A History of York
from Baine's Gazetteer (1823)

Part 8


York is celebrated for the number and variety of its benevolent institutions, which may be enumerated under the following heads :- HOSPITALS -- ASYLUMS -- SCHOOLS and other charities.

The Hospital of St. Anthony, was founded from three to four centuries ago, by Sir John Langton, Knt. nine times Mayor of York, for the brethren of St. Anthony. After the dissolution of the religious houses, it fell into the hands of a fraternity, consisting of a master and eight keepers, who gave a feast every three years, probably out of the remaining revenues of the old hospital; but in 1625, this feast was discontinued, and the fellowship dissolved. The legendary story of St. Anthony, of Padua, and his pig, says Drake, is represented in one of the windows of the church of St. Saviour. The brethren of this mendicant house used to go a begging in the city and elsewhere, and were generally well rewarded for St. Anthony's sake. But if they were not relieved every time with a full alms, they grumbled, said their prayers backwards, and told the people that St. Anthony would plague them for it. There is an inflammatory cutaneous disease, called St. Anthony's fire; this the brethren made the people believe the Saint would inflict upon them if they disobliged him, or would cure them of it, if they merited a cure. In time they had such an ascendancy here, and the patron of the hospital was held in such esteem, that when any person's sow pigged, one was set apart, and fed as fat as they could make it, to give to the brethren of St. Anthony, that they might not be tormented by this fiery disease; and hence came the proverb:- As fat as an Anthony pig. In 1646, the whole of the building in which the brethren met was re-edified, and it is now appropriated chiefly for the use of the charity school.

Agar's Hospital is situated near the county hospital, and is occupied by six poor aged widows, each of whom receives £1. 18s. 4d. half yearly towards their maintenance, paid by the feoffees of Mr. Alderman Agar, the founder, out of land which now forms part of the estate of Lord Middleton.

Of Barstow's Hospital, in the suburbs of York, little is known with certainty, except that it consists of six miserable cottages, appropriated to persons of both sexes, who each receive about forty shillings a year. The donation, it is said, was given about a hundred years ago, and the donors are supposed to have been two maiden sisters, of the name of Barstow.

The Spital, (a contraction for hospital) of St. Catherine, is situated near the Mount, at the entrance to the city. This was anciently a house of entertainment for poor travellers or pilgrims, who could not afford to pay for lodgings in the town. Buildings of this kind were usually placed, extramuros, on the side of the highway, and this was a Xenodo chium of that kind. In Drake's time it was kept up, and repaired at the city's expense, as a habitation for poor widows, though it was then hardly deserving of the name of a charity; but we collect from Hargrove's History, that by the successive donations of various benefactors within the last century, it now affords residences for four ancient widows, each of whom derives an income from the charity, amounting to £18. 3s. per annum.

Colton's Hospital, is situated in Tanner row, and derives its name from the founders, Dr. Colton, and Mary his wife, by whom it was provided, in the year 1717, for the occupation of "eight poor women." At present, the funds which are produced from lands at Cawood and Thorp Willoughby, yield to each of the eight inmates about six pounds a year.

Ingham's Hospital was founded by Sir Arthur Ingham, a senior Alderman of York, in the year 1640, and, endowed with five pounds a year for each of the ten poor women, its inmates, who have also a new gown every two years. The endowment also provides, twenty nobles for "an honest able man to read prayers in the chapel," payable out of certain lands at Sheriff Hutton. The buildings forming this hospital are situated in Bootham, and consist of ten cottages, of two rooms each, with a chapel in the centre. The badge of these widows is, a silver cock gilt, the crest of the Irvin family, of Temple Newsam, of which family Sir Arthur was the founder. The patronage of this hospital is now in the Dowager Marchioness of Hertford, the eldest daughter of the late Lord Irvin, and one of the lineal descendants of Sir Arthur.

St. Leonard's Hospital is an ancient foundation, which existed before the conquest, and when in the meridian of its usefulness supported thirteen brethren, four secular priests, eight sisters, thirty choristers, two schoolmasters, twenty-six beadmen, and six servitors; but by the consent of the brotherhood, it was surrendered in the 31st year of Henry VIII. and the revenue, amounting to £362. 11s. ld, placed at the disposal of the king.

The Spital of St. Loy, like that of St. Catherine, was built for the accommodation of poor travellers and pilgrims, in Catholic times; it stood on the East side of Monk bridge, but not a vestige of it now remains.

Maison Dieu was founded in White Friar's lane, Layerthorpe, by Edward IV. whence it is natural to infer, that there must anciently have been here a monastery of White Friars also, from which the name has arisen. But on this subject, we can only conjecture; as there are no remains of either building, and even the name of the lane itself is now no longer retained.

Mason's Hospital, in Colliergate, was founded by a widow of that name, in 1732, for the use of six poor widows, who have an annual income from the original benefactress of one pound a year, and from the benevolent Countess of Conyngham, of fifty shillings, producing to each of them yearly, three pounds ten shillings.

