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Annals of the church and parish of Almondbury, Yorkshire online

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31 Edward III.

II. Same Robert, released to Henry as before, the Manor of Crosland ;
also Huddersfield, Whitley and Meltham. Witnesses to both deeds, John de
Sayvill, of Elland, Henry, his brother, John de Quarmby, John de Radcliffe
and others.

The modern residence is beautifully situated on the rising
ground, and has extensive gardens and conservatories ; now in the
tenure of Robert Skilbeck, Esq., who has held and much improved
the whole for several years. It was formerly occupied for many
years, by Walter Williams Stables, Esq.. a gentleman of good
descent, from Pontefract. The following particulars are gathered
from the Histories of Pontefract, by Dr. Boothroyd and Geo. Fox :

At the time of the second Siege of Pontefract, 1644, among the supporters
of the Royal cause was William Stables, Alderman, one of nine Aldermen
who left their houses and assisted in the defence. On the 3rd June at night,
the besiegers began a work at the top of Mr. Stables' orchard, in the fields
above Baghill. On the 5th, a boy, an apprentice to Mr. Richard Stables,
went from the Castle to cut grass for the cattle, and was unfortunately wounded
by a shot, which went through his arm and part of his shoulder. He, how-
ever, recovered without suffering amputation.

Among those gentlemen who compounded for their estates with the
Parliament, was William Stables, Alderman.

Among the Mayors of Pontefract (William and Mary) William Stables, 1690.

Mr. W. W. Stables, of Crosland Hall, was a man of much
piety and intelligence. He was President of the Huddersfield
Branch of the British and Foreign Bible Society for 17 years. He
married Nancy Glover Chippendale, sister of John Chippendale,
Esq., of Lancaster, see page 146 of this volume. He died at
Crosland Hall in September, 1847, aged 82 years. He was in
person very like King William IV. He was a warm supporter of
South Crosland Church, as are the present occupants of the Hall,
and Mr. George Dyson, who has recently enlarged the residence
of his father at Netherton. Where also the several branches of
the family of Wrigley reside.

Mr. Stables' mother was a Monmouthshire lady, from whom he



318 BROOKE FAMILY.

took the name of Williams. Mrs. W. W. Stables died at Broseley,
Salop, 1863. Issue :

Sarah, married her cousin german Henry Stables, who died at
Huddersfield, 1852 ; leaving issue, William Henry, who died in
South India, and Penelope Mary, who also died unmarried.

Mary, married the Rev. John Swainson, of Preston, both
deceased.

Jane, unmarried at Broseley.

Ellen, died at Broseley.

Hannah, married the Rev. Joseph Cousins, Curate of Lock-
wood, deceased. She is still living at Broadstairs, Thanet.

Walter Williams, married Jane, daughter of H. Taylor, Esq.,
of Knowle House, Mirfield — both living with Issue, five sons and
two daughters.

Four children of Mr. and Mrs. Stables, senr., died in infancy.
Mr. Stables is buried in a vault under the Parish Church, Hudders-
field, where a street still bears his name.

The Brooke Family, of Honley.

The Register of Almondbury, which includes Honley, is vacant
from December 22, 1639, to April 22, 1640, but we have a
Marriage License, granted at York, thus recorded there :

1639. William Brook, Yeoman, of Huddersfield, to Sarah
Armitage, of Almondbury (Dudmanstone).

The following particulars will interest my readers with regard to
this estimable family.

I. John Brooke. II. John Brooke, of Greenhill Bank, baptized at
Kirkburton, 1596, died 1662, leaving an only son. III. Matthew, baptized
March, 1661, married 1698, Miss Hall, Mottram, Cheshire.

IV. William Brooke, of Greenhill Bank (brother of J. Brooke, II),
died November, 1683. John Brooke, III. IV. William Brooke, who
came to Honley, in 1751, from Greenhill Bank. V. John Brooke, married
Elizabeth Smith, of Kirkburton.

VI. William Brooke was married at Almondbury (described in the Register
as "Merchant") to Miss Hannah Clapham, of Leeds, August 4th, 17S9.
Died March, 1846.

They had issue four sons and five daughters :



BROOKE FAMILY. 319

1. Ann, born 9th June, 17S9; baptized at Honley August 4th. Married
Charles Brook, of Healey House, see preceding page. Still living.

2. William, who died at Clifton on the 2nd of November, 1 81 3, in the
23rd year of her age ; buried at Bristol.

3. John, born 26th May, 1794. Married Jane Laycock, daughter of
William Laycock, of Nun Appleton, near York, in 1822. He died June nth,
1878 ; late of Armitage Bridge House and Kensworth Park, Herts ; buried
at Sibton, Suffolk. Had one son, John William, of Sibton Park ; born in
1824; died 5th May, 1881, leaving three sons and four daughters. He
married Jemima Charlotte Brittain.

4. Thomas Brooke, born 26th February, 1798 ; died August 31st, 1859.
Married, October, 1828, Anne, daughter of Joseph Ingham, of Hunslet,
Leeds, living. Children : five sons and eight daughters.

