Wapentake of Harthill (North Hunsley Beacon Division) - Petty Sessional Division of North Hunsley Beacon - Poor Law Union, County Court District, and Rural Deanery of Beverley - Archdeaconry of the East Riding - Diocese of York.
Beverley is a market town, now a corporate and late, also, a parliamentary borough, and yet retains its early position as the metropolis of the agricultural district of the East Riding, forming a wide local jurisdiction, under the style of the Town and Liberties of Beverley. It is 180 miles north of London, 29 east-by-south from York, 9 north-by-east from Hull, 92 east-by-north from Manchester, 10 east from Market Weighton, and 13 south from Driffield. It is in the Hunsley Beacon division of the wapentake of Harthill, but has a separate ecclesiastical jurisdiction.
Under the Local Government Act of 1888, the borough is divided into four wards, each of which returns a member to the County Council of the East Riding. The total rateable value of the borough is £53,224, and the population in 1891 was 12,539, an increase of 1,114 since 1881.
It is situated at the foot of the Wolds, which shelter the town on the southwest, and at the same time supply it with dry bracing air, which effectually modifies the effect of its situation in the hollow of a well-watered district.
The sites of towns confessedly ancient have a great probability of being upon foundations belonging to the earliest ages of permanent settlement; yet, so meagre are the records of antiquity, and so little calculated to convey accurate information beyond their own date, that, with comparatively few exceptions, the earlier history of towns is involved in mythical obscurity, or left to the dim light of traditions often too much distorted or disguised to stand the test of close examination.
The history of Beverley has been referred somewhat positively to the days of the British Druids, in whose rites, it is said, the wide-spread waters of the district bore an important part. According to an ingenious explanation by Dr. Oliver - adopting the above - the word beaver, as forming part of the name Beaver-lake, was purely symbolic. All other writers, however, assert plainly that the neighbourhood abounded with beavers (Castoribus), and that the river Hull flowed through the great "lake of beavers." There is sufficient evidence of the early existence of beavers in Britain, and this lake is by no means impossible as a physical fact. Yet it has left behind it no proof of its existence, and no tradition beyond the supposed name.
A better solution of the derivation of "Beverley" has been furnished, and one more in accordance with the little it is possible to know of the remotely early inhabitants of this country. It has to be concluded that the name of Beverley is not derived from "Beaver-lake" at all. Obscured by successive corruptions, and by the early date of erroneous etymologies, the original Celtic name "Pedairllech" lost its significance, and from the Petuaria of the Romans became Bœferlic; Beverlega of the Saxons (Camden and Gough), Beverlac (Alcuin), Beverlike (Athelstan's Charter), Bevreli (Domesday Book), Beverlea, Fribilega and Fribolega (Ainsworth), and Beveley, Beverlaye, and Beverlac (in public records all over the country). "Pedair-llech" is the British for four stones. It was anciently common to mark out the limits of towns, similarly as we now do our borough and parish boundaries, by logs of wood or stone. The custom was not confined to any particular country, nor the fact that the boundary marks were considered sacred. With the Romans they were called Lapsides Terminales, and sacred to the god Terminus, who was worshipped under the form of the landmarks themselves.
There are other instances in England where stones, yet remaining, have probably been sacred boundaries in places which are known to have existed in British times, as at Cookridge, near Leeds, Yeadon Moor cross-roads, and Boskenna Gate, near Penzance; the latter has three or four stones (called "Crosses"), within a radius of half-a-mile. Some of these - like the Beverley Sanctuary pillars or crosses - have been renewed or replaced at various periods. The "Four Stones" of this locality, by giving the name to the town, would seem to have had peculiar sanctity, and it is more than probable that the privilege of Christian Sanctuary, granted by the Saxon Athelstan, was, in some sense, a revival or recognition of an institution having previous existence. The Roman remains found in or near Beverley are few, though it cannot be said that no trace of the presence of the ubiquitous conquerors has been found. Early in the 18th century, two Roman pavements were unearthed at Bishop Burton, and about 1829, a coin of Vespasian was found in Pighill Lane, and another of Constantine. The deep drain excavations of 1891 resulted in the discovery of several relics, including one or two coins referrable to the Roman period. These are in the possession of Mr. J. W. Boulton who was indefatigable in edeavouring to bring together, during the time the work was proceeding, all the relics of antiquity then thrown up; they include numerous Saxon and old English relics of great interest.
The known history of Beverley commences shortly after the introduction of Christianty into Northumberland by Paulinus, in 625. In 692, John, Bishop of Hexham, found in the Deiran wood a little parish church, dedicated to St. John the Evangelist. He rebuilt and converted the church into a monastery, with seven priests and seven clerks, and attached to the establishment a nunnery, called the Oratory of St. Martin. He endowed these with lands at Middleton, Welwick, Bilton, and Patrington, and with the adjoining manor of Ridings. In this later place, almost within a bow-shot of St. John's, he built the church of St. Nicholas, otherwise "Hollin Church," no doubt to relieve the monastery of the parish services.
Attached to the College of Priests was a school, which has developed or degenerated into the present Grammar School.
A brief note may be given of the life of the man whose name afforded a training-post for the thick growths of the superstitious ages following his time. John, fifth Archbishop of York, was born at Harpham, near Driffield, about 640. His first preceptress was Hilda, Abbess of Whitby, and he afterwards went to Oxford, where, though the story of his being its first Doctor of Divinity is an anachronous fable, he no doubt underwent a course of study. Later, he kept a school, Bede, afterwards styled the Venerable, being among his pupils. He became Bishop of Hexham about 685, and Archbishop of York about 705. In 717, disgusted (it has been well suggested) with the turmoil of the ecclesiastical politics of that day, he resigned his See, and retired to pass his declining years at the monastery he had founded at Beverley. Here he died, 7th May, 721, and his remains were buried in the church, in St. Peter's aisle. He was canonized in 1037.
Beverley Monastery, or Minster, was not spared by the Danes. In 866 it was almost demolished, its records burnt, and its inmates killed, wounded, or driven away. During three years it was abandoned to the owl and the fox, but in the fourth, the Danes having gone south, the scattered victims of their fury gathered themselves together and restored the buildings, again, in fear and trembling, there taking up their residence.
The place is next brought into history by King Athelstan, "the first monarch of England." In 937 Anlaff and Godrid, sons of Sigtryc, the dethroned king of Northumbria, aided by Constantine of Scotland and other princes, collected an army against Athelstan, who, on his part, raised his forces and set out northwards to put down the rebellion. On his way to York, he visited Beverley, in order to invoke the protection of St. John, and to borrow from the Minster the Saint's consecrated banner, which was to have such satisfactory effect in encouraging the national troops. During the ceremony on this occasion, Athelstan drew his dagger from its scabbard, and, depositing it upon the high altar, vowed that, should he return alive to reclaim it, he would confer great benefits upon the church in honour of its patron saint. He rejoined his army, which had proceeded to York by another route, and took his way to meet the confederate rebels. He met them at Brunanburh (the fixing of the site of which is one of the most contested and most uncertain points of Saxon history), and completely overthrew them. Returning to Beverley, 938, he amply fulfilled his promise. He changed the monastery into a college, the seven presbyters being made secular canons, and the clerks Levites or verefellarii; he endowed the church with the lordship of Beverley, with lands in Brandesburton and Lockington, and his right to the "herst-corn" of the East Riding, being four throves (12 to 24 sheaves) of corn yearly for every ploughland - a tax which was the commutation of the right to demand pasturage and forage for the royal horses. The lordship of Beverley included sac, soc, thol, and theam. Such of the privileges granted to the church as conferred revenue were mostly appropriated by later archbishops.*
* It is said that the minstrels of the north dated their annual meetings at Beverley from the time of Athelstan. No doubt minstrelsy, beyond all other objects of association, would have an unbroken continuity from the earliest days.
The church was granted, or confirmed in, the great privilege of being a sanctuary - the place of refuge for criminals guilty of every offence but high treason. For ordinary offences the sanctuary availed within the area marked by four stone crosses, fixed about a mile from the church, upon the principal roads; for murder it was requisite that the offender should enter the church and seat himself in a stone chair called Frid-stol, Freed-stool, Chair of Peace, or Sanctuary Chair, near the altar. The mercy of sanctuary - perhaps continuing an earlier heathen custom - was an early institution of the Christian Saxons, and was at all times intended to be a temporary respite, saving indeed the criminal's life, but not from subsequent punishment, which was generally branding and banishment from the realm. In the British Museum (Harleian Collection) is a register of the persons who sought the peace of Beverley Sanctuary, "within its mile," from about 1478 to 1539. This interesting volume contains the only sanctuary oath known; it is as follows
"Ye shalbe trew and feythfull to my Lord Archbisshop of York, Lord off this towne, to the provost of the same, to the Chanons of this Church, and all other ministers thereof. Also ye shal here gude hert to the Baillie and xij. Governars of this towne, to all burges and comyners of the same. Also, ye shal bere no poynted wepen, dagger, knyfe, ne none other wapen ayenst the King's pece.
"Also, ye shalbe redy at all your power if ther be any debate or stryf, or oder sothan case of fyre within the towne to help to curcess it.
"Also, ye shalbe redy at the obite of Kyng Adelstan, at the dirige, and the messe, at such time as it is done at the warning of the belman of the town, and do your dewte in ryngyng, and for to offer at the messe on the morne. So help you God and thies Holy Evangelistes."
This oath, though of late date, doubtless in the main shews what was expected of "sanctuary persons" from Saxon times. Up to 22 Henry VIII., they were expected to abjure the realm within 40 days, but at that date an Act was passed by which they were obliged to remain in the area of sanctuary the whole of their lives. Sanctuary was abolished in the reign of James I. The Freed-Stool of Beverley still exists; it is in a fair state of preservation, and stands in the north aisle of the Minster.
The sites of the legua, or limits of the sanctuary, are known, and are marked in two of the four places by the remains of the pillars or crosses, which, though perhaps not the original Celtic "stones," are of considerable antiquity. The two remnants are, 1st, one upon the Skidby Road, within the hedge on the east side of the road, near the cross-path leading to Hessle, and fenced off from the rest of the field in which it is - this has the square plinth intact, and a short much-worn stump; 2nd, one towards Bishop Burton, several yards within a field on the south side of the road - this has the plinth and betweeu five and six feet of the shaft left. The shaft is four-square, with a groove along each edge. It bears an inscription, gradually becoming less decipherable, in which the passer-by is bidden to pray for the soul of William de Walton. The will of that eccleiastic is dated 1416, and to that date, following in its sequence, must be referred a further mention of the stone. The known sites of the other two stones are: one on the road towards North Burton, and one beyond Molescroft.
None of the four is far from the borough boundary in its vicinity. Their situation in the fields is a commentary upon the gradual narrowing of the roads. It may be that the "four-stones" were all that existed in the middle ages, but it is not impossible that others were erected. The river Hull cutting off communication on the whole east side of the town may have been considered to render limits on that side unnecessary. The continued existence of any of the stones, much more the known situation of the co-incidental number of four, is a splendid illustration of the fact, gradually becoming more recognised, that in relics and in customs much yet remains to us of the non-Aryan race of which were our aboriginal forefathers in Britain.
Returning to the chronological order of events, the Minster of Beverley waxed prosperous under the Saxons, and in their later time numerous developments appear to have taken place, though we have but few details.
In 1037 Alfric, Archbishop of York, added to the Collegiate society a chancellor, precentor, and sacrist; he built a shrine over the bones of St. John upon his canonization. In 1064 Aldred, Archbishop, appointed a vicar to each canon, adding an eighth canon and vicar. The intervening archbishop, Kinsius, had, in 1050, added to the great church of St. John a large tower, probably at the west end, when bells, two in number, were first used in the Minster. Aldred next rebuilt the choir, and painted the interior, the whole ceiling of the church from east to west representing the sky. It was probably at this period a long building of perhaps the same width as at present, without transepts, but divided into choir and nave, each with central and side aisles, separated by massive columns supporting circular arches, while a low heavy tower stood at the west end.
The Hospital of St. Giles is said to have been founded by one Wulse, a Saxon, before the Conquest.
The account of Beverley in Domesday Book is brief but interesting:- "In Bevreli the carucate belonging to St. John has always been free from the King's tax. The Canons have there in the demesne one plough and eighteen villanes, and fifteen bordars having six ploughs, and three mills of thirteen shillings, and a fishery yielding seven thousand eels. Wood pasture three miles long and one mile and a half broad. The whole four miles long and two miles and a half broad. Value in King Edward's time to the Archbishop twenty-four pounds, at present fourteen pounds. At that time to the Canons twenty pounds, the same at present."
But as well as this valuable central property the Collegiate Church was the owner of a goodly portion of the East Riding, and the Domesday details may very fitly be given somewhat fully. Skidby (written Schitebi), and Burton, are described together as berewicks of the manor. - " In these are 31 carucates to be taxed and there may be 18 ploughs. The Canons have in the demesne four ploughs, and 20 villanes with 6 ploughs, and 3 knights 3 ploughs.
"In (South) Dalton (Delton), to be taxed 12 carucates, and there may be 6 ploughs. Archbishop Eldred held this for one manor. St. John has now in the demesne one plough and 12 villanes with 7 ploughs. The whole one mile long and a half broad. Value in King Edward's time four pounds, at present forty shillings.
"In Flotmnanby (Flotemanebi), the Clerks of Beverley have one oxgang of land.
"In Risby (Risbi), to be taxed six carucates, and there may be three ploughs. It is waste.
"In Lockington (Locheton), to be taxed two carucates and a half, and there may be two ploughs. St. John had and has it. Value in King Edward's time, ten shillings, at present eight.
"In Etton (Ettone), eight carucates to be taxed, and there may be four ploughs. This manor was and is St. John's. Eight villanes have there five ploughs. Value in King Edward's time, ten shillings, at present eight.
"In Rageneltorp, three carucates to be taxed, and there may be two ploughs. St. John had, and has now, in the demesne, one plough, and three villanes, one plough. Value in King Edward's time, ten shillings, at present ten.
"In Burton (Burtone), twelve carucates and six oxgangs to be taxed, and there may be seven ploughs. Ullyet (Uluiet), had one manor there. Now, St. John has in the demesne three plonghs, and twelve villanes with three ploughs. Value in King Edward's time, fifty shillings, at present forty shillings.
"In Molescroft, three carucates to be taxed, and there may be two ploughs. One moiety is the Archbishop's, and the other St. John's. Two villanes have there one plough.
"In Calgestorp (which may perhaps be Kellythorp), St. John has two oxgangs to be taxed, and one mill. In Kiplingcotes (Climbicote), to be taxed two carucates and a half, and there may be two ploughs. St. John had and has it. It is waste. Chetel holds it.
"In Middleton (Middletun), five carucates and six oxgangs to be taxed, and there may be three ploughs. Archbishop Eldred held this for one manor. St. John now has in the demesne one plough, and eight villanes two ploughs and a half. There is a church and a priest there. Value in King Edward's time, forty shillings, at present twenty.
"In Leconfield (Lachinfeld), St. John has oxgangs of land.
"In Kelk (Chelhe) with the berewicks, Gembling (Ghemelinge), and Reighton (Rictone), are thirteen carucates to he taxed, and there may be seven ploughs. Uluiet held this for one manor; now St. John has it, and it is waste, except that three villanes have there one plough. Value in King Edward's time, forty shillings, at present twelve pence. The whole manor one mile long and a half broad.
"In Garton (Gartune), nine earucates to he taxed, and there may be five ploughs. St. John had one manor there, and Uluiet another manor. St. John now has both, and they are waste. Value in King Edward's time, forty-five shillings.
"In Langthorp, with the berewicks Ruston (Roreston) and Ascheltorp, there are twelve carucates and a half to be taxed, and there may he seven ploughs. St. John held this for one manor, and it is now waste, except that one farmer pays eight shillings.
"In Bentley (Benedlage), to be taxed two carucates; and one plough may till it. St. John had there one manor. It is now waste, yet there is wood pasture one mile long and four quarentens hroad. Value in King Edward's time, twenty shillings.
"The berewicks of Welwick and Whitton (Wideton) of St. John to be taxed two carucates of land and five oxgangs; land to six ploughs. There is in the demesne, one plough and a half and thirty-two villanes, and thirteen hordars having nine ploughs. There is a church and a priest, and twenty acres of meadow.
"In Grimston (Grimestone), berewick of St. John, two carucates of land to he taxed. It is waste.
"In Monewic, berewick of St. John, two carucates of land to he taxed. Land to two ploughs. Six villanes have there three ploughs, and they pay ten shillings.
"In Ottringham (Otringeha), berewick of St. John, six carucates of land and a half to he taxed. There is a church and a priest there. A certain knight farms it, and pays ten shillings."
The first Norman Archbishop of York was Thomas, Treasurer of Bayeux. He reorganised the college of St. John, consolidating the powers and privileges hitherto exercised by the canons conjointly, and conferred them upon a new officer, the provost, whom he appointed to he head of the collegiate establishment. The first provost he presented was his nephew Thomas, chaplain, priest to the Conqueror. The provost of Beverley enjoyed in personal the temporalities of the college, with the advowsons of the churches attached to it, and the appointment of the numerous officers forming the foundation. The Saxon minster was succeeded by a Norman fabric. There yet remain behind the western arches of the triforium, arches of Norman work. Though not in their original situation, they seem to point out that the Norman nave was only demolished as the Decorated nave advanced westward. Other odd fragments of Norman stones have been unearthed at various times, but the clearance of the work of that style has been very complete, though doubtless much of the Norman core remains, faced by the later styles.
The earliest history of St. Mary's church is unknown. It was a chapelry of the Minster, and there is sufficient evidence that a Norman huilding of some importance existed. It has been said that the bases of the choir piers are Norman, and are in situ, bearing traces of having been part of the exterior walls, the Norman choir having no aisles. If this is so, there is scarcely any other part of the church, of Norman date, that can be said to be in its original situation. There is a Norman arch in the south porch, and Norman chevron work built into the Early English arcade of the north transept. The provision of this chapel-of-ease to the Minster was probably an early work of the Normans, in accordance with the general ecclesiastical policy of relieving collegiate establishments of parish obligations, particularly necessary in this case from the great resort of pilgrims to the shrine of St. John. A chapel of St. Thomas was also built at Keldgate.
William Rufus granted a charter of confirmation to the collegiate church of St. John.
The town of Beverley is situated about a mile from the river Hull, from which in mediæval times it derived a considerable part of its importance. It is doubtful at what period the river became navigable for anything but boats; though it may be reasoned by analogy - in consideration of the changes which have taken place in the river bed during, say, the last 150 years - that it was in early times as navigable as now. The rights exercised upon the river by the archbishops was an obstacle to the progress of the port of Hull at the mouth of the stream. Apparently the Crown attempted to control the river in the beginning of the 13th century. Previously some rights of toll and ferry had been inherent in the lords of Sutton, but in 1226 we find Sir Saer de Sutton appointed by the king to keep the port of Wike-upon-Hull (later, Kingston-upon-Hull) for the king's use. A wild and lawless act of the Suttons - the murder of the crew of a treasure ship and appropriation of its cargo - caused them to relax their hold on the river, and whether they had held it for themselves or for the king, they gave up their rights to the archbishop. There was also an agreement in 1269, between Archbishop Gifford, John de Stuteville, and Sir Saer de Sutton, by which the two latter covenanted to remove their weirs and fishgarths from the river, in consideration of an annual rent of 80s., for which the archbishop was to be responsible, but which was ultimately paid by the burgesses of Beverley. However, after Hull had been re-established and made a royal borough by King Edward I., the archbishops continued to extort their tolls from the increased trade of the lower port. This led to lawsuits. In 1323 the archiepiscopal rights were limited, and about 1333 were totally abandoned.
Beverley was in a peculiar position, inasmuch as the lord of Beverley was the Archbishop of York, and, on account of the multitude of pilgrims who flocked thither to visit the shrine of St. John, it was a very valuable possession. They had the usual manorial privileges of the assizes - of bread and ale, - with tumbril and pillory to punish the fraudulent; waifs and wreck with park and free warren; while, as an ecclesiastical domain, the town and its appurtenances were exempt from military services, and in it the Archbishops, both directly and by their representatives (the Provosts), had absolute jurisdiction. But the Archbishops, upon the whole, wielded their power in a liberal spirit, though doubtless some of their concessions were politic, and resulted in an increase of income. Thurstan, who had been the 2nd Provost, and who was Archbishop from 1119, and enjoyed the see for 20 years, was a more notable benefactor to the inhabitants of Beverley than Athelstan had been, though the benefactions of each were in accordance with the light and spirit of their respective days. Thurstan granted a charter, which made the town a free borough, the burgesses to be free of toll throughout Yorkshire, and to have the tolls of all the towns' markets and fairs, excepting those held on the Feast of St. John the Confessor (6th May), of the Translation of St. John, and of the Nativity of St. John the Baptist (Midsummer day). The men of Beverley, by this charter, were empowered to have a Merchant Gild, and, in connection with it, every privilege enjoyed by the citizens of York. Twelve of the members of the Gild were annually, on St. Mark's Day (25th April), chosen to rule the town, under the style of the Twelve Governors or Keepers. The governors allowed and controlled lesser gilds connected with the different trades, each having its alderman or warden, with the usual subordinate searchers and stewards.
There was an earlier Gild in Beverley - that of St. John the Baptist - and this and the Merchant Gild seems to have, to some extent, become welded into one.
The Gild of St. John was a religious association, and to it belonged the Hanse House or Gild Hall. It may be that the merchants, who were members of the religious society, took from it their idea of the benefits of organization, and sought to apply the principal to trade and to the management of the town, so far as the overshadowing power of the Church and the Archbishop would permit. The fusion or confusion of the two Gilds appears in the Return of English Gilds made to the Crown in 1388, where the Beverley Gild is found as "the great Gild of St. John of the Hans Hus;" but the real distinction, naturally to be expected between the two is proved by an entry among the borough records, being in the annual account of the governors for 1420, "Paid to the Gild of S. John Baptist for rent of the Gildhall, 20s." Gradually the rule of the governors became more municipal in character, and the Burgess List became as diverse in its constituents as that of any other borough.
