., 
who died at Lincoln in 1829. He was for 80 years head master of 
Lincoln Grammar School, and contributed several papers on Lincolnshire 
antiquities to the ArchcBologia. 



Round about Hipswbll. 

Windmill Fields — 8t. Martin's Priory — Its poBseBsions and importance — Pleasant 
situation of Hipswell — Hipswell Church — Manor House^Families of Fulthorpe 
and Wandesforde — Was Hipswell the birthplace of Wycliffe, the Reformer 7 
— Golburn, its old hall and chapel — Brompton Hospital. 

|£ HAVE by no means exhausted the objects of interest lying 
within a short radius of Richmond. There is still the south 
side of the Swale to explore as far as Catterick Bridge, a 
circuitous tour of some six miles. We again cross the Old 
Bridge and proceed up Sleegill. On the left are the Windmill Fields, and 
upon an eminence, commanding a fine view over the Swale and the lovely 
country beyond, are some old ruins of a thick-walled edifice locally 
known as the Windmill, though the building apparently bears no 
indications of having served such a purpose. Here is the historic EarFs 
Orchard, now the property of Mr. Joseph Raine. A turn tq the left 
down Theakston Lane will bring us through some fields and across the 
railway to the farm-house at the ruins of St. Martin's Priory. 

The remains of this ancient foundation may also be reached by 
descending past the Parish Church and crossing the Swale near the 
railway-station, whence it is but a few minutes* walk. The monastery 
appears to have been used as a convenient quarry for later erections after 
its dissolution in the 16th century, and little now remains to show its 
original extent, style, and plan. A kind of square tower, with a pointed 
west doorway, which may have been the porter's lodge, forms a conspicuous 
feature of the buildings, and there are some portions of the original 
chapel, with two good windows of later date. The doorway remains, a fine 
example of Norman work, bearing a zig-zag moulding, which is perhaps 
the oldest bit of architecture in the district of Richmond now extant. 
It seems a sad reflection on the vanity of life and the instability of all 
the loving works of man, to see the interior of this once-honoured temple, 
sacred to prayer and praise, converted to the base uses of cows and hens I 
Let us hope that public taste will rise some day to the more appropriate 
care and preservation of such classic monuments of the past. 


The interesting monastery is one of the very oldest foundations in 
Richmondshire, dating almost to the era of the Conquest, when 
Wihomarca, a prominent Breton, who became. chief steward to Earl Alan 
after the building of Richmond Castle, gave the chapel of St. Martin 
with certain lands in Edlinthorpe, Thornton, Forcett, Scotton, &c., to 
the Abbey of St. Mary, York, which monastery had been previously in 
the time of the Danish Kings, known as St. Olave's. This wealthy 
establishment thereupon founded the Priory here in honour of St. Martin, 
for some nine or ten monks who were attached to the Order of St. Benedict 
and who received a confirmation of the grant by Pope Eugeiiius III. in 
the year 1146. Subsequently the little community received much temporal 

Hips WELL Church. 

aid and many splendid bequests, which considerably raised its authority 
and influence in local ecclesiastical affairs. Though always subordinate 
in spiritual matters to the parent Abbey at York, the monks of St. Martin 
in most other ordinances acted as an independent society.* At the 
Dissolution the house was in possession of a Prior and nine monks. 
Their lands were returned as of the yearly value of £49 19s. 9d. (equal 
to nearly £500 of present money), but their gross annual revenues from 
all sources must have greatly exceeded that sum. They possessed the 
churches of Richmond and Catterick, the chapel of the castle, the tithes 

♦ See also Yorks, Arch, Journal {Bee, Ser.^j xvii., 174. 


of the castle mill and castle garden, besides the village of Gilmonby, 
near Bowes, and lands in Hndswell, &c. 

From the Priory Farm the tourist may make his way to the snug 
little village of Hipswell, situated between two merry streams that come 
coursing down from southern moora and sing their song of peace by 
many a cottage home. The surrounding scenery is picturesquely 
diversified by hill and dale ; a fault running about east and west to the 
south of the village cuts off the millstone grics from the Yoredale rocks 
on the south, while a more extended dislocation passing from the north- 
west to the south-east breaks up the same measures from West Wood 
across Pleasant Dale to Tunstall. 

There are many things of interest belonging to Hipswell. The 
church first claims our notice. It is a small but tasteful building, rebuilt 
in 1811. The previous church stood in a field some little distance away 
called Chapel Garths, (the foundations whereof still exist) but of its 
origin nothing is known. Before the Reformation it would appear to 
have been served by the monks of St. Martin's Priory. The registers 
date from 1664. Previous to 1811 the chapelry was held with that of 
Hudswell by the Rev. Ben Enowles, and at the latter place the burials 
took place. The following memorandum is copied from an old book of 
christenings, dated 1797 : 

St. John's Chapel. J. Robinson, LL.B., a.d. 1811. 
The old chapel at Hipswell haying become ruinous, and there being no burial- 
ground, a piece of land was granted in a more convenient situation by the Lady of 
the Manor, the Countess Dowager of Ormond and Ossory. The new Chapel was 
built at the expense of the Freeholders, and with the burial-ground was consecrated 
by the Bight Rev. B. E. Sparl&e, Lord Bishop of Chester, 15th July, 1811. 

Our view of the church prior to the restoration and before the grove 
of poplar trees was cut down, is from a drawing kindly supplied by the 
late incumbent, the Rev. H. A. Annesley. In 1892 the church was 
restored at a cost of about £1000, towards which Mrs. and the Misses 
Stevenson of Scotton Hall and Hedgerley Park, Bucks., contributed 
upwards of £350. A new chancel roof and vestry were then added, 
the interior was reseated, two small windows were inserted at the west 
end, and a stained glass window erected by the Misses Stevenson to the 
memory of their grandfather, the late John Hodgson, of Scotton. The 
vicarage house was erected in 1884 at a cost of about £1300. The 
present incumbent is the Rev. F. B. A. Williams, B.A., late curate of 
Holy Trinity, Bingley. 

In addition to the church Hipswell possesses a charming old manor 
house (now a farm), one of few examples of 15th century architecture 
in Yorkshire that have retained their main features unaltered to present 
times. It was probably built by Alan Falthorpe, who owned eight 


messuages and three carucates of land, with appurtenances, here in the 
time of Richard III. On the south wall, above a beautiful Tudor oriel, 
is the cross moline of the Fulthorpes. The central porch-tower and the 
ample window-bays are particularly characteristic. Originally the house 
seems to have been moated and was enclosed with handsome gardens and 
terraces, traces of which can still be recognised. John Fulthorpe was the 
last male heir of the ancient family who resided here. He married Jane, 
daughter of Thos. Wharton, Esq., and sister of the first Lord Wharton. 
He died in 1557, seized of the manors of Hipswell, Startforth, Bolron, 
&c., leaving two daughters, his co-heirs, Anne, the eldest, then aged 
27 years, being the wife of Francis Wandesford, Esq., of Eirklington ; 

Hipswell Hall. 

the property was thus acquired by the Wandesfords, and has since 
remained with them. Over the door of the hall are the initials 6. W. 
(George Wandesford) and date 1593.* 

Apart from its manorial history, the interest of this little place is 
unusually important if we dare claim for it the reputation of being the 
birthplace of John Wickliffe, the " Morning Star of the Reformation." 
Dr. Whitaker and others have expressed grave doubts as to the village of 

* For Pedigree of Wandesford tee Whi taker's Richmondshire, Vol. II., p. 140 ; 
also SuHtet Socy. Pub., Vol. 86, p. 100, and Vol. 40, p. 50. 


WyclifFe on the Tees having been his birthplace. Leland, who was 
deputed by the King to enquire into these matters, was informed that he 
was born at Spreswell, " a poore village a good myle from Bichmond." 
As there is no such place as Spreswell now existing, probably Hipswell 
is meant. In early charters I find the name written Hirpeswell als 
Ipreswcll, which in utterance approximates near to Spreswell ; but it is 
not improbable that Leland wrote the word Ipreswell, and having been 
misread by Hearne has since been printed Spreswell. Moreover, there is 
a place near Richmond called Whitcliffe, from the whiteness of the rocky 
scar that hangs over the Swale, and this place may be the original of his 
family name.* At any rate it has the merit of being pronounced like the 
great Reformer's own name, which Wycliffe (the Wy long) on the Tees 
has not.f 

A descent may now be made to the rustic hamlet of Colburn (i.e. cold 
stream) situated on the beck of that name which drops into the Swale a 
little lower down. Here is an inn, the Hildyard Arms, kept by one of 
the clan of Metcalfe. John Hildyard was Master of St. Oile's Hospital 
at Brompton in 1888. The old Hall was the seat of the D'Arcy family, 

* The oldest dated docament in which the name appears is a paper referring 
to his embassy in 1874. It is there spelled Wiclif, 

t Since the above was written the rector of Wycliffe, the Rev. John Erskine, 
informs me that there was a place called Spreswell or Speswell close to Thorpe 
Hall, about a half-mile from Wycliffe. But the name at this day only lingers as a 
tradition, and beyond some foundations of ancient buildings in the neighbourhood 
of Thorpe Hall there is now no knowledge of any such village. Yet that it did 
exist I find confirmed by some correspondence which appeared in the Athencmm 
in 1861. Therein it is related that this Spreswell had a small Roman Catholic 
chapel, and that one John Yarker, of Whorlton, and Penitent Johnson, of the 
same place, were married in it early last century. They were the last couple 
married there, for the chapel soon afterwards fell down, and the ploughshare has 
since passed over the site ; all being now level. The signaturn to ihis statement is 
that of John Chapman, a great-grandson of the above couple, and **a gentleman," 
adds Dr. Vaughan,** of respectable position in Gainford, a parish adjoining the spot 
called * Old Richmond,* and whose ancestors, as the above statement indicates, 
have been resident in that district through several generations." Mr. Chapman 
further states that Francis Wycliffe, who died at Barnard Castle 30 years ago, and 
who was the last descendant of the Wycliffes bearing that name, always spoke of 
the Reformer as being in the belief of the Wycliffes of Wycliffe, a member of 
their family and born at Spreswell. When, therefore, Leland speaks of Spreswell 
as ** a good myle from Richmond," he must have referred to " Old Richmond " on 
Tees, although this place is fully two miles from the Spreswell indicated as at 
Thorpe, half-a-mile from Wycliffe. The chapel in question seems to have been 
dedicated to St. Tilde [St. Hilda?], for in the 14th Elizabeth (1571), Percival 
Gunston had a grant from the Crown " to him and his heirs of the free chapel at 
Thorpe-on-Tees, called St. Tilde*s Chapel, with a garden and two rods of land in 
the tenure of Bartholomew Carus, clerk." The present rector is in possession of a 
piscina which, he tells me, was saved when the above church was pulled down. 


and near it stood a small chapel dedicated to St. Anne. All that remains 
of this ancient place of worship may be seen in some stables belonging 
to the farm premises. This portion of Swaledale is a veritable Holy 
Land of temples once sacred to the praise of God, proving how great 
was the religious zeal and wealth of the inhabitants, and monks and 
priests must once have been as common as blackberries in the 
neighbourhood of Richmond. If, as stated above, the great champion 
of English Protestantism, John Wickliffe, was bom near Richmond, it 
was probably this exuberance of religious houses in his midst that 


John Wicliffe denouncing the Grey Friars. 

provoked his marvellous hostility to them with voice and pen. Especially 
severe was he with the mendicant order of Grey Friars, whose noble 
house at Richmond, in spite of all the declamations of its great opponent, 
betrays it at this day to have been a monument of aspiring and lavish 

Proceeding from Colburn in the direction of Catterick Bridge you pass 
the site of another old-time hospital with chapel, which is said by Clarkson 
to have been founded by Henry Fitz Randolph, lord of Ravensworth, in 


the time of Henry III. But as the arms of Marmion are on the Hospital 
Seal it is not unlikely that some member of that family was the true 
founder.* The extent of its possessions we nowhere gather, but in the 
15th Henry III. (1230) a fine was levied at York between Stephen fil 
Simon de Bmmton, claimant, and Simon, Master of the Hospital of 
Saint Egedi, of Brumton, detainant, of two bovates of land with the 
appurtenances in Brumton ; and the said Stephen quitclaimed to himself 
and his heirs the said lands to the said Master and his successors, and 
the said Master received the said Stephen into the benefits and prayers of 
the said Hospital of St. Egedi, alias Giles. The hospital stood by the 
banks of the Swale, opposite Brompton, the site being now occupied by 
a farm-house. 

♦ See also Nates on a Selection of ancient Charters, Jj'c., at Brough Hall^ (1878). 



The Roman Camp at Catterick. 

Surmisea on the meaning of Catterick — Catterick, a British city — Its importance 
in Brigantian times — Caer Caratauc, 0X9, Catterick named in honour of 
CaractacuB — The Mint at Catterick — Coins of Caractacus — Erroneous 
conclusions of Akerman — Catterick in Roman times — An astronomical 
observatory — Camden's account of the Roman station and discovered relics — 
Bede's opinion — The camp excavated and examined by Sir Wm. Lawson, Bart. 
— Catterick Race Course— Catterick Bridge and its ancient chapel — The old 
George afui Dragon Hotel. 

HAVE now to discuss that celebrated ancient site, once one 
of the most strategically valuable of its kind in Britain, near 
to Catterick Bridge, which for a long period afforded a secure 
harbour to an important section of the Roman conquerors 
of our island. • We may either take the train from Richmond to Catterick, 
or continue the walk from St. Martinis and Colburn, as described in the 
last chapter, which by-and-bye leads past the extensive Thomborough 
Pasture and farm-house, the property of Sir John Lawson, Bart., of 
Brough Hall. Although little remains to be seen here now, this pasture 
marks the site of a famous Brigantian city, afterwards occupied by the 
Romans, and called by them in the Itinerary of Antoninus Cataractonium^ 
by Ptolemy Caturacton, and by the geographer of Ravenna Cataroctonium, 
Camden thought it might derive its name from the cataract on the Swale 
at Richmond, suggested by Bede's designation of it, vicum juxta 
cataractum, an opinion and supposition upheld by most subsequent 
writers. Phillips, however, derives it from the Celt, catkair rigd (fortified 
city), while another etymologist furnishes in the Archeeological Journal 
(vol. vi.) the ingenious definition caer-dar-ich, 1.^., the camp by the 

It appears, however, to have been strangely overlooked that this was 
one of the great stations of the Brigantes, seized by the Romans, who, 
as frequently happened with the camps and stations of their predecessors, 
Latinised their names, as was the case with the British Caer Ehrauc (York) 
afterwards Eboracum ; Iseur (Aldborough) afterwards laubrigantum and 
Isuriuniy and apparently our Goer Caratauc (Catterick) afterwards 


Cataractonium. All oar best old authorities, including Camden, maintain 
that the Romans did not frame a new name for every place they 
conquered, but generally contented themselves with the name they found ; 
only filing off the roughness, and giving it a Roman termination ; so 
that in truth the names and places mentioned in Britain by Latin 
authors, as easy and elegant as they sounded, were generally barbarous, 
and of a pure British extraction. Such an important station of the 
early Britons as Catterick admittedly was, must therefore have had a 
British name, and this may be reasonably assumed to be Caer Caratauc, 
Indeed such is the assumption of Dr. Giles, the learned editor of the 
ancient historian Nennius, who flourished sometime in the Anglo-Saxon 
period of the occupation of Britain, and whose Historia Britonum was 
first translated in 1819 from a manuscript then lately discovered in the 
library of the Vatican Palace at Rome. The station at Catterick, or 
rather Thomborongh, lay a little to the east of the Scots* Dyke, a 
contemporary erection of the Brigantes, as I have already shewn in a 
preceding chapter. Their station here, one of the principal cities of the 
Britons, according to the best authorities, was doubtless so placed as a 
watch-guard to this tribal boundary, and whose jurisdiction must have 
extended over a considerable tract of the surrounding country. And 
this dyke is again suggestive. Had we not got the British name of the 
place, as recorded by Nennius, I should have judged the etymon 
Catterick to be derived from aUh rigg, i.e., the Scots* Dyke, corresponding 
with the well-known Cat Rail or Fossa Oalwensium^ a similarly ancient 
boundary dyke extending for a considerable distance beyond the Scottish 

According to Richard, of Cirencester, who devoted the greater part of 
his life to the study of British and Anglo-Saxon history, Catarracton 
(Catterick) was one of the ten accredited cities of the Britons governed 
by the Latian laws, that is, they had the right to follow their own laws 
and customs, enjoying exemption from the edicts of the Roman prsetor, 
and had the option of adopting or rejecting the laws and customs of 
Rome, a politic concession of which no doubt the fullest advantage 
would be taken, as domestic and national customs are almost inalienable 
among half-civilized peoples. Only two cities in Britain at that time, I 
may add, were empowered with municipal government, possessing all the 
rights of Roman citizens, and those were St. Alban's and York. The 
social and administrative position of Catterick, however, was scarcely 
inferior, and it must have been before the Roman Conquest a place of 
considerable magnitude and note. How strange that events so old should 
survive in a tradition at the present day, for I have heard old inhabitants 
of the district speak of " Thomborough City," where now stands but a 
solitary house I 


Are we to interpret the Brigantian Caer Caratauc (assuming the 
ascription of Nennius to be correct) as the seat or city of some unrecorded 
tribe at t\iQ ford of the Swale ? For in the final avc there is a suggestion 
of the Goidelic-Celtic auch^ augh^ i^e.y a ford. Or shall we rather say 
that it was the seat of some British chieftain famous in deeds of war ? 
There is no less a personage than the redoubtable Caratog, King of the 
Silures, whom the Romans called Oaractacus, and whose name, which 
Mr. Walker (vide Camden) spells Garadavc^ lends a probability to this. 
A chief and warrior of extraordinary skill and prowess in the field, he 
successfully withstood the Roman arms for a period of nine years, when 
through the perfidy of the Queen Carthismandua he was delivered up to 
the Roman legate, Ostorius, who had subdued many of the northern 
tribes before the year a.d. 45, and reduced a great part of Britain to a 
province. As this lady had married Yenutius, King of the Brigantes, 
this large and important station by the Swale may have been named in 
honour of her distinguished captor Caratog, who was eminent above all 
the commanders in Britain. And as Tacitus tells us it was the policy of 
the Romans to honour their chief prisoners *' that kings themselves might 
be their tools to enslave others." Moreover, do we not learn from 
Geoffrey of Monmouth that Goer Ebrauc (York) was founded in honour 
of EbraucuB, son of ^neas ; then why not Caer Caratauc (Catterick), of 
little inferior note at that era, in honour of the illustrious prince Caratog ?* 
Upon a coin of this Brigantian chieftain, figured in Camden^s Britannia^ 
the name is spelled Cearatic. It does not appear improbable that the 
mint at Catterick, referred to by Bede, was in existence during the reign 
of this monarch.t That it existed a century or so later is certain, as 
owing to the importance of the station as a trading-capital for the 
Swaledale mines, visited by merchants, license to make money here would 
be a most useful privilege. The Catterick mint-mark, " C," was impressed 
upon the coins. Akerman in his valuable work on Roman Coins is 
undoubtedly wrong in stating the letter " C " to indicate the mint at 
Camolodunum, in^ad of Cataractonium ; the " cxxi.," moreover, upon 
the exergues of the Roman admiral Carausius, certainly stand for 
Collegium Catarractonii undeviginitiy and have nothing to do with 

Of the importance of Catterick in Roman times we have abundant 
testimony in the writings of contemporary authors, as well as in the 

* It should be noted that there are other ancient works known as Caer Caratauc 
in England ; some were mere extempore fortresses raised by Caractacus during his 
prolonged war with the Romans in various parts of the island. See *' Caer Ebrauc ** 
in YorU, Arch. JL, v., 360—60. 

t See Sir John Evan's Notet on the coins of Caraotacut, 

X See Gent.' 8 Magazine^ 1836, part ii., page 155. 


actual discoveries made on the site, also by reason of its proximity to the 
divergences of the great military thoroughfare, Watling Street. That 
it was a city of great note, observes Camden, may be inferred from 
Ptolemy, because an observation of the heavens was made there. For 
in his Magna Conslructio he describes the 24 th parallel to be through 
Cattarractanium in Britain, and makes it to be distant from the Flquator 

57 degrees. Yet in his geography he defines the longest day to be 18 
equinoctial hours, so that according to his own calculation it is distant 

58 degrees. Tt is not improbable that the Palet Hill, the Mom PakUinus 
of Gale, at Catterick, was the site of these astronomical observations. 

Camden, who was Richmond Herald, and who visited Catterick about 
the year 1582, when preparing his admirable topographical survey of 
Great Britain and Ireland, says that " hard by the river he saw a huge 
mount with the appearance of four bulwarks cast up with great labour to a 
considerable height,** and Bishop Gibson in the second edition of his 
Camdmi adds the following : 

Tho* the name of the old Caturaetoniumhe left in Catarick, yet are the remains 
of it met with about three flight-Bhots from the bridge, at a farm-hoase called 
Thornburgh, standing upon a high ground, where as well as at Bramptou-upon- 
8 wale on the other side of the river, they have found Roman coins. Upon the 
bank of the river (which here is very steep), are foundations of some great walls, 
more like a castle than a private building, and the large prospept makes it yery 
convenient for a frontier-garrison. It is credibly reported, that about a hundred 
years ago, these walls were dug into, out of hopes of finding some treasure, and 
that the workmen at last came to a pair of iron gates. Overjoyed at this, and 
thinking their end compassM, they went to refresh themselves, but before their 
return, a great quantity of hanging ground had fallen in, and the vast labour of 
remoTing the rubbish discouraged them from any further attempt. 

The level plot of ground upon the hill adjoining to the farm-house may be 
about ten acres, in several parts whereof Roman coins have been ploughed up ;* 
one particularly of gold, with this inscription : Nbro Imp. Caesab, and on the 
reverse, Jupiteb Custos. Within this compass also, they have met with the 
bases of old pillars, and a floor of brick with a pipe of lead passing perpendicularly 
down into the earth ; which is thought by some to have been a place where 
sacrifice was done by the infernal gods, and that the blood descended by those 
pipes. Likewise heretofore in ploughing the plough-share stuck fast in the ear of 
a great brass pot, which, upon removing the earth, they observed to be covered 
with flat stones, and upon opening found it (as it is received from our ancestors by 
tradition) to be almost full of Roman coins, mostly copper, but some of silver. 
Great quantities have been given away by the predecessors of Sir John Lawson 
(to which family the estate came by marriage), and he himself gave a good number 
to be preserved among other rarities in King Charles* Closet. This pot was 
redeemed at the price of eight pounds from the sequestrators of Sir John Lawson 's 
estate in the late civil war, the metal being an unusual sort of composition. It 
was fixed in a furnace to brew in, and contains some twenty -four gallons of water 

* They still continue to be picked np on the site ; one of brass was found in the Spring of the 
present year, bat the inscription is too much corroded to be deciphered. 


Further, very lately (a.d. 1708) some of the inhabitants digging in the ground 
to make a lime-kiln (on the higher bank of the river, scarce a hundred paces 
below the bridge) met with a vault, filled with five arns, viz. : a large one in the 
middle, encompassed with two on each side which were less. And to this place 
also belongs the following inscription : 




Now from all this, why should we not conclude that Thornborough, belonging to 
Brough Hall, was the vieui jnxta eatarraotum ; since Catarick Bridge and the 
grounds adjoining, belong not to Catarick, but to Brough? In this place we will 
also add the following inscription : iiavb hebaolb bat bt filfbab.... 

To this I may add Bedels opinion that Brough was the quarter of the 
mint ; Thornborough the station, and the limits of the city from the 
station to the bridge. Clarkson (1821) remarks that the iron gates 
referred to by Bishop Gibson, were given to a blacksmith, who found 
upon heating them and beating them out that they emitted a strong 
sulphureous smell, and flaked so that they could not be made into nail-rods 
as was intended. The same author says that on digging the foundation 
of the farm-house, a square arched vault was found, on each brick the 
letters b s a r, and on the floor much glutinous matter like coagulated 
blood. In 1851 Sir William Lawson had the site of the camp examined 
and measured, when it was found to include an area of about nine acres 
— affording some indication of the numerical strength of the forces 
stationed here. Certain foundations of Roman walls 7^ feet thick were 
come upon, and these have been carefully restored, and may be seen to 
the left of the wooden gate, a little beyond the iron gates leading from 
Catterick Bridge to Brough. The wall extends for about 90 yards, is about 
five feet high, and composed of stones beautifully squared and laid level 
as a die along each course, the whole being supported by a substantial 
set-off bevelled down to the ground-surface. One of the stones bears part 
of an inscription, harg. an ... , and another has upon it . . . its. 

The varied collection of relics found from time to time upon and in 
the vicinity of the great camp are preserved at Brough Hall. 

Adjoining the site of the great camp is the Oatterick Race Course, 
the scene in former days of many an exciting run, and where, too, that 

* ThuB extended : Dso qui vias st bsmitas coxmbktub bbt Tbrsntiub Ibdab f Sivoularis 



immortal jockey, whom Punch bo humorously depicted, entered the lists 
of a famous race ; when the other horses were off he held his own back 
to the surprise of the onlookers, and on being asked the reason thereof, 
replied that he had received orders to make '^ a waiting race of it,*' and 
he might as well wait there as anywhere else I A little to the north of 
this level tract, which appears to have been the bed of the old river 
expanse, now left high and dry, the road crosses the Swale by a 
substantial stone bridge of four arches. Anciently the river was spanned 
by a bridge of wood, a short distance to the west or Brompton side of 
the present one, and it was doubtless the " Brompton Brigg ** referred to 
in early charters. The bridge was rebuilt in the 15th century, shortly 
after Catterick church, the original contracts for both structures being 

Remains op Chapel on Catterick Bridge. 

preserved at Brough Hall. The compact for building the bridge was 
made in 1422 between seven of the neighbouring gentry and three 
masons, who were to erect it between " the olde stane brigg, and the new 
brigg of tree, quilke forsaide brigge, with the grace of God, sail be mad 
sufficiant and workmanly in masoncraft accordand in substance to 
Bamacastell brigge."* The bridge was to be completed in 1425, the 
neighbouring quarries to be at their service, and the cost to be 
£178 6s. 8d., equivalent to nearly £2000 of present money. The 
bridge has since been made double the width of the original structure to 
meet the increased traffic of this important highway in the coaching-days 
between London, Leeds, and Scotland. Before the widening took place 
a small chapel, dedicated to St. Anne, stood on the east side at the south 

♦ See North Riding Records^ Vol. 8, pp. 38 — 37, where a full transcript of the 
original deed is giren. 


end of the bridge. It was served by a priest from the neighbouring 
hospital of St. Giles' for the benefit of travellers, who were expected to 
contribute to the alms box kept to aid in the repair and maintenance of 
the bridge. Vestiges of this old chapel may still be fonnd in the 
premises adjoining the inn. The accompanying engraving depicts the 
appearance of the chapel and bridge about the middle of last century. 

The old inn just named, the Oeorge and Dragon^ at Oatterick 
Bridge, is a large and famous hostelry, and the very ample stabling 
behind tell of the days when the yard and stables were none too 
commodious, for in the old coaching era there was a big traffic on this 
Oreat North Road and a constant bustle of in-and-out-going vehicles. 
The inn is mentioned as such in the time of Henry YIII. (vide Leland), 
and has doubtless been a public resting-place for man and horse from 
the first building of the bridge, if not earlier. ' 

A story is told of a man who was once driving a horse and cart 
through the old Catterick toll-bar, wheb a lad who was standing by 
remarked to the bar-keeper : ''That- fellow has a face longer than his 
life ! '' The man overheard the peculiar observation, and stopping his 
horse asked : " How do you mack that out,' you young scamp ? " The 
youth ran off, exclaiming : '' l^^by a man's life is nobbut a span long, 
and thy face is two spans I" The man endeavoured to catch hold of 
him, but the lad was too sharp. Many another tale of the old coaching- 
days might have been told, too, had space permitted. 







( li 

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'•L««ti'.; asj'fcts of rli- |%a •••. 

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one oi its iiK'St not.;l)Ie lions -5. ii'««^n:ii'*h a< tlic k t»,.i r i. »^. 

I'ot I'lily as one of tli'.* lar. ♦>(■ I 'it a« (iije "*' Ll:- •; --.i ;«.. . 
:h<' north of Kt,,;ian(l. 'I'!uj Manor Hon^o farip n . • 
uf "'sof cor'i and j^i.^^'in^ land, and tlu: i^uiivlii^i < a. d a; 
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"• .1 Frui\ S, t'Ti'M'Mc-liou- J, r! aS^:r':-<h«;d, i o"ii-l, ii-r., ^ . ;. 

■■yjT^^rr •. 





Cattbrick and Brough. 

The parish of Catterick — Village aspects — The Manor House— Old inns — Ancient 
assise of bread and ale — Local bow and arrow practice — Catterick Church — 
The oldest building-contract extant in the English language— Description of 
interior of church — Sir Walter de Urswick — Memorial of the author of 
Drunken Bamahy — Chantry-chapels — ^Ancient sun-dials — ^An old post-o£Sce 
— Local trades — Brough Hall — Family of Lawson — Roman Catholic Chapel. 

IaYING in the last chapter written somewhat at length on the 

British and Roman oocupation of Catterick, the story of this 

ancient and well-established city, (Bede, however, who wrote 

in the 8th century, never designates it anything more than a 

village), I may now add something of its history and appearance 

subsequent to the Norman Conquest. 

The parish is a very extensive one, and includes 15 townships, viz. : 
Catterick, Appleton, Bolton-npon-Swale, Brough, Golbum, Ellerton-upon- 
Swale, Hipswell, Hudswell, Eillerby, Eiplin, Scorton, Scotton, Tunstall, 
Uckerby, and Whitwell ; the whole embracing an area of about 22,600 
acres. The lord of the manor and principal landowner is Sir John 
Lawson, Bart., of Brough Hall. 

Entering the village in bright and genial weather, when the fine trees 
upon its ample green shadow the sward beneath by their wealth of 
foliage ; the clear rivulet coursing athwart it and plashed by the whitest 
of ducks ; the red-tiled and blue-slated roofs of the houses, with the 
tower of the old church rising above them ; a delicious sense of stillness 
and repose filling the whole atmosphere, with the bright blue sky 
high over all, you cannot but be fascinated by the peaceful and thoroughly 
rustic aspects of the place. 

The Manor House, the residence of Mr. Teesdale H. Hutchinson, is 
one of its most notable houses, inasmuch as the occupant is well known 
not only as one of the largest but as one of the best all-round farmers in 
the north of England. The Manor House farm comprises some 600 
acres of corn and pasture land, and the buildings and appliances connected 
with the homestead are of themselves a study and a pattern of agricultural 
fitness on a large scale. They comprise a large covered yard, sheep-sheds, 
food stores, engine-house, thrashing-shed, corn-bam, grinding-mill, &c., 



each admirably fitted up and adapted for its own particular use. A writer 
in the Agricultural Oazette for July 6th, 1891, observes that there are 
'^ few breeders who have had the same run of success with stock of his 
own breeding during the past twenty years, nor, speaking personally, are 
we acquainted with any agriculturalist, landlord, or tenant, — and this is 
saying a great deal — who can claim the same measure of success for the 
farm he cultivates.'* This is assuredly high praise. As a breeder of 
Shorthorn cattle, horses, and sheep, Mr. Hutchinson has achieved 
considerable fame, and the prizes he has won from time to time are many 
and valuable. His brother, Mr. John H. Hutchinson, also resides in the 
village. He takes great pleasure in antiquarian pursuits, is well versed 
in local archsBoIogy, and to him the author of this work is under many 

The village of Catterick is situated on the great North Road, and its 
several ancient hostelries, notably the Oak Tree, kept for many years by 
Miss Elizabeth Hayes, recently deceased, and the Angela with its sign- 
board fixed between posts on the green, like what is seen in south country 
towns, were once busy places indeed, but their palmiest days have long 
since depaited, and they must now take their chance as ordinary wayside 

That there have been public inns here from the Saxon days there is 
little possible doubt, not only from the acknowledged importance of 
Catterick at that era, but also from its position on one of the leading 
and most ancient thoroughfares in England. The old-fashioned diet of 
cheese and bread and ale is one which must have been dispensed at these 
inns from remote times, and from their very situation upon an important 
high road, such inns must formerly have been subject to special 
surveillance, and have been closely watched by the representatives of the 
law. In the Norman centuries the prerogative belonged to the lord of 
the manor of seeing that the public were served with the right quality 
and measure in food and drink, so far at any rate as bread and beer 
were concerned ; a duty that was afterwards transferred to the local 
Justices. Such for example was the father of the immortal Shakespeare, 
who successively filled the posts of ale-taster, assessor, burgess, constable, 
chamberlain, alderman, and high sheriff, at Stratford-on-Avon. 

In the reign of James I. it was enacted that ^' if any inne-keeper, 
alehouse-keeper, or victualler shall at any time utter or sell lesse than 
one full alequart of the best beere or ale for a peny, and of the small 
two quarts for one peny, then that every such inne-keeper shall forfeit 
for every such offence, &c., the sum of xxs." This law was strictly 
enforced, yet in spite of it transgressions were not infrequent. Two 
Catterick innkeepers, viz., Sam Bamford and John Eidson, were at the 
Quarter Sessions held at Richmond in October 1607, both fined 20s 


each for '' breaking the assize of ale/* a large snm at that time for such 
an offence.* 

Another old-time law, which finds a local illustration in Catterick, 
was that every male inhabitant, excepting only spiritual men, Justices of 
the two Benches of Assize, and Barons of the Exchequer, between the 
ages of seventeen and three score, should possess and keep ready in 
his house a bow and arrows, and that he should engage in regular 
shooting practice, in default thereof to be fined. This Act, which was 
passed 38rd Henry YIII., remained in force long after the introduction 
of gunpowder, when the old long-bow gradually fell into disuse. In 
1607 we find it recorded that several youths living at Catterick with 
their parents were, when the king's officers called, discovered to be 
without the stipulated bow and two-shafts, and they were accordingly 
each fined 6s. 8d. ; the fines in each case to be paid by the fathers of the 
lads.f Every place at that time had its archery-butts, and the bowmen 
used generally to meet in the churchyard or other convenient place when 
assembling for practice. 

Catterick is now included in the Deanery of Richmond West, of which 
the Yen. Archdeacon Danks, M.A., Rector of Richmond, is Rural Dean. 
The church at Catterick is remarkable in many respects. Its foundation 
dates most probably from the time when Bishop Paulinus baptized the 
hosts in the Swale more than 1200 years ago.{ It is even stated, on 
the authority of the venerable Bede that James, the deacon of Paulinus, 
had his residence here. The present church, dedicated to St. Anne, 
occupies a site on the south side of an earlier structure pulled down in 
1412, and which doubtless was the building recorded in Domesday. 
The contract for taking down the old church and erecting the present 
one is preserved at Brough Hall, and it is perhaps the oldest document 
of the kind extant written in the English language. Although English 
was coming into more general use, Latin was still the current speech 
and form of written address among the educated classes at this period, 
and the reason for this agreement being written in English arose 
doubtless from the contractor, who was a local mason, knowing none but 
his native tongue.T The paper is endorsed " Endb' tub* bcclesib db 

* Vide North Riding Records^ vol. i., page 9. 

t Ibid,, Yol. 1. page 93. % See page 69. 

^ Wycliffe had traoBlated the Bible iDto English in 1382, yet the necessity for 
translations of the Scriptures in the vulgar speech seems to have been felt before 
then, for in the words of John Foze, author of the Booh of Martyrs (contained 
in an epistle to Queen Elisabeth in Arehhithop Parlter't Tratulation of the Saxon 
OoepeU^ printed in 1671), we read : " If histories be well examined, we shall find 
before John Wickliflfe was born, as since, the whole body of the Scriptures was 
by sundry men translated into our country tongue," — testimony corroborated by 
other personages of equal authority in these matters. 


Oatrik/* and begins : ^^ This endento' made atte Burgh the aghtende 
day of the Moneth [note the pure Saxon of this word] of Aprill the 
yere of King Herry ferth after the Conquest of Ingland thrittende 
betwix dame Katerine of Burgh somtyme the wife of John Burgh 
William of Burgh the sonne of the forsaide John and dame Katerine of 
the ta ptie [the one part] And Richard of Cracall [near Bedale] mason 
on the tothir ptie," &c. It then goes on to recite all the various details 
of the complete building which the said Richard shall make of good 
" werkemanschippe and mason crafte," and finish it, "war, &o,, excepted," 
in about three years ; the price to be paid, 170 marks in money, and a 
mason's gown (a customary allowance), amounting together to £114 

Dr. Whitaker, who quotes the contract,* unfortunately assigns a 
wrong date to it, having apparently misread the word " ferth '* for 
" fefth," but as Henry V. reigned only ten years, it is evident that the 
words of the contract are " Henry ferth." Moreover it is recited that 
the " forsaide Richarde sail gette or garre gette att the quarell atte his 
awen coste alle the stuffe of the stane that misters [is wanted] more fer 
the makyng of the kirke cf Katrik than that stuffe that is fonne within 
the kirke yerde beforsaide." By this is clearly meant that the contractor 
was to have the use of the material of the old church, and what he was 
to get from a certain quarry at his own cost. Whitaker must have 
taken but a hurried glance at this portion of the document to have 
interpreted " quarell " as " squared stones," instead of quarry from which 
the stones were obtained. He has also misread, omitted, or misinterpreted 
many other words and important technicalities in this most interesting 
and instructive writing, but these have been pointed out and fully dealt 
with by Mr. Raine in his admirable brochure.! 

The sum of £114 for the building of a church may appear small, 
even at that day, but when it is remembered that the patrons found the 
stone, lime, sand, water, and scaffolding, it seems to be merely a question 
of labour which the contract price involved. Mr. Raine assumes from 
the average rate of wages cited in the Durham Dormitory Contract, 
dated in 1401, that the sum of the contract would be equivalent to 
about £684 of present (1884) money. Longstaffe repeats this assumption. 
I do not however believe that the wages paid at Durham, viz., a mason 
7d., a carpenter 5d., and a quarryman 3|d. per day, would be identical 
with those paid to the country workmen engaged at Catterick. The 
work throughout is only of a middling character, and in some places, 

♦ Vide Richmondskire^ vol. II. 

t Sec the Correct Copy of the Contract for Ut Building, fc^ by the Rev. James 
Raine, M.A. (London, 1834). 


where the boilders might have shewn particular taste and skill, is 
distinctly mean and poor. It cannot have been that the lack of better 
ornament and superior finish was due to the fear of sustaining a pecuniary 
loss, by the terms of the agreement, (certainly a not uncommon occurrence 
among modern contractors), as there can be no excuse, pecuniary or 
otherwise, for such an offence to the laws of architectural symmetry as is 
manifest in the great east window, which is glaringly out of all proportion. 
The west end windows of the aisles are, among other features, likewise 
deficient. Durability (the walls are about double ordinary thickness) and 
practical commodiousness would seem to have been the chief objects 
aimed at by these rustic church-builders, whose average wages, 1 should 
say, would not have exceeded 5d. or at most 6d. a day for masons, or say 
3s. 6d. per week, which is about one tenth of the average wages of the 
same class of workmen at the present time.* Consequently I conclude 
that the £114 paid to Cracall for the erection of Oatterick Church would 
be worth at least £1100 of present money. 

The interior of the building, as at present existing, presents a good 
many objects of general as well as of archaeological interest. Some of the 
stained glass is particularly beautiful. The large east window, a memorial 
to Mr. John Booth, depicts in rich and well-contrasted colour the story 
of the Last Supper ; the handsome west window, which is a memorial to 
the wife of a late vicar of the parish, the Bev. John Croft, M.A., is an 
illustration of the gospel according to St. Mark, chapter i., verse 9, 
" Then cometh Jesus from Galilee to Jordan unto John to be baptised." 
Another beautiful window commemorates Mr. John Hutchinson, of the 
Manor House, Catterick, who died in 1878, aged 78, and Lucy, his wife, 
who died in 1885, aged 71. On the south side is also a memorial window 
erected to Ellen, wife of Wm. C. Booth, of Oran, who died in 1864. 
Adjoining the latter is an arched recess containing a plain altar-table 
bearing the effigy of a famous knight who won his laurels fighting for 
the Black Prince at the disastrous battle of Navarre, where many an 
English sword was lost and many a helmet cracked, on that memorable 
winter's day in the fortieth year of the reign of King Edward III. (1367). 
For his services this valiant soldier. Sir Walter de Urswick, received an 
annuity of £40 per annum out of the manors of Catterick and Forcett ; 
he was also made Chief Forester of the New Forest, an extensive tract 
between Swaledale and the Tees, and was Constable of Richmond Castle 
in 1371. Mr. Raine suggests, from a calculation of his age at the time 
of the Spanish wars, that the effigy may never have occupied any other 
position than its present one. But his estimate of 25 years old is I, 

* About the end of the 14th century the wages paid on account of Whitby 
Abbey for masons ranged from l^d. to 6d. a day. Vide North Biding Becordt^ 
Tol. vi,, page 4. 


consider, much too young for one who must have held an important 
command to have earned the valuable grant he did. Moreover, the 
monument I may say, shews that it was sculptured from forty to fifty 
years before the present church was built, and also it is evident that it 
originally lay but little above the ground-level ; the existing support 
being patently a later work. There is no doubt it was brought from 
another place, {ergo the previous church), and suffered perhaps something 
by the removal. The lower portions of both legs are missing, but in 
spite of this mutilation and the careless regard for such monuments in 
Puritanical ages, the effigy, which is wrought in a very durable stone, is 
still good, and save the absence of sword is characteristic. The knight 
is represented in the usual position, cumbent ; the head resting upon a 
helmet encircled by a wreath (the crest being a ram's head) and the 
hands are uplifted in prayer. The bascinet is plain, pointed, and laced to 
the tippet of link-mail ; the jupon, covering the mail-shirt, rcrxhes to 
the hips, and is fringed and also ornamented with a rich band, 1^ inches 
wide, finely worked in a pattern of raised quatrefoils, &c. The epaulets 
consist of three overlapping pieces, and these and the brassarts, coutes, 
and vambraces, all indicate the fashion of the Camail period. The 
canopied niche is Cracalfs work, but it is bald and characterless ; at its 
apex is a shield bearing the arms of Urswick, on the dexter side the 
arms of Scrope of Masham, and on the sinister, an impalement of both. 
Whitaker, in his Richmondahire (vol. II., p. 42) furnishes an illustration 
of the figure, but its details are inaccurate, and Clarkson*s print of it 
{Richmond^ p. 62) is archsBologicaliy worthless. 

The ancient brasses, monuments, and window heraldiy in the church 
have been fully particularised by Whitaker. The oldest of these existing 
is a slab in the vestry bearing a strip of brass inscribed to John de 
Burgh, who died in 1412, and Catherine his wife, who was the daughter 
of Roger Aske. It was this lady, then a widow, and her son who were 
parties to the contract for building the present church. The tomb has 
borne two shields of arms, but only one now remains, engraved with a 
plain saltire, indicative of a matrimonial connection with the family 
of Neville or Olervaux. A peculiar interest attaches to one of the 
monuments in the chancel, inasmuch as it commemorates a famous 
personage equally noted for his eccentricities as for his scholarly aptitude. 
This was Richard Braithwait, armiger, author of Drunken Bamahy^ &c., 
whose amusing skits upon our Yorkshire villages I have ofttimes had 
reason to quote. He was Westmorland bom, and served as a captain on 
the Royalist side in the Civil Wars. His first wife was a Lawson of 
Nesham Abbey, near Darlington, of whom he affectionately wrote : 

Near Darlington was my deare darling borne, 

Of noble house, which yet beares honour's forme, — 


and his second was Marj, daughter of Roger Crofts, of East Appleton, 
in the parish of Oatterick. He died in 1673.* The 15th century font 
is also worthy of notice. It bears the initials of William Burgh (the 
donor), with the arms of Burgh, argent upon a saltire sable, five swans 
of the field, between them ; likewise the arms of Fitz Hugh of Ravens- 
worth, Neville or Olervaux, Scrope of Masham, and two other coats. On 
the shaft are the old French words dar fern, meaning clear or pure 
fountain, and on the base appear the same initials, probably of three 

There were two chantries in this church. That of Our Lady was of 
the foundation of William Burgh, and as appears by the Certificates of 
Chantries prepared at the Dissolution, '' the said Burghs enfeoffed one 
James Atkinson and others of certain lands, as shewn by a deed dated 
20th Henry VII., to the yearly value of £3 18s. 4d., for the purpose of 
finding a priest to sing for the said founder^s and all Christian souls. 
Also every Friday to say mass at a chapel at Tunstall, a mile distant 
from the parish church, which the said incumbent used in his life-time, 
and now the said chantiy remains void because Sir Ralph Bulmer, the 
younger, in right of his wife, heir general to the said Burghs,t pretendeth 
title to all the lands belonging to the said chantry." % ^^ ^^^ return 
dated 11th August, 1548, John Nicholson is stated to be the incumbent 
of this chantry, and the clear annual value thereof is put down at 
69s. 9d. The chantry of St. James, at the east end of the north aisle, 
(marking the burial place of the Lawsons, as it was formerly of the 
Burghs), was of the foundation of William Burgh, Esq. {oh. 1492) and 
Richard Swaldale, yeoman, which at the Dissolution was declared of the 
clear yearly value of £4. It was formerly separated from the rest of 
the church by a screen. John Gregge was the last incumbent, then of 
the age of 37 years, " of indifferent learning, of honest conversation and 
qualities, having no other promotion but the revenue of the said chantry ; 
also there is three other priests at the finding of the vicar there." In 
this certificate it is stated there were then (a.d. 1548) 1120 "howselyng 
people" in the parish, by which we may conclude that the total population 
was at least double that number. 

The church has undergone many alterations and improvements since 
1412, when it was built by Cracall. The north and south aisles have 
been lengthened, with the arches opening into them from the choir ; a 

* Some amusing Bnecdotes of Braithwait, who was called in V^Testmorland 
** Dapper Dick," will be found in Green's Guide to the Lakes, 1. page 138. 

t He had married Anne, daughter of Sir Thomas Tempest, and Elizabeth his 
wife, who was the daughter and co-heir of William Burgh (^oh, 1508). 

J Surtees Soo. Piib„ vol. xci., IIR, vol. xcii., 497. 


vestry, south porch, and tower have also been added. Whitaker says 
that the tower is not mentioned in the original contract, which is hardly 
correct, as it distinctly specifies that the contractor shall leave tosses or 
projecting teeth-stones " for makyng of a stepill in the west end ; " 
likewise tosses for a vestry, &c. Among the recent additions to the 
church may be mentioned an admirably carved altar-chair presented by 
Mr. and the Misses Garter Sqnire. It is constrocted from selected pieces 
of old oak timber taken oot of the tower in 1891, when the new peal 
of bells was placed there. The six bells were erected as a memorial to 
John Bainbridge Booth, Esq., of Killerby Hall, by his numerous friends, 
as is recorded upon a neat marble tablet over the sediliss in the choir. 

Catterick Chuboh. 

About two years afterwards two more bells were added, these being the 
gift of John J. Mowbray, Esq., of Naemoor, Rumbling Bridge. The 
stalls, called " prismatories *' in the 1412 contract, exhibit, I may say, 
additional proof of the lack of generous treatment at the hands of the 
humble craftsman from Crakehall. 

Under the middle partition is a brass to the memory of an eccentric 
lady, by name Grace Lowther, who died in 1594, and who appears to 
have been so sensible of the uncertainty of life that for full seven 
years before she died she always carried her winding-sheet with her 
wherever she went I About three years ago when the beautiful mosaic 
was laid down at the altar this brass was removed, and under the 


flagstone beneath was found a vault, in which was a very fine leaden 
coffin, inscribed with the simple letters, '' I B." There had also been 
another interment here, but all had crumbled to dust, saving a single 
tress of a woman*s hair I Perhaps this was the remains of the mortal 
body of the above Orace Lowther, who had been interred in her 
winding-sheet alone (a fashion not uncommon at that period), for there 
was not as much as a single nail left to indicate that the body had been 
enclosed in a coffin. 

Over the porch was an old sun-dial inscribed Fugit hora, ora [the 
hour flies, pray], which got broken when the church was restored ; but 
an excellent facsimile of the original plate has been erected in its place 
through the kindness of Mr. William Booth, of Oran. The Rev. A. J. 
Scott, D.D., the friend and chaplain of Lord Nelson, who died in his 
arms at Trafalgar, was, I may add, vicar at Oatterick from 1816 to 1840, 
and his daughter, Mrs. A. Scott Oatty, has compiled an admirable work 
on sun-dials, &c. It is an interesting subject strangely overlooked, but 
teeming with quaint and instructive information. A great many old 
Yorkshire dials still exist, and some of these bear singularly appropriate 
mottoes, such as " I only mark the bright hours " (would that our lives 
did the same !), which may be found inscribed on one sun-dial in the 
garden of Eiplin Hall, near Catterick, and said to be the invention of 
the late amiable Countess of Tyrconnel. 

In the churchyard under the east window is an altar-tomb to the 
memory of David Batie, the first postmaster of Catterick, who died in 
1610, and of his son and successor to the office, also named David Batie, 
who died in 1681, aged 58. This is peculiarly interesting as shewing 
the importance of Catterick as a post-town at a period when very few 
and even much larger places possessed the advantages of a post-office. 

What were the oldest trades here, outside the vocations of agriculture, 
it were almost idle to guess, but on such an important highway as that 
at Catterick it is certain that smithies were established here, most 
probably so far back as the Roman and British occupation of the place. 
In an extent of lands belonging to the honour of Richmond, made 10th 
Edward I. (1280) it appears there were two forges at Catterick which 
then yielded a rent of 6d. ; there were also a pond and a mill for which 
a rent of 33s. 4d. was paid ; likewise 56 acres called Plusweynlondes (sic) 
charged at 16d. an acre, yielding for the whole 74s. 8d.* 

From Catterick it is but a short and very pleasant walk to Brough, 
going through the well-wooded park attached to Brough Hall, the large 
and handsome ancestral seat of the Lawsons. They succeeded to the 
surrounding estates at the end of the 16th century, when Elizabeth, 
daughter and heir of Roger Burgh, was married to Sir Ralph Lawson, 

♦ Turks, Record Series, xii., 126. 


son of Edmnnd Lawson, of Newcastle, gent. ; the family of Bargh or 
De Burgh who took their name from the Roman fortress, having been 
seated here from an unknown period. There was a Thomas de Burgh 
one of the sureties of Roald fil Alan, Constable of Richmond Castle, and 
holder of seven-eighths of the vill of Burgh in a.d. 1207.* The other 
eighth was held of Avicia de Marmion, by the Abbot of Jervaux. The 
family of Maunsell, however, acquired lands here about this time. 
Adam Maunsell was lord of the manor of Sedburg-juxta-Gilling, 50th 
Henry III. (1265), and had a eon Stephen, whose daughter and heir. 
Eve, received from him at her marriage with William de Burgh, 21st 
Edward I. (1292), six tofts and seven bovates of land in Bnrgh-jnxta- 

The manorial history of the Burghs of Brough may therefore be said 
to start with an Adam and Eve, which calls to mind an incident on the 
occasion of my first visit to Catterick, now a good many years ago. I 
asked a man how long the family he named had lived at Brough Hall. 
" Hoo lang ? " said he with alacrity, " Why, sure eneuf they've bin here 
ivver sin' t' time o' Noah's Flood." " Come," I said, thinking to cap a 
joke, '' Tou don't mean to say they have been at Brough since the 
creation of the world ? " " Yea, a' do," he replied, " some fowk says 
they've bin here sin' t' time o' Adam," an avowal which it appears is 
literally correct, though the Adam, as I have pointed out, is unquestionably 
post-diluvial ! 

The Hall, of which I give a view from an engraving by W. Angus 
of Cuitt's painting, executed a century ago, occupies a position in the 
park at once secluded and picturesque. It consists of a centre and two 
wings, the latter having been added by Sir John Lawson in the 17th 
century. The interior apartments are spacious, and superbly adorned 
with family pictures, statuary, shields of arms, &c. ; there is also a large 
and valuable library, and a fine collection of Roman and other relics 
found on the estate. Sir Henry Lawson, the sixth baronet of his family, 
who died in 1834, aged 84, leaving no issue, was a gentleman of many 
and varied attainments. He was excellently versed in antiquities, 
and beiug well known as the owner of one of the most important 
archaeological sites in the country, did not a little to advance its reputation. 
His successor. Sir William Lawson, Bart., was the second son of 
John Wright, Esq., of Kelvedon, Essex, by the daughter and co-heir of 
Sir John Lawsou, of Brough Hall, and in 1884, upon succeeding to the 
estates of his maternal grandfather, assumed by royal license the name 

* For Pedigree of Burgh and LawsoD see Whitaker*B Richmond$hire^ ii., 86 ; 
SurteeM Soey, Pub., vol. 86, p. 90 ; Burke's Landed Gentry, ii., 105 ; Hodgson^s 
Northumberland, ii., 161. For Will of the above Roger Burgh, the last male 
representative of his family at Brough, $ee SurteeM Socy. Pub., 26, pp. 243 — 6. 


of Lawson in lieu of his natural patronjm ; a baronetcy was also 
conferred in deference to his maternal descent. Sir William was a 
Fellow of the Society of Antiquaries, and like Sir Henry, took much 
interest in unravelling the past history of the ancient earthworks on his 
classic estate. He it was who, as I have before stated, caused the 
excavations, &c., to be made here which led to the discovery of the 

Sir Wm. Lawson, Babt. 

Roman wall, then permanently restored. He died 22nd June, 1865^ 
and was succeeded by his son. Sir John Lawson, Bart., D.L., J.P., the 
present owner of Brough. 

On rising ground a short distance from the Hall is the superb Roman 
Catholic Chapel, which was built in 1837 of materials wholly derived 
from the estate. The cost, which was entirely defrayed by Sir William 


Lawson, is unknown, but it must have involved an outlay of many 
thousands of pounds. It is dedicated to Ood and St. PauUnus, whose 
Christian ministrations during the Anglo-Saxon occupation of the 
district, I have elsewhere referred to. This beautiful and worthy 
memorial to the glory of Him and His earthly apostle, who was the first 
Archbishop of York, is designed after the ancient chapel at York, now 
appropriated for the library of the Dean and Chapter of that city. It 
is in the Early English or Transition-Norman style, the interior being 
lofty and imposing, and lighted by clustered lancet windows of great 
beauty. The large coloured east window is the work of Willemont, and 
is a sumptuous example of the stainer's art. Beneath the altar is a 
sarcophagus or stone shrine containing the relics of St. Innocent, (found 
in the catacombs at Rome) and inscribed in antique Latin, which may 
be translated thus : 


DAYS IN Peace. Balbntinian oii Eibaiinteii [names unknown] 

This precious trophy was presented to the before-mentioned Sir William 
Lawson by Pope Gregory XVI. 

By following the road to the north side of the chapel, a mile-walk 
through the tree-shaded park will bring the visitor back to Catterick 
Bridge, passing the site of the Roman camp, and on his right, close to 
the last wooden gate, the vestiges of the Roman wall above described. 

^^^^^^^^^^^' (^oM^H 



On the Roman Watling Street. 

Watling Street in Richmondshire connecting three Brigantian cities — Meaning of 
Watling Street — ^Ita original course — ^Leeming Lane — Discovery of gold 
bracelet — A skeleton found bearing Scandinavian fibulas — Other local 
discoveries — The Danegeld — Bolton-on-Swale — Notes on Henry Jenkins, aged 
169 years — Bainesse — Discovery of a Roman weighing-yard — Killerby and 
Oran — Castle Hills— Leases Hall and local families— Relics of the Battle of 
the Standard — Leeming Bar — Turnpike trusts — Scruton. 

|S WE are at Catterick Bridge I will now make some observations 
on that ancient and wonderfully interesting highway connect- 
ing the three great Brigantian cities of Caer Ebranc (Tork)» 
Isenr (Aldborongh), and Caer Caratanc (Catterick), known 
to this day as The Street. The longest if not the most important of 
the military passage-routes of the Romans, it divided England in length, 
extending from the port of Rntupia (Richborongh) in Kent to the 
Roman Wall on the Tyne. Upon it were many great military stations, 
and from it branched other roads leading east and west into the interior 
of the country. Many are the conjectures as to its etymology. Hoveden 
thinks it was called Watling Street from Wathe or Wathla, a British 
king. Camden supposes the name to be derived from an unknown 
Yitellianus, but that the root of the word is to be found in the Saxon 
Wadla, a beggar, because this road was the resort of such people for the 
charity of travellers. Another says that it was planned by Vespasian 
after the various stations through the kingdom were finished, and that 
he named it in compliment to the Emperor Yitellius, Vitella-Strata-Viaj 
i.«., WatUng Street Way. Professor Wright says that King Wsetla was 
no doubt a personage in Anglo-Saxon mythology, and that this road was 
connected with one of their own mythic traditions and called WaBtlinga- 
street, the road of the Waetlings, or sons of WaBtla. Various and 
contradictory as these opinions are it may be after all that the original 
constructors of it, conscious of their marvellous achievement, exalted it 
above their mundane affairs and attributed to it some sacred or celestial 
appellation drawn from their perpetual obeisance to the heavens. For 
inasmuch in Chaucer^s House of Fame we learn that in mediaBval times 


the starry ** milky way " was popularly called Watling Street, a name 
that may have arisen from some astronomical beliefs of the ancients. 

That it was primarily British and constructed on an old chariot-path 
as far back perhaps as the introduction or manipulation of iron, five or 
six centuries before the Christian era, I think there is little room to doubt. 
In spite of the contrary opinions of older authorities it is unmistakably 
of pre-Roman age. The fact of it connecting three undoubted British 
cities within a distance of less than forty miles, is sufficient proof of this, 
but the road, moreover, is so irregular in its course, twisting and turning 
so frequently, that it distinctly opposes the Roman method of road- 
making, which was usually a straight line. These divarications are more 
particularly noticeable between Isuiium (Aldbro*) and Cataractonium 
(Catterick), which are described in the Fourth Iter as being distant from 
each other 24 mills passus. From the village of Leeming it zig-zags 
according to the best ground-surface, avoiding some old swamps in this 
neighbourhood, and crossing the beck makes a sharp turn to Bridge 
House (formerly an inn) and thence curving over the muddy flats to 
Leeming Bar. Here the direction is about north-west and south-east, 
through Mr. Mattison's garden, near his reaping-machine works, where 
an old cobble pavement is met with about a yard below the present 
grassy surface. From Leeming station it turned by the Sportsman's inn, 
along the existing old road by Killerby and the Castle Hills, joining the 
present turnpike near Catterick Beck, close to the village of Catterick, 
and thence to the station at Thornborough. Thence it pursued its north- 
ward direction in an equally devious course, joining the present highroad 
about a mile above Catterick Bridge, but not always keeping the line of 
the present road, till it reaches the Tees at Pierse Bridge. It was a 
cobbled way, with here and there large stepping stones where the ground 
was low and wet, and this seems to have been particularly the case about 
Leeming Bar, where there is a thick bed of clay overlying gypsum. I 
am told that large numbers of small horseshoes of an antique pattern 
have been dug up in this locality, likewise a stone quern, and it is not 
unlikely that at this point of Leeming Lane there was a public resting- 
place and a forge where horses could be shod, and perhaps hired or 
exchanged. Situated at the junction of a branch way from Northallerton 
to Bedale, joining the old road to Brachium (Bainbridge) it thus lay at 
four important cross-roads. 

Mr. Ecroyd Smith {Reliquic^ IsuriancB, p. 4) thinks it not improbable 
that this portion of the Watling Street called Leeming Lane, derived its 
name from the second Roman appellation it received of Via Heleniana^ 
in honour of the Empress Helena, mother of Constantine the Great. 
Other and similar explanations have been advanced. But if this road 
be as old as the earliest foreign occupation of north England, and 


contemporary with the so-called Druids, which it is hard to believe, the 
name may be pure Gadhelic, leamhanj meaning an elm-tree, though it is 
difficult to conceive what elm-trees can have to do with denominating a 
highway. Dr. Wilkes, however, says that Watling Street was originally 
constructed of wattles, and as the elm is well suited for such a purpose, 
being remarkable for its durability under water, (having been in mediseval 
times largely used in the making of water-pipes), can it be that the elm 
was the tree so employed ? If so, we have in the native elm a probable 
elucidation of the meanings of both Watling Street and Leeming Lane.* 

Many interesting discoveries have been made on this portion of the 
road during this and the last century. In the Arckmologia jEliana (1884; 
is described an Anglo-Saxon or Danish bracelet of the purest gold and 
most exquisite workmanship, found near Catterick. A skeleton of the 
same period was also dug up about two feet from the surface of the road 
near Leeming. The body had evidently never been disturbed from the 
time of its being deposited at this place. On each of the shoulders was 
a large and beautifully-designed fibula, by which the garments of the 
deceased had been fastened. They are said to be of bronze, oval in form 
and convex, with delicate interlacings of silver-twisted threads. In the 
breast of the skeleton lay a rusty spear-head, which seems to betoken a 
death by foul means. 

These relics are vaguely described as of Saxon date, which may mean 
anything between the fifth and eleventh centuries. But I have throughout 
this work advanced the predominant hold which the Viking warriors had 
in Richmondshire over the Anglian possessors of Deira, which included 
the present county of York, and there is no doubt that the two brooches 
or fibtdoR found with the skeleton in Leeming Lane belong to the so- 
called "Later Iron Age" of Scandinavian art. The design of these 
brooches so closely resembles those found in Sweden, and preserved in the 
Royal Historical Museum of Stockholm, that I venture to present an 
engraving of the Yorkshire find (fig. 1) beside a Swedish one (fig. 2), as 
represented in Mr. Hans Hildebrand's Industrial Arts of Scandinavia 
in the Pagan times. The resemblance is so striking that there can be no 
possible doubt about the contemporary and common origin of the two 
articles. The Yorkshire one is in the Edinburgh Museum. Mr. Hildebrand 
Bays that the fibulae characteristic of continental Scandinavia is oval- 
shaped, vaulted, and very large, and that " the oval brooches were, as a 
rule, worn in pairs, and only by women, they were placed on the upper 

* Perhaps the name ia of much later origin, derived from the wet and muddy 
character of the ground which I have spoken of as present about Leeming, Leem 
(Norse), loam (A.S.), lehm (German), means clay, mud ; thus Leamington, the 
town on the muddy river, ^c. I may point out that the Roman road by Denholme 
Gate from Manchester to Ilkley passes the hamlet of Leeming. 

Fig. 1. 

Fig. 2. 

Fig. 4. 

Fig. 3. 
Scandinavian Fibulae found near Catterick. 


part of the breast, and each attached to the cloak or mantle/' This 
agrees exactly with the character and position of the fibulae found in 
Leeming Lane, from which we may reasonably suppose this woman to 
have met her death during an incursion of Scandinavian pirates marching 
to Catterick ; this Anglian stronghold, we are told by Bede, was partly 
destroyed by the Danes in the eighth and again in the tenth century. 
Two other bronze fibulae are also represented on the annexed plate. 
Fig 8 is a beautiful object of exquisitely symmetrical design. It 
measures 6^ inches long, and was found near Catterick Bridge. Fig. 4 
is plainer and smaller (5 inches long), and was found on the site of the 
camp at Thomborough. Both are in the possession of Sir John Lawson 
and are undoubtedly of Scandinavian origin. 

These war-loving Vikings came over to England to wrest the Danegeld 
from the earlier possessors of the land, who were glad to purchase peace 
at the price of what must have been in those times a bnrthensome and 
not always forthcoming levy. Some idea of the amounts of money they 
obtained on these bullying commissions may be gathered from the 
immense quantities of Anglo-Saxon coins that have been turned up in 
various parts of Sweden. In the Royal Cabinet at Stockholm there are 
probably not less than 20,000, consisting chiefly of the reigns of 
Ethelred II., Canute, and Harold I. ; likewise a few of William the 
Conqueror, shewing as I have elsewhere pointed out, that Danegeld was 
paid or transmitted to the old Vikings, at any rate to near the end of 
the 11th century. 

Opposite Catterick, on the east bank of the Swale, is the ancient 
little village of Bolton, so well-known as the resting-place of the patriarch 
Henry Jenkins, who, if published accounts are to be relied on, attained 
the remarkable age of 169 years. Upon his grave in the church-yard 
at Bolton is an obelisk of freestone, 11 feet high, standing on a square 
pedestal, and in the church is a large tablet of black marble, both erected 
to his memoi7 by subscription, in 1743. The epitaph on the tablet was 
composed by Dr. Thomas Chapman, Master of Magdalen College, 
Cambridge. The following epitome of his life will be read with interest : 

" Henry Jenkins was born in 1600, and followed the employment of fishing for 
HO years, and at no period of his life could he read or write. At the time of his 
birth parish registers were not in use, but Bishop Lyttleton communicated to the 
Society of Antiquarians, on the 11th of December, 1766, a paper copied from an 
old household book of Sir Bichard Graham, Bart., of Norton Conyers, the writing 
of which says, that upon his going to live at Bolton, Jenkins was said to be about 
150 years old, that he had often examined him in his sister*s kitchen, where he 
came to beg alms, and found facts and chronicles agree in his account. He was 
then 162 or 163 years old. He remembered the dissolution of the monasteries, 
and said that great lamentation was made on that occasion ; and he was often at 
Fountains Abbey during the residence of the last Abbot, who he said frequently 



visited his master, Lord Conyers. He said that he went to Northallerton with a 
horse load of arrows for the battle of Flodden Field, with which a bigfrer boy 
went forward to the army under the Earl of Surrey, King Henry being at that 
time at Tournay, and he belieyed himself then eleven or twelve years old. When 
he was more than 100 years old, he used to swim across the Swale with the greatest 
ease, and without catching cold. Jenkins attended the Assizes at York as a 
witness, in the years 1655 and 1657, in the first case to prove an ancient road to a 
mill 120 years before. Four men, each about 100 years old, were also witnesses, 
and on the Judge objecting to the evidence of Jenkins, they positively declared 
he had been called * Old Jenkins * as long as they could remember. Jenkins died 
in the beginning of December, 1670, at Ellerton-on-Swale ; and, 'as his epitaph 
says, * he was enriched with the goods of nature, if not of fortune, and happy in 
the duration, if not the variety of his enjoyments ; and though the partial world 
despised and disregarded his low and humble state, the equal eye of Providence 
beheld and blessed it with a patriarch's health and length of days, to teach 
mistaken man these blessings are entailed on temperance, a life of labour, and a 
mind of ease.* Jenkins was contemporary with Thomas Parr, the patriarchal 
Shropshire man, of whom it is recorded that he was born in 1483, and lived in the 
reign of ten monarchs of England. At the age of 180 he is said to have been 
able to do husbandry work ; and at the age of 106, it is stated in 01dy*s MS. notes 
on Fuller*B Worthies, that he did penance in Alderbury Church, for lying with 
Eatherine Milton and getting her with child. He died in 1636, aged 152 years and 
9 months, and it is said that his remains rest among the eminent dead in 
Westminster Abbey." 

It may be noted that in the interval between the years 1664 and 
1684, when old Jenkins died, the register of burials at Bolton-on-Swale 
appears to have been carefully kept, and is in the handwriting of the 
Rev. Charles Anthony, vicar of Catterick. No fewer than 65 persons 
are entered as " aged " or '* ancient," and three as " very aged." Among 
the latter is recorded the burial of Jenkins : ^' 1670, Dec. 9. Henry 
Jenkins, a very aged and poore man of Ellerton." In the same year 
there are 14 other persons noticed as ''aged," but the exact age is never 
given for about a century after this time. The only other entry of this 
family in the registers is of the wife of Henry Jenkins, who died in 

Coming down the High Street from Catterick we pass the large and 
well-managed farm at Bainesse (the site probably of ancient baths), 
which forms the subject of a special paper in the quarterly Journal of 
the Royal Agricultural Society for October, 1895.* At this place about 
seven years ago was found a very well-preserved Roman weighing-yard, 
made of bronze, and almost identical as regards form with the steel-yard 
in use at the present day. The bar was very plainly graduated and 
marked in Roman numerals on three sides. The hooks and chains for 

* In 1850 this farm comprised 460 acres, of which SO acres were permanent 
grass, and paid £1200 a year rent. Vida Beport of Agriculture in England by 
the * Times* ComvtiMiion in 1850-51. 


BuspeDsioD were also quite complete, but the weight, which had evidently 
been made of a corrosive metal, unfortunately was missing. Very 
similar weighing-yards have been found in Herculanenm. In addition 
to this interesting object a quantity of pottery, including a few pieces of 
Samian ware, were excavated at the same time. Three of the pieces 
bear the makers* names. A few coins were also found, including a 
silver one of Julia Msesa. Some of these relics are in possession of 
J. H. Hutchinson, Esq., of Catterick. Hitherto the excavations have 
been made over a very small area, and there is little doubt that a more 
extended search would bring to light other and perhaps important traces 
of the original purpose of the site. Several stones dug up bear signs of 
having been burnt, and it seems probable that the place was destroyed 
by fire at the time Catterick was burnt by the Danes. 

On the Low Street, or old road I have before spoken of, is Killerby 
Hall, the property of Mrs. Booth, and a little to the north of it is the 
hamlet of Oran. On one occasion while travelling in this district I had 
the following traditional (sic) explanation given me of the meaning of 
these places. From the number of ancient remains and skeletons found 
in this locality it would appear to have been a battle-ground at an early 
period. The popular belief is that a body of soldiers being surprised by 
the enemy at the site of Oran they aVan as far as Killerby, when 
suddenly stopping and facing the enemy they determined to stand and 
fight, that is kill-or-be killed ! Such is the plausible interpretation of 
the bucolic mind. But considering that Killerby is spelled Chelwordby 
in the 11th century, the folly of this later fiction is patent. The affix 
Chel is most likely a corruption of the A.S. c(bIc in allusion to a calcareous 
outlier of Magnesian Limestone at the undermentioned Castle Hills.* 
In the second syllable word is probably preserved the Scand. wardj 
A.S. tvard^ meaning a watch, beacon, or place-guarded ; whilst Oran may 
involve the A.S. ofer^ Scand. ore^ cognate with the Latin (wa, meaning a 
border or shore, in allusion to its position near the old shore line of the 
Swale. The final n may be a curtailment of fw, noe^ signifying lowland 
habitually overflowed with water. Killerby Carr formerly reached as far 
down as Kirkby Fleetham, and was profusely covered with bulrushes and 
various aquatic trees. To the north of Killerby and close to the Swale 
is a large artificially-constructed earthwork in the form of a parallelogram, 
called the Castle Hills, — the ward or watch, probably, I have just alluded 
to. Clarkson gives a plan of it, and says that from its lofty situation 
and the circular bulwarks cast up to a great height at each angle, it may 
have been a castrum exploratuniy or observatory and guard of the Romans. 

* Kelso, anciently CheUo and CalehoUy 1b bo called from a calcareous cliff at the 
confluence of the Tweed and Teviot, now broken down. Vide Blackie's Pltiee 


But from the absence of any certain discoveries on the spot I should 
judge it to be a later work. Mr. S. T. Clark assigns all such ramparted 
and moated mounds to the Anglo-Saxon period. The mounds with 
enclosing rampart cover about three roods of ground, and the whole, 
including the ditch, an acre and a half. The river here formerly ran 
about 120 yards east from its present course, so that it cannot be 
determined with certainty whether the ditch or moat completely environed 
the area. The site, long known as Castle Hills, from its proximity to 
Killerby Castle, is now planted with trees. 

On the partition of his estates after the Conquest, the Earl of 
Richmond granted Killerby to Scollandus, lord of Bedale. By the 
marriage of Agnes, his granddaughter, with Brian Fitz Alan it passed 
to this knightly family. The said Brian, in the 19th Edward I. (1291), 
had a licence to fortify his manor of Kilwardeby^ and the site of this 
long-decayed castle is now occupied by the present Killerby Hall. 
Whitaker thinks that Killerby has a fair claim to be considered the 
birthplace of Robert de Kelwardby, Archbishop of Canterbury in 1272. 
as the place gave name to an important family in the Norman and 
succeeding ages. 

Since the pleasant road we are traversing was constructed last century 
for the increased traffic of coaches, &c., it has been several times lowered 
and levelled and its gradients thereby reduced. Being cut in the belt of 
Magnesian Limestone which extends through the country in a north and 
south direction, the banks in some places are as much as twenty feet 
deep, while on each side of this limestone escarpment the country is 
comparatively level ; many objects at a considerable distance being 
visible, including, when sufficiently clear, the round boss of Roseberry 

About five miles from Catterick we pass on the left the extensive 
park belonging to Leases Hall, (Captain Wilson-Todd), which last 
century belonged to the family of Smelt, memorials of whom are in 
Kirkby Fleetham Church. William Smelt of Kirkby Fleetham and 
Leases, was M.P. for Northallerton from 1740 to 1746, when he was 
appointed Receiver-General of Revenues in the island of Barbadoes.* 
His daughter Anne married Thomas Metcalfe of Northallerton and Sand 
Hutton, CO. York, who was rector of Kirkby Overblow from 1762 — 1774, 
and a descendant of Chancellor Thomas Metcalfe, of Nappa Hall, 
Wensleydale (which see f). In the park, not far from the road, are some 

* See J. H. Metcalfe's Royal Descent^ pages 11 and 12. 

t Mr. John H. Metcalfe informs me that very considerable research has been 
incurred in tracing the heritage of Anne, mother of the above Thomas Metcalfe, 
which is omitted from the pedigree prepared by him for the third edition of 


mounds and trenches in which, dnring the process of draining, large 
quantities of human bones, fragments of armour, spurs, &c., have been 
dug up, which are supposed to be relics of the battle of Northallerton, 
A.D. 1138. Old Roger Gale, the learned antiquary (who by the way was 
born and died at Scruton, near Bedale), made this district his life-long 
study, and he tells us that some of the trenches were known in his day 
as '^ Scots* Pits," in allusion to the interred Scotch who to the number 
of more than 10,000 were slain. The great contest however, took place 
as is well established, at Standard Hill. 

In the neighbourhood of old Leeming Bar are grown some of the 
finest exhibition roses in England. This excellence is said to be due 
mainly to a peculiarity in the constituents of the soil and situation. 
Hereabouts a great many changes have taken place. Less than half-a- 
oentury ago, before the present railway-station was built, there were only 
some two or three dwelling-houses, where now the population is probably 
not less than 400. The old cobble-road of pre-Roman date was, as 
previously explained, laid past here and turned at the Sportsman's inn. 
It was doubtless the original Roman road of the time of Antoninus Pius. 
When Leeming Lane was improved for coaching traffic last century, the 
toll-bar house stood on the plot of ground behind the present guide-post, 
opposite the Leeming Bar hotel. Some fifty years since it was taken 
down and re-erected at Leeming village, as from its situation near the 
cross roads to Northallerton and Bedale, no toll could be claimed on 
vehicles passing between these places, as the bye-laws enacted that no 
cart or wheeled vehicle was liable to toll unless it had travelled upon such 
road a distance of not less than 150 yards. 

Whilst speaking of this famous turnpike road through Yorkshire to 
the north, I may remark that thirty years ago there were no fewer than 
1047 turnpike trusts in England and Wales, with 20,189 miles of road 
supported by tolls. The last of all these fiscal highways was a section 
of the Shrewsbury and Holyhead turnpike which traversed the island of 
Anglesea, and this trust was continued by a special Act until Nov. Ist, 
1895, when the tolls were abolished. All our highroads are therefore 
now toll free, being repairable by the country at large.* We need not 
here pursue this Roman highway further south, but I may mention one 
other unrecorded discovery, namely, of a fine stone battle-axe with 
hammer, which old Thomas Harker, now of Whashton, told me he found 

Whitaker*B Craven, It is now ascertained that the said Anne, was daughter of 
John Greene, Junr., of Liversedge Hall, in the parish of Birstall, eldest son and 
heir of John Qreene, lord of the moiety of the manor of Liversedge. She was 
baptised at Birstall 14th August, 1670. and was married to Thomas Metcalfe at 
Birstall 18th April, 1699. 

* See the Local Government Journal^ September 21st, 1895. 


some fifty years ago while plonghing in a field at Butcher Bar, near 

At Leeming Bar we are but two short miles from the ancient market- 
town of Bedale, and also aboat the same distance from the pleasant 
village of Scraton, the old seat of the Gale family, hereafter mentioned, 
and it also gave name to the Norman family of Scraton. The hall 
was for several years np to his death in November, 1895, the residence 
of Sir George W. £lliot, Bart., M.P. for the Richmondshire Division of 
the North Riding. 

The ancient family of Markenfield, of Markenfield, near Ripont 
held the manor of Scraton from the time of Edward II., to the reign 
of Elizabeth, when it was forfeited through participation of Thomas 
Markenfield in the Catholic insurrection of 1569. 

In an extent of the honour of Richmond, taken temp. Henry YII., 
Sir Thos. Merkynfeld, Et., was found to be seized of six messuages and 
six bovates of land (about 72 acres), with the appurtenances in Scruton, 
held of the King in capite of the said honour as half one Knight's fee, of 
the yearly value of ten marks. He died 12th Henry YII., and Ninian 
Merkynfield, his son and heir, was then aged 24 years. See the author's 
Nidderdale and the Garden of the Niddj page 241, <&c. 

The church, dedicated to St. Rhadegrund, is an ancient and interesting 
edifice which is supposed to have been rebuilt some little time after the 
destructive ravages of the Scots into the district, consequent upon their 
victory at Bannockburn in 1814. A chantry was founded in the church 
about the same time. In 9th Edward III. (1885) William de Scurueton 
[Scruton] obtained licence to grant land in Great Langton-upon-Swale 
and Scurueton to a chaplain to pray for the souls of the said William 
and Maud his wife, in the parish church at Scurueton. This chantry 
was at the east end of the north aisle, and was separated from the rest 
of the church by a handsome partition of wainscot. 

The church was restored by the patron, Henry Ooore, Esq., in 1865. 
It contains some neat monuments, including one to the Gale family. 
The living is a rectory, at present held by the Rev. Thomas Rigby, M.A. 






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Abound Bedale. 

Meaning of Bedale — Barly history — The church — A valuable Hying — Old aspects 
of the town— The Bedale Hunt— Crakehall— The Rev. Thos. MiWille Raven — 
Bedale Beck — ^A remarkable accident — Patrick Brompton — Hunton— Mrs. 
Lanchester, aged 106 — Hornby—The castle and its owners — The church — 
Its ancient monuments — ^Vicars of Hornby — Hackforth — Ainderby-Myers— 
Hauzwell — Some notable families — The church — ^Ancient cross — The Rev. 
Edward C. Topham — Through Scot ton to Richmond. 

