Wednesday, 23 September 2009

The Vigilant Herald

The running title of the Guisbro’ & Saltburn Herald is made up of three woodcuts formerly the possession of Messers JT Stokeld & Sons Ltd of Guisborough. Note the excellence of the serifs.


These pages contain information culled from 68 issues of a weekly newspaper, the “Guisbro’ & Saltburn Herald”, covering the period 18 June 1887 to 27 October 1888. The imprint on the first 42 copies id “Published by H Hamilton, Milton-street, Saltbburn-by-the-Sea; and printed by JT Stokeld, 18 Fountain-street, Guisbro’.” This was changed on issue No 43 to “Printed for ‘The Guisborough and Saltburn Herald Limited’ by Joseph Thornes Stokeld of Chaloner-street, Guisbrough, and published by him at 18 Fountain-street, Guisbrough, in the County of York; and published also by Harry Hamilton, of 6 Eden-street, Saltbburn-by-the-Sea, at the Registered Office of the Company, 2 Amber-street, Saltburn-by-the-Sea”. The formation of a company resulted in a change of printers and No. 51 had the imprint of Jordison & Co, Ltd, of Middlesbrough.
This departure was referred to in the editorial of 2 June 1888: “There is only one source of regret to the proprietors in making this change … (increasing the local news and advts from 4 to 8 pages) … the paper has hitherto been printed by Mr JT Stokeld, who has always been most enthusiastic in the arduous work frequently thrown upon him. It is now necessary that the paper be printed in Middlesbrough”.
On 9 December 1887 the title was changed to the “Saltburn & Guisbro’ Herald” and carried a lengthy and lively report of a Local Government Inquiry concerning street improvements in Saltburn. Subsequent issues bore the customary title.
These newspapers contained national news, printed elsewhere, possibly by one of the national presses, then sent to a local printer who set up the local advertisements and news items and printed these on pages left blank for this purpose.
The collection is in the possession of Mr AO Stokeld, master printer, of 18 Fountain Street, Guisborough, to whom thanks are due for he opportunity of studying a very interesting record of local journalism and local craftsmanship.

WD Brelstaff, Guisborough, 1972

The Vigilant Herald

“I don’t know, Sir, what you would be at. Five or six shots of small arms in every newspaper … might I think satisfy you”. Boswell.

