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A.D. 1844.




On July 20th, Mr. Jonathan Horner was appointed to the mastership of the Grammar School, which at that time was in a very dilapidated condition, and very inconvenient. Mr. Horner at once set to work to rebuild that portion of the house between the school and the kitchen, and to thoroughly restore and repair the other parts, at an expense to him of nearly £300. At the time also of Mr. Horner's appointment the school had fallen away both in tone and numbers, but Mr. Horner's genial manner, and educational tact and ability soon restored the school to its old standing. The initial letter H and the figures 1844, forming the centre piece on the entrance ceiling of the dwelling-house, mark the date of these alterations.

On October 6th, the lord bishop of Chester (Dr. Graham) preached in Northallerton parish church.

On the 28th of January, a faculty was granted by the Re-seating of ecclesiastical court at York, on the suit of the Rev. T. B. the Church. Stuart, vicar, and the churchwardens of Northallerton, for reseating the whole area of the church, repairing and altering the west gallery, for removing the organ gallery and a small gallery on the north side, and for other minor alterations. A citation had been previously published, calling upon all who supposed themselves possessed of rights to pews, to shew cause, if they were able, against the issuing of the faculty. It was found that no claims could be maintained in law, either on the ground of the general faculty of 1788, or of prescription, gift, sale, or inheritance. All opposition therefore being abandoned, the faculty was carried into execution during the summer and autumn of 1847; the whole of the seats in the church (except the chancel) were removed, and others were erected on an entirely different plan, the seats in the west gallery were cut down, divested of their doors, and otherwise altered. Thus all vestige of private right being for ever obliterated, Church made all the seats without exception, belong now to the parishioners generally free and open to be freely used and enjoyed by them according to law. A consider

The Parish

able addition was made at the same time to the accommodation in the church, the number of sittings being increased from 780 to IOII. On the work being completed, the churchwardens, using the power with which the law invests them (under the control of the ordinary), allotted certain sittings to those families and individuals who constantly attended the church, but no right of property was thereby conferred, or could be conferred in any case: the undisturbed occupancy of those sittings is secured to those to whom they are thus allotted, while they use it; on their ceasing to do so, the sittings are either allotted to others, or left free to the use of all. Such is the present state of the parish church of Northallerton in respect of all the sittings contained in it. The

churchwardens therefore and their successors are hereby A.D. 1847. solemnly charged to preserve it inviolate for ever, to the The office of Churchbenefit of the inhabitants; resisting every attempt to warden a encroach upon their ancient rights as parishioners now sacred trust. restored to them, doing justice in this matter equally to all, without fear, partiality, or prejudice; remembering that the souls of all are of equal value in the sight of Him who redeemed them; and regarding their office as a sacred trust, for the discharge of which they will have to give an account at the judgment seat of God.*

At the general election this year, W. B. Wrightson, esq., General being the only candidate, was duly elected in the liberal Election. interest.

This year an Act of parliament was obtained to form a railway from Melmerby to Northallerton, and thus complete the necessary connecting link in the chain of the new northern line.



John Clarkson, a native of the town, became a soldier in the 3rd regiment of the king's (George III.) foot guards, and served A worthy under general sir Ralph Abercromby during the campaign in townsman. Egypt of 1801. He lost his sight from opthalmia, and in consequence became an out-pensioner of Chelsea hospital, and returned to his native place and family, living in comfort and respectable circumstances until the 9th of February, 1849, when he died at the good old age of 86 years. Although he was deprived of sight, he was able for some time to discharge the duties of town crier, having a good voice, together with a clear and distinct utterance, in which respect he has not been equalled by any of his successors in office. The veteran used to sit on fine evenings outside his house, and relate to listening neighbours his recollections of what had happened during his military days. in the valley of the Nile. Amongst others he related the following circumstance :- "On one occasion he was placed on duty as an out-post sentinel, where he had to pace to and fro a certain distance on the sandy plain, with nothing in sight but a French sentinel placed on corresponding duty. This was no doubt weary work to both, and the French soldier first showed signs of weariness by making friendly signs to Clarkson, showing a drinking flask and advancing some distance towards him; but Clarkson with "John Bull" suspicion did not respond, until the Frenchman plunged his gun, with fixed bayonet, into the sand, and advanced beyond it toward Clarkson: this gave our countryman confidence, and he advanced until they met. The Frenchman being able

*The faculty above referred to is preserved in the archives of the Parish Church. The Seats are now free and unappropriated.


A.D. 1849.

Leave of absence.

An interesting discovery.



Death of Mr.


to converse in English, said they might discharge their lonely duty as sentinels without personal enmity; he had some brandy and Clarkson had some bread, so they partook of each other's fare, had a brief parley, shook hands, parted, and resumed their respective duties, having run some risk by this departure from strict discipline."

The following document, in the hand-writing of the then archbishop of York (Dr. Thos. Musgrave), is preserved in the parish church :


We, Thomas, archbishop of York, hereby license you Theodosius Burnett Stuart, clerk, vicar of Northallerton with Deighton, in the county of York, within our diocese, to be absent from your benefice until the thirty-first of March, one thousand eight hundred and fifty, on account of the ill health of your wife.

"And you having provided for the duty of your said benefice to our satisfaction.

"Given under our hand this third day of April, in the year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and forty-nine. "T. EBOR."

On Monday, the 16th June, a man while at work ploughing in a field about a mile south of Northallerton, turned up a silver coin, rather larger than a shilling, but somewhat thinner, which, on cleaning, proved to be a coin of king Alfred, in a fair state of preservation, considering that it was over 900 years old.

