YORKSHIRE PAST AND PRESENT.
THE HISTORY OF THE BOROUGH OF HALIFAX.
HAVING, in a previous section of this work, described the position and traced the history of the city of York, and given an account of the two great parliamentary and municipal boroughs of Leeds and Bradford, the chief seats of the woollen manufacture in or near to the valley of the river Aire, we next proceed to describe and trace the history of the four other great manufacturing towns of the West Riding engaged in the same branch of national industry, situated on or near to the river Calder; namely, Halifax, Huddersfield, Wakefield, and Dewsbury, all which places have risen to the rank and position of municipal and parliamentary boroughs during the present century.
Halifax, which we propose to describe first, is the third manufacturing town connected with the woollen trade of Yorkshire, which after a quiet and gradual progress of many ages has sprung up into great wealth and importance in the nineteenth century. Like Leeds and Bradford, Halifax owes its progress to the energy and skill with which great natural advantages for textile industry have been seized and applied by an industrious and ingenious population. The natural resources of the very extensive parish of which the town of Halifax is the chief place, consist of the abundant water-power furnished by the rapid, copious, and winding river Calder, which rises in the mountains of the Pennine Chain or Backbone of England at a height of more than 1000 feet above the level of the sea, beyond the western boundary of Yorkshire, and flows through the whole parish of Halifax from west to east; of ten or twelve large brooks and rivulets discharging their waters into the river Calder at different points in its course through this parish; and of large beds of coal, iron, building stone, and other minerals, found in the adjoining hills and valleys. The town of Halifax stands on the banks of the Hebble or Salterhebble, sometimes called Halifax Brook, one of the most abundant of the streams which flow into the Calder joining it at Brooksmouth. Halifax is situated on the north-western edge of the great coal-field of Yorkshire; and the coal district of Halifax contains from thirty to forty collieries, which yield amongst them about half a million tons of coal every year. From the east of the town the coal measures extend over great part of the West Riding; whilst on the west the rugged hills of the millstone grit formation reach to and beyond the borders of Lancashire, and send down their steep and rugged sides numerous streams into the valley of the Calder. The large supplies of coal found on the eastern side of the parish of Halifax furnish the means of producing or employing steam, fire, and machinery, the great moving powers of industry in modern times, as water-power and simpler machines were in earlier ages.
Much the greater part of the land of the extensive parish of Halifax, covering an area of 82,539 acres 12 perches, of which 392 acres 18 perches are under water, and containing in the year 1871 upwards of one hundred and seventy thousand (173,313) inhabitants, is naturally wild and barren, covered with heath and not with grass, except in the valleys, generally unfit for cultivation by the plough, and yielding superior herbage only along the banks of the river Calder and in a few favoured positions, which have been cultivated with industry and skill. But in the earliest times this hilly and even mountainous district was well suited for the rearing of the wilder breeds of cattle which roamed over it, with or without owners, down to the time of the Tudor kings, and also of a native breed of mountain sheep, yielding a very warm and thick wool, suited for the manufactures of the district. The Hardwick or Erdwick sheep, now bred chiefly on the loftier mountains of Westmoreland and Cumberland, but which formerly grazed on the hills and mountains forming the Backbone of England, from the Trent to the Cheviots, were probably the native sheep of this district, and may have taken their name from the district known as the Forest of Hardwick, which commenced on the east, near the town of Halifax, and extended westward to the borders of Lancashire. In early ages, when the transport of all kinds of raw materials was effected by means of pack-horses, and was very costly and difficult, especially in mountainous districts like this, the woollen goods of Halifax were no doubt woven and spun from the wool of the native sheep, and were fulled with rude machinery worked by the abundant water-power of the adjoining streams. But about the time of the Tudor kings and queens-from 1485, the 1st Henry VII., to 1603, the 45th Queen Elizabeth-the woollen manufactures of Halifax, and of England generally, began to improve and extend rapidly, under the influence of better machinery introduced from Flanders; of internal peace and the security derived from wiser laws and a more firmly established public order; and of the immense impulse given to commerce and manufactures by the discovery of America, and by the influx of gold and silver into this country from Mexico and Peru, in quantities never before known, in exchange for the manufactures of England. From that time the wool produced on the Yorkshire hills became insufficient to meet the demand of the looms of Halifax and the other manufacturing towns of the West Riding; supplies had then to be drawn from more distant parts of England, and ultimately from foreign countries. Halifax now began to rise from the position of a small market town or village, not containing a fixed population of more than from fifty to a hundred persons,* to that of a trading town with some hundreds of inhabitants, which number slowly increased to a few thousands. From early times the markets of Halifax were held three days a week, to supply the wants of this extensive parish; and yearly, on the feast of St. John the Baptist, fairs were held, which were frequented by the scattered population of the district extending from the boundaries of Bradford and Huddersfield to those of Rochdale and Burnley, as well as by numerous strangers from different parts of Yorkshire, and from more distant parts of the kingdom.
Many remains of the great military roads of the Romans have been discovered, and may still be traced, in the parish of Halifax, besides a number of the older stone-works of the Britons. From very early times an ancient road, described as "the great road," ran through the parish; and when the learned Camden visited Halifax and the surrounding country a little before the year 1580, in the reign of Queen Elizabeth, he believed that he had found the site of the Roman station of Cambodunum at Almondbury, which he describes as six miles distant from Halifax, and as agreeing with the distances between Calcaria or Tadcaster on the north-east, and Mancunium or Manchester on the south-west, which are given to it in the Antonine Itinerary. But the question of the position of Cambodunum has since been carefully examined, first by the Rev. John Watson, the historian of Halifax about a hundred years ago, and within the last few years by the Archaeological Society of Huddersfield; and its position is now placed; and has been laid down in the Ordnance maps,_ six or eight miles south- west of Halifax, at Slack, on the borders of the two great parishes of Halifax and Huddersfield. There several roads coming west-ward from the neighbourhoods of Halifax, Elland, Brighouse, Huddersfield, and Almondbury, join or approach each other at a point convenient for passing over the great range of the Pennine Chain, by Roman roads which can still be traced in the passes of the mountains. Some of these roads seem to have existed from the earliest ages, though frequently repaired or reconstructed; and one or more of them no doubt follow the course of the Roman road described in the second Iter of Antoninus, which extended from the coast of Kent to the Caledonian Wall, and in its windings between Mancunium or Manchester and Eboracum or York, crossed the Pennine chain near Cambodunum.
But nearly the whole of the present towns and villages in the parish of Halifax appear from their names to have been founded by the Anglian, that is, Teutonic conquerors of England, after the departure of the Romans from Britain. "One of the officers belonging to the lord of the manor was called a grave, from the Anglo-Saxon word gerefe' or the German 'graf,' originally an earl or count, but afterwards a collector of the lord's rents." In the Anglian times there were three graveships, or Saxon districts, at Fixby, Rastrick, and Hipperholme, in the parish.± In the words of the Rev. Mr. Watson, the "parish or vicarage of Halifax, in the West Riding of Yorkshire and Wapentake of Agbrigg and Morley, consists of twenty-six townships or hamlets-namely, Barkisland, Brighouse, Elland, Erringden, Fixby, Greetland, Halifax, Heptonstall, Hipperholme, Langfield, Linley, Midgley, Northowram, Norland, Ovenden, Rastrick, Rishworth, Stainland, Stansfield, Shelf, Skircoat, Sowerby, Soyland, Southowram, Warley, and Wadsworth."* The whole of the above names, with the exception of Ovenden, which Mr. Watson derives from the British words "avon" and "den," meaning the river dale, appear to be derived from the English language, in the form in which it was first spoken or written in this part of England, with the exception of the words ending in "by," "holme," "stall," and one or two others, which are probably of Norse or Danish origin.
The origin of the name of Halifax, which is not only that of a large town, but of the most extensive parish in Yorkshire, has given rise to much controversy. Camden, whose authority is justly great amongst topographers, was informed when he visited this neighbourhood in the time of Queen Elizabeth, that the original name of what is now called Halifax was Horton, and that Halifax was a comparatively recent name, derived from the two Anglian words "halig" and "fax," meaning the "Holy Hair.":± But there is no other evidence that the present Halifax was ever called Horton; and what renders it very improbable that it should have been so named is that there are two townships of that name, Great and Little Horton, in the adjoining parish of Bradford. Moreover, Camden was mistaken in supposing that Halifax was a recent name, for the church of Halifax is mentioned in deeds and records of the time of the Norman kings, and certainly not later than the middle of the twelfth century. This was at least 500 years before Camden's visit to Halifax, and 800 years previous to the present time.
With regard to the origin of the name of Halifax, the Rev. John Watson, a good Anglo-Saxon scholar, who resided at Halifax about the middle of the last century, and whose History of that town and parish is justly admired for the learning and judgment which it displays, makes the following observations:- "How long Halifax has been called by its present name, or how it originally got the name, is a little uncertain. Camden, and on his authority several others, have told us that it is 'of no great antiquity,' for that 'not many ages since' it was called Horton; and that the inhabitants accounted for the change in the name by the story of a young woman there, who, having rejected the unlawful solicitations of one of the monks, he cut off her head, which was afterwards hung up in a yew tree, and by the credulous vulgar was looked upon as holy. Of this the clergy taking the advantage, improved the fallacy into a miracle, and persuaded the people that the little veins, which like hairs were spread between the bark and the tree, were the very hairs of the virgin. This caused such a great resort of pilgrims to it that from the little village of Horton it became a large town, and assumed the new name of Halifax or the holy hair, for "fax" he (Camden) observes, is (or was) used by the English, on the north side of Trent, to signify 'hair'; hence the noble family of Fairfax in Yorkshire were so called from their fair hair."
To this wonderful story Mr. Watson very reasonably demurs, not only on the ground of the excessive improbability of the legend from which the name is said to be derived, but also because Camden's account of the time at which the supposed new name was given, does not at all agree with what is known from ancient deeds of the time at which that name was in common use. "This relation," says Mr. Watson, "our author (Camden) had from some of the inhabitants; but it is something strange that so judicious an antiquary should give such entire credit to it, for some parts of the story are very suspicious and others untrue. At the time of the Norman survey (1084-86) we meet with no name at all of this place, for there is not the least mention of it in Domesday Book, though several places are mentioned in the neighbourhood. Supposing therefore the above story to be true, the date of it must be fixed subsequent to that event, or as our author has expressed himself, 'not many ages since.' I take Camden to have been in these parts a little before the year 1580 (22nd and 23rd Elizabeth), and it was therefore a sort of contradiction for him in one place to say that, 'not many ages before,' it grew up from a little village to a large town, and in another place, that about the year 1443 there were but in Halifax thirteen houses. Be that as it will, we find William, Earl Warren, who died in 1138, giving the church here to the monks of Lewes, in Sussex, by the express name of Ecclesia de Halifax, almost 500 years before Camden's 'Britannia' made its appearance. It cannot, therefore, be true that the name is of no great antiquity; and this very much invalidates the credit of the whole story, which is authenticated by no record, and depends entirely on tradition." Mr. Watson then proceeds to give another origin of the name Halifax, still founding it on the old Anglian words "halig" and "fax," which he says signified the "holy face," and arose from the belief that there was a relic in the chapel that formerly stood (if it does not still stand) on part of the site of the parish church of Halifax, which was supposed to possess much sanctity, and to be nothing less sacred than a portion of the face of John the Baptist. This opinion was put forth by the author of the book called "Halifax and its Gibbet Law," published in 1708; it was also adopted, as rather less improbable than the tradition preserved by Camden, by the Rev. Mr. Wright, the author of a subsequent history of Halifax, published about the year 1736; and it receives a certain amount of support in Mr. Watson's excellent "History of Halifax" published in the year 1775. He states that the parish church of Halifax has been dedicated to St. John Baptist from the earliest ages, that there are still the remains of an ancient chapel, which may have been a hermitage, within the church; and that the word "fax" did mean a face, in the old Anglian language of Yorkshire, as well as hair, and may therefore form the syllable required to complete the name of Halifax, which would thus mean the "holy face." But an entirely different derivation of this name has since been devised by the Rev. Dr. Thomas Dunham Whitaker in his history of the Yorkshire district of "Loidis and Elmete." He combines with the two first syllables, " halig," which are evidently Anglian, a third syllable of "voies," of Norman origin, and which in course of time had, he fancies, been converted into "fax," being the last syllable in the name of Halifax. As a case in point he states that the word Carfax, the name of a well-known street at Oxford, was derived from the Norman words Quatre-voies, and supposes that the name of Halifax had also been so transformed after the Norman conquest. ButHalifax must certainly have had a name before as well as after the Norman conquest, the more especially as it is the largest parish in Yorkshire. Halifax in its present form was no doubt the name a few years after the Conquest; and as both the words "halig" and "fax" are genuine English words, and are found in the poems of Caedmon several hundred years before the Normans* made their appearance in England, we are disposed to think that they spring from the old English language, which is found in the names of a hundred places in the parish of Halifax, and not from the Anglo- Norman, of which we find very few traces in this then wild and secluded district. The legends above referred to are scarcely worth discussing; but the church of Halifax has always been sacred to St. John the Baptist, and was probably supposed to contain some relics connected with him.
Although neither the manor, church, nor the town of Halifax is mentioned by name in Domesday Book, which was drawn up about twenty years after the Norman conquest, yet seven or eight of the townships in this ancient parish are described in it by names differing little from their modern forms.* There is, indeed, ample evidence from early records that not only the parish of Halifax, but nearly the whole valley of the Calder, and the hills on both sides of it, were at that time "terra regis," and were in the hands of William the Conqueror himself, as part of his great lordship of Wakefield, which extended, with a few small exceptions, over the whole vale of the Calder. The possessions of the Conqueror in Yorkshire at that time included upwards of 300 manors or lordships, forming part of the still greater estates of the crown, which then comprised altogether upwards of 1200 manors in different parts of England, and are said to have produced an income of 1000 lbs. of silver daily, equal to about 15,000 a day of modern money. The whole lordship of Wakefield, and most of the manors in the valley of the Calder, had been "terra recis" in the reign of Edward the Confessor, and had passed at the time of the Conquest into the hands of the Norman king. But although Halifax formed a portion of the estates held by the king at the time when the Domesday survey was made in 1084-86, it soon passed into the hands of one of his great Norman followers. Soon after the Domesday survey either the Conqueror, who died a year or two after it was completed, or one of his two sons, William Rufus or Henry I., granted the lordship of Wakefield, including the present towns of Halifax and Dewsbury, to one of the earls of Warren, the first of whom had married a daughter of the Conqueror. The lordship of Wakefield, with the manor of Halifax, remained in the hands of the succeeding earls of Warren, eight in number, for a period of nearly 300 years after the Norman conquest. But in the year 1347, the 21st Edward III., John, the eighth and last earl of Warren, died without lawful issue. At his death the lordship of Wakefield, with the great castle of Sandal near that town, and the still stronger castle of Conisbro' on the river Don, together with the towns and manors of Halifax, Wakefield, and Dewsbury, and all the other possessions of the earls of Warren to the north of the river Trent, were granted by King Edward III. to his own youthful son, Edmund Plantagenet. He was known as Edmund of Langley from the place of his birth, was created earl of Cambridge by his father, and was afterwards raised to the new honour of duke of York by his cousin, King Richard II. This was the commencement of the power and wealth of the dukes of York of the royal race of Plantagenet, the great rivals of the house of Lancaster in subsequent conflicts for the crown. The descendants of Edmund of Langley held the dukedom of York, with occasional interruptions arising out of the wars of York and Lancaster, until the time when Edward IV., the hero of that race, succeeded in seizing on the throne of England. After the overthrow of King Richard III. in the battle of Bosworth Field, and the accession of Henry VII., the great estates both of York and Lancaster passed into the hands of the kings and queens of the Tudor race. Soon after that time they were broken up and divided- the manor of Halifax, amongst others, passing first into the hands of Thomas Cromwell, earl of Essex, the favourite councillor of Henry VIII.; then into those of Anne of Cleves; afterwards into those of several members of the good old Halifax family of the Waterhouses; and ultimately into those of Sir Arthur Ingram, Bart., whose descendants, ennobled as Viscounts Irwin, have held it almost to the present time.