The outstanding feature of these old newspapers is the liveliness of the reporting and the frankness of the editorials. Sometimes it seems as though the reader is listening to a conversation. This is most apparent when reading a report of a meeting of the Board of Guardians.
The second issue of 25 June 1887 has an account of the local celebrations of the Queen’s fiftieth jubilee. Decorations adorned the market place and Westgate and mention was made that Mr William Campion had displayed a flag that had been used when the Queen’s accession was similarly celebrated in 1837. Refreshments were provided for 1909 children and 102 teachers at a cost of £53.16s. 5d.
These celebrations must have been a welcome diversion. The general picture revealed by these papers for the years 1887 and 1888 is sombre. Three months after the Jubilee there is this report: “It has been said that more than 700 working men and their families have left Cleveland during the last year … the mining industry is very weak”. In March 1888 mention is again made of the depression, one result of which was a larger number of untenanted houses. The one bright spot was the flourishing steel works at Guisborough. But this item of news was slanted. It was an election puff for a candidate in the local voting and he was connected with the management of the works.
The departure of miners from Cleveland created new problems. “The wholesale emigration of miners from the industrial centres of Cleveland to America and Australia is gradually draining away the very life blood from our district … at the present time there are dozens of families about Skelton, Lingdale and Marske containing 3, 7, and sometimes as many as 12 children, who are entirely destitute and dependent on the parish” (6 August 1887). These unfortunate mothers are referred to as “American Widows”. “Cases of this kind are constantly coming before the Guardians and members are in a quandary as to how to deal with them. They show an antipathy towards granting outdoor relief (as in the case of the four women who applied on Tuesday), but on the other hand they are morally bound to support them, and were they all to agree to enter the workhouse it is manifestly apparent that the building would have to be enlarged to double or treble its present state to accommodate them”. As evidence of the antipathy of the Guardians the “Herald” referred to the case of a “woman who produced a letter in support of her statement was told by one member, in a not very gentle voice, that ‘It served him right for leaving work at home to go there’.” The woman’s husband had written to say that he had been ill and out of work. It is possible that the unsympathetic Guardian was a farmer who had lost a labourer.
The Vicar of Saltburn, the Rev B Irwin, started a fund to assist intending emigrants, showing his awareness of the plight of many who lived outside his parish boundaries, although he may at first have been concerned with the families living in Marske.
Letters from the emigrants are among the more interesting items of news. One such letter came from Canada:
“Dear Parents,
I was glad to hear that you are all well and that you were intending to come out here in the spring. Fetch all your feather beds, quilts and blankets, knives and forks and spoons. Fetch all the clothes you have got. If they want mending, why patch them up; an honest patch is no disgrace. You ought to see the pants I am wearing now. Don’t bring anything but what I have mentioned, as they will be more bother than they are worth. It will be all the trouble you can attend to to mind the children. Times are very dull this spring, but I think they will be better in the summer. I cannot help you a great deal till fall, but could give you five dollars and a cord of wood, which would be some help towards you getting along. Anyway, I will give you 45 dollars (£9) this fall, and two barrels of apples, if I have my health and don’t get hurt. I have hired o Mr Rogers for seven and a half months for 12 dollars a month. Well, try and get out if you can, as I think you can live there you can live here. Tell Mr Irwin I will write a long letter soon. From your loving son, JT Hodgson”. (3 April 1888)
More news about local emigrants was given by T Fowler who wrote: “We are a bout a mile or so from Hodgson. We often see him on Sundays when he is at church: he looks well, but Burton has gone to Toronto, so you will see we are not at the work you desired us to be at. Oliver is getting 27 dollars and I am getting 26 dollars per month, and I don’t see how so many young men stay in England when they are able to get on in the world out here. We attend he Methodist Church. We hear some very good preaching. Yours respectfully, T Fowler”. (This letter was addressed to the Editor of the Herald”).
Mr Philip Larkin of Guisborough had an advertisement in the “Herald”: as auctioneer and emigration agent he could auction all the unwanted household furniture and book the passage. In addition to “Furniture sold on special terms to intending emigrants” there was the inducement of travelling to America for £3.10s., to Canada for £3 and to Australia for £13.10s.
A letter from one resolute settler, sent to Mr Parkin, read: “It is about a year and eight months since you booked me and my family to Manitoba. All my family got situations within three days after arrival, with the exception of my two youngest boys. I got a situation at 15 dollars per month, with board for myself and two boys. Since then I have taken up a quarter section of land of 160 acres of the Dominion Government. I do not intend going into raising grain. I think stock of all kinds pays better. My son and daughter, whom you sent out about last March twelvemonths, are both doing well. My son is working on the CP Railway, about 400 miles from here, and my daughter is in a good situation at Winnipeg. I and my boys have had to work pretty hard since we came here, but I don’t think we are any worse for it. the blizzards have been very severe. The snow has been on he ground for five months, and today I when was getting some stove-wood home with an ox and sleigh I had to go through four feet of snow …” J Scaife.
A news item dated 18 June 1887 undoubtedly relieved the anxieties of the overseers of the Poor Law relief. A Guisborough contractor had successfully tendered for a section of he North Gare Breakwater which, it was estimated, would provide employment for 80 men for three or four years. In the words of the editor this was “a commendable action by the Tees Conservancy Commissioners in these depressed times.
Less positive hopes were raised later when there was an article suggesting the possibility of Guisborough becoming a “residential refuge from the close air and crowded streets of Middlesbrough … In its character for peacefulness and quiet Guisborough may be a distinguished place; there is no party feeling beyond the difference of political views. The mining population are exceedingly quiet and have always been so (1). We may hope for them, and consequently for the tradesmen, better times not far distant, for we fear in the past winter many a family was sorely pinched. A little more enterprise, it is sometimes said, might be shown by the various trades, and a willingness to forego for ready cash the old high prices. It is a short-sighted policy to charge several pence more for each small article than it can be purchased in a near town. The railway company have never much encouraged Guisborough. It ought now to be the centre place on the line in the distance between Newcastle and Scarbro’, with through trains constantly running”.
The local Co-operative Society, the Guisborough Provident Industrial Society, established in 1873, was not as yet a serious competitor of local trade. However its policy of paying a dividend on purchases (2/- in the £ in 1885) helped to reduce prices. Ten years later at least one private shopkeeper was advertising a comparable dividend of 2/6 in the £.
Unfortunately the effects of a similar depression had been felt a decade earlier. From another newspaper (2) we learn from the report of a gathering of Wesleyans “that the depressed state of Trade had taken something like 200 members connected with their body out of the district”. Also that at Guisborough “the Distress”£ was relieved by the opening of a soup kitchen and by the temporary employment of men on he estates of Admiral Chaloner and Mr JW Pease, MP. Others were engaged in breaking stone for the Union. This would be at the Workhouse. During this same depression the “Present high price of milk” was discussed at a public meeting when it was resolved to ask the farmers to reduce it to 3d a quart. The Guardians bought it at this price for the Workhouse. The current price was 6d in Guisborough and 4d in Middlesbrough. It was also decided to petition the Local Board not to vote money for the daily practice of ringing the church bell: this was not a call to worship, but to labour.
The local railways came in for comment and criticism in the columns of the “herald”. One sore point was the lack of a late train into Guisborough from Saltburn, particularly during the summer months. The reported who in June 1888 described Guisborough railway station as “a dingy, draughty little station” anticipated the comments of all who used it throughout the rest of its existence.
Saltburn must have been swamped on Whit-Monday 1888 if he report that 15,000 visitors were there on the occasion of the annual festival of he Primitive Methodists was correct. There were other attractions: “…the rackety folk sought the madding crowd at Cat Nab”.
A large gathering of a different nature was the Miners’ Demonstration held at Skelton in June 1888 when three Lodges from Guisborough and fourteen from other places assembled in a field and were addressed by Mr Rowland, the general secretary of he Miners’ Union. It is worth noting that had it not been through the support of Mr and Miss Emerson who granted the use of the field, the miners would have had to find another meeting place because “all other fields were closed against them” (3). The first resolution was that “This meeting being of the opinion that Trades Unions and Co-operation are the means by which the working classes must achieve their complete social and political emancipation, resolves to use all legitimate means to increase the membership of the Cleveland Miners’ Association, promote the interests of Trades Unionism generally and extend the principles of Co-operation”.
Nearer the bone was the warning given to the young miners: “If the young men who worked in the mines worked as they were at the present time, at 45 years they would be broken-down men, and then being unable to earn the district average they would be cast to one side without the slightest consideration”. A report from the office of the Miners’ Association had already stressed the connection between accidents and over-production. “The awful pressure of a grinding struggle for existence has made men extremely anxious to obtain as large an output as possible in the limited number of shifts they are allowed to work”. Mining injuries had disastrous consequences for some of he benefit societies, some becoming insolvent. At Marske the lodge refused to admit miners. This information concerns the Oddfellows’ Society at an earlier period. Fifteen years later there was a brighter picture presented inn the accounts of the Court of “Old Abbey” Foresters at Guisborough where the assets amounted to £5,071.
The several references of he local depression seem to have been based on a belief that the local mines were being worked out. Mining was said to be developing eastwards and there was no longer a demand for cottage property in Guisborough. “We cannot but think that the water power, which nature has brought into the valley, might be used for many an industry, and for food and work for the population when the declining days of the mining are at hand”. Th census return for 1881 showed a population of 6,616. That of 1891 the figure of 5,623, a drop of 993. At a meeting of he Highway Board on 5 May 1888 the surveyor reported that he had a good many men asking him for work in stone breaking and he asked for permission to order stone to give poor and needy men employment.
Despite all this there was a good deal of social enterprise. In a leader of 9 July 1888 “many improvement” are appraised: “The Miners’ Hospital, the Chaloner School, the Mechanics’ Institute, the improved condition of the Parish Church and the Wesleyan Chapel, the existence of flourishing contingents to the two regiments of volunteers in the district, all in a great degree owe heir present condition to Admiral Chaloner, whose widow, as witness her liberality in he Jubilee festival, seems desirous that he shall be as little missed as possible while she remains the owner an d occupier of Longhull … There is now but one of the hatched houses that once were so numerous, and the paving, lighting and draining, all of them comparatively recent works, have given the ancient place so far a modern character as we required”.
A very diffeent account had appeared in the “Herald” only four months earlier. The Medical Officer’s eport to the District Boards showed that the death-rate for Saltburn was 7 per 1000, “with an absolute immunity from the justly-dreaded diseases of small-pox, scarlet fever and enteric fever”. The figures for Guisbourough Urban District presented a startling contrast: the death-rate was 18 pr 1000, of which a large proportion consisted of children between one and five years. A still larger proportion – 28% – were of children under one year. Out of 51 deaths of children, 16 were ascribed to bronchitis and pneumonia. This was said to be due to the practice of taking young children to evening entertainments and religious services by parents who believed in infants being subjected to a “hardening process”. Such was the comment in the “Herald”. But the Medical Officer had a more serious complaint: “I continually insist upon the more frequent removal of all filth from receptacles near houses”. Dr Stainthorpe also stressed the necessity of complete isolation in all cases of infectious disease and the recurrence of epidemics of scarlet fever. The Board granted him permission of attend a course on practical bacteriology at Kings College, London. After unsuccessful attempts to establish a joint fever hospital for the districts of Saltburn, Redcar and Guisborough, a site was chosen near Sandy Lane, Marske, following a meeting between an inspector of the Local Government Board and the Rural Sanitary Authority.
It requires little imagination to understand the complaint made by miners about the night-soil deposited by the road leading from Marske to Upleatham.
Bank Street in Guisborough came under discussion at a meeting of the Local Board when the Medical Officer condemned the installation of a town water supply because the service pipe had been carried beneath the ashpits. These so-called ashpits were in reality middens and it is easy to understand the Medical Officer’s dread of the consequences arising from a broken lead pipe.
The Workhouse provided a source of news for the “Herald” in 1887 when one of he local Guardians alleged that children aged three to five years had their sleeves cut out at the shoulders and were “blue with cold”. The Local Government Inspector was equally observant and recommended that 23 boys and 27 girls residing there should have separate towels to prevent the spread of ophthalmia and other diseases. He also recommended that these fifty juveniles, whose ages ranged from five to sixteen years, should be given opportunities for religious instruction under the auspices of their own denomination.
These visits were followed up by an inquiry by a Local Government Inspector and resulted in the removal of the master and the matron. The appointment of a new master proved beneficial to the inmates. On his retirement nineteen years later he was described as an outstanding example of a workhouse master. Under his direction it had been “a model of what a well-regulated and ably managed workhouse should be”. In fact it was so good that newly-appointed masters and matrons from all parts of the country were sent to Guisborough by the Inspectors to observe an d copy the administration.
Even so, he had his troubles. A girl aged sixteen had proved incorrigible and was sent to another institution for correction, but her refractory conduct caused her to be sent back to Guisborough. On another occasion a vagrant assaulted a porter after refusing to pick oakum, which the Guardians ordered in half-ton loads. Could he have been an old seaman?
The Guardians were not immune from censure. Mr Knollys, a Local Government Board Inspector made a complaint to the Board about the discrepancy in the quantity of sugar consumed. Two pounds less sugar had been consumed at the workhouse in one particular week when there were ten more inmates than in another week. The Guardians atoned for this error by criticising a tradesman’s account for bacon, 9d per pound being considered excessive. For good measure the Inspector told them that it was illegal for vagrants to pound bones.
At a meeting of the Guardians in April 1888 the estimated expenditure for the ensuing half-year was stated as £9,698. A credit balance of £3,782 left £5,916 to be raised by two calls on the townships in the Union, equalling a rate of 7 in the pound. From the fortnightly returns made by the master of the Workhouse the number of inmates ranged from 117 to 152 during the years 1887 and 1888. For the vagrants the monthly figures varied between 20 and 83, more vagrants naturally being on the move during the summer months.
A reflection of he industrial depression within the township of Guisborough occurs in the rates levied for the two half-years of 1888. In May a district rate of 10d in the £ on mines and houses and 2½d on land as levied in September and the figures were 6d on mines and houses and 1½d on land. This was stated to be the lowest rate levied since 1884 when the rateable value was £34,147 as against £27,000 for 1888.
Of the news items of interest to the local historian is that of a provision for re-laying a small portion of the footway in Belmangate where the Black Bridge formerly stood (4).
The condition of the roads may be judged by the flowing items of news: in April 1888 the Surveyor obtained permission to order 100 tons of whinstone and to have it broken in readiness for the next season. In June of the same year a member of the Local Board suggested that women should pick stones off the road at a wage of one shilling a day. This was rejected with the satirical comment that the old men be allowed to continue to rake off the bulk of stones and leave straggling pieces here and there for people to fall over. The editor capped that with “They cannot be expected to stoop to do that”. About the same time the Churchwardens removed some cobbles and laid an asphalt footway leading to the church. The surveyor asked for instructions as to the disposal of the cobbles. Mr Joseph Wright “asked if it were not a question of taking away Church property, but Mr Whittaker thought that they could take away the Church itself if the Churchwardens left it lying on the road”.
The impending County Council Bill, together with an alteration in the method of voting, received publicity in the “Herald”: “Some very fantastic tricks have been played at election times, and in some cases the race has been, if not to the swift, but to the audacious. Names have been signed, initials have been added, papers have been altered in many elections, in various places, by others than the electing parties, and on such voting papers men have triumphantly ridden to victory”. At an election for the Normanby Local Board, “Mr Seymour, returning officer, said that a man came to his house to complain that while he was at work and his wife ill in bed, one of the candidates entered his house, filled up his voting paper and got his little daughter to sign it. That man was victorious”. The editorial comment on this election was that many women were diffident about completing ballot papers and entertained fears of some new taxation.
About the same time, Mr Whittaker, a member of the Guisborough Local Board, said that complaints had been made to him about the non-collection of voting papers from some houses. “People who had paid their rates ought at least to have the opportunity of casting their vote”. The official reply was that every house was visited, but people were not always at home when the collector called and in any case voters had the option of handing them in to the proper authority.
The new “Provided” schools, Northgate and Providence, had been in existence since 1879-81 and in the issue of 4 February 1888 figures were given for the average attendance over a period of three weeks:

