Sunday, 15 November 2009

The Pease Family & Hutton

Sir JW Pease of Hutton Hall.
An inheritance destroyed
by Brian Redhead (D&S Times, no date)
The Pease family dynasty which once virtually ruled the industrial and commercial life of this part of the world produced as much boardroom drama and strife as anything you will see in a Hollywood soap opera.
Probably more because, while Dallas and Dynasty represent a glossed-over and idealised version of business life, I suspect it would have been fascinating to be a fly on the wall while the multifarious members of the Pease clan were engaged in the cut and thrust of 19th Century industry, finance and politics.
The stern statue of Joseph Pease, which has looked out over the junction of High Row, Northgate and Bondgate in Darlington for more than a century is a reminder of the part played by the Quaker family in such diverse fields as railway promotion and locomotive building, coal and ironstone mining, limestone quarrying, iron founding, woollen textiles, urban development and banking.
Peases also played vital roles in local politics and in maintaining the supremacy of North-East Liberals in Parliament.
In his book, Men of Business and Politics (George Allen & Unwin, £15), Dr Maurice Kirby, a former Darlington man now a lecturer in economic history at Stirling University, traces the family back to 1665, with the birth of Joseph Pease, a descendant of Essex landowners who settled in South Yorkshire.
The Pease connection with Darlington began when Joseph’s second son, Edward, married a girl from County Durham at the Raby Meeting House and entered the Darlington wool-combing business of his uncle in 1774.
The range of the book can be gauged from an index that lists no fewer than 48 different Peases. Some less influential Peases merit only a reference here and there. Others, notably Joseph, Henry and Sir Joseph Whitwell Pease, layed decisive parts in the moulding of contemporary industrial life through the Stockton and Darlington Railway, Middlesbrough Docks and expansion of the iron industry.
It is the least-known episodes which give the Pease story elements of dramatic tragedy. Dr Kirby points out that few people have ever heard of the “Portsmouth affair” involving the complicated financial arrangements of Sir Joseph’s ward, the former Beatrice Pease.
Beatrice married the Earl of Portsmouth and the “affair” rested on the estate of her late father, Edward Pease, who had left her “a substantial fortune”. Litigation ensued and in 1900 Sir Joseph – “a tired old man harassed by solicitors” – found his reputation for honour and integrity impugned in the High Court.
Mr Kirby says Sir Joseph allowed personal prejudices and petty animosities to cloud his judgement in the Portsmouth business, but worse was to follow with the collapse in 1902 of the family bank.
Here, too, Sir Joseph’s handling of delicate matters could be questioned, but the bank failure had shattering consequences. It brought Sir Joseph to the brink of bankruptcy, ruined his reputation – he had to relinquish a number of public posts – and destroyed the inheritance of his sons, Alfred and Jack.
This, together with the waning of political influence and the decline of old-style Quakerism, was the beginning of the end for the Pease dynasty, which effectively closed with Jack’s death in 1943.
The book receives the blessing of Sir Alfred’s son, J. Gurney Pease, in a foreword: “From a family point of view the controversy surrounding the final stages of the saga has been fully, independently and authoritatively put straight.
Here, surely, is a television documentary on our doorstep.

Pease, Sir AE

“Elections and Recollections”, Murray, 1932.

MP for York City 1885-1892.
MP for Cleveland 1897-1902. Unopp 1900. Resigned 1902 fortunes ruined.
Admin post Transvaal 1902-7.

