Images of England

Images of England
to illustrate scenes familiar to ancestors of
the Paxson family or people related to them

Thus far there are entries for the following places in England: Adderbury in Oxfordshire; Aynho in southwest Northamptonshire; Brigflatts Friends Meeting house; Bunhill Fields burial ground in London; Carlisle; Chester; Cirencester in Gloucester; Clitheroe in Lancashire; Durham; Giggleswick in the West Riding of Yorkshire; Great Budworth in Cheshire; Jordans Meeting house in Buckinghamshire; Lancaster Castle and Cathedral; Little Leigh in Cheshire; Low Ellington in Yorkshire; Lupton; Newton in Lancashire; Priddy in Somerset; Settle Friends Meeting in Lancashire; Skipton; Slaidburn in Lancashire; and the hamlet of Stackhouse in the larger township of Giggleswick; Wilmslow in Cheshire, and York. In time there should be more.

You can also see some Buckinghamshire places: Bycot Manor, Finmere, Hillesden, Launton, Marsh Gibbon, and Tingewick.

Adderbury East is a parish (St. Mary) in the union of Banbury, hundred of Bloxham, county of Oxford. It is 3 miles north by east from Deddington. It includes the township of West Adderbury, which is two miles north of Deddington.
Adderbury meeting house

Adderbury appears in Domesday Book as Edburgberic, which was probably derived from St. Edburgh, who was popular in the area in Saxon and Norman times.

There was a magnificent ancient mansion in the village of Adderbury East that belonged to the Duke of Argyle. Later it passed into the hands of the Earl of Rochester.

Here is a picture of the old Friends meeting house in Adderbury. There is also, of course, an old church built on higher ground. It is cruciform with a massive square tower. [Samuel Lewis, A Topographical Dictionary of England, 5th ed. (London: 1842), 1:12-13.]

Aynho, farmhouse of father of John Haines
Aynho (or the old spelling of Aynhoe), King's Sutton Hundred, is in the extreme south west corner of Northamptonshire. The Topographical Dictionary describes the village as being on a rocky eminence 2¾ miles east by north from Deddington in the union of Brackley. A plentiful spring, called "Town Well" emerges from the foot of the eminence. The town saw Roman habitation, and a Roman feeder road, the Roman Portway, runs through the parish and is visible at the eastern end of the village. During the Commonwealth Robert Wild, Presbyterian minister, poet, and satirist, held forth in St. Michael's, the parish church. He was ejected from the living in 1662, after the Restoration of the Stuart monarchy. In 1671 Mrs. Mary Cartwright founded a free school in the village. [Lewis, Top. Dic. 1:119-120.]

    When Haines descendant Betty Hutchinson Trumbower visited Aynho in 1983, she enquired of the local grocer about the Haines family. He phoned a very elderly lady, saying there were "more American Haines relations here", and she graciously invited them to her home for tea and cookies. This thatched house was pointed out as belonging to the father of John Borton who emigrated to New Jersey. Obviously it has been enlarged and modernized since his time; perhaps the central third is the original section? The locals were quite proud that it was still thatched. [Photo of thatched cottage courtesy of Betty H. Trumbower]

The old Aynho market cross is no longer in the market square.

"Bortons Farm", above, with a date of 1793, is an intriguing link with the branch of the Borton family that had emigrated to New Jersey more than 100 years earlier.

On the left above is a view of the countryside from Aynho Park. To the right is a house that was built in 1603 and therefore would have been known to the Haines and Borton families before they emigrated.

Photographs by MJP Grundy, 5/1999


Brigflats meeting house

Brigflatts Friends Meeting house is in the hamlet of the same name about one and a half miles from Sedburgh in Yorkshire. The meeting house is a plain stone building set in a little garden, surrounded by fields. But back in 1652 when Friends first began preaching a new relationship with Christ arisen within, Brigflatts was a busy little area of flax weavers. There was apparently a village green and pump, as well as the usual assortment of blacksmith and other craft shops. There was a thriving trade in wool and knitting, and in the general area there were lead mines, lime kilns, and marble quarries.

Brigflats meeting house

For some 22 years early Friends held their meetings for worship in homes, barns, and on the open fells, some of them travelling long hours by foot or horseback to attend. At least 15 homes were known as regular meeting places, even though Friends were liable to be arrested or fined for attending or permitting such unlawful meetings in their houses. Friends were imprisoned for holding their own worship, for not attending the established church, for refusing to pay tithes to pay for the established church, for refusing to pay "war taxes" to support the militia and navy, and for refusing to take oaths. When they refused to pay the fines, good were distrained, often worth many times the initial fine. The excess could be kept by the official seizing the goods.

