Halifax Memories 37 - John Lister's Notes


From Halifax GUARDIAN, 26 November 1898



[By J. LISTER, ESQ., M.A.]

We enter the old township of Southowram by Lily-lane and Bridge,


Why Lily Bridge and Lily-lane? In 1608, Sir Edward Waterhouse, of Shibden Hall, sold to Sir A. Ingram one water corn mill and two "walk" or fulling mills in Southowram, one of the fulling mills being occupied by a tenant of the name of Edward Lilley. In 1665 this mill was still agoing, when Widow Mitchell and John Robinson, occupiers of Lilv Mill, paid 5d. and ½ d. respectively for it towards what was called a “Royal Aid to the King's Majesty” - a special tax laid upon the “inhabitants of Southowram, owners and occupiers of land, tenements, goods, and chattells.”

The total contributed by the township of Southowram towards the sum of £1,125,000 requred was £8 14s. 6d., and this was employed in fighting the Dutch. From this date, says Hallam, it became an undisputed principle that supplies granted by Parliament were only to be applied for particular objects specified by itself.

In 1677, the occupier of Lily Mill also contributed towards “the speedy building of thirty ships of war” the sum of 4d. It appears that in view of a war with France, the Commons had voted a subsidy - or extra tax - for the use of the navy, which they ordered should be paid into the hand of their own receivers. The total tax paid by the owners and occupiers of lands, housing, and stocks in this township was £4 14s. 9d., being its proportion of £584,978 2s. 2 ½ d., laid on the West Riding, granted to the "Merrie Mouarch" by the Parliament.

Again, in 1692 Mr. Robert Ramsden, of Stoneyroyd, contributed, on account of the mill, 4s. 1d. towards a subsidy granted by Parliament "for carrying on a vigorous war against France." In this case the total amount contributed by Southowram for this laudable object was £69 15s.6d.

In 1723, we find the old mill still occupied, and used for its original purpose. In 1814 the place belonged to the Marquis of Hertford - the representative of the Ingram family.

There is still existing a last century brick-built mill here, which, however, presents no features of interest.


Passing along Water-lane, we come to an old fashioned stone mullion windowed house, now known as the "Ship Inn.” There seems to be no date about it, but its architecture tells us it was built in the 17th century. Now called Waterside, this house and the pleasant “ings” that once lay around it were known to our forefathers as "Brookroyds" - the clearings by the brook.


COAL MINING in Northowram and Southowram had been carried on from a very early date. In 1401, Richard, of Mekesburgh, was fined at the Manor Court, for opening the ground in Shibden, and taking sea coals therefrom without license. In a lease of Upper Dove House, in Shibden, in Southowram, the tenant is empowered by his landlord "to dig for his own coals" in the land, but not sell to anyone. When Sir Edward Waterhouse, in 1608, sold Shibden Hall, mention is made of a lease of "a certain piece of land, with liberty for opening the ground and taking of coals there." In 1659, Toby Barraclough, owner of Brookroyds, and son of Toby whose will we have quoted, and Thomas Lister, of Shibden Hall, had an interesting and doubtless costly suit; in the High Court of Chancery anent their mines. The question in dispute was whether Toby, who was the defendant, was liable or not to pay 50s. A year, and three horse loads of coals weekly to Thomas Lister, in consideration of the latter's being at the expense of opening and cleansing of a “sow” or “watercourse” in the parties' coal mines at Blaithroyd and Stonyroyd, in Southowram, according to articles of agreement alleged to have been made between Toby's father and Thomas Lister in 1637

But returning to Toby senior's will. It will be remembered that a lane is mentioned called Green-lane, leading to the Highfield. The Highfield was otherwise known as the Townfield, and was originally occupied and cultivated in common by the tenants of the manor. Each landholder or occupier had the right to pasture his cattle there. But the number was limited in every case, according to the Size of the man’s holding. In old deeds we constantly meet with mention of this right of "kine gates", as they were called in the Town Field. Toby Barraclough tells us in his will that he owned half the manor of Southowram. I do not exactly know how this could be, because the half of the manor seems to have belonged at this time to another man.

In 1570, Brookroyds belonged to or was tenanted by a family of the name of Maud -Alice Maud, widow, and Robert Maud, her eldest son, owning it; but before 1595, the Gibson family had taken up their abode there, two Richard Gibsons, father and son, being then its owners and occupiers.

In the 27th year of Queen Elizabeth, Agnes Gibson, of Southowram, widow, granted to Richard Gibson, son of Richard Gibson, her son, a rent of 1s. out of a close in Siddal.

In 1622, Richard Gibson assigned to Thomas Lister, of Shibden Hal1, a close called Wheatclose, abutting upon one lane leading to Blaithroyd. The term of the lease was 200 years, and Thomas Lister paid £30 for same. A close in which wheat was grown, near Blaithroyd, sounds strange in our ears to-day.

This Wheatclose is also stated to have joined up, on its south side, to the lands lately Richard May's. Richard May belonged to a Halifax family, of whom little is known. But a few extracts from his will, dated 1611, may he of interest. He gave and bequeathed to his nephew, James May, all the ranges, glass, and “seeings” in and about all his house and buildings in Halifax, and also all the racks and mangers within his stables there - also one great new table standing in the great chamber, and one bedstead standing in the next chamber to the said great chamber. He also gave to his brother John, his best cloak, jerkin, dublett, and breeches, and to his brother Charles his next do., and to his brother Robert his third cloak, jerkin, dublett, and breeches. He seems to have had considerable property in Halifax, and his possession of three complete suits of apparel is in itself the token of a man of considerable substance, in those days when clothes formed a part of the family property.


The next owners on record of Brookrovds after the Gibsons are the Barracloughs. I find, from his will, dated 1649, the year of Charles I.’s execution, that Toby Barraclough, gentleman, had become the owner of the Brookroyds, consisting of one messuage, one laith, two ings adjoining the house, and one other ing which he had bought of Mris. Maude, of Wakefield. He also possessed two other closes that he had purchased of Thomas Lister, of Shibden, called Capon Heyes and Primrose Close, and several other closes of land thereunto adjoining. He also owned one lane in Southowram called Green lane (alias Savile lane), leading from Ramsden Spout to the High Field, and all the mine and mines of coal there. He moreover owned the moiety or half part of the lordship of Southowram, which he states he had of the gift of Anne Oates, the relict of James Oates, younger, deceased.

Toby Barraclough, sen., was an important personage in his day in the parish, He was churchwarden of Halifax in 1633, and high constable in 1641. When poor Isaac Illingworth, of Ovenden, was beheaded for stealing over 13½.d. worth of goods, at the Halifax Gibbet,

in that year, Toby must perforce have presided in his official capacity of high constable at the melancholy and, tragic performance. Besidas owning Brookroyds and the property named, Toby Barraclough was the possessor of a house, barn, and four closes of land in Siddal, a house, barn, and four closes in Southowram, also a close of land at Ramsclough, adjoining upon "the way in the bank there leading betwixt Halifax and Wakefield." He owned besides a very large amount of property in Halifax, including the "Swanne." Toby was twice married, and his second wife and widow, Mrs, Lucy Barraclough contributed 8d. to the Royal Aid for fighting the Dutch in 1655, a Mr. Dolliffe also paying 1s, for Toby Barraclough's lands. She also paid 9d. towards the same object on account of Bailey Hall. Toby Barraclough, son of Toby sen., was one of the two largest taxpayers in Halifax, in 1664.


In 1677, when it was necessary for this country to speedily build 30 ships of war, we found that John Ramsden is described as of Brookroyds, and that he paid 1s. 3d, tax on account of the same. This John Ramsden, I take it, was one of the numerous family of Ramsden, of Stonyroyd, Siddal Hall, and Park Nook, of whom I shall have more to say when we come to those places. He and his mother paid 3s. 9d. in 1665 to fight the Dutch, and she is entered as paying 4d. Besides “for her stock.” Stock is, of course, the old term for capital. We learn from this and other sources that the duty of furnishing the needful for our wars was not in these old days laid exclusively upon the owner of real, i.e. landed property, but that the owners of "stock" were also bound to contribute.

How long Brookroyds remained, in the family of the Ramsdens I cannot say, but towards the end, probably, of the 18th century it passed into the hands of the Caygills - who gave their name to Caygill's Walk - and in 1809, under the name of Bank and Waterside, it had become the property of Lady Ibbetson and paid 10s. to the Lord of the Manor. With Brookroyds was associated some land formerly called "Hall Green Land." Whence the name I know not.


As we are so near, we may as well have a peep at what remains of Bailey Hall, of which we have spoken as being in 1665 owned by Mrs. Lucy Barraclough.

Although outside the township of Halifax:, it was, as the name implies, the residence of the bailiff of the Lord of the Manor of Wakefield - the official appointed by that personage to impannel the jury when an execution at the Gibbet was in expectation, and to perform the other duties attached to the post.

A document at Wakefield tells us that the bailiff of Halifax and his deputies had power to execute within the ‘Liberty,’ as it was called, of Halifax - all such process as "the

Sheriff's bailies do in the rest of the county, as also to carry the persons under their arrest

to the lord's gaol at Halifax, if they be not bailed within 24 hours. Thy had also to collect the freehold rents, called Earl Warren’s rents, all the amercements of the Courts, all waifs and strays, and all the fees of writs, executions, &c. In short, they discharged many of the functions now exercised by the County Court. We are also told that the bailiff of Halifax, in the time of the Forest of Hardwick, when the forest laws were in force, was then called the Chief Bailiff of Halifax, or Sheriff of Sowerbyshire. And, in all matters relating to the execution of criminals, acted as sheriff, and to this day keeps the Gibbet axe, with which malefactors were formerly executed at Halifax. The bailiff, also when this document from which I quote was written, about 1700, acted also as gaoler, and farmed both offices at £50 a year.

But long before 1700, it would appear, the "bailies" of Halifax had ceased to reside at Bailey Hall.


In the middle of the seventeenth century Bailey Hall was the residence of Old John Bottomley, a relative of the Listers, for John Lister, of Upper Brea, in one of the numerous note-books, in which, in a species of shorthand, he took down in ink the sermons of the Puritan preachers of his day, has, amongst the number, one that was preached “at the funeral of my uncle, John Bottomley, of the Bayliffe Hall.”

In a “Collection of Loyal Songs,” anent this habit affected by the more strict Puritans, we read the following satirical lines: -

No factious lecture does he miss,

And ’scapes no schism that’s in fashion,

But, with short hair, and shining shoes,

He with two pens and note book goes.

And winks and writes at random.

John, Bottomley, or Bothomleve, as his name was variously spelled, according to the sweet orthographic liberty of his time, was, it appears, a clothier, i.e., a cloth manufacturer. In some scraps of


under date of 1654, we find the following items:

“Drest for Geo. Croyser 10 kerseys. viz, 10 of I B., John Bottomley's, which was sold to Edward Pollard for 43s. 3d. per piece."

“Md. That the dressinge is not paid."

Later follows:- "Received for dressinge, 15s."

Again, under date of July 3rd. 1654, we find: - "10 of I.B. John Bottomley's, which I sold to Edward Pollard for him (i.e., Geo. Croyser), at 44s. per piece." The charge for dressing is invariably in this and other instances 15s,. Nothing more have I been able to glean, as yet,

touching John Bottomley, of Bailey Hall. Much water has run under Bailey Bridge, many a sack of good Halifax cloth been made, many a mournful funeral sermon been preached in the old church, since he, good, soul, was laid to rest there.

The following gives the family of John Bothomley in 1666 :-" A certificate of all the names and sirnames, titles and stocks of the inhabitants of Southowrome taken according to an Act of Parliament for ye Poll [TaX] ye 26th day of February, 1666.

£ s. d.

“John Bothomley and Judith his Wife )

“Martha, Mary, Samuel, John, ) 0 07 0

“Joseph, yr children )


In 1689 the hall was tenanted, perhaps owned, by Mr. John Stancliffe, as is gathered from the surviving account book of a Halifax apothecary, of that date. The entry runs as follows:

Oct. 29th.-Mr. John Stancliffe, of Bayly-hall,

Vin. Icteric. cum Ingred.

Pilul Purg. No. 12 deaurat.

The Vinum Ictericum - icteric wine - was a specific, in those days, for the jaundice. Cooper, in his Latin Dictionary, published 1584, quaintly explains the meaning of the word icterus as "a bird which if a man see being sicke of the jaundise, the man shall ware hole, and the bird shall dye." The purgative pills, also prescribed for Mr. Stancliffe, are sufficiently self-suggestive, but, be it noted, they were gilded - deauratae.

Early in the next century Bailey Hall was probably tenanted by the Nelson alias Nalson family, whose heiress, so it seems, Martha Nelson, married in 1725, one William Wood. This William Wood - described as a “merchant” - or his son, purchased, in 1764, Upper Dove House estate, in Shibden, now the Industrial School of that, ilk. He bought it the Abson family, and this ancient homestead - so far back as 1691 - been occupied, as tenant, by one John Nelson, who probably belonged to the same family as that which, it seems, had its abode at Bailey Hall.

In an old note book of Mr. Japhet Issott, of Fold, Shibden, this marriage is thus recorded:- "Mr William Wood was married to Martha Nalson Tuesdav ye 24th Aug. 1725, at Groves [St. Anne's].” And later is added: - "Martha, daughter of William Wood, of Bailey Hall, born 8 June, 1726,"

From an assessment preserved at Shibden Hall for the Land Tax for the year 1782, “after the rate of 4s. in the pound,” and collected after the rate of 2s. 8d. in the pound, “which was laid upon “all and every the owners and occupiers of lands, tenements, houses, mines, woods, quarries, coals, and tythes, in Southowram,” it appears that, at that date, Mrs. Phebe Wood was the owner of Bailey Hall, which was valued in the assessment at £15. Phebe Wood was the daughter of the William Wood who purchased Dove House, and was also, in the assessment, of 1782, set down as the then owner of that property, which was assessed at £16. The Woods do not appear to have possessed Bailey Hall long after this date, for we find that in 1809,

William Walker, Esquire, of Crow Nest, was the owner of the old hall and of a sometime meadow, called Croyd Ing, and also of another house, called Low Bailey Hall. The rent paid to the Lord of the Manor of Southowram was then 4s., but there is a note to the effect that, in 1745, it was 2s. and two fat hens. These hens had, in 1809, become commuted into a payment of 2s.


This payment of hens, in lieu of money, is interesting as a survival of the early custom of paying rent in produce. In Saxon and early Norman times it was universal - money rents were practically unknown - the serfs laboured at least three-fourths of their time on the Lord of the Manor's land, and also paid rents of poultry, eggs, honey, &c. In return for their labour and their tribute of produce they were allowed, in their spare time, to cultivate the holdings which the Saxon Thanes and the Norman Knights permitted them to occupy.


From the assessment of 1665 it appears that there was then a mill at Bailey Bridge, for which Abraham Dyson contributed 1s.3d. It is interesting to learn, also, that at this date 1d. in the pound only raised £5 12s. 7d. in the township of Southowram. It appears that the mill formed part of the manorial estate of the Ingrams, and Lord Irwin paid the land tax for it in 1782. It was, as well as Lily Mill, the property of the second Marquis of Hertford in

1814, who took the name of Ingram after his marriage with Isabella Anne, daughter and heiress of Charles Ingram, Viscount Irwin, but the paternal name of Seymour has been since resumed. In the year 1814 the tenants of the Bailey Bridge Mill were Messrs. Wainhouse and Rigg. Before 1845 it had passed into the occupation of the Baldwin family, for in Walker's Directory of the Parish of Halifax, published in that year, Mr. John Baldwin, grand-father of our ex-Mayor, is described as carrying on there the business of a worsted and woollen yarn spinner.

There is not much of interest to detain us in the neighbourhood of Bailey Hall, or at what remains of it, and we must pass on towards Stony Royd.


Before we enter the cemeterv, by which the mansion of Stony-royd is now approached, we can cast our eyes up towards the rudely developed district known as Caddy Field.

Does it, I wonder, take its name from Joseph Caddy, who in 1677, paid tax for “two

Closes i’th Bank”? In the Manorial Records of 1814, it is sometimes called Caddow Field, and was then owned by William Lawrence. and paid 3s. to the Lord of the Manor. In 1745, when Prince Charlie was travelling England, the Caddy Closes - as they were then called - were the property of G. Laycock. I have not been able to discover anything of a more romantic character in regard to this district.


But now we are arrived at Stony-royd - a ruddy, well-conditioned looking mansion, dating from the days when George the Second was king - now converted, as we all know,ccfvcf into that useful institution the Halifax Infectious Diseases Hospital.


The Stony-royd - or clearing - for such the name signifies, has a story of its own. Old Time has spared us some parchment records, whereby we can recall the days when our forefathers were busy with their axes ridding the hill-side of the forest-trees that were all too luxuriant then for their convenience. We must get back in thought to the days of Henry III., and of Simon de Montfort.


About the year 1254 - the year in which, for the first time in England, two knights of the shire were summoned to Parliament - we find that this estate was owned by John, the Clerk, of Cromwellbottom, and that one Thomas of the Moor of Halifax held it of him, as tenant. All clerks were clergymen in those days, though not necessarily priests, and, probably, John, the Clerk, belonged to the then-numerous band of clergy who were content to hold what are called in the Catholic Church the "minor orders." Professor Thorold Rogers has told us, in his Six Centuries of Work and Wages, that the wages of clerks and scribes at this period were very low, a scribe who wrote out a 1ong steward's account; which fills thirteen closely printed octavo pages, and who balanced all the items, getting only 2s. for his trouble, though a further present of a similar sum was given him by favour. “A clerk of works” he adds - "was not so well paid as an artizan" of the same time.


But the clerk of Cromwellbottom had other sources of income than were to be won from pen and inkhorn.

In 1251, at the Assizes held at York, a jury was impannelled to find whether or not the owner of Stony-royd had unjustly disseised, i.e., dispossessed Eli of Rishworth of his right of common pasture in Rishworth. It was found, however, that John, the Clerk, had a right to pasture there under a demise made to him bv John de Elland.

A year or two after this date, we learn from a deed preserved in the Bodleian Library, at Oxford, that the Clerk of Cromwellbottom had passed, let us trust, to “the better land,” and that John, his son had succeeded to the earthly inheritance of Stonyroyd. This deed informs us that, “in return for homage and service, and in consideration of the payment of a certain sum of silver" - how much is not stated - John, son of John, the Clerk of Cromwell-bottom, had granted to Richard, the Clerk of Halifax, all the land that Thomas of the Moor of Halifax used to hold of John, the Clerk, in Huverum, viz:- that which lies nigh the road called Morgate on the north, and the water called Halifax Brook on the west, Richard paying a yearly rent of 9d. The said Richard was not to assign the property to monks or nuns, Jews, or churches. The witnesses are:- John de Eland, John Lascy, Henry de Hiperum, Richard, his son, Hugh de Rastrick, and William, the chaplain, which William, we are informed therein - "wrote this deed." There is a seal attached, in fairly perfect condition, on which is represented, apparently, a beetle, with the inscription in Latin - “The seal of John, son of John the Clerk."


There are several points in this early charter which deserve attention. The land is granted, we observe, firstly, in consideration of the tenant doing homage to John Clerk-son. This meant that the former acknowledged himself to be the man of the latter, and the homage itself was the solemn act by which the tenant recognised his lord as him of whom he held the land, and to whom be was bound to render service; and from which, on the other

Hand, arose the duty, on the part of the lord, of protecting his tenant. The lord himself, where, as in this case, he was not the highest lord - for John Clerk, son, himself held the land, which he granted to Richard the chaplain of John de Elland, the lord of the manor of Southowram, and the latter again of the Laceys of Pontefract - was, in the same way, the vassal or tenant of same other overlord.


But between the superior or chief lord, and the tenant who held his lands of the vassal of that superior lord, there was no immediate relation of service and protection or otherwise. Secondly, the land was granted to Richard, the clerk, in return for service. Free tenants, such as Richard was, as well as non-free, were originally bound to render services to the lord of whom they held their lands; but, in the case of the former, they were fixed and certain. These services were rendered in money, produce, labour, by attendance at the lord's court, &c. What was the nature of the services to which the tenant of Stonyroyd was liable we do not know, but, as his status was that of a clerk, they were not likely to have consisted of any ungentle labour. Thirdly, "the sum of silver" paid down by the purchaser, Richard the Clerk, represented the purchase money of the estates, which he became the holder of, as the lawyers would say, in fee simple. To be noted also, is the form of the name of the township, as represented in this and other documents of the same period, to wit, Hoverum. Often, in early times, do we find the prefix “south” and “north” omitted, both in regard to Southowram and Northowram, in describing persons and places. The road on the north of the property,

called Morgate in the deed, would be probably the road now leading up to Caddy Field, and running up to and along the eastern wall of the present Cemetery. Morgate signifies, of course, the road to the Moor. Of this nature was, at this and later times, the whole of the land

on the hillside above the Stonyroyd Estate, known by the name of

THE COMMON OF BAIRSTOW, a name now connected to the barren brow above St. Joseph's Schools - this moorland stretched over a great part of Beacon Hill - then called Gledcliffe and above Stonyroyd into Siddal, where it bore the name of the Common of Siddal. The Common of Barstow also included Marsh and Law-hill, in Southowram, and extended on the north, behind Beacon Hill, along the hillside facing Shibden Hall, as well as the present Industrial School. In an early deed of the fourteenth century Shibden Hall itself is described as being "in Bairstow." It is to be observed, also, that "Halifax Brook" is the ancient and proper name of the stream by which old Halifax was, built - not the "Hebble Brook," as it has since become designated.


John, son of John the Clerk, in the deed, we observe, prohibits Richard the Clerk from assigning the land granted to him to Jews, religious houses, and churches. The reason of this prohibition lay in the circumstance that as the tenants were bound, on occasion, to go forth to fight on behalf of their lords, when called upon so to do, corporate bodies of monks and Clergymen could not comply with this condition of military service, and, as for the Jews, they were considered to be aliens and foreigners, and, therefore, incapable of holding any English land at all.



The new owner of the "Stonirode," Richard, the Clerk of Halifax, seems to have enjoyed possession of that property for some fifteen years, but, about the year 1260, or rather later, we find him conveying “two acres of land lying in the Stonirode," and which he held as feudal tenant of John de Lascy, of Cromwellbottom, to William of Elland, chaplain. These acres were not part of the land that he had purchased from John, the son of the Clerk of Cromwellbottom, and the rent payable at Pentecost yearly to John de Lascy was eight

silver pence - fourpence per acre - in lien of fulfilment of all “secular services”. In the deed of grant, when this land was sold to the chaplain-priest, William of Elland, the following personages are named as witnesses:- Sir Roger of Bradford, then chaplain of Halifax, Sir Walter (of Peverelthorpe, as another deed describes him) chaplain of Halifax, John de Eland [lord of the manor of Southowram], William of Ecclisley (Exley), Richard of Ecclisley, Thomas of Copley, John of Northland, Thomas of Kunale (Cownal), and Adam the clerk of Skircoat, who was the writer of the deed. There is a seal attached, bearing, in Latin the inscription: “Seal of Richard, the clerk of Halifax,” with the device of a bird thereon, It may not be amiss to remind ourselves that, at this date,


Had signatures been required, even the Kings of England could not, with such rare exceptions as Henry I., styled - on account of his unique ability - Beauclerc, have complied with the requirement. King John - maugre pictures representing him doing it - never signed

Magna Carta. I have, above, given the names of the witnesses to the deed. This is the language of modern law, and hardly applies to the thirteenth century. What the Halifax curates - for such these medieval chaplains were - what the lord of the manor and the other local grandees witnessed, was not the parchment deed but the ceremonial transfer of the land. The seller delivered - Richard, the clerk, delivered - a sod of earth, or a twig of a tree, to the purchaser, William, the chaplain, to signify that he handed over to him with that sod, or that twig, all the land from which those products were taken. The written deed merely put on record what had taken place, and, if any dispute afterwards arose, the witnesses were called in to give their oral testimony in regard to the proceedings at which they had been present.


Readers will have, perhaps, remarked the odour of sanctitv that in those days, clung about Stonyroyd. One would almost fancy that the clergy house must have been situated somewhere in or nigh the "Stony-rode." Clerk and chaplain, both of them tonsured Churchmen, succeed one another in the possession of the roydland acres, and, when a change of ownership takes place, the young curates of Halifax Church, Sir Walter de Peverelthorpe (what a romantic name for a handsome young curate!) and Sir Roger, of Bradford, are all there to celebrate the event. The title Sir - it will be remembered in passing - was attributed to the lower clergy in the middle ages, and down to the seventeenth century, as in Shakespeare - "Sir Hugh persuade me not." At this time the parish of Halifax was supposed to be under the pastoral care of one William de Champvent, a foreigner, as his very name implies. He was the last and, perhaps, the most satisfactory of the line of rectors, and on his promotion to the bishopric of Lausanne, in Switzerland, his native country, in 1273, Halifax became blest with a resident vicar for whom the old, but then new, vicarage house on the south side of the parish church was specially fitted up. But at the date of Chaplain William’s purchase of Stonyroyd, the flock - were still - to quote the words of an original document - still being fleeced by a foreign absentee ecclesiastic, and Sir Walter of Peverelthorpe, Sir Roger of Bradford, and Sir William of Elland were, we hope, all the while doing their level best, when they were not engaged in witnessing land conveyances, to supply the deficiencies of the Swiss rector. However this may have been, Sir William, of Eland, chaplain appears to have been himself a bit of a land accumulator, and if, as is probable, he was the same William the Chaplain, who describes himself, in the first deed we have dealt with relating to Stonyroyd, as “the writer of this charter,” doubtless, his purchases were all the sounder by the reason of his legal acquaintance with the technicalities of the art of thirteenth century land conveyancing. Besides the two acres in "Stonirode in Suthuverum," already spoken of as purchased by him of Richard the Halifax clerk, he had, also shortly prior to 1274, purchased, from the same wielder of the goose quill, all the land at Stonyroyd which he Richard had previously purchased from John, son of John the Clerk of Cromwellbottom which, it appears, consisted of all that "Royd" which is called "Stonirode" and "Lister-pighelis." The free rent to the superior lords, who are described as the heirs of John the Clerk of Cromwellbottom, of course, remained the same as fixed in the earlier deed already commented on. The place-name “Lister-pighelis,” by its very uncouthness, must arrest the notice of the reader, and signifies the lister's, i.e., the dyer's pighills - whence the familiarfamily name Pickles - pighill meaning in old English, a paddock.


Thus, about the date 1270, we have knowledge of the existence of the mystery and art of dyeing cloth in connection with the parish of Halifax. Yet, there are some who have told us that cloth itself was not made in England until the Fleming weavers settled here in the days of the third Edward! Aye! But we have proof now to convince us that the cloth

dyed by the Lister of Halifax was made, even in the days of Henry III, and earlier, by the honest men and women of Haliax. The “pighills” or paddocks nigh Stonyroyd, which took their name from the craftsman who occupied them, reminds us that, even in those distant days, there were some manifestations of the budding trade out of which our town has grown, At this period, from the Wakefield Manorial Court Rolls, we know that there was a fulling mill and dye-house just above the old North Bridge - I mean the original bridge at Bowling Dyke. Nelle - for this was the man's name-ran the fulling mill and, from his trade, was called Nelle the walker. Bate - the holy apostle Bartholomew would hardly recognise his name under this abbreviated form - managed the dyeing - or "listing," as it was then called - department, and, in like manner, on account of his business, he bore the title of Bate the lister. Hence the Halifax family names, Lister, Bates Walker, and Nelson. The fulling mill and dyehouse at Northbridge, belonged to the Lords of the Manor - the monks of Lewes - and the office of dyer for the town was granted by them, as a monopoly, to the Listers, as that of grinding the corn at the manorial corn mill was in similar fashion, to the Milner. Whether there was an official lister or dyer in the Manor of Southowram I have not yet learned. If there were, it would have been from him that Lister-pighills took their name. If not, then it must needs have been that Bate the lister, of Northbridge, or one of his family, and trade, must have been their name-giver.


With the two acres in Stonyroyd William the chaplain had also, it seems, purchased another "royd." called in the deeds “Hunar-rode,” or "Honar-rode. What hunar or honar signifies I can not say, and must leave the unravelling of its etymology to the reader, merely observing that the Anglo-Haxon word hona stands for a cock. Perhaps “Honarode”does, therefore, being interpreted signify the Cock-royd? This “royd” seems to have been appurtenant - as the lawyers would say - to the two acres of arable land in Stonyroyd, purchased by William of Elland, the chaplain, of John Lacy of Cromwellbottom, and was included in the annual rent of eight silver pence payable for those two acres.


Sir William, the chaplain, in spite of his priestly vows had not - unless the deeds he has left behind belie him - altogether renounced - what every Christian pledges himself equally to renounce, and oft-times fails to do - "the world, the flesh, and the devil." The next

deed we have to decipher, which is undated, but from the circumstance that it was witnessed by the first Vicar of Halifax, Ingelard Turbard, must be placed between the years 1274 and 1315, shews to whom Sir William left the "Stonyrode," and “Lister-pighills”, &c. The person to whom he grante dit by his charter was Amabelle, the daughter of William the Tailor, of Halifax, and her children, “his alumni.” A distinguished company were present when the "seisin," as it was called, was delivered, when the property was handed over to the tailor's daughter. There was, first and foremost, Sir Ingelard, then vicar of the parish church; his chaplain or curate, Sir Henry de Delacker ; Thomas of Coppeley, of Copley Hall; John of Haldesworth (probably of Ashday, in Southowram); John of Putesayhe, now usually called Pudsey; John of Hayley; Adam the Clerk, who was the writer of the deed, and many other notable loca1 celebrities. The Mayor was not there, although, by a ridiculous mistake, in the "Catalogue of Ancient Charters" belonging to the Bodleian Library, at Oxford, the complier of that calalogue informs us that one of the witnesses to this deed was “Ingelard, Mayor of Halifax.” He had only misread the word vicar into mayor! Attached to this deed, which is now at Oxford, is a very fine well-preserved seal, representing a vested priest, standing at an altar, chalice in hand, with the circumscription, S. Willelmi de Haliax, capellani (the seal of William of Halifax, chaplain), and some letters follow that do not seem to be decipherable. I t is somewhat singular that whereas in the deed, William the Chaplain is described as “of Elland,” on the seal he is “of Halifax,” Possibly he was a native of Elland, but becoming

domiciled at Stonyroyd, served as one of the chaplains or curates of Halifax.