Although much the larger portion of the valley of the Calder and of the manors along its banks was held by the crown, at the time of the Domesday survey, as part of its lordship of Wakefield, and though the whole of that extensive lordship was soon after granted to the earls of Warren, we find from the Domesday record that the still greater estates of the most warlike and powerful family of De Laci, who were the lords of the castles of Pontefract and Clitheroe and of about 150 manors in the county of York, extended very close to the river Calder at two or three points, namely, at Southowram near Halifax, and Elland on the Calder; and that at Huddersfield and Almondbury they stretched beyond that river. At those points the estates of the De Lacis were inter-locked with the possessions of the crown in the valley of the Calder at the time of the Domesday survey, and afterwards with those of the earls of Warren. The object of this arrangement probably was to give additional strength to the crown and to its great military retainers at those important points, and thus more effectually to secure to them the command of the roads, the fords, and the bridges (if any bridges existed in this then thinly peopled country); thus enabling them to keep open the communication from east to west across this part of the kingdom, and more especially from the city of York, the great fortress of the north, to Chester, the bulwark of the north-west. With a view to this object the strongest position held by the De Lacis at the time of the Domesday survey was at Heptonstall, at the point where the river Hebden falls into the Calder-a position of great natural strength, from which they commanded the whole of the upper part of the valley of the Calder, and were within a very short distance of the mountain passes lying between that river and the river Roch, which flows down into Lancashire through Rochdale.
Our principal information with regard to the early history of the parish and manor of Halifax under the Norman and Plantagenet kings and the earls of Warren, is derived from the muniments of the priory of Lewes, in the county of Sussex, which was founded by the first earl of Warren and by his countess, a daughter of William the Conqueror. Either then or soon after, one of the earls of Warren settled upon the priory of Lewes the churches of Wakefield, Halifax, and other parishes in Yorkshire. According to Sir William Dugdale, this settlement was made by the first earl of Warren, who died in 1088. That is only two years after the time when the Domesday survey was completed; and as there is no mention of the church of Halifax in that record, it was thought by the Rev. Mr. Watson, who investigated this question with great care, that the settlement may have been made by the second earl of Warren, who died in the year 1138, the third year of the reign of the Conqueror's nephew, King Stephen. But even this date has been questioned by Hunter, the historian of Sheffield and Doncaster, and an antiquary of the highest standing, who quotes a grant of the churches of Halifax and Wakefield without any date from the chartulary of the priory of Lewes, made in the presence of several witnesses, including Archbishop Theobald, which renders it probable that the grant was made by the third earl of Warren, and subsequent to the year 1138, in which the second earl died. But there is no doubt that the church of Halifax, in its present name, was granted by one of the earls of Warren in the time of the Norman kings to the priory of Lewes, and that it was held by it down to the time of the Reformation. The vicarage of Halifax was established, as we are informed by Mr. Watson, in the year 1273.
Manufactures and Population of Halifax in Early Times.- The woollen manufacture, always the great source of wealth and employment in this part of Yorkshire, seems to have been established in the parish of Halifax at a very early period. Mr. Watson mentions in his "History of Halifax" that he had a copy of a court roll, dated at the court of the prior of Lewes held at Halifax on the Thursday next after the feast of St. Thomas, in the second year of Henry V., 1414, wherein Richard de Sunderland and Joan his wife surrendered into the hands of the lord of the manor an inclosure in Halifax, called the Tenter Croft. He also mentions that two fulling mills were erected at Rastrick in the same parish about the 17th Edward IV., 1477-78. These facts show a considerable advance in the manufacture of woollen cloth at that time, and we know from other sources that both employment and population began to increase very rapidly about the middle of this the fifteenth century. But nearly 200 years earlier there must have been very considerable sources of wealth in the parish of Halifax, though most of them probably were derived from the grazing of cattle and sheep, and the wool yielded by the latter. So early as the years 1291-92 we have a valuation of the several church livings in the West Riding, made by order of King Edward I. with the concurrence of Pope Nicholas IV., from which it appears that the value of the tithes of the church and vicarage of Halifax was at that time higher than that of the tithes of Leeds, Bradford, Huddersfield, or any other of the great parishes in this part of the West Riding. At that time the value of the income of the church of Halifax yearly was £93 6s. 8d., and that of the vicarage, which was separate from the rectory, was £16. These sums may be taken as amounting together in round numbers to £120 of the money of that time. But in that age £120 meant a weight of 120 lbs. of silver, of 12 ozs. to the pound; and in addition to that it must be remembered that silver was then three times as valuable, weight for weight, as it has been since the discovery and the working of the silver mines of Mexico and Peru. Hence this sum of £120 of the reign of Edward I., which was the then yearly value of the church and vicarage of Halifax, would be equal to from £1800 to £2000 in the money of this time; and if it only formed a tenth part of the value of the produce of the parish of Halifax, the value of the whole would be something like £18,000 to £20,000 per annum. When it is considered that the parish extends over an area of 82,000 acres, this is not at all incredible.
With regard to the population of Halifax, in the earliest times at which we can obtain any light on the subject, which is about the year 1442, the 20th Henry VI., the Rev. Mr. Watson observes, in his " History of Halifax," p. 147:-" But the most striking instance of the increase of inhabitants in this neighbourhood is from an old paper in my possession, which I shall here faithfully transcribe. 'By this underwritten you may gather the great encrese of howsing and people within the town of Halifax in not many years by paste, written by John Waterhouse of Shibden, and sometime Lord of the Manor of Halifax. NOTE.-There is in Halifax, this year 1566, of householders that keeps fires and answers Mr. Vicar in his fermours (farmers) of dutyes as housholders, twenty and six score (520), and no more, as I am credibly informed; and in the time of John Waterhouse, late of Halifax deceased, who died at Candlemass twenty-six years agoe, at his death being very near 100 years of age (I trow three years under), and when he was but a child there were but in Halifax in all thirteen houses' (or families, say, of five each sixty-five persons in all.) 'God be praised for his increase."'
The progress of the woollen manufacture of Halifax, including town and parish, is very clearly shown in the preamble of an Act of Parliament of the 5th Philip and Mary, 1555, which was passed by Parliament for the relief of the weavers of Halifax, by exempting them from the operation of a general Act of the previous year, regulating the sale of wool, and confining it to the wealthier class of staplers. These persons, it appears, did not sell wool in sufficiently small quantities to suit the small weavers of the parish of Halifax. Hence the preamble, in providing a remedy, recites as follows:- "Forasmuch as the parish of Halifax and other places thereunto adjoining, being planted on great wastes and moors, where fertility of the ground is not apt to bring forth any corn nor good grass but in rare places and by exceeding and great industry of the inhabitants; and the same inhabitants altogether do live by cloth-making, and the great part of them neither getteth corn, nor is able to keep a horse to carry wools, nor yet to buy much wool at once, but hath ever used only to repair to the town of Halifax, &c., and there to buy upon "(from)" the wool-driver "(o dealer)," some a stone, some two, and some three and four, according to their ability, and to carry the same to their houses, some three, four, five, and six miles off, upon their head and backs, and so to make and convert the same either into yarn or cloth, and to sell the same, and so to buy more wool of the wool-driver" (dealer); "by means of which industry the barren grounds in those parts be now much inhabited, and above 500 households there newly increased within these forty years past, which are now likely to be undone and driven to beggary by reason of the late estatute (5th Edward VI. c. 7, 1553) that taketh away the wool-drivers" (or retailers of wool), "so that they" (the weavers) "cannot now have their wool by such small portions as they were wont to have; and that also they are not able to keep any horses whereupon to ride, or fet" (fetch) "their wool further from them in other places, unless some remedy may be provided. It is therefore enacted that it shall be lawful to any person or persons inhabited within the parish of Halifax, to buy any wool or wools at such time as the clothiers may buy the same, otherwise than by engrossing and forestalling, so that the persons so buying the same do carry or cause to be carried the said wools so bought by them to the town of Halifax, and there to sell the same to such poor folks of that and other parishes adjoining as shall work the same into cloth or yarn to their knowledge, and not to the rich and wealthier clothier, nor to any other to sell again. Offenders against this Act to forfeit double the value of the wool so sold. Justices of Peace to hear and determine the offences."
The Criminal Law of Halifax and of the adjoining Forest of Hardwick.- From a very early age the town of Halifax was the seat of a criminal jurisdiction extending over the neighbouring district, known by the name of the Forest of Hardwick. The bailiff of Halifax presided at the sittings of this court, supported by four jurymen of Halifax, and four others from each of the townships in which the offence under trial by the court was said to have been committed. A similar jurisdiction and mode of punishment seem to have existed at other places in very early times, although they went out of use sooner there than they did at Halifax. The Halifax gibbet law, like the laws of Draco, had only one punishment-namely, that of death; and that punishment was inflicted by decapitation, or beheading, on all felons convicted of stealing, especially cloth exposed on the tenters, in the Forest of Hardwick, of the value of 132d. in the money of that time.
The best account of the stern jurisdiction of the gibbet law of Halifax is found in Defoe's account of Halifax contained in his "Tour through the whole Island of Great Britain." " I must not," he says, " quit Halifax till I give you some account of the famous course of justice anciently executed here, to prevent the stealing of cloth. Modern accounts pretend to say it was for all sorts of felonies, but I am well assured it was first erected purely, or at least principally, for such thieves as were apprehended stealing cloth from the tenters; and it seems very reasonable to think it was so, because of the conditions of the trial. The case was thus: the erecting of the woollen manufacture here was about the year 1485 " (or rather its revival and rapid extension, after the long wars of York and Lancaster), "when King Henry VII., by giving encouragement to foreigners to settle in England, and to set up woollen manufactures, caused an Act to pass prohibiting the exportation of wool into foreign parts unwrought, and to encourage foreigners" (chiefly Flemish weavers) "to come and settle here" (this had also been done in a previous century by Edward III). "Of these, several coming over settled the manufactures of various kinds of cloth in different parts of the kingdom, as they found the people tractable and as the country best suited them; as, for instance, the cloth named bays at Colchester; the says at Sudbury; the broadcloth in Wilts and other counties, and the trade of kersies and narrow cloth at this place" (Halifax), "and other adjacent towns. When this trade began to settle nothing was more frequent than for young workmen to leave their cloths out all night " (and indeed for many days and nights) "upon the tenters; and the idle fellows would come in upon them, and tearing it off without notice, steal the cloth. Now, as it was absolutely necessary to preserve the trade in its infancy, this severe law was made, giving the power of life and death so far into the hands of the magistrates of Halifax, as to see the law executed upon them. But the power was not given unless in one of these three plain cases, namely, hand-having, back-bearing, or tongue-confessing. This being the case, if the criminal was taken he was brought before the magistrate of the town, and those who were to judge and sentence and execute the offender, or to clear him, within so many days. Then there were frithborghs (or jurors) also to judge of the fact, who were to be good and sober men, and by the magistrates of the town to be approved as such. If these acquitted him he was immediately discharged; if those censured (convicted) him nobody could reprieve him but the town. The manner of execution was very remarkable; the engine, indeed, is carried away, but the scaffold on which it stood is there to this time (1727), and may continue for many ages, being not a frame of wood but a square building of stone, with stone steps to go up, and the engine itself was made in the following manner."
The execution was performed by means of an engine called a gibbet, which was raised upon a platform four feet high and thirteen feet square, faced on every side with stone, and ascended by a flight of steps. In the middle of this platform were placed two upright pieces of timber, fifteen feet high, joined at the top by a transverse beam. Within these was a square block of wood four and a half feet long, which moved up and down by means of grooves made for that purpose; and to the lower part of this sliding block was fastened a sharp iron axe of the weight of seven pounds twelve ounces. The axe thus fixed was drawn up to the top of the grooves by a cord and pulley. At the end of the cord was a pin, which, being fixed to the block, kept it suspended till the moment of execution, when the culprit, having placed his head on the block, the pin was withdrawn, the axe fell suddenly and violently on the criminal's neck, and his head was instantly severed from his body. "The force of this engine," says Defoe, "is so strong, the head of the axe being loaded with a weight of lead to make it fall heavy, and the execution so secure, that it takes away all possibility of its failing to cut off the head." It is said that the celebrated Douglas, earl of Morton, who was regent of Scotland during the reign of our Queen Elizabeth, in passing through Halifax saw one of their executions, and was so much struck with the thoroughness of the work that he caused a model to be made of the Halifax axe and scaffold, and to be sent to Scotland. The story adds that he was himself the first person put to death in Scotland by this instrument, which seems to have closely resembled the modern guillotine introduced in France about the time of the Reign of Terror, and still used in inflicting capital punishment in that country.
The last execution under the criminal law of Halifax took place in the time of the Commonwealth, in the year 1650, when three prisoners were tried there, named Abraham Wilkinson, John Wilkinson, and Anthony Mitchell.* The jury that tried them consisted of sixteen men; four of Halifax, and four each of Warley, Sowerby, and Skircoat. The prisoners were charged with taking off and stealing from the tenters of Samuel Colbeck of Warley, in the parish of Halifax, sixteen yards of russet-coloured kersey cloth; the first and second of them were also charged with stealing a black colt belonging to John Cusforth of Durker, in Sandal parish (close to the town of Wakefield), and also with stealing a whole piece of kersey cloth at Brierley Hall. Evidence was heard, and the trial seems to have been fairly conducted. Two of the prisoners, namely, Abraham Wilkinson and Anthony Mitchell, were found guilty, but the third was acquitted; and the same day, "because it was Saturday, or the great market," the two former were sentenced to suffer death by having their heads severed and cut off their bodies, which punishment was carried out in the usual form. This was the last capital punishment inflicted in this manner and under this law. It occurred in the year immediately after the beheading of King Charles I., and it is not improbable that the horror inspired by the execution of the king may have given the final blow to it.
Halifax in the Reign of Queen Elizabeth:- The progress of Halifax during the reign of Queen Elizabeth was very rapid, in comparison with previous times, owing to the general causes mentioned at the commencement of this work, to the breaking up of the wastes of the manor into more moderate portions, and to a great improvement in agriculture as well as in manufactures. On this subject Mr. Watson observes:-"If Camden's information was anything near the truth, which he received as he travelled through these parts (about the years 1575-80), the number of inhabitants in this parish was about 12,000 men (including women and children); in which I am apt to think he was not very much mistaken, for in the certificate of the archbishop of York and others, 2nd Edward VI., 1548-49, concerning chantries, &c., it is said that in the parish of Halifax the number of houselying people" (householders) "is 8500, and it is a great wide parish, and during the Rebellion in the North, when every Protestant who could carry arms was zealous to show his attachment to his religion and the queen, Archbishop Gryndall (of York) says, in a letter to Queen Elizabeth, that the parish of Halifax was ready to bring three or four thousand able men into the field." This estimate is confirmed by facts stated in Mr. Cartwright's recently published "Chapters from the History of Yorkshire," from which it appears that 3000 to 4000 persons signed the declaration of the Protestant Association in this neighbourhood, pledging themselves to defend the queen with their lives and fortunes.* From that time to the present the population of Halifax, both in town and parish, has continued to increase rapidly.
When Daniel Defoe described Halifax about the year 1727, he stated that there had been a very great increase in the forty years which followed the Revolution of 1688. The Rev. Mr. Watson stated that the number of inhabitants in the parish at the commencement of the reign of King George III. (1763-64) was 41,220; the number of families (on the average of five each) in the vicar's Easter Books at that time being 8244. Since that date the population of the parish of Halifax has increased, in the present limits of the borough, to 65,510, and in the parish to 173,313, as appears from the returns of the Census of 1871.
