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The Ancient Parish of HARPHAM

[Transcribed information mainly from the early 1820s]

"HARPHAM, a parish in the wapentake of Dickering; 6 miles NE. of Driffield; the former residence, and the burial place of the ancient family of the St. Quintins, the founder of which formerly came over to England with William the Conqueror, and received the lordships of Harpham as the price of his military services. Adjoining to the Church on the Western side, the foundations of the family mansion, are yet to be traced, and certain vestiges of the fish ponds, but the building has totally disappeared. The Chapel (see Churches for photograph), of which the Rev. Thomas Milnes, vicar of Burton Agnes, is incumbent, consists of a neat plain stone tower, about 50 feet high, a nave, repaired and heightened on the South side with brick, and a chancel. The arches have been originally all pointed, and on the North side there has been a small aisle, which is now the cemetery of the family of St. Quintin. The pedigree of the family from Harbert, in the year 1080, to Sir Wm. St Quintin, Bart who died in 1777, (twenty-eight successions) is represented in stained glass, beautifully executed by Peckett, and placed in the windows of the cemetery, at the expense of the last baronet, who died about the year 1797, but whose name is not yet recorded among his ancestors. This pedigree is uninterrupted in the male line through a period of upwards of seven centuries! In the same burial place are two massive plain stone coffins, which "the grave hath cast up again," but who were their tenants, or when they were ejected from their narrow mansion, there is no record to tell. There are here also a number of monuments and inscriptions all relating to the same family, and several of them in good preservation; but the principal is an elegant white marble monument above the altar base, exhibiting a full length figure of grief, with the usual emblems, holding two profile likenesses, one of the late Sir William Quintin, Bart and the other of his lady. A small tablet contains an inscription to her memory, and the words- " Also in memory of" -the blank remaining to be supplied by the hand of the painter, but not by the hand of fate. Sir William was succeeded by his nephew, who never took the title, and he dying, left a son a minor who attained his majority in 1818. The village is wholly agricultural; the farm homesteads are good, and the cottages neat and comfortable. On the road side to Hornsea is a fine clear spring of excellent water, over which is erected a dome, and on the side of this small but ancient building, is inscribed "St John Well," intended probably as a monumental tribute to St. John of Beverley, who according to the tradition of upwards of eleven centuries was born in this village.* Pop. 251.

* Goodwin is of this opinion: Stubbs gives Beverley the honour of the Saint's birthplace."

[Description(s) edited mainly from various 19th century sources by Colin Hinson. ©2010]



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