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Wapentake and Petty Sessional Division of Allertonshire Electoral Division of Brompton - Poor Law Union, County Court District and Rural Deanery of Northallerton - Archdeaconry of Cleveland - Diocese of York.
This parish lies about 1½ miles north of Northallerton, and was formerly included in that parish and borough. Its total area by Ordnance measurement is 3,842 acres, of which 3,664 are under assessment. The gross estimated rental is £12,305, rateable value £10,649, and population (1881) 1,295. The Leeds and Stockton branch of the North Eastern railway passes through the parish and has a station here.
The landowners are R. H. Wrightson, Esq., J.P., Cusworth Hall, Doncaster; Mrs. Walker, Maunby Hall; J. W. Beetham, Esq., Darlington; Messrs. Harland and Henderson, Darlington;
the Ecclesiastical Commissioners, who are also lords of the manor; Meek Dyson, Esq., Haxby, near York; James Emerson, Esq., Easby Hall, Stokesley; exors. of W. S. Stainthorpe, the Earl of Harewood, Mrs. B. Chester, Borrowby; John Pattison Yeoman, Esq., Brompton; Mrs. Tutin, Northallerton; the trustees of Kettlewell's Charity, Mrs. Hodgson, Sir James Meek, Cheltenham; Mr. T. 0. Inman Pick, Street House, Kirby Wiske; C. M. Masterman, Esq., Mrs. Buckle, Scarborough; Mr. Ormerod Haworth, Standard Hill; Mrs. E. Wilson, London; Richard Simpson, Bedale; exors. of J. R. W. Hildyard, Esq.; Messrs. Hutton and Hutton-Squire, Isaac Simpson, Thomas Jackson, and William Horner.
Brompton was formerly included in the fee of St. Cuthbert, and its church is still in the gift of the Dean and and Chapter of Durham, The most interesting event in its history is the sanguinary Battle of the Standard, fought here on the 22nd of August, 1138. This engagement has been already noticed on pages 52 and 53 of the general history, and we need here only supplement the account there given by a few additional items of local interest. The famous Standard, which has given its name to the battle, was erected on the spot now called Standard Hill, and at its foot was written a Latin distich, which has been thus translated:-"Standard from stand, this fight we aptly call: Our men here stood to conquer or to fall."
Near the spot, some years ago, a beautiful egg-shaped amulet of agate stone, with silver wire loop and collar was found, and in an adjoining field a silver coin of King Stephen, in good preservation, was turned up by a man whilst delving. Bronze buckles, and other relics of the fight have been frequently unearthed, and the silver hilt of a sword is also said to have been found. The bodies of the Scots slain in the fight were buried in pits, and the road which passes hard by has been known time out of mind as Scot Pit Lane. In deepening a ditch here, there was found some time ago, a claymore that had belonged to some unfortunate Scot, and had probably been buried with the body. It is now in the possession of Mr. T. Jenkinson, of Northallerton, and is perfect except the guard which is broken. The village of Brompton is large and pleasantly situated on the North Beck, which rises above Low Moor, and pours its waters into the Wiske at Romanby. The linen manufacture has long been the chief industry of the village. In 1820, there were eight manufacturers employing upwards of 300 handloom weavers. The subsequent introduction of machinery and adoption of the factory system, concentrated all the trade in the two firms of John Wilford and Sons, and William and John Pattison, whose representatives still carry on the manufacture. New factories have been built and fitted with machinery of the latest type, and from the looms are turned out plain and fancy drills, ducks, sheeting, and table linen. A steam flour mill was erected about twenty years ago, and has lately been refitted on the roller system.
The Church, dedicated to St. Thomas, is an ancient stone building in the Gothic style, consisting of chancel, nave with north aisle and south porch, and a square tower with pinnacles, containing three bells. The body of the fabric was restored in 1868, when the galleries, which disfigured the interior, were taken down, and the nave refitted with open benches of pitchpine. The total cost was £1,800, which was raised by subscription, chiefly through the energy of the late Rev. William John Middleton, curate and vicar of the parish for 41 years, and to whose memory the chancel window was filled with stained glass in 1874, at a cost of £100. The tower was repaired and the bells re-hung in 1878, at a cost of £400, and a clock with two dials was added at the same time, at a further expense of £150. The reredos, a neat specimen of Mosaic art, was erected in 1876, at a cost of £100. In the south wall of the nave is a memorial window of four lights, inserted by the parishioners, at a cost of £112. The subjects represented are Noah and the ark, Abraham offering up his son Isaac, Moses with the Table of the Law, and Elisha fed by the ravens. Beneath is the inscription "To the memory of John Kettlewell, sometime vicar of Coleshill, Warwick, who died April 12, 1695, this window is dedicated A.D. 1880. This learned and saint-like man, born of humble parents in this parish, and having risen to a position of high eminence in the church, suffered for conscience sake, and leaving an example of unfaltering trust in the providence of God, he bequeathed the residue of his goods for the welfare of his native parish." The west window, recently filled with stained glass in memory of William and John Pattison, and Jane, wife of the latter, is a beautiful example of pictorial art. It consists of four principal lights, and above these, filling up the Gothic head, are three tiers of smaller ones, consisting respectively of three lights, two lights, and one light; and these the designer has happily used to symbolise the oneness of the Old and New Testaments the Unity of the Godhead, and the Unity of the Four Gospels. In the two smaller lights are two books representing the Old and New Testaments. In the three smaller lights are three cherubim, each bearing a scroll in front. On the first are the words Gloria Patri, on the second et Filio, and on the third et Spiritui Sancto. Each of the four principal lights is divided into three sections, with a space between each containing the figures or emblems. In the four upper sections are represented the four evangelists. In the four middle sections are depicted the Four Gospels typified by the Four Living Creatures of Ezekiel i., 5, and Revelations iv., 6; the order observed being that of Ezekiel i., 10, In the four lower sections are four human figures, each kneeling on one knee, and pouring water out of an Oriental urn or pitcher. These are intended to represent the four rivers of Paradise flowing from one head (Genesis ii., 10). The names are inscribed Pison Fluvius, Gihon Fluvius, Hiddekel Fluvius, and Euphrates Fluvius. These are typical of the Four Gospels deriving their inspiration from the one Divine Source, as thus explained by S. Victorinus in the third century. "These evangelical declarations of God's Spirit are four and yet one, because they proceed from one Divine Source, like the Four Rivers of Paradise, flowing from one head." During the progress of the late restorations some ancient Saxon and Norman stones were discovered, and are now preserved in the church. Among them are two crosses, four bears and a portion of another, all in good preservation. The church register dates from 1700. The living is a vicarage, gross value about £400, including eight acres of glebe, with residence, in the gift of the Dean and Chapter of Durham, and held by the Rev. George Thomas Winch, B.A., St. John's College, Cambridge.
