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A.D. 1753. unprincipled men who were concerned in the shameful South Sea Bubble business, whereby he amassed great wealth to the ruin of many. In the year 1739 he purchased Harewood, and its extensive manor, and adorned the same with beautiful pleasure grounds. He was Member of Parliament for Northallerton from 1747 to the time of his death in 1753. He had two sons, Daniel and Edwin. He committed suicide on October 6th, 1753, and his remains were brought to Northallerton Church, and there deposited by the side of his



The following account is taken from the York Courant, of "The Bleed- May 28th, 1835ing Vine."


Ancient inscription.

This remarkable and celebrated old vine (long since gone to decay), the largest ever known in this kingdom, was of the kind called Black Hambro', and, though in the open air, generally produced great quantities of fine fruit. Its situation was on the east side of the town, on the front of the large houses formerly the property of Robert Raikes Fulthorpe, esq., on the site of the ancient monastery of the Carmelites or White Friars. The circumference of the trunk, a little above the surface of the ground, was 3 feet 11 inches, the branches of this vine covered the whole fronts of these spacious houses, and also extended along the fronts of the two adjoining houses to the south, turning round the corner of the Masons' Arms inn, a few feet to the east, and to the north it extended along the front of another house to the Pack Horse inn. About the year 1774 or 1775, this vine received, from some impropriety in the pruning of it, a severe injury near the bottom of the trunk, which caused a wound, from which a liquid copiously issued, which ran down to an adjoining brook, and could not be stopped. It happened at that very time that the Duke of Northumberland (formerly Sir Hugh Smithson), grandfather to the present Duke, a native of Northallerton, in passing up the street, seeing the vine (which he well remembered when young) in such a precarious state, he instantly sent an express off to Alnwick castle for his head gardener, who well understood the management of vines, to come immediately to Northallerton; and on his arrival, by his skill the wound was properly healed, and the injured part covered with lead. From this circumstance, it was for many years after called "The Bleeding Vine." This vine in the year 1789 contained 137 square yards, and in 1790, 139 square yards, and had it been permitted, when in its greatest vigour, would have extended over three or four times that area, but from its then great age, and from further injudicious management, it has long since gone to decay. It was supposed to have been upwards of 160 years old, Rymer, the celebrated historiographer royal, who received his education under Mr. Thomas Smelt, at the grammar school at this place, was of opinion that it was planted prior to the year 1600. This vine is noticed in Roebuck's, M'Nevin's, and other Histories of Vines; in the former there is a print of it, but during several periods of its existence, drawings were taken from which prints were published - -an engraving by that eminent artist, Sir Robert Strange, knight, was highly esteemed.

Previous to the rebuilding of the chancel in 1779, there appeared on the north wall of the early English chancel, the following inscription:



The following is a literal translation :

"Here lies Margery Ree (or Ray),
To you, Jesu, she cries mercy;
X All you who go by this way,
Pray for the soul that was


A.D. 1779.

Before the lowering of the roofs of this church in this year, the figures of the twelve apostles were frescoed in full length above the arches and columns on the north side of the nave, and on the south were portrayed the four evangelists.†



When the churchyard was levelled during the alterations of the church in 1787, a stone coffin was dug up, containing the remains of a human being, nearly all reduced to dust. The coffin was afterwards utilised as a rain-water receptacle. In Northallerton church, previous to its being new pewed Conyers in 1787, there was an ancient pew belonging to Lazenby family. Hall, with the coat-of-arms of the Conyers family carved on the upper pannel of the door, which, like the rest of the pew, was of old oak.‡

While new pewing this church in 1787, an ancient inscrip- An inscription tion was discovered at the west end of the nave, near the doorway, as follows:

“This Ehurch was begun to be rebuilt, after its having been destroyed by the Scots in the yeare 1318, by orders of King Edwarde the seconde, and fully finished and otherwise improved by his successor King Edwarde the thirde, of blessed memorie.” §