In 1125, Pope Honorius granted a bull confirming the charter of Thurstan's; King Henry I. confirmed it; and King Stephen also in 1136. In 1138, the Provost and Archdeacon of Beverley paid Stephen 550 marks (say £3,300 present value) for, ostensibly, the privilege of being his "demesne clerks," but in reality as a tyrannical mulct. But this was an exceptional instance. The king could in ordinary circumstances make no inroad into the power of the archbishops in the lordship. What the De la Poles were to Hull, the Archbishops of York were to Beverley. They had their palace here, and fostered the place in every way. Under Thurstan's active administration it much increased, one chief factor of its progress being the canal (Beverley Beck), which by his encouragement and aid, the merchants of the town cut from it to the river Hull, and sufficiently deep to carry the boats and barges of the period. While Thurstan was provost, he added to his office two foresters and a bailiff. He added also to the foundation of St. John a ninth canon and vicar, with stall and corrody; and when he became archbishop, he did not give up this prebend, but reserved it to himself and his successors in the see, with the right to preside at all meetings of the chapter when present. He also granted to the canons in general the right to bequeath two-thirds of the profits of their office for the year following their death, the remaining third only being apportioned to the repair of the minster fabric. It was during his time that the work of re-building St. Mary's chapel was set on foot. After the death of Thurstan in 1139, the see was vacant two years, when Henry Murdac was appointed; but King Stephen in his continued resentment against the clergy for their opposition to him, prohibited Murdac from actually possessing the archbishopric, upon which the disappointed prelate retired to Beverley, where he died in 1153.
In the reign of Stephen; Archbishop (afterwards Saint) William, the king's nephew, during the one year he lived to enjoy the seal, 1153-4, confirmed Thurstan's Charter to the town, adding to the privileges of the burgesses - that of holding pleas in their Hanse House or Merchant Gild. The building of the Hanse House stands near the site of the present Town Hall, though it has at various periods been restored almost beyond identity. Twice in 1155, and again later, King Henry II. confirmed the grants of liberties and free customs of the charters. To facilitate the collection of herst corn, John gave the canons a precept to compel the farmers to put the sheaves at their barn doors at a specified time.
In 1188 (or 20th September, 1189, according to Stowe), the whole town and church of St. John was burnt to the ground. It is said to have remained in ruins for several years, but that as soon as steps were made towards its restoration, donations poured in, and the present east end of the church began to rise.
In 1193, King Richard Coeur de Leon confirmed, nominally, the charters. He was in captivity in Germany at the time, and no doubt the fine went to augment the amount raised for his ransom, for the renewal of charters was one source of that fund. The charter is dated 30th September, at Worms.
Money, or its equivalent in some form, was the fulcrum of charters, either in the necessities of the crown on the one side, leading to renewals, or in enterprise of the burgesses on the other, leading to the purchase of new privileges upon petition. King John, by a charter of 1199, much increased the liberties of the burgesses of Beverley. Their privilege of freedom from tolls throughout Yorkshire being extended to exemption throughout the country, excepting within the liberties of the city of London. For this grant Beverley paid an amount equal to £4,000 present value, which, as was very usual, was paid in instalments. These payments are frequently styled "exorbitant fines ;" a more correct term would be "high prices," and in most cases would be offered by the towns. He granted also a charter of confirmation. King John and his Queen were in Beverley from the 25th to the 27th January, 1202. At the fire of 1188, the relics of St. John had been lost, but were found in 1197 - no doubt during the clearance of the site - and they were placed under a shrine in the new church.
Tbe town seems to have early established itself in trade. The staple was cloth, which the burgesses, in the reign of Henry II., were allowed to freely buy and sell, and they paid a fine to King John to continue the same business. The dyed cloths woven at Beverley were of superior fineness and brilliancy, and were an article of export to Spain and, no doubt, to other countries.
The part of Beverley yet called Fleming Gate was the seat of a colony of Flemish weavers and dyers, and has borne that name at latest from the time of King John.
The rebuilding of the Minster, as we now know it, appears to have commenced in the early part of the reign of Henry III., being a late manner of the Early English style. The architect seems to have laid down his eastermost lines further east than the original foundations, the addition possibly being the whole area of the Lady chapel and lesser transepts. He built in one uniform style the choir and its aisles; the Lady chapel, and unaisled transepts behind; the great transepts; and was marching on to the completion of the edifice, when some unknown cause terminated his labours at the second bay of the nave. This large mass of Early English masonry presents a hundred aspects of harmonious beauty; and the chaste severity and perfect proportions of many of the parts furnish instances of the style not to be surpassed elsewhere. Rows of triple lancet lights, groups of Purbeck pillaring, and lovely arcading combine to make the Early English of Beverley Minster a quoted example of symmetrical excellence. One of the details is a double staircase against the wall in the north aisle of the choir, and which was the access to the shrine of St. John, or the Chapter house, now utterly vanished, though part of the foundations were laid open and measured in 1892. Below the staircase is a round-arched doorway, leading to a former chamber, or crypt. Near the altar is a well, of this period, discovered in 1877.
The Early English work of St. Mary's Church is like its Norman work, in that little can be considered in situ, though there can be no doubt that an Early English edifice of considerable architectural importance existed. The crypt under a chapel in the north transept is, of course as first built, about the middle of the 13th century, but, with the exception perhaps of the windows of that chapel, the remainder of the work of this date is supported upon, or incorporated with Perpendicular.
In 1201, Sybil of Vallines, widow of William, third lord Percy, endowed the Knights Hospitallers with the manors of the Holy Trinity in Beverley, and the manor of North Burton, with lands and tenements in those places, and in South Dalton. The "Trinities" stood to the east of the town, on or near the site of the present railway station. The preceptory of the order stood within a moat, whose situation is still to be traced, and the space within is called the Inner Trinities, as the space without is called the Outer Trinities.
Probably from an earlier date, but at latest from 1226, a Hospital of St. Nicholas existed on the north-east side of the minster.
The Provost of Beverley was now an important official, being the representative of the power of the Archbishop, though he bad several privileges in his own right: as the power to hold pleas within his court, even after the institution of courts of assize. But ecclesiastical jurisdiction could scarcely be permanently conjoined with civil power.
The gradual preparation for emancipation of the townsmen of Beverley from the hand of the Archbishop, as also the evil use to which the archiepiscopal power might be employed, is instanced by an important petition made to King John by the burgesses. They complained that the Archbishop, Geoffrey Plantagenet, had, among other wrongs, disseised them of their pastures and tolls, deprived them of gravel pits and turf beds, and had excommunicated them as well as the High Sheriff of the County, William de Stuteville, of Cottingham. King John came north, and heard the case at the manor house of Cottingham, and restored the burgesses all the rights in which they had been molested.
The next Archbishop, Walter de Grey, who, like his predecessor, was Lord Chancellor of England, obtained some local sporting privileges for himself, viz. the privilege of free warren in the woods beyond his park at Beverley, and in his demesnes of Molescroft and South (Bishop) Burton.
Local taxation, almost invariably upon trade, was always a matter of royal charter. Permission was given to lay local tolls upon certain goods, the terms being generally five or seven years. Such a grant for the former period was made in 1255, for the repair of the roads.
In 1263, a further charter was granted by which it was necessary, before a burgess of Beverley was seized in any other part of the country for a fellow-burgess's debt, for the creditor to prove, not only the fellow-burgess-ship, but the solvency of the debtor. The unfortunate burgess, who upon such proof suffered for his townsman, had his remedy in action against the defaulting burgess when he returned home. But a further and most important charter relieved the burgesses of Beverley of this unjust item of the "law of arrest," and by which each burgess was answerable but for his own debts. In 1273, the burgesses, by agreement with the Prior of Warter, were exempt from the tolls at Warter fair.
In 1277 the important leper hospital of St. Giles, without Newbegin Bar, said to have existed before the Conquest, was annexed, by exchange, to the Priory of Warter by Archbishop Giffard, who assigns as the reason for the change, the official corruption of all in charge of the hospital. The site of the hospital, with its church and cemetery was very extensive; it stood, in part, where the houses on the south-east of Westwood Road are now situated, or what was known as St. Giles's Croft, southward; and its cemetery extended to Lairgate. The new Ordnance Plan of 1891 adds to the recorded knowledge of the site considerably.
In 1280, Archbishop Wickwane, in the first year of his office, granted to the burgesses, upon an annual fee-farm rent of half a mark, the Butter Dings, from which he had, no doubt, received the usual standage tolls, and which was known then as Bishop Dings. At the same time he granted them also a meadow called Utengs (out-ings), with the arable land therein, lying between "Nendike" and the pasture called "Fefang;" also exemption henceforth from the payment of pannage for such of their swine as they agisted in the 'wood called "Hagge," (Hagg, a hedge, the hawthorn) afterwards known as Beverley Parks. He also granted that boundaries might be made between Westwood and the arable land, so that no part of Westwood should, from time to time, be thrown into tillage as previously. Probably this was the reason of the division of Hum from Westwood. All the pastures seem to have been gifts. The archbishop also put a stop to a certain trespass upon the rights of common of "Fegang" (Figham), by which his villeins of Woodmansey had illegally enjoyed that pasture. These various ordinances and grants were in one deed, and were confirmed by the Dean and Chapter of York in 1284.
The banner of St. John did not lose its supposed efficacy with the progress of the centuries. Edward the Hammer, emulating Athelstan, on his visit to Beverley in 1299, commanded the potent standard to be carried before his army into Scotland; and carried it was, by Gilbert of Grimsby, a vicar of the College of St. John, who, for the 52 days he was thus occupied in carrying the inspiriting symbol of the Saint's presence, received, in all, £28 18s. 9d., present value. By its division, this money seems to have been reckoned at about 10s. 7d. per day* for the vicar's wages, and about 4s. 6d. per day more for his food when not with the army. Edward I. paid a second visit to Beverley, 29th May, 1300, accompanied by his second queen, Margaret, and Prince Edward; and a third visit, 22nd July, 1306.
* Master Gilbert's wages were 8½d. per day. Allowing that money was ten times more valuable in those days - which is certainly the extreme limit - his daily wages would only represent 7s. 1d. of modern money. - Editor.
Between 1285 and 1288 a writ of quo warrant was issued against the archbishop (John Romanus), inquiring into the titles by which he held his numerous privileges in Ripon and Beverley. He supported the questioned rights by appeal to the charters and ancient usage.
In 1297 there existed in Beverley a chapel (of St. Ellen), whose site is not known.
In 1299, a certain Friar Richard, of St. Nicholas at Beverley, was paid 33s. as King Edward I.'s alms to the Friars Preachers of the town, which goes to show that the Holme church existed at this date, and also that the Black Friars had already settled in the town. They occupied the building whose remains are yet called "The Friary," to the north-east of the minster, and here they had a church.
The Grey Friars had also settlement here in 1299, their convent being in Friar Lane, near Westwood, without Keldgate Bar.
Edward I. granted a charter of confirmation to the burgesses in 1307.
About this year, so far as can be judged from the style of the architecture, was continued the building of the nave of the minster, where the Early English work ceases. The Decorated portion continues in the design of the earlier parts of the edifice with somewhat surprising closeness. The shafting of the triforium is continued in stone instead of the Purbeck marble before used. The arcading of the walls of the aisles has the Early English design richly loaded with decorative details; the most freely graceful foliage, alternated with grotesque figures of monks, musicians, fiends, &c., of superior sculpture, though it is to be regretted that many of the carved capitals are spiritless modern insertions. The north aisle is of later date than the south. The reredos of Decorated work has its east side comparatively intact, and its elaboration caused it to be referred to by Rickman, as one of the best schools of Decorated detail in the country. Near the south door of the nave is a Decorated shrine of pure and early character, and in the great north transept an altar tomb of the same style, being the memorial of one of the Percies. Among the details of this class, however, that known as the Percy shrine, to the north-west of the reredos, takes the first place among the Pointed Architectural monuments of the world. The figures of knights, &c., in the spandrils of this shrine have a grace and elegance far surpassing all mediæval sculpture, excepting the figures in the angel choir at Lincoln. It is the tomb of Eleanor, wife of the first Henry Lord Percy. She died in 1328. The windows of the south aisle of the nave are considered exceptionally good examples of curvilinear tracery. The best exterior work of this period is in the rich niches on the buttresses on the south side. There is on the south side of the south tower the jamb of a fine Decorated window belonging to a building which has been attached to the minster at that corner. This, with the remains of the undercroft or crypt before mentioned, the weather-line of the roof above, and a pavement of smooth stones found at the same south-west angle, about 1826, are sufficient evidence of the existence of the conventual buildings here, being a usual situation, as more plainly instanced at Durham and Westminster. Here, extending beyond the present wall of the churchyard, stood the refectory, dormitories and cloisters, and behind them the kitchen, gardens, and herbarium of the monastery. In 1310, King Edward was at Beverley. In 1315, two merchants of Beverley, obeying the general order of the French king, to quit Flanders, were seized, and their money, amounting to £3,375 present value, confiscated. This affair, which gives us a further insight into the trading connections of this town with the Continent, was settled by the intervention of Edward II. In this reign, William of Melton, Provost of Beverley, was Lord Chancellor and Lord Treasurer of England, and afterwards Archbishop of York. The same king was again at Beverley in 1314, on his way to disastrous Bannockburn, and when he granted the provost a charter to hold a yearly fair at his manor of Sigglesthorne. The king was here again in 1316.
In 1320, Philip Ingleberd, of Beverley, founded two scholarships at University College, Oxford, for "two scholars or masters born near Beverley." In 1318, the town was called upon to furnish 30 soldiers for the Scottish wars, provided with quilted doublet, coat of mail, iron cap, and gauntlets, to serve for the old feudal term of 40 days, at their own expense. In 1319, Edward was again at Beverley, and issued thence his proclamation for a general army of the whole country, in readiness for the threatened invasion by the Scots. By 1322, the tide of military affairs set in more strongly against the English. Robert Bruce invaded England without material molestation. He burnt some towns, and Beverley would have met the same fate, but escaped by paying "a summe of money."
At this period arises the "walls" or "no walls" for Beverley. In 1321, the burgesses petitioned the Crown for confirmation of certain charters which they professed to hold, empowering them to enclose the town with a wall or ditch. But there do not exist any such charters, or records of any, either before or after this petition. There are ample relics and records of a ditch or dyke surrounding the town, which ditch would doubtless have its infra-ditch mound of earth, but not a brick has been unearthed or a line of ancient writing discovered, which can point to walls of brick or stone; while at every date where Beverley might have come into prominence as a stronghold, it shrinks into a village-like insignificance for want of walls. The number of streets which still retain the ancient designation of "gate" has been said to support the theory of walls; but the reader need scarcely be reminded that "gate" more frequently signifies a way, or course, rather than a limit to a way, besides which, many of the streets called "gate" were internal thoroughfares. The "gates" of Beverley are Hen Gate, East Gate, High Gate, Fleming Gate, Minster Moor Gate, Walker Gate, Lair Gate, and Keld Gate. There were, it is true, several entrance structures answering to our modern acceptation of the word "gate," but these real gates were not styled gates at all, but bars. These were Norwood Bar, South Bar (adjoining Eastgate), Keldgate Bar, Kewbegin Bar - both of the latter being mentioned by Leland as yet standing at his visit in 1540 - and North Bar, which last yet remains, an imposing structure of brickwork, with ponderous doors, interior upper chambers, and seats for the watch at both sides of the passage. There is also a reference to the "West Bar." The sites of these "bars" are connected by a continuous thread of the remains of the old foss, which in several parts yet exists as a watercourse, lending its share to the drainage of the town.
In 1325, Archbisop William de Melton separated the chapel of St. Mary from the Minster, and constituted it a distinct vicarage, in the presentation of the Canon of St. John, attached to the altar of St. Martin. The step was one which had been in contemplation for some years. About five years earlier - judging from the architecture - important changes took place in the chapel, being a rebuilding of a large portion of it in the Decorated style. The parts that remain of this period are the lower portion of the chancel and two chapels in the north aisle, one being a large and exceptionally fine work, with great beauty of detail.
In 1333, Richard Dousing, Thomas de Holme, and Adam Tyrwhit were appointed by the king to train all the able-bodied men in Beverley in the use of arms, and to lead against the Scots 50 horse-soldiers and 50 foot-soldiers. The force was not supplied without a slight amount of royal pressure. In May of the following year, Edward was himself at Beverley. Later (in 1334, and again in 1335), Dousing, Tyrwhit, and Adam Copendale had to provide 100 Beverley soldiers as before, Dousing and Tyrwhit being the leaders. A further demand was made in 1335 for 20 horse-soldiers, and yet another order for 10. But the 70 already sent had exhausted the available resources of the town, and it was arranged that, in lieu of the 10 hobelers, 20 archers should be sent, and 40 marks paid for the concession. In 1336 Beverley furnished 60 armed men. In 1337 the port-towns were ordered to set out a navy to oppose that of the Scots and their foreign allies, and to this defensive fleet Beverley sent a small ship. In 1338 the town sent to the army at Perth seven fully-equipped soldiers, under Richard Dousing. In this year 1,000 quarters of malt were purchased in Beverley for the provision of Stirling Castle. Of this quantity, however, 700 quarters were seized by some of the townsmen and concealed, it being, doubtless, considered by the people an undue draining of the home supply.
About this period the work of rebuilding St. Mary's Church, in Early Perpendicular style, was commenced. The new west front entirely replaced whatever preceded it. It is extremely rich, though, like the west front of the Minster, now much decayed. Few fronts of this character are more admirable; the two octagonal turrets, themselves unique, flanking the design, giving an air of surpassing elegance and beauty to the whole church. The south porch is also of Perpendicular style, before the influence of the Decorated period had passed away.
About 1361, the Provost of Beverley endeavoured to force the alleged rights of the archbishop on the river Hull to an extraordinary extent, attempting under their pretence to uphold the action of certain roofing-tile makers of Beverley, in removing soil from the banks of the river at Waghen and Sutton, where abutted land of the Abbots of Meaux. The monks retaliated by impounding oars and a boat laden with soil, but had a better opportunity of calling the real offenders to account when the provostry imprisoned a monk of Meaux by way of reprisal. The monk was not only set at liberty but asked to depart. The abbot summoned the offending artificers before his court at Waghen, where they attended, acknowledging his rights, and so, apparently, the matter ended.
In 1365 King Edward III. granted a charter of confirmation, and another in 1377. Previous to this time King Edward III. had given the town letters patent, exempting it from contributing towards any of the vessels fitted out by Kingston-upon-Hull for the king's cruise, and Richard II. not only renewed this exemption but made the grant general. In 1379 Richard granted a charter confirming those of his predecessors, the town paying for it a fine of 10 marks. At this period Beverley was one of the principal towns in England, its population of about 4,000 being double that of Kingston-upon-Hull, although the trade of that port was much greater than that of Beverley.
In 1380, 2nd April, the common of Westwood was alienated from the see of York, by licence from King Richard II., on the 4th February, to Archbishop Neville, and granted by him to the burgesses in perpetuity, in consideration of a yearly payment of 110 shillings (say £70 present value), in lieu of other accustomed services. The Westwood, 400 acres in extent, at this period was for the most part a noble oak forest, of which the present Burton Bushes, in the northwest corner, is a lovely remnant. The grant reserves to the archbishops certain rights, among which were the right of having one kiln in the limestone quarries of the wood, of taking clay amid stone to burn into lime there or otherwise use, aud free passage for their cattle through the wood. It also reserved common of pasture to the archbishops and their tenants, and the free tenants of their manor of Burton (Bishop Burton). * By this munificent gift one of the most magnificent and beautiful commons in the country has been preserved to the public use to the present day. It is sad to reflect that the donor, a royal favourite, was impeached of high treason and fled to the Continent, where he died in obscurity.
* Pasture masters appear to have been first appointed in 1890.
In 1391, when the statutes of Arundel were written, the collegiate establishment comprised nine canons, a preceptor, a chancellor, a sacrist, seven parsons, nine vicars, seven chantry chaplains, nine canons' vicars, a preceptor's clerk, seven parson's clerks, two thuribulars, eight chorister boys, two (three or four) sacrist's clerks, two vergers, and a clerk of the cemetery.
A few years after this date, the latest portions of the minster began to be built in the Perpendicular style. The west front is reckoned one of the finest fronts in England; its two doorways are extremely rich, though the mouldering of the Tadcaster stone, of which it is built, is gradually divesting its details of their precision and character. The north porch is an addition of this date; it is another standard of architecture. The upper chamber of the porch was the place where the porter lay to give ready admission to fugitives seeking sanctuary. There are several inserted Perpendicular windows in the Early English walls on the south side.
In 1494 there is mention of a Leper's House without Keldgate Bar, and in 1402 of another without the north Bar.
The sixth and eighth bells are of about this date. They have Latin inscriptions in Old English characters, the sixth bell being dedicated to Brithunus, the first abbot, and the eighth (tenor) to St. Peter.
About 1396 Trinity Hospital, with a chantry chapel, was built by John de Ake, merchant, of Beverley. It was on the Cross Bridge, over a natural watercourse, in the street now known as the Toll Gavel. After the Dissolution, it was used as the common gaol until 1805, when it was demolished.
The insurrection of Wat Tyler was participated in by some of the burgesses of Beverley, who appear to have been prone to revolt. After the tumult had been quelled, the town was granted a pardon, with the exception of 10 of the chief offenders, upon the fine of 1,100 marks, which were allowed to be paid in three instalments.
