Area, 9,390 acres. Agbrigg wapentake, L.D *1. -Population, 24,538 *2; Church-room, 1800 *3; Net value, £537. -This Church was given by William Earl Warren to the monastery of Lewes.. In 1329 it was rebuilt and consecrated by Abp. Melton on the 4 Id. August in that year.
In 1348, the Church having reverted to the Crown, was given by the King to the Chapel of St. Stephen's, Westminster, to which it was appropriated, and a Vicarage ordained therein, 2nd June 1349. At the Dissolution the patronage came to the Crown.
There were eight Chantries in this Church, and one in Westgate and another on the Bridge, which were served by twenty-four priests. Four only are noticed by Torre.
The present beautiful Church was built about the year 1369, but it appears from Domesday Book there had been a church before the Conquest. The height of the tower and spire is above 237 feet.
In Pope Nicholas's Taxation, the Church is valued at £36. 6s. 8d.; and in the King's Books the Vicarage is valued at £29. 19s. 2d. per annum. Synodals, 4s.; Procurations, 7s. 6d. In the Parliamentary Survey, vol. xviii. page 286, it is valued at £20 per annum. The Vicar is charged with the repairs of the Chancel of the Church, and also of the Chapel of Horbury, but the impropriators, Sir John Ramsden and others, are bound to rebuild the same when requisite to be done.
The Vicar of Wakefield was entitled to the small tithes of the parish in kinds, but by the subsequent inclosure Acts all the tithes are commuted.
An Act was passed in the 33rd Geo. III. for inclosing the townships of Wakefield, Stanley, Alverthorpe with Wrenthorpe, and Thornes, and another in the 49th Geo. III. for inclosing Horbury.
Baron v. Brooksbank, 4 Wood, page 283.
Abp. Sharp mentions a payment from the Crown of £14 per annum, towards serving the Cures of Wakefield and Horbury.
A bloody battle was fought near Wakefield in 1460, in which the Duke of York was defeated and slain by the army of Margaret of Anjou, wife of Henry VI. The head of the Duke was transmitted to York, and placed over Micklegate Bar.
Several eminent men have been born at Wakefield, viz. Dr. Thomas Robertson, Dean of Durham, one of the original compilers of the Liturgy ; Jeremiah Whitaker, one of the divines in the Assembly of 1642; Richard Thompson, Dean of Bristol; Dr. John Potter, Archbishop of Canterbury ; the Rev. Joseph Bingham, D.D., author of " Origins Ecclesiasticte;" Dr. John Radcliffe, the founder of the Radcliffe Library, at Oxford ; Dr. John Burton, author of " Monasticon Eboracense ;" the Rev. Thomas Robinson, Vicar of St. Mary's, Leicester, and author of " Scripture Characters ;" and several other literary men are mentioned by Dr. Sisson as having been natives of Wakefield.
For the arms, monuments, &c. see Torre's MS. page 659 ; Bodleian MSS. Nos. 5,078 and 5,101; Dr. Sisson's elegant work, entituled, " Historic Sketch of the Parish Church of Wakefield ;" and Dr. Whitaker's Loidis et Elmete, page 274 ; which two last-mentioned works contain beautiful engravings of the Church, &c. The parish is also slightly noticed in Bray's Tour, page 258 ; Gent's Ripon, page 81; and Hargrove's Knaresborough, page 202. Dr. Whitaker and Dr. Sisson, as well as Mr. Torre, also give a list of the incumbents, and an account of the endowment ; and Dr. Sisson gives a copy of the Terrier of 1809.
23rd October 1789, faculty to build a vestry.
9th February 1815, an additional burial ground was consecrated.
There is a glebe house fit for residence, which was repaired by subscription in 1769.
Lectureships. -There are two lectureships : the afternoon lectureship is in the gift of the Mercers' Company, and endowed with £8 per annum by the pious charity of the noble Lady Campden (Mag. Brit. vol. vi. page 359); and the Sunday evening lectureship, founded in the year 1801 by subscription, is in the gift of seven trustees, of which the Vicar is one, ex officio.
The Register Books commence in 1613; baptisms defective in 1653; marriages defective in 1654, and 1656 to 1673 inclusive.
Free Grammar School, founded 34th Eliz. Income: rent of 70a. 1r. 7p. of land; six houses; and rents-charge of £21. 10s. About forty free scholars in classics alone. The free scholars pay half-charges for reading, writing, and accounts.