Thomas of Copley, one of the witnesses when Stony-royd was conveyed to the fair Amabelle, otherwise bore the Norman name of Talvas. His father, John, according to the antiquary Dodsworth, was one of the Rectors of Halifax, but of this he offers no proof, and it is, to my mind, very unlikely to have been the case, as he was a contemporary of William de Champvent, who held the rectory for more than seventeen years. This Copley family were lords of the manor of Skircoat, und had their home a. Coplev Hall, which was the centre itself of the small sub-manor of Copley. Adam the Clerk - who is designated as the writer of the deed - was apparently, the great Halifax conveyancer of the days of Henry III. and Edward I. He is sometimes described as of Skircoat, and his attestation of the deeds of the time is all-pervading. A shrewd man of Law, no doubt, was Adam, and we find him, at the end of the thirteenth century, land-buying largely on his own account. He flourished greatly during the rectorship of William de Champvent and the vicarship of Ingelard Turbard.

Amabelle's father we note was, one William, a tailor, which reminds us that, not only was cloth made and dyed in Halifax in the year 1274, but that the needs, of the townsfolk in the matter of clothes were also catered for. Unlike the man of his trade in modern Halifax,

this tailor, like all his contemporary craft-brethren, made wearing apparel for dames and demoiselles, as well as for their squires.


About fifty years pass, and our next landmark in the history of Stonyroyd is the year 1337. Amabelle, it would appear, has gone to her long home, and Elizabeth of Halifax, called ‘chaplain-daughter,’ reigns in her late mother's stead over Stonyroyd, or rather over a third part of it. It would seem, then, that Amabelle had three children - girls - who, on their mother's death, had become co-heiresses of the estate. In 1337, this Elizabeth grants to her daughter, Elizabeth, one-third part of the "Stonirode" and “Lister-pighels,” one-third of the two acres in the south part of Stonirode, and one-third of the "royd" called “Honnar-rode,” in “Southoverum.” The deed is dated Wednesday after Palm Sunday, at the beginning (as the deed expresses it) of the year 1337. The witnesses were Thomas de Lascv, Hugh of Copley, Henrv of Langefeld, Thomas of Waddesworth, William of Counal, John the Clerk, and others. Hugh of Copley, named here, was son of Thomas of that ilk, who witnessed the previous deed, by which Amabelle, the Tailor's daughter, became entitled to the property. He was owner of the Manor of Copley, which, in 1363, on nearing his end, he gave on trust to Richard de Heaton, vicar of Halifax.

The owners of Stonyroyd from 1250 to 1337 then in resume, were: -

1. John the Clerk of Cromwell Bottom.

2. John, his son.

3. Richard the Clerk of Halifax.

4. William the Chaplain of Elland.

5. Amabelle, the tailor's daughter.

6. [Elizabeth] and her sisters, daughters of Amabelle.

7. [Elizabeth], daughter of [Elizabeth], and granddaughter of Amabelle and of the chaplain, William of Elland.


In the last article (December 17th, 1898) we traced the owners of this estate from about the year 1250 to 1337, leaving one Elizabeth, daughter of Elizabeth, the “chaplain's daughter,” in possession of one third part thereof. Unfortunately, the rare old deeds which have helped us thus far in our story of the ancient homestead now come to an end, and, as yet, none others have been unearthed to throw light on the darkness until we reach the year 1482 - an interval of 145 years. Nor does the document of the 22nd. Edward IV., which we have now to notice, help us much. In fact, the "Stonyroyds” are merely mentioned therein as a topographica1 landmark, and the name of their owner is not communicated. Yet, as a record of the growth of the agricultural value of the district, and also of the old-time landmarks, this manorial charter is not devoid of interest.


On the 6th July, 1482, as the writing runs, "I, Thomas Lacy, with the unanimous assent and consent of all and singular my children and tenants whatsoever, who may have any interest in a certain common of mine, called Sydale, parcel of my lordship of 'Sowehowrome', grant to Richard Mylner, of Halifax, two parcels of the aforesaid common, called 'Sydale,' of which one parcel lies between the 'Stonyroyd,' on the east and north, and one dyke on the south,- and a certain road leading from Elland to Halifax, on the west, containing 1 ¾ a.; and another parcel, lying between a certain lane towards the east and north, 'Stonyroyds' on west, and 'Sydale' on the south, containing 1a., late enclosed with ditches, hedges, and walls." Here we notice that two enclosures of the waste - the common of Siddal - are sanctioned by the Lord of the Manor, Thomas Lacy; not, however, without the “assent and consent” of his tenants, as well as of his own children. Either Thomas Lacy was a more constitutional lord of the manor than most gentlemen of his class were, or of any other age have mostly been, or, it would seem that the people of Siddal were in the so-called "dark ages" of a more sturdy and robust spirit in regard to encroachments on their common rights than the people of Halifax have shown themselves to be, even in this free and democratic nineteenth century!


I have said that the name of the owner of Stonyroyd at the date when this grant of waste land was made to Richard Milner is not communicated to us in the deed, but subsequent documents to which reference will be made by and bye, are convincing to show that the proprietor of Stonyroyd was none other than Richard Milner himself. Neither he, nor apparently any, of his particular branch of the family seem to have resided there, but their property it undoubtedly was until finally sold by his great-grandson, John Milner of Pudsey, gentleman, to one Hugh Ireland, in the time of Queen Elizabeth, and the year of grace 1585. At the date of this sale, the property is described as consisting of "a messuage or tenement called Stony Royde, one cottage, one barn, two gardens, six acres of land (i.e., arable), eight acres of meadow, ten acres of pasture, one acre of wood, and our acres of moor, with appurtenances in Southowrom.” We further learn that “Stonyroyd was held of John Lacy of Cromwelbothome, Esquire, as of his manor of Southowrom, by fealty, suit of Court of Southowrom, and annual rent of 4s. 8d., and was worth per annum, clear, 30s.”

It would appear that by successive enclosures and improvements of the neighbouring waste lands, the estate had largely increased in size since the thirteenth century, when, it will be remembered, the rents to the lord of the manor only amounted to 1s. 5d. It may be added that in 1809, the lord‘s rent, payable by Mr. Christopher Rawson, was 5s. 8d.

Returning to the grant of part of the common of Siddal, made to Richard Milner, in 1482, we note that the descrition of the locality of the enclosures details the circumstance that these plots of land lay one adjoining “Stonyroyd on the east, and north, one dyke to the

south, and a certain road leading from Elland to Halifax on the west; and the other between a certain lane towards the east and north, Stonyroyd on the west, and Siddal on the south.” The ‘dyke, on the south’ I cannot, I confess, identify, but the other boundaries are fairly intelligible. Some people, I am told, even to-day, prefer to walk to Elland by Whitegate than by any other road, considering it a somewhat shorter route. In doing so, they are but treading in the footsteps of Richard Milner and their forefathers.


Having discovered Richard Milner, owner of Stonyroyd in 1482, it may be interesting to learn somewhat anent the story of his family and their rise in the world.

How do families grow rich? Naturally, someone will smartly answer: By the sterling abilities, thrift, perseverance, and other amiable qualities which distinguish the successful person. Whether it were entirely suchwise in the case of the Milners let the reader judge for himself from these “short and simple annals.”

In feudal times, our good foresires had not the liberty of competition their children so richly enjoy to-day. The grinding of the townfolk's corn, the fulling and dyeing of their cloth, even the soleing of their shoon, were crafts and arts which could not be practised without a license from the Lord of the Manor. The grinding of the corn was a monopoly in the hands of the miller, or "milner" as we north-countrymen prefer to name him - who was tenant of the manorial water corn mill at Stonedam. The dyeing business, in like manner, was the monopoly of the dyer, or "litster," who was licensed by the feudal lord to carry it on. The fulling trade was similarlv, the sole privilege of the fuller or "walker, " and none of the other tenants or inhabitants of "good old Halifax" dared start enterprises in rivalry with the duly licensed "milner," "litster," or “walker.” If these small protected capitalists did not become in course of a few generations large - comparatively speaking - capitalists, and eventually largish landowners, under such favourable conditions, they must indeed have been witless, spendthrift, and good for naught individuals. “God speed the plough!” but “God speed the mill wheel!” was the prayer the milners, litsters, and walkers prayed at matins, mass, and evensong.

In the Court Rolls of the Manor of Wakefield, with which manor Halifax so far as its local government was concerned, was linked, we first meet with the earliest recorded ancestor of the Milner family, in the year 1307. The founder of the family - so far as I have

skilled to trace it - was


On Friday, the feast of St. Katherine the Virgin 1307 - the manorial rolls inform us that William molendinarius (i.e.. the Milner,) appeared in the Manor Court, at Wakefield, and sold, with all the formalities then required, half an acre of land in the graveship of Hipperholme to Bate tinctor (i.e., the Lister). Probably, this half-acre was situate somewhere near the ancient manorial fulling mill at Northbrig, where Bate plied his dyeing trade. Thus it appears, already the Milners of' Halifax had begun, to convert the profits and capital, gathered in the course of their monopoly of the corn-grinding business, into land values, and, on occasion, reconvert those values into capital when that business needed a dose thereof. Other land investments followed as trade throve with them, and not many years were to

elapse befoe their purchasing power would be equal to the attainment of the "Stonyroyds." That estate was, however, as yet in the hands of Sir William the Chaplain's daughters and, grand-daughters, with whom we have formed a slight acquaintance in the preceding article.

Twenty-seven years pass by, without further traces of the "footsteps on the sands of time" of William the Milner, of Halifax. In 1330 - the days of Edward III., he re-appears at the Manor Court, at Wakefield, engaged in a suit with Thomas the Mercer, and Richard the Smith. It seems he had become bound as surety, along with another person, in the sum of

13s. 4d., on behalf of Annabil of the Laeghrode (i.e., Learoyd), and the Mercer and the Smith sued the Milner for this sum. The Court decided in William's favour, and the plaintiffs were amerced for having made a false, claim.

Next year, 1331, the Halifax miller was in trouble for having "made a rescue" of some property which an official of the Manor had, either legally or illegally, seized.. For this he was amerced, and a distress was issued against him to compel his attendance at the Court. Bate the Lister, his friend and neighbour, consenting to be bound surety for his appearance.

One would like to know something more about this little affair, but the sphinx of the past is silent thereon, and William the Milner himself disappears about this period in the uncertain gloom, and, while ‘the mill-wheel still sings its merry lay,’ I fancy I hear the doleful chanting of the dirge as dust is about to be committed to its kindred dust. But the work of the world and of the mill must needs go on, and


probably succeeds his father at Stonedam, and takes toll from the Halifax folk when they bring their corn to the mill to be converted into grist. It will be observed that, at this moment, it was quite a ticklish question whether this yeoman father of the squires-to-be should hand down to his posterity - the Lords of the Manor of Pudsey - the somewhat plebeian cognomen of Wilson, or the more patrician one of Milner. Of “John Willeson Milner, of Halifax,” as he is described after his death, in the heriot in 1384 of his heir we know next to nothing. He may, but more probably it was his successor, have been the John Milner, who was constable of Halifax 1374, and the collector of the poll tax in Halifax, in 1377, and whose name figures on the roll of that tax, in 1379, as paying his groat under the name of "John Milner and wife." But, at any rate, he does not appear to have made himself conspicuous in local matters, and in 1384 or thereabouts, he shuffles off this mortal coil, and


pays 6d. at the Manor Court, "on the death of John Willeson, Milner, whose heir he is, for seven acres of land” in the graveship of Sowerby. It is not quite clear that John Milner was son of John Willeson, the milner, because it is only stated that he was his heir, but, in all likelihood, this was the relationship. John Milner, of Halifax, has left many traces of his existence on this planet behind him. It was he, as I have said, more probably than John Willeson, who was constable of Halifax in 1374, collector of the Poll Tax in 1377, and contributor thereto in 1379. He does not appear to have been the tenant at the corn mill in 1382, for in a very exact account of the receipts and disbursements of the proctor, alias steward, of the prior and monks of Lewes - the lords of the Manor of Halifax - we find that that official debits himself with receiving "22s. rent from the water corn mill of Halifax, let to Robert Milner from the feast of St. Mark the Eyangelist in the 5th year of King Richard II. next following, the tenant paying yearly for the first six years 22s., and yearly during the other six years of the term 24s., on condition that the aforesaid Robert shall make, amend and uphold the said mill and all the necessary, works pertaining thereto, which belong to the Miller's office." Robert Milner had to find sureties for his due payment of the rent and doing the repairs, and Robert Lyster and William Hanson were bound for him. From the former of these two individuals, it may be noted in passing the steward debits himself with the receipt

of 15d. for the exercise of the office of "dyer of Halifax."

In 1367 extensive repairs had been wrought at the Halifax Corn Mill, the details of which it may not be out of place here to record, as follows:

Two millstones bought at Illingworth for the Lord's Halifax Mill s.7 d.0

Carriage of the same from Illingworth to the Lord's Mill s.2 d.0

Contract made with divers men to dig stones and hew them and

carry them to the mill-dam of Halifax, which has been impaired by

the wash of the water, and laying them in the dam s.7 d.1

One piece of iron bought to mend the mill-rind, along with the

old iron of the rind and 6d. given for the workmanship of the same s.1 d.1

For troughs bought for the said mill s.0 d.6

For clowes bought for the said troughs to be fixed about the wheel

of the same mill 0 3

Sum total 17 11

I have failed to place this Robert Milner, to whom the mill was let, in the family pedigree, but he evidently was of the same stock, and Robert was the Christian name which John Milner, the heir of John Willeson, gave at the font to his own son and succesor. He appears to have been a minor, when the poll tax of 1379 was levied, as there occurs no mention therein of any Milners save John Milner of Halifax, and Ralph Milner, who was apparently an inhabitant of Heptonstall. The pedigree of the Milners of Pudsey as given by Thoresby, in the “Ducatus Leodiensis” starts with the John Milner, of Halifax, the heir of john Willeson, and is corroborated by deeds which Thoresby saw, and from whence he compiled the pedigree. The Court Rolls of the Manor of Wakefield - which he probably did not see - entirely confirm the descent of the family as he gives it, barring an attempt, which he failed to succeed in, to connect the Halifax family with some Pudsey "milners," who ran the local corn-mill there in the thirteenth century.

In the Court Leets - which corresponded to the Borough Court of our days - the name of John Milner figures very frequently. We find him serving on the jury from 1384 to about 1403, and occupying himself in many other ways in the public life of the town. He seems to have kept himself fairly well out of all affrays and contentious litigation. In 1402, he with two other leading men of the town, appears at the Moothall at Wakefield, charged by the "community" of Halifax, to prefer a "plea of debt," against the community of Heptonstall The particulars, unfortunately, are not given, but it may be satisfactory to the reader to learn that the town of Halifax was - as is usual of course to-day - completely successful in this litigation with a neighbouring town. John Milner’s wife’s Christian name was Cecily -her maiden name old time has wantonly withheld from us. In spite of her husband, who was the Constable of Halifax on several occasions, she, alas! Much too frequently put in an appearance at the Courts on the charge, of “brewing ale and selling the same at too great a profit,” contrary to the laws then in force. She was not, however, in the least singular in her sinning, for it seems that, every good man's wife in Halifax was equally guilty in this particular.

It has been assumed that John Milner, Cecily's husband, was almest irreproachable in his demeanour as a thoroughly respectable public man. But what shall we say about him, when we learn that a writ of Capias was issued by the High Sheriff for his arrest to make answer to a charge brought against him in the Court of Kings Bench, at Westminster, by Henry Savylle, Esq.? What was said in extenuation of Mistress Cecily’s offences may also, however, be pleaded even for him, viz: the virtue that lies in numbers; for not only

was there a writ of Capias served at the now dwelling-house of Maister John Milner, but there was hardly a door in Halifax where the awful screed of parchment was not served. It literally “snew” writs of Capias that day in the "good old town." Robert Lister, the official dyer of the town, found the ill-omened missive of the law awaiting him, at the Northbrig “walk-miln” and dye works; John Milner, jun., probably son of John, Milner, senior; John Jakson; Joan Bothiun (poor soul!); John Bairstow; William Otes, the glover, young Richard Walker, son of William; Isabel Makindoghter; John Gibson; Richard Robinson; Widow

Ellison; Jean Lepten; John Smythson; John Clerk; Richard Mekysburgh,; Alice Gillotdoghter; Cecily of the Dene; Margaret Coccroft; William Hanson; Isabella West; and John Naylor - 23 Halifax people, in all, besides four from the adjoining township of Southowram - all these personalities looked very blue that fine morning 499 years ago, and could not be comforted even by the solace of religion, in the shape of the five a.m. mass, then said daily in the Parish Church. What heinous offence had they committed? The information laid, against them alleged that with "force and arms" they had "cut dawn and carried away trees and underwood to the value of £40, lately growing at Libbankes [i.e., Lee Bank] and Holdsworth and had committed other enormities." H ow the case went we are not privileged to learn, but if, as is quite possible the timber was merely stripped from Lee-bank far the object of improving and enlarging the parish church, surely, the end justified the means.” But, be this as it may, it is pleasing to note the sturdy spirit of modern Halifax youth, as it displavs itself on the vigil of the feast of Guy Fawkes, fore-shadowed in the dawn of the 15th century, in the doughty deed wrought by their ancestors of auld lang syne. They - John Milner and the rest of his comrades - could hardly have done that deed to-day, for where are the trees new that once made Lee-bank fair and beautiful?

John Milner, senior, of Halifax, died just before, or about the year 1417, for the deeds examined by Thoresby, at Pudsey, shew that Cecily Milner was donned in widow’s weeds in that year, being named as surviving her husband in a deed of the fourth year of King Harry the Fifth - the period when that sprightly young monarch was engaged in organising a “vigorous war” against our natural enemies, the French.



is mentioned in the charter quoted by Thoresby, in the pedigree he gives of the Milners of Pudsey, as son of the John Milner, of Halifax, some of whose long-forgotten doings we strove to shed the light of day upon in the last article. In the year 1428, we find that Robert Milner was presented by John Beverley, the Constable of Halifax, for not coming to the Tourn - the Court held by the bailiff of the Lord of the Manor of Wakefield for the “Liberty of Halifax.” For this omission of his civil duty he was fined a groat. After this date, however, his name appears almost unfailingly on the roll of the jury, who were sworn in, twice a year, to make presentments of offences at the Court. In the "Rental of Halifax," which, as the preamble to the original document tells us, was "made and renewed by the tenants there, the 17th day of December, in the 18th year of the reign of King Henry the Sixth, at the time when John Vincent was proctor in Yorkshire for the Priory of Lewes," Robert Milner is set down as holding: - “One messuage and six acres for which he pays rent yearly, 2s., out of which Thomas Mauncell pays rent yearly, 4d. The same Robert Milner;” we are further informed, “also holds one tenement, with the garden adjacent, which formerly belonged to Alcoke of Hynganderode [i.e., Hangingroyd in Northowram] and pays rent yearly, 8d.”

This Rent Roll of 1439, which gives us the names and holdings of the tenants of the Manor of Halifax, and details the rents they paid for the same to the monastic lords, is the

only one that, so far as I know, has escaped the gnawing teeth of time and rats. I suppose there are still some people who fondly imagine that there were only 13 houses in Halifax at the period with which we are now dealing, but this Rental, alone, without any other evidence - of which, by the way, there is quite a superfluity - ought to be good enough to convince even the most superstitious of the absurdity of this


The "Rental of Halifax," of 1439, irrefutably demonstrates that, in that year, there were 32 messuages, 1 shop, 1 cottage, and 1 fulling mill in the town, and that there were 44 owners of messuages, land., and tenements. Even making exception for property described in the rental as "lands and tenements," on the score that the term "tenement" may not necessarily have implied a dwelling-house, there must needs have been 33, not 13, houses, and a total population of between 250 and 300 souls. Halifax was assuredly then "Little Halifax," but, at all rates, it was not quite such a petty item in the map of Yorkshire is some people are such fatuous "Little Halifaxians" as to credulously believe it to have been.

Reverting to Robert Milner, the rental shews that his landed estate in Halifax was not enormous. It consisted - as has been seen - of a messuage and six acres, and a "tenenment," with garden adjacent. Note we, en passant, that here the word “tenement” evidently implied a house, and so sanction is given to the idea - that, seeing there were at least ten tenements in Halifax, - besides the messuages, our figure of 33 houses, in all probability should be increased to 43, which, of course makes the 13 house tale even more absurdly untrue. Robert Milner, we learn from the rent roll, had seemingly let off half-an-acre out of his six acre holding to one Thomas Mauncell, the market letting value of land in Halifax then being eightpence per acre. Moreover, we are told that the tenement and garden which he rented of the monks had formerly belonged to


It is also stated that the holding, which immediately precedes, in the rent roll, that of the Milner, had formerly been owned. by Matilda Alcokedoghter. It may not be generally known that the present surname Alcock, was in the 13th and 14th centuries a Christian name, or rather a by-name, being always rendered into Latin by the manorial clerks - Alexander. Fancy "Macedonia's madman's" high-sounding name vulgarised into Alcoke! It seems, then, that Alexander, alias Alcoke, of the Hangingroyd, had been a landholder in Halifax, as well as in Norhowrome, about a century before the date at which we have now arrived. Besides Hangingroyd and his Halifax estate, he also possessed fifteen acres at Blackcar, in Northowram, three of which passed also into the bands of the Halifax Milners, in the year 1374, being surrendered to John Milner, father of our Robert, by Robert Figge, son of

John Figge and Joan, his wife, daughter and one of the five co-heirs of Alcoke of the Hangingroyd. Matilda Alcokedoghter, who had, at one time, owned a messuage in Halifax, apparently adjoining that of Robert Milner's, which latter had formerly been her father, Alcoke's, was another of these five co-heiresses, who succeeded to the paternal property at

Blackcar and Halifax, on the death of their brother William, in 1354. Isabel Alcokedoghter, mother of these five sisters, besides her fifth - three acres - of the fifteen acres in "Blackcar on Clegcliff," had also by her father's gift, seven acres at the "Cowroyds." The Cowroyds we know - the once-rural "royds" being now covered with cottage property lying on the right hand side of Range Bank, but where, oh! Where, were Blackcar and Clegcliff? Perhaps, some of the readers of the “Guardian” may be able to throw light upon the locality of these places. I fancy the hill-side between Cowroyds and Godley Cutting, which is now climbed by New Bank, may have been thus designated, reference being made in the old rolls, - to the “Out-lane, between Ellen Royd and Blackcar.” It seems probable that one of the Milners had intermarried with one of these five sisters, who shared out Blackcar. At any rate, we find

they had property there long before they purchased Joan Alcokedoghter's share from her son, John Figge, for William Milner of Halifax, the first on record of the line, in 1325 had enclosed, with the lord of the manor's consent, a rood of waste land at “Blackerheed,” i.e., Blackcar-head.

But we must bid adieu to the five fair (or otherwise) sisters of Hangingroyd, and return to the owners of Stoney Royd, in Southowram.

It is somewhat singular in the Rental of Halifax for 1439 that there is no mention made of the manorial corn mill, nor of any rent received therefrom. Why this omission should occur, when everything else seems to be set down so distinctly in black and white, is not by any means understandable.

We find from the Court Rolls that in the year when his rental was made, 1439, Robert Milner had a son, Richard, who was old and bold enough to transgress the laws of the manor by absenting himself from the Sheriff’s Turn, when it was his bounden duty to be there. This was the Richard who we know was the owner of Stoney Royd in 1482, and of whom we shall have something to say anon. He had, we learn, a brother, John Milner, for, in 1467, their father, Robert, surrendered in the Manor Court at Wakefield two acres in the graveship of Hipperholme to the use of Richard his son, with the remainder to John, another son. “One generation goeth and another cometh.” Robert, the father, has evidently had a premonition of this sad commonplace, and in making provision for those who are to come after him. In the same year occurs the entry on the rolls:- "Richard Milner pays 8d. heriot for 3 acres of land, on the death of Robert, his father." These three acres are evidently the three acres in Blackcar, which had erstwhile been the dowry of Joan Alcokedoghter. But now its our bnsiness, in nineteenth century style, to interview the son and heir,


He tells us that, like his forefathers, he has taken his proper part in the public life of Halifax, having served with due regularity on the jury at the Spring and Autumn Court Leets, and, as a rule, has been the foreman on these occasions. He will confess, also, and that without a blush probably, that his good wife has not always kept strictly to the absurd laws which limit the quality and price of the beer that she has brewed, or the bread she has baked. If we question him he may perchance recall the circumstances of a certain presentment made at the Court Leet, on the 11th October, 1473, when he himself happened to be foreman of the jury - how one Laurence Haygh - a cardmaker, of Halifax - was charged with having on the 12th day of the previous September, broken into the dwellinghouse of Alice, widow of Robert Milner, situate in Skircoat - even then, perhaps, a fashionable residential district - and, about cockcrow, while it was yet night, carried off in felon fashion her dearly beloved daughter Margery, right away to Sherburn-in-Elmete. Yes! The culprit was ordered to be "attached," i.e., arrested, but whether or no the Halifax Gibbet axe ever claimed him as a victim, we cannot Ssay. Surely, if a man's head might fall for purloining an ox or an ass over the value of 13 ½d., he that had purloined such a jewel as Margery Milner doubtless was, richly merited decapitation. Possibly the matter was removed by writ of Certiorari to a higher Court, more probably the offence was condoned, first by maid Margery herself, and, after some hesitation also by Alice, her mother.

But Richard Milner has other tales to tell us anent the local and other Court proceedings. When Laurence Bentley, for instance, was constable of the good town of Halifax, in 1466, Vicar Wilkinson - under whose pastorate the present chancel of our Parish Church was created, and whose crest of the unicorn still survives, carved on the exterior of that part of the fabric - was fearlessly presented as an offender against the law by the honest constable. The Vicar had actually committed an offence similar to that for which the 23 Writs of Capias were issued against Richard Milner's grandfather, John, and his fellow townsmen 66 years previously, for the priest, was charged with having felled and cut down

timber in a “certain place called the Birkes [near Birks Hall] without the leave and in despite of the Lord of the Manor, and to the great detriment of the tenants of the Lord there.” It would seem that the repairs and enlargements going on at the Parish Church at this season demanded timber, but really Vicar Wilkinson should have set a better lesson to his parishioners. and it behoved him to have kept his hands off his neighbour's trees. He was, the record informs us, ordered to be "attached," but was certainly not gibbeted. Perhaps, he pleaded his clergy and escaped punishment altogether.


Richard Milner will also remember surely the day when he himself, at the Lent Sessions, holden at Lancaster, in.1466, was ordered to be "attached" by the Sheriff, at the suit of John Talbot, Esq., who complained that his servant, Thomas Talbot, had been assaulted, beaten, wounded, and so evil entreated, at Burnley, that his very life was despaired of, by Richard Milner, and a company of 33 other Halifax men including their Vicar, Thomas Wilkinson -aided and abetted by certain other strong fellows from Skircoat, Hipperholme, and the country side. We give the names and descriptions of the Halifax folk who were concerned in this business, as another and parting shot at the "thirteen houses in Halifax" fable. They were: -

John Potter, yoman; William Dughty, yoman; John Thomlynsonne, corveser; William Gibsonne, walker; Richard Milner. yoman; John Milner [probably Richard's brother], glover; Robert Fournes, yoman; WiIliam Fournes, walker; Robert Fetrour, smyth; John Sunderland. Voman; John Lister, yoman; Richard Gibsonne, mercer; John Haldworth, yoman; Cristofer Milner, tailliour; William Holgave, yoman; Richard Lister, yoman; William Michele, tailliour; James Fournes, wever; Dennis Batt, yoman; William Haldworth, walker; William Brodley, tailliour; John Barstowe, walker; Robert Hall, bocher; Geoffrey Crosley, walker; Robert Barstowe, walker; Robert Otys, bocher; George Otys, bocher; Ralf Fournes, draper; Robert Hird, walker; William Kent, smvth; Thomas Wilkynsonne, clerk; Robert Cloghe, glover; John Henster yoman.

One is struck by the large number of persons who arc described as “walkers,” i.e. fullers, showing that the dyeing trade was even then quite a brisk business in little Halifax. Of these tradesmen were, it seems, no less than seven among the delinquents. The other occupations are yeomen, 11: "corveser," i,e., shoemakers, 1; glovers, 2; smith, 2; mercers, 1; tailors. 3; weavers. 1; butchers, 3; draper, 1; The agricultural interest represented by the yeomen is overbalanced, it will be remarked by the sum of the various industries connected with the cloth trade, and this is not extraordinary, when we remember that, nine years later. Halifax parish was producing the largest yearly output of cloth in the whole West Riding of Yorkshire, viz., 744 pieces per annum! ! !

But what were all these Halifax men, enumerated above, doing at Burnley, in Lancashire, in the beginning of the year 1466 - the year following that in which the traitor Talbots, of Blackburnshire, betrayed the unfortunate Lancastrian King Henry VI.


Robert Milner succeeded, in 1490, as has been shewn, to the Stoney Royd acres. It is somewhat strange that regarding this member of the Milner family, hardly anything is discoverable. Unlike his predecessors, he figures neither in the local Court proceedings nor in those relating to the higher tribunals of the country. Seemingly, one important fact alone remains to his record, to wit, that he perpetrated matrimony, and found a help-meet, or otherwise, in the person of a lady of the name of Margaret. “Brief Life" was peradventure, in a too literal sense his "portion," for, in 1514, his wife is described as superstes, i.e., his survivor. Searches in the Wakefield Court Rolls, and elsewhere have all been fruitless in adding any further information to the scanty facts: (a) that he succeeded to his father Richard's property, in 1490: (b) that his name appears in a deed, dated 1506; and (c) that Margaret, his wife, was a widow in 1514. Possibly, even something less than such an A.B.C. of trifling details as these may be recorded of many of us four centuries hence from this present year of grace and Queen Victoria. But it is not to be expected that every single member of even the most illustrious family shall be illustrious, and ciphers are essential to the formation of large figures.