The Rectory and Vicarage of Halifax.- Mention is made in the records of the priory of Lewes of the church of Halifax very soon after the Norman conquest; and not long after Hugh de Copley, of Copley in Skircoat, is spoken of as one of the rectors of Halifax, and as being the grandson of Adam de Copley, who was slain at the siege of York by the Normans in the year 1070. There are very clear accounts of the parish church of Halifax from the commencement of the reign of King John, when the celebrated restorer of York minster, Archbishop Walter Gray, commenced his register of the diocese of York, which has been brought down to the present time. The succession of the rectors of Halifax is clear and certain from this early period. In this archbishopric Ingolard Turbard was solemnly inducted as rector of Halifax by Gilbert de Sancto Leopardo, vicar- general to the archbishop, in the presence of Gilbert de Angel, rector of Thornhill; Thomas de Boleau, rector of Birstall; and Thomas, rector of Heaton, then rural dean; and others. In the year 1273 the rectory of Halifax became impropriate, and the vicarage was fixed in one clergyman, who was called the perpetual vicar thereof, being bound to perpetual residence. In the year 1275, a dispute having arisen between the prior and convent of Lewes and the vicar of Halifax, a composition was made, by which Walter Gifford, archbishop of York, decided that the vicar and his successors for ever should enjoy the tithes of mills and calves, and also mortuaries, paying yearly to the prior and convent the sum of 4 13s. (equal to about 70 a year of modern money), which former sum the impropriator still receives from the vicar yearly. Shortly before the Reformation, in the year 1537, the 27th Henry VIII., a money composition was agreed upon between the parishioners of Halifax and the prior and convent of Lewes on the following articles or tithes:-Wheat, rye, barley, oats, beans, pease, and hay.* This was a most unlucky time for the priory to change a corn rent for a fixed rent in money, for it was just at the period when gold and silver were sinking to something like the fourth part of their previous value, under the influence of immense importations of the precious metals from the newly- discovered mines of Mexico and Peru, and when every kind of grain and all other articles whatever was rising rapidly in comparison with their previous prices in gold and silver. The lessees from the prior and convent, who seem to have been members of the very ancient family of Waterhouse, were naturally dis-satisfied with a bargain which must have reduced the value of their lease by at least two-thirds; but the parishioners stuck firmly to the terms of the agreement, and succeeded in establishing their legal right. This appears from the following document of the year 1572, 15th Elizabeth:-"On an inquiry before the earls of Sussex and Leicester, commissioners of the court of Star Chamber, to hear and determine the causes of controversy between certain persons, inhabitants of the parish of Halifax, plaintiffs, and the Waterhouses, the lessees of the prior and convent" (of Lewes), "defendants, it was ordered that all manner of persons, their heirs and assigns, that had any lands, &c., within the said vicarage of Halifax, should have, hold, and enjoy their tithes of corn and hay and other tithes whatsoever, without interruption of the said Waterhouses or their assigns, and pay yearly, during the interest of the said Waterhouses therein, such sum of money as is particularly expressed in the said composition." Four years later, in the year 1576, the 18th Elizabeth, an Act of Parliament was passed for establishing this composition, and so the rectorial or great tithes of the parish were commuted. Mr. Crabtree in his " History of Halifax," published in the year 1836, says: "Happily both for the church and the people in this parish, there are now neither great nor small tithes in the vicarage of Halifax; the former having been commuted in the reign of Queen Elizabeth, and the latter in that of George IV., by an Act passed in the year 1829." That was entitled an Act for extinguishing tithes and payments, in lieu of tithes, mortuaries, and Easter offerings, and other vicarial dues and payments within the parish of Halifax, in the diocese of York, and for making compensation to the vicar in lieu thereof, and enabling him to grant certain leases of land belonging to the vicarage. By this Act it was provided that the vicar should receive a clear annual stipend of £1409 15s. 6d., free from all taxes, except the ancient annual payment of £4 13s. payable by the vicar to the King's (or Queen's) Most Excellent Majesty as rector of the parish.
The Free Grammar School of Halifax.- The free grammar school of Halifax at Skircoats, in this parish, was founded by Queen Elizabeth on the 15th February, 1585, at the "humble suit of the inhabitants of the parish and vicarage of Halifax." "Although Queen Elizabeth was the founder, and Gilbert, earl of Shrewsbury, and Edward Savile, son and heir of Sir John Savile, lord of Elland and Skircoat, gave betwixt them, by their grant dated at Westminster the 15th February, the 37th Elizabeth, seven acres of land on which the school- house is built, and which are now improved (with the) appurtenances thereto belonging; notwithstanding all these grants and privileges, the school was endowed at the sole cost and charges of the town and parish of Halifax, they settling lands upon it of between forty and sixty pounds value for ever (at least three times as much in modern money), besides what incomes do accrue unto the master by foreigners (non-parishioners) who come thither to be instructed." The grammar school of Halifax has given the benefits of education to many excellent scholars, some of whom will be afterwards mentioned, besides maintaining the light of knowledge for nearly 300 years in a district which at the beginning of that period possessed few, if any, other sources of instruction.
Charter of Incorporation for the Workhouse of Halifax in the Reign of Charles I. (1638-39).- The system of poor laws was established in this country in the reign of Queen Elizabeth, and many attempts were made at that time, and have been made since, to introduce indoor labour in large workhouses, though up to the present time with indifferent success. In the year 1638 a number of the leading inhabitants of Halifax obtained letters patent from King Charles I., authorizing them to establish a public workhouse there for the employment of the destitute poor, and for the testing of the reality of alleged distress, by the application of what is now called the labour test. The charter in question was granted at the request of Nathaniel Waterhouse of Halifax, a man of great benevolence, and one of the earlier members of the family of the same name, which has held a distinguished position in Halifax and the neighbourhood for several hundred years, and is at present, (1874-75) represented by Lieutenant- colonel Waterhouse, M.P., one of the members for the borough of Pontefract. The preamble of this charter, which explains its object, was as follows:-"Charles, by the grace of God, King of England, Scotland, France, and Ireland, defender of the faith, &c., to all to whom these presents shall come, greeting. Whereas by the humble petition of our well-beloved and faithful subjects, the inhabitants of the town and parish of Halifax, in the county of York, we are given to understand that the said town of Halifax being anciently and yet a place of great clothing, most of the inhabitants within the same town and parish being clothiers, is now of late much impoverished and likely to be ruined, by reason of the great multitudes of poor people there daily increasing," (or rather, probably, the want of employment for them), "which has occasioned many able men within the said town and parish to remove from thence to other places, being oppressed with the heavy burden of the assessments towards the maintenance of the poor within the said parish, there being about forty pounds " (£40) "paid monthly" (£480 yearly) "to the poor there, and most years eighteen or nineteen months' assessments collected for one year" (or about £800 a year). "And for that Nathaniel Waterhouse, gentleman, one of the petitioners, hath given a large house within the said town, to the end that the same might be employed for a workhouse to set the poor within the said town and parish on work; yet in regard there are no justices of the peace within or near the said town to govern and well-order the said house, the poor people" (paupers) "in the said town and parish being most of them idle and disorderly, embezzling or spoiling the work brought, the said house is become of no use, but is likely to return to the donor, it being not employed according to his intent. Wherefore the inhabitants of the said town and parish have humbly besought us, that we would be graciously pleased to take the premises into our royal and gracious consideration, and to grant unto the petitioners that the said house may, by our letters patent under the Great Seal of England, be made and established a workhouse for ever, for the setting of the poor within the said town and parish on work, by the name of the workhouse for the said poor within the said town and parish of Halifax; and likewise to grant unto the petitioners that thirteen of the most able and discreet persons within the said town and parish may be nominated or elected governors of the said house, by the name of the master and governors of the workhouse within the said town and parish; and that the said master and governors may be a body politic for ever; and that they, or the greater number of them, may have power to make bye-laws and constitutions for the well-ordering and governing the said workhouse, and may have power to search any suspected houses for idle vagabonds, ruffians, and sturdy beggars, and to place them in the said workhouse, there to be set to work, and to be corrected and punished according to the good and wholesome laws of this our realm of England." The names of the thirteen persons appointed by the letters patent to govern the workhouse were Nathaniel Waterhouse, prime governor, Anthony Foxcroft, gent., Robert Exley, Thomas Binns, John Power, Thomas Radcliffe, Richard Barraclough, Thomas Lister, Simon Binns, Hugh Currer, Samuel Clough, Samuel Mitchell, and John Wade. Mr. Watson observes that there is a remarkable chasm in the books of the workhouse from December, 1638, to October, 1682, though the letters patent continued in existence down to the year 1721, if not longer
The Great Civil War.- The arming of all Yorkshire to meet the threatened invasion by the army of the Scottish Presbyterians, quickly followed by the breaking out of the great civil war, which continued at intervals from 1639 to 1660, very sufficiently accounts not only for the "great chasm " in the books of the Halifax work-house, but for a variety of other events of greater importance. For several years a desperate contest took the place of the peaceful pursuits of industry; and though there were considerable intervals of peace after the year 1644, there was no settled tranquillity until the restoration of Charles II. in the year 1660; it indeed there was any real peace until after the Revolution of 1688-9, which established a constitution satisfactory to all classes of Englishmen.
At the breaking out of the great civil war between the adherents of the king and those of the Parliament, as we are informed by Lord Clarendon in his famous history of these events, "Leeds, Halifax, and Bradford, three very populous and rich towns (which depending wholly upon clothiers, too much maligned the gentry) were wholly at the disposition of the Parliament," and took arms against the king. It would appear, however, from a statement of Mr. Watson, that the royalists of the district seized a strong position at Heptonstall, and for a while made a stand for King Charles. For some time, however, the parliamentary party had the ascendancy in this part of Yorkshire, under the able command of Sir Thomas Fairfax, of General Lambert, and of Captain Hodgson of Halifax, who, though originally what is now called a civilian, took arms at the beginning of the civil war, and proved himself to be a very able and resolute officer to its close. In the second year of the civil war the king's commander in Yorkshire, William Cavendish, marquis of Newcastle, having collected a royalist army of about 8000 men at York, marched into the West Riding and defeated Sir Thomas Fairfax and the parliamentary army in a general battle fought on Adwalton Moor, near Birstall. After that battle the marquis and the royalist army captured Leeds, Bradford, and Halifax; and pushing by the last- named place marched up the valley of the Calder, and made an attempt to enter Lancashire by crossing Blackstone Edge. There, however, the marquis' further advance was stopped by the parliamentary army of Lancashire, which had defeated James, earl of Derby, and at Blackstone Edge had the advantage of a strong line of works, the remains of which can still be traced, constructed by Colonel Rosworm, a German engineer who was then in the service of Parliament. In the advance of the royal army westward after the battle of Adwalton, it obtained possession of the town of Halifax after a sharp engagement fought on the neighbouring heights, at a place called Bloody Field on Overton Bank. But after the marquis of Newcastle had failed to force his way into Lancashire, he withdrew his army and marched into Lincolnshire, where he encountered the army of the counties associated in favour of the parliamentary cause, under the command of Charles Montague, earl of Manchester, assisted by Oliver Cromwell as his general of horse, and by Sir Thomas Fairfax, who had crossed the Humber with his forces, and had effected a junction near Gainsborough with the army of the associated counties. After sustaining serious defeats from Cromwell and Fairfax at Gainsborough and Horncastle, the marquis of Newcastle was compelled to fall back into Yorkshire, where he continued to carry on the war with varying success until the middle of the year 1644, when in the month of July the whole of the royalist armies under the command of Prince Rupert (who had advanced out of Lancashire down Wharfedale to the neighbourhood of York), the marquis of Newcastle, and other royalist leaders, were totally defeated on Marston Moor, by Manchester, Cromwell, Fairfax, and the Scottish army under the command of the earl of Leven. After that great victory the parliamentary cause became completely preponderant in this part of Yorkshire, and continued so until the close of the civil war; the people of Halifax returning members to two of the parliaments summoned in Cromwell's time, and sending their trained bands to assist the Commonwealth in its battles. One of the best officers of the parliamentary party in this district was Captain Hodgson of Halifax, who left a written account of his adventures, which was republished by Sir Walter Scott in the year 1806, along with the memoirs of a distinguished Yorkshire royalist, Sir Henry Slingsby of Scriven, Bart. This memorial of Captain Hodgson has furnished valuable materials to Thomas Carlyle in his "Life and Letters of Oliver Cromwell," and also to Mr. Clement Markham in his recent " Life of Thomas, the Great Lord Fairfax." At the commencement of the civil war Captain Hodgson raised a body of volunteers in the parish of Halifax, which soon became a numerous and very good regiment. He was present with his regiment at the battle of Preston, between the Scotch Presbyterians under the duke of Hamilton and Oliver Cromwell in the year 1648, and in that great battle he received the personal commands of Oliver Cromwell to lead the attack of the forlorn hope, which commenced the battle. He and his regiment afterwards served with high reputation in the Scottish war, and distinguished themselves in the great battle of Dunbar.
Captain Hodgson thus describes the manner in which Cromwell forced him into battle at Preston, before he was at all ready:- "On that night, 16th August, 1648, we pitched our camp at Stanyer's Hall" (Stoneyhurst), "a Papist house, one Shervans" (Sherburne), "and the next morning a forlorn hope of horse and foot was drawn out. And at Langridge Chapel our horse came upon Sir Marmaduke" (Langdale, one of the king's best cavalry officers) "drawn up very formidably. One Major Pownel and myself commanded the forlorn" (hope) "of foot. And here being drawn up by the moorside, a mere scantling of us, as yet not half the number we should have been, the General" (Cromwell) "comes up to us, orders us to march. We, not having half our men come up, desired a little patience; he gives out the word 'march,' not having any patience at this moment." " And so," says Carlyle, "the battle of Preston, the first day of it, is begun. Poor Langdale did not know at first, and poor Hamilton did not know all day, that it was Cromwell who was now upon them. Sir Marmaduke complains bitterly that he was not supported, that they did not even send him powder, marched away the body of their force, as if this matter had been nothing, merely some flying party, Ashton and the Lancashire Presbyterians.
At the end of the seventeenth century and the beginning of the eighteenth Ralph Thoresby, the Leeds antiquary, paid repeated visits to Halifax to visit Mr. Brearcliffe, the Halifax antiquary, and the Rev. Mr. Wilkinson, the vicar of Halifax, who was also a zealous antiquary. In 1673, February 6, he was at Halifax, and had the pleasant society of Mr. Brearcliffe, the ingenious antiquary, who kindly lent him his manuscript collection. In 1695, August 7, Mr. Thoresby writes:-"Rode through Wibsey by the Beacon, down the easiest, if any at all be so, of the steep banks by Ovenden to Halifax, yet had like to have been twice overturned." Again in the year 1702, August 29, he notes:-"Rode to Halifax; visited the Rev. Mr. Wilkinson at the vicarage. Went to see the church and new library, which he has exceedingly beautified." In the same year, May 7, Thoresby writes as follows:-"Rode with Mr. Peters to Northowram to the funeral of good old Mr. Oliver Heywood." In 1722 he mentions the great flood at Ripponden Chapel in the parish of Halifax, and the difficulty of travelling owing to the floods.
Halifax at the Beginning of the Eighteenth Century.- From the close of the great civil war, in 1660, the progress of Halifax was very rapid in comparison with previous times, as we learn both from local writers and from distinguished travellers. One of the earliest local works respecting Halifax was published in the year 1708, in the reign of Queen Anne, under the name of "Hallifax and its Gibbet Law placed in a true Light." This work bears the name of William Bently of Halifax; but the Rev. Mr. Watson states that it was really written by Samuel Midgley, an unfortunate man of letters, who was a prisoner for debt in York Castle in the year 1684, and was afterwards three times in Halifax jail for debt, where he wrote the above history, and where he died July 18, 1695. "His poverty," we are told by Mr. Watson, "prevented him from printing the book, which he wrote for his own support; and he not only lost the benefit of his labours in his lifetime, but had another man's name put to his work when he was dead. Sic vos, non vobis, etc. He practised physic, and was the son of William Midgley, who was buried at Luddenden August 21, 1695, aged eighty-one. His account of Halifax is not without merit, though rather quaint and antiquated:-"Hallifax," for so he spells it, "is situated within the Forest of Hardwick in the West Riding of Yorkshire, upon a rising ground neither uneasy or troublesome to travellers, laborers, or carriages, whether on horseback or by carts and waggons" (in this opinion he differed from Thoresby and all other writers and travellers). "Skirted it is on the east part with a good and convenient rivolet or small brook, from whence the town gradually ascends, the soil whereof is acknowledged to be sandy, cold, and barren, but replenished with many wholesome and delightful springs; these, by the diligence and industry of the inhabitants, have not only made the ground fruitful, but also adorned the place with strong, beautiful, and well-built houses, and all other necessary accommodations thereunto belonging."