Northgate School             Providence School
Boys 133 out of 152 Boys 229 out of 257
Girls 129 149 Girls 142 178
Infants 96 115 Infants 130 171
There are references to the remission of school fees and to prosecutions for non-attendance. In two cases fines of 2/6 and 5/- were imposed. An assistant master was appointed at Northgate School at a salary of £50 per annum.
In the autumn of 1887 extensive alterations were made at the Grammar School and a report in the “Herald” of 14 October mentions the discovery of old carved stonework when the ancient almshouses were demolished: “Mr John Cook, the Clerk of Works, had the best of these built into the foundations of the new buildings, so as to preserve them for the benefit of antiquarians of a future date”. In a cavity under the foundation stone a bottle was placed containing Jubilee coins and a copy of the “Herald”.
There is only one mention of a private school in these papers, “Miss terry’s School”, but it is know than there were others.
Many interesting comparisons could be made with present day affairs. The Cleveland Chamber of Agriculture met in April 1888 and passed a resolution in favour of a tax: “That this Chamber approves generally of the budget proposals of Mr Goschen and strongly approves the Wheel Tax as recognising the principle that those who use the roads should contribute to their maintenance”. They did not include horses.
Of the many voluntary associations in Guisborough the Temperance Society had its fair share of publicity. A society had been formed in 1860 and was only saved from an untimely end bu a publican who found them a room as a meeting place. The landlord of the Cock Inn let them have a room at a charge of 2/6 per meeting with fire and light thrown in. It is not known what effect the venue had on the members but they survived to enjoy the benefits of the Temperance Hall erected in Chaloner Street in 1871 (5).
But life was not entirely gloomy and it is possible that there were similar incidents to one reported in the “Darlington and Stockton Times” some years later. A report headed “Victims of the Wheel” concerned a “Scorcher” who was fined 17/- for flying through Guisborough market place at a speed estimated by the constable of between 16 and 20 miles per hour. Lorry swinging likewise brought pleasure and punishment.
Local entertainments in the 1880s included one Professor Harte, a thought-reader and conjuror, who gave a display of his powers in the Temperance Hall and also advertised his accomplishments when he discovered a pin which had been previously secreted in the ivy-covered wall of the Workhouse. The report does not state where the professor’s magnetic personality led him before he found the proverbial pin.
The lighter side of country life was reported by “Paul Pry” in the “Herald”. One incident was that of a fox seen entering the Rector’s garden. Mr John Walton dashed home, returning with his two terriers and capturing the fox.
One week later the Cleveland Hounds met at Guisborough Park and a chase to Chaloner Pit ended in Redcar Road where the fox took refuge in Mr Harrison’s workshop, scattering tins of paint about. Mr Langbburn caught the fox and carried it to the end of Church Street where he released it. A final chase ended at Chaloner Pit and the head and brush were afterwards presented to Mrs Harrison. Paul pry had a giber at Mr Langburn saying that he fox “ fell an easy prey to an individual who never can be induced to mind his own business and respect the freedom of other people”. Mr Langburn’s reply was to the effect that the nature of his business – a debt collector – may have prompted Paul Pry’s paragraph. People who did not attend to their own business caused him much activity and he suggested that Paul Pry might know something of this.
The published fixtures of three football clubs, the cricket club and rhe existence of two bands indicate much lively activity. Mention if made of Mr Michael Calvert’s celebrated Quadrille Band entertaining . a “large and appreciative” audience in the market place and also Mr Frankland’s String Band. A comment on the defection of the Rifle Volunteers at Skelton attributed their absence on several pubic occasions to the Guisborough Corps of the Salvation Army who had borrowed the big drum belonging to G Co. of the Volunteers and failed to return it. The Army Band had taken it with them to Clapton when General Booth’s daughter was married.
Other aspects of communal life occur in the reports of the Guisborough Fine Art and Industrial Society Exhibition – a three-day event – in 1888. The K Co. of the Guisborough Rifle Volunteers had a full programme in the summer months. There was a dog show for the fancier and for the studious classes in science at the Mechanics’ Institute.
At Saltburn Mr Charles Dickens, son of he novelist, gave readings: “Mr Dickens has not a powerful voice, but he knows how to use it and in some parts he was exceedingly effective”.
In politics the Liberals had the most support and the despondent comment of a chairman presiding at a meeting of the Cleveland Primrose League was that “he wished that the room had been filled with miners”. (Readers of Sir Alfred Pease’s book “Elections and Recollections” will recall his account of how the Guisborough miners bespattered the Tories with rotten eggs, yellow ochre and bags of soot.)
While addressing a meeting on the provision of allotments under the Allotments Act the secretary of the Cleveland Miners’ Association made a jocular reference to the Guisborough Local Board. This caused the Chairman of the Board to describe him as “a paid agitator and servant of he Union”, a statement he later withdrew.
Nothing escaped the “Herald”. The correspondence columns reveals requests for a surpliced choir in the Parish Church and for the removal of the choir to the chancel, also for less noise from the congregation. A lengthy and appreciative review of Rector Morgan’s novel, “The Prior of Gysburne” appeared in January 1888.
On the last day of March 1888 the weather was described “not as a lion, but as a beast”, and the late snowstorm cost the Guisborough Parish an additional outlay of £20 for shifting snow. At North Ormesby the dead body of a labourer’s wife was found in a snowdrift.
Wages offered at the hirings of the May Fair in 1888 were: Young girls £5 to £8. Women £10 to £12. Young lads £3 to £5. plough boys £8 to £12. Men £14 to £18.
In October 1887 a Middlesbrough firm of grocers advertised the following provisions in the “Herald”: Flour 1/2 per st. Danish butter 1/3 per 1lb. Bacon 4½d to 6½ per lb. Sugar-cured hams 7d per lb. “Butterine” 6d per lb. 3lb tin of pineapples 9d. Rice 1d per lb. Oatmeal 1½d per lb.
The hazards of copywriting occur in an advertisement offering bargains in footwear: as an inducement to purchase the firm state “10,000 footballs to be given away to every customer spending 10/-!
Some explanation is necessary concerning the word “Butterine” in a preceding paragraph. Apparently there was a reluctance to abandon the name on the passing of the Margarine Act: “This is a strange name to have fixed for that curious compound previously known as ‘Butterine’. Stockton had he doubtful distinction of providing the first case under the new Act, the offended being find 10/-.
At the Guisborough Police Court, judgement on a different offence, appears on the meagre facts, somewhat severe. A local coal-dealer who had stolen some hay, the property of a doctor, was fined £2, the hay being valued at 9.
Despite the depression there was a building society paying 5% to its members and the sum of £1045 had been raised by voluntary efforts towards the renovation of the Wesleyan Chapel.
During the summer the “Herald” devoted five or six columns o to the visitors (and their servants) arriving at Saltburn and Marske, gratifying the distinguished holiday-makers who headed the list and also the proprietors of the hotels and boarding-houses.
Other miscellaneous items of interest are:
The privately-owned Guisborough Gas Co. charged consumers 4/6 per 1000 cubic feet in 1887.
The LNER ran 14 trains out of Guisborough on weekdays.
The Guisborough Post Office was open on weekdays from 7am to 8pm and there were 7 despatches and 3 deliveries of mail. Deliveries were at 7-45am, 1pm, 5-10pm. The office was open on Sundays from 8 to 10am and there was a delivery of mail at 9‑30am.
Among the many advertisements in the “Herald” one or two are worthy of note: The Proprietors of the Guisbro’ Marquees catered for the hire of marquees ranging from 40ft to 500ft. There were two “hotels” which have vanished: the Station Hotel in Chaloner Street and the George and Dragon in the Market Place. Jackson Hugill & Son had a Steam Flour Mill in Mill Street. Charles Chapman was a manufacturer of Aerated Waters. Mrs Easton ran a Carrier’s service to Stockton on Wednesdays. JT Stokeld from his Gas Printing Works offered 24 Christmas cards for 6d. Charles Fordham gave tuition on the Piano, Violin and Organ and also sold pianos on “the3 years system, 20/- per month”. Edwin Gill, a Stationer, Newsagent and Hairdresser had a Circulating Library with books from Mudies. A Richardson the Ironmonger advertised Bassinette Perambulators with 4 bicycle wheels at 30/- and I Armstrong All-wool Suits at £2/2/-. The Haddon House Hydropathic Establishment and Boarding House at 34 Redcar Road offered Vapour Baths at 1/6; Board, Lodging and Attendance 25/- to 30/-. “Sure cure for colds, rheumatism and other diseases.
Within Guisborough there were plenty of “characters” and John Buckworth was a would-be innovator who came in for some unkind criticism from Paul Pry: “I notice that Guisbro’s fanatic, John Buckworth, is to the fore again, and informs the nobility, clergy and inhabitants of Guisbro’ that he will address a meeting from the Market Cross on Friday fore the purpose of erecting an illuminated four-dial-clock – as usual he wanders off into poetry and inflicts four verses on the suffering reader – all on different subjects and equally incoherent and meaningless. To see John Buckworth, rigged out in a white waistcoat and high-crowned hat and wearing a large pair of spectacles with one glass, addressing a meeting from the Market Cross is a sight worth remembering. Instead of sympathy and support from the nobility and clergy, however, I fear his usual fate is rotten eggs and decaying onions”.
Paul Pry served a useful purpose: eccentricities were noted and printed; local “characters” got the publicity they sought, and readers of the “herald” were entertained.
Finally it is fitting that a tribute should be paid to the printers of the “Herald”. As a former compositor the writer of these notes is aware of the skill involved in setting up solid matter in cold type and also of he equally arduous task of “dissing” (6) the type in preparation for the next batch of copy. While it is true that the pressman had the aid of an erratic gas-engine and was relieved of turning the press by hand, he still had to handle weighty formes of type and heavy loads of paper.

