Extracts From Old Newspapers


Horticultural Society



The inhabitants of Clayton, emulating other villages, have recently established a Floral and Horticultural  Society, and their first exhibition took place on Saturday evening, in the large room at the Black Bull Inn  The number of exhibitors, the quality of the flowers, fruits, and vegetables  and the public interest felt. in the society, as shown by the attendance which far exceeded the expectation of the most sanguine among the members. The show was second to that of no other village in the neighbourhood The judges and curators were  Mr. Thomas Cusworth  gardener John Foster, jun., Esq. Queensbury and Mr. Charles  Thomson , head gardener to Lieut  Col.Hirst, of Low house. The principal prizes were awarded as follows : —


Best tray of vegetables, four sorts,  Mr. Henry  Barker the best tray of vegetables six sorts Mr. Henry Barker, the best tray of fruit, six sorts, Mr. George Wilman. the best bunch of grapes, Mr: George Wilman,   heaviest bunch of grapes, Mr. H.. Burnishing,  gardener to Mr. Broad bent ; the best tray of grapes, Mr Burniston, the best bouquet, Mr. John Holroyd, Queensbury ; The best twelve kidney potatoes, Mr. Samuel Jackson, gardener to J. H. Hirst, Esq.,of Low House ; best brace of cucumbers Mr. Gregory Stead, gardener to Mr William Bottomley Esq. , Shelf ; the best cucumber, Mr. George Wilman In addition to these, prizes inferior in  value were awarded to Messrs. Edward Eland, John   Armitage,  Joseph Brook, Henry Armitage Jonathan Craven, Wm. Rawnsley , Jonas Jennings George Hemingway, Joseph  Robinson George Stead, and Wm Craven. A grand display of plants was placed on the table, for the purpose of decoration  by Mr. H. Burniston  which was much admired,  also two tremendous sticks of celery, belonging  to M William Craven of Shelf attracted much attention . A party of glee  from Queensbury including also Thomas Barker, the landlord and Miss Barker , his daughter. , contributed much to the enjoyment of the evening,  J. Ambler presiding at the pianoforte. ‘ At eight o’clock the room was cleared of vegitables  and the Committee, the judges, and a number of the ‘ visiting ‘Friends, about forty in all, sat down to an excellent supper, Mr. Thos. Jowett presiding, after which toasts and’ speechifying, singing . and recitations, become the order of the evening



Village School   Report Dated 1867

     The village school built in 1819 on land donated by the Lord of the Manor, then Richard Hodgson, the site of the building being waste land, no title deeds were made, but a number of men were elected as nominal trustees under whose control the school was placed. The school was built by public subscription, unfortunately the amount subscribed failed to cover the cost of erection so the sum of £80 was advanced by one of the inhabitants upon a promissory note. In 1867 the sum of £36 was still outstanding and the nominal Trustees being all dead, application was made for this to the Local Board by legal representatives of the gentlemen referred to and the inhabitants of the village. Fearing the property was about to slip out of their hands they called a public meeting by requisition to the overseers of the poor. The balance due on the promissory note was offered by one of the inhabitants to the representative of the gentlemen who offered the £80. Previously in 1865 the deputation approved at a public meeting of the inhabitants, held a conference with the new Lord of the Manor James Hodgson Atkinson Jowett, who wished to demolish the village school in order to obtain the good quality stone supposedly known to lie beneath the school. A very liberal offer was made by Mr Jowett, namely he would rebuild the school on a new site if that was preferable after the stone had been removed, he would even sell the stone at 6d a pound less to any other person. A further meeting was called for the Tuesday following, but this was not reported in the press.

Relic of Prehistoric Age

9th November 1877 During the progress of the works on the Bradford and Thornton Railway, several indications of vast changes which have so metamorphosised the face of this part of the country before the historic period, have presented themselves. In the course of excavations of the line, glacial boulders in quantity have been found, several of which have been examined and reported on by an eminent geological authority.Within the last week or two another interesting memorial of the past has been unearthed in cutting the tunnel at Clayton, namely a fossil root of some primeval forest tree. This was found at a considerable depth below the surface, and was removed with great care. In addition to several forked arms which penetrated into the earth, about two feet of trunk, marked as if it was still covered by bark has been preserved. The Relic has been taken possession of by the chief engineer of the line.

