BOLTON ON SWALE: Geographical and Historical information from the year 1890.


Wapentake and Petty Sessional Division of East Gilling - Poor Law Union and County Court District of Richmond - Rural Deanery and Archdeaconry of Richmond - Diocese of Ripon.

This parish comprises the townships of Bolton-on-Swale, Ellerton, Kiplin, Scorton, Uckerby, and Whitwell, covering 8,124 acres, and containing, according to the census returns of 1881, 825 inhabitants. It was formerly an ancient parochial chapelry of Catterick, but was constituted a district chapelry or distinct parish by an Order in Council, dated 12th August, 1885. The township which gives its name to the parish comprises 817 acres of land, lying on the north bank of the river, and had, in 1881, a population of 77. The soil is gravelly, and rests upon limestone. Vice-Admiral the Hon. W. C. Carpenter is lord of the manor and principal owner. Before the Conquest the manor of Bolton belonged to Ghilepatric, and was valued, in the time of the Confessor, at 20 shillings. The scribes of the Domesday Book wrote the name Bodelton, and tell us that the manor was then held by Ribald, but was waste. Subsequently it came into the possession of the Crowes of Kiplin, and its further descent is shown under that place. The rateable value of the township is £1,009.

The village stands pleasantly on the banks of a small beck, half a mile east of the Swale, 6 miles E.S.E. of Richmond, and 1½ miles from Scorton railway station.

The church (St. Mary) is an ancient structure in the Gothic style, consisting of nave, north and south aisles, chancel, and a lofty tower, containing six bells. It was built by the abbot and convent of St. Mary's, York (probably in the first half of the 14th century), to whom the church of Bolton was granted as a separate parish, A.D. 1257, but when or how it lost its rank is not known. Previous edifices, Norman and Saxon, occupied the site, and remains of both are seen incorporated with the more recent Gothic. The church was restored and enlarged in 1859, at a cost of about £2,000, the greater part of which was contributed by the late Countess of Tyrconnel. During the progress of the work the lids of several stone coffins were found, which had been built in as lintels to the windows of the south aisle. These are now built into the interior wall, near the door, where they will be preserved for the inspection of future antiquarians; and in the vestry, which is apparently a portion of the original Saxon structure, may be seen a fragment of the shaft of a Saxon cross found at the same time. The windows in the east and west ends are particularly handsome. The former (subject, "The Three Marys ") was erected by the Hon. Admiral Carpenter, in memory of his wife, and the latter by the Countess of Tyrconnel, to the memory of her husband. The richly carved oak stalls, the reredos, and the restoration of the chancel were also the gift of Admiral Carpenter. A two-manual chamber organ was placed on the north side of the chancel in 1877, at a cost of over £300, raised by subscription. There are several mural tablets in the church, the oldest of which is one of black marble, surmounted by a shield, to the Wastell family, dated 1659. There are several to members of the Crowe family, former owners of Kiplin, including one to the late Countess of Tyrconnel. A handsome monument of white marble commemorates the late wife of Admiral Carpenter, who died in 1876. It consists of an effigy of the deceased lady, in white marble, upon a massive marble pediment, which stands upon a pavement composed of blocks of variegated marble. It is a beautiful work of art by Boehm.

But the most interesting monument is that of Henry Jenkins, who died at the age of 169, and is the most remarkable instance of longevity on record in this country. There were no baptismal registers kept when he first saw the light, but his great age has been as well authenticated as such generally can be. He was born in the neighbouring township of Ellerton in the year 1500, died at the same place on the 6th December, 1670, and was buried in this churchyard. He was of humble birth, and followed his employment of fishing for 140 years. He was a witness in a right-of-way trial, at York Assizes, in 1655, when he declared most positively that the said road had been a public one to his knowledge 120 years. The judge was sceptical of his great age and memory, capable of such an extensive retrospect, but the venerable old man maintained his assertion, and added, in further proof of his evidence, that he was then butler to Lord Conyers, of Hornby Castle, and that his name might be found in an old register of the menial servants of that nobleman. On the same trial were four men engaged as witnesses for the opposite side, each of whom was about a hundred years of age, and, in answer to the judge, positively declared that Jenkins had been "an old man" as long as they could remember.