Although the Conventicle Act (which outlawed meetings) was still in effect, in 1674 Friends decided to build a meeting house anyway. A plot of land was purchased from John Dawson for ten shillings. Labor and materials were donated. It was an effort by the whole faith community. The roof was made of stone rather than the more common thatch. At first the building was just four walls and a roof with a dirt floor. A narrow stairway led to an open loft or gallery, and a small room over the porch. Another piece of land, a little further up the lane, was purchased from Richard Robinson for ten shillings to use as a burying ground. Later, improvements were made. In 1681 a wooden floor was installed (replaced much later). In 1683 the stable was thatched (presumably for the second time). In 1706 the burial ground was enlarged and enclosed in a stone wall. Two years later work was begun enlarging the stable, with a room built over top. It was used for the school which had previously been in a friend's house. The next improvement was to extend the gallery across the back of the meeting house, widen the staircase, and add the dog pen at the foot of the stairs for any sheep dogs that accompanied their masters. It can be seen in the photograph, enclosing the area between the front door and the foot of the stairs.

Over the eighteenth century the population shrank as the flax industry died and wool spinning and knitting also declined. The new cotton mills in Lancashire lured folks away from the area. Methodism made inroads into the area, as well.

In the early twentieth century extensive repairs had to be made on the meeting house. [Brigflatts Meeting House, pub. by Brigflatts Preparative Meeting, n.d. [ca. 1975]), n.p.] Now it seems to be in good shape, a much loved and lovely little old meeting house.

Bunhill Fields in London was established outside the walls of the City as the place where Friends and other Nonconformists were buried, including a lot of victims of the plague. The name is said to have been a corruption of "bonehill", a description derived from the hasty burials of lots of plague victims in 1665. [Amelia Mott Gummere, "Friends in Burlington", Penna. Magazine of History and Biography Vol. 7, no. 3 (1883), 252.]

The gravestone on the left memorializes George Fox, who was buried somewhere here. The stone was added much later, and a quarter century ago was leaning against the brick wall surrounding the burial ground. The building in the photograph on the right is Bunhill Meeting as it looked in the last quarter of the twentieth century.

memorial stone in Bunhill Fields burying ground, put up later honoring George Fox Bunhill meeting house

Photos by MJP Grundy, 1987.

Carlisle is a border town and scene of many border fights. In the mid-seventeenth century the cathedral was already in such poor condition that Cromwell's troops felt free to tear down the end of the nave to use the stones for fortifying the town's walls and the castle. The cathedral now has the shortest nave in all of England. The photo to the right shows the truncated wall on the left end of the building.

George Fox preached to the garrison in the castle. Generally he was well received by soldiers.
Main portal into Carlisle Castle

Chester Cathedral Consistory Court

Chester is a fascinating city in Cheshire that needs a write-up. For now, here is a photo of the consistory court in the cathedral. It was built in 1635/6 and used until the mid-19th century to try cases under ecclesiastical law. The judge (called the Chancellor) sat under the canopy; below him sat the Registrar, with his clerk to his left. Others concerned with the case sat around the table. From the left, arms on the canopy are Hugh Lupis, Norman Earl of Chester. Friends would be brought to this court for non-payment of tithes to and non-attendance at the state-established church.

[Photo by MJP Grundy, taken 5/2/1999.]

Cirencester is a parish (of St. John the Evangelist); the borough of Cirencester is a hundred in and of itself, in the East Division of Gloucestershire, 17 miles southeast from the city of Gloucester. It is on the River Churn, originally called the Corin.

There was a Celtic British city here, Caer Cori, more than 2,000 years ago. The Romans then took it over and constructed a military station on the site, that they called Corirum. It was an important station because it was near the intersection of Fosse-way and Ermin and Ikeneld Streets. There are still a lot of Roman remains in the area. The Saxons added the name Ceaster. It was the metropolis of the Dobuni, from whom it was taken by Ceawlin, King of Wessex, in 577. In those turbulent "dark age" years, it was then annexed to the Kingdom of Mercia in 656. When Alfred the Great defeated the Danes in 879 they retreated to the town, staying there a year during negotiations with Alfred. [Samuel Lewis, A Topographical Dictionary of England, 5th ed. (London: 1842), 1:605, 607.]

It has been said that the seventeenth century civil war against Charles I began in Cirencester with "a personal attack on Lord Chandos, who had been appointed to execute the commission of array on behalf of the King." It was soon garrisoned by parliamentary forces. Prince Rupert led an assault against the town on 2 February 1642/3 and after a "sharp conflict of two hours" the town was taken. It was recovered by the Earl of Essex for Parliament 16 September the following year, retaken by royalists, and ultimately surrendered to Parliament. [Samuel Lewis, A Topographical Dictionary of England, 5th ed. (London: 1842), 1:606.]