An Example of Working Man at Clayton

There is scarcely a town or village which does not contain one of it's inhabitants who is better known than his neighbours and in the village of Clayton there is a man of this sort, who is setting an example which is worthy of being imitated by his fellow man. Amoriah Robinson was brought in the trade of "cordwainer", but for some years has filled a responsible situation as a warehouseman in Bradford. Amoriah having for many years being a strict teetotaller and a man of carful and frugal habits, besides keeping his family comfortable had every week saved a little surplus from his wages, until at last he was of the opinion that he had a sum sufficient to build himself a cottage, and having purchased himself a plot of ground, he set to work in ernest, dug the cellar, and did all the other excavation work himself. Having provided himself with a wheel barrow, he fetched all the stone from a quarry some 300 yds distant, the number of barrows full being 548. All these stones he dressed and pitch faced etc, and this work he has done nights and mornings without the least encroachment upon his masters time. The cottage now nearcompletion stands at the top of Pasture Lane and is an attractive structure. The name he has given to the cottage is "VIRGINIAN COTTAGE". Its style is Gothic consisting of one room on the ground floor, and a sleeping room above and a kitchen at the rear. On the front are two carved heads representing "DEMOSTHENES" and "SOCRATES". There is another representing "EVA" of Uncle Toms Cabin. Also on an inscribed tablet are the words "PROVE ALL THINGS, HOLD FAST THAT WHICH IS GOOD" The Virginian cottage can be seen at the end of Virginia Street, Lane Ends

Festivities at The Clayton Workhouse

Jan 4th 1870

At a meeting of the Guardians of the North Bierley Union, recently held, it was decided that the inmates of the Workhouse should be treated on Christmas Day with a dinner of roast beef and plum pudding.
On new years day the females were to served with tea dashed with brown cream, and the males were to have beer, spice cake and cheese.
The Poor Law Board in London having sanctioned the proposals. The former of these took place at the time stated, and on Saturday, about 200 inmates having being seated in the dining room, the women had tea served to them at their hearts content, the men being bountifully supplied with spice cake and cheese with a portion of XXX ale from a noted brewery in the locality. Subsequently snuff, tobacco and oranges were distributed in abundance, the evening was spent in a very hilarious manner.


March 11th 1874
A concert of vocal and instrumental music was given in the Baptist School on Saturday evening to a large audience. Principle vocalists were Miss Hartley, Mr J Roberts, Mr R Hirst and an effective choir. The programme was varied by the performance by the Elland Bell Ringers, a novelty which caused much interest. Mr E Hirst officiated as conductor and Mr Athey played the piano.

Rival Attractions

May 30th 1866
On Thursday evening last an itinerant theatre lingered in the village of Clayton, being one of the relics of the annual feast recently held there. They had been well patronised by the inhabitants and were again in expectation of a full house to witness the performance of a favourite piece, but while the music and theatricals were drawing a crowd outside as they usually do, a number of teetotallers made their appearance. Mr D G Allott, one of the agents of the British Temperance League, intended to deliver an open air lecture, and they began to sing a melody in order to attract the attention of the people. The players, seeing that they were likely to have to play a losing game redoubled their efforts to retain their friends This rivalry continued for some time, until the whole of the population had been drawn from their fire sides, and the theatrical establishment had been deserted Then a monster temperance meeting was held by candlelight. Mr Henry Haley of Great Horton occupied the chair and Mr Allott who was introduced by Mr Wm Tiplady, spoke at great length on the temperence cause


March 3rd 1873
The Local Board meeting recieved a letter from The National Society of Womens Suffrage with a form of petition enclosed to remove " The Electoral Disabilities of Women" and requesting the Board to sign and return the same. It was moved by Mr Asa Briggs and seconded by Mr Charles Booth, that in the opinion of this Board, "women have sufficient power already " and declined to sign the petition.


List of Constables   Clayton 1835
John Thwaites, William White, Mathew Booth, and John Birkbeck.     Each constable was issued with a pair of "snaps and  staff".
Jonas Jagger, James Jagger, Samuel Houldsworth, Henry Jowett and Titus Illingworth were issued with just a staff.

Knur and Spell Match

31st May 1886
The return match at Knur and Spell was played Saturday last on Wibsey Slack between the "aristicracy" of Clayton and the "working men" of Little Horton with 10 rises each.
James Clough Esq 14 Mr Issacc Bairstow 89
Joseph Walton Esq 14 Mr Joseph Lord 84
Reuben Walsh Esq 29 Mr James Peacock 51
Issac Muff Esq 83 Mr Ralf Moore 47
John Holden Esq 60 Mr Joseph Becket 87
John Hargreaves Esq 13 Mr John Jowett 34
Amos Wright Esq 12 Mr Simon Hudson 25
Jon Wright Esq 27 Mr Moses Knowler 62
Simeon Jackson Esq 63 Mr James Wood 60
Samson Stocks Esq 26 Mr Miadal Firth 73
Clayton Aristocracy 341 Little Horton 612
The match being over,the ,players, with a few friends, took their departure for "Small Horton", where a sumptuous supper was provided at the Black Bull Inn. The cloth being removed a few short and appropriate speeches were delivered by friends of the party. The remainder of the evening being spent in singing and reciting.

