Richmond in old picture postcards volume 1

Richmond in old picture postcards volume 1

:   Leslie P. Wenham
:   Yorkshire, North
:   United Kingdom
:   978-90-288-2267-2
:   80
:   EUR 16.95 Incl BTW *

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Fragmenten uit het boek 'Richmond in old picture postcards volume 1'

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There are 57 Richmonds in the world: all are named after Richmond in Yorkshire. 'Riche mont' (Old French meaning 'the strong hill') admirably describes the dominating position of Richmond Castie on a crag overlooking the Swale.

Alan Rufus of Brittany held high command in the Norman army at the Battle of Hastings 1066. William the Conqueror rewarded him with the estates of the dispossessed AngloSaxon Earl Edwin of Mercia. Alan held over 300 manors in various parts of England, 164 of which were in Yorkshire. So, in 1071, Alan built bis castle at Richmond, the first in this country to be built in stone. The great keep was added about a century later probably by Conan, the fifth earl.

The Market Place was originally the outer bailey of the castle. Beyond this the first town grew up. Eventually the outer bailey was considered unnecessary and civilian settlement was permitted inside it. This new town flourished. In 1093 it was granted its first charter. For an annual fee farm of !29 paid to the earl the burgesses were allowed certain rights of selfgovernment. As the centuries passed other charters followed with additional privileges. Until 1576 the town was governed by four bailiffs, from 1576 to 1668 by an Alderman and twelve Capita! Burgesses, from 1668 until1835 by a Mayor, twelve Aldermen and twenty-four Common Councilmen and from 1835 until the reorganisation of local government in 1974 by a Mayor, four Aldermen and twelve Town Councillors. Now the Town Mayor and twelve Councillors wield very limited powers, little more than those of a Parish Council.

In 1312 because of Scottish raids into Richmondshire a stone wall was built round the town, parts of which still remain together with two postern gates (in the Bar and Friars Wynd). In the Middle Ages and until a century ago Richmond ranked as one of the chief market towns in the north of England. lts weekly market held on a Saturday still continues. lt bad

three fairs each year. The internal trade was controlled by the Corporation and thirteen Craft Guilds. One of these -the Mercers, Grocers and Haberdashers- bas an unbroken history from its inception (sometime in the 13th century) to the present day,

Medieval Richmond was a place of considerable ecclesiastical importance. In Trinity Chapel was the Consistory Court, headed by a commissary nominated by the Archdeacon of Richmond. lt continued until 1850. Besides the Parish Church (St. Mary's) and Trinity Chapel in the Market Place there were also three other small chapels situated at the three principal entrances to the town - St. Anthony's in what is now Wellington Place, St. Edmund the King in Anchorage Hili (so-called because of a nearby cell of an anchoress) and St. James near the Green Bridge. In these churches and chapels there were 17 chantries. The priests who served these lived communally in their own College in the Market Place in the area between Finkle Street and Friars Wynd. Nearby were also the three great monastic houses - St. Martin's (Benedictine) founded in 1100, St. Agatha's at Easby (Praernonstratensian) 1154 and the Greyfriars (Franciscan) 1257.

The Reformation had a devastating effect on the trade and importance of Richmond. In both the Pilgrimage of Grace (1536) and the Rising of the North (1569) Richrnond was one of the main eentres of disaffection. The most dramatic event at this time was the burning of the protestant Richard Snell in 1558.

During the Civil War Richmond was royalist. Mauger Norton of St. Nicholas raised and commanded a regiment which fought at the battle of Marston Moor in 1644. Following this royalist defeat Richmond became the headquarters of the Scottish army of occupation of the North of EngIand. The Restoration of Charles II in 1660 was hailed with joy:

boisterous celebrations took place in the Market Place. The 18th century saw a revival in Richmond's wealth. Trade improved, particularly through lead-mining and hand knitting. Lead was brought to Richmond from Swaledale by jaggers (small ponies). In 1751 the road from Brompton-on-Swale to Lancaster through Richmond and Askrigg was taken over by a Turnpike Trust. This improved transport. Richtnond's main link with the outside world was at Catterick Bridge, one of the chief coaching eentres between London and Edinburgh. lt was during this century that Richmond Grammar School became renowned, attracting boarders from places as far afield as London and Scotland.

