r. w. hafnson
See Pages 1112.
THE POSITION OF HALIFAX 1
The Colouring shows Land above 600 feet high.
The Story of
T. W. HANSON.
F. KING ^ SONS LTD.. COMMERCIAL STREET.
L. W. B.,
T. K. H.,
BOYS AND GIRLS
This book has been written for the boys and girls of
Halifax and district, with the hope also, that older
people may find it full of interest. . I have tried to keep
it a purely local history. It is not a new text-book of
English history, furnished with local notes.
Halifax has been particularly fortunate in inspiring
a line of men who have delighted in revealing her past.
In this twentieth century we have had a band of
enthusiastic antiquaries, which few towns can rival.
The Transactions of the Halifax Antiquarian Society
have provided the bulk of the material for this work.
Mr. John Lister, the President, has always been very
kind to me. Mr. H. P. Kendall, who has taken so many
of the photographs, has also helped in other ways to
make the history more complete. Even more than their
skill, do I value the comradeship and friendship of the
members of our Antiquarian Society. The story of the
book itself is as follows. From January, 1913, to
January, 1917, I contributed a serial history of Halifax
to "The Satchel," (the Halifax Schools' newspaper).
Towards the end of that period, a sub-committee of the
Head Teachers' Association invited me to re-publish the
articles in book form. I re- wrote the matter, Messrs.
Harris, Harwood, and Hawkins read the manuscript, and
together we discussed the chapters in some interesting
meetings. Mr. W. H. Ostler, the Education Secretary,
proved to be one of my most helpful critics, and also
helped very considerably to secure the publication of the
book. Many years ago, Mr. Ostler said that what was
wanted was a history that would tell " how a half-timer
lived in the reign of Edward III.," and I have not
altogether forgotten his dictum.
Mr. E. Green, the Borough Librarian, has kindly
compiled the Index. I would also thank his staff for
their unfailing courtesy. I am indebted to several
friends for the illustrations. Mr. Arthur Comfort has
taken infinite pains to please me with his sketches. Mr.
F. H. Marsden, M.A., prepared the beautiful map at the
front of the book, and sketched the drinking trough.
Mr. T. Broadbent drew the end map. Mr. T. F. Ford,
A.KI.B.A. has provided two architectural plates. Mr.
W. B. Trigg allowed me to use his sketches of the
windows of the Parish Church. Mr. E. Bretton is
responsible for the heraldic illustrations. For other
blocks, I am grateful to Mrs. H. R. Oddy, Messrs.
E. E. Nicholson, E. Hardcastle, S. C. Moore, S. H.
Hamer, E. Marchetti, Legh Tolson, and the " Halifax
The Halifax Antiquarian Society has very kindly
allowed me to use their extensive collection of blocks,
and the majority of the illustrations have been provided
in that way. Acknowledgment is made to the various
photographers in the book. I am grateful to many
others whom I have not named. I have always found
Halifax to be a " neighbourly " town, and its people
ready to help one another.
Lastly, I would thank the staff of Messrs. King's
printing works for the interest they have shown in
T. W. H.
Parish of Halifax — On the Pennine Slope — Woods. Farms, and Moor —
Townships — Open Fields — Royds.
Warrens and Lacys — The Manor of Wakefield — Courts held at Halifax —
Halifax Gibbet Law.
The Parish Church — Norman Carving — Lewes Priory and Gluny Abbey —
Tithes — The Early Rectors — The 14th Century Church — Elland and Hepton-
The Elland Feud.
Early Records of the Cloth Trade — The Flemings — The Black Death —
The Poll Tax of 1379 — Surnames — Sheep Rearing— Spinning— Weaving —
Fulling — Dyeing.
The Magna Via — Timbered Houses — Shibden Hall — The House at the
Maypole — Sunny Bank, Greetland — Rebuilding of the Parish Church —
Vicar Wilkinson — The Tower — Halifax in 1439.
The Growth of Halifax Trade — Gilds — Fairs — Ulnagers Accounts —
1473, Halifax leads the West Riding for Cloth — Early Halifax Wills — Gifts to
the Church — The Chapels of the Parish — Roads and Bridges — Clothes and
Furniture — Extending the Cultivated Land.
Archbishop Rokeby — Wolsey receives the Cardinal's Hat — Baptism of
Princess Mary — Death of Rokeby — Rokeby Chapels at Kirk Sandal and
Halifax — Dr. Robt. Holdsworth — Feud between Tempest and Savile — The
Pilgrimage of Grace — The Monasteries Closed — -Dispute about Halifax
Tithes — Bishop Ferrar's Martyrdom.
Beacon Hill — The Puritans — Dr. Favour — Heath Grammar School —
Sir Henry Savile — Henry Briggs — Camden's visit to Halifax — Woollen
Trade in 16th Century.
• CHAPTER X.
17th Century Houses — James Murgatroyd — Nathaniel Waterhouse —
Sir Thomas Browne.
' CHAPTER XI.
Halifax men refuse Knighthood — Ship Money — Beginnings of the Civil
War — Siege of Bradford — Leeds taken — Battle of Adwalton — Retreat to
Halifax — Joseph Lister's Adventures — Mackworth garrisons Halifax —
Halifax Refugees — Fighting between Heptonstall and Halifax — Mixenden
Skirmish — Scots Army in the District — Plague — Capt. Hodgson's Adven-
tures — Local Royalists.
John Brearcliffe — 1651 Commission — HaUfax's First Member of Parlia-
ment—The Parish Church During the Commonwealth — The last years of
the Gibbet — The Restoration and Act of Uniformity — Oliver Heywood's
Diaries — Archbishop Tillotson.
The Cloth Halls of London and Halifax — Defoe's Visit to Halifax — Local
Manufacturers turn from Woollen to Worsted — Sam Hill of Making Place —
Coal Mining — Jacobite Rebellion of 1745.
Cragg Coiners — -John Wesley's Visits.
The Piece Hall — Wool Combing — Spinning— Weaving— Farming — Lime —
Holmes — 18th Century Houses — " Edwards of Halifax."
The Industrial Revolution — The Valleys exalted and the old Towns
Decay — Canals — The Naming of the Hebble — Turnpike Roads — Twining's
Picture of Calder Vale — Inn Yards — Stage Coaches — Luke Priestley's Journey
from London to Brandy Hole — Enclosures — Foster the Essayist — Scarcitv
of Milk — The Great Inventions — Steam Engines — Bradford outstrips Halifax.
Child Slavery— Luddites — Peterloo— The Reform Act — The Chartists—
Wm. Milner — Plug Drawing — Free Trade.
Akroyd and Crossleys — Railways — The Growth of the Town — Sewers and
Water — Incorporation of the Borough — Savile Park — Wainhouse Tower —
F. J. Shields — P. G. Hamerton — The People's Park.
F. King & Sons Ltd., Commercial Street,
The .Story of Old Halifax.
PAKISH OP HALIFAX ON THE PENNINE SLOPE — WOODS, FABMS,
AND MOOR — TOWNSHIPS— OPEN FIELDS — IIOYDS.
This Story of Old Halifax is not confined to the
town of Halifax, but is also concerned with the tract of
surrounding coinitiy that was formerly known as the
Parish of Halifax The ancient parish covered that
portion of Calder Dale lying between Todnnorden and
Brighouse, with the tributar}'' vales and doughs, and
the moors and hills flanking them. The whole of England
was divided into parishes, and the centre of each parish
was a church. Halifax Parish was one of the largest in
the country, and the rector or vicar ot tlie parish
churih held the religious and spiritual oversight of all
the people who lived within that wide area of more than
124 square miles.
The outline of Halifax Parish is similar in shape to
that of Yorksliire. As the maj) of the county is more
familiar, it will be helpful to compare the two outlines
in order to i^x in the memory the bounds of our ancient
parish. Starting at Halifax, we go south- east to Brig-
house, the point where the river Calder leaves the parish.
A similar joui-ney from York would take us to Hull and
the mouth of the Humber. From Spurn Point, going
north, the landmarks of the Yorkshire Coast are 1^'lam-
borough Head, Whitby, and Middlesbrough in the
north-east corner. On the corresponding boundary of
THE STORY OF OLD HALIFAX.
Halifax Parish is the beck that flows through Bailifl"
Bridge. Norwood Green clock tower must stand for
Flamborough Lighthouse, Queensbury Church for Whitby
Abbey, and Soil Hill stands at (mr north-eastern corner.
The county boundary on the north is the river Tees, from
its mouth to its source on Mickle Fell. The northern
line of Halifax Parish is the range of hills, dividing the
waters of Aire and Calder, that stretch from Soil Hill to
• WlOOOP J
'— ■, ^^
^-^^ Halifax t
, :\ ST*tNL*KD
Fig. 1.— Yorkshire.
Boulsworth. Jackson's Ridge in the north-west is the
highest land in the parish, and Mickle Fell is the
corresponding angle of Yorkshire. Widdop is in just
such another out-of-the-way corner as Sedbergh. Both
the parish and the county march with Lancashire on the
west. Completing our beating of the bounds, we may
compare the positions of Stain land Moor and Fixby, to
the districts of Sheffield and Doncaster.
The Parish of Halifax is situated on the high slopes
of the Pennine Range. Its people are living, as it were,
THE PENNINES. 1 I
OM the slope of a roof. The ridge of the roof is the
boundary between the counties of York and Lancaster.
The Lancashire slope of the roof dips towards the west
and our slope to the east. If we drop off the eaves of the
roof, we are on the great level York Plain, which extends
from the foot of the Pennines to the coast. On the
Lancashire side is a narrower stretch of level country
between the hills and the sea. The history of Halifax is
the story of a people living on the roof of a great house,
while the kings and armies making the history of England
were marching along the level streets on either side of
the Pennine house. Halifax is quite as near to London
as York is, and both are in the direct line to Scotland,
according to the map. York has been the scene of many
of the events mentioned in English history. Two of the
Roman Emperors died in York ; Edward HI. was
mai'ried there ; Edward IV. was crowned in the city after
he had won the battle of Tow ton ; and Charles I. and
many other kings visited York. How is it that the old
kings never passed through Halifax with their armies?
The answer to this question is that the easiest and most
natural route between north'and south is along the plain
and not over the hills.
The Pennine Hills stand up like an island in the
ocean, and from the earliest times down to our own day,
voyagers from London to Scotland have gone round one
side or the other of our hills. The Scotch exj)ress trains
either go through York or Crewe, and cyclists who
appi-eciate a level road follow the same routes. Halifax
is off the main line. In the middle ages, the position
meant that Halifax escaped much' of the frightfulness of
the civil wars. The hills to the north were also a barrier
^aijist the incursions of the Scots, who often reached
12 THE STORY OF OLD HALIFAX.
as far south as Craven. The break m the Pennines,^
named the Aire Gap, guided some of the raids as near
as Otley and Morley, but there is no record of the Scots
penetrating into Calder Dale. The citizens of York
were contitiually exposed to perils of the sword, there-
fore they maintained a wall around the city to keep
invaders at bay. Halifax never had any need of such a
defence. The homesteads and small hamlets of Halifax
Parish were scattered along the hill sides, as there was
no occasion for the folks to crowd together as the
men of Chester and York had to do. For the same
geographical reasons there are no castles in our district
Pontefract Castle and Sandal Castle hold positions that
guard the narrowest gap between tlie Pen nines and the
marshes that line the estuary of the Humber. Skipton
Castle is the strategic key to the Aire Gap, and Lancaster
Castle commands the western route. 'J'he district around
Halifax cannot boast even a luined abbey, though the
small priory at Kirklees (which had only eight nuns when
it was closed) is just outride the boundary of the parish.
Many of the abbeys, such as Fountains, were built in
places " titter, to all appearances, to be a lair of wild
beasts than a home for men," but it almost seems that
Halifax^was too inhospitable a country even for monks.
The tourist, finding neither walled city, castle, ruined
abbey nor ancient battlefield within our parish, may
judge it to be an uninteresting territory from the
historical standpoint. Our story has little to tell about
kings, prelates, nobles, and other bearers of famous names
that crowd the pages of English histories. Our story is
principally a peaceful account of turning woods and
moorlands into fields, and of the development of the
cloth industry in this highland corner of Yorkshire. We
WOODS, FARMS AND MOOR. 13
also hope to trace the steps by which Hahfax became the
capital of this district, how it grew into a large town,
and how other places in Upper Calder Dale have risen
and how others have decHned.
Whereabouts in Calder Dale were the earliest settle-
ments planted ? When this district was first occupied and
men could have their choice of hill and vale, which
situations did they select for their farms and homes ?
If we go into Luddenden Dean and take our stand at
Jerusalem Farm, or better still, on the hillside above it,
we get a good view-poitit from which to study the opposite
hillside. In the bottom is the brook. From the water
the bank rises steeply some three hundred feet and is
wooded and overgrown with bracken, and marshy in
places. We call that portion of the hill-side Wade Wood.
Above the wood are fields and if we were walking up that
bank of the dean, we should cross five or six fields and
climb about another three hundred feet. These farms,
known as Saltonstall, are very old, and here, over six
centuries ago Earl Wairen had meadows and pastures for
his cattle. The top of these fields is 1,000 feet above
sea-level. Above the Saltonstall farm-land are the moors
stretching away to the summit of the hill.
The high moorland is too wild and bleak for cultivation.
The valley bottom is too steep and wooded and difiicult
to clear for farms. The early settlers lived on the high
terrace, with the woods below and the moors above them.
The hill sides therefore show three distinct bands.
The lowest section - the steep wooded bank of the stream
The middle section - farm land
The hiirhest section - moorland.
We see these three bands in the Hebden Valley very
distinctly. First there are the woods of Hardcastle Crags.
THE STORY OF OLD HALIFAX,
WOODS, FARMS AND MOOR. 15
Above them are the Wadsworth farms, and higher again,
the moors, hi the Calder Valley, remnants of these old
divisions can be traced. For example, if we ascend the
northern bank of the valley at Brearley, we find the old
town of Midgley and its farms situated on a terrace
between Brearley Wood and Midgley Moor.
There are some few exceptions to this rule. Mytholm-
royd and Copley are old settlements on the floor of the
Calder Valley. The oldest portion of the town of Halifax
is at the bottom of the hill, and P^lland is not more than
a hundred feet above the water of the Calder. But,
generally speaking, the whole of Calder Vale and the
branch valleys showed these three aistinct bands of wood,
farm and moor. That is the reason why most of the older
hamlets are high "up on the hills. Bastrick, Sowerby,
Norland, Heptonstall, lllingworth, Soyland and North-
owram were formerly the centres of trade and population.
This is a very important point to remember and explains
many things that otherwise would appear strange and
obscure. These upland situations hekl pre-eminence until
the end of the eighteenth century. We live in the Valleys
but our forefathers' homes were on the hills.
The vast expanse of Halifax Parish may be measured
on a map or calculated in tens of thousands of acres, but
a better and more interesting way of learning its size is
to take a few long walks across it in various directions
Then you will know that the Bastrick man lived so far
away from the farmer of Heptonstall that they were
strangers rather than neighbours to one another. It
was only natural that families grouped themselves into
smaller divisions of the district. Indeed, these smaller
divisions, called townships, probably • existed before the
parish was mapped out.
16 THE STORY OF OLD HALIFAX.
For example, take the old settlements lying around
the crown of Bear^on Hill. The most important were at
Blaithroyd, Stoney Royd, Backhall, Exley, Ashday. and
Shibden Hall, and a track connecting them would make
a ring that completely encircles the hill. The men living
at these places were neighbours and Formed a community
known as Southowram Township. The valley bottoms
that separated their hill from Halifax, Elland, Rastrick,
Hip})erholme, and Northowram were the boundaries of
their township. Southowram is almost an island and is
surrounded by the Hebble, Calder, Shibden Beck, and a
small clough that has its head in Shibden Park. The
short length from the top of this clough t*^ Charlestown
is the only land boundaiy. The ideal township would be
a dome-shaped island and Southowram is a good example.
(It ought to be said that Elland Park Wood was annexed
to Elland township as a hunting ground for Elland Hall).
Halifax township was bounded on one side by the
Hebble or Halifax brook, from Shaw Syke as far as Birks
Hall. The little stream that drains from Haugh Shaw
to Shaw Syke divided Halifax from Skircoat, and the
small clough at Birks Hall was the boundary with
Ovenden. At High Road Well Moor was the line between
Halifax and Warley. Most of the houses in Halifax
township were near the brook and not high up the hill-
side as in most of the townships. The rivers and brooks
formed the boundaries of the townships because the early
settlers had no use for the low-lying lands and the valley
bottoms were no-man's-lands. The centre of the town-
ship was usually a hill.
The word " village " was never used in our district.
The English village, as a rule, consists of a compact
cluster of farm houses and cottages, with a church and
large manor house. The houses in our townships were
scattered along the hill sides, where there was a cluster
of houses, it was invariably called a town. Thus we
have Warley Town and Sowerby Town, the main streets
in Northowram and Midgley are Town Gates, and at
Heptonstall you may see the name-plate "Top o' th'
The Townships in the parish are : —
Stansfield, Heptonstall, Wadsworth, Midgley, Warley,
Ovenden, Skircoat, Halifax, Northowram, bouthowram,
Slielf, and Hipperholme-cum-Brighouse on the north side
Langfield, Krringden, Sowerby, 8oyland, Rishworth,
Barkisland, Norland, Stainland, Elland-cum-Greetland,
Fixby, and Rastrick on the south side of the Calder.
In those early days, when Halifax, Sowerby, Norland,
Elland and other places contained very few houses, the
men worked on lartre fields that were common to the
township or hamlet. Each hamlet was like one farm,
and the pi'oduce of their fields was shared among the
inhabitants. The only relics of this old open-field system
are a few place-names that still survive. In Halifax
there were four or five of these large common fields.
One was called South Field, and the way to it, South
Field Gate, has had its name shortened to Southgate.
There was also Blackledge-ing, and Blackledge— parallel
to Horton Street — though it does not now bear any
resemblance to a field, owes its name to the open field.
A third named Sydell-ing has given its name to Seerllings
Mount, near Akroyd Place School. There were also
Nether Field, stretching down to the brook, and the
North Field. At Wheatley they had a Dean Field, and
the white-washed house, Denfield, marks the site. In
18 THE STORY OF OLD HA I/FAX.
Ellaiid there were the Low most, Middle, and High Town
Fields, iind Victoria Road was formerly known as Town
The men of the township or hamlet would hold a
meeting to decide what crops they would grow. If they
had three fields, the first might he for rye or wheat, the
second, oats or barley, and the third had to lie fallow.
They would also have a large meadow for hay. The
word "ing" means field or meadow. Outside the fields
were tlie connnon pastures for their fiocks and herds, and
woods where the pigs fed. The open field was divided
into strips or lands, and these strips w^ere about seven
yards wnde and two hundred yards long. The length
was a furrow-long, from which we derive the word
"furlong." This was long before the days of standard
measuiements, and a furlong, like other measures, varied
in each district. Between each strip a length of
unploughed land was left, to mark the '' lands." The
plough had a team of eight oxen, and the whole field was
ploughed at one time. The first strip was claimed by the
ploughman ; the secojid by the man who provided the
plougli ; the next two strips went to the owners of the
principal paii* of oxen : next came the driver's turn ; and
after him the owners of the otheT oxen, and so on. The
same order would be gone through several times, until
the large field was ploughed up. Each man's strips were
scattered up and down the field. This kept the field
common, for if a man had been allotted the first four
strips instead of, say, Nos. 1 , 13, 29, and 40, he would
probably have fenced his strips and made them into a
little field of his own.
The boyj^ of the handet had to take their turns in
looking after the herd of cattle on the moors, or the pigs
in the woods, or frightening the birds awa}^ fronj the coin.
The cattle were thin and long-Jegged, the pigs never grew
80 fat as ours, and sheep were kept only for their wool and
skins. All the stock was very poor compared with modern
cattle and the crops also were far below our standard.
The open iiekl method of farming commenced in the
earliest times and continued, in a fashion, until the begin-
ning of last centui}^.
As the number of people increased, and as some of the
men grew richer, more land was wanted for farming. A
new piece of the hilly land was marked out, the trees
were cut down, and the shrubs cleared. Rocks were broken
up, the loose stones gatheied, and a wall built up of these
stones to fence the new land. The land was " ridded "
or "rid" of the trees and rocks and was therefore called
a *' riding " or *' rode." Just as boys turn the word " coal "
into "coil," this word " rode " was pronounced " royd."
It is a most interesting local word and royd is our own
word for clearing. You will readily recall some place-
names with this ending — royd. Jackroyd, Willroyd, and
Waltroyd named from the men who lirst cleared them.
Brookroyd, the clearing by the brook, Akroyd or oak
clearing, High royd or Eroyd (th'ee royd), high clearing,
Stoney royd, stony clearing, Murgatroyd or moor-gate-
royd, tiie clearing on the way to the moor.
The patches of royd-land fenced and enclosed from tlie
moors or woods were called " closes." In the old days
the word " field " referred to the large open fields. If we
come across an old house named Field House, Field Head,
or West Field, we may be sure that one of the common
fields once occupied the site.
The books and papers, mentioned at the end of each chapter, are recommended
to those readers who wish to have fuller information on any particular
subject. I am greatly indebted, myself, to the various writers.
Local Illustrations of Seebohm's "English Village Community."— John
Lister, (Bradford Anti«[uary. Vol. I).
THE STORY OF OLD HALIFAX.
WIRRENS AND JjAGYS — THE MANOR OP WAKEFIELD — COURTS HBIiD
AT HALIFAX — HALIFAX GIBBET LAW.
The earliest written records about Halifax men and
local places, are on the court-rolls of the Earls of Warren.
The first earl, William of Warren, was one of the chief
men among the Norman invaders, and the chroniclers of
Fig. 3.— FUANCE.
the time say he was remarkably valiant. His original
home was a castle on the river Varenne at Bellencombre,
not far from Dieppe. He was created Earl of Surrey
by William T., and given large tracts of English land.
His principal castle was at Lewes in Sussex. Warren
was one of the very few Norman lords who supported
THE WARRENS. 21
Kufus when the bulk of the Norman lords revolted in
the first year of his reign, 1088. By the aid of the
English, tfie rebels were defeated. It appears Hkely that
the Earl Warren received the manor of Wakefield as a
reward for his faithfulness. At the siege of Pevensey
Castle, during the revolt, the earl was wounded in the
leg by an arrow. He was carried to his castle at Lewes,
where he died in 3 088. The Domesday Book, 1086,
states that the manor was then in the hands of the King,
William I. The entry relating to our local townships
runs : — " Sowerby, Warley, Feslei, Midgley, Wadsworth,
Crottonstall(?) Langfield and Stansfield." Students agree
that tiie word Ftslei' stands for the township of Halifax.
The actual grant of the manor of Wakefield has been
debated by many writers, but we are I'elying on a
charter that will be mentioned in the next chapter. The
manor of Wakefield was a large territory which embraced
the greater part of the parish of Halifax. In Saxon
times the manor had belonged to Edward the Confessor.
William, the second Earl Warren, distinguished him-
self at the battle of Tencl^ebrai, in 1106, where Henry L,
King of Eno;land, attacked his brother, Duke Bobert,
nickiiamied Curt hose, llobert Curt hose was defeated
and surrendered to Earl Warren. It was about this time,
the beginnijig of the twelfth century, that armour-clad
knights began to display coats-of-arms on their shields
in order that friend or ibe could recognise them. The
Warren shield is so simple in design, that it was probably
one of the earliest coats-of-arms. The shield is divided
into squares, like a draught board, with the squares
coloured gold and blue alternately. Halifax people know
this shield because the Corporation has used it in their
coat-of-arms. The blue and gold checkered shield is
22 THE STORY OF OLD HALIFAX.
displayed at the Town Hall and in the Council schools,
and our public bodies decorate their note paper with it.
4. — Warrkn.
From York MitiMar.
The townships of Southowram, Elland, and Greetland
were included in the Honour (which means a group of
small manors) of Pontefract and their lord of the manor
was another great earl, Ilbert de Lacy. Previously, a
Saxon thane named Gamel had ruled over these townships.
These JSorman earls did not come to live in our district,
nor did they build any castles in our parish. Both of
their Yorkshire castles were situated at important
strategic points between the Pennines and York on the
great load to the north. The Warrens built Sandal
Castle, near Wakefield, and the Lacys held Pomfret
Castle, two famous strongholds in English military
Part of the country about Halifax had been devastated
in 1068, when WiUiam the Conqueror quelled the
insurrection iu the north, and laid waste the land. In
Domesday Book, Elland and Southowram are named,
and these three terrible words added : — " It is waste."
The Normans were great hunters, and Upper Calderdale
provided a sporting estate for the Warrens, and the earls
visited it when on hunting expeditions. They made a
park in Erringden (from Cragg Vale to Callis Woods)
for breeding deer. The wild boar and wolf roamed the
hiW sides in Norman times. Roebucks, a Warlev farm,
THE MANOR COURT. '2S
and the rocks known as Buckstones and Wolfstones were
probably so named in thosa far-off liunting days.
The lord of the manor, especially such a great man
as the Earl of Surrey, had a large amount of power,
more than many a king has to-day. In fact one Earl
Warren defied the King, when Edward I. ordered the
Treasurer of England to make full enquiries about the
manors and liberties that were held of the king. The
earl would not allow the officials to enter his domain, nor
to visit Wakefield and Halifax. He also took a rusty
sword and flung it on the Justice's table. " This, sirs, is
my warrant," he said. " By the sword our fathers won
their lands when they came over with the Conqueror,
and by the sword we will keep them." •
At the court of the lord ot the manor, grants of land
were made to the men who wanted more soil to cultivate,
and for each grant a fee had to be paid to the lord.
When a man died, the court decided who was his heir,
and again, a fine was due to the lord. In some cases the
lord's permission had to be obtained foi- marriage, or for
the education of a peasant^ son. The tenants had to
plough and reap for the lord, and to provide his table
with chickens and eggs. At the courts, fines were imposed
for all kinds of wrong-doing, and the Wariens had also
the power of taking a man's life for certain crimes. All
the corn had to be ground at the manorial mills, and the
lords also owned the mills for the fulling of cloth.
Perhaps the best way of finding out how Halifax people
fared at the hands of the lord of the manor, will be to
take an imaginary peep into a manor court. In Halifax,
the court was held at the Moot Hall. Moot is an old
English word, meaning an assembly of the people. Near
2i THE STORY OF OLD HALIFAX.
the north-west corner of the Parish Church there is an
old building, now used as a joiner's shop, but which was,
once upon a time, the Moot Hall. About the centre oi
the wall facing the church, notice the ancient wooden
post that supported the roof of the old timbered building,
and which is a portion of probably the oldest house in the
town. We will suppose that the people of Halifax,
Sowerby, &c., are assembled in the Moot Hall on a day
towards the end of the thirteenth century. They would
all have to stand, for there was little or no furniture
then. A rough table and a plain bench would serve ibr
the lord's officers, and the remainder of the room would
be bare. The steward of the earl of Warren presides
over the court. We will take for example the court held
at Hahfax on Tuesday, July 1 7th, 1286, described on the
roll as the Tuesday before the Feast of St. Margaret the
Virgin, for it was then customary to reckon dates from
the church festivals instead of the calendar that we use.
John of Warren, Earl of Surrey, was lord of the manor
at this date. His only son, William, had been killed in
a tournament at Croydon seven months previously, and
William's only son, John, was quite a baby. In addition
to the manor court for the transfer of land, etc., there
was also held a criminal court, called a Tourn. The king
granted to some of his principal subjects the power
to hold these courts, and as Wakefield manor had
once belonged to Edward the Confessor, the Warrens
appear to have received this power in the original grant
of the manor. In a seventeenth century deed, belonging
to the Waterhouse Charity, a plot of land adjoining the
Moot Hall is called " Sheriff's Tourn Close."
Thomas Shepherd, of Holdsworth, gives sixpence for
license to take four acres of land from K,oger, son of Peter.
THE MANOR COURT. 25
William of Saltonstall gives twelve pence, to take half
an acre of land in Sowerby from William, son of Simon.
Kichard, son of Adam of Wadsworth, gives 1 2s. 2d. to
inherit his father's land. Each man promises to do the
services due to the lord. E-og^er of Haworth is fined
twelve pence for the escape of four cattle in Sakeldene
in the lord's forest, and William the Geldhird has to
answer for hunting a doe. Thomas of Langfield and
William of the Booths pay for the court's aid in recovering
debts. At the Tourn held the same day, we find the
following cases. Peter Swerd had unrightfully sto])ped
up a certain footpath between Stansfield and Mankinholes.
By permiission of JJ/n S. Smith, Shi'fflfki City Librarian.
Fig^ 5.— Portion of a Wakkfiki.d Court Roll,
Halifax, July Irni, 1286.
Thomas, son of John of Greenwood cut the purse of
William of Midgley by night and took H)d. llichard of
Crossley and Kichard the Tinker had di-awn blood fiora
from one another but the tinker is pardoned because he
did it in self-defence. John Styhog stole two oxen from
Roger Foulmouth and is sent to York prison. William,
son of Ivo of Warley, took two bows from strangers.
Peter Sweid is fined a second shilling because he unjustly
ejected Alice of the Croft from her land in Mankinholes
and cast down her house. Avicia, wife of Thomas of
Westwood, the wives of Nicholas of Warley, Thomaa
26' THE STORY OF OLD HALIFAX.
the Spencer, "Ralph of 0\renden,. Robert of Lowe ; Matilda,
wife of the Fuller, and Agnes of Ashwell are each fined
sixpence for not sending for the ale tasters when they
had brewed. Cecilia of Hallgate is pardoned and the wife
of Jolin the Grave is also pardoned because she is
favourable to the earl's bail ills.
The manor courts of the Earl Warren were held at
Wakefield, Kirkburton, Brighouse and Hahfax. Neither
Brighouse nor Halifax are neai' the geographical centre
of Halifax Parish. At this time nlso, Halifax was one
of the least important of the townships. Towards a tax
levied in 1284, Hipperholme paid the largest sum, 20/-.
Halifax's share, 11/-, was the thirteenth on the list of
nineteen townships. In 1315, six of the townships were
fined for concealing the absence ot men summoned to the
tourn. Halifax township was fined 3/4, Wt forgiven
because it was poor.
W^e may infer that the Steward of Wakefield would
not venture any farther into the wilds than Brighouse
and Halifax, and because Halifax was nearer to Wake-
field by the old roads than the other townships, our
town became the capital of the district. The records of
the Wakefield Manor Court are kept in the Rolls OfBce
at Wakefield. The earliest court rolls have perished,
but there are some that are over six hundred years old.
The early rolls are made of skins stitched together, thirty
or forty feet long, and rolled up like a piece of wall-paper.
Later rolls are in five feet lengths, made f loin about a dozen
skms. These large skins are stitched together like the
leaves ot a book and the whole rolled up. The entries are
written in Latin and can still be read, and parts of the
rolls have been copied, translated and printed.
THE MANOR COURT. 27
As time went on, the services due to the lord from
his tenants were not paid in actual labour, but money
was given as rent in place of work. This great change
took place earlier in the large Wakefield manor than in
smaller manors. It was very inconvenient for the men
of lUingworth or Norland to journey to Wakefield to
work on the lord's home farm for a day or so. On the
other hand, the earls had more labour than they needed.
It suited both parties to transform the services into a
sum of money. This arrangement gave more freedom to
the men of Halifax parish. So long as they paid their
rents they were at liberty to employ their time as they
thoucrht best, and were not at the beck and call of their
lord. The tenants of the Warrens had to follow him to
war, but we know very little as to how many from this
district went with the earls on the Scottish campaigns.
Richard of Exley was at Dunfermline with Edward I. in
1303, when William Wallace was defeated. Richard
had killed William of Ashday, and he received a royal
pardon for the murder because of his distinguished
conduct as a soldier.
The manor of Wakefield was gradually split up into
small manors. These smaller manors, in most cases,
comprised a township. There was a manor court of
Ovenden held at Lee Bridge; at Hipperholme, the men
met under a thorn tree. Some local houses and lands
were given to the order of Knights of St. John of
Jerusalem, who helped and sheltered pilgrims to the
Holy land. Tenants of these lands were not obliged to
grind their corn at the lord's mill, nor to do suit at his
court. These privileges continued even after the order
of St. John had been suppressed. Many of these old
houses still display the double cross of the knights, as.
28 THE STORY OF OLD HALIFAX.
for instance, Field House Shibden, Coley Hall and
The Wariens, like some other great Norman lords,
had the royalty — as it was named — gianted by the king,
to execute thieves and other criminals who were caught
within the bounds of their manor. From this grant the
Halifax gibbet law grew and the custom survived in
Halifax long after the royalty of the Warrens had become
obsolete. Tradition says that the harsh law was continued
in order to protect the cloth trade, for it was so easy to
steal the kerseys i'rom the tenter-frames. A jury was
formed of sixteen men. If they found that the prisoner
was caught with the stolen goods in his possession, or if
he confessed to the theft, and if the stolen goods were
valued at thirteen pence or more, the culprit was sentenced
by this local jury to be beheaded. Under the feudal
system, there were no paid officials of the manor courts,
to correspond wilh our modern policemen or sheriffs'
officers, but each tenant, in turn, had to serve in the
various duties. There was not much difficulty in persuading
a jury to sentence a man to death, for human life was oi
small value in those days. The difficulty arose in finding
a hangman. When the population amounted to no more
than a few score people, no man cared to be branded as
the hangman among his neighbours.
An old story, told by Thomas Deloney in the
sixteenth century, relates how Hodgekins, a Halifax
clothier, caught Wallis and two more thieves, and brought
them to the gallows. Hodgekins chose one of his
neighbours, a very poor man, to play the hangman^a
part, but he would not by any means do it, tiiough he
would have been well paid. Then one, whose cloth liad
been stolen, was commanded to act, but in like manner
THE GIBBET. 29
he wo'uld not, saying : " When I have the skill to make
a man, I will hang a man, if it chance my workmanship
does not suit me." And thus from one to another the
post was offered and refused. At last a rogue came by
whom they would have compelled to have done the deed.
'* Nay, my masters, not so" said he, *' You cannot compel
me." Then one proposed that Hodgekins himself, who
had most loss, should take the office. " No, not I," quoth
Hodgekins, " though my loss were ten times greater than
it is." At last, liberty was promised to the thief who
would hang the others, but as they were loyal to each
other, they had to be released, and thus they escaped
the death penalty. A gray friar came upon Hodgekins
while he was in the dumps over this business, and he
said that, with the help of a carpenter, he would make a
gin that would cut off their heads without man's help.
Hodgekins went up to court and told tlie king that the
privilege of Halifax for hanging thieves Wcis not worth
a pudding because they could not get a hangman to truss
the thieves. However, a friar had invented a machine
that dispensed with the hangman, and his majesty allowed
Halifax men to use the new gibbet.
Although the story is not literally true, there is an
element of truth embodied in it. In other parts of England
all kinds of dodges were tried to g^t over the difficulty of
finding a hangman. At Romney, the bailiff found the
gallows and rope, while the proseCvitor had to find the
hangman. If he could not find one. and if he would not do
that same office himself, he was put in prison with the felon
and kept there until he was prepared to hang the
condemned man. The Halifax gibbet did not need a
hangman. All that was necessary was to pull out the
pin that held the axe aloft. Then it slid down the grooves
30 THE STORY OF OLD HALIFAX.
of the tall posts, on to the culprit's neck. If it was ^ case
of stealing a horse or a sheep, the animal was yoked to
the pin and set the axe in motion.
Warren and Lacy in the *• Dictionary of National Biography."
"The Making of Halifax"— John Lister in H. Ling lioth's "York»liire
Coiners and Old Halifax."
Wakefield Court KoU?", I, H, III in Yorkshire Archaeological Society Record
"Halifax Gibbet Law" — JoHN LrsTER in Halifax Anti(iuarian Society
THE PARISH CHURCH NORMAN CARVING — LEWES PRIORY AND
CLUNY ABBEY — TITHES — THE EARLY RECTORS —
THE 14th CENTURY CHURCH — ELLAND AND HEPTONSTALL OHAPBI18.
If we enter the Parish Church by the south porch and
walk across the church to the opposite door, we notice
that the north wall is built of rough stones of all shapes
and sizes. Among this rubble there is one small stone
that has an interesting story to tell. You will find it at
the left hand lower corner of the western window. The
stone is carved with zig-zag or herring-bone lines, called
a chevron pattern. Soldiers' stripes are chevrons. The
style of the carving indicates that it was chiselled in the
twelfth century. Therefore, we know that before this
wall was built, a smaller Norman church was pulled
down and this particular stone, out of the older church,
was picked up and used by the masons who built this
wall. There are a few more similar chevron stones
scattered about the walls of the present church. Frag-
ments of a plain moulding of the same date appear in the
upper part of the north wall.
HALIFAX PARISH CHURCH.
W« will dip a little further back into the dim past,
before we take up the story of the Norman church.
ff^flCnnEinroF n^i^/naK Work
Fig. 6.— Chevron Sponr and 15th Century Capitals.
Because a portion of Halifax tithes was paid to the vicar
of Dewsbury, we may certainly say that our district was
82 THE STORY OF OLD HALIFAX.
once part of the ancient Saxon parish of Dewsbury, and
presume that the gospel was preached among our hills
before any church was erected here.
The first mention of Halifax Church is to be found m
documents relating to a gift made by Earl Warren to the
Priory of Lewes of several Yorkshire churches, including
Halifax church. Mr. Lister has discovered a copy of a
charter that recites the original grant. It appears that
when the priory church at Lewes was dedicated (about
1095) the second earl confirmed this gilt of Yorkshire
churches. Hence, we know that Hahfax church was
granted between 1086 and 1095. Documents at that
time were not dated but the names of the witnesses also
help to fix these dates. The second earl again confirmed
the gift about the year 1116.
The Priory of St. Pan eras at Lewes, in Sussex, was
the first settlement in England of the black-robed monks
of Cluny. The first Earl Warren and his wife had intended
to make a pilgrimage to E,ome but, owing to the war
between the Pope and Emperor, they had to be content
with visiting some of the monasteries of France, and they
made a long stay at the Abbey of Cluny, near the Swiss
border. Some time later the earl was crossing the Channel
in one of the small vessels of those days, wlien a storm
arose and the boat was in great peril. Earl Warren vowed
that if they were brought safely to land he would found
an abbey. In fulfilment of his vow, he invited the monks
of Cluny to come to Lewes and, in 1077, a prior and
twelve monks made their home there. The earl further
enriched the Piiory of Lewes by the gift of Yorkshire
churches. The monks also received, out of the manor of
Wakefield, the manors of Halifax and Heptonstall. The
rents and fines connected with the land of Halifax and
Halifax parish church. 33
Heptonstall were to be paid to the prior instead of to the
lord of the manor of Wakefield. The prior now held a
little manor court for Halifax and Heptonstall, but the
Warrens still held courts for the tbrest-law cases and what
we should call "police-court cases."
In addition to the manorial rents of Halifax and
Heptonstall townships, the church had its revenue from
tithes or tenths. Every farmer in the wide parish of
Halifax had to give to the church one stone of wool out
of eveiy ten stones he clipped ; one lamb out of ten ; one
calf out of ten ; and a tenth of his com and hay or any
other produce. The account books of the monks tell us
of three women carrying the tithe wool from Heptonstall
to Halifax. The Elland wool, in 13(57, needed seven
women, and they received ttmpence and four pennyworth
©f ale to share among the seven for carrying it. For a
long time there was only the one church to se*'ve the
vast parish, and everyone was baptised or married, or
buried at Halifax church. When the special chui-ch
services or festivals were held, the accommodation of the
little town would be taxed.' The church is dedicated to
St. John the Baptist, whose festival day is on Midsummer
day. All the people had to attend church on that day,
and because of the throng in the streets, hawkers and
vendors of various things came, and in that way Halifax
fair came to be on June 24th. There is a legend the
word Halifax means Holy Face, and that a portion of
the face of the i^aptist was preseived as a relic in
Halifax church. The borough coat-of-arms was designed
from this idea. There is no truth in the story, for had
there been so important a relic, pilgrims from all over
the world woukl have found their way to Halifax, and
some of the old chroniclers would have mentioned the fact.
34 THE STORY OF OLD HALIFAX.
To return to the chevron stone —when the monks
received Halifax church, over eight hundred years ago,
they commenced to huild a small Norman church, of
which these few stones remain. Some of the early rectors
of Halifax were famous men, or it would be more correct
to say that the fees from the parish in the twelfth and
thirteenth centuries went into the pockets of some great
men. For, although the Warrens had given Halifax
church to the Prior of Lewes, they continued to put their
own friends in the rectory. These rectors drew the rents
and fees, but scarcely ever came near Halifax to attend
to the work. As the monks themselves said, these men
had more care for the fleeces and milk of the flock than
for souls. The earls were so powerful that the monks for
a long time were unable to resist these appointments.
John Talvace, brother to the wife of the third Earl
Warren, " a pleasant man, generous and very learned,"
seems to have been one of the early rectors. He also
held the high position of treasurer of York Minster from
1154 to 1 163, and afterwards became Bishop of Poitiers
and Archbishop of Lyons. Talvace was an old friend of
Thomas a Becket, and in a letter to Becket, he advises
** content yourself with a moderate establishment of horses
and men, such as your necessities require." He said he
had often warned Becket " to consider the badness of the
times, which promise you neither a speedy return nor a
safe one." The great Hubert Walters also held the rectory
of Halifax. He went with liichard Coeur de Lion on the
crusade, and when Kichard was taken prisoner, Walters
brought the English army home and raised the ransom
for the king. He became Archbishop of Canterbury and
a very famous statesman. It would be about the year
1185 when he became connected with Halifax, and he
THE NORMAN CHURCH. 35
wrote a letter thanking the Prior of Lewes for having
appointed him to the unknown or obscure church of
Halifax. We cannot think that Hubert Walters ever
visited this obscure corner of England.
The last of the rectors was William de Champ vent,
a man who probably could not speak a word of English,
but he certainly did visit Halifax a few times. However,
the monks obtained a bull from Pope Alexander IV,
forbidding the practice of appointing these absentee
rectors. Champvent held the living for another seventeen
years until, in 1 273, he was preferred to the bishopric of
Lausanne in Switzerland. The following year, Halifax
received her first vicar and there were great rejoicings in
the church. High Mass was celebrated by the Vicar-
General of the Archbishop of York, assisted by the rectors
of Thornhill, Birstall and Heaton, three of the black-robed
monks of Lewes, and others, including Ingelard Turbard,
the new vicar. He had to promise to reside in Halifax
and land vras given on which to build a manse for him.
The tithes were divided, and in 1292, the monks of Lewes
took £93 6s. 8d. and the vicar's share was £16. Ingelard
Turbard was vicar of Halifax for over forty years, for the
Wakefield Court liolls inform us that he died in 13 I 6.
Towards the latter end of Turbard's days, there was
a re building of the church. In order to see the part
that commemorates that epoch, in Halifax church history,
when the first vicar resided here, you must go round the
outside of the church to look at the north wall. To the
east of the north porch is a length of rough walling. If
you will look at the wall for a few minutes, you may find
out how it was built. The rough stones were heaped on
the ground and then were more or less sorted into sizes.
The masons used the larger pieces first and the smaller
THE STORY OF OLD HALIFAX.
Pig. 7.— Window (about 1300) in North Wai-l of Parish Church.
THE 14th century CHURCH. 37
stones were left for the upper part of the wall as they
wertj easier to lift. There are two lancet whidows in this
wall, that are smaller and simpler in design ihan the other
windows of the church. A third window of the same style
is on the west side of tlie porch. It is set in a later wail
and this window probably faced west originally. When
the church was extended westward, it would be taken
out and re-erected in the extended north wall. It is most
intei'esling to trace the growth of an old church like
Halifax, but we are obliged to defer the story of its further
growth to a later chapter.
We do not know the exact date of the erection^of
Elland and Heptonstall chapels. Some Norman "beak"
stones have been used in the later chancel arch at Elland.
We can easily imagine that the parish was too large to be
efticiently served by priests living in Halifax and we can
surmise the reason why Heptonstall and Elland were
chosen, and chapels elected there for assistant priests.
Heptonstall would serve the western end of the parish
an(l the township belonged to the monks ot Lewes.
Elland, though not a long way from Halifax, was
outsidi3 the manor of Wakefield, and the lords of
Elland would prefer a chapel for their own tenants. The
vicar ol Halifax appointed and paid these priests, and
even to-day the vicar of Halifax still makes the old
grant of £4 per year. The two chapels did not possess
the privileges of a church like Halifax and for very many
centuries, the vicar of Halifax was the spiritual head of
the whole parish. The connection between the Priory of
Lewes and Halifax lasted until the Reformation, or over
four hundred years. In those early days the south of
pjigland was much more advanced than the north, and
the priests sent by the prior would probably teach the
38 THE STORY OF OLD HALIFAX.
people inuny things and help to widen their ideas about
the great world outside the parish.
•* Halifax Parish Church — An Early Chapter of Its History," — John LlSTBR,
(Halifax Antiquarian Society Transactions, 1905)
THE ELLAND FEUD.
The great Norman barons often quarrelled among
themselves and armed their men to fight one another.
The story of the Elland Feud is interesting because it
shows how these quarrels affected the men who were
tenants of these lords. The tale has been handed down
in a ballad, the verses being sung at Christmas time. Its
appropriate title is "Revenge upon Revenge." Within
recent years, entries on the Wakefield Court Rolls, con-
firming the truth of the ballad, have been discovered.
The tragedies commenced with the enmity between the
great lords of Wakefield and Pontefract. The Earl of
Warren of this time was a great friend of Edward II.
