Friday, 23 August 2013

Thorpe Underwood Hall: 1912

I can date this Knight, Frank & Rutley brochure from the final pages, because they advertise  auction sales due to take place in May and June 1912.

Amongst the landed estates and large country houses featured is Thorpe Underwood Hall, Ouseburn.  This had been built only a few years earlier and was designed for Frederick William Slingsby by the York architect Walter Henry Brierley.

Between 1885 and 1926 he was responsible for over 300 buildings, including schools, churches, houses and civic buildings across the North, amongst them Northallerton County Hall – and, in 1923-4, the restoration of All Saints’, Hutton Rudby.  The extensive work on the church took eight months, and during that time the congregation was ferried out by bus to services held at Drumrauch Hall.

Thorpe Underwood Hall stands close to the site of the old Thorpe Green Hall, which had been destroyed by fire at the end of the 19th century, and which is remembered now for its connection to the Bronte family.

Thorpe Underwood Hall 1912

Anne Bronte lived at Thorpe Green as governess to the Robinson family.  She was joined by her brother Branwell, but his time there was to precipitate the crisis that led to his death.

The Monk's House mentioned in the Particulars (where it is claimed to be C16 – it is actually C17) was the home of Branwell while he was tutor to the Robinsons’ son.  His ink drawing of the back of the house is well-known, cf p282 of The Art of the Bront√ęs by Christine Anne Alexander.

Thorpe Underwood Hall 1912

By direction of W SLINGSBY, Esq.
Within 2 1/2 miles Cattal Station, 5 miles Alne, 12 miles York and 11 miles Harrogate

A Fine Modern Mansion of Elizabethan Design
known as
"Thorpe Underwood Hall"

Between Harrogate and York
Extending to about 178 Acres

The Hall is most conveniently arranged on 2 Floors
Oak-panelled, and fitted throughout with every
Modern Convenience.  Electric Light Installed.  Accom-
modation: Large Oak-panelled Hall measuring
36ft. by 20ft., Billiard Room 27ft. by 20ft.,
Drawing Room 29ft. by 18ft., Dining Room
29ft. by 18ft., Morning Room, Boudoir, Business
Room, 20 Bed and Dressing Rooms, 2 Bathrooms
Park of nearly 100 Acres
Stabling for 8 horses
Attractive Pleasure Grounds

The Historic 16th Century Monk's House
is included

The Property is situated in the Middle of the York and Ainsty
Hunt and within reach of the Bramham Moor and Bedale Hunts

Illustrated Particulars on Application
Auctioneers & Land Agents Messrs Knight, Frank & Rutley,
10, Hanover Square, London, W.C.

Thorpe Underwood Hall is now a school. 

Friday, 16 August 2013

The Stokesley parish magazine of 1876

A few notes from the Stokesley, Whorlton & Ingleby Parish Magazine of 1876.

(I find to my dismay that I can't find the source of these notes at the moment!  Perhaps if I have time to go through my hand-written notes, I'll find it.  I think the Northallerton County Library is the source).

The following services were held in January 1876:
Stokesley:  Sundays at 10.30 am and 6.30 pm, with a 2.30 pm service on the first Sunday of the month
Easby: Sundays at 2.30 pm
The Workhouse: Wednesdays at 6 pm

On Saints' Days there were services at Stokesley at 11 am and 7.30 pm.
Daily Prayer was held at 4.30 pm and 7.30 pm on Wednesdays and Fridays. 
Other activities:
Bible Class
Mothers' Meetings
Catechising at Church on Sunday afternoons
"working parties at the Rectory"
"an instruction class in church".
"In case of sickness … send at once to the Rectory, to the Rev R E Briggs, or to the Rev W V Palmer".

Tuesday, 13 August 2013

Charles Bathurst of Skutterskelfe kills his butler: 1730

Local stories tell of the ghost known as the White Lady of Skutterskelfe. 

I was told that she’s more likely to be a trick of the light, from the mist that gathers where the road crosses the beck – though I have heard that somebody claims to have seen her recently.

This story suggests we might expect the ghost of Skutterskelfe to be a butler instead.

The manor of Skutterskelfe was sold by the Layton family to the Bathursts of Clints and Arkengarthdale in the middle of the 17th century. 

The founder of the family fortune was Dr John Bathurst, who was Oliver Cromwell’s physician and MP for Richmond in Yorkshire from 1656-8.

In 1727 his great-grandson Charles Bathurst, who was then aged about 24, decided to run for Parliament hoping to regain the seat his great-grandfather had held. 

He stood jointly with Sir Marmaduke Wyvill, who had been unsuccessful in an earlier attempt with Charles’ father in 1713.  With their friend the Mayor as returning officer (and with the assistance of a large number of unqualified people whom he allowed to vote for them) Bathurst and Wyvill were duly elected – but on their opponents’ petition the result was overturned. [1]

Charles did not attempt to stand for Parliament again – because, according to local tradition, he had become insane. 