(1) The editor was apparently unaware of the criticism made by Mr Walter White in his book “A Month in Yorkshire” published in 1858. Of Guisborough he wrote: “Having refreshed myself at The Buck I took an evening stroll, not a little surprised at the changes which the place had undergone since I once saw it. Then it had the aspect of a lonely village and scarce a sound would you hear after nine at night in its long wide street; now at both ends new houses intrude on the fields and hedgerows, the side lanes have grown into streets lit by gas and watched by policemen. Tippling irondiggers disturb the night with noisy shouts when sober folk are abed and the old honest look has disappeared for ever. In the olden time it was said ‘The inhabitants of this place are observed by travellers to be very civil and well-bred, cleanly in dressing their diet and very decent in their houses’.”
(2) “The Middlesbrough News and Cleveland Advertiser”.
(3) Research Dept., National Union of General and Municipal Workers, London.
(4) See “Gazetteer of Cleveland Ironstone Mines” – SK Chapman.
(5) Local newspapers: Middlesbrough Reference Library.
(6) In the trade “dissing” is short for distribution, when the compositor deftly distributes each letter to its own compartment in the type case.

Tuesday, 15 September 2009

Entertainment & Sport 1

Bazaar 1904 Opening the Bazaar, 9th August. The “restoration” of the Parish Church of St Nicholas Guisborough imposed a heavy burden on the parishioners and a popular source of income was the bazaar. Colonel Chaloner the new Lord of the Manor is on the platform, with the new Rector, the Rev. AN Thomas, by his side.
The second picture shows a lull in the proceedings and the third children presenting flowers.
The Bazaar booklet shows that no-one wished to hide their light under a bushel! One name does not appear in it – that of the rector who followed Mr Thomas when he went to Australia to put on his mitre as the Bishop of Adelaide. His successor, the Rev GH Cobham, had the task of raising sufficient money to pay off the outstanding debt.

Empire Cinema
Chaloner St, erected ? Closed ? on site of Richard Ord’s tannery. When tannery closed, was a laundry. Laundry then moved to new premises in Northgate. In this picture Cecil B de Mille presents The Volga Boatmen, 1926. "Clarke & Watson, Land Agents" notice in the window.

Oscar Wilde at Oddfellow’s Hall, Middlesbrough.
Middlesbrough & Cleveland Advertiser, 1 December 1884

(Lecture 29 Novr.) His personal impressions of America.
Spoke fluently without notes for 1¾ hours.

“..... his appearance on the platform excited considerable astonishment, a first impression being that a female in male attire was before the audience, whose age was about 28 years, of tall stature, finely proportioned, dark, swarthy, clean-shaved visage, with perfectly formed features, and masses of black unparted hair; evening attire, poetically turned up cuffs and salmon coloured silk handkerchief, watch in trousers fob and old-fashioned seal pendant.”

Priory Silver Band – c 1904, vide Parish Magazine

Many successes – 10 firsts, 2 seconds, 1 third, 1 fourth, 1 cup, 13 medals and 4 certificates, out of 12 concerts.

Priory Band at Spring Cottages

Photo taken at 2 Spring Cottages, top of Sparrow Lane, near Belmont Mine.
Evidence of overhead transport of shale.

Names from Frank Cowan (Aged 91, June 1989)

Back row:
1 ? 2 Jarrow Mann Soprano cornet. 3 Tommy Hunter Cornet. 4 Mr Beadle. 5 Mr Eccles. 6 Edwin Shaw. 7 Tot Ruddock. 8 Young Rayner. 9 ?

Middle row:
10 Mr Chisman. 11 Dave Clements. 12 Chuck Mason. 13 Billy Barnbrook. 14 Mr Williams. 15 Tommy Hunter (2 of them?). 16 Tittler Goodchild. 17 George Richardson. 18 ? 19 Will Allinson.

Front row:
20 Adam Rayner. 21 Norman Clayton. 22 Mr Tansley. 23 Mr Hassock. 24 Mr Jim Hunter. 25 Mr Stephenson Mines Manager. 26 ? Committee Member (No instrument). 27 Jones. 28 Tot Allinson.

