HOWDEN: Geographical and Historical information from the year 1892.


Wapentake, Liberty, and Petty Sessional Division of Howdenshire - County Council Electoral Division, Poor Law Union, and County Court District of Howden - Rural Deanery of Howden - Archdeaconry of the East Riding - Diocese of York.

Howden is an extensive parish, enclosing within its ancient boundaries an area of 18,348 acres, according to the Ordnance Survey. It comprised 15 townships, including the chapelries of Barmby-on-the-Marsh and Laxton, but the latter are now ecclesiastically independent. The parish was formerly a peculiar under the Dean and Chapter of Durham, but is now for all ecclesiastical purposes merged in the Archdeaconry of the East Riding. The township of Howden is situated on the bank of the Ouse, and contains 2,920 acres of land, and 178 acres of water. It is valued for rating purposes at £12,114, and had in 1891 a population of 1,950, a decrease of 243 since 1881. The Ecclesiastical Commissioners are lords of the manor, and Captain Mervyn Dunnington-Jefferson, J.P., York; Major Sandys, Fulford, York; Walter Freeman, Bilton Court, Knaresborough; and H. B. Anderson, Esq., Howden Hall, are the principal landowners. The Hull and Barnsley, and the Hull and Selby railways pass through the township, and each has a station here.

The earliest notice of this place occurs in a charter of King Eadgar in the year 959, in which he says, "I, Eadgar, Governor and Ruler of the whole province of Mercia, and also of other races dwelling around, moved favourably by devotion, have granted, in perpetual inheritance, to a certain matron very faithful to me, who is named by her acquaintance in distinction, Queen, a certain parcel of land severed in two parts, which in common speech is called by the inhabitants of this province at Heafuddene and at Ealdedrege free *** from all land-service, except military service and the repair of bridges and fortresses." The boundaries of the lands granted are thus set out :- " From the Ouse up to Wilbaldes fleet, from Wilbaldes fleet to the dyke, along the dyke to the Derwent, from the Derwent to the right to Caerholm, from Caerholm along the dyke all about the wood to the Foulney, along the Foulney to the old Derwent, along the old Derwent again to the Ouse." Then follow the boundaries of Ealdedrege or Old Drax. The nameless matron to whom this grant was made, was according to the Rev. W. Hutchinson, Ælfwen, the wife of Ethelstan, to whom he had been intrusted in his infancy, and with whom he remained till he became King of Mercia and Northumbria.

A little later the manor and church of Hoveden or Howden are mentioned among the possessions of the Abbey of Medeshamatede (now Peterborough). There are no documents or charters to show how, or by whom the transfer was effected, but we may very reasonably suppose, that as Eadgar was the refounder of the Abbey, Ælfwen, his foster mother, may have added these lands to its many endowments. Unhappy and turbulent times followed the reign of the peaceful Eadgar, and in the internecine struggle for ascendency between the Saxons and the Danes, Howden and the other Yorkshire possessions of the Abbey were wrested from it, and annexed to the Crown. In the time of Edward the Confessor it was a source of considerable revenue, being then valued, at £40 a year, but to such an extent had it suffered from the ravages of the Normans, that, in the Domesday Survey, it was returned as only worth £12. It then belonged to William de Carilepho, a Norman, whom the king had caused to be elected Bishop of Durham. Carilepho, himself a monk, gave the church and its appurtenances to the monks of Durham, but retained the manor as an appendage of the See. These grants were confirmed by a bull of Pope Gregory VII.; Carilepho was not, however, long permitted to retain peaceable possession of the manor. He was suspected, in the following reign, of favouring the claims of Robert, the Conqueror's eldest son, against William Rufus, who, contrary to the law of primogeniture, had seized the Crown. The bishop fled into Normandy, and the king seized all his episcopal lands and revenues. Rufus soon afterwards, from motives of policy, recalled Carilepho, and restored to him all his lands. Henry I. confirmed the grant, and Howden thenceforth remained in the episcopal possession.

The manor and its appurtenances have been demised on various occasions, for a term of years, to meet the pecuniary wants of several of the bishops who held it; it has also been the subject of forfeiture, of grant and regrant, but always reverted to its episcopal owners. Bishop Barnes demised to Queen Elizabeth, for a term of 90 years, the manor of Howden with its several rights and appendages, together with the park (les groves) and three water corn mills at 34s. 8d. yearly rent. He also demised to the queen the fisheries, shores, passages, and ferry-boat at Howden Dyke, for a yearly rent of 10s. 4d., and a horse mill at Howden at 23s. 4d. per annum.

