Tuesday, 11 December 2012

Chapter 5. The Brighams & the Harkers

A significant figure in the village was the agent in charge of Lord Falkland's estates.  George Brigham, a man of forty [1], had taken over from his father Robert some fifteen years earlier.

Born near Slingsby, Robert Brigham had been Lady Amherst's steward and agent for many years.  His abilities had brought his family prosperity and prominence in the village, and he had held the posts of High Constable and churchwarden of Rudby.  He farmed at Rudby Farm as a tenant of his employer.  His daughters married prosperous local men:  Elizabeth was the wife of the miller at Leven Bridge, William Simpson, and her sister Mary had married his brother Robert, miller at Newport, whilst Isabella was the wife of the Stokesley saddler, Ralph Watson.  Ann had made the best match socially, when she married the Revd Richard Shepherd, vicar of Rudby. 
   
George Brigham is said to have acted as one of the surveyors of the Stockton and Darlington Railway, and became Lady Amherst's agent when only in his twenties.  By 1823 he was working as a land agent and valuer, and held the offices of coroner for Cleveland and chief constable for the west division of Langbaurgh.  He farmed at Windy Hill, Rudby, paying Lady Amherst a yearly rent of £265 [2].  
   
Unfortunately George was not as capable as his father, and his rather uncertain grasp of his duties is revealed in the letters of his good friend, John Harker.  The story of the troubles that beset the Brigham and Harker families reveals a vivid glimpse of life in Georgian Stokesley – and resulted in repercussions which were to have an effect on events in Hutton Rudby.  


   
John Harker was the nephew of the Stokesley solicitor, William Powell, whose offices lay on the south side of the market place.  Harker and George Brigham were old friends, and John felt very much at home in Stokesley.  He had probably been articled to his uncle – there is a reference in one of his letters to spraining his ankle at Kirby Bridge, just south of the town, when he was sixteen years old [3].

The ten letters that survive were written in 1813 and 1814 when Harker was in practice at Malton.  They are engagingly full of life and jokes.  There are many references to mutual friends – the Lees of Pinchinthorpe, the Simpsons of Nunthorpe Hall, the Dobsons of Dromonby and Tom Havisides of Stokesley.  Havisides was to become a Captain with the East India Company and famous for his presence of mind and courage, saving the cargo of the Royal George from a fire in 1825 [4]
   
Harker mentions travelling to London, to Scarborough for sea-bathing on account of his health ("a little of the old Fever lurks in some corner of my head") and to Whitby.  On 9 December 1813, he wrote from a concert at Malton (which had a "handsome suite of public rooms" [5]):
 I receiv'd your Letter just as I was going to a Concert (which we have at this place every 3 Weeks) & I am now writing this within 20 yards of all the gay folks having stolen a few minutes to talk to my old Friend with whom I feel myself a good deal more at home than I do at the concertation (which is not quite so snug a Concern as the Stokesley Hops I beg the good folks of S. pardon I should have said Routs [6] or some such fine word …
Often the letters are playful.  Harker frequently used the mannerisms of the Irishman of 18th century fiction – "the 'Teagues and 'dear joys' who so long ... occupied the drama and the novel" in the words of Sir Walter Scott.  (He probably also enjoyed Maria Edgeworth's Castle Rackrent, with its story of the mismanagement of an estate and a devious agent.)

