Saturday, 14 October 2017

What's On in Darlington, 22 April 1893

As we look forward to the opening of the newly-restored Darlington Hippodrome, the following newspaper clipping seems quite apt.

It doesn't actually feature that particular theatre, which dates from 1907.  It began its life as the Hippodrome, became the Civic Theatre, and is now resuming its original name.  Full details of its history can be found here.

This newspaper clipping features the Theatre Royal, which was in Northgate.  It closed in 1937 and the building was later the Regal Cinema; it is now the Odeon.

It is a report from the celebrated theatrical newspaper, The Era, and it comes from a section called Provincial Theatricals: From Our Own Correspondents:

The Era, 22 April 1893
Darlington 
THEATRE ROYAL.– Lessees, Messrs A and P Milton; Manager, Mr W E Potts.– Messrs Vaughan and Carlton's well-selected company occupy the boards with Fenton Mackay's new realistic drama entitled Spellbound, and are attracting large audiences.  Mr Harrington Reynolds makes an admirable George Westland, and Mr W J Vaughan does well as Count Santos.  Miss Helen McCulloch wins the sympathies of the audience as Helen Westland.  Mr Arthur Kingsley is capital as Mr Harry Melton, and the comedy element is safe in the hands of Mr George Sennett and Miss Mary Rivington.
LORD GEORGE SANGER pitched his enormous tent in Darlington on Wednesday, and gave two excellent performances.  The afternoon programme attracted a large audience and in the evening there were about 5,000 present to witness the doings of the various artists, all very clever.  
Though Spellbound is billed as "realistic", it nevertheless includes that reliable and not very realistic stock figure of the drama, the Adventuress.  This one, together with her brother Count Santos, wields a mysterious power over the unfortunate George Westland.

I don't know where the famous Lord George Sanger pitched his enormous circus tent, I'm afraid – but perhaps it was the Show Field in South Park.

George Sennett

Following up on George Sennett – in whose hands the comedy element of Spellbound had been safe – I found a sad but interesting story of the vicissitudes of stage life.

George had been in the news for rather less flattering reasons nearly 20 years earlier, when he was about 27 years old.

In November 1874, newspapers across the country carried the lively story of his argument with a fellow actor, J H Clynds.  They were performing together at the Grecian Theatre in City Road, London and were now appearing together in the magistrates' court.  Sennett was the complainant, alleging that Clynds had attacked him.

Clynds was the star, playing the juvenile leads, while Sennett specialised in the heavies and the villains.  Every night in their current piece, Sennett had to die and Clynds had told him that he should be doing it lower down the stage.

Sennett retorted that he had received his orders from the authors and he wouldn't be taught what to do by Clynds.  The argument in their dressing room grew very heated, Clynds telling Sennett that he used idiotic language and Sennett retorting that Clynds was a liar.

On cross-examination, Sennett said that he hadn't used a vulgar adjective as well as the word liar and that he wasn't in the habit of bullying and blustering in the theatre.  Witnesses who had heard the racket were divided, I think according to whose side they were taking – the manager and author of the piece, for example, said that he thought Sennett was a blackguard.

At the close of the performance, Clynds waited for Sennett outside the theatre and demanded an apology – when none was forthcoming, he hit Sennett on the head with a thin walking cane.  Sennett told the court that he couldn't explain how his own, heavier, stick came to be broken as well and that he didn't know if he had hit Clynds back.  He said he hadn't pushed Clynds and told him to go to a very warm place.

The magistrate said that Sennett ought to have accepted the apology that Clynds had written after receiving the court summons, and bound Clynds over to keep the peace.

By 1893, when Sennett was performing in Darlington, his career must already have been on the slide.  He had worked for a good many years at the Grecian Theatre in London, but now he was touring.  Seven years later, in 1900, things had got much worse.

Sennett was now 53 years old and the work had dried up.  He and his wife Ada, who had been on the stage herself as an actor and dancer, moved to Manchester.  They found employment for a time, George as an extra at the Theatre Royal and Ada in the wardrobe department of the Queen's Theatre, but by May they were both out of work and had become very depressed.  One Sunday afternoon, their landlady at 58 Cumberland Street found them both unconscious on the bed, with three empty laudanum bottles on the table.

George died, but Ada was taken to the Royal Infirmary and eventually recovered.  Unfortunately, her situation was still hopeless and six months later The Era reported that she was close to starvation and it was thought that "those who know her and knew her husband will not forget her in her time of need".

But this tactful little piece was not echoed by the report at the same time in the Manchester Courier and Lancashire General Advertiser.   On 5 December 1900 it gave details of Ada's appearance in the magistrates' court under the headline

One of Life's Wrecks
Ada Sennett "an old woman, of unkempt and emaciated appearance, and miserably clad, was charged with being drunk and incapable in Quay-street, on Monday afternoon ... she has been assisted at various times by prominent people in Manchester theatrical circles, but is still in a very poverty-stricken condition."  
She was discharged and advised to give up alcohol or she would find herself in gaol.  She objected strongly to the suggestion that she should go to the Workhouse.

Just before Christmas she was up in court again and, as she wouldn't promise to reform her ways, she was sent to gaol for 14 days.  The newspaper report stated that she was 70 years old, but she was actually only 57 when she died in the spring of 1901.







Saturday, 30 September 2017

The murder of James Lyall in Venezuela, 1900

A sad and mysterious story:

Daily Gazette for Middlesbrough 31 March 1900

The Assassination of a Darlington Man in Venezuela
Mr E W Lyall, of Darlington, has received some further details concerning the death of his son, Mr James Lyall, who for some time, prior to his death at the hands of an assassin, was attached to the British Consulate, Cuidad Bolivar, Venezuela.   
It will be remembered that the circumstances of the murder were reported in the "Gazette" a few weeks ago.  Mr Lyall was leaving the Consulate, when he was followed by three men, one of whom stabbed him the side near the heart, and he fell to the ground.  Whilst Mr Lyall was lying there the man again stabbed him.   
The man is now in custody, and is a native of Colombia.  He is believed to be one of five conspirators, and has since confessed to the crime, and says he is but the tool of others.   
Mr Lyall left England in October 1893, and frequently acted as Consul during the absence of Mr C H de Lemos.  Deceased was 23 years of age, and had a most promising career before him.   
Mr E W Lyall has received a letter from another son who is an engineer at Demerara, and states what steps were being taken with regard to the death of his brother.  Mr C H de Lemos has also written to Mr Lyall, returning all the letters addressed to the deceased.  A temporary cross had been erected at the head of the grave of Mr Lyall, and Mr de Lemos and his wife had paid several visits to the grave, which had been planted with everlasting flowers.

Birmingham Daily Post, 3 April 1900

The Murder of the British Deputy Consul at Bolivar
A British Guiana correspondent states in reference to the assassination of Mr James Lyall, British Deputy Consul at Bolivar, Venezuela, on February 28, that Mr Lyall had just left his office when he was attacked by an assassin, who is stated to be a Colombian, and fatally stabbed.  Mr C H de Lemos, British Consul, was preparing to go on leave, and Mr Lyall was to have acted for him during his absence. 
Mr Lyall came out from England in 1898, and during his connection with the consulate he has been most energetic in attending to British interests in the district.  It is believed that the murder was committed at the instigation of a party of conspirators.  Writing to a brother of his in Georgetown, on February 13, Mr Lyall said a state of political anarchy prevailed in Bolivar, and that the inhabitants daily expected the town to be attacked by the rebels.
The father of the poor young man was Edward Whyte Lyall.  Born in Edinburgh, he was a civil engineer and surveyor.  He and his wife Ann came to Darlington from Scotland in the late 1860s.

They lived for a time at 13 Woodlands Terrace before moving to 4 Vane Terrace, which was their home for the rest of their lives.  Edward died there in 1922 at the age of 81.  The notice of his death in the Yorkshire Post records that he
had been in declining health lately, though he was out for a walk on Wednesday. Yesterday morning he was found dead in bed, having passed away in his sleep in the night. 
Mr Lyall was well known in his profession, being responsible, among other works, for a number of water supplies around Darlington.  He was for a long period hon. secretary of the Darlington Charity Organisation Society.
His wife Ann died in 1930.

