Sunday, 30 December 2012

Chapter 20. "A very queer chap"

While Robert Barlow contemplated the success of his pamphlet, the nation was horrified to hear of the uprising in India.

In late July 1857 Lieutenant Hector Vaughan sailed with his regiment from Portsmouth on the Champion of the Seas.  She was a clipper charted by the government as a troop transport, and she made the journey in only 101 days.  Lieutenant Vaughan's regiment was to be present at the capture of Lucknow in 1858, and he would later receive the Indian Mutiny Medal.  It was the beginning of Empire.  Meanwhile, the old way of life in Cleveland was rapidly changing. 

Middlesbrough, which had been a farm and a few cottages when Mr Barlow arrived in the area, was made a municipal borough in 1853; ironstone had been found in the Eston Hills.

Railways were spreading across the countryside – the line from Middlesbrough to Guisborough was built in 1853, and on 2 March 1857 the North Yorkshire & Cleveland Railway opened a line from Picton station to Stokesley.

It was an age of technological marvels, which Mr Barlow must surely have enjoyed – the first iron ship built on the Tees was launched at South Stockton in 1854, and in 1858 an iron steamer was built at Middlesbrough. 

Improvements of all kinds were being carried out.

In Osmotherley, the open drain in the middle of the main street was covered over at last in 1852.  By 1856 Yarm's trade as a port had almost entirely disappeared, but they had the railway and gas street lights.  Stokesley had gas lighting, paved streets and a new Town Hall.  The "odious unsightly shambles, situated in the centre of the main street" described by Ord in 1846 had finally been demolished, and neat new buildings erected in their place.  Mr Barlow himself was improving his glebe land, and his notebooks contain records of field drainage undertaken.

The 1851 census found thirty-five unoccupied houses in Hutton Rudby, and the number of women working on the land had dwindled to a very few.  Handloom linen weaving was declining rapidly and George Wilson was manufacturing sailcloth at the mill by the river, for which there was a better market than fine linen.  His manufactures could be taken to market by rail from the station at Potto, and the villagers now had easy access to the growing passenger-rail network. 

For years Mr Barlow had followed the practice of holding a morning service at Rudby and an afternoon service on alternate Sundays in his chapels at Middleton and East Rounton.

The formal duties of a clergyman had decreased during the course of the previous century until they became so light that "nominal residence" was possible.  It had become customary to perform the liturgy once each Sunday, rather than twice as was required.

In 1743, the Revd George Stainthorpe would also read the service on Holy days, Wednesdays and Fridays, but by 1764 the weekday services appear to have been dropped [1].  He catechised on Sundays, Wednesdays and Fridays during Lent, and held a communion service four times a year, or monthly when the family were at Leven Grove.  In 1764 he expected 300 communicants in his parish; this figure appears to include his chapelries of East Rounton and Whorlton.

Mr Barlow's workload was lighter than that of his predecessor a hundred years ago, and 40 was the maximum number of communicants at Rudby church reported by Mr Barlow.

The Rudby churchwarden's answers to the 1853 Visitation by Archbishop Musgrave show that Mr Barlow held his Sunday service at half past ten, and administered communion six times a year.

Between the Visitation of 1857 (in which the wardens noted that their parish clerk William Hebron was "a man very capable but very neglectful") and the Visitation of 1861, Mr Barlow had introduced a service at six o'clock in the evening at Rudby church.  This was undoubtedly a masterstroke.  The returns to the Ecclesiastical Census showed that the villagers of Hutton Rudby enjoyed an evening service in chapel and Mr Barlow's evening service became a great draw – in 1865 he replied to Archbishop Thomson's Visitation that he had a congregation of about 300.  This may seem unlikely – it is nearly a third of the village population – but letters from the time indicate that he drew listeners from far afield and his own personality was a large part of the attraction.  On 29 July 1863, E Garbutt wrote to Miss Dorothy Watson:
Yesterday evening was the first Sunday evening I have been at Church this summer.  There was a very full Church.  The Waileses and Farrows were there from East Rounton.  …I had nearly forgot to tell you Mr Houghton continues to come to Mr Foster’s pew [2]
On 17 August 1863 she wrote:
Hutton has been quite gay with visitors for some time now there is a large family staying at Mr Copley’s house [Potto Hall] from London they come to Hutton Church.  Mrs Wilkinson has a young Lady and Mr Houghton had a very stylish Lady with him in old Robert’s pew yesterday [3]
On 9 July 1862, John Watson wrote to his sister from Sunderland, where he worked in their uncle's Bank:
One of our clerks at the Bank was telling me he knew of two of his acquaintances that had been rusticating at Hutton and he was asking me if I had been there as it was about my neighbourhood and I said I had been there.  He asked me what they called the parson there and I told him they called him Barlow and he said he was a very queer chap from what he had heard from these individuals who had been at Hutton for a fortnight …
For years the parish must have wondered whether Mr Barlow would remarry – the arrival of a wife at the vicarage would have provided the village gossips with an exciting new interest.  However, although only 48 years old when he became a widower, he did not marry again.  It would perhaps have been a brave woman who would have taken up residence with his three sisters, as we may be sure he would not have expected them to leave the vicarage.

