THE WHIPPING POST ON SKELTON CROSS GREEN.
Crimes such as theft would be dealt with at the Quarter Sessions which were held at various towns in the North Riding of Yorkshire.
The sentence could include a public whipping at the locality of the offence, as a lesson to the criminal and a warning to potential offenders.
I have found no example for Skelton, but a typical sentence of the North Riding Quarter Sessions was –
‘Publickly whipt at the Market Cross in Ripon on Thursday between the hours of eleven and Twelve of the Clock… until their back be bloody’
The public whipping of women did not cease until 1817 and of men in 1830.
Even after these dates Corporal punishment continued to be applied in prisons, prior to release to deter re-offending.
Persistent offenders could be transported.
More serious and Capital offences, of which there were many, were referred to the Assizes at York for trial before a judge.
The Whipping Post at Skelton Cross Green.
The stocks were sited close by right up to the early nineteenth century a Parish Magazine reports.
FREEZING – One of the coldest winters ever known saw the greatest spread of Arctic ice down below Iceland.
1st November –
CATHOLIC FEELING STILL STRONG IN SKELTON.
Mathew Walters, a Clerk, and Robert Robinson, Yeoman, of Skelton were charged at the Quarter Sessions at Hemsley, with assaulting Thomas Sturdy, who had refused to drink the late King James II’s health.
The Catholic Stuart, James II had been replaced in the Glorious Revolution of 1688 by the Dutch Protestant William of Orange and his wife Anne, the Protestant daughter of James.
There would be failed attempts in 1715 and 1745 to replace the Stuarts on the throne, called the Jacobite Rebellions.
A WINDOW TAX – was introduced to raise money for war with the French, who were supporting the return of James II.
English troops were fighting alongside the Dutch to prevent French expansion into the Lowlands.
The tax was 2 shillings on each property with increased amounts based on the number of windows.
Some people with over a certain number of windows blocked them up to avoid payment.
PINCHED HIS OWN SHEEP. -John Plowman, a Skelton farmer, was charged with breaking into the common pound [Skelton Cross Green] and driving away his own 6 sheep. Sentence not known.
NO SWEARING BY ORDER –
The Quarter Sessions for the North Riding sitting at Richmond orders against cursing.
‘Ministers are to read quarterly in their Churches, under pain of punishment for neglect, the recent Statute against profane swearing and cursing, and also his Majestey’s recent proclamation for the preventing and punishing of immorality and profaneness, to the end that these lawes be better observed in these parts than they are at present.’
DEATH OF JOHN TROTTER of Skelton Castle, who predeceased his father Edward Trotter.
John was married to Elizabeth, daughter of Godfrey Lawson, a merchant of Leeds.
They had 9 children Lawson, the eldest son who became heir to the Estate, Robert, Henry, George, John, Edward, Elizabeth, Mary and Margaret. The only one to marry was the eldest daughter Catherine.
DEATH OF WILLIAM III – and accession of Queen Anne.
8th March –
ASSAULT – ‘Bill of indictment of William Key, Clerk and William Sanderson Yeoman, both late of Skelton, for assaulting Robert Webster.’
DEATH OF JOHN CALVERT, who left a charity 20 9s [worth £2,200 in the year 2002], producing 10s 4d income, to be distributed as a dole for the poor of Moorsholm.
A stone set in the north wall of Skelton old church bears his name.
DEADLY HEATWAVE – In July this year occurred ‘Hot Tuesday’, when many died from a heatwave in parts of England.
DEATH OF EDWARD TROTTER, of Skelton Castle, age 71. He was succeeded by his grandson Lawson.
GAMEKEEPERS MADE OFFICIAL. From this year, Lords of Manors were required by the Game Acts to register the appointment of Gamekeepers with the county authorities, the Clerk to Quarter Sessions.
DROWNED IN SKELTON BECK. – Thomas Postgate, a tanner and brewer, was “accidentally drowned in Skelton Ellers between ye houres of 12 and 3 in the daytime.” Prior to the building of the sandstone bridges there, the two crossings were by ford.
16th May –
Bill of indictment of Cathrine Westland wife of Richard Westland late of Skelton for stealing two hanks of yarn value 8d, the property of Robert Robinson.
Offence committed at Skelton.
PARISH REGISTERS IN ENGLISH –
It was ordered that henceforth all entries in the Parish Registers should be made in English rather than Latin.
LARGE CASTLE GIFT TO THE PARISH CHURCH
Elizabeth Trotter of Skelton Castle gave the large amount in those times of 200 pounds to Skelton Church ‘living’.