Wednesday, 31 October 2012


Time for tales of the supernatural and the ghostly.

Dragons, to begin with.  There was a dragon at Sexhow - and a dragon at Whorl Hill near Swainby.
View of Whorl Hill

(Or possibly, the same dragon, with two lairs).

These frightful Worms were a menace and a dread to the people.  They suffered terribly from the depredations of the beasts, hoping always to be rescued by some gallant knight in shining armour.

When at last the Worm of Sexhow was slain, the happy villagers carried its pelt to the parish church in Hutton Rudby, and hung it in triumph against the wall, where it remained for many long years ...

And now the tale of Awd Nan of Sexhow - a suitably frightful story for Hallowe'en.

Awd Nan had been the village witch.  One night, her ghost appeared to a Sexhow farmer to tell him the whereabouts of some buried treasure.  The silver he was to keep for himself, but the gold must be given to Awd Nan's niece, who lived in Stokesley.  At the end of a year, the ghost warned him, she would be back to see what he had done.  But the foolish man kept both the gold and the silver.  At last Awd Nan reappeared to him and jumped up behind him on his horse at Stokesley.  Seizing him by the throat, she gripped him tighter and tighter until he fell dead at his own door.

And then there's the White Lady of Skutterskelfe (though she might be just the mist over the beck) and some speak of the Grey Lady of Drumrauch, though little is known about her.  I sometimes wonder if they were just ways of terrifying the young from straying far from the village. 

Tuesday, 30 October 2012

Branwell Brontë’s ‘honest and kindly friend’: Dr John Crosby of Great Ouseburn

An article of particular interest to Brontë enthusiasts:

The experiences of Anne and Branwell Brontë in the household of the Reverend Edmund Robinson of Thorp Green near York had significant and dramatic consequences for them both.

Branwell never worked again after his sudden dismissal as tutor to young Edmund Robinson in June 1845; it precipitated the self-destructive decline that ended in his death in September 1848.  Anne’s novels Agnes Grey and The Tenant of Wildfell Hall derive much material from her five years as governess to the Robinsons’ daughters and from the painful three years at Haworth Parsonage during which Branwell descended into drunkenness, irreligion and despair.

The cause of Branwell’s dismissal has long been a subject of debate, while in recent years there has been increasing interest in Anne and appreciation of her work. The lack of information about their time at Thorp Green has therefore been most unfortunate; the following account of Branwell’s ‘honest and kindly friend’ [1]  Dr John Crosby and his friends and neighbours, whose social life Branwell probably shared, may therefore be appreciated.

Monday, 29 October 2012

Industrial Hutton Rudby

Rudby corn mill, Hutton linen mill & the church
More photographs from the History Society's collection:-

The Rudby corn mill is in the foreground of this picture, and beyond lie the buildings of the Hutton sailcloth mill.

Hutton sailcloth mill

The sailcloth mill seen from across the river Leven.

The mill with the church beyond

The Bathurst Charity School can be seen to the left of the church.

Bleach works 1877

The bleach works were on the Hutton side of the river - behind them, on the Rudby side, can be seen Spout Bank, which was said to provide a supply of good water that did not run dry in summer.

Sunday, 28 October 2012

Hutton Rudby in old photographs

East Side 1879

This photograph of East Side was taken the year after the trees were planted on the Green - they were protected from livestock with iron guards.

To the right of the picture can be seen Hutton House - the tower had not yet been built.  The tree guard nearest to the photographer masks the point where Barkers Row ends - the houses in the centre of the picture are set back from the Row.  The pump has not yet been installed.

East Side in the early 1900s

This photograph shows the entrance to the Wheatsheaf Inn was via the archway, which led through to stabling and a cottage.

Hutton House

Hutton House now has its tower, and there are railings at the front of Barkers Row.

The pump on the Green c1905

Geese gathering round the pump and children playing on the Green ...

A photograph of Enterpen in quieter times, looking in the direction of the Green.

On the left can be seen a blacksmith's shop and the Station Hotel.  The smithy stood at the junction with Doctors Lane.

Saturday, 27 October 2012

Friday, 26 October 2012

Allan Bowes Wilson of Hutton Rudby & the artist Ralph Hedley

There is an interesting and close link between the Wilson family, who owned the Hutton Rudby sailcloth mill,
Hutton Mill, seen from the Rudby side of the river
and the Newcastle painter and artist, Ralph Hedley (1848-1913), many of whose paintings can be seen in the Laing Gallery.     

For years Hedley was out of fashion and his paintings were destroyed or thrown away – but more recently they have come back into favour as a record of ordinary life in the North East in the late 19th century.

George Wilson, founder of the family linen business at Hutton Rudby, had four sons and one daughter.

The eldest, James Alder Wilson, became Rector of Crathorne.  The youngest, John George Wilson, after excelling as an athlete at school and at Oxford, became a solicitor in Durham.  He inherited Staindrop Hall, on the condition that the family surname was changed to Luxmoore.  Allan Bowes Wilson and Thomas Bowes Wilson, the second and third sons, took over the sailcloth manufactury on their father’s death.

Allan Bowes Wilson, c1903

Thomas married and lived at Enterpen Hall.

Allan – though gossip has it that he kept a mistress in the village – never married and lived with his unmarried sister Annie in Hutton House, on the Green.

John George Wilson (1849-c1930) was Ralph Hedley’s solicitor, friend and patron.  He was a keen buyer of Hedley’s paintings and carved furniture and recommended the artist to friends.