Tlioraas Lacy, Earl of Lancaster, was the leader of the
barons who put to death Gaveston, the kind's favourita
Afterwards, the Earl of Lancaster rebelled agjainst the
king, and was himself beheaded. On the Monday before
Ascension day, 1317, Alice de Lacy, wife of the Earl of
Lancaster, was kidnapped by Earl Warren's men, at
Canford in Dorset, and taken to one of the castles of the
Wa/rens. The Lacys laid siege to the Yorkshire castles
of Earl Warren. In the fighting, Exley of Exley Hall,
Siddal, killed a nephew of Sir John Elland. Though
Exley gave a piece of land as compensation for the man's
death, Sir John w ould not forgive the deed, so P]xley fled
THE ELL AND FEUD.
to Ciosland Hall, near Huddersfield, where Sir Robert
Beaumont, hi^ kinsman, lived.
Sir John's home, Elland Hall, is on the north side of
the Calder, overlooking Elland Bridge. The house has
been re-built several times during the six hundred years,
but some windows of the seventeenth century can still be
seen. The Ellands had acquired the manor of Elland
from the Lacys, in the thirteenth century and Sir John
Elland was Hio:h Steward to Earl Warren. A well-armed
Pig. 8.— Elland.
*\f Cromwell Bottom.
band of Elland men was raised, and Sir John set out one
night with the intention of killing Sir Bobeit Bea.umont.
On their way to Ciosland Hall, the Elland men came to
Quarmby Hall and entering the house in the dead of
night, they slew Hugh of Quarmby. fcir John next led
his men to Lock wood and killed Lock wood of Lockwood.
Quarmby and Lockwood were ruthlessly slaughtered
because they were friends of Beaumont. When they
arrived at Crosland Hall, the Elland men found the moat
full of water and the drawbridge up, so they waited, in
ambush, for the morn. A maid-servant of the house had
an errand early the next morning, and when the bridge was
lowered, Elland's men rushed in. Sir Robert Beaumont
40 THE STORY OF OLD HALIFAX.
was in bed, but unarmed he fought manfully, and his
servants strove with miglit and raani until tliey were
overpowered. Sir llobert was dratrged downstairs into
the hall and there they cut off his head. Many of his
faithful men and Exiey also, were killed without mercy.
Sir John El land made a feast for his men in Crosland
Hall and invited Beaumont's two sons to eat with him,
but Adam Beaumont, though but a boy, sturdily refused.
** The first fray here now have ye heard,
J he secoTici siiall en -lie,
And hi.w niiuh iiti>chief afterward,
Upou the»e nmrders grew."
Lady Beaumont took her two sons into Lancasiiire for
safety, wheie they were joined by young Lockwood and
Qunrmby and Lacy of Cromwell-bottom. They lived at
Brereton Hall and Tovvnley, Jiear Burnley, trainiDg
themselves in fencing, tilting, liding, and shooting with
the long-bow. 'i hey were determined to take revenge on
Sir John Elland, and as these fatherless lads grew into
men, they discussed many plans how to attain tlieir
desire. They decidf^d to fall upon Sir John Elland on the
day that he attended the Sheriff's Tourn at Brighouse,
He never failed to ])reside over that conrt, and as the loads
would be busy with men on their way to Biighouse, the
men from Lancashire would not be so noticeable. The
four youths with their followei's, hid in Cromwell-bottom
Wood and sent spies into Bnghouse to give warning of
Sir John's return. The old road from Biioliouse to Elland
Hall went uj) to Lane Head, then down to Brookfbot. and
up again through Cromwell-bottom Wood. Signal wa8
given of the knight's approach and his enemies set out to
meet him, and the fight took place at Lane Head. Sir
John aiid his men were armed and fought for their lives.
THE ELLAND FEUD. 41
•' They cut him from his company
Belike at the Lane end ;
And there they slew him certainly
And there he made his end."
Sir John Elland was killed in the year 1353. Beaumont
and his friends fled the same night and sought a safe
hiding-place in Furness.
Early in the next spring, they came back to Cromwell-
bottom to plan the death of young Sir John Elland and
his boy. On the eve of Palm Sunday, Beaumont, Lacy,
Lock wood, and Quarmby broke into Elland Mill and lay
there in ambush. Early on the Sunday morning, the
miller sent his wife to the mill to fetch some corn. They
bound her hand and foot, and laid her in a safe place,
so that she could not raise an alarm. The miller was
angry when his wife did not return, so he took a cudgel
to chastise her for her delay. The miller was also caught
and laid by his wife's side. Sir John had heard rumours
t/hat his enemies were abroad and on that Sunday morning
he told his fears to his wife. She took little notice of the
reports and said "It is Palm Sunday, and we must
certainly go to church and serve God, this holy day." Sir
John Elland, for safety, put (m a coat of armour under
his suit and with his lady, his son and some of his people
set out for church. Perhaps there was no bridge at this
time, for they crossed the river by the dam-stones of the
mill. Adam Beaumont stepped out of the mill, with his
long-bow, notched his arrow to the string, and shot at the
knight. It struck his breast, glancing off the armour.
Lockwood's first arrow did the same but his second shot
struck Sir John Elland in the head and he fell dead in
the river. One of the other bowmen mortally wounded
his son and heir, and the servants carried the boy home
to die at Elland Hall.
42 THE STORY OF OLD HALIFAX.
Beaumont and his friends left the mill and hurriedly
marched by Whittle Lane End and Old Earth to Ainley
Wood. An alarm was raised in Elland and men found
their weapons and armour that Sunday morning and
pursued the murderers. There was a fight in Ainley Wood
and Quarmby was badly wounded. The chase continued
to Huddersfield but the others escaped. As the Elland
men returned through the wood, they heard crows and
magpies chattering about a tree covered with ivy and
there they found Quarmby hidden in the tree, and slew
him. Lock wood was betrayed by a sweetheart at
Cawthorne, Lacy went into the north, while Beaumont
went abroad and died fighting with the Knights of Rhodes.
Thus the Elland family became extinct and the Saviles
who had married into the family became lords of Elland.
Their home is on the other side — the southern slope of
Galder Vale. It was called the New Hall in contrast to
the older Elland Hall, and the interesting old house is
still called New Hall.
•' The Elland Tragedies "—reprinted and edited by J. Horsfall Turner.
EARLY RECORDS OF THE CLOTH TRADE THE FLEMINGS —
THE BLACK DEATH — POLL TAX OF 1379 SURNAMES SHEEP REARING
SPINNING — WEAVING — FULLING — DYEING
In the porch of Halifax Parish Church is an ancient
grave-cover, on which the mason has carved a rude
representation of a pair of shears beside the cross. Those
who have studied such gravestones say that the shears
are a trade symbol, and that a cloth-worker was buried
under this stone, about the year 1150. We know nothing
EARLY CLOTH TRADE.
more about the man, but it is most interesting to think
that our local cloth trade is so ancient. When we turn
to examine our oldest written records, we find that the
earliest court-roll of the Wakefield manor commences with
a list of jurymen who served at Rastrick in October, 1274
and the sixth name on the roll is Roger the Fuller. Roger
is so described because his principal occupation was the
fulling or finishing of cloth. The earliest named weaver
is Thomas the Webster, of Hipperholme, in May, 1275.
Fig. 9. -Grave Cover (C. USO) in Halifax Church.
So that we may affirm with confidence that as far back
as records go, men were engaged in the woollen industry
in the parish of Halifax.
These early evidences of the trade are important
because they disprove the legend that the Flemings
introduced cloth-making into our district about the year
1331, when Edward III invited Flemish weavers to settle
in England. We know that they came to York, but a
close examination of court-rolls, local deeds, revenue
returns, and lists of later cloth- workers that we shall study,
44 THE STOBV of old HALIFAX.
fails to discover these Flemish weavers in our part of the
country. Writer after writer has repeated the story,
without giving proofs, and though some West Riding
historians have collected the correct and contrary evidence,
the Flemish myth is still repeated. As we have seen,
there were cloth-makers in Halifax long before the
Flemings landed, and the early weavers, dyers, and fullers,
all bear good old Halifax names. Besides, the Flemings
were the most skilful of textile workers and made the
better cloths. Halifax weavers were content, for many
centuries, to go on producing the coarser qualities.
I think we may find out why the cloth trade took
root among our hills. In the earliest days, the making
of cloth was a home occupation. Each family made for
itself the cloth it needed for its own clothes. But, as time
went on, men who were clever at weaving devoted more
of their time to it, and exchanged their cloth with those
who preferred farming, for corn and meat. Now, this
district was never a favourable place for agriculture, and
the men naturally turned their hand to trade. The
comparative freedom of the men, through not being so
closely tied to the soil, as the tenants of small manors
were, also encouraged trade.
In the middle of the fourteenth century, a terrible
plague visited England. Its effects were so great that
the Black Death of 1348 and 1349 is one of the great
events of English history. At least one third of the
people died. In the West Riding, out of 141 priests, 96
fell victims to the Black Death. Thomas of Gaytington,
vicar of Halifax, died on September 10th, 1349, and as
the Prior of Lewes had no priests to send into the north,
a local man, Richard of Ovenden, was made vicar. In
less than four months, he also died, and another priest.
THE BLACK DEATH. 45
John of Stanford, came to the church. On the Wakefield
Court Rolls an unusual number of entries were made of
heirs paying fines to inherit the lands of tenants who had
died. The poor people, who had no land, suffered the
most, and there were not sufficient men left in England
to till the land and gather the harvests. Labourers were
very scarce and they demanded more money than they
had hitherto received for wages, and more than the law
allowed. The Government attempted to regulate the
prices of everything, and to keep wages at the old level.
Their action did not prevent rates becoming higher, but
perhaps wages and prices would have gone higher still if
it had not been for the penalties. It was impossible to
enforce many of the irksome manorial customs, and the
Black Death is said to mark the end of the feudal system.
The Statute of Labourers was a law passed by Par-
liament, according to which, no man was to take higher
wages than he had received before the pestilence. Justices
were appointed to see that the statute was observed.
William of Fincheden, John of Norland, and William of
Mirfiekl were justices for the West Riding. This William
of Mirfield was lord of the manor of Shelf and collector
of the revenues of Bradford Church. In the year 1355
the fines amounted to £84 4s. 7Jd. Out of this amount
£38 Os. 8d. was paid to the justices for their fees and
expenses, and the balance ought to have been paid to the
townships, which found difficulty in raising the king's
taxes. But the collectors absconded with the money and
the record of their misdoings supplies us with these few
details. The township of Shelf received 6s. 8d. relief
for the taxes.
The country had not fully recovered from the ravages
of the Black Death, when Richard II. came to the throne.
46 THE STORY OF OLD HALIFAX.
To provide the boy-king with money, the people were
taxed. Each man and woman over sixteen years of age
had to pay fourpence, though married couples were
charged as one person. Merchants paid one shilling and
there were eight in the parish ; twenty-three tradesmen
paid sixpence each ; John Lacy of Cromwell-bottom and
Henry Langfield of Elland paid 3s. 4d. each ; and John
Savile of Elland, described as a chevalier paid 20s.
Priests and beggars had no tax to pay. It is known as
the Poll Tax of 1379 — "poll" means head and the tax
was levied on heads. In the Public Records Office in
London, are the original lists of the people who paid this
tax, and from them we know who were living in Halifax
in 1379 and something about them. We have, in fact,
a most interesting Directory of Halifax in 1379.
In the township of Halifax, there were 16 married
couples and 6 single persons who paid their groats. If
we add 4 8 children, 3 priests and 1 beggar, we get a total
population of 90 for Halifax. It is probable that a few
escaped taxation, but we can be quite certain that the pop-
ulation of Halifax was not above 100 in 1379, or a less
number than live to-day in one of our shorter streets. It
makes us wonder how many were left in Halifax when the
Black Death passed. The total population of the whole
parish was under two thousand in 1379. Elland-cum-
Greetland was the most important township, 6 1 persons
being named and the population calculated to be 188.
Elland boasted such rich men as John Savile and Henry
Langfield ; two merchants ; and six weavers, carpenters
and smiths. Sowerby comes second and Hipperholme
third on the list. Halifax is half-way down the list of
twenty townships, and not one man in the township was
of sufficient social standing to pay more than fourpence.
We all possess something that dates back to the
fourteenth century, and that something is our surname.
From the Poll Tax Returns we can see how these family
names came into use, for at that time they w^ere being
fixed. When there were only a few persons living in a
place, there was not much need for a second name. We
never use the second name at home, or among our friends,
but we call our brother, Jack. When we go to school,
where there are twenty Jacks, we have to call him Jack
Greenwood. In just the same way, as towns grew in
size, people began to use a second name and then they
found it better to keep the same name for sons, grandsons,
great-grandsons and so on. Thus we were each born
with a surname.
Out of eighteen Halifax men, eight were named John.
There were 133 Johns, or one third of the men in the
parish, in 1379. To distinguish these Johns, another
name was added, and we have : —
John Oteson, sometimes called John Otes. Ote or Odo
was the christian name of his father.
John, son of Gilbert, who was called John Gibson when
he was elected constable in 1382.
John Smithson, whose father was the smith.
John, son of John, was named John Jackson in a court
roll of 1370.
John Milner had the manorial corn mill.
John Frauncays was a Frenchman living in Halifax at
John of the Wro and John of the Bowes are named from
the situation of their homes, which gave rise to the
surnames Wroe and Boyes.
The first name on the Halifax list is William, son of
Henry, who was afterwards called William Hanson (or
48 THE STORY OF OLD HALIFAX.
Henryson). His brother Richard was Vicar of Halifax,
and is described as son of Henry of Heaton. The vicar's
surname was Heaton and his son was a Heaton, but his
brother's family went by the name of Hanson. From
this case we gather that surnames had not become finally
fixed. Robert Lister's name appears in the list — a lister
was a dyer. In 1311, we find Bate, the lister of Halifax.
In 1338, his son is named Richard Bateson, but in 1359,
the same man is called Richard Lister. So we can see
that the Listers might have been known as Bateson or
Bates- There were Otes of Holdsworth, Thomas of Cliff
and Richard of Bottom living in Halifax, and their names
are still used as surnames.
It is worth while pointing out that two men could
bear the same surname and not have the slightest
relationship to one another. The William Hanson of
Halifax, son of Henry of Heaton, had no kinship with
the William Hanson of Rastrick, living at the same date,
for this second William was son of Henry of Rastrick.
There was a Milner for every one of the corn mills — Hugh
and John at EUand, John at Halifax, Randolph at
Heptonstall, Henry at North owram, and William at
Sowerby. They all had the same surname, Milner,
because they all plied the same trade, but they were not
related to one another. The origin of surnames provides
a fascinating study. It is interesting to discover some
fourteenth century Robert or John or Henry who gave
his name to a family. A remote moorland hamlet like
Shackleton or Saltonstall, even a lonely farm house such
as Akroyd or Sunderland gave a name to a family, and
afterwards some gifted member of the family makes the
name world famous. The surnames derived from trades
are, as we have already noticed, very important. To
THE WOOLLEN TRADE.
explain some of these, it will be necessary to give an
account of how cloth was made, and the many processes
required for each piece.
Fig. 10.— Akroyd in Wadsworth.
Hioto. H. p. Kendall.
First of all, sheep had to be reared. When our
district was mostly moorland with a few fields scattered
along the hill-sides like oases, there was ample room for
large flocks. In 1379 we find John the Shepherd of
Midgley, and Alice Shepherd of Warley, who perhaps
lived at Shepherd House. Shibden was formerly spelt
Schepedene — the sheep vale. In 1367, according to the
tithes accounts, 2340 stone of wool was clipped in Halifax
Parish. The fleece was sorted into different qualities
50 THE STORY OF OLD HALIFAX.
and lengths of wool, washed to free it from grease, and
the dust and foreign matter beaten or picked from it.
The next processes, carding and spinning were done by
women. The cards were like two square hair brushes
with wire bristles. The end of every wire was bent
towards the handle. A handful of wool was laid on one
card, and drawn off the card with the other card. The
carding straightened the wool out ready for spinning.
Spinning took up so much of the women's time, that
unmarried women were called — and are still called —
spinsters. In spinning, a long rod, named a distaff* was
used. A bundle of the carded wool was tied on the top
end of the distaff. A little of the wool was pulled out
and twisted into a thread by the finger and thumb. The
thread was tied on to a spindle. At the end of the
spindle was a spindle-whorl, a round piece of stone or
iron that acted like a little fly-wheel, so that when the
spindle was given a twist, the spindle-whorl would keep
it spinning for a time. The wool was gradually pulled
off the distaff, the thread was twisted by the continued
spinning and wound on the spindle. The spun wool is
called the yarn.
Weaving is the most important process in the making
of cloth. The yarn is carefully wound on to a roller or
beam which is fixed in the back of the loom, and the
threads are stretched in parallel lines the length of the
loom and fastened to the front roller. These threads are
the warp of the cloth. As the rollers are slowly turned,
the warp on the back beam is gradually unwound, while
the front roller becomes full of cloth. To make the
cloth, a cross-thread called the weft has to be put in.
In darning a stocking-hole, the cross-threads are made
by pushing the needle over the first thread, under the
second, and over and under the alternate threads. But
the loom has a quicker method. Each horizontal warp
thread passes through the loop of a vertical thread, and
these vertical threads are tied, top and bottom to a pair
of laths or headles. There are two pairs of these laths,
hung from pulleys on the top of the loom frame, and
fastened at the bottom to a pair of treadles. When the
weaver presses down one treadle with his right foot, the
right pair of headles drop down and the left pair go
up. The loops pull down the first, third, and all the
odd-numbered warp threads, and the even-numbered
warp threads are raised. The shuttle containing
the weft is thrown through the opening, and so the
thread goes over and under the alternate threads
as the darning needle does. Then the left treadle is
pressed down, and the shuttle thrown back again across
the opening. The earlier weavers used a short, heavy
comb to beat the weft together, but later a long comb or
reed was attached to the loom. This was made of fine
reeds fixed betweeen two laths. The thread of the warp
runs between these reeds, thus the reeds keep the warp
straight. The reed is fixed in a heavy frame swinging
from the top of the loom. After every throw of the
shuttle the -reed is swung against the weft to press it
tightly into the web of the cloth. In old wills a loom is
called a "pair of looms," which means a set of looms,
just as sometimes, a chest of drawers is called a " pair of
Webster has never been a common surname in
Halifax. The name is very rare in the early registers,
and cannot be found in the published wills. The reason
for this is that it was not distinctive enough in a
community where there were many weavers. The Poll
52 THE STORY OF OLD HALIFAX.
Tax of 1379 gives no example of Webster as a surname.
However, among the twenty -three tradesmen, rated at
sixpence, four are websters — Hugh Stephenson, Alice
and Isabella of the Cross in Elland, and John Dean of
Midgley. Half-a-dozen men and one woman called
Webster, of Halifax Parish are to be found on the
court-rolls between 1272 and 1327 — that is, before the
Flemings came — for weaving would not be so universal
The raw cloth from the loom had next to be fulled,
that is to say scoured, cleansed, and thickened by
beating it in water. In the early days, this was done
by men trampling upon the cloth in a trough, and the
process was therefore called "walking" and the fuller
was known as a "walker." During the thirteenth
century, improvements were made and the cloth was
beaten by large wooden mallets, which were worked up
and down by a water-wheel. Fulling mills were built
by the stream banks, and the lord of the manor leased
the right to work such mill to some Fuller or Walker.
There were nine Walkers in 1379, and there are nine
Fullers or Walkers mentioned in the court rolls prior to
1327. These " walk-mylnes " were the only mills used
in the manufacture of cloth for five hundred years, hence
the "fulling" is nowadays called "milling," though every
process is to-day carried on in a mill.
After the fulling, the cloth was stretched on tenters
to dry. In 1414, Eichard of High Sunderland had a
"tentercroft" (a small field with tenter frames) in Halifax.
You may to-day see tentercrofts attached to the
blanket mills about Mytholmroyd. In the final processes
of finishing, the loose fibres of the cloth were raised by
teasels, the dried heads of the "fuller's thistle." This
THE MAGNA VIA. 53
raised portion was cut off by " Walker's Shears " to
produce an even nap on the cloth. Last of all the piece
was dyed. We shall have to omit any description of the
dyeing processes. In the thirteenth century dyers were
called " litsters," hence the surname "Lister." In 1274
Bate, or Bartholomew Lister carried on the dyeing trade at
North Bridge. There were four listers or dyers in 1379.
In Bankfield Museum, there is a valuable collection
of appliances, used in the early manufacture of cloth.
" Poll Tax, 1379,"— Ux. Antqn. Socy., Record Series, Vol. I.
THE MAGNA VIA TIMBEKED HOUSES— SHIBDEN HALL —
THE HOUSE AT THE MAYPOLE — SUNNY BANK, GREETLAND
REBUILDING OF THE PARISH CHURCH VICAR WILKINSON
THE TOWER — HALIFAX IN 1439.
T^he most interesting method of studying the history
of Halifax in the fifteenth century, is to take a ramble
along the first two miles of the ancient road to Wakefield.
Starting from the Parish Church, cross Clark Bridge
and climb Old Bank to Beacon Hill Boad, where the
Southowram trams run. So far, we see little to remind
us of by-gone days, except the steepness of the route.
It is obvious that travellers on foot, or horse, and pack-
horses made this road and that it was never in tented for
carts. From Beacon Hill Boad, a track traverses the
slope up to the shoulder of the hill, just below the
Beacon Pan. Shale and stones have been tipped and
washed down the bare slope by storms, so that the track
is obscured for the most part. But here and there the
ancient paving stones are visible, and near the summit
THE STORY OF OJ.D HALIFAX.
of the pass there is a fine elbow turn where the pack-
horse pavement is exposed in perfect condition. After
the highest point is reached, the road, known as
Barraclough Lane, is for a short distance, a wide sandy
road. Down the eastern slope, towards Hipperholme, it
Fig. 11.— VViscoMBE Bank.
The old pack-horse road on Beacon Hill.
retains its primitive state and is called Dark Lane. The
road has a narrow, paved track, suitable for pack-horses.
High banks on either side, covered with holly bushes,
briers, and bracken shelter the road, and in some places
the small trees almost meet overhead. Dark Lane ends
near an ancient house named Dumb Mill, just below
THE MAGNA VIA.
This narrow lane was the Magna Via — the Great
E-oad to and from HaHfax in the old days, for it was the
way to Wakefield, London, and the outside world. Few,
if any, English towns of the size of Halifax, possess a
stretch of ancient road as little spoiled by the changes
of time as our Magna Via. It is an historic monument
Fig. 12.— The Magna Via.
Photo. M. HanaoH.
that ought to be preserved. Up and down this road
came the monks from Lewes and the early priests of the
Parish Church. The Earls of Warren rode this way to
their hunting in Sowerbyshire, their stewards and men
came to officiate at the manor courts, and Halifax men
drove destrained cattle to Wakefield by this route.
The masons and carpenters of York coming to build the
56 THE STORY OF OLD HALIFAX.
church got their first gHmpse of Hahfax from this road.
Thousands of pack-horses carrying cloth to London and
other markets, and returning with wool from the southern
counties, have worn this paved track.
Retracing our steps, and lifting our eyes from the
road to the surrounding hills, we can trace the eastern
boundaries of the parish, from Fixby to Queensbury,
Soil Hill, and Ogden. We have a splendid view of the
upper part of Shibden Dale. There are no mills and no
roads in the valley, therefore Shibden has not altered
much in appearance. The dale is served by two roads,
each perched high up on the jSanking hills. Brow Lane
on the eastern side follows a high contour of the hill.
On the other side is the Old Bradford Boad from Bange
Bank to Swales Moor. The road on which we are
standing is a similar high-level road, and it is important
to remember that the old routes were always near the
hill-tops. This part of the hill was called Bairstow from
its bareness, and the other side, overlooking Halifax, was
known as Clegg Cliff, or Gled cliff — the clay clif! — long
before the hill took its name from the Beacon.
From Barrowclough Lane we can see several very
old homesteads. Upper Brea on the eastern side, and
Horley Green on the western side, occupy two fine
situations on either flank of Upper Shibden Dale.
Above Horley Green is High Sunderland, looking like a
fort on the bare hillside. In the centre of the valley,
Shibden Fold peeps over the embankment of the modern
road. Its whitewashed gable front is a timber erection
of the fifteenth century. Cosily nestled below us lies
Shibden Hall, the most interesting of all our old halls.
It was from this road that its early owners approached it,
and from our standpoint we have a fine view of its front.
Shibden Hall is a timbered house, to which, later
stone portions, and a nineteenth century tower have been
added. In the fifteenth century all the houses were
built of oak. Large oak trees were plentiful in the
district, and timber was easier to get and to work than
stone. To build a house, several pairs of large oak posts
Fig. 13.— Shibden Hai.i.,;
Photo. H. P. Kainhill.
or "crooks" were chosen. These were so cut from the
tree that they curved inwards at the top. A low stone
wall was built for a foundation, with larger stones placed
where the posts had to stand. The "crooks" were reared
THE STORY OF OLD HALIFAX.
upright, and joined together with horizontal oak beams.
This framework of posts and beams carried the roof, and
old carpenters used to say that in building these old
houses, the roof was made before the walls. To make
Timber House at Mill Bank.
Photo. H. P. Kendall.
the walls, beams were tenoned between the posts below
the window level, and also above the windows. The
spaces between the main timbers of the wall were framed
up with oak battens about seven inches wide, either
TIMBER HOUSES. 59
vertically or diagonally. All this oak framing — posts,
beams, and battens, (or " studding ") makes the black
lines in these magpie buildings. Between the "studding,"
thin stone slates were slipped into grooves, and then
daubed over with clay. This gives the white effect.
The roof was covered with stone slates, and moss packed
into the joints. The moss sucked the rain-water up like
a sponge. As it expanded it filled up the joints, and
made the roof water-tight.
These old houses usually faced south and the principal
entrance was called the sun-door. From this door a
passage ran through the house to the back door. On
the left-hand side of this passage was the main room,
called the house-body. The living room is to-day often
called the house. This house-body usually was open to
the roof and around its walls was a gallery to give access
to the chambers or bedrooms. The house-body and
passage made up the centre portion of the building. It
was flanked on either side by wings whose gable-ends
faced south and north. In one wing would be two
parlours with chambers above. In the other, kitchen
and buttery were placed with two or three more bedrooms
In Shibden Hall Park, near the lake is a timbered
house that once stood in Cripplegate, near the Parish
Church. Mr. John Lister removed it into his grounds
when some alterations were made at the bottom of the
town. Overlooking the lake is yet another old house,
now called Daisy Bank. Its back is close to the Hipper-
holme road. We may get a peep at its front from a
lootpath at the edge of the garden. This building, also
saved by Mr. Lister, formerly stood in the centre of the
town. It was then known as " The House at the
THE STOEY OF OLD HALIFAX.
Maypole," because it was close to the maypole at the
corner of Old Market and Corn Market. The entrance
to the house is decorated with heraldic carving. A
Tudor rose and a portcullis — the badge of Henry VII.--
denote that the house was built at some date between
1485 and 1509. A shield bearing the arms of the
Merchant Adventurers, and another shield "displaying a
Fig. 15.— TiiK House at the Maypoli;. 15th Cent. Dookwav.
merchant's mark, denote that the buikling was originally
tenanted by a merchant. We do not know his name,
but his initials, S. O., are over the doorway.
Sunny Bank, Greetland, is probably the oldest in the
parish of the timbered house that still rem5,in. A public
footpath passes through the farmyard, which makes it
possible for the visitor to examine it closely. The house
was owned by Thomas Wilkinson, Vicar of Haiifax,.
Plwto. H. P. Kendall
'Fig. 16.— Shibden Hall,Porch,
Showing the Stone Front of the Centre Portion.
THE STORY OF OLD HALIFAX.
Fig. 17.— High Sundeuland.
Photo. H. P. Kendall.
Fig. 18.— Norland Hall.
Photo. H. P. Kendall.
1438-1480. Its original name was Over Nabroyd, but
the vicar changed its name to the prettier title of Sunny
Bank. The shop now occupied by Messrs. Altham at
the top of Woolshops is also a timbered structure, but it
has been plastered over and the timber hidden.
Photo. H. P. Keiidalf.
Fig. 19 —Window of Timbkr Building, Norland Hall.
Remains of these timbered houses are to be found in
many of the seventeenth century stone halls. Oak does
not last for ever, so when the posts began to show signs
of decay, it became the custom to build a stone front t©
replace the black and white erection. At Shibden Hall,
the house- body was encased with stone, but the rest of
the south front was left in its original condition. High
THE STORY OF OLD HALIFAX.
Sunderland is a timber hoiise encased with stone. The
present front (17th century) has a straight embattled
cornice. But from the hill side behind the house, we can
Fig. 21.— TiMBKR Work at Binroyd.
Photo. H. P. Kendall.
look on to the roof and see that the older building had a
gabled front before the Sunderlands erected a stony
66 THE STORY OF OLD HALIFAX.
screen that hides the shape of the timbered house.
Norland Hall, pulled down a few years ago, was a good
example of a timbered house with a later stone exterior.
There it was possible to see the original narrow windows
with oak mullions. Fortunately a record of the house
has been published.
The poorer people were housed in very small cabins,
but none of these miserable one-roomed houses remain for
our inspection. Id 1286, Peter Swerd unjustly ejected
Alice of the Croft from her land in Mankinholes and cast
down her house. The damage was said to be lOs. 6d.
It shows us that Alice's house must have been a poor
In Chapter III., the earliest fragments of the Parish
Church showed us that older and smaller churches stood
on the site of the present building. We have next to
consider the building of the church that we see to-day.
Old churches are more interesting than modern buildings,
because they have been altered and rebuilt to serve the
varying needs of the centuries, and it is a fascinating
study to trace their growth. England is rich in ancient
parish churches and no two are exactly alike, The
greater part of Halifax church was built during the
fifteenth century. We may admire the architecture and
boast that it is a large and handsome church, but it is
impossible for us to be impressed by its majesty as were
those men of Halifax who watched it gradually rise,
stone upon stone. Kemember that at that time, all the
houses in the parish were timbered buildings. For at
least a century'after the church was finished, there was
no other stone building. There was no other building to
compare with it — a town hall, hospital, schools, etc. were
THE PARISH CHURCH.
68 THE STORY OF OLD HALIFAX.
The church has two main (Uvisioiis. In the nave or
west end of the building, the people assembled ; while in
the chancel at the east end, the clergy conducted the
worship. The building of the nave is usuall}/ ascribed to
the time of John King, who was vicar from 1389 to 1488.
Vicar King left to the fabric of the church 100 shillings,
which was a very large amount in those days. The
windows of the fifteenth century are much larger than
the older lancet windows in the north wall, because great
sheets of stained or painted windows gave a beautiful
colour effect to the interior, and people were enthusiastic
about decorating their churches with them. The roof
was steeper than the present one ; the lines of the
original roof can be seen on the eastern face of the tower.
The builder's first idea was to place the tower at the
south-west corner of the nave. If you enter the church
you will see that the pillar between the door and the font
is much stronger than the others because it was built to
carry the tower. In the south-west corner is the door-
way for the staircase up the tower. Stand with your
back to this door and look up. Above the two arches,
you will see a course of stones where the floor of the
tower would have been. We cannot tell how high this
tower was built ])efore it was abandoned for the larger
The chancel is as long as the nave, though usually the
cliancel of a church is much smaller than the nave. 1 he
chancel of Halifax Church was built at two different
times, for the pillars east of the present choir-screen vary
from those to the west of it. At one time a large rood
screen, dividing the chancel and nave, was situated under
the great central arch of the church. Half of the door-
way that gave access to the rood loft can be seen in the
THE PARISH CHURCH.
Fig. 23.— Pkkpemucular Window of the ISth Ce.ntuuy.
THE STORY OF OLD HALIFAX.
pier. The other half was cut away when the Holdsworth
Chapel was added to the church. The doorways for the
stairs to a later rood loft can be seen opposite the present
Fig. 2^. -Large Pikr, Dksi(4ned to Support thf. Earlikr Tower.
choir-screen. Another interesting doorway is next to the
north jamb of the great east window. At present it
opens into space, but at one time it led on to the roof, so
THE CHANCEL. 71
we know that the chancel roof was then lower than it is
now. On the exterior of the south wall of the chancel
are three buttresses. On the centre one is a moulding at
the level of the roof. On the other two are carved an
antelope and a lion. These heraldic beasts were the
badges of Henry VI., and therefore they help us to date
this work. They were probably carved before 1455, for
after that date Henry VI. and Richard Duke of York
(who was Lord of the Manor of Wakefield) were open rivals.
During the War of the Roses, Richard was killed in front
of his castle at Sandal, in the Battle of Wakefield. Later
again Henry was obliged to hide in the border country of
Lancashire and Westmoreland. He was betrayed and
captured by the Talbots at Bungelly Hipping-stones near
Clitheroe in 1465. A year later, Thomas Wilkinson,
vicar, thirty-two Halifax men, and certain other strong
fellows from the country-side attacked the Talbots at
Burnley. We do not know the exact cause of the quarrel,
but it almost looks as if the Halifax expedition into
Lancashire was on account of their loyalty to the unfor-
tunate Henry VI.
Thomas Wilkinson was Vicar of Halifax for the long
period of from 1438 until 1480. During his time the
church was considerably enlarged. The vicar was not
satisfied with the chancel as it appeared in 1455, and
proceeded to add a clerestory to it. The building of this
'clear storey," with its series of windows, giving more
lio^ht to the chancel, meant that the eastern wall of the
church had to be built higher. Vicar Wilkinson " made
at his own expense, the great window in the chancel."
His will dated 14 77 makes no mention of such a gift, so
the window was given during his lifetime. Therefore
the clerestory was built between 1455 and 14 80. There
72 THE STORY OF OLl> HALIFA X.
are a few more details woi'th noticing. The staircase
within the pier to the north of the east window, that led
to the lower roof, was continued upward. ' A circular
stair head with a conical top was made at the eastern
end of the north side of the clerestory. The parapet of
the chancel is different in design to the parapet of the
clerestory. But when the eastern wall was made higher,
its parapet was carefully taken down and replaced at the
level of the clerestory. In 1467, Lawrence Bentley,
constable of Halifax, reported that -Vicar Wilkinson had
cut down trees at the Birks, in violation of the custom
of the manor, and to the great detriment of the tenants.
Probably the timber was wanted for the church.
Most parish churches that boast a clerestory —
Bradford for example — have them to light the nave. In
many cases the clerestory is extended over the chancel
as well. But Halifax church is practically unique in
possessing a clerestory to the chancel without having one
at the western end of the church. The priests were
responsible for the building and upkeej) of the chancel,
while the people had the care of the nave. Vicar
Wilkinson certainly erected a magnificient chancel, and
the people of Halifax, in emulation, set about to improve
the western half of the church. They determined to
build a nobler tower. Up to this time the ground-plan
of the church was a simple oblong. The central arch
divided the church half-way into nave and chancel. The
tower added to the plan a small square at the west end.
The tower was commenced in 1449. The date is known
because John Waterhouse, when a boy of six or seven
years, stood with many more children on the first stone
of the tower. John Waterhouse lived to be 97. It took
at least thirty-seven years to build the tower, for in 1482
a bequest of 3s. 4d. was made to the making of the bell
tower of Halifax. The masons could not have been
continually at work on the tower for all that time.
Church building had oftei^i to stop for funds, and during
the Wars of the Roses interruptions would occur. An
authority on church architecture says "Almost the single
glory of Halifax is its grand old mother-church, crowned
Fig. 25.— Thk Moot Hall and Church Tower.
by a tower that for simple dignity is possibly unrivalled
in the Riding. We need not regret its lowly situation
in quite the lowest hollow of the town; its own
magnitude and stateliness are suiEcient to assure its
recognition under any disadvantage of site." Mr. Oddy's
drawing of the tower will help you to see its beauty.
The South Porch was the gift of John Lacy of
THE STORY OF OJ.D HALIFAX.
Cromwell Bottom who died in 1531. His coat of arms^
and crest are carved in the gable of the porch. The west
Fig. 26.— The Font and Cover.
Photo. J. H. Chainhen
wall of the Holds worth Chapel shows at a glance that
the porch was built before the chapel, for the wall of the
chapel was erected on the porch wall.
In the fifteenth century, the interior of the church
was very different in appearance to what we see to-day.
There was mubh more colour. The windows were filled
with brilliant stained glass. The walls, now rough
and bare, had a smooth coat of plaster, and between
the windows were decorated with large paintings repre-
senting scenes from the Bible, and from the lives of
the saints. The roof was painted blue, dotted with gold
stars, and even the stone pillars were painted. There
was also some fine woodwork, part of which has happily
Fifj. 27.— Wood Cauvin<; on a Priest's Seat.
been preserved. The font cover, elaborately carved like
a miniature spire is a beautiful example of fifteenth
century woodwork. Originally it was painted green
red, and blue, and bedecked with gilded knobs. The
priests' seats in the choir have mermaids, pelicans,
and grotesque animals carved on them. Besides, there
would be images of saints aroiuid the walls, and a great
crucifix over the rood-screen. The air was heavy with
incense and many candles were burning. The priests
wore gorgeous vestments on festival days, and the whole
of the interior was a blaze of colour. There were no
76 THE STORY OF OLD HALIFAX.
pews, the whole length of the floor was empty except
for a very few benches. The worshippers had to stand
during the services.
Although such a large church was built at Halifax,
the town itself was very small. The rents of the land
and houses were paid to the Prior of Lewes. An account
of the monies he received on December 17th, 1439, has
been preserved. From this rental we can form some
idea of the size of the town. Robert Otes had a shop
and some land at the west end of the churchyard, and
Fig. 28.— Mason's INIarks.
this land had been taken lately from the waste. This
shows that there was waste land quite close to the
church, so the cluster of houses around the church was
very small indeed. Strips of the open fields are
mentioned, and we learn that hay was grown that year
in the Blackledge Field, and that the South Field was
ploughed. Next to the church was the Moot Hall, and
the large common field around the Moot Hall was called
the Hall Ing. There were no streets of houses or shops
and even the oldest names of our streets are not
mentioned. Some of the place-names of 1439 are now
obsolete, and we cannot tell where they were situated.
A garden at the boundary of the town was named
Dyshbyndesherde, a new close was Skylderyeforth, and
there w^ere houses known as New-house, White-house,
Machon-house, Rendurer Place, and Myleas Place. The
Halifax paeish church.
A— Present Tower
C— Unfinished Tower
D— South Porch
F— Choir Stalls
I — Rokeby Chapei
Fig. 29.— Ground Plan.
78 THE STORY OF OLD HALIFAX.
Well House (Well Head) and the Shay are still known
to us. Near the North Brig was Lister's fulling mill,
while Eobert the Milner ground the people's corn at
Stone Dam Mill. In 1367, two new mill-stones were
brought from Grindlestone Bank in Ovenden Wood for
the mill. Bichard Peck was one of the largest land-
holders in Halifax town in 1439, though he did not live
in the township. His home was at Owram Hall in
Shibden (near the present Industrial School). Peck was
very rich and it is thought that he subscribed liberally
to the re-building of the church, for he had the honour,
unusual for a layman, of being buried in the choir. By
trade, Peck was a goldsmith and silversmith.
"The House at the Maypole" — Chap. IL in H. Ling Koth's "Yorkshire
Coiners and Old Halifax."
Halifax Antiquarian Society's Transactions.
1907-" Shibden Hall," by J. Lister. 1907-" High Sunderland," by J Lister.
1911— "Norland Hall," by H. P. Kendall. 1917— "The Evolution of the
Parish Church, Halifax, (1455-1530)" by T. W. HANSON.
1908— "Halifax Parish Church Woodwork," by Canon Savage.
Halifax Antiquarian Society Record Series.
Vol. L — "Rental of Halifax, 1439."
Vol. IIL— "The Architecture of the Church of St. John the Baptist,
Halifax," by Fairless Barber.
the growth of halifax trade gilds — fairs
ulnagers accounts — 1473, Halifax leads the west riding
FOR CLOTH early HALIFAX WILLS GIFTS TO THE CHURCH —
THE CHAPELS OF THE PARISH — ROADS AND BRIDGES — CLOTHES
and furniture — EXTENDING THE CULTIVATED LAND.
The nmnber of timbered houses in the parish and the
building of the stately parish church are visible proofs
that the people were prosperous, and that the woollen
trade was expanding. The natural advantages offered by
the hills were a bountiful supply of good water, and coal
for fuel. Coal crops out in places on the hill-sides around
Halifax, and was worked in early times. The supply oi
fuel was a difficulty for the weavers and tradesmen who
lived in cities, and the men of York complained that
Halifax had a great advantage in cheap fuel. But the
real reason of the growth of the local industry was that
there were no gilds in Halifax parish. The trade of the
middle ages was controlled to a large extent by gilds.
The weavers' gild at York or Beverley had strict rules
about all details of the trade. The gild decided how long
an apprentice had to serve and the number of apprentices
a man might have. Their officials inspected the work-
shops and looms ; they also examined the cloth and fixed
prices. Strangers were not allowed to work at the trade,
and no man might commence in the business unless the
gild admitted him as a member of the craft. For these
monopolies, the gilds paid large sums of money to the
king, while in return, the king protected the gilds.
Export trade to the Continent and elsewhere was under
the control of the great gilds of Merchant Adventurers.
Where there was no gild, there were no restrictions,
consequently the weavers of the cities had cause to
complain of the unfair competition of Halifax clothiers.
Fortunately for the trade of Halifax, although the
organised channels of commerce were closed to weavers
outside the gilds, there were other markets. The great
fairs were open to everybody without restrictions, and
the kerseys of Halifax were taken to these fairs. In the
fifteenth century, the Common Council of London were
defeated in an attempt to prevent their citizens carrying
goods from London to the fairs, and the Merchant
80 THE STORY OF OLD HALIFAX.
Adventurers of London also failed to stop private traders
attending the great foreign fairs. The gilds obtained a
law to restrict trading by retail in cities, but a clause
was inserted "except it be in open fairs."
John Stead of Norland in his will (1540) bequeathed
20s. to his brother Thomas "to be good to Elizabeth, my
wife, and Agnes, my daughter, as to sell their cloth in
the fairs in Yorkshire." William Hardy of Heptonstall
(1518), Henry Farrar of Halifax (1542), and Thomas
Stansfield of Higgin-chamber, Sowerby (1564), make
mention in their wills of booths in St. Bartholomew's
Fair in London. This was the most important cloth fair
and many of the Halifax clothiers owned stands in that
fair. The greatest fair in England was Sturbridge Fair
near Cambridge. Though we have no actual record of
Halifax men journeying there in the fifteenth and
sixteenth centuries, it is very probable that their cloth
was sold in the Duddery there. Duds is an old English
word for cloth. Fairs held an important place in trade
for many centuries. Li 1724, when Daniel Defoe visited
Sturbridge Fair, he was told that £100,000 worth of
woollen manufactures were sold in a week's time. "Here
are clothiers" he wrote, "from Halifax, Leeds, Wakefield,
and Huddersfield in Yorkshire."
About the year 1475, Halifax produced more cloth
than any other parish in the West Riding, and kept the
premier position for more than three centuries. Mr.
Lister discovered that fact in the Ulnagers' Accounts
preserved in the Public Records Office, London. Cloth
was measured by the ell in those days, an ell beiEg 45
inches in length. The Latin name for "ell" is "ulna,"
and the " ulnage " was the fee paid for measuring the
cloth. The ulnagers were the officials who examined the
ULN AGE. 8 1
pieces to see that they were of the standard width and
weight. They affixed a copper seal to each cloth that
they passed, for which one half-penny was charged. At
the same time, the ulnager collected the king's subsidy,
or tax on the cloth, which was a few pence per piece.
The subsidy had been granted to the king in lieu of an
old tax on wool. Edward I. in 1275 levied a duty of
6s. 8d. on every sack of wool sent out of the kingdom.
At that time, England sent a large amount of wool to
the Continent, which the men of Flanders wove into
cloth, just as Australia to-day, sends her wool to England
to be manufactured. With the growth of the English
cloth trade, the export of wool decreased; the wool tax
yielded less money, so the subsidy on cloth was intro-
duced to make up the deficit in the king's treasury. The
Ulnagers' Accounts are written on a narrow roll of
parchment, and the roll is preserved in its original quaint
leathern bag, lettered on the outside.
There is an account for the West Biding dated
1396-7, but Halifax is not mentioned. Wakefield is
credited with 173 J cloths, but as some of the names
in that account, such as Holds worth, are local surnames,
it is possible that Halifax cloths were included in that
total because they were made within the manor of
Wakefield. Another ulnage roll deals with the year
1469-70 and Halifax had 853J cloths sealed, while
Kipon tops the West Eiding hst with 889. The next
account is for 1471 to 1473. Ripon is first with 1897,
Halifax second with 1518|^, Leeds, third with only
3 55 J, and Bradford is seventh with 125|- pieces. In
the very next list 1473-1475 Halifax becomes first with
1488|- cloths and the ulnage and subsidy totalled almost
twenty-five pounds. Ripon, 1386 J was second ; Leeds,
82 THE STORY OF OLD HALIFAX.
320, fourth; and Bradford was sixth with 178J. Mr.
Lister compared the output of the West Riding with
the famous-cloth producing county of Gloucester. That
county (leaving out the city of Gloucester) had only
1024 pieces sealed in 1479 against 2586 for the West
Biding. In 1475 when the parish of Halifax paid the
tax on 1488|- cloth, the city of York had a total of
2346^ pieces. These figures also show how the trade of
Halifax fluctuated during those nine years. Although
Halifax was doing better than many woollen centres, it
had its bad years. If we turn to English history, we
find that these were troublous years. The battle of
Stamford was fought in 1470, and in the same year,
Edward IV. was obliged to flee to Holland for a short
time. The battles of Barnet and Tewkesbury in 1471
were victories for Edward. Though the fighting was
always far away from Halifax, the war had a bad
effect on trade. For many a summer, it would not be
safe to send goods to St. Bartholomew's Fair and
the clothmakers would lose many of their markets.