The British consul named in the newspaper reports was Charles Hermann de Lemos (c1855-1928).  Born in Hamburg, he took British nationality at the age of 27 while living in Newcastle.  He was appointed H.M. Consul for "the States of Bolivar, Sucre, and Barcelona, to reside at Ciudad Bolivar" on 10 Mar 1899.  His wife, with whom he paid the visits to young Mr Lyall's grave, was Guillermina Dalton (1855-1943).


Wednesday, 20 September 2017

William Hall Burnett (1840-1916)

Here is a new website about William Hall Burnett, journalist & editor, newspaper proprietor & poet.

He was born in Stokesley in 1840 and began his career under the printer William Braithwaite, and was deeply influenced by him and by the Rector, Charles Cator.

Only three posts so far, but all very interesting – especially for those with an interest in Stokesley – and do check out the section called Things to Come.







Saturday, 9 September 2017

Kendal & Flintoff marriage announcement 1805

I know there are readers out there looking for Flintoffs:-

Leeds Intelligencer, 9 September 1805
On Monday was married, Mr R Kendal, of Barton, to Miss Flintoff, late of Hutton Rudby.

Tuesday, 15 August 2017

Thomas Wayne of Angrove Hall

York Herald, 15 August 1801
GAME
WHEREAS the GAME within the Manors of HIGH WORSALL, HUTTON near RUDBY, AND KIRBY, belonging to THOMAS WAYNE, Esq., hath of late been almost entirely destroyed; it is requested that no Gentleman will Hunt, Shoot, or Course upon the said Manors, or any of the Grounds of the said THOMAS WAYNE, without his leave in writing.  All unqualified persons found trespassing will be immediately prosecuted.
ANGROVE HALL, Aug. 13, 1801

More details on Thomas Wayne of Angrove Hall (which stood between Great Ayton and Stokesley) can be found in Stately Homes of Hutton Rudby.

His servant Mark Barker was a major beneficiary under Wayne's Will, inheriting the mill by the River Leven in Hutton, the lordship of the manor of Hutton and several other properties (see A History Walk round Hutton Rudby.  I posted a piece about Mark Barker's Will earlier in the blog, here.

For maps of the area in which Angrove Hall once stood – and for the story of its haunting – see the Great Ayton history website for information from Peter Meadows' unpublished article, Angrove Hall, a lost Cleveland house.

Monday, 31 July 2017

North Riding dialect

I came across the website of the Yorkshire Dialect Society recently and their page of recordings of dialect readers and raconteurs.

I was so pleased to find that the North Riding dialect reader is the late great Bill Cowley, who I have
mentioned on this blog before.

As they say nowadays, Enjoy!






Thursday, 20 July 2017

Miss Margaret Clarke (1833-97), "highly-respected Northern educationist"

Margaret Clarke belonged to the generation of pioneers in women’s education. She was born in 1833 in the parsonage in Wolviston, Co Durham, one of a large but impecunious family.  She didn’t follow the paths we might have expected for a woman of her time – she didn’t marry, she didn’t become the useful spinster aunt and she didn’t become an unregarded and underpaid governess.  She became a gifted teacher, a skilled networker and a good administrator and businesswoman.

Margaret Clarke's origins

Her father was the Revd Lancelot Christopher Clarke (1793-1864).  He was born in Stanhope, Co Durham; his father, the Revd John Clarke, was then perpetual curate of St John’s Chapel in Weardale.  John Clarke must have made his way on his own merits.  A History of Northumberland in Three Parts by John Hodgson (1820) says that he was born in 1756 in the Morpeth deanery in “a solitary farm-house, called Ridpath, within the boundary of the Wallington estate, and on the north side of Harwood and of Fallowlees-burn”. 

He had no patron to give him a living with a substantial income but must have had a friend at Durham Cathedral because in 1802 he was made a Minor Canon and in 1808 the Dean and Chapter appointed him vicar of Billingham where he stayed until his death in 1831.  He wrote several tracts (A Brief Illustration of the Morning Service, &c and others) which were printed at Durham and later reprinted in an edition edited by his son.  His position at the cathedral must have been useful in obtaining from the Dean and Chapter the preferment of the chapelry of Wolviston – which lay within the parish of Billingham – for his son Lancelot.

So Lancelot came to Billingham as a boy of about 14 and it was there that he met his future wife, Isabella White (1800-73).  They married in 1819 after Lancelot came down from Emmanuel College, Cambridge and was priested at Durham.  

Isabella was born and brought up at Brook House, Billingham.  Her father Robert White was the farmer there; her mother Margaret Blackburn came from Guisborough.  Brook House Farm lay not far from Billingham Mill, just above the mill race which led into Billingham Beck.  An industrial estate covers the site now.  

Lancelot and Isabella began their married life in Billingham and their first two children were born there.  They moved into Wolviston Parsonage in 1823.

Wolviston was enticingly described in An historical, topographical, and descriptive view of the county palatine of Durham of 1834 – the year after Margaret was born – as “pleasantly situated on the turnpike road between Sunderland and Stockton ... The soil on which it stands is dry, and the southern prospect is extensive and beautiful”.  It was a sizeable village, with “several good houses” and must have been a lively place as it contained 6 public houses, a spirit & porter merchant, 5 shopkeepers, a corn-miller, 4 butchers, 2 gardeners, 2 stone-masons, a bricklayer, 4 joiners & cartwrights, 2 blacksmiths, 2 tailors, 2 shoemakers and a saddler.  

The young vicar was full of energy.  On 23 January 1830, the Durham Chronicle reported that he had – by his “zealous exertions” – led villagers from Wolviston to the aid of people fighting a fire that had broken out “in some wooden sheds, used as workshops, adjacent to the splendid mansion of the Marquis of Londonderry”.  Luckily there was a strong wind blowing from the north east so that the fire did not reach the “noble Marquis’s Orangery” or threaten “his Lordship’s magnificent house”.

During that year, the chapel at Wolviston was enlarged by the addition of “a neat, elegant steeple, of polished Yorkshire stone” which, according to the Durham Chronicle of 25 December 1830 “is now seen to tower up in the centre of the village, presenting to the eye quite a new and highly ornamental feature in the scenery of the surrounding neighbourhood.  The whole has been effected by means of voluntary contributions”.  The chapel re-opened just before Christmas with Lancelot giving “an appropriate and impressive sermon”.  We can’t see Lancelot’s church now – I see from the Victoria County History that it was rebuilt in 1876.

By that time Lancelot and Isabella already had five children.  There were to be several more – they had eleven children, as far as I can see.  Margaret was the seventh, baptised on 16 March 1833.  It was a full household and by 1841 it also included his mother-in-law, Mrs Margaret White.  

I think money must always have been tight, as the stipend was not generous and Lancelot had so many mouths to feed.  The 1834 View of the County Palatine shows that he was then running an Academy.  He later tried his hand at farming, but it evidently didn’t answer the purpose because by the early summer of 1847, when Margaret was 14, his financial situation came to a terrible crisis and he ended up in Durham Gaol as an Insolvent Debtor.  He spent four months in gaol.  Perhaps he was helped by friends or family, because he was able to come to an arrangement with his creditors and I’m glad to say that he seems to have bounced back.  The day after his appearance before the Durham County Court he was at the third Annual meeting of the tenantry of the Londonderry estate enjoying a good dinner with the other local clergy.  But it must have been a searing experience for the family.

Margaret's education and early career

Unsurprisingly, Margaret was sent to the Clergy Daughters School at Casterton, where she could be educated cheaply.  This was the later incarnation of the school at Cowan Bridge, which was described so vividly and unfavourably by Charlotte Brontë in Jane Eyre.  The school had moved to the healthier situation of nearby Casterton in 1833, eight years after Charlotte and her sisters were removed from the school by their father.  

We find Margaret there, aged 18, in the 1851 census together with her younger sister Mary Ann, aged 14.  Margaret was one of the older pupils and I think she must have stayed on as a Pupil Governess because her obituary in the Daily Gazette for Middlesbrough records that she went from there to become an associate of the Sisterhood of Holy Trinity, Oxford.  

The Society of the Holy and Undivided Trinity was an Anglican Sisterhood which ran a convent school in Oxford – the buildings now form part of St Antony’s College.  There she must have gained more teaching experience.

I suspect that during her later years at Casterton she encountered Miss Dorothea Beale, who was superintendant of the school during 1857, because in 1860 Margaret was invited onto the staff of the Cheltenham Ladies’ College, where the celebrated Miss Beale was Principal.

