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Crakehall Poor Law Papers

These documents are amongst the papers of the Curzon Howe Herrick family of Clifton Castle, deposited in the North Yorkshire Record Office, Northallerton. The catalogue number is ZAW 234. The papers date from the period when James Pulleine was Lord of the Manor and the local magistrate. Presumably the records were kept by him and passed on with the Crakehall estate papers to the Curzon Howe Herricks when they acquired the estate.

Crakehall Parish became part of the Bedale Poor Law Union, which was established in 1839 and which ran the Bedale workhouse (now Mowbray Grange). There is a good account of the Bedale workhouse at - you will need to choose from the menu : workhouse locations | English Poor Law Unions | Yorkshire N.Riding | Bedale. Crakehall also had a charity cottage in Little Crakehall, behind Mastill Farm ( see the Tithe Award, 1839, for its location), which was left, with a small amount of land, for the poor of Little Crakehall by William Clarke of Little Crakehall in 1648 (see here). John Lucas became trustee of the property and the charity became known by his name. You can see the deeds for the Lucas charity here.

I have transcribed a selection of material that gives a picture of the work of the overseers of the poor, the way poor people were treated, and individual cases that give a vivid impression of poverty in the nineteenth century village.


(Click title to select)

Resettlement of the poor- These include removal papers - written cases for removal orders which allowed the transfer of a poor person to another parish - from 1814
Register of parish apprentices, 1806-1821- poor or orphaned children placed in apprenticeships at the cost of the parish
Bills of indemnity for illegitimate children, 1793-1813
Accounts of the Overseers of the Poor for Crakehall, 1822-1849
Charities in Crakehall

Removal orders(ZAW 234/9)

Some of these have personal histories attached - click the active name links

Removal to Crakehall
1814 Rachel Blades, a single woman, and her child, from East Witton to Crakehall.
1821 Dorothy Davison, widow, and her child, from Monkwearmouth
1825 Jane Pounder and three children, from Darlington
1826 William Cummings, from Barton
1837 James Lynn, from Chester le Street
1842 William Carter and his wife from Aiskew to Crakehall, then back to Aiskew.
1843 Samuel Pearson, his wife and two children, from Bishops Wearmouth.
1846 Mary Stelling, from Leyburn
1847 Ann Hall, from Richmond

There are also twelve removal orders from Crakehall, nearly all to places less than ten miles away [ not transcribed here ]

Some of the removal papers include examinations of the poor about their personal histories - aimed at determining in which parish they should be settled :

Examination of William Cummings, labourer, now residing in Barton, 1826 (ZAW 234/13)
"It is now near twelve years next Martinmas I left the service of Henry Percy Pulleine esq. of Crakehall . I had then been with him for a year and a half - I hired to him first for a year, I was in the stable. My wages for the first year were £14. I hired for a second year for which my wages were to have been £15 but I left after half a year, but stayed until Mr Pulleine should get another servant. I then served a year with Mr Milbank at Thorp Perrow at eight shillings per week."

Examination of James Lynn, removed from Chester le Street to Crakehall, 1837 (ZAW 234/17)
He had worked on the farm of Mr.William Hood in Crakehall twenty years before.

Examination of William Carter, 1841(ZAW 234/26)
He was 76 years old, having been born in Aiskew in 1765. He married in Bedale in 1798. He lived with his father at Ruffler Corner in Aiskew until he was forty years old. In 1805 he hired for a year to James Foss of Aiskew and lived with him for that year. He spent three more years working for Mr. Foss and living in a house in Aiskew rented from Mr.Hutton for £18 p.a. After leaving Mr.Foss' employment he took a house and a piece of land on Norman's Moor in Crakehall of William Castling's for £4 p.a. While here he enclosed two pieces of land from the waste, in 1813 and 1814, occupying them rent-free. The following year he was able to rent a further piece of land from Dr Dodsworth for £1 p.a. In 1817 Mr Castling increases Carter's rent to £6 p.a. and Carter estimated that his enclosures in the waste were worth a further 10s p.a. In 1819 he rented a cow-gate of William Wood of Pond House in Cowling for £2-10s from Mayday to Michaelmas. He occupied his farm from then until 1835 then he retired to York, occupying a house there for 4 years at £7 p.a.

In 1841 the Crakehall overseers disputed at the Quarter Sessions the removal of Carter from Aiskew to Crakehall. Their case was that Carter had never held premises worth £10 p.a. for forty days in Crakehall and hence did not have right of settlement there. They produced evidence that he and his wife Elizabeth had in fact received substantial assistance from the Aiskew overseers about 21 years earlier - both money and corn. There is a solicitor's letter (from John Forster of Newton) addressed to James Robson esq. quoting precedents from a legal case in Derbyshire. The Crakehall overseers won their case and Carter was removed to Aiskew.

Examination of Mary Stelling, 1846 (ZAW 234/23). In 1827 she hired herself to William Moses in Crakehall for one year at £7-10s. She served him a full year, living in his household. She did not hire herself again until 1833, when she went to work for Mr. John Pease of Hutton Hang. While she was there she suffered from inflamation of the eyes and was unable to work. She received two shillings a week from the overseers of the poor of Crakehall at that time

There is a letter from William Moses, from Ripon, to James Robson confirming that Mary Stelling had worked for him for a year as third servant. He is sorry to say that his books are at Leeds, as they were taken from him at the time of his bankruptcy, so he is unable to give any more details.

