Wives & Widows: Women did make wills

Zoom talk by Anna Watson Thursday 3 June 2021

Notes by Susanne Young

Retired archivist Anna Watson presented her talk based on her long experience of probate records at Lancashire Archives. Her information is drawn from the Diocese of Chester from C17th to C19th. Whilst women made wills as early as C14th, historically, married women were only allowed to make a will if their husband gave permission.

Coverture is the condition of being a married woman. A feme covert (married woman) could not own property in her own name nor enter into a contract. A feme sole (unmarried/divorced woman) did have the right to own property and enter into contracts. Neither could a married woman be sued or sue. She was not permitted to obtain an education or keep any salary for herself without her husband’s permission. Her legal status was on a par with minors, criminals and the insane. An important clause in any will is a declaration of sound mind.

In a study of the Archdeaconry of Richmond (which takes up roughly one half of the Diocese of Chester) only 7.5 % of wills were made by women. The majority (5274) are made by widows, followed by 1190 by spinsters. A spinster could be either an unmarried woman or a widow who remained unmarried.

It was not until the Married Women’s Property Act of 1882 that married women were permitted to hold property in their own names. Some women entered into pre-marriage settlements whereby they might retain some power of ownership over their assets including the power to make bequests in a will.

Wills made by women can be most enlightening for the family historian with information regarding bequests to individuals and charitable donations, details of debtors to whom the women had loaned money and frequently their maiden names. Many women acted as witnesses to wills and some made Renunciations if they were unable to carry out their duties as Executors.

Anna rounded up her talk with the story of seamstress Sarah Hare who died in 1744 and included in her will her wish for a wax effigy to be made following her death, ‘I desire to have my face and hands made in wax with a piece of crimson satin thrown like a garment in a picture hair upon my head and put in a case of Mahogany with a glass before and fix’d up so near the place were my corps lyes as it can be with my name and time of Death put upon the case in any manner most desirable’.  This can still be seen today in Holy Trinity Church, Stowe Bardolph.

Recommended reading: Women and Property in Early Modern England by Amy Louise Erickson.

Liverpool Cow Keepers

Zoom talk by Dave Joy Thursday 4 March 2021

Notes by Susanne Young

A rare treat featuring a fascinating account of social history delivered by a most entertaining speaker.

The early C19th Industrial Revolution led to a massive removal of people from the countryside into Britain’s towns and cities. Amongst these were a number of farming families who relocated from Yorkshire to Liverpool. This was in response to prevailing economic circumstances as milk producers found their market for fresh milk shifted from rural to urban areas. Mid C19th introduction of the rail network provided some solution to the problems of transporting milk from the countryside to towns and cities. Despite this city cow keepers prospered as milk did not travel well by train and by providing fresh milk locally these businesses were also able to cut out the ‘middle man’. 

Read More

Lady Arbella Stuart – The Queen that never was

Zoom talk by David Templeman Thursday 4 Feb 2021

Notes by Susanne Young

David entertained a good number of members yesterday evening with his illustrated presentation about Lady Arbella (the name she was known by, rather than Arabella as she was later referred to).

Arbella was the granddaughter of Bess of Hardwick and her story has largely been forgotten until recently. She had a greater claim to the throne of England than James 1 as she was born here but was most likely passed over by the Privy Councillors at Elizabeth I’s death simply because she was a woman. After two Queens, the Privy Council opted for a King rather than a third Queen.

Read More

Getting Started with Parish Records

Zoom presentation by Sue Steel 7 January 2021

Notes by Susanne Young

A good number of members joined Chairman of Bradford Family History Society Sue Steel for her introduction to the eclectic sources of information available amongst Parish records.

Apart from the expected Parish registers containing births, marriages and deaths, some collections may provide insight into historical community activities and offer valuable information about our ancestors.

Parish records of births, marriages and deaths began in 1538 under the direction of Thomas Cromwell and until 1753 were all recorded in a single book. A separate book was then introduced for marriages followed by three separate books for baptisms, marriages and deaths in 1812. Not all life events were recorded as there was a tax to pay, although paupers were exempt from payment.

Read More

Upstairs Downstairs

From Humble Beginnings to the American Dream

A Zoom presentation by Jackie Depelle Saturday 21 November

Notes from Susanne Young

Well, what a wonderful way to spend a gloomy November Saturday afternoon, listening to one of popular speaker Jackie Depelle’s case studies. Maureen Heseltine welcomed Jackie to our gathering of 40 plus Zoom attendees from near and far. Tracing the story of her husband’s great grandfather Richard Powley, Jackie’s presentation was filled with additional background information, illustrations and useful websites.

Read More

The Families of Halton Gill Part 6

By June Tingey

The Robinson Family 

The first reference to the family was in the parish register in 1688 when Isabel, daughter of Thomas of Nether Heseldon was baptised. Other children followed and in 1702 his daughter Ann was baptised. Thomas was described as a poor man. In 1730 the death of Thomas, a pauper of Cosh, was recorded followed by the death of Jane in 1736, a pauper of Foxup. Another family was recorded in Arncliffe at this time, that of Ralph with a son Christopher born in 1698 and daughter Ann in 1700.

In 1737 Mrs Sarah Dawson married William Robinson of Chatburn. Although it is unlikely, it is possible William was the son of Thomas of Heseldon, whose son William was born in 1695. In 1764 a John Robinson married Frances Hammond, was he perhaps the son of William? They lived in Litton and by 1778 6 sons had been baptised. No more is heard of the family until the death of Frances in 1804, followed by John in 1811.  In 1805 John married Ann Calvert and had 2 children: Alice baptised in 1808 and John the following year, when his father was recorded as a farmer. Nothing more was found about the family. They do not appear on the Muster Roll of 1803 nor in the 1841 census.