Margaret sets up her own school


Margaret remained there five years and then, in 1865, set up her own small school at the Old Hall, Kirkleatham – the building we now know as Kirkleatham Old Hall Museum.  She had made good use of her time at Cheltenham and clearly had made some very useful connections.  Here is her advertisement from 1868:
Newcastle Journal, 19 December 1868
HOME EDUCATION  MISS CLARKE, Kirkleatham Old Hall, Redcar receives TEN YOUNG LADIES to educate on a system adapted to the highest purpose of Education.  The domestic arrangements are those of a private family.  Terms from £60 to £100 per annum, according to age and requirements.  There are two Vacancies.  References can be given to the Dowager Viscountess Barrington, the Lady Ponsonby, the Rev Canon Woodford (Vicar of Leeds), Dr Acland, F.R.S., Regius Professor of Medicine, Oxford, &c

Margaret was targeting the affluent market and had references – and fees – to match.  She soon realised that she could build on her growing success and decided to relocate to London where it would be very much easier to find staff of the calibre she required.

She took a house in Warrington Crescent, Maida Vale, in a terrace of tall white-stuccoed Italianate town houses.  They were five stories high including the servants’ quarters on the top floor and only recently built.  There she and her sister Catherine (who seems to have been generally known as Kate) set up their school.

At the time of the census in 1871 they occupied numbers 26 and 28 Warrington Crescent and their widowed mother and older sister Elizabeth were there with them.  The school remained popular with parents from the North, and among the 15 pupils were four from Yorkshire and three from Newcastle.  A closer inspection of the census details reveal that two of the Yorkshire girls were from Middlesbrough and that they were girls who have featured on this blog before: Annie and Ellen Richardson, aged 14 and 13, the daughters of Dr John Richardson and his wife Margaret Elizabeth Weatherill.

Expansion of the school & the last years of the Misses Clarke

Perhaps Margaret was always on the lookout for a large house in its own grounds, because it was not long before she took out a lease on Brondesbury Manor House in Willesden.  The buildings dated mainly from the late 18th century and early 19th century; the grounds had once been landscaped by Repton, who commented favourably on its hill-top position.  The railway had reached Willesden and from the late 1860s houses for merchants and City professionals were being built.  It must have seemed a very appropriate area.  Margaret took possession in around 1881 and seems to have begun building work to make the buildings ready for occupation by the girls.

The 1881 census shows that the school had expanded dramatically.  Margaret and Kate now had three houses, numbers 24, 26 & 28 Warrington Crescent.  The seven teachers (described by Miss Clarke as “governesses”) included a young French-born British woman and a young woman from Germany, so we can see the pupils were learning both French and German.  The housekeeping staff consisted of a housekeeper, an accountant, a matron, a cook, 2 parlourmaids, 5 housemaids and a kitchenmaid.  

There were 48 pupils aged mostly between 14 and 18, the youngest child being 10 years old.  They included four girls from overseas (India, Cape of Good Hope, Portugal and Canada) and several from the North of England – a girl from Newcastle, another from Kendal, and Elizabeth Faber, the daughter of Henry Grey Faber, solicitor in Stockton-on-Tees, and Kathleen Newcomen, whose father owned Kirkleatham Hall, the great house that was demolished in the 1950s.

By 1891, the school had expanded further still.  Brondesbury Manor was nearly ready for full occupation and in the meantime the census shows that the sisters now had four houses in Warrington Crescent – numbers 24, 26, 28 & 30.  The pupils, teachers and domestic staff were divided between the houses.

In Number 24, there were 12 girls, four of them from Yorkshire, living under the supervision of three teachers.  One taught German & Music, another English & Music and the third taught English.  In Number 26, Miss Kate Clarke presided over the domestic staff – a secretary, a matron (from Gateshead), a housekeeper, a cook, parlourmaid, 5 housemaids, a kitchenmaid and a 15 year old boy as a page.  There was another Music teacher living there.  In Number 28, an English teacher and a French teacher were in charge of 14 pupils, including 2 from Yorkshire and one from Tynemouth.  In Number 30, yet another English teacher had the charge of 7 girls (including one from Nova Scotia and another from New Zealand).  Also living there were a carpenter, a housekeeper, and a 13 year old described as School Boy.  Clearly the school prided itself on music and English – masters will have visited the school to teach other subjects.   

At Brondesbury, the census reveals Margaret presiding over three teachers (one taught German & music, the other two English) and 27 pupils, including a girl from Australia.  She was assisted by a manageress born in Wynyard, Co Durham, and her staff consisted of a ladies’ maid, parlourmaid, 4 housemaids, a cook and a houseboy.  A gardener and his family lived in the Manor House Cottage.  Staying with Margaret was an old pupil, Miss Agatha Skinner, aged 33.

While Miss Kate Clarke stayed in Warrington Crescent, chiefly with the younger girls, work continued apace to build a school chapel.  The building was largely financed by a generous donation from Miss Agatha Skinner, and the chapel was dedicated on 7 June 1892 by the Rev W H Cleaver.  The first Confirmation was held by the Bishop of Marlborough, Alfred Earle, whose daughter was a pupil.  Soon afterwards the houses in Warrington Crescent were given up, and all the girls moved into the Manor House, which had been extended to accommodate them

Miss Margaret Clarke presided over the Manor House for only a few more years.  She died on 11 February 1897 at the age of 64.  Her obituary in the Daily Gazette for Middlesbrough on 26 February called her 
“a once well-known [clearly her renown in London did not count] and highly-respected Northern lady educationist ... known to the leading educationists of the day as one only second to the late Miss Buss [of the North London Collegiate School for Ladies] in powers of organisation and devotion to her work.”
Kate Clarke carried on the school for the next two terms, but it must have been a very difficult time and she must have been very glad to find a buyer quite quickly.  This was Miss Lucy Helen Muriel Soulsby, headmistress of Oxford High School, who arrived at the school in September 1897 and took it over completely from Kate at the beginning of 1898.  Kate lived only two years longer.  She died on 11 February 1897, aged 59.

The two Misses Clarke had not only made their school a resounding educational success, they had also made a substantial fortune.  When Margaret died in 1897, she left £8,114 10s 1d; Kate’s estate (which obviously included the sale of the business) amounted to £18,717.  

Brondesbury Manor House School under Miss Soulsby (1856-1927)

Miss Soulsby – such an apt name, I feel it would have been chosen for her by Charles Dickens – had bought the school with her own objective already fixed in her mind.  Her mother was the strongest influence in her life and, in the words of the Dictionary of National Biography, Miss Soulsby reverenced “the power of the home”.  She intended to put character-building ahead of academic achievement and she intended to form “fine wives and fine mothers”.  

She drew further inspiration from the works of John Keble, Charlotte M Yonge and Elizabeth Missing Sewell (who, with her brothers, has already appeared in this blog), emphasising the importance of developing spirituality and self-discipline.  She was clearly a very charismatic character and was very much in the public eye, a great committee woman, traveller and writer of pamphlets and books.  Unsurprisingly, she opposed female suffrage.  

She retired from the school in 1915, leaving it in the hands of Miss Frances Abbott, but she was still very much in charge.

During this time, Northern families remained loyal to the school, perhaps unconscious of the changes that had taken place.  Mrs Margaret Richardson, who had sent her daughters Annie and Ellen to Miss Clarke’s school in the 1870s, sent her stepdaughters Averil and Madge Buchannan there as well.  They evidently remembered their schooldays with affection because they sent their own daughters there after the First World War.  Alas, by then the school was not the congenial place they remembered, and several of the girls were actively unhappy while all of them seem to have resented the petty discipline and the poor academic performance.

Memories of the school in the early 1920s

Mary Hurst attended the school between 1921 and 1923.  The best that can be said for it, as far as I can see, is that it gave her plenty of time to daydream during lessons; she had two novels, Thy People and The Bond of the Spirit, published by Hodder & Stoughton in 1928 and 1930.

In her unpublished memoirs, Mary left a vivid portrait of the school, which her sister-in-law Katharine Stubbs described tersely with the words, “Lousy education.  Sadistic discipline.  Good on arts.”  Interesting to note that Mary came to Brondesbury from the Oxford convent school in which Miss Clarke had once taught, and which Mary found preferable in terms of education, discipline, kindness and lack of silliness about boys.
Brondesbury Manor House, c1921
Mary wrote that even in the years that she spent at Brondesbury, Miss Soulsby still “periodically made formidable descents on the school to see that [her customs] were being duly continued”.