The imperfect nature of the constitution of the town in the limitation of the powers of the 12 governors in the direction of justice was about this period felt to be behind the age, and, in response to petitions, a commission of the peace was issued to Hugh Ardern, Thomas Lumbard, and other inhabitants, 16th June, 1397. The powers of the archbishops, however, were incompatible with the existence of any other judicial authority within their jurisdiction; and the newly formed bench had had but a brief reign when the commission was annulled, and matters reverted to the previous feudal condition of subjection to the ecclesiastical lord.
In 1398 King Richard II. called upon the town to lend its contribution to his exchequer in common with other towns, the sum for Beverley being £45.
As time went on Beverley was suffered by its merchant burgesses to grow out of the position it had expediently taken up to avoid taxes, namely, that of being a non-maritime town.
In 1401 a writ of the old character was directed to Beverley and Bridlington, ordering them to build between them a vessel for the royal navy, and in 1406, when the merchants of the different ports were commanded to nominate admirals for the guarding of the seas, Beverley received its writ with the rest. In 1401 the Gild of the Blessed Mary was established by royal licence. The gild built an almshouse and "common tenement" in 1445. In 1400, a visitation was made in the Church of St. Nicholas, when it seems to have been in fairly good order.
In 1404, Henry IV confirmed to the archbishop the privileges granted by Athelstan, and 23rd August, 1404, granted letters patent that the Stewards and Marshalls of the royal household should exercise no jurisdiction within the liberties of Beverley. On the 13th September, 1405, he visited Beverley, and. again in 1408, when he marched north, with his son John, Duke of Bedford, to put down the rebellion of the Earl of Northumberland.
The burgesses of Beverley by this time were much increased in number, and held, as a Merchant Gild, considerable property. The fine for admission to burgess-ship was 20s., and amongst those who thus purchased the freedom of the town at about this date is found the Archdeacon of Cleveland.
Upon the accession of Henry V., the town was granted the usual charter of inspeximus, a charter of confirmation (so called from the initiatory word inspeximus, "we have inspected"), which, however, ignored the grants of the Commission of the Peace. Then was re-enacted all the proceedings of the similar occasion in 1397. The Governors of Beverley petitioned for and obtained letters patent, 18th February, 1415, which re-established, as justices, the 12 governors, and granting that the justices of the East Riding should have no jurisdiction in the town. But Archbishop Bowet petitioned for the repeal of this charter upon the title of Athelstan's grant, and upon spiritual grounds, reminding the king that the glorious victory of Agincourt was won on the 25th October, the feast of the translation of St. John of Beverley. The result of this unusual petition was that the governors new charter was annulled, and one granted to the archbishop, confirming him in all and each of his manifold privileges.
In 1416, William de Waltham, a canon of York, left a sum of money for the building of the east window of the minster. His name is inscribed on the sanctuary boundary cross on the Bishop Burton Road, with the admonition pro animam, from which it may perhaps be fairly inferred that he renewed or repaired the crosses.
At a period not long advanced into the century, the nave of the church of St. Mary was begun to be rebuilt, and the clerestory of the chancel and the east window. In the chancel roof is a panel bearing the portrait of King Henry VI., and the date 1445, being the last of a series of the kings of England, beginning with Brutus.
In August, 1421, King Henry V., accompanied by his queen, Catherine of Valois, visited the shrine of St. John.
Although the reign of King Henry VI. was not so eventful to Beverley as it was to its neighbour Kingston-upon-Hull, it was an important period; like that town, Beverley adhered to the cause of the king, and like it contributed loyally to his treasury. In 1423, 15th May, a toll charter was granted by which extra tolls might be laid for the purpose of paving or repaving the streets. In 1423, the Earl of Northumberland, a frequent visitor to Hull and Beverley, brought his countess to the latter place to see the Corpus Christi plays performed before the governors.
On the 10th February, 1424, King Henry granted the 12 governors and the commonalty his pardon for all offences to the preceding 18th December.
During the protracted struggle, which this reign unremittently was, the burgesses were tenacious of their privileges. Two disputes as to land tolls arose between Beverley and Driffield, and between Beverley and South Cave, in both of which the burgesses maintained their right to exemption. A lengthy suit also was entered into with the mayor and burgesses of Kingston-upon-Hull, who endeavoured to enforce the payment of port dues for the passage of Beverley vessels. The suit appears to have been dropped by mutual consent, and it is probable, for some years the Beverley vessels passed without the payment of the tolls. The earlier existence of the Beverley merchants, and the indisputable early rights of the town and its authorities in the water-passage, were inconvenient facts overlooked in the reformation of the more southern town, and the general course of history ran in the direction of the gradual extinguishing of those rights.
In 1448, King Kenry VI. visited Beverley, inspecting the Minster, and doubtless paying his devotions at St. John's shrine.
Shortly after 1451, as appears by the wills of Richard Patrington, merchant, of Beverley, and Thomas White, who left money for the purpose, began the work of rebuilding the transepts of St. Mary's. Not magnificently endowed like the Minster, this church was by no means poor. Its chantries were numerous, and a multitude of bequests enriched both the church and its priests.
During the wars of the roses Beverley did not suffer extensively, yet it did not escape scatheless, being subject to the inroads and uninvited visits of the local adherents of both sides. In the early part of 1461, it was plundered, and a plea for protection made to Lord Neville, who sent down a proclamation for the purpose. In the same year the town politically sent in its allegiance to King Edward IV.
In 1477, Robert Fisher, mercer, of Beverley, willed to be buried before the rood in St. Mary's church. He was the father of John Fisher, the famous bishop of Rochester, who was born in Beverley in 1459.
Upon the usurpation of Edward Bolingbroke, in 1461, he gave confirmatory charters both to the archbishop and to the burgesses.
After the return of King Henry VI., in 1470, was obtained a charter of unusual character, being the permission to levy, for ever, tolls for defraying the cost of paving - provision so uncommon as to suggest the idea that the insertion of the word inperpetuum was an error. This grant was confirmed when Edward IV. once more ascended the throne.
King Henry VI. confirmed to the burgesses all the charters granted to that time, 1487. In 1489, the fourth earl of Northumberland was buried in Beverley minster, and, from the more than royal way in which he had maintained the dignity of his state and the integrity of his virtues, in common with the whole Percy family, as well as from the magnificence of the actual pageant of his funeral, the occurrence swells into an event. He was buried in a chapel then built on the east side of the lesser north side transept, and there are sufficient indications, though not remains, of the magnificence of the tomb.
In 1488, was born the famous Mother Shipton, who was baptised by the Abbot of Beverley, under the name of Ursula Southiel.
It is noteworthy that the earliest account of a printing-press north of the Trent is of one at Beverley, in 1509. There is record of a broadside, bearing the following imprint, "Emprynted at Beverley, in the Hye-gate, by me, Hugo Goes."
In 1513, the church of St. Mary fell down. The occurrence is recorded in an inscription upon an oak pew, still preserved. The inscription, put into more modern English, reads: "Pray God have mercy of all the souls of the men, and women, and children, whose bodies was slain at the falling of this church, which * * * this fall was the 29th day of April, in the year of our Lord, 1513, and for all the souls of them, the which has been * is * shall be good benefactors and helpers of the said church, up again and for all christian souls, the which God would have prayed for; and for the souls of Sir Richard Rokkysbe (Rokeby or Rokesby), knight, and Dame Joan, his wife, which gave two hundred pounds to the building of this church; and for the souls of William Hall, cooper, and his wife."
The known records, touching upon this memorable fall, are exceedingly slender, and it is only possible to judge of the extent of the damage, by critical examination of the reparation, plainly to be traced in the curious blending, or rather mixture, of the styles of architecture. It is found that the nave arches are early 15th century work, but with label mouldings and label stops of early 16th, - the latter moreover being dated 1524. The nave from the tower westward has evidently been rebuilt, though with the original stones, while the tower, the architectural aim of the church, is late Perpendicular. These facts lead conclusively to the opinion that the tower fell westward in 1513, necessitating the rebuilding in that direction of all but the shell of the nave, the tower itself being at the same time entirely rebuilt. Though the extent of damage is imperfectly recorded, the details of the reparation are unusually full. In addition to the fortunately preserved inscription on the pew, some of the renewed pillars themselves bear inscriptions setting out the names of the re-erectors. The eastermost pillar (north), has "Thys pyllor made the maynstrels ;" on the back, "Orate pro animabus histerionum." This, the celebrated "Minstrel Pillar," having on the east side, upon corbels, a sculptured group of five minstrels, the central representing the alderman of the Guild of Minstrels in his chair of office. Originally, no doubt, in common with other similar sculptures, these figures were coloured, and they have been from time to time to the present, re-decorated, though the old colours are perhaps not precisely adhered to. On the second pillar from the west end is inscribed, "Thys to pyllors made gud wyffys (wives) God reward thaym." The western pillars bear "Xlay and hys wyffe made thes to pyllors and a hallfe" and "Orate pro animabus Johis Croslay, mercatoris et Johanne Uxoris ejus."
A pre-Reformation bell is in St. Mary's, with the inscription "Fuit gra' Benedictus et Nomine." In 1530 the font was given by William Leryfax, draper.
Beverley was the annual meeting-place of all the minstrels between Tweed and Derwent, and their great association, or gild, was probably a continuation of a similar institution of the Celtic bards. The Minstrels of Beverley were an important body, having their "castles," or pageant cars, in the Rogation and other processions, while their gild ordinances were lengthy and stringent. Both the great churches of Beverley abound in representations of musicians, some of a very ludicrous character.
One of the miserere carvings of the minster bears the date 1520, which gives the date of the Perpendicular woodwork of the choir. The stalls are of remarkably delicate character, while the misericords themselves are exceptionally interesting, including the usual satirical cuts at the clergy, various moralities, and at least one instance of canting heraldry, being the arms (a shield with weights) of William White, who lies buried behind his stall. Minstrelsy here is treated in an extremely jocular manner, as may be instanced in the miserere showing a sow playing the bagpipes, while her young ones dance before their trough.
The burgesses in 1510, and the archbishop in 1525, obtained confirmation of their respective charters. That granted to the archbishop, Cardinal Wolsey, was one of the first triumphs of his archiepiscopate. It applies to the old words of Athelstan's grant "Als fre make J the as hert may thinke or eegh may see;" a wider meaning than any they had yet obtained. That general form of words is stated by this charter to have hitherto carried exception for all the usual tolls throughout the land. By this charter, confirmed in 1539, the differences which had sprung up between the two classes of the inhabitants of Beverley, by the creation of the Burgess Order, was done away with, so far as related to external privileges.
In 1526 two fellowships were added to those already possessed by Beverley school at Cambridge, one by Robert Hallitreeholme, the other by Joan Rokeby.
In 1533, a fresh lawsuit arose between Beverley and Kingston-upon-Hull, as to the port-dues of the latter place. The matter was finally referred to the Abbot of Meaux, who decided that the Beverley merchants should pay one penny for every quarter of wheat passing through the Hull harbour, and a halfpenny for every other kind of grain, and that the Hull merchants pay the same for grain brought down from the Beverley district between Hull Bridge and Snorome House. This award leaves us quite in the dark as to other articles of merchandise, and perhaps the dispute simply related to an excessive charge levied upon grain, the trade in which was then conducted under great restriction and supervision.
One of King Henry VIII.'s diplomatic acts at about the time of the inquisition into the state of the religious foundations, was the establishment of the Council for the Northern Parts, with almost absolute power, which regulated the affairs of the northern boroughs with, upon the whole, a wise though wide discretion. On the 13th January, 1535, Archbishop Lee, the Lord President of the Council, issued an ordinance that created 24 councillors, to be associated with the Twelve Governors of the town. This seems to have been a not unusual provision for better representation in various boroughs from even earlier dates than this, but was afterwards dropped, until the Municipal Reform Act revived and more firmly established it.
The suppression of the lesser monasteries in 1536, affected Beverley considerably, as it contained a crowd of establishments whose maintenance had been the early source of, and always a factor in, the town's prosperity, and whose destruction now provoked great discontent. Upon the great revolt which formed itself into the Pilgrimage of Grace, a number of the zealots of the town joined the movement; and upon its suppression - when the king issued his proclamation of pardon, exempting from it certain persons by name - there were among these the names of Richard Wilson and William Woodmansie, bailiffs of Beverley, who, however, by some means unknown, escaped execution.
In 1544, the last year of his administration, Archbishop Lee exchanged with the Crown the manors of Beverley, Southwell, and Bishop Burton, for the possessions of the dissolved priory of Marton-cum-Membris and other property. At this period - probably in 1546 - the parishes of St. John and St. Martin were united.
In 1547, came upon Beverley, as upon all the nation, that great, and, in many directions, desolating change involved in the suppression of the last of the monasteries, among which passed away the College of St. John. No doubt the suppression of the college had yielded a rich booty to the king's advisers; but upon depriving the great church of St. John of its ecclesiastical superintendence, the commissioners made ample provision for its repair. The rents of certain portions of the old church property were reserved for the purpose, amounting to £33 8s. 10d., with the incomes of the suppressed chantries of St. John of Beverley, and St. William (amounting to £4 13s. 4d.), and some of the chantry and other lands.
From this time forward the absolute power of the archbishops over the lives and fortunes of the townsmen was but a memory, and the town, though it lost for ever the fictitious supremacy conferred upon it by the superstitious observanccs connected with the tomb and relics of St. John, took its proper place among the boroughs of the kingdom, with increased control of its own affairs. In 1547 itself, the king granted it two charters of confirmation. In 1554, 18th October, Philip and Mary granted the town a confirmatory charter.
Probably the town would be divided into wards early in its burgess history, but the earliest detail is by Warburton, giving their names as existing in the beginning of the reign of Queen Elizabeth. They were: Without North Bar Ward, Within North Bar Ward, Saturday Market Ward, Toll Gavell Ward, Norwood Ward, Norwood and Walkergate Ward, Wednesday Market Ward, Newbigggin and Learegate (Lairgate, also met early as Lathegate) Ward, Kellgate and Minstermooregate Ward, Fleming-gate Ward, Beckside and Barleyholme Ward.
The bridge which King Henry VIII. had built across the river Hull, near the north gate of Kingston-upon-Hull, gave rise, in the reign of his daughter, Elizabeth, to further litigation between the rival towns. This bridge had a leaf or trap in the centre, by the opening of which it was designed that masted ships might pass up and down thc river. In 1558, however, the Corporation of Hull, who in 1552 had been granted full control of the military works which the bridge had been erected to connect with that town, thought fit to fasten the leaf permanently down, by this means to crush at once and finally the sea traffic o Beverley. The burgesses of Beverley, in common with the inhabitants of Fishlake, Hatfield, and Hornsea, petitioned the Queen for redress; one of their pleas hem that timber was hindered from being brought up the river for her majesty's pier at Hornsea, which was only 10 miles from the river at Beverley; another, tha her tenants on the woodless wolds were also prevented from obtaining timber; a well as the general plea of the detriment of the town of Beverley. The shores o the Baltic were, in all mediæval times, comparably nearly the same great emporium of timber for English consumption that they are now. The matter was referred to arbitration by a bond dated the 24th of April, 1559, to be decided by Robert Wright, of Welwick; Robert Constable, of Hotham; the wealthy Anthony Smethley, of Brantingham; and Thomas Doweman, of Pocklington. These arbitrators gave their award the 12th June, 1559, directing that the bridge be re-opened within 12 days, and to be kept open, so that the inhabitants of Beverley might for ever pass and re-pass at their pleasure, with the masts of their vessels standing, the governors to pay towards the cost of opening the sum of £30, in two instalments.
On the 9th November, 1559, Queen Elizabeth granted a charter confirming former grants, the fine being only 53s. 4d.; and on the same day and year she allowed another similar charter to pass the great seal, not only confirming the usual privileges, but likewise reviving the annulled permission of 1414, by which the Governors of Beverley might exercise the duties of Justices of the Peace within their liberties. The town took its place among the incorporated boroughs of the kingdom in 1573. Its charter of incorporation is dated the 4th of July, and the style runs - " Mayor, Governors, and Burgesses of the Town of Beverley." Edward Ellerker was the first mayor. This charter not only admitted the town to the highest class of boroughs, but enabled it to take up the lost right to send two members to parliament.
The judgment of the ancient British inhabitants of Beverley, in fixing the boundaries of their jurisdiction, was sufficiently vindicated in 1574, when an exemplificatory charter was obtained, setting out the limits within which the mayor, governors, and burgesses might exercise their newly acquired functions. The borough boundary extended as far north as to include Moleseroft (beyond which stands one of the ancient crosses); westward for three-quarters-of-a-mile towards Bishop Burton to a cross of stone, "yet standing"; to the south to a stone cross bounding on the fields of Bentley, at three-quarters-of-a-mile from Beverley, and to the boundary of Beverley Parks, then recently disparked. These wards are in the main from the above named instrument. For an account of the crosses and their original intent, see page 308. Their use as, partially, the boundaries of whatever powers the local authority possessed, probably came down from the remotest antiquity unimpaired; this charter, however, in a way re-established them, and made modernly legal what had before been ancient usage. The borough boundary also included the out-lying hamlets of Woodmansey, Thearne, Weel, Tickton, Hull-Bridge, Storke, and Eske, taking in a portion of territory east of the river.
By 1579 the Hanse House, or Gild Hall, would seem to have passed into a conventionalism for the power and estate of the municipality, and was certainly the house of the new corporation.
In 1599 was added a bell to St. Mary's, yet in use, bearing the inscription "Ut Tuba sic sonitu domini conduco cohortes, 1599, P.D., B.C., W.I., R.T." The registers of this church commenced in 1561, the churchwarden's accounts in 1593.
It appears from the borough records of this period, that one of the fairs of the town was known as the Cross Fair. It lasted 14 days and brought north a good attendance of London merchants, cloth being probably the chief commodity. Like other ancient fairs it would conclude with a final day of merry-making and sight seeing, by which such fairs are now mostly represented.
There were few towns which did not suffer a reaction after the Reformation, though, of course, the effect fell most heavily upon those places where there had been a direct dependence upon the monasteries. It is difficult to believe, however, as some of our writers would seem to imply, that the trade of Beverley had been dependent upon the maintenance of the college and other ecclesiastical foundations. The possessions of these must have yielded many advantages to the large trading community, and no doubt there, as elsewhere, the church alms were very considerable, but other causes, more important than the withdrawal of these, had to do with the poverty which afflicted Beverley at the close of the 16th century. The superior geographical position of Hull enabled it to swallow up nearly all the water trade of Beverley; and the gradual decline of one, with the continued rise of the other, afford but one instance, among the many, where new ports have been founded. All through mediæval times the merchants of Hull included among their number traders who had left Beverley for the extended opportunities of the more southern port; and some of these immigrants became leading men in Hull, filling the mayoral chair, and holding its other important offices. Among such was the family of Alcock, which gave Hull Bishop Alcock, founder of the Hull Grammar School, and such was the Wilberforce family. In addition to Beverley's particular situation, moreover, in the above respects, there were general causes at work. The towns had already begun to be comparatively (under the old conditions, that is) over-crowded, and trade of the country generally suffered from the inadequacy of coinage, and from the obstructions caused in this reign, and the next, by the continuous war with Spain, which struggle neither began nor ended with the Armada. Many towns, such as Hull itself, took the same course as Beverley did in 1599, and prayed for a remission of taxes, which seem to have been heavier than in times past. On the 7th of April in that year, Queen Elizabeth granted the town a release from the payment of £221 6s., which was the accumulated amount of the 3rd, 4th, and 6th fifteenths and tenths, granted her by Parliament two years before; and further exempting the town from the payment of those taxes during her Majesty's pleasure. Those letters patent recite some of the terms of the petition of the inhabitants; it states that the town had become greatly depopulated, insomuch, that there were then 400 tenements and dwelling houses empty and decayed, besides a large number of poor and needy persons utterly unable to obtain employment; so that the yearly disbursement for their relief amounted to £105, besides the charge of maintaining 80 orphans at knitting, spinning, etc., according to the Act of Parliament of 1597. Supplemental to all this it may be remarked that, doubtless, the case was not understated.
In 1604 the plague, not hitherto unknown in Beverley, raged in the north, and the town appears to have been exceptionally fortunate in its preventative measures. Persons without passes were excluded, and strangers from York and other infected places were forbidden, by proclamation, to attend the fairs.
In 1610 the same scourge re-visited the town, and raged with great virulence from June to November. The public offices, shops, and churches were closed, and such of the inhabitants, as were able, left the town. A Pest House was erected on the site of the ruined Commandery or Preceptory of St. John (Knights Hospitallers), where the sick were admitted and detained, probably receiving medical attention of some sort. The number of dead was very great, and the burials were made in huge tumuli.
In 1628, 4th December, a charter of inspeximus was granted, confirming the charter of incorporation and somewhat extending it, enabling the Mayor, Recorder, and 12 Governors to act as justices of the peace. The sum levied upon the corporation for this grant was £401 4s. The town was previously divided into ten wards, and a governor had had charge and responsibility of each of the divisions, with deputies and assistants.
The plague yet lingered, and was in 1633 scarcely stamped out. It had broken out in the house of one Mr. Cawthorp, but had been temporarily suppressed. The corporation of Hull, however, then severely suffering from the pestilence, upon some report of a fresh outbreak, would not allow the Beverley people to enter the Hull gates. Upon this, the mayor of Beverley, Edward Grey, addressed an indignant letter to the mayor of Hull, denying that the plague was prevalent at Beverley, saying, "our towne, blessed bee God, is in a very safe and good condition, and soe are all the persons in the Pesthouse, whome we are very shortly about to set at large, being now about to cleuse the house," and also calling upon his worship to punish those, if of Hull, who had set the injurious report on foot.
Beverley had, in January 1634-5, to contribute £66 13s., towards £22 10s., laid upon Yorkshire for ship money.