Ralph Hedley lived in Newcastle from the age of two, but he had been born at Gilling West near Richmond and he returned to the North Riding as often as he could – Runswick Bay was a favourite destination.  He specialised in scenes of ordinary working life, using his sketchbook and making notes in preparing his paintings, and also even taking photographs.

Allan Bowes Wilson (c1839-1932) also collected Hedley’s work.

He commissioned Hedley to paint the Bilsdale Hunt, arranging with him by letter to meet several of the huntsmen at Spout House, Bilsdale. I don’t know how the picture came to be used as an advertisement for Bovril, but I believe the artist wasn’t very happy.

'Counting the Bag'

The nearby Sun Inn was also the setting for Hedley’s 'Counting the Bag' which was painted in 1902 and bought by Allan Bowes Wilson.

Another of Hedley’s works, ‘The Brickmakers’, was painted somewhere near Hutton Rudby:
Sketch for 'The Brickmakers'
John Millard’s book ‘Ralph Hedley: Tyneside Painter’ is only available second hand at the moment, so I hope he'll forgive me including the sketch for ‘The Brickmakers’ which features as an illustration in his book.

It has been suggested that the scene depicted is somewhere near Faceby Manor, but perhaps one of you will have a better idea?

Many thanks to Clodagh Brown, great-granddaughter of Ralph Hedley, who contacted me to tell me of this fascinating link and for all her information.

For more on the Wilson family, see this blogpost on James Wilson, the founder of their fortunes.

Thursday, 25 October 2012

The Roman Catholic population of Hutton Rudby, c1780 to 1830

After the Reformation, the mediaeval frescoes in Hutton Rudby parish church were whitewashed over and a wealthy parishioner left money in his Will for a pulpit to be installed, in accordance with the new Protestant emphasis on preaching.

Even so, in the late 16th century, Rudby was still known as one of the local centres of Catholicism and we know of two prominent Catholics in the parish: Sir John Ingilby and the Venerable Mary Ward.

Sir John Ingilby of Lawkland owned the manor of Rudby.  He was prosecuted for recusancy in 1604.  A labourer from Crathorne destroyed a seat in a close in Rudby which belonged to Sir John “on which the said John, an old man and lame, was wont to rest himself”. 

Mary Ward (1585-1645) lived in quietly in Rudby parish near the end of her life, after her many hard years of journeying in Europe and her struggle to found the Institute of the Blessed Virgin Mary.  In 1642, during the Civil Wars, she came back to her native Yorkshire and took refuge at Hutton Rudby with her Ingilby relatives.  During her time there, Mary prayed at the shrine of Our Lady at Mount Grace.

I think we can assume that she stayed in the old manor house of Rudby, which stood beside the river Leven.  (There is nothing of it to be seen today - only a field, across the road from the church).  In this obscure corner of the Ingilby estates it seems very unlikely that the family maintained another house that could be suitable for sheltering an elderly and infirm woman and her companions.

Hutton Rudby was, in those days, a very remote place and in early 1643 Mary decided that she must move to Heworth near York, in order to be in communication with friends and supporters.  She died there on 30 January 1645.  She was the foundress of the Bar Convent, York.

Apart from Sir John and Mary Ward, we know very little of Catholics living in the village - until the baptismal registers for St Mary's in Crathorne provide us with names for the period c1780 to 1830.

Wednesday, 24 October 2012

The Baptismal Register of St Mary's Roman Catholic Church, Crathorne 1777 to 1839

I obtained a copy of St Mary's baptismal register while researching my book on Hutton Rudby in the time of the cholera.  My transcription follows below - please check against the original before relying on it.

The baptismal register book for St Mary’s, Crathorne is held at the National Archive (Public Record Office) at Kew and covers the period 1777 to 1839. 

During this time Parliament restored civil rights to Catholics in a series of Relief Acts beginning in 1778 and culminating in 1829 with the Catholic Emancipation Act. 

The register begins with an introduction by Thomas Ferby:  
“A Baptismal Book belonging Crathorne [sic] in which an account is kept of the children that have been baptized by me Thos Ferby Eng.h Miss. since Novr 1st 1777”

Tuesday, 23 October 2012

Crathorne in 1840

Crathorne, as described in White's Directory 1840:

Crathorne, a village and parish on the Thirsk road, and on the western side of the vale of the river Leven, 4 miles S by E of Yarm, contains 304 souls, and 2,460 acres of land, mostly the property of Mrs Mary Tasburgh, of Burghwallis, the lady of the manor and patroness of the Church, (All Saints) which is a small ancient edifice, and has in its chancel the recumbent effigy of a crusader, supposed to represent Sir Wm Crathorne, Kt, who lived in 1322, and whose family was long seated here.  The rectory, valued in K.B. at £10 11s 10 ½d and now at £205, is enjoyed by the Rev Ralph Grenside, B A.
Here is a Catholic Chapel, which was rebuilt about sixteen years ago, and was founded by the Crathorne family.  The interest of £74  4s 8 ½d, left by Thomas Baxter, in 1769, is paid to a schoolmaster for the education of poor children.

