THE SKELTON CASTLE
MORTGAGE - IN HOCK TO THE SMUGGLERS.
||In 1786 John Hall-Stevenson inherited Skelton Castle from his
In 1788 he changed his name to John Wharton and
received a gift of £100,000 from his miserly Aunt, Margaret
[Using the retail price index this amount would be worth close on 10
In 1791 he inherited the rest of her fortune. At enormous expense he
had the old
Castle torn down and between 1788 and 1817 the present one was built.
He entered the corrupt world of Politics and became the MP for Beverley.
At each election it was often the practice for a candidate to bribe the
voters with his own money.
[Instead of the modern method, whereby the Political Party in control,
uses the tax-payer's.]
By 1829 John Wharton was in the red and he spent the last 14 years of
his life in the Fleet Debtors' Prison in London, where he died,
childless, in 1843.
His successor at Skelton Castle was his nephew, John Thomas Wharton of
Gilling, near Richmond, N Yorks.
He must have inherited his Uncle's debts and the document shown here
would indicate that the Skelton Castle Estate still
had financial problems even in 1876.
It shows that the sum of £10,000 was borrowed from local farmers
George Andrew of
Saltburn and Robert Stevenson of Guisborough to be repaid over ten
years at 4 per cent interest.
Using the retail price
index this amount would be £674,144 at todays values.
By this time the Castle as well as receiving rents and tolls from land
and property etc was also being paid income from the
owners of the local ironstone mines. They had agreed to pay an amount
for every ton of ore brought to the surface on Castle lands and no
doubt the debt was cleared within the specified 10 years.
[I have done a rough calculation and between the years 1860 to 1881
alone the five mines around Skelton produced 9,480,088
tons of ore. The landowner was paid 6 pence per ton, a net gain to the
Castle of £237,000. Using the retail price index this would be 18
million at todays values.
And the mines carried on producing way into the next century. Whether
the landed gentry had any moral right to such great profits from stone
that was taken 300 to 600 feet below ground, at great loss of life, by local men, who were paid a pittance is
| It was such vast inequalities that eventually produced the rise of Socialism, especially in this part of Britain.
In addition to this new income from ironstone output the value of the land in this district increased.
The average rent of agricultural land in 1850 was not much more than £1.5 per acre. A small estate which in 1850 sold at £60 per acre
realised £600 per acre just 25 years later. It was the landed gentry and the mine owners who for the most part built the streets of
terrace houses to house the tide of humanity that flooded in and thereby increasing their rental income.
The witness to the loan deed is Edward Hamilton, the Agent for the
Castle who lived at Rigwood.
One of the lenders was George Andrew of the White House Farm,
Saltburn. He was the Grandson of the John Andrew of Hunting
and Smuggling fame.
This first John Andrew [1757-1835] was a Scot and at some time came to
this area and became landlord of the Ship Inn,
A large number of taxes had been imposed on imported items during the
French Wars and dodging these became a
very profitable occupation.
John Andrew became notorious as the "king of the smugglers" in these
George Andrew, who made the loan to
John Thomas Wharton is seated in the centre. His son, also named
George, is second left. He is the one who shot himself
in 1900. Second from right is son, William Pressick and next to him
Ernest. The two young ladies are presumably his
||A Thomas King, a brewer of Kirkleatham, who later married one
of Andrew's daughters, Elizabeth, was a partner. Together they bought a
the "Morgan Rattler" and prospered.
In 1780 John married Anne Harrison at Skelton Church. He used his
illegal fortune to
join the landed gentry by buying the White House, Saltburn and in 1817
he was elected as the first Master of Foxhounds by
the newly formed Hunt.
He died in 1835 and is buried in the South corner of Skelton Old Church
For the last years of his life he seems to have kept his son, also
named John, living in comparative poverty in Boosbeck.
But on his death this second John Andrew [1794-1855] succeeded him at
the White House and as Master of the Hunt.
He had also been involved in the smuggling trade. After a lifetime of
dodging the Excise men, he was caught in 1825 at Hornsea off-loading an
He was fined the enormous sum of £100,000 and upon refusing or
being unable to pay was imprisoned at York from 1825 to 1827
On the death of this second John Andrew the White House farm passed to
his eldest son Thomas Pressick Andrew [1816-1870],
who died of a heart attack while out hunting.
On his death the farm passed to his younger brother George [1828-1891].
It was he who made the loan to the Whartons of Skelton Castle in 1876.