We may consider the church tower as a monument of
that period when Halifax took the first place in the
West Riding cloth trade. So long as the tower held
*' the mastery of the air " Halifax maintained its position.
When mill chimneys came to be built to rival the church
tower in height, Halifax, as we shall see later, had to
surrender its proud position in the West Riding trade.
So little is known of the early traders that the few
details, preserved in the stock-list of a York tailor,
are most precious. In 1485 John Carter of York had
in stock : —
9^ ells called Halifax-tawny at 7d.
7 J ells Halifax green, 6s.
THE WILLS. 83
2 J ells in ' remelandes Halifax ' 2s.
7^ ells Halifax russet 3s. 6d.
2 ells black Halifax carsay 20d.
I dozen pairs of boots of Halifax cloth 15s.
The importance of the cloth trade is the subject
of some quaint verses, of the time of Edward IV.,
entitled Libel of English Policy.
*' For every man must have meat, drink, and cloth;
There is neither pope, emperor nor king.
Bishop, cardinal, or any man living.
Of what condition, or what manner degree,
During their living, they must have things three,
Meat, drink, and cloth."
The cloth trade was by far the greatest trade in the
country, in fact, it was the only national trade. Other
craftsmen — carpenters, smiths, &c., supplied local de-
mands, but the weavers made their goods for distant
parts. The weavers' gild was always the leading gild
of the city.
The building of the church and the erection of
numerous timbered houses testify to the expansion of
Halifax trade, but the growth is also expressed in many
other interesting ways. We may fill in some of these
details from a study of the wills. Every man, who had
any property, made bis will. There is a huge collection
of these local wills, preserved at York and from these,
may be gleaned, many things about the men who made
them and about the world they lived in. Men left
their will-making until they were on their death-bed,
the wills usually, being dated within a week of their
death. Vicar Wilkinson made his will three years
before he died, so we conclude from that, that he was
an invalid for the last three or four years of his life.
The actual writing of the will was invariably done
84 THE STORY OF OLD HALIFAX.
by a priest, because very few laymen could write.
It was the custom for a man to leave his best horse or
cow, to the vicar, as a burial fee, and some few shillings
for church repairs. Next, he would mention a sum for
candles to be lighted in the church on the day of the
funeral, and if he could afford, money would be given
for a priest to sing masses on his soul's behalf. If
the man was rich, he might bequeath a farm, the rent
of which would maintain such a service for ever. Some
left suflficient money to build an addition to the parish
church, a small side chapel in which their own priest
might hold services in memory of the donor. In June
1494, John Willeby endowed such a chantry in Halifax
Church. The doorway beneath the middle window
on the south side of the chancel was the entrance to
the Willeby Chantry Chapel.
About the beginning of the sixteenth century, these
religious bequests took a new form. The people of
Sowerby, Illingworth, Stansfield, Shelf, and other out-
lying townships were increasing in numbers and wealth.
They considered it would be more convenient if they
could attend services nearer their homes instead of
journeying to Halifax, Elland, or Heptonstall. So lands
and money were given for the building of chapels at
Sowerby, Illingworth, Crostone, Coley, and elsewhere,
and for the maintenance of priests at these chapels.
A few of the free chapels — e.g. Rastrick — were in exist-
ence long before the sixteenth century. In other cases,
like Coley, there had been a private chapel at Coley
Hall and the neighbours would attend occasional services
there. The Free Chapels were upheld by the local
people, who were also responsible for the priest's
stipend. Sowerby and Illingworth Chapels were built
BRIDGES AND ROADS. 85
to serve the townships of Sowerby and Ovenden. In
other cases, one chapel served several townships. This
explains the peculiar situation of Coley Chapel, near
to the boundaries of Shelf, Northowram, and Hipper-
holme, for the chapel served parts of the three
townships. Luddenden Chapel is on the borders of
Midgley and Warley. Sowerby Bridge Chapel is near
the junction of the boundaries of Warley, Skircoat,
Norland, and Sowerby townships.
Fig. 30.— Pack Horse Road, Hebden Valley.
Increasing trade meant more traffic along the pack-
horse roads, so men made charitable bequests towards
the improvement of the highways and the building of
new bridges. The old bridges were of wood, liable
to be swept away by storms. Lee Bridge, on the
way to Wheatley was so rickety that it was called
Shakehand Brig. In 1518, Richard Stanclifie left
£6 3s. 4d. to build a stone bridge in its place. In
1514, the bridge at Brighouse was still a timber one,
for 'John Hanson gave three trees for its repair. Forty
years later, his son left money towards replacing the
timber bridge by. a stone one. From 1517 to 1533
86 THE STORY OF OLD HALIFAX.
several men mention the stone bridge of Sowerby
Bridge in their wills. In 1533 John Waterhouse
bequeathed four shillings " towards the battilying " or
making the parapet, which show^s that the bridge w^as
near completion. Hebden Bridge and Luddenden Bridge
were also rebuilt of stone at this time. Elland Bridge
was rebuilt in 1579, the mason, Bichard Aske, came
from Hope in Derbyshire. The pack-horse causeways
were improved and paved by money left by charitable
persons. John Holdsworth, who lived at Blackledge
in Halifax left 3s. 4d. for mending the highway between
his house and the market place.
From these wills, we find that people had not so
many new clothes. John Crabtree (1526) gave to his
father, a blue jacket, a leather doublet, a pair of
stockings, and a shirt. Margaret Broadley (1546)
divided her wardrobe as follows — "to Jenet, my better
gown and my worse kirtle ; to Isabel my worst gown
and my better kirtle ; and to William's wife my third
kirtle and best petticoat. Bedclothes were also named
as legacies. John Holdsworth (1518) left to Margaret
Boyes, three coverlets, one blanket, two sheets, and
a bedstead. A will made at Copley Hall in 1533 gives
us an idea how the house was furnished. There were
two sideboards, and two forms in the hall, and in the
best bedroom, one pair of great bedstocks (bedstead)
and one great chest. In this Will, six draught oxen
are mentioned, for oxen were used for ploughing.
Horses, cows, sheep, and hives of bees are common
bequests. There are also gifts of looms, shears, tenters,
and dyeing vats. Silver pins, girdles, and spoons were
left to the girls while the sons received swords, mail
jackets, bow^s and arrows.
NEW FARM LAND. 87
The growing population required more cultivated
land. From a set of old deeds, we can trace in detail,
how some fields were added near Illing worth. The
farmers, looking around for more land, turned to that
part of the Wheatley valley that lies under IlUng worth
Edge. If you stand on the Edge, overlooking Jumples
and Walt Royd, you have immediately beneath, a steep
bank covered with heather and bilberry, and strewn
with rocks. Below the rough ground, cultivated fields
slope down to the stream. The contrast, between these
smooth green fields and the wild moorland, is almost
as striking as a view^ of the ocean from a sea- cliff! Once
upon a time, the rough land stretched from the edge
down to the stream and these fields have been won
from the waste.
In 1524 William Lister was granted two acres and
three roods of waste land by Henry Savile, the lord
of the manor of Ovenden. This land was described
as lying between Illing worth Edge and Ovenden Wood
Brook (east and west) ; and Wheatley Walls and the
house of Richard Wood (south and north). Lister
commenced to clear this rough land, just as settlers in
the colonies, to-day, clear the brush or prairie to make
farms. First of all, he picked out the big stones and
broke the larger rocks into pieces. Then he carried
these stones to the edge of his land and built a wall
around it. The stone walls in our district, not only
serve as fences, but also solve the difficulty of getting
rid of the surface rocks and stones. Towards the
eastern end of the parish, where surface stone is not
so abundant, hedges were planted. Holly was used for
fences, because if there were bad harvests, the cattle
could feed on holly. Lister chopped down the trees.
88 THE STORY OF OLD HALIFAX.
uprooted the bushes and shrubs and then dug up the
land, foot by foot, until it was all turned over. It
was hard and slow work, but it had to be done, before
any crop could be grown on the land. For this new
field, William Lister agreed to pay four silver pennies
per acre yearly — half at the feast of Pentecost and
half at the feast of St. Martin, in winter. He also
promised to obey the Ovenden manor court and to
use only the lord's mills. The next year, 1525, Lister
took another acre. In 1532, he reclaimed one rood
from the waste. In 1535, the grant was three acres,
and in 1542, one and a quarter acres. So far as we
can tell, in 18 J years, William Lister added 8 J acres
to his farm. The small quantities show how dijB&cult
was the work of making corn fields and meadows from
Standing on Illingworth Edge, you will look down
on these fields with more interest. We know their
age and the name of the man, one of the ancestors
of the Listers of Shibden Hall, who first tilled them.
This is a sample of what was being done in other parts
of Ovenden. In the three score years, 1521 to 1581,
280 acres were enclosed from the waste. Exactly the
same change was being wrought all over the Halifax
"History of the Woollen Trade in the Halifax and Bradford District." —
J. Lister. (Bradford Antiquary, Vol. II.)
'• Halifax Wills." Vols. I and H. (1389-1559). Edited by J. W. Ulay
and E. W. CrOSSLEY.
"The Jnmples." — T. W. HANSON. (Halifax Antiquarian Society Trans-
ARCHBISHOP ROKEBY WOLSEY RECEIVES THE CARDINAL'S HAT
BAPTISM OF PRINCESS MARY DEA.TH OF ROKEBY — ROKEBY CHAPELS
AT KIRK SANDAL AND HALIFAX — DR. ROBT. HOLDSWORTH— FEUD
BETWEEN TEMPEST AND SAVILE THE PILGRIMAGE OF GRACE —
THE MONASTERIES CLOSED— DISPUTE ABOUT HALIFAX TITHES
BISHOP FERRAR'S MARTYRDOM.
The last additions made to the Parish Church were
the Rokeby Chapel and the Holdsworth Chapel. They
commemorate two vicars who served Halifax Church for
the first half of the sixteenth century. William Rokeby
was born at Kirk Sandal near Doncaster. . He became
A^icar of the church there, one of the churches included
in the Warren's grant to the Priory of Lewes. In the
summer of 1502, he left Kirk Sandal and came to
Halifax, retaining the Vicarage of Halifax until his
death in 1521. He was a man of influence and wealth.
In 1507 he was elected Bishop of Neath in Ireland, and
in 1511 became Archbishop of Dublin. However, he
still retained Halifax Church, and we judge that he
liked our town and spent much of his time here, for he
beautified much of the vicarage house. We are also
told that Rokeby " was a Man of Great Hospitality, and
therefore had the whole of the parish at his Beck and
Command." Bokeby is an interesting character because
he played a prominent part in the gorgeous pageantry
of Henry VIII. 's reign. Some of the Halifax men who
went with him as servants to London, would have some
wonderful tales to tell of the great men at Court.
When Wolsey received the Cardinal's Hat at West-
minster Abbey on Sunday, November 18th, 1515, the
Cardinal came with a procession of nobles and gentlemen
THE STORY OF OLD HALIFAX.
Photo. H. E. Gledhill.
Fig. 31.— The Rokkky Chapkl.
to the abbey and mass was sung by the Archbishops of
Canterbury, Armagh, and DubHn, and sixteen other
bishops and abbots. The famous Dr. John Colet, Dean
of St. Paul's, preached the sermon. Afterwards, there
Fig. 32.— Arms of William Rokkbv, Archbishop of Dublin.
was another procession of all the great noblemen of
England, led by the Dukes of Norfolk and Sufiolk,
followed by the archbishops, bishops, and abbots.
Cardinal Wolsey's hall and chambers were hung with
92 THE STORY OF OLD HALIFAX.
rich arras, and a great feast was made, at which King
Henry and his queen, and the French queen were
Archbishop Rokeby was in London again, three
months later, for the christenmg of Princess Mary — the
httle baby girl who was destined to be Queen Mary.
'J'he princess was born in the palace at Greenwich. From
the court-gate to the church -door of the Friars, an awning
of arras was erected, and the path covered with sand and
strewn with rushes. The church was hung with needle-
work, enriched with precious stones and pearls. The
ceremony was on Wednesday, February 21st, 1516.
The procession was headed by a goodly • sight of
gentlemen and lords ; then followed the Duke of Devon-
shire bearing the basin ; the Earl of Surrey carrying the
taper ; the Marquis of Dorset having the salt ; and the
Lord Chamberlain and the Lord Steward. The canopy
was earned by four knights, under which walked the
Countess of Surrey with the Princess in her arms, and
supported by the Dukes of Norfolk and SuflPolk. The
Archbishops of Armagh and Dublin, and the Bishops
of Durham and Chester officiated at the baptism. The
procession returned with trumpets sounding and the
king's chaplain singing melodious n^sponds.
William Rokeby did not live to see the great changes
that the names of Cardinal Wolsey, Henry VIII., and
Princess Mary suggest to us. Fearing his end he made
farewell gifts to the Prior and Convent of Dublin
Cathedral in September, 1521. The dying archbishop
crossed the sea to his native Yorkshire. On November
29th, he died in Halifax vicarage, lulled to sleep by the
murmur of the moorland beck. In his day, Halifax was
as quiet and peaceful as Burnsall in Wharfedale is to-day.
KIRK SANDAL CHURCH.
Fig. 33.— RoKEBY Chapel Screen.
Photo. G. Hepu'orth.
94 THE STORY OF OLD HALIFAX.
His heart was buried in the choir at Hahfax, and his
body taken to Kirk Sandal, where Rokeby had built a
beautiful chapel for his tomb. The carving of the oak
screens is like delicate filigree work, and the Rokeby
Chapel of Kirk Sandal is considered to be one of the
finest sepulcharal chapels in the kingdom. Among his
many bequests, the archbishop desired that a Rokeby
Chapel should be erected at Halifax, and his chapel was
added to the north side of the Church.
Soon after Archbishop liokeby's death, Robert
Holdsworth, the son of a rich Halifax man, was
presented to the living of Halifax, by the Prior of
Lewes, being the last vicar to be nominated by the
monks. In accordance with his father's wish, he built
a chantry chapel on the south side of the church. The
detached buttresses and clumsy gargoyles of the chapel
have little architectural merit, but the Holdsworth
Chapel, like the Rokeby Chapel, is a monument of an
age that has passed.
Robert Holdsworth was educated at Oxford and
Rome, where he attracted the notice of the Bishop
of Worcester — an Italian who was Henry VIII.'s
ambassador at the Popal Court. Holdsworth became
chancellor of the diocese of Worcester and also received
other valuable appointments. There is one interesting
point worth noting about his rebuilding of the vicarage
house at Blockley in Worcestershire. It had twelve
chambers, and it was considered quite a novelty, that
each bedroom had its own entrance from the landing;.
It was the usual custom then, to go through the
bedrooms, one after another, and not to have a passage.
Dr. Holdsworth's new plan gave more privacy. In
pulling down an old w^all at Blockley, a treasure trove
of three hundred pounds was found, which more than
paid for the alterations.
96 THE STORY OF OLD HALIFAX.
Yicar Holdsworth had few peaceful days after he
came to Halifax. It was a time of fierce strife and
great disputes, and the vicar was dragged into the
troubles. First, there was a feud between the men who
lived within the manor of Wakefield, and those who
were tenants of the honour of Pontel'ract. The rival
leaders were Sir Richard Tempest of Boiling Hall, near
Bradford, and Sir Harry Savile of Thornhill. Sir
Bichard Tempest had been one of King Henry's body-
guard and had distinguished himself at the battles of
Flodden and Tournay. He held the post of steward of
the great royal manor of Wakefield. Sir Harry Savile
had been brought up in King Henry's court, and was
made a Knight of the Bath at the coronation of Queen
Anne Boleyn. He was steward of the honour of
Pontefract, and also lord of some of the small manors
There were several serious afirays between the
followers of the contending knights, in which men were
killed on both sides. Boger Tempest slew Thomas
Longley with his sword on April 21st, 1518, at
Brighouse, when Sir Bichard Tempest was holding his
court there. Boger fled to Durham and sought
sanctuary at the cathedral. The priests could keep him
in safety for forty days, after which time he had either
to appear before a judge or else quit the kingdom.
Gilbert Brooksbank, a Heptonstall priest, was killed by
one of Sir Bichard's officers because he had displeased,
in some manner, the great man. There was a fight at
Halifax Fair on Midsummer Day, 1533, when Gilbert
Hanson, deputy bailiff* of Hahfax, and William Biding
of Elland (one of Savile's men) struck one another, both
dying from their wounds. There were other cases, but
PILGRIMAGE OF GRACE. 97
these are sufficient to show the bitter enmity between
the two parties. Di\ Holdsworth took Savile's side, in
consequence of which his vicarage was pillaged three or
four times, and he was badly treated.
Fig. 35.— Sa VILE Badge. Tempest Badge.
The feud between the men who wore the Savile crest
— an owl, and the men who bore the Tempest badge — a
griffin, became a much more serious quarrel after
October 1536, when the two parties took opposite sides
in a great national dispute. King Henry closed all the
smaller monasteries — those whose income did not exceed
£200 a year — and seized their possessions. In the north
of England " these proceedings were regarded with a
spirit of indignation which did not venture to express
itself elsewhere." The rebellion commenced in Lincoln-
shire and on Sunday, October 8th, there was a meeting
of the commons in the Chapter House of Lincoln
Cathedral. The word "commons" means people, just
as we call part of our Parliament the House of Commons.
Into the meeting came two Halifax men, who said their
country was also up, and ready to aid Lincolnshire, and
the news roused the commons to great excitement.
Robej^t Aske, a Yorkshireman, was the captain of the
insurgents, and the rising is known as the Pilgrimage of
Grace. Those who joined the movement bore a badge
representing the Five Wounds of Christ. In the centre
of the badge was a bleeding heart, and at the four
corners, pierced hands and feet.
98 THE STORY OF OLD HALIFAX.
The following scene was witnessed in the streets of
Halifax. A group of men were standing talking
together, when up came John Lacy, son-in-law and
bailiff of Sir Richard Tempest, and spoke to Henry
Farrer of Ewood Hall, who was one of the group. Lacy
" commanded Farrer and the rest that they should
prepare themselves in harness, and go to the church and
take the cross, march with it into Lancashire and raise
the commons there." Farrer asked "Who shall go with
us into Lancashire with the cross?" Lacy replied
"Marry! your ownself shall go and your company."
Farrar again asked "Why will not Sir Richard Tempest
go with us ? " Lacy said " No marry! but yourself."
We have no particulars about this journey into
Lancashire, but afterwards it was stated that Sir
Richard Tempest's brother and servants were the first
captains to come into Lancashire.
Sir Henry Savile, gathering his tenants and retainers
together for the other side, marched from Thornhill to
join the King's forces at Nottingham. The rebels were
too strong for the royal army, and therefore the Duke of
Norfolk came to terms with them, published the King's
pardon, made a truce, and so ended the Pilgrimage of
Grace. The day before the truce was made, on October
26th, John Lacy and a band of his adherents made a
raid on Halifax vicarage, looting it and sending part of
the spoil to Captain Robert Aske. Vicar Holds worth
took the side of Sir Henry Savile, not because he
approved of the spoiling of the monasteries, but because
of the local feud. On December 14th, 1536, Clarencieux
King-at-Arms, the royal herald, stood at the Cross in
Old Market and proclaimed the King's pardon to all who
VICAR HOLDS WORTH. 99
had rebelled against their sovereign. The herald noted
that John Lacy was in the crowd at the time.
The King's Secretary, Thomas Cromwell, had such a
system of spies that we find that private talks in such an
out-of-the-way corner as Halifax came to the ear of the
King. Vicar Holdsworth was walking to and fro in his
parlour, discussing the times with his servant, William
Rodeman, when he said "By my troth ! William, if the King
reign any space he will take all from us of the Church ; all
that we have ; and therefore I pray God send him short
reign." The vicar had to appear in London, and was
heavily fined for uttering such treacherous words.
John Lacy of Cromwell Bottom made a rhyme about
the King, and sent it to Robert Waterhouse of Halifax.
" As for the King, an apple and a fair wench
to dally withal, would please him very well."
To US, there does not appear much rhyme nor much
harm in the words, but they reached Thomas Cromwell,
and Lacy was in danger of losing his head. It was an
age of sneaks and tell-tales, and Savile's men were ready
to tell Cromwell's spies tales about the other side, and
Tempest's men were equally willing to damage their
opponents in the same way.
Henry VHI. did not keep his promises to redress
the grievances of the men who had joined the Pilgrimage
of Grace. Listead of doing so, he put to death the
leaders of the rebellion. Sir Richard Tempest was
thrown into the Tower to await his trial, but he died in
that plague-stricken prison. The King proceeded with
the spoliation of the monasteries, and he gave to Thomas
Cromwell, the Priory of Lewes and all its possessions,
excepting its Norfolk lands. The beautiful abbey was
ruthlessly destroyed, the stone sold for building, the
100 THE STORY OF OLD HALIFAX.
lead roofs melted down and carted away. Giovanni
Portinari, an Italian, superintended the work, and he
tells how they hewed great holes in the walls, then
propped the pillars and walls with props a yard long,
finally setting fire to the props whereupon the building-
came crashing down.
Lord Cromwell thus came into possession of all the
rights that the Prior of Lewes had in Halifax Parish.
Thus the connection between Plalifax and Lewes that
had continued for centuries came to its final end. A few
years before this, the Prior had leased his rights to
Kobert Waterhouse of Shibden Hall for a fixed sum of
money to be paid yearly and Cromwell continued the
Robert Waterhouse stirred up a great dispute in the
parish by his methods of collecting the Great Tithes.
According to the original definition of tithes, the Church
was entitled to one-tenth of the crops of corn and hay.
But as time went on, this had been altered to a fixed
sum of money that was paid whether the crops were
good or bad. The farmer knew exactly what he would
have to pay, and the monks had a certain income.
Waterhouse sued some Halifax men for a tenth of their
actual crops, and a great lawsuit was commenced.
Gilbert Waterhouse picked a quarrel with George
Crowther, one of the men who opposed the demands,
and on a dark February night in 1535, Gilbert struck
Crowther with a dagger and killed him. At length the
Great Tithes dispute was settled, and the agreement for
paying in money instead of in " kind " was read at a
public meeting held in Halifax Church.
Edward YI. was only nine years old when he
succeeded to the throne on the death of his father.
BISHOP FERRAR. 101
Henry VIII. The boy-king's counsellors made further
great changes in tho church now that the Pope's
supremacy had been abolished. The chantry chapels
were closed and their lands confiscated. This was a
great hardship for our parish, for Rastrick, Coley,
Sowerby, Lightcliffe, and the other chapels were shut up,
and Heptonstall Chapel was only spared through the
influence of the Saviles. The Parish Church at Halifax
had once again to serve our wide and hilly parish and a
population calculated at 10,000.
Dr. Robert Holdsworth lived to see Queen Mary on
the throne. Though he had taken the King's side
during the tremendous upheaval in the Church, he
certainly was not one of the reforming clergymen. His
enemies said at one time that he "hath not preached nor
caused to be preached to his parishoners at Halifax, ten
thousand people or more, the word of God, but only two
times at the most these six years past." In November,
1538, Robert Ferrar, Prior of St. Oswald's at Nostell,
writing to Lord Cromwell, says 'Hhat there be almost
none in these parts that sincerely, plainly, and diligently
preach the Gospel, the people so hungrily desire to hear
and to learn. Truly these towns (Halifax and seven
more are named) with many others have not, all, one
faithful preacher that I can hear of."
About eleven o'clock on a Saturday night, the 8th of
May, 1556, the vicarage was pillaged for the fifth time
and the aged priest brutally murdered. Dr. Holdsworth
was buried in the south chapel, of the Parish Church,
which he had built.
Robert Ferrar, the last Prior of Nostell, is said to
have been born at Ewood near Mytholmroyd. He was
one of the Reformers, and became Bishop of St. David's
102 THE STORY OF OLD HALIFAX.
in Wales in 1548. Bishop Ferrar was one of the martyrs
in Queen Mary's reign, and was burnt at Caermarthen
Cross on March 30th, 1555. On being chained to the
stake, he said " If I stir through the pains of my
burning, believe not the doctrine I have preached." In
Halifax Parish Church, there is a 19th century monument
to Bishop Ferrar, carved by Leyland, a Halifax sculptor,
and in the vestry is a deed relating to some property
near Bradford, which has the Bishop's signature.
"Archbishop Rokeby," by T. W. HANSON, (Halifax Antiquarian Society
"Life of Dr. Holdsworth, " by J. Lister (Halifax Antiquarian Society
Transactions — 1902 to 1908),
BEACON HILL — THE PURITANS — DR. FAVOUR — HEATH GRAMMAR
SCHOOL — SIR HENRY SAVILE — HENRY BRIGGS — CAMDEN's VISIT TO
HALIFAX — WOOLLEN TRADE IN 16tH CENTURY.
Beacon Hill, crowned with the reproduction of an
ancient beacon-pan, continually reminds Halifax of
Elizabethan days and the Armada. Southowram's
Beacon was not in the principal chain of fires that
passed on the news from the south,
"Till Skiddaw saw the fire that burned on Gaunt's embattled pile,
And the red glare on Skiddaw roused the burghers of Carlisle."
But it helped to spread the alarm east and west.
Revey Beacon at Hortoii Bank Top, near Bradford ;
Castle Hill, Almondbury, near Huddersfield ; and
Blackstone Edge were the neighbouring links in the
great chain, and watchers on Beacon Hill would keep
their eyes on those points.
BEACON HILL. 103
Eight years after the great victory over the Spanish
Armada, we find that HaUfax men were objecting to
paying towards the navy. In those days it was
considered to be the duty of the sea-ports to provide the
defences of our shores and shipping, while the inland
towns maintained the army. In 1596, the port of Hull
was required to furnish a ship for the Queen's Navy.
The Mayor and Aldermen of Hull wrote to Lord Cecil,
asking that Halifax, Wakefield, and Leeds should pay
four hundred pounds towards their ship-of-w^ar. They
said that these places were thi'ee great and rich clothing
towns, sending their cloth to Hull to be shipped across
the seas. The navy protected the shipping and the
cloth that was in the ships. But Halifax men thought
they were paying their share in the maintenance of the
At the same time, our forefathers were ready to
fight for the Queen in their own way, and when they
thought it was their duty. In 1569 there was a
rebellion in favour of the old religion and Mary, Queen
of Scots, which was called the Hising in the North.
j^rchbishop Grindal, writing to Queen Elizabeth in
1576, said *' And in the time of that rebellion were not
all men . . . most ready to offer their lives for your
defence ? In-so-much that one poor parish in Yorkshire,
which by continual preaching had been better instructed
than the rest, (Halifax I mean) was ready to bring three
or four thousand able men into the field to serve you
aofainst the said rebels."
This "continual preaching" was carried on by a long
succession of Halifax vicars who were Puritans — men
who desired to remove all traces of the old religion from
their church. Bishop Pilkington preached.at Halifax on
THE STORY OF OLD HALIFAX.
August 31st, 1559, and "the congregation listened
DR. FAVOUR. 105
The most famous of the vicars of this period was
John Favour, who was at HaHfax for over thh'ty years
(1593-1624). He came here from Southampton five
years after the defeat of the Armada, and he was able
to tell Halifax men about the sea and ships, and stories
of the great victory. In his book he speaks of striking
top-sails, of top and top-gallant sails, of boarding, and
other nautical terms. Dr. Favour was chaplain to the
Earl of Huntingdon, President of the Council of the
North. The Earl was present in Halifax when Favour
was admitted to the vicariate. Within a few days they
were both back at York on important business. On
December 6th, 15D3, Henry Walpole and two friends
landed at Flamborough Head with the intention of
converting the Queen and the English people to the
Roman Catholic religion. The trio were caught within
twenty-four hours of landing and taken to York.
Walpole was a Jesuit priest and his fate was certain to
be a horrible death. He was forced to debate in public,
the claims of his religion, and Dr. Favour was one of the
champions put up to answer him. Favour also debated
with other priests who were caught from time to time.
There was no idea of toleration in Elizabeth's reign, and
Dr. Favour in his book " Antiquity triumphing over
Novelty," glories in the part he took in sending these
poor men to their death. He actually considers it his
best work. The reports of these debates are preserved
in the Records Office, and the handwriting shows the
effect of the torture on the priests' wrists. From them
we learn that Favour wrote witty verse, and that in the
kitchen of the York prison, he prided himself that his
face resembled the portraits of Jesus. There is a bust of
the vicar on his monument in Halifax Church.
106 THE STORY OF OLD HALIFAX.
Vicar Favour exercised a great influence over the
people of Halifax as a faithful minister. In the Registers
he often adds a short note about the character of the
Fig. 37.— Dr. Favour's Monument.
men and women he buried, sometimes good, sometimes
bad, for example : —
1597, Jan. 24 — William King of Skircoat "was a swearer,
drinker ... his last words were oaths and curses."
1600, April 15 — Richard Learoyd, 88 years, honest.
1600, May 30 — Richard Whitaker of Skircoat, "truly pious
HEATH GRAMMAR SCHOOL. 107
In 1609, the vicar buried two men who had been to
church and were so vexed at what the preacher said,
that they vowed they would never come to church again.
Favour notes that " both fell presently sick and never
came to the church but to be buried."
Dr. Favour was the prime mover in the establishment
of Heath Grammar School. The Queen's Charter had
been obtained in 1585 — over eight years before Vicar
Favour came to Halifax — but the school was not opened
until 1600, and the vicar had to work hard to accomplish
his desire. Its title — " The Free Grammar School of
Queen Elizabeth " — tells us something of the history of
the school. There had been schools in Halifax before
this time, though we know little about them. But in
Elizabethan times there yas a desire to have new and
good schools, and a E-oyal Charter had to be obtained
before such a grammar school could be erected. This
name is perpetuated in the lane known as Free School
Lane, and it is worth noting that the old road to the
school was up Shaw Hill and Free School Lane.
Over the door of the headmaster's house, facing
Skircoat Green Road, is a stone which was removed from
the old building. It bears a Latin inscription which
says the land was bad and barren, but through the grace
of Queen Elizabeth this school was erected, and it was
hoped it would be a blessing to the people. The only
other relic of the old school is the circular "apple and
pear " window which has been rebuilt into the shed next
to the school. The Grammar School was to serve the
ancient Parish of Halifax, and was built in Skircoat
because the plot of land was given by one of the first
benefactors. Dr. Favour persevered until he got
sufficient money to build the school, and an endowment
fund to pay the schoolmaster.
108 ' THE STORY OF OLD HALIFAX.
Three hundred years ago, schools were very different
from what they are nowadays. Sphool commenced at
six o'clock in the morning, and at nine there was a
quarter of an hour's playtime. Then work went on
until eleven when there was a two hours interval for
dinner. Lessons were resumed at one, and continued
until half past three, when another quarter of an hour
playtime was given, after which it was school again
until half past five. What long days !
In the Brearcliffe Manuscript, there is a copy of the
rules of Heath Grammar School, in those early days.
The boys were required to go early to the school
without noise, lingering, or playing by the way, taking
off their caps to those they met.
Boys who would not be corrected, or complained of
their correction, or who told out of school of punishment
given, were to be expelled unless they humbled them-
selves and obeyed the master.
Scholars who let their hair grow long or came with
face and hands unwashed were to be severely punished.
Two monitors were appointed weekly to set down
the faults of boys in the school or church, or in the town
and highways. Their duty was to hand a report to the
master, and if they failed to do so, the monitors were
punished for the faults of others.
Boys were not to use railing, wrangling, nor fighting,
nor were they to give nicknames to their companions or
to any strangers.
They must ever have books, pens, paper, and ink in
readiness, and must not rend or lose their books, but
handsomely carry and re-carry them.
The scholars were to speak in Latin and not English
while in school.
SIR HENRY SAVILE. 109
There was one half-day holiday per week, and that
was on Thursday afternoon, but there was homework for
In these Orders, ''correcting with a rod" is often
mentioned, for the boys of long ago received plenty of
floggings at school.
Henry Savile, who was born at Bradley Hall,
Stainlancl, "on November 30th, 1549, is one of the most
famous men our parish has produced. In due time he
went to JMerton College at Oxford, and was afterwards
appointed Greek tutor to Queen Elizabeth, and was said
to be. the most learned man of her reign. He published
an edition of the works of St. Chrysostom —one of the
early Christian Fathers. In addition to a great amount
of work and study, these books cost him £8,000. Sir
Henry Savile was one of the foremost translators of the
Authorised Version of the Bible published in 1611, and
being a Greek scholar, he was principally engaged on
the New Testament.
John Bois, a great Hebrew scholar who translated a
large portion of the Old Testament, was the grandson of
Mr. Bois, a Halifax clothier.
Sir Henry Savile was also a student of geometry and
astronomy, and to-day there is a professor of these
subjects in Oxford who is paid by the money that Savile
left for this purpose.
Another friend of this learned and rich Halifax man
was Henry Briggs, who became one of the Savilian
Professors at Oxford. Briggs was born at Daisy Bank,
War ley Wood in 1561. (Daisy Bank Farm is just below
the modern Burnley Boad, a few hundred yards before
you come to the first houses of Luddenden Foot).
THE STORY OF OLD HALIFAX.
Henry Briggs' fame is due to his association with the
invention of logarithms. Lord Napier was the actual
inventor in 1614, but Briggs discovered a better and
easier way which is used to day and known as
" Briggian Logarithms." In 1617, Briggs published
the first table of logs of numbers up to 1,000. These
Fig. 38.— Chained Book. Henry Briggs' Gift.
w-ere calculated to 14 places of decimals, and in 1624
he had made the calculations for 30,000 numbers.
Astronomers, navigators, and all men who have occasion
to multiply or divide large numbers, in their calculations
always refer to a book of logs, for it is as easy to use as a
Camden's visit. Ill
In 1627, Henry Brings presented three volumes of
De Thou's History to the "public library" in Halifax
Parish Church. The books are still there with this
interesting inscription. One of them has a brass plate
to which was attached the chains, for, as in most old
libraries, the books were chained to the shelves. Robert
Clay, who was vicar from 1623 to 1628, took a great
interest in the library, and many volumes were added at
About the year 1580, William Camden, the antiquary,
visited the Saviles at Bradley Hall when he was
collecting information for his great book "Britannia," a
description of England. Some of his Halifax friends
told him the following story or tradition to account for
the name of Halifax. A certain clergyman, being in
love with a young woman and not being able to persuade
her, cut ofi her head. It was afterwards hung up in a
yew tree, and was esteemed and visited by the people as
holy. So many pilgrims resorted to the place that it
became a lar^e town, and was called Hali-fax or Holy
Hair. There is not one iota of proof for the story, or the
derivation, nor the slightest hint of such a tradition in
any early accounts of our town. It has been repeated
many times since Camden wrote it, but we can be certain
that Camden was wrong.
There is one interesting statement in the "Britannia,"
which is meant to impress the reader with the importance
of the cloth manufacture in the district. Camden
asserted, that in Halifax Parish, the number of men was
greater than the total of cows, horses, sheep, and other
animals ; while in the rest of England there were more
animals than people. This was because Halifax lived by
cloth making and not by farming.
112 THE STORY OF OLD HALIFAX.
There are two valuable references to the local trade
in the sixteenth century, which may conveniently be
introduced here. About 1533, King Henry VIII. sent
a commission to the clothing towns of the West Hiding
to enquire into the practice of mixing flocks with the
wool of their cloths. In the list of men charged with
this offence are the names of 282 clothiers in the parish
of Halifax, who had from half-a-piece to three pieces each,
condemned. This document is extremely valuable, for it
shows the magnitude of the trade, and gives such a long
list of the names of men who were making clotli in our
parish at that time.
In the last years of Henry VIII. 's reign, parliament
abolished the trade of " wool driving " or wool stapling.
The act forbade men to buy wool and to hold it until the
price was forced up. The abolition of the wool dealer
proved to be very inconvenient for "Halifax trade, and
consequently a special act of parliament was passed in
the reign of Philip and Mary to remedy this local
grievance. The introduction to the act states that in
the parish of Halifax, are great wastes and moors, where
the ground, save in rare places, is not apt to produce any
corn or good grass, except by the great industry of the
people. Consequently the inhabitants live by cloth
making, and the great part of them neither grow corn
nor are able to keep a horse to carry their wool. Their
custom had been to go to the town of Halifax, and to
buy from the wool driver, some a stone, some two, and
some three or four according to their means. They
carried this wool upon their heads and backs to their
homes, three, four, five, or six miles away. The wool
was converted into yarn or cloth and sold, and then more
wool was bought. By means of this industry, the barren
WOOL TRADE. IIS
grounds were populated. An increase of five hundred
households within the previous forty years, was recorded.
The trade was threatened with ruin if these clothiers
could not obtain the wool in small quantities. The new
act made it lawful for wool drivers to sell wool in the
town of Halifax, provided it was sold to the small
makers. They were not to sell wool to the wealthy
clothiers, nor to any other to sell again. Offenders
against this act were to forfeit double the value of the
wool so sold.
" Chapters on theearly registersof Halifax Parish Church," by E. J. Walkef»
"Heath Grammar School," by T. Cox.
*' Dr. Favour," by T. W. Hanson. (Hx. Anti [uariaa Socy. Transactions, 1910),
Dr. Favour's "Antiquite triumphing over Noveltie," by T. W. HANSON.
(Halifax Antiquarian Society Transactions, 1911).
"Bradley Hall," by J. Lister. Halifax Antiqnarian Society TransactionSy
Henry Briggs in "Dictionary of National Biography."
17th century houses JAMES MURGATROYD —
NATHANIEL WATERHOUSE SIR THOMAS BROV^NE.
The Parish of Halifax is particularly rich in a large
number of handsome seventeenth-century houses that
are scattered on all the hill-sides. A description of
some of these houses will serve as a useful preface to our
account of the stirring events of the seventeenth cen-
tury ; and an actual visit to some of these old homesteads
will help to make the history more real.
The houses were usually built of large blocks of
millstone grit, which is very durable and turns to a
pleasing grey colour. Modern builders use a softer
THE STORY OF OLD HALIFAX,
I life i
sandstone, which is obtained from deep quarries at
Southowram, Eingby, and elsewhere. In olden days,
Photo. B. P. Kemlall,
Fig. '40 —Lee House or .Spring Gardens, Ovenden Wood.
H.M. 1625. (Henry Murgatroyd). Showing Seam Pointing.
the rocks that lay close to the surface had to be used,
and the gritstone caps the hills to the west of Halifax.
116 THE STORY OF OLD HALIFAX.
In Hipperholme and towards the eastern end of the
parish smaller blocks of sandstone were used. These
houses have a number of gables, and a many-gabled
house is always more picturesque than a plain -fronted
one. The builders erected handsome projecting porches
to the main entrance. Seventeenth century chimneys
are built of large stones, and are bold, square erections
v^hich give a good finish to the house. One local
peculiarity is seam-pointing. The joints of the chimneys
and the roof- ridge are pointed with lime, and then
painted white. The white lines are in striking contrast
to the dark stone. There were no troughings or fall-
pipes to catch the rain water. The rain ran down into
the gutters of the roof, and large stone water-spouts
threw the streams of water clear of the walls. At the
apex of each gable was a carved finial of varied designs.
Sometimes a square finial served as a sundial, as at
Wood Lane Hall (Sowerby), Ovenden Hall, and Halifax
and Elland Churches.
The windows may be considered the main features of
these houses, and they are the best guide in judging
whether a house belongs to this period or not. They
are long — filling almost the width of the room —
low in proportion, and divided into half-a-dozen or
more lights by stone muUions. These upright blocks
of gritstone are bevelled on each side so that they
do not block out too much light. Where the window
has two or more tiers of lights, the horizontal stone
divisions, called transoms, are also bevelled, as also are
the window sills and the top stones. The whole window
is deeply recessed into the thick walls. Above each
window is a stone moulding, which prevents the rain
that runs down the house-front from dripping into the
THE STORY OF OLD HALIFAX.
window, just as the eye-brow protects the eye. The
ends of these drip-stones are carved, and these carved
terminals are of many patterns. The chamber, or
bedroom window, often has two lights above four, or
three over five lights, thus following the line of the
Photo. H. P. Kendall.
Fig. 42.— Norland Hall Doorway. IT. H.T. 1672.
(Joseph Taylor and his wife.)
gable. Such windows are only to be found in our district.
Then there are the circular wheel or rose windows which
light the porch chamber at such houses as Kershaw
House, Luddenden; New Hall, Elland; and Barkisland
It was the custom for the owner of the house to carve
over his doorway the date of the building, and the initials
of himself and his wife. For instance: —
Photo. H. P. Kendall.
Fig. 43.— High Sundebland, South Pouch.
Long Can, Ovenden Wood, I.M.M. 1637 — John and Mary Murgatroyd.
Shaw Hill doorway at the corner of Simmonds Lane, I.E.L. 1697 —
Joshua Laycock and his wife.
Back Hall, Siddal, T.H.E. 1668— Thomas and Esther Hanson.
Kbrshaw House, Luddenden Lane, 1650, T.M., A.M. — Thomas and
120 THE STORY OF OLD HALIFAX.
Instead of initials and dates, some houses bear the
€oat-of-arms of the owner. On the front of High
Sunderland are the arms of Sunderland and Eish worth
Photo H. P. Kendall
Fig. 44.— High Sunderland Gateway.
families. Over the south door of Back Hall, Siddal, are
the Hanson arms surrounded by shields of other families
into which Hansons had married.
High Sunderland has also some interesting mottoes
carved on the stones. On the south front are four lines
of Latin which translated read: —
'* May the Almighty grant that the race of Sunderland may quietly
inhabit this seat, and maintain the rights of their ancestors, free
from strife, until an ant drink up the waters of the sea, and a
tortoise walk round the whole world."
Over the south door, in Latin: —
** This place hates, loves, punishes, observes, honours —
Negligence, peace, crimes, laws, virtuous persons."
At Back Hall is this text, in Greek: —
*♦ He that loveth houses or lands more than Me is not worthy of Me."
Photo. H. P. KemUai.
Fig. 45.— Barkisland Hall (1638).
Over the doorway of Barkisland Hall, John Gledhill,
the builder in 1638, had a Latin motto cut which means: —
" Once his, now mine, but I know not whose afterwards."
Oliver Hey wood's house has the single word
" Ebenezer," while at Scout Hall there is a carving
of a fox-hunt.
These inscriptions give us a clue to the characters
of the men who erected the houses. A Greek text
indicates a scholar, the hunting scene denotes a
sportsman, Biblical quotations come from the religious,
THE STORY OF OLD HALIFAX.
while the heraldic door-head proves the builder to have
been proud of his ancestry.
Photo. H. P. Kemlall.
Fig. 46.— Oak Frieze, Norland Hall.
Fig. 47.— Plaster Ceilkn(j
The interiors of these old halls were also handsome,
but most of them have been altered at various times
during the three hundred years since they were built,
and opportunities of viewing these interiors are com-
paratively rare, whilst it is always easy to see the
exteriors of the houses. The carved oak furniture —
Photo. H. F. Kendall
Fig. 48.— Plaster Work, from Bin Royp, Norland,
Now in Bankfield Museum.
chairs, chests, and bedsteads — have been bought by
collectors, and the oak panelling of the rooms is coveted
and removed. Panelled rooms and halls, oak galleries
and staircases, and elaborately carved oak mantel-pieces
still survive in such houses as Howroyd, Barkisland ;
Clay House, Greetland; New Hall, Elland; and the Old
Cock Hotel, Halifax.
124 THE STORY OF OLD HALIFAX.
The men of the seventeenth century decorated their
homes with ornamental plaster-work. In Bankfield
Museum is a deep heraldic plaster-work frieze that was
removed from Binn Royd, Norland, when the old farm-
house was demolished. There is a similar frieze in the
Photo. H. P. Kendall.
Fig. 49.— Upi'ER Rookks (1589).
bedrooms at Marsh Hall, Northowram, and in the same
house is a beautiful plaster ceiling. The Mulcture Hall
in Halifax boasts a good ceiling. In many cases the
chimney-breast was adorned with the Royal Arms in
plaster- work, as at New Hall, Elland ; and Norland
At Upper Saltonstall, and at the Fold, Mixenden,
are to be seen specimens of the old stone ovens. They
17th cej^tury houses.
are shaped like a beehive, and about three feet high.
A charcoal fire was made inside the oven, and the oven
closed, until the stones became very hot. Then the fire
was raked out, the bread put in, and the oven closed
again until the baking was completed. At Broadbottom,
near Mytholmroyd, are the remains of a stone oven, in
front of the house.
I'hoto. H. P. Kendall.
Fig. 50,— Peel House, Warley (1598).
Fif>. 51.— Wood Lane Hall, Sowerbt (1649).
Mr. Ambler's book on " The Manor Houses of
Yorkshire" contains many beautiful photographs and
detailed drawings of Halifax houses, and comparison can
be made between our local examples and other Yorkshire
houses. We can gain one important idea from the book.
There are larger and more beautiful halls in the agri-
cultural parts of the county, but they are situated far
apart from one another. The rich men who built the more
imposing halls owned miles of country, and considered
themselves to be of a higher class altogether than the
ordinary people who lived within their domain. In the
Parish of Halifax, instead of a few such lordly palaces,
we have a very large number of good medium-sized houses.
THE STORY OF OLD HALIFAX.
They are evidence that Halifax men were making money
out of trade, and that the prosperity was shared among a
Fig. 52.-STAIXED Glass, Shibden Ham..
