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Help and advice for BIRSTALL: Geographical and Historical information from the year 1835.

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BIRSTALL: Geographical and Historical information from the year 1835.

"BIRSTALL, a parish in the wapentake of MORLEY, West riding of the county of YORK, 7 miles S.W. from Leeds, comprising the chapelries of Clackheaton, Drighlington, Heckmondwike, Liversedge, andTong, and the townships of Great and Little Gomersall, Hunsworth, and Wike, and containing 21,217 inhabitants. The living is a discharged vicarage, in the archdeaconry of the East riding, and diocese of York, rated in the king's books at £23. 19. 2., and in the patronage of the Archbishop of York. The church, dedicated to St. Peter, has lately been enlarged by the addition of one hundred and fifty sittings, one hundred of which are free; the Incorporated Society for the enlargement of churches and chapels having granted £150 towards defraying the expense. There is a place of worship for Wesleyan Methodists. A chapel is also being erected at Birkenshaw, in this parish. The village of Birstall is situated in the township of Gomersall: the clothing business prevails to a great extent in the parish, in which also there are some collieries. The Rev. William Armystead, in 1601, bequeathed £100 for the erection of a school; the fund now produces £8. 10. per annum, for which six children are instructed gratuitously in a National school, which was erected in 1819, at the expense of William Charlesworth, Esq. Dr. Priestley, equally distinguished for his advocacy of Unitarian %isffi1 and his discoveries in chemistry, was born at Field-heads in this parish, in 1733; he died in America, in 1804."


"ADWALTON, a hamlet in the chapelry of DRIGHLINGTON, parish of BIRSTALL, wapentake of MORLEY, West riding of the county of YORK, 5 miles E.S.E. from Bradford. The population is returned with Drighlington. On Adwalton moor a battle was fought, in 1642, between the royalists under the Earl of Newcastle, and the parliamentarians under Lord Fairfax, in which the latter were defeated. There was formerly a market in this hamlet: fairs are held February 6th, March 9th, Thursday in Easter week, the second Thursday after Easter, Whit-Thursday and every alternate Thursday till Michaelmas, November 5th, and December 23rd, all which, except the two last, are for the sale of lean cattle."


"BIRKENSHAW, a hamlet in the parish of BIRSTALL, wapentake of MORLEY, West riding of the county of YORK, 5 miles S.E. from Bradford. The population is returned with the township of Gomersall. A new church is in progress of erection here. A great quantity of coal and iron-stone is found in the vicinity, and the manufacture of woollen goods is carried on to a very great extent."


"CLACKHEATON, a chapelry in the parish of BIRSTALL, wapentake of MORLEY, West riding of the county of YORK, 5 miles S.S.E. from Bradford, containing, with the hamlets of Sclioles and Oakenshaw, 2436 inhabitants. The living is a perpetual curacy, in the archdeaconry and diocese of York, endowed with £540 private benefaction, £600 royal bounty, and £400 parliamentary grant. Miss Currer was patroness in 1805. The chapel is called White chapel: another is now being erected, under the late act for building additional churches, the patronage of which will be in the Vicar of Birstall. The village is situated in a flue fertile valley, stretching from north to south, the acclivities on both sides being well wooded: it has recently undergone great improvement, and several elegant villas have been erected in the vicinity. There are meetinghouses for Independents and Moravians. Worsted, coarse woollen goods, and machinery for carding and spinning, are manufactured here. Coal abounds in the neighbourhood, and is wrought to some extent. Here stood a small Roman town, the name of which is unknown, and every vestige of it has been obliterated by the plough."


"DRIGHLINGTON, a chapelry in the parish of BIRSTALL, wapentake of MORLEY, West riding of the county of YORK, 5 miles E.S.E. from Bradford, containing 1719 inhabitants. The living is a perpetual curacy, in the archdeaconry and diocese of York", endowed with £200 private benefaction, and £2300 parliamentary grant, and in the patronage of J. Birstall, Esq. This was the birthplace of Dr. James Margetson, Archbishop of Armagh, who built here a school and endowed it, in 1678, with a rent-charge of £60 per annum. In the reign of William and Mary, Sir John Tempest and eight others were constituted: a body corporate, with a common seal, to act as governors: of the foundation, upon which twelve children are edu-t cated, as free scholars, and are taught Latin if required."