In the village of Siddington, about a mile from Cirencester, lived John Roberts and his wife Mary (Solliss). A colonel and his company quartered themselves upon them, and they "sustained great spoil." John's son, also named John, and a neighbor joined the Parliament forces until they heard that Prince Rupert had taken Cirencester. Then they thought they'd better return home to see how their families were. Two Royalist soldiers spied them, chased them, and cut them down. Thinking John was dead they left him and killed his companion. John made his way to his uncle Solliss, survived, and eventually rejoined the Parliamentary forces. As the fighting wound down in 1645 he returned home and the next year married Lydia Tyndale. [Oade Roberts, Some Memoirs of the Life of John Roberts, One of the Early Friends, Written by his Son, Daniel Roberts, in 1725 (London: A. W. Bennett, 1859), 1.]

In 1655 "two women friends [Quakers] came out of the north to Cirencester" and came to John Jr.'s house, giving him and a few neighbors the message of Friends. They directed him to Richard Farnsworth, then in Banbury Gaol. John went, met with Richard, and was convinced of the Friends' message. The account of John's ministry, travels, sufferings, and run-ins with various magistrates has been told by his son. Above is a drawing of John Roberts's house from the 1859 printing of this account. Up until 1673 Friends met for worship in various homes, including that of John Roberts. His son Daniel followed in John's footsteps. Daniel "was early called to the ministry, and by his fervent labours in the work thereof, and constant and patient sufferings by spoil of goods and imprisonment in Gloucester Castle for the blessed truth, in the reign of King Charles the Second, was made instrumental, in the hands of God, for the conversion and strengthening of many in those parts." [The quotation is from the "Testimony of Upper-Side Monthly Meeting, &c., respecting Daniel Roberts, deceased, 1726-7. Roberts, Some Memoirs of the Life of John Roberts, One of the Early Friends, Written by his Son, Daniel Roberts, in 1725, 96.]

In 1660 John Roberts gave Friends a small plot on his farm for their use as a burying ground. Since Friends refused to be buried by the established church rites (thereby denying the church officials some fees) and eschewing the church's "hallowed ground", they needed space for their own simple burials. In 1673 Friends in Cirencester leased from the Crown, land on Thomas Street, where they erected a square stone building in which to worship. There was space for a new burial ground adjoining the meeting house. Forty-eight Friends subscribed £385 to which was added a little over £9 from Friends in other areas. In 1726 some alterations were made to the meeting house, including probably rounding the tops of the windows. In 1811 the meeting house was enlarged and a gallery for ministers and elders added, along with a partition that could be raised and lowered to make separate meeting rooms for the men's and women's meetings for business. [Leslie Stephens, Cirencester Quakers, 1655-1973 (Cirencester Preparative Meeting, 1973), 1.]

When Parliament invited William of Orange to take the throne from James II and his presumed Catholic heir, Cirencester (under the influence of the Duke of Beaufort) declared for James II. When Lord Lovelace marched through town on his way to greet William of Orange, he was attacked by a Capt. Lorange of the county militia, taken prisoner, and sent to Gloucester gaol. This was said to be the first blood shed of the "Glorious Revolution". [Samuel Lewis, A Topographical Dictionary of England, 5th ed. (London: 1842), 1:606.]

By about 1870 membership in Cirencester Meeting began to decline so that in 1923 the meeting was laid down. The building was almost sold. But in 1938 a small group of Friends began to worship there again. By 1949 the meeting was thriving, and the burial ground behind it was turned into the garden shown in this photograph. Above is a photograph of the rear of the Friends meeting house, taken from its garden. [Stephens, Cirencester Quakers, 1655-1973, 2-3, 42-48.]

The Anglican church in town is a "magnificent" fifteenth century, decorated English style building with a "lofty embattled tower crowned with pinnacles". In addition to the Friends meeting, in the mid-nineteenth century Cirencester also had places of worship for Baptists, Independents, Wesleyans, and Unitarians. [Samuel Lewis, A Topographical Dictionary of England, 5th ed. (London: 1842), 1:606.]

Clitheroe is an unincorporated borough, market town, and parochial chapelry in the parish of Whalley, Higher Division of the hundred of Blackburn, on the east bank of the River Ribble in Lancashire. Its ancient name was Cliderhow, from the Celtic/British "Cled-dwr" meaning hill or rock by the water, and "how", the Saxon word for hill. There was an ancient castle on the hill, probably built in 1179 by Robert de Lacy II, who also built the chapel of St. Michael. But there is the possibility it is older, built by Robert de Lacy I. Anyway, the original castle had a keep, tower, arched gateway, and a wall built on the edge of the rock. It was the place "for dispensing justice and receiving tribute by the Lacys." [Samuel Lewis, A Topographical Dictionary of England, 5th ed. (London: 1842), 1:631.] When Alice, the sister and heiress of Henry de Lacy, married Thomas Plantagenet, Earl of Lancaster, Clitheroe and its castle became a Lancasterian possession. [Samuel Lewis, A Topographical Dictionary of England, 5th ed. (London: 1842), 1:632.]

