Wednesday, 10 February 2010


"A Trip to Coatham, a Watering Place in the North Extremity of Yorkshire”, by William Hutton, FSAS. 1810. Aged 81 in 1804.

Guisborough given three lines:
“Eight thousand acres; the property of Mr Chaloner; which is better in the Squaire’s hands than in those of the Monks.”

But six pages to Guisborough Abbey. “While at Coatham my friend Henry Clarke, Esq, informed me that two coffins had recently been found (Aug. 1808) in the garden of Robert Challoner, Esq, Lord of the Manor of Guisborough, about fifty yards from the ruin of the Abbey, on the North-east side, and not more than three feet from the surface of the ground. There were very few bones in either of the coffins; one was smaller than the other. In a line with them was found a perfect skeleton, inclosed in a square coffin, formed of flag, but without a lid. Many years ago a great deal of plate was found near the place where the coffins were dug up.”

Anti-monastic: “The most remarkable era in the English History is that of Henry the Eighth demolishing the Religious houses. He crushed a monster in a moment, which had been thriving twelve hundred years. His Herculean hand cleansed the Augean Stable. The worst of kings performed the best of services. Though a tyrant himself, he set man at liberty; set conscience free by opening the Bible, and taught the mind to think for itself, without leaning upon another. He served the human race, without the least design to serve them."

“Expences at Coatham. We chose the Public Hotel, kept by Mr Wilks. The terms were four and sixpence a day each, for my daughter and I, including malt liquor and beds, three shillings for the coachman, and three for each of the horses, eighteen shillings for the whole, exclusive of tea, wine and liquors, but including corn.
The two streets of Coatham and Redcar are covered with mountains of drift sand, blown by the North-west winds from the shore, which almost forbid the foot; no carriage above a wheelbarrow ought to venture. It is a labour to walk. If a man wants a perspiring dose, he may procure one by travelling through these two streets, and save his half-crown from the Doctor. He may sport white stockings every day in the year, for they are without dirt; nor will the pavement offend his corns. The sand beds in some places are as high as the eaves of the houses. Some of the inhabitants are obliged every morning to clear their door-way, which becomes a pit, unpleasant to the house-keeper, and dangerous to the traveller.”

From "Antiquities and Memoirs of Myddle" by Richard Gough.
Introduced by WG Hoskins, Centaur Press 1968.
Also Penguin 1981 Ed David Hey, £2.50.
And as a ‘Futrura Book’ £1.60, 1981. Good introduction and background by Dr Peter Razzell.

“Shee was more commendable for her beauty than her chastity, and was the ruin of the family.” (p 132)

“Hee (Wm Parker) also had a great desire to be made churchwarden of this parish, which att last hee obtained. It was sayd that hee gave a side of bacon to Robert Moore, to the end hee would persuade his brother the Rector to choose him Churchwarden, and afterwards hee made that yeare the epoch of his computation of all accidents, and would usually say such a thing was done soe many years before or after the yeare that I was Churchwarden.” (p 156)

A dispute about the settlement of Samuel Peate, ‘a slothfull prateing fellow’. “This Peate as is well knowne was once worth £250, but by his idlenesse came to a peice of bread.” (p 191)
(“He took a tenement and lands at Ellesmeare worth £10 per annum and upwards, and held hem peaceably for above forty dayes, and thereby had a good settlement.”)

Of a wife whose husband hit her so that she lost an eye: After “many contests” ... “I think she never boasted of the victory for she had lost an eye in the battle ...” “This wife (his third wife) is still liveing and I think she will not contest with her husband, for if shee loose an eye shee looseth all.” (p 128)

Of the family of “William Bickley had two sons – Thomas and William, and three daughters – Mary, Elizabeth, and Susan. Thomas practised his father’svirtues, William imitated his Grandfather’s villanyes and the three daughters followed their mother’s vices.” )p 130)
From the Lyttleton Hart-Davis Letters, vol 4, 1959. John Murray. 1982

(p 95) On Examinations – “the Barbados boy who wrote: ‘Wellington was the French general who helped Nelson to defeat Napoleon at the Battle of Trafalgar Square’. And I did not invent that”.

(p 45 – an advt) “Communist with own knife and fork would like to meet Communist with own steak-and-kidney pie.” (Geo L)

(p 44) Political bias? Rupert H-D’s son Adam, at Eton, “reports that his boy’s maid has got her own television set and wonders whether the Welfare State hasn’t gone a little too far.”