Clayton Tide

August 1864
This feast commenced on Sunday, and friends who came from a distance were well regaled with roast beef and plum pudding. in the evening there was a very large attendance in the town bottom, where the principles of total abstinence were strenuously advocated, but, not withstanding this the public houses were well filled and as usual on such occasions, the publicans got the cream. On Monday there was an even greater gathering, the attractions provided for their allurement being shows of various kinds, theatrical displays and photographic cameras etc

Fox Hunt

2nd March 1865
On Tuesday evening a fox was turned out near to Highgate Mills, Clayton Heights, which ran in the direction of Clayton Village.It was hotly pursued by the Airdale Beagles and a number of gentlemen on horseback and on foot.
The terrified animal took refuge in a cottage , where after a severe conflict with one of its pursuers, it was secured and then liberated at Landhouse.
On this occasion Reynard led his pursuers on the north side of Lidget Green and after a run to Cannon Mills, he plunged into the mill dam, from there he was again secured alive.
As may be supposed a hunt in the middle of Clayton raised quite a commotion and an accident occurred to a boy named Joe Stephenson, aged 7 years, son of Henry Stephenson, which might have been attended with more serious results.
While crossing the street he was run over by two horses which were at the time being ridden at full gallop. Fortunately the lad recieved little injury.

Local Government Act of 1858

The above act was adopted by Queensbury in 1865, but prior to that year the local affairs of Queensbury were administered by the two neighbouring townships of Clayton and Northowram.
From this it will be seen that Clayton before 1865 included a large area of Queensbury, which was lost after the formation of the Queensbury Local Board.
Clayton adopted the act in 1866.
At the second meeting of the Queenbury board a discussion took place re the actions of the Clayton surveyor who was removing road material from their district.
Again in 1865 there was trouble with Clayton, this time attempting to collect a highway rate from the inhabitants of that part of Queensbury which at one time belonged to them.

Friendship amongst work people.

11th January 1866
Workpeople in the employ of Mr S Barsdorf, spinner and manufacturer of Beck Mills,Clayton, have for some time made a practice of dining together at the commencement of each year.
This annual festival was celebrated on Saturday at The Black Bull Inn when about 40 persons were present. After dinner the evening was spent in a rational and intelligent manner. Mr George Mandfield occupied the chair.

Clayton Local Board

May 7th 1869
On Wednesday the usual monthly meeting was held, members present were Col Hirst chairman and messers Briggs, Jowett, Bairstow, Hardy, Seed and Balmforth. Plans were submitted by Mr William Wood of Halifax for the erection of a beerhouse at Bailey Stile which were sanctioned after being carefully examined.
Plans or rather tracings were submitted by Mr Pickles Armitage for the erection of twelve cottages. They were rejected, Mr Armitage being required to produce proper plans not tracings.Tracings submitted by John Henry Whaley were returned for the same reason.
A motion was placed on the books for the purchase of a large roller to be used on the roads.
An order was made that a main sewer should be made from the Brecks to Lidget Beck, a distance of 900 yards.
Mr Hall , superintendant constable, having given notice for the removal of all rubbish, dross and other material on the roads, the highways Committee were authorised to go around the district with a view to select sites for staithes where such material could be deposited.
The roller would be horsedrawn.

Eccentric Poultry Dealer

October 1869
An abundance of material has been offered to the gossipers of Clayton by the death of an eccentric person named Thomas Harrison, alias Tom Pudding which took place the other day near Queensbury.
It appears that Tom who had no wife or family was a native of Clayton and until recently lived in a cottage in Back Lane.
Being an extensive dealer in poultry of all kinds, he was well known in Bradford Market and regularly attended there to transact business.
His cottage contained only one low room in which he constantly kept his stock of poultry consisting of hens of different breeds, pidgeons and rabbits, he also kept a galloway which he stabled in his cottage, its stall being parallel to his bed. He was of an exceedingly mean disposition and would not spend a farthing on soap or white wash. This at one time brought him into trouble, and the authorities of the township,  andin carrying out their sanitary regulations compelled him to a place where the inhabitants in this respect were not so particular.
Tom however has bowed to the decrees of fate. He is dead and after his death a number of neighbours entered his house for the purpose of performing for him the last kind of offices.
While thus employed it is said that they found secreted in different parts of the cottage, a considerable amount of money. An old jacket which had been thrown to the door as almost worthless, was taken in again with a view of it being disposed of to the ragman, and in cutting up the jacket no less than 70 sovereigns were found sewn up in the cape, and other places. The rumour is that £300 in all has been found. The deceased would be about 60 years old and it is said his father is still living.

