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Volume 73 (2001)


A Stone Axe-Hammer From Towton, North Yorkshire by I. Roberts
A Bronze Age stone axe-hammer was found inTowton, North Yorkshire. It was retained by the owner, who released it briefly to the author for archaeological recording and illustration There are no known prehistoric sites in this vicinity and the artefact was found within the garden soil without any apparent archaeological context. .

Fewer than a thousand axe-hammers have been recorded nationwide, with about 10 per cent coming from Yorkshire, particularly the eastern part of the county. The Towton axe-hammer is a most notable addition to the thin Vale of York distribution mapped by J. Radley.

Skelton Village, History And Excavation by A. Screeton
Skelton Village lies 5 km north-west of York, the village green lying on a small boulder clay hill 200 m east of the A19 road to Thirsk.

The green is fronted on the north by the 1247 church, on the west by eighteenthcentury cottages on medieval tofts, on the east by houses of the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries on the medieval hallgarth, and on the south by Orchard Field. The latter contains long raised areas and it was possible that these might cover the remains of buildings and that, as they lie at the centre of the historic village, they could date from early periods. After trial trenching in 1985, York Excavation Group decided to excavate on the raised areas. This paper reports some of the results.

The Bruses Of Skelton And William Of Aumale by R.M. Blakely
In 1143, during the reign of Stephen, the Yorkshire barony of the de Brus family, which was centred on Skelton in Cleveland, passed to a minor, Adam de Brus II. As Adam was still under age in 1156, and possibly until 1160, he was clearly very young when his father died and therefore in an extremely vulnerable position at a time of such unrest. Although the boy might well have found support from the Earl of Richmond, with whom the Bruses were connected by marriage, or the Earl of Chester of whom they held several manors, it was in fact the rival of these two magnates, William ‘le Gros’, Count of Aumale and Lord of Holderness, who obtained control of the young heir and his inheritance. The ease with which William of Aumale was able to exert his influence over the heir has been the subject of some speculation. The article explores the relationship between the Bruses and William of Aumale.

Considerate Brothers Or Predatory Neighbours? Rievaulx Abbey And Other Monastic Houses In The Twelfth And Thirteenth Centuries by E. Jamroziak
Rievaulx Abbey, founded in 1132, became, in the first hundred years of its existence, one of the most important and successful Cistercian houses. Rievaulx developed a variety of relationships with its neighbours, both lay and ecclesiastical: families, tenurial groups and other Church institutions such as monastic houses. These connections lasted often for several generations and frequently underwent change from friendly co-operation to open conflicts and back to amicable co-existence. These social networks were crucial for medieval society as expressions of solidarity, affinity and co-operation between various families and other groups across the social stratification system and over several generations. These networks helped to confine conflicts within socially acceptable boundaries and fostered the development of strategies to resolve conflicts or to prevent their occurrence. It is therefore crucial for our understanding of the workings of medieval Yorkshire society to study more closely these social networks in which Rievaulx Abbey was an important element.

Romanesque Memorial At Conisbrough by R. Wood
Conisbrough, South Yorkshire, has notable twelfth-century remains, most obviously its spectacular and beautiful keep or donjon. In the church there is a variety of sculpture which repays close study, most particularly the so-called ‘tomb-chest’.

The individuality of this memorial is emphasised by comparison with others of its period. The symbolism of the carvings is discussed. Finally, it is suggested that the memorial commemorated the third Earl de Warenne.

The Bothamley Collection by E. Garnett
The Alexander Turnbull Library in Wellington, New Zealand, holds an unexpected collection of estate papers from the North of England, consisting of some 600 separate items, including a charter and deeds, in no sort of order, with a brief explanation as to their arrival in 1920, but none at all as to their contents. The provenance is provided by a small sheaf of correspondence lodged in the New Zealand National Archives. It is called the Bothamley Collection after the name of the depositor, and its rather bizarre history is outlined in this paper.

A Continuing Nineteenth-Century Myth Questioned: The Short-Lived College Of Richard Duke Of Gloucester At Middleham by J.P. Burbridge
Although it has been claimed that Richard III’s College at Middleham had a continuous existence from 1478 until 1856, a careful examination of the documents surrounding its early years suggests that it was not as fully financed as the founder intended and effectively ceased to exist shortly after his death in 1485.

The Cattle Herds And Sheep Flocks Of The Earls Of Cumberland In The 1560s by R.W. Hoyle
Work by a number of historians, including R. Cuncliffe Shaw, Ian Kershaw and Mary Atkin, has shown how the larger landowners in the Yorkshire and Lancashire Pennines maintained large cattle herds from at least the late thirteenth century. Cunliffe Shaw and Atkin have analysed the accounts for the cattle farms of Blackburnshire, where in 1295 the stock totalled nearly 2500 animals. In 1341, when the stock system was in decline, there were still 1099 animals in the system. At Bolton Priory there were just over 500 cattle when its herd was at its maximum size in the early fourteenth century and anything up to 3500 or so sheep. Less attention has been paid to the seigniorial and monastic cattle herds and sheep flocks of the sixteenth century. The enormity of the Fountains flocks in the early sixteenth century is well known. At the Dissolution, the Abbey still had 2000 or more cattle and 1146 sheep. Many of the cattle were in the hands of keepers or tenants who maintained dairy flocks and paid the abbey in butter and cheese. In 1539 the Bolton herds and flocks were much smaller, although the accounts acknowledge that they had already been reduced by sale. Little has been written about the cattle herds and sheep flocks of lay landowners in the sixteenth century, if indeed larger landlords still maintained demesne herds by then ― the Duchy of Lancaster, for instance, having ceased cattle farming by 1450 ― or whether sheep and cattle farming was solely the prerogative of the smaller man. If that question can be resolved in the affirmative, then a further question arises: were the cattle herds operated to produce a surplus for sale or were they merely to provide traction, meat, butter and cheese for the household and estates?

