Eng. (Lancashire). Parish Bury.

The registers of the parish church of Bury in the County of Lancasrter. Christenings, burials, & weddings (Volume 2) online

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with Dr. Burnet ; and though afterwards decided friends to the
revolution, both these divines urged that nobleman to acknowledge
the absolute unlawfulness of resistance. In the mean time. Dr. Til-
lotson had twice formed a scheme for the comprehension of the
presbyterians within the pale of the church, both of which attempts
proved abortive. He had also failed in another design for forming a
new book of Homilies ; and a sermon which he preached before the
queen, against the absolute eternity of hell torments, still farther
involved him with the advocates of rigid orthodoxy. When there-
fore he accepted the primacy, a large party, of course including all
the nonjurors, assailed him with great animosity ; and in particular
he was reproached, and not unjustly, with the inconsistency of his
own conduct with the doctrine he had advanced to lord William
Russel. He prudently bore these attacks in silence, and even pre-
vented some prosecutions for libel against him, directed by the
crown. He was also vehemently charged with Socinianism, in
answer to which he only republished four of his sermons "On the
Incarnation and Divinity of our Saviour." There appears to have
been no other ground for that imputation, than that he defended
Christianity on rational grounds, and corresponded with such men
as Limborch, Locke, and Le Clerc; to which reason Dr. Jortin adds,
that he had made some concessions concerning the Socinians, which


broke an ancient and fundamental rule of controversial theology,
"allow not an adversary either to have common sense or common
honesty." He gave the last answer to these and other strictures by
doing everything he could to advance the respectability of the church,
and among other things wished to correct the evils arising from
non -residence. He was however counteracted in all his endeavours
by the most perverse opposition, which rendered his high station a
scene of much more disgust than gratification. He had indeed but
httle time to effect much of what he proposed, being seized with a
paralytic stroke, the consequences of which carried him off after
an illness of five days, on the 24th November, 1694, in his sixty-
fifth year. So little had he been addicted to accumulation, that all
he left his widow was the copyright of his sermons : but a pension
was very properly settled on her by the crown. The temper and
private character of Dr. Tillotson are entitled to great encomium ;
he was open, sincere, benevolent, and forgiving ; and although in
some points too compliant, and fairly liable to the charge of incon-
sistency, his intentions always seem to have been pure and disinte-
rested. As a writer he is principally remembered for his sermons,
which have long maintained a place among the most popular of that
class of compositions in tlie English language. They obtained a
high reputation both at home and abroad ; and though doubtless
much less read than formerly, can scarcely fail of remaining a per-
manent part of the branch of English literature to which they belong.*
The following circumstances, in connexion with this truly great
and good man, are noticed by Mr. Watson.

It is very remarkable, that Wright, in his history of Halifax,
p. 154. speaking of the dispute relating to the Archbishop's being
baptized in the church, says, " I myself have twenty times looked
at his name in the Register, and to the best of my remembrance,
there were four others christened the same day with him, Avhose
names were all wrote down in the same hand, and same ink, with-
out the least interlineation." Such an information as this, one
would think, might be depended upon as exact, and yet when I
searched the same Register, says Watson, I found his name to be
the last of seven, who were baptized together, and entered in these
words, "Bapt. Oct. 3, 1630, John Robert Tilletson, Sourb."

" Biographical dictionary.


The following original letter seems not to have been known to
any of the compilers of the Archbishop's life.

"For his much respected friend, Mr. Roote, att Sorbey, are
"Sir, In Yorkeshire,

"To excuse the slownes and infrequency of writeing, is growne
a thing soe complementall and common in the frontispeece of every
letter, that I have made choice rather to put myselfe upon your can-
dor to frame an excuse for mee, then goe about myselfe to doe it. I
cannot but thankefully acknowledge my engagements to you for
your kindnes showne to mee, both when I was in the country, and
at other times ; I shall not here let my pen run out into comple-
mentall lines, gratitude (and that as much as may bee) being all that
I desire to expresse. As for our University afFayres, things are as
they was [so in original] before I came into the country, only wee
have lesse hopes of procuring Mr. Tho. Goodwin for our master then
we then had. "Wee are in expectation of the visitors every day,
but what will bee done at their comming wee cannot guesse. The
Engagement is either comming downe hither, or (as I heare) already
come, to which how soone wee shall bee called upon to subscribe,
wee knowe not ; as for my selfe I do not (for present) at all scruple
the taking of it, yet, because I dare not confide too much to my
owne judgement, or apprehension of things, and because matters of
such serious consequence require no little caution and consideration,
therefore I shall desire you (as soone as with convenience you can)
to returne mee your opinion of it in two or three lines. Mr. Rich.
Holbrooke desired me to present his respects to you and your wife,
to whom alsoe I desire you to present my best respects, as alsoe to
your son, Joh. Hopkinson, and his wife. Noe more, but your
prayers for him who remaines.