19th Century Newspapers

JUNE 1848 The Black Bull Inn. Clayton. To Let, with immediate possession, with or without land. Apply Mr John Hirst, Clayton House.

9th SEPTEMBER 1858 A married woman, Mary Rushworth of Clayton, died suddenly while at work as a power loom weaver at Beck Mill at about half past six o'clock on Saturday morning. She leaves five children.

21st JANUARY 1860 A violent gale during the night of Saturday and Sunday, caused great damage to the National School's spire, which blew down. The beautiful structure sadly damaged the roof. The master and mistress fled in terror to the house of a neighbour.

15th AUGUST 1861 CLAYTON TIDE On Sunday, a great number of persons visited the village, but ignoring the "Teetotal Lectures" which were given at Town Bottom, the public houses were well attended. Mr Pablo Fanque, always welcome on such occasions, was present and a damsel in his company, who emulated Blondin's feats, drew a large crowd.

19th SEPTEMBER 1861 A little boy, son of Mr George Storey of Clayton, five years old and playing in the vicinity of Beck Mill last Thursday, inadvertantly fell into a tank full of gas tar. He was completely submerged and presented a sorry sight, when rescued by his brother who was nearby.

6th APRIL 1863 The Ancient Druid's celebrated their anniversary today by dining at the Black Bull Inn, after which the evening was agreeably spent.

4th MAY 1865 John Swaine , Simeon Barker, Leonard Jagger, Charles Ackroyd, James Metcalfe and David Taylor, were all charged at the West Riding Court, with Sunday gambling on the Highway, e,g, playing pitch and toss. All were grown up people, some married and each was fined twenty shillings, with nine and sixpence costs or one months imprisonment.

5th APRIL 1866 On Monday last Mr Abraham Kershaw celebrated his 91st birthday, when some of his descendants were entertained to tea at his house. He has eight living children, seventy four grandchildren, sixty two great grandchildren, and twelve great great grandchildren, making a total of 156. He has lived his whole life in Clayton and attended church at both Clayton and Queensbury, but was recently converted to Mormonism. After smoking for sixty years he discarded the pipe for good. It is reported he still works at the hand loom.

12th APRIL 1866 On Tuesday morning, one Benjamin Pollard, was found lying unconscious at the bottom of Balmforths Quarry, into which he had fallen the previous night, when intoxicated and returning from a public house. He had long been an inveterate drinker. Faint hopes are entertained for his recovery.

9th AUGUST 1866 On Thursday last, in the West Riding Court, a boy named Joseph Foster, aged 14, from Queensbury, was charged with stealing a duck, the property of Alfred Hey, a farmer living at Sun Wood, Clayton. The lad had sold the duck to Thomas Ingham and this coming to the ears of Constable Barrett, apprehended Foster while at work at Broadbent's Mill, Gt Horton. The young pilferer having being well whipped in the area of the Court House, was discharged.

11th OCTOBER 1866 On Saturday night, a young man, aged 27, a weaver living at Fall Top Clayton, left a beer shop at Queensbury, where he had been drinking. On Sunday he was found dead at the bottom of a quarry. He leaves a wife and a small family of children.

6th AUGUST 1868 On Monday at The West Riding Court, James Armitage, an elderly man, was charged with stealing a quantity of beans from the garden of Mr Edwin Ridings, Clayton House, who stated he had previously missed cabbage's and cauliflower's. The prisoner was committed to one months hard labour.

3rd SEPTEMBER 1869 Yesterday at the Court of the West Riding, Jesse Woodhead, a quarryman living at Clayton, was summoned at the instance of his wife Margaret Woodhead, upon a charge of assault and using threatening language. The complainant stated, that the defendant had used her shamefully, having struck her and kicked her and threatened to take her life. The defendant's wages was only 24 shillings a week, and she herself had to support the house by her own efforts. Her husband had frequently ill used her, when both drunk and sober, and she had frequently had to send for Constable Barrett to protect her from his violence. The defendent who did not appear, was ordered to be brought up by warrant.