Miss B Allinson of 11 Cleveland St. gave me this photo and this sheet. I introduced her to Frank Cowan, aged 91, who identified many bandsmen, and I took her to Spring Cottages, near Belmont Mine, where Maurice Watson welcomed us and told us to go into his garden where the photo was taken.
WDB. May/June 1989

Guisborough Hall Football Team 1905

Back row, l to r
Harry Davies (Referee), Harry Taylor, Joe Roberts, Benny Smith (Joiner), Robert Taylor (Estate Policeman), Pennock (Labr), Rbt Legg (Head Gardener)

Middle, l to r
Fred Calvert, Jack Brelstaff (“Dummy”- Deaf & dumb), Geo Watson (Foreman Gardener), Ralph Calvert, Fred Young (Mason), Tom Taylor

Front, l to r
Bill Roberts (Water Co.), Joe ? (Footman), JS Campbell, Jim Calvert, Billy Byers, ??

The Squad

North Riding Police Team, April 1912

Domino Champions

Guisborough Enfield Cycling Club
Cycling Club at Egton Bridge

Quoits Champion

Cricket Club

Sunday, 13 September 2009


Polling Day 24 Jan 1882
vide ‘Whitby Gazette’

Dawnay 8135; Rowlanson 7749: maj 386
A criticism by Mr Fawcett – state of Guisborough on day of poll. (Criticism not brought forward on political grounds)? – from 10am to close of poll would-be voters were assaulted – yellow ochre, ‘blue’, soot and other articles thrown to prevent them going to vote. Sergt Clarkson, a shrewd man, agreed there was a disturbance, but ‘did not see anyone urge on disturbance’. (A wise man ‘to walk in the middle of the road’!) Slogan on Rowlandson’s conveyances – ‘Vote for Rowlandson – the Ballot Protects You’. Guisborough 500 voters. Stokesley 639. Middlesbrough 1207. 1866 the date of he previous election.

Guisborough Grand National
Election Squib April 6th 1914


BATTERBEE Funk, by Perseverance – Try Again (Shufflebottom)
BUCKWORTH Road Making, by Pastebrush – Bellringer (Johnny Walker)
LITTLE Laundry, by Froth – Soap Suds (Sparerib)
MAYHEW Silence, by Support – Dividend (Speechless)
NICHOLSON Lead Poisoning, by Plumbo – Urine (Bensoil)
PROCTOR Salesman, by Objection – Cottage Homes (Down-it)
SCOTT Common Sense, by Caution – Experience (Farmer)
SPENCER Hoblifter, by John Barleycorn – Clay Ends (Tailor)
THOMPSON Sanitation, by Steady – Sobersides (Providence)
WATSON Tap Droppings, by Plug – Bunghole (Sadler)

3 to 1 on Common Sense, Evens Salesman, 5 to 1 Laundry and Sanitation, 6 to 1 Funk and Silence, 20 to 1 Lead Poisoning, 50 to 1 Tap Droppings, and £1000 to a pinch of snuff Hoblifter.


The barrier ascended to a good start. Nicholson jumped off with a clear lead of fourteen days on Lead Poisoning, followed by Spencer on Hoblifter, with the remainder in a heap. Passing the Reservoir, owing to the inefficient light, Nicholson fell in, but immediately emerged, covered with Plumbo Solvency, and remounted, the remainder safely negotiating this awkward corner. The race continued without further mishap until arriving at the West Fence, when Little on Laundry had some difficulty in negotiating it owing to 3’-9” barrier of ironmongery. On passing the Cottage Homes Proctor’s Salesman began to kick with disgust and was passed by Spencer on Hoblifter, who made all the running as far as the Town Hall, where he swerved at the public in-convenience and was thrown amongst the ashes. He was, by the aid of a handful of clay, securely remounted and, although having lost several lengths, he caught the leaders before they arrived at HIS shipyard. Buckworth on Road Making now took up the running, but on arriving at Belmangate he lost several lengths through the going being treacherous, owing to the Council failing to adopt his suggestions with regard to ashes. Mayhew on Silence, sitting quietly, also found himself in similar difficulties on arriving outside the 2/6 (in the £1) Stand. Watson on Tap Droppings now took up the running, having safely negotiated the water jump, came along like an electric flash until he arrived at the workmen’s dwellings, where he was passed by Thompson on Sanitation, who continued to make the running up the Sewerage Overflow, followed by Batterbee on Funk, who has been out of training for a long time, seemed in doubt which was the proper course take. Scott on Common Sense, who had been keeping his mount in check, now began to draw ahead, followed by Proctor on Salesman, and drawing clear away they passed the Ballot Box several lengths in front of the remainder, who finished in a heap, with the exception of Hoblifter, who was tailed off.

Printed and published by J. Gould & Sons, South Street, Middlesbrough.
Election Address by one of the runners.

A family man, too.

Documents 2

An indenture of 1753, Matthew Hutton to be an apprentice of Robert Unthank, blacksmith, of Upleatham. Matthew to be taught ‘aranauticks’ ?? (Check indenture again).
(? see Balloon Travel)


19 Westgate. 1778. bounded on E by tenement Oliver Presswick. Registered N’allerton 30 Dec 1778. “towards the E by a lane or way leading from and out of the said street to a stable in the possession of Wm Leigh Williamson.

1778 Samuel Corney butcher and farmer.
1806 Mr Robt Johnston.
1823 Philip Heselton the elder, Joseph Heselton, John Barr, John Grey.
1837 Wm Danby.
1865 Richard Ord.
1895 Charles Ovington Ord.
1966 Buttery.

Stone on site of Supermarket 1963. Corner of door lintel.
New supermarket extensions completed Nov. 1977.

World War I

On 16 Decr 1914 the German Navy bombarded Hartlepool, Whitby and Scarborough. This no doubt caused the above circular in the name of Miss Gelder to be distributed in January 1915.
Both Emily and I recall the Headmaster of the Grammar School (Rev TFH Berwick MA) delivering the leaflets in person.

Constables’ Disbursements
Parish of Guisborough, North Yorkshire
1791 – 1831
Unfortunately there are gaps in the records as shown on sheet 2. Some books of accounts are missing, and in the existing documents some constables have given less information than others.
Payments to travellers ranged from 3d per person to 1/-. Males usually received 6d and women and children 4d each, but frequently the lump sum for a man, wife and children came to 3½d a head. Sailors in some cases when relieved on the order of a justice – Mr Williamson was one – received one shilling each.
The most detailed information is to be found in the papers for the years 1827 to 1831: all the occupations occur in this period.
In 1805/6 a large proportion of the women were wives of soldiers and sailors unaccompanied by their husbands. The four months 1816/17 show an outstanding number of travellers.
Of the constables, James Laing and William Darnton are, for our purposes, top scorers, as the following excerpts show:
A bass maker and his wife big with child.
A cropper going to Scotland.
A sailor castaway at Skinningrove.
A widow woman and two children going to Hull.
Two sailors shipwrecked in the Baltic.
A Portugize.
T Fisher, a schoolmaster, deplorabble.
A poor Jack adrift.
An idiot boy for his bed 3d. Lost his way, paid bed again 3d. (Not so silly! humane treatment)
Three sailors going to Sunderland, real Jacks.
A poor sailor going to Wisbech.
Jno Thompson (carpenter) ill of the Ague, going to Scarboro his settlement.
A poor woman that had lost her Child and Husband at Edinburgh with Certificate 1/-.
(All the above written by James Laing)

For the Pulmans it was a family vocation: Alexander, Robert and William were constables and there was a Ralph Pulman also did some tradesmen’s work for them

Included in the accounts are numerous items of purely local interest: repairs such as the “Dungon” lock and key, cleaning “Dungon”: providing straw, writing paper, quills and ink; payments for carrying the halberd and for calling the fair.

Deed No. 75 dated 29/12/1860
Grace Dixon research March 1982
Registry of Deeds Northallerton on microfilm. Book IU Deed 75

Parties named

Of the first part…
Frederick Jackson, Painter
Charles Carr, Rope and Sail Maker
John W Smith, Woollen Draper
(The above were all of Leeds, Trustees of Leeds Permanent Benefit Building Society).

Of the second part…
Thomas England of Leeds, surgical instrument maker.

Of the third part…
JH Merryweather.