"GOMERSALL, a township comprising Great Gomersall and Little Gomersall, in the parish of BIRSTALL, wapentake of MORLEY, West riding of the county of YORK, containing 5952 inhabitants. Great Gomersall is 5 miles S.E., and Little Gomersall 6 S.S.E., from Bradford. The Independents, Moravians, and Wesleyan Methodists, have each a place of worship here. Blankets and woollen cloths are manufactured to a considerable extent, and there are coal works in the immediate neighbourhood. Though the village of Birstall is within the limits of this township, it gives name to the parish of which Gomersall forms a part."


"HECKMONDWIKE, a chapelry in the parish of BIRSTALL, wapentake of MORLEY, West riding of the county of YORK, 8 miles W.N.W. from Wakefield, containing 2579 inhabitants. A new chapel is now being erected. There are two places of worship for Independents, and one for Wesleyan Methodists. The manufacture of blankets, carpets, and woollen cloths is here extensive: a blanket hall is open every Monday and Thursday, for the sale of blankets."


"HUNSWORTH, a township in the parish of BIRSTALL, wapentake of MORLEY, West riding of the county of YORK, 4 miles S.S.E. from Bradford, containing 870 inhabitants. The manufacture of woollen goods is carried on here."


"LIVERSEDGE, a chapelry in the parish of BIRSTALL, wapentake of MORLEY, West riding of the county of YORK, 6 miles N.E. from Huddersfield, containing 4259 inhabitants. The living is a perpetual curacy, in the archdeaconry and diocese of York, endowed with £2200 parliamentary grant. The Rev. H. Roberson was patron in 1812. The chapel dedicated to Christ, has lately received an addition of three hundred and fifty free sittings, the Incorporated Society for the enlargement of churches and chapels having granted £350 towards defraying the expense. The High Town school was erected by subscription among the inhabitants 3 and in 1722, Josias Farrer devised a rent-charge of £ 8, for the instruction of sixteen poor children; and in 1723, Edward Beaumont bequeathed £100, the interest to be applied in teaching six others of this township; the annual income is £ 14, for which twentytwo free scholars are educated at a National school established here in 1821. During the disturbances in the manufacturing districts, and the prevalence of the Luddite system, in 1812, a mill belonging to Mr. William Cartwright, at Rawfolds in this township, became the object of hostile attack, but was vigorously defended by its proprietor, when two of the assailants were killed, and several wounded; none of the efforts at demolition, however, proved successful, and, in admiration of the bravery of Mr. Cartwright on the occasion, a public subscription, amounting to upwards of £3000, was made, and presented to that gentleman."


"OAKENSHAW, a hamlet in the parish of BIRSTALL, wapentake of MORLEY, West riding of the county of YORK, 3 miles S.E. from Bradford. The population is returned with Clackheaton. The printing of muslins and calicoes is carried on here to a great extent."


"TONG, a chapelry in the parish of BIRSTALL, wapentake of MORLEY, West riding of the county of YORK, 4 miles E.S.E. from Bradford, containing 1893 inhabitants. The living is a perpetual curacy, in the archdeaconry and diocese of York, endowed with £450 private benefaction, and £400 royal bounty, and in the patronage of John Plumbe, Esq. The manufacture of woollen cloth, worsted, rope, and twine, is here carried on. Eight poor children are instructed for £6 a year, bequeathed, in 1739, by Sir George Tempest, who erected the school-house."


"WIKE, a township in the parish of BIRSTALL, wapentake of MORLEY, West riding of the county of YORK, 3 miles S.W. from Bradford, contain' ing 1509 inhabitants. There is a place of worship for Independents."

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