This parish is bounded on the south by that of Urswick, on the west by the parishes of Pennington and Kirkby Ireleth, on the north by Wrynose Mountain, and on the east by Yewdale Beck, Coniston Water, the rivers Crake and Leven, and the Levens Bay, being about seventeen miles in length, and from two to three miles in breadth, and containing an area of about 32640 statute acres. Its population in 1801, was 4962; in 1811, 5493; in 1821, 6662; in 1831, 7250; and in 1841, 8780; and the annual value of its rateable property was estimated in the latter year, at £30,764. This interesting district, which was originally part of Dalton parish, is divided into the nine townships of Ulverston, Blawith, Church Coniston, Egton-cum-Newland, Lowick, Mansriggs, Osmotherley, Subberthwaite, and Torver.
ULVERSTON, or Ulverstone, the
capital of Furness, is a neat and well-built market town and port, pleasantly situated on
the sides of gentle declivities, with a southern aspect, distant about one mile and a
quarter from the Furness channel, in the bay of Morecambe, 5 miles N.E. from Dalton, 7
miles west from Cartmel, 14 miles south from Hawkshead, 22 miles N.W. from Lancaster, and
261 miles N.W. by north, across the sands from London. Dr. Whitaker says, "the oldest
orthography of the name is Olvaston, or Ulvaston; and I am disposed to think that the
modern r is epenthetical, and that it was originally the town of Ulpha.* Others disputing
Ulverston is the mart for the agricultural and mineral productions of Furness, and has been always considered the key to the lakes. Its manufactures consist chiefly of cotton checks, canvas, hats, candle wicks, axes, spades and sickles. Here are also several tanneries, breweries, &c., besides the various miscellaneous trades of a local character, common to most towns. The market, which is held on Thursday, under a charter of Edward I, is well supplied with grain and provisions, and has almost completely absorbed those of Dalton, Broughton, Hawkshead, and Cartmel.
"Though Ulverston" says Mr. West, "can boast of a charter for a weekly market and annual fair,± since the 8th of Edward I, yet it never availed itself of it whilst the abbey of Furness subsisted. The resort of company was at the abbey, and the general market was held at Dalton. After the dissolution of that monastery, Ulverston being a more central place, and more convenient for High Furness, the market for grain was fixed there by the common consent of the country." The fairs now held here are on the Tuesday next before Easter, for cattle and hiring servants; Thursday in Whitsun week, for pedlary; October 7th for cattle, and hiring servants; Thursday after October 23rd for pedlary; November 12th for hiring servants; and on the Tuesday before the first week in January, for horses. The "Flan Sports," which include horse racing, wrestling, &c., and which are held yearly, in a field near the town, about the beginning of August, have long been celebrated, and are numerously attended. They continue for two days.
The estuary of the Levens appears to have receded from Ulverston, which according to the law of the customs, is a creek, within the limits of the port of Lancaster. A communication is however formed between the town and the bay of Morecambe, by means of a canal, one mile and a quarter in length, which was cut in 1795, under the direction of the late Mr. John Rennie. This canal, which is said to be the shortest, broadest, and deepest in England, has given a powerful stimulus to the commerce of the place.
It is capable of affording navigation to vessels of about 350 tons' burthen, and has a capacious basin, with wharfs, &c., at the very edge of the town. The number of vessels which entered inward, and cleared outward with cargoes, during the year ending January, 1849, was 641, and their tonnage amounted to about 32,000 tons. But there are only 34 vessels belonging to Ulverston, whose aggregate registry is 2311 tons.
The principal articles of export are iron and copper ores, in large quantities; slates, hoops, basket rods, brooms, malt, butter, wool, &c.: and the chief articles imported are timber, coals, raw cotton, &c. Mr. West says, "In 1774, there were seventy ships belonging to this place, chiefly employed in the coasting trade. Coals were then imported, and sold at £1 5s. 6d. per chaldron."1 The average quantity of iron ore at present shipped from Ulverston is about 40,000 tons. The custom house is situate in Union street.
The parish church, dedicated to St. Mary, stands on rising ground, at the northern side of the town, in a spacious cemetery, in which are several tomb stones and monuments. This venerable structure consists of a nave, chancel, three aisles, and a tower, in which are six excellent bells. It is of great antiquity, but was all rebuilt in the reign of Henry VIII, and again in 1804, with the exception of the tower and Norman door-way, which is deeply channelled and decorated with tracery. On a stone, in the south side of the tower, is the date 1154, supposed to be that of the original fabric, and the following inscription
"PRAY . FOR . THE . SOWL.
which is conjectured to mean, pray for the soul of William Dobson, gent., purser to Queen Eleanor, who gave unto this work £5. The altar-piece, which is a representation of Christ taken down from the cross, attended by faith, hope, and charity, is a copy from the original of Vandyke, in the Borghese palace, at Rome, by Ghirardi. The east window is of beautifully stained glass, representing the four evangelists, and the resurrection of Christ, with the figures of faith and hope. The window, in the burial place of the Braddyll family, contains the arms of the Percys, Plantagenets, Nevilles, Cliffords, Lowthers, Vauxes, Richmonds, Sandyses, Doddings, &c. All the above-named ornaments were presented by T.R.G. Braddyll, Esq.