18th JULY 1871 A serious accident took place on Saturday, to a man called Daniel Whaley, in the woolcombing room at Joseph Benn & Co. The machines in the room had been stopped at a quarter to one as was custom, to clean the machines prior to leaving work. The shafting was still running, when for an unaccountable reason the machine restarted, and in doing so, tore off the poor mans left arm by the elbow and also removed some fingers from his right hand. It was assumed that he had not completely thrown off the driving belt, but his prostration was so great after the occurence as to render him unable to account for it. He was conveyed to Bradford Royal Infirmary, where on enquiring yesterday, we found him doing nicely, and likely to survive. Some days later it was announced that Daniel Whaley had died in the hospital, from the result of his injuries.

14th JUNE 1876 A serious accident occurred on Saturday, little after noon, to a young man named Thomas Mann, employed at Hole Bottom. It appeared he was recklessly playing with a dynamite cartridge, when it exploded and blew away the fore finger of his left hand and the thumb of his right hand from the first joint, there was also injuries to other fingers and one of his eyes. He was immediately removed to Mr Fawthrop's surgery, where his wounds were dressed.

4th MAY 1877 The Local Board received a letter from Mr Booth Sharp complaining of a nuisance caused by Messrs W & E Seed, depositing manure near one of his (Mr Sharp`s) houses, thereby causing tennants to leave. It was resolved that the Nuisance Inspector serve a proper notice upon Messrs Seed, requiring them to abate the above mentioned nuisance within 7 days.

6th NOVEMBER 1878 The Local Board Clerk reported that he had assertained from Mr Thomas of Thornton, that the price for painting the names of streets on zinc plates was three farthings a letter

DECEMBER 1893 The centre of Clayton to be lit by gas for the first time

7th JULY 1900 The largest ever fossil tree ever found. This interesting relic of antiquity, which has been discovered at Fall Top Quarry,Clayton, owned by Mr Robert Foulds, is now on view prior to removal. A small charge is made for admission, of which a large proportion will be donated to the Lord Mayors Fund.

28 JULY 1903 The Anti-Vaccination League consider the 7/6d charged by the West Riding Magistrates for a Vaccination Exemption Certificate is exhorbitant, and within the last two months, twenty people have refused to get such a certificate, or have their children vaccinated. Four who refused to pay the costs incurred were arrested yesterday and taken to Wakefield Gaol for a week. Their names are Kershaw Craven, Reva Syke Rd, Sam Craven, Tenter Hill, Alf Walker, Town End and Sam Murray, Brow Top. During their absence their wages will be paid by the league and after their release on Saturday next, there will be a public demonstration and the Clayton Silver Prize Band hope to be in attendance.

Events in Clayton 1858                           

Sep 9th
A married woman, Mary Rushworth of Clayton, died suuddenly whilst at work as a power loom weaver at Beck Mill about half past six o'clock on Saturday morning. She leaves five children.

Oct 28th A meeting of working men has been held in the village school room at Clayton to consider the propriety of forming a Co-operative Society, the object being to collect a store of provisions, drapery goods etc which will be retailed to the public at a cost which will always be within the market price. Mr Josh Andrews presided and made a few pointed remarks with reference to the advantages which would accrue from such a Society if properly managed. The meeting was afterwards addressed by Mr J. Vickerman and Mr J. Baycliffe. Eighty eight persons have already enrolled themselves as members.

 Clayton National Day and Sunday Schools. The annual Christmas tea party connected with the above schools was held in the school-room on Monday evening, the Rev. T. R. Manning, Incumbent of Clayton, in the chair. The tea boards cleared, a selection of music was performed, consisting of glees, madrigals, songs and duets by the Highgate Mill Glee and Madrigal Society. Mr T. Ward presided at the pianoforte. The music -- at all events, the choral music, was for the most part very well known, and would probably have been considered "stale" by a Bradford audience, but in Clayton it took well, and gave satisfaction. Mr W. Jackson's song, The United Flags, and another called John Brown, both sung by Mr T. Barker, were loudly encored. Mr George Mason, Esq, kindly favoured the company with two songs, The Flag that's Braved and The Fine Old English Gentleman. Both were so much approved as to be re-demanded, but in the latter case only, when Mr Mason substituted, with excellent effect, the nigger song, poor Old Ned. There was a good attendance, the evening being very pleasantly spent.