The Stockdale Family

The first record of the family was in the parish register in 1744 when Margaret married William Foster, yeoman. In 1778 the baptism of William son of William and Jane of Haltongill was recorded followed by Anthony in 1780. It was probably this same couple who were living at Owlcotes in 1786 when son Robert was baptised, followed by Michael in 1792 and James in 1795. They were recorded as a poor couple. Jane died in 1798.

The Muster Roll gives William a farmer of Haltongill, single and between 30-49 years, so was this William’s son who was older than his baptism suggests? William senior appears to have moved to Penighent, where he was living when his son James died in 1802. He then married Mary Cooke in 1805 but sadly she died 4 years later.

In 1810 a William married Ann Moor and one year later a daughter Alice was baptised. In 1799 the death of Anthony’s son John was recorded grandson of William and Jane.

The 1841 census gives Michael son of William and Jane a cattle dealer with Henry Knowles. In 1861 he was an agricultural labourer for Henry Knowles. Buy 1871 he was still living at the home of Henry as a retired cattle dealer.

The Tennant Family

Although a well known name in Upper Wharfedale there were not many families in Littondale. The first recorded member of the family in Arncliffe parish was Roger who was listed on the Flodden Roll in 1503. In 1756 Margaret was a tenant of Fountains Abbey.

The first record of the family in the parish register is the marriage of Henry to Ann Metcalfe in 1679. In 1717 James the son of James was baptised.

Miles Tennant son of John of Buckden became curate of Arncliffe church in 1681. In 1689 he married Mrs Judith Lodge at Linton. They had 6 children. Henry the youngest went to University College Oxford when he was 18. He became curate of Carleton and eventually Arncliffe, where he remained for the rest of his life.

In 1679 a Thomas Tennant married Mary Spark and in 1739 a miner married Jane Watson. There is no record of any children from either marriage in the register.

In 1813 James a farmer married Mary Scaife and lived at Arncliffe Cote. They had 3 children baptised between 1814 and 1818. A second James, a farmer of Hawkswick, married Elizabeth Betty Smith in 1828. They had 2 children baptised in 1829 and 1831. Yet another marriage of a James took place in 1835, this time to Agnes Procter.

The 1841 census for Haltongill shows Christopher aged 67 an agricultural labourer at Foxup, with his wife Mary aged 55 and 2 children, Allen age 5 and Mary age 3, it does seem quite possible they were grandchildren. In 1861 Allen was working as a farm servant for M. Stockdale. In 1871 another Christopher was farming 131 acres at Haltongill with his wife Ann and 4 children between 1 and 6 years old. By 1881 only 16 year old Ann was left in the whole of Littondale working as a domestic for Thos Cowen, farmer at Foxup.

The Todd Family

The family was recorded in the C16th when Richard and Lionel were tenants of Fountains Abbey occupying land at Haltongill. There are very few records of the family in the parish register. The earliest was in 1633 when Francis married Ellen Ward of Burnsall.

In 1672 the baptism of Elizabeth daughter of Francis of Haltongill was recorded, followed by baptisms of 4 children between 1673 and 1685. It seems likely that these were the grandchildren of Francis and Ellen.

In 1685 Francis of Haltongill died. It is fairly safe to assume this was Francis the elder as in 1705 a second Francis died at Haltongill. The death of Elizabeth, servant of Mr Lambert occurred in 1675. Possibly she was the sister of the second Francis.

A document in the Raistrick collection no.577 refers to a farm at Haltongill being released from Miles Todd yeoman of Haltongill to Henry Knowles. A second document no.581 concerns the release of another farm with land at Haltongill to Ellen and Jane Todd spinsters and John Armitstead to John Clerk of Heseldon. No doubt these were Miles’ sisters though Jane’s baptism was not found in the register. Miles died in 1734 and Jane in 1776. There are no further records of the family in Littondale.

The Wilson Family

The earliest information relating to the family at Haltongill was found in a document no.568 in the Raistrick collection dated 1681 which refers to John Wilson, gent of Eshton receiving £300 for land in Lower Bargh which was part of the tenement of Nether Heseldon. The parish register records the death of William, son of George in 1688 and the following year the death of Catherine, wife of Adam. In 1695 William possibly the father of George and Adam died.

Another 3 documents relating to George are in the Raistrick collection no.572 dated 1682/3 refers to the transfer of the lease of various parcels of land in Haltongill from John Ellison to George Wilson yeoman of Haltongill. The other documents nos. 574 & 576 are related to the transfer of land from the Hammond family of Arncliffe and others to George. The first dated 1682/3 refers to sheep grazing land on the East Moor and the second was land mainly meadow with barns around Angram dated 1709. George died in 1743 and Frances a widow in 1747. Probably she was the wife of George.

The only other Wilson family at Haltongill was that of Miles who was the curate there. Miles married Dorothy Lambert in 1737. They had 2 children who died in 1743. Dorothy died in 1774 and Miles 2 years later.

Other families were recorded lower down the dale. The earliest was the baptism of Jayne daughter of Thomas of Hawkswick in 1671. Mrs Christopher Wilson died at Hawkswick in 1723. Possibly she was the mother of Christopher who was living at Hawkswick when his son John was born in 1759, followed by Margaret in 1761 and Christopher in 1765. There must have been another Christopher living in Hawkswick at this time as in 1756 Jennet wife of Christopher died, followed by Christopher in 1766.

In 1674 John of Arncliffe had a daughter Ann baptised but she died 2 years later. It is interesting to see that in 1767 John Wilson schoolmaster from Coniston was buried and in 1773 Abraham of Kilnsey was buried at Arncliffe. Presumably they had been brought back to their native parish.

