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RIPON: Geographical and Historical information from the year 1835.

"RIPON, a parish in the wapentake of CLARO, West riding of the county of YORK, comprising the borough and market-town of Ripon, the chapelries of Bishop-Monckton, Bishop-Thornton, Pateley - Bridge, Sawley, and Skelton, and the townships of Aismunderby with Bondgate, High and Low Bishopside, Bishopton, Clotherholme, Eavestone, Givendale, Grantley with Skeldin, Hewick - Bridge, Hewick- Copt, Ingerthorpe, Markington with Wallerthwaite, Marston with Moseby, Newby with Mulwith, Nunwick with Howgrave, Sharrow, North Stainley with Leningford, Sutton-Grange, Warsill, Westwick, and Whitcliff with Thorpe, within the liberty of RIPON, and the chapelries of Aldfield and Winksley, and the townships of Beverley, Dacre, Shelding, Studley-Roger, and Studley-Royal, in the lower division of the wapentake of CLARO, West riding of the county of YORK, and containing 14,115 inhabitants, of which number, 4563 are in the town of Ripon, which possesses separate jurisdiction, though locally in the liberty of Ripon, 23 miles W.N.W. from York, and 212 N.N.W. from London. This town, which is of considerable antiquity, is supposed to derive its name from the Latin Ripa, from its situation on the bank of the river Ure. The earliest. record we find respecting it is about the middle of the seventh century, when a monastery was founded here by Eata, abbot of Melrose in Scotland (the town at that time consisting of only thirty houses), which was subsequently given by Alfred, King of Northunabria, to Wilfred, Archbishop of York, who not only improved the monastery, but by his patronage of the town very much increased its wealth and consequence. In the ninth century it was plundered and burnt by the Danes, and so complete was the devastation, that only the remaining ruins denoted its former existence; it, however, recovered so quickly as to be incorporated a royal borough by Alfred the Great, in 886, but it shared in the destruction which Edred, in suppressing the insurrections of the Northumbrian Danes, carried through that province; and it had scarcely recovered from this devastation when it suffered from the unrelenting vengeance of William the Conqueror, who, after defeating the Northumbrian rebels, in 1069, laid waste the country, and so effectually demolished this town that it remained for some time in ruins, and at the period of the Norman survey it lay waste and uncultivated. The monastery, after its destruction by Edred, was rebuilt, chiefly by Oswald and his successors, Archbishops of York, and was endowed and made collegiate by Archbishop Aldred, about the time of the Conquest. Profiting by a period of comparative tranquillity, Ripon had again begun to revive, when it was once more exposed to the ravages of war by the progress of the Scots, under Robert Bruce, in the reign of Edward II., who, after exacting from the wretched inhabitants all that could be wrung from them, destroyed the town by fire. Aided by donations from the Archbishop of York and the neighbouring gentry, and by the industry of the remaining inhabitants, it so rapidly recovered as to be selected by Henry IV. for the residence of himself and his court, when driven from London by the plague; and the same calamity induced the Lord President of York to remove his court hither in 1604. In 1617, James I. passed a night here, on his route from Scotland to London, and was presented by the mayor with a gilt bowl and a pair of Ripon spurs; and it was also visited by his unfortunate successor, Charles I., in 1633. In the great civil war it was taken possession of, and held for the parliament, by the troops under the command of Sir Thomas Mauleverer, who defaced and injured many of the monuments and ornamental parts of the church, and were at length defeated and driven from the town by a detachment of the king's cavalry, under Sir John Mallory of Studley. Ripon is situated between the rivers Ure and Skell, and although the streets are narrow and irregular, the houses, which are chiefly of brick, are, with few exceptions, well built: it is well paved, and was first lighted with gas in November 1830; the inhabitants are plentifully supplied with water from the Skell, by an engine erected by Alderman Askwith. The theatre, built in 1792, has been converted into a riding-school. The river Ure, which is crossed, at a short distance from the town, by a handsome stone bridge of seventeen arches, two hundred and fifty-six yards in length, was made navigable as far as Ripon by an act passed in 1767, and a second act, obtained in 1820, incorporated