Pendle Hill from Clitheroe

During the Civil War, Clitheroe was among the last places to surrender to Parliament. In 1649 Parliament ordered the castle to be dismantled. Only the square tower keep remains. [Samuel Lewis, A Topographical Dictionary of England, 5th ed. (London: 1842), 1:632.]

To the right, dimly seen in the haze in the distance, is Pendle Hill from the castle ruin in Clitheroe. George fox climbed to the top of Pendle Hill one gorgeously clear day in the late spring of 1652, where he had a vision of a "great people to be gathered". [George Fox, The Journal of George Fox, John L. Nickalls, ed. (Cambridge: at the University Press, 1952), 103-4.]

Durham Cathedral Durham is in need of its write-up.

Durham Cathedral

Photos by MJP Grundy, .

Giggleswick, in the parish of St. Alkeld, union of Settle, Western Division of the wapentake of Staincliffe and Ewcross, is in the West Riding of Yorkshire. It is a half mile west by north from Settle. Formerly it was a market town. In the Domesday Book it was spelled Ghigelswic, supposedly from Gikel, its Saxon proprietor. In time it passed to the Percy family. Henry de Percy obtained from Edward II a "grant of free warren in all his lands of Giggleswick". [Samuel Lewis, A Topographical Dictionary of England, 5th ed. (London: 1842), 2:271.]

St. Alkelda, Giggleswick, 5/1999

Giggleswick has been a center of population for at least two thousand years, mainly because it is on a practicable crossing of the Pennines where the Ribble could be forded. Although the crossing was practicable, it was not very easy, with many steep slopes on the way west into Settle. To the south the area was bounded by marshes, and to the north by high and difficult moors. Before the Norman conquest the important settlement was on the west bank. Therefore the entire area, on both banks, became the parish of Giggleswick. When Settle was granted a weekly market in 1249, it became more important economically. Towards the end of the seventeenth century (when our ancestors were leaving) and well into the eighteenth life became somewhat more prosperous. Agriculture improved, as did communication. The Keighley-Kendal Turnpike Trust was established in 1753. There are a number of buildings that survive from this period. [K.W.Wood, The Ancient Parish of Giggleswick (Published by Giggleswick School and Settle and District Civic Society as a contribution to European Architectural Heritage Year, 1975), Introduction. My thanks to Mary S. Musto for copying and sending some pages for me.]

Cottages opposite the lych gate of the church, retained their seventeenth-century stone mullions, and one of them contained an old reading room. Towards the end of the sixteenth century the Earl of Cumberland, Lord of the Manor, gave permission for houses to be built of stone, replacing earlier wooden ones. Further along the street some cottages were pulled down and replaced with weaving sheds; they became cottages again in 1836. The church cottages in the center of the picture were rescued from demolition at the end of the nineteenth century, and renovated. [Photograph from The Ancient Parish of Giggleswick (Published by Giggleswick School and Settle and District Civic Society as a contribution to European Architectural Heritage Year, 1975), 14.]
1895 photograph of Giggleswick

   The small town boasts this old church of St. Alkelda. It was rebuilt in the later English style during the reign of Henry VII. [Samuel Lewis, A Topographical Dictionary of England, 5th ed. (London: 1842), 2:271.] When it "was restored in 1890-'92 it became clear that a Norman church had stood on the same site, and some remains of Saxon masonry suggest that there had been an even earlier church." [Wood, The Ancient Parish of Giggleswick (1975), Introduction.] Once our ancestors became Friends however, this church probably would not seem as pleasant as it had, perhaps, before their convincement. Click here for another view of St. Alkelda, Steve Bulman.

   When George Fox was quite weak and ill, having endured much hardship imprisoned under horrible conditions in Lancaster Castle, he was taken under guard through the town en route to Scarborough Castle. In his Journal, he recounted:

...when we came to Bentham, there met us a-many troopers and a marshal; and many of the gentry of the country were come in and abundance of people to stare at me. And being very weak, I desired them to let me lie of a bed, which the soldiers permitted me. So they went into a room and left a guard upon me and gave the marshall and the soldiers their order. And after they had stayed there a while, they pressed horses and raised the bailiff of the hundred, and the constables and others, and so had me to Giggleswick that night. And an exceeding weak man I was. And there they raised the constables with their clog shoes, who sat drinking all night in the room by me so as I could not get much rest.
   And the next day we came to a market town,..John Nickalls ed., The Journal of George Fox (Cambridge Univ. Press, 1952), 489-90.
cottages dating from 1689, Giggleswick, 5/1999
   These old cottages (photograph to the left) date back to 1689, but even they are too recent to have been present in the town when our ancestors lived in the area. Many Friends left Giggleswick and nearby hamlets in order to emigrate to Pennsylvania in 1682 when William Penn opened up his new province for settlement.

   The hamlet of Stackhouse is in the larger township of Giggleswick.