Here is her description of the school regime:
When the present girls left they did not become simply old girls but some sort of flower, the earlier Miss Soulsby generation being Rosemaries and the later Water Lilies, but the original Manor House-ites, to whom my mother-in-law and her sister belonged were simply called “Miss Clarke’s old girls”.  I fancy Miss Clarke, an uncompromising Puseyite lady devoid of whimsies, would not have approved of all the horticulture.
Brondesbury crest
We were given over to the care of our respective “school mothers” for the first two weeks of school life.  It was a good idea, and conscientiously did my worthy if uninspiring “mother” perform her heavy task.   
She made me rise at 6.30 in order that no possible thing should be left undone to ensure a tidy bedroom.  The bedrooms were inspected when we were at Prayers and the names of the untidy people and their offences were read out by the Head at breakfast.  It was an offence to have a piece of cotton on the floor, a corner of blanket hanging crooked on the chair when the bed was stripped, a blind out of line or a single dead flower in your vase.   
You belonged to a block house, a group of seven or eight girls under a Captain.  “Lucknow” was the Scottish block-house where I, who have not a drop of Scottish blood in my veins, spent two terms; but indeed I started in the Kitchener’s Army block-house and ended as Captain of Revenge, the Navy one, without the faintest connection with either.   
The untidy offender followed her block-house Captain upstairs and picked up the cotton or whatever it was.  If there was no excuse the whole blockhouse lost the Red Star for that week.  It taught us neatness all right, but when I tell you that we lost the Gold Star for a word spoken at any time in the bedrooms (the worst offence of all), the Green Star for a word in the passage, half another star for a shoe adrift in the boot-room, half for any unpunctuality and another whole star for an untidy drawer, you can imagine life was rather hazardous.   
Every morning our persons were inspected from hair to shoes in a vaguely military manner by the Blockhouse Captain and her lieutenant, and it went ill with you if the white starched apron in which each girl was clad had a tear or a button missing.  
The rooms in which the girls slept were named after places that appealed to the imagination of Miss Soulsby.  The landings on the first and second floors were named after her favourite countries – Spain, Italy, France, Greece, etc – and the rooms were named accordingly.  Mary seems to have been in an Algerian section, sleeping in the room called Timgad, which led out of Tiemcen.  The 6th form room was called Byzantium.  The passage by the garden door where girls could read the Illustrated London News was called The Fourth Estate.  I see from a map I found amongst Katharine Stubbs’ papers that the naming extended to the garden, where could be found Bunyan’s Arbour, Little Gidding, Tigris, Arabia and a path named Path to Fairyland and St Hilda’s.
We were placed in classes for sitting, standing and walking.  I soon acquired a more poker-like posture, but my walk was beyond either threats or entreaties.  We were exhorted to strive to be Harebells, which involved always being very straight-backed, courteous and tidy and thus gaining the right to wear a brooch with a harebell upon it. 
At the beginning of every term came the ceremony of obtaining a motto for your cubicle.  “Ich Dien” and “Noblesse Oblige” were the most popular, but “I can because I must and by God’s help I will” was quite a good second.  The mysterious “Here Stand I.  I can no other,” and “Here or nowhere is America,” were low on the list.  “Don’t think of the carriage-in-pair in front but the donkey-cart behind” was deservedly rejected, and “He is so much in love with misery who likes to sit down on his own little handful of thorns” (a most uncomfortable bed-time thought) was at the very bottom.  Miss Soulsby’s passion for mottoes ran riot in every corner but was there or was there not a glint of humour in putting “E’en the light harebell lifts its head exultant from her airy tread” over the school’s main staircase?   
Miss Soulsby was present in person and we were told to bow or curtsey low to her when we entered the drawing-room.  Distracted by seeing a youthful mistress appearing, far too daringly, as an ancient Briton in a hearthrug, bangles and enough brown stain to render Dominion bathroom unusable for days, and hampered by shortsight, I prostrated myself before the only strange lady in view, who turned out to be the Normanbys' governess, who was visiting Katharine Phipps [daughter of Lord Normanby], only to be later confronted by a prodigious vision in a Mary Queen of Scots mantilla, who was obviously the great Lucy S.
There is a photograph of Miss Soulsby in the mantilla on the Brent Museum & Archives website.

The Sunday routine sounds particularly uninviting:
A Manor House Sunday began for those who had not been to Early Service, with shortened prayers before breakfast and after breakfast a promenade round the grounds as on weekdays, only always with hats on because of it's being Sunday.  This was known as First Walk. 
Then we sat in the schoolroom and learned alternate verses of a poem from The Christian Year, then we were herded into the Chapel for Morning Service ending abruptly with Ante-Communion but no communion to follow.  After this came Long Walk which was the only walk taken outside the garden, and the neighbourhood was so dreary that this hardly caused surprise.   
Then we stood in twos in the schoolroom and said our verses from The Christian Year.  After lunch came First Sweet Walk, round and round the garden again, everyone with hats on.  Then the actual sweet-eating, an unseemly exhibition in the Boot-room where you were often unable to have any of your own sweets as they had to be universally distributed and greedy people always asked if they could take two.  Then there was the Second Sweet Walk, followed by the oasis of silent reading from which we were rushed to Chapel for Church History or some such.   
Then tea, and after tea we all took chairs and trailed into the drawing-room where there was hymn-singing (it was amazing that in a finishing-school where so much weight was given to music there was hardly a girl who could play for this adequately).   
After hymn-singing there were readings from George Herbert and The Pilgrim's Progress, Miss Abbott having previously recorded the Stars of each block-house on a special board prepared by the Bell-ringer and had a good stare at any star-losing culprit, who had to stand up for the purpose.   
Then we went back to our class-rooms and wrote our home letters.  Then we had supper and some more improving reading in the drawing-room and then went, exhausted, to bed.  
Only one girl in the Sixth Form in Mary’s time passed Matriculation.  It is cheering to note that Miss Soulsby’s strong aversion to women’s suffrage had no effect on the girls of Mary Hurst’s time.  She herself was already very politically aware and her father Gerald Berkeley Hurst, Conservative MP for Moss Side, Manchester, always impressed upon his daughters and granddaughters that they must vote, because women had died for them to be entitled to do so.  Katharine Stubbs, on leaving school, went and helped a friend’s family electioneering in Eastbourne, while Katharine Phipps, always known to her schoolfriends as a Communist, went to work in the East End at the Camberwell settlement.

Miss Soulsby died on 19 May 1926, and the school continued – but with something of a change of direction.  It was examined and approved by the Board of Education and it gained a science laboratory.

The school went on to have several new manifestations.  

In 1934, after a move from Brondesbury to Cranleigh, Surrey, it became known as Brondesbury-at-Nanhurst.  Brondesbury Manor House, described as “shabby-looking”, was bought by a builder and demolished to make way for housing.  In 1941 the school evacuated to Shakenhurst Hall in Cleobury Mortimer, Shropshire.  The following year it moved again, to Stocks House near Tring, where it became known as Brondesbury-at-Stocks.

And it was there that Miss Clarke’s school at last came to an end in 1972.


Sources: 
Unpublished memoirs of Mary Hurst
Information sent to Katharine Hill née Stubbs in 1987 by the Grange Museum, London Borough of Brent: copy of the Silver Jubilee issue of the Brondesbury Magazine 1930
Notes left by Margaret Isobel Stubbs née Buchannan
Photographs by Katharine Stubbs








Thursday, 6 July 2017

Samuel and Louis, artists & brothers

This isn’t actually to do with North Yorkshire, but I have the information and I feel I must do something with it!

It is the story of two brothers, both artists, whose identities have become curiously conflated in recent years.

If you search online for Samuel Baruch Halle, you will be informed that he was a French artist, who was born in 1824 and died in Paris in 1889.  On the sidebar you may find the name Ludwig Halle, who was – again – born in 1824 and died in Paris in 1889.

If you then search for Ludwig Halle, you may find your way to the German wikipedia entry which gives his name as Samuel Baruch Ludwig Halle, and describes him as a German artist who also worked in London and Paris and who was born in – surprise! – 1824 in Frankfurt am Main and died in Paris in 1889.

Some of this is true.  Here is the real story.

Samuel Baruch Halle and his brother Ludwig (who was known in his adult life as Louis) were both born in Frankfurt am Main.  Samuel was the elder, born in 1824.  Louis was born in 1828.  Neither of them died in 1889.