Middleton's Hospital, in Skeldergate, is a monument of the piety and benevolence of Dame Ann Middleton, who bestowed by will two thousand pounds for its erection and endowment. In this hospital, twenty widows of poor freemen, in York, have dwellings, with an income of five pounds sixteen shillings a year each; three pounds sixteen shillings of which is derived from the funds of the original benefactress, and two pounds from an augmentation bequeathed by Thomas Norfolk, gent. A full length effigy of Dame Middleton is placed in a niche, over the front entrance, with an inscription, partly obliterated, enumerating her charities.

A little beyond Bootham row, and nearly opposite to Marygate, is an alms-house that few ladies in the early part of life would claim as their inheritance, called "The Old Maids' Hospital." The founder of this institution was Mrs. Mary Wandesford, of the city of York, spinster, who by will dated the 4th of Nov. 1725, bequeathed an estate at Brompton-upon-Swale, near Richmond, with a mortgage of £1200. and £1200. South-Sea stock in trust, "for the use and benefit of ten poor gentlewomen, who were never married, members of the established church, who shall retire from the hurry and noise of the world into a house of protestant retirement," with £10. per annum to a reader. Since this time the funds of the Old Maids' Hospital, have been considerably augmented by other bequests, and each of the inmates now receives £16. 17s. 4d. annually, which Mr. Hargrove, from whom we quote, and who has displayed a very laudable zeal in investigating the affairs of the charities of York, intimates should be still further increased from the improved value of land within a period of nearly a hundred years. The Maiden Testator, does not in her will fix at what time of life ladies may become candidates for this charity, but the Court of Chancery, by a decree of the date of 1739, has fixed the age at fifty years. The present steward of this establishment is Mr. John Mills, with a salary of £6. a year, and the Rev. W. Bulmer, with a stipend of £15 annually, is the reader or chaplain. Every Wednesday and Friday morning at eleven o'clock, duty is performed in the chapel.

Without Micklegate bar, at the principal entrance to the city on the left, is an antique stone building, called St. Thomas' Hospital, erected for the fraternity of Corpus Christi, incorporated by letters patent, the 6th of November, in the 37th of Henry VI. This hospital was originally instituted for a master and six priests, who were bound to keep a solemn procession every year, on the Friday after Corpus Christi day, and the day after to have a solemn mass or dirge, to pray for the prosperity of brothers and sisters living, and for the souls departed: and further to keep yearly ten poor folks, having every of them towards their living £3. 6s. 8d. a year, with a further provision that they should find eight beds for poor people being strangers. In addition to this hospitality, the fraternity found entertainment of another kind for the citizens, and once in every year, namely, on the Thursday after Trinity Sunday, they performed the play of Corpus Christi, in aid of which, every trade in the city was obliged to furnish a pageant. At that time the building was far more extensive than at present: but in the time of Henry VIII. it felt the shock of all other similar institutions, and in 1683, it was inhabited only by ten poor widows, to whom mendicity afforded the means of subsistence. In 1787, the hospital underwent considerable alterations and improvements, and the number of inmates were increased to twelve. In the year 1791, Mr. Luntley, a glover, in Blake street, left by will £1000. to this institution, the interest of which, yields nearly four guineas per annum to each of the inhabitants, and Lady Conyngham, augmented their income to upwards of £6. by leaving £25. a year to be divided in equal parts amongst them.

Near Merchants' Hall, in Fossgate, stands an ancient Spital, called Trinity Hospital, founded in 1373, by John de Rawcliff, and endowed with lands worth £10. a year for the sustentation of a priest or master, and for the brethren and sisters of the same. The priest was to pray for the founder, and for the king, as well as for all christian souls, and to pay weekly to thirteen poor folks and to two poor scholars resident in the hospital, four-pence in silver each. In the 3rd of Edward VI. this hospital was dissolved, and the land was given to the king; but the hospital and chapel were kept standing, and the Merchants' Company of this city perpetuated the charity by their liberality, and at present ten poor persons-five of each sex, live in the house, and receive a stipend of £5. each per annum.

The Hospital of Sir Robert Watter, Knight, twice Lord Mayor of York, is situated in Neutgate lane. Sir Robert, by his will proved June 15, 1612, appointed that a hospital should be erected out of his houses in "Nowt-gate, which should be for the perpetual maintenance of ten persons; to consist of a governor or reader with £3. per annum, and certain brothers and sisters, to each of whom, £2. per annum, was to be allowed out of the lordship of Cundale. From some cause not explained, this charity has been suffered to deteriorate: the number of dwellings is only seven, and instead of ten there is only seven inmates; the reader, probably from the smallness of the stipend, does not exist, and only £14. is paid to the institution, instead of twenty guineas annually.

In St. Dennis Church lane, stands an alms-house, founded, as is supposed, by the Company of Cordwainers, and intended as an asylum for poor aged and decayed persons of that craft. This building had anciently a cupola and bell, which was tolled on the death of any of its members, and from the religious services performed in the hospital, it obtained the name of "The Maison Dieu" -or the House of God. The Cordwainers' Company, after existing for several centuries, certainly not less than four, was dissolved in the year 1808, parliament having in that year repealed the act, on which they grounded their right to regulate the markets and their trade in general. On the dissolution of the Company, the entire patronage of the Maison Dieu, with the archives of the fraternity were transferred to Mr. Hornby, of York, one of the principal members, and by the liberality of that gentleman the hospital. which had sunk into a state of dilapidation, was taken down and re-built at his own cost. This hospital now consists of four comfortable dwellings, appropriated to the use of as many decayed shoemakers, who pay to their benefactor an annual acknowledgment of one penny. This establishment presents a favourable field for the exercise of benevolence, and we venture to recommend that some charitable person should endow it with a small portion of land, from the rents whereof the successive inmates of the Maison Dieu, who are now nearly destitute of income, may through all time have the evening of their days brightened by a humble competency.