The manor was alienated for a time during the Commonwealth, but was restored on the accession of Charles II. On the formation of the bishopric of Ripon in 1836, it was transferred to that See, as part of the endowment, and the late Dr. Bickersteth, on his elevation to the episcopate in 1856, conveyed the manor and its appurtenances to the Ecclesiastical Commissioners for the payment of a fixed sum yearly.

The manor and dependencies from the Liberty of Howdenshire , of which the Ecclesiastical Commissioners are lords paramount, and have their own coroner, bailiff, and other officers. A court halmot is held four times a year, viz. Saturday next after the Epiphany, Monday next after Easter Monday, Monday following Midsummer day, and the first Monday after Michaelmas; and a court leet on the first Tuesday after Easter and after Michaelmas. The power and jurisdiction of the lords of Howdenshire were formerly more extensive than at present. The bishop, through his bailiff, administered the law within the liberty; in his courts crimes of every magnitude were tried, and he had his gallows for carrying out the extreme penalty of the law. The manorial liberty extended into Barlby, Brantingham, Hemingbrough, Skipwith, Walkington, Welton-cum-Melton, and Ellerker in the East Riding; and Holtby in the North Riding.

The town of Howden is small, but contains a few well-built houses. It stands about one mile north of the river, 23 west from Hull, 10 east-by-north from Selby, and 20 south-east from York. There is a station on the Hull and Barnsley railway on the north side of the town, and another on the Hull and Selby line, about one-and-a-quarter miles distant. The streets are well paved and lighted with gas, from works erected by private venture in 1832, and now the property of a company of shareholders. Sewerage works were constructed a few years ago, and also waterworks, but the latter are lying idle. A market is held weekly, on Saturday, and a wool market yearly, in the month of June. The old toll-booth was taken down in 1822, and a cross now stands on the site. A fair for horses is held on the second Monday in April and the following day, and a cattle fair on the 17th of the same month. Another fair for horses is held in September, on the first Monday after Doncaster races, and the two days following. This fair was established by a charter of King John, in 1200, and has long been famed as the largest horse fair in the kingdom. It is visited by dealers from every part of the country, and not a few from the continent. A pleasure fair is held annually, on the 2nd of October. A horticultural exhibition was established in 1855, and is held yearly in July or August.

The Church of St. Peter, half ruin, half entire, is one of the noblest ecclesiastical edifices in the county. It is a large and well proportioned cruciform structure, with tall central tower, in the Early English and later styles, chiefly that of the 13th century. This is not, however, the original structure. Domesday Book mentions a church here, and Giraldus Cambrensis, an old English chronicler, tells us that St. Osara, sister of Osred, King of Northumbria, who lived in the eighth century, was buried in Howden church, and that miracles were wrought at her tomb. Every trace of this Saxon or Norman edifice has disappeared, and the only relics of it, that have been met with, are a few stones of Norman character, which have been found in the adjoining grounds. As before stated, the the church of Howden was given by the episcopal grantee of the manor to the Prior and Convent of Durham, who thenceforth became the patrons of the parochial rectory. In the time of Hugh de Darlington, Prior of Durham from 1258 to 1272, a Bull was obtained from Pope Gregory IX., to appropriate the rectorial income, valued at 275 marks (equivalent to about £2,500 of present money), for the support of 16 monks, who should reside in the place. For some reason or other, Prior Hugh changed his mind, and, at considerable expense, he procured a faculty to convert the intended monastery into a college of prebendaries. The faculty, granted in 1267, ordained that there should be five prebends, amongst whom the appropriation should be equally divided, and each of whom was required to maintain at his own proper cost, a priest and clerk in holy orders to administer in the church in a canonical habit. Each canon, by his vicar, was to serve the cure of the portion of the parish allotted to his prebend, and make his personal residence in the church, for at least three months in the year. The prebendaries were obliged to keep in repair the choir or chancel of the church, to provide bread and wine for the altar, and ropes for the bells, and to keep hospitality. A sixth prebend was ordained the following year. The college flourished till the Reformation, when it was dissolved in the first year of Edward VI., and its temporalities transferred to the Crown. In the 26th of Henry VIII. (1535), the prebends were valued as follows, viz. :- Howden, £18 13s. 4d. gross, £12 clear; Thorpe, £16 11s. 8d. gross, £9 18s. 4d. clear; Saltmarsh £16 13s 4d. gross, £10 clear; Skelton, £15 13s. 4d. gross, £9 clear; Barmby, £16 16s. 8d. gross, £9 13s. 4d. clear; and Skipwith, £12 10s. 6½d. gross, £10 11s. 2½d. clear. Besides these prebendaries, there were their six vicars, and four or five chantry priests.