the proprietors, by the style of " The Company of Proprietors of the River Ure Navigation to Ripon;" barges of from twenty- five to thirty tons' burden are employed in bringing coal and merchandise of various kinds from Hull, York, and other places to the town, and are laden in return with lead, butter, and other produce. This place was formerly celebrated for its manufacture of spurs and woollen cloths, both which have, however, ceased to exist, and its present trade is somewhat limited; linen is manufactured to an inconsiderable extent, and during the season there is a weekly market for wool, which is much resorted to by the manufacturers from Leeds, Halifax, &c. The market, which is on Thursday, is well supplied with provisions: in the market-place, a spacious and well-built square, is an obelisk, ninety feet in height, erected in 1781, by William Aislabie, Esq., on the top of which are a bugle-horn and a spur-rowel, the arms of Ripon. Fairs are held on the first Thursday after the 20th day after Old Christmas-day, May 13th and 14th, first Thursday and Friday in June, Thursday after August 2nd, first Thursday in November, and November 23rd, for cattle and various kinds of merchandise. By charter of James I., in 1604, and confirmed by James II., in 1687, the officers of the corporation consist of a mayor, twelve aldermen, and twenty-four common council-men, assisted by a recorder and town clerk: the mayor1 and his two immediate predecessors are magistrates for the borough and liberty. A court military, for the recovery of debts to any amount, the officers of which are appointed by the Archbishop of York, whose authority for their appointment existed by prescription before the Conquest, and has been subsequently confirmed by several charters of inspeximus; the last granted in the reign of George II., has jurisdiction within the borough and liberty; the latter of which, exclusively of the parish of Ripon, comprises the townships of Felix-Kirk and Sutton under Whitestone Cliffe, in the parish of Felix-Kirk, the township of Kilburn, in the parish of Kilburn, the parish of Nidd with Killinghall, and the township of Marton cum Moxby, in the parish of Marton. Justices of the peace for the liberty are appointed by the Archbishop of York, and, in conjunction with the mayor and the recorder, hold sessions for the borough and liberty; and petty sessions are held in the town hall every Friday, by the magistrates for the borough and liberty, occasionally for the North and West ridings of the county. The town hall, built in 1801, at the expense of Mrs. Allanson of Studley, is a lofty, spacious, and handsome structure of freestone, comprising assembly-rooms, and a committee- room for magisterial business and public meet* ings. The Archbishop of York has a criminal court and a prison here. This borough first sent members to parliament in the 23rd of Edward I.; in the reign of Edward II. the privilege was discontinued, but was revived in the time of Edward VI., and has been since exercised without-, interruption. The right of election is vested in burgage tenants, the number of voters being one hundred and seventy-seven; the mayor is the returning officer, and the principal influence is possessed by Mrs. Lawrence of Stxxdley. Ripon was formerly the see of a bishop, and is now the head of a deanery, in the patronage of the Crown: at the period of the dissolution of the monastic establishments, it possessed seven prebends and nine chantries, with subordinate officers; it was refounded by James I., in 1604, who added a dean to the seven prebendaries, and endowed it with A 247 per annum: its present establishment consists of a dean, subdean, and six prebendaries, with inferior officers, and it sends a proctor to the convocation of the province of York. The dean and chapter have a prison, and are authorised, by charter of James I., to hold a court of pleas, called the Canon Fee Court, in which they appoint their own officers, the charter stating that such authority had long appertained to them, but this court has fallen into disuse. The living is a perpetual curacy, in the peculiar jurisdiction of the Archbishop of York, and in the patronage of the Dean and Chapter of Ripon. The church, dedicated to St. Peter and St. Wilfred, is a large cruciform building, with two square towers at the western end, each one hundred and ten feet high, embat-r tied and surmounted with pinnacles; and, in the centre, another square tower standing -upon four pillars with arches, and ornamented with a cupola on its north-western angle: on each of these towers there was formerly a spire, those on the towers at the western end