The law of Mortmain has wisely kept the endowment of hospitals and religious houses within very moderate limits; and in more modern times the legislature (Note: By the act 9th George II. c. 36.) has instituted a security against death-bed charitable bequests, by providing that no lands or tenements shall be given for, or charged with, any charitable use whatsoever, unless by deed indented, executed in the presence of two witnesses twelve calendar months before the death of the donor, and enrolled in the Court of Chancery within six months after its execution, and unless such gift be made to take effect immediately, and be without power of revocation.

Winterskelf's Hospital, nearly opposite St Margaret's Church, in Walmgate, was founded by Perceval Winterskelf, gentleman, early in the last century, and forms accommodation for six poor aged persons, who enjoy a revenue of from £7. to £8. a year.

The ladies of York have contributed essentially to swell the number of the public charities of this city, and their benevolence has in several instances embraced more than one institution. In addition to the names of pious memory already enumerated, Mrs. Wright, Dame Hewley, Mrs. Wilson, and Lady Conyngham's, remain to be mentioned:-
Mrs. Jane Wright, of the city of London, widow, left by will in 1675, £1000. in money with the residue of her property, amounting to about £550. more, to be devoted to the purpose of placing out as apprentices, as many poor boys and girls, who are natives and inhabitants of "the parish of Goodram-gate, near the Minster, in the city of York, being the parish, as she says, in which I was born," as the minister, churchwardens, and vestry-men of the said parish may think proper- the residue of the income, if any, to be applied to the relief of poor widows and housekeepers in the parish, and to the assistance of the apprentices at the expiration of their apprenticeships in commencing business. The trustees very judiciously expended the sum which they realized in the purchase of a house in Goodramgate, and lands in Rufforth and Water Poppleton, which now together yield for the purpose of the charity £363. a year, and which sum is distributed half yearly, according to the will of the testatrix. By a decision of the Court of Chancery, two-thirds of this ample income is distributed in the parish of St. Trinity, and one-third in the parish of St. John del Pyke.

Lady Hewley's charities comprehend an hospital and a liberal annual contribution towards "teaching the children of the poor to read and write." The hospital is a neat brick-building, situated in Tanner row, in which ten poor women, of the Unitarian persuasion, find a comfortable asylum. (Note: Dame Hewley, (whose maiden name was Wolridge) when a spinster, was a ward in chancery, and tradition says, we believe truly, that she eloped with Mr. afterwards Sir John Hawley, upon a matrimonial expedition, she riding before and he behind, on the same horse, thinking thereby to protect her intended husband from the censure of the Lord Chancellor, by alleging, that she ran away with him and not he with her.)

Originally, the annual stipend was only £6. each, but from the nature of the property, under the provident management of the trustees, it is now swelled to £15. a year, which is paid in monthly instalments, by the Rev. Charles Wellbeloved. In 1708, "Dame Sarah Hewley," as she is styled, paid into the Exchequer £1000. thereby purchasing an annuity of £62. 10s. for ninety-nine years, to be applied to the purpose of teaching the children of the poor to read and write." For thirteen years, namely, between 1780 and 1793, the payment of the annuities was suspended for want of new trustees to fill the places of those who were deceased: but, by the zeal and public spirit of Robert Driffield, Esq. the payment of the annuity was resumed and the arrears re-funded, the effect of which has been, that the capital stock is swelled to £1650. four per cents. and that fund is rendered permanent, which would have expired in the year 1807. The annual income from this stock is now devolved, in compliance with the will of the testatrix, to the support of free schools, in York and its vicinity, at the discretion of the trustees, John Rawden, Esq. the Rev. Charles Well- beloved, and George Palmes, Esq.

Wilson's Hospital, situated at Foss-bridge, was founded in 1717, by Mrs. Dorothy Wilson, spinster, for the reception of ten poor women, each of whom has a room to herself, and for their maintenance the donor left certain lands at Skipwith and Nun-Monkton, from which each of them receives £15. per annum. The same lands were also made subject to the following payments: Twenty pounds per annum to a schoolmaster for teaching twenty boys, and reading prayers twice a day to them, and to the hospitalers. The boys are also to be provided with new clothes annually, and £6. a year appropriated to placing three of them out as apprentices. The yearly sum of £2. each is applied to three blind people: and the same sum to a schoolmistress for teaching six children in the parish of Dennis to read. Owing to the increased value of the estate, the allowance to the inmates of the hospital has advanced from £6. 10s. to £15. per annum each: the schoolmaster's salary has advanced from £20. to £30. and the schoolmistres's stipend is doubled. The property is vested in seven trustees, none of whom, are to be aldermen of the city! The hospital has been twice taken down and re-built, the first time in 1765, and the latter in 1812, and it now forms a neat brick-building of modern appearance, very convenient to the inmates, and rather ornamental than otherwise, to the part of the town in which it stands.