The living is a perpetual curacy in the patronage and impropriation of the Braddyll family, and incumbency of the Rev. Richard Gwillym. It is worth about £160 a year.
The new Church, dedicated to the Holy Trinity, is a neat building in the early English style of architecture, with a spiral tower. It was commenced in 1829, and completed in 1832, from a design by A. Salvin, Esq., of London. The altar piece of this church is a copy, by the same artist, of the "Crucifixion," by Guido, in the church of St. Lorenzo di Lucina, at Rome; and was also the gift of T.R.G. Braddyll, Esq., who is patron of the perpetual curacy, which is worth £145 per annum. The Rev. George Pickering is the incumbent.
The Catholic Church, dedicated in honor of the Blessed Virgin, is a neat Gothic edifice, with a tower at the east end. The foundation stone, which was taken from Furness Abbey, was laid by the late Rev. B. McHugh, on the of 29th June, 1822, and the church was solemnly dedicated on the feast of the Nativity of the Blessed Virgin, A.D. 1823, but the tower was not erected till 1832. The window in the west end of this sacred edifice, which occupies the site of an old one, is filled with stained glass, having in the centre compartments a representation of the crucifixion, resurrection, and ascension of our Saviour, with the descent of the Holy Ghost, and in the others the twelve apostles. Adjoining the chapel is a house for the priest, and connected with it are a school and cemetery, the former of which was erected in 1824, and rebuilt and enlarged in 1831, and the latter was procured in 1842. This church is now under the pastoral care of the Rev. John George Morris.
The dissenting places of worship in Ulverston, are the Independent Chapel, erected in 1778, and enlarged in 1848, now under the ministry of the Rev. Francis Evans; and the Wesleyan Chapel, built about the year 1811. At Swarthmoor, about one mile south west of the town is a Friends Meeting House, built in 1688, at the expense of George Fox himself, who obtained possession of Swarthmoor Hall, by marrying the widow of Judge Fell.
Sunday schools are connected with both the churches and chapels, and here are auxiliaries of the Christian Knowledge, the British and Foreign Bible, the Gospel Propagation, the Church Missionary, and London and Wesleyan Missionary societies; and among the literary institutions are a subscription library, containing about 5000 volumes, and a parochial, a clerical, and a circulating library, and news-room. Here is also a Young Men's Mutual Improvement Society, established in 1845, and now consisting of about 170 members; connected with it is a library and reading room, established in 1848.
The Athæneum, Reading room, and Library, which is kept in an apartment in the theatre, is well supplied with newspapers, periodicals, &c. This institution also has been only recently established. A weekly newspaper, called the 'Advertiser,' is published by Mr. Stephen Soulby, on Thursday.
The Theatre and Assembly Rooms were erected by subscription, in 1796, on the tontine principle, but have since become private property by purchase.
The Savings' Bank is a handsome building, in Union street, erected in 1838, in the Italian style of architecture, with a tower, in which is an excellent clock, made by Roberts and Dobinson, of Manchester; and three bells, the largest of which is fourteen hundred weight. This provident institution was established at Ulverston, in 1816, and now contains deposits amounting to £81,966 17s. 11d., belonging to 2890 depositors, 22 charitable and 13 friendly societies. It is open on Fridays, from one till four. Mr. Samuel Donaldson is actuary.
A Building Society, designated the "Ulverston and North Lonsdale Building Society," was established here in 1849.
The Workhouse for the Ulverston Union, is a large building, in the Gill. It was erected in 1838, at a cost of about £5,800, and is capable of containing about 350 paupers. The Union includes the whole of Furness and Cartmel, which comprises an area of 162,197 acres, and a population of 26,752 souls. It is divided into the six districts of Broughton West, Cartmel, Colton, Dalton, Hawkshead, and Ulverston, the first embracing Broughton West, Dunnerdale with Seathwaite, and Kirkby-lreleth; the second, the entire of Cartmel parish; the third, Blawith, Colton, Egton with Newland, Lowick, and Subberthwaite; the fourth, Aldingham, Dalton, and Urswick; the fifth, Claife, Church Coniston, Hawkshead, and Monk Coniston with Skelwith, Satterthwaite and Torvor; and the sixth, Mansriggs, Osmotherley, Pennington, and Ulverston. The board of guardians meet monthly, on Thursday, at half-past one, at the board room, in the workhouse. The Right Hon. the Earl of Burlington is chairman, William Gale, Esq. is first vice-chairman, and Thos. Ainsworth, Esq. second vice-chairman. Wm. Postlethwaite, Esq. treasurer. R.F. Yarker, Esq. auditor. John Sykes, Esq. superintendent registrar, and clerk to the board of guardians. Rev. Geo. Pickering, chaplain. Mr. Andrew Davidson, master of the workhouse, and Mrs. Ann Morris, matron.