Monday, 22 October 2012

Crathorne in 1823

Crathorne, as described in Baines' Directory 1823:

Crathorne in the wap and liberty of Langbargh; 4 miles SSE of Yarm.
The church, which is dedicated to All Saints, is an ancient plain structure;  in the chancel is an effigy of a knight cumbent in armour cross-legged, with the arms of Crathorne on his shield.  This, it is conjectured, is the monument of Sir William Crathorne, Knight, who lived A.D 1322, near which is a mural monument, to the memory of Ralph Crathorne, Lord of Crathorne.  The living is a rectory, in the patronage of Lord Viscount Cullen.
Here is likewise a Catholic chapel, and a place of worship for the Primitive Methodists.
A mineral spring has been discovered about half a mile from this place.  The village consists of about sixty-six houses pleasantly situated on the banks of the river Leven.  Pop 330.

Sunday, 21 October 2012

Hutton Rudby parish council, April 1947

This account of the Annual Meeting of Hutton Rudby Parish Council was published in the Darlington & Stockton Times on 5 April 1947. 

A fascinating glimpse of the past.

They debated the cobbled footpaths, the proposal for public toilets, the village school, the burial ground and the acute post-War housing shortage:

Friday, 19 October 2012

Edwardian Hutton Rudby

Some photographs from the Hutton Rudby History Society collection.  Most are from the early 20th century, showing North End and North Side in Edwardian times:

Hutton village pond

The pond was opposite the end of Doctors Lane.  The photograph shows the view looking east towards the Green and the back of the houses on North End.

Elwick House is on the left and the back of Elwick Terrace can be seen - it was built in 1905.

North End

This row of cottages on the right hand side of North End is much changed today but still recognisable.
The view beyond is quite different now!

The top of North End with the junction with North Side and the Post Office.

North End - North Side

Now a little further along, turning around to look back along North Side, westward towards the Post Office:

North Side
The mounting block and the King's Head can be seen in the distance.

The Green, and the view from the Green, were changed substantially by the planting of the avenues of trees in 1878.  Here is an early view of North Side before the trees had grown:

North Side c1885

Stringer's Row and The Elms are visible at the right of the picture.

The eastern end of North Side after the trees had begun to mature - Stringer's Row is to the right.

North Side

A thank you

Many thanks to all of you who turned out in such filthy weather last night and gave me such a warm welcome for my talk about the 1832 Cholera in Hutton Rudby - it was lovely to see so many familiar faces!

Thursday, 18 October 2012

The People behind the Plaques: memorials in All Saints', Hutton Rudby

All Saints', Rudby-in-Cleveland

On the walls of the church of All Saints there are plaques and tablets which require no explanation – the 1914-18 War Memorial, for example – but others commemorate people once well-known locally, often as generous benefactors to the church and village, who are now almost forgotten. 

The following was written as a booklet to cast some light on the shadowy people behind the plaques.

Most of them knew a church very different from the one we see today, which is the result of the major restoration that took place in 1923.  Photographs of the building work, which took eight months to complete, are displayed on the north wall of the nave.  The recreation of the Lady Chapel and the exposed stonework of the nave and south aisle both date from this restoration, and most of the stained glass windows were put in after this date. 

In the years between 1860 and 1923 the inside of the church was plastered throughout and many of the pews, in the chancel as well as the nave, were of the “box” or square “family” type.  John Walker Ord in his History of Cleveland of 1846 described them as
“chiefly of oaken wood, in the old style, with pins fastened above for the convenience of hats.”  
The pews in the south aisle faced across the nave and there was a gallery across the west end of the church, erected in the 18th century and used by the small orchestra of church musicians; their instruments included a bassoon, oboe and strings.  A harmonium was acquired at the end of the 1860s and replaced by an organ in 1895, which was housed in what is now the choir vestry.

Major alterations were made in 1860.  For nearly a century there had been a flat plaster ceiling above the nave, and for most of that time the ancient church windows were replaced by sash windows, like those used for houses.  The ceiling was removed in 1860 and in the course of the alterations they found, under the layers of limewash covering the walls and pillars, the last remains of the mediaeval wall paintings, and rediscovered the fine marquetry of the Elizabethan pulpit under several layers of paint. 

In the 16th century the church interior was radically altered by the religious turmoil of the years following Henry VIII’s split with Rome: “papist trappings” were replaced by bare walls, pulpit and pews.  The mediaeval church’s candle-lit rood loft across the chancel arch, the painted angels between the arches, the battle-scene depicted around the South door, the images of the Virgin and the Saints, the altar of St Christopher and the chapel of St Cuthbert (referred to in Wills of 1483 and 1505), the chantry chapel: all were removed.

Wednesday, 17 October 2012

Hutton Rudby - parish life in the 1890s

An early photograph of All Saints'

A collection of old bound volumes of parish magazines gives us a very full picture of Church and village life in Hutton Rudby in the 1890s.

I will begin with Church affairs - just skip those sections to go straight to other village activities.

These include: the Blanket Club; village cricket; hedge-cutting; and children's prizes & sports.  There are lists of those taking part, which might be useful to family historians. 

According to the account of the Sports Day in 1896,
"The race with the needle and thread created great excitement, as did also the old ladies' race for tea"
But unfortunately, there's no more information on how they were run - or the qualifying age for the old ladies.

Tuesday, 16 October 2012

Sunday School Outings & Choir Holidays in the 1890s

Anglican children in the village in the 1890s

Hutton Rudby churchgoers in the 1890s could subscribe to a magazine called The Church Monthly.  It was 'An Illustrated Magazine for Home Reading', with serialised stories, articles, poems, practical advice, quizzes and recipes, and  was published in London.

