"HALIFAX, a parish-town, which ranks next Leeds and Bradford, as one of the principal seats and emporiums of the woollen and worsted manufactures, is a well built market town, with a population of upwards of 20,000 souls, and has within the extensive parish no fewer than 23 townships, in which are many large villages, 75,740 acres of land, and about 120,000 inhabitants. It is one of the new boroughs, created by the Reform act, in 1832, with the privilege of sending two representatives to Parliament, and is situated in the Wapentake of Morley, and liberty of the manor of Wakefield, in a bleak and mountainous region, extending to the borders of Lancashire, where the two Calders have their source, one flowing westward, through the latter county, and the other taking an eastward course, through the principal valley of this parish, in which it receives nine tributary rivulets, flowing in opposite directions through romantic dales, all opening into the vale of the East Calder. The town is distant 17 miles W.S.W. of Leeds, 22 miles N.E of Manchester, 7 miles S.W. of Bradford, 7 miles N. of Wakefield, and 194 miles N.N.W of London, being on the direct line of communication between the ports of Liverpool and Hull. It is seated on the south eastern declivities of an eminence rising gently to a considerable elevation above the small river Hebble, but being encompassed by higher grounds, especially the steep banks and lofty chain of hills on the opposite sides of the Hebble, ascending abruptly from North Owram to Clayton Heights, it seems, as approached in several directions, to be placed in a deep valley. The Hebble, after flowing through the eastern skirts of the town, falls into the Calder about two miles to the south. The scenery viewed form the surrounding heights, exhibits a tract of country, which perhaps more than any other in the Kingdom, serves to show how completely the wealth of industry of man can triumph over the most stubborn indispositions of nature. In a farming district a great part of the parish would have lain waste for ever. Here it is the tiller who has made the soil, and not the soil which has enriched the tiller. Instead of an obscure hamlet, "at the foot of a mighty and almost inaccessible rock, all overgrown with trees and thick underwoods, intermixed with great and bulky stones standing high above the ground, in a dark and solemn grove on the bank of a small murmuring rivulet," we now see a rich and flourishing town, surrounded by populous villages, and some of the boldest and most sublime features of nature, enlivened and enriched by the busy influence of manufacture and commerce. The basis of all the parish, extending wetsward from the town to the boundary of Lancashire (a distance of twelve miles,) is gritstone; but coal, iron, and fine freestone, once more appear; and to this cause, and the rapid descent of its numerous brooks, so important in manufacture before introduction of the steam engine, the parish of Halifax is greatly indebted for its wealth and population. In a manuscript, supposed to have been written by John Waterhouse, a former lord of the manor, it is said, that about the year 1443, there were in Halifax, only thirteen houses, but in 1566 they had increased to 520. In 1738, Mr. Wright says, that there were in the town above 1100 families; and in 1763, it contained 1272 families, and was then "increasing more than ever, owing to the flourishing state of it trade." Reckoning five persons to a family, the populations of the town would then be about 6400 souls, who, in 1801, had increased to 8,886; in 1811, to 9,159; in 1821, to 12,628; and in 1831, to 15,382, exclusive of its eastern suburbs, which lie in North and South Owram, but becoming closely connected with the town, swell its total population to upwards of 20,000. In 1831, the number of souls in the whole parish was 109,899; of whom 54,092 were males, and 55,087 females; comprising 21,879 families, of whom 15,984 were returned as being employed in trade, manufacture, or handicraft; 1,463 in agriculture, and 4,412 as either engaged in professional pursuits or unemployed. In the same year, the number of males above 20 years of age, was 24,718, of whom 11,176 were employed in manufacture, or in making manufacturing machinery; and 1200 worked in quarries and coal mines.
The air of the parish is decidedly salubrious, and epidemical diseases are of rare occurrence, for though it was occasionally visited by the plagues, which prevailed in the 15th, 16th and 17th centuries, they do not appear to have raged here with much virulence; and the whole district was happily preserved from that awful scourge, the malignant cholera, which ravaged almost every part of the kingdom, in 1832. Out of 17,315 persons buried in the parish, from the year 1813 to 1830, one of them was above 100 years of age; 89, above ninety; 837, above eighty; and 1613, above seventy years of age. The most remarkable instances of longevity recorded in the parish are Roger Brook, of Halifax, who died in 1568, aged 133; Mr Littleton, of Rushworth, died in 1700, aged 100; Nathan Wood, of Soyland, died in 1704, aged 108; Peter Ambler of Shelf, died in 1708, aged 108; John Roberts, of Hipperholme, died in 1721, aged 114; John Firth of Sowerby, died in 1757, aged 107; Elias Hoyle, of Sowerby, died in 1805, aged 113, John Shepherd of Soyland, died in 1830, aged 100; and John Logan, of Halifax, died in 1831, aged 105.
MINERAL SPRINGS. - The parishioners enjoy the advantage of several medicinal springs; one called Swift Cross Spa, in Soyland, is a strong chalybeate; and another at the Cragg, in Erringden, is also chalybeate, with a slight impregnation of sulphur. At Horley Green about a mile N.W. of the town, a mineral water has lately been discovered, which contains a large portion of vitriolated iron, besides alum, salenite, and ochre. In Shelf there is a petrifying water.
HALIFAX PARISH is said to be the largest in England; but, as regards Church rates, and the rights of sepulture, marriage, baptism, and burial, it is in three divisions, as will be seen by the following table and notes, shewing the territorial extent, the annual value of the lands and buildings, as assessed for the property tax in 1815; the yearly moduses paid in lieu of vicarial tithes; the number of houses, and the population of each of the 23 townships of the parish at the four decennial periods of the Parliamentary census:-Townships No of Annl. Tithe Population Houses in Halifax acres Val in Moduses in Parish 1815 L. s. d 1801 1811 1821 1831 1831 Barkisland 2420 2819 15 7 3 1799 2076 2224 2292 490 Elland cum Greetland 3360 7461 3385 3963 5088 5500 1173 Erringden 2980 2532 35 1 6 1313 1586 1471 1933 366 Fixby 89 1834 8 15 3 346 336 345 348 75 Halifax 990 38,337 243 13 6 8886 9159 12628 15382 3519 Heptonstall 5320 4439 80 0 10 2983 3647 4543 4661 1031 Hipperholme cum Brighouse 2550 7482 78 0 0 2879 3357 3936 4977 1026 Langfield 2620 2361 38 18 0 1170 1515 2069 2514 487 Midgley 2110 2287 39 3 0 1209 2107 2207 2409 501 Norland 1140 2883 25 3 9 1181 1316 1665 1618 359 Ovenden 5170 7674 57 12 0 4513 4752 6360 8871 1841 Northowram 3400 9427 151 1 6 4887 5306 6841 10184 2148 Southowram 2280 8853 83 13 2 3148 3615 4526 5751 1179 Rastrick 1290 4151 45 10 6 2053 2442 2796 3021 671 Rishworth 6190 2058 27 5 6 960 1211 1588 1536 309 Shelf 1350 2654 38 3 2 1306 1553 1998 2614 545 Skircoat 1340 5661 65 8 2 2338 2823 3323 4060 889 Sowerby 3670 6763 111 14 5 4275 5177 6890 6457 1386 Soyland 4960 4757 61 3 0 1888 2519 3242 3589 715 Stainland 1730 3155 20 12 6 1800 2077 2814 3037 649 Stansfield 5920 7639 4768 5447 7275 8262 1576 Wadsworth 10,080 4425 93 0 0 2801 3473 4509 5198 1073 Warley 3980 622 89 17 10 3546 3958 4982 5685 1144 Total 75,740 140272 1409 15 6 63,434 73,41 93,050 109,899 23,139Elland cum Greetland and Stainland did not become parties to the act passed in 1829, for the commutation of the vicarial tithes. (See Vicarage, at a subsequent page)
THE PAROCHIAL DISTRICT OF HALIFAX comprehends the ten townships of Halifax, Sowerby, North Owram, South Owram, Warley, Ovenden, Hipperholme-cum Brighouse, Midgley, Skircoat, and Shelf. All these townships contribute to the reparation, &c., of the parish church.
