T. F. Hammond: 1927.
At the age of 82, Mr. T. F. Hammond, of Angle House, Hebden, is writing his reminiscences, and the article below is the first of a series. He is an undoubted authority on the history of the Hebden district, for from an early age he has been associated with most movements in the village and has always been active in public life.
"Schooling" 80 years ago
In 1847 there was no day school, and the only instruction given was that on Sundays in the Primitive Methodist Chapel. I got my first alphabet lesson there, and was taught by a Thomas Howson, a man who had lost a leg while serving in the Army. Reading, writing and arithmetic were taught on Sunday mornings, and also in the afternoons until just before the time for the service, when the tressels on which the desks were placed were put away under the singing pew. Some little time after this came John Brown, for whose memory I have the greatest respect. He taught me the rest of my schooling. He had been a smelter on the Grassington Moor mines until the fumes of the lead(?) affected the joints of his legs and he had to use sticks to assist him to walk.
The Duke of Devonshire's agent, or manager of the mine, persuaded John Brown to start a day school, and undertook to pay for the boys who worked in the mines to encourage them, when the stormy winter times set in and they could not work in the mines, to spend their time at school.
Mr. Brown was a very good penman but not clever with figures I have been told, so that a Mr. Horner gave him lessons in arithmetic, mensuration, and algebra, and it was not many years before Mr. Brown was equally, if not more, a master of figures as his tutor. History, grammar, and geography he knew very little about, and never pretended to teach these subjects. In reading and writing he turned out some good scholars. Some were very adept at figures. His remuneration was 3d a week - when he could get it.
Boys will be boys
The so-called school stood on the Green, a recreation ground unfenced from the road. During a play time I remember on one occasion that some strangers were passing through the village and stopped to ask two scholars what book they read. One shouted "We don't read." "Then what do you do?" asked the stranger. "We shout at a board" was the reply.
Previous to the establishment of the Skipton Union all villages had to maintain their native poor, that is, those who were born in the villages. On Hebden Green stood three cottages, two on a decided slope and one on a more level part. In those cottages lived the persons dependent on parish, or township, relief. I cannot say for certain, but I have heard the relief then amounted to about 2/6 or 3/ a week per head. When the Skipton Poor Law Institution was built (1839-1840) the cottages became practically useless. The two on the sloping side of the Green were made into one building by taking down the partition. This was then used as a school, and is the place which I attended, and at which Mr. Brown was the schoolmaster.
The other cottage consisted of one room, and was occupied up to the time I left school by a woman who used to sell sweets, and who was near sighted. On our way to school we used to step across the front door flags, and like most boys, we were a little mischievous. We used to put things through the keyhole. One winter's night, we got hold of her cat and put its tail through the keyhole, and she cut it off. But, not to be done by us and when she found it was the cat's tail, she shouted, "Put thi finger through again and I'll cut it off". The next night she was one too many for us. When we went to the door to push something through the keyhole she pushed the poker through from the inside. One of the boys got hold of it, but soon let go, for she had had it in the fire and it was nicely heated although not red hot. That put a stop to the mischief.
Allotting the moor
In 1857 the Hebden Moor, or Common, was not enclosed or walled in. A little before that time, however, the Enclosure Act was passed and certain men came to the village and allotted the Moor amongst the owners of the property in the village. Amongst the allotted portions was one rood of land to the trustees of Hebden School. There were, however, no trustees. The only people were those who held office as overseers, local officials who have now developed into parish councillors. The old school, or cottages that was made into a school, belonged to the village. Right and justice would say, I hold, that the village or the village representatives should have claimed the rood of land and built a school; but no. The representatives of, at that day, the Parish Chapel-of-Ease at Linton took possession and sought subscriptions and used the old cottages to build the new school and called it, as it is still called, the Church School. At that time there was quite a stir in the village about this, and a lot of unpleasantness. Lectures (of which I have copies) were given by gentlemen from a distance, but all to no purpose. Since the Education Act was passed and new representatives, or managers, have taken the places of those who are dead there has been little trouble about it, for the education department have power over it. I have no doubt that the managers would be glad to be rid of the responsibility, for it has to be kept in repair and is very little use to the Church.
Very few people could read or write in the early days in which I lived in the village, but they had a strong sense of humour. At the time Bradford Corporation was building Grimwith Reservoir a deputation came to visit. The deputation arrived in seven cabs with two people in each. They got out at the County bridge on which a number of villagers were standing, to walk up the hill. Every movement of the strangers was watched and noted. One of the villagers turned and asked, "Which on 'em is the Corporation?" His neighbour, a man a cut above the rest, answered with assurance, "Why, can't tha tell? It's t' man with that girt grey coat."
I have just mentioned the County bridge which crosses Hebden Beck. It is 100 years ago since it was built, and my grandfather, a joiner, made the centres for the arch of the bridge.
Mention of the reservoir reminds me that about 60 years ago, the reservoir on Hebden Moor made at the expense of Mr. Mason, of Gargrave, to supply water for Hebden Mill, burst.The water poured down the valley and did considerable damage in washing away fences and injuring bridges. Some time later the reservoir, which is in existence now, was repaired at Mr. Mason's cost.
About sixty years ago Hebden Cotton Mill was run for a number of years by a Mr. Mason, of Gargrave. Wages were very poor, and I have heard it said that the top wage for a woman was 7s. per week, and that only one woman earned this amount.
Afterwards the mill stood empty. After many years some people named Banjamin, and a John Hudson took the mill and ran it for a few years. A nephew, Ernest Hudson, followed. He was mill master for a time and later bought the property and afterwards sold it to a Bradford firm of A. and S. Henry, who are still carrying on the mill, the activity of which is a good thing for the village.
During the time the Hebden Mill was run by Mr. Mason the Grassington Moor mines and the Hebden Moor mines and Appletreewick lead mines were employing a large number of men and boys. The population of these places were then considerably more than they are today. I believe the figures in the "History of Craven" give the populations at this time at Grassington 1,100, and Hebden over 500.