Amongst the most munificent of the benefactors to the city of York, may be placed the Right Honourable Ellen Countess Dowager Conyngham, who, by will dated 13th of August, 1814, bequeathed the sum of £8000. in 3 per cents. consolidated Bank Annuities, for the purpose of paying certain annuities to her servants out of the dividends, but as the said annuitants died, to be paid in annuities of £20. each, to poor indigent and distressed widows of poor deceased clergymen of, or who reside in the county of York. The same lady bequeathed the sum of £6666. 13s. 4d. of 3 per cent, reduced Bank Annuities, the dividends therefrom to be distributed to ten poor clergymen, who should respectively be in possession of only one living, under the yearly value of £100. which living is to be situated in the county of York, the archbishop, dean and recorder for the time being, to elect both to this and the foregoing charity. The executors of her ladyship, are also ordered to transfer £2000. of 3 per cent. consolidated Bank annuities, and to distribute the annual dividends thereof in annuities of £10. each, to six poor indigent widows or unmarried women being fifty years of age or upwards, residing in York, and not respectively possessed of £50. a year, to be elected by the trustees. Her ladyship also left £3000. of 3 per cent, Old South Sea Annuities, to appropriate the dividends thus:- To St. Thomas' Hospital, near Micklegate bar, twenty-five pounds; to St. Catherines', ten pounds; to Middleton's, forty pounds; and to Mason's, fifteen pounds. From all which it appears that this lady applied to charitable purposes nearly £20,000. stock, to be distributed either in York or by persons in high situations, resident in or connected with this city.

Mr. John Allen having acquired a moderate competency by his profession as a dancing-master, in this city, bequeathed by will, dated January 9, 1747, the following benefactions to its public charities:-

To the York County Hospital.....£300.
To the Blue Coat Boys' and Grey
Coat Girls' School........£300.
To the Minister of St. Michael le
Belfrey, for the Poor......£40.
To light the Minster with candles
sooner than hitherto......£200.

And a sum for the erection or endowment of a hospital, which amounts to about £140. a year, from which fund twelve poor old men receive each £12. annually, towards their support and house rent. More hospitals

The hospitals in this city, for affording medical aid to the indigent, are:- The County Hospital, the Dispensary, the Lunatic Asylum, and the Retreat.

The County Hospital is situated in Monkgate, and owes its origin to the benevolent Lady Hastings, who, in the year 1740, bequeathed a legacy of £500. for the relief of the diseased poor in the county of York, which fund being augmented by other contributions, the present edifice was soon after erected. Every person who is a benefactor of £20. or a subscriber of two guineas annually, is a governor of this institution, and intitled to recommend one out or one in-patient at a time; a subscriber of three guineas annually may recommend one out and one in-patient at a time; and an annual subscription of a guinea intitles the subscriber to recommend one out-patient, and no more. Since the commencement of this establishment, on the 4th of April, 1740, to May 1st, 1822, 45,650 patients have been admitted, of whom 31,313 have been discharged cured, and 9,320 relieved. It is much to be lamented, that owing to the inadequacy of the funds, one of the large wards of this excellent institution has been intirely closed for some years, a circumstance the more to be regretted, since, with the exception of the Hull infirmary, this is the only charity of the kind for the North and East Ridings, and for the county of the city of York.- The Cow-pox inoculation is performed here gratuitously every Tuesday and Saturday mornings, from ten to eleven o'clock; and two fever wards have lately been erected in the garden of the hospital, by a separate fund raised for the purpose. The officers of the County Hospital are- William Gray, Esq. treasurer; Dr. Lawson and Dr. Wake, physicians; Mr. James Atkinson and Mr. George Champney, surgeons; the Rev. James Richardson, chaplain; Mr. Hewley Graham, steward and secretary; and Mr. Ward, apothecary. The house is visited by two gentlemen among the contributors resident in York, and, by a late regulation, the Female wards are visited by ladies.

The Dispensary is a small building, situated in St. Andrewgate, of the same nature as the County Hospital, though unconnected with it. Its objects are to dispense gratuitously advice, medicine, and surgical assistance, to those who are unable to pay for them. This establishment, which was opened on the 28th of March, 1788, has continued to flourish through a period of four and thirty years, and has, out of 42,488 patients, effected cures upon 28,851 of them. (Note: Medical and chirurgical attendance are given every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday, at eleven o'clock, and medicines dispensed gratis to all proper objects, recommended by an annual subscriber of half-a-guinea or upwards, or by a donator of ten guineas or upwards. Patients incapable of attending in person are visited at their own houses.)

The expense of this establishment last year amounted to £433. and the number of patients admitted and remaining on the books was 2054, exclusive of 648 children inoculated without cost for the Cow-pox (Note: The hour of attendance for vaccination, is Tuesday morning between nine and ten o clock.)

The officers are Dr. Beckwith Dr. Wake, and Dr. Goldie, physicians; Mr. Atkinson, Mr. Drake, and Mr. E. Wallis, surgeons; Mr. Allen, treasurer; and Mr. Wilson, apothecary.