Photo. H. 1'. Kendall
17th century houses. 127
large number of substantial yeomen, whereas in other
parts of the county, the riches were in the hands of a
few of the gentry.
In?Bankfield Museum, there is a large collection of
photographs and sketches of these seventeenth century
halls. Study them by all means and compare the details
Photo. G, E. Snoxell
Fig. 53.— (JRINDLESTONE BANK, OVENDEN WOOD.
of one house with others, but don't be content with
illustrations. Take walks along any of our hill-sides — •
Norland, Sowerby, Luddenden Dean, Shibden Dale,
Warley — and you will easily find some of the old halls,
and take notice — and sketches — of the details of the
THE STORY OF OLD HALIFAX.
buildings, the dates and initials over the doorheads, and
perchance, get a peep inside some of them.
Photo. H. P. Kendall.
Fig. 54.— Bai.l Green, Sowerhy (1634).
Street improvements have practically cleared away
the seventeenth century houses from the town of
Halifax, but there are several close at hand, such as
1 7th century houses.
Haugh Shaw House, Allan Fold, Warley Eoad, Willow
Hall at Cote Hill, and quite a cluster of them near the
Boothtown tram stage.
ii^^^^Bilk^ : jc'; ^ "'': ^
"HP* -t'THl/I^^^V^^^Bb Jt^H^im^l
Fin. 00.— I'pj'KH Willow IIali
James Murgatroyd of Murgatroyd (or the Hollins)
in Warley was the greatest builder of these fine seven-
teenth century houses in the Parish of Halifax. Most
men were quite content to rebuild their own homesteads,
but as Murgatroyd grew richer and added farm to farm
in Warley, Ovenden, and other townships, he took a
pride in erecting handsome houses. To him, we owe
Haigh House, Warley (1631), Long Can (1637), Yew
THE STORY OF OLD HALIFAX.
Tree (1643) in Ovenden Wood, and Kershaw House
(1650) in Luddenden Lane, which is one of the finest
of our local halls. James Murgatroyd received by his
father's will, all the looms, presses, shears, etc.., which
were standing in his shop, so it is evident that part of
Fig. 56.— IJpi'ER Willow Hall
Photo. H. P. Kendall.
his immense fortune was made in the w^oollen trade.
About 1640, Mr. Murgatroyd removed his home to
East Riddlesden Hall, near Keighley, and there built
the house in such style as to make it one of the largest
and most imposing halls in Airedale.
In connection with his Airedale estates, Murgatroyd
had to provide yearly a hen for Lady Anne CHfiord of
Skipton Castle as part of the rent. It was a relic of the
ancient manorial times when rents were paid in kind, of
Fij>. 57.— (Jatf.way, Lower Willow
(now use«l as a cottage).
Photo. H. F Kendall
THE STORY OF OLD HALIFAX.
Fig. 58.— Long Can, Ovenden Wood (1637). Photo, h. p. Keodm.
Fig 59.— Yew Tree Ovendex Wood (1643).
Photo, n. r Kendall
which we spoke in an early chapter. Murgatroyd said
the custom was obsolete and refused to find the hen.
He was sued at York, and Lady Anne won. When the
dispute was settled, she invited Mr. Murgatroyd to
dinner at Skipton Castle, and the hen was under one of
the covers. We can imagine what they would talk
-EA.ST RiDDLESDEN HaLL.
about after dinner for "her passion
mortar was immense." She re-built six
seven churches, built almshouses, and
The Murgatroyds suffered much
James Murgatroyd paid £850 in fines-
Photo, <T. Whitaker.
for bricks and
in the courts.
-£500 of which
134 THE STORY OF OLD HALIFAX.
went to the repairing of Old St. Paul's, London — for
some offence he and his sons committed at Luddenden
Chapel. His sons were also most unjustly imprisoned
and fined, many years later, through being bond for a
nephew. Tradition says that the River Aire changed
its course at Riddlesden, and refused to flow past the
Hall because the Murgatroyds had to sell it.
Nathaniel Waterhouse, the great Halifax benefactor,
was making his fortune in the first half of the seventeenth
century, by dealing in oil and the salts used by dyers.
We do not know exactly where his home was, but he
owned Bank House, Salterhebble, the white-washed
house which stands near the railway and overlooks the
sewage works. Bank House is still held by the Water-
house Trustees, and its rent helps to pay for some of
A Workhouse was built by Nathaniel Waterhouse,
somewhere near the Parish Church, for which he obtained
a charter from Charles I. in 1635 in order to relieve the
poor. This charter empowered the Master and Governors
of the Workhouse to take idle vagabonds, ruffians, and
sturdy beggars, place them in the Workhouse, and set
them to work spinning wool or making bone-lace. A
whipping-stock was erected in the workhouse, and those
wlio were idle, or who spoilt or stole their work were
flogged. In the first three years, seventy men and
women were whipped, and some of them repeatedly.
Nathaniel Waterhouse also founded some almshouses
for twelve poor persons to live in. By his will, he left
money for their maintenance, and also a sum to buy
black clothes for them. Mr. Waterhouse died in the
first week of June, 1645, and as he had no children, he
left his lands and monev for the benefit of the town.
**The Church and Poor I left my Heirs ;
My Friends to order my Affairs."
One of his house)s was to be altered to make a home
for ten orphan girls and ten orphan boys, who were to
be taught a trade. They were to be dressed in blue
coats. In 1853, the Trustees obtained power to sell
these old buildings down by the Parish Church, and
to build new Almshouses and Bluecoat School, on
Fig. 61.— Bank Housk, Salterhebblk.
Photo, II. p. Kendall.
A few pounds per year were to be given to the
ministers of the twelve Chapels In the Parish- -Coley,
Illingworth, Sowerby Bridge, Rastrick, etc. On the first
Wednesday in each month, these ministers in turn had
to preach a sermon in the Parish Church, and these
Waterhouse Sermons have been given regularly ever since.
136 THE STORY OF OLD HALIFAX.
Money was also bequeathed for repairing the roads
leading from Halifax to Bradford, Wakefield, and South-
owram. On the top of the hill opposite the Tannery at
Hipperholme, is a stone (like a mile-stone) which records
one of these gifts. The will also mentions the highway
between Spright Smithy and Southowram Bank. Spright
Smithy would probably be at Smithy Stake, where a
stake had been driven into the ground, to which
horses were tethered when they needed shoeing.
The Waterhouse Charity has become richer with time,
because the land has increased in value. In 1645, the
income was £131; in 1745, £248; in 1845, £1,350; and
in 1895, £2,353.
About the year 1634, a young doctor, Thomas
Browne, came to live at Upper Shibden Hall, near the
head of Shibden Dale. The old house has been
demolished, so we cannot visit the exact place. To us
it seems an out-of-the-way place for a doctor's surgery,
but we must remember it was not far away from the old
Halifax to Bradford Koad. While Dr. Browne was
living in Shibden, he wrote one of the most famous of
Enghsh books " Beligio Medici," or "A Doctor's
"This, I confess," he says in the preface, "for my
private exercise and satisfaction, I had at leisurable
hours composed. It was penned in such a place, and
with such disadvantage, that, I protest, from the first
setting of pen unto paper, I had not the assistance of
any good book whereby to promote my invention, or
relieve my memory."
Thomas Browne was in his thirtieth year when he
wrote his masterpiece, though it was not published until
some years afterwards. He did not stay long in Halifax,
HALIFAX MEN REFUSE KNIGHTHOOD. 137
and subsequently removed to Norwich, became a famous
citizen, and was knighted by King Charles. There is a
statue of Sir Thomas Browne in Norwich.
"The Old Halls and Manor-houses of Yorkshire,"' by LouiS Ambler.
*' Halifax Antiquarian Society's Transactions." — The papers read at the
summer excursions contain a mine of information about local 17th century
HALIFAX MEN REFUSE KNIGHTHOOD — SHIP-MONEY — BEGINNINGS* OF
THE CIVIL WAR SIEGE OF BRADFORD — LEEDS TAKEN — BATTLE OF
ADWALTON — RETREAT TO H4LIFAX JOSEPH LISTER's ADVENTURES —
MACKWORTH GARRISONS HALIFAX HALIFAX REFUGEES — FIGHTING
BETWEEN HEPTONSTALL AND HALIFAX — MIXENDEN SKIRMISH SCOTS
ARMY IN THE DISTRICT PLAGUE — CAPT. HODGSON's ADVENTURES
The reign of Charles I. is one of the most important
periods in English history, and our story will show how
the great national events affected Halifax. One of King
Charles's troubles was his want of money. He dared
not call his Parliament together and ask them for a
grant, because Parliament would have asked how he
intended to spend the money, and how he intended to
govern. The King therefore resorted to other methods,
and for eleven years he reigned without a Parliament.
At his Coronation, King Charles offered a knighthood
to every man who had an income of forty pounds and
upwards from the rents of land. His idea was to enrich
himself by the fees, that had to be paid by every new
knight. Those men who refused "the honour of
knighthood" were fined, and if they did not pay their
fine, were thrown into prison. Seventy of the gentry of
Halifax Parish paid these fines, and by this means, the
138 THE STORY OF OLD HALIFAX.
king drew £1,034 6s. 8d. from our parish. One of the
Listers paid the fine, and the receipt for his fine is still
preserved at Shibden Hall, signed "Strafford," the earl
who was Charles's principal adviser, and who ended his
days on the scaffold. Seven of the seventy men lived in
the township of Halifax, among them being Thomas
Blackwood, who built Blackwood House in 1617,
somewhere near the site of Blackwood Grove, and
the great benefactor, Nathaniel Waterhouse. James
Murgatroyd of Warley, paid the largest fine of £40.
Among the others, we may mention John Clay, of Clay
House, the beautiful hall near Greetland Station ;
Gregory Patchett, whose initials are on the doorway of
the whitewashed house in Luddenden, known as the
Lord Nelson Inn; John Drake of Horley Green;
Abraham Brigg, who lived at Grindlestone Bank, and
also built Holdsworth House ; and Anthony Bentley of
Two years later, 1627, the King of France laid siege
to the great Protestant seaport of Bocheile. The King's
favourite, the Duke of Buckingham, prepared a stately
fleet of a hundred sail to go to the relief of Eochelle.
Parliament was called, but the members would discuss
the conduct of Buckingham, and it was dissolved before
a single sixpence was voted for the war. Money had to
be found, so the king appealed for free gifts, and when
little or nothing was given, he forced men to lend him
An order was sent to the cloth-makers of Halifax
and Leeds, calling upon them to contribute in union with
the port of Hull " towards the charge of setting out
three ships, of the burthen of two hundred tons apiece
for His Majesty's service, to be at rendezvous at
SHIP MONEY. 139
Portsmouth, the 20th day of May next, furnished as
men-of-war, and victualled for full four months." These
were to be three of the fleet intended for Rochelle. In
reply to this order, the men of Halifax, with those of
Leeds, sent a petition to the Privy Council giving
several reasons for being excused. They protested first
of all that they had paid taxes imposed by the Privy
Council, without the assent of Parliament ; they had
contributed to the forced loans ; paid five subsidies
unlawfully taken without Parliament's consent ; and
they had found and trained soldiers. They also
reasoned that the ports provided ships and sailors,
while the inland towns paid for soldiers ; that their
cloth went to other ports besides Hull ; that other
trades had an interest in Hull ; and that some other
trades were more able to pay. One hundred and twenty -
five Halifax men signed the Petition, and of this number
thirty could not write their own names, but they made
a X or some other mark. The first to sign was Robert
Clay, Vicar of Halifax, and then came many well-known
names like Waterhouse, Bairstow, Binns, Oldfield,
Greenwood, Barraclough, etc.
A few years later, John Hampden, a Buckinghamshire
squire, made a name for himself in English history by
refusing to pay the ship-money.*
In addition to these disputes about taxation and the
power of the king, the question of church government
was also dividing the nation. Archbishop Laud and the
bishops claimed absolute control of the religious life of
the people and from James Murgatroyd's case, we see
that they wielded a great power. On the other side, the
Puritans developed the preaching part of the services
and wished to abolish everything that reminded them ot
140 THE STORY OF OLD HALIFAX.
the Koman Catholic Church. Dr. Favour and other
Puritan vicars had made HaUfax almost unanimously of
their thought, and the Halifax Exercises (conferences
where famous preachers drew immense crowds to listen
to their sermons) were kept up for many years.
Some of the local Puritans, fearing persecution,
followed the example of the Pilgrim Fathers, and
emigrated to New England. Matthew Mitchell, "a
pious and wealthy person" of Halifax, sailed in 1635,
taking with him his son Jonathan, who became a
celebrated preacher in America. Richard Denton,
minister of Coley, also emigrated and became famous.
These were among the pioneers who colonised the land
now known as the United States.
In 1637, King Charles and Archbishop Laud ordered
that a new Prayer Book should be read in the Scottish
Churches, but the Scotch people, who were mostly
Presbyterians, would not have the new service, and
revolted, so in 1639, Charles declared war on Scotland.
This is known as the First Bishop's War, and men from
our district were obliged to join the king's forces. We
gather some details of this war from the Account Book
of the Sowerby Constable. After training at Halifax,
Elland, Wakefield, and other places, sixteen Sowerby
men set ofi from Wakefield for active service in Scotland.
A similar contingent would go from Halifax and the
other townships. • Pikes and guns were repaired, gun-
powder, bullets, knapsacks, and bandoliers provided, so
that the little company cost Sowerby people sixty-five
pounds. The expedition was a failure from the king's
point of view, for the Scotch raised a much better army,
and Charles made terms with them rather than fight.
Southowram kept their beacon ready, in case the Scots
invaded the north of England.
NEWS FROM IRELAND. 141
A couple of years later there was trouble in another
part of the realm. In November, 1641, news came that
the Irish had massacred thirty thousand of the English
and Scots colonists, and it was said that the Irish might
cross to England. These reports, of course, spread alarm
throughout this part of England. Joseph Lister of
Bradford, then a lad of fifteen, says that on one Sunday
he had gone to Pudsey to hear Mr. Wales preach. A
man named Sugden came hastily to the chapel door, and
called out " Friends, we are all as good as dead men, for
the Irish rebels are gotten to Bochdale, and will be at
Bradford and Halifax shortly." The people were all
confused, women wept, children screamed and clung to
their parents. Joseph Lister went home to Bradford,
and found the people in the streets considering how best
to defend their homes, for they had heard that the rebels
had reached Halifax. At length they sent a few men
on horseback to Halifax to ascertain the truth, and they
found that the supposed rebels were a few poor folk who
had fled from Ireland for safety.
Englishmen were very angry at the news of the
massacre, and felt that an army should be sent to take
vengeance on the Irish. But they so mistrusted the
King that they would not raise a force for him to
command, fearing he would use it to overpower the
Parliament. The King and Parliament were now
definitely opposed, and on August 22nd, 1642, the
King's Standard was set up at Nottingham, and the
Civil War begun.
Professor Gardiner says that the north-west of
England, then the poorest, rudest, and least thickly
populated part of the country took the King;'s side,
whilst the south-east of England, with its fertile lands.
142 THE STORY OF OLl. ^ALIFAX.
its commercial and manufacturing activity and its
wealth, was on the side of the Parliament, but no
exact line can be drawn between the portions of
England which supported the two causes. The clothing
towns of the West Riding — Halifax, Bradford, and
Leeds — and the eastern towns of Lancashire — Man-
chester, Rochdale, and Bolton — took the side of the
Parliament, for they depended upon trade, and their
people were mostly Puritans. At first, the fighting
was in what we may call "county matches." That is,
the Royalists of Yorkshire attacked the Yorkshire
Parliamentarians, wh'le the Roundheads of Lancashire
were busy with the Cavaliers of the same county. Only
in rare instances could men be persuaded to march from
one county to fight in another. Lord Fairfax was the
General of the Parliament's Yorkshire Army, and he
was opposed by the Earl of Newcastle on behalf of
On Sunday morning, December 18th, 1642, while
service was being held in Coley Chapel, a good man, one
Isaac Baume, came in haste to the chapel and told the
minister, Mr. Latham, what the position was in Bradford.
The minister spoke to his congregation about it, and
many in the chapel went for their weapons, and set oft
to help Bradford. Among these volunteers was John
Hodgson, who afterwards became a captain in Cromwell's
army. Bradford was in a sore plight, for all the trained
soldiers were with Lord Fairfax, and he had retreated to
Selby because of a defeat he had suffered at Tadcaster
eleven days previously. The Royalist Army had taken
Wakefield and Leeds, and were hoping to capture both
Bradford and Halifax. A Halifax captain (we do not
know his name) took command of the defences of
DEFEN/lT yF BRADFORD. 143
Bradford, and th^.rboi and arms he had brought helped
considerably. Bradford Church was made into a fort,
because it was the largest and strongest building in the
town. Musketeers were placed in the tower to fire on
the enemy, and sheets of wool were hung around the
tower to protect it from cannon balls. Sir William
Savile, with a thousand Royalists and some cannon,
attacked the town on that Sunday morning, and they
met with more resistance than they expected. At mid-
day, Hodgson with more Halifax men arrived, and were
welcomed by the defenders, who then decided on a
counter attack, in which the Royalists were put to flight.
Sir Thomas Fairfax, who was with his father, on
hearing of the heroic exploit, passed through the
enemy's lines, and came to Bradford to help them. He
considered, however, that Bradford was a bad place to
defend, for it lies in a hollow, with heights around it
from which an enemy could command the town. Sir
Thomas made Bradford his headquarters, fortified it as
well as he could, and sent an appeal to the surrounding
places for recruits, and he obtained many Halifax men.
Samuel Priestley of Good-greave, Soyland, joined,
though his parents tried to persuade him to stay at
home. "If I stay at home," he replied, "I can follow
no employment, but be forced to hide in one hole or
another, which I cannot endure. I had rather venture
my life in the field, and if I die, it is in a good cause."
Every day there were skirmishes between Fairfax's
men, and the Royalists who garrisoned Leeds and
Wakefield. Sir Thomas was always a bold commander,
and " being too many to lie idle, and too few to be upon
constant duty, we resolved through the assistance of
God, to attempt them in their garrisons." Therefore on
144 THE STORY OF OLD HALIFAX.
January 23rd, 1643, he marched ."gainst Leeds, and
after a desperate fight, re-captured the town. The
war-cry of Fairfax's army was "Emmanuel."
Major Forbes was the first man to enter, by cHmbing
over the wall, by standing on the shoulders of Lieutenant
Horsfall of Halifax. When they had entered the town,
Mr. Jonathan Scholefield, minister of Cross-Stone Chapel,
(near Todmorden) started the singing of a psalm: —
" Let God arise, and scattered
Let all His enemies be ;
And let all those that do Him hate,
Before His presence flee,"
According to the account of the fight, several Halifax
men had marvellous escapes. Fairfax praised his soldiers.
He called them unexperienced fresh- water men, yet
although they had only received a week's training, they
attacked most resolutely and valiantly. The Earl of
Newcastle retreated to York, but before long he was
vigorously pressing the Fairfaxes with a larger army.
Lord Fairfax wrote to the Speaker of the House of
Commons to inform him that the people of Leeds,
Bradford, and HaHfax, were in want. They depended
for corn and meat on the more fruitful parts of the
country, and the enemy was stopping all supplies. The
woollen trade was altogether suspended, consequently
there w^ere many poor and no money to relieve them.
The army could defend them from the enemy, but not
from want. Fairfax also asked that Colonel Oliver
Cromwell might be sent out of Lincolnshire with an
army, to help to crush the Earl of Newcastle's forces.
This, however, was found to be impracticable.
Newcastle besieged and stormed Howley Hall, near
Batley. Howley belonged to Sir John Savile, who was
with the King at Oxford, but his cousin, another Sir
BATTLE OF ADWAX.TON.
John Savile, was holding the place for the Parliament.
Lord Fairfax marched out of Bradford to meet the
enemy Royalists, who, after leaving their quarters about
Howley, chose Adwalton or Atherton Moor as the field
of battle. Here on June 30th, 1643, was fought the
decisive battle of this Yorkshire campaign, and Fairfax's
army was routed. Adwalton Moor is very near the
junction of the Halifax-Leeds Road with the Bradford-
^ Av^ ►*.
Fig. 62.— View of Halifax About the Middle of the 17th Century.
It is of supreme interest to us to find that the official
despatch, sent to William Lenthall, the Speaker of the
House of Commons, describing the battle, was written at
Halifax by Thomas Stockdale, whose home was at
Bilton Park, near Harrogate. He appears to have acted
146 THE STORY OF OLD HALIFAX.
as military secretary to Fairfax, as he wrote other
despatches during the war. We will hear the story of
the fight as far as possible in Stockdale's own words.
" I wrote to you on Thursday last, since which time
the state of our affairs is much altered, being changed
from ill into worse. Yesterday morning we drew our
forces together, consisting of : —
1,200 commanded men of the garrison of Leeds,
7 companies of Bradford,
500 men of Halifax, and the country thereabouts,
12 companies of Foot from Lancashire,
10 troops of our own Horse,
3 troops from Lancashire,
[A company or a troop should have 100 men].
but the troops for the most part weak. We had four
pieces of brass ordnance with us, and a great part of our
powder and match. Many club-men [i.e., irregular
companies of men armed with scythes, clubs, or any
other weapons they could obtain] followed us, who are
fit to do execution upon a flyiug enemy, but unfit for
other service, for I am sure they did us none. With the
strength being not full four thousand men, horse and
foot, armed, we marched from Bradford against the
enemy, who lay about three miles off us in a village
called Adwalton or Atherton, and the places thereabouts.
They, hearing of our preparations, had left their
quarters about Howley, and chosen that place of ad-
vantage, being both a great hill and an open moor or
common, where our foot could not be able to stand their
horse. Their army consisted of 8,000 of their old foot,
and about 7,000 new men, and, as most men say, 4,000
horse, but indeed there are many companies both of
their horse and foot very slenderly armed. Upon
BATTLE OF AD WALTON. 147
Atherton Moor they planted their ordnance and ordered
theh^ battle, but they manned divers houses standing in
the enclosed grounds [fields] betwixt Bradford and
Atherton Moor with musketeers, and sent out great
parties of horse and foot by the lanes, and enclosed
grounds to give us fight. Our forlorn hope [or advance
party] was led by Captain Mildmay. He had other
captains with him, including Captain Farrar [who was
probably a Halifax man]. The van, wherein were placed
the 1,200 men from Leeds, was led by Major-General
Giiford. The main battle, wherein were the forces of
Lancashire, and *500 from the parts about Halifax and
the moors, had the Lord General himself ; and the rear,
with the garrison forces of Bradford, were led by
Lieutenant-Colonel Forbes. The horse were commanded
by Sir Thomas Fairfax, who should have led the main
battle, if the Lord General could have been persuaded
to absent himself.
Our forlorn hope beat back the enemies out of the
lanes and enclosed grounds, killing many and taking
some prisoners, and then the van coming up, fell upon
the enemies on the left hand, and the main battle upon
those on the right hand, and after some dispute, beat
the enemy both out of the houses they had manned, and
from the skirts of the moor to the height, killing very
many, and among them two colonels. Our horse very
bravely recovered part of the moor from the enemy and
maintained it, and the rear fell on in the middle and did
Thus far we had a fair day, but the success of our
men at the first, drew them unawares to engage them-
selves too far upon the enemies, who, having the
advantage of the ground, and infinitely exceeded us in
148 THE STORY OF OLD HALIFAX.
numbers, at least five for one, they sent some regiments
of horse and foot by a lane on the left hand, to
encompass our army and fall on the rear, which forced
us to retreat. Our men, being unacquainted with field
service, would not be drawn off in any order, but instead
of marching, fell into running. The commanders did
their best to stay them, but in vain, for away they went
in disorder, yet they brought off" two pieces of the
ordnance, and lost the other two and many prisoners,
but the estimate of the number I cannot give you.
Sir Thomas Fairfax with five or six troops of horse,
brought off the most part of the main 'battle, wherein
the Lancashire men were, and made his retreat to
Halifax very well, for the enemy was gotten so far
before him towards Bradford as he could not reach that
place. With much importunity, I persuaded the Lord
General to retire, who stayed so long upon the field
until the enemies were got betwixt him and Bradford,
yet he took by-w^ays and recovered the town.
Our loss was not great in commanders, for I do not
yet hear of any save Major Talbot killed, and Lieut. Col.
Forbes taken prisoner. Our loss of prisoners taken by
the enemy was great."
Sir Thomas Fairfax and his broken army retreated
through Gomersal, Bailiff Bridge, and Hipperholme, to
Halifax. Li a long, straggling line, they climbed up the
old pack-horse road to the shoulder of Beacon Hill, and
the tired, worn-out soldiers would be pleased to see
Halifax lying below. Down Wiscombe Bank and Old
Bank they hurried, to the town which promised rest and
refreshment. The little town would be very busy that
night, with so many soldiers to feed and to billet. The
people were dispirited by the bad news, and to add to
BATTLE OF A DW ALTON.
their fear and distraction, the Lancashire forces went
straight home across Blackstone Edge. Some twenty
horse, and two hundred foot were persuaded to stay in
Fig. 63.— Relics of the Civil War in Bankfielu Museum.
Mr. Stockdale, in reporting to Parliament, the black
outlook for this corner of the West Kiding, wrote '• The
country is wasted and exhausted, and tired out with the
weight of the troubles continually falling upon this part
of Yorkshire ; the soldiers want pay, and which is worse,
arms and powder, and other ammunition." Sir Thomas
Fairfax did not stay long in Halifax, but hastened to
Bradford with some of the horse and foot that had fought
at Adwalton. With the chivalrous devotion which
endeared him to all that knew him, he went to share his
Mr. Stockdale concludes his despatch : —
" If speedy supply be not sent with some considerable
succour of men, the Lord General will be constrained to
accept of some dishonourable conditions from the enemy.
1 am now at Halifax, to which place I came last night,
and take opportunity to send this bearer with Sir
Thomas Fairfax's warrant, to get you speedy notice, lest
we be so shut up in Bradford and Leeds as we cannot
150 THE STORY OF OLD HALIFAX.
send. Hasten some relief to preserve the most constant
part of the kingdom."
Finally comes the postscript: —
" As I was closing this letter, I received a letter, and
after that a messenger from the Lord General to tell me
that the enemy have made eight great shot at the town
this day, and have even now recovered certain houses
without the works, which if he cannot get fired, will
much endanger the loss of the town. Sir Thomas is
gone with some succours from hence, and what can be
had more, I will get up, but the people stir with fear
seeing no succours appear."
On the Sunday night, (July 'ziid) the Bradford
garrison was in such a desperate plight, that Fairfax
gave orders to the soldiers to escape from the town as
best they could, with the idea of reaching Hull. Lord
Fairfax and his son Sir Thomas, with a remnant of the
army, reached Hull after many adventures, and Hull
was the only corner of Yorkshire that was held for the
Parliament. Dykes were opened, and the surrounding
country flooded to aid the defence ; and the Fairfax's
in Hull, were in much the same position as Antwerp was
in September, 19 L4.
John Hodgson, who had been shot in two places, and
cut in several in the Tadcaster fight, was taken prisoner
as he was escaping from Bradford, stript to his shirt,
and sent to Leeds. John Brearclifie, a young Halifax
apothecary, wrote in his diary "3rd July, 1643, being
Monday, 1 clok morn, bradford taken, and I into
The local lads — and girls — must have had some
stirring adventures during that first week of July.
JOSEPH lister's adventures. 151
Joseph Lister was sixteen years old at the time, and
apprenticed to a Mr. Sharpe, who had fought in the
defence of Bradford, and then escaped to Colne in
Lancashire. Joseph stayed in Bradford, and saw the
Royalist soldiers carrying away everything that was
worth selling. In their search for treasure, these soldiers
emptied all the beddings and meal bags, and the streets
of Bradford were full of chaff, feathers, and meal. As
Lister knew all the by-ways, he offered to guide one of
the Parliamentary soldiers safely out of the town. After
leaving Bradford, they fell in with two more of Fairfax's
men. Presently one of the enemy's horse soldiers
discovered them, and the four ran across a field. Joseph
Lister crept into a thick holly bush, and by pulling down
the boughs, hid himself. The other three were taken
prisoners, one being wounded. Lister heard the horse-
man asking where was the fourth, but he could not be
found. "I have often thought since," he wrote, "how
easily we might have knocked him down if we had had
but any courage; but, alas! we had none." Joseph
remained in the hedge until dark, and then set off" to
Colne, where he found his master. Mr. Sharpe asked
him if he durst venture back to Bradford, to see how
Mrs. Sharpe was faring. Back he went, and found a
cellar in the town, where he slept, and in the morning,
on enquiring for the dame, he found she had gone to
Halifax. After her, to Halifax, went Lister with his
master's message and some money. Mrs. Sharpe sent him
back to Colne for further instructions. His master said "Go
thou and tell thy dame to go home, and go thou with
her. Go to the camp and buy a cow, and get the land
mowed. Get help to get the hay, and perhaps the
enemy will be called away shortly." They bought a
152 THE STORY OF OLD HALIFAX.
COW and drove it home, and the same day the soldiers
came and took it. They bought another, and that also
was taken. So Lister set off to Colne for further advice,
which Mr. Sharpe gave by saying they must do as they
thought best, for he had made up his mind to go to
Manchester, and re-join the army. In the week
following the Battle of Adwalton, the Royalists entered
Halifax, and Sir Francis Mackworth made the town his
When the foundations were being dug for St. Joseph's
School, a few cannon balls, horseshoes, and a sword were
unearthed, and these relics are now in Bankfield Museum.
The place is known as Bloody Field, and evidently a
skirmish was fought here during the Civil War, but we
have no written record of any fight. Mack worth's entry
to the town may have been disputed at this point, or
the rearguard of Sir Thomas Fairfax's force may have
been attacked after Adwalton Battle.
Most of the Halifax people fled over the Lancashire
border before the Cavalier soldiers came to the town.
They buried their valuables, or hid them, and some of
the old deeds at Shibden Hall show signs of mildew
because they were buried at this time. The soldiers
searched the Workhouse Offices, but found nothing but
a bottle on the window-bottom. Mr. Priestley's house
in Soyland was pillaged several times, and Ewood,
near Mytholmroyd, was plundered, and Mr. Farrar's
deeds and papers taken. On August 14th, Sir Francis
Mackworth issued a special order forbidding pillage upon
pain of death.
The Halifax Befugees went to various places in
Lancashire. John Brearcliffe went to Bury, where he
met Dorothy Meadowcroft, and afterwards married her.
ROYALISTS TAKE HALIFAX. 153
John Hodgson was released by the RoyaHsts, and made
his way to Rochdale, where he had fever. The Rev.
Henry Roote, minister at Halifax Church, went to
Manchester. Mr. Alte, who had been at Hahfax Church,
was at the time minister of Bury, and he took some of
the refugees into his parsonage, while others were lodged
among the people of Bury. John Wilkinson, of Bracken-
bed, died at Rochdale during the exile. Mrs. Lister of
Shibden, was buried at Manchester, and in Bury Church
registers is recorded the burial of Robert Broadley, " a
very godly man, exiled from Halifax, sojourning at
Hey wood." Future historians will find in our registers,
the names of poor Belgians, who have died in our district
as refugees. The eastern towns of Lancashire were
crowded with refugees from the West Riding, for the
Parliament's force in Lancashire had beaten the Lan-
cashire Royalists, and Manchester was the head- quarters
of the victorious army. In Yorkshire, as we have seen,
the victory was for the other side, and the Royalists had
won the Yorkshire " county match " in a most decisive
The position now was that Sir Francis Mackworth
held Halifax ; Lieutenant Colonel Wentworth with his
regiment of cavalry, was stationed at King Cross and
Sowerby Bridge, to watch the road from Lancashire;
and other outposts were planted at Roils Head, and
Sentry Edge in Warley, to guard the road leading to
Burnley and Colne. Mackworth knew that danger only
threatened from the west, and he appears to have been
reluctant to attempt an invasion of Lancashire. The
Roundheads at Manchester were on the alert, and
Rosworm, a clever engineer, constructed earthworks at
Blackstone Edge, and a force was sent to occupy the
154 THE STORY OF OLD HALIFAX.
pass. The borderland of hill and moor was a sufficient
obstacle to keep either side from attempting an attack
on the other, and the western portion of our parish was
a " no-man's land " between the two armies. Joseph
Priestley of Goodgreave, had fled into Lancashire with
his brothers, but having made up his mind to go to
London, he thought he would pay a visit to his wife.
He was leading his horse down the steep side from
Blackstone Edge in a thick mist, when he walked into
a Royalist troop, and was taken prisoner. He was
imprisoned with some others in the corner house in
Southgate, where he caught a fever, due to the dirty state
of the streets, and died.
There was also the other reason why these opposing
armies never came to battle —because it was so difficult
to persuade men to fight outside their own county.
However, there were plenty of West Kiding men in
Lancashire who were tired of being inactive, and they
decided to organize a small force to attack the Royalists.
On October 1 4th, Colonel Bradshaw agreed to command
them. Notices were sent to sixteen churches asking all
Yorkshiremen to meet at Rochdale on October 1 7tli,
1643. It may seem to us a strange announcement to be
given from a pulpit. But this was to a large extent a
religious war, and those sixteen ministers would be on
the Puritan side, and besides, the church was the great
public meeting-place in those days, and many public
announcements were made in church. The Yorkshiremen
chose Heptonstall as their base of operations, and thus
commenced a small local campaign around Halifax.
Heptonstall was an ideal place for a military camp. On
three sides are high steep slopes, with the Hebden,
Calder, and Golden streams at their feet. Behind the
LOCAL SKIRMISHES. 155
town, moorland roads lead over the hills into Lancashire.
It is a remarkably strong position, with a fine route for
retreat if the worst came to pass. The Yorkshiremen
had the advantage of knowing every inch of the difficult
country between Heptonstall and Halifax. They knew
all the paths across Cragg Vale to Sowerby, and all the
short cuts across Midgley Moor and Luddenden Dean,
while Mackworth's men were strangers to these parts.
On the 19th and 20th of October, 1643, the West
Riding men came to Heptonstall. There were 270 or
280 musketeers ; between 50 and 60 horse soldiers ; and
400 or 500 club-men. On the next day, Saturday the
21st, they marched from Heptonstall over Hathershelf
to occupy Sowerby Town, and every day there were
skirmishes between them and the E/oyalisfc garrison of
The sketch will help us to follow this Halifax
campaign, but better still by taking a short walk into
Warley, we may be able to see practically the whole of
the ground. It is important to remember that there
was no road along the Calder Valley. The main road
from Halifax to Heptonstall, was via Highroad Well and
Newlands to Luddenden. Then it climbed straight up
the opposite hill-side, through Midgley Town to Mount
Skip, then past Wadsworth Lanes it dropped to the
Hebden at Hebden Bridge. From the bridge, the
road went up the steep Buttress to Heptonstall.
Beyond Heptonstall, the route was along the Long
Causeway (the ancient crosses on the Causeway denote
how very old this road is); or the traveller could take the
Widdop track into Lancashire. It is the old pack horse
road from Halifax to Lancashire, and as historically
interesting as the Magna Via to Wakefield. From the
156 . THE STORY OF OLD HALIFAX.
hill-side about Westfield in Warley, we obtain a splendid
view of this section of the Calder Valley with Heptonstall
in the distance, perched on a spur of the flanking hills,
and in imagination we may see the Heptonstall forces
sallying out to annoy Mackworth's rften.
On Monday, October 23rd, Colonel Bradshaw, Captain
Taylor, and two Lancashire companies marched along
this Height Road, until they came to the Hollins in
Warley (James Murgatroyd's old home). The Cavaliers
were inside the house, but their resistance was soon
overcome. The defenders threw the stone slates off the
roof on to the attackers. The oak door could not be
battered in, and the mullioned windows were too narrow
for a man to get his shoulders through. At length one
of the stone mullions was hacked away, and the house
was entered. Forty -three soldiers, and two officers were
taken back to Heptonstall as prisoners. Only one of the
attackers was hurt — by a slate — and he soon recovered.
The guards who were on duty on the next Sunday
night, reported " sore streaming in the night, being all
the night as light as moonlight. " There was probably
a fine display of shooting stars, and in those days people
thought that the stars foretold important events. Sir
Francis Mackworth made up his mind to clear this
enemy out of his territory, and gave orders for Hepton-
stall to be taken on November 1st. Between three and
four o'clock on that dark morning, an army marched out
of Halifax composed of about four hundred musketeers,
and four hundred cavalry. They had chosen a bad day,
and " there was great wind and rain in their faces. "
They attempted to scale the heights at Heptonstall, but the
defenders drove them back, and rolled great rocks down
the hillside on to the Boyalists. Some of Mackworth's
158 THE STORY OF OLD HALIFAX.
men fell down a scar and were killed, and others were
drowned in the flooded Hebden. A hundred foot, and
fifty horse pursued the retreating Royalists to Luddenden.
Forty prisoners including three commanders were taken,
and sent to Rochdale.
One of the Priestley's of Goodgreave, Soy land, who
was with the Heptonstall force, saw a wounded Royalist
in danger of drowning, and jumped into the stream and
rescued him. The same night, Priestley went on guard
in his wet clothes, caught a chill and died in three weeks.
The Parliamentary commander. Colonel Bradshaw, died
on December 8th, and Major Eden took over the
command. Many of .the men who spent that Christmas
around the camp fire at Heptonstall, had been in
Bradford the previous Christmas, defending that town
against Sir William Savile.
On January 4th, 1644, Major Eden marched his little
army through Sowerby, leaving Captain Helliwell's
company to guard his camp. At Sowerby Bridge he
encountered the Royalists, killed three, and captured
Captain Clapham and forty men. Captain Farrar and
his cavalry, chasing the retreating Royalists towards
Halifax, ventured too far, and could not regain their
main force at Sowerby Bridge. Mackworth's outposts
at King Cross and Sentry Edge, blocked the direct route
back to Heptonstall, so Farrar appears to have led his
men across Halifax Moor and Ovenden Wood, with the
intention of crossing the head of Luddenden Dean and
the moors, to Heptonstall. They were checked in
Mixenden, and obliged to fight on the slope between
Hunter Hill and Mixenden Brook. Portions of gun
barrels, locks, and flints have been found on Hunter Hill.
The traditional name of the place is Bloody Field, and a
LOCAL SKIRMISHES. 159
part of Binns Hole Clough is called Slaughter Gap.
Captain Farrar and nine of his men were obliged to
surrender, and one of his men was slain. Three of the
prisoners were hanged forthwith, near the Gibbet, for
deserting from Sir Francis Mackworth's force. The
remainder of the troop reached Heptonstall, bringing a
Mr. Thompson with them, having made him a prisoner
at Moor end. Sir Francis Mackworth sent to Keighley
for fifteen hundred more men, and on January 9th, the
Keighley and Halifax soldiers set out once again to
attack Heptonstall. Major Eden had news of their
approach, and he left the town, taking all his prisoners
and munitions of war. He retreated along the Long
Causeway, through Stiperden to Burnley, and on the
next day his forces reached Colne. The Boyalists
entered an empty town, and gained a barren victory.
They pillaged Heptonstall, and set fire to fourteen
houses and barns. On January 14th, Major Eden's men
joined Sir Thomas Fairfax's Army at Manchester. They
saw some fighting in Cheshire, and afterwards re-joined
Lord Fairfax in East Yorkshire. Sir Francis Mackworth
had driven his enemies out of this district, but he only
enjoyed three weeks undisputed sway, for on January
28th, 1644, the King's Army left Halifax, after
possessing it for six months.
The evacuation of Halifax was due to the fact that
a Scottish Army crossed the border on January 19th,
pledged to fight for the Parliament. On July 2nd, the
great battle of Marston Moor was fought, where
Cromwell and his fellow generals won a decisive victory,
and the north of England was gained for the Parliament.
Cromwell's military genius evolved the New Model
Army — an army that was eflScient and ready to fight
160 THE STORY OF OLD HALIFAX.
anywhere against the King. Thus a stop was put to
the wasteful and unsatisfactory county fighting. The
Battle of Naseby w^as won by this army on June 14th,
1645, and the King was utterly defeated.
In 1645, the Scottish Army was quartered in the
West Riding, and a large number of the soldiers were
billeted in Halifax. Their leaders were anxious to
return home, for in their absence Montrose had raised a'
Highland Army for the King's side. The coming of the
Scots to our town, was probably one of the causes of the
Plague which afflicted Halifax. The town was over-
crowded, and the badly-drained, narrow streets became
filthy. In August, 1645, there were 84 deaths; in
September, 153; October, 216; and in November, 76.
These figures are terrible for the small population.
Tradition says that everyone living in the Mulcture
Hall was carried off by the disease. Another story,
states that the soldiers and other travellers, in order to
avoid the town, went round by "Trooper" Lane, instead of
down by the Church, and up the Old Bank. In order
to escape the infection, the Sowerby Constables had a
chain across the road near Sowerby Bridge, and kept
watch that no suspected person entered their town.
There had been plagues in the district before this out-
break. In 1631, fifty-five Ovenden people died, and
were buried near their own houses. Thirty-one of the
fifty-five died in the month of August, and the centre of
the pestilence appears to have been at Cock Hill, near
Bradshaw. In the same year Heptonstall was visited,
and 107 carried off by the Plague.
The Scottish leaders and the English Parliament
disagreed on religious questions. The former allies
became enemies, and the Scots made a secret agreement
PRESTON BATTLE. 161
with King Charles, promising to raise an army to
support the King. This army, under the command of
the Marquis of Hamilton, crossed the border into
England in April, 1648. Cromwell hurried northward
to meet the Scots, but he was not quite certain as to the
route Hamilton intended to take, for the Scots had the
choice of the Lancashire side of the Pennines, or the
York Plain. Cromwell marched through Doncaster and
Kparesborough, to Skipton, and then, discovering that
his opponents had decided on the western route,
Cromwell hurried through the great Aire Gap, and the
forces met at Preston. Our district had to provide food
for Cromwell's men, and we know that Sowerby provided
on one occasion " 20 hundredth of bread," costing over
£20, 2 cows, beans, and other provisions. Six pack
horses laden with supplies were sent to Addingham on
August 13th, and on the 18th, ten horse loads were sent
to Skipton, but as Cromwell had left that town, the
pack-horses had to follow the army further up Airedale.
John Hodgson, the Halifax man who had left Coley
Chapel to fight at Bradford, stayed in the army for the
duration of the wars, and he wrote an interesting-
account of his adventures. Hodgson was with Major
General Harrison's army at Penrith when the Scots
crossed the border, and they were obliged to retreat
until they met Cromwell at Eipon. Major Poundall and
Hodgson were in command of the advance guard of
Cromwell's army, and the General ordered them to
attack before half of their men had come up. The
enemy's bullets went high over their heads, so Hodgson's
men charged, and appear to have fought bravely.
Hodgson was in the thick of the fighting, and came out
unscathed. The result of the Preston Battle was an
overwhelming victory for Cromwell. Hodgson's greatest
162 THE STORY OF OLD HALIFAX.
day was at the Battle of Dunbar. Cromwell invaded
Scotland in 1650, and at the beginning of September,
found himself in a perilous position at Dunbar, hemmed
in by the Scottish Army, which was astride the south
road to England. Oliver Cromwell actually sent a letter
to the Governor of Newcastle, telling him what to do if
the English Army was cut up. But the Scots were
impatient, and instead of waiting, they came down from
their hill-top to attack Cromwell. The General seized
his chance, and ordered his men to advance. Very early
in the morning, Hodgson's company, along with others,
met the enemy, and with "push of pike, and butt-end of
the musket " drove them back. Cromwell himgelf rode
in the rear of Hodgson's regiment and gave them orders,
and presently the whole of the armies were in battle, and
the Scots were driven off in confusion. "And over St.
Abb's Head and the German Ocean, just then, burst the
first gleam of the level sun upon us," and John Hodgson
tells " I heard Nol say, ' Now let God arise, and His
enemies be scattered,' and, following us as we slowly
marched, I heard him say ' I profess they run! ' " The
Scots were defeated, and the General made a halt, and
sang the Hundred-and-seventeenth Psalm until the
horse could reform for the pursuit. ^ -SiS' w^1
Dunbar was probably Cromwell's greatest victory,
and Carlyle has written a fine description of the battle,
based on Hodgson's account. After Dunbar, John
Hodgson was made a Captain in Cromwell's own
regiment. Captain Hodgson was a soldier for eighteen
years, and served part of the time at sea under the
famous Admiral Blake, against the Dutch.
We have followed the Civil Wars from the Par-
liamentary side, because the local accounts of the
SOME LOCAL ROYALISTS. 163
fighting were written by men of that side, and because
the large majority of Halifax men were so-minded. It
is only fair to mention some of the Royalists. Langdale
Sunderland, of High Sunderland, was brother-in-law to
Sir Marmaduke Langdale, one of the King's Generals,
and so he commanded a troop of horse in Sir Marmaduke's
army. Langdale Sunderland had to pay a heavy fine for
taking up arms against the Parliament, and he was
obliged to sell the family estates at High Sunderland
and Coley Hall. In that way the Sunderlands lost High
Sunderland, after living there for four hundred years.
Nathan Drake of Godley, was one of the garrison
that held Pontefract Castle so long for the King, and he
wrote a diary of the siege. Richard Gledhill, of Bark-
island Hall, was killed at Marston Moor on the Royalist
side. He had been knighted by the Earl of Newcastle.
Matthew Broadley, of Lane Ends, Hipperholme, was
Purveyor and Paymaster-General to the King's Forces.
He was a very rich man, and lent money to King Charles.
*' Local Incidents in the Civil War," by H. P. Kendall.
(Halifax Antiquarian Society Transactions, 1909, 1910, 1911).
