Area, 9,620 acres. Agbrigg wapentake, L.D *1. -Population, 19,854 *2; Church-room, 1,400 *3; Net value, £233. -This Church, with the Chapel of Hartshead, was given by William Earl Warren to the Priory of Lewes, and appropriated to it; but in 1348 it was given by the King to his Chapel of St. Stephen's, Westminster, and appropriated to it; and consisted of two medieties, until consolidated in 1232 by Archbishop Walter Gray, and a Vicarage ordained therein, 20 June, A.D. 1349.
At the Dissolution, the patronage came to the Crown.
Impropriator, J. Carr, Esq.
The Vicar is charged with the repairs of the Chancel of the parish Church, and also of the Chancel of Hartshead Chapel, but not with the rebuilding thereof. The tithes of iron and coal mines are reserved to the Rector.
In Pope Nicholas's Taxation, the Church of Dewsbury is valued at £82. 13s. 4d. per annum; and in the King's Books at £22. 13s. 6d. Synodals, 4s. and Procurations, 7s. 6d. In the Parliamentary Survey, vol. xviii. page 292, at £20 per annum.
There are pensions paid to the Vicar out of the Churches of Thornhill, Kirkburton, Almondbury, Huddersfield, Kirkheaton, and Bradford, all of which were probably parcel of the ancient Saxon parish of Dewsbury.
The tithes of Eccleshill are reserved by the ordination to the appropriators, "which," says Archbishop Sharp, " confirms what I have heard, that Eccleshill, near Bradford, did anciently belong to Dewsbury parish.
" The Vicarage is only endowed with Easter dues and tithes of lambs, pigs, and geese, and the surplice fees. There is a very ancient augmentation by pensions, from several neighbouring churches, to the yearly value of £11." Signed, " Joshua Jackson, Vic." -Notitia Parochialis, No. 840.
There was a Chantry in this Church.
Augmented in 1729 with £200, to meet benefaction of £200 from the Rev. Henry Robinson, Mr. J. Murgatroyd, and Mr. William Walker.
An Inclosure Act was passed 43rd Geo. III.
Dr. Whitaker gives a catalogue of the Vicars, and engravings of Saxon sculpture.
8th October 1731, faculty to re-pew the Church.
2nd December 1765, ditto to widen the Church and erect galleries.
1st February 1766, ditto to alter the situation of the pulpit and reading-desk, and erect new galleries.
16th August 1828, ditto to place two additional bells in the belfrey.
The glebe house is fit for residence.
The Register Books commence in 1538.
Charity School. About the middle of the last century, the sum of £1,100, being the amount of donations from Mrs. Mary Bedford, William Walker, and Thomas Bedford, was laid out in building a school-house, and purchasing an estate, and a school was opened, and from 80 to 100 boys are instructed in reading, writing, and arithmetic, without charge. There were also 40 girls instructed; but at the time the Report was made, the girls' school was suspended until the funds should accumulate. The charity lost £684. 8s. 2d. by the failure of the treasurer, and £100 by the failure of their banker. Income, rent of a house and 40 acres of land, dividends on £1,100 31 per cents., and interest of £188. 15s. 6d. on personal security.
Michael Bentley's Doles. Given by M. Bentley, sen. in 1617, and M. Bentley, jun. in £162. 20s. per annum, and £1. 6s. 8d. per annum; distributed to widows and other poor.
Cottages. The Bentleys also gave the site of three cottages, which were built by the parish, and occupied by widows and poor families. -Vide 19th Report, page 549.
A post town.
Torre's MS. page 737. Loidis et Elmete, page 298. Abp. Sharp's MS., vol. 1. page 181. 342.
*1 Clifton cum Hartshead is in Morley wapentake.
*2 Viz. Dewsbury, 8,272; Clifton cum Hartshead, 2,408; Osset, 5,325; Soothill, 3,849. Upwards of 180 men are employed in quarries and coal-mines in the townships of Dewsbury, Osset, and Soothill.
*3 Estimated in the return of 1818 at 2,400.