Robert Milner's son and heir was John Milner, who inherited, on his father's death in 1513, the paternal acres. He, apparently by skilful land investments, raised himself and family out of the ranks of the yeomanry; in which he and it had hitherto been classed. The question proposed in a recent article, “How do families grow rich?” has now, so far as that of the Milners is concerned, been partly answered. We have seen, in the course of our researches, the origin of the family in the dusty “milners,” who ploddingly and patiently, under the (for them) favouring forces of the protective policy of the Middle Ages, ground the corn of the Halifax people at the manorial mill at Stone-dam, and converted the grist so brought to the mill into large acres. The age of the Reformation , too, was now approaching, when speculation in abbey lands became, for those who had a little spare capital, a safe and lucrative investment and we shall see that like a number of their contemporaries, the Milners, in receiving the new and revised version of Christianity - supposed to be founded on the model of the Primitive Church - felt themselves by no means bound to imitate the example of those fathers of the faith, who, “having houses and lands sold them,” and “had all things in common.” Rather, they seem to have snatched the opportunity which then presented itself to “join house to house, and lay field to field.” But of this more anon.

According to Thoresby's pedigree of the family, John Milner married, somewhere about 1521, Anne Wharton, of Harewood, near Leeds. This match may have been a good one from a pecuniary point of view, and may have had something to do with the removal of the Milner family from their old Halifax home to Pudsey, where, in the year 1525, we find John Milner taxed 3s. 4d; to the subsidy for lands of the value of £3 6s. 8d. In this subsidy roll, he is returned; be it noted, as the largest taxpayer in the township of Pudsey, so that his possessions there must have been somewhat extensive. The name of Milner does not appear in the subsidy roll of the same year under the return for Southowram, although John Milner was still the owner of Stoney Royd. Nor is the name to be found in the Halifax list. In that for Skircoat, however, the following individuals of the name are enrolled: Richard, who pays 12d. for 40s. worth of goods: John, who contributes, also, to the same amount on the same valuation; and "the wife of John Milner, sen.," who pays 12d. for 20s. worth of land. Capital, it thus appears, was taxed at a higher rate than land in the days of bluff King Hal. From incidental references, in former articles, the reader will have already learnt that there were Milners rooted in Skircoat in early times. One family resided at Shay - now Shaw - Hill adjacent to Stoney Royd, and another at Wood End, not far from where Bermerside now stands. Of John Milner, of Shay Hill, more may be said presently. Although John Milner, the owner of Stoney Royd, had migrated to Pudsey, he still retained Stoney Royd, but the close at Blackcar, in Northowram, which his ancestors had purchased from the heirs of Alcoke, of the Hangingroyd, we find he sold to one Richard Awmbler, of Brokehouse. Blackcar - as has been previously stated - is a topographical name, which nowadays seems to have grown obsolete. The conviction grows upon me that it roughly corresponded to the district now named Claremount, and the reader will agree, I think, with me in holding that Blackcar rather than Claremount would be a much more apposite name for the smoke-blackened locality to-day. In 1537, when John Milner, according to an ancient rental, paid 2s. 10d. a year for that family inheritance of his, the payment is described as made "for certain lands near Horlawgreen-cross." But where was Horlevgreen Cross? It is frequently referred to in old documents, but, like Blackcar, seems to have left no remembrance of its existence in the mind of even the proverbial oldest inhabitant. A close of land called "Earingroyd," i.e., the ploughing royd -

"The King will set the men to ear the ground."- 1. Sam. viii, 12

- now forming part of the Shibden Hall estate, in Southowram, was granted by the Lord of the Manor, in 1545, to the owners of Shibden Hall, and is also described as "near Horley Green Cross," and as bounded “on the north and west by the highway,” i.e., Old Godley Lane. Horley Green Cross, therefore, was, apparently, somewhere near the new bridge now

in course of erection at the top of New Bank, and on the border of the two townships of South and Northowram. This seems to plainly indicate that Blackcar, described as near the said cross, was, as has been already suggested, the ground now occupied by Claremount, and Earingroyd was, possibly, the field now less euphoniously named "Bloody Field."


As has already been related, a branch of the Milner family had established itself at Shaw Hill, in the township of Skircoat. It was, most probably, to this family that a John Milner, who made his last will and testament, 5th November, 1526, belonged. After leaving his body to be buried in the Churchyard of Saint John Baptist in Halifax, the testator desires that his “best whike good" should be his “corse presaunte.” In the language of to-day, this means that he left his best horse or cow, as the mortuary gift (?) due to the vicar in those times, on the occasion of every funeral. Here we have the still prevailing Yorkshire form of "wick," signifying “quick,” i.e., living. As a good Catholic, he then leaves the sum of 5s. "to byeing a masse boke for Oure Ladie altar in Halifax Churche." He then proceeds to divide his property, as follows: "Elizabeth Smyth my wif doghter, a cowe. John Smyth, a paire of walker sheres, five yerdes of blu clothe, and a cowe. Here we observe, in passing, that John Milner followed the trade of a "walker," i.e., fuller, as evidenced by his legacy of a pair of "walker," alias fuller’s shears. “To John Wilkinson,” the testator leaves “a blake calfe,” and another to John Anley. He provides that William Milner, son to Robert, shall have the “burgan and terme;” i.e., lease, “that I have of the


he paying yerelv 3s. 4d. to William Mylner, duryng the terme," He, also wills that, “William Mylner, son to Roberte Mylner,” shall “gyve 16d. to Saint Antony Light.” This bequest refers, as the reader will surmise, to the statue of St. Anthony, which, as well as that of St. Katherine and other saints, then adorned our old parish church, and before which, in honour of the saints thus represented, candles were burnt during the hours of divine service. Proceeding with the will, we find that John Milner leaves to his brother William his "Kendall jakett," i.e., his jacket made of Kendal cloth. To Gilbert Milner he leaves a "jake," i.e., a

coat of mail, or more probably, in those days it would be a kind of buff jacket worn by soldiers. To 'Thomas Milner were left "my salett," i.e., light helmet, “and pare of white hoise.” “To Isabell, my suster, 3s. 4d. To John Smyth my blake worsett dublett,” i.e waistcoat.

“What a pretty thing a man is, when he goes in his doublet and hose, and leaves off his wit !"

- Shakespeare.

To Robert Milner is bequeathed a tawny doublet, and the testator leaves the residue of his goods to his wife whom he appoints executrix, the supervisors of the will being Robert Milner, William Milner, and John Smyth, and the witnesses, Sir John Birkehead (priest),

John Sayvell, and Thomas Bodele (? Brodelee). The will was, we may add, proved at York, 8th February, 1527.

This will, from which these details have been drawn, is an interesting one, and typical of the times, both secular and religious. It appears, too, therefrom, that hard by Stoney Royd estate, perhaps parcel thereof, there was a fulling mill, leased by a William Milner to this John Milner, where the latter pursued his business as a “walker.” Was this Stoney Royd fulling mill the mill afterwards known as Lily Fulling Mill, nigh Lily Bridge? This may possibly have been the case. A year after the date of this will, we discover a William Milner described as resident at “Shay Hill,” and that latter property, we shall find, was, some forty years later, destined to pass into the hands of the purchaser of Stoney Royd, and almost contemporaneously.

But we are somewhat anticipating the march of time and events, and must return to John Milner, of Pudsey, gentleman. Owing to this owner of Stoney Royd having left Halifax, we are unable to glean much in regard to his further career. One would wish to learn how he became possessed of the Pudsey estate, but the tongue of time is silent thereanent. In 1544, he added, it would seem, as his grandfather, Richard, had done before him, certain parcels of waste land, enclosed from Siddal Common, to the Stoney Royd estate. These were granted to him by John Lacy, Esq., the then Lord of the Manor of Southowram, and are described as lying on the south of his, John Milner’s, lands, on the east of a close called “Megroid,” on the west of a highway leading from Halifax to Horley Green, and on the north of a close called "Sandeholme." The total area of the plots was 1½ acres, and the rent to the Lord of the Manor 6d. - the old fixed rent of 4d. per acre. The name of John Milner, of Pudsey, also of course, figures in the great Tithes Composition made between the Prior of Lewes and the tithepayers of the parish of Halifax, in 1536, by which the latter were relieved from paying their tithes in kind, that is, in corn and hay, and were permitted to make fixed money payments instead. The controversy which resulted in this arrangement had been one of the most yirulent description, but the murder of George Crowder, of Warley, by a member of the Waterhouse family, and, as was alleged, at the instigation of Mr. Robert Waterhonse, of Shibden Hall, the lessee and farmer of the tithes, seems to have been the culminating enormity that brought, about the much-desired settlement. That the Milners may have been lacking in sympathy with the popular cause may perhaps be augured from the circumstance that on the 28th May, 1543, “at our Parish Church” were joined in holy matrimony John Milner, of Pudsey, Gentleman, son and heir of the John Milner whose life scraps we are now gathering, and Anne, daughter of Robert Waterhouse, of Shibden Hall. Doubtless on that bridal May day 356 years ago, there were abundance of the good old time festivities at the ancient hall, and the oaken rafters rang again and again with the echoes of the joyous merrymaking, as they have done so many, many times since on similar auspicious occasions. No doubt the entertainment was, in no sense, stinted, for was not the father of the bride, Robert Waterhouse, becoming, if he had not already reached that pitch, the most puissant and most pecunious parish or Halifax. His were the great tithes, and his, virtually, as bailiff of the monks of Lewes, the Lordship of the Manor of Halifax. Hated he doubtless and deservedly was by the independent spirits in the parish for whom feudal and ecclesiastical bonds were losing their attraction, the more so now that the old patriarchal sentiment which had to some extent lightened the yoke, was becoming merged in the more grasping and un-heroic temper of budding commercialism. With the chimes of the wedding bells wafted over Gledcliffe now better know as Beacon Hill - into the then lovely dale of Shibden, ringing in our ears, we bring another chapter of the story of the owners of Stoney Royd to a conclusion.



In the last article, we inquired what the 33 good men of Halifax, who, at the Lancaster Lent Sessions, in 1466, were ordered by the Court to be arrested, were doing at Burnley in Lancashire. They were charged by John Talbot, Esquire, with wounding his serving man and evidently one of his kith and kin, Thomas Talbot, so seriously that his life was despaired of, and his master, so he alleges, consequently lost his man's services for a considerable time, to his great disadvantage. Certainly, but why should the greater part of the whole male population of our town have gone forth even unto Burnley merely to attack John Talbot, Esquire's serving man? There is obviously something below the surface in this affair which does not meet the eye in the Plea Rolls in which it is recorded. Might there not possibly have been a political motive in the gathering of the Halifax men at Burnley, and in their attack upon a member of the Talbot family? After the Battle of Hexham, from whence the pious but puny-spirited Henry VI fled discomfited, '“he sought,” writes Lingard, “an asylum among the natives of Lancashire and Westmoreland, a people sincerely devoted to his interests. Their fidelity enabled him for more than a year to elude the vigilance and researches of the Government, but he was at last” in the year 1465, “betrayed by the perfidy of Cantlow, a monk of Abingdon, and taken by the servants of Sir James Brierley, in or near to Waddington Hall, in Yorkshire." In Warkworth’s “Chronicle of King Edward IVth”, the story is thus quaintly told; “Also the same year, King Harry was taken beside a house of religion in Lancashire, by means of a black monk of Abingdon, in a wood called Cletherwood, beside Bungelly Hyppingstones (Steppingstones) by Thomas Talbot, of Basehall, and John Talbot, his cousin, of Colebry (Salisbury), with others more which deceived; being at his dinner at Waddington Hall, and carried to London on horseback, and his leg bound to the stirrup, and so brought though London to the Tower."

Never was a more disreputable countenanced by men of high standing than this

treacherous deed towards Henry, who was at the time the guest of Sir John Tempest of Bracewell, to whom Waddington Hall belonged. His host, Sir John, his host's son-in-law, Sir Thomas Talbot, and Sir James Harrington, were all rewarded for the part they took in the betrayal of their Sovereign and guest, by Edward IV. “Harrington’s associates," writes Lingard, “who were principally Tempests of Bracewell and Talbots of Bashall, had annuities out of Bolland and Tickel, till they could be provided with lands."

The Talbots who betrayed their King were, it seems, the self same Talbots who figured as prosecutors and enemies of the Halifax folk, whose sympathies - like those of the natives of Lancashire and Westmoreland - may, in spite of the fact that Edward IV himself was Lord and Master of the Manor of Wakefield, to which they were linked by certain feudal bands, may, I say, have been with the red rose of Lancaster, rather than with the white rose of the House of York.

Richard Milner and the other thirty-two Halifax men who were summoned to appear at the following sessions at Lancaster, failed to turn up there, and writs of Capias were issued for their arrest and appearance at the Assumption, i.e.. August, Sessions of 1467. They had, evidently, during the twelve months that had intervened, taken some learned legal opinion, and fortified therewith, they appeared before the Justices, not as defendants, but as plaintiffs, bringing against John Talbot. Esq., the former plaintiff, a counter-action for trespass. Their shrewd move seems to have brought the matter to a happy settlement, for no further mention of the affair occurs in the Plea Rolls. From another entry, however, in those Lancashire Reoords, wherein, by the bye, at this date, we find Bradfordian plaintiffs and defendants described as residing at


we learn that Richard Milner was called upon, on more than one occasion, in the same year, to appear at the Courts at Lancaster; for, in August, 1466, a Writ of Assize was issued from that City bv which "Edward, by the Grace of God, King of England and France, and Lord of Ireland," enjoins the Sheriff of the County of Lancaster to seize the bodies of the following Halifax people, viz., John, son of Ralf Fornesse; Henry Milner; Robert Rodes, John Gibsonne; William Gibsonne, son of the same John Gibsonne; John Potter, junr.; and Richard Barley (?) all described as “yeomen;” and a large number of persons from the adjoining townships, as well as divers inhabitants of Wakefield, Dewsbury, Chete, and two, including a priest, hailing from as far as Staffordshire. These persons are all to be arrested in order to answer for divers felonies (? treason felonies) and other "enormia" - enormities - of which they had been indicted. It will be noticed that the owner of Stoney Royd appears, in this latter list, as he appeared also in the former, but the total of the Halifax offenders has dwindled down from 33 to eight, and Richard Milner seems to be unique in appearing on both occasions. It is evident that, like the previous offence, these alleged felonies had also been committed in Lancashire, otherwise the writ would not have been issued from that county.

A dim light of mystery looms about the whole affair, but the gleams that reach us, meseemeth, indicate that the Halifax men of those stirring and stressful times were not so altogether taken up with their weaving, "walking," and dyeing, but that they had, ever and anon, time and temper to mingle in the political battle that was then rending this England of ours in twain. Richard Milner, at least, was to the fore, we see, whenever anything in the shape of a scrimmage was agog. But there were, be it remembered, no football matches in those days to divert his superabundant energies into more peaceful (?) channels. He does not seem, we note, to have been a penny the worse for his indictment at the Lancashire Assizes, in 1466, but rather to have "spread abroad like the green bay tree," or as another version hath it, “the cedar of Lebanon,” of the Psalmist For, we now reach the year 1482, when he enlarged his Stonyroyd borders by annexing certain parcels of waste land, already referred to, immediately adjacent to that ancient dwelling-place. One of these parcels lay, as has been shown, at Whitegate Foot, and was, at a later date, apparently occupied and enjoyed by the proprietors of an estate called "Shaw Hill," whereat dwelt another branch of the Milner family.

When the Lord of the manor of Southowram, Thomas Lacy, Esquire, that July day, 1482, made, with the consent of his children and tenants, this grant of moorland to Richard Milner, yeoman, there were present, when possession was given, Henry Savile, Esquire, probably of Copley, whose father, Thomas, had married Margaret Rishworth of Coley, and whose relative, John Rishworth of Coley, was one of the witnesses to this deed of enclosure; John Longbottome; Edward Lacy, chaplain; and William Otes, probably of Shibden Hall. Loogbothome was a Halifax name, even at this date, and in the Rental of Halifax for Halifax in 1439, we find that one Richard Longbothome held a messuage and garden, and an acre

of landin the South Field, one, of the open Halifax fields, then occupied and cultivated in common. Edward Lacy, who also hallowed the occasion with his priestly presence, was one of the sons of Gilbert Lacy, Esquire, of Brearley Hall. He owned a moiety of Dove House, Shibden, now the Industrial School, and afterwards entrusted the same to certain feoffees for

the use of a chantry priest, in Barnsley Church, who should say Mass there for the soul of William Symmes, brother of his brother Gerard's wife, who was the daughter of Richard Symmes, or Barnsley, and sister of Richard Symmes, Vicar of Halifax, who officiated as parish priest here from 1480 to 1496. William Otes - but, by the bye, who would think that,. this name is derived from Odo's, i.e., Otho's Son? - William Otes, who was also present at Stonyroyd on this occasion, was either the then owner of Shibden Hall, Southowram, who waxed and waned there from 1457 to 1504, or a William Otes, of Halifax, a well-to-do Halifax glover, whose son, another William married Joan, the daughter of the above-named William Otes, of Shibden Hall. She, not caring for the holy state of widowhood, took unto herself a second husband, in the person of Robert Savile, gentleman, born and bred at Hullenedge, whose armorial bearings yet glorifv the long south window at Shibden Hall, even unto the present hour. The original seal attached to the deed of grant of the moorland acres, by which Richard Milner became their owner, is fairly perfect, after more than four centuries of passing years. It bears the impress of the arms of the old feudal Lords of Southowram, the Lacies, viz., on an "argent field, 6 ogresses, three, two and one" (N.B., "ogress" is not the female of ogre, but means a pellet sable, i,e. black pellet.) These arms may he seen to-dav, carved on a shield over the south porch of our sable, I mean, "black but comely" parish church. The inscription on Thomas Lacy' s seal is not to be deciphered, but seal and deed now repose in the Bodleian Library at Oxford, and one would, wish that many other interesting old local documents that are ready to perish and lie, forgotten in grimy lumber-rooms, might find their way to that, or any, other safe and public store-house, where the seeker after fusty, yet trusty facts, might find and fructify them.

Consummmatum est - all is finished. The deed is witnessed and dated, and the land delivered to Richard Milner, yeoman, by Thomas Lacy, Esquire, of Cromwellbottom, in the presence of Savile, Lacy, Longbottom, and Otes, this 26th July,1482. Would that we could catch some echo of the gossip of these old Halifax folk, as they wend their homeward way, down Whitegate. Are they telling to one another the latest from London, that some clothier townsman has brought along with his pack-horses back to the good old town? How Edward,

our King, for example, out of his private purse rather than out of the pockets of his poor

subjects, maintains his royal state and dignity. How his own brave ships - for much he loves the peaceful ways of merchandise and commerce - bring home from far off Italy and Greece the commodities that have made and kept him rich enough to support the splendour of the throne without making any demands on the purses of his people. I fancy these honest old Halifaxians have something to say too about the Act of Parliament passed only a year ago, by which manual labour was protected from encroachments which the introduction of machinery was, even then, beginning to make upon it, and the employment of fulling mills, "which by the subtle imagination of man, work the destruction of the original makers of hats and bonnets by man's strength, that is, with hand and feet," was condemned and prohibited.

Hats and bonnets - the reader may be reminded - were then made of cloth. The use of "mechanical contrivances," or, as we should say machinery, in the manufacture of these

articles, was entirely forbidden by the Act 22 Edw. IV. "How much at variance," writes the editor of “The Chronicles of the White Rose of York” - a work dedicated in 1845 to H.R.H. the Prince of Wales - "how much at variance was the public opinion of that day with the science of political economy of the 19th century! Machinery, which in its rapid stride,

promises to supersede the manual labour of the poor, in every occupation, from the wheeling a barrow to the mysteries of watchmaking and printing, and which daily sacrifices the infant of a few years and its squalid parent to a premature grave, was looked upon in the ‘cruel and ferocious age’ of the Plantagenets as the demon of future misery and want. " Truly, there is nothing new under the sun. The question of machines versus men was, even in 1481, a burning question. So, also, was the “problem of the unemployed,” and doubtless, Richard Milner, and the squire, chaplain, and glover, who were returning with him from the common of Siddal that July day, spoke circumspectly together in regard to another Act of the Merchant King’s, which provided for the workless poor, and in its preamble runs thus: -"And for that artificers and other poor people, labouring for their living in divers occupations, have competent gain"- a good phrase that! - "and to the satisfaction of them and their households, live without miserable and intolerable poverty, be it enacted, &c." "To find employment for the poor has always been the most difficult task of statesmen," writes the editor of the "Chronicles of the White Rose," for the edification of the present heir to the British throne. Yet Edward IV. and his Parliament attempted, at least, to perform that difficult task." When will either our Conservative or Liberal politicians make a similar, but wiser, let us hope, attempt?

Eight years roll by since the owner of Stoney Royd added those two acres of moor at Siddal to yonder hillside property, and the inevitable hour has come when he shall no more answer the roll call, as a juror, at the old Mote Hall, nor be harrassed and harried again by the Talbots of Bashall, for the sleep that overtakes us all is falling upon him, and his son,


is recorded, in the common-place and cold-blooded language of the Wakefield Court Rolls, as paying "12d. heriot for 3 acres of land on the death of Richard Milner his father" - the three acres, to wit, which, of yore, belonged to Alcoke, of Hangingroyde, at Blackcar, on Clegcliff. Naturally, he succeeded also to Stoney Royd, presumably also to the Halifax messuage and six acres, and there-withal, to the tenement and garden in the town, which had, once on a while, likewise been Alcoke's, of Hangingroyde.



The wedding junketings are over, and John Milner, jun., has borne his bride, Anne, nee Waterhouse, from Shibden Hall, her father's home, to his own mansion, at his father's, at Pudsey. Six years pass on; and he, in his turn, is called upon, by his father's death, to take upon himself the rights and responsibilities of the ownership of the Stoney Royd, and the Pudsey properties. In 1549, the Wakefield Court Rolls record, in their usual matter of fact way, that "John Milner, son and heir of John Milner, of Pudsey, pays 12d., as heriot, for an annuity of 4s. issuing out of the lands of Richard Leyrode, of Northowrome." This, seemingly refers to the Blackcar three acre close, which had, of yore, as we have seen, been part of the inheritance of Isabel Alcokedoghter, of the Hingandrode, and which, in 1516, John Milner, sen., had sold, subject, it would appear; to this rent charge, to Richard Aumbler, of Brokehous - i.e., Brookhouse - a member of a family that, owned and gave their name to Ambler - formerly


near the modern town of Queensbury. But Blackcar House still remained for a while longer the Milners, and this consisted, of a messuage, &c., and twelve acres of land, situate, like the other holding, of course, somewhere in Blackcar. A third messuage, also, belonged to the same family in the same district - Blackhouse - with four acres of land. This, however,

was sold in 1522, to the same Richard Aumbler, who had previously purchased the three acre close. Moreover a rent charge of 20s. a year, payable out of the Blackhouse land, had been granted by John Milner, sen., to Robert Savile, of Shibden Hall - who had married Joan Otes, and so become the owner of that estate - but, a 1ear later, when John Milner sold the

Blackhouse estate, Savile surrendered also the annuity of 20s. to Richard Aumbler, and Alice, his wife. That the stone quarries in Northowram, which have been so productive in these latter days, were already being worked, at least on a small scale, appears from the

circumstance that Richard Awmbler, in 1523, is recorded in the Court Rolls as having enclosed a half-acre of waste land lying near "Awmbler-delfes." Richard appears to have been a benefactor to the Parish Church, for in the Chantry Returns, temp. Edw. VI., we learn that the Service at


in Halifax Church, the object of which was to pray for the welfare of the “parishioners liveing, and the souls of those departed, and to do divine service in the said Church every holy day,” was, amongst otther benefactions, assisted by a rent charge of 3s. 4d. issuing from “certain land lying at Shibden Head, late of Richard Ambler." By an entry in the Court Rolls, under date of 1523, it would seem that one of the trustees of this pious trust was John Milner, sen., of Pudsey, the others being Richard Stanclyffe, Robert Awmbler, and John Cokcroft. Richard Awmbler's will is dated 1526, and, thereby, he left 6s. 8d. to buy a book for Halifax Church, and devised Ambler Thorn to Alice, his wife, and Nicholas and Robert, his brothers.

John and Anne Milner had a son and heir, Robert, and two younger sons - Gregory, who became a divine and wrote B.D. after his name, and John. There were, also, two daughters, Grace and Anne, the former of whom married her first cousin, Robert Water-house, of Harthill. Gregory, the second son, is brought under our notice in a somewhat interesting manner.


We have said that the Milners, like many of their contemporaries; benefited by the spoil of the abbey land. Now, one of the largest speculators in these confiscated lands, was William Ramsden, of Longley, the forbear and fortune-maker of the family which at present owns almost the entirety of the ground whereon the town of Huddersfield has been planted and grown, and the late Canon Hulbert, in his "Annals of the Parish of Almondbury," writes of William Ramsden: "There can be little doubt that this William was a clever man, and contributed to raise his family in the world. Upon the dissolutiop of the monasteries, he became a most extensive purchaser of abbey lands; so that the list of lands, priories and farms, etc., purchased, occupied two double column folio pages of the Index of Grants, in the Augmentation Office; and although an order was made that he should not be allowed to make more purchases, he must have realised a large estate, principally in and around Huddersfield." Amongst a large assortment of purchases in divers places, in April, 1547, this Longley gentleman, together with Richard Vavasour, of Ripon, obtained a grant from King Harry, “in consideration of a great sum of money”, of certain lands, in Pudsey and the neighbourhood, which had belonged to the monks of Kirkstall Abbey. Ramsden and Vavasour, subsequently, as their manner was, retailed most of these lands to various purchasers, and, amongst others, to the younger John Milner. A certain close called by a name redolent of its former owners, - "Monk Ing" - formed part of the Milner purchase, and, presently gave occasion to the “Proceedings in Chancery,” from which our knowledge of this little affair is gathered. It seems, from the Bill of Complaint of Gregorie Milner, who describes himself as “one of the scolers af Trinitie College, in the Uniyersitie of Cambridge," that his father john, had, in 1570 granted this, the Monk Ing Close to this, his son, in consideration of his natural love and affection for him, “willing” that he, Gregorie, “should procede and goe forward in his study and learning,” for the term of ten years, the reason whereof “he was encouraged to go to the aforesaid Universitie of Cambridge, to study there, intending to support and maintain himself, principally and chiefly, out of the issues and profits of the said close of land, seeing he had no other living for his said study.” Gregorie goes on to complain that Walter Calverley and others had unlawfully taken possession of Monk Ing, and another close appurtenant to it, called Eight Lands, and so rendered it impossible for him, unless redress were given, to follow his university career. The conclusion of the case is, as yet, unknown to me, but let us hope that poor Gregorie Milner's wrong - if such it were - was righted, and he allowed to pursue in peace his studies at Trinity College. I have, however, quoted thse “Proceedings" more with the view of illustrating the method in which the Abbey Lands were distributed, than to call attention to Gregorie Milner's ancient grievance - which has so long, long ago met with its quietus. It is interesting to note though, that, in the days of Queen Bess, a scholar at the University of Cambridge could live and prosecute his studies on the “issues and profits,” "principally and chiefly," of two small closes of land. The income arising therefrom would go a very small way to that end, I fancy, in these our days. The purchase of vast tracts of the monastic lands by large purchasers in gross, and their subsequent sale in detail by these big dealers to men of poorer purses was quite the order of the day, and is well illustrated by


which it may not be amiss to briefly notice in this connection. In 1544, when William Ramsden was about to make one of his big purchases from King Harry, of the abbey estate, he had entered into a bargain with Richard Lyster, of Halifax (who was grandfather of Samuel Lister, of Shibden Hall), to convey to Richard for the sum of "three score pounds sterling," paid in advance, "a tenement with the appurtenances in Little Horton, in Bradford, which late was appertaining and belonging to the late dissolved Monastery of Crystall," i.e., Kirkstall." A bond was properly drawn up, by which, under the penalty of £100, Ramsden and one Robert Whytell, of Elland, bound themselves “to do and perform the premises.” But Ramsdne refused either to convey the property or pay the penalty - so alleges Richard Lister, in his humble petition “To the Kyng our Soverayn Lords and His Honorable Counsayle establyshed in the northe partys." As Richard had sold lands to the value of “five marks," in order to raise the needful purchase money, his case seems to have been a hard one, and he even states in his petition that the breach of faith meant “his utter undoing”. We know, however, that he succeeded in getting, in the end, his land at Little Horton, and Mr. William Ramsden had to fulfil his engagement. As Canon Hulbert says; "There can be little doubt that this William was a clever man!" His cleverness seems, indeed. to have been, sometimes, worthy of another name. Spelman, in his “History of Sacrilege," wherein he endeavours to show that the tower of Siloam inevitably fell upon the sinners who trafficked in the consecrated lands, after detailing some of William Ramsden's extensive deals in this kind of property, adds this note;


Spelman was, certainly, rather precipitate in making this commentary, as, could he visit Huddersfield, to-day, he would, very readily, learn. He gives the following list of monastic property purchased by William Ramsden, but it is absurdly incomplete:

Blythe, Notts., Benedictine Priory (half).

Northampton, Black Friars.

Northampton, White Friars.

Oxford, St. Mary College (half).

Yorks, Roche Abbey, Cistercian (half).

The abbey lands we learn, from an original document, before their transfer to private owner, 'were found to be "of much better value than they be now letten for and might be letten for much greater sums than they be now letten for"; which means that the low rents that contented the monks did not content the new private owners, such as W. Ramsden, who stepped into their shoes,

But we must not tarry too long on this interesting subject of the division of the monastic spoil, but continue our annals of the Stoney Royd owners.