“From the age of twenty-two I often had to deal with offenders in my smoking-room. These untried persons were usually led by a chain, and handcuffed, along three miles of road to my house. This administration of justice in private appeared to me scandalous, and I rejoiced when it was abolished and the Summary Jurisdiction Act was passed...” p 8. “One change, I suppose made in the pursuit of the fetish of popular election, I think was regrettable, for formerly all justices were ex-officio Guardians of the Poor, and among them were found the most enlightened administrators of the Poor Law. There was a distinct advantage in Justices being familiar with the practical application of the Poor Law, and in direct contact with the poorest class of the community.” cf WLWilliamson. Good anecdotes re Quakers. pp 23 & 24. re pirate: “Friend, it is against my principles to kill thee, but I will hold thy head under water until it shall please the Lord to take thy life”.
Thomas Parrington, 1818, lunched with author when P was 93 and drank all but one glass of 1840 port. Rule for 30 years to drink a bottle of port after dinner every day of his life. (Norman Moorsom, Middlesbrough, published a booklet on Thomas Parrington.)
Resident magistrate at £1000 pa. S.Africa – AEP.
1882: no contest since 1868. North Riding – Cleveland?
p 62: “on the polling day I note that the old order of things was dying. Even in Guisborough it was evident that many were voting without orders or ‘even against orders’! I asked one tradesman why he had not voted ‘yellow’ as usual, and he replied with tears rolling down his cheeks, ‘that Mrs ---- had sent him word that if he voted at all she would withdraw her custom, and she was by far his best customer.’ I have never understood this kind of cruelty, but it existed before the Irish brought it under the name of ‘boycotting’ to an infernal system. In Guisborough that day a mob, mostly in our colours and chiefly ironstone miners of the district, had possession of the town, and it is the last occasion on which I have seen rotten eggs used in the old copious fashion, with yellow ochre, “blue-bags”, sods and soot showered on the blues, and especially on the turn-coats, and it was late before any kind of order was restored. I record that Admiral Chaloner, Robert Yeoman, Johnny Rudd of Tolesby Hall, and I sat as Justices to deal with the arrested rioters, but went no farther than to inform them that they ‘might have got eighteen months and been fined £100,’ and we solemnly pronounced the affair ‘a disgrace to the town’. This leniency was perhaps the natural result of the satisfaction of my colleagues with Guy Dawnay’s victory, but a ‘good row’ on polling days was then the usual thing. We know out of 590 voters on the register, 40 were dead or abroad, 386 voted for Rowlandson and 113 for Dawnay. Overall result: Dawnay 8135, Rowlandson 7749. Maj. 386. The Liberals thought this a sad change from 1868 when they boasted that there were only three Tories in Guisborough. I am tempted here to refer to two of the Justices I have just mentioned, who illustrate the old order of things. John Bartholomew Rudd was the last survivor of an old Cleveland family, lived outside our Petty Sessional Division and was a peculiar character. He used occasionally to invade our Bench, and by right of seniority turn Admiral Chaloner out of the Chair, much to the annoyance of the Admiral. Johnny Rudd at these times arrived in Volunteer uniform wearing a big busby and horn-rimmed spectacles, carrying an umbrella, and with his market basket on his arm, for he did his own housekeeping. The Admiral, who wore ‘pepper and salt’ clothes and a high hat, in summer a white one, was an excellent Chairman, and administered pure justice with a considerable amount of language of the quarter-deck. If the Clerk ventured to question the strict legality of his proceedings, he would retort, ‘I am here, sir, to administer Justice, and by God I shall do it’. In those days it was extremely difficult, such was the law, to avoid sending young persons to prison. The Admiral generally managed to dispense justice by dispensing with inconvenient laws. He would in some cases insist on a whipping, and to get over the defect in the law which prevented such a sentence, would send for the father of the culprit, and call on the parent in alarming language to request that the offender might be whipped. Having secured this the father and son were ordered off to the police station for the execution of the sentence. There were two other regular attenders at the court, one the old and kindly Archdeacon of Cleveland, Henry Yeoman, of Marske Hall. He acquiesced in all punishments with great reluctance, and often defeated our intentions by paying the fines of the poorer offenders. His brother, Robert Yeoman, gave such close conscientious and exhausting attention to every case that he required the following day in bed, if our proceedings were protracted, or a difficult problem presented itself.

Temperance (p 82/83)

MP for York. “experience as members in a modern urban community – bazaars, banquets, assize breakfasts, and curious political meetings in each ward of the city.”
AEP asked to preside at Rechabite bazaar. did not know what Rechabites were. Minister and prayer, introduce AEP and ask him to read out first verse of hymn. “I will not touch the drunkard’s drink”. Whispered to Minister, I should like you to give out the hymn. Why? Because I am not a teetotallrer. Minister shocked beyond words. Are you not an abstainer? No. Then why are you here? Before I had gone round to make purchases (?) all the Rechabites knew that I was a fraud and that I drank the drunkard’s drink, and by their attitude towards me I knew that I had lost about 100 votes. The Minister, with gravity and pain depicted on his face, escorted me to the door in silence.

Pease Sir Joseph Whitwell, Bart. MP

D.1903. Buried 23 June.
Get obit notice.
Mansion. Exotic fruits. A show place. Visiting MPs.
Fathered Workingmen’s Club in 73 Westgate (now 1983 Co-op)
Downfall- financial. Custody of a ward?

Basque Refugees at Hutton Hall
Darlington & Stockton Times 1 Sept 1979

“During the Spanish Civil War the Hall was used to house Basque refugee children and then it was taken over by the Army for the duration of the 1939-45 War ...”