Gas Works, in Morecambe road, were erected in 1834; and the town was first illuminated with burning vapour on the 4th of April in that year. They contain two gasometers and nine retorts, and the gas in sold to the consumers at ten shillings per thousand cubic feet. The number of public lamps in the town is eighty-two. James Kellet Hodgson is manager.
An endowed school, for the education of six boys chosen annually; a national school for boys and girls, erected in 1834; and a bequest of £12 a year, by John Park, Esq., towards the support of as many poor men, with a suit of clothes every third year for each, are the principal charities in Ulverston, which is a polling place for the northern division of the county of Lancaster. It is included in the third list of county court towns, under the act passed in 1846, for the recovery of debts not exceeding £20. The magistrates sit every Thursday, at their office, in Theatre street, where are also held petty sessions. Robert Francis Yarker, Esq. is clerk. to the magistrates.
Ulverston is the native place of the late Sir John Barrow, Bart., to whose memory it is in contemplation to erect a pillar, either in the town or its immediate vicinity. He was Secretary to the Admiralty, and author of a Chronological History of Arctic Voyages; the Lives of Macartney, Howe, and Anson, &c. It is also the birth place of the late Colonel Boulton, and of Richard Ulverston, a celebrated antiquary in the reign of Henry VI. He was author of a work, entitled "Articles of Faith."
The views obtained from the walks in the neighbourhood of this town are exceedingly beautiful, and those from the apex of the hill called Hoad,2 which may be designated the lungs of Ulverston, can scarcely be surpassed in extent and grandeur. We beg next to direct the readers attention to
The situation of which has been justly designated by Mr. West, as "the Paradise of Furness and Mount Edgecombe, in miniature." This splendid mansion, which is now only occupied by servants, stands about two miles south of Ulverston. It is the seat of Thomas Richard Gale Braddyll, Esq., by whom it was erected, partly on the site of the ancient priory at Conishead, which gives name to the present sumptuous and stately edifice; and is situated in a beautifully wooded demesne, at the foot of a fine eminence, near the bay of Morecambe, commanding most pleasing and delightful views of the exquisite scenery of the neighbourhood. Its prevailing style of architecture is what is called the English-Gothic, from designs by P.W. Wyatt. Esq., and it is constructed of Bath stone. "The elevations," says Mr. Jopling, "are varied on the several fronts facing the north, the east, and the south - on the west side are placed the various inferior offices. The north front, with the grand entrance, is a fine design. On either side of the main door-way, are two minaret towers, which rise to the height of a hundred feet. To the right of the entrance are the cloisters, and on the left the grand staircase and the windows of the drawing room. Over the door-way there is fine traceried window, and above it a Catherine wheel. From the court in front, which contains some antique specimens of the thorn, a most lovely peep is obtained of the summit of the Old Man Mountain; a little to the left of which are seen, Scawfell Pikes.3 The quarterings of the family are displayed on this front in several places."
"On the east front is a noble terraced promenade, with flower-gardens, fountains, and vases. The entrance on this side leads through a vestibule into the cloisters; and over the entrance there is an oriel window - on either side are the drawing room windows. The south front, round which a broad terrace extends, has an entrance leading into the morning room; on the left is the dining room, on the right the drawing room windows."
The entrance hall is truly imposing. It occupies the site of the north transept of the ancient church, and is sixty feet in length, twenty-four in width, and forty in height. The great window over the principal entrance, must immediately attract the attention of the visitor. It is a beautiful specimen of stained glass, and viewed as a whole from top to bottom, consists of four divisions. In the upper compartments of the middle divisions are the figures of Edward II, who confirmed the charter of William de Lancaster, founder of the priory, and of St. Augustine, the head of the order of monks that occupied the priory. The quarterings on the other divisions are the arms of William de Lancaster, Gamel de Pennington, Richard de Huddleston, Edward II, Magnus King of Man and the Isles, Anselm de Fleming, Margaret de Ros, Roger de Bardsey, Richard de Boyville, Thomas Musgrave, Peter de Lowick, and Richard de Ponsonby, all benefactors of the priory. And on the lancet windows is emblazoned the history of our Saviour, from his birth to the ascension. Here are two valuable suits of Norman chain mail, probably of the period of the crusaders; and a suit of splint armour, of the time of Edward IV. The other suits are armour of the 16th century.