On 27 January 1814 he began in the Irish style:
Dear Brigham
And now that this same Frost is about to be after taking leave of us I hope your steps will soon be bent into this neighbourhood which I expected would have been the Case at the Sessions & sure now I was disappointed joy ... 
then changes swiftly into the style of his favourite author Lawrence Sterne:
 … T'was most dreadful travelg.  Tim!  We are here & gone (up to the neck in a Snowdrift) in a Moment!!  They all assembled round Tim? youll recollect when speakg. of the death of his young Master so of late have we assembled round the fire – they all begun to cry even the old fat Scullion – so did we begin to warm our Fingers — Tim let fall his Hat! & I laid by my Pen ...
In another letter he mimics the form of a court order, instructing his friend to appear at Malton and bring him all the news of the Stokesley dances at the Black Swan [7] (where standards of musicianship do not seem to have been high).  George is to give Harker
a detail of the several proceedings at a certain seditious meeting [8] & assembly of Males & Females lately held at Stokesley afsd. at the Black Swan afsd. when & where you in your proper person as is supposed was & did appear & when & where certain Instrumts. by means of the torture which was inflicted upon them did send forth most pitious grones & lamentations shrieks shouts squeaks & sighs at which the parties afsd. assembled at the meeting afsd. expressed & did clearly & evidently show & manifest their great delight pleasure & satisfaction by kicking jumping & running about to wit at Stokesley afsd.  in the Coy.  afsd. & herein fail not…
However, even in these few surviving letters, Harker's concern for his friend George is apparent. 
   
By this time, George had been appointed Chief Constable of the Western Division of Langbaurgh and he and John used to meet on John's visits to Stokesley and at the Assizes in York and the Sessions in Northallerton.

In spite of his role as officer of the court, George's grasp of the law was not sufficient to save him from difficulties of his own making.  In July 1813 his activities as a fellmonger had led to problems.  Richard Fawcett, the aggrieved party, wrote to him from Maryport:
you have acted very imprudently in buying such a quantity of Wool for us for we could have laid our money out better elsewhere and you never had our warrant to do any such thing and if you will refer to our letters they will prove it …
Uncertain of himself, George relied on John Harker for legal advice and support.  In the autumn and winter of 1813, he wrote for help in obtaining a profitable receivership in a Chancery case – in one letter Harker wrote:
I have annexed you a form which you will copy yourself & get the Parties interested to sign … the more signatures you get of such parties the better.  You must [see] it is rather a delicate matter for me to be seen concerned in & therefore you will act accordgly.
In 1814, George needed an explanation of the position of a factor selling goods on behalf of his principal – something he might have been expected to know already.  At such times, John Harker dropped the banter and gave clear and serious advice.  He mentions Lady Amherst in three letters.  In one long, affectionate and joky letter, he wrote: 
It gives me great pleasure my dear fellow to hear that the old Lady & you are so gracious, it is not necessary I know for me to tell you to mind & keep in her favor, one of Sancho's Proverbs is 'Kissing goes by favor' you know & so does many other things [9].
Three months later, he remarked: 
I am glad to hear you still continue to praise the Old Lady A.
 At the end of the jovial letter of 27 January 1814, he drops the jokes:
I am glad to hear that your Farm is likely to answer your expectatns.  You must keep in with the Old Lady by all means.
John had evidently no great confidence in George's ability to manage his employer.
  
Stokesley was then a lively town, vividly portrayed a generation later by the poet William Mason, in his description of the downfall of the printer Richard Hodgson, the son of the rector of Kirby Sigston, and "unfortunately much addicted to the prevalent vice of the age":
Coming from the sweet rural retreat of Kirby Sigston, to the then busy and active life of the town of Stokesley, a man whose local standing enabled him to associate with the upper ranks, whilst his profession entitled him to the company of the literati of the town: 
in a day when your publichouses included, in addition to the present thirteen inns, the George and Dragon, the Half Moon, The Masons Arms, the Chequers, the Raffled Anchor, the Ship Inn, &c; 
when the war of American Independence had only subsided, followed by the French Revolution, and the wars of the Bonapartes were at their prime; 
when your captains in the East India Company’s service, your sailors in the mercantile marine, your harpooners who had gone down to the sea in ships and struck the Leviathan in the iced waters, came back to lay up for the winter, as well as the Jack Tar on leave from the Royal Navy, who had gone either by impressment or accepted bounty; 
when your markets were great gatherings of the rurals; your butchers’ shambles were filled with meat; when coals stood for sale in front of the square at the Swan, and the turf-graver brought his wares in donkey carts from Osmotherley; 
when the farmer and his dame rode on the pillion seat to the steppings at the inn; when handloom weaving was good, and intelligence amongst that class of operatives was great; 
when all these met at the hostelries to hear tales of adventure from the sailors, and the sparkles of wit from the literati of the town, it was not too much to expect that a lad reared up in a rural rectory might not fall into the prevailing vice of the inebriate.[10]
The importance of the sea in the life of the town is also reflected in the note attached to the fly-leaf of a Bible produced by the Stokesley printer William Pratt in 1812:
Published at the request of sea captains wintering at home in Stokesley, to use for the benefit of themselves and crews.  Increasing demand – but only 29 were published owing to the Rights of Official Printers and Publications [11]
By about 1818 John Harker had returned to Stokesley to go into partnership with his uncle William Powell [12].  George Brigham employed his friend in Lady Amherst's affairs, and the two men carried out various speculative pieces of business together, such as buying property to make a profit from later enclosures of common land.
  