New Housing Estate
from ICI magazine August 1957

From a hill top overlooking Guisborough, a Wilton News photographer took this bird's eye view of a section of the Cleveland landscape that has a special significance for employees of the Company working at Wilton.
The lovely rolling country seen here as one looks towards the sea is already in the process of transformation and the huge triangle of land in the centre of the picture is being developed by Guisborough Urban District Council as an estate of nearly 400 houses.
As reported recently, GUDC has accepted ICI’s offer of financial assistance in the building of houses for essential workers and a considerable number of Wilton employees will be found homes in these very pleasant surroundings.
The Council hopes as far as is reasonably possible to allocate 100 houses a year to the Company. Already site preparation is well under way and most of the drainage has been completed. Building is to start very soon.

Hospital of S. Leonard, Lowcross

From the account given in Vol 3 of The Victoria County History (County of York) p 314, it appears that this leper hospital may have moved away from its original site. There are 60 deeds in the Guisborough Chartulary anterior to 1250. Richard, son of Hugh de Hotona, confirmed to the lepers of Lowcross 2 acres in Hutton where the hospital anciently stood, and John “dominus de Hoton” remitted to the prior and convent of Guisborough his right of nominating a leper to the hospital. Was the original site at Hutton? Other charters give “Hotonam” (Hutton). Hospital of S. Leonard “quod est inter Hotonam et Bernaldby”. A removal? Then known as Lowcross, between Hutton and Barnaby. 1218-1234 the neighbouring hospital of Upsall was suppressed. Most of its lands transferred to Hospital of Lowcross. A difficulty presented by identification on the O.S. map at Hutton and not at Lowcross of a site marked Lepers’ Hospital. The historian Graves (1808) wrote of Hutton: “A part of the buildings which stood in a solitary situation, shut in by rising grounds overhung with deep and solemn woods, has been converted into a farmhouse with stables and out-offices, in which some mutilated arches of doors and windows were remaining...” Obvious that he refers to site marked on O.S. map. Possibly the original site. Two charters: Hospital of the Sick Men of Bernaldby had a cemetery attached. Elsewhere called Hospital of the Sick Persons of S. Leonard of the parish of S. Mary of Guisborough: inmates of both sexes. Fairly well endowed. A church at hospital. Governed by a master till given to Guisborough Priory by William of Bernaldby whose gift was confirmed by Peter the son of Peter de Brus. Taken over before 1275, as in that year the jurors of the Wapentake said that the brewers and bakers of Guisborough used to give alms of ale and bread to the lepers of Lowcross at their pleasure, but that the Prior of Guisborough now compelled them to pay ½d per week when they brewed or baked and these alms he farmed out for one mark or 20s. Priory almoner, “custos” or rector disappears from view. Last mentioned in 1339, but there is no reason to suppose that it was suppressed before the Dissolution though it seems to have been absorbed in the Priory.
NOTE. Ord History of Cleveland, p 238, mentions the Cistercian nunnery established first at Hoton and later moved to Nunthorpe and finally to Basedale; he states that “Numerous vestiges of the old nunnery have been ploughed up near the spot where it formerly stood...” Could these have been from the Leper Hospital? Some attention should be paid to the correspondence in the local “Gazette” re the site of the Hospital. Written by Mr Cornier sometime in the last ten years. Was this in connection with a footpath? I don’t know. Unwise to ignore it without some reference to is sources. I should be pleased to have information about any finds during the 1965 summer excavations. I am doubtful about the tradition of food being left at Ruther Cross on Hutton Lane. There was a road there pre-1867.

Hutton Camp - plan and surounding area

Hutton Camp - From April 1982 issue of ‘Priority’ (No. 969) – the S Nicholas Parish monthly magazine – Pine Hills Camp for Refugees (now a housing estate) – article by Grace Dixon: “On 6 March 1982 a memorial was unveiled in a London Square to refugees from Eastern Europe, who as the result of the Yalta Agreement were forcibly repatriated to Russian-held territory, and most of whom subsequently perished. This reminds us that for a time towards the end of World War II part of the old Army Camp off Hutton Avenue (later the first section of site of Pine Hills estate) was occupied by displaced persons. It is assumed they originated in the Baltic states, and were captured either as military prisoners or forced civilian labourers in the German advance into Russia. Having been sent further west by the Germans, they eventually fell into Allied hands. At the Hutton Avenue camp some were employed in farm work, while others were known to have cleared snow from the roads. Many of us remember their mournful singing as they tramped in columns between Guisborough and Hutton. Their eventual fate is unknown, but it seems very probable that they were among the ‘victims of Yalta.” GD.