Dr. Lyttleton, Bishop of Carlisle, communicated to the Antiquarian Society, on the 11th December, 1766, a paper copied from an old household book of Sir Richard Graham, Bart., of Norton Conyers, in which was a transcript of a letter written by Miss Anne Savile, without date, but apparently written in 1661 or 1662. This lady was sister of Mrs. Wastell, of Bolton, and in the letter she says: when she first went to live at Bolton, Jenkins was said to be then about 150 years old. That he came one day to her sister's house to beg an alms, and she examined him, "conjuring him to speak the truth, as he must soon give an account to God of all he did and said." He told her that his age was then, to the best of his remembrance, 162 or 163. He remembered the battle of Flodden Field; he was then between 10 and 12 years old, and was sent to Northallerton with a horse load of arrows, but a bigger boy went forward with them to the army, which was commanded by the Earl of Surrey, King Henry VIII. being in France at the time. He remembered the dissolution of monasteries, and said that great lamentation was made on that occasion, and that he was often at Fountains Abbey during the residence of the last abbot, who, he said, used frequently to visit his master, Lord Conyers.

Jenkins, it is said, used to swim across the Swale with the greatest ease when he was more than 100 years old.

A monument was erected over his grave and a black marble tablet to his memory placed in the church by public subscription in 1743. The epitaph on the latter runs -

"Blush not, marble, to rescue from oblivion the memory of Henry Jenkins, a person obscure in birth, but of a life truly memorable, for he was enriched with the goods of nature if not of fortune, and happy in the duration if not the variety of his enjoyments. And though the partial world despised and disregarded his low and humble state, the equal eye of Providence beheld and blessed it with a patriarch's health and length of days, to teach mistaken man these blessings are entailed on temperance, a life of labour, and a mind at ease. He lived to the amazing age of 169; was interred here, December 6, 1670, and had this justice done to his memory, 1743."

There are six bells in the church tower, three of which were recently added by Mrs. Elizabeth Jocelyn, for 27 years housekeeper at Kiplin, and now living at the Old Hall, Bolton-on-Swale; and the three old ones were at the same time recast with their original inscriptions reproduced, at the expense of the Hon. W. C. Carpenter. One of these dates from old catholic times, and bears the legend Ave Virgo Gracia Plena Dominus Tecum (Hail gracious Virgin, the Lord is with thee). The registers commence in 1653.

The living is a vicarage, in the gift of the Vicar of Catterick, worth £125 per annum, with 13 acres of glebe and house. The Rev. Dacre Mallinder, the present vicar, is the eldest son of Mr. John Magnay Mallinder of Hullerbank, Cumberland. His ecclesiastical career was commenced under the guidance of the Rev. Canon Lord Forester, late rector of Gedling, near Nottingham. In 1875, he entered the Chancellor of Lincoln's School of Theology, where he was trained by Dr. now Archbishop Benson, and the Rev. Canon Crowfoot, Vice-Chancellor of Lincoln Cathedral. He was ordained by Dr. Wordsworth, Bishop of Lincoln, in 1877, to the curacy of St. Luke's, Nottingham. In 1879 he became curate of St. Mary's, Stow, under the Rev. Canon Neville, and in 1880 was appointed to the incumbency of Bolton-on-Swale.

There is a well-built and commodious school near the church, erected by the parishioners and other friends in affectionate memory of the late incumbent, the Rev. A. Cumby, who was 50 years vicar of the parish, and many years master of Scorton Grammar School, at a cost of £550. It receives £50 a year from the governors of Scorton Grammar School, and is also supported by the lord of the manor.

The charities of the parish amount to £5 5s.

ELLERTON-ON-SWALE is a township on the north bank of the river, nearly opposite Catterick, containing 1,600 acres of land, belonging solely to the Hon. Admiral Carpenter, who is also lord of the manor. It is valued for rating purposes at £1,710, and had, in 1881, 172 inhabitants. The village is distant about 6 miles from Richmond, and 4½ from Catterick. It claims the honour of having been the birthplace of Henry Jenkins, the oldest Englishman that ever lived.