"Three Civil War Notes": —
1. Official Despatch on Adwalton Battle.
2. Halifax Refugees in Lancashire.
8. Mixenden's Bloody Field.
By T. W. Hanson. (Hx. Antiquarian Society Transactions, 1916).
•• Refusal of Knighthood by Halifax Landowners in 1630-32."
(Halifax Guardian Almanack, 1903).
** Autobiography of Captain John Hodgson."
Reprinted, with notes by J. Horsfall Turner.
JOHN BREAECLIFFE 1651 COMMISSION — HALIFAX'S FIRST MEMBER
OF PARLIAMENT — THE PARISH CHURCH DURING THE COMMONWEALTH
THE LAST YEARS OF THE GIBBET — THE RESTORATION AND ACT OF
UNIFORMITY — OLIVER HEYWOOD's DIARIES — ARCHBISHOP TILLOTSON.
"We came to Halifax 9 Febr. 1644, being Thursday,"
says John BrearcKffe, and as he took pains to record the
local events of this period, it is fitting that we should
have a few particulars of the man himself. John Brear-
clifie was the son of Edmund Brearcliffe, who was Parish
Clerk for Dr. John Favour. The Vicar was godfather to
the little boy when John was baptised on August 29th,
1618. Dr. Favour died live years later, and left £5 for
his godson. Brearcliffe is thus a connecting link between
the Puritans of Dr. Favour's age, and the later Puritans
who fought against King Charles. Brearcliffe was one
of the Heptonstall garrison, and we owe our knowledge
of the local skirmishes almost entirely to the account
that he wrote of the fighting.
In 1651, a Commission was appointed to enquire into
all the local charitable bequests. Brearcliffe was one of
the jurymen, and he wrote out a full account of the
findings of the Pious Uses Commission. Witnesses were
called to prove how much money had been left to Heath
Grammar School, and how it had been spent, and the
Governors of the Workhouse had to render an account
of their trust. Executors of wills, where money had
been left for the poor, or the church, or repairing of
highways and bridges, or for other pious uses, brought
their papers to show that their affairs were quite in
order. There is no doubt that by this enquiry, Halifax
people saved many a valuable legacy that might have
lapsed or been forgotten.
HALIFAX S FIRST M. p. 165
On July 12th, 1654, Halifax elected its first Member
of Parliament. Manchester, Leeds, and Halifax were
the only new towns that received this privilege, and it
shows that Halifax was becoming a place of some
importance. Our first member represented the whole
parish, or the area that is now covered by the Sowerby,
EUand, and Halifax Parliamentary Divisions. In the
Brearcliffe Manuscript is a full list of the 59 men who
voted for Jeremy Bentley of Elland, first M.P. for
Halifax. Among the voters were Mr. William Farrar,
of Ewood ; Mr. Joshua Horton, of Sowerby ; Eobert
Ramsden, Stoneyroyd ; John Lister, of Upper Brear ;
Samuel Bentley, Well Head; Arthur Hanson, Brighouse;
Joseph Fourness, Boothtown ; and John Brearcliffe.
Jeremy Bentley and his Hahfax friends tried to get
another privilege, and a meeting of all the townships
was called for August 14th, 1654, to secure a Corporation
for Halifax. They were not successful in their attempt
to make the parish into a borough. We do not know
why the grant of incorporation was refused, but we may
surmise that the vast area was considered too large for
Cromwell and his soldiers are blamed for damaging
a great many churches. An earlier Cromwell was the
responsible minister, under Henry YHL, for the
destruction of the monasteries, and the spoliation of
the churches ; and people have charged Oliver with
deeds that Thomas Cromwell really committed. But
whatever happened at other places, Halifax Parish
Church was well cared for during the Commonwealth
period. We have to thank John Brearcliffe for the
attention paid to the fabric of the church, for he was a
man of influence in public affairs, and an antiquary full
166 THE STORY OF OLD HALIFAX.
of reverence for the historic building. Brearclifie
compiled a list of the priests and parsons who had been
vicars, and he collected th^ir coats of arms. He painted
these arms in their correct colours on panels, which were
placed in the church vestry. These panels, dimmed
with age, are still there, and later vicars have added
their arms to the cpllection. After Brearclifie died, the
large panels of the roof of the church were decorated
with the arms of the vicars and local families, and
Halifax Church is the only one that is so decorated.
Brearclifie bound the early Eegisters, and so helped
to preserve them. He made a catalogue of the Church
Library, and hunted up some books that had been
borrowed years before. He had the rusty book-chains
oiled, new chains fitted to the volumes, also giving a
sixpence to two men to take all the books out to air
them. While Brearclifie was Overseer, he mended the
screens, and attended to other minor repairs. The
Royal Arms were taken down, and the State's Arms
put up in their place. The Scotch soldiers, while they
were encamped about Halifax, removed the old font
from the church, because they considered it a relic of
superstition. The beautiful font cover was left swinging
in the church for five years, and then in 1650 it was
taken to a Mr. Hartley's parlour, and remained there for
During the Commonwealth period, several beautiful
windows were inserted on the north and south sides of
the choir, and at the west end, some of which were the
gift of Mistress Dorothy Water house, the widow of the
great benefactor. These windows are plain glass — not
stained — and the leads are arranged in a beautiful
pattern. Their design is excellent, and they are quite
unique, for no other church has such Commonwealth
Fjg. 64.— Commonwealth Window in Halifax Church.
The Civil War was a religious war, and when [the
Puritans came into power, they made many sweeping
alterations in the English Church. Dr. Marsh had been
vicar of Halifax, also holding several other good livings
in the Church. He w^as one of the King's chaplains,
and attended Charles I. during his imprisonment. Dr.
Marsh was also himself imprisoned, being caught on his
w^ay to join the forces under the Earl of Derby. The
funds belonging to Halifax Church, were voted to Lord
Fairfax to pay his soldiers. The chapels of Illingworth,
Luddenden, Sowerby, etc., were provided by the people
living near those chapels. Halifax men agreed to pay
the stipends of the ministers needed for Halifax Church
168 THE STORY OF OLD HALIFAX.
in the same way. So that for some years Halifax Parish
was disendowed, and ours appears to be the only Parish
Church that was treated in that manner.
Under the Commonwealth, there was a variety of
ministers in the chapels of Halifax Parish. John Lake,
one of the preachers at Halifax Church, was born in
Petticoat Lane, now called E-ussell Street. He afterwards
became Dean of York, and Bishop of Chichester, and is
famous in English history for being one of the Seven
Bishops, who were imprisoned in the Tower by King-
James IL Oliver Heywood of Coley, Isaac Allen of
Bipponden, and Henry Boote of Sowerby ministered at
this time, when religious freedom and liberty of conscience
were questions that deeply stirred the country.
The Puritans were very strict about the morals of the
people, and they so hated crime that they revived the
Gibbet Law. The remarkable thing about the Halifax
Gibbet, is that men should be beheaded for stealing
goods of so paltry a value as thirteenpence half -penny,
and the custom retained so long after it had fallen into
disuse in other places. Most people considered it to be
a barbarous practice, and wondered that it should
survive at Halifax. In 1645, the stone platform was
built, which stands behind the Waterworks Office in
Gibbet Street. In five years, 1645-\.6CjO, five men were
"headed" by the gibbet axe, and after that the local law
was abolished. John Brearcliffe, who was Constable of
Halifax in 1650, wrote an account of the last trial, and
he defended what he called the " Prudent, Christian, and
About the latter end of April, 1650, Abraham
Wilkinson, John Wilkinson, and Anthony Mitchell, all
of Sowerby, were arrested near Halifax, and taken into
THE LAST GIBBET TRIAL.
the custody of the Baihff of Hahfax. The BaiUff sent
word to the Constables of HaUfax, Sowerby, Warley,
and Skircoat, charging them to appear at his house on
Fig. 65.— Shaw Booth.
Photo. H. P. Ketidall.
170 THE STORY OF OLD HALIFAX.
April 27th, each bringing four good men to form the
jury. The sixteen jurymen assembled at the BailifiTs
House, where the prisoners, the stolen goods, and the
men from whom the things had been stolen, were all
brought before the jury. Samuel Colbeck, of Shaw
Booth in Luddenden Dean, said that the three prisoners
had stolen sixteen yards of russet coloured kersey from
his tenters on April 19th, and part of the cloth was
there in the room. John Cusforth of Sandal Parish,
near Wakefield, said that Abraham Wilkinson and
Anthony Mitchell, in the night of April 17th, had stolen
a black colt and a grey colt off Durker Green, and the
two colts were produced for the jury to see and value.
John Fielden said that Abraham Wilkinson had taken a
whole kersey piece from the tenters at Brearley Hall
about Christmas last, and when he found part of the
piece in Wakefield, Isaac Gibson's wife said that
Wilkinson had delivered the piece to her. Abraham
Wilkinson disputed this last evidence, and the jury
adjourned the trial for three days. On April 30th the
jury brought in their verdict. They gave Abraham
Wilkinson the benefit of the doubt in the Brearley
Hall case. They valued the russet-coloured kersey at
nine shillings, and the two colts at forty-eight shillings,
and three pounds. Abraham Wilkinson and Anthony
Mitchell confessed to the thefts, and both charged John
Wilkinson with assisting them. The verdict ends: —
'• By the ancient Custom and Liberty of Halifax, whereof the Memory
of Man is not to the contrary, the said John Wilkinson and Anthony
Mitchell are to suffer Death, by having their heads sever'd and cut
off from their Bodies at Halifax Gibbet ; unto which Verdict we
subscribe our Names, the 30th Day of April, 1650."
Then follow the sixteen names. The two Sower by
men were executed the same day. Another writer says
THE LAST GIBBET TRIAL.
that it is certain that the minister attended the culprits
on the scaffold, and prayed with them, while the 4th
Psalm was played around the platform, on the bagpipes.
The last verse of this psalm is "I will lay me down in
peace, and sleep ; for Thou, Lord, only makest me
dwell in safety."
SVmteilfawA^Ugy g®gfie/cy U SGalifax.
Pig. 66.— Halifax Gibbet, from Camden's "Britannia" (1695).
172 THE STORY OF OLD HALIFAX.
This was the last trial, and the Gibbet Book says
" that the Gibbet and the Customary Law got its
suspension because some Persons in that Age judged it
to be too severe." The Chief Person of the Common-
wealth, Oliver Cromwell, used these words when he
opened the second Protectorate Parliament. "But the
truth of it is, there are wicked, abominable laws that
will be in 3^our power to alter. To hang a man for
sixpence, thirteenpence, I know not what ; to hang for
a trifle and pardon a murder, is in the ministratioD of
the law, through the ill framing of it. I have known in
my experience, abominable murders quitted ; and to
come and see men lose their lives for petty matters!
This is a thing that God will reckon for, and I wish it
may not lie upon this nation a day longer than you have
an opportunity to give a remedy ; and I hope I shall
cheerfully join with you in it. This hath been a great
grief to many honest hearts, and conscientious people,
and I hope it is in all your hearts to rectify it."
We are sorry that the men of Halifax did not share
the more clement ideas of Cromwell, for their retention
of the cruel local custom gave Halifax a bad name.
The Stuart family was restored to the throne of
England on May 29th, 1660, when King Charles II.
entered London. Soon afterwards. Parliament passed
the Act of Uniformity, whereby all clergymen and
ministers who refused to accept the usages of the
Church of England were expelled from their livings.
Oliver Hey wood of Coley ; Henry Boote of Sowerby ;
Timothy Boote. his son, of Sowerby Bridge ; and Eli
Bent ley of Halifax were amongst those who were
ejected. Heywood was fined for not attending church,
and also told that he would be put out if he tried to
OLIVER HEY WOOD. 173
attend. In 1665, the Five Mile Act was passed, which
forbade the ejected ministers to live within ^Ye miles of
their old church. For a little while. Hey wood went
back into Lancashire to live, but he continued to preach,
despite the fact that constables and soldiers broke up
his meetings, and notwithstanding the fines, imprison-
ment, and other persecutions he had to sufier. Oliver
Hey wood kept a diary, and his note-books are of
exceptional interest to us, because he jotted down all
manner of details about the people and occurrences of
his time. Thus he has given us a full portrait of himself
and his surroundings. We have only space to quote a
few specimens from his rich store.
Oliver Hey wood was a very big man. He was
weighed at Mr. John Priestley's in York, August 20th,
1681, and drew seventeen and a half stones. It needed
a good horse to carry him over the hilly roads of our
district, and he tells many times of his bay horse, his
black horse, his white mare, and the miraculous escapes
he had from heavy falls on frosty roads and diflScult
fords. In some years, he rode 1,400 miles on his
preaching tours. Mr. Hey wood had many offers from
larger churches, but he stayed with his Coley people,
though his stipend did not exceed £20 a year, and often
he had no idea where to obtain his next meal. Yet he
tells us that every Lord's day he had six to ten to
dinner, besides many others who had bread and broth,
and on sacrament days his maid would serve fifty people.
From the diaries we learn that the richer people like
Justice Farrar of Ewood, took their families to York for
the winter, so that they might enjoy the social life of
the county town, instead of being confined to their
lonely halls during the inhospitable weather. At the
174 THE STORY OF OLD HALIFAX.
winter fair in Halifax, a hundred beasts were killed in
one day, besides a great number in the townships
around. The meat was salted and hung up, for the
scattered houses had to provide as if for a siege, for
they might be snowed up for weeks. Hahfax Market
was such an important one that bread was brought from
places as far off as Gomersal, whence Bridget Brook came
regularly with her bread for over forty years. We are
told of the dancing and games on May Day and Mid-
summer Day, and of the cock-fights that took place at
the Cross Inn. The merriment often ended in fighting.
The diaries are also full of the doings of his neighbours,
some good and some bad. John Gillet was church-
warden in 1665, when the great south door of the
Parish Church was made, and his initials are on one of
panels. John would not help his father when he was
put in Pomfret jail for debt. Sometime after, Gillet's
business as a draper went wrong, and he himself was
cast into Halifax Prison.
Oliver Hey wood's house is still to be seen in North-
owram, and the old doorhead has: —
"O. H. A. EBENEZER 1677."
The initials stand for Oliver Heywood and his wife
In 1630, John Tillotson was born at Haugh End,
Sowerby. His father, Eobert Tillotson, was in the
cloth trade and lived to be ninety-one. Colne Grammar
School and Heath Grammar School claim to have had
a share in John's education. He entered Clare Hall
College, Cambridge, before he was seventeen. Three
years later he was Bachelor of Arts, and attained his
M.A. in 1654. On September 17th of that year, he
preached at Halifax Church, while enjoying "a sojourn
in the bracing air of Sowerby." Tillotson became one of
the most famous of EngHsh preachers. In 1691, he was
Fig. 67.--HAUGH End, Sowerby.
Photo. H. P. Kendall.
appointed Archbishop of Canterbury, but he only held
the high office for three years, as he died on November
22nd, 1694. Dr. Gordon in the ''Dictionary of National
THE STORY OF OLD HALIFAX.
Biography," says " Testimony is unanimous as to
Tillotson's sweetness of disposition, good humour,
absolute frankness, tender-heartedness, and generosity."
In Sowerby Church there is a fine statue of Archbishop
Tillotson, carved by Joseph Wilton, KA. in 1746.
Fig. 68.— Archbishop Tillotson's Signature.
Photo. H. P. Kendall.
**Our Local Portfolio," edited by E. J. Walker.
(Halifax Guardian, commencing June, 1856).
•' Halifax Parish Church under the Commonwealth." (1909).
" Halifax Church,*1640-1660 " (1915-16-17). " The Gibbet Law Book " (1908).
By T. W. Hanson. (Halifax Antiquarian Society Transactions).
"Halifax Gibbet Law," with appendix,'[reprinted by J. Horsfall Turner.
Wright's "Antiquities of Halifax," ' do. do.
"John Tillotson," by A. Gordon. (Dictionary of National Biography).
THE CLOTH HALLS OF LONDON AND HALIFAX — DEFOE S VISIT TO
HALIFAX LOCAL MANUFACTUREBS TURN FROM WOOLLEN TO
WORSTED SAM HILL OF MAKING PLACE — COAL MINING — JACOBITE
REBELLION OF 1745.
The Civil War was bad for the cloth trade, though
some of the Halifax makers carried on "business as
usual " during war time. Tom Priestley of Good-greave,
travelled to and from London with a string of eight or
nine pack-horses. Sometimes he engaged a convoy to
guard his horses ; at other times he ran the risks of the
road without convoy, and during all that dangerous time
he lost neither goods nor horses. He took £20 worth of
cloth on each journey, and made £20 clear profit. The
horses came back to Halifax laden with wool from Kent
The Exchange, where cloth was bought and sold in
London, was at Blackwell Hall. Both James I. and
Charles I. had issued proclamations forbidding the sale
of cloth in London inns and warehouses. All the cloth
had to be taken to Blackwell Hall, and the dues went
towards the support of Christ's Hospital for the main-
tenance of the poor children. Many of the Halifax
manufacturers had agents living in London, to sell their
cloth at Blackwell Hall. Joseph Fourness held such a
position as a young man ; afterwards he became a
partner in his firm and built Ovenden Hall for his
residence. Halifax had a Cloth Hall (sometimes called
Halifax Blackwell Hall) as early as Elizabeth's reign,
and long before Leeds, Bradford, or Huddersfield. We
also had a Linen Hall, but there are no records of the
linen trade. The old Cloth Hall stood somewhere near
178 THE STORY OF OliD HALIFAX.
the top of Crown Street — hence the place is still called
The lads who went as apprentices to the cloth trade
in the seventeenth century bad to work very hard.
Joseph Priestley, who was not a very strong youth, said
that he regularly drove his master's pack-horses from
Leeds or Wakefield, and when he reached his master's
house, he would be given but a mess of broth, or cold
milk and bread.
Fig. 69.— A TUADKSMAN'S TOKKN, 1667.
Robert Whatmough, Carrier for Halifax.
Daniel Defoe visited Halifax several times in the
early part of the eighteenth century, and he wrote a
valuable account of the local trade, for he was always
keenly interested in the making of things. His
"Adventures of Robinson Crusoe" are not primarily
concerned with exploring and fighting, but w^ith the
making of his home and the supplying of his daily
needs. The Kev. John Watson, in his " History of
Halifax," says that Defoe wrote part of "Robinson
Crusoe " w^hile staying at the E-ose and Crown in
On one of his earliest visits ( 1 705), Defoe was surprised,
that being such a busy trading centre, Halifax had no
magistrates, no member of Parliament, nor any officer
but a constable. In his " Tour through Great Britain "
(w^hich he undertook about 1714) Defoe approached
Halifax from Blackstone Edge. He observed that the
nearer he came to HaHfax, the closer together were the
houses. The hill-sides, which were very steep, were
spread with houses, and hardly a house standing out of
speaking distance from another. Each house had three
or four small fields attached to it, a cow or two were
kept for the family, but little or no corn was grown.
Each clothier kept a horse to bring his wool and pro-
visions from the market, and to carry his cloth to the
fulling mill, or to his customer. At every house was a
tenter on which hung a piece of cloth. A rill of running
water was guided past each house, and the water used
for scouring or dyeing.
At the beginning of the eighteenth century, Halifax
men began to try weaving finer cloths. Their staple
trade had been the coarse woollen kerseys. Now they
turned their attention to shalloons or worsteds, and
endeavoured to capture the trade that engaged Norwich
and the West of England. There is a vast difference
between these two branches of the textile trade, though
the important difference between woollen and worsted
may be explained very simply. In the woollen industry,
the wool is carded, and the fibres placed side by side
by rollers covered with teeth, and the ribbon of wool is
spun into a thick yarn. In the worsted industry, the
wool is combed into long slivers, and the yarn spun from
these slivers is much finer and brighter than the woollen
yarn. The short wool fibres are combed out of the
slivers, and sold to the woollen manufacturers.
Samuel Hill of Making Place in Soyland, was one of
the principal local makers who determined to capture
the worsted trade. At the beginning of the eighteenth
century he was doing a large trade in woollen kerseys.
THE STORY OF OLD HALIFAX.
He had a quaint way of marking his pieces, naming the
various quahties after members of his family. His
price-hst of 1738 reads as follows: —
Samuel Hill of Soyland at 60.
Sam Hill of Soyland at 56.
Sam and Eliz. Hill at 50.
Elizabeth Hill at 41.
Richard Hill ... ... at 39.
Sam Hill at 37.
James Hill ... at 33^.
Sx Hx Soyland at 30."
Fig. 70.— Making Place
(about 1870, when it was Mr Dove's Academy).
A few of Sam Hill's business letters, written in 1738,
have been preserved and printed. These letters show
him to have been a keen, hard-working man, blunt and
SAM HILL. 181
frank, used to saying exactly what he thought. He
wrote to Hendrick and Peter Kops (merchants on the
Continent): — "I very well know what all the makers
can do, and when I cannot serve my friends as well or
better, I will leave off business." Many of these letters
Photo. H. P. Kendall.
Fig. 71.— Sam Hill's Pattern Book.
refer to his experiments in weaving worsteds, and his
anxiety to attain success in that branch of trade. In a
letter to an English merchant he says "Methinks I
like to make them, and fancy I shall in time do it well."
In another letter, addressed to Mr. Abraham Van
Broyes, a merchant in the Low Countries, Sam Hill
182 THE STORY OF OLD HALIFAX.
writes "The narrow Shaloons of the Mark Sam Hill . . .
are, I think, such goods as I may say are not to be out-
done in England by any Man, let Him be who He
will." He also states that he commenced the worsted
manufacture to keep some of his workmen from going to
East Anglia, or the West of England, " but, however,
I think it's now very evident these Manufactories will
come, in spite of fate, into these northern Countys."
Samuel Hill was in a very large way of business.
In 1747, his turnover was £35,527 6s. 8d., and for
several years about that date he never sold below
£23,000 worth of cloth per annum. On February 21st,
1744, one consignment of 22 bales to Cornelius and Jan
Van der Vliet of Amsterdam, totalled £2,242 12s. The
Soyland cloth was sent to Amsterdam, Rotterdam,
Utrecht, Antwerp, Bremen, and Petrograd, and one
pattern sheet is endorsed "Provided for St. Petersburg,
to be sent from there to Persia by way of Astracan. "
The introduction of the worsted trade was one of the
great landmarks in the history of local trade. It was
destined to make the West Riding into the greatest
cloth centre of the world. It is easy to realise the vast
difference it made to local manufacturers. In 1644,
Tom Priestley of Soyland thought he was doing well
when he sold £20 worth of woollen cloth' in London, but
a hundred years later, Sam Hill of Soyland was selling
£2,000 worth of worsteds at a time, or a hundred-fold
advance in trade. We shall see a little later, the
difierence this made in local architecture. At present
we must note, for it is very important, that this gigantic
business was being conducted from Soyland, a hill-top
hamlet which no firm of to-day would select as a site for
their business premises.
Samuel Hill worked in a different manner from the
older clothiers. It was manifestly impossible for him
and his family to weave so much cloth, and also im-
possible to have sufficient looms under his roof to
produce the quantity. He gave out the work to the
houses round about in Soyland and Sowerby, and he
probably went further afield in his busy years. He
would superintend the different branches of* the under-
taking, but he must have employed hundreds of men to
make up his vast stock.
Pig. 72.— Entrance to Coal Mink (17th Century) at Upper Siddal Hall.
The names of these cloths — calamancoe, camlet,
grogram, russel, shalloon, and amens — are as old-
fashioned and pretty as the names of wild flowers, and
there is quite a romance in some of these titles. The
last three are patterns that were first made in Flanders,
and commemorate their birth-places — Rejssel (the
Flemish name of Lille), Chalons-sur-Marue, and Amiens.
THE STORY OF OLD HALIFAX.
On the top of Soil Hill, near Ogden, is a large mound
in the shape of a ring, and in the centre of this ring is a
deep hollow. It is the shaft of an old coal mine that has
been filled in. Similar holes — some filled with water —
are to be found about Soil Hill and other places. The
most interesting relic is in the yard at the back of Siddal
Fig. 73.— Ruins of Old Water- Wheel, Sim Carr Clough, Shibden.
Hall, where, in what looks like the arch of an immense
fireplace, we have the entrance to a seventeenth century
coal pit. Then again, in the deep clough just above Sim
Carr, Shibden, are the ruins where a water wheel once
pumped the water from a neighbouring mine. In the
rocks about Halifax are thin bands of coal, and in many
places, especially Northowram and Southowram, this
coal is near the surface, and was worked in very
COAL MINING. 185
early days. In 1308, Kichard the Nailer received
permission from the Lord of the Manor of Wakefield to
dig for coals in the graveship of Hipperholme, and there
are numerous later entries on the Court E-olls referring
to local coal-mining. About the middle of the sixteenth
century, the cloth-makers of York, complaining of the
competition of the West E-iding clothiers, said that the
men about Halifax had "fire, good and cheap." It
certainly was a great advantage, and made the long
winters more endurable, to have such good fuel, instead
of gathering firewood. Defoe commented on the wise
providence that had placed the coal on the hill-tops, so
that horses could go empty up-hill, and come down
laden with coal. He preferred the hills of Halifax to
the beautiful mountains of the Lake Country, because
our hills were more useful.
In the eighteenth century, shafts were sunk to a
depth of fifty yards, though many of the pits were not
more than a dozen yards below the surface. [The word
"pit" means an open quarry or hole]. In order to drain
the water away from the workings, soughs or drifts
were bored into the hill-side, and the mine could not be
sunk below the level of the valley bottom because of the
drainage. The first pump for the Shibden Hall mines
was bought in 1755, and it only cost 8s. 6d. Twenty
years later, water-wheels were erected at Mytholm at a
cost of £1,000, to work the pumps in Mr. Jeremy
Lister's colliery. In 1726, the first Gin-horse was used
at Shibden. The horse walked round and round a ring,
and the gin wound up the colliery rope on the same
principle as a capstan. At the pit-head, the coal was
loaded on to pack-horses, and carried down to the farm -
houses. There were small coal-pits to the west of
186 THE STORY OF OLD HALIFAX.
Halifax, but coal-mining on an extensive scale was
confined to the east of the ridge that runs from Soil Hill
to Elland Park Wood.
In 1745, Bonnie Prince Charlie landed in Scotland,
and taking advantage of the English defeat at Fontenoy,
marched into England with his Highland host. On
November 28th, a sergeant, a woman, and a drummer,
(who was a Halifax man 'tis said) entered Manchester
in advance of the Pretender's army, and gained 180
recruits. Two days later, St. Andrew's Day, Charles
Stuart came to Manchester. Yorkshire people were
naturally alarmed at this Scotch invasion, and the
deputy lieutenants proposed that the local forces should
mobilise at Leeds, " as the valleys are narrow westward
of that place, and the rivers now overflow their banks."
This means that in the westerly parts about Halifax,
there were such bad roads, and so few bridges that it
was an impossible country for military operations in
winter. The Jacobites marched as far south as Derby,
and then the Pretender turned tail and retreated
northward to Scotland. General Wade marched from
Newcastle to catch the rebels, and was at Ferry-bridge
when he heard of the retreat. His first order was to
cross the Pennines and march through Halifax into
Lancashire, but the Pretender's retreat was so rapid
that General Wade had to aim at meeting the enemy
farther north, and therefore Halifax missed seeing the
General Guest, who gallantly held Edinburgh Castle
during the '45 Rebellion, was born at Spout House,
Hove Edge. William Fawcett, who was born at
Shibden Hall on Sunday, April 30th, 1727, (his mother
was a Lister) became Commander-in-Chief of the British
Army. As an ensign he fought at Fontenoy, and with
General Wade's army. During a time of peace he
Fig. 74.— MAJOR-GrENEaAL SiR WILLIAM FAWCETT, K.C.B.
translated French and Prussian army books into
English. In the Seven Years War, Captain Fawcett
188 THE STORY OF OLD HALIFAX.
carried the despatches to the King announcing the
victory of Warburg (July 31st, 1760). George II., who
spoke German better than English, was pleased because
Fawcett gave him a full account of the battle in
German. Promotion followed, and ultimately Sir
WilHam Fawcett rose to be head of the British Army.
Many Halifax men joined the Army in those days,
when England was fighting France, and some were
forced to join the Mihtia. After 1757, each township
had to prepare lists of their men between 18 and 45
years of age, and the number of men j-equired for the
Militia was selected by ballot. In 1776 for instance,
Warley found five Militia men. Militia Clubs were
formed, and the members paid a guinea and a half.
The money was used to pay for substitutes for those
members who were chosen by the ballot. The vast
amount of money spent on the wars was a burden
on the people. Food was very dear, and trade was
*'The Priestley Memoirs," — (Surtees Sofiety, 1888).
" A Tour through Great Britain," by Daniel Defoe.
" The Letter Books of Joseph Holroyd and Sam liill," edited by H. Heaton.
(Banktield Museum Notes, 1914).
" Making Place in Soy land, and the Hill Family," by H. P. Kendall.
(Halifax Antiquarian Society Transactions, 1916).
" Lifn and Letters of Gen. Sir William Fawcett," by J. Lister.
(EI all fax Antiquarian Society Transactions, 191 0-11-13-14).
"Coal Mining in Yorkshire," by J. Lister —
in "Old Yorkshire, (second series) 1885."
CRAGG COINERS— JOHN WESLEY's VISITS.
At the beginning of the eighteenth century, the
King's Ministers were so busy with foreign wars, that
they had neither money nor thought to spare for home
aiFairs. They neglected the Mint, and money became
very scarce. Coins remained in circulation until their
faces were rubbed bare, and no inscription could be seen.
They also became smaller with long usage, and the
newspapers published tables showing how much these
short-weight guineas were worth. Careful tradesmen
carried little scales, weighing the coins as well as
counting them, as they were passed over the counter.
In Bankfield Museum there is a collection of these neat
pocket balances. Foreign money — Portuguese and
Spanish — was legal tender, and moidores, double
pistoles, and pieces of eight were used in England.
Some merchants made their own money. Robert Wilson
of Sowerby Bridge, boot -maker and general dealer, had
engraved brass plates which represented half-a-guinea.
Gamwel Sutcliffe of Stoneshey Gate, Heptonstall, gave
cards for change, which he promised to redeem for 3s. 6d.
You can see specimens of these in Bankfield.
We can quite understand that when money was so
rare, most people did not know the difference between a
good coin and a bad one, or betwixt a light guinea and
a full-weight one. The gang of Cragg Yale Coiners
took advantage of this state of affairs, and their method
of working was as follows: —
They would give 22s. for a full-sized guinea. A
piece of white paper was spread on the window-sill, and
190 THE STORY OF OLD HALIFAX.
with a pair of shears, they cut shavings of gold from the
edge of the guinea. Then a new edge was filed on the
coin, and it was ready to return into circulation for 21s.
The gold clippings were carefully collected, melted, and
struck into imitation Portuguese moidores. At Bank-
field are some of the actual coining dies that were used
in Cragg Vale. It is calculated that forty pennyworth
of gold was clipped from each guinea. The moidore
passed for 27s., but these Cragg Coiners only put 22s.
weight of gold into their counterfeits. So they made a
profit of about a pound from seven whole guineas.
David Hartley's father said they often treated one
hundred guineas at a time.
The geographical position of the Cragg farms was
also an important factor for the "yellow trade." They were
not far away from Halifax, a busy market town, where
guineas could be obtained and returned, yet at the same
time the coiner's houses were in lonely positions, where
it was almost impossible to catch them by a surprise
visit. The leader of the gang, David Hartley or "King
David " lived at Bell House, a small farmhouse perched
at the edge of beautiful Bell Hole. His brother Isaac
was nicknamed the " Duke of York," and some of the
others also had royal titles. A contemporary list names
about seventy men of the district, who were suspected of
clipping and coining.
About 1767, some Halifax manufacturers reported
the unlawful practices to the Government, for outsiders
were shy of accepting Halifax money, but the official
reply was that they could not spend money in
prosecuting the coiners. Soon after, William Dighton,
an Excise-man stationed at Halifax, wrote to the
Solicitor of the Mint, and received a promise of
CRAGG COINERS. 191
Government support in any action he might take to
suppress the gang. Mr. Dighton sought for some Cragg
Vale man who would turn informer, and secured the
services of James Broadbent, who lodged in Hall Gate,
Mytholmroyd, and like most traitors, he turned out to
be a most untrustworthy man. About the first week of
October, 1769, Dighton met Broadbent at Hebden
Bridge, with the idea of catching Thomas Clayton,
one of the ringleaders. Clayton lived at Stannery End,
a lone farmhouse at the corner of the Cragg and Calder
valleys, on the edge of the moor above Mytholmroyd.
He was a worsted manufacturer, and had two or three
looms in his house. On the front of Stannery End,
dates such as 1769 are roughly carved, reminders of the
exciting years that the house then witnessed. However,
when Dighton and his party reached Stannery End,
Clayton had gone.
The coiners were alarmed, and they conspired to
murder Dighton. David Hartley and some others
subscribed £100, to be given to the man who killed him.
The next move was that "King David" was arrested at
the Old Cock Inn, and a coiner called Jagger, at the
Cross Pipes, Halifax, on Saturday, October 14th. The
two men were taken to York Castle, and Broadbent
gave evidence that he had seen them doctoring four
guineas. James Broadbent went from York to Mytholm-
royd, and told Isaac Hartley and the others what had
happened. They persuaded Broadbent to return to
York to say that he had made a mistake, and that his
evidence was wrong. Broadbent went to York and
elsewhere several times to recant his evidence, but the
coiners were safe in York Castle, and there they had
S9ft fS ff€^
C O I N E R S
ON S U S IM C ! O ll
Of Chipping, Filing, Edging, aiid Diminifliing the Gold .
Coin of this Kingdom. ^
ON Wednrfday cvfnirg, ttn; fth inftjnt,
wa^commurtH to York CaOIr, Jntin
Picklrs, ot Wadfworth Banks, ncr
Haii!ax, en fulpicion «t dinin /5i)i g
diree guinea?, and one twrnty fcvtn Ihiilmg
piedc of Hoftucal gold-: Atrr he was It'iz.d
1d>ere were touhd m his pock ts, a pair of
^-fciffars, and an inflrument lur milling iht rdges
Ot goid piccfs. At the time tne atxive dclca-
qucnt was apprt hrndrd, he *as inanoi.Auring
vhitc pitces, and Ictnud to kave his Looms
ycry relu&anlj : He is an rjderly man, near
fixty, has a vrnc and larce iamily, and it it
fu] pofcd he is an old offtnOcr.
Alfo on Friday latl was committed to York
Caftte, John Sutciyffe, of ErringUen, in the
Weft Riding, chaijjtd with chipping, fi ini?,
edging, and diminiftiing fivcrai guuitas, at.d
n h.ilf a guinea.
Alfo on Saturday !art, in the evening,——
Oidfield, of Mit'g'rv, was committed to York
Caftie, for clij pn g, coining,, &c. Sic.
' I. aft night in the evening, the wife of John
PckVs, ammonlv calltd J.ick of Matts,
ali..s J.irk ot I'..cket Well, w^s cotKJu<acd
thri,* ;his town, iHalif.;x; on her way to
York Cllie, on hcrlcback, with her h.nds
t)'d, and coining tools in a bag by her fide.
As (he pafTid thro" tne bottom of the town,
the man »ho !e<t ihr horfc danc'd, and ihemob
hoQixd her over the bt idgc. 1 h» wcmao bM
been the moft noted Vender and procurer in
, At the time iTie was taken, her feufbiod
midr his tfcape ; Ifae hkcwifr declared, fhou'd
her hufhjnd be taken and fuffer the law. (he
wi u'd, i,thro' hit information,) bang fgrty
This day feveral perfons of this tow» and
parts adjacent, have aljlci nded, as is luppofed'
lor fear of being ipprehendcd.
It is alfo confidently afTcrtcd that there have
been above ONE HUNDRED per-
fons informed of, and that there -ire now
Warrants out againft the moft confidcrable
We have now the p'cafing Tatisfafticn oF
feeing the Bands of thrfc lormidable lit of
vitlainK btoken : Terror and difmay have t^ktn
holdrn of thim, am! they no longer daft face
the injured public.
Behold Great Turrin, fct the Time draw near.
When every Golden Son fhali Qtake with 1- ear;
See Tyburn gorged with piotr..atd t'ood,
And honourd with the Weight ot * Koya) Blocd.
• AlJudlug to fome of the COINERS Wo
Fig. 75.— A Broadside (from Halifax Public Library). .
At this date there was no local newspaper, and news was circulated by broadsides.
CRAGG COINERS. 1 93
Isaac Hartley was more than ever determined to be
rid of Dighton, and he deputed Thomas Spencer, who
lived at New House, Mytholmroyd, to find the assassins.
Robert Thomas, who lived at Wadsworth Bank, and
Matthew Normanton of Stannery End, promised to
shoot the exciseman, and after several fruitless journeys,
they laid in wait near Dighton's home at Bull Close
(now Savile Close) on November 9th, 1769. Mrs.
Dighton was sitting up for her husband, and soon after
midnight she heard shots. Fearing the worst, the
servant girl was sent to see what had happened, and she
found her master murdered. Thomas and Normanton
had hidden behind a wall near the bottom of the lane,
now called Swires Boad. Thomas's piece missed fire,
but Normanton's shot killed the exciseman, and they
rifled the dead man's pockets. They set off to Mytholm-
royd by the usual route of Highroad Well, Newlands
Gate, and Midgley.
An inquest was held, which the coroner adjourned
from day to day, because there was no magistrate
within several miles of Halifax, and therefore nobody
but the coroner could examine witnesses. In those days,
gentlemen tried to keep out of public positions, and did
not appreciate the honour of serving their town and
country. James Broadbent, the informer, was one of
the men who were suspected of the crime, and he gave
the coroner an account of his journey from York on the
eve of the murder, in order to clear himself.
The government felt obliged to take up the question
of coining, seeing that one of their officials had been done
to death, and £100 reward was offered for the discovery
of the murderer. The Gentlemen and Merchants of the
Town and Parish of Halifax added a second £100 to the
194 THE STORY OF OLD HALIFAX.
reward. Broadbent was so anxious to secure the £200
that he made another confession, and blamed Thomas,
Normanton, and Folds (a cousin of Normanton) for the
crime, and the three were committed to York Assizes.
The Marquis of Rockingham, of Wentworth Wood-
house, came to Halifax on behalf of the Government, and
met the local gentlemen at the Talbot Inn in Woolshops.
The meeting decided that the gentry had done their
utmost, but they would exert themselves still further to
discover the murderer, and to stop the clipping and
coining. The gentlemen also recommended that
Digh ton's family should receive a State pension.
Lord Rockingham stayed with Mr. John Royds at
his new house in George Street, (now named Somerset
House) which was then the finest mansion in Halifax,
and contains some fine plaster-work. The Marquis had
been Prime Minister of England, and is famed for his
patronage of, and friendship for Edmund Burke, the
famous writer and politician.
At the Sj)ring Assizes at York in 1770, about two
dozen of the Goiners were on trial. David Hartley and
James Oldfield were sentenced to death, and executed
for coining. " King David " tried to save his life by
giving evidence against his friends, and he stated that
Normanton and 1'homas were the murderers, and his
brother Isaac would confirm him.
The trials of the other prisoners were postponed to
the next Assizes, and the coiners released on bail. The
prisons of England were so crowded at this time, that
there was not room to keep even those charged with
murder, in gaol. The murder trial was taken at the
August Assizes, when James Broadbent gave most
minute details of what had happened on the night of the
murder, although we may be quite sure that he was
nowhere near the scene on that night. His evidence
was so untrustworthy that the jury acquitted Norman-
ton and Thomas.
Fig. 76.— The Inn at Mytholmroyd, a Resort of the Coiners.
Two years afterwards, Thomas Clayton and Thomas
Spencer gave fresh evidence against the two assassins.
They could not be tried for murder again, but they were
found guilty of highway robbery because they had
emptied Mr. Dighton's pockets. The penalty was the
same. Thomas and Norman ton were hanged at York,
and their bodies suspended in chains on the top of our
Beacon Hill, with their arms pointing to the scene of
the murder. Halifax people did not like this, because
the ugly sight was always before them for a long time.
Some of the coiners were imprisoned, others trans-
ported, and a few hanged, but although the judges were
196 THE STORY OF OLD HALIFAX.
very severe, it was many years before the evil practice
was stamped out. For instance, John Cocki-oft of Sand
Hall, Highroad Well, was wanted in 1769 for clipping
guineas. In 1778, he was tried at Lancaster for making
half -pennies, but he got off. Finally in 1782, he was
transported for making counterfeit shillings.
The Cragg Vale Coiners, besides being bad and
desperate men, were mostly cowards. As soon as they
got into the clutches of the law, they incriminated their
neighbours, friends, and even relations. Some writers
have tried to throw an element of romance around the
story, but it was really a most miserable business, and it
is a relief to turn from the coiners to the study of men
of a different type.
Near the bottom of Cragg Vale, there stands on a
little knoll, a house named Hoo Hole, with a fine
chestnut tree before it. From the front windows can
be seen the ridge on which stand Stannery End and
other coiners' houses, while on the other side of the
valley, behind Hoo Hole, are such notorious houses as
Bell House, Keelham, and Hill Top. Hoo Hole is in the
very centre of the coiners' country, and here on June
28th, 1770, his sixty-seventh birthday, came John
Wesley, "one of the makers of modern England," to
preach. Two months before — to the day — David
Hartley had been hanged, and many of the men of this
district were then on bail to appear at York in about
another month. It required some courage to preach in
such a place. Wesley wrote of his visit in these words: —
" It was a lovely valley encompassed by high mountains.
I stood on the smooth grass before the house, which
stands on a gently rising ground, and all the people
on the slope before me. It was a glorious opportunity."
Wesley's visits. 197
On one of his early journeys into our district, (May,
1747) Wesley came from Lancashire over the mountain
road, passing Widdop, to Heptonstall. At Stoneshey
Gate, he had a congregation that filled both the yard
and the road. Many were seated on a long, dry wall,
and in the middle of the sermon the wall fell down with
the persons sitting on it. ''Not one was hurt at all,"
says Mr. Wesley, "nor was there any interruption of
my speaking, or of the attention of the hearers." During
the next summer, Wesley visited Halifax and attempted
to preach at the Cross in the middle of Old Market,
which caused a great commotion in the town. Mr.
Wesley said " There was an immense number of people
roaring like the waves of the sea, but the far greater
part of them were still, and as soon as I began to speak,
they seemed more and more attentive." To break up
the meeting, a gentleman "scutched" half-pennies among
the crowd ; then there was confusion, in which stones
and mud were flung at the preacher. A few days later
Mr. Wesley was mobbed at Colne, and he retired to
Widdop, from which safe refuge he wrote a remonstrance
to the church minister of Colne, who had encouraged
Wesley was again at Widdop in 1766, and the rock
from which he preached is still known as Wesley's
Pulpit. At such places as Widdop, Heptonstall, and
Midgley, the people became eager to listen to his
preaching, and Wesley grew fond of this district. In
his Journal, he says that nothing since the Garden of
Eden could be more pleasant than Calder Vale, between
Todmorden and Heptonstall. He could not conceive
anything more delightful than the steep mountains,
clothed with wood to the top, and washed at the bottom
198 THE STORY OF OLD HALIFAX.
by a clear, winding stream. This is indeed high praise,
for John Wesley had seen more of England than any
other man of his time. About Hebden Bridge and
Eastwood the scenery is still beautiful, though the main
valley has been .altered much in one hundred and fifty
years; however, the glens of the Hebden and Crimsworth
still remain unspoiled. Ewood, near Mytholmroyd, was
a favourite house of the great preacher — "Ewood, which
I still love, for good Mr. Grimshaw's sake." Mr.
Grimshaw, rector of Haworth and Wesley's right-hand
man, had a great influence on the people about Haworth,
Halifax, and Todmorden. Mrs. Grimshaw's home had
been at Ewood, and there the two preachers went for
rest after heavy days of travelling and speaking.
At Lightclifie lived a good and interesting lady in a
fine old home — Mrs. Holmes of Smith House — who was
one of the first to welcome John Wesley to our district.
To Smith House also came the Moravians — missionaries
from Germany — and they established a settlement in
Lightclifie. They built a large, square house (Lightclifie
House) near to Smith House, and they also occupied a
house in Wakefield Road, called German House. Later,
they made their headquarters -at Fulneck.
This great Eevival of the eighteenth century had a
wonderful efiect for good on our country, and our own
neighbourhood received its full share of the benefit. In
the streets and markets, in the fields and country places,
preachers worked hard to make better men and women.
Ordinary farmers, colliers, and cobblers, took to preaching
as well as the regular ministers, and small chapels —
often in cottages- -were started in each hamlet. Baptists
and Independents as well as Wesleyans were alive to the
new spirit. Some of the chapels of this epoch, like
TITUS KNIGHT. 199
Wainsgate near Hebden Bridge, and Mount Zion near
Ogden, appear to us to be situated in out-of-the-way
places, and it has been suggested that their sites were
chosen for their first members to be secure from
persecution. The real fact is, that at the time of
their establishment, these hilly places were centres of
Titus Knight, a collier in the Shibden Hall mines,
came under the notice of Mr. Wesley, and as he was of
a studious and thoughtful turn of mind, the collier was
asked to preach and to become a schoolmaster. Mr.
Knight developed into a famous preacher, but later he
left the Wesleyans, and Ultimately the large brick
Square Chapel was built for him, where he had large
"The Yorkshire Coiners," by H. Ling Roth.
"Cragg Coiners," by T. W. Hanson. (Hx. Antiquarian Socy. Trans., 1909).
"The Journal of the Rev. John Wesley."
*' Methodist Heroes in the Great Haworth Round, 1734 to 1784."