Color photos by MJP Grundy

Great Budworth from a distance

Great Budworth, in the union of Runcorn, in Cheshire, is three miles north by east from Northwich. From a distance one can see the tower of St. Mary and All Saints church. The church has a nave, chancel, side aisles, two transcepts, and the "fine tower", seen in the photograph below. The church sustained considerable damage from the Parliamentary forces in 1647. [Samuel Lewis, A Topographical Dictionary of England, 5th ed. (London: 1842), 1:424-5..]

church in Great Budworth

Details from inside the church include a small carved head and the fifteenth century font.

detail detail
Great Budworth parish (in red) and village (in black).

The view of the church from the graveyard also shows the old Jacobian school house on the right, dating from the seventeenth century.
detail detail

Jordans meeting house

Jordans Meeting house is in need of its write-up. The burial ground holds the graves of William Penn and some of his family.

graves of William Penn's family, Jordans meeting

    Photos by MJP Grundy, 1987.

Lancaster Castle which served as a gaol in the seventeenth century. The Romans under Agricola made their camp on the hill in 79 AD. The main part of the gate shown here dates to the reign of Henry V. "Over the archway is a statue of John of Gaunt. In one of the towers of the castle is a room known as the Quakers' Room many of the Society having been imprisoned there . . . . The Dungeon Tower in which George Fox was imprisoned was demolished in 1818."

From Quaker Biographies (Philadelphia: Friends' Book Store, 1912), Vol. 1,  facing p. 79.

Holly Bush pub

Little Leigh was a chapelry in the parish of Great Budworth, union of Northwich, hundred of Bucklow, Northern division of Cheshire. It is 3.5 miles northwest by north from Northwich. The chapel was quite ancient, and repaired in 1664. [Samuel Lewis, A Topographical Dictionary of England, 5th ed. (London: 1842), 3:59.] See a sketch map above, in Great Budworth's write-up.

Today it is a tiny hamlet that still has a few buildings that were in existence before 1682 when many Friends left the area for Penn's new colony. The Holly Bush pub (pictured to the right) was built in 1641. Of course all these buildings have been repaired, improved, and modernized over the years.

This seventeenth century thatched farmhouse (below) is being handsomely restored. A modern wing has been added to the right in the lower picture.

renovated old house in Little Leigh

Photos by MJP Grundy.

Low Ellington road sign, photo by Landy Gobes, June 2008

Low Ellington is a tiny hamlet in Wensleydale, in Yorkshire. In the seventeenth century it was a bit larger. Now it only has four grey stone houses plus the school. Landy Gobes kindly sent me these photos which she took on 28 June 2008. The third photo on the right shows the old school.

Low Ellington is near Masham, where there are still two breweries: Black Sheep and Theakstons. Both still use traditional coopers making wooden barrels. The Cooper family from Low Ellington must at one time have been employed as coopers. [E mail from Landy Gobes, July 30, 2008.]

Low Ellington road sign, photo by Landy Gobes, June 2008 Low Ellington road sign, photo by Landy Gobes, June 2008

Lupton Church

Lupton is a township in the parish of Kirkby-Lonsdale in the union of Kendal, Lonsdale ward, Westmorland. It is 3 and 1/4 mile west by north from Kirkby-Lonsdale. This church is pretty small, and its yard was pretty weedy.

Photo by MJP Grundy, 1999.

Newtown, main road thru town, 4/29/1999 Newton has the distinction of sharing its name with thirty other towns or villages in England, of which three are in Lancashire and three are in Yorkshire. The one described here is a township in the parish of Slaidburn, union of Clitheroe, Western division of the wapentake of Staincliffee and Ewcross, in the West Riding of Yorkshire. It is seven miles north, northwest from Clitheroe. [Samuel Lewis, A Topographical Dictionary of England, 5th ed. (London: 1842), 3:362.]

The photograph on the right is of the main road through town. The photo on the left, below, is of the old Friends burying ground, on a rise at the edge of town. It is rather overgrown and a bit unkempt, but stones can be seen around the sides. In the very early days Friends did not have stone markers. The picture to the right below is the view of Newton from the burying ground.

Newton Friends burying ground, 4/1999 Newtown, view from the Friends meeting house, 4/1999

Friends burying ground 4/29/1999

Photos by MJP Grundy, 4/1999.

view of the Mendip Hills from Priddy

Priddy is a parish in the union of Wells, hundred of Wells-Forum, Eastern division of Somerset. It is 4.5 miles north, northwest from Wells, in a small hollow in the Mendip Hills. These are ancient limestone hills riddled with caves. Priddy is nearly 1,000 feet high, and fourteen miles from the sea. In the nineteenth century there were still traces of "Belgic Briton" and Roman mines, digging for lead, silver, and other minerals. [Samuel Lewis, A Topographical Dictionary of England, 5th ed. (London: 1842), 3:551.] (For a list of the minerals in the general area, see "The mines in Mendip are notable in that they were often extensions of existing caving systems or intersected natural passageways as they were worked. Many mines were simply surface workings, leaving behind what is known as 'gruffy ground' although several ran deep underground. There has been no comprehensive work on the mines and their remains in this area." [From as of 3m/5/2011. This web page by Mike Munro also gives an annotated list of the various mines.]

