Burgh-By-Sands Parish

Lies on the south side of the estuary of the Eden, between the parishes of Beaumont and Bowness. It is about nine miles in circumference, and contains 6,170 acres, rated at £7,794, including about 1,500 acres of broad flat marsh extending from Old Sandside to a brook called Fresh Creek. The parish is situated in Cumberland ward, and petty sessional division; the county council electoral division of Dalston; the poor law union, rural and county court districts of Carlisle; and the deanery of Carlisle N.

A portion of it is common land; the remainder is the property of the Earl of Lonsdale, but the neighbouring farmers have the right of pasture according to the acreage of their holdings. The marsh is composed of rich alluvial soil, affording excellent pasturage, and thousands of cattle and sheep may at all times be seen grazing upon it under the care of a few herdsmen. It is subject, during storms and high tides, to the inundation of the sea, and within a recent period many hundred acres have been washed away. The whole marsh is supposed to be divided into a certain number of "stints or cattle gates," which are put up to auction each year. The soil of the district is remarkably fertile, except that of Moorhouse, which is mostly of a light gravelly nature. The parish is divided into four townships,viz., Burgh-by-Sands, Boustead Hill, Longburgh, and Moorhouse, and contains a population of 857.

BURGH BARONY comprises the parishes of Burgh, Bowness, Aikton, Thursby, Orton, Kirkbampton, Kirkandrews-on-Eden, and Grinsdale. It was given by Ranulph de Meschines, to whom Henry I had granted the whole county and part of Westmorland, to his brother-in-law, Robert D'Estrivers, whom he also appointed chief forester of Inglewood, a dignity which continued to be held by the barons of Burgh until forfeited by rebellion in the reign of Henry III. With Robert this family began and ended, as far as the barony of Burgh is concerned. His daughter and heiress, Ebria, conveyed it with her hand to Ranulph de Engayne, lord of Isel. This line also, after one descent, terminated in a daughter, Ada, who, by her marriage with Simon de Morville, brought the barony into that family. A Hugh de Morville was one of the four knightly murderers of Thomas ą Becket, archbishop of Canterbury, on the 29th December, 1170, and our local historians tell us that this Hugh was the grandson of the above Simon and Ada, and Baron of Burgh. It is said that he came to great misery after the crime, and by way of atonement gave the rectory of Burgh to the Abbey of Holme Cultram. Mr. John Denton, in his valuable MS. History of Cumberland written about 1650, says the sword with which the foul deed was committed was in his father's time preserved at Isel, "a place which belonged to the Morvilles as heirs of Engayne, and after that it remained with the house of Arundel." The sword with its legend appears as corroborative of the identity of the Baron of Burgh and the assassin, but Mr. Hodgson Hinde, in a paper read before the Archaeological Institute, has shown that the murderer of Becket was Hugh Morville, lord of Kirk Oswald and Brough in Westmorland, and not the Baron of Burgh. Hugh left no male issue, and his estates were divided between his two daughters, Ada and Joan - the barony of Burgh falling to the share of the former. By her first husband, Thomas de Lucy, she had two daughters, and by her second, Thomas de Multon, a son, Thomas, who by his marriage with Maud de Vaux, the heiress of Gilsland, became possessed of both baronies. This line terminated with the fourth Thomas de Multon, who was succeeded by his daughter and heiress, Margaret. By her father's death she became the king's ward, and was placed by Edward II in the guardianship of Guy Beauchamp, Earl of Warwick, being intended for the bride of Robert Clifford, when that young nobleman should arrive at man's estate. But her affections had been given elsewhere, and when she had arrived at that poetic and romantic age, sweet seventeen, she asserted her own right to a say in the matter, and eloped from Warwick Castle in the night with Ranulph de Dacre. But Ranulph was not the only Dacre whose courtship carried with it the spice of romance. Sir Thomas de Dacre, in the reign of Henry VIII, stole away Elizabeth de Greystoke from the custody of the Cliffords of Brougham Castle, and thus a second time was that noble family supplanted by a Dacre. Another Sir Thomas, who died in 1566, left behind him an infant son, George, and three daughters. The boy was killed about three years afterwards by a fall from a wooden horse, and his uncle, Leonard Dacre, as heir male, assumed the title of Lord Dacre of Gilsland and Greystoke. This assumption was resisted by the Duke of Norfolk, whose three sons had married the three sisters of young George. Leonard entered into the Northern Rebellion of 1569, for which the estates were escheated to the Crown, and he himself driven into exile. The forfeited possessions were afterwards granted to the two surviving sisters of George, and their husbands, the Earl of Arundel and Lord William Howard. The former received Burgh and Greystoke, and the latter the barony of Gilsland. In 1685, Henry, Duke of Norfolk, sold the barony of Burgh to Sir John Lowther, for £14,000, from whom it has descended to the present owner, the Earl of Lonsdale, who is also Baron Burgh of Burgh. An ancient and singular custom is still preserved here. Each lord of the manor celebrates his entry into the manorial possessions by holding races upon Burgh Marsh, in which only horses bred in the barony are allowed to compete. The most coveted prize is the silver cup presented by the new lord; but money prizes are also offered, and likewise prizes for wrestling and other athletic games. These races took place five times during the past century, viz.: 1804, 1845, 1873, 1877, and 1883.