Compiled by J. W. Laycock.
THE PIECE HALL — WOOL-COMBING — SPINNING WEAVING FAEMING
LIME HOLMES 18tH CENTURY HOUSES * ' EDWABDS OF HALIFAX.'
The Piece Hall is one of the finest historic monuments
of our town. The building may be likened to a gigantic
square amphitheatre, and each side of the square is a
hundred yards long. The land, ten thousand square
yards, was given by John Caygill, a wealthy merchant
who lived at the Shay, who also made a donation of
eight hundred guineas to the building fund. It cost
about ten thousand pounds to build, and the Piece Hall
200 THE STORY OF OLD HALIFAX.
is considered to be a good example of architecture,
reflecting credit on the designer, Thomas Bradley, a
local man. The top storey was named the Colonnade ;
the lower gallery, the Hustic, and the bottom storey
along the east side was the Arcade. The Piece Hall
was opened on January 1st, 1779, with a great
procession, with fireworks in the evening, and much
rejoicing. It was a manufacturers' hall, and each
manufacturer who subscribed £28 4s., became the owner
of one of the 315 rooms. These figures and particulars
are not as impressive as an actual visit to the Piece Hall,
and the circuit of one of the galleries. Imagine each
room full of pieces, and a manufacturer in each doorway
waiting for buyers to come and look at his stock. When
the market opens, the galleries are busy with merchants
walking from room to room, and looking for their
particular cloth. Down below, in the '"area," are the
smaller makers who have carried their two or three
pieces to Halifax Market for sale. Every Saturday, a
large amount of cloth was sold here, to be sent to Leeds,
London, and other parts of the kingdom, while other
buyers were acting for the merchants of Holland and
the Continent. A Directory of the Manufacturers' Hall
published in 1787, informs us that the manufacturers
who had rooms came from Ovenden, Sowerby, Soyland,
Warley, Heptonstall, Stansfield, and the other townships
of the parish ; from Burnley, Colne, Pendle, Skipton,
Kildwick, Sutton-in-Craven, Bradford, Bingley,
Keighley, and CuUingworth. Eobert Heaton, of
Ponden, beyond Stanbury, had Room No. 120 in the
The Piece Hall is a striking tribute to the pre-
eminent place that Halifax held in the cloth trade at
THE PIECE HaLL. 201
the middle of the eighteenth century. The Cloth Halls
of Leeds, Huddersfield, and Bradford, were but small in
comparison. We must next consider how the Piece
Hall was used for business. On Saturday morning at
eight o'clock the doors were opened, and from that time
until a quarter to ten, the manufacturers were allowed
to take in. their goods, but no cart was admitted that
was drawn by more than one horse. The manufacturers
opened their rooms, and arranged their stocks for the
market. The small makers, who had no rooms, were
charged a penny for each piece they brought into the
Hall. At ten o'clock the Market Bell rang, and the
sales began. If a merchant or buyer was found in the
Hall before the bell rang, he was fined, so that every
buyer had an equal chance. At twelve o'clock the bell
proclaimed the market closed, and the buyers had to
leave the Piece Hall. From half-past twelve until four
o'clock, pack-horses and carts were admitted again to
remove the cloth that had been sold. There was also a
market for worsted yarn held in a large room on the
south side of the Hall from 1-30 to 2-30. At four
o'clock the gates were closed again, and the Piece Hall
would be deserted until the following Saturday. We
may get a glimpse inside one of the rooms with the aid
of an old account book belonging to James Akroyd of
Brookhouse, and Jonathan Akroyd of Lanehead, near
Ogden, who were in partnership as worsted manu-
facturers. At first they rented a room from Mr.
Pollard, paying two pounds a year; but in 1785 they
bought by auction for £30 2s., the room No. 80 Rustic.
The number of pieces in the room varied from 50 to 330,
and at the end of 1794 when they took stock, they had
269 pieces, valued at £647 6s. Jonathan Akroyd,
THE STORY OF OLD HALIFAX.
THE PIECE HALL. 203
though a good business man, was a poor speller, for boys
had little schooling then. He wrote "pees Haull " for
Piece Hall. In October, 1801, there is this puzzling
entry — "a Pease sined this Day by Boney Part." It
refers to the preliminaries of peace with Napoleon, that
were signed on October 1st, 1801. The prospect of
peace made trade brisk, and 223 pieces were reduced to
102 in a fortnight.
The manufacturers, like the Akroyds, who sold their
cloth in the Piece Hall, did not make this cloth in mills
as is the modern method, but they superintended the
various processes, though the work itself — combing,
spinning, or weaving — was done at home. After the
wool had been sorted, a wool-comber would receive a
small quantity along with some soft soap and oil. The
wool was thoroughly washed, and the comber took it
home. At home he had a small drum-shaped iron stove
(I6ins. high and 1 6ms. diameter) to heat his combs.
The stove was called a " Pot," and often four men
worked with one stove, and they called it "a pot o'
four." An unsociable, or independent man was nick-
named "a pot o' one." One comb was fixed on to a pad,
which in turn was fixed to a post in the middle of the
room. The wool was thrown on to the hot comb, and
afterwards drawn off with the second hot comb. The
wool was worked again on to the fixed comb, and drawn
off by hand into long slivers. The slivers were placed
on the wool-comber's form, rolled into balls, washed
again, and wrung through rollers. The slivers were
brought back to the bench, broken into small pieces,
sprinkled with oil, and re-combed. After the second
combing, the wool was drawn through a hole in a horn
disc, and twisted into a neat-looking "top." The short
204 THE STORY OF OLD HALIFAX.
wool that was combed out was called " noils," and that
was used for the coarser woollen cloths, blankets, etc.
In Bankfield Museum is a case containing the utensils of
a hand-comber, and an illustrated pamphlet may be
obtained giving full particulars of the processes.
Four spinners were required to produce sufficient
yarn to keep one weaver going ; therefore the manu-
facturer was obliged to send his tops far afield to spin.
From the Akroyd account books we discover that their
wool was spun at Tossit and Wigglesworth, near Long
Preston ; at Austwick near Clapham ; and a large
quantity went as far as Dunsop Bridge, which is in
the Trough of Bowland, a pass that leads to Lancaster.
The wool travelled on pack horses, and the carriers
charged half-a-crown to take a pack of wool to Dunsop
Bridge. The spinners' wages were sent hidden in the
wool-packs, exactly in the same way as the Egyptians
hid their valuables in corn sacks in Joseph's time. At
each place mentioned, Jonathan Akroyd had a small
shop-keeper or agent, who was paid a half-penny
a pound for putting out the wool. William
Thomas of Dunsop Bridge, one of these agents, would
distribute the wool among the farmhouses for the women
to spin, and afterwards collect the yarn. The other
Halifax manufacturers sent their wool into Craven and
North Yorkshire to be spun, and Halifax was such an
important centre that the old milestones beyond Settle
give the distance from Halifax.
In the valley above Wheatley is Waltroyd, a white-
washed farmhouse sheltered by a huge chestnut tree,
which in summer time is like a big umbrella over the
house. Just over a hundred years ago, Waltroyd was
the home of Cornelius Ash worth, farmer and hand-loom
A HAND-LOOM WEAVER. 205
weaver. He kept a diary, and from his entries we can
see exactly how a weaver worked. On October 14th,
1782, Cornelius Ashworth "carried a piece," which
means that he had finished weaving a piece, and had
taken it to some manufacturer like Akroyd of Lanehead,
though he never states where he delivered his work.
The same day he wove 4 J yds., and the next day 9 yds.
of a new piece. Then for a week the loom stood idle, for
Ashworth was busy with his harvest. On the 23rd, he
wove two yards before sunset, and " clouted my coat in
the evening," which means mended or patched it. The
next day, he churned until 10 o'clock, and Wove 6 J yds.
during the rest of the day. The 25th turned out to be
a very wet day, and as no outside work could be done,
Ashworth spent the day at his loom, and wove 8|- yards.
The day following was Saturday, when he took his corn
to the miller, and in the afternoon helped in a neigh-
bour's harvest field. On October 29th, Cornelius
Ashworth wove 2 J yards ; on the following day 4 yards,
which finished the piece, and he carried it to the
This piece was 38 yards long ; he had taken sixteen
days to weave it ; and he would probably be paid five
or six shillings for his work. But of course he had been
harvesting and farming, and he was at liberty to change
from one work to the other as he liked. This is one
great difference between the old days when a man
worked at home, and the present time when a weaver
has to stay in the mill from six in the morning until six
at night. The older life was not so monotonous. Here
is the record of one day: — "Saturday, August 16th,
1 783 — A fine, warm, droughty day. I churned and
sized a warp in the morning. Went to Halifax and saw^
THE STORY OF OLD HALIFAX.
two men hanged on Beacon Hill, their names Thomas
Spencer and Mark Saltonstall, having been tried at
York Assizes and found guilty of being active in a riot
in and about Halifax in June last. They were sentenced
to be executed on the above hill. We housed 38 hattocks
Fig. 78.— Wai.troyd,
Photo. H. P. Kendall.
in the afternoon." The droughty weather helped the
warp to dry after the sizing. Thomas Spencer was the
man who arranged the murder of Mr. Dighton, and he
came to his end for leading a mob to break into the
warehouses on Corn Market, when bread was very dear.
In order to complete the portrait of Mr. Ashworth^
we must note that he went most regularly every Sunday
to Square Chapel, and later to Pellon Lane Chapel. If
he did not attend service he wrote an apology in his
diary, after this style: — "Sunday, August 7th, 1785 —
I stayed at home till noon as I discovered a wound in a
young heifer. I thought it a work of necessity to get it
dressed immediately." Between the morning and after-
noon services, he would go to an inn for dinner and hear
all the local news of the week. Cornelius Ashworth
comments several times on the number of open graves, he
saw in the Parish Churchyard, for children during severe
epidemics. The ministers of Square and Pellon Lane
Chapels came once a month to Waltroyd to hold
services in the large house, and the people about came to
hear them preach.
The highlands of our parish have never been favour-
able to agriculture, but in the eighteenth century, there
was more farming than is carried on nowadays. There
were no large farms, but most of the clothiers, like
Cornelius Ashworth, grew their own corn and kept a few
cows. Corn was high in price, and if it had to be
imported from a distance by pack-horses it was very
dear. Some of the higher farms like Stannery End near
Mytholmroyd, harvested crops from land where to-day
it would be thought impossible to make such farming
pay. The farmers had a few interesting methods of
improving the soil that are now practically obsolete.
Lime was an excellent dressing for the land, but Halifax
is a long way from the limestone area. On the other
side of Boulsworth Hill, about Thursden and Wycollar,
is a glacial drift where, in remote ages, a glacier left
boulders of various rocks. The limestone boulders were
picked out of the drift, and burnt in lime-kilns. The
other useless boulders were heaped into huge mounds.
208 THE STORY OF OLD HALIFAX.
These hillocks are now grass-grown, covered with small
trees, and form a picturesque and puzzling feature of the
landscape. The lime was carried on pack-horses to the
farms about Halifax, and some of the old pack-horse
tracks beyond Wadsworth are called Limers' Gates. In
a Shibdon Hall account book is this entry :—" 1721, 5
loads Lancashire lime 6s. 8d." A load was two panniers
of 1 cwt. each. Emily Bronte tells of Joseph leading
lime from Wycollar district to Wuthering Heights.
P. G. Hamerton saw the pack-horses carrying lime about
Widdop as late as 1856.
Cornelius Ash worth records that at Waltroyd the
land was irrigated by water-furrowing. In the fields by
the stream side, long ditches were dug from which
channels and drains carried the water over the field.
In the spring-time the beck was dammed, and the water
turned into the ditches to overflow the land. In the
higher fields, ditches were made, and water turned on to
the land from the springs. In the fields at Waltroyd
and elsewhere, traces of the ditches and gutters can still
be seen. These stream -side fields were named " holmes."
The original Scandinavian word meant "island," (for
example, Stockholm). Then it was used for land in the
bend of a river that was liable to be flooded. Locally we
have old place-names, such as Tilley -holme, Mytholm,
Bird-holme, and Dodge-holme. Lastly, a " holme " was
a field that might be irrigated by a stream.
When considering the seventeenth century houses,
we decided that the windows afforded the surest guide
for the date of the houses. In the eighteenth century
houses, the window jambs and mullions are flush with
the wall, because the walls were not built so thick. For
the same reason the mullions are square in section.
18th century houses. 209
because there was not the need to bevel them. The
number of Hghts was also gradually reduced. For such
windows see the north side of Hop wood Hall ; Oaksroyd
near Copley Station ; Knowl Top, Lightclifie ; or Hazle-
hurst in Upper Shibden (1724). Another very common
form of window is to be seen at the Pineapple Hotel,
North Bridge ; the confectioner's shop in Gibbet Street,
below Hoy land's Passage ; houses ofl" South Parade and
at Wards End ; and the Malt Shovel Inn, Mytholmroyd
(a haunt of the Cragg Coiners). It is a three-light
window ; the centre light is higher than the sides, and
has a semi-circular top with a keystone. It was called a
Venetian window. Between King Cross Lane and Spice
Cake Lane, are Middle Street and South Street. There
you will find about a dozen houses with these windows.
It is a most interesting block of houses, for it is the first
row that was built in Halifax. Nowadays the vast
majority of people live in rows of houses, but once upon
a time the people lived in separate and detached houses.
In the eighteenth century, brick came into fashion
for Halifax houses, but it did not spread to the outlying
townships. For examples, we have Square Chapel
(1772); Stoney Royd (1764); the houses in the Square
and at Wards End ; the first Halifax Baths at Lilly
Bridge ; Waterside ; and an old brick warehouse
between Union Street and Thomas Street. The new
brick must have looked like sealing-wax, which was
used on all letters in those days, for Halifax boys and
girls used to sing: —
*' Halifax is made of wax,
Heptonstall of stone ;
There's pretty girls in Halifax,
In Heptonstall there's none."
Watson, writing in 1775, thought that the cheaper
THE STORY OF OLD HALIFAX.
brick would supplant the native stone, and that the
future Halifax would be a brick-built town.
Fig. 79.— South Street, King Ckoss Lane,
The first row of houses erected in the town.
The wealthy gentlemen of our neighbourhood built
many fine houses during the eighteenth century. In
fact, all over England, great mansions like Wentworth
House and Chatsworth were being erected. One of the
most famous of provincial architects was Carr of Yoik,
who designed Farnley Hall, Denton Hall, and Harewood
House. In our district he erected Pye Nest, White
Windows (1768), and Mr. Royd's house in George
Street. John Carr was the son of a Horbury mason.
One story of his early days tells that his mother made
18th century mansions. 211
him a large, circular meat-pie every week. Each
Monday morning, John divided his pie with his
mason's compasses into six equal parts. The mansions
of this period were large, square buildings, and the
decorations and ornaments were copied from ancient
Roman architecture. The style is known as "Classical."
Besides the houses already named, there are Clare Hall ;
Hope Hall ; Hopwood Hall ; Field House, Sowerby
(1749); and Making Place, Soyland. John Horner's
sketches (to be seen at Bankfield) give us an idea of the
beautiful and extensive grounds that surrounded these
houses. Comparing these classical houses with the
seventeenth century halls, they are much larger and
more imposing than the comfortable farm-houses of the
previous century. The merchants for whom they were
usually built, were richer and fewer than the small
manufacturers of the previous century. The offices and
warehouses of the merchant were often at the back of
his house. At Hope Hall, tw^o wings jut out from the
house, one of which was the stables, and the other served
as the merchant's warehouse.
The large houses, that were erected all over England
in the eighteenth century, usually had fine libraries.
One of the most famous bookshops in the kingdom was
that of "Edwards of HaUfax." William Edwards, the
father, "was for many years very eminent in his
profession, and of no common estimation for the energies
of his mind ; and his skill in collecting rare books, not
less than his exquisite taste in rich and expensive
bindings, will long be lecollected. " He died in 1808.
James Edwards, his most famous son, who opened a
London book shop in 1 784, was the first London book-
seller to display valuable books in splendid bindings.
4' 'ii|y[K' € I^HPl
HP^^K l^E l^B
^^^M^^^i, ij|fc? '
EDWARDS OF HALIFAX. 213
He speedily made a name as a great book collector,
by out-bidding the king for an illuminated manuscript
known as the Bedford Missal. James followed Napoleon's
army into Italy, buying rare books and manuscripts
from the soldiers after they had looted palaces and
monasteries. James Edwards also purchased several
notable Italian and French libraries, and was the means
by which the great collections of England were enriched
with the treasures of the Continent. His brother and
partner, John, went to France during the Kevolution,
hoping to secure more rare books, but he was guillotined
while on this quest. James Edwards had such a passion
for books, that he left instructions in his will that his
coffin was to be made from his librar}^ shelves. The
youngest brother, Bichard, also went to London, and is
best remembered because he commissioned the great
artist, William Blake, to draw over five hundred
illustrations for an expensive edition of Young's " Night
Thoughts," at a time when Blake was little understood
or appreciated. Thomas Edwards, who stayed at home
to keep the book shop in Old Market, sent out a
catalogue in 1816, which mentions over 11,000 books.
Halifax certainly had a wonderful book shop a century
ago. Thomas was also a good art critic, for he encouraged
J. M. W. Turner, long before he achieved fame.
This gifted family is remembered, most of all b}^
book lovers, as famous book-binders. WilUam and his
sons, James and Thomas, introduced new fashions in the
art. As they are always referred to as " Edwards of
Halifax," they have made our town known to collectors.
One of their styles was to decorate books with classic
designs that appealed strongly to their age, the calf skin
being stained to the shades of terra cotta of ancient
Fig. 81.— Binding in Transparent VelluivI by Edwards of Halifax.
(From the Library of E. Marchetti, Esq.) Photo. O, E. Gledhill
EDWARDS OF HALIFAX. 215
Grecian vases. Other books were covered with trans-
parent vellum, and the underside of the vellum was
decorated with appropriate paintings or drawings.
Edwards also painted landscapes on the fore-edges of
books. These beautiful paintings are hidden by the
gold when the book is closed, but when the volume is
opened and the leaves fanned out, the beautiful painting
is discovered. A prayer book bound for Queen Charlotte
is always on view in the show-cases of the British
Museum. Bindings by Edwards of Halifax are highly
prized by book collectors. There are a few fine specimens
of their work in Halifax Public Library.
"Hand Wool-combing," by H. L. Roth.
(Bankfield Museum Notes No. 6, 1909).
"The Diary of a Grandfather," by T. W. Hanson.
(Halifax Antiquarian Society Transactions, 1916).
"Edwards of Halifax," by T. W. HANSON.
(Halifax Antiquarian Society Transactions, 1912).
THE INDUSTRIAL REVOLUTION THE VALLEYS EXALTED AND THE OLD
TOWNS DECAY CANALS THE NAMING OF THE HEBBLE — TURNPIKE
ROADS TWINING's PICTURE OF CALDER VALE INN YARDS — STAGE
COACHES — LUKE PRIESTLEY' S JOURNEY FROM LONDON TO BRANDY
HOLE — ENCLOSURES FOSTER THE ESSAYIST SCARCITY OF MILK —
THE GREAT INVENTIONS — STEAM ENGINES — BRADFORD OUTSTRIPS
During the latter half of the eighteenth century,
and in the early part of the nineteenth century, Halifax
passed through the greatest changes in its history.
First of all, new methods of transit for merchandise, and
new modes of travelling were introduced — canals and
good roads being made in place of the old pack-horse
causeways. Secondly, it was an age of great inventions
THE STORY OF OLD HALIFAX.
THE INDUSTRIAL REVOLUTION. 217
in the textile trades — machines were invented to take
the place of the spinning wheels, hand combs, shearing
boards, and hand looms. The new machinery produced
much more yarn and cloth than the old way of hand-
labour. Lastly, steam-power completed the great
change. Large mills driven by steam engines, put out
of action the early mills that had depended upon water-
wheels for their power, and railways took the bulk of
the traffic from the canals and roads. The hundred
years from 1750 to 1850 has been named the age of the
Industrial Revolution. These two long words are used
by historians to denote the great change and upheaval
caused by the vast increase of industry and trade. At
the beginning of that time England was principally a
farming country. By the end of this time, it had
become the workshop of the world.
Before we trace in detail the local history of the
Industrial Revolution, it is worth while making another
survey of the country-side, comparing our observations
with those recorded in our first chapter on the geography
of Halifax Parish in olden times. Suppose we take
Norland as our starting point for a ramble. Norland's
hill-side is dotted over with good seventeenth century
houses, but very few modern ones. Descending into
Sowerby Bridge, we find a modern town of mills, and
rows of nineteenth century houses. Climbing up the
opposite hill, we reach Sowerby, another old-world place.
At the western boundary of Sowerby Township, we
descend to Mytholmroyd — a modern manufacturing
village. A little further west is Hebden Bridge, a valley
town of no great agje, and ascending yet another steep
hill we arrive at Heptonstall — an ancient town. We
can read the story of the shifting of the population in
218 THE STORY OF OLD HALIFAX.
the place-names of the Calder Valley. The prmcipal
town at the western end of the parish was Heptonstall,
but Hepton (Hebden) Bridge took its place when
trade descended from the hills to the valley. Ancient
Luddenden was outstripped by Luddenden Foot.
Sowerby, once the richest township in the parish, saw
its trade and people descend to Sowerby Bridge.
Raetrick, set on a hill at the eastern end of the parish,
had looked down on the insignificant house by the
bridge over the Calder, which afterwards gave its name
to the busy new town of Brighouse. As we have seen,
many of" the industrial centres of Calder Yale bear
names that show that they stand at a lower altitude
than the older towns.
One of the prophets, in looking forward to a great
change in Hebrew times, said that "Every valley would
be exalted, and each mountain and hill brought low."
This poetic phrase would almost literally apply to this
period of our local history. Or there is much truth in
the striking statement that "the world was turned
upside down" in this district. Sowerby Township was
dome-shaped and bounded by Cragg Brook, Calder,
By burn, and Lumb Beck, with Crow Hill as its apex.
The new urban district of Sowerby Bridge is bowl-
shaped, with the houses crowded in the bottom along
the river-side, and the rim of the bowl formed by the
heights of Norland, Sowerby, Warley, and Skircoat.
The low-lying lands that had been considered useless
in the middle ages, provided the best sites for mills
The Parish of Halifax is one of the most interesting
places in which to study the effect of the Industrial
Bevolution. In other parts of industrial England, all
THE FIRST MILLS.
relics of an earlier period have disappeared as completely
as if an ocean had rolled over the land, but about
Halifax the tide of industrialism never rose high enough
to submerge the old landmarks. It is easy to follow the
course of the great changes. A Heptonstall clothier
could not erect a spinning mill on the hill-top, because
Fig. 83.— Olo Mill in a Clough near Blackshavv Head.
there was no stream there to turn a water-wheel.
Therefore the earliest mills were built in the doughs,
such as the mill at New Bridge, near the lodge to
Hardcastle Crags. The water-wheel has been removed,
but the goit remains. A cluster of houses was built
about the mill for some of the workers. On the banks
of the Hebden stream, from Gibson Mill (close to Hard-
220 THE STORY OF OLD HALIFAX.
castle Crag) down to Hebden Bridge, several mills and
groups of houses were built. From this time the ancient
town of Heptonstall ceased to grow, while below it, the
valleys were becoming more populated. After a time
the mills in the Hebden valley installed steam engines,
and the higher mills were handicapped, because it was
so costly to cart coals to them. The two mills at
Hardcastle Crags have stopped running, and in Jumble
Hole Clough, near Eastwood Station, are ruined mills
(and cottages) that make us wonder why they were
ever built in such positions. Dr. Whittaker, who
published a history of this district at the beginning of
the nineteenth century, said that a mountainous- country
was the best for manufacturing. He was thinking of
water-power when the early mills were driven by
moorland streams. The canals and new high-roads
were made along the valleys, and the mills that were
able to use the new methods of transport had a great
advantage. The age of steam and railways made the
lower levels still more valuable, and doomed the ancient
hill towns to stagnation.
We noticed that in the old townships, a group of
houses was called a " town," and we had Sowerby Town
and Warley Town. This word was also given to the
clusters of new houses that were erected. There is a
Charlestown near Hebden Bridge, and a Charlestown
near North Bridge, Halifax. A row or two of houses,
midway between Haley Hill and Boothtown, was called
Newtown ; the houses around Pellon Lane Chapel
became Chapeltown ; and the district now called
Claremount was formerly Beaumont Town. Our fore-
fathers, with a touch of humour, dubbed the more
extensive building scheme — Orange Street and in
Wheatley— " The City."
THE CANAL. 221
The manufacturers and merchants, of Hahfax in the
eighteenth century (such as Sam Hill of Making Place)
did a large export trade, and one of their difficulties was
to transport their cloth to the ports. Leeds was better
served than Halifax, for the River Aire had been made
navigable, and boats for Hull could be loaded at Leeds
docks. Halifax cloth was conveyed by waggons and
pack-horses over Swales Moor, and through Bradford to
the wharves at Leeds. To save the heavy cost of
transport over this hilly route, it was determined to
make a canal from Halifax to Wakefield, where a
junction could be made with the Aire and Calder
Navigation to Hull. In 1756, a committee was formed
to make the preliminary arrangements, and as there
were few canals at that date, it was deemed advisable
to engage a good engineer. Smeaton, who was then
building the Eddystone Lighthouse, was selected for the
work. In the summer of 1757, many letters on the
subject were written to Smeaton, for he could not leave
Plymouth as it was essential to have the foundations of
the lighthouse finished before the wintry gales com-
menced. Smeaton was a busy man ; we can imagine
him studying the Halifax letters and plans as he sailed
to and from the Eddystone Rock. He would see the
full-rigged wooden men-of-war, and possibly the flag-
ships of Admiral Hawke or Rodney, sailing down the
Channel to meet the French fleet. Sailors were very
much interested in the new lighthouse, and Smeaton
would enjoy many a chat with the sea-captains.
On Friday, October 21st, 1757, the great engineer
arrived at Halifax, and met the Committee at the
Talbot Inn. On the Monday following he commenced
his survey, and was taken down the river in a small
222 THE STORY OF OLD HALIFAX.
boat in order that he might take measurements and
particulars of the route. At that time the Calder was
as clear and beautiful a river as the Wharfe is to-day.
To cut a long story short, plans were drawn and
permission obtained from Parliament to make the
Calder navigable. Some of the landowners and mill-
owners, whose property adjoined the river, opposed the
scheme, and a large amount of money had to be spent in
law-suits and for compensation. Serious floods occurred
while the canal was being made, and some of the work
had to be done two or three times. However, the
promoters persevered, but the work cost much more
money than had been estimated. The canal ended at
Salterhebble, for at that time it was not considered
practicable to continue it up the narrow, steep valley to
Halifax. The old Salterhebble Docks, south of the
bridge, became a very important and busy place, where
Halifax cloth was shipped to Hull and the Continent.
The Lancashire manufacturers were planning a canal
from the Irish Sea to Rochdale, and onward into York-
shire. They forced the Calder and Hebble Navigation
promoters to make a branch canal from Salterhebble to
Sowerby Bridge, aud this link made a through canal
from the North Sea to the Irish Sea. The Hochdale
Canal was not completed until 1802. The principal
street in Sowerby Bridge was named Wharf Street,
because it was the road to the canal wharves. The
extension of the canal to Halifax was opened in 1828.
Those who live near the canal, and who use the old word
" cut " for it, may be interested to know that the Act of
Parliament (1825) says " a navigable cut or canal from
Salterhebble Bridge to Bailey Hall." It is difficult for
us to understand why there was so much enthusiasm
THE CANAL. 223
about the canal. Contemporary engravings depict a
large stretch of water bearing a full-rigged ship, with
our hills in the background. An allegorical figure
bringing the horn of plenty, descends from the skies,
and on the laden wharf in the foreground, gentlemen in
quaint Georgian costume wave their three-cornered hats
with joy. "An Essay on Halifax," published in 1761,
broke into poetry, with: —
" Methinks I see upon the beauteous vale,
Upon the glossy surface of the stream,
The teeming vessel gliding smoothly on ;
Its swelling canvas holds the gentle gale,
While on the deck the hardy^ sea-boy plays,
Fearless of storms."
Fig. 84.— Boat-Horse versus Pack-Horses/
Halifax men felt that they had a visible connection
with the ocean and more interest in the Navy, whose
great victories were making overseas commerce more
secure. Foreign trade depended to a large extent on
Britain's mastery of the sea. The great benefit to local
trade wrought by the canals, can be expressed in a
simple sum. One horse will pull as much weight on the
Calder and Hebble Canal as a string of six hundred
pack-horses can carry. By means of the canal, the corn
grown on the rich York Plain became available for
224 THE STORY OF OLD HALIFAX.
Halifax, and Wakefield became a great corn mart for
this district. By 1834, Halifax was receiving corn from
Ireland. In 1775, William Walker wanted a large
amount of timber for the rebuilding of Crow Nest, Clifie
Hill, and Lightcliflfe Church. He chartered a vessel in
Hull, went to the Baltic shore of Bussia, brought the
timber back to Hull, and then conveyed it by canal to
Brighouse. Soon after the canal was finished, a large
printing press was brought to Halifax. It was impossible
to carry such heavy goods over the old, steep roads.
Perhaps the greatest boon brought by the canal was
coal. Miss Listers Diary states that in 1828, the local
coal was selling at 7s., and it cost another 7s. for leading
from Swales Moor into Halifax. The coal from Kirklees
could be delivered to Bailey Hall wharf for 9s., and the
leading into the town was only 2s. The local coal was
getting worked out, and Dr. Whittaker made a woeful
prophecy. He foresaw that when the coal was exhausted,
the fences and houses, and even the Parish Church,
would fall into ruins, the land would go out of cultiva-
tion, and our hills and vales become a sheep-run. He
was sure that within a measurable time, the extent of
the ancient parish would support but a few shepherds,
and the population decline until it became less than
before the Norman Conquest. If it had not been for
the canal, Halifax would have been in a desperate
plight indeed, when coal for steam-power became a
prime necessity for manufacturing.
The canal gave the present name of Hebble to our
stream. When the valley bottoms were neglected and
of no account, the brook had no single name of its own.
Each section had a separate title, such as Ogden Brook,
Mixenden Beck, The Dodge, Jumples Beck, Ovenden
THE HEBBLE. 225
Wood Brook, Halifax Brook, and Salterhebble Brook.
In the same way, one of our streets is called Princess
Street, Corn Market, Southgate, and Wards End,
though these are but lengths of the same street. The
end of the first canal was alongside the Salterhebble
Brook, and this name became shortened to Hebble
Brook. From a commercial standpoint it was the most
important section of the stream. And so it came to pass
that this name Hebble was bestowed on the whole
length of the rivulet from Ogden to the Calder. A
" hebble " originally meant a plank bridge, and Salter
Hebble was at first a wooden. bridge built by a man who
dealt in salts and dye-wares.
At Stump Cross, at Ambler Thorn, near Greetland
Station, and at other places on our main roads are Toll-
bar houses. They are one-storeyed roadside houses,
usually having a bay-window jutting out, from which
the turn -pike man could observe all travellers. Fixed
to the house-front was a large board on which the scale
of tolls was painted. From the bar-house, a gate
stretched across the road, and every driver passing
along the highway had to pay a toll to have the gate
opened. The tolls for the road from Halifax to Bradford
were sixpence for every waggon or carriage drawn by
four houses, fourpence for two or three horses, three-
pence for each one-horsed vehicle, sixpence a score for
cattle, twopence halfpenny for each score of pigs or
sheep, and a halfpenny for every horse or ass. It
appears very strange to us that people had to pay to go
along the roads, but the tolls paid for the making and
repairing of these new roads.
The large increase of trade made more traffic between
the various parts of the kingdom, and the canals only
226 THE STORY OF OLD HALIFAX.
touched a few. places. Roads were needed on which
waggons and carts could travel easily, for in our part of
the country the steep pack-horse causeways were
impossible for wheeled traffic. There were very few
bridges, and most of those were like the narrow arch
that spans Lumb Falls. If there was a similar problem
Fig. 85.— Toll Bar on Wakefield Road, Sowerisy Bridge (1824-1870).
to tackle to-day, the government or the public would
undertake it, but in the eighteenth century it was left
to private enterprise. A number of merchants and
landowners formed themselves into a company, or
Turnpike Trust, with the object of improving the road
between two towns, and they applied to Parliament for
TURNPIKE KOADS. 227
power to make their road. The revenue of the Trust
was obtained from the tolls collected at the bar houses.
The Turnpike Roads were better planned than the old
roads. The present road to Queensbury — ^the tram
route — was a Turnpike Road, made under an Act of
Parliament dated 1753, and its toll-bars were abolished
in 1861. The old road went up Range Bank and across
Swales Moor, and it was also the only way to Leeds until
the Whitehall Road was opened. The Act concerning
the Halifax and Rochdale Road over Blackstone Edge
came into force on June 1st, 1735, and is one of the
earliest in the country. The road to Todmorden and
Burnley was made by a Trust created in 1760, and
followed a route through Luddenden Foot, Mytholm-
royd, and Hebden Bridge. The old pack-horse road into
Lancashire went by Highroad Well. Li the 18th
century, this was known as Harewood Well, or in the
dialect pronunciation — Harrod Well. After the low
turnpike road was made, the name was corrupted to
Highroad Well. This high road is about Midgley called
the Heights Road, and beyond Blackshaw Head it
is known as the Long Causeway. The local troops used
this road in the Civil Wars. In many places it resembles
a mountain pass. Its route is indicated in the following
" Burnley for ready money,
Mearclough noa trust ;
Yo're peeping in at Stiperden,
And call at Kebs yo' must ;
Blackshaw Head for travellers,
And Heptonstall for trust ;
Hepton Brig for landladies,
And Midgley near the moor ;
Ludd end en's a warm spot,
Koyle's Head's cold ;
An' when yo' get to Halifax,
Yo' mun be varry bold."
THE STORY OF OLD HALIFAX.
A journey over a section of this old route, returning
home by the newer and lower road, will give you the
best idea of the improvement made. There is a point
worth noting about this Calder Yale road. If there had
been a national system of roads, as there is in France,
there would be a great trunk road from Todmorden
down the length of the Calder Valley to Wakefield.
Because the roads were made by local committees, there
is a link missing between Luddenden Foot and Sowerby
Bridge, and carts have to take the hilly way by Tuel
Fig. 86.— Pack Saddle and Pillion.
The most famous English road engineers were Telford
and Macadam. Telford's road from London to Holyhead
was so planned that a horse might trot every inch of
the way, even over the part that threaded the Welsh
mountains. Macadam uivented a new surface for roads,
and we still speak of macadamised roads. Yorkshire
had a gifted road-maker, even before their time, named
John Metcalfe of Knaresborough. He lost his sight
when quite a child through small-pox, but "Blind Jack"
BLIND JACK. 229
grew up fearless and strong, fond of following the
hounds, and excelling in many sports. Metcalfe con-
tracted to make a road through a bog near Harrogate,
and he built a bridge at Boroughbridge. He was so
successful that he was engaged to make many roads
throughout Yorkshire and Lancashire. " Blind Jack "
made the road passing Shibden Industrial School, called
Lister Boad, which was the main road before Godley
Boad was cut. He also was responsible for the road
between Halifax and Huddersfield. It is wonderful,
that without sight, he was able to survey a road. Stick
in hand, he walked up and down the hillsides to gain a
knowledge of the country to be traversed, and in that
manner decided on the best line for his road. The
canals and roads made a great difference to our district,
and were partly the cause of the gravitation of the
people to the valleys. New houses and mills were built
on the road-side at Triangle and Bipponden. Soyland
then decreased in population. In Ovenden township,
the bulk of the people had lived in Wheatley, Ovenden
Wood, and Mixenden. The Keighley Boad, completed
about 1785, went up the other valley, and a new
Ovenden sprang up which has since become the centre
of the township. The cleverest engineer could not
make level roads in Halifax Parish because of our hills.
Leeds and other towns were better placed, and Halifax
was finding that Nature had handicapped it for the new
development of road travel. The system of turnpike-
roads throughout the country made it possible for
Englishmen to explore their own country, and travelling
became fashionable. This in turn created a demand for
books on the sights and history of every district.
Among these publications is '' The History and Anti-
230 THE STORY OF OLD HALIFAX.
quities of the Parish of Hahfax in Yorkshire," written by
the Kev. John Watson, 1775. It is a thick quarto
volume, and contains the result of much industry and
In the summer of 1781, a Colchester clergyman,
while on a driving tour, described the scenery on the
main road between Hebden Bridge and Todmorden: —
"The valley contracts itself; the hills crowd about
you, rising almost perpendicularly on each side, wooded
from top to bottom with black, craggy rocks joeeping out
here and there ; picturesque little mills with their rush
of water, close under the woods ; bridges, some of stone
of a single arch, others of wood, but all exactly such as
a painter would have them ; cottages perched about,
some in the road, others close to the stream, others over
your head, in most romantic and improbable situations,
more like stone nests than houses ; here and there little
cross vales opening into this, paths winding up the
woods, craggy roads losing themselves round the corner
of a wood, etc., etc. I sicken with vague description!
In short, the effect it had on me was that of painted
landscapes of the most invented and poetic kind realised;
and every object, animate or inanimate, that we saw was
of a piece with the surrounding scene, and they seem to
have been placed where they were on purpose, as much
as mile-stones and guide-posts are in vulgar roads ; a
man with a pack on his shoulder and a stafl* in his hand,
trudging over a rustic bridge, or climbing up a winding
path through a wood ; men driving pack-horses, or
lounging along side-ways on the empty pack-saddle — a
favourite figure with painters." Writing of the view of
Calder Vale at Elland, he said "I never felt anything so
fine. I shall remember it and thank God for it as long
STAGE COACHES. 23 I
as I live. I am sorry I did not think to say grace after
it. Are we to be grateful for nothing but beef and
pudding; to thank God for life and not for happiness?"
The great inn -yards are interesting relics of this
epoch of olden Halifax. We have the Union Cross
Yard, Old Cock Yard, Northgate Hotel Yard, Upper
George and Lower George Yards. Many of these yards
were larger at one time, but their space has been
encroached upon by building. The large stones placed
at the entrances and corners, and the horse-blocks speak
of a time when the yards were crowded with farmers'
gigs, manufacturers' carts, carriers' waggons, and stage
coaches. Every morning at nine o'clock, a waggon
belonging to Deacon, Hanson & Co. set out for London,
and other firms also had a service. Three times a week
a waggon left for Skipton, Settle, Lancaster, and Kendal,
and other carriers catered for Sheffield, Manchester,
Leeds, and all other centres. In 1845, there were
about fifty carriers who made regular journeys from
Halifax to various places. Pack-horses were still work-
ing about 1850, and P. G. Hamerton the art critic,
mentions in his book, pack-horses at Widdop.
In 1830, the following coaches left the White Swan
4 a.m. Koyal Hope - - to London in 27 hours.
5 30 ,, Shuttle - - to Blackpool.
7 ,. Perseverance - - to Manchester.
7 0,, Hark Forward to Wakefield.
7 ,, Alexander - - to Bradford and Leeds.
8 ,, Duke of Leeds - to Liverpool.
11 15 ,, High Flier - - to Wetherby.
12 15 p.m. Royal Mail - - to Manchester.
12 45 ,, Royal Mail - - to York.
1 30 ,, Commerce - - to Liverpool.
3 15 ,, Duke of Leeds - to Leeds.
3 45 ,, High Flier - - to Manchester.
6 ,, Commerce - - to Leeds.
232 THE STORY OF OLD HALIFAX,
Coaches ran from the other inns, either as rivals to
those from the Swan, or to different places. The Post
Office used the mail coaches for sending letters, but
postage was dear. In 1820, the postage on a letter
from Halifax to Bradford or Huddersfield was 4d., to
Manchester 6d., and to London lid. Halifax had not
so good a coach service as Leeds, Wakefield, and Man-
chester, and Halifax merchants at the beginning of the
nineteenth century found that their competitors in
other towns had fuller and later information about the
various markets. Travelling by stage-coach was too
dear for poor people, and we have an interesting account
as to how one man came by road from London.. Luke
Priestley of Brandy Hole, Greetland, was discharged
from the army in April, 1817, in the Isle of Wight.
Wearing his red coat and knapsack, with about a guinea
in his pocket, he set out for home. By the time he
reached London he had little money left. Enquiring for
the north road, he walked to Highgate, whence a man
carried his knapsack three miles for sixpence, and a
coachman gave him a lift to Hatfield, where he stayed
the night. At that time, waggons loaded with wool
journeyed from London to Halifax, the drivers riding on
ponies beside their waggons. Priestley looked out
for these drivers, and would get a ride on the pony
whilst the driver had a sleep in the waggon tail. By
this means he reached Wakefield, where he sought out a-
flock dealer who traded with Greetland. He stayed the
night at his house, and reached home the next day on
the flock dealer's cart.
John Foster, who was born at the Manor House,
Wadsworth Lanes, near Hebden Bridge in 1770, became
a great English writer by reason of his famous essays.
In his boyhood he rambled among the "narrrow, deep,
long-extended glens, with thick, dark woods and rapid
torrents from the mountains, all together forming scenes
of the most solemn and romantic character." In 1801,
he paid his last visit to Yorkshire, for he was so
disappointed that he never came north again. Some
years afterwards he wrote these remarkable words: —
'' The solemnity and silence of these valleys, with almost
all their romantic and ghostly influences, have since
vanished at the invasion of agriculture and manu-
facturing establishments." We all know that the
country has been spoiled since John Wesley, Thomas
Twining, and John Foster praised its beauties, and we
blame the factories for the change. What did John
Foster mean by the invasion of agriculture ?
In the eighteenth century, very little of the land,
comparatively speaking, on our hill-sides was parcelled
out in fields. The hills were more like the fells of the
Lake District, where we can roam about just where we
wish, and Foster as a boy would be able to walk for
miles without encountering a stone wall. About Wads-
worth to-day, we are obliged to keep to field-paths,
and to thread through innumerable wall-stiles. At the
end of the eighteenth century, and at the beginning of
the nineteenth, Enclosure Acts were passed by Parlia-
ment, which afiected our parish along with the rest of
the kingdom. The lord of the manor and the principal
landowners decided to improve the waste lands, the
commons, and the great open fields of the township or
parish. They proceeded to obtain an Enclosure Act, and
after such Act received the royal assent, commissioners
came and divided the land among the landowners. In
many places — Elland and Stainland are local examples —
234 THE STORY OF OLD HALIFAX.
the old open fields which, as mentioned in one of our
earliest chapters, had been in existence from time
immemorial, were divided up along with the commons.
The poor man lost his right to pasture his cow, donkey,
or pig, and the right to gather fuel in the woods or on
the moors. Some men, who had a small piece of land
allotted to them, could not afibrd to pay the cost of
fencing and enclosing it, nor. the legal charges for the
Parliamentary work, and therefore they had to sell their
share to some richer neighbour. The English peasant
lost his hold on the land, and is therefore to-day in a
very difierent position from the French peasant, who,
however poor, has some right to the land. In the great
agricultural districts of the Midlands and the South, the
smaller farms were destroyed, and very large farms
substituted. The peasants were thrown out of work and
home, and they and their children flocked into Lancashire
and Yorkshire to find employment in the new mills, and
thus competed with the local people for work. The
landowners became very rich by these enclosures.
Parliament represented only the landed classes, and the
poor people had few champions, and these had not the
power to oppose the Acts to any purpose. In the
farming districts, large farms were made, and as new
methods of agriculture were being tried, and as corn was
at a high price, farming was very profitable.
In the township of Ovenden, twelve hundred acres
were enclosed in 1814. Skircoat Moor is about fifty-six
acres, and from that we can form some idea of the large
quantity of land involved. Some of it would be very
poor land, and some was the most valuable land in
Ovenden. The total area of the township is little more
than five thousand acres, therefore about one quarter of
THE MILK TRADE.
the township was enclosed at that time. The fields of
this period may be identified by their straight walls and
mathematical planning. They are easily traced in the
fields along Cousin Lane, lUingworth, and the fields on
Illingworth Moor — between Wrigley Hill and Soil Hill.
The same process of enclosure took place in the other
townships, until the whole parish was criss-crossed with
stone walls. The enclosure of the commons obliged
many families to give up keeping a cow and there was a
Photo. E. Roberts.
Fig. 87.— Enclosures, Cousin Lane, Ovenden.
serious milk famine, for the farmers would not trouble to
sell milk retail. Watson mentions the shortage as one
of the drawbacks of the district, and the Luddites
threatened to shoot George Haigh of Copley Gate if he
would not sell milk to his neighbours. Oatmeal and
oatcake had been the staple food, and for porridge you
must have milk. The milk famine made the people into
tea-drinkers, and white, wheaten bread took the place of
havercake. The cottagers also lost their privilege of
gathering sticks in the woods and peat from the moors,
for everywhere there were planted notice-boards-7-
236 THE STORY OF OLD HALIFAX.
*' Trespassers will be Prosecuted." John Foster was
one of the few men who voiced the injustice of the
Enclosures, and we can easily understand how the sight
of all these new raw walls moved him with indignation.
The great inventions, by means of which cloth was
made by machinery — ^ water-power and steam-power
taking the place of hand labour — made more alterations
in the life of the people than had ever taken place
before. Most of these inventions were first introduced
in the cotton trade, a comparatively new trade, and the
more conservative woollen and worsted manufacturers
were later in adopting the improvements. In 1764,
Hargreaves, a Blackburn weaver, patented a spinning
jenny, by which eight threads could be spun instead of
the single thread of the old-fashioned spinning wheel.
Five years later, Arkwright, a Preston barber, invented
a spinning machine in which the cotton was drawn out
fine by means of rollers. The new spinning machines
were at first turned by hand, and later by a horse gin.