Parish and town's poor estate. Rent of 43a. 28p. of land, and rents-charge amounting to £25. 11s. per annum. One-third is paid to poor widows, and the other two-thirds go in aid of the poor's rate.
Town's poor estate. Rent of 38a. 1r. 22p. of land, of several houses, and a rent-charge of £14. 6s. 8d. per annum, distributed amongst poor women. Nineteen widows receive 6d. a day, and about two hundred women receive clothing annually.
Richard Wilson's gift, by will, dated 7th December 1672. Rent of 11a. 3r. 19p. of land, divided between the Vicar and Curate, the master and usher of the school, and the poor of the parish.
chool, founded 1707. Income, aided by collections, 42a. 1r. 20p. and rent-charge of £5 per annum. Seventy-five boys and fifty girls taught reading, writing, and arithmetic. -Storie's petty gift is connected with this charity.
John Bromley's old gift, by will, dated 3rd January 1722. Rent of 18a. 0r. 34p. and certain houses in aid of the Charity School, subject to an annual payment of £5 to the Curate of Wakefield.
John Bromley's new gift, by his will, dated 3rd January 1722. Rents amounting to upwards of £700, which, after paying £20 a year to the master and usher of the free grammar school, and the expense of repairs and management, is applied for the purpose of apprenticing and clothing poor boys, and in donations to poor housekeepers.
John Storie's exhibition for two students at one of the universities, by will, dated 29th April 1674. The Report states that a scheme for the future management was then (1825) before the master for approval. The payments to the two students in that year were £157. 10s.
Brooksbank almshouses. Founded by will of Leonard Bate, dated 31st August 22nd Eliz. for five poor widows. The sum of £45. 10s. is equally divided amongst the widows.
Cotton Horne's almshouses, by deed, dated 4th February 1646, for ten poor women. The income in 1825 was £282. 7s. 10d.
William Horne's almshouses, by deed, dated in 1669, for ten poor men. The income in 1825 was £178. 10s. 4d.
Robert Watson's gift, who died in 1728. Rent-charge of £2. 12s. per annum, for bread for twelve poor people every Sunday.
The above eleven Charities are all under the administration of the governors of the Free Grammar School. -These governors, fourteen in number, are appointed under a charter of Queen Elizabeth, dated 19th September, anno 34.
Hutchinson's charity. Mary Hutchinson, by will, dated 1st October 1663. Rent-charge of £8 per annum for two poor decayed cloth-workers. No person to have the £4 longer than one year within seven years. It is now given in several sums, and to the same persons during life.
Lady Bolles's charity, by will, dated 4th May 1662. Rent of 197a. 3r. 1p. of land and interest of £220, for binding poor children apprentices. Trustees, the minister of Wakefield, and three individual trustees.
Joseph Harrison's charity, by will, dated 12th January 1825. Dividends of Stock amounting to £220 per annum. The Vicar of Wakefield to be one of the trustees. £20 to be given annually to one of each of twenty persons, members of the Established Church, and also to each a Bible and Prayer-book. -Vide 17th Report, page 683.
Abp. Sharp's MS. vol. i. page 175. 177. Gent's Ripon, page 11. Whitaker's Loidis et Elmete, page 274. Bray's Tour, page 258. Sisson's (Rev. Dr.) History of Wakefield Church. Hargrove's Knaresbro', page 202. See also Gilbert's Liber Scholasticus.
*1 And in the liberty of the manor of Wakefield.
*2 Viz. Wakefield, 12,232 ; Alverthorpe with Thornes, 4,859; Horbury, 2,400; and Stanley with Wrenthorpe, 5,047. Upwards of 300 men are employed in the mines in this parish.
*3 Viz. Exclusive of St. John's 900. There are also Chapels at Horbury, Alverthorpe, Stanley, and Thornes. All Saints, St. John's, and Horbury, have alone the privilege of celebrating matrimony, and Horbury claims to be exempt from the church assessment to the mother church.
ST. MARY'S CHAPEL on WAKEFIELD BRIDGE. -There were (20th September 1398) two Chantries ordained in this Chapel (then described as lately built,) which were founded by William, son of John William Tery del Wakefield and Robert del Hoth, who obtained the King's licence (viz. Rich. III.) to give and assign to two chaplains celebrating divine service daily in the Chapel, £10 rent in Wakefield, Stanley, Ossett, Horbury, Holmondwick, Shafton, Darfield, Wameford, Pontefract, Preston Jackling, and Fryston by the Water.
Torre's MS., page 671.
SAVILLE'S HOSPITAL. -See some account of this Hospital in Torre's MS. page 671.