There are no records of the family on the 1803 Muster Roll or the 1841 census. An Edward/Edmund Wilson however, was involved as a witness in a dispute in the early C19th between the Foster family who owned Nether Heseldon and Robert Preston who had a right of way through part of their land. E. Wilson aged 43 was employed for carting lime over a period of 16 weeks in the summer of 1806.

The Winterburn Family

The family must have been in the area for over 300 years. The earliest known record is of Johannes Wynterburn who was recorded in the West Riding Poll Tax Returns of 1739. A document no.555 in the Raistrick collection gives details of the lease for possession from Th. Franckland to John Winterborne of Appletreewick, husbandman of a farm at Haltongill of 20/- ancient rent, dated Jan1667/8. It is not clear where John was actually living at this time as the earliest record in the parish register was in 1675 when Mary daughter of John of Haltongill was baptised. Was this the same John or were there two? Mary was followed by Thomas in 1769. Sadly Mary died when she was 13 years old followed by her mother a year later. It is likely that this was the same John who conveyed land to an older son Anthony in 1689 document no.571 in Skipton library.

In 1692 Anthony had a son John baptised, followed b Margaret in 1695 and Thomas in 1702 when Anthony was living at Foxup. In 1695 another John of Haltongill married Grace Carr. It seems likely that he was another son of John who probably died in 1702 the year before his grandson John, son of John was baptised. However another John died in 1711. There is no reason to think this was the grandson as the father’s name is not given, so is likely to be the second generation.

In 1707 Anthony appears to have financial problems. He mortgaged his farm by lease to Samuel Hardy to secure £130, document no.573 in Skipton library. An addition was made to this in 1711 when he and Leonard Redmaine were described as tenants of the property. By November 1718 the mortgage was repaid but only after Anthony had again mortgaged what was presumably the same farm, this time to secure £200 from Robert Mason of Horton in Swaledale, referred to in another document as Horton in Ribblesdale. The family seems to have left the area in the early C18th.

The Families of Halton Gill Part 5

By June Tingley

The Preston Family

The earliest records found of the family in Littondale were in the Mormon Index. There appears to have been a large number of Prestons in Malhamdale throughout the C17th and no doubt they spread over into Littondale. Here there were 4 families, those of John, William and Joseph of Litton and Christopher who married Agnes Brukes. These families are not recorded in the Arncliffe parish register and all lived at the lower end of the valley.

The first of the family mentioned at Halton Gill was that of William who married Agnes Ayrton and had a son James born in 1720. The first record of the family in the parish register was the baptism of William and Alice’s son James baptised in 1725. It is possible that the first James died as some note would otherwise have been about his age.

Also recorded in the register in 1725 was the marriage of Robert of Penighent to Susan Atkinson and the baptism of their children. Three of the children died in infancy. Those who survived were William baptised 1726, Susannah 1739, Jonathan 1742 and Christopher 1745.

William a yeoman married Mary Birtwhistle in 1748 and in 1750 William a carpenter married Grace Webster. To find out which William belonged to which family would need more research. One William had a son William baptised in 1752 but the child died the following year when his father was recorded as living at Penyghent, probably Robert’s son. They later had a daughter Elizabeth baptised 1756, Jonathan 1758 and Peggy in 1760. The other William lived at Litton and had 4 children, Elizabeth baptised in 1757, Martin born 1759, Robert 1761 and James in 1765. The latter 3 were only recorded in the Mormon index. Strangely both Williams died in 1795. Robert’s daughter was at Dent when she died in 1778. She was buried at Arncliffe and said to have been from Penighent. The marriages of Jonathan are difficult to understand without a great deal more research.

A Mary wife of Jonathan of Blissmire died in 1770. We then have the record of Jonathan marrying Mary Coates in 1775. A child Robert of Halton Gill was baptised in 1776. We then have Ellin baptised in 1778 and William in 1779. Mary died in 1781 and in 1782 we have another marriage between Jonathan and Mary Metcalfe. Another child John was baptised in 1784. It appears that each marriage was the same Jonathan, son of Robert.

There were several other families lower down the dale at this time, 3 Johns, one a tailor, a Matthew and a William of Hawkswick, to mention but a few. In 1770 Robert son of Christopher of Penyghent was baptised followed by Susannah, Nanny, Betty and Peggy.

The 1803c Muster Roll gives Robert of Haltongill, farmer, class 1 ie single and under 30. By the time of the 1841 census no Prestons were recorded at Haltongill and many of the family had gone from lower down Littondale.

In 1891 John son of John was living at Lower Garth/Sawsgarth with his wife Elizabeth and 3 children John, Annie and Edith. He was said to be living on his own means but the parish register describes him as a farmer.

The Procter Family

The Procter family were tenants of Fountains at the end of C18th. The Fountains Abbey lease book contains an agreement between abbot Marmaduke and Geoffrey Procter dated 1519 concerning land and property in Canton in Craven, Scothrop, Malham Hall, Malham and Litton. They were all separately held from the Abbot and convent by knight service for a rent of 9/6d. Geoffrey was apparently in arrears ‘To the great peril of his soul but paid 40/- into the Abbot’s hand’ at the time of the agreement. He also had the lease of Rough Close on Malham Moor which he acquired in 1496 and had permission to sublet.

In 1524 Geoffrey willed to his son Richard ‘The fermying of the Benefice of Arncliffe’ which was to pass to his grandsons Henry and Eustace. In 1668 a Thomas Procter was living at Cosh. His children and grandchildren were baptised at Hubberholme Church between then and 1710.

In the late C17th there were 2 families living at Nether Heseldon, those of Roger and John, both with children. In 1707 Stephen and his family were recorded in the parish register as living at Penighent. He had twins baptised but unfortunately neither of them survived. In 1724 a Stephen with family was living at Litton possibly Stephen from Penighent. If Stephen moved from Penighent his place was probably filled by James, possibly from Cosh, who was there when his daughter was baptised in 1718.

