Monday, 28 July 2014

6. A Boroughbridge Boyhood in the 1850s: "Enjoyed ourselves extremely"

Tuesday January 15th 1856
Went to the Office   Mrs Workman  Mr Robert W  Mr Henlock & Mrs dined with us at 2 o’clock   I left the Office at  2  returned at 4   Went to the Doctors [Sedgwicks’] in the Evening   Danced   had supper & enjoyed ourselves extremely   A Family party  Leonard’s birthday
Breakfast was after a little bit of studying or opening the post at the office.  Dinner was the main meal of the day – whenever it took place – but here in rural Yorkshire it was generally in the middle of the day or the early afternoon.  Tea was in the early evening, supper later on.  Dinner, tea and supper – all were opportunities for parties and gatherings in this gregarious, sociable world.

Mr Robert Crawshaw Workman farmed at Arksey, near Doncaster.  The Workmans were connections of the Henlocks, John's mother's family – Margaret Henlock married William Workman.  Mr and Mrs Henlock were John’s uncle and aunt from Great Ouseburn. 
Tuesday January 22nd 1856
Went to office.   Retd to Breakfast   felt rather tired.   At Noon walked with Jane up the Topcliffe Road   Had tea with Aunt Hirst   went to a small party to supper at Aunt Bells.   had my fortune told by her.   Got home about ½ past eleven.   Uncle Hirst & Dora came home from London & Ann Stubbs came with them
No wonder John felt tired – he had been up till 4 o’clock in the morning waiting for the cow to calve.  Jane was his elder sister, who would soon marry young Mr Capes of her uncle Hirst’s office.  Dora was his cousin Dorothy Hirst, who died unmarried aged fifty-one.  She led a quiet life of useful works to the community and her family and is commemorated by a stained glass window in Boroughbridge church.  Ann Stubbs was one of the London relations.

The social conventions were strict:
Tuesday March 4th 1856
Went to Office   At Noon Joe & I walked up Kirby Hill way by the fields  we saw Secker of Knaresbro gallopping a mare in a field   At Night Capes & I walked up thro Aldbro I then went & had tea with him & read    Miss Calder Aunt Bell & Dora were having tea at our house    it was thought rather rude my going out to tea
On the other hand, young men were very well placed to profit from the open hospitality of the day – on one occasion John managed to have two dinners:
Thursday March 6th 1856
Went to Office   At Noon I went & sat with Henry Carass    After dinner read a little in the life of Condé   At ½ past three Uncle Hirst let me off   I walked to Ouseburn and had dinner Uncle Williams as they had been coursing    We then had tea   after tea a rubber at wist  two table Uncle Henlock,  Crosby,  Len Sedgwick & I sat at one table.   Gudgeon, Uncle Pick, Capes & Joe at the other   Gudgeon & I walked togr to Marton Lane  I then walked on & the riders overtook me at the 2nd milestone  I walked to Heaton House then Capes walked & I rode – We got home at 12 o’clock  
Gudgeon was Uncle William Henlock’s gamekeeper – John also mentions going shooting with Gudgeon and his son Tomy.  Dr John Crosby often invited his friends to dinner:
Monday March 10th 1856
Went to office.   At Noon Joe & I went up the River for a walk   Howells great dog followed us   Crosby had a dinner party to day   Joe & Len Sedgwick went, Capes & Aunt Bell.   Jane was going but she had such a bad cold At Night I went up to the Doctors & sat to ask them if they had anything they wanted doing in York
Tea and supper were often followed by cards, games, singing or dancing:
Wednesday April 30th 1856
Went to Office   At Noon went to Hy Carass’   Went also with Joe to Charlotte Farmerys to ask her to let them anchor the boat of her field end.   At Night had the Smiths of Burton & Jane Eliza Morley from Effingham to tea   the Sedgwicks, S.  Hirst, Ruth Stott,  Steele  Capes  H.E.Clark & Jacob Smith   had a jolly dance   J.E.Morley & I had a first rate polka   broke up about ½past twelve   Sophy stayed all night
Charlotte Farmery kept the Fox and Hounds at Langthorpe.  The Smiths farmed at Humburton and were related to the Stubbs’ relations, the Morleys of Effingham in Surrey.  Heaton Edwin Clark farmed at Heaton Hall.

