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OTLEY:
Geographical and Historical information from the year 1835.

"OTLEY, a parish in the West riding of the county of YORK, comprising the market-town of Otley, the chapelries of Baildon, Bramhope, Burley, and Pook, and the townships of Esholt, Hawksworth, and Menstone, in the upper division of the wapentake of SKYRACK, and the chapelry of Denton in the lower, and the townships of Farnley, Lindley, Niwhall with Clifton, and Little Timble in the upper, division of the wapentake of CLARO, West riding of the county of YORK, and containing 9358 inhabitants, of which number, 3065 are in the market-town of Otley, 28 miles S.W. from York, and 206 N.N.W. from London. The name has been considered a contraction of Oat-lea, from the quantity of oats formerly cultivated in the neighbourhood; but, with more probability, and on better evidence, it is believed to be a corruption of Othelai, as spelt in Domesday-book, meaning the field of Othe, or Otlw. The town, which is pleasantly situated on the banks of the river Wharf, is small, and neatly built. A few persons are employed in the worsted manufacture. Considerable quantities of smelts, eels, and trout, are taken in the river, near Otley, and occasionally salmon. The market, which is amply supplied with corn, cattle, sheep, and calves, is on Friday; and fairs are held, on the first Monday after August 2nd, for horses and cattle; on the Friday between New and Old Martinmas day, for hiring servants; and on every second Monday, for cattle and sheep. The living is a discharged vicarage, in the archdeaconry and diocese of York, rated in the king's books at 13. 1. 8., and in the patronage of the Crown. The church, which is dedicated to All Saints, was originally of Norman architecture, but of the ancient building the north door alone remains: it is a spacious edifice, and contains several monuments of the families of Fairfax, Fawkes, Vavasour, &c. There are places of worship, for the Society of Friends, Independents, and Wesleyan Methodists. The free grammar school, founded by means of a bequest of 250 from Thomas Cave, in the year 1602, was established by letters patent of James I-.,., and named, in honour of the then Prince of Wales, "The Free Grammar School of Prince Henry;" the above bequest having been augmented by subscription, a schoolroom, and other apartments, were erected about 1611, under the direction of the governors; the master receives 20 per annum: the school is open for gratuitous classical instruction to the sons of parishioners, but three boys only are taught on the foundation, and about forty are instructed by the usher, in English grammar, writing, and arithmetic, on paying quarterage. Here was anciently an hospital for lepers. Sir Thomas,- afterwards Lord Fairfax, the celebrated parliamentary general, was born at Denton Park, in this parish, in the year 1611, and died in the same house, on the 12th of November, 1C?% 1."


"BAILDON, a chapelry in that part of the parish of OTLEY, which is in the upper division of the wapentake of SKYRACK, West riding of the county of YORK, 4 miles N.W. from Bradford, containing 2679 inhabitants. The living is a perpetual curacy, in the archdeaconry and diocese of York, endowed with 200 private benefaction, 200 royal bounty, and 400 parliamentary grant, and in the patronage of the Vicar of Otley. The chapel is dedicated to St. Giles. A new church, or chapel, is about to be erected here by the parliamentary commissioners. Within the limits of the chapelry are numerous manufactories for worsted, woollen, and cotton goods, and some business is done in malt and the making of nails."


"BRAMHOPE, a township in that part of the parish of OTLEY, which is in the upper division of the wapentake of SKYRACK, West riding of the county of YORK, 3 miles E.S.E. from Otley, containing 366 inhabitants. The school is endowed with an allotment of land producing 9 per annum, awarded to it on the enclosure ot the common, for which the master instructs the children of the inhabitants on easier terms."


"BURLEY, a chapelry in that part of the parish of OTLEY, which is in the upper division of the wapentake of SKYRACK, West riding of the county of YORK, 2 miles N.W. from Otley, containing 1200 inhabitants. The living is a perpetual curacy, in the archdeaconry and diocese of York, endowed with 200 royal bounty, and 1200 parliamentary grant, and in the patronage of Matthew Wilson, Esq. There is a place of worship for Wesleyan Methodists. Here are two or three cotton-mills on an extensive scale, and the manufacture of worsted goods is carried on to a limited degree."


"CLIFTON, a township, joint with Newhall, in that part of the parish of OTLEY, which is in the upper division of the wapentake of CLARO, West riding of the county of YORK, 2 miles N.N.W. from Otley. The population is returned with Newhall."


"DENTON, a chapelry in that part of the parish of OTLEY, which is in the lower division of the wapentake of CLARO, West riding of the county of YORK, 5 miles W.N.W. from Otley, containing 192 inhabitants. The living is a donative, in the patronage of Sir C. C. Ibbetson, Bart. Edward Fairfax, the translator of Tasso, and his descendants, Ferdinando and Thomas, successively Lords Fairfax, and commanders in the parliamentary army, were born here; the last, in addition to his high military fame, was noted for his attachment to antiquarian pursuits, and was once owner of the Dodsworth MSS. now preserved in the Bodleian library at Oxford."


"ESHOLT, a township in that part of the parish of OTLEY, which is in the upper division of the wapentake of SKYRAOK, West riding of the county of YORK, 4?% miles S.S.W. from Otley, containing 355 inhabitants. Simon de Ward founded a nunnery here in the middle of the twelfth century, of which a few pointed arches may still be seen; at the dissolution it was valued at 19."


"FARNLEY, a chapelry in that part of the parish of OTLEY, which is in the upper division of the wapentake of CLARO, West riding of the county of YORK, 2 miles N.N.E. from Otley, containing 179 inhabitants. The living is a perpetual curacy, in the archdeaconry and diocese of York, endowed with & 1000 royal bounty, and 200 parliamentary grant, and in the patronage of the Vicar of Otley."


"HAWKSWORTH, a township in that part of the parish of OTLEY, which is in the upper division of the wapentake of SKYRACK, West riding of the county of YORK, 3 miles S.W. from Otley, containing 323 inhabitants."


"LINDLEY, a township in that part of the parish of OTLEY, which is in the upper division of the wapentake of CLARO, West riding of the county of YORK, 8 miles N.N.E. from Otley, containing 178 inhabitants."


"LITTLE TIMBLE, a township in that part of the parish of OTLEY, which is in the upper division of the wapentake of CLARO, West riding of the county of YORK, 5 miles N. from Otley,- containing 62 inhabitants."


"MENSTONE, a township in that part of the parish of OTLEY, which is in the upper division of the wapentake of SKYRACK, West riding of the county of YORK, 2 miles W.S.W. from Otley, containing 257 in- habitants."


"NEWHALL, a township, joint with Clifton, in that part of the parish of OTLEY, which is in the upper division of the wapentake of CLARO, West riding of the county of YORK, half of a mile N.N.W. from Otley, containing, with Clifton, 208 inhabitants. This was the residence of Edward Fairfax, Esq., a celebrated poet in the reigns of Elizabeth and James I."


"POOLE, a chapelry in that part of the parish of OTLEY, which is in the upper division of the wapentake of SKYRACK, West riding of the county of YORK, 2 miles E. from Otley, containing 294 inhabitants. The living is a perpetual curacy, in the archdeaconry and diocese of York, endowed with 200 private benefaction, and 1000 royal bounty, and in the patronage of the Vicar of Otley. There is a trifling annuity, the gift of Mr. Fleetham, for teaching six children."

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


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