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The Ancient Parish of EASINGWOLD

[Transcribed information mainly from the early 1820s]

"EASINGWOLD, a parish in the wapentake of Bulmer, and liberty of Pickering Lythe; 10 miles from Thirsk, 10 from Boroughbridge, and 13 from York, is a small market town, and, from its inland situation, without any navigable communication, has no great trade, except in bacon and butter, of which considerable quantities are sent to York, and forwarded by water to London. The church is dedicated to St. John (see Churches for photograph). The weekly market is on Friday. Fairs, July 6, September 26 for cattle and sheep. Principal Inns, Rose and Crown, and New-Inn. Population, 1912.

The church, which is dedicated to St. John, is pleasantly situated on an eminence above the town, commands a most extensive and delightful prospect over the ancient forest of Galtres, and the vale of Mowbray, with the venerable and stately cathedral of York in full view. The living is a vicarage, in the patronage of the Archbishop of York, (for this turn.)

In the church is deposited a large coffin, made of oak, and secured at the joints with plates of iron, which (it is said) was used by the inhabitants in carrying dead bodies to the grave, previous to the introduction of coffins for interment, and on their arrival at the place of burial, the corpse was carefully taken out of this common coffin, and laid in the grave, with no other covering than the shroud. Here is likewise a chapel for the Methodists, another for the Calvinists, and one for the Primitive Methodists. The poor of this town enjoy the benefit of several excellent charities, the principal of which is a free school, endowed by Mrs. Westerman, a native of Easingwold, who, by her will, bearing date 1781, bequeathed the suns of £2500. 4 percent. bank annuities, for establishing a charity school in Easingwold. In which school are to be taught to thirty boys Latin, the English grammar, reading, writing, arithmetic, and book-keeping; and thirty girls reading, writing, and arithmetic; also another school, with a small endowment, free for ten boys of the township, and two Sunday schools, belonging to the Methodists. Here are several chalybeate springs, the principal of which supplies the reservoir of a neat little bathing house."

"HAWKHILL FARM, a farm house in the township and parish of Easingwold; 1½ miles S. of Easingwold."

"RASKELF, in the parish of Easingwold, and wapentake of Bulmer; 2½ miles WNW. of Easingwold. The Church is a perpetual curacy, dedicated to St. Mary (see Churches for photograph), which is in the patronage of the Bishop of Chester, and of which the Rev. F. Blackburn. is incumbent, has a wooden steeple, and the whole pile is rapidly hastening to ruin. Pop. 440.

The windows of this church, exhibit in rich painted glass the arms, of Nevile, Lord Dacre, Scropes of Masham and Bolton, &c.

In the year 1623, Ralph Reynard and Mark Dun were tried for the murder of a respectable yeoman, of the name of Fletcher, who lived at or near this village they were both convicted and executed, together with the wife of Fletcher, who was proved to have had a share in the horrid transaction."

"SPRING HOUSE, a farm house in the township and parish of Easingwold; 3½ miles SSE. of Easingwold."

"WHITE HOUSES, 2 p.h. in the township and parish of Easingwold; 1½ miles WNW. of Easingwold."

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




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