The Cloisters are 177 feet in length, 19¼ in width, and 17¼ in height, and are entered through a richly-ornamented screen, which is overhung with banners of the Braddyll arms. They are elegantly constructed, in the pure Gothic style, and the walls are adorned with different kinds of arms, and with some suits of black armour, of the reigns of James I and Charles I.
Here is preserved a remarkable cannon, one of the earliest species of ordnance, which was found a few years since, imbedded in the sands at the back of the Isle of Walney. Amongst the curiosities of the cloisters, are two elaborately carved box wood chairs, formerly belonging to the Borghese Palace, at Rome. The great staircase is ornamented with crests of the Braddyll (the badger), Gate (the unicorn), and Richmond (the tiger cat), families. On the upper staircase are the crests of the Sandys family; and on the great window of the staircase are deposited the arms of the family in its different connections. Opposite the window are carved the armorial bearings of the present proprietor, with the motto, "Cognoies Toy Mesme," Know thyself.
The dining room is 45 feet in length, 24 in width, and 17¼ in height. The morning room, 31 feet in length, by 22 in width. The blue drawing room, of the same dimensions as the dining room. The north drawing room, 40 feet in length, 24 in width, and of the same height as the preceding. There are also several other apartments well worthy of notice, but the numerous valuable paintings with which the principal rooms were adorned, when the mansion was inhabited by Mr. Braddyll, have all been removed.
The Pleasure Gardens attached to this magnificent mansion, contain about seventeen acres, delightfully situated and agreeably varied in aspect. The flower garden is 113 feet long, by 110 wide; the fountain flower garden, 158 by 82 feet; the new American garden, 324 by 135 feet; and the old American garden, 148 by 122 feet. The terraced walks on the west, south, and east fronts, are above 800 feet in length by 20 in breadth. To give a minute description of the various interesting and rare plants which are presented to view in these delightful pleasure grounds, is far above our ability, even did our limited space justify us, which it does not, in making the attempt. The Hermitage, a pretty secluded retreat, on the wooded hill to the north, is also highly deserving of a visit. In the chapel belonging to it is a painted window, on which the annunciation is well depicted. On the same hill are the ruins of a castle, with a small circular ivy-clad tower.
No parts of the ancient priory are now visible, the last portions of it being removed about thirty year's ago. A residence of some magnitude was built out of the ruins of the original religious house and its offices, soon after the dissolution of Monasteries; but the whole was entirely removed on the erection of the present mansion, which occupies the site of the conventual buildings. The church stood a little to the south, and appears to have been about 100 feet in length. The priory was founded by William de Lancaster, as an hospital "for the relief of the poor, decrepit, indigent, and lepers, in the environs of Ulverston;" and endowed by him with all the lands on both sides of the road leading from Bardsea to Ulverston, and from the great road to Trinkeld to the sea bank. Also with the church of Ulverston, its chapels, and appurtenances, forty acres of land near the same town, with many privileges and immunities; but the hospital was soon afterwards raised to the dignity of a priory. "Such transitions," says Mr. West, "were frequent, when the founder did not bar the privilege by any exclusive clause. Such was the case of the priory of Cartmel, founded by William Earl of Pembroke, with a clause that it should never be erected into an abbey; nor was the intention of the founder frustrated by the hospital being erected into a priory, for the sick and lame were equally provided for in the priories as in the hospitals; and particular funds were received by the abbeys and priories for that purpose only. The abbey of Cockersand, near Lancaster, was originally such an hospital for that neighbourhood, as Conishead, was for Furness; and long after it had been erected into an abbey, we find Harry le Waleys, rector of Standish, founded for himself a chantry there, and a bed and entertainment for one poor man, for ever. So in like manner in the hospital of Conishead, after it had been raised to the dignity of a priory, the canons were charged with the care of the sick and lepers. Not only in Furness, but also at Kendal, they served the hospital of St. Leonard, and the leper lodge, there, till the dissolution." After the hospital was erected into a priory, it was further endowed by William de Lancaster, and many other benefactors, with several pieces of land, and various privileges, both in Cumberland, Westmorland, and Lancashire, and was in such a flourishing state at the time of its dissolution, in the 27th of Henry VIII, that the goods, chattels, lead, bells, and timber, were sold at £333 6s. 3½d., a large sum in those days. After passing through several hands, it came by marriage into the Braddyll family, of Portfield. "It stood in a position calculated to afford valuable assistance to those who crossed the sands; and, no doubt many a way-worn traveller hailed with delight the old grey towers, or the light that, a beacon to the stranger, or the bewildered, glanced from the convent windows."