THE PAROCHIAL CHAPELRY OF ELLAND, includes the eight townships of Elland-cum Greetland, Barkisland, Fixby, Norland, Rastrick, Rishworth, Soyland and Stainland. These townships have to support the church or parochial chapel of Elland, which possesses the rights of baptism, marriage, and sepulture, and pays no surplice fees to the vicar.
THE PAROCHIAL CHAPELRY OF HEPTONSTALL comprises the five townships of Heptonstall, Erringden, Langfield. Stansfield, and Wadsworth; and enjoys the same privileges as Elland, being entirely independent of the mother church, in all that relates to church rates.
In addition to the parish church, and Trinity and St Jame's churches, in Halifax, and the two parochial chapels of Elland and Heptonstall, there are in the parish fourteen Chapels of Ease, supported by the inhabitants of their respective townships or chapelries, as will be seen in the second volume of this work, in which all the out-townships of the parish, with their numerous villages, will be separately described.
THE BOROUGH OF HALIFAX, as defined by the Boundary Act, passed immediately after the Reform act in 1832, includes all the town and township of Halifax, and all the eastern suburbs of the town, lying in the townships of North and South Owram, betwixt a line drawn from Lee Bridge to Newton, and thence southward to Bank Top, including Charlestown, Haley Hill, New Bank, Folly Hall, South Owram Bank, &c. The township of Halifax extends westward to King- cross, High-Road well, and Mount Pellon, so that the borough is about two miles long and one broad, and includes upwards of 20,000 inhabitants, of whom, about 760 occupy houses of the yearly value of £10 or upwards, and are consequently entitled to vote for its two parliamentary representatives. The first election, after the enfranchisement of the borough, was in December 1832, when the borough was warmly contested by four candidates, and the votes at the close of the poll stood as follows: for Rawdon Briggs, Jun. Esq., 242; Charles Wood, Esq. 235; Michael stocks, Esq., 186; and the Hon. J.S. Wortley, 174. The second election, when the present members of parliament for the borough were chosen, was in January 1835, and the three candidates with the number of votes tendered to each, were, Charles Wood, 336. The Hon. J.S. Wortley, 308; and Edward Protheroe, jun. Esq., 307. The rejection of the latter gentleman, by a majority of one, gave such umbrage to the radical non-electors, that on the last day of the poll, (Wednesday, January 7th,) the town was at the mercy of a mob of not less than "500 ruffians," armed with various weapons and missiles, who made a general attack upon the dwellings of those who had made themselves obnoxious to the popular cause. The arrival of a troop of lancers, at 7 o'clock in the evening, restored tranquillity; and 26 of the injured parties afterwards recovered damages from the "hundred rates" of Agbrigg and Morley, to the amount of £2306, chiefly for the destruction of windows and furniture. Had a sufficient constabulary force been organized in the early part of the day, this mischief, which might have been anticipated, would no doubt have been prevented.
POOR LAW UNIONS:- In January, 1837, the large parish of Halifax, with two adjoining townships, was formed into two "Unions," for the maintenance of the poor. The Halifax Poor Law Union comprises the ten townships of the "Halifax Parochial District," the eight townships of Elland Parochial Chapelry, and the township of Hartshead-cum-Clifton, in the parish of Dewsbury. The Board of Guardians consists of 31 persons; of whom, five are elected for Halifax, three for North Owram, two each for South Owram, Elland- cum Greetland, Hipperholme-cum Brighouse, Ovenden, Warley, and Sowerby; and one for each of the other townships. The Hebden Bridge Union comprises the five townships of Heptonstall Parochial Chapelry, and the town and chapelry of Todmorden.
ANCIENT HISTORY: - Halifax cannot boast of great antiquity, though in the distant parts of its parish are some Druidical remains. (BRITISH ANTIQUITIES - About 70 years ago, a countryman digging peat on Mixenden moor, near Halifax, struck his spade through a black polished stone, resembling a hone or whetstone; adjoining to this was a most beautiful brass celt, in excellent preservation. These remains were accompanied by four arrow-heads of black flint; by a light battle axe of a beautiful green pebble; and lastly, with a hollow gouge, or scoop, of hard grey stone, evidently intended for the excavation of canoes or other wooden vessels. The last is unique; no implement for this purpose having ever been discovered before. Together they seem to have formed the imperishable part of the arms of a British soldier, who, by some other means than in battle, had perished, perhaps, two thousand years ago, amongst these wastes, where all remains of the body, together with the handles of the weapons, had long been decomposed, and mixed with the common earth) and vestiges of the Romans and Saxons. Its name is not mentioned in Domesday Book, though it is comprised with the whole parish, except Elland-cum- Greetland, and South Owram, under the names of the eight berewicks, or dependent manor, in the liberty of the manor of Wakefield, to which it still belongs, as has been seen at page 326, Elland, and some other parts of the parish, are in the honor of Pontefract. Dr. Whitaker says, "in foundation of the parish of Halifax," the two great families of Warren and Lacy (the Norman lords of Wakefield and Pontefract) concurred. The former permitting eight berewicks of Wakefield to be detached from the parish of Dewsbury, and the latter separating Elland, South Owram, &c., from the Saxon parish of Morley. The origin of the name of the town is uncertain, but it is probably half Saxon and half Norman. In the valley then embosomed in woods, where the parish church stands, was a hermitage, dedicated to St. John the Baptist, the imaginary sanctity of which attracted a great number of pilgrims in every direction. Four ways, by which the town of modern Halifax is entered, still distinctly point at the parish church as their common centre; these were the roads by which the pilgrims approached the object of their devotion, and hence the name Halifax, or Holy Ways; for fax, in Norman French, is an old plural noun, denoting highways.