In 1551, John Milner, of Pudsey, was evidently beginning to part with some of his Southowram property, though he still, as yet, clung to Stoney Royd, for, in that year, he sold to his brothers-in-law, John, George, and Gregory, sons of Robert Waterhouse, of Shibden Hall, a small estate of 4½ acres, in Southowram, reserving however, thereout, as the Milner habit was, to himself, his wife, and their children, an annual rent charge of 26s. 8d. He had also, it appears, to defend his rights as a landowner in the Court of Common Pleas, in the fourth and fifth years of Philip and Mary, appearing as plaintiff against one Robert Dawson, a Pudsey clothier, who had, it was alleged, committed a trespass on his lands at Pudsey. In the same year - unless it were another man of the same name - he also, in the same High

Court, figured as plaintiff against Francis Otys, of Halifax, yeoman, and William Horsfall, of the same place, “bocher,” they having vi et armis, broken into a close belonging to him, at "Southowrome." In 1563, judging by a Fine recorded at Westminster, he sold for £40 a messuage, a cottage, and 72 acres of land, meadows, pasture, and wood, in Norland, to John Brigge the elder and John Brigge the younger. In 1565, John Milner and his wife Anne, either fictitiously, in order by way of fine to make a family settlement, or really sell - I don't know which, but probably the former - three messuages and a cottage and 82 acres of land at Pudsey to Sir William Calverley and Walter Calverley, Esqre., and in 1574, John and his son and heir Robert sell Blackcar House and its 12 acres, and all the remnant of their ancestral property at Blackcar, and in Northowram township, to John Northend, of North Bierley. The interest of the Milners in Halifax is clearly on the wane, and their property in the parish, which it had taken so many centuries to acquire, is growing more and more insignificant. We are not surprised, therefore, to find that, eleven years later, Stoney Royd also has to know its long-associated owners no more. Yes! Men of other names are to sojourn there for their short span of life, and finally, in a yet still distant day, thousands of the then remotely unborn generations of Halifax folk are there to find their last earthly home. In the year 1585, John Milner, gent., and Robert Milner, his son and heir apparent, sold for good the Stoney Royd Estate, described as then consisting of one messuage, one cottage, one barn, two gardens, sixcres of land,. i.e. arable, eight acres of meadow, ten acres of pasture, one acre of wood, and four acres of moor, - 29 acres in all - with appurtenances in “Southowrome,” to one Hugh Ireland, for the sum of £80. But, ere we bid a final godspeed to the Milners, and, welcome the coming guest, Hugh Ireland, it may not be amiss to place, in pedigree form, the Milner descent, as we have been enabled to trace it, thanks to the fact that the family owned copyhold lands in Northowram, in regard to which the successive changes of inheritance have been recorded for us in those valuable old documents, the Wakefield Court Rolls.

In conclusion, be it added that Tempest Milner, grandson of Robert, who was associated with his father in the sale of Stoney Royd, purchased the Manor of Pudsey and estates there from Henry Calverley, Esqre., in 1649, but re-conveyed the same to their former owner the following year. Tempest's brother, Robert Milner, however, re-purchased the said manor and estates from Walter Calverley, in 1663; and in the hands of the Milner family the Manor of Pudsey remained until the descendants of William the Milner, of Halifax became extinct in the male line, when it passed to a great-nephew of the name of Cottam, who assumed that of Milner, and was Lord of the Manor until 1839.

William the Milner of Halifax 1307-1331.


John Willeson the Milner, of Halifax, 1331-1384.


John Milner, = Cecily of Halifax, heir of John Willeson the Milner, |1384-1417 | 


Robert Milner, = of Halifax, |1417-1476 |

________ |___________________

Richard Milner, = John Milner of Halifax and Stoneyroyd, |1467-1490 |


Robert Milner = Margaret, of Halifax, and |Stoney Royd, gent. |1490-1513 |


John Milner, = Anne Warton, of Pudsey, and | of Harewood Stoney Royd, gent. | 1541,

1513-1549 | (Thoresby.)

________ |

John Milner, = Anne, dau. of Pudsey, and | Robert Waterhouse.

Stoney Royd, gent. | of Shibden Hall, gent. 1513-1585. Sold | Married 1543. Living 1588.

Stoney Royd |

Admin, 1 /86 |


Robert Milner, = Mary, Gregory John Grace = Robert

of Pudsey, gent. | dau. and B.D. living Waterhouse

Will dated 5th | coheir of died 1615 1588 of Harthill,

July, 1588 | Mr. Thos. of Trinity Coll.; Esq.

| Draper Cambridge of Halifax

| Parish

| Married

| 1573;

| living 1588


| | | |

Samuel, John, Robert, Thomas,

living living living living

1588. 1588. 1588. 1588.



The Milners have severed their last ties with Stoney Royd; and, in the seventeenth century, build the Manor Hall, at Pudsey, which, having occasion to visit that district last Monday, the writer had the opportunity of cursorily inspecting. It is a quaint, three-gabled building, with mullioned windows and angular chimney stacks, characteristic of the times of the Merry Monarch. In the spandrel of the south central gable the sculptured initial M. reminds us that this hall was erected by the descendants of the primitive Halifax corn “milners.”

But Hugh Ireland, the new owner of the 29 Stoney Royd acres, now claims our notice. He, in a certaiu deed, is titled and described as a "wollman," i.e. wool man, or, as the world would more pompously style him, I suppose, to-day, a woolstapler. Doubtless, Stoney Royd was a passing pleasant place of habitation in those Elizabethan days, when Hugh and

Agnes and their babe, Marie, flitted with their goods and chattels from Elland, and took up their abode in their new home, and, as the old-time couple gazed upon the smiling, smokeless landscape viewed therefrom, their hearts were surely well content and sweetly satisfied. Hugh Ireland, as has been indicated, hailed from Elland, but the family name of Ireland occurs, about the time of this narrative, in connection not only with Elland, but, also, with the townships of Norland, Sowerby, and Halifax.


High had, it would seem, a brother, James Ireland, of Halifax, who made his last will and testament “the 28th day of March in the year of our Lord God, 1566.” He describes himself as a "corvizer," i.e., a cobbler, and, among yarious bequests, he leaves to “John Wybsays, sonne of William Wybsaye, tenne paire of newe shoes in my shoppe, the one half menes shoes, and the other half women's shoes, and to my servant, Mychaell Palden, half a cowhide lickered." To his brother, Hugh Ireland, the testator leaves one bay horse. He appoints his wife, Jennet, and his brother, Hugh, his executors, and constitutes his "trustie neighbours, William Wibsaye, Umfrey Rydinge, and Anthony Smythe,” supervisors of his will. The witnesses were "John Watson, bacheler of artes, and


and John Ireland, withe others." The will was proved 31st July, following. The mention, as witness to this will, of John Watson, RA., “school-maister of Halifax.,” opens up an interesting question in regard to the history of education in our town. The Free Grammar School at Heath, in the year 1566, did not exist, for the charter was not obtained until 1585, and the first master was not appointed until the year 1600. Where then did John Watson, RA., keep school? Surely - pace the Rev. Thomas Cox, who, in his “History of Heath Grammar School,” attempts to explain away the meaning of the word - surely, in the "schole-howse," which, as the deed testifies; stood upon the land given, in 1598, by the Saviles, to assist the foundation of the school then to be erected. “Former” scholars, too, are set down in the list of subscribers to the Elizabethan school, amongst others John Milner, gent., and Nicholas Fenay. These two names are enrolled in the list of those benefactors to the building of the Elizabethan school, who lived outside the parish of Halifax. Now, Nicholas Fenay, as Canon Hulbert's “History of Almondbury” tells us, was married, in 1563, so that he may, if he married, say, at twenty-one, have been a scholar of Mr. Watson, B.A., about 1560, forty years before the new school was opened. If, moreover, John Milner, gent., who lived outside the parish of Halifax, was, as is morally certain, the John Milner, of Pudsey, who sold Stoney Royd, it is conclusive that there was a school in Halifax - perhaps held in the very “school-house” mentioned in the Savile deed of grant - before the Reformation; seeing that John Milner marred Anne Waterhouse in he year 1543, and, as "quondam scholaris Halifaxiensis," must, therefore, have been that quondam scholar sometime prior to the year his marriage. Halifax, at any ate, seems to have been faiely well supplied with schoolmasters before the school of Queen Elizabeth was built, for, besides the name of John Watson, B.A., we find that of Mr. Maud, who had the credit of educating Bishop Morton about 1580, and the name of Richard Button, whom Sir John Savile, Baron of the Exchequer, acknowledges as having been his pedagogue, in 1553, and with whom he studied the "Sacred Dialogues of Castalio."

But the name of John Watson, RA., is leading us too far afield, and we must return to Stoney Royd. I have not been successful in gathering many facts regarding the family to which Hugh Ireland belonged;. The wife, Agnes, who he brought with him, to his new home, was not his first venture in matrimony. His first partner, unless there were a predecessor even to her, was Elizabeth, the widow of Robert Horsfall, of Elland. It is to be hoped that the home in which she lived with her first spouse was happy one, but the following curious “bill” of receipt, engrossed on parchment, and conserved at Shibden Hall, may suggest suspicions. It runs as follows:

“Be yt known to all people buye these presentes that I, Johanet Horsfall of Sourebye, alias Johanet Broke, bastard doughter of Roberte Horsfall, late of Elande, deceased, in the County of Yorke, spynster, have Reveyved and hadd, the daye of the date and making herof, of Hugh Irelande, of Elade, and Elizabeth, nowe his wife, late wife of the saide disceassed Roberte Horsfall, and also of Henry, Michaell, and Jane Horsfall, of Elande beforesaide, children of the saide Roberte Horsfall, disceassed (which saide Elizabeth, Henrie, Michaell, and Jane are executors of the late will and testamente of the saide Roberte Horsfall) one Cowe, two Sylver Spoynes, and foure pounds of lawfull English money, which were a legacye bequiethed unto me bye the saide Roberte, my father, in and bye his saide laste will, as bye the same bearinge date the xxvii daie of Marche, Anno Dni. 1559 more plainly appearethe”, etc… “In Witnes herof hereunto I, the said Johanet, have Sett my seall and made my marke wythe my proper hande, the daye and yeare hereunder mentioned, that ys to saye, the fourth daye of Aprill, in the thirteenthe years of the Reigne of our Sovereigne ladie Elizabeth, bye the grace of God, Queene of Englande, ffrance, and Irelande, Defender of the Faithe, etc.”

The witnesses “at the delyverynge and sealynge of thus byll, are Lawrance Haughe, Henry Haughe, Thomas Hanson and Wyllyam Brooke, and the usual cross indicates Johanet Horsfall’s mark. Her seal is duly attached, and still remains appendant to the document, but its image and superscription are not, now, decipherable.

Robert Horsfall, Hugh Ireland’s first wife’s first husband, evidently died very soon after the date when he bequeathed the cow, two silver spoons, and £4 good “English money” to Johanet, for, in the Elland Registers put into print by the praiseworthy and painstaking care of J. W. Clay, Esq., it is recorded that Robert Horsfall, of Norland, was buried 1st April 1559. In the year 1582, occurs also, the entry, “Oct. 4. Elizabeth, wife of Hugh Ireland, buried.” Hugh, however, it is plain to see, was speedily consoled for this lady’s loss, for less than four months later, in the same Elland Registers we read: “1582-3, 21st January. Hugh Ireland and Agnes Akroyd,” married, and a daughter, Mary, the fruit of the union, was baptised at Elland Church 29th March 1584, the year before the Stoney Royd purchase.


In 1586 - the year after he had bought Stoney Royd - we learn, from the “Feet of Fines,” that Hugh Ireland became the owner, by another purchase, of “one messuage, one garden, two acres of meadow, and one acre of pasture in Skircoat,” paying to Henry Milner, the vendor of the property - which was none other than the Shaw Hill, estate referred to in previous articles - the sum of £40, which in comparison with the £80, paid for 29 Stoney Royd acres, seems a large sum, Two years later, 1588, the new owner leases Shaw Hill, by an interesting Indenture of Lease, written in quaint Elizabethan English, which, if only for its relishable language, one would like to have reproduced "in extenso." But a few extracts must suffice. The deed describes itself as made “Between Hugh Irelande, of the towneshipp of Southowrom, in the Count ye of Yorke, Wollman, of th'one partye, and George Bolton, of the Shaye Hill, in the towneshipp of Skircote, etc., clothier, of th’other partye.” We are then given to know that Hugh has “to farme lett unto the said George Bolton, one howse, or tenemente, called Shayhill, one gardyne, and three closes of lande, medow, and pasture, scituate, etc," in the towneshipp of Skircote, etc., And, also twoo other closes of lande, medow, and pasture, called by the names of Harthorne Heye and Lytle Ynge, lying at Whytegatefoote,” in Southowram, etc., etc. The term of the lease is to be one of 12 years, and the rent is fixed at £6 l3s. 4d., payable at Pentecost and Martinmas. The tenant covenants to do the repairs and "upholde the said howse or tenement with thacke, mosse, and morter tenantable according to the custome of the countrye”. Hugh Ireland, on his side, covenants to pay “all out rents and tythe sylver due oute of the said howse, lands, &c.” The witnesses to this deed are Adam Morres, clerk - the then curate at Sowerby Bridge Chapel - George Hoyle, of Longroyd, and Giles Bolton.

Next year, 1589, on the 20th April - according to a P. M. Inquistion, Hugh Ireland breathed his last breath, having possessed Stoney Royd but the space of four brief years. His will, which is dated the 17th day of February, of the year 1587-8 is a long affair, and we can but give its salient points.


After the usual invocation of the Holy Trinity, &c., the will begins: - “I, Hugh Ireland, of Southowrome, in the parish of Halifax, in the dioces of York, being in health and perfect memory (God be thanked for the same) calling to my remembrance the mutabilitie of this world, the certentie that the soul shall depart the bodie, the uncertainty how, when, or where, considering mine age, as well to gain quietnes of mind in extreme grief of sicknes, as to avoid all question and controversie which might grow, after my death, for such lands, tenementes, goodes or chattells, as well reale as personall, which by God’s sufferance, I

shalbe seazed or possessed of, at the time of my death I do advisedlie make, and resolutelie determine this my present testament, &c., &c. * * First and principally, I commend my soule to Almightie God, my Creator, beseching his goodness to pardon mine offences, and to behold me covered with the merittes of Jesus Christ, my Saviour, by whome, and in whome is my whole hope of salvation, And my bodie I willinglie yeild to the Earth to be buried in the Church, or Churchyeard of Halifax, amongst the bodies of other Christians ther abiding, in hope of a joyful resurrection." The testator then devises to Marie Ireland; his daughter, all his messuages, houses, lands, &c., in "Southowrome and Skircote," or else, where in the County of York, subject to limitations contingent on his wife being enceinte with issue, male or female. Remainders over - as the lawyers would say - are settled on “Henry Horsfall, my servaunt, sonne of Robert Horsfall, sometime of Eland, decessed, begotten of the bodie of Elizabeth (sometime wief of the same Robert Horsfall, and, after, wief of me, the said Hugh Ireland) now decessed,” and the heirs of his body, and on “Jonas Binnes, sonne of Nicholes Binnes, sometime of Butterworth, decessed," and the heirs of his body, and on "Sibel Binnes, sister of the same Jonas Binnes." After making the usual conventional distribution of his "goods and chattells" into three parts, one third to his wife, Agnes, and one third to his child or children; in regard to the remaining third of his goods, the will continues, "and forth of the other and last third part of my said goodes, do give and devise unto the poore of the parish of Halifax the sum of six poundes, thirtene shillings and fower pence to be distributed by the advise and appointment of the Curate and Churchwardens of Hallifax for the time being. And I do also give to the poore of the parish of Eland other six poundes thirtene shillinges, and foure pence, to be distributed in similar manner. Legacies of £13 6s. 8d., £5, and £5, are then, respectively, left to "Henrie Horsfall aforesaid, my servant," and "to Alice Binnes, my late servant," while to Robert Ireland, of “Sowerbie,” a cow is bequeathed. The executors appointed in the will were Agnes, the wife; Mary Ireland, the daughter; and Henry Horsfall, the testator’s servant. Agnes, the wife, haye the tuition of the daughter, Mary, as long as she, Agues, “keepeth herself sole and unmarried," but, failing this contingency, the tuition of the danghter and other expected - but apparently not realised children - is committed to Henry Hagh, of Mythom; Thomas Hagh, of Norland; and Michael Carter, who are, also, appointed supervisors of the will, their costs and charges to come out of the issues and profits of the testator's lands. The witnesses, who were present and attested the will, were William Scolefield, clerk, curate of Hallifax, John Bawmforth, and John Hanson, younger, and it was duly proved at York, 11th November, 1589.

The reader will, perhaps, have been struck with the long religious preamble to this will, so characteristic of the early Reformation days. The pietism thus lengthily expressed was, of course, charged for at so much per line by the professional man who drew the will. The cobbler's will, from which extracts have also been given in this article, is as wanting in law drawn spirituality as probably was the cobbler's purse in marks and groats. But the owner of Stoney Royd stood in different case, and could well afford to pay for the unctuous prose that, probably, Mr. William Scolefield, the Halifax curate, dictated. But more substantial, fortunately, than these trite sentiments were the legacies of £6 13s. 4d. left by Hugh Ireland to the poor of Halifax and Elland.

An interesting inventory of the goods and chattels of this Stoney Royd owner survives at Shibden Hall but we must reserve it to be dealt with in a future number.



Hugh Ireland's will was proved at York, 11th Nov., 1589, and administration of his goods committed to his widow, Agnes, and Henry Horsfall, the executors. As usual, an inventory of all deceased’s goods and chattels had, thereupon, to be exhibited, and it is from the time-worn parchment-roll, prepared for this occasion, that we gain some information as to the internal appearance of Stoney Royd, about the time w hen British pluck, aided by winds and waves, destroyed the supposed invincible Spanish Armada. The parchment roll - as it now lies before me as I write- - is something like 2ft. 6in. long, and owing to having lain, probably, in a dampish place, is by no means easy to decipher, so faded in places is the ink wherewith it was indited. Some words, in fact, have altogether perished. At the head is written: - "An inventory of all the goodes, cattels and debts of Hugh Ireland, of Southourum, deceased, prysed xiiiith day of Aprill, anno dni. [date of year illegible, but must have been 1589] by Johne Lyster, Richard Speight, and George Stockes." The valuers named were were landholders and tenants of lands in Southowram, for the most part, adjoining Stoney Royd. John Lyster was, seemingly, John Lyster, the then owner of Backhall, alias Backhold, in Siddal, a relation of Vicar Hadsworth's, against whom, in connection with the Vicar's cruel murder, many serious but calumnious reports were at that time circulating in the parish of Halifax. Regarding Richard Speight, one of his name was, & few years later [1608] tenant of Cross Flatts Farm, near the present Southowram Church. In 1588, Richard Speight paid to the Subsidy for Southowram, 5s. on an assessment of £3 of stock. The Stocks family - to which George belonged - figure frequently as witnesses to the early deeds relating to

Shibden Hall.

The Inventory begins with a valuation of poor Hugh Ireland's wardrobe, his pocket money, and live stock: -

Imprimis, his apparell xxxs.

Item, in money and gold xliii.li xvi.d.

" iiii kyne vi.li. xiii.s. iiii.d.

" v yongbeastes iiii.li

Other cow given by legacie xl.s.

" Horsses with things appertaining

" Other horsse, " " xxx.s.

The cow "given by legacie;" was, it may be remembered, bequeathed to Robert Ireland, of Sowerby. The Inventory then proceeds thus: -

Item, on corslet xxx.s.

The "corslet" was a kind of cuirass, which covered the trunk of the body, both before and behind, and was worn by pikemen. There were words apparently obliterated after "corslet,", which may - as is found in other inventories of this period - have been "and like."

Item, on cupbord with ffurnyture xx.s.

" iii chistes xii.s.

" iiii Beddes with furnyture vi.li. xiii.s.iiiid.

“ ii pair of Lomes with thinges (perteyninge) xiii.s. iiiid.

“ xx peces of clouthe xx.li.

“ pannes and pottes xii.s. iiiid.

" meale ix.s.

" certayn tymber iii.li.

“ iii paire of sheares with prasses, papers xxx.s.

" on tenter xx.s

“ certayne bordes x.s.

" Iron toyles viii.s.

“ One table and cup stole iiii.s.

“ ii. Sylver spones x.s.

" corn sowne iiii.li.

“ mayner v.s.

“ wodvessell and all imprements vi.s viiid.

The total of this reckoning of stock and furniture was summed up to £106.

This concludes the furniture and fittings. The reader will see that they are not too luxurious, and that they were the belongings of a fairly wealthy man. The furniture of the house consisted only of a cupboard, 3 chests, 4 beds, a table, and a cup stool. As only one table is mentioned, it is probable that the certayne bordes" did duty, with the help of trestles, on occasions when extra tabling was needed. Chairs or forms were, perhaps, included in the item of the Inventory that we have been obliged to leave blank. The family plate was represented by two silver spoons, and the term "wood vessel" reminds us, that, of course, wooden platters and bowls were the order of the day. The former, I remember, were, even in my school days, still in use at Winchester College. The tenter, the pair of looms, 20 pieces of cloth, three pair of shears, “prasses”' and papers seem to indicate that Hugh Ireland was not only a “woolman,” but also a “clothier”, i.e., a cloth maker, in which occupation, doubtless, he was assisted by his “servant” and kinsman - named in his will - Henry Horsfall. The

Cloth, it will be noted, was valued at £1. the piece, the latter then running to about 18 yards in length. The inventory then proceeds to detail the “debtes owinge unto Hugh Ireland” as follow:

Imprimis, of Grace Royds, in part of a debt xv; and v;-d.

D. George Clay, Lighthassells, part of a debt - he sayth payd xxv/s. iiii.d.

Thomas Sharpe, found in part x.s.

James Walker, of Halifax, in part xl.s.

Th'ecutors of Jeffery Chadwicke, Norland vii.s. iiii.d.

William Cacter, yonger, Norland lii.s. vi.d.

Mychaell Bothomley, Barkesland in part xlii.s. iiiid.

George Hoyle, Sourbie vi.li.

Michaell Barrow, Lighthassels, in part unpaid iii.li. x.s. iiii.d.

Johne Lee, Lighthassels xl.s.

Johne Barrowclough, of Halifax xl.s.

D. Robert Hill, Myxenden iiii.s.

Henry Haghe, Sourbie xii.s.

Edmond Ryley, Sourbie iii.li. iiii.s.

Thomas Prystley, Soland vii.li. x.s.

Johne Bayrstow, junier vi.s. iiii.d.

Edward Bell, Brodyates x.s. vi.d.

George Bolton, Skyrcot vi.li. xiii.s. iiii.d.

Gilbert Ramsden, Gretland vii.li. x.s.

Edmond Hargreaves, Sourbie iii.li.

D. Mychaell Wood, Sourbie ...

William Wode, Wakefeld vi.li. xiii.s. iiii.d.

The names that follow are practically obliterated, but the total sum of the debts owing to the deceased appears to be £127 8s. 6d. The total amount of the whole valuation of the personal estate, stock, furniture, and debts is stated as £233 8s. 6d. The letter D, prefixed to certain debtors' names, signifies that the debt was a "desperate" one, or, as we should say, bad. The debts owing by the deceased man, or, as they are termed in the Inventory, "Debts outward," follow, but the lettering is too much effaced to decipher much, save the first item, viz.:-"Disbursed in funeral (?) expenses, x.li." The sums owing by the late owner of Stoneyroyd seem trivial ones, but there are items of expenditure on the part of the executors, in regard to the probate of the will, &c., such as journeys to York, &c., which it somewhat excites one's chagrin not to be able fully to unravel. The document, however, even in its mutilated state, needs not, I hold, make any apology to the reader for its appearance in these columns. Can we arrive at a present day valuation of the whole estate of this wealthy "woolman," both real and personal? I think we can. If we multiply by 10, we find that his personal property would amount, to-day, to something like £2,300. How shall we estimate his real estate? Well, the rent he then received from his tenant, George Bolton, for Shaw Hill, was £6 13s. 4d., per annum. Proportionally to the comparative acreage, the letting value of Stoney Royd must have been something like £40 of the money of that time, and £40 + £6 13s. 4d. x 30 years' purchase = £1,400, which, probably, equals £14,000 of present day value. Adding the personal estate, valued at £2,300, to this, we have an approximae estimate of the present nineteenth century value of the whole property possessed by Hugh Ireland, at his death, viz., £16,300. It may be added that, among the contributors to the subsidy, in 1586, in the list of Norland-cum-Rishworth, Hugh Ireland was taxed on the largest assessment in the township, paying 5s. for "goods" assessed at £3.


Agnes Ireland, the widow of Hugh, did not long rest patiently inconsolable after her husband's death, and three months later found a second partner of her life in the person of John Roode, alias Royde, a well-to-do clothier, and they were married at Halifax, 10th August, 1589. He is, if I mistake not, the same John Royde, of Southowram, who contributed to the subsidy of 1588 the sum of 2s. 8d., for lands, in that township, assessed at 20s. Of his life history, I have not gathered much more than the fact of his marriage with Hugh Ireland’s widow. He is described in 1591, as “of Stonie Roode,” and, possibly and probably resided there with his wife, Agnes, until the latter’s daughter, Marie, the heiress to the estate, came of age, or married.


In the days of Queen Elizabeth, as, indeed, was the custom ever since land-holding became an hereditary affair, until the military tenures were abolished by the Statute 12. Car. II. - immediately upon the death of a considerable landowner, an Enquiry, called a Post Mortem Inquisition, was held by an official of the Crown, to ascertain the value of his estate, the tenure by which it was held, and who, and of what age his heir was, in order that the profits, then accruing to the State by the change of ownership, might be duly certified. If the heir was under the age of twenty-one, being a male, or fourteen, being a female, the King,

provided the deceased were a tenant of the Crown, was entitled to the wardship of the heir which a Blackstone adds, "consisted in having the custody of the body and lands of such heir, without any account of the profits, till the age of twenty-one in males, and fourteen in females." This custom, or, rather prerogative, is well illustrated, in every sense, in the case of the estate of our friend Hugh Ireland, and his infant daughter, Marie. From the Chancery Inquisition records we learn that such Inquisition, in connection with the landed estate of Hugh Ireland, was held at Wakefield, on the 21st Sept., 1591. It was found by this Inquiry that "Hugh Ireland, late of Southe Owram, was seised in fee of a messuage or tenement, called Stony Rovde, one cottage, one barn, two gardens, six acres of land- i.e., arable - eight

acres of meadow, ten acres of pasture, one acre of wood, and four acres of moor in Southowram, and, also of two other closes of land and pasture, called Siddal Roydes, in Southowram. Also, one other messuage, or house, called Shaye Hill, one acre of land, two acres of pasture, and another acre of pasture in Scircote; and, also, two other acres and one rood of land, called the Heyes, lately purchased of John Lacye, esquire." We have here enumerated, very carefully, so that the Crown, or State, might not be cheated of anything,

the 29 acres constituting the Stonev Royd estate proper, the two closes of land, called "Siddal Roydes," Shaw Hill, and the Heyes. The memory of the Siddal Royds is still perpetuated in a terrace, or street, which, at present, bears their name. This property is not included in the parcels mentioned in the two Fines whereby Hugh Ireland became possessed of Stoney

Royd and Shaw Hill. How he acquired them and, the "Heyes," at Whitegate Foot - called “Harthorne Heye," and "Little Ing," in the lease, referred to in the last article, of Shaw-hill, to George Bolton - is not evident. The Inquisition then proceeds to state the tenures upon which the lands were held. "The said messuage, called Stonyroyde, &c., are held of John Lacye, of Cromwellbothome, esq., as of his Manor of Southowrom, by fealty, suit of Court of

Southeowrom, and annual rental of 4s.8d., but by what other services the jurors know not, and are worth per annum (clear) 30 shillings. The messuage and house, &c., in Scircote, are held of the heirs of Henry Savile, knt., deceased. as of his Manor of Scircote, in free and common socage, viz., by fealty and yearly rent of five pence, and they are worth per annum (clear) four shillings. The said 2 ac. 1 r. of land, lately purchased of John Lacye, are held of the Queen, as of Her Honour of Pontefract, parcel of the Duchy of Lancaster, by knight’s service, and are worth per annum (clear) sixpence. Hugh Ireland, died 20 April, 31 Eliz. (1589), and Mary Ireland, his only daughter, and next heir, was, at the time of her father's death, aged two years and more."

It may be added that Hugh Ireland, who is here stated to have died the 20th April, was, according to the Parish Church registers, buried in the church or churchyard there, 22nd April, 1589. It will have been noticed. perhaps, that a very small fraction of Maister Hugh Ireland's estate was held directly of the Crown - only the 2 ac. 1 r. of land, called the Heyes,

but this was sufficient to bring the whole property into the power of the State, which immediately entered into possession of the same, and took charge thereof, without the duty of rendering any account of its stewardship, until the heiress, Marie Ireland, came of age. She, herself, on her father's death, became the Queen's ward, and so would have been destined to remain until she reached the age of fourteen - the age when, as Sir E. Coke remarks, "she might govern a household, and marry a husband who could do knight service," - had it not become the habit of the Crown, in lieu of personally performing the duties of guardian, to sell the wardship and marriage to those who were prepared to take upon them the responsibilities of that office, and enjoy the emoluments which resulted from the custody of the estate during the minority of the heir. The obvious persons to perform these duties in the ease of Marie Ireland, were her mother and stepfather, and, therefore, we are not surprised to learn that, on the 23rd October, 1591, to John Roode, and Agnes, his wife, the mother of the Queen's ward, were sold - as appears by the Court of Wards Books - the wardship and marriage of the two-year-old heiress, for the sum of £5, “which was paid in hand to the Receiver General, as appeared by his acquittance.”

The curious document, by which John and Agnes Roode purchased Marie's wardship and marriage from the Crown, is still intact, at Shibden Hall, where it drifted, some 250 years ago, owing to the fact that among the "foremothers" of the present writer, is

to be numbered Marie Ireland, of Stoney Royd.



In the last number we gave the statistics of the Stoney Royd estates as certified for Crown revenue purposes, in 1591. It will be remembered that the late owner, Hugh Ireland, had died, having issue only an infant daughter, Marie, aged somewhat over two years. She, as has been observed, became the Queen's ward, in virtue of part of her property being held of the Crown, by the tenure of "knight service." The Crown, on application of the infant's mother, Agnes Royde, and the latter's husband, John Royde, sold to these good people the custody of the heiress's lands, the guardianship of her important person, and the prospective profits that might be made out of her in the matrimonial market- in legal terminology, her wardship and marriage. The deed, by which these privileges were granted, with the broad seal of H.M. Court of Wards and Liveries still appendant thereto, slumbers at Shibden Hall, and is, as has been already said, a curious doeument - curious both on account of its conception of the rights of property, so different from our nineteenth century conception of unlimited private rights in landed property, and curious also for its Elizabethan Queen's English and its quaint archaic spelling. We have ventured to prune away some little of that luxuriant verbal vegetation, in which the legal pen has, in all ages, delighted to revel. Thus, as follows - slightly, but not materially, abbreviated - runs - No! marches - the stately prose of this old


[Endorsed.] Cam Ebor.

"John Roode and Agnes, his wief, for the custodie, Wardshippe and Marriadge of Marye Irelande, daughter and nexte heire of Hugh Irelande, deceased. Termino Michis, Anno xxxiii et xxxiiii. Eliz Regine."