In 1722 William a yeoman married Mary Clarke, local family. Another William was a shoemaker and lived at Foxup as did James in the 1720s. In 1738 John a yeoman, possibly son of James of Penighent married Ellin Preston and was father to another pair of twins, John and Ellinor. When his wife died in 1757 John was recorded as a webster. There was also a Roger and family at Litton during the second half of the century.

Another John lived at Arncliffe Cote, probably a tailor and married to Agnes. It is likely that their oldest son William born1758 became a blacksmith at Arncliffe. In 1792 Richard was recorded in the parish register as living at Blissmire. Meanwhile in Haltongill Adam (baptism not found) had a son James baptised in 1786 and then moved to Foxup where at least 6 more children were born.

In 1793 Marmaduke possibly son of John of Litton a miner married Elizabeth Tempest. The Procter family had probably had mining interests since purchasing Bordley Moor from Earl Clifford soon after the Dissolution. At least 9 veins of lead cross from Hawkswick Clouder to Procter High Mark at the edge of the Bordley parish. Marmaduke was working an area known as Merrybottom, above Cote Gill between 1791 – 98.

The only member of the family to appear on the Muster Roll of 1803 was John, class 3 17 – 29 years with no more than 2 children under 10. The likelihood is that he was a farmer at Haltongill, married to Ellen. In 1803 they would have a 2 year old son Anthony and a baby daughter Jane. They had another son John who was recorded in the 1841 census when he was working the farm with his mother and younger sisters Ann and Ellen.

Anthony, John’s oldest son was recorded as a farmer at Foxup in 1841. He was living with his wife Jane and 6 daughters between the ages of 3 and 14. In the 1851 census John is not recorded. Ellen, head of the family at Haltongill, now 73, was farming 290 acres. Her daughter Ann was a house servant and granddaughter Ellen who was born at Horton was still living there, a schoolgirl of 13. Anthony was still at Foxup with his wife and youngest daughter still at school. His 5th daughter Ann was recorded as a servant working for J. Hornby and William Brook, who is also recorded as being employed by his mother.

By 1871 Ellen, now 93 was still reputed to be farming 250 acres. However Anthony was now living there and farming 230 acres and his sister Ann was housekeeping. Also living there was Ann Todd, granddaughter working as a domestic servant with John Hartley aged 14 and Allen Thomas man servant.

One other family was recorded in Artncliffe in 1851, John aged 57 and unmarried worked as a cotton breaker. His sister Mary lived with him as housekeeper and a niece Jane aged 13 worked as a cotton piecer. Looking at the 1851 census it is easy to see why there were no Procters left by 1891 as there were no males to carry on the name.

They seem to have been a relatively wealthy family, though some were working as farm labourers. It is interesting to see they were not all relying on farming. At least 3 were tradesmen, shoemaker, tailor and blacksmith. A few were involved with textiles and one with mining.

The Redmayne Family

In 1513 Arthur Redyman of Hawkswick with bowe and horses harnished equipped for battle was included on the Flodden Muster Roll. The family were tenants of Fountains Abbey. They are reputed to have come from Levens Hall, Kendal and according to one of their descendants, one of the family married into the Lindley family of Harewood Castle.

The earliest entry in the parish register is the marriage of Richard to Mary Atkinson in 1688. Ten years later the baptism of James, son of Leonard of Cosh later of Foxup was recorded followed by Christopher in 1700, Richard in 1702, Agnes in 1704 and Margaret in 1707. In 1711 Leonard junior had a daughter Ann baptised. Between then and 1727 several more children were baptised but it has not been possible to tell to Leonard they belonged.

There was also a John at Cosh whose son James died in 1699. Another family was living at Litton, that of Richard in 1699. In 1739 Christopher yeoman probably son of Leonard of Cosh married Ellin Dinsdale. In 1739 another John was living at Haltongill when his daughter Margaret was baptised.

Various marriages took place in the middle of C18th but with no children recorded until 1799 when Anthony of Litton had a son Thomas baptised, followed by Mary in 1803 and John bin 1805.

A document no.226 in the Raistrick collection in Skipton library shows an agreement dated Feb 1818 between the Foster family and John Redmayne late of Sannet Hall but now of Haltongill, yeoman, for the lease of a farm with outbuildings and land for 3 years at a rent of £140 pa. The land was in Haltongill and also Litton.

Anthony of Litton appeared on the 1803 Muster Roll but none of the family was recorded in the 1841 census. In the 1861 census a Thomas born at Guiseley was working as a shepherd. He later married Isabella …… and they settled at Arncliffe Cote. Were they descendants of the original family?

The Families of Halton Gill Part 4

By June Tingley

Knolls/Knowles Family

This was one of the oldest and probably one of the largest families in Littondale. More than 30 men from the dale were listed on the Flodden Muster Roll in 1513, 7 of these were from the Knolls family. At the Dissolution in 1536 the land at Foxup belonging to Fountains Abbey was held by 7 tenants, all with the surnames Knowles, 2 Johns, Alice, George, Roger and 2 Matthews. One wonders which if any went to Flodden and was Alice the widow of one of them?

A document YAS DD 121/1/2 m.56j dated 29th May 1571 – Eliz 1 records: Lancelott Knolles haith felled drye spyere for building of a little house. The first reference to the family in the parish register of Arncliffe was in 1597 when Mary of Haltongill married George Ellison. On 26 January 1612 Lyonall signed a document passing land to his sons Lancelott and Henry. It included Ingramels at Angram. Angram then occupied by Lyonell, document no.562 in the Raistrick collection at Skipton Library. A second document no.567 records a Lancelott purchasing land in 1679 probably the same person who was renting land jointly with John Ellison from Lord Clifford in 1682.