When George died in 1891 he was residing at a large house in Saltburn,
George Andrew and family outside the White House Farm.
Mary Elizabeth Ward [Nee Andrew]. She was the Great
Granddaughter of the second John Andrew of Hunting fame and Smuggling
Alan Ward is Mary's Grandson. He had a career in the local Police
force, including service at Saltburn and Middlesbrough.
He is an old Skeltoner and has kindly contributed all the images on
this page, information about the Andrew family and
many other items elsewhere on this website.
|He owned this property and the family seem to have also owned
Grange Farm near to the White House.
He left the White House to his eldest son, also named George and the
considerable sum in those days of £26,000.
His 11 children were to receive £3,000 each upon their maturity.
This division of the wealth seems to have been the beginning of the
downturn in the Andrew family fortunes.
George, who had inherited White House, sold it in 1897 for £5,000
and one of the younger family members was told his
portion had been spent on his education.
In 1900 George, age 36, appears to have committed suicide.
For reasons that are not quite clear on the 11th August 1900 he was
living in lodgings at Saltburn and had been there since March of that
At around 5 pm neighbours heard two loud reports.
When his landlady, with assistance, entered the room they found George
bathed in blood and a revolver in his right hand.
He seemed to have made a bad job of shooting himself in the head for
his right eye was protuding.
A bullet must have entered his temple and exited through the eye socket.
He did not die until 8 a.m the next morning.
Mary Elizabeth Ward, whose photograph is shown here, always bemoaned
the fact that other members of the family had "frittered away" their
share of the Andrew family fortune.
A report in the Daily Gazette at the time gives more details and a possible reason for the suicide, as well as showing that the Whartons
of Skelton Castle with their new mining wealth were able to buy the property of the family from whom they had been forced to borrow:-
Considerable sensation was caused yesterday when a report spread that Mr George Andrew had shot himself.
He was living in Ruby Street,Saltburn, but was the son of the late Mr George Andrew of the White House, a residence on the Skelton side of
He died 7 or 8 years ago and sprang from an old family that flourished in the districts long before the Saltburn of today was even thought of.
Stories of daring deeds on sea and land a century ago still survive and in those deeds the Andrew family took a leading part.
The deceased came from a large family of 6 sons and 5 daughters. His eldest brother John, up till recently occupied a farm at
Ugthorpe, which had belonged to his father.
Another brother, Harry, has been engaged in the South African Campaign since the outbreak of the War, acting as orderly to General Clery.
Harry came home for a short furlough about Whitsuntide and has not yet returned to the front.
Of his sisters 3 if not 4 are married. After being educated at Catterick Bridge, Mr George Andrew settled down
to a country gentleman's life. He was a thorough sportsman, a good shot and a keen follower of the hounds, while his genial
disposition made him a general favourite.
He also turned his attention to the breeding of horses and was a frequent prize taker at local shows. After the death of his father and up
till about 4 or 5 months ago he continued to live in the White House along with his unmarried sisters, though about a year ago, by the
direction of his father's will, the property was sold.
The purchaser was Mr W H A Wharton, JP, whose Skelton estate reaches its boundaries.
After leaving the White House, Mr Andrew has lived at 13 Ruby St and devoted his attention to livery stable keeping in Coral Street.
He had appeared to enjoy good health until recently, but had a nasty fall last season when hunting. He also, we understand, sustained a severe
kick on the right temple last week from one of his horses and this combined with acute toothache, necessitated medical attention.
But he appeared to be cheerful and no one suspected that he would be driven to any rash act, though the pain was sufficient to keep him to
his room the whole of Tuesday and yesterday.
Shortly before 5 p.m. yesterday his landlady, Mrs Day, being out of the house at the time, the sounds of two shots were
heard proceeding from his parlour.
Mr Joseph Toyn, the agent for the Cleveland Miners' Association, who lives next door, rushed in and found the unfortunate man lying back in
his armchair with blood coming from a wound in his right temple.
His legs were crossed and while one hand covered the wound the other held a 6 chambered revolver. It would appear that Mr Andrew had fired a
trial shot up the chimney and then placed the pistol to the side of his head and fired.
He was just able to recognise Mr Toyn before he relapsed into unconsciousness. Dr Burnett was sent for at once and on examining the wound
found that the shot had forced the right eye out. The bullet was not found, having lodge deeply in the brain.
Messages were sent to members of his family, the first of whom to arrive being Mrs Rodham of Bishop Auckland who was visiting at Redcar.
He died about 8 a.m today. He was 38 years of age and unmarried.