Referring to all those three several messuages or dwelling houses adjoining each other, with yard, coach-house, stable and outbuildings, and garden on back (estimated one rood), formerly in occupations of M Mackereth, James Long, and Miss Danby, afterwards of Elizabeth Mozley, William Gill, and William Wright, late of William Henry England and his undertenants, and now of the said James H Merryweather and his undertenants, and all that piece or parcel of waste ground as same was formerly marked and set out, extending all the length of the said messuages or dwelling-houses, southwards 5 feet 10 inches at the east end thereof, and 4 feet 10 inches at the west end thereof, all of which etc are on the north side of Westgate, bounded east by lands formerly of John Harrison, but now of Thomas Colling Esq,
West by lands formerly of George Pennock and Robert Askew, but now of Henry William Thomas and by Miss Edwards.
North by other lands formerly of said John Harrison, but now of said Thomas Colling, and other property of said HW Thomas.
South by Westgate.

Deed No. 76 of 31st December, 1860.Book IU
JH Merryweather (Surgeon) to John Wilson (Watchmaker of Guisborough).
This deed relates to exactly all the same property as Deed 75. Probably a mortgage.

Note. There was a doctor named Michael Mackereth in Guisborough in the 1820s. John Harrison was one of the officials of the Chaloner estate. HW Thomas was a considerable land-owner at Hutton and Pinchinthorpe, and lived at Pinchinthorpe House before Sir Alfred Pease. In 1851 Ann Mozley, her daughter and two teachers, had a school in Westgate, certainly in the area in question. The Danbys were a prosperous Guisborough family early in 19th century, possibly late 18th C. I am assuming that the earlier version of Sunnyfield House passed from the Clarke family around 1859, then to Colling and later to Weatherills, but I have no proof of this.

Dr TA Pratt’s house
was No. 50 Westgate, with rear premises to N in Westgate Rd—WDB.

Indenture 4 April 1760
Northallerton. Registry of deeds. Book HE, p508/665.

A memorial of an indenture of Release bearing date 4/4/60 being Tripartite and made between Ralph Ward, Merchant son and heir of Knox Ward, late of Kirby St in County of M’sex, Esq deceased, and nephew and heir at law of Ralph Ward*, late of Guisborough in the County of York, Gent deceased, and Thomas Ward of London, Sugar Baker, and Rebecca Ward of London, Spinster, brother and sister of the said Ralph Ward, party thereto of the first part, Ralph Jackson of Guisborough in Cleveland in North Riding of the County of York, Gent, of the second part, and Hannah Jackson of Guisborough aforesaid, widow, of the third part, of an ? concerning all and every lands, tenements, Hereditaments and real estates late of the said Ralph Ward deceased, in and by the same Indenture mentioned, to be in and by his last will devised to the said Ralph Jackson as therein mentioned, and by the said Indenture released unto and to the sole use and behoof (?) of the said Ralph Jackson, his heirs and assigns, for ever, the execution of which said Indenture by the said Ralph Ward, party thereto Thomas Ward and Rebecca Ward, is witnessed by Joanna Nettleton of Drapers Court, Lothbury, London, Spinster, and Thomas Ludley of Piccadilly London, Gent, and the execution thereof by the said Ralph Jackson, is witnessed by John Preston the elder, of Stokesley in the said County of York, Gent, and John Preston the younger of Stokesley aforesaid, Gent
R Jackson
Signed and sealed in the presence of John Preston
John Preston, Junior. Sworn.
Registered 8/8/1760 at 11 in the forenoon.

*2 Nov 1759. “At a quarter past five in the evening died my uncle Ralph Ward—the will was not looked for tonight.” Diary of RW’s nephew Ralph Ward Jackson.

Indenture 9 July 1785
Northallerton, reg. of deeds, Vol BY, No. 124

Ralph Jackson Esq of Normanby to Richard Pulman Jnr Yeoman of Guisbrough

… messuage or tenement W end of Guisbrough, S side of Westgate - 35½ ft in breadth, with croft or garth lying on backside extending to beck called backhouse beck. Bounded by estate of William Chaloner towards the E, by estate of Ralph Jackson towards the W, and are now in the occupation of Francis Pearson as tenant. Formerly purchased by William Ward late grandfather of Ralph Jackson off and from Cuthbert Hunter and Elizabeth his wife ...
… also a convenient way or passage from and out of the Town Street (Westgate) of Guisbrough to and into yard or garth of said Ralph Jackson. Ralph Jackson reserves right of carriageway therein and from thence through and over the same yard or garth to and into the garth hereby conveyed and as near to the NW corner thereof as conveniently as may be …
WB 29.3.1978

Indenture, 11/11/1748

Indenture between
WILLIAM CHALONER Esquire of Guisbrough and
JOHN HUSBAND, Sadler of Guisbrough
Dated 11h November 1748

William Chaloner grants to John Husband the Tolls, Customs and Profits out of the Markets and Fairs in Guisbrough (excluding the Tolls and Customs from sale of living cattle and tolls or stallage of the Butchers Shambles already erected) and All that Close or parcel of Ground commonly called Sweet Hill containing about 6 acres, adjoining upon the grounds of Mr Thomas Proddy or towards the east, west and south and the water or beck towards the north. Also that Cottage-house where Edward Mankin now dwells adjoining upon the Malt Kiln towards the south and Robert Barry’s garden towards the north and east of the street towards the west…with free liberty of Turf and Turf Graft upon the Common or Moor, according to the quantity of his estate and the Allotment of the Jurors of the Town of Guisbrough…for 29 years and fully to be Court Leet amended. John Husband to pay yearly at the Manor-house of William Chaloner in Guisbrough £4/18/- at the two usual feasts of S John the Baptist and S Martin the Bishop in Winter in equal portions. John Husband to render all suits and services due to the Lord’s Court, Mills and Common Bakehouse by Lord’s tenants. Also to ride the fairs and boundaries, grind all his corn at the Lord’s mills (also malt). Also by baking at the Lord’s Common Bakehouse in Guisbrough all the bread and Bake Meats. Also to provide a manservant and cart to what Coal Pits William Chaloner shall think proper and shall carry the load of Coals (6 bushel at least) and the same shall pitch or lay down at the door of the Manor or Dwelling-house of William Chaloner in Guisbrough or elsewhere, paying the prime cost at the pits for the said coals.

The indenture contains the usual clauses concerning Chaloner’s rights to dig and search for mines, springs, quarries. With compensation to the leaseholder. John Husband to set or plant Ashes or Oaks in the hedges then existing or thereafter erected at a distance of 20 feet.

Endorsed “William Chaloner Esquire to John Husband – Lease for 29 Years from 11th November 1748”.

The fine of the within Lease for the Tolls £42
For the 6 acres of ground 18
For Edward Mankin House 4
Total £64

(John Husband, a churchwarden 1744
d. Jan 1759, nr Scaling, doubtful cause of death. A fall from a horse, in liquor.)

Inventory 15 July 1689.
Ann Lyle of Guisborough, widow, no will.
Purse and apparel 15/-
1 cow £1.18s.0d.
1 swine 4/-
1 acre of wheat £2
½ acre of barley 12/4d
2 acres meadow £1. 6s.8d
1 bedstead with a chaff bed and clothes belonging £1
2 sheets, 3 pillowbears 6/-
2 pewter dishes, 2 brass pots, 2 brass pans and other implements 10/-
table, chair and other small implements 5/-
TOTAL £8.18s.9d.

Tuesday, 8 September 2009

Documents Wills

Sixteenth Century Wills. Borthwick Institute, York Diocesan Archives.

1536 THOMAS COCKERELL. Pious preamble: to Almighty God, Lady S. Mary &c. To be buried in S Nicholas kyrke yard. Bequest to High altar. To son Mychaell one iron bount wayne and one yoke of oxen that bereth the wayne. (Vol 11A, No 208)

1537 WILLIAM THOMPSON. Almight God, S. Mary and All Sanctes. To be buried in S. Nicholas churche yearde. To our ladie lyghte one violett jaket. To lyghte of S. John Baptist one dublet of worsted. *To Mother Church of Yorke and unto Rypon and to four Orders of Frieres....
(Vol 11A, No 225)
*Note: see under Thomas Person below. 1538.