GIBBETT LAW; - For many ages, a singular mode of trial and execution existed in the Forest of Hardwick, which included Halifax, and all that part of the parish lying in the liberty of the manor of Wakefield. As the jus furcae at Wakefield, was actually claimed by the Earls warren, in their returns to quo warrantos, and never claimed by them for Halifax, Dr. Whitaker conjectures that the custom did not commence here till a later period, perhaps not till the general introduction of the woollen manufacture rendered a special protection necessary for the property of the manufacturers, whose cloth, exposed on their tenters, in the open air, would especially during the night, be much subject to peculation. But Bentley, in his history of Halifax, published in 1712, says "The inhabitants within the forest of Hardwick had a custom from time immemorial, that if a felon were taken within their liberty, with goods stolen out, or within the liberty of the said forest, either hand- habend, back-berand, or confessand, any commodity of the value of thirteen-pence half-penny, he should, after three markets, or meetings days, within the town of Halifax, next after such apprehension, and being condemned, be taken to the gibbet, and have his head cut off from his body." The felon was, however, to be publicly and deliberately tried, by a sort of jury, consisting of the frith-burghers within the liberty. The process of the gibbet law was this; - when the felon was apprehended, he was immediately brought before the lord's bailiff, at Halifax, who kept the common gaol in the town, had the custody of the axe, and was the legal executioner. The bailiff then issued his summons to the constables of four several townships, within the liberty, to require four frith-burghers within each, to appear before him on a certain day, to examine into the truth of the charge. At the trial, the accuser and the accused were confronted before the jury, and the goods stolen were produced. If the party accused was acquitted, he was instantly liberated; if condemned, he was either executed immediately, if that was the principal market day, or sat in the stocks on the less meeting days, with the stolen goods on his back, if portable, or if not, they were placed before him. The jurors were not sworn, and Bishop Hall insinuates, that they were not impartial, but it is not easy to suppose how justice could be perverted by a tribunal of this nature. There were no niceties of evidence to balance, no doubtful points to clear; the whole duty of the court consisted in identifying the goods alledged to be stolen in ascertaining their value so as to bring them within the custom, and in proving that they were either hand-habend, or back- berand, or confessand; that is, that the offender was taken with them in his hand, or having them on his back, or that he had confessed to have stolen them. Dr. Grey supposed that thirteen pence half-penny may have been called hangman's wages, in allusion to Halifax law; and Mr. Watson supposed, that this sum was given at Halifax, as a gratuity to the executioner. The executions always took place on the great market day, in order to strike the more terror into the neighbourhood. When the criminal was brought to the gibbet, which stood a little way out of the town, where part of the stone platform may still be seen, on Gibbet Hill, the execution was performed by means of an engine, which was raised upon a platform, four feet high and thirteen feet square, faced on every side with stone, and ascended by a flight of steps. In the middle of this platform was placed two upright pieces of timber, fifteen feet high, joined at the top by a transverse beam. Within these was a square block of wood, four feet and a half long, which moved up and down by means of grooves made for that purpose; to the lower part of this sliding block was fastened an iron axe, of the weight of 7lb 12 oz. The axe thus fixed was drawn up to the top by a cord and pulley. At the end of the cord was a pin, which, being fixed to the block, kept it suspended till the moment of execution, when the culprit having placed his head on the block, the pin was withdrawn, and his head was instantly severed from his body. If the offender was condemned for stealing an ox, a sheep, or a horse, the end of the rope was fastened to the beast, which, being driven, pulled out the pin, and thus became the executioner. In other cases, the bailiff or his servant cut the rope, and allowed the axe to descend. From this description of the Halifax gibbet, it appears that it was an engine similar to the gullotine, erected in France soon after the breaking out of the Revolution, and by which fatal machine so much blood was shed. Records of the executions at Halifax, under the Gibbet Law, are brought down to the year 1650, about which time it ceased, on an intimation to the bailiff, that if these executions were repeated, he would be called to public account for his conduct. The Earl of Morton, regent of Scotland, in passing through Halifax, about the middle of the 16th century, witnessed one of the executions by the gibbet, and ordered a model to be taken of the machine, which he carried into Scotland, and had one of similar construction made from it. This instrument remained long unused, and hence obtained the name of the Maiden; but in the year 1581, that nobleman himself was brought to the block, and suffered by the machine which he had caused to be erected. The original axes of these fatal machines may still be seen, one at the gaol in Halifax, and the other in the parliament house at Edinburgh. The number of persons executed in Halifax, under the operation of the gibbet, during little more than a century, viz,. From 1541 to 1650 was no less than 49. And Mr. Watson observes, that these executions, combined with the strict discipline observed by the police of Hull, probably gave rise to the proverbial petition of thieves and vagabonds, - "From Hull, Hell, and Halifax, good Lord, deliver us". If a felon after his apprehension, escaped out of the forest liberty, the bailiff had no power over him; but if the felon returned again within the liberty, he was forthwith captured and executed; for we find that one Lacy, who had escaped after condemnation, came boldly back again, after an absence of seven years, and was immediately taken and executed. Wright records a traditional tale "of a country woman, who was riding by the gibbet, on her hampers, to the market, just at the execution of a criminal, when the axe chopped his neck through with such force, that the head jumped into one of her hampers, or, as others say, seized her apron with the teeth, and there stuck for some time." This story, as Mr. Crabtree says, "serves to show with what apathy the country people regarded this mode of punishment. Their minds were evidently hardened by such exhibitions, and the fact developes the inadequacy of such awful administrations of justice to product that proper moral and salutary effect which might have been anticipated. Such scenes, oft repeated, appear to harden, rather than soften; to stupify, rather than awaken the sensibilities of man's nature.