On Chapel Island, near to which is the crossing track from Furness to Cartmel, there formerly stood a chapel, where Divine service was performed by the canons of Conishead Priory, at a convenient hour, for such as crossed the sands with the morning tide. Some ruins of the chapel are still remaining; but this rocky island is now more sacred to pleasure than devotion. Being situated in Morecambe bay, and surrounded with the most beautiful scenery that it is possible to depict, there is not perhaps in the United Kingdom, a more appropriate place for pic-nic parties during the summer months.
The manor of Ulverston, at the time of the Domesday survey, was in the possession of Turnulf; and in the early part of the 12th century, belonged to Stephen Earl of Mortaign and Boulogne, by whom it was presented in 1127, to Furness Abbey. In the reign of Richard I, it was granted with its appurtenances, to Gilbert Fitzreinford, and his heirs, for a rent of ten shillings, in lieu of all services. It was afterwards divided into moieties, one of which was subsequently escheated to the abbot as lord paramount. The other moiety, after passing through several hands, was purchased in 1736, for £490 by Mr. Dummer, who conveyed it in the same year for a like sum to the Duke of Montague, by whose descendant, the Duke of Buccleugh, it is still possessed. The profits of this manor arise from various rents, and from what is called town term, which is held every seventh year; from fines and amerciaments; courts leet and baron; from the profits of a fair at Ulverston and from free fishing within the parishes of Colton, Dalton, Hawkshead, and Ulverston, and a few other places.
Nevill Hall Manor, which is within the manor of Ulverston, has its own privileges and bye laws. It was originated by the third William de Lancaster, and was afterwards conveyed by Lawrence Lawrence, to Edmund de Nevill, who erected Nevill Hall, on the eastern side of the town of Ulverston. This mansion was used as a poor house by the township of Ulverston, previous to the erection of the present workhouse. The manor continued in the Nevill family till the reign of Elizabeth, when it was forfeited by the rebellion of Sir John Nevill, who joined his kinsman, Charles Nevill, Earl of Westmorland, and Thomas Percy, Earl of Northumberland, in their attempted insurrection. Tenants, on their admission, pay a fine of two years' rent; and the heriot on the change of lord is half a year's rent. "The running gressom, or town term, is half a year's rent every seventh year. The widow, if the first wife, is to have half of the tenement; but a latter wife only one third. A tenant may whenever he pleases, give his tenement to any of his sons; and in default of sons, to any of his daughters, as he thinks fit. A tenant may let or mortgage any tenement or part of it for a year, without licence; and may sell his whole tenant-right, or any part of it, with licence from the lord."
Conishead is also a manor, and has a court held for it in conjunction with Blawith. All the rights and royalties of the river Crake belong to this manor, which is the property of Colonel Braddyll. The small hamlets of Dragley Beck, Plumpton, and Outcast, distant about one mile from the town, are in Ulverston township. The former is the birth place of the late Sir John Barrow, Bart.
Having noticed all that is interesting in the town and township of Ulverston, we shall now proceed to the out townships of the parish, commencing with that of
BLAWITH, which is a township and chapelry, comprising the village of Watergate,4 at the foot of Coniston Lake, eight miles north of Ulverston. It is pronounced like the British word Blaith, signifying a wolf, with which animals this country was formerly much infested. Indeed, some writers assert that Ulverston took its name from being a place where premiums were awarded to wolf killers. About one mile from Watergate, stands Blawith Chapel, an humble edifice. The living is a perpetual curacy, in the patronage of T.R.G. Braddyll, Esq., and incumbency of the Rev. Joseph Patch, M.A., who in 1849, erected a neat dwelling here, called Meadow Lodge. The benefice received several lots of Queen Anne's Bounty, most of which were laid out in the purchase of land, now let for £56 a year, and the remainder, £200, is still at interest, so that the benefice is worth about £64 per annum. Near the chapel is a school, possessing a small ancient endowment. Brown Hall, the property and occasional residence of George Penny, Esq., is a pleasant mansion in this township, on the banks of Coniston Lake.
CHURCH CONISTON township and chapelry comprises a romantic district, with a village of scattered houses built on the sides of eminences, at the head of Coniston lake, four miles W.S.W. of Hawkshead. From the margin of this lake is obtained a view of the Vale of Yewdale, with its stupendous crags and venerable tree; and near to it is the valley of Tilberthwaite, where the fells on either side appear like one mass of blue slate, from the great number of quarries made in them for its extraction. Some hundreds of the inhabitants are constantly employed in the slate quarries and copper mines of this neighbourhood, 400 being employed at the copper mines; and the average quantity of excellent ore raised monthly is about 250 tons, which as well as the slates, are boated down the lake to Nibthwaite, and then carted to Greenodd or Ulverston for shipment. Coniston Old Man, and other lofty mountains, are in this neighbourhood. The ascent to the old man is generally made from the inn at the head of the lake. A beacon erected on the summit of this mountain forms a very prominent object.
