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The National Gazetteer of Great Britain and Ireland, 1868 

The National Gazetteer of Great Britain and Ireland, 1868

(courtesy of the Dales Countryside Museum, Hawes)

The following is a transcription from the above Book:

Transcribed from The National Gazetteer of Great Britain and Ireland, 1868.

p.? THORALBY township (2,840 acres) is situated between Aysgarth and Bishopdale. The lordship was formerly held by the citizens of London, from whom it was conveyed in 1661, to Major Thornton of St. Nicholas', near Richmond. The manorial rights now belong to the trustees of Hy. T. Robinson, who was also one of the principal landowners. The following also have estates here, viz.: Robt. Sadler, exors. of Robt. Lodge, Rev. 0. Sadler, Wm. Purchas, Sept. Sadler, and Leonard Jacques. The village of Thoralby (the by, or town of Thorald) is pleasantly situated on the north-east side of Bishopdale, about five miles from Askrigg. There was formerly a chantry chapel here, founded by Maria de Neville, Lady of Middleham, in 1316, for the benefit of her own soul, and those of her father and mother, and of Robert de Neville, her late husband, and their ancestors and heirs. It was suppressed with the other chantries by Edward VI., and its revenues seized for royal use. The place where it stood is still known as Chapel Close. The Wesleyans erected a small chapel here in 1823, but this will shortly be superseded by a new one, now in course of erection, at a cost of £350. The Primitive Methodist chapel dates from 1849. A Reading Room was erected in 1887, at a cost of £150, as a useful and permanent commemoration of Her Majesty's Jubilee. Littleburn House, an ancient mansion near the village, but now a farmhouse, was for some time the residence of the Lords Rokeby; and on a bridge, leading to the house, is an elegant Latin inscription from the pen of the fourth Lord Rokeby, who, whilst resident here, published a drama, entitled "John Churchill, Duke of Marlborough," which was printed at Leyburn. Edgeley was formerly the property and seat of Matthew Robinson, Esq., father of Mrs. Elizabeth Montague, a lady of extraordinary talents and conversational powers. In 1769 she published "An Essay on the Writings and Genius of Shakespeare," in answer to the objections of Voltaire, which obtained a great and deserved reputation, and still ranks with the best illustrations of the transcendent powers of the "immortal bard." She formed a literary society, which held its meetings in her house in London, and was nick-named the "Blue Stocking Club," from the circumstance that one of the gentlemen members always exhibited a preference for that colour in his hosiery. She assisted Lord Lyttleton in the composition of his "Dialogues of the Dead"; but it was in epistolary correspondence that Mrs. Montague particularly excelled, far surpassing her namesake, the Lady Mary Wortley Montague. She had her little crotchets and peculiarities, which she exhibited in various ways. One was a dinner which she gave every May-day to the chimney-sweepers of London, to commemorate the fact of her husband's kinsman, Edward Wortley Montague, having been for some time, during the wild period of his youth, a chimney-sweeper. She died at Denton Hall, near Newcastle, in 1800, at a very advanced age.

In the hills, near the village, is a very fine waterfall, called, from the adjacent farm, "The Heaning," but sometimes, and more poetically, named "Silver Chain Force." It consists of a succession of seven cataracts, formed by the Haw beck within a length of 200 yards, each fall constituting a link in the chain. CHARITIES. - The poor of Thoralby and Newbiggin receive the rent of 4½ acres of land, left by one Butterfield; the interest of £3 6s. 8d., left by James Hammond; an annuity of 20s., left by Charles Robinson; and a yearly rent-charge of 20s., bequeathed by a person named Harrison.

ranscribed from Wanderings in Wensleydale, 1864 - George Hardcastle.

p. 32... "By the kind permission of Captain Smith," go over the fell south of Aysgarth, till you come to a small stream called Haw Beck, running eastward through a narrow and densley wooed glen. Follow the water, and you will soon come upon a succession of seven cataracts within the length of two hundred yards, called "THE HEANING" or "YEANING," the name of a neighboring farm. In the little Saxon-named THORALBY at the foot of the hill, I observed noting particular but a Maypole, a photographic caravan, and a "public" portrait of a "Dales Volunteer" some sixty years old-tight little red coat, tight stiff stock, tight white nether inteuments, old Brown Bess, and a volunteer as stiff as if he had accidentally swallowed the old girl's ramroad. But in the perilous times of "Old Boney," the Wensleydale Volunteers proved themselves to be made of the right stuff; for on the firing of the Penhill Beacon by night, they turned put to a man, and marching swiftly to Thirsk,


p. 33... the appointed rendezvous, theft there learned to their mortification that they could not have the pleasure of giving the French Invaders a licking; the alarm having been falsely raised by the beacon-man on Roseberry Topping. The Volunteers received, as they deserved, the cordial thanks of the government for the alacrity with which they answered to the call of patriotism. The Yoredale Lads of the present day are no degenerate sons of their gallant sires. They delight in filling up their leisure time with manly out-of-door exercises, and in none do they more excel than in those of the Volunteer Rifle Corps. It would be "a caution" to our trust-worthy ally across channel, whose policy has made Englishmen "a nation of soldiers," to see how the stalwart men of Wensleydale tread the heather, and to hear how Captain Other's corps makes the target ring at 500 or 1,000 yards, as needs may be.              

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