This year a branch railway was made from Northallerton to Bedale, joining the Great North of England at the Castle Hills.

The Mechanics' Institute was established here in 1849. The library contains upwards of 2,000 vols. of books. The institute is in union with the Society of Arts and the Yorkshire Union of Mechanics' Institutes.

Thomas Warren Mercer, M.A., was formerly rector of Weeley, Essex. He became vicar of Northallerton in 1850, and died on Christmas Day, 1876.

On November 16th, 1850, Mr. George Wombwell, the Geo. Womb- celebrated menagerie proprietor, died at Northallerton, aged 73 years. Single-handed and by dint of extraordinary tact, Mr. Wombwell maintained and enjoyed up to the day of his death, the distinguished position of being the largest proprietor of wild animals in the world. Mr. Wombwell was a native of Essex, and the strict integrity which ever marked his conduct through a long and arduous career, gained him the sincere respect of all who knew him.

1851. Local Board of Health.

The Northallerton Local Board of Health was constituted in this year. Its Bye-Laws were duly made and ordained at

a meeting of the Board on the 9th of February, and on the A.D. 1851. 3rd of June in the following year, and confirmed by Her Majesty's principal Secretary of State for the Home Department, pursuant to the "Public Health Act, 1848," and the "Common Lodging House Act, 1851." The Surveyor of the Board at that time was Mr. France; the Inspector of Nuisances, Mr. Joseph Heslington; the Collector, Mr. Wm. Smithson; and the Clerk, Mr. Fowle, solicitor, in whose offices the meetings of the Board were held.


The last interment which took place in Northallerton Last interparish church was that of Mary, wife of F. Bedingfield, esq., ment in parish of Thornton Lodge. She was the only daughter of Fletcher Rigg, esq., of Northallerton. Mrs. Bedingfield was interred in the chancel of Northallerton church, on April 12th, 1851, where a stone bearing an inscription to her memory formerly marked the place.


This year a man working in a field adjoining the Standard Discovery of Hill grounds, found a silver coin of king Stephen in good preservation. The head appears in profile, with the sceptre in his right hand, and the name oddly spelt, viz., “Steifne, R." On the reverse is the name of the supposed moneyer of that day, and a cross, with the date 1137. A similar coin was found near the same place about twelve years ago, and near it also the silver hilt of a sword.*


On August 28th, Her Majesty the Queen, the Prince An interesting Consort, the Prince of Wales, and the rest of the royal family and suite passed the Northallerton railway station, en route for Scotland, about a quarter to eleven o'clock. The royal procession, however, did not pass very quickly, which gave the numerous persons assembled at the station, and on the eastern rampart of the Castle Hills, a good opportunity of viewing Her Majesty and the royal party.


On scraping the north wall of the nave of the parish 1852. church, the armorial bearings of Henry, Lord Percy, were The Percy discovered, though much mutilated. From an old register it is ascertained that letters of fraternity were granted by the prior and convent of Durham to his widow, "the lady Alianor de Percy, and Henry and William her sons, for benefits to our priory of Finchale and to our church of Northallerton, which had been burnt and destroyed by the Scots." This will account for the arms of Percy being found in Northallerton church, where they were probably placed (perhaps with an inscription), as a memorial of the circumstance.

W. B. Wrightson, esq., was again elected at the general General election in this year without opposition.

* Vide Illustrated London News, May 3rd, 1851.


A.D. 1852.

Soon after his collation to residentiary canonry in Durham Dr. Townsend cathedral, Dr. Townsend, vicar of Northallerton, visited visits the Pope Rome to interview his holiness Pio Nono, relative to certain reforms in the Romish church ardently desired by the worthy doctor.

The following is from the Augsburg Gazette of May 8th, under date, Rome, April 30th:-" Dr. Townsend, canon of the cathedral church of Durham, lately presented to the Pope a memorial. The doctor was the bearer of a letter of recommendation from the archbishop of Paris. The Pope gave him a most cordial reception, and promised to examine the memorial. Dr. Townsend recommends Pius IX. to convoke a council, composed of ecclesiastic and secular deputies from the different christian countries, whose object should be to devise the means of uniting all the christian sects. Dr. Townsend received a message from the Holy Father, inviting him to a second interview. But the doctor being on the point of departing for Naples, requested the Pope to put off the audience until his return.”—The Roman correspondent of the Daily News, writing on May 2nd, gives the following details:-"One of the most interesting occurences of last week was the interview of the Rev. Dr. Townsend with the Pope. The reverend doctor's object was to endeavour to induce his holiness to do away with the bickerings, animosities, and polemical discords which keep the various denominations of christians separate and at enmity; and, by a general council, to establish the basis of an universal creed. It was certainly a bold attempt for a protestant clergyman to convert the Pope himself: but the doctor was determined to beard the lion in his den, and on Friday last he went to the encounter in full dress canonicals. After having knelt to kiss the Pope's hand, Dr. Townsend was invited by his holiness to take a chair, and an animated conversation commenced in Latin, a fit language for controversy, and one in which the disputants might be presumed to be a match for each other. The Pope was, upon the whole, very tolerant, as may be imagined from his having not only listened with calmness to Dr. Townsend's arguments in favour of releasing the catholic clergy from their vow of celibacy, but also assured him that he entertained serious ideas of adopting such a plan in the early part of his reign, especially after having received pressing letters upon the subject from Germany, but that, in the present state of Italy, and indeed of the whole continent, any innovation on his part would be dangerous, even if he had the power to act freely, which he had not, being by no means the free agent that he was on his first accession to the throne. The same objection would prevent him from calling a general council, or attempting to unite the great and divided

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