Hebden Moor Mine
I think I can just remember Hebden Moor mine. At the commencement (if my memory serve me right) a Mr. Win started to work a few men. He was not not long before he cut a first-class vein of lead ore. Before long a company of gentlemen bought his right, or lease, of the mine. I have heard it told that he got £50,000 and that he went to America and speculated in one thing or another, was unfortunate, and returned a poor man.
Hebden Moor Mine was carried on for a considerable time by a number of gentleman. One, who was well known and respected, was a William Chadwick. First one, and then another of the directors died. Their successors did not come to work the mine for they were trying to get ore with water. At one time Mr. Chadwick and others started a level, or tunnel, in the village intending to drive to a certain place with a view to undermining the Hebden Moor water and carry it into Hebden Beck in the village. If successful they would have been able to get the lead ore and bring it down the tunnel into the village to dress and make fit for smelting. When the tunnel reached the desired place the result was disappointing and the company broke up. The mine has never been worked since.
Grassington Moor mine has not been worked for a number of years, nor has the Appletreewick mine except for a few men about a year ago. The closing of the mines was the cause of people leaving the townships and going elsewhere to find employment.
I well remember the suspension bridge, at or near Hebden Mill. Formerly there was a bridle stile road through what was then a plantation (now a garden of Mr. T. Moore, and once the property of Mr. Mason, the mill owner) through the river, through another plantation at the other side into what is called Postman's-lane, which led into the highway into Burnsall.
A little before 1885 a person named Joseph Slack was crossing some stepping stones in the river, which were a public way across and led to Burnsall and Thorp, when an extra flood of water came down - I think the result of a thunderstorm up the dales - caught him and swept him away, and he was drowned.
This tragedy led to the idea of the suspension bridge. At this time I was friendly with the Church minister at Burnsall, the Rev. C. H. Carlisle, and he came to me and we talked the matter over and agreed to do all we could to raise money for the bridge. We were very successful. The bridge was built and the iron work and erection was done by William Bell, blacksmith, of Hebden village. It was considered a piece of clever workmanship, and it was done at very small cost. The bridge is carried on steel ropes fixed on iron pillars. The ropes and pillars are fixed into stone deep in the ground.
The opening day was a great one for the two villages. When the bridge was declared open it was crowded end from end with people. There was a brass band, a large tent, a public tea, and an entertainment. The bridge was opened free from debt. Eventually the Skipton Rural District Council took it over as it connected public footpaths to Burnsall and Thorp.
In my early days all the Hebden Moor or Common as well as Hartlington Moor adjoined each other and there were thousands of acres without a fence on them. You could start from Hebden and walk across the moor into the Nidd Valley and never come across a fence. Now it is all walled in into different sized allotments.
In my grandfather's day what is now the Back-lane was the front of the village. After the Award of the Allotment we found two pieces of land we called the Hebden Green (now the recreation ground) and they measured a little over five acres. Before 1857 this land was unenclosed, but after the Award it was walled in by the township.
Prior to 1862 the water for domestic purposes had to be carried a considerable distance. People got time (sic) of this, and the workman of the village agreed that they would do the digging if property owners would find, or be at the expense of providing, a tank and pipes and the laying of them. This was agreed to, and digging covered a distance nearly twice the length of the village. After a few years the District Council took over the care, etc., of the water scheme. Later an additional supply was obtained and drained into the tanks from the edge of the moor. There is now a very good supply. The last scheme cost, I believe, about £130. We pay a 7d. water rate. The New Guest House and Hebden Mill Cottages needed a supply and this is now obtained from the main. Most of the houses have water laid on, and some of the farms and mistals are also supplied.
The changes that have taken place in the property of the village during the 70 years or more ago that I can remember have been considerable, of course.
Hole Bottom House which has been so much mentioned in the latest records of the village, is equipped with electricity and water power plant is situated near the beck. Coming to the village, the farm now occupied by D. Bowdin was, in 1856 and for some time afterwards, a farmhouse and a cottage. On the other side of the stone bridge one of the three cottages was once used by a joiner to cut trees. Further on in Brook Row (once the property of the mill owner) my grandfather used to carry on a joinery business in about 1852.
On what is called Town Hill two cottages used to stand but they have been pulled down and a nice residence with a southern aspect take their place. A little to one side has been erected within the last 50 years, four cottages where there used to be two and a blacksmith's shop. Near here ran a road which led through what is now a croft to Grassington-road. At the back of these cottages stand two more cottages, which were formerly a farm house, and behind which stand two unused cottages in front of which 50 years ago passed the road that led on to the Grassington-road.
In the village the grocer's shop, house and other buildings now occupied by Messrs. T. and A. Stockdale were in my boyhood adapted for anything but grocery store for the entrance to the shop was along a dark and narrow passage. The old property was pulled down and replaced by the present modern buildings. The old property was occupied by the late Mr. R. Bowdin who was succeeded by his son.
In my early days these premises adjoined what was known as the Clarendon Inn which was eventually purchased by Mr. Bowdin and closed as a public house. One portion is now the office for the grocery business and the other portion a warehouse. At the back of the warehouse is some property known as Rotten Row and at one time there was a grocery business owned by a brother and sister, Horatio and Sabina Joy.
Another alteration is the other public house, which carried on the name of the one that was closed and is known as the Clarendon Inn. It is a well built property with modern accommodation. Near it used to stand a grocer's shop which is now replaced by a farm house and other buildings.
The Reading Room was built for the young men of the village in 1903. The foundation stones were laid by my cousin, Mr. Metcalfe, and myself. Once there stood near the Institute and in a line with it, four piggeries which were anything but a pretty sight at the side of the village street. They are replaced by a walled-in grass plot with a background of trees.
Near are three bay windowed houses, modelled in recent years into good houses. Previously two were old lumber rooms. Before 1852 there stood in front of them a long building which had been used as a malt kiln, since converted into four comfortable cottages. In front of them stands a lawn which used to be a plantation. One of the trees still stands and I think it must be the tallest and oldest tree in the village.