' Clayton National Day and Sunday Schools. Letter to the Editor of the Bradford Observer. re above. Sir'--Presuming upon your accustomed kindness, I beg for a space in your paper for a few words with reference to the tea party which was held in the Clayton National School on Monday evening the 27th Dec, a report of which appeared in your impression of last Thursday. From that report it would appear that the songs, etc, which were sung after tea took well, and gave great satisfaction. I was not present myself, but I am creditably informed some parties left the room completely disgusted with some of the songs that were sung, and others were heard to say that such songs were more suitable for the public house than in connection with a Sunday school. Similar remarks have been made since the night in question, so that I feel it my duty, for the credit of the Sunday School and those connected with it, to state that the Superintendent and teachers had nothing whatever to do with the drawing up of the programme; neither did they know anything of it until it appeared in print. They, therefore wish it to be distinctly understood that they have no sympathy with most of that night's proceedings; on the contrary, they condemn it as being diametrically opposed to the spirit and tendency of the teaching in Sunday School. I therefore trust that the odium which it has so justly provoked will fall upon those with whom it was left to draw up the programme, so that the character of our Sunday School be not made to suffer for what the Superintendent and teachers had no control over By inserting this in your next issue you will greatly oblige
Yours etc The Superintendent Jan 3rd 1859 