A Directory Of Parliamentarian Allegiance In Yorkshire During The Civil Wars by A. Hopper
The civil wars of the seventeenth century were of vital importance to the development of subsequent, and arguably current, British political culture. Given this, the problem of allegiance is crucial. How parliamentarians and royalist alike attracted or coerced support, and from what social groups they drew their respective followings, remain more significant in casting light upon seventeenth-century social and political relationships than the outcome of the often indecisive battles. This process of forming allegiance, and consequently of raising and establishing armed forces, was possibly more significant in the outcome of the war than battlefield action itself.

This directory was produced as an appendix to the author’s doctoral thesis examining parliamentarian allegiance in Yorkshire during the Civil War. Owing to the King’s presence at York in 1642, the county was strategically crucial at the outbreak of war. When the King marched south to Nottingham, Parliament began recruiting extensive support. In conjunction with the accompanying maps, the directory illustrates the places of origin of the county’s known parliamentarian activists. It reinforces the view that Parliament drew its strongest support in Yorkshire from the Hull vicinity and the West Riding cloth manufacturing districts, encompassing the large Pennine hinterlands of Leeds, Bradford and Halifax.

Independent Volunteer Forces In Yorkshire During The Forty-Five by J. Oates
If the Jacobite Rebellion of 1745 was the most dangerous threat to the Hanoverian dynasty, , then it can be said that it was in Yorkshire that local resistance to the rebellion was at its strongest. This was headed by the Archbishop of York, Thomas Herring, and the county lieutenancy of the three Ridings. It first manifested itself in public by a great meeting when Herring made a patriotic speech to hundreds of the county notables, both Whig and Tory. Subsequently a County Association was formed, which raised enough money to pay for over 2000 volunteer infantrymen under the command of the Lieutenancy. The Corporation of York also raised funds and formed volunteer forces. Neither force took part in any fighting, but they performed routine security and ceremonial tasks, displaying political support for the government, boosting the morale of the government’s supporters and discouraging any native rebels. There has been little discussion of the other volunteer formations raised at that time outside the aegis of the county lieutenancy. The exception to this is Prevost’s study of the Yorkshire Hunters. This appears to contain a few errors, which is commented upon in this article.

There was a variety of small forces formed by private gentlemen,perhaps the best known being the Yorkshire Royal Hunters, plus a number of other armed associations which were independent of the county forces. Unfortunately none of these small and temporary organisations seem to have kept records which still exist, unlike those of the county and corporate authorities, so contemporary newspapers and private correspondence have to be relied upon. Unfortunately, no newspapers for Leeds survive for this period, so the evidence for units formed there is even more sketchy. This difficulty aside, this article aims to explore their formation and role, unit by unit.

Sidgwicks Of Skipton: The Rise And Fall Of A Family Firm by K.C. Jackson
During the early eighteenth century, Skipton emerged as an important centre of the wool textile industry and the trade in textiles was further stimulated by completion of the canal from Skipton to Bradford in 1774. Cotton yarn was first manufactured in the town in 1785 and when the Leeds and Liverpool Canal was extended into Lancashire during the early nineteenth century, the emphasis of Skipton’s textile industry shifted slowly towards cotton. Initially, the growth of the cotton industry was slow, but after 1865 expansion was rapid with output and employment eventually reaching a peak in the 1920s.

The town’s first mechanised cotton mill, which opened in 1785, was located in the shadow of Skipton Castle and adjacent to Skipton Woods. It became known as the High Mill. The undertaking expanded to the limits of this site and, in 1839/40, further capacity was installed at the Low Mill on the canal side. However, as the nineteenth century progressed, the business failed to share the good fortune of the cotton industry in general, and in 1890 it succumbed.

This paper describes the circumstances in which the Sidgwicks’ business was established and reviews its operation during the first half of the nineteenth century. It also considers the pressures on the business in the years leading up to its closure even before the peak in the industry life-cycle was reached in 1914.

The Fifth Earl Fitzwilliam's Industrial Enterprises 1830-1857 by D.J. Gratton
The Fitzwilliam family can be traced back to the twelfth century, but it was the marriage of the third Earl Fitzwilliam to Anne Watson-Wentworth, eldest sister of the second Marquis of Rockingham, and the subsequent inheritance in 1782 of most of the Rockingham estates in north and south Yorkshire and Ireland, which transformed the fourth Earl Fitzwilliam from a moderately well-off aristocrat into one of the twenty wealthiest men in the country. Along with this wealth went the particular paternalist creed of the Rockingham Whigs of duty to those dependent on him. The fourth Earl’s only child, Charles William Wentworth Fitzwilliam, who succeeded to the title of fifth Earl Fitzwilliam in 1833, grew up in the same paternalist Whig mould and was elected in 1807 as M.P. for Yorkshire. The Earl actively developed his estates and this article examines his coal, iron and ceramics enterprises in South Yorkshire.

George Stephen Darlow [obituary]

Dennis Brooke [obituary]

Raymond Hayes [obituary]

Joan Alicia Ingilby [obituary]

Jennifer Kaner [obituary]

Norman Mirsky [obituary]

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