THE MANOR OF WAKEFIELD, of which the Duke of Leeds is lord, is already noticed at page 326. It may be divided into three branches, distinguished by the name of Wakefield, Holmfirth, and Halifax. The latter is disjoined from the other branches by the honour of Pontefract, and extends from Hartshead, westward, to the borders of Lancashire, a distance of 23 miles. The lord of the manor has the return of all writs within his liberty, and holds a court baron at Wakefield every three weeks; and courts leet half-yearly, at Halifax, Brighouse, Wakefield, and Holmfirth. Under the leet at Halifax, are the following CONSTABLERIES, viz., Halifax, Sowerby, Skircoat, Ovenden, Warley, Wadsworth, Stansfield, Rishworth- cum-Norland, Langfield, Midgley, Heptonstall, and Erringden. Under the leet at Brighouse, are North Owram, Shelf, Hipperholme-cum-Brighouse, Rastrick, Quarmby, Dalton, Fixby, Stainland, Barkisland, and Hartshead-cum-Clifton. The JAIL at Halifax, adjoins the Duke of Leeds's inn, and is appurtenant to the manor of Wakefield. It is kept by the lord's bailiff, who occupies the inn. The antiquity of this debtors' prison is not known but it is doubtless the successor of one which was established soon after the Norman conquest, by the Earls Warren, not to confine debtors only, but such felons as were taken within the liberty of Hardwick forest. Formerly, the courts baron of the manor of Wakefield could not hold pleas in cases exceeding 40s; but in the 17th of George III., an act was passed "for the more easy and speedy recovery of small debts, within the parishes of Halifax, Bradford, Keighley, Bingley, Guiseley, Batley, Birstal, Mirfield. Hartshead-cum- Clifton, Almondbury, Kirkheaton, Kirkburton, Huddersfield, and the liberty of Tong. This act established a Court of Requests, for all these places, in maters not exceeding 40s., and extended the jurisdiction of the Courts Baron, of the honor of Pontefract and manors of Wakefield and Bingley, from 40s, to £5. Under the act, the commissioners of the Court of Requests often committed persons to prison for three months, in satisfaction of debts amounting to on 3s or 4s; and to remedy this grievance, the act was amended by two other acts, the last of which was passed in 1793, and limits the period of confinement for debts of 40s to forty days. Since 1828, the commissioners have divided the Court of requests into two separate jurisdictions, one of which comprised Halifax, Huddersfield, &c., and the other Bradford, &c.; and they have also erected an additional gaol at Halifax. The number of actions entered in the Halifax and Huddersfield division of the court, amounted, in one year, ending Feb; 1831, to 10,064; and the mount sued for, to £9311. 0s 11d. Of these actions, 5664 were compromised, and 4400 tried. Out of the latter, 1837 executions were issued, viz., 427, against the goods of debtors, and 1410 against their bodies. The executions were thus disposed of; 600 paid, 788 settled with plaintiff, 3449 were imprisoned, and 100 could not be levied. The costs in the majority of the cases for which executions were issued, amounted to 8s 4d. The only requisite qualification for a commissioner of this act is, that he be seised of £20 a year in real property, or of £500 in personal property. The court is held on the first Monday in every month, in the court room, at the New Gaol, in Pellon Lane CIVIL WARS,- Being situated in a rugged and mountainous district, remote from the great line of communication, between London and Edinburgh, Halifax does not appear to have suffered much, either in the wars of the roses, or in those fatal broils between Charles 1. And the Parliament, during which it expoused the cause of the latter, like Leeds, Bradford, and most other manufacturing towns. Though from its locality it was ill fitted to act on the defensive, in a state of warfare, it was garrisoned by the parliamentarians, and several skirmishes took place in its vicinity, the most important of which was on the top of Halifax bank where the ground still retains the name of the Bloody field. The town was strongly infected with republican principles, and frequently sent assistance to Bradford, Wakefield, Leeds, and other towns, when they were besieged by the King's troop. The latter appear to have held Heptonstall, for, according to the register at Halifax, "on Jan, 4th 1643, two soldiers were hanged on a gallows made near the gibbet, who were taken by Sir Francis Makworth's company, from Heptonstall forces. They had deserted from the Halifax army to Heptonstall, for which they were hanged the same night they were taken prisoners." Tradition says, that a great battle was fought In that part of the parish, and that most of Heptonstall was burnt. Entrenchments, still seen at Camp-end, above Warley, were doubtless thrown up at this period, as also were two small redoubts, on each side of the old road over Blackstone edge, just at the summit of the hill, overlooking the two counties of York and Lancaster. During the Commonwealth, Halifax sent a representative to Parliament, in the person of Jeremy Bentley, gent. This was in 1654, and the same person was returned again in 1656, but it does not appear that he took any leading part in the "strange debates which characterized the times." Among the ministers ejected from their livings for nonconformity, after the restoration of Charles !!., was Oliver Heywood, of Coley chapel, who in 1672, was allowed by royal license, to form a church at North Owram, on the principles of moderate Presbyterianism; but his license was recalled in 1674.In 1685, sentence of excommunication, was pronounced upon him in the parish church, and he was convicted at Wakefield, on the charge of having a riotous assembly in his house, fined £50, and ordered to enter into recognizances for his good behaviour; in default of which he was committed to York Castle, but afterwards liberated, on the payment of £30. After James II. had ascended the throne, Mr. Heywood resumed his pastoral funcitons, and in 1688, a chapel was built for him in North Owram, which is still standing. He was a truly pious minister, and died in 1702, aged 73.
In 1662, several of the parishioners of Halifax coined copper tokens, which Thoresby represents as being "shamefully light," though they were not "cried down by proclamation" till 1762. At the time of the rebellion of 1745, a loyal and patriotic association was form in Halifax, called the Union Club, under the auspices of Sir George Saville, who was also the chief patron of the Union Journal, or Halifax Advertiser, a weekly newspaper, commenced in 1759, - in 1760, Halifax had three independent companies of Militia, clothed at their own charge, and commanded by Col. Spencer, Capt. William Ingram, and Capt. John Tarlton. They were reviewed by the Earl of Scarborough, in Price's square, now occupied by the Piece Hall. The Colonel's company was clothed in blue, lapelled and faced with buff. Capt, Ingram's company had scarlet coats and breeches, with green waistcoats and facings, gold laced hats, and cue wigs. Capt. Tarlton's company was in blue, with gold vellum button-holes. In 1769, a notorious and desperate gang of clippers and coiners were apprehended in the vale of Turvin, in Erringden township, where they had carried on their illegal trade during a period of six years. Their practice was to diminish guineas, by clipping and filing them; after which they melted the clippings and filings, and struck them in dies, so as to resemble Portugal coins of 36s to 27s pieces. The gang consisted of about forty men, but only part of them were taken; and of these, two were executed in 1770 viz., James Oldfield, of Warley, and David Hartley, of Erringden. The latter was called "King David," by his fraternity, who had another chief, David Greenwood of Hill top, in Erringden, distinguished by the title of the Duke of Edinburgh, and he was afterwards taken and ordered for execution, but died in York Castle before the sentence could be carried into effect. Mr. Deighton, a supervisor of excise, and a person at Heptonstall, who had been instrumental in their apprehension, were afterwards murdered by some of the gang who had escaped. In 1783, a riotous mob assembled in the town, and after demanding a reduction in the price of grain, they seized large quantities of corn, and sold it at their own prices; the owners receiving the money when they could get it. Two of the ringleaders, named Spencer and Saltenstall, paid the full penalty of the law for their temerity, both being executed on Beacon hill. The parish of Halifax does not appear to have been free from the taint of republicanism, which spread through the country at the period of the French revolution. In 1795, a considerable quantity of muskets, bayonets, and other weapons, were sent from Birmingham to Elland, where the disaffected were trained in the night to the use of arms. But these alarming symptoms were soon dispelled by the vigilance of the magistrates, and the formation of a company of loyal Volunteer Infantry in the town. In 1799, oatmeal sold here as high as £5. 5s. per load, and flour at £6 per pack, and in addition to the dearness of provisions, owing to the failing corps, trade was in a very depressed condition. In the year 1811 - 12, a daring spirit of insubordination and riot prevailed among the workmen of the clothing district, against the use of machinery. The deluded men organized themselves under a lawless system, called Luddism, which first broke out in Nottinghamshire, and afterwards, extended itself into Yorkshire and Lancashire. Their principal object was the destruction of machinery, and their most tragical and destructive operations were in the neighbourhood of Huddersfield. On Wednesday, Sep 29th, and the two following days, was held the "Halifax Musical Festival," with evening Concerts and a Grand Fancy Ball, for the benefit of the Dispensary. The receipts amounted to £1,512. 18s. 4d., and the expenses to £1,186. 16s, 3d,. leaving a balance of £324.2s.1d. to which was added £354. 5s. arising from the donations of visitors.
