1789 -London Gazette -
SHERIFF JOHN WHARTON -
The Names of those who were nominated for Sheriffs by the Lords of the Council at the Exchequer, on the Morrow of St.
Martin, in the Thirtieth Year of the Reign of King George the Third, and in the Year of our Lord, 1789.
Yorkshire, - Sir George Armytage, of Kirklees Bart. John Wharton, of Skelton Castle,Esq;
Charles Slingsby Duncombe, of Duncombe Park, Esq;
1790 - EARLY DISCOVERY OF IRON IN SKELTON. WHARTON NOT INTERESTED -
Mr John Marley, discoverer of the Cleveland main seam of iron ore wrote in 1856 -
I have been informed that in 1790, a gentleman from Whitby, being at Skelton, either discovered, or thought he had discovered iron ore in
that estate, and sought by correspondence during that year, with the late Mr. Wharton, or his agent, to take it on lease; and again in 1798
|but the late Mr. Wharton would not listen to any proposal.
The late Mr. Rutter, land-agent, had in his possession, as recently as
1850, three original letters of this correspondence, but, which, I have not been able to see.
JOHN WHARTON A MEMBER OF PARLIAMENT - John Wharton of Skelton Castle was returned as
MP for Beverley, beginning a 40 year association with that East Riding
town that was to lead to his eventual financial downfall.
Beverley had the right to send 2 members to Parliament and it was a
nationwide custom to bribe officials and the electorate. The only
people allowed to vote were adult males who owned land, so called
freemen, and Beverley had an above average number of these, as well
as voters who lived outside the area.
It became advantageous to have more than two candidates in order to
find out who could offer the most in sweeteners.
As well as making direct payments to the voters, candidates payed for
such things as travel expenses, ribbons, innkeepers fees, musicians,
security guards etc. The expenditure did not end there.
The MP prior to J Wharton paid over £650, including £50
towards flagging the streets in 1786, £20 a year on coal for poor
freemen, £10 per year to the master of the grammar school,
£25 for the races, and 5 guineas to the Charity school,
besides providing a buck and a doe for the mayor's table.
John Wharton must have made an excellent job of this palm greasing as
he received 908 votes from the 1,069 voters, including a high
proportion of the working-class and London voters.
Wharton was an active Whig with radical views. He was a prominent, but
moderate member of the Constitutional Society in the 1790s, besides
being a member of the Friends of the People and of the Friends of the
Liberty of the Press.
In parliament he was a staunch supporter of the abolition of slavery
and favoured relief for Roman Catholics and constitutional and
His resounding success in the 1790 election gained him a considerable
popular following in Beverley and his overt political position led to
the development of clear Whig and Tory factions in the town.
It was said by the Whig grandees:-
"It is beyond the power of imagination to conceive the popularity of Wharton here... .
Perhaps it has never happened in the History of Electioneering that out of 1,050 voters 908 should be on one side in favour of our friend and his principles."
MARRIAGE OF JOHN WHARTON took place of at Lambton, Co Durham to Susan Mary Anne, second daughter of General John Lambton.
Death of Ann Stevenson, wife of the late John Hall Stevenson.
1791 - BUILDING OF CHEMISTS SHOP at 72 High St.
In the photograph the land in front of the shop slopes away following the natural contours and considerable filling in must have taken place to
create the modern road and site of the houses which now stand opposite
the Chemist's shop.
A later photograph of the Chemists shop.
At this time behind the shop there was a sandstone quarry, which
probably provided the stone for the present Castle, the one before it
and most of the buildings in Skelton at that time.
The road to the right of the shop was one entrance to the quarry.
The death at Thirsk of Margaret Wharton, the great aunt of
John Wharton] of Skelton Castle, who inherited her fortune.
|PEG PENNYWORTH BURIED - Margaret Wharton was buried in York Minster, where a memorial reads:-
IN A VAULT UNDER THIS MARBLE ARE DEPOSITED THE REMAINS OF
MARGARET WHARTON, DAUGHTER AND COHEIRESS OF
ANTHONY WHARTON ESQr. OF GILLINGWOOD HALL IN THIS COUNTY, WHO DEPARTED
THIS LIFE THE 9TH OF SEPBR 1791
IN THE 97TH YEAR OF HER AGE.