Inserted into each month's copy was All Saints' own parish magazine, sometimes only two or three pages long, priced initially at One Penny (1d), rising in 1894 to 'Three Halfpence' (1½d).  Several bound volumes of the magazine have survived.

Children's activities are covered in the magazines - confirmations, and outings by rail from Potto Station.  The names listed may be of interest to family historians. 

Monday, 15 October 2012

George Young Blair & Drumrauch Hall

Drumrauch Hall stands on Belborough Lane, the road that leads from Hutton Rudby to the A19.

It is a small hamlet these days - the Hall is divided into flats and the stables have been converted to houses.

Before the Second World War it was a large country house, with a specially built music room, huge greenhouses and a walled garden.  The cottages beside the road were built for the staff.

It was built by the Scottish-born engineer George Young Blair as a country residence for his family.

Miss Winifred Blair's scrap book

This scrap book in the possession of the Hutton Rudby History Society contains a miscellany of items, from postage stamps and theatrical programmes to newspaper cuttings. 

The following list gives the main details of the contents of the book.

Items of interest: a good deal about amateur dramatics in the village; a programme in Olde Englishe for the celebrations of Queen Victoria's Diamond Jubilee; advertisements for Sidgwick's and Scupham's dairies; and the planning and opening of the Village Hall. 

Friday, 12 October 2012

Miss Winifred Blair's green album

Miss Blair's green album, held by the Hutton Rudby History Society, contains newspaper cuttings largely from the period January 1918 to May 1931.

Most concern family and village events, but there are also items relating to local families and others of general interest.  A number of cuttings reflect Winifred Blair's love of the stage, both amateur and professional.

The following notes give an indication of the contents.  Not to be missed: accounts of the opening of the Village Hall, and the description on 12 Nov 1927 of Armistice Day commemorated by veterans in darkness, with snow falling.

(The photograph of Mr Mease is from the Hutton Rudby History Society's collection.  The letter from the Comrades of the Great War, added 23 June 2020, can be seen on the Society's Facebook page)

Thursday, 11 October 2012

At Whitby Museum until 4 November

Another exhibition that finishes on 4 November - this one is at the Whitby Museum in Pannett Park

True Tales of Whitby Folk
"an exhibition about moments from Whitby history from the time when King Henry VIII shut down Whitby Abbey, to the Victorian age. 
The story includes the man from Mulgrave Castle who was hung, drawn and quartered by King Henry, the sea captain from Bagdale Hall who was beheaded on Tower Hill by Cromwell in the Civil War, and a narrow-minded Puritan whose descendants are allegedly still being paid damages by the family of those who made fun of him. Then there's a local man who fell foul of Bonnie Prince Charlie, and the team of quarrymen from Whitby who were taken to Tangier in Morocco to build sea defences, and sections about the eighteenth and nineteenth century Whitby ship-builders, a Whitby bank crash, whaling, a theatre fire, the origins of the Steam Railway and the jet industry."

Wednesday, 10 October 2012

Miss Winifred Blair's red album

The red album entitled "Newspaper Gleanings" covers the period 1894 to 1936.

Most of the cuttings relate to the early and mid-1930s and they give a vivid picture of life in Hutton Rudby in the years before the Second World War, when "Herr Hitler" was still a figure of fun and not an imminent menace. 

The notes that follow will convey some idea of the contents of the album.  The story of the thunderbolt that struck Doctors Lane in 1928 is particulary worth reading!

I have added photographs from the Hutton Rudby History Society collection, by way of illustration.

Miss Winifred Rachel Blair of Hutton Rudby

In 2004 the Hutton Rudby History Society acquired three scrap books that had belonged to Miss Winifred Rachel Blair. 

The books convey a vivid picture of life in Hutton Rudby in the early 20th century and contain many local names, so are likely to be of interest to family historians.

A brief account of Winifred and her family:

Tuesday, 9 October 2012

Jane Pinkney at Nunnington Hall

Jane Pinkney's Mice is an exhibition currently showing at Nunnington Hall, near Helmsley.  It finishes on 4 November, so there is still time to go and remind yourself of Jane's delightful paintings.

Last year she had great success with selling exhibitions at Nunnington and in London, and the National Trust republished her book The Mice of Nibbling Village.  This year they have republished Mouse Mischief  - ideal for Christmas presents!

Jane used to live in Hutton Rudby and many of the works shown were painted during her years in the village.

There's an interview with Jane in The York Press (with the story of how Princess Diana bought one of her books) and you can see her work - though they have to be seen in the original to be truly appreciated - at the website for the London gallery, Chris Beetles

New additions to York Museum's 1212 Exhibition

The 1212 Exhibition in the Mediaeval Gallery of the York Museum marks the 800th anniversary of King John granting the city a Royal Charter, giving it independence from the Crown.

New treasures have been added to the exhibition this month.

They include three stunning new acquisitions, which you may have read about in the newspapers: the Iron Age gold torc found near Tadcaster; the 15th century gold ring with an inscription to St Barbara, patron saint of artillerymen; and the silver gilt livery badge in the shape of a boar (as worn by supporters of Richard III) found near Stillingfleet.

Visit the website for details at

Monday, 8 October 2012

Hutton Rudby & parish in 1859

The entry in Whellan's Directory of 1859 is lengthy, and the following is an extract.

There are various interesting points in it - the details of the mills in the parish are useful and I don't think there is any other record of the 'Hutton Rudby Brood Mare & Foal Show'.