1538 EDMUNDE WHYTBIE. Preface as above. Burial S Nicholas Church. Bequests: one altar light to Our Ladie in the Parish Church and to S. John. Priest Umfray Spaunton.* (Vol 11A, No 289)

1538 THOMAS PERSON. Preface as above. Burial in Parish Church. To my lord prior for my berriall and for absolution my best oxe and to every chanon 12d. To the lghtes of our Ladie in the parish churche my best dublet and an oder dublet to the lightes of Sancte John. Also to the hye altar. To the hye wayes vis. viiid. Umfray Spaunton my curate to pray for me xs. To the Sacristane to cause the great belles to be rong vis. viiid. Priest to sing for my soule and for my Benefactors for apace of one year.
Bequest also to four mother churches: Yorke, Rypon, Beverley and Southwell and to four Orders of Friars. (Vol 11A, No 290)

* Four mediaeval collegiate churches of secular canons. mother church of Yorke, Rypon, Beverley and Southwell. Franciscans (Grey F), Dominicans (Black F), Carmelites (White), Augustinians (Austin F).

1540 ROBERT PICKERDE, Merchant. Burial Parish church. Bequests to priests, clerks and “to every scholar that can say seven psalms and litanie ijd”. To the purchasing of the clock and bells with the late monasterie of Gisburne ... and to the purchasing of the organ and other things within the Lady Quere. Also a bequest to the Churchwardens of Lastingham. To William Feldewe Curate of Gisburne a pare of hose clothe. &c. (Vol 11B, No 451)

1542 AGNES STERNE, widow, Gisborne. preface: Alighty God, Lady S. Mary, Company of Heaven. Burial S Nicholas Churchyard. Mention of her ghostlie father Sir William Feldew (to pray for her soul). Bequest to the Sacrament of the Altare. (Vol 11B, No 599)

1542 JOHN JOWSIE, Commondale, yeoman. Preface similar to No 599. Burial at S Nicholas Cgurch of Gisburn. Bequest for prayers at Blessed Sacrament of the Altare. To be buried before the Glorious Trinity.Bequest to the Light of Our Ladie. (Vol 11B, No 647)

1547 JOHN JOWCEY. “Celestial Company & Our Blessed Ladie S Mary. Bequests: Light of Our Ladie and to the finding of a priest. Mass for my soul for one year. To S John’s Altar a towell. (Vol 13A, No 365))

1547 EDWARD KENDALL, usual pious preface. Buried S Nicholas Ch yarde. Bequest Blessed Sacrament of Altar xiid. tobe prayed for ... Unto the image?* of oure Ladie and the lighte of a goode Kendall jacket. (Wm Feldew Curate)

1547 ALAN RICHARDSON. Priest and clerke beinge at masse and dirige the day of my Buriall xxs.

*NOTE: Thomas Askakby of Yarm (1408) made a bequest of 2s to the “image of S Mary at Gysburgh”. But this may have been at the Priory.

Will of THOMAS SPENCER. Letter from John B McKee, 9 Downland Close, Woodingdean, Brighton, Sussex BN2 6DN, to Miss G Dixon, 15/3/1982

I have located the Will of Thomas Spencer: it was proved in the Prerogative Court of Canterbury on 4th October, 1759. It is quite a long document, and I could supply a photocopy of it for £4.00 if you are interested. Otherwise, fees and expenses (for finding the Will, and for providing the following details from it) come to £6.00, which means that, on balance, you owe me just £3.00, please (or £6.00 if you want the photocopy).

P.C.C. Will of Thomas Spencer of St Mary, Bothaw, City of London. Merchant. (P.R.O ref: PRO B11/850).
He left the bulk of his Estate to his sister, Esther Spencer, spinster: he left her all his possessions in the Manor of Weston in Holderness, Yorkshire, including Court Leet, Court baron, farms, etc. Also, £8,000.

He wishes his friends, James Norman, and John Cornwall, of London, merchants, and George Clifford his co-partner in trade – to be the Executors of his Will, but they declined in favour of the Testator’s sister, Esther when the time came.

His other property, situated in the County of York, and in the counties of Durham, Essex, Kent, and ‘elsewhere’ he left in trust to his three named Executors to who £100 would be paid each, the arrangement being that his brother Richard Spencer & his heirs would enjoy these Estates.
To his niece, Dorothy Askew (late Boulby) now wife of Henry Askew, Batchelor in Physick - £5,000.
Brother-in-Law, John Jefferson - £3,000.
Brother-in-Law, Adam Boulby Father of his niece, Dorothy Askew) - £200.
Uncle, Ralph Ward, Esq. - £200.
Cousin, William Gansell, Esq. - £200.
Cousins, Ralph, Thomas, and Rebecca Ward - £200 each.
Cousin, George Jackson - £200. And to his brother, Ralph Jackson, and three sisters, Esther, Hannah, and Dorothy - £100 each.
Cousin, Francis Fox - £500, and to his brother John Fox, and his sister, Mary Saunders - £100 each. (Mary Saunders: see Deed of 1789—WDB)
Cousin, William Manley, and his sister Rebecca - £100 each.
--- Cooper, spinster, residing in my house with my family/with my sister Esther Spencer - £1,000. (Forename obliterated by a blot).
Christian Poppe, my book-keeper (if in my service at the time of my decease) - £100.
To each clerk over 12 months in his service at the time of death - £50.
To the Poor of the Parish of Guisborough, Yorks., “where I was born” - £50
To Edward Dans, formerly of Riga, merchant, but now of Shottesbrook, Berks. One annuity of £50.
Will dated 7th October, 1758.
(Also he left all his Estates at Hornchurch, Essex, to his named Executors – the three named above).

I think the above includes all the salient details, but you would be welcome to a photocopy if you wish to study the Will further.

Will of DAME HELEYN GILSON of Gysburn 1451
Surtees Soc. Vol 30, p 149 and Graves’ History p 426.

“In the name of oure Lord God Almighti, Amen. The xxviij day in the moth of June in the yere of ourLorde Mcccclj I Dame Heleyn Gilson of Gysburn in Cleveland, some tyme wife of William Gilson of Gysburn aforesaid, hole in witt and mynde – my bodie to be buried in the Conventuale kirke of Gysburn under the marbil stone ordeinede and arraid for my husband and me. Also I will unto my cors presant my stepe lede. Also to the lightes in the parish kirke iiijs. iiijd. Also to the priest of Holmeswath Chapel iiijs. iiijd. Also to St Nicol of Ripon, yf he go to Seinte James, xs. Also to Cristaine Esby my brodre daughter ij kie, ij beddes, j bras ott, j ketill and ij silver spones. Also to William Grome wife j coverlet j par blankettes and par sheetes. Also j posnet to Anne, the daughter of the saide William. And the residue I will to Thomas Laysyngby the son of my daughter.”

