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TOPCLIFFE:
Geographical and Historical information from the year 1835.

"TOPCLIFFE, a parish in the North riding of the county of YORK, comprising the townships of Catton, Dalton, Elmer with Crakehall, Skipton, and Topcliffe, in the wapentake of BIRDFORTH, and the chapelry of Dishforth, and the townships of Asenby, Baldersby, Marton le Moor, and Rainton with Newby, in the wapentake of HALLIKELD, North riding of the county of YORK, and containing 2540 inhabitants, of which number, 659 are in the township of Topcliffe, which extends within the liberty of St. Peter of York, East riding, 5 miles S.S.W. from Thirsk. The living is a vicarage, in the archdeaconry of Cleveland, and diocese of York, rated in the king's books at 19. 19. 2., and in the patronage of the Dean and Chapter of York. The church, dedicated to St. Columb, is of high antiquity. There is a place of worship for Wesleyan Methodists, John Hartforth, in 1588, gave land and money in support of a free grammar school, which, with the subsequent smaller bequests of William Robinson an'd Henry Roper, produce 70 a year, for the instruction of thirty boys. Here are slight vestiges of the ancient baronial mansion of the Percy family, called Maiden Bower, in which Henry, the fourth Earl of Northumberland, was murdered by the populace, in 1520, for enforcing a tax imposed in the reign of Henry VII.; and in which Thomas, the fifth earl, who was beheaded at York, in 1572, had previously formed a conspiracy against Queen Elizabeth- Charles I. was confined in it, and the sum of 200,000, for giving him up to the parliament, was here paid to the Scottish commissioners."


"ASENBY, a township in that part of the parish of TOPCLIFFE, which is in the wapentake of HALLIKKLIJ, North riding of the county of YORK, 5 miles N. from Boroughbridge, containing 230 inhabitants."


"BALDERSBY, a township in that part of the parish of TOPCLIFFE, which is in the wapentake of HALLIKELD, North riding of the county of YORK, 5 miles N.N.E. from Ripon, containing 241 inhabitants. Here is a school with a small endowment, bequeathed by the Rev. Mr. Day, in 1764."


"CATTON, a township in that part of the parish of TOPCLIFFE, which is in the wapentake of BIRDFORTH, North riding of the county of YORK, 5 miles S.W. from Thirsk, containing 99 inhabitants."


"CRAKEHALL, a township, joint with Elmer, in that part of the parish of TOPCLIFFE, which is in the wapentake of BIRDFORTH, North riding of the county of YORK, 6 miles N.N.E. from Boroughbridge. The population is returned with Elmer."


"DALTON, a township in that part of the parish of TOPCLIFFE, which is in the wapentake of BIRDFORTH, North riding of the county of YORK, 4 miles S. from Thirsk, containing 235 inhabitants."


"DISHFORTH, a chapelry in that part of the parish of TOPCLIFFE, which is in the wapentake of HALLIKELD, North riding of the county of YORK, 4 miles N.N.W. from Boroughbridge, containing 340 inhabitants. The living is a perpetual curacy, in the peculiar jurisdiction of the Dean and Chapter of York, endowed with 1200 royal bounty, and in the patronage of the Vicar of Topcliffe. There is an endowment of 6 per annum, for teaching six children."


"ELMER, a township, joint with Crakehall, in that part of the parish of TOPCLIFFE, which is in the wapentake of BIRDFORTH, North riding of the county of YORK, 7 miles N.E. from Boroughbridge, Con- taining 78 inhabitants."


"MARTON LE MOOR, a chapelry in that part of the parish of TOPCLIFFE, which is in the wapentake of HALLIKELD, North riding of the county of YORK, S miles N.N.W. from Boroughbridge, containing 201 inhabitants. The living is a perpetual curacy, in the archdeaconry of Cleveland, and diocese of York, endowed with 800 royal bounty, and in the patronage of the Vicar of Topcliffe. There is a small endowment, the bequest of the Rev. Mr. Day, for the education of the poor."


"NEWBY, a township, joint with Rainton, in that part of the parish of TOPCLIFFE, which is in the wapentake of HALLIKELD, North riding of the county of YORK, 6 miles N.W. from Boroughbridge. The population is returned with Rainton. Christopher Coulson, in 1640, bequeathed certain land, directing the income to be applied in teaching and clothing poor children."


"RAINTON, a township, joint with Newby, in that part of the parish of TOPCLIFFE, which is in the wapentake of HALLIKELD, North riding of the county of YORK, 5 miles N.N.W. from Boroughbridge, containing, with Newby, 347 inhabitants. The Wesleyan Methodists have a place of worship here. There are various small endowments, producing about 3. 10. per annum, for the instruction of poor children."


"SKIPTON, a township in that part of the parish of TOPCLIFFE, which is in the wapentake of BIRDFORTH, North riding of the county of YORK, 5 miles W.S.W. from Thirsk, containing 110 inhabitants. There is a place of worship for Wesleyan Methodists. The Rev. Mr. Day, in 1764, bequeathed a small sum towards the support of a school."

[Transcribed by Mel Lockie from
Lewis's Topographical Dictionary of England 1835]


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