The scene to the right is the Mendip Hills from Priddy. Not in the picture, but in the general area there are vestiges of a Roman encampment. But it is the prehistoric remains that are perhaps more interesting. There is a group of 20 tumuli--Priddy Nine Barrows, a late Neolithic barrow cemetery. Nearby are a few scattered tumuli and a curving row of ten Bronze Age round barrows. A short distance away are the Priddy Circles, a huge henge complex with three circles.

Church of St. Lawrence in Priddy

The church of St. Lawrence in Priddy was dedicated on 10 August 1352, St. Lawrence Day, a few years after the plague had devastated so much of England--and Europe. St. Lawrence is usually seen with what looks like a griddle in his hand because supposedly he was martyred by being roasted on a grid-iron ca. 258 during the reign of emperor Valerian. The most famous story about him is that when he was ordered by a judge to produce the church's treasure he brought all the poor people in his care. There may have been a building pre-dating the 1352 dedication. The church tower in Late Decorated style, is a good example of simple Somerset towers. However its stairway is in an unusual position and the acutely pointed tower archway appears to be 13th century work that is not usual in Somerset. The 15th century altar frontal (irises embroidered on Italian brocade) has been preserved over the centuries as the church fell into disrepair from time to time. Since 1960 it has been protected in a glass case. As is so often the history with rural churches, the expense of upkeep was an ongoing problem. There were bequests in local wills in 1509, 1539, and 1540 for "reparation" work. A great storm in 1703 apparently damaged the tower. It was mended, especially the pinnacles and battlements, in 1705. But things may have been neglected after that, because by 1883 the roof was leaking and the tower was in bad shape. Major renovations were done that year. ["The Church of St. Lawrence", a leaflet obtained at the church in April 1999. It was taken from Alan Thomas, The Story of Priddy (Wells: INA Books).]

roodscreen in the Church of  St. Lawrence, Priddy

The tower has three bells. One was cast in 1613 and two in 1618. The rood screen is Jacobean, or at least the center part is, shown in the photograph on the right. The south part of the screen is a Victorian replacement and the north part has a lot of new wood in it. The bowl of the font (which unfortunately doesn't show in the photograph below) is Norman. Since Priddy does not appear in the Domesday Book, it is assumed that the font was brought here from somewhere else. It was repaired in 1883, and set on a new plinth. ["The Church of St. Lawrence", a leaflet obtained at the church in April 1999. It was taken from Alan Thomas, The Story of Priddy (Wells: INA Books).]

interior of the Church of St. Lawrence in Priddy

The register only dates from 1759 for marriages, and 1761 for baptisms and burials, which is long after our ancestors left the town.

At the time of the plague in 1348 the fair was moved from Wells to Priddy, where it has been ever since. There is some speculation that originally it was held on St. Lawrence Day, 10 August, and the church was dedicated to Lawrence a few years later to coincide with the fair. In the nineteenth century the fair was held 21 August (according to Samuel Lewis), and featured cattle and horses, as well as sheep. Between fairs the pens are stacked neatly in these structures on the large village common.

stacked livestock pens, Priddy

Photos by MJP Grundy, 5/1999.

Priddy is not too far from Glastonbury and a variety of "energy sites" that New Agers have gotten pretty excited about. There are also "holy wells". A "Fair Lady Well" is marked on the Ordinance Survey about 300 yards north of the old St Cuthbert's lead works. Since the 13th century it has been a boundary mark for the limit of the Bishops' lead rights in the Mendips. It was formerly "Fairwell". [From: as of 8/24/2005.]

Settle Meeting house has a 1678 date stone above the door. Therefore this would have been the building where a number of Friends would have come to request certificates of removal to Pennsylvania in 1682 and subsequent years. Settle Monthly Meeting consisted of several local or Preparative meetings, such as Bolland in the Slaidburn area.