Will of WILLIAM WARD 1632
IN THE NAME OF THE LORD JESUS giving thanks to God the Father through Him I WILLIAM WARD of Guisborough in the County of Yorke Clerke being I praise God the Lord sound in understanding and memory although by divers Canons of Guisborough from the gracious hands of my merciful Father put in mind to for my approaching dissolution have thought it convenient to put my house in order before my departure and so accordingly make here my last Will and Testament in manner and form following:
First I bequeath my soul into the merciful hands of my Heavenly Father who hath esteemed it by the Blood of Christ and sealed it unto Salvation by His witness of faith through His Holy Spirit and I bequeath my body to such Christian burial as the Lord provideth and my friends discretion shall determine desiring to lie as near as may be to my former wife and children buried in the Choir of Guisborough Church
And concerning my worldly estate – First I and testify unto the world that I have already my three sons John Ward Stephen Ward and Richard Ward and also my two daughters Margaret and Elinor Ward as far as I was able and thought for them respectively unto my estate ability yet notwithstanding for the better advancement of the two younger of my sons and of my two daughters above named (my eldest son John Ward above named going away with land to a good value) I do hereby give unto my said two younger sons Stephen Ward and Richard Ward all my books (excepting such as I shall hereunder give away and by name) to be equally divided between these two And my will is that my son Stephen shall sell his part of the said books he shall first offer them to his said brother Richard and shall not sell them to any other if his said brother will give him as much for them as any other will truly give in fair and good payment And I do give by these presents unto my two daughters Margaret Ward and Elinor Ward above named all these of plate following – first a basin of gilt, two double salts with their covers gilt, two silver bowls white, three gilt bowls, a gilt spoon, a great spoon of horn and several Apostle spoons Ten silver spoons These I give to my two said daughters Margaret and Elinor to be equally divided and if either of hem do die without issue within one year next after my death Then I give them to the survivor Also I give unto my eldest son John Ward Sir Walter Raleigh’s History of he World and Peter’s Gallations with Also I give unto Stephen Ward my second son my silver syringe and Hackluyt’s Voyages and Hopton’s ? Mathematics Also I give unto Richard Ward my third son my Book of Martyrs Also I give unto my said loving wife the one moiety and the full and first ? half part of that fourth part of Skelton tythes which I have by lease to her and her heirs for ever. And the other moiety half part of the said tythes I give unto my son William Ward and the heirs of his body lawfully begotten for ever and if he shall die without lawful issue then I give the same and all the remainder of years after such his death all the estate tythes tenant right or other right which I have or ought to have therein and all pertaining deeds thereunto belonging to my daughter Elinor Ward and her heirs for ever Also I give unto my loving sister Long two books Surgeri and Surgeons Mate Also I give unto my son in law Jonathan White a hoop ring of gold which my wife gave unto me the being xxi
Also I give to my sons-in-law Arthur and James White to each of them five pounds of lawful English money Also I give to my son-in-law Ralph White five pounds of lawful English money Also I give to my youngest son William Ward a double salt cellar with a cover of silver white and guilded Also I give unto him my biggest silver bowl that hath a ‘C’ mark crack? ( ) which is most commonly used in my house Also I give unto him my great gold ring which hath for signet two (two W’s, two double U’s) provided that if my said son shall die before he come to lawful years then the said salt cellar with the cover and the said silver bowl shall be and remain unto my eldest son John Ward because it was his Grandfather’s And also I give unto my loving wife Ann Ward my silver porringer and those four spoons which I have marked beside the ordinary marks with an ‘A’ upon the upper side of the spoon shaft next unto shell ( )? Also I give unto my worthy friend Richard Winn Esq Davidsons Britannica in English Also I give unto my loving brother Mr Willy Long Gerard’s Herbal And I make and constitute the said Richard Winn Esq and my said brother Long Supervisors of this my Will Also I make and ordain my said brother Mr Willy Long Tutor and Guardian both to my son Willy Ward and also if I die before she come to lawful years to my daughter Ellinor Also I give to the poor of Gisborough parish £10 and to avoid the abuse too usual in such cases My will is that if it should please the Lord to afford my wife competent ? warning she shall give or send the said money to the poor of this Parish whilst I shall remain yet alive on my death bed that I may depart in peace accompanied by the prayers of the poor and if that cannot be then I will that the said £10 shall be bestowed not at the Church when I shall be buried (where commonly clamour? shamelessness? and intrusion prevails and not want nor necessity but at two several ? days by Mr Morris and the Churchwardens by the directions of my supervisors. Also I give to my son Willy Ward a Bible to be chosen by his Mother. Also I give to Mr Morris 10/- hoping and praying he will bestow at my burial a funeral sermon. Also give to my man Ralph Hogg 10/- and all the rest of my goods my debts paid my will performed? any regards paid and discharged and my body decently? buried I give unto my dearly beloved wife Ann Ward whom I make and ordain full and sole Executrix of this my last Will and Testament.
In witness whereof I have set my hand and seal the sixth day of May in the eight year of the reign of our Sovereign Lord King Charles by the grace of God of England and Scotland France and Ireland Defender of the Faith 1632
Sealed and signed in the presence of
Richard Winn
William Long
Robert Corney
Peter Dent

Will of HENRY LISLE 1667
Proved at York (Cleveland Deanery) on the 8th day of May 1668

Church Briefs reveal that he was a wealthy trader and that he had lost more than £4000 through "fire and shipwracke". His name is inscribed on a silver chalice in the Parish Church where he was a Churchwarden.


Ralph Jackson's Journal. JOURNAL I. 1762. Middlesbrough Ref. Lib.

Page 16 – all went to Mr. Chaloner's “Park House” RJ’s mother's coachman an ex-employee of Mrs. Chaloner .

36 - paying a fine on the Factory House, Yard and High Freeledge; Jones's, alias, low Freeledge; and Postgate of West Freeledge in the town of Guisbrough.

37 - with other JP's met at Cock to grant licences to Alehouses, and hear Appeals on account of Window Tax. (His tenants, some of whom claimed to be "poor cottagers" £15 p.a. rent for their house, "yet as they each had a cow could not properly be called paupers". Good calves 5/6 mths old sold for only 10/- to 12/- apiece. September: high wind "many thatched houses greatly damaged", chimneys and haystacks blown down. Repairs to his Mother's chariot.
RJ alters his "sellar". Frequently out with greyhounds after hares.

57 - Old Thomas Postgate, an inhabitant of Guisbrough Hospital dying this morning I rode to Pinchinthorpe to Mr. Lee's (nominator for vacancies at the Almshouses attached to the Pursglove Grammar School in Guisbrough) asked for place for old Robert Barry (now near 97 years old. Old Wm. Unthank there before RJ: Competition to get a place in the almshouse and enjoy a small pension too. Gentry valued it as a means of' pensioning old employees.

December: A company of Cleveland Militia came from Bedale.
Exercising in Market Place. 3 officers and 60 men.

Mr. William Jackson, sr. walked to Skelton with my ambulator, distance from Guisbrough Market Place to Skelton Castle 3 and five-eighths miles.

RALPH WARD JACKSON'S DIARY - Journal K. Middlesbrough Ref.Library

1764 8 Jan. 'being the 2nd Sunday in the Month, no Divine Service was done here, Mr.Hide always doing Duty at Upleatham Chapel1...and that day is called the Silent or Dumb Sunday
at Gisbro.

20 Jan. I sent Jack to Jas.Wilson and I rode to Wm.Calvert's myself to know if they would accept the office of Surveyor,* Mr.Proddy had already declared he would officiate, so that now only Mr.Richard Forster Attorney Mr.Chaloner's Steward refused on acct of his Profession, so I took the Constable Thos. Nateby with me and we served him at the sign of the Cock with the Warrant, signed and sealed by Messrs David Burton and Roger Beckwith...he returned the warrant to the Constable and said he wou'd not do the office of Surveyor, notwithstanding the above appointment, unless Mrs.Chaloner insisted upon it, if she did so he would officiate.

22 Feb. I rode with Thos. Preswick to Staithes in order to receive Profits of Jno Galilee for the (Pink) Mary and Jane.

13 Mar. Mr.Harrison and I rode to Boulby, dined with Mr.Wardell, Jno Galilee (whom I sent for to Staithes) came up and I received of him £9 19s.lO½d. for my 1/32nd .part of the profits of the Ship Mary & Jane and also recd for Thos. Preswick.twice that sum for his 1/16th part of the said Ship and signed the Ship's Book for both of us.

16 Mar. Thos. Preswick and I walked into the Ground where Jack and ten women are scaling Mole Hills.

27 Mar. I came home (after being at Normanby) and entr'd in the School Book eight Children in lieu of the same number gone out at 9 years old, the School Dame (Margery Wright) dined with us.

30 Mar. Mr. Wilson also sent his two draught Mairs which with my Mother's two horses carried her and Molly Hutchinson to Ayton in an hour and 20 minutes thro' very bad roads.

1770, 2nd May "I had four Carts loaded at Gisbro, and after supping a bason of Broth at Thos. Preswick's (about two) took my leave as an inhabitant of Gisbro and with my four servants John Peirson, George Kirtley, Sarah Child and Jane Lindsley came to Normanby".

Ward Jackson Journals
Vol H/I. 1 Jan to 3 June 1829.
Vol J. 20 June 1830 to 31 July 1832.

“Tuesday 3rd February 1829. Thawing. 11am in Phoenix Newcastle coach to Leeds 4 hours… with Corbett, the Maid Servant, outside.”
On their way to London – 4 inside. N/castle to London at £4/5/- and 1 outside at £2/5/-. By the Buckingham coach.