The church building underwent major alterations during the 1860s, Lord Falkland contributing to the cost. 

His son Captain the Hon. Lucius William Charles Augustus Frederick Cary, Master of Falkland, aged 26, had married in London on 11 May 1858.  The wedding was presumably followed by celebrations for the Yorkshire tenantry, but the mood soon changed as these were swiftly followed by the funeral of Lady Falkland.

Only a few months after her book was published, Amelia died in London on 2 July following a short illness [4] and her body was brought north for burial in the family vault in Rudby churchyard.  Lord Falkland had a memorial tablet to his "loved and honoured wife" placed in the chancel of the church and it seems possible that the necessary work for this was combined with further restoration. 

After this, Lord Falkland certainly visited Yorkshire on occasions – his presence with Lord and Lady De L'Isle at a review of the Rifle Corps assembled at Busby Hall was noted in the Middlesbrough Weekly News & Cleveland Advertiser on 31 August 1861, and on 17 August 1863 Dorothy Watson was told, "Lord Falkland has come tonight" [5], but possibly he came north only for the shooting.

He had let Leven Grove to John Vaughan [6],  the Middlesbrough ironmaster whose partner Henry Bolckow had recently bought the Marton estate, and it was later let to Major Thomas Light Elwon [7].  Lord Falkland attempted to find another source of wealth by boring for coal on his Kirklevington estates, but this was unsuccessful [8], and he had sold them by 1874.

Eighteen months after Amelia's death, Lord Falkland remarried; his second wife was Elizabeth Catherine, the widow of the Duke of St Albans.  He was to lose his only son at the age of forty – Lucius died in 1871 and was buried at his cousin Lord De L'Isle's home at Penshurst.  As Lucius was childless, the title would now pass to his father's brother.

At some point in the 1850s, the old sash windows in the church were removed.

A great deal of further work can be dated to 1863, as a record of the cost of masons working on the church noted by Mr Barlow in one of his notebooks [9] ("one day wet – off Monday July 6th") can be dated to that year.  The flat plaster ceiling over the nave was taken out, and under the layers of limewash covering the walls and pillars the last remains of the mediaeval wall paintings were found. 

George Tweddell noted in his copy of Ord's History:
In restoring the church, under the numerous coats of whitewash, it was found that the whole of the walls had been covered with fresco painting, which the Rev R J Barlow judges, from the little that could be made out, represented scenes in the Wars of the Roses.
The Revd Arthur Eddowes in his history of the church in 1924 noted that people who saw the frescoes remembered representations of angels and cherubim between the arches and a battle-scene over and around the south door. 

Several layers of paint were removed from the pulpit, and the fine marquetry rediscovered at last.

Lord Falkland paid for the rebuilding of the vestry and the restoration of the north wall of the chancel [10].  He had a new plain east window inserted, and gave an extra acre of land to the churchyard [11].

The churchwardens were still buying violin strings at the end of the 1850s, but by 1863 a harmonium [12] had been bought and the band at last disappeared from the west gallery.  It had lasted longer than many.