They were the sons of Simon Markus Baruch Halle (1794-1864) and Fanny Flörsheim (1803-32).

Simon was a bitter and disappointed man and a neglectful father.  He had been born in the Judengasse, the narrow and crowded street in which Frankfurt’s Jews were forced to live.  They had been freed from the harsh restrictions imposed for centuries by the city council when the Revolutionary armies of France invaded.  Artillery bombardment destroyed much of the ghetto in 1796 and under the French occupation the civil liberties granted to French Jews in the Revolution were extended to Frankfurt.

Simon grew up in tumultuous times and he served in the army during the years of the Napoleonic Wars, spending just over a year in 3rd Company 1st Battalion Zweyer's Light Infantry Regiment.

When the wars ended and the reorganisation of Europe began, his uncle Jakob Baruch (1763-1827) was sent by the Jewish community of Frankfurt to the Congress of Vienna, in the hope that his family’s good relations with the Hapsburg Court would be useful in obtaining equal rights for Frankfurt’s Jews – in vain.  The transient gains of the French Revolution were lost, the city council resumed previous practices as far as they could, and in the 1819 Hep Hep riots Simon was apparently injured and a close friend died.

Simon’s daughters died in infancy and his young wife died leaving him with five little boys.  He brought them up in the conviction that they must leave Frankfurt.  They did.

The eldest, Bernard, was a merchant who contributed European news to American newspapers under the name Bernard Barry.  Julius (1825-1904) became a prosperous London merchant dealing in fancy goods and travelling frequently to France and Germany.  He became a naturalised British subject at an early date and was intensely proud of his adopted country.  Philip settled in the USA and became a US citizen in 1858.  Samuel and Louis became artists.  Only Julius had children; two of his grandsons were knighted – the brothers Gerald Hurst and Arthur Hurst.

Samuel Baruch Halle 

Samuel Baruch Halle – his full name was Samuel Simon Baruch Halle – studied art at Antwerp and worked on the Continent for some years, but by the time of the 1881 Census he had settled in London.  He had of course visited his brother in England over the years, and possibly also worked here at times.  This photograph of him is from the large family group photograph taken in June 1875 on the occasion of his niece’s wedding in London.

Samuel Baruch Halle 1824-92
Samuel lived and worked at 133 Regent Street until 1885, when he moved to 59 Adelaide Road, Hampstead.  In 1891 he moved to 82 Gloucester Street, Pimlico.  By then he had retired and was in very poor health.

He died at home on 20 December 1892 at the age of 68.  The cause of death is recorded as “Syncope during operation for Stone.  Stone in Bladder.  Enlarged Prostate.  Cystitis diseased kidneys.  Certified by H Fenton, M.D.”  The poor man must have suffered greatly.

The informant on the death certificate was his brother Louis Hallé, of 33 Avenue du Roule, Neuilly near Paris.  Louis, together with solicitor John Hopgood, were the executors of Samuel’s Will.  He left £8,636 14s 6d.

Louis Hallé

Ludwig Baruch Halle – using the French version of his name, Louis Hallé – lived at Neuilly-sur-Seine.  He was a friend of the photographer Gustave Le Gray and was one of the witnesses to the acte de notoriété after Le Gray's death.  This is referred to in Gustave Le Gray, 1820-1884 by Sylvie Aubenas (2002):
1885, January 28: Document prepared by M Latapie de Gerval, a Paris notary, designates Alfred Le Gray, his only surviving child, as his heir.  Witnesses said to have known his father well:  Louis Hallé, painter, and Vincent Philippe, boot maker
Louis appears twice in the English censuses.

In 1851 – when his recently-married brother Julius was living in Hackney and his brother Philip was visiting the newly-weds – Louis Hallé was staying at 3 President Street, Finsbury, in the household of Elizabeth Blackhall, a 56 year old widow, and her son and daughter.  He described himself for the census as a “lithographic artist”.

He was back in London for the census of 1871 in the aftermath of the Franco-Prussian War.  Now aged 43, still unmarried, and describing himself simply as an artist, he was a boarder at 19 Grosvenor Road, Highbury, in the home of Edward W Hoare, commercial traveller in the tea trade, and his wife and five children.  The Cornish artist Edward Opie was also lodging in the house.

In 1875 he too was in London for his niece’s wedding and here is his photograph – looking, surely, every inch the Parisian artist.

Louis Hallé 1828-99

We know he was in London in December 1892, because he was at the deathbed of his brother Samuel.

He died in Neuilly-sur-Seine on 3 February 1899.


Samuel’s art seems to have become increasingly popular in recent years and you'll find two of his paintings on Art UK and many more on the internet, but I can’t find any of Louis’ work online.

It doesn’t seem right that their identities should be confused and the reality of two well-lived lives should disappear.  I hope this will put the record straight.


NB. This link tells in outline the story of Simon Markus Baruch Halle’s first cousin Ludwig Börne.

Wednesday, 5 July 2017

Various occupants of the mill at Rudby

These newspaper notices relate to the mill on the Rudby side of the River Leven:

Hull Advertiser & Exchange Gazette, 5 July 1806
Marriages ...
A few days ago, at Hinderwell, Mr Thomas Hird, of Rudby Flour-Mills, near Stokesley, to Miss Moor, of Staithes, near Whitby 
Yorkshire Gazette, 8 November 1823
Robert Robinson's Assignment
Whereas Robert Robinson, of Rudby Mill, in the Parish of Rudby, in the County of York, Miller and Farmer, hath by Indenture, bearing Date the 3d Day of November instant, assigned over all his personal Estate and Effects unto John Millner, of Rudby, aforesaid, Weaver, and Thomas Robinson, of Crathorne, in the said County, Farmer, in Trust, for the equal Benefit of such of the Creditors of the said Robert Robinson, who shall execute the same Deed and accept the Provisions thereby made, in full, for their respective Debts, on or before the 1st Day of January next ... 
York Herald, 22 March 1856
To be sold by Public Auction,
on Easter Monday, without Reserve, if not Sold by Private Contract, or Let for the ensuing Season before, that celebrated Coaching Stallion CLEVELAND LAD.
Cleveland Lad is rising 9 years old, is a rich bay, with black legs clear of white, with great bone and superior action, stands 16 hands 1½ inches high, and has proved himself a sure foal getter.
Cleveland Lad's pedigree may be had on application to Messrs J & M Middleton, Rudby Mill, near Yarm.
March 21st, 1856
(As the name suggests, Cleveland Lad was a Cleveland Bay)


Thursday, 29 June 2017

Toft Hill Farm, Hutton Rudby in 1728

An early glimpse of Toft Hill Farm, off Black Horse Lane, Hutton Rudby:

Newcastle Courant, 29 June 1728
To be SOLD
A Convenient Farm called Toft-hill, containing about 100 Acres of very good arable, meadow, and pasture Ground, well Fenced and Watered, and lying altogether nigh Hutton Rudby, being Freehold Lands, and of the yearly Value 47 l. or thereabouts; Whoever is desirous of purchasing the same, may apply to Mr John Preston of Stokesley Attorney at Law, or to Mr Anthony Aysley of Hutton Locrass [Lowcross], who will treat about the Sale thereof.

Sunday, 11 June 2017

Financial disaster comes to Michael Hughes of Yarm, June 1743

This is a glimpse of the life of Michael Hughes of Yarm.  He had extensive premises in Yarm and had bought land, farms and houses from Bedale to Hurworth.  Did he expand too quickly?  Was it a mistake to build the malt-kiln and the granaries and the warehouses?  Was his mercery business over-stocked with expensive luxuries?  It all came to disaster in the end, but it gives us so much interesting information on the way.

In 1743 he had property in Hutton Rudby, Thornton in Cleveland, Maltby in Cleveland, Appleton Wiske, Great Smeaton, Hurworth, Catterick, Richmond, Bedale, Brompton, Osmotherley, as well as his properties in Yarm itself, including the newly-built Malt Kiln with land going to the Tees where he had a wharf for shipping his goods.  Everything was to be sold to satisfy his creditors in auctions that took place in Hutton Rudby, Yarm, Darlington, Richmond and Northallerton. 

It must have created a sensation at the time.