Bradford Observer 21st March 1850


Clayton Tragedy 


  A most melancholy event occurred at Clayton on Saturday last, which occasioned the greatest excitement and horror, not only amongst the quiet inhabitants of that hamlet, but also in our own town and the surrounding district. The appalling circumstance is briefly this: a man named Edward Jcssop, a blacksmith and delver in fit of great excitement, deliberately shot his wife through the body, and then, deliberately sent a bullet through his own brain. The attempt at murder was not fully successful, as the woman still survives; but his own death was instantaneous. The motives that led to this appalling catastrophe may be gathered from the subjoined narrative. The unhappy pair were comparatively young, Jessop being 25 years of age, and his wife somewhat younger. They were married as recently as August last. The marriage was hastened by the pregnancy of the bride, and was consummated almost without the knowledge, and certainly without the good will of their friends. It is perhaps no extraordinary occurrence amongst people in their rank in life, and in a neighbourhood where the manners are primitive and rude, but on the wedding morning, the bridegroom and bride met together at the Bradford Parish Church, each having come by different roads-the former proceeding on foot, and the latter journeying towards the town in a farmer’s cart which was conveying milk thither. The bride, too, went to the altar in a troubled mind. The prospect of leaving her mother’s hearthstone, it is said, filled her with grief, and her tears fell copiously on that account. The wedded pair, like too many of their class, had no home provided and the ceremony over they separated, to return to the different homes whence they had come. In a few days, however, it was arranged that Jessop should take up his abode beneath the roof of the wife’s parent, Sarah Robinson, a widow, advanced in years, living in a cottage at the upper part of Clayton. With two sons and one daughter, besides the wife of the deceased. Here Edward Jessop lived with his wife for two or three months: but, as might have been expected, not in the enjoyment of domestic peace. The offence against his wife’s family, it would appear, was never fully forgiven; and the mother especially resented his conduct. On one occasion late at night, as she alleges, he had been misbehaving himself, and she drove him from her door to shelter in the lodgings of his bachelor days. Since that time, he has repeatedly besought his wife to join him in a separate home, but she has turned a deaf ear to his entreaties. Jessop was considered a stranger at Clayton; he was a native of Brighouse, and had been brought to the village in an adventure for employment. He is spoken of by almost every tongue as a quiet, good-natured, steady, harmless man, and appears to have gained the good will and respect of the villagers generally. He had been in the army and had bought his discharge. The friends of Jessop’s wife, on the other hand, allege that, although he was not a drunkard or an idle man, yet he wasted his substance (too small as it was), in gambling, a vice to which he was much addicted. Then separation from his wife had been the subject of banter and taunts of his associates in the delph, and at the forge (for he divided his time between both employments) and it is conjectured that, being unable to get redress, this circumstance may have prayed upon his mind and induced him to commit the dreadful deed we now record. About three o’clock on Saturday last, Jessop entered the cottage of his mother-in-law, Mrs Robinson. His wife was there, as were also her mother, her sister, and her baby, asleep in the cradle. Jessop, addressing his wife said, “ I want to speak a word to thee” “Well” returned the wife, “ if thou has anything to say, say it now “ He then approached her, as she was standing on the hearthstone, and, laying one hand on her, he pointed the pistol at her heart, and, as he fired, he exclaimed “That is it!” The poor wife, in agony and fright, raised a dreadful shriek, and hurried to the door, followed by her mother and sister. They stooped over the apparently dying woman as she fell to the ground. But the horror of the scene was the next moment increased, by another report of a pistol and the sight of Jessop himself weltering in a pool of blood: he had applied the muzzle of another pistol to one side of his head and blown a bullet through his brain. He had died without a struggle. The wife was alive, the bullet, having passed through the fleshy part of her left bosom and out at her side, had not inflicted a mortal wound. Mr Steel (of Bradford) and Mrs Hebblethwaite (of Thornton) attended the woman during the day, and she is now, we are happy to add, in a fair way to recovery. The body of the unhappy man was removed to the Black Bull public house, to await the inquest. INQUEST On Monday afternoon, an inquest was held at the house of Mr. Womersley, the Black Bu11 Inn before George Dyson, Esq. and a respectable jury, on the body of Edward Jessop. The following were the statements, of the several witnesses. Sarah Robinson, widow, stated, the deceased Edward Jessop, was married to my daughter Elizabeth in August last. The deceased lived at our house with his wife for a short lime, but left us without any disagreement. I did not know much of him before he got married. My daughter would have gone to live with him if he bad been able to set up house. My son would have bought them a bed, if they could have managed the rest. The deceased was by trade a blacksmith. He came to my house about three o'clock on Saturday. He said he wanted to speak a word or two with his wife. She said, “Well, thou may speak to me if thou hast anything to say." She was on the hearthstone, and he went to her, and pulled a pistol out and fired it, saying, “That is it." He was close to her and had hold of her at the time. My daughter ran out of the house screaming and left him standing We followed her and she fell down about three or four yards from our door. There was nobody but him and the child left in the house, and, hearing the pistol again we thought be had shot the child, but we found he had shot himself. The ball which he fired at my daughter went into her left breast, and out at the side. We hope she is now doing well, but she is not yet out of danger. I never saw any of his family till yesterday, when a brother of his came from Brighouse. He looked decent dependable man, but I can't say what he is. He stated that he had not spoken to the deceased for two years; he did not like the ways of the deceased, and was not surprised at what had happened. I have seen him drunken very seldom, but I have seen him so. He was like a middling quiet man. My daughter was willing to go into house with the deceased, when the deceased had anything to set up with, but he was a gambling man - he gambled his money away. I don't know how long my daughter and the deceased had been acquainted before they were married. I knew perhaps an hour before they went to let married that it was going to happen. While he lived at our house, he were agreeable enough. He paid 6s. 6d. for his meat and lodging, and his wife who worked at the mill, paid for her own board and lodging. He left or home when my daughter was about to be confined, and before be went be threatened to murder her on one occasion. This perhaps rose from my ordering him to go away after be had been swearing and misbehaving himself. He left the house afterward, but he had wanted to go before there was any “harry” (uproar) at all. His wife has since been so afraid of the deceased doing her some harm that she has never gone out after dark without having some person with her. [We may gather that the witness gave her testimony evidently with great unwillingness. To refer to the deceased in any way seemed to be a great mortification to her.] John Rookes deposed: The deceased Edward Jessop has lodged with us since about Christmas last. He had conducted himself properly. Never had a wrong word with him. He has kept good hours, except perhaps one night, and has been very sober and steady. With the exception of one night, when he stopped out till twelve, he has always been at home at ten. There seemed to have been some unpleasantness between his wife’s relations and himself, but I could not say particularly what it was. I have understood that on one occasion his wife’s mother ran him out of the house with the tongs. He was a blacksmith and a fair workman but he has also worked at bearing stone at Collopwood. He was apparently a sane man, like others. I believe he gambled before he came to live with us, but he repented of that and left off the practice. I understand that he meet with his wife last Tuesday, and she promised him that if he would get a chair, table and bed she would go live with him. I put him into the best way of getting them and he was off on Thursday in Bradford. I thought he had perhaps gone to buy some furniture. He was off also on Friday: he went away with a soldier who came to Clayton: it was said he had been fetched as a deserter, but Jessop afterwards said that the report was untrue. I believe he had shown the soldier his discharge. He might perhaps have been taken as a deserter. On Saturday he took a gatepost down to get the lead from it, and so no doubt moulded the bullets at Collopwood. He would have 3s or 3s 4d a day when in full employ for three days a week and he got three days a week besides as blacksmith. But he had seldom-full work and I understand that during the last fortnight he had only £1 from both jobs. He had some five half crowns on the mantelpiece on Friday morning and having taken these away, he no doubt bought the pistol on Friday with that money. Hannah Robinson deposed: I am sister to Elizabeth Jessop. I was at the door hole on Saturday when Edward Jessop fired at my sister. On coming in, he said he wanted to speak to her, and said he might speak to her there. I ran to her on the shot being fired and my frock was fired by the blaze which was upon her. I don’t know that there had been any quarrel either between the deceased and my sister, or between the deceased and my mother: if they had any quarrel it was among themselves. I don’t know that there was a quarrel between the deceased and my brothers. They were always agreeable on Sundays when they were together. Edward Briggs deposed: I live next door but one to Robinsons. I heard the alarm by these pistols going off on Saturday. I heard a cry from children, but thought it was on account of rat shooting. In four or five seconds I heard Hannah Robinson say-“ He has shot our Betty” I went out and assisted the Robinsons to help Betty into the house. I immediately afterwards saw the deceased lying dead on the floor. He was wounded in the right ear and a large quantity of blood ran from him. I was not personally acquainted with the deceased. joseph brigg, constable stated: i received the pistols produced from jos. hurst, a joiner, who gathered them up in the house, and i also took some bullets, some caps, and some powder from the pockets of the deceased, and 6d and 5d in copper. these pistols were bought on friday afternoon of mr. egan of bradford. he stated to me that he sold them to a young man who said he was going to america. joseph brigg afterwards volunteered a statement to the effect that he had been with the deceased and had heard him often tell such strange stories, as led him to believe that he was not of proper mind-that he had “ a slate off” mr. john jowett, a juror, volunteered a similar statement. the coroner then briefly addressed the jury, and after a consultation of a few minutes, the jury returned a verdict of “shot himself, but in what state of mind the deceased was at the time, there is no evidence to show”