In 1672 Henry of Foxup married Ellen and they had a daughter Grace baptised in 1673. It was probably this same Henry who died shortly after as Grace and her mother were living at Darnbrook when Grace died in 1693, followed by her mother a ‘pensioness’ 2 years later.

In her book ‘Off to the Dales’ J. Lofthouse described how a farmer at Foxup showed her a double fireplace in an old barn which has obviously been an old dwelling but now in a poor state of repair. Over the door was the inscription M.M.K. 1686, obviously a Knowles home. Although this has now been removed from the barn it has been carefully positioned over the entrance to the garden.

The end of C17th and the beginning of C18th seems to have been a bad time for the family. Many deaths were recorded, not only at Haltongill and Foxup but at Penyghent, Litton, Arncliffe Cote and Hawkswick. One of the better recorded families at this time was that of Joseph a yeoman of Foxup who married Alice Tennant in 1751. They had 5 baptisms recorded and subsequently 3 of the children were married at Arncliffe. The youngest son Benjamin had a son Joseph who married in 1779 Ruth Whiteley, a family from Halifax and had at least 3 children baptised at Arncliffe.

A document 577ji in the Raistrick collection records the release of a messuage in Haltongill to Henry a yeoman who was living at Middlehouse, Malham Moor. Another document no.582 relates to Heberside being passed to Joseph Drake of Over Heseldon from George Knowles and Thomas Ellison.

One of the Hawkswick families that of Henry who died in 1707 remained there until at least 1824. Henry’s grandson Henry married Jane Wilson in 1781. They had a son Dickey Wilson and in 1824 the baptism of Wilson Knowles was recorded. Presumably Dickey also became known as Wilson, as in 1803 Wilson Knowles was recorded as a farmer on the Muster Roll.

By the time of the 1841 census there were only 3 Knowles families in the parish. Most of the Knowles seem to have been relatively wealthy with the exception however of Margaret a parish apprentice who died in 1700 and Leonard who died in 1705 a pauper.

Lambert Family

The first of the Lambert family known to be in the area was Josiah who was vicar of Arncliffe from 1661 – 1681. He was the son of Anthony of Skipton. It has not been possible to ascertain whether or not he was the ancestor of the rest of the Lamberts in Littondale.

In the document collection of A. Raistrick there is one no.570 which relates to the Feoffment of a piece of land with barn at Haltongill from Michael Buck to Christopher Lambert yeoman of Kilnsey dated 1682/3.

The first record of the family in the Parish Register was in 1692 when Elizabeth daughter of Thomas of Haltongill was baptised followed by Martin in 1696, Thomas in 1698, William in 1702 and Dorothy in 1705. In 1704 Isabel Lambert married George Atkinson and in 1763 a Francis was witness to the wedding of Thomas Tennant.

Loge/Lodge Family

Although Henry Loge was a tenant of Fountains Abbey at Haltongill in 1536 and the family was still in the area in C19th there are very few entries of them in the old Parish Register. The earliest record is of the marriage of Elizabeth of Hubberholme to John Tennant in 1616. In 1632 Francis a yeoman of Hubberholme married Elizabeth Sedgewick of Horton-in-Ribblesdale. The following year Isabel of Arncliffe married John Battle of Coniston.

In 1670 we have the rather strange record of the baptism of Jeffrey Tennant alias Lodge, son of Jeffrey Lodge. Unfortunately the child died the same year. Ottiwell Lodge was recorded as a church warden at Hubberholme at this time. In 1749 Jeffrey a yeoman married Mary Branton and in 1750 the death of James a pauper of Arncliffe Cote was recorded.

The 1803 Muster Roll includes William a farmer of Foxup class 1 ie. Unmarried and under 30. The 1841 census shows that William was still farming at Foxup. The 1861 census gives John a 55 year old farmer at Stonelands, Littonb with a large family. By 1871 John had died and his wife Hannah was living with 3 of the children. In 1881 Joseph Frankland Lodge , possibly son of John and his wife Jane of Stonelands had a daughter Elenor baptised.

Ijn the 1891 census the only family recorded was that of Richard aged 43 farming at Penyghent with his wife and 4 children all born there. Richard however was born at Redmire so may have come from an entirely different family.

Over a period of more than 350 years the family seems to have kept a link with Littondale but were better established in Buckden – Kettlewell area.

Metcalfe Family

The Manor Court Roll of 1503 shows land which belonged to Thomas, James, Roger and Elizabeth Metcalfe in Hawkswick and Kirkby Malham. The document from the Raistrick collection no.277 is unfortunately no longer at Skipton library.

The earliest recordings of the family in the Parish Register appear towards the end of C17th. The earliest is the record of the burial of Elizabeth, wife of Richard of Cosh in 1671. In the 1690s a Thomas senior and Thomas junior both of Cosh were having children baptised. The last record of any family at Cosh was in 1705 when James a pauper had a son John baptised.

Several Metcalfes seem to have lived in Haltongill for a short period if the Parish Register is correct and it wasn’t until 1713 that anyone seems to have settled there for any length of time. Christopher had 2 children baptised and was still there when he died in 1734. Between 1772 and 1796 there were 12 children baptised from Haltongill. Clearly there were at least 2 Christophers. The first record is of the marriage of Christopher to Ann in 1772 followed by the baptism of a daughter Ann the same year. After that there is no mention of Ann. The next record is of the baptism of Christopher and Margaret’s son Christopher in 1777. To add more confusion a Christopher and Sarah had the first of their 2 sons baptised in 1779. 

Scattered between these families were 5c other baptisms all children of Christopher but with no mother’s name given. It is quite likely that either Margaret or Sarah was the second wife of Ann’s husband.

