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Wapentake of Holderness (South Division) - County Council Electoral Division of Withernsea - Petty Sessional Division of South Holderness - Poor Law Union of Patrington - County Court District and Rural Deanery of Hedon - Archdeaconry of the East Riding - Diocese of York.
This parish lies on the coast of the German Ocean, with Hollym and Withernsea on the one side, and Roos and Tunstall on the other. It comprises the township of its own name, South Frodingham, Rimswell, and Waxholme, containing an area (including the sea coast) of 4,550 acres. The latter township is in the Middle Division of Holderness. By an order of the County Council of the East Riding, sanctioned by the Local Government Board, the boundaries of the adjoining townships of Owthorne and Withernsea have been re-arranged, in order to settle the vexed question of unequal rating of farmers and villagers. That portion of the village of Owthorne which adjoined Withernsea has been amalgamated with the latter village, to form the township of Withernsea; and the surrounding farms, previously in Withernsea, have been transferred to Owthorne. This order came into operation on the 26th March, 1891, but the ecclesiastical boundaries remain as heretofore. The area of the township of Owthorne is 1,397 acres, the rateable value £1,630, and the population in 1891 was 82. The principal landowners are Joseph Richardson Burnham. of South Frodingham; George Meadley, of Sunk Island; Thomas Holden, Esq., Winestead; Mrs. Clubley, of Withernsea; the trustees of the late Colonel Prickett; Thomas Wise, Owthorne; Joseph Patrick and William Harrison, of Withernsea; James Watson, of Hedon; and Miss Stephenson.
In Domesday Book the name of this place is written Torne; in some later documents it is styled Seathorne and Outhorne, and of the latter name the present one is a corruption.
The sea here, as in other parts of the coast of Holderness, is continually encroaching on the land, and places and homesteads mentioned in old deeds now lie under the water. The church, which was known as the " Sister Kirk," disappeared within living memory. The sea began to waste the foundations of the churchyard in 1786; and 10 years later the church was dismantled. On the night of the 16th February, 1816, after a storm of unusual violence, a large portion of the eastern end fell, and was washed down the cliffs, and coffins and bodies in various states of preservation were strewn upon the shore. In 1838, there was scarcely a remnant of the churchyard left; and in the spring of 1844, the old parsonage House and two cottages shared the same fate. A woodcut of the church from a drawing taken in 1797, is given in Poulson's Holderness. From this sketch the edifice appears to have been of considerable size, with spacious chancel, clerestoried nave, aisles, transept or chapel, and an embattled tower of three stages with angular buttresses.
The present church of St. Peter was erected in 1802, on a site further inland, in the township of Rimswell. It is built on a basement of stone, with a superstructure of yellow brick, and comprises chancel, nave, and embattled western tower with pinnacles, containing one bell. The interior was restored and reseated and the gallery removed in 1885, at a cost of £450. The pulpit, which formerly stood in Roos Church, was presented by the Rev. Canon Machell, M.A. The east window of three lights was filled with stained glass by Robert Burnham, Esq., of Rimswell, in 1885, in memory of his mother, who died in 1873. In the chancel are also memorial windows to William Harrison, Esq., of Waxholme, and the Burnhams of South Frodingham, respectively. The registers date from 1597. The living is a vicarage, in the gift of the Lord Chancellor, worth £292 per annum, with residence, and held by the Rev. John George Patrick, of St. Bees. The tithe rent-charge is £220, and there are about 40 acres of glebe.
The list of incumbents is fairly complete from the year 1289. The Rev. Enoch Sinclair, who was presented to the living in 1680, met with a melancholy fate in 1708. His household consisted of himself, two nieces, and a man and woman servant. The former, named Adam Alvin, had captivated the affections of the elder niece, who reciprocated the passion, and finding in the uncle an obstacle to their marriage, he determined on his destruction. He disclosed his intentions to the two sisters, who consented to the perpetration of the foul crime. The plot was carried into execution, and, to throw off suspicion, they spread the report their uncle had gone from home on horseback the preceding day with the intention of returning, and, as giving a colouring to the truth of this story, the horse was found some distance from the house with saddle and bridle, but riderless. Diligent search was made for the body, but nowhere could it be found. The marriage took place shortly afterwards, and, the guilty parties, unable to endure the place where everything awakened harrowing memories of the foul murder, removed to London. They had lived there about three years when the younger sister was taken suddenly ill, and, stung with remorse, she, unable to articulate, indicated by signs where the body of her uncle would be found. Search was accordingly made, and the remains of Mr. Sinclair were discovered at the bottom of a ditch in the yard adjoining the house. The criminals were taken in London, and brought to York for trial. The wife was acquitted; but Alvin, though he stoutly maintained his innocence, was sentenced to death. Mr. Mace preached the condemned sermon, and, whilst alluding to the heinousness of the crime of murder, the condemned man loudly exclaimed that he was innocent. Scarcely had his words passed, when the preacher fell down in the pulpit and expired. The artful murderer seized upon this circumstance and reiterated his innocence, alleging that the hand of God was visibly displayed in his favour. He was executed next morning, and at the last moment acknowledged his guilt.