The Post Office and the other row of buildings were built by F. Hammond and his son. The property at one time belonged to the late Sir Matthew Wilson, of Eshton Hall. Before the row of houses was built where stood a barn, mistal, and other farm buildings, and cottages with an irregular frontage. When the present property was built the main street was widened and a good road made, and the road is a credit to the village and the District Council and is kept in a good state of repair.
Where Angle House stands were formerly two old fashioned cottages which, with a number of others in what was called Chapel-lane, were pulled down and replaced by the present houses with gardens in front. Higher up the street other old houses were pulled down and the existing properties greatly improved by the owners, Mr. T. Stockdale, of Harrogate, and Mr. S. C. Stockdale of Southport.
Green House, occupied by T. P. Perks was once a farm house that has undergone such a change in appearance and outlook that people who used to live in the village scarcely recognise it. Rose garden, shrubbery, lawn and orchard have made a complete transformation and the privilege of inspecting the grounds, which Mr. Perks kindly allows in the summer time, is one highly appreciated by visitors.
In front of Green House is Croft House, the property of Mr. F. Stockdale, which replaced some old property that was pulled down.
At one time the entrance to the Primitive Methodist Chapel, which was built in 1838, was where the vestry now stands. Two isles (sic), each with seven steps, then led to the seats. When making alterations in the street I suggested that a new entrance, new vestry, and new seats should be provided. This was agreed to. The vestry was built in memory of my first wife. A new entrance was made and at the same time the Chapel had a new floor put in and new seating.
"If the water is low..."
The present Wesleyan Chapel is a new building fronting the road, or Main Street, and is a nice well built structure very different to the old building which stood sideways to the road with the entrance facing south. The entrance now faces east. The old chapel had a stone flagged-floor and was heated by a stove. There were two side galleries and a centre gallery and a large singing or choir pew which would accommodate 40 to 50 of a choir. The chapel would accommodate perhaps between 300 to 400 people.
An old member, Billie Hawley, I can recollect, used to announce this notice at the afternoon service: "All being well and the weather fine and the water low there will be a prayer meeting at 5 p.m. at Thorpe".
This meant if the Wharfe was not in flood and the stepping stones could be crossed the meeting would be held and people could return to Hebden for the evening service.
A notable addition to the village is the Guest House situated a little below the village and built about 20 years ago. It opens about Eastertide and closes about six weeks before Christmas. It has been well patronised and provides accommodation for about 70 persons besides the staff. At times the accommodation has been insufficient for the number of visitors.
Two noticeable houses are those built by Mr. T. F. Tattersall at Beck Bottom, and one built in the Swiss style by Mr. T. Stockdale. The latter commands an excellent view.
A Challenge to Yorkshire
The alterations which have improved the village from what it was between the years 1850 to 1870 have won for (sic) title of a model village. At one time, where the fence to the recreation ground now stands were tips where refuge was thrown. There were open drains across the Green, and at the side of the street. Water for domestic uses had to be carried a considerable distance with all the stench arising from the tips and drains there was no wonder that the village was a fever stricken place.
The improvements which have taken place have been gradually carried out by the property owners and the villagers without compulsion of authority. They have done the re-modelling out of pride for the village and a desire for healthier conditions. The recreation ground, the length of the village have been planted with trees at the suggestion of the Parish Council, and for some rougher parts of the ground, Mr. T. P. Perks provided and planted trees to give a more artistic appearance.
We now have as healthy and pretty a village as can be found in Yorkshire.
Since I commenced this history I have been asked to deal with the charities of the village. I had not thought of doing so, but in response to what I consider a reasonable request, as I am the only life trustee left of the first original trustees, I will give as correct an account of them as I can. If, however, I make any errors I hope anyone who finds them will let me know. The information I am giving is from memory, and a detailed account I have kept.
Legacy from 1665
The first with which I will deal with is Beckett's Charity. Previous to 1859 (when I was 14 years old) there was much dissatisfaction with the way those who had control of this Charity managed its affairs. A number of villagers including myself, although so young, determined whether costly or not, to have the Charity in some way or another dealt with more satisfactorily. The difficulty was to get to know whether the Charity had to be used by will or otherwise. About 1859, by some means or other - I think through the Charity Commissioners - the will turned up. Thomas Beckett, by will, without date, gave £50 to be paid at interest or bestowed on lands to the use of the poor of the township of Hebden forever. The interest had to be paid yearly to the Constable, Churchwardens, and Overseers of the poor, along with two substantial men in Hebden until such time as land could be purchased.
It would be a long story to give all the details, but Thomas Beckett died about April 1665, and the sum of £50 specified was paid to the persons holding the offices named, about January 1666. The money was then used by those officers in the purchase of certain cattlegate in Grassington township. It will be found, I think, in the Inclosure Act, George III., that the Constable, Churchwardens, and Overseers were then entitled to seven beastgates, two sheepgates in a close called Old Pasture, and four sheepgates and a half in the New Pasture. The account of the Pasture will be found in the Award dated 1st May, 1792. The size of the allotment as per the report of 1825 was near 20 acres, but in the Award it is stated to be 39 acres, 2 roods, 9 perches, and at present is said to be about 34 acres. A certain proportion of the land was destroyed by mining operations but no compensation could be claimed, for by an Act of 1788 all rights, royalties, and privileges were reserved to the Duke and his heirs and assigns.
Dissatisfaction and an Inquiry
A cause of dissatisfaction in the distribution of the Charity before 1859 was that those in charge of it, limited the benefits to poor persons belonging to the township, that was, persons having legal settlement in the township. It so happened that people living a considerable distance from Hebden received benefit from this Charity while others living in the township, although not born in it, were hungering and could get nothing, no matter how great their need. This was considered a grievance by many. Why this method was adopted, was in order to save the rates, for the village at this date had to keep its own poor, that was persons born in the village. Natives of Hebden, living in Leeds and Bradford got benefit from this Charity.