MANUFACTURE, &c.; - The parish of Halifax is admirably adapted by its situation and local advantages for the purpose of manufacture and commerce, being in the centre of the populous district between Manchester and Leeds, and having an abundant supply of coal and water, and the advantage of an extensive inland navigation by means of the Rochdale Canal and the Calder and Hebble, which unite at Sowerby Bridge, about two miles west of the town; - the former opening a direct communication with the Duke of Bridgewater's and other canals in Lancashire, and the latter being a continuation of the Aire and Calder Navigation, which was formed as far as Wakefield, under an act passed in 1698, and extended to Salterhebble, and Sowerby bridge, under the powers of several acts of parliament obtained in 1758 and 1769, by a new company called the "Proprietors of, the Calder and Hebble Navigation." This navigation, with the Rochdale Canal, intersects the parish from east to west. Its nearest point to Halifax was the basin at Salterhebble, about a mile and a half south of the town; but in 1825, an act was obtained to make a canal from thence to Bailey Hall, on the east side of the town, where there are now capacious warehouses and convenient wharfs and basins. This canal was commenced on the third of May, 1826, and was completed March 28th, 1828. For this work, the proprietors of the Calder and Hebble navigation were empowered to raise a sum of £40,000, among themselves, or by the admission of new proprietors, and £10,000 by way of loan. In 1834, they obtained another act of parliament, for the purpose of making several new cuts and substituting them for the bed of the river, in such parts of the line as are at present subject to interruption from floods. The woollen manufacture, for which this town and parish have been famous for ages, first began to attain some degree of importance under the "wholesome statutes" passed in the reign of Edward III., when the trade of the nation consisted chiefly in the exportation of wool to Bruges and other foreign places, whence fine cloths and other products were brought back in exchange. In 1335, Edward III., who has been called the "father of manufactures," issued an edict, inviting Flemish and other foreign cloth workers, &c., to settle in England, and laid a tax of 50s. per pack on the exportation of wool. It has already been seen that from 1443 to 1566, the houses in Halifax had increased from 13 to 520. The manufacturers of Flanders, seeking refuge from the persecutions with which they were assailed in their own country, repaired in great numbers to England, and may of them are supposed to have settled in Halifax parish, in the reign of Henry VII. This conjecture derives some strength from the similarity which exists in the dialect of the labouring classes here and in the low countries, particularly in Friesland, and hence the following distich;- "Gooid brade, botter and scheese "Is gooid Halifax, and good Friese."
In the reign of Philip and Mary, the manufacturers of the parish enjoyed the peculiar protection of the legislature, by an act which recites "that the parish of Halifax, &c. being planted in the great waste and moores, where the fertility of ground is not apt to bring forth any corne, nor good grasse, but in rare places, and by exceeding and great industry of the inhabitants; and the same inhabitants altogether doe live by cloth making; and the great part of them neither getteth corne, nor is able to keepe a horse to carry wools, nor yet to buy much wool at once, but hath ever used only to repair to the towne of Halifax, &c. and there to buy upon the wool driver, some a stone, some two, and some three and foure, according to their ability, and to carry the same to their houses, some three, foure, five and six miles off, upon their heads and backes, and so to make and convert the same either into yarne or cloth, and to sell the same, and so to buy more wool of the wool driver, by means of which industry, the barren grounds in those parts be now much inhabited, and above five hundred households there newly increased within these forty yeares past, which now are like to be undone, and driven to beggary, by reason of the late statute (37 Henry VIII.) that taketh away the wool driver, so that they cannot now have their wool by such small portions as they were wont to have, and that also they are not able to keepe any horses, whereupon to ride, or set their wools further from them in other places, unless some remedy may be provided. It was enacted, that it should be lawfule to any person or persons inhabiting within the parish of Halifax, to by any wool or wools, at such time as the clothiers may buy the same otherwise than by engrossing and forestalling, so that the persons so buying the same, doe carry, or cause to be carried, the said wools so bought by them, to the towne of Halifax, and there to sell the same to such poore folkes of that and other parishes adjoining, as shall worke the same in cloth or yarn (to their knowledge) and not to the rich and wealthy clothier, nor to any other to sell again. Offenders against this act to forfeit double the value of the wool so sold. Justices of Peace to hear and determine the offences." The stature of the 37th of Henry VIII. Alluded to in this act, prevented any persons but merchants of the staple, from buying wool in Kent and twenty-seven other counties.