being each one hundred and twenty feet in height, and that on the central tower still higher; but the latter having been blown down in 1660, causing considerable damage to the roof, the others were taken down. The length of the side aisles is one hundred and ten feet, and that of the transverse aisle, one hundred and twentynine. The choir is ninety-two feet in length, and thirtyfour in breadth; on its southern side is the chapterhouse, over which is the library, containing a good collection of ancient works, and portraits of many of the kings and queens of England. Under the nave of the church is a chapel, in which is a place coiled St. Wilfred's Needle, which tradition says was used for the trial of female chastity. The bishop's throne and the stalls are ornamented with carved work; the east window, which is fifty-one feet by twenty-five, and in which are the arms of James I., of England and France, of the ecclesiastical society, and of the town, is very magnificent, the painted glass having been lately renovated: there are many beautiful and curious monuments in the church. A. new church, dedicated to the Holy Trinity, erected at an expense of about £ 13,000, by the Rev. Edward Kilvington, was built in 1826: it is a handsome structure of freestone, in the later style of English architecture, with a tower seventy-one feet in height, upon which is a beautiful spire sixty-five feet high; the interior is neatly fitted up, and contains one thousand sittings, two hundred of which are free. There are two places of worship for Wesleyan Methodists, and one each for Independents and Primitive Methodists. The free grammar school was founded and liberally endowed by Philip and Mary, in 1553: the management is vested in trustees, by whom the master and usher are appointed, the former of whom has a rent-free residence, and a salary of £180 per annum, and the latter £63 per annum; the school is open to the sons of resident inhabitants, and the number of scholars on the foundation varies from fourteen to nineteen. Jepson's hospital was founded and endowed by Zacharias Jepson, in 1672, for boarding, clothing, and educating twenty sons of poor freemen, or orphans; the number now in the establishment is only ten, who are admitted at seven years of age, and at fifteen are apprenticed, with a premium of £ 5 each; the present income is about £217 per annum. National schools for children of both sexes are supported by donations and subscription. The hospital of St. Mary Magdalene, situated in Stamrnergate, was founded and endowed by Thurstan, Archbishop of York, early in the twelfth century, and rebuilt by Dr. Hooke, Prebendary of Ripon, and master of the hospital, in 1674; it affords an asylum to six poor widows, who have a yearly allowance; the Dean of Ripon is usually the master, the appointment being in the gift of the Archbishop of York. A chapel adjoins the hospital, in which, on certain days, divine service is performed. The hospital of St. John the Baptist was founded by an archbishop of York, probably so early as the reign of King John: it is a small building, in which two poor women, who are named by the master, are lodged, and have a small annual allowance. The dean is also master of this hospital, xinder the appointment of the archbishop. The hospital of St. Anne, in Agnes' Gate, under the management of the mayor and aldermen, was founded, in the reign of Edward IV., by one of the family of Neville, in which eight poor women are lodged, and receive a yearly allowance. At the eastern end of the town is a curious relic of antiquity, called Alia, or Ailo's, Hill: it is a tumulus in the form of a cone, composed of sand, gravel, and human bones, and is supposed to derive its name from JSlla, King of Northumberland, who was slain in 867, fighting against the Danes. The circumference of this hill, at the base, is about three hundred yards, and the height of the slope about seventy-four yards. In Studley park, about three miles from Ripon., are the magnificent remains of Founntai's abbey, supposed to be the most perfect and splendid in the kingdom; the ruins occupy a space of about two acres, and this noble institution, at the period of its dissolution, covered nearly twelve acres of ground, and was valued at £1173 per annum. The ancient custom of blowing a horn three times at the mayor's door, and at the market cross, at nine o'clock every evening, continues, though that part of it which imposed a tax of fourpence upon every housekeeper, if any house or shop was robbed between that hour and sxmrise the next morning, has ceased. Ripon was the birthplace of Dr. Beilby Porteus, a recent Bishop of London."