KIPLIN TOWNSHIP lies on the left bank of the Swale opposite Killerby. Its area, including roads and water, is 993 acres, its rateable value, £1,213, and its population, 80. The lands of Kiplin have passed through many hands. At an early period, portions of them were granted to Easby Abbey and St. Martin's Priory, Richmond. These lands, some time after the suppression of monasteries, came into the possession of the Calverts, who also held lands and had a seat at Danby Wiske, but are supposed to have been previously located at Lazenby Hall, near Northallerton. The first of the name of whom we have any record is Leonard Calvert, who, about the year 1578, married Alice Crossland. This lady was devotedly attached to the old faith, and in 1604 she refused to comply with the law and receive the sacrament at Easter in the church at Bolton. Their son, Sir George Calvert, was one of the principal Secretaries of State to James I., by whom he was knighted in 1617, and afterwards created Baron Baltimore in Ireland. He received from that monarch extensive grants of land in Ireland and also in Newfoundland. Having become a Catholic in 1624, he was deprived of his offices, and smarting under the penalties and disabilities of a proscribed religion, he sought another sphere of action in founding, across the Atlantic, a colony which should be governed on principles of religious toleration. His Newfoundland possessions had fallen into the hands of the French, and he induced Charles I. to grant him another tract, which he named in honour of the Queen, Maryland. He died in 1632, before the charter had been drawn up, but letters patent were granted to his eldest son Cecil, 2nd Lord Baltimore, confirming to him and his heirs and successors, full possession of the Colony upon the payment of "Two Indian Arrows of those parts, every year on Easter Tuesday, and also the fifth part of all gold and silver mines which may hereafter be discovered."

The title became extinct in 1773; but about sixty years before that date Kiplin had passed, by purchase, into the hands of Christopher Crowe, Esq., who subsequently married Lady Charlotte, widow of the fourth Lord Baltimore, from whom she had been separated for ten years, and granddaughter of King Charles II., through her mother, the Countess of Lichfield. There were two sons and a daughter by her second marriage. George Crowe, Esq., the eldest, succeeded to the Kiplin estate, and died here in 1782, leaving an only son, Col. Robert Crowe, who married Anne, daughter and heiress of Christopher Buekle, Esq., of Banstead, Surrey. Sarah, their sole surviving daughter and heiress, married, in 1817, John Delaval Carpenter, fourth Earl of Tyrconnel. The earl died in 1853, and having no issue, he, with the consent of his wife, bequeathed the mansion and estate of Kiplin to the Hon. Walter Cecil Talbot, second son of Henry John, eighteenth Earl of Shrewsbury and Talbot, and Sarah, daughter of the second Marquis of Waterford, to whom both Lord and Lady Tyrconnel were deeply attached, and who was his cousin. The countess died in 1868, when the devisee succeeded and, in pursuance of her testamentary injunctions, assumed the surname and arms of Carpenter in lieu of those of Talbot. He is a vice-admiral of the Royal Navy, and was M.P. for County Waterford from 1859 to 1865. In 1869 he married the daughter of Major Miller Mundy, of Holly Banks, Hants.; she died in 1876. leaving an only daughter, Sarah; and in 1887 he married, secondly, the Hon. Beatrice de Grey, second daughter of Thomas, fifth Lord Walsingham.

Kiplin Hall, the seat of Admiral Carpenter, is a handsome brick mansion, with stone coigns and mullioned windows, erected by George Calvert, Lord Baltimore, about the year 1610, from designs by Inigo Jones, the reviver of classic architecture; but it has been much added to since that time. Around lies an extensive and well laid-out park, through which a winding drive leads to the hall. On one side of this drive is a lake several acres in extent.

The village of Kiplin is small but picturesquely situated in the well wooded vale of a rivulet, seven miles N.W. of Northallerton.

SCORTON township contains 2,645 acres, chiefly the property of Admiral Carpenter, who is lord of the manor of Scorton-cum-Greenbury; trustees of the late Rev. John Todd; trustees of Scorton Grammar School; George Jennings, Scorton; Rev. Joseph Cawood Walker, Fundenhall, Norfolk; Mr. Carter-Squire Catterick; Mr. John Kay, Scorton; and Mr. Sowerby. It is valued in the rate books at £3,768, and had, in 1881, 407 inhabitants.

