Wednesday, May 14, 2008

A typical Georgian country family

This seems to be to be a typical development through the 18th and 19th centuries.

"John Spencer
Born 1718, died 1775. John's ancestors had accumulated wealth through the early iron industry. Coal pits took on more importance during their tenure. John was a huntsman, a bold rider, a hard drinker with a violent temper and speech, but open and warm hearted with good manners, a paternalistic approach. He was scholarly and possessed a large library. He was never interested in politics but became a racehorse owner and ran cockfights on Sunday in Cawthorne Park. However he attended the local All Saints Church regularly. Parson Phipps at this tme lived at Banks Hall, a batchelor for most of his life (An "old parochial squire") with no male issue.
John Spencer introduced about 100 deer into the park between 1760 and 1766, they were purchased in February. 1762. 18, pl93 The deer 'dissipated 'during WW2. By 1807 the Hall was basically as it is today.

Walter Spencer-Stanhope
Born 4th Feb 1749 died 4th. April 1821. He inherited Cannon Hall from his uncle, John Spencer in 1775. Walter changed his name from Stanhope to Spencer-Stanhope (18, p2) A politician, educated at Bradford Grammar School, University College, Oxford, Law studies at Miiddle Temple member for Carlisle (first of four constituencies). A close supporter of William Pitt the Younger and William Wilberforce (Yorkshire anti-slavery campaigner).William Wilberforce was a frequent visitor to Cannon Hall.

Walter had income from estates, iron furnaces and coal mines. A bloomery had operated at Cinder Hill and there still are numerous "Smithy Fields"12, p51 to the north (see Ordnance Survey maps)
In the l650's the Spencers' had manufactured iron at Bamby Furnaces, Wortley Forges, Bank Furnace (Thornhlll Parish) and Kirkstall Iron Works near Leeds. Timber was taken from the surrounding woodlands for this purpose.l2, p62 Even back in 1352 there was a contract to supply wood and iron for the "iron blomes at Kirkstell near Otley".12, p51
By the 1750's pit coal was being used in the smelting of iron, and after1744 the occupation of "collier" was listed more frequently in the Parish Register.12, p62

In 1783 he married Winifred Pulleine (she was an only child) this gave him more property and wealth in North Yorkshire such as Carlton Hall, Nr Richmond and in Northumberland. They were blessed with a happy marriage producing 15 children.
Walter was a humanitarian (eg pre 1775 he had all the Horsforth Estate tenants vaccinated against smallpox). He became a religious humanitarian after meeting William Wilberforce.18, p4
In 1787 Walter began the practice of delivering the Sunday evening sermon.18, p4 He worked against the cruelty to animals in sport, e.g. in July 1794 he had a bull-baiter shoot his own bull; bull Baiting was made illegal by 1835.18, p4
By 1799 the Barnsley Canal had been opened with a branch line to Barnby (Cawthorne) Basin, this allowed the collieries at Silkstone and Barnby Furnace to increase their output. By the early 1800's the largest output had been achieved at Norcroft and Bamby Furnace.12, p62

Cliffe hill was the main road to Cannon Hall in the late1700's to the early 1800's. It is now little used, the main entrance being more directly in front of Cannon Hall itself.
In 1805 Walter Spencer-Stanhope commanded 600 Staincross Volunteers, a false alarm was raised (instead of a warning beacon, a brick kiln had been lit near Pontefract Beacon) The Volunteers walked to Hemsworth on the way to Pontefract, when informed by a horserider with a letter.

John Spencer -Stanhope Born 1787, died 1873
Studied Greek mythology, married Lady Elizabeth Wilhelmina Cox third daughter of Thomas Cox (Coke of Holkham). In 1817 Thomas Cox had 7000 farmers visit his estate in Norfolk. Elizabeth married John Spencer on 5th. Dec 1822, prior to this, in 1810, John had toured Iberia where he had been imprisoned. He later toured Greece. The carriage which brought Sir John Stanhope home on parole from a French prison also carried Mrs.George Batchelor from Barnsley whose husband was due to be buried in Cawthorne, he had been a coachman at Cannon-Hall.12, p99
On Nov. 2nd 1869 Bishop Marsden, the grandson of Samuel Marsden [once a blacksmith of Horsforth, and who was sent out on the recommendation of WilIlam Wllberforce and Sir Walter Stanhope as chaplain to the convicts of Australia] gave a lecture in Cawthorne about Australia. Mr John Stanhope reminded Bishop Marsden of his own father's interest in Samuel Marsden. It was Samuel who in 1808 sent his nephew in Leeds the first bag of Australian wool ever received in England.12, p168

From this page.

The image is from the Cannon Hall website, here.

Thursday, May 08, 2008

Strange stuff from Sheffeld

I'm reading through an e-text called REMINISCENCES OF OLD SHEFFIELD, compiled in 1872. As I'm mostly interested in the 1760s, there clearly will be no direct references, though some go way back. I'll share some as I go.

The image is from this site, which sells prints. and is of the Stagg works in Sheffield, but I haven't found a reference to that in the book.

But this book is a great example of things that were readily understandable once, but now aren't -- to me, at least. Can you help?

"The house at the top corner of Paradise square and Campo lane,
now a dram-shop, was, sixty years ago, a respectable grocer's shop, kept
by Mr. Newton (who was sueceeded by Mr. Benjamin Ellis), and at that
time was much celebrated amongst the grinders, both in town and country,
for the quality of the articles of emery, crocus, and glue.

WRAGG: Yes., that shop had almost the monopoly of the trade."

All right, a dram shop is a sort of pub, and I assume a grinder ground, which would fit with emery. But why crocus and glue? Anyone know?


Friday, May 02, 2008

More on pubs.

(This is not the right Angel, but it's close to the right period and gives a good sense of a coach of the time.)

My characters are briefly in the Angel Inn in Sheffield, and I came across this.
"The Angel - 15 Angel Street. The Angel was even older than the Kings Head having been in existence since 1657. An article in The Sheffield Star dated 25th February gave a brief history of a notable Sheffield landmark that was situated on the corner of Angel Street and Bank Street

"...(The Angel's) first real claim to fame came in 1760, when it became the terminus for the first regular mail stage coach service between Sheffield and London. The coach was fancifully described as 'a flying machine on steel springs' which completed the hazardous journey in a mere six days. Travel in those days was a problematic affair - the adverts warned journeys would be completed "if God permits". Overnight stops on the way up to Sheffield included St Albans, Northampton and Nottingham. Later the time to the capital was reduced to three days, then 26 hours, and finally to just 16 hours before the railway made the service largely redundant.
Original prices for the trip were £2.2s (£2.10) - or £153 in today's money, leaving twice a week at 5am. The coach traveling north linked with a service to Leeds.
By the time of its heyday in the early 1800s the inn saw stage coaches also arriving from and departing to Birmingham, Doncaster, Carlisle, Hull, Manchester and Edinburgh - the interchange of its time."
Read the whole article here.

I said more above, because I posted about pubs on Word Wenches recently.
Read that post here.