About the year 1700, Bentley says, the lord of the manor of Halifax, erected a large and spacious Hall, towards the upper end of the town, where the weavers and buyers of the undressed cloth met weekly, and the lord imposed a toll of one penny on every piece; which impost amounted weekly to from 30s. to 40s. At the same period, great quantities of finished cloth were sold in the butchers' shambles, being exposed there early in the morning before the flesh market commenced. The cloth market beginning at six o'clock from March 25th to Sept. 29th, and at eight during the rest of the year; notice whereof was given by ringing a bell, and a penalty of 39s. 11d. was levied upon any one who asked the price of a piece of cloth before the bell rung. The manufacture of worsted stuffs was now introduced, and shalloons, tammies, duroys, everlastings, calimancoes, moreens, shags, serges, baize, &c., have since been made in great perfection. The shalloons are woven chiefly for the Turkish market, and after being dyed a scarlet colour, are sent to the Levant, where they are mostly used for turbans. Formerly, the greater part of these goods passed through the hands of the London merchants, but they are now principally exported by the merchants of Halifax and Leeds. Bombasin, crape, and other stuffs composed of silk and worsted are also made here; as well as immense quantities of broad and narrow woollen cloths and kerseymeres, for the manufacture of which many large mills, &c., were erected here about the close of the last century. The vale from Sowerby Bridge to Ripponden is celebrated for its blue cloth, and the whole of the British navy is said to be clothed from that district, which also exports large quantities to Holland and America. About the year 1814, the manufacturers finding that the foreign markets could not be supplied with cloths sufficiently fine, made from English wool, had recourse to German and Spain, and they now use foreign wool in their finer descriptions of broad and narrow cloths, almost to the total exclusion of the British produce. The cotton trade is also carried on here to a considerable extent, especially about Hebden Bridge and in the other western parts of the parish; and the silk trade has also taken root, and gives every promise of becoming a flourishing branch of manufacture, "the local situation of the parish being peculiarly adapted for the preservation of its colour," and the material being much in request for fabrics composed partly of it and an admixture of worsted and cotton. Of the 23 townships of Halifax parish, 19 of them may be said to be manufacturing, and in these there were in 1835, no fewer than 153 mills, of which, 3 were then unoccupied, 9 building, and the other 141 had steam engines of the aggregate power of 2,319 horses, and consisted of 57 cotton mills, 35 woollen mills, 45 worsted mills, and 4 silk mills; - employing together 18,377 persons, of whom 8,978 were females, and 1,979 of them were between the ages of 9 and 12; 3,369 between the ages of 12 and 18; and 13.029 above 18 years of age. A mill 100 yards long, 14 yard wide, and 4 stories high, is now (1837) building near Queen's Head. A considerable number of the parishioners are employed in making mill machinery; and the cards used in the preparation of both wool and cotton, are so extensively manufactured here, that they give employment to nearly 20,000 parishioners, the greater part of whom are females and children, who fix the wire teeth into the leather, for so small a sum per thousand, that but very few of them can earn more than 6d. per day. These cards consume great quantities of leather and wire, consequently here are many curriers and wire drawers.
THE PIECE HALL, erected in 1779, by the shalloon and other worsted and woollen manufacturers and merchants, at the cost of £12,000, is a large quadrangular stone structure, occupying space of 10,000 yards of land, given by Mrs Caygill, in what for formerly called Price's Square. It is 100 yards long, and 91 broad; and the centre is occupied by a grass plot. Being on a descent, the east side has three, and the other sides only two, stories, with a rustic basement story, or square cippi. Each story is fronted by an entire colonnade, within which are spacious walks, leading round the whole square, and having columns in front opposite the partitions of the rooms, each of which has a door and a sash window to the galleries. The rustic story has an arcade on the east side, which is continued as far as the centre of the north and south sides. The number of rooms in which worsted stuffs and yarn are exposed for sale, is 315. The magnitude and elegant simplicity of this gigantic structure has an imposing effect. It was built from a design by Mr. Thomas Bradley, and is said to be proof against fire and thieves. No part of it can be consumed by fire, except the roof. But, though the walls are high, and there are no windows on the outside, a band of robbers, on the night of June 29th, 1820, succeeded in gaining access to the interior, by ascending the roof of an adjoining building, and letting themselves down by a rope, by which means they drew up 48 pieces of worsted stuff. Some of these depredators were taken near the place where they had ascended, and the others on the following day; but all were acquitted for want of clearer evidence. The hall is open for the sale of goods every Saturday, from 10 to half past 2 o'clock. For a short period the market was changed to Wednesday; but by the decision of a majority of the manufacturers, the old market day was resumed on March 25th, 1837. Public meetings are held in the hall with the permission of the trustees. MARKET, FAIRS, &c. - The Saturday market is well supplied with provisions, and appears to be held by prescriptive right, as there is no record of it having been established by charter. Two annual fairs for the sale of cattle, horses, &c., are held on June 24th, and the first Saturday in November; the first being the festival of St. John the Baptist, the patron saint of the parish church. The Old Market-place, which is too contracted for the present population of the town, exhibits some fine specimens of old half timbered houses, and when Watson wrote, it had an antique cross, pillory, stocks, and May-pole. The New Market-place, which occupies a spacious area with long rows of shops for butchers, green grocers, &c., was formed by a company of proprietors, under an act of parliament obtained in 1810. By this act, the proprietors were empowered to raise, in addition to the money previously advanced, £3,000 in shares of £50, and their yearly profits are limited to ten per cent; - the surplus above which is to accumulate till it amounts to £1,500, and is then to be laid out in erecting a Town Hall, for the use of the Magistrates, the manor courts, &c. The holding of the cattle markets in Cow Green, is an intolerable nuisance in that populous part of the town, but it is hoped that a more suitable place will soon be provided; and that the practice of exercising horses in the streets at the fairs, will be prohibited.
In 1823, an act for paving, cleaning, watching, and improving the town, and for supplying it with water, was obtained, as a consolidation and amendment of two former acts, one passed in 1762, for the purpose of opening a water course from Well head and other public springs, and the second obtained in 1768, for paving the streets, &c. Under the act of 1823, many great public improvements have been effected, among which, are the widening of Northgate; the clearing away of many old houses in the vicinity of the church, and the formation of many new drains. The modern streets are generally spacious and lined with good houses, mostly of stone; and the public buildings are many of them large and handsome, especially those which have been erected or rebuilt during the last twenty years. The inhabitants are now abundantly supplied with pure soft water from two springs in the township of Ovenden, where the water is collected in the two large reservoirs, which were commenced in 1826, for the purpose of giving employment to the poor who were then suffering from a general depression of trade. The sum subscribed for this benevolent and useful purpose, amounted to £1,900. One of the reservoirs was finished about the close of 1827, but the other was not completed till a few years after. These reservoirs are nearly a mile N.W. of the town, on a lofty elevation, commanding an extensive prospect. They are near together, and will each hold about 2,700,000 gallons , being above 100 yards long and 50 broad. The Gas Works were formed under an act passed in 1822, by a company with a capital of £12,000 raised in £25 shares. They are situated in South Owram, on the bank of the river Hebble, and have three gasometers, capable of holding 73,049 cubic feet. The gas is engendered in fire-brick ovens, and is of a pure and brilliant quality. Three fire engines belonging to the town, are situated in Pellon lane, and a large one belonging to the Leeds and Yorkshire Insurance Company, is kept in Gibbet street. The magistrates office, where petty sessions are held every Saturday, is at Wards end. The police is very defective, consisting only of two honorary constables and one acting constable, with a few assistants and watchmen.