"AISMUNDERBY, a township, joint with Bondgate, in that part of the parish of RIPON, which is in the liberty of RIPON, West riding of the county of YORK, containing, with Bondgate, 551 inhabitants. Here is an hospital for the support of two aged widows."


"ALDFIELD, a chapelry in that part of the parish of RIPON, which is in the lower division of the wapentake of CLARO, West riding of the county of YORK, 3 miles S.W. from Ripon, containing 133 inhabitants. The living is a perpetual curacy, within the jurisdiction of the peculiar court of Ripoii, endowed with £200 private benefaction, and £600 royal bounty, and in the patronage of Mrs. Lawrence. This village is resorted to on account of its mineral springs, the water of which possesses a sulphureous impregnation: the neighbourhood abounds with beautiful and romantic scenery."


"BEWERLEY, a township in that part of the parish of RIPON, which is in the lower division of the wapentake of CLARO, West riding of the county of YORK, ll miles W.S.W. from Ripon, containing 1408 inhabitants. The vicinity abounds with valuable lead mines, which are worked to a considerable extent."


"BISHOP THORNTON, a chapelry in that part of the parish of RIPON, which is in the liberty of RIPON, West riding of the county of YORK, 3 miles N.N.W. from Ripley, containing 647 inhabitants. The living is a perpetual curacy, in the jurisdiction of the peculiar court of Ripon, belonging to the Archbishop of York, endowed with £400 private benefaction, £600 royal bounty, and £900 parliamentary grant, and in the patronage of the Dean and Chapter of Ripon."


"BISHOP'S MONCKTON, a chapelry in that part of the parish of RIPON, which is in the liberty of RIPON, West riding of the county of YORK, 4 miles S.S.E. from Ripon, containing 479 inhabitants. The living is a perpetual curacy, in the jurisdiction of the peculiar court of Ripon, belonging to the Archbishop of York; endowed with £800 royal bounty, and £ 800 parliamentary grant, and in the patronage of the Dean and Chapter of Ripon. There is a place of worship for Wesleyan Methodists."


"BISHOPTON, a township in that part of the parish of RiPON, which is in the liberty of RIPON, West riding of the county of YORK, 2g miles N.W. from Ripon, containing 136 inhabitants."


"BONDGATE, a township, joint with Aismunderby, in that part of the parish of RIPON, which is within the liberty of RIPON, West riding of the county of YORK, half a mile S. from Ripon. The population is returned with Aismunderby. An hospital for two poor women was founded here, by one of the archbishops of York, about the time of King John."


"CLOTHERHOLME, a township in that part of the parish of RIPON, which is within the liberty of RIPON, West riding of the county of YORK, 2 miles W.N.W. from Ripon, containing 16 inhabitants."


"COPT HEWICK, a township in that part of the parish of RIPON, which is within the liberty of RIPON, though locally in the lower division of the wapentake of Claro, West riding of the county of YORK, 2 miles E. from Ripon, containing 131 inhabitants."


"DACRE, a township in that part of the parish of RIPON, which is in the lower division of the wapentake of CLARO, West riding of the county of YORK, 6 miles W. from Ripley, containing 777 inhabitants. A schoolroom was built in 1695, by William Hardcastle, who endowed it with £100 for the education of children; and in 1778 William Mountain bequeathed £100 in addition to the above, producing together £8. 8. per annum; but from its being generally conceived that the benefit of the school is confined to the descendants of William Hardcastle, the number of free scholars has been very limited. In 1774, Edward Yates bequeathed an estate, now producing £32 per annum, for the endowment of a schpol; between thirty and forty scholars are educated."


"EAVESTONE, a township in that part of the parish of RIPON, which is in the liberty of RIPON, West riding of the county of YORK, 6 miles W.S.W. from Ripon, containing 73 inhabitants."


"GIVENDALE, a township in that part of the parish of RIPON, which is within the liberty of RIPON, though locally in the wapentake of Claro, West riding of the county of YORK, 2 miles S.E. from Ripon, containing 31 inhabitants."


"GRANTLEY, a chapelry, joint with Winksley, in that part of the parish of RIPON, which is within the liberty of RIPON, West riding of the county of YORK, 5 miles S.W. from Ripon, containing, with the township of Skeldin, 233 inhabitants. It is within the ecclesiastical jurisdiction of the peculiar court of Ripon, under the Archbishop of York. There is a school endowed by Mr. John Richmond with £6 per annum."


"HEWICK BRIDGE, a township in that part of the parish of RIPON, which is within the liberty of RIPON, though locally in the lower division of the wapentake of Claro,West riding of the county of YORK, 1 mile E.S.E. from Ripon, containing 77 inhabitants."