Newcastle Courant, 11 June 1743

To be Sold respectively to the Highest Bidder,
At the following Times and Places,
By the Assignees of a Commission of Bankrupt lately awarded against MICHAEL HUGHES, of Yarm, Merchant,
The several LANDS and TENEMENTS herein after mention'd, late the Estate of the said Bankrupt, viz. 
On the 28th of June inst. between the Hours of Two and Five in the Afternoon, at the Dwelling House of George Whorlton in Hutton near Rudby, three new built Dwelling Houses, with the Garths and Appurtenances thereunto belonging, situate in Hutton aforesaid, now tenanted by William Peacock and others, at the yearly Rent of 5 l. or thereabouts. 
On the 29th, between the Hours of Ten and Twelve, at the House of Widow Barley, Innholder, in Yarm, several Dwelling Houses, with a Blacksmith's Shop, Stable, Garth or Orchard, and near an Acre of Meadow Ground thereto belonging, situate in Thornton, in Cleveland, now lett to George Tunstal and others, at the yearly Rent in the whole of 8 l. 13s.  And between the Hours of One and Four of the same Day, and at the same Place, an improveable Freehold Estate, with a good Farm House, and all other convenient Housing thereon, situate at Maltby, in Cleveland, of the yearly Rent of 36 l
On the 30th, between the Hours of Ten and Twelve, at the said Widow Barley's, a Farm in the Township of Appleton upon Wiske, of the yearly Value of 13 l. held by Lease for a Term of 2000 Years under the reserved annual Rent of 3s.  And between the Hours of One and Four of the same Day, and at the same Place, An improveable Freehold Farm, lying at Entercommon, near Great Smeaton, of the yearly Value of 20 l. and upwards; on which two last mention'd Farms are also good Farm Houses, and all other Conveniences for Tenants, in Good Repair. 
On the 4th of July next, between the Hours of One and Four, at the House of Mr John Yorke, Innholder, in Darlington, An improveable Freehold Farm, lying in the Township of Hurworth, with a good Farm House, and other Conveniences thereon for a Tenant, in good Repair, of the yearly Value of 24 l. and upwards. 
On the 5th, between the Hours of Ten and Twelve, at the House of Mr Ralph Hawxwell in Catterick near Richmond, The said Bankrupt's Life Estate in some Lands lying in Richmond Town Fields, of the yearly Value of 6 l. 10s. or thereabouts.  Also at the last mention'd Day and Place, between the Hours of One and Four, A well built Freehold Dwelling House, with the Appurtenances, situate in Catterick aforesaid, in the Possession of Mr James Mewburn, or his Assigns under the clear annual Rent of 10 l
On the 6th, between the Hours of Ten and Twelve, at the House of Mr Careless, in Northallerton, A Freehold Close in Bedale, of the yearly Value of 3 l. 10s. or thereabouts; the same Day and Place, between the Hours of One and Four, Some Copyhold Houses, with the Appurtenances, in Brompton near Northallerton, of the yearly Value of 5 l. or thereabouts; and on the same Day, and at the same Place, between the Hours of Four and Five, A Copyhold House, with the Garth and Appurtenances thereunto belonging, situate in Osmotherley, in the Possession of Robert Fryar, at the yearly Rent Forty and Two Shillings, or thereabouts.  And 
On the 7th, between the Hours of Ten and Twelve, at the said Widow Barley's House in Yarm, A Freehold Close in the Parish of Yarm aforesaid, of the yearly Value of 5 l. or thereabouts; between the Hours of One and Four, the same Day and Place, The Freehold Dwelling House, Shop, Ale-houses, and Granaries, on the East Row or Side of the Town of Yarm aforesaid, late in the said Bankrupt's own Occupation; and between the Hours of Four and Seven of the same Day, and at the same Place, Another Freehold Dwelling House, with the Shop and Appurtenances thereto belonging, and also several Stables, Granaries, Ware-houses, and a Malt Kiln, all new built, on the Backside of the last mention'd Dwelling House, and extending to the River Tease [Tees], with a convenient Key [Quay] or Wharf for the shipping or unlading of Goods.  The said last mention'd Dwelling Houses adjoin upon each other, fronting the Market-place; and the same, with the Granaries, &c. are every way commodiously situate for Trade.  For further Particulars enquire of Mr David Burton, Attorney, in Yarm aforesaid. 
Likewise to be sold, at the said Bankrupt's Shop and Ware-houses in Yarm, all his Stock in Trade, consisting of Grocery, Mercery, Haberdashery, Distillery, Linen and Woollen Drapery Wares, with a large Quantity of Men and Womens Hats, Black Velvet Caps, and several other Goods and Merchandises.  The Sale will begin on Tuesday the 14th inst. and Attendance will be given there every Thursday and Tuesday following, till the whole be sold.  Such Tradesmen as are inclined to buy any of the Goods by Wholesale, are desired to attend the four first Days of Sale
Evidently there were too few customers for all the Hats and Caps and so forth, because soon this advertisement appeared:
Newcastle Courant, 18 June 1743
Whereas it hath been formerly advertised, that all the Stock in Trade, late of Michael Hughes, a Bankrupt, was to be sold at his Shop and Ware-houses in Yarm, and that such Tradesmen as were inclined to buy any of the said Goods by Wholesale, were desired to attend the first four Days of Sale, which said four Days being now past, and a considerable Quantity of the said Goods, particularly Broad Cloths, Dyers Goods, Leaf and Cut Tobacco, Distilled Liquors of all Sorts, Apothecarys Drugs, and Linen Cloth, are remaining yet undisposed of.  Notice is hereby given, that such Persons as are inclined to buy all or any of the said Goods now remaining in the Wholesale Way, may attend at the said Bankrupts Shop in Yarm aforesaid, the 28th and 30th Inst. and on the 5th and 7th of July next, when the said Goods will be sold by Wholesale, at reasonable Rates.
And finally Michael Hughes' Commissioners in Bankruptcy were ready to make payments to his creditors:
Newcastle Courant, 3 March 1744
The Commissioners in a Commission of Bankrupt, awarded and issued against Michael Hughes, late of Yarm, in the County of York, Merchant, intend to meet on the Twenty-eight Day of March instant, at Eleven in the Forenoon, at the House of Mrs Margaret Ellis, Innholder, at the Sign of the Anchor and Crown, in Yarm aforesaid, in order to make a Dividend of the said Bankrupt's Estate, when and where the Creditors, who have not already proved their Debts, are to come prepared to do the same, or they will be excluded the Benefit of the said Dividend

The Teesside Archives catalogue shows that it holds deeds from the 1720s relating to purchases of property by Michael and his wife Mary.

Wednesday, 7 June 2017

Jacksons in Hutton Rudby in 1850

An advertisement from the Durham County Advertiser, 7 June 1850, which might be of interest to anyone trying to disentangle mid-C19 Jacksons.  William Jackson, tallow chandler in the city of Durham, has found himself in financial difficulties.  He seems to be related to David Jackson, tailor & draper of Hutton Rudby:
To be sold by Auction by order of the Assignees of Mr William Jackson, at the house of Mr George Cummins, the Fleece Inn, in Silver Street, in Durham, on Friday, the 21st June 1850, at three o'clock in the Afternoon by Mr Wm Shadforth, Auctioneer
Lot 1 was a "A Small and Complete Dwelling House called 'Neville's Cross,'" with its outhouses, in the parish of St Oswald and "only a few minutes' walk from the City of Durham".

Lot 2 consisted of property that William Jackson expected to inherit.

The first part was the one-sixth "part, share, or interest" that he expected to receive on the decease of Mrs Jane Jackson, "now aged 74" of the house in Crossgate in Durham in which she lived, and the tallow chandler's shop & cottage behind it and now in the occupation of Mr William Sutcliffe at the rent of £12, after payment of a Legacy of £200 and Legacy Duty.

The second part was the one-sixth share that William Jackson expected on the death of Mrs Jane Jackson, Mr William Jackson the older (now aged 64) and Mrs Mary Mundell (now aged 66) in the Langley Corn Mill in the parish of Brancepeth, with its outbuildings and two acres of grassland, in the occupation of Mr George Wass, at the rent of £40, and
of and in all that messuage or dwelling house situate in the Township of Hutton Rudby, in Cleveland, in the County of York, and now in the occupation of Thomas Harker, Esq., with the Cottage behind, and now in the occupation of Mr David Jackson, at the rent of £8.   
And also of and in all those Two Closes or Parcels of Superior Grass Land, situate within the said Township of Hutton near Rudby aforesaid, and now in the occupation of Mr William Jackson, Labourer, at the Rent of £10.
The following year, the 1851 Census lists David Jackson the tailor & his family living near to the Bay Horse (Jacksons Yard, beside the pub, is first mentioned in this Census):
1851 Census:  North Side, near Bay Horse:  David Jackson 37 tailor employing 5, b Hutton, wife Christiana 40 b Swainby, and children William 12, David 9, Elizabeth 8, and Dorothy 1, all b Middlesbrough, with servant Jane Jackson single 20 house servant b Hutton
William Jackson may well be at Jakebarn, where Drumrauch Hall now stands:
1851 Census:  Cottage [Jakebarn]:  William Jackson widower 65 farmer b Hutton Rudby and housekeeper Sarah Hoggard single 38 b Bilsdale 
Thomas Harker was the medical practitioner whose story is to be found in Chapter 5 of Remarkable, but Still True.