THE PARISH CHURCH. Dedicated to St. John the Baptist, stands on the east side of the town, on an acclivity above the river Hebble, and is a large and venerable structure of pointed architecture, being 192 feet long, and above 60 broad, within the walls ; and having a handsome tower at the west end, rising to the height of 117 feet. It is the third edifice built on the same site, and is generally supposed to have been commenced about 1447, and to have occupied nearly 20 years in its erection. Of the original fabric, raised soon after the Conquest, no traces remain; but some of the windows in the north wall of the nave, surrounded by demi-cylindrical mouldings, are supposed to be remnants of the second church, raised about the time of Edward I. Since the reign of Henry VI. The present building has undergone many repairs, and the chancel seems to have been an addition to the original fabric. The tower is said to have been built by the munificence of the families of Lacy and Saville, and was begun in the year 1450. The battlements of the whole pile are ornamented with finely crocketted pinnacles, and the interior is spacious and neatly pewed, and has many monumental inscriptions, - ancient and modern. It had formerly several chantries. On the south side is a circular painted window, erected in 1830, at the expense of C. Rawson. Esq. The screen, which divides the nave and chancel is of excellent workmanship. The organ was erected by subscription, in 1764, at the cost of £1,200. In the tower are ten musical bells, eight of which were purchased by subscription in 1787, and the other two in 1814. Chimes were erected in 1804, and in 1817- 18 the pinnacles, parapet, and stone figures were renewed at the cost of £490. - From its foundation, until the dissolution of the monasteries, this church was in the appropriation of the Priory of Lewes in Sussex, but the rectorial manor, tithes, and glebe were afterwards granted on lease by Henry VIII. To the Waterhouse family, and are still held by lessees of the crown. The rectorial tithes were commuted as early as 1535, for a fixed money composition paid yearly by the different townships. The benefice is a Vicarage, valued in the Liber Regis at £84. 13s. 6.1/2d, and is in the gift of the crown and incumbency of the Ven. Charles Musgrave. B.D., prebendary of Givedale, and archdeacon of Craven. The present vicar, after his induction, in 1827, had a long war with his parishioners, respecting the rights and interests of the living; but this discussion was happily terminated in 1829, by an act of parliament, under which all the vicarial tithes, mortuaries, and Easter offerings of nearly the whole parish, are commuted for a yearly stipend of £1,409. 15s. 6d., paid by the townships in the proportions specified in the table page 390. The vicarage is also endowed with upwards of 1,100 acres of land, allotted at the enclosure of the waste and commons in seven different townships, and it has likewise two acres called Vicar's field, now built upon, and forming part of the town. The vicarage house was rebuilt by subscription, in 1712 at the cost of £350. There is provision in the act of 1829, that nothing therein contained shall extend to prevent, after the termination of the present incumbency, a division of this large parish into district parishes. In 1836, there were at this church 889 baptisms, 718 marriages, and 215 burials.
TRINITY CHURCH - In the western part of the town, is a handsome Grecian edifice, with Ionic pilasters, and an elegant tower crowned by a dome. It stands in a large burial ground, and was built by Dr Coulthurst, a late vicar of Halifax, under the powers of an act of parliament passed in 1795. This act directs that £100 per ann. shall be paid out of the rent to the incumbent, and that four fifths of the cemetery shall be a common burying-ground for the inhabitants of Skircoat and South Owram. It vests the patronage for 60 years in the founder's representatives, and afterwards in the vicar. From 1810 to 1825, the living was augmented with £800 of Queen Anne's Bounty; £200 given by Thomas Dyson Esq., and £200 raised by subscription. John Whitacre, esq. is the present patron, and the Rev Fdk Russell, M.A. is the incumbent. ST JAMES' CHURCH is a neat building in the pseudo-Gothic style, with two turrets surmounted by domes at the west end. It was built in 1811, at the cost of £4,122. 11s, most of which was defrayed by government, and the rest was raised by subscription, together with £800 for purchasing and enclosing the cemetery, towards which the late W. Rawson, Esq., gave £200. It will seat 1,206 hearers, and is a curacy in the patronage of the vicar. The Rev. James Gratrix, A.M. is the incumbent and his yearly stipend, £250, is derived from the seat rents. The organ was erected in 1817, at the cost of £400. THE CHAPELS in Halifax, unconnected with the Established Church, are numerous, and some of them are large and handsome edifices. The CATHOLIC CHAPEL, of which the first stone was laid Sept. 20th. 1836, is in the Tudor style, 92 feet long, and 45 broad, and cost £2,400. The Rev. J.W. Fairclough is the incumbent, and is the fist resident priest since the Reformation; for though a small congregation of Catholics has long occupied the Old Assembly Rooms they had no regular pastor, but were visited by those of the neighbouring parishes. THE INDEPENDENTS have three chapels here, one in the Square, built in 1771, at the cost of £2,000; one in Wade street, in the Doric style, erected in 1819, at the cost of £6,000; and another in Harrison road, built in 1836, at the cost of about £3000. The Revs. A.Ewing and J. Priddle are the ministers. THE BAPTISTS have two chapels, one at Haley hill, and the other in Pellon lane. The latter was rebuilt in 1835, at the cost of £1,600. THE WESLYAN CHAPELS are in South parade and Broad street; the former built in 1777, and the latter in 1829, at the cost of nearly £4,000. The New Connection Methodists have also two chapels here. One in North parade, rebuilt in 1815, on the site of one erected in 1798, and the other in Hanover street, built in 1834. The Primitive Methodist Chapel, in Cabbage lane, was built in 1822. The Friends Meeting House is an old building at Wards end, with a small burial ground. The Unitarian Chapel, in Northgate, was built as a Presbyterian Meeting House, in 1697, but has since been enlarged, and is now under the ministry of the Re. Wm Turner. A GENERAL CEMETERY was formed in 1837, by a company of shareholders, with a capital of £2,500 raised in £5 shares. It occupies about "four days work" of land, between Gibbet lane and Lister lane. Sunday Schools are attached to all the places of worship, and Religious and Charitable Institutions are liberally supported by the inhabitants. THE FREE GRAMMAR SCHOOL, at Skircoat, was established in 1585, by letters patent of Queen Elizabeth, "for the bringing up of children and youth in grammar and other good learning," under a master and usher, and the direction of 12 governors, to be chosen from the discreet and honest men of the parish of Halifax. In 1726, the governors were reduced to one, but new ones were appointed and incorporated by a new charter in 1730. The property belonging to the school has been derived partly from gifts of the Earl of Shrewsbury and other benefactors, and partly from purchases made with funds raised by subscriptions. It now yields upwards of £187 per annum, exclusive of the school, house, garden, and offices, occupied rent free by the master, and comprises 102a. 2R. 35P. in Stansfield, called the Hartley-Royd Estate, with an allotment of 14A. 1R. 11P. ; 11A.adjoining the school; a house and 10A. in North Owram a house and 6A. 2R. 22P in Ovenden. £9. 