BURGH township covers an area of about 1,575 acres, a large portion of which is owned by resident yeomen. The village of the same name is pleasantly situated about five miles W. by N. of Carlisle, and near the site of the great Roman Wall, of which it probably formed one of the stations. The route of the wall may be traced in a few places; little, however, is now left of either wall or ramparts, but when excavations are made, stones and other relics of Roman occupation are frequently found. Among these have been several inscribed stones, but not one that will lead to the identification of the station. From measurements made along the line of wall, Mr. Horsley concluded that it was the Axelodunum of the Romans, whilst Mr. Hodgson conceives it to be Congavata. Among the Roman altars which have been unearthed is one inscribed DEO BELATVCA; another, DEO BELATVCADRO POSVIT ARAM PRO SE ET SVIS; and a third, ALA TYN * * * RPO S. CENSORINVS SALVTE SVA * * * ES ET POS. Belatucadro was a local deity, and several other altars have been found in these northern parts bearing the same dedication. A Roman altar in a good state of preservation is now in the possession of Miss Blaylock, Rindle house.

About a mile and a half from Burgh-by-Sands is the spot where the valiant and chivalrous Edward I breathed his last, whilst waiting for an opportunity to cross over the Firth with his army into Scotland, A.D. 1307. In 1685, a monument was erected on the spot by Henry, Duke of Norfolk, on the four sides of which was a Latin inscription to the following effect :- "To the eternal memory of Edward I, the most famous King of England, who died here in camp whilst preparing for war against the Scots, July 7th, 1307. The most noble prince, Henry Howard, Duke of Norfolk, Earl Marshal of England, Earl of Arundel, &c., descended from Edward I, King of England, placed this monument, 1685. John Aglionby, a lawyer by trade, caused it to be made." But this monument having gone to decay another was erected by the Earl of Lonsdale in 1803, having an appropriate Latin inscription.

Upon the mantel-shelf in the kitchen of an old farmhouse at Burgh Head, may be read the following -

ETATIS. SVĘ 23 A.N. [here the outline of a heart with the initials I and M inscribed inside.]

In addition to the lord of the manor, the following are landowners in the township, viz.:- G.H.H. Oliphant-Ferguson, Esq., Broadfield; Matthews Hodgson Esq., Dykesfield; Richard Hodgson, Midtown, Burgh; Thomas Mein, Burgh; the Exors. of Captain Robinson, The Thorn, Penrith; Thos. Lonsdale, Burgh; Mrs. Mary Graham, the Exors. of Ruth Moffat, John Borradaile, Mrs. Hannah Borthwick, and several smaller owners.

The Church, dedicated to St. Michael, is an ancient structure, but has undergone many alterations. With the exception of the old tower, it was thoroughly restored in 1883, at a cost of £1,300, which was raised by subscription. This is one of the few fortified churches now remaining along the border. The walls of the tower are seven feet thick, and entrance from here into the church was obtained through a ponderous iron door, 6 feet 8 inches in height. The tower was capable of standing a short siege; and should the enemy succeed in entering the church, the iron door cut off all further advance. 'The tower is supposed to have been erected during the reign of the first or second Edward, and has probably often served as a place of refuge during the border wars.

The church contains several fine stained glass windows. The three in the chancel were inserted by public subscription in memory of the Diamond Jubilee of Queen Victoria, the subjects represented being St. Michael, I am the Bread of Life, and I am the True Vine. On the south side of the nave are other two windows, one in memory of R.J. Hind, placed there by the Misses Gilkerson, of Fauld House, representing the Guardian Angel and the Good Shepherd. The other, erected by the Rev. John Baker, M.A., vicar, in memory of his father, mother, sisters, and aunt, portrays the Epiphany. In the north aisle are five lancet windows, which quite recently have been filled with stained-glass to the memory of the late T.K. Barnes, by his five sisters. In each one a single figure is illustrated. They are as follows:- (1) St. Ninian, with a sketch of Whithorn Abbey in the head of the window; (2) King Edward I, with a view of Burgh Church; (3) St. Kentigern, with the Cathedral of St. Asaph; (4) St. Aidan, with a view of Lindisfarne; (5) St. Cuthbert, with the west front of Durham Cathedral. A new altar cross and desk were presented in 1895 by the late J.B. Dixon, Esq., London, and candlesticks by J.E. Tustin, Esq., London.