I ED ALE is another of the many places in Richmondshire 
which apparently owe their origin to the Viking Conquest. 
For in the prefix " Be " we have perhaps the Scand. Jy, W^, 
(pronounced be) meaning a town or dwelling, a word that 
enters largely into the composition of place-names in the north and east 
of England known to have been peopled by the ancient Danes. But if 
the little valley was characterised in ancient times by an abundance of 
flowers,* attractive to bees, it is very likely the old Norse or Danish 
settlers would make this a kind of emporium for the production of honey, 
in which case the locality would be known as Bi-^l from the Dan. hi 
(pronounced be) a bee. Such spots were always carefully selected by the 
old Viking rovers, who set great store on honey because of their national 
drink of mead. 

In the time of Edward I. the Fitz Alans held 6 fees and the sixth 
part of 1 fee in capite of the Earl of Richmond, in Bedale, Aykesforth, 
Burel, Fritheby, &c., and the advowson of the church of Bedale, then 
worth £100. Each tenant in capite of the Earls of Richmond had to 
serve two months at Richmond Castle, and had his appointed quarters, 
the Fitz Alans* of Bedale being, as I have before pointed out, in the Hall 
of Scolland. Of their great stronghold at Bedale not a vestige remains 
above ground, but there are extensive foundations to be met with near 
Bedale Hall, in a field north-west of the church, which no doubt marks 
its site. The Castle, like that at Killerby, is said to have been founded 
by Brian Fitz Alan, Earl of Arundel and Viceroy of Edward I. for 
Scotland, who died in 1801, and whose effigy in link-mail is in the 
parish church. 

* I have already pointed out that the district has long been known for the 
production of some of the finest roses in England. 


The spacious interior of this fine old church (St. Gregory) is 
interesting and contains several other ancient and modem monuments 
and effigies, besides much beautiful stained glass. The large east and 
west windows are especially noteworthy, and there is also a handsome one 
erected to the memory of the Rev. J. J. T. Monson, M.A., rector, and 
chaplain to Her Majesty the Queen, who died in 1861. The tower of the 
church is one of the largest and strongest in the north of England, and 
its staircase was formerly defended by a portcullis, the grooves of which 
still remain. Having been built during the unsettled time of the Scottish 
wars, in the reign of Edward II., it was doubtless used as a place of 
refuge when the Scots invaded England after the battle of Bannockbum. 
Before the Reformation there was a chantry in this church, dedicated to 
Our Lady, and served by two priests, the clear annual revenue of which 
was declared in 1548 to be £8 8s. 8d. At this time the population of 
the parish was not less than 2000, or about the same as at present. 

• The living of Bedale is a valuable one, being of the gross yearly 
value of £2200, including 173 acres of glebe, with residence, and is in 
the gift of Sir H. Monson de-la-Poer Beresford-Peirse, Bart., of Bedale 
Hall, who is lord of the manor and chief landowner. For 85 years 
(1855—1890) Mr. Albert Speight, now of Harrogate, was (blind) 
organist of this church. 

The town has undergone many alterations, and many of the older 
houses have been rebuilt or removed during the present century. Our 
view of the principal thoroughfare leading to the church, shews the old 
market-cross and toll-booth (removed in 1845) on a market-day. It is 
from a photograph of a contemporary painting kindly supplied by 
Mr. Yeoman of Bedale. 

A good deal of interest centres in and around Bedale, not the least 
of which is the reputation the place has long enjoyed as the capital of a 
grand fox-hunting country. Indeed nowhere in ^' Merrie England *' is 
the love of sport more strongly developed than in Richmondshire, where 
fox-hunting finds ardent supporters in every quarter. Prom the beginning 
of the century, when Lord Darlington (afterwards 1st Duke of Cleveland) 
hunted this country from Sunderland Bridge to Boronghbridge, the Raby 
fox-hounds had established a great reputation, celebrated in song by 
Squire Sutton of Elton : 

** Let Uckerby boast of the feats of the Raby, 
And Raventcar tell what the Hurworths have done." 

The northern half of this vast country was hunted during alternate 
fortnights from Raby Castle, and the southern portion from that famous 
old posting-house, the Oeorge and Dragon at Catterick Bridge, where 
ample accommodation was afforded for horses and hounds, and the off days 


were sometimes passed in running four-mile heats on the race-course 
there. The country was divided in 1832, when Mr. Mark Milbank, the 
popular squire of Thorpe Perrow, and son-in-law of the noble Duke, 
started the Bedale hounds, the northern boundary being the road running 
eastwards from Richmond to the border of the Hurworth country, 
rendered famous by Sir Ralph Lampton and the Wilkinsons. Mr. Milbank 
held the reins with brilliant success, and was supported by a most 
influential field, as was evidenced in the celebrated picture of the Bedale 
Hunt presented to him in 1840 ; he was succeeded by the Hon. W. Ernest 
Duncombe (now Earl of Feversham), who took over the country in 1856, 
showing excellent sport until the death of his father summoned him to 
Duncombe Park. Towards the close of his career as Master the country 
was again divided, when Mr. Christopher Cradock came forward, and 
with the assistance of (Billy) Mr. Williamson, a Past Master in hound 
lore, formed a pack and hunted the northern or Raby portion of the 
country with great credit, retiring in favour of Lord Zetland, who with 
characteristic generosity took the horn, and hunts this fine country at his 
own expense. Mr. John Booth, of Eillerby, filled the gap caused by the 
retirement of Lord Feversham in 1867, and added renown to his well- 
known reputation as an ardent sportsman and a first flight rider, though 
handicapped by weight. To him succeeded Mr. (afterwards Sir) George 
W. Elliot, during whose popular reign the new kennels at Fencote were 
built, but pressure of Parliamentary duties, together with extensive 
business engagements, and the declining health of his remarkable father, 
compelled him to place the horn in the hands of Major Dent, a thorough 
sportsman and a finished horseman, who undertook the duties of Master, 
and now for a second time succeeds to the post after an interregnum of 
eighteen years, during which Captain Wilson Todd has added fresh lustre 
to the fame of this gallant pack. 

Now we will direct our steps again to the north, referring to such 
other things as do not appear hitherto to have been noticed. Crossing 
the Bedale Beck, which separates the townships of Bedale and Aiskew, 
we come to the village of Crakehall, divided into Great and Little 
Orakehall. At the latter place, before the Reformation, was a three-acre 
field, which paid yearly the sum of 3s. for the finding of a light to be 
kept burning on the altar of the chapel of St. Edmund, Hunton, in the 
parish of Patrick Brompton. Crakehall gave name to an ancient family 
of note. John de Crakehall was Chancellor of Cambridge from 1846-8, 
and Canon of Ripon in 1344. The quiet little village of Crakehall will 
be remembered as the home of the Rev. Thos. Milville Raven, F.R.S., 
Scot., who after a day's illness died on March 30th, 1896, having been 
the respected vicar of the parish for nearly thirty years. He was well- 
known as a fii-st-rate amateur photographer, and one year he won the 


first prize medal of the British Photographic Society. Some years ago 
he bnilt, entirely at his own cost (about £3000), St. Mary Magdalene's 
Church at Langthorne, which he also maintained at his own expense, 
besides meeting part of the expenditure in connection with St. Michaers, 
Crakehall. He took a great interest in historical and antiquarian lore, 
and only a few weeks before his death had written to the author desiring 
to subscribe to this work. 

Mrs. Lanchester. 

The Bedale Beck, just alluded to, is now spanned by a substantial 
bridge of three arches connecting the town with the railway-station ; it was 
the scene of a singular accident in the early part of the present century. 
During the passage of a cavalcade belonging to Wombwell's menagerie 
the bridge gave way, and a caravan containing a large and very powerful 
elephant fell into the bed of the stream and was completely overturned. 


Every available means were employed to extricate the van and its occupant, 
bat owing to the bellicose behavioar of the imprisoned monster the efforta 
of man and horse alike were fatile. Bat at last a capital idea saggested 
itself. A pail of ram and ale was fetched from a neighbonring tavern, 
and this was administered to the furious and distressed elephant, which 
evidently enjoying the draught, soon rolled over in a helplessly drunken 
state, when by the renewed efforts of all engaged the huge vehicle and 
its slumbering inmate were brought safely to bank. The animal it is 
said, appeared in no way disconcerted by its strange experience, and 
resumed its journey as if nothing had happened. 

Proceeding through Patrick Brompton, which has an interesting old 
church, the hilly road may be pursued through Arrathorne and Scotton 
direct to Richmond (8 miles). The village of Hunton is left a little 
distance on the west. At Hunton died Mrs. Lanchester in the 107th 
year of her age. She was a tall sprightly woman, who retained all her 
faculties up to the time of her death, which happened somewhat suddenly 
on New Year's Eve, December 31st, 1889, and was interred in Manfield 
churchyard. Our portrait of her, from a photo by Mr. J. B. Smithson, of 
Leybnrn, was taken only a few weeks before her death. She was bom 
at Gallow Hill, near Bowes, on the 29th of May, 1783. 

About a mile east of Arrathorne is the village of Hornby, the centre 
of a somewhat extensive parish, and near which is Hornby Castle, the 
palatial seat of the Duke of Leeds, standing upon a commanding site in 
a noble park of about 500 acres. The mansion, which contains some 
magnificent paintings by the old masters, was of the foundation of the 
Norman family of St. Quintin, and it passed by marriage in the 15th 
century to the noble house of Conyers. Some portions of the building 
are said to be as old as Richmond Castle, but it was considerably altered 
and rebuilt by William, Lord Conyers, who married Anne, daughter of 
Balph Neville, third Earl of Westmorland. This great nobleman died 
at Hornby in 1523, and is buried in the parish church here. 

The late George Godolphin Osborne, 9th Duke of Leeds, who died 
December 28rd, 1895, was a Prince of the Holy Roman Empire, and waa 
the only nobleman of such high station who derived his descent from a 
Lord Mayor of London, Sir Edward Osborne, who filled that ofiice in 
1582. His Grace was of a retiring disposition, taking but little active 
part in public business, finding pleasnre among his own family and 
domains, in the exercise of field sports, and in literature, of which he 
possessed a wide and cultivated knowledge. He was benevolent without 
ostentation, and was recognised by his tenants as a good and fair-dealing 
landlord. He is succeeded by his eldest son George Godolphin, Marquia 
of Caermarthen, who represents the Lambeth Division of Brixton in 
Parliament as a Conservative. Upon his coming of age in September^ 


1883, he was presented with a handsome timepiece by the Hornby tenantry. 
Like his father he is an English Churchman and is patron of five livings. 
The ancient chnrch at Hornby is supposed to have been reconstructed by 
Sir John Conyers about 1418. It is noteworthy for its handsome Norman 
arches, its sepulchral monuments, brasses, and other relics of archseological 
interest. There were also several inscriptions in the church which have 
now disappeared. One of these was in the east window of the south 
aisle commemorating Sir John Conyers and Margaret his wife ; this aisle 
having always belonged to the Castle. In it were interred the lords of 
Hornby and their families. There were two chantries within the church. 
On the south side was the chantry of St. Cuthbert founded in 1882 by 

Hornby Church. 

Thomas St. Quintin and Margaret his wife, and Christina, widow of 
Robert de Hornby, to pray for their souls, &c.* In the north aisle was 
the chantry of Our Lady, of the foundation of Thomas Mountforth. 
In an ogee niche in the wall are effigies of a knight and lady of early 
14th century date. There is also a niche in the same wall which has 
contained an image of the Virgin. This division of the chnrch anciently 
belonged to the De Burghs in right of the manor of Hackford, and in 
succession from them to the Mountfords. In the registers of the church 
• Pat. Rolls, 6th Edward III., part 8, m. 9. 


nnder date March 16th, 1672, it is stated that Lord D^Arcy granted the 
right to Mrs. Robinson and her family " to sit in the pew behind the 
pulpit over the Monntford tombs, dnring the pleasure of the aforesaid 
Lord D' Arcy and no longer." The reason for this privilege does not appear. 

There are also two other effigies of a knight and lady in the church, 
which have formerly been laid upon an altar-tomb, but now remain in a 
mutilated state on the floor. There are two words in black letter upon 
the knight's helmet, which have been construed into Jhesu Marie, but 
Mr. Tiongstaffe, who took a rubbing of the inscription some 45 years ago, 
(it being then much abraded) says it reads Johan Mare, and supposes 
on the authority of Clarkson, that the monument may commemorate 
John de Mawre, seneschal to the Earl of Richmond about 1285. But 
these surmises of Clarkson and Longstaffe, nor yet that of Dr. Whitaker 
(based on local tradition) can be regarded as correct. In the first place 
the sculptures of the knight (with inscribed l\elmet) and lady clearly 
belong to the latter part of the reign of Edward III. Several local 
families, as the St. Qaiutins, De la Mares, and Daltons, who had lands 
in this neighbourhood, came from Holdemess, in the East Riding, where 
they had been seated from the period of the Norman Conquest. The 
family of St. Quintin is said to have received its name from the capital 
of Picardy in France, and to have attended the Conqueror on his invasion 
of England. The connection between the families of Fitz Hugh and 
De la Mare, Mere, or More, has been sufficiently set forth. Catherine 
Parr, sixth and last wife of Henry YIII., married for her second husband, 
John Nevile, second Lord Latimer, and had one son, John Nevile, Lord 
Latimer, who by Lucy, daughter of Henry Beaufort, Earl of Worcester, 
left four daughters and co-heiresses, of whom Lucy Nevile married 
Sir William Comwallis, Kt., and from a daughter of this Sir William 
are lineally descended the Ferroors of Tusmore, in Oxfordshire ; and 
from the Fermors the present families of Towneley of Towneley, Tempest 
of Broughton, and Maire of Lartington. 

There must consequently have been some relationship between the 
contemporary families of St. Quintin and De la Mare, but none of the 
printed pedigrees or visitations shew this. Their names are frequently 
found together in ancient charters, but how or when the family of 
De la Mare came to be established at Hornby, and a De la Mare 
monument erected in the Holderness chapel at Hornby, I have not been 
fortunate to discover. Sir James de la Mare was witness to a deed of 
William St. Quintin touching lands in Brandsburton in Holdemess, 
temp, Henry III.,* and at the end of the 14th century the manor of 

* This document bears the seal of William St Quintin, a crescent in the centre. 
It is also noteworthy that in Lobineau*s //7>f0tr<^ de Bretagne (1707) the seal of 
Jean de Maure (1298) is given as a orescent vaire. See Ellis's Antiq. of Heraldry 
(1S69), p. 192. 


Brandsbnrton was transmitted by Lora, daughter and co-heiress of 
Sir Robert St. Quintin to her husband Sir Robert Grey, Kt., brother 
of John Marmion. Sir John Grey, grandfather of Sir Robert, married 
the heiress of the lord of Bedale, and Elizabeth, daughter and 
co-heir of the said Sir Robert Grey, married Henry Pitz Hugh, of the 
family of Fitz Hugh of Ravensworth. John, Lord Grey, brother of 
Sir Robert Grey, died, without issue, in Spain, on a voyage with the 
Duke of Lancaster in 1886. Tbe St. Quintins and De la Mares likewise 
served under the same Earl, taking part in the wars in France and Spain. 
I have elsewhere referred to Sir Walter de Urswick, who was at the 
battle of Navarre in 1867, and whose effigy is in Catterick Church. It 
is not unlikely, too, that John de la Mare, whose effigy, of similar age, in 
the church at Hornby, took part in the same engagement. At any rate 
I find his name enrolled among those knights and squires who were to be 
considered from the nature of their tenure responsible for their quota of 
supplies on the preparatory invasion of France by King Edward III. 
The writ is dated at Westminster, 2nd of May, and the 12th year of his 
reign, and among the names of those knights so commanded are WilFs 
St. Quintin and Joh'es de la Mare.* There can be no doubt that this is 
the personage whose effigy is in the St. Quintin chapel in Hornby 
Church. Of the same family was William Maire, an archer with Sir 
Gilbert Umfreville, Kt., at the battle of Agincourt. 

John St. Quintin, who served under the Earl of Lancaster, and died 
in 1897, was grandfather of Margaret St. Quintin (living 1426), the 
heiress of that family, who married John Conyers, of Hornby, and who 
thus carried the manor of Hornby to the house of Conyers, as before 
related. There are in the church at Hornby some ancient but defaced 
brasses of the Conyers, one of which is dated 1448, also a good one 
(dated 1489) with effigies, of Thomas Mountford, his wife, sons and 

At the Dissolution of Monasteries the parish of Hornby is stated to 
have contained 800 "houseling people,*' that is persons of full age. 
Whitaker supplies a catalogue of the vicars down to the Rev. Cuthbert 
Allen (1684-1716), who was succeeded by James Hayton, for 54 years 
vicar (to 1770). Then came John Pigot (1770-88), Thomas Kirby 
(1788-1800), William Alderson (1800-1809), and Jonathan Alderson 
(1818-19). It was during the vicariate of the latter that the Rev. Jas. 
Mark Pattison acted as curate-in-charge ; he was also chaplain to the 
Duke of Leeds. He was the father of the eminent litterateur^ Mark 
Pattison, and of the immortal " Sister Dora,'' of nursing fame, whose 
statue adorns the town of Walsall, and to whom the beautiful Memorial 
Convalescent Hospital was erected at Milford, and opened by the Bishop 

• Vide Rot Scot., 12th Edward III., p. 629. 


of the Diocese on April 19th, 1884.* Tlie old parsonage at Hornby was 
situated in the Castle grounds ; the present vicarage having been erected 
in 1828-9. Mr. Pattison removed to the neighbouring parish of 
Hauxwell in 1819. The Rev. George Alderson succeeded as vicar of 
Hornby, and held the incumbency for fifty years, being followed by the 
Rev. kenry Dawson Moore (1879-94), and the present vicar, the 
Rev. Henry Travis Boultbee. From 1849 to 1896 it may be remarked 
there have been 31 vicai*s, presenting an average service of 17^ years in 
that long space of time. 


Hornby Castle. 

A little east of Hornby is Hackforth, the birthplace of Dr. Cuthbert 
Tunstall, Bishop of Durham, and brother of Brian Tunstall of Thurland 
Castle, who was slain at the battle of Flodden a.d. 1513. At Ainderby 
Myers, also within the parish of Hornby, there was a house, a toft, and 
a croft given for the finding of an obit within the parish, of the yearly 
value of 8s. 

West of our road through Scotton stands Hauxwell on the southern 
slope of the hills overlooking Wensleydale. Mark Pattison's sister in 

* See the Life of Sitter Dora by Margaret Locsdale, a biography that has been 
translated into most of the European languages. See also p. 84 of this work. 


her sympathetic biography of " Sister Dora," who, as I have elsewhere 
related, was born at Hanxwell, gives a pleasant account of this quiet 
little place. Their father, the Rev. Mark Pattison, wlio died in 1865, 
was rector of Hauxwell, having removed thither from Hornby as 
previously related. He married a Miss Winn, the daughter of a Richmond 
banker, and at Hornby parsonage their eldest son, Mark Pattison, was 
born in the year 1818. They had a numerous family, and in this 
neighbourhood the clever children spent their early days. Young Mark 
was of a somewhat shy and retiring disposition, and delighted in rural 
retirement. He was a good naturalist, and a devoted follower of the 
gentle craft, there being hardly a stream for miles round his father's 
home with which. he was not familiar either as an angler or as an earnest 
student of the many natural objects about them. His subsequent college 
life and career in the busy arena of letters are matters of common 
knowledge. He died at Harrogate, (where he had gone to recruit his 
health,) in 1884, and was interred in the neighbouring churchyard at 
Harlow Hill. He left no issue, and his widow, a daughter of Captain 
Strong, H.E.I.O.S., afterwards became the wife of the Right Hon. Sir 
Charles W. Dilke, Bart., M.P. 

The ancestor of another distinguished literary personage was also 
rector of Hauxwell, namely the Rev. Elias Thackeray, who died here 
unmarried in 1737. His nephew Thomas Thackeray, was trained by him 
at Hauxwell and became Archdeacon of Surrey. His youngest son was 
the well-known and eminent litterateur and novelist, William Makepeace 
Thackeray, who died at Bayswater in 1868. The family was numerous 
in Nidderdale, and can be traced there as early as the 14th century.* 
Hauxwell was formerly the seat of some members of the Gale family, of 
whom the Rev. Thomas Gale, D.D., Dean of York (1697—1702), and 
his son Roger Gale, M.P., F.R.S., &c., the antiquaiy and Treasurer to 
the Royal Society, who died in 1744, were its most prominent members. 
The valuable Registrum Honoris de Richmond of the latter I have 
frequently had occasion to quote in this work. The Hall is now the seat 
of Col. Hamlet D. Wade-Dalton, who is a family connection of the 
Gales, and lord of the manor of Hauxwell. This pleasant country spot 
is indeed a " literary shrine ** of no inconsiderable interest, and it has 
produced, too, a noteworthy centenarian in the person of the late 
Mr. Thomas Nicholson, who was born here on March 12th, 1777, and 
died in September, 1878, aged 101. He was the second son of the 
Rev. Thomas Nicholson and Elizabeth Farrer, his wife, and was many 
years town-clerk of Hertford. He afterwards became a commissioner 
for investigating claims to grants of land in Tasmania, and a barrister 
of the Supreme Court of that colony. 

* See the author's Xidderdalc and the Garden of the Nidd^ page 385. 


The antiquary delighted with his visit to Hornby, will also find much 
to interest him in the neighbourhood of Hauxwell. In the ancient 
chnrch here, dedicated to St. Oswald, are two recumbent eflSgies of a 
knight and lady ; there are also several antique sculptured stones, 
including a stone-coffin lid, of unusual design, which is figured in 
Boutell's Christian Monuments, The Saxon cross in the churchyard is a 
fine example of 7th century knot-work, with tablet perhaps once bearing 
the name of the dedicatee (not improbably Jacob, the emissary of St. 
Paulinus), and is undoubtedly one of the oldest ' Christian monuments 
remaining in the country. See the tail-piece on page ] 70. 

Before the Reformation there was a certain meadow at East Hauxwell, 
called Lamp Ing, which yielded an annual rent of 3s. for the finding of 
a lamp in the church at Hauxwell. This was doubtless to burn at the 
altar, for strange to say we have no evidence that prior to the Reformation 
lamps or candles were used by the minister or congregation for the 
purpose of reading by. There was also a chantry of the De Burgh 
family in the north aisle of the church, but no particulars of it are to be 
found in the Certificates of the Commissioners appointed to survey the 
chantries, hospitals, &c., at the Dissolution. 

Before I leave Hauxwell a word is due to the memory of a former 
rector, the Rev. Edward Charles Topham, M.A., who died in January, 
1892, at the ripe age of 78. He was a gentleman well-known and 
respected, not only in his own parish but throughout the Archdeaconry of 
Richmond. Educated at the University College, Durham, he graduated 
B.A. in 1847, and M.A. in 1850. After serving some time as rector of 
Ladbrook in Warwickshire, he accepted in 1866 the rectory of Hauxwell, 
and three years later was appointed by Bishop Bickersteth as rural dean 
of Catterick West. He was ever considerate and attentive to the members 
of his flock, and equally indefatigable in promoting the well-being 
of his fellow clergy, being a generous benefactor to the North Riding 
clergy fund, and for upwards of twenty years acting as secretary to the 
Wensleydale Clerical Society, which he founded soon after becoming 
rural dean in 1869. Mr. Topham was also an accomplished student in 
theology, and published some years ago a meditative and able treatise, 
entitled The Philosophy of the Fall and Us Remedy. 

Our road now descends through Scotton, across the picturesque 
Scotton Beck, whence an hour^s walk brings us back again to romantic 
Richmond. Scotton, I may observe, was for many generations the 
property of a branch of the knightly family of Fitz Hugh of Ravensworth, 
one of whom, John de Scotton, went out to the Christian garrison at 
Rhodes, and died there 19th Edward III. (1345). 



Round about Askb. 

Oliver Ducket^ — The Barracks — Anecdotes of former Swaledale Volunteers — Local 
geology — Aske Hall — A beautiful estate^The late Earl of Zetland — Story of 
the manor — Tor, the son of Odin — Meaning of Aske — A Scandinavian legend 
— Aske Beck — Royal visits to Aske Hall. 

I HE driving road from Richmond to Aske and Gilling passes 
the gazebo of Oliver Ducket (an old beacon or signal-tower 
to Richmond Castle which is supposed to have got its name 
from a bygone family of watchers called Ducket), and this 
upland highway commands a wide prospect of the country eastward in 
the direction of the Cleveland and Hambleton Hills. In a clear 
atmosphere Scarth Nick in the Hambletons, Eston Nab, and the mound- 
like eminence of Godfather's Hill, near Middlesborough, are plainly 
discernible. But a pleasanter foot-route to Aske is to leave the market 
place by King Street and Queen's Road, then up Gallowgate and past the 
reservoir to the Barracks. Or from the Queen's Road go up a narrow 
lane past a quarry in the Red Beds before mentioned, which here dip at 
an angle of about 15 degrees south-east towards the town. Hereabouts 
the lover of wild plants will find a few good things, including luxuriant 
specimens of the fumitory and wild mignonette. This lane brings yon 
out to the same point. 

The Bari'acks, which were built in 1877, cover about 15 acres, and 
are now occupied by the 4th Battalion Yorkshire Regiment. In a former 
age, when wars were much more frequent than they are at the present 
day, many were the young men of Swaledale who joined the scarlet-coated 
regiments at Richmond, willing to stand by their king and country. If 
not over elastic in their mental understandings these milk-fed dalesmen 
were withal brave and stalwart fellows, who could shew a bold front 
when the occasion demanded. When in the early part of this century 
there was a threatened invasion of England by the French under 
Napoleon Buonaparte, no difficulty was experienced in obtaining recruits 
from the dales, who came into Richmond from distant moor and glen 
and lonely farm, where many of them had followed the occupation of 


labonrers or ehepherds from early yonth. Few of these, it turned out, 
knew the names by which they had been baptised, having all their lives 
been known by some personal peculiarity or sobriquet of kinship or 
locality, such as " Fightin' Tom," " Bullock Jamie," " Aygill Jack," &c. 
The sergeants indeed found so much difficulty in obtaining the real 
names of the men that they were obliged ultimately to give up the quest, 
and enter only those pseudo-names by which they were familiarly known.* 
Consequently in the Volunteer Roll-Oall at Richmond for the year 1804 
we find such remarkable names entered as Butter Owordie, Katy Tom 
Alick, Mark Jamie Toss, Matty Jwoan Ned, Nettlebed Anty, Kit Puke 
Jock, Screamer Tom, Docken Jammie, Rive Rags, Cotty Joe, Slodder, 
Bowlaway, &c. 

It seems also that such nicknames were in vogue in very early times, 
for in a compotus of Ralph, Lord Neville, 15th Richard II., the free- 
tenants are designated as Ric. Gretehed, Rob. Hardlad, Johanna Watwyf, 
&c. Down to comparatively recent days many of the Swaledale folk did 
not know their right names, or were so accustomed to these by-names 
that they had forgotten them. Thus we are informed by the Rev. John 
Ward (1865) that '^ Some time ago the postman took a letter to a person 

addressed to a Mr. C , not a hundred miles from Gunnerside, but on 

enquiring for such a name he was told by the one enquired of that he knew 
of no such person. After considerable exercise of thought he ascertained 
that it was for himself, whose real name had been forgotten for the 
moment under the more familiar designation of Assy Will Kit." It appears 
also that the drill-sergeants found it impossible to make most of the men 
understand the difference when marching of the ordinary step and 
evolution, right and left. This ignorance of a common descriptive epithet 
led to the greatest confusion when on the parade-ground, and the 
difficulty was not overcome until one of the officers thought of the 
following ingenious and decidedly eflFective method. Every man before 
going to drill had tied upon his right leg a narrow band or girdle of hay 
and on the left a similar one of straw. Instead, therefore, of the sergeant 
calling out, ''right, left, right, left," &c., as the step or movement 
required, he shouted out, " hay-band, straw-band, hay-band, straw-band," 
&c., a visible sign which was at once underatood, and until the men had 
been long enough to get versed in the proper language of the parade- 
ground continued to be adopted. 

Another ludicrous story I have heard relates to the same place and 
period. Orders were given to ascertain the religious persuasion of each 
of the men, and for this purpose the drill-sergeant placed them on parade 

9 It is said that half of them really bore the old Swaledale patronym of 
Alderson, but through generations of intennarrying of these families their identity 
could not be established. 


and then in a tone of command exclaimed, " Church of England men 
step to the hay-band side ; Roman Catholics to the straw-band ; all 
fancy religions step to the rear." The confusion that followed is better 
imagined than described, for hay-banded legs got mixed up with the 
straw-bands, the men not knowing exactly to which sect they belonged 
or if they did belong to any sect at all, and to save themselves from utter 
disgrace the bulk found a convenient refuge by falling into the rear. 

But a truce to such tales. Just above the Barracks' gates you enter 
a nan'ow lane on the right or " hay-band " side of the road, which leads 

AsEE Hall. 

through the fields, passing the Gingerfield farm-house to the left. In 
this lane is a large gritstone erratic or ice-borne boulder, where the chert 
beds crop out, and near the farm is a fault running east and west which 
throws down the shales against the Main Limestone oxi the north, the 
dip of the beds being as usual southerly. The scenery about here is 
picturesquely broken into hill and dale. Presently you drop into a wood 
and after crossing the musical Aske Beck continue along the path, which 
leads in front of Aske Hall and thence through the beautiful and extensive 
park in the direction of Gilling. 

Aske Hall, the old family seat of the noble house of Zetland, is one 
of the stateliest mansions of its kind in the land. Upon a site elevated 


above the road, its broad, solid centre, with massive projecting wings and 
castellated towers, all Inxariantly covered with ivy, presents a grand and 
imposing picture. Yet these purely visual attractions play but a secondary 
part in the abiding strength and design of the whole building, which 
anconsciously reminds us of the days when civil war was rife and the 
stout and stubborn dwellings of the barons of old bade seeming defiance 
alike to the assaults of man and of time I A feudal pre-eminence, 
indeed, seems to cling about the old place yet, and if we take up any 
recent directory of the neighbourhood we find that the bulk of the 
inhabitants appear in one way or another dependants, as they have been 
from the remotest times, of the noble head of the estate. Yet there is 
none of the squalor and poverty we usually associate with Norman 
feudalism ; the estate everywhere is a picture of cleanliness and content, 
the houses though small look neat and comfortable and have pleasant 
gardens attached, the roads are well kept, the fences, trees, and plantations 
are evidently well looked after, and the whole place has the appearance 
of being carefully and judiciously managed. 

The late Earl of Zetland took a great pride in the estate, and nothing 
pleased him more than a quiet stroll about his beautiful domain, or to go 
out on a fine morning to the moor and see his horses gallop. He was 
an inveterate sportsman of the old type, who ran his horses for sport, 
not for gain. He had reared and was owner of some magnificent racers^ 
including Vedette^ Bivouac^ and that wonderful flyer, VoUigeur, winner 
of the Derby at Epsom, and conqueror of the invincible Flying 
Dutchman at Doncaster. The latter race is one of the most memorable 
on record, and the scene, we are told, will never be forgotten by those 
who witnessed it, as it far transcended the excitement with which the 
subsequent victory of the Flying Dutchman, in the great match at York, 
was welcomed by its countless spectators. Never in the annals of racing 
had there been greater enthusiasm manifested, or had a louder and lustier 
cheer rang out from the thousands of voices than on the occasion when 
Voltigeur won the Doncaster Cup. The animal was taken to Aske, and 
given a right royal welcome, for large crowds gathered to witness his 
arrival, and a special train of North Riding fanners, who had gone up to 
see him run, accompanied him back. A proud moment was that in Lord 
Zetland^s life, yet prouder still no doubt was it to the victor's trainer* 
Robert Hill, whose affection for the horse was most conspicuous when 
he hung caressingly round the animal's neck, while tears of joy streamed 
down his cheek I 

It was not however as a sportsman only that the late Thomas Dundas, 
Earl of Zetland, will be remembered. As a politician he had entered 
Parliament at the early age of 23, as M.P. for Richmond. That was in 
1818, and he held the seat without intermission for 12 years. Subsequently 


he represented York, and again was member for Richmond. He became 
a prominent Freemason and held the position of Grand Master of the 
Freemasons of England from 1843 to 1869, in which latter year he was 
succeeded by the Marquis of Bipon. He also held up to within a few 
months of his death the office of Lord Lieutenant and Custos Rotnlorum 
of the North Riding, the duties of which he discharged with characteristic 
impartiality. As a friend to the church and education his lordship 
behaved with a most liberal yet unostentatious hand. He erected in 
1867 at his sole expense the beautiful church at New Marske, where he 
is interred, and which cost upwards of £6,000 ; he was also a liberal 

Rt. Hon. Thomas, Earl op Zetland. 

benefactor to religion generally, no matter to what denomination 
belonging. Tho schools at Richmond, Skeeby, Brompton, New Marske, 
and Saltburn, were also handsomely assisted by him. He took a warm 
interest in everything that concerned the district, and his death was 
universally deplored. He was born February 5th, 1795, and died at 
Aske on the 6th of May, 1873. His nephew and successor, the present 
able and energetic owner of Aske, Ijaurence Dundas, Marquis of Zetland, 
is too, I need scarcely remark, deservedly popular. He has done much 


not only to improve the home estate, but also to advance the social and 
material welfare of the inhabitants of the surrounding district. At 
present (1895-6) he is the honoured Mayor of Richmond. 

The old Hall, of which I give a view, came with the estate, into 
possession of the ancestors of the present noble Marquis in the year 
1760. Sir Laurence Dundas, the purchaser, made numerous additions 
to the hall and out-houses, but the ancient tower of the former owners 
was left, as it still is. In its original and uninjured state. Many other 
improvements have since been made, including extensive work in the 
gardens and in the erection of new conservatories, hunting stables, &c. 
The latter are of themselves well worth a visit, being admirably designed, 
light, lofty, and airy, and well adapted for the housing of the valuable 
class of animals kept ; the monetary worth of the horses alone must be 
reckoned by thousands of pounds. In the saddle or gear-room is 
preserved the tail of the famous racer, Voltigeur^ which I have above 
spoken of as an animal that stood almost alone in its day. The tail 
is raven-black, in excellent condition, and measures about forty inches 

The manor of Aske had previously belonged to the ducal house of 
Wharton ; Philip, third Lord Wharton, having purchased the property 
from the family of Bowes in the reign of James L At this time the 
manor, with its appurtenances, consisted of ten messuages, ten cottages, 
one water-mil], one dove-house, ten gardens, ten orchards, 500 acres of 
arable land, 200 acres of meadow, 500 acres of pasture, 100 acres of 
wood, 1000 acres of juniper and brier, 2000 acres of moor and common 
of pasture and common of turbary with the appurtenances in Aske, 
Schalles ah. Scales, Gingerfield, Askmore on the south part of Ask Beck, 
Coalgarth, Newclose, Heuitts als. Yewetts, Richmond, and Gilling. 

Prior to its acquisition through the marriage, in the time of 
Henry VIIL, of Richard Bowes, Esq., of Cowton, with Elizabeth, 
daughter and co-heir of Roger Aske, Esq., of Aske, the manor had been 
a possession of the family of Aske for nearly 500 years. Wihomarc, a 
Breton, who was seneschal and chief servant to Alan, Earl of Richmond, 
being the first grantee after the Conquest, his descendants took the name 
of De Aske, and continued lords of this place till, as I have said, the 
extinction of the line in co-heiresses in the reign of Henry VIII. In 
Domesday Book the manor is declared to be a possession of Tor, or Thor, 
a Danish nobleman, the owner of some score manors, all of which were 
forfeited to Earl Alan, who granted nearly the whole of them to his 
follower, Enisan (Musard). Tor, however, was permitted to retain one 
of the manors under the Earl, namely that of Hutton Magna, or Hutton 
Longvilliers, where he had about a hundred acres (one carucate) in 
demesne, and seven villeins and four bordars with two ploughs. Tor, 


according to the above Survey, is said to have resided at his manor of 
Barningham, some two miles south of Greta Bridge — ^a lovely district^ 
celebrated in the poetry of Sir Walter Scott. 

This Tor was honoured by being named after the great Scandinavian 
god Thor, who is placed in the Edda among the moat valiant of the sons 
of Odin. He was considered the defender and avenger of the gods, in 
whom the old pirates put implicit trust, and they worshipped him as the 
destroyer of their enemies and chief guardian of their liberties. But 
this exalted divinity suffered much on the Christian irruption in 
Richmondshire, albeit he has left the weight of his imperishable name 
here in such places as Thoresby and Thoralby, in Wensleydale, and 
Thormanby, near Easingwold, besides in many places abroad. And 
thus I suspect that Aske, too, was called after the supposed lineal 
progenitor of Thor, Ash^ the first man, although the name is softened to 
Hasse by the Normans in Domesday, Yet this is no objection as 
we have combinations of as^ asse^ asa^ frequent in Scandinavian 
topography, which have the same meaning and refer to the pagan deities. 
It was common to dedicate the names of particular places to such deities, 
which were supposed to be then under their immediate dominion and 
protection ; such were Asgard ; in Wensleydale Aysgarth, in old charters 
written Asgarth, the place of gods ; near to it are Thoralby and over the 
water Thoresby, dedicated to Tor or Thor ; Forcett, the Judge's seat ; 
Yordas Cave, consecrated to the Norse earth-god, Ac, while in the name 
of Wensleydale itself, a great stronghold of the Danes, may possibly lurk 
the appellation of the mighty Odin, the supreme god of the Northmen 
and their ruler and guide in council and war. To him almost all the 
northern nations owed some manner of obeisance, and to him they 
dedicated the fourth day of the week, called in old Norse, Odinsdagr ; 
in A.S., Wodenesdffig ; I)utch, Woensdag ; English, Wednesday. In 
ancient charters the name of Wensley is very variously and corruptly 
spelled Wendeslaga, Wandesley, and the like, which renders it not 
improbable that the village of Wensley, which gave the dale its name, 
was sacred to this principal and all-powerful genius.* 

But to return to Aske. Tor, the son of Odin, is traced in the Voluspa 
of the Scandinavian mythology, to the first man Ask, and the belief as 
I have said, bears reasonable weight that Aske, the sole possession of this 
great Danish nobleman, was dedicated for all time to the ascribed 
primogenitor of the race of Tor. As the Norse version of the creation 
of man is extremely interesting, and pertinently illustrates the subject of 

* Due note should be taken of the old Bpelling of the initial syllable In Wensley 
as compared with Woden, though it is noticeable the Dutch omit the *'d," a 
significant elision, shewing how authenticated names are corrupted. 


this contention, I will transcribe the passage relating to it from a 
translation of the prose Edda of Rask : 

One day as the sons of Bor were walking along the sea-beach thej found two 
stems of wood, out of which they shaped a man and a woman. The first, Odin, 
infused into them life and spirit ; the second, Vili, endowed them with reason and 
the power of motion ; the third, Ve, gave them speech and features, hearing and 
vision. The man they called Ask, and the woman Embla. From these two 
descend the whole human race, whose assigned dwelling was within Midgard. 
Then the sons of Bor built in the middle of the universe the city called Asgard, 
where dwell the gods and their kindred ; and from that abode work out so many 
wondrous things, both on the earth and in the heavens above it. There is in that 
city a place called Hlidskjalf, and when Odin is seated there on his lofty throne 
he sees over the whole world, discerns all the actions of men, and comprehends 
whatever he contemplates. His wife is Frigga, the daughter of Fjorgyn, and they 
and their offspring form the race that we call the ^sir, a race that dwells in 
Asgard the old, and the regions around it, and that we know to be entirely divine. 

Wherefore Odin may justly be called All-father, for he is verily the father of 
all, of gods as well as of men, and to his power all things owe their existence. 
Earth is his daughter and his wife, and with her he had his first-born son, ASA- 
Thor, who is endowed with strength and valour, and therefore quelleth he 
everything that hath life. 

To hypothesize npon Asa-Tbor having to do with the ascription of 
Tor's manor of Hasse (Aske), may at first thought seem ridiculous, but 
the whole evidence, historical and philological, is distinctly in favour of it. 
At any rate Dr. Whitaker's assumption of its allocating an ash tree pure 
and simple is vague and meaningless, and can only be correlated with the 
cosmogonic tradition I have cited that the first man and woman were 
fashioned from an ash-stem. Ash in this sense came to stand for a man, 
hence ^sc, the name of Hengist's son. 

Numerous charters relating to the manor have been transcribed by 
General Harrison and need not be i-epeated here. One, however, may be 
noted, of date 21st Edward I. (1292), which relates that Eudo de 
Staynwigges (of the ancient family of Stanwick St. John) while crossing 
Aske Beck fell from his horse and was drowned, and that William the 
miller of Ask recovered his body. This premises a greater flow of water 
at that era than the beck ordinarily contains, unless, as was probably the 
case, the said horseman was attempting to ford the brook in a time of 
excessive flood. 

When King James I. visited Scotland in 1617, he journeyed by way 
of York and Ripon to Bishop Auckland, staying one night (April 16th 
— 17th) at Aske Hall, which was then the property of Philip, third 
Lord Wharton, who sat in Parliament for more than forty years (1581 — 
1625), and whose second wife was a daughter of Henry Clifford, second 
Earl of Cumberland. The king, moreover, on his return from Scotland 
in August, journeyed by way of Carlisle and Appleby, and stayed a night 


at Wharton Hall, near Kirkby Stephen, at that time his lordship's old 
family seat. In recent times the fine old mansion at Aske has also been 
the scene of a Royal visit, when Their Royal Highnesses the Prince and 
Princess of Wales were the guests of Lord Zetland on the occasion of 
the opening of the Middlesbrough Town Hall in January, 1889. 




ASTO \ • lNOX and 

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M.I'- . =1, 1 .•: rv_ r ,. } . 

iis » ■";••-': 

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'."-li pia<l{» tX('L'ili-nt n {ii'( II .< '.- • '•' 

T!i«; tdurisi npj)rorif }]ii l; (r;''nir n..i\ ' '• * • •• • ■ 

N-otij' nyk-\ «.r ancient 1''">1. l)0'.r.«hr/\ 
?.. I«»2\ wliich is ti.H^-ni.^' : -i !'..](! c:)1]«mJ ( .. • . . 

' '.K'vrf it j.rol.'hly folloA,,-; ' < •. t • • i -.-f ! ' 
.'.ilin-:. a:ri ^^r'!! w'M'linjr was • . . • •.•:■» 
<m' tK' f'lrni cailtil Kirklan«]>. /t '.c ir>:aji'\j v a 
')'ik^' uf yorthmn^Miiiaiid li.-- .r.-.n evcavui.c'i \ -j^ Cc-n : 
:ju] (ieporilx <i, utkI a f-.^ ; ^ - '■.'^i■^n /<;f iii'lo vj'iu'- • 
A^ \ Henry iM'^'liincLlaiL ;'.b( ; . '.♦•;»!.< ,». .i, ;nirl b ni. '.ti 

-, IIP wh(jre the nUipai'S um'. .. . "••• • mw all bi.t ni.-.t,<r.' 
opsins (Jiiiing Reck," n« n^> .^ .♦. *•.; <]'V* ex:.M^ v,«Il 
■.avin^ l>fen plan*' vi wiili tii-- ' 'ip' \ it a'" of ^'«illiiij", to ' • 
':!.c!')«'iro of liar* rley ^LiM'- tir- ;■ .. vis al-ottcJ. Tl . • • 
t »i> I'uu bt^onil bis liouj-" f(;i ..'>o;: ^ -» .a;'*:- v.c en -s t... •: 
./•-ni (intta Brnhre tfiwaxl^^ (.'af'-i't*' /' wluiv li'j Jcv/Ilv: • 

i.' M'. 




J»v^ . *V-. 





Ancient Gillingshirb. 

The Oilling valley — Local aspects of Scots' Dyke — Ice-borne rocks— The village 
of Gilling — A capital-town in Anglo-Saxon times — Site of Anglo-Saxon 
monastery proved to be at Collingham and not Gilling — Giliing at the 
Conquest— Extent of Gillingshire—" Castle Hill," a Saxon stronghold- 
Manorial history — The church — Ancient relics — Local characters — Old 
customs — Morris or sword-dance — Song of Hagman-heigh. 

0MIN6 throagh Aske Hall park from Richmond we 
drop down into the pleasant Gilling valley, where is 
the quiet old village of Gilling, the ancient capital of 
" Gillingscire," as it is called in mediseval charters, with 
its time-honoured parish church, mentioned in the 
Norman Conqueror's great survey. There are several 
old inns here, one of which has been in the Hedley family for about a 
century. The late landlady, Mrs. Hedley, who died January 10th, 1896, 
aged 77, was mother of Mr. Ralph and Mr. Johnstone Hedley, who have 
both made excellent reputations in art circles, especially in Newcastle, 
where the senior brother was recently elected President of the Berwick 

The tourist approaching Gilling may see some portion of the wonderful 
Scots' Dyke, or ancient British boundary-work before described {see 
p. 102), which is traceable in a field called Cow Pasture or Gore Field, 
whence it probably followed the direction of the present road through 
Gilling, and still winding was continued to the spot a little on the south 
of the farm called Kirklands. At the instance and bounty of the late 
Duke of Northumberland this great excavation was carefully examined 
and described, and a few plans taken (of little value however) by 
Mr. Henry Maclauchlan, about fifty years ago, and he mentions several 
spots where the ramparts and ditch are now all but obliterated. '' On 
crossing Gilling Beck," he observes, "the dike exists well preserved, 
having been planted with trees by the vicar of Gilling, to whom on the 
enclosure of Gaterley Moor this portion was allotted. Thence following 
the line beyond his house for about 400 yards, we cross the Roman way 
from Greta Bridge towards Catterick," where the levelled ground seems 


to shew that the dike was cut through and removed for the making of 
this famous highway of the Romans. The elevation is here about 600 
feet above the sea. 

The old village through which the broad highway to this Roman 
road passes is partly paved with cobbles, derived mostly from the beck, 
and here and there stones of foreign origin may be detected, including 
fragments of whin-sill (Teesdale basalt) which have been brought down 
hither during the Ice Age. There is, I should say, a boulder of Shap 
granite lower down at Easby, and none other has been recorded either in 
Swaledale or Wensleydale. This appears to prove that the Tees and 
Oilling valley glaciers were continuous, and that while the Shap and 
Teesdale boulders have been carried far eastward, the ice has not been 
of sufficient depth or thickness to overtop the Swaledale hills, and 
discharge its burden of debris in that valley. The Easby boulder has 
therefore in all probability come down the Gilling valley. 

Oilling, as I have remarked, was a capital town, and a flourishing 
centre of an Anglo-Saxon community long before Richmond had a place 
in history. It was the principal town in the great northern fee of the 
Earls of Mercia, and gave name to the two extensive wapentakes of 
Oilling East and Oilling West. The district appears to have been the 
scene of many martial conflicts, particularly in the seventh century, 
between the reigning kings of Mercia, Deira, and Bernicia. Penda, the 
pagan king of Mercia, was sent by Cadwallo, king of the Britons, with 
an immense force into Northumbria with the object of attacking Oswald, 
who had assumed the entire dominion in a.d. 635. Several engagements 
ensued, but Oswald the Christian, proved victorious. Soon afterwards a 
dissension having sprung up between Oswi king of Bernicia, and Oswin 
king of Deira, the latter finding himself unable to engage in battle with 
the great armies of his opponent, dismissed his men, and retiring with 
a single soldier named Tonhere, was almost inunediately afterwards 
treacherously slain (a.d. 651) by order of Oswi, at a place called by the 
venerable Bede Ingetlingum. This place has been hitherto erroneously 
declared to be Gilling. Dr. Whitaker, evidently following the assumption 
of Camden, has even fixed upon a site for the monastery at Gilling, and 
supposes that Wilfare's-dun or Wilfar's Hill (vide Bede), whither Oswin 
told off his men is Wulshaw or Ulshaw Bridge, below Middleham, which 
he says answers to Bede's delimitation of the distance, — ten miles south- 
west of Catterick. Unhappily, with that oft-observed haste or impaired 
vision manifest throughout the great historian's work on Richmondshire, 
he has misread the words recorded by Bede, which are " ten miles distant 
from the village called Cataract, towards the north-west^ We must 
therefore look for this Wilfare's-dun somewhere in the neighbourhood of 
Dunsley Bank or Gayles. Cade, however, conjectures that it was the 


remarkable hill at Diderston, about three miles to the north of Gilling, 
between which and the well-known Black Hill runs the Roman military 
road from Scotch Comer to Greta Bridge, and this ascription he believes 
may be interpreted by the British name, Wylfa-dun, t.0., watch-hilL But 
the probability is that the name given by Bede is Anglo-Saxon, and one 
that was adopted during the campaigns of Penda, Oswi, and Oswin. In 
fact the name of Wilfhere or Wulfhere, — wherever the hill may be, — 
occurs at the very period of which I write, in the person of that redoubtable 
prince who in 657, or six years after the founding of the monastery at 
Gsetlingum, succeeded to the kingdom of the Mercians, of which the 
southern part had been granted by Oswi to Peada, the brother of Wilfhere. 
Gilling has always been supposed by historians to be the site of the 
monastery founded by Eanfled, the beloved wife of the murdered king 
Oswin, where according to Bede, prayers were daily offered up to God 
for the repose of his soul as well as for that of Oswi the murderer. This 
Christian queen Eanfled was the daughter of the great and good king 
Edwin, whose seat or stronghold was at Barwick-in-Elmete, and in which 
locality he fell in battle with the pagans a.d. 684. But Whitaker, 
copying Camden, as I have said, is wrong, as it was not at Gilling, but 
actually within six miles of Barwiok that this expiatory monastery was 
erected, for the very dedication stone, inscribed in Anglo-Saxon runes, 
has been turned up beneath the foundations of CoUingham Church. The 
interesting stone was discovered some two feet below the surface, during 
repairs to the church, and was laid on one side for a long time as a curiosity 
merely and unintelligible. It settles however, beyond question, the site 
of this famous monastery, which was established shoitly after the 
introduction of Christianity into Northumbria ; the stone being therefore 
one of the most precious and valuable historic relics preserved to us from 
these early times. The inscription is still fairly good, and reads : 


Which may be interpreted : j^nfled this set up in memory of her cousin 
[Oswi] and Oswini King. Pray for their souls. The stone, which is 
33 inches in height, has probably never been far away from where it was 
found, and it seems to be of the same material as the tower of the present 
church, but being discoloured it is rather difficult to identify without 
breaking it to see the grain. The place, moreover, is one well suited for 
the site of a monastery, being on the warm magnesian limestone, and 
there is an old quarry near at hand. 

It may be argued that the site is too remote from the neighbourhood 
of Gilling in Richmondshire, where Oswin led or assembled his men, but 
considering that one of the most important thoroughfares in England at 


that time, Watling Street, ran contignons to Gilling and ColliDgham, it 
may reasonably be supposed that a ready and facile escape would be 
made by Oswin from Gilling before he was overtaken in Gaetlingam* 
{i,e, Collingham), as narrated by the venerable Bede. Bede lived but a 
generation after the founding of this monastery at Collingham, and his 
history of the place has after the lapse of twelve long centuries received 
this singular corroboration of its accuracy. 

But to return to Gilling. The whole of the surrounding country 
was teiTibly devastated by the , troops of the Conqueror led by the 
Breton Earl, who received this province from the king in part reward 
for his assistance, which was considerable, as related in the account of 
Richmond. In the Domesday compilation it is called Ghellinghes, and 
it is stated there to have then had (a.d. 1086) a church and a priest : 
the whole manor with its dependent berewicks, being declared to be 
worth in the time of the Confessor £56. But after fire and sword had 
done its worst it was returned as worth £4. Such of the population as 
was left gradually withdrew to Richmond, which became the capital and 
chief stronghold of the Norman earldom, and Gilling for a time being 
thus deserted went to decay. In an extent of lands made 30th Henry II. 
(1183) Richmondshire was then divided into three wapentakes, viz. : 
Gilling, Hang, and Halikeld. In Gillingshire, as it is called in this 
survey, there were 25^ ienemmtales, or tithings, and 2| camcates, which 
offers a very poor comparison with the prosperous state of the division 
prior to the advent of the Breton swordsmen. In the preceding era the 
Saxon Earl Edwin had in Gilling above four good carucates of land, and 
probably 16 ploughs. He had a fixed residence hei*e and it was also the 
seat of State.t The " wide waste of all-devouring years " has however 
left but scant traces of this important stronghold, but the site is generally 
identified on the so-called Castle Hill, an eminence some 300 yards 
north-west of the farm-house at Low Scales. 

In 1278 the Earl of Richmond had a capital mansion-house in 
Gilling, which may have been the survivor of the Saxon Earl^s stately 
seat, the rent of which was an acknowledgment of 2s. Around it were 
183 acres of arable land which paid a yearly rent of Is. an acre, and 
there were also 13 acres of meadow, which paid yearly 5s. 2d. per acre, 
and a valuable water-mill worth yearly £10, the soke of Gilling extending 
northwards to the Tees. These with various other minor possessions at 
Gilling then yielded a nett annual income to the Earl of £43 12s. 6d. 

* Prounced Gatlingum (Bede'a ob representing a), t becomes asBimilated to 2, as 
in Gillamoor and Rillington (in Donufsday^ Gedlingesmore and Bedlinton). Vide 
the Rev. Daniel H. Haigh's Runic Monuvients in the Yorkshire Arch, JL, vol. ii. 

f Forcett, a few miles to the north of Gilling, was as its name implies in Dan. 
and A.S., Judges' Seat, the place where the courts of the tithing or hundred were 
held. Here are some ancient earthworks probably of this era. 


In the 9th Edward 11. (1315) John de Bretagne, Earl of Richmond, 
and John de Hertford were returned as joint lords of the manor of 
Gilling. In the time of Henry VIII. it was granted to Sir John 
Norton, Et., and remained with this family till the attainder of Richard 
Norton in 1569. He is the daring hero of Percy's famous ballad, ^^ The 
Rising in the North;" likewise the poet Wordsworth celebrated the 
events of this tragic rebellion in his pathetic poem, " The White Doe of 
Rylstone."* Norton, who was lord of Norton-Conyers, Gilling, 
Hartforth, &c., was High Sheriff of Yorkshire at the time of the 
insurrection. He eventually got to Flanders, and died there, but one of 
his sons was executed. The Crown afterwards granted their possessions 
at Gilling to Anthony Radcliffe and William Gerrard, gents., who sold 
them to Robert Bowes, Esq. The manor next passed, 7th James I. 
(1609) to Humphrey Wharton, Esq., son of Nicholas Wharton, Esq., 
of Kirkby There. He also purchased the manor of Aldburgh in 
Richmondshire, lands in Eppleby, &c., and built Gillingwood Hall, 
which became the family seat. The mansion unfoitunately took lire in 
1750, and with all the furniture, books, documents, &c., was burnt to 
the ground. The descendants of this family continue to hold the 
manor. John Hall, Esq., of Skelton Castle, who was born in 1765 and 
became M.P. for Beverley, assumed the name of Wharton upon 
inheriting the Gilling estates in right of his wife. He died in 1843. 
His nephew, John Thomas Wharton, Esq., of Skelton Castle, is the 
present manorial owner, and the Rev. G. H. Laurence Wharton is the 
present vicar, who, in virtue of ancient prerogative, has the right of 
presentation to the livings of Barton, Forcett, South Cowton, Hutton 
Magna, and Eryholme. 

The mother church at Gilling, which was appropriated at an early 
period to St. Mary's Abbey, York,t has a history that takes us far back, 
like that at Catterick, doubtless to the time of the first preaching of 
Christianity in Northumbria. The present building contains some 
traces of the Domesday structure, but is on the whole of much later 
date. The ancient consecration to St. Peter seems to have been quite 
forgotten. It is now dedicated to St. Agatha. The vestry has a finely- 
groined roof and contemporary doorway, while to the south of the vestry, 
against the north wall, is a round-headed doorway, with a Norman 
opening now blocked, forming part of the north wall of the aisle. The 
chancel was restored in 1845, and has some modem deep-splayed windows, 
in the Norman style, but the work is obtrusively poor. • As the choira in 
the Richmondshire churches were never constructed with chapels or side 
aisles, such private foundations were formed out of the terminations of 

* See the author's Through Airedale from Goole to MaVuim^ page 248. 
t See Surtees Soc, Pub,, vol. 26, pages 136-7. 


the existing aisles of the church. Here the north aisle was reserved as 
the burial-place of the Boyntons, lords of Sedbury, and there is a 
magnificent tomb-slab to the " last heir of Sydbery of that name/* who 
died in 1581. It is sculptured in black marble, of great hardness, hence 
the excellent state of its preservation. The floor of the aisle is, however, 
not a deserving place for so perfect a monument, which I understand is 
not its original position, but was placed there when the church was 
restored. The slab bears carvings in relief of the knight and his lady, 
with their respective arms at the head. She was the daughter and heir 
of Bertram Lumley, Esq., lord of Ravensworth. Their only child and 
heiress was Elizabeth, who married (1) Sir Henry Oascoigne, Kt., and 
(2) Sir Thomas Hilton, of Hilton Castle, co. Durham. Around the 
margin of the tomb is inscribed : 

f^tc tacet. I1V0. f^ettcu0. bosnton, msles. ulttm' i)ere0 lie dptibrTg, tstt' no'ts 
et essabella luor eiu0. qui bii** ft' ianuarii obiit an'o li'ni in* ccccc^njf P quor 
ant'b'. p'pictctur. Iieu0 ante'. 

And at the corners of the slab are cut the symbols of the Evangelists. 

This chantry of St. Nicholas was of the foundation of Richard 
Bamingham and Sir Henry Boynton,* and in 1536 was returned as of 
the annual value of £4 18s. 4d. Robert Galer was then incumbent, and 
in the certificate of 1548 Robert Wilkinson was declared incumbent. 
There was also a chantry priest at South Cowton, in the parish of Gilling, 
besides six other priests belonging to the same parish, all at the finding 
of the vicar of Gilling. As the population of the parish was in 1548 
stated to consist of 1200 ''houseling people,'* these ministers to their 
religious needs cannot be said to have been overburdened with work. 

The beautiful glass in this church is worthy of notice. The fine east 
window is a memorial to Mre. Georgina Jane Abercromby Gradock, wife 
of Christopher Cradock, Esq., J.P., of Hartforth Hall. She was the 
daughter of Major Duff, of the 98rd Regiment of Foot, and died in 
1865. The large and very chaste west window was erected by parishioners 
and personal friends to the memory of George Gilpin Brown, Esq., of 
Sedbury, who died in 1889, aged 74. This beautiful window is the work 
of Mr. Alfred 0. Hemming, of London. 

Lying within the church are some fragments of Anglo-Saxon crosses, 
or pillar-stones, — the earliest form of Christian monument erected after 
the introduction of Christianity into Northumbria. In the porch are 
two tomb-slabs of early date. One bears an ornamental cross and shears, 
a kind of memorial-stone rarely or never found except in the great sheep- 

* For notes on the Boynton family sfe Turner's Yorkshire County Mag. (1898), 
pages 143 — 5. 


rearing districts of the north. The other bears a sword and a shield 
containing the device of three bears rampant. 

Oilling has given name to a family whose lineage Is exhibited by 
Harrison from the time of Henry I. None of them however appear to 
have attained any special distinction, unless it be Walter de Oilling, who 
was in the king's service daring the turbulent reign of Edward I. In 
recent times there was bom here James Gordon, author of 8( Ouide to 
Orofi, Dvnsdahy Darlington^ Jkcy and for some time assistant secretary to 
the Surtees Society. He practised as a solicitor at Richmond, but 
removed to Durham, where he died in 1837, at the premature age of 84.* 
Oilling may also be remembered as the birthplace of a totally different 
character who for many years was well-known in the dales in the busy 
and diverse capacities of '^hardware dealer, knife, razor and scissors 
grinder, minstrel-piper, conjuror, educator, and magic-expositor/* His 
name was ''Billy Bolton,'' and he was born at Oilling in 1796, 
afterwards following the occupation of whitesmith. There are many 
persons now living who can remember seeing Billy trudging his knife- 
machine to some village or sequestered dale-hamlet, where, after he had 
done such work as could be obtained, he would collect a crowd, and sing 
or pipe or recite to them in a loud and sonorous voice some favourite 
ballad or ditty, or perchance with book in hand endeavour to edify his 
rustic audience with a chapter or so from a tattered and evidently much- 
fingered History of England. The reading was copiously commented 
upon, and occasionally when point was to be given to any particular 
passage he would bring down his fist upon the book with such emphasis 
that the volume sometimes fell in fragments to the ground. There is 
reason for supposing that his discourses were appreciated, for I have 
heard some old folks declare that the best history they ever learned was 
from '' Old Billy " on the occasion of these visits. In his old age he 
found a generous patron in a London merchant named Pattison, whose 
father, the Rev. W. J. Pattison, rector of Oxwell, had long known our 
village minstrel and expositor, and who gave him what encouragement 
he could, so that when the old man settled down at Burnsall in Wharf edale 
he received a weekly allowance from Mr. Pattison, which kept him in 
comparative comfort till his death in 1881.t 

While we are at Oilling, full of recollections of minstrelsy and history, 
we may as well set out on a tour of exploration, as the district abounds in 
remains of things storied with events of the far past ; and among the old 
customs too, now fast disappearing, are some that recall even the long- 
vanished era when the Roman legions beleaguered this impoitant vantage- 
ground between the Tees and Swale. Such is the ancient Morris or Sword 
Dance, which used to be carried on with spirit and enthusiasm iu most of 

• See Genfs. Mag,, 1838, ii., 556, &c. f ^^ Craven Pioneer, Sept. 17th, 1881. 



the villages about Richmond and Oilling. Olarkson describes the custom, 
which he says can be traced to the Romans, and Wallis affirms it to be 
a survival of the ScUmatio Armata of the Roman Militia on their Festival 
Armilustrium, when *' the young men march from village to village, with 
music before them, dressed in an antic attire and before the vestibulam 
or entrance of every house entertain the family with the moius incpmpositus^ 
the antic dance, or chorus armatus, with sword or spear in their hands, 
erect and shining. This they call the Sword Dance. When they 
receive a gratuity their gratitude is expressed by the firing of a gun, &c.** 
Another peculiar local observance of undoubted antiquity was the 
Hagmena Songs or Song of the Hagman, or Hagman-heigh, which was 
celebrated annually on New Year's Eve. In recent times it was usually 
the pinder of the village who went round, followed by a troop merely of 
onlookers, and at each house he approached, sang out this rhyme : 

To-night it is the New Year*B night, to-morrow is the day, 
We are come about for our right, and for our ray,* 
As we us'd to do in old king Harry's day. 
Sing, fellows, sing, Hagman-heigh I &c. 

The spectators would then join in the chorus. Many conjectures have 
been made as to the origin and meaning of these Hagmena songs, which 
used to be common in England, Scotland, and in some parts of France. 
Some suppose them to be '^ Holy-month *' songs, having special reference 
to Christ's nativity.! There can however be little doubt that in this 
district the so-called Hagman is simply another word for Hedge-man 
or Wood-man, a name derived from the Anglo-Saxon and Scand. hag, 
JiageUy meaning a hedge, fence, or paled enclosure, and cognate with the 
Celtic cae. In former times when wood was a staple necessity of life, 
being largely used for constructive purposes as well as for fuel, the 
vocation of wood-man must have been one of indispensable and peculiar 
importance, to which every community was more or less indebted. As 
some recompense, over and above his salary, the head wood-man (whose 
place in later times, as I have said, was taken by the pinder or cattle- 
tender) came round annually at the end of the year, announcing his 
presence and object by pronouncing the Wood-man's song, which meant 
in modern usage a " Christmas Box." The word hag locally means a 
wood, and entera into the composition of both place-names and personal- 
names, as Haigh, Haywood, &o. At Fremington, for example, was one 
Richard of the Hegges or Hagges, who paid subsidy in the time of 
Edward I.,{ and the name of the Haggs, and Hagg Cottage exist at 
Fremington to this day. 

* Bap or rei, a Portuguese coin ; 100 reia are worth about 6d. 
f See Chambers's Book of Days, vol. ii., page 787. 
+ See Harrison's Oilling Weit^ page 260. 



Around Gillikg. 

Sedbury — King George III. and Qatherley Moor — Dideraton, a possession of 
Jervaux Abbey — Some old roads — Hartforth and its ancient families — Field 
walk to Whashton — A village that gave name to the family of General 
Washington — General Plantagenet Harrison — HiB remarkable career — A 
wonderful pedigree— Harrisons in the West Indies — A lost Chancery case. 

|R0M Gilling it is a pleasant walk of about four miles by 
Sedbury Park to Middleton Tyas, or from Gilling by Sedbury 
to Skeeby and Richmond. Sedbury, sometimes written 
Sedburg, was formerly the home of the ancient family of that 
name, one of whom, Adam Sedbury, was the last Abbot of Jervaux, and 
who for '' conscience sake " joined in the revolt against the suppression 
of monasteries, and died "a martyr" at Tyburn in 1537. Sedbury 
afterwards became the property of the Boyntons, Gascoignes, and 
Darcies. In 1826 the estates were purchased by the Rev. John Gilpin, 
vicar of Stockton-on-Tees, whose family are still the owners. 

Proceeding northwards out of Gilling we soon come to the road 
striking westwards to Greta Bridge. The forward road goes to 
Melsonby and Aldbrough, over Gatherley Moor, and in a short mile 
crosses the Roman military way, above-mentioned, from Scotch Corner 
to Bowes. It is through an open, fresh, upland country, which inspired 
no less a personage than King George the Third to exclaim on his death- 
bed, " Oh, for a gasp of Gatherley air." This was the route the king 
generally took on his journeys to and from Scotland. The road to 
Bowes cuts through the Scots' Dyke and runs between Diderston Hill 
and Black Hill, passing on the right an entrenched piece of ground, 
with traces of a large building upon it, locally known as Grange Castle. 
It marks no doubt the site of Diderston Grange, a lodge and store-house 
belonging to Jervaux Abbey. In the 14th century Diderston consisted 
of upwards of a score tenements with their appurtenances, besides the 
Grange. I am persuaded from the name Diderston, which in Domesday 
appears Didreston, Dirdreston, that the hill here was an exploratory 


fort, fifst of the Britons and afterwards of the Romans, guarding the 
pass between it and Black Hill on the sonth. If the name bears a 
Gadhelic meaning, deir (an occupation or dwelling), dres or drws (a 
gate or pass), and dun (a hill-fort), it does seem likely that this Roman 
way was formed upon a trackway of the earliest Celtic immigrants to 
this part of England. The spot has been undoubtedly of great strategical 
importance, commanding as it did a busy thoroughfare of the Roman 
troops at no great distance from its junction with Watling Street. Here 
again another old road crops up. Between Diderston Hill and the 
highway to Melsonby is Jagger Lane, a narrow old road which runs from 
Marske north-east by Hartforth and over Gatherley Moor, joining the 
main road a half-mile south of Melsonby. This particular lane is 
however more recent, and seems to have been made in historic times for 
the convenience of transit of lead from the Swaledale mines to Stockton, 
Darlington, and other places in this direction. It runs through Barton, 
where a singular custom obtains of presenting the lord of the manor 
with a horse-shoe studded with its complement of nails. Whether this 
service or recognizance had anything to do with the lord's maintenance 
of the road at an early period, is apparently not known. 

Hartforth, above mentioned, must have been a place of some note in 
former days. Harrison cites upwards of a hundred charters, fines, and 
feoffments respecting it, in addition to extended pedigrees of its lords 
and occupiers, the Hertfords, Tempests, Nortons, Serjaunts, and 
Cradocks. There is now no village proper, and the Hall, situated in a 
retired spot in a large and finely-timbered park, is now the seat of 
Christopher Cradock, Esq., J.P. The manor was purchased in 1720 by 
William Cradock, Esq., of Gilling, who built the Hall. The monasteries 
of Jervaux and Coverham had lands in Hartforth. The weaving, 
dyeing, and fulling of cloth seems to have been carried on here at an 
early period, and the old water-mill is mentioned in deeds of the 13th 
century. In 1341 it is recorded that one John le Walker fell into the 
mill-dam at Hartforth and was drowned, and at the inquest upon the 
body a jury of twelve men was summoned from Gilling, Hertford, 
Ravensworth, Wassyngton, Aske, and Skitheby. 

Apart from the ancient roads and camps above mentioned there is 
nothing particularly noteworthy about Hartforth. The tourist may 
therefore, by following the Greta Bridge road about a mile, turn to the 
left along the old " jagger lane," and passing within view of Hartforth 
Hall, take through the open fields by Hartforth saw-mill and over the 
trout-beck up into Whashton. 

Whashton possesses no visible attraction, but it has the pure air of 
an elevated situation to recommend it. One of its two inns bears the 
uncommon sign of Hack and Spade, The village occupies an edge or 


plateau of limestone extending from Whashton Hag to Eirkby 
Ravensworth, and commands a noble view of the Hambleton and 
Cleveland Hills, Eston Nab being on a clear day very conspicuous. But 
if there is nothing much to be seen in the village itself there is a good 
deal to be learnt, for Whashton, anciently spelled Whassyngton, and 
Washington- juzta-Ravensworth, has the distinction of having given 
name to the family which in the 18th century produced the celebrated 
Ueneral George Washington, first President of the United States of 
America (pb. 1799). He was descended from Leonard Washington, of 
Warton, co. Lancaster, recusant, who died in 1657, whose son Laurence 
emigrated to America in 1659, and settled in Virginia. Leonard's 
ancestor was Robert Washington, lord of Milbume, co. Westmorland, 
temp, Henry IT I., whose descent is traced by Harrison to Bonde, lord of 
Washington-juxta-Raveusworth, to whom his father, Akary fil Bardulf, 
lord of Ravensworth, gave the manor of Washington in the time of 
King Stephen. This Bonde de Washington gave half a carucate of 
land in Washington and one toft and one croft belonging thereto to 
Marrick Priory in the reign of Henry II. 

Bat besides General Washington having descended from this humble 
and insignificant Yorkshire village, another soldier General and famous 
historian and antiquary to boot, claims it as his native place. General 
Plantagenet Harrison, author of the large folio volume of the History of 
Gilling Westy &c., states that he was born at Whashton on the 14th of 
July, 1817. The family came from Stubb House, co; Durham. The 
GeneraPs father, Marley Harrison, having been disinherited by his'father 
Cornelius Harrison in 1806, he Marley removed to Whashton, and died 
by a fall from his horse, while returning from Richmond in July, 1822. 
General Harrison, the historian, though a man of bold and eccentric 
character, had undoubted abilities whether regarded as a soldier or 
warrior in the field of battle, or as such in the field of historical and 
antiquarian research. He was entirely self-taught, and through his own 
efforts and industry succeeded in winning for himself a remarkable and 
decidedly unique position. Although his great book has been severely 
handled by many critics, and its accuracy over and over again tmduced, 
especially the pedigrees, yet it must ever remain a monument of wonderful 
painstaking, and in respect to its exhaustive catalogues of charters, an 
invaluable reference on questions of manorial-title, and such subjects as 
concern the legal transmission of land. 

When I visited Whashton I remember having some little difficulty in 
ascertaining which was the old home of the Harrisons, but the house was 
at last found at the lower end of the village. 

The General died in July, 1890, aged 73. Time and the vicissitudes 
of life had considerably assuaged and modified his manner to a degree 


even of gentleness and affability, yet he never entirely relinquished his 
eccentricities. In his pedip:ree, which fills five folio sheets of bis 

General Plantagbnet Harrison. 

published book, and is emblazoned with the arms of nearly every 
European nation, besides those of numerous kings and princes, his 


ancestral allies (!), he traces his descent to the great Scandinavian 
mytho-god Odin, 76 B.C., and then coming down with astonishing 
lacidity he enters himself in the following style, remarking that all his 
ancestors in the direct male line have stood upwards of 75 inches in 
statare, — a remarkably interesting piece of information not without 
significance, at any rate, in early Scandinavian ethnology. Although 
his family, I may say, strongly objected to these extraordinary deductions, 
and thereby incurred his displeasure, yet the pedigree is a masterpiece of 
ingenious manipulation, which it is impossible to let pass unnoti(>ed. 

" George Henry de Strabolgie Neville Plantagenet-Harrison, born 1 4th July, 
1817. By the providence of Almighty God, in right of blood, Prince of Plantagenet- 
Skioldungr (which means legitimate prince of the legitimate blood-royal of 
England and Scandinavia) ; Duke of Lancaster, Normandy, Aquitaine and 
Scandinavia ; Count of Anjou, Maine, Guienne, Poictou, &c. ; Earl of Lancaster, 
Chester, Richmond, and Kent, &c. ; Baron Plantagenet, Neville, Percy, &c. ; 
Hereditary Knight of the Orders of St. George and of the Garter ; General of 
Brigade in the armies of Mexico in the war of Yucatan, 1843 ; Brigadier-General 
in the army of Peru, 1844 ; Brigadier-General in Monte-Video, 1845, and same 
year Marshal-General of the army of "God and Liberty *' of Oorrientes in the 
Argentine Republic ; General of Cavalry in the Danish army during the Schleswig- 
Holstein war, 1848, and afterwards, same year, appointed Lieut-General of the 
German Confederation by His Imperial Highness the Archduke John of Austria, 
at that timti President and Vicar-General thereof. Was appointed a Marshal in the 
Turkish army by the Sultan Abdul Med j id Khan in 1858, but was not permitted 
by the British Government to serve either in the Turkish or any other army. 
Petitioned Parliament for summons to Parliament by his title of Duke of Lancaster 
in 1858, as heir of the whole blood of King Henry VI. Has compiled the first six 
volumes folio of the Hittory of the County of York entirely from the Public 
Records hitherto unknown, and is the translator of Domesday Book, &c. Has 
travelled through nearly all the countries in Europe, Asia, Africa, and America, 
north, south, east, west, and central.** 

Assuredly an eventful and most extraordinary career I Our portrait 
of him is taken from a painting in'oil done in 1844 (then aged 27), and 
shews him in the uniform of a Peruvian General. He married and left 
an only child, Blanche Plantagenet, who was married at Islington 
April 27th, 1892, to John 0. C. Routh, Esq., of Wood Hall, Ajsgarth. 

The Oeneral's father, Marley Harrison, resided many years in Jamaica 
and other parts of the West Indies, and in the will of his father, 
Oomelius Harrison, of Stubb House, co. Durham, dated January 2ud, 
1806,* he is stated to have ^^at all times refused to go into or set about 
any useful employ," and that he ''spent in idle rambles of pleasure 
various sums of money he has received from me, and has moreover 
unjustly seized upon the effects of his poor brother, Peter Harrison, in 

* 8te Harrison's OUling West^ pages 344-6. 


the West Indies, for a very considerable amount, although the said 
property and effects, by his dying without a will, wholly belonged to 
me,** &c.* In consequence he was disinherited with the exception of an 
annuity of £50 for life, bequeathed by the terms of the said will. 

I have vainly endeavoured to trace their connection with the family 
of Harrisons of Skipton-in-Oraven, one of whom went out to the West 
Indies about the time that Peter and Marley Harrison were there. This 
Harrison (who had a brother Elijah Harrison, a cattle dealer living at 
Oononley about 1830) married there a wealthy coloured lady, and during 
a voyage to a neighbouring island the vessel was wrecked and they were 
both drowned. Leaving no will their estates, consisting of extensive 
sugar-plantations, worth many thousands of pounds, were temporarily 
retained by the Government, and an effort was made by advertising in 
several Yorkshire and Lancashire newspapers, to ascertain the next-of- 
kin of the said Harrison. In answer to this advertisement there were a 
great many applicants, chiefly in the neighbourhood of Rochdale, where 
the Harrisons were most numerous. Meetings were held, and a 
subscription was got up with the object of sending out a party to 
investigate and report upon the case. Among the subscribers interested 
wei*e the Harrisons, Moorhouses, Glaphams, Milligans, &c., who lived 
chiefly about Skipton, Keighley, and Bradford. The party in question 
went out, but nothing, I understand, was ever heard from them ; then a 
second party was despatched, one of whom was young Mr. Roundell of 
Oledstone, probably Mr. Septimus Ward Roundell, who died unmarried 
in 1865, aged 70. This party in due time reported, and stated that the 
estates in question were of very great value, and that certain authenticated 
certificates of the parentage, baptism, &c., of the Harrisons would be 
required before the estates would be transferred. Whereupon a search, 
which continued many years, was made among the registers in numerous 
parishes in Graven and the adjoining parts of Lancashire, but without 
the desired success. The present writer's great-uncle, John Moorhouse, 
who narrated these facts to him about twenty years ago, and who was 
then living at Elslack near Skipton, said that he, being then a young 
man, went with Mr. Henry Clapham, familiarly known as '* old Harry 
Clapham," to many towns and places, in Yorkshire and Lancashire in 
quest of the needful information, which to his knowledge was never 
found. Therefore what became of these valuable West Indian possessions 
or who may now be the owners or holders thereof, it is impossible for me 
to say. The above Henry Clapham had married a sister of Elijah Harrison 
of Cononley (who was prominently interested in the case), and the 

* Our historian denies this, and says that Marley Harrison was abroad for 
fifteen years, and his father did not know where he was. 


latter were coasins to the above John Moorhouse, who died in 1891, 
aged 81. His father, Thomas Moorhouse, died in 1863.* 

Whether these Harrisons were any connections of- the North Riding 
or Dnrham Harrisons, I have not, as stated, been able to prove, yet the 
coincidence is remarkable and I have thought noteworthy, that two men 
of the same name should emigrate about the same time (a not very 
ordinary occurrence at that day) to the same far-distant West India 
islands, and both dying intestate, leave valuable possessions there. 

* See the author's Nidderdale and the Garden of the Nidd, page 394. For notice 
of John Harriflon, son of a Yorkshire carpenter, who invented the timekeeper 
which procured for hira the reward of £20,000 from the CommissionerB of the 
Board of Longitude, tee R. V. Taylor's Yorkshire Anecdotes. This Harrison died 
in 1776, and his sons made two Yoyages to the West Indies. 



In the Land op the Vikinos. 

Kirkby Bavensworth — Fine prospect — Extent of pariih — Local longevity — 
Amusing anecdote — Meaning of Ravens worth — The church — Interesting 
memorials — The Free School — Ravensworth Castle and the Fits Hughe — 
Description of the castle — The village of Ravensworth — ^An old law — Oaylee 
and the Wycliffes — Prehistoric evidences — A curious ancient tenure — Brughton 
Newsham, and New Forest — Bounds of the New Forest — Hergill — ^A tramp 
over the moors — Ancient wolf preserves — A wide, wild country — Down the 
Clapgate Pass into Marske. 

|E are still wandering in the old Vikings* land, a mgged and 
picturesque district teeming with an almost inexhaustible 
interest. Coming to the old church of Kirkby Hill, which 
I doubt not stands upon the site of a pagan temple, a 
glorious prospect opens out to the north, west, and east, while the well- 
weathered castle-like tower of the sturdy edifice rising proudly from the 
rocky promontory on which the church is built, is a notable object for at 
least a hundred square miles round, and forms I am told a prominent 
landmark for mariners at sea. 