Friday, 26 May 2017

John Wild's rheumatism 1759

John Wild was a tenant of Barkers Row in 1829; this advertisement shows that there was a Robert Wild in the village eighty years earlier.  He evidently suffered from rheumatism:-

Caledonian Mercury, 12 September 1759

ANTISCORBUTIC PILLS
Made and prepared by L. LONG,
SURGEON,
At Mr John Edmonston's Goldsmith, Canongatehead, Hope's Land, Edinburgh,
An effectual Cure for the SCURVY, and all SCORBUTICK HUMOURS ..
and
Also prepared by L. LONG, Surgeon,
His SPECIFICK for the Cure of the RHEUMATISM, SCIATICA, or GOUT,
Which never fails in giving Relief, and for the most part compleats the Cure, when all other Medicines have failed.  It operates by Perspiration, and discharges such Humours as occasion the racking Pains in the Muscles, and restore a regular Circulation through the minutest Canals, and remove obstructions; and is of so innocent a Nature, that a Child may take it without Danger. 
"SIR, I Robert Wild, in Hutton rudby, Yorkshire, was confined in Bed, and not able to move any Part of my Body, being afflicted with the Rheumatism, I got one Box of your Pills and five Doses of your Medicine, and am now free from Pain,
As witness my Hand
ROBERT WILD"
Witness William Moody and John Bell

Monday, 22 May 2017

Haggitt Hill farms in 1805

York Herald, 8 December 1804

To be Let
On Wednesday the twelfth day of December, 1804, at the House of Mr Godfrey Hirst, Innholder, in Northallerton, between the hours of two and six o'Clock of the same day, subject to such Conditions as will be then and there produced; 
All that Farm, consisting of an excellent Dwelling-House, a Barn, Stables, Cow-houses, and other suitable Outbuildings adjoining thereto, with several Closes or Parcels of Arable, Meadow, and Pasture Ground, containing together 150 Acres or thereabouts, now in the occupation of Thomas Brignal. 
Also, All that other Farm, consisting of a very good Dwelling-house, a Barn, Stables, and other Outbuildings adjoining thereto, with several Closes or Parcels of Arable, Meadow and Pasture Ground, containing together 145 Acres or thereabouts, now in the occupation of John Brigham. 
Both the above Farms are situate within a Ring-Fence at Haggatt-Hill, in the parish of Hutton Rudby, in Cleveland, and pay a small Modus in lieu of Hay Tithe. 
N.B.  The Tenants will show the Premises, and for further Particulars apply to Mr Dinsdale, of Middleham, the Owner; or Mr Calvert, Land-Surveyor, in Richmond.

Haggitt Hill lies to the west of the A19 and is near to East Rounton, which was then part of Hutton Rudby parish.

Godfrey Hirst was the landlord of the Golden Lion in Northallerton.

Saturday, 13 May 2017

Wheelbarrow theft in 1850

York Herald, 13 April 1850

A Court report:
Henry Muselwaite (36), pleaded Guilty to stealing, on the 22nd of March, at Hutton Rudby, a wheelbarrow, the property of William Farnaby.  To be imprisoned and kept to hard labour one month.

Tuesday, 2 May 2017

York Herald, 2 May 1868: news from Middlesbrough and Redcar

York Herald, 2 May 1868

Middlesbro'
FATAL ACCIDENT - Yesterday week, an inquest was held at Middlesbro', on the body of Thomas Thompson, aged twenty-four, a painter, who, on the previous night, fell from a scaffold thirty-six feet in height, at the United Methodist Free Church, now being erected in Newport-road, Middlesbro', thereby fracturing his skull, from which injury he died.  A verdict of "Accidental death" was returned.  Deceased has left a wife and two children. 
CHORAL SOCIETY - The first concert of this newly-formed society was given before a large and fashionable audience in the Odd Fellows' Hall, yesterday evening week.  The band and chorus comprised 100 performers, under the conductorship of Mr Groenings, and the leadership of Mr John Wood.  The pieces selected were principally from the great masters, Beethoven, Handel, Gounod, and old English composers, and were ably executed.  The Hallelujah Chorus was given with great force and precision.  A violin solo by Mr Wood was rapturously encored.  The tenor solos were sung by Mr John Hart. 
THE IRISH CHURCH - A lecture on this subject was given before a tolerably large audience in the Odd Fellows' Hall, on Monday evening, by the Rev V H Moyle, curate of North Ormesby.  The Mayor occupied the chair.  The lecture was in substance the same as that given at North Ormesby and noticed in the Herald last week.  The lecturer encountered some little opposition from the Liberals present.  A vote of thanks to the lecturer concluded the proceedings. 
PETTY SESSIONS - On Monday, before the Mayor and H Thompson and J Harris, Esqrs., a number of sailors belonging to the Fatfold of Sunderland, were brought up on a charge of smuggling about five pounds of tobacco on board that vessel.  Thomas Bell, officer of Customs, proved the discovery of the tobacco, which all the men refused to acknowledge.  Ultimately, however, Henry Fish, fireman, owned to having smuggled the tobacco, and the other men were released from custody.  Fish was ordered to pay a fine of £3 18s, including costs. 
James Conway was summoned under the new Masters and Servants Act, for refusing to work as requested by his master, John Rushford, builder, on the 24th ult.  The case was proved against the defendant, who was ordered to pay a fine of 20s., or undergo fourteen days' imprisonment. 
Patrick Hickey, puddler, was summoned for assaulting his wife, on the 25th ult.  The latter proved that she had been subjected to gross ill-usage from her husband, who was committed to two months' hard labour. 
John Hallman, labourer, was charged with stealing a bag of potatoes, the property of John Pickersgill, on the 25th ult.  The case was fully made out and the prisoner sentenced to one month's imprisonment. 
Mary Wade was charged with stealing a quantity of coals from the works of Hopkins, Gilkes, and Company, on the 26th ult.  The bench were of opinion that the parents of the prisoner, who was only twelve years of age, were more to blame than their child, whom they accordingly discharged.

York Herald, 2 May 1868
Redcar
New Schools at Coatham 
On Saturday, Mr Arthur Henry Turner Newcoman [sic] laid the foundation stone of the Turner Free School at Coatham.  For many years, the Turner Schools at Kirkleatham Hall have been in an undesirable condition; in fact, they have fallen into a state of desuetude. Recently, the trustees of Sir Wm Turner obtained land at Coatham for new schools, and conveyed the old buildings at Kirleatham Hall to the present resident, Mr Newcomen.   
A large number of persons assembled on Saturday to witness the ceremony of laying the foundation-stone.  Immediately on leaving the Redcar Railway Station, persons were attracted to the site for the schools by flags flying in a field to the west.  At twelve o'clock, the proceedings were commenced by the Rev Robt Lay Page, incumbent of Coatham, offering up prayer.  A psalm was then sung by the church choir, after which a short service was intoned.  Mr Joseph Dodds, of Stockton, then presented Mr A H T Newcomen, Kirkleatham Hall, lord of the manor, and chairman of the trustees of the school, with a beautiful silver trowel, bearing an appropriate inscription. 
Mr Newcomen then formally laid the stone, after which he said he trusted that the building they had commenced so successfully would be completed in safety, and that, as an institution, it would long flourish.  The intentions of the founder, he trusted, would be carried out in their entirety.  A psalm was then sung, and the proceedings terminated.   
The schools will be erected in the Gothic style, and will be 103 feet 6 inches long, 52 feet wide, and four stories high.  There will be ample accommodation for a number of boarders.  The main front of the building will face Coatham Road, and at the gable end there will be a lofty tower.  A large dining hall and a covered play shed will be on the ground floor, immediately over which will be the school-room, with open timber roof, and class-rooms in the rear to the south.  There will also be a commodious residence for the master.  The entire cost of the building will be under £4,000.