Settle Meeting House, 4/29/1999, built in 1678 interior of Settle Meeting house

church in Skipton

Skipton is north west of Leeds in Yorkshire. Holy Trinity church, in the photograph,was first built in the early 1100, soon after the Norman conquest. It was probably made of wood, about where the tower is now. Around 1300 another church was built, with help from monks of Bolton Priory. In the late 1400s it was extended eastwards, probably with financial assistance from Richard III. During the Civil War the tower was damaged, but Lady Anne Clifford, in the castle next door, paid to have it repaired soon after, along with a few windows. Gas lighting was installed which made the church warmer and therefore enabled a huge stench to arise from the burial vaults. Thirty centimeters of concrete was laid on the floor to seal off the smell. For more details and a floor plan, see the Skipton web page

Skipton Castle, next door to the church, was built about 1100. It is one of the most complete and best preserved medieval castles in England. It was started soon after 1090 by Robert de Romille, probably as the usual earth and timber motte and bailey fortification. It was replaced relatively soon with a stone fortress. The Clifford family was given the castle in 1310 by Edward II when Robert was appointed first Lord Clifford of Skipton and Guardian of Craven, the countryside to the north and west of Skipton. The family got its name from Clifford Castle in Herefordshire. Robert set about fortifying the castle, but was killed at the Battle of Bannockburn in 1314. See Skipton Castle web page for more details.

Slaidburn countryside, river Hodder

Slaidburn in Lancashire is a typical village built of grey stone. The name is said to have come from a stone slab commmorating a bloody battle against the marauding Danes. Many pack-horse trails across the fells came together at the town. The view on the right shows the fells just outside of town (which is to the left in this photo), and the river Hodder. The photo below on the left is the end of the town, the main part being slightly up the hill and not very visible. This view is to the left of the hill and River in the photo on the right.

Slaidburn from the river Hodder, 4/29/1999    St. Andrews church is on a small rise above the flood plain of Hall Flatts and Countess Meadows, fields which were glebe lands at one time. There were previous buildings on the general site going back to a tenth century Saxon church. It may have been destroyed by the Norman conquerors. The Normans rebuilt the church, and the pink sandstone tower remains from their twelfth century work. Then Robert de Lacey, who founded the priory of Pontefract in 1090, also turned over to the Priory the Slaidburn Church and all its endowments. Pontefract was Cluniac, and there was a long struggle between it and the Cistercian Abbey of Stanlaw for control of the vast tithes from the Bolland Forest and Slaidburn church. The result for folks living in Slaidburn, was that by the fourteenth century there was so much ill-will, that church men tended to avoid the village, records were not kept, and the living was poor.

   During the Scottish incursions and general unrest in the Hodder valley in 1319-1322 most of the church was destroyed except for the tower. So the rest of the building dates from the 1340s. Of course the Black Death in 1349 put a terrible crimp in the already poverty-stricken valley.

Slaidburn, St Andrews church

   The sixteenth century upheavals, including Henry VIII's dissolution of the monasteries, made some rich people a great deal more wealthy, while poor folks tended to lose many of the few rights they had. The gradual but persistent enclosure of common pastures led poor people to squat out on the heath. It is suggested that these folk and family memories of a time when they had owned their own land (or held it on long and secure lease hold), and the bitterness of being dispossessed and enduring grinding poverty, helped fuel immigration to the new world.

   The Hark to Bounty pub dates back to the thirteenth century. Its name is said to have come from a dog, whose master heard it howling outside, and supposedly said, "Hark to Bounty". The inn was the site of the old courtroom of the Forest of Bowland. It was the only courtroom for justices traveling on circuit between Lancaster and York. It was last used in 1937.

Slaidburn- Hark to Bounty pub and former courthouse

   Northern England was ripe to receive the life-changing message of early Friends. In 1653 William Dewsbury (an early convert and one of the so-called "Valiant Sixty" visited Slaidburn. He met with a mixed reception, reporting that he "was pulled Downe; & ye town was all on an uproar, but there were some who were convinced by him." The following year Cuthbert Hayhurst and Thomas Wigglesworth were brought to trial before the Quarter Sessions court. My guess is that they were brought to the Hark to Bounty first for an initial hearing, then sent to Skipton. The charges were: "Whereas Cuthberte Hirste [sic] and Thomas Wiglesworth of Slaidburn stand indicted for breakinge of the peace upon the lords day in the Church of Slaidburn and to the disturbance of the Congregation there assembled hearinge ye Word of God preached . . . ." As was the practice of Friends who felt themselves not only innocent but under obedience to divine command, they refused to find sureties for their good behaviour or to promise not to do the same thing again, and were taken into custody. [Quarter Sessions QS10/3/54/55, Skipton N. Yorkshire, as quoted on]

   The hearth tax levied on Lady Day 1672 in "Slaydburn" included William Atkinson (two hearths), and Samuel Satckhouse, John Crosdall [sic], and Thomas Cutler (one hearth each). The tax was 2/ per hearth on properties valued at 20/ or more--a 10% tax. []

Stackhouse is a hamlet in the township of Giggleswick. I suppose its main claim to fame is that there are many Stackhouse family descendants in North America today who fondly hope that this eponymous hamlet might be their place of origin. Whether or not a direct connection can be proved is a more difficult question.

