Update and Overview for 2021 5.

Just a final word about 19th century publications by subscriptions as discussed in the context of Poulson’s History of Holderness.

My edition of Ball’s History of Barton (s.p.b.s) is a reprint so am not sure if his original publication of the 1850s had a list of subscribers, if so I don’t have that list. He may have published it privately, as writers may do today, as he was a printer by profession. The other book I do know of that had a list of subscribers was Charles Frost’s Notices Relative to the Early History of the Town and Port of Hull; compiled from original records and unpublished manuscripts, published 1827. I do not have the list of subscribers at home so cannot do an analysis as did with Poulson. It is clear from this title that Frost and Poulson worked in similar ways to produce their histories, and I’m sure that some names will have cropped-up in both lists of subscribers.

I am not sure as to the precise sequence of events that led up to the publication of works such as those by Frost and Poulson. Was the invitation to be a subscriber published in a newspaper or trade periodical or were individual letters sent to prospective subscribers? Did subscribers get to see the finished product before parting with their cash or did they fund in good faith? Were the financial contributions published? And other queries related to the logistics of subscription based publications.

The current theme is based on my recording in the first Update and Overview for 2021 that I had offered two projects to the E.Y.L.H.S. – the first being Poulson’s History of Holderness – which I have introduced. The second project was to write a comparison between the sites of South Ferriby and Hull and to compare and contrast their respective histories. Will explain this idea in the next blog.

(to be continued).

Update and overview for 2021, 4.

Ball’s The Social History and Antiquities of Barton-upon-Humber, published 1856 and edited by George Poulson (s.p.b.) was different in style to Poulson’s earlier works on the histories of Beverley and Holderness (s.p.b.s) as well as being published in A5 size rather than wide A4 used by Poulson. Also, only a few sketches were included by Ball one being the view of St. Peter’s church (s.p.b.), Barton from the south (s,p,b,), this showing a portion of Tyrwhitt Hall beyond the east end of the church and the then relatively new Regency vicarage to its right (still standing).

Incidentally, another sketch that Ball includes is of the ‘Ferry Boat House’, see above. This rather fanciful-looking property was an example of a ‘baffle-entry’ detached cottage, that is on entering through the centre-entrance ground-floor doorway immediately in front would have been the side wall of brick-built central fire-stack, the pot of the central chimney stack showing in the picture. Two back-to-back fireplaces would have heated the ground-floor rooms either side and maybe two further fireplaces in the loft rooms (see gable-end loft casement window). A timber-frame skeleton sits on a high freestone plinth and the steeply-pitched roof would have been thatch, partly held in place by heavy bargeboards at either side.

The existence of this property seems confirmed by William Hesleden’s map of Barton compiled in 1835 which identifies the site of Ferry Boat House on the south side of Newport near the Finkle Lane junction. However, this site is some feet above the water level of Barton Haven and no evidence of a water-course between the two is in evidence today. Did a stream once flow leading into the head of the Haven up which Humber ferry boats might have sailed/rowed? Does the location of the Ferry Boat House have a completely different explanation?

This has been a bit of an aside from my current theme but I thought it interesting.

(Update and overview for 2021 to be continued).

Update and overview for 2021, 3.

Poulson divides his 160 page overview on the history of Holderness into the following sections;

Roman era – nine pages (Poulson, in the early 19th century, had not the benefit of later discoveries about the pre-history of the region).

Anglo-Saxon era – six pages.

Norman era – three pages.

Earls of Albemarle (‘Lords of the Seignory’, Lords of Holderness) – 79 pages (compare with the work of Prof. Barbara English on this topic).

Deanery of Holderness – 19 pages.

Drainage – 24 pages.

Population – 10 pages.

Wapentake of Holderness – nine pages.

Two words in this introduction to Poulson’s work perhaps need some explanation; (a) ‘Seigniory’ (see the title page image on yesterday’s blog) is defined as a territory under the dominion of a lord, a feudal landholding, (b) wapentake is defined as a medieval sub-division of a shire county within the  counties of Yorkshire, Derbyshire, Nottinghamshire, Lincolnshire, Northamptonshire and Leicestershire. In other English counties a similar area of subdivision was known as a ‘hundred’.

George Poulson died at the age of 75 in 1858.

Also on his title page Poulson summarises his sources of evidence as ‘authentic charters, records and the unpublished manuscripts of the Rev. William Dade. In other words Poulson had permission to use the notes and manuscripts of the late Rev. Dade, and indeed thereby to produce a publication that Rev. Dade had been unable to produce in his lifetime. The Rev. Dade, vicar of Barmston for many years, figures in the Dictionary of National Biography (see the website), this unlike George Poulson.

By 1840 George Poulson was already well known in regional literary circles as in 1829 his previous great work had been published, ‘Beverlac: or the Antiquities and History of the town of Beverley, in the County of York: and of the Provostry and Collegiate establishment of St. John’s’.

The above scan is taken from Henry William Ball’s History of Barton, published 1856. this is relevant as shall be seen in the next blog.

Update and Overview for 2021 2.

Two article projects suggested by myself for the annual newsletter of the East Yorkshire Local History Society are; (a) An analysis of George Poulson’s study of the parishes of Holderness as published in 1840, with particular reference to the parish of Hornsea, and (b) A comparison of the topography and economic development of South Ferriby and Kingston-upon-Hull (this may not be the exact final title). The idea behind the rather unlikely comparison in (b) is that in fact the two areas have an almost identical topography but have clearly developed in very contrasting ways, why?