The Charter of Elizabeth I gave Richmond the right of sending two members to Parliament, the vote being vested in the owners of what were known as Burgage Houses. There were 273 of these. In 1760 Lawrence Dundas of Aske acquired 161 of these and could (and did) nominate the Richmond members of Parliament. Richmond ranks as a classic example of a pocket borough.

The Corporation possesses a very fine collection of Civic Plate: the oldest piece dates to 1595. The Mayor's chain of office is relatively modern being made in 1872. lt is decorated with exquisite enamel work embodying the arrns of the Richmond guilds,

The 19th century saw many rapid changes in Richmond. In 1810 the open fields (dating back to medieval times) were enclosed, In 1821 a Gas Company was formed. In 1846 the Railway Station was built linking Richmond to the LoridonEdinburgh line at Eryholme junction. Copper was mined in Billy Bank Wood. Three of the old medieval corn water mills were converted into paper mills. In 1836 another Turnpike Road was made linking Richmond with Reeth over Lownethwaite Bridge.

In the present century the most important influence on the town has been the building of the nearby Catterick Garrison with its thousands of soldiers. The motor car has made Richmond easily accessible to tourists. As the 'gateway to Swaleda1e' and the centre of the so-ealled 'Herriot country' it is now a mecca for visitors and sight-seers,

Many interesting men and women have been either bom in Richmond or had associations with it. Some of these are referred to later. Others are: Henry Greathead, inventor of the lifeboat, George Bell, founder of the London publishing firm, Christopher Clarkson, whose History of Richmond was published in 1821, George Cuit, landscape painter, Archdeacon Francis Blackburne, Rector of Richmond and one of the most controversial theologians of the 18th century and John Laird Mair Lawrence, Lord Lawrence of the Punjab, the 'Saviour of India' during the Indian Mutiny, Few towns the size of Richmond can boast of having one of its sons buried in Westminster Abbey (Lord Lawrence) and another in St. Paul's, London (James Tate, Master of Richmond School 1796-1833). Richmond also has interesting literary associations, some of which relating to Lewis Carroll, Herbert Knowies and Frances I'Anson are mentioned later. Annabella Milbanke who married Lord Byron lived in Hill House while Mrs. Henry Wood, the writer of sentimental novels such as East Lynne married a Richmond man and used her married name on her novels.


Most of the postcards and photographs are from the writer's own collection. In addition the following have kindly loaned material. Miss Sharn Jones, Mr. William A.G. Ward and the Richmondshire Museum.

1. The earliest map of Richmond: that of John Speede dated 1610. The note at the bottom relating to the vault is interesting. Local folklore has it that there is a huge cavem beneath the Castie Keep where King Arthur and his knights tie asleep around the famous round table. Sornetime in the Middle Ages one Potter Thompson is supposed to have stumbled upon a subterranean passage giving access to this cavern. He fled precipitately when the knights starred to stretch themselves as he handled a sword and a hom. Was it this legend which prompted Speede to add this note at the bottom of his map?

2. From time immernorial the boundaries of Richmond have been ridden every seven years. The custom dates back into medieval times when there was constant squabbling between landowners as to the exact demarcation lines between their properties. On the south the boundary of Richmond was the river Swale and on the east the oid earthwork Scots Dike, both ofwhich were obvious and indisputable. On the north and west however the borough was bounded by private properties, mainly belonging to the Aske and Marske estates. In particular there was constant friction between the various families that owned Aske (those of Aske, Bowes, Wharton, Darcy and Dundas) as to the line of the boundary in the area around Olliver Ducket. So, in the past this 'riding' was an essential and necessary duty of the Corporation. This shows the Mayor (John Ringrose) in 1913 taking a breather under Station Bridge. Accompanying the Mayor is the banner-bearer and the axe-man. The latter was normally the pinder who se day-to-day job was to round up stray cattle and put them in the pinfold. As axe-man he broke down any illegally erected hedges, fenees or other obstacles.