Lunatic Asylums

The Lunatic Asylum, out of Bootham Bar, was built by general subscription, in 1774, from a plan prepared by Mr. Alderman Carr, and the building, as an edifice, is worthy of the architect. The original object of this institution was to provide an asylum for pauper lunatics, or such as belonged to indigent families. The plan subsequently underwent a change, and it was then determined to admit opulent patients, upon the plea that the profits from the payments of the rich would contribute to the support of the poor. This change led to enormous abuse, continued through a long series of years, and it required the benevolent interference of Mr. S. Tuke, and the intrepid and persevering scrutiny of Godfrey Higgins, Esq. to clean this Augean stable, and to restore the institution to its original benevolent purpose. These salutary reforms were commenced in 1813. While the investigations were proceeding, one wing of the asylum was discovered to be on fire, and before the flames could be extinguished, damage was done to the building and property amounting to £2,392. and four patients perished in the conflagration! This disastrous event took place on the 28th of December, 1813, and served to shut out from all mortal eyes proofs of mal-administration, at which the imagination shudders. The investigation, however, continued to be prosecuted, and it terminated in the dismissal of all the servants of the house, and the resignation of Dr. Best, the physician. From this time the whole system underwent a complete renovation: the treatment of kindness succeeded to that of coercion, and the consequence has been, that the establishment has ever since been rising in public estimation. Considerable additions have been since made to the building, an extensive new erection for Females only was opened towards the end of the year 1817. The present officers of this institution are, Dr. Wake, physician; Mr. William Allen superintendent;

(Note: The spirit which actuates this gentleman may be discovered from a work, recently written by him, entitled, "Lectures on the Temper and Spirit of the Christian Religion.")

Mrs. Birkett, matron; and twenty keepers. There are in the house an average of about 130 lunatics, consisting chiefly of those who neither receive nor require any aid from the funds of the institution. The buildings and offices of this noble asylum occupy about three acres of ground, and there are also attached to it about two acres of garden ground. The charge for pauper patients is 8s. per week, and the payments of the other patients are partly regulated by their circumstances. The intention of the founders of this asylum was to confine its benefits to the county of York, but that regulation is now sometimes relaxed.

There is, at the distance of about a mile from York, near the delightful village of Heslington, an establishment called the "Retreat for persons afflicted with disorders of the mind," founded in the year 1796, by the Society of Friends, popularly called Quakers. This establishment owes its origin to the severe treatment and death of a quaker lunatic patient in another asylum, and adds another to the multitude of instances, which are daily occurring, where good arises out of evil. The venerable William Tuke was the projector of "the Retreat," and his efforts were seconded and essentially aided by Mr. Lindley Murray, the distinguished English Grammarian of the present age. The structure consists of a centre and four wings, to which was added, in the year 1817, a new building, called "the Lodge," for the accommodation of patients of the higher class of either sex. The quantity of ground appropriated to this institution is twelve acres, and both the exterior appearance and the internal management are such as to discard every appearance of gloom and melancholy. The concurrent testimony of all those who have visited this institution, for the purpose of acquainting themselves with its economy and management, confirm the opinion, that it is one of the best regulated establishments in Europe, either for the recovery of the insane, or for their comfort where they are in an incurable state. "The Retreat," including "the Lodge," is capable of accommodating, and generally contains, about sixty patients, of which about two-fifths are men, and three-fifths women. This institution receives all classes of patients, and the lowest sum paid for board, washing, and medical assistance, is 4s. a week; the next class pays 8s. and the gradation is continued according to the circumstances of the, patient, till, in some instances, it amounts to several guineas a week. Great stress is laid here upon the benefit of the early removal of the patients to the asylum after the first decisive symptoms of insanity have appeared, and, as an inducement to the friends of the patients to pursue this course, an abatement of 4s. a week is made in the payment for the first year, for such patients as are sent within six months after the first appearance of the disorder. This institution, since its first establishment, has been attended with an expense of £12,000. to the religious community with whom it originated. Its benefits are extended on the recommendation of "a quarterly meeting, donor, or annuitant," to Quakers, and to those who are not strictly members of this society. Dr. Belcombe, a physician eminent in his profession, at York, presides over the medical department, and Mr. G. Jepson is the superintendent. Neither the physician, nor any other officer or servant of this institution receives any fee, but all have fixed salaries for their services. The general management is in a Court of Directors; and visitors, both male and female, are appointed to inspect the institution. Some years ago there was a branch of this establishment formed in a building adjoining Walmgate Bar, called "the Appendage," in which there were, during the last year, ten patients, seven of whom were females.

(Note: Persons wishing to become more intimately acquainted with the economy and management of this establishment, may consult with advantage, Mr. S. Tuke's "Description of the Retreat," published in 1813.)

Free schools

The Free Schools and Charity Schools, like the hospitals of York, are numerous:-

The Free Grammar School within the Close of the Cathedral, was erected by Robert Holgate, D.D. Archbishop of York, in 1546, and endowed with £12. a year for a master, to attend daily, "to read and teach grammar, and other good authors and works, generally to all scholars thither resorting to learn the same." This is a chartered school under the designation of "the Free School of Robert Holgate;" the Archbishop is patron, and the Rev. George Graham, A.B. is the present master.