Yours, whilst

Clare-Hall, Dec. 6, 1649.

What sort of answer was given to the above, does not appear,
but as Mr.Roote, who at that time was preacher at Sowerby Chapel,
was one of the Puritans, it is probable that he would not dissuade


Mr. Tillotson from complying with the engagement here mentioned,
which was an Act substituted in the room of the Oaths of Allegi-
ance and Supremacy, and was ordered to be taken by every one who
held either office or benefice, "that they would be true and faithfull

to the government established, without king or house of peers."

Add to this, that Mr. Tillotson, who at that time was an under-
graduate of Clare Hall, and very young, was under the care of Mr.
Clarkson, a tutor there, who also was a Puritan, and attached to
the government then in being. It does not appear, however, that
Mr. Tillotson long adhered to the principles, (especially the religious
ones,) which he may have been supposed to have received either
from his father, or college tutor, for his waitings breathe quite a
different spirit from the stiff and rigid sentiments of those times :
in particular, when Dean of Canterbury, he preached before his
father at Sowerby Chapel, against the doctrine of Calvin, probably
with an intent to rectify his father's notions ; and one Dr. Maud,
Avho had frequent disputes Avith the Archbishop's father about pre-
destination, asking him, how he liked his son's discourse ? the old
man replied, in his usual way when he asserted any thing with ear-
nestness, " I profess he has done more harm than good."

The following anecdote was told Mr.Watson by the late Rev. Mr.
Tillotson, sur-master of St.Paul's School, who had it from Dr. Seeker,
-when Bishop of Oxford : — When the famous Duke of Buckingham
presented Dr. Tillotson to King Charles II. after saying, that he
introduced to his Majesty the gravest Divine of the Church of
England, he stepped forward, and in a lower tone said to the king,
"And of so much wit, that if he chose it, he could make a better
comedy than ever your majesty laughed at." But on what grounds
the duke said this I cannot conceive, for the doctor has left no spe-
cimen of this kind of wit behind him. Perhaps he had an inclination
to serve the doctor, and knew that this was one effectual way to
recommend him to the king.

It is commonly said about Sowerby, that Robert Tillotson went
to London to see his son, then dean of Canterbury, and being in
the dress of a plain countryman, was insulted by one of the Dean's
servants, for inquiring if John Tillotson was at home ; his person,
however, being described to the dean, he immediately went to the

TT 9


door, and in the sight of his servants fell down upon his knees to
ask a blessing of the stranger.

TiLsoN, Henry, D. D. bishop of Elphin, was bom, it is said,
in the parish of Halifax, but in what particular part is uncertain.
The name has been common in several townships there, especially
in Sowerby and Ovenden. He wah entered a student in Baliol
college, Oxford, in 1593, was made B. A. in 1596, soon after which
he got a fellowship in University College, and there took his degree
of M. A. In Oct. 1615, he succeeded R. Kenion in the vicarage
of Kochdale in Lancashire, where, after he had resided some years,
he went chaplain to Thomas earl of Strafford, lord lieutenant of
Ireland, who made him dean of Christ church in Dublin, pro vice-
chancellor of the university of Dublin, and bishop of Elphin, to
which he was consecrated Sept. 23, 1639 ; but this he did not long
enjoy, on account of the rebellion, which soon after broke out. Sir
James Ware, in his History of the Irish Bishops, p. 635, says, that
on the 16th of August, 1645, he delivered the castle of Elphin into
the hands of the lord president of Connaught ; his son, Capt. Henry
Tilson, who was governor of Elphin, having just before joined Math
Sir Charles Coot, in opposition to the king's interest. And about
the same time, his library and goods were pillaged by Boetius Egan,
the titular bishop of Elphin, his damages amounting to the sum of
four hundred pounds. He himself fled for safety into England, and
settled at Soothill-hall in the parish of Dewsbury, where some of
his relations lived, and where he resided three years, intending to
have returned, but never did. Having thirteen persons, however,
in his family, and being stript of his income, he was obliged to have
recourse to such means for subsistence, as his station in the church
put in his power : for this purpose he consecrated a room in the said
hall, called to this day the Bishop's parlour, where he privately or-
dained, and did weekly the offices of a clergyman, some of his
neighbours being both hearers and benefactors to him ; tdl Sir W.
Wentworth, of Breton, out of compassion to his distressed circum-
stances, employed him to preach at Comberworth, allowing him a
salary to support him. Thus was this prelate obliged to stoop to be-
come a country curate ! the following extract from the register belong-
ing to Dewsbury church, shews when and where he was interred :
" Henry, lord bishop of Elphin, buried the 2nd day of April, 1655."