Owing to an inquiry by one of the Charity Commissioners, into the system of supporting only persons born in the village, he found that the wording of the will meant that the recipients of the Charity had to be poor persons actually resident in the township and the Constable, Churchwardens and Overseers received instructions to that effect. The persons in charge of the Charity had to select the most deserving persons in the village, without regard to legal settlement. This put an end to the distribution of money to people living outside the village.
Owing to the complaints, the Charity Commissioners made an order dated 22nd December, 1864, constituting five trustees of the Charity, and including Ibbotson's Charity (with which I will deal with later), and making provision for filling up vacancies in the Trust. On 17th August, 1876, the number of trustees was increased to eight in addition to the three then serving and continuing. A list of trustees at that date is as follows: George Hudson, farmer; Bayne Moor, farmer; Francis Hammond, farmer; Thomas Hudson, farmer; Thomas Francis Hammond, grocer and draper; William Pickles, gentleman; William Moor, Hollis Beck, farmer; Thomas Stockdale, farmer; R. Bodwin, gentleman; William Hawley, Grimwith; David Joy, farmer. Of these Messrs, T. Hudson, William Moor, R. Bodwin, W. Hawley, and D. Joy were alive at the time of inquiry, together with myself, of course.
Beckett's Charity at this date consisted, and still consists, of an allotment commonly know as "Poor Grass" situate on Hebden Moor. At the date of the inquiry, Mr. R. Wrathall rented the allotment at £21 10s. per year. His agreement was dated 2nd February 1899. This allotment has been let at different times for various sums. In 1878, the trustees had £36 to divide, in 1884, £28; and now it is let at £22 a year. The money is generally divided a day or two before 21st December each year, and distributed on the 21st. An account is sent yearly to the Charity Commissioners, of the sum of distribution and how it was distributed. The present trustees are Messrs. R. Stockdale, D. Bowdin, T. F. H. Tattersall, T. Stockdale, and A. Joy, and myself, and I am the only life trustee. By sealed Orders dated 1902 and 1903, the later trustees were appointed.
A Poor Man's Prophecy
There is a story in Hebden history of an man who when refused help from the Beckett's Charity fund prophesied the downfall of one of the then distributors. An account of the incident is told in Yorkshire dialect in a pamphlet issued in 1867 by Thomas Blackah and titled "Oliver Banks; or St. Thomas's Bounty at Hebden." The names in the booklet are fictitious. The story is supposed to be told by the applicant for the bounty.
After telling of the sufferings of his family, for lack of food he says: "At last ah bethowt mesel it wos t'day for sarvin oot St. Thomas's bounty." Arrived at the place arranged for the distribution, he found two or people he knew "an' a heeale heeap mar on t' seeame bisness 'at ah were. When it com i' my turn, ah went in an' doft off me hat. My eye! bud warrant that a bonny swat o' brass laid o' t' top o' to' teeable - soverins and hofe-soverins, croons an' hofe-croons, shillins, sixpences, pennies and hopennies, all laid out hamsam yan amang another."
Asked "What's thow want heear?" the applicant replied, "It'll be Cesmay Day o' Monday, and we hennot a smite o' nayther cheese, spice-cake, ner natah sort iv ceeake, i' oor hoose 'an ah've nivver had a bat o'wark for eleven weeks cum't next Friday'."
The man addressed took off his spectacles and said, "Thow'l git nowt heear. Thow duzzant belang Hebden."
"Can ye tell me whar ad due belang?" was the next question, and the answer came "Thow belangs t'Bank Edge."
"Then ah've a reet to me shar o' that brass," was the retort.
"Thow'll nivver git a farden-piece as lang as ah've owt to doo wi' it, aw t' fine teeales at ivver ta can tell willot awter me, seea thow mon, pike thesel off."
Then was pronounced the prophesy by the rejected applicant. "If this," he said, "be all t'feeling ye hev fer yer fella creeaters, at's nowt to hit, ner nowt to git nowt wi', let ma tell ye a thar's Him aboon 'al pay ye part back in this world, but man i' t' world to come; an' ah sal be sadly deceeaved if yer beas', sheep, an' hosses binnot teean away, an' yer brass al all tak' wings and flee away, an' ah sal live to see ya brekkin steeanes or cutting dykes o' t' roadside."
The next year year when the applicant appeared for the bounty it was not refused, and the explanation was given "we've hed a commissioner fra Lunnon, an' he's squared things up a bit." Every year he got a share "o' t' Bounty Brass."
The last time the applicant saw the man who had refused him "he were cumin doon t' Lo' Green. When he saw me he held oot his hand to shak' hands wi' ma; tears wer runnin' doon his cheeks, as he sed, "Thi words is cummed true." I inquired mar aboot him, an' meeade it oot 'at he wer brekkin steeans a' t' Heigh Rooard, sumwhar up t' heigh end o' t' Deeale."
Now I shall deal with Ibbotson's charities, which I mentioned last week. Robert Ibbotson of Skyrthornes, and formerly of Hebden, by his will dated October 3rd, 1723, made provision for the payment annually by the churchwardens and overseers of the sum £2 to be divided amongst four of the poorest widowers or widows within the township. 
It was laid down that this should be allocated on November 1st, but it now paid out on December 21st, at the same time as Becket's Charity. It is charged on property known as Knowles Land, and at present owned by Richard Joy. The present trustees usually divide the £2 among four widows.
Robert Ibbotson was also responsible for the establishment of Ibbotson's Apprenticing Charity. He directed that the interest on £40, part of a sum of £120 secured by mortgage deed, should be utilised for the apprenticement each year of one boy or girl from the Linton Parish to some trade. This £40 was laid out in the purchase of cattlegates, and by an award dated December 4th, 1788, pursuant to an Inclosure Act 27th George III for enclosing open fields in Cracoe, there were two pieces of land, containing six acres, one rood and nine poles, and one acre, one rood, and one pole respectively, made over to the trustees of the poor of Linton. The churchwardens of Hebden and Grassington acted as trustees, but the Charity Commissioners held that there were no legally appointed trustees, and Hebden's share is now vested in the trustees appointed by the Order of August 17th, 1876. The undivided moiety of the land belonging to Hebden was vested in the Official Trustee of Charity Lands by an order dated December 22nd., 1864.