Saturday, 22 April 2017

John Richardson of Hutton Rudby, proprietor of the Seaham Weekly News

Sunderland Daily Echo & Shipping Gazette, 2 May 1910
Not many readers of the Seaham Weekly News might have noticed on Friday last that that day's issue of that quaint little journal was number 2,601.  Such, however, was the case, and the paper has entered upon its second half century.  Its jubilee was on April 22nd, and so modest is its proprietor that the anniversary was allowed to pass without any reference to the interesting fact in its own columns. 
The Seaham Weekly News, and Seaton, Murton, Hetton, Rainton and Houghton-le-Spring Advertiser, to give it its full title, was begun in 1860 by the late Mr John Richardson, when the harbour was filled with sailing ships and the Rainton Collieries – now laid in  were in all their glory and contributing materially to the prosperity of the port.  As years roll on they bring their changes, and the changes in newspaper production during the past half century have been among the most striking in our national progress, but the Seaham Weekly has gone serenely on its own way, and is the same to-day as it was when it first appeared.  It is a local paper and claims to be nothing more, and it, at least, cannot be accused of sensationalism.  On the death of Mr Richardson it was carried on by his widow and their son, the late Mr Harrop Wight Richardson, and it is conducted to-day, together with an old-established printing and stationery business, by Mr Stephen Richards.  It is now printed by a machine driven by a gas engine, but there is still in the office on the North Terrace the old hand press from which it was first sent forth.  As a record of passing events it fills its place in the town it has served so long, and though it may be, in some respects, obscure it is posted to many parts of the world where former inhabitants of Seaham have made homes, and is by them highly valued.
I was recently contacted by a reader, Clare Abbott, who told me of an interesting family diary in her possession.  Her own piece on the diary in the Journal of the Northumberland & Durham Family History Society can be read online here, and it tells the very interesting story of the diary of Eleanor Richardson (1825-1905) of Seaham Harbour, wife of the John Richardson mentioned in the piece above.

But for the purposes of this blog, the main interest is John's link with Hutton Rudby – which might incidentally help anyone trying to disentangle the Richardsons who lived in the village in the mid 19th century!

Eleanor Wight recorded that she married John Richardson of Hutton Rudby on 20 June 1848 in the church of Dalton-le-Dale, the Revd J Brown officiating.  John was then 27.  The following year, on 7 July 1849 at 2.30am, his mother Elizabeth died at Hutton Rudby.

John and Eleanor settled at Seaham Harbour where they ran a shop and started the Seaham Weekly News.

I think John was probably the son of John & Elizabeth Richardson who lived in Enterpen.  The 1841 census shows:
John Richardson 45, general mechanic
Elizabeth Richardson 45
John Richardson 20
Jane Richardson 15
James Richardson 13
Robert Richardson 8
(All were born in Yorkshire)

Clare tells me that when Eleanor died in 1905 she left £50 each to her nieces Hannah and Emma Richardson of Darlington.

I think there are two prominent figures associated with the Seaham Weekly News.

Thomas Summerbell (1861-1910), first Labour MP for Sunderland, was one of them,  His story is told by Chris Mullin (author, journalist and former MP for Sunderland) here.  Summerbell was, he says, "apprenticed to a printer on the Seaham Weekly News".  This printer must have been John Richardson himself; in the 1881 Census he is described as a "master printer".

After serving his apprenticeship, Summerbell went to work as a journeyman printer in Felling and then Jarrow.  He became interested in politics and was elected in 1906 as one of the 29 original members of the Parliamentary Labour Party.  His main concerns were, explains Chris Mullins, "the dreadful condition of the labouring classes":
"A glance through Hansard shows him asking questions about the education of paupers, deaths by starvation in Whitechapel, the wages of labourers at Kew Gardens and the incidence of TB in the army."  
He died untimely at the age of 48.

The other significant figure was the journalist and independent Irish Nationalist MP, Captain Daniel Desmond ("D.D.") Sheehan (1873-1948).

The Seaham Weekly News was one of the local newspapers to carry his anonymous weekly column ("The War and Westminster") during the 1914-18 War.  Sheehan's party, the All-For-Ireland-League Party, aimed to achieve Home Rule through reconciliation and consent of the people, but he nevertheless believed it was his duty to fight in the War and he and four other Irish Nationalist volunteers joined the Royal Munster Fusiliers.  His story is told in the stories of Parliamentarians in the First World War.

For more on Seaham itself, visit the the Seaham Family History Group website.




Thursday, 13 April 2017

Women's Institute Drama in the 1930s and 1950s

I have posted previously on the Nunthorpe Women's Institute Drama Group – here, here, here and here.  (I should add that this is Nunthorpe near Middlesbrough, to avoid any confusion).

I've just come across some press cuttings relating to the group, which might be of interest.

Unfortunately, they're not dated!

There is a 1930s clipping relating to the performance of Nine till Six – which featured in the programme shown here and starred Mrs Hedley, Mrs H Stubbs, Mrs Baker, Mrs Steel, Mrs Ballingall and Mrs Borrow – which says
Nunthorpe produced A. and P. Stuart's Nine till Six, revealing a real sense of the stage, with a poise seldom shown by amateurs.  The adjudicator said she had nothing but praise for the performance.  Each of the characters held the balance, so that real unity was achieved, and there was a gratifying absence of over-acting or exaggeration.
 Another 1930s clipping from the W.I. Drama Festival is headlined "Adjudicator praises Nunthorpe Team", and begins
Nunthorpe team was praised for the ease and spontaneity of its acting by the adjudicator, Mr Jack Charlton, of London, at the non-competitive Women's Institute inter-county drama festival in the Rowntree Theatre, York, on Saturday.  They presented Symphony in Illusion, and Mr Charlton said that by bringing their imagination to bear, they had made effective a play that was an attempt to be clever, but that did not quite come off. 
Two other Yorkshire teams, Escrick and Ingleby Arncliffe, took part.  Escrick gave The Thrice Promised Bride, which, Mr Charlton pointed out, required an extremely difficult technique.  He praised the settings, costumes and acting, but said it would have been improved had the mime been as firmly handled as the words.  Ingleby Arncliffe performed Michael
West Auckland, who produced the first scene from King Lear, were criticised for their choice, the adjudicator remarking, "Of all the scenes in the whole of Shakespeare's plays I cannot imagine any that needs the heavier music of the male voice more than this one,"
 Another clipping (a very grainy newspaper photograph, I'm afraid) from the 1930s:-


Caption:  Members of Nunthorpe Women's Institute in a scene from Martha and Mary, a New Testament play which they presented in St Mary's Church, Nunthorpe, yesterday.  On stage are Muriel Ballingall (as Martha), Olga Matthams (Mary), Lesley Hownam (Sara) and Molly Stubbs (Ruth).
The full newspaper caption for the 1939 photograph shown below is
Nunthorpe W.I. members in Paolo and Francesca, which they presented in the Yorkshire Federation of Women's Institute's drama competitions which concluded at York on Saturday.
Nunthorpe W.I. members in Paolo and Francesca 1939
and underneath the photograph Molly Stubbs has written
Drama Cup for Yorkshire won by us for 3rd time 1939
M. Stubbs as Paolo with E. Cameron as Francesca & E. Whinney as Giovanni
Another cutting (with a grainy photo) is captioned 'Rehearsing for the Festival'.  It looks as though it dates from the post-War period, 1940s or early 1950s:-

Kathleen Belas (as Sister Paul), A. Blake (Patsy), Mahoney Crossthwaite (Sister Gabriella), and Molly Stubbs (Sister Annunciata) in a rehearsal scene from Time Out of Joint, which Nunthorpe Players willl present at the British Drama League (Teesside area) annual festival of one-act plays, starting in St John's Hall, Middlesbrough, tomorrow and continuing for the rest of the week. 
This cutting from the 1950s is captioned
Nunthorpe W.I. in a scene from There's Rue For You, presented at the Yorkshire Federation of Women's Institute's drama festival at York on Saturday

and I find that we have a good photograph of it in an old family album, but I'm afraid I have no names to attach.  There's Rue For You was a one-act play by Margaret Turner, published in 1950.

Nunthorpe Women's Institute Drama Group
in 'There's Rue For You'