The property remained with the Crown till 1582, when Queen Elizabeth granted it to Edward Frost and John Walker, and their heirs and assigns for ever. Thus were alienated from the parish the revenues that had supported the collegiate body and maintained the fabric of the church in repair.

The conversion of the rectory into a college necessitated considerable additions to the existing church, to befit it for its newly acquired dignity. The chancel was enlarged into a spacious choir with two aisles, exceeding in extent the nave; north and south aisles were added to the latter; the transepts underwent some alterations, and, later, a chapter house was built and another stage added to the tower. After the dissolution of the college, nothing was done to preserve the fabric of the church, and consequently its beautiful chancel, hitherto kept in repair by the prebends, soon showed visible signs of decay. So serious were its defects in course of time, that in 1595 the Lord High Treasurer threatened to compel the parishioners themselves to take in hand its repair. They, in their turn, commenced legal proceedings against a Mr. Sandes, who then held a lease, under Queen Elizabeth, of the prebendal property and the tithes of the whole parish, to enforce her to perform the duty formerly fulfilled by the prebends. "They lost their suit, which was tried at Escrick in A.D. 1600, but it did not appear that, as royal hands had seized the possessions, to which belonged the payment of all costs in the maintenance of the structure, so would justice demand that provision for its continuance should be made from the Royal Treasury. From that period," says the Rev. W. Hutchinson, in a paper read before the Bradford Historical and Antiquarian Society, and from which we quote, "no attempt was made to do more than patch up for a time the more glaring defects, for in 1600 a faculty was obtained from York for closing up the three arches leading into the chancel and its aisles, and thus paving the way for its abandonment to the elements, and using the nave alone for public worship." About 30 years later, the nave became unsafe for the celebration of divine service, and the leaden roof of the choir was stripped off and re-cast for the nave. Thus exposed to the weather, decay proceeded rapidly, and on Michaelmas Day, 1696, its beautiful groined roof of stone fell with a crash, carrying with it the clerestory. But more merciless hands than those of time had been at work: the inner part was miserably rent and disfigured by Cromwell's fanatical zealots, who also pulled down the organ and carried away the pipes, "scornfully striving to tone them as they proceeded towards Wressle." Even in its ruin the choir bears evidence of its former beauty. It was 120 feet in length, with six windows of varied tracery on each side, and as many arches separating it from the aisles. The east window has been remarkably beautiful, with niches all round, some of which retain their statues; and flanking it are two smaller pointed windows, under richly-carved pedimented gables. The pillars that supported the groined roof are gone, but their bases probably remain beneath the turf, which is higher than the original floor. Lying here are some stone coffins, found in 1785, when the ruins of the roof were removed.

The three arches opening from the choir and its aisles into the nave and transepts were walled up, as before stated, in 1600, to form the east wall of the present chancel. The stone screenwork was retained, and is now the reredos. The statues here have been probably brought from other parts of the church. They are St. John, an allegorical representation of the Jewish law, St. Paul, and St. Peter with a tabernacle in his hands. The architecture of the nave is of a much simpler character than that of the choir. Six pointed arches separate it from the aisles, and rest on five clustered pillars of four cylinders, which support the clerestory. The west end is lighted by a large and handsome window, the head of which is filled in with tracery, exhibiting a skilful combination of trefoils and quatrefoils. Above the window, on the outside, is a richly-carved pedimental gable, containing a figure of Our Lord in its upper angle, and flanking it are buttresses, of an ornamental character, surmounted by crocketed hexagonal pinnacles. Beneath this window is a deeply recessed doorway, still bearing traces of its former exquisite beauty. The parapet of the nave has some beautiful carving, consisting of human heads, foliage, monsters, &c.