The elevated band of limestone which runs through Whashton to 
Eirkby Hill is cut off by a north and south fault a little beyond the 
church, and this limestone forms a fine escarpment looking down upon 
the spreading plain below, where stand the few sturdy remains of the 
old feudal castle of the Fitz Hughs, with the ''pratty village" of 
Ravensworth, as Leland quaintly calls it, close by. 

The parish of Kirkby Ravensworth includes the townships of Kirkby 
Hill, Ravensworth, Whashton, Gayles, Dalton, Newsham (part of), and 
New Forest, and covers an area of about 25,600 acres, having a resident 
population of little short of 1000, or roughly speaking allowing about 
25 acres for every soul ! No complaint can be made of the want of 
elbow-room, or of impure air on the score of overcrowded population, 
and the district consequently abounds in instances of longevity. One of 
the most notable cases that has come under the writer's notice is that 
of the late " Dolly Horsman," of Kirkby Hill, who was an exceptionally 
vigorous and hearty woman up to within a short time of her death. At 


the age of 99, however, she accidentally fell over the door-scraper beside 
her house, and the injuries she received by the fall ultimately proved 
fatal. Her granddaughter, a sprightly, nimble woman of 78, now 
occupies one of the alms-houses in the village. 

There is an amusing side to th^se instances of longevity. Not very 
long ago an Irish family, I am told, was living in this district, when the 
head of the house having been taken ill, the doctor was sent for. After 
examining his patient the physician remarked, '^ I should like to know, 
air, if your family, which I understand is strange to this neighbourhood, 
has been long-lived ?'* The patient appeared a little nonplussed by this 
interrogation, but at length, looking wistfully into the doctor's face, 
replied, " Long-lived, did yo' say, sir ? Well if I must tell you all about 
it, our family comes from the province of Munster, and the age of my 
ancestors depended entirely on the judge and jury who tried them I " 
That was certainly a candid avowal, but in ancient times when war was 
perpetually raging, the length of a man's life did not depend so much 
on ^^ judge and jury," but greatly on the number and skill of the enemy. 

Ravensworth (in Domesday Ravenswet) was, as I have said, the centre 
of a Danish or Scandinavian colony ; the personal name, Hrafen, being 
one renowned in history and is specially distinguished by its emblematic 
cognizance of the raven, which was prominent in all the bold and 
hazardous exploits of the Viking hosts. Their battle-flags had upon 
them figures of the boding bird, and numbers of ravens were brought 
from Scandinavia to this country, where for ages they were looked upon 
with superstitious dread and fear.* But the old northern warriors loved 
to hear their grim croaking and see them skirmishing in the air, for 
where the raven flew or settled, there the old Viking knew success would 
follow his daring enterprises.! In the suffix worth we have the Scand. 
ward^ wart^ A.S. waerd^ meaning a watch-tower, beacon, or place-guarded, 
and a very suitable spot this is too for such a station and observatory, 
where we may confidently believe the ensign of the usurping northmen 
would long fioat in the breeze I 

The church at Eirkby Hill was built about the middle of the 14th 
century, but there are many evidences of an earlier structure still visible 
on the site. Within the church is a Longobardic (early 14th century) 
inscription to one Oerard de Homebie,^ evidently from the previous 
church. Built into the outside walls are several Norman carved stones, 

* They built among the crags of Swaledale and at one time were very numerous. 

t The tail-piece on page 186 illuBtratee an old Danish galley with ravens flying 
in its wake. 

X The local family of Mare. Maure, or De la Mare, appears to have assumed the 
name of Homeby. In Hornby church is the Hth century effigy inscribed 
Johan Maure, already noticed. 


with, cnrionsly enough, parte of a sepalchral slab (18th century) bearing 
the device of a cross and sword with a misericorde or smaller weapon on 
the sinister side, which has been broken in order to use it for a building 
stone. The porch, with ite crocketed pinnacles, is noteworthy. Above 
it in front is a niche which once held an eflSgy. Over the stone seat to 
the right upon entering is an example of carved panelling, shewing the 
interlacing or transition of the semi-oironlar arch, which led to the 
adoption of the pointed sweep, and may be said to give proof of the 
original incidental cause of the introduction of the pointed arch. Over 
the centre of the doorway is a defaced shield of arms, and on the upper- 
most string-course at the angles of the great tower are four other shields 
of arms. 

The church which is cited as a taxable property in 1086*, was given 
with the tithes of the lordship of Ravensworth, shortly after this date, 
by the then lord of Ravensworth to St. Mary's Abbey, York. In the 
reign of Henry II. this wealthy monastery presented the tithes to 
Marrick Priory, saving payment to the monks of St. Martin's, near 
Richmond, of 4s. yearly. An inspection of the interior of the church 
is not without interest. There is a tablet to the memory of Thomas 
Wycliffe, Esq., of Oayles, who died in 1821, and who is stated to be the 
last male descendant of the ancient Richmondshire family which in the 
14th century produced the reformer Widiffe. Harrison gives his 
pedigree shewing the connection with the family of Wycliffe, of Wycliffe- 
on-Tees. This Thomas Wycliffe's father, John Wycliffe, of Gayles, 
was a barrister-at-law of Oray's Inn, who died in 1769, and was also 
buried in the family resting-place at Eirkby Ravensworth. Beneath the 
communion-table is the vault of the family of Robinson, with their 
arms and crest pourtrayed upon the burial-stone. They purchased the 
manor of Kirkby Ravensworth and Whashton from the citizens of 
London in 1638, but the estates were sold again by their heirs to the 
Whartons of Edlington some forty years later. Another noteworthy 
memorial in the church is the monument of the Rev. John Dakyns, LL.D., 
the last rector of Eirkby Ravensworth. He founded the free school and 
alms-houses here in the time of Queen Mary. A zealous Papist, he is 
said to have taken a strong part in the religious persecutions of that era, 
and he it was who was commissioned to see to the burning of the prison- 
worn martyr, Snell, at Richmond, in the last year of that sad and direful 
reign. Fortunately no doubt for his own position and safety he died 
within a fortnight of his short-lived Queen and patron. 

The above-mentioned Free School and Hospital of the foundation of 
Dr. Dakyns, was for ''the instruction of boys and youths and the 
sustentation and relief of the aged poor and indigent born within the 
parish of Eirkby Ravensworth." At this rural seminary was educated 


the celebrated Matthew Hntton, some time Canon of Windsor and 
Westminster, afterwards Archbishop of York, and in 1757 Primate of 
all England. At the time this disting:nished scholar went to Eirkbj 
Hill the little school was taught by a Mr. Lloyd, who in 1704 was 
jHromoted to the Free School at Ripon. Young Button, then a promising 
boy of 12, went with him and continued his pupil for about six years. 

Among the original statutes regulating the appointment of the 
schoolmaster were the peculiarly characteristic ones requiring him to repeat 
the Kyrie Eleiaon and other prayers ou entering the school, and to say 
mass at least twice every week, at the altar of St. John the Baptist, 
where he was to pray for the safety, while living, of John Dakyns, their 
Majesties Philip and Mary, and others, and after death, for the repose of 
their souls, &c. But the ^* joy-bells *' which rang in the ascension of 
Elizabeth to the English throne, and made England the '' central rock *' 
and refuge of Protestantism, annulled these pious decrees of the devoted 
Catholic benefactor within a very short time of his death. 

The old Orammar School adjoins the churchyard, and on the spacious 
and pleasant green close by is a copious and beautiful spring, which many 
a thirsty traveller must remember as a blessed landmark, or should I 
rather say watermark^ in his pilgrimage I 

But we must now descend the steeps of Eirkby Hill to the equally 
ancient village of Ravensworth, observing on the way the solitary 
fragments of the widespread castle — but a few bones, as it were, left of 
the skeleton of a once mighty stronghold where the lords of Ravensworth 
terrorised over every invader for nigh 600 years ! The Fitz Hughs, 
whose ancestors are said to have lived heriB from the time of King Canute, 
were lords of Ravensworth as well as of many other lands and manors. 
They were men of might and renown in a stormy period of our history, 
sometimes enjoying the friendship and close confidence of their sovei'eigns, 
holding many important offices ; they were also great benefactors to the 
religious houses, and founded the Abbey of Fors in Wensleydale, after- 
wards translated to Jervaux, where many of them are interred. They 
were moreover leaders in various capacities and participants in most of 
the great events of their time. The last heir-male of this noble race 
was Oeorge, 8th Lord Fitz Hugh, who died without issue in 1512. His 
estates were then divided between his aunt Alicia, wife of Sir John Fienes, 
and his cousin Sir Thomas Parr, lord of Kendal in Westmorland, the 
latter taking Ravensworth in part share of his inheritance. His son, 
William Parr, created Lord Parr and in 1548 Earl of Essex, died without 
issue in 1571, when his estates were escheated to the Crown. After 
various transmissions, cited by Harrison, the manor of Ravensworth was 
sold in 1814 to Sheldon Cradock, Esq., of Hartforth, whose family are 
the present owners. 


The castle has been in ruins for upwards of three-and-a-half centuries, 
as we gather from Leiand. Its position, in such a flat and low-lying 
situation (Leiand calls it a '' maresground ") without any natural 
advantages, is i-emarkable, but it has been encompassed with a necessarily 
broad and deep moat, which is still in parts perfect, particularly on the 
north and east sides. The buildings have covered a considerable area 
and were of stout proportions, both stone and mortar being of astonishing 
durability. Had Telford, the engineer, ever set eyes on this venerable 
stronghold, his heart would have rejoiced, for lime and cement were his 
'^ daydream and delight," and whenever his friends waxed warm on social 
or political subjects he would suddenly exclaim : '^ 0, bother the question, 
let us talk about lime I" The cement with which the castle was built 
possesses indeed a wonderful tenacity, and seems to have been composed 
partly of pounded oyster-shells, bits of which can be picked out. I have 
heard that when the castle was used as a geneml quarry for building 
purposes, the masons often found it more remunerative to obtain and 
dress fresh stone, rather than labour in separating the adhesive mass 
composing the old castle walls. 

The castle was enlarged in the reign of Richard II. by Baron Henry 
Fitz Hugh, who had a licence from the king to empark 200 acres, in 
other words to more than double its former area. The wall of this 
baronial enclosure, which is three miles in circuit, is still in great part 
perfect, composed of massive stones, and is now about a yard in height 
and the same in thickness. Of the few remains of the castle now standing 
are two ruinous towers and a gateway, where the large square bolt-holes 
of the old draw-bridge are still visible. At the south-west angle there 
is also a fragment, enclosing a small apartment, known as the Bell Tower, 
and looking up you can see where the bell-ropes have hung, used in 
calling the good folks to mass. On the outside there is a black-letter 
inscription, now almost defaced, but it seems to have been : 

ipc t*nfi tfi'c fata fau0 tc ortgo alpfja tc oa 

(ue,^ Christus dominits, Jhesus viafons et origOy alpha et omega). Within 
the castle was a chapel dedicated to St. John the Apostle, and a chantry 
dedicated to St. Egidii, where two priests were engaged to sing daily for 
the welfare of the founder, Henry, Lord Fitz Hugh, and Alesia his wife, 
whilst living, and for their souls after death ; likewise for the souls of the 
founders and benefactors of the Hospital of St. Egidii near Brompton- 
on-Swale. This chantry was founded in 1467 by the 6th Baron Fitz 
Hugh, a famous personage, who in 1460 was appointed steward of the 
honour of Richmond and chief forester of the New Forest of 
Arkengarthdale and Hope. He was engaged in most of the wars of the 
time, and shortly before his death went with Sir Thomas Tunstall and 


others on a pilgrimage to the Holy Land. His wife, and co-fonnder of the 
chantry, was a daughter of Richard Neville, the great Earl of Salishnry, 
and sister of the powerful Warwick, the king-maker, a nobleman whose 
character and actions are drawn with so much vividity by Lord Lytton 
in his Last of the Barons. 

The pleasantly-situated village of Ravensworth contains a very ample 
green, almost large enough for a shooting-match, but in a parish where 
25 acres is the average recreating-ground for every individual, this is 
perhaps not to be wondered at. It has a fine sycamore tree upon it ; 
formerly there were several trees here, also some old stocks, now broken 
ap, but the base of what is called the Old Cross is still preserved near 
the tree. There are several inns, and various houses ; some of them were 
old and thatched, and have been re-built, and the place has now quite a 
modern appearance. In Harrison's lengthy catalogue of local charters is 
one of Edward I. (1278) relating that a certain Richard Hulk, of 
Eirkby, killed William Stellyng with a club in this village, and that he 
was in consequence outlawed. Whether Hulk was a regular resident in 
the village we are not informed, but the law was very strict about 
harbouring strangers or lodgers at any time, and in the reign of Queen 
Elizabeth an Act was passed whereby no house or cottage was to be held 
by more than one family, and that every owner of such house, &c., 
suffering any additional inmate or lodger to dwell for the space of a 
month within such house, &c., should forfeit to the Lord of the Leet the 
sum of 10s. per month so long as the transgression continued. These 
lodgers were locally designated " undersettles," and were often tramps or 
pedlers moving from place to place, but frequently respectable men or 
women who were temporarily hired out, and were necessarily obliged 
to return to their homes or shift their quarters within the legally- 
stipulated month. Acts of transgression were not unfrequent, and one 
such case is recorded of Ravensworth, when one Leonard Marshall, John 
Ramsbawe, James Foster, and Richard Dunn, all of Ravensworth, were 
each fined 10s. for keeping '* undersettles " a month, contrary to statute, 
at the Richmond Quarter Sessions, held October 8th, 1607. 

At Ravensworth we are only about a mile from Oayles Hall, the old 
home of the Wycliffes, before mentioned, and now a farm-house. The 
village is scattered and is in a semi-moorland district. It is called in 
Domesday Aiia-Dalton, and in subsequent deeds, &c., Dalton-Gales, 
Dalton-le-Oaills, Dalton-Gayles, Oales, and Oayles. Dalton the adjoining 
township is also mentioned in Domesday, and about half of it and the 
whole of the manor of Oayles were the property of Oospatric, a noble 
Dane, prior to the Norman seizure. I suspect these were alien territories 
occupied by Celtic Oauls (whose language, manners, and religion, were 
identical with the Oauls of France,) on the Danish irruption and seizure 


of Eirkbj Ravenswoith, as already explained. Oayles really seems to 
possess the same meaning as Gallia, the Celtic equivalent to Galatia, 
signifying the country or district of the Oauls, from the Celt, ta, a land 
or territory, and gaily a stranger, applied to the Gaulish immigrants who 
settled here before the birth of Christ. The affix gall enters into several 
place-names within our territory, as in Galicum, one of the principal 
towns of the Brigantes, and wherever it occurs there we always find more 
or less distinct evidence, in the shape of fortifications or earthworks, of 
prehistoric possession. Moreover, what we in this country denominate 
caimsy are in some parts of France called galgaU^ a word which has 
probably its origin in the same root, signifying foreign or strange heap.* 
Between Gayles and Dalton, and not far from Dalton Beck, is a large 
earthwork and enclosure covering about 80 acres, marked on the Ordnance 
maps " Camp," which has apparently been a stronghold of "the stranger " 
we are speaking of. Harrison affirms, but I know not on what authority, 
that it was the seat of Gospatric, yet when we consider that this wealthy 
landlord, who was possessed of not less than SO manors, of which Dalton 
was one of the least important, it is more than probable his residence 
was elsewhere.t The general outline of the camp, unfortunately, afiFords 
no clue as to who were the originators of it, and nothing is known to have 
been dug up on or near to the site of it. The form of the camp is an 
irregular quadrangle, suited to the nature and configuration of the ground 
it occupies, in the fork of the Dalton Beck on the west and the Gayles 
Gill Beck on the east. An earthen rampart extends along the south side 
with an entrance-way admitting to the main camp and enclosure. 

What tribute these "strangers" paid the conquerors of their dominions, 
or by what tenure or service they were permitted to retain their lands, 
will probably never be known. Yet I may mention a curious local 
imposition or acknowledgment which may have some bearing on the 
subject that has come down from the long past to present times. 
At Dalton a certain field is let on consideration of the tenant finding a 
grindstone for ever for the use of the inhabitants of the township. This 
primitive arrangement was doubtless a very useful and acceptable dischai^e 
in an era when the land belonged not to the individual but to the 
community, and is no doubt a custom which has survived from very 
remote times. 

Of other ancient places within this parish, but possessing no special 
features of interest, are Broghton, where the Knights Templars had a 
large estate ; Newsham, which in a.d. 1086, is stated to have belonged 

* Such a stone heap formerly existed some little distance to the south of Gayles, 
which many years ago was examined and found to contain a skeleton. The spot 
is known as ** Stone Man." 

t See the author's Xidderdale and the Garden of the Nidd, pages H6-7. 


to two thanes, Ulchil and Sport, who had their '* halls " there ; and the 
township of New Forest with the hamlets of Helwitn, Hallgate, and 
Casey Green. The latter division is frequently referred to in this work ; 
it adjoins Arkengarthdale, and was annexed to that manor and forest. 
In 1607 the bounds of the New Forest were thus defined : *^ Beginning 
at the riverlet near Slapewache near the standing-stone, and so ascending 
the said riverlet as far as Skalegreen, and then ascending by the Long 
Green side, as far as the Wham, called the Mearesike-head, and so direct 
as far as the stone called Pinhill, upon the hill called Frankeshowe, and 
so direct towards the west as far as the spring called the Skegg Arundell 
Well, and then descending the riverlet called Arundell Becke, as far 
as the riverlet called the Forest Becke." The township now comprises 
some 8000 acres, of which about 2000 are wild moor and fell. The neat 
Mission Room in this out-of-the-way moorland spot, where services are 
held once a month, has lately been completely renovated through the 
generosity of the lord of the manor, Mr. Gilpin Brown. 

We may as well now tramp back over the moors into Swaledale, and 
as we pass through Ravensworth up to Kirkby Hill, let us try the echo 
against the old castle, which is excellent, but only heard when immediately 
opposite the large ash-tree, which stands alone by the way-side. 
Proceeding up the hill, on your right is a deep gully, bounding a line of 
fault, and having limestone on the west side and freestone on the east, 
with presence of coal. This gully is supposed to mark a line of road 
which led to the old castle ; it goes forward up the hill, where it is known 
by the name of Hergill, either from the Teut. haer, an army, or from 
the Celtic argel^ a covered way, or perhaps from the Celt, oirgael or 
oirirgael,^ the dike or boundary of the Gaels (see Gayles). 

From Kirkby Hill we mount the stile near the alms-houses, and 
follow the field-path up in a north-easterly direction to Sturdy House 
Farm, a tenement, one would think, which ought to justify its name in 
so high a situation. Close by runs the road between Richmond and 
Marske, and aiming for the latter place we take the turn right and cross 
the elevated land with Feldom Moor to the right, a grouse-range 
belonging to Mr. Hutton, of Marske, and the large fir-woods belonging 
to Lord Zetland on our left. 

In pre-Norman times this high tract of ground, as well as most of 
the secluded gills around, literally swarmed with wolves, but when the 
country at a later period became more populous, and the forest laws were 
in full force, these savage creatures were not so numerous, and special care 
was taken by the lords of the forests to preserve them. Thus in 1171 
the monks of Jervaux, who owned the farm and lands at Feldom, 
received a grant from Earl Conan, of Richmond, of free pasturage 

* Oliver Gill, in the Scots' Dyke, seems to be a modern corruption of this word. 



within his domain of New Forest, stipulating however that no hounds 
or mastiffs were to be kept there, and that the wolves were not to be 
driven away from the pastures. If we had all the records, what horrid 
stories we should have of children and others attacked and devoured by 
these blood-thirsty creatures. The laws were very strict at this time ; 
no one even being allowed to keep any large dog without its being 
properly expeditated, that is, to have three claws cut off each fore-foot 
to prevent the dog from hunting. 

Pursuing our road through this former wolf-haunted dominion, 
presently we get a very comprehensive view of the wild, far-reaching 
Arkengarthdale Fells, with some of the lofty points of Swaledale 
conspicuous westwards. As we begin to descend, the tall stone pillar on 
Gallop End (the old deer-park belonging to Marske Hall) comes 
prominently in sight. The monument was erected in 1814 as a memorial 
and index to the burial-place of Captain Matthew Hutton, a son of the 
squire of Marske, who had always loved this romantic spot for the 
magnificent prospect) it commanded. 

We now come down into Marske by the steep Clapgate Pass, having 
on our left the Applegarth Scars, once part of the old chase belonging 
to the Fitz Hughs, of Ravensworth. Away to the right runs the wild, 
bare Clapgate Gill, by the side of which an old ^* jagger-road *' can be 
traced under the line of trees on the upper ridge. It ran by Marske to 
Bowes and Barnard Castle, crossing the beck in the bottom where now 
is a picturesque stone bridge. In November, 1771, as is recorded in the 
Marske registers, two brothers, William and Joseph Rokeby, were 
drowned in this Clapgate Beck while returning from Richmond, and lay 
there undiscovered from Saturday till the Monday following. They 
were found locked in each other^s arms. A neat headstone in the 
churchyard at Marske is erected to their memory, whereon it is stated 
they were the sons of William and Jane Rookby, of Greta Bridge, 
descendants of the gentle family of Rokeby, of Mortham, whom Sir 
Walter Scott has immortalised in his world-known poem of Bok$hy. 




Romantic situation of Marske — A " Sleepy Hollow " — Meaning of Marske and 
Marrick — Early manorial history — Pride of ancestry — Acquisition of the 
manor by the Buttons — Archbishop Button — His family antecedents — The 
original home of the Buttons — Descent of the Marske estate— Matthew 
Button, Archbishop of Canterbury — Mr. John and Mr. Timothy Button — 
Marske Ball — The church — Manor of Glints — A romantic site — ^Lost on the 

I HE situation of Marske is highly romantic, and canflot bnt 
fill the most blase of travellers who is a stranger to it with 
pleasurable feelings, as from whichever direction it is 
approached, the snug and retired aspects of the place are 
singularly striking, and moreover come upon you with somewhat sudden 
surprise. A quiet nook it is in a huge, cauldron-like dell, where the 
only break upon the all-pervading tranquility is the perpetual ** boiling" 
of the peat-brown beck in its bottom-most depths. Dr. Whitaker 
declares there is no scene in Richmondshire which bears any resemblance 
to this ; ^* it is," he says. '* one of those Alpine valleys, which though 
nature has not adorned, she has furnished with features capable of being 
adorned by the hand of man." This defect has since been removed and 
the encompassing heights are now richly clothed with woods, due in most 
part to the energetic care and taste of a former lord of Marske, 
Mr. John Hutton. 

I shall not readily forget my last visit to this remote and romantic 
village, which I had not seen for many years. It was a beautiful autumn 
eve ; the sun*s heat had been unremitting throughout the day, and a 
drowsy stillness brooded over high moor and lowly dell. As I descended 
by the Skelton Moor road and looked down into the quiet glen, how 
apposite seemed those lines of Longfellow : 

'^ A region of repose it seems, 
A place of slumber and of dreams, 
Remote among the wooded hills, — 
For here no noisy railway speeds." 


The thought came, too, of that *' Sleepy Hollow " wherein old Rip van 
Winkle rose after his long years' slumber to find the self -same hills and 
cots and stream around him, while himself alone had changed ! The 
houses on the hill-side, the quaint old church close by, the handsome 
manor-hall on the opposite side of the dell, the rustic stone bridge 
(mentioned in 1582*) and circling high-road in the bottom, all — all 
remain the same I The old corn-mill alone is gone ! This picturesque 
building was removed some years ago when the hall-grounds were 
improved and drained. I give a view of it. Ponnerly there was a 
small inn here, known by the perhaps not inappropriate sign of the 

The Old Hall and Mill at Marske. 

Dormouse; it is now a temperance house, where perchance a belated 
traveller might obtain a shelter for the night. 

The poor and meagre account of Marske which Dr. Whitaker 
furnishes in the History of Rkhmondshire is in striking contrast with 
the learned and exhaustive treatise supplied by Canon Raine to the 
volumes of the Yorkshire Archaeological Society. It will be unnecessary 
for me here to do more than outline this history and correct a few 
apparent errors. Marske, says Canon Raine, is not mentioned in 
Domesday, but General Harrison says it is. The latter is undoubtedly 
wrong, for " Mange " which he cites under the title of Marske, refers to 
Marrick. I suspect the proper word is " Marige," and was misread or 
miscopied by a Norman scribe. The name of Marske seems never to 

• See North Riding Records, vol. iii., page 21. 


have suffered sach a corraption as the adoption of this word wonld 
imply ; the Marske in Langburgh wapentake being spelled in Domesday 
Mersc and Mersch. Marrick, on the other hand, is written in early 
charters, Marige, Marrig, Marrynge, Maryck, and the like, having the 
Teutonic meaning of either meery a lake or marsh, and ing^ a meadow, 
thus vjotery meadow ; or of Old Dan. meer^ A.S. mare or gemtBre^ a 
boundary, and trie, a town or village community, which may also apply 
to Marsk, which adjoins Marrick ; thus Merse, another name for 
Berwickshire, is no doubt so called from its being the boundary county 
between England and Scotland. Marske, anciently Mersk, is, however, 
I think simply a literal rendering of the Scand. mersk^ Anglo-Saxon 
merscy meaning a marsh, or hollow subject to inundations. 

Harrison cites Oospatric as the ancestor of the family of Mersk, but 
gives no proof. Dr. Whitaker says that the first lord of Marske on 
record is Ardulph de Oleseby, a.d. 1808, but Canon Raine has perspicuously 
shewn after some research that this is not so, although he labours under 
some difSculties respecting the first descents, which do not seem to be 
very clearly elucidated by Harrison's later work. The facts, however, 
appear to be these. Bobert de Mersc, who was lord of Marske in the 
time of Henry II., had a son Roger, father of Robert, who was living 
36th Henry III., and was father of Robert, lord of Marske, who 
dying without issue, the manor of Marske went to his younger 
brother Roger de Mersc. The latter married a sister of Roald fil Alan, 
lord of Constable Burton, &c., who had lands in Marske, and by her 
left an only daughter and heiress, Alicia, who became the wife of 
Harsculphus de Cleseby.* 

The manor of Marske was thus inherited by the family of Cleseby 
by marriage in the time of Edward I., and not by purchase as has been 
stated. With this family it remained about a century and a half, when 
Elizabeth, daughter and heiress of Robert de Cleseby carried it by 
marriage to the Conyers, of Hornby Castle, co. York. The forfeiture of 
the estates by the Clesebys does not seem to have been suffered without 
strong manifestations of disappointment by the male members of that 
family, for as our author points out, on the 12th of June, I486, the king 
issued a writ to enquire into the circumstances of an assault said to have 
been made upon the house at Marske by Harsculph Cleseby, late of 
Marske, gent., and others. They appear to have armed themselves some- 
what after the manner of the Raydale rioters, described elsewhere, and 
to have attacked the house and driven out the adherents of the Earl. 
Canon Raine advances the reasonable supposition that the Clesebys were 
the original owners of the manor or had lands there at a much earlier 

* That she was the sister, and not the daughter, of Roger de Mersc, is an 
obTioas misprint in Harrison's descent of the Clesebys. 



period than is suppoBed, and that the Marske branch eventually assumed 
the name of Marske. Thus they felt the sequestration of the family 
estate keenly after having held it so long. Naturally, one might think, 
proud of their ancestiy and of their time-honoured connection with 
Marske they perhaps felt some concern for its future descent, yet the 
Conyers were a gentle family soon to be ennobled, while they, the 
Clesebys, seem at that period to have had nothing much to boast of but 
pride of ancestry. To retain a feeling for and honour of one's ancestors is, 
I grant, an excellent and praiseworthy thing, but pride of ancestry alone 
is certainly a very poor basis upon which to build one's whole life. And 
this reminds me of a story of a certain personage who had never done 
any thing particular for himself, but who was boasting one day in the 
presence of a self-made man of the distinction of his ancestors. ''There 
is nothing," he added, '* like knowing who you are and having proper 
respect for your ancestors. The feeling helps to raise one and keep one 
out of degenerate ways." 

'' It is a very good motive," replied the self-made man, '* and you do 
well to be proud of your ancestors ; but I think that my respect for my 
descendanti9 is about as good a motive." *' Bespect for your descendants ! 
What do you mean ?" " Why, you see,", answered the self-made one, 
" I want them to be proud of their ancestor." 

But I am delaying the subject in hand. The Conyers by this marriage 
obtained a large property, including the manors of Marske and Pathnell 
in Craven, and a messuage, four bovates, and 215 acres of arable land 
in Cleseby, Thornton Steward, Horton-in-Craven, Remington, Newsom- 
in-Oraven, Swinden, Amcliffe-in-Craven, Settle, Horton-in-Bibblesdale, 
and Thomton-le-Moor. By the death of William Conyers in 1556 the 
family possessions again became vested in a heiress : Johanna, who 
married Arthur, second son of James Phillip, of Brignall. The latter 
individual appears to have been a rancorous, aggressive, self-seeking man, 
without much character or position, and this forced alliance with the 
house of Conyers led to a great deal of ill-feeling and unhappiness 
between the two families.* But they did not retain their ill-gotten 
possessions very long ; the family soon got broken up and dispersed, and 
there is probably now not a Phillip remaining in Richmondshire. 

In 1596 Arthur Phillip of Marske, Esq., and Francis Phillip, his son 
and heir-apparent, Talbot Bowes of Richmond, Esq., and Anth. Besson 
of Gray's Inn, gent., agree to sell the demesne of Marske for £8000 to 
Timothy Button, Esq. ; and in 1601, at the solicitation of Matthew 
Button, then Archbishop of York, the manor was finally conveyed to the 
said Timothy Button, Esq., the Primate's eldest son. The adjoining 

* See the account (with engrayings) of the so-called '* Magical Tables ** foand 
on Gatherley Moor, in Whitaker's Riohmandthire^ and Clarkson's Richmond, 


estate of Marrick Priory had been purchased by the Buttons a few years 
previously, and continued their property till 1680, when it was sold to 
the Blackbumes for £8800. 

Marske, however, has remained the patrimony of the Huttons ever 
since its purchase by Archbishop Button now close upon three centuries 
ago. Many foolish stories have got into circulation respecting the origin 
of this eminent old family ; some have stated that the first Archbishop 
(there have been two Archbishops in the family) was a foundling, a poor 

Seal op Matthew Button, Archbishop of York. 

boy, in fact little better than a beggar, and the legend of his crossing 
Cam Fell and removing a cow in order to warm his bare feet on the 
spot is a literary bonne-bouche that has gained wide currency and has been 
served up in various ways. But the Archbishop^s father, also called 
Matthew Button, was a man of very respectable standing, who lived at 
Priest Button, in the parish of Warton, co. Lancaster, a parish wherein 
his ancestors had resided from at least the time of King Stephen. It is 
almost certain they were members of the noted family of Button, of 
Button Ball, Penrith. Adam de Boton, living at that place in the 


reign of Edward I., appears as one of the witnesses to Walter de 
Ljndesay's charter of liberties to Warton at this period. Fuller, the 
church historian, who was an intimate of the first Archbishop Button, 
says that the family was of Button Ball, but expresses a doubt as to 
where the house was situate. As no Button Ball has ever been known 
to exist in the parish of Warton, the inference is reasonable that the 
Penrith homestead is implied. Barrison affirms that Priest-Button took 
its name from Matthew Button, a Priest of the Order of St. Benedict, 
who resided at Boton-juxta- Warton, temp. Benry YI. (three generations 
before the Archbishop), but as Barrison's pedigrees are notoriously 
untrustworthy, the statement may be doubt^. An inspection of the 
parish registers at Warton (commencing in 1568) shews in fact that all 
the entries relating to the Buttons of Warton appear as of Button only 
up to the time of the founding of the school in 1594 by the Prelate, 
then Bishop of Durham, when the name Priest-Button occurs for the 
first time. 

Young Button (afterwards Archbishop) in 1546, then, as some say, 
seventeen years of age, entered Trinity College, Cambridge, and in 1557 
became a Fellow of his college. In 1561 he was made Regius Professor 
of Divinity, and in June of the same year he was selected by the Yice- 
Chanoellor of Cambridge to be one of the twelve preachers to be yearly 
chosen by the University with the Queen's permission. Be could not 
then have been much above thirty yeai-s of age, and progress so rapid 
could hardly have been expected of a ^^ foundling ** or ^' beggar.** In 
1564, Canon Raine tells us, Queen Elizabeth paid a visit to Cambridge, 
and Button kept the Divinity Act before Ber Majesty with so much 
ability and learning, that his promotion to still higher honours became 
almost certain. In 1567 he was advanced to the Deanery of York, 
where his capabilities and zeal were so conspicuous that in 1589 he was 
installed Bishop of Durham, an onerous position in that eventful era of 
the church, yet one which he occupied with wisdom and dignity until 
1594-5, when he was elevated to the archiepiscopal See of York. This 
** worthy prelate," as old Fuller describes him, died at York, January 16th, 
1605-6, and was buried in the Minster, where a handsome monument 
commemorates his extraordinary and fruitful life. The annexed cut 
depicts his seal as Archbishop of York, the original being appended to 
a deed dated 12th of January, 1603. 

The worthy Archbishop was the founder of the Marske family, and 
bequeathed the estate to his eldest son, Timothy Button, who was bom 
in 1569, and received the honour of knighthood in 1605. Be married 
a daughter of the celebrated Sir Oeorge Bowes, of Streatham Castle. 
Queen Elizabeth was her godmother, and was present at her baptism and 
gave her her own name and a cup of gold, which is still in possession of 


her descendants. She is buried in the chancel of Richmond Church. 
Sir Timothy held varions public oflSces, being High Sheriff of Yorkshire 
in 1605, and in divers capacities was a useful and prominent connty 
gentleman. He died at the Friarage, Richmond, in 1629, leaving a 
family of sons and daughters. 

Matthew Hutton, his son and successor, was a noted Royalist, and 
suffered like many others for his loyalty. The family however eventually 

Matthew Hutton, Archbishop op Canterbury. 

recovered their position, and also by fortunate alliances added considerably 
to their wealth and influence. A grandson of this Matthew was John 
Hutton, bow-bearer in the New Forest of Arkengarthdale in 1693, and 
M.P. for Richmond in 1701-2. His eldest son, John, became the squire 
of Marske, and the second son, Matthew Hutton, who was bom at 
Marske January 8th, 1692-3, and whom I have already mentioned, 
entered the church and became successively Bishop of Bangor in 1748, 


Archbishop of York in 1747, and Primate of all England in 1757. 
Much has been written abont this distinguished prelate which it is 
unnecessary here to repeat.* It may be noted however that a few months 
before his translation to York he visited Marske and preached twice (on 
different days) in the old church. 

The above John Button, who was bom in 1691, married twice, (1) 
Barbara, daughter of Thos. Barker, Esq., of York, by Barbara, daughter 
of the Rev. Wm. Mason, rector of Wensley, and father of the poet Mason, 
(2) Elizabeth, daughter and co-heir of James, Lord D'Arcy of Navan. 
By his second wife he left three sons and three daughters ; the eldest of 
whom, John Button, succeeded him. The latter died in 1782, aged 52, 
and was followed by his eldest son, John Button, who was lord of Marske 
up to his death in 1841, when his only surviving brother, Timothy Button, 
succeeded to the Marske estates. Be died in 1868, aged 84, and was 
buried at Downholme Church. " To Mr. John Button," observes Canon 
Baine, '* Marske is under very great obligations. Be planted and improved 
the estate, he restored the church, and supported every attempt to foster 
and encourage agriculture, not only on his own estates but everywhere 
around him. Be enriched the hall with a very splendid library, which 
does credit to his judgment and his taste ; and his gifts, in private as well 
as in public, were numerous and large." If, as Lord Beaconsfield said, 
learning is better than houses and land, Mr. Button was richly endowed, 
for he had not only great intellectual gifts, but was possessed of a liberal 
rent-roll. In his brother, the late Mr. Timothy Button, a portrait of 
whom accompanies the text, he left an able successor. Be was a gentleman 
fond of rural retirement, plain, homely, and simple in his tastes and 
habits. Be also took a deep interest in antiquarian pursuits. 

On only one occasion, we are informed, was he drawn out of his 
wonted retirement, and the circumstances of the interesting event are 
worthy of being repeated. It was upon his election to the position of 
Bigh Sheriff of York in 1846. ''Be was heartily welcomed at York, 
and was greatly pleased on one occasion, when after his health had been 
given at an entertainment in the Mansion Bouse, the minstrcls began 
the song of The Fine Old English Gentleman. At another time a some- 
what ludicrous incident occurred. As Mr. Button was getting into his 
carriage one night after dining at the Residence, being veiy short-sighted, 
he sat down by accident and broke his sword on Baron Alderson's knee. 
* What a weight you are, Mr. Bigh Sheriff ! ' was the judge's patient 
remark. Be had gone through many trials in his time, poor man, but 
none like that." 

* See his biography by Dr. Ducarell ; Nichols* Literary Anecdotes ; Raine's 
Fatti EboraeetiteMy &c. 


John Timothy Darcy Button, Esq., J.P., late of the Boyal DragoonB, 
is the present owner of Marske Hall, which is now in the occupation of 
Col. J. W. Cameron, J.P. It is a plain, well-built mansion occupying 
the site of a former house pulled down in the early part of last century. 
The mansion is admirably situated on a sheltered slope amidst the most 
romantic surroundings ; but the well-kept grounds, with their smooth 
grass-plots and fine arboreal growth, including a specimen of the silver- 


fir of almost unrivalled beauty and size, greatly assuage and tone down 
the otherwise almost alpine wildness. In the house is a magnificent 
collection of family and other paintings, &c,, including portraits of the 
two Archbishops Hutton ; Sir Conyers D'Arcy and Dorothy Bellasis, his 
wife ; Cuthbert Tunstall, Bishop of Durham ; Queen Elizabeth (probably 
an original) ; Charles I. ; Henrietta Maria ; Charles II. ; a full-length 
portrait of the widow and son of Sir Walter Raleigh, &o. Lady 
Raleigh^s ring is also preserved at the Hall. 


The Church (St. Edmund) stands on the opposite side of the glen to 
the Hall, and is a plain little structure, without tower, only a turret, 
with ancient bell ; the whole time-toned, and in keeping with the 
surroundings. The building is of no great antiquity, although there are 
traces of Norman work in the nave wall and south doorway. Over the 
modem porch are the arms of Button, and in the windows of the nave 
are two shields of arms : (1) Button and (2) Button impaling Conyers. 
The old font, though distinctly " rustic," is rather remarkable in design. 
It is octagonal, resting on a circular fluted shaft supported by a square 
base, with simple ornament. It was the gift of Timothy Button, of 
Leeds, a younger son of Sir Timothy, at the time of the Restoration. 
It bears his initials and the date 1668, the year in which Oeneral 
Lambert, the great Oromwellian leader, was banished to the island of 
Guernsey. There are several interesting monuments to the Button 
family, and one to a former rector, the Rev. John Fisher, who died in 
1808. Before the church was restored, there were several ancient grave- 
slabs, now no longer existing. On one of these was caiTed a floriated 
cross (engraved in Whitaher\ with stem bearing vine branches, and the 
emblems of a chalice and book ; being doubtless the work of a local 
mason as these were not pourtrayed in the usual positions on either side 
of the cross. It probably commemorated a 18th or early 14th century 
rector. Other memorials, cited by Whitaker, have also been removed. 
About 1880 the church underwent a thorough renovation, and again in 
1889 many improvements were effected. The registers, which contain 
nothing unusual, begin in 1597. 

On the north side of Marske, and clinging as it were to the high 
wooded cliffs that rise abruptly from the deep and narrow valley, is the 
little hamlet of Glints.* Formerly this was a separate manor, and had 
an old hall, but the latter has come down, and the whole is now merged 
in the Marske estates, the property of the Buttons. It is a most 
romantic spot, strikingly picturesque at any season, but to see the 
glorious summer sunshine flood the verdant slopes, towering scars, and 
overhanging woods is to awaken memories of those perched-up out-of- 
reach chalet-homes in the flower-spangled Alps of Switzerland or the 
Tyrol. It is secluded but not dreary, and if you wish to feel the impress 
of pleasurable solitude, without its dullness or barrenness, walk up this 
winsome valley on a sunny day, — 

" And where blue egg-shells on the groand were strewM, 
And golden king-cups shone, 
I went, and thought how seldom in my life 
I had been quite alone ! " 

* There is a Clint in Nidderdale, and another in Dentdalo, a name derived from 
the Scand. klint^ a rocky brow. 


The manor of Clints anciently belonged to the family of that name, and 
afterwards to the Beckwiths. In 1590 it was purchased of William 
Beckwith by Richard Willance, of Richmond. It was Robert, a son of 
this Wil Lance, who accidentally leaped on horseback down the Whitcliffe 
Scar, and had a marvellous escape which I have elsewhere recorded. A 
grand-daughter of this Robert Willance married John Bathurst, a 
London physician, and the Clint estate then went to this family. John 
Bathurst was M.P. for Richmond in 1655 and 1658» and another, Charles 
Batburst, was M.P. for the same borough in 1727.* From the Batharats, 
Olints passed to the Turners, a Cleveland family of good standing, who 
in 1767 disposed of it to John, Viscount Downe, for the sum of £7000. 
Shortly afterwards it was sold for a like sum to the Stapletons, wboae 
kinsfolk, the Erringtons, retained it till 1842, when it was sold to 
Timothy Hutton, Esq. 

There is some wild country to the north-west of Marske, — the old 
forest chase I have mentioned — and an incident that happened there may 
be worth recording. It is entered in the Marske registers under da^e 
May 8th, 1786. A farmer named Tiddeman, who had just removed 
from Jingle Pot to Orgate, lost his child, between three and four years 
old, on the moors. The family searched all night, but saw nothing of it 
till daylight next morning, when they found it dead from exposure. 
The little thing, child-like, had taken its clogs off and then laid down 
and cried itself to sleep. 

* See page 88. For lengthy notices of the Bathursts, 9ee Thore8b7*B Ducatue 



Mabeick Priory and its Romantic Subroundings. 

Walk from Marske to Marrick — Skelton — The Roman lead-mines at Hurst — 
Manorial history of Marrick — Kew church and Wesleyan chapel — Beautiful 
view of the Priory — Its history — Will of one of the nuns — The present church 
— Memorials in the church-yard — The Rev. J. Wharton Mason. 

[LIMBINO out of Marske it is a pleasant upland walk by the 
old deer park to Marrick (8 miles), where one may visit the 
reposeful ruins of its ancient Priory. Just beyond the Hall 
gates the ways divide, but we keep straight up to the cottage 
at the top. The road to the right leads to Skelton, an ancient manor 
which belonged to a family of that name from the eleventh century to 
the latter part of the reign of King Henry III., when it passed by 
marriage to the Hanlathbys. After various transmissions it was purchased 
in 1842 of the Erringtons by Timothy Hutton, Esq., of Marske Hall 
and Clifton Castle, for the sum of £17,250. 

Opposite the cottage a path crosses the middle of the field, with the 
Hutton memorial monument visible on the left, and on coming to a gate 
you take the middle field-path and descend to Hellas Farm, whence the 
path goes up and over the hill to the grey old village of Marrick. It 
stands high up and commands a wide view. Behind us we have left the 
wild moors and rugged glens that run up towards Helwith, Shaw, and 
Hurst, which lie in the midst of a productive lead-mining district. The 
mines at Hurst are of great depth and have been worked from remote 
times. They are said to be the oldest lead-mines in the kingdom. 
Originally in a badly-accessible and trackless district they are believed 
to be on the site of a Roman penal settlement, to which the Roman 
commanders sent their convicts to labour. A piece of lead bearing the 
name of *^ Adrian " was discovered in one of the oldest workings about 
fifty years ago, and is now in the British Museum. The find yields 
substantial evidence of the antiquity of the mines, but it does not prove 
them to be the oldest in England. On Hayshaw Moor, in Nidderdale, 
two large pigs of lead were discovered, each weighing upwards of eleven 
stones, stamped with the name of the Emperor Domitian and the date 


of the consulate, a.d. 87.* As the Emperor Adrian reigned from 
A.D. 117 to 138, the Nidderdale lead mines may be presumed at any rate, 
to be as old as those at Hurst, if not older. The mines at Hurst belonged 
to the late Major-General Francis Morley, lord of the manor of Marrick, 
whose territorial boundary joined up to Marske, the two being separated 
by the Bradhow Beck as far as a hole called Hell Pot. Marske Moor 
was enclosed in 1809, when it contained 1238 acres, and Marrick Moor 
was taken in some two or three years later. 

The name of Marrick, written Mange in Domesday^ I have explained 
a few pages back. The township for five centuries belonged to the 
family of Aske. Roger de Aske, who founded the Priory here, married 
a grand-daughter of Qospatric, the first grantee after the Conquest, whose 
descendants continued to hold the manor till the reign of Henry YIII*, 
when Anne, daughter and co-heir of Roger Aske, carried it by her 
marriage to Sir Ralph Bulmer, Et. Subsequent owners were the families 
of Sayer, Swinburne, and Powlett. In 1817 the manor of Marrick, with 
the rectory and advowson of the church, was sold to Josias Morley, Esq., 
descended from the Morleys of Wennington and Olapham, whose famil j 
are now the owners.f 

Passing the Manor House let us descend the grassy lane to the old 
Priory deep down by the surging river, — 

— ^in that wild and Alpine vale, 
Through which the Swale, by mountain-torrentB sweird, 
Flings his redundant stream, — 

as the poet Mason describes it. It is a delightful walk when the day is 
fine, but you will probably not appreciate the climb back, which is by a 
staircase of stone (probably as old as the Abbey) extending up the 
face of the hill for a good hundred yards. For the convenience of the 
parishioners living on the higher ground there is a neat chapel-of-ease. 
The building is only small (36 feet by 20 feet), but is nicely fitted up. 
It was purchased by public subscription in 1898, and was originally a 
Roman Catholic Church, erected about thirty years ago. Just below is 
the little Wesleyan Chapel re-erected in 1878, also a neat, plain structui^ 
of about the same dimensions. 
According to a local poet, 

Marrick Church is seen the best 
Just as the sun withdraws to rest, 

and this is quite true. After you emerge from the wood, and look down 
into the peaceful dale, the few remains of the venerable monastery 

* See the author's Nidderdale and the Garden of tlu Sidd^ page 417. 

t For Pedigree of Morley of Marrick tee Burke's Landed Gentry ; also the 
author's Craven and North' Weft Yorkshire Jlighlandt^ page H8, &c. 


appear before yon, bathed in the soft evening light ; its eastern wall and 
once magnificent window, now verdurous in decay, make deep shadows 
on the rich greensward beneath. The church, with its sturdy Norman 
tower, likewise dark and time-weathered, is close by, while in the ample 
background, fading by distance, are thick, bowering woods, aspiring 
hills, winding scars, and lone, heathery moors. Beautiful are they in 
autumn with manifold bloom, upon which the glittering day-god and 
flaunting clouds cast a lambent and ever-changing radiance. But alas ! 
this visible glory, as of all things worldly, soon wanes, — the day and 
the scene vanish — ^yet the soul mayhap has caught the divine spell, 
and, forsooth, memory *s lyre may be struck to ecstacy in the far-off after 
days I Says the gentle Herbert : 

*' Sweet day, so calm, bo bright, 
The bridal of the earth and sky, 
The dew ihall weep thy fall to-night. 
For thou mast die ;** 

True ! yet the memory of a happy day can never die ! 

The much-reduced Priory was founded by Roger de Aske about a.d. 
1150* for nuns of the Order of St. Benedict. They had a splendid and 
commodious establishment, and must have enjoyed considerable comfort, 
for the monastery was richly endowed. The founder gave them the 
already existing church of St. Andrew at Marrick, and about a hundred 
acres of land there ; in addition they had the Hospital with lands at 
Rerecross on Stanemoor, and property in Ravensworth, Cowton, Barkby 
Fleetham, Marske, Richmond, &c., particulars of which will be found in 
Burton, Dugdale, and Harrison. Conan, son of the founder,t gave them 
the vaccary of Ulvelunds, within the territory of Marrick, and the nuns 
also held the fine estate of Bear Park, near Aysgarth. This was the 
property of Brian Metcalfe (one of the heroes of the 16th century ballad 
of the Felon Sowe of Rokeby) in 1458-9, and a kinswoman of whom, 
Cecyle Metcalfe, was Prioress of Marrick for 34 years ; she died in 
1502. Harrison gives a list of the Prioresses, but there are some 
omissions. Prioress Agnes occurs in the Rievaulz Chartulary ; Margaret 
de Hertelpole occurs in 1827, and is mentioned as "late Prioress "in 
1332, when Elizabeth de Berden was instituted. The latter could 
therefore not have been principal in 1326, as stated by Harrison. The 
gross yearly revenues of the house at the Dissolution in 1539-40 are put 
down by Speed at £64 18s. 9d., but the nett income was £48 13s. 2d. 

• See Chartalary in Coll. Tt»p, et. Gen,, vol. 5 ; also Pipe Roll, 82nd Henry I. 

t The pedigree of Aske in Gale's Honour of Richmond erroneously states him 
to be son of Warner instead of the son of Roger de Aske. 




The last Prioress was Ghristobella Cowper, and there were sixteen nuns, 
all of whom received pensions varying from lOOs. (the principal) down 
to 20b. Of Dame Anne Lademan, one of the nans, we have a little 
interesting information. She retired to Gatherley and died there in 
1559. Her will has been preserved, and as it furnishes us with some 
little insight into the belongings of a former inmate of a local monastery 
at this period, it is here reproduced : 

Inventort, 11 March 1559. Imprimis, a basing with an ewer, ij s. viij d. — 
iij. candlesticks, xvj d. — iij. potigers and a salser, zliij d. — a brasse pott and 
a fyer chawfer, ij s. iiij d. — a morter of brasse with a pestell, zij d. — ij. 
kettells and ij pannes, iiij s. — a spete, ij. cobyerones, a resting yeron and a 
recking croke, ij s. iiij d. — ij. chists, xij d. — one lyttell goblet of silver, 
xxxvj 8. — V. silver spoones, xvj s. viij d. — iiij. lyttall ryngs of silver with a 
gymmer of golde, ij s. vj d. — one crusyfixe of silver, ij s. — one paire of almes 
beads with a lyttell crusyfixe of silver, ij s. — one paire of geate beads with 
lyttil beads of currell, xvj d. — ij. peces of velvett, xvj d. — viij. vailes, iij s. 
iiij d. — money, viij s. — one old ryall of gold, xv s. — iiij®* quyssings and 
a counter clothe, ij s. — a fether bed, ij<> materesses, one covering, i]^ coverletts, 
iij. blanketts, iij. codds and one paire of shetes, zxiiij s. x d. — iiij. gowenes, iiij. 
kyrtells and a cloke, xxxiij s. iiij d. — one hoode of course saye. xvj d. — in 
nappary ware, xxx s. viij d. — a smale gyrdell of velvett with a heade and a 
pendent of silver, and gilted, xvj d. Summa ix li. xvij s. x d. Debts that is owen 
to her. The executors of Doctor Daykins, xx s. Summa, x li. xvij s. x d. Debts 
that she oweth. Thomas Smythson, Iviij s. iiij d. And so remaneth vij li. xix s. 
vj d. 

The site and possessions of the Priory were granted in 1542 to John 
Uvedale, one of the king's council-men in the north, and after various 
transmissions they were sold to James Piggot Ince, a native of Marrick, 
who died in 1829, and whose descendant, the Rev. Edward Gumming 
Ince, M.A., of Bournemouth, is now the owner.* 

As before stated there are few remains of the abbey left standing ; 
the ground has also been much filled up, inasmuch as the canopies of the 
sedilia on the south side of the choir now appear little more than a foot 
above the surface. Fragments of tracery remain in the large east 
window, which has been a noble light, 13 feet wide and proportionately 
high. Once no doubt it was filled with stained glass, and when it is 
remembered that stained glass in the 14th century cost from 12d. to 
15d. a square foot some idea may be formed of the mere money value 
of this magnificent window. The Priory nave Wtas used for public 
worship down to 1811, when it was pulled down, with the exception of 
the tower, and the present church erected on the site out of the material. 
It has evidently been built with a careless disregard for the beauty of 
the old stone-work or of architectural fitness; indeed, everything 
apparently having been sacrificed to meet a present and purely practical 

• See Turner's Yorkshire County Magazine, 1891, pages SI 8- 14. 


ueed. Some fragments of old glass from the now rained abbey window 
have been inserted in several of the window-heads. Some of the 
monastic grave-slabs have also been preserved. One of these is inscribed 
in black letter : 

Sub jacet fttm tnontaless Ssabella soror SCome ^uDdag De Barfort. 

The Pudsays were lords of Bolton-by-Bolland at an early period, and 
afterwards (temp, Edward III.) acquired the manor of Barforth-on-Tees.* 
Another stone is incised with a floriated cross patiie^ quartered with foar 
hearts and supported on a calvary of three tiers ; on the dexter side of 
the shaft appears a chalice and beneath it a pax, while on the sinister side 
appears a book, and beneath it a square paten charged with a quatrefoil. 
The design is uncommon and is apparently of the 14th century. 

The buildings here form a singular group, the priory, church, and 
farm-house all adjoin ; in fact the church itself may be said to stand in 
a farm-yard. In the church-yard I have noticed a stone to the memory 
of Mr. George Ohalders and his wife. He was agent to the several Hurst 
Mining Companies for the long period of 66 years, and died in 1859, 
aged 88. And speaking of length of seiTice I may respectfully observe 
how few ministers of religion can claim unbroken connection with a 
single parish or community so long as the present vicar of Marrick, the 
Rev. John Wharton Mason, B.A., who this year (1896) completes the 
50th year of his pastorship of this isolated and mountainous parish. In 
congratulating him upon this event may I express the hope that his 
declining yeara be full of peace and trust in the all-wise and beneficent 
Parent whom he has so long and faithfully served ! 

The tourist who has come to survey the interest of this romantic spot 
may continue his walk to Fremington and B^eth (8 miles), or return by 
the *' staircase " route to Marrick (inn) ; thence through the fields and 
lane (a sufferance path for foot passengers only), by Marrick Park to 
Downholme Bridge, where the river and cliff scenery may be compared 
with some of the most romantic road passes in Wales. The route hence 
on the south bank of the Swale, to Richmond (4 miles) or Reeth (6 miles) 
is very fine, and being comparatively level constitutes an agreeable walk 
or drive. 

* The lineage is given in Whitaker's Craven^ and in Harrison's GUling Weft. 



Richmond to Grinton. 

A romantic highway — Wild birds — A driving incident — Hudswell — A great snow- 
storm — History of Hudswell — The church — Hadswell Moor — Supposed 
extensive coal-field — Downholme and its history — ^Ancient deer-park — The 
church — ^An old chapel or oratory — Walbum Hall — Ellerton Priory — A house 
of Cistercian nuns — ^A raid on the Priory by the Scots — Some tomb-slabs of 
the Prioresses — Family of Ellerton — The road to Grinton. 

I HE ordinary route from Richmond, through Grinton, to Reeth 
is by the very romantic highroad along the south bank of the 
Swale, passing Downholme Bridge. It is one of the finest 
nine or ten mile drives in Yorkshire, and combines the merit 
of interest and picturesqueness with accessibility ; the road being well 
laid and level, in striking contrast with the old mountainous highway on 
the opposite side of the river. The whole of this beautiful country has 
been rendered classic by the unique productions of Turner, the artist. 
The river and cliff scenery is at times impressively grand, and the 
objects of interest on either side of Richmond are so numerous that one 
cannot wonder they provided so many subjects for the charmed pencil of 
this great master. Towering hills, sweeping moors, and ranges of native 
woods appear in view, while in Hudswell Scar and the lofty, impending 
cliffs of the neighbourhood there is an added interest in the various wild 
birds that frequent their rocky and umbrageous recesses ; formerly the 
raven used to build there in some numbers, and doubtless at no very 
distant period the golden eagle, too. The peregrine falcon, I am told, 
still occasionally breeds in this district. 

But if you are driving let me warn you to take proper care that your 
horse, trap, gearings, or other belongings of the expedition are in safe 
and sound condition, as the attractions of the scenery may keep your 
attention constantly withdrawn. An accident, which might bave proved 
rather disastrous by reason of this diversion, occurred I am told some 
little time ago, to a West Riding man and his wife who were touring 
along this pleasant highway. They had been making some purchases of 
farm produce and had stowed them away in a hamper packed with straw. 


etc., at the back of the conveyance, when apparently by a spark from the 
man's pipe the packing got ignited, and continued to smoulder unobserved 
by them for some time. At last as the fumes increased, the tourists 
looked round and noticed at the same time a farmer's man driving bat 
a short distance behind them. The gentleman called out '^ Didn't yon 
see we were on fire ?" " On fire I" said the man bluntly, " why a' nivver 
thoot it, for aw've beean watchin' t' reek an' it's beean t' seeam this mile 
or twea." " Well, why the hangment didn't you tell us ?" answered the 
first somewhat sharply, " we might have b^n burnt alive." " Ea !" 
came the rustic's answer, ** there's soa mony new-fangled machines aboot 
noo, aw' thoot ye'd happen getten a patent conveyance 'at were pairtly 
gooin' by steam I" 

The Old Church, Hudswbll. 

The tourist, however, not dependent on a trap, whether driven by 
steam or otherwise, may climb the steep and somewhat formidable incline 
to the little Alpine village of Hudswell, and thence proceeding through 
Downholme regain the road this side of Ellerton Priory. I remember 
mounting this eminence shortly after the great snowstorm in the first 
week of March, 1886, with the object of viewing the snow-wreathed 
" realm of mountain, forest haunt and fell," which this elevated point is 
known to command. In fact the view from the churchyard at Hudswell 
is, I consider, one of the very finest in Richmondshire, and seen in its 
winter vestments may be said to approach the sublime. The good people 
of Hudswell did not however view it in quite the same light during their 


terrible experiences upon the occasion referred to. Some of the houses 
were completely buried in the drifts, and their inmates after some delay 
had literally to be dug out. At one cottage I was told that after the 
ordinary firewood had been exhausted the occupants had been obliged to 
break up and barn some of the household furniture, as it was impossible 
to get out of the house. For four or five days there was no communication 
with Richmond. Eventually an attempt was made by the district postman 
to reach the snow-bound village ; a head bearing the ofiBcial cap was seen 
coming up the hill, when a brawny native went to the rescue, and the 
plucky but breath-spent ofiBcer was delivered of his important little charge. 
What rough experiences these rural postmen must have at times. Several 
of the Richmond postmen have daily rounds of fifteen to twenty miles, 
tramped in all weathers and at all seasons of the year. You meet them 
sometimes with bag and hands full, crossing hill and fell in out-of-the- 
way spots, doing their rough rounds apparently with as little fatigue as a 
town postman does his circumscribed area of a few streets. 

At Hudswell (inn) there is little to note but the church and the 
magnificent prospect, above alluded to, from the church-yard. Of its 
early history much is obscure. It is called in Domesday Hudreswell, and 
was bestowed by the Conqueror, no doubt through the recommendation 
of his kinsman. Earl Alan of Richmond, on Emsant Musard, Constable 
of Richmond Castle. Roaldus, his successor to the lordship of Hudswell, 
gave part of the estate to the Priory of St. Martin's, a cell, as elsewhere 
related, to the Abbey of St. Mary's at York. Subsequently, upon the 
foundation of St. Agatha's monastery at Easby, the same Roaldus 
bestowed five bovates of land, with the appurtenances in Hudswell, upon 
that house. In Kirkby*s Inquest (1277) and in the Nomina Villarum 
(1281), Hudswell appears in the first-named as belonging to the Abbot 
of St. Mary, and in the second to the Abbot of St. Agatha and the 
Abbot of St. Mary. At this time (1279) we find Robert de Hertford, 
attorney for the Abbot of St. Agatha, and others, entered a plea at the 
suit of Emma de Bereford, touching common of pasture in Huddeswelle, 
and in a further plea touching an obstruction by the defendants of a 
ceitain road for carts and cattle, leading from the plaintiff's land in 
Haddeswell to other lands belonging to her at Thorpe-upon-Swale. The 
jury in both cases gave their verdict for the plaintiff ; and in the latter 
case they say that the said Abbot did obstruct the said road, and he is 
ordered to remove the said obstruction, and the plaintiff recovers her 
ancient right of way. A clear case of attempted encroachment by a 
superior authority upon the rights of a private subject. After the 
Reformation the lands passed to various owners, and the present manorial 
proprietor and chief landowner is R. H. Prior-Wandesforde, Esq., of 
Kirklington Hall, Bedale, and Castle Comer, co. Kilkenny. 


The Charch at Hndswell is a very old foundation, but of the precise 
time of its origin nothing is known. Some cnrions ancient stone-work 
has been preserved in the present fabric, which was erected on the site 
of the former charch twelve years ago. The old building, of which I 
give a view, consisted simply of a nave and chancel, a rude south porch, 
(of uncertain date) and the remains of a bell-cot at the west gable. An 
early small piscina and holy-water stoup also formed interesting adjuncts, 
and these have been retained in the new fabric in the same comparative 
positions. The first sod of the new church was cut by the wife of the 
late energetic vicar, the Rev. James E. Torbett, on St. James's Day, 1884 ; 
the same day on which the present Bishop of Ripon, Dr. Carpenter, was 
consecrated in Westminster Abbey. Soon afterwards the foundation 
stone was laid in the presence of a large gathering by the Earl of Zetland 
and the building was completed and opened by the Bishop of Bipon in 
November of the following year. The church, which is built of stone 
from the parish quarry at Coalpit Hill, is in the Early English style, and 
comprises nave, chancel, south porch, and octagonal bell-turret at the 
south-west angle. There is accommodation for 150 worshippers. The 
interior is neatly fitted up, and it is not without interest to remember the 
firat donors to the furniture of the church as follows : the font, by 
Mr. Wheelhouse, the architect ; the lectern, by Mr. Harwood, the 
contractor ; the organ, by subscription ; Mrs. Maltby, a handsome set of 
altar-linen ; the Mayoress of Richmond, kneeling-mats for the altar ; 
Mrs. Roberts, kneeling-mats for the altar-rails ; Mr., Mrs., and Miss Tate, 
a beautiful silver paten for the communion ; Miss A. Miller, altar 
cloth and chalice ; the Rev. T. C. H. Croft, an excellent collection of 
hymn-books (Hymns AncietU and Modern) ; Miss Coates, Richmond, 
alms-bags ; and Mrs. Miller, book-markers. 

The extensive tract to the south of Hudswell, called Hudswell Moor, 
was enclosed in 1808, some 24^ acres being apportioned for the benefit 
of the Free School. Recently an attempt has been made to open up the 
extensive coal-field, which is known to exist on Hudswell Moor. It 
evidently corresponds with the coal-seam on the top of Leybum Moor, 
which lies about 120 feet above the Main Limestone. Eight years ago 
borings were commenced, and at 70 feet from the surface a seam of good 
coal was come upon, but owing to the presence of springs, which greatly 
impeded the work of sinking, further investigation was discontinued 
until the present year. A skilled inspection has now been made and the 
opinion expressed that there are at least 60 acres of first-rate coal on the 
moor. During the borings a thin streak of copper was met with, and 
also a foot or two of ironstone, nearly resembling that which in some 
places further up the dales lies so near the surface that it may be 
uncovered by fraying the soil with a pick. At different depths, too, the 


borers found some of that excellent kind of free-stone which is quarried 
in the neighbourhood, and a bed, about two feet thick, of *' seggar," of 
which the best fire-bricks are made. Altogether the search proves the 
ground to be peculiarly rich in minerals, especially in coal, and should 
the field be developed it will, from a commercial standpoint, prove a great 
boon to the inhabitants of Swaledale and Wensleydale, who are dependent 
upon the supplies from Durham, and who have as a rule to pay more for 
the carriage than for the coal itself. At Hudswell, for example, which 
overlooks the town of Richmond, 5s. a ton has to be paid for leading 
coals up from Richmond station. 

We now skirt the western flanks of this high moor on our way to 
Downholme, the lofty Redscar (to which the chapelry of Hudswell and 
parish of Catterick extends), being a prominent object in the view. The 
parish of Downholme comprises an area of nearly 6000 acres, and includes 
the townships and hamlets of Downholme, Ellerton Abbey, Walburn, and 
Stainton, with a total population of less than 200. The ancient family 
of De Hertford were large landowners in this parish in the 18th and 
14th centuries, and the family of Downholme or Dunnum also had 
property here at a very early period ; five acres and half a carucate of land, 
with the appurtenances in Downholme, were given to the neighbouring 
monastery at Marrick. In the reign of Henry YI. the manor of 
Downholme came to the Scropes,* who had a fine deer-park here in the 
time of Queen Elizabeth. Lord Bolton is now lord of the manor and 
principal landowner. 

Downholme (inn) is called in the Domesday Book Dune^ an evident 
clerical misspelling by some Norman scribe, for in all subsequent deeds 
I have met with the suffix ham^ uniy om^ and the like, appears as a 
terminal to the name. Thus in 1290 it is written Dounoum ; in 1800, 
Dounhom and Dounholm ; in 1320, Denom ; in 1838, Dunum ; in 1480, 
Dounnm ; meaning, no doubt, the ham^ home or hamlet on the hill, 
Downholme, by the way, is not mentioned in Kirkhy's Inquest 

The church, dedicated to St. Michael, was given by the Scropes to 
Coverham Abbey, and remained a possession of that house till the 
Dissolution. It was thoroughly restored in 1886 at a cost of £400. In 
1894 the floors were laid with concrete, and other improvements effected. 
A new altar-table, at a cost of £26, and designed by Mr. W. S. Hicks, 
has also been placed in the church to perpetuate the memory of the late 
Mr. E. Wood, who was a warden of the parish. The font bears the 
arms of Lord Bolton, T. Hutton, Esq., S. T. Scrope, Esq., and 
J. S. W. Drax, Esq. In the church is also a monument to the Rev. Ed. 
Ellerton, D.D., a native of Downholme, who was one of ^he founders of 
the Free School here, which he supported and maintained at his own 

* See YorJti, Areh, Journal, 1893, page 245. 


expense till the year 1851, when he invested, instead of that support, the 
snm of £513 6s. lOd. in stock three per cent, consols, for the henefit of 
the school. 

In a field in front of the vicarage are the remains of a small chapel 
or oratory, but of its origin or history nothing is known. The walls are 
massively built, being four to five feet thick, and one of the windows, a 
small lancet, is quite perfect. The building is now used as a coop for 

Walburn Hall. 

The few houses that constitute the township of Walburn in this 
parish bear the rather odd names of Boston, Crowbills, Halfpenny 
House, and Coldstorms. Walburn gave name to a family of respectable 
standing in Norman times. Wymer de Walburn held 10 oxgangs of 
land at Walburn, in the parish of Downholme, in 1286, and a family of 
this name has been settled at Exilby for several centuries.* Walburn 
Hall, now a farm-house, retains traces of its former strength and 
importance in its ancient court-yard with battlemented walls, thick 
arched doorways, pre-Reformation chapel, &c. The accompanying 
sketch is from Buckler's beautiful drawing of it done in 1817. 

Descending to the New Road we are soon at the Lodge and Ellerton 
Abbey, so-called, but in reality the few remains that are left of this 

* See Memorials of Fountains Abbey (Surtees Socy. Pub.)i page 368. 


ancient and sacred fane represent a small establishment of Cistercian 

nuns. Its origin is wrapped in obscnrity. Dngdale, says Dr. Whitaker^ 

has wholly overlooked this obscure foundation, but in the subsequent 

editions of the MonasHcon it is briefly described.* Bishop Tanner 

supposes it to have been founded by Wamerius, son of Wihomar, lord 

of Aske and Marrick, and dapifer to the Earl of Richmond, or his son, 

Wymerus, in the reign of Henry II. It is somewhat singular that 

during excavations made on the site of the Priory in 1827 a stone coiBn 

lid was found, inscribed in Lombardic characters Hie jaeet Wimerus — , 

which seems to confirm the opinion that he was the founder, and was 

interred here. Harrison gives no account of Ellerton or of the Priory, 

but in his notice of Melsonby he cites a deed of 8th Edward I. (1279) 

wherein Roger fil John and Wymarca his wife were reputed owners of 

two messuages and eleven acres of land with the appurtenances in 

Melsonby, also in an assize taken the same date the Prioress of Ellerton* 

in-Swaledale was found to be seized of a tenement in Melsonby yielding 

an annual rent of 4s. Furthermore, in the pedigree of the family of 

Melsamby dU, Melsonby, Sir Simon de Melsamby, who was in the 

Scottish wars, temp, Edward I., is said to have had for wife one Petronilla, 

who was living a widow at Melsamby, 28rd Edward I. (1294). As one 

of the Prioresses of Ellerton, hereafter mentioned, was named Petronilla, 

A.D. 1251, there is no doubt the family of Melsonby was closely identified 

with the monasteries both of Ellerton and Marrick, and were benefactors 

to them. Alan de Melsamby was one of the witnesses to a charter of 

grant to Marrick Priory, temp. Henry II., and Matilda de Melsamby was 

Prioress of Marrick in 1376. Ellerton Priory is mentioned in Kirhhy^s 

Inquestj and also in a document of the date 21st Edward III. (1848), 

wherein we gather that the Scots, after their great victory at Bannockbum, 

made several raids into Swaledale, and on one occasion they entered the 

Priory at Ellerton, committed many violences, and destroyed or carried 

off amongst other things several chartera and writings. 

At the Dissolution in 1535-6 the Priory was surrendered ^' without 
murmure or griefe ^'f by Johanna, the last Prioress ; its clear annual 
value at that time being £15 10s. 6d. The site, with the demesnes^ 
was demised to one Ralph Closeby, and in 1601 came to the family of 
Drax, the present owners. Of unrecorded Prioresses of Ellerton the 
name of Petronilla occurs in 1251, Ellen in 1268, and Sibil in 12994 
The stone coffin-lids, inscribed in Lombardic characters, of the two first- 

* The seal is not known to Dugdale. 

t Vide Commissioners' letter in Whi taker's Craven^ 3rd edition, page 478. 

t See Yorkshire Record Series, xvii., 56. 


named of these Prioresses, have been found on the site, and are preserved 

Ellerton gave name to a local family of some standing in the en 
succeeding the Norman Conquest. They were landowners here and in 
the neighbourhood, but none of the members appear to have attained 
any particular dignity, saving perhaps the Rev. Dr. Ellerton, whom I 
have already noticed in connection with Downholme Ohurch. 

Our road to Grinton now traverses the picturesque ravine of Gill 
Beck, and passing Cogden Hall (E. 6. Whitelock, Esq.) — ^a romantic 
estate that once belonged to Bridlington Priory — and Grinton Lodge 
(Col. A. H. Charlesworth, M.P.) we enter the grey old village of Grinton, 
the ancient capital of Swaledale. 

Engraved in the Gentleman's Magazine^ 1827, page 598. 





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Extent and character of the parish of Grinton — ^The aborigines — ^A prehistoric camp 
— Meaning of Grinton — Local coDiinerce and fairs — Population and acreage — 
Swaledale and its ancient owners — East and West Grinton — Sale of the manor 
in 1855— Family of Swale— Meaning of Swale— Will of Sir Solomon Swale 
— Tea first drunk in Swaledale at Swale Hall — Anecdote of tea-drinkiug 
at a Kichmondshire village — Description of the church at Grinton — Roman 
Catholicism in Swaledale — The Quakers — Grinton and Beeth Bridges — 
Fremington and its old families — ^Ancient earthworks — Meaning of Fremington 
— Local discovery. 

RINTON and Reeth hold pretty mnch the same relative 
positions to each other as Giggleswick and Settle ; the 
first of each couple being the mother-towns and 
ecclesiastical capitals of their respective parishes, 
while Reeth, like Settle, is the trade-mart, head of 
the poor-law union, &c., and the '* Mecca** of visitors. 
The parish of Grinton is of great extent, being over 20 miles in length, 
and comprises more than 49,000 acres, of which about two-thirds, or 
upwards of 80,000 acres, are grouse-moor, scar, and mountain. It includes 
the townships of Grinton, Melbecks, Reeth, and Muker, with their 
several hamlets or manors of Harkaside, Whitaside, Cogden, Helaugh, 
Fremington, Crackpot, Feetham, Eearton, Low Row, Angram, Thwaite, 
Gunnerside, Eeld, &c. The landscape throughout the parish is eminently 
wild and romantic, being rocky and mountainous and little sheltered by 
woods. Consequently the country is much exposed to the brunt of 
storms, and snow in winter often accumulates, in many places, to an 
enormous depth. Indenting the high, open, and rugged moorlands are 
numerous gills and ravines, these having been amongst the last refuges 
of the wolf, boar, and wild deer in Yorkshire, — spots that are now quiet 
and pleasant enough in dry sunny weather, but during the violence of 
floods oft inaccessible and resounding with the thunder of boisterous 
waters, which, rolling impetuously into the valley below, frequently play 


sad havoc through inandationB. Out of the valley there is bnt little 
level ground ; in some parts an altitude of over 2000 feet is reached, and 
from many of the solitary peaks there are grand and uninterrupted 

This wild, once-trackless and secluded country was no doubt occupied 
by those hordes of brawny and hard-natured Celts who were unwilling 
to submit themselves to a foreign yoke. They built their houses in 
sheltered spots on the mountain side, or in the midst of woods, which 
are now no longer existing. Some of their housesteads I have elsewhere 
pointed out. On the south side of the Swale at Orinton are traces of an 
ancient camp, where rude stone implements and fragments of pottery 
have been found ; and at other spots in the parish are remains and 
•evidences of entrenchments, earthworks, and tumuli. In the Anglo- 
Saxon period, when Paulinus the Christian missionary* visited Swaledale 
and the church was founded at Catterick, there is no doubt that the 
whole of Swaledale was included within the ecclesiastical province of 
Oatterick. Communities of both Christians and pagans would be, as 
already explained, established at different times at Grinton ; the former 
having a small Christian place of worship, on which the existing 
•church was no doubt afterwards grafted, and the latter a temple of gods. 
The place takes its name, I suspect, from its occupation at this era, the 
Teut. groriy grun,\ meaning green, and toriy tun, an enclosure or town, 
indicative of the fact that before the Norman inroads there were green 
■and fertile meadows at this spot, conspicuous amid a waste of brown and 
heathery moor. 

Anciently, too, Grinton must have been a place of some commerce, 
for then the only place of worship in the district stood here, and people 
coming from long distances would be able to do their marketing and 
attend the services in the church on one and the same day. There was 
■at one time, T am told, as many as five inns in the village, and the fairs, 
ivhich in later days (as now) were held on Good Friday and St. 
Thomas* Day (Dec. 21st), were numerously attended, almost every 
kind of household and domestic wares being offered for sale, including 
brass, pewter and iron utensils, tin, cloth, millinery, &c. Since the decay 
-of the lead-mining industry, and the lack of railway communication (the 
nearest railway station being at Richmond, nearly ten miles distant) the 
population has greatly declined : the ecclesiastical parish of Grinton, for 
•example, which is the most populous in the parish, numbering bnt 700 
souls with a land acreage of 8000; while at Muker, which comprises 
some 38,000 acres, the population at the last census was only 615. 

* See page 59. 

fin deeds as late as the 17th century the name is spelled both Oronton and 


Soon after the building of Richmond Castle, Stephen, Earl of 
Richmond, gave the whole of Swaledale in dowry to his daughter at her 
marriage with Walter de Oaunt, a kinsman of the Conqueror, and this 
royally-descended family held the bulk of the lands, as hereafter appears, 
till 1297, when on the death of Gilbert de Gaunt, without issue, the 
property passed in three portions to his sisters, Nichola, wife of Peter de 
Malolacu ; Juliana de Gant, who died unmarried, and Roger, son of 
William de Eerdeston, and nephew of the said Gilbert de Gaunt. Half 
the manors of Reeth and Helagh-in-Swaledale was the portion obtained 
by Peter de Malolacu, who in 1315 was declared seized of the whole or a 
part of the townships of Reeth, Helagh, and Fremington in Swaledale, 
as well as of the castle and manor of Mulgrave and various other 
townships and lordships in the county of York. The above Roger de 
Kerdeston married a daughter of Edmund Bacon, by whom he left a 
daughter and heiress, Matilda, wife of John fil Henry Burghersh, lord 
of East Worldham, Hampshire. His son. Sir John Burghersh, sold 
Helagh together with his moiety of the manor of Swaledale to Sir 
Robert de Plesyngton, by fine, 5th Richard II. (1381). 

That portion of the manor containing the parish church, called East 
Grinton, was given by the above Walter de Gaunt {oh. 1138) and Matilda 
bis wife to the Priory which he founded at Bridlington, and the Prior 
and Convent of that establishment continued to hold it to the Dissolution. 
West Grinton, and all the lands belonging to the town of Reeth, were 
given about the same time by the same Walter de Gaunt to Alured de 
Swale, his nephew and chief chamberlain, from whom is descended the 
noted family of Swale, long seated at Swale Hall, in this township. In 
1315 Robert de Swale and the Prior of Bridlington were returned as 
joint lords of Grinton in Swaledale. After the dissolution of monasteries 
the estates, distinct from the manorial title, passed through various 
hands, but West Grinton, with Swale Hall, remained in possession of the 
Swale family till the reign of Queen Anne, when Sir Solomon Swale, third 
baronet, of Swale Hall, became involved in several lawsuits touching 
lead mines in Swaledale, all of which were decided against him, and he 
died ruined and broken-hearted, 30th December, 1733. He left no issue, 
and was buried near the altar in Paddington Church. In 1786 Swale 
Hall, consisting of a messuage, corn-mill, and other buildings, with 
twenty acres of meadow and pasture land, was sold by auction at the 
King^a Heady Richmond. It is now a farm-house. The manor of 
Grinton was purchased in 1855 from the late Mr. Wentworth, of Woolley 
Park, Wakefield, by the father of the present proprietor, Col. Albany H. 
Oharlesworth, M.P., of Chapelthorpe Hall, near Wakefield. 

The above old family of Swale has been settled in Swaledale since 
the time of the Conquest. Obviously they derived their patronym from 


the name of the river, which locally is pronounced Swaul^ and some 
branches of the family I have met spell their name that way or Swall. I 
should judge that owing to the great Scandinavian irruption in Swaledale, 
so often alluded to in this work, the old British name of the river had 
been lost or had found a substitute in that of the Vikings* sval or svaul^ 
meaning to cool or refrigerate, in allusion to the coldness of the waters 
or to the climate of the high-lying region through which they run.* 

Rev. Sir John Swale, Bart. 