9s a year as the rent of two water courses, and four rent charges amounting to £8 10s per annum. The school is free for classical instruction to all the sons of parishioners, and has been conducted since1788, by the Rev. Robert Wilkinson, who employs an usher, and has often had as many as thirty five free scholars under his care. This school has an equal interest with those of Heversham and Leeds, in a scholarship of £40 per annum at Magdalen College, Cambridge, founded by the Rev. Thomas Milner, in 1722. THE NATIONAL SCHOOL, near Trinity Church, was built in 1815, and is large enough for 400 scholars but has seldom more than 200. THE BRITISH SCHOOL, in Great Albion street was founded by subscription, in 1813, as a Charity School for the poor of all religious denominations," but the building was not erected till 1818. It is conducted on the Lancastrian plan, and during the last few years has been connected with the British School Society, supported chiefly by Dissenters. It has generally about 300 scholars of both sexes. SMYTH'S CHARITY SCHOOL, in King Street, was rebuilt in 1821, and founded in 1726, by John Smyth, Esq. who endowed it with property now worth £18.16s a year, for a master to teach six poor children to read and write, but the number of free scholars is generally about 10. THE ALMSHOUSES AND SCHOOL, near the parish church, were founded by Ellen Hopkinson and Jane Crowther, for the residence of 18 widows of Halifax, and a schoolmaster. They were rebuilt by the township some years ago, and have rooms for 21 widows, besides three others occupied by the master, who teaches the children residing with the almswomen, who are appointed by the churchwardens, and each receive 2s. 6d. per month, and a gown once in two years. The master has an annuity of £13. WATERHOUSE'S CHARITY:- In 1636, Nathaniel Waterhouse, gent., gave a large house in Halifax, to be employed as a WORKHOUSE, "to set the poor within the town and parish to work," and for this purpose it was vested by letters patent of Charles I. in trust with 13 parishioners, who were incorporated by the name of "Master and Governors of the Workhouse for the poor, within the town and parish of Halifax." The same person left by will, in 1642, £200, to purchase land, &c, for the workhouse, and to the vicar of Halifax and 13 other persons, as trustees, he bequeathed all his other houses, buildings, land, and hereditaments, for the purpose of providing a yearly stipend for a lecturer at the parish church; for the support of an Almshouse for 12 poor aged people, and a School for the maintenance and instruction of 10 poor boys and 10 girls, of the ten townships of Halifax, Skircoat, Sowerby, Midgley, Warley, Ovenden, North Owram, South Owram, Hipperholme and Shelf; and for paying yearly stipends of £4 each to officiating curates of the Chapels of Ease, at Illingworth, Coley, Lightcliff, Sowerby and Elland; £5 to the curates of Sowerby Bridge; £3 each to the curates of Ripponden, Luddenden, and the Chapel in the Greaves; 40s each to the curates of Rastrick, Heptonstall, & Crostone Chapels. These allowances, as well as those of other branches of the charity have been greatly increased of late years, the trust property being now let for upwards of £1,180 per annum. In 1777, an act of Parliament was passed for the better regulation of the charity, and stating that the ten townships, with respect to the poor, had been separated by an act of the 14th of Charles II., and that in future the rents of the workhouse in Halifax, and the estates belonging to it (about £620 per year) should be divided among the said townships.
THE ALMSHOUSES was rebuilt in 1812 and 1813, and is now occupied by 12 poor widows, each of whom received £2 and a gown yearly. The SCHOOL, usually called the BLUE COAT HOSPITAL. Is kept up as a workhouse and school for the habitation, maintenance, and employment of 20 orphan children - ten of each sex, chosen from the places mentioned in the donor's will. The profits arising from the children's work, constitute the emoluments of the master. The governors and trustees have to pay out of the rents 40s a year to the poor of Huddersfield and Mirfield parishes; £1 a year to the Halifax Grammar School, and 40s.a year for repairing the highways.
The other Benefactions to the Poor of Halifax Township, with the dates, names of donors, and present yearly income, are as follows;- 1606, Brian Crowther, £16.15s.; - 1622, Rd. Somerscale, £36; - 1722, Alice Crowther, almshouses for four poor people; - 1827, Dr. Oldfield, £20; - and £4. 15s in three rent charges left by B. Bates, A. Haworth, and J. Turner. For apprenticing children, and relieving the poor of Halifax and Ovenden, Isaac Bowcock gave a farm, now let for £60 a year , of which £6 is distributed in Ovenden, and the rest in Halifax, besides money arising from coal under the land, sold at £70 per acre, to be paid for as it is got. THE SAVINGS BANK, established in 1816, had, on Nov 20th, 1836, deposits amounting to £50,611. Among the other provident institutions are many Friendly Societies and Lodges of Odd Fellows, and other Secret Fraternities.
THE INFIRMARY, which affords medical and surgical aid to the sick and lame poor, both in and out patients, is a spacious and handsome building at Black-wall. The first stone was laid September 21st, 1836, when the subscriptions for the edifice amounted to £5,000, in addition to £2,500 advanced by the trustees of the DISPENSARY, which was founded in1807, and is now consolidated with the infirmary. The Public Baths, in the lower part of the town, near the water side, have an extensive suite of cold, warm, swimming, shower, vapour, and medicated baths, and attached to them is a large garden and bowling green.
THE LITERARY INTITUTIONS of Halifax reflect the highest credit on the intelligence an liberality of the inhabitants of the town and neighbourhood. The Library and Philosophical Society was instituted in 1830, and now holds it meetings, and has a valuable and extensive museum, in an elegant Hall the first stone of which was laid May 16th, 1834. THE MECHANICS' INSTITUITON, established in 1825, has a library of more than 1,000 volumes. The NEW ROOMS in Harrison lane, form a spacious and handsome edifice, erected in 1828, and comprise Assembly and Concert Rooms, a News room, and a subscription Library; the latter founded in 1769, and now comprising upwards of 7,000 volumes. There is also a News Room and a Subscription Library in the Old Cock yard, founded in 1823, and now having 1,500 volumes. The Theatre, at Wards end, was erected in 1788. Two weekly Newspapers are now published in the town, viz. The Express, established in 1831. And the Guardian , commenced in 1832. Amongst the EMINENT MEN, educated at Halifax Grammar School, are J. Milner, the learned divine; Dr. C. Jackson, later Dean of Christ Church; and W. Jackson, late Bishop of Oxford. Daniel De Foe resided here, when he wrote "Robinson Crusoe," and "De Jure Divino;" and that celebrated astronomer, Dr. Herschel, was for some time organist at the parish church. Other parts of the parish have produced many celebrated men, as will be seen in the histories of all the out townships and their numerous villages, in the 2nd volume of this work.
POST OFFICE, 10, Cheapside, Mrs. Tabitha Bagnold, Post Mistress. The Mails depart to London, Sheffield, &c. 10 morning; to Manchester, 10 min. bef. 12 noon, and 2 morning; to Leeds, &c. 6 evening; and to York, &c. at 12 noon and 12 night. Mail Gigs to Elland and Huddersfield, 6 morning; and to Todmorden, Sowerby, and Ripponden, at ½ past 7 morning. The office opens at 7 morning in summer, and at 8 in winter."