RUDBY.- This parish, usually called Rudby-in-Cleveland, comprises the townships of Rudby, Hutton Rudby, Middleton, East Rouncton, Scutterskelf, and Sexhow.  The area of the whole is 7,386 acres; population, 1,119 souls.  The township of Rudby contains 880 acres, according to the Parliamentary Return, but 993 acres, according to local estimation.  Rateable value, £1,023.; population, 66.  The land is mostly the property of Lord Falkland, the Lord of the Manor.  The soil is chiefly a strong clay.

The Village of Rudby.- is small, and stands on the north side of the Leven, 3 ½ miles W by S of Stokesley – Hutton Rudby being on the opposite side.

The Church (All Saints) stands on the margin of the Leven, and is an old structure in good repair, which belonged to the Priory of Guisborough before the Dissolution.  It has a body in two aisles, a chancel, and a tower which contains three bells.  In the east window is a shield on painted glass, representing quarterly the arms of Conyers, Darcy and Meinell.  Within a niche is the effigy of an ecclesiastic, bearing a chalice – the top, apparently, of a monumental slab.  There are also a monument to the Layton family, dated 1594; and tablets to the Carey family.  In the north wall, raised above a sepulchral niche, now empty, is what may be termed a genealogical epitaph, traced in large distinct capitals on stone, still in good preservation.

The Living is a Vicarage, with the Chapel of Middleton annexed, worth about £200 a year, having been augmented with a Parliamentary grant of £1,200 in 1814.  It is in the gift of Lord Falkland, and incumbency of the Rev Robert Joseph Barlow.  The Vicarage House, situated on an eminence about half a mile from the village, was built in 1844 by the present Vicar.  The great tithes were commuted for £262, and are in seven shares, belonging to four persons.

Hutton Rudby Township.- Area, 2,341 acres; rateable value, £3,330; population, 777 souls.  Principal proprietors of the soil, Lords Falkland and De L’Isle and Dudley, Kirkleatham Hospital, J. Emerson, Esq., and Messrs. Garbutt, Gray, and Rickerson. 
Mr Mark Barker is Lord of the Manor, and resides in the Manor House, a small farmhouse, situated about a mile west of Hutton.

Saturday, 6 October 2012

Errors in the Hutton Rudby parish registers 1831-78

All Saints' church ca1920

If you are researching your family history in 19th century Hutton Rudby - or indeed, in Middleton-upon-Leven or East Rounton - there is one unfortunate snag.

Robert Joseph Barlow, the vicar of the parish of Rudby-in-Cleveland between 1831 and 1878, was a great character, much appreciated in the village and still remembered for his hard work and personal charity during the cholera epidemic of 1832.

But paperwork was not his strong point and researchers have found errors and omissions in the registers during his time in the parish.

He appears to have written up the registers from memory or from scraps of notes that he took at the time, and it seems likely that he occasionally lost the register books (temporarily).  He did not send them up for Bishops’ Transcripts.

Gaps are particularly noticeable in the 1840s.  For several years in that decade, he made few entries in the burials and baptisms registers (and some years have no entries at all), and judging by the small number of entries in the marriages register, that may also be incomplete. 

Errors of dates and Christian names have been discovered throughout his time in office.  Some of these may be due to pressure of circumstances in his personal life, but others are not easily explained.

Family historians will need to bear this problem in mind – it may explain some puzzling entries, or the absence of entries they expected to find.

There are believed to be no problems with civil registrations. 

If you cannot find a register entry, it is worth trying the Memorial Inscriptions of All Saints’, Rudby-in-Cleveland.  There are also a few announcements to be found in The Stokesley News & Cleveland Reporter (1 Nov 1842 to 1 Sep 1844 on British Library microfilm at the Middlesbrough Reference Library) and The Cleveland Repertory & Stokesley Advertiser (1 Apr 1843 to 1 Oct 1845, with fragments of one more edition, on British Library microfilm at Middlesbrough Reference Library).

Some examples

An example of an error in remembering/transcribing dates

In one of Mr Barlow’s few surviving notebooks appears the following jotting:
Charlotte Sidgwick           
Sept 26  - Aged
Mary Imeson  -   aged 30  -  Octr 25       
Nancy Suggett aged 81 [?]  Oct 23   
In the burial register books he made three successive entries:
Charlotte Sidgwick buried on 26 Sep 1852 aged 34
Mary Imeson buried on 28 September – and her death certificate actually gives her date of death as 4 October. 
Nanny Sugget buried on 26 September
An example of a burial and baptism not recorded

Bartholomew Goldsborough death in 1844 is not recorded - but his headstone is listed in the Memorial Inscriptions and his death was announced in The Cleveland Repertory & Stokesley Advertiser.  Soon after he died, his wife gave birth to a son - an event noted by The Stokesley News & Cleveland Reporter.

Three examples of errors in Christian names
(these examples were found by Beryl Turner)

13 Dec 1855 baptism of John Herring Redhead, son of John & Hannah, Sexhow, farmer.   
The father’s name should be William
23 Dec 1871: Dorothy Garbutt, daughter of Thomas & Dorothy Caroline, Hutton, farmer.   
The child was called Annie
17 Jun 1873:  Thomas Watson Garbutt son of Thomas & Sarah, Hutton, farmer.   
The mother’s name was Dorothy Caroline.