Another family at Haltongill was that of William who married Frances Bouskill in 1783. In 1779 Joseph a Quaker convert was baptised. The following year he married Dorothy Atkinson. Was this perhaps the reason for his conversion?

A succession of families lived at Foxup but there is not enough information to link them together. The first on recorded was the marriage of Alexander to Elizabeth in 1678. George of Foxup had a son John baptised in 1693. Another George married Susanne Foster in 1742. They had 4 children baptised between 1743 and 1753.

In 1751 Robert a yeoman married Issabel Simpson. They had 5 children between 1756 and 1774. A Jonathan appeared at Foxup in 1789 when his son Robert was baptised followed by Ann in 1790. Several other families were in existence lower down the valley during the C18th but there are very few records of them. Other families were also recorded but there is no information about where they were living. The best recorded family of all is that of Thomas who married Rose Preston in 1793. By 1809 they had 9 children baptised but not one record gives the place they were living.

The 1803 Muster Roll gives 2 Christophers at Haltongill both single under 30 plus Robert single under 30 a servant and Thomas a cordwainer at Litton.

The Families of Halton Gill Part 3 continued

By June Tingley

The Hebden Family

The family was first recorded in the parish register when James of Beggermonds married Mary Sidgewick. In 1717 Stephen, a yeoman married Frances Procter. When their son Jeffrey was baptised the following year Stephen was said to be a tailor living at Haltongill. Jeffrey died the same year and it wasn’t until 1724 that the baptism of another child, Agnes occurred.

In 1735 Stephen, son of Stephen of Oughtershaw was baptised. Was this the same family? Also living at Haltongill at the same time as Stephen was Robert, whose son James was baptised in 1720. When his son Roger died in 1723 the family had moved to Foxup. Robert and James moved to Cosh at some time as James was recorded there when his daughter Agneas was baptised in 1758 and Robert died there in 1764, the same year as his daughter in law Isabel. Another Roger, a yeoman married Margaret Preston in 1751. They were living at Haltongill when their daughter Susannah was baptised in 1756.

In 1756 John of Hubberholme, a eidower married Ann Metcalfe of Cray. It is possible they are the same couple who moved to Haltongill and had a son James baptised in 1777, followed by Nancy in 1781. A daughter Fanny died in 1783. A John of Middlehouse, Malham Moor was buried at Arncliffe in 1813 aged 95, possibly John from Hubberholme. A Stephen also of Middlehouse died in 1862 aged 92.

None of the family appeared on the 1803 Muster Roll nor in the 1841 census.

The Heseldon/Heseltine Family

The first records of the family in the parish register show them living down Littondale at Hawkswick and Arncliffe Cote during C18th. The first known to be living higher up the valley at Foxup was Thomas who married Betty Metcalfe in 1789. They had 9 children baptised between 1789 and 1810. Thomas was included on the Muster Roll of 1803 for the township of Haltongill, where he was recorded as a labourer class 4. In the 1841 census he is recorded as a 70 year old labourer living with his daughter Mary and son Robert. Several of Thomas’ children can be found on later census records. Matthew baptised in 1799 was living at Cracoe in 1851. James baptised in 1808 was living with his wife Elizabeth at Buckden where he worked as a cartman. His sister Isabel was also living with the family. They had 7 children living with them at the time but one Mary, born at Arncliffe was probably only a visitor. James, born around 1837 later had a son John who returned to Haltongill and in 1871 was farming 10 acres of land.

From 1840 – 1855 a John Heseltine was one of a group of men eeking out a living mining lead in the area between Hawkswick Clouder and Procter High Mark. Although there were a lot of children born and survived they seem to have dispersed quite quickly around other villages in the Dales.

The Hill Family

The earliest in the parish register records the marriage of Thomas and Catherine Tennant in 1691. Nothing else is recorded until the baptism of Christopher, son of Thomas in 1720. Christopher probably became a carpenter at Haltongill and married Jane Calvert in 1741. They had 9 children: Robert, 2 x Christophers who both died in childhood, James, John, 2 x Thomas both baptised and died between 1756 and 1759, Charles, and William who died in 1762. Robert married Elizabeth Sedgewick in 1768 and lived at Litton. They had 8 children but sadly only 2 survived, Robert the eldest baptised in 1773 and Charles the youngest baptised in 1782.

In 1731 James of Heseldon married Alice Calvert. Their daughter Elizabeth was baptised in 1731, followed by Ann in 1734, Robert in 1746 and Christopher in 1750. It is possible that James then moved to Penyghent, as in 1777 Robert, the son of James, a yeoman of Penyghent, died there. In 1779 Christopher married Agnes Bouskill and was living at Haltongill when their first 4 children were baptised. Only 2 of them survived infancy. They were James baptised in 1781 but died when he was only 29 years old and Charles in 1785. The family then seems to have moved to Litton where Christopher became the inn keeper. Another son John was baptised in 1790. In 1794 the youngest son William was baptised. Christopher died that same year and William the year after. John probably married Ellinor Hall in 1811.

In 1808 Charles a butcher of Litton married Ann Brook. Whether he was the son of Robert or Christopher is not indicated but it is interesting to see that the other Charles is a witness at the wedding. They had a daughter Nancy baptised in 1809 and a son James the following year but unfortunately he did not survive.

Thomas of Haltongill, married to Ellen was a contemporary of Christopher and James. He had a son baptised in 1747, followed by Issabel in 1749, Leonard in 1753, James in 1758 and Christopher in 1760. When Issabel was baptised Thomas was described as a poor man. Leonard lived at Haltongill and married Elizabeth Stanning in 1776. They had 4 children, Nellie, William, Robert and Ann. When Robert was baptised in 1788, Leonard, like his father was said to be poor.