Margaret Wharton had earned a reputation for being a wealthy
miser and was known as "Peg Pennyworth", even being the subject of a
farce by the same name based on her eccentricity.
It was her niece, Anne Wharton, who had married John Wharton of Skelton
Castle. [see 1740]
1794 - GAOL FOR TWOPENCE.
Ann Castle of the House of Correction at Northallerton was charged with stealing at Skelton one bundle of split laths, value 2 pence, the property of John Wharton esquire, of Skelton Castle.
1794 - JOHN WHARTON VOTED OUT - He lost the election in Beverley after he disagreed with some of his previous supporters over the war with France.
He is made a Captain in the North Riding of Yorkshire Yeoman Cavalry.
The Revolution and execution of the King of France and the War with that country had caused a fear of a civil uprising in Britain and a possible invasion.
Prime Minister Billy Pitt proposed that the County Lord Lieutenants should form Volunteer forces and the landed Gentry and
Yeomanry should create Cavalry units for home defence. On the 17th April an Act was passed bringing this into force.
Members of the Cavalry had to be men of means, having to provide their own horse and equipment and have the time to train and be
available for action in the event of an invasion.
The Revolutionary War ended with a short peace in 1801 and caused the Yeomanry to be disbanded, but the threat of Napoleon arose
soon after and the Government ordered the formation of local Volunteer Units, which evolved through various names into the Territorial
Force of the First World War and the Territorial Army of today.
1795 - NEW PRIEST - From this year until 1816, William Barwick became the priest at Skelton All Saints Church.
INHABITANTS OF SKELTON INDICTED.
A Bill of indictment was brought against the Inhabitants of Skelton for not repairing the Kings Highway.
The Poor Law Act had made each Parish responsible for such maintenance among other things.
"From 10 July 1795 the highway has been in disrepair in the township of Skelton from the boundary of the townships of Skelton and Stanghow northward, being 2,700 yards in length and 7 yards in breadth."
Poachers captured. Print by H Alken 1785-1851.
|SEVERE WINTER - STARVATION - POACHING. The winter of 1794 to 5 was one of the severest in living
memory with hard frosts and snow from December to March.
Snow still lay on the Cleveland hills in May.
Bad weather conditions had a more serious effect on people's lives then
Most worked in agriculture and those who did not 'live-in' could not
earn. Fuel was used up.
The fact that the country was at war with France added to the problems.
There was a shortage of corn, which drove up the price of bread and there were riots in some places.
Poaching was rife.
The landed classes had always considered that any wild life that moved across their property belonged to them.
From Norman times, and probably long before, any peasant who trespassed on the Lord's hunting preserve was liable to harsh penalties.
In these times of dearth these were severe.
From 1760 night poachers were liable to 3 to 6 months prison with hard labour and second offenders given 6 to 12 months with a public whipping.
From 1782 to 1799 there were only 26 convictions for poaching in the N Riding of Yorkshire.
To save a family from starvation the risk was taken in Skelton.
It is recorded:-
"by October 1780 the game upon the manors of John Wharton of Kilton, Skelton and Brotton was nearly destroyed"
In 1800 new legislation made convicted poachers liable to 2 years hard labour and a whipping.
Offenders over 12 could be sent for military service.
1797. 31st March. PUNCH-UP OVER ASSES.
William Seaton, yeoman, late of the Parish of Skelton was indicted for Assault and Rescue.
Richard Lynass was the Keeper of the Common Pound", which was on Cross Green, Skelton. He had distrained 3 asses, value 30s, belonging to Seaton, for straying in Well Close, belonging to Andrew Irvin and John Mowbray.
He was taking them to the village Pound, when Seaton assaulted him and rescued the animals. Verdict not given.