As I have previously stated, there was an Inquiry, and the money for the putting out of apprentices is now obtained from the rent of a field in Cracoe Raikes, Known as "Poor Grass," which contains seven acres and 8 poles.
The custom of apprenticeship appears to have died out entirely in the Hebden township, and for nearly 20 years prior to the Inquiry the rents had accumulated. On January 25th, 1887, a sum of £110 9s. 6p. was paid over to the Official Trustees of Charity lands, and invested in the purchase of three per cent consols. These produced £2 15s. 4d. per year, making a total income of £8 0s. 4d.
On or about the year 1901, two young men of the village drew my attention to the fact that there was in Hebden no place where the young people of the village could meet. Knowing that Ibbotson's Apprenticing Charity had absolutely died out, and that there was a large accumulation fund which was not doing the good it might, I pointed out, by a request addressed to the Charity Commissioners, this money might be procured for this purpose. I subsequently drew up a petition asking the Charity Commissioners to allow the accumulated money to be used for the erection of a village Institute, to be known as Ibbotson's Institute and that the annual income from the Charity should be used for the maintenance of this building. Most of the inhabitants appended their signatures, and the Charity Commissioners looked favourable upon the application. The old trustees raised an objection, but this was over-ruled.
A formal order was made, and in the year 1908 the following trustees were appointed:- the Rev. F. A. Colbatch Share (rector), T. F. Hammond (retired grocer), life trustee; Richard Stockdale (farmer), D. Bowdin (farmer), Wm. Whitehead (farmer), Fredk. Walton (farmer), the late Wm. Clough (grocer), Thos. F. H. Tattersall (grocer), Mathew John Shipley (retired police superintendent), and the late William Hawley, Grimwith.
The present trustees are T. F. Hammond, R. Stockdale, D. Bowdin, T. F. H. Tattersall, T. P. Perks and George Joy.
Since the last Inquiry by the Commissioners all the charities have, so far as it was possible, been administered in accordance with the wishes expressed by the testators, and to the satisfaction of the commissioners. Every year a statement is forwarded as to how they have been allocated, and each application is dealt with strictly on its merits by the trustees. I have a list of all moneys paid, with the recipients, since the year 1861.
I now come to the subject of lost charities. By a will dated April 25th, 1715, Henry Bland stipulated that the interest on £25 should be distributed yearly among the poor of Hebden by his executors, John Parker and George Brown. The interest was paid by Barker (sic), but he died insolvent, and the charity was lost.
Other charities would have been lost for the want of someone to look after the legacies are as follows:-
- £50 left for Hebden poor by Ann Green.
- £10 left for Hebden poor by James Sheepshank.
- £10 left for Hebden poor by Thos. Topham.
I might add that when the mills and mines were being worked, the population of Hebden stood at over 500.
No Really Poor People
Let me say to the readers of this history of my native village that Hebden has been so well provided for, in the shape of charities and other forms of relief that for a number of years no one in the township has been in receipt of parochial relief. Compared with the years between 1859 and 1875, I can say that we have nobody we can call really poor.
Next week I intend to seal with the subject of township lands.
I propose in this article to deal with township lands.
Previous to 1870-1872 the Charity Commissioners found that for some time after an inquiry that the accounts of the land were not audited by the auditor of the Poor Law Board. But since 1873 the accounts have been regularly audited by the District Auditor of the Local Government Board. These auditors found, from correspondence, that the rents of the lands had been applied by the persons then in office, the Overseers, for general township purposes such as keeping the highways in repair, and salaries to constable, waywarden (now called District Councillor), and the Guardian, and to relieve the poor, and sometimes towards supplying the village with water. The Green, or recreation ground, was fenced out of these rents, Church rates were paid, also hire of public house rooms for letting the land, and for suppers, drinks, and other similar purposes.
Public House Meetings
For some years in the early part of my life I was the chief correspondent for a number of persons who were dissatisfied with the way the rents and income were used and who considered that the income was not used for the general benefit of the township. The net income about this date was £40 to £50 a year.
As I have mentioned before the township meeting and charity distributions took place as a rule at the public house. The last meeting I attended there was the yearly Parish meeting and, if my memory serves me right, there were while I stayed seven rounds of whiskey. How many more there were after I left I cannot say. This was just before the inquiry I have mentioned in another article was held.
An Old Time Meeting
I think this meeting I attended was the last one at the public house. The next meeting was held in the old school when there was quite a crowd present. A man named William Harkness was the chairman and I was the clerk.
All we could get to that meeting was a small memorandum book with an account of the rents and payments.
The Chairman read out one item as follows: "Sundays seven pounds odd. What's this for?"
An official replied in a stammering sort of way. "Sundries."
The Chairman: "We don't pay for Sundays."
The official again stammered: "Sundies," and went on to say the account was for repair of gaps, walling, dykes, drains, and gates,
"Where are your bills?" asked the Chairman.
They had none.
"No," said he, "We know what the Sundays are, it's your drinking shot for the fortnight. Remember this will be the last."
How it came about that the books were placed before the district auditor was that G. Hudson, J. R. Hartley, F. Hammond, myself, and others along with a solicitor's clerk let the district auditors know that there was dissatisfaction with the way the money belonging to the township was used. The result was that notice was given to the overseers to meet and present the books for audit. When the books were opened the objectors at once told the auditor that unless the money was used as it should be used they would throw the matter into Chancery. The auditor replied that there would be no need for that; he would settle it.
As the auditor looked through the accounts he could not make out what was the income and could not find receipts for payments. He said to the officials responsible "You must come on Friday. I cannot audit books without more particulars but I shall surcharge you for the following sums, £10 paid to a denominational school and £6 odd you have given back to the tenants. It was not your money to give. You come here on Friday."