Another contemporary John lived with his wife Elizabeth at Arncliffe. John had a son John baptised in 1747 and a daughter Elizabeth in 1783. It seems likely that Christopher, James, Thomas and John were all brothers ie. Sons of Thomas and Catherine.

William, a ‘poor man’, lived at Foxup and married Alice Whitfield in 1775. His children were Thomas, Ellen, William and Dorothy, baptised in 1793 when William was said to be a pauper. Thomas, probably the son of William married Agnes Nelson in 1807.

In the 1803 Muster Roll a Charles is recorded as a joiner living at Litton, class 1 ie. Single under 30, and Charles, a labourer class 1. At this stage there is no knowing which Charles is which as neither had started butchering at that time. Also on the roll is Thomas, a servant, class 1, living at Arncliffe. He was probably the son of William of Foxup and Christopher, a labourer, class 4. The 1841 census only gives Dolly aged 45 a farm servant.

In 1851 we again find Charles aged 68 a carpenter born at Litton with his wife Elizabeth aged 51 and Robert aged 20. It is now fairly safe to assume that he was the witness at the butcher’s wedding and is the son of Robert of Litton.

There was a lot of poverty in the family but it seems strange that the poorer members of the family were not the ones who lost most of their children. We can only speculate on the cause of so many infant deaths. In 2 generations there were 17 children of which only 6 survived infancy.

The Hodgshon/Hodgson Family

This family was one of the earliest recorded to be living in the area. The Fountains Abbey lease book records that in 1480 John Brown and Richard Hodgshon were accounting for the sheep led at Deepdale – a flock of 275-300 wethers. However nothing is known of the family in Littondale until a recording in the parish register shows the marriage of Agnes to John Brookes at Arncliffe in 1690.

In 1718 Simon, a yeoman of Arncliffe, married Alice Preston and in 1724 Thomas, a yeoman married Agneas Wildman. Two more marriages took place; another Agnesin 1730 and Ellin who married John Clark, a tailor in 1739. Ellin was married by the curate of Arncliffe, Mr Hodgshon who must have been there very briefly as there does not appear to be any other record of him at Arncliffe.

In 1767 another Thomas married Agnes Brown of Foxup. His first child Edmund Brown was baptised at Foxup in 1767, clearly the son of Agnes. Then there is a problem in understanding the records. The baptisms of several more children of Thomas of Haltongill are recorded but the mother’s name is not included until 1779 when she is recorded as Annis. Considering the fact that Thomas baptised in 1782 appears to have been named after the child who died the year before and that William at the time of his death is said to be Annis’ child suggests that all the children at Haltongill were the same family but to establish whether the father Thomas had been widowed and moved to Foxup or whether there were 2 different families needs further research. When Alice was baptised in 1786 the family were described as being poor.

The 1803 Muster Roll gives Thomas, probably son of Thomas and Annis as a carpenter of Haltongill class 1 ie. Under 30. The only members of the family recorded in the 1841 census were at Arncliffe, where Mary aged 20 and Ann aged 15 were working in the cotton mill as labourers.

Although several Hodgsons appear in the dale in the 1851 census they were mainly not born there but in other villages lower down Wharfedale. One local family was living at Arncliffe, that of John aged 59 and Martha aged 60 with Thomas 23, Alice 6 and 83 year old Mary.

The Holms/Holmes Family

The family was first recorded in the parish register at Darnbrook where Jane was living at the time of her marriage to Peter Buck in 1692. The next record was found in the Hubberholme register where James, son of William of Haltongill was baptised in 1720. Unfortunately he died in 1723. When William’s daughter Ann was baptised in 1724 he was recorded as a yeoman. He had several more children, the last being baptised in 1730.

In 1742 Christopher of Oulcotes died. There is no more information about him, By 1752 there was another family at Haltongill, that of James who had a son James baptised.

A document in the Raistrick collection no. 224 lists the household goods sold by James Holmes in 1801 in order to pay his arrears of rent to Mrs Foster. It was probably James born 1752 who moved to Penyghent with his wife Elizabeth and had 6 daughters and 2 sons baptised there.

James Holmes, parish apprentice was involved as a witness in a dispute concerning a right of way through an ancient enclosure at Nether Heseldon in the early C19th. James’ son James born in 1785 may have been the apprentice although he seems rather too old. Between 1773 and 1781 a Mr Holmes, miner, was working Darsey Rake near Cote Gill, Arncliffe averaging 365 tons of lead per year.

A James, farmer at Haltongill class 4 was included on the Muster Roll of 1803. The 1841 census shows James aged 88 of independent means living with his daughter Mary, servant and John, a manservant for R. Walbank at Foxup. John and Mary were 2 of the children of James and Elizabeth of Penyghent.

By 1851 James had died and John and Mary had been joined by an older sister Elizabeth. In 1861 John was still working as an agricultural labourer, Elizabeth now aged 72 was working as a charwoman and Mary aged 68 a servant.

The Families of Halton Gill Part 3

By June Tingley

The Fawcett Family

The Rev Shuffrey when writing about Littondale told of how the Fawcett family kept the Abbot’s cattle at Upper Hesleden in 1456. In 1458 Adam Fawcyd was recorded as being a servant of Fountains Abbey earning 20/-. He was well trusted by the Abbott and made long journeys on his behalf. On one occasion he travelled to Lincolnshire to borrow money and frequently went as far north as Kendall and Crossthwaite.

In 1472 Richard Fawcett was recorded as vicar of Arncliffe. The Flodden Roll of 1513 includes another Richard from Upper Hesleden, with bowe. In 1596 Miles and Richard were recorded in the Wakefield Court Rolls as suffering from sheep stealing. Richard Twisleton of Newand House was accused of the theft of one sheep worth 10d but was acquitted due to lack of evidence. In 1619 Henry a wool stapler and Alderman of Norwich left an annuity of £10 for maintenance of the clergy at Haltongill. His brother William increased it in 1630 when he endowed the yearly charge of £18 from his land at Upper Hesleden, stipulating that the curacy should if possible be held by one of his family. No-one was suitable however so the post went to a Nicholas Smith. The family had been able to purchase Upper Hesleden after the Dissolution but then moved away, which accounts for the lack of records in the parish register.