After quoting Camden's account of the site of Halifax in its original state, as "a place situate at the foot of a mighty and almost inaccessible rock, all overgrown with trees and thick under-woods, intermixed with great and bulky stones, standing very high above ground in a dark and solemn grove on the bank of a small murmuring rivolet," the writer proceeds as follows:-"But were that worthy" (Camden) "now living, and with his curious pen to design and make a description of the town of Hallifax, we should largely hear of the great benefits and advantages of those inaccessible rocks and mountains, which by cost and industry are now formed into easy and declining banks, out of whose pregnant bowels are produced not only good and excellent stones wherewith to build strong, stately, and beautiful houses, but also great plenty of coals wherewith to keep warm and healthful the several inhabitants, the more cheerfully to follow their several callings. From all which great advantages, so compact is now the town and so contrived by art, that from the hill which leads to and from Wakefield it represents the side of a cross, or rather two large beams laid cross one upon another, with the left arm rather declining, the whole consisting chiefly of four streets, in the midst whereof stands the market cross. Under the town thus described are annexed many well-walled regular closes, variably chequered with the different beauties of corn and grass, that from the aforesaid heights, perhaps, the most experienced and observing traveller hath not beheld a more delightful and curious landscape, when such prospects are viewed in their proper season. The air is fresh and sharp, but good and wholesome, not subject to any epidemical diseases to corrupt its salubrity; a true specimen (evidence) whereof may be received from the clear and sound complexion of the natives, together with their compact and well-built bodies. Their tempers and dispositions is (sic) debonnair and ingenious, generally inclined to good manners and hospitality, giving civil and respectful reception not only to strangers, but unto all others with whom they have occasion to converse." With regard to the trade of Halifax at that time, this author says that it "hath a principal relation to the woollen manufacture, consisting in making, buying, and selling of cloth. To that purpose, and for the greater convenience in managing and promoting this their trade, the lord of the manor" (Viscount Irwin, who also assisted in the building of the first cloth hall erected at Leeds, near which place he had large estates) "hath, towards the upper end of the town" (of Halifax) "erected a large and spacious hall where the weavers and the buyers of cloth do weekly meet, namely, every Saturday morning. And at this hall-market such great quantities of undressed cloth is weekly sold that the lord's collector "(who has reserved to himself a penny sterling for every piece so sold, as a quit-rent) "doth one week with another receive the sum of 30s. in those pennies, and sometimes it will advance to 40s." (on 480 pieces sold) "when trade is open and free. Besides this hall where undressed cloth is sold, there, is every Saturday morning, at the times above prefixed, great quantities of coloured cloth sold in the butchers' shambles, orderly placed on their stalls, and sold before any other markets do begin. Likewise on the Saturday morning merchants from Leeds or their factors do buy great quantities of white dressed kersies, which they transport to Hambro' and Holland. Furthermore, for the more effectual providing of the cloth trade, there are in this town three market days, chiefly for corn and wool (that is to say, Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Saturdays, where tradesmen may be plentifully furnished, both to manage their callings and to make provision for their families), at which times very great returns are made, which may sufficiently discover the vastness of the cloth trade, which hath here been managed, and is still carried on, through the blessing of God upon men's honest endeavours.
"Nothing more," our author says, "remains worthy of the reader's consideration, but to close this chapter with a short description of the benefit which accrues to the town by the small river which skirts it at the east end. This river hath its current from two small rivolets, which unite at a place called Lee-Brigg, about a quarter of a mile from the town, and run in a semicircle stream from that place to the river Calder, which may contain in length not above four miles. During which space there is erected for the use and service of the town, in the carrying on of their trade, twenty-four milns " (mills) "all of them constantly carried about by the strength of the stream. Namely, eleven milns for the grinding of all sorts of corn, which discovers to us the multitude of the inhabitants; eight fulling milns to prepare raw cloth for the dressers; two woollen milns for grinding all sorts of wood that is used by dyers, whose trade it is to dye both wool and cloth, and a great trade this is, by which many have gotten, and do still get, very considerable estates; one paper miln, chiefly employed in making such paper as is proper and useful to cloth-workers; one shear-grinder's forge, managed by an accomplished workman, for making and grinding of shears for the use of the cloth-dressers; one miln for the friezing of cloth, which is so well performed that few come nigh it for fineness and firmness of work. Besides these milns there are in this town two good tanyards, to furnish the inhabitants with leather of all sorts for making shoes and boots."
Daniel Defoe's Account of the Markets and Trade of Halifax.- About twenty years after the date of the above account of Halifax, and in the year 1727, that town was visited more than once and described with great spirit by one of the best authors who ever wrote the English language- namely, by Daniel Defoe, the well-known author of "Robinson Crusoe" and of numerous other works, both historical and imaginative. He seems to have taken great delight in the industry and intelligence which he found to be so extensively diffused even at that time in every part of the West Riding, and more especially in the town of Halifax and amongst the wild but populous hills and valleys around that town. He mentions the fact of his having made repeated visits to this part of Yorkshire, and from the firmness and clearness of his account of the district some of those visits must have been of considerable duration. It has even been stated that he wrote one or two of his works at Halifax, and there was at one time a belief that he was a native of that town. But neither of these statements is confirmed by recent inquiries, although it is clear that he was well acquainted both with the town and neighbourhood. After mentioning Camden's account of the populousness and industry of Halifax even in the reign of Queen Elizabeth, when it was supposed by that writer that there were about 12,000 inhabitants in the parish, Defoe says: "If the town and parish were so populous at that time, how much must they be increased since, and especially since the late Revolution" (1688-89), "the trade having been prodigiously encouraged and increased by the great demand for their kersies for clothing the armies abroad; insomuch that it is the opinion of some that know the town and its boundaries very well, that the number of people in the vicarage of Halifax is increased one- fourth at least within the last forty years. Nor is that improbable at all; for besides the number of houses which are increased, they have entered upon a new manufacture which was never made in these parts before, at least not in any quantities, I mean the manufacture of shalloons, of which they now make, if fame does not belie them, a hundred thousand pieces a year in this parish only, and yet they do not make much fewer kersies than they did before. The trade in kersies is so great, that I was told by very creditable honest men when I was there-men not given to gasconading or boasting, and still less to lying-that there was one dealer in the vicarage who traded by commission for threescore thousand pounds a year" (£60,000) "in kersies only, and all that to Holland and Hambro'. But not to enter into particulars, it is evident that the trade must be exceedingly great, in that it employs such a very great number of people, and that in this one town only. The town of Leeds challenges a pre-eminence, and I believe merits the dignity it claims, besides the towns of Bradford, Wakefield, and others." Defoe was particularly struck with the multitudes of people who crowded into the town of Halifax on the three market days, and more especially on Saturday, which was called the Great Market. He also shows, in his own clear and striking manner, how closely the prosperity of extensive districts of the kingdom was mixed up with and dependent upon the industry and activity of Halifax, and of other great seats of manufacturing industry. On this subject he says:-"Their corn comes up in great quantities out of Lincoln, Nottingham, and the East Riding; their black cattle and horses from the North Riding; their sheep and mutton from the adjoining counties every way; their butter from the East and North Riding; their cheese out of Cheshire and Warwickshire; more black cattle also from Lancashire; and here the breeders, the feeders, the farmers, and country-people find money flowing in plenty from manufactures and commerce: so that at Halifax, Leeds, and the other great manufacturing towns so often mentioned, and adjacent to these, for the two months of September and October a prodigious quantity of black cattle is sold. This demand for beef is occasioned thus: the usage of the people is to buy in that season beef sufficient for the whole year, which they kill and salt and hang up in the smoke to dry. This way of curing their beef keeps it all the winter, and they eat their smoked beef as a very great rarity. Upon this it is ordinary for a clothier that has a large family to come to Halifax on a market day, and buy two or three large bullocks from £8 to £10 a piece; these he carries home and kills for his store, and this is the reason that the markets at all those times of the year are thronged with black cattle, as Smithfield is on a Friday" (then the market day for cattle in London), "whereas all the rest of the year there is little extraordinary sold there. Thus this one trading, manufacturing part of the country supports all the countries round it, and numbers of people settle here as bees about a hive."
Improvement of the River Calder, and Introduction of Water-carriage at Halifax.- Until past the middle of the eighteenth century Halifax, though, as we have seen, a flourishing manufacturing town, was greatly impeded in its progress by the want of water-carriage, which was at that time the only cheap mode of transport for goods and merchandise. The trading capabilities of English towns were at that time in a great degree dependent on their nearness to or their distance from a navigable river, for the roads were in general bad, and neither canals nor still less railways existed. At that time Halifax was worse situated in that respect than any other manufacturing town of the West Riding. As early as the year 1701 cheap water-carriage was established at Leeds and Wakefield, by the improvement and deepening of the rivers Aire and Calder from the navigable streams of the Ouse and the Humber up to those towns; and by the same process Bradford, and even Huddersfield, though much higher up the valleys of the Calder and the Aire, were brought within ten or twelve miles of the water-carriage of Leeds and Wakefield. But Halifax was still more than twenty miles distant from the navigable part of those two rivers, besides being rendered very difficult of approach by lofty hills both on the east and the west. Although abundantly supplied with water for manufacturing purposes from numerous small streams, and possessing a fine river upwards of fifty miles in length in the Calder, neither that river nor any of the other smaller ones were navigable, owing to the rapid fall of their beds. They were all mountain streams, rising at a height of 1000 to 1200 feet above the level of the sea, descending with a rapid and winding course, and rushing down in immense floods in the rainy season, whilst they were almost dry during the heats of summer. The rise of the Calder, between the navigable part of the stream at Wakefield and the point at which the river passed nearest to Halifax, was 192 feet, in a distance of twenty-two miles; and there was still a height of nearly 100 feet to be overcome, between the junction of the Salterhebble brook with the Calder and the centre of the town of Halifax. Previous to the discovery and establishment of the modern system of locks on navigable rivers and canals, by the inventive genius of the great engineer, James Brindley, which may be dated about the year 1759-60, such a difference of levels in a flowing stream as that which existed between Halifax and Wakefield was unconquerable by any means then known to the skill of engineers. When first commenced under the-Act of 1757, the work was found to be impracticable, though conducted by John Smeaton, the great Yorkshire engineer, who may be regarded as the second civil engineer of the eighteenth century. For many years the difficulties were too great to be overcome, and it is doubtful whether the undertaking could have been completed without the assistance of Brindley, the engineer of the Bridgewater Canal, who may justly be regarded as the greatest engineer of that age, so far as relates to river and canal navigation. The improvement of the Calder may be regarded as their joint work, and it was not completed until near the end of the eighteenth century. "The extension of the improved navigation of the river Calder," says Mr. Crabtree in his valuable "History of Halifax," published in 1836, " was first projected with the sole object of giving facility of intercourse with the populous manufacturing districts westward of the town of Wakefield; but it has subsequently, by its connection with the Rochdale and Huddersfield canals, become a very important part of the line of inland navigation between the ports of Liverpool, Goole, and Hull, thus connecting the German Ocean and the Irish Sea. This spirited and important undertaking," adds Mr. Crabtree, "may be looked upon as one of the greatest improvements that could possibly be effected in this part of the country; and at the period of its formation its benefits must have been incalculable, nor are they less so at the present day (1836). We have only to imagine the state of the roads between the large manufacturing towns of which Halifax was the centre, when, as we are informed, the carriage of raw wool and manufactured goods was performed on the backs of single horses (pack-horses) at a disadvantage of nearly 200 to 1 compared to carriage by water." Even in a tolerably level country, in which broad-wheeled waggons could be employed, it was considered that water-carriage was cheaper than land carriage in the conveyance of heavy goods in the proportion of at least 20 to 1, but still more so in hilly or mountainous countries. Halifax, which stands several hundred feet above the level of the sea, was the highest of the great towns of England that was reached by river or canal navigation, as it is now one of the highest towns of the first class in trade and population that has been rendered accessible by the railway system. The difficulty of establishing water-carriage from Halifax to the western seas at Liverpool, was even greater than that of opening communication with the German Ocean at Hull. Westward there was no navigable river nearer than Manchester, and everything had to be done by means of canals. The main line of canal from Halifax westward commenced at Sowerby Bridge, near to the town of Halifax, and was carried by a succession of locks and cuttings through or over the mountains forming the Backbone of England. The rise from the point of commencement to the top of the summit level is 278 feet, and thence the fall is 438 feet to the level of the Irwell, the great tributary of the Mersey at Manchester. The Halifax and Salterhebble Canal from the Calder up to the town of Halifax, though only two or three miles in length, had a rise of nearly 100 feet between the river and the town; and so great were the difficulties that it was not finally completed until the year 1829, the very year in which that new and wonderful means of communication, the railway, was established between Liverpool and Manchester, forming the first portion of another and far swifter mode of communication, soon extending from the Atlantic, through the town of Halifax, to the German Ocean.
Halifax a Hundred Years Ago.- It is just a hundred years since the Rev. John Watson wrote his "History of the Town and Parish of Halifax," which was published in the year 1775. At that time the population of the town was not much more than 8000 persons-about an eighth part of the inhabitants of the borough as ascertained at the census of 1871. In tracing the rise of the population, he speaks of Halifax as being already one of the most considerable towns of the West Riding of Yorkshire. He repeats that in the year 1443 there were not more than thirteen families, or about sixty persons resident here; that in 123 years from that time the number had increased to 520 in the year 1560; and that in 200 years more, in the year 1764, the number of families had increased to 1272, or to about 6000 persons. This rate of increase continued to at least the year 1775, when Mr. Watson's History was published, and at that time the population of the town may probably have amounted to from 7000 to 8000 persons, and that of the parish to little less than 50,000. Mr. Watson states that he had in his possession a plan of the town and precincts of Halifax, which he copied from an old one drawn by Mr. Brearcliffe, one of the earliest antiquaries of Halifax, who was living at the beginning of the eighteenth century. The places of note marked in that plan were the Church, Bayley Hall, Moulter Hall, Crosshill, Norbrigg, Stannery, and the Gibbet. There was at that time no vicarage house, and scarcely any houses near the church. The greatest number of buildings were towards the top of the town as it existed in the year 1775; "but," says Mr. Watson, "there seems not to have been a regular street in the whole place." At the time when Mr. Watson wrote there were altogether forty-seven streets, lanes, or places of sufficient consequence to be named in the plan which he gave in his work of 1775. "The places of note in Halifax" of which he gives a rather more detailed description "are, amongst others, Bull-green, where in former times was carried on the diversion of bull-baiting, an exercise which our forefathers were so fond of that one may hear or see of some remain of this kind in almost every town." Clark-bridge he supposes "to have been first built by the clergy, or clerks, for the conveniency of passing from the church, either to their habitations or to some place set apart for religious exercises; the latter is more probable, as there was a spring of water. in the opposite bank called the Holy Well. It is not many years," adds Mr. Watson, "since some workmen informed me that they had found a stone trough there, which they imagined might have belonged to the holy well. Cripplegate," Mr. Watson thought, " might take its name from the lame going this way to be cured at the supposed holy place." "The jayl for debtors," kept by the lord's bailiff, the antiquity of which does not appear from records; "but doubtless," Mr. Watson says, "it existed in the times of the earls of Warren and Surrey, not to confine debtors only, but such felons as were taken within the liberties of the Forest of Hardwick, and were there triable by the custom of the said forest." The "market-place," properly so called, "though the town," Mr. Watson says, "never had a charter for the holding of a market, for this may be held by prescription, and length of time will make this as good a title as any charter can give. Here is a cross of some antiquity, though not curious; a pillory and stocks close by to it; and a little higher in the street, at what is called the corn-market end, a square remain, in the centre of which was once fixed a Maypole. Ratton-row," Mr. Watson states, "is the name of some ground adjoined to the churchyard on the north side of the church, where the fair was kept. In early times these fairs were held in churchyards, as appears from Archbishop Stafford's order forbidding the holding of fairs and markets in churchyards throughout his province in the year 1444, as they had been before, 13th Edward I., by the statute of Winchester. As the church of Halifax is dedicated to St. John the Baptist, we may suppose the feasts of dedication were kept originally on that day, and more especially as the great yearly fair at Halifax is still held on that saint's day, unless it happens on a Sunday." Mr. Watson informs us that there were about one hundred water-mills in the parish of Halifax; for the steam- engine, though invented, had not yet made its way into a district in which water-power was so abundant. He gives the names and situations of upwards of ninety mills, and adds that in addition there were "a great number of raising-mills or gig-mills." The names and positions of the mills on Halifax brook, were as follows:-Mixenden corn mill and fulling mill, Farrer fulling mill, Wheatly corn mill, Crowther fulling mill, Lee Bridge shear-grinder's mill, paper mill near Halifax, Halifax corn mill, Halifax friezing mill, little mill for corn, Lilly fulling and friezing mills, new friezing mill, Bowyes friezing mill, Farrer corn mill, Roger fulling mill, Bank-house rasp mill; on a brook between Ovenden and Northowram Bottom, Ford corn mill, Old-lane corn mill, Old-lane fulling mill; on the Redbeck, Shibden corn mill, Salterly fulling mill, Brookfoot corn mill, and on a small brook in Hipperholme, Coley corn mill.