The north aisle is lighted by six three-light windows on the north side, the head of each being filled with tracery of a different design, but similar to that in the one opposite. The south aisle is a double one, and had, originally, six windows of a similar character to those on the north side, but three have been closed by the porch, and school-house built against that side.

The transepts measure 117 feet from north to south, and are 30 feet broad. The windows contain some elegant tracery. In the south transept are the remains of two chantry chapels, now thrown into one. The piseinas remain and a portion of the latar stone, of Italian marble. The Metham family were buried here, and it is now the burial place of the Saltmarshes. Two of the windows were filled with stained glass by the late Philip Saltmarshe, Esq., and contain numerous coats of arms of the Methams and Saltmarshes. On an altar tomb are the effigies of a crusader and his lady, beneath a beautiful canopy. The warrior is without his helmet, and on his arm is a shield bearing the arms of Metham. Another altar tomb bears the full-length figure of a crusader or templar with his hands joined in prayer, and on his arm the shield of Saltmarshe. On the west wall of this transept is a handsome white marble monument to the memory of Robert Jefferson, Esq., formerly a captain in His Majesty's Royal Horse Guards Blue, who died in 1811. He left many charities; amongst them £21 per annum to the school at Howden, and £10 a year to the poor.

The central tower rests upon clustered columns. It is a well-proportioned structure, lighted by tall and handsome windows in the Perpendicular style, and supported at each angle by turret-like buttresses, which rise to the level of the battlements. Its total height is 135 feet. Within, amongst other coats of arms, are those of Bishop Skirlaw, by whom the tower is said to have been erected, about the year 1390. It is, however, more probable that the bishop only added an upper stage to it, to maintain the harmony of proportion between the tower and the greatly enlarged church. A very improbable story, quoted from the Book of Durham, is related by Camden, stating that the prelate "built a huge, tall steeple to this church. that, in case of a sudden inundation, the inhabitants might save themselves in it." There is a good peal of eight bells in the tower, three of which were re-cast in 1869, and the others hear the names of Pack and Chapman, of London, by whom they were cast in 1775.

On the south side of the choir is the chapter house, which is entered through an elaborately wrought ogee arch, with sculptured niches on either side, still retaining their pedestals. This building is octagonal in shape, and resembles the chapter house at York, but is of smaller dimensions, being only 24 feet across. The ornamentation is of the most elaborate and varied character, niches, canopies, tabernacle work, foliage, and every species of ornament into which stone can be cut. One side adjoins the choir; in each of the other seven sides is a large three-light window, the tracery in the head has been intricate but different in design, five varieties being still traceable. Its beautiful groined roof and octagonal spire fell in, on St. Stephen's day, 1750. Around the interior are thirty canopied seats, separated by small clustered pillars, exquisitely carved. Its richly-sculptured walls are still beautiful in their ruin; what must they have been before they were disfigured by the corroding hand of time, or the still greater enemy the village vandal. This architectural gem was erected through the munificence of Bishop Skirlaw, in the last decade of the 14th century.

Near the chapter house is another small building, adorned in several places with the sculptured arms of the above-named prelate, supposed to be the chapel or chantry of St. Cuthbert, which he founded and endowed with property in Howden. There were also chantries in the church dedicated to St. Mary, St. Thomas, St. Catherine, and St. Andrew.

Several of the windows are filled with stained glass. The large one in the west end is a memorial of William and Ann Scholfield, of Sand Hall, who are buried in the chapter house. In the church is still preserved the old parish shell or coffin, formerly used for carrying the corpse to the grave. It bears the date 1664, and it is said that there is only another one now in existence in the kingdom. The register commences with the year 1541, and is in good preservation.

The living is a vicarage, worth £300 a year, including 45 acres of glebe, in the gift of the Lord Chancellor, and held by the Rev. William Hutchinson, M.A., of Trinity College, Dublin.

Adjoining the jsouth aisle of the church is the Grammar school, erected, apparently, some little time before the dissolution of the college, but it does not appear to have had any original endowment. An old distich says

"Bishop Skirlaugh, indeed, was good to his people,
He built them a school-house and heightened their steeple."