Watson, John, F. S. A. was the eldest son of Legh Watson,
by Esther, daughter and at last heiress of Mr. John Yates, of Swinton
in Lancashire. He was born in the township of Lyme-cum-Hauley,
in the parish of Prestbury in Cheshire, March 26th, 1724, (O. S.)
and having been brought up at the grammar-schools of Eccles,
Wigan, and Manchester, all in Lancashire, he was admitted a
commoner in Brazennose College, Oxford, April 7, 1742. In I\li-
chaelmas term, 1745, he took the degree of B. A. June 27, 1746,
he was elected a fellow of Brazennose College, being chosen into a
Cheshire fellowship ; he was ordained a deacon at Chester, by Dr.
Samuel Peploe, Bishop of Chester, Dec. 21, 1746. After his year
of probation was ended, he left the college, and his first employ-
ment in the church was the curacy of Runcorn, in Cheshire, from
thence he removed to Ardwick, near Manchester. During his residence
here, he was privately ordained a priest at Chester, by the above
Dr. Peploe, May 1, 1748, and took the degree of M, A. at Oxford,
in Act term, the same year. From Ardwick he removed to Halifax,
where on Sept. 3, 1754, he was licensed by Dr. Hutton, on the
presentation of George Legh, LL. D. Vicar of Halifax, to the
perpetual curacy of Ripponden, in the parish of Halifax. Here he
rebuilt the curate's house, at his own expense, laying out above
four hundred pounds upon the same, which was more than a fourth
part of the whole sum he there received, notwithstanding which, his
successor threatened him with a prosecution in the spiritual court,
if he did not allow him ten pounds for delapidations ; which, for the
sake of peace he complied with.

Feb. 17, 1759, he was elected a fellow of the society of antiqua-
ries in London. August 17, 1766, he was inducted to the rectory
of Meningsby in Lincolnshire, which he resigned in the year 1769,
on being promoted to the valuable rectory of Stockport in Cheshire.
His presentation to this, by Sir George Warren, bore date July 30,
1769, and he was inducted thereto August the 2nd following.
April 11, 1770, he was appointed one of the domestic chaplains to
the right hon. the earl of Dysart.

He was the author of "Tlie history and antiquities of the parisii
of Halifax in Yorkshire." London : printed for T. Lowndes, in Fleet-
street, 1775." In this work, p. 524-5, is a list of the several pub-
lications of his hand, amongst which is " An historv of the ancient


earls of Warren and Surry, proving the Warrens of Poynton, in
Cheshire, to be lineally and legally descended from them." a splen-
didly executed work, (says Dr. Whitaker) "and forming a perfect
contrast to the paper, print, and type of his history of Halifax."

Wilkinson, Henry, was born, says Wood in his Athenae. vol.
ii. p. 112., in the vicarage of Halifax, Oct. 9, 1566; entered at
Oxford in Lent term, 1581; elected probationer fellow of Merton
College, by favor of his kinsman, Mr. Henry Savile, the warden, in
1586 ; proceeded in arts ; took the degree of B. D. and in 1601 had
the living of Waddesdon in Bucks. In 1643 he was elected one of
the assembly of divines, and dying March 19, 1647, was buried at

Wilkinson, John, D. D. In Bentley's history of Halifax,
p. 81, it is said, that "Doctor Wilkinson was born in Halifax parish,
and brought up in Oxford, where he attained to that eminency in
learning, as to become divinity professor in that university." This
gentleman Mr. Watson supposed to have been the same Avho is said
\ny<[ooj)'& Fasti, vol. i. p. 173., to have had the honor, when he
was B. D. and fellow of Magdalen College, to be appointed tutor to
Henry prince of Wales, eldest son of king James i. He was afterwards
president of Magdalen Hall, and finally, president of Magdalen
College, and is called by Wood in his Fasti, the senior theologist
of the university. It seems that the doctor fled from Oxford to
the parliament, and was deprived of his presidentship.