John Pease , for whom Mary worked at Hutton Hang, was one of the overseers of the poor for that township, and the papers include his testimony - that he hired Mary for a year at £6-lOs p.a. in 1833 and she served a full year but never obtained settlement in Hutton Hang.

Mary was too ill to be moved to Crakehall immediately and John Cannon, one of the Crakehall overseers, then refused to recompense the Leyburn Union for the £3 which they had spent on Mary during the suspension of the removal order. Cannon was summoned to appear at the Quarter Sessions to answer for the debt, in spite of an appeal by Mr.Chaytor of Spennithorne (for the Bedale Union) on his behalf to Mr. Cholmeley of the Leyburn Union. Payment was ordered by the court, and there is a receipt for £2-7-6 (the rest having apparently been paid earlier by Crakehall) paid by the Bedale Union (11th Dec 1846 )

Examination of Ann Hall, aged 60, 1847 . (ZAW 234/15)
Ann was the wife of Francis Hall, who was born in Richmond and was a sergeant in the North Yorkshire Militia. His father, Thomas, came from Crakehall. The couple were married in Ealing, and had seventeen children, six of whom were still alive. When the militia was disbanded in 1816 the family moved back to Richmond and occupied a room for 1 shilling per week. They then moved to a small cottage in Richmond for which they paid £3 p.a. They lived there until 1836, when they were rented quarters in a dwelling house in Richmond called the Stores, which was reserved for sergeants of the militia. When her husband died in 1840 Ann, together with one of her daughters, went to work for the wife of Mr.Jaques of Easby for a year. She then looked after the poultry for the Duchess of Leeds at Hackforth, occupying an estate cottage for two years. She was then given work in the kitchen at Hornby Castle for nine months, with an estate cottage in Hornby. She finally went to live with her son-in-law, John Watson, in Richmond.

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Register of Parish Apprentices

This book, kept according to the Act of 1802, contains only five entries, between 1806 and 1821.

19th Sept. 1806 Thomas Calvert, age 13, of Crakehall bound to George Brown, linen weaver of Hornby, until the age of 21 years, for fee of £6-6-O.

19th August 1812 Margaret Calvert, aged 13, bound to William Outhwaite, farmer, of Hornby until the age of 18

8th May 1813 Ann Horner aged 14, bound to John Wake, tailor, of Melsonby, until 21 for £8-8-0

2nd Jan 1816 Thomas Shepherd, orphan, aged 13, bound to William Brown, linen weaver of Burton Leonard for 8 years for £2-12-6

2nd Jan 1821 Thomas Johnson, orphan, aged 16, bound to Thomas Stapleton, tailor of Crakehall, until the age of 21.
His apprenticeship indenture is preserved with these papers. The order was made by the magistrates Gregory Elsey [of Patrick Brompton] and Henry Pulleine, and administered by Joseph Moses, churchwarden, and James Robson and Thomas Cannon, overseers of the poor. In consideration of £10 paid to Stapylton and £5 on the following December, and a further £5 in 1822.

There is an additional loose paper that is the apprenticeship agreement, 1770, for Jane Clarke to Thomas Allan of Great Crakehall, unspecified trade, until the age of 21.

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Bills of Indemnity for Bastard Children

Illegitimate children of poor mothers, with no voluntary paternal support, could become chargeable to the parish and therefore the Overseers of the Poor might seek indemnity for the expenses of their support from the father or some trustee guaranteeing the father's financial support.

1793 - Indemnity by John and Thomas Birbeck, miners of Low Row in Swaledale, in the sum of £100 bound to John Casling and Thomas Hodgson, overseers of the poor in Crakehall, for the maintenance of the illegitimate child of Margaret Pounder of Crakehall. John Birbeck was the father.

1817 - Indemnity for a son and daughter of Mary Clarke of Crakehall. Timothy and James Allan of Crakehall, weavers, agree to indemnify the inhabitants of Crakehall for £100 against the cost of supporting the children. Thomas Walker of Healaugh in the Parish of Masham, tailor, was the father.

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Miscellaneous accounts of the overseers

(a) A series of Bills from Mr.Henry Dobson for small building repair job

April 3rd 1838
to a man half day repairing Pinfold Walls 2s - 3d
Lime : 1s - 6d
Paid by Constabel of Crakehall, March 13th, 1839

March 1841
one man one day repairing at Jane(Herrens ?) 3s
to twenty tiles 1s - 8d
to two barrowload of lime 1s - 6d
to two barrowload of bricks 3d

November 6th 1841
self , setting chimney pot 1s - 6d
chimney pot 2s
lats and nails 6d

Self and apprentice repairing town houses 3s - 6d
12 tiles 2s
2 barrow-load of lime 1s - 3d
plaster, lats and nails 9d
This is accompanied by a further bill for 4s6d. Sent to William Castling, overseer of the poor.