"THIS INDENTURE MADE betwene the most excellent princes and oure moste dreade soveraigne Ladie Elizabeth, by the grace of god, Quene of Englande, ffrance. and Irelande, Defendor of the faithe, &c., of the one partie, And John Roode, of Stony Roode, in the Countie of Yorke, Clothyer, And Agnes, his wiefe, mother of Marye Irelande, her highnes warde, daughter and heire of Hughe Irelande, deceased, of the other partie: WITNESSETH that oure saide soveraigne Ladie, with thadvice of the M[aste]r and Councell of her highnes Courte of Wardes and Liveryes, Is contented and pleased to graunte, and by these presentes doeth Comitte and graunte unto the said John Roode and Agnes Roode the Custodie, wardshippe and marryage of Marye Irelande, her highnes warde, daughter and nexte heire of Hughe Irelande, deceased, without dispargemente: AND where, also, there doethe not appeare at this tyme, that everye parcell of thinheritance of the said heire, Uppon the Deathe of her said father, ys come into the handes of and possessione of oure saide soveraigne Ladie, nor certentie in everye parcell of thinheritance of the said heire what aught to be in her highnes handes and possessione, because of such Dowers, feoffamentes, and wills as, percase, bene declared in the same: THEREFORE, for that oure saide soveraigne Ladie should be deceaved in that behalf, but that her highnes sbould have perfecte knowledge and understandinge of suche Mannors, Landes, hereditatamentes, which be nowe discended, or ymediatlie after the decease of any parsonne [i.e. person] or parsonnes, or or after yeares fynished or ended, or anye laste will performed, or by any other waies or meanes, shall discende, reverte, remayne, or come to the said heire in possessione or revercon, with the verye beste and uttermoste true valewe of them and everye of them by yeare. THE said John Roode an Agnes Roode hathe delivered a writinge indented, hereunto annexed, in the whiche bene conteyned and specifyed all such mannors, landes, and hereditamentes which be discended, or hereafter shall come and discemde to the saide heire in possessione or revercon with the verye beste and uttermoste true valewe of them and everye of them by yeare: AND the said John Roode and Agnes Covenanten and graunten, for them and theire Assignes, by these presentes, That one Auditour or Auditours, or any other parsonne [person] or parsonnes appoynted and authorised by the said Master and Councell, for the tyme beinge, at the Costes and charges of the said John Roode and Agnes Roode or theire Assignes, shalll searche, vewe and valewe the truethe of the same, uppon which searche, vewe and valewe, yf yt can be proved that the said mannors, landes, &c., which shall or aughte to discende, reverte, remayne or come to the said heire in possessione or revercon, as ys afforesaid, be omitted and left oute in the said writinge indented, or ells be founde of larger and better yearlye valewe then in the same writinge ys lymitted; THEN the said John Roode and Agnes Roode, there executors or Assignes, shall contente and paye unto oure said soveraigne Ladie, or to her heires and successors, asmuche money as the overplus of the said yerelie valewe of the said mannors, landes, &c., so undervalewed shall admounte unto above the yearlie valewe limited in the saide writinge indented, yf anye suche shall be founde uppon the said searche and vew, after the rate of three yeares valew; And also, asmuche, moneye as the said John Roode and Agnes Roode, or any other to there use, shall perceave and take of the said mannors, landes and hereditamentes so omitted And that, frome the decease of the said

Hughe Irelande; And, lykewyse, the valewe of all the mannors, landes, &c., lefte oute and omitted in the saide writinge indented, yf any suche shall be found up on the said searche, vewe, and valewe of the said mannos, lndes, &c., or come to her before she come and be of her full age of sixtene yeares: AND the said John Roode and Agnes Roode Covenaunten and

graunten for them and theire Assignes by these presentes, That they, the said John Roode and Agnes Roode and theire Assignes, shall, not onelye, bringe upp and enterteyne the saide Marie Irelande in good erudicon, vertuous and decent qualities, as to the Quene's honor in that behalf and the estate of her hughnes publique waale apperteyneth, But also asmuche as in them liethe, shall save and defende all the mannors, landes, &c., of thinheritance of the saide heire frome all unlawfull intrusion, encrochementes, waste, decaye, spoyle, disorder, or expellinge of tenauntes, and ymbescellinge, withdrawinge, concealinge, or misusinge of Evidences and Writinges; And yf, at any tyme, hereafter, duringe the said graunte, any unlawfull intrusion, encrochemente, &c., or expellinge of tenauntes be done or made uppon anye parte or parcell of the said inheritance, Or, yf any Evidence munymentes or writinges, concerninge the said inheritance, be, yrobescelled, withdrawne, concealed, or misused, to the knowledge of the said John Roode and Agnes Roode and theire Assignes, THAT, then, the said John Roode and Agnes Roode, and there executors, &c., fourthwith, after knowledge, thereof had, shall certifie the same to the saide Master and Councell, for the tyme beinge, And receave and prosecute fourthe there order for the reformacon thoreof, to and for the

advauncemente of the Quene's majestie intereste and righte, and for the preservacon, savegarde and tuicon of the inheritance of the said heire: AND, furder, yf at any tyme, hereafter, duringe the minoritie of the said heire, or befor her Liverye or Ousterlemayne be

presented and had oute of the handes and possessione of the Quene's Majestie, or of her heires and successors, It shall fortune anye Mannors, landes, &c., whatsoever, to discende to the said heire in possessione, or revercon, by any other waies or meanes which be not

knowne to the said Master and Councell to be discended at the makinge hereof, THAT, then, the saide John Roode, and Agnes Roode, there executors or Assignes, within on half yeare nexte after any suche discente fallen or happened, shall certifie the same to the said Master and Councell, for the tyme beinge, so as they may have suer informacon thereof, as well

for the preserves of the righte and title thereof to the use of the saide heire, and for the good order and custodie of the ame during his [sic!] minorytie as for the true and juste annsweringe of all such rentes and profittes as shall be found due and payable in the said Courte uppon any such discente: AND the said John Roode and Agnes Roode Covenaunten and graunten, for them and there assignes by these presentes, That neyther they, the saide John Roode and Agnes Roode, nor there assignes shall gyve, graunte, comitt, bargavne, or sell the saide graunte; or the custodie of the saide Marie Irelande, unto any parsonne [person] or parsonnes, without knowledge and agreemente of the saide Master and Councell for the tyme beinge, ne shall dispose in marryadge, or by any perswacon induce the said heire to marrye where any case of dispargemente ys, or detrimente, annoyance or disorder may arryse, and appeare, contrarie to the order of the Lawe: AND, moreover, also, the said John Roode and Agnes Roode Covenaunten and graunten, for them and there assignes by these presentes, That, they, the said John Roode and Agnes Roode, or there sufficiente deputie or Attorney, shall within twoe monethes next after the delyverye of the bill of the graunte of the said Wardhipps signed by the Quenes Majestie to the clerk of the said Courte of Warder and Liveryes, prosecute fourth her highnes after letters patentes, under the great seale of Englande, and, after the sealinge thereof, bringe the same patente, within the same tyme, to the Awditor generall of the said Courte to be inrolled, and, uppon thinrollemente thereof demaunde and take the same patent, within the said tyme, from the said Awditor, after the said inrollemente: IN WITNES WHEREOF, to the one parte of these Indentures remayninge with the said John Roode and Agnes Roode, our saide soveraigne Ladies' seale er Courte of Wardes and Liveryes, with thadvice of the Master and Councell of the same Courte ys affixed and sett, and to the other parte remayninge with oure saide soveraigne ladie in her highnes said Courte the said John Roode and Agnes Roode hathe putte theire handes the seales, the fyve and twentith Daie of October in the three and thirtith yeare of oure soveraigne Ladies most gracious Raigne."


A few observations the above document may be permitted. The name of Agnes Ireland’s second husband is represented by the cockney clerk of the Courte of Wardes and Liveries as John Roode. In documents drawn by local scriveners and scribes, he always appears in ink as John Royde or Roide, and this was, certainly, the local pronunciation of the name. Yet it is singular and worthy, I think, of being put on record, that until about the time of Henry VII., or the beginning of the sixteenth century, the word royd invariably, I believe, figures in old documents as rode, showing that the oi sound - as may be illustrated, also, by the word coal - did not then enjoy the favour in our local dialect which it finds to-day. But, I leave the desiderated explanation of this phenomenon to our Dialect Societies and their members.

In the next place, we note that John Royde is described in the Indenture, as a "cloyther." The tenter, the looms, and the "prassess," consequentlv, left behind him by the previous owner of Stoney Royd, and former husband of Agnes Royde, would not stand idle long, but were, doubtless, soon again busily at work producing "kerseys" for the Hull and London markets.

The third observation to be made, in commenting on the document under notice, relate to the Court of Wards and Liveries, by the “advice” of whose Master and Council is pleased to make to John and Agnes Royde the grant of the wardship and marriage of the baby heiress. The duty of making the so-called Post Mortem Inquisitions, after the death of a substantial land-holder, had been, until the time of Henry VIII, the province of the Justices who held the Assizes. By means of a jury composed of men who had a solid property qualification in the County, Owing to the abuses of this system, as brought to light in the nefarious Empson and Dudley, it was determined to create a special State department for the transaction of this business, and, accordingly, the Court of Wards and Liveries was established by Act of Parliament , 32, Hen. VIII.


The words “without disparagement,” with which the grant of the wardship and marriage, is made, have, an interesting connotation. The Crown, or the person to whom the ward was, by the Crown, for money consideration, committed, had the power of finding a husband for his protegee. When the ward attained the age of fourteen, the guardian might submit to her a suitable match, without "disparagement" or inequality, and this the poor young lady could not in any fashion decline, without entitling her guardian to hold her lands, by wsy of penalty, till she attained the age of twenty-one. The Great Charter, wrung from King John by the Barons, expressly guarded the heir from being disparagingly, i.e., unsuitably, given away in marriage. In the earlier days of the feudal system - as appears by a provision of the Statute of Merton, 20, Hen. III. - the ward of the King, or of a vassal of the Crown, was considered to be disparagingly married - married beneath her - if the King, or Lord of the Manor, made her marry a villain, i.e., a peasant, or even wedded her aliis, sicut burgensubus - "To others, such as burgesses!" But in the days of Queen Elizabeth, the busy burgess of the town had become, in the eyes or society, a more honourable personage than he had been held to be in the Thirteenth Century. By the terms of the Indenture we are now discussing, John and Agnes Royde were not to "dispose in marriage of Marie Ireland, "nor by any persuasion induce" her, “to marry where any case of disparagement is, or detriment, annoyance, or disorder may arise and appear, contrary to the order of the Law.”


Further, and fourthly, it is stated, in the Indenture, that; since there is some uncertainty as to whether or not every parcel of the inheritance "is come into the hands of our said Sovereign Lady," John and Agnes Royde have given in a specified account of all the property which either has, or will come into their possession, with all particulars as to the value of the same, and are agreeable to the appointment of a valuer - whose charges they bargain to pay - to check their return. They, also, consent, in the case of the valuer finding their valuation to be of too low a figure, to pay the difference "after the rate of three years value." If the present Death Duties are collected with the same searching keenness as the revenues of the estate of the then late Hugh Ireland were, in 1591, enquired into, meseems, not much of our fin-de-siecle fortunes may escape the meshes of Sir William Harcourt's Finance Act.



Another comment we have to make, in regard to the Deed of Covenants between Queen Elizabeth and the guardians of Marie Ireland, touches the education of the young heiress. John and Agnes Royde, we note, bind themselves and their assigns to bring up and "entertain the said Marie in good erudition, vertuous and decent qualities," as to the "Queen's honour" and the “estate of the public weal appertaineth." It is not to be supposed that the term, "erudition," which is equivalent to our common-place word, "education," meant very much, according to our nineteenth century ideas. In hardly a single local legal document of the Elizabethan era., do we find a woman's signature. The cross of faith is, in this connection, the cross of illiteracy. The erudition acquired by Marie Ireland was probably confined, mostly, to that needful, technical instruction in the culinary and housewife arts, which, at the present time; are loudly calling for their proper recognition alongside the Three R’s, and the higher subjects of the Code. But, not only was Marie Ireland to be "entertained," in the sense of the French word, from which it is derived - entretenir - or as we should rather say, to-day, "maintained" in good erudition, but, also, “in vertuous and decent qualities.” That ethical training was to be given which is somewhat an unfulfilled desideratum, I fear, in much of our modern educational system.

The guardians, also, it will have been observed, covenant to protect the property and lands of the ward, during her minority, from all damage that might by any possibility befall them. Among other misadventures is specified the “ymbescellynge” of title deeds. One hardly recognises the word “embezzling” under this quaint disguise of phonetic spelling. Reference is, also, made in the Indenture, to the “Livery and Ousterlemayne,” before the presentation whereof certain things were to be done. What did these old-fashioned terms denote? "Livery" signified the Writ, by which the heir was enabled to obtain the possession of his lands, when he came of age, from the King's hands; and "Ousterlemaine" [fr. oter la main] meant the judgment given and the writ that followed for the ousting of the guardian’s hand of possession from the heir’s estate, by virtue of which all the ties that had bound

the estate to the Crown, during the minority, were loosened and dissolved. The age, at which it is stated Marie Ireland would attain her "full age," is sixteen, but a girl was supposed to be a woman at fourteen, though, for the benefit of the feudal budget, she remained in tutelage two years longer, when she was said to be of "full age." When the heiress was fourteen years of age, the Lord of whom her lands were held, might, as old Lytelton tells us, during “the two years next following the sayde xiiii. yeare tender a convenient mariage, without disperaginge of sucha an heire female. And it the Lorde do not tender her such mariage with the said ii. yere, then she may enter, and put out ye Lorde." We shall see, by and bye, what course was taken, in this regard, by Marie Ireland.


The Royal Seal of the Court of Wards and Liveries attached to the deed is imposing and fairly well preserved. It represents the royal arms of that time, viz.: a shield in which are quartered, firstly, the Lilies of France, and, secondly, the Lions of England, upborne by two naked children, and supported by the golden lion and red dragon. These arms of Elizabeth are similar to those employed her brother, Edward, and her father, King Harry. Beneath the boys who carry the shield are the words: Orphanis et viduis adjutrix, and, of course, round

the rim of the seal, the usual inscription, Elizabetha Dei gratia, etc. I fear one has expatiated too largely upon this ancient document. Ravenous a nos moutons.


In a previous article, I stated that I knew little of John Royde and his family, save the fact of his marriage with Hugh Ireland's widow, and of his appearance in the list of those who contributed to the subsidy, in the year 1588-9. Since that statement was made, some researches at Wakefield and York have revealed a few facts - insignificant as the world counts significance - regarding the Roydes of Rydieshaw and Beestonhirst, in Soyland. A casual deed at Shibden Hall was the clue-giver. It appears, then, that John Royde, of Stoney Royd, was son of Robert Royde, of Rydieshaw, an estate that consisted, in 1593, of two messuages or houses, and 9¼ acres of land, meadow, and pasture, the reversion of a third part whereof, after the-deaths of Robert Royde, his father, and of John Rovde, his uncle, the new master of Stoney Royd, John Royde, of that ilk, settled for life, as her dower upon his wife, Agnes. A condition was, nevertheless, attached to this wedding gift, for Agnes was to lose her dower in the Rydieshaw estate, if, within a year after his decease, she failed to pay her husband's debts, which appear, by the way, to have been, by no means inconsiderable. The Roydes, it may be taken for granted, took their name from the estate known as "The Royd," in Soyland, and branches of them - all, as evidenced by ancient documents, related -were dwelling, at the end of the sixteenth century, and subsequently, at Rydieshaw, Beeston-hirst, Brownehill, and Stanningden. In the Great Tithes composition, made in ]536, between the Prior of Lewes and the tithepayers of Halifax parish, occur the names of Robert Royde, assuredly, the Robert Royde, of Rydieshaw, who was father of John Royde, of Stoney Royd; of John Royde, of Beestonhirst - then known as Bitchstonhirst - and of another John Royde, who, dwelt at Brownehill- all places in Soyland. The writer spent a pleasant afternoon this

week, in Soyland, endeavouring to discover the ancient home, Rydieshaw, of the ancestors of John Royde, of Stoney Royd, but the oldest inhabitant failed to recognise the name; Beestonhirst, on the contrary, was quickly identified, and straightway visited. The will of Robert Royde, father of the Occupant of Stoney Royd, is preserved at York. It is dated 12 Jan. 1597, and is both curt and uninteresting. It only deals with four and a half acres of freehold, and half an acre of copyhold land, which the testator held in the graveship of Sowerby, wherein was included Soyland - which he describes as being in his own tenure, and that of Edward Dison. Of this, he leaves the reversion, after his death, and that of his wife, Agnes, to Robert Crosley, Thomas Hanson, George Firth, and John Riley, who had married his four daughters, out of which reversion, they are to pay forty shillings to Robert Bentley of Snape, and forty shillings to the wife of James Brereley. The residue of his goods he leaves to Agnes, his wife and executrix. The witnesses are Martin ffeild, Edmund ffirth, and Richard Royde, and the will was proved, at York, 12 April, 1597" by the executrix. The Richard Royde who figures among the witnesses to this will, was, it would appear, the Richard Royde who owned Beestonhirst, son and heir of, John, of the same homestead, who was one of the compounders, in 1536. In 1593 or 4, this Richard Royde surrendered to the use of Grace Holroyd, daughter of Gilbert Holroyd, of Cawcroft, "whom the said Richard quickly means to take to wife," three closes, called Overend-feild, the Stony-cote-feild, and the Holme, for the term of her life. In 1614, we find Michael Royde, of Staningden, described as son and heir apparent of this Richard of Beestonhirst, when he surrendered a lease he held of that property and of another messuage.


Beestonhirst has now fallen on evil days. There are three houses which seem to have borne, and two that now bear, the name. First, Beestonhirst Hall, now called Thrum Hall, a very fine ashlar built seventeenth century house, with good window labels terminating in grotesque heads, and well executed gable finials. Watson, our local historian, enumerating some of the influential old families of Soyland, mentions among the rest, "Royd, of Beestonhirst, now Thrum Hall." But on this building, which must have been the "capital mansion-house" of the family, no date nor initial could I detect. There are two other houses, bearing the name, Beestonhirst, a little farther up the Rochdale-road, on the low side thereof.

The upper one is sadly dilapidated, but has many dates and initials carved over its doorways. Those over the entry of the barn are the most evident, and are R. 1672. S. R. Over a second doorway are inscribed the initials and date, R.R. - S.R. 1678, and over yet another entrance, the letters S. R., and date, 1707, indicate that one of the couple had been taken, and

the other left. The buildings, as the dates indicate, are of varying age, but one small piece of ancient walling may well have, formed part of the older structure which was standing in the sixteenth century. Lower Beestonhirst, a small farm-house, not far removed, is comparatively modern, and entirely uninteresting. It may be mentioned, however; that over the barn door is the date, 1765, and the initials, I.S.S.


John and Agnes Royde, or Stoney Royde, were not destined to walk the path at life together long. On the 30th May, 1592, he made his last will and testament, leaving his "sowle into the handes of Almightie God, my maker, trustinge and faythfully believinge

etc." He desires to be buried “in the church or church garth of Halifax,” amongst the bodies and bones of other faithful people of Christ there to remain and abide, until, &c. He desires that Holy Church have her rights and duties of and in his goods, after his decease, according to the Laws and Statutes of this realm of England. His debts are to be paid, and are thus stated: Adam Hill, on bond, £12 10s; George Crossley, on bond, £22; Hughe Gledhill, on bond, £12: Henrie Ballarde £4; Thomas Cosyn, £4 10s.; William Scolefeld, 30s.; Henrie

Penmyngton, 30s.; Robert Starke. 51s.; Robert Lawe 17s.; Arthur Boye, £7 4s. 8d.; George Stockes 14s. 2d.; Mr. Cowper, 26s. 8d.; His uncle, John Royde, 40s. The debts due to him are thus set forth: Michaell Carter, £.6 6s. 8d., due at Martinmas last past. Item, more of him for Whitsunday rent last past, £3 6s. 8d.. Item more of him for a corslet, 30s. Thomas Cosyn. for a cow summering, 18sa.; John Haldsworthe, for the like, 18s.; Robert Threaplande, for a cow grassing. 18s, if she tarryeth, the whole "gyst," otherwise 12d. a week for so long time as she tarrieth. William Marcer, butcher 20s.; John Asden, 8s. Certain debts owing to the testator in the right of his wife, "the third part whereof Marie Ireland is to be made account of, if they will be gotten," follow. Imprimis, by George Royde, in part of a debt, 9s. 6d.; Gecrge Claye, in part of a debt, 26s. 4d.; William Carter, of Norland. in part of a debt, 52s. 6d.; Henry Haghe, 12s.; George Boulton (the tenant of Shaw Hall], £6 1s. 6d; Edmund Hargreaves, £3. The testator’s children, Sara and Bridget, are to be provided for out of the real estate, after his debts have been satisfied, and Agnes, his wife, is to have all the goods, or, as we should say, his personal estate. To her, also, is committed the tuition of Sara

and Bridget, the children, and she is named executrix The witnesses are Henry Preistley and John Hemyngewaye.

John Royde died within nine months of the making of his will, which was proved at York, by the widow, 5 Feb., 1593. It is to be noticed that his father, Robert Royde, and uncle, John Royde, of Rydieshaw, both survived him, and that he left behind him two

daughters, Sara and Bridget, in the, custody of his widow, Agnes, who "entertained" them, doubtless, in “good erudition, and vertuous and decent qualities,” along with their half-sister, Marie Ireland, at Stoney Royd; despite the trifling circumstance that the reversion of her dower in Rydieshaw was, as yet, an estate existent only in expectancy.

John Royde, of Siddall - as described in his will- desired to be buried in the church, or church-garth of Halifax, but there is no entry of his burial in the register there. The use of the north-country word, "garth," is somewhat uncommon in our ancient local documents, and is very Scotch; yet it evidently is derived - as Jamieson, in his "Scottish Dictionary," states - "from the Anglo-Saxon, geard; an inclosure, also a garden."


It will be remembered that John Royde, very shortly before his death, had made a family settlement of his reversionary interest in the paternal estate of Rydieshaw, in Soyland. The feoffees - trustees, we should now call them - were to hold one-third part thereof for the use of his widow, Agnes, for life, and two thirds for that of his daughters and heirs, Sara and Bridget, together with the reversion, after her death, of their mother's third, in fee. There was, however, a condition annexed to the gift to the widow, for if she failed to pay an her late husband's debts, within a year of his decease, the feofees were empowered to sell part, or all the estate in order to wipe out those debts. It appears that the good lady was not able, or not disposed, to discharge in full, ther late departed husband’s liabilities; and so, we find, that Robert Preistley, of Baitings, George Rawneslawe of the Cliff, George Firth, and John Riley, of Soyland - the feoffees - had to mortgage three closes, called Firfeild;. Redbrincke, and the Meanefeild, in Stanningden, and the reversionary interest in Rydiehsaw, to John Hoile, of Stanningden, for the sum of £29, which sum the said John Hoile had paid to Adam Hill, and Hugh Gledhill, two of John Royde’s creditors. These two persons, as the will informs us, claimed £12 10s., and £12, respectively, which sums were secured to them by bond. The difference between the total of these amounts, £24 10s, and the £29 paid, represents, I suppose, the interest on the principal. There is the usual equity of redemption clause, and the principal is to be repaid “as or in the Chapel commonly called,


on the 4th. Jan. 1579, between. the hours of 12 and 4, p.m.” If default should be made in the payment of the principal, or any part thereof, at the prescribed day, place or hours, the mortgage was to be foreclosed. It is to observed that churches and chapels - i.e., Church of England chapels, for none others were tolerated - in these and the time preceding being the only covered places large enough for the assembly of any considerable number of people, were not infrequently used for secular purposes. Thus, the Great Tithe Composition, for instance, in 1536, was read before the whole parish, convened for the purpose in meeting, within the walls of Halifax Parish Church.


Bargains, even, were made and excuted in the church porch, and sums of money were often agreed to be made payable at the highe altar itself. Deeds, of which the curate was wont to be the draughtsman, were "sealed and delivered" in the church. On one occasion, for example, from some nearly contemporary Star Chamber Proceedings, we learn, on the testimony of witness, that a certain Henry Thomas came into the chamber of Sir William Saltonstall - a whileom curate of Halifax - and said to him:- “You made me an indenture between Mr. Waterhouse and me for my tithe hay and corn," and two other witnesses deposed that they "were present in the church of Halifax at the time of the ensealing and delivery of the said indenture." Little incidents like this serve to illustrate the manners and customs of those bygone days.

The Archbishop's License for leave to have low masses and other divine offices celebrated in Ripponden Chapel for the benefit of Soyland, Rishworth, Bottomley, and Barkisland, is dated 1465, and is given in full, in Watson's History. The original chapel was, we may remind ourselves, rebuilt in 1612. The second edifice was so injured by the great flood, in May, 1722, that it was demolished, and a third was consecrated in 1737, which has given place in modern times, to the church that stands today. An assignment of the "stalls," in the Chapel, was made, in 1582, and to John Royde, perhaps, the uncle of John Royde; of Stoneyroyd, were allotted "two rooms," i,e., two seats, in one of the three long stalls, which stood in the chancel. In 1691, an agreement was made, whereby the township of Soyland was to pay half the minister's “wages,” Barkisland and Rishworth contributing the other half. The total salary was £40, and the minister was to be elected and chosen by the chief inhabitants of the several towns within the chapelry.

Little more remains to be said regarding the Royde family. A deed, at Shibden, informs us that Sara and Bridget, John Royde's two daughters, arrived at the state of womanhood, for in February, 1614, Bridget Royde of "Sowthowrome," described as "spinster," and as "one of the daughters and coheirs of John Royde, late of Siddall, deceased," surrendered, according to the custom of the Manor of Wakefield, her third

part of the Rydieshaw estate, in Soyland, to Abraham Royde, of Soyland, yeoman, and the sixth part of one of the other three parts into which the estate had been divided by the family settlement, made in 1592, by her father, John Royde, of Stoney Royd. The purchase money was £106 13s. 4d. The witnesses to the deed are Henry Haldsworth, Michael Holdsworth; Richard Royde, and Joseph Drake, the latter being the lawyer in whose chamber the deed was drawn and engrossed. It will have been, perhaps, noticed that Bridget describes herself as of Southowram, and therefore seems to have been residing at Stoney Royd with her half-sister, the young heiress of that estate, Marie Ireland. The latter, in 1614, had, however, long ceased to be an "infant," and had, some thirteen years before, escaped the shackles of her wardship, and had obtained from the Court of Wards and Liveries the uncontrolled possession of her lands. It will, perhaps be within the reader's recollection, that she was stated, at her father, Hugh Ireland's death, in 1591, to be two years old, and over. Supposing she was then not two, as stated, but four, she had numbered only fourteen years when she was married to the husband, whom I suppose, her mother found and and “tendered” to her. This husband proves to be


Who became the owner of that estate, in virtue, of his marriage with the juvenile heiress. His signature, we stated, heads the list of witnesses who were present at the sealing and delivery of the indenture recording Bridget Royde’s sale of her interest in her paternal

inheritance at Rydieshaw. We have now, therefore, to turn our attention to the new possessor of Stoney Royd, Henry Haldsworth, and the Haldsworth family. He was the son of William Haldsworth, of the Place, Southowram, and the father by Marie Ireland of a son, James Haldsworth, whose only daughter and heiress married Samuel Lister, of Overbrea, Northowram, lineal ancestor of the writer of these lines. This latter circumstance naturallv accounts for the survival at Shibden Hail of so many time-stained documents relating to the Haldsworth, Royd, and Ireland families. Henrv Haldsworth and Marie Ireland were married

7th, October, 1601, by license, as recorded in Paver's “Marriage Licenses,” he being described as of Southowram, and she of Coley. It would seem, then, that at the date of her marriage Marie Ireland was not dwelling at Stonev Royd, but that she and her mother,

Agnes Royde, had found a home within the chapelry of Coley. From the records of the Pious Uses Commission we learn that an Agnes Royde, of Northowram, very possibly the heiress's mother, bequeathed by will £5 towards the maintenance of a preacher at Coley



It is manifest that all the numerous families of Haldsworth - now spelled Holdsworth - sprang, originally from the hamlet of that name, and are derived from various individuals who, when surnames were yet in an uncrystallized state, took name from the locality in

which they had their place of abode. Holdsworth was soon too strait for them, and in yet early times, we find them migrating into Southowram, Sowerby, Halifax, and other foreign places, where they continued to call themselves after the dear old country from whence they had issued forth. The forefathers of Henry Haldsworth, of Stoney Royd, had 1ong been

settled in Sowerby and in Norland. His great-grandfather was John Haldsworth, of Sowerby, who figures frequently in ancient copies of Court Rolls resting at Shibden Hall, and in the original rolls that, dusty and sometimes rat-gnawn, repose in the strong but gloom, muuiment-room of the Manor Court Offices, at Wakefield. He was


of wasteland, this old John Haldsworth, of the days of King Henry the Seventh. Yet, in all his enclosures of the common land, he seems, as was his bounden duty, always to have sought, as a preliminary, the sanction of the Lord of the Manor. In those barbarous days,

moreover, the Lord of the Manor was not quite so free to grant that sanction as he has shewn himself to be of recent years. The “custom” - and custom then was stronger than law - required, we learn from an original document, that “when any tenant, or tenants,

doth or do desire any parcel of the commons, in our court, that there be sworn twelve tenants and proclamation be there thrice made, where a multitude of the people are assembled, whether it be for the hurt of the tenants or not, and if it be found for the hurt, it shall not be received in the said court,….. and if any shall make fine in our court within our lordships, for any waste, and twelve men be not first sworn on the occasion, and proclamation be not made in such form as aforesaid, that then those tenants to whom it (i.e., the enclosure) is hurtful, and other tenants with them shall go to the inclosure and make it common again not inclosed, nor at any time after to be inclosed.” But to-day, when a building syndicate - Let us spare our breath, for comparisons between those dark servile ages and this age of light and liberty may be deemed by some to border on the boundaries of blasphemy against the sacred, zeitgeist. However, with the consent of the Lord of the Manor and the assent of the neighbouring commoners, John Haldsworth's estate seems to have grown piecemeal, larger and larger as his years grew shorter. Patiently and ploddingly he, and his neighbours also, fructified acre and half-acre of the sterile moorland. In 1491, he is paying his fine of 2d. to the Lord of the Manor for permission to enclose one little rood of land, half of which lies between a close called Rideyng on the east, and the Cartgate on the west, and the other half under Astley Hedge, on the nartb, and the Cartgate leading to Gilbert Crowder's tenement on the south. In 1494,) he is annexing three roods of waste land in Warley, abutting on Hartley-royd Clough on the east, on a certain well, or stream, near Peel House, on the west, on Hartley-royd on the north, and one road leading from Warley Miln and his own land on the south. In the Year of Our Lord 1500, he fares to the Manor Court of Sir John Savile, Knt., the Lord of Norland, and obtains a rood of waste land in that manor, lying between the “Holyngage” - i.e., Hullinedge - on the south, and a certain stream called "Riborne" on the north, a parcel of land called Bottom-holme on the west, and one called Slachey on the east. The rent is one penny, being at the usual fixed rate of 4d. per acre, and the witnesses to the deed of grant are John Rayner, John Clay, and William Rayner; while Nicholas Sayvile was appointed his attorney by Sir John Savile to deliver to John Haldsworth the seisin and possession of the rood of barren land granted to him. I have quoted these placenames because, perchance, some Sowerby or Norland reader may be a bit interested in endeavouring to identify the localities. In 1497, good old John Haldsworth - so be it that piety and goodness go together - set his soul at rest, before his long night came, by making a settlement of his property on those who were to follow him. So, at the Manor Court at Wakefield, he surrenders, on trust, to his son, James Haldsworth, and John Waterhouse, senr., half an acre of land with the buildings thereon, in the occupation of of John Burnelay; 3 roods in Warley in the occupation of John Whelewright; 3½ acres, with one new house thereon, in the occupation of John ffairebanke; and 3 acres lying between Brokwell, on the east, and Smethes on the west, in "Soureby;" together with a rent charge of 6s. 8d" payable out of certai, lands and tenements called Moldlaghton, then in the, occupation of John Wodd, in Sowerby. The John Wodd, i.e., Wood, out of whose lands the 6s, 8d. rent-charge was drawn, was the owner of


where there still stands a fine old example of the domestic architecture of our forefathers. Wood-lane Hall, if one judged it mainly by its external appearance, would, as its carved dates express, be attributed altogether to the sixteenth century. But the plan is a fifteenth century plan, and oaken posts and beams within plainly tell us that the seventeenth century builders but encased with stone the original timber structure, as was the seventeenth century habit in so many instances in the parish of Halifax. Wood-lane, for centuries the home of the Wood family, became, in this latter century, the property of the Deardens, and they are to be thanked for its uncommonly graceful exterior. How charming is that porch with its circular traceried chamber window !