The Parish Church of Halifax a Hundred Years since.- "The present fabric of Halifax church," says Mr. Watson in his "History of Halifax," published in the year 1775, p. 359, "is a large Gothic structure, dedicated to St. John Baptist. It stands at the east end of the town, and has a good appearance, excelling in several respects most parochial churches of this kind. It is 64 yards long, including the belfry, which is 6 yards square. It is more than 20 yards broad within. The choir or chancel is above 20 yards from north to south, and 17 yards from east to west. Under the chancel are large rooms upon a level with the lower part of the churchyard, in one of which is a library of books. The age of the present building cannot be determined; it seems to have been re-edified at different times, as part of the north side looks older than the rest, and is worse built. It has undergone very considerable alterations, as is evident from the broken arches between the body of the church and the chancel. This last seems to have been added to the other. The body of the old church (or so much of it as remains) is 66 feet long.
"There are two chapels within this church, one on the north side and the other on the south. That on the north is called Rokeby's chapel, and was erected under the will of Dr. William Rokeby, some time vicar of Halifax, and who died archbishop of Dublin in the year 1521. The chapel on the south side, more than 162 yards long and about 5 yards broad, contains a monument from which it appears that it was erected by Robert Holdsworth, LL.D., the twelfth vicar, who built it at his own proper charge in 1554. The tower or steeple is well proportioned, and is 39 yards from the ground to the top of the pinnacles. It was commenced about the year 1450, and was finished in 1470; the great contributors to which, as Mr. Wright states in his 'History of Halifax,' p. 31, were the Lacys and the Saviles. It contains eight musical bells, the first of which was cast in the year of the Restoration."
The Piece Hall at Halifax.- We have already mentioned that the original piece hall at Halifax was erected by one of the lords of the manor, Viscount Irwin, about the year 1708, which is two years before the first cloth hall at Leeds was built, and a few years after the cloth hall at Wakefield was erected. But at the close of the first American war, when trade again began to advance rapidly, the old piece hall of Halifax became insufficient for the wants of the town, and about the year 1780-5 a much larger and handsomer piece hall was erected. It was built of free-stone, stood in the lower part of the town, and was erected at a cost of £12,000. This hall was a large quadrangle, occupying the space of 10,000 square yards. It had a rustic basement story, and above that two other stories fronted with colonnades, within which were spacious walks leading to arched rooms, where the goods of the respective manufacturers in the unfinished state were deposited, and exhibited for sale to the merchants every Saturday, from ten to twelve o'clock; this building, called the Piece Hall, was considered to unite elegance, convenience, and security. It contained 315 separate rooms, and had the merit of being proof both against fire and thieves. The principal merchants and manufacturers in the town and neighbourhood formed a committee for the management of the Piece Hall, and manufacturers from all parts of the neighbourhood attended there to sell their goods. About the beginning of the nineteenth century the steam-engine, and a great variety of new and improved machines for spinning and weaving cloth, began to be introduced in this part of the country. From the abundance of water-power, the introduction of steam was less rapid here than in some other places. But fortunately for Halifax it possessed abundant supplies of coal as well as of water, and gradually the steam-engine established itself here as the rival, the ally, or the successor of the water-mill. The check given to the industry of Halifax by the change in the motive power soon passed away, and in the year 1821 the population of the town, including those parts of it which extend into the townships of Northowram and Southowram, had risen to 14,064 persons, of whom 12,628 were in the township of Halifax. At that time, 1821, the population of the parish of Halifax: amounted to 93,050 persons, having considerably more than doubled itself during the sixty years which elapsed between the commencement of the reign of King George III., 1760, when it amounted in round numbers to 40,000 persons.
The following may be regarded as a good summary of the position of Halifax fifty years ago. It is from the pen of the first Edward Baines, with whom the writer of this work, himself then a boy, frequently visited Halifax. "Turning from these ancient usages, on which for their singularity we have been induced to bestow more than common attention, we come to the history of modern Halifax. And here the manufactures of the town and neighbourhood first claim attention. This parish is admirably adapted, by its situation and local advantages, for the purposes of manufacture and commerce. The Calder passes within a mile and a half of the town, the nearest point being at Salterhebble, from whence merchandise is forwarded to Hull and London. To the west there is another wharf at Sowerby Bridge, about two miles from the town, where goods are sent to Rochdale, Manchester, and Liverpool, by the Rochdale and the Duke of Bridgewater's Canal. Although Halifax has been noted for several centuries for the manufacture of woollen goods, it was not till the time of Henry VII. that it obtained any considerable importance. In the beginning of the eighteenth century the manufacture of woollen stuffs was introduced: and shalloons, tammies, duroys, everlastings, calimancoes, moreens, shags, serges, baize, &c., have since been made in great perfection. The shalloons are woven expressly for the Turkey market, and after being dyed a scarlet colour are sent by the merchants to the Levant, where they are chiefly used for turbans. Formerly the greater part of these goods passed through the hands of the London merchants, but they are now (1823-25) principally exported by the merchants of Halifax and Leeds. The cotton trade has extended into this neighbourhood, where it has taken considerable root; and the cards used in the early operations of the manufacture, both of wool and cotton, are made here in great perfection and to a considerable extent."
The following are a few other particulars with regard to Halifax as it was fifty years ago:- "The baths at Halifax, it is stated, which are situated at the lower part of the town, in a delightful valley to the left of the road leading to Huddersfield, afford a very salubrious accommodation both to the inhabitants and to strangers; they are amply supplied with fine spring water rising in the premises, and comprehend in their suite cold, warm, and swimming baths. The places of amusement are the theatre at Ward's End, and the Assembly Rooms adjoining the Talbot Inn. The police office is in Copper Street; the constables for the present year are George Pollard, Esq., and Samuel Farrer, Esq.; deputy constable, Mr. John Brierley. The magisterial duties of the district are performed by John Dearden, Thomas Horton, Michael Stocks, and William Barstow, Esqs., and attendance is given every Saturday at the magistrates' office, Ward's End, for that purpose. The management of the water-works, and the repair and lighting the public streets, are vested by Act of Parliament in certain trustees, who are empowered to assess the inhabitants for the same. The town is amply supplied with good water, principally from two springs rising near Pellon, about a mile north-west of the town. Mr. Michael Garlick is clerk to the trustees, to which gentleman the editor of this work is mainly indebted for the accuracy and extent of his topographical information relating to the modern state of Halifax."
At this time the communication of Halifax with other parts of England was kept up by seven coaches running to Leeds, York, Bradford, Sheffield, Wakefield, Liverpool, Rochdale, and Manchester; by twelve carriers by water from Salterhebble and Sowerby Bridge; by fifteen carriers by land; and by nine country carriers. The coaches were well served, and the ride up the valley of Todmorden was justly considered one of the pleasantest rides in Yorkshire.
Halifax made a Municipal Borough.- In 1848 Halifax was incorporated as a municipal borough, governed by a mayor, aldermen, and common council, elected by the burgesses, under a royal charter granted by Queen Victoria in that year. In ancient times, as we have already seen, Halifax was governed by a bailiff, who was no doubt appointed by the lord of the manor, and who exercised much greater powers than any municipal officer of modern times, having had the right of inflicting the punishment of death by beheading, on all criminals convicted of theft within the Forest of Hardwick, of which the town of Halifax was the chief place. But these extraordinary powers ceased to exist in the year 1650, and from that time to the date of the granting of the municipal charter, in 1848, Halifax was governed by constables, and by the magistrates resident in the town and neighbourhood.
Improvement and other Acts relating to Halifax.- A list of the local Acts of Parliament relating to any particular town, shows very clearly the point of time at which various objects of public interest, that can only be accomplished by a co-operation of the whole community, had become of so much importance as to be thought worthy of the trouble and expense of an application to Parliament. The following are some of the principal local Acts relating to Halifax passed since the town was raised to the position of a municipal borough in the year 1848:-
1853.-16th and 17th Victoria, c. 16,-"Act for the Improvement of the Borough of Halifax
and for other purposes, entitled 'The Halifax Improvement Act."'
1855.-18th and 19th Victoria, c. 144-" Act to enable the Halifax Gaslight and Coke Company to transfer their undertaking and powers to the Halifax Local Board of Health, and for other purposes."
1858.-21st and 22nd Victoria c. 91-"Act for confirming the Gift by Francis Crossley, Esq.," (afterwards Sir Francis Crossley, Bart., M.P.) " of a Public Park to the Borough of Halifax, and for authorizing the Mayor, Aldermen, and Burgesses of the borough to maintain and regulate the Park, and to provide, maintain, and regulate Public Baths in the Park, and for making a Cemetery."
1862.-25th Victoria. c. 41-"Act for the further Improvement of the Borough of Halifax, and for other purposes."
1865.-28th and 29th Victoria, c. 140-"Act for the Extension of the Boundaries of the Municipal Borough and District of Halifax, and otherwise improving the said Borough."
1868.-31st and 32nd Victoria, c. 127-"Act to enable the Mayor, Aldermen, and Burgesses of the Borough of Halifax to construct new Works in extension of their Water-works; to extend their limits of Supply; to acquire the Manufacturers' Hall; to improve the Borough of Halifax, and for other purposes."
1870.-33rd and 34th Victoria, c. 95-"Act for amending and extending the Acts relating to the Supply of Water and Gas in the Borough of Halifax and its neighbourhood, and to the Improvement of that Borough, and for other purposes."
It will be seen that the above list includes the chief objects which an enlightened municipal government considers to be its duty to furnish, in the present age, to meet the wants of a great and flourishing community. Things are certainly changed from the time (1823) when a couple of wells at Pellon "amply supplied the wants of Halifax with excellent water." In that year the gas-works were only just commenced, which now extend not only over the town, but far into the country. Many other objects, some connected with the wants of the population, others with their tastes, their health, and their enjoyments, will be found mentioned in the above list of objects effected by the burgesses in their municipal capacity. In addition to municipal works Halifax has become rich, during the last thirty or forty years, in handsome public buildings, many of them originating in the good taste and the benevolence of individuals, and others produced by the united efforts of companies and associations formed for purposes of public utility.
The Town Hall of Halifax.- This handsome building was erected and finally completed in the year 1863, at a cost of upwards of £60,000. The corner stone of the Victoria Tower, the most commanding part of the building, was laid on the 2nd of October, 1861, by Daniel Ramsden, Esq. of Kingston, who was the seventh mayor of the borough of Halifax. The Town Hall was opened by His Royal Highness the Prince of Wales, in August, 1863. It stands in Crossley Street, opposite the end of Princess Street. It was built on the plans of the late Sir Charles Barry, R.A., and unites the beauties of the Gothic and the Italian styles of architecture. The basement covers a parallelogram of 95 feet wide and 148 feet deep. The principal entrance is beneath a handsome porch. The tower rises by four stages, in the front of which is placed the clock, and it is surmounted by a spire, springing to a height of more than 160 feet. The interior of the building is well arranged, and richly furnished and decorated. The large central hall, measuring 50 feet by 40 feet, rises to the whole height of the building. It has a finely inlaid pavement, and is surrounded by a gallery giving access to the offices of the town clerk, the borough engineer and surveyor, the mayor's parlour, council chamber, committee and reception rooms. Doors open on the basement into committee rooms, rooms for magistrates and clerks, and offices for the borough accountant.
Visit of H.R.H. the Prince of Wales to Halifax.- The new Town Hall of Halifax was opened by the Prince of Wales on the 4th August, 1863, an event which enabled the whole of the inhabitants of Halifax and neighbourhood to express their warm attachment to the prince, to her Majesty the queen, and to H.R.H. the Prince Consort, who had then been recently cut off by death in the midst of a career of the highest usefulness. The royal party arrived at Manor Heath, Skircoat, Halifax, the residence of the mayor (the late John Crossley, Esq.), on the afternoon of the 3rd August, and after lunching there proceeded to visit some of those extensive manufactories for which the town is distinguished. Amongst the works visited by the royal party were the great carpet works of Messrs. John Crossley & Sons, at Dean Clough; the extensive worsted manufactory of Messrs. James Akroyd & Son, at Haley Hill; and the card-making works of Messrs. John Whitley & Sons, Brunswick Mills, West Bank-selected as presenting some of the finest specimens of the great branches of industry which have raised Halifax to its present high position. A select party was entertained by the mayor and mayoress the same evening at a banquet at Manor Heath, including the bishop of Ripon, Earl Fitzwilliam, the present marquis and marchioness of Ripon, Earl Mount Edgcombe, the Right Hon. Sir Charles Wood, Bart., M.P. (now Viscount Halifax), Sir Francis Crossley, Bart., and Lady Crossley, Sir John W. Ramsden, Bart., Colonel Edwards, M.P. (now Sir Henry Edwards, Bart.), the Right Hon. James Stansfeld, M.P., Colonel Akroyd, M.P., Captain Firth, Mr. L. J. Crossley, Miss Crossley, and other members of the most distinguished families in the town and neighbourhood. On the morning of the 4th H.R.H. the Prince of Wales went in procession to the new Town Hall, accompanied by the mayor, the members of the corporation, the magistrates of the district, the members for the West Riding and the borough of Halifax, his honour Mr. Stansfeld (the judge of the county court), the lord bishop of Ripon, the vicar of Halifax (the Venerable Archdeacon Musgrave, D.D.), and many others. The interior of the hall presented a very striking sight, there being present, in addition to several thousands of the inhabitants, no less than 16,000 Sunday scholars and teachers, with a fine band consisting of 300 instrumental and 200 vocal performers.
His worship the mayor presented an address to his royal highness in his own name and that of the aldermen and burgesses, in which they all expressed their high gratification at the honour of being the first provincial municipality on which his royal highness had conferred the distinguished favour of a special visit. They further stated that "the consideration which the town and borough of Halifax enjoyed, alike from its antiquity, from the fact that it was the commercial centre of an important manufacturing district, and from other causes, would henceforth be greatly enhanced by the distinction which it received that day, in the dedication to the public service by H.R.H. the Prince of Wales of the edifice in which they were assembled. Through the development of its trade the town of Halifax had for several years enjoyed much prosperity, and the erection of a town hall had become a pressing necessity. This building was the last design of that eminent architect, the late Sir Charles Barry, of whose genius and skill they trusted that it would long remain an admired and useful monument."