Bill for exactly the same type of work 10s - 5d

(b) 1822 A bill from Dr Deighton to Mr Carter, Overseer of the Poor £20-3-10
This is carefully itemised for almost each day of each month listing treatment and medicines . Sometimes the name of the patient is given.

(c) 1828 Solicitor's Bill from Mr.Ineson for two pieces of work
Swithinbanks Settlement £84-18-6
Legal case £15-1-2

This was evidently a heavy load on the finances of the Parish , for it was paid in installments - £10 in 1830 and the rest in 1831

(d) Statements of accounts of the overseers of the poor for Crakehall, 1842-49
The total expenditure for each year was as follows
1842 £139 - 7 - 4
1843 £157 - 2 - 8
1844 £162 - 8 - 4
1845 £164 - 10 - 1
1846 £143 - 2 - 2
1847 £175 - 4 - 0
1848 £192 - 4 - 10
1849 £168 - 19 - 2

The breakdown of these figures for the year March 1842-March 1843 is as follows:
In-maintenance £5 - 9 - 2 [ this was for the maintenance of people in the workhouse ]
Out-relief £119 - 10 - 9 [ for the maintenance of poor people who were not in the workhouse ]
Establishment £25 - 4 - 1
Loan £4 - 18 - 8
Registration £1 - 11 - 0
Vaccination 2s - 6d [ vaccination against smallpox ]
Extra 6s - 6d
[TOTAL] £157 - 2 - 8

There are quarterly accounts for 1845-1847 which give figures for the number of paupers relieved and whether they were in the poorhouse (in-relief) or not. For example :
March Out-relief for 25 paupers
June Out-relief for 14 , in-relief for 10
Sept Out-relief for 13 : in-relief for 10
Dec Out-relief for 15 : in-relief for 10
£19 - 5 - 0 out-relief, £13 - 6 - 6 in-relief

June Out-relief for 15, in-relief for 10
Sept Out-relief for 15, in-relief for 8
Dec Out-relief for 29, in-relief for 8

March Out-relief for 32, in-relief for 7
June Out-relief for 35, in-relief for 1
Sept Out-relief for 30, in-relief 0
Dec Out-relief for 24, in-relief 0
Maintenance for 1 pauper for one day:
Provision 53/4d
Clothing 1/2d

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Charities in Crakehall

Papers concerning two ancient charities for Crakehall are contained in the Bedale Parish Records now kept at the North Yorkshire Record Office (Class PR/Bedale 7). An account of all the charities in the parish made in 1717 (PR/Bedale 7/3/3 ) lists the following :

Isabella Benson left 24 shillings per year to the poor of Crakehalls to be distributed on St.Thomas' Day; from land in Burneston.
Oliver Lucas gave by deed 15shillings and 6 pence to the poor of Little Crakehall from small parcels of land there.

A second version of the account, made in 1782-4, (PR/Bedale 7/3/4) contains an additional note :

Richard Vittye of Little Crakehall, miller, left 5 shillings per year to the poor of the parish, but his executor has only paid out one 5s. [ you can read Richard Vittie's will, made in 1621. ]

In addition, the income from some land in Great Crakehall and Little Crakehall (called scholeland or schooland in later documents) was assigned by the Crown in the 16th century for the payment of the schoolmaster at Bedale Grammar School.This is described in the patent Rolls of Queen Elizabeth 1 (12 May, 1573, no.1059) - the rent of the land in Little Crakehall was 23s-4d per year, and that for Great Crakehall was 23s-8d per year.

Deeds for the Lucas Charity

1. 1672 Release by Thomas Moumford of Bedale, glover, to John Lucas of Little Crakehall, yeoman and Henry his son, for the poor of Little Crakehall, a house in the occupation of Daniel Grayson in Little Crakehall, with the garth and 3 riggs in the Little Field in the Bothams, and a close called Paddock (land bequeathed to Thomas Moumford by William Clarke of Little Crakehall for the use of the poor). [ you can read William Clarke's will, made in 1648.]

2. 1685 Oliver Lucas of Bedale, draper, demises the Paddock to Francis Wilkes gent. of Hornby Castle, at an annual rent of 3s, payable upon the feast of St.Thomas, for the poor of Little Crakehall.

3. 1685 Oliver Lucas demised for 999 years to Thomas Thwaite of Low Burton, gent., at an annual rent of 8s to the use of the poor, 3 riggs or lands in the Bottomes in the Little Field.

4. 1685 Oliver Lucas leases to Dorrity Grayson of Little Crakehall, spinster, at an annual rent of 2s 6d to the use of the poor, the house in which she lives, with the garth adjoining and a hedge called Croft Hedge, Michell Taller orchard [ sic - possibly adjoining Michael Taylor's orchard ].

9. 1701 Oliver Lucas demised to Francis Pemberton, rector of Bedale, John Witton, churchwarden of Crakehalls quarter, and John Webster, overseer of the same, all the above land and house.

[ The Tithe Award for Crakehall, 1837, shows a cottage at the back of Mastill farmhouse as the property of "the poor of Crakehall". This may be the same cottage. ]

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