"HIGH BISHOPSIDE, (and Low Bishopside), a township in that part of the parish of RIPON, which is within the liberty of RIPON, West riding of the county of YORK, 10 miles W.S.W. from Ripon, containing, with the market-town of Pateley-Bridge, 2072 inhabitants."


"HOWGRAVE, a township, joint with Nunwick, in that part of the parish of RIPON, which is within the liberty of RIPON, though locally in the lower division of the wapentake of Claro, West riding of the county of YORK, 5 miles N. from Ripon, containing 28 inhabitants."


"INGERTHORPE, a township in that part of the parish of RIPON, which is within the liberty of RIPON, though locally in the wapentake of Claro, West riding of the county of YORK, 4 miles S.S.W. from Ripon, containing 44 inhabitants."


"MARKINGTON, a township, joint with Wallerthwaite, in that part of the parish of RIPON, which is within the liberty of RIPON, West riding of the county of YORK, 4 miles S.S.W. from Ripon, containing, withWallerthwaite, 457 inhabitants. Here is a small endowment, the gift of Mary Reynard, for the education of poor children."


"MULWITH, a township, joint with Newby, in that part of the parish of RIPON, which is within the liberty of RIPON, West riding of the county of YORK, 4 miles S.E. from Ripon. The population is returned with Newby."


"NEWBY, a township, joint with Mulwith, in that part of the parish of RIPON, which is in the liberty of RIPON, West riding of the county of YORK, 3 miles S.E. from Ripon, containing, with Mulwith, 52 inhabitants. It is situated on the river Ure, which occasionally inundates and enriches the adjacent lands. Newby. Hall was built by Sir Edward Blacket, from a design by Sir Christopher Wren."


"NORTH STAINLEY, a township, joint with Sleningford, in that part of the parish of RIPON, which is in the liberty of RIPON, West riding of the county of YORK, 4 miles N.N.W. from Ripon, containing, with Sleningford, 385 inhabitants. It is within the peculiar jurisdiction of the Archbishop of York."


"NUNWICK, a township, joint with Howgrave, in that part of the parish of RIPON, which is in the liberty of RIPON, West riding of the county of YORK, 2 miles N.N.E. from Ripon, containing, with Howgrave, 28 inhabitants. Here were formerly five stones, each eight feet high, and twenty in girt, enclosing a circular area."


"PATELEY BRIDGE, a market-town and parochial chapelry in the parish of RIPON, in the lower division of the wapentake of CLARO, West riding of the county of YORK, 8 miles W.N.W. from Ripley, and 224 N.N.W. from London. The population is returned with the township of High and Low Bishopside, parish of Ripon, in which it is situated. This town is situated on the northern bank of the river Nidd, and is indebted for its importance to the adjacent lead mines. A weekly market, granted by Edward II., in 1324, is held on Saturday: fairs are on Easter and Whitsun eves, May llth, September 17th (if on a Saturday, otherwise on the following Saturday), Monday after October 10th, and on Christmas-eve. The living is a perpetual curacy, in the peculiar jurisdiction of the Archbishop of York, in the deanery of Ripon, endowed with £400 private benefaction, £200 royal bounty, and £1900 parliamentary grant, and in the patronage of the Dean and Chapter of the Collegiate Church of Ripon. The chapel, dedicated to St. Mary, has received three hundred and sixty-five additional sittings, of which two hundred are free, the Incorporated Society for the enlargement of churches and chapels having contributed £500 towards defraying the expense. A new church, in the English style of architecture, was commenced in October, 1825, and completed in 1827, the parliamentary commissioners having granted £2000 towards its erection j it contains eight hundred and three sittings, of which four hundred and thirty-two are free. There is a place of worship for Independents. An ancient foundation, called Rake's school, from the site of ground on which it stands, was augmented, in 1806, with a bequest of £1800 stock by Mrs. Alice Shepherd, the dividends to be applied to the education and clothing of twenty poor children."


"SAWLEY, a chapelry in that part of the parish of RIPON, which is in the liberty of RIPON, West riding of the county of YORK, 5 miles W.S.W. from Ripon, containing 490 inhabitants. The living is a perpetual curacy, in the peculiar jurisdiction of the Archbishop of York, endowed with £400 private benefaction, £400 royal bounty, and £300 parliamentary grant, and in the patronage of the Dean and Chapter of Ripon. The chapel is dedicated to St. Michael. The Wesleyan Methodists have a place of worship here. Six poor children are taught for the interest arising from £100, the gift of Ralph Lowther, in 1770."