The will of John Haldsworth, of Sowerby, has been printed by Mr. J. W. Clay in his excellent little publication - which it is to be hoped he will complete - entitled “Halifax Wills.” It is dated 20 June, 1508. He desires to be buried - and this marks him off as a man of substance - in the Parish Church of St. John Baptist, "Halyfax." He leaves to the

Vicar of that church his best animal as his mortuary gift, or, as we have otherwhere seen it called -"corpse-present." He loved the beauty of God's house, it seems; for he leaves towards the decoration of the high altar, 3s. 4d. For the privilege of burial inside the church, “when it shall please God's mercy to call me from this world," he leaves 6s.8d. To the building fund of the church he bequeaths. 6s. 8d., and to his son, James, also, is left the same sum. The residue of his estate is to go to his wife, Isabella, and his son, George, who are to act as executors. The supervisors of the will are: John Boothys; John Waterhows, of Warley; and Brian Otes; and the witnesses, Gilbert Clay, chaplain; Christopher Boothys, and John Gaukroger. The will was duly proved, 20 July, 1508, by the executors. John Haldsworth, of Sowerby, left two sons, George and James, of whom more anon.


John Haldsworth, the great-grandsire of Henry Haldsworth, of Stoney Royd - with whose will we concluded the last article - left behind him, as successors to his estates, two sons, George and James. The Sowerby property which George inherited comprised


an estate which. in the following century, was, together with Haughend, in the possession of the Tillotson family, of which the Archbishop of that name was such a shining light. It will, perhaps, have been noticed by the reader of these articles that, in the family settlement made by John Haldsworth, three acres wore mentioned as lying between Brockwell on the east, and Smethes (alias Smythie) on the west. This seems to correspond to the situation occupied by the Breck. Of Smythie, mention is made in the will of John Dykson, of Sowerby, dated 1517, who bequeathed a rent charge of 24s. To the Chapel of Sowerby, payable out of a certain tenement called by that industrial name. At Shibden Hall is preserved an original Court Roll, dated 26th November, 1507, whereby George Haldsworth, during his father's life, purchased from one John Gaukeroger - probably the same John Gaukeroger who was one of the witnesses to his father's will - a three acre close called Pigylhey, in Sowerby, lying on the south side of the house belonging to William Lomme, and bounded on the east by "Brokwell," on the west by the lands of Alexander Hopkynson, and on the north by the highway leading between Halifax and "Blakstonegge." This close of land seems to have lain quite adjacent to the Breck. It may be remarked that the highway leading to Blackstonedge is not the one by which the merry holiday tripper is carried thither to-day. A curious old arbitration award, written in the quaint English of King Harry’s time, and preserved among the other documents relating to the Haldsworth family in the posession of the writer, is, I think, worthy of reproduction here "in extenso." It is concerned with a dispute about land, which had arisen between our George Haldsworth, of the Breck, and William Brygg, of Field House, in Sowerby. But, before presenting it to the reader, a few words regarding this latter personage, William Brygg, may not be uninstructive, by way of preface.


This long-departed Sowerby worthy was, apparently, of a pious turn of mind, and, like that valiant old captain, Judas Maccabaeus, believed that "it is a good and wholesome thought to pray for the dead, that they may be loosed from their sins." Accordingly, he founded in October, 1524, a chantry, called after his name, situate in the north aisle of Halifax Church, adjoining to Archbishop Rokeby's Chapel, now commonly, but wrongly, known as the Waterhouse Chapel. From the Certificates, of the Commissioners appointed, in virtue of the Acts of Parliament, 37, Henry VIII., and I, Edward VI., to survey the Chantries, Guilds, Hospitals, etc., in the County of York, we learn that the object of William Brygg, of Field House, in establishing his chantry, was that prayer should be said for his soul, and for all Christian souls, and for the doing of divine service in Halifax Church on all festival days. For this object, we are further told, he had given up, by surrender, in the Manor Court, certain of his copyhold lands, in Sowerby, to the use of Laurence Waterhouse, and others, as feoffees, i.e. trustees, in order that they should pay yearly to the priest, who served the chantry, the sum of £4 13s.


But more may be learnt about the origin of the Brygg Chantry, in our Parish Church, from the perusal of its founder's will, which contains many points of interest. It is dated 12, Oct., 1533. William Brvgg therein directs that his body shall be buried in the parish church of St. John the Baptist at Halifax, “before the altar of my chauntrie, which I have founded on the north part of the said churche, adjoynyng unto on chapell, lately edified, and buylded by the Reverend, fader in God, lorde William Rokeby. Also I will that Richard Brig, of Warley, and the heires of his body lawfully begottyn, be patrons and defenders of and in my said chauntrie, which I have founded in the said church of Halifax, and the said Richard and his heires, to have the nomination and putting in of any such honest prest, as shall serve in the said chauntrie for ever; saying that I, William Brig, have promised and gevyn the said chauntrie to Sir Richard Brig, during his lif naturall."

The feoffees were to pay to Sir Richard, and to his successors, £4 13s. 4d. yearly, at Pentecost and Martinmas, and, in case of default, Sir Richard, or his successors were to have power to enter “unto the hoole lands nowe in the holdyng of Gilbert Sharpe, Gilbert Wod, Thomas Sharpe, and Henry Flecher, lyeing on the south parte of on hie waye ledyng from the common, called Sowerby Moore, unto the house of George Halddesworth, called Breke.” The testator gives to John Brig and his heirs "one place" of land, called the Field House, with all the buildings thereto belonging. "Also I gif and bequeath x.s. to bye ii. candlesticks and other things necessarie to the said altar and chauntrie. Also, I bequeath to the makyng of on stone brig, at Riponden, vii.s. vi.d."


When William Brygg instituted his chantry, in 1524, the Reformation was not in view. Only three years previously, King Henry VIII. had received from His Holiness the Pope in reward for the book he had written against Luther, the title of Defender of the Faith, and four years were yet to elapse ere the conscientious king began to entertain any scruples as to the legality of his marriage with his good Queen, Katharine of Aragon. But, in 1533, when William Brygg made his last will and testament, matters ecclesiastical were in a more tickle state, and, in the preceding year, the first. blow had been struck toward the severing of the bonds of union which had, from the earliest times of English Christianity, linked this country of ours with the See of Rome. The Act for restraining all appeals to Rome had been passed. The year following the date of the will was passed the notable Act abolishing the authority of the Pope in England. But, though the centre of ecclesiastical authority was thus shifted from the Pope to the King, little or no change was made, as is well known, in the doctrine of the Church. The chantries continued, and the priests continued to pray therein for the souls of the "faithful departed", - but not for long. During the space of twelve years subsequent to his death, the wishes of William Brygg, of Field House, were faithfully performed. In 1545, however, the fate which had fallen a few years earlier on the monasteries, fell also on the chantries, guilds, and hospitals of England. Be it noted, however, that the motive alleged for their suppression, was not founded upon any doctrinal ground. The preamble to the Act of 1545 states boldly that money was required for the war against the French and Scotch, and, therefore, the possessions of the chantries and other foundations could be conveniently sold to provide the same. Commissioners for Yorkshire were appointed in February, 1546, to enquire into the origin and purposes of the chantries, etc. and seize to the King's use their lands and revenue. They had not accomplished their task when King Harry died.


Another Act was passed, in the first year of his son’s reign, entitling the new and youthful King Edwrad VI., or rather, his Ministers, to receive the benefits to the Crown accruing under the earlier Act. This statute, in its preamble, unlike that of his father's, gives doctrinal reasons for the dissolution of the chantries, and describes as superstitions the doctrines of purgatory and the practice of masses for the dead. The preamble goes on to suggest that the possessions of these foundations might be better bestowed in erecting grammar schools, augmenting the Universities, and making provision for the poor and needy. This brave idea was scarcely carried out at all. It was found, in 1548, that the Crown was unable to support the charges of sundry fortifications and levying of men, and it was likely that expeditions would have to be sent into Scotland and Ireland, for which the Lord Protector Somerset and the Council perceived “nothing to be so much lacking as money.” So, for this truly educational purpose - "the holy text pike and drum"- large portions of the chantry lands were put up for sale, and converted into the sinews of war. It does not seem that, out of the revenues of the suppressed chantries, any grammar school founded by King Edward VI, at any town in Yorkshire, where one had not previously existed. This is not the writer's unfounded statement, but is based upon the reports of the Charity Commissioners. Mr. A. F. Leach - a gentleman not unknown to governors of our present grammar schools - has disposed of the idea which Green and other historians have maintained, that Edward VI. was the founder of English education. “The unique opportunities which the dissolution of the chant ries presented for advancing the cause of education was practically lost,” writes Mr. William Page, the editor of the volume of the Surtees Society, in which have been publised the certificates of the Chantry Commissioners.


The Yorkshire Commissioners, when they visited Halifax, found that, at the date of their visit, one Edward Hoppay was officiating as priest - incumbent they called him - in William Brygg’s Chantry, in the Parish Church, and was receiving the salary of £4 13s. 4d., less the tenth to the King, payable out of the Field House Estate. He is stated to be 50 years of age, and to have no other source of income than the profits of the chantry. The "goods" belonging to the chantry are valued at 3s. 4d., and the plate - including the two candlesticks, I suppose, bequeathed in the founder’s will, and there priced at 10s - at £2 7s., the weight of the plate, parcel gilt, being returned at 11 ounces three quarters. Richard Brygg was, at the date of Commissioners' Enquiry, responsible for the payment of the priest's salary. It is noticeable that in the certificates of the other chantries of the Halifax Church the commissioners describe the goods and plate as nil. This spoil was only discoverable in the case of William Brygg's foundation. One does not see exactly, how the masses were said without chalices, patens, &c. Had the heirs of the founders, forecasting coming events, reclaimed them? Or, were they deposited some safe place awaiting the blowing over of the storm of spoliation? However this may be, in Brygg's chantry alone did the commissioners discover any valuables. Edward Hoppay, the, priest, was pensioned off, after the suppression of his office, with the sufficient sum of £4 per annum for the term of his natural life. So ended the chantry of William Brigg, of Field House.


It will, haply, have been remarked that William Brygg, though he was mainly concerned about his soul’s health, left the sum of 7s. 6d. to the making of a stone bridge at Ripponden. This seems to give us the date of the erection of the earliest bridge made

in mason work at this place. I do not know whether any portion of this old bridge remains to-day, but the thing is not unlikely. The building of bridges and maintenance of roads were considered, and rightly so, by our forefathers to be religious duties and works of piety, and indulgences were not infrequently granted by bishops for such objects. The celebrated bridge as Avignon, in France, was built by a religious order, Jailed the "freres pontifes," or Bridge Brothers, who were banded together for the execution of such splendidly useful human service.


We must now - after this long parentheses - return to the document from which we have been drawn aside by the appearance therein of the name of William Brygge, the chantry founder.

This awarde indented, made the ixth daye of Maye, in the xvth yere of the reign of Kyng Henrye the eight, Betwix William Brygge, of that oone partye, And George Haldeworth of that other partye, Witnessith that both the seyde partyes of theire owne voluntarie assent have submytted theymselffes to Abyde, observe, ffullffyll, and kepe the awarde, ordynaunce, dome; and judgment of us John Lacye, Squyer, John Waterhouse, of Halifax, and John Smyth, of the Helme, withyn the townshipp of Sourbye, of, in, for, and upon all maner of maters, traverses, titles, and demaundes concernyng certen landes and tenementes with thappurtenaunces, in Sourbye, by the name of all the landes and tenementes called the ffelde House, in Sourbye afforesayde, hadde, moved, stirred, or dependyng betwix the seyde partyes from the begynnyng of the World unto the makyng hereof. Wherefore, We, the seyde Arbitours, takyng the payne and laboure to here and understood the declaracons, answers, replica cons ands; and rejoyndres of both the seyde partyes of and in the premises, first, by goode deliberacon, awarde, and deymeinge, juge and deme that the seyde George Haldeworth, at all tymes hereafter, when he is so required, shall put his help and forderaunce to the seyde William Brygge, and his heires, to be courted and lawfully seased of and in the seyde landes and tenementes, called the ffeld house, and, ymmediately after the seyde Courtyng, We awarde and deme that the seyde William Brygge shall courte, after the custome of the maner, the seyde George Haldeworth and his heires of and in a parcell of lande, in Sourbye afforseyde, parcell of the seyde lands and tenementes, called the ffelde house, as it is now merked and bounded by us the seyde Arbitours, paying therefore yerely such ffermes as the seyde parcell standeth in mesure for, the which Courtyng lawfully to be doone and hadde to the seyde Wiliam Brygge and his heires of and in the seyde landes and tenementes, called the ffeld house, we awarde and deme that the seyde William Brygge shall paye or cause to be payde to the seyde George Haldeworth and his certen attorney, executors, or assignes, xx. marke of goode and lawfull money incontynent upon the seyde Courtyng, as is expressed. In witenes whereof, we, the seyde John Lacye, Sqyer, John Waterhouse, and John Smyth to this our award indented enterchaungeablye have sette our seales. Giffen the daye and yere above rehersyd.

Of the three seals once attached to this deed, only that of John Waterhouse remains, bearing a simple I., the initial of his Christian name.


We catch other glimpses of the life of George Haldsworth, on this sublunary planet, besides that of the role he played as one of the parties in the Arbitution Award quoted in the last article. In 1516, he appears in a deed, relating to an estate in Shibden, formerly known as Dove House, the old mansion of which is now occupied by the Shibden Industrial School. In this deed, dated 1516, he, and, apparently, his brother James, are named, with others, as "feoffees to usas" - trustees - on behalf of the Oldfelds, the then owners, in connection with a family settlement of the property. We shall have something more to say about the Oldfeld folk presently.


George Haldsworth, of the Breck, like his father, John, was a man of ample means. This is proved by his contribution to the national taxation. When, in 1524, a subsidy was granted by Parliament to Henry the Eighth, to enable him the better to fight the French, the owner of the Breck paid thereto the sum of 20s., assessed on his goods, valued at £20. The bulk of his wealth, it appears, accrued from trade, and not from land. This was the case generally in the township of Sowerby, the sum of £4 18s. being raised there from the taxation of capital, while only 6s. 8d. was levied from land. The latter, we note, was, in this subsidy, only rated at 6d. in the £, "Goods," on the other hand, were chargeable at 2s. But this circumstance does not materially detract from the disproportion that existed, between the industrial and agricultural wealth of the district.


What trade was George Haldsworth engaged in? The fact that, in the year that he paid his 20s; to the subsidy, we find him obtaining in the Manor Court of Wakefield, leave to enclose a piece of waste ground, together with a water-course easment, lying to the west of Sowerby-Brig - i.e; the bridge itself - that he, also, in 1527-8, purchased from Robert and Elizabeth Hargreaves, not only the moiety of a messuage, two cottages, and nineteen acres of land, but also the fourth part of a "fulling mill," and, in the same year, obtained from Richard Crowder; the reversion of "a watercourse, on the Rybum, running from the head of Bothom-holme to the folling mill built on the east side of the same Bothom-holme" - all these circumstances sufficiently indicate the character of his occupation. But, besides being employed in the fulling business, he also practised another brancn of the woollen trade, to wit, that of a clothier, i.e, a cloth maker. That great father of the Church, St. Jerome, says that, “trade is dangerous for the soul," since it is scarcely possible for those engaged in it not sometimes to act deceitfully. And our northern clothiers seem, in Tudor days, at any rate, in London, to have been somewhat more than suspected in regard to the honesty of their manufactures. There is preserved in the Public Record Office


which has recorded, for more than three centuries, and will probbaly record for a few hundred years yet, the trade delinquencies of our sixteenth century manufacturers. This black list is headed: "Names of those who make woollen cloths with woof called ‘flocke.’'' The weaving in; or mixing of flocks with their work, was one of the offences which, although it was not visited with such painful punishment as that of denying the Royal Supremacy, called down the wrath of King Harry upon the heads of the clothiers of the West Riding. A royal commission was, in 1533, appointed to hold Enquiries, at various Yorkshire towns. At Leeds, the Commissioners were not over successful in their investigations. Sir Marmaduke Constable, writing from Everingham, 3 Oct., 1533, to Thomas Cromwell, says: "According to the King's Commission for reformation of 'flokking' of cloths, in the west part of Yorkshire, Sir John Nevyll, John Pullayn, and I sat at Leeds, among divers of the cloth makers, but, by all the policy we could devise, could not obtain proof against the great number of the offenders." Larger success seems to have been met with at Halifax, for a return of 181 names of offenders in our parish, with the number of cloths seized from each maker as faulty, was carried up to London by Sir Marmaduke. Moreover, it appears that this list was submitted to H.M. King Harry, for in his Secretary, Cromwell's "Book of Rcmembrances," we read: "To remember such as have caused cloths to be flocked in the north, and to know the King’s pleasure." In the roll of those to be "remembered," occurs the name of our George Haldsworth, of the Breck, who had been detected as a "flocker" in the matter of two woollen cloths, three being the maximum ascertained delinquency of the biggest offenders. These biggest offenders were John Mawde, of Hill ; Richard Best, of Holdsworth; Richard Waterhouse, of Northowrome, and Thomas Oldefeld, son of James Oldfeld. Are we so much better to-day than our ancestors were in 1533? Were the present Queen to send commissioners to Halifax to inquire into the modern processes of our

woollen and cotton manufactures, would all our manufacturers escape therefrom scatheless? Though flocks be not blended with our woollen stuffs, does every Christian refrain from adding watery weight to cotton yarns?


We learn from the Fines recorded at Westminster, in 1549, that George Haldsworth, of Sowerby Bridge, along with a Richard Clay, was the purchaser of a messuage and cottage with lands, in Norland and Rishworth, from Charles Stansfeld, Esq;, of Stansfeld.

The antiquity and prominence of the Stansfeld family in the parish of Halifax, are too well, known to need statement. The stock of the race, to which Charles Stansfeld belonged, was that which from a very remote period had its seat at Stansfeld Hall, and from which all the numerous branches of the family were offshoots. In the "History of the Stansfeld Family," by the late Mr. John Stansfeld, of Leeds, the Charles Stansfeld, from whom George Haldsworth made his Norland purchase, was second son of James Stansfeld of that ilk. He married a daughter of the Pilkington family, who were, at that time, the keepers under the Manor of Wakefield, of Errenden Park, and chief foresters of the Chace of Sowerby. Charles Stansfeld is stated, in a record dated 1544-5, to have held 4 messuages, a mill, and 40 acres of land, in Stansfeld, by military service of Sir Henry Savile, Knt. The title of “Esquire”, borne by him was not quite so all-pervading in our parish as it is today. In 1536 there were only five landholders who bore the title “esquire”, and but other five were honoured even with the less noble description of “gentleman”. All the rest of the landed folk were clothiers, yeomen, husbandmen. Nous avons change tout cela.

The lands in Norland purchased by George Holdsworth, of the Breck, were apparently situate at Longley, and in Queen Elizabeth’s time, belonged to a Gilbert Haldshworth, son of Gilbert, and evidently grandson of George, of the Breck.


Grandfather of Henry, of Stoney Royd, to whom, in 1541 - under the description of "James Haldsworth - son of George Haldsworth" - John Hargraves and Edward Oldefeld demised, for a term of twenty years, a rent charge of 10d. issuing out of a messuage and 6 acres of land in Warley.


were a very numerous family in Sowerby, Warley, and elsewhere, and, in 1504, had become possessed, by purchase from the Lacies, of Brearley, of the Dove House estate, in Shibden. Original charters tell us that Edward Oldfield. of Sowerby, joined with his brothers, Edmund, of the Place, Sonthowram, and Christopher and John, of Warley, in the year 1546, in a sale of a moiety of the property to another brother, James Oldfield of Holdsworth. John Hargreaves, the co-lessor of the rent-charge for which the messuage and 6 acres, in Warley, were liable, was, seemingly, the John, father of Robert Hargraves, whose name occurs in the following deed, which, as presenting us with another fair sample of the English speech of our forefathers of the earlier half of the sixteenth century, we offer to the reader in its full and flowing antique dress.


“This indenture made the xvith day of December, in the first yeire of the reigne of oure Sovereigue Lord Edward the Sexth [1547] by the grace of God, Kynge of yngland, france, and Ireland, defemder of the faythe, and, in erth, the Supreme hede of the Churche of yngland, and, also, of Ireland, Betwix Jamys Haldworth, of Northowrome, in the County of York., of that one partie, and Roberte Hargraves, sonne of John Hargraves, late of Warley, deceased, and Elizabeth Hargraves, wydow, late wife of the said John, and mother of the said Roberte, of that other partie; Witnessith that thafforsaid parties arre Covenaunted. condissended, and agreid, in maner and fourome folowyng, for and concernyng the particon and devision of one theire mease and all the landes, Cloises, and tenementes therto pertenyng, with appurtenaunces, in Warley, which were lately thenherintance of the said John Hargraves, And for the payment of certen Annuall rentes to the Roid prest, att Halifax; that is to witt, that the said Jamys Haldsworth, and his heires for ever shall have, use, and occupie for theire hole parte and porcon of the premisss., all the hole lathe and mystall, and all the gardyne there, and the halfe of the field next adjoinyng to the said lathe, And ii Cloises of land and medow, the one called the yang, and the other called Rough Cloise, and, also, one way and gate, and the libertie to and fro one Welle there, and to fetch and take water att and in the same Welle, att all tymes herafter. Aud, also, that the said Roberte Hargraves and Elizabeth, his mother, I and theires of the same Roberte, for ever, shall have, use, and occupie, for their holle parte and porcon of the said premisses, All the hole dwellyng howse there, and the other halfe of the said felde, and all the residue of the said ground there nott before lymytted to the partie of the said Jamys Haldsworth; And, also, it is ferther agreid and covenanted by bothe the said parties, and the said Roberte Hargraves and

Elizabeth, his.mother, Covenuantes and grauntes, by thies prsaentes that they, and theires of the said Roberte, shall yeirly pay and discharge all the rentes, Charges, and fermes, wich arre, or shalbe due to Sir John Waterhowse, now the rode prest, att Halifax, and his Successours, for all the said rentes and fermes, duryng xviii yeirs next commyng after the date herof; And, also, after thend of the said xviii yeire, to pay and yearly discharge the halfe of all the said rentes and fermes due, or to be due, apon all the said tenementes to the said prest, and his successours for ever. And, ferther, they are Agreid, that the Kynges rent, due apon the said tenementes, to be payd and borne evenly betwix theym, from henceforth for ever. In Witnes herof the parties before said to the parties of thies Indentures inter-changeablie hath Sette theire Sealles, the day and yeire above said."


In this indenture, James Haldsworth is described as “of Northowrome”. A few years later, 1557, we find him leasing Mytholm, in that township, of John Hemingway, whose mother Margaret, he, James, had taken to wife. But of this anon.

Robert Hargraves, with whom James Haldsworth made the partition of this Warley estate, was evidently, as has been said, son of John Hargraves, who together with Edward Oldfield, had demised to the said James, in 1541, the rent-charge of 10d. out of the same messuage and six acres in Warley, as the one with which this deed is concerned. I fear that Robert Hargraves, the son, was, to boot, the same Robert Hargraves, of Luddenden, whose name was sent up to Thomas Cromwell, as one of the offenders in the matter of flocking of cloth. One of the inglorious 181 in the parish of Halifax who practised this trick of trade.

It is pleasing, in the deed, to remark the use of the terms "lathe" and "mystall," which. if School Boards have their wilful way, will soon be ousted by the common-place words, "barn," and "cowshed." The reader will also note the pronunciation, in 1547, of the words, “close,” and “rood,” viz., “cloise,” and “roide.”


To the Rood Altar, that is the altar that stood beside the Rood or Crucifix, which formerly surmounted the chancel-screen in the Halifax Parish Church, reference has already been made in No. VIII. of these articles. In the indenture now under consideration, John Hargraves, and his heirs, undertook to pay the rent due out of his Warley estate to the rood priest, Sir John Waterhouse, for 18 years. After this term, they were to pay the moiety only. From the certificates of the Chantry Commissioners, of which much mention was made in last week's article, we learn that the lands of John Hargraves, in Warley, were charged for the support of the service at the Rood altar to the extent of 20s. yearly. "Sir" John Water-house, named in the deed, was still the rood priest when the Royal Commissioners held their enquiry at Halifax in 1548. He is stated to have been 47 years of age, and as having

nothing else to live upon, but the profits of the said chantry, which were worth £3 14s. net. We are further told, in the certificates of the Commissioner, that the Rood Service had been instituted by the parishioners of Halifax, who had “given divers parcels of land for the maintenance of the said service.” The service was, probably, of a previously long-standing

character. From the Wakefield Court Rolls we glean the fact that the benefaction to the Rood Service of 20s. per annum, out of the Hargraves property, at Warley, originated in 1527, when “Richard Best, Nicholas Hargraves, and John Wormewall surrendered one messuage and 6 acres of land, in Warley, to the use of John Hargraves and his heirs, on the condition

that the said John Hargraves and his heirs should ever pay annually to the churchwardens of the Parish Church of St. John the Baptist, in Halifax, and their successors, an annuity of 20s. for ever for the use and salary of an honest priest, and his successors, priests for the time being, to celebrate service, from year to year, at the Altar of the Holy Cross, within the said

Church of Halifax,"

It is significant that the arrangement made between the Hargraves and Haldsworth, as to the rood priest payment, was made only a year before the suppression of that service and the confiscation of its revenues.


In the year 1400, we discover a reference to the Rood Light. i.e., the candles ceremonially burnt before the Rood, otherwise Crucifix, which was associated with the above-mentioned Rood Service. In that year the Wakefield Court Rolls inform us, Richard, of Sunderland, Henry of the Wood, John Culpon, and Robert of Ovenden Wood, as well in their own names as on behalf of the whole community of the parish of Halifax. sought, by all action for debt, to recover of John Drake, the sum of 23s. 4d., and 5lbs. of wax, which,

they alleged, he had received of Thomas Smyth of Halifax, for the use of the Rood Light, in Halifax Church. The money and the wax had not been paid for forty years past, and the damages to the parish through such neglect, were assessed at 10s.



The endowments of the Chantries, which, in the preamble of the Act of Parliament of Edward VI., the nation was told were to be devoted to the cause of education, were, as has been stated and shown, scarcely used for that object at all, but were employed for warfare in Scotland and Ireland, and the enrichment of Court favourites. The rent-charges, which had been payable to the priests who said mass at the Altar of the Holy Rood, in Halifax Church, were sold by the Crown, and purchased by various speculators in such "inconsiderate trifles."


knt., we learn, became the proprietor, by grant from the Crown, of the 20s. annuity with which John Hargraves, of Warley, had charged his land towards the support of "an honest priest." Sir Thomas was a notable man, of whom much may be read in "Cartwright's Charters of Yorkshire History." Suffice it here to say that Queen Bess showed so much confidence in him as to give him, in conjunction with Sir Thomas Knollys, the command of the escort which conducted the unfortunate Mary, Queen of Scots, from Bolton to Tutbury. He, also did some measure of service at the time of the rebellion of the northern earls, and was

stationed on the outbreak of that affair, at Pontefract, with a large force. Strong was he for the rigorous repression of the Papists, and believed - to quote his own words - "That in King Henry the VIII’s days, sharpe lawes kept the evill quiett, wher nowe they be bothe ferce and stowte." He died, 28th March, 1579. It is from an Indenture, made the 16th September, 1561, that we learn that Sir Thomas Gargrave had purchased the 20s. rent charge given to the Rood Service, but, before this deed was executed, we find that James Haldsworth had bought the same back from that knightly personage. It will be remembered that the farm, in Warley, out of which the 20s. was payable, had belonged to the Hargraves family when the charge to the Rood priest was laid upon it. James Haldsworth had, afterwards, become the owner of a moiety of the property, and, by 1561, the whole had passed into his hands. In the Indenture in question, he bargained and sold the two messuages and seven acres then in the occupation of Richard Sherde and Richard Craven, of which the estate consisted, to one Gilbert Brokesbanke, of Warley, seaman. The clause relative to the rent charge, once pavable to the Rood Service, runs as follows: "And, furthermore, where the said landes and tenementes heretofore hathe heen charged with the payment of twenty shillynges of annuall reut to the late dissolved Chauntrye of the Rode prest, in the Church of Halifax, the

forsaid James Haldesworthe convenaunteth and graunteth to and with the said Gilbert Brokesbanke, by these indentures, that he, the said James Haldesworthe, before this tyme hath purchased and bought to hym and his heires, for ever, the said annuall rent of xx.s., by the surrender and upgyfte of Thomas Gargrave, knyght, and that he, the said James, shall delyver to the said Gilbert Brokesbanke, the copye of the Courte Rolle of Wakefeld, concernynge the same purchase, at the sealynge and delyverynge of these indentures." The price paid by Gilberte Brokesbanke, the purchaser, for the messuages and seven acres, was £60, and James Haldsworth and Gilbert Haldsworth, his brother, agreed to enter into a bond of £200 for the performance of the covenants contained in the Indenture. The witnesses are: William Deyne, of Old-rydynge; Richard Steade, Richard Craven, and John Maud, of Tremyngham; the last-named person being, apparently, the man of law who drafted and engrossed the deed.