The first historic personage of the name seems to have been the above- 
mentioned Alured de Swale, whose grandparents came to England with 
their valorous uncle, William the Conqueror. Harrison traces their 
descent down to the last generation, observing that after the family 
reverses and the death of Sir Solomon Swale in 1788, the title remained 

* There is a Svaledal als, Suledal, and a Svalestad (Stavanger) in the province 
of Christiansand in Norway. 


in abeyance and was not resumed till 1877, when the Rev. John Swale, 
of Birtley, co. Durham, a priest of the Order of St. Benedict, succeeded 
as heir-male to his eldest brother, and assumed the title of 7th Baronet. 
He died at Douai, in France, in 1887, aged 80 years. I give a portrait 
of him. He was a tall, handsome man, albeit slender, he had a large, 
well-knit frame, in figure and countenance a type of the old Swaledale 
rac^. He was gentle and scholarly, and was naturally of a happy mood. 
His successor was Sir John Swale, Bart., of Knaresborough, who died in 
1888, when the honours descended to Benjamin Swale, brother of the 
Rev. Sir John, also of Knaresborough, who died in 1889, and was 
succeeded by his brother, James Swale, of Rudfarlington, the tenth 
and present baronet.* 

Through the courtesy of Mrs. Jane Tyzack, of Abbeydale, Sheffield, 
a grand-daughter of Frances Swale, of Swaledale, and a cousin of the 
above Rev. Sir John Swale, I am enabled to publish the singularly 
interesting last will and bequest of Sir Solomon Swale, first Baronet,, of 
Swale Hall. 

It is a somewhat lengthy document, but assuredly is one of the 
most beautiful compositions of the kind ever penned. Its elevated and 
deeply religious tone, its strict, judicious, and loyal sentiments, its 
magnanimity and spirit of forgiveness towards a disobedient daughter 
that marks one portion of the writing, must commend the same to every 
just and thoughtful reader : 

Will of Sib Solomon Swale, Babt. 

*' In the name of the Father, and the Sonne, and of the Holy Ghost, Amen. 
I, Sir Solomon Swale, of Swale Hall and South Stainley, in the County of Yorke, 
Baronet, being in perfect health, memory, and understanding, God be praised, but 
considering how necessary 'tis to provide for death in the time of health, doe 
therefore ordaine and make this my last will and testament. First, I resigne my 
poore and precious soule into the hands of my dear and blessed Saviour Jesus 
Christ, beseeching him by His bitter passion, death, and merits upon the Cross 
that when, by His pleasure, death shall seize upon my body, He will be pleased to 
embrace my soule in the arms of His mercy, and translate it to the joys in heaven, 
there to sing Hallelujahs with the blessed saints and angels for ever. And I bless 
God by His grace for making me a member of His Roman Catholique Church 
militant, hoping that I may be of the church triumphant in heaven. And I bless 
God that myselfe and ancient family have been constantly loyall to the Crowne, 
although I have suffered much therefore in the late rebellious times, and I charge 
my children and posterity that they be and continue to be loyall as they expect 
God's blessing, and I have impaired my health, and much my estate, by waiving 
my good practice in the law and serving constantly the Crowne and my country 
in Parliament, being the first that moved in the then House of Commons, the 7th 
of May, one thousand six hundred and sixty, to proclaim His Magesty King, the 

* See the author's Nidderdale and the Garden of the Nidd^ pages 2S1, 232, 
362, &c. 


next day, which was performed the next day by the Parliament in great pomp and 
state in the cities of Westminster and London, for which motion His Sacred 
Magesty was graciously pleased to make me the first baronet in Yorkshire of his 

** If it please God that I die in the north, I desire my body may be decently 
interred with my worthy ancestors in South Stainley Church, if in the south, in 
the Church of Paddington, as near my first dear wife as conveniently may be, 
with torchlights, wine, biskett, cakes, and rosemary, and twenty black Cypress 
scarfs, and no more to be then given to kindred and friends and my children and 
hopeful grandson Solomon Swale, and two men servants to have mourning, and no 
more, and five pounds to be given to the poore for me the day I am interred. 

'* I charge the heirs of my family succaisively for ever that they pay to the 
poor the thirty shillings yearly, given out of Poor Folks Close according to 
the last will of my grandfather, Solomon Swale, Esquire, and I charge the heirs 
of my family successively for ever that they give thirty shillings yearly every 
eleventh day of February for ever, twelve half-crowns for ever in Stainley Hall to 
twelve poore people of Stainley, Beeston Leonard, Brereton, and Wallerwaite, to 
pray for me and my first dear wife and family on the eleventh day of the monthe 
of February, in the then yeare of our Lord one thousand six hundred and thirty- 
three. I took to wife Mistress Mary Porey, of Poreys, in the county of Norfolke, 
Esquires, who was a most deare, virtuous and loving wife unto me, and a very 
indulgent mother to our seven sonnes and three daughters, and her great portion 
piety and prudence, and her kind uncle, Mr. John Chapman, his great kindness to 
us and ours, with God*s blessing was a great means to support my ancient loyal! 
family, and therefore her memory is most dear and precious unto me, and so 
ought to continue in my family. I much love my hopefuU grandsonne, Solomon 
Swale, and I hope and pray to God so to bless him with His grace that by piety 
and prudence he may support our family, but I give him nothing more than all 
my plate, his father having the use of it so long as he liveth, and what I have 
entailed upon him, upon the marriage of his father with his mother, because I 
would have children to depend upon their luirents, for I have too often seen 
children disobedient to their parents by being possessed of present estates before 
marriage in the lifetime of their parents, and not having it from their parents. 
But I charge my son and heir apparent, Henry Swale, Esquire, that he spare not 
his purse in the good education of my said grandsonne, but that he will breed him 
abroad at school to be a good scholar by God's blessing, and about his age of 
twenty -one years to admit him to the Inner Temple to study the common laws, 
and after to marry him to a virtuous gentlewoman of an ancient family with a 
good portion, but principally have the respect to the prudence, piety, humility, 
and virtues of the gentlewoman, and estate a present good maintenance apon 
them, that they may not wish you in heaven before you die, and soe and soe, 
intangle the estate, as I have entailed it upon you that your sonne or his sonne 
cannot sell any before he be of full age, that by God's blessing it may long continue 
in our family, for our ancient estate at Swale Hall and South Stainley were never 
out of our ancestors, God be praised, and continue it to His glory. 

"I give to my now second sonne, Robert Swale, good education in England 
and beyond the seas, where he tooke the degree in Doctor of Physick, which was 
a great charge unto me which I did freely bestow on him, the better by God*8 
blessing to know his duty to God and me his father. By reason of hit 
disobedience to me I have therefore often said I would not give him a groat more, 
and therefore I give him but three pence in full of all demands, but I give to his 
children, sons and daughters, five hundred pounds of lawful money of England, 


to be paid by mj heir and ezecators, by odo hundred pounds per annum in five 
years, and during that time the said children to have the interest of the said five 
hundred pounds for their maintenance. And whereas my third son, Solomon 
Swale, has not managed his estate so well as he might have done if he had 
followed my advice, therefore I give unto my said sonne, Solomon Swale, one 
hundred pounds in money to be paid him within a yeare next after my decease, 
and I do likewise give my said sonne, Solomon Swale, thirty pounds per an. for 
his life, to be paid to him half-yearly next after my decease, and for nonpayment 
at any time to distrain for the same in all or any the lands I leave to descend to 
my heirs, and I further give my said sonne, Solomon Swale, three hundred pounds, 
part of the principal monies which my brother, Robert Swale, oweth me in full of 
all demands. And I give my kinsman, John Swale, sonne of my nephew, 
John Swale, sonne of my dear deceased brother, Mr. John Swale, one hundred 
pounds, which my brother, Robert Swale, giveth me in full of all demands, and I 
give my kinsman, John Swale, sonne of my nephew, Mr. John Swale, sonne of my 
dear deceased brother, Mr. John Swale, one hundred pounds which my brother, 
Robert Swale, oweth me, and the rest of the monies which my said brother, Robert 
Swale, oweth me, besides the said four hundred pounds, I give to his sonne and 
my nephew, John Swale, hoping that my said brother, Robert Swale, in discharge 
of a good conscience, will pay the said three hundred pounds to my sonne Solomon, 
and one hundred pounds to my said cousin, John Swale, and to his said sonne, 
John Swale, the rest of the monies he oweth me, which I paid for him to Thomas 
Lin thai 1 and others to my great loss and damage. 

"And whereas I evidence much love to my said daughter, Anne Swale, in 
bestowing much money on her in good education, and intended her a good portion 
to have preferred her in marriage, because she several times promised to me before 
several persons of worth that she never would marry without my approbation and 
privity so long as I lived, and therefore with my owne money in the late rebellious 
times I purchased several lands at Stainley Rise and elsewhere in her name, but in 
trust for me and my heirs. I intended that if she had been married with my good 
liking and privity, then she should have had the said lands so purchased in her 
name or the value of them, or if I had died before she had been married, she 
should have had the said lands or the value of them from my heir. And whereas 
I was endeavouring to have married her to my great content. She, my said 
daughter, Anne Swale, did bestow herself in marriage without my privity, to my 
great grief and her so great impoverishment, that if I had not relieved her with 
money, she might either have begged or starved, therefore I charge my daughter 
upon my blessing that within six months next after my decease, she release and 
will convey all her colourable rights in the said Stainley Rise and other lands so 
by me purchased in her name in trust for me and my heirs as aforesaid to her said 
brother, Henry Swale, and his heirs aforesaid for ever, which if she my said 
daughter perform and do. then I charge my said sonne, Henry Swale, and his 
heirs, that they or their assigns pay unto my said daughter Anne twenty shillings 
a week to her own hands during her life, and the life of her now husband, for the 
maintenance of her children or child, and that my will and meaning is that if her 
husband and she shall go about to tell the same that then the said payment of 
twenty shillings a week shall cease, and if this her now husband shall die before 
her, thereafter his decease I charge my said sonne, Henry Swale, and his heirs that 
he and they pay to my said daughter Anne, to her own hands twenty shillings a 
week more, in all forty shillings a week, during her life, to be paid out of the said 
Stainley Rise and other my lands repurchased in her name as aforesaid, and out of 
my copyhold lands in Clynt mortgaged to Dr. Hitche and his sonne for seventeen 


handred and fifty pounds, which I leave to descend to my sonne, Henry Swale, 
and his heirs ; and I do give to the child or children which my said daughter 
Anne now hath or shall have two hundred pounds of lawful money of England, to 
be paid within seven years next after my decease, but to pay interest for the same 
to the said child or children from the time of my death for their better 
maintenance. But my will and meaning is that if my said daughter Anne or her 
husband or any in their names shall enter into my said lands called Stainley Rise, 
or other lands or sue for any my said lands so purchased in her name as aforesaid, 
that then the said several payments of twenty shillings a week and twenty 
shillings a week more as aforesaid shall cease to be paid to my said daughter Anne 
and never be paid unto her, and also my said former devise and gift of two 
hundred pounds to her child or children shall be void ; and I charge my son. 
Henry Swale, and his heirs, that if my said daughter or her husband or any other 
husband or any other on her or their behalf shall presume to enter into or sue for 
the said Stainley Rise or any other the said lands so purchased with my monies in 
my said daughter's name, but in trust for me and my heirs as aforesaid, that then 
my said sonne, Henry Swale, and his heirs, defend the same lands by suit in law 
equity to the uttermost cost, so as neither my said daughter Anne or her husband 
or any other claiming under her receive and have one foot of the said lands or the 
value of one penny in lieu thereof, for it is better for a disobedient and undutiful 
daughter Bu£fer than my heir or his heirs. 

"I do give and devise unto Sir Miles Stapleton, Knight and Bart., and to 
Thomas Gascoyne, Esquire, one hundred pounds, to be paid within two years, and 
interest for the same until it be paid, to discharge the trust reposed in them, and 
I charge my sonne Henry and his heirs that his now youngest brother be freely 
welcome to dyett and lodging at Stainley Hall, so long as he liveth and pleaseth. 
And I charge my said sonne, Henry Swale, that he spare not his purse in the 
virtuous, pious, and good education of his children, by God's blessing, and 
industry, to be a good scholar, and to put his younger sons to good callings, and 
not to give above one thousand pounds in portions to his daughters or daughter. 

*' And whereas His Sacred Magesty by reason of my great suffering for my 
constant loyalty to the Crowne, and my faithful service in Parliament, hath 
graciously pleased to give and order me two thousand pounds to be paid out of 
the monies arising by stoves and hearths. I most humbly beseech His Magesty 
that the said two thousand pounds may be paid to my said sonne, Henry Swale, 
and his heirs, towards the support of our ancient loyal family. 

" And whereas my dear wife's brother, John Pory, Esquire, doth sue me upon 
a bond of eight hundred pounds dated the twelfth of May, one thousand six 
hundred and fifty-two, for the payment of four hundred and twelve pounds, taken 
in the names of his said two daughters. Mary and Anne Porey, when young 
infants, which four hundred and twelve pounds I paid to my said brother Pory, 
and doth not owe him one penny of the same or any other monies, more than 
some old household goods which he left in my house at Paddington, which my 
then servant, Godfrey Beaumont, sold without my privity, therefore I charge my 
heir and executor that he defend the said suit and doe not pay a penny upon the 
said bond because nothing is due, but that he pay five pounds for the said goods 
which is more than they are worth. 

*'I give and devise to my cousin, Richard Swale, two shillings and sixpence a 
week and a peck of mastling during his life, and a suit of clothes yearly, and 
after his death I give to his wife two shillings a week during her life. I give to 
his two sons and daughters forty shillings apiece. I give and devise to my 
nephew, Mr. William Pinkney, and my niece. Mistress Elizabeth Piukney, sonne 


and daughter of my dear sister, Mistress Elizabeth Pinkney, ten pounds apiece. 
I give to His Royal Highness the Duke of York, the best horse or gelding I shall 
have at the time of my death. I give to my much honoured kind friend the Earl 
Marshal of England, my second best horse or gelding I shall have at the time of 
my death. 

*'A ring of gould, worth twenty shillings, I give to Sir Oodfrey Copley, 

'* A ring of gould, worth twenty shillings, I give to Charles Allenson, Esquire, 
and his wife, each a ring of gould worth twenty shillings apiece. 

** I give to my worthy brother-in-law and sister Crashorn each a ring of gould, 
worth twenty shillings apiece. 

" I give to the children of my late dear wife^s brother, Br. Bobert Porey, each 
a ring of gould worth ten shillings apiece. 

'* I give to every one of the children and grand-children of my dear deceased 
brother, Major John Swale, a ring of gould worth ten shillings apiece. 

'* I give to my much honoured cousin, Mr. John Gascoyne, who is most loving 
to my Sonne, Allured Swale, a ring of gould worth twenty shillings ; and to my 
loving and kind friend, Mr. Henry Latham, a ring of gould worth twenty 

'* And to my kind cousin, Mr. Philip Swale, and his good wife, a ring of gould 
worth twenty shillings ; and to Sir Henry Gooderick, Knight and Baronet, a ring 
of gould worth twenty shillings ; and to my loving cousin, Henry Atkinson, 
Esquire, and Mr. Peter Ingelby, each a ring of gould worth twenty shillings. I 
give to my ancient clerke and faithful friend, Mr. Vincent Tilling, a ring of gould 
worth twenty shillings, and my will is that he have meat, drink, and lodging at 
Stainley Hall during his life, and I desire him to continue his love and kindness 
to my family. 

*' I give to my now trusty servant, George Yates, ten pounds, and I charge my 
heir that he enjoy the lease of Parke Close, which I formally made him. 

** I give Mr. Richard Wright, minister, of Stainley, a ring of gould worth 
twenty shillings. 

** I give and devise to the poore near Swale Hall in West Grinton in Swaledale, 
twenty shillings a year for ever, to be distributed to them in Swale Hall on Good 
Friday yearly, to be paid out of my lands in Swaledale. I give to my ancient 
servant, Henry Beane, a ring of gould worth twenty shillings ; and to John 
Blayders a ring of gould worth twenty shillings ; and all the said rings to have 
engraven my crest, the cross, with my motto (Jesus e$te miJii Jesus). 

** And whereas my most kind uncle, Mr. John Chapman, did give unto my 
Sonne, Henry Swale, eight hundred pounds legacy, I have bestowed the same in 
the purchase of Mill Farm of Richard Hutton, Esquire, and of lands in Stainley 
bought of William Craven, for both which I gave much above two thousand 

" And I beseech Christ Jesu to bless and prosper all my children and grand- 
children, that they may live and die God's servants. 

** And I beseech sweet Jesus to bless us all with the joys of heaven, and I 
charge my sonne and heir apparent, Henry Swale, Esquire, whom I make my sole 
executor of this my last will and testament, that he pay all my just and true debts, 
and be careful in the same for that I have several debts upon bonds, the parties 
alleging that they are lost and could not find them. 

** And I charge my heir and executor that he pay all my legacies, and justly 
and faithfully perform this my last will and testament. 

"In witness whereof I have hereto set my hand and scale the third day of 


July, in the seven and twentieth year of our Sovereign Lord King Charles 11., and 
in the year of our Lord one thousand six hundred and seventy-five/* 

Solomon Swalb. 
Signed, sealed and published as the last fvill and testament of Sir Solomon 
Swale, in the presence of 

Sublet Finn, Geoboe Yates, 

RiCHABD Thomas, Robebt Matebs. 

ExamiDed by u.. JNO. Shabph. / ^lert, to Shawe. 
Geo. Enapp, ) 

Sir Solomon Swale died December 4th, 1678, aged 70 years. 

It is said to have been at Swale Hall that tea was first dmuk in 
Swaledale, but how or in what fashion it was prepared is not stated. 
Many ludicrous stories are related of the first use of tea in the dales. 
Thus at Cotherston we are given the following well-authenticat^ account 
of the first pound of tea which reached this remote little Richmondshire 
village, by the grand-daughter of the recipient, Mr. James Baine, who 
died at the age of 100 years in the early part of the century, and whose 
consumption of tea, leaves and all, would not appear to have affected 
his longevity. Mr. Raine, who was a comfortable farmer, had married 
a wife of equal respectability from London ; and, as a wedding present, 
the lady's friends sent them a pound of tea, and a new brass tea-kettle 
from London, tea being then only just introduced in Cockaigne, with a 
recipe for the use of the tea ; namely, *^ That it be boiled with cream 
and sugar/' The tea was thus duly poured into a new kettle, and a 
goodly portion of sugar and cream added, to the delight of a party of 
friends who had met to celebrate the wedding. After this process the 
contents, leaves included, were poured into a large earthenware bowl, 
and placed on the middle of a table, and the assembled guests, each 
provided with a spoon, set to work to sip this new beverage, which, on 
account of its novelty, we opine, more than its excellence, was duly 
consumed, tea-leaves and all ! 

The large and lately-restored parish church of St. Andrew at Grinton 
is, as I have stated, a very ancient foundation that formed part of the 
original endowments of Bridlington Priory, and was retiained by that 
monastery until its dissolution, temp, Henry VIII. In the east window 
is some old painted glass, depicting the figure of St. George, and a 
black-letter inscription : iWarta 13rel)Iingtone. inserted no doubt by the 
conventual proprietors. 

Of the original Norman church some traces remain in the present 
structure. The north pillar of the chancel arch is a Norman one with 
scallopped capital, while to the same period must be assigned the bowl of 
the font, and a small west window now looking from the church into the 
belfry. The tower arch has a late Norman look about it in spite of the 
adjacent stone-work showing it to have been an insertion. Small slit 


windows in the sacristy claim equal antiqaity^ being splayed within and 
without, and a few fragments of Norman moulding are built into the 
outer walls here and there. 

Largely through the unwearied exertions of the present vicar, the 
Rev. David Walker, a complete yet conservative restoration, costing 
£3000, has been effected, and the church was re-opened in Easter week, 
1896, by the Bishop of Ripon. The architect, Mr. W. Searle Hicks, of 
Newcastle-on-Tyne, has produced an extremely good instance of what a 
restoration should be. The building is a broad oblong, the width of the 
nave (59 feet) being continued by north and south chapels, formerly 
belonging to the families of Swale and Blackburn respectively. The 
length from the sanctuary to the tower is 119 feet. During the work of 
restoration several early features were brought to light. The tower arch 
was cleared of the rubble with which it had been filled up, and which 
had obliterated everything save a mere suggestion of its existence. A 
holy-water stoup in the vicinity of a newly-disclosed north doorway, a 
good-sized piscina in the south aisle and a small one in the Blackburn 
chapel were found ; also a hagioscope in the south wall. A recess in the 
sanctuary was seen by excavation to have been part of a sedilium, in use 
when the floor was lower than at present. The whole floor of the church 
has been taken up and given a foundation of concrete, in doing which 
several of the old bench ends were found. These were used as a pattern 
for the new oak seats which have replaced the high deal pews that were 
erected in 1830. 

The inside of the building was covered with plaster and many coats 
of wash, freely disfigured with mould and rot. This was examined for 
traces of fresco, and several samples of rude stencil patterning were 
bared. It was found impossible to exhibit more than fragmentary 
portions, and as they presented a very mutilated appearance it was 
resolved to remove the plaster altogether and point the stone, the effect 
of which is exceedingly good. During the operation a stone staircase 
was discovered winding through the north pier of the chancel arch. Of 
the rood loft to which it was the approach there is no trace, save cavities 
in the arch into which it was morticed. 

The tower is devoid of windows save some narrow slits ; it has been 
thought to have been used for purposes of defence. The church in 
general seems to be of the 13th century. Two of the windows are Early 
English, the rest Perpendicular, with a few Debased. The east window 
under the restoration scheme has been filled with stained glass of unusual 
beauty, the work of Mr. C. E. Eempe, and the gift of Miss Close, of 
Leeds, the subject being the Atonement. Another in the Blackburn 
chapel given by Miss Garth, of Driffield, contains St. Peter, St. Paul, 
and St. Andrew ; Mr. Milner, of London, being the artist. While a third 


by Messrs. Powell, of Leeds, was presented by Mr. Barker, of Beeth, 
and pourtrays Christ blessing the little children. These two windows 
are of excellent colour and design. There are also fragments of ancient 
glass which will repay careful examination, amongst them being a head 
of St. Catherine with a portion of her symbol, the wheel ; a pilgrim's 
scrip, once attached no doubt to St. James the Great : a head of St. Peter, 
a half-face of the Mater Dolorosa ; the arms of Gaunt, Fitz Hugh, and 
others. The Decorated porch is well moulded. It contains groovea 
simUar to those produced by the sharpening of arrow-heads to be seen in 
some of the Northumbrian churches. See page 131. 

The font, canopy, the Jacobean pulpit (with canopy of later date), 
and the chancel side screens, are all old oak, and should be noted by the 
visitor. The font is remarkable, and its handsome oaken cover, supported 
by four clustered pillars and reaching to the roof, is not unlike the 
canopy of the ancient font in Durham Cathedral. For a long time this 
interesting appendage of the font at Grinton was stored away among 
some lumber, but at a vestry meeting held April 9th, 1844, it was 
resolved to restore and re-erect it. In the church registers for July 21st, 
1844, we read : " The first child baptised after the erection and restoration 
of the oak canopy over the baptismal font, — ^Thomas Richard, son of 
Thomas Birkbeck, Feetham, yeoman and churchwarden." 

The vessels for holy communion are of silver, and include a chalice 
of quaint design, the hall-marks of which show it to have been made in 
1678 by Peter Payne ; a paten of 1720 given by Thomas Lightfoot, 
vicar, and a flagon subscribed for in 1833. There is also a larger pewter 
flagon or ewer, and an alms dish of latten metal, with an embossed 
representation of Adam and Eve and the serpent. 

The six bells are dated and lettered thus : 1. Gloria in Altissimis 
Deo. 1750 in band of scroll work ; a second band below formed of small 
bells with shield at intervals, on which G. Dalton Ebor. 2. T. Mears, 
OF London, Fecit. 1826. 3. Gloria in Altissimis Deo. 1768 in 
band of scroll work. 4. Geo. Dalton York Fovnder 1779 in band 
of scroll work. 5. Jesvs be ovr speed, 1623. 6. ^ Sancta [shield 
containing three bells] Caterena ®ra pro nobis. Rich lettering with 
Lombardic capitals, ornamented and surmounted by a crown. This bell 
had a large piece cut out of the sound bow ; it was during the restoration 
recast in careful facsimile by Taylor, of Loughborough, as were also 
Nos. 1 and 4. The parish registers are not of special interest ; they 
begin in 1640. 

The large number of monastic houses, with their territorial possessions, 
in Swaledale, naturally made a deep impress upon the lives and affections 
of the inhabitants, numbers of whom remained unchanged in their 
religious belief for many generations after the Reformation. Those 


contrary inflaencea which prevailed in Wensleydale do not appear to have 
reached the more remote and secladed parts of this valley, where cases 
of recusancy are considerably more nomeroos than in the neighbouring 
valley of the Tore. Measures were passed, not only in the reign of 
Queen Elizabeth but also in that of James I., making it penal for any 
adult to absent himself or herself from the services of the reformed 
church, yet in spite of these enactments we find, at the latter period, a 
very large number of residents in Swaledale defying the law and avowing 
themselves adherents to the ancient faith. In 1604, a large number 
were proclaimed recusapts in the parish of Orinton, (printed in Peacock's 
book) ; similarly long lists for this and other districts of Richmondshire 
are to be found among the Quarter Sessions Records for the North Riding 
right away down to the introduction of Quakerism into the Dales, when 
the teachings of Fox got a strong hold of the people. The latter sect 
likewise su£Fered a terrible persecution, and by the last Act against 
Conventicles, passed in 1670, the Quakers, we are told, were completely 
given up to the informers. '' Any five persons convicted of being present 
in one house, over and above the ordinary family, were to be fined 5s. for 
the first offence, lOs. for the second, £20 for preaching, £40 for a second 
offence, and £20 for the building in which the meeting was held, the 
whole to be levied by distress ; and if any one person could not pay his 
fine, it was to be levied on any one or more who could, the informer 
receiving one-third of the amount. Under such temptations to low 
cupidity, loss of their property and imprisonment of their persons spread 
throughout the country. Their property was at the mercy of constables 
and informera, who wrenched open their doors with sledge hammers and 
screws, and carried off everything, to the very children's food, often 
leaving not a tool to work with or a horse to plough the land. In many 
instances these fellows, where the Quakers were in prison, carried the 
keys of their houses in their pockets, went in and out as they pleased, 
declaring they would ' eat of the best and drink of the sweetest, and 
those rogues of Quakers should pay for all.* " After such a time of 
trouble, doubt, and unrest, the natural consequence of a great revolution 
affecting the consciences of the people, a spirit of toleration began to 
prevail, and although the Acts against Papacy and Jesuitry were not 
repealed by statute till 1844-5, they had long before this event fallen into 
desuetude ; individual liberty in matters of religion being now happily 
enjoyed by all. 

From Grinton we are soon at Reeth (1 mile). We go over Grinton 
Bridge, which according to the Sessions Records above referred to, was 
in October, 16S1, found to be in decay. In April, 1659, the sum of 
£40 each was allowed for the repair of Grinton and Reeth Bridges, and 
in April, 1675, a further £80 was estreated for Grinton Bridge. On the 


north side of the water we come under the scars of Fremington and pa» 
Draycott Hall, (Sir Francis C. E. Denys, Bart.), beautifully situated 
among fine trees. The mansion was formerly known as Fremington 
Hall, and the name was afterwards changed to conmiemorate Miss Anna 
Maria Draycott, who had inherited from Lady Jane Coke, sister to the 
unfortunate Duke of Wharton, the royalties of the mines in the manors 
of Helaugh and Muker. In the grounds is a statue of Saturnus seated 
upon a pedestal of lead, commemorative of these circumstances. 

The manor of Fremington anciently belonged to the Gaunts, and in 
1315 Peter de Malolacu, his nephew Roger de Eerdeston, Juliana de 
Oaunt, aunt to the latter, and Henry Fitz Hugh were returned as joint 
lords thereof. The estates subsequently passed to the Fitz Hughs, 
Covells, and Whartons, and about a century ago were purchased by 
Peter Denys, Esq., of Hans Place, Chelsea, who married in 1787 a 
daughter of the Earl of Pomfret, whose descendants are now the owners. 
The families of Nowell, Douglas, Layton, Wales, Smythe, &c., were also 
possessed of lands, &c., at Fremington at different times. In the Sessions 
Records for 1663 we have a curious note respecting one Simon Douglas, 
of Fremington, who complained of one James Arundell, yeoman, uttering 
these opprobrious words against him, and for which the said Arundell 
was indicted : '' Thou and thy father art rogues and traitors, and all is 
traitors that doth fight for the king."* This treasonable talk had 
reference to the wide-spread feeling of discontent at the failure of 
Republicanism and the enthronement of the son. of the ill-fated Charles I., 
who as some said was murdered by Cromwell. Sir Solomon Swale, M.P., 
of Swale Hall, suffered greatly for his loyalty to this king, and proposed, 
in a pointed and eloquent speech delivered in the House of Commons, 
17th May, 1660, the restoration of his son, a proposition that was passed 
amid acclamation, and he was proclaimed King of England on the 
following day. Splendid was the pageant that followed when on the 
29th of May the young king entered London through streets decorated 
with flags and banners, and carpeted with oak-boughs and flowers, while 
from many an English church-tower the bells rang joyous peals I Proud 
and prominent was Sir Solomon Swale — then in the prime of life — 
during these memorable celebrations, and the king and court shewed 
their appreciation of his courage and assistance by bestowing upon him 
the honour of a baronetcy, along with a present of £2000 granted from 
the Hearth Money. See his will, page 228. 

* How the fates change I During the Commonwealth we find the parish 
officers at Grinton charged in 1653 to provide for a woman of Fremington and her 
three small children, her husband having died in the service of the Parliament, 
and in default thereof a gentleman to see right done. —North Biding Records^ 
vol. v., page 141. 


The family of Moljnenz bad also important interests in this 
neighbourhood, and in the reign of Elizabeth were the Crown farmers of 
certain lands in Fremington, &c. In 1575 John Molyneux, Esq., 
complains of one Henry Headlam and others entering his close at Calf 
Baule and High Close and depasturing cattle therein. To which answer 
was made that the said Henry Headlam was seized of one tenement, &c., 
in Castle Fremington, and that he and those who have held the said 
tenement, &c., from time immemorial, have been accustomed for 
themselves, tenants and farmers of the same, to have common of pasture 
in the fields of Castle Fremington, and right of way to and from the 
said tenement by and over the said close called Calf Haule to the common 
of Castle Fremington, &c. ; that William, Marquis of Northampton, 
was seized of the manor of Fremington, and that upon his attainder it 
was forfeited to the Crown. 

There are traces of an ancient dyke or entrenchment crossing the valley 
at Fremington, and pursuing a direction parallel with the earthworks on 
Harkaside. This may have been an incompleted tribal boundary, as I 
have explained in describing the Scots' Dyke near Richmond, perhaps 
separating the Roman mining province from the old Brigantian territory 
on the west. The name Fremington rather suggests the Tent, fremedj 
strange, foreign ; and /r^m/Aian, to make alien, to cut off ; while ing ton 
signifies the toun or enclosure of the descendants or sons of the race of 
strangers. Mr. Maclanchlan, writing on behalf of the Duke of 
Northumberland, in 1848, thinks the object of the work to have been 
the enclosure of a large space by taking advantage of the confluence of 
the stream with a small affluent, a little above which point the 
entrenchment is finished ; the rest of the plan seems never to have been 
carried out. No tradition, he observes, exists respecting the age of the 

Since this was written I may state that Mr. 0. A. Robinson, of 
Reeth, had a Roman coin (now in the York Museum) which was picked 
out of the soil of this entrenchment where it crosses Fremington Edge^ 
and a few miles higher up the dale, at Crackpot, fragments of ancient 
armour along with several battle-axes have been discovered, but the age 
of these is uncertain. 




A long tramp — The old Buck hotel—'* Tales of a wayside inn " — The parson and 
his breeches — Meaning of Reeth — Larire tracts of wild juniper — Mount 
Calvey — Local markets and fairs — Decline of the lead trade — Court of Pye 
Powder— Selling on the Lord's Day— Public buildings at Beeth— The Free 
School — Manor of Reeth. 

||ANT years ago, after an exploratory tour from Hawes Junction 
over Stags Fell and by the "winding scars" of upper 
Swaledale, I entered the quaint old town of Reeth beneath 
the " dark and starry firmament." Welcome after that long 

day's pilgrimage seemed the cheerful lights of the houses surrounding 

the broad and silent square ! — 

At the windows wink the flickering fire-light ; 
Here and there the lamps of evening glimmer ; 

Social watch-fires 
Answering one another through the darkness 1 

as saith the poet of The Golden Milestone. The Buck inn was not then 
the ample and comfortable haven that it now is, and well do I remember 
being put into a sleeping-chamber where the wall-paper hung in ribbons 
from the dampness, and there was an unwholesome clamminess about the 
whole apartment that did not presage a healthful repose. But youth and 
tired limbs overcame any scruples, and I was soon in slumber deep, and 
up betimes in the morning. On another occasion I went to the same 
place (then much improved) and arriving somewhat late found the house 
in possession of a number of jovial tourists hailing from various parts. 
One of them was relating the irresistible amusement he had experienced 
on coming along the road when a stone-breaker who was deaf and dumb 
hit himself on the thumb with a hammer as he passed. He sympathised 
with him, but the agonised expression of the poor fellow was too much, 
he thought, at not being able to swear aloud, so he gave him a few 
coppers, which seemed to appease him. '^ How do you know that it was 
not a case of deception ?" observed one of the company. '^ Perhaps it 
was, but I do not think so." " Well, I remember once being at a 


Lancashire watering-place when a man who had gob a crowd ronnd him 
declared that he had got a cherry-coloured cat in his bag which he would 
shew when a sufficient number of pence had been collected. When he 
had gathered as much as he could he produced the cat, which, to the 
consternation of the onlookers, was an ordinary black one. One of the 
crowd was going to lay hands on the man, and upbraided him for the 
imposition. ' Nay, gentlemen,' said he, smiling serenely, * I have not 
deceived you, for you know there are black cherries as well as red ones.' " 
The story was received with a good deal of merriment, during which a 
good-humoured native entered the room, and the conversation turned 
on various local topics. By-and-bye the dalesman related the following 
amusing tale : 

** Well, now, ge*men,'* said he, as he laid down his glass ; " talkin' aboot 
parsons — it reminds me of a comical thing that happened to one a long time ago, 
at a little church not more than fifty miles from Richmond. Some o*t* deeal parsons 
war yance varra badly paid, an* it seems that this owd parson war as poor as a 
craw, an* he*d nobbat yan suit o' oloas for both Sunday an' waur day. Well, yan 
Setterda' neet, when t*owd man war undressin* his sen fo* bed, he fan that his 
breeches were getten so sadly aht o' gear that they wadn*t be decent for him to 
wear at service next mornin*. So he flang *em dahn t* stairs, an* called aht to his 
son to run with *em to t' taylior, an* tell him to be sure an' mend 'em t' same neet, 
BO as to be ready for him to put on first thing i' t' mornin*, as he hed nae other. 
An* so away he went wi* t' breeches. Well, as it war Setterda* neet, t* taylior war 
sittin' drinkin' amang his cronies at t' ale hoouse ; an' when they browt t* breeches 
to him he said, * All right ; 1*11 attend to *em. 1*11 do *em afore I gan to bed ; an* 
he shall hev *em back afore he's up i' t' mom' I ' 

"Well, what does t' taylior do, after that, but he goes an' gets blin' drucken 
amang his mates, an' away he gans home, an' reet off to bed, withaht touchin' t' 
parson's breeches at all. When t' taylior wakkened up o' t' Sunda' mornin' it war 
gettin' lateish on, an' he hed a sair heead ; an' as he lee i' bed yawn in' an' gruntin' 
an' considerin' what hed ta'en place t' neet afore, all at once he bethowt him aboot 
t' parson's breeches, an' he bounced oot o' bed. 

** ' By t' mass,' said he, ' I've forgetten t' parson's breeches ! T'owd chap has 
nowt but these to cover his sen wi' I An' he*ll never go to service aboot breeches, 
sure-ly ! That would be a bonny seet ! * 

** Wi' that t' taylior jumped upo' t' bench, an' stitched away like a two-year- 
owd, till he'd getten t'owd ]ad*8 breeches put reet, an* then he called of his lad, 
Simeon — a little careless cowt, ye knaw, as lads are afore t' world begins to 
straddle upo' their shoothers. 

** * Here, Simeon,' says he, * thoo mun run off to t' parson's wi' these breeches 
as hard as thoo can pelt ! They're all 'at he hes to put on, — an' it's getten hard 
upon sarvice time, as thoo sees 1 Away wi' tho' noo, like a good lad ; an' dunnot 
stop a minute upo' t' road, or thoo'U be too late, an' there'll be sic a scrowe as 
nivver. If thoo doesn't get theer i' time for t' parson to go in wi' his breeches on 
1 nivver dar' set my face i' t' church again ! Noo off wi' tho', an' mak' sharp I' 

** An' away t' lad went, at full scutch, wi' t' parcel under his arm, till he'd 
getten oot o' seet — an' then he began to slacken a bit, d*ye see, an' as it war a fine 
summer's mornin', t' parcel under his arm cleean slidder'd aht of his mind. He 
hedn't gone far afore he happened to bob his stick intul a bit of a hole where there 


war a wasp nest. At after that, 1*11 awarnd ye, it wasn't lana^ afore t' Hie dirul war 
wakkened up, to some f^auge I His boany dream war all over, fra that blessed 
minute ; an' he hed to begin o* stirrin* hissen I Oot they cam* — ten thoosan' 
Strang — an' at him they went, tickle-but, — buzzin' aboot his head, like little fiery 
dragons I Well, t' lad was a pluck't un,— an' he shouted, an' fowt wi' t' parcel to 
keep 'em off — till t' parcel flew loise — an' then he fowt on wi' t' parson's breeches 
till they gat full o' wasps. But while t' lad an' t' wasps were hard at it, i' t' very 
heat o* t' battle — hammer an' tongs — up strikes t' church-bells. So, wi' that t' lad 
bethowt him it war sarvice time, an* let t' feight go as it might, he must quit the 
field ; so he rolled t' breeches up in a hurry — wasps an' all — an' he took to his 
heels up t' road, as hard as he could leather at it — ^wi' t' enemy after him i* full 
wing ! There war nae grass grew under his feet till he got to the vestry door, I'll 
awarnd ye. Well, d'ye see, by this time t' owd parson hed aboot gan t' breeches 
up, an' he stood i' t* vestry buttonin' his lang coat up, to see if he could manage to 
•cover his legs wi' it as far down as t' top of his stockins, when a loud rap came to 
t' door. It war t' taylior's lad wi' t* breeches, an' as soon as t* parson opened t' 
door he shot into t' vestry like a bullet frae a gun. 

** ' Ah, Simeon, my boy,' said t' parson, * it's you, is it ? I'm glad you've come. 
So they're all right, are they ? ' 

'* * Yes, sir,' said Simeon, for he was just beginnin' to get his breath. 

" * Well, you're only just in time, my lad,' said t' parson ; ' I ought to be in the 
-church now.' 

** Simeon needed nae mair tellin' — ^for he'd just sin a wasp come in at t' lock- 
hole ; so he bowlted into t' church, an' pulled t' door to behind him. Then t' 
parson pulled his breeches on in a hurry ; an' t' minute he'd gotten 'em on, he 
darted off into t* church an* up into t' pulpit, an' he began o' readin' t' sarvice : — 
* When the wicked man turneth away from his—* He stopped suddenly, an' he 
changed colour ; an' then he gave a bit of a cough, an' began again :— * When the 

wicked man turneth ' He stopped again. * Oh, by ! What's that ? ' (It 

was a wasp.) He wiped his face with his handkerchief, and began again. * When 

the wicked man turneth away f A>m his wick Oh, God — bless us all — ^there it 

is again.' Well, t' folk stared like mad, ye know ; for they thowt t' owd man 
war gettin' wrang i' t' cockloft. However, he at it again. * When the wicked man 
turneth away from his wickedness, and doeth that which is lawful and — a-«-h 1 ' 
(Another wasp.) 

" * My friends,' said he, addressin' t' congregation, * I've been suddenly seised 

with a-a-h !' (Another wasp.) * It's no use, my friends, no mortal man can 

stand this. I must oh !' (Another wasp.) An' he flang down his book, an* 

ran back into t' vestry, ezclaimin' to t' clerk wha'd followed him, * For God's sake 
go at once to farmer Alderson's for some cart-oil, as I'm swelling like a pea.' " 

And BO bhey went on telling tales, laughing and joking, and 
recounting the adventures of the day. And surely it is good to throw 
off occasionally habits of reserve and become, like things of Nature, 
joyous and free-hearted. Laughter, says Dr. Stalker, is a gift of God. 
It is a kind of spice which the Creator has given to be taken with the 
somewhat unpalatable food of ordinary life. It is a kind of sunshine 
to enliven the landscape, which is otherwise too dull and sombre. The 
power of seeing the amusing side of things immensely lightens the load 
of life, and he who possesses the gift of invoking hearty and innocent 
mirth may be a true benefactor of his species. 


Perhaps yoa may laugh now when I mean to be serious. Who would 
think that Reeth has anything to do with the juniper-tree, under which 
the prophet Elijah, wearied with his journey through the wilderness sat 
down to rest ? May not the name be derived from the Goidelic reethe^ 
juniper, cognate with the Hebrew rotheniy and Arabic reihem* a name 
imported by the earliest race of Celtic immigrants in Swaledale ? The 
juniper has been very extensively grown in this part of Swaledale from 
time immemorial, and down to the beginning of last century there were 
many hundreds of acres of juniper and brier in the townships of Reeth, 
Helangh and Muker. The chips at one time were extensively used for 
fumigating, and during seasons of plague and sickness no house was 
without them. The berries, moreover, were used as a spice and were also 
employed medicinally. The plant grows best on open elevated limestone 
country, and consequently flourished amazingly in the thin limey soils of 
upper Swaledale. It still appears more plentiful in this part of Yorkshire 
than anywhere else. There are acres of it scattered about Harkaside, 
above Maiden Castle, and it grows upon the limestone scars in several 
places in the dale, and ascends to the Main Limestone of Gunnersidc 
Gill, Punchard's Gill, and Booze Moor. In Wensleydale it occurs but 

Whether this occuiTence of the juniper tree at Reeth be the true 
origin of the name may of course be questioned. Perhaps a more 
reasonable interpretation may be found in the Gad.-Celt., ruUh^ Greek, 
reo^ Latin, ruOy Sansc., rt, meaning a flowing stream or river. The Anglo- 
Saxon rithe also means a ford. Doubtless before Reeth Bridge was 
built, the broad and stony Arkle Beck was forded a little above its 
junction with the Swale. The name formerly was written Rythe, Rethe, 
Rithe, &c., and originated a family so called, while the Norman scribes, 
not accustomed to the Celtic and Anglo-Saxon consonantal idiom th^ 
curtail the name in Domesday to Rie. 

The old town, which is commonly spoken of as the mining capital of 
upper Swaledale, stands at an elevation of about 600 feet on the skirts 
of Mount Calvey (1599 feet), which forms the long tongue of land 
between the Swale and the Arkle. This spreading hill constitutes a fine 
background, and its bare yet picturesque summit stands out boldly by 
reason of the scars of Main Limestone that encompass it. The name is 
no doubt derived from the A.S. calOy Scand. kael^ synonymous with the 
Latin calvus^ meaning bald or bare. From the top there is a magnificent 

* Some have supposed that this is not the British type of juniper eomviunU^ 
bat a species of broom (^GenUta monotperma) which is found in the deserts of 
Arabia and the south of Palestine. 

t See Prof. Baker's North Yorkshire in Tratuaetiom of Yorkt, Nat. Union, 
part zvii., page 874. 


view in all directions, the hill, though by no means the highest, being 
one of the most central and prominent points in Richmondshire. Reeth 
itself commands a fine look-out over the country southwards. Some few 
years ago, when the lead mines were in full work and the population 
nearly double what it is now, the large square on market-days presented 
a scene of much interest and activity. The Friday market and four 
fairs annually are held by charter granted to Philip, Lord Wharton, in 
1695 (being the year that he died) for " buying and selling all, and all 
manner of cattle, goods, things, and merchandise,*' together with a 
Court of Pye Powder at the time the fairs are held. This peculiar 
institution originated as a kind of court of appeal, whereby all cases of 
commercial injury were heard and summarily determined by the lord's 
steward, to whom the tolls were paid, on the day or days of the said 
market or fairs. Before these markets were established at Reeth, the 
cattle fairs were held at Grinton, and the markets for merchandise, as 
was common in old times, took place on the Sabbath. But during the 
Commonwealth the law against Sunday trading was very strict, and I 
find in the Sessions Records in the year 1654, one Reeth yeoman got into 
trouble on this account, and was indicted before the Justices for selling 
oatmeal, pease, and tobacco on the Lord's Day.* In 1666 a Reeth man 
was summoned for allowing divers persons to remain tippling in his 
house on the Sabbath.t The fair held on St. Bartholomew's Day was 
one of the great events of the year in the dale. It was known as Reeth 
Bartle Fair, probably from its being held on the day just named. 

Formerly there were more inns than now exist. Owing to the closing 
or only partial working of the lead mines of the district, which not long 
ago, used to yield as much as 8000 tons of lead ore annually, the 
population, as I have said, has greatly declined, and the markets and 
fairs have as a consequence followed suit. Many of the miners, with 
their families, have gone abroad, and not a few to Spain, where valuable 
lead- workings have been opened out, the ore being not only very abundant 
but more easily worked, and what is important yields a greater percentage 
of silver than the Yorkshire lead. The yield of silver in fact is such, 
I am told, that it pays the whole working cost of the mines. Spanish 
lead is therefore exported at a price that has rendered competition in this 
country almost useless. Where the Swaledale mines continue to be 
worked, this is done at wages fully one third less than was paid about 
a dozen years ago. 

Reeth possesses that necessary adjunct of this striving age, a Union 

Workhouse ; a Mechanics' Institute with a library of over 1000 volumes, 

an Independent Chapel, erected in 1783, and a Wesleyan Chapel that 

. commemorates its centenary this present year. The Friends' School was 

• North Riding Records, Iv., 163 ; f ^^^^ vi., 99. 


founded and built in 1780 by Oeorge, Leonard, and John Raw, three 
brothers, for boys and girls of all denominations. I am told they made 
a curious condition, that the school was to be built near where they were 
accustomed to bathe, within sight of Marrick Abbey. The old school - 
house is still standing. There are now new handsome schools on the 
hill at the west end of the village. There are three inns, the Buck^ 
(usually full in the shooting-season) which has lately been enlarged and 
improved ; the Half Moon j Black Bull^ and several private lodging-houses 
— these constitute the resources of Reeth during the visitors' season. 
There is a post and telegraph office, and also a printer and stationer's 
shop, &c., kept by Mr. Jabez Raisbeck, who as he modestly affirms, 
** dabbles in rhyme," contributing occasionally to north country news- 
papera, and whose buoyant muse finds wing in a rocky nest high up in 
the scars of Fremington, known to the dalesfolk as ** Jabez's Cave." 

From the De Gaunts, before mentioned, the manor of Reeth, I should 
state, passed through various hands, and in the 17th century was 
purchased by Lord Wharton, who owned the adjoining manor of 
Helaugh, &c. The whole of these estates, as elsewhere explained, were 
confiscated on the attainder of Philip, Duke of Wharton, in 1728. 
Reeth subsequently came into possession of Mr. Thomas Smith, of 
Muker Hall, whose daughter and co-heiress, Frances, married Mr. Charles 
Lyell, from whom the manorial title has descended to the present owner. 
Captain Lyell. 



Through Arkbngarthdalb. 

A glorious day — An Easter walk — Aspects of Mount Calvey — Forest of Arkendale 
— Manorial history — Extensive postal district — An Arkendale postman 
becomes a millionaire — Hurst Moor — Booze — The parish church removed 
from Arkletown to Langthwaite — Description of the church — Its history — 
Scar House — Windegg cross — Local lead-mines — Roman roads — Whaw — ^A 
moorland road — Tanhill — The highest-situated public-house in Yorkshire — 
Snow in August — A night adventure. 

EULL grey clouds and a misty vapour that looked like rain 
hung over Eeeth one summer morning as a party of tourists 
hesitated about entering upon a day's exploit among the 
stubborn fells of Arkengarthdale, or Arkendale as it is 
common to curtail the name. One of the party appeared at the door of 
the inn as I stood in conversation with an elderly dalesman. ^* Shall we 
have a fine day ? " he asked, " we are thinking of a long walk.'* '^ I think 
we sail," replied the man, "ther's a lile yerd o' blue sky ower Fremington 
Scar, an' that's a good sign, — I think yo' ma ventur'." And venture 
they did, the yard of blue sky broadened, the hot ascending sun dispelled 
the mountain-mists and the day proved gloriously fine. One section 
ti*aced the dale to Eskeleth and thence took the solitary moorland road 
over to Barnard Castle ; another crossed Stainmoor by Tanhill to Brough 
and Eirkby Stephen, both of them grand upland routes abounding in open 
and expansive prospects, where wildness seems unconquerable and the 
god of silence reigns supreme. Man is truly the child of Nature, and is 
not his inmost heart in unison with her freedom and her solitude ? — 

Come, let us to the hills, where none but God 
Can overlook us, for I hate to breathe 
The breath and think the thoughts of other men 
In close and clouded cities, where the sky 
Frowns like an angry father mournfully ; — 
I love the hills, and I love loneliness. 

Yea, it is good to escape the city's din and feel the reviving influence of 
these quiet, everlasting hills ! I remember on the occasion of an Easter 
walk from Barras over Tanhill down to Reeth, there was hardly a hill 


top visible until the deep glen of Low Arkendale was descended when 
the welcome sunlight streamed from showery clouds, and a brilliant 
rainbow arched the rifted hill beyond the slopes of gloom-shadowed 
Langthwaite. The spectacle of scudding clouds, sudden gusts of rain 
with snatches of refulgent iris, and the momentary lights and shadows 
on the hills, was a wonderful revelation : here and there a lofty peak, 
patched with snow, or stretch of russet moorland broke through bands 
of white mist ; once again a gleam of sparkling sunlight from heaven's 
darkened cope fell athwart Mount Oalvey, engirdling its rocky crest as 
with a golden aureola. What thoughts this Easter time did not that 
scene evoke of the passing of that One Life — transient as those heavenly 
beams — which raised a whole world to the certainty of everlasting glory ! 
O! miracle-making mountain, ' with thy heart of stone, melting in 
tenderness at His touch ; faithless is he who heeds not thy teachings 
through the symbols sent from God I These, surely, are meaningful to 
the poet who says, — 

" Oh, what a glory doth this world put on 
For him who, with a fervent heart, goes fortk 
Under the bright and glorious sky, and looks 
On duties well performed, and days well spent ! 
For him the wind, ay, and the yellow leaves 
Shall have a voice and give him eloquent teachings ; 
He shall so hear the solemn hymn, that Death 
Has lifted up for all, that he shall go 
To his long resting-place without a tear." 

Spring-time, indeed, seems to be the best for witnessing the miraculous 
alternations and pageantry of cloud and rain in such a land as this ; yet 
how we long, bnt in vain, to preserve their wondrous colours and 
transitions in a more permanent way than that of the human memory I 
So, too, with the pen, for language fails to describe what the heart 
sometimes feels. 

The old Forest of Arkendale anciently belonged to the Lords of 
Ravensworth. It was, as I have before remarked, part of an extensive 
chase that abounded in wolves, boars, and wild deer. The family of 
Arkilgarth, who took their name from this territory bore for arms a stag, 
statant. They were some time foresters of the Earls of Richmond. In 
1314 there belonged to the manor of Arkilgarth thirty cottages which 
paid by the year 30s., and one house which paid by the year 6s. 8d., 
and one close which Robert de Applegarth held by the year 408. ; and 
agistment pasture in Helwith, Hellgate, and Eexthwayte, worth by the 
year £13 6s. 8d. ; in Langwaithe £4; in Exkerlod £3 68. 8d. ; in 
Stickthwayte £4 ; in Kiwawe £4 13s. 4d. ; and in Fagardgile* 

* Now called Faggergill, the site of one of the most productive lead-mines in 
the dale. 


£6 8r. 4d. ; and one enclosure 26b. 8d ; and Specchohaes 608. ; and 
in Hep [Hope] £6 ; and pleas and perquisites of the Court are worth 
by the year 40s. Total £55 13s. 4d.* 

Anciently Arkengarthdale was parcel of the earldom and honour of 
Richmond. After various transmissions the manor with all its members 
and appurtenances, including the mill of Arkengarthdale, and all the 
lands and tenements in the New Forest and Hope, was granted by letters 
patent, 4th Charles I. (1628), to Edward Ditchfield and others, in trust 
for the citizens of London, at the annual rent to the Crown of £53 5s. 6^d. 
In 1683 the manor, &c., was purchased by the Robinsons, who in 1675 
sold the same to Sir Thomas Wharton, Et., of Edlington. Subsequently 
the estates came to the family of Bathurst. In 1814 Oeo. Brown, Esq., 
who died in that year, was the proprietor of two third parts of the 
manors of Arkengarthdale and New Forest, foimerly the estate of 
Charles Bathurst the elder, and Charles Bathurst his son, in Arkendale 
and New Forest, Kirkby Hill alias Kirkby Ravensworth, co. York, and 
being so possessed he devised the same to certain trustees upon trust for 
the benefit of his sisters, — Jemima, the wife of the Rev. John Gilpin, 
and Klizabeth, the wife of Sir Robert Preston, Bart., and others. The 
other third of the manor was purchased in 1821 by Lady Elizabeth 
Preston, who dying without issue, bequeathed the whole of her estates to 
her nephew, George Gilpin, Esq., son of the above Rev. John Gilpin, 
who thus became sole lord of Arkendale and New Forest. In 1854 he 
added the name of Brown to his own surname, and his son, George Thos. 
Gilpin-Brown, Esq., J.P., of Sedbury Hall, is now manorial lord. 

The parish of Arkendale comprises 14,256 acres, and the population 
is .760. Forty years ago it was nearly double that number, but has 
declined for the reasons already stated. An excellently-kept turnpike 
road traverses the dale throughout its length, crossing the Roman road 
to Barnard Castle, at Eskeleth. There were formerly two toll-bars 
between Reeth and Barras (18 miles). The road in question runs 
through an extensive postal district, and in times of storm and flood the 
postman's lot is assuredly not a happy one. Reeth is the old post-town, 
but there is now a post and stamp office kept by Mr. G. Stubbs, grocer, 
at Langthwaite. Letters come by rail to Richmond ; thence by road to 
Reeth, and some of the houses within the postal delivery of Arkendale 
are 15 to 20 miles from Richmond station. The late Mr. William 
Barningham, of Pendleton, near Manchester, who died in 1882, worth 
it is said considerably over half-a-million of money, was when a lad 
letter-carrier between Reeth and Arkendale, and used to walk on an 
average 20 to 25 miles up and down dale every day, Sundays excepted. 
Afterwards he worked as a blacksmith with his brother John at 

• Yorks. Record Series, xii., 224. 


Middlesbrough, but being a man of great industry and pei-severance, 
and excellent business aptitude, he rose step by step, becoming eventually 
proprietor of extensive iron- works at Darlington and at Pendleton, where 
he died at the comparatively early age of 56. The family of Barningham 
was originally of Barningham in Richmondshire, being in the Norman 
centuries lords of that place, and formed alliances with the best local 
families. Harrison gives their lineage. 

Pursuing the road up the valley between the eastern skirts of Calvey 
on our left, and the gritstone summit of Fell End on our right, we come 
shortly to a deep and bleak gill — an offshoot from the main valley, — 
running northwards under Hurst Moor, one of the most prolific grouse 
moors in Britain, and by which we may reach the famous old lead mines 
at Hurst, once worked, as elsewhere related, by the Romans. West of 
Hnrst is a celebrated iron spring called Roan Well, a popular resort at 
one time. Clinging to the opposite hill, like a tipsy man to a lamp-post, 
is the little hamlet of Booze, which like Helaugh, anciently called Hale, 
on the other side of Calvey, rather suggests tippling propensities, but 
rest assured, whatever may be their true derivatives, there is nothing at 
all bibulous in their composition. There is no inn at Booze, nor could 
I ascertain that there ever was one. 

We now go through Arkletown and Langthwuite (inns) which are 
only a short distance apart. The old Parish Church with burial-ground 
was formerly at Arkletown, but was re-erected through the liberality of 
the late Oeorge Brown, Esq., in 1818 at Langthwaite. He also built 
the schools. The old edifice was something like the previous churches 
at Hudswell, Horsehouse in Coverdale, &c., pictured in this work, having 
a bell turret on the west gable, but no west window. Many of the stones 
of the former burial-ground of the parish were, I am told, broken up ; 
some were used for walling, &c., and the site appears now like an ordinary 
field. The church has undergone many improvements since it was built 
on the present site. A large clock, with two faces, has been put in the 
tower, and a new pulpit and choir stalls have been erected, likewise a 
beautiful font inscribed to the memory of the late respected lord of the 
manor, George Gilpin-Brown, Esq. In 1892 a two-manual organ (built 
by Messrs. Conacher, of Huddersfield) was placed in the church at a cost 
of about £250, raised by subscription, in memory of the late worthy 
pastor, the Rev. John Hayton, who was vicar of the parish for 82 years. 
The late vicar, the Rev. John Tinkler, M.A., was collated to the vicarage 
of Caunton, Newark, a living long held by Dr. Hole, the very able Dean 
of Rochester; and the present vicar, the Rev. Joseph Baker, was instituted 
in 1891. In 1895 a neat brass cross was given to the church by the Hon. 
H. B. Portman ; a pair of brass vases and flower holders, the gift of 
Mrs. Stanyforth, and a brass altar-desk was presented by Miss Johnstone. 


The church was appropriated in the time of Henry II. to Egleston 
Abbey, and continaed a possession of that house till the Dissolation. In 
1628 Sir John Lowther, Et., purchased the manor of Egleston, with 
the advowsons of the churches of Arkendale and Startford, and his 
descendant, Sir 0. H. Lowther, Bart., is now patron of the living. 

What a fine position for a country residence is Scar House, while it 
is quite romantically situated in the shelter of thick fir plantations on 
the opposite side of the valley 1 It is a shooting-lodge of O. T. Gilpin. 
Brown, Esq., and occupies the site of the old manor house. As before 
stated he is lord of Arkendale, and has also the picturesque ivy-covered 
house over the water at Eskeleth, on the Barnard Castle road. High 
above here, on the summit of Windegg, is a conspicuous oaken cross, 
bearing an inscription now almost obliterated. It was erected about the 
year 1860 by Miss Horrocks, then governess to R. M. Ja(][ues, Esq., of 
Eskeleth Hall. The point commands a wonderfully grand view. 

Hei-e by the way-side is the well-known " C. B. inn," the chief 
hostelry in the dale, so called from the initials of Charles Bathurst, Esq., 
lord of the manor, as before stated, in last century. He opened out some 
of the valuable lead-mines in the neighbourhood, and all the pigs were 
stamped with his initials. There was an old smelt-mill on the south 
side of the Arkle, replaced some 70 years ago by a new and more 
commodious place better adapted for the smelting of the ore, which was 
being obtained in increased quantities, and at that time the mining 
was carried on by one firm trading under the name of the Arkengarthdale 
and Darwent Mining Company. The annual output of the mines from 
about 1820 to 1880 was estimated at fully 2000 tons, while the total 
yield of these and all the other mines in Swaledale was some thirty years 
later probably not less than 5000 to 6000 tons of lead ore annually. It 
is not easy to account for such extraoixiinary metalliferous deposits in 
the Swaledale strata, and various theories have been propounded as to 
their origin. Mr. J. G. Goodchild, F.G.S., regards the lead-bearing 
veins as due to a deposition from thermal water rising through pre- 
existing fissures (faults, &c.) at a time when the rocks were undergoing 
their last principal upheaval in Miocene times.* 

The Romans, as I have said, worked these Arkengarthdale mines 
probably soon after the conquest of the Brigantes in the first century. 
Thej transported the lead by the old road, elsewhere described, to 
Richmond, and also by the road which skirts the north shoulder of 
Windegg to Barnard Castle, crossing the present turnpike near the (7. B, 
inn, and following the Askrigg road from here (9 m.) along the west 
flank of Calvey to Feetham, where it forded the Swale opposite Maiden 

• 8ee Trans, of Cumb. and Wtstmld, Amoe., vii. (1882), pages 107-110, and 
Genesis of Metalliferon$ Dejwtitt^ in Proc, Geol. Asioo.^ xi., No. 2, page 49. 


Castle and thence traversed the present moor-road direct to the Roman 
camp at Bainbridge. Thns a direct through route was established 
across country between the Roman garrisons at Lancaster, Bainbridge, 
Bowes, and Oreta Bridge, communicating with the great camp on 
Watling Street, near Bishop Auckland. 

Holding up the Brough road we pass on our right a curious round- 
topped eminence, not unlike a raised pie, called Eitlaw Hill, and down 
in the ravine below is the little hamlet of Whaw, — in the busy lead- 
mining days a much more populous place than now, boasting two inns- 
Fifty years ago there were nearly a dozen inns in the dale between Reeth 
and Whaw, where now there are but three. A stout three-arch bridge 
crosses the beck at Whaw, looking absurdly large for so petty a stream 
but the good folk of this sequestered village can tell many a tale of 
fearful floods at chis spot, when their bridge has been none too big for 
passage across the rush and spread of waters. From this point to within 
a mile of the lofty inn at Tanhill, it is a somewhat desolate walk over 
high moorland tracts without much feature. A white *' stoop ** here by the 
road indicates the boundary of the liberties of Arkengarthdale and 
Bowes. Then the Teesdale and Westmorland hills come in sight, and 
you can plainly descry the high up white house of Hudeshope, at 
Middleton Head, some fifteen miles distant. 

The inn at Tanhill is the highest situated public-house in Yorkshire 
(upon the Westmorland border), and is reputed to be 1620 feet above 
sea-level, or about 150 feet higher than the well-known inn on Eirkstone 
Pass. It is an old licensed house, lately belonging to Sir John Cowen, 
recently deceased. This little weather-beaten '^ travellers* rest '' stands 
in as wild and as bleak a situation as is to be found anywhere in 
England. On the occasion of ray last visit, September 28th, 1894 — a 
warm summer-like day in the valleys — I found water frozen here and 
the ground white as winter with hoar-frost ! Showers of snow not 
infrequently fall as late as June, and again in September snow has been 
known to cover the surrounding moors with more than a mere sprinkling. 
There is even one well-remembered instance, namely, the first week of 
August, 1889, when Tanhill, Water Crag and Shunnor Fell were capped 
with snow. The house, in spite of its yard-thick walls, suffers most 
from the high winds and beating rains which sometimes rage with 
tremendous fury about these desolate moorlands. The old weathered 
signboard on the house front bears the name of the keeper of the inn, 
John Pounder, who from his long experience in this exposed and 
stormy solitude must no doubt feel the appositeness of his patronym 
to the situation ! His good wife told me several tales of misadventure 
to travellers in this wild region. Not long ago a couple of horsemeo 
were lost in tracing the road over Bowes Moor to Eirkby Stephen, and 


being dark when they got to Barras, turned up the Tanhill road and did 
not discover their mistake until some miles had been travelled. They 
were obliged to lead their horses, the night being wet and stormy, and 
believing they had got on to some mountain road that led to nowhere in 
particular, and not being sure of retaining the same way back, they 
determined to keep forward, and at last reached the inn on the misty 
heights of Tanhill, of course wet to the skin. What a blessed haven 
this must have been on snch a wild, dark night ! The men declared 
they were strangers to the district, and might never see the place again, 
yet they would always remember the kindness of the innkeepers in 
finding them and their horses a lodging, and for drying their clothes. 
As I sat by the comfortable hearth-nook enjoying a plate of good bread 
and butter and some excellent Appleby ale, the woman told me that all 
the milk they got had to be carried some miles ap from the valley, so that 
they were often without, and her bread (which I had been praising) was 
baked with water. From such bread and ale (if you are not an Adam's 
wine man) you can make a capital repast — this being the oldest form 
of pablic I'efreshment mentioned in English history — and if I might 
suggest a rhyme for the inn-sign it would be this : 

At this high place within a vault, 

There is such liquor fixed. 
TnuMI say that water, hops, and malt 

Were never better mixed. 

The inn appears to have been originally built for the convenience of 
miners, as a seam of good coal has long been worked on Tanhill, 
which at one time supplied the domestic wants of the greater part of 
Arkengarthdale and Swaledale. At present there are only about a dozen 
men employed. 

The inn stands at the summit of the waters-parting of the Tees and 
Swale, and from it there is a most extensive prospect, reaching from the 
Lake Mountains westward to the Tees mouth on the east, and on a clear 
night the fires of the coke ovens about Bishop Auckland are distinctly 
seen. From Water Crag (2176 feet) about a mile to the south, I am 
told that the whole breadth of England is traversed by the eye, even 
from the Irish Sea to the German Ocean ! This may be questioned. 
Bnt from Shnnnor Fell, a higher point more west, the North Sea is 
certainly discernible, as was evident upon the eve of Her Majesty's 
Jnbilee, when the light on Roseberry Topping, with the sea beyond, was 
very plain. Tanhill, I suspect, was anciently a sort of beacon, and the 
Celtic word tan (fire) rather favours the idea. But whether these tan or 
tein fires were beacon fires, or whether they referred to the Beltane fires 
kindled by the ancient Celts on May Day, cannot be positively stated.* 

• See Blackie*B Place Names , page 188 ; Joyce*8 IrUh Names of Placet, vol.i., 
page 187 ; Chambers's Eneyelapadia (Beltane). 



Up the Swale from Reeth. 

Dr. Johnson *' deviating " — Harkaside— Family of Harker — An ancient mil) — 
Maiden Castle — Crackpot— Whitaside and the Close family — Poet Close — 
Over the moors — John Wesley " bogged " — Oxnop and George Kirton — 
Hunting at the age of 80— A remarkable gathering — Gunnerside Bridge— 
Local scenery and wild-flowers. 

|R0M our deviation ap Arkengarthdale we will now return 
to the Swale. When Dr. Johnson was travelling in the 
Highlands of Scotland, he came up to a peasant who was 
employed in paring turf to cover his hut, or what is called 
*' casting divots." ** Pray, sir," exclaimed the lexicographer, " we 
approach to enquire if you can indicate the way to the most contiguous 
village, for we are dreadfully fatigued, having deviated from our road 
these two hours ? " " Tired wi' divotin' twa hoors I " replied the rustic, 
with scornful surprise. '' I*ve bin divotin* sin* four o'clock this mornin*, 
au maun dae it as lang as I can see, tired or nae." Whether the learned 
doctor ultimately made himself intelligible to the bucolic laddie, history 
does not recount, but had he " deviated " up Arkengarthdale by the route 
described in the last chapter, he would have had to do so a good many 
hours, for after passing Langthwaite (locally Lanquit) and Arkletown, 
there is no semblance of a village till Barras is reached, 18 miles from 

From Reeth or Grinton we may take the south bank of the romantic 
river-course, passing the before-mentioned Swale Hall on our left, to the 
fell-side hamlet of Harkaside. This out-of-the-way spot I have little 
doubt has given name to the ancient family of Harker, which is known 
to have been seated in this locality from time immemorial ; in fact from 
the Norse conquest of Swaledale. Although we find Thorir Akrakarl 
in the Scandinavian Sagas, yet this Akr does not of itself supply 
sufficient evidence for a personal name. It was in all probability that 
on the Norse settlement, the land here was converted to tillage for the 
growth of oats, &c. Oatmeal was then the staple food-product, and we 
have knowledge of an ancient water-mill which stood at the bottom of 


Crackpot Gill, near the Melbecks Vicarage, before the new one was boilt^ 
which is called Haverdale Mill. Oats are known to have been rather 
extensively cultivated in this district in former times, where the land ia 
now all in pasture, and the Scand. name Melbecks implies the existence 
of a meal-mill here from the old Viking days, or for a period of fully 
one thousand years. Harkaside, as I have said, would then be arable 
land, as signifies the Scand. word akr, A.S. (Ecer^ modern Oerman acker ^ 
acre, or open-field, in contradistinction to tun^ the home-field or enclosure. 
The family living beside such a field would take the name of Akr, Akar, 
Arkar, Harker, as the name would be variously pronounced and ultimately 
assume, and which in all probability gave name to the famous Akar Fitz 
Bardolph, the founder of Jervaux Abbey in the 12th century, who was 
descended from Gospatric, Lord of Ravensworth in the time of King 
Canute. Nothing has been more common in old Scandinavian custom 
than the appropriation of the place-name or land-characteristic to the 
family abiding there. Thus Akr-side, or as it sometimes appears, 
Harca-side, Harkerside, &c., would be well applied to a large, open, 
cultivated sloping area, such as here exists, and the personal name would 

Among the earliest records of the family in Swaledale is one of 21st 
Henry VI. (1448), when Constantia Bygod claimed damages against 
Wm. Aldehousson [Alderson] of the parish of Beeth, yeoman, Richard 
Harca, Robert Harca, and other yeomen of the said parish, for cutting 
down her trees, value £40. The family was formerly very numerous in 
this parish. In 1662 the following paid hearth-tax in Reeth : Symon 
Harker, Edmond Harker, William Harkey, John Harkey, George Harker, 
Edmond Harkey, Addam Harkey ; and in 1674 we find that in Muker 
there were no fewer than twelve families of the name, all separate 
householders, who severally paid for their hearths. Some members of 
this old pre-Norman family settled in Wensleydale, Nidderdale, and 
adjoining districts, and one of its most influential representatives, 
William Harker, Esq., J.P., ex-M.P. for the Ripon Division, now of 
Harefield, Pateley Bridge, is descended from a family living at Reeth at 
the beginning of this century. 

On Harkaside are good evidences of a somewhat remarkable earthwork 
or camp, which I have already referred to in connection with the 
entrenchments on Fremington Edge. The camp or site is known as 
Maiden Castle, a name which some derive from the Celtic mat-dun, 
meaning great ridge, but I think it probable that the various ancient 
camps known by this name are of Celt.-Roman appellation, found in the 
Celt, meadhoriy Latin medius, middle, for wherever these Maiden Castles 
occur we find them midumy between two or more important stations ; 
thus Maiden Castle on Stainmoor stands midway between the stations of 


Bowes and Broagh, and Maiden Castle on Harkaside stands midway 
from the camps at Bainbridge and Greta Bridge.* The encampment at 
Harkaside appears from its position, outline, and arrangements to have 
been originally British, and afterwards occnpied as a guard and resting- 
station by the Soman troops, but not as a permanent camp. The 
defences consist of an irregularly-circular rampart, following the natural 
contour of the ground,. and enclosed by deep and wide ditches, the whole 
apace covering about 140 yards by 90 yards. The encampment is 
approached on the east by an avenue of stones about 100 yards long, 
and on the north side of this passage-way near the west end is a large 
mound like a tumulus. Further south, some 300 yards, is another 
mound, of oblong form, and west of this are the remains of several cairns. 
Most of them appear to have been tampered with, but I can obtain no 
satisfactory account of these examinations. On the surrounding moors 
several flint arrow-heads have been found. 

Beyond Harkaside are the moorland hamlets of Whitaside and 
Crackpot, the latter place being so named from a curious and extensive 
cavern, which is entered by a narrow crevice, or crack in the limestone at 
the top of Crackpot Gill. The term '' pot *' is not always applied to a 
deep hole, or ground-chasm, but sometimes, as in the case of Goyden Pot, 
to a longitudinal fissure opening horizontally into the rock.f Some have 
supposed this name to be a corruption of Crag-port, and in a single deed 
of 3rd and 4th Philip and Mary, the name appears Crake Cote. John 
Wycliffe, of Langthorne, a descendant of Wycliffe, the Reformer, had 
lands in Crackpot in the time of Henry YIII. 

Whitaside gave name to an ancient family holding lands here in the 
Norman centuries. The yeoman family of Close were also seated here 
at an early period, but have got dispersed. A few of the name however 
still reside in the neighbourhood. The late eccentric poet, John Close, 
author of The Satirist ; The Wise Man of Stainmoor^ &c., was of this 
family. He was born at Gunnerside, on the estate of the late Lord 
Wensleydale, in 1816, but removed to Bnterber Cottage, near Kirkby 
Stephen, where his first volume was written,, and published in his 16th 
year. His improvised '* study *' consisted of a small apartment some six 
feet square, immediately under his bedroom, and from which he could 
descend by means of a trap-door. Often in the " silent watches," he 
tells us, when all the family were asleep, he would secretly let himself 
down into this modest sanctum ; then with pen in hand, weave those 
" immortal fancies" which were to earn for him an undying name ! But 
his father, who was a well-to-do butcher, and a practical man of business, 
had marked objections to this nocturnal behaviour of the ardent aspirant 

* See also lioteM and Queries, toI. ii. (1880), tkudpott, Middleham. 

t See the author's Tramps and Drives in tJie Craven Highlands^ page 128. 


to poetic honours. Tet in spite of it the yoath pursaed his bent, 
and became a prolific writer, both in prose and verse, although he 
fared badly at the hands of his many critics. It was, however, as 
much the peculiar strength and originality of the man's character as the 
frequent absurdity of his rhymes that provoked the many criticisms and 
taunts of merciless scribes, many of whom adding insulc to injury made 
a mock-hero of the unfortunate poet. He has certainly been much 
ridiculed, but let us give the man his due for at least honest efforts. If 
he has amused many, his foibles have been understood, and he can have 
offended none. It may not be generally known that he wrote an elegy 
on the death of the Prince Imperial, which so far impressed the kindly 
instincts of Her Imperial Majesty, the Empress Eugenie, that she 
ordered a solatium of 500 francs to be sent to the astonished author, 
accompanied by a note. The poet died February 14th, 1891, and was 
interred in Kirkby Stephen cemetery.* In St. Mary's Church, Hornsea, 
is a memorial to John Close, Esq., of Beeth, who died 15th June, 1799, 
aged 29. 

From Crackpot there is a fine walk of about five miles over the moor 
to Askrigg. Above Askrigg Town Head the road joins another one 
crossing the same wild moorland tract by High and Low Oxnop to 
Muker (5 m.). The grassy lane is known as the Streets, indicative of 
the Roman way before-mentioned, which crosses the moor, part of the 
old Wensleydale Forest, to Feetham and Arkengarthdale. The Roman 
camp at Bainbridge is directly opposite, on the south side of the river. 
It was while riding over this high moor up Whitaside from Low Row in 
Swaledale, in the spring of 1774, that John Wesley got his horse bogged, 
as recorded in his journals. John Willis was his guide. Wesley wrote : 

'* We croBsed over the enormous mountain into lovely Wensleydale, the largest 
by far of al) the dales, as well as the most beautiful. As I rode through the town 
of Redmire the people stood staring on every side, as if we had been a couipaoy 
of monsters. I preached in the street, and they soon ran together, young and old, 
from every quarter." 

Wesley seems to have been a man possessed not only of a bold and 
fearless spirit, but of a refined temperament, and his appreciation of the 
beauties of Wensleydale is noteworthy at a time when the charms of 
scenery found but scant recognition. 

Oxnop formed part of the Swaledale possessions of Rievaulx Abbey, 
which belonged the township of Muker, and particulars of its several 
lands and tenements will be found in the chartulary of that monastery .f 
At Oxnop lived Greorge Kirton or Eearton, who for the greater part of 
his long life was a most ardent and devoted sportsman. He is said to 

* For a long sketch of the poet's life and career see the Penrith Observer for 
February 24th, 1891. f Published by the Surtees Society. 


have followed the hounds till the age of 80, and ^' went in a chair to the 
unkennelling of the hounds until 100, and made very free with the bottle 
till 110." He died July 15th, 1764, aged 124.» Concerning local 
longevity I may mention that on the occasion of the funeral of the late 
Mr. James Sunter, who died in 1891, and who had been steward and 
gamekeeper for Messrs. Tomlin ever since the erection of Thimswood, 
seven very old dalespeople had tea with Mr. Edmund Ooates, of the 
QueerCs Arms, Low Row. The combined ages of these seven old 
dalesfolk totalled over 520 years. There was formerly a small Roman 
Catholic Chapel to the west of Gunnerside, built and chiefly supported 
by the Duchess of Leeds — ^the Duke of Leeds being then Crown ranger 
of Swaledale. 

Gunnerside Bridge. 

The beck which rises above High Oxnop farm flows into the Swale 
near Gunnerside Bridge. The trout in this stream are described by Day 
as distinct, under the name of Salmofario Swaleiialensis, The river and 
beck at this junction in times of flood cause sad havoc, and Gunnerside 
Bridge has been swept away several times within the present century. 
The present one was erected some five years ago, in place of the bridge 
that succumbed to a flood in Januaiy, 1890. It had been set up and 
completed only in the preceding October ; the previous one, constructed 
at a cost of £107, having stood for 46 years. The re-building of this 

* Vide Annual Register^ where he is stated to be of Oxnop Hall, near Leyburn, 


bridge has involved an expenditure of many hundreds of pounds, but 
this represents only a fraction of the various losses sustained by floods 
throughout the dale. On several occasions the dale has been a complete 
wreck from end to end, presenting almost the appearance of an Alpine 
valley desolated by glacier and avalanche. During one of the floods a 
few years ago it was estimated that in many places in the dale fully 1000 
tons of debris covered each acre of land, while scarcely a bridge and 
wall for 20 miles were left standing. 

The river is exceptionally rapid, falling from an altitude of 1050 feet 
at Eeld (one of the highest-situated villages in Yorkshire), to about 300 
feet at Richmond, a distance of 22 miles, which is equal to a fall of 
about 34 feet per mile. The rapidity of the river is supposed by some 
to explain a probability of its name being derived from the A.S. swcUew, 
to flow swiftly. I have expressed my opinion on this matter in another 

As you descend the Oxnop pass the mountains and scars around the 
Swale head appear finely grouped. The romantic solitudes of the two 
Stonesdales, with Eisden Fell and Water Orag, in Autumn purple with 
heather-bloom, sweeping boldly downwards towai*d8 the ravine in which 
lies hidden the Alpine village of Keld, make a wondrously striking 
picture. Then opposite us the woody recesses of Gunnerside Gill appear 
on the further side of the Swale, with the far-reaching valley of 
Arkendale climbing to the wastes of Stainmoor. Wild flowers and 
mosses begem grey rock, crystal stream, and grassy marshes, as we 
saunter slowly along ; with here a bit of round-leaved sundew, and it& 
consort the equally cui'ious fly-feasting butterwort, and there blossoming 
patches of the little white-flowering sandwort (Arenaria trinervii) and 
the stately-stemmed' star of Parnassus. Coming to the Orake Trees 
farm we spy the cairn on the lofty summit of Lovely Seat, while away 
bounding the western horizon are Great Shunnor Fell, Lady's Pillar, 
High Seat, and other peaks of the nigged Pennines. The grey, old 
village of Muker, with its plain little church, stands under the precipitous 
scars of Eisdon, while the shining river flows swiftly below. 

A field-path from Crake Trees leads to Muker, but nothing is to be 
gained by deviating from the main road unless the latter be flooded. 



Under thb Scars around Helaugh. 