It becomes apparent from Mr Barlow's jottings from this time on that his churchwardens and laity had taken the measure of their vicar as far as financial competence was concerned.  His notes of accounts frequently tail off unfinished, so it with relief that one notes the presence of George Wilson, who although not a churchwarden seems to have taken the matter in hand:
Money in hand given by Miss Righton &c  about £24 of this Mr G Wilson has the acct

Laid out of that fund for tuning the Harmonium    0 – 15 – 0
Lime now at the church carting sand and riddling 1 – 1 – 0
Fender                                                                     4 – 6
Bason and jug                                                          5 – 6
Wood for chairs and sawing                                1– 3 – 10
brackets for pulpit                                              0 – 3 – 6
looking glass and wash stand                              1 – 10 – 0
The finances of the school seem to have been similarly chaotic.

From 1862 the Bathurst Charity money was paid to the managers of the National School by order of the Charity Commissioners [13], and by 1871 the Bathurst charity schoolhouse was occupied by the National School's master.  Problems evidently arose with the charity's accounts:
When the Bathurst money is paid up to April 1869 then the charity will be clear all but £1 –
as settled by Mr G Wilson after an inspection of the Receipts from Lord F’s Trustees and this acct Novr 13th 1868
R J Barlow                       present Mr George Wilson
Mr Barlow had a further burden in the form of the Bilton charity returns.

This educational charity, of which nothing is known, apparently required to know of Mr Barlow the number of pupils, boys and girls, the condition of the school building, its income and its expenses.  Notes of these returns between 1850 and 1874 survive in two of his notebooks, and from these it can be seen that he encountered some financial difficulties which he made up from his own pocket:
Return to Biltons for 1871 endg Xmas
in daily attendance  
Boys    74
Girls    42
Income        £54 – 10
Expenditure    53 – 18
Debt £17 paid by myself for repairs and school furniture
Only one complete account for the school has survived, from a few years before Mr Barlow's death:
School acct 1874

Masters Salary       35 – 0 – 0      Lord Falkland     20 – 0 – 0
Mistress do.           22 – 0 – 0      Lady De L’Isle      5 – 0 – 0
Inkstands                 0 – 6 – 0      Bathurst Charity     5 – 0 – 0
coals                        1 – 5 – 0      Biltons Charity       5 – 0 – 0
stoves                      4 – 0 – 0      Mr Pyman              2 – 2 – 0
Kindling for fires      0 – 3 – 0       Miss Paver            0 – 10 – 0
Labour                    0 – 3 – 0       Mr Richardson       1 – 0 – 0
attendance on fire   0 – 15 – 0      Mr Carter               1 – 0 – 0
repairs & cleaning  2 – 10 – 0       Mrs Wilson            0 – 10 – 0
                                                    Donation                5 – 0 – 0
                                                   Schoolpence         15 – 0 – 0
                                                   Concert                  5 – 0 – 0
                                                   Bell                         1 – 0 – 0
                                                                                66 – 2 – 0
Before he died, Mr Barlow expressed the wish for the school to be transferred to a school board, and this was done in late 1878 – its condition then was apparently such that it threatened to become "a wreck and a disfigurement to the village". [14]


[1]  Answers by George Stainthorpe to Arch. Herring's Visitation 1743 and Arch Drummond's 1764

[2]   Letters to a Miller's Daughter: Dorothy Caroline Watson of Stockton-on-Tees and Hutton Rudby c1860-1893 by J Beryl Turner 2000, p36

[3]  ibid, p38

[4]  obituary in the Yorkshire Gazette 10 July 1858 [with thanks to Beryl Turner]

[5]  ibid

[6]  Whellan's Directory 1859

[7]  Post Office Directory 1872

[8]  Noted in George Markham Tweddell's copy of Ord's History, against the chapter on Kirklevington:  "Lord Falkland bored for coal, close to the railway in this parish, to the depth of 119 fathoms, in the new red sandstone. F.M"

[9]  in the possession of Hutton Rudby Primary School

[10]  Barlow's answer to Archbishop Thomson's 1868 Visitation

[11]  Bulmer's Directory 1891

[12]  this was replaced by a pipe organ donated by the family of George Young Blair of Drumrauch Hall after his death in 1894. Miss Elizabeth Bainbridge was organist from 1886 to 1934.

[13]  referred to in a letter from the Charity Commission to the vicar of Rudby dated 21 Apr 1893 (amongst church papers)

[14]  Clerk of Hutton Rudby School Board to National Society 1 Apr 1879, quoted by Hastings

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