The Chapel, at Coniston, which was rebuilt and enlarged in 1819, is a neat building, with a small tower and two bells. It contains about 300 sittings, of which 120 are free, provided by £125 granted towards its re-erection, by the Incorporated Society for building churches and chapels. The living, which is a perpetual curacy, in the gift of T.R.G. Braddyll, Esq., and now in the incumbency of the Rev. Thomas Tolming, is worth £117 per annum.
Here is a Baptist Chapel, erected in 1837, and enlarged in 1841. A handsome school was built at Coniston, by subscription, about twelve years ago, but owing to some misunderstanding between the clergyman and the parishioners, it is at present closed up.
Coniston Hall, the ancient seat of the Flemings, of Rydal, in Westmorland, is an antique mansion, on the border of the lake, supposed to have been erected during the reign of Elizabeth. This estate came into the possession of the Flemings, in the time of Henry III, by the marriage of Richard le Fleming with an heiress of Adam de Urswick. A court baron is held occasionally for this manor. The hall is now occupied by Mr. Joseph Irving, farmer. Here is also a neat mansion called Hollywarth Cottage, the residence of John Barratt, Esq., managing partner for the Coniston Copper Mining Company. On the western bank of Coniston lake a large hotel was erected in 1849, by J.G. Marshall, Esq., from a design furnished by Mr. Thompson, of Kendal, architect.
Tent Lodge is another pleasant dwelling, now unoccupied, on the banks of the lake, but in Monk Coniston township.
We beg here to present the reader with a short biographical notice of Miss Elizabeth Smith, a lady of extraordinary talents and acquirements, who resided at Tent Lodge, from 1801, till her death in 1806. Miss Smith was born at Burnhall, near Durham, the residence of her paternal ancestors, in December, 1776. In 1785, her father removed with his family to Piercefield, a seat which he possessed near Chepstow, but the depreciation in value of public securities, and the general disturbance of commercial affairs in 1793, caused the failure of many long-established houses, and amongst them was that of the banking establishment of Mr. Smith. "This untoward event compelled him to relinquish Piercefield, and for many years after the family might be said to have no settled abode. In 1794, Mr. Smith procured a captain's commission in the army, and proceeded to Ireland, where his regiment was stationed, and where he continued for several years;" but the family took possession of Tent Lodge, in 1801, and "here the greater part of Miss Smith's pieces were composed, and most of her translations from the Hebrew and German made." Miss Bowdler, who published a brief "Account of Miss Smith's Life and Character," says that at the age of thirteen she was well acquainted with the French and Italian languages, and had made considerable progress in the study of geometry, and some other branches of the mathematics. In 1793, Miss Smith had begun the study of German, and during the following winter acquired some knowledge of the Arabic and Persian languages. She also learned the Spanish language, and in 1794, began Latin and Greek. She studied the Hebrew, with the assistance of Parkhurst, "but she had no regular instruction in any language except French," and yet she was subsequently enabled to read fluently the most difficult Latin and Greek classics; possessed so critical a knowledge of German, as to translate without the aid of a dictionary, almost any author in that language; and her intimate acquaintance with Hebrew is evinced by her translation of the Book of Job and other portions of the Bible; in the notes to which pieces she proves likewise her familiarity with Arabic, &c." She died August the 7th, 1806, at the early age of 29 years; and her remains lie interred at Hawkshead, in the church of which parish, a small white marble monument is erected to her memory.
EGTON-CUM-NEWLAND constitute a township and chapelry, in which are the hamlets of Arrad Foot, Beckside, Greenodd, Newland, Penny Bridge, Spark Bridge, and Scaithwaite, distant from one to five miles north of Ulverston, and bounded on the east by Leven Sands. At Newland is an iron furnace; at Spark Bridge a cotton factory; and at Greenodd are a steam saw mill, a ship building and hoopmonger's establishment, besides a tan yard, coal yards, and several other trades. This is the highest point to which the estuary of the Leven is navigable.
The township contains 3381A. 1R. 39P., including woods and plantations, rated at £3682 9s. 8d., and its largest landowners are Wm. Morritt, Wm. Bateman, and J.P. Machell, Esqrs.