In 1637, we find the plague once more working havoc in the town. It was at the same time depopulating Hull, and the corporation of Beverley issued an order, that none should receive any goods from that town, on pain of forfeiting five pounds for every offence, nor entertain any person from it without the requisite pass, upon the same penalty, with other stringent regulations, such as the prohibitions of gathering of more than ten persons in one place, and that only on particular occasions. In November, 1637, oatmeal sold at 1s. 8d. a peck in Beverley.
In 1639, the king passed through Beverley on his way to Hull, where he was welcomed with great ceremony. The cost to Beverley in gratuities to the royal suite and other payments, was £47, and was defrayed by the sale of trees from "within and without the Trinities."
In 1639, Beverley and its surrounding villages had to billet part of the army against the Scots.
Always provoking comparison with that visit, was the second Charles paid to the gates of Hull, where, on the 23rd April, 1642, he was refused entrance, and rode sadly back to Beverley, where he spent the night. That refusal precipitated the civil war, the momentous period of which we have now to consider. The governor of Hull, who had to bear the burden of maintaining Hull against the king, was Sir John Hotham, the member (of the Long Parliament) for Beverley. The other member was Michael Warton, appointed as an assistant to Sir John, and they were both among the number which Clarendon calls "the obstinate northern men." Sir John came to the block in 1644, for eventually designing to give up Hull to the Royalists. Michael Warton from being "the richest gentleman commoner in England," came to ruin through his moderation in the parliamentary cause, being plundered as a delinquent, and thereby dragged through several lawsuits.
Some of the first military operations of the struggle took place in the neighbourhood of Beverley. Through the town passed the troop of horse hastily sent to escort from Bridlington the arms and ammunition for the royalists, which the crown jewels had procured from Amsterdam. This was on the 2nd July, 1642, and on the same day a company of 300 foot, under Lieutenant-Colonel Duncombe, was posted at Hull Bridge to check any force which might set out from the garrison at Hull to intercept the arms, or later to dominate the district. The head quarters was the house of William Cuthbert, which was forcibly seized at midnight; and here speedily assembled, the Earl of Newport, who was master of the ordnance, the Earl of Carnarvon, Sir Thomas Gower, High Sheriff of Yorkshire, with other nobles and gentlemen. The company held Hull Bridge for ten days, when Colonel Wyvil, with a force of about 700 men, took charge of it. On the 4th of July, King Charles removed from York to Beverley, held his court at the house of Lady Gee, a mansion upon the site of which now stands the Bar House (the present residence of Henry Newmarch, Esq., and adjoining houses. With the king were his sons Prince Charles and the Duke of York. The Earl of Lindsey, General of Array, commanded the royal army, while Sir Robert Strickland and Lieutenant-Colonel Duncombe commanded the regiments which formed the royal guard of honour.
Upon the 8th July the king issued a proclamation, importing his intention of besieging Hull, and on the 11th he sent a message to Westminster, entreating parliament to return to its allegiance. It was in vain. In due course siege was laid to Hull. It ignominiously failed, and once more the king returned in dejection to Beverley. Moreover, part of the Hull force followed the fugitive army across the country, and, unexpectedly crossing the ditches near the North Bar, overpowered the sentries and penetrated in force into the very heart of the town before the fugitives were aware of the pursuit. The king took refuge in the Hall Garth, while his troops rallied in the streets and drove the rebels out of the town.
It was evident that Beverley was untenable, and Charles removed with his court to York. He endeavoured to retain his hold upon Beverley by leaving in it a strong body of troops, but the uselessness of the town as a military post was further demonstrated, for a detachment from Hull, under Colonel Boynton, nephew of Sir John Hotham, speedily swept Beverley clear of the last Royalist soldier. The town continued, in 1643, to be held for the Parliament by Colonel Boynton, with 1,000 men. On the 29th June occurred in the streets of the town the memorable capture of the traitor Hotham. Fleeing from Hull, where his plots to give up that town to the king had been discovered, he entered Beverley at a gallop. With a confidence born of desperation, he rode into the market place, where happened to be drawn up some 8,000 soldiers, and called upon them to follow him, intending no doubt to conduct them to his fortified residence at Scorborough, which he had previously caused to be garrisoned and provisioned. The news of his defection had not reached Beverley, and the soldiers were about to march after him, when, at that instant, his nephew Boynton appeared, to whom an express had come, following upon the heels of Sir John. He addressed his uncle in these words, - " Sir John, you are my prisoner," when Hotham turned, putting spurs to his horse, in a last vain effort to escape down an adjacent lane. A blow from the butt-end of a musket brought him to the ground, and he was secured.
The next day, Friday, an attempt to rescue him was made by the Royalists, but they were driven from before the town, which they had tried to invest, with considerable loss. Hotham was conveyed to Hull immediately, under the escort of Colonel Boynton's company, and some troops of Captain Robert Legard, who, handing over Sir John to the custody of the Hull Committee of Defence, returned to Beverley; Colonel Boynton, who had accompanied his men, being transferred to the command of Sir Edward Rhodes' troop; Sir Edward, who had participated in Sir John's treachery, being sent with him prisoner on board the Parliament's ship "Hercules," then lying in the Humber. Arthur Stringer, the cornet of the troop from Beverley, was committed to prison for some demonstration, it is supposed, on Sir John's behalf.
The Royalists lay before Beverley after their repulse, and there were sent from Hull the same day, to strengthen the Parliamentary forces here, a troop of 60 mounted dragoons, under Captain Robert Allen; and the company of Captain Hotham (now a prisoner), and the company of William Legard were joined under the command of Captain William Darley, and marched to Beverley after the dragoons.
Sir John Hotham was sent to London, where he lay prisoner till he was beheaded in January, 1644-5, the day after his son, who had seconded him in all his attempts, and veered round with the same winds. Clarendon sums up the character of Sir John Hotham in the words "of fearful nature and perplexed understanding."
The Committee of Defence in sending a strong force back to Beverley, was actuated by the fear that some part of the Royalist northern army would engross the town, and so dominate the East Riding. The Parliament was urgently written to, but it does not appear that further land forces were sent. When Lord Fairfax took the governorship of Hull, his son, Sir Thomas Fairfax, took command of the companies at Beverley. Upon the Earl of Newcastle's advance upon Hull, in August, he entered Beverley with a powerful body of men, and gave the Parliamentarians battle in the streets. Greatly outnumbered, the Roundheads, after a severe struggle, were totally defeated and driven out of the town. Upon this occasion the townspeople divided, fighting upon both sides. Though early in the war the town had been required officially to subscribe to the oaths, and in general declare for the Parliament, there was in it a strong party for the king, but the want of efficient military defences obliged it to participate in the vicissitudes of both sides without being able to render material service to either. Perhaps this last conflict was the most bloody in which the townsmen took part; and from the subsequent action of the Royalists, it would appear that the Parliamentary townsmen had made their superiority evident, for, when the victorious army, after was given up to the rapacity of the soldiers. The value of the plunder, according to Warburton, was £20,000, everything portable being carried off, and all the cattle in the vicinity driven off to York.
On the 2nd of September, 1643, the second siege of Hull commenced, and lasted till the 11th of October. At about the latter date, it was proposed to fortify some portions of Beverley, but nothing was done, in the same year, Robert Manby, the mayor, was removed from office by the Northern Committee at York for having accompanied the Marquess of Newcastle to York, taking with him the town's mace. Several local officers of the Parliamentary army threw up their commissions in 1644, and Michael Warton, now the sole member for Beverley, resigned his seat, and was shortly after knighted by the king.
Nearly the whole of the north of England was now at the discretion of the Parliament. On the 7th March, 1644, the Northern Committee ordered the mayor of Beverley, and some others, to inform themselves, "by all wayes and meanes whatsoever," of delinquents not already dealt with.
The tide of battle rolled in other directions, though troublous times did not pass away from our town. The Protectorate, however, brought peace and the revival of trade. The visits of the London merchants, which had been discontinued upon the cessation of the markets, during hostilities and the uneasy period following them, were now resumed. In fact, for the protection of the townsmen against strangers, eager to take advantage of the opportunity for business, it was found necessary to fix a fine of £20 per week upon any London merchant who should remain in Beverley longer than 20 days after his goods had arrived at Hull.
Upon Cromwell's assumption of the protectorate, the borough corporations were "purged" of any members who might he suspected or known to he of royalist proclivities. At Beverley, governors Manby, Ellerington, and Fotherby were removed, and three Independents - Wilberforce, Johnson, and Waide - were appointed in their place.
At this period the pillory stood at the south end of the market-place, at the part called Corn Hill. It was uncommon, in the fact that the platform upon which it stood was so elevated that the space below was used as a barber's shop. It must have had some other building at the side or rear, for when it was repaired, about 1650, as well as bricks being used, the pillory was also tiled. The mill stood already upon Westwood, and not unlikely had stood there from a remote past. The mention, in the above year, of its being reserved for the poor (" Westwood Mill for the poor ") is deeply interesting as suggestive of an almost archaic origin. It may be questioned whether the mill now standing, or that near the eastern boundary of the common, removed some years ago, be meant.
George Fox, the father of Quakerism, visited Beverley in 1651, and, as he himself declared, he entered the " Steeple House in Beverley," and "declared the truth to the priest and the people."
The Corporation of Beverley allowed small pensions to certain soldiers disabled during the war, and in one instance, at least, to the widow of a slain man.
Sergeant Thorpe, who had been recorder of Beverley from 1623, was one of those deeply involved with the Parliamentary party. He became recorder of Hull and a Baron of the Exchequer, and, in 1648, Judge of Assize for the Northern Circuit. In the Long Parliament he had been member for Richmond (1645), but in 1654, he became member for Beverley, and seems to have been popular both there and in Hull.
Cromwell dead, the Restoration effected, Beverley was not behind other places in its demonstrations of joy. The royal arms, taken down in 1650, to make room for the Commonwealth, were put up again in the public places, while a clearance of all matters and persons republican took place. The Bench of Governors was once more sifted, and those who refused to bind themselves by oath of allegiance to the king, and to the altered state of affairs, were expelled. Seven thus refused to act against their consciences. Payment of the fee-farm rents were resumed upon the crown's demand, though it is probable that they had been redeemed for the town's coffers. A new charter was granted, 15th September, 1662, by which the burgesses might choose 13 of their number annually. It gave them a coroner and a court of record, to be held every Monday. It confirmed the grants of markets and fairs, together with a court of pied-poudre. This charter cost £401 4s. Od. In 1664 the plague once more broke out at Beverley, when the Trinities was again made the burial place of the numerous dead, while the pest-house was re-opened. In this year, and in 1666, Dugdale held his herald's visitation in Beverley.
In the first year of King James II., a charter was granted to the town, by which the burgesses, surrendering all previous grants, were again incorporated under the style of Mayor, Aldermen, and Burgesses. This was one of the charters which was sought by King James to be used as instruments for packing the House of Commons with his tools. The boroughs had the nomination of their members of parliament, - a nomination which was practically appointment. Thus, by obliging the corporations to be of the right complexion for his purpose, the king effectually insured, in theory, a favourable parliamentary return. The charters appointed the corporators by name, and a clause, by which the general end was attained, reserved to the king the right of removing any of them at his pleasure.
In the year following the grant, this enormous power was put into operation, there being removed at the king's pleasure - the Recorder, four Aldermen, and four capital Burgesses. There is no doubt this charter, as in the ease of other corporations throughout the country, was thrust upon them, and accepted reluctantly. There is, however, no particular evidence of this being the case at Beverley. As elsewhere, the process was expensive, this charter costing the town in all £553 17s. 4d.
In 1687, the old spirit of jealousy, which actuated Hull in its regard for Beverley, again manifested itself. A lawsuit arose out of a demand upon fir timber for the Hull port dues - in this case a sort of passing toll - which had by this time crystalized into the water bailiff dues; the verdict of the jury was in favour of the Beverley merchant.
As the hand of James, despite his utmost diplomacy, was slipping from its hold on his throne, he made a last vain effort to reinstate himself by recalling the ill-judged step of abrogating the freedom of electors according to the older charter. He issued a proclamation, dated the 17th of October, 1688, by which corporations were restored their ancient charters and liberties. The legal pretext by which this was effected was that the surrender by the corporations of the revoked charters had not been enrolled or recorded, and that, therefore, it was in the king's power to "leave such corporations in the same estate and condition as they were." To this general provision, affecting boroughs throughout the country, there were 29 exceptions, being boroughs whose surrender of charters had been recorded. Of these exceptions Beverley was one. The same proclamation promises "further grace and favour," inasmuch as that upon the application of any officer whatever for any of the excepted boroughs to have restored to it its charters, liberties. etc., the crown officers would without fees so restore them. This proclamation, selfstyled as of "meer grace and favour," was hailed with delight by the perplexed municipalities. Doncaster, the other Yorkshire town which came in the list of the 29 exceptions, found means to secure a charter of restitution, and welcomed it on the London road with a procession of 300 horsemen; Beverley, however, does not seem to have thought it necessary to revert to the older condition of things, it being perhaps considered it gained more than it lost, especially as under the new regime, which commenced 12th December, 1688, the obnoxious clauses of the Jacobean charter were not likely to be put into operation.
In 1676 considerable damage was done to St Mary's Church by lightning.
In 1685, died at Beverley, Sir Edward Barnard, the austere and domineering Recorder of Hull, who is buried in St. Mary's church.
Prince William of Orange ascended James's throne without bloodshed, and there is little to note for his period. He brought into the country a number of foreign soldiers; among them was a body of Danish cavalry, who were landed at Hull, and from thence marched immediately through Beverley. Two young men of the company had a quarrel, and, seizing the first opportunity, fought a duel, in which one of them was killed. The code of the Danes in such matters would seem to have been severe. A rhyming epitaph, recording the fate of these two soldiers, is yet on the south wall of the choir of St. Mary's church. It runs as follows The monument is an object of curiosity to visitors, and is periodically re-painted. The names of the two unfortunate men were Daniel Straker and John Frederick Bellow.
A writer in a Hull paper a few years ago, Mr. Empson, Hessle road, Hull, an old freeman of Beverley, still living, spoke of the story of the actual execution as related to himself, by only the third transmission, from an original eye-witness. This was a girl named Mary Hopwood, who was taken by her mother to see the execution. This Mary Hopwood lived to be 104 years of age, and passed the story to her daughter, who lived to 80, passing it to her daughter, Mrs. Southeran, Westwood Road, who, at the age of 86 (in 1830), told the brief tale to Mr. Empson. A scaffold was erected on the Cornhill (the middle of the large open space where the gas standard now is). Two cartloads of gravel were strewn below the scaffold to absorb the blood which fell. Lines of cavalry were drawn up all round the scaffold, and a great crowd filled the market place, strangers as well as townsmen. The bells of the churches tolled, but with that exception all was silent, till a dull sounding stroke severed the head from the culprit's body, when a fierce and simultaneous shriek from the females present broke the air.
In 1699, the Beck was cleansed, at a cost of nearly £200, by contributions from the Warton family and assessments (perhaps voluntary) laid upon the wards of the town.
After the disappearance of the old monastic and ecclesiastical institutions, the conditions of the heirs of improvidence, and other poor, was still sought to be amended by charities which, if they flowed in other courses than the old ones, were directed to the same end. Few towns have upon their terriers a list of charitable gifts and bequests so long as that of Beverley. It is beyond the scope of this work to enter minutely into their details, but the various foundations may be at least named. The chief of those of the 17th century are brought together here, and those of the succeeding one, at the close of its less momentuous account.
Thwaites Fox, in 1636, gave in trust four tenements in Minster-Moorgate, with a rent of £10 out of other lands, for the residence and maintenance of four poor widows. This charity has been enriched by other donations.
In 1669 Margaret Ferrers left £150 to be sunk into a rent to be applied to an annual payment in St. Mary's Church of five shillings each to poor women of Beverley, on the birthday of testatrix, to a charity sermon, to the schooling of a poor boy, and his maintenance at college.
John Dymoke, who died about 1687, left £150, the interest of which was to be distributed among the poor at Christmas.
In 1688 Michael Warton gave £100 for the benefit of the poor of St. Mary's parish, and at several dates in the century various individuals left small sums for the same intent.
In 1693 Peregrine Buck gave £50 for a similar purpose. In 1696 James Nelthorpe left £200 for the poor of Beverley. At the end of the last century it was applied to the payment of a schoolmistress who taught poor children.
The Independent Church has a charity in connection with it by the will of one Benjamin Dalton, who left two fields called Swinemoor Closes, for the distribution of £4 to the poor by the trustees, and the rest, a largely increased amount, by the Corporation, every Christmas.
In 1705, when Warburton visited Beverley, the tower of St. Nicholas's Church was still standing, though in ruins.
The present Market Cross, in the Saturday market, was erected in 1714 at the joint expense of Sir Charles Hotham, Bart., Sir Michael Warton, Knight, members for Beverley. It is octagonal with a floor rising by three steps from the ground; at each of the eight angles rises a freestone pillar, formed from a single block, the whole supporting a cupola roof, with a flat ceiling and mock windows, surmounted by a gilded ball and cross. It bears the arms of England, France, Beverley, Hotham, and Warton. It was repaired, etc., in 1769, and occasionally since.
The Wednesday market ceased to be held by, or before, the present century. An obelisk was erected in the centre of the now large space by Mr. Alderman Jarratt, in 1723.
By 1723 Beverley Beck had become much choked up and practically useless, and several proposals for a thorough reformation were entertained. In 1727 an Act of Parliament was obtained granting certain tolls and duties for the purpose of cleansing the creek; but the work, too long neglected, was beyond the resources thus rendered available, and in 1745 another Act was obtained giving additional dues. As was customary with tolls, these were farmed, and, by 1829, yielded between four and five hundred pounds for every six years' term. They have not, however, been farmed for some years, the Corporation employing its own collector.
In 1731 was built a singularly incongruous chancel screen in the minster. It was of semi-classic character and in plaster. Large statues of a pontiff and a warrior stood, one at each side of the Corinthian pillars of the central arch, and were adopted, though in every way unlike and unfitting, as St. John and King Athelstan. These two figures of lead now stand within the south entrance of the nave.
In 1739 were purchased stocks for St. Mary's Church. They were probably to replace those which Lord Herbert stated were bought in 1539, for the suppression of heretics and their opinions. They are in what is known as the Priest's Room.
In 1741 the various parishes of Beverley entered into a contract to maintain and employ all the poor of Beverley in one Workhouse. It was thought that the Corporation might be compelled to apply its charitable funds to the support of such poor. The following condensed opinion obtained from Mr. Robert Fenwick, of York, may be in place as shewing the principles that governed the application of amounts that, in the aggregate, may be termed vast: - " Such money shall not be applied to any poor receiving relief from the township or parish; otherwise the donation would be a gift for the benefit of the parish and not of the poor."
The Butchers' Shambles, next to the old Corn Exchange, were rebuilt in 1752.
The dated bells of St. Mary's Church, besides those already mentioned, are of 1760, 1700, and 1631.
The Assembly Rooms originally were near the south-west corner of North Bar Street Within, but in 1763 were superseded by the present rooms in Norwood, erected by subscription, in £25 shares, vested in trustees. The building is of brick, of classic style, with a stone pediment and plinths. Up to, say, 50 or 60 years ago, it was not allowed to be devoted to any purpose but assemblies, but is now used also for political meetings, and other entertainments of a miscellaneous description.
In 1764 an Act was passed for widening the road from Beverley to Kexby Bridge, on the York road. No turnpike tolls were to be charged for any "coaches, Berlins, landaus, chariots, chaises, chairs, or litters," or for persons on horseback going to or from any county election, or any for members of parliament for either York or Beverley.
The Vicar of St. Mary's, in 1767, was Francis Drake, D.D., the well-known author of "Eboracum." He died in 1771, aged 76, and lies buried in the west end of the nave.
In 1767 Beverley Races were established as an annual institution, and in the following year a race stand was built. The cost was defrayed by the issue of 330 silver admission tickets, at three guineas each. The corporation held two tickets. The occasional races previously, and those since 1767, have been held continuously upon the course at Hurn, an exceedingly picturesque and pleasant situation.
The Cock-pit, much frequented during the races, was in Wood Lane.
The Freemasons opened the first Beverley Lodge in 1793, as the Constitutional Lodge, held in a room at the Tiger Inn.
Napoleon was the cause of the next great episode of local history. His evident intention of invading the country aroused the spirit of the nation, and scarcely a village but raised its body of armed volunteers to defend their homes and property. The numerous body (said to be greater than the Hull contingent) of the Beverley volunteers held their first parade, in full uniform and accoutrements, in the Market Place, on Christmas Day, 1794.
In 1795 Prince George of Wales, in a visit to the military centre at York, came to Beverley and was entertained to breakfast in the Guild Hall, when the freedom of the borough was presented to him.
The century may now be reviewed for the account of its charities.
In 1709 the Blue-coat School was founded by subscription, augmented by subsequent benefactions, including an indirect bequest made by Sir Michael Warton, and direct by John Bowman, Ann Nelson, William Wilson, Mrs. Ann Routh, and Bishop Green, who left £1,000, in 1778, for a scholarship, to St. John's, Cambridge, two local scholarships, and a yearly foundation sermon.
In 1712 Charles Warton left £200 to the Corporation, to set on foot the manufacture of stockings. The Corporation refused to accept the trust, and nothing is known of the payment of the principal, unless a sum represented by £300, three per cents., be it, the interest of which is administered with the poor rates.
In 1712 Charles Warton, by will, further enriched the large hospital his father founded in Minster Moorgate, and endowed with £1,000. The bequest included a charity sermon, money for the general poor, and the apprenticeship of poor children of Beverley.
In 1721 Anne Routh willed an estate to the corporation for the foundation of an almshouse, for poor widows. The hospital was built in 1749, in Keldgate. The will ordains that each widow shall wear a purple woollen gown, with a silver badge, bearing widow Routh's name on it, and the date of her death.