Thomas Cutts, in 1702, left £2 8s. per annum, out of land in Saltmarshe, for the instruction of six poor children in reading and writing; and Robert Jefferson, Esq., in 1803, bequeathed 20 guineas yearly to the vicar, for instructing twelve poor boys of Howden. There are 14 scholars, of whom six are free. The schoolhouse was restored in 1860, at a cost of £200.

The Bishops of Durham had a palace on the south side of the church, the remains of which have been converted into a dwelling, called Manor house. Over the archway are the arms of Skirlaugh, and over the gateway, in the grounds to the west of the vicarage, are the arms of Cardinal Langley. Both of these prelates made considerable additions to the episcopal residence. Leland, who visited Howden in the reign of Henry VIII., says :- " The Bishop of Durham's palace lyeth in the south of the church, whereof the front part of the entry is of timber, the other most of stone and part of brick." From a survey of the house by Bishop Pilkington, in 1577, we learn that it was in the form of a quadrangle, 186 feet in length and 126 in breadth. Skirlaw's Hall measured 62 feet by 24 feet, having a clerestory of seven windows, and a battlemented parapet. The park extended to the river Ouse. This palace was a favourite residence of some of the early bishops. Prince John spent the Christmas of 1191 at Howden, the guest of Hugh Pudsey. That prelate died here in 1195, and was buried in Durham cathedral. Walter de Kirkham died here in 1260, and Bishop Skirlaugh, the great benefactor of the church and parish, expired at Howden, in 1406. Both prelates were carried to Durham for interment.

The Vicarage House occupies a portion of the site of the bishop's palace. It was erected in 1863, at a cost of about £1,200, part of which was contributed by the Ecclesiastical Commissioners.

The Catholic Church, dedicated to the Sacred Heart, is a neat edifice of brick, with stone dressings, in the Norman style, comprising an apse-ended sanctuary, and nave with side aisles, and bell turret. It was built in 1851, at a cost of about £1,000. There are six stained glass windows in the church, and on the walls hang the 14 Stations of the Cross in oil colours. The Lady Altar was presented by Lady Herries, of Everingham. Adjoining the church is the presbytery. The present pastor is the Rev. Patrick O'Brien.

The Wesleyan Chapel, originally erected in 1786, was rebuilt and enlarged in 1832, at a cost of £1,800, to accommodate 550 worshippers. An organ was added in 1834, at a cost of £200. Attached to the chapel are a Sunday school, and two houses for the ministers. The Congregational Church, situated in Bridgegate, was erected in 1795, and enlarged in 1837. The front was rebuilt and the interior renovated and re-seated with pitchpine in 1878, to accommodate 350 persons. A fine toned organ by Conacher & Sons, of Huddersfield, was put in by subscripton in 1889. There are mural tablets on the walls to the memory of the Revs. Joshua Williamson and James Bruce, former ministers here. The living is endowed with £60 per annum, derived from land in Market Weighton and Howden, purchased with £500, left in 1725, by Mr. Joshua Jefferson, of Hook, and others, subject to a weekly distribution of 12 penny loaves among the poor members. In the rear of the church is a Sunday school. The present minister is the Rev. James Lewis.

The Primitive Methodists erected a chapel in St. John Street in 1837. This was subsequently converted into a Sunday school, and in 1872 the present new chapel was built adjoining, at a cost of £1,200. It is a neat building of brick, with stone dressings, in the Gothic style, and is fitted with stalls to seat 300. The property also includes a house for the minister. The Rev. Jacob Wilson is the present minister.

The National school (mixed), in Pinfold Street, was built by subscription in 1826, and an infant school was added in 1884. There are 250 children on the books. The old infant school in Dun's Lane has been converted into a mission room. The Wesleyan school (mixed), in Flatgate, was built in 1847, at a cost of £800. There is accomodation for 180 children, and 120 names on the books.

The Town Hall is a building of stone, facing the church, erected in 1850. There is a subscription news and reading room on the ground floor, and the savings bank is held in another apartment. The upper room will seat 200 persons, and is used for lectures, concerts, &c. The Market Hall was built by a limited company in 1871, at a cost of £2,000. It is a brick structure with stone dressings, erected from the designs of Messrs. Hadfield & Son, Sheffield, and comprises a market and two shops on the ground floor, and the shire hall above, capable of seating 500 persons. It is let for concerts, public entertainments, &c., and the petty sessions and county court are also held here.