"But," said one official, "I want to go to Malham fair."
"Malham fair, or no fair," replied the auditor, "you must be here on Friday, under penalty, with the income and the outgoings with receipts."
After a few weeks the auditor wrote to say if we would look over it he would waive the surcharge and he would see no such spending occurred in the future. Since the the books have been audited and stamped by the auditors.
Township Lands Origins
It may be asked by some: What is the origin of the townships lands? No one knows to be really certain. It is known that at a period a long time before this date, and not later than 1836, that there were lands then open to the unenclosed moor or common that were broken up and cultivated by poor persons belonging to the township and that no notice was taken of their activities. Later on about the year 1849 these lands were fenced in and rents charged.
In 1857 when Hebden Moor was staked out and awarded to different owners of land in the township in different allotments. A day was set apart for objections to land wrongly awarded, and the overseers attended and objected to the awarding of those portions of land that the township had had long undisturbed possession of for a long time.
The schedule of the land is: Standard Garth 9r. 7p.; Low Bank side 3a.; Allan Garth 1a. 2r. 28p.; High Bank side 5a. 2r. 39p.; Strike 3r. 21p. Baxtonedge turf allotment and Baxtonedge shooting were awarded to the householders as a place to get turf. It was not to be sold. The lot is No. 14 on the map. The income from the turf allotment has been used and applied in the same way as that of the other town lands.
Two Laws Suits
Although the Overseers went to the meeting where objections could be made if any land was allotted wrongly, and although the township land had to be left as it had been in the hands, or under the control of the Overseers, still, when the Award was complete and came to be examined it was found it was awarded that to be paid out of the rent of High Bank side (one of the township fields) was a £4 10s. rent charge to three people to make up, I understand for the allotments awarded to them. For some time this £4 10s. was not paid, the Overseers refusing to pay as they considered that such a sum should not have been awarded on this land. A law suit was started to compel payment, and after considerable time and expense the claimants won and seized the pasture.
At that time F. Hammond was the tenant of the pasture. After some weeks one of the parties, who claimed a portion of the £4 10s., met F. Hammond and asked him if he was going to stand trial for Hebden township for all three of them had got writs with his name as plaintiff. He replied that he had never ordered such a thing, and knew nothing about it. "Well, it's a fact," said the man, "and we shall fight again."
Hammond went to see his solicitor and was advised that he could win if the case stood in his name and he got the township support. A Township meeting was called and the case laid before it and the result was a unanimous vote in favour of Hammond fighting. The township undertook to pay costs. Hammond won the day, got back the land, and there has been no trouble since.
Since dealing with the history of the township lands and the allocation of the moor, the question of the public footpaths and rights-of-way in the village has been suggested to me as matters on which I might furnish information. It as been pointed out to me that the knowledge I have of the history as far as I have known the footpaths in my native village would be useful for the future and would perhaps be of guidance to summer visitors and prevent them from trespassing.
From Hole Bottom
I will begin with what is called a road that leads to Hole Bottom. From Hebden to what is known as the Fir Tree this road is a public highway, and the stretch to the Fir Tree is kept in repair and maintained by the Rural District Council. Thence onward the road is a private occupation road to Hole Bottom, and the persons who use it are responsible for maintaining it. But the road does not end at Hole Bottom. It was a way used to get to the township quarry, named Slifton quarry, which was left (the quarry, not the herbage) for the inhabitants, who had the privilege to get stone for buildings or fences. Before the enclosure of Hebden moor or common there was no means of getting from Hole Bottom to the quarry with any kind of conveyance but after the quarry awarded (sic) Hebden Moor Lead Mine Company which was just about to commence operations, made a cart road up the gill to the mine. Ever since, the road has been used as a private occupation road.
In my boyhood days it was only a public footpath which started at Hole Bottom, went across down by the side of the small gutter, across the beck course, forward to where the present road is, and led to what is called Gill House Farm. The path then led forward on the right hand side of the beck course, up to the Grassington Moor Smelting Works. Before reaching Gill House Farm from this footpath people crossed the beck course and climbed up to what, in my early days, was called Cockbar. Beyond this point the path ran to the place called Yarnburg (sic), where the Mine officers are, thence from there to Grassington on the left and Grassington High Moor on the right.
Up to the Mayoe
Commencing again at the Hole Bottom, there is a public footpath right up to the rough Quarry called Slifton, and leading to Hebden Moor. But this is not much used.
Another path leads to High Garnshaw, and another leading to Grassington by the way of Pickering End and Low Garnshaw, thence through the grounds of the Sanatorium into a narrow lane leading to the top part of Grassington, or from the Sanatorium down into Grassington road. Although no objection has been raised as far as I am aware to people using these roads, I must say that I believe that the footpaths were intended for the benefit of people living in the district.
There is also a public footpath from Hole Bottom up a rough road, formerly a cart road, which leads on to what is called the Mayoe (pronounced Mayo). This road leads on to Cockbar, and thence to the Grassington mines, and was mostly used by the miners.
Coming to the village there is a public footpath starting from behind the houses, which leads over what I call the small stone bridge to what is known as Scar House, and another old house higher up the scar. Incidentally, I may mention that the last persons I remember living in the first house were a Mrs. Worsley and her two sons, George and Adam. In the top house the last occupant I recall was a Mr. Bowes, who lost by death during a fever epidemic two grown-up daughters. This road has been very little used since those days, but it is a public footpath, as well as a right-of-way to these houses on the moor, or what was then an open common.
Another road which is called The Back of the Orchard is a public, and really a high road. It was once the main road leading to Pateley Bridge previous to the building of the stone bridge 100 years ago. It is considered that it is the duty of the Rural Distrct Council to keep this road in repair. On the side of the main road to Pateley Bridge is a public right-of-way for either carts or foot passengers past a house called High Dene, and leads on to the road to what is called the Edge Road.