Stokesley was then a town with a stimulating intellectual life.  Some held to a deeply-felt religious commitment, others had a passion for the radicalism of the age.  Over a hundred copies of Thomas Paine's The Rights of Man were sold in Stokesley in 1822, at a time when the radical printer Richard Carlile was imprisoned for, amongst other offences, publishing Paine's works. 
  
On 3 June 1822, the Methodist linen manufacturer Thomas Mease spoke at a Missionary Meeting.  His words so enraged Robert Armstrong, who combined the craft of watch- and clock-maker with an agency for the newspapers, that he printed a pamphlet entitled A Slap at the Prophet in response.  By 1823 he had installed a printing press in his shop, and begun to produce a series of tracts expounding the views of the radicals and freethinkers of the day.  At the beginning of 1824, for example, he published an extract from Shelley's early work, Queen Mab, which had been circulating amongst the radical working classes in cheap editions only since 1821.  To Armstrong's The Illuminator, Mease replied with his own paper The Extinguisher, printed monthly for him by William Pratt at 1d a copy [13].  This "paper war" continued for nearly a year. 
   
The views of both the freethinkers and the Methodists will have been markedly affected by local circumstances.

Stokesley was a particularly rich living in the gift of the Archbishop of York.  While the incumbent of Yarm received £151 a year, Faceby and Carlton were worth £108 together, and Great Ayton with Nunthorpe £128, the rector of Stokesley had an income of £1,070 plus the income from the perpetual curacy of Westerdale.  He was always well-connected socially, and frequently a relation of the Archbishop of the time.

Unsurprisingly, there was a certain amount of friction between the Stokesley churchmen and the town.  In 1807, for example, the Stokesley vestry recorded their displeasure at a series of improper payments by the churchwardens, and particularly against the curate for the expense of the wine used for the sacrament [14]
   
One of those signing this "strong protest" was William Powell, who was evidently one of the Stokesley freethinkers.  A prominent local figure, he enjoyed shooting – Aaron Peacock recorded "hardening locks for two pistols" for Mr Powell – and the good things of life.  In September 1813 John Harker had written to George that he would
endeavour to steal a day or two to spend in my favorite N.W.  Corner of this great County, & this I feel the more inclin'd to do in order to pay my good friend & relative W.P.  a visit for I am very sorry indeed to learn by a Letter from him this morng.  that he is troubled with very unfriendly visits from the plaguyist of all the Diseases that come out of Pandora's Box, as many a Statesman Parson Nabob Alderman Lawyer &c &c can & will declare, viz.  the Gout which I am very much afraid has troubled him in the Stomack.  I should be glad to hear that it had pitch'd its Tent in his Great Toe again, for then there is no danger.
Perhaps Mr Powell's gout was due to a taste for port – on his death on 9 February 1823 his cellars held "wine and liquors" worth nearly £900.  Some of this may, of course, have been smuggled goods.  His Will had been made the year before his death.  It contained specific and unconventional instructions for his funeral:
I direct that my funeral shall be private as possible, no person whomsoever to be asked or invited thereto except a competent number of Labouring Men as Carriers (to be paid seven shillings and sixpence each and to have refreshment), no Priest to be allowed to enter the house, the Coffin to be of fir Wood, no cloth or any other Covering to be put thereon, no pall, but to be kept from view by some old great Coats or an old bed quilt to be put thereon.  No hatbands, gloves or appearance of mourning of any description, nor any monument or other matter to enhance the legal and ordinary fees to the priest of the Parish for occupying a portion of the burying ground belonging the Parishioners.  My faithful Servants not to wear mourning on my account or attend the Church [15]
Mr Powell seems to have agreed with Thomas Paine that "Priests and conjurors are of the same trade" [16].