Wright, Thomas, born at Blackburn in Lancashire, August
12, 1707, was educated in the grammar school there founded by
Queen Elizabeth about 1567, took the degree of B. A. at St. John's
College, Cambridge ; was several years curate of Halifax, which he
left in the year 1750, being then presented to the curacy of Rip-
ponden ; where he died in June 1 754. He was the author of a book
entitled "The Antiquities of the town of Halifax in Yorkshire,
wherein is given an account of the ToAvn, Church, and twelve
chapels, the free grammar school, a list of the vicars and school-
masters ; the ancient and customary law, called Halifax Gibbet law,
with the names of the persons that suffered thereby, and the times


when ; the public charities to church and poor ; the men of learning-,
whether natives or inhabitants, together with the most remarkable
epitaphs and inscriptions in the church and church yard. The whole
faithfully collected from printed authors, rolls of courts, registers,
old wills, and other authentic writings." Leeds, 1738.

It is remarkable that Mr. Wright was the immediate predecessor
of Mr. Watson in the curacies both of Halifax and Ripponden, and
that they bath wrote a history of Halifax.


The object of the present Chapter is to present to the reader an
historical account of the woollen trade and manufactures of this
extensive parish, from the earliest period to which our enquiries can
ascend, down to the present time.

Situated in the centre of a populous manufacturing district, in
the direct line of communication between the towns of Leeds and
Manchester, and the ports of Liverpool and Hull, enjoying the fa-
cility of a commercial navigation with each, and above all, possessing
within herself the life and soul of manufactures, a plentiful supply
of coal and water, the parish of Halifax occupies an enviable posi-
tion among the manufacturing and commercial districts of the
kingdom. To a right adaptation of these concurrent advantages,
may be attributed her present wealth and prosperity : and in
proportion as her wealth has progressed, have her manufactures

Wool, the staple commodity of England, is the staple trade of
the parish, and out of her large population of 109.899 souls in the
year 1831, not less than 22.874 men were engaged in her manufac-
tures, or in making manufacturing machinery. When we take this
into consideration, it is impossible to calculate the advantages
which are derived from this branch of trade, and the incalcu-
lable benefits which it diffuses through a large portion of the
community. " Suppose, (says Mr. Chitty) the value of English
wool produced in one year to amount to three millions, the expense
of working it up into various articles to be nine, its total value when
manufactured will amount to twelve. Suppose the annual export-
ation from this country to amount to three millions, and the number
ot jicrsons maintained by the manufacture, to be a million, let it be


considered that these persons exjjcnd -what they earn in all the
necessaries of life, and that the procuring of such necessaries is a
source of employment and jn-ofit to the other members of the com-
munity ; and then we may judge what an immense addition is made
to the national stock of industry and gain by this valuable article,
even without taking into account the sailors employed to export the
various articles into which it is wrought, and the artificers of
machines used to accelerate many parts of the manufactures."

The arts of spinning wool, and manufacturing that wool into
cloth, were doubtless introduced into England by the Romans, (in
fact they had a cloth manufactory at Winchester,) the inhabitants of
our island being only clothed in skins or leather.

In Anderson's History of Commerce, it is stated, that there was
a lawful guild fraternity of weavers in London so early as the year
1180. Madox, in his History of the Exchequer, informs us that
such guild fraternities were established, not only in London but in
other places, before that period ; thus — " 1140, (4th Stephen,) the
weavers of Oxford pay a mark of gold for their gild. The weavers
of London for their gild, £.xvi. The weavers of Lincoln two chaseurs
that they may have their rights. The fullers of Winchester £vi for
their gild."

These notices clearly indicate that fraternities of weavers were
at that time common in many parts of England ; and Avere even then
of great antiquity. To this period may be assigned the first manu-
facture of broad cloths ; the business of cloth making must have
been carried on to a considerable extent, when it gave rise to a fra-
ternity of fullers. Gervase of Canterbury, who wrote about the
year 1202, in his chronicle says, when speaking of the inhabitants
of Britain, that "the art of weaving seemed to be a j)eculiar gift
bestowed upon them by nature ;" thus, at the period assigned to its
introduction, by modern historians ; it was an art which had been
long practised ; in fact, it may be safely assumed to be indigenous
of our soil.