A chapel-of-ease was erected in the village of Owthorne in 1850, by Mrs. Swann, at a cost of £250, and partially restored in 1873. A thorough restoration took place in 1882, at an outlay of £120, and in 1890 a chancel and vestry were added at an expense of £135. Divine service is held every Sunday.
FOOTHEAD GARTH, a farmhouse in this township, formerly belonged to a family named Footed, and passed by marriage to Francis Leeds. In 1763 it was purchased by Mr. Prickett, of Bridlington, and now belongs to the trustees of the late Col. Prickett. The moat which once surrounded it, is still distinctly traceable.
SOUTH FRODINGHAM township contains 1,174 acres, and is valued for rating purposes at £950. The population in 1891 was 67. Mr. Joseph Richardson Stephenson, of Holmpton, are the owners of the land. The hamlet is situated three miles south-west from Withernsea, and two-and-a-half miles north from Winestead station, on the Hull and Withernsea branch of the North-Eastern railway.
Frothingham was long owned by a family which took its name from the place. The earliest member of whom any record has been found is Piers Frothingham, who lived about the middle of the 13th century; and a Frothingham succeeded a Frothingham in the possession of the estate till 1625, when it was purchased by Sir John Lister, a wealthy Hull merchant, knighted by Charles I. William Lister, in 1727, sold Frodingham to Bacon Morritt, Esq. The next owners were the Sykeses of Stedmere, and in the year 1867 the estate was purchased by Mr. Joseph Richardson Burnham, the present owner.
Frodingham Hall, the residence of the ancient lords of Frodingham, is an ancient building of brick, once defended by a moat and drawbridge. It has been completely restored and enlarged by the present owner, and now retains but little of the outward show of antiquity that formerly characterised it. The oldest parts of the house belong to the reign of Henry VIII., and additions appear to have been made by the Listers, whose coat of arms, now in the entrance hall, was carved in oak over the mantlepiece of a panelled room.
RIMSWELL, township contains 1,216 acres, and has, according to the last census, 123 inhabitants. The rateable value is £1,299. The representatives of the late Mr. Robert Tennison Burnham, of Rimswell; the trustees of James Wray; Mr. Heaton Foster, Hornsea; George Dickinson, Esq., Roos; Mr. Harper Lamplugh, Patrington; Mr. William Storr; Messrs. Wright, Aldbrough: and Mr. Robert Foster, Cottingham are the landowners. Each proprietor claims the manorial rights of his own land.
Rimswell is mentioned in Domesday Book, and was then held of Drogo by Baldwin and Guntard. The manor afterwards came into the possession of the De la Poles, Earls of Suffolk, one of whom gave it to the Carthusian monastery which he had founded at Hull. At the dissolution of religious houses it reverted to the Crown, and subsequently passed to the Dawnays, one of whom sold the manor and lands in 1764 to Mr. Dennison, of Leeds, for £9,000. This property was afterwards purchased by the Liddells, from whom it was bought about three years ago by Mr. Heaton Foster.
The village is situated five miles north of Patrington, and two miles northwest of Withernsea railway station. A chapel was erected here soon after the Conquest, and was given by Stephen, Earl of Albemarle, in 1115, to the Abbey of St. Martin, Normandy, and, with other property, was ceded by that monastery to Kirkstall, in 1395. In Archbishop Sharpe's Survey, in the latter part of the 17th century, it is stated to be dilapidated. After the destruction of Owthorne Church, by the sea, a new church was erected here, as already noticed.
A Primitive Methodist Chapel was built in 1889, at a cost of £150, on a site given by Mr. John Tennison, of Kilnsea.
WAXHOLME, is a small township containing 465 acres of land, exclusive of sea coast. Its rateable value is £585, and the population in 1891 was 71. The landowners are Messrs. George Clubley, George Atkinson, and William Atkinson, of Waxholme, and Mr. William Harrison, of Withernsea. Sir F. A. T. Clifford-Constable, Bart., is lord of the manor. The township is situated in the Middle Division of Holderness.
At the time of the Norman Conquest, Torchil and Tor were the English proprietors of Waxham, and in the reigns of the first three Edwards, the manor was held by a family named Preston. Sir William Knowles acquired possession of it in the reign of Henry VIII., and from him it descended through various families to the Grimstons, who obtained it by marriage with the heiress. The next owners were the Blounts, from whom it was purchased by Mr. Taylor in 1765.
The hamlet is situated near the coast, about two miles north of Withernsea, and 10 east from Hedon. A chapel was erected here soon after the Norman Conquest; it was in a very dilapidated condition in the reign of William and Mary, and not a vestige of it now remains. A coastguard station was established here in 1826. Between Waxholme and Tunstall the coast is known as Sand-le-Mere, from the knightly family of Le Mere, who were anciently seated in this neighbourhood.
The sea has for centuries been encroaching on the coast and diminishing the extent of the parish. The manor of Newsham mentioned in Domesday Book as one mile long and one broad was situated somewhere here, but no such place is now known.
Scan, OCR and html by Colin Hinson. Checking and correction by Peter Nelson.