Antiquity of Helaugh — A decayed town — Meaning of the name— A hunting-seat 
of John of Gaunt — Thouiaa Chaucer, son of the poet, in Swaledale— A grand 
wolf-hunting country— The last wolves in England and Scotland — Origin and 
objects of horn-blowing in the Forests of Swaledale and Wensleydale — The 
lure in Norway— Manor of Helaugh— The family of Wharton— Incident in 
Swaledale— Fate of the Duke of Wharton— Helaugh near Tadcaster— Melbecks 
and the Rev. R. V. Taylor — Mr. Edmund Knowles, C.C. — The church- 
Discovery of Skeletons — Traditions about trees— Feetham, a Roman ford — 
Low Row and the Parke family — Smarber Hall and Lord Wharton — A curious 
bequest — Local Nonconformity— Anecdotes of Wesley— Gunnerside-Burial 
in woollen — I velett Beck and waterfalls— Crackpot Hall and Swinnergill 
Kirk — Grand scenery. 

I HE romantic highway from Reeth to Maker (9 miles) runs 
through the rninoaB and conspicaouBly-fallen, old-world 
village of Helaugh. A native wiseacre once informed the 
writer that this place was built by the Romans, but judging 
from its present neglected and tumble-down condition it might have 
been built by the ancient Britons. Like most of the villages and 
hamlets in this part of the valley, the place, which is fondly believed by 
many to have been as important and populous as Richmond, has suffered 
contraction from the abandonment of the lead-mines, and there are now 
little more than a score inhabited houses. It had once, I am told, as 
many as half-a-dozen inns, a circumstance of more than bibulous 
interest, as the fact might be supposed to have given the place its ancient 
name of '* Ale," or '^ Hale,'* as it appears in Domesday, 

Some strange guesses have been made as to the origin of this name, 
which is variously spelled Hele, Helay, Helah, Helagh, &c. There can 
however be no doubt that it is so called from its having been the site of 
a stone hall or capital mansion in pre-Norman times, the word being 
cognate with the A.S. heal^ Tent, hal^ alh^ meaning a palace or mansion- 
house. The great John of Gaunt is even said to have had a ^' castle " 
here, and to have made it his occasional residence. It was probably a 
hunting-seat of the Oaunts during the time they held the important 
manor of Helaugh, which was one of the best wolf and boar tracts in 
the north. 


The GauntB, as I have recorded in my observations on the history of 
Orinton, held these estates from the time of King Stephen, until the 
descent through co-heiresses in the reign of Henry III. Sir John 
Burghersh, who was descended from the Oaonts by marriage of Nichola, 
daughter of Gilbert de Gaunt (ob. 1274), with Peter de Malolacn, sold 
the manor of Helaugh and half the manor of Swaledale to Sir Robert 
de Plesyngton in 1381. A daughter and co-heir of this Sir John 
Burghersh married Thomas Chaucer, son of the famous Geoffrey Chancer, 
one of the fathers of English poetry, and author of the CanUrhwry Tales. 
Thomas Chaucer held the ofiSce of Constable of the Castle and Forest of 
Enaresborough under his kinsman, the celebrated John of Gaunt.* It 
is quite possible that Chaucer was the guest of John of Gaunt at his 
secure and well-stored lodge at Helaugh, and that after hunting the 
adjoining Forests many a feast and revel took place here. John of 
Gaunt is usually accredited with having slain the last wild wolf in 
Yorkshire at a spot near Leeds, but it is more than probable that these 
fleet and cunning marauders had taken refuge, and continued to harbour 
in the more secluded ravines of upper Swaledale and the North Riding 
centuries after this time.f In fact we have written records that as late 
as A.D. 1488 the district known as Wolf-huntland so far south as 
Nottinghamshire, was held by the winding of a horn and the chasing 
and frightening of the wolves in the Forest of Sherwood ; while Taylor, 
the water-poet, writing of a visit to the Forest of Braemar, in 1618, 
tells us that during the space of twelve days he saw *' neither house nor 
corn-field, or habitation for any creature but deer, wild horses, wolves^ 
and such like creatures." We gather from Pennant, too, that wolves 
lingered in Scotland till last century, and there is a tradition that the 
last wild wolf was actually killed in Glenurchard, in Morayshire, by a 
vassal of the Laird of Macintosh in 1748, leaving little room to doubt 
that odd animals harboured in the wilder nooks of the North of England 
till a much later period than is usually supposed. 

In 1252 Gilbert de Gaunt had an action entered against him at the 
suit of the Abbot of Rievaulx, who claimed all the customs of hunting 
in the Forest of Swaledale by virtue of the gifts of the ancestors of the 
said Gaunt, and he pleaded the right also to keep hounds and horn in the 
said Forest, and to have all necessaries for the maintenance, &c., of 
houses, lodges, folds, and fences. The Abbot's mention of the prerogative 
of his men to blow the horn calls up an old Forest custom which is still 
retained at Bainbridge in Wensleydale. The practice is a very ancient 
one and can be traced back to Roman times, when each company or 
troop on march carried a horn to raise an alarm in case of danger, and 

♦ See the author's Xidderdale and the Garden of the Aidd, page 263, kc, 
t See the author's Airedale^ pages 43 and 68. 


this was responded to by the guards or watchers at certain known 
stations. When the Forest Laws were introduced by the Saxons their 
foresters were charged to blow the horn for a similar purpose, also that no 
man might commit a felony, and on such taking place every able-bodied 
person within sound of the horn was to come to the assistance of the 
forester and help in the identification and detention of the offender. 
The punishment for convictions of this description was of a very severe 
though uncertain character, but in 1016 when Canute introduced a new 
and dearly-defined code of forest laws matters were much less rigorous, 
at any rate almost every man knew what to expect for his trespasses. 
Four verderers or chief officei*s were appointed for each forest, and they 
were also the responsible judges of the offenders therein. They held 
three times a year a Court of Swanimote, and punished all the lesser 
offenders. If a gentleman chased a deer which took flight and ran away 
he should pay 10s. to the king, but if he was not a gentleman he should 
be doubly fined ; if a slave he should be ^' flayed.'* If a gentleman 
molested one of the verderei*s, he forfeited his liberty and his effects, but 
if a villain or slave should do so his right hand was to be cut off, and 
for a second offence he should lose his life. 

In Norman times the Forest Laws underwent further changes, but 
the practice of horn-blowing was still kept up, with various prescribed 
additions. One was to sound the horn when certain animals were 
removed to other than their known quarters, as when swine were turned 
into a forest in the Autumn. In fact every thing not of secret import, 
or touching the public interest in relation to the forests, seems to have 
been proclaimed by the blowing of a horn. By the charter of 
Henry III. any great man, such as an Archbishop, Earl, or Baron, going 
to the king by his command, and passing through a forest, should be at 
liberty to kill one or two of the king's deer "by the view of the forester," 
but if the forester was not present he should blow a horn so that he seem 
not to steal, and so likewise on returning. It was not the licensed 
foresters and watchers only who were horn-blowers, but pilgrims and 
travellers in the wilder parts of the country also carried these useful 
instruments, which they sounded when they had lost their way or were 
in any danger. A certain kind of horn or trumpet was also blown in 
early times every evening in some upland districts to call the cattle home 
out of reach of the wolves. The use of dogs was substituted in later 
times for this method. But in some of the mountainous districts on the 
Continent it is still kept up, and at the peculiar dull, loud blast the 
conscious cattle raise their heads and then slowly make their way to 
their accustomed folds. Visitors to the remoter parts of Norway may 
have noticed a peculiar kind of wooden trumpet, called a lure, which is 
often as much as five feet long, slung across the shoulders of native 


travellers who are strange to the district they are going through. When 
any danger arises, or they have lost their way, they blow the Ittrey and the 
signal, if not too violently interrupted by echoes, can be heard, and the 
direction whence it proceeds found out at a considerable distance. 
Formerly at Gam Houses, in the Forest of Langstrothdale, a gun was 
fired as a signal to belated travellers, this being perhaps a more effective 
method of proclaiming the whereabouts of a watch or hospice than the 
older one of horn and trumpet-blowing, as in the Forests of Swaledale 
and Wensleydale.* 

In an inquisition post-mortem of Gilbert de Gaunt, the last male 
descendant of the hereditary heirs of Swaledale, taken 2nd Edward I. 
(1278-4), he is stated to have held the manors of Helage in Swaledale, 
of the grant of John of Brittany, Earl of Richmond, by the service of 
one pair of gilt spurs. There was t^en in demesne there a '^capital 
messuage ** worth 4s. This was the old hall or mansion-house in the 
Hall Garth, afterwards re-built or enlarged into a handsome fortress-like 
hunting-lodge in the time of John of Gaunt. There were also 100 acres 
of arable land worth 100s., a meadow in a place called Fytun (Feetham) 
and Skalefoot containing 27^ acres at 8s. per acre, beside other meadows, 
tenements, and a water-milLf The heirs of the said Gilbert were 
Peter de Malolacu, Roger de Eerdeston, and Julia de Gaunt, who with 
Hugh fil Henry were declared to be joint lords of Helaugh in Swaledale, 
9th Edward II. (1315). The division of the proprietary led to the 
transfer of the estates through various owners. In 17th Henry YI. (1438) 
we find the family of Bigod claiming against Sir John Salvage, Et.^ in 
a plea touching the division of the lands of the inheritance of Sir Peter 
de Malolacu, Et., and in 5th Henry YIII. (1518) Sir Francis Bigod was 
found to be seized of the manors of Birdsaulland, Helagh, in Swaledale, 
with 60 messuages, 40 cottages, 1000 acres of arable land, 1000 acres of 
meadow, 1000 acres of pasture, 40 acres of wood, one water-mill, one 
dove-house, and £8 rents, with the appurtenances in Birdsaull, Helagh, 
Raynsett, Sateron, Hyvelett, Gonersett, Wyntryngarthes, Brokholebsnk, 
Pottyng, Bladys, Folehouse, Westonesdale, Wildose, Fenton, Bereton, 
Harkaside, Helagh Park, and Bethe, in Swaledale. This Sir Francis 
Bigod, who was descended from the great Earls of Norfolk, hereditary 
Earls Marshal of England, was attainted for participation in the 

* Although the horn of ordinary pattern was the most commonly adopted 
method of ready signalling there were other and sometimes curious means 
employed. The gun and bell were occasionally used. The *' camp-horn ** of King 
Alfred at Uffingdon, in the Vale of the White Horse, is said to have consisted of 
a large stone, about a yard in diameter, with a peculiarly formed hole through it. 
A lusty blower in this stone could make himself heard a great way off. 

t Torki. Ree. Ser.y vol. xii., page 187. 


rebellion known as the " Pilgrimage of Grace/' wherefore his life and 
all his lands were forfeited, 28th Henry YIIT. He had some years 
previously bestowed the oflSoe of bow-bearer in the lordship of Swaledale 
upon Sir William Conyers, of Marske, and his son William Conyers, 
with an annuity of 40s. for their lives. 

Subsequently the estates were sold and transmitted to different 
persons. In 1635, Philip, Lord Wharton, gave 90s. for license to 
concord with Sir Thomas Yachell, Kt., and Tanfield Yachell, Esq., 
touching divers lands, &c., and the free chace and half the manors of 
Swaledale and Helagh, with the appurtenances in Helagh and Grinton. 
In 1719 the following fine was entered : 

Philip, Duke of Wharton, and Martha, his wife, Bu£fered a recovery to the use 
of Thomas Gibson, Esq., and John Jacob, gentleman, at the suit of William Lee, 
gentleman, of the manors of Swaledale, Helaugh-in-Swaledale, Reeth and Mewcre 
with the appurtenances, and 250 messuages, 4 water-mills, 3 dove houses, 1000 acres 
of land, 600 acres of meadow, 1000 acres of pasture, 50 acres of wood, 6000 acres 
of juniper and brier, 3000 acres of moor, £12 rents, free ehacef, free warren, tolls 
of fairs and markets and view of frankpledge with the appurtenances in Swaledale 
ah, Swadale oIm, Swandale, Grinton, Helaugh alt. Helaw aU Heley, Helaugh Park, 
Beeth als, Rithe, Harkeyside, West Grinton, Roucroft, Ravenseate, Westondale, 
Bast Stonesdale, Ivelett, Gonersett, Pottinge, Wintringarth, Bland s ah. Blades, 
Brokesbanke, Heley a/«. Healey, Fithane ali, Fytham, Burwanes, Kirton, Crackpott, 
Sateron, Cullerton, Howsen, Tawdhipp, Petringlawe, Rawkipling, Mewacre, 
Weddale, Aiscarth, Grisdale, Garsdale, Uldale, Sedbergh, and Wensladale. 

This important transfer took place almost immediately after 
Lord Wharton was elevated to the rank of Duke of Wharton by 
Oeorge I. The Whartons were large landowners in Swaledale, and were 
intimately associated with afPairs of State. Thomas, fifth Lord Wharton, 
was created in 1702 Viscount Winchendon and Earl of Wharton, and 
in 1715 Marquis of Malmesbury and Wharton, and in the same year 
he was created Baron Trim, Earl of Rathfarnham and Marquis of 
Oatherlough, in Ireland. He was also Lord Lieutenant of Ireland. He 
was a nobleman excessively generous in his mode of living, and spent 
enormous sums in electioneering, and this reckless extravagance was 
inherited by his son (the last heir male) Philip, 2nd Marquis, created 
Duke of Wliarton in 1718. Vigorous in manner and speech and liberal 
in dispensing his bounty, this young noble added not a little to the early 
successes of the ^^Toung Pretender,*' whose cause he espoused with 
the utmost energy and zest. His luckless career, however, was cut 
short by his attainder in 1728, after which he retired to the Monastery 
of St. Bernard, near Tarragona, where he died in 1731, at the early age 
of 32, leaving no issue. His lands in Swaledale, by a decree in Chancery, 
had some time previous to his death been vested in trustees for the 
payments of his debts. Among the Lonsdale Manuscripts at Lowther 


Castle, is a carious epistle relating how the perfervid jonng Dnke and 
Sir Christopher Mnsgrave visited Swaledale during this Rebellion, and 
after liberally treating the folk of the country side, made them all go 
down on their knees and drink the Pretender*s health by the name of 
James the Third of England and Eighth of Scotland ! The letter in 
question is written by Viscount Lonsdale to his cousin, James Lowther, 
and is dated Sept. 26th, 1728. It says that the Duke and Sir Christopher 
even pulled off their coats and waistcoats and with much gusto and 
enthusiasm drank to the Pretender's health and success in his contest for 
the throne. The news of this quickly spread, and "the wives and 
daughters of the people who were in company came immediately crying 
to fetch their husbands away. Some of the men being frightened, 
themselves went to make information of this to a Justice of the Peace, 
but the Justice, in all probability not caring to meddle with so great a 
man, told the people who came to him, that if they would bring the 
offenders before him, he would do as the law directed, but he would 
grant no warrant." 

The writer adds, " Whether any part of this story be true or no, I 
can't pretend to say, but as I am told it was brought into this country 
by several people of that neighbourhood, and many of them were snch 
as said they were present themselves."* 

I have spoken of the extraordinary career and attainder of this able 
but eccentric nobleman, whom the poet Pope chastises as 

The scorn and wonder of our days, 

Whose ruling passion was the lust of praise. 

And again, 

Poor Wharton ! nipped in folly's broadest bloom, 
Who praises now ? His chaplain on his tomb. 

From being a prominent and pronounced Whig he suddenly became a 
rabid Tory and Jacobite, and then an apostate to his king and country 
by accepting a commission in the Spanish' expedition against Gibraltar. 
Seldom indeed has a man so prominent in the world's affairs been mixed 
up with such opposite causes and experienced such extremes of fortune, 
and strange it is, too, that one who was once so staunch an advocate of 
Presbyterianism, and the son of, as well as himself, a liberal help-meet 
to Nonconformists, should ultimately join the Roman Catholics and die 
in a Spanish convent ! 

To pay his debts his estates were conveyed to trustees, and in 1723 
a decree in Chancery was obtained to carry into effect the settlement of 
his affairs. 

• Historical MSS, CovimUiion^ Thirteenth Report, Appendix Part vii. (1893), 
page 123. 


Helaugh in Swaledale, which formed part of the Whartons* extensive 
possessions of the dissolved monastery of Rievaalx, must not be 
confounded, as Plantagenet Harrison has done, with the Helaugh near 
Tadcaster, where was a Priory of Canons regular, and a church (anciently 
dedicated to St. Helen), in which is a fine tomb with efiigies, bearing a 
long inscription to the first Lord Wharton, and his two wives. He died 
both wealthy and honoured in 1568, having served in the wars against 
the Scots ; having been also Governor of the Castle of Carlisle, and 

Mr. Edmund A. Knowlbs, C.C. 

afterwards in the reign of Philip and Mary, Warden of the Middle 
Marches towards Scotland, and Governor of Berwick. He purchased in 
1545 the valuable manor of Eirkby Stephen, in Westmorland, and was 
also possessed of other and extensive properties in Westmorland, 
Cumberland, and in Yorkshire. 

From Helaugh we cross the Barney Beck bridge and enter the 
extensive and romantic township of Melbecks (10,106 acres), which was 


formed in 1841 into a separate eoclesiastical parish, oat of the mother 
parish of Grinton. The Rev. R. V. Taylor, B.A., F.R.HiBt.S., the well- 
known author and antiquary, whose innumerable and varied contributions 
to several Yorkshire newspapers under the signature of " R. V. T." will 
be familiar to many of my readers, has presided over the spiritual affairs 
of this parish for the past 16 years. Mrs. Taylor, his wife, was sister 
to the late respected Mr. Edmund A. Enowles, the first elected County 
Oouncillor for Swaledale and Arkengarthdale, who died at Gorton Lodge, 
Low Row, December 80th, 1895. He was prominent in many ways, 
being Chairman of the Board of Guardians, President of the Swaledale 
Athletic Club from its commencement, and also Master of the Swaledale 
Hounds. No man was better known or more greatly respected in the 
dale, and by his death the district loses one of its most honoured friends. 
His position as County Councillor has been filled by Mr. Francis Garth. 

The township of Melbecks (there is no village of that name*) includes 
the hamlets of Barf End, Blaides, Eearton, Low Row, Feetham, Lodge 
Green, Gunnerside, Wintring Garths, and Smarber. The church (Holy 
Trinity) is at Feetham, and is a neat and convenient edifice (restored in 
1886) in the later English style. It was consecrated by Bishop Longley 
in 1841. The parsonage house is about 1^ miles west of the church and 
was erected in 1846 at a cost of about £900. In 1847, whilst digging 
a mound in a field at the rear of the house, for gravel for the garden 
walks of the parsonage, the remains of seven human bodies were 
discovered, which are supposed to have belonged to some of the followers 
of the Pretender in 1745. It is traditionally believed that a skirmish 
took place in this neighbourhood between the Scots and the dalesmen .t 

There is also a tradition in the family of Birkbeck of Melbecks, that 
after the defeat of Prince Charles in 1745, two brothers, James and 
George Birkbeck, fearing to return to their native parish of Orton, in 
Westmorland, wandered into Swaledale. James purchased lands in the 
townships of Melbecks and Grinton ; and following a clannish custom 
planted two Scotch firs at Feetham, as a mark that if any of the 
adherents of the Stuarts should be in need, they would be secretly and 
hospitably entertained there. At that time there were no roads into the 
Dale, except for pack-horses and sheep-tracks. The Broderick family, 
living at Spring End, have a somewhat similar tradition that an ancestor 

* The ancient ScandinaTian possession of Swaledale, bo often adverted to in 
this work, is further abundantly testified by the pure Norse and Danish names of 
the places about here. Thus there is a Melbecks in Luneburg, on the border of 
Denmark ; a Meldal in Norway ; a Raven and Rogan in Sweden and Norway ; 
Gunnerstorp in Gothland ; Hala or Ala in Gothland ; Arkel in West Prussia, near 
to the Netherlands ; and a Harkendal and river Harkan in Sweden, Ac. There is 
by the way, an Arkendale in Enaresborough parish, which was given to the Abbey 
of Lilleshuil, in co. Salop, by Hillaria Trussebut, temp, Henry II. Set Dugdale's 
Mon, Ang,, vol. i., page 146. t ^'^^ Melheeke Parochial Mag,, No. 9 (1878). 

of theirs planted Datch elms adjoining his hoase to shew his adherence 
to the Orange family.* 

At Feetham there appears to have been a foot-ford for the Roman 
infantry passing between the camps at Bainbridge, Harkaside, and Greta 
Bridge, as previously explained. The camp at Harkaside opposite 
Feetham would be a useful and comparatively safe place of lodgment 
when the river was swollen, for the Roman militia who lay in the north, 
knowing that most danger came from that quarter, almost invariably 
constructed their camps on the south bank of a river or other natural 
defence. The Roman ford or '^ stepping-stones *' was doubtless used for 
many centuries down to and beyond Norman times ; the name, I suspect, 
indicates as much, being probably explained by the A.S.f6t (foot) -pl.fet, 
vrhencefithe^ a person on foot, cognate with the Latin peditatus^ a foot- 
soldier, infantry (vide Cicero, ^c), wherefore this was the ham^ home or 
hamlet reached hj persons onfooty or it may mean the hamlet at the hilU 

Adjoining Feetham is Low Row, which is notable as the home for 
many generations of the Parke family. The eminent lawyer, Sir James 
Parke, Et., who in 1856 was created Baron Wensleydale of Wensleydale, 
CO. York, was the son of Thomas Parke, a Liverpool merchant, and 
grandson of John Parke, of Low Row, who died in 1796. Much bitter 
feeling arose at the time against the elevation of this self-made plebeian 
to the Upper House, but a law-lord of good repute being wanted to hear 
appeals, and there being no one in point of knowledge and experience 
better able to grasp the intricacies of such cases, it was decided to make 
Judge Parke a peer for life. Subsequently this action was modified on 
account of the opposition to the creation of life peerages, and the worthy 
lawyer was made Baron Wensleydale of Walton, with remainder to his 
heirs male. The title, however, became extinct at his death in 1868. 

It was at Low Row, too, that Philip, Lord Wharton (see above) 
founded and endowed a Presbyterian Chapel some two centuries ago. It 
was attached to Smarber Hall, and was replaced by a Congregational 
Chapel erected on another site in 1809, and rebuilt in 187 4.t Lord 
Wharton occupied Smarber Hall as a shooting-lodge at one period of his 
life, and when he left it transformed part of the house into a chapel. That 
was during the time when no Dissenting chapel was allowed to be built 
within five miles of a church, and Smarber Hall was the exact distance. 
By his will, dated July 12th, 1692, Lord Wharton appointed that 1050 
Bibles, with the Psalms bound up therewith, should be distributed yearly, 
and of these 100 (or the largest number) were apportioned to Richmond 
and Swaledale. They were to be distributed as follows : 

* Vide MelheeJu Parochial Magazine ^ No. 10. 
f See Miairs Congregationaliem in TorJuhire, 


In DoDcaster, 20 ; Pontefract, SO ; Leeds, 80 ; Halifax, 40 ; Bradford, 40 
Wakefield. SO ; Sheffield, 50 ; Northallerton, 10 ; Bedale, 10 ; Boroughbridge, lO 
Thirsk, 10 ; Tadcaster, 10 ; Wetherby, 10 ; Knaresborough. 10 ; Richmond, 40 
and Swaledale, 60, now 70, yis., Orinton, 20 ; Muker, 20 ; Low Bow Chapel, 15 
and MelbeckB, 15. 

It will be seen that Nonconformity obtained a firm footing in this 
part of Swaledale thus early. The Quakers, who were a strong body in 
the dales, had a meeting-house here also of early foundation, which was 
afterwards taken by the Independents. Methodism also sprang into 
great favour in Swaledale soon after the first visits of John Wesley in 
1761. It was at Blades, on the hill above Low Row, where Methodism 
first took root in the dale, and Mr. William Spensley, the head of a local 
family of that name, fitted up a cottage here adjoining his house for 
divine worship. Preaching was also held at Pick Hill under a thorn- 
bush which formerly Btbod at the east end of the row of houses bearing 
that name, and most likely in some house at Low Bow, which cannot 
now be ascertained. Wesley, when he visited Swaledale, always made 
his home at the house of the Spensleys up at Blades, and some traditionary 
stories abouc him are still current amongst the inhabitants. Mr. Ward 
tells us that on one occasion he arrived at Low Row an hour before the time 
of service, and being weary with his journey he requested the old lady 
of the house to procure him a pillow and a sheet ; with these he threw 
himself upon the table, telling her that she might go about her usual 
work as it would not disturb him, and he would take care to wake up at 
the proper time. Upon this hard bed he slept soundly for an hour, and 
woke up to the minute to meet his congregation when it arrived. The 
great preacher, it was said, could command sleep at any moment he 
desired. He has been known to catch a few moments slumber in the 
pulpit during the interval of singing a hymn. 

The late Mr. Joseph Smith, of Reeth, possessed an old table upon 
which Wesley used always to stand when he preached out of doors at 
Blades. This table belonged to a little girl, one of the Spensley family, 
which she had purchased out of the proceeds of her knitting. Something 
being required to stand upon when preaching was held in the open air, 
she asked as a favour that her table might be used for that purpose. 
The famous preacher was evidently pleased with the girl's disposition, 
and always on subsequent visits asked, with a little playful fuss, for his 
young friend's table. This old relic of these bygone days has been 
preserved with great interest by the descendants of the family, and on 
the occasion of the opening of the chapel in 1841 when a tea-meeting 
was held, several of the ministers present, including Dr. Newton and 
Dr. Beaumont, drank tea from off this old table. The chapel it may be 
added, was erected under the architectural management of the Rev. John 
Rawson, who died at Reeth in 1850, aged 78. He was a man of varied 


parts and served the ministry for over 40 years, He possessed a good 
knowledge of building and architecture, and the chapels at Barnard 
Castle, Low Bow, Helaugh, Muker, Whaw, and other places were built 
nnder his supervision. 

At Gunnerside the followers of Wesley were particularly numerous, 
and they can claim one of the oldest Wesleyan chapels in the dales. The 
first sermon ever preached by a Methodist in Gunnerside was, says 
Mr. Ward, delivered out of doors on the west side of the beck, near to 
the house now (1865) occupied by Mr. Michael Calvert, but who the 
preacher was is not known. The first house in which divine service was 
conducted was Deborah Waggott's, now in the occupation of Mr. Leonard 
Metcalfe, and afterwards in the one in which Mr. John Brunskill 
now resides. The chapel was erected in 1789, when the whole of 
Richmondshire was included in the Thirak Circuit. In 1795 when the 
Middleham Circuit was formed there were about 100 members belonging 
to this denomination at Gunnerside, about 60 at Low Bow, and 88 at 
Reeth. As the total numerical strength of the Circuit was at that time 
only 578, all told, these three contiguous villages in Swaledale, it is 
noteworthy, contributed one-third of the entire number. Beeth built 
a chapel of its own in 1796, and in 1806 both it and Bichmond were 
made the heads of separate Circuits. The members' roll was then for 
Middleham 408, and for Bichmond and Beeth 548. Swaledale long 
continued one of the principal strongholds of Wesleyanism in the noith, 
as it was of Dissent |;enerally, owing no doubt to the early influence of 
the Whartons. 

The beck at Gunnerside,* which comes down a deep and romantic 
gorge on the north side of the highway, rises some three or four miles 
up in the hills between Bogan's Seat (2204 feet) and Water Crag (2186 
feet). In it are the Old Gang lead-mines, one of the oldest and most 
profitable lead-workings in the country. An ancient tenement called 
the Level House, near this mine, may be mentioned in connection with 
a curious and now obsolete statute, whereby all deceased persons were 
required by law to be buried in woollen instead of in linen as was 
formerly the custom. This arose through an abnormal depression in the 
woollen industries in England during the Commonwealth and subsequent 
Stuart period, when an Act was passed in order to improve the trade. 
One of its clauses stipulated that no person was to be buried in linen as 
heretofore, but in home-made woollen cloth, the penalty for infringement 
being £5, half of which was .to be given to the informer and the other 
half to the poor of the parish where the person died. The following 
copy of a warrant from the High Sheriff supplies an interesting instance 

* The personal name Gunnar occurs in the Sagas, and has its origin in the 
Koria ^Mfiar, meaning battle or combat, thus ffunnr'/ani signifies war-flag. 


of a local transgressor, and from the date, 1692, it is probably the last 
recorded case of the kind in England* : 

To THE Overseers of the Parish of Grinton. 

Whereas information has been given to me by Ralph Elliot, of Healey, that 
Ann Barker, daughter of Adam Barker, of Level House, near the Old Gang, was 
buried in Linnen contrary to the statute in that case provided. Those are therefore 
to will and require you to levey upon the goodes and chatties of the said Adam 
Barker the sum of Five Pounds, half whereof is to be distributed amongst the poor 
of the said parish whare she the said Ann Barker dyed, and the other half to be 
given to Ralph Elliot, the informer. Faill not at your perill. 

Given under my hand and seal the second day of May, in the year of our 
Lord God, 1 692. John HuTTOH.f 

The tourist inclined for a rough scamper may trace the Gunnerside 
Gill upwards to Blakethwaite, and after climbing Water Crag for the 
sake of the magnificent prospect, cross the moorlands a couple of miles 
into the Arkengarthdale road for Tanhill and Brough, or back to Keld. 

From Gunnerside to Muker it is only about an hour^s walk, leaving 
the rustic hamlet of Ivelet about a mile to the west of Gunnerside. A 
picturesque bridge spans the Ivelet Beck, and in the ravine above, 
darkened with foliage and in places thick with a luxuriant undergrowth, 
there are some capital waterfalls. The highest comes over a limestone 
escarpment and in three quickly-succeeding leaps falls with a loud and 
sullen roar about 100 feet against an immense fragment of rock detached 
at some time from the impending cliffs. In a time of flood the secluded 
scene from the contracted and densely-wooded dlaracter of the glen, 
looks doubly grand and impressive. 

The scenery in this locality is especially inviting to the hardy and 
industrious pedestrian who is not afraid of the Yankee's " mole-hill," 
that is of an occasional rise of a thousand feet or so. A romantic road 
skirts the western flanks of Gunnerside Fell through East Stonesdale for 
Tanhill, passing Crackpot Hall, perched like a falcon's nest on the 
mountain face, and on the site of an old deer-keeper*s lodge belonging 
to the Lords Wharton. About a half-mile north-east of the house there 
is a cavern called Swinnergill Eirk, which is accessible for about 70 
yards. Here the early Nonconformists used to assemble for worship so 
long as the reign of religious intolerance lasted, when everyone was 
obliged under penalty to attend the services of the Established Church. 
There are some remarkable dislocations in the strata in the vicinity of 
the cave. Down below is the gorge of Eisdon, where the sublime water 
and crag scenery here, amongst the finest in the county, may be 
conveniently visited, and accommodation, if needed, found at the old 
Cat Hole inn at Keld. 

♦ S^e North Riding Records, vi., 18. 

t The original warrant is in poasession of John Barker, Esq., of Reeth. 




MUKKR FAl'Mi .■ 

Exl^^ui a»id character of Aink'^r paii-' 
^I iker — A ru>ton)..r\ n- i\»'t- "■•■ ^>0*^ses^i^Tl-« of !{:»•. »« A. Air * 
et::u)lo^lst.s — Suftle-uile '• i ^' vit\ 
Ti.vjtitt- — Wild-tlo'Vfi >•- )' I ► •"• . ! • 
I. 'vely seat — Gro ;t SI..." ■ r ! . - • » ,. . 

|llE s^jnil vi]]<.pM)f 

township and chai . 
Trfe! ?i^ilj Ciriuton, aii.l co:u]m 

wbnr»j<)f njiwan's of :ll 
f lis. The j'l'vsi^'al (.-I'o^rijihy anJ i. 
!:.., r-^f ; i ^^^ cor:.siKi.'n«.' f)riiici}^Jiy of f.' 
h'i\.. hiH'ii so f»"j!]!hi"<ji!y hiiu:;>i:it« -1 nva 
and more receiitlj ]?y Uic ii'l"'."r> o^ the <^' 
anfi ?.'K>iOLy of t:i.' district »r«- MOiic the Kn- 
• iiinii ius<J Hrid ;:roal cxrCit o' '. • n'u^uiri^a-' 
v.-.»»'i; arntive fr-od'»:n fn.m n(\»-' ...:., njJiny im- 
a:»j st'll to he foini*!. Ifj ia sfat'Mi i'. tohlj; bn\l^ : 
raV'.'Ji, and ]H;rti;rint^.-fah.'M bruMi n^ c .oarnonly oi: 
.- -ars and inoo'*s.t A Hainliuo — a vc\ it nirity— • 

:^,\'n](t early year (l.sOr.j juid h'ls h(*»- d and hi'- . 

^*)\'r'A attempts liave h -en luu le to accIiiiK. -'[h pi.iu. 

K; ''land, hut have failed. Tii!? is proi'nhl\ : • ''♦•(•. 

sT'ciinen liaving \h' ■}] st^m in t]\i« Ih'itilsh Isl.ii- • * 

♦!:-.-*• >'".a1eihde n)^OI•^, Wliit.nhtr says, down i • 
Mi. John Ifutton, of Marske, renu-nfoi red th»'»»! 
V. • !g a^:--r this. 

-I'ton. formerly an inh-.litaut «»f .'!•. ••' 



MuKBB Parish and its Wild Scenery. 

Extent and character of Muker parish — Geology and natural history — A flamingo 
shot — Remote hamlets and transport of corpses — Muker church — Meaning of 
Muker — A customary market— School and Institute — Proposed railway — 
Local possessions of Rievaulx Abbey — Old local families — A suggestion to 
ethnologists — Swaledale longevity — Nancy Barker — Manor of Muker — 
Thwaite — Wild-flowers— -Buttertabs Pass— Heaviest rainfall in Yorkshire — 
Lovely seat — Great Shunnor Fell — Antiquity of Angram — Romantic scenery. 

I HE small village of Maker is the capital of a very extensive 
township and chapelry carved out of the old parish of 
Grinton, and comprises an area of about 84,000 acres, 
whereof upwards of 27,000 are wild, unpeopled moors and 
fells. The physical geography and geology of the district are extremely 
interesting, consisting principally of the varied Yoredale measures, which 
have been so graphically elucidated and classified by Professor Phillips, 
and more recently by the oflScers of the Geological Survey.* The botany 
and zoology of the district are none the less attractive, as owing to the 
remoteness and great extent of the uncultivated lands, and consequent 
comparative freedom from molestation, many rare and primitive types 
are still to be found. It is stated that among birds the buzzard, merlin, 
raven, and peregrine-falcon breed not uncommonly on the surrounding 
scars and moors-t A flamingo — a very great rarity — was shot on the 
Swale early this year (1896) and has been cured and stuffed at Bedale. 
Several attempts have been made to acclimatise this remarkable bird in 
England, but have failed. This is probably the first record of a wild 
specimen having been seen in the British Islands. Native deer ranged 
these Swaledale moors, Whitaker says, down to 1725, but the late 
Mr. John Button, of Marske, remembered them running wild many 
years after this. 

* See also Woodward's Geology of England and Wale$, 2nd edit. (1887). 

t See Yorks. Naturaliett' Union Circular, August 4th, 1890. A book on Birds, 
and Birdi Negts and Eggt, published by Cassell & Co. in 1890, is by Mr. R. 
Kearton, formerly an inhabitant of Muker. 


The township includes the hamlets of Thwaite, Angram, Eeld, East 
and West Stonesdale^ Birkdale, Ivelet, Satron, Oxnop, Kavenseat, dbc., 
situated on both sides of the Swale. Some of the places and habitations 
lie in the most remote spots, rarely visited save now and again by passing 
tourists, or packmen on their accustomed rounds. Before the consecration 
of the present burial-ground at Muker, interments within the parish had 
to be made at Grinton, and the corpses were to carry sometimes far out 
from the hills, and frequently through deep snow. This transport was 
usually made on the stalwart shoulders of the dalesmen, who bore their 
melancholy freight sometimes a distance of ten or twelve miles. The 
body was encased not in an ordinary stout wooden coffin, but in a light 
wicker basket of rude construction. 

The old chapel-of-«ase at Muker was erected in 1580, but before then 
there was a chapel at Eeld, which was demolished or closed after a riot, 
never fully explained, but it seems to have arisen from some disputes 
among the inhabitants upon the dissolution of the monasteries (see page 
277). The church (St. Mary) was restored a few years ago, and is a 
neat stone building having a west tower containing two bells. Daring 
the restoration some interesting frescoes were uncovered. Within the 
interior there are also several memorials to local families. The Rev. Jas. 
Cook, who was curate of St. Augustine's Church, Bradford, from 1887 
to 1892, is the present vicar. A new vicarage is about to be erected at 
an estimated cost of £1500, the foundation-stone of which was formally 
laid by the Bishop of Ripon on October 8rd, 1895. 

Muker, or as it is written in ancient charters, Mewacre, Muacre, 
Meucre, and the like, is probably a derivative of the Scand. and A.S. 
muWy muwe, a mow or hay-cock, and acer, a field, cognate with the Latin 
ager^ a field, plain, or open country. The name has come down to us as 
an apparent indication of the time when prior to the Norman Conquest 
there was a piece of profitable meadow-land here belonging to the theu 
owners. It was not all wild waste before the Normans came, as we know 
there had been some clearances made for cultivation at the same time, or 
perhaps a little later, higher up the dale at the next village of Thwaite, 
that name being plainly indicative in the language of the old Vikings 
of such having taken place. Grinton, as already explained, has the 
same meaning, betokening some amount of cultivation in this part of 
Swaledale in pre-Conquest days. 

It has been several times stated that a market was established at 
Muker by charter, but this is not correct. It is an old but merely a 
customary market, and there is besides an annual fair held on the 
Wednesday before Old Christmas Day. There is a small Grammar 
School, founded by Anthony Metcalfe in 1678, and endowed with 16 
acres of land at Whitaside, producing about £20 a year. The premises 


were rebuilt in 1849, and enlarged in 1870, as a public Elementary 
School for boys and girls, of whom not more than ten are to be taught 
gratuitously. The Literary Institute, erected in 1867, chiefly through 
the munificence of the late Mr. Wm. Tarn, of London, contains a 
saitable reading-room and library of about 600 volumes. There are 
several inns, shops, and a post-office. The nearest railway-station is at 
Richmond, 19 miles distant, but there is a talk of extending the line or 
constructing a light railway up the dale, which will help to relieve the 
depressed state of agriculture and the lead-mines of the district, with 

MuKBR Beck. 

little apparent intrusion upon or spoliation, we are told, of the scenic 
attractions of the dale. 

Anciently the manor or lordship of Muker belonged to Rievaulx 
Abbey, and particulars of the various farms and names of the tenants, i&c, 
will be found in the chartulary of the monastery, a very valuable 
volume that has been published by the Surtees Society, and which I have 
often referred to. The compotus for Muker is of the time of Henry VIL 
The families of Alderson, Metcalfe, Coates, Barker, &c,, mentioned in 
these early accounts are still represented in the dale, and as regards the 
Aldersons there is scarcely a village that does not contain one or more 
families of this ancient Swaledale stock. Harrison traces their pedigree 


down to the reign of Henry II., and mentions a William Alderson of 
Orinton, who bad lands at Gilling in the time of Richard II. This 
should be a capital exploiting ground for the Ethnological Society, as 
most of these upper Swaledale families are the lineal and uncorniplied 
descendants of the original Norse settlers, some of whom formed 
alliances with the families of Breton immigrants who accompanied 
Earl Alan on his accession to Richmondshire after the Norman Conquest, 
and who, as civilisation advanced and cultivation extended, settled in 
the higher reaches of the dale, where many of them have continned 
marrying and intermarrying with the native stock and blood for the 
past 800 years. This has not proved so deleterions to longevity or the 
general health as one might have expected, owing no doubt to the free, 
simple, and open-air habits of the people. It is needless to cite past 
instances of longevity, which might be enumerated by the score. Of 
recent local examples I may mention Widow Betty Webster, whose 
maiden name was Alderson, lately living at Aysgarth. She was bom at 
Thwaite,and well remembers walking to Muker Church to be christened 
at the age of three. She died at the age of 106. The next oldest living 
native of Swaledale is, I believe, Widow Nancy Harker, who was bom 
at Muker, October 6th, 1800. She was a daughter of Henry Spensley, 
of Muker, and was married at Muker to James Harker, of Whitaside, 
in 1882. She has had a family of four sons and a daughter, and has 
been a widow since 1850, and now resides at Ripon. She is a hale and 
hearty body (of medium height and fair complexion), who rises eveiy 
morning at seven o^clock, makes her own breakfast, and busies herself 
about the house until dinner time, when in the aftemoon she sits and 
sews. Her portrait is annexed.* Both the Harkers and Spensleys are 
old Swaledale families, of whom we have records down to the earliest 
periods of recorded history. Hrafen, Rogan, Gunnar, and Harca, were 
Danes, whose names are all represented in the topography of the district. 
In 1544, after the possessions of Rievaulx Abbey had been confiscated 
to the Crown, the manor of Muker, and other properties in Yorkshire, 
were granted to Thomas, first Lord Wharton. In 1618, Philip, thud 
Lord Wharton, and Sir Thomas Wharton, his son, for the consideration 
of £1654 18s. 4d., granted and executed a deed wherein they ^^ ratified, 
confirmed, established, and assured to the tenants their estates which 
they and their predecessors from time immemorial had held, used, and 
enjoyed without violence, disturbance, or intenruption of the said Lord 

* Since the above was written 1 regret to have to record the death of thli 
wonderful old body, who had never a day's iUnesB up to within two days of her 
death. She was busily baking her bread, when probably from over exertion she 
became indisposed, and taking to her bed, died suddenly the following day, 
March 2nd, 1896, in the 96th year of her age. The portrait was taken only a few 
months before her death. 


Wharton, Sir Thomas Wharton, or any former lord or lords." In 1628 
the same Lord Wharton, (his son. Sir Thomas, being then dead) suffered 
a recovery of the manors of Helaugh and Muker to the use of 
Sir Timothy Button, Kt., and Talbot Bowes, at the suit of Roger Gower 
and Thomas Wharton. All right and interest in these manors were, as 
before stated, forfeited by the Whartons through the attainder of 
Philip, Duke of Wharton, the sixth Lord Wharton, in 1728. Captain 

Mbs. Nanct Harker. 

Francis H. Lyell is the present lord of the manors of Helaugh and 
Muker, but the mineral royalties of the same are the property of 
Sir Francis C. E. Denys, Bart., of Draycott Hall, and Sir Stewkley F. 
Draycott Shuckburgh, Bart., of Shuckburgh, Warwickshire. 

A mile above Muker we come to the retired hamlet of Thwaite 
(Scand. thveit^ a clearing) where is a small inn. Close to the road, in 
Cliff Gill, is a pretty waterfall called Scar House Foss. It falls over an 
edge of limestone in a rocky amphitheatre picturesquely overhung with 
elm and fruiting ash. The stream descends from the famous Buttertubs 


Pass, and upon its banks some good plants may be noted, inclading 
Rubus saxataliSy Oalium sylvestre^ Hieracium anglicumy Crymnostmium 
rupestre, Amphoridium Mougeotii^ Bartramia CEJderi, &c. From tbe foot 
of the pass it is 6 miles to Hawes, 18 miles to Eirkbj Stephen, 10 miles 
to Reeth, and 2 miles to Eeld. The road to Hawes goes over the 
Bnttertubs Pass (1682 feet), and on the Swale side tbe contracted defile 
and stupendous character of the hill scenery is very striking ; the fells 
gashed and gored with rills, descending in some places with almost wall- 
like precipitousness. Hereabouts we have the heaviest recorded rainfall 
in Yorkshire, which averages about 70 inches a year, while the mean 
annual rainfall for the whole of the North Riding is not more than 
28 inches. Sometimes there are long droughts, especially in the Spring 
months, when weeks together of uninterrupted sunshine may be enjoyed 
— the tourist's carnival, — but such droughts are noc an unmitigated 
blessing to the farmer, inasmuch as they are very injurious to the thin 
sweet verdure of the hills, upon which large numbers of sheep are 
browsed. They reckon, however, on an average, upon rain falling on 
200 days in the year and snow on about 80 days. I shall have something 
to say about the enormous snowdrifts when describing the other side of 
the pass. 

This romantic pass of the Bnttertubs is a very old highway connecting 
Wensleydale with Swaledale, and was doubtless a foot-track in pre- 
Norman days, becoming a cart-road upon the introduction of wheeled 
traffic many centuries afterwards. It runs between Great Shunnor Fell 
(2851 feet) and Lovely Seat (2218 feet) ; the true name of the latter 
seems to be Luina Seat or Lunasit, as locally pronounced, consequently 
Lonely Seat would be a nearer approximation to the original name, whose 
meaning I cannot determine except by the Scand. /wn, A.S. hluin^ a 
sound, alarum, or trumpet-call, but wherefore the necessity of this is not 
very obvious. The hill-summit is some two miles distant from Thwaite,* 
and I am not sure that any trumpet-signal could be heard well enough 
to act as a warning to the old Norse possessors of Thwaite, even if such 
a warning were required. The situation, however, was undoubtedly a 
dangerous one, being at the junction of three dale-outlets, and especially 
so must it have been in winter time, when swarms of wolves, coming 
from all quarters, lurked about the farm-steads, so that the lot of the 
Thwaite farmer cannot at that era have been a particularly enviable one. 

The " Bnttertubs " (so called from their churn-like form) are at the 
very top of the pass, and of peculiar interest, as they do not lie in 
hollows or depressions, but are on a level with the flat ground-surface, 
sunk in the Main Limestone down to where the insoluble Main Chert 

* There is a shooting-house on the eastern edge of Lovely Seat, at about 1800 
feet elevation, which is probably the highest erected tenement in Yorkshire. 


comes in. As the rock wastes, the places where the water enters the 
limestone recede radially from the starting-point, so that the limestone 
is eaten away to every point of the compass, provided the water enters 
on all sides. Of course the limestone ceases to be fretted away along any 
direction where the water ceases to flow.* Some of the holes are pretty 
deep, one being nearly 100 feet, and can only be descended by ropes. 

From the summit of the pass, overlooking Wensleydale, there is one 
of the grandest panoramic views of the peaks of the Pennine chain and 
surrounding moors to be had in this pai*t of England. The flat top of 
Ingleborough (2878 feet) stands out boldly against the blue ether on a 
clear day at a distance of fifteen miles. 


Prom Thwaite the huge summit of Great Shunnor Fell (2351 feet) 
can be ascended in about 1^ hours. The best way is to follow the 
Thwaite Beck upwards past Moorclose farm and out by the beck head on 
to the moor, and thence strike westwards for the cairn. The view is 
more extended than from the Buttertubs Pass, as it embraces the 
Swaledale mountains and the romantic valley in the direction of 
Richmond ; northwards along the rugged Pennines as far as Cross Fell, 

• The NaturalUt, 1891, page 207. 



and westwards over the grand mountainous region of the Lakes to 
Skiddaw and Helvellyn. On the night of Her Majesty's Jubilee, 
June 21st, 1887, a large bonfire was lighted on the top of Shunnor 
Fell, and there was a goodly gathering of dalesfolk who came up from 
Angram to witness the marvellous aritty of fires visible from the top. 
The night, as will be remembered, was exceptionally calm and bright. 

Pursuing the road up the valley in the direction of Eeld we pass 
through the village of Angram, which is over 900 feet above sea-level. 
A quiet spot it is, the good folk passing their lives rustically and 
peacefully, excluded from the business and excitement of the world. An 
old man here once told the writer that he had never been any further 
than Eendal in his life, and had never seen the sea except from Shunnor 
Fell top. Happy he I But ho, ho I when the railway-whistle rouses 
the echoes on Shunnor Fell — as there are prophets who say it will — then 
there will be much travelling, heart-burning, and unrest ; away it will 
be with you Aldersons, Metcalfes, Fawcetts, Peacocks, Harkers, Rukins, 
and the rest, you will stride out into the wild, wide world of " civilisation," 
and Swaledale, the home of your ancestors for a thousand years, will 
know you not I Keld may then have its Town Hall and municipal 
ofiices, suits of broadcloth and gloved hands be the outer marks of 
" progress," and the brave and strong dalesmen who have stood up for 
England's glory in the hour of her threatened humiliation sink into a race 
of ink-pads ! May this never come to pass I Bring the railway if you will, 
but never may its din and screech frighten the old birds from their nests ! 

Angram was the seat of a settled comiliunity a good thousand years 
back, perhaps when Eeld was not, for its very name tells us as much. 
In explaining the meaning of Muker a few pages back I referred to the 
pre-Conquest cultivation of that part of the dale, and here, too, from 
the Scand. and Teut. aiiger (a meadow or field) and ham (home or 
hamlet), we may infer that there was some farming going on at Angram 
long before the broad swords of the Conqueror secured the land for 
themselves. Here aft<er that it went to waste, and those who were 
willing went down to Richmond, and under the shadow of the mighty 
castle walls led the lives of serfs. 

The situation and surroundings of this little place are most striking 
and picturesque. On the other side of the valley there are fine ranges 
of seal's, covered with vegetation interspersed with many a floral rarity 
and native yew and juniper. These scars, which are in the Main 
Limestone, run along the edge of the peculiarly-insulated hill of Eisdon, 
now in view, at an elevation of 1550 feet above sea-level, while deep 
below the massive Scar Limestone is exposed in the bed of the river. 
Our road now ascends and descends to Eeld, passing through the hamlet 
of Thorns, where are some notably fine ash-trees. 



At the Head of the Swale. 

Striking situation of Eeld — A Viking settlement — The Cat Hole inn — Romantic 
surroundings — Uses of literature — History of Keld — ^The church and the 
Dissenters — Indictment for uttering seditious words — The Independent Chapel 
and the Rev. Edward Stillman — Sources of the Swale — Wild scenery — Local 
fruit culture — Catrake Foss — A curious musical instrument — Eisdon Foss — 
Magnificent rock and water scenes — Local wild-flowers — Geological aspects — 
A wild road — Prospect over the Bden valley — Concluding reflections. 

IJELD (Scand. keld^ a spring) is the last haven for travellers 
passing out of Swaledale into Westmorland, and a most 
romantic and out-of-the-waj place it is. With the exception 
of Clovelly on the coast of Devon, where the houses are 
piled one above another, and jou require almost the use of ropes to let 
yourself down the principal street, I know of no place in England more 
singularly or astonishingly located than is the remote little village of 
Keld. Hanging upon the brink of a precipice, anciently formed by the 
denuding power of a great river torrent, now running deep down in a 
stony hollow, sombre and weird-like by the shadow of overhanging 
foliage, and enclosed by up-sweeping breadths of trackless moor, the grey 
and green roofs of the rustic dwellings are almost hidden from public 
gaze. The old Vikings from Scandinavia, who were the probable 
founders of this place, may well have lived here in the most perfect 
security, for no enemy or passing wayfarer would ever be likely to suspect 
the presence of a human community in such a secluded spot. The old 
Cat Hole inn (the only hostelry in the village) is, however, perched in a 
more reasonable and conspicuous position close to the highway. The 
present building is comparatively modern, having supplanted the former 
antique "single-decker^' which stood below it, and is now occupied as a 
stable and workshop. When the lead-mines were in full work the inn 
was known as the Miners' Arms, but the old name has been restored, 
and suggests, what is not unlikely, a site that was in former times a 
stronghold and accustomed refuge of the wild cat, as it had undoubtedly 
been before of the wolf, boar, and red deer. It surprises me why in a 
place of such commanding interest as this, situated amid some of the 


finest and most romantic scenery in the kingdom, there is no large hotel 
or boarding-hoose, which one might think would be filled with gaests the 
summer through. But this desideratum is perhaps explained bj the fact 
that the spot is so little known to travellers and the tourist-public, who 
now-a-days provide themselves with one of the hundred books on 
Switzerland or Norway, fly away on fatiguing journeys to those distant 
lands, leaving scenes of almost equal grandeur and interest in their own 
country unvisited. Eeld, however, it must be admitted, is an awkward 
place to get to ; it is 22 miles from the railway-station at Richmond, or 
10 miles if you travel by the mountain passes (which are drivable roads) 
from Askrigg, Hawes, or Eirkby Stephen. At present, beyond a spare 
bed for a belated traveller there is no accommodation at the Gat ffoie^ 
and visitors who usually come here for the day put up at the inns and 
lodging-houses in the lower parts of the dale. A wholesome and 
substantial meal of the regulation ham and eggs can at any time be 
obtained here, as at any of the dale inns, and there is also generally a 
plentiful supply of home-made bread, butter and cheese ; with a pot of 
jam, perhaps, if you are there at the right season. The Oat Hole boasts a 
clock that keeps Greenwich time — the necessity for which is not very 
apparent, — and a barometer, — an understandably useful instriiment in a 
region where the caprices of meteorology are amongst the most conspicuous 
of its marvels. A few odd books lie about, the occasional uses of which 
remind me of a certain Yorkshire farmer who was not a great reader, and 
who used to say that the value of literature to him generally depended 
on the make and binding of a book. If it has a calf-skin cover it is 
valuable as a razor-strop. If it is thick it comes in first-rate to put 
under the corner of a chest of drawers which has lost a leg. If it has a 
clasp on that will keep it closed it cannot be surpassed as a missile to 
fling at a dog, and if it has a large cover like a map-book or geography 
it is as good as a piece of tin to nail over a broken pane of glass, and 
so on. The old Arab proverb which says, if thy fortune be twopence 
spend one penny in bread and one penny in flowers, for the one is good 
for the body and the other good for the soul, would be lost on the wholly 
practical mind that regards the fruitful revelations of philosophy and 
nature wholesomely stored in books, simply as a cheap, handy, and 
convenient kind of domestic furniture ! Happily such creatures are 

The history of Keld is partly that of Muker, it being included 
within that extensive manor. The place gave name to an old family 
resident in the neighbourhood many centuries. In 1807 William de 
Keld was one among five others summoned by John, Earl of Richmond, 
for hunting without leave in the New Forest and Arkengarthdale, &c. 
In 1415 William de Keld, of Welburne, yeoman, was defendant in a 


plea at the suit of Sir William de Hilton, Et., and in 1435 there was a 
Nicholas Eeld, clerk, claiming a debt of £12 13s. 4d. from William 
Bernyngham, gentleman. I have elsewhere referred to the ancient chapel 
at Keld, which is mentioned by Leland about 1530. There is also in 
the village a useful Literary Institute, with library, a Day and Sunday- 
school, post oflSce, and one or two shops. The original chapel no doubt 
belonged to the Establishment, but when the Whartons obtained the 
manor and became inexorable Dissenters the old building seems to have 
fallen into neglect. In 1695 when Philip, Lord Wharton, built the 
Presbyterian Chapel at Smarber, the local churchwardens' accounts 


contain this entry : " For walling up Eeld Chapel door, £0 Is. Od." 
From this we may infer that his lordship's tenantry, biassed by his own 
religious belief, neglected all further use of the building at Keld, and it 
was allowed to go to decay. The restoration of Charles II. to the 
English throne in 1660 had been far from wholly welcomed in this part 
of Swaledale, where the Puritanical spirit, accentuated by the influence 
of the Whartons, was all-prevalent. In the Quarter Sessions Records 
for 1661 I find that a certain yeoman of Eeld, whose name is not given, 
is charged with uttering seditions and defamatory words to another 
yeoman. He had said, ^' Thou had best be quiet, for those that thou 


buildest upon, I hope they will not last long, and that I lived as well 
when there was no king, and I hope to do so again," &c. The marvelloas 
revolution wrought by Cromwell had left its impress deep in the hearts 
of many, but it had missed its chief aim in controlling thought and 
directing the consciences of the people. As Green well observes, " The 
attempt to secure spiritual results by material force had failed, and 
always fails. It broke down before the indifference and resentment of 
the great mass of the people, of men who were neither lawless nor 
enthusiasts, but who clung to the older traditions of social order, and 
whose humour and good sense revolted alike from the artificial conception 
of human life which Puritanism had formed, and from its effort to 
force such a conception on a people by law." And so the great mass of 
the people were really glad of a return to the old order of things. 
Saintliness compelled by force of arms was not to be trusted. They 
rejoiced to turn again to their old ways and customs. During the 
Protectorate it had really been considered *^ superstitious to keep Christmas 
or to deck the house with holly and ivy. It was superstitious to dance 
round the village May -pole. It was flat Popery to eat a mince-pie. The 
sport, the mirth, the fun of * merry England ' were out of place in an 
England with so great a calling." In Swaledale, however, the Whartonian 
influence never abated, and the local ministrations of Fox, and at a 
later day of Wesley, led to Nonconformist doctrines becoming firmly 
established and more and more widespread in the dales. 

In 1745 — ^the year which witnessed the ruin of the Jacobite cause 
so warmly supported by the last Lord Wharton, — the old Keld Chapel 
was partially restored as a Calvinistic place of worship, and continued 
in use till it was rebuilt in 1789 for the use of the Independents. The 
Rev. Edward Stillman was in that year installed minister, and in that 
capacity continued to labour among his people for the long period of 
48 years. He was a most earnest and industrious worker, and a man of 
remarkable mental and bodily vigour. It is said that owing to the sheer 
inability of his parishioners to provide the amount, required for the 
erection of the chapel and contiguous dwelling-house, — a matter of some 
£700, — he set off on a begging expedition to London, walking the whole 
distance and back, and accomplished his purpose in collecting the money 
without having spent more than a single sixpence ! In 1820-1 he had 
the satisfaction of seeing the sacred building enlarged, and a small plot 
of land adjoining was then purchased. The chapel was opened on 
June 27th, 1821, and Mr. Stillman, who had been a Moravian in his 
younger days and had always a strong affection for that body, invited a 
Mr. Rampher from the celebrated Moravian establishment at Fulneck to 
preach the morning opening service, which he did. The afternoon 
service was taken by Mr. Allison, of Feetham, and the evening one bj 


Mr. C. Oollop, of Darlington ; on each occasion there were overflowing 
congregations. The chapel was again rebuilt and enlarged in 1861, 
while ander the ministration of the Rev. James Wilkinson, founder of 
the Literary Institute, &c., and a gentleman widely respected and 
beloved wherever he was known. Mr. Wilkinson succumbed to a 
Ungering illness in December, 1866.* The present minister is the 
Rev. W. Crombie. 

Around Eeld the extensive open moorland scenery is wild and sterile, 
but in the ravines and by the banks of the river there are grand scars, 
picturesquely wooded, while the air is resonant with the voices of cascades 

At the Head op thb Swale. 

and rushing waters. The Swale really commences here, for higher up it 
branches into a sort of cat-o*-nine-tails formed by various becks, which 
sometimes whip up the river below into mighty and almost inconceivable 
proportions. In 1883, for example, these streams poured such a volume 
into the main current that the river rose upwards of 30 feet at Eeld, 
and the accession of waters in the lower reaches of the dale rushed over 
the surrounding land with such impetuosity that more than 500 sheep, 
cattle, and horses were swept away, and all the bridges in the upper part 
of the valley were either wholly or partially destroyed. The loss and 

• See the Wett Riding Congregational Register, 1867, pages 90-98. 


damage to stock and property caused by this flood was estimated at fnllj 

The farthest of these upland tributaries, and the usually accepted 
source of the Swale, rises at Hollow Mill Cross in Yorkshire, close to the 
county border, but the Whitsundale Beck, springing from the south side 
of Nine Standards, and the Little Sleddale Beck coming from under the 
High Seat and the Lady's Pillar (which is the source of the Yore and 
Eden) are equally remote from Eeld ; in fact the latter, uniting with 
the Hollow Mill Gross stream, and forming the Birkdale Beck under 
Crook Seat, may be said to be the most important source of the river. 
The Oreat Sleddale Beck coming down from the north shoulder of 
Shunnor Fell, runs into the Birkdale Beck at Lonin End, when the 
united streams (shown in the accompanying picture) after a course of 
about a mile join the Whitsundale Beck, near Hoggarth*s House, and 
thence take the name of Swale. A hundred nameless minor rills empty 
themselves into these main streams, and to see them all in flood with 
their white tails galloping down the mist-screened hills and cra^y 
steeps, and the amber-foamed cataracts leaping madly in the valley 
below, is to witness a scene truly Alpine in its wild and forbidding 
grandeur. In the well-watered Whitsundale there is an extensive opening 
in the limestone known as Brian's Cave, as well as some other caverns of 
unknown extent, which have been only partially explored. 

Several weeks might well be passed in exploring the health-breathing 
hills and hoary ravines around Eeld, while few places offer such varied 
attractions to the scientific enquirer. It has been said that gooseberries 
will not ripen in this elevated region, but this is quite erroneous ; at 
Keld, which is 1050 feet above the sea, not only gooseberries, but even 
strawberries, cherries, and apples have been successfully grown, although 
the two latter do not, as can hardly be expected, fruit as freely as in the 
lower and warmer parts of the valley. Much depends, too, on the 
character of the season, whether it be hot, cold, or wet and unsettled. 
In genial, open weather the district, with its wondrously-romantic 
scenery, is most enjoyable, especially in August, when the scars and 
water-sides are gay with the conspicuous bloom of the great willow-herb, 
giant bell-flower, sweet cicely, and the pink and purple cmnesbills, and 
the high moors beyond are bright and fragant with heather-flower. 
Here and there a clump of white heather may be come upon, and good 
fortune is said ever to attend the flnder of this moorland rarity, be he 
prince, peer, or peasant. To be sure it was, as we are told by our beloved 
Queen, that with a sprig of white heather in his hand the Prince Imperial 
of Germany went to learn his fate from the Crown Princess of England I 

Our first peep at the wonders of Eeld will be a visit to the romantic 
Catrake Foss, which is reached through a gate behind a house near the 


post-office. There you deecend a rude staircase formed by about sixty 
steps, which brings yon into a majestic glen. Here the river, about 
thirty yards wide, will be seen foaming in a broad sheet over a rocky 
ledge to a depth of about twenty feet, and not unlike the falls of the 
Yore at Aysgarth. The sides of the ravine are well clothed with trees 
and shrubs, and the whole scene is pre-eminently picturesque. It is 
worthy of mention that in the house we pass near the entrance to the 
Foss there is living a man who possesses a very remarkable musical 
instrument, said to be of his own invention. It is, I should think, 
unique, and its maker, who has never seen anything like it before, must 
be a person of a peculiarly inventive turn. The curious-looking 
instrument consists of the trunk of a stout hazel-tree obtained from the 
wood near, and from which spring two thick horizontal branches. To 
these are fixed about a score old dock-bells on steel pegs or supports, 
each of them chromatically tuned, and the bell-tree, if I may so describe 
it, is attached to a small harmonium, and as the player fingers the keys 
of the harmonium he at the same time strikes the accordant bell with a 
thin stick held in his left hand. The combination of the bells on the 
tree and the harmonium is extremely musical, and with a violm 
accompaniment, the ingenious inventor, who plays his instrument 
admirably, and sings too, many a pleasant hour is passed in the long 
evenings of winter. 

But the great attraction of the district to visitors is the grand 
Kisdon Foss, and to see and enjoy this properly some hours should be 
occupied in viewing it and the romantic glen in which it lies. The 
singularly-formed Eisdon Hill (1686 feet) rises terrace upon terrace 
most picturesquely above it, in some places bordering so near upon the 
river that a road has had to be cut through the rock on its side. Kisdon 
derives its name from the Celt, kis (little) and dun (a detached hill — 
usually fortified), vrhile/oss (Swaledale) and fors or force (Wensleydale) 
are pure Norse for a waterfall, such being the names given to waterfalls 
in Norway and Sweden. The Eisdon Foss and its surroundings present 
one of the grandest combinations of rock and water scenery to be found 
in the kingdom. I think I have seen all the best water scenery in the 
United Kingdom, and perhaps in Western Europe, but I know nothing 
exactly like this elsewhere. The falls at Schaffhausen, in Switzerland, 
may be compared with it, but while these are, of course, superior in 
point of volume, the Swale cataracts are infinitely more picturesque by 
reason of the broken and rugged character of the river-bed, the 
contrasted coloura of the rocks, and the delightful accompaniments of 
abundant foliage, fern and flower. Ton cannot take a boat and plunge 
into the midst of the cataract as you may do at Schaffhausen, neither 
can you get the lovely and expansive scene illuminated with Bengal 


lights, &c., as you do there, unless it be at your own trouble and expense. 
Nature here is supremely beautiful, yet there is a sternness and sublimity 
about the place that would make any such artificial presentations 
distinctly objectionable and discordant. 

From the Cat Hole inn a good hour is the least that can be reckoned 
for even a view of Eisdon Foss. Never does the scene appear to better 
advantage than on a fine summer evening, when as you stand among 
the huge tumbled rocks, (proof in some examples of the power of floods), 
in front of the tempestuous torrent, watching the soft lights of departing 
day steal over the grand break of waters, while ever-expanding ^adows 
shroud the soaring forest on the opposite hill with deeper gloom, the 
scene at such an hour is one that no painter could limn nor pen adequately 
describe. In Spring-time primroses, orchids, and other early-budding 
flowers grow about the grassy banks, while the place is not^, too, for 
many a botanical rarity which will rejoice the heart of the student and 
lover of these lowly gems. On and near the scars opposite the old 
smelting-mill the following rarer species of plants have been observed : 
BUnda acutay Trichostomum crispulumj T, nitidum, Barhula intermedia^ 
Amphoridium Mougeotii^ Bartramia itht/phylla, Flagiothecium pulchellum. 
Hypnum stramineum. At Catrake, Eisdon Foss, Eisdon Scars, East 
Stonesdale, &c., may be found Andr(ea dlpina^ OymnosUmum commu- 
tatum IHcranella Schreberi and var. elata^ SeUgeria Doniana^ 8. pueilla^ 
&\ acuUfoliay var. longiseia^ S. tristicha, Didt/modon eylindrictiSj D. 
einuosusy &c.* 

Mr. J. G. Goodchild, of H.M. Geological Survey, who has surveyed 
this district, observes that at Eisdon, Catrake, Hoggarth*s Leap, Currack 
Foss, Rain by Foss, &c., the scars left on both banks of the river, by the 
recession of the fosses, can be distinctly traced back to their post-glacial 
starting-point. From these indications it is evident that Eisdon Foss 
has cut back more than half-a-mile since the close of the Glacial Period. 
As this in North Yorkshire happened, as is now ascertained, some 10,000 
years since,t the rate of retrogression must have averaged about niue 
yards in a century or say 3^ inches per annum, which seems remarkable. 
Interesting and instructive experiments, like the glacier-tests in 
Switzerland, &c., might be made here and at similar places, by notiug 
the actual present position of the falls with a view to making comparisons 
with the present and past rates of recession, for of course climatic 
influences and heavier rainfall, involving increased volumes and greater 
erosive action on the rocks, would not always be the same as now. 

• See YorkB. Nat. Union Circ, Aug. 4th, 1890 ; also Baker's NoHk TorUhire. 
For list of conchological Bpecimens tee Naturalut, I860, pages 229 — 288 ; 1891, 
page 202. 

t See the author's Nidderdale and the Garden of the Nidd, pages 469-70. 


From Keld there are two romantic outlets to the north, one by way 
of Tanhill to Barras, in Westmorland, (previously described), and the 
other by an equally wild and solitary upland road through the hills, 
crossing the backbone of England, dividing the watersheds of Swale and 
Eden, the first draining into the Oerman Ocean and the latter into the 
Irish Sea. The last mentioned route is, perhaps, the wildest and most 
lonesome ten or twelve mile walk in Yorkshire and the borderland ; only 
two or three farm-houses (which are among the highest situated in 
England) being seen on the way. I have tramped this bleak and desolate 
pass in sunshine and in shower, — in Spring when the turf is elastic and 

the air brisk and clear as a bell ; 
in Autumn when the roads have 
been washed with floods, in some 
places barely passable, and the 
measureless sweeps of misty fell 
and ravine-like breaks in the hills 
have been filled with stalking 
bands of rain, and the leap and 
rush of many waters could be 
well heard but not seen, — when a 
blinding hurricane of icy sleet 
wet you to the very bone and 
rendered enjoyment of the sur- 
rounding scenery well-nigh im- 
possible. The road is open to the 
north-west all the way, there being no hill-ridges or walls to afford the 
least protection. This was a route the old pack-men used to take in 
passing between Swaledale and Westmorland, and some rough experiences 
they and their poor wood-saddled beasts must have had. 

But in dry, open weather it is a grand and exhilarating walk. About 
a half-mile after leaving Eeld the road to Tanhill (4 miles) strikes the 
hills to the right. After a spate there are some rather fine falls in the 
river near this point, where the Whitsundale and West Stonesdale Becks 
join the Swale. The river-bank scenery, with its picturesque scars and 
its sweeps of heather, brushwood and wild-flowers, is also very attractive. 
Presently the two-arched bridge at lonely Hoggarth's farm is crossed in 
as lonely and romantic a spot as could be found for a human habitation 
{see sketch). It stands at the bottom of a deep, shaly ravine, washed 
by a tumultuous beck, which sometimes overflows the road so that it is 
next to impossible to get past on foot. Hence our solitary road goes 
up between storm-guttered hills for several miles, when a descent is 
commenced between Mallerstang Fell End (1698 feet) on the left and 
Brigg End Fell on the right. In clear and genial weather you really 

HoooABTH*s House. 


feel tempted to olimb up to the stone cairn on the latter eminence for 
the better enjoyment of the glorious and expansive view that opens out 
on every side. The lovely far-reaching vale of Eden, seeming verily in 
the warm sunlight fair and beautiful as the traditional Paradise of our 
first parents, while far beyond, peak on peak, stretch the stony summits 
of Cumberland, terminating in Saddleback and Skiddaw, with Musgrave 
Fell and Warcop Fell finely intervening. Behind us are the wild wastes, 
towering heights, and lovely dells we have made familiar in our survey 
of Swaledale, and to which we must now bid adieu I Here indeed on this 
lonely hill-top we seem for awhile to dwell with saints, to stand aloof 
from worldly temptations, and court communion with Ood, — 

'* Where is Thy favourite iiaunt, Eternal Voice. 

The region of Thy choice, 
Where, undisturbed by sin and earth, the soul 

Owns Thy entire control ? 
Tis on the mountain's summit, dark and high, 

When storms are hurrying by ; 
'Tis 'mid the strong foundations of the earth 

Where torrents have their birth.** 

Ay, and this purifying spirit penetrates the whole world of created 
things ; the hills, and valleys, and flowing waters are not so much dead, 
implacable, and objectless matter, but are full of noble lessons of God*s 
own choosing. He has sanctified them through the divine faculty that 
is part of our being's essence, so that it should be our longing and duty 
to understand and love them as things meant for our own good and 
exaltation, to the honour and glory of His name for ever I 






PAR'T 11 



Nfv.-iMes at Mi-lil'.-V.ini— 1 ur. •»' \ 

— J'esjth of tn»j To'w.i: rriii'.-eof a v.- 
I'f tlie TaMie — Son.** •>; i 'n'-a' ««.-! 
C'W'ject.'.red in^Miiini; o' •• i 

ri»j» irt — \Vii;mii'*rt HiJi— 

— . he ('<':i^t:ir>les of tli'^ca i • 
o.' the cast'.e, tt')hp. (.Mi^en 1- . 
--(>rig'n of tithC' — Tlu' niuti. • 

— n»i*" riulion of t'le chur(;h--\. 
Miiriiftj* and fau-? — Aacif»»t or •.• . 
l"res«»'ut a-pectH of the towi — Ia»< 
ami tr;iini'ig-:r''oui.'l. 

It \A to uPur the iiinc *■•' ct a • •• 
To liear th-'ir mur;). ; •*. !•■♦-' tl t'l- 
An. I ^ii K hon*iMth a I* n.' «'f <;^ .t. • 
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AiiJ bo/tuiit' ii* fjt. 'I'f- .1.! 1 f : ' ! to ;. 
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r » every >'''i"t wf «:i'.i>.i'ir'v' i ue e>p<)!-«: 
r.>! li'.i. f'«»- I. ))»»» . t<»'' . •■•It f«)r l':i])j'- 


; jjn- ir 'u.'l st.irri'Ji, i! <• :. )r't;s. f'- 
. sacl' . • ■ I'^heil 111 • • . '•>' .IS "*' 

have ki: • - • h I'-J: ■ ■ . •" 
; La\t' wif ..^ .' - • i .. ■ •• • 

» iA ... 4 * 

> ^ '••.' ■ ' \ '• \'. ! . .'.r iirrt: 

•r.H U.d. TIk'U it was tlu* |v'. * \-" ■: 





Ancient importance of Middleham — The Windsor of the North — Life of the 
KevilleB at Middleham— Earl of Warwick, last of the Barons— Richard II L 
— Death of the yoang Prince of Wales at Middleham — Past and present aspects 
of the Castle— Some old local customs — Roman settlement at Middleham — 
Conjectured meaning of the name — Discovery of a Roman hypocaust — Roman 
roads — William's Hill — The Conqueror at Middleham — Descent of the manor 
— The Constables of the castle — The castle last occupied — Proposed destruction 
of the castle, temp. Queen Elisabeth — Description of the castle — The church 
—Origin of tithes— The ninths— The church made collegiate by Richard III. 
— Description of the church — Who was St. Alkelda? — A leper hospital — 
Markets and fairs— Ancient crosses — The whipping-post at Middleham — 
Present aspects of the town — Local worthies— An old horse-rearing centre 
and training-ground. 

A crown 1 what is it 7 
It is to bear the miseries of a people ! 
To hear their murmurs, feel their discontents, 
And sink beneath a load of splendid care I 
To have your best success ascribed to Fortune 
And Fortune's failures all ascribed to you ! 
It is to sit upon a joyless height, 
To every blast of changing fate exposed ! 
Too high for hope I too great for happiness ! — Hannah More. 

I HE ancient capital of Wenslejdale is a place of 
great and stirring memories. Few places have 
snch distingaished heritages as Middleham, few 
have known such high-placed chiefs and heroes^ 
have witnessed such pomp and magnificence^ 
such scenes of state and revelry, snch princely 
festivities, snch gorgeoos retinnes, as this 
" Windsor of the north," during that eventful 
era of the strife between the White Rose and 
the Red. Then it was the powerful house of Neville were lords-regnant 
of Middleham ; they held, too, many another broad-acred province. 


lordship, or manor, ever increasing by their fortunate alliances with the 
proudest and wealthiest ladies in the land. When, as I have narrated in 
the records of Richmond, Ralph Neville, the great Earl of Westmorland 
woo*d and won for his second wife the king's half-sister, he had a grant 
of the whole honour of Richmond for life. Mighty and potent was 
their name and fame in England then I One need only sound their 
name and the country responded to their bidding. It ^vas the trumpet- 
call from Middleham that drew the bone and sinew of Richmondahire 
together in the memorable year 1457, when 5000 of Yorkshire's bravest 
sons mustered under the banner of Neville, Earl of Salisbury, and 
marched through the Craven glens to the Battle of Bloreheath ! When 
the son of this great nobleman, Richard Neville, the historic Earl of 
Warwick, the last of the feudal Barons, a master in camp and in court, 
*^ the setter-up and plucker-down of kings," made the old castle here his 
home and safe-abiding place, it was not Windsor, nor Shene, nor 
Westminster, nor the Tower, as Lord Lytton pertinently observes, that 
seemed the Court of England, but it was Middleham in Yorkshire. It 
was then the home and assembling-place of mighty men and dames, of 
England's beauty and the flower of all her gallantry. The noble Warwick 
ruled with no sparing hand, and when sojourning at Middleham, his 
retinue of armed retainers, all wearing his badge of 

The rampant bear chained to the ragged staff, 

(as Shakespeare describes it), was one of the largest and most splendidly 
equipped in the kingdom. His feasts were prepared in the most lavish 
and sumptuous manner, and quite regardless of cost. Every morning 
^' six oxen were eaten at breakfast, and every tavern was full of his meat 
for who that had any acquaintance in that house he should have so much 
sodden and roast as he might carry upon a long dagger." 

But, if he acted a conspicuous, he played a dangerous and thrilling 
pai*t in English affairs, and amid all the pomp and splendour surrounding 
his person and his court, the conscious cast of sorrow and doubt always 
seemed to darken his brow. He knew full well that with all the 
glory of a great name, that with all his prestige and his mighty influence, 
his will was not entirely his own, that he was like all such men placed in 
high estate but a tool in the hands of others, to be cast down if it so 
pleaseth, — ^'a holiday show for the crowd to hiss or hurrah as the 
humour seizes." How he triumphed and how he fell may best be 
gathered from a perusal of Lord Lytton's engrossing stoty : The Last 
of the Barons ; for in truth he was the last as well as the greatest of those 
puissant chiefs who formerly controlled the empire and destinies of kings. 

But is it not a strange reflection upon the vicissitudes of human 
greatness when we remember that of all the spreading and fruitful 


branches of this potential family, — which produced (besides six Earls of 
Westmorland) two Earls of Salisbury and Warwick ; an Earl of Kent 
a Marquis Montacute ; a Duke of Bedford ; a Baron Ferrers of Ouseley 
Barons Latimer ; Barons Abergavenny ; one Queen ; five Duchesses 
to omit Countesses and Baronesses ; an Archbishop of York,* &c., &c., 
— ^the house of Abergavenny, ''not distinguished in modem peerage 
either by superior titles or splendid fortunes,** alone remains ? 

The fiery Duke of Gloucester, afterwards Richard III., having 
married Warwick's daughter, the Lady Anne Neville, whom his falchion 
had made a widow,t he was glad to escape from Pontefract to the 
^* home of his domestic affections '* at Middleham, which had been the 
inheritance of his wife. He was probably sojourning at the castle when 
the news reached him of the death of his brother, Edward lY., in April, 
1483. On the 6th of July following he was crowned at Westminster. 
It was in an apartment since called the " Princess Chamber/* in the round 
tower at the south-west angle of the castle at Middleham, that Edward, 
Prince of Wales, the much-loved son of Richard III., was born. 
Tradition says that the little lad, in whom his father had centred all his 
fondest hopes, met with an inexplicably-suspicious death at Middleham 
in the Spring of 1484. His father and mother were then staying at 
Nottingham, and when the sad news was conveyed to them, it is said 
they gave way to the wildest fits of despair. The king would not be 
comforted, and the queen-mother completely broke down under the 
sudden and crushing sorrow. They lost no time in repairing to 
Middleham to gaze on the '' cold, dear face *' of their only loved son, at 
sight of which, old Croydon, the historian, tells us, '^ you might have 
seen the father and mother in a state bordering on madness.** The 
mother never recovered, and died, it is said, of grief, within twelve 
months of her son, at the early age of thirty-one. Some had said that 
the death of the young prince was the judgment of Heaven sent for the 
crime imputed to the king of the murder of the two young princes — 
sons and rightful heirs of King Edward lY. — in the Tower. It is 
certainly remarkable, not to say suggestive of murderous premeditation, 
that the boy prince should expire at Middleham during his parents* 
absence, and on the very anniversary (April 9th) of the death of his 
ancle, Edward lY. But the earthly crown he was to have worn, 
weighted with a world's tribulations, was, we trow, exchanged for one 
of a more bright and enduring lustre I 

After the loss of his son the king seems to have lost all hope and 
confidence in the future, and by his fall soon afterwards at the battle of 

* See Camden'i ffittory of Elizabeth, page 804. 

t See Hfthted's Richard III., vol. i., page 298 ; Shakespeare's King Richard 


Bosworth, the brilliant old chivalrous race of the Plantagenets ended, 
and the castle at Middleham was no longer the scene of kingly pageantry 
— ^the home of the great actors on the stage of English history. Now 
we behold its roofless chambers, crumbling walls, and deserted courts, 
still majestic in their decay, left to remind us of those immortal heroes 
and of those fateful transactions that once took place within them, which 
influenced so mightily the highest affairs of this great England of ours, 
to the shaping and directing even of our own destinies. 

