Hebden Township Historical Data

Garnshaw Farm Auctions 1860 and 1865


In the care of David Joy is a remarkable document that records the results of two auctions associated with Garnshaw Farm in 1860 and 1865. I am indebted to David for sharing the results of his research in establishing the context for the auctions, which he published in his book "Mostly Joy" published in 2023 by Galena Books. The document is a card-covered, stitch-bound ruled exercise book with twenty two leaves, giving a total of 88 pages. The leaves measure 37cm by 23cm. The back half of thirteen of the leaves are missing, resulting in the loss of 26 pages.

The details of the goods for sale in the first auction provide an invaluable insight into the agricultural practices of the day; and those in the second household an equally valuable insight into the domestic life of the day.

The records for the two auctions are described separately.

The Auction of 1860

The context of this auction is provided by a preamble on the first page, probably in the handwriting of John Morphet (1802-1875), an auctioneer based in Giggleswick.

"Auction Held on the 19th day of october 1860, at Garnshaw in the Parrish of Linton in the County of York by John Morphet Auctioneer upon the Premises of Messeurs Joy's all the cattle to be sold for ready Money, and the Sheep under five pounds at and above that some time for payment are given until the first day of March 18611 and the Hay and of the grass until the Same time by giving good and joint satisfractrey securely before they depart the place of Sale or when demanded or the lots so sold to be resold either by publick Auction or privat contract and the first buers to make up the loss if any should occur during such Second Sale with all expenses attending the Same and the Same to be recoverable as and for liquidate debt and damages."

In other words, cows were to be sold for cash, and the sheep and eatage on credit.

Research by David Joy provides a background to the auction. Anthony Joy (1799-1860), had been the tenant of Garnshaw Farm since 1836. He was married to Maria (1802-1865), and they had eight children - including David (1826-1915) and Richard (1832-1908) who were involved in the farm. The easiest solution to solve the inheritance challenges seems to have been to sell the livestock and crops of the farm, and divide the proceeds. Notes in the remarks section of the auction book indicate that David and Richard bought back a number of items from the original purchasers to allow them to continue on the farm. This could well have been by prior arrangement with their friends.

Garnshaw was a relatively large farm of 180 acres, and 30 head of cattle were sold, including two bulls, for about £180; 299 sheep for about £289; and five horses and ponies for about £39. Two calves, four geese, and two pigs seem to have been sold to David Joy privately. The eatage raised almost £88, with over £9 from that in the meadows, over £73 from that stored in four barns, and over £5 from a haystack. In all, about £600 was raised.

The following are the pages from the auction records. Click on any image to make it readable.

The Auction of 1865

This auction followed Maria Joy's death, and was basically a house-contents sale (Richard and David now owning the goods relating to the farm). As such, it provides a fascinating insight into mid-nineteenth domestic life. David and Richard Joy, neither of whom were married, had been living with their with mother, and running the farm, but presumable the sale made it easier to ensure that the siblings all received a fair share of their legacy. They actually purchased many of the items themselves. About £83 was raised.

There are a number of blank pages in the record book between the 1860 auction record, and the 1865 auction.

The following are the pages from the auction records. Click on any image to make it readable.