The Old Hall

Hutton Hall

Built by Sir Joseph Whitwell Pease 1866/67. JWP was MP for N Durham. Hall built on site (or near) former manor house which was sold by Edward VI in 1550 to Sir Thomas Chaloner. Old hall destroyed. School built 1857. Home Farm—“Hoton Howse”, bought by Chaloner (with Hall) in 1550. Hall: “offices, gardens, hot-houses, hospital for … sanatory treatment of retainers of owner …”

Hutton houses
‘A new and complete History of the City of York’, Thomas Allen, London 1821, 3 vols.

Guisborough 435 houses. Hutton 50 houses. Tocketts and Plantation 46.

Hutton – Sale of 4 acres of land – news item in ‘The York Herald & General Advertiser’ 1853. York Reference Library.

Hutton Manor
Atkinson’s ‘History of Cleveland’ Vol II, p50.

3 Manors – Hoton/Ghigesburg/Middletone – Westgate) part of fee of Earl of Morton. Hutton lands not specified, but coincident with present (1870?) township. Hutton descended through Lucia de Brus to the Thwengs. Atkinson critical of Ord re vestiges of old nunnery.

Hutton Station
From ‘A Month in Yorkshire’, Walter White, 1858.

A cottager told Mr White that it was “Mr Pease’s station, built for himself and not for everybody.”
What form, if any, of discrimination between passengers?

Hutton Village

The village of Hutton Lowcross is a focal point in the Forest walk and its picturesque situation gave rise to the title of “Alpine Village” many years ago. Today the scene is somewhat blurred by new dwellings, but even so the row of small cottages and the mission room with its diminutive spire stll presents a pleasing picture. But there is more behind it than a romantic title. As a place of settlement its history goes back nearly one thousand years. The “Hoton” of Domesday Book means a spur of hill and “Loucros” signifies the existence of an adjacent settlement. Nearby there was the Hospital of S. Leonard and it is recorded that the lepers there were given ale and bread by the brewers and bakers of Guisborough. Much later there was a manor house sold by Edward VI to Sir Thomas Chaloner who also purchased “Hoton Howse”, the latter said to be on the site of the present Home Farm, where carved stonework is incorporated in the outbuildings.
The industrial archaeologist will find the Forest walk reveals plenty of evidence of industrial activity and a glance at the O.S. map shows the site of the Codhill Mine. This was exploited by the Pease family during the years 1855-1865, with mineral wagons clattering along the village street. An advertisement in the “York Herald” dated 16 December 1853 stated that four acres of land were for sale by private contract. Addressed to “Capitalists and Builders” it gave the number of labourers employed as 300 and predicted that another 600 would “be immediately required”, the land being well situated and adapted for cottage erections. After a decade peace descended on the village once more and the building of Hutton Hall in 1866-7 and the landscaping of the grounds coincided with new cottages in the village for workers on the estate.
Evidence for the mining of jet is found in the local place-name “Jet Bank”. Fortunately the industrial spoil heaps have been carefully utilised in the process of afforestation, the contours and colours lending variety to the scene. One outstanding feature of the Forest walk provides attractive prospects to the artist and photographer – this is the number of “surprise views” particularly in regard to Highcliff. for those interested in pre-history there are the fossil beds and in the field below Kemplah there is the medieval cattle way – Ruthergate – with the shaft of Ruther Cross on the verge of the Council Housing Estate. It was on the site of this ancient track that Roman coins were found.
For those who wish to delve into the past the following publications will provide further information: The Romans in Cleveland, by F. Elgee; the works of the three Cleveland historians: Graves (1808), Ord (a native of Guisborough, 1846) and Atkinson (1874); Victoria County History, NR of Yorks, Vol II.
Finally, the approach to the village offers the unusual feature of an avenue of trees outside the estate and what was virtually a private railway station now converted into a dwelling house.
(Print as written. No editing)
Collected by Mr Adams, Thurs 4 March 1871.
Not used and not returned.
promised me 2 cypress bushes – forgotten! (Aug 1971)

1 comment:

  1. Dear John

    The photo of Cruddas and Son Builder.
    The young girl on the cart at front is Rhoda Jones my grandmother with her father John Smith in front . John married into the Sunley family - a short bio is in Southside Story by Sheila Crossman and Bob Preston.

    Bob Jones 01943 863857