Of the exalted and powerful house of Neville — the long-time lords 
of Middleham— every visible sign and belonging has disappeared from 
the old town, saving a rude sculpture in stone, which everyone who has 
written on the subject seems to have mistaken for a peacock. It was 
originally inserted in the wall of a dwelling-house, opposite the principal 
front of the castle, and is supposed to have been the badge of that 
haughty and gallant knight, Robert, Lord Neville, who generally wore a 
plume of peacock's feathers in his helmet. He was known as the 
" Peacock of the North," and fell in a border fight, to which he had 
dared the Earl of Douglas. But this assumed " peacock " is nothing 
more or less than a portion of heraldic carving, shewing only the helm 
and a bit of the mantling, which has some faint resemblance to the tail 
of a bird. On this mantling is outlined plainly enough the well-known 
Neville saltier.* 

An interesting glimpse of the early customs prevailing at Middleham 
and of the foibles of its princely owners, ia obtained from the records in 
the Middleham Household Book of Richard III., the original of which 
is preserved among the Harleian MSS. We there learn that the king 
had his court-fool, a merry fellow, doubtless, who could risk a jest at the 
royal expense and yet keep his head withal. A payment of 4d. is entered 
opposite his name : '* Marty n the fole.** Then we find the sum of 6s. 8d. 
entered for ^^chesing of the king of Middleham"; the said ^^king" 
being doubtless one of " those playful dignitaries who figured in the 
customary pastimes of our ancestors." Then again the large sum of 58. 
is paid " for a f ether to my Lord Prince" (the young son of Richard III.)» 
and 6s. 8d. to Metcalfe and Peacock *' for running on foot by the side of 
my Lord Prince ;" no doubt for his amusement and protection. Also 
15s. appears for my Lord Prince's offering "to our Lady of Gervaux, 
Coverham, and Wynsladale." The cost of a royal pack of houndsf {for 

* To this historio fragment I may add the discovery in the castle some years 
ago of a magnificent antique (15th century) gilt spur, which must have been worn 
by a man of high rank, if not by the redoubtable Richard III. himself. The relic 
is in possession of Miss Topham and was exhibited at the conversaxione of the 
Ley burn Literary and Scientific Society in November, 1887. 

t Shakespeare alludes to hunting at Middleham Park in the Third Part of 
Xing Henry F/., Act iv., Scene v. 

hunting was kept up with much vivacity in the neighbourhood) and 
the wages of their keepers was only £10, or not more than double the 
wages of Jane Colyns, who was apparently the housekeeper of the castle. 
Of other local sports and pastimes indulged in at a later period may be 
mentioned bull-baiting and cock-fighting (now happily things of the 
past), otter-hunting and horse-racing ; Middleham being, as I have 
elsewhere pointed out, an old and famous centre for the training of race- 

As to when Middleham first became the centre of a stationary 
population no attempt as yet been made to solve the question. It is 
however to the Roman period of English history that we must turn for 
the answer, when after the conquest of the Brigantes in the first century 
of the Christian era the great trunk roads were laid down in and through 
Yorkshire. Subsequently, when the vicinary and by-roads were formed, 
Middleham had apparently its first recognised position as a place of 
more or less note. A branch road was then constructed, or an older 
road adopted, by the Roman conquerors from their great station at 
Aldborough (Istmum) by way of Well to Middleham and up the Yore 
(or as some spell it Eure) valley to Bainbridge {Brachium), whence there 
were divergences into Swaledale northwards, and southwards along the 
Cam to Ingleton and Lancaster. The station or mansion at Middleham 
was evidently intended to guard the passage of the river and to stop 
passengers and examine their diplomata or passports. On the west 
bank, looking towards Ulshaw Bridge, there is a large camp-like platform, 
oblong in shape and having well-defined ramparts ; the summit area 
being about 800 feet by 180 feet. A little to the west of it there are 
very apparent indications of the foundations of walls, now grass-covered, 
which lead one to suppose that this was the site of Roman habitations. 
Some years ago a discovery of no small importance was accidentally 
made during the course of draining on the north-west side of these 
foundations. Upon further excavation and examination of the site 
splendid evidence of a curiously-formed heating-chamber was disclosed. 
This I believe has never been fully explored or described. Mr. William 
Home, F.6.S., of Leyburn, whose local antiquarian researches I have 
elsewhere alluded to, took me to view the place in August, 1895. I 
found to my delight unmistakable remains of an ancient Roman 
hypocaust, the arch in the foundation of the walls communicating 
between the outer flues and those of the excavated chamber being still 
intact, along with other portions of the interesting structure. What is 
now visible consists of an oblong apartment, about 14 feet by 10 feet, 
walled on all sides to a depth of about 5 feet. The entrance is on the 
east side and has had folding doors placed above two steps, the uppermost 
stiep being formed of an immense block of Peuhill grit, five feet long, 



one foot wide, and one foot thick. There are pivot-holes and curved 
grooves at the ends of the upper surface of this large stone, which prove 
that the folding-doors have moved upon pivots of iron fixed to wooden 
balks at the ends. The floor consists of flags overlaid with a bed of 
concrete, and beneath this is a system of flues along which the hot air 
from a furnace on the north side entered by a low archway, which as I 
have said is still perfect. The outlets of these heating flues were set np 
about 15 inches above the concrete floor, so that the air could circulate 
freely all around and warm the whole apartment. This was the usoal 
mode of warming the houses of the ancient Romans, and never, I 
believe, have any traces or evidences of fire-places been discovered in the 
interior of rooms. A similar hypocaust was uncovered some years ago 
at Well (distant ten miles to the south-east), where portions of a tesselated 
pavement were also found, and are now preseiTed in the church there. 
The warming-chamber at Middleham, I may point out, is situate on the 
southern side of the supposed camp and foundations ; the entrance 
facing the east ; which was the customary position for such rooms. 
Being of course for winter service, they were generally built on the south 
or warm side of a Roman station, while the summer apartments were 
ranged on the north or cool side. 

There is an element of probability that these evidences of Roman 
occupation not only establish Middleham as of that antiquity but are at 
the root of its name. The camp, indeed, may originally have been one 
of those '^ Maiden Castles,** the object and meaning of which I have 
suggested in another place (see page 250), for the mansion^ station, or 
whatever we may call it, lay midway between the Roman posts at Well 
and Bainbridge, not exactly equi-distant because of the strategical value 
of the position beside the river and as a guard to the dale. Access by the 
north side seems to have been guarded against by an outpost on the east 
bank of the river, for adjoining the Roman Oatholic Chapel at Ulshaw 
Bridge — opposite the west camp — there are indications of another bat 
smaller camp, so that there would be a double guard. Unfortunately 
for our enlightenment only the principal itineraries of the Romans 
relating to this country have come down to us, otherwise we should have 
had the Roman name of the camp or station. The earliest recorded 
spelling is that to be found in the Domesday book, where it is written 
Medelai, though subsequently the sni&x am^ ham almost invariably 
appears, as Medelam, Medleham, &c. If the prefix Meds be a purely 
descriptive term, signifying middle or central, it is not very clear what 
is meant, as there were towns, hamlets, and communities of people 
established in the Anglo-Saxon period in every direction for an indefinite 
number of miles around. To describe it therefore as situated in the 
middle of an indefinite number of other places seems vague and 


meaningless. It might, however, have reference to its position midway 
between the rivers Yore and Cover. 

Yet in deference to the Roman presence in the immediate vicinity of 
Middleham, I am mnch inclined to regard the Domesday spelling of the 
name as a corrnption or contraction of the one it had borne during and 
subsequent to the Roman occnpation. ^Such a name is found in the 
ancient Mediolanam, which the Romans gave to many of their towns 
and stations in England and on the Continent. Some of these are 
doubtless lost. There was a Mediolanum, the chief town of the Aulerci 
Ebnrovices, or Mediolanium as it appears in Ptolemy^s text. The name 
also occurs in Antonine*s Itinerary. In the Notitia of the Gallic 
provinces it is named Civitas Eboricorutn, and in the Middle Ages it 
was called Ebroas, whence the modem name Evreux, a town in the French 
department of Eure. To the south-east of Evreux are remains of an 
ancient Roman temple, baths, &c. Mediolanum was also a town of the 
Ordovices in Britain. It occnrs in the Itinerary of Antonine between 
Deva (Chester) and Uriconum (Wroxeter), and its site has been placed at 
Chesterton in Staffordshire. Another Mediolanum was in North Wales, 
sitnated where the road crossed the river Tanad. In every case, it should 
be noted, where a place of this name occurs it is in a district or conntry 
inhabited by Celts. The Celtic meadhoUj middle or midway, whence 
perhaps the names of our Maiden Castles, &c., being cognate with the 
Sansc. madhyas and Latin medius. 

In addition to these Roman evidences at Middleham we have not far 
from the Castle, on the south side, perhaps the most perfectly-preserved 
example of an Anglo-Saxon burh to be found in Yorkshire, the co-eval 
fortifications at Barwick-in-Elmete alone excepted. It consists of a 
doable earthen fortification surrounded by a deep and broad ditch, the 
central summit area being sunk in the form of an irregular quadrangle.* 
Here the Anglo-Saxon mansion stood, subsequently occupied by the 
Danes, and perhaps, too, by the Normans before the Castle was built. 
Bits of flint, Mr. Home informs me, and a fine flint scraper have been 
found on the site, but these, whilst quite typical of early British times, 
must not be accepted as proof of the ancient British occupation of this 
earthwork, such earthworks being usually on the tops of hills. Both 
fiint and stone implements, moreover, were in use in Yorkshire many 
ages after the introduction of metals. The Romans used both metal and 
stone tools indiscriminately, although they were well acquainted with the 
arts of working in iron and bronze. The Saxons and Danes were equal 
adepts in the manufacture and use of metals, yet we find it recorded 
that in their battles, even as late as the Norman invasion of England, 

* See Mr. O. T. Clarke's Moated Mounds in the Tork$. Arch. Journal. 


they fought with weapons of stone and flint, and used flint knives in 
ordinary domestic service.* 

This fine old earthwork has been known from time immemorial as 
" William's Hill," and is supposed to be so named from Ghilpatrick, the 
pre-Conquest owner of Middleham, but I think it more probable (if the 
name be not of much more recent origin) that it was called after the 
Conqueror himself, who wrought such exceptional havoc in this district. 
The ancient manor of Middleham, consisting of five taxable camcates 
of substantial value in the time of Edward the Confessor, was in 1086, 
after King William's slashing victory, declared to be all waste. Ribald, 
the brother of Earl Alan, who received Richmondshire after this great 
Conquest, had Middleham bestowed upon him, and it is not at all 
unlikely that the Conqueror was at Middleham during the occasion of 
his visit to Earl Alan, his great kinsman, at Richmond, who had 
contributed so mightily (Earl Alan's troops numbering one-third of the 
invading army) to William's success.f 

This Ribald, though he did not receive such a valuable extent of 
property as another brother, Bodin, yet became a very rich man. All 
the estates of Ghilpatrick were ceded in his favour, and these comprised 
the manors of Middleham, Bolton, Spennithorne, Thornton Watla8S,and 
four others. In his old age he entered the Convent of St. Mary's, York, 
and died after 1181,^ leaving three sons, Ralph, his heir, Hervey, and 
Henry .f Ralph, who appears in the oldest Pipe Roll (ca. 1140), married 
Agatha, daughter of Robert de Bruis, of Skelton, in Cleveland, and to 
him his uncle Stephen, Earl of Richmond, confirmed Middleham and 
all other lands his father possessed at the time he became a monk. This 

* The io-ca11ed " witch-stones ** which used to be picked up at one time pretty 
plentifully in Richmondshire, are no doubt ancient hammer-stones such as are 
described by Prof. Sven Nilsson in his Primitive Inhabitantt of Scandinavia (•<'<' 
Third Edition, edited by Sir John Lubbock, Bart, F.R.S. (1868), pages 15, 199, &c.). 
The stones have sometimes two or more round indentations in order that they may 
be held more securely between the fingers while being used ; sometimes the holes 
or indentations go quite through the stones. About Middleham they used to be 
hung up, like the fabled horse-shoe, against house or stable-doors as charms against 
evil and the wiles of witches and witchcraft, a superstition that was held by many 
primitive peoples, and allusions to which will be found in the ancient Scandinavian 

t An alternative suggestion is that " William '* may be a modem refinement of 
" Willie," the name by which the hill may have been originally known ; if so, it 
is of Aryan-Celtic birth, for " Willie" is the name given to certain hills, eminences 
and secure places in Palestine and the East, and was introduced into this country 
by the Celts. In Yorkshire we have Willie How, Brown Willy, &c. 

X Vide Old Man., vol. i., page 394. 

^ Their lineage is given by Gale in the Honour of Richmond^ page 284. 


was ratified by charter and the delivery of a Danish hatchet. His son 
Robert, snrnamed Fitz Banulph or Fitz Randolph, to whom Earl Conan 
gave the Forest of Wensleydale, was the founder of the Castle at 
Middleham, begun in 1190.* After his death, his widow, Helewisa, 
daughter of Ralph de Granville, founded a monastery of White Canons 
at Swainby, near Pickhall, and her son, Ranulph Fitz Robert, translated 
the monks of Swainby to Coverham in 1214, where they remained to the 
Dissolution. He died in 1251, and was buried at Coverham. 

This noble branch from the Conqueror's kinsman, Earl Alan, 
terminated in a heiress, Marie, called "Mary of Middleham,'' who 
married Robert de Neville, lord of Raby, &c. She died in 1820, having 
been nearly fifty years a widow, and was buried at Coverham. I have 
before spoken of the various members of this princely house connected 
with Middleham. Ralph Neville, who was created Earl of Westmorland 
by Richard II., was one of the wealthiest and most prominent men of 
his time. For his services in the Lancastrian cause he was rewarded by 
Henry lY. with the Earldom of Richmond (though he never assumed 
the title) and the office of Earl Marshal for life. He greatly altered and 
enlarged the castle at Middleham, but only occasionally resided there. 
Raby Castle was his chief home. He is interred at Staindrop Church, 
which he restored. Among some recently-calendered documents in the 
Public Record Officet I find a grant, dated 18th Richard II. (1894), by 
one John Hawthorn, of Snape, and Katherine, his wife, to tbis Lord 
Neville, of a messuage, garden, and meadow in Middleham, in exchange 
for a cottage, a toft, and a croft in Snape, and land in Eelbargh, in 

Subsequent to its possession by the Crown, the manor or lordship of 
Middleham belonged to the citizens of London, to whom it had been 
sold by Charles I. in 1628. In 1662 the castle and five acres of curtilage 
were sold by Lord Loftus to Edward Wood, Esq., of Littleton, Middlesex, 
and in 1670 Edward Wood, Esq., his son and heir, purchased the whole 
manor and lordship of Middleham. With this family it remained till 
the year 1889 when it passed by purchase to Samuel Cunliffe Lister, Esq. 
(now Lord Masham), of Bradford and Swinton Park, who is the present 
owner. The plate of the castle which prefaces this chapter is a 
reproduction of the fine old painting by P. Sandby, R.A., and engraved 
by Woodyer in 1780. 

With regard to the Constableship of the Castle, a most ancient and 
honourable office, which had formerly a salary attached, the following 
notes, based on information obtained some time since from the Treasury, 
have been kindly furnished by Mr. John Henry Metcalfe, late of 
Leyburn : 

* See Gale, App., pages 233-4. f ^i^ Ancient Deeds, toI. ii., B 2462. 


** Middleham Castle was granted away by the Crown in fee, temp. James I. It 
is true there is still a Constable of Middleham Castle, appointed on behalf of the 
Crown, but his duties as such are nil, it being merely an honorary title connected 
traditionally with some existing rights of the Crown in the Honour of Richmond. 
The Constable appears from this to have no * duties * with regard to the preaerrfttion 
of what remains of the Castle, but he has the right of hawking in the Forest of 
Wensleydale, and elsewhere within the Honour of Richmond, on lands over which 
the Crown has certain rights— rights which in these days might well be waived. 
No gentleman holding the office of Constable would for a moment think of 
insisting upon the exercise of certain ancient privileges which now, in a changed 
order of things, would be resented as obnoxious by many of the landowners in 
Richmondshire. But this is no reason why the ancient office of Constable should 
be abolished. Is it well that any historic building, any old-world title, or office, 
which may serve to link the dull, prosaic, materialistic England of to>day, with 
the art-loving, chivalrous England of the past, should be allowed to pass out of 
sight and out of mind ? ** From the time of Henry VIII. until quite recently the 
office of Constable has been filled by the noble house of Conyers, now represented 
by the Duke of Leeds. William, first Lord Conyers, who was made Constable of 
Middleham in 1509, married Alice, daughter of Ralph Neville, Earl of Westmoriand, 
and his father. Sir John Conyers, K.O., married Alice, daughter of William Neville, 
Lord Fauconberg, so that the Duke of Leeds is maternally descended from the 
noble family of Neville, the ancient lords of Middleham, and is by right hereditary 
Constable of Middleham. 

When the Castle last ceased to be inhabited is not vety clear. 
But by the death of Bichard III. we may be sure that his foe and 
successor to the throne, Henry Tudor, held the venerable building in no 
great respect, and it was suffered to go out of repair and ultimately to 
ruin. Indeed at a subsequent period it had a narrow escape of being 
wholly pulled down in order to be reconstructed into a mansion-house 
for temporary occupation as a royal residence. The following interesting 
letter, written in 1579 by Lord Huntingdon, and addressed from York 
to the Lord High Treasurer of England, explains the circumstance of 
this proposed demolition of the castle, and of the suggested new building 
to be occupied by Her Majesty, Queen Elizabeth, during one of her 
" royal progresses." I have copied it from the Lansdowne MSS. : 


Your Lordship's letters of the 15 I receavyd yeaster nyght by ye poste, by 
which I do understand of hyr Majestye's intention to see thease partes this next 
sommer, which will be no small comforte to all hyr good subjectes, and no less 
terrour to ye others. God graant hyr Majestye may have no lette to hynder thys 
hyr purpose. And for that hyr Lodgynge in this housse myght be betteryd, I have 
thought good to offerre your L. a denysse, which I thynke with small chardge to 
hyr Majestye's coferrs, maye bryng this housse in soche order as shall bee to hyr 
hyghnes lykynge. Howe fytte yt ys for hyr hyghnes to have a good housse at 
thys place above all other placys in thys north, I thynke your L. wyll easelye 
resolve. And by thys meanes which I wylle heare offer to your consy deration, as 
I have sayde thys may bee don with smalle chardge to hyr Majestye, ye meanes ys 
thys, hyr hyghnes hathe heare ye Castell of Mid ham, which ys in greate ruyne. 


and daylye wastyth, ye place wheare yt Btandjth ys soche as for no purpose weare 
yt, to mayntayne soche a housse theare, as yt hathe been but ye tymber ye stone 
ye lead and ye iron yt ys theare wold make a fayre housse heare, and as I gesse 
with good husbandrye paye all ye chargys. I am sure if your L. dyd see ye place 
wheare thys housse standyth, and ye state y* nowe yt ys in, you wolde thinke yt 
most convenient to bee pullyd downe, rathyr then yt shuld stande and waste 
daylye as yt dothe ; and surely in my mynde a better alteration of yt cannot bee 
made. I dyd thynke to have deferryd thys motion tyll my selfe myght have 
spokyn with your L., tho I have longe had yt in mynde, but now syns I see hyr 


Plan of Middleham Castle. 

Majestye's purpose to com hyther, I thynk good to advertise you ho we meete yt 
ys y* sum thynge shulde bee don heare, and if your L. shalle lyke of my denysse, 
I durst almost undertake to performe so muche as I have wryttyn yf in ye dooynge 
of yt for oversyght, you please to commytte any ...» to me. I humblye 
thanke your L. for ye postscrypttes of your owne hand. And so for thys tyme I 
take my leave, and commytte you to ye Lord Jesus, ^orke thys 19 of Febr., 1579. 

Tour L. assured, 


To ye right honorable my verrye good lord ye lord Treasourer. 


The proposed destruction does not seem to have been approved ; at 
any rate nothing was done. Indeed after remaining a good many years 
tenantless a portion of the castle was put into habitable repair for the 
family of Loftus who occupied it in the 17th century, and a son of 
Lord Loftus, was bom in it in 1644.* Two years later, when the 
Parliamentary Cogimittee was sitting at York, it was ordered to be 
rendered untenable and no garrison kept or maintained in it. But 
some considerable time elapsed before the order for its destruction was 
carried out. A portion of the castle walls was then blown away, and 
the ruins for a time became a public *' quarry ** for the whole town and 
neighbourhood. It was said that half the town of Middleham was built 
of stones from the castle after the Oivil War. But the pile, even yet, 
after such desecration, remains one of the largest and most majestic 
historic ruins in Yorkshire. Though a mere skeleton of its former 
grandeur, it is now strictly preserved. Wild birds flit about its once 
stately halls, where in the hey-day of feudal pomp gathered the beauty, 
greatness, and chivalry of England I — 

Tima, Time, his withering hand hath laid 

On battlement and tower, 
And where rich banneri were displayed 

Now only waTes a flower. 

The keep is the oldest portion of the building, and was of the foundation 
of Fitz Randolph about the end of the 12th century. The exterior 
parts of the castle are 14th century work, built by the Nevilles, the 
whole forming a grand parallelogram 210 feet by 180 feet, flanked by a 
tower at each angle. It was encompassed by a broad and deep moat fed 
by natural springs, and portions of this remained tolerably perfect up to 
about 1830, when the space was filled up. The gateway of the castle, 
on the north side is almost perfect, and is of the same age and design as 
that at Easby Abbey. The large banqueting-hall and the chapel also 
remain interesting features of the interior. The drum-tower of three 
stages at the south-west angle of the castle, containing the *' Prince's 
Chamber'* (see above), was in 1878, says Mr. J. H. Metcalfe, in imminent 
danger of falling, and long ere this would have been a shapeless mass of 
fallen masonry had not the late owner of the castle. Captain Wood, 
commissioned him (Mr. Metcalfe) to rebuild the angle within the ward, 
which was entirely gone, leaving the dangerous upper portion overhanging 
without any support from below. 

The tenacity of the mortar in nearly every part of the castle is 
something to remark upon. Huge masses of masonry, tons in weight, 
stand out from the main structure with the most threatening aspect, 

* See the author*! Nidderdale and the Garden of the Niddj page 88. 


having no other support save their own inherent cohesiveness. By the 
coartesy of the Rev. E. B. Smith, late of Bingley, I present a view of 
one such impending mass, from a photograph recently taken by him, 
which shews the south and west walls of the keep, with the garde-robe 
turrets, the underparts of which have been removed. According to old 
engravings of the castle, these immense' hanging towers have been in 
much the same condition for probably near two centuries, and yet they 
exhibit no apparent signs of giving way. I have referred to the 
similarly-marvellous strength of the grout-work at Kirkby Ravensworth 
Castle, shewing the perfection of the old masons* art, and which one 

South-west angle of the Keep, Middleham Castle. 

would think might form object-lessons of no little value to builders at 
the present day. The accompanying plan of the castle is reproduced by 
permission from the excursion programme of the Yorkshire Archaeological 
Society (1891) from a drawing supplied by Capt. Leahy, R.E., made for 
the recent Ordnance Survey. 

The Church at Middleham is an ancient and most interesting 
structure, which is supposed to be of the foundation of Robert Fitz 
Ranulph, the builder of the castle, a.d. 1190, but there are architectural 
evidences of a somewhat earlier date than this. Dr. Whitaker observes 
that ^* there can be little doubt that it was the work of one of the first 


lords, who endowed it with an ample glebe, and as usual with the tithes 
of the town.'* The first reference he finds to the church is of the reign 
of Henry lY. (1405-6), but not only, I may say, is the church mentioned 
in the taxation of Pope Nicholas IV. (1291) but also in the Nonet 
Rolls of 14th Edward III. (1840) ; and a translation of the latter 
relating to Middleham I append : 

The same [i.d,, the jurors who made the inquiiition] render account of iiii'' of 
the ninths of the same parish committed to Richard del Parsons, John General!, 
Richard de Mangeby, and Richard de Waynbrigg, And so less assessed for 
iiii^ because iiii carucates lie uncultivated [fallow] which if they were in culture 
the ninths would be worth Iiii<iiii<2 where the Rector is accustomed to take xii 
stones of wool, price xzzvjt, and zz Iambs, price y\]*yid, as is computed by the 
oath of the aforesaid men. Summ. iiii Zi. 

It may be only needful to remark here with respect to the origin of 
the tithe that every church founded after the Conquest had its proper 
tithe endowment ; the owner of the manor building the church, and 
giving for the endowment of the parson either a tenth part of the 
manor under the name of glebe, or a tenth part of its produce under the 
name of tithe. The lord then continued to possess only nine-tenths of 
the manor, the remaining tenth — a free and irrevocable gift — being 
dedicated in perpetuity to the maintenance of the priest. Thus it is 
that we have an account rendered of the nintJis of the parish, which bj 
the statute of Edward III., above mentioned, meant a ninth of all cofd, 
goods, and chattels of cities and boroughs granted to the king for two 
years, &c. Other previous statutes relating to the ninths had been in 
force, and a further commission was issued and directed to the Assessors 
and Venditors on the 26th January, 15th Edward III., whereby they 
were instructed to levy the ninth of corn, wool, and lambs in every 
parish according to the value upon which churches were taxed (Pope 
Nicholas's valuation), if the value of the ninth amounted to as much of the 
tax, and to levy more where the true value of the ninth should be found 
to exceed the tax ; but should the value of the ninth be less than the 
tax, they were directed to levy only the true value of the ninth and 
disregard the tax ; and to gain correct information of these facts they 
were directed to take inquisitions upon the oath of the parishioners of 
every parish. In these records it appears that the parishioners of every 
parish found upon their oath the true value (sometimes separately) of 
the ninth of corn, wool, and lambs, then the amount of the ancient tax 
of the church was stated, and afterwards the causes of the ninth not 
amounting to the tax or value of the church were assigned, and when 
the ninth did not exceed the tax it was assigned for cause thereof that 
within the valuation or tax of the church there were other articles 
included besides corn, wool, lambs, such as the dos or glebe of the church. 


There were in some counties and parishes local causes which reduced the 
ninth very much in the 14th Edward III. ; manj parishes in the 
northern counties were at the time exposed to an invading army, and 
totally or nearly laid waste.* 

Richard III., though the greater part of his life had heen devoted to 
warlike enterprises, did a great deal in the cause of religion. He 
worthily helped many charities and religious houses by gifts of lands 
and money, and he repaired and aided in the repair of many conventual 
and parish churches, notably those at Ooverbam and Skipton. At 
Skipton Castle he frequently resided.f Within five weeks of the 
marriage of Edward lY. with the heiress of the house of Norfolk, he 
then Duke of Gloucester, obtained a licence from the king for erecting 
the church of Middleham into a Oollege.^ This was a most important 
advance in the history of the town, and it seems to have been one of the 
great ambitions of the princely founder to raise Middleham — the chief 
scene of his domestic and private life, with all its memories to him of 
joys and sorrows — into a place of ecclesiastical note. Middleham was 
then in the Archdiocese of York, for Chester and Ripon, within each 
of which it has since been successively situate, were neither of them 
in that day episcopal Sees. Chester was erected into a See on the 
dissolution of monasteries, and Ripon was restored on the union of the 
Bishoprics of Gloucester and Bristol in 1886. The death of the bold 
king on the field of Bosworth, a.d. 1485, put an end, however, to the 
f nil fruition of his designs. 

At this period the parish church of Middleham was a rectory, the 
advowson of which was vested in the founder, Richard, Duke of 
Gloucester, — ^in right of his heiress wife. The then rector was William 
Beverley, who became the first Dean under the new ordination, and 
retained that position until he was made Residentiary Canon of York. 
Subsequent to the foundation of the College we find a grant of the 
advowson of the parish and certain lands from the founder, and several 
named feoffees to the said Dean Beverley, and his successors, but any 

* See the Preface to the Nonarum InquisU,, Bee. Com., 1807. 

t I may here note the discovery, lately, at Skipton Castle, of an interesting^ 
fragment of MS. of the time of this monarch. It consistB of a portion of Chaucer's 
Jf^anklin*$ Tale, written, according to Prof. Skeat, about the year 1480. Bichard, 
Duke of Oloucester, was then chief seneschal of the Duchy of Lancaster for the 
north parts, an office that had been previously held by William, Duke of Suffolk, 
son-in-law of Thomas Chaucer (son of Geoffrey the poet) who himself had held 
the post of Constable of the Castle of Knaresborough about a.d. 1390. See West 
Yorkshire Pioneer^ January 24th, 1896. 

X A copy of the original Letters Patent is printed in the Camden Soe, Pub,, 
volume 38, page 61. 


property that may have been legally conferred on the new college seems 
to have been forfeited npon the accession of '^ the enemy, Henry Tndor." 
It is generally believed that the College was to have been erected in a 
field nearly half-a-mile from the chnrch, which was afterwards known as 
^'Foundation Close.** But by the death of the royal founder and 
conseqaent political changes, the bnilding was never commenced. Tet 
the chnrch continued to be called collegiate, and the minister, who was 
exempted from the jurisdiction of the ordinary and metropolitan, 
retained the title of Dean. The title, however, with the canonries and 
peculiar privileges and immunities belonging to the original corporatioD, 
was abolished, in common with others, at the death of the last Dean 
some forty years ago. The celebrated author, Charles Eingsley, some 
time rector of Eversley, Hants, and domestic chaplain to Viscount Sidney, 
was one of the titular canons of this ancient body-corporat^ under the 
Yery Rev. P. S. Wood, LL.D., who was installed Dean of Middleham 
in 1814. Canon Eingsley has left some charming delineations of local 
scenery in the well-known letters to his wife. The late Dr. Ryan, some 
time Bishop of Mauritius, and vicar of Bradford, Yorks., from 1870 to 
1880, was rector of Middleham from 1881 tu 1883. 

The church is not cruciform after the usual collegiate pattern, bat 
consists of a nave having north and south aisles, chancel, and embattled 
(Perpendicular) tower at the west end. There are some few fragments 
of Norman work,* but the prevailing style of the building is Early 
English, with Decorated (14th centry) introductions. The original 
edifice appears to have been much smaller, having consisted of a simple 
nave with a high-pitched roof, a bell-turret, and narrow aisles. The 
aisles were afterwards widened, a clerestory erected, and a tower and 
chancel added. The present interior of the church, which underwent 
a thorough restoration in 1878, contains many neat memorials, stained 
lights, and other features of interest, as follows : 

East Window of four lights erected as a memorial to Christ. Topham, armiger, 
Middleham HbII, 1849. 

West window in memory of Alice Anne, only child of Thomas and Anne Other, 
of The Grove, Middleham, who died in 1867, aged 17. 

Tablet under west window to John Breare, Esq., of Middleham Hall, who died 
in 1830. In 1824 he presented the present excellent peal of six bells to the church. 

A small brass plate at west end inscribed Mary Fogerthwalte, 1784. [The dsto 
is graven in a heart]. 

Window in north aisle in memory of the Rev. John Cockroft, 40 years curate 
of this parish, who died in 18S4, aged 70. Erected by his grand-danghter Margaret 
Midgley Rimmer, 1877. 

* Whitaker says there is no trace of a Norman building existing, hot the 
chevron moulding in the north aisle (outside) is at least one example of that sgt 


East window of south aisle, in memory of the Rev. James Alex. Birch, ]0 years 
rector of Middleham, who died December 26th, 1866. Erected by his widow and 

West window of south aisle to the family of Thos. Topham. 

Sooth window in memoriam of the family of Lamb. Another south window 
to the memory of Jane Swale, who died October 16th, 1871, aged 80. Ttiis window 
was '* erected by public subscription as a testimony to her many virtues.'* 

Georgian tablets to the families of Bulmer, Spencer, &c., and another on south 
wall to Qeorge Hobson, surgeon (pb, 1808), and Bliaabeth, his wife {ob. 1811), who 
was the daughter of John Buckle Esq., of Burton-in-Bishopdale. 

A tablet on the north wall of choir to the Rev. Edward Place, M.A., Dean of 
Middleham for 80 years, ob, April 27th. 1785, aged 58. He is Baid to have died of 
a broken heart at the death, in the previous year, of his only son, Edward, who is 
also commemorated on this monument. 

Window on south side of chancel to the Rev. Miles Galloway Booty, M.A., 
7 years rector of the parish. He was bom in 1801 and died in 1874. This window 
was erected to his memory by his parishioners and friends. 

A plate on the south wall of chancel to the Rev. Christ. Colby, nearly 4G years 
Dean of Middleham, who died in 1727, aged 83 ; also of his widow and children. 
He was the son of John Colby, Esq., of Bowbridge Hall, near Askrigg. 

A brass under the altar-steps bearing an almost obliterated black-letter 
inscription to "Thomas Byrnham,/rfl<. MCCCC ," 

At the west end of the church there is an espeoiallj fine tomb-slab, 
which mast have come from Jervanx Abbey. It commemorates Robert 
Thornton, 22nd Abbot of Jervanx (a.d. 1510). The diapering of the 
field is composed of thorn leaves, which with a cask or turiy forms a rebus 
on the name. Out of the tun springs a pastoral staff, behind which is a 
mitre, and at the sides are the initials *^ 3&.SC.'* At the top are two 
shields suspended, one bearing the sacred monogram, and the other an 
M with spear and sponge. The inscription round the border of the slab 
reads : 
®rate pro aTa tsomjmt IBiobttti tlTfiomrton, abbot tut tsomt JorebauHs 

fatcesttmi 0c'lii. 
There are also several other old inscribed slabs, one of which bears two 
keys, and another the base of a cross and sword, and the name " ]Sobert 

Beneath the east window have been two small square openings (now 
walled up), about which there has been a good deal of wrangling. Some 
have supposed them to have been the windows of a former crjpt ; others 
have concluded they were leper windows, through which those ill-fated 
beings watched the services, they not being admitted to the church. But 
lepers were not allowed outside the hospital, which was at the east end of 
the town, and had its own chapel. Leland speaks of it as '' a chapel of 
Jesus," but not a vestige of the building remains, although the site is 
identified in an enclosure called ^' Chapel Fields.*' The most reasonable 


explanatioD of the uses of these openings is that in pre-BeformatioD 
times they were a convenience for ringing the Sanctos bell, to let those 
know who were not present at mass that the host was elevated. Similar 
openings have been recently discovered at Orinton Charch in Swaledale. 
A chantry chapel, which formed the east portion of the south aisle, 
was founded in this church in 1470 by the Rev. John Cartmel, who was 
some time rector of the church. At the Dissolution it was returned as 
of the clear yearly value of 108s., and there were goods, ornaments, and 
plate thereto belonging, of the value of 72s. Sd. Robert Ambler was 
then incumbent.* 


There is one more point of interest that remains to be discussed in 
connection with the sacred edifice, and that is the dedication of it to 
St. Alkelda. There are but two churches, viz., Middleham, and the 
equally-ancient one at Oiggleswick, dedicated to this peculiar name. 
It does not occur in any of the Christian martyrologies, nor is anything 
recorded of the saint, excepting the well-known story (evolved in a 
remote and eminently superstitious era) of her supposed assassination hj 
the Danes, on account of her Christian fidelity. The stoiy has been 
pictured in stained glass, a portion of which is still in the church, 

• See Lawton's Coll,, ii., 668 ; Surtees Soe. Pub., xcii., 502. 


shewing the martyr in the act of being strangled by two females, who 
have twisted a piece of cloth round her neck. Bat there is in troth a 
considerable amount of improbability about the whole story. I have 
elsewhere referred to the important Breton influence on the people of 
Richmondshire, with all its accompanying rites, customs and superstitions, 
introduced by the Breton army contingents after the Conquest. Many 
local customs and legends can be clearly traced to them, and some find a 
parallel in the miraculous origin of numerous churches, shrines, feasts 
and pardons in Britany. This story of St. Alkelda is probably a poet- 
Conquest invention. There might have been some Christian hermit or 
religious personage seated near the spring to the west of the church, 
which bears the name of St. Alkelda*s Well ; a not uncommon 
circumstance at that era when the teachings of St. Paulinus in these 
parts found many a devoted votary, withdrawn from the world's vortex 
to a simple and saintly life. Whether the said recluse met his or her 
death by the irruption of the Danes in the neighbourhood will of course 
never be proved. But the post-Conquest victors having settled here, and 
finding by its development the necessity of a church, would gladly seize 
npon any current story on which to base a pious motive for its foundation 
and dedication. This was an almost indispensable principle among the 
Bretons, who, as I have said, settled in Richmondshire in large numbers 
under the Breton Earl Alan, and his brother, the owner of Middleham. 
We need go no further than Coverham Abbey for an illustration of this 
kind, which has its exact counterpart in the origin of many a Britany 
shrine. There we are told, with all the olden solemnity of a Bi*eton 
legend, the pious benefactor was much perplexed as to where the Abbey 
should be built, but at length the difficulty was solved by the appearance 
of the Blessed Virgin herself, who not only indicated (premonstravit) to 
the founder the exact site for the new monastery, but also described its 
shape and character even to the kind of garments its inmates were to 
wear. The abbey was accordingly established on the site chosen by the 
divine intervention. I may here remark that the ohurch at Middleham 
is dedicated not only to St. Alkelda but to the Virgin also, and that the 
latter takes precedence. It is therefore quite probable that the church 
was founded here on some similar tradition, and that a hermit or saint, 
living in the Anglo-Saxon era beside the holy-well I have named, was 
afterwards known as the saint of the holy-well. Holy-well in Anglo- 
Saxon is hcBUg-held^ whence it seems to me we arrive at the meaning of 
St. Alkelda. The argument will not hold good that the Saxon name 
haHg-lceld would have been lost and would not have been known to the 
subsequent Norman and Breton invaders, whose language was quite 
different, as we have innumerable instances in this district of the survival 
of pre-existing place-names in the mouths and language of aliens. A 


case in point may be cited in the name of a spring near Melmerby, in 
Bichmondshire, which in Anglo-Saxon days bore the similar name of 
hcBlig-keldj a compound which has survived in the name of Halikeld* 
given to the Wapentake at this day. Hence, again, Alkelda. 

In the nave of the church at Middleham is a tablet recording the 
discovery on the site, so recently as 1878, of the supposed body of 
this legendary St. Alkelda. The grounds, however, on which the 
assumption is based, are, I am compelled to say, extremely inadequate. 
That certain fee-farm rents were required to be paid on " St. Alkelda's 
tomb " in the church, or that the feast-day of St. Alkelda is commemorated 
in old charters, is no solid proof that any such saint has been buried in 
the church, or that the said feast-day was not a late ordination. The 
fact, too, that a female skeleton was found enclosed in a stone coffin on 
the site indicated by the tablet, leads one to suppose rather that this Y^as 
the tomb of one of the Norman ladies of the parish, not a particularly 
great one either, for the body of a founder or prominent patron wonid 
probably have found a resting place close beside the altar. It is more- 
over extremely unlikely that a person who, in the estimation of her 
assassins, was thought to be worthy of no better fate than hanging or 
strangulation, would be honoured by interment in a stone coffin. The 
old Danes who mercilessly murdered and butchered eveiy Christian, and 
pulled down every church, cell, and monastery they could lay hands on, 
are not likely to have handed over the perfect body of their victim to 
the enemy for such distinguished interment.* The whole circumstances, 
as I have said, of the dedication of this church to St. Alkelda, as like- 
wise of that at Giggleswick, (which also is nigh unto an old holy-well) is 
baaed on some such tradition as I have here suggested. 

The charter for Middleham market and fair was granted by Richard II. 
to Ralph Neville, (" my cousin Westmorland," as he is described by 
Shakespeare), in 1387-8. It enacts that there shall be a weekly market 
on Monday, and a^air every year on the Feast of St. Alkelda, the virgin 
(originally October 25th, now November 5th). This annual fair used 
to be reckoned the largest cattle fair in the north of England. The fact 
that it took'fllBhe on St. Alkelda's Day is a pure survival of a pagan 
custom that cari^^s us back to the time when the ancient Danes in this 
country commemorated their gods and their conquests by the holding of 

* Yet Barker in his l%ree Days of Wensleydale (page 18), says it U eertain 
thai the remains of St. Alkelda repose somewhere in the choroh at Middleham, 
but he hazards no reasons for such a positive assertion. His statement, indeed, 
stands self-condemned, as on a preceding page he quotes Lingard, who affirms that 
so completely annihilating were the Danish ravages, it was a matter of difficulty 
afterwards to trace even the tite of a church or monastery, much less that of a 
single body. 


great feasts. Pope Gregory the Oreat deemed it wise policy when 
sending his missionaries to onr shores, to permit the converts to the new 
faith to hold their festivals on days that had a similar import. With 
them, however, it was the conquest of Christianity over paganism that 
was celebrated, it was the Christian martyr or person renowned for 
special and eminent virtues that they honoured, and to whom their 
new temple was usually dedicated. Thus it happens that most parochial 
fairs and feasts are held on the day commemorated by the festival of the 
patron saint of the church. At Middleham, as I have said, the patronage 
or passion of St. Alkelda receives no historic credence till we come to 
the foundation of the church in the 12th century. And this applies 
also to the church at Giggleswick. 

The old holy-well referred to, where the saint in question is supposed 
to have lived, is in a field about 300 yards west of the church. It is 
now covered in ; the water having been piped off to a trough by the 
road-side below. The water was formerly resorted to as a specific for 
weak eyes, and it was usually wells of this character, renowned for some 
medicinal virtue, that were cherished and held sacred by the people. 
Occasionally we find them presided over by some guardian spirit, or they 
were dedicated by name to some saint or deity. At the Richmond 
Quarter Sessions held in July, 1640, 1 find the inhabitants of Middleham 
were indicted for not repairing the street or way that led from the Market 
Place to " St. Awkell's Well," a fact which shews that there was at one 
time a good deal of passing to and fro between the town and this famous 
well. The water would doubtless be used on the occasions of certain 
stated festivals ; fresh spring-water being ever regarded as a symbol of 
purity, and in early Roman Catholic times any notable or particular 
virtue possessed by a well received the special protection of the Church. 
But the canons of Auselm (a.d. 1102) lay it down as a rule that no 
provincial priest could make his protection absolute,^ inasmuch as no one 
may attribute reverence or sanctity to a fountain or well without the 
separate sanction of the bishop. 

The town of Middleham is in the summer months much frequented 
by strangers, and there are several inns possessing every convenience for 
visitors requiring accommodation for any length of time. Many people, 
however, prefer to make Leybum their head-quarters, which stands a 
couple of miles to the north, and has a railway-station, which Middleham 
has not. It is also higher up the dale, and nearer the moors. Both are 
centrally and conveniently situated, and are within short walking or 
driving distances of the abbeys of Jervaux and Coverham, besides much 
beautiful and romantic scenery, celebrated in art and story. 

The once famous markets at Middleham are now almost things 
of the past. An old plain stone cross on four tiers yet remains to 



remind one of the bosy and picturesque crowds of buyers and sellers that 
gathered round this *^ symbol of honest dealing " in the days when kings 
and princes and high-born dames dwelt in pomp and state at the 
adjoining castle. At the upper end of the town is another mediaeval 
monument probably of similar origin, intended to indicate the site of 
the old swine-market, for Middleham was once a great mart for the sale 
of these animals, which were bred and nurtured in the surrounding 
forests in great numbers. The monument consists of a flight of double 
steps, bearing the recumbent effigy of a boar (some say it is a bear), 
which, apart from its real significance, was the well-known badge or 
cognizance of the chivalrous Richard, Duke of Oloucester (afterwards 
Richard IIIO^ lord of Middleham, and patron of its ancient markets. 

In the vicinity is an elegant modem Fountain, erected as a memorial 
of Her Majesty's Jubilee (1887), but many people may regard this as a 
little out of keeping with the antiquity and traditions of the historic 
town. It is, however, a well-finished and really beautiful object. Close 
beside it is the old bull-ring. The old parish stocks are also still in 
existence. Another instrument of punishment was the whipping-post, 
but probably here, as at Richmond, this was substituted by the use of 
iron rings attached to one or other of the crosses in the market-place, 
and to which the criminal was fastened. Both male and female were 
publicly flogged here ; they were stripped to the waist, and beaten until the 
body bled by reason of such whipping. The practice has been common 
among most nations from ancient times ; Solomon, we know, was a zealous 
advocate of its use as '^ a corrective in education** (see also Proverbs 
XX., 80). Yet how little delicacy must our forefathers have had to 
allow such a disgraceful method of public chastisement on women to 
continue in force almost within living recollection ! But with feelings 
dulled by such brutal *' sports" as bull-baiting, cock-fighting, and 
constantly-recurring dog and man battles, what shame could be felt ? 
At the Quarter Sessions held at Richmond by adjournment, Jan. 17th, 
1739-40, 1 find that one poor unfortunate named Phillis Pepper, was 
ordered to be ^^ continued in the House of Connection until Monday 
next, and then to be sent to Middleham to be whipt in the public market 
at twelve of the clock ;" that is in the broad light of day and at an hour 
when most people would be at liberty to witness the shameful sight. 
John Story was at that time public flogger, and he received 80s. for his 
trouble and expenses in administering the cat to this offending woman 
at Middleham. 

Formerly there were some very old houses in and about the town, but 
the most ancient of them (15th or 16th century buildings) have been 
pulled down within living memory. The excellent school at Middleham 
was built by subscription in 1869, as a memorial to the Rev. James A. 


Birch, late rector of Middleham. I may mentioD that it was in a house 
at the bottom of Kirkgate, in Middleham, that the indefatigable author 
and antiquary, Mr. H. Ecroyd Smith, breathed his last. He was 
interred in the burial-ground of the Society of Friends at Carperby, in 
Wensleydale, January 27th, 1889, aged 66. Neville Hall, another 
residence bearing a historic name, was for some time the seat of the late 
Mr. Thomas Maughan, who for many years acted as steward of the local 
estates of the Marquis of Ailesbury, now owned by Lord Masham. 
Mr. Maughan, who was widely known and respected throughout the 
district, died here June 16th, 1896, aged 88. 

Numerous elegant and well-built modern residences, amongst them 
being the seats of many professional and independent families, may be 
seen in and around the quiet old town, which give to it an air of 
afi9aence and respectability. As a place of trade, Middleham was never 
of much circumstance, but it has an old reputation for horses, and is 
known as one of the principal training-centres for race-horses in England. 
On Middleham Moor many a noted winner has '^ taken his gallops " and 
been made fit to achieve a '* name and fame." That the district has 
long been recognised as a great horse-rearing centre is evident from the 
following interesting excerpt from a letter written in the year 1687 : 

The king's highness (Henry VJII.) is at great charge with his studs of mares 
at Thornborough and other places, which are fine grounds ; and I think that at 
Jervaulz and in the granges incident, with the help of their great large commons, 
the king's highnes by good overseers should have there the most best pasture that 
should be in England, hard and sound of kind. For assuredly the breed of 
Jervauiz for horses was tjie tried breed of the north ; the stallions and mares so 
well sorted that I think in no realm should we find the like to them, for there is 
high and large grounds for the summer, and low grounds to serve them. 



Through Covbbdalb. 

▲ romantic coaching-route — The pack-horse days — Miles Coverdale, translator of 
the Bible — Family of Loftus — ^The Coyerdale bard — ^A Coverdale man made 
the coffin of Napoleon Buonaparte — Coyerdale and the ancient Danee— 
CoYerham Abbey — The old monks' herb and flower gardens — Some ancient 
effigies — The church — Famous racing establishments — The Topham &mily — 
Melmerby — Scrafton — Carlton — Upper Coverdale — The dissolution of 
monasteries, and riots in Coverdale — Goyemment proclamations. 

I HE fifteen miles' jaunt between Middleham and Eettlewell, 
through the grand pass of Coverdale, is full of varied interest. 
In the middle of last century the London and Richmond 
coaches came this way, which was perhaps as wild and as 
rugged a coaching-trip as existed anywhere in the kingdom at that day. 
It ran for a great part of its course through a very elevated and exjMMed 
region, and the road being also stony and hilly, it was a rider's *^ bone- 
shaker " of the genuine old-fashioned type. No traveller of circumstance 
would ever have thought of undertaking such a journey as this without 
having previously arranged his worldly affairs, and he must have felt 
much inclined, too, to offer up a prayer of thanksgiving npon the safe 
completion of each successive stage of the route. From Halifax the 
coaches went by Illingworth Chapel, and then at an elevation of more 
than 1000 feet ascended Swill Hill and proceeded by Denholme Gate to 
Eeighley and Skipton. Thence by Cracoe and the Tarn (now drained) 
below the Catch-all inn, up Wharfedale to Eettlewell, whence a climb to 
about 1600 feet was made to Cover Head, and so down through Carlton 
to Middleham ; the distance hither, according to Dodsley's Road-book 
(published 1756), from London is stated to be 251 miles 6 furlongs. 
This romantic road between Wensleydale and Wharfedale is no 
doubt a very old one, probably having been roughly constructed as far 
back as Roman or British times, as there are many evidences of very 
early occupation in the dale, noticeably a large artificial mound at Carlton, 
and a long entrenchment, consisting of an earthen dyke and rampart 
(similar to the Scots' Dyke near Richmond) extending for an indefinable 



distance from Scale Park westward towards Coverdale.* The same old 
road continned to be ased bj the pack-men down to within present 
recollection. They used to rest and bait their horses at a point in the 
dale some three miles above Carlton, and whence called Horse House. 
Here is an old chapel-of-ease dedicated to St. Botolph, the curacy being 
annexed to the vicarage of Coverham. Before 1867 the church was a 
plain, almost bam-like structure ; in that year it was entirely rebuilt with 
the exception of the tower. It is marked on Saxton*s Map of Yorkshire^ 
A.D. 1677. The accompanying view of the ancient building is sketched 
from a photograph on glass kindly lent for the purpose by Mrs. Dene, of 

Thb Old Church, Horsb Housb, Covebdalb. 

Leeds, wife of a former vicar of Coverham. There is also a Methodist 
Chapel here and an endowed school, over the door of which is a poetical 
inscription composed by Mr. Ralph Rider, of Deer Close, who was then 
blind and in the 90th year of his age. 

Coverdale, as all the Christian world knows, or ought to know, 
produced the family that gave birth to that worthy and learned divine, 
Dr. Miles Coverdale, Bishop of Exeter, whose translation of the Bible 
was the first ever printed in the English tongue. Copies of the first 
edition of Coverdale's BihUy published in 1535, are exceedingly scarce. 

* See the author's Craven and the North'Wett YorkMhire Bighlande^ page 386. 


One was sold at Sotheby^s in 1886 for £120. No perfect copy, I believe, 
is known to exist, and the one just noticed had the title, first few leaves, 
and the map in fac-simile. An edition of Coverdale's New Testament 
was printed in Antwerp in 1588, and a second edition appeared in the 
following year. They are quite profusely, though of course crudely, 
illustrated, some of the pictures being of a very grotesque character. 
Thus over the seventh chapter of St. Matthew a man is curiously 
depicted with a large piece of wood like a plank obtruding from his eye, 
which is meant to illustrate our Lord's monition to cast the beam from 
our own eye, ere we find the mote in our brother's. Coverdale, I may 
add, was appointed almoner to Queen Catherine Parr, who had many 
and close relationships with Richmondshire families, particularly with the 
Nevilles and Conyers. The youthful Margaret Neville was a maid-of- 
honour at the marriage of her step-mother, Catherine Parr, with 
Henry VIII., in 1548. 

Coverdale has produced many another family or man of note ; indeed 
a separate volume might be written on these, and the history, tales, and 
traditions of this secluded and romantic upland valley. A residence of 
a few months in the dale — finding the opportunity to converse with some 
of its knowing inhabitants, bred and bom in the dale — like sturdy 
Robert Lofthouse (now over 80) of Carlton — would produce much of 
entertaining and instructive interest for such a volume. For instance, 
the said Mr. Lofthouse will tell you that he is of the old family of 
Lofthouse which was seated at Swineside, in Coverdale, several centuries, 
and from whom the Marquises of Ely trace their descent. It is veiy 
probable this distinguished house took its name from Lofthouse in 
Nidderdale, where one local magnate, Pam de Lof thus, was living in the 
reign of Henry II.* Sir Edward Loftus, afterwards Lord Loftus, was 
occupying Middleham Castle, as I have already related, up to the time of 
the great Civil War. This name is frequently met with in the 
Middleham church books up to the time when Edward, son of Lord 
Loftus, was baptised, the 14th day of April, 1648, after which entry 
their name does not occur in these registers. Branches of the family 
have, however, continued to reside in the neighbourhood ever since. 
When, after the introduction of Methodism into the dale, Middleham 
became the head of a Circuit, and was divided in 1806, Ralph Loftus 
was appointed leader of that body at Horse House, and there were also 
other families of the same name and persuasion then living at the same 

Mr. Henry Constantine, of Carlton, has also many old deeds, &c., in 
his possession relating to the district. His uncle, the late Henry 

* 8ee Burke's PeercMe, art, Marq of Ely ; alBO the author's Nidderdale and 
the Garden of the Nidd, page 483. 


CoDBtantine, who was born and died in the house next door, was a poet 
and writer of some standing, who not nndeservedly earned the title of 
** The Ooverdale Bard." Perhaps we might say of him : 

True, his songs were not divine ; 

Were not songs of that high art 
Which, as winds do in the pine, 
Find an answer in each heart. 
But the mirth 
Of this green earth 
Laughed and revelled in each line. 

As Longfellow thus tunefully phrases it, yet our rustic poet, although he 
never received anything better than a village education, had a good gift 
for penning both in prose and rhyme. His best work is Rural Poetry 
and Frose^ in two volumes, printed at Beverley in 1867. He also wrote 
7%# Farmer^s Vicissitudes^ or the Adventures of Tom Random and his 
Family^ printed at Richmond in 1862 ; likewise two amusing pamphlets 
in the dialect (1858), and an Essay on the Best Method of Reclaiming 
Heath Land, He died in July, 1870, aged 79. There is a large apple- 
tree in front of the house where he lived and died, and above the door is 
a slab bearing these flattering lines : 

He wrote from knowledge, genius kind 
Opened the casket of his mind, 
Poured out the essence to his worth, 
Endurance followed from his birth. 
Hope, that blessed gift of Heaven, 
Hope, to every mortal given, 
Hope, which soothes the inward breast, 
Hope for Heaven's eternal rest. 

Another local character of yeoman descent, conspicuous in the annals of 
the past, was James Metcalfe, who was bom at Coverhead in the year 
1785. He was brought up to the trade of a carpenter, and after many 
and various services and promotions, he sailed in Lord Amherst^s 
celebrated embassy to China in 1814. Afterwards he went to St. Helena, 
and being employed frequently at Longwood, he had on the death of the 
exiled Emperor Buonaparte, the honour of making the coffin of this 
redoubtable monarch, which bore his remains to their final resting-place 
in the sacred vault of the Invalides at Paris. 

Coverdale seems to have been a green and flourishing valley in the 
Anglo-Saxon period, and was doubtless occupied by people of that race 
and afterwards by the Danes. The name seems to be derived from the 
A.3. cofa-^ly t.0., cave-dale, from the existence of several remarkable 
caverns in the higher part of the valley.* The names, too, of three 

* Dr. W hi taker derives it from Ko/vr^ an arrow, from the swiftness of the 
stream ; tee Riehmondthire vol. i., page 14. 


important chiefs of this period are perpetuated in places high np in the 
dale : Oammersgill, doubtless so-called after the great Domeadaj 
landowner, Oamel ;* UlferHgill, named after Ulf, the son of Thorold, 
who in the time of King Canute, governed in the western part of 
Deira ;t and Harkon Fell, from the powerful Viking, Earl Hakon, who 
as we learn from the Jomavikinga'Saga^ offered his son in sacrifice to 
obtain of Odin the victory over the Jomsburg pirates, a.d. 9944 Hit 
name may be commemorated too in Arkengarthdale. At this time there 
were six principal places in the dale having settled communities, and 
called in a.d. 1086, Covreham, Carleton, Oaldeber, Melmerbi, Aoolestorp, 
and Scrafton, all of which were burnt or destroyed, and the bulk of the 
people massacred, by the armies of Earl Alan, who after the readjustment 
of affairs by the Norman conquerors settled at Richmond. Local tradition, 
as well as mounds of the dead, tell of many a sanguinary contest in 
Ooverdale, and terrible fighting there must have been here for the mingled 
blood of Saxon and Dane was hard of conquest ; the Normans being held 
in peculiar detestation by the hardy owners of this fair northern territoiy. 
Ooverdale lay wholly waste for some time after the Conquest, until 
Ribald, the brother of Earl Alan, took up his abode at Middleham, when 
his followers, mingling with those natives who had survived the Norman 
onslaught, began to recover the lands cultivated in a previous era. 

Coverham township includes the hamlets or houses of Coverham, 
Agglethorpe, Cotescue, Tupgill, Ashgill and Bird-Ridding. At Coverham, 
on the north side of the river, are the few remains of the historic Abbey, 
or as it seems to have been erroneously called by some authorities a 
Priory. It was originally founded in 1190 at Swainby, near Bedale, as 
I have before noted, by the heiress of Ranulph de Glanville, wife of the 
lord of Middleham. In 1215, owing to some disputes with the canons 
of Swainby, the establishment was transferred to its present retired site 
beside the peaceful Cover. At the Dissolution the lands, tenements, 
tithes, &c., belonging to the abbey were set down as yielding a clear 
yearly income of £160 188. 8d. In 1557 the lands occupied by the 
monks were sold to Humphrey Orme, for the sum of £419 15s., being 
thirty years* purchase at the rent of £18 19s. lOd. The following 
particulars I have transcribed from the HarJdan MSB. (vol. 606, fo. 46) : 

Paboel of the Possessions of the late Mokastbbt of Coverham, 
IN THE Co. of Yobk. 

Farm of the site of the Baid late monastery within the Archdeaconry of 
Richmond, in the Coantj of York, with all houses, buildings, barns, stables, 
gardens, lands and ground within the site of tlie said late monastery, together 

* There is a Gamelsgill near Steeton, in Airedale. 

t Ulf*s horn is preserved at York Minster. % See the Heifntltringla^ ri., 8S-47. 


with all the lands belonging to the aaid demesne, via., one close called Morehead, 
containing xviii. acres ; one close called Brekangill, containing iii. acres ; ii. closes 
called Bzecloses, containing xx. acres ; one close called le Hiefeld, containing xx. 
acres of arable land ; one close of meadow called Thavayleclose, containing iiii. 
acres ; one close of meadow called Pudsey close, with Lawbrether logs containing 
T. acres ; one close of meadow called Jobclose, containing iii. acres ; one close 
called Smythegarthe, containing half-an-aore ; one close called Gills Inges, contg. 
▼i. acres ; one close of pasture called John Ryding, with Kirkebank, contg. ix. 
acres ; one close called BrobiUthiwayte, contg. iii. acres ; one close called 
le Groves, contg. an acre ; one close called lea Asshes, contg. iii. acres ; one close 
of arable land called Huggestedes, contg. xii. acres ; one close called Brodriding, 
contg. vi. acres ; one close called Westsighfeld, contg. xii. acres of arable land ; 
one close of arable land called Cristeroft, contg. yii. acres ; one close called 
Solegarth, contg. i. acre ; one close of meadow called Cote ings, contg. xx. 
acres ; one close of meadow called Conyhowe, contg. xiiii. acres ; one close of 
meadow called [ne] viii. acres ; one close of meadow called Clapham close, contg. 
iii. acres ; one close of meadow contg. v. acres ; one close called New Ings, with 
Tirnclose, contg. iiii. acres of meadow ; one close of meadow called Selestall and 
Huttocke, contg. iiii. acres. And the herbage of two closes of wood there, via,, 
ii. parcels called Pillidod and Akehowsewood : one close of wood called Hippers- 
leigbt and lea Mires ; and one close called Bankes. Also one grain mill there ; so 
together demised to Ralph Crofte by Indenture, under the seal of the Court of 
Augmentations, bearing date at Westuiinster, xxvi. May, the xxxviii. year of the 
reign of the late King Henry, to bave and to hold to the said Ralph and his 
assigns for the term of xxi. years from that time following and fully to be 
completed ; paying therefrom per annum xiii^ xixj. xd, at the terms of the 
Annunciation of the Blessed Virgin Mary and St. Michael the Archangel in equal 
portions. Repairs at the charge of the farmer, as in the said Indenture appears. 

Mbm. : The premises are no parcell of thauncient demeanes of the Crown, the 
duchyes of Lane, or Cornewall, and they lye not nigh eny of the king & queue's 
majesties castells, honors, manors, or howses whereunto their highnes have usuall 
access. Item. : The premises ar well wodded, which is to be considered by your 
honors. What mynes of cole or lede is within the premises it is unknown to 
thauditor. And toching other the comodytes thereof otherwyse then is before 
declared, the Record maketh no farther mention. 

Examined by me Antho. Rone, Aud. 
xiii. day of May, 1557. Rated for Humphrey Orme. 

The clere yerly value of the premises, xiii^ xix#. x^., which rated at xxx^ yeres 
purchase amounteth to ccccxix^ xv«. 

The mony to be pd. before the xxvi. of May, 1557. 

The king and quene*s majesty to discharge the purchaser of all things and 
incumbrances made or don by their majesties, except leses. 

The purchacer to discharge the king & queue's majestyes of all fees & Reprises 
goyng out of the premisses, the tenure in chief. 

The purchacer to haue thissues from the fest of thannuncyation of our Lady 
last past. 

The purchacer to be bound in a thousand poundes for the woods. 

The leade & belles & thaduowson to be except. 

William Petbb, Fbattncib Inolefeld, John Bakbb. 


The site of the monastery, with adjoining lands, passed to the 
Bainhridge family, from whom it went to the Atkinsons, who were 
originally located at Newstead, in the parish of East Witton, and from 
them it was purchased hy the Listers. 

Of the much mutilated remains of the Abbey may be noted the old 
Norman gateway, and some Decorated arches of the nave. It is also 
still possible to trace the outline of the cloister quadrangle. Bat the 

Inscribed DooRWAy, Covbrham Abbby. 

buildings have sufiPered much from the covetous hands of stone-seekers 
after the initial destruction of it by the King^s Commissioners in the 
16th century, and it is therefore difficult to obtain a correct idea of its 
original extent and character. One looks also with dismay on parts of 
the sacred enclosure, which have been partially converted into farm-folds 
and stables ; in the choir, where the great lie buried, and where many a 
requiem has been chanted and hymn gone forth to Ood, lie heaps of 


rubbish and mannre — ^a sad reflection on the uses to which our noblest 
fanes may descend I 

In the enclosures adjoining once grew in plenty the figwort, gentian^ 
agrimony, hemlock, and many useful plants in the old monks' herbal. 
For about their sacred houses there was besides the well-tended orchard 
nsnally the herb and flower garden, in which, in those unclouded days of 
monastic happiness, the monks took especial pride. If we could only 
see one such perfect abbey-garden now-a-days, it would, doubtless, be a 
revelation of old-world interest and loveliness in the many valuable 
medicinal plants, and in the charming mixture of colour displayed in 
the homely flower-beds, some of which were as old, perhaps, as the 
foundation of the abbey. A fair idea of the things that were grown 
and the prices paid by the monks for them is obtained from the Hampton 
Court Books, written about 1529. There we find mention of the old- 
time wallflower and rosemary, and that the various sorts of sweet-william 
were purchased at 4d. the bushel ; gillaver-slips, gillaver-mints, and 
other sweet flowers at the same price ; primroses and violets the same. 
Woodbine and thorns cost 5d. the hundred. Apple and pear trees cost 
6d. apiece, cherry trees 6d. a hundred, and so on. What an abounding 
interest is there not in these old-world gardens, lingering traces of which 
we may sometimes come upon in some half-neglected ruin. Yerily we 
feel with Scott when he says : 

The rude stone fence with fragrant wall -flowers gay, 

To me more pleasure yields 

Than all the pomp imperial domes display. 

Turning about the ruins there are several effigies and inscribed stones 
to be seen, rescued from an oblivious neglect in which they appear for 
a long time to have lain. Several of these are statues of ancient knights, 
dug up while constructing some outhouses in the early part of the 
century. They are of the snrcoat period, sculptured in Crusading panoply 
of the time of Henry III. to Edward II. They are much mutilated, 
but are worthy of the best care being taken of them ; two of them 
being probably the oldest sculptures of their kind extant in Yorkshire. 
There can, I think, be little doubt that one represents the powerful 
Ranulph Fitz Robert, who translated the monks of Swainby to Coverham 
in 1215. He was great grand-nephew of the Conqneror*s kinsman. 
Earl Alan, first lord of Richmondshire after the Conquest, and died in 
1251. He was interred with great pomp in the chapter house at 
Coverham, along with his mother, whose remains had been brought 
hither from Swainby where they had lain since her death in 1195. 
Another effigy (a mere torso, — ^a ruthless destruction due perhaps to the 
Scottish raid on Coverham after Bannockburn, in 1814) may possibly 
represent his son, Ralph Fitz Ranulph, founder or co-founder of the 


monastery of the Grey Friars at Richmond, who died in 1270, and whose 
heart was buried in the chnrch of the Grey Friars, and his bones at 
Goverham. A thkd effigy of a knight in mail armour has carved beside 
it three dogs, two of which are represented in the act of chasing a stag 
into a wood, while the third is playfully biting his master's scabbard. 
These portraitures may be considered to indicate that the knight was 
celebrated in the arts of the chase, and they may be also intended to 
illustrate the greyhound badge of the Nevilles, in which case we have, 
perhaps, in this monument a memorial of the great Robert de Neville, 
who married the heiress of the Fitz Ranulphs, or what is more probable, 
his son, Ralph de Neville, who was interred at Goverham in 1880, as the 
effigy is shewn beneath a Gothic canopy of the time of Edward II. 

The mansion adjoining, called Goverham Abbey, is the seat of 
Christopher Other, Esq., J.P. Near the ruins of the abbey is the church 
(Holy Trinity), an ancient fabric rebuilt in 1854, with its sturdy tower 
standing four-square to all the winds that blow. A singular circumstance 
may be mentioned in connection with this site. Although the churchyard 
covers less than two acres, there is one part of it where the buUding 
cannot be seen, nor are the bells in the toWer always audible. This 
arises from the ground falling abruptly on the south-east side, towards 
the abbey ruins, and at the bottom of the descent the church is quite 
invisible, while the noise of a rapid stream propelling the corn-mill 
wheel prevents the bells from being heard. The church contains some 
beautiful stained glass, and there are also some modem brasses bearing 
peculiarly-amusing inscriptions. 

Gotescue Park (Charles J. Burril, Esq., J.P.)> in this township, was 
formerly the seat of the Croft family, to whom the lands, &c., of Goverham 
Abbey were demised, 1546, and who about the time of Charles I. 
held no fewer than seven ancient halls or manor-houses in this district.* 
Agglethorpe, now consisting of a few houses which are passed on the way 
from Goverham to West Witton or Wensley, had once a handsome old 
hall belonging to the Crofts. It was afterwards divided into farm- 
cottages, and eventually pulled down some forty-five years ago. Just 
below is the extensive racing establishment of Ashgill, which has long 
been in possession of the Osbornes. The late Mr. John Osborne, who 
settled here in 1887, turned out some wonderful horses in his time, and 
his deeds on the turf are matter of common history. He died in 1865, 
aged 62, and was buried at Goverham Church, leaving a fortune of 
£40,000, besides being lord of a manor and patron of a church living. 
Breckongill, a similar but small establishment, lies down on the right, 
and is now occupied by one of his sons, Mr. John Osborne, who has 
ridden in some famous races. In 1892, on his retirement from the 

* See Barker's Three Day$ of Wemleyddle, pages 146-7. 



profession, he was presented with a cheque for 8600 guineas, together 
with an address expressing a sense of the conspicuous fidelity and 
rectitude which had always marked his career. Tupgill is another of 
these famous training-houses, which has an extensive frontage occupying 
a charming position overlooking the beautiful valley of the Cover. For 
over thirty years (from 1848) Mr. Thomas Dawson had charge of this 
well-known establishment. Among the many noted horses trained by 
him may be mentioned the redoubtable Blue Bonnet (winner of the 
St. Leger), Rapid Rhone^ Pretender^ and BothtvelL Mr. Dawson died in 
February, 1880, aged 70, and was interred in the churchyard at Coverham, 
where a handsome monument to his memory has been erected by his 
only daughter, Mrs. Bates. There are also two stain-glass memorial 
windows to Mr. and Mrs. Dawson in the church. I may also mention 
that many valuable paintings of celebrated race-horses are preserved at 
Tupgill. Yet another of these famous training-places is Spigot Lodge, 
so called after the winner of the St. Leger in 1821. The house is now 
occupied by Mr. Harry Hall. During the time (some twenty-five years) 
that this establishment was controlled by the late Mr. John Fobert, many 
famous animals passed through his hands, notably Underhand^ Van 
Trompf and Flying Dutchman — the latter, owned by Lord Eglinton, 
beating the celebrated VoUigeur in what is described as " the great match 
of the century *' at the York Spring Meeting on May 18th, 1851. It is 
said that Mr. Fobert ''in ten years won for one single patron of his 
stables £80,000 in stakes alone.'* 

The township of Caldbergh or Caldbridge, which includes the hamlet 
of East Scrafton, has belonged with other property in Coverdale to 
the family of Topham for fully four centuries. The late Sir William 
Topham, K.C.H., who died at Noirmont, Weybridge, in June, 1895, at 
the age of 84, was the last lineal owner. He was brother to the aged and 
esteemed lady, Miss Topham, now of Middleham House, being the eldest 
son of Mr. Lupton Topham, of Middleham and Caldbergh, by the only 
daughter and heir of Mr. Edward Clongh, of Acomb. He was twice 
married, (1) to Lady Mary, youngest daughter of the fourth Duke of 
Portland (she died in 1874), and (2) in 1879 to Anne, daughter of the late 
Thomas Harrison, Esq., one of the Commissioners of Excise. Sir William 
received his knighthood in 1858. He had in 1858 been appointed 
lieutenant of the corps of Gentlemen-at-Arms, when he was made a 
Knight Commander of the Royal Hanoverian Onelphic Order. He also 
held the honorary rank of lieutenant-colonel, and in 1874 was appointed 
Hon. Lieutenant of the Royal Naval Reserve. By his will he bequeathed 
the Coverdale property to the family of his second wife, providing that 
they assumed the name and arms of Topham in addition to their own 
name of Harrison. 


Melmerbj (inn, the Topham Arms) the head of an apland towoRhlp 
which includes part of the fells of Penhill, and West Scrafton, on the 
east side of Coverdale, are small places of no particular interest. At 
Scrafton, however, there was once a grange belonging to Coverfaam 
Abbey, and the monks had over a hundred acres of land in the township. 
The place gave name to an ancient family resident here before the 
Reformation. Scrafton Lodge is now the seat of Lady Chaytor, lady 
of the manor of Caldbridge with Scrafton, and widow of the late 
Sir Wm. R. Carter Chaytor, Bart., who died in 1871. He was M.P. for 
the City of Durham from 1881 to 1884.* 

I referred a few pages back to the introduction of Methodism in 
Coverdale, and at Scrafton an incident is remembered, which may be 
mentioned in order to shew the kind of opposition the sect encountered 
while attempting to obtain a footing in the dale. The members first 
assembled for worship in a room hired for the purpose in a public-house 
at Scrafton. The room was directly over the beer-cellar, and the 
minister who had conducted the service for a little while, gave out the 
hymn, " Vain, delusive world, adieu !" when suddenly the floor gave 
way, and the whole congregation was precipitated among the broken 
beams and ale-casks in the cellar below. Many of the older folks got 
rather badly hurt ; others escaped with a scratch or bruise. It was 
afterwards ascertained that the roof -beam of the cellar had been nearly 
flawed in two. The " lark " fortunately did not prove very serious, and 
had its desired effect, for many years elapsed before the Methodists 
iurned up again at Scrafton. 

Carlton, which is the principal place in Coverdale, climbs ^'up-bank*' 
for nearly a mile. You pass some good houses on the way, including 
the neat parsonage, which is a perfect picture of rusticity. The front 
is completely immured in well-trimmed ivy, and every window is a nose- 
gay. The straggling little town possesses a small chapel-of-ease (used 
also for a school) erected in 1855, a Wesleyan Chapel built in 1885, and 
in Roman Catholic times there was a chapel here dedicated to St. Thomas. 
The Quakers were also established here at an early period. The old 
Hall has been partly rebuilt, and is now only occupied as a dwelling at 
one end, the other portion being used for farm stores. A stone in the 
building bears the initials and date W. F. S., 1659, the letters and 
figures being raised, instead of, as usual, cut into the stone. The estate 
adjoining, called the Flatts, formerly belonged to Coverham Abbey, and 
fiome 80 acres of it appear to have been enclosed at one time for the 
keeping of deer. It is still known as Deer Park. Deer of course were 
once plentiful in a wild state in Coverdale, where they found a 
comparatively secure retreat in the wide, unpeopled forest tracts which 

* See Burke^B Landed Gentry, art. Chaytor. 


then prcvailed. Large immbers of pheasants, partridges, hares, &c., 
were also kept in the warren belonging to the family of Pjgot, at 
Melmerby and Scrafton, in the 15th centnry. In a volume of ancient 
deeds in the Record Office,* I find a grant made by Mary de Neville — 
the pioDS '^ Mary of Middleham,'* heiress of the founders of Goverham 
Abbey, — to Geoffrey, son of Geoffrey Pygot, for his life, of land in 
Melmerby by the mill of Grif, and in Landriding (? Birdridding), also 
a certain mUl called Milnebank. He was to be free from all suits of 
court, and also if his cattle at Melmerby should trespass in her Forest of 
Coverdale, beyond the bounds of the pasture of Carlton, in which there 
was right of common, the same should be returned without impounding, 
and lastly he was to have the right of pasture in Coverdale Forest. This 
deed was sealed at Middleham in the year 1286.t 

Carlton Highdale township includes all the higher and wilder parts 
of Coverdale, and embraces an area of over 10,000 acres. It includes 
the hamlets or houses of Horse House, Swineside, Arkleside, Gammersgill, 
Blackrake, Bradeley, West Close, Woodale, Flensop, Hindlethwaite, 
Pickhill, and Coverhead. The land is held principally by Amias C. T. 
Orde-Powlett, Esq., the trustees of Henry T. Robinson, Esq., and the 
Rev. E. C. Topham, M.A. Some of the dwellings in this township are 
situated at a high altitude, notably Grouse House, which stands about 
1600 feet above sea-level, and is probably the highest inhabited house in 
the county. 

Now we will leave the tourist to ramble at his leisure through 
this picturesque and romantic valley. There has always been a good 
deal of traffic along this road, and in the olden times, when the traveller 
might have seen the wild deer about the hill-tops, and the ancient wains 
and waggons yoked with sinewy oxen fetching loads of meal, timber, &c., 
from the granges ; when the sweet bells of Coverham Abbey pealed 
forth their sonorous chimes, or the well-trained voices of choristers could 
be heard beyond the abbey walls (old Leland praises the singing at 
Coverham), we can imagine the Coverdale of ancient days. When the 
monasteries were dissolved, which brought about a disastrous revolution, 
the bulk of the population being more or less dependent upon these 
institutions, which served as colleges for the education of youth, 
infirmaries for the sick, and asylums for the poor, the roads became filled 
with homeless and beggared people of both sexes and every age, whose 
callings were gone, and who had not the wherewithal to maintain a 
respectable existence. Thousands of honest folk were ruined, and many 
died of famine and neglect by the waysides. The roads were filled with 

* Ancient Deedi, vol. ii., B2516. 

t For Pedigree of Pygot $ee Harrison's OUling Wett^ page 519. 


freebooters, idlers, gipsies, pipers, &c., intent on ekeing out a living as 
best they could. This loose and evil life filled the country with alarm, 
and it became necessary to issue proclamations and warnings to travellera, 
along with injunctions prohibiting, under heavy penalties, all idle and 
specious wandering. The road through Ooverdale became a comparatively 
safe refuge for sham-pedlars and highwaymen, and I find in the Quarter 
Sessions .Records for January, 1607-8, one Anthony Yeoman, of Horse 
House, charged with harbouring rogues, and at the same time, the 
unfortunate chaplain or reader of Horse House, one Thomas Jenkinaon, 
of Hindlethwaite, was indicted for suffering piping and other disorders 
in the chapel there on St. Symond^s day. The chances are there was a 
boisterous and motley gathering here celebrating in a riotous manner 
the old Catbolic feast, and the said chaplain was powerless to prevent the 
intrusion. In 1676 the ministers of parishes in Richmondshire received 
orders to publish the statute respecting idle persons once a month after 
morning service, and the constables were also ordered to apprehend all 
rogues, wandering or sturdy beggars, and that a reward at the rate of 
2s. per head should be paid to any person who shall seize and secure such 
wanderers. All tinkers, too, pedlars, and petty chapmen, Bedlam 
common players of interludes, gipsies, fiddlers, and pipers, wandering 
abroad, be apprehended by the constables and watchmen where they shall 
so pass, and be carried before some J.P., to be dealt withal according to 
law. A busy, not to say an anxious time, must it have been for the 
magistrates of that unsettled period, — who sometimes were called upon to 
commit their own kinsfolk and servants — and especially in Richmondshire 
where monasteries were so numerous, and monastic life influenced so 
mightily both the affections and interests of the people. 



Abound Bast Witton. 

Delightful situation of East Witton — Domeiday record— Ancient market — ^Village 
feast — St. Simon's well — Cast-away well — Diana's well, a Roman tutelary 
spring — A curious fountain — Past and present aspects of East Witton — The 
old church— The present church — ^A local historian — Cover bridge — An angler's 
paradise^Coverham Abbey fish preserves — Otter's cave. 