The church, as already stated, was given by Hugh Morville to the abbey of Holme Cultram, "for the finding of lights, wine, and other necessaries for the ornament of the church of Holme Cultram and the service of the altar there." Before this appropriation the church was rectorial, but it thence became vicarial. The right of patronage was purchased from the Crown about twelve years ago by Dr. Barnes, and is now the property of John Barnes, Esq., of Bunker's Hill, Carlisle. In 1535 the living was estimated at £5 1s. 11¼d., but has since been several times augmented, and is now worth £238. The tithes were commuted in 1843, for a yearly rent charge of £23; and the rectorial tithes, which formerly belonged to a number of lay impropriators, were redeemed by the landowners in 1829, except that portion belonging to Dovenby school, but this also was purchased in 1846 for the sum of £500, so that the whole is now merged in the land. The incumbency is held by the Rev. John Baker, M.A., who was inducted in 1892. The parish register commences in 1653. The vicarage is a commodious residence, erected in 1885 at a cost of £1,700, on a site given by the Earl of Lonsdale.

The School was built in 1870, transferred to the School Board in 1873, and enlarged in 1896. The accommodation is now 125, average attendance (mixed) 96. £3 17s. 0d. is received from Pattinson's Charity. Contiguous to the school is the master's residence. It is a good substantial house, erected in 1890 by the Board.

BOUSTEAD HILL township contains about 560 acres, chiefly owned by Messrs. William Nixon and Samuel Rigg, the Exors. of Captain Robinson, and the trustees of the late Thomas Rigg. The village of Boustead Hill occupies a pleasant situation on rising ground overlooking the Solway Firth.

LONG BURGH township comprises about 612 acres of excellent land, the owners of which are Mathews Hodgson, Esq., whose residence, Dykesfield, was formerly the seat and property of the Dykes family before their removal to Dovenby; Miss Ruth E. Blaylock, G.H.H. Oliphant-Ferguson, Esq., J.S. Blackburn-Robson, and Miss Ruth Story. The great Roman Wall, or Dyke, as our Saxon forefathers called it, passed through this township, and gave a name to the hamlet of Dykesfield, and also to the family which possessed it for many generations. The observant traveller may trace the route taken by the Wall from Dykesfield to Burgh-by-Sands; and the vallum, which ran parallel with and a short distance from the Wall, may also be seen. The village of Long Burgh is situated one mile west of Burgh.

MOORHOUSE township contains about 1,280 acres, the owners of which are Messrs. Joseph Martindale, High House, Abbey Town; George Stordy, Moorhouse; Thomas Johnston, Carlisle; George Mayson Blaylock, Burgh; George Thompson, Stanwix; Joseph Tyson, Grinsdale; J.W. Hodgson; J. and T. Stordy; Rev. James Arlosh, Wreay; Mrs. Catherine Stordy, Thurstonfield; Messrs. Hall, Wigton; Mrs. Blamire, Cumdivock, &c. The village, which gives name to the township, is pleasantly situated about two miles south of Burgh. There is here a Friends' Meeting House, erected in 1733, which is endowed with the rent of three acres of land. The Society of Friends' hold service occasionally; and the building is also used by the Wesleyans.

Thomas Stordy, who died in 1684, and Jonathan Ostell, who died in 1755, were natives of the parish of Burgh. They were both distinguished members of the Society of Friends, and zealous disseminators of the doctrines of that sect. Being by law entitled to the impropriation of certain tithes, they demised them to the several owners on whose estates they arose. By this act they each evinced their aversion to the principle of tithes, being alike unwilling either to pay or receive them. Mr. Stordy suffered many persecutions for his attachment to the tenets of George Fox. Being at Carlisle Assizes in 1662, he went to see some of his friends then suffering imprisonment for conscience' sake in that city, when he was illegally detained by the gaoler, and next day brought before the court. On his refusal to take the oath of allegiance there tendered to him, he was immediately sent back to the prison, and next day sentence of premunire passed upon him, by which he forfeited all his real and personal estates. In consequence of this sentence he was kept a close prisoner at Carlisle for ten years, but was at length released by the king, in 1672, and, through the intercession of the Earl of Carlisle, his real estate was restored to him. A few years afterwards he was again brought within the meshes of the law, for absenting himself-from the public worship of the Established Church, for which offence he was, by a statute of the 23rd Elizabeth, liable to a fine of £20 a month. He was again cast into prison, where he died in 1684. It is related of Jonathan Ostell that having received an invitation from His Royal Highness, the Duke of Cumberland, he took the opportunity of the duke's visit to the village of Burgh, and presenting himself before the prince, he accosted him in his characteristic style, "Well, I've come to see thee, friend William, according to promise."

Thurstonfield is a small hamlet in this township; and near the high road is a small lake of the same name.

CHARITIES. - Thomas Pattinson left in 1785 the sum of £100, the interest thereof to be applied in the education of the poor. Richard Hodgson about 150 years ago left a similar sum, one-half the interest of which he directed to be given to the poor and the other half towards the education of poor children. The sum of £50 was left in 1604 by John Liddle, in trust, for the benefit of the poor, not receiving parish relief; £2 is distributed annually on Easter Monday.



Bulmer's History & Directory Of Cumberland, 1901

19 June 2015

© Steve Bulman