His royal highness, after receiving the address from the mayor, read in reply one of those brief answers, full of intelligence and of sympathy with all the best interests of the nation, which his father, the prince consort, introduced in this country, and which have been so well sustained by the Prince of Wales and the other members of the royal family. The address of the prince was as follows:-
Mr. Mayor and gentlemen, I return you my cordial thanks for your address, and for the terms
in which you have alluded to the part I am proud to take in the ceremony of inaugurating your
Town Hall, in which I see so much to admire in regard to the design and execution. Indeed, the
general prosperity of your town, and the industry which, aided by the most ingenious machinery,
has so long distinguished its inhabitants, and which I witnessed yesterday developed to its
full extent, cannot fail to strike every visitor with wonder and admiration. I have also to
thank you for the earnest wishes you have expressed for my happiness and that of the princess.
Conscious of the duties which you so impressively remind me of, I feel that I cannot better perform them than by following the bright example of the queen and that of my beloved father." The prince then said, "I declare this hall to be now open ;" and afterwards proceeding to a balcony erected outside the hall, at the base of Victoria Tower and facing Princess Street, his royal highness repeated, in the presence of thousands assembled in the streets and upon extensive platforms:-"I declare the Town Hall of Halifax now opened." His royal highness took his departure from Halifax between three and four o'clock. From this time the progress of Halifax, not only in industry, but in the magnificence and beauty of its buildings, and the nobleness of its foundations for objects of benevolence and for institutions calculated to increase the health and the pleasures of all classes of the inhabitants, has been rapid beyond all preceding times.
The Halifax Water-works in the Luddenden Valley.- In the year 1864 the first sod was cut of the Halifax water-works, for drawing a supply of pure water from the Luddenden valley. Under the powers of this Act a vast reservoir was formed upon Warley Moor, at Fly, to collect the surplus water off the high moorlands, and to use it as compensation water to the mill-owners. The spring water was to be collected at lower levels on the hill-sides, and impounded in separate reservoirs in the Luddenden valley, for the use of the town of Halifax. That valley, viewed from below, has the appearance of being scooped out on the hillside. In the lower part of the valley, the works were constructed by means of an embankment thrown across it. In these were a series of three-storied reservoirs, in which was collected the spring water; and this was conveyed in culverts along the Warley side of the valley, by Upper Saltonstall, Lower Saltonstall, Catty Well, and thence, by a tunnel through a hill called Mount Tabor, to the Halifax Corporation reservoirs at Ramsden wood in the Hebble valley. Thence the water was brought to Halifax by the already existing system of water- works. The three reservoirs were named the Upper Dean Head, Dean Head, and Castlecar reservoirs. Since these works were completed the boundaries of the borough of Halifax have been extended, and its population has greatly increased, and new and more extensive water-works are now in course of construction.
The People's Park.- This park was presented to the people of Halifax, for the recreation and health of the whole of the inhabitants of the town, by the late Sir Francis Crossley, Bart., then Francis Crossley, Esq., M.P., the head of a benevolent and wealthy family of Halifax merchants, who have permanently associated their name with much that is worthy of admiration in their native town. The cost to the donor was nearly £40,000, expended in forming and laying out the park, which comprises about twelve and a half acres of ground. In addition to handsome promenades, it includes ornamental buildings, lakes, seats, fountains, terraces, and lofty mounds, constructed from designs by Sir Joseph Paxton. Within the precincts of the park are spacious public baths, erected by the corporation of Halifax in the year 1859, at a cost of £6000.
The Crossley Orphan Home.- This noble building, situate in Savile Park, Halifax, is a splendid quadrilateral stone structure of the architecture of the reign of King James I., with a mixture of the Italian style. It was commenced in 1857, and completed in 1864, at a cost of £56,000, by the late Sir Francis Crossley, Bart., and his brothers, John and Joseph Crossley, Esqs., acting conjointly, and was furnished by them with a noble endowment of £3000 a year. The building rises to the height of three stories, and from the centre of the principal front springs a hand some clock tower, surmounted by a dome. The roofs are of high pitch, and are crested with a light gilt railing. In this benevolent establishment there is accommodation for 450 children of both sexes, who are lodged, boarded, clothed, and educated. In order to be admitted to the benefits of this institution, they must either have lost both parents or their father, and when once admitted they are instructed and maintained for six years and upwards. Boys may remain in the Orphanage till they are fifteen, and girls till they are seventeen years of age.
Modern Churches and Chapels of Halifax.- We have already spoken of the parish church of Halifax, which has been for many ages the noblest and most venerable church in this extensive parish. In its present form it dates from the year 1447, though there is no doubt that a church existed on the same site probably from the time of the introduction of Christianity into this district. Amongst the most beautiful of modern churches is that of All Souls, Haley Hill, Halifax, which is considered one of the finest of the many beautiful churches erected by Sir Gilbert G. Scott. It is the church of the new parish of Haley Hill, a district already containing a population of several thousand inhabitants. This beautiful church was erected by Edward Akroyd, Esq., who also endowed it liberally, and the cost of the church is said to have amounted to at least £70,000.
Many large and handsome chapels of various classes of Dissenters have been erected at Halifax, and one of the finest objects on entering the town is the spire of the new Independent chapel, completed in the year 1857 at a cost of more than £15,000, of which J. James, Esq., was the architect. This is a beautiful and very tasteful erection, and only one amongst a great number of handsome and commodious chapels erected by the numerous Protestant dissenters of this populous district. Halifax is remarkable for the number and energy of its Nonconformist bodies, and inseparable from these the name of Dr. Mellor will ever be held as one of the ablest Nonconformist ministers of the present day.
The Modern Schools of Halifax.- In addition to the ancient grammar school of Halifax, founded in the reign of Queen Elizabeth, the town possesses the old National school, built in the year 1815; St. James' school, erected in 1832; Crosshill school, built in 1844, and King Cross school, erected in 1849; besides the parish church school, erected in 1845; Trinity school in 1869; and a number of schools erected or now in progress under the powers of the Education Act. The British school was built in 1818; the Square Chapel school was founded by the Independents in 1844. The Blue Coat school and Almshouses in Harrison Road were erected in 1855-56, in place of the old ones, at a cost of about £10,000, by the trustees of Nathaniel Waterhouse, Esq., who so early as the years 1636 and 1642 left property for charitable and educational purposes in the town of Halifax and the neighbourhood.
The Charities of Halifax.- Few towns possess a greater number of charitable and benevolent institutions than Halifax, and from the earliest times to the present there have been found wealthy and benevolent inhabitants, who have contributed large portions of their property to these objects. In addition to the Crossley Orphan Home, already mentioned, the late Sir Francis Crossley, Bart., presented, two or three years previous to his death, the sum of £10,000 to the infirmary and dispensary; he also presented £10,000 for a loan fund which is of great use to young tradesmen. Mr. John Abbot has also within the last few years bequeathed upwards of £60,000 to charitable purposes in Halifax, of which noble sum £10,000 has been devoted to the Crossley Orphan Home, and large sums to other Public charitable institutions in Halifax. The Crossley Almshouses, near Hopwood Lane, were built and endowed in 1855 by Francis Crossley, Esq., M. P., afterwards Sir Francis Crossley, Bart., for twenty-five poor men and women, who are allowed 10s. each per week. The buildings, constructed in the domestic Gothic style, are raised a story higher in the centre and at each end, so as to give the appearance of towers. A similar set of almshouses, near King Cross Lane, were built and endowed in 1863 by Joseph Crossley, Esq., and further enlarged and endowed by him in 1869- 70; the whole now forming a fine pile of forty-eight houses in the Gothic style. The following charitable institutions also exist in Halifax- The Halifax Dispensary and Infirmary, the latter instituted in 1807, and the former in 1836. These now occupy a handsome building erected in 1856, enlarged by the addition of a new wing in 1864, and further enlarged in 1872.
Literary and Scientific Institutions:- Amongst the literary and scientific institutions of Halifax are the School of Art in Crossley Street, and the Halifax Literary and Philosophical Institution, founded in 1830. The latter occupies an elegant hall, in Harrison Road, erected in 1854. The Halifax Subscription Library was founded as early as the year 1767, and contains a valuable museum and library. The Halifax Mechanics' Institution and Mutual Improvement Society, formed in 1825, has a good library. It occupies a large and handsome building in Crossley Street, erected in 1857 at a cost, including the site, of about £9000. The Church Institute in George Street has a library and reading-room. The Assembly Rooms, &c., in Harrison Road, form a spacious and handsome Building, erected in 1828, and contain assembly, billiard, and concert rooms. The Exchange and news-room at the Town Hall has a numerous list of subscribers. The newspaper press of Halifax consists of the Halifax Guardian, the Halifax Courier, and the Halifax Times.
The Volunteer Movement.- Halifax is the head-quarters of the 2nd West Yorkshire yeomanry cavalry, raised in 1843, and comprising two Halifax troops, a Huddersfield troop, and a Bradford troop. Lieutenant- colonel Sir Henry Edwards, Bart., is the commandant. The Halifax rifle volunteers (4th West York) were formed in 1849, and now number about 700 members. There are nine companies, of which seven belong to Halifax, and the remaining two to the districts of Sowerby Bridge and Brighouse. The armoury and drill shed is a handsome Gothic structure, fronting Prescott and Union Streets, erected at a cost of £5000. It contains officers' quarters; sergeant-major's residence; gymnasium, a large hall 140 feet by 56 feet, with a gallery at one end; reading and smoking rooms, and a well-arranged armoury. The hall will seat 700 persons. An artillery volunteer corps has also been formed.
Men of Note connected with Science and Literature in Halifax.- Since the founding of the church and free grammar school of Halifax many good scholars have been produced in this parish, and a fair share of authors connected with it have written works that have obtained and deserved the notice of the world. It was long supposed that the famous mathematician, only known by his Latin name of Johannes de Sacro Bosco, the author of a very early work entitled "De Sphaera," was a native of Halifax; but this is now considered doubtful, there being no evidence of it except that supplied by his name of Sacro Bosco, which was supposed to be an attempt at a Latin translation of the name, Halifax. Leland, in his "Commentary on British Writers," supposed this to be the case, and Thoresby affirms it, and says that he lay on his back on the hill at Halifax to observe the motion of the stars. The authority of Leland is entitled to some consideration, on the ground of judgment as well as of scholarship; but Mr. Watson points out the fact that the meaning of Sacro Bosco is neither the Holy Hair, nor the Holy Face, nor the Holy Road, but the Holy Wood, and therefore hesitates to admit the bearer of that very honourable name into the list of the scholars of Halifax. The Saviles of the parish of Halifax have been alike distinguished as scholars and as politicians. Sir Henry Savile of Bradley, in this parish, was an eminent scholar in the sixteenth century, having entered Merton College, Oxford, where he obtained the reputation of possessing a very superior knowledge both of the Greek language and of mathematics. He was teacher of the Greek language to Queen Elizabeth, whom he assisted in making an excellent scholar. In 1619 he founded two lectures or professor-ships in the university of Oxford, one for geometry and the other for astronomy, which he endowed with what was then the large and liberal salary of £160 a year, besides a legacy of £600, and a library of mathematical books for the use of the professors and their students. His works are very extensive, and show a most intimate knowledge, not only of Latin and Greek, but of early English literature. Another of the Saviles, namely, Henry Savile of Shaw Hill, in Skircoat, was a great friend of learning, and presented the learned Camden with an ancient copy of the old British writer, Asserius Menevensis, which he published in 1602. At a later period the Saviles of Elland, who rose to the rank of marquises of Halifax, acquired a high literary reputation, though they were chiefly distinguished for their enlightened yet strictly constitutional views of politics and government. The marquis of Halifax, who was employed by Charles II., and dismissed from office by James II. to make way for the men who brought about his ruin, was one of the best writers as well as of the ablest men of his time. When the title of Halifax had become extinct in the Savile family, it was re-created in favour of Charles Montague, earl of Halifax, one of the most accomplished scholars of the reign of Queen Anne, and a warm friend and supporter of all the literary men of that most enlightened age. In the department of religion and controversy, the grammar school of Halifax and the well- endowed living have produced many very able writers. Such a one was Dr. Favour, a scholar of great learning in the reign of James I. and his successor, who held the vicarage of Halifax for nearly forty years, and who was the author of many able works connected with religion. A still more famous native of the parish of Halifax was Archbishop Tillotson, the son of a manufacturer at Sowerby, which is within the present limits of the borough of Halifax. His influence in upholding moderate views in the Church of England, as well as his great learning, his fine talents, and the excellence of his character, raised him to the highest position in the church soon after the Revolution. In the same age Dr. Lake, who received the elements of his education in the grammar school of Halifax, rose to the rank of bishop of Chichester, to which he was raised by King James II. He had at least the merit of consistency; for after having accepted a bishopric from James II. he stuck firmly to his opinions, and on his deathbed asserted the doctrine of non-resistance and passive obedience. His opinions did not preserve the throne to James II., though they probably had some influence for a short time in weakening the authority of William and Mary, and of the two first kings of the house of Brunswick. They are now utterly forgotten in England.
The history of Halifax has been well written by several writers resident on the spot, of whom the Rev. John Watson, to whom we and all writers on the same subject are so much indebted, is much the ablest. Mr. Watson was not only a good classical scholar, but was also well acquainted with the German and Danish languages, from which so large a portion, not only of the English language, but of the local dialects of this district are derived. He was also a man of candid and moderate temper, and wrote with singular moderation on subjects which often excite great warmth. At the end of a hundred years Mr. Watson's history of Halifax has been republished by Mr. F. A. Leyland of that town, whose love and knowledge of local antiquities will insure justice to the excellent writer whose work he is thus assisting to preserve. The earlier history of Halifax, commonly known as William Bently's, and published about the year 1708, is said to have been really written by Samuel Midgley, an unfortunate scholar. The history of Halifax written in the year 1738 by the Rev. Mr. Wright, is greatly superior to the last-named work, though not to be compared with that of his successor, the Rev. Mr. Watson. The noble science of astronomy, which delighted Johannes de Sacrobosco, whether it was at Halifax or somewhere else, has still warm admirers in that place; amongst whom we will mention as indefatigable observers of the sublime phenomena of the heavens, Mr. Edmund Crossley, M.R.I., F.M.S., and Mr. Gledhill. Here also Sir William Herschel, the great explorer of the heavens, spent a short portion of his noble career, as musician and organist of the parish church.
The Observatory Bermerside, is a handsome stone building consisting of two equatorial rooms, a meridian room, and a computing room. The equatorials, the larger by Cooke, and the smaller by A. Clark, are of 9½ inches and 4½ inches aperture, and are fitted with all the best modern accessories. The transit circle has an object glass 3½ inches in diameter, and is by Cooke. The equatorial rooms are surmounted by cylindrical wooden domes, covered with sheet copper. At present the instruments are devoted to the measurement of double stars, and the delineation of the physical features of the planets. In this work Mr. Edward Crossley, F.R.A.S., is assisted by Mr. Joseph Gledhill, F.R.A.S., F.G.S., &c.
The Meteorological Observatory, Moorside, Halifax.- This is by far the best-equipped private meteor observatory in England. The barometer, anemometer, rain-gauge, and hygrometer are self-registering, some by mechanical means, and others by means of photography. At this observatory the pressure and direction of the wind, the weight of the atmosphere, the temperature of the air, and the amount of rain are registered, day and night, by the above instruments. A special feature is the fine King's Barograph.
Halifax Literary and Philosophical Society.- The amalgamation of the Halifax Literary and Philosophical Society with the Halifax Circulating Library was made a few years ago. A lecture theatre and library were also built contiguous to the museum. There are now upwards of 13,000 books in the library.