[ROUND East Witton the country is very beautiful, and its 
open, luxuriant and park-like aspects seem to breathe of rest 
and peace. Lovely it is in Spring, when the hedges are white 
with May, when the song of the lark is heard pouring from 
the serene blue depths of the sky, when the pastures wear the liveliest 
green, and the delicious purling of waters is soothing to heart and mind. 
The village is charmingly situated beneath the well-wooded acclivities 
of Witton Fell, and lies about midway between historic Middleham and 
the far-famed ruins of Jervaux Abbey. The place must not be confounded 
with the village of West Witton, to which it anciently belonged, and 
which lies some five miles to the north-west under the shadow of Penhill. 
Both are of Saxon origin, and are probably so-called because they were 
built of stone (».«., white-toum) when other places round about were 
built of wood. The Domesday record tells us that the manor of Witton 
contained but little wood, that is in a.d. 1086, and it is very likely the 
houses were originally built of stone got from Witton Fell or Penhill. 
Witton belonged, in the reign of Edward the Confessor, to one Glumer ; 
it was then in an advanced state of cultivation, but on the Norman 
accession its value was reduced by one fourth, owing to depopulation 
caused by fire and sword. The district, however, soon recovered from 
these ill effects, and its natural fertility began to draw fresh and ever- 
increasing numbers of people, so that by the time of King Edward I. 
the place had attained to the importance of a market-town, with a fair 
annually, and hirings for servants. From the time that this charter 
was granted to the Abbot of Jervaux in a.d. 1806, until the outbreak 
of the great plague in 1568, which wrought such disaster in Wensleydale, 
the markets continued to be held at East Witton. That unhappy event, 



however, seems to have put a stop to these promiscnoas gatherings here, 
and there are no records of markets having been held here since. But 
the old village feast was kept np with much zest until within the last 
forty years, it being made the occasion of a general holiday. Races 
took place, and there were games and amusements of all kinds, (the 
present May-pole was erected in 1887), but it not infrequently happened 
that some poor hilarious wight found his way into the village stocks 
for a short respite to reflect upon his excesses and consider his better 
behaviour in the future. 

Old customs die hard, and consequently in a district like this, once 
in the midst of monasteries, and almost wholly monastic propei-ty, many 
of the old Catholic festivals were unfailingly observed down to within 
quite recent times. An old well or bath, called St. Simon's Well, which 
is still in existence beside the sparkling Cover, in the township of East 
Scrafton, is said to have been the site of an oratory dedicated to 
St. Simon, whose anniversary was observed as a holiday by the dales- 
people from very early times. I have referred to the feasting and riots 
which took place at Horse House in Coverdale on St. Simon's day, and 
the Rev. James Law, who was curate of Coverham in the early part of 
this century, tells us in some verses descriptive of the locality, that 
although the ruins of St. Simon's cell are forgotten, 

— Still one day in honour of the saint 

In feasting yearly, through the dale Is spent. 

Very near the summit of Witton Fell is a beautiful spring and grotto 
called Cast-away Well, which is much resorted to in the summer months. 
On a hot day it affords a delightful retreat from the scorching rays of 
the sun, while the visitor will be amply rewarded for the fatigue of 
climbing to it by the grand and uninterrupted view that reaches over 
the spreading vale below away eastward to the Cleveland Hills. The 
name of the well betrays a suggestion of its having been the scene of 
votive offerings, when some small article of value such as a pin was cast 
into the water, as an offering to the spirit of the well, and in token of 
luck. Such holy-wells were sometimes known as Pin Wells. Another 
oopious and pellucid spring on this Fell has been known from time 
immemorial as Diana's Well, and it supplies water to the rock-fountain 
in the village below. The spring is of exceptional purity, and the 
following old rhyme about it has almost passed into a local proverb : 

Whoever eats Hammer nuts, and drinks Diana's water, 
Will never leave Witton town while he*s a rag or tatter. 

Some of the excellent nuts out of Hammer Woods and a cup of Diana's 
water would, doubtless, provide a feast fit for the gods ; at anyrate, 


whatever may have indaced the liking, the Witton people are said to be 
particularly attached to their native place. There is much in favour of 
Mr. Barker's supposition that the spring was dedicated by the Romans 
to their goddess of the chase. The name of the well is unquestionably 
of high antiquity, and as we know the Romans were stationed at 
Middleham, it is not unlikely that they hunted and stalked the wild boar 
and deer on Witton Fell, and had a temple dedicated to their tutelary 
deity of the chase close beside the beautiful spring. In Camden's time 
an old ruin at Levens, beside the river Kent, was traditionally believed 
to have been a temple of Diana, and it lay but a short distance from the 
Roman road passing between Lancaster and Bowness. The old diarist, 
Abraham de la Pryme, also tells us of a famous spring at Kerton-in- 
Liudsay in his time (1671-1704) called Diana's Head, but now not 
known by that name. 

The fountain in the .village of Witton which is supplied from this 
fine spring is curiously formed out of a large glacial boulder, measuring 
about fourteen feet round and five to six feet high, and weighing upwards 
of three tons. It was transferred hither, I am told, in 1859 from a field 
a quarter-mile to the north of the village, and sixteen horses were 
employed in its removal. On the south side of the village are several 
mounds of post-glacial origin, similar to others in the Yorkshire dales 
which occur down to a certain point. 

East Witton has been wonderfully altered, almost within present 
recollection. At the beginning of this century there were many very 
old houses, and most of them had roofs of thatch. Thomas, Earl of 
Ailesbury, the then owner of the estate, had the whole place remodelled, 
and all the houses built anew. About the same time he erected the 
present handsome church in commemoration of His Majesty King 
George III. entering upon the fiftieth year of his reign (1809), when 
there was a public celebration throughout the country. There were then 
two or three inns in the village ; the present picturesque-looking 
temperance hotel being a full-licensed house called the Fox and Hounds. 
Several public coaches passed through the village, including the London 
and Eirkby Stephen coaches which travelled by way of Nosterfield and 
Cover Bridge through Wensleydale and Mallerstang. One of the branch 
London and Richmond coaches, as I have said, came up Wharf edale and 
through Coverdale, but did not touch East Witton, passing through 
Middleham and over Bellerby Moor. 

The site of the old church of St. Martin, anciently belonging to 
Jervaux Abbey, is near the hamlet of Lowthorpe, and the old vicarage 
house is passed on the way from Witton. Of the origin of the church 
there are no records ; neither in the grants of Stephen, Earl of Richmond 
(ob. 1131), or of Earl Conan (ob. 1171), is any mention made of the 


church, Dor does it appear how it came into possession of the monks of 
Jervaux. But portions of the ancient stonework prove it to be a 
Norman foundation. By inquisition taken at Richmond 6th Henry YI., 
the Abbot and Convent of Jervaux were declared seized of six carucates 
of land with the appurtenances in East Witton, held of the king in capiie 
as of the honour of Richmond, in pure and perpetual alms, and worth 
yearly £20. At the Dissolution the village was returned as yielding a 
yearly revenue of £32 10s., and in addition there was a water corn-mill 
within the township worth 20s., and a fulling-mill worth 10s. annually. 
The tithes, oblations, and Easter offerings in the rectory were valued at 
£11 15s. 6d., but from this amount the abbot had to pay £5 to the 
rector of East Witton, and £1 18s. 4d. to the lord of Bedale for the 
rents due from East Witton for maintaining three chaplains and two 
clerks in the chapel at Bedale, founded by Brian, Lord Fitz Alan. 

The old church was taken down when the present edifice was erected 
in 1809, on a site some 800 yards distant from the old one.* The burial- 
yard, however, continued to be used long after the destruction of the 
church, and I have heard a tradition that in the old Catholic days it 
was the custom on the occasion of a funeral to carry the cofSn once 
round the church-yard, sprinkling it with holy-water from an ancient 
stone bowl that is remembered to have stood on the east side of the 
sacred enclosure. Several stone coffins have been found here. Mr. Barker, 
referring to a curiously-shaped tombstone in the church-yard, says it is 
traditionally reported to cover the body of a child with two heads, and 
in this township within the last thirty years (that is about 1825) a child 
was bom having the perfect head of a hare. 

The present church, dedicated to St. John the Evangelist, contains 
some magnificent examples in stained glass. The spacious east window, 
which fills almost the entire width of the chancel, and is proportionately 
high, consists of five lights depicting Our Lord's Ascension (in the 
centre light) and the four Evangelists. It was the gift of the Marchioness 
of'Ailesbury in 1859. The next window is a memorial to John Raymond 
Garrett, Lieutenant 60th King's Royal Rifles, who was bom at East 
Witton vicarage in 1858, and met his death at the battle of Ingogo, 
South Africa, February 8rd, 1881. There is a very beautiful brass under 
this window. A memorial window in the baptistery was presented by 
the Rev. William Perkins Garrett, a former curate of the parish, and 
others in the south wall were the gift of Lady Ailesbury, and Lord and 
Lady Byng in 1873. The font is modern. Whitaker gives a list of the 

* The material was used in part construction of the new church and in some 
of the houses in the village. One stout oak beam from the old church formr the 
roof-beam in the parlour of the house now occupied by Miss Williamson. 


vicars down to the present century. The piisent vicar is the Rev. David 
Wilkie, who is a nephew of the late eminent painter, Sir David 
TVilkie, R.A. 

Mr. William Oideon Michael Jones Barker, locally known as Gideon 
Barker, author of the Three Days of WmsleydaU, was born at East 
Witton in 1817, and died on Easter Tuesday, April 10th, 1855 (his 
death having occurred four days after the birth of the author of this 
present work). He was the only son of Mr. Thomas Barker, an East 
Witton farmer, who also combined the trades of a joiner and builder, 
and during the last years of his life had retired from business. His 
mother, Mrs. Sarah Barker, was a Miss Offer, of Endford, Wiltshire, who 
was some years in the service of the Rev. Wm. Jones, vicar of East Witton, 
for whom he had a more than ordinary respect. Mr. and Mrs. Jones 
adopted our author when an infant, and he was brought up and educated 
at the vicarage, and they also left him a small fortune. Singularly 
enough, whilst under the roof of this Protestant vicar, Mr. Barker imbibed 
in 1848 the principles of the Roman Catholic religion, and remained ever 
afterwards strongly attached to this faith. His book above mentioned, 
published in 1854, and now difficult to obtain, is unquestionably the 
best contribution to Wensleydale history that has yet appeared, in spite 
of the marked religious bias that permeates the whole work. Mr. Barker 
had two sisters, one of whom was married to the late Mr. Wm. Marsh, 
of Middleham. 

Before we turn eastward to survey the pride and loveliness of Jervaux 
let us saunter down by the pleasant Cover side to the old bridge, which 
spans it on the highway to Middleham and the north. Some little 
distance below the bridge is the '' meeting of the waters," a quiet rustic 
spot beloved of anglers, for is there not here some of the very best 
fishing in the whole of this great county of ours, famous for its trout 
streams ? It was not unknown to that prince of the pen as well as of 
the rod and line, Canon Eingsley, who has taken many a finny beauty 
from its rocky deeps and shallows ; while another eminent scholar, Mark 
Pattison, on similar pleasure bent, rarely missed a summer visit to this 
favoured spot. Trout are plentiful, and fish of larger growth occasionally 
come up, and evidently thrive in such a paradise. A year or two ago 
Mr. Flintoff, of Spennithome, caught here a large pike, which was sent 
up to London for preservation. It measured just a yard in length, was 
17^ inches in girth, and scaled 14} pounds. 

That the Cover fishing has an old and valued renown is apparent 
from an indictment* made by the Abbot of Coverham so far back as the 
year 1888, when one John Colyn and William Colyn were charged with 

* Vide De Banco, 11th Richard II., m. S65 d. 


unlawfully fishing in the Abbot's domain at Caldbridge in Coverdale, 
and taking fish therefrom of the value of 100s., an extraordinary sum, 
equal to at least £70 of present money. The monks of Goverham had, 
doubtless, some well-stocked preserves there, for fish formed a very 
important dietary by the austere rules of the Premonstratensian Order 
established at Coverham. 

Close to the old bridge already named is the well-known Caver Bridge 
inn, where, perchance, you may while away a pleasant hour in turning 
over the pages of the visitors* book, and if you cannot altogether agree 
with the writer who says 

There ib not in the wide world a valley bo sweet, 
As that vale in whose bosom the wild waters me<it, 
Where the swift sparkling Cover in its flight from the moor. 
Finds its rest like a child on the calm breast of Tore, 

yet the truth of the last couplet you will admit, for the rapid, child-like 
hilarity of the little Cover is in striking contrast with the calm composure 
of the broad and ample Yore. On the banks of the Cover is an opening 
in the rock called the Otter's Cave, which can be penetrated for nearly a 
hundred yards, and a few years ago was rich in stalactites. 






Jbrvaux Abbey. 

beautiful scene — History of the abbey — Depredations by wolves — A perfect 
ground-plan of a Cistercian monastery — Description of the abbey — An ancient 
eflSgy — Family of ITiti Hugh — ^Arms of the abbey — The story of the last 
abbot — Reflections on the Dissolution — Subsequent history — Local wild- 
flowera—Some survivals of the monks* herb and flower gardens. 

||0W we will sauntyer down beside the stately Yore to the old 
ruins of Jervaux* — a lovely walk — to linger awhile in that 
beautiful historic domain, a spot honoured and beloved by 
mighty barons of old, and by that holy brotherhood of 
Christian men, whose bones have long since mingled with its sacred dust. 
The tombstones of founders and abbots may still be seen within the abbey 
enclosure, but where once was the paved aisle and covered wall is now 
green grass and waving foliage. The buildings have suffered much from 
the rapacity of those seeking a convenient quarry for various uses, in the 
after-days of the dissolved monastery, so that what remains is but a 
mere shell or bare outline of this once magnificent pile. Numbers of 
stones, including many beautifully-carved specimens, may be found in 
walls and buildings for several miles around. 

The Abbey, as I have elsewhere related, was originally founded at 
Fors, higher up the valley, and was translated hither in 1156,t but 
Selden, in his introduction to Twysden's Decern Scriptores^ fixes the date 
of removal at about 1 160. Abbot Thorold, it is noteworthy, witnessed the 
charter of the Abbot of Savigny granting the jurisdiction over Jervaux 

* This name has been spelt in at least twenty different ways. The original 
Latin name of the monastery was Jorevallis or Yorevall, from its situation in the 
▼ale of Yore, and it was Frenchified by the Normans into Jorevauz, Jorvaulx, 
Jorevase, Gervase, &c., just as they did Rievaux Abbey, which was in Latin 
Bievall, because it lay in the valley of the Rie or Rye. Sir Walter Scott writes 
Jorvaulx in Ivanhoe^ and the first syllable certainly comes nearer to the original 
Yore than does Jervaux, but the insertion of an * 1,* as frequently appears, is quite 
unnecessary, although in Norman-French deeds the word for valley is commonly 
written vaidw. In English it is purely and simply Yore- vale Abbey. 

t Mon. Ang,, volume i., page 875. 


to Byland, along with Archbishop Mardac, who died in 1158, bat he had 
ceased to be the Abbot of Fountains before 1159. The situation of Fors 
was at that time too densely wooded and confined for the position of a 
flourishing monastery, and was not to be compared with the more open 
and luxuriant lower parts of the valley. The monks had not the natural 
advantages, nor the best conveniences for the pasturing and bousing of 
their cattle and goods ; moreover they were much troubled with wolves, 
which were very numerous in the adjoining forests, and were constantly 
found lurking about their houses and folds.* A happier site for the 
new monastery could not have been chosen, as may at once be perceived 
from any good standpoint, particularly from the hill within the private 
grounds behind the Hall at Jervaux, the beautiful seat of Hector 
Christie, Esq. Here are comprehended at a glance the whole entourage 
and compatibility of situation and aspect, where the fine old abbey was 
raised. The buildings must have taken quite fifty years to complete, as 
we find traces of architectural design reflecting the changes of the 
period, from Transitional Norman to Early English. No similar ruin in 
the kingdom affords a clearer idea of the plan of a Cistercian monastery 
than does Jervaux Abbey, as the whole of the foundations had been 
happily preserved beneath accumulations of rubbish and vegetable 
growth until the year 1805, when the first Marquis of Ailesbury had the 
site cleared. The whole ground-plan was then brought to light, along 
with much that was interesting, historically and architecturally, including 
many tomb-slabs, effigies, altar-stones, columns, &c., and in the church a 
very perfect tesselated pavement of great beauty was also found.! On 
the occasion of the visit of the Yorkshire Archaaological Society four 
yeara ago, a provisional ground-plan of the abbey was prepared by 
Mr. W. H. St. John Hope, and is here reproduced. 

The church, including the choir, is 270 feet long, and one of the 
many altars it contained is still in situ at the east end of the north 
transept. The upper slab bears the five crosses, symbolical of our Lord's 
wounds, and it has also a recess for relics. The south doorway is of 
beautiful late Norman design, and in good preservation {see illustration). 
There are numerous grave-slabs, in the church and chapter-house, ranging 
in point of date from the 12th to the 14th centuries, and inscribed to 
various abbots and other dignitaries. Most of these have been figured 
and described by Dr. Whitaker. There is also a much-mutilated effigy 

* In one of the founders' charters, temp 12th century, we gather that deer 
were being constantly attacked and killed by these ferocious brutes, and that the 
monks had the privilege of taking all deer thus destroyed or half-devoured by 

t Some of the patterns have been engraved by Mr. Shaw in his work on 
Encaustic Tilet, 


of a knight in link-mail, which from the armorial bearings on the shield, 
has hitherto been regarded as a memorial to Henry, 4th Lord Fitz Hugh, 
who died in 1424. But from the character of the sculpture this is 
impossible ; the monument is more than 100 years older than this date, 
and in all probability represents one of the Fitz Ranulphs, ancestors 
of the Fitz Hughs, who was buried at Jervaux in the time of Henry III. 
This effigy and the one before mentioned at Coverham, are I ^ould 
judge, the oldest monuments of the kind remaining in Yorkshire. The 
interlaced chevronels and chief, carved upon the shield, may still be 
indistinctly traced. Dr. Whitaker remarks that there was another 

South Doorway, Jervaux Abbby. 

monumental fragment here, bearing the same arms impaling Marmion. 
This was most probably a memorial to the above Henry, Lord Fitz Hugh, 
who married Elizabeth, daughter and co-heir of Sir Robert de Orey, Et., 
who adopted the name and arms of Marmion, and was brother and heir 
of John Marmion, who died in Spain a.d. 1885, leaving no issue.* This 
Lord Fitz Hugh was a celebrated diplomatist and warrior. He was at 
the siege of Harfleur in 1416, and was sent by the Duke of Clarence to 
treat with those within the town ; and being then Lord Chamberlain of 

* See page 158 ; also Courthope*8 NicoliWt Hist. Peerage^ art. Marmion, 


the king's household, was sent to the great Coancil of Constance in 
Germany, then held, for which important service, upon the attainder of 
Henry, Lord Scrope of Masham, he obtained a grant of all the lands of 
the same Lord Scrope lying in Richmondshire, to hold daring the time 
they should be in the king's hands. Upon the surrender of that grant, 
the same year, he obtained another of the manors of Masham, Clifton, 
Watlass, Thirn, Nosterfield, Burton Constable, Norton, Oarston, Bellerby, 
Coverham, Ainderby Steeple, Bamingham, and Newsham, all which 
belonged to the said Lord Scrope, and devolved to the Crown by reason 
of that forfeiture, to hold for t^e term of his life. He was one of the 
heroes of Agincourt, and in 1418 was present at the siege of Rouen. 
He travelled twice to Jerusalem, and also to Orand Cairo, where the 
Souldan then resided, and on his return fought with the Saracens and 
Turks, and by the help of the Enights of Rhodes he built a castle there, 
then called St. Peter's Castle. He died at Ravensworth and his body 
was brought to Jervaux and there interred within the abbey choir with 
all the solemn pomp and glamour of monastic ritual due to a great 
chief. By his will he directed 1000 masses to be said for his soul, and 
he also had the king's license to give one messuage, four acres of arable 
land and five acres of meadow in West Tanfield, for the celebration of 
divine service for the health of his own soul, and the souls of his father 
and mother, and all his ancestors. 

The chapter-house of the abbey has been a noble apartment. It is 
of Early English date, divided into three aisles by arcades of three bays 
on either side, and three of the columns, apparently of Nidderdale 
marble, remain entire (see plan). North of the chapter-house, and 
adjoining the vestry, was a small apartment (r) in which the books were 
kept, and over it was the safe-room for storing the church-plate and 
other valuables belonging to the monastery. From the cloister-court a 
long passage led to the infirmary buildings (bb, &c.) or "farmery *' as it 
is called in ancient deeds. These in Cistercian monasteries are always 
in the same position, on the east side of the conventual buildings.* On 
the south side of the undercroft adjoining the Infirmary hall is the 
kitchen, in the form of a spacious quadrangle, and on the south again is 
the chapel (bb) containing a nearly perfect altar. The great kitchen (k) 
with its three immense fire-places, and immovable stone fenders, still 
remains tolerably perfect, an object of interest and wonderment to the 
inquisitive visitor. Here the cooking for the whole establishment was 
done, and testifying to the huge fires that have roasted many a great 
beeve and haunch of venison, are the still reddened funnels of the ancient 

* An interoBting comparison may be made between these and the infirmarj 
buildings at Fountuns and Kirkstall. See the Builder for January 1895, and 
January 1896, for plans, kc. 


chimney-places. The wide range of each fire would have afforded space 
for at least a dozen joints in a line ; besides which, as Whitaker observes^ 
there is reason to believe that several spits were placed perpendicularly 
over each other. The office of cook was one of no small importance in 
any religious house, for the monks lived on the best that their rich 
pastures and gardens could produce, and they were also the constant 
recipients of goods, spices, wines, and other dainties from abroad. 

The arms of the abbey are stated to be those of the founder, viz.,. 
guleSy three escallop shells argent (the same as Egleston Abbey) ; but in 
a collection of heraldic MSS. preserved in the library of Davington 
Priory, Kent, they are given as : Quarterly (1) Or, three water bougets,. 
sable (De Ros). (2) Argent^ two bars azure^ with a bordure engrailed, 
$ahle (Parr). (8) Azure^ three chevronels interlaced, and a chief, all or 
(Fitz Hugh). (4) Vairey a fess, gules (Marmion). These arms are also 
given by Torre, and still remain cut in stone about the abbey walls. 

With what dismay the news reached the hapless monks of the 
contemplated loss of their old and thrice-loved homes, which were not 
only to be taken from them, but the sacred piles also torn to the ground, i» 
a story that has been often told. Though not unexpected, the suddenness 
of the fall, when it did come, led to open rebellion, for it was certainly a 
revolution in the lives and habits of the people such as England had never 
before experienced. After the rising of Robert Aske had broken out in 
Lincolnshire in the Autumn of 1586, several other risings took place 
about the same time in Yorkshire, and among others a motley force of 
some two or three hundred strong gathered in the moorland country ta 
the west of Masham. Poor Adam Sedbergh, the last ruler of Jervaux, 
foresaw the consequences of this ill-starred revolt, and leaving the 
precincts of the abbey fled to the crags on Witton Fell, and there passed 
some uneasy days. The insurgents, however, found him out, and he was 
forced unwillingly to join them. He was subsequently made a prisoner 
of the Crown, and lodged in the Tower. While he lay there feeling, as 
a man may feel, the pangs of remorse and despair, he gave the following 
bitter account of this unhappy affair : 

It was on a Wednesday about Michaelmas day then last passed [the 29th 
of September, 1636] there came to the garth or court of the abbey of Jervaux— 
about five miles from Middleham — two or three hundred of the inhabitants of 
Mashamshire and Kirkbyshire, and among them the captains Middleton and 
Staveley. When he heard that they were there, he conveyed himself by a back 
door to Witton Fell — a lonely eminence above a mile from the abbey — having 
with him another person or more (for the MS. here is defaced) and a boy called 
Martin Gibson ; bidding his other servants get them every man to his house and 
save their goods and cattle. He remained upon this fell — which commands^ 
immense prospects in all directions, and beacons that in a moment could have lit 
signals across the kingdom — for the space of four days, returning to the convent 

«very night. Daring this time the commons wandered about the sarrounding 
country and went to Coverham abbey ; then to Wensleydale, and thence to 
Bichmond. At length, having heard that he, the abbot, had said thai '* no servant 
of his should ever after do him service, nor tenant dwell of no land of his that 
ehould go with them," they therefore turned back to Jervauz, and enquired for 
him. They were answered that he was absent. Then said they, '* We charge yoa 
the brethren to choose you a new abbot" Upon this, the brethren rang the 
Chapter bell and went towards making a new election, though certain among them 
aaid they would in no wise aid to make a new abbot. Half an hoar's respite was 
then given to the monks for compliance, with the threat that if they continued to 
refuse they would burn the house over their heads. The brethren sent several 
ways to seek the abbot ; and at the last one William Nelson came to the place — 
fltiil to be identified — where he was upon Witton Fell " in a great cragge," and 
shewed him that the commons would bum the house unless he returned home. 
Through fear of this being done he went back. When he came to the outer gate, 
he was torn among the people and almost killed, they crying, ** Down with that 
traitor." At last, by means of some of his friends, he was carried in from them- 
When he arrived at the hall entry, Leonard Burgh, one of the ringleaders, drew 
his dagger and would have killed him, but for them that stood by. Then he came 
further, where one William Asleby, chief captain of these parts, was, who said to 
him, " Howson traitor where hast thou been 7" and cried, ** Geate a block to stricke 
of his headde upon." There, the abbot was commanded to take the oath, which 
he did ; the said Burgh ministering it to him. Upon this, they took him with 
them, allowing him no respite, but compelled him to mount the horse on which he 
had come to them. On their journey they met the Lord Latimer and Mr. Bowes, 
of whom the abbot asked leave to return home, but his neighbours would not 
assent. Thence they went to Spennymore, where they divided company, and he, 
by the entreaty of Mr. Cowes, obtained permission to return to Jorevaux, where 
they appointed Dr. Dakyns, Mr. Sickesworthe, Matthew Witham, and William 
Oatterick to receive such letters as should be from the commons that way. 

Shall we then condemn the misgnided chief of this noble boose, 
whose safest anchorage was Ood, not man ? It was the greatness and 
splendonr of his position alone that led to his dishonour and death. 
Rank and riches are chains of gold it is trae, but yet they are chains, 
and it was fetters of this calibre that bound the unfortunate Abbot to 
participate in the disastrous rebellion recorded above, and the same 
fateful chains also drew him to the gallows at Tyburn I* 

The splendid pile of buildings at Jervauz was not destroyed until 
the Spring of 1589, for in November, 1588, we find the superintendent 
of the work of demolition, one Richard Bellyseys, writing to his 
employers that owing to the shortness of the days and *' the ways in that 
counti*e are so foul and deep that no caryage can pass in wyntre,** it 
would have involved double charges to have done it then. The same 
writer also tells us that he had taken down all the lead of Jervauz, 
amounting to 865 fodders, besides 84 fodders he found in store, at the 

* In the cell where he lay within the Tower his name appears inscribed in 
contemporary characters, with the date 1687. 


date of his letter, and that this had all been made into pieces of half- 
fodders, for its better removal. What an enormous quantity of this one 
valuable material from a single establishment is here represented ! Yet 
this was but a fraction of all the lead so appropriated, which one might 
suppose would be sufficient to supply the needs of the whole country for 
a generation to come. For by the mandate which went forth from the 
stubborn king there were no fewer than 645 monasteries and 90 colleges 
suppressed, besides 2874 churches and free-chapels disendowed and 
disestablished, and more than 100 hospitals and alms-houses providing 
food and lodging for the poor were closed.* This sudden and peremptory 
shutting-up of the wealthiest and for a long time the most useful 
institutions in the land, upon which a large proportion of the people had 
been dependent, filled the roads, as I have said, with rogues and thieves, 
and the slums and homes of the rural poor with the aged dying. Parish 
registers were not inaugurated until some years after the Reformation, 
or doubtless one aspect of those fearful times might have been gathered 
therefrom. There can, however, be no doubt that the feeling against 
monasteries was not one of sudden growth ; the bulk of the people, at 
any rate among the ruling classes, had long been getting tired of the 
exclusive austerity and domineering power of the abbeys, which, whatever 
good they were doing, were admittedly the foster-parents of much 
poverty and indolence. As education advanced, too, and the light of the 
gospel became more clear, the people became more self-reliant in mattei-s 
of religion and conscience, and the forms that had served the spiritual 
needs of preceding ages were regarded now as useless, and the monasteries 
at last fell into disrepute, and even into contempt. Thousands, however, 
clung to the old forms, preferring to die rather than forsake the ancient 
foundations of their fathers, however unfashionable these might have 
become, and in remote Swaledale, as elsewhere explained, much more 
than in the Yore valley, do we find such friends to the old faith abounding 
long after the Reformation. 

The site of the abbey, together with the manor of East Witton, was 
granted by the king to Matthew, Earl of Lennox, father of the celebrated 
Lord Darnley, husband of Mary, Queen of Scots, whose imprisonment 
in Wensleydale is one of the most memorable events in her annals. 
After various transmissions the Abbey estates descended to Ernest 
Augustus Charles, third Marquis of Ailesbuiy, whose trustees in 
February, 1887, sold them to Samuel Ounliffe Lister, Esq., now Baron 
Masham, of Swinton Park, Masham. 

This very beautiful and fertile property, famous, as we have seen, 
in history and romance, comprises about 10,000 acres, for which it is 

* The doles of money and goods at Jenrauz alone amounted to £24, or about 
£240 of present money, per annum. 


fiaid the sum of £810,000 was paid, exclasive of the timber. Fonr jearB 
before, Mr. Lister had purchased the adjoining Swinton Park estate, 
embracing an area of 22,678 acres, for the sum of £457,000. More 
than three-quarters of a million of money has thus been expended on 
this magnificent property, which consists of almost every kind of land 
from the rich river-side meadows and luxuriant woodlands to the 
spreading purple grouse-moors on the west. The two estates join for 
about six miles, and taking them together there is perhaps no better 
farmed and better managed agricultural land in England. The district, 
as I have before observed, has an old reputation for its horses, and this 
is still to some extent maintained. The country all round Jervaux is 
most beautiful and of park- like aspect, fertile, and abounding in luxuriant 
timber. The lover of wild flowers, too, will find much to interest him 
in this attractive neighbourhood, and in the immediate vicinity of the 
old abbey a great number of interesting species may be found. Many 
of these, no doubt, are the survivora in a wild or semi-wild state of the 
plants and medicinal herbs grown by the monks in centuries long past. 
To the courtesy of Mrs. J. E. Little, sister of the present steward, John 
Maughan, Esq., of Jervaux, I am enabled to present the following list 
of about 80 species growing in and around the abbey ruins : 

ClenuUis vitalba. Anemone nemorota, Ranunculut fcaria^ RanuncuLv^ bulharut, 
R. arventU Eranthis hiemalU^ Hellehorut viridis^ AquUegia vvlgaru^ Fumaria 
cffioinalit, Cheiranthut clufiH^ ArahU hinuta^ Viola odorata^ Viola eanina, 
Cardamine pratenHt^ Malva motehata (white and pink), Maha iylvestris. 
Geranium Rohertianum, Geranium prateme^ Geranium lucidum^ Hypericum 
perforatum^ Owalit acetoiellay Lotus cornundatus^ Anthyllis vulneraria^ Lathyrue 
pratentis, Geum urbanufn, Geum rivale, Potentilla Fragariattrumy Frag aria v«yra, 
PotentiUa reptang^ Alchemilla vulgarity Rota eanina^ Sedum acre, Rihes 
{froitularia^ Saxifraga tridactylitet^ Chrytotplenium oppoiitifolium^ Pimpinella 
Saxi/raga, Bunium Jlexuotum^ Hedera Helix^ Adoxa Moiehatellina, Lonicera 
Periclymenumy Chrytanthemum Parthenium, Chrytanthemum Leuoanthemuw^, 
Achillea millefolium^ Galium verum^ Seneoio vulgarity Doronieum pardalianckee^ 
Leontodon hispidus^ Lactuca muralit^ Lactuca virota, Taraxacum dem-leonie, 
Hieracium Pilosella^ Campanula latifolia^ Campanula rotundifolia^ Primula verity 
Primula vulgarity Vinea minor, JSekium vulgare^ Myototie tylvatiea^ Myotvtie 
collina. Antirrhinum me^ui^ Linaria Cymbalaria, Veronica liederafolia^ Veronica 
eluimcedryt, Thymui Serpyllum. Origanum vulgare, Prunella vulgarity Nepeta 
gleohomay Plantago lanceolata^ Polygonum Bittorta^ Mereurialit perennit, Parie- 
taria officinalU^ Arum maculatum^ Gal ant hue nivalis ^ Ornithogalum umbellatum. 
Orchis maculata, Scilla nutans, Trollius EuropceuSf Actcea spieata, Viola tricolor^ 
Primula farinosa^ Co?ivallaria majalis^ Paris quadrifolia, Colehieum autumnaU, 
Listera eordata, Armeria vulgaris^ Pinguicula vulgaris. 

Of these such plants as hellebore, leopard*s bane, and mallow were no 
doubt cultivated by the monks, and many others of medicinal value were 
set in the fields and hedges, and left to spread in a wild state. Such 
were the yarrow, cuckoo-pint, &c. 



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;i^ .^'< ^je< . • .• 



, f 




On the Righmondshire Borderland. 

Boundaries of Richmondshire — West Tanfield Bridge — Kilgram Bridge — Its 
Satanic origin — History of the bridge — Payments for watching the bridge 
during the cattle-plague — Thornton-Steward — The ancient church of St. 
Oswald — Manor House — Fanaily of Allen — Sir Edward BanlLs — Newton-le- 
willows — Aysgarth School — Fingal in the Anglo-Saxon chronicles — Constable 
Burton — The Wyvill family — The fonndr and present mansions — ^Incident 
during the Civil Wars — Interesting trophies 

T Kilgram Bridge, a little below Jervaux Abbey, let ub 
cross to the north side of the river. This point is 
usually accounted the beginning of Wensleydale, 
although to pursue our journey to the boundary of 
the wapentake of Halikeld, and of the ancient 
Liberty of Richmondshire,* as well as to limits of 
the North Riding, we must go to West Tanfield Bridge, some eight or 
nine miles lower down the river. The bridge at Tanfield was rebuilt by 
order of the North and West Riding Justices, dated in April 1784, and 
the contractors were Robert Dee of Ripon, mason, John Midleton of 
Bishopton, and Francis Earle of Boroughbridge, mill-wright. The 
building of the bridge extended over the best part of two summers, and 
when nearly completed a sudden and violent flood came down the river 
and swept away a great part of the material so that the contractors were 
obliged to petition the authorities for relief. It was then ordered, at the 
Sessions held at Thirsk, October 14th, 1787, that £86 be estreated on 
the North Riding and paid to the said petitioners ; a like sum being 
allowed by the West Riding Justices. The structure was then, no doubt, 
duly and safely completed. 

* As now constituted, the Archdeaconry of Richmond embraces all that part 
of Yorkshire lying westward of the eastern boundaries of the parishes of Great 
Smeaton, East Cowton, Danby Wiske, Ainderby Steeple, Eirkby Wiske, Pickhill, 
Wath juxta Ripon, Button Conyers, Ripon, Cundall, Kirkby on the Moor, 
Aldborough, Great Ouseburn, and Little Ouseburn, except part of the parish of 
Sockburn. The total area of the Archdeaconry of Richmond is 785,960 acres ; 
that of Craven, which adjoins it, being estimated at 598,512 acres. These combined 
form the Diocese of Ripon. 


The river scenery about Eilgram Bridge is exceedingly pictoresqae, 
and one is tempted to linger about its cool and inviting shades, and enjoy 
the murmur of the trout-dappled waters in the hot summer days. The 
accompanying view of the bridge is engraved from a photograph supplied 
through the courtesy of Hector Christie, Esq., of Jervaux. The structure 
is of unknown antiquity, and is said to owe its origin, like the Devil's 
Bridge at Eirkby Lonsdale, to Satanic agency. But at Eilgram the 
bridge is one stone short, as any one may see by looking at it, and no 
one ever seems to have been disposed to complete the work begun by the 
crafty builder. Perhaps his sable majesty thought that by this single 
fault there was a possibility of his making booty by the evil oaths of 
those who might be crossing when the structure collapsed. The bridge, 
however, is kept in excellent repair, and there has never been any fear of 
a breakdown saving during the violence of exceptional floods. In the 
time of Queen Elizabeth it was agreed to spend £30 on its repair, bat 
as appears by the Quarter Sessions Records for 1585, the sum of 100 
marks was eventually expended upon it, of which amount Richmondshire 
contributed £22 4s. 6d. In 1611 it was again needing repair, and the 
Justices ordered that ** if the inhabitants nigh to the same will disborse 
so much as will sufficiently repair the same, the Justices shall, upon 
receiving a just accompt of such disbursements, take order that a rate 
shall be made to levie such somme of money of the County with the 
convenient spede that may be, as shall be reasonably disbursed about the 
same."* The bridge is usually believed to lie on the route of a Roman 
diverticulum^ or by-road leading through Newton-le-Willows and Hornby, 
then crossing the Roman road from Aldborough to Bainbridge, and 
connecting the camp near Nutwith Common with that at Catterick. 

Eilgram Bridge is also particularly interesting as one of the avenaes 
of traffic that was watched day and night during the terrible and perhapB 
unprecedented prevalence of cattle-plague, which raged more or less 
virulently for fully six years in the middle of last century. History 
records no more fearful and anxious time to North Riding farmers, and, 
indeed, to everyone who dealt in cattle. The outbreak, which spread 
almost throughout the whole kingdom, resulted in immense losses to 
Yorkshire, and although most of the owners of infected animals destroyed 
were reimbursed by the county, many small farmers and country 
butchers were completely ruined. The plague got so bad that in October, 
1748, all the fairs, markets, and other public places of resort for the 
buying and selling of horned cattle in the North Riding were suspended, 
and no one was permitted to expose any cattle for sale in any fair or 
market-place^ &c., until the next Sessions. On December 5th, 1748, the 

• North Riding Records^ i., 284. 


Justices took further steps to prevent the spread of the malady by 
commanding warning-boards to be immediately erected on the highways 
in the infected districts, as appears by the following writ : 

Ordered that the Chief Constables do immediately measure a mile upon every 
road leading from each infected place in their respective divisions, beginning to 
measare at the outside of each of the towns infected, and that they set up a post, 
four inches square and seven feet above the ground, at the end of each of those 
measures, nailing to each a board with the names of each of the towns infected, 
and renew the same as often as it shall be obliterated or effaced by the weather or 
any other accident, &c. 

At Bedale on December 9th, 1748, it was further ordered that in 
consequence of some farmers and others having lately exposed cattle for 
sale in certain villages and fields adjacent to a market-town on the day 
of the fair, — 

That no cattle shall be exposed to sale in any adjacent villages, &c., of any 
market town in the North Riding, and that all farmers and others offending 
contrary to this Order be carried &c., and that this Order be publickly proclaimed 
at Richmond to-morrow, at Midleham on Monday, and Bedale on Tuesday next ; 
Ordered that the Parish OflBcers and constables, or some, or one of them, that shall 
be nearest to the bridges upon the rivers Tore and Swale be Inspectors to hinder 
horned cattle from coming over the said bridges without legal certificates (except 
such town and places as have been provided for by a former Sessions), and that 
such persons as shall presume to drive cattle shall be &c., and that the said parish 
0£Qcers and Constables shall be allowed for watching the said bridges and confines 
in manner following — lOd, a day for one man watching in the day time, li. 8^. for 
two men watching in the night time, which payment is to commence as soon as 
the said Officers shall attend the said bridges and confines, and this Order to 
continue in force until otherwise Ordered ; Ordered that all butchers and others 
shall have certificates for the sale of their hides or skins before such hide, kc,, 
shall be removed from the place of slaughter, and also that no person do presume 
to bring any carcase, or part of a carcase, of any horned cattle to be sold at any 
market unless such cattle has been legally certified for before slaughter, and that 
the Chief Constables be Inspectors and see this Order executed within their 
several divisions. 

For watching Edlgram Bridge from December 19th, 1748, to February 4th 
following, the sum of £8 10s. was paid by order of the Justices sitting 
at Northallerton, July 2l8t, 1749, and similar amounts were also 
sanctioned for watching other Richmondshire bridges. The plague 
appears to have broken out, or at least to have been first recognised by 
the local authorities in the Spring of 1747, and it was not until July 12th, 
1758, that the Justices assembled at Northallerton ordered that the 
fairs, Ac. J within the North Riding be from henceforth opened, and so 
continue until otherwise ordered. We hear nothing more of this terrible 
malady after this time, which seems to have been one of the most 
disastrous of the kind on record. 


Passing over the famoos bridge we at onoe enter the parish of 
Thornton-Steward, or locally Thomton-Ie-Steward, so called from the 
fact that anciently it belonged to the stewards of the Earls of Richmond. 
They had here two knights* fees, which in the reign of Edward I. were 
held by Humphrey de Bassyngbarne in capite of the Earl of Bichmond. 
The manor subsequently passed into the hands of the Scropes, and in 
1892 Richard le Scrope, of Bolton, obtained the king's licence to give 
to the Abbot of St. Agatha a rent-charge of £150 sterling out of the 
manors of Brignall, Oaldwell, Thornton-Steward, &c., for the support of 
ten additional canons and two secular chaplains, to pray for the good 
estate of the founder and his heirs while living, and for their souls when 
deceased, as well as those of their ancestors. 

The village, which formerly boasted two inns, occupies an open and 
healthful site on the brow of the hill overlooking the beautiful vale of 
Jervaux, and the spectator turning towards the woods of Witton beholds 
a delightful prospect. The little church of St. Oswald stands about a 
half-mile west of the village, in the same peculiar isolation that is to be 
observed in regard to many other ancient churches in Richmondshiie. 
A former vicar advocated its demolition and re-erection on a more 
convenient site, but the parishioners were so strongly opposed to any 
such interference that the church still stands, — unrestored and enclosed 
by its equally time-honoured *' Ood's acre,'*— one of the simplest and 
most ancient edifices of its kind in Richmondshire. It is mentioned in 
Domesday (1086) and doubtless occupies the site of one of the many 
temples of Christianity founded under the ministrations of Paulinus in 
this district in the 7th century. Afterwards the place, including Danby, 
came under Danish rule, and at the Norman Conquest it was held by 
Gospatric, ancestor of the founder of Jervaux Abbey. 

The church has no aisles, consisting simply of a nave and chancel, 
with gallery at the west end, and on the west gable is an open belfry 
containing two bells. The Norman porch at the west end was removed 
from the south side of the church about 1880. Adjoining it on the 
outside is an interesting example of a stone coffin, with its lid sloped 
and ridged. The interior arrangements of the church are of the 
simplest character, and appeal to antiquarian taste by their ancient and 
thoroughly rustic simplicity. A simple pointed arch separates the 
chancel from the nave. The east window is of two plain lights set in 
deep splays. All the windows are of plain glass. In the north wall of 
the chancel is the usual low nichelntended originally for the performance 
of the paschal tragedy, but at a later day it may have been the receptacle 
of a burial. Herein are laid some fragments of ancient sepulchral 
crosses, one of which bears the curious design of (apparently) a female 
head in its uppermost limb, and on the other side the head of Oor 


Saviour. It is obviously a Christian relic, and perhaps illustrative of 
the text, John xix. 26, " Christ [on the cross] saw his mother [Mary] 
and the disciple [John] whom he loved, standing by/' In the opposite 
or south wall is a piscina in a square-shaped recess. On the chancel floor 
are several memorials to members of the Shillito family, one of which 
is a brass (dated 1748) inscribed with the following curious couplet, 

Sic priuB Infantes Attingunt Atria Geeli 
Ut prompt! Matrem ducere in Eljalum. 

beneath which appears a winged hour-glass. 

From the lawn of the Manor House there is a beautiful view. Here 
are kept some old tomb-slabs, &c., from Jervaux Abbey ; one of these, 
which formerly served the singular purpose of an embankment-stone 
of the river, has inscribed upon it : Gbrnkgan P'sona db Tanifeld. 
Although the present building possesses no great antiquity it, doubtless, 
occupies the site of the manor house of ancient times. Some two 
centuries ago it was in the occupation of a Roman Catholic family 
named Allen, and in the register of Papists' estates for the year 1717, 
one James Allen was in possession, and he furnishes the following 
required statement of his belongings, including the manor house and its 
appurtenances : 

James Allen of Thornton Stewart, Gentleman ; in Thornton Stewart the capital 
messuage or chief mansion house with a maultkiln, barnes, stables, outhouses, 
calf -garths, orchards, gardens, courts, and yards, with one close called Browneclose, 
about six acres ; a close called Low Pasture, about nine acres ; a parcell of ground 
called the North Fields, thirty acres ; two closes called the Hull-closes, seventeen 
acres ; a close called Moor-close, nine acres ; a close called Craythorn Ings, eleven 
acres ; a close called Burny Spotts, three acres ; one rood of ground in Thornton 
Ings with the appurtenances thereunto belonging, all in my own possession, of all 
which I am seized in fee simple subject to the yearly outgoings following, vis. — 
a modus of Ss. to the Rector or impropriator of Thornton Stewart ; a free rent of 
8#. Sd. to the Duke of Bolton ; a free rent of 7t. to Dr. Mendors, or the purchasers 
thereof ; and also subject to the other charges upon the same herein after 

At Highgill in the parish of Aisgarth a messuage or tenement, farm with lands, 
&c., let to John Hudson at £26, subject to a modus of St. ^d,per annum to the 
Rector or impropriators, and 6s. Sd. to the Viccar of the parish of Aisgarth. 

In Aisgarth a close let to John Spence at £3 17t. 6<2., subject to a free rent of 
6t.per annum to the Duke of Bolton, of all which messuage, &c., in Aisgarth and 
Highgill aforesaid I am seized as tenant for life, remainder to Mary my wife for 
life, remainder to the heirs of our two bodies ; all which messuages, &c., are by 
the last will and testament of Will. Allen, my late father, subject to the payment 
of £300 and interest to Mary now wife of Anth. Metcalfe, and daughter of the said 
Will. Allen, and also to an annuity of £5 per annum now payable to Will. 
Freeman, gentleman. Witness my hand this 17th day of April, 1717. 

By indenture dated April 29th, 1780, the said James Allen granted, 
in consideration of £120 paid by Joseph Ryder, of East Witton, three 


closes of pasture ground in Thornton Steward, called Bancks, Hall Close, 
and Hull Pasture, together 44 acres, with all ways, waters, &c., for three 
thousand years, with power of redemption by payment of £120 od 
November 11th next. 

The mention of Bancks or Banks in this agreement suggests the 
question did the local family of Banks give to or take their name 
from this place ? Here was born the eminent contractor Sir Edward 
Banks, who starting life as a farmer^s lad eventually went to London, 
and by dint of natural talent and hard work achieved considerable 
distinction in building construction, and by his many services in the 
erection of public works acquired great wealth. Ampng his numerous 
undertakings may be mentioned the contracts for building the present 
London, Southwark, and Waterloo Bridges. He died at Tilgate, in 
Sussex, in 1885, aged 65. Although his practical abilities led him to 
spend much time amid the dry and unenchanting materials of bricks and 
mortar, yet he possessed a fine appreciation of the beauty of natural 
objects, of woods and fields and flowers, engendered perhaps by the 
recollection of early days spent in the neighbourhood of the beaatifnl 
vale of Jervaux. It is said that when he was working as a day-labourer 
on the Merstham tram-road he was greatly impressed with the simple 
rustic charm of the neighbouring hamlet of Chipstead, and before his 
death, some forty years later, he expressed a particular desire to be baried 
in its quiet churchyard. 

Leaving Thornton Steward we will take the road northwards to 
Newton-le- Willows, crossing the railway near Jervaux station, which by 
the way, is some five miles from the abbey, the latter being also a similar 
distance from the terminal station at Masham. Making a short ascent 
from Jervaux station, we observe an extensive and commanding range of 
new buildings, specially erected by the Rev. Clement T. Hales, M.A., as 
a college for the education of gentlemen's sons preparing for the public 
schools. The situation being elevated and dry is certainly well chosen ; 
the grounds around are also laid out with beautifully-kept gardens, 
greenhouses, &c., which add not a little to their attractiveness. There is 
a conspicuously-lofty tower at one end of the enclosure, ascended by 
nearly one hundred steps, and from the top it is possible to view a very 
large part of Bichmondshire, including several ancient castles, abbeys, 
and upwards of a dozen parish churches, extending to Darlington, and 
in favourable weather even to the estuary of the Tees. There is a 
beautiful little chapel attached to the school, which contains an old 
carved pulpit from Easby Abbey. The organ, which was built by 
Messrs. Abbot & Smith, of Leeds, from a specification drawn up by the 
late Mr. Walker Joy and the Hon. A. L. Orde-Powlett, is also noteworthy, 
as very few parish churches possess such a fine instrument. The chapel 


was formally opened by the Bishop of Bipon on Jane 9th, 1891. The 
school, it should be added, is known as Aysgarth School, Newton-le- 
Willows, as the proprietor before coming here was established at the 
well-known School at Aysgarth, higher up the valley, and the old name 
has been retained. 

At Newton-le- Willows we may proceed to Bedale (4 miles), Patrick 
Brompton (1^ miles), or Hornby (4 miles), as described in the first part 
of this work. The ancient village of Finghall (in Domesday Finegala*) 
is two miles west of Newton-le-Willows, and has a station next to it on 
the Bedale and Leyburn branch of the I«Jorth-Eastem railway. Here is 
the old church of the parish dedicated to St. Andrew, and valued in the 
Liber Regis at £18 18s. 4d. The interior contains, among other features 
of interest, memorials of the Wyvill family, who have long been patrons 
of the living. The Fitz Hughs were anciently the manorial lords and 
patrons. According to the Anglo-Saxon Chronicles it was *' at Finghall, 
in the land of the North-humbrians, that a church synod assembled in 
the year 788." 

Burton Constable, in this parish, the old home of the Wyvill family, 
possesses a handsome manor-house, doubtless occupying the site of a 
capital dwelling erected by the Constables of Richmond Castle soon 
after the Conquest. It is encompassed with beautiful grounds, and by 
one of the largest parks in Richmondshire. The former spacious 
mansion, erected early in the 17th century from designs by Inigo Jones, 
is said to have been demolished through the importunity of an architect 
in the owner's absence and contrary to his instructions. An engraving 
of it, reproduced from the scarce original by Eip, executed about a.d- 
1700, forms one of the extra plates in the best edition of this work. At 
the date named the mansion was in the occupation of Sir Marmaduke 
Wyvill, Bart., who died in 1722, and was some time M.P. for Richmond. 
In 1645, during the Civil War, the whole house was taken up with 
troopers, both English and Scots, who had quartered themselves upon 
Sir Marmaduke Wyvill. At that time, we are told, the worthy owner 
was suffering from the infirmities of age '* and unable to travel."t 

In the reign of Edward I. the Burton estate belonged to Sir Geoffrey 
le Scrope, the famous Chief Justice, of Masham, who in the succeeding 
reign obtained a grant to hold a market and annual fair here, along with 
free warren of all his demesnes of this manor. The estates descended 
to Ralph Fitz Randolph of Spennithome, by his marrriage to Elizabeth, 
one of the three daughters and co-heiresses of Thomas, Lord Scrope of 

* William Black, in his novel, WhUe Wingt^ derives Fingal from the Gaelic 
Fionn gall, meaning fair stranger. See page 192. 

t See Royalist Composition Papers, Yorlts, Areh, Joum. (^Ree. Ser.), vol. zviii., 
page 165, &c. 


Masham. As the family of Fitz Randolph expired in heiresses, the 
manor and advowson, together with the manor of Spennithome, passed 
by marriage, in the reign of Edward VI., to Marmaduke Wyvill, Esq. 
The late owner, Marmaduke Wyvill, Esq., who died in June, 1896, aged 
81, was M.P. for Richmond from 1847 to 1864, and again from 1866 
to 1868 ; he was also on the commission of the peace for the North and 
West Ridings. He married in 1845 a daughter of the late Sir Charles 
Ibbetson, Bart., of Denton Park, and his son, Marmaduke D'Arcy 
Wyvill, Esq., of Denton Park, is the present Parliamentary representative 
of the Otley Division. The late Mr. Wyvill, I may add, claimed the 
baronetcy of Scrope of Masham, which was in abeyance between his 
family and that of the late Mr. Wm. Danby, of Swinton Park, who died 
without issue in 1884. 

In the family mansion at Burton Constable are many notable paintings, 
portraits, and curiosities, including a handsome marble table presented 
by Queen Elizabeth to Sir Marmaduke Wyvill, likewise the skin of a 
lion, which was shot by Captain Wyvill, of the 85th regiment, during a 
critical moment while out hunting in the wilds of Africa. The king of 
the forest had seized a man and was bearing him off in the grip of his 
huge jaws, when the gallant officer rushed up and instantly despatched 
the animal before it had done more than cause some slight lacerations to 
its would-be victim. 



Danby and the Scropes. 

Danby Hall — The ancient house of Scrope — Its connection with Richmondshire — 
Lord Scrope at Flodden — A bead-roll of illustriouB names — The family*s 
adhesion to the Catholic faith — Description of Danby Hall — ^Incident during 
the Jacobite rebellion — The late Major Scrope — Remains of an ancient chapel 
— nisbaw Bridge — Roman Catholic chapel — Discovery near Fleet's farmhouse 
— Meaning of Ulshaw. 

IeTTJRNINO to Thornton-Steward we take the pleasant road 
along the south side of Danby Hall, the Yore flowing 
noiselessly below, to Ulshaw Bridge. The beautiful old 
mansion at Danby is another of the historic homes of Old 
England, and for upwards of three centuries it has been the seat of the 
illustrious house of Scrope, represented by the eldest male branch of the 
great family of Lords Scrope, of Bolton, Masham, and Upsal. We 
have all heard of Lord Scrope^ Ohancellor of England, Keeper of the 
Great Seal, who built Bolton Castle. He was the first *' law-lord " ever 
created in England in the time of Richard II., and took part in nearly 
every war and prominent transaction of his time. Many of his 
descendants have also achieved a name in English historic annals, not 
to forget the great Lord Scrope, who led the gallant army of stout- 
hearted dalesmen against '* the dark and impenetrable wood " of Scottish 
spears, as the author of Marmion describes it, on the eventful field of 
Flodden, in 1518 : 

With him did wend all Wensleydale, 

From Morton unto Mosdale Moor ; 
All they that dwelt by the banks of Swale, 

With him were bent in harness store. 

From Wensleydale warlight wights did wend, 

From Bishopdale went bowmen bold, 
From Coverdale to Cotter End, 

And all to Kisden Causeway cold. 


From MallerstaDg to Middleham, 

And all from Manke to Melsonby ; 
And all that climb to mountain Cam, 

Whose crown from frost is seldom free. 

With lusty lads and large of length, 

Which dwelt on Semerwater side, 
All Richmondshire, its total strenf^th, 

The valiant Scrope did lead and guide. 

A memorable day for old Surrey, Scrope, and mtany another English 
knight was that blood-stained victory I King James, his illegitimate son, 
twelve earls, fifteen lords and heads of clans, and many thousands of 
other soldiei-s — the flower of Tweeddale and the Lothians — fell before the 
pikes and arrows of the English conqnerors. I might go on citing 
instances of the chivalrous spirit characteristic of this ancient house 
down even to the present generation, when the young son of the late 
owner of Danby, Mr. Gervase Scrope, took part in the memorable though 
unfortunate ride of Dr. Jameson, against the Boers in South Africa, in 
the winter of 1895. Frequent references are made in this work to many 
members of the family, which on its own account and by reason of 
alliances with some of the best families in the land, has for centuries 
been identified with the civil and religious life of Richmondshire. I may 
here observe that during the three centuries up to the time of the Civil 
Wars, when the Scropes espoused the Royalist cause, the family produced 
two Earls, twenty Barons, one Lord Ohancellor, four High Treasurers, 
two Chief Justices, one Archbishop, two Bishops, five Knights of the 
Garter, and numerous Bannerets. The family has always been attached 
to the Roman Catholic faith, and from 1788 has had its own burial- 
ground adjoining the Catholic Chapel, at Ulshaw Bridge. When the 
Papists were required to give an account of their possessions during the 
Jacobite rebellion and religious reaction, at the beginning of last century, 
when *' chapels were robbed of materials to make bonfires and all London 
was lighted up with the blaze of pews and pulpits,*' the following was 
the declaration of the owner of Danby : 

Simon Scroop of Danby upon Yore, Esq., an annuity of £100 charged upon the 
Mannours of Danby upon Tore, in the parish of Thornton Stewart, Spennitbome, 
and Stainton in the parish of Downholm, and diverse lands, kc^ in Thornton 
Stewart, Danby upon Yore, at Ulshaw In the parish of Sast Witton, of which said 
annuity I am possessed of and intituled unto for the term of ninety-nine years, if 
I shall so long live, by force and virtue of an Act of Parliament of 13^. Anne 
intituled an Act for the sale of some Outparts of Simon Scroop, Esq., in the 
counties of Yorke and Nottingham, for payment of his debts and for other 
purposes therein mentioned, which said mannours, &o., are by force of the said 
Act vested in and settled on Henry Peirse and Will. Sheldon, Esquires, their 
executors, &c., for and during the full end and term of ninety>nine years, if I shall 
so long live, upon trust and confidence, and for the intent and purpose that theyi 


and the sumvor of them, hiB executors, &c., by and out of the rents, &c., of the 
said premisses, in the first place raise and pay the yearly sum of £S0O to Frances, 
then and now the wife of me the said Simon Scroop, duering so many years of the 
said term and estate as she shall happen to live, for the maintenance of herself 
and children, and wherewithal! I am not to intermeddle or to have any power to 
grant, forfeit, or incumber the same ; and if the said Frances shall happen to dye 
in my lifetime, then upon trust to pay the said annual sum unto Nath. Pigott, Bsq., 
for the maintenance and education of my children ; and to pay to me the said sum 
of £100 ; and upon the further trust, after payment of the Said sums, that they, 
the said Henry Peirce and Will. Sheldon, should pay and apply the residue of the 
rents, &o., of the said premises vested in them for a stock or f unde for the younger 
children of me the said Simon Scroop, in ease of the real estate charged with 
£6,000 for my said younger children's portions, in and by my marriage settlement, 
made by me on my marriage with the said Frances my now wife, and the said 
Henry Peirse and Will. Sheldon are now in perception of the rents, &c., of all and 
singular the said premisses subject to the trust aforesaid, witness my hand this 
17th day of April, 1717, Simon Scroop. 

The family mansion, Danby Hall, occupies a beantif al situation upon 
a gentle and verdant elevation on the northern acclivity of the Yore, — 
its principal front looking eastwards in the direction of Jervaux Abbey. 
For about twenty years previous to 1855, the house was not occupied, 
but in that year the owner, Simon Thos. Scrope, Esq., father of the late 
proprietor, returned to the ancestral home, where extensive alterations 
and improvements were carried out. The south end was then rebuilt 
with two commanding spiral towers at its east and west angles. In the 
centre of it appears the arms of the family with the initials of the builder 
and date 1855. The older portion of the mansion is comprised at the 
back or west side, and is in the domestic style of the time of Queen 
Elizabeth. In 1658 the east or main front was altered and refaced ; the 
gables, which formerly extended through to the west side, were then 
removed and the present stone baluster parapet erected. At the north- 
east corner is a large, square embattled tower, with strong foundations 
of projecting course-work. This is evidently the oldest part of the 
existing buildings ; originally, no doubt, a single peel tower, like many 
such in the northern parts of England, erected as places of refuge and 
security during the wars with Scotland, and against the devastating raids 
of the Borderers in the 14th and 15th centuries. It will be remembered 
that in the time of Henry Bolingbroke, Archbishop Scrope, who had 
sided with old Percy in a renewal of the Civil War, was arrested by the 
king, and suffered a public death, and soon afterwards (1405) the Scottish 
Prince James, afterwards James I., was taken a prisoner off Flamborough 
Head, — the whole of North Yorkshire being at this period in a state of 
turbulent unrest. 

The interior of the mansion presents a beautiful and imposing 
appearance. The Elizabethan staircase, forming a stately approach to 


the upper rooms, i9 of handsome black oak, and on the window of it 
and the entrance hall are the armorial devices, in stained glass, of the 
heads of the family from the first Lord Scrope to the present proprietor 
of Danby. The spacious dining room, with its handsome gilt wood 
mantel-shelf of the time of the Stuarts, contains many family portraits, 
some original and some copies, including Lord Scrope of Flodden Field 
renown, and his lady ; likewise their son John, Lord Scrope, who took 
part in the Pilgrimage of Grace. The beautiful drawing room in the 
east front originally formed the chapel of the house, and service was 
regularly held in it for the Roman Catholic inhabitants of the district 

Danby Hall. 

down to the year 1882, when the house ceased to be occupied. The 
Scropes, as already stated, having never renoanced the ancient faith, a 
Catholic priest was almost always resident at Danby Hall, and there is a 
small room in the tower where services formerly were secretly held during 
times of persecution. According to the Quarter Sessions Records for 
1744 (the year preceding the Jacobite rising), all Papists were required 
to give up their arms in the townships of Wensley, Askrigg, Jjeybum, 
and Thornton Steward ; these were delivered and kept by Mr. William 
Brown, Chief Constable of Hang West. At the time of this rebellion 
the king's soldiers came to Danby and searched the Hall for arms and 


rebels. Their search for weapons, however, wonld seem to have been 
defeated by strategy, for when the south end of the mansion was rebnilt 
in 1855 a secret closet was discovered fall of old swords and armoor, 
supposed to have been hidden there in case of need. One of the old 
weapons, a 17th century claymore, minus handguard, is now in the 
Bolton Castle Museum. 

The lineage of Scrope of Danhy is given by Dugdale in the Visitation 
of the County of York (1665-6), by WTiitaker in the History of 
Richmondshirey by Sir Bernard Burke in Royal Descents and Pedigrees 
of Founders' Kin (1858), and by Wilcox and Metcalfe in Royal Desc^ 

The late owner of Danby, Major Simon Thomas Scrope, J.P., who 
died at Danby Hall on March 4th, 1896, aged 73, was a gentleman well 
known and greatly respected in the district with which he and his 
ancestors have been so long and prominently associated. A liberal 
landlord and of a charitable, kindly nature, ever ready to help in any 
good cause, his cheery and encouraging presence will be much missed. 
He was a thorough out-of-doors man, being an expert all-round spoilsman 
and in his younger days there was no better rider to hounds, while he 
was also known as a splendid shot. Later in life he spent a good deal of 
his leisure in angling ; indeed he came to have few equals either as a 
salmon or trout fisher. For many years he was an active member of the 
Yorkshire Fishery Board. In the early days of the Volunteer movement 
he likewise came to the front, being for several years Captain of the 
Leyburn Rifles, and was promoted to be Major of the 1st Volunteer 
Battalion Princess of Wales' Own Yorkshire Regiment. 

About half-a-mile east of Danby Hall, and within a short distance 
of the church at Thornton Steward, is a field called Chapel Garth, where 
the turf -covered foundations of an ancient chapel or oratory are still in 
evidence. Of its origin or history, however, nothing is known. Formerly 
there were some stepping-stones over the river below, leading apparently 
to Jervaux Abbey. 

A pleasant walk by the river, passing the old Danby Mill, brings us to 
Ulshaw Bridge, where is the Roman Catholic Chapel before mentioned. 
How long there has been a bridge here it is impossible to say, but it is 
mentioned in the will dated October 18th, 1424, of Ralph Neville, Earl 
of Westmorland, then lord of Middleham, who left £20 towards the 
erection if it was not finished in his lifetime. As appears from the 
Quarter Sessions Records for 1608 it was then constructed of wood. At 
Middleham, on November 6th, 8rd James I., before Sir Thos. Metcalfe, 
Adam Midleham, Esq., Fr. Scrope, of Spennithome, gent., and Ralph 
Atkinson, of Jervaux, gent., surveyors of the above bridge, it waa 
declared that the structure was in such a rotten and unsound condition 


that they " do verllie thinke " it can " scarcelie be restored and amended 
with £40, partlie for the timber and carriage of wood and for labourers 
wages, with manie other thinges necessarie therennto. And for the 
better certaintie whereof we hare had there present the opinion of some 
carpenters and maisons skillful in those and such like affairs.** At 
Thirske in 1607 a further sum of £20 was allowed for its repair. 

Ulshaw Bridge does not appear to have been built of stone till 1673, 
when the sum of £800 was oidered for its reconstruction, to be estreated 

Major Simon Thomas Scbopb. 

on the whole of the North Riding. In April, 1674, a sum of £200 was 
ordered to be paid on finishing the same. While the building was in 
progress the river would appear to have been diverted from its natural 
course, and the tenant of the mill, one Elizabeth Watson, being enable 
to carry on work, petitioned the Justices for the loss she had sustained 
by having the water turned from the mill. The matter was referred by 
the Court for adjudication by Sir Chr. Wyvill, Sir Will. Dalton, and 


Simon Scrope, Esq., out of the £200 ordered to be estreated for the 
repair of the bridge. This was one of the bridges watched day and 
night during the great cattle-plague in the middle of last century, already 
described, and in July, 1749, the sum of £8 lOs. was ordered to be paid 
for such watching. 

A little distance to the south-east of the bridge, near Fleets Farm 
house, there is a large mound, which about twelve years ago was being 
excavated for gravel, when a perfect adult skeleton was come upon, laid 
with face to the east, along with three bronsse buckles, two beads of 
coloured glass, and a curious antique knife having a wooden sheath. 
The whole are no doubt of late Anglo-Saxon date. The relics may be 
seen in the Bolton Castle Museum. 

I have already referred to the evidences of a small camp at Ulshaw 
Bridge, where the Roman road from Oatterick to Middleham appears to 
have crossed the river. What may be the correct meaning of Ulshaw it 
is not easy to say, but historic light may perhaps be found in the name. 
There are upwards of a score variants of the spelling, such as Oulsey, 
Hulsey, Owsay, Owshay, Housea, Hulshaw, &c. In Eirkby's Inquest 
(1278) it is written TJlveshowe, and as there is an Ulfesgill on the 
opposite side of the valley in Coverdale, the probability is that in the 
prefix Ulve or Ulf a personal name is implied. The word ulph^ meaning 
help, aid, defence, is often used both at the beginning and end of 
personal names, and occurs frequently during the Anglo-Saxon and 
Scandinavian occupation of Deira and Northumbria generally ; for 
example Ulphric or Ulric (signifying rich or powerful in help), Osulf 
(the helping hero, a warrior), the first Earl of Northumbria (a.d. 951), 
&c. Thus it is not unlikely that the howe or burial-mound in this 
neighbourhood, just described, was raised over the body of some chief or 
hero, whose name has been perpetuated in the locality we know now as 
Ulshaw Bridge. 




The Piedmont of Richmondshire— An interesting village— Pre-Conquest aspects— 
What means Spennithorne ?— A supposed Roman station— The manor — 
Description of the church— The family of Burgh — Local families — John 
Hutchinson, the eccentric philosopher and naturalist— Richard Hatfield of 
Spennithorne attempts the life of George III. 

I HERE is a rural charm and delightful retirement about the 
village of Spennithorne that at once arrest our sympathies. 
Dr. Whitaker speaks of it as the pleasantest village in the 
Piedmont of Richmondshire, and perhaps such praise is 
deserved. But Piedmont, to mention one thing, is overrun with touristSy 
whilst here we are not so much on the track of tourists as places higher 
up the dale. Yet those who like to seek out-of-the-way comers of 
Yorkshire village life, or are fond of philosophizing on events and 
traditions of the past, will find here much to their taste. The village 
boasts a ^^re-Domesday church, and although little remains of that early 
structure, yet much of varied and exceptional interest will be found 
within its time-honoured walls. 

Even before the Oonqueror^s great survey was made in 1086, the old 
free community of Spennithorne was a place with a history. It acquired 
an important standing, and having been cultivated from a very early 
period it had become a valuable possession at the time it was wrested 
from its then superior chief, Ohilpatrick, who also ruled over Middleham. 
With Middleham it passed to the powerful lord Ribald, brother of Alan 
the first grantee of Richmondshire after the Conquest, and his posterity 
the Fitz Randolphs, continued to hold the manor as of the honour of 
Richmond by military service. They made Spennithorne their home for 
several centuries, and the foundations and part of the walls of their old 
manor-house, since converted into cottages, are observable at the east end 
of the village. 

In the Domesday book the place is written Speningtorp, the final torp 
being probably an error of the Norman scribe whose duty it was to 
render the pronunciation of the name as nearly as possible in the writing 


of his own tongne. This was often a matter of great peiplexity, as the 
language of the Norman-French was quite different to that of the Saxon 
or Dane, and the consequence is this great national survey contains 
numerous similar, and occasionally very obvious, errors. In subsequent 
documents the name is spelled, as it appears always to have been 
pronounced, Spennithome, a derivative probably from the Latin spina, 
A.S. spenasy a prickly thorn, owing to the place having at an early period 
abounded with thorn-trees. It may also be noted that places compounded 
with this affix, spm, are frequently to be found upon or adjacent to 
Roman roads, which suggests the inference that the Romans were the 
original namers of such places, being upon or contiguous to their lines 
of march, and characterised by the presence of native thorns ; such, 
for example, as the Spen Valley in West Yorkshire, traversed by 
a Roman road, and where are many traces of the Roman presence ; 
Spene, in Berkshire, anciently Spinas, mentioned in the Roman 
itineraries ; Spennymoor, near Bishop Auckland, on Watling Street ; 
while Thornborough (Catterick), the site of the great camp elsewhere 
described, may have its origin in the same root. It is moreover claimed 
by Cade, but I know not on what authority, that Spennithome was a 
Roman station. 

The manor of Spennithome was acquired by the Wyvill family 
through the marriage of Marmaduke Wyvill, Esq., of Little Burton, 
with Agnes, daughter of Ralph Fitz Randolph, in the time of Edward YI., 
as related a few pages back in the account of Burton Constable. It is 
still, with the patronage of the living, held by this family. 

The interesting church (St. Michael), already alluded to, is naturally 
the first object to engage attention, as about such venerable fabrics 
we must look for the concentrated history of a parish. The building 
occupies a sheltered yet elevated position, and from the top of its well- 
weathered tower is one of the loveliest views of the dale imaginable, the 
eye ranging over purple heath and wooded fell, and following for many 
miles the silvery windings of the Yore by abbey and castle and stately 
hall, while many a peaceful village, hill-side hamlet, and tree-shaded 
farm can be discerned under the cheering influences of a bright sky. 

Upon entering the church one is stmck with a fine, large fresco of 
Father Time, who is depicted as an aged two-winged pilgrim, demure of 
visage, and head bald except forelock. He holds in the left hand an 
hour-glass and in the right the shape of a scythe, on the sharp edge of 
which his toes are lasting. Being placed at the entrance to the church 
the representation is doubtless intended to remind all who pass of the 
fleeting hour of life, for he who has mown down former generations is 
ready to cut down others, — aye with uncertain warning, therefore be 
ever ready for death ! Horafugit, memmto mori (Time passes, remember 


death) is a motto saggested by the figure, which appears to be of 16th 
century work. On the opposite side there was a similar mural portraiture 
of Our Saviour on the Cross, painted, rather curiously in green, but 
owing to the desecration caused by the erection of a gallery the stone- 
work had to be removed, and of the two Father Time now alone remains. 
A friend of mine, to whom I had suggested a reduced drawing of this 
figure, responded by sending, to my no little surprise and amusement, a 
representation of the bald-headed patriarch holding a mowing machine 
instead of the orthodox scythe. Upon remonstrating with him for so 
perfidious a license he replied : '* Your book, you said, was to be * up to 
date,' and I have sketched the Old Man with the latest patent, for as 
you know the scythe is fast going out of use, and we must of course 
keep up with modern inventive progress I*' That may be passable logic, 
but as there is no rule without exception, I think we must concede that 
the venerable father of the ages, with his old-world scythe, comes safely 
within the permanent class of such exceptions. 

The internal parts of the church present a complete epitome of the 
various periods of architectural design from early Norman to the late 
Tudor styles. There are no structural remains of the original Saxon 
edifice left, but in the east wall of the chancel are two antique stones 
having a Runic ornament, and when the church was restored in 1872 a 
Saxon monument was found beneath the flags in the chancel, and it has 
been placed in the walls of the vestry. These appear to be the only 
objects preserved from the Saxon church yet brought to light. In the 
sacristy is an ancient stone altar-table bearing the symbolical five wounds 
of Christ. 

The north aisle is separated from the nave by three Norman arches, 
and the south aisle is divided from it by Early Pointed arches. When 
the chancel was lengthened to its present dimensions, with a stone altar, 
credence table, piscina, and sedilia, another arch was added to the north 
side of the nave, terminating in a tower with singularly characteristic 
gargoyles. According to a memorandum in the registers for the year 
1716, it appears that " Wm. Appleton, of Harmby, about 100 years ago 
(as ancient inhabitants there relate) did of his proper cost and charge 
build the north aisle of the church, and likewise bestow the second bell 
in the steeple, as his name upon seems to import." This restoration 
would appear to have taken place before 1681 and after 1662, as the first 
bell is inscribed in 1662 and the third bell in 1681. When in the 15th 
century a more lavish ornament was introduced into our public buildings, 
further alterations were effected at the east end of the church. The 
geometrical and flowing traoery of the east window, and the two windows 
and two lights in the chancel, also (externally) the east window of the 
south aisle (adjoining the Scrope chapel), and the windows under the 


tower are all fashioned after the Perpendicular style. In 1772 the 
interior was ''beautified" by a plentiful application of whitewash on 
the walls ; ^' Father Time/' above mentioned, who had been previously 
well coated with a like unsparing brush, was wiped out of sight more 
completely than ever. An unsightly gallery was erected in 1819, which 
at the last restoration in 1871-2 was removed, and the tower arches 
opened out. The whole of the church was then re-roofed ; the nave, 
chancel, and vestry with Westmorland slate and the tower and aisles 
with lead. The seats in the chancel were adapted from old oak found in 
the building, and in the nave and aisles were placed new pews of pitch- 
pine, designed after an ancient seat in the church. The pulpit, lectern, 
and prayer-desk are of old oak. The font is of Caen stone and has a 
handsome cover executed by Mr. John Winsby, of Leyburn. Several of 
the windows are filled with beautiful examples of stained glass, and there 
are also various memorial tablets to the families of Scrope, Wyvill, 
Yan Straubenzee, Ohaytor, Oookson, &c. 

The south aisle of the church was for a long period the burial-place 
of the Scropes of Danby, and the north aisle (where the organ has been 
erected) appears to have been the burial-place of the Fitz Randolphs. 
There remains here a single memorial to them in the form of a 16th 
century altar-tomb of freestone, without any inscription, but in all 
probability it is to the last of the family, John Fitz Randolph, who died 
unmarried. Upon it are a number of armorial designs, emblazoned in 
their proper heraldic colours. When the church was restored, the white- 
wash, by which the shields were concealed, was judiciously removed and 
the colours renewed. The arms are these : (1) Fitz Randolph ; (2) Scrope 

of Masham ; (8) Neville ; (4) Hylton ; (5) Fitz Randolph ; (6) ; 

(7) Scrope of Bolton ; (8) Fitz Randolph ; (9) Fitz Hugh ; (10) Fitz 

The registers of the church begin in 1578. In 1548 the population 
of the parish was declared to consist of 220 '^ houseling people," that is, 
presumably adults. The total population could therefore not have been 
much more than 500, or little less than at present. 

A branch of the ancient family of Burgh of Brough Hall was long 
seated at Spennithome. John Burgh married Margaret, daughter of 
John Fitz Randolph (pb. 1474), of Spennithome, and had issue Peter 
Burgh of Hawkswell. The will of Francis Burgh, of Spennithome, 
which was proved 22nd March, 1601, is a brief but singularly interesting 
document. By it he bequeaths : 

To mj Bister Anne Burgh and my nephew Robert Durham the lease of my 
farmhold in Oarriston ; to my sister Anne Burgh £100 ; my brother William, his 
wife, and two daughters, my sister Margaret Durham and my sister Dorothy, my 
cousin Christopher Crofte of Coteskew Park, "to the powryste of kynrede and 



most honeste of Sir Thomas Plewes dlssysed, sometymes iMirsonn of SpeDithoni, 
fourtye shillinges, to be distrybuted at ther dyscretion of ther wyBsest fry tides.** 
I give to Mr. Henry Scrope of Danby, a drynknge glasse of whyte berrall 
depaintyd ; to Barbara Crofte my goddowther a Scottysche merk of gold.* 

There are several large modern houses at Spennithorne, built upon 
positions that command excellent prospects over the valley. Spennithorne 
Hall is one of these and is the seat of the Chaycor family. Another, 
Spennithorne House, is in possession of the family of Van Straubenzee, 
the two families being related. Mary, daughter of Lieut.-Col. and the 
Hon. Mrs. Van Straubenzee (who was a daughter of the first Lord 
Wrottesley), of Spennithorne, having married in 1866, Wm. Chaytor, Esq., 
of Croft, who on the death of his father, Sir W. R. Garter Chaytor, Bart., 
in 1871, succeeded as third baronet. Sir William died August 8th, 1896, 
aged 59. The late owner of Spennithorne Hall, Clervaux Darley 
Chaytor, Esq., died on his own estate December 23rd, 1895, from a 
gunshot wound in the head, the result apparently of an accident. He 
was born in 1844 and in 1878 married a daughter of the late rector of 
Middleham, the Rev. Jas. A. Birch, by whom he leaves a family of sons 
and daughters. He was a prominent and useful member of the county 
gentry and much respected. He was a D.L. and J.P. for the North 
Biding, and had been for some time Chairman of the Leybnrn Bench of 
Magistrates. Thorney Hall, another attractive mansion, is the seat of 
the Hon. Amiaa Charles Orde-Powlett, J.P. 

Spennithorne was the birthplace of that gifted and eccentric 
philosopher, John Hutchinson, whose peculiar doctrines attracted a good 
deal of attention in their day. He was the son of a yeoman, and 
eventually became steward to Charles, sixth Duke of Somerset, who, 
when Master of the Horse to George I., gave him a sinecure appointment 
of £200 a year, with a good house in the Mews. Hutchinson then 
passed the remainder of his life in study and retirement. Having been 
brought up a close student of the Bible, with a natural taste for 
philosophy and science, he in 1724 published the first part of a treatise 
entitled Moseses Prineipia^ being an attack on the wonderful system of 
gravitation long irrefutably established by Sir Isaac Newton. Hutchinson 
based his arguments upon the literal interpretation of Scripture, 
maintaining, among other peculiar theories, that because the '*foar 
corners ** of the world are named in the Scriptures the earth must be a 
cube, and not a spherical body as commonly understood. It is impossible 
here, nor would it profit, to explain other vagaries of this extraordinary 
controvertist, suffice it to say that in those days when the natural sciences 

* Surteta Snc. Pub., xxvi., 246 : see also the will of Rofcer Burgh, dated 10th October, 1G74, who 
was father of an only daughter and heir, married to Sir Ralph Lawson, ancestor of the present 
owner of Brough. 


were but feebly understood, many of bis arguments seemed indisputable, 
and many able and well-known men wei'e to be counted among his 
supporters. It is said that the severity of his studies hastened his death, 
which took place in 1787, at the age of 62. In 1748 his collected works 
were published in twelve octavo volumes. Although of little practical 
value now they possess a curious interest, and as the production of a 
native of Wensleydale are worthy at any rate of local remembrance. 
Their author, it is deserving of mention, was ever a most diligent student 
of the wondrous phenomena of Nature. At an early age he was drawn 
to study the '* lesson of the rocks," and became an assiduous collector of 
fossils, in which objects there are few districts more prolific than 
Wensleydale. When Dr. Woodward presented his magnificent collection 
of fossils to the University of Cambridge it was affirmed that the bulk 
of the specimens had been collected by John Hutchinson, and amongst 
them were many rare and valuable species hitherto unknown to science. 
Another native of Spennithorne was the notorious Richard Hatfield, 
who fired a pistol at George III. in Drury Lane Theatre, the king 
naiTowly escaping the shot. Hatfield proved to be a lunatic and was 
confined for life in St. Luke's, where he died at an advanced age. Some 
little time before his mad act he had been in the army, in which he was 
promoted, and served with conspicuous gallantry in Holland under the 
Duke of York. On one occasion he even saved the Duke's life, and 
fortune would doubtless have smiled upon him but for the unhappy 
sequel. What a strange reverae and how uncertain is earthly fame I 
Is it not to-day we are conscious of victory, but to-morrow we are not 
our own masters ? Non sum qualis eram. And true also one vile deed 
outlives a thousand good. 