3. Richmond Parish Church has a very fine peal of eight bells. All except one have inscriptions on them which can be dated. The uninscribed one is supposed to have come from St. Agatha's Abbey, Easby after its dissolution in 1536. In 1923 the bells were re-tuned and re-hung. The Rector of Richmond at the time (the Reverend Canon N. Egerton Leigh) is on the right of the blackboard, the Mayor of Richmond (Albert Morton) is on the left. Next to the Mayor is the organist, Arthur Fountain. The two churchwardens carry their staves of office. On the extreme left of the group is Robert Underwood, the verger. He was a 'character', wit and raconteur, and kept the churchyard in immaculate condition. It was an oasis of beauty in the town and attracted countless visitors. The church paid a moving tribute to him when he died and placed a stone in the churchyard to his memory: part of the inscription reads: 'He loved his roses and they loved him.'

4. One of the most celebrated views of Richmond showing how the town nestles alongside the Castie and the river Swale. The bridge (left foreground) was built in 1846 to link the town with the Railway Station. The large building a little higher up the river was called the Church water com mill (now demolished). The Grammar School is in the middle with the Parish Church and its attendant churchyard to its right. The date is about 1900.

5. Richmond Grammar School is one of the oldest in Yorkshire. References to it occur in 1392 and 1397. It was originally in the churchyard adjoining the Parish Church. It was there that three of its most famous old boys were educated - Charles Lutwidge Dodgson (better known as Lewis Carroll), Dr. John Bathurst, the physician to Oliver Cromwell, and Herbert Knowles, the boy-poet. The latter died of consumption at the age of nineteen. His poem The Three Tabemacles has as its secondary title Lines written in Richmond Churchyard.

6. FIOm time immemorial Richmondshire has been noted for horse breeding and hunting. In Anglo-Saxon, Norman and Medieval times deer were the principal quarry, though wolves were also hunted. Fox hunting became fashionable in the late 17th and 18th centuries and most country gentlemen kept their own pack of hounds. The Dundas estate had kennels at Aske (they still exist) and maintained its own pack of hounds until as late as the 1930's. A popular annual event in Richmond was the meeting of the Zetland Hounds in the Market Place, of ten on Easter Monday. This picture shows the Meet there on Easter Monday 1896.

7. The Good Intent (now a private house) was as the foot of Sleegill adjoining the Green Bridge. In the 19th century and until the outbreak of the Great War in 1914 the habituees of varia us inns in Richmond displayed intense Ioyalty to their own partieular house - The Newbigginers to the Buck (see 73), Bargaters to the Board and Oak Tree, Frenchgate Headers to the Ship, Greeners to the Bridge and Brewery, and Sleegillers to the Good Intent. Here some of the 'regulars' of the Good Intent are shown wearing 'regalia' consisting of maces, halberds, gowns and chain of office. They are mirnicking the authentie (and very fine) civic regalia of the Borough on the other side of the river. Each year a mock ceremony was held in the Good Intent when the licensee or one of bis customers was solemnly elected 'Mayor' of Sleegill (a hamIet of about a dozen houses), given a parchment outlining his duties and duly installed with his chain of office - a piece of rounded tin attached to a cheap metal chain. This group dates to 1904 when John Ditchburn, the Iicensee, was the 'Mayor'.

8. In 1576, under a charter given to Richmond by Queen Elizabeth I, the town sent two members to Parliament. This continued until 1832 when, as a result of the Reform Act of that year, the Borough lost one of its members. It was not until the Re-Distribution Act of 1885 that the town ceased to have independent representation. It was then merged into the much larger constituency of Richmondshire which, with only minor adjustrnents, has continued to the present day, From 1760 until1885 the Dundas familiy of Aske supplied nearly all the members for Richmond. Rarely was there a contested election. An exception was in 1874. The illustration shows the dec1aration of the poll in the Market Place that year. The voting was as follows: Hon. John Charles Dundas (Liberal) 313 and C.E. Brunskill Cooke (Conservative) 259.

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