Friday, 5 October 2012

Tees Archaeology Dayschool on 'The History & Buildings of Stockton-on-Tees'

Tees Archaeology is holding a Dayschool - keynote speaker is broadcaster & author John Grundy - on the History & Buildings of Stockton on Saturday 3 November at ARC, Dovecote Street, Stockton.

Bookings are being taken at or visit Tees Archaeology's new website

In fact, visit Tees Archaeology's website anyway, for news of its activities.

Their Projects pages include the Roman villa at Ingleby Barwick, the Anglo-Saxon pagan cemetery at Norton-on-Tees and the North East Yorkshire Mesolithic Project. And anybody who occasionally turns up up a flint in their garden or who likes to watch Time Team is definitely going to welcome their Flints Fact Sheet!

Wednesday, 3 October 2012

Hutton Rudby 1977 - the first Village Event

Stately Homes of Hutton Rudby

The title was just a joke really.  This booklet began as a talk to the Hutton Rudby History Society in November 2000, and we couldn't find a suitable title for it until Judy Kitching (currently Secretary of the Society) came up with 'Stately Homes'.  

It incorporates the research that wasn't suitable for inclusion in 'A History Walk round Hutton Rudby' and later research done at the request of various people in the village.  I revised the text in 2006.

29 February 2020:  I have not revised the section on John Mease and Leven House, but my latest research on John and his brother Thomas can be found in the series of posts beginning here.  You can find there the story of their ambitious plans and how they fared, and where John Mease was at the time of the 1851 and 1861 censuses.

Map by Michael Brabin


Sexhow Hall: the 'stately home' that disappeared?
The Manorial Hall
The Manor House of Hutton
Rudby Hall (mediaeval)
Skutterskelfe Hall (now called Rudby Hall)
Linden Grange
The Elms, North Side
Leven House
Drumrauch Hall
Hutton House & Enterpen Hall
Changing Names
Some Interesting Deeds

Tuesday, 2 October 2012

A History Walk round Hutton Rudby

This booklet, which I originally published in 1997, was written above all for families and primary school children.  It is a brief history of Hutton Rudby told through its buildings and the reminiscences of older villagers.  It can also be used as a guide for anyone walking around the village - the original map drawn by Michael Brabin for the centre pages of the booklet appears at the end of this post.

I was very lucky to have been able to spend time talking with people who knew the village before the Second World War and I am glad I was able to record their memories for future generations.  So much of the world they knew has now disappeared, even to the extent that people now living in the village are under the impression that it is prohibited to walk on the village Green!  How surprised the former villagers, who for centuries played, grazed their livestock and wore well-established paths across the Green, would be to hear of that ...

I revised the text in 2005 shortly before moving to Darlington.  Hutton Rudby History Society now produces the booklet, which is still on sale in the village.

The illustrations were made by Penny Pinkney in 1997.

A History Walk round Hutton Rudby

An Introduction to the Walk
Hutton Rudby was once known as Hutton-juxta-Rudby, or Hutton-nigh-Rudby, because it is really two villages:  Hutton and Rudby, separated from each other by the River Leven.

How old is the village?

There have been people living here for thousands of years.  Stone Age tools have been found in North End.  The people of the Bronze Age buried their dead on Folly Hill in a 'round barrow', excavated in 1889 by Canon Atkinson, the famous vicar of Danby.  Bronze Age arrowheads have been found and the quernstones with which people ground their corn.  There were Iron Age villages near Sexhow and Hundale.

From the 1st century AD the Romans invaded and colonised Britain, and they lived here too.  There are the remains of a hypocaust (the heating system for a house) by the river between Hutton Rudby and Stokesley.

Next to come were the Anglo-Saxons, warriors who came across the North Sea to Britain from the 5th century.  In areas under their control most villages took Anglo-Saxon names – this village became "Hutton".  After a time Christianity, which had come to Britain in Roman times, grew strong again and a church was built in Hutton, but we do not know where.

From the end of the 8th century the Vikings began raiding the coast and at last took control of the north-east of England.  Hutton now lay in the Viking Kingdom of York, and the villages of Rudby, Skutterskelfe and Sexhow have Viking names.

When William the Conqueror invaded England in 1066 he divided the land amongst the men who followed him from Normandy.  But in the North fighting against William continued and in 1069 William ordered his soldiers to lay waste the land, murdering the people, burning their homes and crops and killing their animals.  There was nothing left to feed the people who survived, and they sold themselves into slavery or fled south to find food.  The following year it was written that there was still "no village inhabited between York and Durham; they became lurking places to wild beasts and robbers and were a great dread to travellers."  As a result of this, the Domesday Book in 1086 shows Hutton and Rudby to be "waste" – hardly inhabited or farmed.

The new Norman lords, the Meynills, built a church by the river, and each of the mediaeval townships, Hutton, Rudby, Skutterskelfe and Sexhow, had its own manor house.  Hutton began to take the shape we know today with houses gathered around a village green, which was probably where animals were kept safe at night.

What do the place names mean?

Hutton (the –ton ending shows this is an Anglo-Saxon name) means "village on a hill".
Rudby (the –by ending shows this is a Viking name) means either "Rudi's village" (a man's name) or "Rudda's village" (a woman's name).
Sexhow means either "Sekk's hill" or "the six hills".
Skutterskelfe means "village on the bank of a stream".
Leven is a Celtic word, from the people who lived here before the Romans.  It probably means "smooth".