I have a very very tatty copy of George Poulson’s History and Antiquities of the Seignory of Holderness in the East Riding of the County of York (see above), first published in 1840 which includes a list of the Patrons and Subscribers following the author’s preface. The half-dozen Patrons were headed by, the young, Queen Victoria and included the Archbishop of York. The long list of 353 subscribers was headed by 24 members of the gentry, of which five were Members of Parliament. Of the 353 26 were from the region that can now be called south Humberside, this not so surprising as a considerable proportion of the  coastline of the county of Lindsey faced the south coast of Holderness across the Humber Estuary, while 83 subscribers were recorded as having their (basic) addresses outside the Humberside region. That said, the most common address given for subscribers was ‘Hull’.

Poulson also credits eight libraries, four of Cambridge colleges, two of Oxford colleges, the ‘Hull (Lyceum) Library’ and the ‘Aldbrough Subscription Library’. Whether the directors of these were willing to provide a corporate subscription or whether they were relevant repositories, or both, is not clear to me.

Before Poulson embarked on his parish-by-parish history his Vol. 1 has about 160 pages of general notes on a succession of headings.

(the next blog will start with these).

Update and overview for 2021.

The blog posted on 11/11/’20 was the final one of my Inventory of blogs up to that point (over four and a half years). Since then a 20 blog section has been added under the heading Disused Rail-lines as Public Rights of Way, these uploaded between 13/11/’20 and 31/12/’20.

Having taken a week off I need to think about the coming year. My long-term research project – History of Hull’s Municipal Parks, Cemeteries, Playing Fields and Allotments has taken a big hit with the pandemic and resulting lock-downs because the Hull History Centre has either been closed or their services severely restricted for almost a year now. When normal service will be resumed is anyone’s guess with the current third national lockdown and the highest death rates being recorded nationally of the whole pandemic.

Have taken-on a couple of initiatives beyond my immediate daily round – regular litter picking in the Pearson Park, part of Beverley Road and Grove St. areas (a Facebook group ‘Litter Friends’, recently renamed, co-ordinates and encourages this sort of voluntary local initiative and is having a positive effect), secondly have taken-on responsibility of Secretary and Newsletter Editor for the Friends of Pearson Park and thirdly have taken-on another and much larger allotment on the Clough Road Allotment Association site.

I took-on a small plot about a year ago which had previously been the site of a wood-chip pile. Gradually, over the summer and autumn, got it divided into six beds with grass paths between and all winter-dug ready for planting 2021. When, in November, offered the chance to take-on a much bigger plot I, hesitatingly, decided to do so. Therefore will be giving-up the smaller plot for someone else to plant-up in the spring – crazy, I know. That said, digging is good exercise and allotment sites are places where social distancing is easily maintained.

(to be continued).

Disused rail-lines as public rights of way 20.

Concluding comments on the 20 blogs with the above title – examples covered = (a) Hudson Way, (b) Hull – Barnsley Railway (parts of), (c) Victoria Dock Railway in Hull (green corridor), (d) Hull – Hornsea Railway and (e) Hull – Withernsea Railway (Hull and Holderness Railway). The series also pays tribute to the pioneering work of  the late Dr. Jay Appleton of Hull University.

Railways were commercial enterprises constructed in expectation of an income over capital expenditure from freight, passenger traffic or both. In terms of their route’s subsequent adoption as public rights of way their original function makes little difference.

Almost all railways passed through rural areas but didn’t necessarily serve the interests of those areas. Lines specifically built to serve the trade of rural areas came late in Victorian railway development – and often were the first to close as un-economic in the 20th century. Railways of this sort such as the Market Weighton to Beverley line (Hudson Way) and the two Holderness lines (d and e above) were impacted on badly early in their economic life by the Agricultural Depression of the 1880s and’90s and the mass importation of foodstuffs. In the case of d above an increase in commuter passengers must have been a welcome development and in the case of e day-trip passengers to the coast and the promise of Anthony Bannister’s vision of a ‘Brighton on the east coast’, mostly unrealised but nevertheless significant.

In areas of dense rural settlement such as Holderness train lines couldn’t zig-zag around to serve every village and indeed lines avoided going through villages but rather skirted their built-up area or, as with a, d and e above, had village stations built out in the countryside. Few farmers had a station on their doorstep. Thus rural goods movement networks tended to radiate from stations rather than directly to and from the intended market, e.g. Hull, but only if the siting of the station was convenient to the farmer. Furthermore rural rail-lines left large areas un-served, the south-eastern area of Holderness being a case in point. Easington and its surrounding villages were right out on the edge (coast), almost a land apart, and remained so despite the Railway Age.

The photo above shows a view across Kilnsea ‘Bight’ to Spurn Point, the 1895 lighthouse standing proud with a ‘low light’ connected with Smeaton’s earlier lighthouse showing also. Unlike the road travellers to Withernsea today early rail day-trippers would not have seen the lighthouse proud in the landscape as Withernsea’s Museum (lighthouse) was not built until 1893. A three-hour (plus) stroll along the beach (but only at low tide – very important) and Spurn Point allows one to walk from one lighthouse to the other, the walk in the opposite direction to Selwick’s Bay lighthouse on Flamborough Head takes a bit longer.