He was certainly a man of hasty temper, as can be seen from the story that he threw a waiter down the stairs of the King’s Head at Richmond.  The poor man’s leg was broken and when the innkeeper plucked up the courage to remonstrate with Mr Bathurst – who owned the inn – he was told simply to “put it in the bill.”

In 1730 he killed his butler.

The story is to be found in the Archaeologia Aeliana, or Miscellaneous Tracts relating to Antiquity, Vol 5 (1861) from Marske, by the Rev James Raine.  It was published by the Society of Antiquities of Newcastle-upon-Tyne, the oldest provincial antiquarian society in the country, founded in 1813, and celebrating their bicentenary this year.  Their early publications are digitised and available online.

Here is the account of the murder, from a footnote to Mr Raine’s work:
The following narrative of a more fatal encounter is from his own statement and that of his servants, preserved among the Chaytor Archives. 
On Dec 1, 1730, Charles Bathurst, Esq., on returning from Stokesley to Skutterskelf, between 9 and 10 at night, found that his butler, David Bransby, who had served his father and himself many years, had that day been quarrelling with the stable boys and other servants.  
Speaking to Bransby, Mr B asked what was the reason, and calling the others, desired they would agree, gave Bransby and them each a broad piece of gold, and told Bransby that he loved him as well as any of the rest, and made each drink a horn of ale.  
Mr Bathurst drank two or three horns with his cousin, Mr John Motley, whom he had for many years supported, and was about to drink another, when Motley refused to drink, alleging the ale to be of a different kind from what they had drunk before.  
Bathurst insisted it was the same as he had drunk of himself, and, on some words, Motley said he was acting like a coward.  Bathurst then took him to a room where swords hung, and bade Motley take one and see which was the greatest coward, and drew another himself.  Motley would not, and on Bathurst saying,
"You are the greatest coward, and not I"
went out and Bransby with him, when Bathurst remarked, 
"It is a fine night, let them be locked out." 
He does not appear to have wished them to be kept out long, for on retiring to his bedchamber he took his sword to lay by his bedside to prevent any sudden attempt upon him by Motley, but requested his servant Crowder to take it down as soon as he was in bed and hang it up.  
In undressing he wanted some ribbon for sleeve strings to bind his shirtbands, and sent Crowder for it.  He heard a very great disturbance, and Crowder on his return told him that he had the ribbon from Bransby who was now come, and that he bade him tell his master so.  Bathurst replied 
"Perhaps my cousin Motley is likewise come in and will drink his horn of beer,  Very likely.  I shall take my sword down myself, and hang it up."  
He went down with his clothes loose, and in his slippers, having pulled off his shoes and stockings.  Crowder followed him down and saw Bransby lying dead on the floor. 
It seems that on arriving in the passage twixt the hall and the kitchen, Bathurst had heard Bransby swearing in the kitchen that neither his master nor anybody else should come into it, and if they did he would stab them and be their death with the poker.  
He must have come out into the dark passage, and there Bathurst did not see his antagonist but only his red-hot poker, with which in both hands he assaulted his master and burned his coat breast.  The latter, apprehending a second thrust, and to prevent further mischief, made a push with his sword and happened to give Bransby a wound in his right side, who instantly died, but even in his staggering endeavoured to strike with the poker. 
The surgeons said that Bransby must at the time of his death have had his arm extended and his body bent forward, and on the next day, Dec 2, the coroner's inquest found that the wound was given in self-defence, and that Bransby was almost tipsy at the time.  
Counsel however advised Bathurst that as he was not bailable, he had better keep out of the way till near the assizes, as no flight had been found at the inquest, and that he had better make conveyances of his estate, as a verdict either of manslaughter or se defendendo would be accompanied with forfeiture at law, and require pardon. 

I notice from the National Archives website [2] that they hold the
Petition of Charles Bathurst of Scutterskelf, co. York for pardon for accidentally killing his butler who had assaulted him with a red hot poker.  
It is dated 23 February 1731.  The short description of the document goes on:
Examinations annexed.  Referred to the Attorney General for opinion. The Attorney General's report annexed, dated March 4, stating he is of opinion that it is not advisable for his Majesty to grant a pardon to the petitioner before he has taken his trial.”
Evidently counsel’s advice regarding possible forfeiture had worried Charles considerably and he had tried to take evasive action. 

However, he did not lose his estates and after his death in 1743 and that of his wife in 1747 they passed to his three sisters, as he had no children of his own.  The estate was much encumbered with debts and liabilities and Skutterskelfe was eventually sold in 1754 to the Hon George Carey, whose wife Isabella Ingram had inherited the estate at Rudby from her father.