His bequests to his servants give us a glimpse of his taste in clothes.  To his housekeeper Dorothy Plews he gave all his shirts, body linen, neckcloths, handkerchiefs and silk stockings, together with all his silk clothes and the silk and linen not yet made up into clothing.  Thomas Marwood was given the rest of his clothes, including his coats and waistcoats, boots, shoes, and hats, except for a cloth waistcoat with Spanish buttons of silver and his dressing gowns.  He left a number of legacies, varying from £10 to £500, to his servants, friends, relatives and godchildren and all the remainder of his estate to his nephew John Harker, who was his sole executor. 

George Brigham's younger brother Robert had been articled to Mr Powell and then employed by him.  In February 1823 he was in London, sent by the firm on the affairs of Captain Havisides.  His sister Ann wrote to him with the news of Mr Powell's death, and Robert immediately [17] wrote a letter of condolence to John Harker, in which he enquired as to the possibility of a partnership.  He hoped Harker would view the suggestion favourably, as they were personally well known to each other and because of the "long friendship" that had existed between Harker and the Brigham family.  His hopes were justified, and Harker took him into partnership.  Perhaps his father Robert was able to provide him with the necessary capital to buy into the firm.
   
John Harker took his uncle's place in Stokesley – the legal practice, the office, the house with its store of wine and liquors, a ninth share in a brig called Maria, and the fields and farms Powell had owned in Stokesley, Danby, Skelton, Great Broughton, Hutton Lowcross and Pickering.  Dorothy Plews, who had worked for his uncle, continued in his service. 
   
A surviving letter to him from George, mostly on business matters, gives the impression the two men were advanced in years – they were in fact both thirty-five years old:
    Rudby Sept 22d  1825
    My Dear Sir
    I wrote to Mr Leefe a few days ago saying so soon as I was able I would go over Faceby — at present I have the Rheumatizm in my left Leg & Thigh which would not allow me any rest till this morning in bed and I feel tonight as if I might expect the same.  I trust however it will soon leave me.  I wish yours would as soon or was no worse ...
    … I have sent you the Chinese seeds.  — take what you want for yourself (save a few of each for Mrs Place) and give Mr Vernon the remainder with my compts.
    I am afraid all the Wall fruit at Leven Grove will be worth little now — the Lad will call in the morning and enquire of Mr Douglass —
We have sent you a few frutes? The best we have.
Mr Hobkirk says he will send you the Newcastle Magazines from January last he expects them home in a few days – and also some of his own Poetry
Yours most truly
Geo Brigham
By this time, Harker's health, which had never been strong, was already failing and he survived his uncle by only three years, dying at the age of 36 on 29 July 1826.  He had not left his affairs in good order.     

Dorothy Plews searched amongst his papers until at last, on the bed in which he had died, she found the small box where he kept "his Papers of moment and concern".  There she found the Will he had made in 1823, a few weeks on coming into the inheritance from his uncle, together with a codicil made in 1825.  The codicil was witnessed by Thomas King – possibly the well-known brewer and smuggler of Kirkleatham, who could have been the source of some of Mr Powell’s enormous investment in wines and liquors. 
   
