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The Ancient Parish of LEDSHAM

[Transcribed information mainly from the early 1820s]

"LEDSHAM, a parish-town, in the wapentake of Barkston-Ash, liberty of Pontefract 5 miles N. of Pontefract, 6 from Aberford, 10 from Selby, 20 from York. Pop. 212. The Church is a vicarage, dedicated to All-Saints (see Churches for photograph), in the deanry of the Ainsty, value, ~£7. 4s. 2d. Patrons, the Trustees of Lady Elizabeth Hastings.

This Church is remarkable, as the place of interment of Lady Elizabeth Hastings, of pious and charitable memory. A noble monument, afterwards augmented by the statues of her two surviving sisters, records, in elegant Latin, the character of this ornament to her sex. Her own figure is placed on a sarcophagus, reclining, and reading a book of devotion; the countenance, which is a portrait, handsome and spirited; but the grace of the figure is destroyed by the deformity of a stiff bodice. Lady Frances and Lady Ann Hastings, on pedestals, on each aide, are represented with the attributes of piety and prudence. --Whitaker's Loidis and Elmete."

"FAIRBURN, in the parish of Ledsham, wapentake of Barkston Ash, liberty of Pontefract; 2½ miles N. of Ferrybridge, 4 from Pontefract, 6¾ from Aberford, 11 from Selby. Pop. 426.

A Tunnel upwards of 300 yards in length is about to be driven under this village, situated on the Banks of the Aire, to communicate with a Canal, to facilitate the Lime Works of Lord Palmerston."

"LEDSTON, a township, in the parish of Ledsham, wapentake of Barkston-Ash, liberty of Pontefract; (Ledston Lodge, the seat of Granville William Wheeler, Esq. now occupied by Christopher Wilson, Esq.); 5 miles N. of Pontefract, 6½ from Aberford, 10 from Leeds. Pop. 243. A part of Ledston is in the parish of Kippax.

This Hall was formerly the seat of the ancient family of Withams, till Henry Witham, Esq. sold it to Sir Thomas Wentworth, afterwards Earl of Strafford, who made improvements in the house; his son William sold it to Sir John Lewis, Bart. who died here in 1671. Sir John added much to the beauty of the house, gardens, and park, which he surrounded with a stone wall. It afterwards became the seat of Lady Elizabeth Hastings, daughter of Theophilus, Earl of Huntingdon, by the eldest daughter and co heir of Sir John Lewis, in 1690; and thence to that of Rawden, Earl of Moira. --Camden. --Thoresby. --Whitaker's Ducatus Leodiensis.

Sir John Lewis erected and endowed an Hospital here, for the maintenance of ten aged poor people, who, by his will, are required religiously to observe the Sabbath day, and to be present at Church, in the time of divine service and sermon. --Camden. Lady Elizabeth Hastings added £10. per annum, for the better support of St. John Baptist's Hospital, founded by her grandfather, present revenue £106. per annum."

"NEWTON WILLOWS, a farm-house in the township of Ledston, and parish of Ledsham, liberty of Pontefract; 5 miles from Pontefract."

[Description(s) edited from various 19th century sources by Colin Hinson © 2013]


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