Howden Hall is a large mansion of brick, in Flatgate, built in the reign of William and Mary. It was the manor house of a small manor called Paradise, which formerly belonged to the Belt family, from whom it was purchased in 1702, by the Worsops. The arms of this family are depicted, along with those of Saltmarshe, Sotheron, Bethell, and Estcourt, in one of the windows of Howden church. In 1849, the hall and estate passed by sale to the late Mr. John Banks, and in 1879, they were put up to auction and purchased by Miss Banks, who subsequently married Henry Blanchard Anderson, Esq., the present owner and occupier.

Howden Poor Law Union comprehends 41 parishes and townships extending over an area of 100 square miles, and containing 12,743 inhabitants, a decrease of 544 since 1881. The total gross rental is £127,312, and the rateable value £120,797. The Workhouse is a large building of brick, capable of accommodating 200 inmates, erected in 1839, at a cost of upwards of £4,000. The following townships are included in the Union :- Asselby, Aughton, Balkholme, Barmby-on-the-Marsh, Belby, Bellasize, Bishopsoil, Blacktoft, Brackenholme-with-Woodhall Breighton, Broomfleet, Bubwith, Cheapsides, Cotness, Eastrington, Ellerton Priory, Faxfleet, Foggathorpe, Gilberdike, Gribthorpe, Harlthorpe, Hemingbrough, Holme-on-Spalding Moor, Hotham, Howden, Kilpin, Knedlington, Latham, Laxton, Menthorpe, Metham, North Cave-with-Drewton and Everthorpe, Portington and Cavil, Saltmarshe, Scalby, Skelton, Spaldington, Thorpe, Wallingfen, Willitoft, Wressle, Yokefleet.

Charities amounting to about £40 yearly have been left to the poor of the parish.

Roger de Hoveden, a celebrated English historian in the reign of Henry II., was a native of Howden. He combined the two-fold profession of ecclesiastic and lawyer, and was for some time professor of theology at Oxford. His annals of English history commence in A.D. 731, the period at which Bede finished, and conclude in 1201, so that it has been quaintly said of him "Quod Bede fecit ille per-fecit." His history was printed in London in 1595, at Frankfort in 1601, and recently in Bohn's antiquarian library.

Another of Howden's worthies was Thomas Ward, who began life as a stable boy, and eventually became the trusted friend and minister of the Duke of Lucca, who made him a baron. Ward was born at York in 1809, whither his parents had removed, but the five school years of his life were spent with his grandfather, an honest well-conducted labouring man, at Howden. At the age of 12 he returned to his parents at York, and entered the training stables, where his father was stud-groom. When 14 he was sent with a horse to Vienna, and there entered the service of Prince Aloys von Lichtenstein. He gradually rose from one position to another in the stables, and was at length induced to transfer his services to the reigning Duke of Lucca, one of the Italian states. He went as under-groom, and in a few years became valet de chambre. Afterwards he had the management of the duke's household and privy purse, and introduced many much-needed reforms. He rose still higher in the duke's esteem, and was consulted by him on the weighty matters of state. His advice proved of the greatest service to the Duke, and showed that, though wanting in early education, he was possessed of shrewdness and common sense. Finally he was raised to the office of prime minister, and, to render him acceptable to foreign potentates, he was created a baron. Baron Ward frequently visited England in his several capacities, and never forgot his Yorkshire home, nor the friends of his early youth. He was the minister of a catholic sovereign, and of an intensely catholic people, yet he firmly held throughout his life to the principles of the Church of England, in which he had been educated, a feature no less creditable to the firmness of his own convictions than to the liberality of a catholic potentate and a catholic people. Baron Ward died in 1858, at the age of 49.

ASSELBY is a township in this parish containing 925 acres of land, and 25 of water. The rateable value is £1,678, and the population in 1891 was 239. The soil is rich and loamy, and the subsoil clay; wheat, oats, barley, potatoes, and turnips, are the chief crops. The principal landowners are T. S. Clarke, Esq., J.P., of Knedlington Manor; Lord Leconfield, Rev. Thomas Brooke, J. W. Shaw, Asselby; and Messrs. Hammond. The first-named gentleman is lord of the manor. The Hull and Barnsley railway passes through the township.