A Churchyard Digression
Then there is what is called Sikes Lane, out of which is a path leading to Garnshaw and Pickering End, and from thence on to the top of Pickering and onto the Mayoe. Also from, and up, a lane near Sikes Lane is a footpath leading to the Sanatorium, and from thence to Grassington into the same path I have mentioned above.
The footpath starting near the Chapel-of-Ease to Linton Parish Church (commonly known as Hebden Church) was, prior to the Church being built, the main footpath and nearest way from Hebden to the Parish Church at Linton. The path is commonly known as the path by way of the Croft, or Croft Houses. It leads to the stepping stones across the river Wharfe just before reaching the Parish Church of Linton. In passing, I should like to express the opinion that the Churchyard is deserving of more attention. The way boys are allowed to tamper with the headstones and monuments, and the Church as well, needs controlling. I think there ought to be more reverence shown for the dead and more consideration displayed towards the relatives who have, at considerable expense, had gravestones erected. In my boyhood days there was just one grave stones and two or three graves. Now the graveyard appears to be full, and there seems to be a need for the provision of additional ground.
A Diversion Improvement
To return to footpaths. There is one called New Dike, which also leads to the stepping stones and the Parish Church. From Hebden main street there is a public footpath, known as Down Cut, which leads to Hebden Mill and into the main road for Burnsall. Out of this is a footpath leading (as a new way from the mill) to Pateley Bridge road, through the farmyard of Bank Top House. Also out of that path leading to Hebden Mill is another path leading to Rainlands Farm, through the farmyard and pastures of Hartlington Raikes. Some years ago this path was diverted a little by the consent (and after due publication of notice) of the proper authorities for the benefit of the owner of the land. It was no detriment to the public. Indeed it was to the contrary, for the public had not so many fields and stiles to pass through.
There is a very pleasant footpath after crossing the Suspension Bridge. This leads up the hill on the other side of the bridge into the main road from Burnsall to Linton. Crossing the main road it leads to the pretty little hamlet of Thorpe.
I will state at the beginning of this article what powers the Parish Council have over the recreation ground. There are two parcels of land Nos. 57 and 58 on the Award map measuring 5 acres, 3 roods, and 35 perches, and they were awarded to the churchwardens and overseers in trust as a place for exercise and recreation for Hebden. The ground is in two fields, one measuring 3a., 1r., 24p. and the other 2a., 2r., and 11p.
In 1867 when an inquiry was held it was considered anything but suitable land for recreation purpose. Little use had been made of it, and at that time the land was unfenced and open to the public street or main road. It was considered by those at the inquiry as a place suitable for tipping refuse.
The commissioners were asked what power the trustees had for fencing the land and if they could use the rents for that purpose.
The answer, given, on January 16th, 1868, was that the allotment was governed by the Inclosure Act, under which they had power to let the herbage and with rents arising therefrom, to maintain fences and keep the ground in proper condition. The rents could be used for the repair of the highways.
The commissioners expressed the further opinion that by proper application, a scheme could be made for the regulation of the land, having regard to what it was allotted for, and a committee of management be appointed. That committee, however, would not be able to use any of the rents, as had been suggested, for the support of the Day School. No such application has been received up to the present by the commissioner.
Since 1894 the Parish Council have had the management and control of the recreation ground and the rents have been used for the improvement of the land. It was understood that the money should not be used for main roads. By an Act of 1876, it is laid down that the rents shall cease to be used for the repair of highways and must be used similarly to what they are used by the Parish Council at the present time.
It had been suggested by some that the Parish Council should purchase a more suitable site or level the present recreation ground. It was found that to level or improve the land would be very expensive and difficult. No person seemed willing to sell or let land suitable for recreation purposes, and even if there was any land to sell, it could not be purchased without money. The land, therefore, remains much the same, except it is more beautiful through the planting of trees and shrubs, drainage, and road repairs, and through the addition of a seat here and there.
On the Award map there are also two stone quarries, Nos. 30 and 54, and they measure 14a. 2r. These were to be used as public quarries to supply stone or gravel for road repairs, or for building houses, or fencing.
It has been remarked to me that as I have several times mentioned the inquiry held by the Charity Commissioners, that I should give more information about it because it contains references to other townships than Hebden. The inquiry was held in the parish of Linton in 1895.
Included in the report of the inquiry are the results of previous investigations and reports. One which is referred to frequently is a report of 1825. This deals fully with the Fountain's Hospital and other charities in the Parish of Linton. Richard Fountain by will dated 15th July 1721, directed that a sum not exceeding £700 should be laid out in the purchase of a freehold estate of the yearly value of £30. Out of this was to be paid several sums. These include 20s. to the ministers who should yearly on Whit. Sunday, preach in the Church of Linton two charity sermons; 50s. should be distributed amongst the poor inhabitants that should attend to hear the sermons, and remain in Church during divine service; £3 each should be paid for four poor boys to be apprenticed to trades, and for want of a boy, to take a girl; and the residue of the rent to be paid to poor relations.
He also directed that out of his personal estate a hospital should be erected in Linton for six poor old men and women of the parish. He gave also as much moey as would purchase land of the yearly value of £26, out of which it was directed provision should be made "for buying a coat or gown for the six men or women, the colour to be blue, lined with green." and after deductions from the total sum for repairs, the remainder was "to be paid to the six poor old men and women, share and share alike, at Christmas and Whitsuntide."
The will also directed that £20 a year should be paid to the minister of the Parish of Linton, provided the minister constantly resided in the parish and read prayers twice a week to the people in the hospital. An alternative to this was that the £20 be paid to the poor, the inmates of the hospital to have a share. The executors were authorised to buy land to the value of £20 to make good the bequest.
Soon after Richard Fountain died in 1721, the hospital was erected, containing a chapel and six separate apartments, with a small garden to each. As it later could not be ascertained to what different objects the estates had been respectively appropriated, it became the practice to apply the rents of all the estates as a general fund for the different purposes of the will.
