Wapentake of Howdenshire - Petty Sessional Division, Poor Law Union, and County Court District of Howden - County Council Electoral Division of Laxton - Rural Deanery of Howden - Archdeaconry of the East Riding - Diocese of York.
This parish was formed by an Order of the Queen in Council, dated 6th April, 1858, and consists of the townships of Laxton, Cotness, Metham, Saltmarshe, and Yokefleet, all previously in the parish of Howden. The total area of the district assigned to it is 5,573 acres. The township of Laxton contains 1,119 acres, and is valued for rating purposes at £2,839. The population in 1891 was 244, an increase of six since 1881. The soil is sandy, and the subsoil sand and clay; the chief crops are wheat, oats, barley, and potatoes. Nearly the whole township belongs to Philip Saltmarshe, Esq., who is also lord of the manor. The representatives of the late John Margrave Hill own about 57 acres, and the North Eastern Railway Co. has 25 acres, occupied by their Hull and Doncaster branch which passes through the parish.
There were formerly three manors in the township, held severally by the Methams, the Higdons, and the Lowsons; and the prebendary of Skelton in Howden church had also some interest in certain lands here.
The village is situated four miles south-east of Howden, and has a station called Saltmarshe, on the Hull and Doncaster railway. The church, dedicated to St. Peter, is a building of stone, in the Early English style, comprising chancel with organ chamber, nave, south porch, and western turret, containing two bells. It was erected in 1876, at a cost of £3,360, raised by subscription, and is both externally and internally a handsome edifice. The chancel is entered throngh a pointed arch, resting at each side on three clustered pillars. The windows are filled with stained glass, in memory of various members of the Saltmarshe, Empson, Denison, and Simpson families. The nave and chancel are fitted with open benches, and all seats are free and unappropriated. The polished granite pulpit was presented by Lieut.-Col. P. Saltmarshe, the oak lectern by the Rev. E. W. Simpson, and the organ by Mrs. Gamble. The original chapel, founded in the reign of Charles I. by three maiden ladies named Ann, Grace, and Elizabeth Dore, stooed on the opposite side of the road, but the ivy covered chancel only remains, and is used as a mortuary chapel. The living is a vicarage, worth £270 per annum, including 24 acres of glebe and residence, in the gift of the Archbishop of York, and held by the Rev. Edward Whitmore Simpson, of St. Aidan's, who resides at Metham Hall. The tithe, amounting to £30, belongs to T. S. Sothern, Esq.
There is a Wesleyan chapel in the village, built about fifty years ago. The National school was erected in 1874, for the accommodation of 120 children, and there are about 60 in average attendance
There is an ancient charity for apprenticing poor boys, natives of Laxton, to some trade. It was left by John Marshall, of York, baker, who by will, in 1669, gave to certain trustees a dwelling-house in Skeldergate, York, the rent thereof to be employed as above. The income allows £7 to each boy so apprenticed. The poor receive 10s. a year left by Matt. Pickering in 1688, he also endowed the chapel with 40s. a year, and left 10s. a year for an anniversary sermon.
COTNESS is a township containing 498 acres of land, lying on the bank of the Ouse, belonging to the Rev. E. W. Simpson, Metham Hall; J. W. Empson, Esq., Yokefleet; the Exors. of J. M. Hill, and Lieut.-Col. Saltmarshe. The rateable value is £630, and the number of inhabitants 36. The township contains two farms and six cottages, and is five miles south-by-east from Howden.
METHAM is a township in this parish, containing 755 acres of land and 63 inhabitants. The soil is warp, and the chief crops are wheat, oats, and potatoes. For rating purposes it is valued at £817. The principal landowners are Messrs. J. W. and A. R. Empson, of Yokefleet, and the Rev. E. Whitmore Simpson, of Metham Hall, who is also lord of the manor. This place formerly belonged to the Methams, who were seated here in early mediæval days. Sir Thomas Metham commanded at Flodden, and another Sir Thomas, his descendant, was slain at Marston Moor. Jordan, son of the latter, lost his life at the siege of Pomfret Castle. The family became much impoverished in later times, and Sir George Metham, the last of the name, who led a reckless roystering life, sold his heavily encumbered estate, and died at North Cave in poverty, his only means of subsistence in his latter years being a small pension from the Crown. The present hall, the seat of the Rev. Edward Whitmore Simpson, stands on or near the site of the ancient mansion. In the park, in front of it, is the trunk of an old oak, 27 feet in circumference, out of the centre of which another tree of good size is growing and flourishing.
The Roman road passed within a mile of the hamlet, and on the moor hard by traces of a Roman pottery have been discovered.
SALTMARSHE is a township containing 845 acres, stretching along the bank of the Ouse. The soil is warp, and the subsoil sand and clay; wheat, oats, barley, and potatoes are chiefly grown. The rateable value is £1,610, and the population 98, an increase of 22 since 1881. Lieut.-Col. P. Saltmarshe, J.P., D.L., who is also lord of the manor; R. S. Scholfield, Esq., Sand Hall; and J. W. Empson, Esq., are the owners of the land.
The manor is said to have been in the possession of the ancestors of the present owner from the time of the Normans. "Sir Lionel Saltmarshe," says Allen, "lived in the reign of Harold, and did homage to William the Conqueror, who knighted him at the castle of Knore, November 14th, 1067, where he gave him, under the royal lettters patent, the lordship of Saitmarshe." The present hall is a modern mansion, built by the late Philip Saitmarshe, Esq.
The village stands near the river, four miles south-east from Howden, and one-and-a-half miles from the station of its own name on the Hull and Doncaster branch of the North-Eastern railway.
YOKEFLEET is another township on the bank of the Ouse, containing 1,027 acres of land, and 151 inhabitants, an increase of 43 since 1881. John William Empson, Esq., Yokefleet Hall, who is lord of the manor, and Chas. Empson, Esq., of London, are the principal landowners. The soil is warp resting on clay, and the chief crops are wheat, oats, barley, turnips, flax, and beans. The rateable value is £1,483.
Yokefleet is one of the ancient manors mentioned in Domesday Book, and has been in the possession of the family of the present owner for about 200 years. Yokefleet Hall, the seat of John William Empson, Esq., J.P., is a handsome mansion, of brick with stone dressings, in the Tudor-style, erected in 1870, from the designs of Cuthbert Broderick, Esq., architect of the Town Hall, Leeds.
The village stands near the river, six miles south-east of Howden, and two-and-a-half miles from Saltmarshe station, on the Hull and Doncaster railway. The old Hall or Manor House, built on the moated site of an ancient mansion, is now in the occupation of Mr. Arthur Mitchell, farmer.
Scan, OCR and html by Colin Hinson. Checking and correction by Peter Nelson.