A Ramble about Harmbt. 

Early history of Harmby — The family of Harcla—The old mill at Harmby — 
Local possessions of St. Nicholas* Hospital — Manor house — Coaching-days — 
Harmby Gill — An ancient heronry — The Fairies* Well — A famous quarry — 
PalsBontological discoveries of Mr. William Home, F.G.S. 

|ELLERBY and Harmby are villages within the parish of 
Spennithorne. The first-named lies on the moor roate from 
Leybam to Richmond and will be described in that section. 
Harmby is passed on our way hence to Leybarn, from which 
it is distant about a mile. In Domesday it is spelled Hemuebi, meaning 
probably new placBj from the A.S. ern, an inhabited place, and niwe, new. 
On the Danish conquest in the 10th century, the suffix by, which means 
much the same as the A.S. ^m, seems to have been added in ignorance 
of the original etymology. At the Conquest it was in possession of the 
Dane Tor (see Aske) and was subsequently given to the Breton Wihomarc 
chief steward to the Earl of Richmond. The place gave name to a local 
family of note, of which Lawrence de Hernebi occurs as a signatory to 
a charter of grant of lands, &c., at Bolton in Wensleydale, in the time 
of Henry I. In the 14th century the estate passed to the redoubtable 
Andrew de Harcla, the first Earl of Carlisle, of whom history has so 
much to record. This mighty nobleman turned traitor, and siding with 
the Scots he assisted in the ignominious defeat which King Edward II. 
sustained near Byland Abbey. Thus it was that from a position of great 
power and influence he was degraded to that of a plebeian traitor, being 
deprived of all his honours and offices, and finally hung, drawn, and 
quartered, (a.d. 1828), in accordance with the precedents of the time. 
Much interesting information respecting this ancient family will be found 
in the Close Rolls and Patent Rolls of the 18th and 14th centuries. 
Thus in the Patent Rolls for 18th Edward I. (1285) it is recorded that 
Michael de Harcla was appointed during the pleasure of the king to the 
custody of the castle of Carlisle. Also in 1816 by precept of the king 
the taxors and collectors of the 16ths of every man's possessions in the 


North Riding of Yorkshire are ordered to pay £82 lOs. lOd. out of the 
money of the seoond payment to Andrew de Harcia, which the king 
specially desires to be paid to him, as the said Andrew has to pay a 
considerable amoant beyond the sum of £582 10s. 2d. owing to him by 
the king for his ransom from the Scotch rebels, &c.* 

After his execution the Harmby estate was granted to Henry le Scrope 
and has since continued part of the possessions of the heirs of this 
family, now represented by Lord Bolton. By what grant the Hospital of 
St. Nicholas held land and the mill at Harmby I have not been able to 
discover, but at the dispersal of its revenues, at the Dissolution, the 
Hospital was in possession of a piece of waste ground at Harmby, worth 
by the year 12d. The inhabitants of the parish also owed service to the 
master and brethren of the said Hospital, for in 1380 I find one John 
Hartan, of Hemeby and Henry de Haroun, of Spenyngthom, were 
summoned to answer the Master of St. Nicholases Hospital, juxta- 
Richmond, to do suit at his mill at Hemeby, on pain, &c.t The right of 
presentation to the Hospital having been retained by the Earls of 
Richmond in all probability the grant in question was made by one of 
the early lords of Harmby. 

The manor-house, situated at the low end of the village, is now a 
farm-House. It has been much modernised but still retains some of its 
old features, including an antique trefoil-headed doorway. The walls 
are about a yard thick. Formerly there was a chapel, dedicated to 
All Saints, attached to the house. It was subsequently converted into a 
barn. There was a similar chapel, with a Norman door, at Studhow, 
some two miles to the north of Harmby, and the old fish ponds there 
and at Harmby are still to be seen. The new buildings on the south 
side of the Harmby manor-house were erected on the site of the 
old byre and stable which were destroyed by fire some thirty years ago. 
The fire broke out in the night time and before it was discovered a horse 
and five calves had helplessly perished in the flames. 

The quiet little village occupies a pleasant site overlooking the valley 
towards Middleham. It has one inn, but when the Ripon coach was 
running by way of Masham and Harmby to Leybum it had two. There 
is a very pretty waterfall in the Harmby Gill near the main road in the 
village. After a good rainfall it makes a fine picture ; the broken waters 
leaping into the sparkling stream below to pursue their still downward 
course through a deep and romantic glen. A path leads direct to the 
waterfall from a stile about 100 yards down the road. In the season of 
wild fiowers may be observed such plants as figwort, the delicate little 

♦ Clo$e Rolls, lOth Edward II., m. 23. 

t J)e Banco, Trin. 4th Edward III. 


rock-rose, and patches of pink-flowering rose-bay, which add colour and 
variety to the shrabby nndergrowth surrounding the cascade. Anciently 
there was a large heronry in the gill, and Barker thinks this circumstance 
gave the place its name. Besides a beautiful spring of water here, called 
the Fairies' Well, there was formerly to be seen attached one of those 
antique iron cups, mentioned in the old chronicles, for providing the 
thirsty pilgrim with a refreshing draught. Even so long ago as the 
days of the good Saxon King Edwin it was ordained that " cups of iron 
or brass be fastened by such clear wells or fountains as did run by the 
wayside, which cups no man durst touch, further than to his own present 
use and necessity, for the love and good-will they bare to their Prince/* 
It is scarcely beyond living memory when such a useful vessel was known 
to have been kept from time immemorial attached to the old well at 

Going now forward to Leybum we pass on the right, and just over the 
railway-line at Harmby, a quarry in the main chert, or upper portion of 
the Main Limestone, which is rich in fossils, particularly in fish remains. 
Mr. Wm. Home, F.G.S., of Leyburn, has made many valuable und 
interesting discoveries in this fruitful hunting-ground, and many of the 
specimens obtained here are now in his museum at Leyburn. The rock, 
which is very massive and crystalline, is locally known as the Red Beds, 
from the reddish tint presented by the limestone in many places. The 
fossil remains consist largely of fish-teeth, with occasional spines, and are 
scattered over the surface when newly exposed in large numbers. They 
occur principally on an horizon about 80 feet below the summit of the 
quarry, but owing to the hardness and fractionary nature of the rock 
perfect specimens are difScult to obtain. Perhaps the most common 
species is Lophodus refieulaitis, but no specimen has yet been found with 
all its parts sufficiently clear for description. Examples of the genus 
Cladodus are also pretty common, including C. mucronatuSy C Hornet, 
C. sttiatus, &c. One species discovered here, Cladacanthus paradoxus^ 
had hitherto only been found in the Armagh limestone in Ireland, and 
another, Pleurodus Woodi^ had never been met with in the British Islands 
except in the coal measures. The few examples from the Harmby 
limestone consist entirely of teeth ; no spine of the genus having been 
fouud. Many of the specimens in Mr. Home's collection have been 
figured and described by the late Mr. Davis in the Quarterly Journal of 
the Geological Society for November, 1884. About 600 specimens have 
been placed in the York Museum, and about 400 are in the British 
Museum, while several thousands still remain in Mr. Horne*s museum at 




Modern aspects — Situation and general health — Glacial evidences — Discovery of 
prehistoric human skeletons and reindeer bones — Last mention of living 
reindeer in Britain — Proof of ancient habitations about Leyburn Shawl — ^An 
ossiferous cave — Meaning of Shawl — >Early history of Leyburn — Family of 
Leyburn — Descent of the manor — Family of Yarker — Dr. Goldsmith — Leyburn 
Hall — Supposed Priory at Leyburn — Ancient and modern buildings — The 
markets — Bull-baiting — Church of St. Matthew — Catholic church — Dissenting 
chapels — Local ministers — Mr. William Home, F.G.S. 

Exalted Leyburn next, with open arms, 

Due north our moving observation charms ; 

Where from its rocky verge and sylvan side. 

Most aptly ranged in gay theatric pride, 

We view a lower world where beauties spring, 

Tempting and fair as classic poets sing ; 

Woods, streams, and flocks, the vale's sweet bosom grace, 

And happy culture smooths her cheerful face. — Maudt. 

jJEYBUBN is now the principal place in Wensleydale, and since 
1855 has had a station on the Bedale branch of the North- 
Eastern railway from Northallerton. Although always a 
dependent township included in the ancient parish of Wensley, 
it has in matters temporal taken the lead, and having retained its market 
it has become a place of no inconsiderable resort and importance. The 
town, consisting chiefly of modern stone buildings, occupies a pleasant 
and airy site on the gentle acclivity which extends westwards in the 
direction of the famous Leyburn Shawl. Of late years it has grown in 
favour as a resort for visitors in summer-time, and the numerous inns 
and lodging-houses are in the season usually well taken up. The situation 
of the place, combined with the pure air and excellent quality of the 
water, has unquestionably established its reputation, and in the statistics 
of mortality it ranks among the most favourable in the kingdom. The 
annual death-rate is about 15 per thousand, while the proportion of 
deaths among old people is very remarkable ; thus in 1892, which is by 


no means exceptional, 28 persons within the parish died aged from 70 
to 80 years, 20 between the ages of 80 and 90, and two were over 90 
years. Centenarians are also not uncommon, and the longevity of 
Mrs. Webster, who died at Aysgarth, a few miles higher np the dale, in 
Jane, 1896, in the 107th year of her age, may be mentioned as a recent 

To trace the history of Leybarn from the beginning, by relics and 
by documents, we have to go back almost to the very dawn of life, so far 
as it is known in Yorkshire. From that remote era when the last 
glaciers in the Yorkshire valleys began to retreat, we have undisputed 
evidence of the presence of man in our midst. The Wensleydale glacier 
seems to have followed the general direction of the valley, and good 
evidence of its movement and operations is to be met with in many 
places. For example, in the railway-station yard at Leyburn there was 
uncovered some years ago a block of hard limestone, highly polished and 
striated by the passage of ice over it, which shewed by the position of 
the groovings the easterly trend of the ice-mass. The stones in the 
boulder-clay above have also been carried hither chiefly from the higher 
parts of the dale, but it is noteworthy that no ice-borne rocks, foreign to 
the district, have ever been found in the dale. 

That the eye of man witnessed the retreat of the ice in the highlands 
of Yorkshire is sufSciently proved by the discoveries of implements and 
animal remains that can have belonged only to a race inhabiting a 
severely cold climate, and living under conditions such as prevail among 
the Esquimaux at the present day. A discovery of exceptional interest, 
which seems to point to the existence of man in Wensleydale at this 
period, was made at the eastern extremity of the Shawl at Leyburn some 
twelve years ago. Mr. William Home, of Leyburn, who took me to 
view the site, says that while geologising in the Spring of 1884 he 
observed a piece of bone obtruding from a slip of shale at the edge of 
the terrace which forms the Shawl promenade, and about two-and-a-half 
feet below the surface. Upon a close examination it was found to be 
part of a human foot, and eventually the finder, in company with the 
Hon. W. T. Orde-Powlett (now Lord Bolton), made a careful excavation 
of the site, when a complete adult skeleton was uncovered. It was in a 
very soft and fragile state, and fell to pieces, not however before the 
observers had been enabled to determine the position and character of 
the interment. The skeleton was that of a female, and was laid on the 
left side with the knees slightly drawn up, and the head lay to the north. 
The skull was crushed quite flat, the jaw broken, and the teeth nearly 
all lying loose. Near the left shoulder was observed a primitive little 
bone object about two inches long, fashioned out of deer's horn. 
Nothing like it appears to have been found anywhere else in England, 


and the coDclusion is that it was used as a sunple bmce for fastening a 
cloak or vestment of skin across the shoulders. It is now in the 
Bolton Castle Museum. In March, 1885, another skeleton of the same 
type, and laid in a similar position, was found about ten feet west of the 
first one. In the case of this last discovery nearly all of the teeth were 
in the jaw and quite sound and hard, although much worn, in some 
cases down to the base of the crown, yet perfectly flat, the individual 
evidently having been accustomed to food containing some hard or 
gritty sabstance like pounded bones or sand. If the latter it must have 
been due to the abrasions of the pounding-stones mixing with the food 

Lbybuen Shawl. 

whilst being prepared. Near to this skeleton was picked up a pear- 
shaped pebble worn smooth. The relics are all at Bolton Castle. 

An important circumstance in connection with the finding of these 
remains was the discovery, in proximity to the skeletons, and at the same 
depth, of a number of reindeer bones. Some of the bones were broken 
and some had evidently been gnawed and split by artificial means. These 
finds taken in conjunction with the fact that the skulls of the skeletons 
resemble those of the Esquimaux at the present day, certainly point to 
the presence of life here at a vastly remote epoch. It is, however, 
impossible to prove that the primitive race represented by the discoveries 


named was actaallj coeval with the ri<^orous climatic conditions that 
prevailed at the close of the Ice Age in Britain. This, according to 
General Drayson, happened about 8000 years ago, although it was not 
till aboat 8000 years b.o. when the Arctic Circle extended between 
26 and 27 degrees from the Poles, that Central and Noithem Earope 
possessed a climate suitable to the human race.* That reindeer 
continued to inhabit the Yorkshire moors and dales long after the 
disappearance of the glaciers is abundantly proved, but as the climate 
amelioi-ated and the lichens and other food products deteriorated, the 
reindeer gradually withdrew northwards. The people, being dependent 
upon these migratory animals for an existence, and unaccustomed to 
any other mode of life than that which appertained to them, were 
obliged to follow the reindeer on their northward retreat. Thus it is 
evident that the Esquimaux and frozen Laplanders of the present day 
are the lineal descendants of the race once occupying the glacier-ridden 
valleys of Britain and northern Europe. In the extreme north of 
Scotland reindeer are known to have survived down even to the Norman 
Conquest of England, and an old Norse Saga relates how the Earls of 
Orkney used to go over to Caithness to hunt the reindeer in the time of 
our first King Henry, and this is the last ascertainable reference to the 
animal being alive in Britain. 

There is little doubt that when these interments in the Shawl took 
place the edge of the plateau extended much further out to the south, 
and that the cliff has worn backwards with the lapse of time. In various 
other places upon this elevated terrace the ground has been tested and 
bits of charcoal, split and broken bones, burnt stones, and pot-boilers 
have been found, proving the early occupation of the site. In the wood 
at the western extremity of the Shawl, about 1^ miles from Leybum, 
there was also discovered a cave, about 20 feet deep, which yielded bones 
of the red-deer, fox, sheep or goat, wild ox, &c., and there was also turned 
up portions of a human lower jaw, being the only evidence of man here 
that was found. The lower part of the cave was filled with clay, and the 
upper part with cave-earth and stones, and whilst removing the debris 
from the entrance, a quantity of charcoal, broken-bones and burnt stones, 
along with a piece of Roman Samian ware, were picked up just outside 
the cave, shewing apparently that the cave had b^n filled up in Roman 
times. The conquerors must have borne away everything useful, for to 
except several gritstone pounders or rubbing stones, no implements, either 
of flint or metal, were discovered in the cave. This interesting repository 
of prehistoric remains has been named the Lady Algitha Cave in honour 
of Lady Algitha Orde-Powlett, who was the first lady visitor. The 

♦ See the author's Nidderdale and the Garden of the Nidd, pages 468-70. 


yarious objects found in it, and in the locality, have been deposited in 
the recently-formed mnsenm at Bolton Oastle. 

I mast also remark that in the wood jnst below the Shawl promenade 
are the remains of a well-defined horse-shoe shaped habitation, with 
opening or doorway to the south. Mr. Home informs me that he has 
found on the site several stone-pounders or rubbing-stones for grinding 
corn, substitutes for the primitive quern, along with burnt and cracked 
cooking-stones and pot-boilers. A little to the west of these ruins is a 
large cairn of loose stones, comprising probably not less than three 
hundred cart loads. A critical examination of the cairn has not been 
made, and beyond the discovery of several charred stones, nothing 
particular has been noted. 

These discoveries lead me to a possible explanation of the word 
Shawl, which h'es, I think, at the root of all these primitive habitations. 
There is not the smallest doubt that the beautiful and elevated terrace 
known by this name, which commands such an admirable and distant 
prospect, as well as the escarpment immediately below, facing the south, 
was the site of the original settlers in this neighbourhood down almost 
to the Norman Conquest, when an advancing civilisation tempted the 
settlers to occupy the eastern slope or site of the present town. We 
must therefore look for some word that will explain the present use of 
the word Shawl as applied to the locality where the inhabitants were 
first settled, and this is not difScult to find. In the Scand. scale, skali, 
we have the huts or dwellings of the Viking conquerors of Wensleydale, 
a word that was adopted by the Scotch in their sheals or shealingsy 
meaning the same thing. For example, Larbert in Scotland was 
anciently called Larbert-Scheills (the huts of a man called Larbert), 
and Oalashiels as well as North and South Shields, in Durham, were 
originally a collection of fishermen^s huts. Again in Richmondshire I 
find the same word spoken and written in the several forms of Shalle, 
Shales, Scales, Scalles, <&c. Thus in a registration of Papists* estates 
taken in 1717, one Wm. Allen, of Thornton Steward, makes declaration 
that he is seized of the capital messuage or chief mansion-house in 
Leyburn, with a work-house, stables, &c., and a grass garth and close 
called Skalbanck, let to Geo. Pickadike at £8. Again in a fine touching 
the manor of Aske, 8th James I., amongst the places comprised in the 
property is Schalles alias Scales, Gingerfield, Uewetts alias Yewetts, &c. 
There is little doubt, therefore, that the Schall (now written Shawl) at 
Leyburn has the same meaning, and merely indicates where the huts or 
dwellings of the early settlers here were first situate. 

At the Conquest Leyburn was in the hands of two owners, Aschil 
and Audulf, and in Domesday it is written Leborne, evidently from the 
brook which runs by the Cattle Market at the back of the town. The 


open field or lea implied in the prefix is affirmed by many writers to 
indicate not merely a piece of cultivated land, bnt that the ground so 
denominated was arable and appropriated to the growth of com. Thus 
Leyburn, like Burnley, which is the compound reversed, means the 
brook or bnm flowing through corn-lands. Com has undoubtedly been 
extensively cultivated in the neighbourhood of Leyburn at an early 
period, and many of those primitive appliances for grinding it, the 
quern and pounding-stone, have been turned up from time to time. 
Mr. R. D. Home discovered a remarkably fine mbber or pounding-stone 
of millstone grit while some workmen were clearing away the foundation 
of an old cottage at Leyburn in 1875. It is now in the Bolton Museum. 

By the Domesday account we find the chief steward of the Earl of 
Richmond, Wihomarc, a Breton, in possession of Leyburn, and it seems 
likely that he resided here, and was progenitor of the family that took 
the name of Leyburn. Wihomarc de Leyburn occurs in a Yorkshire 
charter of the time of King Edward I. In the Watson MSS. is a 
pedigree which makes Roger fil Wyomarc the father of Robert de 
Leyburn, the crusader, whose descendants settled at Leybum Castle in 
Kent. But this statement is inaccurate, as will be found below. From 
this Yorkshire house there is little doubt descended the Barons Leyburn, 
of Kent, although Dugdale and others make no attempt to connect the 
two families. The arras borne by the 'i'orkshire licybums were or, six 
lions rampant, sa., while the Kent family bore azure, six lions rampant, 
arg. How these bearings originated has never been ascertained, bnt 
according to the roll of Henry III., 1240-5, Sir Roger de Leyburn bore 
the last-mentioned coat, which seemed to have been borne also by Edward 
of Salisbury at the Conquest. This Roger de Leyburn was great-grandson 
of Philip de Leyburn, who is stated to have married Amy, sister and 
co-heir of Ralph Fitz Ceroid, who though not found in the pedigree was 
doubtless a member of the house of Fitz Ceroid, descended from Ceroid 
Dapifer, brother or uncle of Edward of Salisbury.* It may further be 
remarked that upon the seal of William Longsp^e, Earl of Salisbury, 
who died in 1226, appear six lions rampant, and the same arms are also 
on his effigy in Salisbury Cathedral. Ela, wife of Thomas de Newburgh, 
Earl of Warwick, and of Philip Basset, also bore the same device. 

The first apparently to assume the name was Michael de Leyburne, 
who in 1103 paid taxes for land in Leyburn, Downholme, Walburn, and 
Harmby. He was the son of Robert, son of Odo, who held in 1086 the 
mauors of Fleetham, Langthorpe, and half of Hackforth. This Odo 
was like Wihomarc, lord of Leyburn, one of the chief servants of Alan, 
the great Earl of Richmond, and the two were probably either brothers, 

• See Ellis's Antiquities of Heraldry^ page 183. 


or Odo was son of Wihomarc. Sir Roger de Leyburn, brother of the 
above Michael, was also possessed of land in Leyburn, and he was one 
of those knights who joined in King Richard's crusade to the Holy Land 
in 1191. We likewise find that a Kent Leyburn, one Robert de Leyburn, 
took part in the same crusade, and returned home from the Holy Land 
in the escort of Queen Bei'engaria, in October, 1192. This Robert was 
the son of Philip de Leyburn, who married the Kent heiress Amy Fitz 
Gerold, and who built Leybourne Castle, near Maidstone, in the time of 
Henry IL Roger de Leybm'n, of Kent, who married a daughter of 
Robert de Vipont, hereditary Sheriff of Westmorland, and died in battle 
in 1283-4, was seized of lands in Yorkshire, viz. : the manors of 
Kynworth, Maltby, Bawtry, Oesterfeud, and Doncaster, which all reverted 
to his wife as a portion of the Vipont inheritance. From this time the 
Kent Leyburnes nowhere appear as landowners in Yorkshire. The 
Yorkshire Leybums, who were benefactors to St. Mary's Abbey, York, 
Rievaulx Abbey,* and Marrick Priory in Swaledale, held land in the 
neighbourhood of Leyburn up to the early part of the 14th century, 
when the main line seems to have terminated in heiresses. A branch of 
the family, however, continued to reside in Yorkshire, and produced 
several individuals of position and note. One of these was William 
Leyborne, a captain on the Royalist side in the Civil Wars, who was 
slain at Sheriff Hutton in 1647. He is said to have been a man 
of particularly bold and unfearing nature, but by his daring he unluckily 
fell into the hands of the enemy. On being asked for whom he was, he 
tore open his jacket, bared his breast, and replied, '* I am for God, my 
holy Church, and the King," whereupon he was instantly shot dead. 

A Westmorland branch of the ancient lords of Leyburn can be 
traced from about a.d. 1200, when Robert de Leyburn obtained lands 
there, down to the middle of last century, at Skelsmereserg, Yewbarrow 
Hall, Cunswick, Ashton Hall, near Lancaster, i&c. In 1741, Ralph, son 
of Ralph Leyburn, of Eamont Bridge, bequeathed his estates in trust 
for his only child, Mary, who married in 1738 Richard Speight, and 
died in 1754 without issue. Speight married thrice, and died in 1778 
childless. There is a brass on his tombstone at Barton, near Penrith. 
The Driffield Leyburns date back to the Reformation, and they were 
landowners at Nafferton until quite recently. 

Gale observes that in 1318 Leyburn consisted of two parts, of which 
one was held by military service, and one without, of the Nevilles. The 
whole manor of Leyburn subsequently came to the Scropes by marriage 
with Margaret Neville, and by inquisition, 14th Henry VII. (1498), 
taken on the death of Sir John Scrope, Kt., the jurors affirm that this 

* 8ee Rievaulx Chartulary, Surteet Society Publications^ vol. 83, page 98. 


and other of his possessions are held of the king as of his Castle of 
Richmond, bat by what services they are ignorant. After the Catholic 
insurrection in the North (1569), which Henry, Lord Scrope, assisted to 
suppress, the manor was in the hands of an old Richmondshire family, 
named Atkinson, as appears by the following fine : 

Mich, Terffii Idth-iyth Elizabeth. Between Charles Atkynson, plaintiff, John 
Wayte, gentleman, and Mary hie wife, deforciants, of the Manor of Laybounie, 
and of 6 messuages, 2 cottages, 8 gardens, 3 orchards, 120 acres of land, 60 acres 
of meadow, 100 acres of pasture, 10 acres of wood, 60 acres of furze and heath, 60 
acres of moor, and 12 denariates of rent, with appurtenances in Lay borne, Harnebye, 
and Wensley. Whereupon, &c., the aforesaid Manor to be the right of him Charles. 
And for this the said Charles hath given SOZt. sterling. 

At Westminster, Morrow of All Souls. 

There had been some suspicion that the Scropes were not to be trusted 
as guardians and promoters of the new religion, and Henry, Lord Scrope, 
in a letter to the Earl of Shrewsbury, Lord Lieutenant from the Trent 
northwards, complains of this doubt, declaring himself to be most sincere 
to the Queen's Majesty, and " as ready and willing to serve to the utmost 
of my power as any subject that her grace hath, according as I shall be 
commanded/' Although the petition seems to have taken due effect, 
the noble lord being entrusted with several important commissions 
including the custody and safe keeping of Mary, Queen of Scots, in 
Bolton Castle in 1569, yet the fact that Lord Scrope was brother-in-law 
to the Duke of Norfolk, the head of the Roman Catholics in England, 
was a source of constant fear and uneasiness to Queen Elizabeth and her 

The manor of Leybnrn, with other of the Scrope estates, descended 
by marriage to the Powletts, now represented by Lord Bolton, who is 
one of the principal landowners. Others are Mrs. Riddell, the trustees 
of Henry T. Robinson, Esq., and Chas. Braddyl Yarker, Esq. The family 
of Yarker is a very old one in this district, having held lands and resided 
at Tjeyburn for many centuries. The name occurs in Yorkshire in the 
Poll Tax Returns for Otley and Bingley, 2nd Richard II. (1878), and 
in Cambridgeshire as far back as the reign of Henry IV., when William 
Yarker, armiger^ obtained a lease from the Crown of 60 acres of land at 
Gamlingay. In Wensleydale the earliest references to the name occur 
in the parish registers of Wensley, viz. : of the burial of Thomas Yarker, 
28th April, 1549 ; and of Anna Yarker, 14th April, 1541 ; and from 
these all of the name now existing descend. William Yarker, who was 
born at Ley burn in 1601, held lands at Redmire and East Bolton, subject 
to the heirs of Emanuel, Lord Scrope. Some of the Yarkers were also 
seated at Middleham ; John Yarker built Grove House there, and had a 


SOD, Wm. Luke Yarker, registrar of Middleham, who died in DerbyBhire, 
and was buried at Fairfield, Buxton, June 27th, 1802.* 

I have already on page 187 referred to one Richmondshire worthy, the 
Rev. Dr. Scott, vicar of Catterick, who was on board the Victory in the 
capacity of chaplain, at the great battle of Trafalgar. The ship's 
surgeon was Dr. Peter Goldsmith, who at that time resided at Leybum, 
and it was in the arms of these two men that the immortal Nelson 
expired. Dr. Goldsmith returned to Leybum, where he died in 1886, 
and was interred in Wensley churchyard. 

Leyburn Hall and all the demesne lands, with common of pasture, 
turbary, woods, &c., and several closes called the Crabtree, Lanmure, 
Shall, Tallow Bank, Ac, in Leyburn, &c., were granted by William 
Thomborough, of Selside, co. Westmorland, Mary his wife, and Francis 
Thornborough, of Leyburn, Esq., his eldest sou and heir, to William 
Radcliffe, of Hatton Garden, co. Middlesex, gent., and Thomas Barnard, 
of Lincoln's Inn, gent., in trust for the use of the said Francis 
Thornborough for life, and to raise portions for younger children as set 
forth in the indenture enrolled January 28th, 1784-5.t By indenture 
enrolled September 20th, 1740, between the said Francis Thornborough, 
of Leybum, and William Janson, of the same, in consideration of 
yearly rent reserved, was made this grant by the said Fr. Thornborough : 

A dwelling-house or site of a dwelliag-house, with the garth and garden 
thereunto belonging and adjoining (wfiereon a new dwelling -hmse u intended to 
he erected by the taid Wm. Janton) in Leyburn, adjoining upon the late demolished 
dwelling-house of the said Win. Janson on the east, upon a house and garth lately 
purchased by him of one Henry Janson on the west, upon the street or towngate 
GO the north, and upon a grass garth in the possession of Henry Janson belonging 
his Grace the Duke of Bolton on the south, with all houses, &c., to be holden of 
the chief lord of the Fee of the premises at the rents and services therefore due 
and accustomed, and also paying therefore to the said Francis Thornborough 12b. 

In the following year, 1741, Luke Yarker, gent., exchanged the house 
with garden then owned by him at Leyburn for the messuage in Leybum 
with the shop, barn, stable, helm or carthouse, &c., and one grass garth 
and foldyard, belonging to Francis Thomborough, Esq., the latter 
receiving £8 from the said Luke Yarker as satisfaction for the difference 
in the value betwixt the premises exchanged. This Luke Yarker is said 
to have been concerned in the rebellion of 1745, in which year he made 

* See the Genealogy of the surname Yarker, with the Leyburn and several 
allied famUies resident in the counties of Yorkshire, Durham, Westmorland, and 
Lancashire, including all of the name in Cumberland, Canada, America, and 
Middlesex, by John Yarker. 4 to wrapper, privately printed, 1882. 

t Vide North Riding Record*^ vol. ix., page 128. 


his will and died, and his extensive estates at Leyburn, Barrowford, 
Goverdale, and Bishopdale, in co. York, and Carryhejs, co. Lancaster, 
narrowly escaped confiscation. 

Adjoining Leyburn Hall is an outhouse with an old pointed doorway 
and several carved stones built into the walls. They are evidently the 
remains of some ecclesiastical foundation, the materials of which have 
been distributed in buildings in the neighbourhood. Barker goes so far 
as to affirm that there was a Priory at Leyburn, and that Dr. Collier, 
Catholic Bishop of Port Louis, in the Mauritius, informed him that he 
once possessed an impression of the community's seal. It is, however. 


most likely that the Priory in question was nothing more than a mortuary 
or chantry-chapel erected through the beneficence of an early lord of 
Leyburn, similar to those at Tanfield, Thornton Steward, Downholme, &c. 
On the west side of the town is an enclosure significantly known by the 
name of Chapel Flatts, which in all probability was the site of the said 

The aspects of the Market Place have been much altered in recent 
times. The old Town Hall was pulled down in 1856-7 and the present 
neat substantial building erected on the site. The cost, about £8000, 
was defrayed entirely by Lord Bolton. It contains a magistrate's room, 


in which the Petty Sessions are held, and there are also other apartments 
appropriated to various purposes. Two large old elm trees stood in the 
open space to the south of the Town Hall, and between them was the 
stocks, while the market cross occupied a position nearer the hall 
buildings. Barker speaks of one elm only, but there were two, and both 
of these were removed in 1821 ; the wood being afterwards used and 
sold for the manufacture of souvenirs. 

The first charter for a market at Leybum was granted in the reign of 
Charles II. to the Right Hon. Charles, Marquis of Winchester, afterwards 
Duke of Bolton ; the market to be held upon Tuesday in every second 
week. James II. in the second year of his reign (1686), confirmed and 
enlarged the former grant, the markets theuceforward to be held on 
Friday in every week, as they have continued to the present. The com 
markets here and at Richmond were at one time among the largest and 
best attended in the north of England, but the conversion of large areas 
of corn-land into meadow and permanent pasture, and a general 
re-arrangement of trafSc since the introduction of railways, have very 
considerably affected the corn-trade at these places. The corn used to 
be ground in the dale mills, and large quantities were on stated days 
conveyed in waggons to Eettlewell and to Oearstones, at Ribblehead, and 
the dalesfolk for many miles round used to meet at these places and make 
their purchases. It may be noted that the specially-paved com market 
at Leyburn was put down in 1800. 

Bull-baiting was one of the most popular of sports in the market- 
towns of Richmondshire up to the end of last century, and in the 
Market Place at Leybum may still be seen the old iron ring to which 
the animals were tethered. We are told that on the last occasion when 
a bull was baited at Leybum (now about a century ago) the infuriated 
beast broke loose and upset two of the bystanders ; it then bolted up 
the dale but was overtaken at Wensley, where it was with difficulty shot. 
Sometimes prizes were offered at these festivities, when a collar was 
presented to the dog that proved the best and fairest fighter. An attempt 
was made to put down the cruel sport in 1802, but the bill was rejected 
by the House of Commons, and it was not till 1885 that it was finally 
abolished by Act of Parliament. 

Of other buildings at Leyburn mention must be made of the 
beautiful Church of St. Matthew, consecrated by Bishop Bickersteth on 
September 16th, 1868, as a chapel-of-ease to Wensley. It supplants a 
smaller stracture erected in 1886, and occupies a site given by Lord 
Bolton. The cost of the building was about £8000. The foundation- 
stones of a new Sunday School and Church Institute have lately been 
laid in connection with this church. There is a handsome Roman 
Catholic Church situated on the north side of the town. It was erected 


partly by Bobscription in 1885 at a cost of about £2000. The interior 
adornments are exceptionally beaatifnl and interesting, the decorative 
work of the sanctuary being particularly noteworthy. On the altar are 
two obelisk-shaped reliquaries, one of which is said to contain a small 
portion of the true cross. Before the altar hangs the sanctuary-lamp, 
which was presented by the late Chas. G. Fairfax, Esq., of Gilling 
Castle. The east window is filled with stained glass, admirably designed 
by Miss L. C. Bolton, a niece of the late pastor, the Rev. Richard J. 
Bolton. In 1870 a set of stations of the cross was given by various 
members of the congregation in memory of the same pastor, Father 
Bolton, and in 1875 a font of marble and Caen stone was erected in 
memory of the Rev. Thomas A. Loughran. In the vestry are some 
curious antique marbles representing the Crucifixion, Resurrection, 
Ascension, &c., which are stated to have been discovered in the ruins of 
Furness Abbey. They are in a good state of preservation. 

The Dissenters were established at Leyburn more than two centuries 
ago, the Quakers having a meeting-house here in 1689, and in 1795 the 
Independents had erected a chapel in the town. In 1815 the first 
Wesleyan Chapel was built, and is now represented by the existing 
spacious and handsome building. The Rev. John Wesley had visited 
the dale as early as the year 1743, but it was not until 1812 that 
Methodism was properly inaugurated at Leyburn, when the Revs. Arthur 
Hutchinson, Thomas Gill, Charles Radcliff, and James Fowler were 
appointed ministers in the Middleham Circuit. Mr. Fowler laboured 
most industriously in the furtherance of religious work in the district, 
and it was mainly through his efl^orts that the debts on the chapels at 
Leyburn, Redmire, and Bainbridge were paid off. It had been his 
intention to settle as a missionary in the Republic of St. Domingo, but 
during the outward voyage, accompanied by his wife, the vessel was 
wrecked in a storm on a French island, and his wife having suffered 
much at sea, the couple were constrained to return to England. 
Mr. Fowler subsequently laboured in the Middleham Circuit, and 
afterwards settled at Bristol. 

I might go on enlarging on old local families and worthies did space 
permit, but before concluding this notice of Leyburn a word is deservedly 
due to the services which Mr. William Home, F.G.3., has for many years 
rendered to the town. Few of the many visitors to Leyburn neglect cdling 
upon him and viewing his interesting museum of local antiquities and 
other relics, which is always open to the public. His genial courtesy and 
willingness to impart information to those who consult him as to where to 
go and what to see in the beautiful valley where he has passed the greater 
part of his life, render it a subject of congratulation that the town should 
possess so useful a guide and friend. The son of a Thoresby farmer 


Mr. Home has from his earliest days taken a genuine and commendable 
interest in science and antiquities, and no one in Wensleydale is better 
acquainted with its varied physical and archaeological features. As a 
lecturer too, and as a leader of scientific parties he is widely and 
favourably known. In 1881, when the British Association visited 
Wensleydale, he accepted the leadership of that distinguished assembly ; 
he has also conducted the members of the Yorkshire Naturalists* Union, 
and the Yorkshire Geological Society, as well as many local societies, on 
the occasion of visits to the district. In December, 1887, Mr. Home 
was elected a Fellow of the Geological Society in recognition of his 
valuable discoveries in the Yoredale rocks, particularly in fossil fishes, 
many of which he has found being quite new to science. Reference to 
these has already been made on a preceding page. 



On the Moors around Bbllbrby. 

The moorB between Ley burn and Richmond— Bel lerby— The old hall — A tradition 
—Family of Bellerby— The Metcalfes— The church— Weeleyan chapel- Old 
toll-bars— Halfpenny House— Over the moors— Hart Leap well— Descent to 

)YELY is the sight of the heather-bloom in the August prime. 
Away then let us go, for the season is but short, and enjoy 
the new-born glory of the purple moors I Let us drink in 
the invigorating draughts that sweep the wild, wide heather- 
lands, clamber to where the bilberries, cranberries, and cloudberries grow, 
where the red grouse and curlew have their boundless dwelling ; we will 
mark the noiseless flap-flap of the pewit's wing, or listen to its plaintive 
call as it follows, perchance, in our wake, — ^a monotone that adds to the 
impressive solitude of these unpeopled fells, — 

Such sounds as make deep silence in the heart 
For thought to do her part ! 

A fine walk or drive it is over the moors from Leybum to Richmond by 
way of Bellerby and Hart Leap Well. The distance is about nine miles, 
and the highest point reaches nearly 1000 feet, about a mile beyond 
Halfpenny House. 

Two miles from Leybum is Bellerby, and on the moors to the west 
Mr. John Hutton, of Marske, I am told, shot the last native wild deer a 
little over a century ago. The moors, as well as the manor and other 
property at Bellerby, now belong to Mr. John Osborne, the well-known 
jockey of Middleham, who purchased the property in 1858. He has also 
a deer-park here of about 150 acres. The old hall (now farm-dwellings) 
is a spacious picturesque-looking building, and about it cling many 
associations of peculiar interest. There is a tradition that Mary, Queen 
of Scots was to have hidden here on her way to Richmond, and that a 
band of Scots guards was stationed at the house to receive her and assist 
her escape from Bolton Castle. But as we well know, her attempted 
escape proved futile. In the reign of the unfortunate monarch Charles L^ 
the hall was the seat and property of an influential family called Scott. 


The family gnfiFeied severely for their attachment to the Royal caose ; 
the estates were sequestered, and for some time the mansion was occupied 
by the Parliamentary soldiers. Two sons of this Bellerby house served 
with great gallantry as officers during the wars, and both died on the 
field of Naseby in 1645. Subsequently Miss Agnes Scott, their only 
sister, along with her widowed mother, escaped to Eirkdale near Eirkby 
Moorside, where they had a small estate, and where Miss Scott entered 
the bonds of matrimony with a Cavalier officer named Barker. Close 
to the roof of the house are the initials 0. S. and date 1699. There are 
many voided windows behind, which tell of the time when the obnoxious 
window-duty was first imposed in 1695, and although reduced in 1828 
was not repealed till the year 1851. Upon the ample green in front of 
the hall is a large sycamore-tree, planted in 1818, and a deliciously clear, 
full brook courses rapidly through the village, in summer-time affording 
a tempting play-ground for the rising generation of Christmas ducks and 
geese. The stream rises in a pasture a short distance to the west of the 
village, and drives a corn-mill lower down: 

** Belgebi,*' as the place is written in Domesday ^ gave name to an 
ancient and honourable family, which produced in early times several 
men of note. Among the sureties of Boald fil Alan, Constable of 
Richmond, a.d. 1216, appears Elyas de Belcherby. Thomas de Bellerby 
was Master of the Penhill Preceptory at the dissolution of the Order of 
Knights Templars in 1809, and was one of the principals imprisoned in 
York Castle. John Bellerby gave to St. James's Chapel, Richmond, a 
messuage and close adjoining the said chapel, temp, Henry YI. In 1822 
a fine was passed between Galfred le Sorope, plaintiff, and John fil 
Thomas de Hertford, defendant, touching the manor of Bellerby. In 
the reign of Henry VII., Henry Percy, Earl of Northumberknd, was 
declared seized in his demesne as of fee, of four carucates of land with 
the appurtenances in Bellerby, held of the king of the honour of 
Richmond as the third part of one knight's fee, and worth yearly twenty 

• A branch of the family of Metcalfe was also seated at Bellerby, and 
for some time they were lords of the manor. In 1882, one Adam 
Metcalfe, is defendant in a suit in an action brought by Thomas de 
Bellerby. Lucas or Luke Metcalfe was owner of Bellerby in the reign 
of Queen Elizabeth, and he died in the lifetime of his wife, Catherine, 
whose will is dated 8rd May, 1588. In the Richmond parish registers 
is the entry, I believe never before published, of the birth in 1610 of 
Theophilus, son of Matthew Metcalfe, of the Bellerby family, the well- 
accredited inventor of shorthand, whose ** system *' is supposed to have 
been published in 1685. He was the ancestor of the eminent Lord Chas. 
Theophilus Metcalfe (1785-1846), Govemor-Oeneral of India, and for 


some time also Governor of Jamaica and of Canada. His branch of the 
family have always borne the name of Theophilns in all snooeeding 
generations since 1610, and the family is now represented by Sir Charles 
Theophilus Metcalfe, Bart. 

The visitation made by William Flower, Norroy King of Arms, in 
1584-5, gives a Brian Metcalfe, of Bere Park, as being a son of Miles 
Metcalfe, and father of an eldest son Richard (with the descent from 
him of the Bellerby branch), and a second son Thomas, of Nafdy 
[Nappa], and another son Reginald. It is, however, erroneous to describe 
Thomas as of Nappa, as it is also to give him, as the entry does, a son 
Sir James Metcalfe, Et., who as is well known, was son of Thomas, son 
of James, son of John, and not a son of Thomas, son of Brian, son of 
Miles, as this entry would make him. The Rev. Mark Metcalfe was 
also of this branch. He was vicar of Northallerton in the reign of 
Qaeen Elizabeth, and his tomb-stone, with arms and date 1598, is the 
oldest monumental slab in the venerable church of All Saints at 

The church at Bellerby, a chapel-of-ease to Spennithome, is a very 
old foundation, and was rebuilt in 1801. I have been told that before 
that time the church stood at the foot of Richmond Hill in Bellerby ; 
it was then re-erected on the site of the present churchyard, and 
remained there till 1878, when the existing edifice was built. The old 
church was a plain, simple, unpretentious structure like that at Horse 
House, Hardraw, &c., elsewhere described. A burial-ground was 
consecrated in 1847 ; before then all interments were made at the parish 
church at Spennithome. Bellerby became a separate ecclesiastical parish 
in 1858, and in 1890 a fund was commenced to increase the endowment 
and to make some necessary additions to the vicarage. The living is in 
the gift of the Rev. G. Osborne, and is now held by the Rev. Horace 
Rimington. Within the church is a small but neat brass commemorating 
Francis Walker, of Bellerby, who died Sept. 4th, 1878. He bequeathed 
in perpetuity the interest on the following sums : To the National School, 
£1200 ; to the Church, £800 ; to the Wesleyan Chapel, £800 ; and to 
the Poor, £800. 

The Wesleyan Chapel was erected in 1889, and enlarged in 1853. 
Methodism made a bad start at Bellerby. The people would have none 
of it, and the first preacher, a Mr. Manners, was mobbed out of the 
place. Subsequently a society was formed but did not prosper until 
Mr. Robert Home, father of Mr. William Home, F.G.S., took up his 
residence in the village, and it was mainly through his active efforts that 
the chapel and school were established. 

* See the Rev. J. L. Say weirs History and Annals of Northallerton. 


Proceeding on our road to Richmond, at the next junction, branching 
to Askrigg, an old toll-bar house stood, and there was another at Holly 
Hill on this road, above Sleegill. Presently an old wayside homestead 
called Halfpenny House is passed, the house standing on the boundaries 
of the parities of Hauzwell and Downholme. Thirty years ago it was 
an inn, and in bygone times was a stopping-place for the coaches, being 
near the junction of four cross-roads, one going westwards to Beeth and 
Downholme, and another east to Hauzwell, Scotton, &c. It was also 
a meeting-place during the making of the turnpike road in 1751-2. 
Now we commence a gradual ascent to the moor, which in August is a 
picture of beautiful colour, stretching away mile after mile with the 
freedom and Immensity of the sea I How freely we breathe now and 
how we inhale the fresh, sweet air I Far away, half obscured in cloud- 
land, are the tops of the everlasting hills, — no voice of cataracts here or 
even of purling waters ; no sound, indeed, save the strong whirr of 
grouse, or the sudden scream of the curlew I 

Just before reaching the summit a small solitary elm tree will be 
observed on the left of the road. It marks a site memorable in a local 
tradition and celebrated by one of England's greatest singers, Wordsworth, 
in the poem of Hart Leap Well. The story is that '^ once upon a time " 
a hart of exceptional size and strength led horse and hounds a chase of 
unwonted difficulty and duration. Away they went over hill and dale 
until, exhausted by the long pursuit, one by one both horses and hounds 
dropped to rise no more. At length a single horseman remained, and he 
kept up the chase over Hauxwell and Barden moors as far as the declivity 
adjoining the present road at the well. Here the animal, worn out by 
the unnatural pursuit, made a final effort, giving three extraordinary 
leaps down the bank, and falling dead close beside this well. Wordsworth 
thus apostrophises the incident : 

—Sir Walter found 
Three separate hoof-marks which the hunted beast 
Had left imprinted in the verdant ground. 

Sir Walter wiped his face, and cried *' Till now 

Such sight was never seen by living eyes : 
Three leaps have borne him from the lofty brow, 

Down to the very fountain where he lies. 
• • » • • 

A cunning artist will I have to frame 

A basin for that fountain in the dell ; 
And they, who do make mention of the same 

From this day forth, shall call it Hart Leap Well. 

And, gallant brute 1 to make thy praises known 

Another monument shall here be raised ; 
Three several pillars, each a rough-hewn stone. 

And planted where thy hoofs the turf have grazed.'' 


The stoneB referred to were formerly conspicnooB, but appear to have 
been removed when the present fenoe-wall was boilt. The well-basin in 
winter usoallj gets choked with peat and weeds, but in summer is 
cleaned out and is easily found. A small upright stone with the name 
inscribed on it would, however, give an additional interest and at once 
lead to the identity of the spot. On these moors, as I have elsewhere 
pointed out, the last wild red deer in Richmondshire were shot, about 
the middle of last century. 

Our road now continues straight over the elevated and breezy moor, 
leaving the ancient village of Hudswell away on the left ; then we have 
a grand uninterrupted prospect of the Swaledale peaks and the great 
plain beyond, stretching eastwards to the Cleveland Hills. Hence the 
romantically-built town of Richmond looks uncommonly well in the 
red rose of sun-down, with Willance's Leap and the luxuriant woods of 
Whitcliffe sweeping upwards along the same bank of the Swale, and in 
whose recesses lie buried the remains of those primitive housesteads, 
elsewhere described, which sheltered the hard-faring natives of Swaledale 
long centuries before the bold Norman castle rose upon the adjoining 



i/rup*i«)T. — M»*»!iiti<of Wo' '. v 
Sfttj;." AM^io Hal. .11 t.t!^.!it"» — M'l » ■ - 
Tho rhurcb - I*^ U'l h.". ''ij^um; at. 
♦ pii«;»fir's.)tj iM'tw»tTi it a; ! t:i« J-ra"-- « .'. 
AnKov — 'Ihh J»f» ia Merej jelatcd to tr.t* - 
in"*'"-i;.ti' ijs i" the chii-ch — Th«>Mris M.i:i«i*<- • 
« >.(i rlMir *'.\T'iiUr»s' arrrmut.N — 'i ho into h in. 
Oo[iy of ,r.<:i*«rt n.^.k^l-chartt.. inr \Ve:.^!" 
a T»jftgue in j'o3 — Fwru »*- a^^p'*' t<* o* ; '• \iil t 
p-ipN"! (,n the green 


vi.:. . , : :• .. 
oili-v ... ■• 

i.j«ieii, tiio voji».'raL;cf'l:nr','li .1 

of the hJiInloL" sIo-']\ tilO plj'U^. •• 

-*oiie l»rid<:-. and river WawUv^ it. 
/•/:iiil..ii:^> tu make Uut weU-kept. pn. 
vii]a,ro of the ol'len time. 

Al^r•uM^h Wen-l -y I; is ;j::vi/i 1 
io was at tin? time (>. /'<■'/<' ^-/...v 
H: ;^uded mt:n']j && li 1»; .• '.' 
iri'T'iM-taiice dnr'ULr t\ir \ 
'V. a.- I i^Mnll slit.'W, toU - 
i'-Miiehda} siirvt-y, yet \\»i . 
i ci'e that a plpce of w-'i -•• 
.'-le .:it^* f>f the prcsviic '•'. ' ♦ 

'//lo-Saxou set*:ei*s v\ ■ . 
•"lu.t'Ml Hssuinj)liuii, 1>.-- 

it iL« Vikiriir h{>^^^ ' . . 


-i 2i 

. -.IT -♦' 






.■(»*- •* '- ^"•wv"^ . - . 




A model village— The Tillage giveB name to the whole valley — Scandinavian 
irruption — Meaning of Wensley — Discovery of an Anglo-Saxon interment — 
Some Anglo-Saxon stones — Manor of Wensley — The Scropes — Heart-burial — 
The church— Its archisological attractions — Remarkably fine old brass — 
• Comparison between it and the brasses at North Mimms and St. Albans 
Abbey— The De la Meres related to the Scropes — ^Arms, monuments and 
inscriptions in the church — Thomas Maude — Rev. John Wesley at Wensley — 
Old churchwardens* accounts — The iate Hon. and Rev. Thos. Orde-Powlett — 
Copy of ancient market-charter for Wensley — The markets suspended by 
a plague in 156S— Former aspects of the village— Why the large elm-tree was 
planted on the green. 

I HERE is a rural charm about Wensley truly captivating. 
One sees in the trim, clean, cosy little place all the 
elements that make up a type of an old English 
village : the baronial home in its spacious park, the 
ofSces and cottages of the lord's servants, each with 
its pretty garden-plot, the grand old elm on the ample 
green, the venerable church and God*s acre, wherein the **rude forefathers 
of the hamlet *' sleep, the pleasantly-placed home of the pastor, the sturdy 
stone bridge and river flowing unheeded on its course beneath, — all these 
combine to make the well-kept pretty spot the perfection of an English 
Tillage of the olden time. 

Although Wensley has given name to the whole valley of the Yore, 
it was at the time of Domesday of no greater consequence than to be 
included merely as a bailiwick of Witton. But that it had a higher 
importance during the Anglo-Saxon and Norse occupation of the valley 
is, as I shall shew, tolerably certain. The church is not recorded in the 
Domesday survey, yet we have sufScient testimony from the relics found 
here that a place of worship did undoubtedly exist upon or adjacent to 
the site of the present edifice. That the Christian temple erected by the 
Anglo-Saxon settlers was destroyed on the Danish irruption is a well- 
founded assumption, based on the fact so often advanced in this work 
that the Viking hosts had possession of the North Biding dales for a 


long period before the Norman conquest, and in the eighth century, as 
we gather from the excellent historian Bede, many of the North Yorkshire 
churches had been plundered or destroyed, the sacred vessels of the altar 
and other valuable booty borne away on these predatory excursions. 
The number of church ornaments and the immense quantities of Anglo- 
Saxon coins preserved in the museums at Stockholm, Copenhagen, &c., 
yield ample proof of the desperate character of these invasions. When 
the Vikings had become firmly established in Wensleydale, and had 
destroyed the Christian churches and erected pagan temples on their 
sites, it was then, as I have before remarked, that many of these places 
were named in honour of their deities. Or, as Sir Walter Scott, in his 
poem of Bokebt/y aptly puts it : 

Beneath the shade the Northmen came, 
Fixed on each vale a runic name, 
Reared high their altar's rugged stone, 
And gave their gods the lands they won. 

Thus it came about that such places as Thoresby and Thoralby were 
named after the god Thor ; Fryton, near Hovingham, probably after the 
god Prey, progenitor of the Tngling race ; Aysgarth, perhaps from the 
Scand. a«, asa^ ».«., gods, therefore the place or enclosure sacred to the gods ; 
and Wensley from its having been the chosen centre and capital of the 
Viking hosts in the dale dedicated to Odin, the chief deity of the ancient 
Scandinavians.* In Domesday the place is written Wendreslaga, and in 
charters of the 12th and 13th centuries it appears in the various forms 
of Wenslagh, Wencelagh, Wenslaw, Wendesley, &c. How it comes to 
be a derivative from the name of the ruling god Odin is exactly as we 
derive the name of the fourth day of the week, Wednesday, which was 
dedicated to the same god (see page 168). Wensley, or Wendreslaga, 
was therefore the Vikings Odinslag aU. Wodenslag als. Woenslag, for as 
I have pointed out the Dutch have omitted the primal ' d Mn the fourth 
day of the week, which they call Woensdag. It is moreover significant 
that in Wensleydale the native pronunciation of the name is Wensidal,t 
and of Wednesday it is Wensda\ and I have no doubt that Wensley 
being the place deified by the name of the chief god and guiding spirit 

* The three gods, Odin, Thor, and Frey are popularly supposed to have died, 
and to have been buried like ordinary mortals. Their graye-mounds are still 
shewn at Upsal, — not the Upsal near Thirsk, formerly belonging to the great 
Lords Scrope, — but Upsal near Stockholm, which in ancient times was the chief 
city of the sovereigns of Sweden, and where they held their supreme tribunal. 
The Upsal near Thirsk was in the Viking era also a place of high religious note, 
and a heathen altar-stone is still preserved there. 

t Leland, who visited the district, temp. Henry VIII., writes it Wensedale, and 
Camden (1586) Wentsedale. 


of the ancient Scandinavians, was the prime caose of its becoming the 
principal place and ruling name of the dale.* 

A terrible day in Wensleydale was it when these daring Viking hosts 
fell with sword and brand upon the peace-abiding Saxons in the green 
and wooded valley, and the old timber villages and moated burhs were 
fired or mercilessly wrecked. The treacherous slaughter of Bayner 
Lodbrog, the valiant Danish sea-king, by the Saxon Ella, excited the 
vengeance of his sons Hinguar and Hubba, who came over to England, 
and in the words of the old Norse hero-song, Lodhrohar-Quida^ or Death- 
Song of Lodbrog, '^ hewed their way,** sword in hand, through the Saxon 
ranks, killed and destroyed all the Christian saints, monks and monasteries 
they could lay hands on, and planted the standard of the pagans in 
places which before had been sacred to the gospel of Christ. Said the 
dying Lodbrog : 

With our swords we hew*d our way, — 

Still my heart with joy can laugh, 
Still my inmost soul is gay, 

Soon my weary lips shall quaff 
Beverage bright at Odin*s board, 

Bright and mantling to the full, 
Meet for those that wield the sword. 

And the cup a foeman's skull ; 
Glad I wait my summons near, — 
Who, when Odin calls, should fear ? 

And thus the mighty hero, happy in the expectation of drinking mead 
out of the hollow skull of an enemy, passed to the great Valhalla ! 

An Anglo-Saxon interment of an interesting character was discovered 
some years ago in Wensley Park, about 150 yards west of the church- 
yard. From the crouched position in which the skeleton was found, and 
the absence of relics, there is no doubt of its belonging to the period 
named. Whether the individual met his death through the incursion of 
the Danish pirates, above alluded to, it is impossible to say, but neither 
the skull nor bones, though in a very decayed and crumbled state betray 
any marks of violence. It is evident, however, that the deceased had 
received Christian burial from the careful placing of the body with face 
to the east. By the courtesy of Lord Bolton I am enabled to present 
an engraving of the intei-ment from a photograph taken by him when 
the skeleton was uncovered. Tt was not disturbed but was immediately 
afterwards covered up and a small stone erected to mark the site. 

* Since the above was written I find my deductions further confirmed by the 
fact that in Derbyshire, about five miles north-west of Matlock Bath, is a 
village called Winsley or Wensley, and which in Domesday bears the explicitly 
characteristic name of Wodnesleie. In Dovedale, too, is Witton, and a cavity in 
the rock known from time immemorial as Thor's Cave. In the Pipe Bolls for 
11th Henry II. I find also mention of Wodnesbi [Wednesbury] in Staffordshire. 


Among other evidences of the Saxon occupation are several enrioas 
inscribed stones now preserved in the north aisle of the church. One of 
these is a fragment measuring 16 inches by 9 inches, and bearing the 
device of a cross, 10 inches high and 7 inches wide to the extremity of 
the limbs. In each of the two upper angles is a bird, and in the lower 
ones a dragon-like figure. Beneath, in Saxon characters, appears the 
name Domfbid« Another stone which for a considerable period, up to 


> \ 




1846, when it was observed by the Rev. Daniel H. Haigh, the Bunic 
scholar, had lain in the flagged pavement of a path in the churchyard, 
exposed to the wear of every passing foot. The cross and lettering on 
this interesting fragment are in relief, but now almost obliterated. The 
whole probably read : Orate pro Eatbereht bt Aritni. From Simeon 
of Durham, and the chronological notes appended to the Historia 
Eeclesiasticay we are enabled to fix the date of the sculpture, about a.d. 


740.* Bnilt into the onter walls of the chnrch there is also another 
fragment of Saxon carved work. 

The manor of Wensley for a long period after the Conquest was held 
of the Earls of Richmond,! and in 1277, as appears from the retnrns of 
Kirkhy*8 InqtMit^ the lord of Wendesley (Wensley) and Ulveshow 
(Ulshaw) was Nicholas de Wendesley. A little later, by inquisition 
taken 11th Edward I. (1282) we find that the same Nicholas de 
Wandesley held in capiU of the Earl of Richmond half one knight's fee 
in Wandesley by homage, &c. Also Roger de Ingelby held in capita of 
the said Earl half one fee in Wandesley, and the advowson of the chnrch 
of Wandesley, valne £70. At this time we also find that the Scropes 
had obtained a footing here, for by the same inquisition it appears that 
William le Scrope held in eapite of the said Earl, the twelfth part of one 
knight*s fee in Wensley by homage, &c., but not the advowson of the 
church. Subsequently, as I have elsewhere explained, the Scropes came 
into sole possession of Wensley, as well as of other manors, by marriage 
with the heiress of Neville in the reign of Henry YI. Ralph Neville, 
first Earl of Westmorland, devised to his brother-in-law. Sir Richard 
Oholmeley, several Yorkshire manors, and in the 2nd-8rd Philip and 
Mary (1554-5) I find the following fine entered : 

Final concord between Henry Scrope, Knt., Lord Scrope, plainti£f, and Richard 
Cholmeley, Ent., and Dame Eatherine his wife, deforciant, of the castle of Bast 
Bolton, with the appurtenances, and of the manors of Estbolton, West Bolton, 
Wensley, Bllerton, Bolton super Swayll, Caldwell, Downholme, and Brignell, with 
the appurtenances, and of 200 messuages, 100 cottages, 60 tofts, 200 gardens, 100 
orchards, 6 water mills, 1 fulling mill, 4 dovecotes, 2000 acres of land, 1000 acres 
of meadow, 2000 acres of pasture, 300 acres of wood, 2000 acres of moor, 1000 
acres of moss, 1000 acres of marsh, 200 acres of turbary, 2000 acres of furae and 
heath; and 6 librates of rent with the appurtenances in Bst Bolton, &c. Also the 
advowson of the Church of Wensley whereupon a plea, &c., the aforesaid Richard 
and Eatherine acknowledge the aforesaid castle, &c., to be the right of him Henry, 
&c. And for this, &c., the said Henry hath given to Richard and Eatherine 
2006^ sterling. At West. Oct of St. Hilery. 

It was this Lord Scrope who was one of the tilters before Qaeen 
Elizabeth at her coronation in 1558. His portrait is at Bolton Hall. 
He was the 11th Lord Scrope of Bolton, and died in 1590. Thomas, 

* An engraving of it will be found in the Torkihire Arehaologieal Journal^ 
vol. vi., page 46. 

t In the reign of Richard I., Hugh Malebisse had inherited lands at Wensley 
and EUerton from Weimar, son of Warner, whose widow Helewisa brought an 
action against him in 1204 for her dower in these places. In 1208 he had for wife 
one Beatrice, in whose right he possessed half a knight's fee in Boelton and 
Tezton, now Bolton in Wensleydale and Theakston. — Vide Ouubro' Chartulary^ 
page 8 n. 


the 12th lord, died in 1609, and Emannel, the Idth lord, who died in 
1630, left a daughter, Maria, who became the wife of Charles Powlett, 
Marquis of Winchester, created Duke of Bolton in 1689. It was by 
this marriage that the Powlett family obtained their portion of the great 
estates of the Scropes. Henry, the 6th and last Duke of Bolton, died 
without male issue in 1794, when the title became extinct. 

A curious fact is connected with the burial of the above lady Maria, 
Marchioness of Winchester. Within the vault of the Powlett family in 
Wensley Church her cofSn is placed upright and kept in position by 
iron bands fastened round it. On the top of the cofSn lies a leaden 
heart-shaped casket, containing the heart of the deceased lady, bat 
neither this nor the coiBn bear any inscription. Considering that there 
was ample room on the floor of the vault for the coffin to be laid down 
in the ordinary way, it seems strange that it should have been placed in 
an ei*ect position in the vault. The burial is recorded in Latin in the 
registers of the church : 

1680. Maria, wife of Charles Pawlett, and daughter of Emanuel Scrope, who 
died at Moulins in France. She died November let, and her body was conveyed 
to Wensley and there buried, November 12th, 1680. 

Her husband, the Duke of Bolton, died in 1699, and was buried in his 
family tomb at Basing in Hampshire. 

The church (Holy Trinity) at Wensley has perhaps greater attractions 
for the archaeologist than any other in Richmondshire. It is rich in 
heraldry, monuments, and carved work, and it possesses, undoubtedly, the 
finest existing mediaeval brass in the whole county of York. The choir 
appears to be of the 13th century, but the nave and fabric generally have 
evidently undergone restoration in the church-building era of the first 
quarter of the 16th century. The priests^ stalls and the lancet windows 
have hatched mouldings, and the north doorway, which has a pointed 
sweep, is surmounted with a very unusual pediment moulding like a 
tomb of the same period. The nave is supported by eight octagonal 
columns, and on the buttresses of the nave and choir are the following 
arms, sculptured on stone shields : (1) Scrope, (2) Fitz Hugh, (8) Scrope 
of Masham, (4) Neville, (5) De Ros, (6) Scrope of Masham impaling 
Montacute, (7) Neville), (8) De Ros, (9) Scrope, (10) a fess between 
three roses, (11) De la Pole. 

The east end of the north aisle was the chantry of Our Lady, 
founded by Richard Lord Scrope, High Chancellor of England, &c.,and 
furnished by the Abbot of St. Agatha, at Easby, with a priest to say 
mass daily for the founders and for all Christian souls. At the Dissolution 
this chantry was declared of the clear yearly value of 106s. 8d. It had 
been the intention of the same noble founder to make the church 


collegiate, for in 1398-9 he obtained a license from the king to grant 
lands to the valae of £150, free of the statute of mortmain, in order to 
provide one master or warden for the said college, one chaplain, and as 
many fellows and other ministers as may seem expedient to the said 
Richard liord Scrope. The college was to find a chaplain to serve daily 
in the chapel of St. Oswald in Bolton, and another to serve daily in the 
chapel of St. Anne in the Castle of Bolton.* This designed foundation 
was probably never effected, although on the death of Richard II., a 
farther attempt to carry it out appears to have been made by Lord Scrope 
on the accession of Henry lY., as a second patent was granted to him 
by that king.f He it was too who began the building of Bolton Castle 
in the year 1400, but died three years later, before it was completed. 

In the choir is the magnificent brass before alluded to, depicting an 
ecclesiastic {ca. 1370) in full eucharistic vestments, as he wore them at 
the altar. The engraved figure is five feet four inches in length, and is 
a superb example of the limner*s art. There is no doubt of its Flemish 
origin : the size of the plate (although this is in two pieces), the breadth 
and boldness of the main lines, the exquisite diaper-work of the apparels, 
and the delicate freedom and finish of the whole design down to the 
minutest details, all betray its Anglo-Flemish origin. There is indeed a 
strong probability that this brass emanated from the same artist or from 
the same workshop that produced the well-known Flemish brasses of 
Abbot Thomas de la Mere, in St. Albans Abbey {ca. 1870), and of 
a parish priest at North Mimms in Hertfordshire (ca, 1360). The 
designs are very similar ; both are described in BoutelFs Monumental 
Brasses. I give an engraving from a rubbing of the St. Albans Abbey 
brass {Fig. i), along with one of the Wensley brass (Fig. 2)^ from which 
some interesting comparisons may be made. The former is known 
to have been executed in the Abbot's lifetime and under his own 
superintendence, a practice not uncommon at that period.:^ It may be 
observed that in both the engravings the hands are crossed downwards 
in an attitude of humility, and do not, as is almost invariably the case, 
hold the chalice. 

At the head of the Wensley brass there has unfortunately been placed 
a plate recording the burial here of a former rector of Wensley, one 
Oswald Dykes (1587-91), who died in 1607. A reference to the will of 
this Protestant rector shews that the original occupant of the tomb was 

* Pat. Rolls, 22nd Richard II., part 2, m. 10. 

t Ibid, let Henry IV., part 8, m. 2. 

X An interesting memoir of Abbot Thomas de la Mere will be found in Gibson's 
▼aloable illuminated Histitry of TynemotUJi Priory (1847), quarto, vol. ii., pages 


Fig. L 
St. Albaits Abbey, 

Fig. 2, 

Wknslky OttimoH. 


one " Sir " Simon de Wenselawe, who was instituted to the living of 
Wenslej in 1861. The will ordains that the said Oswald Dykes shall be 
bnried '^ under the stone and brass of Sir Simon de Wenselawe/* which 
apparently shews that at the date of the will the original inscription on 
the brass was perfect. Sir Simon, who is stated to have been a near 
relative of Richard, Lord Scrope, was one of the witnesses in the 
memorable suit between this Lord Scrope and Sir Robert Grosvenor, 
ancestor of the present Marquis of Westminster, touching their respective 
rights to bear the armorial coat, azure^ a bend or. As is well known, 
after protracted litigation, the suit terminated (a.d. 1368) in favour of 
Scrope, whose arms, as above, were declared to have been graven on 
stone and wood, and painted on glass in many of the Richmondshire 
churches and monasteries then "time out of the memory of man." 
Sir Simon de Wensley also deposed that certain ancient slabs and tomb- 
stones at Wensley bore the same arms with Lombardic inscriptions. 
These have long ago disappeared. 

That such a splendid memorial should have been placed in Wensley 
church to this ancient rector, similar as I have said, to the one in 
St. Albans Abbey, commemorating Abbot Thomas de la Mere, lends, 
with the evidence here following, strong presumption of a relationship 
between these two priestly characters. It must be remembered that the 
name borne by any mediaBval ecclesiastic affords little or no clue to his 
descent or family, for in at least nine cases out of ten it was derived 
from his birthplace or the place of his adoption. We do not actually 
know that Simon de Wensley was of the family of Wensley, but he may 
properly have assumed the W&me from the place of his birth, or even 
perhaps after he became rector of Wensley. Thus for example did 
Dr. Thomas Scott, Bishop of Rochester, and in 1480 Archbishop of York, 
assume the name of Rotherham, from the town in which he was bom.* 
The suspicion that this Simon de Wensley was of the family of De la Mere 
is confirmed not merely by a comparison of the two brasses engraved, 
but from the fact that this family had important possessions in Yorkshire, 
and in Richmondshire I have elsewhere shewn them to be located. 

The Abbot of St. Albans was the second son of Sir John de la 
Mere, Kt., by his marriage with Johanna, daughter of Sir John de 
Harpsfield, and his family had been long seated in Hertfordshire. 
He was related both on his father's and mother's side with several great 
families having Yorkshire connections, notably, says Newcome in his 
History of St. Albans (1795), on the father's side with Sir William 
Montacute, Earl [of Salisbury], Sir William de la Zouch,t lord of 

• See Campbell'B Lives of the C/Mneellort, i., 893, ch. 23. 

t For Pedigree of Zouch of Harringworth see Whalley's Northamptonshire 
(1791), vol. ii., page 818. 



Haryngworth, Sir Thomas Orandison, Kb., and Master Thomas 
Qrandison, Bishop of Exeter, &c. It is noteworthy that a daughter of 
Conan, Duke of Britanj, grandnephew of Alan, Earl of RichmoDd, and 
of Ribald, lord of Middleham, Bolton, &c., in Wenslejdale, married 
Alan de la Zouche, ancestor of Sir William de la Zouche, a kinsman as 
above of the Abbot of St. Albans. Moreover, as noted a few pages 
back, on the buttresses of the nave and choir are several shields of arms, 
including one of Scrope of Masham impaling Montacute, likewise akin 
to the said Abbot.* 

The heraldic visitation made in 1665 shews that there were several 
armorial emblazonments in the church, which have since got destroyed 

* The Abbot was born about the year 1308, and in 1841 was appointed, probably 
from the northern origin of his family or from family relationship with the north, 
to the position of Prior of the Priory of Tynemoath, in the diocese of Durham, 
which was a dependency of the Abbey of St. Albans. It is noteworthy that at 
least four of his predecessors in the o£Bce of Prior were of North Yorkshire 
extraction : (1) Akarius, " mature in years " when elected Prior in the time of 
Henry II., had been a true and generous benefactor of the house. It is commonly 
asserted that he was the same who founded the Abbey of Fors in Wensleydale, 
afterwards translated to Jerrauz, where he was interred in 1161 (Dugd. Baron, I., 
681) ; (2) Wm. de Barton, Prior in 1223 ; (S) Adam de Tweng, Prior in 1296 ; 
(4) Simon de Waldea, Prior in 1801 ; his Yorkshire origin may be doubted ; (5) 
Richard de Tweng, Prior in 1820. The Prior Thomas de la Mere retained his office 
at Tynemouth nine years, when he was elected to the Abbotship of the parent-house 
of St. Albans, a position which he filled with wisdom, prudence, and devotion for 
a period of forty-eight years, entering into rest a.d. 1896, at the age of 88. While 
he was Abbot he undertook many expensive works for the benefit of the Abbej, 
and he also effected a great increase in the revenues of the Abbey. He likewise 
improved the value of several Yorkshire poBsessions, including Appulton, in 
Ryedale, from £20 a year to upwards of £200 ; and further "a purchase of a moiety 
of the manor of Norton-in-the-Clay, in Yorkshire, for £50, was much applauded ** 
itfide MSS. vi., 7, in Ben. Coll. Liby., Cambridge). 

It may be observed that while Prior of Tynemouth he had a generous and 
indulgent friend and patron in the noble Lady Mary Percy, sister of Henry, the 
illustrious Duke of Lancaster, and wife of Henry Lord Percy. Matilda, daughter 
of Henry Percy, married John, Baron Neville, lord of Middleham, &c., who died 
in 1388. His sister, Eleanor Neville, was married to Geoffrey Scrope, aod 
afterwards became a nun in the Minories, London. The taltire of the Nevilles 
may still be seen in Wensley Church. 

Dugdale gives several families or branches of De la Mere ; one in Wiltshire, 
another in Somersetshire, a third in Herefordshire, and a fourth in Oxfordshire. 
But he does not mention the Hertfordshire or Yorkshire families, although the 
latter was resident in the county for centuries, and occurs in the oldest Pipe Boll, 
Blst Henry I. (1180), whilst the Hertfordshire branch is found as far back as io the 
Rolls of Assizes taken at Hertford 10th Richard I. (1198). The De la Meres built 
Noney Castle in Somersetshire, which descended by marriage in the reign of 
Henry IV. to the family of Paulett ^Collins* Peerage^ ped. Marq. of Winchester), 
who by their marriage with the heiress of Scrope, temp, Charles I., succeeded to 
the estates at Wensley. 


or lost. In the windows were (1) Fitz Randolph of Middleham, 
(2) Mowbray, (8) Crescy, (4) Fitz Hugh, (5) De la Pole, (6) Scrope. 
In the east window of five lancet lights, are three ancient coats, 
(1) Marmion and Fitz Hugh, quarterly, impaling Tiptoft and Scrope, 
quarterly ; (2) quarterly, first and fourth, cheeky, or and guka (Warren), 
second and third, gulesy three escallops, argent (Dacre of Gilsland), 
impaling Tiptoft and Scrope, quarterly ; (3) France and England, 

Ancient Parclosb in Wbnsley Church. 

The triple sedilia in the choir are Early English, having pointed 
arches with characteristic ornament, supported by two short detached 
circular columns rising from the stone seat of continuation, and having 
simple moulded bases and capitals. The oak stalls are of later date, and 
display wonderful skill in craftsmanship. They were brought from 


St. Agatha's Abbey, Easby, most probably by John, tenth Lord Scrope of 
Bolton. The black letter inscription upon them reads : 

3^enrtcu0 36licf)n))0on i)uju0 ecclte rector no0 fecit 0uptu0 TSni 
tn''ccccc°xx^° Soil Beo J^onor et ffilona. 

Accompanying the inscription are the ever-conspicuous arms of Scrope, 
azure, a bend, or, along with the arms of Tiptoft, with helm and two 
Cornish choughs as supporters ; also a lion and a shield bearing Scrope 
and Tiptoft quarterly impaling Dacre and Warren, &c. One of the 
principal attractions in the church is the superbly-carved panel and 
lattice-work which formed part of the parclose of the Scrope chantry at 
St. Agatha's, and was brought from that Abbey at the Dissolution in 
1536. It occupies the east end of the north aisle, and is now the private 
pew of Lord Bolton. Beneath it is the family vault, and above the pew 
is an old flag, appropriately inscribed, of the Loyal Dales Volunteers. 
The parclose has been richly gilt and blazoned, good evidence of which 
remains. As the inscriptions, however, are incomplete, they may be 
given from the original copy preserved at the College of Arms : 

f^ere Igetf) J^enrg Scrope, IBtntglit, tlje fatttf) of tijat name, t{)e ixtt) fLorte 
of ISolton, anise fHabell ^ia Inife, baugijter to tlje Eorl) IBaktxa tt (Srq^s. 

J^ete Igetf) J^enr^l Scrope, IBtnfgbt, t{)e ii^itbt of ti)at nagme, an)) ti|e 
ng{)te ILortie Scrope of ISoUon, an)3 (SItjabeti) i^isi inifSt, tjaugt^ter of J^enrg, 
Sari of i^ortf)umberIanti. 

The eighteen panels composing the sides of ^his elaborate work exhibit 
the names and arms of a long succession of the chiefs of the noble 
house of Scrope, witli'many distinguished alliances. One displays Scrope 
and Tiptoft quarterly, impaling Fitz Hugh and Marmion, quarterly ; 
another large shield ^ews Scrope and Tiptoft impaling Dacre, with five 
quarterings, and supported by two Cornish choughs. The whole of this 
beautiful piece of carving, of which I give an illustration, is in the 
Tudor style of the early part of the 16th century. 

Of similar age and di^n is a large mural tombstone in the north 
aisle bearing two full-length effigies of children. The stone measures 
six feet four inches by four feet four inches, and extending along its 
margin is the following black-letter inscription : 

Super lapftiem marmoreum. 
f^oc tegentur i)umo f^enrie'st Scrop, 36ltcart) usque, Wni J^enrict tt 
ISolton et fHabellse uxortd ssuee minored natu Itfaert, ®uor. alt. xxb"" T)ic 
ffiBxtii t)ece00tt, alt. xxbtit iluitt, 9nno Bommt tnt)i3Cb. 

The nave is separated from the chancel by an old open screen of 
wood, and in the centre aisle, filling its whole width, is a limestone- 


marble slab commemorating two brothers, Richard and John Glederow, 
who were both rectors. On this stone have been celebrated from an 
unknown period the first part of all marriage rites in the church, which 
were afterwards completed at the altar. At Ripon Minster a similar 
custom obtained ; the first part of the marriage service took place ^* on 
a blue stone *' in the fioor of the choir, near an entrance from the south 
choir aisle at the end of the stalls ; the second part was at the altar 

The font (except the base) and beautifully-carved poor-box are also 
ancient. The font is octagonal, and bears this singular inscription, oddly 
cut, some of the letters being wrong side up : ^' Chvbch Masters 
LOCKE WELL AFTER YOUR CHARGES,'* with initials of the churchwardens 
and date 1662. On the south wall is a mural stone inscribed ; 

Matthew Bateman { k,,,:^^ April 12. 1677. 

Thomas, his sod | '^^"•^ Oct. SO, 1686. 

They gave £10 to the Poor's Stock of Wensley. 

Live well and Die well. 

Reader imitate their sublime Charity, 

And after death thou'It find Kternity 

Amongst y* Blessed. (felicitie.*) 

Matthew Bateman, junior, gave Five pounds to the poor of Wensley, 1718. 

Upon the same wall is a Georgian sculpture inscribed to Peter 
Hammond, who died in 1771, his wife, son, daughter, and grandson. 
There are also the following memorials : 

On the south wall a tablet in memory of Peter Goldsmith, M.D., who died 
June 16th, 1836, aged 64. Erected by his numerous friends. Dr. Goldsmith was 
charitable and kind of heart, and attended the sick and needy of t«n gratuitously. 
He was surgeon on board the Victory at the battle of Trafalgar. 

Over the south doorway a marble tablet to Edward Tennant, Esq., who died 
October 18th, 1860, aged 84, and was interred at High Harrogate. Also of the 
Rev. Ottiwell Tennant, rector of Upton, who died March lOth, 1868, aged 82, and 
was interred at Molesworth, Huntingdon. 

A stained glass window in south aisle, erected by Emma Button in memory of 
her parents and brother : Thos. March Lamb, who died 2Srd October, 1855, aged 69, 
Elizabeth, his wife, died 15th March. 1876, aged 89 ; and Richard Charles Lamb 
(of Middleham), only son of the above, who died 18th September, 1814, aged 31. 

A marble tablet on the north wall in memory of , the Honble. Thomas Powlett 
Orde-Powlett, who died at Bolton Hall, January 31st, 1843. 

Underneath the above a brass tablet commemorates Algitha Alkelda Bre