Aschilebi, as it is called in Domesday Book, belonged, at the time of the Norman Conquest, to the Bishop of Durham and Earl Moreton, and Nigel Fossard held lands under the latter, and two extensive fisheries which yielded, on an average, 2,400 eels annually. When Howden church was made collegiate, the reputed manor, the greater part of the land, and the tithes were granted to the prebendary of Barmby, and were held by the successive prebendaries till the dissolution of the college.

The village stands two miles west of Howden. There are chapels belonging to the Wesleyans and Primitive Methodists. The former was built in 1868, and the latter in 1850. Asselby is included in the Barmby-on-the-Marsh United School Board district. A Board school was erected in 1878. On the site now occupied by Mr. J. W. Shaw's house, formerly stood Asselby Hall, across the gable of which was an oak beam with a number of eels carved thereon, having probably some reference to the fisheries above mentioned. This beam is now built in the attic of the present house. The open fields were enclosed in 1837. The works and buildings of the Howden Water Co. are situated in this township, but are at present idle. Mr. T. S. Clarke is impropriator of the tithe, amounting to £125. Asselby Island, in the river Ouse, belongs to the parish of Drax, in the West Riding.

BALKHOLME township contains 1,221 acres, of which 1,018 are under assessment. The rateable value is £858, and the population in 1891 was 70. The soil is sandy and the subsoil sand and clay; oats, wheat, and barley are the chief crops. The landowners are Philip Saltmarshe, Esq.; Mr. Brackenbury; Mr. John Morrell, of Laxton Grange; R. S. Scholfield, Esq., of Sand Hall; the exors. of T. B. Burland; J. J. Dunnington-Jefferson, Esq.; and the Rev. R. Hiley, Sancton. There are also a few small freeholders. East Linton, West Linton, and part of Newland were added to Balkholme in March, 1890.

The village is scattered, and stands two-and-a-half miles east of Howden. The only place of worship here is the Primitive Methodist chapel, built in 1870, at a cost of £148.

BELBY is a small township one-and-a-half miles north-east of Howden, containing 724 acres of land and 33 inhabitants. It is in two farms, and is valued for rating purposes at £507. The Rev. George Middleton Athorpe, of Dunnington Hall, Rotherham, owns the whole township, with the exception of 29 acres, which belong to Mr. W. Freeman, of Bilton Court, near Knaresborough. There are no manorial rights.

KILPIN is a township situated on the bank of the Ouse, and is divided from the township of Howden by the old Derwent river. Its total extent is 724 acres, including 12 acres of water. The soil is sand, warp, and clay; the subsoil clay; and the chief crops are wheat, oats, and potatoes. The rateable value is £1,778, and the population in 1891 was 393. The Rev. G. M. Athorpe, the trustees of Messrs. Parker & Murdock, the exors. of Henry Austwick, Captain Jefferson, and Philip Saltmarshe, Esq., are the principal landowners.

The village of Kilpin Pike stands on the bank of the Ouse, one-and-a-half miles south-east of Howden. Shipbuilding is carried on here, and there is a considerable river traffic in coal, wheat, and timber. Kilpin hamlet is two miles east-south-east of Howden. There is a small Wesleyan chapel here, built in 1867. At the upper end of Bell Cross Lane formerly stood a shrine, or oratory, dedicated to the Blessed Virgin Mary, at which offerings were frequently made by pilgrims resorting thither. It was in existence in 1512, but not a vestige of it now remains. It is very probable that the name of Bell Cross has some connection with this shrine.

HOWDEN DYKE, is a village in this township. It stands on the Ouse, over which there is a ferry to Goole. There are large chemical manure works here, employing about 100 hands, and a large timber trade is also carried on. A Public Room was erected in 1889, by G. H. Anderton, Esq., which is used for entertainments, &c.; and the Congregationalists and Primitive Methodists hold services in it on Sundays.

KNEDLINGTON is a small township, comprising 539 acres of land, and 21 of water. Thomas Sinclair Clarke, Esq., M.A., J.P., is lord of the manor, principal landowner, and impropriator of the tithe, amounting to £35. William Wadsworth, of Scarborough, and Heber Percy, Esq., of Hodnet Hall, Shropshire, have small estates here. The soil is loam, and the subsoil clayey; wheat, barley, and potatoes are the chief crops. The rateable value is £1,178, and the number of inhabitants 182, an increase of 39 since 1881.