In 1721 Anne Routh left a house in Toll Gavel to the Corporation, out of the rent of which was to be paid yearly 30s., to the boys in the charity school, and the balance to the poor church-goers of St. John's.
In 1724 Matthew Ashmole left a field at Grovehill for the distribution of 2s. 6d. each, every 5th November, to 24 poor burgesses.
In 1726 William Grayborne left a charge of £5 to be yearly paid to 20 poor housekeepers every Candlemas day. Messrs. Todd & Co., of Hull, grocers, in 1822, purchased the property charged, and refused to perform the covenant of the conveyance specifying the charity.
In 1726 Thomas Ellinor left two houses for the preaching of an annual sermon in St. Mary's church, to the poor.
William Tymperon, who died in 1729, left land at Aldbrough to found a hospital for six poor people. This hospital is in Walkergate.
In 1652 Dr. Robert Metcalf had left considerable property to the Corporation of Beverley for the endowment and improvement of the Grammar School, and the encouragement of such scholars as went up to Cambridge. Dr. William Lacie in 1670, and William Coates in 1681, left money to assist the maintenances of the Cambridge scholars, or want of any, to be distributed to the poor. In 1739 Lady Elizabeth Hastings left an exhibition of £28 per annum for a poor Beverley scholar, but in 1789, no candidate having presented himself for four successive elections, the valuable endowment was transferred to the school of Richmond.
John Green, Bishop of Lincoln, a native of Beverley, born about 1706, left, in 1778, £1,000 to furnish an annual exhibition for the benefit of a free scholar of Beverley. Robert Clerk, B.D., gave St. John's, Cambridge, £200 for the foundation of a scholarship for a native of Beverley, the preference being given to one bearing the name of Clerk, and after, of Johnson.
Mrs. Margaret Ferrars, and Mrs. Margaret Darcy also left educational bequests.
In 1740 Susannah Archer left three messuages and 71 acres of land near Spilsby, to trustees to distribute the profits to the decayed inhabitants of Beverley every Christmas.
In 1764 the Rev. George Davies left, and in 1788, Mrs. Frances Pinkney, £100 to the poor of St. Mary's.
In 1770 Francis Brogden left £40 to the poor of Beverley and for an annual sermon on Ash Wednesday, and John Bradley in the same year, £100 for bread and coals for the poor of St. Mary's, in which parish both these are administered.
In 1774 Sir Michael Warton left £1,000 to augment a hospital founded by another Michael Warton, in Minster-Moorgate.
In 1778 Mrs. Ann Wride left £800 (now value of about £1,000), for the poor of St. Mary's.
In 1784 the Rev. Thomas Leake assigned £200 to the Corporation in trust, the interest of which was to be distributed every Christmas to poor widows of St. Martin's parish.
In 1785 Henry Simpson left £10 per annum to poor housekeepers of Beverley.
In 1792 Henry Myres left the interest of £300 to be applied in coals for the poor of St. Mary s parish.
As well as the numerous charities mentioned, the Corporation possess the freehold of several almshouses or Maisons Dieu, which have no specific estates set aside for their use. The Corporation repaired them, but several charitable individuals (John Foster in 1813, Ann Nelson in 1779, and others) left amounts for the support of the inmates.
The stream of charity which flowed so strongly in the 18th century continued with unabated current in the present. Their account may preface the more circumstantial details of local events which follow.
In 1803 John Marshall left £200, the interest to be expended in bread for the poor of St. Mary's; in 1806 William Tessyman left £12 12s. for the same purpose; and in 1812 James Bell left £20 to be applied to the poor of St. Mary's, by the distribution of white loaves, at the Saturday market cross, on Christmas Day. About the same time Mrs. Decima Sykes gave £100 for the use of the Sunday schools in Beverley.
In 1810 was commenced a school for poor girls and boys, for which £2,000 had been bequeathed by the Rev. James Graves. It was intended by the founder for the benefit of St. Martin's parish, but the trustees, in 1814, threw it open to the whole town, at which date they purchased, and converted into a school, the theatre in Register Square. In 1826 the boys' school was removed to the national school-room in Minster Moorgate, - the national school (commenced in 1815) taking the vacated room in Register Square. The girls of Graves' school took a room near the minster.
In 1816 James Wilson left £400 (nett £380) to the Corporation in trust, its interest to be expended in supplying poor church goers of St. John's with white bread every Sunday; and in the same year William Winson left £400 to be used in like manner for the poor of St. Mary's.
In 1816 William Wilson left the residue of his personal estate, amounting to £1,533 to the Corporation for charitable purposes. In 1819 Anne Hall, widow, left £200 to be applied to increasing the payments of the inmates of the Bede Houses, Lairgate, and to the relief of other poor widows. £50 of the interest was appropriated by the Corporation to the distribution of medicines for the sick poor. This proving insufficient, Dr. Hull, Mayor in 1823, exerted himself to found a dispensary, which was accordingly done by public meeting on the 5th of June in that year, a house being taken for the purpose in Lairgate. In June, 1828, the home of the institution was transferred to a handsome building erected in Register Square.
Anna Maria Elliott, by will dated 9th March, 1821, left to the curate of the minster, £300, the interest of which was yearly to be expended in six brown stuff gowns, six black silk bonnets and handkerchiefs, and six pairs of washleather gloves, to be given to six poor widows of the parish of St. John every Easter Monday.
Mr. Thomas Clarkson left £1,000, in 1862, for the benefit of old men resident within the borough. It is invested in consols, the present trustees being Messrs. G. S. Sheffield and W. Pottage.
By the will of Matthew Turner, Esq., of Beverley, dated 6th October, 1853, and a codicil thereto, he bequeathed a considerable sum of money, which (by virtue of a decree of the Court of Chancery, and by a scheme settled by that court), has become vested in the Mayor of Beverley for the time being, the vicar of St. Mary's (Beverley), the vicar of Beverley Minster, and Messrs. Francis Denton (died 1892), George Cussons, and George Ford, as trustees for the purposes mentioned in the scheme. The following are extracts from the scheme
"The annual income arising from the Charity Fund shall be paid and distributed by the trustees in such sums of the same or different amount, and in such proportions, and at such times as they shall, in their uncontrolled discretion, think proper (subject only to the restrictions hereinafter contained), amongst such well-conducted, honest, and deserving domestic female servants (not being the daughters or other near kinswomen of their masters or mistresses) as shall apply for the same, and as shall have lived for the longest time in the service of one person or family, within eight miles of the Guild Hall, of Beverley aforesaid, by the nearest public carriage road, and whether then being in such service or not.
"No servant shall receive anything from the Charity Fund who shall not, at the time of such receipt, be in actual domestic service within the said distance from the said Guild Hall, unless she shall have quitted domestic service within such distance within 12 months then last past.
"No one servant shall receive more than £10 10s. out of the Charity Fund for or in respect of anyone service with any person or family until she shall have lived a further period of ten years in the service of such person or family after the last receipt in respect of such £10 10s., and no one servant shall in other cases receive more than £10 10s. out of the Charity Fund until after the expiration of ten years from her last receipt in respect of such sum of £10 10s."
It appears, from the admeasurements made by the surveyor to the trustees, that the House No. 5, Lansdowne Terrace, Beverley Road, Hull; that Church Street, from House No. 110, to Air Street, and from thence along Bankside, to within 20 yards of White House, Sculcoates; that Mr. Wooley's house, Sutton and that a point 30 yards from Leads House, towards Stoneferry, are exactly eight miles from the Guild Hall of Beverley, by the nearest public carriage road. According to such admeasurement, Stoneferry (in the parish of Sutton), Sutton Bank, Spring Bank, and Prospect Street (in the borough of Hull) are not, nor is any part of them, within the prescribed distance. The principal entrance gate to the Sculcoates Union Workhouse, Beverley [Road, Hull, is 7 miles 1,033 yards from the Guild Hall, Beverley. The first distribution was made 30th January, 1862.
So much for the charities of this century. Retracing our steps, we will review the same eventful period in other aspects.
In 1806 an Act was obtained for improving an Act of 1787, governing the Small Debts Court.
In 1769 an Act for repairing and widening the road from Beverley to the Ferry at Hessle, had been obtained. This Act, in 1774, was supplemented by another, enlarging its powers. By 1811, however, the money borrowed on the tolls still remaining unpaid, an Act was obtained further enlarging the terms and powers of the two previous Acts.
In 1808, the first movement towards a modern state of improvement was made. An Act was obtained appointing commissioners to light, watch, and otherwise regulate the town. This included powers to regulate the use of Sedan chairs. In 1824, the commissioners introduced gas, entering into a contract with Mr. John Malam - who also supplied Hull - for 21 years. In 1825, an Act was obtained which not only specifically authorised the use of gas for lighting, but enabled the commissioners to purchase gasworks, to break the surface of streets for the laying of pipes, to flag and repair the pavements, water the streets, etc. The old watchmen were invested with the powers of constables. The yearly flagging, lighting, and watching rate was not to exceed two shillings in the pound. The Mayor of Beverley, with Clerk of the Market, and (12) Aldermen had the power of directing in what places the markets and fairs should be held; but the Act of 1808, while recognizing the Mayor's control, did not specify or allude to the duration of the markets and fairs. This defect was remedied by the Act of 1825, which gave the Mayor and Aldermen power to order and direct such duration. This Act so far, at any rate, as it governed the lighting and paving of the town, was eminently successful, for the inquiry of 1835 brought out the fact that both these were "good."
The East Riding Savings Bank was established in 1818, nearly £11,000 being deposited the first year.
The Corn Exchange, built about the beginning of this century, was fitted up in 1824. In 1825 Mr. William Crosskill founded the Beverley ironworks.
In 1833 the East Riding Mechanics' Institute was founded.
In 1834 the Baptist Chapel, Well Lane, was opened. In 1835 a Society of Oddfellows was founded in Beverley. In 1836 the Primitive Methodist Sunday School was founded.
Previous to the passing of the Municipal Reform Act the constitution of the Corporation of Beverley was very different from that at present existing. At the risk of some slight repetition we may glance at the condition of municipal affairs as they existed up to 1836. The administrative officers of the Corporation were thirteen Aldermen, known colloquially in the town as "Chambermen," one of whom was the Mayor, thirteen Capital Burgesses, with an indefinite number of Freemen. The Aldermen were Justices of the Peace, and were elected upon any vacancy out of the Freemen, by the surviving Aldermen. They had no salary or perquisites, unless an interminable succession of civic banquets may come under the latter head. The Capital Burgesses were elected out of twenty candidates, and the election of these was a source of many disputes and great expense to the town. The Freemen became free by patrimony, apprenticeship, and gift. Freedom by patrimony was taken up at the age of 21, and included every son born after the father's admission. Apprenticeship was by servitude with a resident Freeman, except when it happened to be on board sea-going ships, and in all cases was assignable. Freedom by the gift of the Corporation was granted upon a variety of occasions. Where it was a spontaneous complimentary honor merely, no fines were paid, but as a rule they were a necessary part of the grant, and varied from £80 to £100. No refusals were made except to country residents, who sought the freedom in order to be exempt from tolls. At one time it was necessary for parliamentary candidates to purchase the freedom of the town, which was sold them at an exorbitant rate. Freedom, from the time of King James II.'s charter, carried with it exemption from serving on juries. The total number of freemen in the year 1835, out of a borough population of 8,263, was 1,476.
The executive officers of the Corporation were the Mayor, Deputy Mayor, Recorder, Town Clerk, Corporation Clerk, Sergeant-at-Mace, Mace Bearer, Bellman, Constables, Gaoler, Market Keeper, and Pasture Masters.
The Mayor was elected by the poll of the freemen from among the aldermen. He, as well as being a justice, was the coroner, the judge in the court of record and pied-poudre court, the king's escheator, the returning officer, and the clerk of the market. He had no salary, and but trifling emoluments. There is only one instance on record of a non-resident mayor.
The Recorder was a justice of the peace, the legal adviser of the corporation, a commissioner under the local acts, and usually a barrister. His appointment was at the pleasure of the mayor and aldermen. The quorum of the bench of borough magistrates was the mayor, recorder, and two aldermen.
The Town Clerk was also the clerk of the peace, magistrates' clerk, clerk to the coroner, billet master, and steward of the manor. He was annually elected to his office, and was not necessarily a freeman. He had a salary and fees.
The Corporation Clerk was a financial officer, discharging the duties of a chamberlain.
The Sergeant-at-Mace was the head of the police, being assisted by 18 constables, two for each ward. There were also seven watchmen, with assistant constables for night police.
For refusing the honours of corporate offices heavy fines were levied.
The jurisdictions of the Corporation included those of quarter sessions, a civil court, court of requests, a court of record called the provost court, with views of frankpledge, manor courts, and the petty sessions, weekly or oftener, being presided at by the magistrates in rotation.
The borough boundaries contained the parishes of St. Mary, St. Nicholas, and St. Martin, but only a part of St. John's. The total income of the corporation was £2,100. The ecclesiastical patronage of the corporation consisted of the appointments of the curate and assistant curate of St. John's.
We do scant justice to the acumen and boldness of the statesmen of those days, and to the elasticity and reserve power of the nation if we fail to recognise the astonishing nature of the change which the Municipal Reform wrought in the internal affairs of this country. The history of the inquiry may be briefly given. On the 5th February, 1833, Lord Althorp, Chancellor of the Exchequer, gave notice of his intention to move for a "Select Committee to inquire into the state of existing corporations in England."
He brought forward the motion on the 14th February, and a committee was appointed, empowered to enquire also into the corporations of Scotland and Ireland, to report defects and suggest remedies. The report was ready by the 4th of June; it pointed to grave defects, and strongly advised a Royal Commission of Inquiry. This was issued on the 18th July, and opened on the 2nd September. By the close of November the tide of inquiry reached Beverley.
The Commissioners appointed to conduct the inquiry in the state of the Beverley Corporation were Fortunatus Dwarris, and Sampson Augustus Rumball, Esqrs.; Beverley being one of eight Yorkshire towns where they held like inquisition. It is needless to dwell upon the result of the inquiries made throughout the country; voluminous reports, valuable as Domesday Book, exist; after some opposition the Municipal Corporation Act received the Royal assent, 9th September, 1835.
Under this Act the new corporation consisted of Mayor, six Aldermen, 18 Town Councillors (nine for and elected by each of the two new wards, Minster Ward and St. Mary's Ward), Town Clerk, Treasurer, Collector of Tolls, Collector of Beck Dues, Superintendent of Police, Sergeant-at-Mace, Bellman.
The magistrates were made a body distinct from the corporation, the mayor being in the commission of the peace during his year of office and the year following.
Thus Beverley, like other places, to a considerable extent reverted to the original principle of municipal government - that of representation.
The town hall, in Register Square, retains its old name of Guild Hall, and here are held the Council meetings and the Borough and Petty Sessions. It contains, also, the office (dating from 1708) for the registration of wills and deeds relating to freehold property in the East Riding. Here, also, has been held the County Court since 1846. A Court-Leet for the manor is held every April and October, at the Admiral Duncan Inn, the Hallgarth.
The advent of the railway was important to Beverley. Though it gradually absorbed to Hull a large portion of Beverley's standing as the agricultural metropolis of the East Riding, the return benefits compensated. The line was commenced in 1846, by the North-Eastern Railway Company, then known as the York and North Midland. The railway station occupies the greater part of an interesting site, previously mentioned. The Corporation, in 1576, purchased the preceptory of the Knights Hospitallers (suppressed in 1540), and, before the railway company acquired the land, it was occupied by Messrs. G. and W. Tindall, nurserymen, whose operations there caused the frequent discovery of antiquarian relics suggestive of the ancient conditions.
In 1842 the Infants' School, Lairgate, was built, in connection with St. Mary's Church.
In the earlier part of the century, the town became the seat of several important industries. Among these were the ironworks of Mr. William Crosskill, who manufactured agricultural machinery, largely of his own invention. In 1848 these works occupied six acres. Other extensive establishments were the paint factory of Tigar, Pennock & Co., and the steam sawmills of Messrs. Crump & Son.
About 1849 the Hull, Beverley, and East Riding Coursing Club held its first meeting.
In November, 1851, a suit was brought hy the Attorney General against the Corporation for the purpose of making the whole of the rents received from Dr. Metcalf's bequest (1652) available for charitable purposes, there remaining, after paying the sums specified in the will, a surplus of about £130 per annum, which the Corporation applied in other directions. The Corporation, relying upon an opinion obtained in 1836 from Vice-Chancellor Wigram and Sir Richard Bethell, and under the advice of Mr. James Russell, defended the suit. The case was heard 19th March, 1852, when the Master of the Rolls decreed that only 7/47 of the increased rents of the Gilden Morden estate, and 5/45ths of the other estate belonged to the corporation, and the rest of the surplus was to be applied to charitable purposes.
Owing to the reversal by the House of Lords of another decision, the case was reheard on the 10th November, the Solicitor-General (on whose opinion the Corporation had relied) and Mr. Terrell arguing the case for the Attorney General, and Mr. Lloyd and Mr. H. K. Cankrien for the Corporation. Ultimately Lord Justice Knight Bruce advised that it was a very proper case for an amicable arrangement, which was accordingly effected in favour of the Corporation.
The pastures of Beverley, mentioned previously, are Westwood, of 504 acres; Hurn, 110; Figham, 297; Banks, 14; Lund, 15; Swinemoor, 263; Swineinoor Banks, 14. There is no account of the acquisition of Swinemoor, though it was probably relinquished to the burgesses by one of the archbishops before 1343.
The pastures have been valued at over £4,000 per annum. After the passing of the Municipal Corporation Act, freedom being no longer a necessary condition of election to the Council, the Corporation became a mixed body without, of course, any legal control over the pastures, the fee of which was vested in the freemen. Whether or not, that right would have been better abrogated, and the pastures become the common property of the community, is not here to be considered. Such, however, was the contention of the new Corporation, who laid claim to the profits of the Westwood - those yielded by the race-stand, chalk, and timber. But the body of freemen had a strong cohesive vitality, and disputed the claim. Law was appealed to by mutual consent, with the result that the Pasture Act of 1836 was obtained, by which all pasture matters are controlled by 12 Pasture Masters, elected by the freemen. The Mayor presides at the election, which is held annually on the 2nd March.
In 1854 Mr. Robert Walker left a fund producing an annual income of about £90, on trust, to the pasture masters, for distribution among such poor freemen, their widows and children, as might suffer by the death of live stock, or might require stock, carts, &c., or other help. This is called "Walker's Pasture Freemen's Gift."
The first place in Beverley where theatrical performances were held was in Walkergate. A Building in Register Square, afterwards the national school, was used at a later period. In 1804 a theatre, known as "Playhouse," was erected by Lady Walker, in Lairgate, with boxes, pit, and gallery, capable of holding 632 people. In 1844 it was demolished by Lady Walker, at the instigation of Mr. Anthony Atkinson, - at the present day there remains but the lower part of the front wall, as the street boundary of a market garden, adjoining Captain Lane, also called Playhouse Lane. What theatrical performances are now given in Beverley are held at the assembly rooms, but the proximity of Hull, and the increasing train-service, tend to render them few. With the materials of the Lairgate playhouse, was erected the Telegraph Hotel, near the Railway Station.
In 1856 St. Mary's Church underwent a partial restoration at the hands of Pugin. The flying buttresses of the south transept are of his addition. The last design from Pugin's pencil was that for the weather vane on the south-west pinnacle of the tower.
In 1857 was held the first annual exhibition of the Beverley Poultry, Floral and Horticultural Society.
On the 5th November, 1857, Henry Baker, a gardener who had murdered a young girl, and afterwards committed suicide, was buried at midnight, in the minster burial ground, under the jury's verdict of felo de se.
On the 2nd February, 1858, was received the first communication from the Secretary of State, relative to the closing of the burial grounds of St. Mary and St. Nicholas.
In 1860 was filled up the Bar Dyke, a remnant of the town's moat, which stood as a pool of about 20 square yards, at the left side of the York Road, opposite the Rose and Crown Inn.
The Union Workhouse, on the west side of the town, was erected in 1860. It is a red brick structure of Elizabethan design, picked out with stone. Its front is flanked by two large wings at right angles to the body of the building. Over the central doorward is a flat gable or pediment. Its situation is perhaps unequalled in the country, as it is on the edge of the Westwood, near the Newbegin Pits, across which it has an uninterrupted view for many miles. It is capable of accommodating 189 inmates, though the average number is now about 50 males and 40 females.
The Beverley Express came to an end on Saturday, 1st January, 1859.
In the same year (7th March) the Beverley Cemetery Company was dissolved. It had been formed 8th November, 1858.
On Wednesday, 11th April, 1860, the Beverley Rifle Corps held its first public parade in uniform, and on the 10th August following took its first ball practice.
On the 15th June a destructive fire broke out at the Old Foundry, occasioning damage to the extent of £20,000.
On the 16th August Mr. Spurgeon visited Beverley.
On the 21st May, 1861, the Militia, assembled on the Westwood for their annual training, revolted.
After the passing of the Pasture Act, the only hold on the Westwood by which the Corporation could pretend to any rights was the mills erected here and there on the surface of the common, and which were held from the time of the old corporation, under long leases. As these began to fall in, the freemen, looking upon them as bones of contention it would be as well to be without, determined to destroy them. First Wilson's Mill, a round low mill at the top of the pits, was taken down by the Pasture Masters. Then the tall black mill known as Bateson's Mill took fire - before the expiration of its lease. It was repaired, but upon the expiration of the holding it was dismantled. In 1861 remained Fishwick's Mill and Millhouse, which stood, enclosed within a hedge, at the edge of the pasture adjoining the two fields known as "The Leases," reached from the town by Playhouse Lane. The Pasture Masters pulled the mill down, but the Corporation laid claim to the material, the still-standing millhouse, and the whole site. The freemen claimed and maintained their right to do what they liked with their own. On the 9th September, 1861, they met in bands round the millhouse. Here they found the place guarded by a sergeant-at-mace and a small body of special constables. The freemen, however, burst through the feeble opposition offered, without difficulty, and within a quarter of an hour the place was in flames; the intruders finding it necessary, in some instances, to seek their own safety by leaping from the upper windows or sliding down the spouts. The house was completely destroyed. The following night the hedge and fence were removed, the boundary ditch filled in, and the site became part of the pasture.