The Church Sunday school (an institution better calculated Church Sunto prevent the many evils that spring from ignorance and cor- day School. ruption than anything that has hitherto been devised) was begun in May, 1787, when upwards of sixty poor children were entered upon the books of this laudable establishment. John Ward, schoolmaster, was the first person appointed as teacher of the said Sunday school, and was, after a few years, succeeded by Robert Bray, who was also parish clerk, and who taught many of the scholars to sing in the church.¶


The Quaker

This ancient building was situated at the north end of the town, on the east row, and was built soon after Quakerism sprang into existence. The Society of Friends for a long House. time were very numerous in Northallerton, but particularly so in the neighbourhood, so that the meeting-house was constantly and numerously attended. The burial-ground, inclosed by a wall, was on the east side of the house, and

+ Todd's MSS.

+ Ibid.

* Vide Gale's Hist.
¶ Vide Todd's MSS. vol. 2, page 278, and super page 137.

? Ibid.

A.D. 1790.

1794. Cock fighting.

1800. Curious custom.

1804. Wholesale matrimony.

many burials took place therein. The last person interred was Elizabeth Burn, of Wearmouth, near Sunderland, who died in 1790, at the house of her brother, the late John Lincoln, surgeon, of Northallerton. A complete list of such burials will be found recorded in the registers of the parish church.

This inhuman and cruel pastime, which is now happily a thing of the past, was at one time very prevalent in Northallerton and its vicinity. The following is a copy of an advertisement which appeared in one of the local papers towards the close of the last century :


The gentlemen's (?) subscription meeting will be held at the Cock-pit, Northallerton, on Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday, the 17th, 18th, and 19th of February, 1794.

Monday, subscription battles for 10 guineas each.
Tuesday, a Welsh main for 100l.

Wednesday, a Welsh main for 100l.

There will also be three subscription battles on Tuesday, and the same on Wednesday; likewise a long main of five cocks each, for 10 guineas a battle and 20 guineas the main, will be fought on Monday between Mr. Lunn and Mr. Cunliffe.

Towards the early part of this century, a singular custom prevailed in the town and neighbourhood of Northallerton. In the spring of the year nearly all the robust male adults, and occasionally females, repaired to a surgeon to be bled, a process which they considered essentially conduced to vigorous health. For this operation a fee of one shilling was charged, and cheerfully paid. It was doubtless a matter for deep regret to the medical profession when the superstition died out, as this "blood money" periodically amounted to a considerable sum. Indeed there would have been strenuous efforts put forth to keep the custom alive, had not compulsory vaccination come into force, and so averted the pecuniary loss thus sustained.

During the riot which took place here on the fifth of November in this year, a detachment of the 52nd regiment was marched into the town from Whitby, to keep the inhabitants in awe, and continued quartered on the publicans until the month of June, 1805; during which period no less than thirteen Northallerton women were allowed to be married to soldiers of the said detachment. The following are their names :-Ann Hedley; Ann Dunn, housekeeper to R. Bearpark, Esq.; Margaret Brown; Isabella Gowland, otherwise Goldsbrough; Betty Gowland, otherwise Goldsbrough; Ann Blades; Betty Sedgewick; Mary Prince; Miss M. Hoggart, a milliner's apprentice, and a farmer's daughter; Sarah Wood; Isabella Rigby, and Mary Rigby, granddaughter

of Adam Rigby; and Ellen Fearby, cook at Mr. Bulmer's King's Head Inn. Most of these women went abroad with the regiment, and followed their husbands through the campaigns of Calabria, Portugal, and Spain, some of whom were killed in the battle of Corunna, where Sir John Moore lost his life.*

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In this year an engagement took place at sea between H.M.S. "Sea Horse" of 38 guns, and two Turkish war frigates. After three hours hard fighting, both the Turkish vessels were disabled and captured by Captain Stewart of the "Sea Horse." The engagement took place at the east end of the islands of Seopulo. The name of the larger of the Turkish vessels was "Badere Taffere,' of 52 guns, commanded by Captain Schomderli Kichue Ali; the other frigate was the "Alis Fezzan," of 22 guns. The "Sea Horse" lost five killed and ten wounded, and the Turkish vessels 165 killed and 195 wounded. Dr. William Oastler, of Northallerton, was then head surgeon of the "Sea Horse," and was present during the engagement, in commemoration of which Her Majesty Queen Victoria presented him with a silver medal in 1849.