5. Edward Brooke, born March, 1799; died January 30th, 1871. Married
Martha Smith, ofGreetland, in 1827. Issue: five sons and three daughters.

6. 7 and 8. Elizabeth, Mary and Hannah ; died in infancy.

9. Sarah, born 1804. Married, 1823, John Allen, of Gledholt, Hudders-
field (see pages 44 and 146). One son, Thomas Allen, living ; and two
daughters, Hannah and Sarah, deceased.

The following are the sons of Thomas and Anne Brooke, of
Northgate House :

Thomas Brooke, F.S.A., of Armitage Bridge House, born May 31st,
1830. Married (1) Septr., 1854, Eliza, the daughter of Enoch Vickerman.
She died, leaving one son, Francis Thomas, born at Fenay Lodge, who died
August 27th, 1872, aged 17. He married (2) Amelia, daughter of David
Dewar, of Islington, Middlesex.

William Brooke, of Northgate Mount, born December 2nd, 1834;
married October 19th, 1871, Gertrude Elizabeth, the daughter of Joshua
Ingham, of Blake Hall, Mirfield. Children : one son and one daughter.

Joshua InghaM Brooke, M.A., Rector of Thornhill and Rural Dean,
born February 14th, 1836. Married in 1859, Grace Charlotte, the youngest
daughter of General Godby, C.B., of Balheeston. Children: three sons and
five daughters.

John Arthur Brooke, M.A., of Fenay Hall, born March 22nd, 1844.
Married in 1873, Blanche, the daughter of Major Weston, of Morveck, Suther-
land, and granddaughter of General Godby, C.B.

Edward Brooke, Vicar of St. John the Divine, Kennington, London, born
July 9th, 1847 ; unmarried.

Daughters of Thomas and Anne Brooke :

Anne, died at Cappenhall Rectory, near Crewe, Cheshire, 1847, in the 16th
year of her age.



320 BROOKE FAMILY AND HONLEY TOWN.

Elizabeth, died March 26th, 1849, m her 16th year. See Monument,
page 295.

Sarah, unmarried.

Frances, married the Rev. Canon Bartlet, Vicar of St. John's, Mansfield,
living : with one son and two daughters living.

Mary, married the Rev. Riou George Benson, Rector of Hope Bowdler,
Shropshire, living : with six sons and six daughters.

Emma, married Edward Brook, of Meltham Mills and Hoddam Castle,
Dumfrieshire, living : with two sons and two daughters.

Edith and Octavia, unmarried.

Sons and daughters of Edward Brooke, whose Religious
Memorial is published under the title of "Squire Brooke," of
Field House, near Huddersfield, by the Rev. John Holt Lord,
1872 ; and Martha, his wife. He was energetic, earnest, eccentric.

John, born 1829, married Elizabeth, the daughter of Mr. Wm. Greenwood,
Surgeon, and secondly — , daughter of Thomas Mallinson, with issue.

Edward, born 1831, married the daughter of Mr. Burkill, of Scarbro'. Issue.

William. Harry, married Miss Bottomley, Grand-daughter of the late
George Crosland, of Crosland Moor.

Alfred. Jane, married Joseph Brook Turner: one son and four daughters.
Fanny and Elizabeth unmarried.

The following graphical description of Honley, characteristic
of this country generally, is taken from the above mentioned work :
" Honley, seventy years ago, was widely different from the
Honley of the present. It was an antiquated town. The old
houses were low roofed and roughly built of stone, quarried from
the adjoining hills. The houses of later date were loftier and
square looking, with large upper windows extending across the
entire house front, that the weavers, who in ' the good old times '
plied their looms at home, assisted by wife and children, instead
of crowding in mills as now, might be well lighted for their work.
And there were old hostelries with quaint names and quainter
signboards, where the slow going stage waggon stopped, and
travellers refreshed themselves ; but which since railways have
robbed the old roads of their traffic, have mostly degenerated into
beerhouses."

" The town stood upon a somewhat lofty hill. It was ventilated
by the breeze and washed by driving rains, and wore the aspect of



HONLEY TOWN. 32 1

cleanliness and health. It looked down upon a valley of rare
verdure, a trout stream wandered through rich pastures, its bright
waters purling amongst the rocks and discoursing sweet music as
they flowed. The hills on either side were covered with forest
trees, which, drest in summer foliage, gave an air of seclusion and
beauty to the scene, that might have suggested the classic tale of
'The Happy Valley."'

" The highlands behind were mostly uninclosed ; what now are
well fenced fields, tilled by the plough of the husbandman and
yielding such harvests of golden grain, were then wild moors
covered with blushing heather and flaming gorse. Those fragrant
solitudes were well peopled with game. They were grand natural
preserves, where hale generous sportsmen of the olden time, who
had disdained the modern battue with its sickening slaughter and
sordid traffic, loved well to range regardless of fatigue, and where
a good shot might count on making a heavy bag, and supplying
an extra course for the dinner table of his friends."