The village is pleasantly situated by the side of a picturesque beck or brook, which passes through Bolton and Kiplin, below which it runs into the Swale. The houses, most of which are well and substantially built, are ranged round a beautifully level raised green, about four acres in extent. This was formed during the time and through the exertions of the late Mr. Noble, head master of the Grammar School. On the north side of the village is the Grammar School, once a place of some note as an educational establishment. It was founded in 1720 by Leonard Robinson, Esq., who endowed it with all his lands and tenements in the town and township of Scorton, for the free education of boys in the Latin or Greek languages, and the payment of an annuity of £20 to the curate of Bolton for preaching a sermon every Sunday afternoon. The founder also, by a codicil, left £10 a year out of East Scale Park estate, near Skipton, for apprenticing one or more boys who had been at least two years in the school. The present premises were built in 1760. At that time, and for many years after, there were about 80 scholars in the school, but for a few years previous to 1859 the attendance was very small, and the post of master almost a sinecure. In that year the school was closed and a pension of £100 per annum was paid to the master, the Rev. A. Cumby, out of the foundation fund, until his death in 1879. The school premises and master's house were thoroughly restored at a cost of £2,500, and re-opened in 1877, and conducted, until 1882, as a mixed school. In that year a new scheme was prepared and sanctioned by the Charity Commissioners, and in the following year the school was re-opened under the new scheme. The premises are fitted up with every requisite for scholastic purposes, and the curriculum is comprehensive and thoroughly adapted to modern requirements. The trust is administered, under the Charity Commissioners, by a body of eleven governors, of whom Christopher Cradock, Esq., of Hartforth Hall, is the present chairman. The endowment, which arises from the rent of 130 acres of land, amounts to £212 a year, out of which £20 is paid to the vicar of Bolton, and £50 to the school in that village. Masters, Mr. W. Peacock and Mr. F. Swanston of the London University, assisted by qualified tutors. Boarders pay a pension of £31 a year, and day scholars, £5. Five free scholarships are maintained at the school.

On the east side of the village, surrounded by an extensive garden, is the Hospital of St. John of God, for the reception of incurable male patients. It is conducted by the Brothers of that order, who have dedicated their lives to this most Christian work. The institution is supported by the contributions of the benevolent. There is accommodation for about 80 patients, and the number at present (January, 1889) in the hospital is 57.

The house was formerly the seat of the Bower family, who were resident here from 1717 to 1800. In 1807 it was purchased by a community of nuns, commonly known as the "Poor Clares," who established themselves here, and for upwards of half a century conducted a very successful boarding school for young ladies. The nuns, all of whom were English, and most of them ladies of birth, were driven from France, in 1795, by the terrors of the French Revolution, and on their arrival in this country, found shelter and hospitality at Haggerstone Castle, Northumberland, for twelve years, after which time they took possession of their new home. They made several additions to the house, and built a chapel. In 1857 they removed to St. Clare's Abbey, near Darlington, a range of handsome buildings, erected expressly for their use. In 1880 the above mentioned hospital was established, and two years later the property was purchased for £2,000.

The name of Scorton is linked with an old relic of the past, called "The Scorton Arrow," an archery prize competed for annually by English toxophilists. Its origin is unknown, but it is mentioned as early as 1673, and may possibly have existed from the time when our forefathers were famed for their skill with the long bow.

The Wesleyan Chapel in the village is a very humble structure, built in 1858. The site was given by Mr. J. Jennings, and all the labour was performed gratuitously by members of the Wesleyan body. The only outlay was for materials, which cost £92. The chapel is in the Richmond circuit.

A portion of the extensive Rose Nurseries of R. Mack and Son lies within this township.

UCKERBY is a small township in this parish. Its total area is 756 acres, and the number of its inhabitants in 1881 was 38. It is valued for rating purposes at £676. The Rev. John Lawson, Seaton Carew, and the trustees of the late Capt. Parry, are owners of the soil, but the manorial rights are held by Admiral Carpenter. St. Cuthbert's Well or Cuddy Keld, in this township, is supposed to indicate the site of some long forgotten monastery, dedicated to St. Cuthbert. The water is reputed to be beneficial in cutaneous diseases and rheumatism. Scorton station, on the Richmond branch of the North Eastern Railway, is in this township.

WHITWELL is a township containing 1,084 acres of land, chiefly owned by Wm. Fredk. Webb, Esq., Newstead Abbey, Notts; Chris. Trenholm, and Joseph Boyer, The manorial rights belong to the Hon. Admiral Carpenter. The rateable value is £724, and the number of inhabitants 51. The village, which is small, is distant 6½ miles from Catterick by road, but only 2½ across the Swale. There is a small Primitive Methodist Chapel here, built in 1882, at a cost of £112, on a site presented by W. F. Webb, Esq.

This parish has been the home of many whose ages have far exceeded the scriptural limit of three score and ten; and Whitwell can boast one who is now in the last decade of the century. Mr. Geo. Barker, an old and respected inhabitant, was born in the house in which he resides 92 years ago, and farms the land which his father and grandfather farmed before him. He is still hale and hearty, and has never been prevented by sickness from attending the half-yearly rent audit since he became tenant of the farm in 1816.

[Description(s) from Bulmer's History and Directory of North Yorkshire (1890)]


  • Transcript of the entry for the Post Office, professions and trades in Bulmer's Directory of 1890.

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