About the year 1160 Adam, son of Meldred, the lord of the Manor of Giggleswick, granted a portion of his land in Stackhouse to the monks of Furness Abbey, with rights "to feed swine, cut timber for building purposes in Giggleswick Wood, and to use the common pastures of Giggleswick and Stackhouse". The monks came to live in the hamlet and later built a corn mill by the river, which caused a dispute with Adam's grandson, Elias. But the hamlet was isolated and remote and in the 13th. century the monks let the land to tenants, who remained in their holdings after the dissolution of the Monasteries. The hamlet still remains much as it must have appeared in the 17th. century, when the farmsteads were rebuilt. [K.W.Wood, The Ancient Parish of Giggleswick (Published by Giggleswick School and Settle and District Civic Society as a contribution to European Architectural Heritage Year, 1975), 37. My thanks to Mary Stackhouse Musto for copying and sending me some pages.]

Eugene Glenn Stackhouse has traced the family back through the Carr, Clavering, and de Burgh families to Baldwin, Count of Boulogne in early medieval times. [Eugene Glenn Stackhouse, Stackhouse: An Original Pennsylvania Family (Baltimore: Gateway Press, 1988).] So it is fun to have an old image (late nineteenth century?) of Carrholme. It belonged to the Carr family before the dissolution of the monasteries (1538). They, along with Clapham and Stackhouse families were tenants of Furness Abbey. [Wood, The Ancient Parish of Giggleswick (1975), 37.]

Drawing of Wilmslow church

Wilmslow is a parish in the division of Altrincham, in the hundred of Macclesfield, northern division of Chester County, eight miles northwest by north from Macclesfield. [Samuel Lewis, A Topographical Dictionary of England, 5th ed. (London: 1842), 4:546.] It is in the valleys of the Rivers Bollin and Dean, in lowland Cheshire. At one time it was a stagecoach stop between London and Manchester. ["Borough of Macclesfield",, seen 3/21/2008.]

old photograph of Wilmslow church

Sir Richard Fitton of Bolyn had a church built beside the Bollin River about 1280. The current church of St. Bartholomew was built ca the 1520s. It suffered a major restoration in 1861-63 and 1897 which raised the chancel roof. That is carefully left out of the drawing to the right, and to the left is a photograph pre-dating the work.

It is fun to try to imagine what would have been familiar in this church to ancestors who lived there in the seventeenth century. On the floor of the Prescott Chapel (to the south or right of the chancel) is the oldest commemorative brass in Cheshire, dating from 1460. In the bottom of the south window are some old fragments of glass from 1523. Some of the sixteenth century carved wooden screens survive. In 1657 the church got a bell, with six more in 1733.

The really interesting feature of St. Bartholomew's, however, are the effigies of Ellen, daughter and co-heiress with her sister of Thomas Fitton of Pownall Hall, and her husband Humphrey Newton (1466-1536). He is dressed as a layman, with long hair. She is dressed in widow's clothing; her head rests of a wheatsheaf, a symbol of the Fitton family arms. [Gerald Coles, "S. Bartholomew's Church, Wilmslow: A short guide".] Humphrey's head seems to be nestled among kegs. I don't want to guess what they signify.

effigy of Ellen Fitton de Pownall in Wilmslow church effigy of Humphrey Newton de Pownall

Wilmslow was not mentioned in the Domesday Book, nor is there any mention there of le Bolyn, which was the name by which this part of Cheshire was known back then. ["Borough of Macclesfield",, seen 3/21/2008.]

The sketch map shows the different parts of the traditional old parish of Wilmslow. I do not know if they are the same today.

Sketch map of the parish of Wilmslow

steps of York Minster

York is a major city, and much can be said about it. But in the meantime, here is one photo of the steps of York Minster. George Fox was thrown out of the minster and down these steps for preaching, after the sermon was finished, words that the establishment did not want to hear.

Here is Fox's own account:

. . . and upon the First-Day [Sunday] I was commanded of the Lord to go to the great minster and speak to priest Bowles [Edward Bowles was a Presbyterian] and all his hearers in their great cathedral; and so when the priest had done I told them and him I had something from the Lord God to speak to the priest and people. 'Then say on quickly' says a professor [one who "professes" about God, not a university teacher], for it was very cold weather of frost and snow. And so I told them this was the word of the Lord God unto them: that they lived in words but that God Almighty looked for fruits amongst them: so as soon as the words were out of my mouth they hurried me out and threw me down the stairs, but I got up again without any hurt and I went to my lodgings again. [George Fox, The Journal of George Fox, John L. Nickalls, ed. (Cambridge: at the University Press, 1952), 77-78.]

[Photo by MJP Grundy, 1987]

This page is still very incomplete, and under construction. Last updated 3m/5/2011. Hang in there, eventually more will be posted. Anyone want to finance a trip for me to England? Maybe when we stop being so dependent on petroleum and stop paying for wars we foolishly started in Iraq and Afghanistan, not to mention obscenely large payments to the top officials (and others) who direct large banks into speculative sub-prime mortgages, the dollar will go a little farther.

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