Population and Occupations of Halifax at the Census of 1871.- We find a great variety of interesting facts recorded in the Census of England and Wales for the year 1871, which enable us to trace the progress of Halifax down to the present time. It appears from these returns that in the borough of Halifax, within the limits which existed in the Year 1861, there were then 7807 inhabited houses, and a population of 37,014 persons. But these boundaries were very considerably enlarged in the ten years between 1861 and 1871, so that in the latter year the number of inhabited houses in the borough of Halifax, with its increased limits, was 13,795, and the number of inhabitants was 65,124, showing an increase of inhabitants in the parliamentary borough of 1871, in comparison with that of 1861, of 28,110 persons. The tables supplied by this Census-the last volume of which was published in 1873-show what were the great sources of employment and wealth in this populous town. They consisted of various branches of textile manufacture formed from the materials of wool, worsted, silk, flax, cotton, hair, straw, and hemp. The leading manufactures of the town, with the numbers of persons of the male sex, above twenty years of age, employed in them in all capacities in Halifax, were as follows in the year 1871:-
wool and cloth manufacture, 809;
wool and woollen dyers, 84;
worsted manufacture, 1280;
cloth merchants and dealers, 19;
stuff manufacture, 255;
blanket manufacture, l;
carpet, rug manufacture, 990;
silk and satin manufacture, 73;
silk dyers, printers, 4;
silk merchants, dealers, 4;
ribbon manufacture, 1;
flax, linen manufacture, 29;
cotton manufacture, 489;
fustian manufacture, 2;
muslin manufacturs, 0;
calico, cotton dyers, 5;
others of the same class, 36;
weavers (not otherwise described), 89;
hemp manufacture, 3;
rope and cord makers, 34.
But the above occupations also gave employment to a great number of females, as will be seen from the following account of the amount of labour of females, above twenty years of age, employed in these occupations in 1871:-
Wool and cloth manufacture, 339;
worsted manufacture, 2416;
stuff manufacture, 22;
flannel manufacture, 1;
blanket manufacture, 2;
carpet rug manufacture, 669;
silk and satin manufacture, 12;
lace manufacture, 65;
cotton manufacture, 455;
cotton printers, 2;
weavers (not otherwise described), 65.
The number of children employed is not given.
The minerals found in the Halifax district are, as we have already stated, amongst the chief sources of its wealth and population, furnishing the steam-power for a large portion of its manufactures, for locomotion on railways, and for domestic use. The building stone and slate of this neighbourhood are very abundant and of excellent quality, and hence Halifax has an advantage, in the construction both of its public and private buildings, which few of the towns of Yorkshire possess in an equal degree. Most of these occupations are carried on beyond the limits of the borough of Halifax; but a large portion of the prosperity of the town depends on the fact that the coal mines of the Halifax district now yield some hundred thousand tons of coal every year. Within the borough the population includes the following number of persons employed in the working of minerals:-
Coal miners, 91;
iron miners, 10;
miners (branch undefined), 11;
coal merchants and dealers, 68;
labourers in quarries, 22;
labourers in stone quarries, 166;
stone merchants, cutters, and dressers, 67;
labourers in clay, 10;
brick-makers and dealers, 101;
railway labourers, platelayers, and navvies, 144;
road contractors, inspectors, and surveyors, 4;
earthenware manufacture, 16;
glass manufacture, 2;
iron manufacture, 357;
wire workers and drawers, 380;
brass manufacture, 60;
zinc manufacture, 1;
ironmongers, hardware dealers, 29;
steel manufacture, 2;
other workers in metals, 11.
These figures, which were collected by the government officials at the time when the census was taken in 1871, form the best data that exist as to the occupations of the people; but there are so many sources of error in such returns that we merely give them as approximations. They, at all events, show what were the great and prevailing branches of industry in the towns and districts to which they relate.
The Great Manufactories of Halifax.- We have already mentioned that amongst the manufactories which were visited and admired by His Royal Highness the prince of Wales, were those of Dean Clough, and Haley Hill. The Dean Clough Mill of Messrs. Crossley was originally a three-storied building on the left bank of the river Hebble, and was built by Messrs. Waterhouse for their own use. It was pulled down in the year 1857, and afterwards rebuilt. In 1860 the number of hands employed at Dean Clough was about 3.500, and in 1870 the number had increased to 5000. The buildings in 1874 covered about twenty-five acres. The following is a brief' notice of its founder:-John Crossley, the founder of the eminent firm "John Crossley & Sons," was born in 1772 near Halifax. At the age of sixteen he was put apprentice to his uncle, Mr. John Webster; of the Clay Pits, to learn carpet weaving. At the expiration of his apprenticeship he went to weave carpets for Mr. Currie at Luddenden Foot. At this factory, then the largest carpet factory in Yorkshire, what were known as Scotch carpets were made. In 1800 he went into partnership with Mr. Job Lees, who had a factory in the Lower George Yard, in Halifax. At this place John Crossley also acted as manager. His partner dying soon after, a new firm was formed, consisting of Robert Abbott, John Crossley, and Francis Ellerton, its style being "Abbott, Crossley, & Co." At the end of the first year John Crossley's share of the profits was £70. The partnership was, however, soon dissolved, and John Crossley took all the spinning and dyeing for the firm into his own hands, the worsted being spun on two frames at the paper mill under the North Bridge. In 1802 he went into partnership with his brother, Thomas Crossley, and Mr. James Travis, and they took Dean Clough mill on a lease for twenty years, at an annual rent of £250, but they also still continued to dye and spin for the Messrs. Abbot & Ellerton. Besides carpets they made shalloons and plain backs, and at one time employed 160 hand weavers. The brace webs and body belts manufactured by John Crossley were sold to the Irish, who then hawked them about the country. When the lease ran out each partner drew £1400. About 1830 John Crossley purchased Messrs. Abbott's carpet business, which embraced from twenty to twenty- five hand looms. His three sons, John, Joseph, and Francis, assisted him in the business for some years before his death, which took place in 1837. The three brothers then took entire charge of the concern, and about 1841 it began to grow rapidly. At the death of the founder about 300 hands were employed. Tapestry, velvet, Brussels, Tournay velvet, and Scotch or Kidderminster ingrain carpets, together with rugs, sofa carpets, table covers, church mats, &c., are now manufactured, and are sent to nearly all parts of the world. The works at Dean Clough, as already mentioned, extend over an area of twenty-five acres, and give employment to about 5000 persons.
The Worsted manufactory of James Akroyd & Son, Limited.- This is one of the largest and the oldest manufactories of Halifax. In the year 1871 Mr. Edward Akroyd, then sole partner in the firm, converted it into a joint stock company, limited. He is grandson of Mr. James Akroyd, the original founder of the firm, and remains chairman of the board of directors. For many years he was one of the members for this borough, and sat previously for the borough of Huddersfield, from 1857 to 1859.
History of the Firm of James Akcroyd & Son, Limited, Halifax.- Mr. James Akroyd, of Brookhouse, Ovenden, the founder of the firm, born in 1753, was a yeoman manufacturer, as his fore-fathers had been for generations. In early life he was a partner with his elder brother Jonathan, of Lane Head, Ovenden, as manufacturers of narrow eighteen-inch lastings, calimancoes, and low wilders, called "Little Joans," very similar to the modern hunting used for signal flags; as also of figured "Amens"-a name derived from Amiens in France, whence the article originally came- woven by the aid of a "draw-boy" at the side of the loom, whose office it was, by means of gearing and harness, to pull up the proper healds at the right time. He had two sons, Jonathan and James, whom in due time he admitted into partnership under the firm of James Akroyd & Sons, and who raised the prosperity of the firm, whilst they did much towards the development of the worsted manufacture of the district. The elder of the two, Jonathan, was born in 1782, about three years after the erection of the Halifax Piece Hall. During their youth and early manhood both sons remained at Brookhouse, associated with their father in the business. This happened to be a critical stage in the growth of the worsted manufacture, when the recent invention by Arkwright of the spinning- jenny, or mule, was being first applied to the production of worsted yarn. By the enterprise and perseverance of the two junior partners a spinning-mill was erected at Brookhouse, near Halifax, about the year 1805, and it supply of water for turning the water-wheel was obtained from the brook by a side goit of about half a mile in length, carried in some places in tunnel, in others upon an aqueduct. It was a clever engineering work for that period, and remains to this day a striking proof of the skill and boldness of these hardy pioneers of manufacturing industry.
The first intention at the starting of Brookhouse Mill was to employ it as a spinning establishment; but from the difficulty of selling the vastly increased production of machine-spun yarn to small manufacturers, hitherto limited to the scanty supply from hand-spinning wheels scattered over the country, it soon became necessary to add weaving to spinning. A profitable manufacture of moreens for curtains was introduced about the year 1811 from Norwich; and the leading Yorkshire manufacturer of the article were Messrs. James Akroyd & Sons, of Brookhouse, and Mr. John Holland of Slead House, near Brighouse; although it remains a moot point which of the two firms first transplanted the weaving of the article into the district.
In the year 1808 Mr. Jonathan Akroyd was married, and about the same time his brother; both entering upon their married life in houses yet remaining, situated near each other, between Lane Head and Brookhouse.
About the year 1811 Mr. James Akroyd, junior, withdrew from Brookhouse, and started an independent manufacturing concern at Old Lane, near Halifax. Being of an inventive genius, and a good mechanician, he turned his attention to every improvement and novelty in the art of weaving. About the year 1822 he first introduced power-looms, and encouraged by the success of his experiments, he proceeded to erect the large fire- proof mill in Old Lane, aided pecuniarily by his bankers-Messrs. Rawson, the founders of the present Union Banking Co., Halifax. In the year 1827 the weaving factory was opened with a supper and dance for the weavers, and was the greatest undertaking of the period in the worsted manufacture. Here he perfected the weaving by power, of lastings, camlets, and other goods. To him also is due the credit of introducing the Jacquard engine for weaving damasks and other descriptions of figured goods, about the year 1827. The first Jacquard engines imported into England were brought to Manchester, from Lyons, by a Frenchman of the name of Sago. One of these was purchased by Mr. James Akroyd, and set up in March, 1827, being the first brought into Yorkshire.
So early as 1825 Mr. James Akroyd supplied Messrs. Macintosh of Manchester, inventors of the new process of rendering cloth water-proof by a coating of india-rubber, with a light worsted fabric suited for their process. But about the year 1830 to 1832 he turned his attention to the manufacture of mixed goods of cotton and worsted, and especially to the difficult art of dyeing both materials in the piece, so as to produce one uniform shade suitable not only for Messrs. Macintosh, but for the trade generally. In this art, technically called "union dyeing," he was remarkably successful. At the same time he introduced cotton warps freely into other goods, especially cotton and worsted damasks of various shades, in which his firm achieved a high reputation. But his career was cut short, and he died in 1836, at the age of fifty-one years.
After the withdrawal of Mr. James Akroyd, Mr. Jonathan Akroyd continued the Brookhouse Mill with his father, under the old style of James Akroyd & Sons, along with his younger brother, Mr. Thomas, who remained as partner in the business until 1823. With a thorough experience of every detail of the business, in which he had taken a leading part since his first admission in 1803, its chief conduct and management devolved upon Mr. Jonathan for many years before and after the death of his father in 1830 The name of the firm remained unchanged after this event; and on the withdrawal of the junior partner, Mr. Thomas, in 1823, the only change was to James Akroyd & Son, instead of James Akroyd & Sons.
In 1818 Mr. Jonathan removed to Halifax and purchased a steam mill at Bowling Dyke, which forms a portion of the present premises. In June, 1839, he received his two sons, Edward and Henry, into partnership, and under their joint management the business was conducted until the death of the principal, in 1847. From that period until the end of 1853 Edward Akroyd and Henry Akroyd represented the firm as sole partners. In December of the year 1853, by mutual consent, a dissolution of partnership took place, and the business was continued by the senior partner. Lastly, in December, 1871, the firm was enrolled as a joint stock company, limited, under the old name, with the following list of directors:-Edward Akroyd, Esq., M.P., Bank Field, Halifax, chairman; John Wright Child, Esq., Copley Wood, Halifax; Henry Akroyd Ridgway, Esq., Woodlands, Halifax; John Edward Champney, Esq., Halifax; Mr. John Richardson, Halifax; Mr. Richard Micklethwaite Stansfield, Halifax; Mr. Thomas Hebblethwaite, Halifax.
One of the main objects of this change was to obviate the antagonism between capital and labour, and to give to those who had contributed to the past prosperity of the business an opportunity of obtaining as proprietors an interest in its future success. The premises of the firm were originally confined to the spinning mill at Bowling Dyke, purchased by the late Mr. Jonathan Akroyd at the time of his migration from Brookhouse, in the year 1815. By the growth and prosperity of the business the premises have been gradually enlarged, and now include:-1. The works at Bowling Dyke, comprising two large fire-proof mills, with wool warehouses and other buildings. 2. The weaving-shed, the combing- shed, fire-proof mill, warehouse, and other buildings, at Haley Hill. 3. The compact estate, consisting of the ware-house and chief offices of the firm, the Commercial Inn, numerous shops, dwelling-houses, and vacant land at Cross Hills and North Parade. 4. The dye-works recently purchased from Messrs. Edleston adjoining the Bowling Dyke Works, and where new buildings are now in course of erection adapted for slubbing, dyeing, and other simple operations for the use of the firm. 5. The dye- houses at North Bridge, now in the occupation of Messrs. John Walshaw and Sons, and of Mr. Hanson, as tenants. (The above are all situate in the town of Halifax). 6. Copley Mills and the village of Copley, beyond, but nearly adjoining the limits of the borough of Halifax, having the river Calder on the south, and the main line of the Lancashire and Yorkshire Railway on the north. The estate comprises an area of nearly twenty acres, including the site of two large mills, warehouses, shed, and 150 dwelling-houses, generally occupied by persons employed at the works. Copley Mills, which form one of the most striking features of manufacturing industry in the West Riding, were designed with much solicitude and care, and may be regarded as most perfectly appointed for the purposes of business, possessing also associated arrangements which are specially adapted to promote the comfort and advantage of those employed on the premises. In the erection of the dwelling-houses, which are of modern construction, every care has been bestowed to secure comfort and convenience.
In this schedule of the premises in the occupation of the firm, Brookhouse is not included. So long as Mr. Jonathan Akroyd lived this cradle of the manufactory was retained, although the attachment of the founder was weakened, if not estranged, by a fire which burned down the warehouse and a heavy stock of moreens in the winter of 1828. The fire was attributed to incendiarism, and the blackened walls yet remain standing. At present the mill is occupied by a spinner of cotton spindle bands.
After this rapid sketch of the successive changes in the membership of the firm, and the growth of the establishment from a small beginning, it may be interesting to add a short history of some of the branches of manufacture introduced by Mr. Jonathan Akroyd, as has already been furnished with regard to his brother and former partner, Mr. James.
In the "History of the Worsted Manufacture," by the late Mr. John James, F.S.A., of Bradford, and published in 1857, allusion is made to the introduction of the manufacture of bombazines and Norwich crapes in 1819. The bold attempt to cultivate this article as a permanent trade was made by Mr. Jonathan Akroyd, and for a few years was very successful- until about 1834-36. At this time a similar article in fine double cotton warp, called Paramatta, was introduced, which gradually replaced bombazines, until in its turn it gave way to-the modern Coburg, of fine single cotton warp. In 1819, also, the art of weaving camlets was introduced through the same channel; and to the present day large quantities of these and other goods are sent from Halifax to the markets of China and Japan.
In estimating the difficulties attendant upon the transplanting of the manufacture of these goods, then unknown in Yorkshire, we must not forget that a knowledge of the art of weaving them in hand-looms was essential to success. For camlets a peculiar knack was required on the part of the weaver in managing his treadles, so as to bring down the warp suddenly by the healds to curve round the weft, whereby each thread of weft became a distinct rib or roll across the piece. To produce this effect with four treadles the weaver had to exercise what was called a "jumping" motion with the healds at an early part of the stroke; and for this purpose he had a movable seat revolving on a pivot, which enabled him to throw the whole weight of his body upon the two treadles at each stroke. To acquire this knack personal observation was necessary, and accordingly trusty emissaries were sent to Norwich in 1819, who learned and brought back the secret of weaving camlets, as well as bombazines and Norwich crapes. It is due to these trusty emissaries, both dead many years since, to record their names. The arduous introduction of weaving Norwich crapes and bombazines into Yorkshire was effected by an ingenious handloom weaver of the name of Michael Greenwood, a native of Shibden Dale, near Halifax, and in the employment of the firm. Camlet weaving was mastered by Robert Wood, sent over specially for that purpose. On their return from Norwich the first camlet warp spun at Bowling Dyke, Halifax, was put in the camlet loom in January, 1820; and as there were no regular twisters invented at that time, the first experimental warp was twisted by hand in what was called a "twining mill."