After the trial of the much maligned and persecuted Queen Caroline, the people of Northallerton in their joy at her honourable discharge, and the discomfiture of her enemies, forwarded a loyal and sympathetic address to Her Majesty, to which she was pleased to reply as follows :—

"The gentlemen, clergy, freeholders, and inhabitants of Northallerton and its vicinity will accept my unfeigned thanks for their loyal and affectionate address.


My enemies have added another testimony to the important truth that "malignity is foolishness." The rancour which has so long (been) fostered in their hearts, made them blind to the consequences of their conduct, and compelled them to measures, which have hitherto been of less misery to me than to themselves. The cruelty and injustice of which they have endeavoured to make me the victim, have so powerfully excited the public sympathy in my favour, that they have occasioned my triumph and their (own) humiliation. "January 10th, 1821."+

A.D. 1804.


A sea fight.




In excavating the river Wiske, north-west of Northallerton, in 1822, the workmen disclosed several skeletons of men below Discoveries. the bed of the river, supposed to have lain there since the memorable battle of Flodden Field, as the great Conyers, the lord of Lazenby and Hutton Bonville (just adjoining the river where the skeletons were found) had a large army encamped on the neighbouring plains, where he was joined by Stanley from Lancashire, with his retainers, and marched thence to Flodden, in Scotland.

* Vide Todd's MSS. vol. 2, pages 271, 272, also super page 146.
+ Vide super pages 158, 159.

A.D. 1822. An ancient custom.

Rev. James



Rev. George

Legend of

On June 20th, the boundaries of Osmotherley Common, in the ancient manor of Northallerton, belonging to the see of Durham, were perambulated by the officers and agents of the Hon. and Rev. Shute, Lord Bishop of Durham, attended by a respectable jury, and also by a great number of gentlemen on horseback and others on foot. It was a red letter day for the inhabitants of Osmotherley, work at the spinning mills being suspended and the poor regaled with a plenteous repast. A similar perambulation took place when Nathaniel, Lord Crewe was bishop, in 1704.

This venerable clergyman died at Northallerton, Nov. 26th, 1822. He had been simultaneously vicar of Hutton Bonville, curate of Northallerton, and head master of Northallerton Grammar School for nearly half a century.

The postage of a letter from Northallerton to London at this time was 11d., to Thirsk 4d., to York 7d., to Easingwold 5d., to Newcastle 7d., to Gateshead 7d., to Durham 7d., and to Darlington 5d. Letters were conveyed to and from the above towns by coach. There were then four, viz. :-the Royal Mail, Highflyer, Wellington, and the Cleveland. Three gold coins, not now current, were then in circulation, viz: guinea, half-guinea, and seven-shilling-piece. Sixpence was the smallest silver coin at that time.

The Rev. George Townsend, M.A., was inducted to the vicarage of Northallerton by the Rev. R. D. Kennicott, curate, on June 14th. He read himself in and preached his

first sermon on June 25th.

On Thursday afternoon, July 13th, 1826, the Right Rev. William Van Mildert, D.D., Lord Bishop of Durham, arrived at Northallerton, the manor, shire, and halmote of which the Bishop of Durham for the time being is lord. On his arrival he was received by Fletcher Rigg, esq., J. S. Walton, esq. (stewards of the manor), and several other gentlemen. After a short stay in the town his lordship, accompanied by his lady and suite, proceeded to Croft where they stopped all night. Next morning the bishop was met on Croft Bridge by Mr. Rayson, agent of the Sockburn estate, who presented his lordship with the traditional sword used in the destruction of the Sockburn Serpent, at the same time uttering the following formula," My Lord Bishop, I here present you with the falchion wherewith the champion Conyers slew the worm, dragon, or fiery flying serpent, which destroyed man, woman, and child; in memory of which the king then reigning gave him the manor of Sockburn, to hold by this tenure, that upon the first entrance of every new bishop into this county, this falchion should be presented." The bishop then returned the falchion with an appropriate reply.

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