In 1861 Beverley was made a Roman Catholic bishopric.
In October, 1861, was opened St. Martin's Cemetery, entered from Cartwright Lane, and the average annual number of burials since that time has been about 140. It covers about four acres of land, and contains two mortuary chapels, one for Church of England and the other for the obsequies of Dissenters.
At the same time, adjoining the above, was opened St. John's Cemetery. Its entrance is from Queensgate Road, and it contains about half an acre. The interments have averaged about 12 per annum.
St. Mary's Cemetery is situated at the north end of the town, at the end of the New Walk. It covers about four acres of land, which was given for the purpose by the late Mrs. Rachel Myers, of Bar House, Beverley. The cemetery was opened in 1867, and Mrs. Myers' death occurring on the 26th of May of that year she was the first to be there interred.
In 1863 a severe hurricane passed over the town on the 4th February, and on the 28th April, in another severe storm, the south-west pinnacle of the minster was struck by lightning and thrown down.
On the 6th May a ship was launched from the yard of Messrs. Hazlehurst & Sons, Grovehill.
On the 16th September, 1864, Prince Humbert, the present King of Italy, visited Beverley with his suite.
On the 27th October following, the Rev. C. H. Spurgeon again came to the town.
In this year the corporation decided to erect a new Cattle Market. In the early part of 1866 the Cattle Plague raged in the district with considerable violence. The Cattle Plague Association was not wound up until the end of the year.
In 1865 Sir Gilbert Scott completely restored the church of St. Mary.
On May the 28th, 1866, the Post Office was removed from Toll Gavel to its present situation in Register Square. It is a building without any pretensions.
In October a grand Choral Festival, in which 450 singers took part, was held in the minster.
In November the Church Institute was formed.
In March, 1867, died Dr. Sandwith, a prominent townsman.
On the 5th August, in the same year, died Mrs. Mary Henderson, widow, aged 103.
The large Primitive Methodist Chapel, in Wednesday Market, was erected this year, at a cost of between £3,000 and £4,000. This building is well and tastefully fitted, and has a good organ. There are vestries and committee and class rooms in the rear. It will accommodate about 850 persons, and there are at present 355 church members. The Sunday-school at the rear has room for 500 children, with an average attendance of 400. The minister's house, also owned by the chapel trustees, is in Lairgate. This body has also a mission chapel in Norwood, with accommodation for about 200. Beverley is in the Hull 1st Circuit.
Towards the end of this year, Fenian demonstrations, there was reason to think, would disturb Beverley, and the Rifle Corps were under secret orders to assemble in the Market Place if the bugle sounded. Happily the feared crisis did not arrive.
In 1868 died Lieutenant-General Marten, aged 71, and was buried in the private cemetery attached to the burial ground in North Bar Street Within.
In 1868 the town was disfranchised of its rights as a Parliamentary borough. This leads us to a retrospective glance at the history of the borough in that matter, particularly as regards the times immediately preceding the above date. Beverley returned two members to Parliament as early as 1295. The Charter of 1547 recognised the right of the town to send two members to the House of Commons, which it did up to its disfranchisement. In 1831-2 the population of the borough was 8,302, the electors (freemen and a small proportion of ten-pound householders) numbering 1,011. By 1861 the population had increased to 10,868, and the electors but to 1,046, of whom 865 were freemen. In 1865-6 the population was estimated at 11,297, while the voters numbered 1,474, the freemen being 855. At the date of the last election, the population was reckoned to be 12,000; the electors were, by the register, 2,672, but, by the deduction of names with double qualifications, 2,101.
The results of the last Parliamentary elections may be given
In 1854 Mr. Lawley accepted the Chiltern Hundreds, upon which a contest took place.
In May petitions were presented against the returns of the two successful candidates. In July that against Mr. Denison was withdrawn, but the committee appointed to try that against Mr. Glover's return, on the ground of disqualification, held its first sitting on the last day of this month, concluding on the 2nd August, declaring the election of Mr. Glover void. A further writ was issued, with the following result
A petition was lodged against Major Edwards, but it was withdrawn 26th February, 1858.
The political campaign commenced early in the previous year, one of the incidents being a midnight balcony speech from the Beverley Arms, by Mr. Glover, on the 20th July.
This election was marked by strong party feeling, the tory candidates being beaten from the hustings, and much rioting took place. On the 8th December a petition was lodged against the return of Sir Henry Edwards and Captain Kennard.
On the 9th March, 1869, Baron Martin opened an inquiry into the election upon the petition. The inquiry closed upon the 11th, the election being declared void.
As a result of this inquiry, a Royal Commission to inquire into the existence of corrupt practices at this last election was granted 23rd June, 1869. The commissioners were Sergeant Michael O'Brien, Mr. T. J. Barstow, and Mr. Hornersham Cox. The inquiry was opened in the Guild Hall, on the 24th August, and the commissioners continued to sit and take evidence up to the 27th September, from that date adjourning to the 21st October. The occurrences at the Guild Hall on that day were of an extraordinary nature. The proceedings were interrupted by an attempt of counsel (Sergeant Sleigh and two other barristers) to appear and stay proceedings on behalf of Sir Henry Edwards, a course in which they persisted, in defiance of the commissioners' authority. The various persons who were making disorderly interruptions of the proceedings, said that they had as much right to use and occupy the Town Hall as the Commissioners themselves. The superintendent of the borough police, who had been duly appointed the officer of the commissioners, was directed by them to remove the obstructing persons, but he refused to do so, and a scene of such uproar and confusion ensued, that the commissioners were compelled to suspend their sitting. They then, by permission of the East Riding Magistrates, held the remaining sittings in the Sessions House, where they were also granted an efficient staff of police officers. The first day, however, in the new building two of the witnesses refused to be sworn and give evidence, whereupon the commissioners committed them to York Castle for two months, unless within that time they submitted to be sworn. On the 27th October, the examination at Beverley concluded, when the inquiry was continued in two sittings at Westminster, for the evidence to be taken of persons who had been unable to appear at Beverley. In all 757 witnesses were examined.
It was conclusively established that out of the constituency of something over 1,100, about 800 were open to bribery and other corrupt influences. Of these, about 250 on each side, it was stated, claimed "the usual money payment" as a right from a candidate of their own colour, and only looked upon it as a bribe when accepted from one of the other side. The remaining 300 were returned as without political principles, and were locally known as "rolling stock."
The result of the inquiry was inevitable. The evidence shewed that the receipt of money for votes was not looked upon in the town as implying moral wrong, the practice being a continuation of old custom which it was impossible to check or counteract, by any means but a suspension of the electoral functions, until a new generation shall be given the opportunity of manifesting a regard for a purer standard of conduct, the time for which is now ripe. The feature that must strike a reader of the voluminous evidence in this case, is the honesty with which the distributors (great and small) of the money carried out their undertakings.
One curious fact came out in the course of the inquiry, which shews how well understood had been King James's attempt to control the municipalities. The municipal election of 1868, which took place 13 days before the parliamentary, was avowedly governed by bribery, and the scheme was intended to operate corruptly, and did so operate, upon the other pending contest. The movement was effected by the instrumentality of the Working Men's Conservative Association one of the objects of which was the replacing of liberal members on the town council by conservatives. The same process was put into practice with the pasture masters. By this means the conservative interest, before "dead and buried" was most completely revived in 1859, when the liberals of the borough were taken up in a similar manner. Certain persons concerned in the stormy incidents of the last election were committed to York assizes, but Justice Hayes refused to entertain the case.
On the 19th December, 1869, a new organ was opened in St. Mary's Church by Dr. Spark. It was built by Foster & Andrews, of Hull, and cost £1,000. The keyboard was removed to its present position, about five yards from the organ, in 1889.
In February, 1870, snow fell to a great depth, the railway between Beverley and Hull, being blocked up, and traffic much delayed.
On the 17th of March, application was made at York assizes to appoint a day for the trial of Sir Henry Edwards and Mr. F. Burrel, of Beverley, for bribery, but the judge refused it. On the 8th of April, the attorney general in the House of Commons, moved for, and obtained, leave to bring in a bill for the disfranchisement of Beverley. On the 25th, the bill was read a second time, and on the 5th day of May, passed into Committee. The Act obtained the royal assent on the 4th of July, 1870.
On the 5th August, the prosecution at York was withdrawn, and on the 8th, a vote of thanks was passed in the town council to Sir Henry Edwards for his long and valued connection with the borough. On the 15th, a meeting of Conservatives was held in the Assembly rooms to consider the presentation of a testimonial to Sir Henry. On the 28th January, 1871, a demonstration was held in his honour, and on the 30th, he was entertained to a public dinner.
Prince Christian visited Beverley on the 14th October, 1870; on the 23rd, the Aurora Borealis was visible.
On the 27th February, 1871, a special meeting of the town council was held to consider the government's demand of £2,570 5s. 5d., being the expenses of the election inquiry commission. Payment was deferred till counsel's opinion was taken. On the 8th May it was decided to ask for particulars. The amount was finally sent in full, 14th March, 1872. On the 30th July a fearful hailstorm burst over the town. On the 11th August died Thomas Shepstone, the oldest inhabitant, aged 92. In November the Prince of Wales passed through Beverley. This year the East Riding Lunatic Asylum was ready for occupation.
On the 5th June, 1872, a deputation waited upon Sir Henry Storks at the War Office in favour of Beverley being appointed a military centre, and in November following, it was included in the list of new centres.
A rinderpest outbreak in September caused the markets and fairs to be suspended by the privy council till 1st December.
On the 19th September a new organ was opened in the Lairgate Independent Chapel by Mr. Charles Goulding.
In November the river Hull twice burst its banks near Hempholme, and many thousands of acres of land were submerged.
On Christmas Day died Dr. Charles Brereton, a borough justice, and an old resident, aged 84; he was pre-eminent in almost all matters of culture and intelligence.
On the 29th January, 1873, the first meeting of the Christian and Literary Institute was held at the Town Hall, Mr. James Stuart being elected president.
For a part of this year the Pastures were closed on account of an outbreak of pleuro-pneumonia, but were thrown open again by the 5th September. On the 8th October, the first harvest festival, at St. Mary's Church, was held. In this month a general district rate of half-a-crown in the £ was laid. The Prince of Wales again passed through Beverley on his way to Lord Londesborough's Routh estate to shoot. In November, 10th, Mr. Daniel Boyes died, aged 69; he had been Poor Law Guardian, Charitable Trustee, and a foremost partizan in the political campaigns of old. On the 22nd November, a Ratepayers' Association was formed.
At a meeting of the town council, held on the 1st December, a scheme for obtaining parliamentary powers to construct waterworks in Beverley was the subject of strong opposition, and a committee was appointed to proceed against it, if necessary. On the 19th of the following January, the town clerk was instructed, by a unanimous vote of the council, to take the necessary steps for opposing the Beverley Waterworks Bill, then before the House of Lords, action confimed by a public meeting, held in the Guild Hall, on the 22nd. On the 20th April, the bill was rejected by the Lords' Committee upon the understanding that the Corporation would itself bring forward a scheme for supplying the town with water. The opposition cost the town £757. On the 11th May, the Waterworks Committee of the Corporation were instructed to prepare a scheme. On the 1st June, a meeting of the Ratepayers' Association, held at the Temperance Hall, Well Lane, passed a resolution that the proposal to establish waterworks was unnecessary, and that to represent that there was no other alternative was an imposition upon the ratepayers. The council again considered the question on the 18th January, 1875, when a delaying resolution by Mr. Joseph Hind was lost.
On the 18th May, 1874, the minster organ was re-opened by Dr. Naylor.
The Beverley Floral and Horticultural Society held its first exhibition, in the Grammar School grounds, on the 5th August, 1874.
In September the tender of Messrs. Barritt, Hull, for the erection of the new Brigade depôt at Beverley for £47,000, was accepted by the War Office. The site, on the Queensgate Road, was purchased of Mr. Richard Whiteing for £2,500.
On the 26th of August the Yorkshire Archæological Association met at Beverley.
In October, 1875, the non-stocking freemen, some 500 in number, were paid 13s. 6d. each by the pasture masters. This year St. Mary's Girls' School was erected in Norwood.
In November Alderman Crosskill was unanimously elected mayor, the first liberal who had occupied the civic chair for nineteen years.
On the 2nd November, 1876, a Local Government Board Inquiry was held at the Guild Hall, as to a loan of £3,000 sought to be raised for the extension of the gas works.
In 1876 the general restoration of St. Mary's Church, begun in 1866, was completed. The pews were removed, and new open seats of oak, neatly carved, substituted. The stalls, now within the chancel, were removed from the choir aisles. The inside measurement of the church, east to west, is 201 feet. It has in all 13 stained-glass windows, including the large east window, by Clayton & Bell, of five lights, representing the Crucifixion, given by seven different families. Two new bells, and a new clock, by Gyllett, of Croyden, were put into the tower in 1883. The room over the groined chapel, attributed to the munificence of the foreign merchants (who, it is said, used to store their merchandise in this upper chamber), as well as being the resting place of the stocks previously mentioned, contains also the old corporation pew with its inscription, part of the ancient ducking stool, and many other objects of antiquarian interest.
On the 13th November, Mr. J. G. Fitch, of the Charity Commission, held an inquiry at the Guild Hall, as to the educational charities of Beverley.
In February, 1877, the cattle plague broke out in Hull, and the usual restrictive measures adopted by the East Riding, lasting till the 31st of May.
In March was first discussed the erection of a hospital, adjunctive to the dispensary.
In May the scarlet took the place of the gray uniforms of the Rifles.
The memorial stone of the new church of St. Nicholas was laid on the 29th June by Lady Wolverton, the Archbishop of York being also present. On the 12th July, died Dr. Boulton, senior magistrate of the borough, for many years surgeon to the Beverley Rifle Corps, aged 72; he was buried with full military honors. This month also died, Mr. James Hall, master of the Holderness Hunt, aged 77. The sale of his stud on the 5th September following realized £5,570.
An inquiry into the state of the charitable trusts of Beverley was held by Mr. W. Skirrow, at the Guild Hall, in July 1877, lasting three days; it had special reference to the appointment of charitable trustees, and of trustees for the minster new fund.
In October of this year was held the great sale of the antiquarian collection of Mr. Gillyatt Sumner, then recently deceased. For the interest of the local manuscripts and deeds, many of which were of the greatest rarity, then brought to the hammer, this sale was scarcely surpassed by that of the famous Burton Constable archives. Mr. Sumner's collection realized upwards of £2,500.
In April, 1878, a detachment of the 15th Regiment arrived in Beverley to occupy the now completed Barracks. In the same month the East Riding House of Correction, on the New Walk, was closed under the New Prisons Act, the prisoners being removed to Armley Gaol.
On the 27th June a shade temperature of 90 degrees Fahrenheit was registered in Beverley.
On the 17th September the New Walk Barracks were handed over to the East Riding Justices, the stores, etc., having been removed to the New Barracks or depôt.
A meeting of the Provincial Grand Lodge of Freemasons was held in Beverley on the 10th October, under the presidency of the Earl of Zetland, Past Grand Master.
The first of the annual Horse Shows was held at Beverley in 1878.
On the 17th September, 1879, Canon Birtwhistle died, aged 76; he had been 35 years perpetual incumbent of Beverley Minster, a fearlessly outspoken man, and connected with nearly every good work in the town. A year or two later a fine brass lectern was placed in the minster in his memory, and, to quote from a pamphlet on the church, by Dr. Stephenson, "as a token of the regard which his pure life and kindly heart inspired in all who knew him."
In October the Beverley Iron and Wagon Company was wound up. The sale of plant, etc., occupying 15 days, and realized an average of about £1,000 per day.
The proprietors in the Beverley and Barmston Drainage Level, on 30th October, resolved to seek parliamentary powers to remove obstructions in the river Hull, and at once proceeded to have drafted a Bill, the case of which was declared proved by the committee of the House of Lords, the 9th March, 1880.
In January, 1880, died John Backhouse, aged 68, the huntsman to the Holderness hounds.
On the 15th April J. E. Davey, Esq., of the Local Government Board, held an inquiry, at the Guild Hall, as to the sinking fund proposed to pay off the debt of £10,200 lying on the gasworks.
A Conservative Association for the East Riding was formed at Beverley on the 15th May, 1880.
The new church of St. Nicholas was consecrated by the Archbishop of York on the 3rd August, 1880. The foundation stone was laid on the 29th June, 1877, by Lady Wolverton, the church being built in accordance with the will of George Carr Glyn, first Baron Wolverton, in memory of his son, Richard Riversdale Glynn, who died at Aden, 11th December, 1859, aged 28.
The church consists of a chancel; nave, with an aisle on the north side, separated from the nave by clustering pillars supporting four arches; and a fine tower. The north side has fine clerestory windows. At the east end is a handsome stained-glass window, with a representation of the Crucifixion. The pulpit is of Caen stone, with marble pillars, and is described as "Dedicated to the glory of God and in loving memory of Ashley Carr Glyn, by his widow, Mary Louisa." This brass lectern was given by Lady Wolverton, in memory of Lord Wolverton himself, who died 24th July, 1873, aged 76. The Sumner Font is a fine late Decorated stoup, from Riston Church, and which was in the possession of Mr. G. Sumner from 1853 till his death. Mr. Robert Stephenson presented it to St. Nicholas'. The present building stands a little to the south of the site of the ancient church, the indications of whose foundations have been preserved.
The new School in connection with St. Nicholas' was opened 4th of October, 1879. The parish was united with that of St. Mary in 1667. A translation of the Act of Union, by Archbishop Stern, though out of its order of date, may be thought interesting
"Richard by Divine Providence Archbishop of York, etc., to all sons of Holy Mother Church seeing or hearing this public instrument of whose affairs the within writing may concern or may in any way concern in the future, greeting in the Lord everlasting. We bring to the knowledge of all of ye, and will to bring by these presents that according to the force, form, and effect of an Act or Statute of the 17th year of the reign of the Most Serene (in Christ) Prince and Lord, our Lord Charles II. by the grace of God, etc., set forth for the Union of Churches within Cities and incorporated Towns by right and lawful processes, the Rectory or Parish Church of St. Nicholas, in Beverley, together with its cemetery, buildings, tythes, oblations, obventions, and all rights and appurtenances, to the Rectory or Parish Church of St. Mary within the aforesaid incorporated town of Beverley, in our jurisdiction of York, (the consent and assent of the said Most Serene Prince, the undoubted patron of the said Churches, under the great seal of England, also the consent and assent of the Provost or Mayor, Aldermen, Justices of the Peace, and others of interest of the said incorporated town first had and obtained), in perpetuity we do unite, annex, and adjoin. The same Rectories or Parish Churches we do unite, annex, and adjoin for ever by these presents, the rents not exceeding in the whole a hundred pounds. We order and ordain also, that the said Parish Church of St. Mary shall be hereafter the Presentative Church and that all and singular the parishioners of the said Church of St. Nicholas shall on Feast Days, Lord's Days, and other days when service shall be to be performed in all the offices of Divine worship, according to the Book of Public Prayer established by authority of Parliament, devoutly and sedulously frequent the aforesaid Church of St. Mary; yearly paying tythes, oblations, obventions, and other ecclesiastical rights to the Rector or Minister of the Church of St. Mary. And they shall, when occasion shall be, repair the fabric of the said Church of St. Mary together with the parishioners of the aforesaid Church.
"We order and ordain by these presents that the beforesaid Rectories or Parish Churches of St. Nicholas and St. Mary with respect to all other parochial assessments, rates, burdens, privileges, liberties, and rights, also the nomination and election of managers and wardens, shall continue distinct and separate, in the same state and condition as before this union by us made, the premises excepted.
"In witness of which things we have caused our archiepiscopal seal to be affixed to these presents : - Dated at our manor of Bishop Thorp the 13th day of June, in the year of the Lord 1667, and of our translation the 4th year."
Among the numerous memorial windows of the minster is one to the memory of George Lambert, who died in 1818, aged 68, after being organist of the minster 41 years; also to the memory of his son, G. J. Lambert, who died in 1880, aged 85, and for 57 years organist of the minster, succeeding his father.
In September, 1880, was completed the magnificent oak chancel screen of the minster, carved by Mr. J. E. Elwell, of Beverley, after the design of Sir G. Gilbert Scott, at a cost of £3,000. It occupied four years in its construction. The exquisitely beautiful work of this screen renders it one of the finest ornaments of the church.
Other changes in the interior have taken place within recent years; the old communion table has been replaced by one of oak, and the old marble altar rails by rich rails of brass, designed by Sir G. Gilbert Scott.
The pulpit, the work of William Fowler, of Winterton (about 1810), formerly in the chancel, is now in the nave, where also, since the appointment of the suffragan Bishop of Beverley, is a bishop's throne of a plain description.
On the 1st September, a demonstration was held in Beverley to celebrate the centenary of Sunday Schools; 1,600 Nonconformist school children walked in procession round the town. On the 11th September the Hull Literary Club visited Beverley under the guidance of Mr. T. Tindall Wildridge. In the same month, Hengate was widened by the Corporation.
On the 30th November plans of the proposed waterworks were deposited with the clerk of peace, and in January, 1881, the town council and a public meeting decided to oppose the Waterworks Bill. On the 18th of this month a great fall of snow took place, trains being snowed up all night between Hull and Beverley, and great loss of life occurred throughout the country. On the 7th February a poll of the inhabitants was taken upon the question of opposing the Bill, when 1,614 votes were given by 1,417 persons in favour of opposition, against 583 votes by 422 persons who advocated non-opposition.