The very personal provisions of the codicil suggest that Harker must have known that his death might not be long delayed.

He left his dog Paddy to his friend, Richard Wilson, and gave Wilson all the wine and spirits he kept at Didderhow in Danby, where he must have stayed for the shooting.

He directed that all accounts between himself and "my friend George Brigham be considered as settled and closed if he is willing thereto".

To his friend John Lee of Pinchinthorpe Hall he left all his fishing tackle, his favourite double-barrelled gun, ten dozen bottles each of port and sherry, and his drab waistcoat with silver buttons – a bequest valued at £45.

He gave John Barr junior his single-barrelled spencer gun, and his books on gardening he left to his friend John Grey, together with his "manuscript, memoranda or journal books".

He gave his dressing-gowns and great-coats to his brother Thomas, and the remainder of his clothes he left to his housekeeper, Dorothy Plews, with a legacy of £50 if she was still in his service.

He requested,
Let me be buried decently near to my Uncle William Powell.   
It soon emerged that he had not yet taken out Probate of his uncle's Will and that there were still debts and legacies to be paid. 
   
Harker's executors and trustees were his friends George and Robert Brigham, John Lee of Pinchinthorpe Hall and Lee's brother-in-law Thomas Simpson of Nunthorpe Hall, a land agent.

The estate (mostly inherited from William Powell) was left to Harker's family.  His sister Miss Mary Harker took a life interest in half the estate, which would pass on her death to her brother Thomas and his children, while Thomas had a life interest in the remaining half, which would again go to his children when he died. 
   
Thomas Simpson presciently declined to act as executor; the others took out Probate of Harker’s Will, and, as his personal representatives, Letters of Administration with the Will Annexed to the estate of William Powell.

Problems arose within months, and details of these will have quickly become public knowledge locally.

Robert Brigham had fallen into serious financial difficulties before Harker's death.  He owed Harker 500 guineas on a promissory note (possibly due under the partnership agreement), and he owed the Stokesley bank of Messrs Hutchinson & Place more than £200.  They had failed in the nationwide banking crisis of December 1825, and the sum was now due to their Assignees in bankruptcy. 
   
John Lee of Pinchinthorpe now began to hear very unwelcome news of Robert Brigham.

In November 1826 he learned that twice that month Robert had made inappropriate payments from the executors’ bank account with Messrs William Skinner & Co.  First he had written a cheque on the trust account to pay another client's life insurance policy premium.  On the second occasion, Thomas Hustler’s agent had given Brigham the sum of £9 owed by Mr Hustler to Daniel Hugill.  Brigham was to pay this money to Hugill, but instead he kept it and paid Hugill with a cheque written on the Harker trust account.

Lee's information may have come from Brigham’s new partner in the practice, John Page Sowerby, who had been one of Harker’s clerks.  Sowerby was becoming anxious about the conduct of his partner. 
   
John Lee was placed in a difficult position.  Money was due to him from Mr Powell's estate on a promissory note, and he was entitled to the bequests under his friend John Harker's Will, of which he was also an executor and trustee.  The duties of a trustee were stringently defined – if by his act or neglect he allowed his fellow trustee to commit negligence, then he too was liable.  This was a situation of some delicacy.  Lee approached George Brigham, to ensure that in future two signatories would be required for cheques written on the Executors’ bank account.
   
Matters grew worse.

Robert Brigham did not keep up the interest payments on his own debt to the estate, and in early 1827 on two occasions he received money for the Harker estate for which he failed to account to his fellow trustees.

More embarrassing still were the problems in completing the sale of one of the farms to Thomas Weatherill of Ormesby in May 1827.  Weatherill had made a part payment of £150, which Brigham did not pay into the Bank, though Lee repeatedly asked him to do so.  Weatherill tried on several occasions to complete his purchase, but it could not be done while the £150 was still unaccounted for, and matters were only resolved when Brigham finally paid the money to his partner, John Page Sowerby. 
   