The Chapel, which stands near Penny Bridge, and which is dedicated to the Blessed Virgin, was built and endowed by William Penny, Esq., of Penny Bridge. It was consecrated in 1791, and by its enlargement in 1831, 225 additional sittings were obtained, of which 174 are free, provided by £100 granted by the Incorporated Society, making together with 20 original free sittings, 194. Total number of sittings in the chapel, 368. The living, which is a perpetual curacy, worth £92 a year, is in the gift of J.P. Machell, Esq.,# and incumbency of the Rev. John Henry Coombe. Near the chapel, is a National School, erected in 1837, by subscription, and a grant from the National Society. At Penny Bridge, is the residence of Jas. P. Machell, Esq.; at Spark Bridge is Thurston Ville, the pleasant seat of Mrs. Margaret Woodburne, Summer Hill is also another good mansion, in this township, the residence of James Clarke, Esq.
The manor of Egton-cum-Newland having belonged at the time of the dissolution to Furness Abbey, has descended, with its other possessions, to the lord of the liberty of Furness.
LOWICK is a township and chapelry, containing the hamlets of Lowick Bridge, and Lowick Green, with several dispersed dwellings, about six miles north of Ulverston. It also includes part of Nettleslack Village, four and a half miles north of the same town. Excellent views of Coniston Water, and the towering mountains, and steep crags in its vicinity, may be obtained from several parts of this township, which contains 1438 acres, rated at £1741 13s. 6d.; and the largest owners of the soil are Miss Everard, Mrs. Gasgarth, and Mr. Stephen Stephenson.
The chapel, which stands near Lowick Old Hall, once the residence of the Blencows, was rebuilt in 1818, but has been in existence since before the year 1684. It is a plain edifice, containing 250 sittings, of which 50 are free, and has a turret with one bell. The interior was considerably improved and beautified in 1849, at a cost of £30 raised by subscription, and a rate on the chapelry. In two of its windows are the armorial bearings of the Everards and Blencows - separately, and in a third, those of the same families incorporated; the whole brought from Stoft, in Suffolk. The living is a perpetual curacy, in the joint patronage of Mrs. Gasgarth, Mrs. Montague, and Miss Everard, co-heiresses of the manor of Lowick. It is worth £90 a year, including the glebe lands and parsonage house, and is in the incumbency of the Rev. Isaac Gasgarth, who resides at the hall, one wing of which is now, 1849, being greatly improved. The chapel income arises from an endowment by the Blencowes, an augmentation from Queen Anne's Bounty, and a parliamentary grant of £600.
The manor of Lowick consists of a portion of land lying on the south east side of Kirkby Moor, near the river Crake, granted by William de Lancaster, fifth baron of Kendal, to Robert de Turribus, (Towers) in the reign of Henry II. It was afterwards, in the reign of King John, conveyed by Gilbert de Turribus to Robert de Lofwic, in whose family it remained till about the time of Henry VII, when it came by marriage to the family of Ambrose, in which it continued by descent, till about the year 1684, when, on the failure of male issue in that family, it passed by way of purchase, to John Latus, Esq., nephew to the last possessor, John Ambrose, the survivor of eight brothers, who all died without issue. The manor subsequently passed by marriage to William Blencowe, Esq., and is now possessed by his descendants, the three co-heiresses already named. Amongst the customs of this manor, is that of appointing four housekeepers annually, for reviewing and assigning timber for necessary repairs. A running gressom of a year's rent is paid every seventh year.
MANSRIGGS is a small township about a mile north of Ulverston. Though part of it has been considered extra-parochial, yet the whole pays a proportion of rates to the parish church. It contains 564½ acres, rated at £576 15s., and the largest owners of the soil are Richard B.B.H. Blundall, Esq., of Draysbrook, near Liverpool; Mrs. Mary Brougham, and Messrs. John Jackson and Thomas Postlethwaite.
OSMOTHERLEY township includes a small part of the town of Ulverston, and the whole of the hamlets of Broughton Beck, Hollowmire, Nether-houses, and Newbiggin, distant from two to four miles N.N.W. of Ulverston. The principal landowners in this township are R.B.B.H. Blundall, Esq., Rev. Geo. Millers, and T.R.G. Braddyll, Esq.; and its rateable value is £1346. Near Broughton Beck is a school, built about the year 1770, and endowed with a small estate, purchased with the surplus of the money subscribed for its erection; and with the interest of £60 left about ten years since, by Miss Agnes Stephenson, the whole amounting to £15 per annum. The vicar of Ulverston reads prayers in the school every alternate Sunday evening. At Broughton Beck, which is three miles north of Ulverston, are a corn mill, a sickle manufactory, and a few other trades.
SUBBERTHWAITE is another small township, containing the hamlet of Goathwaite,5 and several scattered dwellings, six and half miles north by west of Ulverston. Here are two blue slate quarries, one at Goathwaite and the other at Stone Dykes. The largest landowners are the Rev. John Bigland, Miss Ann Kilner, and Mr. John Atkinson; and the township contains 581A. 1R. 0P., rated at £616 15s.