Afterwards, water wheels were used to provide power
for the spinning machinery. There was much prejudice
against the new machines, and many of them were
destroyed by crowds who thought that the machinery
would take away their livelihood. Some of the inventors
were in danger of their lives. There were a number of
cotton mills in the parish, especially towards its western
end. Calico Hall, the old name for Clare Hall, shows
that the cotton trade was carried on in Halifax, and in
the eighteenth century there was a cotton factory in
Spring Hall Lane. It has been transformed into a row
of houses, and is near the Barracks.
Our interest however, is more in the worsted trade.
We have already noted the great difficulty there was in
SPINNING MILLS. 237
supplying the weavers with yarn, and how the spinning
had to be done in the farmhouses of Craven and other
parts of Yorkshire. The worsted manufacturers were
anxious to obtain a better supply. The early spinning
mills were not always successful, and many experiments
had to be made before satisfactory yarn could be
produced. Mr. Walker, of Walterclough in South-
ovvram, engaged a man called Swendall to fit up a mill
at Shaw Syke about 1784, and later a spinning mill was
built at Walterclough, but the venture was a failure.
The earliest worsted spinning factory is said to have
been in 1 784, at Dolphin Holme near Lancaster. This
mill supplied large quantities of yarn to Halifax and
Bradford. In 1792, Thomas Edmondson, one of the
partners in the Dolphin Holme Mill, built a large mill at
Mytholmroyd, and for many years it was the largest
spinning factory in our district. It stood on the
opposite side of the road to Mytholmroyd Church, where
now is the Empress Foundry, and the water-wheel was
driven by the water from a goit connected with Hawks-
clough. A few corn mills, a few fulling mills, and a few^
shears-grinders' works dotted here and there on the
banks of the streams, made up the total of the old mills.
The public-house sign " The Shears," marks the position
of a shear-grinder at Lee Bridge, Whitegate Bottom,
West Vale, and a few other places. The finishing of a
piece of cloth is still called "milling," though every
process is now done in mills, but at one time, only the
fulling was done in a mill. At the beginning of the
nineteenth century, almost every clough had its string
of new spinning mills, and the moorland becks were
kept busy turning their water-wheels. At first the
machine-spun yarns were not so good as hand-spun, but
they gradually improved until the weavers preferred
THE STORY OF OLD HALIFAX.
the new yarns. We hear of a weaver setting a row of
nineteen candles under the loom beam to singe the loose
hairs of the rough, machine-spun yarn. About 1800,
Michael Greenwood, of Limed House in Shibden,
invented a false reed or sley to guide the yarn into its
proper place, and that was a great help in weaving the
Fig. 88.— "Mill ne\r Ovendex Taken Down in 1817."
Sketched by John Hortter.
new yarn. The weavers had not been able to take full
advantage of Kay's Fly Shuttle, which had been
invented as early as 1738, until the stronger mill-spun
yarn was procurable. Kay's device was to have a
shuttle box on each side of the loom, each box attached
by a cord to a short stick, which he held in one hand.
By means of the stick and the two cords, he could jerk
the shuttle from one box to the other along a race board
STEAM ENGINES. 239
beneath the warps, while his other hand was free to
push the weft home. There is a specimen in Bankfield
Museum. The fly-shuttle moved much faster than the
old one, and so each weaver could make more cloth and
wanted more yarn. The Rev. Edmund Cartwright
invented a power-loom between 1784 and 1787, but it
was a long time after that before weaving machinery
was successfully used. Miss Lister's Diary informs us
that in 1826, three Halifax firms had power looms —
Akroyd's, Peter Bold's, and Kershaw's — but for many
years after that date, fancy fabrics w^ere woven by
Then came the Steam Engine. The earliest engines
were of rudimentary construction, and only slowly did
they supplant the water-wheel. One of the earliest
steam engines to be erected locally was at Jumples Mill,
and its duty was to pump the water that had run over
the water-wheel, up again into the mill-race to drive the
water-wheel once more. In 1825, the owners of the mills
driven by the Mixenden and Wheatley stream were so
content with water-power, that they decided to make a
reservoir at Ogden to ensure a more constant flow of
water. But in 1826 there was a long drought, and the
mill-owners abandoned their reservoir scheme, and
equipped their mills with steam engines. Bradford
manufacturers adopted factories and steam power more
readily than the Halifax men, and from this time we
may date Bradford's pre-eminence in the w^orsted trade.
On Saturday, June 25th, 1831, Miss Lister made a
journey from Halifax to York. She wrote " In passing
along, I could not help observing on the comparatively
fine, clear air of Halifax. Never in my life did I see a
more smoky place than Bradford. The great, long
240 THE STORY OF OLD HALIFAX.
chimneys are doubled I think, in number within these
two or three years. The same may be said of Leeds.
I begin to consider Halifax one of the cleanest and most
comely of manufacturing towns." Five years later, Miss
Lister made this note: — "Robert Mann said that three
40 -horse power, and one 60 -horse-power steam engines
ordered at Low Moor, and four 40-horse power engines
ordered at Bowling for mills to be built in Halifax."
Eeturning from a week-end at Bolton Woods in 1837,
Miss Lister found that " Halifax is now brightening into
the polish of a large smoke-canopied commercial town."
One of the largest mills built at this time was Old
Lane Mill, situated between Old Lane and Lee Bank,
which was erected by James Akroyd in 1828, and had
an engine of 60-horse power. The Akroyd's, as we have
seen, had originally carried on a large business from
their homes at Brookhouse and Lanehead near Ogden.
Then they built Brookhouse Mill, run by a water-wheel
which was fed by an ingenious system of goits and
aqueducts. With the era of steam, the Akroyd's moved
lower down the valley, and erected large mills at Old
Lane and Bowling Dyke. Steam engines require a large
and regular supply of coal, therefore it was an advantage
to be near the canal. Gradually, the mills in the moor-
land doughs had to close, and newer and larger mills
were built in the Calder Valley, and this induced the
population to move from the heights into the valley
"The Naming of the Hebble," by T. W. Hanson.
(Halifax Antiquarian Society's Transactions, 1914).
" Halifax in the Eighteenth Century," by F. A. Leyland.
("Halifax Courier," commencing March 6th, 1886).
" A Country Clergyman of the Eighteenth Century " — TWINING.
"The Village Labourer, 1760-1832," by J. L. & B. Hammond.
" Social Life in Halifax, early in the Nineteenth Century."
[Diary of Miss Lister]. (" Hx. Guardian," commencing June 11th, 1887).
CHILD SLAVERY — LUDDITES PETERLOO — THE REFORM ACT
THE CHARTISTS — WM. MILKER PLUG DRAWING FREE TRADE.
From " The Cry oj the Children," by Mrs. Browning.
Do ye hear the children weeping, O my brothers,
Ere the sorrow comes with years ?
They are leaning their young heads against their mothers,
And that cannot stop their tears.
The young lambs are bleating in the meadows.
The young birds are chirping in the nest,
The young fawns are playing with the shadows,
The young flowers are blowing toward the west —
But the young, young children, O my brothers,
They are weeping bitterly !
They are weeping in the playtime of the others,
In the country of the free.
' For oh,' say the children, ' we are weary,
And we cannot run or leap ;
If we cared for any meadows, it were merely
To drop down in them and sleep.
Our knees tremble sorely in the stooping.
We fall upon our faces, trying to go ;
And, underneath our heavy eyelids drooping,
The reddest flower would look as pale as snow.
For, all day, we drag our burden tiring
Through the coal-dark, underground;
Or, all day, we drive the wheels of iron
In the factories, round and round.
' For, all day, the wheels are droning, turning ;
Their wind comes in our faces,
Till our hearts turn, our heads with pulses burning,
And the walls turn in their places :
Turns the sky in the high window blank and reeling.
Turns the long light that drops adown the wall,
Turns the black flies that crawl along the ceiling,
All are turning, all the day, and we with all.
And all day, the iron wheels are droning.
And sometimes we could pray,
*' O ye wheels,'' (breaking out in a mad moaning)
"Stop! be silent for to-day! " '
242 THE STORY OF OLD HALIFAX.
Besides turning our local world upside down, the
mills wrought tremendous changes in the habits and
lives of the people. The women and children, who had
plied the spinning wheels, were engaged to attend to the
new spinning machines, and were the first to suffer in
the mills. Children had been badly treated before this
time. Defoe noted with approval that about Halifax
''scarce anything above four years old, but its hands
were sufficient for its own support." The statement
shocks us. The little biographies of workers in the
Wesleyan Revival, give us glimpses of the hard times
imposed on children. Fiddler Thompson and Jonathan
Savile were made cripples by the cruelties of hard
masters. Titus Knight, afterwards minister of Square
Chapel, worked in the Shibden coal-pits when he was
seven. Dan Taylor, who was born at Sour Milk Hall and
became a Baptist preacher, commenced work in a colliery
under Beacon Hill at five years old. The sledges were
all dragged from the coal-face to the pit-shaft by boys
and girls. It was said that unless their backbones were
bent when they were little, boys would never make
The mills created a greater demand for child labour,
and the hardships and cruelty were intensified. Boys
and girls were sent into the mills when they were five
or six years old ; some were even younger. In those
days, instead of the children being taught that the
rooks said "Caw! Caw!" they were told that they called
" Wark ! Wark ! " We know that fathers took their
children out of bed before five o'clock on a dark winter's
morning, and carried them on their shoulders to the
mill. Clocks were a luxury, and many children, afraid
of being late, were at the mill gates long before the
CHILD SLAVERY. 243
opening hour, and the th^ed little mites would fall asleep
until wakened by the rattle of the machinery. *They
stayed at the mill until eight o'clock at night, and the
engine did not stop for meal times. There was no half-
time, no Saturday half-holiday, the machinery was not
fenced, nor were there any factory inspectors. The
overlookers beat the children unmercifully, hitting them
to keep them awake, and the sleepy infants sometimes
fell against the machinery and were maimed or killed.
A spinner, in his evidence before the Commissioners in
1833, said "I find it difficult to keep my piecers awake
the last hour of a winter's evening ; have seen them fall
asleep, and go on performing their work with their
hands while they were asleep, after the billey had
stopped, when their work was over ; I have stopped and
looked at them for two minutes, going through the
motions of piecening when they were fast asleep, when
there was no work to do, and they were doing nothing."
A tradition clings to Brookhouse Mill about a dark
winter's morning when several factory children met
their death. It was so dark and slippery that they
must have fallen from the bridge into the stream, but
all that was known was that their little bodies were
found between the bridge and the stepping-stones.
Large numbers of children were wanted for the new
mills, and the mill-masters imported many of them from
a distance. The Overseers of the Poor in the Midlands
and the South of England were glad to get rid of their
pauper children, who were often sent in batches to the
mills of Yorkshire and Lancashire. Many of these boys
and girls had lived in beautiful places similar to Gold-
smith's "Sweet Auburn, loveliest village of the plain,"
but the Enclosure Acts had made their homes into a
244 THE STORY OF OLD HALIFAX.
"Deserted Village," and sunk their families into
poverty. These poor mites, housed and fed by the mill-
owners, were worked under horrible and cruel conditions
that may be described as slavery. The worst period
was from 1804 until 1819, when the Government was
moved to make enquiries about the pauper mill children,
because they were, in a sense, wards of the state.
About the year 1830, Richard Oastler was moved by
the condition of the children, and determined to get an
Act of Parliament passed, fixing ten hours as the longest
time for children to work. Oastler was steward for the
Thornhill's of Fixby Hall, and there is a statue of him
in Bradford. He was tall, of commanding appearance,
a gifted orator, and he became the leader of a great
movement in the West Riding in favour of shorter hours
of labour. On April 24th, 1832, there w^as held a great
meeting at York. Men, women, and children walked
from all parts of the West Riding on a " Pilgrimage of
Mercy." York Racecourse was crowded with the
multitude of people, many of whom suffered greatly by
their long march to York and home again in bad
weather. On January 1st, 1834, an Act came into force
by which no child under nine could work in a mill, and
children under eleven were not to work more than
forty-eight hours a week. Christmas Day and Good
tFriday were to be holidays, and there were to be eight
half-day holidays in the year, to be fixed by the mill-
master. It was not until June, 1847, that the Ten
Hours Bill became law, largely through the unselfish
advocacy of John Fielden, M.P., of Todmorden, who
though a large manufacturer, had worked for years to
better the conditions of factory workers.
The introduction of machinery threw a great many
men out of work at the time, for each machine did the
work of several men. Among the first men to suffer
were the croppers who finished the cloths bj cutting the
nap with the large cropping shears. As the machinery
increased, the small workshops where the croppers
worked found it harder to keep going, and one after
another was forced to close. The croppers could not
find work elsewhere, for at the time trade was very bad.
England was fighting Napoleon, food was dear, and a
large number of the people were starving. At length,
some of the men growing desperate, formed a secret
society to try to alter their condition by fair means or
foul. These men became the followers of " General
Ludd," and each took an oath that he would obey all
commands, and keep absolute secrecy about the men
who were in the movement and their p?ans. There
never was a real man called "General Ludd," but all the
orders were issued in the name of this fictitious leader.
Hence the men were always known as Luddites.
Near to Halifax Parish Church was the St. Crispin
Inn. The old building was pulled down in 1844, and a
new inn erected on the site which is now called " The
Old Crispin." Some time in the spring of 1812, there
was an important meetmg of the Halifax Luddites
at the St. Crispin. The men came in, one or two
at a time, at irregular intervals, so as to avoid the
appearance of going to a meeting. At the foot of
the stairs, and at the door of the club-room upstairs,
sentinels were posted to see that no stranger entered.
John Baines, a hatter, the oldest man in the room,
presided over the meeting. A delegate from Notting-
ham addressed the Halifax Luddites, and he said that
in his part of the country they had collected thousands
246 THE STORY OF OLD HALIFAX.
of guns, pistols, cind other weapons, and were preparing
for a general uprising in May. He concluded by saying
that some Nottingham men even advocated shooting the
masters who owned the new mills. George Mellor, a
Hucldersfield cropper, who became the ringleader in this
district, welcomed the suggestion, and declared that the
Luddites ought to attack Cartwright of Rawfald, and
Horsfall of Marsden, two masters who were always
threatening what they would do to the Luddites if they
came to their mills. After some discussion, a coin was
tossed up to decide which should be attacked first, and
the choice fell on Cartwright. The Luddites talked
about various plans, and finally decided to meet near
the Dumb Steeple at Cooper Bridge at eleven o'clock on
Saturday night, April 11th, 18 12. Guns and pistols
were collected by small groups of armed and disguised
men who went visiting lonely houses in the night time,
compelling the inmates to deliver up their fire-arms.
At the appointed time, the Luddites from Halifax,
Huddersfield, the Spen Valley and other places,
assembled in a field near the Dumb Steeple. Some of
the men did not care for the desperate work, but having
taken the oath, they feared to be killed as traitors if
they neglected to turn up at the meeting place. It was
about midnight when the expedition marched to the
attack. Many of the Luddites wore masks, others had
blackened their faces so that they could not be identified,
and they all answered to numbers when the roll was
called. Some had guns and pistols, while others carried
large hammers, mauls, hatchets, or stout sticks.
Kawfold Mill was not far away, and Samuel Hartley,
a Halifax cropper who had at one time worked for
Cartwright, acted as guide. Cartwright was expecting
ATTACK ON RAWFOLD MILL. 247
an attack, and he had about half-a-dozen soldiers and
five or six trusted workmen, well armed, inside the mill,
and he had barricaded the doors and staircases. The
Luddites were expecting a contingent from Leeds, but
not daring to wait any longer, they commenced the
attack by shattering the mill windows with a shower
of stones. They were met by a volley from the
defenders, and the alarm bell was set clanging to call the
cavalry billeted at Liversedge. Kepeated attempts were
made to gain an entrance to the mill, but the strong
doors resisted all efforts. The Luddites persisted until
their ammunition was finished, but they knew they
could not withstand the cavalry, whose arrival was
expected at any moment. Mellor was obliged to call
his men off, and the defeated Luddites fled. It was
impossible to remove the wounded. Every man was
anxious to escape and to hide himself, because of the
search that was certain to be made. Hartley, the
Halifax cropper, died the next day from the wound he
had received. His funeral was attended by a multitude
who looked upon him as a martyr for the cause. Booth,
a Huddersfield man, had one leg shattered, and he also
succumbed to his wounds.
Before the end of the same month, on April 28th,
Mr. Horsfall of Marsden was shot by George Mellor and
a few accomplices, as he was returning home from
Huddersfield. The authorities were aroused, and
proceeded to end the Luddites' terrorism, and to punish
those who had taken part in these attacks. Two police
spies, M'Donald and Gossling came from Manchester on
July 8th, 1812, to try to trap some of the Halifax
Luddites. They were dressed as workmen, and
pretended to be seeking employment in Halifax. They
248 THE STORY OF OLD HALIFAX.
went to the St. Crispin Inn and found there a man
named Charles Milnes, a Luddite, who was very
talkative, and they soon drew from him many facts
about the local Luddites. M'Donald and Gossling
professed to be sympathetic towards the movement and
anxious to enrol themselves as Luddites, and treated
Milnes to so much drink that he told all they wanted
to know. After it was dark, the three went to the
house of John Baines, where they found the old man
with two of his sons and other two men seated round
the fire. Milnes introduced his new friends, and they
took the Luddites' oath. M'Donald called several times
after this at Baines's workshop to talk to the old man,
and to notice who came to visit him. A few days after
the spies left Halifax, soldiers surrounded Baines's shop,
and the six men who had been present at the swearing-
in ceremony were sent to prison to await their trial.
The collecting of fire-arms still continued, for the
Luddite leaders were planning a general rising through-
out the North of P]ngland. The following episode,
which took place locally, is typical of many such
midnight raids. On the last Saturday night in August,
1812, George Haigh, who lived at Copley Gate, heard a
loud rapping at his door. He got up and went on to the
landing, and heard some men calling out "Your arms!
Your arms ! " Haigh said " What do you want ? " and
one of the party answered " General Ludd, my master,
has sent me for the arms you have." "I have nothing
of the kind," rejoined Haigh, "for God's sake go home."
The men began to fire and to make a terrible noise by
banging the door. Haigh tried to pacify them again,
but they insisted that he had two guns and four pistols.
John Tillotson, the apprentice, said " Master, you had
better give them up or they will shoot us." So he
consented to give them a gun, and Tillotson took it to
the door. When the apprentice opened the door, the
Luddites ran round the corner of the house, but
presently returned and came into the house. They
asked for the ramrod and a pistol, and threatened to
shoot Tillotson if he did not find them. When the
pistol was delivered up, the Luddites told him to inform
his master they would visit Haigh again, and shoot him
if he did not sell his milk among his neighbours.
A few of the Luddites turned traitor, and London
detectives came into Yorkshire to discover the ring-
leaders. By the end of the year, about a hundred
suspected men were lodged in York Castle. The Assizes
commenced early in the new year of 1813, and a terrible
time it proved for this district, for most of the towns
had some man among the prisoners. George Mellor
and two others were hanged for the murder of Horsfall ;
five Luddites were hanged for attacking Rawfold Mill ;
three more who demanded arms at Copley Gate, and
six other men for taking guns elsewhere, met the same
fate. Old John Baines and the men who were present
when the two police spies were sworn in, were all
transported for seven years. Fourteen of the Luddites
were hanged at York on one day, and a huge crowd
gathered to witness the executions. It was a terrible
climax. The full story of the outrages is most painful
reading, but it gives us some little idea of the hard times
of a hundred years ago. For everyone of those men who
in despair followed " General Ludd," there must have
been hundreds who suffered and died in silence.
The failure of the Luddite . Biots and the severe
punishments did nothing to ease the hardships of the
250 THE STORY OF OLD HALIFAX.
people, and the Government and those in authority
V were afraid there would be further risings. Working
men began to think there would be no improvement in
their conditions until Parliament was elected by the
whole people, instead of by a favoured few. To support
these views, a huge meeting of sixty to eighty thousand
persons was held on August 16th, 1819, in St. Peter's
Field, Manchester. Through some mis-management,
cavalry were ordered to clear the ground, and half-a-
dozen men were killed, and very many people maimed.
This melee was called the Manchester Massacre, or the
Battle of Peterloo — a name compounded from St. Peter's
and Waterloo. Some men from Halifax district were
present, and a Triangle man came home with a severe
sword-cut on his shoulder. There was much excitement
in Halifax that Monday night when the news came, and
Miss Lister wrote "Great many people about to-night in
the streets, men talking together in groups." Benjamin
Wilson states that at Skircoat Green, the men went into
mourning, and wore grey hats with weeds round them.
On the Wednesday, August 18th, a meeting was held on
Skircoat Moor, but the constable and a magistrate put in
an appearance, and threatened to read the Riot Act.
The principal speaker, a man dressed in black, mounted
on a black horse, who had come to give particulars of the
Manchester meeting, was afraid of proceeding with his
speech. Another great meeting of the Reformers was
held on Skircoat Moor on Monday, October 4th. The
procession, with flags flying and bands of music, was
formed in Horton Street, and three thousand people
listened to the speeches from one o'clock until after four,
on a very wet day. There was a panic once or twice
because it was reported that the Yeomanry were going
to charge the crowd.
Miss Lister tells us that a warehouse at Wards End
was made into a barracks, and that four companies of
the 6th Foot were stationed there in anticipation of a
rising. The outlook was serious for all classes, for while
the poorer folks were short of work and food, the richer
people were afraid that violence would be done to them
or to their property. A meeting was held in the
Sessions room near the Theatre Royal, to consider the
formation of a Volunteer Cavalry Troop to defend the
property owners. Many Volunteer Corps were raised at
this time, not as a defence against a foreign foe, but to
fight the people if there should be a rising. In 1826,
there were riots in Lancashire and at Bradford, when
crowds of hand-loom weavers, who were out of work,
attempted to destroy the power looms. Dragoons came
to Halifax in May, 1826, to protect the power-looms in
the mills of Kershaw, Akroyd, and Peter Bold.
The Beform Bill, which became law in 1832, gave
Halifax two members of Parliament. Except for the
few years under the Commonwealth, Halifax had never
had a member. Before the Beform Act, the whole of
the county of Yorkshire was one undivided constituency
and returned four members. When the news came to
Halifax, one of the largest bonfires ever seen was lighted,
and the town was crammed with people. The earlier
drafts of the bill proposed that the whole of the Parish
should be the constituency, but the Act created a
Parliamentary Borough of Halifax which included the
township of Halifax, and the north-eastern side of the
valley, from Southowram Bank Top to New Town in
Haley Hill. The first election was held on December
1 2th and 1 3th, 1832, and 492 voted out of a possible
536 entitled to a vote. The two candidates in favour of
252 THE STORY OF OLD HALIFAX.
the Reform Act were elected — Rawdon Briggs, a Halifax
banker (242); and Charles Wood of Doncaster (235), who
was son-in-law to the Premier, Earl Grey, and who
afterwards became Lord Halifax. The unsuccessful men
were Michael Stocks, a local man, a more advanced
reformer (186); and the Hon. James Stuart Wortley
(174), son of Lord Wharncliflfe, who was opposed to the
Miss Lister was on the losing side, although she
made a condition that all her tenants must vote as she
directed, and as the Shibden Hall estates were large,
Miss Lister reckoned on influencing fifty votes. She
was very candid about the matter, and summed up the
situation: — "The populace, not the property of our
borough is represented, but this caimot last for ever."
The voting was in public, and it was known how each
man had voted. To possess a vote, a man had to
occupy a house or some other property worth £10 a
year, which meant a much bigger house than the same
rental represents to-day. The population of Halifax
township was over fifteen thousand, and besides there
were the portions of Southowram and Northowram, yet
there were only 536 voters.
The Reform Act of 1832 did not satisfy the aspirations
of the great body of men. It was but one step in the
right direction, and it was thought that if the House of
Commons could be further reformed, the grievances of
the people might be remedied. The People's Charter
therefore became the great hope of many working men.
The Chartists demanded a vote for every man, whether
he had property or not, and voting by ballot. They
wanted a Parliamentary election every year, payment of
members of Parliament, and each voting district to be
THE CHARTISTS. 253
equal in size. On Whit Monday, 1839, there was a
great Chartist demonstration at Peep Green, near
Hartsheadi which is said to have been the largest
political meeting ever held in England. A procession,
headed by a band of music, started from Halifax,
meeting a Queensbury section at Hipperholme, and the
Bradford Chartists on the hill-top above Bailiff Bridge.
William Thornton of Skircoat Green opened the meeting
with prayer, and Fergus O'Connor, the leader of the
Chartists, putting his hand on Thornton's shoulder, said
" Well done, Thornton, when we get . the People's
Charter, I will see you are made the Archbishop of
York." Soon afterwards, Thornton went to America, or
he would have been imprisoned for taking part in these
meetings. Some of the Chartists advised a general
rising, and counselled the men to procure guns, pikes, or
other weapons, for they held it to be one of the rights of
an Englishman to possess his own weapon.
General Charles Napier held the northern command,
and it was his duty to prevent or to put down any
rebellion. He was a very humane man, full of sympathy
for the Chartists, for he felt it to be a hard thing that a
good workman in full wages must starve. He was very
anxious about the soldiers who had been sent to Halifax
before he had taken the commmand. Napier reported
that there were thirty-six dragoons among the ill-
disposed populace of Halifax, with a man in a billet here
and his horse there. He said that fifty resolute men
would disarm them in ten minutes. He had information
that such a plan had been discussed in the public-houses
at Halifax, and that cheap copies of Maceroni's book on
the use of the pike were in circulation. Napier worked
hard to prevent a rising, and fortunately averted a
254 THE STORY OF OLD HALIFAX.
William Milner, a Halifax grocer and general dealer,
had Chartist sympathies. He set to work to provide
working men with cheap editions of good books. The
first work he printed was the pamphlet by John Fielden,
M.P., entitled ''The Curse of the Factory System,"
1836. In 1837, Milner commenced the publication of
his "Cottage Library," and for many years these books
could claim to be the cheapest books in the world.
Milner found that the ordinary booksellers would not
take his cheap books, as they were used to dealing only
in expensive volumes. So, like the Halifax cloth-makers
of the sixteenth century, he tried the fairs and markets.
In some of the markets, he sold pots along with his little
books. He fitted caravans up, and sent his men all over
the kingdom. Robertson NichoU in the far north of
Scotland, Frankfort Moore in Belfast, and many other
men who have become famous have testified to the good
they received in their youth from Milner's cheap editions
of the English poets. At one time, the Chartist news-
paper "Northern Star," edited by Fergus O'Connor,
was forbidden by the Government, and copies were
destroyed if they were found. Milner arranged for a
hearse containing a grim black cofiin to be driven from
London to Halifax. The coffin did not hold the remains
of some devoted Yorkshireman, but was full of copies of
the proscribed newspaper. On its return journey to
London, the hearse carried a few hundred volumes of
Milner's cheap reprints as ballast. William Milner died
in 1850, aged 47.
Within three years of the Chartist disturbance,
there was another rising which was called the Plug
Riots. The workers left their spinning or weaving,
stopped the mills, and marched from one town to
PLUG DRAWING. 255
another in Lancashire and Yorkshire, stopping all work.
At steam mills, the boiler plugs were drawn to empty
the boilers, and all the mill dams were emptied where
the machinery was run by water-power. Councillor
Joseph Greenwood of Hebden Bridge, in his boyhood,
saw these plug drawers in August, 1842. The following
is his account of the scenes: —
"I well remember seeing the crowd coming along
the turnpike after it had left Hebden Bridge ; it was a
remarkably fine day; the sun shone in its full splendour.
The broad white road with its green hedges, and flanked
one side with high trees, was filled with a long, black,
straggling line of people, who cheerfully went along,
evidently possessed of an idea that they were doing
something towards a betterment. A number of us boys
had been sent down into the woods to gather black-
berries, and the woods were then clad in deep green ;
blackberries were plentiful, now they do not grow to
maturity because of the smoke. The people went along
over Fallingroyd Bridge towards Hawksclough. On
reaching there, a local leader of the Chartist movement,
Ben Rushton, stepped aside into a field, and led off with
a speech. A number of those who were among the mass
of the strikers, in going on their way, left the procession,
w^ent into the dwellings and helped themselves to what-
ever they could find in the way of food. Ben Bushton,
I believe, was not one of these, nor were those that were
with him. However, they were weary and thirsty, and
before the speaking, a big milk can was obtained and
filled with treacle beer, only the liquor had not been
charged with yeast, nor had it had time to get fresh and
tart. After the speaking the procession re-started and
went on as before, and on to Halifax, where other
256 THE STORY OF OLD HALIFAX.
contingents from Yorkshire had gathered. Attempts
were made to join these, but for a time were prevented
by the police. The streets became blocked, and it was
said there were 25,000 women and men there. They
were poorly clad, and many were without shoes and
stockings, barefooted. The disorder became so violent
that the Eiot Act was read, special constables sworn in,
and the military called out. The women took up
positions facing the police and the soldiers, and dared
them to kill them. Many people were trampled under
the horses' feet, and many people were injured."
Another eye-witness's account says that on August
15th, news came that thousands were marching from
Bradford to stop the Halifax mills. Coming down New
Bank, they were stopped just above Berry's Foundry by
the special constables and soldiers, with bayonets fixed
and swords drawn. The Biot Act was read, and the
crowd told that they must not enter the town. The
rioters got over the walls into the fields, and went
through the fields on the top side of Northgate. The
day ended with a large meeting on Skircoat Moor, where
some of the men were arrested, and committed to
Wakefield Prison. The prisoners were taken in a bus
to Elland, the nearest railway station, guarded by an
escort of horse soldiers. When this became known,
thousands of people armed with stones, gathered at
Salterhebble and Elland Wood Bottom, waiting for the
soldiers' return. They came back over Exley, but rode
into the crowd at Salterhebble. The cavalry started at
full speed up Salterhebble Hill amid a shower of stones.
One or two were knocked from their horses, and one
soldier received such injuries that he died. The infantry
came to meet the horse soldiers at Shaw Hill, and they
all returned to Halifax. They next marched up Haley
FREE TRADE. 25 T
Hill to Akroyd's Shed, and firing into the mob, they
wounded several and killed one man. Another man in
King Street, opening his door to see what was the
matter, was shot dead.
John Bright and Richard Cobden, two Lancashire
manufacturers, set to work to abate the prevalent distress,
from another side. England was not growing sufficient
corn to feed her own people, but foreign corn w^as not
allowed to come into our ports unless a heavy duty was
paid on it. Consequently corn was always at a high
price. Bread and flour were dear, and the poorer people
could not get sufficient to eat. In September, 1841,
Mrs. Bright died, and Cobden visited Bright to condole
with him. After a time, Cobden looked up and said
" There are thousands of houses in England at this
moment, where wives, mothers, and children are dying
of hunger." The two men, then and there, vowed they
would work until the Corn Laws were repealed. The
movement was taken up enthusiastically by the manu-
facturing towns of Lancashire and Yorkshire ; the corn
laws were repealed, Free Trade was instituted, and the
mills became very busy. The whole agitation had relied
on argument and reason, and no hint of violence was
ever mentioned. This in itself was a great forward step.
Another noteworthy point was that the policy of
England was, for the first time, framed by the industrial
population of the North.
"Turnpikes and Toll-bars," by C. Clegg. (Hx. Antqn. Soc. Trans., 1915).
"The Carse of the Factory System," by J. Fielden, M.P. (1836).
"The Town Labourer, 1760-1832."
"The Skilled Labourer, 1760-1832."
By J. L. & B. Hammond.
"The Risings of the Luddites, Chartists, and Plug-drawers," by Frank Peel.
"The Chartist Movement," by Mark Hovell.
"Life and Opinions of General Sir C. J. Napier, Vol. II.," by Sir W. Napier.
"William Milner of Halitax — A Pioneer in Cheap Literature," by H. E.
Wroot. ("Bookman, 1897"— Also see " Hx. Guardian " Almanack, 1898).
"Struggles of an Old Chartist," (1887) by Benj. Wilson of Salterhebble.
AKROYD AND CROSSLEYS — RAILWAYS — THE OROWTH OF THE TOWN —
SEWERS AND WATER INCORPORATION OF THE BOROUGH — SAVILE
PARK WAINHOUSE TOWER — F. J. SHIELDS — P. G. HAMERTON
THE people's park.
In the early part of the nineteenth century
Bradford took the place of Halifax as the centre
of the West Riding worsted trade. This was partly
due to the fact that Halifax manufacturers did
not take readily to the factory system ; partly because
of our nearness to Lancashire, there were more cotton
than worsted mills in the parish ; and partly, because
the hills hindered communication with the outside
world. However, from about 1840, Halifax received a
new impetus to growth from the two great firms of
Akroyds and Crossleys. We have already seen how
the Akroyds conducted their business before the days of
the factories. They built a mill at Brookhouse, (now in
ruins) run at first by a water-wheel, and later by steam.
As their business grew, they found that Brookhouse was
an out-of-the-way place for a big mill, so they came
farther down the valley, and built gigantic places at
Old Lane, Bowling Dyke, and in Haley Hill, with a
huge warehouse and offices between Akroyd Place and
Northgate. Akroyds developed into one of the largest
worsted manufacturing firms in the kingdom, and
specialised in damasks and other fancy fabrics.
Crossleys built up their Dean Clough Mills from
very small beginnings. John Crossley was a carpet
weaver for Currie at Luddenden Foot, and he became
manager of Job Lee's carpet works in the Lower George
Yard about 1800. Four years later, Lee died very
suddenly, and John Crossley went into partnership with
two others to carry on the business. Not long after-
wards, John Crossley, with another two partners, took a
small mill at Dean Clough, and after twenty years
trading there was £4,200 to divide among the three.
The mill then became his sole property, and as his sons,
John, Joseph, and Francis grew up, he took them into
partnership. John Grossiey, senior, died in 1837, before
the works had become famous. About this time,
machine looms were being introduced for weaving, and
the younger Crossley s turned their attention to the
invention of a power-loom that would weave carpets,
and at length they succeeded in making a practical
loom. After this. Dean Clough Mills increased at a
One of the problems that confronted these manu-
facturers was to get the new railways to Halifax. The
first line to come near the town was the Manchester
and Leeds Railway. Its route was down the Calder
Valley, and Leeds was reached through Normanton.
So that in 1842, passengers from Manchester had to
alight at Sowerby Bridge, and take an omnibus to
Halifax ; Brighouse was the nearest station to Bradford,
and Cooper Bridge was the station for Huddersfield.
In July, 1844, the branch line from North Dean to
Halifax was opened, and the first locomotive steamed
into the town. The station was at Shaw Syke and it
was a terminus, for a few more years elapsed before the
line was made to Bradford. It was not until August
1st, 1854, that the line to Leeds, via Bowling, was
completed. The Ovenden Railway to Queensbury and
Keighley, was only finished in 1879. The early railways
were made in a piece-meal fashion, as the turnpike roads
260 THE STORY OF OLD HALIFAX.
had been, and not with a broad outlook. The Great
Northern and Midland Companies were jealous rivals,
and spent much of their energies in opposing each
other's schemes. Both Crossleys and Akroyds were
keenly interested in railway development, for Halifax
was handicapped because of its indifferent railway
The town grew tremendously during the first half
of the nineteenth century. At the beginning of the
century, the houses and shops on Northgate extended
no farther than Northgate End Chapel. Northgate
Hotel, when it was converted from a residence into an
inn, was said to be too far out of the town to' succeed.
The Baptist Chapel at the bottom of Pellon Lane was
called '*Top o' t' Town Chapel." King Cross Lane,
Hopwood Lane, Gibbet Lane, and the other main roads
of the upper part of Halifax were really lanes with fields
on either hand, though they do not look in the least like
lanes to-day. James Bolton, a famous botanist, who
lived at Stannary, 7iear Halifax at the end of the
eighteenth century, collected ferns and fungi about Lee
Bridge, in the woods between Birks Hall and Pellon
Lane, and in Cross Fields. This gives some idea how
different a place Halifax was from the town we know,
for there were gardens and fields behind the Crown
Street shops, and between the Parish Church and the
brook. Some new groups of houses were built in the
higher part of the township, and named after famous
victories of the time — Trafalgar, Dunkirk, and Gibraltar.
As Akroyds and Crossleys gradually filled the valley
above North Bridge with big mills, and as Shaw Lodge
Mills and others were erected, more houses were required
for the workpeople. Many dwellings were built on the
GROWTH OF THE TOWN. 261
other side of the stream, at Lee Bank, Haley Hill,
Southowram Bank, and Caddy Field. Edward Akroyd
said in 1847, that Halifax had become like a growing
lad, thrusting his arms beyond his sleeves, and his legs
out of his trousers, putting out an arm at Haley Hill,
and a leg at Caddy Field. The land near North Bridge
was a very convenient site for dwellings for the work-
people. Such a plot of land, divided into gardens, and
known as "The Park" was sold by auction in 1808.
On it were erected rows of houses which still bear the
names of Park Street and Grove Street. Mount
Pleasant, adjacent to Dean Clough, was opened out
and at first called Go Ahead. Its streets are named
after the Corn Law Repeal heroes — Bright, Cobden,
Fitzwilliam, Wilson, etc. West Hill Park, formerly
famed for foot-races, was developed as a model estate.
Its terraces were named Cromwell, Milton, Hampden,
because these seventeenth century heroes were favourites
of the men who built these houses. Edward Akroyd
devoted much thought and money to the laying out of a
"garden city" near Boothtown, which was afterwards
known as Akroydon. The names of the streets reveal
his interest in the great cathedrals — Chester, York,
Bipon, Beverley, Salisbury. The houses are more
ornamental than ordinary ones ; gardens were provided
and a little park. At the bottom end of the town, the
ground was overcrowded with small, miserable houses, a
large proportion of which were cleared away before the
end of the century.
There is a little feature about the houses of fifty or
more years ago that is worth noticing. Near to the
house door, close to the ground, is a small recess where
there was once a scraper. In most cases, the iron bar
THE STORY OF OLD HALIFAX.
has rusted away, and a little useless hollow remains.
They can be seen for example in Lister Lane, Crossley
Terrace, or Westgate. When the houses were built,
everyone had to scrape the thick mud oft' his boots
before he entered, because the streets were very filthy,
as they were un-paved and seldom swept. Even so late
as 1872, the newspapers recording the funeral of Sir
Francis Crossley, mention the fact that many of the
Fig. 89.— Door Scraper.
elderly gentlemen could not walk in the procession,
because of the dirty condition of the roads between the
town and the General Cemetery. We can scarcely
imagine the unhealthy and insanitary condition of the
town in the forties. To remedy the bad state of affairs,
the borough was incorporated in 1848, and the Town
Council elected by the ratepayers sought powers to
better the sanitation and the water supply, and to clean
the streets. It was a heavy task. There was very
much disease, and a terribly high death-rate. Fevers
WATER SUPPLY. 268
often raged in the houses at the bottom end of the
town, and many lives were lost that ought to have
been saved. The new Municipal Borough of Halifax
included the old township of Halifax, and those small
portions of Northowram and Southowram that were in
the Parliamentary Borough.
Water was so scarce that one alderman said that
people told him they had to steal it. About eight
hundred people depended on a dropping- well near Berry
Lane. This water came from a spring in the cellar of
the Cat in the Window Inn, about seven yards from the
Parish Church graveyard, and thence flowed, close to a
main sewer, to the dropping place by the bridge.
Sewage and the washings of barrels often soaked into
the well. Many people had to go half-a-mile for water,
and some declared they were not able to get their
breakfast until after mid-day for want of water. Others
were up at two o'clock in the morning to be first at the
well, and women often wasted three and four hours a
day fetching water. In 1848, the Victoria Reservoir in
Gibbet Lane was made to find work for a large number
of men who were thrown out of employment by the new
textile machinery. They were paid a shilling a day for
six hours work. As the town grew, the Corporation
had to look farther afield for the water supply.
Fortunately the hills to the north and west of Halifax
are covered with peat moors, which act like enormous
sponges in retaining a considerable portion of the rain-
fall that the westerly wind brings over. The reservoirs
at Ogden, Widdop, Walshaw Dean, Fly Flatts, etc.,
provide us with a bountiful supply of good water.
When the Corporation was formed, the sewers of the
town were disgraceful. Behind Cheaypside, for instance,
THE STORY OF OLD HALIFAX.
there was an open drain. In rainy weather, a stream
flowed down and the houses emptied all their filth and
rubbish into the stream. The drains that were made
were either cut through the solid rock, or else made
square and lined with stones. In either case, the
sewage leaked through the cracks and oozed up in all
kinds of places. A heavy thunderstorm choked the
Fig. 90.— Drinking Trough for Man or Beast.
(The old method of water supply.)
drains and filled cellars and houses with a flood of
sewage. The Corporation made a new system of drains
and sewers, and though it was an expensive undertaking,
it made the town a much healthier place to live in.
Gradually the streets were paved, foot-paths were made,
the roads drained, swept, and kept sweet and clean.
The health of the people is the first consideration of the
CROSSLEY AND AKROYD. 265
Corporation, but many other duties have been added to
its programme. Our Aldermen and Councillors have
charge of the markets and slaughter-houses, and keep
watch over the purity of our food. They organise the
police force, keep the parks in order, and provide new
open spaces when required. They are responsible for
the education of our boys and girls, and for the upkeep
of libraries and museums. They run the electric cars,
and do many more useful things. The Town Council is
simply a committee elected to do work for the whole of
the people, and as there are so many activities that can
be better managed if we all work together, the work of
the Council is likely to grow vaster in the future.
We have considered how the Crossleys and Akroyds
laid the foundations of their businesses and their
fortunes, and how much they contributed to the growth
of modern Halifax. They were the leaders in local
public life while Halifax was setting its house in order,
and as Members of Parliament, they voiced the aspira-
tions of the North in the reformed House of Commons.
Beyond all this, their princely gifts to their native town
have made the names, Akroyd and Crossley, the
brightest in the story of the nineteenth century, nay! of
many centuries. Edward Akroyd, John, Joseph, and
Francis Crossley, were four men who have inscribed
their names in beautiful characters across the map of
Halifax, and we cannot walk far without coming across
some monument of their planning and generosity. The
Orphanage on Savile Park, the Almshouses on Arden
Koad and on Margaret Street, were erected and endowed
by the Crossley brothers. Sir Francis Crossley gave
the People's Park and Halifax was one of the earliest,
among the large towns, to have such a j)ublic park.
266 THE STORY OF OLD HALIFAX.
The Crossleys were the principal contributors to the
building of the handsome Square Congregational Church.
Edward Akroyd spent a fortune on All Souls' Church,
which is one of the finest modern gothic churches^ and is
considered the masterpiece of the famous architect, Sir
Gilbert Scott. Akroyd planned Akroydon as a model
suburb, and built Copley as a model village. Akroydon
and Copley had their flower shows, and gardening
(which was not a common art in Halifax) was
encouraged. Edward Akroyd was keenly interested in
education and the Working Men's College at Haley
Hill, and the various classes in connection with it
provided an education that was a blessing to many
Halifax men. Edward Akroyd was an enthusiastic
supporter of the Volunteers, and he became colonel of
the local battalion, hence he is usually referred to as
Colonel Akroyd. He was also a pioneer in savings
banks, and the Yorkshire Penny Bank was founded
years before the government instituted the Post Office
Savings Bank. His inspiration for that piece of work
came from a sermon he heard by Charles Kingsley (the
author of "Westward Ho!" "Alton Locke," etc.)
There is a statue of Sir Francis Crossley in the
People's Park, and one of Colonel Akroyd close to All
Souls' Church. Our libraries and museums are housed
in mansions that were once the homes of these men, and
their gardens are now our parks.
The Borough of Halifax gradually extended its area,
and in 1864 the Town Council contemplated pushing the
boundary line beyond the little valley that runs from
Haugh Shaw to Shaw Syke. The township of Skircoat
was interested about the future of Skircoat Moor, and the
Freeholders elected a committee to watch their interests.
SKIRCOAT MOOR. 267
These landowners had the right to use the common for
pasturing their cattle, sheep, or donkeys, and it was
contended that the lord of the manor could not dispose
of the moor without their consent. Skircoat Moor has
survived as an unenclosed common, and somehow
escaped the various methods of enclosure that we have
noted in this story. Some members of the Corporation
wished to plant trees, to make walks and other alter-
ations, while some went so far as to suggest building a
wall around the moor. However, the Freeholders of
Skircoat stood out against these alterations, and even
went to law before the Corporation would submit that
Skircoat Moor should remain unenclosed for the benefit
of the pubhc for ever.
The Freeholders received the nominal sum of £201
for their rights. After they had paid their solicitor's
costs the balance was put into the bank, and in 1889
this balance, which with interest had become £264 10s. 2d.,
was given to the building fund of the new Infirmary.
Capt. Henry Savile, of Rufibrd Abbey, accepted the
nominal sum of £100 for his rights, and as a memorial
of his great generosity, Skircoat Moor was named Savile
Park. It was estimated that the Moor was then
worth £40,000. But its monetary value is not every-
thing ; as a recreation ground and an open space, Savile
Park is a priceless possession of the town. Captain
Savile made one condition, or expressed the wish, that
the Council would do all in its power to abate the smoke
nuisance. We still have a smoke-polluted atmosphere,
though older people tell us it was worse forty or fifty
The mention of smoke introduces us to J. E.