The free grammar school in that part of the city called "Le Horse ayre," is the remains of a large hospital, founded by Robert de Pykering, Dean of York, in 1330. On its suppression, the hospital, with all its possessions, was annexed to the Dean and Chapter of York, who, by a grant from Philip and Mary, founded a grammar school, and perpetually endowed the master with the lands; in addition to which Robert Dallison, Chanter of the cathedral church of Lincoln, granted to the Dean and Chapter of York an annuity of four pounds, issuing out of the manor of Hartesholm, in the county of Lincoln, which was appropriated to this school. The appointment of the master is in the Dean and Chapter of York, by whom the number of scholars is regulated, and that number seldom exceeds 23. The present master is the Rev. J. Grayson. The dilapidated church of St. Andrews has undergone strange mutations- it has been now a house of prayer, then a den of thieves; and at present part of it is used as a stable, and the other part as the free grammar school.

Three Free Schools of a minor description were erected and slenderly endowed by the late Mr. John Dodsworth, an ironmonger, in York, the first of them near the church of St. Lawrence, in Walmgate, erected in 1798, for teaching twenty poor boys to read and write, of the parishes of St. Lawrence with St. Nicholas, St. Peter-le-Willows, St. Margaret, and St. Dennis, to be chosen in equal numbers by the parishioners, in vestry assembled: the second of Mr. Dodsworth's schools is on Bishophill, for twenty poor children, from the six parishes on that side of the river, in proportion to their size; this school was opened on the first of January, 1804; and they have each an endowment of £10 a year, bequeathed by the founder. The other school, which is in Friar Walls, is also for 20 children. The present Masters of Dodsworth's Schools are, Walmgate-bar, George Brotherton; Friar Walls, James Smithies; Bishop Hill, John Forth.

Amongst the noblest of the York charities may be placed the Blue Coat Boys and the Grey Coat Girls Schools. On the 14th of June, 1705, a school was opened in St. Anthony's Hall, for forty boys, to be clothed, fed, and taught. The out-fit was made at the cost of the Corporation, and the fund for defraying the annual expenses arose out of voluntary subscriptions, which amounted, at the first opening of the school, to £190 per annum. That income has since been increased in more than a ten-fold degree, and it appears, from a joint report of the two schools, published in 1822, that the expense of these establishments, from the 10th of October, 1820, to the 10th of October, 1821, amounted to £2000 15s. 3d. which sum was furnished by annual subscriptions, amounting to £476.; permanent annual receipts, from interest of money and rents of estates, £1425.; children's labour, £148.; and an annual collection at St. Belfrey's church, £71. The boys, which now amount to sixty in number, are taught to weave as well as to read, write, and cast accounts; and the girls, of whom there are forty-four, are taught to read, write, cast accounts, spin, wash, and knit, and are, under the matron's directions, qualified for good useful servants. The increase in the number of scholars took place in 1820, in consequence of a noble legacy of £4000. bequeathed by Thomas Wilkinson, Esq. of Highthorne, late an alderman of the city. The ample funds of this charity, which, as has been already stated, was designed originally for boys only, induced the benefactors to extend the benefit of the institution to the children of the other sex, and their school house was at first in Marygate, till the year 1784, a building was erected for the purpose, in Monk-gate, which is still occupied in that way. Children are not admitted into either of these schools till they have attained their ninth year, and when they are of a proper age, the boys are put out apprentices for seven years, to sea, husbandry, manufacturing trades, or handicraft businesses, at the discretion of the committee- 1007 boys have been bound apprentices since the establishment of the charity. The girls are placed out to household service, under the regulations of that school, and 311 girls have received the benefit of the institution since its first establishment in 1775. Annual subscribers of 10s. and benefactors of £10. become trustees. The gentlemen have the direction of the boys, and the ladies the direction of the girls, and by each of them, in their respective schools, visitors are nominated to superintend the same. Mr. Robert Davies is treasurer, steward, and secretary of both schools; Mr. Thomas Crosby and his wife are master and mistress of the boys; Mrs. Milner is Matron, Mrs. Catharine Collier sewing, knitting, writing, and reading mistress; and Mr. John Peckitt secretary to the girls school.

Haughton's Charities entitle the donator to a distinguished rank amongst the benefactors of this city. Mr. William Haughton, the founder of the charity school which bears his name, was originally a dancing master in York, but had removed to London, where he died in the year 1773, bequeathing £1300. for educating twenty poor children of the parish of St. Crux, in York, to read and write English, with an addition of £290., payable on the demise of certain annuitants. A school house has been erected near the church of St. Crux, and the Rev. John Overton is the present master, with a stipend of £200. derived from this institution. Mr. Haughton also left the interest of £500. to be devoted to paying the rents of poor widows in the parish of St. Crux and he bequeathed for forty tradesmen, or other persons, ten in each ward, by way of loan without interest, £1000., but which sum was reduced to £232. 6s. in litigation to establish the will of the testator.