At the 1895 inquiry further reference was made to the Fountain's Hospital and other charities. It was stated that the hospital was enlarged in 1892 by the addition of two sets of rooms, the building now providing accommodation for eight inmates. Each almswoman received one blue gown in the year and about £5 a year was expended in this matter.
It was pointed out that by the original trusts, men as well as women were to be admitted to the hospital, but it appeared that the practice had been to always elect poor women and generally widows. It was stated that it was the aim to elect inmates from each of the four townships of Grassington, Hebden, Linton and Threshfield, which were comprised in the ancient parish of Linton, but that in consequence of the larger population of Grassington, properly qualified candidates were more often to be found in that township.
It was observed that in a report made in 1861, that the apprenticing branch of the charity had fallen into disuse, the premium of £3 not being considered to be of much practical use. The trustees passed the £12 a year into the general account. Apprenticeship fees had been paid occasionally, the amount being usually £5, and sums of this amount were paid in 1888, 1889 and 1890, but no payment since those dates had been made up to the time of the 1895 inquiry.
Another interesting charity which is referred to in the report which called (sic) the 1825 Report is the bequest of the Rev. Matthew Hewitt, a former Rector of Linton, who provided for "the erection of a house at the lower end of his close called Gaine Bank in Threshfield, to be used for free school." A convenient quantity of ground as a garden for the school house "to be enjoyed by the masters thereof." He made provisions in his will for the schoolhouse and the garden wall to be "well and sufficiently repaired" from time to time.
A schoolhouse was erected in pursuance of the will at Threshfield and contained one room below and two chambers above. The 1825 Report adds: "The School is considered a Grammar School, and free for all boys who apply for instruction in Latin and English grammar; and in those branches of learning they are taught free of expense and they pay for instruction in writing and accounts. There is a considerable number of scholars attending the school, who are instructed by the master and an usher."
Humble but Good
At the time of the inquiry in 1861 it was observed that the earlier report conveyed the impression that there was then a certain number of scholars receiving instruction in Latin, but if that were the case the demand seemed to have died out in 1861 when no instruction in anything other than elementary subjects was given or required. At the time reading was the only subject taught gratuitously. For writing a charge of 4½d. a week was made to parishioners, and the Inspector of the School Inquiry Commissioners made the comments that this charge had the effect of excluding children from the writing lessons who were of an age to benefit by them. Of the instruction generally the Inspector said it was of humble pretensions but good of its kind.
A New Scheme
The 1896 report stated that a scheme of amalgamation with the Burnsall School was suggested in 1870 but was relinquished. A further scheme for the regulation of the school under the Endowed School Acts was prepared in 1875 but owing to a doubt whether the school was a Grammar School in the meaning of the Act was not proceeded with. Ultimately, upon an application by the trustees, another scheme was established which was known as the 1875 Scheme. This scheme operated at the time of the inquiry in 1896 and directed that the foundation and its endowment should, under the name of the Threshfield School Foundation, provide for and advance the education of youth. It also laid down that representative governors were to be appointed for a term of seven years, as follows:- One by the lord of the manor in which Threshfield is situate; one by the ratepayers of the township of Linton. Two co-operative governors were to be appointed for a term of eight years by the general body of governors, subject to approval by the Charity Commissioners.
In order to satisfy the requirements of the Education Department and to qualify the school for recognition as a public elementary school certain alterations and additions to the existing buildings were necessary and to effect these £125 was subscribed by the principal landowners of Linton and Threshfield,
After the establishment of the scheme the school was conducted as a public elementary school. The governors at the date of the 1896 inquiry were : Sir Mathew Wharton, Bart., elected by lord of the manor; the Rev. F. A. C. Share, Rector of Linton, elected by the ratepayers of Threshfield; James Boothman, elected by the ratepayers of Linton; Joseph Mason and the Rev. T. W. Nomell co-optative members.
The provisions of the Elementary Education Act, 1891, had been adopted but a fee of 1d per week was paid, and in the year 1895 the amount received form fees was £5 18s. 2d.
Other provisions of the will were for £50 a year for four exhibitions in St. John's College, Cambridge. At the time of the 1825 report it was stated that there were not a regular supply of candidates for the exhibitions and there had been only two or three exhibitions from the school in the previous 30 years.
The stipend of the master £20 and the usher £10 of the schoolhouse were also provided for.
There was also provision for £3 a year to be distributed amongst the poor of Grassington, Linton and Threshfield on St. Matthew's Day by the Churchwardens of the respective townships, £1 being given to each township.
In the 1896 report it was stated that in accordance with the trusts 10s. was to be paid to the Rector of Linton for the preaching of a sermon on St. Matthew's Day.
Of the £3 distributed it was stated that in 1894 eleven poor persons of Linton received 1s. 10d, each and four of Grassington and the same of Threshfield received 5s. each. Prior to May 1860 the poor people of Hebden as well as the other three townships participated in the distribution, a practice which appeared to have been due to a misapprehension of the testator's will.
It was reported in 1896 that the practice of equal apportionment of the money between the three townships was now given up and the money was equally divided amongst all the poor persons from the township who attended the Church on St. Matthew's Day without regard to the township from which they came.
Mrs. Redmaine's Gift
Another charity set out in the 1825 report is that of Mrs. Redmaine who gave £80 to the poor of the townships of Linton and Threshfield. The money was laid out in the purchase of six cattlegates for which on the inclosure of the townships of Thorpe and Coniston in the parish of Burnsall, there were awarded an allotment of six acres in Thorpe and 16 acres in Coniston. The land was let by the churchwardens of the parish of Linton who, with the Rector of Linton, were considered trustees. The rents of the allotments were divided equally between the poor of Linton and Threshfield.
The allotment in Thorpe was acquired under an award dated 31st October, 1793, and the Commissioners alloted to the churchwardens and overseers of the poor in Linton in lieu of two cattlegates in Thrope West Pasture an allotment (No. 11 on the plan) containing 5a. 2r. 24p. The Coniston allotment acquired under an award dated 10th November, ... (last line obscured)