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.