1796 CHURCHWARDENS ACCOUNTS.
IS THE NEW PARSON A SECRET TIPPLER ?
WARDENS VOTE TO LOCK THE CHURCH WINE IN A CHEST.
1799 - JOHN WHARTON RE-ELECTED. He was returned to Parliament as the MP for Beverley, coming second in the bye-election which had been caused by the death of the sitting MP.
He now stood as an Independent and was opposed by J. B. S. Morritt of
Rokeby Park in the North Riding of Yorks.
15th April. - PINCHING POSTS AND RAILS.
Margaret Spencer, with previous, and Thomas Peart were charged with stealing William Thompson's Posts and Rails. Guilty and sentenced to 3 months prison. The Skelton Society for the Prosecution of Felons had to pay £7 10s 8d in various
expenses to bring this case to Court.
INCOME TAX INTRODUCED FOR FIRST TIME - at two pence in the pound [0.8%] for those with incomes of more than £60 a year rising to two shillings in the pound on incomes of more than £200 a year.
Britain was at War with France and needed to raise funds. The tax lapsed in 1802; was re-introduced in 1806.
1800 - 15th July. COW MUGGED.
Ann Knaggs, a widow, was charged at the Quarter Sessions with feloniously milking a cow, the property of Elizabeth Green, at the Parish of Skelton, on the 9th Day of May
last and stealing one Gill of the same milk of the value of one halfpenny.
She was sentenced to 2 months hard labour in the Northallerton House of Correcton.
21 February - BUTCHER AFTER SUPPLIES.
George Dale, a butcher of Guisborough, was convicted for using a lurcher to kill game at Skelton township. Sentence not shown.
2nd September - PINCHING THE CASTLE'S TREES.
John Hogg, a yeoman of Skelton, was convicted for cutting down 6 alder trees likely to become timber standing on the ground of John Wharton Esquire, on the complaint of John Richardson of Skelton, Yeoman.
1801 - THE FIRST NATIONAL CENSUS - was carried out by house to house enquiry.
The population of England and Wales was estimated to be 9 million.
The population of Skelton was 700 - 317 males, 383 females.
There were 167 inhabited houses, with 180 families. 6 houses were
171 people worked in agriculture and 279 in trades.
In the 20 years from 1781 to 1801 there were 612 baptisms, 399 burials
and 168 marriages.
Napoleon's threatened invasion of Britain
MANPOWER SURVEY ORDERED - Britain had been at war with France since 1793 and in
response to Napoleon gathering an army to invade a survey of available
manpower was ordered by the government.
All of Europe was in fear of Napoleon.
This was the time when the populace of Hartlepool supposedly hanged a shipwrecked monkey, thinking it was a Frenchman.
"Returns for townships in the Wapentake of Langbaurgh East under the
Defence Act 38 Geo IIIc 27 and by order of the general
meeting of lieutenancy 22 September 1801" were demanded.
Three forms of schedules were despatched to parish constables
and required the following information:-
Schedule 1. Total of men between the ages of 15 and 60 ,
those infirm or incapable of active service, those serving in volunteer
corps or armed associations, aliens, Quakers, persons who from age,
infancy, infirmity or other cause would probably be incapable of
Schedule 2. Number of stock, oxen, cows, young cattle and colts, sheep and goats, pigs, horses, waggons and carts, corn mills and the quantity of corn they could mill in 24 hours, number or ovens and
quantity of bread they could bake in 24 hours, the average amounts of dead stock - wheat, oats, barley, beans and peas, hay, straw, potatoes and quantities of flour and meal.
Schedule 3. Number of persons between the ages of 15 and 60
willing to serve and in what capacity; on horseback or on foot. How
armed; swords or pistols for cavalry, firelocks or pikes for foot.
Number of persons between the ages of 16 and 60 willing to act as
pioneers or labourers. The implements they can bring - felling axes,
pick axes, spades, shovels, bill hooks, saws or other instruments they
can bring. Number of persons
between the ages of 15 and 60 willing to act as servants with cattle,
as servants with teams and as guides.