|1776 - Jan/Feb. Severe cold weather over
all Northern Europe.
1777 - A tax of one guinea per head was imposed on those who employed male servants in any capacity.
A parliamentary report refers to a "workhouse" in Skelton with
1779 - The Tees river was frozen over for two months at the end of this year and the whole decade was notable for severe winters.
1780 - John Parrington was the new priest at Skelton
All Saints Church.
Villages still had to record who among them were Catholics.
From a "Return of Papists by Parish" for Skelton:-
One of the top five driest years recorded.
1783 - The County gaol for the North Riding of Yorkshire was built at Northallerton.
The winter of 1783/84 winters had prolonged frosts and snow falls.1784 2nd March. The Will of Duncan McNaughton of Skelton, of this date states that he was a "Yeoman" and that he:-
"Bequeath land of 8 yard square, part of my garth called "Buck Garth", for the Methodist to build a meeting house."
His name is recorded in the return of males in Skelton in 1801 to oppose the threat of Napoleon, where he is listed as a "Merchant".
A person of the same name, probably his son, is recorded as a Parish contributor in the "Overseers of the Poor Book" Ratepayers in 1823 elsewhere on this website.
The first Wesleyan Methodist Chapel in Skelton was built in 1813, see the photograph on the page for this date.
So it is reasonable to assume that this was on "Buck Garth", the land referred to in Duncan McNaughton's Will.
1785 - The old church near the Castle was rebuilt by John Hall-Stevenson.
|The Whartons had a private room opposite the 3 decker pulpit
with a fireplace. It is said one of the Castle family used to stoke the
fire noisily if the sermon outlasted its welcome.
The present day cottages on the driveway leading to the Castle and Church used to be the stables for certain people attending the church services.
It was the custom to actually sell pews to those who could afford them, the resulting income going to the expenses of the church. The local parsons formed a commission to allot pews :-
"the said commission shall direct and appoint, they first having regard to the particular claims, and also having regard as much as may be in their allotment, to the several Degrees, Estates and Conditions of the Parishioners of the said Parish, and the numbers of their respective families."
All the pews are numbered on the door at the end of each. About half of them have family names painted on the wall.
D T Petch