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The Ancient Parish of WATH

[Transcribed information mainly from the early 1820s]

"WATH, a parish in the wapentake of Halikeld, and liberty of Richmondshire; 4 miles N. of Ripon. The church is dedicated to St. Mary (see Churches for photograph); the living is a rectory, in the patronage of the Marquis of Ailesbury, and the Rev. Benjamin Newton, A. M. is the incumbent. This village derives its name from its situation, there being a rivulet at each end of it, which the villagers were formerly obliged to wade or ford. There is now a good stone bridge over each. Pop. 186.

Here is a school founded in 1690, by Dr. Peter Samwaise, who endowed it with lands at Bellerby, value 70L. per annum. Five pounds per annum is also paid to the master by Trinity College, Cambridge, out of an estate at Middleton-Quernhow; this college also pays a donation of 10L. per annum. Here is also an alms house, built 1698, and endowed by the above Peter Samwaise, containing rooms for two poor persons, who receive 2L. 14s. per annum, the interest of 60L."

"MELMERBY, in the parish of Wath, wapentake of Halikeld, and liberty of Richmondshire; ¾ mile ESE. of Wath, 5 miles NNE. of Ripon. Population, 258."

"MIDDLETON QUERNHOW, in the parish of Wath, wapentake of Halikeld, and liberty of Richmondshire; 1 mile NE. of Wath, 5 miles N. of Ripon. Pop. 102."

"NORTON CONYERS, in the parish of Wath, wapentake and liberty of Allertonshire; ¾ mile SSW. of Wath, 3 miles N. of Ripon. This was once the seat of the family of the Nortons; of whom Richard Norton was Chief Justice of England, about the year 1400: from him descended Richard Norton, who, with his sons, in 1569, engaged in the religious rebellion of the Earls of Northumberland and Westmoreland, against Queen Elizabeth, which was soon suppressed. Mr. Norton, and his sons, with many others, were executed, and the estate given to the Musgraves." (There is further information for Norton Conyers).

"YORK GATE INN, in the parish of Wath, wapentake of Halikeld, and liberty of Richmondshire; 1½ miles E. of Wath, 5 miles NNE. of Ripon. The Magistrates for the wapentake hold their meetings here, and at the New-Inn, alternately."

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



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