BEAMSLEY, (Great and Little), in the parishes of Addingham and Skipton, upper division of Claro; (Beamsley Hall, the residence of Robinson Chippendale, Esq.) 6 miles from Skipton, 8½ from Otley, 17 from Knaresborough. Pop. in Addingham 80, in Skipton, 232, total, 312.
Here is an hospital founded by Margaret, Countess of Cumberland, in the 35th of Queen Elizabeth. It was ordered to consist of one Mother and twelve Sisters, to be named and appointed by George, Earl of Cumberland, and the said Margaret, and their heirs; and that the said Mother and Sisters, and their successors should be incorporated, and have a common seal. The Earl of Thanet is now the heir or representative of the Earl and Countess of Cumberland, and has the management of the estates and revenues of the hospital. The total income arising from rents and dividends, amounts to £357. 9s. 4d. out of which the Mother and sisters receive an annual stipend, of the Mother £18. and the Sisters, £16. each, besides which they receive on commission, a bedstead each, with a few other necessary articles of furniture. Twenty pounds per annum is given the clergymen for reading prayers, and administering the Sacrament four times a year, and who receives an additional sum of £2. 10s. per annum, for providing the Elements. And Lord Thanet's Steward receives a salary of £10. per annum, for superintending the estates, and keeping the accounts.
The hospital consists of two distinct buildings, with a small court or garden between them, and contains a chapel and separate apartments for the Mother and twelve Sisters. The number is duly kept up, according to the foundation deed. The chapel is used for prayer on Sundays and three other days in the week. It is situated on the road side, leading from Knaresborough to Skipton, within the township. Extracted from Commissioners report on Charities.
The old hall at Beamsley was anciently the seat of the family of Claphams. Of this family was John Clapham, a famous esquire in the wars between the houses of York and Lancaster, and who is said to have beheaded with his own hands, the Earl of Pembroke, in the church porch of Banbury. This family had a chantry and vault in Bolton Priory church, and where according to tradition, they were interred upright. --Whitaker's Craven.
[Description(s) edited from various 19th century sources by Colin Hinson © 2013]