The Spinning School at York is an establishment set on foot by two excellent ladies- the late Mrs. Cappe and Mrs. Gray, in 1782. In this school sixty girls are instructed in reading, knitting, and sewing; for though it was originally intended to employ the children in spinning worsted, that design was abandoned soon after the night school was given up, and a day school established in its place. The school, which is situate in St. Andrewgate, consists of two divisions- one half the children being taught to read and knit in the junior school, on the ground floor, and the other half taught to read and sew on the second story. The children of this school are principally clothed at the cost of their benefactors, who, in addition to gratuitous learning, supply them with milk to breakfast. The present mistress of the sewing school is Mary Gladdin, and of the knitting school Hannah Robinson. Connected with this establishment, and with the Girls Grey Coat School, there is a Female Society, principally consisting of honorary and benefitted members, established in 1788, for the relief, in sickness, of those who have been educated at these schools. There is also a private fund formed by the contributions of the ladies, for the further relief of the benefitted members of the Female Friendly Society and others; and an annuity fund, for affording annuities of forty shillings a year, for life, to such benefitted members as have attained the age of fifty-five years. The number of members of the York Benefit Society amount to about 300, of which about one-third are honorary and two-thirds benefitted members. Upon the subject of these institutions, and upon female charities in general, both for children and adults, Mrs. Cappe's "observations on Charity Schools and Female Benefit Societies," published in 1805, may be consulted with much advantage.

The Central Diocesan Society, at York, established on the 13th of March, 1812, under the patronage of the Archbishop, for promoting the education of the poor in the principles of the Church of England, have two schools in this city, one in a spacious apartment under the Banqueting Room, at the Manor, containing 485 boys, and another in Merchant Taylor's Hall, containing 250 girls. It appears from the last annual report that there are at present, in connexion with this Diocesan Society, 131 schools, and that they have under tuition 15,377 children of both sexes, of whom 8911 are boys and 6466 girls. Mr. Samuel Danby is the master of the boys school at York, for which duty he receives one hundred guineas a year; and Mrs. Ann Danby of the girls school, with a stipend of forty pounds a year.

A school, partly on the Lancasterian plan of Education, was established in Newtgate, in 1813, and removed into St. Saviourgate, in 1816, where 120 girls, of all religious denominations, are instructed in reading, writing, and accounts, at the charge of one penny a week. The deficiency in the funds is made up by annual subscriptions and donations, to which the Society of Friends are the principal contributors.- Treasurer, Mrs. Hannah Catton; mistress, Hannah Wilkinson.

At the Catholic School, in Castlegate, of which Mr. Thomas Bolland is master, sixty boys are educated gratuitously in reading, writing, and arithmetic; and particular regard is had to instruct them in their religious and moral duties.

Sunday schools

The York Sunday Schools, belonging to the Established Church, were begun in the year 1786, and are under the direction of a committee, consisting of the clergy and several laymen. At present there are in these schools between six and seven hundred children. The school-room for the boys is situate at the Merchants' Hall, Fossgate, on Bishophill, and in Bootham; and those for girls on Bishophill, in Coppergate, Bootham, Walmgate, and Beddern. Several ladies take an active part in the conducting of these schools. Ninety bibles, the gift of Lord Wharton's trustees, are annually distributed amongst the scholars.- Every scholar to be entitled to one of these bibles has to say by heart the Church catechism, and the 1st, 15th, 25th, 87th, 101st, 113th, and 145th psalms, and to be well acquainted with the principles of the christian religion. In these schools the National system of education has been lately adopted with considerable success. There is a Sunday school for boys, belonging to the parish of All Saints, North street, under the direction of the worthy rector, the Rev. W. L. Pickard, but it is quite unconnected with the Sunday school committee. The Sunday school committee also superintend the schools established by the late John Dodsworth, Esq. and also the concerns of the Charitable Society.

The Methodist Sunday Schools in York contain 600 scholars, of whom 332 are girls and 268 are boys; of this number 220 girls and 210 boys receive instruction at the schools in Fossgate, of which there are two; and 113 girls and 58 boys are taught in the chapel in Albion Street. The Primitive Methodists have a small Sunday school in Grape Lane, consisting of twenty five boys and the same number of girls.

In the Sunday School of Lendal Chapel, held in a spacious room in the basement story of that edifice, 320 Sunday school scholars receive instruction from twenty five teachers.

Charitable institutions

The York Emanuel, is an institution without any building attached to it, established in the years 1781-2, for the benefit of ministers of all denominations, and the wives, widows, and children of ministers in any part of the kingdom, labouring under the misfortune of blindness or idiocy, who appear to the governors to be proper objects. The term blindness is construed liberally, and such a deprivation of sight as disables the candidates from performing the usual duties of life, renders him or her eligible; idiocy is such a deprivation of reason as is not deemed lunacy. Persons applying for relief transmit a statement of their case in writing to the secretary, (Richard Townend, Esq.) previous to the general meeting, held in York half-yearly, on the second Thursday in April and October, authenticated by one justice of the peace and two neighbouring ministers. The annuities granted fluctuate between fifteen and fifty pounds. This institution owes its origin to the distressed situation of a clergyman of the name of Daniel Hall, of Leven, in the East-Riding, who, at the age of sixty-five, was obliged to perform the duties of three curacies for ninety pounds per annum, and who, in a declining state of health, had no other means of supporting a wife and ten children, five of whom were blind. To provide an annuity of fifteen or twenty pounds a year for each of these blind children, a subscription was set on foot, and the appeal made to the benevolent on their behalf produced a sum of £4000. With the surplus which this subscription afforded the York Emanuel originated, and at the period of the publication of the last report, the fund for its maintenance was swelled by the contributions of the benevolent to £10,800. stock, in the three per cent. consolidated annuities.

