Tuesday, 27 November 2012

Mrs Lydia Metcalfe of Yarm, in 1784

Yarm Town Hall, built 1710
A Deed donated to the Hutton Rudby History Society may be of interest to people looking for ancestors in Yarm and to members of the Metcalfe family.

The Deed, dated 10 July 1784, records the repayment of mortgages by Mrs Lydia Metcalfe of Yarm.

The main points are as follows:

In 1745 Lydia Smith owned property in Yarm.  On 7 December 1745, shortly before her marriage to Henry Loughhead, she settled her property on trustees to hold it on her behalf, free from the control of her husband.  (It was not until the Married Women's Property Act 1882 that married women could hold property in their own right.)

Her trustees were Jonathan Hedley and Benjamin Flounders.

In late 1761 the now widowed Lydia was preparing to marry Robert Metcalfe, master mariner, and a second, similar, marriage settlement was made on 28 November 1761.  (Familysearch.org shows that the marriage took place the next day)

On 27 May 1771 Lydia Metcalfe (with Robert's consent and agreement) borrowed £200 from Thomas Waldy, gentleman of Yarm, using two of her properties as security.  On 8 November 1771, having apparently failed to make the necessary payments and in need of a further advance of £100, she mortgaged a third property to Mr Waldy.

(The Waldy family owned land in the Yarm area from at least the mid 18th century and through much of the 19th century; John Wesley mentions a Mr Waldy in his letters.)

By July 1784 Lydia was once more a widow.  She was now in a position to redeem the mortgages, for which all interest had been paid to date. 

The mortgaged properties were:

1.  A house with land behind it on the west side of Yarm: described in 1771 from the 1745 Deed as 
"with the Backbuildings Garth Garden or Orchard on the Backside thereof … standing … on the West Row or Side of … Yarm … between the Houses then of William Richardson and Matthias Hodgshon and then in the occupation of the said Lydia Metcalfe then Lydia Smith and Robert Metcalfe". 
(That is, William Richardson and Matthias Hodgshon had the houses to either side, and the house was occupied by Lydia herself.)

2.  Land on the east side of Westgate: described in 1771 from the 1745 Deed as a
"piece … of Ground then formerly two orchards and then converted into a Garden with a little Summer House … on the East side of the Street called Westgate in Yarm … adjoining upon the Grounds then formerly of Mr John Porrett and then late of Thomas Reed Plummer towards the South and on the Wiend or Lane leading to the church towards the north … then late in the occupation of John Waldy and then of the said Henry Loughhead".  
(That is, on the north side ran the lane leading to the church, and to the south lay land that had belonged to John Porrett and subsequently to Thomas Reed Plummer.  The occupants had been firstly John Waldy and then Henry Loughhead)

The description of the buildings etc that were included in the mortgage is so thorough that it prompts the suspicion that the solicitor who drafted it was being paid by the word – but it conjures up a vivid picture of 18th century Yarm: 
"all and Singular Houses outhouses Edifices Buildings Barns Stables warehouses Granaries Garths Gardens Orchards Yards Backsides ways waters watercourses Easements wells Springs Walls Trees Hedges Hedgerows Paths Passages Profits Commodities Privileges advantages Hereditaments Rights members and appurtenances whatsoever to the said Several Premises"
3.  A house in Westgate with land behind it (a "garth or garden") amounting to one acre.  It had been occupied by Andrew Scott and then by Henry Loughhead.

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