TORVER is a highly picturesque township and chapelry, containing a small scattered village, two and a quarter miles west of Coniston, twelve miles north of Ulverston, and seven miles south west of Hawkshead. The houses are dispersed through a pleasant valley, and the lofty hills are partly covered with underwood. The small tarn called Gates Water, (Goat's Water) lies at the head of the vale, resting on the Old Man's western side, at the foot of the precipitous Dow Crag. Like most other tarns, it is well stocked with trout, and its stream forms the rivulet of Trover.6 "Among the slate quarries around is that of Ash Gill, which contains numerous fossil shells, classed by the country people under the general head of 'cockle shells,' amongst them are several varieties of the orthis. A band of transition limestone, with many well-developed strata of slate, may be examined here."
The chapel is a neat edifice, rebuilt by subscription, at a cost of £200, in 1849, on the side of the old fabric, which was erected by archbishop Cranmer, in 1538. It is in the early English style of architecture, and is capable of seating 200 persons. All the sittings are free. The living is a perpetual curacy, in the gift of T.R.G. Braddyll, Esq., and in the incumbency of the Rev. Matthew J. Carter, M.A. Its income is about £60 a year. Near it is a school, endowed with £6 a year, being the interest of £200 left several years ago for that purpose.
The manor, which is united with
Markland, belongs to the Crown; and the principal landowners are Mr. John Park, Mr. James
Sandars, and Mrs. B. Brocklebank.
* Ulph or Ulphus, was a Saxon lord, who is said to have extended his conquests from the western parts of Yorkshire to the sea.
± This fair which was held on the eve, day, and morrow of the nativity of the Blessed virgin, the 8th of September, has become obsolete.
¶ As the acknowledged founder of the society of Friends became, through his marriage, in a great measure, identified with Furness, we shall throw into the form of a note, a brief sketch of his life and character - George Fox, was born in the year 1624, at Drayton, in Leicestershire. His father, a man of humble circumstances, was by trade a weaver. He was so attentive to his religious duties, and so remarkable for his integrity of life, that he received from his neighbours the name of righteous Christopher. He belonged to the national church, and instructed his son in that form of worphip; but when George attained a suitable age, he was apprenticed to a grazier, who was also a wool dealer, and, in 1647, commenced his public ministry, by openly reproving the licentiousness which then abounded. The distinguishing features of his system were the inward teaching of the Holy Spirit, and rectitude of manners. He also supposed that he was forbidden by divine command, to uncover the head to any of his fellow-mortals, or to apply to any the common title of Master, Sir, Lord, &c., but to approach all alike, with the simple address of thou or thee. In his zealous endeavours to disseminate these principles, he met with much opposition, and was frequently arrested by the civil authorities, and committed to prison. At Ulverston, Cocker, and Northscales, in the Isle of Walney, he not only met with opposition, but abuse, even to the imminent danger of his life; but at Gleaston, Dendron, and Rampside, he was well received. In 1669 he married the widow of Judge Fell, eleven years after the death of her husband. He afterwards visited Ireland, Scotland, and America, to propagate his sentiments, and subsequently Holland and other parts of the continent of Europe; and after encountering innumerable sufflerings, oppositions and afflictions, this singular and extraordinary man died on the 13th of November, 1690, in the 67th year of his age, in White Hart court, London. "He was," says Mr. Gough, (History of the people called Quakers, vol. 1, p. 56.) "a man of strong natural parts, firm health, and undaunted courage, remarkable disinterestedness, inflexible integrity, and undistinguished sincerity."
Swarthmoor hall in now occupied by a farmer, and the large room in which the meetings were first held, is still in tolerable repair. There is also an old bedstead, on which the proto-Quaker in said to have reposed.
# Mr. Machell is a descendant, by the mother's side, of the family of Penny, from whom Penny Bridge takes its name.7
Mannix & Co., History, Topography and Directory of Westmorland, 1851
1. "chaldron" - about a ton and
2. Apparently also still known by various names. Roland Edgar has kindly informed me that Hoad is now usually referred to as Hoad Hill, but to another correspondent, it's simply Hoad, or The Pepperpot!. Subsequent to the directory entry, the John Barrow Monument was erected on Hoad Hill, in the form of a lighthouse.
3. The "Old Man Mountain" is usually referred to as Coniston Old Man, or the Old Man Of Coniston. Scawfell Pike is more commonly Scafell Pike.
4. Now appears on the map as Water Yeat.
5. Now Gawthwaite.
6. Presumably a spelling mistake for Torver.
7. In the original text, the referring "#" is missing, so the attribution of the footnote to the particular occurrence of Mr. Machell's name is guesswork.
See also a photograph of a town, possibly Ulverston, in the "Help" section.
19 June 2015
© Steve Bulman