The tea party was typical of its mix of family and neighbours.  There are the Smiths, who farmed at Humburton and were connected to the Stubbs through the Morleys.  John mentions elsewhere James Morley of Baldersby and his sister Annie – here he dances with their eighteen-year-old cousin Jane Eliza, whose father John had moved his family to Effingham in Surrey.  Often present were Ruth Stott and her sister Charlotte, the middle-aged daughters of the late Hugh Stott of the Crown.  Heaton Edwin Clark was one of the Clarks of Ellenthorp – referred to by John in 1860 as “The Heaton House Clarks, The Lodge Clarks and the Hall Clarks”.  After the death in 1854 of Edwin Clark of Ellenthorp Hall, whose wife was Mary Stott, Ruth’s sister, his brother Heaton had moved from the Lodge to the Hall.  Heaton Edwin (possibly Heaton’s nephew) moved from Heaton House to the Lodge and his brother Charles, who had been working as a druggist and chemist in Dudley, took up farming and moved to Heaton House with his wife Amelia Hicks and children Marian and Charley.  The young academic Edwin Charles Clark was the son of Edwin and Mary Stott.  The “Clarkes of Minskip” were also friends of the Stubbs family – John mentions going to tea there in the Stotts’ phaeton in 1859 and having “a good dance”.  Later in the year he asked Mr Christopher Clarke if he had a ferret to sell “but he had not.  His brother from Huddersfield was there”.
With the fine weather, parties on the river could begin:
Monday May 12th 1856
Went to office   Was at the Office till 1   Went back directly after dinner   At Night went to tea at Aunt Bells   Miss Jepson from Ouseburn & a Miss Johnson from Easingwold who was staying at Crosbys  Sophy H[irst] Jane Stubbs,  Joe, Capes & I   we went & rowed up as far as Slaters then came back   went to the Church   Joe & I went home with Miss Jepson & Miss Johnson  I sat behind with the latter  it was jolly  we walked home.   Miss J is rather a nice girl rather good looking &c &c
Miss Christiana Jepson was Dr Crosby’s niece.  She worked as a lady’s maid before her marriage to a local farmer.  Visitors were, then as now, a good excuse to take a day’s holiday and go on an outing:
Thursday June 5th 1856
Went to Office at Noon.   Read Blackstone   At Night Mr Capes & I had a row as far as the Lock   I then went to Sedgwicks to meet the Hirst party & Capes   we went on to the top of the tower of the church  had singing & talking   I enjoyed the eveng very much.   Got home about ten.   Dora was very frightened on the top of the tower  she seemed quite nervous.

Friday June 6th 1856
Went to Office   Did the Mail.   At 9 o’clock Sophy  Miss Dixon & I drove to Studley   Fletcher drove Dora & Mary Stubbs   the Sedgwicks were there   we had a splendid day in every possible way the party were exceedingly agreable   R[ichard] Hirst was there.   We dined in the pavilion about ½ past 3   had a ramble after dinner  we had some singing also.   Got home about 7   Sophy drove some part of the way & Miss Dixon some part & I drove the rest.   We all had tea at Uncle Hirsts   had a game at ball   Dora struck the ball into Miss Dixon’s face she cried poor thing.
Anyone with visitors invited guests around to entertain them:
Friday May 16th 1856
Went to Office   At Noon read Blackstone   Cleaned my Gun   At Night went to tea to Uncle Hirsts to meet Miss Walburns & Miss Kyme & Miss Eliza Kyme who were stay.g with the Walburn’s [at Norton le Clay?]  We walked to the Devils Arrows  we went to Church to practise  came home had some singing  Joe  Steele & I walked home with them  we stayed a quarter of an hour   got home ¼ to twelve
Joe’s sisters and cousins seem to have been in the choir – he often walked them to the church to the practice.

On occasion the visitors were not so welcome.  The widowed Mrs Powell, a friend of his mother’s, kept a girls’ school:
Monday May 19th 1856
Went to Office.   At Noon read Blackstone   At Night I went & had tea with Capes  From there I went to the Newsroom  read part of Palmer’s trial   Also a little of the Quarterly Reivew & the lead.g Article in the Times   Left at ¼ to 9   went home  I then went on to Uncle Hirsts for a short time.   Mrs Powell’s young ladies were at our house at tea.    I missed them which was a good job

William Henlock of Great Ouseburn 1805-66

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