Besides Sir Thomas Gargrave, another prominent politician and royal favourite - Sir Francis Walsingham, who has been described as “the most penetrating statesman of his time” - was interested in the confiscated revenues of the Rood Service. From the Patent Rolls, we learn that Queen Elizabeth, in the 29th year of her reign, granted to him and Francis Mylles, gent., among many more valuable possessions, including the manor

of Ilfracombe, the trivial rent-charge of 12d. per annum, with which the lands of a certain Gilbert Haldsworth, of Ovenden, were charged towards the maintenance of the Chantry of the Holy Rood, in Halifax Church. It is interesting, and, perhaps, disappointing, to observe in what a shameless fashion the object alleged to be the one for which the chantry rents were to be dedicated, viz., the endowment of education, was perverted into the endowment of the distinguished servants and favourites of the Crown. Whether the Gilbert Haldsworth, of Ovenden, from whose lands the 12d. per annum was payable, was the same Gilbert, brother of James, mentioned in the Indenture lately quoted. I cannot pretend, at present, to say.


In April, 1557, the third and fourth years of the reigns of "Philip and Mary, King and Queen of England" - the other pompous titles may interest some renders - "The Spains, France, Either Sicily, Jerusalem, and Ireland, Defenders of the Faith, Archduke of Austria. Duke of Burgundy, Milan, and Brabant, Count of Hapsberg, Flanders, and Tyrol," James Haldsworth, of "Shipden," purchased of the Ferrars, of Sowerby, a messuage and 34 acres of lands in Lightcliffe, and a parcel of land, lying in a certain close called “Sowthegge,” i.e., Southedge, with appurtenances, in Lightcliffe and Hipperholme, then in the occupation of Gilbert Haldesworth, together with a rent-charge of 8d., issuing from three closes of land, called Goracre, Heyrode Inge, and Fouracres, in the same township. On this occasion, Henry Ferrer, of Sowerby, released all his interest to the purchaser, but the property would seem to have been bought from Edward Ferrar. This I gather from the fine, assuring the purchase, which is recorded as passed the following year, wherein Edward, and his wife Margaret, are named in the technical language of those records the "Deforciants." The family of Ferrar, or Farrer, was one that held, especially in the Stuart times, a conspicuous place among our Halifax aristocracy. The Sowerby Farrers were, probably, akin to those of Ewood Hall, in Midgley, but of this I do not yet possess the proof. Perhaps, Margaret, Edward Farrer's wife, may claim more of our interest than her husband can vindicate, for the simple reason that of her life we possess more details. She was, by birth, a Wade, of Field House, in Sowerby, and was sister of Robert Wade, of that place. When last we had occasion to mention Field House, it was, it will be remembered, the property of William Brygge, who founded the Brygge Chantry in our Parish Church. But, seemingly, before 1557, it had passed into the hands of the Farrers, and was sold by Henry Farrer, presumably son and heir of Edward, to Robert Wade, Margaret Farrer's brother, Margaret, therefore, was aunt to poor Samuel Wade, son of her brother Richard, of Quickstavers (the latter being brother and heir to Robert), who was done to death by a dagger blow, received from young Michael Foxcroft, of Kebroyd, in consequence of a bitter dispute that had arisen between the said Samuel Wade and the Foxcrofts, his kinsmen, about a mortgage in connedion with Robucks, Magson House, and other property in the Luddenden district. This romantic tragedy remains on record in certain proceedings of the High Court of the Star Chamber, and was, many years ago, published by the writer in the columns of the “Halifax Guardian.”


On the death of Edward Farrar, his widow, Margaret, married a second husband, in the person of John Hanson, of Woodhouse, Rastrick, a member of a family eminent in the law, and having a large practice among our Elizabethan forefathers. He was a widower, having been previouslv married to Margaret Woodhead, of Howroyde, Barkisland. His marriage with Margaret, Edward Farrer's widow, was celebrated October 13th, 1572, at Elland Church. She survived her husband, who was buried at Elland, 17th June, 1599, his local celebrity being attested by the Clerk, who wrote the entry in the Register there, by the use of letters twice as large as those employed for the inscription of the names of ordinary Eliand mortals. John Hanson's will is dated 11th January, of the year in which he died. He mentions therein his late brother-in-law, Robert Wade - his wife Margaret Farrar's brother -

and gives to Dorothy Farrar, “my daughter-in-law and servant £5, and to the rest of my wife's children by her former husband, Edward Farrar, £5.”

John Hanson, also, bequeathed, among many other bequests that it would be beside the mark to insert here, the First Book of "Acts and Monuments of the Church," to his grandson. Robert Hanson; Rastall's Statutes, his book called "Supplementum Chronicarum," his "Bible in Latin of Jerome's translation," and one of his Precedent Books to John, his eldest son, and, to his son Thomas, a “Breviary of Health," by Dr. Board, and a book of “Chronicles.” [The extracts from this will are taken from Turner’s History of Brighouse.]

This John Hanson, by his former wife, Margaret Woodhead, had a son, John Hanson, who was an antiquary, as well as lawyer, of a more than local reputation. John, junior, had an only son, John Hanson, and, apparently; two daughters, who all died young. In a curious old M.S. book of heraldry, which has been stored for perhaps three centuries at Shibden Hall, is an interesting example of this good old antiquary's versifying power. His were the days, be it recollected, of the new learning, of the renaissance, of the revival of the golden verse of Homer and of Virgil. He, too, found his song among the sweeter singers of his day. The


that he composed on the occasion of the loss of this only son of his, referred to above, may, perhaps, be acceptable to some readers, if only for the perfume of human sentiment that it may diffuse among the dead, dry bones of these matter-of-fact historic notes. The heading runs: -

In memoriam filii mei unici, Hanson, pueri bonoe indolis, qui obit quarto Juni 1588, aetatis suae anno quinto. This, being interpreted, reads:- “In memory of my only son, Hanson, a boy of good disposition, who died the 4th of June, 1588, in the fifth year of his age.”

“My late conceaved hope of future joye and staye

Hathe brought forth wattery tears by fatall death this day,

Who in his furious rage, without respects of tyme,

Hath cropped the tappbranch of progeny and lyne.

O death what ment thou so thy mortall dart to throw

Upon a sakeless youthe was likely for to growe ;

Whom nature had adorned with many giftes devine,

Which in him did appeare above his age or tyme ?

Wast not enough for the(e) his sisters two to take,

In Infancie from mother’s knee, as they sate on hir lapp,

But thou must vex his corpse with sickness and annoy,

And, in the end, make way for him which was his fathers joy?

Thintent was sure to worke to father haynous facte,

When thou didst sease upon his sonne thou thought to pinche his harte ;

But all that thou canst do is bodye to destroye,

Thimmortall Saule, that better parte, is free from all annoy,

Which, in those that be his, as this childe, surelye, was.

Through grace divine, and fathers faith, thou canst hurt in no case, But, rather, workest good, against thy will, to them,

Which out of Prison thou lettest lose to heavenly joyes againe.

Amonge which joyes, I hope, through Christ, his merrittes greate,

My child hath found a peace much better than on earth.

And, when thou seest the tyme his father's corps to kill,

By grace devine, with him in place, I hope to rest from ill.”

Following these lines in the Latin tongue, which, in order to be “better understanded by the people,” we venture to translate, is added: -

“He was born the xxiiiith day of September, 1583. This son, God, only [as it were] exhibited to me as a pattern, in whom there shone forth, beyond his time or age, an example of exceeding brilliance; but, by reason of my sins, God did not suffer him to live further, that he might not longer see the corruption of our age, but, in the fifth year of his age, called him back to Himself. Whose death will be to me a remembrance of my sins.” This dearly loved boy, we learn from the Elland Registers, was buried the day after he departed this life, viz., 5th June, 1588.

The Farrars, Hansons, and Wades were, in manifold and somewhat puzzling ways, commingled in marriage, Dorothy, daughter of Nicholas Hanson, and granddaughter of John Hanson, sen., who married Edward Farrer‘s widow, became the wife of John Farrar, Esq., who built Ewood Hall, and a Richard Wade, apparently Margaret Farrar’s brother, married, 18th June, 1555, with an Agnes Farrer. Henry Farrar, moreover, John's brother, is described in the legal proceedings relating to poor Samuel Wade’s violent death as uncle to that victim of Michael Foxcroft’s deadly dagger.

But we have “erred and strayed” far away from Stoney Royd, and from the Haldsworth family, which was erstwhile associated with it. To our proper pastures we must now return.


The land in Hipperholme, which James Haldsworth bought of Edward Farrar, belonged - as appears by a deed as far back, at least, as the year 1522 - to a Henry Farrar, an ancestor, presumably, of Edward, which Henry, when he sold off, at that time, the close of land called Goracre - named in the deed of Philip and Mary's reign, quoted in this article - reserved thereout a rent-charge of the extravagant amount of 1d. “Goracre”, signifies, be it noted, an acre of land, shaped like a “gore” - a term that every sempstress will readily understand. The land thus named was so designated because it was shaped like a petticoat gored, broad at the bottom and narrower at the upper part. An eighth of the rent-charge of 8d., which was conveyed by Edward Farrar to James Haldsworth, was payable, as appears, out of this peculiarly-shaped close of land, in Hipperholme. “Gawbutt” Hall there still perpetuates the name, the second syllable being another of the terms of the nomenclature of the old “Open Field System” of agriculture, concerning which Mr. Seebohm has written much and well. He tells us that, where the acre strips abruptly met others, or "abutted" upon a boundary at right angles, they were sometimes called "butts," and, further, in reference to the term "gore," that “corners of the field, which, from their shape, could not be cut up into the usual or half-acre strips, were sometimes divided into tapering strips, pointed at one end, and called ‘gores’ or ‘gored acres.’” “Gawbutt,” or, as it should be written, “gore-butt,” combines, in one word, both these two peculiarities of some of the old open field acre, or half-acre holdings.

Another of the parcels of land that Edward Farrar sold to James Haldsworth was, we may remind ourselves, called “Southedge.” This, too, had previously belonged to Henry Farrar, and he had acquired it by deed, dated 1536, from one Edmund Fairbank. Southedge is still a name known in Hipperholme, and was and is a portion of the land above the South Cliff euphonised into Sutcliffe, overlooking the lower part of the Shibden Valley, now more generally, but wrongly, known as the Walterclough Valley, and shortly, I fear, to be better known still as Sunny Vale. Such Vandals are some of us in regard to time-hallowed names.



James Haldsworth, grandfather of Henry Haldsworth, of Stoney Royd, who, in divers deeds, is variously described as of Northowram and “Shipden,” lived in the reign of Philip and Mary, at Mytholm, on the borders of the township of Northowram, and situate

the lower part of the Shibden Valley; then called "Nether," or "Lower Shipden." He was not the owner of the house there, then, and for many years previously, and yet, for more than a century afterwards, destined to be the home of a. branch of the numerous Hemingway family. A copy of the Court Roll of the Manor of Brighouse, to which which this place

Appertained, dated 29th June, 1557, in a few lines tells us that John Hemingway, the then owner had let "one messuage, or tenement, called Mytholm, and all the lands, meadows, woods, and pastures thereto belonging, with their appurtenances in Brighouse to James Haldsworth and his assigns, "from the day of the death of Margaret, wife of the said James, and mother of the said John. for the term of thirty years,” at the rent of 40s. The lease, it may be added, included other lands in Northowram, which did not form part and parcel of the Manor of Brighouse.


is the house at Mytholm, wherein James Haldsworth dwelt as tenant. In spite of its conversion into cottage tenements, in spite of its proportions being marred, on the north side, by the embankment of the old Halifax and Wakefield highway, it is a picturesque object, in its decay. On one of the ridge stones of the water-tabling of one of its gables still remain the initials I.H. - of the John Hemingway who leased it to James Haldsworth, and on another, the date 1570. This was the year of the new extensions to the north front of the building, in the shape of two gables, thrown out from the original timber structure. Yet, this was not the first enlargement that had taken place, for on the southern side is a timber gable, which has, in medieval days, been thrown out from the primitive rectangular structure, of which the original house consisted. As few or no dwelling houses were erected of stone, in our parish, before the days of Henry VII., and no buildings were probably erected of timber after that time, the original house must he of considerable antiquity. Mytholm - the dining hall in the present Shibden Industrial School - formerly known as Dove House - and Shibden Hall, all appear to have been erected in the fourteenth century, Shibden Hall being possibly the latest of the three. In the interior of Mytholm much of the old timber structure is still visible, and there are some excellent moulded ceiling joists, in the large central room, formerly known as the “house body”. There is also, in the interior, a good late eighteenth century oak staircase. The present bridge over the Shibden Brook, and the embankment which has, indirectly, converted the lower room son the north side of the building into little better that cellars, were constructed in 1814.


This also, is the date of the diversion of the road which previously left the present one by Denmark farm house, crossed the valley to “Breakneck,” then re-crossed it to Mytholm. The original road was finished about 1750, the Trustees' Agreement being dated 27, Aug., 1741, whereby the Rev. John Lister, M.A., of Shibden Hall, was to be paid 2d. For every square yard of his land digged, or made use of for the purpose. This road of 1750, now practically superseded by the present Leeds and Whitehall road - itself superseded the primitive ancient highway - known as Dark-lane, and formerly Barraclough-lane - which runs along the crest of the Southowram Hill and then drops sharp down into Halifax, by the steep bank known as Whiskam Dandy..

From the Court Roll quoted above, it appears that James Haldsworth had married Margaret Hemingway, widow, mother of John Hemingway, who made the enlargements at Mytholm. The marriage took place “at our parish church,” 20, Nov., 1542 - the year in which Katharine Howard, King Harry's fifth wife - was executed on Tower Hill. Probably, Margaret Hemingway, James Haldsworth's wife, was the widow of a John Hemingway, of Southowram, who in a rental dated 1530-1, paid 2s.4d. for lands and tenements called “Howcan Roide,” and “Mytholme.”


James Haldsworth, of Mytholm, was a well-to-do clothier and landowner, as testified by the circumstance that he contributed to the subsidy in the 13th year of Elizabeth, 1570-1, 5s. 4d. On lands assessed at £4. The other names on the roll are:

Robert Waterhouse (of Shibden Hall) 26s. 8d.

on lands at £20.

Henry Sayvell (of Blaithroyd) 8s.

on lands at £6.

John Waterhouse 5s. 4d.

on lands at £4.

John Haldesworth (of Ashdav) 5s. 4d.

on lands at £4.

Richard Speighte 7s.

on lands at £7.

Gregory Waterhouse (of Siddal) 2s. 6d.

on lands at £2.

James Oldfelde (of Dove House) 3s.

on goods at £3.

Thomas Hemingway (of Waltercloughe?) 3s.

on goods at £3.

William.Deane (of Exley) 3s.

on goods at £3.

Edward Mawde, 3s.

on goods at £3.

Richard Gibson 2s.

on lands at £1 10s. 6d.

The wife of James Mawde 1s. 4d.

on lands at £1.

Richard Hemingway 3s.

on lands at £3.

The total contributed in Southowram was £3 19s. 8d. It will be noticed that Robert Waterhouse, of Shibden Hall, was "facile princeps" in the matter of tax-paying, he contributing nearly four times as much as that considerable capitalist, Richard Speighte, who had been, it will be remembered, perhaps, one of the valuers of the household stuff, and other personal estate of the worthy “wool man,” Hugh Ireland, of Stoney Royd.


In June, 1561, four years after he had taken the lease of the old house at Mytholm, James Haldworth is found converting the capital he had gained in his business as clothier into the more substantial and permanent form of messuages and acres. He buys in conjunction with Gilbert Saltonstall, of Hipperholme, for the sum of £80, four messuages and a cottage, late in the occupation of John Brodeley, Percival Harrysonne, Richard Bentleye, Henry Brodeleye, and George Arger, and therewith, 4 tofts, 4 gardens, 4 orchards, 30 acres of land - i.e., arable - 8 acres of meadow, 10 acres of pasture, and 4 acres of wood in Southowram - 52 acres of land in all. The vendors were John Cawode, of Kingston-upon-Hull, gent., and Jane his wife, who was, we are told, one of the daughters and co-heirs of Edmund Oldfelde, deceased. This property consisted of two houses, then, and still known as Upper and Lower Place, the latter including an old tenement or cottage, still in existence, called Old Dumb Mill, and two other farms, called Coldwell Hill, and Dove House. These properties; as wall as Mytholm, now form part and parcel of the Shibden Hall estate. Lower Place is a good mullion windowed middling-sized seventeenth century house. Upper Place is built on an earlier plan, but “restorations” have ruined its comeliness, if it ever possessed - and what old piece of architecture did not? any store thereof. Coldwell Hill has also originally been built upon the mediaeval plan, but, here again, some late seventeenth century restorations have materially altered the primitive features of the building. Lower Dove House has lately been entirely rebuilt, owing to a subsidence, caused by mining operations, threatening its stability. It was, I remember, a modest, but decidedly quaint structure, with a large central oak-timber and mullioned and transomed window, of about thirty-six lights. Upper and Lower Place lie by the old high road - the “magna via,” as it was styled in ancient deeds - leading from Halifax to Wakefield. Coldwell Hill and Lower Dove House stand, one above the other, on the same hillside as the Shibden Industrial School, formerly known as Upper Dove House.

We have hall occasion to speak of the Oldfields - the whilom owners of Dove House - in a previous article. In 1546, Edmund Oldfeld, described as of Place in Southowram, joined with his brothers, Edward, of Sowerby, and Christopher and John, of Warley, inthe sale to their brother, James, of Haldsworth, of their share of Dove House - the present Industrial School - and of a moiety of all the lands thereto belonging. Thus the estate was divided into two, and while James had the Upper Dove House - now the school - for his share, Edmuud and his other brethren took the Lower Dove House as their portion of the

fraternal possessions. How Edmund had acquired Place, I know not. It appears that he died without male heirs, and one of his daughters and co-heiresses - Jane - had married the Hull gentleman, John Cawode, mentioned in the deeds of conveyance. They sold, as has been mentioned, the Place and other properties to James Haldsworth, then of Mytholm, and Gilbert Saltonstall, of Hipperholme, the latter in the following year releasing all his interest therein to Haldsworth, so that he became the sole owner. Gilbert Saltonstall, named above, was of


and a rising "clothier," fast becoming a considerable landholder. In 1563, he purchased a moiety of Nether Rookes, near Norwood Green in Hipperholme, of Martin Brighouse. for £23 6s. 8d., and, in 1568, the other moiety of the same estate of Jasper Brighouse. This property was sold by Gilbert's grandson, Sir Richard Saltonstall, of Huntwick, Knt., to John Whitley, of Sowood House, Hipperholme, in 1627.

From the deeds of conveyance of the Place Estate, we learn that Gilbert Saltonstall of Rookes had married Margaret, daughter of George Harrison.



In the last article was related the manner in which the grandfather of Henry Haldsworth, of Stoney Royd, became possessed of The Place estate in Southo. In the first deed, under which he became entitled thereto, jointly with Gilbert Saltonstall, we find the following personages named as witnesses, viz.: Oliver Lokwod gentleman; James Hayleye; Robert Brighouse; John Lyster, son of John; Richard Heyley, son of Richard; and Robert Kemsaye, of Kingston-upon-Hull, gentleman. The seisin, or possession, was given in the presence of Robert Waterhouse, jun., and Richard Bentley, as well as of that of all the other witnesses, named above, saving Richard Heyley. In the second deed, by which Gilbert Saltonstall released his interest in the property to James Haldsworth, occur the names of Oliver Lokwod, of "Skyrcott"; John Hemyngway; Richard Northend, and John Mawd, of .. “Tremyingham.” A few words about one of these old-time individuals may not be altogether out of place.


the first of these witnesses, was a landholder in the above-named township. He was, we note, "a gentleman." The reader may, at the first blush, deem this anouncement a superfluity. It is so common to be a gentleman to-day. Every retired butcher, or baker, or candlestick-maker, who puts up for the Town or District Council, would be terribly pained were he not ihus described in his nomination paper. But, in the sixteenth century, the title was one that, in the democratic parish of Halifax, at least, was extremely rare, there being only five holders thereof, all told, in the year of grace 1536. One of these five was Oliver Lockwood, of Skircoat. He, by the way, was an imported specimen, for it was not, apparently, until the reign of King Harry, of bluff memory, that the Skircoat Lockwoods crossed from their original ancestral habitation, in the parish of Huddersfield, into the glorious "liberty of Halifax," then blessed with the sacred privileges of gibbet-law and axe. If we question Oliver, he will, haply, tell us the tragic tale of


how - in revenge for the murder of their fathers, William de Lockwood, one of his own name and race, in company with Adam de Beaumont and Thomas de Lacy, slew, in the days of the third Edward, Sir John de Elland, as he was on his way to hear mass in Elland Church. All the story of the frays is related in the brave old local ballad which has survived even to our day and generation, and may be read in the pages of Watson.

“Adam of Beaumont there was laid,

“And Lacy with hlm also,

“And Lockwood, who was naught afraid

“To light against his foe.” Ballad v., 53.

It is refreshing in this sceptical age, when Romulus, and Remus, and Robin Hood have been taken from us, and laid in the limbo of fiction, to know that “The story of the Elland Feud, is” - as a writer in the “Yorkshire Archaeological Journal” tells us -“substantially true,” for has not Mr. Percy Baildon discovered in the original Assize Rolls, official entries regarding the vendetta, and those who were arraigned before the judges, at York, in 1353 and 1355, for taking part therein? From these, we learn that Robert del Both, of Holmfirth, and others were put upon their trial for having "received William de Lockwood and Adam de Beaumont, who had feloniously slain John de Elland, Knt." Thus the ballad is justfied, and its profane critics covered, let us hope, with perpetual confusion.

But what has Oliver Lockwood to tell us? He can inform us, if he be not loth to speak of his private affairs, how, in the early years of the reign of King Harry, he purchased land in Slcircoat from the Saviles, lords of that manor, and to the latter years of that reign, acquired in the same manor and township, landed property which had previously held by one John Stancliffe. One of these estates was situate in Skircoat, another at “Shaw Hill Top.” In Elizabeth’s reign his family appear as the owners of Spring Hall. Oliver seems to have been twice married, his wife Grace being buried at Halifax, 25th January, 1538-9, and his third son, Henry, baptized 5th April, 1541, and, therefore, the fruit of a second marriage. His other sons were Roger, who died young, and John, who married Anne Armitage, widow. Anne Armitage was the widow of one of the


- Armitage Bridge - near Huddersfield. This was not the first marriage that had occurred between the Lockwood and Armitage families, for a John Armitage, of that ilk, had in the days of Henry VII taken unto wife Joan, the daughter of John Lockwood. Armitage was formerly written Hermitage, and the family took their name from a hermit's cell which existed there in earlier days. These Armitages are represented to-day by the Armitage family of Highroyd, Honley - a right ancient race. At the time of the marriage of Oliver’s son John, with Widow Armitage, a marriage settlement was, as usual then and now, drawn up, and is preserved among his family title deeds by Mr. Charles Armitage, of Highroyd. The document is a somewhat curious one and serves, in some sort, to illustrate the manners and customs of Elizabethan times.


The settlement deeds consist of a "Deed Poll" and a “Bond.” The trustees of the settlement were Thomas Lockwood, of Hililees, in Golcar; John Armitage, of Armitage; Thomas Hoile, of Heath; and Henry Lockwood, son of Oliver. To these gentlemen,

Oliver and John Lockwood, in consideration of the marriage of the latter with the widow, grant "one new chamber, built of stone," situate in the "south and west parts of their messuage, in Skyrcott, with egress and regress through the body of the aforesaid house, from and to the aforesaid chamber, at all times of the year." This, and the rest of the premises, lands, etc., including a close called Bothom Ing, and three closes called “Olde Earthes,” in Skircoat, and other properties there, were to be held to the use of Oliver, the father, for his life; and after he death to the use of John, the son, or the longer liver of the two. Then, after the death of the survivor, the chamber was to remain to the use of Anne, for her life, and she was moreover to receive an annuity of £6. We have all heard of dower houses, but here, we have an instance of a dower chamber. And this kind of endowment of widows was by no means uncommon in those days. How it would be regarded now is a matter upon which the speculations of the reader are invited.

In 1581, the Saviles, Lords of the Manor of Skircoat, seem to have instituted


in regard to their manorial rights. They demanded, I suppose, in view of encroachments that had been made npon the township land, to see and verify the title deeds of their various tenants. A jury of the freemen was accordingly impannelled; the landholders had to produce their deeds, and a “rental” was drawn up enumerating them, and stating the rents due for the several holdings. This “rental” is preserved among the archives of the Savile estate, at Thornhill, to which I have had access through the kindness of Mr. Lipscomb. The list is headed by Robert Savile, of Copley Hall, who paid 3s. 4d. for his "old" and "new" land. The new land was that which had been in their recent, or comparatively recent, times, reclaimed from the waste. The second name on the “rental” is that of our friend Oliver Lockwood, senior, at this date blessed with a grandson, who bore his name. He paid 5s. 10d. For his “old” land, and the jury allege that they were unable to state “what newe land he hath, saving for Stancliff house.” The rent for the new land is set down at 2d. Stancliff house would, of course, be the property which Oliver had purchased in the 33rd year of Henry VIII of John Stancliff.

The Smyths were the owners of Heath Hall, and Alexander of that aristocratic name, was liable for 3s. 3d.

Henry Savile,of Blatheroyd, in Southowram, owned one of the three houses that then existed at Shaw Hill. Of these, Shaw Hill Top, it will be remembered, belonged to the Lockwoods, and here was situate the dower chamber alluded to above. A third house, also known as Shay, or Shaw Hill, belonged, as has been related in former articles, originally to the Milners, then to Hugh Ireland, and afterwards to Henry Haldsworth, and Marie Ireland, his wife, of Stoney Royd.

John Lister of Back Hall, Southowram, was another tenant of the manor of Skircoat. He is the same John Lister who figured, as a witness in the deed relating to the purchase by James Haldsworth of the Place estate. John Waterhouse, of Broadgates, was another of the manorial tenants, and others were the Milners of Woodend, the Kinges of Willow Hall and

Cliffe House, the Dentons, of Pye Nest, and the Whitakers, of Washer-lane. All these families, and the places of their habitation - the latter still familiar names - are mentioned in this interesting rental of 1581.

The object of the enquiry made by the Lord of the Manor of Skircoat, in 1581, was, as has been stated, to check, in the interests of the lord and the community, the encroachments that the landholders were constantly making upon the common-waste. How carefully this was done may be gathered from the fact that one, John Grenewodd, was complained of for having “encrochid one parcell of the waste, conteyninge” only “8 yeards in length, and two in breadth.” To-day, even our public parks are encroached upon, sometimes to a greater extent!

John Lockwood, son and heir of Oliver, had, by his marriage with Anne Armitage - if not by an earlier one - a son, Oliver. This Oliver was found bv the Post Mortem Inquisition, taken in the interest of the Crown, to have died possessed of a messuage, three cottages and 46 acres of land, meadow and pasture, in Skircoat, as well as the revrsion of lands in Golcar, Quarmby and Crosland, to which he was entitled on his father’s death. The father, however, survived the son, the latter quitting this world 10th June, 1581, the former in the year 1598. John the father, by the way, contributed £1 to the erection of our Halifax Grammar School. Oliver the Second left a son Francis, who was a minor at his father's decease, and, consequently, became a ward of the Crown. In the Court Rolls of the Manor of Skircoat, among the free tenants, who “owed suit to this Court,” under date, 1608, we find Francis Lockwood entered "for one tenement in Skircote towne, and another tenement at Shaw Hill Top, in the occupation of Nicholas Carter, and for another tenement called Spring Hall, in the occupation of Richard Brodley," and it is added that he was then still a minor, and “in the guardianship of our Lord the King.”


The other tenants, to whom are attached the names of their places of habitation, at this date, are: William Savile, of Copley Hall, esquire; Henry Savile, gentleman, of Shaw Hill; Henry Milner, of Wood End; John Waterhouse, of Broadgates; Anthony Wade, of King Cross; Marcus Saltonstall, holder of a tenement called King Cross; James Kinge, of Willow Hall; Samuel Kinge, of Cliff House; John Waterhouse, of Skircote-browe; Henry Murgatroyd, owner of Birstowe (Bairstow); John Waterhouse, of Bank House; Michael Smyth, of the Heath; Isaac Waterhouse, of Woodhouse (now Wood Hall); and Henry Haldsworth, of Stoney Royd, for the messuage and land at Shaw Hill, which he had obtained, along with Stoney Royd, by his marriage with the young heiress, Marie Ireland. It may be added that, at this Manor Court, held in 1608, the following doubtless somewhat galling bye-law was made, viz.: “That no one carry any stones to ‘Hallifax;’ or elsewhere, out side the manor, without license of the Lord, under penalty of a fine of 12d, for every cart-lode.” If this were in force to-day, the Borough of Halifax might have to pay a pretty round sum, yearly, to the present Lord of the Manor, Lord Savile. Does anyone wish to call Mr. Lipscomb's attention to the matter?