For the home and continental trade there sprang up a good demand for yarn-dyed camlets in indigo blue, dark brown, and green, which continued brisk from about 1822 to 1850. These yarn-dyed camlets were used for waterproof cloaks, then much in vogue, until the fashion gave way to the taste for Macintosh water- proof cloth, already mentioned as the production of Mr. James Akroyd, jun., of Old Lane.
The circumstances of the period were peculiarly favourable to the transplanting of various branches of manufacture from Norwich, where trade of all kinds was fettered by trades unions and technical restrictions. Another cause favourable to the change was the contemporaneous introduction of steam-power, and the advantage which the manufacturing towns of the West Riding possessed in their close contiguity to coal- fields. Fostered by these favourable conditions, the worsted manufacture of Halifax, Bradford, Keighley, and the district, soon took firm root. Besides the articles introduced from Norwich, there were other novelties invented by Yorkshire ingenuity.
About 1818 three-quarter dobbies, or bird's-eyes, were introduced, and caused a large and increasing demand. The inventors were the same Michael Greenwood who was afterwards sent to Norwich, and another hand-loom weaver of the name of David Tidswell, from Queenshead, also employed by this firm. They took their idea con-jointly from the barrel of a box organ, and concluded that by having the circular drum ribbed and cut into "slots," they might by means of horizontal layers of wood, called "jacks," lift up the sixteen healds required for the bird's-eye pattern. In like manner they produced other patterns, one called the "cup and ball." The first manufacturers of these dobbies were undoubtedly James Akroyd & Son, who retained the trade until their competitors got hold of it. Very large sales were made of this article until the year 1824, when a fresh demand sprung up for damasks.
In February, 1825, James Akroyd & Son commenced the manufacture of damasks, although several years later than at the rival manufactory in Old Lane. So early as 1818 Mr. James Akroyd, junr., had turned his attention to the article, and by the aid of a Scotch table-cover weaver from Paisley well acquainted with the "plash" loom, popularly called "Scotch Jemmy," and a fancy weaver of the name of Bannister, from Stockport, he originated an improved damask loom, which he carefully guarded upon the "shop system." by having both looms and weavers under lock and key. Under this seal of secrecy he preserved the monopoly until 1824, when Mr. Jonas Robertshaw of Ovenden started a few looms, and was followed by others. All these looms were worked by drawboys, until replaced by the Jacquard engines. As already stated, the first of these machines, from Lyons, was set up by Mr. James Akroyd, junr., at Old Lane, in 1827, but he was not allowed to retain the sole use more than a few months, when his brother, Mr. Jonathan, also succeeded in purchasing a similar machine. Henceforth the trade became open and general. A new style of silk damask was introduced by Mr. Jonathan with silk weft, which had a considerable run.
The Jacquard engine was soon applied to other descriptions of figured goods besides damasks. James Akroyd & Son had started a stout figured worsted satin, called "figured Russell," some years previously by means of the dobby engine, already mentioned; but the dobby was soon replaced by the Jacquard. It is desirable to record the names of the ingenious workmen by whom these inventions were perfected; and for this reason the name of a most useful servant of the firm should be preserved, viz., George Dawson, often called Dobby Dawson, originally a carpet weaver at Dean Clough, under Mr. John Crossley, senr. His speciality was the application of the Jacquard to a two-lift engine, used for all descriptions of figured goods with plain ground; such as figured Russells, just mentioned, and figured Orleans of a similar texture to the old bird's-eye. These goods, some of them wefted with mohair in imitation of silk linings, had a great run for several years, and are still manufactured to a limited extent. In 1829 to 1830 an ingenious joiner and cabinet- maker of the name of Samuel Dracup, of Great Horton, commenced making numbers of "two-lift" Jacquard engines, for which he had a rapid and prolonged sale. He supplied the firm of James Akroyd & Son with these engines for several years. In 1834 the same ingenious Michael Greenwood exercised his inventive genius in the preparation of a new figured worsted cloth, called "French figure." From the name it is evident that the original cloth was French, and the problem which Greenwood had to solve was, how to produce a similar cloth. This he accomplished effectually, and thereby led the way to a flourishing trade. He was at the time a small manufacturer on his own account; but it was impossible for him to keep his invention a secret, and other small manufacturers soon followed his steps. In 1836 the two largest manufacturers of this article were Messrs. James Akroyd & Son, of Halifax, and Messrs. John Foster & Son, of Queenshead (now Queensbury), After the all-worsted cloth had a run, it was followed by cotton warp figures, copied from the French and styled Parisians. For these goods there was a large demand, both in the home and foreign trade. All this class of goods was woven by "one treadle," in contradistinction to the "two-lift" engines, previously mentioned, for plain cloth. The trying part of this performance to the hand-loom weaver was, that with only one treadle he could only use one leg-a fatiguing operation to one unaccustomed to the motion. The power-loom, when subsequently introduced, had this advantage over the hand-loom weaver, that it could work as well with one leg as two, and was insensible to fatigue. By way of variety in the appearance of the all-worsted French figure, some of the Bradford manufacturers introduced black and brown Alpaca from the weft, being the first attempt to use this material extensively in the worsted manufacture. Doubtless the success of these first trials paved the way for the future princely fortunes made by Messrs. Titus Salt & Co., of Bradford, and by Messrs. John Foster & Son, of Queensbury, from the same material.
Having thus finished our sketch of the manufacture of figured goods, it only remains to add a few comments upon plain articles. In 1824 a powerful impulse was given to the manufacture of lastings, serge de Berri, and other stout goods made from two-fold warps, all woven by handloom weavers. Some of the best of the weavers resided in the Luddenden Valley; and partly for the purpose of more ready access to these weavers, and for the sake of increased production, Messrs. James Akroyd & Son became occupants of Boy Mill, Luddenden Foot. These premises they retained in their possession until they purchased Copley Mills, when they gradually withdrew, and made way for Messrs. Whitworth in 1847-1848.
Besides the trade in two-fold lastings, the firm also transacted a large business in French merinoes, made with a single worsted warp, sized. The original width was three-quarters, but in 1830-34 the demand changed to six-quarters wide. In 1824-25 a large and steady demand sprang up for Spain in a merino cloth of peculiar dimensions, five-quarters wide and sixty-three yards long, called Alepines. These continued until 1852-55. At the same time there was a demand, for the monastic orders in Spain and Italy, for says and also for wildbores or tammies, finished with a glazed finish, for the nunneries. All these were woven with single warps, sized.
In the "History of Worsted Manufacture," by Mr. James, a synopsis obtained from the books of the firm was given, affording a chronicle of the periods when different articles were first introduced, and this synopsis is here appended.
The following synopsis, obtained from the books of Messrs. James Akroyd & Son, showing when certain descriptions of goods began to be made by them, will afford much aid in obtaining a correct view of the progress of the worsted manufacture in Halifax during the present century:-
1798.-Calimancoes, plain and ribbed; lastings; prunelles.
1803.-Serges de Belri, shalloons, Russells, wildbores.
1811.-Moreens, says, duroys.
1813.-Three-fourth bombazetts or plain backs.
1819.-Bombazines and Norwich crapes.
1829.-Camlets, taborines, fancy Russells, dobbies.
1826-27.-French merinoes and full twills.
1834.-French figures-a damask made six-fourths wide, of single-worked warp and fine English or merino weft, wrought by Jacquard engine, and producing a most beautiful and exact design.
1836-40.-Figured Orleans, on a similar principle to the French figures, only substituting cotton warp, producing a light fabric, and a great and agreeable variety of figure.
The large power-loom weaving shed of the firm at Haley Hill was erected by the late Mr. Jonathan Akroyd in the year 1836, and opened in January, 1837. It was at the time the largest weaving shed in the worsted district, covering about an acre of ground; although now-a-days it ranks small compared with other mammoth structures. Before this shed was opened, experience had been gained in the employment of a few power-looms for lastings, camlets, and other heavy goods.
So far, we have seen in the history of the firm the gradual substitution of machine for hand labour by the introduction, first, of the spinning-jenny; second, of the power-loom. It remained to complete the series by the ingenious invention of the combing machine, which slowly but surely replaced hand-combing. The combing shed was opened in June, 1856, after the dissolution of partnership between Mr. Edward and Mr. Henry Akroyd. The change of employment was a serious question for the hand-combers, of whom the firm employed about 1000 to 1500; but by care, prudence, and foresight, and by the slow development of the inevitable change, the revolution was peacefully effected without the pressure which might have been expected. All the young men found other work; the middle-aged were gradually weaned from their old occupation, although not without hardship; some were assisted to emigrate to the United States; the old and superannuated, where long and faithful service deserved the consideration, received a small weekly allowance, and were enabled to end their days shielded from cruel penury and want. Some few of the old combers were engaged to tend the combing machines, and with their practical experience, soon saw the hopelessness of a hand struggle with the machine.
For the perfecting of the combing machine the trade is mainly indebted to Samuel Cunliffe Lister, Esq., of Manningham, Bradford, who has there recently erected gigantic works for combing, spinning, and manufacturing waste silk. An essential part of his completed machine is what is called Heilman's patent. This patent was purchased conjointly by the firm of James Akroyd & Son, and Titus (now Sir Titus) Salt, Sons, & Co., about the year 1852, and resold to Mr. Lister for about £40,000, the amount of the original purchase money, with the right of use for the vendors. Mr. J. W. Child, now one of the directors of James Akroyd & Sons (Limited), was the chief negotiator in this transaction, both with Mr. Heilman, the original patentee, and Mr. Lister. The same Mr. Child planned and ably completed the combing shed of James Akroyd & Son, opened, as alreadly stated, in 1856.
DATES OF THE PRINCIPAL EVENTS CONNECTED WITH THE HISTORY OF HALIFAX.
Roman Period, A.D. 41-420.-
Remains of the great military roads of the Romans in the parish of Halifax, and of the Roman station of Cambodunum on its western edge. In addition to which numerous Roman coins, extending over 3 period of upwards of 300 years, have been discovered from the age of the Emperor Augustus to that of Constantine the Great.-Yorkshire: Past and Present, vol. ii. p. 356.
Anglican Period, A.D. 450 to 850.-
Hardwick, or the Strong, or Steep Camp, afterwards the name of the Forest of Hardwick, extending over great part of the parish of Halifax, occupied by the Angles or Anglo- Saxons, from whose language the name is derived.-Vol. ii. pp. 354, 366.
Danish Period, A.D. 850 to 1050.-
Sowerbyshire and many other places in this parish occupied and named by the Danes.-Vol. ii. p. 366.
1138.-The church, Ecclesia de Halifax, mentioned in grant of William, Earl Warren.-Vol. ii. p. 358.
1273.-Vicarage (not rectory) of Halifax established.--Vol. ii. p. 370.
1295.-Manor of Halifax mentioned as belonging to the prior of Lewes in Kirkby's inquest held this year.-Vol. ii. p. 360.
1347.-Halifax given to Edmund Plantagenet, commonly known as Edmund of Langley, the father of the first duke of York.-Vol. ii. p. 361.
1347.-Criminal law of Halifax and the Forest of Hardwick.-Vol. ii. p. 366.
1414.-Manufactures and population of Halifax in early times.-Vol. ii. p. 363.
1548-49.-Archbishop Gryndall's account of Halifax at this time.-Vol. ii. p. 369.
1555.-Act of 5th Philip and Mary, authorizing the sale of wool by retail in the parish of Halifax.-Vol. ii. p. 365.
1575-80.-Camden's visit to Halifax and account of the town and parish in the reign of Queen Elizabeth.-Vol. ii. p. 369.
1584.-3000 to 4000 persons signed the Protestant declaration.-Vol. ii. p. 369.
1584.-The Free Grammar School of Halifax founded by Queen Elizabeth.-Vol. ii. p. 372.
1638-1639.-Charter of incorporation for the public workhouse of Halifax in the reign of Charles I.- Vol. ii. p. 372.
1639-1640.-The great civil war. Halifax first occupied by the parliamentary party, afterwards by the marquis of Newcastle for the king.-Vol. ii. pp. 374, 375.
1644.-Halifax again occupied by the parliamentary party, after the battle of Marston Moor.-Vol. ii. p. 376.
1648.-Captain Hodgson, Halifax regiment of volunteers, at the battle of Preston.-Vol. ii. p. 376.
1650.-Last trial and execution under the criminal law of Hardwick Forest.- Vol. ii. p. 368.
1673.-Ralph Thoresby's visit to Mr. Brearcliffe, the Halifax antiquary.- Vol. ii. p. 377.
1701.-Halifax at the beginning of the eighteenth century.-Vol. ii. p. 378.
1702.-Thoresby's account of improvements by the Rev. Mr. Wilkinson in the church and new library.- Vol. ii. p. 377.
1708.-"Halifax and its Gibbet Law placed in a true Light," published by William Bently of Halifax, but said to have been written by Samuel Midgley.-Vol. ii. p. 378.
1708.-Large and spacious hall for sale of woollen goods erected by Viscount Irwin, lord of the manor of Halifax, previous to this date.- Vol. ii. p. 379.
1727.-Daniel Defoe's account of the markets and trade of Halifax.-Vol. ii. p. 381; and Vol. i. p. 610.
1757.-Commencement of improvement of the river Calder, and ultimate introduction of water carriage from Halifax to Wakefield and to the Humber by that river, and formation of canal from Halifax to the rivers Irwell and Mersey.-Vol. ii. p. 383.
1775.-Halifax a hundred years ago, as described in the "History of the Town and Parish of Halifax," published in that year by the Rev. John Watson.-Vol. ii. p. 385.
1775.-The parish church of Halifax as described by Mr. Watson.-Vol. ii. p. 387.
1780.-Large and handsome Piece Hall erected at Halifax.-Vol. ii. p. 388.
1823.-Halifax described by the late Edward Baines.-Vol. ii. p. 389.
1832.-Halifax made a parliamentary borough.-Vol. ii. p. 391.
1843.-The volunteer movement Vol. ii. p. 399.
1848.-Halifax made a municipal borough.-Vol. ii. p. 391.
1848.-List of the mayors of Halifax from 1848 to 1874.-Vol. ii. p. 392.
1855.-The charities of Halifax.-Vol. ii. p. 398.
1857.-Modern churches.-Vol. ii. pp. 397, 398.
1858.-Public park presented to the town by Sir Francis Crossley, Bart., M.P.-Vol. ii. p. 396.
1863.-The Town Hall of Halifax opened by H.R.H. the Prince of Wales.- Vol. ii. p. 393.
1864.-The new Halifax Waterworks in the Luddenden Valley.-Vol. ii. p. 396.
1871.-Population and occupations of Halifax at the Census taken this year.-Vol. ii. p 403.
1874.-Observatories, Bermerside and Moorside.-Vol. ii. p. 402.
1874.-Halifax Literary and Philosophical Society.-Vol. ii. p. 403. Men of note connected with science and literature in Halifax.-Vol.ii. p 400. Improvement and other Acts relating to Halifax.-Vol. ii. p. 392. Literary and Scientific Institutions.-Vol. ii. p. 399. The great manufactories of Halifax.-Vol. ii. p. 404. The Dean Clough carpet manufactory of John Crossley & Sons.-Vol. ii. p. 405. History of the firm of James Akroyd & Co., Limited.-Vol. ii. p. 406. List of Vicars of Halifax.-Vol. ii. p. 416.
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