" The population of Honley was in keeping with its scenery.
There were families which harmonised with the valley scene of
such rare beauty, families well born and cultured, surrounded by
all the refinements and elegancies of polished life. And there
were people as rough and uncultivated as the unreclaimed wild
moors amid which they dwelt."

Of old times, we may add, the clergy as well as laity were given

to sports, and partook of the character of the scenery and the

population. Such were some of those contained in our list;

among them the Rev. J. Hanson (page 296) ; but they were not

allowed entirely to slumber at their posts. Roused in the times of

the Commonwealth by the Rev. Oliver Heywood and others, in the

next century by Mr. Wesley and his followers ; until the same zeal

and energy found its way into the regular pulpit of the Chapel, in

the person of the Rev. Charles Drawbridge, an old soldier, to

whose ministry the last generation was so greatly indebted for the

deep and holy principles which still animate their descendants,

and make them prominent in every good word and work. With

reference to Mr. Hanson, we find that his resort to Mr. Heywood
part in. — M.



322 HONLEY TOWN.

in his last illness was the result of deep repentance for his
unprofitable life as a Clergyman, rather than particular sympathy
with his doctrinal views. And that he found wise counsel and
faithful dealing on the part of this venerable counsellor, whose
preaching many years before, in that Chapel, had much alarmed
him, and to whom he sought in the hour of spiritual distress. He
had sought consolation in company and drink ; but found, like the
prodigal, that gay friends "flee the empty cask."

Much might be said in defence of field and other sports as
recreations. But in a Clergyman, the matter requires more serious
consideration, on account of their effect on the minds of others.

The Rev. Henry Venn, Vicar of Huddersfield, when at
Cambridge, was extremely fond of Cricket, and reckoned one of
the best players in the University. After winning in a match
between Surrey and All England, he threw down his bat saying
"Whoever wants a bat, which has done me good service, may take
that, for I have no further occasion for it." His friends inquiring
the reason he replied " Because I am to be ordained on Sunday,
and I will never have it said, ' Well struck, parson.' " To this
resolution he strictly adhered, notwithstanding even the remon-
strances of the Tutor and Fellows, and though his health suffered
by a sudden transition from a course of most violent exercise to a
life of comparative inactivity.

Mr. Edward Brooke, who had been devoted to shooting, when
he became decided for God and entered on a course of voluntary
though irregular efforts to save souls, he knew that if he allowed
himself in field pleasures, they might lead him astray, and with
heroic spirit, he resolved to deny himself for Christ's sake, and
often said in the pulpit, suiting the action to the word, with
characteristic humour, " This finger never pulled trigger more."

How energetically they both worked in the same neighbourhood
successively their memoirs shew.



CHAPTER IV.

The New Parishes of St. Bartholomew, Meltham ; St.

James, Meltham Mills ; Christ Church, Helme ;

and St. Mary's, Wilshaw.

The Chapelry of Meltham, which, until this century, contained
all the above districts, having been, rather by custom than any
legal division, separated from that of Honley after the erection and
consecration of the first Chapel in 1651, occupies an interesting
amphitheatre of hills, open towards Crosland, and ascending to a
great eminence of moorlands towards the west, in which are the
remains of a Roman encampment. The History of the Township
of Meltham had been written with great labour by the late
excellent Incumbent, the Rev. Joseph Hughes; but left unpublished
in 1864. It was "edited with additions" by his widow, and
published in 1866 at Huddersfield. It is a very interesting volume
of 300 pages, to which the reader is referred for complete details
and authentic history of this important part of the ancient Parish
of Almondbury.

Before, however, entering on the general history we will visit
" Helme," the nearest portion, and which New Parish embraces
part of the Township of South Crosland.

The erection of the Bentley Silk Mill, in the intermediate
valley, by Mr. Charles Brook in the year 1840, created a small
village and employed especially many females. Its contiguity to
the ancient Hamlet of Helme led to the erection eventually of
Christ Church, on an elevated spot in the direction of Meltham
Moor. The Church is architecturally a beautiful specimen of a
village sanctuary, in the style called " Early English," and with its
Churchyard is in admirable keeping with the locality in which it is
situated. It consists of a well proportioned Nave, Chancel, and
two Aisles. It was erected as a Memorial of Mr. Charles John
Brook (whose lamented death took place at Thickhollins, on



324 MELTHAM.

February 17th, 1857) by his brothers and sisters. It was endowed
by Mr. Brook and his eldest son with the sum of ^5,000, and
was consecrated by the Lord Bishop of the Diocese, Dr.
Bickersteth, on Thursday, the 3rd of November, 1859. It forms
a striking feature in the landscape and is a pleasing object from
almost every part of the valley below. The interior of the
building is enriched with a great number of Scripture texts, and is
calculated to accommodate 300 persons; besides which it will seat
100 School children. It has a Spire and Bell. The following
Inscription is to be observed on a table in the Baptistry under
the Tower :

got tint



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