E-mails. Page 11.


Harry Leeks lost his life in the First World War on the 11th January 1917, while serving with the local, 4th Battalion of the Yorkshire Regiment.

He was just 21 years of age.

Andrew Berwick is the grandson of Harry's younger sister, Alice, and he has kindly sent these photographs;
as well as family details and an extract from the 4th Battalion Diary of the time.

Click here to see them.


Trouthall Farm 2006.
The following emails were received from Alison Preston and Hamish Brown of Auckland, New Zealand.

I have just come across your most fascinating and detailed website on Skelton.
Many congratulations on such a fine work!
My particular interest is with the Wood family who lived at Trout Hall farm from before 1861 to about 1883.
William Wood was my Great Great Grandfather.
I am particularly interested in how William came to be the farmer at Trout Hall and who owned the land at that time.
William was born in Berwick-Upon-Tweed, as the son of a butcher and small-time landowner.
His brothers and sisters all seem to have stayed around Berwick but I have been unable to trace how William came to move to Skelton and be, apparently, relatively successful.
In 1870, William, then aged 42, married 27 year old Sarah Jane Richardson, the youngest daughter of prominent local Quaker John Richardson of Langbaraugh Hall, Great Ayton.

The marriage took place at an independent chapel (probably Friends Meeting Room ) in Great Ayton.
John Richardson does not appear to have been impressed by this marriage, as he changed his will to ensure that Sarah Jane's portion of his estate was held in trust for her by her brothers.
This was at a time when she had already produced several children.
He eventually changed the will again to give Sarah Jane her own share.
He died in 1881 shortly after the census, and it is probably not a coincidence that Sarah Jane and William moved to the Berwick area within 2 years
They almost certainly used Sarah Jane's share of his estate to build themselves a house in Duddo, Northumberland.
Their Skelton-born sons John and William were pupils at Barnard Castle School in 1891.
I am not sure whether this was a Quaker School, or whether the family had lapsed by that time.
I would be very interested to find out the following:
Who owned Trout Hall farm while William Wood was in residence between 1861 and 1881 ?
[The Middlesbrough Estate seems to come up on a few archive searches, with members of the Pease family mentioned. They were relatives of the Richardsons.
When did William Wood take over Trout Hall farm, and from whom ?
I have not been able to trace him or Trout Hall Farm in 1851 census.
Are there any lists of Quakers in Skelton, and if so was William Wood a Quaker ?
I suspect this may well be the reason that his father in law did not approve of him, apart from age and class differences
I would be most interested if you have come across any of this information in your research.

Thank you so much for the photos.
They give a wonderful idea of what the house must have looked like 150 years ago.
I'd be very interested if anyone ever has any more information, or if another descendant ever contacts you.
It seems like the Stevensons
[the present occupants of Trouthall Farm] were there from at least 1885.
They were living there at the time of the 1891 census, and daughter Elizabeth was born in Skelton in about 1885.
It would be interesting indeed to find out who the owner of the farm was at that time.
I'm not quite sure how far it is to Great Ayton, but it's not impossible that the land owner was John Richardson, as he certainly seems to have owned various farms.
I've been piecing together family history for a couple of years, and am lucky enough to have my great grandmother Jemima Wood's (born at Trout Hall in 1871) copy of The Richardsons of Cleveland. Records of a Quaker Family by Anne Ogden Boyce, published in 1889.
The best thing about this is detailed family trees for all the various branches of the Richardsons, who originated in Whitby.
The North East Quaker families all intermarried on many occasions, so the Richardsons are linked in with the Peases (of Barclays bank fame), the Rowntrees, the Carrs (biscuits) and many other such families.
The best known Richardson was Thomas, a very wealthy banker, who died in about 1850, and who was the major benefactor of Great Ayton school.
In partnership with his brother in law he funded much of the early railway development in the area.
I'll try to have a look through the book to see if there is any reference to Skelton.
There's a lot about Great Ayton, and even a description of Langbarough House, which is great.
I have also been lucky enough to obtain a copy of John Richardson's will, and have birth/marriage/death certificates for my own relatives, so have pieced together much information together with censuses and trade directories.
I'm now trying to take it all a stage further, and have found out from on-line searches in Teesside Archives that there are quite a few records relating to Middlesbrough Estate for the area, which indicates that there was quite a bit of property in the area owned by a consortium of the Quaker families.
If I find out more, I'll let you know.

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