How did the people make their living?

For hundreds of years the villagers worked in farming or at the trades which were essential for village life – as blacksmiths, millers, carpenters etc.  By the 18th century Cleveland was becoming famous for its wheat, butter, cheese, cattle and horses.  The villagers of Hutton Rudby had always made cloth for their own use, but from about 1700 many worked in their own homes spinning and weaving flax into linen to sell.  Some flax was grown locally, but most came from the Baltic into the ports of Yarm and Stockton. 

Spinning was done by the warmth of the fire with the help of light from a little window near the fireplace, while weavers worked generally in a shed near their house.  The cloth they made was taken by mules to markets all over the North East.  

This linen industry became more and more important, until by 1831 the village had more weavers for its size than any other village in the North Riding of Yorkshire.  

The coming and going of the weavers themselves, the bales of flax and the webs of finished cloth, made the village an active and outward-looking place.  In the heyday of smuggling between 1750 and 1830, when vast amounts of tea, coffee, gin, tobacco, wines and soap were being brought ashore by the smuggling gangs on the Cleveland coast, people in Hutton Rudby were engaged in the secret trade of getting the smuggled goods into the towns and villages of the countryside.  In those days, people of neighbouring townships claimed that the village was so notorious for its smugglers and thieves that no one would give Hutton Rudby women work as servants, and they were fond of quoting the rhyme:

Hutton Rudby and Enterpen
Far more rogues than honest men

In 1834 a power-driven spinning mill was established alongside the Hutton corn mill, beside the bridge over the Leven.  From then on this was the centre of the village weaving, and for over 70 years sailcloth was made here, first by water- and then by steam-power.

What was life in the village like in the past?

A hundred and fifty years ago, when the mill was working, the village was obviously much smaller than it is now, but there would have been many more people around in the day because they did not need to leave the village to go to work or to shop.  Weavers, cobblers, cartwrights, tailors, shopkeepers etc all worked in the village, which was a busy and lively place, noisy with the clatter of the weavers' looms.  Bricks were made on Campion Lane, there was a sawmill in Enterpen, and there were even miners who lived in the village and walked to work in Swainby over the fields.

Cholera in Hutton Rudby 1832 - 180 years on

At 9 o'clock in the evening on Tuesday 2 October 1832, a handloom weaver called John Cook came back from Newcastle to his home in the Bay Horse Yard, Hutton Rudby.

He died that night of Asiatic Cholera.  Within the next couple of weeks there were 44 more cases, and 22 more people died.

  I'll be in Hutton Rudby on Thursday 18 October to give a talk about the epidemic to the Local History Society - in the Chapel, at 8pm.

Monday, 1 October 2012

Hutton Rudby and parish in 1840

From White's Directory 1840:-

RUDBY-IN-CLEVELAND is a small village on the north bank of the river Leven, 3 ½ miles W. by S. of Stokesley, and has in its township 81 souls, and 880 acres of land, mostly the property of Lord Falkland, the lord of the manor, impropriator, and patron of the Church (All Saints,) which is a perpetual curacy valued at £185, and augmented with a parliamentary grant of £1200 in 1814.  The Rev. Robt. Jph. Barlow, M.A., is the incumbent.
The parish comprises also Hutton, Middleton, East Rouncton, Scutterskelf, and Sexhow townships. 

HUTTON RUDBY is an extensive village, on the southern acclivities of the picturesque dale of the river Leven, 4 miles W.S.W. of Stokesley.  Its township increased its population from 707, in 1801, to 1027 souls, in 1831; and contains 1890 acres of land, including many scattered farm houses, bearing different names.  Part of the village is called Enterpen, and many of the inhabitants are employed in the manufacture of linen cloth, ticks, drills, checks, diapers, &c., there being here a large flax-mill, and about 250 weavers.  The executors of the late Mark Barker, Esq., are lords of the manor, but a great part of the soil belongs to other proprietors, and the co-heiresses of the late Geo. Weatherill, Esq., are impropriators of the great tithes.  The Wesleyan and Primitive Methodists have each a chapel here, and the former have a Centenary School.  Here is also a National School, built in 1836, and a Free School erected in 1740, and endowed with £5 a year, left by Chas. Bathurst, Esq.  The poor have a yearly rent charge of 20s, left by David Simpson in 1783, and the dividends of £100 three per cent. consols, purchased with £70 left by James Young, in 1807.

MIDDLETON-UPON-LEVEN is a small township and chapelry of scattered houses, in the picturesque dale of the river Leven, 4 ½ miles S.E of Yarm.  It contains 89 souls, and 850 acres of land, mostly the property of Colonel Wyndham and Lord Falkland, the former of whom is lord of the manor, and the latter impropriator of the tithes.  The Chapel of Ease is a perpetual curacy united with Rudby, and augmented with £1000 of Q.A.B., from 1740 to 1824.  Directory:- Jas Coulson, corn miller; Walton Fawell, vict., Chequers; and Hy Colbeck, Bartw. Gouldsbrough, Thos Legg, Thomas Righton, Wm Sleigh, Wm Smith, and John Tweddale, farmers.