Sowerby and Brigham were now on very poor terms, as Sowerby's repeated attempts to have Brigham account for his receipts and payments for the firm met with no success.  As all partners are liable for partnership debts to the extent of their own personal fortune, Sowerby could not allow this state of affairs to carry on.  At last, in June 1827, because of Brigham’s “general negligence and misconduct”, Sowerby dissolved the partnership. 
   
Little progress had been made in winding up Harker's and Powell's estates and at this point John Harker's brother took a hand in matters.

Thomas Harker was a couple of years younger than his brother John.  He was a medical man, who had been in practice for some time as an apothecary in the south of England.  He married Salome Chapman in Camberwell in 1814, and a daughter Rebecca was born to them nine months later.  They moved to Wormley in Hertfordshire where their son Benjamin was born in 1819, and then moved on to the nearby village of Broxbourne in the Lee Valley, where their youngest child was born in 1823.

Thomas took an anxious interest in his brother's estate, from which he drew an income, and which would eventually pass to his children. 
   
On 27 July 1827 a Petition in Chancery was lodged by John Lee as a trustee and beneficiary, Miss Mary Harker, as a beneficiary under both Harker's and Powell's Wills and a creditor in her brother's estate (she had lent John £285 at 5% in 1813), and Thomas Harker, acting on his own behalf and that of his children.
   
Claiming that Robert Brigham was refusing to co-operate with the other executors and was keeping considerable sums of money due to the estate in his own hands, the petitioners sought to have the Brigham brothers prevented from acting as executors or dealing with the partnership effects of Harker & Brigham.  They asked for a receiver to be appointed to handle the estates and the partnership. 
   
There seems to have been some personal bad feeling on the part of Thomas Harker towards his brother's old friends, the Brighams.  Not only was the Court asked to look into the partnership finances of Harker & Brigham, but Thomas asked to be considered as tenant of Aysdale Gate farm, which was managed by George Brigham. 
   
There was certainly a great deal of hostility between the Brighams and John Page Sowerby, and Sowerby was encountering difficulties in obtaining Robert Brigham's agreement to the dissolution of the partnership between them, eventually resorting to court action.  The Brighams in turn will have become increasingly suspicious of the closeness between Sowerby and Thomas Harker, which extended to Sowerby lending Thomas £300 in April 1828, secured against Thomas's interest in his brother's estate. 
   
Later that year, on 6 November, the Court of Chancery issued an order for a receiver to be appointed in the matter, and the Brigham brothers were forbidden to act any longer in the Powell and Harker estates and in the partnership.  Robert Brigham was to pay into Court the money he owed the estates.  The receiver eventually appointed was Thomas Simpson of Nunthorpe Hall.
   
The Chancery case must have been a serious blow to the Brigham family, socially and financially.  Their position must have caused acute difficulty in this close-knit community and local gossip about their affairs must have been hard to bear.  Financial disasters were a commonplace of the times, and many had suffered in the 1825 banking crisis – Robert Chaloner, for example, was obliged to leave his Guisborough estates and work as agent for a cousin in Ireland – but the issue here was Robert Brigham's honesty, and the scandal may have been all the more noticeable because Stokesley's riotous days were receding into the past.  By 1828 the town carried rather "the air of retirement than business" [18].
   
Sympathies locally were probably divided, and in this Thomas Harker's own personality will have played a part.  Certainly his sister Miss Mary Harker felt that the whole business was unnecessary.  She may have felt that it was unedifying, socially unpleasant and a waste of money – she probably thought that the amount lost in legal fees during the Chancery case was no more than they would have lost by letting matters alone to sort themselves out.