The days in which James Haldsworth, of The Place lived were days when, owing largely to the breaking up of the large estates that had belonged to the religious houses, and to the general rapid economic evolution that marked the Elizabethan period, the enclosure of the old open common fields, and the bringing into cultivation of fresh areas of land that had not hitherto been subject to the plough, was very largely developed. In 1564, John Lacy, Lord of the Manor of Southowram, was induced to grant 2 acres of the waste of the Common of Southowram - as appears in a deed in my possession - to the owner of “The Place.” It will be remembered that in 1482 - some sixty years previously - in connection with a similar grant of a portion of the Common of Siddal to the Milners, of Stoney Royd, the Lord of the Manor professed to make the grant “with the assent and consent of all and singular” his “children and tenants whatsoever”. These words find no place in the more modern deed of grant. The lord’s children may have been consulted, but there is nothing to show that “the tenant, - the other holders of land, farmers and cottagers in Southowram -were called upon to give or refuse their consent to the transaction. The individualistic spirit

Of the Reformation times had superseded - it would seem - the more Communistic sentiment of the medieval and Catholic days. These two acres were taken from the Common of Bairstow, which originally extended, as has been already stated, over the whole or greater part of Beacon Hill slopes and summit, right away to Siddal on the south; and as far as Southowram, on the east. It also included the hillside called Allen Car, facing Shibden Hall, and even the land surrounding the present Industrial School. Shibden Hall itself is described in the fifteenth century deeds as situate at “Bairstow” - the bare place. If the smoke nuisance continues to increase at its present rate of prolific development, the day is not distant when "Bairstow" will reclaim its old territory again. It is for the would-be taxer of land values to determine the unearned agricultural increment arising from the waste products of capitalistic exploitation of coal and labour. But it is quite right of course, to defile earth, air, and water in the interests of the Commercialists. The two acres granted to James Haldsworth by John Lacy, Esqre., are said, in the deed, to be situate in it certain place called the “Toppe of Berstow,” and to abut on the land, of John Hemingway, sen., on the south; those of Gilbert Nicholl, on the west; the said James Haldsworth's land on the east; and the highroad leading from the town of Halifax to Wakefield, on the north. The Nicolls, it may be explained, owned, at this time,and long afterwards, the farm now known as "Little Marsh." The high road mentioned was, of course,


or Wakefield Gate, as it was called, otherwise known as Barraclough or Barclay-lane, and of which a portion, owing to its hollowed and over-shadowed character, has more recently acquired the name of Dark-lane. It is sometimes styled, in deeds of the period we are dealing with, the "Magna Via." It was the only high road to Wakefield until about 1750, when the turnpike road, in front of Shibden Hall, superseded it, and was almost entirely, or entirely, set, in former days, and as yet is so for a considerable extent. The Urban District Council of Southowram of to-day, however, seem to think that they are under no liability to keep this ancient highway in a decent state of repair. One would, also, like to ask how, ansd in what manner are expended the various benefactions left by kindly persons - such as Nathaniel Waterhouse - in the olden times toward the repair and maintenance of this road, both as regards that portion of it which now lies in the borough of Halifax, as well as the Southowram portion. I believe that the Halifax Corporation are the recipients of one, at least, of these benefactions, as appeared at the last enquiry held at Halifax into the local charity trusts. The old road does not appear, at any rate, nowadays, to benefit therefrom. The witnesses of the deed of grant of these two acres of waste were John Stockes, of Hipperholme, John Lister, son of John Lister of “Backhold” - as Backhall, in Siddal, was sometimes named - and Gregory and Thomas Smyth, sons of Anthony Smyth. The frequent occurrence of the names of Listers of Backhall, as witnesses in these Haldsworth deeds, may arise from the circumstance that in the parish register of Halifax, is entered, under the year 1543, the marriage of John Lister and Isabella Haldsworth, and as John Lister, of Backhall, is frequently described as a kinsman of Dr. Robert Haldsworth,


of Halifax, is it not possible that the Vicar belonged to this branch of the Haldsworth family? As yet the genealogist has not been successful in attaching him to the Haldsworths of Ashday, and a tradition alone associates him with that particular family.

The family circle of James Haldsworth of the Place, embraced three sons, William, George, and Robert, and a daughter, who married William Tillotson. William, the eldest, was the father of Henry of Stoney Royd. In the year 1570, to George, his second son, the father, James, conveyed the messuage and lands in Lightcliffe, comprising a parcel of land in a certain close, called Southedge, and the rent-charges of 8d., with which the closes called Goracre, Heyroiding, and Four-acres, in that district, were charged, which he had purchased, as in a former article has been told, of Edward Farrer, of Sowerby. In 1585, George

Haldsworth, the son, sold all this property for £92, to Samuel Saltonstall, of Rookes, from whose father, Gilbert, the Haldsworths - as has been recorded - purchased “The Place” estate. The above Samuel Saltonstall had a brother, Richard, who was dubbed a knight by Queen Elizabeth, on the occasion of his being elected


in 1597. The last news we seem to be able to glean regarding George Haldsworth, James’s second son, is the fact that before 1591, he had left Lightcliffe, where he is described in various deeds as having resided, and settled at Sutton-on-Trent. There, at any rate, we find him, when in the thirty-third year of Queen Elizabeth's reign, he released to his brother, brother, William, that old family heirloom the 6s.8d. rent-charge issuing out of the Mold-laghton, which formed part of the Wood-lane estate in Sowerby, then and for many previous generations, belonging to the Wood family. The reader may he reminded that nearly a hundred years previously, the rent-charge of 6s. 8d. was found to be part and parcel of the Haldsworth estate, old John Haldsworth, of the Breck, great-grandfather of George, of Sutton-on-Trent, settling it, in 1497, upon his son, James. It, however, passed, at last, out of the Haldsworths’ possession, George's brother, William, of “The Place,” selling it, about 1595, to Anthony Wade, of King Cross.


But is it not trifling with one's own time, and the reader's leisure, to enter into such details regarding the history of a six-and-eightpenny rent-charge? I hardly think so, if it serve to illustrate the economic condition of the bye-gone times, of which our own is, after all, the product and consequence.

In the Middle Ages there were two methods more generally followed than any others of securing a return for the investment of capital, the method of interest and the method of rent, or rent-charges. The method of interest was harassed by the maxims of the early and the Medieval Church, which, until the fourteenth century, treated the payment of interest as a species of usury, basing its opposition thereto on the words of the founder of Christianity,


The advantage of the rent-charge was - to quote Professor Ashley, “Economic History,” Part II., p.1,906, that "it enabled owners of land to borrow for all purposes, among others, for the improvement of their estates; while, on the other hand, it provided a safe field of investment for individuals and corporations, such as monastic houses, who desired a steady income without the trouble of managing additional property." One of the first writers, Ashley adds, to deal at any length with the object, was one Langenstein, towards the end of the fourteenth century. He did not seem to consider that the purchase of rent-charges could be regarded as necessarily usurious, and, therefore, sinful for all persons. When the object, according to him, was to secure a provision for old age, or to provide a secure income for persons engaged in the service of Church or State, their purchase was justifiable, "It became sinful only when it enabled nobles to live in luxurious idleness, or plebeians to desert honest toil; for then it violated the Divine command, ‘In the sweat of thy brow shalt thou eat bread.’ In subsequent times, the Roman Pontiffs were consulted on the subject, and their decision was that rent-charges were not sinful, so long as they fulfilled certain conditions. Not only was the Christian conscience puzzled in those days as to the right-fulness or wrongness of investing in rent-charges, but theologians were even found, who would have condemned one for investing in Halifax Corporation Stock, or in Government bonds! To-day, our clergy themselves are by no means averse to such investments. These observations, to which we have been led by the constant reference in the documents upon which these articles are founded, to the rent-charge system, will, it is to be trusted be not imputed as an unpardonable digression from our narrative, to which it is high time to return.

George Haldsworth, the second son of James, who assigned the rent-charge of 6s. 8d., to his eldest brother, William, is described as a “chapman”. To-day, we should have styled him “merchant”. “Ceapman” was the Anglo-Saxon form of the word, and signified, not only the buyer, but also the seller. The modern sense of “cheap”, which forms the first syllable of the word, meaning low in price, is, it may be noted, and ellipse for “good cheap”, equivalent to the French “bon marche”.

Probably, but this we are not told - George Haldsworth was a “chapman” in cloth or wool. His business was big enough we know, to allow him to 'employ at least one "servant" - his brother Robert, who was apparently apprenticed to him by his father.


as it styles itself, engrossed on parchment, remains to show that, in 1566, George had given his father a formal receipt for all the moneys that were owing to him on his brother Robert's account. The seal to this quaint “bill of receipt” is still perfect and bears the initials W.H. -the initials of the eldest of the three Haldsworth brethren, William Haldsworth.

The word “servant” had, in those days, be it remarked, a less menial significance that it bears to-day. “ Gentlemen” were not infrequently described as “servants” of “Esquires” and “Gentlemen.” Robert - the youngest brother - is described like his brother, in a Latin deed, as a “mercator,” or “chapman.” On him, in 1578 - apparently on the occasion of his marriage with one Katherine, whose surname I have not succeeded in determining - his father James settled two of the messuages; with the lands appurtenent, forming part of the Place Estate. The feoffees of the settlement were John Haldsworth, of The Blackhill, i.e:, Blakehill, Northowram, yeoman, and John Hemingway, of Mytholm. The property is described as consisting of two messuages and lands lying on the south side of one highway called Barrow Clough-lane, in “South Oram,” in the occupation of Nicholas Brodley and Peter Keighley. The feoffees were to hold the property to tbe use of "Robert Haldsworth, my son," and “Katherine, his wife,” and their heirs. South side - "australi parte" - in the deed, seems to be a clerical error for Northern, for the house - Over Place, the "capital messuage" on the property, descended to the eldest son. The two messuages conveyed to George Haldsworth, the second son, were probably Coldwell Hill and Lower Dove House, lying on the north side of Barrow Clough-lane, and which were afterwards, 13. James I, leased by Katherine Haldsworth, of "Skarning," Norfolk, widow of George, to the latter's brother, William, of Over or Upper Place, “gentleman.” The rent looks moderate, £4 10s. per annum, £45 perhaps of our present currency.



Many weeks have now slipped by since we last endeavoured to gather up the broken fragments of the life record of James Haldsworth, of the Place, Southowram, who was the gnandsire of Henry, who became the owner of Stoney Royd by his marriage with Marie, daughter and heiress of the well-to-do “woolman,” Hugh Ireland.

Two or three more time-stained pieces of parchment at Shibden Hall furnish sundry further particulars regarding the business traditions of James Haldsworth of the Place.

The first we shall refer to is a Bond, with condition attached, by which, on the 13th August, 1572, William Lister, of Wakefield, described in the Latin language of the document as a “mercator,” i.e., merchant, and John Lister, of Halifax, "chapman," bind themselves in the sum of 100 marks - £8 3s. 4d. - to indemnify James Haldsworth, the yeoman owner of the Place, in regard to certain annual rent-charges of £4 and 5 marks respectively, with which certain lands in Northowram, viz., two closes, called “Wilkynheye,” “Fearnebed-Landes,” and “Risheydoles,” were charged to the use for life of William Boythe and Sybell, his wife. These lands are described as “late the inheritance of William Boythes,” and as being in the occupation of John Bairstowe. It would seem that James Haldsworth had purchased this property of the Listers, and that the Booths, when they had sold the land, had reserved the rent-charges which burdened it. Of these charges, so much patronised as a mode of investment in those days, the reader may remember that something was said in the last number.


The Booths were a very old family of note in the township of Northowram. The word “Boothes” is most probably derived from the old Norse word "bod," i.e., a dwelling. From this primitive place of habitation the family took their name. Here were born, bred, laboured, and died, right away, at any rate, from the 13th century until the early years of the 17th. In the survey of the Manor of Wakefield, made in 1311, appear the names of Bate of the "Bothes," who held 21 acres of land at a rent of 7s., of William, of the "Bothes," who held 24 acres and one perch of land, and paid 5s. 9½ d., and 6 acres of "new land" - i.e., land recently cleared and brought into cultivation - for which he was rented at 3s.; of William,

of the "Bothes" - perhaps the came man - who held one oxgang of land (14 acres), at a rent of 4s.; and, lastly, Matilda., daughter of John of the “Bothes,” who occupied 14 acres at the rent of 3s. 6d., and 6 acres, for which she paid 2s.


All of these Booth folk are entered in the Survey (or “Extent” as these manorial reports were styled) under the head of "nativi," i.e., neifs, or serfs. As such they had to grind all the corn they grew upon their land at Shibden water corn mill, paying one sixteenth of the grist as toll to the miller to whom the Lord of the Manor had let that mill.1 Two pence a year also had they to pay to their feudal master for every porker they kept, and 1d. for each pigling. If they ventured to trade in the pig-dealing business, 3d. and 2d. respectively were the sums of money they had to pay for the swine or piglings bought to sell again. When the lord's daughter was married, or his son knighted, the Booths, like all their fellow-serfs, had to furnish aid to their master in such a round sum as his lordship's will dictated - "give aid at the lord's will," are the words inscribed in the Survey. When any of the Booth daughters were married, or should have been, for decorum's sake, but were not, their parents had to pay the fine called “Marchet” for the privilege of marrying them, or the penalty named Lecherwite for not better attending to their morals.2 And the lord’s will was the only rating basis by which these fines were assessed. William of the "Bothes," owing to his land being of the nature of oxgang land, seems, along with eleven other Northowram and Hipperholme townfolk, to have had to bear even heaver burdens than his brethren. But still he escaped better than seven of these latter, being allowed to compound by money payments for labour services which those seven had to render.


who, however, paid a smaller direct rent for their land, had for instance, to drive, or assist in driving, the cattle which the manorial lord had haply seized by way of distress from a tenant who had failed to pay his rent (drive these cattle to any piece required, even so far as Wakefield). They had to labour also when so bidden at the agreeable work of repairing the lord's mill-dam at the same merry Wakefield. It is to be noted that, at this date, 1311, in Halifax parish, at least, fixed money tolls were accepted in lieu of personal labour services; so far as ploughing and reaping were concerned, payments in lieu thereof being made at Easter and Michaelmas. This, moreover, is to be set to the credit of the manorial despot that if a tenant did not own a plough and plough-team of eight, four, or two oxen, he was graciously excused from paying the sum for which the duty of ploughing his lord's land had been commuted. Had he, however, the full team of eight oxen, he paid 4d., for half-a-team 2d., and if he possessed but one yoke of plough-cattle, 1d. This, payment in lieu of ploughing work was the estimated value of one day's actual work. Reaping was valued at 1d., and this, although it is not specified, seems to have been the value of two days' work. The distinction, made in the Survey, between the five copyholder serfs, who paid a lump rent - like William of the "Bothes," and the seven who paid specified sums for ploughing, reaping, etc., is curious, and seems to show that, even in 1311,


had wrested substantial instalments of freedom from the bands of the local seigneur. Let us compare the payments of William of the "Bothes" for his "oxgang," with those made by Richard of the Wode - one of the seven who seem to have been in a less favoured economic coindition.

William of the Bothes held -as has been stated, one “oxgang,” i.e. fourteen acres, or as much land as one ox was reckoned to be able to plough in the year in this hilly district - for which he paid 4s. a year in instalments, at Lady Day,(2nd Feb.) [?] Whitsuntide, and Michaelmas. Further, he had to help to repair the Wakefield mill-dam.

On the other hand, Richard of the Wode, who also held one “oxgang”, only paid a direct rent for his land, of 10d. But he had to pay for the swine tax , 6d.; for one day’s ploughing, if he had a plough and team, 4d. For reaping in autumn, 1d. Moreover, he

had to drive distrained cattle, when necessary, as far as Wakefield. He, too, had to assist in repairing the Wakefield mill-dam.

It will be seen that while William of the "Bothes" paid 4s., and was quit of all onerous services, except the mill-dam business, Richard of the Wode paid altogether, in various sums the amount of 1s. 9d. But he had, in addition, to drive the cattle distrained by the lord's bailiff or the "greave," when required, to Wakefield, besides having to perform the duty to which all the copyholders were bound - of mending the Wakefield mill-dam. Which was the better lot? Pay 4s. rent for one's land, or 1s. 9d. and drive cattle to Wakefield in a snowstorm?

Besides having to pay a fine to the Lord when their daughters, Maud or Sibil, were married, the Booths of that day could not educate their sons to the priesthood without their master's license so to do, nor could any wanton widow Booth take to herself a second husband without having first gotten the assent and leave of "the Lord the Earl," who then ruled the Manor of Wakefield.

The M.S., it may be added, from which I have gleaned these particulars, is, or was, in the Phillipps Library, at Cheltenham, and is a copy of the survey of the Manor of Wakefield so far as Halifax parish is concerned - that was transcribed for Sir Henry Savile, of Bradley, in the days of Queen Elizabeth.


continued to flourish at the Booths until, as has been said, the seventeenth century, when,

piece by piece, they parted with the lauds that had formed their ancient heritage, and, in 1638, Nathaniel Booth, of Popeley, John, his son and heir, and Tobie and Judith Booth, of Boothtown, sold the main of their Boothtown property to Robert Hall, of that place, the last vestige of their estate being finally sold in 1656 by Nathaniel's son, John Booth, to the same Robert Hall, and Abraham Hall, his son, Robert. Hall, I believe, married a Judith Booth, which might account for his settling at Boothtown. Of this family sprang good Dr. Jeremiah Hall, who has durably connected the names of Hall with the district by his generous thoughtfulness in founding the Boothtown Charity.

Ample material exists for the drawing up of a pedigree of the Booth family, which, to a certain extent, the present writer has already accomplished. As yet, however, information has not come to hand sufficiently to place William Booth, named in the bond of 1572, in his proper place therein. That he was a member of the Boothtown Booths is certain from the fact that the land named in the Bond made between the Listers and Haldsworth belonged to the Boothtown estate, Fernbedlands, one of the closes mentioned in the document being referred to in a Court Roll, dated 1636, as then belonging to the Mitchells, of "Boothes-town," and forming part of an estate the greater portion of which is also described as lying “at Boothes, in Northowram.” By this Court Roll we find that “John Mitchell, of Boothes Towne, surrendered one messuage, one garden, one parcel of land called a fold, and land now limited and divided by hedges and certain stones called ‘meare stones,’ lying at 'Boothes,' in Northowram - 'Highroid-lands' and 'Fernbedlands' in Northowram - a lane called Dirtcar-lane,' and a lane called Northroid Lane in Northowram, to the use of Effamie Michell, wife of the said John, for life,” with remainder to her daughters, Anne, Marie, and Martha Michell. In 1654, we also find that Robert Hall was elected Greave of Hipperholme, in virtue of his being the holder of a messuage and certain lands formerly belonging to William Boothes - the William, probably, named in the Bond.


In passing, let us note the use of the word Mearestones,” signifying the boundary stones which, before hedges and enclosures were general, marked off one man's acres or half-acres in the open fields from those of his neighbours. In Halliwell’s “Dictionary of Archaic and Provincial Words,” a "mear" is described as a “balk of land," i.e., a. strip of unploughed land left as a division mark between one ploughed ridge of land and another. The word "mear" seems to be connected with the Somerset word “mear,” to measure. The place name “Landimere,” in Northowram, gives us an instance of the use of the word in its significance of a boundary. “Rishey-doles,” the name of one of the closes on which the rent-charges, in the Bond, were paid, probably means the “rushy doles.” “Doles” is another term used in the old open field system of agriculture nomenclature, and signified the acre or half-acre strips of unenclosed meadow lying in the open fields. How full of meaning are our old place names if we only take the trouble to interpret them! On the other hand, how meaningless and even silly are many of our modern place-names, which have in so many cases supplanted the well-chosen epithets given by our forefathers of auld lang syne - “Claremount,” for instance, in place of the good old honest name that district formerly bore of "Black-Car!"


The Bond, dated 1572, regarding the rent-charges reserved to William Booth and Sibil, his wife, was given, we have noticed by William Lyster, a Wakefield merchant, and John Lister, a Halifax chapman. The "merchant," we remark, in the original document, spells his surname with a “y,” the" chapman" is content with the now more plebian “i.” Yet, the differentiated spoiling did not signify any subtle racial differentiation - such as our "fin-de-siecle" generations of the more snobbish branches of the Smith family endeavour to set up by reverting to an archaic form of spelling their worshipful name! The scrivener who engrossed the legal documents of the seventeenth century, nay! the parties who signed and witnessed those documents, were alike indifferent to the exact quantity or quality of the letters which composed their signatures.


William Lyster was a member of one of the branches of the Halifax family - these branches having become by this time (1572), fairly numerous, and traced - it appears - his descent to William Lister of Halifax, a wealthy draper, i.e., clothmaker, or cloth merchant, who flourished m the days of King Henry VI., and who, in the rental of Halifax, made in 1439, is set down as holding, under the Lords of the Manor, "one fulling mill" - at North Brig - at the yearly (ruinous) rent of 2d.! William Lyster, of Wakefield, was himself the son of John Lyster, of "Halifax Green."


Who knows where, in these industrial days, to locate it now with all the old time associations that the name conjures up? John Lister, of Halifax Green, was interested, as all his forebears had been, in the old primitive fulling mill at "North Brig," where the “listers” or “litsters" had won their name by "litting." i.e., dyeing, under the license granted to them by the Lords of the Manor of Halifax, the cloth which the weavers and "drapers" of old medieval Halifax were learning so well the mystery and craft of producing and vending. In the 27th year of Henry VIII (1535-6), John Lister, of Halifax Green, father of William - we learn from the Wakefield Court Rolls - granted a rent-charge of 6s. 8d. “out of one fulling

mill” - the “North Brig” mill - then in the occupation of Richard Milner, of Northowram, to the use of Thomas Lister, his son, and Elizabeth, his wife, daughter of John Waterhouse, of Skircoat. Thomas Lister, therefore, on whom this then ample marriage settlement was made, was brother to William, the Wakefield merchant. He had, to boot, a brother, James Lister, also of Wakefield, and also described as "merchant," and, we find, these two brothers, William and James, in the first year of Queen Elizabeth, 1558, surrendering land in Northowram, to the use of a John Bairstow, of Halifax, "butcher," who was probably the same John Bairstow, mentioned in the Bond of 1572, as the occupier of the Fernbedlands, and the other closes "late the inheritance of William Booth." John Lister, of Halifax Green, their father, it would appear, was no longer actively engaged in the ancestral dyeing trade, but he still had money invested therein, in the shape of the rent-charge of 6s. 8d., which he settled upon his eldest son, Thomas, as has been shown, on the occasion of the latter's marriage. John Lister of the Green's father, Thomas, had another son, Richard, and a daughter, Elizabeth, who were consequently uncle and aunt of William Lister, the Wakefield merchant. The daughter, Elizabeth, married a wealthy Wakefield man, and eke a citizen and merchant tailor of London Town, named Richard Pymond, and, in 1518, her brother, Richard, surrendered certain property to the use of his sister Elizabeth and her husband, Richard Pymond, probably on the occasion of their marriage. The property is described as consisting of two messuages and lands in Northowram, in the occupation of Richard Milner and William Michell. The locality of this estate would seem to have been somewhere near the North Brig fulling mill, which in the marriage settlement of the rent-charge of 6s. 8d. issuing thereout, referred to above, is made by Thomas to his son John, in the year 1535-6, is also stated to have then been in the occupation of a Richard Milner. William Michell, the other occupier, was doubtless the “William Michell the elder,” of Blackledge, Halifax, against whose “malice and cruel disposition,” as well as that of other evil persons, poor Dr. Haldsworth -afterwards done to death in his own Vicarage house - petitioned the Lord Protector Somerset’s assistance. But, in virtue of his marriage with Elizabeth Lister, Richard Pymond also became entitled to other property in Halifax - property occupied by William Michell -Vicar Haldsworth's enemy, and situate at Blackledge - somewhere haply about where Square Congregational Church now stands. Of this - as it introduces us to a local Charity - we will speak further anon.


The husband of William Lister's aunt, Elizabeth, seems to have been one of the men whose wealth was largely coined out of the spoil that the Reformation brought to those who knew the alchemy by which other men's enthusiasms might be transmuted into gold - and such alchemists, do they not even exist, to-day?

Yet he, at first, at any rate, stood up with Robert Aske and the Yorkshire rebels - “the Pilgrims of Grace” in the year 1536, in revolt against the suppression of the monasteries and the confiscation of their lands. Among the "Letters and Papers, temp. Henry VIII.," published by the Record Office, there is one written by Thomas Grice, of Wakefield, to Lord Darcy, executed afterwards for his part in the rebellion. In this letter Grice speaks of Richard Pymond, as “my fellow” [i.e., comrade] “Pymond.” He writes: “On Sunday night last, I got word that Sir Henry Savile had warned divers men to be with him on the Monday morning at Rotherham, horsed and harnessed. This was contrary to the great noblemen's appointment, so I sent and took part of them till we have word from the grand Captain [Aske] how they shall be ordered; meanwhile they fare no worse than my fellow Pymond

and myself.” It may be added here that one of the Grice family, Henry, was a trustee of Richard Pymond's will.

In 1537 - the following year - when some of the other "Pilgrims," including Lord Darcy, again took up arms, with the result that their leaders were hanged, drawn, and quartered at Tyburn and York. Richard Pymond, like Lord Darcy's son, Sir George Darcy, had forsworn the cause of the monks and their friends, and had entered into the good graces of that "malleus monarchorum" - Thomas, Lord Cromwell. Sir George Darcy, in a letter dated 28th June, 1537, addressed to Cromwell, acknowledges a letter he had received on the 16th, from that potentate, which Cromwell had written "in favour of Richard Pymond." Darcy says also that he had delivered "to Pymond, ten packs of cloth," which Oswald Grice, armed with letters from the Council, had seized and detained till further orders. Darcy asks for an acknowledgement from Cromwell for his delivery of the packs, and "assures him that he shall have £40, according to a former promise" - Lord Cromwell, be it remembered, being a statesman always open to “palm oil”.

At Lofthouse, nigh Wakefield, at the corner of the Carlton-road, there stands an ancient dwelling, once the ancestral home of the Pymond familv. On a time-weathered stone - in these latter days transferred from its old position, where it served as the decorative

lintel of a doorway, and now built into the outer wall, near the gate - appear the carved remains of their coat of arms: "on a chevron between three picks, three bunches of grapes," and the initials, "J.P.," and other characters, now illegible. Mr. W. S. Banks, in his “Walks about Wakefield,” states that "the Pymonds are said to have been in this neighbourhood as early as 1300, but I do not know," he carefully adds, what proof there is of it."

The late Mr, Edward Walker, of the "Guardian", in one of his valuable articles, headed, “Our Local Portfolio” - which, by-the-bye, are most worthy of being revised and re-published - speaks of Mr. Richard Pymond as “one of the early dealers in Church lands,” and of the will - which he had copied from the Brearcliffe M.S.S. - he adds, “It is the Will of


yet it bequeaths money to a. priest to pray for his soul. He had only, however, purchased the parsonage [i.e.: rectory, glebe lands, and presentation] of South Kirkby - the manor and town there, with all the tithes there, and in Shelbrook, Wrangbrook, North Elmsall and Mensthorpe, on the dissolution of Nostell Priory in the 36th Henry VIII.” It is strange that Mr. Walker, careful as he generally was, did not with the will beneath his eyes, observe that Richard Pymond also possessed the rectory, glebe land, presentation and tithes also, of Batley - for these things, too, are named in the testator's will. From Mr. Grove’s

“Alienated Tithes,” we learn that South Kirkby, with its ecclesiastical appurtenances, was purchased by Pymond in the 35th year of Henry VIII., and Batley in the following year - the 36th - of the bluff monarch. Mark, these tithes were purchased. Henry did not lavishly give these possessions of the Church away - as some people seem to imagine - though in some cases, as in that, for instance, of the Duke of Somerset, they were, it is not very edifying to learn, freely granted for "the support of the dignity" of the recipients. “The then Duke of Somerset,” writes Grove, “and Lord Seymour and others, have the unenviable honour of having it made a record for all time that they were so lost to every sense of shame as to receive the sacred endowment of the Church, to aid them to live a life of contemptible worldly splendour, at the cost of religion and the poor.”

In May, 1533, many years before this purchase was made, we find Richard Pymond leasing his


which he became possessed of through his marriage with Elizabeth Lister, to William Michell, of Blackledge, the then tenant, for a further term of twenty years, at a rent of 46s. 8d. per annum, the tenant also paying to the Lords of the Manor, the Prior and Monastery of Lewes, the fine of 3s. 4d. due on the transaction. In January, 1538-9, - at a Court - not

held this time in the name of the monks, now ousted from their Halifax heritage - but in that of that "excellent Lord King and Prince, Henry VIII.; etc., Supreme Head of the English Church" - Richard. Pymond appeared and "attorned to the Lord the King," and

acknowledged His Grace as his manorial master, (in place of the dispossessed Prior of Lewes) in regard to certain copyhold lands - the Blackledge Lands - that he held of the King in the right of his wife, Elizabeth.

On May 20th, 1546 (not 1547, as stated by Watson), Richard Pymond made his last will and testament, and was, in the same year, laid to rest in Wakefield Parish Church. The relations of his wife, named in his will, are "Margaret Lister, daughter of John,Lister, of Halifax" - seemingly the sister of Thomas, William, and James, sons of John, of Halifax Green, and "William Lister, my servant." This is, undoubtedly, William Lister, the Wakefield merchant, who gave the Bond in 1572 to James Haldsworth, of the Place; and his uncle Richard Pymon's patronage was evidently the motive of his gravitating from the paternal home on "the Green," at Halifax, to the old capital of the West Riding. Richard Pymond, though his will has been carefully coped by our old local antiquary, Brearcliffe, on account of the testator's connection by marriage with the town of Halifax, contains no

charitable bequests to our town. Pvmond, although, as Mr. Walker calls him "a dabbler in Church lands," yet bequeaths money (20s.) to a priest to pray for his soul and gave in honour of the "Blessed Sacrament of the Altar," to the church "at Hornby, where I was born,


and all things that pertaines to the same." Out of the tithes and other Church pickings granted to him by King Henry, he left generous and numerous legacies - as it was his bounden duty to do - to the poor of South Kirkby, Wakefield, etc., and £100 "to making and

amending of highways and bridges within the parish of Wakefield, where most need requires." His executrix was his wife, Elizabeth, who was to be assisted in her office by the testator's servants, William Lister and Nicholas Savile, to each of whom was bequeathed the sum of £10, but there is a wish expressed that his widow should further "honestly reward them for their pains in that behalf."

1 9. Edw. III. 1335-6. John of the Bothes fined for withdrawing his suit from - i.e., not bringing his corn to grind - at Shibden Mill.

2 1311. Gilbert of the Bothes gave 2s. for a fine to give his daughter Alice in marriage.


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