ROUNCTON (EAST,) 7 miles S. of Yarm, is a small village on a lofty eminence, and has in its township 127 souls, and 1600 acres of land, belonging to various families.  The Grange is the seat and property of John Wailes, Esq.  The Chapel of Ease is a perpetual curacy annexed to Rudby, and augmented with £1000 of Q.A.B., from 1747 to 1817.  Directory:- Wm Carnagie, gardener; Mrs Ann Granston.; Wm Hildreth, tailor; Wm Lilburn, vict. and smith, Black Swan, Trenholme Bar; John Wailes, Esq.; Thos Wailes, shoemkr; John Atkinson, Ann Kilvington and Son, and Rd Scarth, farmers and owners; and Jph Fidler, John Hall, Rt Kendall, and David Smith, farmers.

SCUTTERSKELF, or SKUTTERSKELF, 3 miles W.S.W. of Stokesley, is a small township containing only 38 souls, and 880 acres of land, all the property of the Rt. Hon. Lucius Carey, Viscount Falkland, and Baron Carey, a Scotch peer, whose seat is Scutterskelf Hall, a handsome Grecian mansion, erected in 1831, in the sylvan dale of the river Leven, near Leven Grove, which was the seat of the late Lady Amherst, but was taken down a few years ago.  The farmers are John Dodsworth, John Redhead, and John Wrighton; Pp. Hibberd, gamekeeper; and Roderic McRea, gardener.

SEXHOW township, on the south side of the vale of Leven, 4 miles S.W. by W. of Stokesley, has only 35 souls, and 540 acres of land, all the property of Sir Wm. Foulis, but formerly belonging to the Laytons, whose ancient hall is now occupied by two farmers, Geo. Redhead and Thos. Chapman.  The other farmers are John Duck, Rt. Newsam, and Stephen York.

Middleton-upon-Leven and East Rounton in 1823

The hamlets of Middleton-upon-Leven and East Rounton, both then in the parish of Rudby-in-Cleveland, as described in Baines' Directory 1823:-

MIDDLETON-UPON-LEVEN, in the parish of Rudby, wap. and liberty of Langbargh; 4 ½ miles SE. of Yarm.  The Chapel of Ease, dedicated to St Cuthbert, is a small modern structure; patron, the Hon. Lady Amherst, and the Rev. Richard Shepherd, vicar of Rudby, officiates as curate.  Pop 111.

Farmers                        Rountree Robert
Colbeck  Henry            Rountree Wm
Foster  Thomas            Sligh  Wm
Righton  Wm                Tweddle  Thomas

Fawell Watson, vict. Chequers
Sayer Wm. bleacher & cornmiller

ROUNCTON EAST, in the parish of Rudby, wap. and liberty of Langbargh; 7 miles NNE. of Northallerton.  Pop 135.

Wailes  John, Esq. Grange

Ingledew  Matthew, yeoman
Kilvington  John, yeoman
Smith  William, yeoman

A Time Line for Hutton Rudby

about 3000
Village at North End

about 2000
Burials on Folly Hill

about 1000
Villages at Sexhow and Hundale

North of England under Roman control

Roman system collapsing - 'barbarian' attacks

Anglo-Saxon kingdoms begin

Vikings take York

The North is laid waste by William the Conqueror

Hutton and Rudby, previously owned by Gospatric, held by Robert of Mortain.  Hutton had been a place of some importance before the Conquest, one of ten in Cleveland to have a church.  The site of this Saxon church is not now known.

Rudby Parish Church built by the Meynell family, lords of the manors of Hutton and Rudby, on the Rudby bank of the river Leven, between the two villages

Hugh de Cressington was Rector of the parish: “a pompous, harsh, rapacious, violent and ignorant ecclesiastic”. 

Church was rebuilt in grey sandstone

Population of Rudby parish 420

about 1400
The tower is added to the church

about 1450   
Approximate date of creation of a Breviary of the York Use in which is written 
Whoso owne me that dothe loke 
I ame the chowrche of rudbyys bowke 
Who so dothe say the contrary 
I reporte me to awll the parysshyngby 
(now in Bishop Cosin's Library, Durham University)

Thomas Milner of Skutterskelfe leaves 20 shillings in his Will for a "comely new pulpit" for Rudby church (‘a delightful and precious piece’ – Pevsner)

Hutton Rudby in 1823

The parish of Rudby-in-Cleveland as described in Baines' Directory 1823:

HUTTON, in the parish of Rudby, wap. and liberty of Langbargh; 4 miles SW of Stokesley.  An extensive, pleasant and populous village adjacent to the small village of Rudby, wherein is situated the parish church, there being at Hutton only a Methodist chapel, and one for the Primitive Methodists lately erected.  Here is likewise a Union Sunday School, capable of containing one hundred and ten children.  Linen is manufactured at this place to a considerable extent.  Population, 919.

RUDBY, in the wap. and liberty of Langbargh; 3 ½ miles WSW of Stokesley; a small village, pleasantly situated near the banks of the Leven.  The church is an ancient plain structure, dedicated to All Saints; the living is a vicarage, in the patronage of the Hon. Lady Amherst; incumbent, Rev. Richard Shepherd.  Here is a small school, with an endowment of £5 per annum, for teaching six poor children of the village.  Population, 76.

SEXHOW, a small hamlet, in the parish of Rudby, wap. and liberty of Langbargh; 4 miles SW of Stokesley.  Population, 38.

SKUTTERSKELFE, or LEVEN GROVE, in the parish of Rudby, wap. and liberty of Langbargh; 3 miles WSW of Stokesley.  Near to this village is Folly Hill, a conspicuous seamark, which may be seen at the distance of twenty leagues upon the German Ocean.  Population, 32.

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