From Monastic Life in Medieval England, JC Dickinson. Black. 1961.
“If the Abbot of Glastonbury (richest English house) were to marry the Abbess of Shaftesbury (richest English nunnery) they would be wealthier than the King of England. But they only numbered two or three dozen out of a grand total of over 1000 English monasteries.”

From the Brotton Almanac, 1874 (1d.) Guisboro' tradesmen’s advts. Ptd & pubd by Wm Matthews at the ‘Exchange’ Steam Ptg Wks, 32 Westgate. JT Stokeld, Machine & Genral Printer, Book-binder, Chaloner St, Guisborough.

From Middlesbrough News & Cleveland Advertiser, 1884. ALMANAC SHOW at Guisbro’.
Nearly 200 exhibits. “Many almanacs sent from a long distance.” Awards for “the best face for 1884”.
Grocers used to present regular customers with an almanac at Christmas. Sentimental pictures plus some advertising and general information. When out of date, pictures cut out and pasted on walls inside privies for leisurely contemplation – a gallery!
And over half a cenrury later -

Besides being a grocer, Walter Dixon, father of Grace, the teacher and local historian, was a bee-keeper, a river Esk fisherman, a gambit-style chess player, a motorist, philosopher and friend. (JB)

“Paupers and Pig Killers”
The Diary of William Holland, a Somerset Parson, 1799-1818
Edited by Jack Ayres. Alan Sutton 1984

Over Stowey, Somerset; social life and customs.

The difficulty of collecting tithes ‘crops’ up frequently! The inadequacies of apothecaries and the miseries of the poor from poverty, and the miseries of the well-to-do from over-indulgence. The threat of “Boney”. *Summer weather as unpredictable as that of June 1968! The Church of England in the doldrums and the ‘Methodistical’ menace!

*Weather – Wed. June 5, 1816 – “We have had cutting winds for many days past which is bad for trees and fruit. I did not ride out on account of the cutting weather and my cold has not left me and I am uncommonly costive.”
See Ralph Ward’s Diary re use of rhubarb!

1809 Tu. 3 Jan – “Miss West came to us in the afternoon. Miss West is a violent woman of a bad temper but has some good qualities and she has taken lodgings in the house of another violent woman and ill-tempered. They soon quarrelled and a good deal of ill-natured tricks pass between them, in short Miss West has notice to Quit and no one will take her in. Bad as her temper is I pitied her and would do her a kindness but at a distance.
Quotes & Legends

About ‘Little Jack Horner’.
Jack Horner was steward to the last Abbot of Glastonbury who sent a pie to Henry VIII to appease him. Jack put his thumb in the pie and got the title deeds of the Manor of Wells. One Thomas Horner took up residence there after the dissolution of Glastonbury. The Horners are still there, but say they paid £2,000 for it! Kissing goes by favour! The monks had a real concern for temporal possessions. I remember seeing an illustration depicting a monk dashing out of a burning monastery, clutching the deeds! There are some revealing letters in the Domestic and State Paper of Henry VIII showing how the avaricious ‘gentry’ (the 16C ‘developers’) were seeking the favours resting in Cromwell’s hands.

- ‘The nest had been destroyed lest the birds should build there again.’ (A new owner, after he had pulled down a monastic church.)

- John Hasce, steward of Lord Lisle, re impending fall of Peterbrough, Romsey and St Alban’s ... ‘I trust something will fall to your Lordship! And to Lady Lisle: ‘I pray Jesu send you shortly an abbey, with many good new years’. 1537

“The Lisle Letters”
Ed by Muriel St Clare Byrne, 6 vols. 1981. Chicago Press.
The L. L. An Abridgement 1983, Hdbk. £12.50
Saw a crit in the Guardian in Octr 1885 re a paperbk edn, price £4.95. Reqn this from our library. Rec’d vols 3/4/5/6 of original edn! Asked again for pb edn. Recd hardback edn!!

A lifetime’s work by Ed. Pub in 1981 when Ed was 86! (On her birthday). 1900 letters. Cover 7 years – “...a unique picture of life in a family of the early Tudor period ...” 1533-1540.
Lord Lisle was Deputy of Calais.
“Public character of the reign of Henry VIII is well documented.” Dissolution of monasteries. Breach with Rome. Pilgrimage of Grace (Yorkshire). Creation of a new state church and a new ‘despotic’ state .. a reign of terror?
From the Foreward ... “Lord Lisle – illegit. son, by daughter of a Hampshire gentleman, of King Edward IV. A Plantagenet.

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