[1] see The History of Parliament Online

[2] The National Archives catalogue reference is  here

Friday, 9 August 2013

A Girl Drowned at Hutton Rudby: July 1879

from the Daily Gazette for Middlesbrough

Thursday 24 July 1879
A Girl Drowned at Hutton Rudby 
On Tuesday morning Ida Smith, 16, was drowned in the River Leven, at Hutton Rudby.  
The deceased worked at Mr Wilson's sailcloth manufactory, and was standing during breakfast time with her sister and two other young women on a low wall, watching some children catching sticks that came down the swollen river, when she fell into the stream, and owing to the strong current was carried rapidly down the river, and her sister jumped in to try to save her, and was with difficulty rescued.  A vigorous search was at once instituted for the body, which, however, was not recovered until Wednesday morning, when it was found by a man named Sedgwick fully half-a-mile down the stream

Ida was the daughter of Christopher Smith and Jane Ann Meynell (Jane was the daughter of William Meynell and his wife Eleanor/Helen/Ellen Moss).

It seems likely that it was Ida’s elder sister Lilias who tried to rescue her.

1871 Census: North Side, Hutton Rudby, next door to the King's Head Inn
Christopher Smith (39) Powerloom canvas weaver b Hutton
Jane Ann Smith, his wife (34) b Hutton
Lilias Smith (10) b West Hartlepool
Ida Smith (8) b North Shields
Albert Anthony Smith (5) b Boro', London
William Meynell Smith (3) b Rudby
Sarah Ann Smith (1) b Hutton

Monday, 5 August 2013

Particulars of sale of Leven House and the Sailcloth Mill: 1877

The history of the Hutton Sailcloth Mill and its forerunner, the Hutton Spinning Mill, can be found in the series of posts beginning here.  The transmission of the site from Thomas Wayne to Mark Barker to John Mease can be found in Stately Homes of Hutton Rudby in the section on Leven House.

John Mease died in 1876 and a Chancery case arose.  As a result, there was an attempt to sell the mill and surrounding properties, as these Particulars of Sale show. 

But it seems that no sale was achieved, and the Wilson family continued to run the mill as tenants of the Mease estate for many years.

The Particulars of Sale give us a snapshot of the situation by the river Leven in the spring of May 1877.

As I can’t reproduce the beautiful variations of font face and size in my transcription, I’ve included here a photograph of my photocopy of the document!

Friday, 2 August 2013

Laying the foundation stones for the Wesleyan Chapel, Hutton Rudby in 1878

I particularly like the thought of them enjoying their "sumptuous tea" at the end of the proceedings:

Northern Echo: Monday 5 August 1878
Laying Foundation Stones at Hutton Rudby 
Last Friday was a red-letter day in the village of Hutton Rudby.  For some time the Wesleyan Chapel in that place has been rather faulty in repair, and as the site is not a very good one efforts were put forth to obtain the necessary funds to build a new chapel, and have been so far successful that the work has already been commenced, and the foundation stones were laid on Friday last, in the presence of a very large congregation.  
The new chapel is to be Gothic style, erected from designs by Mr Harbottle, of Great Ayton.  The whole of the work has been entrusted to Messrs W. and T. Hodgson, builders, of Osmotherley and Brompton, and promises to prove an ornament to the village.  The dimensions are 46ft by 35ft, with schoolroom behind, and is calculated to afford accommodation for about 230 persons.  
The proceedings commenced by singing a hymn, after which Mr Miles, of Stokesley, read a portion of scripture as a lesson; and the Rev R W Butterworth, of Stokesley, offered a prayer, at the conclusion of which he called upon Mrs Richardson (Mayoress of Stockton) to lay the first stone; Miss Wilson (on behalf of Mrs Wilson), of Hutton-Rudby, to lay the second; Mrs John Kidd, of Edinburgh, to lay the second; and Miss Mease (on behalf of Miss Mewburn, of Banbury) to lay the fourth.  In a cavity under each stone was deposited a bottle containing current newspapers, list of trustees, and coin of the realm.  
In place of the usual presentation of silver trowels, a handsome copy of the Bible and Wesley's Hymns was presented to Mrs Richardson by Mr Peacock, to Miss Wilson by Mr Braithwaite, to Mrs Kidd by Mr William Weighill, and to Miss Mease by Mr Miles.  
After the conclusion of the ceremony, the Rev C H Gough, of Darlington, delivered an excellent address, in the course of which he remarked that it was just about 120 years that day since John Wesley held his first meeting at Hutton Rudby, which seemed to have been a favourite place with him, as no less than eleven distinct visits to Hutton Rudby were recorded in his journal.  
At the close of the address the National Anthem was sung, after which a sumptuous tea was served in the old chapel, to which full justice was done by a large number of people.  
In the evening the Rev C H Gough delivered an interesting lecture on "A Tour in France and Belgium." Mr T E Pyman presided, there being a good attendance.

Note: Thomas English Pyman of Linden Grove, Hutton Rudby, like his father George, was a prominent Congregationalist.