Clayton Board Meetings 1815

  4th June 1815 Clayton Local Board.   The usual monthly meeting of the board took place on Wednesday last in the Board Room. Present were Messrs T. Jowett, J. Benn, E. Ridings, O. Wilman, A. Briggs, W. Sutcliffe, J. Hudson and C. Ward.  The clerk reported that he had received the mortgage deed to secure £250 to Messrs Emmet and others with interest at 4 per cent for a term of ten years. It was resolved that the same be signed and sealed. The accounts in respect of the collector and surveyor were dealt with as usual, also cheques were drawn and ordered to be paid.   It was noticed that the collector had received a payment of £2 10 6d for the loan of the roller,  but to whom was not stated. Maybe the local cricket team.    It was decided that the district should be posted with notices to the effect that all dogs at large must be muzzled between the 14th of June and 1st of October. Plans for two houses for Mr W. Ingham were submitted and passed.  The medical officer's report was submitted as follows:- The health of the district is in an improving condition. During the month of May eight births and eleven deaths have been registered. Of these deaths, four were in the Workhouse, which number deducted reduces the number of deaths in Clayton district to to seven,  which is considered a low one. One death occurred from typhoid fever.  The analysis is as follows: Typhoid fever l; paralysis l;  apoplexy 1; enteritis l; heart disease 2; infantile diseases 3; phthisis l; old age 1; total 11. The outbreak of Typhus at Town End and Holt's Lane is gradually passing away, only three fresh cases having come under my notice since my last report to the Board. The others are nearly all convalescent.   July 1st 1815 Clayton Local Board The usual monthly meeting. Present: T. Jowett, Chairman,  C. Ward, A. Briggs, O. Wilman, J. Benn, E. Ridings and J. Hudson. Amongst matters dealt with plans for the Liberal Club which were submitted and approved,  the site of the Club was land at Jacob's Croft.  The Medical Officer of Health reported several cases of fever in the neighbourhood of Town End but was unable to discover any special cause which could have brought on the outbreak.   TO BE SOLD BY AUCTION by Messrs Davis & Son, at the Royal Hotel, Clayton.  on Tuesday, July 21th, 1815 at seven o'clock in the evening prompt.  Subject to Conditions, and in such Lots as may be determined upon.   ALL those three several MESSUAGES or dwelling houses at Green Well Lane,  Clayton, with yards, gardens & etc, belonging, now in the respective occupations of Mr Ezra Milner, John Milner and George Ward. And also all those three several MESSUAGES or dwelling houses situate at Coghill in Clayton,  with the yards,  gardens & etc belonging,  now in the respective occupations of Robert Sharp, Jonas Andrews and Elixabeth Brooke.   The houses are in very good repair, well tenanted, and may be viewed on application to the tenants.   Particulars may be had from the Auctioneer or Mr F. Walker, Solicitor,  Halifax. NOTE The three houses above in Greenwell Lane, now Greenwell Row, were named Andrews Buildings, there is an inscribed name to that effect today