"SHARROW, a township in that part of the parish of RIPON, which is in the liberty of RIPON, West riding of the county of YORK, 1 mile N.E. from Ripon, containing 103 inhabitants. A chapel has been lately erected, containing five hundred and fifty sittings, of which two hundred and eighty are free, the Incorporated Society for building additional churches having granted £400 towards defraying the expense. This township is within the peculiar jurisdiction of the Archbishop of York. The Rev. Thomas Savage, in 1782, bequeathed £5 per annum for teaching eight poor children. The sum of £4. 10. a year is also paid out of the chapel rates, on account of sundry small gifts for the education of six others."


"SHELDING, a township in that part of the parish of RIPON, which is in the lower division of the wapentake of CLARO, West riding of the county of YORK, 6 miles S.W. from Ripon, containing 56 inhabitants."


"SKELTON, a chapelry in that part of the parish of RIPON, which is in the liberty of RIPON, West riding of the county of YORK, 4 miles E.S.E. from Ripon, containing 314 inhabitants. The living is a perpetual curacy, in the jurisdiction of the peculiar court of Ripon, belonging to the Archbishop of York, endowed with £200 private benefaction, £800 royal bounty, and £800 parliamentary grant, and in the patronage of the Dean and Chapter of Ripon. The chapel is small, but handsomely built in the early style of English architecture."


"STUDLEY ROGER, a township in that part of the parish of RIPON, which is in the lower division of the wapentake of CLARO, West riding of the county of YORK, 1 mile W.S.W. from Ripon, containing 144 inhabitants. It is within the peculiar jurisdiction of the Archbishop of York."


"STUDLEY ROYAL, a hamlet in that part of the parish of RIPON, which is in the lower division of the wapentake of CLARO, West riding of the county of YORK, 2 miles W.S.W. from Ripon, containing 19 inhabitants. It is within the peculiar jurisdiction of the Archbishop of York."


"SUTTON GRANGE, a township in that part of the parish of RIPON, which is in the liberty of RIPON, West riding of the county of YORK, 3 miles N.N.W. from Ripon, containing 86 inhabitants."


"THORPE, a township, joint with Whitcliff, in that part of the parish of RIPON, which is within the liberty of RIPON, West riding of the county of YORK, l mile S.E. from Ripon. The population is returned with Whitcliff."


"WALLERTHWAITE, in the parish of Ripon, a township joint with Markington in that part of the parish of RIPON which is within the liberty of RIPON, West riding of the county of YORK, 4 miles N.N.E. from Ripley. The population is returned with Markington. This township is within the ecclesiastical jurisdiction of the peculiar court of Ripon, belonging to the Archbishop of York."


"WARSILL, a township in that part of the parish of RIPON, which is within the liberty of RIPON, West riding of the county of YORK, containing 86 inhabitants. There is a place of worship for Independents."


"WESTWICK, a township in that part of the parish of RIPON, which is within the liberty of RIPON, West riding of the county of YORK, 3 miles S.W. from Boroughbridge, containing 27 inhabitants."


"WHITCLIFF, a township, joint with Thorpe, in that part of the parish of RIPON, which is within the liberty of RIPON, West riding of the county of YORK, 1 mile S. from Ripon, containing, with Thorpe, 157 inhabitants."


"WINKSLEY, a chapelry in that part of the parish of RIPON, which is in the lower division of the wapentake of CLARO, West riding of the county of YORK, 4 miles W. from Ripon, containing 176 inhabitants! The living is a perpetual curacy, in the jurisdiction of the peculiar court of Ripon, belonging to the Archbishop of York, endowed with £400 private benefaction, and £600 royal bounty, and in the patronage of the Dean and Chapter of Ripon. The chapel, dedicated to St. Oswald, has lately received an addition of two hundred and twenty sittings, of which one hundred and ninety-five are free, the Incorporated Society for the enlargement of churches and chapels having granted £150 towards defraying the expense."

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