1773 ~ 1785

Skelton Old Church - All Saints - rebuilt in 1785.
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 40 inmates.
Where this number of people were housed and kept employed is not known.

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.
His Grandson was John Hymers (20 July, 18037 April, 1887), who achieved fame in the world of Mathematics at St John's College, Cambridge, making new discoveries in analytical Geometry.

Villages still had to record who among them were Catholics. From a "Return of Papists by Parish" for Skelton:-
Henry & Frances Harrison and their children, Eleanor, Anne, Richard, Elizabeth, John, Joseph.
Tobias & Isabel Taylor and their sons Tobias & John.
William Knaggs.

One of the top five driest years recorded.

1781 A "Glebe Terrier" was an inventory of a Church Parish's possessions and was written at the annual visitation of the Archdeacon. The Terrier for Skelton Parish for this year shows that:-
The Parish Clerk's wages were 13 shillings and fourpence per annum.
Plus 5 pence per annum of every Householder, within the said Parish.
For every Funeral 1 shilling [= 5p today], for every Marriage by Banns one Shilling, for every Marriage by Licence 2 shillings and sixpence.
Also the Clerk repaired the Churchyard fence and 1s 6d was paid to him for this.
The Curate received 26 13s 4d per annum.
Plus for every funeral 1s 6d, for every tombstone erected, 5 shillings [25p today] for every Headstone 2s 6d.
A Marriage by Banns earned him 3s 6d and by Licence 10s 6d.
1 shilling for every Churching.
[this was a ceremony to give thanks for the recovery of women after childbirth, when in those days complications often resulted in death for the mother and was to be "thankfully received from our Lord" even if it resulted in a stillborn child.]
The Terrier was signed off by T Parrington, Curate. Church Wardens, Stephen Emmerson and Thomas Robinson. Principle Inhabitants, Richard Harrison, George Hutton, John Hammond, George Willis and Robert Thompson.

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.
All that remains of the old church, that was built by the Fauconberg family in the fourteenth century, is the section of wall supported by a lone buttress that can be seen to the left in the photograph.
The irregular stones of the old mediaeval building can be clearly seen against the neat regular sandstone blocks of the new. The reason this section was preserved can be seen internally where it, the north wall of the chancel, bears memorials to the Trotters of Skelton Castle etc. [see page 18].
Two bells were kept from the old building. One is now in the All Saints Church in the High St and the other is in the Victoria and Albert Museum in London.
Like the exterior of the church the inside is free of any ornamentation. There is no altar and the focus of attention is the three decker pulpit, from which the locals heard their weekly sermon.

Three decker pulpit

Private room in Church for Castle family

Herring bone sandstone

Church stables

Family pews
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.
At the rear of the Church a gallery was added to seat those people who were presumably considered at the time of a lower "degree, estate and condition".
[I have had several emails from family researchers asking for all the names:-]







Mark Carrick
William Gowland
B Elliott
R Tiplady
William Wilkinson
John Emmerson
Robert Petch
D T Petch
John Judson
Thomas Judson
Hannah Dixon
Stephen Emmerson




William Linskill
Thomas Johnson
William Judson
John Dixon
Richard Scarth
Matthew Marley
Robert Marley
Mary Stephenson
Martin Robinson
Thomas Andrew
Thomas Shemelds
William Porritt




John Thompson
Margaret Marley
John Dixon
Thomas Dixon
Robert Petch
Robert Carter
Robinson Cook
Thomas Robinson

Tombstone, thought to be from the time of the Fauconbergs at Skelton Castle.
Originally would have had brass fittings.

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