On the 18th of March the preamble of the Bill was declared proven by the committee of the House of Commons, and passed, with certain restrictions, on the 27th May.
On the 3rd of June died Mr. Frank Watson, 40 years organist of St. Mary's Church, and on the 8th of July, Mr. Thomas Shepherd, aged 74, clerk to the borough justices since 1837.
Mrs. Marten, widow of General Marten, gave in bequest £8,000 to the endowment of St. Mary's Church. A new reredos, by Mr. J. E. Elwell, at a cost of £500, was also given by the same lady, being dedicated on the 4th November. In this year the Salvation Army commenced its compaign in Beverley.
In this year the Wesleyans built a neat chapel in Flemingate, at a cost of about £1,000. It will seat about 300 persons, and has class-rooms and Sunday school.
On the 4th October, Sir Stafford Northcote (the late Lord Iddesleigh), leader of the opposition, visited Beverley, and was entertained by the conservative party. On the 9th December the Wednesday market obelisk was removed, by order of the Corporation, and a large lamp erected in its place.
On the 17th January, 1882, died Mr. John Green, aged 65, the proprietor of the Beverley Guardian; on the 22nd Mr. John Maister, for 36 years registrar of deeds for the East Riding, aged 63; on the 25th February Mr. A. Shepherd, aged 63, for 34 years governor of the East Riding prison; on the same day Mr. George Leeman, aged 73, for 46 years clerk of the peace for the East Riding, and M.P. for York, 1865-1880; on March 16th Mr. William Kitchen, for 36 years manager of the Yorkshire bank, Beverley; on March 29th Mr. Francis Rudd, a townsmen.
In August the Vulcan Iron Works Company arranged to rent a field of the Corporation, at Grovehill, for iron ship building.
On the 6th September died Caroline Harriet, widow of General Marten, K.H., aged 85; and on the 28th September Mrs. Birtwhistle, widow of the late Canon Birtwhistle, aged 79.
On the 25th of September orders were issued by the Charity Commissioners appointing new charitable trustees for the borough, against which the Corporation, on the 9th October, resolved to petition.
On the 15th November Messrs. H. & J. Scarr launched from Beckside an iron ship, the largest yet made at Beverley.
In January, 1883, was finished the work of repairing the ancient glass and leadwork of the great east window of the minster and covering it on the exterior with wire guards, at a cost of £200. It will be remembered that we recorded the original cost of this window in 1416 as being £40. On the 31st January, 1883, Holderness Hunt Ball was held in the Assembly rooms, the first after an interval of thirty years.
On the 9th June an attempt was made to launch an iron vessel from the Grovehill yard, the first there built, but by reason of her great size and weight, the ground subsided and it was not until the 21st that the vessel finally took the water. A second was launched 7th September; a third, 1st November; and a fourth, 15th November; on the 1st December, however, a petition was lodged in chancery for the winding up of the Vulcan ironworks and shipyard.
On the 11th June Captain (now Admiral), Hotham, R.N., presented to the Corporation an antique chain of office, formerly in the old corporation's possession.
On the 8th of October died Sir James Walker, Bart., aged 80. On the 11th December a University Extension Society was formed in Beverley. leading Primitive Methodist and Oddfellow, aged 72; and other old and prominent
In 1884 a new clock and chimes were put in St. Mary's tower at a cost of about £300, by means of a public subscription inaugurated by Mr. John Walker; they were dedicated on the 14th of February.
On April 23rd a new wagon ferry across the river Hull was opened at Grovehill.
In July of this year an alarming outbreak of typhoid fever occurred in the town, carrying off, among others, Mr. H. E. Silvester, J.P., captain of the local volunteers, &c. The town council held several meetings for the consideration of the causes of the epidemic, and eventually Dr. Page, of the Local Government Board, visited Beverley, and instituted a searching investigation, though the cause of the outbreak was not satisfactorily explained. The total number of deaths from the fever during the quarter ending 30th September was 18, though only eleven of them occurred in the borough.
On the 17th July an East Riding Liberal Association was formed at a public meeting in the Guildhall.
On the 31st October Mr. Stanton, Assistant Charity Commissioner, visited Beverley for the purpose of conferring with the town council respecting the changes proposed for the Grammar School.
On the 9th November Jubilee services were held in the Baptist Chapel, Well Lane, sermons being preached by two surviving ministers who had taken part in the opening in 1834, namely, the Rev. R. Johnston, of London, and the Rev. J. Sibree, of Hull (the latter of whom died December, 1891.
On the 1st December died Mr. Thomas Crust, aged 71, for 38 years town clerk of Beverley, and for 27, county court registrar; on the 9th Mr. B. E. Naylor, deputy chief constable of the East Riding, aged 65.
In February, 1885, the Local Government Board communicated to the town council its recommendation for an adequate system of sewerage for Beverley.
On the 20th February the old colours of the First Battalion of the East Yorkshire Regiment were brought to Beverley.
In March an Adult School was inaugurated.
On the 8th April was opened the new organ in the minster, built by Messrs. Hill, of London. It contains 4 manuals, 76 stops, and 3534 pipes, several of which belonged to the original organ built by John Suetyler in 1767.
The air pressure of the organ is supplied by three hydraulic engines, to which a great part of the south aisle of the church is sacrificed. No doubt in the future these engines will be underground, or, with a different motive power, in the roof.
On the 18th March died James Watson, painter; on the 19th, William Leck, ex-mayor's officer, each aged 92.
On the 20th September the East Riding Conservative Association was dissolved. The foundation stone of the Salvation Army Barracks laid by Mr. David Burton, J.P., in Wilbert Lane.
In 1886, on January 11th, a Liberal Club was formed. In March the wife of a resident was delivered of four children - all girls - at one birth, who only, however, lived a few days. On the 22nd March Dr. Dallinger lectured in Beverley. On the 17th April the Salvation Army Barracks were opened by "General" Booth, in person, after a processional march round the town. The building cost £1,200, and will seat 1,200 persons. On the 19th of this month, the burial ground attached to St. Nicholas' Church was consecrated by the Bishop of Sodor and Man. On the 23rd died Sir Henry Edwards, aged 74. On the 17th July the old colours of the 15th (East York) Regiment, and those of the old Beverley Volunteers, were deposited in the minster with imposing ceremonial. They were hung, in their present position, over the screen which separates the Percy Chapel from the lesser transept.
On the 13th September a scheme of drainage, by Mr. Brundell, was adopted by a majority of one vote, but the resolution was rescinded at a special meeting a few days later. This month a party of unhappy nomad foreigners, known in their unwelcome visits to various parts of the country as "The Greek Gipsies," left Hull with the intention of pitching their tents upon Westwood; but the rullies laden with them were met by police superintendent Knight, and turned back.
At the November Municipal Election the drainage candidates were returned by large majorities, the polls in the respective wards being the largest yet taken.
On the 8th of this month died the Rev. Charles Easther, aged 74, vicar of Kirkham, and formerly master of the Beverley Grammar School. On the 16th an inquiry was held at the Guild Hall by Major-General Carey, R.E., as to a proposed loan of £4,000 for the gas works account.
The foundation stone of the new dispensary and hospital was laid on the 20th of July, 1885, by Lord Hotham, and the building, designed by Messrs. Smith and Brodrick, was opened in 1886. The total cost, including the site, furnishing, &c., was £2,714 12s. 4d., raised by subscription and in other ways; and the institution is maintained by voluntary contributions. There are at present beds for 15 patients, the average number being from 10 to 12. During 1891, 57 in-patients and 1,094 out-patients were treated. The year's receipts were £867, expenditure £790.
There is also a deserving institution in Wednesday Market, known as "The Home," where a limited number of children of tender years are received from vicious or destitute surroundings. Mrs. Wilson is the matron, and is assisted in her self-sacrificing labours by Miss Crosskill.
On the 24th of November, 1886, the mayor, John Stephenson, Esq., opened the new Corn Exchange and Public Baths, built on the site of the old Corn Exchange and Butter Dings.
On December 21st a new Masonic Temple was dedicated at Beverley by Colonel the Hon. T. W. Orde-Powlett, deputy provincial grand master.
1887, the Jubilee of the Queen's reign, was marked in Beverley by various commemorative acts. On the 22nd February a committee was formed to assist in the gathering of funds for the "Women's Jubilee Offering" to her majesty, and a house to house collection was made. On the 5th March a county meeting, to promote the formation of the proposed Imperial Institute, was held in the Assembly Rooms, at which the Lord Lieutenant, Lord Herries, presided. On the 24th of May, the village of Etton held its Jubilee celebration. On the 19th June, the celebration in Beverley commenced by services in the various places of worship, and in the evening of the next day a public ball for all classes of residents was held in the Assembly Rooms. The general festivities were on the 21st, which was observed as a public holiday. In the evening the market cross to North Bar, and many private houses were illuminated with small coloured lamps, &c., the crowded streets presenting by the unusual light a novel and animated appearance. On the 24th the children's festival was held. On this occasion the National Anthem was sung by 3,000 scholars assembled in the market place. A banquet in the Assembly Rooms on the 28th brought the borough celebration to a close. The Beverley Jubilee committee expended about £400 upon the commemoration proceedings, leaving a balance of nearly £46, which was subsequently expended upon additions to the mayoral chain.
The new church of the Independents was opened by the Rev. Dr. Allon, of London, on the 3rd August, upon the site not only of the previous chapel, but of the building erected in 1700. Since that date the income of the church gradually increased. The first endowment was in 1711 by Robert Stephenson; in 1743 a tenement and garden opposite to the meeting-house were purchased, and in 1753 three acres of land at Bromfleet. In 1789 Mark Bell bequeathed a sum of money for the benefit of the minister, whose living is now worth £500 per annum. The chapel was blown down in 1715 during a violent storm. It was then rebuilt, and again in 1800. On the 6th June, 1886, the closing sermon was preached in the old building. On August 3rd, 1886, the foundation stone of the new church was laid by Edward Crossley, Esq., M.P. The building is cruciform in plan, in the late Early English style. Its dimensions are as follow : - length, 60 feet 6 inches; width of nave, with aisle, 45 feet; width across the transepts, 63 feet; height, to the ceiling, 41 feet. Adjoining the north transept is the minister's vestry, and the transept itself is occupied by the organ and choir seats. There is accommodation on the ground floor for 410, and there is a gallery holding 110. The east front is faced with red stock bricks, with Ancaster stone dressings. Mr. T. Brownlow Thompson, Hull, was the architect. The total cost, including enlargement of the organ, was about £2,200. The Sunday Schools, long conducted in the old vestry, were removed to a commodious building, prepared to receive 500 scholars, erected at the corner of Landress Lane in 1879, at a cost of about £1,000.
The Beverley Races, mentioned in the account of the last century, continue to be held annually, on the 17th and 18th of June, upon the Hurn course. The races regularly run are: The Westwood Handicap, the Bishop Burton Stakes, the Beverley Handicap, the Holderness Hunt Selling Plate, the Londesborough Plate, and the Watt Memorial Plate. The last named is yearly provided from the interest of £3,000 (now in 2¾ per cent. consols), left in 1874 by the late William Watt, Esq., of Bishop Burton, for that purpose. The present trustees are Messrs. G. S. Sheffield, E. Crosskill, and W. Brigham. The Jubilee Year (of 1887) was seized as an opportunity to build a commemorative grand-stand near the old building. Mr. Alfred Beaumont was the architect, and the cost was nearly £800.
On the 28th February, 1887, Mr. Brundell's scheme for sewerage was again adopted, at a meeting of the town council, by 15 votes against 8, the estimated cost of the works being £13,500. On the 20th April, Major-General Carey held an inquiry at the Guild Hall upon the subject of the Drainage Loan.
At the consecration of Dr. Camidge, Bishop of Bathurt, at York Minster, on the 19th October, the whole of the music performed was the composition of members of the Camidge family, from John, organist of York Minster in 1756, to John, nephew of the bishop, and present organist of Beverley Minster, appointed 15th July, 1876.
On the 16th November, the late Charles Bradlaugh, M.P., lectured in the Corn Exchange on "The Irish Crisis."
During this year a lively correspondence took place between the churchwardens of St. Mary's, the vicar, and the Archbishop of York, upon the vexed question of free seats in the church above named.
In 1887 a portion of the Friary was purchased by the Rev. H. E. Nolloth, vicar of the minster, and after thorough restoration, converted by him into a clergy-house or house for the residence of a curate of the minster. It contains much antique panelling and some curious examples of wall colouring, one portion of which was carefully copied upon the adjoining wall while the distemper was yet freshly exposed.
On the first three days in June the sale of the library and effects of the late Rev. John Hymers, D.D., F.R.S , was held in the Corn Exchange, realizing about £1,600. Dr. Hymers was rector of Brandesburton, and left an inoperative will, by which a large amount of property was bequeathed to found and endow a college at Hull. Dr. Hymer's brother, Mr. Robert Hymers, of Stokesley, however, prevented all disappointment by generously presenting £50,000 for that laudable purpose. Mr. James Mills, the town clerk of Beverley and friend of Dr. Hymers, took considerable part in the delicate negotiations necessitated by the circumstances. On the 8th June a Trades and Industrial Exhibition was opened in the Assembly Rooms. On the 12th August a presentation was made to Mr. William Spencer upon his retirement from the Wesleyan National School, after upwards of 40 years' service.
In 1888, on 18th January, was held the Holderness Hunt Ball, at which was present Prince Albert Victor (the late Duke of Clarence and Avondale). The next day he hunted with the Holderness Hounds, and, in the evening, attended a ball at Tranby Croft, the residence of Mr. Arthur Wilson, M.F.H. On the 21st he attended another meet at White Cross, Leven. On the 9th February a Liberal meeting was held at the Corn Exchange, being addressed by Mr. R.G. Wilberforce, grandson of the William Wilberforce, the Liberator. On the 30th March was laid the foundation stone of a new Scotch Baptist Church, in Morton Lane; it cost £800, and was opened 16th December in this year.
Tenders for the new Drainage Works were accepted on the 3rd April, being that of Mr. T. B. Mather, of Hull, for pipe laying £9,850; and that of Mr. R. Leng, Beverley, for engines, etc., £828.
At the East Riding Quarter Sessions, on the 4th April, the magistrates unanimously protested against the proposed alteration of boundaries by the Local Government Board.
On the 7th May a stone coffin was found in the garden of Mr. Kemp, Westwood Road, on the site of St. Giles's Leper Hospital. On the 23rd May died the Rev. W. C. Upton, aged 60 years, for 34 years pastor of the Baptist Chapel, Well Lane.
On the 25th June, the corner stone of the Out-fall Sewage Works was laid by the Mayor.
On the 9th July died Mr. William Crosskill, aged 89; he was the founder of the Beverley ironworks (known as the old foundry), the distributor of stamps for the East Riding, and an active Liberal.
In 1889, on the 2nd of January, an inquiry was held at the Guild Hall by Mr. Cecil M. Chapman, in pursuance of the general Royal Commission on Markets and Tolls. On the 9th, Mr. A. F. Leach, assistant Charity Commissioner, held an inquiry into the various educational endowments of the town. The result of this inquiry was, in September, 1891, the abolition of the Foundation School and the Blue Coat School, and the re-establishment of a Grammar School upon an improved footing; the Foundation school-house and master's residence being utilized as the home of the new school with accommodation for 80 day boys and 10 boarders. It was thought that the abolition of the Blue Coat School was not without an element of hardship.
The Grammar School, erected or re-erected in the south-west corner of the Minster yard in the beginning of the 18th century, was, in 1814, taken down, and a new school built in Keldgate. In 1890 that also was demolished, the only relics of the old building being the windows and door of "carpenters' gothic," built into the studio of Mr. T. Tindall Wildridge, artist, in his garden in Railway Street, the Elizabethan panelling and other portions of the studio being from the Hull Grammar School, founded by Bishop Alcock in 1483.
On the 17th January the first County Council election took place, four members being returned by as many districts of the Borough. On the 31st, the first meeting was held.
On the 26th April died Mr. Hugh Ker Cankrien, aged 86, a magistrate for the East Riding, and formerly a barrister-at-law.
This year was marked by Beverley being appointed the seat of a Suffragan Bishopric, the first bishop being the Ven. Archdeacon Crosthwaite, from 1869 to to 1874 Vicar of Wawne, who was consecrated on the 11th of June.
On the 21st July were consecrated iron gates before the entrance of St. Mary's Church, taking the place of plain wooden doors.
On the 5th August the Bradford Historical and Antiquarian Society visited Beverley, conducted by Mr. John Bilson, A.R.I.B.A.
On the 5th October died Mr. Joseph Hind, aged 73, who for nearly 50 years previously had been identified with nearly every movement of the "new party"
On the 15th November Beverley was saved from a severe calamity by the vigilant promptness of Miss Hanks, mistress of the Minster schools, who, by giving alarm of fire, which was securing a strong hold on the choir roof of the Minster, occasioned its speedy extinction. Miss Hanks died a few months after this episode, and a tablet was erected, mainly through the action of Dr. Stephenson, to her memory, in the south aisle of the choir.
The Beverley Gymnastic Society was established about 1875, but in 1889 a portion of the old foundry, disused, was converted to its use, at a cost of about £400. The Society's hall is the largest in the town, being 100 feet long and 55 feet 6 inches wide, and has two small ante-rooms. The president is Henry J. R. Pease, Esq., and the society numbers about 200 members.
A vigorous attempt was made in 1890 to establish the Beverley and East Riding railway to Bridlington and Little Weeton. A scheme had been promoted many years ago, but it had fallen through. Meetings were held at the Guild Hall in its favour, on the 19th February and 11th March. A Bill was prepared, which, on the 2nd May passed the Committee of the House of Commons, but on the 8th July, it was thrown out by the Lords' Committee. On the 19th November the Bill was finally abandoned, the opposition being too strong to admit of hope of present success.
In May a strike took place at the tanning works of Messrs. Hodgson; the strikers, however, though having great outside encouragement, were unable to maintain a position, and the struggle resulted in a material and moral victory for the employers.
On the 18th June representatives of the press were first admitted to a meeting of the Pasture Masters.
On the 9th July on Hurn, Lady Herries presented the 3rd Battalion East Yorkshire Regiment with new colours, the interesting ceremony being witnessed by a very large number of spectators.
On the 11th July the Wednesday half-holiday movement was inaugurated in Beverley, for places of business and shopkeepers.
On the 7th August died Mr. David Burton, J.P., aged 69; he had been chairman of the Beverley Board of Guardians, chairman of the East Riding Quarter Sessions, and was the first chairman of the County Council of the East Riding.
On the 11th September the British Association visited Beverley, and the members were entertained by the Mayor.
During the excavations for the drainage near the vestry of the Minster, on the 23rd September, the foundations of the chapter-house were discovered, whose existence had before been but problematical. It had a crypt below.
On the 2nd October the foundation stones of the new Wesleyan chapel were laid in Toll Gavel, by the Lord Mayor of York, Mr. Alderman Agar, the Mayor of Beverley, Alderman Hobson, and others. The cost of the works is estimated at £4,000. The proceeds of the service on that day were £270.
This building, which stands back from the street, and is somewhat enclosed in the front, is arranged with galleries on three sides, with transepts, and has its organ behind the rostrum. The front of the building is designed in stone, with ashlar dressings and pilasters; with an open portico, having circular arches, supported by polished granite columns; and the floor is laid with Mosaic tiles. The interior of the chapel is handsome. The ceiling, with its rich cornice, is a beautiful piece of work, being cored, and divided into panels by mouldings. The old chapel in Walkergate is at the rear of the new one, and this, it is intended to convert or reconstruct into schools. The minister's house was taken down to make way for the new chapel. The architects are Messrs. Morley & Woodhouse, of Bradford and Bolton; the contractors, Messrs. G. & B. Pape, Beverley. The cost of the building will be about £4,500.
The Church Congress, opening at Hull, on the 30th September, was connected with Beverley by a Working Men's meeting on the 2nd October, when the Bishop of Newcastle, the Bishop of Beverley, and others gave addresses.
On the 16th October died Mr. Charles Arden, aged 70, a prominent townman, who had been mayor in 1862 and 1874.
A meeting was held in the Guild Hall, on the 27th October, for the purpose of adding a second company to the Rifle Volunteers of Beverley.
The Roman Catholic community of Beverley is not large, though their institutions in the town are increasing. They still retain as their place of worship the plain old church just without the North Bar, on the west side of the road, which it is expected, will be replaced by a new church within the next few years. Here is held two Sunday and one week-day services. The Rev. Francis J. Hall is the priest. The school near it was enlarged by the addition of an infant school about 1884. At about the same time, the house, previously that of the governor of the prison, at the rear of the East Riding sessions house, was purchased, and converted into a branch convent from the nunnery, Anlaby Road, Hull. In 1889 the convent was enlarged, and the new chapel attached to it was opened for worship in 1890. The convent has accommodation for nearly 20 Sisters of Mercy, who conduct there a boarding school, and also teach the day school, near the church.
The principal industries of Beverley are tanning, iron and other shipbuilding, ironfounding, agricultural implement making, seed crushing, flour grinding, whiting and manure manufacturing. The tannery of Messrs. R, Hodgson & Sons, Limited, employs about 400 hands; that of Messrs. Thomas Cussons & Sons about 40. The shipyard of Messrs. Cochrane, Cooper, & Schofield, at Grovehill, employs about 400 men. The building of iron trawlers and other ships by this firm has steadily progressed, the yard launching more than twelve hulls annually. It is said that with the exception of the creeks on the Clyde, Beverley is the only place in Great Britain where can be seen the curious process of sideway launching; these iron ships always go to the Hull docks to be fitted with their engines, gear, etc. The works of Messrs. H. & J. Scarr, shipbuilders, is at Beckside, and they build, for the most part, wood vessels.