The richness and comparative importance of the fraternity of
weavers, in the period here alluded to, may be inferred from other
turcumstances mentioned in Madox of a similar import, in the years
1159, 1164, and 1189. The business of dyeing was tdso carried
on in these days, as a separate, honorable and profitable employment ;


as appears from the following, "Anno 1201, David the dyer pays
one mark, that his manor may be made a burgage."

At that early time Woad was a plant much used for dying.
This plant was cultivated in Great Britain at a very early period,
and more particularly so, as it came to be demanded for the Woollen
manufacture ; but it is a fact, that notwithstanding the extended
culture, the increased demand could not be supplied, insomuch so,
that it became for many years a constant article of import, as the
following tables will shew ;

"Anno, 1213. Sums accounted for by sundries as customs for
woad imported, viz.

In Kent & Sussex (Dover excepted) £103 13 3.

Yorkshire 98 13 3.

London 17 13 4.

Other counties less : thus clearly proving that the woollen manufac-
ture was carried on in this county and other places to a great extent.

In confirmation of the foregoing remark, is the following :

"1 140. The men of Worcester pay C. shillings, that they may
buy and sell dyed cloth, as they were wont to do in the time of
king Henry I." This, there is every reason to believe, was British
cloth, as alluded to in the ordinance of Edward the first, 1284.

"1225. The weavers of Oxford pay a cask of wine, that they
may have the same privileges they enjoyed in the days of king
Richard and king John."

There is another important circumstance worth noticing :

"1297. The aulnager* of cloth was displaced, and his office

* Aidnager is derived irom ulna and gerens, and is the name of an crfficer under the
King, ostabUshed about the year 1350, whose business it was to measure all woollen clotlis
before they were brought into market, and then to fix an imiiressiou of his seal. This
measure was to be the government between the buyer and seller, and to prevent all disputes
about short measure. The first statute made for it is 25 Edward III. wherein it is enacted,
that all cloths shall be measured by the king's aulnager ; and that every buyer of cloth after
the price is agreed in the halls or markets, shall have it measured by the king's aulnager,
who shall put his stamp thereon, and the price of cloth shall stand for that length. And
to prevent the aulnager's tumbling ordefoiling Ihem, when he measured them, he was to
provide himself with a string of the length of seven yards, and the piece was to measure four
times the length of that string, and he was to measure it at the creased edge. The auhiager
was entitled to the following fees -.—For every piece of cloth of ray, or white cloth, 28 yards
and 6 quarters wide, one halfpenny, and every half piece, a farthing, to be paid by the
seller. In 27 Edward III. besides the aulnage, parliament granted a subsidy, to maintain
the French war, of 4d. per annum, to be collected by the aulnager ; 6d. if a scarlet in t;rain,
and .".d. if bastard or half scarlet.


given by the king to another." This (observes a learned author)
indicates a very advanced state of the manufacture.

From these, and many other circumstances of the same kind
that might be collected, it is evident that the woollen manufacture
was carried on, as a great national object, for centuries before the
days of Edward III. ; at which period, it has been asserted, that it
was first introduced into England.

Sir Matthew Hale enables us to account for the origin of the
modern idea on this head. He remarks, "that in the time of Henry
II. and Richard I. the kingdom greatly fiourished in the art of manu-
facturing vwollen cloth ; but by the troublesome wars in the time of
king John and Henry III. and also Edward I. and Edward II. this
manufacture was wholly lost, and all our trade ran in wools, wool
fells, and leather."

It is not reasonable to suppose that a manufacture of such
indispensable utility, could be wholly lost to us. All that can be
inferred from the expression, is, that it declined very much, so as in
a great measure to interrupt the foreign trade in cloth, which at
that time seems to have been a principal article of export from this
kingdom. Edward III. restored this decayed manufacture; and
hence he has come to be accounted the founder of it in England.

It was probably owing to the interruption it met with during
the troublesome wars before alluded to, that the manufacture came

Online LibraryEng. (Lancashire). Parish BuryThe registers of the parish church of Bury in the County of Lancasrter. Christenings, burials, & weddings (Volume 2) → online text (page 27 of 52)