The other charitable institutions of York are:- The Charitable Society for the relief of the distressed actually resident in York; and the Benevolent Society, for the relief of strangers in casual distress, both which societies visit those they relieve. The Lying-in Society; the Bible Society; the Church Missionary Society; the Religious Tract Society; the Hibernian Society, and the Society for the Conversion of the Jews. The Clothing Society; the Faithful Female Servant Society; and the Society for the Suppression of Vice and Immorality. The main object of which is to co-operate with the Hull Penitentiary, and to send unfortunate females who wish to relinquish their vicious courses to that asylum. There is also a Vagrant Office, in Little Shambles, by which vagrancy is checked and the distressed traveller relieved. Formerly there was in this city a Society called the Humane Society, for the recovery of drowned persons, &c. on the plan of the Royal Humane Society, in London. The York institution now no longer exists, but as the directions of those establishments for relieving the apparently dead, cannot be too generally promulgated, they are here subjoined:-


On the alarm of any person being DROWNED, SUFFOCATED, &c., send to the nearest RECEIVING-HOUSE; and also if it can be done, send another person for medical assistance. The RECEIVING-HOUSE will instantly prepare the couch, light a fire in the room, and provide two or three gallons of boiling water. The BODY, in the mean-time, must be conveyed gently to the Receiving-House, wrapt in a blanket, coat, or other warm covering, with the head raised. Not more than four or five persons, besides the medical assistants, to be allowed, on any account, to enter the room where the body is placed. When the body is in the room, strip and dry it; clean the mouth and nostrils; lay it on the couch, in cold weather near the fire, and cover it with a warm blanket; and gently rub it with warm flannels. In summer, expose the body to the rays of the sun; and in hot close weather, air should be freely admitted. YOUNG CHILDREN to be put between two persons, in a warm bed. If MEDICAL ASSISTANTS do not speedily arrive, then let the body, if DROWNED, be gently rubbed with flannel sprinkled with spirits or flour of mustard, and a heated warming-pan, covered, may be lightly moved over the back and spine. To RESTORE BREATHING- Press or pinch the mouth or nostrils exactly close, for the space of half a minute, or a minute, then let them free; but if no perceptible sign of life appears, then introduce the pipe of a bellows (when no apparatus is at hand) into one nostril; the other, and the mouth being closed, blow into or inflate the lungs, till the breast be a little raised; the mouth and nostrils must then be let free.- Repeat this process till life appears. TOBACCO-SMOKE, or the SMOKE of MYRRH or FRANKINCENSE, is to be thrown gently into the fundament, with a proper instrument, or the bowl of a pipe covered, so as to defend the mouth of the assistant. The BREAST to be fomented with hot spirits- hot bricks or tiles, covered, &c. to be applied to the soles of the feet, and palms of the hands. If no signs of life appear, the body is to be put into the warm bath. Electricity is recommended to be early employed by the medical assistants, or other judicial practitioners. IN CASES OF INTENSE COLD. Rub the body with snow, ice, or cold water. Restore warmth by slow degrees; and, after some time, if there be no appearance of life, the above means for restoring the drowned must be employed. HANGING. A FEW OUNCES Of BLOOD may be taken from the jugular vein, or the arm:- Cupping glasses may be applied to the head and neck :- Leeches also to the temples. The other methods of treatment, the same as recommended for the apparently drowned. SUFFOCATION, BY NOXIOUS VAPOURS or LIGHTNING. COLD WATER to be repeatedly thrown upon the face, &c., drying the body at intervals.- IF THE BODY FEELS COLD, employ gradual warmth, and the above process for restoring the drowned. INTOXICATION. The BODY is to be laid on a bed, with the head a little raised; the neck-cloth, &c. removed. Obtain immediately MEDICAL ASSISTANCE, as the modes of treatment must be varied according to the circumstances of the patient. GENERAL OBSERVATIONS. ON SIGNS OF RETURNING LIFE, a tea-spoonful of warm water may be given; and, if swallowing be returned, warm wine or diluted brandy. The patients must be put into a warm bed, and, if disposed to sleep, they will generally awake perfectly restored. The MEANS above recommended, are to be used for THREE or FOUR Hours. It is an absurd and vulgar opinion to suppose persons irrecoverable, because LIFE does not soon make its appearance. Bleeding and Salt never to be employed, unless by the direction of the Medical Assistants. Benevolent persons, by immediately pursuing and persevering in the above directions, have restored many lives. At the same time, it is proper always to recommend the attendance of the Faculty, as their professional knowledge will induce them to direct and vary the above means of restoring life, according to accidental circumstances.
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Data transcribed from:
Baines Gazetteer 1823
Scan, OCR and html software by Colin Hinson.
Checking and correction by Richard Tetley.