The engineering and agriculture implement works are those of the East Yorkshire Cart and Waggon Company, Limited, who employ from 60 to 80 men; Messrs. W. Crosskill & Sons; Messrs. Collison & Co.; and Messrs. Wm. Tanfield & Sons, the Priory works. The whiting works, to the south-west of the town, are those of the Beverley Whiting Company, the Queensgate Whiting Company, Limited, and Messrs. J. Ingoldby & Co. Messrs. Sheardown & Barker conduct the seed crushing mills; Messrs. J. Crathorne & Sons, Limited, the corn and flour mills at Grovehill. A new portion of the mill was added in 1885, for the introduction of the steam-roller plant. The Tigar Manure Company, Limited, have their works at Grovehill.
In 1891, on February 20th, the late Duke of Clarence, heir-presumptive to the English throne, while visiting at Tranby Croft, was out with the Holderness hounds.
On the 2nd of March, a Ratepayers' Association was formed, which has had considerable influence in subsequent municipal elections. On the 19th, the Archbishop of York (the late Dr. Magee) visited Beverley, and was presented with addresses, by the Corporation and clergy, in the Assembly Rooms. In April, on the 21st, died Mr. Alderman Thomas Stephenson, J.P., mayor in 1879, aged 82. On the 24th died Mr. Alderman J. W. Foster, quartermaster-sergeant in the Rifle Volunteers, aged 52. Mr. Foster was mayor in 1883, though not then a member of the Council - being the first mayor in England so elected, under the Amended Municipal Act. During this month the extensive epidemic popularly styled "influenza" seriously prevailed in the town. The death-rate for the month was 30.5 per 1,000, the average for the decade being 16. Of the victims, 78 per cent, were more than 50 years of age.
On the 23rd June died Mr. Alderman Thomas Cussons, J.P., mayor in 1863, aged 84. On the 30th occurred a maiden sessions, the first to be recorded in the annals of the East Riding.
In July (23rd), one of the small Early English turrets on the north side of Beverley Minster fell down. A workman escaped by an extraordinary chance, and the turret was promptly rebuilt. On the 28th. died Mr. Francis Barnett, aged 78, who for nearly 60 years had held the post of sexton to the minster.
The present Archbishop of York (Dr. Maclagan) visited Beverley for the first time on the 1st of October, preaching at the harvest festival in the minster. On the 31st died Mr. Edmund Crosskill, J.P., mayor 1880 to 1882, aged 61.
On the 26th January, 1892, was opened, without formal ceremony, the offices of the East Riding County Council, on the site of the old Mechanics' Institute, on the north side of Register Square. They were begun late in 1890, the architects being Messrs. Smith & Brodrick, Hull; the contractors, Messrs. Ives & Co., of Bradford, and the cost has been £7,300. The council chamber, on the first floor, is 56 feet by 36 feet, and semicircular in design, its outline being broken by deeply recessed bay-windows and carved fireplaces. The gallery for the access of the public is reached by a street side entrance. Upon the ground floor is a suite of offices for the council clerk, and there are also four offices for other officials, and a strongroom for the County Records. The main entrance is through a stone doorway and portico into a corridor leading to the staircase ball. The fittings are of oak, and the ceilings and walls rich with panelling and pilasters, everything being of an elaborate character. The style is the English Renaissance, being worked out in red brick, with stone dressings, and the design provides for extension should it at any time be called for.
The newspaper history of Beverley commenced in 1854. On the 1st of June in that year appeared the "Beverley Chronicle," owned and edited by Mr. John Ward. It was issued monthly, and was Liberal in politics. On the 7th of July, 1855, it developed into the "Beverley Recorder," which has been issued weekly since that date as the Liberal organ of the town; the present editor and proprietor is Mr. H. W. Ward, son of the founder.
The "Beverley Guardian," a Conservative weekly paper, came the next, commencing January, 1856; it was established by the late Mr. John Green, whose son, Mr. William Green, is the present editor. About 1856 also the "Beverley Express" was published by Mr. John Kemp, senr., in the Conservative interest, but it only existed for a few months.
In 1877 Mr. Tom Turner founded the "Beverley Echo," a Liberal paper; it was afterwards purchased by Mr. H. W. Ward, by whom it is now edited. In 1881 Mr. Joseph Hind commenced the "Beverley Freeman," a Radical organ, which came to its end in the following year.
About 1884 the old title of the "Beverley Chronicle" was revived in a pamphlet-like publication of scurrilous tendencies, issued by Mr. Robert Eadie, M.A.; it only lasted a few weeks.
On the 7th April, 1888, the first number of the "Beverley Independent," a Saturday paper, appeared. The proprietor and editor is Mr. Frank Hall.
The deanery of Beverley includes the following parishes, to each of which is attached its population, according to the census of 1891
The present vicar of the minster is the Rev. H. E. Nolloth, B.D., Rural Dean and Surrogate, inducted on the 24th of May, 1880. The living is worth about £400 per annum. There are also two perpetual assistant curates, the Rev. W. B. Crickmer, M.A., and the Rev. W. E. Wigfall, M.A., whose stipends are derived from endowments and fees; and two other stipendiary curates. The Vicarage is opposite the north-east corner of the Minster yard. The Minster has four services on Sundays and two daily on week-days.
In the parish of St. John's the churchwardens are supplied by a joint warden, elected by Woodmansey, Beverley Parks, and Thearne (Mr. John Beaumont), and one each by Weel (Mr. G. Loft), Tickton (Mr. A. Stephenson), and Molescroft (Mr. T. W. Robinson).
For St. Martin's parish there are two vicar's wardens (Messrs. G. Cussons and C. F. Thorney), and one for the parish (Mr. H. Sturdy).
St. John's Chapel, in Lairgate is the chapel-of-ease for the Minster, and is a modern building. The curate-in-charge is the Rev. W. B. Crickmer, and there are two Sunday services. It has its own churchwardens (Messrs. A. T. Gates and Mr. T. Morley).
The Tickton district is under the care of the Rev. W. E. Wigfall, and has two Sunday services. An organ was presented to this church in 1886, in memory of the late Mrs. William Stephenson, wife of Dr. Stephenson, of Beverley.
At Woodmansey a service is held every Sunday afternoon, and a Sunday morning service once a month.
Minster Vestry Clerk, T. Richmond; Parish Clerk, T. Norton.
The present vicar of St. Mary's is the Rev. J. N. Quirk, M.A., Canon of York and Surrogate, inducted 12th October, 1889. To this living is united the rectory of St. Nicholas. The value of the living of St. Mary's up to Mrs. Martin's benefaction was £300, but its gross value is now £660 per annum. There are also three curates, the Revs. H. E. Glaussen, M.A., F. Tower, M.A., and H. Vaughan-Johnson. There are four Sunday services at St. Mary's; one daily service three days, and two on the three remaining days. The vicar's churchwardens are Messrs. R. S. Stevelley and S. E. Todd; for the parish, Messrs. F. Hobson and William Dale; the clerk is Mr. F. G. Hobson. The churchwardens for St. Nicholas' are Messrs. G. Wellburn and G. F. Robinson. This latter church has three Sunday services and one every Thursday. The Rev. F. Tower is the curate-in-charge.
St. Martin's Parish. - Rateable value, £17,095; gross estimated rental, £21,337 14s. Richard Hodgson, Esq., Rear-Admiral Walker, The Hall, Beverley; and William Crosskill & Sons, are the chief owners of property, &c.
St. Mary's Parish. - Rateable value, £18,676 ; gross estimated rental, £22,132 16s. Admiral Hotham, Richard Hodgson, Esq., Pease & Sons, bankers, are owners of land and property. 400 acres of the pastures are in this parish (including the race course).
The rateable value of St. Nicholas' Parish is £8,159; and the gross estimated rental, £9,648. Principal land and property owner - Richard Hodgson, Esq., Westwood Hall, Beverley.
The Church Schools of the town are as follow
The Minster Boys' School, with an average attendance of 280; the Minster Girls' School, which has a new main-room, (built abiout 1884) and two class-rooms average attendance 302; the old Grave's School, as well as a class-room, is also the parish room. Connected with the minster is also the Infants' School, Minster Moorgate, with an average attendance of 166. There is also an Infants' School in Fleming-gate.
The St. Mary's Boys' School, Cross Street, was much enlarged about 1882, when its appearance, as well as the whole accommodation was much improved. Its attendance averages 250.
St. Mary's Girls' School, Norwood, has an average of 200; the Infants' School, Lairgate, 140. In Holme Church Lane, also, is St. Nicholas's Infants' School.
The Nonconformist places of worship, and their services are as follow
The Congregational Church, Lairgate, has Sunday services morning and evening; also on Monday and Wednesday evenings. The minister is the Rev. Robert Shepherd, pastor since the 31st January, 1872.
The Baptist Chapel, Well Lane, has the same number of services as the above. Minister, the Rev. C. B. Williams.
The Wesleyan Chapel, Toll Gavel, has two Sunday and one Thursday services. The ministers are the Revs. R. E. Bray, W. Allen, and H. J. Sugden. The Beckside Chapel has one Sunday service and one fortnightly Thursday one.
The Primitive Methodist Chapel, Wednesday Market, has two Sunday and one Tuesday services. The minister is the Rev. H. J. Taylor, who took the charge in 1891. The Norwood Chapel has two Sunday services.
The United Methodist Free Church, Trinity Lane, has two Sunday services.
The Scotch Baptist Chapel, Morton Lane, the same. Mr. W. Thirsk is the minister.
The domestic antiquities of Beverley are remarkably few. There are three buildings only which carry the mind back to pre-Reformation days; one in North Bar Street Within, at the north corner of Tiger Lane; one in Butcher Road, opposite the end of Well Lane; and one on the West Side of Highgate. There is also a house with over-hanging upper storey at the corner of Flemingate, next the minster; and a good house of Jacobean brickwork on the south side of Flemingate, towards the beck; as well as several cottages of early character. In High Gate, at the rear of the Black Swan, are likewise good remains of 17th century brickwork.
Highgate House, in Wednesday Market, the residence of William Whytehead Boulton, Esq., J.P., has many interior features of 17th century date. It was built by a Bowman, an ancestor of the present owner. In the south transept of of the Minster is a marble slab to John Bowman, one of His Majesty's Justices of the Peace for the East Riding of the county of York, who died in 1779. The house has been much altered, and its former ample grounds very much curtailed, during the last century. In Hengate and elsewhere may be seen several buildings belonging to the early part of the 18th century.
It may be mentioned that burial places, pronounced Ancient British, have been found at Bishop Burton as well as upon Westwood. In April, 1875, Canon Greenwell, unique as an authority upon ancient burials opened, made some interesting discoveries among the Westwood barrows.
ESKE is a township in this parish containing 1,090 acres of land, lying on the east side of the river Hull, three-and-a-half miles north-east of Beverley. The rateable value is £826, and the population in 1891 was 56. Colonel Telford, of York, is lord of the manor and sole owner of the land. The township is divided into two farms.
This place is mentioned in Domesday Book as Asche, and contained two carucates of taxable land. It was given at an early period to the collegiate church of St. John of Beverley, of which the Archbishop of York was patron, and is consequently entered by the Norman Commissioners under the possessions of the archbishop. Eske was at that time one of the four berewicks of the manor of Swine. There was no intermediate lord, but soon afterwards the lands were sub-infeudated and held by various persons of the archbishop. About the middle of the 15th century, the manor was conveyed to Walter Grimston, Esq., of Grimston Garth, and Elizabeth his wife, by John Portington, Esq., of Portington, father of the latter. In 1578 it was purchased from the Grimstons by Anthony Jackson, and the grandson of the latter gentleman sold the manor, together with the tithes, to Thomas Lewins, Esq., of Rushome, for £2,550. It descended to his son and grandson in succession, and was then inherited by the three daughters of the latter, who sold their shares to Mark Kirkby, a wealthy merchant, of Hull. The son and heir of that gentleman dying without issue, his vast wealth and estates descended to the family of his two sisters. This manor thus came to the Horsefields, and were purchased, together with the tithes, from them by an ancestor of the present owner.
MOLESCROFT is a township in the parish of St. John of Beverley, containing 1,358 acres of land, belonging principally to William Bainton, Esq., Beverley Parks, who is lord of the manor; Ernest Richard B. Hall-Watt, Esq., Bishop Burton Hall; Henry Horn Almack, Esq., Long Milford, Suffolk; Thomas Carter Dixon, Brandesburton; and John Anthony Hudson, Esq. It is valued for rating purposes at £3,358, and had, in 1891, 196 inhabitants.
The village is situated on the Beverley and Cherry Burton road, in the midst of some attractive scenery, about one mile north-west from the former place. One of the crosses that marked the limits of the privilege of sanctuary belonging to Beverley Minster stood here, and in pre-Reformation times there was a chantry chapel, which was founded and endowed by Philip Inglebert, vicar of Keyingham, and a native of Beverley.
STORKHILL-CUM-SANDHOLME forms a small township lying about one-and-a-half miles north-east of Beverley. Its total area is 322 acres, rateable value £373 10s., and population in 1891, 53. The former place, called in Domesday Book Estorch, consists of a good farmhouse and a few cottages, situated on the north side of the road to Holderness; and Sandholme is on the south side, adjacent to the river Hull. Major Brabazon, of Brighton, and Mr. E. W. Sheardown, of Beverley, are the principal landowners.
THEARNE is a township and hamlet in the parish of St. John of Beverley, containing 508 acres of land, lying on the west bank of the river Hull. It is valued, for rating purposes, at £670, and had, in 1891, 97 inhabitants. The township is included in the manor of Beverley Water Towns. The land belongs chiefly to Henry J. R. Pease, Esq., of Hull and Beverley; Hugh Edward Whytehead, Esq., The Hermitage, Stoke-on-Trent; John Dunning, Aike; and T. C. Dixon, Brandesburton. The hamlet is small, and stands three miles south-south-east from Beverley. There was, in olden times, a chapel or chantry here, dedicated to the Blessed Virgin, but not a vestige of it is new to be seen. The Primitive Methodists have a small chapel, built 1867. It is in the Hull 1st Circuit. Thearne Hall, a building of grey brick, is the residence of Bryan Boyes Jackson, Esq., solicitor.
The township formerly belonged to the Earl of Yarborough, who sold the land, free from tithe, to various purchasers.
TICKTON-CUM-HULL BRIDGE form a joint township containing 779 acres, situated on the east side of the river Hull. Its rateable value is £1,717, and the population in 1891 was 305. John Dickson, Esq., of Nafferton, is lord of the manor; and Mrs. Crust (Beverley), Colonel Telford (York), William Bainton, Esq. (Beverley Parks), Ernest Hudson, Esq. (Tickton Grarge), and John Stephenson, Esq. (Beverley) are the landowners.
This place belonged to the church of St. John of Beverley as early as the time of Athelstan, and in Domesday Book, Tichetone, containing 12 oxgangs of taxable land, is entered as a berewick belonging to the Archbishop of York. It forms part of the manor of Beverley Water Towns, which Archbishop Holgate exchanged with Henry VIII.
The village of Tickton stands on the Beverley and Bridlington road, about two-and-a-half miles north-east from the former town. A chapel-of-ease to the Minster was erected here in 1844, at a cost of £850, raised by subscription, and about £100 were spentin repairing it in 1884. It is a small edifice of stone, consisting of chancel and nave, with accomodatin for 150 persons. The east window, of three lights, is filled with stained glass representing the Crucifixion, in memory of Charles Telford, Esq., who died in 1876; and there is a memorial window in the south side of the nave to Mrs. Elizabeth Stephenson, who died in 1856. The organ was presented by J. J. Evans, of St. Neot's, in 1886, in memory of his daughter Emma, wife of William Stephenson, surgeon.
The Wesleyan Chapel, a building of brick, with 140 sittings, was erected in 1877, at a cost of about £500, raised by subscription. The old chapel, built in 1828, is now used as a Sunday-school. A National School was built in 1848, by subscription, aided by a grant from the National Society, and has been enlarged since. It is mixed, and is attended, on an average, by 76 children.
The hamlet of Hull Bridge stands about half-a-mile nearer Beverley, and takes its name from the bridge by which the Beverley and Bridlington road crosses the river Hull. The earliest mention of a bridge here occurs in the 48th year of Henry III. (AD. 1264). The people of Holderness having refused to furnish men and horses for the expedition of Prince Edward into Scotland, and having also disobeyed a summons to meet him at York on his return, seven barons, with horses and arms and a considerable force, were sent to capture the defaulters and confiscate their property. The men of Holderness, with their neighbours and friends, assembled at this place and broke down the bridge, in order to intercept the progress of the executors of the law. They then took possession of Sutton Grange, belonging to the monks of Meaux, where they kept watch and ward for two nights on the banks of the river, lest the barons, whose head-quarters were at Cottingham, should effect a passage across it (Lib. Melse, fol. 177).
The bridge was afterwards rebuilt, but when or by whom is not known. It was for a long time maintained in repair by the Corporation of Beverley, until given up by them to the Commissioners of the Driffield Navigation, by whom it was rebuilt, and is now kept in repair, and in consequence thereof they receive the tolls of vessels passing under the bridge. Here are the extensive seed and bone crushing mills of Messrs. Robt. Stephenson & Son, manufacturers of pure linseed cake, cotton cake, and chemical manures.
Tickton Hall, the property of Col. Telford, and leased by H. Pease, Esq., stands within a short distance of the bridge. It is a modern many-gabled mansion of brick, built after the Elizabethan style. Tickton Grange, an old-fashioned house, pleasantly situated in a park of about 30 acres, skirting the high road, about one mile from Hull Bridge, is the property and residence of Ernest Hudson, Esq.
In the village are five Almsbouses built in 1872, by Mrs. Stephenson, of London, for as many "poor old persons of Tickton," who live rent free. There is also a Reading-roorn, supported by voluntary contributions.
WEEL, is a township, called Wela in Domesday Book, and formerly belonged to the church of St. John, of Beverley. It contains 1,139 acres, and lies on the east bank of the river Hull. The soil is a variable mixture of sand, clay, and moorland; and wheat, oats, and turnips are chief crops. For rating purposes the township is valued at £1,309; the population in 1891 was 120. John Dickson, Esq., of Nafferton, is lord of the manor; and the Corporation of Beverley; Wm. Bainton, Esq., Beverley Parks; Mr. Fras. B. Catterson, Beverley; Mr. Harold Whiting, Lord Wenlock, and Mr. Robert Thomas, are the principal landowners. The village is small and stands about two miles east of Beverley. There is a Primitive Methodist Chapel here, built in 1860, at a cost of £110, exclusive of the site, which was given by Mr. William Arnott, of Beverley. It is in the "Hull 1st Circuit." A small mixed school, converted out of a barn, was opened in 1889. It belongs to Beverley Minster, and Divine Service is held in it every Sunday afternoon.
WOODMANSEY AND BEVERLEY PARKS form a joint township containing 2,820 acres, in the parish of St. John, of Beverley; rateable value, £8,452; and the population in 1891 was 774, including 266 men in the Victoria Barracks. The principal landowners are Wm. Bainton, Esq., Beverley Parks; the Misses Denton, Fleming House, Beverley; Ernest R. B. Hall-Watt, Esq., Bishop Burton; Thomas Carter Dixon, Brandesburton; W. H. Harrison-Broadley, Esq., J.P.. D.L., Welton, Brough: John Dickson, Esq., Nafferton; William Ringrose, Esq.; Robert Dunning, Walkington; the Trustees of the Minster Old Fund, Beverley; Mrs. Etty, Scarborough; and Mrs. Voase, Anlaby, Hull.
This township, with those of Tickton-cum-Hull Bridge, Thearne, Wed, and Storkhill-cum-Sandholme, constitute the manor of Beverley Water Towns, which belonged to the archiepiscopal see of York until 1545, when Archbishop Holgate exchanged it for certain advowsons with Henry VIII., who thereafter received the rents and profits of the lordship and manor of Beverley with the Water Town. It passed from the Crown to the Earl of Leicester in the time of James I.; and in the following reign was purchased by Michael Warton, Esq., from whom it descended to the Lords Yarborough. In 1826 Lord Yarborough disposed of this property to Richard Dickson, Esq., of Stockton-on-Tees, and it new belongs to John Dickson, Esq., of Nafferton.
The village of Woodmansey stands one-and-a-half miles south-east of Beverley, on the road leading to Hull. A little distance out of the town is the National School, a structure of red brick in the Early English style, erected in 1856, at a cost of about £800. There is accommodation for 110 children, and an average attendance of 65. The building is licensed for Divine service, which is held every Sunday afternoon by the vicar of the Minster or one of his curates.
Beverley Parks embraces a number of scattered houses, extending from the southern suburbs of Beverley to Woodmansey. The district belonged to the Archbishops of York, who are said to have had a palace here, but there is no evidence forthcoming to support the assertion. The mansion of the Wartons was taken down many years ago, excepting a portion supposed to have been the servants' hall and other offices, which was converted into a farmhouse, called The Old Hall. The beams and staircase are of solid oak, and above the door are the initials of Michael Warton.
The Barracks of the East Yorkshire regiment are situated in this township. They were erected in 1878, at a cost of £52,000, for the accommodation of 324 men.
The late Mr. G. Sumner of this township had an extensive collection of antiquites illustrative of local history. It was sold by auction in the Assembly Rooms, Beverley, in 1877, and realised a considerable sum. The original MS. of Scaum's Beverlac was sold to Christopher Sykes, Esq., for £510; the Book of the Provost of Beverley, compiled by Simeon Russell, A.D. 1416, brought £115; Valerii Martialis Epigrammaticum, sold for £35; Hedon Corporation Records (two vols), £23; lot of ancient deeds relating to Beverley, and another lot relating to Beverley Hospital sold for £210.
Scan, OCR and html by Colin Hinson. Checking and correction by Peter Nelson.