The first record in the register is that of the death of John a widower in 1715. In 1750 the marriage of William, a widower took place. In spite of the financial support previously given by the family to Haltongill it did not prevent the excommunication of John from Arncliffe Church in 1725 for ‘Working att hay and other work on Sundays’. Perhaps the family were having difficulties about this time as in 1772 a Terrier for Arncliffe Church states that ‘One Fawcitt of Penyghent gave 5/6d for an Anniversary sermon on Nov 5th’. The amount was reduced from 10/- due to the great fall of land prices.

In 1749 James, a yeoman married Mary Wilkinson, probably the same James who lived at Arncliffe Cote where he died in 1766. The baptism of Mary, daughter of John, also of Arncliffe Cote, was recorded in 1749. It may have been this same John who was living at Hawkswick in 1752 when the death of Thomas and baptism of John, both sons of John were recorded.

None of the family were granted land in the Enclosure Act. The Muster Roll of 1803 includes William, class 4, a labourer. The family do appear in the 1841 census.

The Foster Family

The family are recorded in the parish register at the beginning of the C17th with William Foster marrying Grace Johnson in 1601 and in 1636 Anthony, a yeoman from Kirkby Malham married Jane Stephenson. However the next record is not until 1729 when Robert, son of Thomas of Arncliffe Cote was baptised. This was probably the same Thomas who married to Ann, was living at Foxup when his son John was baptised in 1736. Unfortunately John died two years later. The family then appear to have moved to Hesleden where Thomas died in 1749 and Ann in 1752. Their son Robert remained at Hesleden and married Elizabeth Armitstead in 1758. They had a daughter baptised in 1759 followed by Thomas, Agnes and John, all baptised in the 1760s. 

Also living at Hesleden was Thomas, possibly a brother of Robert married to Jane. They had 3 daughters, Ann, Alice and Nanny, baptised between 1767 and 1773. In the Enclosure Act of 1768 Thomas of Lower Hesleden was granted 4 beast gates and 24 sheep gates. Thomas died in 1778. A document in the Raistrick collection no.220 gives an inventory of his effects.

This was not the only family in the area at this time as in 1744 William, yeoman, married Margaret Stockdale and Susannah married George Metcalfe. Another marriage took place in 1749 when Mary married Thomas Preston. Nothing more is known about them but in 1742 a Margaret of Nab End died, so probably at least one of those married also came from Nab End. Thomas’ daughter Alice married Richard Cart of Stackhouse where they probably lived. Together with Ann and Nanny who lived at Settle they remained landowners in Haltongill. During the C18th and early C19th the Fosters were one of only two landowners in Haltongill. Thomas’ widow probably remained in Hesleden.

In 1801 James Holmes was obliged to sell goods and chattels to pay his landlady Mrs Foster document no.224 in the Raistrick collection. There are several documents in the Raistrick collection relating to property belonging to the Foster family. One no.222 is the rent ledger for tenants not only in Haltongill but also Litton, Horton and Grassington where Jane Foster was granted land in the Enclosure Act. Further on in this ledger are accounts done by Alice for material for the making of dresses, caps etc.

At the beginning of the C19th there was a dispute concerning a right of way across land at Nether Hesleden. Robert Preston possibly a relative claimed access through an ancient enclosure near Low Bank Farm along Gillside to Haltongill. The claim was strongly opposed by the three sisters but in the end Robert’s claim was upheld.

When Nanny died in 1858 she left £550 in trust for the poor of Haltongill, Foxup, Litton and Horton in Ribblesdale. It is difficult to believe that the Fosters of Haltongill are not related to those lower down the valley but there is nothing to show any relationship. However as the original family came from Arncliffe Cote I have included all those found.

The 1841 census shows William at Arncliffe aged 60 with Richard aged 15. In 1891 Richard was living at Litton with his daughter Ellen. In 1861 William, a shepherd aged 48 was living at Hawkswick with his wife Ann and at Litton, John, a tailor aged 44 with his wife Ann and 5 children. In 1891 another Richard shown at Arncliffe aged 23, a farm servant living at Foxup. There are still Fosters living at Arncliffe Cote and North Cote, Kilnsey.

The Frankland Family

The West Riding poll tax returns of 1379 listed the name of Willelnus Ffranynlan, probably an ancestor of Richard, John, Roger and Henry who were on the Flodden Muster Roll all with bows. In 1536 Cwyn and Christopher Frankelyn were tenants of Fountains Abbey at Haltongill. In 1575one Thomas Frankland was imprisoned in Skipton Castle for killing and destroying deer in Littondale from the Clifford Estate.

The family was first recorded in the parish register in 1633 when Thomas a yeoman married Elizabeth Procter from Horton in Ribblesdale. A document in the Raistrick collection no.564 held at Skipton library records Thomas a yeoman acquiring a farm from J.Peighen a grocer of York, ‘of 20/- ancient rent’ in 1660. Another document no.566 shows Thomas leasing what appears to be the same farm to John Winterborne of Appletreewick, husbandman. Yet another document no.566 shows Thomas leasing what appears to be the same farm to John Winterborne of Appletreewick, husbandman. Yet another document no.567 records Stephen assigning grazing land on the East Moor to Lancelot Knowles.

The last record found in the Parish Register of the family at Haltongill is the death of Stephen’s son John in 1673. There is one more record at Arncliffe Cote: the birth of Ellen, daughter of Thomas in 1682.