The Wesleyan Chapel, built in 1817, at a cost of £1,080, was renovated, re-seated, and a new organ added in 1878, at a total expense of £750. The chapel belonging to the Primitive Methodists dates from 1821, and was restored and re-seated in 1868. There is also a Baptist chapel in the village, but it has now been closed for some time.
A School Board of five members was established in 1872, to whom the existing British School was transferred. This building was erected in 1840, at a cost of £700, and is sufficiently commodious for present and prospective needs of the parish. It is under the care of Mr. William Jackson, who was appointed on the formation of the School Board. A Sunday School was built in 1875, at a cost of £305. It is also used for evening services in the winter. A Mechanics' Institute was established in 1852, and has been held since 1877 in premises belonging to Mr. J. Pattison Yeoman, at a nominal rent. The library contains 550 volumes. The Temperance Hall was built by subscription in 1876, at a cost of £300. It is used also for a Sunday School and entertainments.
CHARITIES. - The following charities are recorded on a board in the vestry, as having been left to the poor of Brompton:- Thomas Flower, alias Flower Walker, left, by will, £2 10s. to be paid annually out of land called Danger Carrs, in Brompton. This has not been paid since 1791. Thomas Coates left, by will, 10s. to be paid out of land at Brompton, and to be distributed in bread on Christmas Eve. This has not been paid since 1805. The grandfather of Francis Kaye left, by will, £2 to be paid annually out of land situated at Wiske-Moss. This has not been paid since 1785. The family of Crowport left, by will, in 1698, £1 to be paid yearly out of land at Crawford Grange, in Brompton. - Iddon left (it is supposed by will) £1 to be paid at Easter out of land at Scruton. Thomas Crawforth left, by deed, in 1681, £2 to be paid at Easter and Christmas, out of land situated at Brompton. The Rev. Francis Kaye left, by will, in 1624, to two poor widows the sum of 40s. and a new gown (£4 10s. in all), to be paid out of the lands of Sturney Hall and Nook House, Danby Forest, The Rev. John Kettlewell left, in 1694, Lowfield Farm, in Brompton, containing 83 acres, for educating and apprenticing poor children in the townships of Brompton and Northallerton. This charity is now managed by eight trustees, appointed under a scheme of the Charity Commissioners. The rent (about £77 10s.) is divided equally between the two townships. The sum of £16 10s. is distributed in prizes for good attendance among the children of the Board School; a like sum is expended in the purchase of Bibles and other books for the children of the Church Sunday School; and £5 15s. is distributed every Christmas among poor widows.
LOCAL WORTHIES. - The Rev. John Kettlewell, founder of the Charity which bears his name, was born at Lowfields in this township, in 1653. He was educated at Northallerton Grammar School, and at the age of sixteen was entered a student of St. Edmund's Hall, Oxford. He was successively Fellow and tutor of Lincoln College; and, after receiving Orders, became Chaplain to the Countess of Bedford. Subsequently, he was presented to the vicarage of Coleshill, in Warwickshire; but, refusing to take the oaths of allegiance and supremacy to William III. and Queen Mary, he was deprived of the living, and thereupon retired to London, where he wrote several controversial works. His writings show that he possessed great learning and solid judgment, and was animated by deep religious convictions. He died of consumption in London at the early age of 42, and was interred in All Hallows' Church, Barking.
Sir John Scott Byerley, F.R.S.L., was born at Brompton in 1780, and received his education at the Grammar School of Northallerton. At the age of eighteen he entered the office of a solicitor in Ripon, whence he removed, two years later, to a similar situation at Stockton-on-Tees. Here he devoted himself to the study of mathematics with such success that the well-known Mr. Friend invited him to London. In 1803, he published "Bonaparte," a drama, under the name of "John Scott, Ripon," and, in 1807, "Love's Lyrics." He also published various prose works on ethical, political, and chemical subjects; but he is best known as the patentee of Olcagine, a composition used in the woollen manufacture. He was made a Knight of the Russian Order of St. Vladimir, by the Emperor Alexander, when at Paris in 1814; and received an annual pension of £200 from the Prince Regent of England (afterwards George IV.). He died suddenly, near Stroud, in 1837.
Thomas Byerley (brother of Sir John) was born at Brompton in 1788, and also received his education at the Northallerton Grammar School. He early displayed his literary bent, and, going to London, soon found employment for his talents. He became editor of the Literary Gazette, Percy Anecdotes, Evening Star, Mirror, &c., and compiled a genealogical chart of the reigning royal family. He died at the early age of 38 years.
Scan, OCR and html by Colin Hinson. Checking and correction by Peter Nelson.