Today we are most familiar with Dicken's depiction of the Court of Chancery in Bleak House (published 1852-3), but he was far from being a lone voice on the subject.  Punch in 1842 had described a Chancery suit as being "as difficult to get out of as a pair of wet leather breeches", and the Economist in 1851 spoke of "the grotesque and terrible enormities of the Court of Chancery", "a reproach, a terror, and a scourge".
   
In her own Will of 1845, Miss Mary Harker gave explicit directions that any dispute about her Will between her brother Thomas and his surviving daughter Rebecca was to be settled by her solicitor Mr Grey.  Grey's decision was to be final and if Thomas even threatened to go to the Court of Chancery about Mary's estate, then all her property was to pass to Rebecca.
   
The following year matters took a turn for the worse for the Brighams. 
   
Their sister Ann's husband, the Revd Richard Shepherd, fell ill in the spring of 1830 and died in November aged 42, leaving his widow and two small sons.  Ann went to live with her sister at Leven Bridge.

Soon after Mr Shepherd's illness began, Lady Amherst died in her house in Kent.  She had been for so long the employer of George Brigham and his father, that the Brighams must have feared for their old comfortable ways of running the estates under their new master.

Robert Brigham, ousted from his offices in the Market Place, had taken chambers in the Black Swan Inn [19] on the High Street, presumably hoping to attract new clients.  His financial affairs however grew no better and he was eventually unable to pay his debts; he may even have spent some time in the Debtors Gaol at York Castle.  On 2 November 1830 he effectively went bankrupt, and the local landowner James Emerson was appointed his Assignee.

The head of the family, old Robert Brigham, was now in declining health and died soon after Mr Barlow's arrival in the village.



Notes:

[1]  for the information on the Brigham family, I am obliged to a very fruitful collaboration with Jacky Quarmby. The extracts that follow are taken from her transcription of the Brigham and Harker letters (now held at Durham County Record Office) and the Chancery papers made available to her by Beryl Turner (who has since deposited them with Teesside Archives) 

[2]  Deeds 2 & 3 Feb 1831 (North Riding Deeds Registry FS 461)

[3]  22 Dec 1814

[4]  and probably the only person born in Stokesley to have a dolphin named after him, Heaviside's Dolphin (Cephalorhynchus heavisidii). The surname was variously spelled at the time.

[5]  Baines Directory 1823

[6]  hops:  informal dances; routs:  fashionable gatherings

[7]  the town’s largest public house, a coaching inn on the High Street. When sold in 1865, the Black Swan had ten bedrooms and several public rooms. It was demolished in about 1886 to make way for the Wesleyan Chapel.

[8]  cf The Treasonable and Seditious Practices and the Seditious Meetings Acts 1795

[9]  "Sancho" refers to Cervantes' Sancho Panza; "kissing goes by favour" is generally described as an English proverb dating from the 17th century

[10]  letter by William Mason pasted onto the reverse title page of Tweddell’s Yorkshire Miscellany 1844, Middlesbrough Reference Library copy.  Mason's source of information was his mother.

[11]  Printing & Publishing in Stokesley by Daphne Franks 1984.  [See also my later work on Radicalism in Stokesley, reproduced in a post dated 18 Nov 2012]

[12]  J G Mawer: 'Aaron Peacock, the Stokesley gunsmith, 1816-21' in the Stokesley Selection: Peacock provided John Harker with a "new double barrel gun fully chased with spare hammer and punch" at £15.15s.

[13]  The Extinguisher (Vol 1, No 2) of Feb 1824 is Mease's reply to this. The pamphlets are now at the Northallerton County Library

[14]  Stokesley Selection by Alec Wright and John Mawer 1982

[15]  my punctuation

[16]  Age of Reason Part II

[17]  his letter is dated 17 Feb 1823, eight days after the death

[18]  Clark's Topographical Dictionary 1828

[19]  Stokesley Selection by Alec Wright and John Mawer 1982
 





1 comment:

  1. Absolutely fascinating Alice. Thank you so much. I have e-mailed you...


    Jonathan Taylor

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