Wainhouse, an enthusiastic member of the Skircoat
268 THE STORY OF OLD HALIFAX.
Freeholders committee, who wrote many letters
explaming their ancient right to the commons. His
monument is the Octagon Tower, and as it overlooks
the Moor, it is only fitting that we should notice the
Tower and its builder. Wainhouse owned the Washer
Lane Dyeworks, and in order to abate the smoke
nuisance he determined to erect a tall chimney on the
hill-side above Washer Lane. He had a passion for
good architecture, and he commissioned his architect to
build him a beautiful mill chimney, for the existing tall
chimney stacks were considered to be the ugliest things
ever built. The result was a chimney and tower
combined. In the centre is the chimney flue, and
around the flue a spiral staircase within the octagon
tower leads up to a handsome balcony, while the whole
is crowned by an elaborate dome. Some authorities
have deemed it to be the finest piece of architecture in
Halifax. It is certainly a striking landmark. The
Tower was also nicknamed " Wainhouse's Folly " by
people who could not appreciate a thing of beauty, but
who thought it a waste of money. Wainhouse sold the
dyeworks before his tower was completed, and so the
Octagon Tower was never used as a chimney. He also
built some handsome houses about Washer Lane, and
embellished rows of ordinary cottages with fine porches,
chimneys, and railings. Wainhouse Terrace, tucked out
of sight between the Burnley and Rochdale Roads, is a
remarkable row. They are only "gallery" houses, but
the gallery is of such architectural character that it
would grace any university building.
Though smoke has spoiled much of our country-side,
and modern industry made ugly blots upon it, we are
never very far from wild and unspoiled hills. Halifax
270 THE STORY OF OLD HALIFAX.
is the most westerly of the great West Riding towns,
and further to the west are the fine moors and beautiful
doughs of the Pennines. Let me tell you of two men —
fcwo artists — who have acknowledged the debt they
owed to the moorlands of Halifax Parish. Frederic
Shields, who was born very poor, had a hard struggle to
become a painter. His earliest encouragement came
when Stott, an engraver in Swine Market, offered him a
post at fifty shillings a week. Shields only stayed in
Halifax about a year (1856), lodging at No. 9, Brunswick
Street. Shields was a very early riser, and took long
walks to make sketches, before he went to . his day's
work. His own tribute to our hills is: —
*'It made me free of the invigorating air of the
Yorkshire moors, which greatly recruited my enfeebled
health during a year's sojourn. Shut up hereunto in the
narrowness of big cities, I recall the dancing delight
excited in my heart by the first sight of wide-spread
hill and dale from the crest of a moorland rise ! "
In the same year, Philip Gilbert Hamerton, who
became a famous art critic, was living within our parish.
Hamerton was then twenty-two years old, a year
younger than Shields, but he was better oif than Shields
and had a comfortable home near Burnley. In order to
study rocks and heather, he camped near VViddop in
1856, and has written about his experiences in a book
entitled "The Painter's Camp," and also in his Auto-
biography. Here again we are fortunate in having
Hamerton's own words about Widdop moors: —
"That month of solitude on the wild hills was a
singularly happy time, so happy that it is not easy,
without some reflection, to account for such a degree of
felicity. I was young, and the brisk mountain air
THE MOORS. 271
exhilarated me. I walked out every day on the
heather, which I loved as if my father and mother had
been a brace of grouse .... how is it possible to feel
otherwise than cheerful when you have leagues of
fragrant heather all around you, and blue Yorkshire
hills on the high and far horizon? ... A noteworthy effect
of the months on the moors, was that on returning to
Hollins, which was situated amongst trim green pastures
and plantations, everything seemed so astonishingly
artificial. It came with the force of a discovery. From
that day to this, the natural and the artificial in land-
scape have been for me as clearly distinguished as a
wild boar from a domestic pig. My strong preference
was, and still is, for wild nature."
In that same year, 1856, the People's Park was laid
out. The idea of such a park had come to Sir Francis
Crossley while on an American tour. Being entranced
with a magnificent sunset vi'ew near Mount Washington,
his thoughts of gratitude took this form: — "It is true
thou canst not bring the many thousands thou has left
in thy native country to see this, beautiful scenery, but
thou canst take this to them. It is possible so to
arrange art and nature that they shall be within the
walk of every working man in Halifax ; that he shall go
to take his stroll there after he has done his hard day's
toil, and be able to get home again without being tired."
There is no hint here, of the genuine mountain scenery
that lies within a few miles of Halifax, nor any feeling
of the difference between artificial and natural landscape,
that Shields and Hamerton knew. Seventy years ago,
the working-man had to toil so hard, and had such little
leisure, not even half-holiday on Saturday, that he had
not the opportunity to roam over the moors. * Trains
272 THE STORY OF OLD HALIFAX.
and trams enable us to reach easily the uttermost
recesses of our hills. We can sing with Emily Bronte,
the words she wrote at Law Hill, Southowram: —
** Awaken, o'er all my dear moorland,
West- wind, in thy glory and pride ;
Oh ! call me from valley and lowland,
To walk by the hill-torrent's side."
I do hope that this little book will help you to love
your own country more, remembering these words of a
good man: — *' For the England that I love is not merely
the England of noble towns and the fair country-side,
but the England of the spirit, the foremost of all
countries in which a man may enjoy the uses of. his soul."
"Fortunes made in Business," Vol. III. — "The Crossleys of Halifax."
"Report on the Sanitary Condition of Halifax," by W. Ranger.
(April 16th, 1851).
" History of Skircoat Moor and Savile Park," (1908) by C. T. Rhodes.
"Toilers in Art, Chap. VII.— Frederic Shields, an Autobiography."
" The Life and Lettersof Frederic Shields," (1912).
Edited by Ernestine Mills.
" The Painter's Camp," by P. G. Hamerton.
"Philip Gilbert Hamerton."
An Autobiography and a Memoir by his wife, (1897).
Agriculture, i8, 87, 207-8, 233.
Ainley Wood, 42.
Aire Gap, 161.
Aire, River, 221.
Akroyd, 19, 48, 49, 239, 251. 257,
Akroyd, Edward, 261.
Akroyd, James, 201, 240.
Akroyd, Jonathan, 201, 204-5.
Akroyd Place, 258.
Alice of the Croft, 25, 66.
All Souls' Church, 266.
Allan Fold, Warley Road, 129.
Allen, Isaac, 168.
Almshouses, 134, 135, 265.
Alte, Mr., 153.
Ambler : " Manor Houses of York-
Ambler Thorn : Toll Bar, 225.
Architecture : All Souls' Church,
Architecture : 1 7th Century Houses,
Architecture : Eighteenth Century,
Architecture : Timber Houses, .57.
Architecture : Wainhouse's Tower,
Architecture, See also under Parish
Arkwright of Preston, 236.
Armada, 102-3, io5-
Ashday, Southowram, 16.
Ashday, William of, 27.
Ashwell. Agnes, 26.
Ashworth, Cornelius, 204-8.
Aske, Richard, 86.
Aske, Robert, 97-8.
Back Hall, Siddal, 16, 1 19-120,
Bailey Hall, 222, 224.
Bailiff Bridge, 148, 253.
Baines, John, 245, 248, 249.
Bairstow, 56, 139.
Ball Green, Sowerby, 128.
Bank, Post Office Savings, 266.
Bank, Yorkshire Penny, 266.
Bankfield Museum. 53, 124, 127,
152, 189, 204, 211. 239, 266.
Bank House, Salterhebble, 134,
Barkisland, 17, 123.
Barkisland Hall, 118, 121, 163.
Barrowclough Lane, 54, 56.
Bateson, Richard, 48.
Baths at Lilly Bridge, 209.
Baume, Isaac, 142.
Beacon, 53, 56, 140.
Beacon Hill, 16, 102, 148, 195, 206.
Beacon Hill Road, 53.
Beaumont, Sir Robert, 39. 40. 4i»
Beaumont Town, 220.
Becket, Thomas a, 34.
Bell House, 190, 196.
Belle Vue, 266.
Bentley, Anthony, 138.
Bentley, Eli, 172.
Bentley, Jeremy, 165.
Bentley, Lawrence, Constable, 72.
Bentley, Samuel, Well Head, 165.
Binns Hole Clough, 159.
Bin Royd, Norland, 117, 123, 124.
Birks Hall, 16, 260.
Birks : Tree Cutting, 72.
Black Death, 44-46.
Blackledge, 17, 76, 86.
Blackshaw Head, 219, 227.
Blackstone Edge, 102, 149. 153-4.
Blackwell Hall, Halifax, 177.
Blackwell Hall, London, 177.
Blackwood, Thomas of Blackwood
Blake, Admiral, 162.
"" Blind Jack," roadmaker, 228-9.
Bloody Field, 152, 158.
Bluecoat School, 135.
Boat Horse versus Pack Horses, 223.
Bois, John, 109.
Bold, Peter, 239, 251,
Boiling Hall, 96.
Bolton, James, 260.
Bolton, Lancashire, 142.
Books, Cheap, 254.
Books, Demand for, 229.
Books, Rare and Beautiful, 213.
Booth, Huddersfield Luddite, 247.
Booths, William of the, 25.
Boothtown, 129, 165, 220.
Borough : Grant of incorporation
Borough Incorporation, 262.
Borough, Extension of, 1864, 266.
Bottom, Richard of, 48.
Boulsworth Hill, 207.
Boundaries of Parliamentary
Borough of 1832, 251.
Bowling Dyke, 240, 258.
Boyes, John, 47.
Boyes, Margaret, 86.
Bradford, 72, 81, 82, 102, 136, 148-
151, 161, 200, 201, 221, 225,
231-2, 237, 239, 244, 253,
Bradford Church, 45.
Bradford Road, Old, 36.
Bradley, Thomas, 200.
Bradshaw, Colonel. 154-6.
Brandy Hole, Greetland, 232.
Brearcliffe, Edmund, 164.
Brearcliffe, John, 150, 152, 164-
Brearcliffe Manuscript, 108.
Brearley Hall, 170.
Brereton Hall, 40.
Brick Buildings in Eighteenth
Bridges and Roads, 11, 85, 86, 186,
Brigg, Abraham, 138.
Briggs, Henry, 1 09-1 11, 113.
Briggs, Rawdon, 252.
Brighouse, 26, 96, 218, 224, 259.
Brighouse Bridge, 85.
Brighouse, Tourn at, 40.
Bright, John, 257.
" Britannia," Camden's, iii.
Broadbent, James, 191, 193-4.
Broadbottom, Mytholmro^^d, 125.
Broadley, Margaret, 86.
Broadley, Matthew, 163.
Bronte, Emily, 208, 272.
Brook, Bridget, 174.
Brookhouse, 201, 240, 243, 258.
Brooksbank, Gilbert, 96.
Brow Lane, 56.
Brown, Sir Thomas, 136, 137.
Browning, Mrs., "The Cry of the
Children ", 241.
Brunswick Street : home of Shields,
Bull Close Lane, 193.
Burke, Edmund, 194.
Burnley, 40, 71, 153, 159, 200, 227.
Caddy Field, 261.
Calder, 16, 39, 154, 222-3, 225.
Calder Valley, 42, 155-6, 197, 218,
Calder Valley, War Map of, 157.
Calico Hall : Clare Hall, 236.
Cambridge, 80, 174.
Camden, William, in.
Canterbury : Tillotson Archbishop
Carlyle, Thomas, 162.
Carr, John, of York, Architect, 210,
Carter, John, Stock List, 82, 83.
Cartwright of Rawfold, 246.
Cartwright, Rev. Edmund, 239.
Castle Hill, Almondbury, 102.
Cat in the Window Inn : Spring in,
Caygill, John, 199.
Chained Book, tio.
Champvent. Wilham de, 35.
Chapels of the Parish, 84, 85.
Charities, 134-6, 164, 265-6.
Charles I, 137-163.
Charlestown, Halifax, 16, 220.
Charlestown, Hebden Bridge, 22c
Chats worth, 210.
Cheapside, Open drain in, 263-4.
Child Labour in Factories, 242-3.
Christ's Hospital 177.
Church, Gifts to, 84.
" City, The " : Orange Street and
Civil War, Halifax and, 137-163.
Civil Wars, Halifax escapes fright-
fulness of, II.
Clapham, Captain, 158.
Clare Hall, 211, 236.
Clark Bridge, 53.
Clay, John of Clay House, 138.
Clay House, Greetland, 123.
Clay, Robert, Vicar of Halifax, 139.
Clayton, Thomas, 191.
Clegg Cliff, 56.
Cliff e Hill. LightcUffe, 224.
Cliff, Thomas, 48.
Clifford, Lady Anne 131, 133.
Closes, Origin of Term, 19.
Cloth Hall at Hall End, 177.
Cloth Trade, 42-44, 79, 80, 112-113,
Clothiers, West Riding. 185.
Coaches, Stage, 231-2.
Coal Mining, 79, 183, 184, 185. 224
Coal Pits, Children in, 242.
Coat-of-Arms, Halifax, 21, 33.
Cobden, Richard, 257.
Cock Fights, 174.
Cock Hill, Plague at, 160.
Cockroft, John, 196.
Coiners, Cragg Vale, 189-197.
Colbeck, Samuel, 170.
Colet, Dr. John, 91.
Coley, 84, loi, 135, 140, 168, 172.
Coley Chapel, 84, 85, 142, 161.
Coley Hall, 28, 163.
Colne, 151, 153, 159. 197, 200.
Colne Grammar School, 174.
Combing, Hand, 203-5.
Commons, 233, 267.
Commonwealth Window in Parish
Cooper Bridge, 259.
Copley Gate, 235, 248, 249.
Copley Hall, 86.
Corn Laws, 257.
Corn Market, 60, 206, 225.
Corn Marts, 223-4.
Corn Mills, 23, 78.
" Cottage Library ", 254.
Cotton Trade, 236.
Court Rolls, 26, 185.
Cousin Lane, Illingworth, 235.
Crabtree, John, 86.
Cragg Vale, 155, 218.
Craven, Spinning in, 237.
Crottonstall (?), 21.
Cromwell, Oliver, loo-i, 144, 161-2,
Cromwell, Thomas, 99.
Cromwell Bottom, 40, 41, 74.
Crosland Hall, Huddersfield, 39, 40.
Cross Fields, 260.
Cross Inn, 174.
Cross Pipes, Inn, 191.
Cross-Stone, Chapel, 84, 144.
Cross, the. Old Market, 197.
Crossley, Richard of, 25.
Crossleys, Dean Clough, 258, 259,
Crossley Terrace, 262.
Crow Hill, Sowerby, 218.
Crow Nest, Lightcliffe, 224.
Crowther, George, 100.
Culling worth, 200.
" Curse of Factory System," 254
Cusworth, John, 170.
" Cut " : Canal, 222.
Daisy Bank, Shibden, 59.
Dark Lane, 54.
Dean, John, 52.
Dean Clough Mills, 258-9, 261.
Deerplay, Mill Bank, 58.
Defoe, Daniel, 80, 178, 185, 188.
Deniield : Dean Field, Wheatley,
Deloney, Thomas, 28.
Denton Hall, 210.
Denton, Richard, 140.
Dewsbury, Saxon Parish of, 32.
Dighton, William, 190-5, 206.
Disendowment of Parish Church,
Dodge, Dodge-holme, 208, 224.
Dolphin Holme, Lancaster, 237.
Domesday Book, local entries in,
Door Scraper, 262.
Drake, John of Horley Green, 138.
Drake, Nathan, of Godley, 163,
Drinking Trough, 264.
Dropping Well, 263.
Dublin, Archbishop of, 91.
Duds : Cloth, 80.
" Duke of York " : Isaac Hartley,
Dumb Mill, Hipperholme, 54.
Dumb Steeple, Cooper Bridge, 246.
Dunbar, Battle of, 162.
Dunsop Bridge, 204.
Durker Green, 170.
East Riddlesden Hall, Keighley,
Eddy stone Lighthouse, 221.
Eden, Major, 158, 159.
Edmondson, Thomas, 237.
" Edwards of Halifax," 211-15.
Election, Parliamentary, 1832, 251.
Elizabeth, Queen, 109.
Elland, 15, 16, 17, 18, 22, 46, 48,
52, 84, 118, 140, 165, 233, 256.
Elland Bridge, 86.
Elland Chapel, 37, 116,
Elland Feud, 38-42.
Elland Hall, 16, 41.
Elland Mill, 41.
Elland : New Hall, 42, 123, 124.
Elland Park Wood, 16, 186.
Elland, Sir John, 38-42.
Elland Wood Bottotn, 256,
Enclosure Acts, 233-5, 267.
Erringden, 17, 22.
Ewood, loi, 152, 198.
Exley, 16, 256.
Exley of Exley Hall, 27, 38, 40.
Factory System, 241-3.
Fair, Halifax, origin of, 33.
Fairs, 79, 80, 254.
Fairfax, 142-159, 167.
Fallingroyd Bridge, 255.
Farming, 18, 87, 207-8, 233.
Farnley Hall, 210.
Farrar, Captain, 147, 158-9.
Farrar, Henry, 80.
Farrar of Ewood, 152, 165, 173.
Favour, Dr. John, 105-7, 113, 140,
Fawcett, General, 186-188.
Fielding, John, M.P., 170, 244, 254.
Field House, Shibden, 28.
Field House, Sowerby, 211.
Finchenden, William of, 45.
Fines and Punishments, 45, 261.
First Bishop's War, Halifax and,
Five Mile Act, 173.
Fixby, 17, 56.
Ferrar, Bishop Robert, 101-2.
Feslei (Halifax), 21.
Flamborough Head, 105.
Flemings, 42-4, 52.
Fly Flatts Reservoir, 263.
Fly Shuttle, Kay's, 238.
Fold, the, Mixenden, 124.
Footpath, Unlawful stoppage of, 25.
Forbes, Major, 144, 147-8.
Foster, John, 232, 233, 236.
Foulmouth, Roger, 25.
Fourness, Joseph, Boothtown, 165,
Franchise of 1832, 251.
Frauncays, John, 47.
Free School Lane, 107.
Free Trade, 257.
Fuller, Matilda, 26.
Fuller, Roger the, 43.
Fulling, 23, 52, 78.
" Garden City " : Akroydon, 261.
Gardiner, Professor, 141.
Gaylington, Thomas, 44.
Geldhird, William the, 25.
German House, Lightcliffe, 198.
Gibbet Lane, 260.
Gibbet, Last Trial, 168-172.
Gibbet Law, 28, 29, 30, 159, 168-
Gibson, Isaac, 170.
Gibson, John, 47.
Gibson Mill, 219.
Gifford, Major-General, 147.
Gillet, John, 174.
Gin Horse at Shibden, 185.
Gledhill, John. 121.
Gledhill, Richard, 163.
" Go Ahead ", 261.
Godley Road, 229.
Goldsmith, Oliver " Deserted
Village ", 243-4.
Gomersai, 148, 174.
Gordon, Dr. A., 175,
Gossling, Police Spy, 247.
Grave, John the, 76.
Greenwood, 25, 139.
Greenwood, Joseph, 255.
Greenwood, Michael, 238.
Greetland, 22, 60, 63, 123, 232.
Greetland : Toll Bar, 225.
Grey, Earl, 252.
Grimshaw of Haworth, 199.
Grindall, Archbishop, 103.
Grindlestone Bank, Ovenden Wood,
78, 127, 138.
Grove Street, 261.
Guest, General, 186.
Haigh, George of Copley Gate, 235,
Haigh House, Warley, 129.
Haley Hill, 220, 256-7, 259, 261,
Halifax Brook, 16, 225.
Halifax, Capital of Cloth Industrv,
Halifax : Cleanest of Manufactur-
ing Towns, 240.
Halifax, Lord, 252.
Halifax Moor, 158.
Halifax, Name of, iii.
Halifax Parish and Yorkshire, Com-
parison of Shape, 9.
Hall End, 178.
Hall Ing. 76.
Hallgate, Cecilia, 26.
Hamerton, Philip Gilbert, 208, 231,
Hamilton, Marquis of, 161.
Hampden, John, 139
Hardy, William, 80.
Hanging in Chains, 195.
Hanson Arms : Back Hall, 120.
Hanson, Arthur, Brighouse, 165.
Hanson, Gilbert, 96.
Hailson, John, 85.
Hanson, William, 47.
Hardcastle Crags, 13, 219-20.
Harewood House, 210.
Hargreaves of Blackburn, 236.
Harrison, Major General, 161.
Harrod Well : Highroad Well, 227.
Harrogate, 145, 229.
Hartley, David, Coiner, 190-4.
Hartley, Isaac, Coiner, 190-4.
Hartley, Samuel, Luddite, 246,
Haugh End, Sowerby, 174-5.
Haugh Shaw, 16, 266.
Haugh Shaw House, 129,
Haworth, Roger of, 25.
Hazlehurst, Shibden, 209.
Heath Grammar School, 107-0, 113,
164, 174. .
Heaton, Henry of, 48.
Heaton, Robert, 201.
Hebble Brook, 16, 224, 225.
Hebden Stream, 86, 154-5, 158,
191, 198, 199, 217-8, 219, 220,
227, 230, 232, 255.
Heights Road, 227.
Hebden Valley, 13, 14.
Henry VI., 71.
Henry VIII., 89-101.
Henryson, William, 48.
Heptonstall, 15, 17, 48, 80, 84, 96,
154 159, 189, 197, 200, 217-18.
Heptonstall Chapel, 37, loi.
Heptonstall Garrison, 164.
Heptonstall, Manor of, 32, 33.
Hey wood, Lancashire, 153.
Hey wood, Oliver, 121, 168, 172,
Highroad Well, 155, 193. 227.
High Road Well Moor, 16.
High royd (Eroyd), 19.
High Sunderland, 56, 62, 6-1., 65, 78,
119, 120, 163.
Hill, Samuel, 179,-183, 188, 221.
Hill Population, 15.
Hill Top : Cragg, 196.
Hills, and Road Construction, 229.
Hipperholme, 16, 17, 26, 27, 43, 46,
54, 59, 85, 116, 136, 148, 163,
Hodgekins, Halifax Clothier, 28,
Hodgson, Captain John, 142-163.
Holdsworth Chapel, 70, 74, 89, 95.
Holdsworth House, 28.
Holdsworth : Surname, 81.
Holdsworth, John, 86.
Holdsworth, Vicar Robert, 94-102.
Hollins, The, Warley, 129, 156.
" Holme," 208.
Holmes, Mrs., 198.
Holroyd, Joseph, 188.
Holy Face, legend, 33.
Holy Hair, iii.
Hoo Hole, 196.
Hope Hall, 211.
Hopwood Hall, 209, 211.
Hopwood Lane, 260.
Horley Green, 56, 138.
Horner, John, 211, 238.
Horsfall of Marsden. 246-7.
Horsfall, Lieutenant, T44.
Horton, Joshua of Sowerby, 165.
Horton Street, 250.
" House at the Maypole," 59-60.
Housing : Timber Houses, 56-66.
Hove Edge : Spout House, 186.
Howroyd, Barkis and, 123.
Huddersfield, 39 80, 177, 201, 246,
Hull, 103, 138-9, 150, 221, 222, 224.
Hunter Hill, 158.
Huntingdon, Ear] of, 105.
Illingworth, 15, 27. 84, 87, 135.
Illingworth Chapel, 167.
Illingworth Edge, 87, 88.
Illingworth, Moor. 235.
Industrial Revolution, 215-220.
Inn Yards : Coaching. 231.
Inventions, Great, 236-40.
Ireland, 89, 224.
Irish Massacre of 1641. 141.
Isle of Wight. 232.
Jackson, John, 47.
Jumble Hole Clough, 220.
Jumples Beck, 224.
Jumples Mill, 88, 239.
Kay's Fly Shuttle, 238.
Keighley, 130, 133, 159, 200, 259.
Keighley Road, 229.
Kershaw House, Luddenden, 118,
Kershaw's Power Looms, 239, 251.
King Cross, 153, 158.
King Cross Lane, 209, 260.
" King David " : David Hartley,
King, John, vicar, 68.
King, William, of Skircoat, 106.
Kingsley, Charles, 266.
Kirk Sandal, Doncaster, 64, 89.
Knight, Titus, 199, 242.
Knights of St. John of Jerusalem,
Knowl Top, Lightcliffe, 209.
Labourers, Statute of, 45.
Lacy, John, 22, 30, 46, 73, 98-99,
Lacy, Thomas, 38, 39, 40, 41, 42.
Lake Country, 185.
Lake, John. 168.
Lancashire, 71, 142, 186. 222, 227,
Lancaster, 196, 204.
Lancaster, Earl of, 38.
Lane Head, Brighouse, 40.
Lanehead, Ogden, 201, 240.
Langdale, Sir Marmaduke, 163.
Langfield, 17, 21.
Langfield, Henry, 46.
Langfield, Thomas of, 25,
Latham of Coley, 142.
Learoyd, Richard, 106.
Lee Bank, 27, 85, 260, 261.
Lee, Job, 258.
Leeds, 80, 81, 103, 138, 139, 141-
151, 177-8, 200-1, 221, 227,
229, 231-2, 240, 247.
Leeds Railway, 259.
Lee House, Ovenden Wood, 115.
Lewes, Monks from, 37, 55.
Lewes, Prior of, 44, 76, 94.
Lewes, Priory of, 32, 34, 35, 89, 99,
Leyland, F. A., 240.
Leyland, Halifax Sculptor, 102.
Libraries, 211-15, 266.
Library, " Public," at Parish Churchy
Lightcliffe, loi, 198, 209.
Lightcliffe Church, 224.
Lilly Bridge, 209.
Limed House, Shibden, 238.
Limers Gates, 208.
Lincolnshire,. Rebellion in, 97.
Linen Hall, 177.
Lister, 78, 138, 186.
Lister, Bartholomew, 53.
Lister, Jeremy, 185.
Lister, John, 19, 30, 32, 38, 59, 80,
82, 102, 188.
Lister, John, of Upper Brear, 165.
Lister, Joseph, 141, 15 1-2.
Lister Lane, 262.
Lister, Miss., 153, 224, 239, 240,
Lister, Richard, 48.
Lister, Robert, 48.
Lister, William, 87, 88.
Lister Road, 229.
Literature, Cheap : William Milner,
Liversedge, Cavalry from, 247.
Lockwood of Lockwood, 39, 40, 41,
Logarithms, " Briggian," no.
London, 55, 79, 200, 228, 231, 232.
Long Can, Ovenden Wood, 119, 129,
Long Causeway, 155, 159, 227.
Looms, Power. 238-9.
Lord Nelson Inn, Luddenden, 138.
Lowe, Robert of, 26.
Luddenden, 118, 138, 155, 158, 218.
Luddenden Chapel, 85, 134, 167.
Luddenden Bridge, 86.
Luddenden Dean, 13, 127, 155, 170.
Luddenden Foot, 109, 218, 227, 228.
" Ludd, General," 245-9.
I-umb Beck, 218.
Lumb Falls, 226.
McDonald, Police Spy, 247.
Maceroni on Pike Warfare, 253.
Machinery in Textile Trades, "217.
Machinery, Objections to, 236.
Machinery Riots, 251.
Mackworth, Sir Francis, 152-g.
Magna Via, 155.
Making Place, 179-180, 211, 221.
Malt Shovel Inn, Mytholmroyd,
Manchester, 142, 153, 231-2, -^47-8
Manchester and Leeds Railway,
Manchester Massacre, 250.
Mankinholes, 25, 66.
Manor Courts, 23, 26.
Market, Halifax, 174.
Marsh, Dr., Vicar, 167.
Marsh Hall, Northowram, 124.
Mary, Princess, Baptism of, 90.
Marstpn Moor, 159.
Meadowcroft, Dorothy, 152.
Mellor, George, Luddite, 246, 249.
Merchant Adventurers, 60, 79.
Metcalfe, John : " Blind jack,"
Midgley, 15, 17, 21, 52, 85, 155, 193,
Midgley, William of, 25.
Mildmay, Captain, 147.
Militia Ballot, 188.
Milk Trade, 235.
Mill Bank, 58.
Mill Chimneys, 82.
Mill near Blackshaw Head, 219.
Mills, Early Halifax. 83, 84.
Milner, Hugh, John, etc., 47, 48.
Milner, Robert the, 78.
Milner, William, Publisher, 254.
Milnes, Charles, Luddite, 248.
Mirfield, William of, 45.
Mitchell, Anthony, Sowerby, 168,
Mitchell, Matthew and Jonathan,
Mixenden, 158, 229, 239.
Mixenden Beck, 224.
Mixenden : the Fold, 124.
Mixenden Green, 138.
Monasteries Closed, 99.
Money, Weighing, 189.
Moot Hall, 23, 73, 76.
Moor End, 159.
Mottoes on Old Homes, 121.
Mount Pleasant, 261.
Mount Skip, 155.
Mount Zion, Ogden, 199.
Mulcture Hall, 124, 160.
Municipal Government, 265.
Murgatroyd, James, 129-133, 138,
Museum, British : Edwards' Bind-
Myleas Place, 76.
Mytholm, 185, 208,
Mytholmroyd, 15, 52, 125, 152, 191,
193. 195. 207, 209, 217, 227.
Names, Place, 19, 76, 220.
Names : Surnames, 43-50.
Napier, General Charles, 253.
Napoleon, Peace with, 203.
Naseby, Battle of, 160.
Navy, Halifax objects to support,
Navy: Hawke and Rodney, 221.
Nether Field, 17.
New Bridge, 219.
New England, Puritans and, 140.
New Hall, Elland, 118, 123, 124.
Newlands Gate, 193.
New Town, 220, 251.
Nicholl, Robertson, 254.
Norfolk, Duke of, 91.
Norland, 15, 17, 27, 85, 127, 217-8.
Norland Hall, 62, 63, 66, 78, 118,
Norland, John of, 45, 80.
Norland Lower Hall, 124.
Normanton, Matthew, 193-5.
North Bridge, 53, 78, 220, 260.
North Dean, 250.
" Northern Star," 254.
North Field, 17.
Northgate, 256, 258.
Northgate End Chapel, 260.
Northgate Hotel Yard, 231.
Northowram, 13, 16, 17, 48, 85, 184,
Northowram : Marsh Hall, 124.
Nottingham, 141, 245.
Oastler, Richard, 244.
O'Connor, Fergus, 253, 254.
Octagon Tower, 268.
Oddy, H. R., 60, 73.
Ogden, 56, 184, 199, 225, 240.
Ogden Brook, 224-5.
Ogden Reservoir, 239, 263.
Old Bank, 53, 148, 160.
Old Cock Inn, 123, 191.
Old Cock Yard, 231.
Old Crispin Inn, 245.
Old Earth, 42.
Oldfield, James, 194.
Old Lane, 240, 258.
Old Lane Mill, 240.
Old Market, 60, 98.
Old St. Paul's, London, 134.
Open Fields, 17, 76, 233, 234.
Orange Street, 220.
Otes of Holdsworth, 48.
Otes, Robert, 76.
Oteson, John, 47.
Ouram Hall, Shibden, 78.
Ovenden, 16, 17, 27, 85, 87, 88, 129,
160, 200, 229, 234.
Ovenden Hall, 116, 177.
Ovenden, Mill near, 238.
Ovenden Railway, 259.
Ovenden, Ralph of, 26.
Ovenden, Richard oi, 44.
Ovenden Wood, 78, 115, 127, 129-
132, 158, 224.
Ovenden Wood Brook, 87,
Over Nabroyd, 63.
Pack Horses, 53, 54, 86, 177, 178,
185, 204, 207, 208, 215. 223.
Pack Saddle and Pillion, 228.
" Painter's Camp," 270.
Parish Children in Factories, 243.
Parish Church, 31, 32, 33, 38, 42,
53. 55. 59, 66-78, 89-102, 104,
105, III, 113, 116. 135, 153,
160, 165-168, 174, 207, 245,
Parish of Halifax, 15, 56, 113.
" Park, The," 261.
Park, People's, 265, 271.
Park Street, 261.
Parliament, First Member of, 165.
Parliamentary Borough of 1832,
Patchett, Gregory, 138.
Peck, Richard, 78.
Peel House, Warley, 125.
Peep Green, Hartshead, 253.
Pellon Lane, 260.
Pellon Lane Chapel, 207, 220.
People's Charter, 252.
Persecution, Religious, 105.
Petticoat Lane, 168.
Piece Hall, 199-204.
Pilgrimage of Grace, 97.
" Pilgrimage of Mercy," 244.
Pilkington, Bishop, 103.
Pineapple Hotel, 209.
Pious Uses Commission, 164.
Place Names : See under Names.
Plague in Halifax, 160.
Plug Riots, 254-7.
Pollard, Mr., 201.
Poll Tax, 1379, 46, 47, 53.
Ponden, Stanbury, 201.
Pontefract, 38, 96.
Pontefract Castle, 22, 163.
Pontefract, Honour of, 22.
Portinari, Giovanni, 100.
Postage in 1820, 232.
Post Office : Mail Coaches, 232.
Post Office Savings Bank, 266.
Poundal], Major, 161.
Preachers, Weslevan and other,
Preston Battle, 161.
Priestley, John, 173.
Priestley, Joseph, 152, 154, 158,
Ptiestley, Luke, 232.
Priestley, Samuel, 143.
Priestley, Tom, 177, 182.
Princess Street, 224.
Printing Press, 224.
Puritans, 103, 139, 164, 167-168.
Pye Nest, 210,
Quarmby Hall, 39.
Quarmby, Hugh of, 39, 40, 41, 42.
Queensbury, 56, 227, 253, 259.
Ramsden, Robert of Stoneyroyd,
Range Bank, 56, 227.
Rastrick, Henry of, 48.
Rastrick, 15, 16, 17, 43, 84, loi,
Rawfold Mill, Attack on, 247, 249.
Records Office, Public, 80.
Recreation Ground : Savile Park,
Rectors, 34, 35.
Reform Act, 251.
Reformers : Peterloo, 250.
" Religio Medici," 136.
Religious Bequests, 84.
Rendurer Place, 76.
Rentals in Halifax, 78.
" Revenge upon Revenge " : lilland
Revey Beacon, 102.
Riding, William, 96.
Richard, Duke of York, 71.
Richard the Nailer, 185.
Riot Act Read, 256.
Riots, Plug, 254-7.
Ripon, 81, 161.
Ripponden, 168, 229.
Rishworth Family, 120.
Rising in the North, 103.
Road, Great, to and from Halifax.
Roads, 53, 54, 85, 215-232.
Roads, Repair of, 136.
" Robinson Crusoe," 178.
Rochdale, 141, 142, 152. 154
Rochdale Canal, 222.
Rochdale Road, 227.
Rockingham, Marquis of, .194
Rodeman, William, 99.
Roebucks, Warley, 22.
Roger the Fuller, 43.
Roils Head, 153.
Rokeby, Archbishop, 89-102.
Rokeby, Archbishop W., Arms of,
Rokeby Chapel, 90, 93.
Roote, Henry, 153, 168, 172.
Roote, Timothy, 172.
Rose and Crown Inn, 178.
Roses, Wars of the, 71, 73.
Royds, John, 194.
Royd's House, George Street, 210.
Rufford Abbey, 267.
Rushton, Ben, 255.
Russell Street, 168.
St. Bartholomew's Fair, 80, 82.
St. Crispin Inn, 245-8.
St. John, Order of, 27.
St. Joseph's School, Southowram.
Sanitation, Lack of prior to 1848,
Salterhebble, 222, 256.
Salterhebble Brook, 225.
Saltonstall, 13, 48.
Saltonstall, William of, 25.
Sandal Parish, 71, 170.
Sand Hall, Highroad Well, 196.
Savile, Henry, 87, 96, 98, 109-111.
Savile, Captain Henry, 267.
Savile, John, 46.
Savile, Sir John, 145.
Savile, Jonathan, 242.
Savile, Sir William, 143, 158.
Savile Badge, 97.
Savile Close, 193.
Savile Park, 265, 267.
Saviles, 42, loi.
Scenery, 230-1, 233, 270.
Scholefield, Jonathan, 144.
Scott, Sir Gilbert, 266.
Scout Hall, 121.
Seedlings Mount : Sydell-ing, 17
Sentry Edge, 153, 158.
Services charged to Rent, 27.
Settlers, Early, 13.
Shakehand Brig, 85.
Sharpe, Mr., 151.
Shaw Booth, 169-70.
Shaw Hill, 107, 119, 256.
Shaw Lodge Mills, 260.
Shaw Syke, 16, 237, 259, 266.
Shay, The, 78, 199.
" Shears, The," 237.
Shelf, 17, 45, 84, 85.
Shepherd, John and Alice, 49.
Shepherd, Thomas, 24.
Shibden, 49, 56, 78, 127, 153, 184,
Shibden Beck, 16.
Shibden Coal pits, 185, 199, 242.
Shibden Fold, 56.
Shibden Hall, 16, 56, 59-61, 78, 100,
126, 138, 152, 186, 208.
Shibden Industrial School, 229.
Shields, Frederic, 270-1.
Ship Money, 137-9.
Siddal, 38, 119-121.
Siddal Hall, 184.
Simm Carr, 184.
Skipton, 161, 200.
Skipton Castle, 131,
Skircoat, 16, 17, 85, 107, 218.
Skircoat Freeholders, 265-7.
Skircoat Green, 250, 253.
Skircoat Moor, 234, 256, 266-7.
Slaughter Gap, 159.
Smeaton, Engineer, 221.
Smith House, I.ightcliffe, 199.
Smithson, John, 47.
Smithy Stake, 136.
Soil Hill, 56, 184, 186, 235.
Somerset House, George Street, 194.
Sour Milk Hall, 242.
South Field, 76.
Southgate, 17, 154, 225.*
Southowram, 16, 17,' 22, 102, 115,
136, 140, 184, 237, 252.
Southowram Bank, 251, 261.
South Parade, 209.
South Street : Architecture, 209-
Sowerby, 15, 17, 21, 25, 46, 48, 80,
84, 85, loi, 125, 127, 128, 140,
155, 158, 161, 165, 168, 174-6,
200, 217-9, 220, 228.
Sowerby Bridge, 86, 135, 153, 158,
160, 172, 189, 217-222, 259.
Sowerby Chapel, 167.
vSowerby Constables, Account Book
Sowerby shire, 55.
Soyland, 15, 17, 143, 152, 158, J79-
183, 200. 211, 229.
Spencer, Thomas, 26, 193, 193.
Spen Valley, 246.
Spice Cake Lane, 209.
Spinning, 50, 203-5, 236.
Spring Gardens, 115.
Spring Hall Lane, 236.
Square Chapel, 199, 207, 209, 242
Stainland, 17, 233.
Stancliffe, Richard, 85.
Stanford, John of, 45.
Stannery End, 191, 193, 207.
Stansfield, 17, 21, 25, 84, 200.
Stansfield, Thomas, 80.
Steam Engine, 239-40.
Stephenson, Hugh, 52.
Stockdale, Thomas, 145-6, 149c
Stone Dam Mill, 78.
Stoneshey Gate, 197.
Stoney Royd, 16, 19, 165, 209, 212.
Stott, Engraver, 270.
Street Names, 261.
Stuart Rebellion, 186-188.
Stump Cross : Toll Bar, 225.
Sturbridge Fair, Cambridge, 80.
Styhog, John, 25.
Suffolk, Duke of, 91.
Sunderland, 48, 120.
Sunderland, High : See under High.
Sunderland, Langdale, 163.
Sunderland, Richard of High, 52.
Sunny Bank, Greetland, 60, 63.
Surnames : See Names.
Surrey, Earl of : William of Warren,
Sutcliffe, Gamwel, 189.
Swales Moor, 56, 221, 224, 227.
Swerd, Peter, 25, 66.
Swine Market, 270.
Swires Road, 193.
Tadcaster, 142, 150.
Talbot Inn, 194, 221.
Talbot, Major, 148.
Talvace, John, 34.
Taxes, 26, 46, 137-9-
Taylor, Captain, 156.
Taylor, Dan, 242.
Tempest, Sir Richard, 96, 98-99.
Tempest Badge, 97.
Ten Hours Bill, 244.
Theft : Punishment under Gibbet
Thomas, Robert, 193-5.
Thomas, William, 204.
Thompson, Fiddler, 242.
Thompson, Mr., 159.
Thornhill, 96, 98.
Thornhill of Fixby Hall, 244.
Thornton, William, 253.
Tillotson, Archbishop John, 174-6.
Tillotson, John : Luddite, 248, 249.
Tillotson, Robert, 174.
Timber Houses, 57.
Tinker, Richard the, 25.
Tithes, 33, 100.
Todmorden, 197, 227, 228, 230, 244.
Toll Bar Houses and Tolls, 225-7,
Token, Tradesman's, 178.
" Top o' th' Town," 17.
" Top-o' t' Town Chapel," 260.
" Tour through Great Britain," 178.
Tourn (Criminal Court), 24.
Tower, Octagon, 268.
Town Council, 265.
Town, Growth of, 260-3.
Town Gates, 17.
Townships, Boundaries of, 16, 17.
Trade, Foreign : Sam Hill, 179-183.
Trade, Growth of, 78.
Trade, Local, 112.
Trade : See under Wool, Worsted,
Transport, 2 1 5-32.
Triangle, 229, 250.
Trooper Lane, 160.
Tuel Lane, 228.
Turbard, Ingelard, 35.
Turner, J. M. W., 213.
Turnpike Roads, 226-32, 257
Twining, Thomas, 233.
Ulnager's Accounts, 80, 81.
Uniformity, Act of, 172.
Union Cross Yard, 231.
Upper and Lower George Yards.
Upper Brear, 56, 165.
Upper Rookes, 124.
Upper Saltonstall, 124.
Upper Siddal Hall : Coal Mine, 183.
Upper Willow Hall, 129, 130.
Victoria Reservoir, 263.
View of Halifax, 17th Century, 145.
Volunteers, 25 t, 266.
Wade, General, 186-188.
Wadsworth, 15, 17, 21, 208, 233.
Wadsworth, Adam of, 25.
Wadsworth Lanes, 155.
Wages, Regulation of, 45.
Wainhouse, J. E., 267.
" Wainhouse's Folly," 268.
Wainhouse Terrace, 268-9.
Wakefield, 26, 27, 53, 55, 80, 81, 96,
103, 136, 140, 142-145, 155, 170,
178, 224, 228, 231-2.
Wakefield, Battle of, 71.
Wakefield Court Roll, 30, 35, 38,
Wakefield, Manor of, 21, 32, 33, 185.
Wakefield Prison, 256. ,
Wales, Mr., 141.
Walker of Walterclough, 237.
Walker, William, 224.
Walpole, Henry, 105.
Walshaw Dean Reservoir, 263.
Walters, Hubert, 34.
Waltroyd, 19, 87, 204-8.
Wards End, 209, 225, 251.
Warley, 16, 17, 21, 25, 49, 85, 127,
129, 138, 153, 155, 156, 188, 200,
Warley, Nicholas of, 25.
Warley Wood, 109.
Warren, Earls of, 26, 27, 28, 30, 32,
34. 38, 39, 55. 89.
Warren, John of, Earl of Surrey,
13, 20, 22, 23, 24.
Warren Shield, .21.
Washer Lane Dyeworks, 268.
Waterhouse, Mistress Dorothy, 166.
Waterhouse, Gilbert, 100.
Waterhouse, John, 72, 86.
Waterhouse, Nathaniel, 134-136,
Waterhouse, Robert, 99, 100.
Water Supply, 263.
Water Wheel : Simm Carr, 1 84 .
Water-wheels, 219, 237.
Watson, 178, 209-10, 230, 235.
Weaving, Hand, 50, 203-5.
Webster, Thomas. 43.
Well Head, 78, 165. ^
Wentworth, Lieutenant Colonel, 153.
Wentworth Woodhouse, 194, 2 to.
Wesley, John, 196-199, 233.
Wesleyan Revival, 242.
West Hill Park, 261.
Westminster Abbey, Wolsey at, 89.
Westm oreland , 71.
West wood, Avicia, Wife of Thomas
Wharf e, 222.
Wharf Street, Sowerby Bridge, 222.
Whatmough, Robert, token of, 178.
Wheatley, 17, 85, 87, 204-7, 220,
Whitaker, Richard, of Skircoat,
White Swan Inn, 231-2.
White Windows, 210.
Whittaker, Dr., 220.
Whittaker, Dr. : Prophecy on Coal,
Whittle Lane End, 42.
Widdop, 155, 197, 231, 263, 270.
Williamson, Abraham and John,
Williamson, John, 153.
Wilkinson, Vicar, 60, 71-72, 83.
Willebv, John, and Chantry Chapel,
Willow Hall, 129.
Willow Hall, Lower, 131.
Willow Hall, Upper, 129, 130.
Wilson, Benj., 250, 257.
Wilson, Robert, 189.
Wiscombe Bank, 148.
Wolf stones, 23.
Wolsey, Cardinal, 89-92.
Wood, Charles, 252.
Wood Lane Hall, Sowerby, 116, 125.
Wood, Richard, 87.
" Wool Driving," 112.
Woollen Trade, 49, 78-88, 1 12-13,
Workhouse, Governors of, 164.
Workhous*, Waterhouse's, 13^.
Working Men's College, 266.
Worsted Manufacture, 179-183,
Wortley, James Stuart, 252.
Wrigley Hill, 235.
Wroe, John, 47.
" Wuthering Heights," 208.
Yew Tree, 130-132.
York, 25, 34, 43, 55, 82, 105. 144,
168, 173, 185, 193, 206, 223, 231,
York Castle, 191.
Yorkshire Penny Bank, 266.
14 DAY USE
RETURN TO DESK FROM WHICH BORROWED
This book is due on the last date stamped below, or
oo the date to which renewed.
Renewed books are subject to immediate recall.
fV'OV 10 ©59
General Library .
University of California
Seb Pages 1516 and 84-85.
THE ANCIENT PARISH
DIVIDED INTO TOWNSHIPS
Old Chapels marked *t
N8HIP IS NOT Bounded by a Stream, the Dotted Line denotes the Boundary.