The manor of Knedlington, anciently written Cledington, and the tithes formed part of the endowment of the prebendal stall of Howden, and after the dissolution of the college, they passed into lay hands. The property now belongs to Thomas S. Clarke, Esq., M.A., J.P., whose family have possessed it since the middle of last century. Knedlington Manor, the seat of this gentleman, is a building in the Tudor style, erected in 1841-2, and pleasantly situated in a small but well-wooded park, from which there are some fine views of the river and the town of Howden.

The village of Knedlington is small, and stands about one mile west of Howden. The Old Hall, the former residence of the owners of Knedlington, is a good specimen of the Elizabethan style. It belonged to the Arlush family in the 17th century, and passed from them to the Terricks. Dr. R. Terrick, Bishop of London, who died in 1777, was born here. The hall was afterwards owned by the Weddalls, of Newby.

BOOTH, is a small hamlet in this township, near which is a ferry over the Ouse to Drax and Goole, belonging to Heber Percy, Esq.

SKELTON is a township, lying within a bend of the Ouse, which river surrounds it on three sides. Its total extent, exclusive of water, is 1,258 acres; rateable value, £2,652, and population 285, an increase of 53 since 1881. The soil is strong warp, the subsoil clay; and the chief crops are wheat, oats, barley, and potatoes. Robert Stanley Scholfield, Esq., J.P., who is lord of the manor, and Philip Saltmarshe, Esq., J.P., are the chief landowners. Mr. Joshua Dunn, of Howden, owns the Manor House farm; the Aire and Calder Navigation Co. have 35 acres of land here, and the trustees of R. Parker, of Selby, have 21 acres. The Hull and Doncaster branch of the North-Eastern railway intersects the township, and crosses the river on an iron girder bridge, 830 feet in length. There are seven arches, two of which form a swing opening to allow the passage of vessels. The swing portion weighs 670 tons, and is moved by hydraulic power, the time occupied in opening and closing it being a little under a minute.

The manor and tithes of Skelton belong to the prebendal stall of that name in Howden church, but after the dissolution of the college, they passed into lay hands.

The village stands on the east bank of the Ouse, about two miles south-by-east from Howden, and one-and-a-half miles from Saltmarshe, the nearest railway station. A school-chapel was erected in 1851, by the late Robert Scholfield, Esq., and a classroom was added in 1891, by the present lord of the manor. Service is held in it every alternate Sunday. The Wesleyans have also a chapel here, built in 1842.

Sand Hall, the seat of Robert Stanley Scholfield, Esq,., J.P., and vice-chairman of the East Riding County Council, is a large building of brick, erected in 1774, by the great-grandfather of the present owner. It stands in a large park, almost encompassed by a winding reach of the Ouse. The surface is level, but beautifully dotted with trees of various kinds. Sand Hall is a distinct manor, with right of fishery attached thereto. Though small, it is not devoid of historic interest. It was once the home of the Vescis, and a hunting lodge of the Kings of England. Here, Edward Baliol, whilst the guest of Lady Agnes de Vesci, planned the expedition which placed him for a while on the throne of Scotland. Shortly after this, Sand Hall appears to have become a royal manor, and the occasional residence of the king; at least we may draw such an inference from an order given to the king's butler, to deliver "at the manoir of Sandhalle" two tuns of wine "for the private use of our lord, the king."

The poor have charities amounting to about £8 10s. per annum.

THORPE is a small township, containing 290 acres, belonging principally to the Rev. G. M. Athorpe, M.A., of Dunnington Hall. The whole township is comprised in one farm, occupied by Mr. Harry Smith. There are 562 yards of the Hull and Barnsley railway within the township, and 120 yards of the Hull and Selby branch of the North-Eastern railway. The rateable value of the township is £435, and the number of inhabitants in 1891 was 61.

[Description(s) from Bulmer's History and Directory of East Yorkshire (1892)]


  • Transcript of the entry for the Post Office, professions and trades in Bulmer's Directory of 1892.

Scan, OCR and html by Colin Hinson. Checking and correction by Peter Nelson.